quinara: Spike dressed up and looking down, trying to be sexy. (Spike thinking)
Long time no see, oh journal of mine... The ballet of another couple of months' term is now nearly over, so I'm almost feeling in control of things again. As it is, I think I always find the adjustment to winter a difficult one, getting out of time the moment the clocks go back and then taking a few weeks to get used to waking up in the dark. I bought a clock radio last week, which I think has helped my addiction to the snooze button, and has an added bonus of making me feel like a proper grown up: this week it was actually very straightforward to wake up and listen to the delightful strains of Absolute 80s (one of the not-dozens of digital stations the radio knows - and funnily enough the only decade of Absolute Radio that it can get). The breakfast show is quite entertaining, some of the time, and it's always upbeat.

My flat décor is very nearly finished, and I'm hoping, either if I get around to it or forget about the fact I should really have an electrician in, that by my one-year anniversary of moving in (late next January), I will feel like there's nothing pressing that still needs to be done, and I can finally start saving some money for a holiday vel sim! And it's been long enough at least that I'm starting to feel connected to my furniture, as it is no longer 'new' but reminds me of the time when I bought it, in the spring, which seems ages ago given how things have progressed and always seem to progress in my job. I also have a lot more houseplants, so how can things go wrong? There's a squat little palm tree by my bookcase that's getting on for a month old and hasn't died yet, so here's hoping it can actually survive in my West-facing living room.

In more exciting news, though, I have also written a fic for [livejournal.com profile] seasonal_spuffy. It's sort of set in the comics, but only half-arsedly, and I couldn't think of a summary, so that is rubbish. It's basically my spin on the plotline of 'Spike may be killing people in his dreams; Buffy goes into his brain to figure stuff out'. They get sidetracked, and a lot of the focus is on stuff pre-series or during the TV run. If you remember Somnambulist from AtS season 1 and Spiral from BtVS s5 you can probably merrily imagine the plot as I evoke it. It's about Spuffy in this post-series way, but also about Spike and Nikki Wood.

There are also tarot cards! You can guess which three I selected on purpose, but anything else was drawn properly and then I went to town having a read. I wouldn't necessarily say it's the only way to read them, but I'm very keen on the idea that tarot meanings are very much about their context in the spread, so... Anyway: here's the fic, 11-12k words, in five chapters, PG-13...

The Page of Wands



29 July 2015 22:32
quinara: Wesley looking angsty. (Wes swirly)
People, I'm sorry. I've been shit on toast recently. But I had a very, super busy week last week and this week I have good news, because I believe I have finished a draft of my S7 novel! [livejournal.com profile] bogwitch has to read the second half of it and I have to fix this bit in the middle and then generally make it all shiny, but watch this space. It may even be I don't post it all at once like a fool! Though the chapters are quite long.
quinara: Owl from Meg and Mog looking a bit scared. (Meg and Mog Owl eyes)
People of the internet, oh, this makes me sad.

The Web We Have to Save

An Iranian blogger after six years in prison talks about the internet he remembers and the internet he's found on coming out.

But the Stream, mobile applications, and moving images: They all show a departure from a books-internet toward a television-internet. We seem to have gone from a non-linear mode of communication — nodes and networks and links — toward a linear one, with centralization and hierarchies.

The web was not envisioned as a form of television when it was invented. But, like it or not, it is rapidly resembling TV: linear, passive, programmed and inward-looking.

When I log on to Facebook, my personal television starts. All I need to do is to scroll: New profile pictures by friends, short bits of opinion on current affairs, links to new stories with short captions, advertising, and of course self-playing videos. I occasionally click on like or share button, read peoples’ comments or leave one, or open an article. But I remain inside Facebook, and it continues to broadcast what I might like. This is not the web I knew when I went to jail. This is not the future of the web. This future is television.

The thing is, I can see it even in the way that this post is just an advert for this blog with a link. In 2008 I would never have posted a naked link like the one above, but I almost just did right now. It seems quaint to bother writing the tags to mask to give it a title, even. (ETA: And heck, even did it wrong the first time.) Oh, I am sad. No one writes with punctuation anymore, or capitals. incl. me
quinara: Mog from Meg and Mog swimming in a diving suit. (Meg and Mog Mog underwater)
So, I am working on my [livejournal.com profile] seasonal_spuffy fic. On the one hand, excepting half of one relatively short scene, the draft is complete and pushing 27,000 words. On the other hand, I literally figured out what the story is "about" as I was writing the very final paragraph. Which means the task now lies ahead of me of nipping and tucking an otherwise relatively entertaining but generally straightforward plot into thematic significance, argh. Too many times this has happened to me, but it is a lesson in just writing for the sake of writing, because eventually I always do figure out the point of a story, whether it's at the wire or not, and I think those ones are sometimes more effective than the fics where I know what I'm on about as I go along. Or maybe not. Will see.

I also have to go into work this afternoon so that I can at least pretend everything is ready for me to abandon an incredibly busy start of term for four days and swan off to Denmark for a conference. The timing, it is not good, but I've never been to Denmark, it's a chance to meet up with some people and present on something new; and most things work over email anyway... Tralala. ... :/

ETA: ARGH; I lied. This fic is not sodding finished. There will have to be more. It will have to be written next weekend. Well, never mind.
quinara: Spike drinking from a blood bag. (Spike blood bag)
So, the last couple of weeks have been slightly underblogged... It was my birthday yesterday (thank you all for the good wishes!!!), which involved a return to the parents' homestead and a nice lunch, including pudding wine, the leftovers of which is calling my name from the fridge. It was however, also an hour too short, glad as I am about the clocks going forward (light! Till 7.30 in the evening!! Even on horrible cold and gloomy days like this one!!), and also rainy. But never mind!

I also managed to graduate from my PhD last weekend, finally (after submitting last June), so I am now a Doctor! Updating the world is a pain in the arse, so I mostly haven't bothered, but I did buy a mattress last week, and when the man asked me if I was a Miss or a Mrs I got to say the immortal line of 'Erm, it's actually Dr...'. I was then told that I looked quite young for a doctor, but I don't care. The tyranny of Miss has ended and the great world of joy has begun. I must tell the bank. Not sure when.

The painting of my flat is also complete - and by the end of next week it may even be the case that there is some useful bits of furniture in it. So I am rather happy.

I have committed to Seasonal Spuffy but am not sure about my ability to come up with anything (sing me a new one, they say!). I had one idea, but I don't think it's going anywhere, and then another idea that [livejournal.com profile] bogwitch helped with which is very silly, and I am going to see where I get with that, though I fear I am not writing humorously enough with it at the moment. (Humour! Where did you go???) There's no reason why I can't produce a story and I want to produce a story. I shall have to figure out the Spuffy of it as I go along, like I always did when I just came up with a random premise and went with it. So there. Watch this space.
quinara: Buffy looks up with a bloom of yellow sparklies behind her. (Buffy sparkles)
(I could do proper Latin, but seriously; how wank would that be?)

So, I had grand plans about what I was going to write in this post. As far as I can tell, several people that I like and respect in fandom (both on my flist and off) have been betrayed deeply in recent days. And, for the most part, I thought it was best that I didn't get involved, because I don't know the person whose integrity has been brought into question and surely I could only ever make things worse. But at the same time, how can anyone be neutral in situations like this? Moreover, as I went through iterations of what I might say, the more I realised that the purpose of my post (this post) would always be straightforward. Because, when I think back on all the times I've been betrayed by friends (which, if you look at my friendship choices from the age of five, has happened a lot), I realise that one of the things that made it most difficult was that every time it made me isolated, in my own head or else within the group that were immediately affected. And while online I am something of a jaded has-been, in RL I have been fucked over, crying in public, angry and confused.

And you might all think I'm wrong. You might be reading this, thinking 'fuck off, Quin; my friend didn't betray me'. And honestly I don't mind. The jaded fandomite that I am would say that is a pattern which has been played many times before in the last 10+ years. And I don't like this friend of yours. But that's not really important. The important thing, which I feel I must say in this public post, which the wine urges me on to say (I had a do at work), is please, don't let this define your fandom experience. Or else close it down and cut you off from everywhere else. The rest of us randomers will still be here; you are still with us and part of us and we will keep chatting to you about random stuff. People like me will be crap at it, partly because we've been burnt enough times to keep to ourselves and the people we know well already, but we will be here. This isn't the end, and we are friends/friends-of-friends of you for you.

I mean, I speak for myself here, but I feel like others will agree...?

Anyway, this may be pointless. But this is a post. Because I'm crap at keeping things implicit, and I do really think you've been manipulated. I might also be wrong, and if you believe I am then I want you to know that I think we still have a friendship which is viable.

(And that goes for the lot of you, also, who have no idea what the fuck I'm on about. You are the great internet, wot iz my friends, no matter the differences of opinions that might otherwise split us apart.)

Urgh... This is really dire, isn't it? Still. I'm clicking the button anyway.
quinara: Wesley looking angsty. (Wes swirly)
Not until attempting to buy a flat did I realise that it could be quite so difficult to spend quite so much money.
quinara: Wishverse Buffy in a white frame. (Buffy Wish white box)
Although, MBTI always comes out the same for me.

Quinara's Personality Type Results

Trying to find actually interesting assessments of INTJs is sometimes a passing hobby, because I've been looking at that generic shit for ten years. It doesn't help that Google is convinced it's the personality type for evil masterminds and the worst of basement-dwelling fanboy clichés. This page has some merit to it:


I think my favourite is '11. Stick to a statement after being proven wrong by facts or reasoning and an INTJ will treat you as an irrational idiot and everything you say as probable nonsense.' Because if you know you're wrong, why would you keep talking????

A couple of other quotes on Pinterest that (in the second case somewhat unfortunately) have a strong ring of truth:

I ALWAYS mean what I say ... I may not always mean to say it out loud, but I always mean it.

INTJs are surprisingly tolerant of the flaws of the people in their inner circle - but if you lose their trust - they will erase you from their lives completely

In conclusion: sarcasm.

ETA: Although, seriously, it took a very long time to realise that repetition can in fact sometimes be useful and/or necessary. Even if running gags are the most hilarious thing ever.
quinara: Profile shot of Olivier from FMA:B, mostly of her hair. (Olivier profile)
But I thought I should check in again! Thanks for all the birthday wishes last weekend. Life continues, and I have got into jogging and (bizarrely) Beauty (at least in terms of spending ages browsing shit and then buying nail varnish) as ways of destressing.

But on a shopping trip today I also bought this album, which made me very happy:

Electronic 80s 2 from the Ministry of Sound's Anthems series

I don't know what crap they had on the first version - this just keeps giving. I didn't even realise when I bought it that New Order's True Faith was on it, nor White Wedding!

I also have some Deep House Euphoria and a Maison Kitsune compilation of 'new faces'. But those are to think about later!

I also bought fruit. *is anticipating the nectarine season*
quinara: Mog from Meg and Mog swimming in a diving suit. (Meg and Mog Mog underwater)
Sorry; should have said that ages ago. Suffice to say the second of half of term was very busy and various things were/continue to be quite stressful. Currently I'm dealing with it via profligate online spending... :/ But given we live in times of miniscule interest rates and moderate inflation there's naff all point saving anyway, right? And my job hunt for next October might be successful...

Not much news otherwise. Main bit of spending was on a beautiful new work laptop, because my old one was held together by sellotape and tended to crash all the time anyway. Technically it was mostly bought with the money I earnt teaching this term, though I sort of went over-budget after getting seduced beyond my means... Also, I didn't factor in that in the last three years Microsoft have changed their licensing on Office to make them all single-use unless you already have Office365. Since my PC just has normal Office 2013 I also had to put up another hundred quid for that. :( But I'm writing on it now and it's lovely!! I continue to be the only person in the world who actually likes Windows 8, and now I've got to grips with SkyDrive, I quite like that too.

I have also decided I'm going to try growing the dye out of my hair (which has been henna'd red for at least the last seven years and with a box before that), because I decided the red was making my face look even redder. I'm hoping with age and experience what I remember as mousey brown might read as ash blonde this time around, or else I might help it along a bit anyway. The plan is to look pale and interesting, rather than an angsty teenager, which the red reminds me of being. We shall see.

My fandom output has been minimal, continuing to be limited to javascript web doodles for [livejournal.com profile] sb_fag_ends - but do make sure to check out our advent calendar! Especially tomorrow, if you get a chance, or before the end of December. Such javascript plotting is indeed relevant for something else [livejournal.com profile] bogwitch and I are working on, but that's still officially unannounced, so don't watch this space.

Finally, many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] curiouswombat and [livejournal.com profile] speakr2customrs for the Christmas card! It did indeed manage to traverse the far reaches of space and time; I was very impressed. Merry Christmas to you (glad to hear everyone's OK) and extra merry Christmasses to everyone who wants one!
quinara: Buffy standing at the back of her house, looking grumpy by a tree. (Buffy Flooded)
The weather has resolved from scorching into a rather perfect (if elusive) British summertime, where it isn't so hot you feel uncomfortable just sitting in a room without air conditioning, but you can wear a t-shirt and jeans and have the windows open and just generally enjoy a light breeze the whole time. Well done, weather.

In less good news, my monitor decided it didn't want to receive an HDMI signal anymore, so I'm currently on my telly (which is a bit rubbish at rendering text and far too bright), until HP send me a replacement next week. Although I'm not sure that's not going to fail in three months time either, but I live in hope.

In other news entirely, I wrote some fic for the first time in ages. After a run-in at a nightclub, Buffy laments getting old...

Running Up that Hill.

Oh, and I seem to be getting into coconut water?
quinara: Owl from Meg and Mog driving: 'Who let the owl drive?' (Meg and Mog Owl drive)
^ BBC headline right now. About pregnant!Kate pics.

... Er, gang, we're still in 2013, right? Watching Supersizers Eat The Fifties didn't actually send me back in time, did it? o.O

(Also watched the Supersizers do the Eighties. When did I start being charmed so much by the 80s? Why won't it stop?)

(I really, really don't want to go back to the library tomorrow. Even though I have Responsibilities To Undergrads I Have Been Shirking. My mum was right. I've hit the wall of my particular PhD marathon. In sport/bizarre craft projects this is usually where I give up. And my head is tender still. :( )
quinara: Illyria looking serious in bright light. (Illyria shine)
So, I am on my new computer! The shiny, it is beautiful. Windows 8 is weird and a bit cumbersome, but I think I can see myself enjoying it when I get to grips with it. Office 2013 seems fine, but I do NOT like the DESIGN CHOICE that MENU HEADINGS should be in CAPITALS. Ugly and hard to read at a glance. :( But I'm sure I'll get used to it.

The real sea change, though, is my monitor. Ever since I saw [livejournal.com profile] bogwitch's old HP laptop (even with its heating issues...), I have coveted an HP screen and the same depth of colour intensity. At last the dream has been realised in 23 inches of glory! (Because there were bigger screens on the market, I, er, thought it was going to be smaller than it was...) Watching HD on it earlier just makes me want to watch things all the time. And design things. And watch more things. Even if I'll probably stick to fic for the moment (and trying to remember how things used to be on my old Firefox).
quinara: Profile shot of Cassie from Skins, with lots of hair and a hat. (Cassie hat)
Many thanks to whomever nominated me at [livejournal.com profile] absence_oflight! I have my suspicions who it was, but I shall keep quiet - it's very much appreciated!!

In other news, I bought some new plant pots and will be attempting to grow/maintain basil plant number three. Don't know why I bothered buying more coriander; may not bother with it and just grow mint instead. Yum, mint. Have moved my jade plant into this hideous blingy mosaic glass ball thing (meant for candles and presumably the ugly nineties spa look?), but as I hoped the soil tones down the blingy glass and leaves it a nice-ish textured pot that goes with the living room. (It was the right size, basically, and everything else was horrible too. This was so ugly it charmed me...)

Generally, I am in complete love with this song - ish. It's the best off the album (which isn't that great, but nice enough), and the original was one of my favourites off the original album. It's definitely better than the original, but I feel like something's supposed to happen after the first two minutes that never does. :(

quinara: Mog from Meg and Mog swimming in a diving suit. (Meg and Mog Mog underwater)
I'm very behind on the internet at the moment - sorry about that. That time I took off for my arm caught up with me and I spent last weekend working... Term time comes with too many seminars + semi compulsory socialising, which I had forgotten.

Anyway, this series of The Thick of It has been a bit strange. Read more... )
quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)
Helloo!!! I've got used to being as pithy as possible, so this is a little strange, but I am writing from a USB keyboard balanced on my lap, attached to my laptop on a high table. The keyboard was meant for the library, but I might have to keep it here and see how I get on with it, since my attempts to find an office chair were a complete failure and I'm not sure it would really have worked anyway. I have quite long arms, so I think the keyboard needs to be on my lap to write in the natural position... But it's strange how even changing that habit is making it feel very unnatural to be typing instead of talking. I feel like I'm dictating or something.

Never mind; also have one wrist support on my right wrist. Definitely need another (hadn't realised what a difference it would make, and fifteen quid seemed excessive for a tube of neoprene with some velcro - cheers, Boots), if only to wear them at home. I think it helps with typing position too.

In other I-went-shopping-today news, I have decided that Siouxsie and the Banshees' The Lord's Prayer is the only appropriate soundtrack for bra shopping. Nothing else conveys the sense of abject misery, hopelessness and profound ugliness that lingerie departments inspire. Never may you need to search for a plain black t-shirt bra. I ended up in Primark, just out of desperation, and should not have been surprised to find you can indeed get something for £2.50 that fits at least as well as the other basic options elsewhere (sitting between £16-£20 - or you can get 2 for £20, if you want some foul white/tan version to go with the black, which I don't). Bleck.

Watched Sleeper this evening. I think I must watch far too much comedy and reality stuff these days, because I couldn't get over how dark the whole episode watch, literally speaking with the light. I was looking for the 'increase brightness' button on my flicker, the way I reach for the volume when something's too quiet.

My inbox is a state. Forgive me if I'm really slow at answering everything. Don't want to blow things just because it turns out Saturday night TV is dramatically more boring than weekday afternoons. But hello again!
quinara: Buffy's sad-looking profile from Villains. (Buffy profile)
Blimey, they've jazzed up the previouslies and next-weeks on the Bake Off, haven't they? I was getting Apprentice vibes tonight... It was brilliant!!

In other news, one of the important light bulbs in my house has just gone (ie. the one that lights half the downstairs... To be fair, we don't have many lights, so they're all pretty important. This one is particularly annoying right now). But I have also finished that fic I mentioned the other day! I should have realised this with [community profile] seasonal_spuffy, but my ability to obsess over a fic I'm posting has reached quite horrific levels in recent times, so the only way through the continuous re-thinking and over-reading and editing is to buckle down and get the whole thing out in one. And yet I try so hard to be normal. :(

Anyway, if it matters to you, dear reader, could you please, please tell me if you will only look at this if I post it out over on this journal as well as [livejournal.com profile] sb_ashtray, because I can never tell if re-posting's worth bothering about. Basically, I worry sometimes that I'm spamming/doing some sort of equivalent flist-shouting about myself to post things in multiple places, and I happen to be the sort of person that will happily wander down links wherever they take me. But I'm extremely happy to bring anything over here if you want to see it in my home environment/on Dreamwidth/whatever! The fic's still only a click away. Sometimes I feel like I should do a poll...

Otherwise, this story is ~16,000 words long, rated R (reasonably strongly-ish?), written to the prompt 'burnt out'. It needs none of the AO3-standard warnings and is a standalone you can nonetheless read in the context of my generally vignette-based series about Spike and Buffy's telephone contact during+after Angel S5, and then their merry life together in London. It's angsty, but I'm quite fond of it! (Though I would say that.)


What it is to Burn.
After three years in a long distance relationship, Buffy’s the one who cracks first.

[one] [two] [three] [four]


ETA: Oh, but you can read it on the AO3 now too.
quinara: Tara walking in the Slayer's desert. (Restless desert)
I had a weird mind-wander as I was getting ready today where I thought about what I would do if I won the lottery, as in actually what I would do from the first moment of getting the cheque onwards. It was odd. I ended up deciding that I would find a massive influx of money very stressful and confusing, because at heart I rely too much on being part of an (academic) institution to want that much financial independence. But at the same time I am and will always be a magpie, so I really wouldn't mind some posher clothes and posher food in my life, as well as a new computer and a decent electric whisk (my Asda Basics eight quid one has just broken). And I still really want to do the whole Trans-Siberian Railway one day. But maybe when I'm retired. And have learned Russian and Chinese.

All in all, I think I want to learn more languages. And have decided that thinking about the future is strange.
quinara: Rinoa from FFVIII watching petals fly. (Rinoa petals)
It wasn't shit. I actually liked it a lot! There were many delights to be had and I might actually go and watch it again now (at least the first bit, not the parade, nor the goo later, though that was pleasant enough at midnight). Macca ruined it at the end, as is his way, but the first section was very clever - I've been made to sing Jerusalem in school in my time and it was quite something to see it played out against the irony of history. With Branagh!Brunel and The Tempest, no less!

And I liked the bouncy beds and the GOSH children's stories. And all the music!! It was so nice to feel like there were people at the helm in the Boyle-Underworld team who knew where to go for a recent history of British music. I'm not even a big fan of Dizzee Rascal, but you can't really have a house party without him (and help me for recognising Tinie Tempah too). There nothing like the Pretty Vacant riff as a siren call...

And I thought the 7/7 memorial firey section was very well done (Emeli Sandé has a lovely voice), and I loooved the cycling birds. (Especially to the sound of the Arctic Monkeys! Not who I expect to pop up at an event like this, and so refreshing. Take note, you bookers of Gary effing Barlow.)

They had some very nice picks on the flag carriers. Shami Chakrabarti looked like she couldn't believe she'd been asked, and I couldn't quite either, but, yeah, she's who you want carrying a flag!

And someone somewhere made some excellent choices about how to do the whole torch-to-cauldron bit. Not least on the copper (best metal). ;)

(Still not going to watch any of the sport.)

ETA: Seriously, I cannot stop re-watching the Isles of Wonder/Pandaemonium opening segment. I'm not sure what other national pageants I've ever seen for the UK, but this is so captivating. That molten steel running down the shape of the Thames; the pantomime-monster-sized industrial looms. Maybe I'm just easily bought by slick and ironic literary references, but this is spectacle.


10 May 2012 22:40
quinara: Little cartoon girl from the Devics' Distant Radio EP cover. (Devics Distant Radio)
Grandma's House was like dreams on toast tonight. So, so good.

In other news, I really want to finish the draft of my [community profile] seasonal_spuffy fic by the end of the weekend, so I can edit the first half for posting next Friday (in consultation with the [livejournal.com profile] bogwitch splitting it between my posting day and the free-for-all seems like the most sensible idea, rather than spamming the hell out of people). Given my rough estimate puts me at 16,000 words still to go, things could get interesting. Hopefully I'll hit the downhill slope at some point...

Lalala, fun times. I think I've discovered interesting, nay Good (TM) things about the text I'm working on, so PhD endeavours are looking up. (The answer, my friends, lies in Propertius 3.1 and 3.3, oh yes. This is why we are on a boat. /random)

Maybe there should be more stuff here...


quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)

December 2015

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