Happy birthday, sweetheart! I hope you have a great day!
Happy birthday, sweetheart! I hope you have a great day!
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:
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
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?
My eBooks aren't free this time around, but Unspeakable Words by Sarah Madison (sgamadison) is! It's the first book in a series about two FBI agents who try to navigate their burgeoning (and tumultuous) relationship while trying to solve a crime that ends up changing their lives in one of the worst ways imaginable--by giving one of them super powers.
It's a really fun book that reminded me of excellent fanfiction (which you all know is a compliment!) I loved the characters and especially how Madison described the new abilities. And it's free! So you should download it!
And get my books too, because they're 30% off! Here is a convenient link. :D
I hope you are all having a wonderful day! I should probably change out of my pajamas.
Available (as of early this morning, actually--blame my spending most of the afternoon fighting uselessly with Adobe about Photoshop Elements 14 on why I'm only putting this up now) at these following fine online retailers:
Barnes & Noble
All Romance eBooks
I'm also running a contest over at Tumblr, for those who may be interested. :D
Thank you kindly for your time and attention. I'm going to go back to making quiet dolphin noises now.
Last night I finally remembered to look for it, and lo and behold, here it is.
As with most things, the original source isn't as good as what I thought it was, but I'm glad I was finally able to find it. And foreshadowing is still your clue to quality literature. :)
(Comic strip found via this site.)
One of the highlights was getting a professionally-done photograph of my kid and his cousins with Hayley Atwell.
The boys seriously practiced smiling for the entire time we were waiting in line, and then afterwards Javier (Skinny!Steve) expressed his concern at Carter growing old and infirm. He wanted to know if she ever received the Super Soldier serum. I told him that no, unfortunately she didn't, but that he could fix that with fanfiction if he wanted. He didn't want to, alas, but I loved how he was obviously smitten with Ms. Atwell.
I was also able to take pictures of some of the awesome cosplayers:
That's Captain America (Winter Soldier movie version) with Javier the Dragon Slayer. Next is Felicity and a lovely Genderswapped Arrow, then Harley Quinn and Black Widow--who are friends now after beating the shit out of each other (see the blood on their cheeks?). Last is my personal favorite: Daredevil in his black 'how the hell did I survive this long?' uniform.
I also got some gorgeous art, which I'll have to post at some point. Not to mention frame and put on a wall. Urk.
Oh, hey! I have a Tumblr account now! Please follow me, if any of you lovely FListies have Tumblrs! I have two followers and am horribly pathetic.
---You buy pants and a 'SSR' tee-shirt just so you can dress your kid like this for FanExpo Canada:
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.
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.
But, the song is truly wonderful. (Start at 0.57 seconds if you don't want the preamble, or there's a music-only version here.) I think I've listened to it about 100 times.
If addictive, feel-good music isn't your thing, a few days ago a spontaneous memorial was created for a raccoon when the city of Toronto didn't send anyone to pick up the poor creature's corpse. I'm posting a link because it's such perfect, passive-aggressive Toronto humor (and I laughed and then felt bad, but kept laughing).
No one was disrespectful to the corpse, unless you count anthropomorphism and naming it 'Conrad'.
Want to dip your toe in a new fandom? Have a hidden desire to try out a new pairing? Or maybe you're dreaming about writing that first fanfic or original story? Why not take part in the low stress, deadline and wordcount free Writerly Summer Fling, and take that first step in making it happen! Click the pic to learn more on what the Fling is about, and how to join in on the fun ^_^
It's no-pressure and Selenic is a sweetheart, so there is no reason at all not to participate if you've been wanting to get a bit more (or any) writing done. I've got my Gay Were-Dinosaurs of the Pseudo-Amish Apocalypse novel(la) as well as three Stucky fanfics I'd like to finish, and between this and ushobwri I figure I should get something banged out. And with my DH's broken arm stressing me out like a stressing-out thing, I figure I could use all the stress-free encouragement I can get.
I'm also not likely to get to a beach anytime soon, alas. So at least I can look at the lovely
I love that moment when the cover image is finalized and you've had the publisher's blessing to show it to people, because now it means that everything's finished and the book is a truly real. Aiden's Angel will come out some time in May, probably closer to the middle of the month, to coincide with my attending the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention.
Aiden's Angel is a novella, which makes it shorter than some of my fanfic. Hilariously (or ironically? Alannis?) it's almost exactly half as long as Black Hawk Tattoo. The drawback is that AA won't be available in hardcover, but the pluses are that it'll be less expensive and faster to read.
I'll have my usual stupidly easy contest as soon as the book is available for pre-order. In the meantime, here's Dreamspinner's official blurb:
Aiden Lobo is a graduate student in a world where magic, gods, and demons are part of everyday life. After a terrible betrayal, he is cursed with a Crack in his heart, turning him into a living doorway for an ancient demon of war to come to Earth and kill millions. Aiden is rescued by his guardian angel, who seals the Crack with his own Light. As a servant of the divine, the nameless angel was supposed to kill Aiden to prevent the growing cataclysm inside him. But he loves Aiden too much to end his life, even to save the world.
Aiden falls for his guardian and names him Eskandar, but then learns to his horror that because Eskandar was created for him, when Aiden dies Eskandar will too. Aiden will do anything to keep his beloved angel safe. But with no choice except to sacrifice himself to prevent the apocalypse, he only has one option: a terrible betrayal of his own.
I realize I may have a thing for graduate students. And guys with wings. I admit nothing.
I also realize I have no idea how to sum up this post. But I'm happy, how about that?
And thank you for reading, as always, of course. ♥
But! I do have some nifty stuff to mention, so I figure I should actually, you know, mention it. So here goes:
Dreamspinner Press, my favorite online purveyor of fine quality gay romance, is offering 50% off all of their in-stock paperbacks for the month of April! This includes my novel Black Hawk Tattoo, which is pretty great.
I also have a new novella coming out in the beginning of May (I know I've mentioned it before but it's still totally \o/), which I'll talk about more once I have the cover design. It's called Aiden's Angel because it has an angel in it, in case you were wondering if the title was a coincidence. It is not.
Another cool thing is that I'm going to the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention (May 12 - 17)! It's in Dallas, and it looks like it'll be a lot of fun. I'm also nervous because I'll have to actually talk to people about how I have a novella out.
Any of my flisties going to be there? I'd love to meet up with you. :D
Last but not least, on the fanish side, Spring Sign Ups are open for intoabar! I freaking love this community--where else can you have Bucky Barnes meet Applejack the Pony? Nowhere else, that's where. I've already signed up (they close April 5, Best-Beloveds, so get in on it!), and I can almost guarantee that my entry this year will have an even less likely pairing. I can't wait. :D
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 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).
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 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
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:
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).
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'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!
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.
Which I've been enjoying listening to while making ridiculous Anime portraits. Like Captain Citrus, who is very happy to be here.
So, y'know, if you happened to want a discounted paperback copy of my novel, there's a convenient link right here. Just throwing it out there. ;)
So even though I'd copied all the songs from Barenaked Ladies' Gordon album to my phone a good while ago, it was just this week when I actually listened to it again.
Funny how I'd remembered the songs but forgotten how excellent most of them were. This song is one of my absolute favorites:
Not the most awesome video, but Steven Page could sure rock a 90s haircut and frilly shirt.
I bought Gordon (way) back when it came out in 1992, and heard "What a Good Boy", and basically had my personal angst theme-song for the next ten years. Just the lines: I wake up scared; I wake up strange; I wake up wondering if anything in my life is ever going to change encapsulated the gormless anxiety I seemed to carry with me all the time, and singing the song at the top of my lungs offered an aggressive pathos that made me feel both connected to every other miserable twenty-something on the planet and smugly isolated at the same time.
My 90s were kind of terribly awesome.
That decade was an astonishingly long time ago, but I still have the Gordon album, and the songs are still amazing. The others I've been listening the hell out of are "The Flag" (an achingly beautiful song about domestic abuse), and "Wrap Your Arms Around Me" (the line, Do you believe we are all innately good? in that gorgeous harmony gets me every single time).
I really should listen to it more often. And my other CDs as well.
Well, maybe not all of them.
I know that totally sounds like the response should be, 'no kidding'. And that's kind of true. It's not like he hasn't known for years that we don't always want the same things (with many, many time outs to support that hypothesis), or that we don't hold the same opinions or enjoy the same stuff.
This ability is apparently called Folk Psychology, which isn't quite as condescending as it sounds. It refers to the ability most humans gain by age 3 or 4, of interpreting others' mental states. More importantly, it also refers to the ability of most humans to recognize that others have mental states.
All babies and toddlers are selfish little fucks. They have to be since they can't meet their own needs, let alone anyone else's. Sure, that baby might hand you her semi-masticated goldfish crackers, but that's because she wants you to take them, not because she wants you to have them. Nothing a pre-kindergarten kid does is personal, no matter how infuriating. It can't be, because they literally can't care less.
And then they get older (::cough thank God cough::), and roughly a million time-outs later they understand that, whoa, you're not the same person.
But there's understanding, and then there's understanding, and the latter is what hit my kid like a ton of bricks the other night. He told me it even made his hands shake, that's how big a deal it was to him. He realized, on a level he never had before, that mommy had: "a mind in your own body", to quote the way he said it.
He'd known for years that I wasn't him, but on Sunday he figured out that I'm a separate, unique individual, just as much as he is. A small distinction that's also astonishingly huge at the same time.
The funny thing is, I got hit by the same ton of bricks when he was a baby, when I really got it that this little guy had his own agenda (yes, I used the word 'agenda', like we were superpowers in a spy movie). An agenda that was completely different from mine. He'd grown inside me, but he wasn't me. And sure, I'd known that, but I didn't know it--until I suddenly did. And now nine years later, he's just figured out the same thing.
And yes, I love the irony about having that in common. ;)
The picture is 'Baby Girl Playing Toy' by Tratong at Free Digital Photos.net
Then the news over the weekend didn't get any better, so I figured I might as well post today anyway. Maybe some of my FListies will also get a smile out of this.
Fun Thing One:
This new video by "Weird Al" Yankovic, called "Word Crimes". It's one of his usual smart and funny parodies, in this case of "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke.
I still don't know what a dangling participle is, but I loved seeing our own Live Journal in the video, as well as a little shout-out to my favorite irony reference ever.
Fun Thing Two:
Dreamspinnerpress.com is holding a Christmas in July sale! I'm sorry I was too failboat to think about posting info on it in, say, the beginning of July, but the sale is still going on for nearly two weeks so you still have plenty of opportunity to take advantage.
To add to the coolness, my e-novel Black Hawk Tattoo will be on sale for .99 cents on
Fun Thing Three:
ushobwri (The You Should Be Writing Live Journal Community) is about a month away from the start of posting for it's Sizzling Shoobie Showcase prompt fest. The prompts are simple, and you can write for as many as you want:
Sharing a new pet, found or given
The posting starts August 16, though there's no actual deadline. If you want to play, you will have to specifically join the comm, however (I know the link is locked to non-members). Everyone can join, though, and it's fun. :D
There. All done! I hope everyone has a wonderful week!
I turned 42 today! (Very, very early this morning, according to my mom.) And thank you very, very much to firesign10, and brumeier for her super-sweet congratulations post, and to everyone who left such nice comments! I got a little teary, I swear.
But still, 42. And aside from it being the answer to life, the universe and everything, I can't say as I feel much other than kind of old. I know I have Flisties who are older than I am, but, still. Maybe it's because I live in a city very, very skewed towards 20-somethings, but some days I feel absolutely ancient compared to all the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed kids running around getting university degrees.
Then again, I don't have to get a university degree anymore. \o/
But hey, birthdays are still awesome. And since it's also my awesome sister squeakyoflight's birthday, I wrote her fic! MCU fic!
I already added it to my H/C Bingo Card earlier this week, but I didn't actually tell anyone about it here, so I'm indulging myself and doing so now. It's called The Right Way to Fall. It's set post-Captain America: The Winter Soldier, because everyone who wants to write anything in the MCU fandom has to write a Winter Soldier fic these days.
Anyway, there it is. :) I'm quite happy with it, and I've been told it's good. I hope you like it. (And it's my birthday, so even if you don't you have to lie. Birthday rules! ::g::)