chordatesrock: TP Link riding Epona, sword drawn (Default)
I've been looking at an interesting blog and I was considering linking to all the interesting articles I found on it, until I realized that would basically involve indexing the entire blog here. How about I just link to the blog instead. Go read Thing of Things, because everything over there is interesting, even if not all of it is necessarily correct.
chordatesrock: Serious-looking Azula with flames (Azula)
So I've been asked to talk about Japanese folklore for the December posting meme. I'm pretty sure I know why, since I mentioned knowing something about Japanese and European fairy tales and such things for the friending meme that's been going on.

Well, I had an idea for what to say, but I wanted to go looking for the sort of information that I have about medieval Europe, but about Japan-- worldbuilding information, not so much names and dates and things.

Several hours down the rabbit hole, I find this gem of a quote (emphasis mine):

The whole inner end of the dwelling seems to be the kitchen -- a woman's area. Weaving apparently was done in the middle of the floor across the whole center of the dwelling -- again, a woman's area. And the weaving tools were stored in the corner by the entranceway -- another woman's area. That leaves just a bit of the left side of the dwelling, when entering, for the males. Sleeping is thought to have taken place near the left and right walls, behind the posts. But there is no clear evidence that this sexual and activity division actually existed.


*facepalms forever*
chordatesrock: TP Link riding Epona, sword drawn (Default)
If you complain about wanting to read something that no one has yet written, you should write it yourself-- or so the advice goes. I used to believe this wholeheartedly. Now I believe it only with some reservation.

I've been writing it myself for nearly everything I want to read for a while now.

Basically, I'm too lazy to want to do that. )
chordatesrock: TP Link riding Epona, sword drawn (Default)
It took me until now to notice that only one character has a complete emotional arc. *facepalm* That's very basic and it's odd that I didn't notice until just now, but... yeah.
chordatesrock: TP Link riding Epona, sword drawn (Default)
Taking this meme from quite a lot of people on my flist, but not promising that I'll definitely keep up with it or keep to a schedule:

Give me a topic and a day in December and hope to see a post from me on that day about that topic.

schedule is under the cut )
chordatesrock: TP Link riding Epona, sword drawn (Default)
I'm still working on doubling the wordcount on that deeply-flawed fic and studying the other side of editing, the opposite of what "kill your darlings"-style violent rhetoric and exhortations to ruthlessly pare away the manuscript down to the bare bones would have you believe is the only sort of editing there is.

And it's amazing how much belonged on the page and never made it. I've been looking over the list of changes I meant to make (and ran out of time for), and [personal profile] ljlee's comments on the fic, and thinking about all the little ideas I had in the worldbuilding that I never got around to explicitly mentioning... and it's really amazing how much it's possible to add. I would never have thought to add one of these scenes, ever, if I hadn't been trying to add words wherever possible. But it's not a bad scene; it might require some reworking of a later scene, because now instead of being a self-contained character arc, that scene only has to carry the end of the character arc.

It's also surprising how much less stupid characters get when you lay out their reasoning.

So here are some thoughts on adding things:
-You can add what your POV character is thinking any time you want. Sometimes that's helpful, sometimes not.
-Characters can assess a situation without dragging the pace down as long as the assessment isn't too long and isn't boring and isn't too completely obvious.
-Add details! There's always room for a detail or two somewhere in a scene. At least if your scenes are as spare as mine.
-You can have a character think or say "and by the way, offscreen we did this thing"... or you can have it happen on-screen. If it's an important revelation, maybe instead of a surprise revelation mentioned only in passing, it can be part of the plot all along, and shown from the beginning.

Anyway, I'm still working on this and not very far along yet, but these are my thoughts so far.
chordatesrock: TP Link riding Epona, sword drawn (Default)
Not wrong, but backwards. It took me a while to see this, precisely because it isn't wrong. People do get dealt different hands in life.

Privilege says some people get given more. And that's... not wrong.

But look at privilege checklists. Look at privilege checklists like a privilege-denier, just for a moment. Don't try to see what they really mean, see what they say. Don't be charitable, because in being charitable you'll just plaster over the problems like you probably always do.

Don't confuse decentering privilege with decentering privileged people. )
chordatesrock: TP Link riding Epona, sword drawn (Default)
So I've been thinking about editing and style and how to tell stories and things like that. Not so much what stories to tell or what shape they should take, but how to tell them. What to put in and what to leave out.

In which I'm longwinded about not being longwinded enough )

I think I may just go back to TWML, see if I can double the wordcount, and see what I learn from doing that. Maybe I'll learn something I can pass on; maybe I'll have fun; maybe I'll do nothing even slightly useful.

That would be... another 25,982 words, bringing it up to 51,964.Hey, if I do it before December, it'd almost be like doing NaNoWriMo. :P Anyway, if I learn anything interesting, I'll write about it here.
chordatesrock: TP Link riding Epona, sword drawn (Default)
Title: Going Back
Fandom: Jak and Daxter
Summary: Canon-compliant this time. Spoilers for the end of the second act of Jak II; immediately follows the first mission of the third act. Going back to the Fortress is not without its effects on Jak.
Notes: I've gone back and forth on what I think of this fic and whether to post it, and finally decided to go ahead with it. Yes, this is That Fic. This is also one of those fics where the resolution of a major issue was dictated by canon and not by What I Think Is Best For Stories. But I've decided I like it, you might like it, who knows what it might mean to someone, and anyway I haven't posted anything J&D in a while. Choose not to warn.
Disclaimers: I do not own Jak and Daxter. The following is a work of fiction.

I guess this counts as h/c? )
chordatesrock: TP Link riding Epona, sword drawn (Default)
(Consider reading Meditations on Moloch if you're going into this with the idea that the world is a nice place or that humanity is not in need of a savior. It's not actually religious writing, despite the name.)

Vaguely related to the linked post, God is the opposite of bad karma. )
chordatesrock: TP Link riding Epona, sword drawn (Default)
So someone reminded me of eat shit & die strip #233, which is an amazing comic.

Description for those who can't see it at the link: a bunch of colorful balloons soar over a verdant landscape. Their tethers are not attached to the ground, but goblins hold them to fly around and above their cliffside city. One goblin has a mohawk and is building a black somethingorother and scowling, and is ignoring another goblin, who says "I don't get you, man. You spend as much time as anyone building your stories. You put in all this effort and care. I mean, do you even know what we're supposed to be doing? Stories are supposed to lift people up! They're supposed to be bright and fun! These things that you make..." [we see scary-looking black and blue spider-balloons] "I'm just curious, do you have any idea what you're doing? Are you crazy?" Ignoring the questions, Mohawk Dude pulls a lever. The black story-balloon goes right over the cliff; the other goblin calls him crazy. We see the balloon descend to the dark mire around the base of the cliffs, where we see the outstretched hands of people drowning in muck. One grabs the chain of the black balloon and it lifts him up out of the muck.

It's a beautiful comic.

And it got me thinking about what I like to read (and write).

This post ends up talking about hurt/comfort, trauma in fiction, That Post and That Fic, though you don't need to know what I mean by That Post or That Fic to understand this post. )
chordatesrock: TP Link riding Epona, sword drawn (Default)
I was talking about the archaic language used in hymns and religious texts and rituals, and realized it might be interesting to translate some archaic English carols into more modern, more comprehensible English for the benefit of anyone who doesn't know what hark means or thinks a host of angels is an angel who welcomes visitors. Which is probably a lot of people. If this proves useful, feel free to pass it around. I'm not the writer of the original songs, or anything like that. You can find the real lyrics on the internet for all of these.

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing )


Silent Night )


Angels We Have Heard On High )


God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen )


We Three Kings )
chordatesrock: TP Link riding Epona, sword drawn (Default)
Full disclosure: I haven't read most of this series, so I probably don't know enough for my opinions to carry weight.

But from what I've read, in the Young Wizards series, if a wizard discovers a problem, fixing that problem is automatically the responsibility of the wizard who discovered it. I'm going to cover two things in this essay: why such a system would arise and be supported, and what's wrong with it.

Nothing is ever somebody else's problem. )

So what's wrong with it?

Maybe it works better in a magical universe where all problem-discovering people are protagonists. )
chordatesrock: TP Link riding Epona, sword drawn (Default)
Dear everyone,

Please don't get upset about other people's pain. It sounds like a lovely idea-- yay, empathy!-- but in practice, it leads to you getting desperate to fix everything and tricking people into agreeing to ill-considered treatment ideas.

Also, on that note, please consider never telling anyone to see a chiropractor for an actual injury (to something other than their back) if:
1. You know the chiropractor doesn't do anything but make people's spines curve more properly, and
2. The injury is somewhere that could be aggravated by, oh, say, dicking around with the injured person's spine, and
3. You were just hoping to trick them into allowing the chiropractor to fix unrelated problems.

Don't ever do that.

And on a less crabby note, everyone, don't go to a chiropractor and have them work on your back if your ribs are injured.

Sincerely,
A chordate with some life advice
chordatesrock: TP Link riding Epona, sword drawn (Default)
The conclusion to my Frozen song translation meta series! Read the Frozen meta part 2 here. :D There will be spoilers. Obligatory disclaimer: I have varying degrees of understanding of the languages Frozen was translated into, and have relied to varying degrees on a combination of my own understanding, strangers' backtranslated subtitles on YouTube, and people I know and could convince to help. However: that didn't mean there was a native speaker of every language in Disney's regular translation lineup helping with the backtranslations, so something might've gone over my head somewhere. I can also confirm that there are conflicting sources for some of the lyrics and I couldn't always tell what the lyrics really were, but my major remaining area of confusion (a single line in Swedish) didn't figure into the meta at all.

Translating things perfectly into every language is impossible, but it can't be helped. Guess I'll just have to Let It Go. )

For The First Time In Forever, I’m adding to my Frozen translation meta series. )

Thank you for bearing with me through this long series and all of its terrible puns.
chordatesrock: TP Link riding Epona, sword drawn (Default)
So wrong I'm not going to link, but I am going to pick the unlinked-to article apart piece by inaccurate piece.

spoilers for the movie )
chordatesrock: TP Link riding Epona, sword drawn (Default)
ETA: I'm not saying that only veterans can have PTSD and I'm not trying to say that anyone isn't traumatized enough or anything like that.

Can we please stop having two different definitions of the term PTSD in common use?

The definitions in use seem to be:
1. A memory glitch in which a memory associated with fear and/or horror is not properly dealt with, causing it to come up vividly all the time, and sometimes this definition includes persistent dissociation.

2. A collection of loosely-related ways of thinking and acting that are adaptive in actively dangerous situations but maladaptive in some other situations, with none of the following strictly required but the more you're experiencing the more likely that someone will think you have PTSD: exaggerated startle response, general wariness taken to extremes, unwillingness to trust things that are mostly trustworthy, emotional numbing, nightmares, etc. Possibly having triggers will also contribute to people thinking you have PTSD.

This is really annoying because clarity, people! Clarity! )

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