lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
2020-01-01 08:00 am
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Contact

Drop me a line about anything here.
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
2017-06-25 08:46 pm
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(no subject)

I'm on my third book! *\o/*

I got the LGBT+ BookBundle.
lea_hazel: Arthritis: It does the body bad (Health: Arthritis)
2017-06-23 11:11 am
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(no subject)

*Prof. Farnsworth voice* Good news everyone! My cortisol levels are normal. Near as I can tell this means there's nothing wrong with my kidneys, but, you know, doctors never tell me anything.
lea_hazel: Pride flag (Politics: GLBTQ)
2017-06-21 11:56 am

Reading is hard...

I've been book-blocked for months, now.

On Monday I broke that block by tearing through Seanan McGuire's Every Heart a Doorway like it was my damn job. I may have actually started reading it the evening before, I'm not sure. Regardless, I finished it on Monday night and felt that familiar hollow feeling of having finished reading a story before you were quite ready to let go.

I like her Toby Daye books a lot (I'm about five books in) but this one felt more personal. God knows I rarely feel myself connect with YA books, so it was quite unusual in that respect. I still have some thoughts to mull over but I will definitely review it eventually. Even though it's been nominated and won awards and probably everything's been said about it already.

Since my book-block has been magically cured, I'm figuring out what to read next to maintain momentum.

I had a technical difficulty with my phone app that required me to reset the account and set everything up again, but Kobo were actually quite helpful with the resulting mess.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
2017-06-14 11:41 am

Life of a Chronic Flake

About six years ago, I spent six or seven months writing an "epic" multi-chapter fanfic anonymously on an LJ prompt meme. I was sunk so deep into it. I was obsessed with it. I was madly in love with it.

I never finished it.

I was writing other stories in the same fandom at the time, the fandom that ate my life (another recurring story for me). I got caught up in other things so that thinking about updating the story had me unbelievably anxious. I spent a long time after (what turned out to be) my final update scheming and guilting myself about how I would eventually finish it. Some time after I ghosted on the fandom altogether, I spent a fair amount of time telling myself that I would clean up what existed of it and post it to my AO3 with a final note saying I was out of the fandom and it would never be complete.

Today yesterday I was going through some outlining guides for writers and trying to take notes about how my different stories fit into the mold or don't. Part of my ongoing attempt to create some sort of writing style for myself that I can apply reliably to writing long-form. I was going to note this fic for its planned resolution (which I never reached, but still had an outline for), and I realized I had completely forgotten its name. For a while I had kept the document I was writing it in on-hand, and in my Dropbox, but my desktop of the time died and the doc is now buried somewhere in my backup drive.

I did finally locate it and add that note. And that fic is still to this day one of my most successful attempts at longfic. Which is rather tragic I suppose. Since then I've ghosted on at least two more major fandoms. And I have made peace with my tendency to leave stories unfinished, although I still try hard not to let it happen.
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
2017-06-07 07:05 pm
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(no subject)

I feel bad about things but it will (probably) go away.
lea_hazel: Wonder Woman (Genre: Comics)
2017-06-06 12:45 pm
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There Are So Many Things to Say About Wonder Woman, I Don't Know Where to Start

Diana and the Amazons of Themyscira


On Saturday night, I finally watched the Wonder Woman movie. It's been highly anticipated in general, both because of Gal Gadot's short but redeeming performance in last year's appalling Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but also because of the revolving-door rumors about a WW movie, and its many years in so-called development hell. It took me a long time to become a fan of the character myself, given the nature of creative work on a shared universe like DC Comics' universe. Writers and artists come and go, each one wanting to leave their mark on the character. With each change in creative teams, you never know what version of your favorite character you're going to get next. At the end of the day, every fan has their own idea of what Wonder Woman is, or should be.

Fortunately, this is an idea that the movie takes a strong stance on. Wonder Woman is a character full of contradictions. She's a superhero, a princess, a warrior, a mythological figure and an ambassador for peace, and none of these roles, no matter how conflicting they might seem, can be elided and still remain true to form. An explicitly feminist character from her inception, Wonder Woman was initially conceived as a superheroine who fights evil, "not with fists but with love". There's a great deal that might be said about William Moulton Marston and his ideas of gender, and how they gave rise to the Diana we know. Whatever else might be said, though, what persisted is a profile of a heroine combining strengths stereotypically both masculine and feminine.

Read more... )

Instead I will close with this: Wonder Woman is a five-star summer action film which approaches its subject matter with a little more finesse than is typical for the superhero genre. It fulfilled every expectation I had for it and then some. I fully see myself rewatching it, and finding more to see and love in it than I did in the first viewing. I recommend it whole-heartedly and have high hopes for a sequel.

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.
lea_hazel: Arthritis: It does the body bad (Health: Arthritis)
2017-05-24 12:54 pm
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Life Update

I feel like yesterday was somehow several days rolled into one, and in general this week so far feels like there has been a lot of it. So I am doing very little of today. I will go out grocery shopping at some point because I don't even have cornflakes and milk. I have some emails and messages I intend to respond to. I am working hard on tamping down the anxious instinct to mentally recite all the things I "should" be doing Arya Stark style. I am reading a review of Daughter of Mystery, which I've been meaning to read since the dawn of time, give or take (actually September or thereabouts).

I wrote yesterday and I wrote on Sunday, and I have a plan for how to go on, so on the whole I's say that I'm capital-O Okay.

Which is all I can really ask for.
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
2017-05-23 10:30 am
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(no subject)

I'm making steady progress in Upside Down again. I set it down for a while, partly because of depression, partly from being very busy and stressed over other things. And partly because I read Alyssa Wong's story and it was absolutely-- beyond description.
lea_hazel: Angry General Elodie (Genre: Games)
2017-05-19 04:28 pm
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Voltage Lovestruck: Speakeasy Tonight

I tried out the prologue for the new Voltage game. It’s technically a period piece, which is mildly interesting, and it’s prohibition-era, which under different circumstances would probably intrigue me more. Except that there’s already The Blind Griffin, and while it’s very short and has no female love interests, I enjoyed it tremendously the three or so times I played it through. Plus, the heroine of TBG is just fantastic.

Anyway, the new game. Only the first few routes have made their appearance, but the prologue handily introduces all the many, many (many!) love interests. A little clumsily, but at least it’s super clear on what’s going on. There are about seven or eight male love interests, and one woman.

This is the story of a brash and outgoing girl of indeterminate age (if I had to guess I’d say no older than twenty) whose overprotective mother was worried about her hard-partying ways. So she sent her to live with her stern uncle. In Chicago. Which is clearly the best place in which to protect a young girl from the seedier aspects of life, such a good place that they even named a musical after it.

The MC is full of vim, and is meant to be quite clever and qualified. She doesn’t super sell it, though. It takes her the entire prologue to figure out what was immediately obvious to me as a reader, which is that her temperance campaigner uncle is secretly running a speakeasy under his shop. But anyway, she’s a lively and strong-willed girl, and that has its appeal. Runs a little close to “feisty” for my tastes but it’s hard to tell from such a short sample.

Verdict: I don’t know if I’ll get into it. Then again, it’s definitely better than L&L and I read almost a dozen episodes of that before I gave up. The background art is beautiful. The sprites are nice also, a style much more favorable I think than L&L’s had. It also remains to be seen whether there’s an overarching story to the different routes. Bottom line is, Astoria is still the best. If you can’t get more of that, fanfic is the only way to go.

Crossposted to Tumblr.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
2017-05-10 11:50 am

Life Update

I was so productive yesterday despite waking up pretty late and having trouble getting the morning going. And a random nap at 5:30 in the afternoon. But today I slept even later? And that leaves me in an awkward place where I'm not really sure how to get the day started. Plus I have an important thing this afternoon which I just realized is in only about four hours. Routine is hard. I only got to sleep at about two thirty last night, for no good reason whatsoever, and didn't even have the good sense to feel guilty about it. And I am beyond behind on my schoolwork.

I have a doctor's appointment, both for general checkup and to try and deal with my assorted medication-related issues. Doctor's business is getting complicated again the past few months and it's been seriously messing with the routine I had so carefully cultivated, it's a mess. At least I'm writing and editing and refining ideas, and I have a pretty good idea of how I want to move forward with my creative stuff even if it requires a level of patience that's preternatural for me. I've had a good long think and I'm considering the idea that I might need to narrow my sights creatively, instead of chasing after everything at once. Basically decide whether to focus on pure prose, text games or visual novels.

And ICYMI I finally wrote up my response to a discussion on last year's NaNoWriMo boards, on nonbinary gender representation in fiction and associated tropes. This blog post took a good long while to complete, and I'm really pretty proud of it.
lea_hazel: Pride flag (Politics: GLBTQ)
2017-05-06 09:00 pm
Entry tags:

Nonbinary Representations in Fiction

Nonbinary gendered characters are almost not common enough to have tropes associated with them. Almost, but not quite. The idea of a third gender, bigender, or agender is not actually that recent, after all. It seems to emerge independently, time after time. In modern media, these representations arise just often enough to have a handful of common tropes associated with them. Most of these are tied closely to speculative fiction, where one has the great privilege of learning that one's gender identity is inherently science fictional, alien, unrealistic. Some of them also appear in contemporary setting fictions, although those are less common and even more tied than usual to moral ambiguity.

Read more... )

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.
lea_hazel: Arthritis: It does the body bad (Health: Arthritis)
2017-05-01 10:53 pm
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(no subject)

Would be nice to find a doctor who's more concerned with increasing my well-being than with policing the orthodoxy of my behavior.
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
2017-04-19 11:29 am
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Bless YouTube

Time to find out whether the Biblical satire I watched as a kid is actually still, you know, funny. Or if it ever was. I'm not sure I trust kid!me's taste.

Israeli TV is weird.

Edit: This is gayer than I remember (most things from my childhood are).
lea_hazel: Wonder Woman (Genre: Comics)
2017-04-18 11:36 am

So, I'm finally caught up on Saga.

Volumes 6&7 of Saga are out in TPB format and we picked them up at this year's Olamot. Naturally I devoured them both at record speed. The next arc doesn't start until sometime next month, so for the first time in literal years, I'm actually caught up with the rest of the world (on this or any comic book).

My brother and I used to get a monthly comics package delivered via subscription. This was a method that more or less worked for us for many years, and my brother especially was a little pissed to see it go defunct. But since I've been keeping up with individual issues less and less for years now, and TPBs are generally much easier to read and to store, I'm not too miffed. There was a time when I would read and reread every issue we got, monthly, sometimes four or five times a month, while waiting for the next package with bated breath.

Now we more or less pick up TPBs only at the cons, twice a year, where the two comic book shops (AFAIK the only two in Israel) both have booths. So we get what we can and whatever they don't have we wait on. That's how I got the three Rat Queens TPBs (I reviewed the first two here), the first volume of the new Ms. Marvel (which I still want to catch up on) etc. etc. Some Star Wars volumes too, which I haven't finished, and one Adventure Time comic (with Carey Pietsch doing art).

Getting back to Saga, after the major cliffhanger that I left off on, the two new volumes were a pretty rough rollercoaster. New characters come in, old characters leave temporarily or permanently. One of the leaving characters was a great favorite of mine, and looks to be as permanently gone as they get. When is funny, considering that the Stalk was one of the first (possibly the first) deaths in the comic, and she's still around in some form or another. And the plot is unfolding in such a way that I can still confuse the Will and Prince Robot IV with each other, because... well, their arcs just have a lot of shared points.

But anyway, Saga is still riveting and if anyone has opinions about it I'd love to hear them. I ight even d a proper review, once I've gotten through some of my backlog.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Basic: Science)
2017-04-05 05:30 pm

On Writing and Politics

Lately a lot of writers whose blogs or social media I follow have gotten messages from readers saying that they should "stay out of politics" and stick to writing. Every time see a message like that I think back to all the reviews I've read that have described a book as political or politically-themed. I wonder where all these authors are whose work isn't political. How do you write without writing about politics? It is the thing that structures the very reality around us. Perhaps this seems obvious to me because opting out of political thought hasn't ever been an option for me.

Read more... )

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
2017-03-26 10:57 pm
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So, I have news.

I realized that I tweeted about this but didn't post it anywhere else yet, so:

I'm going to be published in Capricious's gender diverse pronouns issue.

*throws confetti*
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
2017-03-22 08:24 pm

(no subject)

Good news, the files off my drive can apparently be salvaged. I got a new external drive and all, since it'll be a while before I'm thinking about a new desktop apparatus.
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
2017-03-20 03:44 pm

A thing that I forgot

A thing that I forgot is that there's a reason I don't usually leave work before four. And that reason is the lovely suburban parents in my neighborhood who show up in their cars by the drove, to pick up their kids from school. And between three and four (...or five) my street is filled with the cheerful sound of Israeli motorist etiquette. Which is nonexistent, by the way.

In other happy news, last week the hard drive on my desktop finally gave out. I didn't lose much, or at least, not much that didn't bear losing. I will have to recreate the timeline for my NaNoRenO project, once my headache has cleared. But mainly I lost a lot of junk. What with the new laptop, though, I can't really justify buying a new desktop. It's expensive, and I've had a lot of large expenses lately. I'm saving basically nothing working part-time, so there's that, also.

There's other news, and it's much more positive, but I'd need to relax my frame of mind a little, to do it justice.

Last Thursday I went out to replace my earphones, and met someone who went to primary school with me. It was beyond weird.
lea_hazel: A frowning white theater mask (Feel: Sad Face :()
2017-03-12 04:51 pm
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Computer Woes

I am, shall we say, not thrilled to report that my computer decided to start giving me trouble on Saturday morning. I am getting it picked up for fixing tonight, hopefully. I still hope that it can be given another life, despite the many times I've had to have to fixed. I have no idea whether Windows errors of this type are usually terminal or not, but at any rate, I am mentally prepared to rely on my new laptop (which I've only had since November) for the near future. Or medium future.

With a functioning laptop, it's hard to justify replacing the desktop immediately. In the long run, yeah, I'll want to eventually. But in the past I've had times when my single major source of entertainment only ran on the desktop, and that's not the case right now. I could do quite well and I could put it off... for a while. IDK. Maybe I can't justify having a desktop at all, right now.