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Mar. 10th, 2012

Academic

Fic: 'Prelude' (11/25)

Title: Prelude
Fandom: The Matrix
Characters: Mouse, Zephyr (OC)
Word Count: 972
Prompt: From fanfic25, 1/25: 'Fate'.

Summary: It"s more than hackers who are good at working with keys.Collapse )

Dec. 26th, 2011

Mouse

Fic: 'Will-o'-the-wisp' (10/25)

Title: Will-o'-the-wisp
Fandom: The Matrix
Characters: Mouse
Word Count: 936
Prompt: From fanfic25, 5/24: 'Rain'.
Notes: Merry Christmas to jean_c_pepper. I'm back, baby!

Summary: Mouse remembers walking in the rain.Collapse )

Dec. 24th, 2011

Academic

Well, I'm an idiot.

So, two months ago, on October 31st, I made some plans for writing during the month of November. I have officially achieved none of those, and it's been almost a month since the point I said I would be done by.

So, whoops.

Finished Yuletide, though.

Nov. 17th, 2011

Academic

Dear Yuletide...

This year I'm writing my letter to the general concept of Yuletide, so anyone that stumbles upon it can feel like part of the fun. But especially to you, Yuletide author, who I look forward to giving an enthusiastic thumbs-up to on New Year's Day. I hope my requests give you something reasonable to work with.


Cut for random pairings and athletic positions (okay, not quite)...Collapse )
Tags:
Mouse

Yuletide! A User's Guide.

I like titles that rhyme.

So, today I learned that if you're new to Yuletide, the tutorial video is fourteen minutes long, and filled with incredibly unhelpful jargon, to the point that they could do with a glossary. Here's a (hopefully) brief introduction to the signup process, and then there'll be another post about Yuletide itself, and finally my 'Dear Yuletide' letter.

Step One - Nominations and selecting fandoms.

The signup sheet asks you to nominate four fandoms that you'd like to receive fic for. This year (2011) is notable in that everybody got to nominate only three fandoms for selection at the very beginning, thus making the list of available choices a fair bit smaller than it was last year, and hopefully stopping the website from falling over when everyone tries to use it at once.
If you start typing the name of a fandom in the signup form (available here, but you'll need to be signed into AO3*), it should autocomplete the names of fandoms, but that doesn't really help you see what's going on. An easier way is to visit this post, which has separated all the fandoms by category and sorted them alphabetically. The 'uncategorized' tab on that webpage has everything that doesn't already exist on AO3, so be sure to check everything. It's a long process, but worth it. Make a list of fandoms you'd like to receive for (you're allowed to select four) and ones you'd be comfortable writing (you must select at least four).

*Archive of Our Own.

Step Two - Prompts.

Open up a word document. Write the names of the fandoms you'd like to receive. Looking at the list of fandoms in the link above, note the characters that have been nominated. You can either request particular characters from this list, or leave it up to the author to select characters for you. If a character you'd want isn't listed, then unfortunately you can't request those specific characters this year. Make a note of which characters you'd like to receive.
Now, for each fandom, write a prompt. The most helpful prompts are those that give the author a whole bunch of options about where they could go with your story. Less helpful prompts are those that say 'anything' (a blank page and no guidance can freak authors out) or those that have one very detailed plotline that you desperately want (which can do two things; either make your author freak out about filling your every request, or make them say 'if you know what you want so bad, why don't you write it?').
A good analogy is buying tea for a gift. If the recipient just says 'I like tea', then you'll be paralysed in front of the shelf. If they say 'I like Black Peach, and if I don't get it, I'll die for srs', problems might arise if you can't get Black Peach. The best help is 'I don't generally like green tea, but I do like black, and anything peach-flavoured is good. If you can do both, great.'
One other important thing to do is let your author know what you don't want. If you hate a character with a vengeance, say you would prefer it if the fic didn't focus on that person. If non-consensual sex, or sex at all, would make you a sad panda, let them know about your 'personal preference'. Make it clear what you don't want, without being pushy or insulting. I received a request last year from someone that disliked a character, and it was phrased in such a way that if I was a rabid defender of that character, it would have made me resent the person I was writing for. So be nice.
Done? Great. On to...

Step Three - The Sign-up Page!

Start typing the name of your first 'I wanna get' fandom in the first box. It should autocomplete. Write down the characters you'd like to get, or leave the box blank if you don't mind.
If you have a LiveJournal, or some kind of fannish blog, take the word document you wrote in Step Two, and publish it to your blog. Call it your 'Dear Yuletide' letter. Take that URL and paste it in the space where it says 'Website/Journal/Dear Yuletide Author'. If you don't want to give your author a link to your blog, leave that space blank, and put the prompt you've written for your author in the space below that, where it says 'Optional Details are Optional'.

Repeat for your other three 'I wanna get' fandoms.

Step Four - Offering to Write.

Below the requests section, there's the segment for writing offers. Start typing the fandoms you want to request (you must offer at least four, generally up to six, or more if you're mad like that). Below that, type the characters you're comfortable writing. Make sure you're okay with writing the characters you offer. If you get matched up on those characters, you'll have to write them. No options.
If you're seriously okay with writing any characters for that fandom, check the 'Any' box.
Done? Click submit. You're signed up for Yuletide.

What Happens Now?

You'll be assigned to write a story for a reader. You'll be matched up because they requested a fandom you offered to write. Your request will be assigned to another writer.
You'll receive a list of all the requests your reader made. You can choose to write anything they requested, although you'll likely only have the one fandom in common. This is important in case you just cannot write what they've requested. It's uncommon, but it happens.
The only requirements are that you must write in the fandom, and feature the characters they've requested for that fandom. All their optional details are just that - optional, but you should ideally try to tailor your story to them as much as possible. After all, you're giving them a gift. Unless it makes your life unreasonably difficult, try to get them what they want.

Oct. 31st, 2011

Academic

NaNoWriMo plans.

I have none.

Well, wait, that's not entirely true. I don't believe in writing 50,000 words of fiction in a month because a) I could be far more productive elsewhere, b) I need to be far more productive elsewhere, and c) I don't feel like writing original fiction at the moment.

Instead, I'm setting myself something that'll challenge me far more, and accomplish so many things I wanted to do.

By the end of November, I will have:
1) Drafted the first chapter of my thesis, and be well on my way to a second chapter.
2) Started writing fanfiction for Christmas gifts (if you want something, leave a comment).
3) Written another piece of Matrix fanfiction.

This is my writing for the month. It'll only be about 20,000 words or so, but they will be 20,000 researched, polished, and good words.

Oct. 9th, 2011

Academic

Back again (again)

Is it customary to repeatedly apologise for not updating as often as I'd like, only to disappear for another month or so?

I've been lurking on my own journal, and reading my friends page daily, posting comments when something takes my interest (although there's a few comments that I've been meaning to leave for a few days now).

I guess this is to say I'm still alive. I've laid out a list of everything I have to do before the end of the year, and it doesn't seem quite as unbearable on paper as it does in my day-to-day life (although I didn't get out of bed until 5 p.m. today - I read and watched episodes of The Daily Show instead). So I don't foresee any reason why I won't be updating more often from here on out.

Just wait. I'm sure I'll find yet another distraction, although I sincerely hope I don't.

Aug. 16th, 2011

Graffiti

A brief history of August, in five parts.

     Hello, all! My word, is it cold here. Now if you're not a New Zealander, you probably won't know what's been going on the last two days, but you probably will (being intelligent people) know that we're in the middle of winter here.
     Chapter One: Snow DayCollapse )

  Chapter Two: MastersCollapse )
  Chapter Three: Puzzling AffairCollapse )
    Chapter Four: At the MoviesCollapse )
    The question is how much people want to hear about the movies I watch. There's a lot I could write about some of these films, and the puzzle hunt debacle has me questioning how much of what i write is interesting to read. So, I pose the question to you all.

 Chapter Five: FanficCollapse )

    I'm certainly interested in writing more Zephyr/Mouse for fanfic25 but I'll need to be inspired... I dunno. Prompts?

    And with that, this overly long post as a desperate atonement for going so long without checking in comes to an end.

Jun. 13th, 2011

Academic

Fic: 'Fire Alarm' (9/25)

Title: Fire Alarm
Fandom: The Matrix
Characters: Mouse, Apoc
Word Count: 930
Prompt: From fanfic25, 5/11: 'Woman'.
Notes: None
Summary: "Digital Pimp, hard at work."Collapse )

Jun. 12th, 2011

Academic

Only a few more hours to go...

...before I can consider this weekend over. And boy, has it been... something.

I've spent the last forty-eight hours procrastinating on writing, procrastinating on planning a LARP, and procrastinating on marking reading assignments. But! I have managed, this evening, to work on planning some LARP, marking two-thirds of the assignments, and preparing to write some things. Like this lovely blog post.

I've managed to locate another 95 movies from my '1001 Movies You Must See' list, eat some very spicy chili with Boyfriend and his friends, and have dinner out at an Indian restaurant where the food was awesome and the decor less so. I slept in until this afternoon, got up-to-date with some crossword puzzles and did some laundry. I think, overall, I managed a neat balance between things I had to do and things I wanted to do.

So, a little bit more LARPing, and then fanfic! I swear.

Jun. 10th, 2011

Academic

It's technically the weekend!

And by 'technically the weekend', I mean 'not actually, but it's a Friday and all my students are off so I don't have to do jack so it feels like the weekend'.

Which brings me to the problem I was having. I'm utterly convinced that I was meant to be doing things this weekend, but for the life of me I can't remember what they were.
Possibilities that facebook friends helpfully provided:

Fanfiction.
Planning a LARP.
Flash mob.
Spoon train.
All the marking.
Writing my thesis.
Bringing people candy.
Contemplating the transcience of life.

All of which sounds like a various combination of enjoyable, ridiculous and, well, work. And with the possible exception of fanfic (because I have a very small public, but an enthusiastic one), I don't particularly feel compelled to do anything on that list.
So, what do I need to get done?

Jun. 7th, 2011

Academic

Vegan husbandry.

Was walking through the supermarket tonight and noticed persimmons were on sale.

Me: Caleb, should we get persimmons?

Caleb: I've never had one.

Me: But... but you're... you like fruit.

It transpired that his father didn't believe in persimmons or something (persimmons - they're just the fruit equivalent of centaurs). So I bought one and peeled it. It was delicious. I win at introducing vegan boyfriend to new kinds of produce.

Jun. 6th, 2011

Graffiti

Because I'm writing.

I was asked yesterday how well I was surviving tutoring. That's a somewhat loaded question - it tends to waver wildly between 'awesome, thanks for asking' and 'oh hell don't even MENTION it'. Overall, though, it falls on the side of the former.

It's my experience that learning peoples' names is the most difficult part of the job. It's incredibly easy to learn the names of those that actually contribute, because you find yourself having conversations with them and thus you actually wind up learning names by attrition. However, that group that contributes is about a third at most, and the rest sort of end up in a pile where you know they're in one of your tutorials, you just can't remember which one and who they are. I'm sure I'd remember them if they firebombed my house, but that's not really something I'd recommend if you're one of my students.

Marking is torture. Running three tutorials in a row, week in, week out, is torture. Occasionally, I have had to fight the urge to STAY IN BED because I have work to do.

However, I have never had a tutorial where I have not enjoyed myself. I've had tutorials where I've been woefully unprepared ('just keep talking, I'll staple your marks to your assignments on the floor at the front of the room') but every now and then one of my students will say something that makes me think that they'll make it through this discipline. Unfortunately, two of those students, one who got overwhelmingly opinionated on the subject of masculinity as construct, and another who held the entire class as she discussed the lack of queer theory in the course, probably won't pass because they haven't handed stuff in.

I was reminded recently that we grade really, really generously in New Zealand. Here, if you get 50%, you've passed. At 85%, you get an A+. I know that in most universities in the States, anything below a 65% is probably going to get you failed. I sometimes wonder whether or not we're setting these guys up for a shock when they're released into their chosen profession up against people whose education might be 15% better.

Above all, and this is rather selfish, I got to talk about movies every week with people that knew different things than I did. I took people back to my favourite film from 1924, discussed the importance of the rotating hallway sequence in Inception, and how to play Moviewang. We discussed the panopticon, I explained what the sublime is when watching Mercury pass by the sun, and I played the opening of an episode of Scrubs for contrast.

I like my job. After talking with my flatmate about personality tests, I took a trait test on the BBC website. Apparently, I have significantly high job satisfaction, despite having none of the personal traits that suggest I should.

Jun. 4th, 2011

Academic

Oh good heavens, what do I write here?

"I'll be your Muse, lying behind you while I drift in the sweet... ecstasy of... creative... thought..."
 
-Boyfriend, drifting off to sleep after I say that I'm updating this for the first time in freakin' ages.

Well, it certainly has been a while, what can I say? I suppose I got really busy with being a tutor and all, but that feels like kind of a cop-out. To say that would be to suggest that I had absolutely no time to write or update or do anything at all.

Which I have. I mean, I didn't necessarily get much accomplished this last little while. I just finished my first trimester of tutorials (awesome, thanks for asking) and still have a metric arse-ton of marking to get around to, sometime. I started planning a LARP for the university games club, I started organising a puzzle hunt for said club, I... I guess the point of this is that I started a lot of things.

Is this a problem? Well, I suppose not. I have done a lot more things this way than if I had just not started. But I look around and there are index cards with player attributes, character sheets for the other game I'm planning on running, my inbox is now smaller than any game-related emails folder, and so on.
Oh, I should also read that book I need to for Masters. Oh, joy.

And yet, ha, I'm actually going to be alright here. I haven't felt like I've been able to say this for some time, but I think I'm going to manage all this. If I have to do it all myself, it'll get done.

As for fanfic, though, I don't know. If I feel that Caleb is doing a good job as a creative Muse, I'll get it done soon. What's the name of the fanfic Muse? Is it Harkness?

Mar. 27th, 2011

Academic

Wow, I've left this for some time.

     Okay, so the more perceptive of you may be wondering why I haven't been around for some time. Some of you probably got on with your lives.

     I've started tutoring at the university, which is very enjoyable, even if my faith in the general intelligence of mankind faltered a little when I learned that nobody in my second-year tutorial apparently knew who Alfred Hitchcock was. This was unfortunate, as I'm pretty sure they watched at least one of his films last year.
     If I recall correctly, I gaped momentarily before asking:

'Really? Hitchcock? Psycho, Vertigo, Strangers on a Train? The Birds, Rear Window, Rebecca, The Man Who Knew Too Much, North By Northwest?

-pause-

-hums the Alfred Hitchcock Presents theme-

-pause-

'Are you sure I'm in the right tutorial?'

     So, the short answer is that I'm crazy busy. However, I hope to fill you all in on events shortly. And I have an idea for more writing that I may get to before I go to sleep, or I may leave it until a later point.

     Hope all y'all are well.

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