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17 January 2011 @ 02:30 pm
Alas, poor Lincoln! I knew him, Horatio...  
Well, this is a surprise. As a result of last week's voting for Last Author Standing, I seem to be in the finals for both usanetwork_las and nbc_las, and I got voted OUT of fox_las.

I expected to get a few rounds out of the former two, and write some stories that otherwise would not have happened. I didn't expect to stick around this long! And I thought I'd get farther in fox_las, because there are so many more shows I've written for there!

It's a mystery. I didn't think that Prison Break story I wrote was the worst of that round, but it definitely looks as if PB has gone from a "real" fandom to something no-one actually wants to read (even on my journal). :0 OTOH, I chose to write what I wanted to write rather than pick one of the more popular fandoms, so there's that. All told, though, I got two more PB gen fics out of that comm AND two Fringe stories I never thought I'd be writing. \o/

And on the mana from heaven front? *bites nails* :0

Other weekend news:

We've been waiting forever for the promised "Sunny, highs near 57-60." The fog never lifts, so that hasn't happened. This only matters for bicycling. I rode outside on Friday, and remembered belatedly that ka-thunka-thunka-thunka does not always mean that my indoor bike trainer mag wheel needs replacing OR that there's a piece of gravel in the tire. No, sometimes the inner tube is wearing through the bald tire. PSH-wsh-wsh-wsh-wshhhhh! Yeah. Had to fix that within 3 miles of home, using my tool kit US dollar bill. Which actually worked. :) Today, I still have to put the new tire on...

We did some yardwork (pruning). The kids had their games on Sunday, and both won (Lauren had a really good game, guarding and frustrating her best friend). We went to Borders to spend gift cards (only the kids succeeded). I did a little writing (overdue birthday ficlet), ran yesterday, and am putting away indoor Christmas. Lots and lots of laundry, too, as the battle against indoor dampness continues. Haven't mustered the energy to de-mildew the closet(s) again, though. :0

ETA: Mother of—! First, that tire was old enough to be bald, and yet it's still too tight to easily get over the rim. Second... why will no-one make or sell a good bicycle tire iron anymore? It's been years.

realpestilencerealpestilence on January 17th, 2011 11:04 pm (UTC)
I never have any trouble spending book or music gift cards! Other than what to limit myself to...one of the unfortuante things about being so financially strapped now is that I can't indulge myself with treats from my amazon list, dang it.

I've been thinking about getting a bike, but the streets here are definitely not bike-friendly; and I'd be afraid to ride home after dark. Someone at work was hit on his bike, and was off work for a couple of weeks; and I'm not the steadiest rider in the world. I much preferred cycling at the gym. At least there, I'm less likely to fall over.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Bookshalfshellvenus on January 18th, 2011 04:02 am (UTC)
Our time at the store was limited because of Christopher's upcoming basketball game, and the two kids (and their epic indecision) ratholed all my time until we had to leave and I had nothing!

Although... I see that Patricia McKillip has a new book I'll want to put on hold from the library ($25 hardback), and if that I want to buy one or two of her others that I don't already own, I'll have to order them. Seriously, over 50% of our Borders' floor space is toys/CDs/yoga-crap/other non-book items. :(

Biking is great exercise (very friendly to the joints), and it would be nice for running errands. Where do you live? Is it biking weather now, or too cold/wet/icy?
realpestilencerealpestilence on January 19th, 2011 12:47 pm (UTC)
I'm in Florida, so either we're roasting and sweltering, or we're being frozen by winter winds (and it does get a lot colder here than people think). Not very good roads for biking, either, and just try finding bike stands to park at! But I suppose I could manage, if I wanted to. I just don't want to that much, ha.

I was in Borders recently, window shopping, and saw a book I wanted very much-but I can't remember the name. I'm going to have to go back and write it down, so I can put it on my amazon list in case I can get it in the future. Some kind of travel book, with this guy on a bike (oddly enough :D) going through "lonely" places.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Bookshalfshellvenus on January 19th, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC)
That sounds like an interesting book!

I read a travel book loaned to me by a friend, where the travel is really secondary to the humor. Can't remember the author/title, but the writer has written several others. This one was for Australia, feature The World's Largest Lobster and other giant creations, and was hilarious overall.

That was when I discovered that extremely funny books are not suitable for bedtime reading, any more than extremely sad ones. ;)
realpestilencerealpestilence on January 21st, 2011 12:35 am (UTC)
That book I mentioned is called "Into Thick Air", by Jim Malusa (I think, my writing is messy!)

I'm sure you've read Bill Bryson, if you like travel/humor. The book where he went to Australia-In a Sunburned Country-is very good. I wonder if that's the one you're talking about?

I read a book called "Shadow of the Silk Road", by Colin Thubron-it's not exactly humorous, but it's a very interesting look at parts of Asia that don't get looked at much. The writer travels along a part of the old Silk Road, and observes/meets people, and all the effects that being in Central Asia and the remnant of empires has on them now. He's written a book about traveling in Siberia that I want to read, when I get the chance.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Bookshalfshellvenus on January 21st, 2011 12:58 am (UTC)
Hah! You nailed the book AND the author I was referring to.

The Silk Road came up in a National Geographic article earlier this year. Much of it is in a province of China where the people are at odds with the rest of China (religiously and otherwise), and the Chinese government's attempt to encourage more "favored" people from other provinces to move there (and subjugate the locals) is really making the locals angry. Understandably.

If I remember correctly, much of the area is a remote region between mountains, where the route represents the lower-elevation in-between that was easier to traverse.
realpestilencerealpestilence on January 21st, 2011 01:03 am (UTC)
As Thubron says, the Silk Road is so huge-and there's actually various trade routes, not just one "Silk Road"-so he arbitrarily picked a partial route, and went along it. But I wouldn't be surprised if this were at least some of the area he was talking about. It's been a couple of years since I read it, so i'm fuzzy on a few details; but i remember it was very interesting.
Clair de Lune: divers - windowsclair_de_lune on January 18th, 2011 05:55 am (UTC)
I know the feeling regarding Prison Break *hugs* Although I'm not helping myself since I know the stuff I've posted lately is either too weird or too threesomy to interest people. Add this to a sadly dying fandom, and I have a recipe for "yeah, whatever".

I'm not following the whole LAS thing, but with so many rounds and stories written and so few authors left, I guess voters have to get extra picky in the end, and sadly, they include the fandom in their criterias. It's the flipside and paradox of this kind of challenge, isn't it? It relies on fandoms, and yet the fandom itself isn't supposed to be, or shouldn't be determinant...

No outdoor Christmas things for me but I put away the indoor ones almost two weeks ago. You make me feel bad for having got rid of them so fast :-p Good luck with those ;)

Edited at 2011-01-18 05:57 am (UTC)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on January 18th, 2011 06:16 am (UTC)
I feel bad, in that I keep meaning to go back and read the Michael/Lincoln fics (I tend to see them at the office, so I don't read them there). The threesome ones, I can't do, though some people are all OVER that idea, so I hope there's still an audience for those!

The fandom isn't supposed to be a determining factor, but most of the stories tend to be House or Glee, and that tells you something. It's hard to judge how good a story is when you're UNfamiliar with the fandom, I think, because characterization is important. But I've had some feedback on the "Chuck" stories that note that, based on the commercials the readers have seen, they have enough context for that.

If we hadn't gone up to Oregon at the end of our Christmas vacation time, I'd have put away the indoor decorations around New Year's Day (when you did). If I miss that window... wow. It really drags on! :0
Clair de Lune: ecriture3clair_de_lune on January 18th, 2011 08:39 pm (UTC)
I know the "I'll read this later" feeling too *sighs* Mostly because I don't have the time to read and comment properly on weekdays - writing even a short comment on a story I like takes me forever - and when comes the weekend... goldfish memory.

I've always felt that my threesome fics attracted less readers than the 'classical pairings' ones, but there's usually a couple of people commenting on them nonetheless. Fandom collapsing makes me nostalgic, but not writing at all makes me feel miserable and since Prison Break is the only thing I still write regularly, my choice is easy. Alas, it also means outbursts of fic-spamming for my poor flist *g*

It's hard to judge how good a story is when you're UNfamiliar with the fandom, I think, because characterization is important.

Absolutely. It's not pure litterary merit like with an original story. And if I understood the rules, the stories written for those challenges can't be too long. Not easy, in so few words, to pull someone into a universe they're not familiar with when there are fics about characters they love or at least know.
That said, the feedback based on the commercials is awesome, and the mere fact people read, enjoyed and reviewed based on said commercials says something about the quality of the fics, doesn't it?

Now that I'm thinking about it, I got rid of the tree two weeks ago. The boxes with the decorations, though... I only took care of them last weekend :-p
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 19th, 2011 08:13 pm (UTC)
My weekends often feel like a prolonged ADD episode, where I'm trying to get on top of things around the house that get neglected during the week. Saturday was like that: Laundry/pet the bunny/put toilet paper in bathrooms/oops, need to recharge my GPS unit/hey, I should log in/thankyou card/utility bill--ouch!/forgot to check the dead Xmas lights/crap, look at all these decorations lying around... o_O

The stories for the LAS challenges have a 1000-word maximum, which is normally perfect for me except for the Christmas Carol challenge. There is a LOT of plot in that archetype, and fitting in the beginning/denouement/end plus visits from 4 ghosts really strained the word count. I had to cut 260 words out of that thing, and used a lot of dialogue to convey characterization. There were only a couple of "worst" votes on that fic, but one of them of course complained that "There's a lot of dialogue." Duh.

We got rid of our tree on Jan 8th, but our local Boy Scout tree pickup pretty much decides that date. Packing up the tree ornaments is its own job (we have lots), and then the rest of the decor... augh. Makes me tired just thinking about it!
Maz (or foxxy!): Post Optuesdaeschild on January 18th, 2011 10:00 am (UTC)
I actually read your stories!! It's like a blood transfusion for a patient who's failing fast. :(

And I got rid of the Christmas decorations the day after 1st January, thus ignoring 12th night!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on January 19th, 2011 08:17 pm (UTC)
So glad to hear it! Poor PB, it's practically hated now by the world at large. :( But I still love it (and still have open spots in my two big Prison Break challenge tables), so I haven't given it up yet...

My mother apparently waits for 12th night, but I find that a bit late. Well, ideally. I mean, later than I WANT the stuff to be out. What actually happens is completely different. ;0
Maz (or foxxy!): A Little Joytuesdaeschild on January 20th, 2011 01:09 pm (UTC)
I think Season 4 plus the ending pretty much put some people off it altogether. But those of us who still cherish the glory days can't let it go which means those of us who still love it love it with a passion. And still open spots in your two big Prison Break challenge tables?!!! That is like music to my ears, sweetheart!

The enthusiasm to put the Christmas decorations up is in total contrast to the apathy to taking them down! 12th night was always the custom when I was little but not so much now, huh?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on January 20th, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC)
I think Season 4 plus the ending pretty much put some people off it altogether.
I'm so glad I skipped it, and really-- over the course of S3 and S4 the show managed to alienate the Michael/Sara fans, bring a character back from a beheading (which alienated all the rest of the fans) in an attempt to woo back the M/S crowd, and then crapped all over the M/S fans yet again. What?

Really, how dumb was all of that?

I don't know when most people take the Christmas stuff down, but I do know that the kids are the ones that want it up the fastest and they probably wouldn't notice that it was still up until Valentine's Day started to loom on the horizon. ;)
Maz (or foxxy!): Heartbreaktuesdaeschild on January 21st, 2011 05:30 pm (UTC)
You're certainly right that over the course of S3 and S4 the show aliented pretty much everyone at one time or another and the "Sara's dead Voile! now she isn't" silliness sucked. On top of that they messed with Michael and Lincoln's relationship and made St. Mama Scofield a villian! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!! It was all incredibly dumb! And yet I still get soooo wistful about Seasons 1 and 2. *sighs*

Ah, the kids! Of course they get all excited to get the Christmas stuff up...they'd probably assume it was decorations for St. Valentine's anyway! ;)