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Mostly because I've been writing, and when I do blog it's over at my author site. But if you'd like to see my take on the whole Diana Gabaldon vs. fanfiction kerfluffle, you can head over here.
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Actually, this post has nothing to do with that. Or maybe it does on some quantum level, but since I'm not a physicist I can't really tell for sure.

I find it sort of funny that today I got reviews for two of my WIPs that I haven't updated in awhile...when I'm actually in the midst of writing updates for both of them. So for once those little "update soon" pleas won't be in vain. The Terminator fic update will probably go up tonight, and Refugees should follow in a few days. Not saying I've kicked writer's block to the curb, but I'm sort of forcing my way through it. I just try to tell myself that even 500 words is 500 more than I would have if I did nothing, and so far, so good. Slow progress is better than none at all.

Total non sequitur:

I should probably not bother reading reviews of No Return on Amazon, because if there's one thing I've learned it's that people on Amazon are nasty (and no, it's not just me being thin-skinned -- I've seen pro writers leave comments on various blogs that they don't bother looking at the reviews over there anymore because people on Amazon suck major ass). However, I can't resist making this comment for the latest person to crap on my book (and it's still got four stars, so I guess I shouldn't be too worried about the whole thing):

Dear bitch-tastic reviewer:

If, according to you, what makes the story of the Phantom of the Opera is the Opera house, the Parisian setting, the whole gothic Bel Age vibe, then WHY THE HELL DID YOU BUY A BOOK THAT IS CLEARLY LABELED AS A "CONTEMPORARY" PHANTOM STORY???!

Talk about setting yourself up for disappointment, dipshit.

No love,

Moi

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Looks like she took all her stories down. I don't know whether it's because I reported her to ff.n, or whether the gals at [livejournal.com profile] stop_plagiarism got all up in her business or what, but I guess it doesn't matter at this point.

In a way I'm kind of sad, just because I realized at dinner last night that not only was she plagiarizing, she was also violating copyright, since POTO is in the public domain and No Return has been formally published (ISBN and everything!). It would have been sort of fun to threaten her with legal action, but alas, chérie, it was not to be. :-P

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...never ceases to amaze me.

Thanks to Tytania Strange on fanfiction.net and [livejournal.com profile] evendia here at LJ, I found out today that some twit on ff.n has lifted whole sections out of No Return and has pasted them into her own fic. To my knowledge, this is the first time I've ever been plagiarized. At first I was sort of grimly amused, simply because I looked at the story in question, and (to me, at least) it's painfully obvious which sections aren't her own, since her writing is, shall we say, somewhat unpolished. Looking at those bits and pieces of my own work grafted onto her clumsy prose brought to mind an awkward attempt at grafting a ballerina's hands and feet onto a construction worker. The result isn't very pretty.

However, the more I think about it, the angrier I get. You know, those are MY words she took -- sentences and paragraphs I sweated over. And reviewer, when you said, "I loved your description of the white roses with the red rose look like it waiting for a kiss. Very descriptive and a lovely vision," those are my words you're praising, not this thieving brat who stole them and hoped no one would notice.

Well, people have noticed. She's already been reported to [livejournal.com profile] stop_plagiarism . I'm waiting to hear back from them, because it always helps to have experts at your side in situations like this, but if I don't hear anything this afternoon, then I'm going to start my own campaign against this annoying bint. To quote Wyatt Earp:

"I'm coming...AND HELL'S COMING WITH ME!"

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Don't fuck with the Grand Admiral.

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...6,500 words!

Maybe it's writing as therapy. Who knows? Who cares, at this point?

Erik and I went to see Terminator Salvation on Friday night. While I had a few issues with how some things were handled, overall I enjoyed it very much. I also came home with a raging plotbunny that wouldn't leave me alone. Since I'd already planned to spend most of the weekend avoiding Erik's family, I figured this was a good time to get writing. Frankly, I didn't want to have what happened with Star Trek happen again -- I had what I thought was a great idea but waffled around, thinking, 'Oh, I should read the novelization first," and didn't do anything about it. Then I find out someone's already started writing a fic with the same basic idea. While I know our stories probably would have been very different, I didn't want people thinking that I had ripped off someone else plot idea (it would have gotten a bit tedious to keep dragging my husband in as a character witness to vouch for the fact that I'd discussed the idea with him over dinner right after we saw the movie for the first time). So anyway, long story short, I sat my ass down in the chair and got writing. I think 6,500 words in two days is pretty good (especially for me, since my output has been rather, erm...spotty...lately).

I wrote the story as a standalone, but there's certainly room to go on with it. I'll probably just wait to see how it's received. Here's the link, if anyone's curious:

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5085862/1/

But for now, it's probably time to go to bed. :-o

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OK, I know some people had some issues with it, but I absolutely loved, loved, LOVED the new Star Trek.

No spoilers here, so don't worry.

Much ink has already been spilled on the topic, but IMHO I think the casting was stellar, the character interactions wonderful, and the story compelling. All right, there is probably some stuff there the diehards can nitpick, if that's what gives them fluffy bunnies. I have been a fan of ST going way back, and I thought the movie was respectful of the characters while placing them in a situation that will allow them to grow and develop in a fresh direction for a new generation of fans.

We saw it opening night and loved it so much that we managed to slip in another viewing on Sunday afternoon after all our Mother's Day responsibilities were taken care of. I can't even remember the last time I went to see a movie two times during its opening weekend.

And of course now I have Spock story plotbunnies chewing at my brain, but I have GOT to finish some of the other stuff I'm working on first. This is where I wish I were independently wealthy so I could just sit around and write fanfic all day. :-P
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I'm going to blather about writing and fanfiction, so I think I'll put the rest of this behind a cut so as not to inundate the good people on my f-list who don't really care. :-P

Lightbulb moment! )

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I know a couple of you asked about this, so here's the link to all the voting info, etc. for the SS/HG awards. The Quality of Mercy is nominated for Best Drama and Best Action/Adventure, and I was nominated for Best Author.

In other news, we have totally psychotic parrots swarming around my house. I felt like I was re-enacting a scene from The Birds when I walked to work this morning.

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My mother is now out of the hospital, but she has been moved from her apartment in her retirement community to the wing where people need 24/7 care. I can see why that was necessary, but it's definitely not a good sign. At this point all I can do is thank God that at least she is in a financial position (thanks to my brother, who is the trustee of her estate) to be able to afford all this specialized care. He's going to follow up on Tuesday with the staff at Regent's Point to see if they think she's OK to go down to Thanksgiving at my sister's house. We might have to get her a wheelchair. Luckily, Gunther has a big trunk.

After seeing a post in [livejournal.com profile] harmony_bites' journal about the Stocking Stuffer Author Auction on the Support Stacie LJ community, I decided to sign up. Basically, fanfic authors sign up to have people bid on getting a holiday-themed story written just for them (each author lists the fandom(s) he or she is willing to write in). This is all to raise money for Stacie's chemotherapy. It sounded like a great cause and a lot of fun. I know money is tight, but if you've got any extra and would like to put it to good use (and get a story written just for you), I urge you to visit the comm for more info.

Finally, in the "I got no words" category, there is, well...this. I'll admit I laughed my ass off, but you might not want to click the link if you squeam easily,

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I have a question for you fanfic readers (and writers) out there. I've been brooding over this fic I want to write, and although the muse hasn't quite granted me the grace to get it out of my brain and into a Word document, at least it's percolating. Although this fic will be on a smaller scale than Quality of Mercy (thank God), it still is going to have an antagonist, and that antagonist is someone quite a few people tend to fangirl over. I hope people will trust me to not make that antagonist a cardboard villain, but I'm sure his characterization will still upset some people. Does this sort of thing turn you off from reading a fic? Or do you let the author tell her story and try to keep your personal feelings out of the matter?

Just wondering how much hate mail I'm going to get in my inbox. :-P

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Mostly because while I have a bunch of crap going on, I just can't articulate it in writing right now. I'm hoping by the end of the week I have some stuff in my life straightened out, because if I don't, I'm either going to kill somebody, end up heavily medicated, or be jobless. Possibly all three.

Anyway.

MEME!

Give me one of my own stories, and a time stamp sometime in the future after the end of the story, or sometime in the past before the story started, and I'll write you at least a hundred words of what happened then, whether it's five minutes before the story started or ten years in the future.

All of my fanfic is here, in case you need a refresher. This also applies to my original stuff, for those of you who might have read any of that. :-)
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Well, I went ahead and made my writing journal. It's [profile] grandadmiralv. (I figured I might as well resurrect that username.) Just posted the first chapter of Dust of Empire to a couple of SW fanfic comms. I'm not expecting much of a response, since I have no idea how active SW fanfic even is these days (especially stuff that's not NJO or prequel Anakin AUs or whatever), but what the hell. If nothing else, it gave me the opportunity to set up another journal, although I have a feeling the Plus account isn't going to last very long. I had no idea how goddamn annoying those ads were until I had to deal with them over there. Blecch.

Oh, and check out this bit of silliness, courtesy of [personal profile] renitaleandra. Hours of fun for the whole family!

Holy crap

Apr. 27th, 2008 07:48 pm
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I think it's a new record: 4,800 words in five hours. Don't ask me where that came from, as I was feeling blocky once more and then...boom!

So yeah, Quality of Mercy has been updated. I thought I'd write half today and the rest some time during the week, but somehow it all came pouring out this afternoon. Have no idea whether it's any good, but at least the chapter is done.

Now I can cheerfully have steak and cabernet. Yum.
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...what the fuck.

I went ahead and posted my new story. I'll probably get a puny amount of reviews, considering the main canon character is so peripheral he's practically an OC anyway, but what the hell. Maybe there's someone else out there who's sick of the endless Anakin/Padmé AUs and other prequel stuff and is looking for some old-school Star Wars. I know that's what I'd be searching for if I read fanfic instead of only writing it. :-P

It just felt good to actually finish a chapter after this drought I've been going through.
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Wow...I actually wrote 3,300 words yesterday. Not for Quality, alas, but getting that much out in a day when you haven't written anything for two months is such a relief.

I actually had sort of an insight about the whole writing thing last night...or at least the fanfic aspect of it. Now, I love reviews. Love, love, love them (except for the wtf?? sort like the one where this gal left a dissertation on Fett's "real" family in the EU novels or whatever instead of making one comment on the actual content of Mandalore's Son. Guess she missed the whole "I know this is AU" bit in the author's notes). However, when I feel as if I'm writing for an audience, I start putting pressure on myself. I start worrying if more than a week passes between updates. It's ridiculous, because as much as I like to keep my readers happy, it's not as if they're paying me for this stuff. It's not as if I have any true deadlines except the self-imposed ones in my head. However, when I miss one of those "deadlines" (for whatever reason), then I begin to beat myself up mentally for blowing it, and then I get all clenched, and it gets harder and harder to write. Of course, having major rations of shit dumped on me, like struggling through the crap of early pregnancy only to miscarry after all that misery, really doesn't help.

When I finished my last couple of fics before starting on Quality of Mercy, I told myself I wouldn't write more than one at a time because the load just got too heavy. However, I'm thinking now that was probably a mistake. At least when I'm writing two stories at once, if I get blocked on one I can switch over to the other or vice versa. And if it takes me two or three weeks or even a month to update, that's OK, too. This is just a hobby, after all, and though I don't have kids I do work full time and have a house and a husband to take care of (not to mention trying to have a social life on the weekends in between doing all the damn laundry). It's certainly not as if I'm lying around all day thinking, Oh, woe is me, I need to write but can't!

So I guess the moral of the story is that I need to be a little less hard on myself.

And you know what? Writing that 3K for my silly Star Wars story yesterday was fun! I'd almost forgotten what that felt like.
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I just got an email from the webmistress at Sycophant Hex letting me know I was now a validated author and will no longer have to worry about my submissions languishing in the queue for endless days while they look for boo-boos. This is a nice feeling, because I always felt bad about that lag time at SH. If people were reading my stories there, they'd be getting the updates at least a week after the latest chapter had already been posted on ff.n or Fiction Alley. The bummer is that I guess there's a computer glitch with Ashwinder (the Hermione/Snape archive), so those stories will still go to the queue, but I've been assured they'll be uploaded as soon as an admin sees them and realizes they don't have to be proofread.

A minor victory, but these days I'll take what I can get. ;-)
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"Moral indignation:
jealousy with a halo."

--H.G. Wells

How did that come up? Following more fun hijinks on Fandom Wank, this time about a certain gentleman named Lee Goldberg who apparently thinks fanfic writers are Satan, or at least on the same level as muggers and rapists. Step this way for the wank!

He went into vitriol-spewing mode after discovering OTW, whose birth I sort of witnessed here on LJ but whose organizers seem to have come down with a mild case of the batshit crazies (guess that sort of thing is contagious). The whole thing arose after the great Strikethrough Debacle here at LJ, paired with some hatred of FanLib.com and its ohnoes! mercenary bent. (I think FanLib sucks and don't post there, but that's just me.) At first people were simply talking about coming up with a large, multi-fandom archive with the great technical features of ff.n without all the asshattery and serial systems failures. I thought that was a great idea. However...

...now it seems almost as if the founders of OTW want to say that fanfiction and fanfic writers have equal rights when it comes to copyright, etc., basing their whole argument on the idea that fic (and fanvids and fanart) are transformative rather than derivative in nature. Not only do I not agree with that position (yes, fanfic, art, etc. may transform certain events, characters, and what-have-you, but at bottom it still has been derived from a source work), but I also think the gals at OTW (who claim that fandom is mostly female and feminist...guess that writes off all the guys I knew at theforce.net who write Star Wars fics) might as well have painted a bulls-eye on fanfic writers. We get ignored because (with a few notable exceptions, who were quickly stomped on) we know the rules. We don't try to make a profit off our work. We give credit to the original creators of the novel/film/TV series/anime our fics are based on. But if we try to claim that we have an equal footing with the creators of those work...well, then, I can see that opening a nasty can of sand worms.

I love writing fanfic (obviously). It allows me to explore ideas and concepts the original writers either never got around to or which are simply too "out there" in terms of how the characters were visualized by their creators to have ever been written by those authors. I know I've learned a lot about writing during the past three and a half years, which is about how long I've been writing fics (except for Dust of Empire, which was started many years earlier but abandoned for a goodly span of time). I think it's a valid form of writing -- at least the thoughtful, well-researched stories that help to expand the authors'/creators' original worlds. Derivative literature, whether it's Wide Sargasso Sea, Wicked, or 'Til We Have Faces, is accepted in literary circles...as long as it's based on work that's out of copyright. So do people like Lee Goldberg only hate fanfiction simply because it's a threat to copyright, and not because it lacks artistic merit? To hear him argue it, he'd say he hates it for both reasons. But I get the impression it's more because he's afraid it might hit him where it hurts, in the wallet (he writes tie-in novels for TV series such as Monk). I guess what he does is all right because even though it's derivative, he has a contract from the studio to do so. Following that line of thought, I guess he'd hate Dust of Empire up until the moment Lucasfilm Ltd. decided to license it. :-P

I don't know where all this is going to end up. Part of me is really hoping that OTW dies on the vine, because I could see that organization stirring up a shit-ton of trouble for those of us who are in it just for fun. But even if the whole sorry mess results in lawsuits and crackdowns on fic archives, I won't stop writing my stories, even if they end up being just for me (well, me and anyone who wants me to email the updates to them). It would be a sad day, though, and I hope it never comes.
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...'cause every time I say I need to stop writing fanfiction, or at least limit myself to no more than one at a time, guess what? Yeah, I go start another bloody one. Sigh.

This time I feel like a jerk, though, because after polling people and saying I was going to write that Gorendil fic next...what do I do? Start my next Snape story, of course! Sorry, the guy's in my blood. Maybe it's just a reaction to the way JKR killed him off. Maybe my subconscious is saying, "Oh, yeah? Well, I'm going to resurrect him! And just for good measure, I'm going to kill off Ron and have Snape end up shagging Hermione! What're you gonna do about that, bitch?"

It's funny, because it's certainly not a pairing I would normally think of writing. I think part of the reason it used to squick me out was that so many people had teacher/student sex stories, and I have serious issues with that. But if it's with Hermione in her early 20s and Snape in his early 40s...well, then, suddenly it doesn't seem to be such a big deal. After all, I was in a long-term (five years) relationship with someone 23 years older than I. If nothing else, I'm probably more qualified to deal with the ramifications of such an age difference than the fangirls who usually write HG/SS.

See, if I could get wonderful reviews for my original fic instead of rejection letters, maybe I'd feel a little bit more hyped about it....
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Well, I'm at the tail end of two of my fics -- after I post the next update to [Poll #960331][Poll #960331]
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You know you've spent way too much time reading people's rants about slash on fanficrants when you see someone driving a work truck with the company name "Manhole Adjusters" on the driver-side door, and your mind immediately goes to the Bad Place. :-o

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