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Happy Birthday! You add color and creativity and inspiration and joy to my life and those around you. You teach us so much, dear. I'm proud to know you and call you friend.

And now, there's a certain Potions master who is waiting to speak to you about a certain book you wrote ...


Via http://sauvage-art.deviantart.com/
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Gifts from afar!
Read more... )
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Home early from the Groom's birthday party at our local Mexican restaurant. Our friends really spoiled him. I had a dish called "Tamales Divorciadas" or something, which consisted of two "irreconcilable" tamales - one beef with green sauce, the other chicken drenched in mole.

Yesterday I saw the ear specialist. She determined I do indeed have BPPV, and she performed the Epley Maneuver three or four times on me until I was ready to puke. Let's hear it again for [livejournal.com profile] beffeysue, who totally called it!

Now I'm supposed to keep my head upright but not look up or down for an entire week. A week! I really don't have that kind of attention span, but she recommended against wearing a neck brace as a physical reminder, so really, when you think about it, it'll be her fault when I forget. No, not really. I'm doing well enough. And to my joy, when I got up this morning I had no vertigo. It's too soon to say we're done rehashing this boring topic. I just wanted to update you.

My beta life is plugging along. The next chapter in [livejournal.com profile] teddyradiator's o-fic, Her Minder, will involve Bondage Lite, followed (I'm told) by a chapter of Bondage Heavy. There are a few fanfic pieces in the hopper too. And then I really do have to clear the decks and write a good deal of my Promptfest piece.
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I have the last chapter of Lay Me Low, and you donnn't!

nyah nyah nyah
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Check out the beautiful cork board made for me by [livejournal.com profile] teddyradiator!

I've wanted one for years but the operational aspects seemed beyond me - that is to say, glue guns and I do not get along. This one is cooler than those others anyway, with its champagne corks peeking in between the regular ones. It fits on this shelf perfectly. I wonder how long I can get away with keeping it here before Groom needs to see the G-H shelf.

Thank you, Teddy!
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I enjoyed the inaugural [livejournal.com profile] sshg_promptfest so much, I probably spent more time reading than I should have, given that they still do expect me to work for a living and occasionally make dinner out there in the 3-D world.

My entry was called Hyperbole, which was based on a delightful prompt put up by [livejournal.com profile] tophoenix. I had a great time writing it. I really got into the challenge of having two characters banter through means of letters sent across very long distances. I despaired of doing this right, so at one point I put everything on hold until I could acquire a used copy of 84 Charing Cross Road. Unfortunately, Frank the bookstore manager didn't banter. Remember? All the bantering was on Helene's end! Which makes it less like 'bantering' and more like 'oddly American attention-seeking behavior.' Oh well. It was back to square one on that front.

I'd like to express deep, borderline-creepy love for my alpha, [livejournal.com profile] teddyradiator, who subtly discouraged me from making the whole story take place in San Francisco. Thanks also to the wonderful and funny [livejournal.com profile] nagandsev, who must have thought I was drunk when I emailed her, but who puts up with me quite politely now. Finally, excellent work, [livejournal.com profile] iulia_linnea and Charlotte, moderators for this event. They stripped out all that was maddeningly time-consuming from the SSHG Exchange model, and came up with a more streamlined exchange. Still, they're going to run this twice a year? Very brave!
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Still having fun with the Infinite Looper website I mentioned last time. Tonight I put Chad Vangaalen's "Echo Train" on a loop. This song is already well-suited to being looped because the end is just like the beginning.

But don't watch the video. It's disturbing.

I have Thursday off, which is unusual. Will delve into Chapter 19 of Her Minder, [livejournal.com profile] teddyradiator's o-fic in the morning, take my father in-law to the doctor in the afternoon, then chauffeur my daughter and a couple of other string players to a gig at the Hyatt.

Tonight, we're finally watching "The Hobbit." Remember? A few months ago, we went to the midnight show of same, only to fall asleep and miss everything except Riddles in the Dark and most of the scenes featuring the hunky Thorin Oakenshield.
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 Check out my new fingerless gloves, made by [livejournal.com profile] teddyradiator!

teddys gloves
They are warm. And you can still text in them, which is awesome.

I requested Ravenclaw colors, and she went above and beyond to find just the right yarns for the job. It was so sweet of her. Thank you very much, Teddy!
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Hope everybody's Valentine's Day was lovely. As darklotus said yesterday, "we don’t need to love just our sweethearts or lovers - love, luckily, comes in  almost endless variety and levels of intensity - And that, to me, is a good enough reason to celebrate!"

Groom and I have celebrated many a Valentine's, and now we know exactly what to do for each other. He brought me beautiful flowers, and I brought him Skyfall on Blu-Ray. Then we went out to a Japanese restaurant and said eye-rollingly mushy things to each other all evening.

Meanwhile, Girl stayed home and cooked dinner for her boyfriend. She's not exactly a cook yet, so they ate nachos and ravioli and drank sparkling apple juice. She was generous to a guest, which was the main point; as far as the menu, she'll get there one day.

Girl just celebrated her sixteenth birthday. Unlike last year's ghetto Harry Potter-theme, this year's party was just going out to the movies, followed by pizza, cake, and several hours of some kind of murder mystery game in the living room. There's also a nebulous plan in the works concerning taking a couple of carloads of teens to Santa Cruz to play on the boardwalk for the day. We'll see. Watch this space for pictures.

Beta work lately has been interesting and diverse. I'm primarily editing [livejournal.com profile] teddyradiator's o-fic. The characters are deep in the dungeon and an antagonist has shown himself. And [livejournal.com profile] celestialbeing1, who lately suffered a broken wrist, is happy to report she's recovered enough mobility to be able to flip people off. She sent me another chap of Broken Dreams, which is posting on TPP.
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One of my coworkers is 38 and is gunning for our boss's position. "I want to become a manager by the time I'm 40," she told me. To that end, she's giving herself a year to make it happen here, or else she will move on.

I admire her for having ambitious career goals. But I've never wanted to manage others. Like Dumbledore, when I get too much power, it goes to my head in negative ways and I tend to make life miserable for those around me. I'm better off in my specialty field. My goals involve getting very competent at the job I have now.

So, here are all my goals for 2013:

The List )
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Happily lifted from [livejournal.com profile] akatnamedeaster:

Brain Lateralization Test Results
Right Brain (26%) The right hemisphere is the visual, figurative, artistic, and intuitive side of the brain.
Left Brain (72%) The left hemisphere is the logical, articulate, assertive, and practical side of the brain
Are You Right or Left Brained?
Personality Test by SimilarMinds.com


This is something [livejournal.com profile] teddyradiator could confirm. When we were writing together last summer, we used Google Docs, and I made her not only keep a master To-Do list of the chapters, but after about the second draft, all changes to each other's text had to be color-coded.

I think I'm getting more left-brained as I get older.

But if I ever register as a Republican, you have my permission to take away my car keys.
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Yesterday, someone on TPP left a comment on Droxy's Folly, specifically regarding one of the chapters toward the end where Severus makes a crucial discovery. She said the imagery in that particular scene reminded her of a video that's been going around, of this red fabric that appears to dance in the breeze.

Here's the video she mentioned, and I agree, it's hypnotically beautiful, just like [livejournal.com profile] teddyradiator's description in the story. Enjoy.

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At last, the story has gone live!

As I said, [livejournal.com profile] teddyradiator and I wrote a HGSS multichap story in response to a set of horrifically challenging prompts suggested by [livejournal.com profile] droxy. Teddy was under obligation to write the fic, but had had absolutely no inspiration and didn't know where to begin. I found a workable solution to the prompts, and then when Teddy was all jolly and vulnerable, I casually wormed my way into co-writing the thing, heh. Four months and fourteen chapters later, here we are: Droxy's Folly.

Per the terms of the [livejournal.com profile] het_bigbang challenge, it's archived on AO3. Teddy has also been invited to post it on TPP, which she has begun to do. Since it's a finished work, have no fear about reading it there. I'll also start posting it on ff.n next week, since I still have confidence in the place, as strange as it seems.

All my love goes to [livejournal.com profile] toblass for stepping up to be our beta! She put in a great deal of time and energy, and our story was much better for it. 

Also, thanks to het_bigbang, the talented [livejournal.com profile] slr2moons took on the challenge of creating an illustration for Droxy's Folly! And it's a beautiful piece of work - so evocative, I just want to crawl inside and live there. I'll give you the link, but be sure and visit after you've read the fic, because the illustration contains a minor spoiler. 

I had the best time writing this, you guys, and we're both overjoyed at the reviews so far. Droxy even came out of her enforced hiatus from the internet to read and comment last night! 

Le sigh

Jun. 16th, 2012 09:15 pm
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Well, all good things must come to an end. Last Friday, I got voted off in the ongoing [livejournal.com profile] snupin_ldws drabble-writing challenge.

My gosh, this whole challenge was a kick in the pants! I loved every week and I spent hours obsessing on each story. It really opened my eyes to my own potential, as well as my shortcomings. And as my lovely cheerleader pointed out, I made it to the top three before elimination, which is pretty far for someone who had never written fanfic before.

Next Tuesday is the last round! So show the finalists some love and vote by Friday, June 22.

I posted three of them on TPP, and the validators were truly professional and easy to understand, but I found the process itself a little nerve-wracking.  It's like the old cliché about doctors making the worst patients. Pretty sure I'll just post everything  here next week and be done with it.

Gifts!

May. 8th, 2012 07:20 pm
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My dears, please look what my lovely [livejournal.com profile] teddyradiator just sent me:



Sorry, this is the worst photo in the world of the cutest set of magnets I've ever seen. They both say exactly what Teddy assures me on a regular basis - that we are a team, and that I really can write fiction myself, if I just trust and let go.

Thank you so much, sweetheart! I will keep them near the Desk of Doom, and let them speak to me in your voice.


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What's up with you on this fine Sunday? How about doing some web-surfing with me?

* The incomparable [livejournal.com profile] ladyapplesauce posted a beautiful fanmix set dedicated to Remus and Tonks over in the [livejournal.com profile] remus_lupin community. There's some beautiful music posted. Even the narration is luminous. Check it out.

* It looks like HP fans are taking over some acreage in reddit. First we had a Harry Potter page, then a subreddit dedicated to fan fiction. Now there's even a Snape subreddit. It's not as organized as lj's community, and the group as a whole seems younger than we are, but I see strong signs of obsession dedication among the members; could get interesting.

* Although it's well past Christmas, [livejournal.com profile] teddyradiator is posting her Christmas fic, Choose Something Like A Star, on Ashwinder this month. Chapters are going up as fast as I can beta them! It's a lovely, sentimental story about getting a second chance at life and love. Even if you read this on Teddy's lj page over the holidays, be sure and check it out, in honor of Severus Snape's birthday tomorrow.
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Look what came in the mail! For my beta work on her SSHG_exchange fic Father Figure, [livejournal.com profile] teddyradiator sent me a commemorative book and accompanying soundtrack. Thank you so much, Teddy! I can only imagine the huge amount of work that went into its making. I feel so privileged. Can't wait to re-read Father Figure with the songs that inspired it.

Tension

Nov. 21st, 2011 08:58 pm
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For those of you following [livejournal.com profile] teddyradiator's fantastic story Lay Me Low, take a look at this gorgeous manip by [livejournal.com profile] bulletimescully.



I can't get over the look on Hermione's face. It's just how I envisioned the first chapter.

TEDDY!

Jul. 26th, 2011 01:24 pm
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When I was just dipping my toe into the torrential waters of fan fiction, one writer paddled over with a raft and invited me aboard.

Happy Birthday, [livejournal.com profile] teddyradiator! May all your Snapes get redemption, and may all your Hermiones get Snape!
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Taking up my friend Teddy Radiator's latest meme, I asked her to come up with five questions for me to answer about myself. They were tougher than I thought they'd be!

1. Why SS/HG? What is it about Snape that appeals to you?

Well, even in the books, Snape was to me the most complex and enigmatic character JKR fashioned. As we learn about him, he gradually morphs from a bad-tempered yet grudgingly dedicated educator (Sorcerer's Stone), to a man whose youth was marred by torture at the hands of bullies (POA), to a dark, inscrutible spy (OotP) and cold-blooded murderer (HBP). Yet in the end his true nature redeems him. There's so much to Severus Snape, and I'm constantly amazed and impressed by the depths you writers are able to plumb to fashion him into a worthy character, time and time again.

2. You - earth, air, sky, water - which one and why?

Air, because I am constantly dreaming about flying. In my dreams, I am on the verge of figuring out the knack to flight, I'm sure of it.

Once I was a teacher's aide in a first grade class. We were on a field trip, and to pass the time while walking from place to place, I told the group that we live on the bottom of a big, big sea of air. I even got them to swim down the sidewalk in a long line, our arms flapping as we walked. It was awesome.

3. What do you like the most about your spouse?

Wow, just one thing? I guess I'd have to say it's how dedicated he is to being in the here and now. Everything he undertakes - his job, his family, his music - he puts his whole energy into; there's not a cynical bone in his body. 

4. What would you like to be your significant impact before you leave this earth?

I would like to affect positive change in the particular area of public policy where I work in my state. To make a long story short, I'm working with a team that's getting ready to suggest ways to connect people with certain services that are funded, but hard to get plugged into due to bureaucracy. If our changes are good enough and can be implemented, it would help a lot of people.

5. Other than fanfiction, who is your favourite author and why?  

It's a toss-up between John Steinbeck and Neil Gaiman. Steinbeck for his stunning ability to make the ordinary come to life, and Gaiman for his humor and all-around creativity.

Now I guess it's time for me to pay it forward! If you would like me to ask you five questions, leave a comment ...

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