26 Sep 2012 06:14 pm

[sticky entry] Sticky: My vids

frayadjacent: drawing from hyperbole and a half: cartoon girl at laptop at night, text says "vidding" (!vidding)
Welcome! Feel free to poke around and check out my vids and fannish posts. Subscribe and unsubscribe as you like. If you subscribe I'll automatically grant access. Then you'll see my RL posts as well as my fannish posts and vid posts. Feel free to let me know if you want to opt out of RL posts and I'll un-grant you access, no worries.

All my vids: Angel, BtVS, Elementary, Friday Night Lights, Orphan Black, Steven Universe, The Black Stallion, Underground, Whale Rider, and Xena )

Blanket Permission

basically, use with credit )


warnings/content notes and subtitles )

14 Feb 2019 06:56 pm


frayadjacent: Xena and Gab walking/riding away together, text says "Journeys" (Xena: Journey)
This evening I randomly decided to see what the first thing I ever posted about Xena was. And it was hilarious. This is what I wrote (c 2012):
Once I'm finished I can't wait to watch vids and maybe read some good fic: I've been vaguely spoiled on the ending and imagine it'll be a rare moment when I'll seek fic to directly contract [sic] cannon and be my fannon. But I don't see myself getting more fannish than that. I enjoy it, but don't think about it much when I'm not watching.
As I write this I am sitting opposite the framed Xena fanart on my wall, next to the Gabrielle candle. I don't wear necklaces much, but when I do it's a chakram. My favourite currently airing podcast is Xena: Warrior Podcast, and four of the last five vids I've made were Xena vids. Also my WIP is a Xena vid (sorry not sorry, VidUKon).
frayadjacent: Buffy smirking over Giles with quarterstaff (Default)
1. The polar vortex is pretty much always there in winter. The strong winds circumnavigating the Arctic -- or Antarctic -- help keep the North/South pole cold and middle latitudes...less cold (as a person who is happiest in the tropics, I can't bring myself to say "warm").

2. The cold weather in the UK and extreme cold in parts of North America right now are due to the polar vortex being disrupted, so that the winds no longer blow from west to east but instead in a wavy pattern: the dip from northwest to southeast, then back up to the northeast, bringing the cold arctic air with them.

3. Breakdowns of the polar vortex are often a consequence of sudden and rapid warming in the stratosphere (which can happen for a number of reasons, including, say, shifts in the location of tropical rainfall due to El Nino -- the atmosphere is complicated). It takes a few weeks for a Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) to lead to a collapse in the polar vortex.

4. This extreme cold event was remarkably well-forecasted because the polar vortex breakdown was preceeded by an SSW: see, e.g., this blog post from late December. The UK Met Office, in early January, wrote in their outlook that late January would be very cold, on the basis of the SSW that was occurring at the time. January proceeded to be anomalously warm, until the end of the month, when temperatures dropped just like they said it would (take that, Daily Mail!).

5. The link between disruptions of the polar vortex and global warming is tenuous, and an area of active research. Some climate scientists argue for a mechanism that would make it more likely, because the poles are warming faster than the rest of the planet. But the evidence for that mechanism has not been fully shown.

6. In the absense of that mechanism, it's more likely that extreme cold events will become less common with global warming*.  It might well be that the cold spells that only come once -- or less than once -- per year in the UK used to happen a couple of times per year, and so now when they happen they seem remarkable and we (those of us who aren't global warming deniers) are inclined to attribue them to climate change. (I'm not applying this argument to what's happening in parts of North America, because my impression is that that's a more rare cold event.)

7. Because SSWs and their associated polar vortex disruptions last for several weeks, there can't be more than two or three of them per winter, so even if global warming does make them more likely, it will probably be hard to show that with any statistical rigor for a long time.

Source: I'm an atmospheric scientist, and a co-author on a peer-reviewed paper on this topic. (But it's not my usual area of research; I joined the project to bring my tropical meteorology expertise.)

*but extreme heat, drought, and flooding are all definitely becoming more common -- I'm not saying that global warming isn't a problem!

frayadjacent: Close up of late-season Gabrielle in black & white (Xena: Gabrielle)
I briefly considered switching to Final Cut Pro X, so I decided to make an impromptu vidlet with the trial version.

Title: Sparrow's Lullaby
Fandom: Xena: Warrior Princess
Vidder: fray-adjacent
Artist: Amy Ray
Characters: Gabrielle, Xena
Relationships: Xena/Gabrielle
Content Notes: show-typical violence, dissolves. Feel free to contact me with questions about content.

Download | AO3 post | Direct YouTube Link

Working with FCPX was mostly good. I used FCP 7 for my first year or two of vidding, so between that and my more recent experience with Premiere it was easy to use.
  • The import and the clip previews (on the timeline as well as in the window for imported media) were well designed to make it easy to glance at and find out the content of a clip.
  • Editing transitions was easier than in Premiere.
  • Making speed changes was similar to premiere, and easier than FCP 7.
  • It also had a ton of preset effects that I would have made good use of (that short clip of Ephiny's face early in the vid has the 'combat' effect, which I found pretty). I know that I could learn how to do those effects in Premiere, but I am lazy.
  • I had a few issues with the magnetic timeline that probably would have been resolved by watching one or two youtube tutorials (see above RE: lazy). When FCP 7 was discontinued and replaced with FCPX, I was horrified of the magnetic timeline, but it was fine.
  • I disliked the way that clips were organised (by the date they were made!) and couldn't figure out how to change it, but if I were committing to using FCPX I would have googled it and found the workaround that no doubt exists.
In the end I decided that I'm going to stick with Premiere if I can find a way to get my educational discount back (I had it my first year but have subsequently lost it, but I was using an email address from a previous university rather than the one I work for now). The main reason is that I use other Adobe apps, mostly Photoshop (both for work and vidding) as well as Audition and, in principle, After Effects. My partner might also start using Photoshop. Also, I'm wondering if I could ever clip with Media Encoder, if/when MPEG Streamclip goes bust. If I can't get the discount, I will stop my Adobe subscription when it expires in June.

frayadjacent: Buffy smirking over Giles with quarterstaff (Default)
Previous years: 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012

I've written an end-of-year vidding reflection post every year since I started vidding, and I want this year to be no different. But, once again, I only made two vids this year, so the usual meme doesn't quite make sense. Instead I'll follow the format I used a couple of years ago, a year when I only made one vid.

Vids I made this year:

Shed Your Skin: a Xena character study, made for VidUKon 2018.
Virginia Woolf: a Xena/Gabrielle vid.

Both of these are part of my 90s Lesbian Icon vid series (AKA Xena vids to Indigo Girls songs), which now has five vids.

What was your outlook on vidding a year ago?

Here's what I wrote at the end of last year's meme:
My goal is three vids again this year. I managed it last year, which I’m so pleased about because I only made one vid in 2016 and two in 2015. But two of the three vids I made in 2017 (Airplane and Partition) had significant work done on them in previous years. So making three vids again this year is still a step up in productivity.

Also, Xena Warrior Podcast has inspired me to  return to my Xena vid plans, and has also given me courage to go ahead and make one or two of the darker Xena vids I’ve thought about. Not all vids need to appeal to everyone. More than any other fandom, I vid Xena so I can have the kind of vids I want to watch, and sometimes I want to watch a vid that explores the sad and difficult parts of that show.
Regarding the first paragraph: I didn't meet my goal of making three vids, and one of those vids (Virginia Woolf) also had quite a bit of work done prior to 2018. Then again, it is five and a half mintues long, so there was still plenty of vid to make.

On the other hand, the second paragraph is referring specifically to Virginia Woolf, a vid that, among other things, attempts to deal with the Xena finale, Friend in Need. Everything I said in the second paragraph still holds true, and reading it makes me glad I finished Virginia Woolf, because I know I'll re-watch it a lot. Also, I have so many more Bard!Gab feels now than I did before I made that vid.

Xena Warrior Podcast continues to keep my fannish feelings high, which helps a lot with motivation. If you like Xena, or are considering watching it, I highly recommend it. I particularly like that they bring so much cinematic/film industry knowledge to the podcast. And that they like a lot of the same things about the show that I do. :)

How was vidding life in 2018?

I spent much of the year without a good physical space for vidding. I need a setup that accomodates, as much as possible, my chronic wrist and back injuries. I also got sucked into other hobbies this year, things that were OK but ultimately less rewarding than vidding is. And I was busy with work, like most people are, and tired at the end of the day. For all of these reasons, I often went months without vidding at all. But when I did, I really enjoyed it and was motivated to work consistently on it.

The usual meme has questions like "what was your favourite vid?" etc, and I don't want to answer questions like that when I only have two vids. But:
  • The usual meme asks what my favourite vid of the year is, and Virginia Woolf is possibly my favourite Xena vid I've made yet. Time will tell if it will beat Starkville.

  • The meme asks about the sexiest moment.The first five to ten seconds of the Callisto section of Shed Your Skin is in the running for sexiest thing I have ever done in a vid.

  • The meme asks which vid is most under-appreciated by the universe. Please excuse this moment of honesty/pettiness: As I've drifted a bit from LJ/DW-based vidding fandom, my sense of how well-received my vids are increasingly comes from Youtube views. Therein madness lies. I'm not the best vidder ever, but I think my Xena vids are pretty great compared to a lot of what's out there. But a lot of what's out there has orders of magnitude more views than my vids. I keep reminding myself of two things: 1) what many people want in a vid is not necessarily what I want to make. Plenty of Xena fans just want to relive their favourite scenes set to current music that they like, and that's fine. 2) *I* do truly enjoy re-watching my vids, and as said above, I started this vid series mainly because I wasn't finding the kind of Xena vids I wanted to watch. That's slightly less true now than it was in 2014, but still mainly holds.

What's the outlook on vidding next year?

I now have a home office with a desk that fits me, and so I'm cautiously optimistic that I will vid more in 2019.

I want to continue my Xena vid series. I also have an idea for The Good Place, and I plan to re-watch Season 1 of Star Trek: Discovery which might lead to vid ideas. It would be nice to make vids for shows that people are currently fannish about -- although Xena fandom is pretty healthy. I've had a few Steven Universe ideas kicking around for a while, but one of them got Jossed by a big reveal earlier this year. I find that the scheduling of Steven Universe makes it difficult to plan vids. When I vid a show that's still airing, I like to vid it during a hiatus. SU has lots of hiatuses, but you never know how long they're going to be. Also many of them are so long that I completely forget that the show is still airing.
frayadjacent: Xena and Gab walking/riding away together, text says "Journeys" (Xena: Journey)
Title: Virginia Woolf
Fandom: Xena: Warrior Princess
Vidder: fray-adjacent
Artist: Indigo Girls
Characters: Gabrielle, Xena
Relationships: Xena/Gabrielle
Content Notes: show-typical violence, fast cuts, flashing lights. Includes events from the series finale. Feel free to contact me with questions about content.

Download | AO3 post | Direct YouTube Link

frayadjacent: drawing from hyperbole and a half: cartoon girl at laptop at night, text says "vidding" (!vidding)
Title: Shed Your Skin
Fandom: Xena: Warrior Princess
Vidder: fray-adjacent
Artist: Indigo Girls (feat Ulali)
Characters: Xena
Content Notes: show-typical violence, fast cuts. Feel free to contact me with questions about content.

Premiered at VidUKon 2018

Download | AO3 post | Direct YouTube Link

frayadjacent: Buffy smirking over Giles with quarterstaff (Default)
My wrist injury has flared up again, so I've been off computers as much as possible lately. Be back soon I hope! xo
frayadjacent: Buffy looking shocked, text says "what? Whatting a what?" (!what?!)
Recently finished

The evening after I heard that Ursula K. Le Guin had died, I re-read the short story "The Day Before the Revolution", from the collection The Compass Rose. It comes after her classic parable, "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas", and she begins the story with a foreward ending with 'this is a story about one of the ones who walked away from Omelas'. I still remember so clearly the first time I read that, and how it moved me, having just read Omelas. Anyway, it's about Leia Odo, of Odonianism in the The Dispossessed. The revolution that eventually leads to the events in The Dispossessed is starting, but she is on the sidelines. It's a quiet story of an old woman reflecting on her life. The prose is beautiful, and the character feels so true in such a short space. Wonderful story.

Last night I finished Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer. I ... want to like it, because people whose opinions I trust like it. And some of it I did enjoy. But all the moments wherethese aren't really spoilers, but a cut just in case )

Current reading

The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye by Sonny Liew. A graphic novel about an important Singaporean comic artist, with a lot of focus on the history of Singapore's independence from Britain, its relationship with Malaysia, and conflicts between communist/left-wing and centrist/liberal factions in the independence movement. I am enjoying it, but I admit I find the national history a lot more interesting than the comic book artist.

frayadjacent: Buffy looking to the side in black and white (BtVS: Buffy B&W)
 For the last ten years or so, every time I’ve seen Ursula K Le Guin’s name in the news, I’ve had a jolt of fear that she’d died. It snuck up on me this morning, reading Dreamwidth bleary-eyed over my coffee. I’d like to write a proper post about how much her writing has meant to me, but for now I just want to mark the moment. I wonder what is happening at her beloved Powells in Portland today. I wish I could be there for it. 
frayadjacent: Close up of late-season Gabrielle in black & white (Xena: Gabrielle)
What did you just finish reading?

Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy. I stopped halfway through because a) I liked it well enough but didn't love it, so I was reading it really slowly, which hindered my efforts to get back in the reading habit; 2) the electronic version of the third book in Ada Palmer's Terra Ignota series became available at my library. I put down a hold on it and started reading the first book in the series, Too Like the Lightning, which has been sitting on my e-reader. My loans of Too Like the Lightning, Seven Surrenders (book 2 in the series), and Ministry of Utmost Happiness have long expired -- I've put my e-reader on flight mode -- so I needed to make some choices.

I might very well get back to Ministry of Utmost Happiness. I think it's a little too slow for me right now, but the story was also going in an interesting direction, and the two characters I was most interested in (there's a third one I can't stand) were about to meet. It's funny, I don't need books with Lots Of Plot -- my favourite book last year was Among Others by Jo Walton, which is not terribly plotty, but still. I want more to...happen? Is that the same as plot? Or maybe it's just that Among Others got more in the character's head than Ministry of Utmost Happiness has so far. If anyone else has read this book I'd be interested to know your thoughts; as usual I'm struggling to put words to mine. It's funny to think that 20 years ago I thought I wanted to become an English Lit professor.

What are you reading now?

Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer. I'm too early in the book to say much, but it grabbed my attention pretty quickly with the premise as I understand it, the worldbuilding that's happened so far, and the characters. The POV character is not, as far as I can tell, the primary protagonist, which is fun but a little confusing as I keep thinking that "I" refers to a different person than it actually does.

What will you read next?

Assuming I enjoy Too Like the Lightning, I'll continue the trilogy.

Free book-shaped space

I still plan to post an overview of books read in 2017, including brief takes on the books I read since my last Wednesday reading post in ... *checks books tag* September. (Actually not as far behind as I thought!)
frayadjacent: drawing from hyperbole and a half: cartoon girl at laptop at night, text says "vidding" (!vidding)
[community profile] snowflake_challenge  Day 5

Recommend a fannish or creative resource. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

Someday I will build up the nerve/mental spoons to challenge Youtube blocking a few of my vids (especially my favourite vid by me, Starkville, which is blocked in the US and Canada -- but not on Vimeo, hence the link!). When I do, I will definitely make use of Lim's post about fighting back against YT and the BBC and winning. It's especially useful for vidders in the UK -- I learned too late that my references to 'fair use' were not relevant here.
frayadjacent: drawing from hyperbole and a half: cartoon girl at laptop at night, text says "vidding" (!vidding)
[community profile] snowflake_challenge, Day 4:

In your own space, create a fannish wishlist. No limits on size or type of fanwork; just tell us what you’d like to see. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so. And if you grant a wish, do the same thing!

1. A Xena fic where M'Lila travels to China and meets Lao Ma. They have lots of adventures together and live happily ever after.

2. More Xena and Buffy vids with undistorted aspect ratios. Sorry (not sorry).

3. Depending on how things play out, I might need fix-it fic for a certain aspect of Star Trek Discovery. :(

frayadjacent: Close up of late-season Gabrielle in black & white (Xena: Gabrielle)
[community profile] snowflake_challenge Day 3:

In your own space, post recs for at least three fanworks that you did not create. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

1. [personal profile] goodbyebird iconned Xena: Warrior Princess! I have heart-eyes for these and will be grabbing some if/when I get my paid account back*.

2. I love [tumblr.com profile] maariamph's adult!Steven fanart. Favourites: watering plants; charging on lion; hanging out with Connie.

3. [tumblr.com profile] restfield's amazing Drusilla manip.

*I'm planning to re-purchase my paid account once I get back in the habit of posting regularly. Please don't take this as a subtle hint that I want someone to gift it to me!

frayadjacent: Connie Maheswaran in cosplay with a black cape. Text says, "fangirl". (!fangirl)
[community profile] snowflake_challenge  Day 2

In your own space, share a favorite memory about fandom: the first time you got into fandom, the last time a fanwork touched your heart, crazy times with fellow fans (whether on-line or off-line), a lovely comment you’ve received or have left for someone. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

Of course there are lots of wonderful options here, from when I joined a Buffy forum in 2010 and came up with my online handle, to early ventures in vidding, to my first festivids, VVC, and VidUKon, and to the fannish home that I have found in VidUKon.

But a real treasure of a memory is when [personal profile] deird1, who I met here through Buffy fandom, contacted me because I was moving across the world to her city, and offered to pick us up from the airport and help us settle in. It was so wonderful already having a friend when I arrived.

frayadjacent: Buffy smirking over Giles with quarterstaff (Default)
I've decided to give 2018 [community profile] snowflake_challenge a go!

Day 1

In your own space, talk about why you're participating in Snowflake and, if you’ve participated in the past, how the challenge has affected you. What drew you to it? What did you take away from it? What do you hope to accomplish this year? Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

I apparently only attempted the challenge once before, January 2014. I made one post! /o\

But I like other people's posts, and I sincerely want to get back in the habit of posting and checking Dreamwidth regularly. I let my paid account lapse last October because I just wasn't using DW any more, except to post vids. But I like and miss people who are still active here, so I'm going to try to be more active as well. If I manage it I will reward myself by upgrading to a paid account again. So, well, I have a few things I hope to accomplish in 2018, and more time on DW is definitely one of them.

frayadjacent: Connie Maheswaran on a beach reading excitedly (!reading)
My reading goals for 2016 and 2017 only involved number of books, because I was trying to get back in the reading habit. Now that I am, I want to focus more on reading the books I own. I've done a lot of purges over the years so Mount TBR isn't as huge as it might be for some people, but I want to get through it anyway. I'm doing the 12 book challenge. My twelve books are:

Three graphic "novels"
(what do you call them when they're nonfiction/biography-ish?):

The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, by Sonny Liew. A graphic biography about comics and the history of Singapore.
Footnotes in Gaza, by Joe Sacco. A journalist does a graphic memoir about his time in Gaza.
Red Rosa, by Kate Evans. A biography of Rosa Luxemburg.

One non fiction:

The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic, by Marcus Rediker and Peter Linebaugh

One memoir:

One Day I Will Write About This Place
  (ebook) by Binyavanga Wainaina

Five novels:

White Teeth by Zadie Smith
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (ebook), by Karen Joy Fowler
Orsinian Tales, Always Coming Home,  and The Beginning Place by Ursula K Le Guin. I haven't read two of Le Guin's first three novels, I haven't read her Powers series from ~10 years ago, and I haven't read these. I did start Always Coming Home back in, like...2002? And got bored. But I was working full time and going to school full time back then, so maybe I'll have more patience now.

Two short story collections:

The Compass Rose and The Wind's Twelve Quarters by Ursula K. Le Guin. These are the only re-reads on the list. I last read these more than ten years ago, got rid of the books four years ago, and re-purchased them last year. So I reckon it counts. Plus

[personal profile] cahn and [personal profile] luzula were recently discussing them and it really made me want to re-read them.


stack of 10 books

I learned about the challenge from [personal profile] tinny! Apparently this is a thing you can sign up for, but I don't know where (and don't intend to do so myself). Rules beneath the cut, copy and pasted from tinny's post )
frayadjacent: drawing from hyperbole and a half: cartoon girl at laptop at night, text says "vidding" (!vidding)
Previous years: 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012

Vids I made in 2017

Electric Lady (Steven Universe, premiered at VidUKon in June)
Airplane (Xena, September)
Partition (Buffy theVampire Slayer, November)


Partition — I enjoy re-watching it, and it’s a different sort of vid, with a different take on Buffy, than I have done in the past.

Least Favourite

Airplane — it’s a fine vid, but it’s my weakest Xena vid IMO. I had a lot of trouble getting something that went with the music like I wanted on the bridge. And I struggled a little with conceptualising it — at first it really was a Gabrielle vs Horses vid, but that was too narrow a concept for an entire vid so it became about the discomforts of travel, but I’m not sure how well the second half connects to the first half.

Most Successful

Partition, I think, in that I saw a few people reccing it. Electric Lady in terms of comments though — I got some really lovely comments on it on DW and at VidUKon.

Most Underappreciated by the Universe

I secretly hoped Electric Lady would take off on youtube because I think it’s better than a lot of the Steven Universe vids I’ve seen out there. (Not all of them of course! Becca’s SU vid, for example, still blows my mind every time I watch it.) Alas, that didn’t happen.

Most Fun to Make

Electric Lady, before my laptop was stolen (see below).

Hardest Vid to Make

Electric Lady, because I was about halfway finished with it when my laptop was stolen. I’d had Premiere installed on my laptop from my previous job, but when I bought my new laptop I couldn’t get it back. I ended up remaking Electric Lady in Lightworks. Now, I’m sure Lightworks is a lovely program, and it’s fantastic that it’s free. But as someone who was just trying to (re) make a vid and wasn’t actually interested in learning new software, it was very frustrating in some ways. It wasn’t just small differences along the lines of those I discovered when I switched from Final Cut Pro 7 to Premiere, but major differences in the workflow that I really struggled with.

Not long after I finished, I decided to splurge on a subscription to Adobe CC even though the cost and subscription program piss me off. I get the educational discount because I work at a university, and I do use Illustrator for work so I can kinda justify it on those grounds. So the work I’d done on Airplane and Partition — both of which I had started in 2015! — was mostly not lost, thanks to my backups.

Also Partition because the process of making it made me so angry at the source that I almost lost all motivation, when it was 90% finished.

The Things I Learned This Year

Back up my vid projects! Keep my laptop upstairs and not where thieves can see them (only helps with middle of the night robberies, but still).

Also, put more effort into vids. Resist the urge to just post it because I’m sick of working on it. It’s the difference between having a vid I rewatch for years to come and almost never rewatching it. This isn’t good advice for perfectionists, but I am definitely not one of those.

Planning for Next Year

My goal is three vids again this year. I managed it last year, which I’m so pleased about because I only made one vid in 2016 and two in 2015. But two of the three vids I made in 2017 (Airplane and Partition) had significant work done on them in previous years. So making three vids again this year is still a step up in productivity.

Also, Xena Warrior Podcast has inspired me to  return to my Xena vid plans, and has also given me courage to go ahead and make one or two of the darker Xena vids I’ve thought about. Not all vids need to appeal to everyone. More than any other fandom, I vid Xena so I can have the kind of vids I want to watch, and sometimes I want to watch a vid that explores the sad and difficult parts of that show.
frayadjacent: Buffy smirking over Giles with quarterstaff (BtVS: Buffy smirking)

Title: Partition
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Vidder: fray-adjacent
Artist: Beyoncé
Characters: Buffy, Angel, Riley, Spike
Relationships: Buffy/slaying, Buffy/Angel, Buffy/Riley, Buffy/Spike
Content Notes: show-typical violence. Sexualization of violence. Fast cuts, one white flash at 0:41. Some anti-Buffy/Angel and anti-Buffy/Riley content.  Feel free to contact me with questions about content.
Thank you to goodbyebird for some much needed cheerleading on an early version of this.

Download (158 MB zip file) | AO3 post | Direct Youtube link

frayadjacent: Connie Maheswaran on a beach reading excitedly (!reading)
I've been travelling a lot, which means plenty of time for reading but not much for DW posting.

What I've finished reading since my last post:

Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty. What I thought would be a fun, tight-knit murder mystery turned out to be a big story covering hundreds of years, major political upheavals, and some thought-provoking ideas about clones. I enjoyed this a lot.

Redshirts by John Scalzi. It was a fun book and made me laugh, but as my first Scalzi novel, I can't say it made me want to read more.

The Thessaly series by Jo Walton (The Just City, The Philosopher Kings, and Necessity). An interesting series, especially as an exploration of utopia. I never thought I'd read a book that would make me excited about the god Apollo. I found that even though I wasn't enormously taken in by the plots or characters, I couldn't put them down, and I think that's just because the prose is so damn readable. I came to particularly love the character Maia, and was bummed that she wasn't in the last novel.

Lavinia, by Ursula K Le Guin. I've had the e-book for ages, and after I finished The Just City, but before I realised there were two more novels after it, I was in the mood for more Bronze Age fiction. Le Guin's prose is as wonderful as ever, and I loved the use of the device that Lavinia -- and everyone else -- was a character in the Aeneid, not a historical figure. I find Le Guin's tendency toward gender essentialism more annoying than I used to.

The Small Change trilogy by Jo Walton (Farthing, Ha'penny, and Half a Crown). Detective noir/political thriller series set in an AU where the UK made peace with the Nazis and the US never joined WWII. In the first book, one of the POV characters is happily married to a man with the same first and last name as Mr. Adjacent, and it was very strange! At several points I thought I'd have to stop reading it because this character was under serious threat and I thought he might die. The end of the series was narratively satisfying but politically annoying. Between this series and the Thessaly series I have read two instances in Walton where the oppressed and their allies basically convinced those in power (or rather, a sympathetic faction of those in power) to stop oppressing them. I'm with Fredrick Douglass on that one.

What I'm currently reading

My Real Children by Jo Walton. Yes, I'm on a kick. I've just started this, but I'm hoping it will be more the intimate, character-driven story that Among Others was. As much as I've enjoyed Walton's books that I've read since then, none of them can hold a candle to that one.

Also, I'm slowly re-reading Searoad: Chronicles of Klatsand by Ursula K Le Guin. I read it for the first (and only) time more than 15 years ago, so all I really remember is the overall feel of the book.

What I'll read next

I pre-ordered the new Philip Pullman book, La Belle Sauvage, and it will be arriving in less than a month. I told myself I'd re-read His Dark Materials first. Also, last year I purchased N.K. Jemisin's Obelisk Gate but decided to wait until the third book was out before reading the whole trilogy (including re-reading The Fifth Season). Now the third book is out but I haven't bought it yet. And finally, I have four books on hold from the library and I plan to drop anything else to read them once they become available. In other words, I don't know.

Free book-shaped space

I finally got my account set up to get e-books from the library and my book buying is plummeting (excepting the Le Guin haul, described below) while my reading rate soars. I'm so pleased.

I recently learned that Worldcon 77 (in 2019) will be in Dublin! I really really want to go -- Dublin is cheaper to get to than London and almost as easy -- but it's within a week of my 10-year wedding anniversary, when we are also planning a big trip. I know this is nearly two years away, but August always ends up filled with family travel, so I feel like I do have to plan this far in advance in order for it to happen.

I went to Portland, Oregon in August, for the first time since probably 2003. I went to Powell's and re-purchased many of the Le Guin books I'd gotten rid of in a misguided purge a few years ago. All the books I bought were used -- I prefer to buy used books anyway, but these were necessarily so since I bought out of print books. Anyway, my Le Guin library is slowly being restored. Also, I almost bought a few missing Earthsea novels, but then a guy at the checkout counter told me that next year they'll be releasing a new illustrated version of the series, so I decided to hold out for that. Speaking of, the fancy illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is coming out soon. I seem to be collecting them all, but I'm really curious to see how they'll do the later books, as even The Philosopher's Stone is huge and unweildy.

frayadjacent: Xena and Gab walking/riding away together, text says "Journeys" (Xena: Journey)
Three years later I have a third installment in my Xena/Indigo Girls series! Much thanks to Xena Warrior Podcast for re-igniting my enthusiasm. This was a WIP for way too long.

: Airplane
Fandom: Xena Warrior Princess
Song: Airplane (edited for length) by The Indigo Girls
Summary: Travelling with Xena is hard

Content Notes: Comical, show-typical violence. Feel free to ask specific questions about content.

Download (right click on Mac) | AO3 post

I do not have subtitles available yet for this vid. Lyrics for the edited version of the song under the cut below the embedded vid.


Lyrics to the edited song )


frayadjacent: Buffy smirking over Giles with quarterstaff (Default)

February 2019

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