goodbye homeland; hello homeland

Sep. 22nd, 2017 10:32 am
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[personal profile] marina
So, in about 20 minutes I'm going to be leaving my parents' place, so that we can all go to the airport and travel to the country where my family has lived for as many generations as we know about (at least 4) and left when I was 7.

I've never been to the capital. I don't speak the language that people mostly speak there. (Everyone else in my family does speak it, but at home we always spoke Russian, the de facto lingua franca of the USSR, and that's all I managed to pick up by 7.) Kiev is new to me, and not new because I grew up on stories about it. (My aunt grew up there.) Odessa is familiar, full of people who will be happy to see me, but foreign too, like just another random European city, with buildings and customs that don't conform to the West Asian norms I find familiar and standard.

Anyway, if I started describing my feelings in earnest we'd never be done with parentheses.

I expect this trip will be a mindfuck. I expect being stuck with my parents for two weeks straight will be... a challenge. I hope, intensely, that the next two weeks will be wonderful and healing as well, as going home usually is.

Take care, friends.

Sidetracks - September 21, 2017

Sep. 21st, 2017 06:45 pm
helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Sidetracks (sidetracks)
[personal profile] helloladies posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag. For more links and commentary you can follow us on Twitter, Tumblr. You can also support us on Patreon.


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days 9-12 on Celexa

Sep. 19th, 2017 10:21 pm
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
Weird food issues seem to be gone for good. \o/

My sleep schedule hasn't settled, though, which is probably partly my fault for not setting a consistent bedtime and thus not having a roughly consistent getting-up time. Since I take the pills with breakfast, this also introduces several hours of variability into that schedule.

Anyway, I was crushingly exhausted in the afternoons on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, which resulted in two-hour naps on the latter two days. I was not similarly tired today, and I wonder if that's because I tend to drink tea (and thus get a dose of caffeine) much earlier in the day on work days. But I do the same on Saturdays -- albeit one hour later -- so... a mystery!

Additionally, last night I could not sleep for shit. I used to have mild insomnia as a child and teenager -- the kind where you just can't make your brain shut off no matter how tired you are -- but I had some meditative techniques that mostly worked and that had largely stopped being an issue by my early twenties anyway. (By which I mean, if I had told myself stories when falling asleep as a teen, I would have been up all night, whereas for the past fifteen years such storytelling has been my most reliable way to make myself fall asleep.) Monday night felt like I was eighteen again and could not fall into more than a thin and restless slumber for love or money. It was very frustrating, and I hope that does not repeat tonight.

My mood has been neutral to mildly positive, and while my motivation and time management continue to be iffy and liable to vanish without warning, the world does not feel crushing and impossible, so there's that. I feel like I will get my list of stuff done, even if I don't get to any given task on the first day I schedule for an attempt. That is a noticeable change. :)

[Meme] 10 Favorite Characters

Sep. 18th, 2017 07:21 pm
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[personal profile] edenfalling
[tumblr.com profile] minutia_r tagged me in the 10 characters meme: List ten of your favorite characters in ten different fandoms and then tag ten people

In no particular order:

1. Chronicles of Narnia - Still Edmund, I think, though he has never been ahead by a very large margin and it's grown smaller over the years. I am awfully fond of almost all the characters. (Jadis is my second-favorite in general, and probably my most favorite for writing.)

2. Homestuck - This is tricky! Uh. Can I say Rose, Jade, Dave, Terezi, Karkat, Aradia, Roxy, Jane, Kanaya, Meenah, and Damara all together? It is really hard to make distinctions any more finely graded than that, and anyway which one of that set I like best shifts from day to day.

3. Harry Potter - Probably Harry, giant unobservant doofus that he is. Secondarily Hermione and Ginny. I love Ron lots in canon, but find him fannishly uninteresting.

4. Naruto - Team 7. (By which I mean Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke.) You can't make me subdivide further. *resolve face*

5. Star Trek: AOS - Spock, Kirk, and Uhura.

6. Angel Sanctuary - Kira Sakuya. (Yes, this includes all incarnations.) Secondarily Setsuna and Sara.

7. Enchanted Forest Chronicles - Morwen, obviously! :DDD

8. Darkangel Trilogy - Aeriel, I think. It is her story, and I so desperately want her to be happy.

9. Daredevil (MCU) - Matt. Secondarily Karen and Elektra. (I may find a reckless disregard for one's personal safety, a possibly unhealthy level of determination, and a willingness to deal violence more attractive than I really ought to. Also, someone should write me that threesome...)

10. Dark Is Rising sequence - Blodwen Rowlands! *evil grin* For reasons that are spoilers. But after her, Will, Jane, and Bran in no particular order.

In conclusion, I am kind of terrible at having favorite characters. This is not surprising -- I am terrible at having a favorite anything in any category. I like too many things and I don't want to rank them. *hands*

Secondary conclusion: I do tend to like main characters, insofar as any given canon even has a main character rather than an ensemble. They aren't always in my top tier, but if I don't like them at all, I tend to stop reading.

I am, as always, terrible at tagging so please consider yourself tagged if you want to play! :)

Narnia Fic Exchange and RemixRevival!

Sep. 18th, 2017 11:23 am
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
So both the Narnia Fic Exchange and Remix Revival went live on Sunday, and I want to tell you about my lovely gifts!

-----

Words Against the Tide (2834 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Chronicles of Narnia - C. S. Lewis
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Jadis | The White Witch, Jadis' Sister (Narnia), Original Characters
Additional Tags: Worldbuilding, Charn, Backstory, Magic, Blood Magic

Summary: Charn feeds upon magic, and magic feeds upon Charn, down the ages in the long, slow death of a world.

This is chilling and gorgeous and an all-too-plausible look at both the origin of the Deplorable Word and the decay of a once-bright world and people.

-----

Broken If Revealed (The File It Under the Letter D Remix) (3114 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Daredevil (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Matt Murdock & Franklin "Foggy" Nelson & Karen Page
Characters: Matt Murdock, Franklin "Foggy" Nelson, Karen Page
Additional Tags: Post-Season/Series 01, Reveal, Friendship, Secrets, Office, Remix, POV Foggy Nelson

Summary: In a file folder buried deep in her desk, Karen has contingency plans, a how-to guide for keeping Nelson and Murdock afloat if she's gone. When Foggy accidentally uncovers them, a few more secrets are revealed along the way.

This is a remix of Broken If Revealed, which swaps Karen and Foggy so he's the one discovering her contingency folder, and which does some really excellent character exploration and compare/contrast between Karen and Matt.

-----

You should go read both of them and compliment the authors! :D
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[personal profile] bookgazing posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
I always go into Hugo voting with the best of intentions. I'm going to read all the things, view all the things, and not just get bogged down in the Novel category. 2017 is going to be different!

Yes. Well.

Appropriately for the Hugo Awards this optimistic view proved to be, as usual, pure fantasy. Still, I did pretty well for a lady with a long commute and limited data; particularly when it came to the Best Short Story category. I read four of the six stories nominated in this category for 2017. And what better way to get back into writing than to share all my thoughts with you?

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Top of the Lake

Sep. 17th, 2017 12:00 pm
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[personal profile] marina
I have been writing a post about Top of the Lake for literally like 4 years. FOUR YEARS. I keep writing drafts and never finishing them, because it all just feels so enormous and too much and I need like an entire day to get all my thoughts in order.

But, it's happening today friends. IT'S HAPPENING TODAY. SO HELP ME, THERE WILL BE A POST. It will be cobbled together from different drafts I've started over the years, but IT WILL EXIST.

So, below are my thoughts, which were written a few years ago, before I'd seen Mad Max: Fury Road, before Jessica Jones, before Wonder Woman.

Anyway, this post is still not even a fraction of the thoughts I have in my head about this show, BUT. We are doing this. THIS POST IS GETTING POSTED.

*

Well, there's now not one, but two versions of Broadchurch (both starring David Tennant!) and I still haven't gotten around to the show that, to me, is the far more subversive, far more interesting, far richer and more beautiful original version of what has now become a multi-season franchise.

I haven't been able to write about Top of the Lake until now because my talents do not lie in talking about the things I find overwhelmingly amazing. I had to wait such a long time for the edges to fade, for this show to settle in my head and become digestible (this is after multiple viewings, because of course I rewatched parts of it ad nauseum) and analyzable and describable.

The non spoilery version is this: Robin (Elizabeth Moss) is a detective who comes back to her small town in New Zealand to visit with her gravely ill mother. At the same time a 12 year old girl in the town is discovered to be pregnant. Robin is called in, because of her big city specialist training, to help interview the girl - however the girl claims she remembers nothing, and Robin ends up leading the investigation into what happened. To unravel this mystery Robin will have to face old friends and enemies, the local gang, police corruption and the secrets of her own family.

If you, like me, are utterly bored by detective stories and mysteries, let me attempt another pitch: Top of the Lake is probably the greatest story I've ever seen about a heroine who is flawed and competent and human, who's allowed to unravel, whose power is never undermined even when she's as low as she's ever going to get, even when the odds are insurmountable. Robin is a heroine you root for when, like Buffy, she has nothing left but herself, her body, her wits. She's someone you root for while you recognize her blind spots, her privileges, her biases. Robin is someone who always, always comes through. Stripped down to the bone she rises, like Lazarus, unstoppable in her passion, her moral duty to do right by the marginalized, her incredible strength.

The amazing thing about Top of the Lake is that it's about a girl who loses everything, but never loses herself. It's about trauma, it's about survival, it's about revenge, it's about justice, it's about compassion and love and forgiveness, it's about asking the ugly questions about ourselves and being uncomfortable and trying as hard as you can to be the best person you can be. It's about trying to make sure no one has to suffer the way you've suffered.

And of course - Jane Campion is an amazing director, and stepping into her world for 7 episodes was like suddenly finding myself in an alternative universe where complex, challenging visual stories are told for me, as a woman. Where the male gaze is not even a distant memory.

Here's one last way of putting it: Robin and Leslie Knope (of Parks and Rec) are two extremes on the same continuum. Leslie is Robin in a light-hearted, brightly lit comedy - Robin is Leslie in a graphic, gritty detective story. Robin is the grown up version of Veronica Mars. The settings, the moods, the tropes are different but the women are the same - beacons of resilience, fortitude, open-eyed optimism, competence, who are the heroes rather than the victims of their narratives.

spoilers )

*

And now an addendum written by today!me:

Top of the Lake is the spiritual mother of so many modern shows, and I'm so happy (SO SO HAPPY) that I get to place it a broader than ever tapestry of women heroes of all kinds.

three things make a post

Sep. 15th, 2017 10:25 pm
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
1. Yuletide nominations close in 6 hours. Get yours in!

I nominated the following fandoms:

-The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay - Ammar ibn Khairan, Jehane bet Ishak, Rodrigo Belmonte, Miranda Belmonte (this is my perennial request that never gets filled, dammit)

-Catherine Asaro's Saga of the Skolian Empire - Rocalisa Qox-Skolia, Jaibriol Qox III, Kelricson Garlin Valdoria Skolia, Dyhianna "Dehya" Selei (because I still want a story about Lisi)

-Daredevil (Comics) - Karen Page, Elektra Natchios, Kirsten McDuffie, Rebecca Blake (because even though I got two awesome stories about ladies in a previous Yuletide, I always want more)

I'm sure I will be able to find some other fandoms of my heart if I feel like making additional prompts, but those were the three I wanted to make absolutely sure were there, and contained the characters I want to request.

2. I have completed the hiring process for Not the IRS. Yay! (Also my base pay-rate is up from last year. Double yay!) Now I just need to complete my continuing education requirements, and take the test to jump up a level in the internal skill classification scheme. I mean, I have been doing level two and three returns since my first year -- they are not especially hard -- but the computer's auto-matching system doesn't suggest me as an option for anyone over level one, and also level two employees get a minor bonus per completed return in the totally-not-a-commission compensation scheme whereas level one employees get nothing. Hence test.

3. The rental company's renewal and switch period ended on Wednesday, and open rentals began Thursday morning. This week has been kind of crazy with tours -- I have not talked so much per day in months -- and we had people start lining up outside the office at 8:45am Wednesday morning. (We rent on a first-come first-serve basis, and lease commitments/payments must be completed in person.)

My paycheck this week was almost literally twice the usual, because I got a huge commission fee -- this happens when somebody I took on a tour rents an apartment I showed them, so opening day presumably went well. :D I also got an unspecified supplemental payment which may be a general "congrats on working here for a full year" bonus. Or maybe not; there was no explanation on the paystub. *hands* I was very surprised when I checked my bank balance this morning, but pleasantly so, and my budget will now be much less stressful over the next couple months. I might even be able to donate a little to charity!

days 6-8 on Celexa

Sep. 15th, 2017 09:32 pm
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[personal profile] edenfalling
Weird food issues have disappeared -- I am now experiencing hunger correctly, and food once again has flavor. Yay!

I did an experiment on Wednesday night to see how the medication interacted with alcohol. The answer is that it is pretty much as I remembered from my last stint on anti-depressants: namely, that I get really mellow-floaty-detached on remarkably little alcohol, and the next day I feel like I've missed an entire week of sleep. So I will parcel out my two remaining bottles of hard cider on carefully chosen occasions when I have no responsibilities the next day, and the bottle of rosé wine in my fridge will remain unopened until such time as I have guests over to help finish it. And I will just not buy alcohol for the next couple years. *wry*

I am unsure if there's been any particular effect on my mood. I mean, the world is currently in color instead of flat and gray and distant. But I'm not really motivated in any sense, I still have a persistent sense of isolation/futility, and I've let a bunch of planned tasks slide these past few days. So I'll keep an eye on that going forward.
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[personal profile] spindizzy posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Cover of The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley


Somewhere on the outer rim of the universe, a mass of decaying world-ships known as the Legion is traveling in the seams between the stars. For generations, a war for control of the Legion has been waged, with no clear resolution. As worlds continue to die, a desperate plan is put into motion. Zan wakes with no memory, prisoner of a people who say they are her family. She is told she is their salvation - the only person capable of boarding the Mokshi, a world-ship with the power to leave the Legion. But Zan's new family is not the only one desperate to gain control of the prized ship. Zan finds that she must choose sides in a genocidal campaign that will take her from the edges of the Legion's gravity well to the very belly of the world. Zan will soon learn that she carries the seeds of the Legion's destruction - and its possible salvation. But can she and her ragtag band of followers survive the horrors of the Legion and its people long enough to deliver it?


I picked this up as part of my transcription duties for Fangirl Happy Hour – it's a lot easier to follow a discussion about a book if you've read it – and it turns out that I have more thoughts on it than I expected!

The plot that can be described without spoiling the book is this: Zan wakes up with few memories of who she is, and a mission to take over a living planet/ship called the Mokshi on behalf of women who claim to be her family. The women are part of the Katazyrna, the ruling family of their own living planet/ship, one bound into a network of other planets/ships known as the Legion; they want the Mokshi because it is a planet not bound into orbit with the rest of the Legion. And from there, things get... Complicated.

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Fanwork Recs — September 14th 2017

Sep. 14th, 2017 08:54 am
helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Fanwork Recs (fanwork recs)
[personal profile] helloladies posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Fanwork is awesome and sharing fanwork is even more awesome. Join us as we keymash and squee over our favorite fanwork, from fic (both written and podfic) to art to vids and meta and back again.

If you find something you love, we encourage you to comment/favorite and let the creator know you enjoyed their work. :D o/


Recommendations included:
  • Batman — fic (1)

  • Dream Daddy — art (1)

  • The Left Hand of Darkness — art (1)

  • The Legend of Zelda — art (1)

  • Pokémon — art (1)

  • Star Wars — art (2)

  • Wonder Woman — cosplay (1)

  • Yuri!!! On Ice — vid (1)


Read more... )

What fanwork have you loved recently?

Adventures Elsewhere — August 2017

Sep. 13th, 2017 03:04 pm
helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Adventures Elsewhere (adventures elsewhere)
[personal profile] helloladies posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Adventures Elsewhere collects our reviews, guest posts, articles, and other content we've spread across the Internet recently! See what we've been up in our other projects. :D


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(no subject)

Sep. 13th, 2017 10:29 am
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[personal profile] marina
I know everyone is tired of hearing how busy I am, lol, but this week has been truly ridiculous. In a lot of ways it's been filled with wonderful things, as well as boring stressful things (contacting city hall, the water company, the electric company...), and in a way I'm grateful that I can survive this kind of week now, disability-wise, since I definitely couldn't have a year ago. But I'm... intensely at the end of my rope, and things are not going to calm down for like, at least another 48 hours, and IDK if I can honestly survive that long.

stuff and things )

day 5 on Celexa

Sep. 12th, 2017 10:32 pm
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
Today was pretty good, actually!

I was tired, but I'm fairly sure that was because I got inadequate sleep rather than a medication side-effect. Food tasted like food again, and I was... not eager for lunch and dinner, precisely, but mildly interested in the idea of eating. I also worked up the spoons to cook the steak and noodles I'd been meaning to cook for a couple days.

Of course, last night after I made yesterday's post I had some nasty gastrointestinal distress, so I wouldn't say everything is perfect, but with a pinch of luck I am adjusting and things will get better from here on out. :)

gardening update, Monday 9/11/17

Sep. 11th, 2017 10:19 pm
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[personal profile] edenfalling
red bell pepper with a human hand for scale



Tiny gardening update! Here is the Lazarus pepper, which I am going to pick later this week and stir-fry with some onions, because reasons. :)

(Regular gardening updates are probably not resuming at this time, sorry. I have been having brain glitch issues.)


[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]

day 4 on Celexa

Sep. 11th, 2017 08:53 pm
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[personal profile] edenfalling
Exhaustion returned with a vengeance, ugh. I had no motivation or energy through the majority of the day and eventually gave up in favor of a nap around 4pm. I slept for slightly over two hours and could happily have made it a four- or five-hour nap if that wouldn't have utterly mucked up my attempt to reestablish a regular sleep schedule.

I am still very unenthused about food. I had a weird moment around 6:30pm (shortly after getting up from the nap) where I felt like I might faint if I didn't eat something soon while simultaneously feeling vaguely nauseated at the thought of eating. I made myself eat some yogurt and felt better thereafter, to the point where I was able to talk myself into cooking the broccoli I'd had on hand for a couple days and eating an actual dinner. I mean, I didn't finish the dinner -- I put the leftovers away in the fridge for tomorrow -- but I got through about 2/3 of it and it had vegetables (broccoli), protein (steak), and starch (elbow noodles), so I count that a victory. It also didn't taste entirely of nothing, though lunch did taste horribly bland, so maybe there is hope that my taste buds and my brain will fix their currently glitched out connection?

Internal temperature regulation glitches continued, to my displeasure. They were worst between about 1pm and 7pm, but seem to have evened out for now.

I've also had a nagging not-quite-headache lurking around the edges of my skull all day, though that may be unrelated to the medication.

day 3 on Celexa

Sep. 10th, 2017 08:56 pm
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
I'm still very "oh yeah, food is a thing, isn't it?" Like, I can feel the physical sensation of hunger to the point of mild discomfort and my mental/emotional reaction is just kind of... "well that sure is a thing I am feeling" without any particular urgency to do something about it.

Normally flavorful foods also continue to taste bland and unappetizing, which is deeply weird.

Still kind of tired, though today that may just be because I was up late finishing my NFE draft last night, blargh.

I've been having some minor internal temperature regulation glitches -- suddenly feeling too hot or too cold with no correlation to the actual outside temperature. That is a thing my body likes to do to me any time I'm feeling generally rundown, though, so I figure it's probably a general "yikes, something is changing! throw the temperature alarm???" response rather than a medication-specific reaction.

Less gas today, which is nice!
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