quinara: Buffy leaning against Giles' counter in The Wish (Buffy Wish leaning)
I'm in such a weird place with fandom at the moment. I've been drifting offline more and more, but over the last couple of days I've been reading my old fics in one of those elusive moods where I can enjoy it rather than just picking out the flaws - and I miss them all. :( I don't know what's happened over the last couple of years - with my S6 Spuffy series and Fag Ends I've somehow ended up distracted away from all my short story experiments of 4-20K words, but I still love them to pieces. Two and a half year's distance means I can appreciate all of the frustration people felt reading An Exercise in Futility, for example, but then I kind of revel in that feeling. It entertains me that there are so many things spinning in the air - and that the actual emotional weight and impact of the story exist entirely in the negative space around it, one you've got to the end and think about it a bit. I have a plan for the novel it should go with somewhere on my other computer, and I kind of wish that that existed, but I doubt I'll ever get round to it.

I've even been re-reading my Spikeid - and I'm finally at peace with the pacing issues in books 6-8. I'm quite determined to revise them at some point, because it seems so clear to me that there are just a few transitions that need to be re-worked and bulked out with some space, but it's been finished for long enough that I can enjoy it.

And that's the thing, because, for whatever reason it seems/feels as though very little of what I write these days really strikes a chord with people, compared to back in the day. Which is fine. It's not as if I don't still do relatively well for feedback (love to you all!) and I'm not great at responding to positivity anyway, always looking for the next adrenaline rush and trying to find the negativity hidden between the lines - but then this seems to have got worse and actually become a problem in the last year or so, because I get so invested in things and then can't feel satisfied after I've put them up, obsessing for longer than makes me happy. Which makes me think it's not worth continuing; I should look to original stuff, give myself a change rather than hanging on for an audience who've gone another way. And yet, then I re-read old things again and remember I've only ever really written to entertain myself. And I still do.

Ergh, but then I can't bring myself to open the Word doc and start writing. I think I blame the Spikeid and Turn and Face the Strain. Those two projects burnt me out. And the fact I'm still dissatisfied with them (even if I'm at peace with that dissatisfaction) continues to burn me out. (Also, why can't I punctuate? Idiomatic prose/verse shouldn't be so difficult to punctuate in a way that brings across the nuances I want from it.)

Blech. This has been a self-obsessed ramble about me as an author. But then, I got into LJ back in the day to be part of a community of authors, so I fear this is what I'm posting.
quinara: Profile shot of Olivier from FMA:B, mostly of her hair. (Olivier profile)
This is where I post the most pathetic whinge about AO3 that has ever been whinged. I like to think I'm not that wanky about my creative stuff; I can let things go; the net is an imperfect publication system and that's OK (how many fics have I split up to post on LJ that weren't meant to be split into parts?). But apparently I can still be irrationally irritated by minor things...

Basically, what this boils down to is the way you align text to the right on the AO3 interface. (Yes. Text alignment. I know.) My last poem was aligned right - some might say unnecessarily, but it was still a conscious decision. To display that on LJ and DW I put the whole thing in a tag <div style="text-align:right"> - but the AO3 doesn't support in line styling, so the poster strips the tag down to just <div>, which does nothing to the alignment. I get around it by using <div align="right"> - but I try not to use depreciated HTML (except <font> in comments because it's just very easy... I am a bad HTMLer :( ), so I drop a line to Support, because it seems odd that this would be the most sensible way around the issue. As it turns out, it isn't, and the AO3-recommended way to do things like aligning sections of text etc. is to apply a CSS work skin (eg. the public basic formatting skin) and then use classes, ie. pull down on one extra option on the posting form's menu and then use the tag <div class="align-right">.

To be fair, this is very easy (although I feel like I should mention that this wouldn't make sense to someone who's trying to use the Rich Text editor, because that has an alignment button and it doesn't work). My issue with it is the way this Work Skins business has been implemented is so that creator's styles can be very easily be turned off, either by default or by a fairly obvious button at the top of the work. So now anyone on the work page can basically toggle my poem back and forth across their monitor. I suppose this is so, should there be a trend in formatting fics in eyes-bleedingly ugly ways they can be very easily turned back into plain text - but. While the rational, readerly part of me understands this is very sensible, the wanky poet part of my head won't stop ranting, "but the poem is aligned right!! It's not aligned 'right but with a button in case you want to read it left-aligned'!! The act of moving your eyes from the part of the page where you expect text to this other corner is a whole part of the reading process!! It's not there to be toggled at will!! It should just be!!".

And yet the rational part of me that is proud of her basic HTML skills refuses to change the tag back to something wrong just to get rid of the button, not least because it's the site standard and you should uphold people's expectations. So now I'm miffed - about something which isn't really a problem. Because I wrote too much poetry and became pretentious. :(

We shall not talk about the time I spent faffing with longhand spaces - ie. [ampersand]nbsp[semi-colon] - in my last poem so that everything was aligned correctly on the various different platforms I posted it, with their different fonts and sizes + posters which strip back multiple typed spaces. Concrete poetry doesn't half feel that way when you post it in HTML...
quinara: No Kicking Penguins (Penguins)
Well, it seems to have taken me nearly four hours, door to door, but then having a snooze on a sunny train with the windows open is one of the more pleasant ways to spend an afternoon, in my opinion. It was a lovely end to a lovely weekend; I feel so relaxed now, like I've been on a lovely holiday that did what holidays are supposed to do! Considering I've spent the week frazzled and sleepless and ill (as I've been telling everyone for the last couple of days, in my croaky voice, pitching in and out, I'm iiiiiiill...!!!), I feel very much rejuvenated.

Although, now I'm back inside after being out/on a ventilated rather than air conditioned train, I can feel the first scratchings of hay fever round my eyes... But I'm ignoring that for now.

We had many great talks/chitchats, including a workshop where we wrote an exciting bad!fic, complete with songs, for which I spent far, far too long playing with [livejournal.com profile] kazzy_cee's iPad in my own little world. I'll put up the fruits of that when the whole of the fic-stravaganza can be enjoyed, but here also is something else: inspired by [livejournal.com profile] speakr2customrs' talk on death in fanfic, a Beowulf-style epic-heroic death scene for Pingu (ish). (Although, now that I've looked up the episode which scarred me as a child and was clearly the inspiration for this - see below - I feel like I've been horrifically cruel...)

Pingu vs. Ice Dragon.

So Pingu ventured from his icy home
To waddle through the snow, Antarctic mist -
But there he found a dragon, claws like knives
To freeze and tear the flesh of penguins brave.
Still Pingu fought, with beak and magic spells:
Great fire flared to burn the air with flame.
And yet - the dragon roared, reared up, his eyes
A charcoal black, too dark against the sky
Before he fell upon the penguin, caught
In fear, his feathers stiff. One strike, and then
It was no more again that Pingu saw
His mum and dad at home, the igloo's warmth;
His body fell, its final KARK a sigh,
Which whispered softly on the icy breeze.
quinara: Spike crowding Buffy against a wall in OAFA. (Spuffy wall)
Was very annoyed at the weather today - I've been meaning to meet up with a schoolfriend of mine, but we were trounced on Saturday by her being very ill, and then today on the second attempt I walked through the horrendous rain and wind to a rather starting-to-flood town centre and discovered that the trains weren't running. Things cleared up for a bit not long afterwards, and I can't find any notice of the cancellations online, so I don't know whether the station blokes were having me on or what, but I feel thwarted!

Still, I managed some fic last night, so hurrah (even if it is a bit gloomy). ~500 words; during the S6 sexcapades; PG for being dark enough not to be G; reasonably graphic violence otherwise nothing that would need warning for on the AO3. It's in response to the [community profile] sb_fag_ends prompt of Dante and Virgil leaving the dark wood, and probably makes most sense if you know anything about the Inferno... Preferably of course everyone would be a massive Dante fan and we could all have one big Dante party.

Where the Pilgrim Falls.
The way Buffy sees it, she's not midway down any freaking journey. Even if she is lost.
[ LJ | DW | AO3 ]

Now I feel like I need to add another line to make this post look right on the page, which is pathetic, but here's a sentence anyway. :P

ETA: Aha! A proper ending sentence: Mission Friend-Meet-Up has been rescheduled for a last hoorah tonight. Here's hoping I make it to Finchley Road and the new Hollywood Holmes film...
quinara: Wesley looking angsty. (Wes swirly)
Yay, London shopping tomorrow! I really wouldn't mind getting some new things, since I am very much in a rut of just owning Topshop things (it's the only actually decent shop in town), which means chatting to everyone and having people say 'I love your jumper; I've got it at home'. And it's a running joke among several of us that we all have the same top in different colours. (Oh, but so comfy and easy to wear and ridiculously modern-looking for something so shapeless.)

However, it's fun to browse places online before you go shopping, right? I think so. Unfortunately, this means I find myself on the Selfridge's website in exactly the place where I never want to be because I can't afford anything and, and... Matthew Williamson, what have you done; I love you and your coat is so beautiful and worth over five months' rent. Aaaaaaahhh!!!

And now I must sulk because I've chosen academia as a career and will probably never own clothes as nice as these. :( Alas!

(On a brighter note, however; thanks [livejournal.com profile] louise39 for the cute Halloween spider gift! It's so cute!!
quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)
Oh yeah, and what's the etiquette on commenting on poems people have shared just to share them? I keep having to scroll over this poem on my list where I'm sure the sentiment is very nice (other languages have words for sentiments we don't have, what does that mean, blah blah), but it chats about all these Sumerian tablets that were apparently business records, and what if they were poetry or psalms, and I keep getting this bitter taste in my mouth, because I'm almost certain the poet is talking about the Linear B tablets and apparently can't be bothered to work out the difference, and because frankly there is plenty of poetry and religious writing in Sumerian, thank you very much. I don't want to shoot the messenger, but I don't know what to say. I don't think the poem was posted with the intention of presenting it as blinkered anglophone wank, so it seems like it might be worth pointing out that that's how it comes across. And, and, and gumpity grump, the Sumerians and the Mycenaeans are not the same bloody people and it takes damned cheek to sideline all the thousands and thousands of people who used Sumerian for a massive rich multitude of purposes for some patronising bloody lament about what it would have been like if they'd done more with their language than count up sheep. Because they bloody did. Grump. Whinge.
quinara: Spike smoking on a crate. (Spike crate)
I banged my head on this metal spiral staircase there is outside where I live (ie. cycled underneath a curve of it and didn't duck away enough) just as I was going to Sainsbury's and think I may have been feeling hints of nausea on the whole trip, and now that I'm back I feel tired. I'm fairly certain I'm just tired, but know I'm not allowed a nap with a head bang/possible injury so am going to have to keep myself awake until my proper bedtime. Why is none of my Coke cold yet... *whinge*

PS. Does anyone know what you're actually meant to do with a possible concussion? Google's giving me nothing apart from 'find a doctor if it seems bad'.

ETA: I'm OK! Went to A&E and apparently gave myself a mild concussion, but am staying overnight with a friend overnight and should be fine!
quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
I am having serious issues with getting my morning routine to reset an hour earlier. As in it's not happening. Hence why I am not ready to leave even though it's already five past ten. (Hence why I'm not currently getting ready to leave even though it's already five past ten.) I keep waking up at seven eight and lying there thinking 'but this is such the perfect time for sleeping; I am exactly the perfect temperature to enjoy lounging in bed; it would be a waste to get up now...'. And then I'm tired and do nothing until nine ten.

(Yes, clearly my life is so terrible; cry me a river, Quin; etc. etc. But setting your own schedule is hard day after day. :( )

(I should point out, however, that, rather obviously, I have no trouble going to bed at the rescheduled time in the evening.)

((PS. Question - if you were faced with a fanvid to one of the Cage Against the Machine mixes of 4'33'', would you watch it? It's Spuffy...))
quinara: No Kicking Penguins (Penguins)
I was feeling Coke-deprived, and generally out of things to do before Being Human, so I pootled along to the Co-Op, the only shop open on a Sunday night, to buy some Coke (and bread and cake and squash), spent £3.75 on six cans (ie. waaaaay over the odds), came home and dumped my hoard on my bed. Then I checked my emails for a little bit, before returning to the bag to put things away - only to find that I'd managed (somehow) to burst an infinitesimal hole into the side of one of the cans and half of it had leaked everywhere. So now I only have five cans of Coke, about 200ml of flat Coke-flavoured liquid in a glass and a big stain on my quilt, the cover of which I only just cleaned the other day!

I feel like I'm being punished for not bothering to go to Sainsbury's this afternoon like I should have done...
quinara: Why Bird from Playdays with tea in front of the Whytech. (Why Bird tea and tech)
College has got some works going on, so there have been intermittent power cuts on the main site - they mostly haven't affected me, seeing as I live down the road and spend most of my day in the faculty, but recently they've been hitting the big router in the sky or whatever it is, so the internet was out for a (nail-biting) hour yesterday evening and (worse) since I got home at half past four this afternoon. (Having got the marks back for my first essay, which doesn't actually count, but went reasonably well, so I'm not too miffed - onwards and upwards!)

Because I'm a sad, sad person (or because you lot are far too exciting to leave for an evening - that's it) I've come back to the faculty on my 24-hours access and am sitting back in the library with my mini laptop on their internet. I probably won't stay very long, though, because it's a bit spooky on my own and I think I hear the other randomer who's here getting ready to leave.

Clearly, though, I need to tell you all this just so I can assert my existence, even when I look at the graphic of connected computers in the system tray and lament the lack of their little tiny world...
quinara: No Kicking Penguins (Penguins)
I think the scrollwheel is broken on my mouse: it will go up, but not down with any regularity. This is my lovely five-button bluetooth mouse, which sits perfectly beneath my fingers, which can be used on my lap inside a quilt if it's too cold to have my hand on the desk, which takes webpages back and forward with a touch of a thumb. It may be my dearest web-slobbing companion.

Woe.

Off to Amazon I suppose to find the exact same mouse.

ETA: Ooh, hang on; I may have fixed it with the power of a good puff down the places dust can get in. I hope it survives the night...
quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
- Somebody nominated Positive Exposure at the RWSAwards and the Sunnydale Memorial Fanfic Awards. Thanks, that person!

- I think my Darla fic is at least postable!

- My supervisor liked by Odyssey essay - never thought I'd see the day. (Though this does mean the other two essays I'll be writing on it this term will also have to be 4000 words long...)

- I did washing today so all my bedlinen and clothes are clean.

- My cold has not as yet revealed itself to be swine flu and seems to have instead settled into husky voice + very mild headache, which I can live with.

- My friend brought me some jelly beans back from London!

.

(I just wish my ears weren't still ringing despite the fact they took all the wax out.)
quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
Compared to several people on my flist, I have nothing to complain about. Just to make that clear. At the same time I don't think it's necessary for me to have potential-anaemia, overly-waxy-tinnitussy ears, the realisation I want to be doing the Odyssey paper rather than Sophocles paper (yeah, if I can just read the Odyssey in Greek over the weekend I'll have caught up - I've got to Book 10 - then there's an essay on it for Wednesday), a seminar on Monday about some poems I haven't been able to find in form more legible than this all summer and which, it turns out, aren't in the University Library either (they're available, apparently, but not on the shelves) and my phone freaking out so none of the buttons do what they're supposed to do ALL AT THE SAME TIME. And my laptop is still being ridiculous and pressing apostrophes when none need to be pressed. I've got a program to stop it writing apostrophes when it does it, but it means you can't hold down keys sometimes because something else has nabbed the repeat-pushing thing, and sometimes it blocks off the P key or the semi-colon.

Unimpressed.

Oh, bugger, I need to make myself some food. None of my stuff is clean, but my pyrex bowl only had pasta and peas in it. I'm sure it's fine.

ETA: The phone situation has stabilised. Yay! Alas, all else remains.

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

October 2014

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