bouteillebleu: (Default)
I swear I read that as "wilde and sausage people" the first time. From a chapter title in The Arte of English Poesie, which I haven't read yet but now want to. :)

Anyway, this week seems to be one of those times I'm productive at everything except actual work. So here is a somewhat irreverent Maelstrom-themed sonnet. I think this counts as Spenserian (abab bcbc cdcd ee) although I've cheated with the c rhymes somewhat.

Read more... )
bouteillebleu: (Default)
Found my driving license today, hidden away in a drawer, so now I have proper library membership. It's odd, though - after four and a half years spent mostly away from home, I'm not used to (a) getting novels from libraries rather than bookshops, or (b) libraries smaller than the UL. Cambridge has spoiled me, it seems, particularly the two years where I was in walking distance of at least four libraries.

Speaking of books, my second Amazon package arrived today, so I caught up on all the manga I ordered - Ouran High School Host Club 2-4, and Mars 8 and 9. Ouran is silly and light-hearted, with a group of young men hamming it up for the girls of their school, and a girl who's somehow ended up working with them. Mars, on the other hand... I've described it before as "shoujo with bite". It's a love story, yes, but one about two people who've been broken by what's happened to them in life. Secrets come out, hearts break and are repaired, and I hope they'll have a happy ending because by now, both of them deserve it.

Alas, I can't stay serious for long, as it suddenly struck me that if you crossed Ouran and Mars, you'd get Kodocha, another series I like, and have left at home because I can't fit another ten volumes of manga on the shelves, dash it all. Well, you'd probably have to combine Ouran and Mars and then inject liquid sugar into the result, just to get the correct amount of hyperness.

Finally, thinking back to yesterday's post, I forgot to mention the niggling idea for a fanfic that's caught me. After a friend enthused over Melanie Rawn's books, I bought a copy of The Mageborn Traitor from a charity shop, and many months later I finally read it. Two of the characters, Sarra and Collan, have a happy relationship, albeit one with interesting dynamics given the reversal of gender roles. I bought The Ruins of Ambrai, the first in the series of which "Traitor" is the second, and read it afterwards.

...For such a happy marriage, I definitely wasn't expecting them to dislike each other so much. And when it became clear that this would be a stereotypical "I hate you!" "I hate you too!" "You suck!" "So do you!" "...I love you!" "...So do I!" romance, as in the bad romance novels I've read summaries of, it suddenly made me realise why I thought Collan had chemistry with Sarra's younger sister, Cailet. Because there was more genuine affection there. In the second book, Rawn wrote a happy marriage between two strong personalities; but if I'd read the first to start with, I might not have read the second.

The fanfic idea isn't "what happens if he gets together with Cailet?". That wouldn't be simple, especially after the end of the first book and what Glenin did to them both, though working through that would be intriguing. But taking one of Collan's more impulsive actions and seeing what would happen if it went the other way, and what would happen to him, Sarra and Cailet at the end of "Ruins" and the start of "Traitor"... that would be interesting.

'Course, I haven't written fanfic since the Zelda stuff I wrote at school, unless you count a Pokemon fanfic involving two of my PokeMUSH characters. I think I'd fail at the "sound like the author" hurdle; then again, it's a challenge I've not faced yet. Developing my writing style, here I come!
bouteillebleu: (Reading)
Ah, why not. Here's a collection of links I picked up on fantasy writing and so on.

Almost all will be from [livejournal.com profile] insert_world's journal, which I just found today. The posts are fairly old, and the HTML on the main journal page is broken beyond belief... so I've put links to the good rants here.

And on to the rants. )
bouteillebleu: (Lightbulb)
Another note, from watching the snow fall and seeing a snowflake melt before my eyes:

Pattern magic. A mage who can manipulate and find patterns, and the more complicated and intricate they are the more fascinated he/she is. Cryptography might be the sort of thing that this type of mage is good at / used for. On the other hand, there's a fine line between a very intricate puzzle that has an orderly, patterned outcome and one that is simply disorder with no outcome and no pattern, and mages like this can drive themselves mad by spending years looking for an answer that simply isn't there.

And based on flicking through a random odd pop-science book in Oxfam:

A very vague idea about a race whose biology is such that time's arrow doesn't point in quite the same direction for them as humans (or whoever the other beings they meet are). So they travel in time not just at different speeds, but at different velocities - though figuring out how travelling sideways in time works will be difficult.
bouteillebleu: (Lightbulb)
Thoughts on writing (NaNo 2004). )

In other news, a second attempt at Gardens of the Moon makes me want to read more of it - I actually read a part that made me laugh out loud and reread the line that had caught my attention. There's something very fun about having a god suddenly realise that he's been tricked, and as the (human) trickster makes his escape yelling, "You! You bastard!" at his back. As well as that, the characters have become somewhat more interesting now I've read more.

Once I've done these essays I still have left to do, I'll finish reading it. Honest...
bouteillebleu: (Default)
Searching on ff.net has unfortunately not yielded a story like the one I'm looking for (see here for the idea I'm searching for). However, I found a few that weren't too bad.

More fanfic links, this time for Sailor Moon. All of these are set after the end of the Stars season, either before or after the foundation of Crystal Tokyo. )

I'd also like to know where the hell this idea of the Earth freezing over before the advent of Crystal Tokyo comes from. Maybe it was in the anime (though I don't remember anything about it from the first three seasons), because it certainly wasn't in the manga. Can anyone help with on this subject?

And with this post, I think I've done enough fanfiction reading for a good month or so. Now I'll be heading back to work on my Nanowrimo 2003 entry (which finally passed 50,000 words a few days ago), play Chrono Cross for the second time, and revise for exams.
bouteillebleu: (Default)
Did another search on Fanfiction.net today, this time in the Books -> Tamora Pierce section for the Raoul/Buri fic that I wanted to unearth.

I haven't found that yet, but I have found a whole lot of reasonably well-written fics with pairings that range from the understandable to the slightly strange to the bizarre.

A Situation Like That - Kel/Dom. Mirrors the Raoul/Buri situation that I've been trying to find a fic for, and manages to stay relatively in-character while doing so.
Second Chance - Evin Larse/Miri. Though nothing much is mentioned about these two in the books, this could conceivably make sense.
Illtimed Epiphany - George/Jon. This is definitely starting to get odd.
Alright - Liam/Thayet. By Seereth, the same author as above. Not actually a real "pairing" as such, just a look at their conversation in the inn while Alanna was out in the storm on Chitral Pass.
Slaying Dragons - Kel/Yuki. I liked this, though the addition of Japanese was a little jarring. (The Yamani Islands are certainly based on historical Japan, but there is never any mention made of what Yamani sounds like, apart from in names Kel gives to animals and the name of her weapon.)
Honor - Raoul/Wyldon (with implied Raoul/Gary). Okay, now this is just weird. :)


Also, a few that look like they might be interesting (but some aren't finished yet).

You See to Forget - a story about Miache's theft of the Dominion Jewel. Only two very short chapters so far, but what's been done looks reasonably good.

EDIT: I finally found a fic based on the Raoul/Buri bit I was searching for. And it is indeed a good fic. Check out Romantic Notions and see what you think.
bouteillebleu: (Default)
A few fanfic recommendations today. I had a look on Fanfiction.net (often not-so-fondly referred to as the "Pit of Voles" on the LJ communities I usually read) today, and imagine my surprise when I actually managed to find a fic that was based on one of the ideas I was looking for some time ago.

(The entry where I discussed these fanfics ideas is here.)

I managed to find someone who'd written a ReBoot fic set after the end of Season 4. Granted, there are a few misspellings (there's consistent use of "your" for "you're", and occasional "to" for "too"), and the punctuation's a bit ropey, but the dialogue is excellent. For ReBoot, at least. It manages that rare state where I can read it and imagine the characters speaking those lines.

On reflection, it does somewhat dodge the question of why Megabyte was even trying to get onto the Net when it was made clear at the end of the series that he wanted nothing more than revenge... but that's not all that relevant after the first chapter, and I found it to be a good read. And I usually can't read things if the spelling mistakes are obvious, so this is actually fairly good to avoid that. Check out Plan A.v.A. here, and the sequel (which I haven't read, but will soon - Plan A.v.A. is a cliffhanger just like the end of the series), The Separation.

And a bonus, for any of you who may have come across the OS-tan website before - Plan A.v.A. gave me the rather unnerving idea of writing an OS-tan/ReBoot fic of some sort. It may be that nothing comes of it, but the idea's still there.
bouteillebleu: (Default)
Taken from [livejournal.com profile] thistle_chaser.

1. Go into your LJ's archives.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

Mine was the perhaps unexciting: Anyway, it looks like fun to write, and there's going to be an amusing encounter with Sheik later on - which was really the point of the fic. (The post is here.)

If only it'd been two sentences later, I could have used: Ah, the fun of having crossdressing characters. Much better.

Speaking of writing, I just finished an entirely optional essay about the optative mood in Greek. (For those of you who've not heard of it, it's what happens when a language decides that having indicative - the normal sort of mood - and subjunctive isn't enough, and it wants to be special, so it adopts a third one just for wishing, and conditional sentences, and so on. Damn fussy classical languages.)

Was planning to spend until 7pm on it, but ended up working pretty much all day (when I wasn't in lectures) and finishing it at about 9pm. Not bad, considering I had to start it today as well - I thought I'd saved what I'd written of the introduction, but it turns out it was lost when Windows crashed at some point this week. It wasn't too much of a loss, though, only fifty words or so, and the essay turned out to be a fairly respectable length. It's for a college prize, and if I win I can get £200, so... let's hope it does well.

And my Nanowrimo entry is progressing reasonably well. I'm still 1500 words off the milestone that I should have hit five months ago today, but barring a few episodes of writer's block it's been going quite quickly. I have no idea how long it's going to end up being, though, although it says something that I've spent almost 50,000 words on it and have only just got to the location where most of the action is supposed to take place (a rather large Library - please remember to pronounce the capital letters).

I'll have to hurry up my pace to make sure that I've finished it by the start of this November, as I have several ideas for a new story stewing in my head and I don't want to have two to worry about simultaneously.
bouteillebleu: (Default)
As I read and watch certain books and TV series, sometimes there are things that are part of the story but don't get included in the book or TV show, that I think it would be fun to read fanfiction about.

That does sound like a rather long and convoluted way of saying "Here are some ideas for fanfics I'd like to read", doesn't it? In that case, to avoid further delays, here's the list.

List here. )

It's true that the list's quite short, with only three series and one fic idea for each. I would include Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time prequels and bits set during the seven-year gap in the game, but I started writing things for both of those - so even though I haven't worked on them for ages, there's not much point in looking for stuff other people have written if I want to write it myself. And I'm sure there are other fanfics I'd like to read, but these are the ideas that stand out - the ones I'd like to see because it would fill in what I see as a gap in the series or book.

In summary, the ideas are: a decent ending for ReBoot; a reason why Neo Queen Serenity is calm, mature and nothing like she was as a teenager; and the conversation that ended up with Raoul and Buri in bed together. If anyone knows of good fanfics written around these premises, please let me know.
bouteillebleu: (Default)
I know not many of the people who read this journal, if any, will be near Cambridge at the moment, but I found something that makes quite a succinct update to my post here about book defacing.

The Cambridge University Library has an exhibition on at the moment called "Marginalia and Other Crimes", about various examples of damage done to their books. The exhibition itself is, of course, in the library, but pictures are available online, at this site. I particularly like the examples of books dropped in the bath, giving an example of something that is not okay to read in the bath, and something else that is okay to read there.

Yes, well, the UL does tend to talk down to its users. I can't say I blame them, though - the people who don't deface books are the ones who don't come to the library's attention. The ones they notice are the people who use highlighters on books they don't own, or pull off the type in books that are over a century old by using post-it notes.

On a slightly more positive note, I would like to advertise a friend's Nanowrimo entry. Yes, November's over, and this person did manage to get to 50,000 words (unlike me - I'm still stuck at about 31,000, and with the amount of essays I have yet to do it's looking increasingly unlikely that I'll get any more of it done this year). But he's still not finished! It's quite a light read, about a group of adventurers on a trip through the jungle, and goes by the name of "Through Jungle with Crossbow, Boot and Elly". And it can be found here, linked to on the main page.
bouteillebleu: (Default)
Well, not much achievement, but I finished one of the essays I have to do in preparation for Linguistics next term ("Compare and contrast inflection and derivation in linguistic morphology" - what fun), and started on a random semi-serious Zelda fic about Ruto.

Even though the stuff I've written before with a friend (very silly, out-of-character and badly written, but great fun) has characterised Ruto as a whiny and annoying idiot, she's actually not too bad to write. For one thing, she's got more of a personality than more of the characters... Ocarina of Time, as a game, was not hot on characterisation. Mostly because it wasn't an RPG, I think. Anyway, it looks like fun to write, and there's going to be an amusing encounter with Sheik later on - which was really the point of the fic. Ruto mistakes Sheik for Link and starts getting clingy, and Sheik gets very embarrassed. Ah, the fun of having crossdressing characters.

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