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Hi, all! How have you been? It's been so long since I posted something decent I can hardly remember, but I have lots to tell to make up for that!

Holiday was all kinds of lovely - South Africa is a beautiful if strange country. Ever more beautiful because despite what we'd expected, even the more touristy bits like the Kruger Park still felt surprisingly quiet and unspoiled to us - though the fact it was still the low season may have had something to do with that. The less touristy parts, like the Drakensbergen, felt like a different world altogether.

And anyway, it is a different world, if only because it feels so very unsettling to be a white person there. Even though no one was actually unfriendly (well, except for that one lady at customs, who almost didn't let us into the country because our passport had supposedly expired, even though it hadn't, and - I blame an 11-hour night flight without any sleep - caused me to start bawling right in the middle of the airport *blushes*) somehow it was hard not to feel a little guilty over our being there. Never mind there no longer being Apartheid, the majority of good jobs are still held by white people, and the majority black people still live in townships or little villages without modern facilities, which made it feel vaguely wrong to be a white tourist there, with money in our pockets and driving around in shiny rental cars. But really, the people, both black and white, were exceptionally friendly, so we did feel more comfortable near the end. And there were black people staying at hotels (though not the most expensive) and pretty houses in the little Zulu villages, so things must be improving, if more slowly than one would hope.

As for the trip itself, it was wonderful, rich and relaxing. We loved the Kruger park, even though we didn't see the really spectacular animals like lions or leopards. But it was the end of the rainy season, which meant everything was green and blossoming - despite it being autumn, everything seemed to be in bloom! And we did see rhinos, elephant, giraffe, zebra, wild dogs, crocodiles, wildebeest, hippos, and heaps and heaps of birds and impalas and kudu. I'll try to put up a little picspam later this week, once I sorted all the pictures! Here's an elephant-y one:

What I loved the most - and miss already - is the rhythm of life there. We didn't take a computer with us, but I'd packed books and games and decks of cards, and writing pads and styluses and copies of a fic I'd been working on, convinced that I'd be grabbing for them in no time; then once we were there, I never even touched them once. Well, except for one book (Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys) of which I read half, in very tiny bits, but that was it. We got up at seven and went to bed at nine, even though we're both essentially evening people, and it felt the most natural thing in the world. And we filled our days with driving, walking, eating, sleeping. In a way, I'm almost sorry I didn't write anything there - I'd been looking forward to working on fic - but the urge just wasn't there, and really, that was okay.

Miscellany notable fact #1: British Airways, which we flew with, are apparently quite proud of their television history. As a result I ended up seeing Dr. Who: The end of Time on the flight to Johannesburg. Watching it, sleep-drunk and tired and in a weird kind of mood, I was filled with a deep and unexpected sense of loss that, even more surprisingly, stuck to me for the better part of the following day. Still, just as unexpectedly, I loved it to pieces. I say "unexpected" because of some spoilery stuff beneath the cut. ) So now, of course, I'll have to buy the Specials on DVD. Are the other ones, Planet of the dead and Waters of Mars worth it, actually? Or should I just buy The end of time separately, if I can?

Miscellany notable fact #2: Did I tell you I discovered Stargate: Atlantis? I did, didn't I? Did I also mention I'm loving it, irrationally and wildly, beyond any hope of recovery? I even wrote an SGA ficlet, if you'll believe it, during stolen half-hours on the train, in the few days before leaving on vacation. It was a surprise even to me that I did, and it's not ready for posting quite yet, and anyway, I don't even know if anyone who's reading here even watches Atlantis - if you do, raise your hand, maybe? But still, all of this is making me very happy. On the other hand, there's this Twin Peaks fic I'd really, really like to finish, as just leaving a 10000+ word WIP to rust would be a terrible, terrible waste, so any encouragement (or threats? :) ) you can offer on that account would be extremely helpful! ;)
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Various reasons for squeeing:

- Just started watching season 4 of New Who, and I already love Donna to pieces. That silent exchange between her and The Doctor in Partners in Crime, pulling faces through the glass.. *can't stop grinning*. And I love that, despite the fact she's been looking for him for ages and wants to travel with him more than anything in the world, she's not at all the weak one in the relationship. Donna does not take the Doctor's crap, no she doesn't! *cheers Donna* Also, the ending of the Pompeii episode, "Just save someone!" - just perfect. Incidentally, I am finding Ten less and less sympathetic. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy the hell out of watching him, and I'm still impressed by DT's performance, but - getting whiny over how brilliant Martha was, and that he'd destroyed half her life? Cowardly move, Doctor, for one who's supposedly so brave. You could have told Martha that, just once, couldn't you? *is still fuming a little*

- Also watched the first episodes of Farscape, and the pilot of Stargate Atlantis. Love the atmosphere of Farscape: very psychedelic in a way, the music, the d├ęcor. Love Zhaan, Aeryn and John, and the others are growing on me, even though I haven't quite reached the point yet where I stop seeing Rygel, Pilot and the others as puppets. Atlantis I wanted to try because it seems to be one of the top fic-producing fandoms these days - despite many of the fans claiming half of the episodes are bad bad bad, which is a little puzzling to me, I must admit. :) I'm pretty neutral about the pilot: it wasn't bad at all, yet I'm not super-tickled to continue looking either. Not yet, anyway, I guess we'll see.

- Bought Torchwood: Children of Earth, and will probably watch it once we've finished New Who s4 - I'm not sure the two will mix well. My main reason for buying it right now, rather than waiting a little longer, being: I was planning to go to FedCon (a yearly convention in Bonn, Germany) and Gareth David-Lloyd aka Ianto Jones will be there. So I figured, unless I want to get spoiled all over, better watch the thing now. Except I now realized I won't be able to go to the con as it's smack in our April South-Africa holiday. Pity and shame (not the holiday, of course, but missing the Con) as I was hoping some other European LJ-ers might be there too...? Anyway, there's always next year!

In me news:

Health has been a bit sketchy of late, which the control freak in me does not like at all. I don't think it's serious, just impractical - mainly a case of having funny spells at weird moments, for no obvious reason.

Cut as I can imagine not everyone'll find this interesting. ;) )

Conclusion: I, um, may need to take it easy for a little while, fandom-wise, until I'm back on my feet. Seeing as both work and house-hunting are pretty much obligatory now, the only thing that's left for me to exchange for sleep is online time. *sniffles* I'll keep on reading and interacting and maybe posting some smaller stuff, but I'm going to try and lay off on fics and bigger stuff for a while. Meanwhile - send me virtual chocolate and fic recs? *shameless*
amatara: (Default)

Judging from the response, it seems I should do silly memes like this more often! *g*

Okay, here goes. I'm not sure how this is supposed to be played, but I'm assuming the main motivation should be attraction (or lack of it), and arguments like "I really don't want to shag character X, but he's suffered enough during the course of show Y that throwing him off a cliff would be cruel, so I'll shag him anyway and chuck down sexy evil character Z instead, even though what I reaaally want is to... etc." should not apply here. :)

vjs2259 gave me John Sheridan, Vir Cotto, and G'Kar (B5) )

mithen came up with Obi-Wan Kenobi (SW), Severius Snape (HP), and Faramir (LOTR) )

thebunnybag asked about Dukhat (B5), Sirius Black (HP), and Leonard McCoy (ST:TOS) )

selenak was curious about Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, and Severus Snape (HP) )

maspalio went for the Ninth Doctor (New Who), Luke Skywalker (SW), and Gimli (LOTR) )
amatara: (Default)

In theory, I still want to write that New Who fic. Mainly because I know that (apart from a few exceptions like Babylon 5 and - sometimes - Trek) the stage where I'm fannish enough over a series or character to actually write fic tends to pass quickly. With the Ninth Doctor I'm in that stage right now, but who knows how long it will stay that way - so it may be now or never!

In practice, though, I'm still miles away from having any usable ideas, let alone that I could start writing something up. Even worse, for some reason I'm also finding myself fresh out of B5 plot bunnies! *panics* 

Only one solution for that: for the time being, I'll take... requests. Yessir. So, if there's anything in particular you'd like me to write, just ask the question and I'll see what I can do! (I don't dare to make binding promises at this point, though.)

Since writing is first and foremost an indulgence for me, there are conditions, the nature of which will surprise no one who's come here at least once before *g*: 
  • Requests should be B5-related, and have at least Londo and/or G'Kar and/or Vir in it. Gen, slash or het - just no Londo/Vir, please. *shudders*
  • Specialties: angst and h/c. For myself, I tend to go easy on the h/c because I'm afraid of appearing too self-indulgent (does that make sense?)... But I do love the genre, so if anyone does want something sappy, I'd be glad to (try and) provide it.
  • I've never done explicit het or slash, though there's a first time for everything, so if someone asks, who knows. *g* Crackfic I don't think I can do. 
Plus, any suggestions for a short New Who story, Nine era, that doesn't require diligent Old Who research, are welcome too!
amatara: (Default)

In case anyone wonders why things aren't moving anymore around here…
It has nothing. At. All. To do. With lack of productivity. *whistles*
No, really, the past two weeks have been uncommonly productive by my standards, because during my holiday I managed to squeeze out:

  • One (1) B5 fanvid, slapped together in 48 obsessive hours, followed by two weeks of tweaking which has raised my respect for any and all vidders in the universe to dizzying heights.
  • Two (2) B5 pencil portraits (care to guess?) which aren’t too bad, if I say so myself.
  • Two (2) nearly finished B5 fics, one of which has passed the 6000-word mark and so officially my longest one ever. Keeping in mind I write at a measly speed of 1 word a minute (and that’s not counting the second round of agonizing over said word, once I’ve put more than a hundred of them together), this is an achievement. *g*
  • One (1) hour-long New Zealand trip DVD montage, complete with fancy menu including chapter selection!
  • One (1) photo montage of the Andalucia trip we took last spring.
Now, one would say at least the first three of these are amply sufficient to bring some life into this lj, but. But. But. The problems are the following:
  • One fic is meant for [ profile] matrithon, the other for [ profile] babylon5_love, which means the posting dates are fixed. AT THE END OF SEPTEMBER. *ngh* Also, note the designation “nearly finished” in the fic descriptions: for some reason, it seems I am completely incapable of starting with another fic as long as these two have as little as a single paragraph missing. And hell, that paragraph is taking forever. So, um… *twiddles thumbs and waits for muse to drop out of sky*
  • I committed the folly of requesting another posting day at [ profile] babylon5_love, for the vid. ETA – two weeks and counting. *twiddles some more*
  • That leaves the drawings, but... just posting drawings, without at least a fic to go with them? Meh. Won't do.
So... there we are. And what does a person do in such a case?

One possibility: watching New Who. It took me a while, but I’ve finally, definitely and happily fallen for the Ninth Doctor, to the point where I now want to hug him at least once an episode, and I’m dreading the arrival of the next two season box-sets (for which I’m just about to put in the amazon order) as much as I’m pining for them. Dreading, because while I get the impression David Tennant is hugely popular, and probably for a good reason, he is so going to have to grow on me. Is this the rumoured “you’ll never forget your first Doctor” syndrome, then? Yes, I know Rose is still around, so there will be some familiarity at least to hang on to, but while I like Rose (most of the time; when she’s not ranting at Mickey for him going out with someone else instead of being readily available whenever she happens to pop by – which he is, by the way, and that makes it even worse), it’s not going to be the same, is it?

Well... Just one episode left to watch. The last episode of the very last disk… which means This Is The Night I Am Going To this isn't really a spoiler to anyone, is it? ). *gulp*

Something inside me is already itching to write New Who fic. (In any case, I’m itching to write anything else than B5 for a change, because the longer I stay in that fandom, the harder it’ll be to switch. And I can hardly keep writing nothing but Londo/G’Kar & Vir for the rest of my days… Or can I? *blinks*) Only: I have no idea how or what or why to write so I won’t wreck four decades of canon, plus, Nine seems devilishly hard to get right to me. And I’ve yet to find any existing fic that resembles what I’d like to write. Yesterday I did a quick search for New Who fics, and found only cartloads of Ten stories, Nine/Rose shippiness, and R-rated things like Nine/Jack/Rose/TARDIS, which I was brave enough to try but gave up rather quickly. Also, “doctor who” is a hellish thing to Google: I only found something relevant after I started adding “rose” or “jack harkness” – which is probably what got me to the R-rated stuff in the first place.

So, a question to the universe: Can someone recommend some good Nine Era fic that is not either Doctor/Rose (don’t get me wrong, I like seeing him and Rose interact, but – in a romantic way? Nope. Sorry. Don’t see it.) or Doctor/Jack? Friendship fics with either combination would be great; ensemble fic even better; and anyone who can give me an angsty fic from Nine's POV that does a believable characterization of him, I will worship till the end of my days.

Secondly: Anybody heard of any good ficathons recently? Preferably prompt/claim based (as compared to the ones where they just give you an assignment) since that seems better for the nerves. Writing some good old Trek (ah – old love…) might be nice for a change. And of course, anything B5-related still goes!


Aug. 2nd, 2009 06:54 pm
amatara: (Default)
Never did a meme before, but this sounded like so much fun I had to give it a go. Started with B5, then couldn't help myself and went on to do ST:TOS also!

Choose your genre show, answer the questions using episode titles from that show--if possible, don't repeat any.

Babylon 5 )

Star Trek TOS )

Other fannish news:

(1) Holiday started this weekend, and will last for the whole of two weeks - yay! For the first time since our student days, we haven't planned to go anywhere, which means I will be spending the next two weeks shortening the laundry list of hobbyish/fannish stuff I've been dragging along for ages.

Things I want to do: finish the New Zealand vid from our honeymoon (now almost a year ago); tweak and order the photos from our last five trips and put them in the album; finish my Timov/Londo fic for [ profile] matrithon, which is (frighteningly) growing faster in my head than on paper; finish the B5 vid I started on this week (on pure impulse; I never fanvidded before) as my contribution for September's "B5 love month" at [ profile] babylon5_love; finish another fic, Londo & Vir this time, that I almost finished half a year ago and then semi-forgot about; watch the first seasons of DS9 and Dr. Who and anything else I can get my hands on really; and...

Well, let's say that suddenly two weeks doesn't sound like such a long time after all. *g* But if anyone has a request for anything (fic, meta, you name it), now is probably still a better time than ever!

(2) Just bought the first season of New Who, and watched the first ep ("Rose") on Friday evening. First impression: swell! And very, very British, which for some reason makes me unbelievably happy. Love the Doctor's dry humor; love even more the fact that neither of the two main characters could in any way be considered stereotypically beautiful! A series that doesn't take itself too seriously, and has actors that look like you and me: yeah, I like. Muchly.

(3) Went for a re-watch of "Half-Blood Prince" yesterday, and appreciated it significantly more than the first time. However, I still would've liked some action at the end, between two of the most spoilery scenes of the movie ). I wanted a fight, darn you, just like in the book; I wanted some of those filthy DEs to get their a** kicked; and most of all, I wanted some kind of emotional payoff to compensate for all that angst and sadness we'd just been put through. Ah well, you can't have it all, I guess.


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