Thursday, November 25, 2010

Now that's something I wasn't expecting

Like many writers, I can probably safely say that I work nearly entirely on a computer at this stage of the writing game. Heck, I bought my netbook Hamster for pretty much that specific purpose.

I use my notebooks to plan stories, to do sketches and outlines of what I'm going to write, to make lists of what's in the hopper, to try and write out ideas before I decide to commit to them in a piece of fiction.

But imagine my surprise when yesterday morning I found myself compelled to start on THIS:

That's my moleskine-type notebook and that's my strange handwriting and that's my fountain pen. At the time when I took the photo, very early on Thursday morning, I'd actually managed to do about ten pages of actual WRITING in my notebook. Yes, there are parts where I've crossed out entire lines because, after all, there are no backspace keys when you're actually doing it all in longhand.

You have no idea how much my left hand hurts. I used to be a dedicated pencil-pusher [and I mean that almost literally] and now my hand hurts when I try to put together a grocery list that's about six items long. O how the mighty have fallen! XD

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Keeping in Touch

It's been a strange year for me in terms of my fandoms. This 2010 has been the year in which I've finally winnowed my fandoms down to pretty much a bare handful:

> the Takarazuka Kagekidan
> the film Inception
> the modern Doctor Who [to be specific, this would be from Nine till Eleven]
> the 2010 BBC miniseries Sherlock

And it's been so inspiring, particularly the whole Inception thing. I got in on that one on pretty much the ground floor and it's been a wild ride ever since. December will see the release of the DVD, so that will probably mean an explosion of fannishness. And of course there's also the fact that the fic exchanges are all going to start posting around the Christmas and New Year holidays. So you can bet I'm pretty excited about that.

I've had a lot of firsts with this fandom, and so I guess it's only fitting that I do something else for the first time this year. The thing about my fandoms is that the fans are scattered widely, all over the world. It's fun to meet them in cyberspace, but it's just as amazing to try and contact them for real.

So I'm going to try and kick off another first for me this year: send holiday postcards all over the world.

One of the Google April Fools' Day jokes: a Google search, run by postcard.

The nice thing is that when I asked around my fandoms lists for people who'd like to receive a postcard from me, a few of them "demanded" my own address, so that they could also send me something in return.

I'm looking forward to writing out my messages and mailing the postcards out. I really am. Not to mention I can't wait to deploy my beloved pens! THIS is why I collect pens - this is the very occasion I've been saving them up for. *grin*

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Harry Potter is the best hope we have. Trust him."

Since this post will contain some hits and some misses in the first part of the final film installment of the Harry Potter series, PLEASE EXPECT SPOILERS FOR BOTH. Fair warning, okay?

Together with my parents, my sister, and my partner, I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 last night. It was almost like a midnight screening, as the show started at about 10:30pm and ended just before 1:00am.

The first impressive thing I learned: the show was sold out. And this was a midnight screening, on a weekend, two whole days after the movie had opened. In hindsight, this was probably only to be expected. As the trailers advertise, it IS the beginning of the end, not only in-story but also for those who read the books. [At this point I'm not discriminating between the kids for whom the books were originally meant, and all the others - adults, families, parents, and readers - who fell in love with the books.]

The second impressive thing shows up as soon as the movie starts: the logos roll up in complete silence, and they are dark and grim, setting the tone for the whole film. Characters fall like flies, or reveal their hidden facets, and every single person in the film is pushed to their very limits. Voldemort plumbs the depths of evil, and of stupidity; the Malfoys and Bellatrix Lestrange find out what desperation is like; the Ministry of Magic falls to pieces.

Many commentators have already said their piece about the MoM sequences, and I can only add, "Damn right." There are SERIOUS World War II overtones in the story, from the puppet politician in charge to the security force with red armbands.

As for the good characters, well, just look at that film poster to begin with. Harry, Hermione, and Ron go on the run, abandoning families and friends and school and everyone who cares except for each other. This is not an idyll by any means. Things go horribly wrong before they start going right - and what little hope we have at the ending is squashed, hard, by the knowledge that the entirety of the Hogwarts sequences - including the climactic battle - is yet to come.

So many deaths. So many sacrifices. And we have to begin with the trio in flight.

Hits and misses after the jump:

Friday, November 19, 2010

T is for Troll

Just a warning to you all.

This is a KFC Double Down. THIS IS NOT FOOD.

In the interests of science, I ate one of these for my last meal of the day. [Remember, I work on the night shift - my last meal of the day was at 6am.]

And it turns out that despite my sister's surprised endorsement and encouragement this is pretty much blech all over the place. Who on EARTH thought that it was a good idea to sandwich bacon, mayo, and processed cheese between two KFC Original Recipe fillets?

And the stores that I visit, pass by, or otherwise have access to routinely show this item as sold out, which means that yes, other people are actually willingly eating this stuff.

I shudder to think that some people are actually coming back for more.

So, yeah, PSA for everyone reading this blog. Please, think of your tummy. Please do not eat this stuff because as it turns out, it is terrible. I had to force myself to finish mine, and I had to eat something else immediately afterward to get the idea of it out and away. Do yourself a favor, DON'T take a leaf from my book. Just don't eat this.

[And that title? Grading system at Hogwarts. I don't care if Gred and Forge were pulling Harry and Ron's legs when they said T was the lowest possible grade a Hogwarts student could get. This stuff deserves that abysmal rating.]

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lest We Forget.

Spare a thought for veterans all over the world, and especially the veterans, those who remain, of the First World War.