lea_hazel: Wonder Woman (Genre: Comics)
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: Wonder Woman (Genre: Comics)
One of the delightful things that happened at Olamot Con 2016 is that I happened upon a copy of the first Rat Queens TPB at one of the stands. The name rang a bell, so I flipped through it and eventually surrendered to temptation and took it home with me. This title has been vaguely on my radar for a while, but the scarcity of comic book stores and my general disengagement with the medium produced an obstacle of availability. What am I gonna say, there is so much entertainment media out there, you have to work hard to catch and keep readers' attention.

Conventions, however, exist to circumvent the barriers that make mass media vastly more available for consumption than more niche markets, and I took full advantage of this fact. I bought the first two TPBs, covering Rat Queens #1-#10, and a full story arc with a satisfying conclusion. Frankly, that's already more than most comics can boast.

Read more... )

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
Last night was sort of the pits of the funk I've been in lately. I talked it out with someone and I feel a little more optimistic. It's the feeling of being trapped into a course of action that gets me down more than anything else. fortunately with enough forethought and creativity I can usually come up with an alternative. And so that's what I'm trying to do now.

Yesterday was also the deadline for Strange Horizons' special queer issue. To which I did not submit a story, as a cause and consequence of the funk I mentioned. I did write yesterday, though, and something I am fairly pleased with. And this morning I drafted my next blog post, the one about writing disability that I've been mulling over for so long. I dread the possibility that it will expand into a series of posts.

Now I have a short break in the workshop which hopefully will allow me to catch my breath a little. And there's Olamot over Passover which is OMG! SO SOON!
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
Every now and then Icon manages to acquire a major international writer as a guest of honor. It always seems like such a great opportunity, but on the other hand, I'm often only faintly familiar with the authors in question and their work. This year was an exception. Having just recently embarked on my career as a professional writer, and being that I'm still struggling with the specific demands of writing proper short stories, this year's guest of honor events seemed too good to miss.

The festival takes place over three days during Sukkot and there are events all day long (and well into the night). Although I decided I couldn't afford to write three full days off for writing, I was adamant that I would make the most and pre-ordered tickets to three evening events. These events were a panel on the subject of "the search for a perfect language", a general short stories panel, and a one-on-one Q&A. Alas, I got ill on the second day and ended up missing the final event (the Q&A) which I was most looking forward to, along with the closing event where awards are announced.

The first panel was very interesting. The subject of language in science fiction is of perennial interest to me, not least because I'm myself bilingual. What I hadn't realized (not being a linguist) is that "perfect language" is actually a quite specific piece of terminology. It describes, as best as I could understand, a language in which it is possible to perfectly express the speaker's intent, without ambiguity. As a writer, obviously this seems like a terrible idea, because without ambiguity literature loses much of its magic. But, as a computer programmer, I'm a lot less worried.

All in all, it was very interesting and I'm very glad I got to hear it.

The second panel was a bit of a mess. I, like some others on the audience (and, I got the impression, also the panel moderator) got the feeling that the two Israeli panelists were dominating the conversation and injecting too many personal references and inner jokes. There was still a lot of interest to listen to, in between arguments about who won the most Geffen awards and short slips into Hebrew. 'Where do you get ideas from?' cropped up but also, more interestingly, some questions that were more about the process of transitioning the raw idea into a story-shaped concept.

I'm still sorry I missed the third event, but glad I went to the ones I did, especially the language panel. I'm even more glad that this gave me a good impetus to look up some of Ted Chiang's short stories online and find out for myself why he's so highly regarded. The stories I read are very high-concept based and feel like a distillation of the core process of creating science fiction. A novel scientific concept, a series of speculations, potential social implications and finally, their impact on the individual human.

A good week, despite my illness.

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
25 day streak on 750words.com. I've been using it for almost a year and I've found it to be an immensely useful tool, both creatively and therapeutically. This month I've signed up, yet again, for the one-month challenge -- aspiring to write three pages (or 750 words) every single day in June. My previous attempts at this challenge have been very unsuccessful, but I hold higher hopes this time. Not only because I'm more than halfway through and so far it's been almost easy, but also because for the first time in a while, I'm writing full-time. Ostensibly.

Sunday through Tuesday, I did no writing at all (other than the aforementioned three daily pages). It's my third week being unemployed/self-employed, and my motivation seems to have ebbed more than a little. It didn't help that I was inexplicably sleepy on Sunday and Monday. I spent a lot of time dozing off, half-awake rereading old fanfic, playing hidden object games, drooling over the Steam summer sale and catching up on Sense8 (a truly ridiculous show).

Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon sprawled on my bed, tearing through Naomi Novik's Uprooted like it's my job. I got the sampler booklet at last year's Dragon*Con when I went to see her talk on transitioning from being a fanfic writer to being (also) a pro writer. And proceeded to chicken out of trying to speak to her in person. Lousy move, given that even then I was making plans in the general direction in which I am now more specifically stepping. Of course, if I was aiming to write a novel, my path ahead would be a little bit clearer.

Looking at my June goals, I'm not doing too poorly for being halfway through the month. I completed my [community profile] jukebox_fest assignment, Hail the Hunter, best described as "Florence and the Machine's Girl with One Eye with bonus megalomaniacal dragons", and wrote a whole bunch of Skyrim fanfic. I made good progress on a Collar of the Damned meta essay that's been in the works for about a billion years. I've been blogging steadily.

A little past the halfway mark, June seems to be treating me well.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
I took up some sort of weird work commitment that accounts for a few hours a month. Nothing resembling a paycheck but I am relieved at the very least at having productive occupation. The kind that I know I can stick to/see through, since I'm getting pretty tired of being mad at myself for spending too much time online (or playing games) and not enough time studying/working/writing. I hope this works out and helps keep me sharp for when I get a full-time job, and maybe even spruces up my resume. Meanwhile I have an interview/exam for a real position on Sunday morning. The holidays are fucking with my sense of time.

I have discovered myself to be too tired, or anxious, or bored to do much Icon this year. It's just... abominably crowded, and full of kids, and smells powerfully of stale sweat. /o\

My current fic assignment is behind schedule and I'm nervous as hell. There's a creeping feeling growing in the back of my mind that I might miss the deadline, which is something I have never done. Nearly happened with this year's [community profile] purimgifts, but at the end I got the last one in. Defaulting, and at such a late point, is really an awful feeling. I just-- ugh, I just have to man the hell up and write it, even if it doesn't come out as good as I hoped.

I know there's a Tumblr Savior-like app that works on AO3. How about Delicious? Is there anything that will allow me to somehow reverse filter links to prompts/fills? IDK. "Not" filtering is kind of complicated.

:/

Tuesday, 26 August 2014 20:21
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
I don't want to keep packing because I'm tired, but if I don't pack I won't be going to Dragon*Con.

I mean. I will still go to Dragon*Con obviously. But I will have to change my plans substantially and it will add certain unnecessary complications. I think. Or maybe this way would actually be easier? I can't really tell anymore.

Bluh.

Anyway, I'm not all that exhausted that I can't go down to the pharmacy to buy a plastic bottle for my shampoo. Or cycle a laundry, or shower and wash my hair. It's only that sitting and staring at a screen out of inertia is lots easier.
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
I just had a weird episode of the Saturday Afternoon Feels Tornado. Really weird and random, I have not had one of those in simply ages. then I did something reckless and searched for the Groot tag on AO3. Then I did something mind-bogglingly stupid and went into the Groot/Rocket tag to check the ratings distribution. It was... not too alarming? By fandom standards? Or maybe just by Homestuck fandom standards. Ah, Homestuck. You'll always be... Homestuck.

Fork.

"more is learned about flora colossus reproduction than is desirable" AHAHAHAHA THIS REALLY IS LIKE HOMESTUCK ALL OVER AGAIN OH FANDOM *TEARWIPE*

Anyway I'm having feelings and I owe [personal profile] marina a post about Unrest which, yes, [personal profile] lynnoconnacht may also be interested in.

I put in a laundry and swept the bedroom floor and fetched a suitcase to pack for Dragon*Con in so as far as I'm concerned I have won at adulting.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
I am trying to both write and feel good about things.

Things I am doing: morning words on 750words have treated me pretty well. stack Exchange has also been pretty good to me, especially writes.SE. Actual words on paper have not gone well, but I've been trying to put together plots and thinking about meta and characterization. I want to know how far I can stretch a character like Aya, who has no canonical backstory. I might have to cave and make a canon for her, IDK.

Staying with my sister went surprisingly okay. I have also succeeded in meeting a friend after work, so that's three evenings this week that I spent with company, rather than sitting in my living room. Paging through Tumblr and playing Sunless Sea. And not writing. Yesterday I worked the morning, which was a bit annoying. Next Friday is family birthday, and the one after that is friend birthday.

And the Friday following is Dragon*Con OMG.

During free hours at work, I've been studying up on HTML 5 canvas element, trying to make a dynamically generated family tree. Between JavaScript and DOM, I've succeeded in creating an interface that allows adding named nodes and creating edges between them. If I backed it with Rails and MySQL I bet I could produce a half-decent shipping chart generator.

Games I need to review on Dreamwidth, because I have too much to say for Tumblr to be sufficient: Sunless Sea, Unrest, Broken Age. Meta essays I need to write: magic, power and nobility in secondary world fantasy.

Spring Is Here

Saturday, 12 April 2014 14:46
lea_hazel: Wonder Woman (Genre: Comics)
Everything is happening.

Thursday was a friend's birthday party, which I sadly missed due to falling asleep at ten-ish. On Friday I managed to repair a messed up situation regarding my regular prescriptions, with largely no ill-effect, which I feel I can be proud of. Then I skipped out on family dinner because it's almost Pesach and I'll be seeing everyone soon, anyway.

Speaking of Pesach, sometime in winter there was a sale at Torrid and I picked up two dressed that I've been waiting for spring to wear. One of them needed hemming, so I went to the local seamstress and promptly forgot to pick it up for about a month. At least these kinds of slipups don't prey on my mind the way they ordinarily used to do.

So many people around me are doing depression blogging. Really makes you appreciate certain things.

Tuesday is the first holiday and then on Wednesday and Thursday I have work, and possibly the local spring con in the evening. Gonna have to bite the bullet and ask my sister if I can crash at hers one night. Then again, I don't know how many of the events I'd really be interested in. At least when it comes to a workday evening.
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
This morning I went digging in my journal looking for the number of a computer technician (don't ask) and instead I decided to wallow like an asshole in the worst bits of the past summer.

I should go to another international sci-fi convention. Yes? Yes.
lea_hazel: Kermit: OMG YAY *flail* (Feel: OMGYAY)
The needs must post is a brilliant idea and I've already gotten a bunch of useful responses. :D I only wish I'd managed to help someone else, but that's not yet happened.

I'm back to classes today after Passover. Yesterday I did most of my holiday work, which I had been planning on getting out of the way early HAHAHAHA OF COURSE. Then I ordered pizza for dinner. :D Anyway school's boring I don't want to talk about that. I especially don't want to talk about being forced to buy an amazingly expensive textbook in order to avoid logistical entanglements with the library's awfully strict lending policy. But, I promised myself I'd be good about doing the reading this semester.

I want to write about DAO and strategy, but it looks like I'm running out of time before I have to leave for class, so maybe I should wait so I can make the post as long as I want.

Funny, I got sucked into DAO so fast and so hard, I forgot to write anything about "the Dragon*Con book", the post-apocalyptic novel that I finished reading, finally, on the way back from the Pesach con.

Looks like I have a lot to write about.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
A bit more than two weeks after I bought it, I finally have a hooked up and working washing machine. As for the dryer, we're not talking about that right now. In honor of this, and of the fact that I always seem to be dwelling on lists of things I haven't done yet, here's a list of Stuff I've Done:

Read more... )

Oh hey I'm not doing too bad. I should make a habit of this.

Icon 2011

Sunday, 16 October 2011 10:11
lea_hazel: Wonder Woman (Genre: Comics)
I suspect that going to an Israeli comics convention might be a little anticlimactic after Dragon*Con. Or, then again, it might be comfortingly familiar. At any rate, the food will be better. Too bad I fell asleep at 3 AM last night and then woke up at 8 AM this morning.

My brother still wants TPBs to catch up on the latest Green Lantern events. IDK, I think he'll probably end up being disappointed.

Home At Last

Saturday, 10 September 2011 14:51
lea_hazel: Wonder Woman (Fandom: DC)
So, I'm home at last. We landed at around three thirty in the afternoon, yesterday. Normally, Friday afternoon would be an awkward time to land, but it's the end of summer and so everyone is traveling, which means no Friday night dinner with the family. Good thing, too, since I'm ill and had no appetite. Right now it's just me, my brother and my father having a lazy weekend at home. Tomorrow I have to start thinking about getting back to routine.

Basically, most of the trip was great, although it was also exhausting. The flight home was terrible though and so right now I'm having a hard time focusing on the good parts. Airports are a nightmare but last night I took a cold pill and slept through the night so I guess I have nothing to complain about.

The next thing I need to worry about is next semester's schedule, but that can wait until tomorrow. Oh! And of course I'm looking forward to the new fall season, of which apparently Lost Girl has already started airing OMG yay.
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
My flight leaves tonight. I am taking my laptop with me, but of course I'll be doing a lot of stuff all day and spending very little time online. The hotel has paid wireless, so hopefully I'll at least check my e-mail most evenings.

Anyway, the con starts Friday and so Thursday will probably be a low-key day to recover from plane travel etc.

Dragon*Con gives us the opportunity to be exposed to a lot of stuff that doesn't usually get exported. Things like indie comic books are sometimes hard to come by in Israel, unless there's a source I'm not aware of. Shipping costs are also an issue. If you can think of something I might enjoy that I'll be able to find in the D*C dealers' room, please drop me a note. I am frequently frustrated by seeing these little projects that I can't quite support.

Anyway, I need to finish packing and stocking up my MP3 player with music for the airport. There's no sure way to know how long the security procedures will take, and so we might spend quite a lot of time being bored silly.
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
I am starting to hit anxio-frenzy on my travel preparations. There is so much on the agenda that isn't strictly necessary, but that I would feel much better about accomplishing. I want to buy some clothes, and get a haircut, go to a demonstration and see my friends. And write, a lot. My writing output this month was much lower than I'd hoped.

IDK, whatever. We checked off all the things we can't travel without. I guess that's the important part. If I can't resolve my fictional conflict before Wednesday... I guess my fic will be even later than it already is. We'll only be away for a week, anyhow.

General Update

Wednesday, 24 August 2011 12:07
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
Whoops I forgot to update my journal in almost two weeks. No idea why. I've still been checking my DW basically every day.

Stuff that happened in that time:

Got a Twitter (here), at the behest of a couple of Israeli friends. There are massive fiscal-related protests in Israel right now and Twitter is one of the online epicenters of news and discussion. A bunch of my tweets and retweets are in Hebrew, just so you know.

Finished my very last piece of work for the semester, which was a mock research proposal that turned out more complicated than I'd anticipated.

Watched Green Lantern a couple of weeks ago and found it fairly dull, having not enough aliens and not nearly enough shiny explody green stuff -- too much talking and ~character drama~. Watched Captain America last night and found it much more enjoyable.

The new light rail in Jerusalem opened. I was on it yesterday to get to the movie and so far it is pretty terrible.

Wrote a bunch of anonymous fic, and also made a bit of progress on my absurdly late [community profile] help_japan fic. It will be sad, I think, but perhaps bittersweet. It is also getting my mind on perhaps writing some more VM fic, after I finish it. Right now, though, finishing it is my top writing priority, and then getting a good beta.

Things that are still to happen:

In a week I'm flying to Atlanta with my brother for DragonCon. Eep.

Finishing an anonymous WIP that I've been working on all summer and spring and posting it to AO3, possibly after extensive editing/beta. This is a thing that is going to happen.

When offices at uni open again, calling the life sciences secretaries and figuring out whether my lab request was approved. This has to happen before I sign up for classes. Then I have to sign up for classes when, yet again, I will take more courses on my first semester than I am comfortable with, due to 'constraints' (had to look that up on morfix).
lea_hazel: Kermit: OMG YAY *flail* (Feel: OMGYAY)
I had a great con! Some of the lectures were weak, some of the time I was cranky, and even though my brother and I vowed not to buy books, we ended up buying four (two each). But it was overall awesome. I had beer, which I rarely do. I also bought a fleece hat with bunny ears. :D

The theme of the con was time and time traveling, and I think I got a great idea for the [community profile] junetide assignment. I plan on doing a lot of writing (and a lot of chores) next week. I would like to at least start a rough draft.

I thought about a lot of things this week. One of them is the possibility of dropping out of chem lab. This is something real which is really on the table now.

An hour ago it was pouring fucking rain and now it's more or less sunny. I better get in gear and hop to the grocery shop to get some eggs and things, before the weather changes its mind. For those not in the know (by choice or otherwise), it is impossible to make it through a kosher Passover without at least 893165746592 eggs. Rather, it's not quite impossible but it is extremely aggravating.

ETA: Is it possible that I accidentally enabled the "disable auto-formatting" ticky to be on by default? I keep getting paragraph-less posts that I then need to edit.

Olamot 2011

Tuesday, 19 April 2011 18:06
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Genre: Fantasy)
So the theme for this year's sci-fi con, starting tomorrow, is time. The schedule looks pretty cool, my brother and I will probably be there all day tomorrow and most of Thursday.

These comics and SFF conventions have become a reliable touchpoint for me with Israeli SFF fandom, which is pretty cool. I still have no idea when the third book of the Whale of Babylon series is coming out, though. For all I know, it may never come out. D:D:D:

Anyway, if I ever get around to writing one of my ridiculous Hebrew fantasy ideas, it's good to know that I'll have someone to talk to about it. Specter Valley can't lie dormant forever, it would be so wrong.

Associating holidays with new comics is nice, even though I'm horribly behind on my comics reading.

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lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
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