July 1st, 2016
And here's this month's bongo card! Work has done a one-eighty on me, giving me too few hours rather than too many, so maybe I can make some lemonade out of that lemon and get some more done!
June 30th, 2016
Got some mixed feelings about my finished card this month, due mostly to that diagonal line I was so keen to get. In order to get that bit out of the way, I'm gonna break my usual patterns and talk about that line first and then move on to the other squares.
So, that line. Awesome line and I wish I could feel awesome about having hit it but I can't. See, the thing is, I did not successfully make the things in question-- namely, clay faction sigil charms that I planned to make into key chains, some kind of jewelry or possibly magnets. Because I'm ridiculous, I had it all set in my mind that I would sit down and make all of these things at a go. It, in fact, only occurs to me in hindsight that I did not need to play it like that; I could have done one charm a day or something and probably should have. But, well, here we are.
I took advantage of a day off when I wasn't feeling too awful, sat down and painstakingly sculpted out each charm, giving myself a headache and straining my shoulders and back and neck. I went through more attempts than I bothered counting. The completed sculpts went into the oven and came out ruined. I was so disheartened that I turned my attention to other squares, intending to come back to that line. If I hadn't grouped all the squares together in my head, I probably would have done so sooner than I did-- it's easier to say to yourself that you're going to sit and do one thing than four things, you know? Anyway, I finally had another go and this time I didn't even make it to the baking stage. Nothing looked right. Again disheartened, I threw my hands up and figured, fine, I'll try again another day. That third attempt didn't even come.
Why, then, have I marked the squares? Because and only because I am wary, if not outright concerned, of teaching myself that the trials and errors of a project don't matter. My first sculpts were hours worth of labor, I worked hard and turned out something that looked good to start with. I took note of the mistakes I made at the time and of what I learned in my short-lived success. I did not do nothing. I just wish I felt like I really and truly had accomplished something, you know what I mean?
Anyway, moving on to the rest:
( Write AmeriKateCollapse )
( Work on Big ThingCollapse )
( Draw OttersCollapse )
( Read ComicsCollapse )
( Start Neville FicCollapse )
( Post a PicspamCollapse )
( Try a New RecipeCollapse )
Aaand that's it for this month. In addition to my disappointment with the diagonal line, I'm frustrated with myself for not hitting that bottom horizontal. I came so close, but the writer's block I mentioned smacked me down. I have a rough draft of the last fic I need to do and the notes for a review of a comic I read last month sitting in my documents, but neither are enough to fulfill the necessary squares. Speaking of unfulfilled squares, if someone could, like, randomly comment and/or send me messages next month demanding an update on the progress of that Magikarp bag, I think that may be the only thing that will get it done at this point....
June 23rd, 2016
|11:30 am - Excuse me while I ramble a bit|
I enjoy a well-done character death as much as the next person. I firmly believe death can be the right choice for a character and for a story. I firmly believe satisfying deaths of characters at peace and tragic deaths of characters gone before their time and deaths all along that spectrum can serve a purpose and benefit a narrative. I also firmly believe that a death scene can be well-written and emotionally impacting but still be ill-placed within a narrative. I also firmly believe that a narrative can fail to earn a poignant death scene and that can grind the pieces of a heart broken for a character into a fine dusting of resentment.
Honestly, completely honestly, I'm not a fan of character death in general. I stand by everything I said above about it sometimes being the right choice, I have enjoyed character death in the past and I'm sure I will in the future. But as I've grown older, I've also grown tired of the idea that potential deaths are the only stakes that matter in a story of action and danger. I reject the notion that only the possibility of characters dying-- heroically, cowering, peacefully, bitterly-- make a story worth its weight. I more vehemently reject the notion that "meaningless" character deaths-- that is, deaths that defy narrative satisfaction to make a point; ignoble deaths of noble characters because that's the life they (we) live-- are necessarily superior to meaningful deaths as storytelling devices. I acknowledge that some people best connect to works where there is a healthy and honest fear of certain characters dying and of those characters going out with a whimper and I'll acknowledge that such deaths, such stories, have their place. But I am so, so tired of seeing these ideas thrown around like objective criticisms.
Stories exist beyond their casualties. Knowing a character will come out alive doesn't equate with knowing they'll come out okay. For a character who survives a tragedy, there are more stories to tell. Knowing a character will come out alive doesn't equate to knowing how they'll manage it. There is a story in their survival itself. I've seen people say that stories about characters surviving every bad situation they come across are contrived and they certainly can be. But if your reason for why a character has to die is that you can't imagine how they'd survive, maybe it's your imagination that's the problem.
If a narrative is one of adventure and exploration and friendship and hope, I'm not saying meaningless deaths or unsatisfying deaths don't have a place. They can be all the more impacting in such a setting, a sobering reminder of what these characters signed on for and what kind of life they're really leading. They can be painful and poignant, they can inspire discussion, they avoid the trap of glorifying death especially in war. They have story possibilities of their own, not only for the character who dies but for the characters who live on. But is such a narrative necessarily better served by such a death? In a story about being abandoned into seemingly hopeless circumstances, in a story about rallying against expectations of giving in to despair, in a story about friends closing ranks to help each other survive, is the narrative really best served by a character putting himself on the line for even a slim chance it will save the people he loves and then dying in the throes of self-loathing, dying with the belief that all the good he's done-- in this moment and before-- isn't enough to make up for having years ago had good intentions manipulated against him? Is this narrative best served by a character robbed of the chance to come to terms with his grief and guilt, robbed of the peace he's earned throughout the story?
Maybe. In spite of my personal preferences, I can at least say maybe. Maybe that death in that narrative is a point all on its own. Certainly such a death in such a narrative can work. Certainly such a death in such a narrative moved me, choked me up, made me feel. Possibly-- not likely, given my preferences, but possibly-- this story wouldn't mean as much to me in the end without this death. But it also disappointed me. Not in the sense that I'm sad to see this character go, even though I am. Not in the sense that I hoped to see him make peace with his past, even though I did. I could get beyond those points, after a fashion, and I could enjoy this death for the tragedy it is even if it isn't how I'd liked to have seen the story go. But when that death is the price paid for a story arc where characters make poor choices not because it suits their personalities and motivations, not because those poor choices are still the best choices they have, but because the plot demands it? When that death is the price paid for circumstances contrived around the narrative instead of the narrative being woven to fit its circumstances? No. This isn't the disappointment of losing a character I love in a horrible way. It's the disappointment of losing a character I love to a story that doesn't deserve his death.
June 1st, 2016
And here we are, my bingo card for June! I did indeed drop the Practice Sewing square, sad as I am to see it go. I also dropped the Scult square in favor of more specific squares As I suggested in my last post, I did indeed decide to make myself some Transformers sigil stuff, though I haven't decided just what they're going to be. Speaking of those new squares, HOW ABOUT THAT LEFT-TO-RIGHT DIAGONAL LINE, HUH?? I daresay I'll be going for a specific line this month and that I know which one it'll be...
May 31st, 2016
Not much to show for myself this month, as you can see. I'm gonna go ahead and blame work again; still with the full-time hours, yeesh @_@ That said, I do have to hawk the bingo card again as a way to feel accomplished when runnin gon fumes. Barren as it may be, I still managed my measly line by taking a deep breath, looking over the card and figuring out where I would best be able to score, whether I'd be happy with the line in question, etc. And while I would have liked to get other stuff done, of course, having that line helps me feel what I did manage to accomplish, you know what I'm saying? It's an added victory that takes away the sting of the other failures.
Speaking of failures, man, none of them have me gritting my teeth more than the Magikarp bag and the "Finish Requests" square. I mentioned before I at least started the bag-- turns out that I screwed up :D So much for having a starting point. As for the requests suare, I came so close to hitting that one. Unfortunately, one of the requests in question was for a ship in an ongoing comic, the latest issue of which dropped while I was writing and shook up my perception of the characters involved; thus I was unable to finish. Oh, the shame of it...
Anyway! On to what I did get done:
Work on Vampire Thing: Sadly, nothing much tangible to show for it. Did some research, settled on some character names. I did play around with a few scenes, but nothing solid enough to keep. For this square next month, I'm going to try using some new characters. The point of the thing in my mind is that it's a large scale ensamble and the stories cycle through characters, but I've done very little writing outside of the first handful of them. The research I did this month will be foundation for that.
Read Comics: For this square I read Batman: Mr Freeze, JLA: World Without Grown-ups, The Amazing Spider-Man: The Short Halloween and What If... Storm of the X-Men had Remained a Thief? I thought about using one of these to fulfill the "Write a Review" square, but couldn't find the energy to begin with and then, uh. Well, then I plain forgot about it ;>> Ahem. I might still go ahead and do that, actually.
Practice Sewing: Some day, I'd like hitting this square to mean I turned out something of value. As it happens, with my sewing machine still out of commission, all it means is I did some more reading and fixed the pocket on my work vest. I think I may go ahead and drop this square until the sewing machine issue is corrected.
Sculpt: Again, mostly playing around. I've been into Transformers lately-- the IDW comics in particular, though I've been feeling my childhood love for Beast Wars too-- and I want to make myself some faction badges or maybe jewelry. The Autobot and Decepticon symbols are simple enough, but I really want the Maximal and Predacon symbols and I've found those rather more frustrating. Nothing I practiced turned out badly, though, so maybe that'll be its own square next time.
Post a Picspam: I've been wanting to do a picspam/appreciation post in general for some time now. I had a few concepts in mind when I made this square, but nothing solid. I actually ended up going with something else entirely, inspired by a scene in the latest issue of Transformers: More than Meets the Eye. So at least that issue was good for something other than stalling my thoughts on my own OT-frikkin'-P... Yes, indeed, it was this same issue that stopped me at the finish line on the "Finish Requests" square. Anyway. I initially thought the post the scene inspired was going to be only two images and thus I wouldn't have counted it for this square, but as I went about going to find the other image I needed, I realized I was forgetting a few relevant scenes. It still didn't end up terribly long, but it was enough that I'm happy to count it.
Crosspost Fics: Kiiinda cheating here. I still have crossposting to do, but I finally got around to moving some drabbles and ficlets previously exclusive to my Ed, Edd n Eddy Tumblr. As I've been meaning to do that longer than I've been meaning to crosspost anything else that still needs crossposting, I'm counting it.
May 12th, 2016
I don't care what anyone has to say about how uninspired these designs are or whatever, the new starters are all adorable and the legendaries look awesome-- especially that bat. I was already leaning toward Moon, but this clinches it.
Not nearly so sure yet which starter I'll choose. I'm leaning heavily towards Litten because it's a kitten and has a really cute cry-- the fact that it looks like it might evolve into fire/dark has something to do with it too. That said, I do traditionally go for the water-types and all the hate I've already seen for Popplio makes a big part of me want to choose it out of spite. Plus, the new region is based on Hawaii and so a water type seems appropriate. Granted, if this region ends up being as heavy on water-types as one might expect from the setting, it would make good strategic sense to go for the grass-type starter. It doesn't hurt at all that Rowlet is an adorable little owl ball with a bowtie. Not only do I love owls-- with or without bowties, though the bowtie certainly gives it that extra something-- but it would also be thematically appropriate to Moon. And it is the only one with a dual typing, which makes it stand out.
Honestly, for all that I'm agonizing over this already, it may very well be the evolutionary lines that convince me. I was Team Froakie all the way back when XY was the new thing until we found out Chespin's final stage would be grass/dark. It didn't decide me immediately, but it was what the final answer came to rest upon.
And how about you guys? Excited? Underwhelmed? Do you know which game you'll be playing with which starter?
May 5th, 2016
With my phone's grudging cooperation, I finally bring you a picture of the pretzel rolls I made! Feast your eyes:
They were so smooth and round before I boiled I them and I hoped they would be again after baking, but the somewhat lumpy texture did nothing to detract from how tasty they were. It actually felt kinda neat, tbh.
May 4th, 2016
|06:34 pm - Using only the song titles from one artist, cleverly answer these 11 questions. Tag 10 people|
I was tagged in this meme over on Tumbr. I wouldn't normally cross-post like this, but the Tumblr html markup wouldn't let me make Prince's name purple and that irritated me enough that I had to do something about it. Though all the colors of purple I thought I wanted are apparently not purple at all and that also irritates me, there's nothing I can do about that.
The artist I’m selecting: Prince
What is your gender: Lady Cab Driver
Describe yourself: Baby I’m a Star
How do you feel: Delirious
If you could go anywhere, where would it be: Around The World In A Day
Favourite mode of transportation: Little Red Corvette
Your best friend: My Computer
Favourite time of the day: All the Midnights in the World
If your life was a TV show, what would it be called: Curious Child
What is life to you: The Everlasting Now
Relationship status: She Loves Me 4 Me
Your fear: The Future
Tagging anyone interested. Keeping the tagging rule attached in case anyone is really deadset on sticking to the tagging rule.
May 2nd, 2016
Whoops, I forgot about my new bingo card. I know you're all on the edges of your seats, so here it is:
Here's hoping for a good month :D
April 30th, 2016
Yeah, not too terribly busy of a month for me (aside from actual work, which has taken to giving me full time hours on part time pay), but the bingo card actually helps. Some of these, I admit, I squeaked by on. But then I remember, y'know, I do this for fun. And whereas I might otherwise have glossed over how much I managed to accomplish, here I have it laid out in front of me that I did do stuff that I wanted to do, even if I didn't do all of it. So, thank you, bingo cards, for helping me feel like less of a failure. I'm sure it'll last at least as long as it takes me to fail to achieve a bingo... Now, as for these squares:
( Improve SpanishCollapse )
( Write EEnE FicCollapse )
( Try a New RecipeCollapse )
( Write GenCollapse )
( Pixel CrochetCollapse )
( Practice SewingCollapse )
( Draw OttersCollapse )
( Work on Big ThingCollapse )
( Edit WIPsCollapse )
( SculptCollapse )
( Work on Vampire ThingCollapse )
So, yeah, that's it for this month! There is, as I said, a lot that I'd have liked to have done (I didn't even touch my barely started Magikarp bag *sobbing*) but I am, as I also said, pleased with what did get done. A lot more pleased than if I was keeping track any other way I'ev tried, honestly. As I have before, I shall again recommend the bingo cards for at least a trial run :D