PA

I’ve Never Seen Star Wars July wrap-up

This month I watched The Americans. It's a series that was recommended to me years ago, back when there wasn't too much of it. Now there's loads of it.

It's about two Russian spies who have been living in America as Americans for years. They have children who have no idea their parents are not who they saw they are. I only saw the first episode and as far as I can tell these spies are sometimes amazingly good at their job and sometimes so awful I wonder how they've got away with it. I read somewhere that it's not about the spying, it's about their relationship, which was more interesting than the spying aspect.

I found it was all right, but I could take it or leave it really. I wasn't desperate to watch another episode. I saw a vague summary somewhere about some of what happens with their relationship in future series and that seemed like enough information really. I think knowing that there was a lot of it was part of what made it easier to not be bothered about watching more.

I'll give it 6 out of 10.

Mirrored from my blog.

PA

Still hot

I haven't posted or commented much or done much at all the past few weeks. It's just been too hot, most of the time. Plus there was Wimbledon and then I got a bad cold afterwards. This weekend has been 'cold' (low 20sC) so I'm getting everything in now before going back to mostly just watching TV and reading because that's all I have the energy for (plus being on a hot laptop is hot).

I did go to Wimbledon (probably where I got the cold from) for the first time in five years. Our seats on Court One were really far forward - usually we're at the back. Of course the back was in the shade and we weren't. Fortunately it was a less hot day ('only' about 25C) and cloudy, so the sun did keep going in. But I struggled in the sun and had to miss some because I couldn't concentrate.

We did less than I expected because Federer vs Anderson went on so long. After that we had dinner and a walk and then got Centre Court tickets to see the last set of Nadal vs Del Potro. That was a very good set of tennis and we were even closer to the court! At least by this point the sun had gone down enough that I needed to wear a jumper. Although it was annoyingly on the side, so I had to move my eyes to follow the ball, but managed to move them as little as possible. I was on TV, because I found me on the iPlayer, but it was in the background as the camera panned across. We weren't sitting far from where Nadal ended up in the first row of the stands or from where someone caught a ball that he mishit up into the air.

I have nearly 90 photos on Flickr, although it's helpfully put them in a slightly random order. I can see it's random based on how bright the photos are.

I am going to post about Never Seen Star Wars for this month, while it's not so hot. I'm just skipping the saying what I'm doing part first. I had a plan for August, because I have less going on, but it's not something I want to do in the heat, so what I do for August depends on the weather. So I might well not be announcing that beforehand either.

I umm'ed and ah'ed about signing up for [info]remixrevival because I really like Remix, but if the weather stays hot all summer I don't want to have to write something during that time. So I decided not to, but if it cools down and something strikes me in Madness, then I might do that.

Mirrored from my blog.

PA

Too hot for this

I was fine with the hot weather when I didn't need to go out in it (we have air con at work) and the worst part was my seatbelt getting hotter than the sun on my drive home. I'd be cold in the mornings before work and the house would be not too warm when I got back. Until today. It was particularly hot and humid today and not cold last night. And I was so tired I went to bed early and then slept late. So at no point when I was awake was it colder outside than it was in. I am tired of the hot weather.

I have been procrastinating on my Unconventional Courtship fic, which is why I haven't done anything else. I sit down in the evening, intending to write it, dick around in the internet and go to bed having achieved absolutely nothing. I have been listening to some First Doctor audios in the car in the mornings and it's been good to re-listen to them (and justify having kept the CDs).

But tomorrow Wimbledon starts. I'm looking forward to not quite wall-to-wall tennis due to the football. But I am glad I have a digital radio, as 5 Live Sports Extra is pretty much constant Wimbledon. But I have my Fantasy Wimbledon team sorted and my finalists prediction in: Federer vs Djokovic in the final. I'm not feeling terribly confident about that, but all the people I thought could get to the final are in Federer's half of the draw.

Sammy has been fine in the heat. I still don't see much of him and he's still unsure of me when he realises I'm in the room. But when he surprises me, he's much better, coming to the front of the cage for food. Although he only takes a few bits before going back to his bed and store/eat them.

I need to post about Never Seen Star Wars for July, but since I'm not doing anything for it until after Wimbledon, it can wait.

Mirrored from my blog.

Tags:
PA

I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – June wrap-up

This month I was listening to The Greatest Showman soundtrack. Which I ended up listening to twice. I listened to what I thought was the first few songs earlier in the month, then finally got round to listening to the rest this week. And it turned out I'd listened to all but three. By the time I'd listened to those I couldn't remember how the rest went, so I listened to the whole thing again today.

And I quite like it. I certainly didn't mind listening to it all twice. I have heard one song before: Rewrite the Stars. I liked the last song best: From Now On, mostly because it didn't sound the same as all the others, at least at the start.

Listening to it today I discovered the playlist I'd bookmarked on YouTube included videos with two of the songs. So it gave me a bit of an idea what was going on in the film - the song themselves gave me no idea. And I didn't realise until then that it was a film - I'd thought it was a stage musical. Despite it saying it's the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, which you'd have thought would be a clue.

I want to see the film now, to see how these songs all fit in. Although I feel like it's really popular among teenagers (I don't know where I got this impression). Maybe next year's Never Seen Star Wars should just be a film every month.

Overall I give it 8 out of 10. I would listen to those songs again.

Mirrored from my blog.

PA

Fandom 5k

Fandom 5k happened. I waited to talk about my gift until I could talk about what I wrote because they are very related.

First, I got this lovely Will Riker/Beverly Crusher fic:
the love that lies beneath your skin (5073 words) by A Magiluna Stormwriter
Fandom: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Relationships: Beverly Crusher/William Riker
Characters: Beverly Crusher, Deanna Troi, William Riker, Jean-Luc Picard
Summary: "I got a communique a couple of days ago from the Trill home world." He stiffens ever so slightly at that one word, but she can tell he's trying to play it off.

And then I wrote the other TNG fic in the collection... for the person who wrote for me:
The Thing's The Play (5992 words) by paranoidangel
Fandom: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Relationships: Beverly Crusher/William Riker
Characters: Beverly Crusher, William Riker, Deanna Troi
Summary: After Frame of Mind Will Riker is learning what is real, Beverly Crusher is figuring out what her feelings for him are, both while debating a 22nd century play.

If they seem a bit similar there's a reason for that, My recipient pretty much said they'd like anything and I initially had an idea. And then once I'd plotted it I realised it would be too long for me to write in the time. So I mined my prompts for something that I could write that would be about 5000 words. Since my writer also used my prompts I also got something I liked with the same ship, so win-win (for me - my recipient also liked their fic). And although you could summarise both fics the same way, they are different in the way they do the thing.

At some point I hope to write the longer fic I had plotted out for this.

Mirrored from my blog.

Tags:
PA

Fandom Questions Meme

The last set!

43. What ship do you feel needs more attention?
I want to say, all the really tiny ones that have very few fics, but I have a tendency to get into ships because they're tiny and have very few fics. So perhaps the answer should be none of them

46. Archive Of Our Own, Dreamwidth, LiveJournal, Fanfiction.net or Tumblr - where do you prefer to post and why?
My website, for everything. Stories of Arda for LOTR stuff, Teaspoon for Doctor Who stuff, Wraithbait for Stargate Atlantis stuff, Archive of Our Own for exchange stuff because I have to, and rare stuff which people are unlikely to look anywhere else for. I stopped posting on fanfiction.net a very long time ago because it meant having to format everything differently and I seem to remember you had to upload a whole file, you couldn't just paste in the text.

I stopped crossposting from my site to LJ and DW a while back, when DW went https and the crossposter stopped working, on the basis that the only people following the LJ one don't use LJ any more and no one was following the DW one. So it was the simplest way to fix the crossposting problem.

I have a Tumblr account, but I don't log into it, it's just a copy of the Tumblrs I'm reading by RSS. And my Tumblrs, I mean Clients From Hell.

47. Do you leave reviews when you read fanfiction? Why/Why not?
I'm assuming that by reviews it means comments. In which case, I do. For everything that I get to the end of and like. I started doing this years ago, when I was in LOTR fandom, then got out of the habit when AO3 made it easier to just press the kudos button instead. I got back into writing comments instead a year and a half ago.

I don't remember why I did originally, but I remember being persuaded by some reasoning, I forget which. When stuff was posted on LJ it was good for getting a conversation going (sometimes - fics didn't always lead to that). But AO3 is an archive not a discussion (at least that's how it feels to me). It just feels normal to me, that if I liked a fic I read, I say so.

48. Do you care if people comment/reblog your writing? Why/why not?
I'm interpreting this question on people commenting on my fic. If they're reblogging it something has gone wrong somewhere. I like people to comment - if they liked it. If they hated everything about it then I'm happy for them to keep it to themselves. It's just nice to know that someone other than me has read it and liked it.

49. How did you get into reading and/or writing fanfiction?
I don't really remember. I remember being in the Bugs fandom and I feel like I must have written fic, but I don't think I did. I just remember wishing I was interested enough in the post-series 4 fanfics to read them because I'd have liked the cliffhanger resolved. Whether I read anything in it before then I don't know. I mostly just visited the locations and took photos.

I think it was in the Star Wars TPM fandom, in the day of mailing lists seeing other people's fic and reading a lot of it that made me think I could write it too.

50. Rant or Gush about one thing you love or hate in the world of fanfiction! Go!
Not a massive rant, really, but I hate that exchanges have got so big and there isn't much in the way of fests, where you can sign up to write whatever you like, rather than for someone else. I feel like there used to be more prompt fests. But, of course, it's always possible that they're going on elsewhere and if they're not advertised on Fandom Calendar then I wouldn't know they exist.

To balance it out, on the love side, I like that fanfiction can give you more of the thing you like. Because there's never enough of the thing I like! And it can go places where the original canon couldn't. You can kill people off, you can resurrect them, you can change an event and explore the consequences.

Mirrored from my blog.

Tags:
PA

Various things

All the things I've been meaning to post and haven't got round to.

1. There was an interesting episode of Timeless this series where they went back to 1919 and it was all about women's suffrage. Which was interesting because there's been so much about a hundred years of women's suffrage in this country. I never considered what it was like in America. The answer, when I looked it up, was complicated, because different states had different things going on. But Alice Paul, who was in the episode, really existed.

2. In May my morris side started dancing out one evening a week. Although due to illness and holiday and a clash with choir, I've only made it to three so far. Given that I don't hate driving to places I don't know, it's been a bit nerve-wracking. Especially to one pub in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere, and I only knew the first five minutes of the route. I am very glad of my sat nav and Google Street View, so I can do the route the night before and know what I'm looking for. Although Google's directions were a bit interesting one week when they told me it was right by the dual carriageway, so all I had to do was to turn off it. Completely ignoring that I can only come off it at a junction.

We dance in clogs, which made things interesting to start with. There's a lot going on underneath, so it's a bit like walking in platforms, which I've never done before. At first I felt like I was going to fall over just walking, never mind dancing. But now I've got used to them and my only problem is going too excited and ending up on tiptoes. And dancing on ground that turns out to be uneven, which can make things a bit interesting.

3. After looking through a load of summaries for [info]unconventionalcourtship, when I came to sign up I picked the first one I have saved. I have 800 words on it so far and I know where it ends, just not quite so sure on how to get there yet. Some of the wording still might change a bit, but the summary is:
Coming home to the country offered Barbara Wright the chance to make a settled, secure life for herself. But there was a complication – in the shape of her ex-fiancé, millionaire ex-colleague Ian Chesterton. He was still the gorgeous man who had swept her off her feet before – and the attraction between them was electric!
It would have been easy for Barbara to let Ian seduce her seduce Ian. But not so simple to explain the secret she'd kept hidden for years she was keeping hidden. If Ian learned the truth, would he be so keen to reclaim his runaway bride colleague?

4. I have a hamster - his name is Sammy. I've actually had him for three weeks, but he's scared of everything. It's only in the past week when he's started to take food from me. Although that can take a while because he's scared of the rustle of the bag of treats and scared of the noise the box of food makes... The cage is in a bit of a dark corner, but I managed to take a photo one morning, when he got out of bed when I was having breakfast.

Sammy

Sammy

Mirrored from my blog.

PA

I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – June

June is a busy month, so I'm going to listen to an album. Last year I chose the one that was top of the album chart. This year I considered the album that was top when I was born, but that would give away my date of birth. And I didn't much fancy it. But the current top of the album charts sounds interesting: it's The Greatest Showman soundtrack.

I've never heard of it, but I like songs from musicals. But I'd never thought of sitting down and listening to one, unless I knew the songs from it. So this will be different for me.

Mirrored from my blog.

PA

I’ve Never Seen Star Wars May wrap-up

This month I was reading Jeeves and Wooster. My sister gave me Carry On, Jeeves. It turns out it's actually a short story collection, the first of which is when Jeeves first starts working for Wooster.

The trouble with it was that each story was very similar: One of Wooster's friend's has a problem, Wooster can't solve it, but Jeeves always can. It meant I could only really read a chapter at a time because otherwise it got quite samey.

The good thing about it was that I could just sit down and read a chapter and that was a whole story. Also, I enjoyed them. I liked all the slang that Wooster used (and Jeeves didn't). It gave a good sense of his character.

I am going to read more. My plan is to take one back and borrow another every time I visit my nephew. And also watch the series with Fry and Laurie because it's impossible to read without picturing them.

I'll give it 10/10.

Mirrored from my blog.

PA

What I am reading Wednesday

What I Just Finished Reading
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. It's about a bloke who spends his nights reading flagged emails at a company, and after reading two women's emails he falls in love with one of them. Which sounds iffy and the characters know it's iffy and it was better than I expected. But I struggled to distinguish the two women, since we only ever get to know them through their emails. And there was just something about the ending that I didn't like, but I can't put my finger on what.

What I'm Currently Reading
The Prodigal Tongue by Lynne Murphy. I'm only a couple of chapters in, but it's really interesting. It's about the differences between British and American English. But she talks about how complicated things are as there are regional differences and how words go across the Atlantic (and change). And how they've ended up different - not just words, but grammar and pronunciation and there the slang comes from.

Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens. [info]aralias mentioned these books, I found the library had an ebook omnibus of the first three books. Handily I'm enjoying this so I can carry on and read the next two. It's about two girls at a boarding school in the 1930s who have a Detective Society and they're purposely emulating Holmes and Watson. In the first one their teacher is murdered and it's interesting to see how they go about finding the killer.

What I'm Reading Next
Arsenic for Tea by Robin Stevens, the next one in the series. Also three Chalet School books I got recently from GGBP and a few books I bought in Edinburgh (the money you spend on books doesn't count when you're on holiday).

Mirrored from my blog.

PA

Long weekend

The weather forecast said it was going to be hot this weekend and I needed to clean the house, so I got most of the cleaning done in the week and just had a bit to finish off on Saturday morning. Which was good, but it's been chilly in the mornings and hot (if not as hot as forecast on Wednesday) in the afternoons and evenings (not to mention hayfevery).

With all that time I finished off my Fandom 5k fic. And then didn't quite know what to do with myself. I have started collecting possible Unconventional Courtship summaries for a few pairings. Although there are only so many Mills & Boon summaries I can read before I can't deal with all the clicheness any more. And why do so many of the 'Classic' ones involve Amish?

I did make a start on the mess of the spare room. I realised if I freecycled one pile, charitied another, and took a third to the tip that would be much of the stuff gone. And then I could put away the stuff I'm keeping but can't get to where it needs to live. And go through all the crap in the wardrobe because there's stuff in there I could also get rid of, if only I could get to it. Of course now I need to go to the charity shop and the tip. Since I didn't start this until Jo Konta's match was on the radio on Sunday it was after the charity shops were closed for the weekend and I'm not going to tip on a bank holiday weekend, it'll be too busy. And too hot to sit in a car in the sun, roasting.

Speaking of tennis, the French Open started yesterday. With a re-designed website where it's impossible to find the order of play. At least the BBC have it. They had Jo Konta's match on 5 Live Sports Extra, but then switched over to 5 Live. Except there was a gap where the news was. So I was listening on the BBC website, which had all the sound from the court, but no commentary. Which is fine on TV, but not as useful on radio. Unless you know who is serving, the scores during the games are particularly unhelpful. I know I could have watched it on ITV whatever number it's on, but it involves adverts, Jim Courier and a love of swirling around the crowd and zooming into the court. So I'll save that for the final because that's probably as much of all three of things I can take.

Mirrored from my blog.

Tags: ,
PA

Holiday

I've just got back from my holiday to Edinburgh. Which I enjoyed. It's just a pity it's a long way away. It's a nice city, small enough to walk around, pretty and friendly people. And a castle. Most of my photos are either of the castle, views of the city from the castle or views of the castle.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

While there I discovered Boots does gluten free sandwiches. Not meat free or milk free, but I am surprised it's taken this long, given that whole gluten free thing going on at the moment. Of course it's possible they've existed for a while but I've never looked - I haven't been able to eat pre-packaged sandwiches since I became lactose intolerant (which was before I became wheat intolerant) because they all have milk or lactose in them.

It was also nice to be away from anything that I have to (or feel that I have to) do. But now I'm back I have to go back to work, I have to finish off my Fandom 5k fic and I have to do something about the mess in my spare room so there's space to have people to stay in it. And so I can get to stuff in my spare room, now that I have the door open (in the winter I close the door and turn the heating off and pretend it's not there).

Mirrored from my blog.

Tags:
PA

I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – May

This month I'm going to read a Jeeves and Wooster book. I know my sister likes them and I've been book shopping with her before where she's tried to persuade me to try them. And I can't remember any more why I wasn't keen. I haven't seen the Fry & Laurie version, just clips, so I don't really know what to expect.

I have borrowed the first book, Carry On, Jeeves, from my sister. It's red, which I like. Although obviously the colour of the cover doesn't affect the contents.

Mirrored from my blog.

PA

I’ve Never Seen Star Wars April wrap-up

Last month I watched The Death of Stalin. I saw the trailer ages ago, liked it, then failed to see it at the cinema. Turns out that was ok because I didn't like it as much as I thought I would.

It wasn't laugh out loud funny, but it was silly. The biggest problem I had was that although they introduced everyone by slowing the action and putting up their names and positions, I immediately forgot their names. So when they were plotting against one of them I was confused about who they were plotting against. And I just found it a bit slow.

I'll give it 5/10.

Mirrored from my blog.

PA

Ill (again)

I've been ill this week. But since I only felt terrible for one day, the rest of the time I was fine if I was lying down, I managed to work on my fandom 5k fic, albeit in small bits. I now have 5000 words and am more confident about getting it done. The reason I didn't blog before I was ill was because I was busy working on my fandom 5k fic.

Weekdays day time is quite good for old TV. Old TV is good because it doesn't move much. So I watched some Star Trek and The Bill (from 2000, so it moves, but not too much). And listened to podcasts, read some stuff that didn't require a brain and I can't even remember. And I've nearly caught up on Wil Wheaton's Tabletop, which I was very behind on.

Its made it hard to get excited about a three day weekend when I've already not done anything for a week and am not well enough to do too much yet.

Mirrored from my blog.

Tags:
PA

Fandom Questions Meme

I skipped some questions that are just not applicable. These are all apparently supposed to be about my current fandom, but since everything is current I just answered generally.

18. What ship have you written the most about?
Sarah/Harry, for which I have written 21 fics. Next highest is Ian/Barbara at 13. Nothing else gets into double figures. It doesn't surprise me, I wrote a lot of Sarah/Harry back in the day. There's a lot of unrequited shipping on Harry's side, but not so much on Sarah's side (in fact, I don't remember any). So that's still something I want to write.

19. Is there a ship which you wished you could get behind, but you just don’t feel them?
I'm not sure why this question says them - I'm sure it should be it. But regardless, I don't think there are any. There are ships that I hate that are big or hate the way they're written as fluffy when they should be complicated, but that includes ones I ship as well as ones I don't.

20. Any ships which you surprised yourself by liking?
Yes, a few. Missy/Master, because I never thought I'd like any pairings involving the Master. Thirteen/Missy because I don't ship the Doctor. Although I think it's because we haven't seen the Thirteenth Doctor yet. I suspect that once we do, I might go off it. Or not, who knows. Riker/Crusher, because I am very pro-Riker/Troi and I couldn't see it at all, until someone requested it in an exchange and their prompt convinced me.

Mirrored from my blog.

Tags:
PA

What I am reading Wednesday

What I Just Finished Reading
Oi Cat! by Kes Gray & Jim Field. It's my nephew's book, but I really liked the previous two books in the series, Oi Frog! and Oi Dog! so when I was at my sister's recently I read it. And this time my nephew didn't give me a funny look for reading his book. These books are all about what animals sit on based on rhyming (mules sit on stools, storks sit on forks, etc) with a funny twist at the end. Although I must be getting used to them by now because I saw the twist coming on the previous page. I just love all the silly things they come up with for animals to sit on, with accompanying pictures.

The strange thing is that I've just discovered it's available on Kindle. It's a children's book!

Superfluous Women by Carola Dunn. I liked it, but it was all about a small community who looked down on the 'superfluous women' who house shared and had jobs. Even though at the start of the series that's what Daisy and Lucy were doing and no one blinked an eye (except Daisy's mother, but that's a different problem). So it was a bit weird that this was suddenly a thing. And I was surprised to find Tring having retired - I didn't know he was that old. There was a point when it came up that one of the suspects lived in Hazlemere - I've been there! (this is becoming a theme in Daisy books...)

What I'm Currently Reading
Little Men which I had been reading at a chapter a night and then stopped. I am back to reading it before bed again.

Cold Welcome by Elizabeth Moon. It's a sequel to a book series I previously read, but don't really remember. It keeps referencing those events and some of it is coming back. But so far I am partway through chapter one and nothing has happened yet. Which is mostly why I'm not further through chapter one. I am assuming it will improve, it's just hard work getting there.

What I'm Reading Next
At this rate those two will take a while.

Mirrored from my blog.

PA

Ikea and Hobbycraft

I went to Ikea and Hobbycraft this weekend. I haven't been to Hobbycraft for years, which is just as well: it's a dangerous place. I spent more money than I did in Ikea and can not say I don't have enough card making stuff (it only just fits in the drawer). And I also now have plenty of Aida, as I am close to finishing my last cross stitch kit and then will do some from patterns using up the approx 70 million threads I have.

Ikea is lovely and empty at opening time on a Saturday. That's the only good thing I can say about it... I've never been on my own before had to be told by the cashier what to do with everything I had. I didn't bother with a trolley and although I happily carried a bag of cross stitches that needed framing, some frames, a lamp shade, a back door mat and a 10kg 100x50 cm table to the till, afterwards I couldn't work out how I'd done it. I had to go on a mission to find a trolley without dropping anything.

I managed to cut my thumb open in the middle of Ikea: I had a frame with broken glass courtesy of the window men. Since the glass was sitting in there and not moving I thought it would be fine to take it like that. I should have known that a) that's not a good idea and b) if I can break something/injure myself I will. Fortunately I had plasters with me, but I was miles from a toilet (probably).

And then there was the car park. I've only ever parked in one multi-storey car park before and that was in the evening when it was pretty empty. I'm not really fond of going up ramps in multi-storey car parks as a passenger and I think I've only done it once as a driver. This one required me to go up a spiral ramp. Theoretically it's fine once you have the wheel turned correctly because it's all the same. But I went up on level to a closed floor, decided I couldn't manage another level, got most of the way there and then hit the side. Going down was much better, although I was glad I was behind someone because you pretty much had to drive round the whole car park to get out and I'd have got lost. When I did get out I ended up in the wrong lane, as I assumed that on a roundabout with two exits the left lane would go left and the right lane would go right. Which it didn't. And I knew that from looking at Google Street View in advance, but was so freaked out from the whole experience I had forgotten.

If I ever decide I need anything from Ikea again I am only going if it's with someone else who is driving or I'll get it delivered. £7 seems like a small price to pay (and probably what it costs in petrol to get there anyway).

Mirrored from my blog.

Tags: