Bad news

Mar. 22nd, 2013 11:18 am
tehta: (stained glass tree)
1. I have been crazy-busy recently, both with work and with personal stuff, and so have not had much time to write.
2. I am about to go on a nine-day Easter vacation (to the Philippines!) so who knows what the writing/posting situation will be in my near future. (I do hope I will be able to put together something else for [ profile] b2mem, since my original goal was to do four small things, and I have done three. But all I will have is a small tablet and I don't like typing on it.)
3. I am no longer sure whether second-age Glorfindel is worth writing about. He's just too damn perfect. (Power close to that of a Maya? Really?) I need to figure out his "motivation" -- things he would desire and/or fear enough to drive a story -- and I don't think it can be anything very personal. Thing is, my reborn G seems to view Elven death as an inconvenience, so that's not a real threat. I suppose his smug insouciance could cause conflict with others, in itself, and he could learn to really care about Middle-earth... (Second-age Ecthelion might be better, because my E could create internal drama during a beach vacation. But still -- too damn shiny and perfect.)
tehta: (ecthelion and glorfindel)
I suspect that I am the very last person in this corner of fandom to hear about The Song of Achilles, last year's Orange-prize-winning novel about, well, Achilles. And Patroclus, who, in this interpretation, is NOT his cousin. If you know what I mean. And most of you do.

Anyway, I have finally heard of it, and moreover, purchased it and read it. And now I feel compelled to share my thoughts on it with the internet. So, here goes:

  • I did enjoy it.
  • It is well-written. Not brilliant, but reasonably impressive.
  • But I cannot help thinking of it as fanfiction for the Illiad. (Hilariously, the review I linked to above says the same thing -- citing Sam and Frodo!)
  • And, if I judge it by the same standards I apply to fanfiction... it falls short. I can think of several fics I find more compelling, and just as well-written.
  • I guess I feel that it lacks a certain edge. I think this is VERY related to some discussions I have been having with [ profile] wulfila lately, about the ideal of the noble, beautiful hero, and the question of whether we should be writing them. One of the claims I made was that the most popular heroes fall far from this ideal, and I gave the examples of Lancelot, Maedhros -- and Achilles. A different claim I forgot to make was that actual idealized heroes would be boring to read about. Well, I feel like this book idealizes Achilles so much that it makes him boring. (It does keep Odysseus interesting -- but then an author would have to be truly incompetent to mess up such a great character.)
  • I guess I also feel that it is overshadowed by the Iliad. Shocking, I know. But it's like the Iliad is painted in a wide range of colours, vivid and muted, light and dark, and this book is a small pale study in pastels.
  • Anyway, the specifics of The Song of Achilles aside -- the whole experience of reading something so lauded, and so comparable to fanfiction, really made me realize just how rich our playground is, here, and how lucky I am to have found it. Go fandom!

And now that I have bored everyone, I would like to draw people's attention to the gay claymation version of the Iliad. I know I have linked to it before, but it remains fabulous and awesome.
tehta: (diaper Glorfi)
Glorfindel Day is something I tried to institute in my LJ during my original* stint in fandom, after going hiking in spring. One is supposed to celebrate this when one encounters the first tacky, overabundant field of wildflowers of the year. (Celandines would be best, of course -- see icon -- or something else yellowish, but other colours are fine too.)

Glorfindel Day is celebrated by feeling joyous and a bit smug, sitting up straight, and paying more attention to one's hair than one usually does. Putting bells on things is entirely optional.

Of course, with the latest... changes in the weather** here in Europe, this day may be long delayed. But I have some fanart links to share (even if all you Tumblr types have already seen it), not to mention some blathering.

Fanart! Here is a picture of all the Captains of Gondolin I had never seen before. It's a bit cartoony, but the character designs are nicely varied. I love Maeglin. And Egalmoth. And Tuor... but especially Glorfindel, because of the way the tacky armour is offset by his expression. And then, here is another... thing, which HAS TO BE SEEN. Because Elrond is so right.

Here there be blathering about Glorfindel's return to Middle-earth )

* Behold, I am reborn in fandom! Just like the protagonist of this post!
** A friend recently claimed that all this snow has been forced on us by HBO, as advertising for The Game of Thrones. Because, you know, Winter is COMING, not GOING. Blah.
tehta: (diaper Glorfi)
I wrote a drabble, for the "tradition" prompt. I later decided that posting a single drabble (especially one that is set in tehta!Gondolin, and that mentions "Elflings") would be frivolous... but I have just seen today's prompt, which is Idril! So, I am clearly fated to post the following:

Drabble time! )

Author's note: Tarnin Austa is a traditional festival.
Also, apologies for the self-indulgence...
tehta: (stained glass tree)
And back where it all began...

Another [ profile] b2mem ficlet, this one written for this Day Five prompt, which resolves to Cuiviénen:

Long they dwelt in their first home by the water under stars, and they walked the Earth in wonder; and they began to make speech and to give names to all things that they perceived. Themselves they named the Quendi, signifying those that speak with voices; for as yet they had met no other living things that spoke or sang.

I hope this fic makes at least a smidgeon of sense. To my mind, the Cuivienyarna (and the canon associated with it) has always been a bit confusing. Anyway, this is my headcanon now:

The Firstborn of the Firstborn )

With copious author's notes )
tehta: (stained glass tree)
I need to amuse myself. The latest [ profile] b2mem prompt is about Beleg, but my Beleg muse is otherwise occupied.

So I am stealing a meme from [ profile] huinare. It goes like this:

1) Make a list of fifteen characters first, and keep it to yourself for the moment.

2) Ask your f-list to post questions in the comments. For example: "One, nine, and fifteen are chosen by a prophecy to save the world from four. Do they succeed?", "Under what circumstances might five and fourteen fall in love?", "Which character on the list would you most want on your side in a zombie invasion?"

3) After your f-list has stopped asking questions, round them up and answer them using the fifteen characters you selected beforehand, then post them.

Wow, I think it has been at least five years since I did a meme! Anybody want to ask me anything?
tehta: (stained glass tree)
It's Back To Middle Earth Month! And there are prompts and things over at [ profile] b2mem!

And I have decided to participate, at least a little.

Anyway, here is a vignette, written for the Friendship prompt (which cites Maedhros and Fingon.) I guess it follows from this older vignette of mine (although I don't think you have to read that one, at all, to follow this one.) Warning for SUPER IRONIC title. Also for the fact that this is not humour. It is 450 words long, and was written breathtakingly fast, i.e., in about an hour.

The Cliff and the Ice )
tehta: (stained glass tree)
Still not sure about fanfic archive choices. I got some readership at each one, dammit. But I guess I *will* put some older stuff up at AO3.

The general response to the adventures of Befuddled Slutty Finrod (as [ profile] lenine2 called him, amusing me quite a lot) has been overwhelmingly positive. I am a bit surprised, because at one point (here "one point" == "several days") I thought that the story was totally flat, and everyone would dislike it to the point of realizing that my previous stories were just a long-running fluke and I should be despised as a writer, or perhaps pitied. But hey, self-haters gotta self-hate, and I am over this now. For the moment.

In other news: horrible person [ profile] eveiya got me reading an original slash fic, Captive Prince. Since it appears to be taking LJ by storm, many of you probably already know it, but in case you do not... I am hooked on it. To be honest, after reading the description (a captured hero becoming a "pleasure slave") I felt doubtful that it would be my cup of tea, since I have this tendency to find many slave-fics more hilarious (and less sexy) than the author had intended, but this description doesn't really do the story justice. It's more of an adventure story in the style of Dorothy Dunnett, with a fun slashy OTP. And I love the writing, as well as the author's own comments on her writing. She has released "commentary" for several chapters (which make it clear that her process is a lot like mine -- in the mechanics at least, not sure about the despair cycle) and occasionally posts more general meta. Like this guest post about maintaining tension, which is a topic I have never thought about explicitly, but is certainly something I try to do, most of the time. (Well, perhaps I do think about it explicitly, but the metaphor I use in my head is not about building/releasing tension, but about setting up punchlines -- or maybe I should generalized that to "pay-off moments", because it isn't always about humour. Effective emotional lines need a set-up too, in this metaphor, at least.)

Anyway, considering this whole idea of narrative tension has made me realize how much I have missed thinking about writing, and discussing it with clever people. And trying out different techniques, although of course I am too slow to draw any quick conclusions from such experiments. So maybe I will be blathering on about this in future posts.

EDIT: If you don't want to have Captive Prince spoiled for you, do not read my comments!
tehta: (stained glass tree)
Thank you all for yesterday's advice! I have followed it all! That is, I have posted my new story everywhere: I suppose it's an experiment. I suspect I will eventually get lazy about multi-posting.

As to why I have a new story: it's because I participated in the 2013 My Slashy Valentine challenge. Which was really fun to do (the cycle of despair aside), because my plot-bunnies started breeding like crazy. And, of course, as a participant I got a gift fic: The Black Sword, by elfscribe, a Mablung/Beleg story that features some of my favourite things, such as competent, stoic Elves; epic poetry; and the doom and gloom that is First-Age canon. I am very pleased with my gift, and people should totally read and review it.
tehta: (stained glass tree)
And now for something completely different...

Gil-Galad. I have found yet another reason to be confused regarding his parentage.
Other than this, I mean.
I guess most people around here would vote against Fingon, because of Fingon/Maedhros Christopher Tolkien said this was a mistake, and it should have been Orodreth. However, I recently re-read the Children of Hurin (for Mablung reasons, because Turin gives me a headache), and encountered this:

Then Túrin ... said to [Finduilas]: ‘I had a sister, Lalaith, or so I named her; and of her you put me in mind. But Lalaith was a child, a yellow flower in the green grass of spring; and had she lived she would now, maybe, have become dimmed with grief. But you are queenly, and as a golden tree; I would I had a sister so fair.’

‘But you are kingly,’ said she, ‘even as the lords of the people of Fingolfin; I would I had a brother so valiant.

Which is of course a little ironic, with all the mixing of sibling/sexual affection and the resulting foreshadowing, however: I would I had a brother so valiant? What about poor Ereinion?

I guess we have three options:
* Gil-Galad is not Finduilas' brother at all.
* Gil-Galad has not been born yet, during this conversation. (which, since his father is about to take the fast boat to Mandos at this point, would make him a posthumous baby. And actually, I sort of like this, hmm. It even goes well with the name "scion of kings.")
* Gil-Galad has been born, but has been sent away, and is, at this point in his life, a chicken. (I like this even more, because I like ruining noble Elves' reputations.)

Anyway, several plot-bunnies here!
tehta: (stained glass tree)
I suspect most of you are long gone now. However, I am back, at least for a while. Encouraged by an evil f(r)iend, I have rashly signed up for a fanfic exchange. So, I have been plotting, and writing, and second-guessing my writing, and panicking about my lack of talent and my slowness; all the usual steps the readers of my LJ should be familiar with. But also, to keep my spirits up, I have been re-reading both my old stories and this journal. Oh, the good times I used to have here! The art posts, the dodgy humour!

Anyway, how is everyone?

PS. It is a very weird experience, to reread one's own fics "cold", after several years' break. I can see many problems with the writing itself, of course, but I can also see very, very clearly that my recurring claim of "writing the stories I wished to read" was an honest-to-Manwe truth. I am amused.
tehta: (Default)
Hello. I am in Alice Springs, getting in touch with my inner hippie. However, before I went on vacation, I did actually write something. (I did it under duress, as I had signed up for Claudio's Genfic Swap some time ago in a more optimistic mood. I also did it quite quickly, by my standards -- slowly by most other people's though, I bet. Even I had forgotten how slow I am.)

Anyway, my prompts were "setting: the bole of a mallorn in Lorien" and "character: the Elf in the Hobbit who says Bilbo looks delicious on a pony." I am not sure I fulfilled the latter (it's supposed to be Thirwin...) but I sure did fulfill the first. The fic is set in the Third Age, but features First Age Themes. (Warning: Not Gondolin!!!) It is gen, but the humour is dodgy as ever.

(PS. Yes, I know Rumil is missing an accent. I will fix these things once I am not on a hippy hostel computer.)

Mallorn Torment )
tehta: (Xmas G)
Just that. I know I don't post often, but I do lurk on my flist, and wish you all the best. As does Christmas Glorfindel.
tehta: (Default)
In spite of my ambitious plans, I have not written anything postable, and it's halfway into November already! My current excuse is that, although I am on vacation, it's not a very restful vacation: I am using it to take a week-long glassworking course. (Completely addicted now. Also, rich enough to take the classes.) So, I melt glass all day, and then socialize with my fellow students in the evenings, and in the end I am completely exhausted.

Oh, and I don't have internet access where I am staying. I am currently stealing wifi from someone else's B&B.


Nov. 4th, 2009 08:46 pm
tehta: (Default)
So, when I decided to do 15K words of writing this month, I had somehow forgotten what my workweek looks like. E.g., right now, it's 8:47, I am in a meeting, grinding my teeth because people (some of whom are on video with a -9 hour time difference, so still fully awake) are being ridiculously long-winded, and I still have a couple of hours of work left to do before I can head home. However, I have a secret pro-writing weapon: I am going on vacation in a couple of days! So maybe then.

Is everyone yawning and regretting my return to LJ yet?
tehta: (Default)
All right. So, it's the right time of year for spirits from the past to arise, so I thought I would do a quick update post.

I am still living in [a European capital] and still working in [my new technical, non-academic career.] Working quite a lot, in fact. It's hard to believe that three years ago I was worried about my ability to hold down a forty-hour job! Anyway, I just got promoted -- this is my first real promotion ever, incidentally -- and promotions here are sort of a big deal because we have a pretty shallow structure. So, I am thinking that I have successfully proven something to myself, and maybe it's time to slow down a bit. (I already do some things outside of work: I travel a lot, and I have made some progress with my Feanorian hobby of glassworking. I even have a group of friends, only they're mostly people from work so we enable each other's workaholism a lot, and also obviously they're people who've only known me in my latest incarnation of worky-travelly-glassmelty person, so not quite as fulfilling as lifelong friends who know a fuller package.) Oh, and I am not depressed! Whee.

And now I would like to add a warning: I might be posting a bit more in the near future. I have decided to try to recall some writing skills, and so I will be trying to do something in the spirit of NaNoWriMo: throughout this month, I want to try to write 15k words of assorted lj-postable ficlets. So it'll be sort of a wimpy WriMo for me. Real NaNoWriMo types can use my example to make themselves feel better.

I have about four ficlets planned already. Prompts are welcome, although I make no promises.
tehta: (Default)

Happy Birthday!!! Happy Birthday, [ profile] lenine!
I'm sorry that I have failed to prepare your B-day gift in time. I hope this picture of familiar Noldorin fashion will distract you while I keep working on it...

tehta: (Default)
Comment to this post with 'comment!' and I will give you 5 subjects/things I associate you with. Then post this in your LJ and elaborate on the subjects given.

[ profile] wulfila, long may she carry bears, gave me the following subjects:


I like looking at pictures and scupltures and buildings and well-designed gardens. It gives me the same aesthetic pleasure as looking at nature, but it's additionally intriguing because I know that a human imagination put it together.

W. is an evil person for asking me about something I want to rant about.

a rant )


Probably my #1 hobby. Seeing a place I have not seen before, and trying to get a feel for it, is one of the greatest pleasures of life. (Of course, it does not work when the place is a suburb that has the same feel as yesterday's suburb. Hence the move to Europe from the US. Although I guess it's possible that I just need to work on my travel palate, so I can derive moods from subtler differences, like gravel/lawn ratios and the ethnicity of the names on local election posters.)


You associate Elves with me??? I guess it makes sense because I have just decided that when I go insane online, I will start telling everyone that I am really an Elf. It's true! I am intellectually androgynous, I love art and nature and travel and the sea, I whine about time passing, I drink a lot of wine... it's all in Tolkien! I will reveal my Elf name as soon as I can figure out how to say "pretentious" in Quenya.


I would have said this is my #1 hobby, but it's more of a religion: something that will hopefully take me all the way through life, and outlast all other pleasures. I try to be amused as much as possible. Also to amuse people, although of course that's harder. I think irony is my favourite flavour of humour, although everything else can have its place, too. Even puns.

Boring post

Feb. 6th, 2009 01:20 am
tehta: (diaper Glorfi)
Sorry for my ongoing silence -- I have been very busy, etc etc. I even missed [ profile] tyellas' birthday! Unseemly! (And happy birthday!)

Oh, and I have not written anything recently. I think I am losing the knack, which is a bit depressing. I would like to take it up again, but with all the other stuff going on I would have to feel rather inspired to convince my lazy side to find some time for it. But I am not feeling inspired at all. Oh well.

The only interesting thing in this post is the following fact, which [ profile] lenine2 is making me mention: it has recently come to my attention that celandine is a treatment for piles. I guess that explains the diapering.
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