marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
2015-08-15 08:43 pm

Got any old Xena vids lying around?

[personal profile] morgandawn is looking for old Xena vids to help preserve fannish history!
" I'd like to help build up more Xena content on Fanlore. To do this I need vids. Preference is for older Xena fanvids - yes those really old 6MB rmb (Real Player) or wmv (wndows media) files. Most likely these vids will no longer be available online . If you have any vids downloaded and squirreled away and are willing to share them (via one to one upload or by USB/disc), ping me at morgandawn @ We hopefully will have a good enough cross-section to create pages on Fanlore. If we get enough pages we can create a Xena Fanvid category on Fanlore . (Note: we will not be uploading the vids to Fanlore - the copies will be used to help the editors add the pages. Also Fanlore cannot host vids so there's that.....).

I am also looking for people to create fanvid pages on Fanlore for under represented fandoms. It can be done at your own pace and all you need to do is copy and paste a template (and of course fill out the fields- vidder name, vid title etc)." 

So this is NOT about uploading vids anywhere without the vidder's permission - this is about documenting those older vids on Fanlore, which I am so very much in favor of, and I've already messaged Morgan.

I looked and I have a whole bunch of old Xena vids - most of them I don't even remember, but some I remember so fondly! Matt Savelkoul's con vids were great, particularly "Discotheque", and the "She Bangs" vid by another vidder where Xena breathes fire in time to the music.

marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
2014-07-08 03:12 pm

"On the Cold Hill Side" (Gimli/Legolas)

cold hill side AO3
Hooray, my Gimli/Legolas Big Bang story is live, with wonderful art from cybersuzy!

On the Cold Hill Side (24938 words) by marycrawford
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Lord of the Rings - All Media Types, The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (Movies)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Gimli/Legolas Greenleaf
Characters: Gimli, Legolas Greenleaf, Aragorn, Arod
Additional Tags: Dwarves, Elves, Dwarf Culture & Customs, Dwarf Courting, Slow Build, Slow Burn, Pining, Angst, Eventual Happy Ending, Tourism, fangorn, orthanc - Freeform, aglarond, Hurt/Comfort, Snark, Banter, Competence Kink, gimli is a BAMF, so is Legolas, Gimli/Legolas Big Bang, Big Bang Challenge, Friendship, Friendship/Love, Secrets, Canon - Book, Mythical Beings & Creatures, Ents, Talking Trees, Tree Climbing, Walks In The Woods, Caves, Dwarf/Elf Relationship(s), Missing Scene, First Time, Canon Related, gigolas bang 2014

In the end, Gimli thinks, Legolas will steal his heart and sail away with it, and even the wonders of the Glittering Caves are not enough consolation for that loss. But when Aragorn calls for Gimli’s help in dismantling the hidden traps of Orthanc, everything changes.

marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
2014-05-13 10:40 pm
Entry tags:

That movie thing

I know I haven't posted in ages, but apparently I can be gotten by a good meme. To wit:

Anyone who feels like it should post their ten most CRUCIAL CRUCIAL CRUCIAL-ASS movies, like the movies that explain everything about yourselves in your current incarnations (not necessarily your ten favorite movies but the ten movies that you, as a person existing currently, feel would help people get to know you) (they can change later on obviously).

"It's not fair!"
"You say that so often. I wonder what your basis for comparison is?"

Remo: Unarmed and Dangerous
(anyone who has even seen this movie is probably in my karass)
"Watches are a confidence trick invented by the Swiss."

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
"Are you deaf?"
"Did you speak?"

"If he's a Polish count, I'm Greta Garbo."
"Well, Greta, I think he's divine."

Some Like It Hot
*sound of maracas*

Lawrence of Arabia
"Thy mother mated with a scorpion."

Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan
"What do you think of my solution?"

Desk Set
"I bet you write wonderful letters."

My Neighbour Totoro

Spirited Away

(...okay, and basically the rest of the Ghibli catalog, or is that cheating?)

marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
2013-09-13 12:24 pm
Entry tags:

Yuletide is bigger than the Hugo awards? Whoa.

Jaw-dropping realization of this morning: the number of fans participating in Yuletide is bigger than the number of fans who vote for the Hugo awards.

Last year's Yuletide participants: 1995
This year's Hugo voters: 1800 or so - ETA: 1848, by official report.

I'm not even sure why I'm so surprised by this random comparison. Probably it's because I roamed around in SF/F con fandom before media fandom, and this feels like such a strange crossover.

It's also boggling because the Hugos carry a lot of prestige (I think, still?) and yet the group that votes for them is so small, and confined to people who are paying either tons of money to go to Worldcon, or $50 for a 'voting membership' that won't let them go to the con, but gets them copies of the books.

And I don't know how big the overlap with Yuletiders is; I'm betting it's there, but not huge. But I'm fascinated, anyway.

(What do you think the chances are of John Scalzi winning a Best Novel Hugo for Redshirts, if the Yuletide participants were the ones voting?)

marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
2013-09-09 01:46 pm
Entry tags:

Pomodoros and planning

[personal profile] astolat posted about the Pomodoro method, which I've also been using for a while now. Basically: concentrate on work for 25 minutes, take a break for 5 minutes, repeat. It works!

I'm using Focus Booster for Windows, which is just a little free timer that counts down the minutes for you and dings when you're done. I also use Workrave to deal with RSI, so I still take microbreaks in between.

Now here's a related question: what software or apps can I use to plan stuff better?

I don't know what terms to use for googling - 'open source planning software' gets me stuff designed for entire teams and whatnot, but I would like something a little simpler that's just for me.

What I'm looking for:
  • Software that's preferably free, preferably open source, but if it's awesome and paid I will shell out for it.
  • Works on Windows XP (which they will pry from my cold, dead hands, or at least I will wait until Microsoft sees fit to repent from their Windows 8 sins before buying anything else.)
  • Something that lets me keep track of hours worked, weekly and monthly deadlines, maybe a daily popup to remind me of my goals for the day?
  • Something geared toward fiction and wordcounts would be awesome, but probably not necessary.
  • Something that keeps my data local and not in the cloud, if possible.
I'd appreciate any tips you have!
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
2013-08-11 07:40 pm
Entry tags:

Snady recs! (slightly late)

I really like the idea of everyone leaving fannish recs on Sandy's birthday. Of course, by the time I saw people's posts, it was already a day later (timezones are so handy that way) and now it's a day later still, but I'm sure Sandy woudn't have minded. I visited her recs pages so often, back in the day.

So have two recs for stories by the same author, both in Tolkien movie/book fandom.

First, an adorable Legolas/Gimli story where, as the author says, Gimli is a BAMF. This is an important part of his characterization for me, and I'm always happy to find fic that showcases him that way.

From One Age to Another (12118 words) by determamfidd
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings - All Media Types, The Hobbit - All Media Types, The Hobbit (2012)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Gimli/Legolas

Summary: Upon their return to Eryn Lasgalen and Erebor respectively, Legolas and Gimli each have a new adornment. Their fathers would like an explanation.

The second rec is for a much longer crossover-ish story where Thorin and crew are all kibitzing from the sidelines as the LOTR storyline progresses. What with being dead and all, there isn't much else left for them to do - or is there?

This one's a WiP, and we haven't gotten to the point yet where Legolas and Gimli are even friends, much less anything closer than that, but I cannot WAIT for that to happen, and to see the reactions from the other dwarves. And then there's the question of whether Bilbo will be allowed into the Halls of the Dead...

Sansûkh (94511 words) by determamfidd
Chapters: 14/?
Fandom: The Hobbit - All Media Types, The Lord of the Rings - All Media Types, The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit (Jackson movies), The Lord of the Rings (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply, Major Character Death
Relationships: Bilbo Baggins/Thorin Oakenshield, Gimli/Legolas Greenleaf

Summary: The battle was over, and Thorin Oakenshield awoke, naked and shivering, in the Halls of his Ancestors.

marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
2013-04-03 09:47 pm
Entry tags:

Podfic of "The Tough Guide To Fantasy Cities"

This is so cool, and I think it's a first for me: a podfic of one of my stories! With multiple readers, even:

[podfic] The Tough Guide To Fantasy Cities (24 words) by klb, reena_jenkins, Wesle
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Tough Guide to Fantasyland - Diana Wynne Jones
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Additional Tags: Podfic, Collaboration, Humor, Fantasy

You will not encounter any rustic taverns, bards, or bowls of stew on these tours! Instead, expect nightclubs, rock singers, and lots of gourmet coffee.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
2013-01-15 05:27 pm

Things this country is good at (sometimes)

It's been snowing hard, pretty much for the first time all winter, and there's a ton of traffic jams and train delays and all kinds of badness.

But here in the city, the roads are slurry but otherwise clear, and people are industriously shoveling the sidewalk in front of their houses.

Best of all, the world's tiniest snowplow just drove by. Seriously, the thing was the size of a Smart car with a little plow stuck in front.

Why so small? Because it was PLOWING THE BIKE PATHS. <3
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
2013-01-02 09:11 pm
Entry tags:

Yuletide reveal is here!

This year, I wrote one story for Yuletide, in a favorite book fandom - the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy by Martha Wells. It was a lot of fun revisiting this universe and working on a possible future for Tremaine, Ilias, and Giliead after the end of the third book.

When the Sea Is (7183 words)
Fandom: Fall of Ile-Rien - Martha Wells
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Ilias/Tremaine Valiarde
Characters: Tremaine Valiarde, Ilias (Ile-Rien), Giliead (Ile-Rien)

Summary:  Tremaine had been living in Cineth for more than a month now, and so far, none of her more pessimistic predictions had come to pass. She hadn’t gotten anyone killed, not even Cletia; she hadn’t added Ilias to her previously dismal record of broken relationships; and she hadn’t been homesick for Vienne at all.

Thanks to [personal profile] dorinda and [personal profile] torch for cheerleading!

marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
2012-12-05 07:56 pm

Happy Sinterklaas! Also, ebook news

I posted earlier about two of my favorite writers' new books, Captain Vorpatril's Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold and The Siren Depths by Martha Wells.

At that time the ebook for The Siren Depths wasn't available yet, but it is now - yesterday was the official release day, and Baen has it for $6.00 in all formats, Kindle included.

Go Baen! Their ebook service is the best, and they don't use any of the mean tricks Amazon does, like raising the price just because you're downloading the ebook from another country. (Because...bytes are more expensive when they're crossing the ocean?)

See also lots more links to hardcopy books, earlier books, free preview chapters etc at Martha Wells's journal. I love these books, and reading a couple chapters of the first Raksura book will tell you a ton about the world and the characters without spoiling you too much.

I'm having some RSI issues, so won't be posting a ton the coming weeks (ha, like I did before) but I wish you all a happy Sinterklaas! In accordance with tradition, I put my shoe out for the Sint and got a chocolate letter, yay.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
2012-11-20 07:59 pm

Incoming books of yay! New Lois McMaster Bujold and new Martha Wells

I saw a couple people mention the new Lois McMaster Bujold book -- starring Ivan! -- and thought I'd check, and yes, it's out:

Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (in hardcover at Amazon)
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (multiple format ebook at Baen)

Bless Baen for doing the ebook thing right -- they bring out the ebook along with the hardcover, DRM-free, in formats suitable for any e-reader (Kindle format, epub, html, you name it, even Rocketbook which I don't think anyone uses anymore but me) and for a very reasonable price. And you get all the formats at once, too, so you can read the book in multiple ways if you desire.

The new Martha Wells book, the third in the Raksura series, is also out, with a gorgeous cover:

The Siren Depths (in paperback at Amazon)

Baen has the two previous books in the series as multiple format ebooks, and I can't recommend either of these books enough:

The Cloud Roads (book 1 of the Raksura series, see my review)

The Serpent Sea (book 2 of the Raksura series)

Amazon also has these as Kindle ebooks, and it looks like their Kindle version of The Cloud Roads might be cheaper than Baen's at the moment, but Amazon prices change every second, so ymmv.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
2012-11-01 05:43 pm

Dear Yuletide Writer

Dear Yuletide writer:

Hi! Yay, you share at least one of these wonderful fandoms with me, and I’m so glad you chose it. Have an excellent Yuletide! And please do not worry: optional details are optional, and any prompts are only there in case you’d like to have something to kickstart your story.

Things I love, in general

I love happy endings, especially after tense, difficult situations. Some of my favorite story tropes are hurt/comfort, A sacrificing himself for B, and "A thinks B is dead, but he's not really", but I also love light, funny stories, plot, snark, missing scenes, understated longing, ordinary domestic days in the life of the characters, epistolary stories, and stories written from an outsider’s point of view.

Things I love about these particular fandoms:

Invisible Man, Darien Fawkes and Bobby Hobbes )

Elfquest, Cutter and Skywise )

Hercules: the Legendary Journeys, Hercules and Iolaus )

Mask of Apollo - Mary Renault, Nikeratos and Thettalos )

marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
2012-10-23 10:12 pm

Attention, Person of Interest fans: need Dutch?

Dear fellow Person of Interest fans: hi! I'm really enjoying the show! I haven't watched the current season yet - just watched episode 105 this weekend. I'm not fast.

I have been spoilered a tiny bit and I know there is a dog, and that dog understands DUTCH. (And I just got pointed at a twitter that is purportedly by that dog, and in Dutch, but it's all the worst, literal, Google translate garbage, alas.)

So: if you are writing PoI fanfic, and you happen to need Dutch words or phrases?


I will supply you! They will make sense, and be spelled right!

Feel free to comment here or email me, and if it's for Yuletide, your secret is safe with me.

Just don't tell me anything too spoilery about the new season or eps later than 105, please? And for the same reason, I can't actually beta for you. But I will translate. :-)
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
2012-10-15 08:02 pm
Entry tags:

Heads-up: Elfquest is back!

I don't follow Boing Boing regularly, so I'm happy I saw this: Wendy and Richard Pini are working on the last chapter of Elfquest.

Not one of the millionty spinoffs, which I did not care for, but the original story. (In the new comic so far, there are references to all those spinoffs, but it doesn't look like the Pinis expect you to have read them.)

And they're publishing it page by page on Boing Boing as Elfquest - the Final Quest. One new page every Monday. Yay!

ETA: there is also an RSS feed for just the comic.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
2012-10-03 10:19 pm

Rec: Once Upon a Time picspams + analysis

So, I don't know the show Once Upon a Time at all, because I seriously suck at watching things with a plot these days.

But: it's about fairytale people who live in the modern world, in a town called Storybrooke. I know that much because of this fabulous vid that [personal profile] arduinna and [personal profile] therienne made.

And I am fascinated by the picspams [personal profile] arduinna is now putting up: They are not hugely spoilery, I think, because they deal with scenery and background things, not so much the plot.

And it turns out that the OUaT crew have been doing amazing things with scenery.

The kind of things that you don't even notice, until you are vidding the show, and pausing endlessly, and running clips at low speeds, and rewatching clips 100 times. Which...normal viewers probably don't do, and yet the showmakers put this coherent, subtle, beautiful motif of trees and flowers and forests in the background of the modern town, in ways that make particular sense for each character. It's stunning when you see it all together like this.

Another favorite fannish analysis of mine is Tom & Lorenzo's thoughts about the period wardrobe in Mad Men, and how it ties in to the character arcs, starting with season two. I haven't been reading that recently, as, guess what, I'm not caught up to Mad Men's current season at all, but I loved their posts on earlier seasons.

(Side note re not being caught up: I am still debating whether to ask for Burn Notice fic for Yuletide or not. I love the show just as much as I did last year. I just, um, haven't caught up at all, as far as I can remember, since last year, which means I'm somewhere in season...three? That might make things awkward for my writer, I fear.)

I wish more shows were this careful and thoughtful about their entire background, wardrobe and styling choices. It's like they are giving the viewer presents to reward them for investing time in the show.

It's a huge contrast to the more usual elements you pick up as a vidder -- shows reusing footage, for example (Granada Sherlock Holmes, as lovely as your street scenery shots are, I'm looking at you).

Or the stunt guys who are so very obviously not the hero, once you pause them.

Or that really very charming shot I found in ST:TOS, I can't remember the episode, but it was one with explosions in it -- and at one point you can see Kirk come in running, sort of come to a stop and then deliberately throw himself on the ground, with the explosion happening just a tad later.

Or shows that reuse scenery elements in ways that are incredibly distracting once you notice them. (Hercules: the Legendary Journeys, not having a huge budget, did this all the damn time, to the point where I started greeting a certain stretch of beach like an old friend. Probably worst of all was the decision to reuse the Sumerian tomb Iolaus was buried in as set dressing for the catwalk in a Widow Twanky episode. Well, worst or most audacious, I'm not sure.)
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
2012-06-12 07:45 pm

H/C bingo

I'm really hoping this will get me back into finishing fanfic, rather than poking at stories and giving up.

My hurt/comfort bingo card )

As usual with this kind of challenge, some of the options are weird -- orphans? Wings?

It's not that I can't envision any kind of story with those prompts, but it does boggle me what on earth they have to do with hurt/comfort.

I looove "time travel gone wrong" though, and "telepathic trauma" and "unrequited pining". And "confession in desperate situation."

And then there's "unexpected consequences of planned soulbonding" which seems startlingly specific -- it has to be planned soulbonding? That rules out the plot of approximately 98% of all the Kirk/Spock stories I've ever read, I'm just saying.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
2012-05-09 03:36 pm

The Wild Things in the Mailbox

From Shaun Usher at Letters of Note, a fascinating blog about letters:

"This is how Maurice Sendak sometimes sent his letters. Just imagine getting one."

Sendak illustrated envelope with monsters

Maurice Sendak died yesterday, and I'll miss him. I love those few of his books that I own, like a Grimm's fairytales collection he illustrated, and I've given Where the Wild Things Are to any number of friends with babies.

That's pretty much the only book of his that's available in the Netherlands, more's the pity; I still haven't gotten my hands on Outside Over There, which I want for myself, not least because it's a clear source of inspiration for the movie Labyrinth: it's about a girl who goes to rescue her younger sister from the goblins that have stolen her away.

Actually, it's not quite true that I've given Where The Wild Things Are to any number of people.

I've given them, necessarily, the Dutch translation, which is memorable mostly for its title: Max en de Maximonsters.


It's true that the original title is untranslatable, but please.

This cutesy pun seems to me exactly the sort of thing that Sendak would have hated, and Neil Gaiman posted about a terrific two-page comic strip convo between Art Spiegelman and Maurice Sendak that bears me out.

"Childhood is cannibals and psychotics vomiting in your mouth!"

Now there's a quote to go out on.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
2012-02-02 10:15 pm

In honor of Wislawa Szymborska

Wislawa Szymborska died yesterday. She was 88, she won the Nobel prize for literature, and was one of my favorite poets in any language.

I will now revert to the present tense, because her poems have not died. They are thoughtful, funny, delicate, mordant or gentle, and very precise but not fussy. They are poems about dinosaurs, about terrorists, about the soul, about losing your umbrella in the tram.

This is one of my favorites:

Cat in an empty apartment )
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
2012-01-05 07:57 pm
Entry tags:

Yuletide reveal!

I had a blast writing two stories for Yuletide this year:

The Tough Guide to Fantasy Cities for [personal profile] jjhunter.
Gen, 2800 words.
Fandom: The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones. I love that book, and there were some great stories for it this year.

Summary: You will not encounter any rustic taverns, bards, or bowls of stew on these tours! Instead, expect nightclubs, rock singers, and lots of gourmet coffee.

1000 Advocaten op de Zeebodem for [personal profile] jae.
Het, 1900 words.
Fandom: Pleidooi, an outstanding Dutch television series written by Maria Goos. This one was a real challenge, because I wrote it in Dutch. Sure, that's my first language and all, but I've never written fanfic in it! Another Yuletide first, and what fun.

Summary: Ga bij me weg op een stralende dag.

And my Yuletide gift was a lovely creepy-but-not-too-creepy Hercules and Iolaus story, Bearing Gifts, by [personal profile] jessikast, yay!
marycrawford: alien woman (weird tales alien woman)
2011-12-12 04:21 pm

Free copy of The Cloud Roads ebook! Grab this before it runs away!

[personal profile] marthawells's fantasy novel The Cloud Roads is a free Kindle ebook today.

That is excellent news, particularly as this is her first book in a new series, with book 2, The Serpent Sea, coming out in January.

The Cloud Roads is a spectacular fantasy. It's entirely its own thing: I can't easily point to another book or genre and say "that's what it's like", which is praise in itself. The landscape is unique, the characters come in all colors and shapes -- the main character, Moon, is a winged shapechanger who has never found anyone belonging to his own kind, amid all the people with gills and tusks and scales -- and it has all the Martha Wells trademarks of deep worldbuilding, clever, competent and witty characters, and a ton of plot.

Mostly, what I keep thinking as I read this book is: I want Miyazaki to film this. I want that SO BAD. He would get such a kick out of the flying people and airships and floating sky islands and cities built like giant wheels. *flails*

Note: the free Kindle ebook isn't available in Europe (at least, not to me, snf) but it should work just fine in the US.