chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (owleye)
So I was browsing around the net looking for information about Mount Greylock, as you do, and this site made me smile:

Image of Bascom Lodge website, titled Discover the History, the music, the magic

I wonder how many people have turned up this summer looking for Ilvermorny? :)

chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (owleye)
394 words. 394 measly little words. That's all that was keeping me from the end of Invictus 19 for the last few... years. But much to my relief, once I'd squeezed out some magical technobabble it flowed smoothly to the end.

I finally got round to posting all the extant chapters on Archive of Our Own; I will continue to post both there and at FictionAlley (though I don't think I'll bother posting any new fic at FictionAlley).

So if anyone following me is interested and hasn't found out by other means, Chapter 19 is now available to read here at FictionAlley and here at Ao3.

Thank-you again to everyone who's prodded me about this over the years. Now to get on with Chapter 20 in something less than seven years!
chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (owleye)
Can I just say how happy I am about JKR writing a film based on Fantastic Beasts? Not just because of the subject matter - I wasn't quite daring to hope that JKR would write more in the HP universe, let alone that it would a) focus on adults (Newt Scamander would be early 20s in 1920?) and b) expand the world in a direction than fanon generally hasn't.

But more - I'm so, so happy that fandom will have something new to gather around. :)

Also, I'm curious about who they'll cast, given that so many excellent actors are established characters in the later timeline. I suppose Newt will be a young barely-known, but I'm hoping that certain older actors who didn't get into the orginal films might have a look-in here.

Meanwhile, we have Leavesden Studios. To which I have still not been. Which is something I would like to rectify, preferably in the company of other fans. If you're interested, plans will be discussed here.

And before that, there's [ profile] hp_holidaygen. I extended sign-ups to the end of Saturday 21st September, so there are still two days to sign up!
chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (Default)
Hmmm. How did two months go by since my last post?

I've opened signups for [community profile] hp_holidaygen, here on Livejournal and here on dreamwidth, for those who prefer to hang out over here.

Please join in, if you're so inclined - and please spread the word!

chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (owleye)
Hmmm. How did two months go by since my last post?

I've opened signups for [ profile] hp_holidaygen, here on Livejournal and here on dreamwidth, for those who prefer to hang out over there.

Please join in, if you're so inclined - and please spread the word!

chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (owleye)
One of my colleagues, who has an interest in graphic design, sent me a link to this article about the people behind the visual style of the Harry Potter films. (It was written to publicise an exhibition of their work, which is sadly now over.) It's interesting reading, particularly about their design influences - I always felt a nagging familiarity about some of the artwork in HP films, and it's interesting to know where it came from.

They also have a link to their website where you can buy insanely expensive prints of Quidditch World Cup posters and the like. I find it interesting that they can sell them directly, with no mention of WB in sight - I had the impression that work done by prop designers and the like usually belonged to the production company, but perhaps they managed a different contract - or just thought mentioning licensing on their website wasn't cool enough.

My favourites, I think, are some lovely posters for both this year's LeakyCons. Sadly there's not much explanation - I don't know whether they are official Leaky posters (can't see any sign of them on the Leaky site, but I can't get that to work properly) or just to promote their panel.
chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (owleye)
I've finally started to archive my fics on AO3, and I'm loving how easy and fast it is. It's been interesting reading through stories I've not looked at for years, and it's been rather sobering looking at the dates and realising that I wrote so many of them 8-10 years ago, and even those I think of as being relatively recent are 4, 5, 6 years old. Time seems to be slipping by... also, I see that Bloomsbury is bringing out a 15th anniversary edition of HP, which makes me feel even older!

It's also been interesting looking at the list of fics as a whole (though not all are archived anywhere yet). I used to think I wrote mainly missing moments and darkfic, but actually most of them are either:

* Short (2-3000 words) gen interactions between pairs of characters (most of my fic[lets] fall into this category)
* Angsty/stylised character sketches (Fudge, Dumbledore, non-squib!Arabella Figg)
* Nastily dark (only two or three, but then as Invictus has several times the word count of all the rest of my fic combined, the time I spend writing feels more weighted that way)
* and a very few longer (6000 words+), plottier gen oneshots

So, it feels like quite a mixed bag. I can't help wondering what people think if they look at my fics after finding Invictus and see so much that is labelled (very clearly, on AO3) as General Audience/Gen/No warnings apply!

I miss the community on FictionAlley where seemed to be an audience for genfic - I'm not sure now where to go to share it (either posting or reading) these days, outside of fests. Which is why I'm excited by the list of participants posted on [ profile] minerva_fest. I know it's not a genfic fest (though I'm hoping there will be some gen there), but I'm happy to see so many writers I know and like. Feels like a little bit of ficwriting home - or at least a friendly local pub. Claiming is still open if you've not signed up and want to join in.

Now I just need to get on with writing mine (after Invictus 19, I hasten to add for the benefit of the anonymice. ;)
chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (owleye)
In honour of the longest day - and of the tenth anniversary of our first glimpse of the Ministry in Order of the Phoenix - I offer you this ficlet. My apologies to those of you awaiting Invictus 19 that this isn't it, but I hope it may amuse you. :)

Music: The Rough Dancer and the Cyclical Night by Astor Piazzolla. (E.g.)

Dance of defiance - 2310 words, L/Hr, PG )
chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (owleye)
I'm not entirely sure why the BBC decided to post a magazine article on Detroit today but the mention of grandiose decaying buildings piqued my curiosity. (The article itself was rather more upbeat.)

Peering at the pictures of various (ex-)civic buildings and in particular Michigan Central Station gave me the same feeling of nostalgic fascination as I get when looking at pictures of the Titanic, or Pripyat or - somewhat closer to home - the Bradford Odeon.

I'm not proud of that reaction. It feels somewhat ghoulish to react to sites and sights of abandonment and decay (and in the case of the Titanic, mass death) with anything other than dismay. But somehow looking at the rust and the rubble makes the past feel more tangible - where time has stopped, the grandeur and dreams of previous eras seem closer. It's easier to imagine past lives surrounded by past paraphernalia (however rusted) than it is in a bustling restored building that has meaning in the present. And I can't help feeling desperately sad for people who built their lives in places that are crumbling, for whom the decay is not a spur to a curious imagination but a ruination of cherished memories.
chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (owleye)
So, I've been keeping an eye on the [ profile] hp_uk_meetup community, but I've been brainfogged the last couple of weeks so missed the poll on this years' gathering.

Which will be in Edinburgh on 14 September. Go here for more details.

Hope to see some of you there?
chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (owleye)
...and very comfy reclined seats, and also a small art gallery, which is a nice touch for a transit airport - makes it feel like travelling through a country rather than another anonymous air transit node. Even if almost all the signs are in English only. Doesn't quite match Vancouver's departure lounge with stream running through it for relaxation, but a pleasant way to spend a few minutes feeling I'm doing something other than waiting.

Feeling a little more relaxed now that I'm on my way, through paranoid that I didn't lock my flat properly. Not much I can do about that now except hope that the anxiety is just a product of pushing myself too hard on too little sleep for a few weeks. I'm getting better at giving myself space to prepare for travel by not leaving as soon as I can after work, but this trip and Ascendio last year were a bit more stressful because of having to prepare things other than myself! As it is I have a little more to do than I'd hoped to do once I land, but starting to look forward rather than back now. :)

I decided to bring my winter cloak, as I had the impression that Laconia may be cool enough to get away with wearing it, and I love travelling with cloaks (all valuables safely covered, and a portable blanket to snuggle in). But with the Hogwarts bag (wanted something a little in theme and it's a good size for handbaggage) and DH pendant am feeling ever so slightly self-conscious! Or like a travelling witch forced to use Muggle means. Arranging international Portkeys isn't as easy as it could be. ;)

Was wishing for the ability to Summon a crochet hook, and musing that witches and wizards could play havoc with airport security.
chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (owleye)
I went to bed this morning at about the same time I need to leave the house tomorrow for my flight to Boston. The last three weeks have flown by - very busy at work followed by frantic costume-making at home. I've had this idea for what to do floating round my head since I first thought about Misti-Con, so I'd done a lot of planning and research, but hadn't actually implemented it until I committed to coming. It's a bit ambitious, and I wish I had another 2 weeks to get it good, and I suspect I'll have to take some sewing with me to finish things off in the couple days before the con, so long as I can finish off most of the technical stuff today (waiting for stuff to dry as I write this). At least I've learned a few more making techniques, which is all good!

I've got a little more crocheting to do too, and it's rather frustrating to think I have 11 hours or so of travel time in which I can't do any - but I doubt I'd get a steel hook through security, so I'm looking forward to the enforced relaxation. I don't think I could carry on my current pace much more; at times I've almost wished I wasn't putting myself through it, but then I think about how I'd be feeling if I wasn't going. I'm looking forward to participating in a shared artistic space - and especially to seeing those of you who are going!
chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (owleye)
So, a month ago I said I wasn't going to Misti-Con. And spent the next few weeks feeling awful. Coming off antidepressants at the time the weather was supposed to improve but stubbornly refused to do so didn't help, but the future looked awfully devoid of joy. I thought of other trips I could plan, but the more I looked, the more I realised that going somewhere in Europe for a week and paying for accommodation wasn't going to be much less than that transatlantic airfare. I remembered that, pre-drug, I used to love travelling across the country unannounced to surprise friends at parties. And I realised how gut-wrenchingly it would hurt not to be in Laconia next month.

So I'm going. If wanting to go in the first place was crazy, then the craziness is still with me. And if that's something I should be wary of, I reckon following through with awareness is better than repression.

Flight? Check.
(After flying a UK airline to Florida last year, I'm looking forward to trying a US airline for the first time since Pan Am in '84)

Travel to the con? Check.
(With huge thanks to the wonderful woman who got me into this intercontinental congoing game in the first place. :)

Roommates? Check.
(A little nervous about sharing with 3 strangers, but we're all in the same boat. And bed.)

Travel insurance? Hmmm, runs out this month. Need to sort.

Glass? Sadly not.
(I missed the January craft faire deadline - thought about it at the time but I was already feeling fatalistic by then. And even if there were no deadline, I wouldn't have time to do much now, though I would have loved to be able to bring that part of my creative self along.)

Costume? Oh ****, I fly in 21 days!

Lesson for myself here is to know I don't make fun decisions in the winter months; seems I need to hibernate mentally if not physically. It feels a bit odd going all that way and not contributing - but then I felt my contributions, such as they were, to Ascendio fell a bit flat. So perhaps it's better to go and just be rather than feeling I have to justify my presence by doing.

I'm determined to have a costume this time, though.
chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (owleye)
Dear Self,

The library borrowing limit is a maximum, not a target.
chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (owleye)
My apologies - to anyone who cares - for dropping off the face of LJ for a while. As some of you know, I decided I needed to move a few months ago. I found a place very quickly, but sorting the logistics was exhausting and once moved the little internet time I could snatch after work or at the library was needed for sorting out utilities and co-modding [ profile] hp_holidaygen.

This is roughly my 9th move since leaving Edinburgh in 2005. I really hope I won't have to do it again in the month of November!

I'm very happy to be living on my own. This place isn't perfect (show me one that is!) but it's within walking distance of friends and a train station and has a nice view. My finances have taken a hit though as monthly costs (financial, not psychological!) are more than house-sharing, and I had to effectively pay rent on two places in November, plus the usual costs of setting up home (some stuff I had, of course, but have needed to get knives, pots, a few lamps, bathroom stuff... and my one extravagance, a vacuum cleaner that unlike landlord-supplied rubbish actually does what it's supposed to).

One knock-on effect of this is that realistically, I can't manage MISTI-Con. :( I'm gutted, but making the trip would be flying in the face of all financial prudence, and I really can't do that two years running! And also my Dad is expecting me to be around for his birthday that weekend, and there's a family gathering in Canada this summer including a memorial service to my great-aunt (which I also won't be going to, but if I had money for one trip I couldn't choose MISTI-Con over that). I keep thinking of my parents telling me about a daughter of some friends of theirs who had to be bailed out from debt incurred by going on skiing holidays with higher-paid friends, and I do not want to get into that sort of mess. (that said, said daughter is now an internationally-headhunted civil servant, so perhaps not the best comparison!!)

So, for those of you going to MISTI-Con - please make sure it's so good that they do another one in 2015, and I'll hope to make that one! And if anyone knows anyone who would like to buy my registration (I bought it in the cheapest period, and transfers are allowed until 1 April, apparently), please let me know!

My other big news is that I've finally got it together to apply to do a Masters in Librarianship/info management (another reason for frivolous trans-Atlantic travel not being on the cards right now). I'm not sure this will ultimately pay off financially, at least directly - but I would like to put my knowledge and practice on a professional footing, and despite the public library recruitment desert, I have seen a few posts advertised elsewhere that require it, and the material is relevant to my non-library work too.

I *think* they've accepted me - according to the online system there's a conditional offer the details of which are in a letter they've sent today. A snail mail letter (!) which kind of makes a mockery of asking people to apply online, but still...

So it looks as if I have a few weeks to get organised, sort out my space, meet unmet commitments, and psyche myself up for the slog. I've done distance learning before and I dread falling behind.

Links to any news that's emerged hereabouts during my hiatus would be much appreciated! I am scanning back, but don't want to miss something (especially as LJ seems flakey on showing friends updates at times!)
chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (Default)
Hi - just a quick note to anyone who's wondering where I am - been very busy lately, last week with job interview and preparation for same (didn't get it, alas), this week with 6-day a week work (not full time paid hours, admittedly, but split over 4 workplaces so lots of travel time). Drained tonight. Hope to catch up with things Thursday/Friday.
chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (Default)
Jasper Fforde fans may find this amusing.
chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (Default)
A colleague and I were discussing e-books.

Me: E-books are obviously useful for commuters and people travelling and people who want to read porn...

Colleague: !!

Perhaps I shouldn't have sounded so matter of fact about it.


Sep. 15th, 2012 08:41 pm
chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (Default)
Well, in the end I took the plunge and bought a ticket yesterday.

I don't feel entirely comfortable about that decision, but it feels better than not doing so, which would have effectively put off the decision until February and left me feeling defeated over the dark months. This way I am affirmed my intention to be there and have something to look forward to over the winter. I'm not guaranteeing I'll be there though until I buy my air ticket, and that likely won't be until after Christmas unless the fares start shooting up. (Has anyone any experience as to the liklihood of that?)

So I should probably start doing something about costume, rather than just thinking about it. Those of you who are local, or know the area at that time of year - how cold is it likely to be (indoors and out)? How many layers would you recommend planning for?

Co-incidentally, someone told me today about a graduate trainee librarian position that's local to me. I've tried applying for them before - once back in 2006 when I first started thinking seriously about librarianship as a career, and once last year which got me an interview but sadly not a job at the Bodleian library. I'd come to the conclusion that perhaps I should give up on trying to prepare for library school that way, but I may give this a go - I'd be giving up the job security I have where I am, but it's full time so at least for the next year money would be less strained. Which would make the MISTI-con trip feel less idiotic, and hopefully also enable me to save for study and help me set up home if I manage to move.
chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (Default)
Just a reminder that this is the last weekend to sign up for [ profile] hp_holidaygen. Sign-ups close midnight PST on Sunday.

We have about 15 people signed up at the moment, with a mix of interests so we should have a good selection of fic to enjoy in December. A few more participants would be most welcome!

Clicking on the banner will take you to the sign-up post:

Sign-up banner for hp_holidaygen fest.  Sign-ups end Sept 16

And much to my surprise, in the process of making the banner I seem to have drawn fanart! Not that I'd compare my wee elf to the stunning creations of our talented artists, but we all have to start somewhere, and to be honest I've seen worse.Read more... )

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