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19 April 2014 @ 11:43 pm

Tonight I saw a movie which is probably the most refrackulous thing I’ve watched in ages.

Its Japanese title is Dokuro-jo no shichinin, and it’s actually a recording of a stage production, deliberately intended (so the blurb for it said) to be a blend of cinema with live performance. That much is comprehensible.

But the plot, you guys. The plot.

It just –

These characters –

I — I have no way to describe it that wouldn’t be full of spoilers. Which you probably don’t care about because the number of you who will ever see it is minuscule. But I can’t tell you why Tayu’s crew of prostitutes are so awesome. Or who exactly that one dude turned out to be (though I can say that I turned to my sister about ten minutes prior to that reveal and said “if he turns out to be X, I am going to laugh my ass off.” Of course he was X.) I just –

Okay, look, here’s an example. The story takes place in 1590, eight years after the death of Oda Nobunaga. There’s this guy who’s set up shop in Skull Castle in the Kantou region, calling himself Tenmao, the Demon King of the Sixth Heaven. (This story: it is SUBTLE, yo.) It turns out that he, along with several of the other characters, used to be one of Nobunaga’s retainers, and hasn’t really gotten over his lord’s death. I believe the technical term for his state of mind would be, hmmm, how do they put it, oh yeah — bugfuck crazy. So one of his former comrades-in-arms goes to Skull Castle, and something like the following conversation ensues:

TENMAO: See this mask on my helmet? It was made from the skull of our dead lord!
FORMER COMRADE IN ARMS: That’s a little crazy, dude.
TENMAO: That’s funny, coming from you. I happen to know those beads you wear are made from our dead lord’s bones!
FCIA: . . . okay, that’s true. <caresses bone necklace>
TENMAO: And this drink in my cup is made from our dead lord’s blood!

Whereupon he drains the cup, kisses his former comrad-in-arms, and spits the blood into his mouth, which turns out to be drugged, so FCIA also goes what you might call bugfuck crazy.

It is kabuki on crack and cranked up to eleventy-one. It also dodges the Smurfette trap (three of the seven heroes facing down Tenmao are women), swings wildly between broad comedy and rather grim drama, features some kind of amazing stage fighting, and has a character who basically figures out how to turn the fact that he can’t make up his mind which side he’s on into his superpower.

I am so buying this the instant it’s available on DVD. And then I am going to inflict it on everybody around me.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

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19 April 2014 @ 10:48 pm
Easter is always my favorite time of the Christian church year. I mean, yeah, not all of it is fun per se -- it's not all about happy happy joy joy. But it's powerful, and personally relevant.

The church I go to is Presbyterian, and for Holy Week we do this: the Sunday before Easter, of course, is Palm Sunday, marking Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. Thursday (Maundy Thursday) remembers the Last Supper (more or less; I generally don't go to that one). Friday (Tenebrae) intersperses scripture readings of the arrest / trial / crucifixion / death sequence, with relevant music offerings, and with each reading the lights get turned out one by one until we end in darkness. Saturday (Easter Vigil) starts in darkness, and recounts some of the pivotal stories of things God has done, including the Genesis creation story and the Exodus story of the parting of the Red Sea, and then the story of the Easter resurrection, at which point the lights come back on and bright banners and flowers get brought in, and it is all cheerful and alleluia-y, and then we do a thing welcoming new members, and it ends all Easterful. And then Sunday of course is Easter.

I am not, generally speaking, comfortable with the angle of Christianity that says that Jesus was somehow cosmically or divinely required to die for our sins or whatever. So the aspects of Holy Week that are, in essence, a celebration of the crucifixion, do not sit easily with me. The Tenebrae service is always borderline for me for that reason; it is powerful, and aesthetically fitting, but focusing on death and torture and despair and betrayal always at best gives me the heebie-jeebies.

But the Easter Vigil service -- in its function as a transition from the darkness of Tenebrae to the brightness of Easter -- is by far the most personally relevant to me. Because for me, the message of Easter is not that Jesus /had/ to die, but that God's love transcends even death. That no matter how dark the metaphorical Fridays get, no matter how bleak and empty, Easter morning still comes.

And also this: remember God's love, and be joyful

...and maybe also that Cadbury creme eggs are amazing, but that's not a church thing.

(My main quibble about the Easter Vigil service as we do it is that the timing is wrong. It feels like it really ought to be early Sunday morning, timed such that it starts in darkness and then the transition happens as the sun rises. Mind you, nobody would come, even me, because that is a very awkward time to do things, and we are after all Presbyterians; but every year it feels odd to me. Especially this year because it was still light outside when we started.)

Cross-posted between DW (here) and LJ. Comments welcome in either place; DW has comment count unavailable comments
19 April 2014 @ 06:45 pm
I should be writing my RBB, but I'm having a little difficult concentrating. So maybe my brain needs a jump start. Or a meme.

I've borrowed this one from my very dear friend, aragarna, a character meme. The fandom for this one is White Collar, of course. Not only is it my favorite fandom (and my only one), but is there a more character-driven show out there?

Give me a character and I will tell you...

* How I feel about this character:
* All the people I ship romantically with this character:
* My non-romantic OTP for this character:
* My unpopular opinion about this character:
* One thing I wish would happen / had happened with this character in canon:
* Something about them I consider true, even though it's only my head canon/fanon:</i>

Remember I have strong feelings about secondary characters, villains and maybe even the setting - because NYC is a character in the show, too, so if I’ve already answered for Peter, Neal, Mozzie and Elizabeth, don’t despair!

And if you’d like to play along, here’s the text for you:

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19 April 2014 @ 10:32 pm

Very very pleased to announce that “The Waiting Stars” is up for a Hugo Award for Best Novelette (though, given that other people on the ballot include Ted Chiang, I think I can safely skip the acceptance speech :p ). Particularly happy because Loncon3 is a special con: it’s the symbolic anniversary of the first Worldcon I went to (Interaction in 2005), with the H (who wasn’t the H at the time!), it’s my first con as mother of the snakelet, and it will also be my first English Worldcon as a writer rather than as a fan.

Many thanks to everyone who took time to read “The Waiting Stars” (and especially those who nominated it). And also very very pleased to see Benjanun Sriduangkaew on the ballot for the Campbell Award: I’m crossing my fingers very hard for her.

The full list of nominees is below:

Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

Cross-posted from Aliette de Bodard

Leave a comment at original post, or comment here.

Yesterday I saw CA:TWS again with [personal profile] iulia, and talked with her about how difficult it is to get a sense of Bucky's POV. So of course today I took a shot at writing it, and then decided that this constituted an actual story. So: story!

Daylight Breaks (638 words) by Dira Sudis
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: James "Bucky" Barnes, Steve Rogers
Additional Tags: Amnesia, Captain America: The Winter Soldier

He knows two things without being told. There is a war. He is a soldier.

This entry was originally posted at There are currently comment count unavailable comments there.
From what I know of history poetry and song were originally the same thing, and I always delight at song lyrics which, as well as working musically, are poetic even away from their music. Read more...Collapse )
Current Mood: girlish
19 April 2014 @ 08:31 am
It is my birthday! Here, have a present, which I technically wrote for garrideb but can serve as a gift in general for everyone. <3

Title: Wrap Me Up (Inside Your Smile)

Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 958
Disclaimers: boys do not belong to me; only doing this for fun! Title from Weezer’s “Smile.”
Summary: for garrideb. In selkie!James ’verse (here and here): their first, second, and third kisses.
wrap me up (inside your smile)Collapse )
Current Mood: busy
19 April 2014 @ 06:06 pm
Title: Long, Hard, Odds
Author: ladygray99
Rating: NC 17
Prompt: #465 Pulse, #463 Mirror, #464 Mask
Characters/Pairings: David/Charlie
Word count: 3x300
Warnings/Spoilers: none
Summary: It's been far too long since Charlie's picked some guy up in a club.
Notes: Written for numb3rs100. So I've wanted to write the idea that David and Charlie hook up before they officially meet forever. Finally happened.
Beta: none

Long, Hard, Odds

No Words Needed (#465 Pulse)Collapse )
Direct Desires (#463 Mirror)Collapse )
What Are The Fucking Odds (#464 Mask)Collapse )
18 April 2014 @ 09:09 pm
Well, I just paid one. TMI. how I spent my night at workCollapse )
Current Mood: chagrined
18 April 2014 @ 06:28 pm
This morning, the first of two landscaping/hardscaping dudes came out to check the premises. He took some measurements, we went through some catalogs, and he'll get back to me with some estimates once he's run the numbers. I liked him just fine, and I think he's good at what he does; he was my first pick, after all...though my second pick was such a close second that it was almost a coin flip, anyway. (And we'll see what the other dude thinks about matters on Tuesday.)

Not gonna lie, I'm getting pretty excited about it - despite what's bound to be an exorbitant price tag. It's a lot of work, and a lot of materials, but the results are going to be amazing. I've had visions of patios and paver walkways dancing in my head all day.

Which reminds me, Monday I'll take some photos and shoot an email to the historic zoning people, just to cover all my bases.

* * *

I checked the flower baskets today when I went out to do my watering - whereupon I spotted one wee little nest, a tad bigger than my palm. No eggs yet, and the birds wigged out when they saw me messing with the basket. (No, I didn't water it.) They were apparently watching from the dogwood tree nearby.

I can hear them right now, chirping back and forth to one another on the porch. I trust that means they've forgiven me the small intrusion.

* * *

Here's today's progress on my witchy art-deco horror novel about Lizzie Borden thirty years after her parents' deaths - now featuring ghosts and non-ghosts alike, anti-Catholic conspiracy nuts, supernatural political shenanigans, the mafia, and a Bonus! space-worshiping murder cult hiding behind the KKK:

    Project: Chapelwood
    Deadline: October 1, 2014
    New words written: 1236 (meh)
    Present total word count: 64,874

    Things accomplished in fiction: Read a sinister newspaper article over breakfast, and received an alarming phone call.

    Next up: Courtroom results and fallout. (I know I said that yesterday, but I really mean it for tomorrow.)

    Things accomplished in real life: Neighborhood jaunt with dog; replied to an email interview; met with the landscaping dude; cleaned the whole house even mopping the relevant floors; refilled all the bird feeders and watered all the new stuff except for the bird-occupied flower basket; started a load of laundry.

    Other: Cleaning the whole house eats up a fair amount of brain CPU, thus the lower word count today. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 98,267
19 April 2014 @ 09:05 am
Title: Crime Scene Photos
Author: ladygray99
Rating: PG
Prompt: #466 Flash
Characters/Pairings: Charlie
Word count: 100
Warnings/Spoilers: none
Summary: Charlie is the crime scene
Notes: Written for numb3rs100. This is sort of a little cut scene from my Whitman 'verse story Sing my Body Electric. It takes place between chapters four and five.
Beta: none
Crime Scene Photos (#466 Flash)Collapse )
19 April 2014 @ 08:58 am
Title: Just Acting
Author: ladygray99
Rating: G
Prompt: #467 Liar
Characters/Pairings: Colby
Word count: 100
Warnings/Spoilers: For the Janus List Arch
Summary: Colby tells himself he's not a liar.
Notes: Written for numb3rs100.

Just Acting (#467 Liar)Collapse )
19 April 2014 @ 08:54 am
Title: Transfer of Force
Author: ladygray99
Rating: G
Prompt: #468 Ache
Characters/Pairings: David
Word count: 100
Warnings/Spoilers: This takes place post Chinese Box
Summary: The painkillers wear off at three in the morning.
Notes: Written for numb3rs100.
Beta: none
Transfer of Force (#468 Ache)Collapse )
18 April 2014 @ 12:31 pm
While preparing for Poem In Your Pocket Day I found this poem by Sara Teasdale that, among other things, demonstrates the lovely process I see people doing all the time in writing fanfic. (Does this make sense? I'm writing it against a background of screaming.) Read more...Collapse )

The Last Supper in Salt
Creative Commons License
This work by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

This is a wall mural of Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting of The Last Supper. It sits in St. Kinga’s Chapel in the Wieliczka Salt Mine . . . which means that, like pretty much everything there, it’s carved out of rock salt. Which, you have to admit, is pretty impressive!

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

This entry was also posted at Comment here or there.
18 April 2014 @ 11:41 am

Alt text: "I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it’s not literally illegal to express"

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