netgirl_y2k: (sansa wolf girl)
After chopping and changing almost hourly for the last fortnight I made up my mind in the voting booth. My head said vote No; you've made your point, and they're offering Devo Max, which is what you would have voted for had it been on the ballot. My heart said what the hell; fortune favours the bold.

So Yes it was.

Then again, in the last general election I voted for the Lib Dems, so I've got form for voting for people who talk the good talk then turn out to be lying liars who lie.

Not unlike Jon Snow, I know nothing.

Although I'm not sure I should really be allowed a vote. Last night I drank two huge bottles of 7% Belgian beer on an empty stomach and strong antibiotics, and accidentally bought three hundred quid's worth of non-refundable flights to Munich.

This was because my beloved dog Eustace was put down yesterday because of a brain tumour. Eustance was -- I want to say he was a good dog, but he really wasn't. I've had dogs all my life and Eustace was genuinely the worst dog I have ever owned. I'd rescued him, and he was a menace from the day I brought him home and he tried to eat next door's prize winning pomeranian to last week when he decided he'd like to live in the car. Despite this, or maybe because of it (I was the only one who loved him, so I had to love him all the harder) this has really, properly devastated me in a way that no other pet I've lost has.

I know it's boring looking at pictures of other people's dead pets, so I'll put it under the cut, but it's a cute picture of him and there's a mug on his head, so...

Read more... )

So I'm off to try to cheer myself up in Munich. Whether I want to or not, really. Did I mention these tickets are non-refundable? Anyone know the city? Things I should see/do/drink?
netgirl_y2k: (sansa wolf girl)
re: my continued world cup watching - mwhaha haha haha ha

Thinking about it, things like this are probably why a lot of English people would be quite pleased if Scotland were to declare independence and fuck off.

Still. Haha.


A meme thing, that I have already completed on tumblr, but otherwise this post would just be me mwhahaha-ing.

list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you.

1. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkein
2. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
3. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
4. And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie
5. Guards! Guards! - Terry Pratchett
6. Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks - Christopher Brookmyre
7. Fingersmith - Sarah Waters
8. The Kraken Wakes - John Whyndam
9. Death and the Penguin - Andrey Kurkov
10. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood.

With the caveats that LotR was hugely influential on me as a wee thing, but adult me finds it a turgid, unreadable sausage fest; and while the Narnia books are the first books I remember properly loving, I've never even tried to revisit them as a grown up - I suspect grown up me would be annoyed by the religious stuff, and infuriated by the Problem of Susan.

That said, Scottish, geeky, lesbian, feminist, cynic, that's me in a list of books, really.


I am still slightly confused about using tumblr for things other than reblogging graphics. Like, I had some success posting those trope ficlets I was writing first over there, but then I felt weirdly guilty about it, because if tumblr isn't the worst venue ever for fic, it's not from lack of trying. On the other hand, it's nice when people notice that you're there, you know?

So, I shall compromise and answer a questions meme I got tagged in, but I shall do it here.

1. Does pineapple belong on pizza?

Not on a pizza. Not on anything I am going to be putting into my mouth. Eugh.

2. If you care about the World Cup, tell me about your team! If you don’t, then what’s something fun you’re looking forward to in the next month or so?

I am Scottish, and thus shit at football a true neutral. This week I'm feeling good about Uruguay and Costa Rica, for reasons that have nothing to do with a certain team which may or may not have been knocked out at the group stage.

(Mwahaha, etc.)

I think the smart money has to be on a South American team. I got Belgium (of all teams, Belgium?) in the sweepstakes. And my personal favourite is Germany.

3. What were the last 3 pieces of fictional/fannish media you consumed?

I just read the first Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator book. Which is an urban fantasy in the vein of the Dresden Files or Felix Castor, only with a lesbian main character. No one will ever accuse it of being great literature, but I ate it up with a spoon.

I'm dipping into the first series of Vikings, which I'm enjoying, although I expect to remain baffled as to why anyone would make Vikings when instead they could make the Lagertha Lothbrok is awesome show.

The series finale of Game of Thrones, which despite having spent most of S4 lurching from one misgiving to another left me optimistic for S5.

4. You’re in a zombie apocalypse, and your companions are the main characters from the pieces of media you named in the previous question. So, how fucked are you?

Are you kidding? I have a half-faery with a magic sword, the fiercest shieldmaiden in Scandinavia, and Brienne of Tarth. I'm going to fucking walk it.

5. What’s your ideal holiday destination?

When I visited my sister in Germany, her flat was next door to what appeared to be a combination pub/library; if any of the books had been in English I would not have come home.

Nice things to drink, and interesting things to read. I want very little out of life.

6. Tell me about your favourite item of clothing. Photos optional.

Today I am wearing battered converse with the Thundercats on them, a pair of drainpipe jeans that I really do not have the legs for, and a man's tuxedo shirt that I had to buy when I rented some formal wear earlier in the year.

I don't have a favourite item of clothing; pickin's are slim.

7. Sort yourself into your Hogwarts House. If you don’t know the Hogwarts Houses who are you tell me why you’ve resisted the siren call of Harry Potter.

Hmm. I am the least cunning person I know, and all but devoid of ambition. I'd also be hard pressed to describe myself as clever, at least not in the academic sense.

I am probably some manner of Gryffinpuff. Kind and loyal, yes, but thoughtless and bullheaded, too.

8. Dogs or cats?

Dogs, a million times dogs. I even lean towards especially stupid dogs because I find it discouraging to have a pet I suspect of being clever than me.

9. What’s the last news item or fic you read? Link?

The last news item was somebody else mwhahaha-ing about England's ignominious departure, so I shall spare you the link. The last fic was this porny Sansa/Margaery modern AU by [profile] mautadite who is one of my favourite authors in asoiaf fandom.

10. What’s your go-to comfort food?

Beer. Cheese.

11. What’s the story behind your tumblr username?

Oh, God. I made up this stupid pseudonym when I was fifteen, with the expectation that I'd be in fandom for about twelve minutes. Well, I'm not fifteen anymore, and it's been a damn sight more then twelve minutes. And changing my fandom name would feel weird, like I was killing off this persona I've created over the past *mumble mumble* years.

It's still a stupid name, though.
netgirl_y2k: (bo & Kenzi huh)
-This week I got suckered into teaching my younger sister how to drive. I think I have given the finger to more people this week than I have in ten plus years of driving, or indeed the whole rest of my life. I am kind of appalled and amazed at the number of people who think that, if someone is obviously new to driving, say because they are in a car covered with L plates, and they get flustered at a junction and stall the car, then the thing to do is rev right up behind them, flashing your lights, and holding down your horn. I mean, it's not going to fucking speed up proceedings, is it?

I've never had road rage; but I seem to have driving instructor rage.

It's going quite well. The only thing is, my sister, who has many otherwise stellar qualities, is one of those people who has difficulty accepting that she is ever in the wrong. And she will patiently explain to you why she was right, and actual, objective reality was wrong. Over the years I have learned to mostly tune these explanations out-- but, 1) it really would be better if she didn't insist on explaining these things to me when we sitting in the car trying to get onto a roundabout, and 2) you are in a toyota hatchback, and he is in an articulated lorry; this is the very definition of a might makes right situation!

-I went to see Maleficent, which I loved! I liked lots of things about it, particularly I liked that it was less than two hours long and not part one of whatever. It has become a bit of free entertainment amongst my friends, of an evening, to get me started on my genuine and lasting bitterness about Desolation of Smaug.

We went for a drink after Maleficent and I was talking away about how much I'd liked it, and how feminist retellings of fairytales were pretty much my bag, anyway. Always a bit of a risk - one of my dearest friends is a wonderful woman, kind and funny, she's prone to baking me red velvet cupcakes when she thinks I need bucking up... she also uses the word feminazi un-ironically. So I got to talking about the scene where spoilers ) And I was accused of being a pervert for reading such things into a children's film. Not in a horrible way, really, just in a 'oh you, with your feminism and overthinking things, bless'

It was just interesting because I realised I was talking to my mates in the pub as though they were, well, you guys. It was a weird moment of inadvertent crossing the streams.

Also, I thought pervert was kind of a strong word. Many years ago we used to share thin-walled student housing. I know things about some of these people that no self respecting homosexual should know.

-I have been writing further tropey fic(lets)! I have now written 10k of tropey ridiculousness in a fortnight; let us never speak of this again.

Only Love Can Break Your Heart (LotS; Cara/Kahlan, Kahlan/Richard; 1200 words)

Is it still a soulbond AU if the soulbonds are more, er, guidelines than anything else? Also, I still can't write Cara/Kahlan without significant wailing and gnashing of the teeth over Richard. In my defense, Richard is a precious puppy.

Practice Makes Perfect (GoT; Sansa/Margaery; 2000 words)

I'm going to call this a sixth form college AU, because that way I feel better about having written what is essentially a high school AU. Also, I am ridiculously fixated on the idea of Sansa as a lesbian; as an identity, I mean, not just an excuse for femslash.

No Gravity, No Fallen Angels (Merlin; Gwen & Morgana; 1900 words)

Um, behold as an atheist attempts to write an angels & demons AU without ever alluding to god or religion!
netgirl_y2k: (brand new day)
I've not long finished reading The Golem and the Jinni, which is one of those rare books that actually made me slightly leery of plunging into a new fictional universe, because I was so immersed in, and in love with the last one.

Now, nothing sitting in my to-read pile is really grabbing me, but I do have a bunch of book tokens left over from my birthday so I ask -- read any good books recently?

Some things I like are: dragons, women, lesbians, fantasy, pop-science and history. But, really, anything you have read and loved. Your obligatory rec to everyone books.


I was thinking about how I'm asking you for book recs in this post, and I was asking for TV show recs in my last, and films have sort of fallen by the wayside. I hardly ever watch films anymore; I haven't been to the cinema at all in 2014. The last film I saw in there was Desolation of Smaug, a film I found such an appalling waste of time that it basically broke the medium of film for me. But when I was younger I was a huge, huge nut on films. It started to drop off as I no longer got a student discount at the cinema, and then I was a carer and being unreachable for two or three hours at a time was a rare luxury -- still, movies were a formative thing for me, perhaps more so than anything else.

Everyone should post their ten most CRUCIAL CRUCIAL CRUCIAL-ASS movies, like the movies that explain everything about yourselves in your current incarnations (not necessarily your ten favorite movies but the ten movies that you, as a person existing currently, feel would help people get to know you) (they can change later on obviously).

Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The Empire Strikes Back
Star Trek: First Contact
Galaxy Quest
All Dogs go to Heaven
Imagine Me & You
The Shawshank Redemption
The Lion King
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
netgirl_y2k: (winter is coming)
Today I had to change all the locks in my house. Not for reasons of crime, or anything, but just because they were old and sticky and getting to the point where I could no longer brute-force-and-ignorance it. And I'm here to tell you, that is not a job that's reassuring in it's complexity. Twenty minutes and one screwdriver was all it took. I'm seriously reconsidering taking up a life of crime.


The [ profile] rarewomen archive opened today (yay) and I have read shamefully little (boo) but it looks like there's a lot of awesome stuff there, and I have bookmarks coming out my ears of things to get to when I have a little more time.

I wrote my fic about Arianne Martell, a character I got progressively more interested in as I wrote about her, so that was neat, even though I think the fic itself is a little throw everything at the wall and see what sticks, you know? On the other hand, I finally managed to write something where there literally is a queen in every corner. So.

The Sun's Daughter
A Song of Ice and Fire; PG-13; 5115 words; Arianne Martell/Tyene Sand, Arianne Martell, Asha Greyjoy, Arya Stark, assorted Sand Snakes and Dornishmen

Arianne is her father's daughter, her uncle's niece, and the first Princess of Dorne since the days of the first Daenerys to not bend-her-knee to the Iron Throne.


As much as I would love to stay up and read more Rarewomen fic, or even wait for the remix archive to open. But I have to get up a five tomorrow morning, so I really must go to bed.

Five a.m. Bloody hell, only grown ups have to get up at five a.m., and if I'm a grown up why have I had cheese on toast for my last five meals running?

One of life's eternal mysteries.
netgirl_y2k: (gwen beer)
...Some of us have been waiting all year to make that joke.

Actually, this is a pretty good birthday for a geek to have, and if I were quicker with my geek references and/or puns I might have dug out my original trilogy DVDs and spent the day having a Star Wars Marathon. Alas.

As it is I haven't done much. Sunday is an odd day to have a birthday, and thirty-one is an oddly unfestive age, following as it does one of the Big Birthdays. I thought about trying to get a few folk together for beers and Captain America 2, but then I thought about it and realised that it wasn't so much that I wanted to see the Winter Soldier, as I felt that I really ought to do something, and Captain America was the film that I least didn't want to see.

So, I've decided that I'm a grown-up and I don't have to have a party if I don't want one, and also that you can't cheerfully fail to organise any celebrations and then spend the whole day sulking about how there aren't any celebrations and still claim to be a rational adult.

I've told my sister that she doesn't have to see Cap 2, as neither of us really care, but that I do plan to force her to see Malificent when it opens. I'm doing both cinema and fandom wrong, I know. And I expect I'll spend the next few weeks being bought Birthday Pints as I catch up with people individually, which if you think about it is much healthier than being bought them all in one night and then falling over sideways.

As for me, I've got a nice single malt (Talisker 10yr; dude, this is adulthood, at nineteen we were all drinking something that claimed to be vodka, but was probably 9/10ths drain cleaner) and the last two episodes of Breaking Bad which I've been keeping back specially.

Hope everyone's been having a terrific weekend!
netgirl_y2k: (power is power)
Salvage - Alexandra Duncan
The King's Peace - Jo Walton

Salvage is a dystopian YA, sort of. It's about a girl who's grown up on a deep space colony ship which has developed this deeply patriarchal culture, all the men have multiple wives, and a lot of the young boys get left behind planetside; I couldn't help but think of them as the space mormons. And when the protagonist gets kicked out of the space mormons she's got to adjust to life on Earth, both the culture, which is totally different, and the gravity, which is so much higher than she grew up with, first on a giant inhabited island of garbage in the Pacific, and later in Mumbai.

It's good, not massively subtle, but then, since when has dystopian YA ever been subtle. And all the different settings were pretty fascinating.

The King's Peace is a hold over from March that I finished in April; it's an alternate telling of Arthurian legend told from the POV of one of the king's female knights. It took me a long time to get into in, the plot meandered a lot. But I did end up liking it, certainly enough to read the rest of the trilogy. I think part of the reason it took me so long to get into it was that it was Jo Walton's first novel, and it's always a little frustrating to read an early effort by an author whose later works you adore. It reminded me a lot of The Deed of Paksenarrion, so if you liked that one--

I'm still dipping in and out of The Doomsday Book as well as Life Mask by Emma Donoghue, which I'm really liking.


I read so little this month, which I refuse to feel bad about. Books being one of the delights of my life which I refuse to attach feelings of guilt to. I also like scotch and cake; hard not to feel at least a little guilty about scotch and cake.

On the other hand I have finished my Remix and Rarewomen fics early, which isn't at all like me, hurrah!

I also did the Merlin remix, which I must confess I signed up for with less than the optimum amount of enthusiasm (if I have to write Merlin/Arthur I can always write five hundred and one words and then orphan it, I thought). But I'm glad I did because I ended up being quite pleased with the fic I wrote, which I can't talk about yet, but what I can do is rec you the awesome remix of my fic:

The One Where a Bear and a Dragon (and Morgana) Save the Ending From Being Eaten By Canon (The Grimm and Bear It Remix)

Which takes a daft wee OT4 fic I wrote in S2 and turns it into everything I could want about Morgana and Aithusa and the possibility of a better destiny.


The other things is, I've said that I'd been referred to a counsellor type person for some cognitive behavioural therapy, didn't I? So I've been doing that for the last couple of months, and my last session was yesterday.

I am now officially totally sane and normal... Well, at least as normal as NHS Scotland is prepared to pay for me to be.

I do think it's helped, though I was sceptical at first. I don't exactly feel like a bird on the wing, no, but I'm also not as paralysed by anxiety and my various neuroses as I was a few months ago. The most surprising thing is that I'm drinking a lot less now, I guess I didn't realise how much I was using alcohol as a crutch until I didn't feel like I had to, you know?
netgirl_y2k: (cersei fuck)
I have been in a sulk all week because of a really shit job interview I had on Monday. Of course I was asked about the fact that I've been out of work for a few years now, which is a fair enough question, and gives me the chance to go into my "As you know, Bob..." answer about being a carer, and how it was unplanned, but ultimately improving and character building, and the many things I learned doing it that could be applied to paid employment. All fine and dandy, until the interviewer asked if there was anyone they could call to verify that I really had been a carer...

It wasn't even that they asked, not really, it was they way they asked, the assumption that of course you were a liar until proven otherwise. I mean, I have my flaws, and I am not above the odd white lie - but I would not make up a loved one suffering from dementia to cover up the fact that I killed a man in Reno just to watch him die.

Anyway, I didn't get the job. Which is rather a relief. At the risk of sounding like someone David Cameron would like to see shot on the village green, I didn't really want it, I just wanted the interview practice. I would prefer not to work in a call centre again unless I'm really up against it. Plus, I've worked places where the management have that distrustful us-against-them attitude towards the staff and the atmosphere is invariably toxic and awful.

The other thing I have been doing this week is reading my way through the Dangerous Women anthology, which like a lot of people I was mainly reading for the new ASOIAF novella in it. I could have just skipped the rest of the book and read The Princess and the Queen, but it was the very last story in the book, and that would have felt, in some obscure and difficult to articulate way, like cheating.

My absolute least favourite story in the anthology was Diana Gabaldon's contribution, which was an overlong story about Jaime Fraser's manpain, and did nothing but reassure me that never reading the Outlander series has been a good life choice. It left me annoyed not only with Diana Gabaldon, but with the editors for not insisting that a tacked-on afterthought of a subplot about a woman thief didn't really count, and they would keep her in mind if they were ever putting together an anthology called faux-Scottish manpain. Indeed, a few of the contributors seemed to have missed the point (or, at least, what I wanted to be the point) writing stories about dude protagonists being led astray by femme fatals. Joe R. Lansdale and Lawrence Block (whose contribution was a protracted snuff-scene, eww) were particularly guilty of this.

But that's the nature of anthologies, isn't it, that you'll like some stories better than others. I unsurprisingly enjoyed the Brandon Sanderson one, and I really liked that Jim Butcher's contribution was a Dresden Files story from Molly's point of view. I still read and enjoy the Dresden Files, but one of my biggest nitpicks with it is that Butcher creates all these powerful female characters then seems to go to some pains to show how they are all less powerful than Harry, so it was refreshing to see Molly in her element and from her own pov. The Lev Grossman story was another example of how I like Lev Grossman's writing, but that he has never written a single character that I didn't think could be improved by the application of a partially defrosted haddock to the face. The Joe Abercrombie and Robin Hobb (dottie old women getting a new lease of life in an AU dystopia, squee!) contributions made me want to give both authors another shot.

I ended up really enjoying the historical fiction stories about female Russian fighter pilots during WWII, Constance of Sicily, and Nora, daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine (not in the same story, obviously). I think that part of the reason I've been having so much trouble getting into what I've been reading recently, is that I've been reading SF/F almost exclusively and I really should read more historical fiction, or literary, or crime fiction, just to break things up a bit. On this note, if anyone has any recs for fiction about interesting women of history (real or not) I'd love to hear them.

The Princess and the Queen --

Okay, obviously anyone suggesting that we should chain GRRM to a keyboard and only feed him if he meets a minimum daily wordcount is being an arse and should kindly shut up. But. But, if he's writing anyway, and he's writing in the ASOIAF universe anyway, and he's got the show coming up behind him (I know S4 is only covering the latter part of ASoS, but the trailers have reminded me how little the plot actually advances over the course of AFfC and ADwD) then I really think he ought to be spending that time writing The Winds of Winter.

But if he was going to write a historical novella I would much rather have had this than another Dunk and Egg instalment or heaven forfend, The Wit and Wisdom of Tyrion bloody Lannister. Because I was interested in The Dance of the Dragons, and fascinating Targaryen women are one of my niche interests in this universe. Maybe Aegon isn't a fake? Maybe he really is a Targaryen dude? Maybe that's why he's so utterly, utterly uninteresting to me?

But mainly two things:

1) Writing it as an historical account written by a maester years later was an interesting exercise in structure, but also made it seem like any halfway decent fanfiction writer could have tackled this, and seriously, George, Winds of Winter?

2) The dragon-riders, and the way the dragons were used in battle was a bit Temeraire-like, Temeraire-lite? And I had always liked the idea that the dragons had died out over a century or so as magic left the world and they became increasingly difficult to hatch. So the reveal that despite being nigh on un-killable, they were, to the last dragon, killed off in this super convenient Targaryen civil war felt a bit... contrived.

So, yes, it was good from a completionist point of view, but mainly... Winds of Winter?
netgirl_y2k: (nina she wolf)
Firstly, there is no reason for any human person to drink sambuca. Ever.

Secondly, bloody ouch.

Thirdly, I hope this marriage my best friend is undertaking sticks; partly because I think his future wife is terrific and I wish only for their happiness, but mostly because another stag do might be the end of me.

I have always had mostly straight boys as friends -- partly because a lot of my mates are holdovers from our student days, and at uni I sneered at the idea of the gay society and seeking out friends just because we shared a sexuality (I was an arse back then), and partly because having spent the latter part of my twenties as a full time carer, I ended up mostly socialising with straight couples because the people I knew with very young children were the only ones who were keeping the same sort of hours as me and didn't mind that I was gently rattling with stress and always looked like I'd recently been crying, because that's how they felt too.

And anyway, they're all individually great chaps, but I usually hang out with them in ones and twos, or with their partners. I'd forgotten how much being the only woman in a crowd of straight guys can feel like hard work, even if you're being treated like one of the boys, especially if you're being treated like one of the boys. There were a couple of guys there that I didn't really know, too, cousins of the groom, and a bit more, ahem, laddish than I would usually spend time with, so that made it a bit harder to relax, because I couldn't shake the feeling that I was about to do a midnight set at Chuckles, you know?

I mean, the stag do was fun. Amsterdam was lovely, I'd like to go back someday and see it properly when I'm not trapped in a vortex of "banter" and flaming sambucas. Fun was definitely had, but I do feel like I need a weekend away to recover from my weekend away.
netgirl_y2k: (annie strong)
Well, that was staggeringly unhelpful )

And on that cheery note, I fully intent to spend the rest of the day watching the first series of The Bletchley Circle, because I caught the first episode of the second series the other night and thought that it was wonderful despite not knowing what's going on or who anybody is.
netgirl_y2k: (power is power)
I apparently wrote 21,000 words of posts this December. That's-- I could have written a big bang fic, or a novella or something. I mean, I wouldn't have, obviously, I'm just saying I could have.

I posted 28 days out of 31, which was really cool, and it's been lovely chatting with you folks more regularly. I rather dropped the ball on the posting meme this last week, and that's been for a couple of reasons 1) my acquiring the first season of Breaking Bad, followed swiftly by the second season of Breaking Bad, and 2) I've had a bit of a spiral of anxiety, and insomnia, and toxic thoughts these last few days.

I'm not making any new year's resolutions this year, partly because talk about setting yourself up for failure, but mostly because my best friend is getting married in January, and I've got the stag weekend to get through. Just before you are spending a weekend in Amsterdam with a bunch of straight boys is not the time to be swearing off wine, women, and song.

But there's one thing I have to do early in the new year, and I shall post about it here so you can hold me to it: I have to see a doctor about this anxiety thing. It's been a problem for over a year now, sometimes cripplingly so, sometimes manageable. And I have various ways of dealing with it, from at least knowing that it isn't rational, it's the brain weasels playing silly buggers with me, to singing Sex on Fire at the top of my lungs, because you try having a panic attack while singing Sex on Fire at the top of your lungs. The downside of this is that you are singing Sex on Fire at the top of your lungs, and people think that you're peculiar with dubious taste in music.

I went to the doctor in the summer and was prescribed some heart medication for the worst physical symptoms of the panic attacks, and they were great, I've even squirrelled the last of them away to get me to Amsterdam. I figure once I get there I'll be able to avail myself of some, ahem, alternate methods of coping.

Quick aside, note to self: stop with the self-medication malarky, this is how people get themselves into bother.

But that was only meant to be a short term solution - like, two weeks short term - and did nothing for the underlying brain weasels. I need to find out if there's something I can take on a longer term basis, or to get on the waiting list for some kind of therapy. Because this paralysis, of my life, of the spirit, can't go on.

Because the other thing I need to do next year is apply myself more thoroughly to job hunting. I was incredibly fortunate, in that when my grandmother passed away she left me enough money that I could spend this year doing odd bits of temping and freelancing as they appeared or appealed to me, but otherwise live off my inheritance. But this was never meant to be a longterm strategy, even if it was a financially viable one, which it isn't. It isn't that kind of inheritance; I'm not a character in an Agatha Christie novel. And I think the though of this - of signing on, of explaining the massive gaps in my CV (I was a carer, and then I was having a low level nervous breakdown), of explaining that no I don't want to stack shelves in poundland for free - is what has prompted the brain weasels to do a number on my rational brain.

Anyway, I also want to read good books, drink good scotch, and meet interesting women, and possibly discuss good books with them while drinking fine scotch; but first I shall investigate the possibility of better living through pharmacology.
netgirl_y2k: (fire cannot kill a dragon)
Actually today's post comes in response to a prompt by [personal profile] ravurian: You're asked to provide a written description of yourself for an artist (who doesn't know what you look like and has never met you) to turn into a portrait. What description would you send to the artist, and would you be telling the truth? and comes in the form of a weird half-poem thing.

Firstly, I would say that I'm funny and have a nice personality; why that matters in a discussion of my physical attributes I don't know, but god knows it always does

I would say I'm of average height; because that's a safe place to start

I'd say I have curves that belong in a renaissance painting; at least, I like to think so
I don't look at a lot of renaissance paintings, and I haven't looked in a full length mirror in about five years

I'd say I have a gap between two of my bottom teeth, and that the most beautiful girl I know once told me I had a gorgeous smile

I'd say I have black hair with a grey streak coming down from my right temple; I'd say no, I haven't done it on purpose to look like Rogue off of X-Men, why do people keep asking me that?

I wouldn't say that the reason I don't wear skirts or dresses is because I can still half-hear the taunts of thunder thighs
Or if I did I might say that thunder thighs sounds like a fucking superpower, because sometimes all you can do to stay sane is pretend to be in on the joke

And if I said that, I might say that after you've been in a wheelchair you don't care what shape your legs are so long as they work; this is a lie, but it's one I keep telling because I want it to be true

I'd say that I have a smattering of freckles across my nose and cheeks
I wouldn't say that I know precisely how many, because admitting that you count your freckles leads to awkward questions about skin cancer, and hypochondria, and have you talked to anyone about these feelings...?

I'd say that I have blue eyes, with a bit of squint in my left one, and my friends say that you can tell if I've been drinking by it
I wouldn't say, it's Christmas, I'm alone, I shy away from my reflection like a fucking vampire, and I feel like crying at every bit of mistletoe I see, and you need the squint to tell if I've been drinking?

I'd say, I hope this portrait is going to be a caricature, or an abstract, or one of those ones done entirely in cubes...

I wouldn't say any of that; I'd lie and say I look like Eva Green
Because who wouldn't want to look like Eva Green
netgirl_y2k: (annie strong)
I've talked before about how my family tend to go abroad for the holidays, all except me; and the wealth of little orphan annie jokes that I could, and have, spun from this.

This year, everyone's at home. Guys, it's awful. Spending the holidays with your family only works if you aren't together the rest of the year. I mean, my family are pretty close, and we rub along together very civilly, generally speaking. But these last few days, it's the sense of confinement, and enforced jollity, and the atmosphere of passive aggression so thick I'm surprised it hasn't set the smoke detector off. We're all stuck in, having an unofficial competition to see whose stress induced ulcer will gnaw through their stomach lining first. And making tea, passive-aggresively.

Which makes this the perfect day to talk about my favourite places to go alone.

I go lots of places alone, not a in weird, anti-social, trainee serial killer type way, but in comfortable with my own company, I have different interests and keep different hours from many of my friends type way.

Like, I don't understand people who won't go to the cinema alone. You'll be sitting in the dark, not talking. It's the very definition of Company Not Required. Actually, I really want to go to the pictures soon, just to get me out of this house, I'm probably the only person in the world who looked at the runtime for Desolation of Smaug and went: Well, that's just not long enough! I go to see bands by myself too, for similar reasons, it'll be dark and you'll be watching what's going on on stage anyway. This does require a sense of timing, so that you get there just as the music starts, and don't have all that standing around the Glasgow Barrowlands drinking by yourself awkwardness.

I do go to the pub by myself, not in a creepy daytime drinker way, or on Friday or Saturday nights because that's what my friends are for. But if you find yourself with an unexpected free hour on, say, a Sunday afternoon, and you've got a newspaper or a book, there's nothing nicer than an empty bar.

I could spend hours by myself in a bookshop or library. I'm that visitor who comes round your house and makes a beeline for your books; I'm not judging you, I'm coveting your possessions, slightly less creepy. Somebody once managed to seduce me using just a room of books; and it was a rented house, they weren't even her books.

One of my dogs is a bit anti-social, loves people, a bit unpredictable around other dogs, the first week I had him he tried to eat next door's prize winning pomeranian, I don't want to talk about. So I spend lots of my dog-walking time traipsing around bizarre places, up hills and down dales, where I hope not to run into other dog walkers. One of my favourites is walking up by the windfarm out of town, which lots of people say is an eyesore, but I think is strangely beautiful. Clears the mind marvellously, me, the dogs, and nobody else in sight. Of course, given the way the weather's been these last few weeks, I'm starting to think that I'm not a dog person after all, I'm a cat person who's made a huge mistake.
netgirl_y2k: (brand new day)
I am 200% in favour of lesbian vampires.

No. Today's post is about writing and about my bumbling, baby attempts at writing something original. The reason [personal profile] fitz_y asked me to talk about lesbian vampires is that when I went to visit her in Germany over the summer I woke up one morning and announced "I've got an idea for a novella about lesbian vampires". You know, as one does. And when you're in Berlin, in a heatwave, drinking a beer by the river, chatting up a group of Australian lads about this novel you're writing (still a lesbian, just wanted to know that I could...) you feel like you could write anything, you feel like you could write Crime and fucking Punishment.

The other thing I found super-inspiring about being in Germany was being able to talk to [personal profile] fitz_y and H about writing. Because I generally don't. Not about fanfiction, not out of a sense embarrassment, well, maybe a little out of embarrassment. A few months ago I was watching The Hobbit on DVD with a crowd of folk, and somebody mentioned fanfic, not in a condescending type way, just in a I know this exists type way, and my immediate reaction was: stare into your drink, stare into your drink, don't make eye contact with anybody. And even mentioning that you write original stuff only prompts a bunch of questions, to which nobody is interested in any answer that doesn't end with you being the next JK Rowling and all of us going to live in a house made entirely out of fifty pound notes, so why bother.

Basically, I'm not sure what my family and friends think I'm always doing on my laptop; they either think I play hell of a lot of words with friends, or watch a hell of a lot of porn.

I've always made up stories and written them down. I have a friend, actually, who's a very talented pianist, and who was accepted into a really good music academy after we left school, and he emerged after a year looking like bloody Gollum, and saying he was going to jack it in because having to do it all day every day was ruining the piano for him, it was making him hate this thing which had been a source of great joy in his life. He's in traffic management now. Anyway, aside from the traffic management thing, that's pretty much how I feel about writing.

Anyway, I came back to Scotland with this idea for a group of all female old school vampires (proper Dracula, Carmilla types) failing to negotiate life in modern day Edinburgh. I know Glasgow better, but you can just imagine vampires in Edinburgh, can't you? And it's been a source of great amusement to me to work out the mythology and build up the characters, and I've been having great fun going through sets of writing exercises writing snippets in that universe.

But the other thing I'm learning is that fanfic and original fic are two entirely different skill sets. For one thing you need a plot, and I've spent many years learning to write in the gaps in other people's plots. Not to sound arrogant, but I think I'm a pretty good fanfic writer, and if nothing else I've carved out a niche which suits me, and I feel like I could write decent enough fanfic about the world and characters that I've created -- but there's no overarching plot, nothing coherent tying it together, which was why my attempt to actually write some of it for NaNo faltered on, like, day two.

Hopefully, something will come to me someday, but even if it doesn't, and it just lives in my "snips, snails, and puppy dog tails" folder, then it's still made me happy, and like writing fanfic or playing the piano, if something makes you happy and it doesn't hurt anybody then you should do it.
netgirl_y2k: (bo & Kenzi huh)
Let's see, I like world-building. And not even just super-detailed world-building, although his coherent magical systems are a big part of why I've liked every Brandon Sanderson novel I've picked up, and that Jacqueline Carey's world-building spans the globe is one of the more impressive achievements of the Kushiel books -- although in the latter books, I do wish she weren't so determined to show me every last inch of it, you know?

But what really floats my boat is internally consistent world-building. Harry Potter works according to the rule of puns and boarding school adventures; Discworld is amazingly coherent considering it was made up as Pratchett went along according to the rule of funny and current social commentary. It's part of why Merlin was a mess, because it didn't even know what its own rules were. I just think you pick your rules and then you have to play by them -- nothing will throw me out of narrative faster than a universe contradicting its own established mythology: if there's no magic, there's never any magic; if your vampires can't go out in daylight, don't tell me later that they can with sunscreen and a heavy coat; if you can't travel back into your own timeline, etc.

It ties into the Doctor Who thing; it would be one thing if a female or non-white Doctor was going to contradict the established mythology of the show, but after you make it canon that Time Lords can change sex and race, you shouldn't be surprised when people want to know why the Doctor always has to be a white guy.

I like stories that start from the middle, and parse out the exposition once you're already knee deep in the plot. This doesn't work at all with stories that start from the end, because that removes any sense of jeopardy for me.

I like third person limited much more than third person omniscient; I blame fandom entirely for this.

I like stories that play with things like identity and memory and losing and finding yourself; the Stark sisters and their various identities, Theon, bloody Theon. I always wanted Once Upon a Time to do more with the fact that almost every character has two identities and two sets of memories in their heads. Given this, you'd think amnesia would be a big kink of mine in fandom, but -- eh, a head injury serious enough to leave you with no memory, but without any other symptoms is one of those things that always stretches my suspension of disbelief, and even when its magically induced amnesia it's hardly ever done with the characters and pairings I'm into. I did think that there would be a darkly hilarious story in latter series Morgana forgetting everything after about mid S1, and it freaking the fuck out of everyone.

I like remixes and retellings of well-known stories; fairytales, mythology, Shakespeare; Wicked, Lavinia, The Penelopiad, things of that ilk. I like dragons as an integral part of any fictional world; Temeraire, Tooth & Claw, A Natural History of Dragons, etc. I will crawl on my belly over broken glass for a princess/lady-knight dynamic; all while wondering why Brienne/Sansa isn't a thing in fandom. Recs for any of these kinds of things greatly appreciated!

I like female protagonists, and actually pay much more attention to that than whether the author is a woman; which I'm pretty certain is an arse backwards way to go about actually changing things.
netgirl_y2k: (winter is coming)
And comes, once again, in the form of a list.

-I am Scottish; you probably already know this, as like many Scots I am compelled to mention the fact that I am Scottish once every three and a half minutes, lest anyone take me for English.

-I have a noticeable if not strong Scottish accent, which I am told is pleasing to the ear. This is the result of having a teacher for a mother, who spent many of my formative years rapping my knuckles with a spoon and saying things like, "the word's not aye, it's yes" and "don't say cannae, it's can't."

-I have lived in and around Glasgow my whole life, it's my home city and I have endless affection for it; so much so that when some friends suggested including it on their honeymoon tour of Scotland I immediately embarked on an enthusiastic sales pitch about the assorted delights of Edinburgh.

-A Glasgow Kiss is a headbutt. A Glasgow Shower is when you've been out drinking all night, haven't showered before work, and douse yourself in an entire bottle of cheap body spray; it's worth noting that this doesn't result in you smelling like anything other than a person who's been out drinking all night and hasn't showered, except now you trigger people's allergies if they stand too close to you.

-Nobody actually eats deep fried mars bars, they're just a trick we play on tourists; chip shop owners in Aberdeen have been known to burst into song at the sight of an approaching American for just this reason.

-Vegetarian haggis tastes better than regular haggis.

-Scotland has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world; I genuinely believe this, I've seen it, usually from the window of fast moving trains while I journey between two places equally grey and industrial and dreary.

-We have lots of fun slang words; of which my favourite is driech which means overcast, miserable, rainy, cold weather. Describes today perfectly, describes every bloody day perfectly.

-The umbrella is a pointless item here, as the rain conspires with the wind and the ground to come at you from every angle at once. The general Scottish constitution is one of a people whose ancestors accepted that they were just going to always be wet; and this is true even if you only got here last week.

-There will be an independence referendum next year. I am in favour of independence, many of my acquaintances are against it; I believe that what most people actually want is some kind of increased devolution, where Scotland will make most of our own decisions, but the UK government would still be there in Westminster for ease of blame should it all go tits up.
netgirl_y2k: (gwen beer)
And comes in the form of a list.

-My favourite pizza topping is the thoroughly unimaginative pepperoni and mushroom.

-I am an occasional vegetarian. When I first came out as a lesbian I thought vegetarianism and cunnilingus were both compulsory. I still sometimes go six months to a year without eating meat and not really noticing or missing it, and sometimes I miss the fuck out of steak. Note: this time frame only applies to the vegetarianism.

-My favourite food is cheese, my favourite cheese is brie, and were there not a history of heart disease in my family I would eat it by the wheel.

-I can cook. Not well, but well enough that should the microwaves revolt and decide to starve us out, I'd scrape by.

-I learned to cook when I first went to look after my grandmother; she'd been in hospital for months after a broken hip, had hated the food, and lost a lot of weight. As a result a lot of the things I can cook are the sort of things you should be eating if you are elderly, and frail, and need feeding up.

-I make a treacle tart capable of making grown adults weep.

-I can make liver and onions that my Gran always said tasted exactly like what she had as a girl in the twenties and thirties. I never figured out of this was a compliment or not; I always found the bloody stuff inedible.

-I cook a very creditable medium steak. I actually like my steak rare, but I'm afraid of poisoning myself and dying.

-I am the queen of putting things on top of toast and calling it a meal. For example, for tea tonight is egg, spinach and pesto on toast, which I shall then present as florentine toast.

-I am trying to learn how to cook new things, though. My recent googling has included such things as "how do you make pâté" and "how to spatchcock a chicken", interspersed with such things as "how long does human blood take to congeal" and "how to dispose of a corpse using the Edinburgh night bus service". Um, those are for something I'm writing. No real world applications, I promise. It looks like the search history of someone who'd kill their partner, if only they could decide what to have for tea afterwards.
netgirl_y2k: (annie strong)
Well, no. Today's post is about the kinds of stories I wish there were more of. But, also, lesbians.

My tumblr currently overflows with images of Katie McGrath and Jamie Chung looking varying degrees of wistful and heartbroken. This could easily lead a person to believe that I have a narrative kink for miserable lesbians, I don't; I have a narrative kink for happy lesbians, which I am so often cruelly denied, so I make do with what I can get.

And it's not even these particular stories that are the problem; Lucy's unrequited love for Mina is actually one of the better things about the current incarnation of Dracula; and nobody was more delighted than me when Once Upon a Time made Mulan's love for Aurora canonical -- although, the longer it goes without any kind of follow-up, the more I get annoyed that the show decided to derail Mulan's confession by having Aurora be pregnant, and I'm not sure why, if they ever had any intention of going through with it, they didn't just have a throwaway line in early S3 about how, actually, you can't bring someone who's been killed by a wraith back, Cora just said that to mess with Aurora's head, because that's the sort of thing Cora would do.

And it's not the use of unrequited love as story trope -- one of the most memorable summers of my youth was the one I spent in raptures of unrequited love with the prettiest girl I'd ever seen, and who I knew with cast-iron certainty was straight. There was something immensely freeing about not worrying about the possibility of rejection, not worrying about if or how I was going to ask her out, not becoming awkward and embarrassed in my bumbling attempts at charm, just delighting in her presence and beautiful smile. Admittedly, I doubt I'd have such nostalgic memories of it if I hadn't gotten over it after about two months, because you can't live like that.

The problem is that the unrequited love story can feel like the only story, you know? The girl never loves you, and if she does, she dies, or you die, or there's a man...

My not especially well kept secret is that despite my generally happy and chill exterior, I am not exactly a deep well of self-confidence; there are days when I quite seriously think that the only thing that separates me from that poor woman who died in her flat and wasn't found till three years later when the bailiffs knocked down her door, is that my bank balance wouldn't stand up to three years of direct debits (frankly, my lot of bailiffs would probably turn up in time to revive me.)

Now I'm not saying the unhappy lesbian trope is responsible for my crippling self-esteem issues, I think we can thank over a decade of daily childhood bullying for that one, but I don't think the sheer history and weight of stories that tell me that, actually, yes, I am as fundamentally unlovable as I sometimes fear I am did much for me either.

So, that's what I want, happy lesbians! Imagine Me & You is great, one of my favourite movies, but a girl cannot live on Imagine Me & You alone.

*So, that post got weirdly personal in the middle, sorry. Tomorrow, back to fandom posts!


netgirl_y2k: (Default)

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