alyndra: (Default)

So, the latest greatest thing to consume my brain is White Collar. Go ahead and guess why. In honor of which, and after watching ep 2x15 Power Play, 

have a ficlet )
alyndra: (Default)
I've been inactive in fandom lately in part because my RL has gotten busy in very awesome and life-enhancing ways. I have had a great deal of personal growth and good life experiences over the past three-plus years, and I owe most of it to the free martial arts program I have been honored to be part of at my college. Now we're taking it to the next level: we are starting an independent multi-arts school which is equally free of charge and open to anyone who wants to put in their time. We have spectacular teachers willing to teach for uncertain income, we have a lease on a building downtown, we have curriculum and students and volunteers and what we need now is equipment for martial arts and dance and gymnastics.

We've been applying for grants, and one pretty cool one is from Pepsi, because they don't decide whether we get it or not, we do. Anyone can go to and vote for us, by signing up on the website with an email and name or through facebook, and at the end of the month the ideas in the top ten of votes received get their grant money. Please, we really need all the votes we can get in order to win this thing. So if you have a minute or two every day for the rest of April, and think that a school based on community rather than money sounds like something you'd like to see more of, please please visit and cast a vote for good people committed to giving back!
alyndra: (Default)
Not much interesting to say, just that I'm still alive though not likely to suddenly start producing mass quantities of fic. (Ha!) Did a little LJ flist pruning, may start shifting to Dreamwidth more, or may vanish entirely and come back years from now. Wrote a bitty commentfic here where JD meets Jack Sparrow.

It's been grand!
alyndra: (SG-1 & Gate)
I keep hearing variants of the line "Why do the Atlantis people keep acting so STUPID" and I was thinking about it and it just clicked. They don't do contingency planning. SG-1 totally does it, not all the time but when they can, yeah, and you don't always see it but you see the results of it, when things go pear-shaped and they deal with it.

On Atlantis? Not so much. It's not necessarily that the plans they come up with are less wacky and improbable, it's that on SG-1 where the general tells the people who come up the latest insane plan "Okay, write it up, we'll do a briefing and see how many of the holes we can fill in and if there's any improvements we can make" while on Atlantis Weir says "But . . . well, if you have to, okay, do it." Which makes for a more action-packed TV show, but also we notice the change.

The thing is, I kind of buy it. Partly I associate that kind of competent contingency planning with the military, and it gets done when Hammond and O'Neill and Landry and Carter and Mitchell and even Teal'c and Bra'tac are in charge (although the Tok'ra contingency plans suck, that may be part of why Jack doesn't like them).

But Sheppard, he might not trust his superiors, but mostly he just doesn't ever think his own plans will ever go wrong. We do see him making good plans when the Genii are involved, so we know he can do it, but then he's always put a lot more effort into battling the Genii than we see out of him most of the rest of the time.

And Ronon's a lot younger than Jack or Teal'c, and also maybe more used to responding to the crisis of the moment, where you act or you're dead, rather than complex operations (though I haven't actually seen Sateda yet, sorry).

And Rodney, back when all his physics were still theoretical, used to have time to work everything out carefully and methodically and not miss anything, but since he got to Pegasus he's been flying by the seat of his pants most of the time and he might point out when they're screwed, but it doesn't occur to him to sit everyone down and talk it all out beforehand.

Elizabeth? Actually, I'm having a harder time justifying her actions than the rest. I guess the only thing I can say is that she really never was trained for this, and also the people peering over her shoulder are a hell of a lot farther away than they ever were for SG-1.

Also, Jack and Teal'c and even Daniel, though he puts a cover over it, I see as being pessimists. And Sam is maybe a bit of an optimist but she's also very practical, and would probably prefer the term realist. So they kind of expect to go down in flames, and plan accordingly. Whereas Atlantis, they are mostly optimists. So they expect, well, not to go down in flames, despite all evidence to the contrary. Which explains a lot, to me.

(I've seen most of the shows at this point, but not the SG-1 S9 or SGA S2, except for the last four episodes of each, and also not the episodes from two days ago.)
alyndra: (Default)
So I was cruising around and ran across a link to an article -- 'Common Sense vs. Evolution'. Okay, I thought, I'll bite. Clicked. Read it. Mostly unimpressive, but at least it didn't resort to Bible quotes. But the logical arguments -- one of them I'd seen before, namely the one that complex systems can't arise by chance and as an example, if you put all the parts to a watch in a little bag, screws and everything, and shook it for a long time, you still wouldn't have a watch.

I had to respond to this. I ended up not sending it because, well, I'm soft, but I had to write it out. So here it is.

Read more... )
alyndra: (Default)
Tagged by [ profile] antosha_c:

Ground Rules: The first player of this game starts with the topic '5 weird habits/facts of yourself' and people who get tagged need to write an entry about their 5 weird habits as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next 5 people to be tagged and list their names.

1: I tend to 'decorate' my room by accumulating things and sticking them on the walls. I have stuff from very early childhood, and also such miscellanea as a tin-foil covered small paper star, necklace pendants, those little paper umbrellas, nametags, beads, half-finished yarn braids, and a scrunchie. None of it is on purpose, I just hate throwing things away so I say, what can I do with this?

2: I almost never use flashlights, even though I frequently walk after dark or before sunrise (it helps when the sun cooperates on this ;)). I like the challenge of knowing where you're going without sight, and having to learn the ground.

3: I sit on my feet, a lot. Have forever.

4: At home, I often wear blankets. Either as a sarong, or a shawl, or both.

5: I used to whistle incessantly, and a lot of the time it was without pursing my lips (kind of like an S sound, but with a little half-roll of the tongue to channel air). Not quite so much anymore, which is a good thing, really.

Tagging: Ah, anyone who wants to, really. :g:
alyndra: (coppertoneicons)
I've been thinking lately about how unhealthily addicted to fandom I am, and feeling glum and as though I am wasting my life, because this is my freshman year of college and I am spending it on the internet.

I occasionally walk the neighbor's dog, and because I hadn't been on a walk in two weeks and I hadn't been outside in twenty-four hours, I decided this evening to do this. I put it off a while, and when I finally got outside it was misting a bit, but I went forward and as I was walking I thought unhappily about how much I needed to get a life consisting of actual experiences rather than vicariousness, and other similar thoughts.

At some point -- or rather over some length of time -- the mist turned to drizzle turned to rain, until it was raining quite hard, harder than I've been out in in a long time. And I was grateful for my long hair because I know from the few times I've worn it up how much it protects my ears and neck from cold and rain and sunburn and other various and sundry.

I stopped and watched the waves coming in off of Lake Superior because they looked bigger than I had ever seen them, and then tried to figure out, crouching over the rock bank, how much bigger they looked because it was dark and all I could see were the crests, and how much they really were bigger because of the wind.

They sprayed up the rocks fantastically.

I continued walking and one side of me was somewhat wet while the other side was mostly dry, and then I turned around and walked back into the wind, and suddenly the other side got really wet and so did my front. My hair was in my face, and my jeans formed stiff cold armour running smoothly down the fronts of my legs. When I paused and turned around, I discovered that my forehead felt weird when I wrinkled it. It was numb from the cold wind already.

Eventually water trickled first into one shoe, then into the other. Then it started squelching in the first shoe, and at first I just wanted it to stop but then I thought about it. The water burbled and bubbled, and squished in and out of the fuzzy pink socks I was wearing, and squirted between my toes at each step. The water was cool but not cold, and once I got over the feeling that there should not be wetness inside my shoes (as a matter of principle, really), it turned out to be quite pleasant.

Rain on my glasses made my vision blurry, and lights shone as coronas around themselves, blending into each other at the edges. The wind made whistling changing tunes between my ear and my wet strings of hair. I closed my eyes against the wind and rain and practiced how far I could walk before tripping off the edge of the boardwalk.

This walk was the most fun I'd had, the happiest I'd felt, in a while. I got home, took off wet things, the fronts of my thighs informed me that they were numb from cold, then proceeded directly to a burning red heat; the backs of my hands complained that my pockets had been too cold and wet to keep off the wind, I sniffled and shivered and made hot chocolate and wrapped myself in the big flannel-covered comforter, and all the while I've been sincerely, ridiculously, extremely pleased with myself.

I feel alive.
alyndra: (Default)
Writing original ficlet now.



That is all.

Wait, no it's not.

Ever get a little way into a first person narrative and then you realize that the narrator is not the gender you thought they were? (Or age, culture, whatever) and it's a jolt.

I'm writing from the POV of a selkie (because the myths are always from human POV, aren't they) and I got most of a page of single-spaced, fairly dense type written before I realized that I wasn't sure what gender my narrator was.

And that I'd better figure it out before I got too much further, because although it might be cool to try and keep it ambiguous for the whole story (and I very likely could do that) I also have enough experience as a reader to know that if I were reading it, it would annoy the hell out of me.

Selkies, for those not into semi-obscure mythological beings, are seal-people who can become human and if you steal one's sealskin and hide it then they are trapped on land and there are multiple legends of them staying for years, often marrying and having children, but they can't forget the sea and keep searching for their skin and when they find it they always disappear back into the ocean. There are slightly more legends about females than males, but both exist.

Also, more in general: plot vs. character issues. Plot and character are pretty universally the two biggest components of fiction writing, and different people put different degrees of emphasis on them. I consider myself a plot-oriented person. I can automatically tell if a story hangs together logically, or if the plot is thin contrivances for the romantic (or character angst, etc) development, and the latter annoys me immensely and will generally throw me out of a story. On the other hand, JKR kind of sucks at writing romance but you know what? I sighed impatiently when I read the romance bits but HBP was such a great book, plot-wise, that I loved it anyway. Fandom in general -- perhaps everyone in general -- tends to be more interested in romance (on average) than me, and ok, to each his own. There's plenty of good stuff out there anyways, and I can learn to appreciate the romance too. But it is not something I naturally tend towards, and I (especially before fandom corrupted me) tended to miss even the anvil-sized hints that it is about to occur in a text.

So given all this about my reading preferences, why do I keep writing all this psychological character study stuff? It is not at all what I would have predicted I would be writing.

Maybe it's so fascinating to me precisely because I don't have a very intuitive understanding of it. So I spend time trying to puzzle it out, and then when I do come to any conclusions they are so novel and shiny to me that I am inspired to write them down.

Or perhaps my perspective is screwed in the first place and all writing is primarily about the characters and secondarily about the plot and maybe thirdly about the setting and so on, and my circuitous attempts to thwart this kind of thinking are hopeless and doomed from the start.

I'm in a writing mood lately, it appears. Have been posting a spate of comments when normally I hardly post any, and posting in my journal and writing fic type stuff and why aren't I writing any of the things I need to write for school in that case? *headdesk* I think it's related.
alyndra: (Default)
It occurs to me that my HP friends may be slightly bemused by my recent emphasis on PotC fanfic.

I've been pretty much exclusively a HP fanfic reader for . . . mm, about three and a half years now.

I've only had a LJ for about one year, as before that I did an awful lot of lurking and drifting about as my tastes shifted.

And one of the first things I noticed about LJ was that it pinned me down, anchored me in place, in a way I wasn't used to. When you've got to keep up on reading your flist, you not only have a lot less time for cruising around randomly and exploring archives and such, you have a lot less motive, because there is of course so much good stuff on your flist why would you need to go anywhere else? And this is obviously both a good thing and a bad thing.

And I'm not saying I haven't ventured out of my little corner of LJ in the past year, either, because I have, and I've followed links from my flist and on and on.

But not a fraction of what I used to.

So at the moment I'm going through a 'bored with HP' phase, feeling boxed in and stagnant, but I've gone through those before, and this wonderfully (terrifyingly) huge fandom has always managed to have something new to grab my attention. This won't last. I'm certain of that. No other fandom could be what HP is, a place where you can find absolutely everything you ever thought about plus tons of stuff you'd never dream up in a million years. Harry Potter fandom is home. But I'm off on a side trip, to a delightful little world of pirates and swashbuckling, and I must beg all of your indulgence for my OT posts.


October 19th, 2005 09:58 pm
alyndra: (Default)
Title: Comparisons
Author: Alyndra
Rating: PG
Fandom: Pirates of the Caribbean
Summary: Elizabeth thinks about the men in her life.
Notes: Thanks very much to [ profile] hazelhawthorne and [ profile] misskass for looking this over for me!

I'm not quite sure whether I like this version of Elizabeth or not. Possibly I've attempted to inject too much realism into what is, after all, 'a Pirate Movie.' :D

Cross-posted at [ profile] pirategasm.

Read more... )
alyndra: (Default)
I'd seen X-men a few years ago. I remember liking it, wanting to know more about that world and those people. Rewatched it this afternoon, then on a whim rented the sequel and watched that. Overall enjoyable, but . . .

Ranting. Also, um, spoilers, for anyone who cares. )
alyndra: (Musesfool)
Ok, as I mentioned before in that one dismayingly whiny post, I've been reading Pirates of the Carribean fanfic.

Like all fandoms, there's a range of fic quality, though overall I've been pleased with what I've been finding. There's a lot of really good stuff, and I'm not being at all exhaustive.

But here're three exceptional stories.

First: The Final Fate of Bootstrap Bill (Jack Sparrow Remix) by [ profile] butterflykiki. This is the funniest thing I've read in ages. Jack Sparrow telling a tall tale -- the voice, the details, are perfect. It's all him talking, but you can hear his audience too...

Quote: Right. So-- Undiscouraged, Bill labored to free himself with every fiber of his half-dead body, but it didn't do him a bit of good. He'd still be down there, straining at those chains-- or possibly squashed like a stranded jellyfish-- if it hadn't been for the shark.

The shark that ate him, a'course.

It did, I say. Gobbled him up, and the cannon too. They'll eat anything, sharks will. Fish, boats, anchors, goats, men, cannons, swords. All the same to them, they're the devourers of the oceans. You'd know that, if you ever met one. But then if you ever met one, we prob'ly wouldn't be having this conversation....

I particularly loved the fact that, on rereading, there were a couple of delightful references that get missed on the the first go-round.


This next one is completely and utterly different. salt, the content of my heart by [ profile] d_r_o_n_e. Lack of capitals and use of ellipses in this are a stylistic choice (as well as the iambic rhythm and frequent repitition of phrases, which may actually make you feel a bit seasick to read) to evoke the voice of the ocean, and not just retarded netspeak laziness.

Lots of people try to use lack of capitals as a stylistic choice and just manage to look stupid. This writer shows us what it should be. Try reading this aloud. It could stand on its own as an original work, so even if you've never seen the movie, this is worth reading. And if you have seen the movie, it works that way too. It's poetry with a story to tell, which I've always vastly preferred to poetry for the sake of the words.


And after two very specific genre pieces, here's one that's just a great adventure: A Pirate's Life by [ profile] elspethdixon. (This one is multi-chaptered.) Summary: When Mary Rose's husband is murdered by pirates, she asks Commander Norrington to avenge him. Will, attempting to do a favour for Jack, unwittingly places himself in Norrington's line of fire, and Elizabeth realizes that she may lose both of the men she loves.
Ships: Will/Elizabeth, Jack/Elizabeth, eventual Jack/Will, eventual Norrington/OC
Warning: This story contains killing, stealing, lots of angst, an OC, and a non-evil Norrington. It also contains drinking, swearing, a male/male relationship, and an eventual threesome. Sadly, it will not contain any hot, steamy sex scenes.

I know that the gut reaction in fandom to any OFC is to sprint in the other direction. I do that, too. Give this fic a chance anyway, please? If you're really not sure, you can start at the second chapter, which is all Elizabeth and Jack and Will. *g*
alyndra: (Default)
*headdesk* I need another fandom like I need another hole in my head.

So why have I spent the last several days (and nights!) searching out every Pirates of the Carribean fanfic featuring Jack Sparrow/Will Turner/Elizabeth Swann that I could possibly find and reading them all in giant gulps of intensive obsessive behavior?

Never mind everything that needs to get done (inc. but not limited to RL things like laundry, dishes, clean room, homework, and fandom stuff like betaing, responding to comments, or even, like, reviewing some of the lovely stories I was reading), I have no self-control whatsoever.

Oh, and my sleep-habits are totally screwed up now. I actually enjoy messing with them, but I'm beginning to not be sure that it's healthy in a mental sense. I couldn't do much this past year, because my grandparents really didn't like the idea, but before that I'd try at least once a year (usually when v. stressed with school) to, oh, go to bed at 3:00pm (right after school) and then wake around midnight and study or read or whatever until time to go to school again. This is wonderful in theory but social engagements and weekends tend to wreak hell, plus that I a) can't function on reduced sleep, b) I am a heavy sleeper and cannot fall asleep or wake up easily at all, so trying to get onto an earlier schedule tends to involve lots of restless tossing and turning as I try to fall asleep.

Eh. Right now I'm not even on anything that methodical, just random four- or five-hour naps.

And Mom is getting here tomorrow for the weekend. I should clean house.

And shower.

Woe, my-life-is-so-disorganized.

This episode of self-indulgent whining has been brought to you by . . . I dunno, invent something. *yawns* I should delete this instead of posting. Really.

. . . *feels whiny and self-indugent, so posts*
alyndra: (marta)
Just a quick What's Up.

I rather abruptly decided to go to college at UMD this fall. So I've applied and been accepted and am working out last-minute details, and it's all very exciting and cool.

Just now, though, I defriended several people. I've never done a defriending before, but as I'm rather hoping to do homework and stuff, I figured it was time. Doesn't mean I don't like you, mainly it was people who don't have me friended back, but still.

All decisions are reversable, just let me know. ;)
alyndra: (Default)
Okay, I realised what was missing from the last post, and it was my overall reaction to the book. I think in order to understand that, though, you have to understand what OotP was to me.

In retrospect, I was really wound up about OotP. I tried not to have a lot of specific ideas of what to expect, though of course I did, but my one great expectation was that JKR was going to surprise me. There would be a unique and brilliantly creative plot which nobody had predicted. There would be a fabulous and unexpected twist at the ending.

And it didn't happen. It just plain flat-out didn't happen. Instead we got a stupid prophecy, which half the fandom had predicted, saying that Harry and Voldemort were going to have to fight to the death, which the entire fandom, including most of the lunatic fringes, had predicted.

Even finding out what the Order of the Phoenix was -- a secret Voldemort-fighting group established by Dumbledore -- wasn't at all surprising.

Adding injury to insult, she killed one of my two favorite characters.

I can't say I disliked the book. Parts of it were enjoyable. But to this day, I haven't gotten around to reading it more than about three times. Compared to the number of times I've reread the rest of the series, that number is just pathetic.

Part of my reaction was that OotP was the first book that had come out since I'd discovered fandom. I had devoted way more obsessive thought as to what it would be like than to any of the the previous books. I had built it up onto a pedestal from which it could hardly help but fall.

This book, I went into differently. I had my ideas about what would or would not happen, yes, but I wasn't really attached to them at a visceral level. I was really surprised, actually, about how not-worked-up I managed to remain. So I got the book, read it through, but on some level I kept the attitude of, okay, whatever. JK's human, the book will go however it goes, and I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Extremely vague spoilerish material; totally safe to read, but cut just to be on the safe side )

It'll be interesting to see reactions -- my own and others' -- to book seven. I'm a little afraid right now that I may not be able to maintain this nice detachment, but I guess I've got a couple of years to work on it. :g:
alyndra: (Default)
Ok, as I couldn't sleep, here's a more complete summary of events. First part has no spoilers, but there WILL be major spoilers later, under the cut.

I went to the midnight sale for this book, which has not happened before, but as siblings were flying back home in the morning, they obviously needed a copy of HBP to read on the airplane, so I bravely and generously volunteered to go get a copy for them, and while at it, one for me too. ;D So I got there circa nine-thirty, bought a small book for the waiting in line, and was out around twelve forty-five.

Came home and said to self, Self? The smart thing to do here is to leave the books in the bag, go to sleep, and read in the morning.

Self whined back, But I really really really want to read it! Pleeaase, just a little?

No, self, you know perfectly well 'just a little' will turn into 'the whole thing'!

Yes -- well -- it might not! And I really really want to read it!!


So I read the whole thing. Finished @ eight fifteen, then out the door to take Dad and sibs to airport, where we waited at the curb for my brother to finish the last five pages of a library book he'd checked out on my card here, and then said goodbye and drove home. Had to work from eleven to seven-thirty, but only got, I dunno, twenty minutes sleep before then. Came home, slept twelve hours, went to work again, read internet reactions, exchanged opinions with sibs (who had finished with a couple hours to spare on the flight using the special New HP Book Technique of putting the book flat open between them and holding some pages straight up in the air so that both could read at their own pace) and now am finally getting around to posting my own reactions to the book.



I may post more as I think of it, perhaps upon my second reading, but that's it for now. *waves merrily and heads off to bed*


July 16th, 2005 08:19 am
alyndra: (Default)
Less than seven and a half hours.

No sleep.

Still absorbing.

Must now drive family to airport.

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