ziparumpazoo: (Literature)
You know that moment when you get a comment on an old fic? So you go to thank them and end up accidentally reading a line or two of said fic because, well, it's old, and maybe you have fond memories of writing it? And then the line or two turns into reading all of said fic, and then you go to hit the kudos button because omg, who wrote this? The prose! I wish I could write prose like this...wait a minute... *facepalm*

And then you spend the rest of the day wondering when you stopped writing like that.

Other signs you might be a grouchy old lady of fandom: getting more than one kudo or comment at once on old fic and not being able to find out how they got directed there in the first place. Searching for recs used to be easy before twitter and tumblr and all the rest.
ziparumpazoo: (Literature)
Memorable, no? Presenting, The 21 First Lines meme:

My 21 favorite: )

I always struggle with the first line - not only does it need to set the hook for the reader, but it also sets the tone for me for all the rest that come after it. Sometimes I have to stop myself from spewing the entire story out into that one first sentence. If I were writing anything right now (which I'm not because of reasons that are trivial), it would be fun to have a ficathon where your prompt was your first line.
ziparumpazoo: (Angry Birds)
So I wondered who exactly I'd ticked off this morning to get notification that one of my older stories had been deleted from (yeah, I know, I know...AO3- been there, done that, volunteered the hours):

Main reason for removal: Title/Summary not Fiction G rated and not suitable for all audience. The above story has been removed because it violated the guideline detailed on the upload page.

...meanwhile, much more M rated content had been left alone. The story in question has been up, without complaint for nearly four years. Curious, no? Apparently not, since I've since seen reports here, here, and here, as well as a (sarcasm) helpful explanation of the issues here (/sarcasm). Seems like the site admins have started bot-crawling summaries and wholesale deleting stories whose summaries contain offensive words. It's not personal; apparently 'bitch' is offensive.

What *is* offensive is their lack of warning (either via email, or on the main site page) or avenue for response and/or remediation.
ziparumpazoo: (Literature)
Does anybody know if Agent Tim has a last name?
ziparumpazoo: (Literature)
I remember in high school being given about half of George Orwell's essay, 'Shooting An Elephant, and being told to 'write what happened when the constable decided to actually shoot the elephant'. Now, I doubt very few fifteen year old North American students have ever been to colonial Burma, nor have they ever been forced by social pressures to take down one of the largest land mammals in existence while it was busy minding its own business, but the whole point of the exercise was to force us to use our imaginations to extrapolate about what happened next and what it would feel like to take responsibility for those actions. I remember a couple of the guys, avid game hunters who went after moose as much for the food and for the sport coming closest to retelling the actual ending of Orwell's story (without having read the ending), based on their own hunting experiences. They could describe the kick of the .44 and how long is takes an animal to die if the shot isn't clean because they'd been witness to those events before. They understood the difference between shooting at an animal to scare it off, and shooting to make a kill, and making a kill because the shot had gone badly. It was an interesting exercise.

Bret Anthony Johston probably sums it up better here:

"To be perfectly clear: I don’t tell students not to ferret through their lives for potential stories. I don’t want, say, a soldier who served in Iraq to shy away from writing war stories. Quite the opposite. I want him to freight his fiction with rich details of combat. I want the story to evoke the texture of the sand and the noise of a Baghdad bazaar, the terrible and beautiful shade of blue smoke ribboning from the barrel of his M-4. His experience should liberate his imagination, not restrict it. Of course I want him to take inspiration where he can find it. What I don’t want—and what’s prone to happen when writers set out to write what they know—is for him to think an imagined story is less urgent, less harrowing or authentic, than a true story."

*The lesson? Don't shy away from telling a story because you haven't experienced exactly what it's like to shoot an elephant. Use what you know to embellish what you imagine it to be like. Use it to sucker your reader in and sell the narrative.

*This assumes I know anything about anything about writing. Which I don't. You should probably just read the article instead.
ziparumpazoo: (Literature)
Every so often, I purge my WIP folder. Mostly because if there's no appreciable shape to the story and I haven't touched it in six weeks, I've probably long forgotten what it's about. Most of the time it doesn't bother me that I've forgotten. If the idea is decent enough, it'll bubble up later somewhere else. Less guilt that way.

However, this one, I'd really like to know how it would have turned out:

Peter Bishop has two basic tenets: pay your own debts, and take care of the women in your life. Not that either of the woman in his life at the moment need taking care of, but he figures he does owe them both. Big time. )
ziparumpazoo: Tree covered in pink frost (Default)
A lovely Colorado Low brought more snow in 24 hours than we've had all winter, so snow day yesterday. Which is a lot less fun than it used to be when I was a kid. The nature of my job makes it that I can work from pretty much anywhere I can pick up enough of a signal to launch a VPN connection. (seriously, I once spent the day perched on a bucket in a storage closet/server room, several more in a walk-in freezer - fun times) But a day of working from the sofa with a cat on my lap still beats a day of sitting in an office chair. (and the coffee's better)

tldr whining over the state of recreation... )

However, people reblogging Starbuck picspam on Tumblr really makes my day. You know who you are. *g*

Finally got around to downloading P!nk's Greatest Hits... So Far - note to self: don't sing along with the explicit lyrics at work. Pay attention dammit!

Today's XKCD not so unlike messing with the Fine Arts students in astronomy class at uni. (and totally appeals to my inner 8yo *cue Beavis and Butthead laughter*)

Flaily things: [personal profile] dieastra's action figure theater is getting some nice attention (and well deserved - even if you're not a DW or Torchwood fan, the attention to detail she puts into each of these is amazing and worth checking out)
ziparumpazoo: (Literature)
Busy hands leave the mind free to wander... Except, I've come to the realization that several things I've written lately are actually re-treads of stories I've written before. This makes me sad that not only am I unintentionally plagiarizing, but I'm plagiarizing myself.


Back to painting...
ziparumpazoo: Tree covered in pink frost (Default)
Because apparently I wrote stuff this year. A lot of stuff...

The fic )

The questions )
ziparumpazoo: Tree covered in pink frost (Default)
I have a tree now. Maybe we might actually get around to decorating it before the 25th.

Also I'm out of cookies. Damn weekend work schedule.
But hey, got 1400 words of secret satanSanta fic. (thank you autocorrect!) That's something, right?
ziparumpazoo: Yoda with a headache. (Jedi Mind Cramp)
Endgadget has the specs on the new iPhone. It's not the iPhone5, but rather the iPhone4s, but it does come with a dual core processor. Available from Sprint in the US on October 14th. Ironically, is down at the moment.

This interests me the most (since really, it's a camera I can make phone calls and surf the web on):
On the back is also a new camera that sports an 8-megapixel camera with a backside illuminated CMOS sensor for better low-light performance. The lens now comes packed in a new 5-element assembly with a hybrid IR filter and sports apertures down to f/2.4.

Translation: It's fast and sharp close-up. And you could probably make some decent sized prints. (my DSLR is only 10-megapixels but I have 12x14 prints that looks nice and sharp)

First hockey game tonight. Tomorrow is going to hurt. Also provincial election day. As I said, tomorrow is probably going to hurt.

Rewatched Fringe 4.02 last night (this time without Fox's simulcast unsynching the sound from the picture, which is really distracting), and I take it back - there are some brilliant, if subtle, moments I missed the first time around.

Aaaaannnd... I'm pretty sure writing would be easier if my brain didn't need to know ALL THE BACKSTORY, regardless of if were actually being used or not.
Dear Self, it is not important why they are in the car, or where they are going, or any divergent history that may or may not change the name of 'Stockholm Syndrome'. What matters is they are pulling over to talk and... um... maybe other stuff... okay? Got it?