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Imzy and writing

Imzy is suddenly the new big fad. I have an account there that means I have a shitload of invites, should there be anyone left in the universe who doesn't have an account, but wants one. It's created by a former Reddit person to be the anti-Reddit (ie nice). It's a bit like LJ and Dreamwidth, but currently has all the lack of functionality of Facebook. But it is in beta, so maybe at some point they'll add some features that make it usable. At which point I might then use it. Although since you can import feeds, I have set my blog over there up to pull in my WP feed. I'm hoping that at some point this post will show up there. It will be at imzy.com/paranoidangel

(Dealbreaker usable features = RSS feeds and notifications that tell you more than just that you have a notification)

As with last summer I have done no writing for a while. In my defence it was a) hot, b) Olympics and c) both. It is still Olympics (as far as my watching of it is concerned) and then there'll be the US Open and Paralympics and Davis Cup all at once (although US Open is not on TV and Paralympics is not on the radio, from what I remember from four years ago).

But I am thinking of signing up to [info]femslashex. I've been meaning to do it for a while, just to give a go, really, but this is the first year I've remembered about it early enough to get some nominations in, so there'll be enough fandoms containing relationships I'm willing to write/read for me to sign up.

And then there's [info]dw_remix, which is running again this year. Go and sign up if you've written some fic in Doctor Who and related fandoms and would like/wouldn't mind someone remixing some of it. Or if you'd like to remix something in a Doctor Who or related fandom. I've made it easier this year, so you just choose what you want to remix and write something that's at least 100 words.

And then there's Yuletide. I have two fandoms I definitely want (Wizards vs Aliens and 40-Love) but beyond that I can't think of anything else. But I'm sure once it all gets going I'll be reminded of other fandoms and then have too many other things I want.

Mirrored from my blog.

Distracted by sport

I might have been a bit distracted by the Olympics and not posted. And by might I mean was. And still am - since it finished I've watched the men's triathlon, diving, BMX. I still have plenty to catch up on - I should be finished by the time the Paralympics start...

I have managed some non-Olympics things in the past couple of weeks. The weekend before last I went to the Nine Worlds convention. Last year I generally wasn't impressed with it, but loved the Whedon Singalong enough to go back. This time they only sang a selection of songs in the Whedon Singalong, which didn't include my favourites. And I liked the rest of the con less. So next year I might just be going to the Whedon Singalong, if they return to singing all the songs.

While I was there, Missy was having a holiday with my sister. They both enjoyed it, except for when my sister had her in-laws round and Missy wasn't happy that there were people in the house and she wasn't being played with.

I went through a whole load of my cards. Back in uni, when we had Wednesday afternoons off for sport, I spent it playing the Star Trek customisable card game. I haven't played it since I left, but I have a lot of cards. Also, quite a few Magic cards, Young Jedi (which I don't even remember playing), Attack of the Clones cards, the Dilbert card game (which at least is just a normal card game), a pack of Original Series Star Trek cards. And a booster pack of Harry Potter cards. The TOS cards are confusing because they're in a box that states it contains 65 cards including Kirk, Spock, McCoy & Enterprise + a rulebook. It actually contains more than 65 cards, none of which are Kirk, Spock or McCoy and no rulebook. I don't remember playing this one either.

Going through my Star Trek cards brought back memories of playing it. I'm pretty sure in one of the boxes was the deck I last played at a tournament where I assimilated Earth. Which is pretty much all I remember of how to play it. I just have to decide, with all of these cards, whether to sell/get rid of them, keep them as a collection (and get rid of the duplicates) or keep them and play them. But right now I'm enjoying cataloguing them and putting them in order. And trying to convince myself that I don't need to buy any more...

Mirrored from my blog.

Olympics

It's the Olympics! Although annoyingly, so far Kyle Edmund's first match was not on the TV or BBC Sport website anywhere. And the only way to find out who is playing when for tennis is on the official website - the rest will either just tell you the country and/or try and tell you the time. I want to know who from what country is playing and work out for myself when they might be playing. Although the answer to today's interesting matches is 'at the same time as everything else I want to watch' (ie gymnastics and fencing).

It hasn't all been about tennis. Tennis is a bit of an odd sport at the Olympics because tennis is rarely about which country you play for and matches go on for such a long time you could just watch tennis and never see anything else.

There is also swimming. The finals are annoyingly in the middle of the night, due to American broadcasters. But it is at least on the website (and repeated in the mornings). This morning I saw Adam Peaty's 100m breastroke semi-final three times, so I am sure I can manage to watch the final before work. As long as I can also avoid knowing the result...

And there's fencing. Which is never on TV outside of the Olympics. And was never on TV before the last Olympics. Last time it made it to BBC3 (which no longer exists). This time it is on the red button and we have male foilists who are actually good. Who knew? So it's possible some of their fights could make it to BBC4 later, you never know.*

The trouble is there are so many sports it's sometimes hard to know what to watch. Day 2 has only just started and so far I've seen swimming, tennis, fencing, gymnastics, cycling, water polo and beach volleyball. I'm loving it. I only wish I didn't have to work during it (listening on the radio isn't quite the same).

*Edit: And then it was on BBC1. BBC1! They were pretending it was live, 45 minutes after it actually happened, but still. BBC1!

Mirrored from my blog.

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What I Just Finished Reading
Doctor Who: Royal Blood by Una McCormack. I liked that not getting round to buying it for a while meant that it was in paperback. So did Missy, who tore a strip off the spine... I actually started reading it a while ago and struggled until I realised I just wasn't in the mood for reading fiction, let alone Doctor Who fiction. I restarted it with a bit of trepidation, but then read the whole thing in two days. It would have been one day if I'd started it earlier in the day. Given that it says it's the Glamour Chronicles makes me think it's part of a set where the Doctor and Clara are dealing with Glamour, but the adverts for other books in the back don't mention it and I don't particularly feel the need to seek out any others.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling (ish). I actually didn't want to read this because everyone was talking about it/reading it/going to see it. It's the same reason why there were four books out and a film about to come out by the time I read any of the Harry Potter books. But then I went to Tesco to go the chemist yesterday and it was there and I remembered that I'd liked Harry Potter despite everyone liking it and bought it. I read it in two days as well, although mainly because I was awake stupidly early this morning and it was easy reading. I actually liked the script format - the stage directions were interesting and I could imagine how it would look on stage.

On the whole, though, I didn't like it that much. My trouble with Harry Potter is that I like the whole magical boarding school bit and don't care about any of the other bits. Including having a massive problem with one house being 'evil'. Which meant my favourite book was the first and this one was not like the first. Despite there being a lot of stuff I wasn't interested in and some stuff I actively hated, and it feeling incredibly derivative and a way to make a cheap buck, I did enjoy going back into the Harry Potter world. And I can imagine that it would look really good on the stage.

What I'm Currently Reading
Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman. It's a short story collection and I'm only about two stories in. It's good when I get into it but I just don't feel like reading it at the moment. I don't know what else I feel like reading, off my to read pile, so I'm persevering with it on occasions.

What I'm Reading Next
Leonard: My Fifty Year Friendship by William Shatner (ish). I found out about this book on BBC News. We have a telly up at work in reception and I can see it from my desk. But we don't have the sound on or subtitles on. So I worked out there was something about William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy and then had to go and search the BBC News website to find out what it was. And then I forgot about it until I was thinking about what ebooks to read at Nine Worlds (since it's easier to read them in bed and not wake your roommate up with the light) and I remembered this one. My county library ebook collection is very good for biography and autobiography (not so great for anything else) and it turned out they had this one. So I'll be reading it at Nine Worlds.

Mirrored from my blog.

Science geeks in media

This is sort of the opposite to my last post. I've been listening to Big Finish's UNIT box set and it just annoyed me as the episodes went on. I know lots of people like Osgood, but I've never been that much of a fan. One of my problems is her asthma, which is never that well portrayed in TV anyway. The other problem is her glasses. It's as if there's a rule that says that any scientist must wear glasses. The asthma's a bonus. It's like being a scientist must mean there's something wrong with you.

The other reason it's been grating recently is I had a sudden urge to rewatching some Wizards vs Aliens. Benny is a scientist, which means he wears glasses (the actor does not). And when there's an episode with one of the alien scientist appearing human, he wears glasses.

Stop it with the glasses. It doesn't automatically mean they're clever. It means they can't see very well. The two things are not linked. Well, as far as I know. But unless someone's done some counting and worked out the percentage of glasses wearers is much higher among clever people, I'd expect to see the same number of clever glasses wearers and less-clever glasses wearers. And there's not many non-scientists wearing glasses on TV...

Mirrored from my blog.

Representation in fiction

I've seen various things in various places about people who are members of minorities talking about how important it is to them to see their minority on TV/in films etc. Which has never really applied to me because I'm not a minority. And then I remembered I am.

I got very excited when Big Finish's UNIT box set arrived. But because I was ill I didn't get a chance to listen to it before Counter-Measures arrived. Which I listened to first because I was more excited about Counter-Measures than UNIT (much as I love Kate, I love Rachel, Allison & Gilmore more). In it was a scene that reminded me Rachel was Jewish. In fact the scene suggested that her parents were really religious, but she doesn't seem to be. It reminded me that you don't get many Jewish people in books/TV etc in this country (you do in American series, but then there are more Jews in America).

Of course, you have no way of knowing what most people's religions are since most people in this country are not religious. There's a default assumption that everyone's Church of England, where churches are for baptisms, marriages and funerals, Christmas is for presents and arguing with your relatives and Easter is for eating chocolate. And the religious make-up of the country says that you'd probably be right if that's what you assume. There are just non-religious people of other religions about and it was nice to realise I was listening to one on audio.

A side-note about minorities, because this amused me at the time and I never said anything about it then. But last year (I think) I was looking at a ficathon about women and one of the criteria for characters you could nominate mentioned the women in question considering themselves a minority. I thought that rules out Lynda Day...

Mirrored from my blog.

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Too hot to do anything

I looked at the weather forecast for the beginning of this week and decided I wasn't doing anything. So I didn't. It was too hot too. And definitely too hot to be turning computers on. So I haven't Things have improved now, though. It comes to something when I get excited about being able to close the windows at night (hayfever is bad at the moment and keeping the window open means waking up not able to see or breathe). I've actually wanted to go to work because we have air con.

But today I had a day off to go and see Star Trek Beyond. I've got into a habit of seeing new Star Trek films on the day they're released and I hate going to the cinema when it's busy, so I went during the day. I managed to time it perfectly, as just after I sat down there was a trailer for Finding Dory. Which I wasn't expecting - I don't remember the last film I went to which had a trailer for a film I actually wanted to see.

Overall I enjoyed it. It was still a bit too actiony for my tastes, but it was better than the last one. I came out feeling excited about Star Trek. But every time Chekov was on screen I couldn't help thinking that this is the last time we'll see Anton Yelchin. It's very sad. I was expecting to see a 'in memory' of something like that at the end of the film, but there wasn't.

I still don't like the new Enterprise. I also didn't like the way they felt the need to swing the camera round and circle it round the action. It wasn't even that it made me dizzy, it just made it very hard to see what was happening. It should be interesting enough that you don't need to do crazy camera tricks.

There was one moment that made me want Scotty to punch Kirk, and that was the moment that was too much like work for me. Kirk asks Scotty to do something, Scotty says it's can't be done. Kirk tells him to do it anyway. Which I realise happened all the time in the original series, but I think it was having the same thing happen at work yesterday that really drove me mad.

That's pretty much all I've done this week! I've got some story ideas written down on paper. I still haven't done any fanfic reading - I have loads starred/bookmarked, waiting to read. Sometime I will get through them.

Mostly I've been dealing/playing with Missy. I moved her into the hall for a couple of days because it was the least hot place in the house. She was not impressed. And kept me awake. We're both glad she's back in her usual corner in the lounge. And now she's being a pain, so it's clearly time to post this and give her attention...

Mirrored from my blog.

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Not Prime Time

I'm so behind on everything I should be doing. I meant to get some stuff done this week and didn't. And then thought I'd get it done around the tennis, but there one of Friday's matches was on Saturday and now it's too hot to do anything. I do at least have a clean house (after not cleaning it for five weeks it was awful).

So I'll get to one of the things on my list and talk about what I wrote and received for Not Prime Time.

I got a lovely Qui-Gon & Obi-Wan fic, which I enjoyed in more ways than I could describe. Especially as I'd forgotten that I was getting a fic out of things and couldn't remember any of the fandoms I'd asked for.
Unconventional Approaches to Conflict Resolution (2882 words) by weakinteraction
Fandom: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Prequel Trilogy
Characters: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn
Summary: A mission to a remote planet goes wrong for Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon.

And I wrote an Enterprise fic - my first proper one (the only other one is a Farscape crossover drabble).
Fire to the Finish (2076 words) by paranoidangel
Fandom: Star Trek: Enterprise
Characters: Jonathan Archer, Malcolm Reed
Summary: Archer and Reed take part in a race.

I saw the request for this in a letter and almost took one of the characters off my offer because I hadn't considered writing those two characters with each other. But then I realised that one of the things I like about exchange ficathons is writing something I wouldn't usually, and then I really wanted this assignment. My recipient wanted slash, which wasn't going to happen, but they were happy with friendship, so I wrote that and put in some bits that hopefully can be read as pre-slash, if nothing else, with the right rose-tinted glasses on.

Mirrored from my blog.

I aten’t dead

When I wrote my last post I couldn't hear properly out of my left ear, which is a sign that I might be about to get labyrinthitis. And by might I mean in my optimistic dream world. I wasn't quite as bad as the last time I had it, where I didn't get out of bed for a few days. But it was bad enough that even though Wimbledon was on, I was to dizzy to watch much of it and ended up listening to it on the radio.

I was just getting over that, after the best part of a week when I got a UTI. Which one of the doctors I spoke to said was "uncomfortable". Which is not the word. That really made me ill. It didn't help that although I'd be in bed for 12-14 hours a night, I'd only be able to sleep for about 5-6 of those hours. It meant I was too tired to listen to the tennis and mostly had it on TV to help the time pass. And fall asleep to. I've slept through some very interesting matches...

I have managed to recover just in time to finish my NPT fic before reveals. And post my Unconventional Courtship fic, two weeks late:
Second Chance with the Doctor's Companion (1062 words)
Fandom: Doctor Who (1963)
Relationships: Sarah Jane Smith/Harry Sullivan
Characters: Harry Sullivan, Sarah Jane Smith
Summary: Everyone in the town could see they didn't belong together. Sarah Jane Smith was the adventurous outsider with a mysterious past, and Harry Sullivan was the wholesome doctor. And Sarah's sudden departure just proved the rest of the town right...
Seven months later the Doctor dropping her off brings Sarah back into Harry's life, and once again he finds himself charmed by her. Everything feels different, but the risk of heartbreak is just as strong. But doesn't everyone deserve a second chance at happiness — even him...?

Mirrored from my blog.

Crazy week

I knew this was going to be a bit of a crazy week, but it ended up being worse than I thought. I knew work was going to be busy and I was out three nights in a row. It turns out that work was so busy that I managed to go out one night and the other two I was still working/brain dead from work. But other things happened too:

I went to see Coldplay on Sunday night. It was really good, but we didn't leave until after the tennis, so made it to our seats 5 minutes before Coldplay were due on. I remembered to wear ear plugs this time, which made it really weird singing when I couldn't hear myself properly, and scared me when I took them out and heard the rain/people leaving. But I left without any (extra) ringing in my ears.

Because I wasn't going to make the last train back, I stayed at my sister's (and then had Monday off, meaning that I then needed to get five days work done in the space of four). Her house is so big and roomy it's hard to get back to my small, crowded house (in comparison). It was lovely and quiet though - I never heard my sister get up and go downstairs for breakfast, even though I was awake when she did it. And I had my own bathroom, since her spare room has an ensuite.

I didn't get much blogging done last week because I was writing. I have to post my Unconventional Courtship fic tomorrow and my NPT fic is due soon. They are at least both nearly finished, before I ended up not having time or brain to work on them.

It feels strange that Tim Peake is back on Earth. I got used to him posting photos and time-lapse videos from the ISS on twitter.

I've been watching Episodes and really enjoying it. And then Stephen Mangan was on last night's Last Leg and suddenly his moustache from Very British Problems was all explained when they mentioned he'd been playing Postman Pat.life

Mirrored from my blog.

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What I am reading Wednesday

What I Just Finished Reading
Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea by LM Montgomery. Anne of Green Gables was just as good as I remembered. Although partway through I remembered that Matthew died, but then convinced myself it wasn't in this book. It was heartbreaking when he died. I was working through the season 1 vlogs of Green Gables Fables at the time, so he then died on that a few days later.

After getting through the season 2 vlogs in a very short space of time, I got curious about what they'd changed from the second and third books. Handily they were on Gutenberg, so I stuck them on my ebook reader. They aren't as good as the first book, but it has been interesting to see what the original events that Green Gables Fables then did.

What I'm Currently Reading
Anne of the Island by LM Montgomery. See above.

Not so much reading, more dipping in and out of: Fox Tossing, Octopus Wrestling And Other Forgotten Sports by Edward Brooke-Hitching. This was mentioned in the QI podcast and sounded so interesting I bought myself a copy. So far I've read about ski ballet and centrifugal bowling. There's a contents page at the start which lists the sports and when I pick it up I read the ones that sound interesting.

What I'm Reading Next
Joey and Co in Tirol by Elinor M Brent-Dyer. I am so excited about this. I've read it once, but never since and don't remember anything that happened in it. It's so hard to get hold of at a decent price, but then GGBP re-published it and it arrived this week.

Mirrored from my blog.

Missy

I've had Missy for five and a bit months now. She has not read the hamster book - I have and whenever it said hamsters do X I often disagreed when it came to Missy...

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Mirrored from my blog.

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Actually writing

After not writing for so long it's been so hard to get back into it. I thought writing something earlier in February would help with the not writing for a bit after Yuletide, but it really didn't.

I wrote something for Obscure & British:
Eaten by a Dinosaur (264 words) by paranoidangel
Fandom: Press Gang
Characters: Lynda Day, Colin Mathews
Summary: The accounts really have been eaten by a dinosaur.

Despite it being less than 300 words it still took me three days and four drafts. Which is how I ended up only writing that one (well, so far).

It didn't really kickstart me into writing anything, but I gritted my teeth and I now have complete first drafts for my Unconventional Courtship fic and my NPT fic. They are terrible. One of them has a sentence that basically says: Stuff happens that I can't be bothered to write. One of them has 700 words, about 500 of which are rambly because I didn't know where it was going. But they have words. They have a beginning, a middle and an end. I have until Wimbledon starts to improve them...

Mirrored from my blog.

Spring cleaning (sort of)

I've sort of been doing some spring cleaning this week. I say sort of, because I had the whole car battery debacle on Friday (which I had off) when doing various bits of shopping and trip to the tip. Then Saturday I cleaned the house - I hadn't cleaned it for four weeks because I hadn't been well enough, so it was disgusting. It's so nice an clean now, but that took all day, with rests. Then today I was too worn out from the previous days that I didn't get much done (but did get some stuff done that needed doing and I could do sitting down).

The other reason I say sort of is because it hasn't actually involved any cleaning, just going through things to get rid of stuff. And by get rid of I mean put in piles in the spare room, so I can't get to anything in there. At some point I need to work out where to get rid of it. And I still haven't finished the getting rid of things part either. But it's a start.

Mirrored from my blog.

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Things that have gone wrong

I've been meaning to post, but real life has been a bit real recently...

Last week I was woken up at 1am by the smoke alarm, which beeped a bit (properly beeped, not just chirped). When the smoke alarm goes off you are awake. After establishing there was no fire anywhere and googling reasons why it had gone off I'd determined it could wait until the morning and managed to calm myself down enough to turn the light off and attempt going back to sleep. At which point it went off again. Long story short, I ended up calling the fire brigade up, who established there was definitely no fire, using their heat detector. They found Missy, though (who was asleep until fireman were there and something interesting was going on).

Since my smoke alarms are mains-operated, the firemen couldn't actually check them, just put up some battery operated ones (and I turned the mains smoke alarms off) and they told me to get an electrician to look at it. Which I am still working on, a week and a bit later. It seems like the electricians on checkatrade are all so busy they either don't really want the work and/or won't answer messages/the phone.

While I was trying to get an electrician I thought I'd try and get someone to wash the windows, given that I've been meaning to do it for two years. Which turns out to be just as hard...

Meanwhile getting someone to clean my cooker (as part of the warranty-like thing I have with Currys) involves calling them so they can arrange the cleaner to call me to arrange an appointment. That took a week, but is at least sorted (I'd only been putting that off for two months, but it's a yearly thing...).

Wednesday went terribly with trying to meet up with [info]just_ann_now (and [info]jay_of_lasgalen and [info]falling_towers). It was partially the Natural History Musseum's fault for having two entrances and a dinosaur at each entrance, and my fault for being unable to read the big red "You are here" sticker on a map. After that things went better and I got home later than I'd intended because [info]falling_towers and I were having fun in Harrods. The most expensive thing we came across, without looking that hard, was a bookcase with no back (so no use for books) for £19,000.

Last weekend I was also in London, this time for the European Swimming Championships. It was horribly hot and humid, but we knew that in advance. For some crazy reason they wouldn't let us take food in, so we got home late because we were trying to find some food in the shopping centre (the pasta place that looked nice and had gluten free pasta, failed to have any gluten free pasta). But I did end up with some strawberry sorbet. The swimming itself was fun and much better than on TV, where you can't really see much.

Yesterday I went to the recycling centre, to get rid of some stuff. I thought I'd only be there a minute and was actually there over an hour because my battery decided it didn't like this car starting idea any more (but was quite happy to work all the rest of the electronics). The only good thing was that it was (amazingly) still in warranty, so at least the new battery was free.

It has really turned into one of those months.

Mirrored from my blog.

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What I Just Finished Reading
The Bettanys on the Home Front by Helen Barber. Despite being set when Madge is 14 and Joey is 2, it's a lot like a Chalet School story. There's WWI in the background, but otherwise it's a story of Madge getting into trouble (well, she is a middle...) and setting up a different sort of tennis tournament. It was fun and I liked it - I miss Madge in the Swiss books.

Across the Barricades by Joan Lingard. I really liked this one - to the point where I'm considering getting hold of the rest in the series. It was very easy reading and I got through it in a couple of days. It's really interesting NI background and how their families and friends react to a Protestant girl and Catholic boy getting together.

The Village by the Sea by Anita Desai. This was interesting because it's a true story. It's about a boy (and to a lesser extent, his older sister), who live in a village in India and their father is a drunk and mother is ill, so they have no money. It's interesting to read about how they live and how he reacts to the city, when he goes to Bombay to try and make some money. I found it a bit hard going, though, because of the descriptions. It was probably the sort of thing that would set the scene, but I just lose interest after a paragraph.

What I'm Currently Reading
Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery. It's all [info]lilalanor's fault for introducing me to Green Gables Fables. It's a modern re-telling through vlogs and social media accounts. Although since there are two seasons and I'm only a third of the way through season one on the vlogs, I haven't looked at the social media accounts. Although I've read all the books, I don't remember them, so it made me really want to re-read Anne of. The other books I did own (bought at $1 a time when I visited [info]hhertzof and somehow managed to fit in my suitable) but I didn't like those as much, as I gave them away and don't particularly feel a need to re-read them (which is just as well, really).

What I'm Reading Next
I ought to go back to In the Family Way by Jane Robinson given that I haven't read any of it since I last did a reading post. But I also have books that I need to read and then get rid of, so one of those might be first, once I remind myself what's in the crate.

Mirrored from my blog.

Lis Sladen in The Bill

Thanks to one of Network's sales, I have a whole lot of late 80s half hour episodes of The Bill on DVD. And I realised that one of them has Lis Sladen in it. In one scene. But I took screencaps aka photos of the telly. The quality isn't brilliant because it's from 1989 and goes a bit fuzzy when I pause it.

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Mirrored from my blog.

What I am reading Wednesday

What I Just Finished Reading
The Chalet School Reunion and Shocks for the Chalet School by Elinor M Brent-Dyer. These are recent GGBP publications that I got for my birthday. I'd read them before, but now I own them. There's not much to say about them really - standard Chalet School stuff. And food for thought for Lynda Day at the Chalet School.

What I'm Currently Reading
I started reading In the Family Way by Jane Robinson before I got distracted by CS books. It's about "Illegitimacy Between the Great War and the Swinging Sixties". It's a history of what was going on at the time that affected how illegitimacy was thought of dealt with, and personal stories. It's interesting that the word bastard just meant someone who was illegitimate and it's the stigma of it that transformed it into an insult.

Last in my Chalet School birthday books is The Bettanys on the Home Front by Helen Barber. It's set during WWI, when Madge and Dick are teenagers and Joey's just a baby. It's interesting so far, but I'm only a couple of chapters in.

What I'm Reading Next
I should read the other two books from my parent's loft: Across the Barricades by Joan Lingard. I remember the title of this book and the cover, but nothing else. It's apparently the second book in a series, but I've never read any of the others in the series.

The other book is The Village by the Sea by Anita Desai. The only thing I remember about this book was being excited that it was on the GCSE English reading list. I'd got fed up of improving books some years earlier and was happily reading complete crap. But there was a list of books we were supposed to read and we had to write them all down and review them (one word apparently didn't count as a review). So I was so excited that a book I'd already read and liked was on the list. My teacher (who didn't like me) didn't think that was good enough and I should be reading pre-20th century texts. I was not impressed (and only read pre-20th century texts when forced - and then I picked A Christmas Carol on the basis it was short.)

Mirrored from my blog.

Dizzy (again)

I got lots of things done over the long weekend, including actually doing some writing, which is more than I managed in the whole of April. So I was feeling in a good getting things done mode. And then Tuesday I woke up feeling dizzy. So that's May gone, pretty much.

Fortunately I've been well enough to read and watch TV (as long as it doesn't move too much), so I have:

  • Watched all of series 5 of Game of Thrones and the two episodes of series 6 that have been broadcast so far. I have never been so up-to-date with it. I even avoided all spoilers for series 5 until a couple of weeks ago, when series 6 started and there was a mention of someone who died at the end of series 5.
  • Watched a whole lot of Co-Optitude on youtube. It's Felicia Day and her brother Ryon playing video games that are either co-operative or versus each other. It doesn't sound that interesting, but it is because a) they're terrible at all of them and b) they spend their time annoying each other (as siblings do). I really want to play Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes now.
  • Watched half an episode of The Casual Vacancy and then deleted all three of them
  • Discovered one of the three remaining episodes of the last series of Midsomer Murders is something else. So that's one less thing to watch
  • Read a series of three books that I'd kept in my parents loft for some reason and I'd forgotten ever existed: the Sisters series by Marilyn Kaye. Each book focuses on each of the four sisters. Except I just have the ones about the second and fourth sisters, then the fifth book, which is also about the fourth sister. They were easy reading, if nothing else.
  • Got my Not Prime Time assignment and worked out what I'm going to write. I just need to get the energy to write it (looking at computers makes me dizzy)
  • Voted! The only time I've been out of the house in the last week and enjoyed the nice weather. And walked very slowly.

Mirrored from my blog.

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The Avengers and The Guild

Game of Thrones started again last week and I still haven't seen the last series. But instead I've been watching two old things with 'The' in the title.

The Avengers
I went to my parents last weekend and Dad mentioned The Avengers is on weekdays. So we watched a couple of Steed & Peel episodes. They were the beginning of the colour ones, which I have seen all of. I can't remember which black & white ones I have seen any more - and sometimes looking at the descriptions on the backs of the DVDs makes me want to rewatch ones I know I have seen, which isn't helpful for getting through them.

It was well timed because I've just been listening to Big Finish's audio adaptations of Steed & Peel comic strips. Which were good and gloriously ridiculous and whimsical, which is what I like about The Avengers. The first one was (sort of) a follow up to an episode that I didn't remember. And then I discovered that's because I've seen the other two episodes on the DVD, but not that one. Or I hadn't at the time - I've seen it now.

They're also showing Tara King episodes, which I would tape, since I've only seen a few of those. But there are two every weekday and I'd just never get through them. I already have a load of stuff I haven't watched.

The Guild
I'd heard of this - I knew it was a web series that Felicia Day had done, but nothing else. But then I read her book and found out it was about people playing an MMORG and it sounded interesting. I've never played one myself because I know I'd get sucked into it, but I have some idea of what they involve. Not that it mattered much for watching The Guild. Which I got through the whole of in less than a week. It was good - I liked it. And now I'm trying to stop myself from re-watching it all with annotations (which are interesting).

Mirrored from my blog.

Dear Not Prime Time writer

Dear Not Prime Time writer,

Thank you for writing a story for me. The optional details are optional. I've just tried to give you some ideas of what I might like to see, but if none of them are your thing feel free to disregard them. They are just ideas for people who find it easier to write something when given a prompt. I've requested characters I find particularly interesting in each fandom, so I will be happy with anything featuring them. Feel free to write other characters in the fandoms too - I like all the other characters in these fandoms too. Just because I've waffled more about some fandoms than others doesn't mean I want it more - I want these all as much as each other, I just waffle more about some than others.

General things I like:
- Stories that explore the relationships between characters
- Stories that explore characters
- Scenes/fic that is like it could be (part of) an episode
- Stories that make me happy or make me laugh or make me cry
- Fun stuff that leaves me feeling happy
- Swordfighting

General things I dislike:
- Sex scenes, so nothing over PG-13 please - generally sticking to the tone and details of sex/humour/peril etc of the original is good
- British people using Americanisms and American people using Briticisms
- Relationships other than those in canon (except when I've specified otherwise in my prompts) - but you can never go wrong with gen
- Non canon (permanent) character death

I am picky about crossovers and AUs (other than canon divergence) in these fandoms, and there's not a pattern I can articulate what I like and don't like. So if you have a great idea for one, it's probably going to be best to get the mods to ask me about it.

For reference, here are my prompts:

Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

Mirrored from my blog.

Things

One day I will update more often. This week has been crazy. Our department of six at work was pretty much reduced down to me for some of the time. By the time I went food shopping on Thursday I was going round there like an old lady because I was too tired to think. Hopefully things will calm down after the bank holiday weekend.

Missy is good for stress, though. You can't think about work (or anything else) while playing with her. Mainly because she has no fear and I have to be ready to catch her. In the past three evenings she's fallen off me/the table four times. I have caught her every time. She's never at all worried about this - and even when she ends up on the (hard) floor she just thinks it's somewhere interesting to explore - but fortunately she is easily lured away by food.

I need work to calm down so I can attempt to get back to writing. Apart from the things I've had half-written on my hard drive for a while, I also have my [info]dw_guestfest to finish before next year's fest. I signed up for [info]unconventionalcourtship to write a Sarah/Harry fic, as I found a great prompt after last year's fest. But I had to do research as it felt like so long since I've written them! And then I'm currently contemplating my sign up for [info]not-primetime. I really want to do it, I just can't narrow down when I want to write and receive.

Mirrored from my blog.

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What I am reading Wednesday

What I Just Finished Reading
So Anyway... by John Cleese. My sister lent me this when we had a book swap when we went to see Ed Byrne. It's John Cleese's autobiography. It's really interesting to see the era he grew up in and what sort of person he was like. I keep reading autobiographies from people who'd been in Footlights, but he was there before it became the place to be and only really joined for the location of the bar!

It stops once he starts with Monty Python, probably because everyone knows what happens after that - there's certainly a not unreasonably assumption that everyone reading the book is familiar with Monty Python. And it's 400 pages up to that point - it would be twice the length if he'd carried on.

He reproduces some of his sketches, which are funny, but the funniest bit of the book was Tim Brooke-Taylor's story of his hotel stay in Brussels:

When we picked Tim up the next morning, he told us that he's spent the night in his room with a 'bird'. Intrigued, we questioned him closely, and learned that he had been woken in the middle of the night by a strange, rather alarming noise and that when he had put the light on he had discovered a turkey vomiting on the mantelpiece. He'd thought of complaining but found that his phrasebook did not cover this contingency.

What I'm Currently Reading
Nothing - I've literally just finished John Cleese's book.

What I'm Reading Next
The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett. Which I've had since Christmas (technically) but it's hardback, so heavy and hard to read in bed, plus I told my sister she could borrow it first. Now we've had the book swap, I can read it.

Mirrored from my blog.

TV watching

I've been gradually working my way through all the stuff I have taped on my PVR. I've done all the hour long documentaries and now just have the TV series to go. Which feel like the harder bits...

But then I got distracted yesterday and watched an episode of Quantum Leap - The Americanization of Machiko. It had been on my mind after I'd watched a documentary about time travel in sci-fi that mentioned Quantum Leap. The episode is about a sailor who returns from two years in Japan, with a Japanese wife. Who his mother doesn't approve of. Because it's Quantum Leap of course it all turns out all right in the end.

It just reminded me how good Quantum Leap was. And how much I should resist the urge to watch (nearly) all the rest of the episodes (I've never felt the need to rewatch Lee Harvey Oswald, the Evil Leaper stuff or the last episode).

It is a lot easier to have time to watch these things at the weekend. Partly because I can watch them during the day, while Missy is asleep. In the evenings she wants to play (and I want to play with her too) or she'll be noisy drinking or chewing the bars. Sometimes it can take me a whole evening to watch something an hour long.

But I can't blame her for building up a massive load of things to watch on my PVR because most of it was from last year (and some from the year before), and I only got Missy after New Year.

Mirrored from my blog.

Where did March go?

March is a busy month. Two weekends ago I went to Rotary Conference. It was good, but did only involve 13 hours sleep over two nights. And I did [info]selenay on the way home when I came off the motorway and then got back on it again. The next junction turned out to be one where you couldn't get back on the motorway going the other way, and the sat nav was trying to take me through a city I have no intention of driving through ever (aside from that one driving lesson where I didn't have a choice). So we went the pretty way home, which involved mostly ignoring the sat nav.

After that I was out nearly every night and finally managed to catch up on my sleep last weekend. And then I got a cold. I can't have just a cold, because I don't have the energy to spare to deal with it, and it sets my dizziness off. But I hate having to stop everything just for a cold. After a week it's still not completely gone and I am still sleeping sitting up because it set my asthma off.

So all the things I was going to last week and this weekend, since they were petty quiet, haven't really been done. I have done a whole load of things off my to do list that needed doing. I have done some cleaning. Some things will just have to wait until I'm properly better.

While I was away a friend came in to feed Missy. But she didn't like that there wasn't someone around to talk to her and play with her. So it didn't help that I then wasn't in in the evenings and then was too ill for a while to be sitting up playing with her. I think she's forgiven me now.

I have proved (to myself anyway) that she can definitely see me on the sofa from where she is. There are times when I've looked over at her and her reaction is to stick her nose out of the bars, even though I haven't said anything (if I speak to her she sticks her nose out of the bars). She definitely watches me as much as I watch her and wants to know what I'm doing.

She is definitely cat-like in one aspect. There are times when it's convenient for me to play with her, but I can't convince her to come out and play. But once I'm sitting down watching TV, then she wants to play. She doesn't like being stroked or picked up, so I can only play with her when she wants to.

Mirrored from my blog.

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