Reading very old fics is like reading your old diary: occasionally embarrassing but also occasionally uplifting. At least for me. For every "Oh god, the prose in this is veering toward imperial purple" there's a quiet "wow, that was a really nice turn of phrase". And then there are the paragraphs I have no memory whatsoever of writing. They're usually ones I find good, so the strangeness doubles: it's like someone I don't know scribbled five or six lines in the middle of the story when my figurative back was turned.

The past really is a foreign country, but sometimes you have a faded map.
empyreus: (foolish)
( Oct. 9th, 2013 07:42 pm)
Things that make me sad: the fact that [ profile] yuletide no longer makes me excited. Now I just feel worried and anxious and guilty when the brainstorming and signup posts go up. Why? Because it reminds me of how badly I've lost faith in my skills. Logically, I know I haven't suddenly turned into the worst writer in the world, but it doesn't help. The little voice in the back of my head that says "There are a thousand new writers and they're all cleverer than you and they all know the fandom better than you" keeps getting louder when it should be getting weaker. It makes me feel old, too, because not being able to be excited over challenges and new fandoms also makes me feel like I can't keep up with fandom. Everything moves so fast, and everything is ficced/vidded/capped/gifsetted/meta'd within what feels like seconds. And I stand there thinking "Oh. I've already missed the train on new stuff and can't do anything with it/inspired by it because it's old hat by now", and for some inexplicable reason it makes me feel nervous and inadequate.

I feel old. And out of touch. And like I'm on the outside looking in. And like I should just shut up instead of complaining about non-issues.
empyreus: (academia)
( Oct. 30th, 2010 09:52 pm)
Fic writing meme gacked from [ profile] caras_galadhon:

Out of curiosity, if I was chained up in your attic/study/basement/library/secret lair, and I had to write you one story, what would you ask for? Or alternately, what's something you always hoped I'd write but think isn't likely to happen?

Surprise me. :)
I wonder if I'll ever learn not to overthink everything. If I'll ever be able to just write fic, be happy with it and post it without agonising over whether or not someone'll think I've failed so hard omg with a side of the standard whiny "but this'll never be as good or as popular as the epics everyone loves". I think I need to get out the world's smallest violin and play for myself a little. :P

Also, I have a totally idiotic Inception-related question: when you enter someone else's dream, are the clothes you wear ones you a) chose yourself (i.e. told yourself you'd be wearing in the dream), b) wore when you fell asleep, c) the dreamer put you in? Or d) something else entirely? (Or e) wtf is wrong with you, what the hell kind of question was that? Are you stupid?) I'm sure the answer is blindingly obvious, but I'm just feeling too dense at the moment.

This has just been a bit of a shitty day and a shitty week and I feel a bit moody and unsure of myself again. Bleh.
empyreus: (yuletide2009 by chomiji)
( Dec. 22nd, 2009 03:38 am)
Yuletide fic posted, woot! And with a massive 26 minutes and 45 seconds to go, too.

For my next trick, I think I shall fall into bed. Tomorrow Today Tomorrow is gift-hunting day. And it's picture-posting day, too, since I have some pictures of the wonderfully snowy and wintry weather we're currently enjoying that I want to share.

Oh, and a mostly belated Happy Solstice! We had 4 hours and 40 minutes of daylight today, so the longest night is indeed long here.
empyreus: (academia)
( Sep. 10th, 2007 09:25 pm)
Nicked this off [ profile] annmarwalk:

1. Comment to this post with the name of a character that I have written.

2. I will comment telling you the following:
    a. What initially prompted me to like the character enough to write about him/her.
    b. One of his/her best traits.
    c. One of his/her worst traits.
    d. How easy/difficult I find it to write the character.
    e. The story/chapter/paragraph/phrase where I feel that I truly captured the character.
    f. My plans (if any) to write the character in the near future.
empyreus: (scribbling)
( Jun. 22nd, 2007 02:27 pm)
*collapses* Finally finished the challenge fic, with minutes to spare. I'm never writing that pairing again, I swear. I should have known to add said pairing to the "Will not write" part of the sign-up form but no, I didn't even think anyone would request it. Silly me. I should have remembered that I always manage to get assigned the oddest prompts or pairings.

And now I'm off to [ profile] tackerama's place to spend Midsummer with her and [ profile] littlemimm. I have cider and chocolate and I intend to use both. I also intend to take some pictures to show you that Finland isn't called the land of the midnight sun for nothing. Okay, we don't have sun all through the night like in Lapland, but today the day is 20 hours and 23 minutes long where I live, which I think counts for something. There's neither dawn nor dusk during this time of year, only a very short night. (Compare this to the three or four hours of daylight we have in midwinter. Yeah. We have a few issues about moderation when it comes to day length. Comes with living so close to the North Pole. *g*)

Have a lovely Midsummer, all of you!
Note to self: do not read Sharpe and Fanny Hill at the same time. It will scramble your brain terribly.

Oh dear, now I want to write a horribly over-done slashy mash-up of Sharpe and FH... With Lawford as Fanny and Sharpe as Charles. Or possibly draw it in period-appropriate style and call it "Sharpe's Lilyboy". Aiee.
I'm sitting here staring at my screen, trying to will several ficlets to work, and I seem to have got stuck. So, I mused, what can I do to come unstuck? Ah yes, I'll ask my Flist.

So: Do you have specific music/pictures/rituals that help you write*? Share it with me. It can be smutty music or a tearjerking track, porn or classical art, a specific blend of tea or a writing exercise. What gets you and your muses going?

Feel free to upload stuff or point me to it.

*I'm not just talking about writing slash here. I mean writing in general, be it fanfic or original fiction, drabbles or novels. :)
empyreus: (Sharpe)
( Feb. 20th, 2007 10:06 pm)
Today's been a bit of a bumpy ride, really. The interpreting exercises were much more challenging than they usually are, and I felt completely wrung out after a half-hour Swedish-to-Finnish consecutive turn. Mind, the subject was legislature, something I'm not all that good at in either language. I nearly gave up once or twice, having snarled myself into a sentence or misunderstood where the speaker was going with a particular point, but I gritted my teeth and soldiered on. My hands shook the whole time, but I held on to my trusty clipboard (great when you're taking notes while standing) so hard my hand hurt and managed to look calm.

After the lecture, I had to bike to one of the local video stores to rent a few Swedish movies to watch with my students tomorrow, and as I prepared to bike back to campus to attend another lecture, I heard an ominous 'thunk' as I mounted the bike and began pedalling. Yes, the back tire was flat. I swore heartily, then remembered there was a bike repair show nearby and wheeled the bike there. Long story not-so-short: I had to walk back to campus, attend three quarters of the lecture, then walk back into town to get my bike before the repair shop closed and also pay 40e for the pleasure of having the back tire changed and my breaks adjusted. (To be fair, the repairman also changed the brake pads, something that really needed to be done.) And boy, had the brakes been adjusted. I'm used to the front brake being really loose, meaning I have to brake hard to get it to work, and when I biked off home, I assumed the brakes would still be a bit loose despite having been adjusted. (They were a bit floppy when I'd last had them fixed at a different repair shop.) I was wrong. When I had to brake at a zebra crossing and grabbed hold of both brakes rather hard out of habit, I nearly went flying over the handlebars. The front brake is now so sensitive you barely have to close your fingers around it to have the brakes slam on. Takes some getting used to.

The weather was so cold that my legs felt like they belonged to someone else when I finally made it home. My cheekbones also hurt fiercely, despite the fact that I wore my scarf pulled up over my nose and cheeks. It's only about -18°C here, but the wind chill makes it murderous. And they've promised -18° and 4 m/s for tomorrow, which equals -26,5°C of wind chill. My class(es) begins at 08.15, meaning I have to get up really early, and runs to 15.15. Do not want.

However, all was not bad today, as I also managed to write almost 500 words of challenge ficlets (for the old requests, you'll be glad to hear) and played around with ideas for the new ones. And the lentil stew I made when I came home turned out excellent. And I found a terrifically geeky old (well, seventies) book on word elements in modern biochemistry for only 20 cents in the used book sale bin at the library. Stop laughing. I like etymology.

I'll leave you with a snip from a BBC article that amused me for no other reason than that the medical professional has a lovely name:
Professor Richard Sharpe, principal investigator at the MRC Human Reproductive Sciences Unit in Edinburgh said the study was yet another indication that naturally occurring plant products can have an effect on human hormones.

Professor, eh? Dick Sharpe, gone from havercake to hormone specialist... Did Baird lure him to Edinburgh? (It's even funnier due to the fact that I was taking a break from typing up Sharpe fic notes when I read the article.)
empyreus: (scribbling)
( Feb. 19th, 2007 11:00 pm)
I know I owe people challenge ficlets and request fics (some from years back *cringe*), but I couldn't resist this one. It'll give me something to think about at work when I'm bored.

Give me one of my own stories, and a timestamp sometime in the future after the end of the story, or sometime in the past before the story started, and I'll write you at least a hundred words of what happened then, whether it's five minutes before the story started or ten years in the future.

All my fics are fair game and can be found in this journal. Go here for all entries tagged 'fic'.
Ahahaha, am slowly going hysterical. I stayed up until 2.30 a.m., beating the crap out of a late assignment; fell into bed, woke up at a half past three to a text message sent by slightly dense friend who does not understand when not to message people, fell back asleep, woke up at a quarter past seven to what sounded like a metal plough being dragged across the ice on the front yard, looked blearily at the alarm, set it on snooze, then fell asleep and slept through the alarms. I finally threw myself out of bed at a quarter to nine, took a shower, downed coffee, got dressed, searched frantically for my lecture notes and ran to the Norwegian lecture which began at ten. After that, contrastive grammar, which was boring but not too taxing. Am at home right now as I have a gap before the next lecture, which is at 16.30. (It isn't an ordinary lecture, it's more of a quick info session about a course which will be taken online.) However, I have to leave the info thing at a few minutes to five, and sprint across the campus to be on time for the three-hour Latin lecture. Quite how I'm going to manage that without falling asleep or zoning out, I don't know. Coffee?

Oh, before I forget: I wrote some original fiction for the [ profile] picfor1000 challenge. The story is called Woden's Due, and it was great fun to write, if you ignore the horrible difficulty of keeping it exactly 1000 words. Let's see if I don't post a director's cut of it later because the characters won't shut up and leave my head.

Blargh. Back to Latin verbs now.
empyreus: (foolish)
( Nov. 1st, 2005 12:29 am)
I was going to finish this ficlet on the right side of midnight so I could post it as a Halloween fic, but no, of course I had to get paranoid and sidetracked and run over by ever-expanding narrative, and now Halloween is officially over here. Bleh. Maybe it's for the best, though. Now I can focus on getting the damn thing to make sense, rather than just trying to tie up all the loose ends in a hurry so I can make an imagined deadline. *shakes head* I swear, sometimes I'm so silly I amuse myself.

In other news: my throat is no longer sore, but now my nose is stuffy as hell and I keep coughing. It's not even the gratifyingly raspy kind of cough (the one that makes people flinch and half expect you to cough up little pieces of lung) yet, just the dry, hacking cough that sounds like you've swallowed a dust bunny. I expect it'll get worse in a few days, particularly as I spent today's Russian lecture in a far-too-tiny lecture hall with thirty-five other students, half of which seemed to be suffering from some form of head cold. Great. I'm supposed to represent my fencing club at a local education fair (don't ask me why they need to have fencers there, because I haven't the faintest clue) next week, but if I don't get better, it's not going to work. What's worse, they need me there, because out of the ten-odd fencers who could attend, only two (myself and C) are fluent in Finnish, and we need to be able to hand out information in both languages. Argh.

Anyway. Back to writing. I don't feel tired at all, and I suspect I'll stay up until the wee hours. Good thing my only lecture tomorrow (today?) begins at three in the afternoon.

Lastly, a random observation: who would've thought there were so many Finns on [ profile] lower_tadfield?
Just finished reading Sharpe's Prey, which I liked. It's not perfect (is there such a thing?), but it was spendidly entertaining and drew me in quickly. Of course, seeing as this is a Cornwell book, slashiness abounded. I'm not kidding. The books are full of astonishingly handsome men who are "fascinated" by Sharpe. (As a side note: I suspect BC has a thing for blondes: there are at least five characters described as fair-haired and tall in this book. Granted, it is set in Denmark, but three out of the five mentioned are not Nordic.)

I made some notes while reading, most of them relating to details (I spotted grammatical errors in the Danish bits, among other things) I thought I should check up, but along the way I began recording rather random things. The end of the list is full of "OMG"s, "w00t"s and exclamation points, plus assorted comments which make little sense out of context. Like "Dunnett, you arse." or "Don't send the pretty away!".

Pretty, yes. There's rather a lot of pretty in the book, and at least four pairings I felt an urge to write. Hence the subject line of this post. Nnngh. My head is full of fic these days, and I've been working on all the challenge ficlets I've promised people, plus other older fics and new bunnies. It's great fun to write again, but I sometimes get a bit frazzled when I try to keep up with the fictives. There are so many of them, and they're so damn chatty. Not to mention obstinate.

Back to Sharpe's Prey: I'm so in love with Lord Pumphrey it isn't even funny. ([ profile] juonetar, you were so right about him!) He's a delicious character. Also, am I completely insane or would Vincent Cassel make a rather good Pumphrey if one were to go on looks alone? [Take Jean-François de Morangias from Le Pacte des Loups, subtract red clothes, add pastels and a bit of whiteface and ye're done.]

I'll quit rambling now, I think. I'm so tired I can't type properly and I need to get up at a sensible time tomorrow. (Or is it today? It's past midnight...)
empyreus: (Sharpe)
( Sep. 17th, 2005 01:38 am)
A few days back, I was attacked by a Sharpe bunny, and I had to write it despite feeling most guilty over writing something that was not related to the request meme (that is already horrendously late).

Ahem. The ficlet is just about finished, but I need someone to look it over. It's a PWP of about 1,300 words, so it's nothing strenous. The pairing is Sharpe/Lawford, and it's set during Sharpe's Tiger.

*pokes Flist* I know there are people out there who have read the Sharpe books, and even people who have written fic in that 'verse. Could you help me? [ profile] caras_galadhon? [ profile] cinzia?[ profile] viva_gloria? Bueller?

I'd stay up and loiter on AIM, but I'm too tired. Leave a comment or email me if you feel up to the task.
empyreus: (Cate)
( Aug. 17th, 2005 10:03 am)
I loathe this feeling of paranoia I get when there is a new fic posted, and the general idea of it runs close to the one of the fic I am currently working on. I'm not abandoning the current fic, though. No, there is enough divergence. </cryptic>

I amuse myself at times. I'm paranoid to the point of being utterly ridiculous when it comes to some things, in particular my writing. I'm constantly afraid of not being good enough, of making a fool of myself, of not being what people expect of me. [ profile] darkie and [ profile] tackerama are completely right when they say it's a wonder I manage to write anything at all, seeing how violent the writing process is for me.

Yes, I am satisfied with some of the things I've written, so it's not a case of burning hatred towards every word I have ever committed to paper or file. If anything, it's a case of trying to be everything to everyone all of the time.  I'm my own worst critic and I drive myself hard. (Tangentially related to this: I wasn't terribly surprised to find out that my Tarot card is The Chariot.)

I wish I'd get over this, because it's time-consuming and it drains me. And it must be annoying the people who are forced to listen to it as well.
First day of work today. Bleh. I know the routine: first there's absolutely nothing to do for two hours, then all hell breaks loose and chaos reigns for four hours. Ah well. *cracks knuckles* I've done this before. I can take it. (I'm not sure how I'll cope with having to train newbies, though. It's stressful enough to try to sort quickly without having to answer the question "Does this go in this pile?" six thousand times. I'm not the nicest person when I'm stressed.)

We finished my costume yesterday, and it's beautiful. *quiet squeeing* I've decided to skip the necklace, because the costume isn't a perfect copy (the colours are different, as are some of the details, and it fits differently because a)I'm shorter than Marton, b)I'm not male), and it would look cluttered. All I need to do now is finish some minor detailing (belt clasps), plus fix the ears.

Slasha challenges:
Lotrips: far too little written, and far too strange prose.
LotR FPS: too many odd turns of phrase, but the smut is coming along nicely.
WWToYT: going to hell. I obviously need to re-read the books, because I can't remember details.

Other fic: comatose. I have no time! *wails*

Christmas cards done: zero. Must.kick.self.into.gear.

Nine days. *wibbles*


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