mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
OK.  Since [livejournal.com profile] socraticwaffles went there with the "Can women who aren't virgins ride flying unicorns?" query, I'm totally asking this one.

Read more... )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 Troll troll troll, all night long / troll troll troll while I sing this song.

Cough.

Sweet killfile, how I do miss thee.

Anyway, "Dark Sun of Desire" got updated again tonight.  This chapter finds Nyna in Port Sofia (Southern Valencia), spending her gold unwisely and getting absolutely nowhere in her search for Camus/Sirius... in part because she doesn't know he has yet another pseudonym when he's at home.  Also features one more flashback, a Marth/Nyna scene that can be filed under "it's complicated," plus this chapter finally introduces Cellica.  Yay, Cellica.

People are clicking, but nobody reviews this one for some reason, so maybe my readership consists of hitbots.  Maybe I should throw a fit on FFNet to score some attention and then blame my father for it.

;P

mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Haven't much been in the mood to deal with any of my longer WIPs (rather to my dismay).

Nonetheless, all the Nyna-talking of late did spur me to continue with this.  Chapter Four, "Sing, Little Birdie" gets Nyna closer (she thinks) to her goal of a reunion with a certain masked knight.  The Valencia scenes are still intercut gracelessly with Archanea flashbacks, but those will decrease substantially after the next chapter (without disappearing entirely).

Haven't yet decided quite how (or if!) to address the issue that Nyna wasn't 100% under mind control when she was rescued at the Dragon's Altar.  That is some seriously hard material to grapple with.  I probably should deal with it, but damned if that doesn't feel like one bombshell too many.

-x-

Too much crazy going on right now, everywhere.  Sigh.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 Wow.  I'm writing drabbles.  How the hell did that happen?

It's not intentional; "Will" was because of the word limit, but this was an idea I'd been kicking around for ages, and when I wrote it up and had it done, it was... a drabble.  Huh.

Anyway, it's about Nyna on her wedding day.  

Notes under the cut )

Also: 'fic number fifty.  Whee.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 OK.  Since a lot of the f-list is riled up about Monshou, here is Mark's Current Take on the whole weirdness surrounding Princess Nyna and her awful love life, in light of the remakes.  This has all been stated here, there, and elsewhere in fragments, but laying it out end to end can't hurt.

How to destroy the world in ten easy steps )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 Well, since [livejournal.com profile] sacae  kicked off the posting, I figured I might as well get in gear.  This is the first of the two prompts I claimed, that being "Nyna and Camus-- four ways it could've gone and one way it did."

Actually, Manna did me a favor indirectly by reminding me that these fills don't have to be epic in scope.  And "epic" wouldn't have been right for this anyway, but I did reduce the scope of the fourth "way it could've gone" (fantasy) from a lengthy piece with dialogue down to a couple of paragraphs.  I wanted to have some cracky fun with that "way," but I wasn't having fun writing it, so oh well.

So, now I can concentrate on writing FE8 AU band!fic.  Yay.

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: Sage King Leaf (Default)
OK.  Thanks in part to recently expressed interest (and you know who you are), I uploaded this.  Chapter Three of DSoD, with the sex scene and without regard for FE12.  I cut that chapter up so anyone who wants to skim the M-rated bits won't miss out on much plot or whatever.  Also, it's probably not really M-rated in the sense of XXX, but I'm just covering my own rear on this one.

Speaking of FE12...

Spoilers for MyUnit and Navarre... )
mark_asphodel: (Manga Marth)
I love evenings so quiet I can hear the water circulating in the koi pond two houses down.

Once upon a time, there was a lady who made floral and herbal jelly.  Really excellent jelly, actually, with a jewel-like clarity and intense flavor.  The lady no longer makes the jelly, but her recipes are still available, and I made her Lavender-Glazed Meatballs for dinner tonight.  I put in about 25% too much meat, which made for very crumbly balls, but the flavor was perfect.  I used to use English lavender from Norfolk exclusively in my cooking, but this time I used some Maui-grown lavender and it turned out fine.  That rose-flavored cheesecake is also well worth the effort.

[I hope this doesn't turn into a food blog.  That's all I use my Twitter account for as it is.]

So, I finished Chapter Two of "Dark Sun of Desire," aka the Nyna story, and will sit on it for a couple of days.  I think I'm getting some idea of where to ultimately go with the story, thank goodness.  But the direction it's taking is pretty darned dark; this version of Archanea is clearly a crapsack world, even more so than usual.  And that spills over even after the setting shifts to Valencia.

More negotiations tomorrow; the next two days will be long ones, actually, but then I might get out of town for the weekend.

mark_asphodel: (Adult Fin)
 So, the out-of-town speaking gig was a raving success to a packed house.  I had to retool one section of my lecture on the fly when a contingent of middle-schoolers from a private Christian school turned up in the front row, but the kids wanted to pose for a picture with me afterward so I think the retcon worked. 

[I'm actually agoraphobic, to the point where I was afraid to collect my mail from the PO Box during my third year at university, so being a successful public speaker at any level represents a triumph over a huge personal stumbling block.  I do not go to parties and can't even have a meal in a crowded, noisy restaurant without going into fight-or-flight mode, but I can get up and assume a persona that allows me to talk for an hour at strangers.  And I do mean "persona"-- my accent changes.  The mind is a funny thing.]

Also, my hosts gave me lilacs.  Lilacs are not my absolute favorite flower, but they are high, high on the list.  I didn't grow up with lilacs (too hot), so I didn't take to them as a child... the affection for them grew slowly over the years and was possibly fueled by the Anne of Green Gables series and other books set in lilac-friendly climes.  So moving to Michigan, where escaped lilacs grow along the roadside, gave me the chance to immerse myself in lilacky goodness every spring.  I have three lilac bushes of my very own in the yard, but they are small yet and bear few flowers.  The flowers they do have are large-petalled and a darker red-tinged purple.  I took a walk around the block tonight marveling at all the different lilacs on display-- classic single-blossomed, pearly white double-blossomed, deep velvety purple.

Flowers are very important to my life and the enjoyment thereof, and to finally have my own yard to garden is a source of great satisfaction ATM.

'Fic-wise, I dug up this essay from a fanfic writer whose works I once enjoyed (I have not read said 'fics in years and cannot say whether I would still like them as much).  On one level, it's a condemnation of Peter Jackson's adaptation of Return of the King, but on another it has some good points for anyone attempting High Quest fantasy stories, or ensemble tales of heroism and teamwork in general. 

I loved RotK, but I still agree with the crit here... )
mark_asphodel: (Ephraim!)
 Food update!  Tonight's din was "Supa Ya N Dizi," a tongue-twisting spicy chicken and banana stew.  Yes, bananas.  I'm sure the original recipe used plantains, but this health-skewed version uses barely-ripe bananas.  It is seriously good stuff and a household favorite in Asphodel Land.  That coconut-milk "ice cream" from the hippie food section of the grocery store makes a nice follow-up.

In other news, writing Nyna-fic is emotionally toxic.  I'm mostly done with the first chapter, and kind of know where I'm going with the rest of it, but her interactions with the other characters are so... spiked.  Example: later on in the story, there's a scene where Alm comes over to Zeke's place to have dinner and talk shop, and the balancing act going on there between Zeke and Nyna is just a mind-screw.  The secondary theme of the piece turns out to be a lot about identity and names and "language" (see: code-switching), and having Alm/Albyne/Rudolf, Camus/Zeke/Sirus and Not-Princess-Anymore Nyna around a table (oh yeah, and Teeta too) is... liek whoa.

[I worked on Chapter Four of "Another Piece of Blue" as well, so that's good.]

Anyway, the main theme is the sort of desire vs obligation thing that always makes me want to smack Nyna.  Not that I'm trying to demonize her in this-- if anything, I'm trying to get some sort of positive resolution for myself about her, or at least a non-negative resolution.  In a sense, it really is personal, or rather personal/professional.  I'm not actually using her as a substitute for the dear friend and co-worker who royally screwed me over last year[*]-- but it's there, in a sense, in the same way that Seth in "Heaven's Blessings Upon Us" was me on some level.  I don't try to use characters as my avatars or mouthpieces-- "Motherland" had huge chunks of my life run through a blender and incorporated into its fabric, but nobody complained so I guess it was done well enough.  I know that a huge portion of FE 'fic comes out of frustrations in my professional life, and the Nyna 'fic is part of that.  On some level, I'm displeased with the mixed messages FE canon provides about destiny and duty as opposed to self-actualization.  On some level, maybe I am having a smackdown with my buddy "Stan" over the mess he handed me last year.   Nyna, at least, is a lot more attractive than a middle-aged Polish-Sicilian guy.

* For "personal reasons" that were completely understandable.  We're still friends.  But he still screwed me over in ways that impact me every single day at work.  He took a time out for personal fulfillment, and I got stuck holding the bag.  Oh, I had the option of running away myself and saying "No way, too hard, don't wanna," but I actually wanted this thing to succeed, and nobody else remotely competent had the balls to step forward and take responsibility.  I guess I'd rather jack things up personally than watch from the sidelines as someone else ruins the division.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Back when [livejournal.com profile] fe_contest  first started, I had a challenge prompt all picked out in the bizarro event that I won anything.  Well, I decided not to use it and submitted something else to the mods instead-- something for which I have no preconceptions and no plotbunnies kicking around.  I'll probably sit this round out, anyway, unless participation is really sparse.

My weekend abroad was pretty restorative in a general sense, but it also gave me some ideas to retool and "unstick" my original novel-in-progress that has been stuck in park for a year now.  That novel is very tied to a sense of place, and returning to California helped me get back into the atmosphere of it.  Even the sunlight looks a little different at that latitude than it does from where I now live. 

I got no actual writing done on the plane, but I did have large chunks for a new 'fic materialize in my brain and I have been feverishly jotting them down since my return home.  It stars... Nyna.  Yes, Nyna, my perennial punching bag.  Specifically, Nyna after FE3, when she goes off to Valencia chasing "Sirius" and presumably finds Zeke instead.  Now, this is dangerous territory, given that [livejournal.com profile] shimizu_hitomi  will finish "Through a Glass Darkly" one of these years (please?).  While the second installment of her story will undoubtedly be better than my attempt, mine at least will be different.   For one, I can pretty much guarantee that Hitomi won't feature Marth to the extent that mine does-- I find the whole dynamic between Nyna and Marth fascinating in terms of text, subtext, and context... far more than I ought to, I suppose.

Why the sudden interest in a character I have such issues with?  Well, just because Nyna makes mistake upon mistake doesn't mean I don't feel a certain amount of sympathy for her.  She's conflicted and flawed and very human, and her mistakes aren't inexplicable "idiot plot" mistakes.  FE11 presents her as a woman who could have been a good queen (x-ref Horace) but who has some critical blind spots when it comes to what her duty is.  Her position in society makes a fatal flaw out of her kindness.

[The FE11 ending is one of those "comedy turned tragic by context" dealies-- from the way FE3 presents it, peace begins to unravel from the moment Nyna takes it upon herself to hook up a pair of tongue-tied teenagers.  And the fact that the script is sending up red flags through that scene doesn't help Nyna any.] 

Nyna is, in a sense, fortunate.  Governed by desire (or lack thereof), she is set free of her obligations to society to pursue that desire-- pursue it clear across the ocean.  The question then becomes whether having is any better than wanting.

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