Okay, I yield

Aug. 15th, 2017 09:48 am
dragovianknight: closeup of a green dragon (Default)
[personal profile] dragovianknight
I have fallen under the Indie Slush Pile, and I can't get up.

Rec me!

What I am looking for:

1) Not tradpub (Edit: This one and #4 are the only non-negotiable ones, see my reasons in comments; #2 can extend to SF or any similar genre, but I don't read many mysteries or much contemporary)
2) Fantasy - sword and sorcery or some other action sub-genre preferred over politics
3) Prefer a female main character
4) Competent writing, for the love of all the gods

I am honestly starting to think it's not possible to have a well-developed independently published story. Please show me I'm wrong.

And then of course

Aug. 14th, 2017 06:33 pm
dragovianknight: closeup of a green dragon (Default)
[personal profile] dragovianknight
There are the books where chapter 1 feels like the DM is setting up the campaign world for you. *sigh*

Is the current trend in YA really the "I am incompetent at everything and also clueless about my surroundings" character? Or is this just people trying to ape Harry Potter without going the necessary step of putting their MC in a world they genuinely have no way of knowing anything about?
dragovianknight: closeup of a green dragon (Default)
[personal profile] dragovianknight
And therefore, I am always annoyed when I pick up an indie book that looks good, has an interesting premise, and then turns out to be shallow, half-developed, and powered entirely by the idiot ball.

This applies to YA just as much as books allegedly aimed at adults. Thus was I really fucking disappointed in A Quest of Heroes (Amazon link), which I am pretty sure I picked up because it was a) free and b) the title seems like a perfectly good phrase for a group of adventurers, amirite? A quest of heroes, a murder of crows, a pack of wolves...

Sadly, the book was not nearly so clever as that, and the worldbuilding was tissue thin. And I don't want to say the main character is dumb as a box of hammers, but his awareness of the world around him extends for about six inches. This might be accurate for a fourteen year old, but it makes for a damn boring MC.

Most importantly, the ways the book is bad are very much self-absorbed Mary Sue-fic bad. Not because the MC is practically perfect in every way, but because the world shapes itself around him. You can tell the villains because they Instahate Our Hero Thor (don't name your hero Thor, people, unless your hero is Thor). The designated Good People equally Instalove him. He is deeply confused why he is hated! And why he is liked! In fact, Thor spends a great deal of the book clueless, conveniently has magic powers as the plot demands (but the Mysterious Magic Man won't explain jack shit, he just shows up to make Mysterious Pronouncements), receives the gift of a magic falcon maybe-familiar from the King roughly five minutes after showing up at the capitol, finds a probably-magic white leopard on a hunt, etc etc.
In which I complain at length. )
In short, Thor doesn't earn things so much as he bumbles his way into being in the right place at the right time, meeting the right people, and then managing to blow it all through sheer lack of sense. The people who oppose him oppose him for no good reason. The Evil Gay Trope offends me less than the sheer lack of sense or intelligence demonstrated by LITERALLY EVERYONE. Declaring your book YA - and I question that, given the whole "getting Thor drunk and buying him a whore" part - doesn't absolve you from basic logic and sensible character development.

The book ended on a cliffhanger, but frankly, I choose to believe the end of book 1 is the end of Thor's story. I'm certainly not going to pay money for the rest.
turlough: The Girl (Grace Jeanette) yay!ing from car window, Art is the Weapon video, Sept 2010 ((mcr) yay!)
[personal profile] turlough
She's not scared, though.

Everyone's fine except Poison, and Ray tells her he's had worse.

So there's really nothing to be scared about, and she's not.

She's seven now, probably, or close enough that she's too old to be scared of stupid stuff like that. Definitely too old to be scared of the dark. Ray doesn't say anything when she creeps into his room that night, though - just scoots over on the mattress and tucks his hair behind him so it's not taking up the whole pillow.

When Poison finally wakes up the next afternoon, wrecked and pale, the first thing he says is: "Shitfucking cocksucker."

The second thing, after Kobra tells him what happened, is: "We gotta teach the kid how to drive."

- [archiveofourown.org profile] zrt's measured out in miles

the incredible jessica james

Aug. 13th, 2017 02:26 pm
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
So there's a movie on Netflix called "The Incredible Jessica James." It's a wonderful movie about an artist, a playwright, who's trying to figure out what being a playwright means. She's a self-confident female role model with a great queer friend and humorously meaningful interactions with a guy she accidentally starts dating (example: they decide to follow each other's exes on instagram so that they can each unfollow their own without worrying about missing something - they promise to tell each other if anything happens that they should know about, but otherwise, they no longer have to look at a constant reminder of the person they're not with).

The most memorable part of the movie for me was when Jessica finally meets her playwright idol, Sarah Jones, at a writing camp she takes her students to. And she gets a chance to ask Sarah something she's clearly been thinking about for a long time. (The following is paraphrased.)

Jessica: "How did you know when you'd made it?"
Sarah: "When they send me the memo, I'll let you know."
Jessica: "But you won a Tony!"
Sarah: "Yeah, that and $2.50 will get me on the Metro."
Jessica: "So you're saying that even if I win the most prestigious award there is, I'm still going to question what I'm doing."
Sarah: "Look. You like theater?"
Jessica: "I love theater. It's everything."
Sarah: "And you're doing theater, right?"
Jessica: "...Yeah."
Sarah: "There's really not more to it than that."

--"The Incredible Jessica James"
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
Fan: Some of us struggle to follow our dreams. What's your best advice for us?
Mark: What's my best advice for someone who wants to follow their dreams? Follow your dreams! ...Don't worry so much about the format. If you like to write, write. Don't try to write a book, or a script, just write. Dreams are small things that only become big things if you don't exercise them.

Fan: What's your inspiration for your music?
Mark: You really want to know? It's the telling of stories. All art: music, writing, art, is about connection. Like when I look at you and you smile. It's the audience. Otherwise you're just making music in your bedroom and what's the point of that?

Fan: If you could change one thing about your character's history, what would it be?
Misha: One thing about Castiel's history? His... past? Because it's been pretty shitty. He's always trying to do the right thing--and he tries really hard! That's like an anchor of his character. But when he tries to do the right thing, it invariably leads to creating catastrophe for everyone. So... not meeting Dean, I guess? Head the whole thing off at the pass. But I'll give you a better answer: when Cas got all pop culture references downloaded into his brain. Before that he was innocent. He was just like a fish out of water at all times. But now he understands things. That Metatron really screwed things up.

Fan: If there were a genderbent episode of Supernatural, who would you want to play you?
Misha: First off, every episode of Supernatural is genderbent. If we were doing a genderbending episode of Supernatural, who would play me? Probably Jensen.
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
Fun race signs ♥

"Character is not built at the gym."

"The wall does not define your race. You do."

"Are you running so fast your feet are on fire? Because there sure is a lot of smoke around here."
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
1) color-changing glowing clouds indoors
2) blue seawheeze bracelet
3) pj party "sleepy af" fleece blankets

eclipse advice from facebook

Aug. 12th, 2017 12:40 am
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
Brad's quick guide to photographing a total eclipse:
1) Don't. Nobody has ever taken a photograph of an eclipse that looks like an eclipse. You won't either.
2) Don't. Don't spend time photographing which you could spend watching. It's only 2 minutes.
--Brad Templeton

I looked over a 20 year old photo album from my childhood, and discovered that the nature shots were relatively boring while the shots of my family from 20 years ago were fascinating. Thus, I've endeavored to get myself into a lot more vacation photos.
--Matt Bell

Here's an old idea: The earth is probably very rare in the sense that the moon is exactly 400 times smaller than the sun, but also exactly 400 times closer. So the one exactly covers the other (yes, the earth and the moon both travel on elliptical orbits, not circular, and sometimes the moon is "too far" and you get an annular eclipse). Nevertheless, the earth may be the only planet for many hundreds of light years which experiences the total solar eclipse as we know it. So some visitors may travel far... very far... to come to earth and observe this rare cosmic coincidence. Look around you during the eclipse... and notice if there is anything strange about some of the "tourists."
--Creon Levit

(no subject)

Aug. 11th, 2017 04:41 pm
turps: (cat look at me)
[personal profile] turps
To update on the gym situation. I went to the induction yesterday and everything went very well.

Not that it got to a good start as we weren't booked on the system, but one of the men who worked in the gym was there and happy to give us the tour and work on our goals and memberships.

In all that took around 3 hours, and he was great. He did have some extreme views about nutrition and how often that could help when medicine can't. But, at the same time, he admitted that the views were extreme, and kept saying we had to research everything and not take his -- or anyone's -- word as gospel.

He made me feel really relaxed and worked out a programme for both me and James based on what he thought we could manage. Mine includes the recumbent bike, the treadmill, and leg strength work on the weight machines. When he was showing us the equipment he said he could tell I'd relaxed because when I was on the bike I was smiling, and I was. No one was looking, no one gave a damn that I was sitting there and doing exercise in a gym. It was just good and achievable and I felt a foot taller when leaving.

Then later we called into the local gym I'm going to be using -- the induction was done at the bigger one the next town over -- and I gave my workout a try. I also checked out where the lockers were, the changing room situation, doing those little things that had been worrying me, like starting machines off on my own.

Then this morning I walked down on my own and spent a good hour doing my own thing. And again, no one was laughing or looking and I just got on with things. I even tried out the arm weight machines and felt comfortable and happy as I moved to each new thing. I bought myself a water bottle but must remember a small towel next time because I had to keep wiping the seats off with the edge of my t-shirt which really wasn't a good look.

But I did it, and am chuffed at myself.

Thank you to everyone who gave advice and encouragement in my last post. Yesterday was the first time I'd ever stepped foot in a gym, and it was hard and scary. But today it wasn't at all, and I'd have never have got to that point without all of your help.

Oh, and this is the outfit I went with in the end. Modelled just after I'd left the blood donation place.

"safe travels new hampshire!"

Aug. 10th, 2017 10:59 pm
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
1) Tim Hortons
2) Champagne Illinois
3) waterfalls and chair lifts

(no subject)

Aug. 10th, 2017 01:25 am
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
1) empty middle seat on a plane
2) orange juice
3) orange moon
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
Also, I'm thinking of writing. On the plane. That's never gone well for me; traditionally I have better luck in airports than on the planes themselves. But there's a first time for everything, and [archiveofourown.org profile] de_Duchess left a comment on Taylor and the Key that made me think, ME TOO. "I hoped they'd work it out." So I'm going to write about Eric talking to Wes about Taylor. (Ha ha ha.)

The point is, if you can leave me an exceptionally specific prompt in the next 12 to 14 hours, I will endeavor to trick my brain into writing about it tomorrow evening. For science.

1) It might help if it's something I've written about before, but then again, it might not. I have no idea.
2) Seriously, super specific. It can't be too specific. Or if it can, I want to know how, so try. (Write the whole story for me. It's done! Hooray!)

If you don't leave me a super specific prompt, and I do indeed trick my brain into writing, I can only assume that Eric and Wes are going to have the longest conversation ever. Maybe with Jen. Maybe with anyone who wanders by. Do the Silver Guardians have a cafeteria? They must. They're going to have this conversation in the cafeteria, and everyone who wanders by will offer an opinion on Eric's love life. It'll be a good time.

except for the gender bias

Aug. 8th, 2017 11:40 pm
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
I'm downloading fic to read on the plane, and I saved Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei by [archiveofourown.org profile] Darksknight. My favorite part is the tag "No Proofreading We Die Like Men." I approve.
turlough: Gerard Way looking melancholic, Honda Civic tour announcement, 23 May 2011 ((mcr) does anyone notice)
[personal profile] turlough
He shivered and pulled the blanket tighter around his shoulders. Mikey was passed out in the chair next to him, his body bent in weird ways to fit the lopsided seat. He'd always been good about sleeping anywhere, the fucker.

Gerard rubbed at his eyes and stared at the console. The ships the Joes were using had some crazy navigational system, totally different than the shit Gerard grew up on, but Gerard had taken enough of them over the years to figure them out. They just wanted to look complicated.

They had at least another few hours before they hit The Grit, and he wasn't going to get any sleep this cycle. He left Mikey asleep in the chair but grabbed the bag by Mikey's feet and set about sorting through it - singed in a few places where the Joes had got a few hits in on their way out, but mostly intact, and only some of the money'd been burned too much to use.

He paused. He hadn't noticed back in the office, but Mikey'd nicked a couple of books from the foreman's shelf. They were shoved at the bottom of the bag and one of them - The Secret Garden - had a dark streak across the spine from one of the blasts.

Gerard awkwardly brushed some of the dirt off the front cover. There was a girl in red on the cover, almost completely faded away, and there was green all around her, practically choking the corners of the drawing. It was an old copy, and cracked when he opened it. It smelled like a book, and Gerard had to resist pressing it against his face and just inhaling. He only vaguely remembered the story - something Elena had read to him, once, back when there were suns.

- [archiveofourown.org profile] theopteryx's Might I Have a Bit of Earth

(no subject)

Aug. 7th, 2017 07:57 pm
turps: (Default)
[personal profile] turps
I joined a gym today.

I'm sitting here thinking, what the hell have I done? It's a good deal -- I think. Our local authority gym scheme where I get a discount for being a carer, so is only £21 a month, and I can go to any local authority gym in Sunderland, which includes a swimming pool, sauna etc in the next town over.

But man, I'm scared to death here. I'm going to the induction on Thursday, and she said bring your gym clothes. But I don't even have any. Will my sketchers do? Will people laugh if I turn up in them and leggings?

I can walk to the one in my town easily, and James will go on a pay as you go basis so we can go swimming together.

Gah. I think I need to go lie down in a dark room or something. And yes, this will pass and I'm sure things will be fine, and this is a good thing. But again. What have I done?!

We also saw Valerian, which was pretty to look at, but had the disadvantage of having two main characters I didn't give a damn about.

"easter bunny, hop hop hop!"

Aug. 6th, 2017 11:16 pm
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
1) seawheeze meditation after every yoga session
2) supernatural fam organizing buttons, wristbands and tea lights
3) people still writing about rise of the guardians

(no subject)

Aug. 2nd, 2017 10:49 pm
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
1) scheduling things that are important
2) looking at running scrapbooks
3) listening to songs that are old now again
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