kh - roxas

April update; May goals

Days written: 21/30
Words written: 8,706
Words of fic written: 5,175
Stories worked on: Four (one all editing)
Stories posted: One new, one re-post

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Specific goals:

1. Write or edit (see below) at least six days a week when not traveling. I blew this one out of the water, writing every single day that I was hope except for one.

2. Finish up the second story for GYWO bingo and draft the third and fourth (it's a smaller card, 4x4). I accomplished the first part of this goal (and I even posted it!) but I didn't even start the other two.

3. Post at least twice a week and write at least one stand-alone post for [community profile] ladybusiness. Once again I got the first half and not the second. But I have two LB posts scheduled for the first two weeks of May, assuming I can read everything I plan to read fast enough, so maybe I'll catch up a little.

4. Clean up and repost my first epic story, A Guardian's Legacy, to AO3, in installments, starting after I return from my trip. Editing finished, posting in progress! After a bit of a flurry at the beginning, I've been posting two chapters a day most days. It should be completely posted in another week or two. Now I want to go through the rest of my archive and see if anything else is missing. (Other than the collaborations with kunstarniki. I know those are missing. I still haven't decided what to do about that.)

Considering the week off I built in for travel, and that I got busy with work and started a new major video game (Mass Effect: Andromeda), I feel pretty good about this. Now for May.

1. Write at least six days a week when not traveling. I might get a little writing done during Wiscon, but I don't want to count on it, so I'm going to allow myself that time off.

2. Finish posting A Guardian's Legacy, with more editing if necessary.

3. Write two reviews for [community profile] ladybusiness (both books already planned).

4. Complete draft of FFXII fic recently requested by [personal profile] renay -- assuming the bunny doesn't get out of control and turn into something longer than I can write in a month. No details just yet; I may talk about this more later.

For a month with travel, a new game, and Hugo reading coming up, I think that's plenty.

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ffx - auron young and old

FFX: A Guardian's Legacy (2017 edit)

Title: A Guardian's Legacy
Fandom: FFX
Rating: Teen-ish
Wordcount: A lot. Currently at 29/46 chapters.
Characters: Auron, Kinoc, Braska, Jecht, Paine, Baralai, most of the main cast of FFX, lots of OCs. Main pairing is Auron/OC, with a side of Paine/Baralai, and others (particularly Tidus/Yuna) in the background
Spoilers: Yes, lots, for FFX and FFX-2.
Notes: As I mentioned in my monthly writing goals post, I decided to take on a different kind of project this month: cleaning up and reposting an older story that hadn't yet made it onto AO3. Although the posting is only about two-thirds done (I plan to put up two or so more chapters every day until it's done), I finished the big editing pass today, so I thought it would be a good time to share my progress so far.

Summary: The story of Auron -- warrior monk, guardian, legend -- and the family he left behind.

Posted on AO3

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book - pile

Critical Role Fic: "Research"

Title: Research
Fandom: Critical Role
Rating: Gen
Wordcount: 944
Characters: Vex, Cassandra, background Percy/Vex
Spoilers: through Ep. 94. Set during the one-year break, written before we know what will happen during that time.
Notes: Written for my [community profile] getyourwordsout bingo card, specifically this photo.

Also on AO3.

---

The Castle Whitestone library was beautiful, and more than a little intimidating. It was rare for Vex to find her way here without Percy, and on those few occasions she was never quite certain where to begin. But today he was engaged in his workshop -- aiding Taryon in his efforts to recreate Doty -- and so Vex had come on her own, determined to muddle through as best she could.

Sunlight streamed in through the high windows, and the lanterns had already been lit, so it was both brighter and more cheery than Vex had expected, and soon she discovered the reason: Cassandra de Rolo, sitting in the plush window seat, a large volume balanced open in her hand. Vex started to back away, but Cassandra looked up, and smiled. "Ah, Vex'ahlia." She set a bookmark in the book before snapping it shut. "What brings you here?"

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heroes - hiro jump

In the Room Where It Happens

I saw Hamilton last night!!!!!

When it was announced that the touring production of Hamilton would open in San Francisco, I decided with some friends that we were not throwing away our shot, and we bought season tickets to guarantee that we'd get to see it. (As it happens, I also got lucky with the general on-sale, and was able to buy tickets to a second show in June.) So we've been going to the theater since last fall, seeing The King and I (which was fun; despite its problematic elements, it's a childhood favorite of mine, so I had quite a bit of nostalgia for it), Finding Neverland (eh -- although it had nice production values), and Into the Woods (which I'd never seen in any format before, so I was pleased to finally have the chance). But it was all about Hamilton, really, so I've been bouncing about this for weeks. I think it's safe to say that the experience was pretty much everything I had hoped for. Even knowing the words nearly by heart, and having seen a few clips and GIFs here and there, there were still quite a few surprises in store, and the energy of the live performance was incredible. The audience was hyped, too -- I don't think I've ever been at a play where the theater erupted into cheers when the lights went down.

I went with an interesting mix of people, as far as their past experience with the show was concerned: two friends who had already seen it twice (once with most of the original cast in New York!), a few who had listened to the cast album a couple of times, and two who went in completely cold. Everyone enjoyed it a lot, and even the folks who were unfamiliar were able to follow along, although at least one commented that they were occasionally confused by the double casting.

Afterward, we happened to walk by the stage door, and we were able to get signatures on our programs from the actors who played Lafayette/Jefferson, Mulligan/Madison, and Hamilton. So that was fun! Although a part of me wishes I had gotten the opportunity to see the original cast, I thought all the touring actors did a fine job. (The only main cast member who rejoined from New York is Rory O'Malley, who plays King George, although some of the leads are played by former members of the chorus.) Some of them were clearly channeling the original actors (especially Joshua Henry as Burr), while others put a bit of their own spin on things (Emmy Raver-Lampman as Angelica, and to a certain extent Michael Luwoye as Hamilton, particularly in Act Two).

Anyway, I am very, very happy I had the opportunity to see this show, and am really looking forward to doing it all again in June. :)

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quote - questions

Semi-regular political linkspam: Catching up from being on vacation edition

I didn't take my laptop with me on my East Coast trip, mostly because I figured we'd be out and about a lot, especially in New York. I was mostly correct in this, so I fell a little behind on world events while I was gone, which is probably just as well.

  • I found this overview of the violent protest in Berkeley this Saturday to be a good and thoughtful summation of the situation. As usual, it's more complex than you might think from headline news. It's not really Trump supporters vs. anti-Trump; it's the latest evolution of a long-running conflict between the white supremacist right and the anti-fascist left, with the white supremacists using more moderate Trump voters as cover.

  • From The Nation, "Fear of Diversity Made People More Likely to Vote Trump." This is a nice way of saying that Trump voters were racist (or, to take it a little more broadly, xenophobic, but the poll discussed by the article asked questions specifically about race and racial anxieties). The article never comes out and uses the word "racist" but the implication is clear. I'm getting a little frustrated by the mainstream media's inability to call racism out by name, even left-leaning publications like The Nation, but at least they're still raising the issue.

  • Of all the various takes inspired by the United Airlines debacle last weekend, I was most interested in Vox's history of airline industry deregulation and consolidation, and how that's led to current miserable flying conditions. It also answered a mystery that has long puzzled me: whatever happened to America West? (Answer: they bought out US Air and kept the US Air brand, so through various mergers they're basically now American Airlines.)

  • From The Washington Post's Daily 202 newsletter, poll results show that the change in support for military intervention in Syria is driven entirely by a massive swing in Republican opinion. Only 22% of Republicans approved of potential airstrikes in 2013, when Obama sought permission from Congress to punish Assad for using chemical weapons against civilians; today that number is 86%. (Democratic opinion is nearly unchanged, from 38% to 37%, well within the margin of error on the poll.) But sure, tell me that their opposition to Obama was principled.

  • I really appreciated this interview with political scientist Marcus H. Johnson on the problems with Bernie Sanders and his approach to fighting Trump, and the problems with infighting in the Democratic Party.

  • As you might therefore guess, I'm not on board with primarying every moderate Democrat under the sun in 2018 (please stop making noises about Dianne Feinstein; I don't love everything she does, but she has serious seniority in the Senate, and she flexes those muscles when it matters). But there are exceptions, and it seems like these eight New York Democrats who caucus with the Republicans are prime candidates for some challengers.

  • It's a little too depressing to go back and chronicle the events that led up to the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court now that the damage is done, but I did want to share the article about his purported plagiarism, largely because it was a centerpiece of Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley's epic filibuster last week, which I caught part of. Merkely wasn't blocking any particular vote by speaking overnight; it was mostly a protest move. But I found his effort inspiring anyway.

  • Jill Filipovic on why it's a problem that Mike Pence won't eat a meal alone with a woman who isn't his wife. This is not an uncommon stance among a certain strand of conservative Christian -- it's known as the Billy Graham Rule, because the evangelist famously pioneered the practice when Christian leaders were getting caught in sex scandals. It's still offensive in that context, but when a world leader adopts the policy, it's flat out discrimination. What if Pence becomes president, and has to take a private meeting with Angela Merkel? Will he insist that his wife be in the room? It's a system-wide problem, too, as this survey of female Congressional staffers shows -- they report being routinely excluded from after-hours networking opportunities because it would require them to be alone with male members of Congress.

  • On the good news front, recent local elections in Illinois elected a record-shattering number of Democrats to office. Includes a video from Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, who runs a boot camp for people planning to run for office. It's called Build the Bench, and of the twelve alumni who ran in this cycle, at least eight of them won. This is exactly the kind of effort we need to be putting in, and I hope we see it spreading across the nation.

  • On that note, and related to my comments about primarying moderates above, here's a "List of Things Progressives Should Do Before Primarying Joe Manchin", moderate Democratic Senator from West Virginia. I'd add the caveat that if West Virginia progressives believe it's worth putting in the time and effort to mount a primary challenge to Manchin, then more power to them, and I'll support their efforts. (Same for Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Donnelly, etc.) But on the national level, I absolutely agree that everything on this list takes higher priority.

  • Jill Filipovic has been killing it in her editorials for Cosmopolitan lately, and this piece on abortion rights as a precondition for economic justice is no exception.


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ffx2 - crimson squad speech

End of an Era: Goodbye LJ

This is my final crosspost to LiveJournal. I think you all know why. The LJ community was a wonderful space for me for a long time, but it hasn't been that for many years now, and I'm ready to face forward into this new chapter.

I'm not planning to delete anything, and I may still pop in to read occasionally, but functionally owlmoose should be considered an archival account.

If you post on DW and I'm not already following you there, please ping me so that I can add you. Same with Twitter and/or Tumblr, if that's your preference. Just leave a comment on this post and let me know.

Hugs to all, and see you on the other side.

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hp - a few words

In today's news...

Lady Business is once again a finalist for the Best Fanzine Hugo!!

Thank you, so so much, to everyone who reads us and supports our work and who nominated us. And heartfelt congrats to most of our fellow finalists!

The whole ballot is really pretty amazing this year. Not a single white dude in the Best Novel category, and many other categories are similarly diverse. I have a lot of great and exciting things to read and watch! And many of my favorites got the nod. Basically, this is the happiest I've been about the Hugos in awhile, and that is a very good thing.

Congrats to everyone whose work was nominated! As I said on Twitter, I am humbled to be in your company.

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book -- glasses

2017 Reading Goals: 1st quarter check-in

Just like with my writing goals, it seems like I ought to check in with my reading goals at least a couple of times through the year, and quarterly is as good a time as any.

As a reminder, here are the goals that I set for myself when I wrote about my favorite media of 2016 over on [community profile] ladybusiness:
  • At least 40 books total, not including novellas/short fiction or graphic novels/comics collections.

  • At least 20 books by authors of color; of these, at least 10 by new-to-me authors (i.e. authors whose work I've never read before).

  • At least 5 non-fiction books.

  • At least one novella and one piece of shorter fiction each month -- not just during Hugo reading season!

  • At least 10 books or graphic novels/comics collections off my existing TBR shelf.

About a month ago, I started wondering whether I should be counting novellas after all, and Twitter's response was unanimous: Yes, I should count them, and no, it's not cheating. Which I suppose makes sense, but in that case it also makes sense to up the overall goal. So, I hereby amend the first goal to 50 books including novellas, and my second goal to 25, also including novellas (my intention there was always to try for 50%). This has the advantage of making it easier to use Goodreads to track my reading, because I tend to list novellas there, but not shorter fiction.

Let's do the numbers:

So far in 2017, I have finished a total of 10 books. Of these books, 7 are by women (6 unique authors) and 4 are by people of color (all unique authors). Four were novellas, and none were graphic novels. One (Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire) was taken off my TBR shelf.

This would put me on pace to read 40 books in a year, but is a little bit behind the 50 book pace. I think that's okay, though, because I spent more time reading short fiction than I anticipate doing normally, for Hugo nominations. I'm also a bit behind on writers of color, but catching up there is entirely doable.

Not bad, overall. Let's see how I proceed.

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  • Current Music
    Kingdom Hearts soundtrack
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B5 - Ivanova

So, NOW are we all quitting LiveJournal?

Being required to accept a Terms of Service written in a language that most of us can't read is majorly dicey. Although from what little I know, it sounds like the things that seem shady are EULA boilerplate (stuff like the ToS being able to change at any time).

I accepted it for now, mostly because if I want to salvage anything from over there I will need access. (If you choose not to accept it right now, it tries to force you to log out.) Still, it just seems like another step down the path towards a problem, even if this is itself not a problem.

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coffee

March update; April goals

Days written: 20/31
Words written: 7,172
Words of fic written: 1,389
Stories worked on: Three
Stories posted: One

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Specific goals:

1. Write an average of five days per week, including while traveling. I was on track for this until the business trip, which was more tiring than expected, and then my travel back got royally screwed up, so I spent the weekend recovering.

2. Between unfinished [community profile] monthlysupergo prompts, whatever that community does for March, the Final Fantasy Kiss Battle, and a bingo card I requested from GYWO but haven't gotten yet, write at least four flashfics. I got one completely drafted and one mostly written, both for the GYWO bingo card, but I didn't post any of them.

3. Write and post story for picfor1000, a 1000-word fic challenge I signed up for in January (due March 31st). Success!

4. Post at least three times a week (including Lady Business posts). Nope! I haven't done a Lady Business post that wasn't contributing to a group post in awhile, and I need to get back on that.

Mere words can hardly express how little I want to check in with my annual goals today, but it must be done nonetheless.

1. Sign up for [community profile] getyourwordsout with the intention of hitting the 150k goal. Boy, am I ever behind on this one. Not so far behind that a good push on a Big Bang or Part Three of Wardens of Ivalice couldn't catch me up. But still.

2. Keep up the regular linkspam posts in my journal; write at least one, ideally two posts for [community profile] ladybusiness every month; and stay on top of contributing to [community profile] ladybusiness anchor posts and group projects. I've kept up the linkspam, averaging one post every week and a half, and I've done a good job of keeping up on the regular Lady Business features. Unless you count the Hugo recommendations post, an effort I co-led with [personal profile] bookgazing, I've not written a single post for the group blog this year, and that's pretty sad. At the very least, I need to get back on the TBR feature.

3. Participate in at least one Big Bang and two fic exchanges. Of these, at least one of these should be new to me. Not yet.

4. Once Wardens of Ivalice Part 2 is finished, pick a month to prioritize writing a first draft of Part 3, with a goal of getting it posted sometime in 2018. I posted the story in February, and am planning to get back to it sometime over the summer (depending on what happens with fic exchange and Big Bang options).

5. Find a fic prompt community I like and participate regularly. Recommendations welcome! I'm going to count [community profile] monthlysupergo for this, even though I've only done one month so far (and didn't even finish that month's challenge). Last month wasn't a writing challege, so I feel that I can excuse myself a little.

Regarding April, I'm about to leave on a week's vacation in a few days, and I don't want to push myself to write while I'm gone. For the rest of the month, I want to try something a little different.

1. Write or edit (see below) at least six days a week when not traveling.

2. Finish up the second story for GYWO bingo and draft the third and fourth (it's a smaller card, 4x4).

3. Post at least twice a week and write at least one stand-alone post for [community profile] ladybusiness.

4. Clean up and repost my first epic story, A Guardian's Legacy, to AO3, in installments, starting after I return from my trip. This is my most significant work that's not on AO3, and I held off on moving it in part because it's not really a story I would write today -- my concept of Auron as a character, and to a lesser extent Spira as a place, has evolved quite a bit over the years. That said, A Guardian's Legacy was an enormous undertaking, and it remains the longest story I have ever written (46 chapters, almost 150k words), and I'm still really proud of it. So my plan is to republish it over the next month or so, one chapter every few days, lightly editing as I go. I recognize that this project will do almost nothing to add to my total wordcount for the year, but I was never going to catch up to that in one month anyway, and I'm hoping that removing the pressure to create anything new for a little while will help me reset my writing headspace. Rewriting is also writing. And I want to take on a larger project that I know is doable. I've never set a goal anything like this before, so I'll be interested to see how it works out.

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