mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
The backyard is such a nice place on a winter's day. Woodpeckers on the suet block, red squirrels in the pine tree, fox squirrels begging on the deck, a pair of mourning doves shuffling along the path...

A hawk on the fence.

Whoops. That does not belong there. The Neighborhood Enforcement Force, aka the local blue jay population, caught up with said hawk and spread the alarm, though. Blue jays are awesome.


So, a while back, I started toying with the idea of a Tiki-centric story from Caeda's perspective. That dynamic is a question that the FE3 script basically sets before the player during the "grand ending," the one where Tiki is squealing and glomping Marth, Melissa is bawling at Tiki to get her hands off, and Caeda's just going, "No, I'm fine with this." And Marth, of course, has nothing whatsoever to say for himself.

...and Tiki makes three. )

It was intended as an FE100 fill. I guess that's the second one I've completed.
mark_asphodel: (Ephraim!)
 I was going to take a stab at this meme, but then the latest round of LJ fail happened and I got distracted.

Except thirty-day memes are kind of boring.  Let's start with Day Four!

Your favorite character:

Favorite FE guy )

Favorite FE girl ) 

Don't know what I'll pick next; it'll be a surprise.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 It was so good to eat Nepalese food again.  I miss the Nepalese restaurants in Metro Detroit so very much.  At least that's one good thing about Vegas.

And my comrades liked it too, which tickled me.  I was afraid it would be too weird for their palates.  Also, there was excellent beer.


My union passed a resolution yesterday embracing full support of equal rights for GLBT workers in terms of partner benefits.  Wow, progress!  I'm really surprised.  For a group that seems to mostly view "Civil Rights" in terms of the 1960s, wherein everything begins and ends with MLK Jr and brown people don't exist, this is remarkable.

I wanted to get up and speak at the microphone for that one, but I wasn't allowed because I'm a peon alternate.


Posted another drabble today.  Jeez, what's with all these drabbles coming from me?  This one isn't even one of my remaining fill prompts.  It's Caeda in Khadein, and Khadein's a bit different than you might expect.  I still view it as a magical university town, but this version takes a cue from Harry Potter and its world of people who seem to use their amazing powers to mostly do silly things.  And it takes a cue from... something else, ha ha.  

I'm so tired.  Jacuzzi or bed?  Mm, tough call.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 French toast made with leftover chocolate-chunk sourdough is not nearly as nice as it sounds.  I mean, it was OK... I used a basic French toast batter recipe and added vanilla, so it tasted all right, but the texture wasn't great.  I used the remaining batter to make a sweet omelet, and that was also OK but was definitely a "not waste food" kind of thing instead of "mmm, yummy."

Just in case anyone thinks the stuff that comes out of my kitchen doesn't misfire on a regular basis...


Yo.  Got some tearjerker fic-recs. 

A Myrrh & Ephraim piece by [ profile] raphien .

An FE6-era Eliwood story featuring Kent/Lyn by [ profile] sacae .

And, fresh this morning, a Natasha & Knoll story by someone whose nom de web looks trollish but whose reviews have been insightful in the past.


Since the overall 'fic mood of this weekend appears to be ZOMG depressing, have a side order of this with your angst.

I was researching Scottish and other Celtic recipes in preparation for writing a Tana-centric 'fic called "The Basics of Frelian Cooking, " and I came across one of the most woe-inducing recipes ever, a skimmed-milk and barley-flour concoction known as "Sky Blue and Sinkers"-- a staple for starving Cornish miners and their equally hungry families.  Yeah, I'll take Confederate-era wallpaper paste and fried rats over diluted barley gruel.    

It was not appropriate at all for the Tana 'fic, but the recipe stuck with me, and I did have a use for it in the end.  Horribly depressing things can always find a home in Archanea-fic.  At least Caeda's not a total downer on her own.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
OK.  There are some really good FE11/FE12 CG thingies that aren't in the galleries on Serenes Forest (that I could find, anyway).  I found a number of them in the Fire Emblem Wiki articles, which demonstrates that, fan wanking aside, that site is good for something.

Hardin Appreciation and Spoilers for a Rather Old Game Below )

That's all for now.  If anyone knows where these came from, point the way and I'll be quite happy.
mark_asphodel: (Ephraim!)
So, thanks to [ profile] myaru  and her own misadventures with macarons (not macaroons), I've been obsessed with the little meringue kisses.  I shelled out fifty bucks to import a 24-pack of them from France (chocolate, lemon, raspberry, coffee, vanilla, pistachio).  I arranged them on a tray with the intention of transporting them to a party Saturday night.  I tripped on my way out the door, dropped the tray, and the whole arrangement landed in the rock salt and pavement dirt.

I dusted them off and ate them anyway; they were quite good, especially the chocolate and raspberry.  The pistachio tasted a little too... green.


I love chestnuts.  I love them sauteed with Brussels sprouts and topped with crumbled bacon.  I love them mashed into butternut squash pasta sauce and served atop textured, colored, pasta shapes with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.  I have been having little slices of food heaven thanks to my chestnuts.


Dear fandom: please stop writing "Tactician in Magvel" stories.  The Good Guys of Magvel already have a tactician.  His name is Innes and he is definitely smarter than your OC or your FE7 expy.  If you don't think that's good enough, because Innes joins the party so late, keep in mind that Ephraim and Seth both know what they are doing.  Ephraim is not some dipstick teenager who is given an army and some cool toys to play with because the Plot Says So.  He does not need a babysitter.  He does not need your Gary Stu.  With the combined powers of Innes, Seth, and Ephraim on hand, the Good Guys of Magvel most certainly don't need your OC.


Caeda/Ogma is not one of my OTPs.  I like it quite a lot, both for what it is in the games and for what it could potentially be.  I don't really write it-- I don't much feature Ogma at all in my stories ([ profile] shimizu_hitomi  writes him better than I ever can, and she can read and reference his actual dialogue and other source material, which I can't).  But it is a beautiful and moving relationship, one that has a dimension to it that puts it in a different territory from, say, Seth/Eirika.  Or Nyna/Camus.  Seth saves Eirika.  Camus saves Nyna.  But Ogma serves Caeda because she saved him.  

But I don't ship it.  Their FE11 dialogue, aka "Ogma gets friend-zoned," is reason enough for me not to.  The age difference is a factor for me, especially for anything set during the War of Darkness.  The social difference is a factor (especially with Caeda's father being alive during the games-- come on now).  But the real obstacle is straightforward-- that triangle featuring Caeda and Ogma has one hell of a hypotenuse.

And there isn't a shred of doubt that Caeda loves him.  Marth, I mean.  Not Ogma.  Her feelings for him are not tacked on as a postscript.  They are not lurking in the margins.  They are waving flags and blaring sirens from every corner of the text.  Artful Caeda may be, but subtle she is not.  Not in this case.  And Ogma doesn't stick around to watch her enjoy married life, or to watch over her children by Marth.  This isn't MyUnit we're talking about.  Ogma gets out of there, destination unknown.

Funny thing, though.  In my headcanon-- my serious headcanon, the sort of stuff I drew on for the Tales of the Unified Kingdom-- there's always been the working assumption that Ogma turns up again after Marth kicks the bucket.  And it may sound an awful lot like a case of whacking the hypotenuse, but it feels right.  Because as far as I'm concerned, Ogma was there first.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 Spent some of the morning working on my [ profile] fe_exchange  story, but then I got sidetracked and ended up working on this instead.  It's an "interlude" in the Michalis/Melissa soap opera, one that cuts away from the action in Macedon to spend a few moments with Caeda and Marth.  Who, after all, are a part of the Grand Plan that Michalis is hatching, whether they know it or not.

There is maybe a little more going on beneath the surface in this chapter than in the preceding ones, but not really enough to warrant a full liner-notes fiesta.  Maybe after the second interlude chapter.  You can basically assume that anything weird and creepy in this one is intentional on my part.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 But first, some phanphiction phishing!

I got this in my inbox today:

"Name: Yoshino in the Moonlight4"

Subject: Ideas related to fanfiction...

Hello there? You seem to be a fan-fiction writer in the United States, and
well, I just wanted to tell you that I have some ideas that are somehow
related to fan-fiction, and I wonder if you would like to discuss with me
about them. I just wanted to ask someone in the United States about these
ideas - could you perhaps give me some additional thoughts about them?

Also, just wondering - just how much interest do you have in drawing?"



OK.  Anyway, in this installment of "Until the Sun Cries Morning," Caeda shows up and thickens the plot like a dose of arrowroot in the pudding.  This chapter, "For Sorrow of Inspiration," is subdivided to make it easier to read and to buy me time on writing the battles of Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge.  :D
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)

So, this is not a 700-word drabble with "terror" as its theme.

It is, however, the end product of five rewrites, three title changes, and at least one major shift in underlying philosophy as I attempted to write my "definitive" take on Fire Emblem's flagship canon pairing.

Spoilers for 'fic and games )

Copious amounts of music went into the making of this, including Laid by James (especially "P.S." and "Lullabye), The Suburbs by Arcade Fire, and the odd bit of Massive Attack.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 Inspired by [ profile] shining_valor 's musings on Peg Knights and their... articles of dress.  I also got pix from [ profile] kittykatloren 's gallery to illustrate this.  If I were clever, I'd do in-line pictures like [ profile] penandpaper71 , but instead you get this:

Very short and sour story under the cut. )

Because, seriously... while on the one hand I was happy to get a cheesecake picture of Catria, given what they've done to her in the game, it does appear to say something.

mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 I had a feeling that reading about Custer and Sitting Bull would unlock something in my brain, but I'd hoped it would be a 'fic involving actual in-depth battle scenes, like "To Freely Serve" (Norne 'Fic) or "Widening Gyre" (Peg Sis 'Fic).  Instead, I ended up flying through the second installment in my planned Caeda Trilogy, "The View From A Glass Kingdom" (Gundam Wing reference totally intentional).

Read the 'fic before you read the notes or it's not as much fun. )
BTW, the new Arcade Fire song sucks.  
mark_asphodel: (FE3 OTP)
 I think I need a certain amount of external pressure to be productive.  The pressure is on now, and my brain is flowing over.

Here is an exploration of Caeda I wrote 80% of last year and have polished up for publication.  It's my attempt at depicting her between the wars, based on a curious glitch in the Archanean timeline.  It would appear that, in Year 607 when the War of Heroes is about to erupt, that Caeda has arrived in Altea fairly recently-- she and Marth are just on the verge of getting married when the whole Grust diversion unfolds.  Yet the War of Darkness wrapped up approximately two years prior, back in 605!  That's a rather lengthy engagement-- wouldn't there be a certain amount of hurry-up involved, what with Marth being the last of his bloodline and all?

I present the following excuses: 

1) One or both of them are deemed underage.  This is pretty feasible, given Marth isn't crowned king immediately.  Archanea, unlike primogeniture-happy European kingdoms, doesn't like child kings, and doesn't seem to go for child marriage, either.  We know he can't be any older than seventeen in 605, and I suspect Caeda to be a year or two younger than that, and perhaps that's just too young. ("Old enough for war, but not for voting," I guess.)

2) Altea is a mess and needs to be stabilized first.  OK-- but FE11 kind of indicates Caeda zips out there immediately, regardless.  And she kicks her heels for two long years doing what-- playing dolls with Elice?  Learning how to be a lady?  Your guess is as good as mine.

3) Talys is a piece of unfinished business.  Specifically, it's a recently unified "modern" kingdom, whose first king appears to have one (1) young daughter as his heir.  Seriously, if Caeda had a brother or three, wouldn't they have popped up somewhere in the plot?  Sending Caeda off to Altea to marry means that, in essence, Talys goes bye-bye in one generation.  Married heiresses in Archanea hand over all their authority to their husbands.  Witness Nyna.  Witness Artemis.  In the time it takes to say "I do," independent Talys becomes, in effect, an eastern province of Altea.  A neglected province of Altea, given they're at opposite ends of the archipelago.   

If I'd dedicated my life to making Talys one solid nation, I'd have second thoughts about that scenario.  Wouldn't you?


mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)

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