hoursgoneby: (Hourglass)
Fandom Snowflake Challenge bannerDay 2

In your own space, share a book/song/movie/tv show/fanwork/etc that changed your life. Something that impacted on your consciousness in a way that left its mark on your soul. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

Star Trek. Definitely Star Trek (TOS) but there's one scene in particular that leaps to mind: in the episode Who Mourns for Adonais the communications console is down and Uhura has to rig a subspace bypass circuit to fix it. Not have it fixed, not call up an engineer to do it for her, but do it herself. And she does. By herself, without help, and without anyone trying to take it away from her or asking if she's tried *screamingly obvious thing* already and then insisting on trying it themselves before they believe it doesn't work. In fact, Spock compliments her - yes, Spock! It was probably the first time I'd seen a woman on television doing something with electronics/computers that wasn't typing - and not much of that because we're talking circa 1984 here, max. Uhura working with computers meant I could work with computers, no matter the social cues already saying they were 'boys only', although of course social pressure happened and life happened and I wasn't able to get into the IT field when I wanted to. But I can strip and rebuild a computer tower, upgrade parts, and troubleshoot most of my own problems and this past year I began to seriously learn to code with an eye towards freelance web development. All because of one character and one scene.

You can watch the scene in question here, time index 3:59.
hoursgoneby: (hourglass)
Oh, god, I honestly can't believe it's 2017 already. Thank whatever powers might exist that the clusterfuck of 2016 is over - and that's honestly all I want to say about the past year. Pretty sure most people agree with me.

But! Snowflake is back! :D This is honestly one of the highlights for the start of the year and I'm grateful to everyone who stepped up as a new mod because I really needed this. That's definitely not a criticism of [personal profile] akamine_chan and co-runners! I understand they've had a tough year, and I also get that if you don't have the spoons, you don't have the spoons and need to step back and engage in some self-care. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that and whoever tells you otherwise is lying. *hugs for you all*

Fandom Snowflake Challenge bannerDay 1

In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you have created. It can be your favorite fanworks that you've created, or fanworks you feel no one ever saw, or fanworks you say would define you as a creator. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

I'm still pleased with The Longest Night, a LoTR fanfic I wrote in 2015 for the International Fanworks Day challenge over on [livejournal.com profile] lotr_community. It came in 2nd place in the Tree and Flower Awards 2015 for Favorite Story Featuring a New Author, which was a most pleasant surprise!

Honesty, an SPN fanfic that I really need to remember to post on A03, is one I think I include in this challenge every year but it's one of my favorites. It's a drabble based around Dean and Future!Cas' conversation in the truck during 'The End'. Future!Cas breaks my heart, he truly does.

Through the Gates, a Goblin Emperor fanfic written for [livejournal.com profile] smallfandomfest Round 19 and based on the prompt 'It's not quite love, but it's not just duty, either.' It's about Maia and Csethiro's developing relationship, because I wanted to see more of that, dammit!

Calling Frequency, a Dead Space fanfic also written for [livejournal.com profile] smallfandomfest Round 19 and based on the prompt 'Trapped on Tau Volantis after the events of Dead Space 3, an injured Carver has to rely on Isaac for help.'. This one was challenging because a) I've only played DS3 single-player and thus only really know Carver through cut scenes and b) it's mostly dialogue and I had a hard time remembering to include actions and descriptions and not wind up with something that read like, as How Not to Write a Novel says, two disembodied brains in a jar having a conversation. But I succeeded!

For the curious, previous versions of this challenge are at the following links: 2016, 2015, 2014.
hoursgoneby: (Hourglass)
First things first, the work news is that I did find a job. It's working the phones in a call center - excuse me, contact center  - and I do not like it but it goes by quick and pays rather well, so there's that. Seeing as I was out of money, I can't complain too much. Also studying web development and WordPress development and hoping to maybe get some freelance work, along with trying for some freelance writing work but no one's biting yet. *sigh* Who signed me up for this 'being an adult' nonsense and what were they thinking?

What Am I Reading

What I Just Finished Reading:
Non-Stop Till Tokyo by K.J. Charles. A young woman threatened by theYakuza must go on the run and try to find a way to prove who the real culprit is. It's an early work and it shows, and while the idea is interesting I thought the overall plot felt a little too thin.

Charmed and Dangerous, edited by Jordan Castillo Price. It's an anthology of LGBT paranormal fiction, and overall quite good. A couple of stories fell below the bar but the rest I really enjoyed. (Yes, yes, there's a Whyborne & Griffin short in there, but it doesn't count because I'd already read it. Right?) Worth checking out, certainly.

Fallow (Whyborne & Griffin #8), by Jordan L. Hawk. Like most of the rest of the readership I'm going to start with this, just to get it off my chest: ugh, that cover. I know the author's thrilled with it, and I did think through whether I was just reacting because it was new or because I genuinely don't like it and...I genuinely don't like it. I liked the originals better. Anyway, now that's done...

Goodreads Summary: When a man from Griffin’s past murders a sorcerer, the situation grows even more dire. Once a simple farmer from Griffin’s hometown of Fallow, the assassin now bears a terrifying magical corruption, one whose nature even Whyborne can’t explain. To keep Griffin’s estranged mother safe, they must travel to a dying town in Kansas. But as drought withers the crops of Fallow, a sinister cult sinks its roots deep into the arid soil. And if the cult’s foul harvest isn’t stopped in time, Fallow will be only the first city to fall.

It's easy to overlook because Whyborne is generally more dramatic about things but Griffin has a much more screwed up past. That becomes even more apparent when we get to Fallow, which is a spiteful little place just overflowing with pettiness and homophobia. Yeah, fun. I'd raise an eyebrow at the museum letting Christine and Iskander go along on pretense of an archaeological expedition except that since Bloodline it's been made pretty clear that, in Widdershins, Whyborne's wishes are to be respected. Particularly after the events of Maelstrom. The book is ok, but it's not my favorite out of the series, or even the strongest of the 'away' novels. (That would be Necropolis.) The next book, Draakenwood, is out in 2017 and I'm definitely curious about that one since we've been getting hints about the nature of the Draakenwood since the first book but never gone in. In between, I think we're getting a short story about Persephone and Miss Parkhurst.

The Just City, by Jo Walton. The Greek gods Athena and Apollo create a city based on Plato's Republic and populate it with people drawn from different periods of time. I liked the concept, and I liked seeing how the city developed. The side plot with the robot workers was fascinating and I wish it had gotten more page time. But I found it hard to track what was going on because every single character's voice was the same, and no one really ever expressed any emotions. They were like that even before they got to the city or else I would see it as a result of trying to enforce conformity. As it is, it just read like flawed writing.

Blood of Elves, by Andrzej Sapkowski. Not enough Geralt. Too much Triss and Yennefer.

What I'm Reading Now: Just finished Blood of Elves before writing this so I haven't picked anything else up yet. Utopia, maybe?

What I'm Reading Next: Probably something I've read before. It makes it easier when you're reading between calls because you know you won't have an uninterrupted train of thought for more than a few minutes at best.
hoursgoneby: (Hourglass)
Fandom Snowflake Challenge bannerDay 11

In your own space, make a list of at least 3 things that you like about yourself. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

I had a chuckle when I saw this because I saw a career counselor this morning and we went over what I think I'm good at. So this is like a continuation of my day, and a little easier because I'm already in the mindset.

Alright, things I like about me:

  • I'm creative, even if I haven't exercisesd it as much recently as I would have liked - hence the goal set in Day 9.

  • I'm quite good at coming up with fixes for problems and improvements to processes very quickly. I've solved problems for employers they didn't know they had, and saved them hundreds of work hours with small changes, You're losing out, employers who don't call me back!

  • My hair.

  • Being able to cook.

hoursgoneby: (Hourglass)
Fandom Snowflake Challenge bannerOh, man, we're past the halfway point already? :(

Day 09

In your own space, set some goals for the coming year. They can be fannish or not, public or private. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

  • Get at least 2 more fanworks done than I did last year. I miss being creative.

  • Get some original fiction written. I actually did fairly well on that last year, coming in around 40k words in NaNo. The world isn't as developed as I'd like and the plot wasn't strong enough to hold an actual book together, but hey! 40k is nothing to sneeze at.

  • Learn to knit socks. I have a sock started, I just got distracted with dice bags. :P They're so easy! Plus, if I can knit socks I can knit stockings and I'd really like a pair or three of pretty, lacy, stockings.

  • Find a job. Easier said than done in a province with an unemployment rate hovering around 9%.

  • Meet or exceed my Goodreads 2016 challenge. Well on my way so far, but it's early days.

  • Get back into scale model building. We've got a workroom and an air booth set up, I really don't have any excuses!

  • Be better about commenting. [livejournal.com profile] just_ann_now linked me to this post on commenting and it made me feel much less nervous about leaving short comments. It's also got suggestions for things you can leave, which is great if you're like me and you go 'but what do I sayyyy!' before losing your nerve and clicking away, vowing to come back - really! Kudos are lovely to get too, mind, but sometimes I want to leave words.

hoursgoneby: (hourglass)
It's back, it's back! :D

Fandom Snowflake Challenge bannerDay 01

In your own space, talk about why you are doing the Fandom Snowflake Challenge? What drew you to it as a participant? What do you hope to accomplish by doing these challenges? Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

I first saw a reference to it in 2014, posted in the Site News over on Faerie. I was curious and checked it out, only to find interesting questions and challenges, and many, many, lovely people to be fannish with. :) I like the informal structure: do a challenge or don't, leave a link or don't, come back to a challenge later if you didn't feel like answering it right away. I like the push it gives to be creative, and to interact with other people. Especially this year, where I've been so busy and distracted with personal issues I haven't done nearly as much fannish stuff as I wanted. (New year, new beginning, maybe?)
hoursgoneby: (Hourglass)
What I Just Finished Reading: Ooh, this'll be a long one. We went to visit family for the hols and because I a) don't drive and b) don't care to watch endless marathons of either news or reality TV I spent a lot of time reading. I was also trying to reach my 50 book target for Goodreads this year but...I don't think that's going to happen in 2 days. Still, 5 or 6 shy of the goal isn't bad. Thank god for ereaders: I'd've had to pack a whole other bag for books otherwise.

Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera #1) by Jim Butcher: I don't dislike Jim Butcher's work by any means - I pretty much marathoned all 15 Dresden Files novels in a week not that long ago - but I suspect it'll take me a book or two to get into this series as well, as it did with Dresden Files. I enjoyed the book, certainly, but it felt unfinished. Not surprising, given that it's part of a series, but I can't help feeling that even with a series you should be able to read the individual books without feeling either unfinished or lost. I've still gone ahead and added the 2nd book to my library wishlist to remind me to borrow it when next I log in to borrow some things.

Pretty Polly and Whisper by Barbara Hambly: These two novellas are set in the world of Hambly's Darwath series (originally a trilogy, now encompassing five books and sadly out of print) and are available to purchase from Smashwords, where Hambly sells a number of short stories (Continuing Adventures) for her various series. I was edgy about reading Pretty Polly because I don't like it when bad things happen to animals in books and filmbut the titular cat winds up with a happy ending, to my relief.Whisper felt a little more awkward than Pretty Polly, as if it should have been larger and was cropped down to novella length. The reasons in-story make sense, but I would very much have liked a more intricate plot. The ending felt a little pat too but overall I liked it, though of the two Pretty Polly was my favoriate. It's been a while since I read anything mid-apocalyptic and longer since I read the Darwath series (puts on list) but I was surprised and pleased at how easy it was to drop back into the world.

The Kindred of Darkness by Barbara Hambly: I picked this to reread because I like to have long, continuous books to read when we're driving - well, he's driving, I'm being driven - or when I have long stretches of time to read. Plus, Lydia, Don Ysidro, and James - won't say no to reading about them! While I didn't think this was one of the stronger entries in the series when I first read it, on reread I like it better.

Widdershins, Threshold, and Stormhaven by Jordan L. Hawk, the first three books in the Whyborne & Griffin series: Widdershins is available free at Smashwords, and the link will take you there. Thanks so much to [livejournal.com profile] just_ann_now for letting me know! I bought Threshold and Stormhaven, and perforce another copy of Widdershins, in an omnibus edition right after finishing Widdershins and pretty much spent the last two days with my nose in my ereader. The first book is very reminiscent of Sarah Monette's Kyle Murchison Booth short stories - not a copy, mind, just the same feeling - but less dark. And with more sex. It moves away from that feeling in books 2 and 3. Threshold has a significant Lovecraftian feel, though with more readable prose, much more likeable main characters, and a genuinely weird and engrossing plot. Stormhaven was a little harder for me to read, as it deals with a Victorian/Edwardian mental asylum and I know enough of those (read: pretty much anything) that it would make me uncomfortable even if I wasn't often edgy about treatment of the mentally ill in fiction. It also delves deeper into Griffin's past in an asylum and how he was subjected to "gay 'cure' therapy", and sexual assault (by attendants and as part of said "therapy"). (He wasn't committed for being gay, and doesn't know who told the doctors, just to horrify us more.) You can skip those pages and still understand the book, however. It doesn't feel like something tossed in just for the sake of drama and a tragic backstory: Griffin is still affected by what he was subjected to - and it would be disingenuous to pretend horrific things wouldn't happen to a 19th century psychiatric patient even if he wasn't gay - and it does have an effect on his reactions through the books. Apart from that my only real complaints are that the sex scenes are a touch OOC, especially in the first book, and Whyborne's jealousy gets formulaic and grating by the third.

What I'm Currently Reading: Taking a break from short novels and novellas with Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentlemen Bastards #2) by Scott Lynch. Despite this being book 2 in a series, you could actually pick it up and understand it without having to read The Lies of Locke Lamora, especially with the way Lynch interweaves past events with the present events. (One scene with Father Chains is copied directly from Lies, in fact.) I'd still recommend reading Lies, because it's wonderful. :)

What I'm Reading Next: Whyborne & Griffin #4-6. :)
hoursgoneby: (Hourglass)
11. Genre – do you prefer certain genres of fic when you're writing? What kind do you tend to write most?

Well, apart from that one Musketeers PWP, and things I wrote as a teen that shall not be spoken of, everything so far seems to be gen and slice-of-life. Oh, and some comedy: I've got a Supernatural fic about preventing the breaking of a Seal that's definitely crackfic. Also under Supernatural, Once Around the Block is light comedy, I guess?

I used to have more ideas for larger, plottier things but it's been a bit hard to write these past few years. I'm going to see about increasing my medication - not a joke, I've been on antidepressants, and stable, for about four years now - and see if it helps. I was fine for a long time, but the whole unemployment thing and associated stresses is not helpful to, well, anything.
hoursgoneby: (Hourglass)
4. Do you have a "muse" character, that speaks to you more than others, or that tries to push their way in, even when the fic isn't about them? Who are they, and why did that character became your muse?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It depends on the fandom, what I'm writing, and how interested I am in it. I'll be honest, sometimes I've signed up for a challenge, gotten maybe two paragraphs in, and the interest or the idea has disappeared. I push through anyway because I think it can be a good habit to get into, especially if you're someone who has to write anything for work. You can't take say 'oh, I don't feel like it, I'll come back to it later' when you're writing a document that has a deadline.

Because I write, at least initially, stream-of-consciousness I'll sometimes get the one - or more! - of the characters acting or giving feedback in a way that changes the structure of the story, or even questions the plot! Last year's NaNo was like that: 5,000 words in I realized that the debate the protagonists were having was actually pointing out the problems with the overarching plot. That's good, in that I figured out the problems in advance, but bad because it meant I wasn't able to finish. And good again because it made me more likely to lay out a structure before beginning anything ambitious.

Most memorably, I was having a problem in something original I was writing, and decided to write out a scene between some incidental characters to help me sort it out.  Character A pretty much walked in, looked at Character B, and went "yes, I want them, please". They wound up being a couple, with their own set of adventures already crystallizing, while I was sitting there going "wait, what?"

I can't really say why one character will become a muse over another, or not at all. It does seem to be the characters that have the more complete presences that do so, though not always (see above). They're not always central but they are very strong.

And I'm still annoyed with one for getting songs stuck in my head.
hoursgoneby: (hourglass)
Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner
Day 5

In your own space, talk about your fannish origin story. How did you come to fandom, why did you choose your fannish name, do you have more than one secret identity? Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so

I started fandom young, when my mother sat me in front of Star Trek as a toddler, a reward I received in lieu of a nap if I behaved myself and the episode was appropriate. I was pretty much on my own until I met a fellow Star Trek fan in junior high, and from there, although in separate incidents, met other fans in my area and started hanging out and going to conventions. Online fandom came along when we got our first home internet connection when I was in late high school and I've been here ever since, although I do tend to lurk.

I've had a few identities over the years. The first I changed because the name I had was too long for whatever I was signing up for at the time. The next few I changed both because I was done with those fandoms and because I wanted to distance myself from that identity. (Do you want to remember and be associated with what you wrote when you were 16? I don't.) This one, Hours, was created not because I wanted to distance myself from an identity, necessarily, but because I found a link to my other LJ on a relative's computer and went 'oh god no'.

The name, Hours Gone By, comes from my favorite line from Blind Guardian's The Bard Song: Hours gone by/And I close my eyes. There's no real meaning behind it besides the fact that I like it and it always stands out in the song for me. But hey: call me Hours. :)


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Hours Gone By

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