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I'd got the impression that one's journal is just one's everyday entries, no splash page necessary, especially not in a journal that usually posts links to fics. But on the other hand I've been realising that there are some posts that veer into RL territory and so perhaps it's not such a bad idea...

What's more )
friending )
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Grab the nearest book, flip to page 117, the second sentence is your life in 2017.

"They had carefully decorated the inside with holograms of grasslands, forests, and oceans; cultivated real gardens; and built fishing ponds and water fountains, turning the ship into a real home."

Death's End, by Liu Cixin, trans. Ken Liu, last installment of the Three-Body epic.

...okay? I'll be living in a make-believe place, it seems.

***

Job hunting continues. Today I did some teaching at a tutoring centre... tutoring a bunch of seven- and eight-year-olds, which is kind of amusing. Poor kids. Who actually wants to spend Saturday at a tutoring session?

***

k-drama

Goblin, aka Guardian: The Lonely and Great God: I don't know why the network renamed the series (or gave it two names), maybe the awesomeness of Gong Yoo just could not be limited to one title, or something. Haha.

One thing that drew my attention before it aired was that the inspiration came from Korean folktales (with plenty of adaptation, of course) rather than western-derived tales. Then it aired, and I loved the myth-making that went into the plot, even if it combined that with the theme of reincarnation -- which I'm usually wary about. There are quite a few long, drawn-out scenes of characters brooding, which can feel overlong unless you're simply enjoying the eyecandy (the cute thing about k-dramas is that there is a lot of pretty). The cinematography is gorgeous.

Other than that, I'm enjoying it so much that for the first time in my life of watching k-dramas I wished I understood Korean so that I could get the nuance of what the characters are saying. Last night there was major character death so I'm a bit bummed by that, but the scene before that happened (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1hty9DtJSU) defines "whoa". Also, I think that sword is almost too big.
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
Happy new year, everyone. Good health and good tiddings to all.

It's been a strange 2016, with somewhat unbelieveable developments in politics and with rather more celebrity deaths than expected. We'll need all our strength for 2017, since the trend will probably continue.

The first newspaper article I read in the new year described December, not April, as the cruellest month, but frighteningly and bewilderingly alluded to Chaucer, which was... new. (Well, it is the new year.)

Also, schadenfreude all the way.

(Also, who does that? Doesn't it take about 2 seconds to google-check? WTF.)

***

For Yuletide, I wrote Roosting Winds, Nirvana in Fire, for Naphyla. It's mostly hints and a couple of scene settings, because I couldn't really find a way of writing about a Jingyan-Mei Changsu reunion without it being OCC-ly gushy and melodramatic.

I did read quite a few Vorkosigan fics:

The Huntsman's Reel, Alys Vorpatil, Simon Illyan, by Philomytha

Odd Men Out, Mark, Dono by keerawa

Peace and Quiet, Ivan, Gregor, by alessandriana

Troublesome to Others, but a Torment to Themselves, Mark, Miles, Kareen by ozymandias314

***

Also my brain has been consumed by k-dramas these past two weeks. Whoa.

Yuletide

Dec. 26th, 2016 11:02 pm
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
It's been a quiet time for me, but it was still delightful to have two Yuletide fics written for me. Whoever you are, thank you so much!

A Changeover crossover with Harry Potter is always welcome, especially for this glimpse of Sorry, who is like a breath of fresh air in the Wizarding World: Sealed in a Stone-Cold Tome by (ETA) Aishuu. Thank you, you are a marvel. I thought some of the turns of phrases seemed familiar!!! <3

and

nothing could be better than scenes of married life between Prunella and Zacharias in this Sorcerer to the Crown fic: Mr Gentleman's School for Magically Gifted Children by (ETA) tantamoqwrites. Thank you so much for writing this!
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
Because K-drama

King 2 Hearts. wiki link

This was an older drama (2012) where the publicity posters put me off when it first came out. Luckily it turned out be very different from what I imagined. Damn you, publicity photo!

At first I simply enjoyed it for the romance set in an imaginary constitutional monarchy South Korea (and whenever I watch K-drama, like Goong, that riff on this concept, can't help thinking exactly what it would have been like IF Korea did have a constitutional monarchy... but history marches on) and because not only is the Ha Ji-won an ass-kicking, not-taking-names type, she matches up so well with the Lee Seung-gi (who is always kind of fun). Both are enjoyable in their own way and as the power couple, they are awesome. And of course, the fact that the writers bring in the North-South conflict (albeit resolving it, if temporary, in a suitably K-dramaland fashion) adds a lot of illicit thrill, because on one hand it's a Serious Thing and on another hand I can imagine the writers and producers thinking of the whole North-South conflict as a grab bag of ready-made issues that they can pull out for dramatic tension. As one does.

And on the other hand, I did reach a level of confusion about exactly what the writers/producers meant by constitutional monarchy. At one point Lee Seung-gi as the king yelled at the prime minister, "I'm the commander-in-chief!"* and I went, wait, is that how it's supposed to work?! which led to googling and reading and now I'm... less enlightened in my assumptions? Unexpected but again, fun.

*Though this could be due to subtitling/translation issues.

Goblin: the Lonely and Great God Wiki link. Trailer here

The buzz has been about Gong Yoo and the bromance between the goblin and the grim reaper, and those are definitely the draws, haha. There's just 2 episodes out yet, and I'm very eager to find more about the myth-world that's being built up here. There's also a thrill that they filmed part of it in Quebec because it is so pretty. And also very, very confusing because the goblin is supposed to be more than 900 years old but apparently Quebec was the first place he landed after he sailed from Korea (cf the tombstones in the trailer where his servants were buried) and I do not think ships were reaching Quebec from Korea at that point in time, 900 years ago. Unless he and his servant went overland to Europe first and sailed on a ship there. (But the ship and sailors looked Korean! But then it got sunk by him while it was in the middle of the ocean!) And there's gotta be a time skip of some sort.

Ok, either it will make sense in later episodes or it'd be brushed off by the overall narrative. But it's currently nagging at me. I guess this means I must follow it, haha.
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
Watched, among others:

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

It sounds like damning with praise but it was nice? Loved the creatures and special effects, and the story itself has a lot of potential (I can see why sequels are forthcoming, and not just because of the franchise thing). Also, kind of weird to say this after 8 Harry Potter films, but it's just fun to see adults doing regular magic without thinking that at any moment, the big bad was going to kill everyone. Well, I guess that big bad does make its presence felt at the end but that was expected. Read more... )


Your Name (trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRfHcp2GjVI)

Which was all kinds of awesome and easily one of the best movies I've seen this year (though I've mostly seen blockbusters all year). I thought at first that it was going to be a quirky romantic story that makes use of the oft-misused body-switching schtick, but the plot was better than that. The point when the characters find out what really, really happened, and my heart was breaking when I thought that was it, no more true love. But luckily that was only the halfway point...

The artwork is great, though not very distinctive. That's all right, though; what really shines is the storytelling. And what I really loved was how it went into the local traditions of Mitsuha's hometown, going very micro in one part of it, linking traditional rituals and beliefs with the characters, and then, as the plot unfolds, connecting all of that with macro themes of love and longing and emotional ties. It's lovely work, a tiny bit sentimental without being preachy. And the plotpoint has kumihimo braids! I adore that part of it so much. spoilery )
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I've been spending my time re-watching Kill Me, Heal Me, a K-drama that has themes of mental illness, including disassociative identity disorder. It's K-drama-fied, of course, which means they start out with a relatively good premise and then romance comes in and some typical tropes happen, and the protagonist's troubles are speedily and neatly resolved. But I'm really here for Ji Sung, whom I last saw in All In, and whose acting skills are brilliant, especially in portraying all the different personalities. I love Perry Park! Don't like the female lead as much (she screams a lot) but I have to admit that she's kind of adorable at times. The overall plot is solid, which I really enjoyed. I've been watching it at Viki with subtitles in different languages, just for the hell of it.

***

I'm dismayed by the outcome as well, though I'm kind of surprised so many people are surprised. Whenever I read the news about Trump's supporters, it's always been about how pervasive they are, and how wide his appeal was/is, so... I was hoping for a freak result that would see a woman being elected as president of America. Didn't happen.

Take heart, America. You've always been resilient and inventive. It's definitely not the end of the world.
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
Every time I start to feel regretful about being jobless, my ex-colleagues helpfully 'update' me on the latest procedurally/ethically questionable wtf thing that my ex-bosses have decided/said. And yes, there have been more than one. (I shall have to refer to them by number soon.) It's unnerving when senior lawyers forget that they are lawyers...

***

Segueing from Love in the Moonlight into Reply 1988, which is a sweet coming-of-age drama of a bunch of 18-year old kids who live in the same neighbourbook and also (the part that grabbed my attention) Choi Taek, a young baduk genius (who is described as being a god of baduk who struggles a bit at normal life), and includes this hilarious scene: Play-ing Baduk with Taek. And when the Fujitsu Cup nearly became a container for kimchi. ^____^

***

Nearly forgot: hope you had a great Deepavali!
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
Have been watching K-drama Love in the Moonlight aka Moonlight Drawn by Clouds (hilarious teaser here), which is more of a period idol drama wherein woman in disguise as man turns up in the palace as an enunch falls in love with meet-cute crown prince. There's some typical palace plotting, together with some expected she's-daughter-of-a-rebel! drama coming up. Which actually reminded me of Dong Yi. I'm really very curious about how it will end because the setting is based on actual history and the said crown prince in history... well. Died young.

***

Extracurricular Activities, Mei Changsu/Xiao Jingyan, modern-day AU, Nirvana in Fire, by Alaceron

***

On the personal front, work and job woes )
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
Randomly:

1) I got my Yuletide assignment! It's oddly specific, which is a bit worrying as my first instinct is a "don't wanna" - right now it feels a lot like writing to spec. But will think on it.

2) I had a belated epiphany in which I realised that 'Pillar of Tennis' (as in Prince of Tennis) is a reference to the Chinese concept of 挑大梁 (tiǎo dà liáng, i.e. to play a leading role, or to bear a heavy responsibility) which probably transformed into the equivalent/similar Japanese cultural concept (挑 means to carry; 大梁 means the big/main pillar). And which is again hilarious because PoT is exactly like theatre, so when Tezuka exhorted Echizen to become the pillar of Seigaku, he's also hoping that Echizen becomes the main performer. Exactly right, then.

3) Discovered some deleted scenes of Nirvana in Fire: part 1 and part 2

4) And always, a reminder why I like Yujin so much: where Lord Marquis Yan agrees to help Mei Changsu

5) Apparently my Patronus is a Marsh Harrier.
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
Dear Author

Thank you for offering to write a fic for one of my chosen fandoms! I'm very grateful, and I hope you have fun writing it.

The only types of fics that I do not feel comfortable reading are those that contain way too explicit sex or violence or violence for the sake of violence. However, it really depends on what the narrative/characters warrant so I don't really want to put in a blanket no-no.

These are just some of my thoughts about what I'd love to read, but please don't think of them as any sort of restrictions.

Nirvana in Fire )

Sorcerer to the Crown )

The Changeover )

Thank you again, I hope you enjoy the process of writing!

Issen
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
Magnets for Trouble, Big Hero 6 (Disney)/Avengers crossover, by PitViperOfDoom

Big Hero Martian, Big Hero 6 (Disney)/The Martian crossover, by althor42

there's a michael jackson song about this, Iron Man 3/Avengers 2 crossover, by Bundibird

***

This Vote is Legally Binding by Ursula Vernon
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
Part of my local newspaper's Q&A on Zika:

Q: What can a pregnant woman do if she has Zika?

A: Her doctor will monitor the development of the baby. If it is confirmed to have a major defect, and it is within 24 weeks of conception, abortion is a choice.


That. Is. Well, they said what most people would be thinking, even if it was for a brief moment.

***

Dragons and Other Metaphors, Akira, Hikaru, Hikago, by esama

Fallen Stars, Hikaru, Sai, Hikago, by esama

***

That LJ?DW? meme I've been seeing )
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
Didn't want to let the month go by without posting something, anything:

that 100 scifi-fantasy list that was about a few weeks back )

Busy with work, but that's not too surprising, I guess. It's been an eventful and annoyingly tiring day. I was at court and my hearing didn't go well (which was due to factors not under my control), damn it. But at least:

1) I was wearing my favourite earrings;
2) I caught six Pokémon.

You do what you can.
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(A) Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: I'm still trying to make up my mind whether it should be canon or very, very influential fanon. Or outright fanfic. I can see that it'd be exciting if I were watching the staged version, but I'm also wondering if the numerous very short scenes wouldn't seem rather choppy. Now, question of the hour: spoilery? )

(B) River of Stars, Saiyuki/Stargate SG-1 crossover, AU for Saiyuki, WIP, by Vathara. Yes, that's Vathara of Upon a Fiery Steed (at ff.net), the Gundam Wing/Stargate crossover, who I go back to again and again even though her Duo has rather fanon-ish than I would usually like and that goes for her Heero, her Wufei... but it's still addictive. Then there's Spin Cycle a Ruronin Kenshin/Stargate crossover and its somewhat sequels. Yes, she has a trend going for her. Actually I just like all of her crossover fics. And of course, who doesn't love Saiyuki?
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
No Grave Can Hold My Body Down, Mei Changsu aka Lin Shu/Xiao Jingyan, AU with Odyssey-verse, Nirvana in Fire, by lostlenore

Fully Functional, Rhodey/Tony, Civil War, by astolat

***

- Brexit means I can buy The Cursed Child at a cheaper price.

- Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri! Which is pretty awesome not just because it was fun seeing a kelaidescope of people dressed in their brightest, glitterest best, all beaming at the world, but also:

- public holiday yay! I watched Tarzan Tarzan (brief spoilery thoughts) )
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
I thought it might happen that way. (Also, I had the impression that most polls were around 50:50.) Even though I hoped not - but I've sort of given up on expecting people not to make decisions out of anger, fear and spite.

***

The Rules Saga, Atobe/Ryoma, WIP, Prince of Tennis, by psiten. It might be WIP with what is likely a long wait for updates (if ever) but this is, hands down, one of the nicest PoT fics for this pairing that I've read.

The Reaper and the Flowers, Seishirou, Tokyo Babylon/1999, by 定 (Hikarinimichitasora)
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
With Splendour Fading, Lin Chen/Mei Changsu, Nirvana in Fire, by jusrecht

Ensnared, Su Zhe/Xiao Jingyan, AU, WIP, Nirvana in Fire, by Sychronergy

Let the Years Sculpture Our Love, AU, Yong Qi/Xiao Yan Zi, AU, 還珠格格 aka Huang Zhu Ge Ge aka My Fair Princess, by huanzhuyulu (RuanChunXian)

(I don't know why I was surprised to find 還珠格格 fic, but I was.)

Hikago rec

May. 23rd, 2016 10:16 pm
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Caught in a Thousand Strings, Hikago, AU, WIP, by Thai_Tea_Addict. I'm over the moon at finding good, long fics, especially when it's Hikago. It's WIP, but at over 200,000 words, there's enough for a satisfying read, with the anticipation of more to come. Please heed the warnings for child prostitution. It's a definite AU but the characters are strongly drawn, and as distinctive as in canon. I was struck by how likeable Ogata is - in canon I didn't care for him much, but here he's somehow more compelling. Sai is impressive, and Hikaru... oh, Hikaru.

If the name DJ Stark-Rogers is at all familiar to you, then The DJ Shorts, WIP, AU, Avengers/Iron Man, by scifigrl47
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[personal profile] uminohikari mentioned that there were Nirvana in Fire fics, and I went looking for them. It's a tiny tiny section of AO3, though I don't doubt there must be thousands of Chinese fics at Chinese websites. But at AO3:

[at the end| I still lose you] Mei Changsu/Xiao Jingyan, Langyabang, by incoherenttruth

the very first words of a lifelong love letter, Lin Shu/Xiao Jingyan, AU, WIP, by Alaceron, which is very adorable, with a plot that I'm on the verge of outgrowing: Read more... ) but still, pretty entertaining. WIP, though.

Am reminded of that link from [personal profile] yifu: why fangirling is better in your 30s, because by then you have seen trends come and go.

Thoughts:

Nirvana in Fire, episode 43, when Consort Jing diagnoses Mei Changsu... the look on his face when he realises that in front of her, he's not the powerful leader of Jiangzuo or the enigmatic strategist that everyone is in awe of, but a junior, a child to be protected. He's her nephew Xiao Shu, once again the golden boy who is favoured and beloved by everyone. Even Consort Jing offers to do everything on his behalf, though MCS doesn't agree. He has everything planned and he wants to see the thing through himself. And he wheedles her into agreeing with him, "Aunt Jing, you'll agree to what I say, right?" In that instant, he is both Mei Changsu the strategist who has been plotting for ages and he's Xiao Shu who in his usual headstrong fashion, wants adults to indulge him. So many echoes of the past and present. Excellent scene.

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