This is the Way I Live (on IJ)

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness." - Dave Barry

October 15th, 2011

It's the weekend, for those of you who celebrate such things. @ 07:13 am

Current Mood: awake

I don't much care if it's Saturday. Faeon gets off Wednesdays and Thursdays, Chad gets off Mondays, Patrick seems to work seven days a week, Lee still doesn't have a job, Tom's retired, and I very seldom get to see the girls. Today especially. It's Steve's birthday, and they're having a party. Even Justice's boyfriend Jordan is invited. But not me. That hurts. I thought we were making such good progress.

Canceled the exterminator appointment, but still don't know what to do about the ants. Clean everything with bleach and put out ant traps, but the swarms still happen and really gross me out. The things are living in my walls now and there are 10,000 cracks and holes in the walls through which they get into the house. At least didn't wake up to any new outbreaks, but there were a few scouts checking out my plants on the windowsill.

Went to the Iron Chef restaurant yesterday with Tom, Patrick, Chad, Chad's girlfriend Brandy, and the girls. Then went to Sallly's Beauty Supplies and bought the girls a fortune in hair and make-up products. Also brought them over to the house for a while, even though it isn't allowed. When I took the girls home, Elizabeth invited me in to hear the player piano. It was my mother's and wasn't working when I gave it to Elizabeth, but $200 later and it doesn't sound bad at all. All in all, we got through the evening with no drama, so I consider it a success.

I've started reading Snuff on my Kindle, Tom brought me a copy of the 'Guards, Guards' game, and Jinx sent me not only a copy of the movie Going Postal but also recordings of two of Terry Pratchett's interviews that weren't seen in the U.S. Looks like it should be a very Discworldy week.

Tom and I are going to a play tonight - The Love List. Otherwise, all I'm hoping for is that I can make a dent in my chores.

April 23rd, 2011

Meanderings of a drunk fanfic writer. @ 07:58 pm

Current Mood: drunk

The coolest thing ever, ever, ever happened to me at Norwescon today.

Okay, first I should explain that I am drunk. I am more drunk than I have been in many years. And I have enough alcohol at home that I can hope to maintain this state for some hours to come.

Now back to Norwescon - I met [info]pir8fancier! Okay, I exaggerate, I didn't actually meet her, but I saw her on a panel about going from fanfiction writing to - uh - real writing, like being published. She is so cool. She was only going under her pen name. In real life she writes mysteries and gets paid for it. And she was doing that BEFORE she discovered fanfic, of which she has written TONS (as probably a lot of you know). So it would really be professional suicide for her publishers to know she writes fanfic. Including slash porn and even including Snarry (which is only not my OTP because Snupin is).

Anyway, I really loved the panel. They talked about following the rules of the originating author (which for J.K. Rowling is no underage sex), and about not taking criticism personally and about the best comments are not the ones that say "SQUEEEE!!!" but the ones that offer constructive criticism that helps one become a better writer. And about deciding whether or not you actually agree with the criticism. And that old adage, if you want to write a book, the first thing you have to do is to Start Writing!

(Time out while I make another drink of Kahlua, Baileys, vodka, cream, and coke.)

Like I said, Start Writing. Now, the focal point of the panel was how to make the jump from writing fanfic to being a published author (and especially, what not to do). But I don't want to write original fiction. Never, ever had the urge, though I've been writing fanfic since I was in grade school. But I stopped, pretty much, putting fanfic up on line in 2003. Do I want to go back to writing? Hell yes I do! But I've always been too terrified.

The first piece of fanfiction I put on line was My Brother's Keeper, a Discworld gen fic. I did not plot the thing out ahead of time, at all. I just wrote what came into my head at the time. I didn't know what was going to happen much before the readers did. But somehow it all came together as a story, and I received a wild amount of praise about it. I still get comments today on

The next thing I wrote was Discworld slash, Vimes/Vetinari: Aftermath. It was also super easy to write, and, in the audience of people who like those things, also got a lot of high praise. I wrote a short sequel called In This Room which I am satisfied with, although it didn't get much circulation because by that time had passed their policy of no NC-17 fics and my relationship with them had ended bitterly.

I knew when I finished My Brother's Keeper that there could be a sequel, and I started it, but then I ran into two major problems: First, I was absolutely terrified it wouldn't meet the standard everyone had already set for me. Second, the story knew exactly where it was going, and I Did Not Like It. I didn't want Vimes to commit adultery. It honestly sent me into a period of depression. But when I tried to change the storyline, I was either not being true to the characters as I see them or I was introducing a deus ex machina. In the end I didn't finish it (which is the second most important thing to do if you want to write), and in fact that was more or less the end of my fanfic writing days, though I am a rabid reader.

Honestly, the thing most responsible for switching me from Discworld fanfic to Harry Potter was the plethora of HP slash and my unrequited lust for Alan Rickman's Snape. When it comes to the original works, I don't think J.K. Rowling can hold a candle to Terry Pratchett. But I fell hard for the work of several Snarry and Snupin writers.

Which leads me inevitably to "why I'm not writing HP fanfiction." Good question. I've sort of tried, if posting two chapters in my own not-particularly-highly-read LJ counts. It's not that I don't have an entire story in my head. I'm just scared. There are so many HP fanfic writers out there that are So Much Better than I will ever be. Also, it's not a short story. It's rather longish, as these things go, and I'm scared that if I start I won't finish it. The answer, in short, is I'm a coward.

This isn't an announcement that I'm going to start writing Snupin fics, although I just might. It's just I've got all this drunken happiness in me right now, and let's face it, I've been pretty short on happiness as of late. Like, I think the last really great thing that I experienced was meeting people when I went to see Alan Rickman on stage in New York.

Anyway, now that I have gotten all of that out of my system, I'm going to go read This Boy's Life.

April 13th, 2011

Discworld Convention 2012 @ 09:25 am

Current Mood: giddy

Hey, everybody, look!!

Membership for the 2012 Discworld Convention in Birmingham, England, is open.

Go to the Discworld Con Website now!

I just bought my membership - They're already up to #123

Hey, you know who you are! Don't you dare say you might not go!

May 26th, 2010

I FAIL @ 09:54 am

Current Mood: annoyed

I totally spaced on the Glorious 25th of May! WTF?! All I can say in my defense is that my lilac bush has already lost all of its lovely blooms.

(If you're not a Discworld fan, you may ignore this post.)

April 20th, 2010

Preview: 'Going Postal' movie @ 08:34 am

Current Mood: amused

Trailer for Sky movie of Terry Pratchett's 'Going Postal'

I think I'm going to like this one more than 'The Colour of Magic' - which is not saying much. I wish, if we can't have Stephen Briggs as Vetinari, they would at least settle on one actor.

April 3rd, 2010

It only takes one bad apple... @ 07:20 pm

Current Mood: angry

I think April Fool's Day has been spoiled for me forever.

THIS is not funny. It is in outrageously bad taste. And it made me cry until I realized it was an April Fools Prank.

By the way, I am still in Illinois. My mother, who had surgery for a kink in her intestines two weeks ago, is recovering as quickly as can be expected for someone who is 93-years-old. Hopefully I will be back home this coming Wednesday.

September 25th, 2009

New Discworld! Yay! @ 07:01 pm

Current Mood: excited

PJSM Prints just sent me a notice that they have shipped my signed copy of Unseen Academicals. How awesome is that!? I didn't even realize it was time for it to be released yet.

September 7th, 2009

Money for Alzheimer's Research and Orangutans @ 09:16 am

Current Mood: impressed

I didn't go to the Charity Auction, but I'm told it raised $23,000.

The Gala Banquet at NADWC @ 08:55 am

Current Mood: groggy

I did, of course, go to the Gala Banquet. The food was delicious (Turkish, I think. and there was baklava. Yum!), the antics at the head table were entertaining, and there was by far the best belly dancing performance I've ever seen - these girls danced with both fire and swords. I picked a seat at random and discovered the man next to me lives about 18 miles away from me! This is really totally incredible - I never dreamed that there was someone else here from the rural Pacific Northwest, much less that out of 1,000 people I would happen to pick the chair next to his! The bad part was that there was almost no conversation at the table that I enjoyed. The woman sitting next to me was quite annoying - a Brit who scathingly criticized the convention. She and her husband had reserved five seats for the Disc Stamp Forum people, so the rest of us turned away several people who wanted to sit there; then only one other person showed up, and she was late. The only good thing about this was that there were good seats available for a couple of staff people who didn't get to eat until after all the rest of us were finished. The three Forum people were also apparently Worldcon people, but none of them looked familiar.

I think PTerry had a bit too much beer, but he was as entertaining as always. He talked a lot about how, considering how late his sales began going up here in the U.S., he would never have believed there would be a convention of this magnitude in the U.S. He also celebrated the fact that, when he was first diagnosed, he thought there would be no chance of him being here. And he made the inevitable joke about saying this was the best Discworld Convention he had ever been at - massive applause - and then very quietly under his breath added "in American."

After the banquet one of my best Worldcon friends, Seth, found me, and we talked for ages while the rest of the people took photos.

Probably the best part of the Banquet for me was that I felt like I looked pretty darn good for a 57-year-old. My dress fit, my jewelry matched, I had a fabulous new pair of shoes (which hurt like hell), and I had done a really decent job with my make-up. I'm no beauty anymore, but I felt handsome for a woman of a certain age. There are a lot of young, sexy girls here for Terry to stare at, but when I looked at a lot of the women there I felt so glad I don't weigh 203 pounds anymore.

My room is a total disaster from preparing yesterday, I brought bills I still have to pay, and I need to start getting packed. I'm very much tempted to not leave the room at all today. But there is some secret thing called, "Special Pratchett Movie Showing" at noon that I will probably hate myself if I miss, and I really want to make another pass through the Dealers Room, and I don't want to miss Opening Ceremonies. Another cigarette and a couple of cups of coffee and I'll get going.

April 5th, 2009

I may reconsider moving to London. @ 05:56 pm

January 11th, 2009

Happy Birthday + 32 Days to me! @ 09:51 pm

Current Mood: bouncy

I got birthday fic! From [info]plottwist13! And it's Vetinari and Vimes (I mean, they are the two major characters in the fic. But absolutely nothing slashy, because, I mean, this is Twist writing this). There is LOL dialog. There is birthday avoidance. There are fireworks and a magical explosive device. There are disguises for undercover police work that I want [info]lady_twatterby to draw. There is Vetinari convincing people he is "a stupid, drunk printer from out on the Chalk." There is greedy consumption of buttercream frosting - without an eating utensil! (It's not like that - get your mind out of the gutter!) And it was written just for meeee! But I'll share:

Author: [info]plottwist13
Fandom: Discworld
Characters: Sam Vimes, Havelock Vetinari
Genre: Humour
Rating: K (What's that stand for? Kids? Kindergarten? It should be "E for Everybody.")

January 1st, 2009

A Story Rec for Hogswatch @ 06:32 pm

Current Mood: moody
Tags: ,

I found this fic thanks to [info]bethbethbeth, who was recommending fics from the Yuletide Challenge on InsaneJournal. Although Discworld is forever my #1 fandom, it has been years, I'm sure, since I have rec'd a Discworld fic on LiveJournal or InsaneJournal. And this one is not the sort of thing you would expect me to be taking note of; it's strictly gen, and dangerous to the diabetic, although it does stay nicely in character. Anyway, it's New Year's Day, which for many of us is the end of the Holiday Season, so here is something warm and fuzzy and exactly perfect to take with you into 2009.

Author: Gillianinoz
Fandom: Discworld
Rating: G (also known as "E for Everyone")
Summary: "It's nearly Hogswatch and Sam Vimes searches for the perfect gift for Young Sam."

December 31st, 2008

You don't get named a Knight for having Alzheimer's! @ 06:44 am

Current Mood: pleased

Here is the BBC News article that announced Terry Pratchett's knighthood. It includes a video in which Terry is asked if the degree he has highlighted Alzheimer's research contributed to him receiving the honor. Look, jerk, he was named Sir Terry for his "services to literature" - don't you dare try to lessen that!

Still, it is an interesting profile.

Sir Terry. It's just beginning to sink in with me.

December 30th, 2008

Arise, Sir Terry @ 06:39 pm

Current Mood: Proud

This is probably all over my f-list already (which I haven't had hardly any time to read today), but Terry Pratchett has been given a Knighthood by the Queen in the New Year's Honours List.

Terry's reaction: "There are times when the phrase “Absolutely, totally, gobsmackingly, mindbogglingly amazed” just doesn’t cover it."

Courtesy of WWW.PJSMPRINTS.COM , which is a very fine site if you are interested in Mr. Pratchett and Discworld.

December 12th, 2008

I totally fail at remembering my own life. @ 09:04 am

Current Mood: cranky

I have foolishly wasted this morning researching my own fannish history. The question is: When did I first become obsessed with Snape? The answer still eludes me.

First I had to find out when I got into fanfic fandom. I have ascertained that I first began reading Discworld fanfiction around April of 2001 on I apparently wrote my first Discworld fic in March of 2002, and by July my passion had become so great that I formed a Yahoo Group. Somebody out there must know when we made an attempt at a Discworld FanFiction Archive; surely no later than early 2003. I opened this LiveJournal Account in September of 2003.

Based on this information, my memory says that I became interested in Harry Potter sometime between mid-2002 and mid-2003.

Now, the very first exposure I had to HP was soon after the publication of Prisoner of Azkaban (September, 2001), and Tom dragged me to the first movie the following November. I was not enthralled.

Sometime thereafter I remember two specific events that marked the beginning of my fall into HP fandom. But I can find no way of determining when these happened, or which came first.

1. I read the fic I Don't Know by [info]elefwin. I'm almost certain this was the first piece of Harry Potter fanfic I ever encountered. But I don't know when! It was written in May of 2001, before I'd ever heard of HP.

2. Someone ([info]disc_sophist???) showed me a photo of a younger Alan Rickman - specifically, one with him standing shirtless behind some sort of marble bust on a pedestal.

So I was first exposed in late 2001. Stuff ensued, and eventually I was ensnared. In my mind this didn't take more than perhaps three months.

And that is where I run into a total dichotomy. This would mean that I embraced HP fandom in early 2002. And yet I thought I had absolutely no interest at all in JKR's works when I wrote Aftermath in March of that year.

I am absolutely and totally disgusted with myself for spending all this time on researching a totally irrelevant question.

November 9th, 2008

Preview of the 2008 Discworld Convention DVD @ 02:00 pm

Current Mood: excited

The Discworld Convention held last August is just finishing production of a 2008 Discworld Double-Anniversary DVD to celebrate 25 years of Discworld books and Terry Pratchett's 60th birthday. The DVD will contain "in-depth interviews with key figures in the Discworld Universe" (including Stephen Briggs!) as well as recordings from the Convention itself. All profits from the sale of the DVD will go to the Alzheimer's Research Trust.

You will soon be able to order the DVD at the Discworld Convention web site. The price will be £10 plus postage and packing, until 1st December 2008, at which point the price will rise to £15 (inclusive of P&P). The release date is set for December 8th.

I can hardly wait to see the DVD - I ordered my copy at the Convention. I'm thinking it will be a good Christmas gift for my Discworld friends, especially since the money is going to a good cause.

Here's the trailer for the DVD:


August 31st, 2008

I have a dream... @ 08:29 am

Current Mood: determined

For at least a couple years I have been half-joking, especially with [info]lady_twatterby, about spending a year in England. I am so envious of the people who go to the Wincanton Events and the Studio Theatre Club Discworld plays - I read reports of those adventures and I actually ache with the desire to be part of it.

Now don't get excited - this is still not something that I can contemplate for the near future. Among other things, I will not be separated from Alex and Justice for long periods until they have turned 18 and are off to (hopefully) college.

On the other hand, almost nothing is as tragic as the regret one suffers at the realization that it is too late to follow a precious dream; that you will never do the thing you have always thought you would do 'someday.' I feel I have no choice but to wait seven years, but not a moment longer.

I hereby resolve, with great determination, that, no later than the end of 2015, I am taking a sabbatical to England.

When the banks open on Tuesday, I'm going to open an account strictly for this project, with automatic deposits to be made every month. One way or another, I will make room in my budget for this.

I hope that Discworld Conventions will still be being held. I hope that Bernard will still be holding Discworld Wincanton events. I hope that the STC will still be staging Discworld plays. I hope Alan Rickman and David Thewlis will still be making movies, and that Terry Pratchett will still be writing. But more important than all of that will be having time to share with some of my dearest friends.

This is the Way I Live (on IJ)

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness." - Dave Barry