Something about Everything

and Everything about Something

Long, long time ago...
cyren_2132
It's been so long since I've visited LJ for anything other than updating my master media list (where I'm heading into year two of watching far more old TV than movies and reading far, far too few books) or housing a piece of a fic I started on my desktop but want to work on from my laptop over dinnerbreak or when out of town.

It feels different around here now.

Book meme
cyren_2132
Tagged by black_sluggard:
** List 10 books that had an impact on you, at the top of your head, and tag some people to do it as well. **

In no particular order, but get ready for some Star Wars:
1. Star Wars: The Crystal Star by Vonda N. McIntyre: This book pretty much discovered and cemented my love of "concerned friends" tropes, as Luke has a little nutty and Han tries to pick up the pieces (while also worrying about Luke turning into a hermit with no one to love, but doing it in an acceptably Han-ly fashion. And the Solo twins were kidnapped and Leia was bad-ass with Chewie while trying to rescue them. It all *almost* makes up for the giant alien with a gooey center that's really a portal to instant death (or perhaps life, if it feels like it) for all who enter. Unless, apparently the voices of small children and a sister tugging at your ankle pull you out of your suicidal descent.

2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling:
Not the best of the series, and certainly not my favorite but it was the gateway to all the others, which hold a special place in my heart for their characters, world-building and readability.

3. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline: While it is at times a little clunky with name-drops, it's ultimately an exciting story that serves as a love letter to gaming culture.

4. The Butter Battle Book by Doctor Seuss: I firmly believe this book about the Zooks and the Yooks and their fight over which side of the bread to butter shaped my views on the pointlessness of going to war because of things that make us different, and it did it when I was six.

5. Paper Towns by John Green: OK, so sometimes it seems a little pretentious, and maybe a lot of John Green books sound alike, but this was the first one I read, and it was a great mystery and has incredibly chilling moments that I read at least three years ago and remember vividly to this day.

6. On Writing: A Memoir by Stephen King: He tells a great tale, whether it's about killer clowns, killer cars or killer rejection letters. And I really appreciate an included early draft with edit notes for part of one his stories (1408, if I remember right).

7. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury: For a long time, I had no interest in this book, because my first exposure was some movie from the 70s when I was a child and hating everything 70s. But I read it last year, and I feel fortunate to have gotten an anniversary edition that had an enormous author's note at the front. Much like "On Writing" I fell in love with the voice, so even when the actual book got to be kind of a slow read, I didn't want to quit. And I LOVE how much of it Bradbury got RIGHT about today's culture, right down to wall TVs and earbuds.

8. Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn: These were my first Star Wars books. Also the ones that made my sixth-grade teacher tell my parents that, while she appreciated my zeal for reading, I'd be doing much better in school if I weren't so absorbed in it during in class.

9. Star Wars: The Correllian Trilogy by Roger MacBride Allen: Where to start. A 3-in-1 hardback collection of this trilogy was an unprompted "Just because I knew you'd like it" gift from my cousin that I still have 20 years later, even though that spine is getting weak. It's also how I started up a conversation with someone in middle school who became one of my best friends. It also makes me laugh. Because Lando recruits Luke to accompany him while he goes wife-hunting.

10. The Making of T2 by Don Shay: Not only was it instrumental in my love of film behind-the-scenes stuff and probably played a large part in why I wanted to work in movies before I decided to go with journalism, it also was a major player in not one, but TWO grade-A projects in my academic career. Once in high school and once in college.

Tagging bradcpu, milly, delwyncole, warhol65

Disregarding Doctor's Orders
cyren_2132
So, I'm kind of ignoring my doctor, but in a good way. He told me to check my blood sugar three times per week. Like, in the morning on Monday, after a meal on Wednesday and before bed on Friday.

Yeah, I'm ignoring that. Because it doesn't help me get a grasp on what my levels normally are and how food and exercise affect them. And if I'm not getting helpful information out of it, then what's the point? (I suppose after a month or more I might finally start to recognize a pattern, but that seems like a long while to wait.) I think his thinking was to not overwhelm me, but he doesn't understand that not having information is the thing that overwhelms me.

So I'm checking it three times per day right now. Once when I get up, two hours after I eat my first meal (which so far has also been between 5 minutes and an hour after exercising), and then before I go to bed (usually two hours after a third meal or snack).

That's about as regular as I can be, because on the days that I eat two meals (or a meal and a snack) before work, I'm due to test when I get in, and there are still a lot of people wandering around, and I just don't want to do it there. And then after my dinner break, there are few enough people around that I wouldn't mind doing it, but by the time two hours hits, we're so busy that there's not really time (sometimes even to remember it, much less do it).

But I think I'm doing it enough times, with enough regularity that it should be helpful. And if I'm really curious what those typical work meals do to me, I can have one on a day off or something.

And maybe I'll get to a point where I feel like I only need to check it a few times per week, but that's not now.

Bought some stuff...
cyren_2132
On a whim, I decided to check out the Amazon deals of the day.  Ended up with a Brita water filter, because I do spend quite a lot on bottled water. Well, technically I suppose about $5 a month, but that's a lot of wasted plastic, even though I recycle it. But with shipping, it was $27, which was more than I'd be spending if I just went to Target (BEFORE my 5 percent discount). So I ended up getting Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars and Nike Fitness for Kinect (for a grand total of just over $40). AND THEN, I finally caved to the free 2-day shipping with an Amazon Prime trial. So I'm trying that.

And since I had the free 2-day shipping, I went ahead and bought a replacement remote for my Blu-Ray player for just over $10. I just figured, with the Kinect wanting even more space than the useable amount my Nyko attachment fools it into thinking I have, if I want to make the most out of Nike Fitness, I'm going to HAVE to move the 360 upstairs to my office. And I can move the Wii downstairs to handle Netflix (and Amazon Prime), but that leaves me powerless on the disc front, unless I have a fully-functioning player. (I can use it now, as long as it's a disc that just goes straight to the movie, but anything that requires the pushing of "Play Movie" is a no-go.)  I also recently got...it's kind of like a cross between a cushion and an ottoman at Target that I thought would be great for keeping upstairs in the office for the playing of Super Mario Bros. 3 and other Wii games, but it could work just as well upstairs for non-Kinect 360 games. And it's light enough that I can easily move it out of the way, which isn't exactly true of my couch.

Of course, while my shitty, boxy 13-inch TV was fine for Wii Fit and Bit.Trip Runner, I don't foresee tolerating it for very long as an Oblivion, Kinect, or Netflixing device (because, really, I'd also kind of like to watch stuff while biking). So...maybe come September there might be a new TV in my life.

Largely unrelated: I slacked off for the last couple months, but I'm back to food journaling. I just figure it'll save everybody some time when I go to meet my dietician (who I'm pretty sure would make the suggestion to do that) if I can just say "I have been! Here's what two weeks of choices that are a little more thoughtful without going too far out of my way look like."  Originally I was working on a 1750 calorie diet, but I've lost 10 pounds since November, and it suggested dropping to 1700. I use myfitnesspal, which I know has room for flawed information on the user-submitted things, but I feel like in general it's close enough. Will need to ask if I should figure out how to adjust settings. Because it's recommended a 50/30/20 ration of carb/fat/protein, but I'm almost always under -- sometimes dramatically so -- on carb (and sugar), but going over the wall on fat and protein. Now probably what that means is I need more leafy veggies,  less meat and bread, but it'll still be nice to know of my mid-level amount of effort is in the right track. Actual effort being cooking and planning meals that go beyond boiling water and/or slapping hunks of meat (maybe some cut up vegetables) into a skillet.

The Magicians: Mental cast
cyren_2132
I've started reading The Magicians by Lev Grossman (after stalling out again on The Martian Chronicles and outright giving up on Secret Grave when the library was ready to charge me for it), and so far I've got a mental cast going that looks liked this:

Brakebills Headmaster (who's name I can't remember): William Daniels (aka Mr. Feeny, Boy Meets World)
Quentin: Taylor Kitsch (aka Tim Riggins, Friday Night Lights
Eliot: Young Steve Buscemi (who needs no introduction)

TWoP's end...
angry
cyren_2132
It's a little old news now, but Television Without Pity is closing its doors, pulling down all of its recaps and articles by April 4 and shutting down its forums May 31. The original founders (back when the site was Mighty Big TV) have a new, similar to the original, site at previously.tv, that -- if migration actually happens instead of users just bleeding out into individual tumblrs and whatnot, will probably suffice to keep the sense of community going.

But it's still a little sad to say goodbye to TWoP. It was literally my introduction to the concept of fandom.

Also, now that I'm actually trying to watch/finish Smallville, I'm in a mad dash to copy all the recaps before they go away. Well, I started yesterday with where I am -- midway through season 4 -- and am now almost through season 5. At this rate, I'm cutting it really close but I *might* be able to get through season 10 before it all goes away. Hopefully without being spoiled. I really end up  only reading the writer-given title and first/last couple words of any given recap, and Omar G was really good about not being too spoilery (despite a promo-based "Next Week: Blah blah blah" line  at the end) but there's someone new who did 10, and I have no idea if she's as courteous.

Words words words words
cyren_2132
 So, I may have only won NaNoWriMo once in my life (and by kind of devious methods, too), BUT, with the conclusion of a Castle fic, I now have 52,426 words worth of completed stories on AO3. The longest story is 13,815 words. The shortest: 233.

Stitch happens
cyren_2132
I now have a tetanus shot and a stitch courtesy of my cat. I was taking the trash out about 1 a.m. this morning, and as I was walking through the living room, he comes darting out from around the ottoman, directly under my feet to the point that I step on him. I've  got one foot on him, one foot in the air, he's yowling and the the only way to go is down, directly into my shelf of media stuff.

I don't know if I caught the shelf or a boxed set of something but I ended up with a puncture wound/cut  that started at the base of the webby skin between the pinky and ring finger and extended up into the pinky itself. It wasn't terribly long, but it looked pretty deep, even after it mostly stopped bleeding. With it looking so deep and being in the spot that it was and nobody to talk to at 1 in the morning, I took my very first solo trip to the ER. (After agonizing over what I should do for about 20 minutes before determining that <i>this is why I have insurance.</i>.)

So yeah. Got a stitch. And for all I know it was the hospital just lining its pockets, but I do feel like I have a little peace of mind about it now. Because I do a lot of typing, and even though I can type with my pinky in the air, I just imagine it would take a long time to heal on its own.

But I've been so stressed out this week, and this whole affair did not exactly help. The cat's fine, though.

A love-hate relationship with Castle messes with my brain
cyren_2132
I know that promo-monkeys often make horrendously misleadinig promos (for which, I hate them) but I just watched this week's Castle, and this is like the third week in a row where the promo has left me worried I'm about to be beaten to the punch. Obviously not in all the details, and probably not even in overall idea, but just in little things that are important to me.

And I can't decide how I feel about that. Because on one hand ... <i>I WANTED TO WRITE SOMETHING THAT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE I'M RIPPING OFF SOMETHING THE SHOW'S ALREADY DONE!</I> But on the other hand, I never really get the urge to write fic unless I'm feeling supremely dissatisfied but still interested. And in Castle's case, that took four years broken up with a 4-month intermission because for awhile, all I was feeling was the dissatisfied (though, that was largely because of the Caskett relationship). But lately, now that we're a full a year from the irritated spark that got me wanting to fic (the quick and dumb resolution to the betrayal and falling out of Ryan and Esposito), I'm really enjoying it again, and I want it to be Monday now, please.

I really want to go find some spoilers, so I know if I should be disappointed in flat-out liar of a promo or not. But I also don't, because then that kind of kills the Monday fun. :/

Maybe this is not Jim Castle
cyren_2132
I wasn't quite ready to work on my NaNo today (apparently, describing somebody's first bite ever of an orange took a lot out of me), so instead I took a friendly visit over to morphthing.com and -- after uploading a picture of Stana Katic -- did a blend of her and Nathan Fillion. I might have to find different pictures for both of them, because I'm not sure about this one. Maybe if you imagine it 15 years younger? And perhaps with less eyeliner?

jimcastle1

These were the source images. Stana really has a strong jaw.Collapse )

I'm thinking, once I've done some writing today, I might grab photos of the two John Connors I care about (Edward Furlong and Thomas Dekker) and mix them with Seamus Dever to see what sort of sideshow horror it creates.

Edit: I'm currently sitting at 13,569 words which is short of the 15k goal I had, but I think it's going to have to do, and I might have to do random scenes of other things for awhile while I work out the Present Day plot of the Terminator-Castle fic. I'm not drowning in a plot hole or anything like I am in the other stories, I'm just not sure what anyone's doing besides running from a Terminator.

Also, maybe it's because I just watched Fantastic 4 a few days ago, but does the Jim composite up there look kind of like Ioan Gruffudd?:jimgruffud

Maybe less so in a side-by-side, but I can still kind of see it:
jim as ioan

Maybe an Ioann Gruffudd meets John Barrowman? This is a dangerous rabbit hole I'm falling down.

NaNo Update
cyren_2132
Brace yourself, Castle fans: I've just killed off Javier Esposito. Granted, it's a 20+ years in the future/post Judgment Day Esposito, and the one we all know and (sometimes) love is still very much alive and trying to avert said Judgment Day, but dead is still dead. His lat words?

"Come and get me, you metal sons of bitches."

There's an exchange right before it happens that, even though it's still really rough, I'm going to share anyway, because I just really like it. It's set just after Javier's been injured on a mission with Ryan, Jim Castle and Trip, their Terminator "friend," and declined to be carried away to someplace that may or may not be safe.

Read more...Collapse )

Old!Ryan is next, because in that future, they totally lose. But I really need to decide if I want future!RyanandEsposito to be an item or not. Because they raise Jim for 8 years after Castle and Beckett die (which I have not written one word of), but so far I've danced around whether they became a couple. Like, literally, the teenager who has LIVED WITH THEM FOR 8 YEARS, is all "Yeah, I don't know, and neither did anyone else, but we were a family."

But as far as words go, I'm at 10,915, which puts me about 750 words away from hitting the recommended Day 7 total, and as of 1 a.m. Tuesday morning, 9,085 words off of par 20K. I'm on my weekend now and am hoping to be at 15,000 come Wednesday's end. Well, technically I'm hoping to be on par at 21,666, but that just seems very unlikely. Especially since I've been hit with an urge to play my Fandom Sims again. But only after the recommended daily word count has been exceeded each day (by one word or 1,000 words, it doesn't really matter. Just no Sims until I see green.)

Terminator/Castle fic is back on the schedule
cyren_2132
With a draft of the October fic done, I spent my dinner break writing (and adding to) a couple random scenes for the dead!Ryan idea. Finding him, and then talking to a hysterical, angry Jenny. Wrote about 800 of 1,800 words at McDonald's (and then promptly lost 200, since it was just in a private LJ post and I accidentally closed the window).

But I've also been watching Queer Eye for the Straight Guy on Netflix. It's one of my "come home and relax" shows because it's fun and feel-good, and I can watch 45 minutes without feeling like I MUST WATCH MORE NOW!! But after watching it, I couldn't bring myself to write dead!Ryan or depressed!Ryan, or shady!Ryan or Ryan-Perlmutter bros. or any of those really dark and grim stories that still may or may not merge into one or two monster stories. And the episode that I watched just happened to have the Fab 5 working with a family that was a dad and mom and something like 8 foster kids.

Now, it's extremely rare that I get hit with a head-canon -- so rare that I can really only think of two, and one of them is that Kevin Ryan was adopted. So that really paved the way for making Ryan be John Connor in the first place, and I spent a fair bit of wordage last year dedicated to John coming to terms with people who wanted to give him a normal family and then becoming Kevin Ryan, complete with a mom a dad and three sisters. So, I after watching that episode, I opened that story up and started reading it again.

And now I really, really want to be writing it. So that's what I'm going to do. While keeping my 7,650 words from the October fic and the 1,800 words of dead!Ryan, because I'm a rebel that way. New word count might be tricky though, because last year I jumped all around, and now I have scenes that need fleshed out or added to or to have more scenes in between them, and I just don't think a clean document just for new words will work.

So I think I'm going to stick with the old document and just make note of the current word count (22,192) and just subtract that from the current total each time I want to update.

Yay, I'm excited about NaNo again! Glad that was a relatively quick turnaround.

One fic bites the dust...
cyren_2132
Well, one fic smells the dust at least. With an additional 7,565 words, I've got a first draft of the story I meant to finish in October done. It'll definitely get shorter between now and when I post it, because I know I wrote some scenes that were just bad and probably unnecessary, but I had to write them to get my brain into the next scene. As for whether I edit sometime this month or put it off until December, we'll just have to see how things go.

I think I might visit the adoption threads of the nanowrimo boards and see if there are any plot bunnies that strike my fancy, because I'm still all "Nyugh, I NEED TO THINK MORE" about my stuff, and maybe I just need someone else's bunny to jump into something and do the whole wild abandon thing.

As for the overall word count, I'm nearly 6,000 words off of par, but I don't think 7,565 words in 8 days is anything to sneeze at, either. And for the past three days, I've hit the 1,667 words per day mark (I just wish I'd done it earlier than 11:59 p.m., so I could enjoy a green bar on my profile for a little while longer each day). I don't know how some people are already done and heading to 100,000 words, though.

Also, I have a really bad habit of checking my word count every 200 words or so. I think the longest I've gone without a check and update was 600.

Looking for music
cyren_2132
So, I've determined over the last handful of years, that I don't hate rap/hip-hop as much as I thought I did in the 90s. I mean, there's still a lot I don't like, but Fight with Tools, the first Flobots album, is one of my favorite (of all genres) ever -- and I was really disappointed that the Iron Man vid to Handlebars that first introduced them to me isn't streaming anywhere anymore (I have it, but I was linking songs elsewhere in hopes of recs, and would have preferred to link that vid). I really like Rising Tied by Fort Minor (made by Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, whose early work I really like but I haven't heard much beyond "Minutes to Midnight"). And there are even some Eminem songs I like (some, like Big Weenie and Rain Man, I feel a little bad liking, but Mosh and especially Not Afraid legitimately vie for space in my rotating top five favorite songs ever list).

So, knowing that, does anyone have any recommendations for me? iTunes Genius has given me a leaping off point, but I have a really hard time deciding if I like unheard songs by a 1.5 minute preview, and I'm not quite ready to jump into the black hole of random youtube videos based on a computer algorithm. I just think of all the times Netflix has been like "You like that, so maybe you'll like this!" and I'm just all "in what world are those similar things...."

Also, my long weekend starts tomorrow, and I'm ready for it be here. It's going to be an unbearable day.

NaNo begins....except not really.
cyren_2132
All that build up, and I can't start. Five concepts -- six if you count last year's unfinished Terminator fusion -- and I'm not happy or excited about any of them now that it's time to be writing. I was just going to come home and do the whole "write random scenes for any of them and see what happens" thing, but meh.

:(

Finishing things, except not really
cyren_2132
I'm still chugging away at the one fic I want to get finished before November. It would help if I wrote more than a couple paragraphs a day. Also, if I didn't keep dreaming up new scenes (that actually give the whole story a theme instead of just a plot, so yay for that). That second one is actually a very good problem to have when it comes NaNoWriMo.

But the first totally cancels it out.

Bookmarks and fanfic
cyren_2132
Last summer, when the display on my macbook was going all wonky, I started going through my bookmarks and indexing them so I didn't lose them when I switched computers. Yeah, I probably could have just imported them, but this gives me a chance to filter out things I don't remember why I bookmarked and don't seem to care about now. Plus, I get to share things I found interesting.

I didn't finish, but I think I'm going to have to get back on that while it's still remotely useable (half the screen, 3/4 of the way up is just a big white mess with colored fine lines criss-crossing it and the rest of the screen). Because there are two creepy Sherlock fanfics that I want to find, but I don't know their names and my googlefu is failing me.

Without being too spoilery, in one, Mrs. Hudson keeps Sherlock from being bored. In another, John is majorly creeped out on a walk home from the store and has Sherlock on the phone. I can't remember if it was Mycroft-related or if they just THOUGHT it was Mycroft related before being disabused of that notion. Any help?

A few things (NaNo and Not)
cyren_2132
First off, I recently bought some things from Amazon, and they're here! I'm now the proud owner of the Dream A Little Dream soundtrack (again) and 1988 B movie "Ghost Chase"! I don't feel bad about re-buying DaLD, because the last time I bought it, my main method of listening to music was a generic portable CD player that was really only easily portable because giant pockets were a thing in the mid 90s. Also, once I got my license, an adapter for the tape deck in my car. So it's been a while. And Ghost Chase is just a fun movie (but don't trust Netflix's description, because it's just WRONG.)

But on to NaNo: I still haven't nailed down what I'm going to do, but the company that makes Scrivener -- software that apparently makes it really easy to organize scenes or write out of order without spreading it over a bunch of different documents or having one long document to scroll around in -- is doing a free trial (check nanowrimo.org for the promo code) that covers the rest of October, all of of November and I think maybe even a little of December, with discounts to purchase afterward (20 percent off for all wrimos and 50 percent off for all winners).

So, I've got that, and I think what I'm going to do once I wrap up this post is finish the fic I've been procractinating on for weeks*, and then plan to take all the rest of my Ryan thoughts -- whether he's alive or dead, undercover, friends with Perlmutter, fighting with Jenny or just all around hopeless -- and just write scenes. The hope is that maybe I can find a way to tie a whole lot of them together and get it all out in one fic (and that plot holes work themselves out as I go). Obviously, an alive or dead decision would have to be made, but I suspect if I go with alive I can find the underlying emotional punch that made dead so appealing and adapt.

But we'll see. And even if I don't end up with a complete 50k-word story that incorporates everything at the end, I'll at least be well on my way to having a half dozen or so new Ryan fics to sprinkle between my fic usernames (yes, I have a fanfic secret identity for reasons, one of which is when I feel like it's absolutely ridiculous for one person to write so much fic about one character.)

*Collapse )

NaNo planning
cyren_2132
I've made a little progress on choosing a story, and I'm probably going to write way more about it than I intended underneath this cut, but I really want this post to be about planning the rest of my October for an easier November.

But first let's see how long I yammer on about story ideasCollapse )

I've been thinking a lot about WIPs. Sometimes the really long ones that have been abandoned for a really long time -- most notably the SG-1 fic Alternate Point of View, and the Stargate/Star Wars crossover that has never been anything to me but "Jedi Daniel." And "Teen Daniel" which is what it sounds like, only angstier. And then there are the more recent ones, like the Kid!John Sherlock fic (spoiler alert: A surprise HP crossover, because how else does John Watson suddenly physically become a 12-year-old?) and last year's TSCC/Castle Nano crossover.

But those all require a lot of work. I've got a couple other stories that I can see the finish line on, so I think I'm going to try to bang those out before November.

I also want to get my apartment all nice and clean. Partly because I need to do that anyway. Sometimes I just look around and feel *bad* about how it looks in here (and then I lose the will to do anything). But also because, if it's messy in November, that's one procrastination tool I DON'T need. "What's that? I'm 10,000 words behind? Well, I think it's vitally important that I make this apartment absolutely spotless right now, sorry."

I also really want to be cooking meals in advance. You know, things I can portion out and freeze to nuke later (note to self: buy better storage). This would also be really helpful when it comes to taking my dinner to work with me for a change. Or, if there's a whole dish that I could freeze so all I have to do is put it in the oven at a later date, that'd be cool, too. So, I need to find some recipes and make some plans.

I also want to make snacky things. Because, sure. I'll probably buy leftover Halloween candy, but I should have some healthier things in mind, too. Maybe I'll pick up a vegetable platter at the start of each week. And then maybe come December, I'll just start buying actual vegetables that I cut myself like a grownup.

Does anyone have good trail mix sorts of recipes? I suppose I could just do Chex Mix (made, not purchased, because blech unless you're getting the fancy sweet kinds).

So, in short, I've got three weeks to:
  • Finish a couple WIPs
  • Clean my apartment
  • Make big meal/snack plans
  • Implement meal snack/plans
  • Oh, and plan my NaNo


It doesn't look like much, but it feels like a lot.

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