sarashina: (Oz - OH HAPPY DAY :D)
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Holy crap

OH MY GOD YOU GUYS, THIS SHOW.

JUSTIFIED FOR ALL THE AWARDS EVER.

One of these days I am going to write an essay about how the writing in season two has been the most amazing ever and all the relationships are just utterly fascinating x 10, but I have about 1000 other things that need to get done so for now I'm just going to keep shrieking.

Just. Oh my God, you guys, if Margo Martindale doesn't win an Emmy I will storm the castle. Mags Bennett is one of the most interesting, charismatic, absolutely terrifying villains I've ever seen on TV.

Also, someone could write an entire academic paper about all the parent-child relationships in this show. (And judging by the promo, I am even more convinced that Art is surrogate-daddy. "You just keep doing what you're doing, and I'll just keep cleaning up after you.")

Also also, I would like some kind of spin-off in which Raylan teaches Loretta how to fight crime.

Also also also, "The only thing we're on the same side of is, like, THIS CAR."

In conclusion, Boyd Crowder.

(Is anyone else watching this show? Do you like well-written noir Westerns with a twisted sense of humor? WHAT ARE YOU STILL DOING HERE? GO WATCH!)
sarashina: (Raven and Oz)
So I am sitting around watching the Oscar pre-show after a fairly low-key weekend. I mainly took time off from writing (though I still wrote a couple scenes) because for the latest time in this story, I think, I'm at a pretty natural stopping place. Or, rather, once I finish this chapter I probably won't really stop until I reach the end, so this is my only chance!

Holy crap, you guys, I can't believe that I'm going to be querying a novel again by late May/early June. I go back and forth on how confident I am every day. Sometimes it's like "I really hope I make it happen this time!" and other times it's like "YEAH, GO AHEAD AND TRY, YOU'LL BE AN INSPIRATION TO HACKS EVERYWHERE." It's more often the former than the latter, at least. Either way, I'm really excited to get started on the editing. I've got a lot of tweaking to do!

Speaking of publishing, I've been devouring books left and right lately! I've been bringing in books to work for when I can grab a quiet moment - I think I'll bring Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet tomorrow so I can finally finish it. I think I'm going to start bookblogging on my tumblr so I can have a record of all my reading in 2011. I still have plenty to get through on my bookshelf, so I can use those to somehow distract myself from all the awesome sequels I'm waiting on later this year. And aren't we getting a new DWJ book at some point? UGH. ALL THESE GREAT UNPUBLISHED BOOKS NEED TO COME TO MEEEE.

Also, randomly, all this Red Carpet footage makes me want to go shopping. Judging by the state of my closet, that is the worst idea ever. Maybe I'll see if anything ready for Salvation Army first.

Yosh, I will now turn my full attention to the broadcast. Got any Oscar predictions, guys?

BOOOKS

Feb. 20th, 2011 03:45 pm
sarashina: (Raven and Oz)
So I figured I should actually make posts that are not related to writing! (I am probably going to finish another chapter within the next few days. God have mercy on our sooooouls.)

Instead, I thought I'd do a few mini book reviews/recs, since I'm getting some books read again! I'm going to keep 'em fairly spoiler-free, but if you're the type who likes to know as little as possible about the book before going in, I would give this post a miss.


The Last Good Place of Lily Odilon )

White Cat )

Next up (in no particular order):
Half World
Graceling
The Magicians
The Hunger Games
The Monstrumologist
The Maze Runner
Prophecy of the Sisters (represented by my dream agent - MY HOMEWORK)
sarashina: (Oz - grin)
So as usual, I make no promises - but since it's Valentine's Day, I want to give it a try!

Give me a pairing, original or fannish, and I'll write a little drabble for them.
sarashina: (Default)
The King's Speech

This movie! ♥ THIS MOVIE. It's like they took the usual Oscar-bait formula and made it charming and adorable. And now I know why Colin Firth has been going around calling Geoffrey Rush his "geisha girl."

I saw it with a coworker, and she is rooting for The Social Network for the Oscar pretty hardcore. She loved King's Speech, but she wants Social Network to win because it's 'more personal.' I have not actually seen Social Network - I will probably see it just to stack its chances against the other movies, but it will probably make me angry for various reasons.

But even so! I generally do like to root for the more 'personal' movies, like Slumdog, Little Miss Sunshine, or Juno. But I think that King's Speech, unlike a lot of Oscar-bait movies, was much more focused on the relationships than the historical setpiece or the Important Issues. And that's why I'm rooting for it. ♥

Also, DID I MENTION ADORABLE.


Black Swan

Okay, so I went into this expecting it to be like Perfect Blue: The Ballet Edition. And I really liked it! But as I watched it I thought, "Eh, it's not really that messed up."

You all are probably giving me a look right now. I would also be giving me a look right now. But I thought compared to Perfect Blue, it was pretty linear!

That said, it was delightfully twisty, and I loved the last quarter of the movie in all its trippy glory. I went home a little worried that I was going to find Winona Ryder in my kitchen. Someone more informed than I can provide a better analysis of how misogyny in the ballet world was portrayed, so all I will say for now is, I do believe Natalie Portman will be snagging that Oscar.


Heavy Rain

This is a very interesting game, with even more interesting gameplay. It's basically an interactive murder mystery movie - or as I like to call it, "the most ominous game of The Sims ever."

I'm just sort of getting into the action now, but it's really fascinating so far. There are quite a few different choices you can make, and they're not obviously good or bad like in most games. Said choices even make the plot splinter in different directions. The story can even continue when one or more of the characters dies. I can't wait to see how things go when I get further!

I am still getting attached to the characters, though. There was one I really liked, but then I got the worst spoiler ever and now every time I see them I'm like "WAS IT ALL A LIIEEEEEE." I think I enjoy playing the FBI agent the most, though. He has random futuristic FBI technology, and I am fascinated by his accent.

More on this later!


Justified

I SAW A JUSTIFIED PREVIEW TODAYYYYY. Eee! Raylan being a dork! Boyd blowing shit up! Art being exasperated! RACHEL HAVING SCREENTIME! Next Wednesday! I am so excite! omg this showwww ♥


Aaand recs!

I have a rather terrifying week coming up at work, and I will be lucky to get out of it alive. Therefore, I require things to unwind with after work! I will take anything - TV shows, movies, manga, reading material, anything. ♥ Any suggestions?
sarashina: (Oz - vexed)
Sorry, new people! I got distracted by writings. That happens a lot.

Anyway, this post is to welcome Yuletide folks and other new people to this journal! My name is Becky, and I'm happy to have you here. ♥ If you'd like to ask a question about me or tell me a little about yourself, feel free to do so in the comments!
sarashina: (Oz - vexed)
Just because this meme looked too fun to pass up.

Pick a character I write, and I will give you the top five ideas or concepts or factoids I keep in mind while writing that character that I believe are essential to depicting him or her accurately. This includes original characters and characters about whom I write fanfic.

Oh my God 12:40am. I need to be asleep five minutes ago.
sarashina: (Default)
Hello all! No one had posted a Yuletide Friending Meme yet, so I decided to step up to the plate. This may be on DW, but it is for LJ as well, and all you LJ-ers can comment with Open ID. If you want to meet people who share your small fandoms, want to pimp your fics, or just want to start the new year with some more friends, comment below with the following!

Name:
Fandoms:
How many years you've been doing Yuletide:
Your fic:
DW or LJ? (Or Twitter, or Plurk, or...):
Journaling habits:
Other interests:
Anything else?:

Have fun!
sarashina: (Oz - grin)
Happy New Year everyone! I am very, very sleepy. ;; But if I'm going to go back to work on Tuesday (sob), I have to inch back to a normal sleep schedule.

Anyway. It's time for my favorite part of New Year's: the Yuletide reveal!

This year, I wrote...

The Lonely Traveler for Mushishi fandom!

So yes! I finally got a chance to write a full-length fic for Mushishi, after offering it for every Yuletide since I started. If more of you watched this show (WHICH YOU SHOULD), it probably would have been pretty easy to guess that this was me, because I included all my favorite Mushishi tropes. Has Adashino as a supporting character? Check. Delves into Ginko's complicated relationship with people in general? Check. Includes him being harassed by young children? Check. Oblique references to "One-Eyed Fish?" Naturally.

It was a lot of fun to write. And I hope the recipient liked it!

And for posterity's sake, here's everything from previous Yuletides:

List with links )

Happy New Year, guys!
sarashina: (Default)
So while I am sitting here, basking in the glow of an amazing day in St. Augustine with Mom, I figure that now is the best time to write up my 2010 in review post!

2010: if you try sometimes, you just might find... )

All right. Resolutions!

1. Finish The Hungry Ground. I have to be better about writing on weeknights as well as weekends, even if work knocks me on my ass. I'm aiming to finish in the summer: hopefully will have a first draft by June or July in order to start querying in August or September, so as to avoid the writing convention crunch. I have a list of top agents, and I have what I think is a more salable story, and I am ready to go. Maybe this time I'll get that agent.

2. Work on confidence, as always. I get better every year, but it's an ongoing process!

3. Continue to be fiscally responsible. I've been good at budgeting and I don't want to change that! And since I'm fortunate enough to have a job that leaves me with some extra cash, I want to give more to charity this year.

4. Spend more time with you guys! Due to being crazy-busy, I have fallen off the face of the earth, and I miss y'all. Any one of you should feel free to AIM me at insomniacF3 if you see me online - I don't bite!

5. Be more healthy. Not because I'm unhappy with the way I look, but because my arteries will thank me. Besides upholding my workout schedule, I need to learn some healthier recipes.

6. Most of all, I want to be sitting here in my parents' house next year, just like this, and know that the people I love are happy and safe. That's not really a resolution, though. That's just my hope.

Happy New Year! ♥ I love you all!
sarashina: (Default)
It's that time again, folks! Time for me to spend the annual Christmas Barnes and Noble gift card from Grandma. And you know what that means. RECS! So if you've read an awesome book lately, do tell, because I want to read it, too!

Just to give you an idea, here are some things I am totally weak for:
- A good mystery
- A creepy setting with a lot of character
- Any and all creepiness in general, really
- Creative fantasy elements/mythology
- Adorkable protagonists who I want to hug all the time
- Strong friendships and/or a good group dynamic
- Snark and banter
- Unique, surprising romances

If a book contains any/all of these elements, I will be allll over it.

And on the other hand, here are some turn-offs:
- Writers who are too in love with their own genius to tell a proper story
- Love triangles
- When the writer tells me, at great length, how DARK and BROODING and TORTURED and REBELLIOUS his protagonist is, when said protagonist is actually just a huge douche
- Female love interests who are given no development beyond "Manic Pixie Dream Girl"

Thank you in advance! ♥
sarashina: (Default)
I say Accessory-mas because many of my gifts were, in fact, accessories! Two scarves, two headbands, a bracelet from Dad, and a sorely needed new handbag. Other than that, I got a new wool sweater, a lovely hand-knit vest/shrug from Etsy, an apron, a little contact grill, a dish set perfect for Japanese cuisine, the first season of Community, two PS3 games (Folklore and Devil May Cry 4), two new books, and the softest bathrobe and softest throw blanket IN THE WORLD. Mom was pretty excited because, apparently, almost all of that was on sale.

She also gave me something very lovely and unique: she took some gorgeous official art postcards that came with my Mushishi DVDs and had them framed very beautifully together. It was hands-down my classiest gift.

Least classy gift: Dad wrapped a bottle of beer and put it under the tree. It was sort of the best thing ever. We are so Irish you guys.

And, of course, YUUULETIDE! I got not one, not two, but THREE How to Train Your Dragon fics! I will write more detailed recs in an unlocked post on [livejournal.com profile] yuletide later, but they are all well-written and totally cute. The first two follow my original prompt for a post-movie fic showing Hiccup doing the genius engineer thing relating to the spoilery plot development. The third fic was gifted to another person besides me, and I suspect it's closer to that person's prompt, but I will never, ever object to adorable Stoick and Toothless bonding. Needless to say, all of these are chock full of SPOILERS.

If you'd like to guess my fic, by all means! I will make it easy-ish:
- It is over 5000 words long.
- This is the third fic in this fandom that I've written for Yuletide, but the first two were treats.
- Not a lot of you have watched this canon, but one of you has already commented on the fic.

More Yuletide recs later, plus a detailed review of one of the books I got for Christmas! I read it all in one afternoon, which should tell you how I liked it.

Thingsssss

Dec. 10th, 2010 11:16 pm
sarashina: (Default)
Okay, I've got a longer post in the works, but I will work on that tomorrow once I have slept, 'cause damn, I am ready for that right now.

But seeing as it's the holidays and next week's going to be insanity on ice, I find myself ready for a Holiday Love Meme! You know you want to give me some sugar.

Not much going on except for work and Yuletide, though I am going ice skating tomorrow? But hopefully for the rest of the weekend, I will get to fall over and lie on my face for a while.

SLEEP.
sarashina: (Default)
Well hello there, everyone! I had a rather relaxing weekend, I signed up for Yuletide! My letter is over on DW if you're curious - I ended up asking for HTTYD, Natsume Yuujinchou, Justified, and the Thief of Eddis books. I've offered HTTYD, Natsume Yuujinchou, Mushishi, and PoP '08 so far, but I may add more as the week goes on. I will hopefully finish this next Hungry Ground chapter before assignments go out next week.

But first! I am in full Harry Potter-mode, thanks to the first part of Deathly Hallows coming out this weekend, and my weekend-long marathon of A Very Potter Musical. (Darren Criss is tag-teaming with Chris Colfer to steal my heart. WELL I CAN TELL YOU NOW THAT IT'S NOT GOING TO W-- okay yes, it's totally working, as [livejournal.com profile] sotto_voice will be able to tell you. Dammit.)

Anyway, I'm always interested in hearing about people's favorite Potter book, because it seems to vary quite a bit. Personally, I like Prisoner of Azkaban the best because I love me some Lupin, but Goblet of Fire is a really close second for all the sublime trauma it inflicts. What's your favorite book of the series?

Fair warning: probable discussion of spoilers in the comments!
sarashina: (Default)
Hello everyone! I am all settled in on my couch and ready to find some movies to watch. If you were looking to do the same, here are some Halloween recs from me, and all are varying levels of creepy (and quality for that matter):

The Shining - A classic, set in a deserted Colorado hotel during the winter and following the new groundskeeper and his family. The plot is twisty but the scares are brilliant in their simplicity; the trailer is a great example. RED RUM.

Coraline - A dark stop-motion fairytale, adapted from Neil Gaiman's novella. More deliciously creepy than terrifying, but plays on primal fears like the best children's stories do.

Beetlejuice - One of my childhood favorites! It's more of a comedy than anything, but one with an offbeat, eerie sensibility. The Banana Boat Song scene is my favorite.

The Gift - And here's a favorite that few people have heard of, by Sam Raimi. The cast is great, and brings out so many of the tropes I'm weak for: reluctant psychics, ghosts, and a Southern backdrop. You can't really go wrong with Cate Blanchett in the lead, either.

Sleepy Hollow - I've always adored the Headless Horseman story, and I watched the Bing Crosby-narrated cartoon version repeatedly every Halloween. The more recent Johnny Depp version is completely ridiculous, and also completely entertaining. Watch it for Christopher Walken and his prosthetic teeth. YAAHHHHH!

A Disney Halloween - The absolute staple of my childhood Halloween! This is a Disney clip show, narrated by the wicked stepmother's magic mirror, of various supernatural Disney shorts. It used to be on all the time, and I always loved watching it before Trick or Treat time. I don't think it's available online anywhere, but if you have an old copy lying around, watch it for me!

Guillermo del Toro's works - Pan's Labyrinth is a given, but have you seen The Orphanage and The Devil's Backbone? Both are, much like PL, a powerful combination of terrifying and sad, but Orphanage is the more depressing of the two.

A Tale of Two Sisters and Lake Mungo - The former is a Korean thriller, and the latter is an Australian mockumentary. Both are ultimately more sad than scary, but both are great examples of using the lull in the action to build tension. AToTS pulls off some great scary moments with an almost J-horror aesthetic, except they're more affecting to me than J-horror because of the sparsity. Mungo, meanwhile, uses the entire movie to build tension, leading up to one reveal at the end that left me unsettled for the rest of the day.


Non-movie recs:

The Dionaea House - A technological horror story. Check it out here - the door is open!

Smoke and Mirrors by Tanya Huff - the second and strongest book of Huff's Smoke trilogy, and though knowledge of the first book helps, if you don't mind spoilers, prior knowledge is not required for the main plot. The best thing about these books is the hysterical protagonist, Tony, and the narrative has a lot of his personality despite being in third person. The haunted house here is a great one, though, and once you get to the creepy parts, you might have to stay up all night to get to the end.

Ghost Hunt and Mononoke - My favorite horror anime. The latter is just incredibly inventive while at the same time being the most Japanese thing ever, and GH is fun, cute, and has a great group dynamic. GH has several different arcs, and the levels of creepiness vary, but the only one that crosses the line into terrifying is the "Bloodstained Labyrinth" arc.


So there you have it! You can pick your poison depending on your tolerance. Sooo... got any recs for me? :D
sarashina: (Default)
I will have to do a real write-up at some point, but I am completely dead right now. My feet are in agony even though I'm lying down (should have worn shoes with better support!) and I was feeling very woozy until I had a protein shake. But I concluded a hectic and incredibly social week with the Stewart/Colbert rally, and I'm so glad I was among the 250,000+ people there.

LIST FORMAT:

- I went with a few Embassy coworkers and we got ourselves a decent spot. I could see the stage if I jumped up and down, and I was able to see the TV screens most of the time. I almost lost my spot (and my friends) when I had to find a bathroom, but I got back to them despite some very pissed-off people who didn't want to let me past.

- The guest stars! OMG! I had several joy-related aneurysms: the first was, of course, when Adam and Jaime, aka the Mythbusters, showed up to warm up the crowd. The next one was when Sam Waterson aka JACK FREAKING MCCOY read Colbert's masterpiece poem about all the things we should be afraid of. And then when the poem concluded with the Law and Order CHUNG CHUNG, I shrieked. By the time the former Cat Stevens (now known as Yusuf Islam) showed up, I was in heaven.

- All the different bits were great. Loved the crack about how there were "at least ten million" people there, Stephen's Chilean miners entrance, the epic debate with Fearzilla (and John Oliver's part was hysterical), and generally all of it.

- John and Stephen also presented the Reasonableness and Fear awards. Reasonableness awards went to people like a woman who was critical but extremely respectful to Obama at a town hall meeting, and the "And I was like, dude, you have no Koran" guy. Stephen's Fear awards went to Anderson Cooper's tiny black T-shirt of disaster and Mark Zuckerberg.

- I wouldn't say the crowd was equal parts liberal and conservative, but there was a mix for sure. And the humor was political but not partisan. I don't think Jon and Stephen made fun of any politicians: their key aim was to satirize the media for overblowing fears and exaggerating our differences, which, I think, is something almost everyone can agree on. Except the media.

- Jon's final speech was sincere and really lovely: I think he's right that a not-insignificant amount of regular people are willing to work together, and do so every day in their own ways. I hope that's something people take to heart. ♥

- Oh, by the way, best costume was four lovely ladies showing everyone what "Muslim garb" looked like: they were in Ninja Turtles outfits with matching hijab. It was freaking awesome.

In conclusion: dude, you have no Koran.
sarashina: (Default)
I AM ON LJ AT WORK. GASP. That should tell you how quiet it is around here.

But anyway. Let's have some writing fun, shall we?

If you're reading this post, leave a prompt - it can be as specific or vague as you like. I will choose at least one and write a little Halloween story! ♥
sarashina: (Default)
Good evening, flist! How are you tonight? I am laying around after a delicious Ma Po Tofu dinner and watching Hawaii Five-0 in order to ogle Daniel Dae Kim. Mmmmm, Jin.

OH HI THERE MASI OKA, WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE. ♥

Anyway! We are heading into one of my favorite times of year - the holiday season! The weekend after next should be fun, what with the Halloween potluck at work on the 29th, Jon Stewart's rally on the 30th, and I plan to have a quiet Halloween with a couple movies and perhaps a teeny pumpkin. It's not going to be as much fun without Sarah and Miranda, but I'll make do.

But then after that! Much more fun things begin. I'm talking, of course, about NaNo and Yuletide.

As per usual, I will be using NaNo as an excuse to step up my productivity, since I'm already working on a book. I did a full outline of Hungry Ground while stuck on lunch receptionist duty yesterday, and it looks like it's going to be 17 or 18 chapters, and I want to see if I can't get two or three done in November.

(I also usually use this time to work on holiday drabble requests, but between the book, Yuletide, and the new job, I definitely won't get those done this year. I will, however, be able to do holiday cards more efficiently, since I spend a lot of time at work sitting on my butt waiting for my diplomats to need something.)

And then, of course, there is Yuletide. Yuletide babble! )

And now we return to your regularly scheduled Daniel Dae Kim. Have a good night! ♥

WHEE.

Oct. 13th, 2010 08:17 pm
sarashina: (Default)
Yuletide has come! And my nominated fandoms are:

Mushishi
Natsume Yuujinchou
The Thief of Eddis books
Prince of Persia 2008
Justified
and How to Train Your Dragon!

Quite a mix I've got here. A couple mainstays and a couple new fandoms! And thankfully none of them have that many fics on AO3, since they would be disqualified under the new arbitrary rule if they did. SIGH. Oh well. I always look forward to Yuletide, and I'm not going to let anyone ruin it - even if I have to ignore the comm for everything except deadlines!

Oh, but one more complaint: people are actually nominating things like Inception, Sherlock, and Supernatural? SERIOUSLY, GUYS? Would you like me to explain this to you? And l-lol, someone nominated Due South. I'm pretty sure the massive fandom's got you covered, dude. But if you want, I can arrange the first annual ADHFKS NO REALLY WHAT IS THIS SHOW Fic Exchange.

I was, however, very happy to see that people were ahead of me in nominating Slings and Arrows, the Smoke books, Onmyouji, and other such fantabulous things. It's going to be hard to decide what I want to request!
sarashina: (Default)
So the long weekend is over. SOB. I have three more days of double-workload to get through before the senior assistant returns and saves my life, so I have to gear up for that. But at the very least, my weekend was very relaxing. I got writing done! And I bought a new sweater! Aaaand I mainlined lots and lots of due South. I am now finished with season two. I wish I could say it was because I am celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving, but it would be a lie.

So watch me try and pull together some coherent, non-spoilery thoughts.

- ashgfjskls NO SERIOUSLY WHAT IS THIS SHOW no wait I said coherent, sorry.

- I am still trying to figure out why I keep watching this cracktastic 90's television show. PERHAPS BECAUSE IT HAS STOLEN MY HEART. That might have something to do with it.

- I am so deeply in love with Paul Gross' line delivery it hurts me. I was in love when I watched Slings and Arrows, and I am ten times more in love now. "I'M ON FIRE :D"

- ahsfnsk SPONTANEOUS MUSICAL NUMBER WHAT. I am still shrieking.

- So as hilarious as it is that the showrunners/actors/so on decided to start playing with the HoYay from season three onwards, I am sort of like... guys? What were you doing up until then? (*~BETTER TOGETHER THAN APART~*, oh my gosh y'all) I haven't even gotten to the pairing that 90% of the fandom seems to ship!

- Despite the hilarity, this show occasionally pounds on my embarrassment squick with a hammer. And then sometimes it's hilarious and pounds on my embarrassment squick at the same time. In which case I end up laughing hysterically with my face buried in a pillow.

- OKAY ACTUAL DEEP THOUGHTS: I am consistently really intrigued by the way they portray relationships on the show. I love how, even though the show itself is very much a fairy tale, the fairy tale-esque notions of romance get subverted to hell and back. Power balance (or lack thereof) is a huge narrative kink of mine, so it's interesting to me that relationships on the show don't survive without the right amount of give and take.

- Okay deep thoughts over: some of these cast members are distractingly pretty, my goodness. ♥

- If I keep going, I feel like this post is going to devolve into random quotes and keyboard-smashing. I am also ogling the complete set on Amazon for $40, but I have to make sure I like the second half of the series as much. We shall see when the next disc arrives!


Also, if you didn't see it before, the Original Fiction Drabble-thon is full of prompts! I mostly worked on Hungry Ground this weekend, but I plan on filling some soon. Join me, won't you? ♥

October 2013

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