icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Light)
( Jan. 10th, 2017 08:05 pm)
I'm rereading The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner, which I haven't done in quite a few years, and I'd completely forgotten the four-odd chapters two children and two dwarves spend climbing, falling, slithering, crawling, swimming and almost dying through perilous shafts and impossibly tiny, mud-filled, sand-filled, water-filled crevices a couple of hundred feet underground while escaping svarts in the old copper mines.

... I will take the Mines of Moria, balrogs and all, in a heartbeat before I go through that again. Holy shit. I honestly must have blocked those chapters out. I'm not even claustrophobic, at least not normally, but people who go caving/cave-diving are honestly nutters (apparently the real Alderley Edge Copper Mines, where Weirdstone is set, are open to cavers). I don't want to drown, in the dark, underground, because I got wedged in a hairpin bend in a tiny crevice too sharp and small for my long bones to fit through. Holy shit.

(No offense to real cavers, mind, you do you, but holy shit I would die of a heart attack less than two minutes in, and apparently that's all sorts of bad for everyone attached to me as well, so ... yeah. Probably for the best if I never go, yeah?)

Um. Right. I had completely forgotten this impromptu deadly earnest crash course on the perils of caving in the middle of my children's fantasy book. Wow. Okay. Moving on.
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Really?)
( Aug. 10th, 2016 08:16 pm)
My dad was listening to a playlist of TV theme songs on shuffle, which led to the mild cognitive dissonance of going from the delicate, haunting Twin Peaks theme straight to the Flintstones. Yabba dabba doo! Bwuh?

It then moved through Kojak to the Airwolf theme, which I admit made me rather pathetically happy for a few minutes there :)
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Cloud Road)
( Jul. 9th, 2016 04:43 pm)
Things that are very soothing: Going up to the empty football pitches behind the hill on a wet and windy day and listening to the wind sighing through the big barrier nets around the field.
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Help?)
( May. 22nd, 2016 10:09 pm)
Well, that was stupid. I haven’t done that since I was a kid. I’ve just managed to fall spectacularly and somehow smash open two of my toes. That’s … surprisingly messy. And painful. Ow. I’d forgotten how bad I am at pain.

To quote Daffy Duck: I’m not like other people. I can’t stand pain. It hurts me.

I have a lot of sympathy for that cartoon duck sometimes.
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Escherine)
( Feb. 18th, 2016 05:19 pm)
It’s more bloody work to get an interview than it is to do a sodding job. Ah well. It’s done now, and we’ll find out in a week or so.
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Escherine)
( Feb. 15th, 2016 09:01 am)
Well, that was one of my more interesting dreams. I have story dreams when I'm stressed, apparently. Also, I was thinking about rewatching Legend of Hell House yesterday, though I didn't get around to it.

In the dream, me and someone else (my sister at the start, then they shifted a bit over the course of the dream) had to spend the night in 'Ravenswood House', which was actually our local disused mental hospital sort of converted into a house for the sake of the dream. Physically, it was still mostly the (19th century) hospital. The bit of the hospital I've seen, the ward my mam stayed for a bit before they managed to shut all of the place down permanently, was the bit of the house I stayed in in the dream, only now it was a big, comfortable sitting room.

text )
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icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Bridge)
( Feb. 9th, 2016 05:52 pm)
You know sometimes you have a thought, and it's an excellent thought, but you don't know what to do with it?

I was just thinking, Irish Mythology and the Tuatha Dé Danann, a couple of my favourite figures are Nuada Airgetlám (because he's fairly sensible and humble as conquering kings go) and Lugh Lámhfhada (because he's a trickster king), and I was thinking idly that if you anglicised and modernised the names a bit, taking into account that Lugh's dad is Cian, what you might come up with is Ned Silver and "Longhand" Lou McKeane. Which ... I mean, tell me those aren't the protagonists of a western here. Or bankrobbers during the Great Depression or what have you. Especially considering that Lugh is one of the best shots in Irish Mythology (knocked Balor's eye through the back of his head with a slingshot and all), and a calm, soft-spoken man with a metal hand (Nuada's called 'silver hand' for a reason) hidden by a glove is never out of place in a western.

I just ... I kinda want to do something with it, but I'm not sure what. All I have is a pair of names. Ned Silver & Longhand Lou McKeane. They just sound like they should be in a western, you know? A pair of reincarnated Irish gods wandering the old west, one calm and level-headed with a prosthetic hand and a hell of a haymaker, the other kinda arrogant and hotheaded but with the pistol skills to back it up.

Eh. Western AU of Irish Mythology. Maybe I'll get around to it someday.
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Flight)
( Feb. 5th, 2016 08:05 pm)
One more random fanvid rec, while it's the season:

Glow by Chaila (DC Cartoons)

Justice League OT3 of Bruce/Clark/Diana, being awesome and brilliant and there for each other across years and continuities. It just makes me so happy. There's this big, glorious bubble in my chest when I watch this. Childhood heroes, you know?
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Auryn)
( Jan. 10th, 2016 06:00 pm)
Are you ever writing, typing out in the first rush of creativity, and you need a word for the thing, and you look down and you’ve typed the word for the thing, but when you actually look at the word you don’t entirely recognise it? Like, you have to look it up quickly, just to make sure that it is in fact a word, that it’s a word you know, that it’s a word that means what apparently your subconscious thinks it does?

This happens to me a surprising amount. I’m mid-flow, and I look down, and for some reason I’ve typed ‘effulgence’, wanting a different word for 'radiance’, and I’m like … wait, what does effulgence mean? And I look it up, and yes, it does in fact mean radiance, and I’m all 'yay, go subconscious me!’.

I think part of it is that I’ve learned a whole bunch of my vocabulary from context, from reading a whole bunch of books since I was tiny. Some bit of my brain has a memory of reading a passage about radiance somewhere or other that had 'effulgence’ in it, and so coughed the word back up while I was in spate and running on instinct and needed something in that ballpark. I don’t know the word, in the sense of having formally learned it (or heard it) or being able to formally define it, but I remember from that distant context that it means something close to this thing.

I think I’ve always learned words mostly from books. I have a memory of being followed around the schoolyard by a (somewhat scary) crowd of kids asking me to define a bunch of words because I’d 'eaten the dictionary’, but I don’t remember reading dictionaries much. I mean, when I had to look up a specific word, yes, or check one, and I think I sometimes browsed thesauri, but most of the time I’m pretty sure I just read the word in a book and came away with a vague idea what it meant, which sometimes sharpened the more I came across it.

Heh. I don’t know. I think I just have a lot of random words that float up inside my head, like debris from the shipwrecks of books I read ages ago. Sometimes, when I’m writing, they even turn out to be useful :)
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Woman)
( Jan. 9th, 2016 05:23 pm)
It’s odd the things you remember around this time of year. My Mam bought a pot of blackcurrant jam today on a whim, which is very much a Gran & Granddad thing more than a Mam thing. At our house it’s usually strawberry or raspberry jam, apricot if we’re feeling really fancy. Blackcurrant was always a Gran & Granddad thing because Granddad had blackcurrant bushes down the bottom of his (town) garden, and Gran used to actually make the jam for us. (‘His’ garden, btw, because the fruit & vegetable section of their garden was Granddad’s, while the flowerbeds with the prized tulips were Gran’s). It’s been … a few years now since I’ve tasted blackcurrant jam, but it’s rather lovely.

It got me thinking, though, given the time of year that’s in it. An awful lot of my memories of my grandparents are related to food. Thinking of them, I remembered what used to be a post-Christmas tradition at their house. There was a supper, usually around New Year-ish, that consisted entirely of bread, butter, cold-cuts of meat, pickled silverskin onions, tomatoes, and any odds-and-ends that had survived the cupboards until the end of the old year, plus the remains of the Christmas cakes and puddings. A sort of 'use up the old year and prepare for the new’ kind of thing. I remember the pickled onions specifically, because that supper was one of the few times of year I ever saw the things, and Mam thinks that Gran used to invite us to the supper at least partially so Granddad wouldn’t be able to eat an entire jar of pickled onions by himself. I also remember the Christmas cake sandwiches, which were a thing Granddad dared me to eat one year at this supper when I was very young, and which became a kind of tradition afterwards (literally a slice of Christmas cake between two buttered slices of bread - they’re not bad). Gran and Granddad were the only ones I know who did that particular supper, and I’m surprised right now how much I miss it.

I wonder if it’s odd how much I remember them through their food. Gran used to bake. All sorts of things, but her pavlova and her coffee cake were so renowned that the priest mentioned them at her funeral. Their garden was I think the only reason we ever ate anything 'picked fresh yourself’, because of the vegetables and the fruit. (That and berries out of hedges, because Granddad took us walking as kids and taught us which ones were safe provided you washed them. The sloe was appalling, though. My face about collapsed). Granddad did a mean fresh stewed rhubarb. He also had a tendency to combine a lot of random things when he ate, legacy I think of a lot of years essentially eating whatever was available regardless of what it was. Hence Christmas cake sandwiches, and cheese-and-raspberry-jam sandwiches, and cheese-dips (cheese dipped in yogurt in lieu of a spoon, so you can eat both at the same time and use up cheese that’s getting questionable), and sundry other random combinations. Hence too, I think, the whole 'use up the old year and welcome the new’ done in food. They had … a unique approach to food, at least in terms of my experience. It’s one of the things I remember most strongly about them.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just the time of year combined with a sudden whim for blackcurrant jam. There’s just … a lot of memories that can be tied up in food, you know? I don’t think I realised quite how much so.
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Auryn)
( Jan. 6th, 2016 06:38 pm)
Been a while since I did one of these. My 15 most recent opening lines:

1) "… Ellie? You okay there sweetheart? Only you’ve been starin’ at this old mug for about ten minutes now, and it’s gettin’ kinda worrying.“ (Worth A Thousand Pictures, Fallout 4)

2) Nick got philosophical in the long watches of the night. (Made to Last, Fallout 4)

3) Something sparked faintly in Nick’s mouth, static off metal teeth maybe, and Sole pulled back hastily. (Acquired Taste, Fallout 4)

4) The kid slept in Nick’s arms the whole way back. (Sheltered, Fallout 4)

5) Nora blinked her eyes open, squinting exhaustedly in the greyish light that filtered through from somewhere. (Mornings Grey and Bright, Fallout 4)

6) The shot rang out through the nest of alleys, somehow noticeable even through the rest of the firestorm. (The Lights of their Eyes, Fallout 4)

7) Sole touches him. A lot. Nick can’t help but notice that. (Doubting, Dreaming, Fallout 4)

8) Sole growled and shoved Nick into the blind corner behind him, out of most of the immediate lines of fire. (The Ragged Edge, Fallout 4)

9) When I was nineteen, my first year in college, I went to stay with my great-aunt Yvonne. (Yves, Original Work)

10) In his life, having lost so many, Jingyan had thought that he had experienced every pain there was to know. (Watershed, Nirvana in Fire)

11) "I’m telling you, Khered, if one more arrogant, pissant, bull-in-a-china-shop, tin-plated nincompoop of a knight comes storming up my bloody stairs to ‘rescue me’, I am going to flatten this kingdom.” (Manners Saveth Man, Original Work)

12) "It does not seem fair.“ (A Good Death, Babylon 5)

13) The signpost loomed out of the dark and the drizzle as the bus crested the hill, glowing bright for a second as the headlights bounced off it. (Cainsford Fourteen Miles, Original Work)

14) The harsh slam of the workroom’s oaken door sounded like thunder behind them, though Thomas had some small difficulty hearing it over the thud of his own body as the King’s magic flung him unceremoniously across the anteroom. (Gravefrost and Wormwood, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell)

15) The battle had broken Merlin. (Greater Love, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell)

Apparently I have a tendency to either cold-open onto a conversation or action, or towards a sort of blunt opening-statement-for-the-story-to-elaborate-on, and occasionally a combination of both. I think the only possible exception here is 'Cainsford’, which is pure scene-and-atmosphere establishment, because it’s a moody ghost story and needs a bit of set-dressing. Most of the others fit the cold-open or opening-theme-statement mould.

Apparently I like in medias res and/or a solid 'this is the story theme’ to start off with. Nice concrete action hooks or mood statements. Heh.
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Woman)
( Jan. 5th, 2016 09:24 am)
Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1974) (youtube link)

I watched this last night on a whim, and it’s actually a lot of fun. I mean, keeping in mind that it’s a Hammer vampire flick from the 70s, with all that entails (sex, blood and walking shirtless scenes, mostly). It’s not the usual take on vampires or vampire hunters, the villains are pretty cool, there are some spooky sequences, and I’m very fond of Kronos’ partner Hieronymous Grost.

(Also I wouldn’t mind Kronos/Grost fanfic).
... My sister just introduced me to a game called geoguessr, where it plonks you down in a random Google Street View location and you try to guess where the hell you are. It is addictive. It really is. I'm getting much better at recognising Brazilian road signage. Canada is also reasonably distinct. Signs in general help a lot, really. Also languages. And vegetation/climate, for when the bloody thing lands on you on a random road in the back of beyond somewhere. Heh. I got within 5km of a suburb in Berlin. I also got within a few kilometres of a signpost in the middle of absolutely nowhere in Patagonia, because apparently Argentinian signposts are fairly exact.

For some reason, though, maybe it's just the night that's in it, the thing keeps sending me to Finland, Brazil, South Africa, random small towns in Europe (Brainville-sur-Meuse was my favourite), and occasionally Canada or Australia. Mostly the first three, though. Heh.

Seriously, though, it is addictive.
Regarding this Marvel engagement rings tumblr post, in which it gives the ring each superhero would get you. I, ah, disagree somewhat.

See, I could see these being marketed by in-universe jewellers as 'the engagement ring ~insert superhero~ would buy you', but I really can't see most of them as the ring the actual person would buy someone they loved. Especially, I gotta say it, especially Steve. I can't see him buying that particular monstrosity for anyone.

icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Auryn)
( Dec. 14th, 2015 09:15 pm)
I have to say, whatever else about this job, I am developing a liking for doing the records. There's just something fundamentally satisfying about handwriting information in a big, leatherbound book. One that has latin headings on the columns and everything. I just ... I like that. It just satisfies. It really does.
I'm rewatching the last few episodes of Nirvana in Fire, and I've just gotten back to that conversation in episode 51 about the miraculous grass. I ... I just love these guys so much. Li Gang, Zhen Ping, Wei Zheng. They're all so excited and they all clearly adore Lin Shu, and they're all so crushed afterwards. This bit (heavily, heavily paraphrased):

icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Woman)
( Oct. 29th, 2015 01:27 am)
I’ve been watching the 2015 Gymnastic Worlds the past couple of nights. Why is the vault so terrifying to watch? It’s so fast, I keep expecting things to go horribly wrong. In other news, though, floor and parallel bars are still my favourites, with beam close behind them.
I have been watching horror movies/series the past couple of days. This is always an uncertain venture for me, because I am BAD at horror movies, or at least ghost movies, I get scared ridiculously easily. Only with ghosts, for some reason, anything that's a physical threat isn't half as scary to me, which common sense would say should be the other way around. Anyway. I've been giving a few of them a go anyway. I rather like Legend of Hell House (1973), actually. I do like paranormal investigation stories.

The one I'm on now, though, a 2008 BBC miniseries called Crooked House. It's pretty good too, it's just the third episode. Look, love. You've just been told that this door knocker is a relic of the most spectacularly haunted house in Christendom, you've spent a couple of hours being regaled with tales of gruesome goings-on there across the centuries, why the flying fuck would you bring said door knocker home and hang it on your front door?!? That is literally asking to be haunted. I mean, I know people in horror movies never know they're in horror movies, but there is such a thing as tempting fate, my love. If you have to bring it home, at least don't bloody hang the thing on the door waiting to be used, now matter what the creepy museum keeper says.

(Okay, it turns out later in a nice twist ending that he was gonna end up in the supernatural shithouse no matter what he did, but still. Don't go bloomin' hanging it on your door after being told it's haunted, what is wrong with you?)
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Really?)
( Sep. 24th, 2015 02:57 pm)
You know when you’re skimming across a list of things, and your brain randomly smushes some of them together? I was skimming across a playlist, and my brain randomly smushed ‘Empty Chairs at Empty Tables’ from Les Mis with ‘Terror Time’ from Scooby Doo on Zombie Island.

“Empty chairs at empty tables, rotting faces full of slime … wait, what?”
“Now my friends are dead and gone, don’t you know it’s terror time?”

Zombie outbreak at the barricades? Marius the vengeful Necromancer? Are you thinking what I’m thinking, Pinky? I don’t know, Brain, go back to sleep. Or drink more coffee, one or the other. Yeesh.
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Mischief)
( Jul. 13th, 2015 07:53 pm)
I really love jazz, blues, jazzy blues, that whole bundle of genres. Also swing and electroswing. It makes me want to move. I think I've just bruised my foot (or possibly pulled the muscle to my big toe) from dancing rather enthusiastically around the kitchen in bare feet. I don't even know exactly what I was listening to, my dad had a playlist on while he was cooking. He said it was dixieland jazz at the start, but it wandered around a bit as well. I've no idea. It was brilliant, though. Made me want to do hips and circles and tappy feet. Heh. I never said I was a good dancer, I just like to do the rhythm/drum bit with my feet and then the brassy bits with hips and hands over it - it looks absolutely ridiculous and I stand on my own feet fair regular, but it feels great.

Jazz is good for you. Jazz makes you feel good. I like it.
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