Hey folks, I just cleaned up my flist since I have a lot of dead journals and people who I can't remember the last time I talked to, but if you feel like you've been deprived of Silmarillion crack or talk about rocks then just comment and I'll put you back on the list.
So this year I spread my wings and wrote two, two I tell you fics:

I have to see a man about a god - Greek mythology, Apollo + Dionysus + Artemis + Athena + the rest of the gang in a 1920s mobster AU with a murder mystery flavour.

What's another four dead bodies in a city with Zeus as its unofficial king? Apollo just wants to be left alone with his poems and his latest broken heart. Unfortunately for him, Artemis has other ideas. Even more unfortunately, Athena's roped in a stranger to help him solve it. Apollo doesn't make the best first impression on Dionysus, but they've got bigger things to worry about as they race to catch the killer before he finds his next victim. As they pull the threads, a sordid history begins to unravel...

Still here? I had a blast writing this although I wish I'd seen this chart before I started - but anyway, it turns out that you can write things with a lot of words when you have an actual plot - also Greek mythology is my favourite set ever. It was really hard to keep quiet about this because I wrote this for [livejournal.com profile] moetushie, and what are the odds of getting someone you know for yuletide, let alone someone on your flist?

Then I trawled through the Yuletide prompts and one for Horrible Histories latched on to me, so I also wrote a treat for Skew:

Cranky Christmasses - Horrible Histories, the News at When team trying to celebrate

It's the twenty-fifth of December at the HHTV studios and the News at When team isn't in the best Christmas spirit. Sam is losing the battle with her sudoku, Mike runs into trouble on a historical field report, and Bob is convinced Santa is trying to kill him. Can the exchanging of gifts bring them some much-needed cheer? What is terrorising the interns in the kitchen? And will anyone ever think of the rats?

Apologies to everyone who left me lovely reviews and only just got replies! I keep going back and reading them when I'm feeling a bit rough. Thanks for reading and see you same time next year!
It's still the 24th of December over here for another fourteen minutes, so I'd like to wish you all a Merry Christmas, if you celebrate it, or a Happy Holidays if you don't. May your summers/winters be sufficiently hot/cold so as to make you want to switch places with people in the opposite hemisphere.

I went walking late this evening when it finally got cool enough, and for a while it was just me going along the road, smelling pine trees and rain, hearing crickets and frogs in the creek next to the road above the silence, and seeing the stars brightly above. It was the most peaceful and beautiful time, except for being blinded whenever a car came along. 2011 has been a rough year for the world even if it's been good to me specifically, and I think we all need a bit of peace before we gear up for 2012 and whatever apocalypse it has prepared for us.

So whatever you're doing tomorrow, I hope it brings you peace, and love, and that you are happy. <3

*falls in a heap*

(Also if you're my Yuletide author, I may not be able to read your story on the 25th. I'm looking forward to it very much though!)
Finally I coded it properly and apparently LJ is using its backup hamster for speed, but here it is!

Title: Spare Me Your Pity, Lend Me Your Ears
Warnings:  PG-13 for swearing and non-explicit mentions of rape
Summary: The Downfall of Numenor was written by those of the Faithful who survived and fled to Middle-earth. The last Queen of Numenor thinks it’s about time someone told the other side of the story.

Fic is here

Post full of notes that did not fit is here
These are notes for the fic I wrote about Tar-Miriel for [livejournal.com profile] femgenficathon. The fic is here if you're interested.

Read more... )
Hey, wonderful flisters! I have a fic that needs a beta, anyone want to volunteer? It's a Silmarillion one (of course), that one I mentioned a while ago about Tar-Miriel sticking it to the Faithful and the King's Men, about 2500 words. I went a bit Margaret Atwood on it so it's disjointed and there are references to a lot of Silm things that I didn't actually explicitly mention in the fic itself.

If you are intrigued then comment and I'll send it to you, I can reward you in crackfics?

I realise this is coming in pretty late for a ficathon that ends in early September. I only wrote this one tonight after it became apparent that the one I meant to post will not be ready for this year's femgenficathon, if ever.

Here is the sorry tale of The Fic That Will Not End.

So this time two weeks ago I was bemoaning to a friend that while I had 3000 words of notes for my fic, I had written a grand total of one hundred and twenty nine words of actual fic. Given that the minimum word count is 1000 words, I was worried. Especially as the ficathon opened for submissions two days hence.

Right, I said that friday night, I'm going to write the first part tonight if it kills me.

I wrote it and woke up alive the next morning, if a little groggy from lack of sleep.

Then I wrote more the night after, and after.

And then it started growing. I made bullet points for every little part I thought needed to be written, except they weren't little parts any more. They were reaching a thousand words each fairly easily.

I watched the word count climb to OVER NINE THOUSAND.

Well, I said, that's impressive, but there's no way I can break the ten-thousand word barrier with this fic.

Reader, I broke it that night.

I've never written a fic that's ten thousand words before. I'm surprised at how easy it is when you have an actual plot.

Eleven thousand. Twelve thousand. Thirteen thousand. I kept writing, and started to think of the word count as an enemy, not a target.

Fifteen. Sixteen. Seventeen. This is ridiculous, I thought. How can I write this many words about Miriel talking about herself?

And then - on the next friday night, a week after I started writing in earnest, a week of late nights and predictable grogginess the next morning, I passed the twenty thousand word count.

I've learned that while it's possible to write enough for a Big Bang fic in a week, it's really not pretty.

After that I wrote for two more days, and then I actually had to be mentally present in the mornings so I haven't added to it since monday. And frankly, I'm afraid to. That fic is sitting in my laptop in all its dark glory, now grown to more than twenty-five thousand words and it is Still. Not. Finished.

I'm worried that the next time I turn my laptop on, the word count will have increased. At this point I think it has enough sentience to write itself. God help me if it actually manages to finish itself, because then you'll read about me in the papers as "Young Woman Found Dead In Home Choked With Living Words That Have Also Taken Over The House And Local Neighbourhood, Police Investigating Armed With Delete Buttons".

Let's be clear: these are not particularly good words. The entire thing is going to need a major overhaul before it sees the internet, and I have my doubts as to the number of readers it will attract. But still. Twenty-five thousand words. Welp.

So in light of that 2500 words sounds peachy! That's a whole order of magnitude below this monster! I realise I'm not doing a perfect job of selling it, but if anyone's game to look over this short fic (and it will stay short, even if I have to end midsentence with ROCKS FALL EVERYBODY DIES to keep it under 3000) I'll save you a space and a red pen in my fic-proof shelter I'm going to go and build as soon as I finish this post.
Okay, so this is what happens when you try to ground things in the Silmarillion in reality, and I really should have stopped myself from trying to apply reality to the tale of Beren and Luthien, but here it is anyway.

The Silm is hardly grounded in solid facts at the best of times, but this was bugging me )
There is nothing like cutting rocks on a buzzsaw and finding grit on your face and down your top hours later, nor crushing and milling rock samples and finding your hair (and nosehair) coated with very fine dust. THE GLAMOROUS LIFE OF A GEOLOGY STUDENT, I TELL YOU.

Anyway, this entry is about books! I recently read Voices by Ursula Le Guin and A Brief History of Montmaray and its sequel, The FitzOsbornes in Exile, by Michelle Cooper. The problem is that I think everyone should read these books and yet I want to talk about them with spoilers, so here is the deal:

You will go out and find and read these books immediately and then read the rest of this entry, and/or you will get your hands on some type of memory-altering substance and apply it immediately after you read the rest of this entry, at which point you will go out and find and read these books. Simple, eh?

Actually I managed to review A Brief History of Montmaray without any major spoilers, but there are a lot for Voices under here. )
Things I have learned from this little endeavour: Google is not always the best source of pictures, fancastings can become rapidly incestuous if you take actors from the same show, some characters cast themselves immediately and some like torturing you (I am still not 100% happy with Nimloth, but I don't think I'll be able to do better) and what I really want you to take away from this is the mental image of Tom Hiddlestone and Yvonne Strahovski making out and being the best power couple in Middle-earth. You're welcome.
Once upon a time I got into the genderflipping business, and googled far too many people, and decided that however hard it would be to make a Silmarillion movie with any sort of coherent narrative it would be nice to have the groundwork in place, just in case? And I thought that it would be a pity if nobody else except my pictures folder saw this, so here it is. Special thanks to [livejournal.com profile] minviendha  for advising me about the troublesome Feanorians, because they apparently do not want to cast themselves, but at this point I think you can just add her name to all my crack and it will be accurate.


right here )
Another day, more articles about calc-alkaline magmatism. Also writing about Elves in the Age of Sail for reasons I do not quite understand, especially because it is rapidly heading towards Finduilas/Celebrimbor.


CORONATE, Merlin, no spoilers - Arthur's new bodyguards are determined to get him to his coronation one way or another. Arthur has other ideas.

Arthur peers at the ground. A single, bulbous globe looks back, and if the contraption of metal and glass could express any emotion, he's sure it would be looking exasperated. The thing lifts its arm-like prongs, shifting the royal robes slightly towards him, a clear invitation. Arthur declines to acknowledge it, and he seems to have the upper hand at present.

His new bodyguards move through wood, crowds and even stone with little to no trouble. He has seen them work around the issue of stairs, after a moment's consideration.

They have not yet, however, solved the issue of trees. Or rather, the issue of the tree that contains the heir to the throne and so cannot be disintergrated like all other problems (and trees. If they ever grow tired of being bodyguards, clearing forest ought to be their next job of choice.)

'CORONATE,' the thing intones, and yes, that's definitely a note of exasperation in its grating voice.

'The ceremony isn't for another three hours,' Arthur points out. 'The robes would get all crushed and messy if I put them on now.'

'CORONATE,' it repeats.

'You are being tiresome,' says Arthur in his haughtiest voice.

'CORONATE,' says his bodyguard, with a lingering flavour of right back at you, mateSire.

'I can see that there's no point in continuing this discussion until you decide to be reasonable,' Arthur says, and reaches for the next branch.

He can hear the Dalek grumbling 'CORONATE' to itself as he climbs, and he wonders how long they can live off leaves, rain and the birds that Merlin convinces to land in their tree.
Busy days; having recovered from some sort of flu bug and having finally got past a fortnight that included a stolen laptop, my mother's aunt dying and an oven door that decided it wanted to become stuck halfway open, I find myself trying to start and finish a lit review and begin the process of cutting my rock samples and battling winter. I am knee-deep in articles right now and trying to convince myself that Fimbulwinter is not upon us quite just yet even though we only reached 11 degrees today (that's 11 degrees celsius, and northern hemisphereans, feel free to laugh at my quaint ideas about cold. I do the same when there's mass panic about a 35-degree heatwave.)

I have also finished my genderflipped Silmarillion casting that I started with [livejournal.com profile] minviendha  however many weeks ago, covering the House of Finwe and the main Sindar players. And that will be all. Slightly incestuous with my regular Silm ladies casting which I will make one day, but it can't be helped.

So I realised that I had a few ficlets on various computers and USBs that I never actually posted here, and you'll be seeing them this week. Without further ado:

Geology Rocks - Merlin season 1, no spoilers - In which the Merlin crew are going on a field trip. [livejournal.com profile] agenttrojie  mentioned the idea and I ran with it.

It's bloody typical, Arthur thinks, that it would rain all day every day on the one field trip he forgot to pack his raincoat. He's remembered why all the professors speak about rain as a geologist's worst enemy: everything is slippery, he can't see a damn thing, the outcrop is getting soaked as fast as he can hammer away at it and the expensive waterproof notebooks are living up to their claims, except that he can't write on them in pencil when they're wet and the ink from his pen is running all over the page. He's soaked to the skin, again. He'll have moss growing on him by the time they go home at this rate.

Even more unfair is that he's the only one getting soaked. His father and Morgana are looking at an anticline hinge on the other side of the hill and no raindrop would dare fall on them in case Uther vaporised it with his eyes. Gwen is ridiculously sensible so of course she's prepared, although from the way she's going on about acclaps in the succession she probably wouldn't notice if it started snowing. Lance is tagging along with her although if he's interested in structural he should be up with Uther and Morgana, and the bastard has some secret way of keeping his notes perfectly dry. Bloody scholarship students. And Gaius doesn't even seem to notice the rain because he's looking at the succession with a dreamy expression, although knowing Gaius he's equally likely to be wondering what's for dinner.

So that leaves Arthur getting soggier and soggier and not having anyone to yell at about it, when Merlin reappears around the curve of the outcrop. 'Bit wet, isn't it?' he says cheerfully, and then 'God, you look like a drowned rat.'

'I've noticed,' Arthur growls.

'I've found some forams in the mudstone up above the volc stuff,' says Merlin in the tone of someone revealing an amazing secret. Arthur's tempted, but this is normally the point when Uther looms over his shoulder and manages to convey through body language alone that only hopeless reprobates study fossils, no matter what Jurassic Park told him when he was eight. Then Merlin says the magic words.

'They're under an overhang.'

Arthur turns around and checks very carefully for Uther being behind him, but his father is still on the other side of the hill. 'Lead the way,' he says, and Merlin grins.


I offered to write [livejournal.com profile] minviendha more of this, and ended up doing nothing that she requested.

Title: Growing Up Finwean - The Movie Night
Fandom: The Silmarillion, in our cracky pocket universe
Warnings: A lot of swearing and some references to drug use
Summary: In which a bad reaction leads to an overreaction.
Notes: Celegorm's point of view this time, hence the swearing. Once again names are switching left right and centre. So:
Celegorm - Cleeg, Tyelkormo
Maedhros - Mae, Maitimo
Aredhel - Ar, Irisse
Caranthir - Cara, Karnistir
Galadriel - Gal, Artanis

Oh you got me shakin', oh you got me high )
Dear flist, here are some things I feel you ought to know about me:

1. I have had short hair for three days now and I keep reaching back to adjust my ponytail, freaking out and going WHERE IS THE REST OF MY HAIR? and then I remember that I left it on the hairdresser's floor.

2. When I get coffee I tell the person on the register that my name is Stella in the hope that they'll do a Marlon Brando impression when my order's up. No success so far. ):

3. I now have a notebook to write fandom things in when I wake up in the middle of the night, and there are three pages' worth of things that are not fic ideas, and most of them are things about the Silm that even the Silm fandom does not care about, but I think the more pressing of them is why has nobody made a Westeros-themed Texts From Last Night tumblr?

So I took it upon myself to get the meme started:

although it would actually be more like Ravens From Last Night )


May. 8th, 2011 02:38 pm

I am home.

One day spent travelling some 4000km is not enough time to spend processing such a change from A to B, from desert to city. My body expects dry heat; my eyes look to see red soil, great  cylinders of rock and the distant white glare of the salt lake. Here at home the air smells of damp, leaf mould and grass; the trees are all different deciduous species in various stages of leaf-fall where I expect to see nothing but eucalypts. I remember the sky in the desert as fearless and blue, fully large enough to make one half of my vision if I stood outside; here it is crowded out by clouds, tree branches and buildings. My horizons have shrunk to the roofs of the houses across the road so every detail of the world must be fitted into those fifty or so metres – so my foreground, middle ground and background are all busy and complicated. In the desert the rooms are all the same, exterior and interior equally neutral and inoffensive; here each house on our street is different and the inside of our house is full of things I remember; my bedroom is full of my memories and they crowd into my head. And yet not everything has come back to me yet, because I look in the wrong cupboards in the kitchen, and the crosswords in the newspapers confound me and I have forgotten their patterns. In one day I have seen more rain than in the last month. All these things combine to make a sort of malaise and weariness although I am happy to be home. I am not sure whether the cure for it lies in walking outside in the strange, damp air and wandering up and down the streets; or if I should close my curtains and sit inside my room until I am comfortable with it before I move on to the wider world. I realise that I accept, intellectually, that I have come home, but I don’t know it yet.

I want to talk for a little bit about depression.

I don't have depression, but I am  affected by it. I have two people in my immediate family with depression. I have friends who have depression. And it is horrible to know that they are struggling with this thing and not know how to help them. I feel helpless a lot of the time when I read about depression and when people write about their experiences with it - because however good your imagination is, however many articles you read, whoever you talk to about it and try to put yourself in their shoes for a while - we, the people who don't have depression, will not be able to understand the people who do have it. We can try to understand what happens in the body and what the effects are, but we can't understand what it's like to be depressed. We will never be able to fully understand it.

It is fucking awful seeing someone you love struggling with this illness and not knowing how to help them. In the greatest sense, there isn't much you can do to help them - you can't get into their brain and pump up the serotonin production, and you can't magically think someone into not being depressed. If only it was that easy.

So what the fuck can you or I do?

You love that person, and show it. You listen to them when they want to talk, you hug them, you spend time with them, you make an effort to get in touch with them even if it's just a 'hi how are you?' text, you try to make sure they know that you are there for them. (For example, I just sent a text to someone I know who has been diagnosed with depression - basically 'hello, how are you? I'm think of you, love El'. I'm not expecting a reply - not because this person has depression, but because they have a bad track record of answering texts - but that's not the point. You send a message out to the person to let them know that you're thinking of them, and that's the best you can do.) You understand that this is not something they are doing on purpose, and it's not something they can control.

And if you do all those things and the person you love still has depression, you keep loving them. Keep at it. It can feel like you're wasting your love on that person because they're not getting better. It can feel like you're not doing enough for them, that they'd only recover if you loved them enough. But the thing is: it's not in your control to make that person better. You love them and support them as much as you can, but in the end it is up to them. It is not their fault that they have depression, but it's not your responsibility or within your power to cure them of it either.

Here's the thing: loving someone with depression will not cure them of it, but it just might make their lives a whole lot more bearable. So if you know someone who has depression and you want to help them deal with it, learn about it. Google 'depression information' and thousands of pages come up. Even Wikipedia is a start. Understand that it's not just a 'bad mood' and that the affected person should just 'snap out of it'. Correct other people when they don't have the facts right. Talk about it - there is a stigma over depression, as if it's either far too shameful to admit to having or so minor that it's not worth bothering about, and it's neither. Depression kills people and keeping silent about it kills people.

This is what we can do to help people with depression: give them love, and understanding. It will not make them recover, but it will (hopefully) make things easier for them. That the only thing, the most important thing we can do for the people we love.



May 2012



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