schneefink: Babylon 5 (Bab5)
[personal profile] schneefink
This book is a fantastic example of why I love Science Fiction: alien cultures, developments over loooong time spans, humans at the very edge and beyond their understanding and horizon. I loved it. It's half fascinating and never dry spider civilization worldbuilding and half about the last humans trying to survive in an ark ship; the way they mirrored and played off each other was great, but the contact moments were the best.

More details with spoilers )

Eclipse!

Aug. 21st, 2017 09:55 pm
allekha: (Tibet~)
[personal profile] allekha
Here in Greenville, the weather held. We claimed a nice spot by the river, a little while before the eclipse began, and I enjoyed playing with some new lenses for my phone camera and splashing in the water to cool off, reading more Genji. It was hot, but we'd brought umbrellas (unfortunately, I left my real parasols at home) and water in a cooler and plenty of sunscreen and even a couple of folding fans, so we were fine.

And then it started, and I kept going into the river to look at it through some sun binoculars, taking breaks to read more. Here and there the sun was covered by clouds for a few minutes, but for the most part it was beautifully clear. After a while, it was noticeably dimmer. My dad and I went across the river to go get ice cream (which turned into getting frozen yogurt for the three of us) and got back with about ten or twelve minutes to spare before totality. There were no clouds threatening the view, and the leaves were making pretty crescent shadows. Everyone was buzzing with excitement. (Everyone was also using proper eye protection \o/)

I didn't manage to finish eating before the moon really started coming to cover the last sliver. It was so strange to watch the light dim - of course it got darker, but it wasn't darker like at sunset, where the world goes paler and blue; it was like someone had just turned a dimmer switch down on the sun, with the colors intact. I kept thinking about how these eclipses probably freaked out a lot of pre-modern societies. Honestly, even I, who would be able to give a good explanation of the mechanics behind eclipses, complete with diagrams, without having to look anything up, was freaked out. The light was just unnatural.

Someone put up a cheer for science. Someone cheered, "Go, moon, go, moon--". I watched through the binoculars as the moon inched in that last little bit, and then it was gone and I couldn't see anything until I dropped them.

It really was not an experience that can be properly put into words, or seen in a video, or in those pretty photos of the corona shining around the moon. The air was dim and cool and the sky was pale and yellow at the edges, and I absolutely could not tear my eyes from the sun and moon. It was so awe-inspiring that I started to sob looking at it, this spectacular coincidence of our moon being just the right size to make the sun go away. It was so beautiful. It was one of the most magical, lovely things I've ever seen.

People shouted warnings. We went back to safe viewing. People cheered again as the sun started to peek out once more. It was still dim enough that my mom and I, who have sensitive eyes, could sit and look around in the sunshine without our sunglasses. In true Millenial fashion, I took a selfie with her to commemorate the occasion.

I understand how people become eclipse chasers, now. I'm hoping to make the 2024 one. My mom has thrown out the possibility of us trying to see the Antarctica one in 2021, if all works out. It was 100% worth three days of travel to come see (though as my dad pointed out, at least I didn't have to drive).

[Fic] Candles Lit at the Doors

Aug. 21st, 2017 07:26 pm
branchandroot: pen with burning ink (ink burns)
[personal profile] branchandroot

Cross-post from my archive.

Fandom/Arc: Nirvana in Fire, In Every Time and Season
Characters/Pairings: Jingrui/Yujin, Lin Shu | Mei Changsu, Meng Zhi, Xiao Jingrui, Yan Yujin
Summary: Jingrui is finding himself drawn back toward a military position, after fighting at the northern border, and Yujin follows along, as he always has, despite his own reservations. Along the way, the two of them get into trouble, politics, and eventually a deeper understanding.
Meta: Drama with Politics and Romance, and also a Sprinkle of Porn, I-4
Wordcount: 18777

Very few of Yujin's reservations had ever held up in face of Jingrui's smile. Not when they were little and stealing sweets off Aunt Jing's table (with her amused connivance, Yujin had realized years later); not when they were a little older and Jingrui had dragged Yujin everywhere after their glamorous, if also sometimes alarming, older cousins; not when they'd come of age and Jingrui hauled Yujin out onto the roads to wander the country with that very same smile. He could barely imagine leaving Jingrui's side, at this point. So there was really nothing else to do but elbow him back until they managed to shove each other into the shallows, laughing.

Candles Lit at the Doors )

(no subject)

Aug. 19th, 2017 10:44 pm
allekha: (Japan and China learnings)
[personal profile] allekha
After a long day of driving, we finally made it to Greenville, South Carolina, very much ready for the eclipse. On the way, we drove through some pretty country backroads, discussed how none of us are ever moving to Virginia*, and stopped at an actual working antique waterwheel mill (I love waterwheels) and a tiny town museum with an exhibit about the change of agriculture in Virginia. (*mostly because we do not really get or like the Thing Virginia has for slaveholding traitorous Confederate generals)

From the little bit of walking around we did near our hotel, Greenville seems like a nice place. At least, it's pretty when you're right on the river. We scoped out potential places to sit and watch the eclipse, if we get there early enough to claim them.

The one thing that keeps surprising me on this trip is the southern accent. I moved several hours north, and I don't hear any difference between how people in my hometown speak and how people up north speak, and only barely any difference when I've gone to California, which is on the other coast. But maybe a couple of hours south of my hometown, there are the southern accents. And it somehow sounds more different to me than, say, British accents; I guess I'm more used to hearing those from TV and British YouTubers.

I have not yet admitted defeat on the awful Tibetan culture book, but the thought of having only that to read on this trip gave me a feeling akin to dread, so I brought my copy of The Tale of Genji instead. After two chapters, so far I like it, but I think I need to start drawing relationship charts because I'm already starting to get lost with regard to how everyone's related. I think afterward I might see if I can grab a copy of the Seidensticker translation from the library just to see how he translated the poems; I've already seen examples of his prose translations and it's so blunt and bleh. But poetry is a different matter.

Otakon!

Aug. 19th, 2017 12:33 am
allekha: (Young Victor waving)
[personal profile] allekha
Haven't been around the Internet much lately, between work, traveling, Otakon, and now more work and more traveling - my parents and I are headed to see the eclipse on Monday, so this post is brought to you from the beautiful mountainous state of Virgina. So far it's been nice - we saw a pretty little farm museum - with the one exception of the lady at the diner we stopped at for lunch trying to tell my dad that he could have the non-vegetarian soup because 'the chunks of ham are so little you hardly even notice them' (she was otherwise nice, but what??).

Anyway. Otakon! Z and I had a great time there this year.
Cut for lots of words in this con report )

Words!

Aug. 16th, 2017 10:52 pm
schneefink: (FF Kaylee excited)
[personal profile] schneefink
I haven't written fic since *checks* May, huh. But then suddenly I got an idea, and now in the past three days I've written over three thousand words and it feels amazing. Story writing is a thing I can do! Oh man, I missed this feeling of getting words onto a page, instead of being stuck at the image-to-word conversion process in my brain.

Btw, I recently read a piece on writer's block that I liked a lot, So you're having a bad writing day: Consider: the act of telling a story is you CONJURING AN ENTIRE UNIVERSE INSIDE YOUR MIND and then using words as knives to CARVE THAT UNIVERSE INTO REALITY SO THAT OTHERS CAN VISIT YOUR IMAGINATION. “Today I am going to make a world out of my brain that you can go to in your spare time,” you say aloud, hopefully realizing that this is far more significant and far more bizarre than tying your shoes or blowing your nose.
Writing is hard, and that's okay. (Clearly prolific authors who update frequently are wizards.)

WIP Wednesday

Aug. 16th, 2017 12:22 pm
firethesound: (Default)
[personal profile] firethesound
Writing's been just the littlest bit easier this week. Still not easy-easy, but there were a few points where it felt like the words were just sort of coming along on their own, and fuck have I missed that feeling.

New words this week : 1738 words which brings my August wordcount goal to 1853 / 50,000. Still lagging but I knew 50k would be a hell of a long shot for me anyhow so I'm not too fussed about it. It's like starting to run again after you've taken a long break from it, right? Gotta suffer through huffing and puffing your way around the block for a while before you're up to running a 5k again. I'm still getting my brain back in gear.

WIPs worked on this week : 1, no new WIPs (yay!)

HP
pwp take 2 : 1853 words which brings the total to 2899 words, and it's getting to be a bit longer than I thought it'd be (surprise). I still think I can get it wrapped up in about 4-5k total, so we'll see where that goes!
st_aurafina: Shaw in Relevance, with golden lights (POI: Shaw fancy)
[personal profile] st_aurafina
Title: Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
Fandom: Person of Interest
Rating: Teen
Words: 52k
Characters/Pairings: Root/Sameen Shaw, Harold Finch/John Reese, Harold Finch/Grace Hendricks, John Reese/Mark Snow, Michael Cole, Robert Hersh, Joss Carter, Kara Stanton, The Machine, Bear
Warnings/Content: Sentinel/Guide AU, mind-bonding, show level violence, show level torture, emotional hurt/comfort, canon character death (Michael Cole). Some Mark/John dubcon in chapters 4 and 5. Follows some events from Ep 1.10 Number Crunch, Ep 1.23 Firewall and 2.16 Relevance.
Notes: Written for [community profile] wipbigbang 2017.

Thank you to my amazing betas: [personal profile] lilacsigil and [personal profile] musyc. You guys were awesome and got me from "I want to write POI Sentinel/Guide fic with soft face touching" to actually getting it posted.

Title is from the Elton John song. ("Subway's no way for a good man to go down.")

Summary: In 2001, Harold advised on a project called Cascade, not knowing he was a Guide himself. Years later, he and John, a Sentinel on the run from Cascade, must help Shaw, who has just lost her own Guide when the Project turned on her. Complicating matters is Root, searching for Harold's Machine and interfering with their rescue of Shaw.

Also at the Archive

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Epilogue

Sticker sheets of kisses to press

Aug. 12th, 2017 04:35 pm
st_aurafina: Shaw in Relevance, with golden lights (POI: Shaw fancy)
[personal profile] st_aurafina
I got my 50K fic off to my second beta/ameripicker. I feel weird. I, uh, finished something. It's due to be posted on the 15th. What even?

Interesting things I didn't realise until I had to edit 50K of my own writing )

I have actually written a lot of things this year!

Tinee Linkspam:
- via [personal profile] musesfool, OPI summer challenge
Leave prompts! (Please leave some more POI prompts!)
- From Facebook, Clydesdale foal leaves the stable for the first time - tinee leggy baby, big world, what do? How do you even horse?
- Also from Facebook, this terrible curse upon some burglars. CW: creepy doll faces
- From my local paper, big news in this part of the world: Giant puzzle solved. (The puzzle is literally a puzzle.)
- From McSweeney's via [personal profile] kalloway, I’m a Google Manufacturing Robot and I Believe Humans Are Biologically Unfit to Have Jobs in Tech. (Rolling my eyes right out of my head at that google dude.)
- From My Modern Met, What Happens When a Bird’s Wings Sync Up Perfectly with a Camera’s Frame Rate. (I have dreams where stuff like this happens, like where the laws of physics are apparently broken)
- Free crochet pattern: Stingray purse or pal (I'm not sure why not both? I could be pals with a purse.)

Root/Shaw things from my endless tumblr wanderings while I was writing 50k of fic:
- Silver Lining - a Root/Shaw doujinshi. Pls pls [personal profile] lilacsigil, read this to me?
- POI OST You Are Being Watched - this is brilliant. Gifs from the final scene over the score for the theme.
- Winter Soldier!Shaw is kinda… Swol - I am all over this idea as an AU.

Cats!

Aug. 9th, 2017 09:29 pm
idleleaves: (Default)
[personal profile] idleleaves
Just dropping in with a couple of cat photos - Autumn perfecting her 'bored princess' look while Parker is delightfully high on catnip.



WIP Wednesday

Aug. 9th, 2017 05:08 pm
firethesound: (Default)
[personal profile] firethesound
Wednesday again, and after missing the last couple I've got something to report, hurrah! The next couple of months look like relatively smooth sailing for me (cross my fingers, knock on wood) so hopefully I'll be getting a lot more words down. Here's hoping! :D

New words this week : 115 words which brings my August wordcount goal to 115 / 50,000. Not off to the best start there, but to be fair yesterday was the first afternoon of writing time I've had in a while and I spent most of it catching up on internet things after being away from my computer for the entire first week of the month.

WIPs worked on this week : 1, no new WIPs (yay!)

HP
pwp take 2 : 115 words which brings the total to 1492 words, though not much progress was actually made. It was mostly rereading what I've got down so far, tweaking a little bit here, adding a little bit there, and then I lost focus and didn't get much more than that. Still, I don't think it's going to be too much longer than this. Maybe another thousand words? 1500 if it runs long? Certainly not more than 2000, I'm almost positive. So, with luck I'll be getting it done and posted soon. We'll see how it goes!
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