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: (FitzSimmons in the Water)
Oh yes! You read that right, O, Best-Beloveds. It's [livejournal.com profile] hc_bingo Time! Last year I kicked that puppy to the curb (and then comforted it) with 16 fills. I don't know how I'll do this year, but I've already filled a square two squares and will have fills for at least two more by the end of the summer. \o/

I love this challenge so much.

Here's my card! And seriously, this is one of the least-stressful challenges ever. You can take part every year even if you never fill a square, and you have an entire year to write/make anything. It's awesome. :D And I love H/C like kittens, so it just makes me really, really happy.

Here's my card:

shipwrecked caught in a robbery Hugs arena Accidental Mating for Life
Magical Trouble washing / bathing someone Stockholm syndrome forced to rely on enemy / rival Unwanted Transformation
Forced to Face Fear Dub-Con WILD CARD Healers culture shock
Protecting / Losing Precious object Person Motion Sickness De-Age Toothache Atonement
prostitution skeletons in the closet Captivity Blood Loss arrest


Look at all that wonderful torment. :D
taste_is_sweet: (Aiden's Angel)
Tomorrow evening, my dear Flisties, you'll be able to find me staging a Twitter Takeover with my good buddy and partner in crime [livejournal.com profile] sgamadison. We'll be using the @dreamspinners account between 7 and 9 pm Eastern time (That's 6 and 8 Central). We'll be answering questions and discussing our books, and I'd love to see some of you there. :D

The other animals are were-dinosaurs. Specifically, seven lines of my current WIP novel, which I've lovingly given the working title of 'Gay Were-Dinosaurs of the Pseudo Amish Apocalypse'. I was tagged by [livejournal.com profile] brumeier, to take seven lines from the seventh page of a current WIP. So here ya go, a perfect two paragraphs:

The other end of the chain on the crazy hybrid's ankle was attached to one of the exposed metal supports in the crumbling concrete wall that surrounded the village. The enclosure for the hybrids used the wall as one side. The rest of the rectangle was made of nothing sturdier than thick pieces of wood. The fact that the two unchained hybrids hadn't leapt over the fence or broken it down and slaughtered every single person in the village was only because they were too weak to do it.

Kai sneered in disgust and allowed himself the soft growl that wanted to escape from his throat. He'd be the first to agree that the hybrids were horrifically destructive and the most dangerous land-animal on what was left of the planet, but they didn't deserve to be treated like this. This was torture by neglect.


And I'm tagging seven more:

[livejournal.com profile] sgamadison
[livejournal.com profile] debris_k
[livejournal.com profile] natsuko_writer
[livejournal.com profile] annieb1955
[livejournal.com profile] wildpear
[livejournal.com profile] iadorespike
[livejournal.com profile] tigertale7
taste_is_sweet: (Vague)
I tell ya, O, best-beloveds, sometimes I think that Americans have a hell of a lot of trouble with the metric system.

Now, I readily admit that the basis for my hypothesis is pretty thin (compelling argument though it is, the loss of NASA's Mars Orbiter due to engineers using imperial units instead of metric happened way back in 1999). But when I come across conversion errors, they tend to be kind of mind-boggling.

Like the sci-fi book I read some years ago, where the narrator was describing that 18 degrees Celsius was cold enough for his breath to mist. That's around 64 Fahrenheit, which is definitely too warm for ice crystals. Unless the author actually meant 18 degrees kelvin, which is -255 C or -427 F, in which case, yes. Definitely breath misting. And a much shorter novel due to the protagonist instantly freezing to death.

Admittedly, that novel was also published in the 90s, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and you couldn't just type '18 degrees C in F' and get an instant answer. But in 2012, there was no excuse for messing up the metric versus imperial thing. And yet, the sci-fi novel I'm currently reading was first published in 2012, and messed it up within the first few pages.

Overall, I've been enjoying Gravitational Attraction by Angel Martinez immensely. Unlike loads of other M/M novels, there are very cool female characters in it, and the main character isn't white. And so far the plot's compelling with H/C in spades (which, you may remember, I love like kittens).

Pictured with his girlfriend Nicole Alexander, who is 5' 2" (1.57 m). She can literally climb him like a tree.
Shaq and girlfriend

But--and you knew there was one--the love interest is described at being "well over" two meters tall. Well over two meters, people. And yet, somehow, the crew of the space courier that rescues the guy can find pants long enough for him. Though really, as a reader that was the least of my concerns.

Here's the thing: Two meters is 6 feet, 7 inches. "Well over" that is getting into Shaquille O'Neal territory (He's 7' 1", which is 2.16 meters).

Unfortunately, so far the novel hasn't said how tall the protagonist is, but he's clearly of Japanese descent and described as slender and obviously smaller than his giant boyfriend. So I'm going to guess not much over 5' 10" or 1.78 m (As of 2004, the average height in Japan was 5' 6" or 1.59 meters, so I'm being generous).

This is close to what it would look like, as demonstrated by Peter Meyhew, who is 7' 2" (2.19 m) and Harrison Ford, who is a mere 6' 1" (1.85 m):

You gotta admit though, it is kind of adorable.
Peter Mayhew

I'm not sure if that discrepancy is what the author intended, especially if his or her slender, small protagonist is shorter than Harrison Ford. Which he probably is. Especially as I'm fairly certain the size difference wouldn't end at height, so to speak.

Because, if the apparently seven-foot tall love interest is, shall we say, proportionate everywhere (and there was specific mention made of him being lucky to find a pair of boots that fit. And you know what they say about men's foot sizes), then, well. I just hope he goes for a lot of preparation, that's all I'm saying. I mean, sure, Shaq is obviously not pulling a Vlad the Impaler on Nicole every time they knock boots (which they can't, because he's too tall). But, you know, babies come out of there; there's a certain amount of leeway.

Not quite so much with the menfolk, I'm thinking. And ass-babies only exist in fanfic.

So, either the author is going with the reverse meaning of 'size doesn't matter' (that's a myth, for all my SGA homies), or 'two meters' doesn't mean what he or she thinks it means. Either way, like a hapless NASA orbiter in the hands of Lockheed Martin engineers, there's going to be a lot of crashing and burning. Or at least burning.

Definitely a lot of burning.

taste_is_sweet: (Vague)
Meet John: biblical, dependable, easy to pronounce and one of the most popular American names for the last 100 years. Name of kings, princes, presidents, philosophers and my brother-in-law, it conjures up thoughts of loyalty and steadfastness, simplicity and quiet strength. John will always pull kitties out of wells and get his gun and come marching home (hurrah!) and hold the line.

I'm sure it's for those reasons that John is also a name given to a hilariously astonishing number of fictional characters (There was even a John Doe TV series, but I'm not sure that counts). What I find especially interesting is that John is so often used as a first name for the lead character, when the fact its such a common name would imply that the author couldn't think of anything more interesting. Though I suppose that also works in the name's favor, since you could also argue that a John will be instantly more familiar with the audience than, say, an Anthony or Rodney.

A couple of weeks ago, [livejournal.com profile] brumeier and I spent a good half-hour coming up with as many fictional Johns as we could. We eventually branched into Jack as well, because Jack used to be a nickname for John.

Here, with a very few more recent additions, were what we came up with off the top of our heads:

(All the links go to Wikipedia, because that was easiest and there are a hell of a lot of links.)

John Sheppard (Stargate: Atlantis)
John Kennex (Almost Human)
John Diggle (Arrow)
John Garrett (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
John Dunne (Magnificent Seven)
John Connor (Terminator Franchise)
John Chricton (Farscape)
Johann Schmidt (Captain America Franchise)
John Constantine (Hellblazer Comic)
John Carter (John Carter of Mars Franchise)
John Snow (A Song of Ice and Fire Series/Game of Thrones)
John Winchester (Supernatural)
John Locke (Lost)
John Watson (Sherlock Holmes)
Little John (Robin Hood)
Johnny Blaze (Ghost Rider Franchise)
Johnny Storm (Fantastic Four Franchise)
Johnny Mnemonic (Johnny Mnemonic)

Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise)
Jack Harkness (Torchwood)
Jack O'Neill (Stargate: SG-1)
Jack Carter (Eureka)
Jack (Jack the Giant Slayer/Killer and many, many other versions)
Jaq-Jaq (Disney's Cinderella)
Jack (Oblivion)
Jack Burton (Big Trouble in Little China)
Jack Shephard (Lost)
Jack Power (Power Pack Comic)

Crazy, right? And that's just off the top of our heads. I'm sure you guys know even more Johns and Jacks we haven't thought of, and that's not including the countless Johns and Jacks who appear in fairy tales and nursery rhymes.

I also find it hilarious how SyFy named two characters Jack and two characters John in four different series, and that Lost had a John and a Jack (and a James!). I also love how Jack's last name was 'Shephard', likely for the same reason as John Sheppard on SGA. They roll trippingly off the tongue, do those J names.

So, did we miss any Johns or Jacks, O Best-Beloveds? Any other names that you see on fictional characters all the time? (James seems pretty popular too, as does Peter and Steve.) Any non-American ones? I'd love to hear 'em.
taste_is_sweet: (Please be Advised)
Hey, you--yeah, you with the skin-tight leather and angry squint. Word is you want to be a super villain.

What do you mean, 'whose word?' It's just, Word, all right? It is known and all that crap. Word on the street. Whatever. Can we continue, please?

Thank you.

Anyway, as I was saying, you obviously want to be a super villain. Yes, I can tell. It's the black outfit and the squint. No, you couldn't be a SHIELD agent. They use zippers.

All right, fine. Let's say that you're a SHIELD agent, but a bad one. I don't know--maybe you went rogue or something. I'm sure it happens all the time. Maybe Loki did his heartwash thing and now your eyes are all freaky and you turned on your friends.

NO, IT CAN'T BE...Okay, sure. It can be for love. Love is great. But you need weapons. Can we please get to the weapons already?

Nope, no guns. See? This is why I said you couldn't be a SHIELD agent; they pretty much only use guns. Well, Hawkeye doesn't but it's still a projectile weapon.

The zippers weren't the only reason, okay? Just the main one. You have buckles. It's a thing.

Hawkeye has zippers too. Seriously, go look it up.

Great. Are we ready now? Or do you need another twenty pages of backstory? Fantastic.

So, weapons. But not guns. Because you're a super villain. They have powers, or badass martial-arts skills, or magic, or their terrifying intellect. Or maybe swords or knives. No guns.

Maybe you should choose something else. I'm sorry, your intellect isn't that terrifying. Or worrying. 'Irritating' doesn't count.

You can't be Natasha. Because she already exists, that's why. And she's not evil.

I'm pretty sure that 'Mirror Universe' thing only works in Star Trek.

No, you can't be Khan either.

Yes! Yes, you can use a crossbow. A crossbow is great. Good idea. But Hawkeye's taken, and he's a good guy. Yes he is, that was Loki's fault. No, he didn't go rogue for love.

He doesn't use crossbows anyway. I have no idea why. He doesn't use guns either.

I never said that only super villains don't use guns. I just said super villains don't use guns. Hawkeye can not-use guns if he wants to.

A crossbow would be way cooler than Hawkeye's bow, absolutely. No, I'm not just saying that so you don't change your mind.

Sure, you can call yourself 'Eagle eye', what the hell. I agree that Hawkeye needs his very own arch enemy. That's quite kind of you.

No, you can't marry Natasha. Because she's a hero. And you can't--

You know what? Sure. You went rogue because of your love for Natasha. I'm certain it happens all the time.

Are we done with the weapon, now? You have your weapon? No backsies, right? You're a crossbow-wielding badass super villain. Now you just need a secret lair.

Not the Stark Building.
taste_is_sweet: (Bad Decisions)
I love the interweebs, I do. Oh, I do, with the unbridled passion of a thousand fiery suns. What did I ever do without the internet besides probably being way more productive? I can't even remember; it's just that awesome.

This is also another glimpse into the occasionally bizarre machinations of my brain (though at least not as bizarre as it can occasionally get). Let me show you:

Last night, I read this article on Cracked.Com, which I highly recommend not actually visiting unless you don't mind losing hours of your life. Many, many hours.

This particular time warp in written form was a list (Cracked.com loves lists) of 6 superpowers that would actually suck to have. The most awful was a Wolverine-esque healing factor. The author posited that having a healing factor that would allow you to survive almost any wound wouldn't = 'awesome' so much as 'horrific PTSD'. Which gave me ideas.

Always dangerous.
 photo Ideas.jpg

This will doubtless amaze anyone who knows me, but I kind of have a thing for (fictional! Dear God, fictional!) emotional and physical H/C, something that has served me well in the past. So instead of going to sleep at you're-an-idiot o'clock in the morning I started thinking of a story plot involving some poor schmuck who could heal really fast and how psychologically godawful it was.

At first I thought this'd be fanfic, but I decided I couldn't be that horrible to Captain America (or John Sheppard again). Besides, everyone knows that when you hurt Steve Rogers a kitten dies.

Most Marvel Universe fanfiction is known as the Great AO3 Kitten Massacre.
 photo Kitten.jpg

With fanfiction obviously out, I figured I'd write something original that took place during WWII, with my own original superhero. Canadian, of course. Only I couldn't call him 'Captain Canuck' or 'Captain Canada', because that had a) been done and b) was kind of lame. And since our national animal is not only furry and adorable, but also regrettably associated with female anatomy, I couldn't use that, either. So I went to the web to see what other nicknames for Canadians I could use.

And here my adventures began.

As it turns out, 'Canuck' pretty much encompasses the entire gamut of Canadian nicknames. But at least my fruitless Googling turned up Johnny Canuck, a Canadian equivalent of Captain America who kicked Nazi ass during WW II. Even cooler, the Wikipedia article link I found said that a publishing house called Moonstone had started a new series starring Johnny Canuck and a bunch of other Canadian superheros.

Naturally I zapped over to Moonstone, and discovered that they were selling the first three issues ridiculously cheap, so I bought them. Then, wondering if there were any more, I clicked on the link for the artist and discovered that he's Canadian too, and also actually famous.

Sadly, it seems that Northern Guard is no more, probably because almost no one outside Canada had heard of them. Hell, I used to live in Canada and I hadn't heard of most of them, either. But Mr. Templeton did have this really awesome list of famous fictional Canadians that made me feel better.

So all in all, while my research was technically fruitless, I did get some new comic books out of it and more warm fuzzies about my homeland. Which we could use right now in Texas, being as we're at the ass-end of a major ice storm.

Of course, it's still colder in Canada. But they're used to it.

(The photos are 'Thinking Woman Looking Up' by David Castillo Dominici, and 'Sad Kitten' by Tina Phillps, via Free Digital Photos.net.)

taste_is_sweet: (But some of us are looking at the stars)
Might as well get this out of the way now: I love fictional androids. It's the whole not-human-but-striving-to-be-and/or-understand-humans thing, especially when they're used to point out all the very, very many ways that we humans don't make any sense. And I love the cynical but lonely humans who get paired with the androids and then, despite themselves, fall in love become their friend.

I may have written fanfiction on that very premise. I admit nothing.

As you can imagine, with my love of human-like robots, I was looking forward to Almost Human the way my son is looking forward to Christmas. The show's set in the near-future, where cops are issued robots like handguns. Karl Urban plays John Kennex (not to be confused with John Sheppard or any of the thousands of other fictional characters called 'John'), who is an embittered, physically and emotionally scarred, cynical and guilt-ridden detective.

Naturally, Kennex's go-to problem solving method is violence, including killing incapacitated bad guys (because due process is for pussies, amirite?) and getting rid of things that bug him by throwing them out. Of his car. On the freeway. (Because safety and private property are also for pussies.)


Start at .22 for the full impact. Heh.

He is reluctantly paired with Dorian, a sweet, thoughtful, kind and beautiful heroic android, who sees the special snowflake inside Kennex and immediately saves his life. Or maybe he's programmed that way; the show is a little unclear on that point. Anyway, they form a forced but then genuine partnership based on sarcastic jibes and mutual antagonism. And together they solve crime.

Michael Ealy is totally lovable. Look at that lovable smile.
 photo MichaelEaly.jpg

What's not to love, right? It promised to be a mash-up of Blade Runner, RoboCop and Due South, except where the Mountie's a robot and the Cop would be played by a New Zealander instead of a Canadian.

And then it finally aired, and four episodes later the show just makes me sad.

I've been trying to put my finger on exactly why a show that's ostensibly exactly what I could ever want has disappointed me so much. I think it's because, for something set up to be more about human/android relations than crime solving, it's turned out to be pretty much Law and Order: Everyone Has a Robot. I have no idea what rights Dorian may or may not have; I have no idea how he may feel about those rights; I don't even know what he does in his off-hours or where he does it. Does he go into standby mode? Does he borrow Kennex's desk and play spider solitaire? Does he have a designated wall-socket? Does he dream of electric sheep? All I know for sure after four episodes is that he doesn't want to die (not exactly a shock) and that he's way more useful than an iPhone.

What really gets my synthetic goat, though, is how the production of the show itself conforms so much to the status quo that you can paint the lack of inclusion by number. Of six regular cast members, only two are women, and the only female androids have been sex-bots.

Even worse, So far in the series the only people of color have been extras or have played bit parts. And yes, that includes Michael Ealy.

Why? Because he plays an android. His role in the show is as an other, not as a human. Dorian isn't a person of color because he isn't a person at all. I might feel differently if Dorian was more than an ingenious cipher, but until we find out how he feels about, well, anything, he isn't. And unfortunately, the show seems to be in no hurry to change that, either.

So instead of watching the beautiful men bantering, looking at each other longingly and saving each others' lives, I keep waiting for the show I wanted to actually begin. The body may be shiny and very nice to look at, but I'm still searching for a heart of gold.

taste_is_sweet: (My OTP has issues)
Oh yes, my best-beloveds. The Write Something, You Miserable Fuck LJ community is up and running and looking to share the pain! The annual membership drive is driving and will be until late on October 31, just in time for National Novel Writing Month! (Does anyone not know about that? Whatevs--links are fun.)

WriSoMiFu's goals are a little less...ambitious than NaNo. Instead of smacking out at least 50k words in a month, the WriSo goal is to write for at least ten minutes a day.

Yep, ten minutes. We all can do that, right? And then the best part is that you can bitch and moan about it as much as you like in the comments of the daily check-in posts. You get misery; you get company; you get productivity, what's not to love?

I love it, personally. It's fun and supportive, and I've met some really cool LJ friends via WriSo, too. So head on over to [livejournal.com profile] fitofpique's Live Journal and sign up. Seriously. All the cool kids are doing it.
taste_is_sweet: (Keep Calm and Arrrgh!)
Say you want a Revolution, one that decimates civilization as we know it but without the pesky piles of corpses or shambling dead. How would you do it, if you were, for example, a television producer with perhaps more enthusiasm than interest in logic or scientific accuracy?

(Please be advised that below are spoilers for the pilot episode of The Walking Dead and the Big Reason for the lack of electricity on Revolution.)

Why, you'd create a action/adventure/drama/wholesale carnage series with the premise that once upon a time 15 years or so before the action starts, some science people did the usual Well Meant but Very Bad Sciencey things (because reasons) and created wee little nanobots with the sole purpose of eating electricity and reproducing themselves.

"You'll be cool if I leave you here for a few weeks. Right, buddy?"
 photo Coma.jpg

I'll let you think about the inherent problem of that while I chew on (ha!) that other show where civilization's been decimated, this time by The Walking Dead. (See what I did there?) This show bothers me for many reasons, not least of which is how animated corpses could rot so damn slowly in a warm climate. But the thing that bugs me the most is how our hero, Rick, misses the chaos of the outbreak because he's in a coma.

This isn't the first time this trope has been used (I know it was part of the premise for 28 Days Later), but it still makes me crazy. Being in a coma ≠ being in suspended animation. Being left unattended in a coma for weeks = certain and rapid death. It only takes three days to die of dehydration, regardless of how inactive your brain might be at the time. Not to mention infections, edema, starvation--if you even last that long--and blood clots.

Needless to say, when the entire premise of a show makes me crazy, I'm not going to be a big fan. And few shows make me crazier than Revolution.

No matter how badass everyone looks with the old-timey weapons.
 photo Capture.jpg

Remember those nanobots that eat electricity? Well, they were designed to eat all electricity. Everywhere. And it's been mentioned many times that the nanobots are inside everyone's bodies, too.

The thing is, human brains need electricity to function Hell, as far as I can understand it, so does all life on Earth. Electricity-absorbing nanobots wouldn't just kill our smart phones, they would kill everything. Our planet would be a static-free, sterile ball of dirt.

If I had to choose, I'd rather have a ball of dirt covered with lurching cadavers and the desperate remnants of humanity. But really, I'd rather sleep through both of them. ;)

(Pictures courtesy of Screencapped.net and Google Images.)

taste_is_sweet: (Atlantis and the Storm)
This post is almost spoiler-free, but I feel I should warn ayway. :)

Let me say this immediately, lest anyone think this is a bad film: It is not, by any means, a bad film. I really, really enjoyed it. Guillermo del Toro obviously loves giant monsters and giant robots, and he is exceptional at world-building and visual details. Considering this was basically a live-action Anime, it packed an emotional punch that had me almost in tears at one point and actually crying at another. It was also scary as all hell in some places. Not because of the violence or gore (there's surprisingly little, considering it's giant robots fighting giant monsters), but because the survival of the robots and thus their pilots is so precarious. The Mary Sue has a very nice review of the movie here, if you're interested (beware some minor spoilers). It was a great movie and I'm sure I'll be seeing it again.

But (and there always is one, alas) for a movie that was so wonderfully surprising (I never expected to cry during a movie about giant monsters fighting giant robots), it was also surprisingly predictable. I mean, how many of you awesome flisties haven't guessed who's going to kak it from the trailer alone? And if you've seen the trailers, then the first death is pretty obvious too.

A hell of a lot is pretty obvious, actually, but that's just narrative stuff, and it was kind of fun being able to point out to my less movie-savvy son what was likely going to happen next because that's what happens in these kind of movies. A little less fun was how the young hothead was Australian, the twitchy, over-excited scientist was American, and the twitchy, uptight mathematician was of course a Brit. Or how the Russians were large, taciturn and smirkily aloof, and piloted a Jaeger (the giant robots) that looked like something out of Bladerunner as envisioned by Stalin. And that death we all saw coming in the trailer, which was the worst. Can't filmmakers ever think of using anyone other than stereotypes?

Though it was pretty cool that one of the two Russians was female. Considering that in the movie the whole world has been fighting the Kaiju for years and populations have been decimated, one might think that the sibling or parent/child teams chosen to pilot the Jaegers might include at least one pair of sisters, or a father and daughter (or, hey, a mother and daughter) instead of yet another pair of brothers or father and son. Don't get me wrong--Mako Mori is an awesome female character. But I really wish she wasn't one of only two. Charlie Hunnam is nice to look at, and Raleigh Becket, the character he played, was sweetly heroic. But 'Raleigh' is a perfectly acceptable girl's name, and the wonderful 'chosen family' relationship between the two main characters wouldn't have been diminished in the least if Raleigh actually had been a woman. Hell, I think it would've made the movie even better.

Less predictable, too, in the best way possible. And wow, would I ever love that.
taste_is_sweet: (That's me baby)
I got my new [livejournal.com profile] hc_bingo card (do-dah; do-dah). It looks promising. And painful.

Here! It's under here! )

I have an idea that would fill the 'pneumonia' prompt, as well as two other prompts from different challenges, but my heart is with my original novels-in-progress at the moment. I would also love to be able to work all 25 prompts into one story, but the 'magical trouble' doesn't quite fit. ('Difficult pregnancy' might be a problem as well, come to think of it.)

I'm sure that once again I won't have anything finished before the point-less (but not pointless, heh) amnesty period, but this will be fun anyway. And if I'm really lucky, maybe I'll be inspired to write something that gets published. YOU NEVER KNOW.

(My previous two cards are here for 2011 and here for 2012.)
taste_is_sweet: (Wonderland)
This is one of the best fanvids ever, as far as I'm concerned. It's a grand, glorious and sometimes funny celebration of sci-fi fandom--and their starships. Especially their starships. Set to the music of Niki Minaj's Starships. Of course. And there's plenty of Star Wars, Star Trek: Voyager, Firefly and Stargate: Atlantis, which makes me extra-happy.

As forever, I found this via The Mary Sue. Needless to say the lyrics are NSFW.

ETA: Very belatedly let me credit [livejournal.com profile] bironic, who made this vid of awesome.

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: (Target Acquired!)
I've got another published story coming out! And it has a cat in it!

It's Gordon's Cat in the anthology Don't Try This At Home from Dreamspinner Press. I'm writing as Aundrea Singer.

Gordon's Cat is my third story published by Dreamspinner. The others are Skunk, Bryan, Spoon (and a Badger) in Necking, and A Fairy in his Bed (which I wrote with my sister [livejournal.com profile] squeakyoflight) in Myths and Magic: Legends of Love.

Don't Try This At Home is a collection of lighthearted stories about all the little things that can go wrong in relationships, especially the sex part of relationships. My story was inspired by the 'angry cat' in the anthology description, and the cat in the story is very loosely based on my mom's first cat, Pusscat.

Pusscat was a big, ornery black-and-white tom who adopted my mom one night by climbing through her New York apartment window. He was one of those stubborn, opinionated and truly awesome cats that only come along a few times in an owner's lifetime. My mom wrote a song about him:

Meow, meow, meow, Pusscat!
Meow, meow, meow, Pusscat!
Meow, meow, meow, Pusscat!
Meow, meow, meow!


Well, it wasn't a good song, but it was fun to sing when I was three. I also enjoyed chasing Pusscat down the hallway, which wasn't very nice. But he almost clawed one of my eyes out in retaliation, so I'd say we're even.

As you can probably guess, when my mom brought my dad home the first time, Pusscat wasn't happy about it. Pusscat would delight in jumping on my dad's back, claws first, when he and my mom were...talking, and Pusscat would only sharpen his nails on my dad's very expensive leather furniture. In revenge, my dad would sneak up on Pusscat while he was mid-scratch, and whack him in the butt with a rolled-up newspaper. Apparently all the adrenaline cured Pusscat of his kidney stones.

Pusscat went to his greater reward while I was still a child, but he's forever immortalized in silly songs and embarrassing anecdotes, so it was a natural for me to base Chelsea, Gordon's cat, on him.

I'll post my usual free-ebook contest next week when the book is released on October 8. In the meantime, here's an excerpt of the upcoming story:

Gordon's Cat, by Aundrea Singer )
taste_is_sweet: (But some of us are looking at the stars)
Harper Voyager to Accept Unagented Manuscripts for Two Weeks

I don't think I can take advantage of this--I have an agent, and he couldn't sell the one manuscript I had finished. Not to mention that it's the same novel I realized kind of sucks.

So unfortunately, no. Probably not for me. But I'm happy to pass on the opportunity. :D

Harper Voyager to Accept Unagented Manuscripts for Two Weeks - GalleyCat
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
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: (Imagination Movers!)
Because I first read about this on [livejournal.com profile] ariadnes_string's LJ and then saw that [livejournal.com profile] alyse and all the other cool kids were doing it, I've decided to sign up for [livejournal.com profile] hc_bingo.

This might seem like an exercise in futile insanity (I'd say 'whimsical insanity' but I don't do whimsy), but it's not, I swear! I have a plan.

The first part of the plan is to take merciless advantage of the fact that you don't have to fill in the entire card to succeed at this thing and that you can also take an entire year to do it. The second part of the plan is to use the prompts as inspiration for original fic*, because one can never have too much inspiration and if I do this right I might just end up with a collection of stories I can either try to get into professional anthologies or self-publish on Amazon.com.

I'm stoked about this, I have to say. Pretty much everything I write turns into H/C eventually, and I'm already having a great time thinking of how I can use some of these prompts to help expand vignettes I've written into full novellas or novels. Heck, nearly the whole card seems tailor-made for the Pape and Danforth thing I've been poking at. Well, maybe not the "Archaic Medicine"... (ETA: Naturally the first one I filled was "Archaic Medicine".)

Anyway, here's my card under the cut. Pretty cool, huh? Except the "Poltergeist" prompt, because ghosts kind of freak me out.

My hc_bingo card )



*Except for the SGA fanfic I'm going to write for [livejournal.com profile] raphe1 because of her winning and extremely awesome bid at [livejournal.com profile] help_japan.
taste_is_sweet: (Carry This Weight)
More awesomeness via The Mary Sue. In this case a piece of music that's either modern folk or filk, depending on how you hear it (I think it's filk; how about you guys?), and a brilliant, funny and thought-provoking vid to go with it. I've watched the video a bunch of times now and I've embedded it here partially just so I can find it again, because I love it so much. :) And I bought the song as well.

I also got a kick out of seeing how many shows or movies I could recognize. Not all that many, but I do wish they'd had more than the one clip from the Stargate 'verse. What about Teyla Emmagan or Sam Carter? (But hey, Lexx!)

So, yes. Highly recommended. Hope you enjoy.



(Song by The Imagined Village; Vid by Charmax76. There is a list of all the clip sources in the vid info on YouTube.)

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