taste_is_sweet: (Danno Loves You)
Today, I am pleased to inform all and sundry, is the Beautiful [livejournal.com profile] brumeier's birthday! In honor of this auspicious event, I have forced cajoled bribed threatened been lucky enough to elicit Rodney McKay's help in creating a music mix for her. You can see how thrilled he is.

McKay the Grumpy Astronaut

Happy birthday, sweetheart! I hope you have a great day!

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: (Boom Baby!)
It's been nearly two months since my last personal LJ post, O, Best-Beloveds, which means I've spectacularly failed my New Year's Resolutions. (I did, however, post at least once a week to [livejournal.com profile] ushobwri for NaNoWriMo, but you need to be a member to read them. They were awesome though, just saying. And you should totally become a member if you haven't already. Seriously, all the cool kids are doing it.)

However, even if I haven't been posting anything here, I've still been doing, stuff like a stuff-doing thing, let me tell you. Baking giant chocolate-chip cookies, for example. And writing my gift-fic for the final Stargate: Atlantis Secret Santa Gift Fic Exchange ever. ::sniffle:: (Posting for that starts on the 14th, and the marvelous mods will be asking for more pitch-hitters imminently. JUST THROWING THAT OUT THERE.)

I also finished and posted my epic Captain America/My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic crossover of epicness for the [livejournal.com profile] intoabar community! (I posted about it here, and it was epic.)

Bucky and Steve are not, actually, ponies. But I did manage to turn a cracky premise into nearly 40,000 words of angst, because that's how I trot roll. I'm actually quite proud of it, so I hope you might give it a read if improbable fanfiction crossovers are your thing. (The Archive of our Own collection of Intoabar fics is here, if you're interested. And you should be, because the world needs more Hawaii 5-0/Teen Wolf fics like burning.)

Only With the Heart as the CA/MLP fic is called, also fills the 'Invisibility' square of my Hurt/Comfort Bingo Card, which you may note I've been killing this year, Sweetpeas. Or at least hurting quite badly with comforting afterwards. Heh.

Last but not least, I've been mainlining YouTube vids. This is one of my current favorites:

And there goes another $1.29 to iTunes, Oh, la la.

So, yeah, totally stuffy, or something. And always happy to give. I'm a giver. <3

Do you Lovelies have anything to share and/or crow about for me? I'll bet you do, Chickadees! And after all, it's the holidays and sharing is caring (Oh, la la).

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: (My OTP has issues)
Over at [livejournal.com profile] ushobwri (and why haven't you joined it yet? They have such cool stuff) today, the topic is pet peeves in fanfiction--as in, the stuff that makes one backspace quicker than a porn pop-up add at the office, or keeps you reading only for the hate.

Now, I'm not saying I actually read or write fanfiction, because I'm trying to be all professional an' shit. But if I did, my pettiest peeve ever would be what I call "Passive-Agressive Utopia Fics".

Passive-Agression, if you, O best-beloveds, are unaware of the term, is basically trying to make other people do all the emotional work for you in a conflict. A perfect example is someone who will brood in hurt silence until you realize you upset them and apologize--only for them to then turn around and berate the fuck out of you for the original transgression. Another perfect example is someone who will mope and sigh for hours, but won't say anything's wrong until you ask. Even worse is when you ask and they say, 'nothing', because if you loved them enough you'd already know.

Guilty yet?
 photo Wormpic.jpg

As you can imagine, and have probably read, this shows up fairly often in fic. It generally follows a particular pattern:

1) The most beloved but flawed (and occasionally badly treated) character (think Rodney McKay of Stargate: Atlantis or Ezra Standish of the 1998 The Magnificent Seven TV series) will experience something in canon that is perceived as cruel and/or unfair by his fans (I'm sure female versions of such characters exist, but I can't remember encountering any).

2) The fans, angry at this character's perceived helplessness and unjust suffering, then write a story either dealing directly with the ep where the unfairness happened, or a story that keeps the same general theme of bad treatment.


---The Beloved Helpless Character will be treated with great cruelty and prejudice by the other characters, often to an uncharacteristic or even absurd extent. Shunning may occur in retaliation for something the BHC did in canon or otherwise, or threats to the BHC's continued acceptance in the group and/or employment. Rarely, their life.
---The BHC will not contest this or stand up for himself in any way. There may be an attempt at protest or apology, but this will be rebuffed by the other characters. The BHC will subsequently just accept his fate.
---The BHC will either ostracize himself from the group, or, already shunned, go off alone and/or cease all but minimal communication or interaction with the other characters. Rodney McKay may take himself to the wretched bowels of Atlantis to do horribly unpleasant menial repairs unworthy of his skills and intelligence. Ezra Standish may leave Four Corners without telling anyone, preferably by riding into a monsoon or blizzard.
--- OR, the BHC will attempt or actually commit suicide, or will be believed to have died by the other characters. The BHC will then get to, in essence, attend his own funeral and witness the other characters' praise of him and their remorse at his ill-treatment. (If the BHC dies, then the reader is their proxy for this.)
---The BHC, due to their misery and the privations of their ostracizing, will become horribly ill and/or injured. It will likely take days to find them, unless they manage to drag themselves back to aid. Either the other characters will have begun a frantic search at this point, or will not even realize the BHC was in peril because he's been shunned to the point of insignificance.
---A character who is the BHC's True Friend and The Only One Who Understands Them (like Rodney McKay's buddy Carson Beckett, who is conveniently a doctor, or Ezra Standish's Mom) will then proceed to berate the fuck out of the other characters for their cruelty, generally while standing at the bedside of the insensate and possibly dying BHC. The True Friend will also, if necessary, explain the BHC's real motivations for their original offending action(s) and basically make the other characters go fetal with guilt. Unless they're already fetal with guilt, in which case the True Friend's job is to make them feel even worse about their treatment.
---The BHC naturally survives and either returns to his previous position within the group or gets some kind of promotion. Occasionally he'll leave for a better offer from people who will appreciate him. Either way, the other characters will fall all over themselves in apology and remorse, which the BHC will righteously milk for all it's worth. Maybe, if he deigns to stay with his former abusers, at the end of the fic he'll begin to forgive them. Maybe.

As you've probably guessed, I call these kinds of fics "Passive-Agressive Utopia" because it's possibly the one place in the universe where the tactic actually works exactly the way its adherents would want it to. Their BHCs are vindicated, glorified and defended, all without them actually having to do anything. They go eat worms because nobody loves them and everybody hates them, and they really do get admired for it; they nearly or actually commit suicide and everyone really is sorry. It's the best of all possible worlds.

And honestly, who wouldn't want that? I still have to remind myself sometimes that my darling husband can't read my mind so if I'm pissed off I need to tell him. It's scary to admit you're angry when you've been raised never to show it. How awesome would it be not to have to?

So I get it, I really do. I just wish it didn't show up so often. And you'd better agree with me, or I'm going to slink off and sit outside in the rain until I get pneumonia. And then you'll be sorry.

Picture is courtesy of antpkr at freedigitalphotos.

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: (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


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: (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: (Really You Can)
For some reason, back around 2006 I decided to write everything in present tense. Why, brain? Why? This is the second WIP I've had to put into past tense before I could continue it. My present tense sounds so pretentious sophomoric silly strange now. I just can't get into it. Weird.
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.
taste_is_sweet: (Nom You)
(Gakked from the marvelous [livejournal.com profile] alyse.)

This meme is awesome:

Go look at your blog journal. Find the last Fandom-related thing you posted. The characters in that post are now your team-mates in the Zombie Apocalypse. How fucked are you?

Well, it depends. If we're talking the actual fandom I'm part of, then it would be the Stargate: Atlantis fanfic I wrote for [livejournal.com profile] ariadnes_string's Fever Commentfic Meme. (There are more SGA prompts on the last two comment pages, btw--we need fills, my sister SGA fans!)

If I can count that one, then I'll have Team Sheppard behind me and we're going to kick undead ass, no problem. BRING IT ON, AGENTS OF THE APOCALYPSE!

However, if by 'fandom' it means, 'any media that either already is a fandom or could be one', then the last post I made would be the one I made about the stereotypes in the new Alphas show on SyFy, and while I suppose it'd be cool to have a bad ass sniper dude with great balance and super-fast reflexes at my disposal, he's apparently also insane which might be problematic. The super-strong FBI agent would most likely be a great help when it came to kicking down doors or heaving SUVs at the shambling throngs of undead, but zombies are really something you should deal with using distance weapons. And the technomancer guy with an Autism Spectrum Disorder would be pretty much useless after the power goes out. Unfortunately the two female team members would be even worse, since the one who can make people do her bidding requires her target to have a functioning brain, and the one who can have one super sense at a time would be standing still a lot, which is just an invitation to be lunch.

But they'd still be better than nothing. Hopefully.

On the other hand, my most recent post also mentioned the Hawaii 5-0 reboot. Hell, Steve and Kono could probably take on the entire zombie hoard by themselves.

Psst! I've filled my first prompt square for my [livejournal.com profile] hc_bingo card! \o/ Check it out!
taste_is_sweet: (Pills)
[Poll #1741813]

ETA: I didn't know so many of you wanted me to do [livejournal.com profile] sga_santa! Is it because I don't kill as many people? Mostly? :)
taste_is_sweet: (But some of us are looking at the stars)
I'll admit it, I didn't know that American public television could be that cool.

Tonight's NOVA science program was about the human brain, but it was the segment on Watson, the scary IBM supercomputer that can beat expert human contestants at Jeopardy! that really caught my attention.

Although the "Watson" is for IBM's founder Thomas J. Watson, the name is ironically apt, because--if I understood correctly--the ultimate goal for Watson is as a super sidekick for professionals who, like Sherlock Holmes or a Jeopardy player, need instant and accurate answers pertaining to their expertise. Like a medical Watson could piece together symptoms and come up with an illness the doctor might never have heard of. Kind of like Google, but better, faster, stronger, and probably able to run in slow-motion.

Of course we all know the real ultimate goal here is to create a genuine Artificial Intelligence capable of thinking the way humans do. Not just able to gather information, but to understand it. The older I get the more this idea actually worries rather than intrigues me. Maybe it's because of all those Terminator movies, but nowadays all I can think is, how could anyone possibly make sure that the machine is not just knowledgeable, but wise? An instantaneous and infallible diagnostician is one thing, but a sociopath C3PO is quite another. You can teach a child love, empathy and kindness, but I don't know if you can break it down into if/then reasoning. And if it does become possible to create a machine mentally indistinguishable from a human, that might actually be worse.

I've loved the idea of fictional AIs like the ones I've written fanfic about for a long time, mostly because of the questions it raises about what constitutes a person versus a human being. It's a lot of fun to think about in the abstract, but what happens when we really have machines as self-aware and mentally adept as we are? Leaving aside the serious problem of making ourselves redundant, what will these new creatures be? The current definition of life doesn't include non-organics. Can something be technically not alive and yet still be considered a person? And what about the soul? If only we humans are cool enough to have them, where would that leave sentient machines? I personally think that C3PO has as much of a soul as Luke Skywalker, but I doubt I'd be in the majority, and that's scary too.

I just can't see any scenario with true AIs that could possibly end well. I hope I'm wrong, or that at least we have enough star ships out there to run to when the pissed-off robots come after us.
taste_is_sweet: (Shades of Grey)
I am ashamed to think of how many months ago I promised the incredibly talented (and nice!) [livejournal.com profile] danceswithgary I would do this, but better late than never.

Back in September of last year (blush!), [livejournal.com profile] danceswithgary read my 2009 [livejournal.com profile] mcshep_match story The Ones You Leave Behind. She was taken enough with it that she did me the honour of making a cover for it (click for full-sized version):

click for fullsize

It's beautiful and the amount of work she put into it is humbling and more than a little awe-inspiring. I still need to add it to the posts of the story (which I promise I will, DWG! I've been thinking about it for months), but I'm very happy to finally post it here, where my SGA-fanish FList can see it.

Thank you again, DWG. I really love the picture and I'm still incredibly flattered and chuffed that you would have done that for me. You rock like a rocking thing. :D
taste_is_sweet: (Brave Little Toaster)
My 'author interview' as a member of [livejournal.com profile] mcshep_work for this year's [livejournal.com profile] mcshep_match is up as of about a minute ago. :)

The stories and artworks in competition for this years's Match start being posted officially on Monday, August 2. You can find them all at the [livejournal.com profile] mcshep_match community.

For those of you not interested in the Stargate: Atlantis fandom, please feel free to ignore. ;->
taste_is_sweet: (Agony etc.)
It's also serendipity. But the serendipity comes before the irony. It's a saga, I tell you.

Around Christmas time last year one of my lovely FListers by the name of [livejournal.com profile] fish_echo sent me this epic graphic novel of love and sacrifice: )

Which, naturally, was so awesome that I made my darling husband take me to Hobby Lobby so I could get a frame for it. Because of the torn notepage edge, the surly Hobby Lobby Picture Framing person (as far as I can tell you're not allowed to work in the Framing Department unless you're permanently disgruntled) told me I should use a 'floating' frame, which meant basically to sandwich the artwork between two pieces of glass.

Or, in this case, one piece of glass and one piece of plastic. I was also required to do this myself in the comfort of my own home. Nor did the frame actually come with instructions. I guess it's the iPhone of the framing world--so intuitive you can figure it out by yourself. Or at least I'm certain that the majority of humanity could probably figure it out by themselves.

Anyway, I came home with my frame and put it on the kitchen counter, and then kind of ignored its existence for five months. Hey, I was lazy forgetful lazy busy.

But yesterday when I was tidying up the house, I decided that lo, today would be the day when I actually put [livejournal.com profile] fish_echo's gift up on the wall. So I took the frame and the picture to the living room, carefully unwrapped everything, exclaimed in pleased surprise over the fact that the frame included ways to hang it vertically and horizontally, and then spent the next hour trying to get the picture straight and centered in the frame.

Yeah, an hour. Which I'm going to blame on my dyslexia.

I'll get to the looming tragedy in a moment, but first the serendipity part. And not just because I like typing 'serendipity'. Naturally, because I was looking at her present after hiding it from myself for five months, I started thinking about [livejournal.com profile] fish_echo and what had become of her after all this time and how she was doing etcetera. And she left a comment in my most recent LJ post that very same evening! How awesome is that?

And hey, Fishy! Good to hear from you! I still love that picture!

But now we need to get back to the irony part.

Finally, finally, it was done. The picture was as even and centered as it was ever going to get. I carreeeeeefulllly placed the glass panel over it, slowly slid the metal frame edges on to hold the glass and plastic together to trap the paper in between, took a moment to admire my handiwork, then flipped the frame over to see how large a nail I'd need to hang it.

And realized I'd put the picture in upside down.

(That's not actually the ironic part. The ironic part is coming. That was just pathetically hilarious.)

There was no way in hell I was going to frame the picture again, so I luckily brilliantly figured out a way to hang the picture properly anyway. This involved glue, so I left the framed picture on the coffee table until this morning.

(Here comes the irony. Get ready.)

This morning I pick up the frame to show [livejournal.com profile] fish_echo's awesome present to my husband.

"That frame looks really fragile," my husband says.

"It's fine," I say. "It's a piece of glass over a piece of plastic." And I turn it over in my hands to adjust one of the metal frame pieces and promptly drop the whole thing on the living room floor.

Our living room is carpeted, but that made no difference. The glass frame shattered. Even the plastic back of the frame had a crack in it.

And I just burst out laughing. Because at that point, how couldn't I?
taste_is_sweet: (Vague)
[livejournal.com profile] fish_echo: I tried the Redshirt Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs. :) They were fun to make and delicious, even with lower-fat turkey bacon. Javier wasn't terribly thrilled with the bacon, however. ::sighs:: That's pretty much par for the course these days, though he still likes curry, oddly enough. I know this because I improvised a fantastic chickpea, parsnip and carrot curry tonight for dinner, and Javier actually ate most of his portion. \o/ If anyone would like the recipe, I would be more than happy to supply it.

The Dramatic Reading portion of this post is how the fanfiction story Aegis that I wrote with [livejournal.com profile] springwoof is now a Podfic! (A very long podfic.) As read by the awesome (and courageous) [livejournal.com profile] rhea314. This is quite an honour in the Stargate: Atlantis fandom. You know you've made it when someone wants to spend eight hours of their life reading something you wrote to their computer, eh? So when I found out that it was available I zapped on over and downloaded it immediately. I spent nearly an hour today listening to [livejournal.com profile] rhea314's voice (including while I was making the curry) and feeling kind of awed to hear my words out of someone else's mouth.

It's really interesting how different Rhea's reading is to what the narrative, and especially the dialogue, sound like in my head. Her take on how the characters would say what I wrote has been so far almost entirely different from mine, which I truly hadn't even thought about. I wasn't at all upset, just startled. It's fascinating that the meaning of a piece of writing can stay the same even if the audience perceives the details of it completely differently from the author. I wonder how surprised Rhea might be to hear me reading the story myself. Or [livejournal.com profile] springwoof, for that matter, since I'm sure how the story sounds in her head is also much different to mine.

I have no conclusions about that. I just wanted to share it. :)
taste_is_sweet: (Every Five Pages)
I wanted to thank everyone who so kindly left me well-wishes during my plague-ridden post of earlier in the week. I'm very, very happy to say that food is almost entirely my friend again. I did lose two pounds, which is kind of cool in an anorexicish way, but it's probably water weight.

To show my gratitude, I thought I'd invite you all to a short tour of my ridiculous thought processes! In other words, time for a poll!

[Poll #1317718]


taste_is_sweet: (Default)

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