Month: August 2015

Film Talk: Pretty Guardian Sailormoon, Act 13

Posted August 25, 2015 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Pretty Guardian Sailormoon: Act 13 (PGSM 13)Recap: We have learned that Mamoru was some chap named Endymion, the princess of the old Moon Kingdom is known as Venus (aka the pop idol Minako, last seen hospitalised, or escaped from the hospital on a shopping trip because Usagi was not-quite-stalking her). Also, Zoisite has been turned into a gemstone after attempting to kill Venus with a shard of crystal and new characters are promised to be introduced in this very episode!

Oh, and there is a name that Beryl does not want uttered for reasons we have not yet discovered.

Onwards! To Act 13!

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Summer Progress Report #4

Posted August 18, 2015 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Daily Life. The text 'Lynn's Living Life' underneath the cameo silhouette of a woman. Daily life updates.

High time for another progress report! Whoot!

First, however, some links.

Links

Elizabeth Barrette is holding a half-price sale on all things Polychrome Heroics this week. You have until the 23rd to buy awesome poetry at incredibly low prices. They are well-worth it.

M.C.A. Hogarth’s Passport to the Pelted Universe kickstarter is almost finished. About half an hour to go. The special tiers are all gone, but you can still back for delicious background details on the Pelted setting (and suggestions on how to find out which Pelted you’d be)!

That’s it for today in the links!

Non-Serial Writing

I’ve made very little progress since the last time I mentioned it. Booooooo! But! I did finish a short story draft that I want to go over again and proofread. Then, I’ll need to find betareaders or first readers for it. This will be… interesting. I don’t think (m)any of my friends who’d be happy to beta for me are well-versed in old school adventure games (nowadays better known as interactive fiction, I think).

First I have to rework it, though.

Sea Foam and Silence

I have passed the 50 poem mark! Much, much, much less quickly than I thought. This is an advance announcement that the serial will go on hiatus for a few months afterwards. October 16th will be the last Sea Foam and Silence poem of the year and the narrative will resume in early 2016.

Sea Foam and Silence was always intended to be a two-part narrative and the 50th poem marks the end of the first part. (More or less. I may fiddle with a bridge/interlude.) So the hiatus at this point makes sense.

I’ve learned a lot from the project so far and I look forward to finishing it, but I also look forward to giving myself a break. I’d thought that writing a couple of poems a week would be easy and… in some ways it really is and in others it’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.

I’m looking forward to giving my brain a break from writing poetry and trying to keep ahead of the posting schedule. (I love serials, but I really do need to learn not to serialise anything unless it’s done.)

I may change my mind about this — my brain may decide that announcing a hiatus means I must finish the story before October so no hiatus is needed; it’s done silly things like that before — but I’m not sure I will. I’ve already veered off into a completely different story as an attempted compromise. Murgh, I just need my writing speed back. I have no idea how to do that.

Anyway! So that is a thing that will likely happen. I hope people will understand!

Lynn’s Daily Life

This year has been… Well, so far it’s been and I’m thinking that I should, perhaps, have taken part of the summer off to recuperate rather than throwing myself into pretty much anything I could think of to keep busy.

Right now, I’m trying to shake up my working habits and methods. This’ll be fun because I’ve already scheduled a post about what it’s like at the moment. I’ll see about doing a follow-up with the changes once I get some to stick properly.

I’ve acquired a small and relatively cheap work laptop that’ll be for writing only. This means that my day-to-day laptop finds its home at a standing desk so I can switch between the two. That should help productivity (I think) since the work laptop really isn’t set up for social interaction. (After all, what would be the point of it if I did that?)

I’ve spent the past week or so struggling to get everything the way I wanted it. (Hey, it came with a free upgrade to Windows 10. But it was being annoying and it took a while to get things sorted.) So far it is shiny and pretty and I really like the change to my workflow. I’m not settled into it yet, but I’m optimistic and hopeful!

My body is a little less enthusiastic, but I’m still getting the hang of standing ergonomically. I think. My body aches anyway because I apparently fail at building up to things. Also I tend to shift my weight around instead of keep it evenly distributed.

Website

I have been hard at work prettifying and simplifying the site! Some of it you can see pretty easily and have been around for a while. I’ve fiddled with the homepage, got rid of the sidebar on single posts and I’m trying to get the hang of featured images. Pretty pictures! That will hopefully tell visitors what kind of post they’re dealing with. And the monthly round-up graphics should go with the theme of the site better than the old ones did. Let me know what you think!

I’ve also redone the books pages a little. I’ve gotten rid of the buy now button and just added Payhip to the main ventor links at the top and I’ve tidied up the All Books page.

Things you can’t really see involve updating the SEO on all the posts, but I did mention it already. I’m done now! It did also mean removing a few older posts (because I’m lazy and there was no way to get them a proper keyword), but you can find them on DreamWidth easily enough if you really want to read them.

I think that’s it for this update. I have accomplished a fair amount of (not-so-visible) admin stuff and we’ll just have to look at the goals overall and the amount of work I managed at the end of August. We’ll see how things go!

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Film Talk: Pretty Guardian Sailormoon, Act 12

Posted August 18, 2015 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Pretty Guardian Sailormoon: Act 12 (PGSM 12)Series Recap: We have discovered that the senshi are warriors from the Moon Kingdom, whose aim it is to protect the Moon Princess (who is still missing and presumed to be Sailor V alias Minako). We have discovered that their enemy is the Dark Kingdom ruled by Queen Beryl (who is oddly confused by the fact that Zoicite isn’t interested in winning her love) and they seek the ginzuishou, which at least one of them presumes to be with the princess. Usagi has now met Minako and we learn that Zoicite has mind-control magic through music. Which he does not proceed to use on any of the senshi’s family members for reasons unknown. And also a youma took over the body of Minako’s manager.

And that’s where we’re at, so without further ado. Below the cut lie spoilers! Beware!

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Wattpad

Posted August 12, 2015 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in News / 3 Comments

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A blue gradient with a bubbly background and the text "Sea Foam and Silence"

In the interest of experimentation of what makes people’s life easier in regard to webserialisations, I have joined Wattpad. You can find me here if you’d like to check it out. I hope you do!

As changes always bring about a variety of questions, let me try and pre-empt the biggest ones. If you’ve got a question I didn’t answer, don’t hesitate to ask! ^_^

What changes for the serial?

It will appear in a fourth location. That’s basically it. If you’ve been reading along on the blogs and want to continue reading that way, you don’t have to worry about anything.

Of course, it’s slightly more complicated. Wattpad doesn’t have an auto-schedule feature, so I have to publish the parts manually. That means they won’t be appearing at 10am (GMT) sharp like they do on the website and its mirrors. They’ll be appearing either the night before or somewhere during the day after.

Sorry about that!

What happens to the serial of A Promise Broken?

Nothing! Like Sea Foam and Silence, the serial version of A Promise Broken will appear in an additional location. That’s it. (Actually, it’s ‘does appear’. I already added it.)

Will the sampler selection from Feather by Feather and Other Stories also appear on Wattpad?

I’m not sure yet! For the most part, Wattpad seems pretty straightforward to use, but I’m not really sure yet how it would handle short stories. I’d like a bit more time to get to know the site before deciding, but hopefully!

Um. That’s all I can think of that people might ask. As always, I welcome and encourage feedback on experiments and ideas. ^_^ Hope you all are having a lovely day!

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Film Talk: Pretty Guardian Sailormoon, Act 11

Posted August 11, 2015 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Pretty Guardian Sailormoon: Act 11 (PGSM 11)Welcome back to the rewatch commentary on Pretty Guardian Sailormoon. This week, Act 11. Where we start off with a brief exposition scene of what’s been going on. This mostly revolves around the senshi knowing who their enemy is.

I’d like to take a moment to point out that Beryl is introducing herself to the senshi on a rooftop and had Zoicite’s help. Meaning this is reasonably close to the original storyline’s introduction and yet quite different in a lot of ways.

That said, let’s move on. Below the cut, there will be spoilers.

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Full Fathom Five Readalong Week 4

Posted August 10, 2015 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Other People's Creations / 2 Comments

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Full Fathom Five Readalong
Banner by Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Just to remind everyone of the schedule, here it is!

Week 1: July 20 Ch 1-13  – hosted by Allie from Tethyan Books
Week 2: July 27 Ch 14-32 – hosted by me
Week 3: August 3 Ch 33-50 – hosted by Heather from The Bastard Title
Week 4: August 10 Ch 50-62 – hosted by Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow

(Remember, if you’d like to take part or even just follow along as we read, you can sign up and/or keep track of the proceedings at our Goodreads group page. ^_^)

This post contains spoilers for all of Full Fathom Five.

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What I’ve Been Up To July 2015

Posted August 5, 2015 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 4 Comments

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Monthly Round-up. The text 'monthly round-up' beneath a wrapped package. What I've been up to the past month.

What a month! *keels over* I’m… not going to say a whole lot. I’m just going to move on to the things I’ve done this month.

This month, I’m trying something new: wrap-up shortcodes. This means that the list of thinks I’ve finished won’t (or at least shouldn’t) appear on DW and LJ. Sorry about that! It’s part of an experiment since they actually take a fair bit of time to compile even when I try to stay on top of them, so I’m going to see how I like a different approach. Please do give me feedback on the change! This is easier for me, but that doesn’t mean it’s easier for anyone else and I’d like to strike a good balance between the two when possible. I can’t do that without feedback. ^_^

30 Days in the Word Mines by Chuck Wendig: Intruiging read! It’s a… book on writing. It offers practical advice across a whole month of writing as well as some reflection. It’s well-suited for NaNoWriMo or not. It’s also pretty darned funny. I really liked it. (Even if it didn’t offer that much help for my writing troubles, but to be fair on the book it was really upfront about it not helping much with mental and/or physical limitations.)

Business for Breakfast 1: The Beginning Professional Writer by Leah Cutter: Very informative! Though most of it was advice I already knew, it’s really really good to have it reiterated again. I’d happily recommend it to anyone seeking to publish their stories (whether indie or traditional).

Business for Breakfast 2: The Beginning Professional Published by Leah Cutter: This one was much more useful to my purposes. Like the first book, it was filled with advice and common sense and has a shiny bibliography. This one will be less useful to both authors seeking traditional publishing routes and non-US authors, however. A lot of the common sense applies, but, as Cutter notes as well, some of it is US-specific. I would have liked to see it acknowledge the biggest international issues (that of EINs and ITINs especially) a little more than it did, but Cutter’s already well-ahead of much of the advice I’ve seen simply by acknowledging that there are non-American authors who might be reading the books.

The Case of the Counterfeit Enchantments: Part One by K.A. Webb: My thoughts may follow. I find this a tough ebook to talk about. It’s part 1 of a much longer story that Webb is currently serialising on her website. She’s posting part 10 as I’m writing this. Parts 2-9 aren’t available in ebook form (yet), so if you like the first part, you’ll have to read the read on the website for now. I would have liked more descriptions of the inhabitants of Quiar and of the magic system in general. It’s definitely not first-time-reader-friendly. If you like anthropomorphic settings, you might enjoy this, though. ^_^

The Deities’ World: Collection One by K.A. Webb: My thoughts may follow. Like Case, I find this a tough ebook to talk about. I know Webb is planning some potentially big changes and her crowdfunding model works very differently from the kind of book I normally talk about. None of the pieces in this collection are finished yet. I liked the characters in this collection a lot.

Fiddlehead by Cherie Priest: My thoughts may follow. I enjoyed it, but not as much as the previous volumes.

Full Fathom Five by Max Gladstone: My thoughts will follow. We’ve still got one week of the readalong to go, so I’m staying mum, sorry. Except to say this: I really, really enjoyed this.

Hart’s Farm by Elizabeth Barrette: This series was so quiet and lovely! If you enjoy domestic historical fiction (with a dash of magic at times), this may well be a great fit for you. I really liked getting to know Auduna and her friends. It’s a melting pot of different cultures, customs and persobalities and the whole series is upbeat and positive, building a thriving and healthy community.

A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett: My second Pratchett since he died. T_T It’s beautiful and fun and I really like Tiffany and Granny Weatherwax and I love Pratchett’s writing. It’s so deft and sensitive.

In Heaven and Earth by Amy Rae Durreson: Amy’s ventured into science fiction! My thoughts will follow, but I really liked it despite feeling that the sex was unnecessary and out of place. (Also, Amy did a huge spoiler-filled post about the process of writing the story here if you’re interest in such. It’s well-worth reading! ^_^)

Queers Destroy Science Fiction by various authors: My thoughts will follow. I’m all tangled up about this Lightspeed issue, because I really wanted to like it and… I don’t. The stories are wonderful, but they’re just not for me. Also my enjoyment got tangled up in some general feelings about myself.

Running Deer and Hidden Badger by K.D. Sarge: Recommended by a friend ages ago and I finally got around to reading it. It’s a sweet, contemporary M/M romance novel set in Texas. It wasn’t too polished with some scene jumps and shifts in conversation that repeatedly had me leafing back to make sure I hadn’t just skipped something, but it’s a lovely story otherwise. I liked how Cal and Joseph worked together. More thoughts may follow, I’m not sure.

Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett: Do I really need to say more about this than “It’s Pratchett”? I do? Oh, fine. I’m enjoying this one, though I’m finding it a little slow to get into.

Seven Kingdoms: The Princess Problem Demo: Do you like sims ala Long Live the Queen Then you’ll probably like this game as well. Just be warned that it will eat your day and your night until you fall asleep at the keyboard. It’s not perfect (by a long shot) and, being a demo, isn’t yet finished. Parts of it are very unpolished yet and the UI is especially troublesome. It’s often bulky and inconsistent and where it’s not you have to place the cursor exactly right or the button you want to click won’t work. But it’s a lengthy demo that stands pretty well on its own. I’m looking forward to seeing how this one’ll shape up!

Inside Out: This was lovely! The film tackles a really complex topic and I was pleasanty surprised by how well it translated the ideas and concepts into a fun-filled 90-minutes or so. It has a few things I particularly disliked (notably the stereotyping of the parents’ thoughts), but I liked the subtlety with which Riley’s emotional growth was handled and how the story dealt with big changes to a child’s life.

Sailor Moon Crystal Episodes 25 & 26: You can read my thoughts on the episodes here and here. I’ve also written up some overall thoughts here. I liked them. They were nicely paced and I really liked how much the show manages to surprise me.

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Two Signalboosts

Posted August 4, 2015 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Links. The text 'links' underneath a big, old-fashioned key. Links I felt were interesting.

It’s time for Elizabeth Barrette’s Poetry Fishbowl again! This time the theme is “friendship, kinship, and families of choice”. Things you can prompt for (shamelessly stolen from the original post):

Now’s your chance to participate in the creative process by posting ideas for me to write about. Today’s theme is“friendship, kinship, and families of choice.”  I’ll be soliciting ideas for friends, frenemies, nemesis, spice, parents and children, zucchini, other relatives, making friends, arguing, making up, falling in love, growing a family, getting into trouble, deciding to help someone, getting out of trouble, asking for help and getting it, when help goes horribly wrong, enemy mine, enemies to friends, enemies to lovers, friendship benches, home, school, workplaces, playgrounds, bars, other places important to human relationships, friendship tokens, wedding rings, baby handprints, photo albums, souvenirs, our song, people skills, emotional first aid, endings and beginnings, marriage, divorce, other major life changes, and poetic forms in particular. But anything is welcome, really. If you manage to recommend a form that I don’t recognize, I will probably pounce on it and ask you for its rules. I do have the first edition of Lewis Turco’s The Book of Forms which covers most common and many obscure forms.

You can leave prompts at DreamWidth or LiveJournal. (If you don’t have an account or can’t use OpenID, you can leave an anonymous comment on either site.)

Secondly, today also saw the launch of M.C.A. Hogarth’s latest Kickstarter project: Your Passport to the Pelted Universe. It funded within two minutes and, as I write this, has already doubled its goal. You can get custom-made art of yourself as one of the Pelted.

Don’t know what Hogarth’s Pelted universe is? Earthrise is available as a permafree download and is the first in the Her Instruments trilogy. It’s a great introduction to the Pelted-verse, works well as a standalone and is dashing, fun space opera adventure. It also contains space elves. They are the best.

Not too interested in the dashing adventure, but would prefer a quieter book about psychology, baking cookies and asexual romance? Try Mindtouch instead. This also features space elves! They are still the best.

(Just… don’t tell Jahir I think his spot as my favourite got usurped by Lisinthir somewhere in between the beginning and end of Some Things Transcend. My heart would break.)

(Also if you’re still not sure, I’ve reviewed Earthrise and Mindtouch. (I haven’t reviewed Some Things Transcend on its own because my response was basically “*FLAIL* GO READ IT IT IS AWESOME” and… Yes.)

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#Diversiverse

Posted August 4, 2015 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 4 Comments

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diversiverse2015

I’m just going to copy over the text I nabbed last year because it says everything so much better than I can. And here’s the sign-up post to this year’s #Diversiverse. I really recommend you read Aarti’s sign-up post in full, especially if you have doubts about the way reading diversely affects your book reading habits (hint: it does the opposite of diminish them) because it’s a powerful piece.

For those who have not heard about #Diversiverse before, it’s a very simple challenge.  For those of you who have participated in the past, it’s even easier this year.  The criteria are as follows:

  • Read and review one book
  • Written by a person of color
  • During the last two weeks of October (October 4th – 17th) 

And that’s it. Any genre goes, any book goes provided it was written by a person of colour. Aarti links some really good posts on reading more diversely in the sign-up post, so please do take a moment to check them out. I’ll quote Aarti again:

You may have to change your book-finding habits to include POC authors in your reading rotation.  You absolutely do not need to change your book-reading habits.

Come join #Diversiverse this October!

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