Jun. 29th, 2012 10:41 pm
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
It's 94 degrees.  I'm driving home, my AC broken, my windows rolled down, blasting The Tragically Hip's cover of "Black Day in July" as I go.  In front of me, a blue-gray smudge on the overcast horizon tells me that something in Detroit is burning.  Again.

[Quite literally, as it happened-- the building in question already burned once.]




Non-entry for fe_contest #20 finished, like it even matters.

Both entries for fe_fest unfinished, because I've written them over so many times it hurts.  AUs, man.  Ow.

Have been attempting to finally get a goddamned Levin/Fury piece finished, and also attempted a weird little non-romantic Azel-Tiltyu-Lex thing that got hijacked by its own subtext and turned into a furious indictment of sexual hypocrisy among the upper classes.  [Pro tip: don't imply that Azel is Lex's waifu unless you want to open a spring-loaded can of metaphorical worms.]

An entirely unwanted side effect of FE4 is that, suddenly, all story ideas and concepts come down to the burning question of who is sleeping with whom, and making babies with whom, and that just... did not used to be my MO.  But now it's pairing 'fic.  All this pairing 'fic.  It's rotten.  

And I still don't even like most of these characters, which makes it even weirder.  
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Writing fake novel excerpts for the purposes of fiction, or fake history books, or even fake song lyrics here and there... doable.  Fake epic poetry, even terza rima poetry?  Man, not my strong point. 


Juggling my non-entry for the fe_contest "Crossover" challenge with the fe_fest stuff.  Yipes.  Deadline, deadlines.


FE4 is pretty darned fun.  Though I should start trolling message boards, pointing out that every other entry in the series is Doing It Wrong with regard to promotional items, money management, arena abuse, weapon allocation, and weapon repair, and are thus not Real Fire Emblem.  As frustrating as it is to not freely trade stuff, especially stuff acquired from bosses, overall I like the FE4 system.  I'm actually using the arenas instead of ignoring them as a death trap.  

Anyway, I got two-thirds of the way though Chapter 3.  Silvail fell on the 25th turn, and now Brigid, Claude, and Tiltyu are being pursued by PIRATES! and such.  

Status Update!

The sort of thing that used to go to a rant comm )

As BS as I find Thracia 776 to be, when compared to something like Sonic Adventure DX, so much is forgiven.  You want BS?  The QA team there appears to have been run by Catbert.
mark_asphodel: (Dead Heero)
I completed the daily NaNo goals, so here is the thing I would've entered in the last round of [ profile] fe_contest had I planned to enter, which I didn't.  It literally came to me in the middle of the night while I was trying to go back to sleep after the cat woke me for reasons best known to him.  I played with the idea a bit and wrote this; it's kind of a sequel to "Expiation," but it's meant to be taken even less seriously.

Non-entry for "The Line" Challenge:

Most Faithful Servant

I do not own Fire Emblem or any of its characters.

In which MyUnit takes loyalty to its most extreme ends.

Rated T for dark themes and acts.

Why the Hero of Shadows got cut from the history books... )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
In case you're stuck for ideas for [info]fe_contest, the "Pairing Game" thread over on ffnet offers a lot of crack pairings, some of which seem more plausible than you might otherwise expect.  Granted, some of the arguments presented will make you want to hit yourself with a frying pan, but hey, that's the price of a research adventure.  Right?

Anyway, Marth/Lyn is one of those things that pops up in Smash Bros fanfiction now and again, and makes me go "Bullshit" every time.  But someone today outlined the case for it as "less idealistic Eliwood" with preference for "strong women" + Lyn, to which I can only go, "Well, yeah... but..."

But I don't buy Eliwood/Lyn either, except as some kind of contingency plan.

Still sounds to me like a trainwreck, but I guess I won't laugh at it next time I see it.


OK.  Everyone pokes fun at the more unrealistic outfits in FE artwork-- Hey, Peg Knights!  Put some pants on!-- but beyond clothing that's too scanty for protection, or too flowing for safety, there's another issue the official art dodges.

Dude, if you're someone important, and you want to escape detection, you might want to "dress down" or change clothes with one of your knights.  It's a time-honored device that might keep you from getting killed.

See, there's a picture of Leaf in the 20th anniversary artbook (page 76) that depicts him meeting with Evayle. He's in regular clothes-- plain tunic, trousers, unadorned cloak.  A very good choice for someone on the run and trying to keep a low profile.  And it struck me, because it was a kind of "No shit, Sherlock" moment that canon doesn't acknowledge much.  There is a time to swan around in gilt-edged white armor and a scarlet-lined mantle and a time to NOT do that, kthx.   

Not sure who the worst offender on that count in FE canon is, but the list is pretty damned long.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Great.  Now that I've sworn off entering the contest (for modly impartiality), my brain seizes on a crack pairing I so want to write.

Screw it.  I'll write Palla/Arran anyway.  It'll probably spill into 7K words, knowing me.  Thanks, Pixiv!


Writing for Magvel is interesting, but there's no 'ficcer feeling quite like the feeling when an Archanea plotbunny sinks its claws into my arm.  I've been meaning to write an Eirika-in-Frelia piece for aeons now, but I can't quite get it off the ground.  And then the Peg Sisters come barreling along and I get that visceral must write feeling.


Man, watching the footage of the London riots is depressing as hell.  It looks like Detroit-- people smashing up their fellow citizens' businesses and driving them out of their homes, and for what?  How does gutting somebody's family furniture store or plundering Sainsburys (it's a supermarket) stick it to David Cameron, or the Met, or anyone?  How does destroying the brick-and-mortar fabric of your own city right a bad situation?

Take it from Detroit, baby.  It doesn't.  All you get is a big vacant hole where your city used to be.  
mark_asphodel: (Ephraim!)
So, this story is not the same thing as this "experiment" from last month.  They were worked on simultaneously, but told two parts of the same scenario; the FFnet 'fic features the daughter of Eirika and Saleh in a little coming-of-age story, while the LJ "experiment" featured Ephraim's reaction to his niece once she shows up in Renais.

Brief Notes on "Palindrome" and its history... )
mark_asphodel: (Dead Heero)
No, the weekend's silence was NOT an indication that I got "traded to the mafia" in a bid to resurrect writers of yore.

Basically, it was just go-go-go for the last five days.  I finally zonked out around 9PM last night, woke at 3AM and threw a load of wash in the machine, then went back to sleep until six.  I'm behind on reading, reviewing, and writing, and managed to miss the [ profile] fe_contest  voting deadline as well.  Yeesh.  

OTOH, the perennials I planted yesterday and the day before are looking very nice.  Hopefully the oriental poppies will actually DO something for me this season.  And my red and white trilliums survived the winter, which made me very happy because I thought they were all duds.   Oh, and the daffodils finally bloomed yesterday.  Mine are a week behind the rest of the neighborhood, but I don't care.

Yep.  Spring has finally, finally, FINALLY sprung here in lower Michigan.
OK.  Off to make dinner...

Note to anon-meme person afraid to comment in my journal.  I don't bite or anything.  :(
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
I did not enter [ profile] fe_contest  this time, even though I liked the prompt.  I had an idea I really liked for "Vanity" involving courtship/marriage between Innes and L'Arachel in a 1930s-ish setting, an evolution of the 'fic I keep wanting to write entitled "A Simple Game of Self-Respect."

When a 'fic title is derived from Elvis Costello's "Two Little Hitlers," you know it's not gonna be very fluffy.

But honestly?  Writing something like that promised to be emotionally draining and a great deal of... work.  Work to make the dialogue actually witty, and the interaction smart and sexy... and the atmosphere what I wanted it to be.  And I really, really didn't want anything to distract me from writing "Starchild," which is a) a great deal of fun to write and b) something that needs to be finished so I can move on and not have my head filled with details of this cracked-out mashup world.  Seriously.  I've dreamed up mission logos.  I've tried to place the various continents on an actual map to figure out an orbital path.  I've wondered what sports the characters like best.  Is Ephraim more of a basketball guy or a hockey guy?  No, not baseball.  They don't play baseball in the Magvel Union.  That's what those foreigners down in Lieberia play.

Also, there's a sequel to "Starchild" germinating in my head, and it's awful.


I haven't done a meme in a while.  I guess I stole this from [ profile] hooves ... and half the rest of the f-list.

Name a character from one of my fandoms, and I will reply saying:

* How I FEEEEEL about this character
* All the people I ship romantically with this character
* My non-romantic OTP for this character
* My unpopular opinion about this character
* One thing I wish would happen / had happened with this character in canon.

PS: I have fandoms other than Fire Emblem (Utena, Gundam Wing, Harry Potter...) I just don't write them.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 I wasn't going to enter this time, despite the wonderful "woman king" prompt from [ profile] xirysa ,  because a) 500-word limit?  Moi? and b) the one idea I had dealt with a very obscure character about whom I already wrote back for Challenge 002!

Oh well.  Have some more Yumina anyway.  It's not like anyone else is writing about her, and I love her to bits.

Some spoilery stuff re: FE3/12 )

Anyway, this little 'fic doesn't get into all that.  But I think I managed to say what I wanted to say in the word limit, which was nice. 
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 OK.  Next couple of weeks will be busy as all-get-out and then I'm going out of town for the holidays, so I went ahead and made my [ profile] fe_contest contribution tonight.  Um, I'm really not sure what to say about a story that references Poochie: The Movie, other than to say that FE12 takes my brain to deeply-screwed up places.  Also, I think Mary Sue and Gary Stu ended up being more likable than the canon characters in this one, which is sad but indicative of my subconscious feelings re: FE12.  But I did feel like I needed some mindbleach after writing it.

I was originally going with a Magvel theme-- the Eirika/Saleh!kid one-- but the tone of that totally didn't work.  The idea of it was too Sue-ish for a serious 'fic, and the execution of it was too serious to be any fun.  The idea will probably haunt me, but once I got the brainwave for the FE12 one (which actually is a parodic twist on a serious 'fic I was toying with last year), the FE8 one was left in the dust.


I find it hilarious that the genfic meme has by FAR the most activity of the new writing memes at [ profile] emblanon .  It's good, though-- I kinda like that Karel 'n' Renault one that's going on.


Attention Archanea/Valencia fans-- those prompts aren't gonna fill themselves, anons.  I see lots of requests and 1 and 2/3 'fics in that meme.


Maybe I'm having a mental block, but how exactly does this "FE Fest" comm work?  I read the instructions a couple of times and I still don't understand the process.  But then again, part of the reason I decided to play in [ profile] fe_contest  was because it had the easiest rules of any writing comm I'd seen in years-- here is prompt, here is word limit, here is deadline.  On [ profile] fe_fest  I kind of got bogged down in all the pairing guidelines.  Where do prompts go?  Who fills them?  And stuff.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 OK, [ profile] emblanon  was fun for a while, but the assholes came out of the woodwork tonight.  Maybe just one asshole, but one's enough.

As for the next round of [ profile] fe_contest ... I just finished 3,685 words of cynical FE12-inspired bullshit.  I think non-fans of Archanea will probably need crib notes to decipher the damn thing.  It features a Mary Sue, a Gary Stu, and something of an Idiot World.

We'll sit on it for a while.  No need to rush.


Dec. 1st, 2010 07:08 pm
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Anon memes are a good place for trolls and sockpuppets.  And I guess you can say, even at their best, that anon memes kind of debase the conversation because you're not engaging in dialogue with your friends, or even your 'Net friends-- you don't know who it is you're agreeing with, or debating with.  Are they real?  Are they sincere?  Is it your voice interacting with the echoes of a sockpuppet army?

[ profile] emblanon  is turning out to be pretty good, though... and some of us are rather obvious "anons."

And for the people who feel they're at the edges of fandom, or excluded from it, a forum like it probably feels really good.  Ike/Soren fans may feel they're bashed a lot, but seeing that Merric/Elice fan speak up was... interesting.  All the more so in that they voiced a defense of FE3!Marth.  When a fandom is as tiny as LJ Archanea fandom, making people feel unwelcome for preferring a canon pairing over the fan-favorite thing is probably a bad idea.

And the people who expressed the idea that [ profile] fe_contest is some elite circle that would be impossible to break into... well, I was afraid of that.  But the only way to counteract that impression is for newbies to join and write and get feedback.  Otherwise, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Then there's that OTHER part of the [ profile] emblanon  community...

Marth/Nagi is the worst and least sexy Lord/DragonChick pairing in Fire Emblem history.  She's amnesiac, possibly undead, very likely the reincarnation of Tiki's father, and might not even have a pulse.  And given that she vanishes, she might not even be 100% corporeal.  And he's... Marth.

I'm so not seeing it.

mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 I feel surprisingly bad about the death of Tom Bosley, as he was everywhere in my childhood-- Murder, She Wrote, Father Dowling Mysteries, commercials for trash bags and bug killer.  He even got the opportunity to scar a generation of children as the voice of David the Gnome.  I always thought Happy Days was schlock (I think it had literally jumped the shark by the time I tuned in), but I've had a soft spot in my heart for the late Mr. Bosley, even if I thought of him as "that guy-- the one from the Glad Bag commercials!"

Wrote 1500 words of FE11 gift-fic today (no, it's not done yet).  I hope the recipient likes it, because I doubt anyone else will (non-canon couple, M-rating).

Still no real ideas for Challenge 009.  And no progress on my ideas for Challenge 010.  Oh well.  

Made Orange-Sage Chicken for dinner last night.  It's one of my specialties and is much, much easier to make with a gas stove than with an electric one.  The sauce bubbled and thickened right on cue instead of taking a quarter of an hour.  I love fall food.  
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
So I had a solid idea for round #9 of [ profile] fe_contest .  I sketched it out.  It was called "Immersion" and it focused around Lute's attempt to cure Artur of his arachnophobia with a little in vivo immersion therapy.

I really liked it.  But, I thought, "I bet someone's already done this-- it's too tempting for someone NOT to have done it."

Sure enough, a quick peek through ffnet uncovered "Observations" by aviatrix8, which even utilizes the same research-journal structure I was planning to use.  So I won't be writing "Immersion," and I encourage you to read "Observations" instead.  Though some of you clearly already have...  


Oct. 3rd, 2010 12:08 am
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)


There goes my strategy for responding to hypothetical prompts for Challenge 009.  Yeah, I could PICK a prompt that suits "Teardrop on the Fire," but where's the fun in that?


Seriously, I've been gleefully anticipating the results to this one 'cause I figured it was a wide-open field and that someone new like [ profile] kittykatloren might win and throw us all a curveball the way [ profile] nagasasu  did with the "rainbow sky" challenge.  And "Teardrop" would either work, or it totally wouldn't and I'd be back to square one, brainstorming during my commute for an answer, pawing through the WIP list for candidates, et cetera.  Because being caught off-guard is, after all, a huge part of the fun here.  Rarely has a prompt been as confounding as "flying through the rainbow sky"-- heck, until now I figured it was an implicit rule that prompts were one word only-- and rarely has coming up with a response been such... fun?  Yeah, pure fun.

Though I do find it amusing that, even though the prompt seemed to call out for the Dionysian-- sex, drugs, and crazy-- two of the three winners were far, far more to the Apollonian side of the spectrum.  Albeit in totally different ways.    

[Oh, yes.  I am glad all y'all liked it that much.  I don't write for FE8 often, so when I do I'm never sure how it'll be received.  I'm just a little bemused right now.]
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)

Was going to write about my job, but when I get the urge to do so, self-censorship kicks in.  One of these days I really do have to post my "Guide to Surviving Corporate America."


Got a new idea for the Mary Sue challenge, but it rides on knowledge of FE12.  Which kind of isn't fair to the readers.  And no, the Mary Sue isn't My Unit.  It's something a lot more daft.  But it might be fun to write.

OK, back to the meme.

- One True Pairing Ship
- Canon Ship
- "If this happens I'll stab my eyes out with a spork" Ship
- "You are one sick bastard" Ship
- "I dabble a little" Ship
- "It's like a car crash" Ship
- "Tickles my fancy but not sold just yet" Ship
- "Makes no canon sense but why not" Ship
- "Everyone else loves it but I just don't feel it" Ship

Spoilers for FE2 Gaiden. Like you'll ever play it. )

Next up... um, maybe FE7.  Maybe not.  I dunno.
mark_asphodel: (Ephraim!)
 OK.  So, with Challenge 008 all over 'cept the voting (for me, anyway), I can turn my thoughts to again to Challenge 010: Mary Sue.

Haven't written much lately-- not of this, not of anything else-- but I must say that the effort put into writing an intentional Mary Sue feels kind of... weird.  And I keep having the temptation to put all the key plot elements of the Eirika/Saleh Spawn!Sue into "real" FE8 stories.  Argh.

Was in a discussion with [ profile] myaru  over on her place about the Tellius saga and the treatment of good, evil, humans, and non-humans in those games (short story: I make a muddled attempt to explain why I'm OK with FE dragons but not most fictional dragons and definitely not with furries laguz).  And we got into duality and trinities and mythical archetypes and their use in Fire Emblem, which leads me back to my favorite FE-verse and what the point of it all is.

Some Thoughts on the Father, the Daughter, and the Unholy Xane ).

I'm not really going anywhere with this.  I'm just trying to work out some issues in FE3/12 that have nothing to do with "what the hell did they do to my favorite characters?"  Feel free to jump in with meta, hypotheses, and crackpot ideas.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 So, I have two competing ideas for the latest challenge at [ profile] fe_contest .

#1) Forde-centric thing with hints of Vanessa, designed to fit within the original 1,000-word limit.  Not that I ship Forde/Vanessa, because I don't, but in this case it suited the story.  Currently at about 560 words.

#2) Some lunacy involving the members of the Altean Kiddie Brigade-- excuse me, Seventh Platoon-- abusing the Rainbow Potion.  Because my reaction to FE12 is, increasingly, to avoid characters I've previously liked and just focus on inconsequential lulzy interactions between the new kids.  I suspect that'll get old real quick, because there's only so much you can do with funnyman!Luke, aggro!Cecil, serious!Rody, and innocent!Ryan.  Oh, yes, and Chris.  Because the easiest way to demystify the semi-mythical beast that MyUnit has become in my head is just to write him as a regular dude.  This attempt is currently at 590 words.

There was something more but it's cold and I have a headache.  Sleep now.
mark_asphodel: (Ephraim!)
Is it just me, or did anyone else read the new prompt at [ profile] fe_contest  and contemplate writing prOn?

Also, food update.  This week featured the birthday of my most excellent spouse, so I took him to a charming place we call "the Roadhouse" which is known for its... interpretations... of American comfort food.  Mind you, I still think my 90-year-old Ukrainian-American grandmother-in-law makes the best mac 'n' cheese on the planet, but the food at the Roadhouse is pretty darned good.  The menu that night revolved around lots of heirloom tomatoes, and I was hoping for a dessert similar to the delish tomato-basil sorbet I had there a couple of years ago.

Instead, they offered a concoction called a Doughnut Sundae-- a freshly-fried cake donut, topped with vanilla bean housemade gelato, topped with whipped cream, caramel-whisky sauce, peanuts, a cherry, and two wings of crispy bacon.  My GOD, I'm still having fantasies about it two days later.

I just had to share.  @_@
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 No, really, I have to pick four?  Just four?  Tonight?

Heh.  I'm tickled that prompt generated so much good stuff, and across so many games, too.  No Jugdral 'fic, sadly, but I suppose that's to be expected.  See, what we totally need is a Seisen remake... oh, wait.  Yeah, maybe we don't want one of those after all.  I have a feeling that "improvements" to Judgral canon would generate a thermonuclear explosion among the faithful.

I'm already longing to see the next prompt in hopes it will be something that will exorcise some of the garbage from my head.


mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)

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