ultranos: souji with his head stuck inside a tv (tv is eating my brain)
1) Got around to playing the Extended Cut on Mass Effect 3. You know how last time I did this, I had this knot in my stomach for about 5 hours and barely avoided crying? This time, it took me 3.5 hours (hours of multiplayer: really useful for getting fast at combat) and I completely lost it at a certain point. I did my original choice, felt completely validated, and yes, I knew it would end this way. Bioware did a fantastic job, and I could probably write an elaborate meta essay on it.

But oh, my poor shattered heart.

2) neboat started watching Warehouse 13 yesterday. So that meant I spent today catching the tail end of s1 and we made it halfway through s2. I could have done something else, but inertia and the heat made it too difficult to think about. :) It also helped distract me from the fact that the dining room table is currently covered in Legos that are not mine. I'm trying very hard to be good.

3) Started reading Spin State yesterday. It's pretty good so far. Oddly, it's pinging less Mass Effect, which is what my brain is telling me is what sci-fi is right now, and more my own Oathkeepers-'verse.

4) Once, just once, I'd like to have a story idea that doesn't morph into a novel. It's really frustrating when all I want to do is be able to finish one. (The current one is a beast, and if it ends up being less than 100K words, I am going to be shocked.)
ultranos: cam reaching for a sword, with text "guys, you DID check for traps, right?" (TRAP!)
1. I was browsing Tumblr awhile ago and came across a Bioware Confession that said that the poster would wish to cast the actress who played Maria Hill in The Avengers as Commander Shepard in a theoretical live-action film. I really can't unsee it now.

2. Seeding a Pandora station with Two Steps from Hell, Florence + the Machine, and Matthew Good (Band) really confuses the genome.

3. I have officially given up any and all pretense of actually being in control of writing this fic. It is going to be infinity words long because Commander Mouthy has Opinions. Christ, I'm going to need to go Make Friends or something to find a beta for this eventually. Assuming I can actually weave this narrative.

3a. Not that I really care if anyone other than me is willing to read it. I'm not just turning left here, I've changed phases and am throwing around complex vectors.

3b. "Fanon conventions, what fanon conventions?" This is me, ignoring, ignorant, or blatantly throwing out fanon Because I Can.

3c. Again, goddamn you and your Take A Third Option tendencies. There wasn't supposed to be a Third Option! Although you did jack the Epic level past 11.

4. Finally built a Lego set I've had around for about 3 years. I never realized safety orange and black were Bad Guy colors. Now the only set I have left to build is the space police one with the criminals looking like Ood, only more Cthulhu-y.

5. I suddenly have the oddest craving for scones.
ultranos: lain is having techinical difficulties (argh)
Alex is currently stymieing all efforts to write them. Actually, this is rather unfair to Alexander. Alexander will calmly point out, as many times is necessary, that Alex is Alex, and doesn't actually give a whit what pronoun is used. It's actually my problem. I guess we could say that Alexander is genderqueer. (Alex's backstory, as described in "Taming Fenrir" is that they were born female-sexed, raised as male, and due to genetic-engineering fuckery, required a metric fuckton (ask any scientist; this is totally a valid unit of measurement) of treatments, some of which included male hormones, as a child/teen to not die. This is also sci-fi, so work with me here. Alex's public identity is as a man. In private, she'll use male or female pronouns pretty much as he feels like.)

I'm mostly trying to figure out how to write them so as not to horribly offend anyone. Any suggestions? (This is locked down so that, if I did fuck up in the above, I trust you guys to take me to task for it. The last thing I want to do is hurt anyone.)

On a less relevant note, it's incredibly satisfying to be able to fire up Universe Sandbox and figure out reasonable-sounding interstellar travel and neatly side-step Scifi Writers Have No Sense of Scale.
ultranos: cecilia adelhyde holding spell book (Default)
After an off-hand comment by a friend while I was describing some of the plotlines in xaos, I decided to excise any last messianic archetypes lingering on the character of Ashura, and in the process fixed about 5 gaping plot holes. (See Also: I was a fucking moron age 13-17.) So I found myself today tooling on the xaos Master Doc (my handy bible of critical information for this 'verse). I've been working on this document on and off for the past 4 years, and I keep telling myself that once it's in decent shape, then I'll start writing. I'm starting to wonder if this is a mistake, though. Because the more I think about it, the more this story has been mutating and growing in new and interesting ways. And I can't possibly document all of them without, you know, actually writing the story.

I'm wondering if maybe the Master Doc is just an excuse. Because the characters are starting to talk now, and if I don't take advantage of that, maybe I'll end up waiting another 5 years.

I dunno. I had so much trouble with this the first time around because I didn't have an outline and then wrote myself into a stupid corner. And so I decided that I would have an outline this time around, but now the "try to make an outline" thing is utterly failing because the outline keeps changing (or doesn't even exist), and maybe I'm wondering if I should just give up and sketch out notes on how the universe works and then let the characters go.

By the way, it's ridiculous how much I cannot know about characters I designed twelve years ago. At least I now know why a certain character resisted all my attempts to pair her with a boy. (Seriously. TWELVE YEARS.)

Question for anyone reading: would you prefer I posted these things about original works (xaos, Wintermarch, "Taming Fenrir"-verse) under a filter? I'd kinda like to be able to toss snippets and plot ideas and background info around and have people critique them or offer their own ideas. (Or hit me with a clue-by-four when I need it)
ultranos: black on white safety stick-man getting a companion cube to the head (ow)
Quick summary of recent developments while playing Dragon Age: Origins :

-*checks off list* Humans, dwarves, elves, demons, undead, werewolves, and now...talking trees. BINGO!

-The method for indicating loot is making the area sparkle. Dead monsters drop loot. Dead monsters include undead. Therefore, killed undead with loot sparkle. I THINK BIOWARE IS MOCKING SOMETHING. XD

-This is the first time a video game character has gotten mouthy at me and taken the plot in some direction I didn't expect. Huh. I'm...uncertain as to this development in my brainspace.

-Oh boy! Triang relations! That don't get any easier to solve in the computer, sadly, AND WHY YOU MAKE *SADFACE* AT ME, [redacted]?! Oh crap, Bioware figured out how to tap into the "Catholic Guilt" part of my brain. I AM DOOMED.

-Oh. That's probably the OTHER reason this game got rated 'M'.

In conclusion, I am still having a blast with this game. :D

Speaking of characters nomming on my brainspace, a character I developed roughly 12 years ago is being incredibly mouthy and has entirely rewritten her backstory in the span of the last few weeks. Leaving me going, "oh, huh. I guess it does work better this way."

I'm fairly convinced at this point that I don't actually control my own brain.
ultranos: souji with his head stuck inside a tv (tv is eating my brain)
1) I am dithering about Yuletide. I'm not convinced about my ability to be inspired enough to write anything to completion in a month. I don't even know what fandoms I'd request or offer. Mostly because I haven't looked at the list yet.

2) I made mushroom pasta for dinner. This makes me exceedingly content.

3) I considered going home for Thanksgiving, but before I could make a decision, the really good deal on tickets sold out, and I'm reluctant to pay $350+ for 48 hours home. Especially when I'm going home in a month and three days. I feel bad I got my mom's hopes up, but she said she totally understands and would have done the same thing. But I am Very Good at guilt. On the positive side, I don't have to deal with TSA four times in less than 2 weeks.

But I'm seeing who else in the area is a Thanksgiving orphan and semi-hosting a Thing. Although I'm itching to make a beef tenderloin or leg of lamb instead of a turkey.

4) A friend of mine showed me a video last night that has since become the craziest earworm EVER: The Complete History of the Soviet Union, Through the Eyes of a Humble Worker, Arranged to the Melody of Tetris


5) Another reason I'm dithering on Yuletide is that I should probably spend my energy generating ideas and the basic plot structures for this tenday I'm writing. I haven't had to work my gamewriting chops this hard since Centauri, and in terms of writing, I'd say Synchronicity (our tentative title) is a level above at least. Oh god, this thing is going to be crazy. Hopefully also awesome. If we're really good, it'll be crazy awesome.

6) This is having no mention of the crazy 'gateverse AU that popped into my head today and that [livejournal.com profile] abyssinia4077 has, of course, totally encouraged. I blame Darker than BLACK, actually.
ultranos: ashley from Trace Memory (white-haired girl) sleeping (sleepy)
So, I'm currently at work Really Stupid Early (as opposed to Stupid Late, which is more normal). Which apparently means I'm posting. I don't know.

I'm really actually trying to pay attention to fandom, or at least poke at my pile of WIPs, but I'm utterly disinterested. (Although the A:tLA fic might have actually found a title) Well, except for the fact that I keep listening to music (thanks, Stars) and thinking "that'd make a great title". Come on, you know that "In Our Bedroom, After the War" is great for a post-apocalyptic fic. Or an "SG-1/SGA-1 lost and are in exile" fic. Okay, so I just love that album, okay? Everyone needs to listen to it.

In case you haven't noticed, this entire thing is total stream-of-consciousness. Because I woke up Early, and don't actually want coffee because I am on a total tea kick right now. (Matcha, on the other hand, is just about the best thing ever.)

The things that are currently eating my brain is Wintermarch, where demons have invaded and I really need to brush up on my Japanese/Chinese/Russian folklore. I keep running plot and ideas past a friend of mine, and I'm really hoping he'll ding me on cultural misappropriation. Although that's still a big fear of mine, which is why my general policy regarding using any kind of folklore/myth/legend and/or religion and/or culture is to do about 10x more research than I actually use. And that betas/editors will ding me when I screw up.

(I need to get better at doing that for other people, too, though. Although it is painful, and I'm socially-inept enough that I fear Doing It Wrong and not explaining it right. See also: that time I nearly quit the LARP because of that one plot with the culture the players kept reading as Indian. Also known as "two weeks ago".)
ultranos: ibuki maya sitting at laptop in shorts and a t-shirt, eating a cookie, with prompt \\ "Rocks fall; everybody dies." (this would be much simpler)
Because it's 1am and I'm not asleep yet.

I'm going to try something here. This is a list of all WiPs I'm theoretically working on. I'm in such a weird headspace right now that I need a push to finish them. So. Here are summaries from what are technically active. As teasers, yes, but as also maybe I'll be motivated if someone kicks me into writing it.

If nothing else, hey, at least I know what I'm theoretically working on.

ETA: Aby reminded me I'm missing one.

I graduate from college, and turn into a demotivated slacker. Who knew? )
ultranos: kino standing, staring ahead (contemplative)
There are frosh arriving on campus, which reminds me that term is about to start, and I am not an undergrad.

In my copious free time (you know, when I'm not working or trying to make sure a theatre production happens), I've been poking at original fic. And it's not Xaos (the science-fantasy epic I've been formulating in my head for the past 10 years).

No, this one is a low-fantasy tale of a trio of assassin/mercs trained as children to use their supernatural (magic) abilities after the war is over. Tentatively titled "Wintermarch".

(And I think my background knowledge is starting to become apparent, because I created these three characters years ago. And one is has a Japanese name, one has a Cantonese name, and the third has something that's vaguely Eastern European. It's kinda fun to now write around this.)

I kinda feel the need to blather and possibly post snippets of this WiP, just to ensure I finish the damn thing. I might create a filter, if people don't want this cluttering up their flists.
ultranos: girl in gekkougan uniform with monsterous shadow (casting shadows)
*tilts head*

I seem to have A Thing for creating "exceedingly reluctant rulers". You know, when they find out a fief/kingdom/planet wants to make them ruler after they've been raised away from it, they keep trying to figure out how to give it back. Crown = Do Not Want.

Amusingly, both of them are female, in systems that rely on first-born inheritance, regardless of gender. Oh boy, I have A Thing. (Yes, Ashura, I am talking about you, however did you guess? You just got company in this category.)

In other, non-original fic news, I wish this apocafic I'm plotting would grow the rest of its plot. I'm so going to be tapped out of crazy Gnostic traditions, various mythologies, and legends really damn soon at this rate. Because I had the brilliant idea of adding a tenday on top of plotting the aforementioned P3/P4 apocafic. Why is the tenday add to that load? Because the last time I wrote a tenday, every corporate research project in game was organized via mythological tradition by company (one named all their projects after Norse, another from really esoteric Jewish tradition, etc).

I am insane.
ultranos: ashley from Trace Memory asking why do you make my life difficult? (life on hard mode)
I feel slightly guilty that my interest in the Stargate WiPs I've got languishing on my harddrive is continuing to wane. There are spikes of interest here and there, but nothing's lit a fire under me about it for awhile. I'm sure I'll find it again eventually.

On the other hand, in danger of stating the goddamn obvious (TM :) ), I've been running into Persona and Shin Megami Tensei full-tilt. Guys, I have an apocafic percolating in my head, and it is Epic and Glorious. Mythology! Angst! Drama! Duty! Psychology! The End of the World! *rolls around happily*

(There is also the crossover kidfic that I swear I'm not writing. [livejournal.com profile] holdouttrout knows how much I'm swearing this.


I am so doomed, aren't I?)

Also, to my great surprise, some original fic characters from years ago popped up in my brain again, bringing with them a new, better, and utterly fascinating origin story. And character redesign, of course. But I'm considering writing this story, if I can find the plot. Well, beyond one character's homecoming for her denied birthright. (Fantasy world! Spooky powers! Assassins! Assassins as a team with PTSD!) There also might be research required, oh no. (Kiyo's been albino and Tam's been blind since they were both created. Serj, I haven't figured out what his deal is yet.)
ultranos: souji with his head stuck inside a tv (tv is eating my brain)
Note to Self: in the future, do not sign up for or run a ficathon with a due date within 2 weeks of the release date of the game you have been waiting years for. You're so not going to want to write. You dumbass.

In other news, [livejournal.com profile] 36_stratagems is live! It even has people posting! You all should go read stories. And hopefully my fic will soon join them (I just need to write 3.5 more scenes!).

To be fair, P3P hasn't eaten all of my time. The rest has been eaten up by helping a team of frosh in Guild Camp as a zampolit, and coming up with ideas for a SMT-style apocalyptic tenday that I swear I'm not writing.
ultranos: ashley from Trace Memory asking why do you make my life difficult? (life on hard mode)
Current Irritation: characters inside my head who are not only mouthy, but seemingly intent on taking over my brain.

Especially a certain tabletop character. Dammit, I stopped being 17 seven years ago! I don't want to relive it!

Also, let me tell you internets, it's very, very surreal when a character comes out to you five months after you roll up her stats for the first time.

CHARACTER: Um, I think I'm maybe kinda gay.
WRITER: Wait, what? *checks back the background from character generation* I didn't write that!

And you then spend approximately the next 10 months dealing with teenage angst.

WRITER: Dammit, [Character]! Stop influencing everything I write!
CHARACTER: It's not my fault!

Clearly, I hate myself.
ultranos: ashley from Trace Memory asking why do you make my life difficult? (life on hard mode)
1) No, I haven't forgotten about those prompts I asked for a few weeks ago. I've just been ridiculously hosed. I'll get to them eventually.

2) Short story is now in the revision stage. I'm not entirely sure what I'll change, though. There are some parts that are bugging me, but no one dinged me on them, so I'm uncertain whether or not I should change them. Also, I clearly have been trained to write for writing LARPs or entire universes. I kind of stunned some people in the roundtable critique when asked to explain my universe's geopolitical situation. Apparently, not everyone comes up with 5 times the amount of information that actually appears in the story?

3) As if I don't have enough to do, I'm poking at the idea of running a tabletop involving time travel. Possibly in GURPS, which I've never used before. Clearly, I am insane.

4) I was looking at my list of fic WIPs and am feeling the need to write again. And not just [livejournal.com profile] abyssinia4077's and my Fic of Doom. I do realize I have the crack!fic that's still languishing at 10K words, and still needs it's back 2/3s. And the fic Aby wants to kill me for. And...other things. It's just that I have no time and am out of the groove for writing SG-1 right now. I think it's because I've been drilling deep in original fic and into SMT/Persona mythos for both the game I'm writing and the tabletop I'm playing. Someone make me fannish again?

5) There is no five.

6) You know what I miss? Vacations and weekends. I swear to god, I haven't had a For Reals one in weeks. I also miss cooking. I think the last time I went to the grocery store is roughly, uh, 8 weeks ago? Sometime in September, when I forgot to eat dinner, got out of lab at midnight, and went to the 24-hour grocery store for material components to make a grilled cheese sandwich. TERM, WHY WILL YOU NOT END? Wait, no, don't end. Ending now would be painful.
ultranos: ibuki maya sitting at laptop in shorts and a t-shirt, eating a cookie, with prompt \\ "Rocks fall; everybody dies." (this would be much simpler)
So, for this sci-fi writing class I'm taking, we write short stories and then every week, two people send out their stories to the class, and the following week we come back and workshop them. Workshopping here means sitting around a table and having everyone say what they liked and didn't like about your story in 2 minutes or less. Authors are not allowed to defend themselves until the end. Also, everyone critiquing gives the author a written half-page to one-page critique.

It's basically beta-ing, only times 10 and with bonus social awkwardness! Or something.

Anyway, I have a question for the ol' flist: in this sort of situation, would you prefer a critique that sort-of sugar-coated things while possibly dancing around problem areas, or one that was brutally honest but didn't care so much for actually voicing these things in public?

Because there's a world of difference between one-on-one critique in private, and a roundtable critique, and I can see how it might be more socially acceptable to sugar-coat things a little more.

For the record, I fear I fall into the "brutally honest" category. I've also seem to have developed a reputation in this class for having an exceedingly sharp tongue. (Basically, whenever the instructor reads selections from our weekly written responses to professional short stories and reads something snarky, EVERYONE at the table now turns to look at me.)

So, yeah, I'm wondering how much do I have to watch my mouth when I call people out on Things That Bug Me about their stories. "I'm not TRYING to be a bastard, I honestly want everyone to write really, really good stories!"
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ultranos: ibuki maya sitting at laptop in shorts and a t-shirt, eating a cookie, with prompt \\ "Rocks fall; everybody dies." (this would be much simpler)
Things Learned From Writing the Original Fic [Partial List]:

- "retool" apparently means "take the entire back 3/4ths, which includes the majority of the plot, and chuck it out the window"

- It's easier to write when you actually like what you're writing, and not just trying to finish the damn story.

- I can apparently write some really fucked up stuff (okay, we all knew this already)

- I amuse myself by including cultural appropriation in the other direction. (Because the Chinese-descended Emperor of the space-faring human race would could totally pick out Roman imagery because it looks cool and keeps those pesky Westerners happy.)

-- Okay, that might be the history of anime-watching influencing my brain.

- I never want to write in Word again. I loves you, LaTeX!
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ultranos: ibuki maya sitting at laptop in shorts and a t-shirt, eating a cookie, with prompt \\ "Rocks fall; everybody dies." (this would be much simpler)
*stabs orig-fic story*

Been working on this sucker all weekend. +6K words should not have taken me this long. It's possible I've not worked on original fic in so long that I got out of practice a bit. I don't think my handle on the main character's character was really solid until the end, so I feel as if I need to go back and retool things. I'm really running into the problem of telling instead of showing, mostly because it's faster and I want to get to the action quicker. The problem is that there are some sections that I kept wanting to write in first person PoV, because it really needed the snarky-deft description. (One of these days, I will write a character who is not a snarky bastard. This day is not today.) But the whole thing is in third person, so that's a little frustrating.

Irritating thing is that the first draft is due tomorrow. What it really needs is about a week to be ignored and then me coming back to it and doing massive retooling. I'm too close to it right now. I can see the weak spots/problem areas but can't figure out how to FIX it.

Also, I really hate writing fiction in Word. If I could get away with it, I'd do it in Notepad++. The only thing stopping me from using LyX is that I don't know how to deal with the stupid headers the instructor is demanding. *grumblemutter*
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ultranos: Actual MIT hack of roadsign. "MASS AVE BRIDGE CLOSED / SUNDAY 04/22/07 6AM-3PM / TO APPEASE GODZILLA" (have you appeased godzilla today?)
First off, thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday on Tuesday. I tried to respond in whatever entries on LJ or DW or IMs you expressed that in, but if I missed you, I'm sorry! It was a very low-key birthday, which is okay, because I had other stuff to deal with.

Second, I think I made it through this week on sheer willpower. You know it's bad when, by Wednesday, one of your teammates in a lab class look at you and ask if you're okay, and when you admit to being sleepy, pretty much shove you off to bed.

Thankfully, Monday is a Suicide Day holiday.

Third, I have approx. 1.5 weeks to write a short story for a class. I have the beginning! I have no idea where it's going, but the instructor seems to like it a lot, so...well, we'll go for it. The main character possibly best described at this point as "Fujioka Haruhi meets Shirogane Naoto, and filtered through Ultranos's brain. In space. With SPACE ROMANS. And the Awesome turned up to 11." (For those of you without the frame of reference, er, someone might describe her as "gender confused". This is incorrect. She's not confused, the rest of the universe is.)


I might need to babble at someone over minor issues. Mostly to make sure things make sense as I'm hashing universe details out.
ultranos: XKCD comic: existentialism vs. super soaker. Super soaker wins. (existentialism is dangerous)
Crack fic fusion has gone and developed sections. And I think the Epic dial got broken somewhere around "11".

It's been a long time since a story has eaten my brain in such a way.

Some observations on fusion fic and the writing thereof )
ultranos: lightning in freefall for a shot (girl's got a gun)
I think [livejournal.com profile] holdouttrout can attest, via evidence from today, that I Should Not Be Allowed to give hypothetical examples. Especially hypothetical examples to describe fiction genres, like crossover and fusion.

In other news, DELICIOUS, DELICIOUS CRACK FUSION IDEA. *cackles madly*


ultranos: cecilia adelhyde holding spell book (Default)

Memoranda from the Usual Suspects

Media List:

Currently Watching:
-- Supergirl(hiatus)
--Pitch (hiatus)

Currently Playing:
--[null] (PS3)
--[null] (PS2)
--Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS)
--[null] (PSP)
--[null] (XBox360)
--Endless Legend (PC)
--Fallout: New Vegas (PC)

Currently Reading:


-The Rook, Daniel O'Malley
-Fortune's Rising, Sara King

-Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy, David Daley


"So she's good cop, he's bad cop, you're morally-questionable cop, and I'm set-things-on-fire cop."

"Sounds about right."


"WARNING: When attempting to be clever, make sure you not actually just being stupid."


"Did you remember to sacrifice the goat before burning the ISO to the DVD-R?"

"Crap! Um, I've got a charred piece of meat here."

"That's called a steak. That's dinner. What about the sacrifices?"


"I escape through quantum-tunneling. What do I need to roll for that?"


"Why is it called a 'Monkeylord'?"

"Because it looks like a spider."


"I have a moral objection to this problem. It implies microwaving a steak."


"Did you eat the crazy cookies this morning?"


"The GPU goes 4 by 4, hurrah, hurrah."

April 2017

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