karanguni: (JUDGE)
Day 9: Send feedback to two fannish people — they can be anyone you want. Done and done.

Day 10: In your own space, share your love for a trope, cliché, kink, motif, or theme.

Oh, I don't think you're ready for this jelly... /laughs Actually, that's not true! I'm a big fan of tropes and trope inversion, but I don't actually write a whole lot of it, which is something I'm hoping to change in the coming year.

Segue: in terms of writing, it's hard to look back and pick out patterns sometimes. I've been in fandom more than half my life at this point, and I've been creating for a vast majority of it. And as much as it sucks to watch the years tick by, what's fascinating - on a meta-level - is looking back at your own fannish history and seeing how you've changed. In some ways, it's deeply embarrassing - there's a lot of stuff in my journals that I want to lock or delete or bury deep in the ground - but there's also growth (as a human being, as a writer) and constancy (the more things change, the more things stay the same). I feel crazy lucky to be able to have the benefit of this kind of geological record of myself.

Meta aside - motif-wise, I can't escape from urban and structural landscapes. Just slapping on a "worldbuild is my kink" bumper-sticker isn't quite true: I love worldbuilding when I'm co-writing, but when I'm on my own I think it's the cityscape or the office-entity-scape that I like to poke at. The fuck-you-structural things. Of the stuff I've written, the one fic I love best is all about urban development; the one fic that AO3 loves best is a finance-firm AU.

It's enormous fun to play with the larger picture and see how that affects characters. I think it's why I deeply like characters like Rufus (FFVII) and Balthier (FFXII) and Gregor/Simon (Vorkosigan). They're all integral to or deeply affected by their superstructures: Rufus, by virtue of being Shinra, is the superstructure. Then there are structures themselves: the Turks, the Judges, ImpSec. Prince of Tennis is divided up into schools; Hikaru no Go and Rakugo Shinjuu are all set in and around some sort of association. Homestuck's 100 made up Structural Things, especially relationship structures, are why I've read a lot of fic in that fandom without caring much at all about the canon proper.

*g* I think I'm going to cut myself off before I keep ranting. Got a trope you love? Talk about it in the comments! I'd love to, uh, comment worldbuild...
karanguni: (Default)
Day 08: In your own space, make a list of at least 3 things that you like about yourself.

I write decently; I've got lots of executive function; I write in British English.

/sniggers That last one is the cross I'll die on, apparently.

The household has been battling intense exhaustion; I think it may be some sickness, but it's hard to tell when there's so much general Stuff That Makes Us Feel Exhausted. At least it's a long weekend!
karanguni: (Default)
[community profile] snowflake_challenge Day 06: In your own space, create a list of at least three fannish things you'd love to receive, something you've wanted but were afraid to ask for - a fannish wish-list of sorts.

  • A remix!
  • Someone to illustrate a project with me. Any project at all!
  • Someone to co-write something with.

On that note, if y'all did a day 6 and have requests - link me, please! I'll include stuff in my Pay It Forward challenge if there's anything I can possibly accomplish. :)
karanguni: (Default)
All righty. I'm throwing together some weekly learn Japanese stuff for [personal profile] yhlee, and I'm posting it here for anyone who wants to play along.

This week's post is about hiragana and katakana. I'm going to focus more on drilling and just getting vocabulary out there than how to memorise the shapes and forms; there are many good resources available on Google for that.

In general, I'm going to try to convey what was useful to me as a learner and the methods I used to help brute-force my way to reading competence.

I'm going to try to keep the kid gloves off and throw in real words, with real difficulty, sooner rather than later. The faster we jump into the hot pan of reading real sentences, the faster we'll get to the kick of getting a mental reward for our efforts - without which learning is kinda hard.

Hiragana, Katakana, and Drilling )
karanguni: (Default)
Day 5: In your own space, post recs for at least three fanworks that you did not create.

This time around, it's going to be fanart!

exp1bds draws the best Tseng I've ever seen. Seriously, I could drool all day.

My utterly amazing friend Crim adapted Executive Reform into doujinshi format. I'd say it's cheating because I'm technically reccing something I helped bring to life, but seriously - Crim did all of the work here, and it's entirely their own, and I can't even begin to express how amazing it is. Giant robots, giant monsters, amazing Hojo.

Meanwhile, for all that I've never quite managed to love the atmosphere of DA:I in terms of its writing - the art it generates is so fantastic, like some crazy, angular, gilted-up world of magic. Which I suppose is what it is.
karanguni: (Default)
Day 04: Comment to someone you haven't ever interacted with before or introduce yourself to someone you've interacted with and friend/follow them.

/goes to friending meme

karanguni: (JUDGE)
So I'm trying hard to make each of these [community profile] snowflake_challenge posts a little bit useful or broadly interesting. Resolutions are a pretty hard one! I've found, ironically, that the major times I've been able to keep up new habits are under extreme duress (schedule is too full, running on empty, head on fire, heart in pieces) or extreme boredom. Funny how that works.

Fandom-wise, pretty much the only time I've been successful at writing at the last couple of years has been with challenges. [community profile] yuletide and [profile] notprimetime aside, anyone have favourites they want to share?

Day 03: In your own space, set some goals for the coming year. They can be fannish or not, public or private. )
karanguni: everyone loves a rich boy  (cilian MURPHY)
Another day of [community profile] snowflake_challenge. As part of it, I'm going to do my damnedest to comment on everyone's entries who are on my reading list. If you've dropped in recently and want to expand your circle, drop me a subscribe and I'll do the same.

Under cut: Le Guin's Left Hand.

Day 2: In your own space, share a book/song/movie/tv show/fanwork/etc that changed your life. )

On a separate note, I'm going to ping off of [personal profile] yhlee's Pay It Forward meme:

Let's start 2017 off in a positive way with a Pay It Forward meme. The first 6 people to comment (and more if I can manage it) will receive a surprise from me at some point in 2017 - anything from a book, a ticket, something home-grown or made, a postcard, absolutely any surprise! It will happen when the mood comes over me and I find something that I believe would suit you and make you happy.

(If you don't like surprises and would rather have something off a wishlist and/or some warning, let me know in your comment. The goal is to make you happy.)

If you can, post this in your own journal and pay it forward. Let's do more kind and loving things for each other in 2017, without any reason other than to make each other smile and show that we think of each other.

I would be more than happy to buy The Left Hand of Darkness (or one of Le Guin's short story collections featuring the Hainish Cycle; it's not that I don't like Earthsea - I've just never read it) - physical or digital - for someone as part of it.
karanguni: (RUFUS looks)
It's that time of the year again! [community profile] snowflake_challenge time, that is. Hello to anyone who's randomly drifting by.

If you want to read about: translations, Japanese language stuff, intertextual rubbish - clicky! I talk less about my fics (of which I've picked 2) and more about the background behind their canons and how they're consumed: rakugo stories and the Tale of Heike.

Day 1: In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you have created )
karanguni: (Default)
Rounding back on some [community profile] snowflake_challenge prompts:

Day 4: Post a fanwork

Out of nowhere, a year or more since its last update, comes a new chapter for Executive Reform: A. Seismology

Executive Reform is my strange Pacific Rim/FFVII fusion, most of it about, well, executive reform: a world in which Shinra accidentally ends up fighting for the good of the Planet instead of its bottom line. It doesn't make them automatically good people; but it's an interesting ride trying to find out where they go.

The main chunk of Executive Reform focused on the latter-days of the war against the kaijuu, when resources are running thin. It's probably my favourite AU universe: Junon in pieces, Midgar also in pieces, Edge not much more than a Shatterdome and slums while all the rich and connected have fled over the plains and into mountains. It's about how Turks and scientists and weapons engineers and megalomaniacal businesspeople turn into war strategists and war heroes and – really – war veterans who learn the price of things.

The alpha (as opposed to numeric) chapters as listed on Tumblr are going to be about the earlier parts of the War: back when SOLDIER was fighting and winning, and fighting kaijuu almost seemed like a PR and propaganda gift from the heavens.

We shall see where it goes! I never plan for any of ER, but it always ends up being some of my favourite stuff – I've gone and played in the sandbox for literally millions of words in a private back-and-forth co-writing freefall.

Day 9: In your own space, set some goals for the coming year. They can be fannish or not, public or private.

Non-fannish (this quarter):
  • Lose 5kg by end of March, negotiable if I gain muscle mass

  • Lift 80kgs by then

  • Finish reading two coding books (one historical, one practical)

  • Make and achieve some goals for learning Angular.js 1.5

  • Finish reading at least 2 fiction books

  • Write at least 8K of something original

Fannish (this year):

  • New icons on DW for my current fandoms

  • Get to 700 kudos this year

  • Rec at least 3 canons (Rush, Chicken Rice Wars, Baru Cormorant?)

  • Write a 15K+ fic

  • Write for Vorkosigan, Clone Wars, Hikaru no Go

  • Redeem myself for [profile] notprimetime and participate this year

  • Participate in at least 2 other comms

  • Meet some new people! Write with some new people!

Also, hi new fandom snowflake people! Please do come say hi!
karanguni: (Default)
Played squash today for the first time in a... half decade? And it felt glorious.

So behind on [community profile] snowflake_challenge, but here's a shot:

Day 11: In your own space, make a list of at least 3 things that you like about yourself.

  • I seem to write all right?

  • I'm pretty quick on the uptake?

  • I, er, try not to be an ass to others?

Day 12: What makes you fannish? And by that we mean, what is it about a tv show/movie/book/band/podcast/etc that takes you from, "Yeah, I like that," to "I need MOAR!!!" Is it a character? A plotline? The pretty? Subtext that’s just screaming to be acknowledged?

In your own space, tell us what it is that gets you to cross that line into fandom.

Hm. The more I think about this, the more I think it's seeing other people be fannish? I've had a lot of interest in things beaten out of me, whether by school or brain problems or life or exhaustion. But reading great things by inspired people, or hanging around a group of excited folk – that helps me get into things.

On a more tropeish level: incomplete things make me fannish. It's supremely hard for me to get into fan stuff for canons I feel are pretty complete on their own – The Culture, for example, or a lot of Le Guin's stuff, even though I've tried hard to write for them. But things with a lot of potential that are badly executed or abbreviated ping me: Prince of Tennis (the former) and Hikaru no Go (the latter) are examples. Strong concepts, strong relationships – it's why I like reading Homestuck even if I can't be arsed with its canon.

I've struggled to get into fandom these last few years, so this is a particularly hard question. I'm still waiting for a fire to get lit beneath me – I honestly do think a few too many years scraping the bottom of the depression barrel has to do with this. But there's nothing a good fic won't solve... *g*
karanguni: (Default)
Day 10: In your own space, post a rec for fannish and/or creative resources and spaces. Tell us where you go to dig up canon facts for your fandom, or where you get all the juicy details about your favorite ship. Where do you like to hang out and squee like a squeeing thing?


I'm a writer, and by and large my biggest resource is... other fic in that canon. I rarely do research outside of canon except in technical spaces, and that's all Google. That said...

Hikaru no Go: I read the Ki-in's Japanese website, and (am very belatedly) collating some of the more interesting (admittedly Iyama Yuuta related) stuff on this Tumblr tag.

Vorkosigan Saga: the wiki, with caveats that I only trust it as far as I have time to throw on the books.

Speaking of Tumblr – it is satan's asshole for many things, but it is extremely useful for gathering random facts/pieces of inspiration. I tag that stuff as useful.

I adore writing for prompts or challenges, and while I haven't written for a comm in a long, long while, I always try to do Yuletide. I also check out [community profile] kink_bingo and related comms for inspiration when I need it. TV Tropes is a natural secondary source. *g*

Back when I was really active on DW/LJ? I had some great people in my circles who would write amazing fandom manifestos. [livejournal.com profile] darkeyedwolf is one that springs to mind at once.


I love echoing fanon, so this is entirely a recs list for some of my favourite fandom writers:

[archiveofourown.org profile] elvaron: FFVII, Vorkosigan Saga

[archiveofourown.org profile] roachpatrol: Homestuck

[archiveofourown.org profile] thehoyden: Hikaru no Go, hockey RPF

[archiveofourown.org profile] lightgetsin: FMA, every single damn thing they write

[livejournal.com profile] ship_manifesto is another great place. Like for this Tezuka/Fuji piece of great hilarity.


I haven't for ages, so if anyone has chatty DW comms? Please tell me! Yulechat is really all that I hang out on, and only at EOY. The entirety of The Culture fandom seems to live there, so.
karanguni: (Default)
Day 8: Comment to someone you haven't ever interacted with before or introduce yourself to someone you've interacted with and friend/follow them.

Done and done, and hello to anyone new! My space is your space &c. *g* If you want to ramble about anything at all, the comments are always open. (Tumblr folks, say hi if you haven't before!)

I'm also eternally taking prompts for any fandoms I know, and any fandoms I don't know that someone's willing to shill to me... :D
karanguni: (ISHIDA mitsunari)
[community profile] snowflake_challenge Day 5:
Leave feedback for a fanwork. Or multiple fanworks. It can be as simple as I liked this to a detailed list of all the things you loved about the fanwork. The key is to leave some sort of feedback.

I'm guilty of bookmarking without commenting quite a bit, even though I know how incredibly frustrating it is to sort-of-see someone enjoy your work but not quite tell you about it. I'm trying to work through that backlog, and I'll leave y'all with these three wonderful stories that were part of it:

po22iible compliicatiion2 (9674 words) by jottingprosaist
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Homestuck
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Sollux Captor/Karkat Vantas
Characters: Sollux Captor, Karkat Vantas
Additional Tags: Helmsman Sollux Captor, Alternate Universe - No Sgrub Session, Future Fic, Multiple Orgasms, Orgasm Delay/Denial, Quadrant Confusion, Overstimulation, Deepthroating, Fingerfucking, Aftercare

Your systems have almost been recalibrated to properly interpret the analog data. The pain and arousal get sharper and more overwhelming with every passing second. Oh, god, you know what the problem is.

You have approximately the most ridiculous case of gold globes in the universe.

Bookmarker's Notes:

This is the perfect worldbuild for me; exactly the right kind of buttons pushed; also best Sollux.

Live and learn (or die and teach) (3106 words) by mira_mirth
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Hikaru no Go
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Shindou Hikaru, Fujiwara no Sai, Touya Akira, Waya Yoshitaka, Isumi Shinichirou
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe, Friendship, Podfic Available

An AU in which Sai has a passion for teaching go rather than playing it, Shindou befriends terrifying Koreans, and Touya wonders how this became his life.

Bookmarker's Notes:

Shoves a wonderful amount of character development into a very tight space and succeeds at doing it - one of the best 'what if? scenarios I've read. Hikaru's voice is bang on.

A Different Sort of Friends (7828 words) by shadow_lover
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Goblin Emperor - Katherine Addison
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Cala Athmaza/Deret Beshelar/Maia Drazhar
Characters: Maia Drazhar, Deret Beshelar, Cala Athmaza, Csethiro Ceredin
Additional Tags: Threesome - M/M/M, Power Dynamics, Dom/sub, Voyeurism, Anal Sex, Masturbation, Size Kink, Consensual Nonmonogamy, Plot What Plot/Porn Without Plot, Yuletide Treat, Praise Kink, Yuleporn

“Now,” Cala said, as something clicked in Beshelar’s hands. The lid of a jar twisting off. “Open him up for us." The use of the plural had never rung so hot through Maia’s ears.

karanguni: (Default)
Day 4: In your own space, create a fanwork. Make a drabble, a ficlet, a podfic, or an icon, art or meta or a rec list. Arts and crafts. Draft a critical essay about a particular media. Put together a picspam or a fanmix. Write a review of a Broadway show, a movie, a concert, a poetry reading, a museum trip, a you-should-be-listening-to-this-band essay. Compose some limericks, haikus, free-form poetry, 5-word stories. Document a particular bit of real person canon. Take some pictures. Draw a stick-figure comic. Create something. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

I was going to write a pimp post for Chicken Rice Wars, thereby shoehorning some local pride and hilarity onto my flist. But then I saw this, and there is just. No. Nope. I had to share it, because if we're talking about creating fanworks, there's nothing QUITE LIKE THE SENTIMENT EXPRESSED IN THIS AMAZING VIDEO:

karanguni: (Default)
Day 3: In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you have created. It can be your favorite fanworks that you've created, or fanworks you feel no one ever saw, or fanworks you say would define you as a creator.

Oh boy.

My best received fics happen to be the fics I had the most fun writing, always and without exception. Ones like:

Fun things flow, and things with flow write better and read better and lend better to just... everything. They might not be the most "hard hitting" of fics, and they might not be fics that ventured to say something important, but they are important and hard hitting to me (and hopefully some people out there!) because they stretched the imagination and were fun; they were play!

My personal favourites?

FFVII is my homeground, and Empery - a Tseng backstory AU - stands out in my memory. While it's not my best written piece anymore, or the subtlest crayon in the box, it helped me find my headspace on a lot of issues, including bicultural things and post-colonial things, and I just remember sitting down at 12 in the morning and writing it all in one long, electric go. A similar fic, Year One (Reeve and Midgar), also hits the list for similar reasons, though I like it better as an objective piece of work. If you like Midgar worldbuild, I can rec that one in all good conscience!

That said, I'd written in FFVII for so long that I never really quite feel like an... independent? Or mature? writer in that fandom - so much of what I write is derivative of derivatives, and while that's not a bad thing, it's not my own voice, per say. Batman Beyond (and DCU in general) is where I hit my stride, and Counting Down The Hours (Terry, Bruce, looking into the past) lives on in my memory of being lyrically strong and emotionally plugged-in.

Without a doubt, though, collaborative works are where I feel I learned the most, was pushed the most, and had the most fun. Executive Reform (FFVII/Pacific Rim apocalyptic AU) was born from a prompt from Elemental, is the gen fic I never knew I could write, and was somehow the seed inspiration for Crim drawing amazing doujin. It's strange, it's tiny, it doesn't get read by many people, but I love it to the bottom of my black heart and it's been a joint fandom bus effort.

And what an ingrate would I be if I didn't mention Nasdack, the FFVII/FFXII stockmarket AU (Tseng/Rufus, Tseng/Balthier, Tseng/Rufus/Balthier???) that I swore nobody would read but me and [personal profile] pendency. It was born out of the '08 crash, written on what I'm pretty sure were the dregs of the dregs of whatever energy she and I had leftover from real life, the desire to see Balthier fuck anything that moved and a good few systems that couldn't, and was just one giant route from beginning to badly defined, never written end.

If you do decide to try and give this a go, ignore the AO3 order and start with:

Is that a trust fund in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me? (18393 words) by karanguni
Chapters: 3/3
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Balthier/Tseng/Rufus, Tseng/Rufus, Tseng/Balthier, Balthier/Rufus
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Real World, Stockmarket AU
Series: Part 4 of Nasdack

'He's a Bunansa. You're a Shinra. Tell me how this will go well, Rufus.'

Tseng's in New York, Balthier's in London, and Rufus is in the sky as the world burns around them. Hedging on futures can be such tricky things.


There is No Witty Euphemism For Dividing And/Or Conquering (15382 words) by karanguni
Chapters: 3/3
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Balthier/Tseng, Tseng/Rufus, Balthier/Rufus
Characters: Veld, Reno, Elena, Rude
Additional Tags: Stockmarket AU, Alternate Universe - Real World
Series: Part 13 of Nasdack

Tseng's in New York, and so is the fledging Shinra-Bunansa empire: whether that is the point or the problem is anybody's guess. Hedging on futures can be such a tricky thing.

The fact that these collabs end up crossovers more often than not is a strange quirk of fandom that I will roll in till the day I'm too old to type. Good times!

(As I dug back through my AO3 to find all of this stuff, I've got to point out that AO3 isn't where the story begins: as much as I'd like to imagine I was always a decent writer, I started off with a Mary-Sue more-or-less self-insert Lord of the Rings fic on FFN. If that's not wince-worthy enough, I even stuck in little A/Ns involving the words "slash" and "yuck." I'm grimacing even thinking about it now, but that's really the fic that opened my eyes: I got flamed about flaming slash, and it made me think about why I'd said "yuck," and here I am like a million years later. I also got defended - people stood up for my (really shitty) writing, and told me to keep going even if haters were going to hate, and I wonder what might've happened to me if I never did get that boost of encouragement. I might never have written another word. My whole life would have been different – and that's... not really an exaggeration? I've met my best friends through fandom and fic; I've become an excellent academic writer (with third-party whatevers to prove it) because of writing fic; the way I think changed because of writing and fandom.

But that's not so much a rec as self-reflection. *g*)
karanguni: (YULETIDE snowflake -)
Gonna jump on this [community profile] snowflake_challenge bus...

Day 1:

In your own space, talk about why you are doing the Fandom Snowflake Challenge? What drew you to it as a participant? What do you hope to accomplish by doing these challenges?

I've been out of fandom a long time! I've never totally gone, except maybe in 2012, but I've effectively been a ghost since 2009 for a whole host of personal/professional/educational reasons. It's strange, considering that I've made very good friends through fandom, learned my voice through fandom, and been given more joy/hilarity/wtf in fandom than a lot of things in my life.

While it'd been very nice to sort of have five years of not caring much about what was going on online, I suppose fandom is... a great big creativity dump? No matter how good my RL friends are, unless I'm creating with them, something's missing. It's the special K, the little something-something, the rocket fuel for my brain, and I'm so glad I got my writing together because of fandom and the people I've met through it. Serendipitous things have happened to me because of fandom, and coming back is a bit like... coming home?

I'd like to just get writing more, honestly. Once a day, even if it's just a post like this, and since fandom_snowflake runs for the first half of January that should be easy enough!

Day 2:

In your own space, create a list of at least three fannish things you'd love to receive, something you've wanted but were afraid to ask for - a fannish wish-list of sorts.

  • A sort of object-permanent no-frills chat space where fandom people can just hang out. I'm thinking of putting together a Slack for it! Since sometimes it's nice to just see if people are about and to talk, regardless of common fandoms/whatever.

  • Porn prompts! I read a ton of it, but I never write a lot of it publicly - I'd love to just get (back?) into the groove of it and get used to writing pieces I'm proud of, because god was it a fun way to explore things and it's still fun and I hope it continues to stay fun. COME LEAVE SOME, random comm people! I have really got no squicks, and if I don't know the fandom I'll just say "pass." Or be convinced...

  • More canon/ship introduction posts. Pimp posts, manifestos, whatever they're called these days - it feels like on tumblr I'm just meant to get into something by virtue of having had my eyeballs bombarded with a bunch of gifs and fanart and it just straight up doesn't get me involved the way a good post or fic used to?

  • ONE DAY, TO COMMISSION ART FOR MY OCs. I have a whole... series and set planned out.

This is oddly cathartic! Looking forward to day 3.

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A universe of unmapped grief and love
And new master light is beyond
The pleiades and plow and southern stars.

O soaring
Icarus of outworld, burn bright
The traceries of known skymarks,
Slide the highway planets behind
Your clear waxed wings.

Go conquer the everywhere left
Beyond your sad confinement
In a predicted bonehouse,
Witch thrown riddle of flesh
And water.

O soar until nothing
remains but great glittering holes
In the black godspun shirt over your head.

- John Fairfax