taste_is_sweet: (Please be Advised)
I'm just going to say it: this post has no redeeming social value whatsoever, and is entirely AmyCat's and foxfireflamequeen's fault. Because blaming people is fun.

It's their fault because FoxFire said I should watch the 2015 Man from U.N.C.L.E. movie, which I'd wanted to do anyway. But still. And AmyCat asked me if it was any good.

Yes, AmyCat, it was good. Not going to lie, though. The best part of the movie is this guy:

Plus, he's tall enough to see space.
Looks like a cinnamon roll; will actually kill you

Meet Illya Kuryakin, as played by Armie Hammer with those big, soulful eyes. He has an admirable work ethic and breathtaking anger management issues, as perfectly illustrated in his and Napoleon Solo's (played by Henry Cavill) first conversation.



In short, he is an absolute, giant bae. This is almost literally the conversation I had with my husband while watching that scene in the cafe:

Me: I had no idea Henry Cavill was that hot.

Husband: That's Armie Hammer. Henry Cavill's the other one.

Me: The hot one is Armie Hammer?

It was a reasonable error, because Henry Cavill is blandly good looking and I'd only seen Armie Hammer when he was blandly good looking in The Lone Ranger, where he was upstaged by Johnny Depp and a horse. Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger was fine. Pleasant. I'd go so far as to say not unattractive. But definitely nothing to write home about. Pretty much like the entire Lone Ranger movie.

Illya, however, has an accent, painful backstory and mental health concerns. And he doesn't lose fights. Ever. He's perfect.






Yes, in the second one you saw him push a motorcycle frame off himself, then carry it down a hill and throw it at someone. That's not his only super power either. In the beginning of the movie, Illya dodges bullets (as you do), runs down Solo's car on foot and then rips the trunk hood off with his bare hands. But it was the motorcycle-toss that got me thinking. Specifically about this guy:



And especially this one:



Here's the thing--it never made sense for me that the KGB/Red Room/Hydra would only create one Winter Soldier, or stop trying to perfect their version of the Super Soldier serum after it worked on Bucky Barnes. Even if you go with Bucky having global amnesia when the Russians find him (as in the comics), they go to a hell of a lot of trouble with building a memory erasing machine just for one guy. And we know from season two of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that there's more than one way to skin a cat make someone happy to comply via brainwashing.

So I've decided that Illya Kuryakin is another Winter Soldier.

Oh, for sure he's not in the same league. He's not about to walk off bridges or kick guys into jet engines. But unlike the original, Illya can act like an ordinary human, albeit one with extraordinary talents, because he has memories. The Winter Soldier is the ruthless, unstoppable stuff of nightmares because he's more a weapon than a man. Illya Kuryakin is one of the best spies the Soviet Union ever produced, because he's still a person. He can work in a team; he can have emotional ties; he doesn't have to stay in the shadows like a ghost. And if he risks falling out of his programming, all his handlers have to do is kindle a reset via psychotic episode, by reminding him of his shameful family history. A family history that of course never actually happened.

And if that doesn't work, there's always the chair.

The canon fits beautifully, as far as I'm concerned. Illya and Bucky are even around the same age, give or take one of them being frozen for a few years. I can easily imagine the Winter Soldier training Illya. I can certainly imagine the two of the becoming friends. That is, as long as they could remember each other. Because there is no part of the Winter Soldier's history that isn't tragic. Then again, even without Hydra and the Red Room, Illya's story is pretty tragic too. And fandom can't ever have too many tragic super powered Russians, am I right?

I'm totally right.
Burned not-actually Russian cinnamon rolls who will kill you

taste_is_sweet: (Aliens Made Me)
Check out my Wattpad version of "Write it on the Skyline"!

The link goes to a handy-dandy explanation of what a Wattpad even is. (It's not an electrified cushion, in case you were wondering. But it is Canadian. Yay, Canada!)

As a special bonus, here is the very small cover for my fanfic that I made tonight, without much wailing or teeth-gnashing, even!

This took more effort than I feel entirely comfortable relating at this juncture.
Write it on the Skyline Wattpad Cover

Yes, it is very small. Wattpad likes small covers. But it's a cool font, right? I like that font.

ETA: I've since taken the fic down from Wattpad. Ultimately the site seemed like far too much effort for too little return. At least for me.

taste_is_sweet: (Totally Tasty!)
---This is hilarious because it makes perfect sense.

---You buy pants and a 'SSR' tee-shirt just so you can dress your kid like this for FanExpo Canada:

(He's trying to 'look weak' as pre-serum Steve Rogers, not actually sulking.)
I wish my mommy was like other parents

Even though the kid is not a MCU fan. (Isn't that why we have kids, though? To dress them up in adorable costumes?)

---You're going to FanExpo Canada, even though you live in Texas.

---You're hoping to get a picture of your kid dressed as Skinny!Steve with Hayley Atwell.

---You spend most of your Sunday making a magnetic shield harness and impulse-buy foam weapons so your kid can also be a 'Dragonslayer' at FanExpo Canada.

That foam shield you can barely see is attached to the re-purposed martial arts belt with magnets. Because I am just that obsessive good.
I did not make the tabbard. Or the necklace. Or the foam weapons. (I did make the child)

As you've probably guessed, I'll be in Canada until September 8, getting my geek on at the FanExpo. I'll try to remember to take pictures.

taste_is_sweet: (Boom Baby!)
Pretty much all of us know what February 14 is, but did you know that February 15th is International Fanworks Day?

Well, you do now! And if you don't, or hate clicking links (it could happen), IFD is a creation of the Organization for Transformative Works, who are the lovely people who gave us the Archive of Our Own, among many other things. But currently relevant to my interests is their IFD Drabble Challenge.

The rules are simple: On February 15, post a drabble/drawble/short vid/another media format about your favorite character(s) getting fannish over something. Because of course they would. Does Draco Malfoy secretly ship Snarry? Does Clint Barton admire Oliver Queen? (I'm sure they'd totally be bros.)

I've got a drabble all set to go, and so does my buddy [livejournal.com profile] brumeier. I hope you guys will play too. And if you do, please comment here with a link so I can read it.

Come on, FListies! Write about your beloved characters as the fangirls and boys we all know they secretly are. I'll love you eleventy (which is far greater than three).
taste_is_sweet: (Aliens Made Me)
Because I happen to have found some fun time-wasters! And we all love fun time-wasters, don't we?

Of course we do!

So, without wasting more time (you saw what I did there, right?), here's three things that've made me smile lately:

1) Marvel Comics was hired by the Florida Department of Citrus to redesign their state mascot 'Captain Citrus'. He has a shield like Captain America and green hair, like you do when you're called 'Captain Citrus'. And apparently he occasionally hangs with the Avengers when he's not, I dunno, picking off alligators with grapefruit or something. There's a teaser of the--yes--official Marvel comic here, as well as a link to the actual digital comic, and more information if you're interested.

I'll have what he's having.
Captain Citrus

I'm totally going to check out that comic after I finish writing this. And I will feel embarrassed con behalf of the other Avengers.

2) The Mega Anime Avatar Creator by Rinmaru Games. This is a surprising amount of fun, considering everyone you make looks like an androgynous twelve year-old. You can pick loads of skin colors and different facial features and hair, and the next thing you know it's two o'clock in the morning and you've made your own adorably kitten-eyed versions of your favorite characters.

Not that I did that. ::cough:: But oh, look, Black widow!

Who does not approve of the lack of pupils.
Black Widow

And last but not least:

3) A website where you can listen to and upload personal music mixes. The link goes to Your Name is James Buchanan Barnes, one of the roughly two billion available Winter Soldier-themed mixes.

Orange Juice is Okay!
MyStyle (1)

Which I've been enjoying listening to while making ridiculous Anime portraits. Like Captain Citrus, who is very happy to be here.

taste_is_sweet: (Hawaii loves Danny too)
While poking around the multitude of online publishers, I came across this website. Astrea Press specializes in books that don't have sex. As in none. Whatsoever. (They refer to it as showing 'pink parts', which is kind of cute.) Personally, I love this idea. After years of fanfiction and slash, the idea of not having to write about bumping uglies is pretty cool. Unfortunately, they don't take novels with too much violence in them either. Which disqualifies pretty much anything I've ever written, ever.

BUT! They're not the only publishing house out there that specializes in these kind of romances. Even Elora's Cave, known for its erotica, has a 'Sweet' line called Blush. And then of course there's 'Inspirational' romance. Harlequin is very well known for this genre, which has way less pink--not even tongues--and way more God.

"Come back to the church, Sarah. Or I'll eat you."
 photo CalltoGraceCover.jpg

And that, O best-beloveds, is when I realized that I'd hit a completely untapped genre, combining two of the hottest trends in publishing right now: Dinosaur Erotica and Inspirational Romance.

Isn't that beautiful? I can see you getting misty-eyed with joy already.

(The photos I used are: Two Amish Girls by Sharee Basinger, Raptor by Yinan Chen, Pretty Church by Terrence Hatch, and Rural Field by Larisa Koshkina. They can be found Here, Here, Here, and Here. At Public Domain Pictures.net.)

taste_is_sweet: (Aliens Made Me)
Yesterday, as some of you may recall, I was lamenting my lack of foresight which prevented me from making millions with dinosaur erotica.

Well, no more, my friends! Here is the cover of my upcoming debut novel in the exciting and untapped genre of porn with ancient sea-reptiles. Naturally I had to find a new pen-name, to avoid any public ridicule when I eventually win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

I decided to emulate the artistry of the Christie Sims covers, because nothing says classy dino-porn like 10 minutes with Photoshop.
 photo BookCover.jpg

Leeoolaa, the great sorceress of her seafaring tribe, is determined to end the famine plaguing her people. She takes a raft and sets out alone on the ocean with one goal: to offer herself to the Old Man of the Sea--the Ichthyosaur--as a sacrifice to ensure the survival of her tribe.

Naked, provisionless save for her magic protective amulet and her determination, Leeoolaa expects to die. What she doesn't expect is that the Old Man of the Sea will accept her offer, but not as a sacrifice.

No. The Ichthyosaur wants Leeoolaa as his mate, and more: as the mother of a new tribe of half-men, half-Ichthyosaurs, who he will use to rule the ocean!

Now Leeoolaa has a to make a choice: stay as the Ichthyosaur's love-slave and brood mare, or return to her tribe and turn her back on the greatest watery ecstasy she's ever known?


Awesome, right? I can't wait to sit back and rake in the dough. Oh, and I'll totally make covers for anyone who wants to join me in my new, lucrative career of anachronistic, physiologically impossible porn. Just $5.00 each. Which is apparently market value for that level of artistry and talent.

(The pregnant woman and ocean background come from FreeDigitalPhotos.Net, and were taken by Paul Goody and foto76, respectively. I couldn't find the source for the Ichthyosaur.)

And I'm using this for the Difficult Pregnancy square of my [livejournal.com profile] hc_bingo card, for obvious reasons.

taste_is_sweet: (On a Daily Basis)
Yes, it's that time again. I've finished a novel except for the (hopefully; please, God, hopefully) last beta-read and putting the info on the title page, so now I have to write a summary of the damn thing. Fuck, fuckity fuck fuck damn it.

Yes, exactly.
 photo ComputerScreaming.jpg





A summary is the shorter version of what the book's about, an important distinction that I'm sure I'll forget again as soon as I've finished writing one. Normally I've found the synopsis to be worse, because it's longer while still requiring pithiness, and its hard to figure out what bits are important enough to mention when I'm trying to describe the plot in as few pages as possible. My agent (which makes me sound wayyyyy more famous than I am. Like, enormously way more famous) prefers the synopsis to be no more than two. Publishers don't have much time to read stuff, yo.

And I'll just let the irony of that go unmentioned.

I remember gnashing my teeth and lamenting to the very kind [livejournal.com profile] sgamadison about writing the synopsis for Black Hawk Tattoo, though the short summary was pretty easy. But with this novel, so far it's been the other way around.

That's the thing about romance novels: the relationship is the point, so anything that happens that doesn't directly relate to the two protagonists' journey to kissyface can be safely left out. But unlike BHT, my current novel is a fantasy, where the romance is important but far from the only thing that happens. I could, actually, leave the kissyface out and still describe the plot, but these days it seems you can't sell a novel without romance; so mentioning somewhere that yes, the heroine meets a hero for kissyface and mutual lifesaving is probably important.

So, bearing that in mind, how's this?:

This book has magic in it.
There is kissyface.
Lots of bad stuff happens.
No one actually dies.
Then end.

Perfect, right? :P

Okay, break's over. Back to work. Yay. I love writing. No, really.

It was a lot more fun making duck movie posters

taste_is_sweet: (Ride 'Em!)
My dreams: Shattered like a beaver dam hit by a maple syrup truck.
 photo CanadianSoul.jpg

Luckily, only metaphorically on fire! But I just found out on Monday that I'm going to have another publication. And, okay, so it's really small and it's my first publication since January, so maybe I'm just smouldering. But considering I never expected this sale in the first place, it's still pretty darn cool. Or freezing, really, but I'll get to that.

See, back in 2000 when they were still the (piping) hottest books in the Self Help section, I tried to have a story published in the then-upcoming Chicken Soup for the Canadian Soul. I wrote a true story about helping my mom rescue a pair of ducks who'd nearly gotten themselves frozen into the ice of our pond. Apparently the editors liked the story, but it didn't make it past their test audience (yes, CSftS has test audiences, like movies).

Apparently, the test audiences didn't think the story was 'Canadian Enough'. (But it was about ducks! In Ontario! In Winter! How could that not be Canadian?)

It's like mounties and back bacon. Seriously.
 photo NoBrainer.jpg



But it wasn't to be, so I moved on to something else and forgot about the story for nearly 14 years. At some point I even erased it from my hard drive.

And then on my birthday, I was contacted by the same editor. The CSftS people had started putting out books again, and she wanted my permission to submit the duck story--which she'd kept for over a decade--for Chicken Soup for the Soul: O Canada! The Wonders of Winter.

I scraped my jaw off the floor and told her yes, of course, and not quite two months later it made the final cut.

On the same day I got that very pleasant email, I read at The Mary Sue that apparently there will be a 'Chicken Soup for the Soul' movie. Because obviously Battleship wasn't sufficiently heart-warming.

So naturally--naturally!--this made me wonder what a CSftS movie about my duck story would be like. And Photoshop and I came up with some doubtlessly Oscar-worthy possibilities:

The obvious first choice of Sci-Fi/Horror; )



a thriller; )

and of course, the heartwarming, seasonal family movie. )


(And these are totally going in the 'Mutation' square of my [livejournal.com profile] hc_bingo card).

Quack!

taste_is_sweet: (Really You Can)
It's almost the end of May, and that means it's time for fanfic with a liberal dose of angst, misery, h/c and delirium. In other words: Spring Fever, my friends. Or as [livejournal.com profile] ariadnes_string calls it:

 photo Feverbannerredtext.jpg

RUNNING HOT III: HOTTER THAN EVER

Come on over and leave a prompt or find a prompt and write a fic! Any and all fandoms welcome, as long as you like it hot.

(With thanks to [livejournal.com profile] norgbelulah for inspiring the banner. Her better ones can be found here.)
taste_is_sweet: (That's me baby)
[Poll #1910872]

(The novel involves magic-users and kingdoms and blood sacrifice. In case it wasn't obvious.)

Thanks, Flisties! Your help is much appreciated. Sometimes I hate having to name novels even more than writing summaries.
taste_is_sweet: (Chuck was Worried)

I was all set to make my villains torch-and-pitchfork-because-of-fear villagers, because I liked the idea of my novel having antagonists but not any conventional villains. (This would be my next novel; the one I'm working on does have conventional tear-your-entrails-out-because-it's-fun villains. I'm trying to change things up, yo.)

Great idea, right? Of course! Awesome! Bring on the unconventionality! And then I realized that if I do that I have two problems. Two fairly big problems:

1) Unless I have the protagonist kill them all, they have no reason to stop coming after him*, and this isn't the kind of story where the actually-friendly protagonist will have time or opportunity to convince anyone of his good intentions. Which makes the happy ending problematic.

2) If I have the protagonist kill them all, he won't be the protagonist so much as a mass murderer. Which makes a happy ending impossible.

Oops.

Luckily, I have another idea! Sort of! I just wanted to share my useless doubtlessly fascinating insight. Now I need to motivate the bad guys.

*(my plan is to send this one to Dreamspinner Press, and they only take books with male protagonists. The novel I'm currently revising stars a woman. Yes, I felt the need to mention that.)

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

taste_is_sweet: (The Best Part of Disney Land)
In October, Javier wanted to take some of the seeds from his Halloween pumpkin and see if it would grow.

And it did! )
taste_is_sweet: (Brave Little Toaster)
Yes, oh best beloveds, I am now on Twitter. You can find me there either via Aundrea Singer or Taste_is_Sweet. I haven't tweeted anything yet in terror of it disappearing into the ether with a deafening and humiliating silence. Because I'm assuming that, like LJ, if you follow someone you can read their tweets, but no one will read your tweets unless they follow you, right?

I feel like the new kid in the high school cafeteria, here. Does anyone want to be my twitter friend? I promise I don't pick my nose in public and I bathe regularly.
taste_is_sweet: (Imagination Movers!)
And it's been over two months since I last posted, apparently. Oops.

Anyway! Here's my brand new [livejournal.com profile] hc_bingo card. I'm really happy with some of the prompts, though I have absolutely nothing in mind for any of them at the moment. I'm open for suggestions. :)

My last year's bingo card is here, if anyone's interested. Overall, I was quite happy with what I was able to come up with.

And here's my new one:

Tentacles body/mindswap alien abduction dystopia amnesia
Apocalypse nightmares heat stroke stalkers poisoning
Theft major illness WILD CARD cursed arrest
Body Image Issues dub-con sex pollen abuse kidnapping
Insomnia parting ways bites love spell / potion gone wrong bruises

Um, yay?

29/3/12 15:52
taste_is_sweet: (Miserably Ever After)
Took me two days to, essentially, add less than a full paragraph worth of words to a scene in the novel I'm editing.

I'm on page 66. Just thought I'd mention that.

::argh::
taste_is_sweet: (Miserably Ever After)
So. My first-ever finished novel: the one I started back in 1997 or '98; the one I kind of abandoned for five years and then finished in June (July?) of the year my son was born because I didn't want to have to tell him I'd never managed it; the one that got me an agent and then never got a publisher; the one I spent nearly two years waiting for Edge and Tesseract Books to finally reject and the one I recently decided I would edit--again--so I could self-publish it and maybe, actually, possibly, make some money with and hopefully get my name out there. Yeah, Dauntless. That one.

Well, I did indeed start editing it (again) this week, and it turns out it actually sucks.

Yep. There is suckage. It's slow (I knew it was slow; didn't think it was this slow), kind of histrionic in places, has too many characters, too much plot, too many dead ends and internal logic that's only logical if by 'logical' you mean, 'ridiculous'. I feel like I should apologize to everyone I've ever sent it to. ([livejournal.com profile] wpadmirer, you are a better friend than I knew.) Obviously when my agent said a big part of the reason he took me on was my willingness to accept suggestions, he really wasn't kidding. It sure as hell wasn't the book.

Naturally this is kind of disappointing, though sadly not as much of a surprise as I would've hoped. I spent a long time--too long; way, way too long--on this fucking thing and put a lot of effort into it (though not in the right places, apparently), and I like the characters and at least some of the ideas. So to have it come to nothing is pretty sad. I suppose it shows how much I've improved as a writer since my late 20s, but I was hoping the difference wouldn't be quite this dramatic, you know?

I could salvage it by losing at least eight characters and basically rewriting everything else, but maybe it's just time to give it up as a bad job and set it aside once and for all. I have plenty of other ideas, and now I even know how to write an outline.

I haven't erased the novel, though. I'm not quite ready to do that. Maybe one day I'll be known enough as an author that it'll be publishable. Or maybe years from now I'll open the file again and have a good laugh, or cry, or just smile and finally put it in the recycle folder. Or maybe I'll print it out; we could always use more scrap.
taste_is_sweet: (Default)
The marvelous [livejournal.com profile] mific chose five of my icons for me to talk about. If you'd like to play, go ahead and leave a request in the comments. :D

Here we go:

Fallen Angel Icon

This gorgeous picture was made by [livejournal.com profile] nightingaledies and is a detail from a larger digital painting. The fact that the broken angel is Sheppard from Stargate: Atlantis made the icon that much sadder and especially appealing. Incidentally, I started using the icon for this post, which actually has nothing to do with angels.

Shades of Grey Icon

I made this one in Photoshop Elements 7. I used a screencap of Sheppard from the Doppelganger episode where he believes McKay's died, because I love the eloquence of his devastated expression. I didn't end up with anything I liked enough to use for wallpaper, but I think it makes a pretty cool icon.

Pills Icon

Made by [livejournal.com profile] ileliberte. I love using this one for discussions about medical things and/or illegal substances. :)

Name that Poultry Icon

Another icon I made. I really love this one, especially for how it makes no sense without the context. It's actually a quote from a season two episode of Deadliest Warrior, which pitted an American SWAT team against their German counterparts GSG9. During the episode we found out that part of the GSG9 training includes toughening up the greenie by making them kill a chicken. But you don't just kill the chicken. First, you have to name that chicken. And spend some time with it.

I know you had to be there, but trust me; in context it was absolutely hilarious.

Being Vague Icon

Made by moira_faeii (though either I'm spelling her name incorrectly or she's not on LJ anymore), using a design from a t-shirt company whose name I can't remember. It still makes me smile every time I read it, because it's almost as fun as doing this other thing.

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