drusillas_rain: (Default)
2013-08-01 12:13 am

Testing 1, 2, 3...

So, I've started posting on lj again and it's occurred to me that there may be people who moved here. Anyone around that isn't on lj anymore?
drusillas_rain: (Default)
2011-03-23 08:40 pm

(no subject)

Dear lj,

I miss you.


(Things are fine - 1 work project has tripled my hours, so I've had no time for anything (not even proper sleep). But I did take a mental health break last night and watched the 1st ep of the new My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and it's just too adorable. xoxoxo)
drusillas_rain: (Default)
2011-03-15 08:15 am

shipping baked goods - questions

Have you ever shipped baked goods in the mail? How exactly does this work?

I'm thinking of offering up homemade brownies for the charity auction, but I've never sent or received food in the mail, so a part of me is thinking "won't they go stale?". Or is there a specified shipping time I should pick that would prevent this. How do you ensure your baked goods don't go bad???

For those in Canada - can you only ship in Canada? Or could I ship to the US too?
drusillas_rain: (Default)
2011-03-10 03:49 pm

(no subject)

My flist is awesome and wise <333
drusillas_rain: (Angelina Jolie)
2011-03-10 12:15 pm

On WIP's (tl;dr on Drow)

There have been a few posts about WIP's on my flist lately, some of which I commented on, others of which I just didn't know what to say.

See, I have a WIP that effectively became the reason I withdrew from HP fandom.

The background )

Your thoughts here
I want to finish Drow. I want to take the folder with all my notes in it which has lived on my desk since 2006 (even through a major renovation of my study) and do something with it.

But, how? Do I go back and re-edit what was posted and then re-post it chapter by chapter?
Do I just leave the chapters where they are and start posting it again section by section?
Or do I finish it and then just post it all in one big chunk on AO3?

Thoughts? Opinions? Rants? Hugs? All would be appreciated.


Ok, this is surprising. I actually feel lighter having written this all out. That kind of soul-bearing relief doesn't usually happen to me. But I want to make things right with the world and with fandom. Thanks for listening <3
drusillas_rain: (Default)
2011-03-09 02:47 pm

All I seem to be capable of lately are links

I seem to be in a weird headspace today of productive (Finished project! Invoicing! Cleaning! Email!) and kind of hating the world every time I look at a news site.

So, have some links instead of a rant or whining.

1. Nathan Bransford has some thoughts and links on self-publishing and e-fiction millionaires here.
I read a lot, both published "real" books and fanfiction, and I've frequently been frustrated when a book I've bought or borrowed from the library is in need of an editor and is of poorer quality than free fanfic. Yes, there's a lot of bad fanfiction out there, but there's also some really good stuff, and if some of these people are self-publishing original work, I'm interested in reading it. The example listed of Amanda Hocking who has sold a million copies of her 9 books is fascinating, and I'm definitely going to check out her work.

2. A really good post on why words can affect us and why it's not just about being politically correct when you don't use words such as "retarded" or "gay" in a derogatory manner. As writers, we are encouraged to be careful with our words and choose them deliberately. A person who is affected with mental retardation is not broken or disposable or any number of adjectives you can find in urban dictionary. They're a person and someone's loved one.

3. a) This book has a completely cracky premise and is a must-have in pretty much every fandom I've ever been in. The basic premise is that the main character's husband dies and then he becomes a dog. It's been added to my eventually read list.

b) This got me thinking - how many other fandom tropes can be turned into serious, original fiction? I kind of want to create an anthology of short stories with this theme (if only I was in the publishing industry). Maybe if there's interest, we could use AO3 for this? *Goes off to ponder*

4. This is a really long, but incredibly worthwhile article to read. It describes and teaches in great detail how to improve your writing by avoiding an exposition dump through dialogue. If you only click on one of my links (and you're a writer/aspiring writer), this is the one!
From the post: if a statement doesn’t serve any purpose other than revealing a fact to the reader, as opposed to the character to whom it is said, then it’s Hollywood narration. And it should go — to free up page space for more intriguing material and good writing.

5. And now for some candy:

a) Dirt·y -adjective (dirtier, dirtiest) (Sherlock/John) by [livejournal.com profile] aslipperysloth
One of those rare fics where the dirty talk was actually hot and dirty (YMMV).

b) For reading this far, here's Alex O'Loughlin (Steve McGarrett in Hawaii Five-0) in a really hot hot hot photoshoot for GQ.
drusillas_rain: (Gunslinger by gunshou)
2011-03-02 08:51 pm

(no subject)

I really wish RL books came with warnings. I'm really getting tired of unexpected rape scenes within the first 10 pages of a book :(
drusillas_rain: (Default)
2011-02-26 10:07 am

(no subject)

Woah, I slept for 14 hours last nigh - I think I may have been a wee bit tired >.<

Have some H5O recs:

Don't turn me home again by [livejournal.com profile] gyzym (Steve/Danny)
Summary: After a rough day of island living, Danny wakes up in New Jersey and learns the hard way to be careful what he wishes for.
I love stories that take the time to not only project "what if" but also take the time to develop it. Without spoiling too much, Danny wakes up and finds out that he and Rachel never divorced, and we follow both how he changed in the canon time line as well as the alternate one. (And yes, of course Steve shows up because they are meant to be ^_^) Great read!

Ho'oponopono by ember_firedrake (Steve/Danny)
Groundhog Day AU. Danny finds himself trapped in the same day over and over again.
I love these kinds of stories and this one is a satisfying contribution to the trope and the fandom. Overall fun read!

Also, the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] wook77 is hosting a Hawaii 5-O friending meme here ^_^
drusillas_rain: (Default)
2011-02-17 04:37 pm

links links links

Advice on living a creative/non-traditional life
I feel like I'm going through a never-ending life crisis, and am in the midst of changing direction yet again, in an attempt to find my vocation. These two pieces of advice came at a good time for me and have encouraged me to keep going.

Was I a free spirit for nothing?

The world is a beggar rooting in your backpack

New Music
If you like ambient/experimental music, check out Kalte. Here's their facebook page which has links to their stuff.

Disclaimer - one of the members is a friend of mine - both members are very talented and I try to see them live whenever I can.

Elder Scrolls 5
I can't wait for the new Elder Scrolls game. It's coming out November 11, 2011. I lovedlovedloved the last two games and a part of me feels like the next 9 months are just something to do till the game comes out.

This video was totally my reaction (except for the very end - I didn't do that, although if I could, I'm not sure I wouldn't have ^_^)


I think this already got recced by a few ppl on my flist, but it's worth relinking.
Say the thing you need to say, and do the thing you need to do
I try to live my life as authentically as possible and with the least amount of regret, but guilt is still a strong presence in my life. I wish I could let go much more easily than I do.


Great blog post by a children's book editor on why revising your manuscript is a great thing:
The Heroism of Revision

Great blog post by Nathan Brasford, former literary agent, now author, on why writer's should keep on slogging through it all:
Writing, Striving, and THE GREAT GATSBY


I'm planning on making a Dobos Torte next weekend. Anyone have a fantastic recipe they love?
It's a 7-layer chocolate and caramel cake - here's one version:
Dobos Torte

Fic recs
Am completely obsessed with Hawaii 5-0 fic. I'm actually a bit baffled by this.

If you enjoy a good AU - the kind that takes the basic essence of the characters but switches things up a bit, then I really recommend this one:
This Thing of Ours (It Needs a Better Name) by leupagus (Steve/Danno)
Cosa Nostra: (kō'sə nō'strə) etym: Italian n. The branch of the Mafia operating in the United States. Literally, "our thing" or "this thing of ours."

I'm also still reading Sherlock (BBC) fic as well.

This fic was pretty epic and so much fun to read:
Come and See by [livejournal.com profile] definewisdom (Sherlock/John)
John Watson is Death. He wasn't supposed to kill the cabbie at the end of A Study in Pink, Sherlock Holmes was supposed to die that night. But Sherlock's still alive and now the world is starting to fall apart. The events of the whole series seen in a slightly more supernatural light. Also featuring "Anthea", Harry and Sebastian as the other horsemen of the apocalypse, and exploring what it takes to become a myth.

And my final rec. This is very dark, and yet one of the most realistic dark fics that I've ever come across. Seriously, heed the warnings. But, if you like your dark fic with all the repercussions, as well as an honest exploration of what it's like to want to be violated you need to read this:
A Thorough Examination / In Depth (sequel) by [livejournal.com profile] emungere (Sherlock/John)
(No summary provided)
drusillas_rain: (Default)
2011-02-14 10:35 am

(no subject)

1. Much ♥ to everyone on my flist! I love that you're all a part of my life!

2. I've been branching out into Sherlock and Hawaii 5-0 fandoms, and I love that I'm seeing some familiar names from HP fandom.

3. Salon's been running "The Good Sex" Awards. I haven't had the chance to read any of the excerpts yet (7 books were profiled), but I like that it focuses on the positive, rather than bashing.
EDIT: I also found the descriptions of their criteria (ie what makes a good vs bad sex scene) really interesting to read.

4. Lately, I've found I have no tolerance for people bashing creative endeavours. Everyone has a right to their opinion, and everyone has different tastes/likes, but I don't really understand why people who never try to write/compose/paint/create seem to take pleasure in tearing down those who do. I think I need to find news sites and places that encourage artists. (Also, no I don't think that every piece of art is wonderful and perfect, but there is a difference between constructive criticism and bullying.)

5. It's 5° out today and it's making me want to run around in a t-shirt and shorts. I'm so ready for winter to be over!

6. I just finished reading The City and The City by China Mieville and I can't recommend it enough! The style is "new weird" which basically means books that have fantasy/sci-fi elements, but are otherwise set in our world. He's also such a strong writer - he sets such a vivid scene in only a few sentences that might take another writer pages. The book itself is a mystery/detective story with fantasy and conspiracy theory elements. It's also a fascinating example of what it's like to live in a place that is geographically next to an almost identical culture, where foreigners don't see the differences, but where the differences are critical to collective self-identity. (For example, Croatia vs Serbia) Overall it was just such a pleasure to read!

drusillas_rain: (Sailor Moon by thistoshallpass)
2011-01-28 11:51 am

Drabble #47 for 100_women - Sally Donovan (BBC Sherlock)

Title: Ordinary
Wordcount: 100
Character: Sally Donovan
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Prompt: #47 - Paint

She hadn’t always been ordinary. Once upon a time, Sally Donovan used to read Agatha Christie novels under her blankets with a flashlight. She wrote stories of a young girl who solved crime. She would carefully lay down newspapers around her watercolours and paint a cheerful scene in a meadow, the body, hidden just under the tree, waiting to be discovered by the plucky heroine. But that kind of thing was wrong and bad and we mustn’t draw such things.

When Sherlock Holmes calls her ordinary, she calls him a freak and doesn’t mourn the girl she used to be.
drusillas_rain: (Default)
2011-01-21 01:09 pm

Advice needed: Do you ever map out/edit via conversation (ie use someone as a sounding board)?

Or the ongoing saga of a story I'm determined to get published.

It's been two weeks since my critique group gave me a ton of feedback on an original short story and every day I plan on revising it so that I can send it out (I've already got an anthology that it fits to send it to first, along with some potential mags). Of course, since I'm writing on lj, I haven't done more than remap the arc and waffle.

[livejournal.com profile] tripperfunster gave me the idea to talk to some of the ppl in my group on what to do now, and that was helpful in terms of deciding how to make sure it feels like a short story vs the first chapter of a novel. The rest though has been along the lines of "don't listen to person x, y or z" and "ultimately you decide what to do". The don't listen to person x/y/z I already figured out on my own. It's the second piece of advice that's kind of making me want to tear my hair out.

There are multiple directions I could go in with this story, from changing or removing certain characters, strengthening one element vs another, etc, and being the on-the-fence kind of person, I'm having a really hard time making the kind of decisions I need to make. I think I need to talk it out with someone, but I have no idea how to go about doing that.

Any suggestions for what you do/how you do this?
drusillas_rain: (Angelina Jolie)
2011-01-18 12:24 pm

Epic post of cooking, baking, recipes and pics

I decided to make a fairly ambitious meal for Christmas day this year. I made a gigantic spreadsheet, totalling over 100 lines. In total the meal took me 3 days of prep work + everything that needed to be done on the actual day.

picture of the spreadsheet and of my tetris-fridge )

I've never really done a full dinner quite like this before, but I had the company of good friends on twitter (who got to hear all about it live). That was actually one of the best parts. But I also had fun planning everything, double checking I had the timing done properly, etc. I was also kept in line by one of my dogs, Basil. picture of Basil in the kitchen (plus 1 of Chloe) )

Here's the menu. Each lj-cut leads to the recipe and pics:

1. Julia Child's Steam Roasted Goose with Port Sauce
No picture and no recipe for this one. It was really tasty, but since it was last minute, I didn't manage to take even 1.My thoughts on making goose )

2. Boeuf Bourguignon, sans boeuf (Julia Child inspired)
This was a rich and wonderful vegetarian stew and the highlight of the meal. Recipe can be found under lj cut. )

3. Mashed potatoes
No pics or recipe - although I did use potato water instead of huge amounts of butter and milk - it makes it nice and creamy. Next time I think I'll try adding kale or spinach.

4. Brussels Sprouts
This is such a simple but tasty recipe. A bit plain for a basic dinner, but really nicely balanced with everything else served. )

5. Baked Butternut Squash with Apples and Maple Syrup
These were so incredibly tasty and pretty, although cutting through raw squash was not my favourite thing. Pic and recipe under the cut )

And here are the desserts!
(Most of the pics taken are here ^_^)

7. Gingerbread Trifle with Candied Kumquats and Wine-Poached Cranberries
I loooooove trifle. I try to make a different kind each time, and these are absolutely fantastic! Best trifle recipe I've done. )

8. Bûche de Noël (chocolate roll)
This recipe was the most work, but was incredibly tasty and successful. Next time though, I'm probably going to try to find a slightly different recipe, one that isn't based on a mousse filling. )

Also, you get a different bonus recipe for the chocolate mousse (which acts as the filling for the roll - it's a recipe I make at least half a dozen times a year, because it's so good and so easycontinue to recipe and pics )

9. Mincemeat tarts (individual)
I love making pie crust. There's something about how the dough comes together based on how you feel its coming together, rather than precisely measuring it all out. This particular one came out perfectly! )

So there you have it. I'm not the most domestic person in the world, but I love my kitchen. I hope you enjoyed reading this and find some recipes to copy to your own files.

a few more pics under the cut )
drusillas_rain: (Sailor Moon by thistoshallpass)
2011-01-17 09:37 am

(no subject)

I'm not the biggest fan of winter, but today the snowflakes are massive and falling very slowly, like in a Hollywood-style feel-good movie.
drusillas_rain: (Sailor Moon by thistoshallpass)
2011-01-11 02:55 pm

Drabble #96 for 100_women - Sara Sidle (CSI)

Dear anxiety, how I've missed you *stabs at anxiety*
Bah. I have a ton of email that I'm avoiding reading right now, and a ton of messages/comments I want to send but haven't been quite capable of for the last 4 days. Instead I'm procrastinating in a productive way (erm, well today at least). I've decided to try to do one of those 100 prompt tables for [livejournal.com profile] 100_women and I'm going to try to post one a week.

Here's my first drabble:Read more... )

Title: Doodling Hearts
Wordcount: 100
Character: Sara Sidle
Fandom: CSI (Las Vegas)
Prompt: #96 – Memories

Sara Sidle didn’t feel very different from the person who filled out the journal 8 years before, but she couldn’t wrap her head around the fact she’d been so oblivious to her own pain. That and how hopelessly immature she had been about Gill, the hearts next to his name making her cringe with embarrassment. That was it, she thought as she snapped it shut and packed it, writing “Memories” on top of the box. She was just about to move to the next pile, when she stopped, drew a heart in the corner and filled it in with “S+G”.
drusillas_rain: (Sailor Moon by thistoshallpass)
2011-01-07 11:01 am

How my critique last night went (or adventures of listening to 20 opinions)

As my emo post yesterday indicated, I went through a critique with my local group last night. I brought in a short story that I was hoping they could help me fix up so that I could start submitting it to anthologies and magazines.

Here are the highlights:

1. Overall it didn't go as badly as I thought it would. I'm not sure if it's because the comments were more positive or if I'm just better at hearing the positive comments.

It also helped that the other woman who's story was being critiqued is one of our best and most published authors. She's also in her 60s (or 70s) and she was just as nervous as I was. We joked about how we should just slip out or how we both considered not coming. At the end of the night we hugged for surviving it. (It also helped that her submission was a rough draft of an experiment so it was a lot less polished than usual.)

2. There was a surprisingly large group last night - there were even a few members that I haven't seen in about a year, as well as some new folks that I've only met once or twice before (including the usual crowd). I heard comments from 20 people.

Mostly, I'm overwhelmed with the amount of feedback. The night is structured so that each individual gets 3 minutes to say what they want to say (or maybe it's 2, I can never remember, but that's why we have a timekeeper). And I took copious notes. Then there's a free-for-all discussion, which was interesting but less useful, and then they each give me a marked up manuscript.

3. Almost everyone thought it was the start of a longer piece. This one is problematic, because while I'm not done telling stories from this universe, I don't want to commit to a novel for it. I already have another novel I want to work on in 2011, and to be honest, I'm tired of writing the first chapter of different novels. I want something I can finish and submit. Someone else suggested writing a suite of short stories, and I think that might be the way to go in the future.

In the meantime, I need to cut down on the set-up - it's too slow and epic given the length of the piece.

4. I need more detail. The detail I have is vivid, but I need even more of it. When Jeff read it (he reads everything I write) he thought it was the most descriptive story I'd ever written. But, everyone's feedback was that if I want to write high fantasy, it can't be minimalistic, because otherwise readers are going to fill in their own images. E.g., if you allude to an old wizard they're going to think Gandalf or Dumbledore, even if they look different.

5. I need to clarify in my own head who's story I'm telling - the short immediate piece or the long quest.

6. Some of the feedback I received was less helpful - what does it mean to vary tone? How do you actually go about doing that?

7. Best feedback of the night (which a few members after apologized to me for) was a rambling dialogue in which I think he wanted me to reach for better and not write fantasy because I don't need magic to be creative. (And by best I mean, he kept trying to explain what he was saying, and I kept trying to figure out what the hell he was talking about. He's our most famous member of the group and generally the best editor too, so everyone was a bit wtf are you on?) To be honest, it mostly made me lol.

A few of us went to the pub last night after the critique and I got some good guidance on what to do now. I had planned on emailing a few ppl from the group to see if we could meet and figure out an editing process, but I think I might actually be ok to try it out on my own first.

I really appreciate everyone's comments from yesterday. It helped me from retreating into my own head and encouraged me to seek advice from the others in person, rather than collapse in a sobbing heap while locking away all the notes never to be looked at again.

drusillas_rain: (Default)
2011-01-06 09:41 am


For the past few years I've been part of a local critique group. We meet every 2 weeks and about 8-12 of us give our feedback to 2 authors who submit either a short story or a chapter of a longer story. Tonight I'm up.

Last January I submitted a short story that I couldn't go back to to until about a month ago. The comments were all valid - the members are very good about giving praise as well as what needs to be fixed - but it's just so hard for me to figure out what to do with the feedback once I receive it. It's also incredibly crushing to hear that many people tell you that you suck. Well, it's not that they do that, it's just what I hear and what I'm left with.

I've learned a lot about writing over the past year, and over the past month I went back and completely rewrote what I submitted last year. Tonight, the new draft is being re-critiqued.

I really thought I'd be fine, but I have the feeling that tomorrow I'm not going to be ok. It's like today I love the world, but tomorrow everything will be more gray. Part of me doesn't even want to show up. Another part of me is curious what they'll say.

I want to be published. I want this to be the best story I can write. I know that the only way this is going to happen is if I get feedback on it, because inevitably I'll have missed something (or a million somethings). I just don't know how to be ok with the process.

Part of it is that it's in person. Part of it is information overload. And that not everyone in the group reads or likes fantasy. The group is also of varying levels - some are published and others (like me) aren't. Some have a really good sense of how to fix a manuscript, others are clueless. I know all these things, yet, last time I went through this process (and the other 2x I've submitted things) I found it incredibly difficult to separate out the good feedback from the useless.

Tomorrow, I want to be ok. I don't want to get depressed and mope and stop writing, which is what happened last year. I don't want to leave this story for another year and not submit it anywhere. Or not even be able to look at it. I'm tired about thinking about writing and not actually writing. I want to be ok with what I've written. And with myself.

I've already decided that my mantra for this year is to keep on fighting. I guess tonight is my first big test.
drusillas_rain: (Angelina Jolie)
2011-01-06 07:13 am


So we hosted Xmas dinner for the inlaws this year (if you follow me on twitter you were spammed with all the details. I'm planning on putting up a big post with pics and recipes soonish here on lj). We don't usually decorate the house, but since we had guests we put up some lights and trees, etc. Jeff's been itching to get them down, since it's now January, but I haven't been able to do it yet since in my family we would always leave it up until Epiphany (Or 3 Wise Men Day as I used to call it when I was a kid). Which I just realized is today, so I suppose it's coming down by Saturday.

So, how long do you leave your trees and lights up until?
drusillas_rain: (Sailor Moon by thistoshallpass)
2011-01-05 10:01 am

tv + recs

1. Man I love Castle. I love how meta it is. I love that the characters use phrases like meta. Watching it kind of feels like a hollywood version of lj-fandom sometimes, except with murder. Um yeah.

2. I've been watching Hawaii 5-0 even though it's really not that good. But what they get down perfectly is the bickering between Steve and Danny. It's hot (yeah, I know it's not meant to be) and kind of adorable in an I want to eat your face kind of way.

I've just discovered a fic that captures that bickering and which leads to bickering-not-really-hate!sex. It keeps them in character and keeps them as testosterone-fuelled men. This fic is a fantastic example of how to successfully transition from a heated conversation to sex - something many attempt but few, imho, succeed at.

I Have a History of Taking Off My Shirt by [livejournal.com profile] queenklu (link is to AO3).

3. And one last [livejournal.com profile] hd_holidays rec: Of Hoof Picks, Centaurs, and Flight by Anonymous.
Fun and funny - reminded me of oldschool HPDM while still set post-canon.