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Aug. 30th, 2011

2 posts in one day!

Its like there's some kind of crazy procrastination thing going on, as if I had something else I should be working on and choose instead to blog about random things... oh. Yeah. That would be my overdue submission for crit group. Hahaha.
I have an assignment, late-given though it was, at least. How did the Captain of the boat meet her Magician? I envision their partnership heavily influenced by the Aubrey-Maturin partnership in Patrick O'Brian's books. (With which I am absolutely obsessed currently. They alternately make me choke up with emotion and crack up with hilarity, with some moments of confusion and mundanity between.)

However! In addition to the randomness of my writing assignment, we are also in the middle of a super-fun record-setting drought here in East Texas. And after temperatures so high for a few days that raw foodists couldn't have eaten a damn thing outside without a special dispensation, we're finally, maybe getting a break. Unfortunately the break comes in the form of scattered thunderstorms, which will tragically cause flash flooding rather than actually relieving the drought. Damn weather. Still, the lower temperatures (Highs only in the 90s! Heavens!) will be a great relief, and if the rain could just stretch out into near-constant gentle showers for six months straight, we might not lose all the trees in the damn county.

I love our trees!

This entry was originally posted at comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Aug. 4th, 2011

Thursday at the Tea House

So I'm sitting at this Tea House out in the city, and the tea is awful (it's a bubble tea place - I had no idea you couldn't get regular tea here), but the company is nice. Katy and I are supposed to be writing. Well, you can see how well that's working out for me so far.

Actually, I have made some progress on the story. I know now that there's a dark secret between the Magician and the Envoy, and that the Handmaid knows much more than she lets on. The Captain is caught up in repairs and investigations of sabotage, made worse by the presence of Imperially well-connected civilian passengers. It seems like there's something there to work with. I just haven't figured out what the real story is yet.

I have big plans for art projects, as usual, but this time I may have more opportunity to get them done. I'm looking for ideas of Awesome Ladies of Science to make a series. I really want to do something with Astrid Farnsworth, and with Dana Scully, and Ellie from Contact, and maybe Madame Curie while I'm at it. Other ideas? I'm willing to stretch to some fandoms I am not familiar with, within reason and with sufficient science awesomeness (and preferably a character with more than token screen time). (And I do mean Science, not just general Action Hero Amazingness. That will be a different series. And I am going to be choosy with lady doctors - not all of them will pass my bar of Science Awesomeness, ok?)

(Should I include my list so far?)

In other fandom news, my love for Dr. Stephen Maturin continues strong through HMS Surprise, during which he and Jack have the MOST ENTERTAINING CONVERSATION:

Stephen said, 'Have you ever contemplated upon sex, my dear?'
'Never,' said Jack. 'Sex has never entered my mind, at any time.'

I laughed out loud when I read that line. Just in general, Stephen is awesome. I did miss that in the film, that in order to go with the naval battle adventure, they had to cut so much of Stephen's awesomeness. I like Jack, too, and feel he was better cast in the film, but they're both a bit too fit and healthy, if you ask me.

Katy and I have been thinking we should have a Hot Regency Guys movie marathon, during which we would screen portions of Sharpe, Hornblower, Master and Commander, Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth and Matthew Macfayden versions), and maybe Sense and Sensibility. I'm sure we could find some locals who could get behind such an event.

I've also been re-inspired to work on my Ancient Afghan Princess painting, which had been languishing in the WIP folder for a while. I credit the inspiration to a gorgeous photo shoot with Freema Agyeman that scrolled across my tumblr a few days ago. Thank you, mysterious Doctor Who reblogger! (The initial inspiration was the "Afghan Gold" exhibition of artifacts at the MFAH.)

Hopefully I'll be able to do some of that digitally. I'm hampered in my digital work by the loaner tablet I'm using. Since I don't have the correct drivers, it's a bit frustrating, but it works well enough to finish my in-progress stuff. I just don't think I could really sketch with it at all. My beloved Intuos4 is somewhere in Washington state, hopefully in a queue to be repaired. I miss you, baby!

Until then, I'm thinking I may try some work with colored pencil and watercolor again, plus I'm having a lot of fun experimenting with Stewart Gill fabric paint on muslin. (Wash fabric thoroughly before painting, though - uneven sizing makes for an interesting application experience.)

Ok, I've procrastinated enough for tonight. I should be writing.

This entry was originally posted at comments posted to original post.

Jul. 16th, 2011


Brief updates:

- Work deadline got away from me, with the result that the last few days at the office were frantic with updates, and we barely got our stuff done. I have a long list of rushed items for next week as well. Fun times.

- Difficulties with having a dynastic name: people looking for my brother on Facebook often friend my dad instead. Is it wrong that I find that hilarious?

- So so so addicted to more fanfic. Holy cow. X-men fanfic is eating my life. In the best way. Also, my obsession with mpreg has successfully translated from Harry Potter fandom. What is wrong with me. ;)

- Went to a preview showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and it was AWESOME. I need to go back again. I have a few nits to pick about it, and one big issue of an internal logic hole, but on the whole it was amazing and such a beautiful experience. The audience was not totally fans, so when I squealed and clapped I had a few companions but not as many as I had when watching the movies at Cons. Also, I ♥ Neville.

- My nonprofit corporation obligations are increasing, bringing with them a slew of committee meetings. This will hopefully lead to some great things for the organization, but it is definitely something that I will have to adjust to in my schedule.

- Except for the illustrations for my paperlegends big bang, I am frustrated by art. I am incredibly inspired lately, but stymied by my own ability, not only with art in general but with the software and digital techniques in particular. Big Bangs have a separate category for me, since they are so often done with extreme time limits - working at marathon fast-paint settings loosens some of my internal critic's stress, and allows me to produce without too much angst. I think I need to try some other prompts or subject matter, after this big bang is done. I may take a break from fan art, even though that means that I'll probably get even less community feedback. (boo.) Just to try to push some skill envelopes.

- Writing? What writing? At least the writers' meetup has been going well.

This entry was originally posted at comments posted to original post.

Jul. 13th, 2011


Made a bit more progress with the Big Bang art. Have lots of meetings to look forward to this month. Most of them related to the nonprofit corp, but some others.
Meet-ups were great. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Group has EXPLODED with new members. It's kind of awesome.
Tomorrow is Harry Potter - I'm definitely looking forward to it. I may even wear my hat, if I remember to bring it with me to work. I have to leave extremely promptly so I have time to eat before the 6:30 show. I love preview showings. ;)

Reading SO MUCH X-men fanfic, with a few Merlin binges thrown in, and some nostalgic Harry Potter revisits. It's been fun.
Recs, anyone? Especially X-men rarepairs, by which I mean Alex/Armando. Ahem.

Must it be true that if one is having a steampunk submarine adventure, there must at some point be a giant tentacled sea monster? Just checking.

This entry was originally posted at comments posted to original post.

May. 5th, 2011

marrying and other fun hobbies

Once again I let myself get behind on posting, and on general creation of stuff.

So over this past weekend I married my friend Lola to her sweetie Robert, and it was awesome. I love marryin'. :)
They had a game-themed reception, which I have quite a lot of on my Flickr account. Hopefully soon Lola will post some official wedding photography from the day, and I'll be able to share it.

I managed to turn in a new segment of my steampunk submarine adventure, but I still get the feeling that I am not being correctly descriptive, and got crit that my sentences are too complex. So the upshot is that nobody actually understands what's happening. Gotta work on that.

Stalled out a bit working on my gnome mechanics, mostly because I was not getting what I wanted from the airbrush on Photoshop, so I scrapped it and will start again with Painter.
Plus maybe do some other work in Painter, as well. I have a poll up for suggestions.

Just finished reading Paladin of Souls, which was amazing. I really enjoyed it. I don't remember a damned thing about the prequel, but this one stands quite cheerfully alone.

Randomly, in the last two weeks I have gotten tons of raised eyebrows and excited reactions to my X-Wing Fighter pendant, which is more than I usually get. I would blame Star Wars Day, but I wasn't even wearing it then.

At some point I may get back to recounting my adventures in NYC and Philadelphia, but until then you can always just check my Flickr stream.

This entry was originally posted at comments posted to original post.

Apr. 25th, 2011

long time, no post

I have really dropped the ball here - not even a Card of the Day for a while!
I've been enjoying life, though - family gatherings, game playing, eating and drinking out, bar trivia, meeting the new cat ) (possible name: Greebo), taking care of my car, and not doing any art or writing. I am trying to get the writing done now, but it's hard going. Rar.
I saw the first episode of Game of Thrones, and will probably catch up on the rest with On Demand or something next month. Saw the premiere of Doctor Who on BBC America and was amazed, bewildered, and enchanted once again. Ogled spoileriffic photos from the set of Merlin as well. Yay!
I really have to focus, though, because things are happening that are on a schedule. First there's the wedding next weekend (you all know how much I love marrying people!), for which I must finish up the script. Then there's ApolloCon coming up very soon, and making sure I have all the materials ready for that. (If you're in Houston for the last weekend in June, come on by! We're awesome!)
Also coming up: Art Car Parade! w00t!

angsting about art )

Today I am concentrating on the writing, hopefully sometime this week I can go back and look at the art WIPs with a slightly more optimistic attitude.

This entry was originally posted at comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Apr. 16th, 2011

AO3 fic hit count meme

Interesting... and I hadn't realized how much I had posted there. Hmm. 6 out of 17 are short Merlin fics; the rest are Harry Potter, including the my Magnum Opus in that fandom (#2 on this list).

Top ten AO3 fics by hit count:

1.Isle of Apples(BBC Merlin: Gen; Rated G) Hits: 316
Morgana reflects, long years after the end of Arthur's reign.

2. Far Away as Moonshine (Harry Potter: Draco/Luna, others; Rated R) Hits: 248
For Draco Malfoy, the war was one endless nightmare. Until Luna Lovegood gave him a reason to hope. Can he find his courage, make his luck, and become more than a pawn to those in power?

3. Elemental, word art collaboration with [personal profile] sophinisba (BBC Merlin: Gen, Rated G) Hits: 196
They bear their burdens, they struggle, they rely on each other. IMAGE HEAVY.

4. Kidnapping the King (BBC Merlin: Gen Arthur, Elena, Rated G) Hits: 141
It's up to King Arthur's friends to make sure he doesn't work too hard.

5. This is the Way the World Ends (Harry Potter: Snape/Luna, Explicit) Hits: 94
The Apocalypse, with Luna

6. Liber Artorius (BBC Merlin: Gen Arthur, Rated G) Hits: 90
From the journal of Arthur Pendragon, Prince of Camelot

7. Home for Christmas (Harry Potter: Ron/Hermione/Harry, Rated G) Hits: 77
An Advent drabble

8. A Charming Wreath (Harry Potter: Draco/Luna, Rated PG) Hits: 76
Professor Malfoy discovers a prank left on his office door.

9. The Naming of Names (Harry Potter: Draco/Luna, Rated G) Hits: 73
A quiet moment at Hogwarts for Professor Malfoy and his wife.

10. In Two Words (Harry Potter: Draco/Luna, OC, Rated PG-13) Hits: 72
Draco learns to live with Valentine's Day. This entry was originally posted at comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Mar. 12th, 2011

let me sum up

I wrote this at Con-Jour in Clear Lake, but as they did not have wifi available for the public at the University facility (???), I had to wait until I got home to actually post it. Here it is:

Well, the last few days have been super busy. So busy that I have a precarious stack of dishes overtaking my kitchen. It's all been great fun, though.
Let me 'splain... No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

I've been writing )

and drawing )

and pondering costumes )

and engaging in a brief, fruitless studio search )

and attending a lecture by Dr. Jane Goodall )

and attending Con-Jour 2011 as an ApolloCon rep. )

This entry was originally posted at comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Mar. 5th, 2011

reviews, phones, card of the day

So in the course of Googling myself (as one does, regularly), I found a 2/5 star review of a flash fiction story of mine that was published in 2005 or 2006 (I don't remember), and the entire text of the review is four words long. Very, very strange.

Today Nefertem the Magical Purple Smartphone almost gave me heart failure when he abruptly stopped working. I went to a Sprint Store but they wouldn't help me because while he is a Sprint branded phone, I don't actually have a Sprint account. Doh! I was able to call on one of their phones to get tech support from Credo, and now Nefertem is back in working order. Thank goodness. I was worried for a moment there!

Today the card I pulled was the Eight of Earth in the Gaian Tarot.
Eight of Earth, Gaian Tarot )
This card is about lessons, so I've had a few lately. Today, my lesson about how to manually reboot my phone. Also a lesson about how things on the 'net have a way of being resurrected even after several years of downtime. Fiction never dies! Bad fiction really never dies!
That flash fiction piece was my second piece of paid prose. Fun.
Today I also got a lesson from the universe in being a nice customer despite frustration. Frustration and anger live in very particular parts of my body, too, and it's always a sign to me that I need to slow down and breathe and get things under control when the emotions come out physically.
This card also makes me want to go to a fire circle. I love the drumming.
Delicious lessons for today: how to reheat rice in the rice cooker. (It turned out well!) And adding mushrooms to my sauteed kale really worked! Nom nom nom.
Other lesson: Bar Code Viewer on phone works, but no easy way to link it up to LibraryThing. Oh, well. Manual entry it is.
And lessons in general: The Wild Hunt has a couple of nice link round-ups for the recent gender discrimination/inclusiveness controversy that has rocked the public pagan sphere lately. Looks like some really exceptional conversations are starting.

This entry was originally posted at comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Feb. 15th, 2011

WIP meme

Ganked from a few places.
Post the names of all the files in your WIP folder, regardless of how non-descriptive or ridiculous.

Also, people have WIP folders? ;) I certainly don't. These are just lying around in other folders.

Well, hm.
Art WIPs )

Writing WIPs )

Too bad I don't have file names for the crafts in progress. ;)

This entry was originally posted at comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Feb. 8th, 2011

working, writing, fun stuff

Today's card is the Eight of Pentacles from the Llewellyn Tarot.
Eight of Pentacles, Llewellyn Tarot )
This card is about employment, creative work, achievement, success. I think it's a statement both about the great volume of work I'm doing currently for fandom, and the fact that I'm prepping for a conference for my day job. It'll be an intensive three days starting tomorrow, what with traveling plus the actual conference sessions and networking events. (Karaoke? Really, Conference? Really?)

I'm pleased with my progress and ideas on most of the art I have in the wings, and I'm thinking about doing something special for my Merlin fandom friends. (It's a surprise! But it will hopefully be something they like and may want to own... We'll see.)

My writing will hopefully get a boost over the conference days, since I'll have some time without access to the art computer to write. Plus I got some really good feedback from my crit group so I need to start thinking about how to approach this very difficult setting, to get the reader through the opening scenes.

Fun all around!

This entry was originally posted at comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Feb. 6th, 2011

FIC: Arrival of the Stranger (Merlin Gen, PG)

Another contribution to [ profile] camelot_fics, this time the theme was "Dreams", and the challenges were to write an AU, mention children or childhood, and to use a minor character as the protagonist.

I attempted all the challenges, as usual.
Arrival of the Stranger )

And I ended up so engaged by this when I was writing that I considered a series of other episodes, but I'm not sure they'll ever see daylight. Hard enough keeping up with my original fic, after all!

This entry was originally posted at comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Feb. 1st, 2011

been busy...

We can see how well my "card a day" posts helped me remember to post regularly. Hahaha.
So, been busy - working on a lot of illustrations, mostly for Avatar: the Last Airbender but there's some Merlin caught in there, and planning stages for the Harry Potter Snupin BLU art focus big bang, plus [ profile] paperlegends is signing up now for Merlin stories and art and cheerleading.

I've been writing - I started my steampunk submersible craziness for my group, and for the [ profile] camelot_fleet Finish-a-Thon. Yay! Very excited about that, although if anybody is interested cheerleading and hitting me over the head when I skip important descriptions, that would be awesome.

We're having a ridiculously cold wintry snap for Imbolg this year. Fun times. It's a good time to re-dedicate myself to some projects, though, and perhaps kick-start some of my 2011 spiritual goals.

Appropriately enough given the Imbolg planning and spiritual kick-starting, I drew Taliesin, the Hierophant, from the Llewellyn Deck today.
Taliesin, the Hierophant, Llewellyn Tarot )
This card is about custom, religion, society. It's often a card about conforming to expected norms, so in a way it's a reminder to actually be in my religion, instead of just sitting around the outside of it.
Reading Britain AD: A Quest for Arthur, England and the Anglo-Saxons (which, incidentally, is making a case to debunk the "Anglo-Saxon Invasion" of Britain and thereby most of the legends in their traditional form - awesome book) has reminded me of the sense of connection that many non-Christian religions have. Christianity (especially early and medieval Christianity) seems to begin this idea of religion as something separate from lifeway, something that can be compartmentalized into a part of the mind, unrelated to the physical universe of body and labor. Many pagan traditions, and the neo-pagan one I'm practicing (badly), have an intense unity between the spiritual and the physical. Physicality is part and parcel of practice, and in fact it isn't really practice but rather lifeway; worldview; lifestyle, perhaps. It's intimately involved in everything - every decision, every movement, every breath. This echoes the kind of ritualized existence early archaeologists posit for those early historic cultures. Seriously, this book has me examining all sorts of thoughts I'm sure I've had before, but now with added personal relevance and a sense of quiet revelation.
Pretty intense. When I go into my occasional existential crises over my purpose in the universe, it's a good time to remind myself through divine physicality that I am part of this great spirit, and that I am worth believing in. (If I don't think so, who will?)
Yes, I think this card definitely wants me to do a working later.

This entry was originally posted at comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Jan. 21st, 2011

Card of the Day: The Builder

Today work was fun but busy, which seems to be about par for the course these days. I really need to get out of the office to eat lunch, especially once the weather warms a bit.
I've finished all my Netflix DVDs of Fringe and have to wait a few days now for more. I am a little less than halfway through the first season now, and it's great.

I have been trying to get going on this ficlet for my challenge, and may have figured out a way into it. I drew cards for it, but first the Card of the Day:
The Builder, Gaian Tarot )
Aw, man, this one is so awesome and yet so much a rebuke, in some ways. Or perhaps I'm too hard on myself. The Builder is the card about sustainability, environmentally responsible development, and co-operative living. This card represents a power and authority over one's own life and place that allows one to choose wisely for the future.
I recycle. :P That's about it, really, when it comes to very practical things. And I probably don't do that enough. I try not to buy rayon, or bamboo fabric, or chemical cleaners, or things with excessive packaging, but sometimes I do all of those things. And it's hard to imagine that my choices will impact the larger picture, especially when there are places all over the world that are suffering from a disturbing lack of clean drinking water.
In any case, my own hang-ups about lifestyle aside, the builder is also about building a responsible and compassionate life, and being aware of the great truth of the universe: we aren't, any of us, alone. No one acts in a vacuum. Everything we say, or do, or type, changes the world.
I used to write poetry about that - how breathing displaced molecules that would otherwise have been moving with their own inertia and that changed everything - when I was in the midst of my greatest spiritual crisis, and stopped believing in an immortal soul. Crazy the way images and ideas carry such great reminders of the past. I can even think of the sidewalk in Astoria, Queens that I walked down while composing that poem in my head.
Sometimes it's really hard to remember that, but I think it's important to get these reminders every so often. And to be gentle with myself when I think I've fallen short.

I just had an idea for my story (the original one, not the fanfic, although I may have a clue for that one, too). Gone writing, be back later.
If anybody on gmail wants to ping me, feel free. I miss my writers' chats.

This entry was originally posted at comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Jan. 18th, 2011

Ficlet: Arthur's Journal

So the first mini-challenge at [ profile] camelot_fics was to create a brief journal or diary entry from the POV of a Merlin character.
I don't think many folks read my entry, or cared for it, but I found it in my Scrivener files recently so here it is. Mild (and cryptic) spoilers for Season 3 up to 3.10.

Liber Artorius )

This entry was originally posted at comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Dec. 31st, 2010

Tangled report

Holy cow, this is the first Disney Princess movie I have seen where my immediate reaction (after the choking up and gushing) was wanting to write fanfiction.
Seriously, I was SO INSPIRED by this film, I spent an hour after it with my tarot cards and some blank paper plotting out a story (original, that is), and imagining the fanfic in my head.

I want to go see it again.

New Year's festivities are in full swing here, Maya has danced and sung her crazy little heart out, we've played some games and had a great dinner and more festivities are still to come.

This entry was originally posted at comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Nov. 22nd, 2010

seeking beta reader

So is anybody out there who isn't doing the challenge willing to look over my entries? Nothing would ever be more than 1000 words long, and they're all likely to be heavy on the Season 3 canon AUs with guest characters back at Camelot for whatever reason.

I posted something like this earlier with a big long blather about my AU ideas, but now I am actually producing stuff for the challenge, so a reader would be really nice.


This entry was originally posted at comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Oct. 27th, 2010

on writing for Merlin

Seriously, this is just a bunch of whining about how hard I find certain kinds of fanfiction and writing in general, and wishing to find beta readers with tolerance for whining and rarepairs with their Arthur/Merlin.
Interested Merlin fans, read on. Everybody else can just skip this one. (Season 3 spoilers up to the most recent episode, plus speculation about alternative futures.)
oh, woe upon the canon AU ideas and trying to write characters who don't HAVE character )
In conclusion, where do people look for beta-readers for story stuff, rather than SPAG? Brainstorming and streamlining folk, basically.
I should write more anyway.

This entry was originally posted at comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Oct. 16th, 2010

Fic: Kidnapping the King (G)

Oh, dear, this last episode of Merlin was so inspirational I had to write for it!
Whatever is the world coming to? Next thing you know there will be epic Merlin fics posted over months and months with ridiculous worldbuilding and extreme rarepairs!

Title: Kidnapping the King
Author: [personal profile] zephre
Rating: G
Characters: Arthur Pendragon, spoiler: Elena of [did anybody catch the name of her father's lands?]
Fandom: BBC Merlin
Summary: It's up to the king's friends to make sure he doesn't work too hard.
Author's Notes: This is my first Merlin fic! Straight from the Write or Die work area to you, no beta involved.

fic full of spoilers for Merlin up to 3.06 )

I have no idea what's going on, but I just had to get that one little moment written down. And now I have a whole lot of backstory happening in my head as well. One version for each character I ship with Arthur, LOL.

This entry was originally posted at comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Oct. 12th, 2010

on writing the Robot Apocalypse

So Nanowrimo season approaches (I'm zephrene on those forums, if anybody is interested), and with it the write-ins and writing challenges roll in.
Monday at our monthly SFF Writers' Social Meet-up, we had a little writing exercise for the group, courtesy of Kim's experience at a workshop over the summer.
It went like this: first everybody took eight bits of paper and wrote down FOUR physical traits, and FOUR emotional/psychological traits. Then all the physical traits went into a pile, and everybody picked two. Then the emotional traits went into a pile, and everybody picked two. With our four bits of paper, we then created a character and took ten minutes to write up a brief character sketch.

My four bits of paper said: "Tall", "Mucous-covered", "Shy", and "Addicted to Meth"

Meet Elaine )

Once we had a character, we then got four more bits of paper each. We wrote down TWO places, and TWO events/situations. Those went into two piles, and we each chose one event and one place. We then had fifteen minutes to write our character into that situation at that place.

My two bits of paper said "24-hour diner" and "AI starts global take-over"(or something like that - I could have the second one a bit off. But it was basically SkyNet, ok?)

SPOILER/FAIR WARNING: This is a timed writing exercise, so it cuts off abruptly. I might be persuaded to comment-fic some extra stuff, as I do have a few ideas about what happens, but mostly it was just an exercise.

The end of the world... )

Yeah, I know, what luck that I got a Robot Apocalypse prompt! One would almost think it was rigged or something. ;)

This entry was originally posted at comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

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