flamebyrd: (Default)
- Offline / non-fandom life that I feel is excessively personal
- Unbetaed fic and excerpts from works in progress
- Anything I don't want accessible via search engine

So if you're not on my access list and you're interested in any of that, let me know. I also tend to naturally add people to my access list once we've interacted a little. (Comments on this entry are screened.)
flamebyrd: (song)
I was noodling around on the piano earlier with "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"*, a song for which I am familiar with the tune but hazy on the lyrics.

So to make up for the loss, my brain substituted the contents of "A Bush Christening", by Banjo Patterson.

Go on, sing it.

* From my book 101 Golden Country Hits, which has a very loose definition of country
flamebyrd: (Default)
It was the day of Halloween and somebody linked to the list of [community profile] trickortreatex participants with only 1 gift. I saw [personal profile] lynndyre had requested Methos identity porn. I remembered a plot bunny I'd had a while ago about Methos and Connor MacLeod meeting.

Thus, this story. I posted it about 20 minutes before the deadline, and did not have a lot of time to think of a title.

Mightier than the Sword (581 words) by Flamebyrd
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Highlander: The Series
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Methos (Highlander), Connor MacLeod
Additional Tags: First Meetings, Adam Pierson - Freeform, Identity Porn, Trick or Treat Exchange Treat
Summary:


"Connor MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod," said Methos, smiling. Then, because he couldn't resist, he pulled a can from the ice box next to him. "Have a beer."

flamebyrd: (Default)
After a certain friend of mine remarked that she'd been up until 3AM reading fic three nights in a row (a "fictim", as Tumblr would have it), I remarked that it should be pretty straightforward to write a script that will estimate how long it will take to read a fic and pop up a warning when it thinks you'll finish too late for comfort.

I don't know if a point-by-point retrospective on developing this would be of any interest to anybody, so it's behind a cut. )

So there's now a bookmarklet that will calculate how long it will take you to read a fic, and also a userscript that will do the same and then warn you if it think you'll finish after 1AM (or however you configure it).

These are both still in very early beta, so please let me know if you encounter any weirdness or have suggestions.
http://random.fangirling.net/fun/ao3/work_reading_est.html
flamebyrd: (Default)
I finished the final book a couple of days ago. Here are some thoughts.

Spoilers ahead! )
flamebyrd: (Default)
Previous Yuletide Letters: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

Hello and welcome to Yuetide 2016! I aim to be easy to please, and I'll probably be delighted with whatever you most want to write for our shared fandom(s). As always, optional details are optional, something you really want to write is just as good as something I've prompted.

I love reading:
- Emotional intimacy, found families, trust and loyalty
- Melancholy with a side of hope, that feeling that things are changing (for better or worse) and the past is unrecoverable
- Edit ...But also happy things!
- Different takes on first meetings, fork in the road AUs
- Outsider perspectives, interactions with "normal" or "mundane" people
- Romances that disrupt the usual pining → confession → sex progression
- Tropes: amnesia, road trips, family reunions / high school reunions.
- Slash, gen, het, poly, ace, aro...

Please don't write me:
- Anything that would require an AO3 warning (mention of canonical character death is fine)
- Explicit sex (unless it's plot relevant)
- Incest, relationships with large power imbalances, infidelity
- Embarrassment or humiliation
- Torture, mutilation, damage to fingers/eyes, on-screen permanent injury (past canonical injuries are fine)
- Mundane AUs, zombies, apocalypses, mafia AUs


Request 1 by Flamebyrd
Monument Valley (Video Game)
Princess Ida (Monument Valley)

I was so fascinated to see this in the nominated fandoms. I loved this game, and the little hints of story behind the puzzles. Tell about Ida during her quest, her frustration and regret. Tell about Ida after her quest, when she's regained herself and her people. Tell me about Ida before the quest and what led her to her crime.

I love the atmosphere and mind-bendiness of the puzzles - I don't know how you'd get that into prose, but if you want a challenge, feel free to try!

Note: I'm not partial to very dark interpretations of canon.


Request 2 by Flamebyrd
Ni no Kuni
Oliver (Ni no Kuni)

I would really like to know what happens to Oliver after he returns to Motorville. How does he cope with returning to the "real" world and his friends there? Does he ever return to the other world? Does he grow up in Motorville, and what happens next (university, a career)?

I love stories about characters adapting to a "normal" life after living one full of adventure and danger. How do his experiences affect the way he approaches life now?


Request 3 by Flamebyrd
.hack//SIGN
Shoji An | Tsukasa, Misono Mariko | Subaru

I would love to see these two and their relationship post-series. What's it like adapting to the outside world? How does their romantic relationship develop?

If you're not much for future-fic, a moment between them in-game would be lovely instead!

Note: I'd prefer if the fic didn't focus heavily on Tsukasa/An's abuse background. There are gender issues to be considered, I don't have any preferences there so go with your heart.


Request 4 by Flamebyrd
ねこあつめ | Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector

Please, give me the cuddly, found-family, cat sanctuary fic of your dreams! There's so much you could do here. Slice of life, a slowly growing friendship over sharing the large cushion (or whatever your favourite multiple cat item is), the origin of your favourite memento...

My favourite items: Cardboard Choo-choo, Art Deco Cat Tree, Cow Tunnel, Mister Dragonfly, Butterfly Swarm, Penguin Cushion

Note: I'm not interested in subversions or dark interpretations of this canon. I play the English version, but if you prefer the Japanese names I'm happy with that too.
flamebyrd: (Default)
...with no plans to leave in the near future, which is a weird feeling. It's spring, and by my calculations the last spring I had in Australia was in 2008. I have allergies. How about that.

I've been taking the time to acclimatize, get over my jet lag, and not runs out and see all the people and do all the things like I have on my previous visits. It's nice.

Reading Log (Since June 22nd, 2016)
The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater (Raven Cycle #1)
The Dream Thieves - Maggie Stiefvater (Raven Cycle #2)
Blue Lily, Lily Blue - Maggie Stiefvater (Raven Cycle #3)

In Progress
The Raven King - Maggie Stiefvater (Raven Cycle #4)

...after basically everybody talking about these books for a while, I discovered my old library had them available as ebook so I nabbed them all before they could realize I've moved and cut me off.

Audiobook
An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything - Chris Hadfield (Read by Chris Hadfield)
flamebyrd: (Default)
Here until the 2nd, when we fly to Perth. *waves*

Before we left, I was going to make an introspective post about my time in Canada and what it's meant to me, but it turns out the moving process stretches to fill the time available and is also very stressful, so that didn't happen.

Love to my North American friends, who I will miss dearly, and also love to my Antipodean friends, who I will be seeing soon. ♥
flamebyrd: (dragonfic)
Taking a Saturday morning to be lazy (because we deserve it). Thus, a meme, lifted from various people who I should now send numbers (it's only polite).

You can find any fanfic I still care about here: http://archiveofourown.org/users/Flamebyrd

1. How did you come up with the title to [insert fic]?
2. Any of your stories inspired by personal experience?
3. What character do you identify with most?
4. Is there a song or a playlist to associate with [insert fic]?
5. If you wrote a sequel to [insert fic], what would it be about?
6. Care to share a favorite hurt/comfort fic?
7. Care to share a favorite crack fic?
8. How would you describe your style?
9. Do you have a guilty pleasure in fic (reading or writing)?
10. Write or describe an alternative ending to [insert fic].
11. What's the angstiest idea you've ever come up with?
12. What's the weirdest AU you've ever come up with?
13. Got any premises on the back burner that you'd care to share?
14. Is there a fic you wish someone else would write (or finish) for you?
15. How do you begin a story--with the plot, or the characters?
16. Are you what George R. R. Martin would call an "architect" or a "gardener"? (How much do you plan in advance, versus letting the story unfold as you go?)
17. Do you have any discarded scenes/storylines/projects?
18. Are there any writers (fanfic or otherwise) you consider an influence?
19. Any fandom tropes you can't resist?
20. Any fandom tropes you can't stand?
21. A pairing you might like to write for, but haven't tried yet.
22. A secondary (or underrated) character you want to see more of in fic?
23. Do you like more general prompts, or more specific ones?
24. A character you enjoy making suffer.
25. A character you want to protect.
26. Major character death--do you ever write/read it? Is there a character whose death you can't tolerate?
flamebyrd: (Default)
Yesterday I learned that AO3 really, really does not like emoji, to the point of deleting everything after the offending character in the work box. It's described in the Known Issues page as having no workaround. HTML entities also didn't work (I didn't dive into why this might be).

So I thought, there must be a service that converts emoji into a remotely hosted image out there! And then there wasn't, at least, not that I could find by googling and which would create images appropriate for AO3. But in the process I found Javascript libraries for doing it. Twitter's Twemoji seemed like the best bet, and I very quickly got a conversion script going, only to discover that:
a) It inserts the original emoji character as the alt="" attribute for the image, which AO3 still rejects, and
b) This was not configurable.

OK, I thought. Keep moving forwards. I looked at the Twemoji source code and found it a bit opaque, so I moved on. I found EmojiOne, which looked promising as an open library of emoji images if I were forced to write and host the thing myself. But I didn't really feel like doing that.

I wasted a while messing around with other JS libraries that turned out to only convert :smile: shortcodes and :) ASCII characters to images. Oops.

And then, through googling something else, I discovered that EmojiOne also provides Javascript conversion libraries, and that it was available hosted by a CDN. Awesome! But the demo code didn't include any usage instructions beyond the default, so I dove into the source code. And I discovered that the "use unicode as the alt attribute" is configurable with this script - it will include the :smile: type emoji code as the alt instead, which seemed reasonable.

So I set all that up on my test page, and discovered that the images are output at 64x64 and resized with CSS. This is a decent solution for webpage usage but I didn't want to force anybody including these emoji images in an AO3 work to include a custom skin.

Forwards, always forwards. RIGHT, I thought. The HTML output for the EmojiOne library isn't overridable, but I have the source code and I mostly understand it, how about I just copy and paste the bulk of the function and set it up to allow the coder to provide some HTML attributes for the img tag*? So that's what I did.

And here's the final result:
http://random.fangirling.net/fun/emoji_images.html
(I may tweak it so that you can choose - or manually enter - the image dimensions later. And I'll probably also tweak it so that it converts the shortcodes, since this is a feature EmojiOne provides.)

I feel like if I'd searched more way, way back in the first ten minutes I could have found an existing site that does this. I mean. It MUST exist! But this was an interesting code spiral to get into and I learned some things - and discovered a neat project!


*The quicker option here would have been to just enter the dimensions in the img tag, but my brain wouldn't let me harcode like that
flamebyrd: (Default)
He drew a deep breath. "Well, I'm back," he said.
-- The Return of the King, J. R. R. Tolkien


States Visited (in order)
Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, home

Landmarks: (in order)
Mt Rainier, Oregon coast, California redwoods, Yosemite, Hoover Dam, historic Route 66, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Arches, Scotts Bluff, Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse memorial, Devils Tower, Yellowstone

Days on the road: 26

Hotels/Motels: 22

Distance driven: 10,104 kilometres (6278 miles)

Fuel usage (estimate): 515 litres (136 gallons)

Highest Elevation: 3,401 metres (11,158 feet)

Highest Speed Limit: 128 km/h (80 mph)

Listening material: The Fellowship of the Ring, the Two Towers, and the first 9 chapters of The Return of the King (J. R. R. Tolkien, read by Phil Dragash). The BBC radio play of Good Omens (Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman)
flamebyrd: (Default)
My Wednesday posting experiment fell by the wayside for a while there, huh. I had to consult Tumblr to come up with this.

☀ Health-wise, I've been better (and worse). I came down with a cold over the Canada Day weekend and since then I've been feeling like I'm treading water. Tired, headaches, that sort of thing. Basically I'm just getting home and collapsing, most days. I'm due for a thyroid checkup so I really need to get that scheduled.

I made a Star Wars-themed greeting card I'm pretty proud of.

I re-laced my shoes with sparkly purple ribbon and I am very happy with them, even if nobody at work seems to have noticed yet.

☀ People keep asking if we've started packing yet. The answer to that is a slightly anxious "no". But I went through my books and came up with a stack to give away/donate/etc. So that's something.

☀ Writing-wise, I actually wrote 800 words of a thing! Sure, it's A/B/O gen, but it's something.

No reading update, because I've been slacking on the reading. The current StoryBundle (Historical Fantasy) is curated by Melissa Scott and looks pretty cool, though!
flamebyrd: (Default)
...I set foot in Canada for the first time.

We flew into Vancouver, and eventually hit Calgary, Toronto and Montreal before flying on to London (England).

I was struck by the beauty of the mountains and how you could see them from everywhere.

I had no idea that I would ever be living here.

I was 24. I was working as a SharePoint/ASP.NET developer for the same university I'd studied at.

(I was still playing WoW. I was still watching anime. I'd just encountered Ouran High School Host Club for the first time. I was working on Kite and an untitled story about a vampire detective.)

I was pretty sure I'd marry the guy I was with someday, but we were still over a year away from being engaged.

3 years and 1 day later, we arrived here on a working holiday visa. I had a 1 year leave of absence from my job. We figured we'd stay a couple of years and then head back.

I love this city, and I'm going to miss it.
flamebyrd: (Default)
☔️ Last weekend, I went to Science World* for what was the roughly fourth time in my life, and the first time accompanied by actual children. It is a completely different experience with a 4yo and a 3yo! A fun experience, although exhausting. It's very sad to have to surrender playing with the cool science toys to actual children, though. I hope they appreciated my sacrifice.

(Actually, I wonder how well some of them go down with modern kids [ones slightly older than the ones I went with]. Some of the tech has become increasingly commonplace. But I hope they love the infrared harp as much as I always did.)

☔️ On Friday it will be 10 years since I first visited Canada. On Saturday it will be 7 years since we moved here. I may make an introspective post about this, but I wanted to note the anniversaries in case I don't.

Reading Log (Since June 8, 2016)
The Edge of Worlds - Martha Wells

My ebook and library queue is empty now, so please recommend me things! (I have a small pile of physical books to read, though.)

* You may remember it from many TV shows where it pretended to be something else.
flamebyrd: (Default)
In some fandoms, it's reasonably common for fanfic authors to write text in a language other than English and provide a translation that appears on hover. They do this by putting the text in the title="" attribute of an HTML tag (usually <span>). This works on desktop, but on a touch screen device it gets a little complicated.

Initially I was thinking I could write some CSS in a custom AO3 theme to display the text after the element it's attached to, but it turns out that AO3 doesn't allow you to use the attr() function. So I went back to my old friend, the bookmarklet.

Reveal Title Text Bookmarklet

I also learned how to install bookmarklets on mobile Safari, which will probably greatly improve my fic reading experience in future. No way to install them on my Kobo though, so I guess I'll just have to deal with not being able to read the translations on my e-reader. That or add custom CSS to every AO3 epub I add to my Kobo.
flamebyrd: (Default)
Qantas lets you use their inflight entertainment system during takeoff so I loaded up an episode of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, which I've never watched.

It turned out to have on-screen decapitation and plenty of blood. So I then had to endure the plane taking off while I did my very very best not to faint and/or throw up.

I'm at the point now when I can recognize the symptoms when I am really actually going to pass out (vision darkening, skin prickling, nausea, etc) but I couldn't exactly lie down with my feet elevated, so I had to make do with really deep breaths and closing my eyes.

And it worked, but that was probably the worst takeoff I've ever had and I've learned a valuable lesson about watching crime shows on planes.
flamebyrd: (Default)
Decided to write this bookmarklet during a discussion of advanced filtering in #yuletide, but had to leave before I finished it so it's no longer topical.

But I threw it up on my website anyway, so: bookmarklet to fetch AO3 tag ID

(Plans for next year: make my bookmarklet collection less hacked together.)
flamebyrd: (Default)
I decided to start compiling my "What I Wrote in 2015" post and instead ended up tweaking the bookmarklet I wrote to let you download your AO3 stats page as a CSV.

It now includes:
- Work subscriptions
- A link to the work
- Fandom for both views

Try it out, let me know how it goes - and if any JS coders out there have any recommended ways to provide file downloads of dynamically generated plaintext please let me know? (I've googled the topic, I'm hoping for personal experience.)
flamebyrd: (Default)
At risk of sounding like a scene from The Castle, in this entry I'm going to talk about the movies I watched on the in-flight entertainment instead of the actual trip.

Mr Holmes (2015) - the 93-year-old Holmes movie starring Ian McKellen

My thoughts )

Mistaken for Strangers (2014) - the documentary nominally about the National

My thoughts )


I also watched a Fall Out Boy concert recording that turned out to be post-Folie a Deux, so presumably pre-hiatus and therefore from like 2009? It was a fun time but unexpectedly dated. (Patrick with his cute little hat and not saying anything on stage though ♥.)
flamebyrd: (Default)
Previous Yuletide Letters: 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

Hello! Currently this letter is basically the same as my signup but I am hoping to change that before assignments go out. Assignments are out! And this letter is still basically the same as my signup. But I will note up here if I do change it.

The mini prompts I include with my request are just prompts. If you have a great idea in mind, go for it! I'm pretty easy to please.

My cup of tea:
- Character interaction and team dynamics. Snark, bonding over mutual interests, that sort of thing.
- "Downtime" fic, ie. where the characters do something fairly mundane, like go shopping.
- Case fic (for whatever passes as a case in that canon)
- Future fic, particularly where the characters haven't seen each other in a while and things between them are unresolved
- AUs, but if the canon is paranormal (eg. magic, psychic powers, non-humans) in any way, I strongly prefer its paranormal elements be preserved or transmuted into something setting-appropriate.
- Outsider perspectives, interactions with "normal" or "mundane" people
- Other tropes I am partial to: amnesia, road trips, family reunions / high school reunions.
- Slash, gen, het, poly, ace, aro...

Not my cup of tea:
- I have a fairly strong embarrassment/humiliation squick.
- Anything that would require an AO3 warning (canonical character death is okay as long as it's not the focus of the story)
- Torture, mutilation, injury to hands/feet/eyes
- Zombies, apocalypses, mafia AUs


Dreamships - Melissa Scott )

Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou )

They Were Eleven )

Carry On - Rainbow Rowell )
flamebyrd: (Default)
Previous Yuletide Letters: 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

Edits to this letter: October 30, 2014 I added some mini-prompts to the Fortress in the Eye of Time section.

Things I Like
- As a general rule, ending on a positive note. It doesn't have to be fluffy, and some angst is okay, but I like a happy/hopeful resolution by the end.
- Character interaction and team dynamics. Snark, bonding over mutual interests, that sort of thing.
- "Downtime" fic, ie. where the characters do something fairly mundane, like go shopping.
- Case fic (for whatever passes as a case in that canon)
- Future fic, particularly where the characters haven't seen each other in a while
- AUs, but if the canon is paranormal (eg. magic, psychic powers, non-humans) in any way, I strongly prefer its paranormal elements be preserved or transmuted into something setting-appropriate.
- Other tropes I am partial to: amnesia, road trips, family reunions / high school reunions.

Things I Dislike
- I have a fairly strong embarrassment/humiliation squick.
- Anything that would require an AO3 warning.
- Injuries to fingers/hands/feet.
- Zombies.

For the record, I like all kinds of relationships - f/f, f/m, m/m, poly, etc. Just no incest or underage, please, and I prefer that you avoid infidelity (unless agreed upon beforehand by all parties affected). I have a tendency to skim-read explicit sexual content so please only include it if you think the story requires it.

I've made a few "what happened next" prompts here, but I want to emphasise that if you want to write a missing scene from canon or a prequel or anything else that crosses your mind, I would be absolutely delighted with that. These are all canons I thoroughly enjoyed and would love to see expanded.

Fandom specifics )
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