krait: Edward Elric staring upward, against a blue sky (skyward gaze)
Had a blast the other night with [personal profile] anotherfmafan and the gang in the Fullmetal Alchemist chat! Cheryl (DW name??) was ultra-prepared and brought a bunch of trivia questions and prompts for a five-sentence ficlet challenge, and we had a great time!

You probably do not want me on your trivia team, but I did better with the prompts. :D

Prompt: Armstrong with a wiener (Armstrong, futurefic, gen) )

A snowy night in Risembool (Ed&Roy, preslash, PG?) )

Never enough time (Ed, Al, gen) )

When Transmutations Go Wrong (Ed&Roy, gen) )

Train shenanigans (Ed&Al, post-anime, gen) )

When egos collide (Al&Tringhams, preslash??, post-series gen) )
krait: a sea snake (krait) swimming (Default)
I'm on Episode Seven! AKA, "Mei Changsu Knows (Literally) Where the Bodies are Buried".

Things I noticed on this rewatch:
Notes below the cut. )
krait: a sea snake (krait) swimming (Default)

Tsoko has edible glitter and I cannot stop laughing! Are we absolutely sure this game is rated PG?!
krait: Edward Elric being handed a piece of paper by Roy (next assignment)
In an effort to keep myself on track with various things, including posting, here's a round-up of where my current fannish efforts are focused.

Rewatching Nirvana in Fire
I've just started this, so if anyone wants to join in - either rewatching, or as a first-time viewing - I'd love to have company. :D At the moment I'm just four episodes in. If other people are interested in watching along, we can come up with a specific schedule and I'll make regular posts designated for discussion! If it ends up being just me, I'll probably be quieter about it; I feel like I've flooded everyone with NiF reactions lately, and you've all been very patient about it and deserve a break in return. :D

Reading Yami no Matsuei
I started this a while ago but got sidetracked, so I plan to start over at the beginning. I'll try to post after each volume completed, to avoid being sidetracked again. No specific schedule in mind, but I should manage at absolute minimum a volume a week.

Watching Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Believe it or not, I've never watched FMA:B before! I didn't want to watch it before finishing the manga, and when I'd finished the manga it wasn't readily available, so it's taken me all this time to get round to it. :D The first anime will probably always be my true love, but for completion's sake I do want to get through Brotherhood as well. There may not be much to post about, though, given that this is the third incarnation of FMA for me.

Reading new SF/F from my To-Be-Read Pile
Most of my reading thus far this year has been rereading, but this pile needs to shrink, and this year is as good as any. :D No idea what will call to me first when I start going through it, but as long as I pick something, it's progress! (Reminder to self: take a picture of the pile and post it!)

Rec Some Fics
The lack of fic recs in this journal is just sad. Gotta get back in that rec habit, even if it means stumbling through different ideas on how to approach it till I hit on one that works. (By fandom, by trope, by length?) DW friends, if you have suggestions for recs you'd like to see, now is the time to toss them out here! I had fun posting about Identity Porn, and I've made at least one other post about a beloved trope before, so maybe that's a good approach. Or maybe it should be under a separate heading like "Write Some Meta" that would include stuff like characterisation notes and thoughts on archive warnings.
krait: a sea snake (krait) swimming (Default)
I'M DYING. Is. Is DragonCave's new Valentine thing. Actually. A school dating sim. With dragons??

I think the hot dragon teacher wants to ask me out, and honestly, I would totally date this dragon:

krait: Katsuki Yuuri facing right with a small smile (YOI - Yuuri smile)
LOOK at these great new figures of Yuuri, Victor, and Makka: They're so adorable!

I have no idea how to buy them, but I still want them so badly. ♥
krait: snake with mouth open, "laughing" (snake: ha ha)
Somehow I stumbled onto this video and I can't stop laughing! (NSFW for nudity)

Everything about this is GOLD, from the title to way he keeps smiling!

I've had the tab open for an hour and a half now and I keep clicking back to it and giggling.
krait: a sea snake (krait) swimming (Default)
For Journaling January - erm, Januebruary? - [personal profile] hannelore prompted me with "favourite snakes."

I have several!

Wild species. )

Captive-bred specimens. )

My own! )
krait: a common krait on dusty ground (common krait)
The prompt from [personal profile] hamsterwoman was "Dragon Cave!"

Dragon Cave, DragonCave, DC or DragCave are all the same thing:, an online sprite-collecting/digital-pet game where you collect, trade, and raise dragons of many breeds. Your dragons are displayed on a "scroll" to let you keep track.

I started playing in, uh, Feb 25, 2009, wow. o.O My intention was to play just long enough to accrue a handful of dragons to put in my signature to decorate my posts on a forum I frequented. As a bonus, I could use them to decorate LJ posts, too. Instead, I fell captive and now I'm the mod of [community profile] dragoncavers, meaning I run a community just so I can decorate it with dragons!

The most interesting thing about DC, I think, is that there's no set way to play. Some people just want one of every breed, from common to rare. Some people set a "scroll goal," such as having 5 of each kind. Breeding is completely optional, but can be done in many different ways, and some players end up producing lineages with special meaning or a visual pattern. Others prefer dragons without a lineage and focus on collecting those. Some players have fun with the naming feature, such as creating funny names or using an entire text within a lineage. [Note: those two aren't mine!] There are people who do roleplay, with a dedicated forum board for that or freeform via chat.

New breeds are released regularly, and there are also a number of tricky options you can mess around with: some breeds will produce hybrids when crossbred, or the color of the offspring can be manipulated. You can turn your dragons into zombies by killing them and successfully reviving them, or into "neglected dragons" which have a different sprite! There are unbreedable types that must be caught in the Cave or summoned by the actions of a dragon you own. There are eggs which will hatch into different dragons depending on the time of day or the phase of the moon. Some breeds are common and some are rare; there are players who do their best to figure out the ratio system and alter it, by mass-breeding certain types and estimating the offspring ratios!

Special new breeds are released on three holidays each year, with those breeds only able to produce their own kind of egg for a week at that holiday. Holidays usually bring fun mini-games ranging from an "Easter Egg Hunt" all over the site to an RPG adventure, but it's all optional and doesn't affect your game if you're not interested.

Basically, it's a wide-open sandbox and you can do your own thing. While looking at cute dragon pictures. :D

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
krait: Greensnake in profile, eye prominent (looking at you)
Okay, deep breath, here goes:


I waited an two days to write this post, trying to gather my thoughts and I still can't do them justice because even after two days I am pretty incoherent with delight and sorrow.

This whole show has just been a ridiculous exercise in "I love everyone in this bar", and now that I have reached the finale this is STILL TRUE. I love everyone. Mei Changsu you wily lying bastard, I love you so much. Jingyan and Nihuang, I love you both. Tingsheng is so adorable all grown up I don't even know what to do. Lin Chen is my out-of-nowhere runner-up fave (with all the rest) and completely won my heart when he made Mei Changsu laugh. Fei Liu is still the best. Consort Jing has my heart forever. Doctor Yan is my soulmate and also wins the 'best hair' award. Xia Dong is a delight and my heart hurts on Gong Yu's behalf. Jingyan & Jingrui are the sweetest BFFs and I love them to bits and wish them all the adventures! Marquis Yan is so quietly awesome. Liyang made me proud in the end.

Even the antagonists get their moments of love. I was wowed by the scene where Xia Jiang is confronted by his ex-wife and son while in prison, and the actor playing the Emperor blew me away with emotions several times. I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS and right now I want nothing more than to watch the entire thing again while taking notes, preferably by taking a week off work and just mainlining it with as little sleep as possible. :D I may or may not already have the first episode queued up in another tab.

More below the cut. Probably spoilers, but vague ones? )
krait: Su Zhe in a cloak with Fei Liu behind him, in the snow (Nirvana in Fire: Su Zhe and Fei Liu)
I'm almost through - there's just one episode left!

Lin Chen is rapidly installing himself in my heart; every time he manages to make Mei Changsu smile I also smile like a fool. I also love his Drama Fan (seriously, he just carries a fan around so he can make melodramatic gestures with it, guys, it's hilarious!) and his squabbling with Fei Lu; the scene where he's unexpectedly drenched made me scare the cats by bursting into helpless snickers!

Loved the confrontation between Mei Changsu and the Emperor; it hit me exactly in my appreciation for stories with "family connections are not sacred and there are valid reasons to extinguish them" outcomes. I was your uncle, I took you on outings doesn't stack up next to I agreed to the execution and slander of your entire family under false accusations, no matter how tearfully offered. His hesitation, and then retreat without speaking, was so satisfying; I read it as not only a personal decision, but also an echo of his promise that they need never meet again - a conscientious display of his own honour, in contrast to his uncle's.

I'm so happy for Jingrui; for a while there I had decided that it was his fate in life to be disappointed by family members, but his mum came through in the end! If anyone deserves to have a little family success, it's that boy. Somebody coughcough Yujin cough needs to hug him! For like the next three days straight.

Next episode, here I come!

NiF update

Jan. 25th, 2019 09:51 pm
krait: Su Zhe in a cloak with Fei Liu behind him, in the snow (Nirvana in Fire: Su Zhe and Fei Liu)

(Wow, Emperor, way to ensure exactly the opposite of your desired outcome!)

Icon meme

Jan. 19th, 2019 07:35 pm
krait: a sea snake (krait) swimming (Default)
Last week, [personal profile] novembermond posted with a meme to talk about three selected icons.

Here are the ones I was assigned:

An old icon! So old that I honestly have lost a lot of the details. :D I think this one dates back to when I first started using this account; I needed some icons and figured that my limited icon-making skills would probably be better off if I ran with the snake theme than if I tried to make fannish icons. The snake in it came from a Google image search, most likely, and I just trimmed it down to fit. This is/was my "humourous post" icon, because to me the snake looks like it's laughing, or smiling.

A new icon! Very new; I made it on 1/2/19. :D I'd been watching and posting about Nirvana in Fire, and really wanted an icon to go with those posts! Again, I don't actually have icon-making skills, so this is really intended to be a placeholder until I find some nice professional ones. It's just a screenshot of the NiF episode page on Viki, cut down and slightly resized. I like both characters, I like blue, and the lack of background detail meant iconifying it was near my skill level... though I think it still took me half an hour to get it cropped just right. :/

Another new icon! But it's a new icon about being an old fan. :D It was made by [personal profile] china_shop, and I saw it in this icon post along with a number of other old!fan icons. It reminded me of LJ and the way people always had some new fashion to complain about: Why are all the icons full of tiny text nowadays? and People, please stop with the eye-searing custom colours! or What's with all these desaturated pastel icons lately?

I am not quite 40, but I have been in fandom since about 1997 (okay, I chose that date almost at random, because trying to define "in fandom" would be a huge post in itself) and find myself a little nostalgic now and then about the ways it changes and the ways it doesn't.

If you would like me to pick three of your icons for this meme, comment with "Pick me!" Or just comment and tell me about your favourite icon, yours or mine. :D
krait: a common krait on dusty ground (common krait)
My prompt from [personal profile] hamsterwoman was "Dragaera," and I was supposed to post about it on the 17th. Sorry I'm late. (If there was a 34th of January, I would have pushed it back till then, but alas.)

Have you ever encountered a canon that really drew you in and held your interest over several years? One that stacked up the tropes/character types/plot twists you like into a big pile of enjoyable action?

One that you couldn't for the life of you figure out why there just isn't a fandom?

That's Dragaera.

A currently-unfinished series of fantasy novels, with side series, there's really not any other series I can compare it to. Some introductory stuff for those unfamiliar with it, below the cut: )

With that out of the way, on to the specifics! I mentioned that this series if a perpetual case of "why isn't there any active fandom!?" for me, and at risk of repeating myself, I really don't understand why there isn't a fandom for this!

It seems to be absolutely stuffed with tropes that fandom loves: the wisecracking Vlad and his talking animal sidekick, the anti-hero with a heart/slow reformation of Vlad's character from amoral assassin to something more principled (though I don't think Vlad's morality will never be "normal," and that's a point of appeal as well!), the Dragaeran culture that makes Vlad an outsider and an underdog, the amazing descriptions of food that will leave you hungry after reading... :D There are 17 Houses for all your Sorting needs, and a gender-neutral society that means female characters can do anything the male ones can. There's plenty of opportunities for angst around Dragaeran prejudices (the Houseless, inter-House romances or the offspring thereof, Dragaeran/Easterner conflict, bias against the Jhereg and Teckla Houses...) and a wide-open playground of unexplored regions where Dragaeran prejudices don't apply (the East, the Isles).

There are plenty of options when it comes to relationships, too, whether you're into Vlad and his wife Cawti struggling through the breakup of their marriage, or Vlad's intense foe-yay with his Dragaeran friend-and-sometimes-boss, or the deep loyalty between Vlad and his secretary Kragar, or Cawti building a new life with her (female, Dragaeran) former assassination partner Norathar. The Khaavren romances feature two forbidden inter-House loves in addition to a successful romantic pairing.

If you've read them, talk at me about them! If you have questions, hit me with them - I am always willing to pimp this series to people to see if I can't build a little fandom for it. :D
krait: Kuranosuke asleep on a sofa (sleepy Kura)
Today's Journaling January prompt from [personal profile] extrapenguin was Identity Porn

This is a trope that I really enjoy, and also find really difficult to describe. It's an umbrella kink that encompasses several different aspects of narrative play around the concept of identity.

The most general definition I can give is this: "Identity Porn" is a narrative examination of the tension caused by a character's efforts to conceal their identity in some way, or by uncertainty about their true identity. Stricter definitions might exclude the latter clause, but I feel that an identity "concealed" by outside interference from all parties can also meet the emotional and narrative beats of the Identity Porn trope.

Superheroes are the classic example, perhaps because of the double-whammy (a superhero passing as a regular person is in essence maintaining two concealed identities) but Identity Porn comes with lots of options. Spies, undercover detectives, clones, celebrities, military operatives, dethroned royalty, crossdressers, revenge seekers, amnesiacs, and time-travellers all get a slice of the Identity Porn pie! Identity is a complicated and very personal concept, so it makes sense that any kind of long-term manipulation of identity is going to pull a lot of emotional strings.

Discussion and Related Tropes )

Canon Recs for Identity Porn )

Fic Recs for Identity Porn )

So there you have it, lots of rambling about Identity Porn. :D If you have recs for other canons or fics, or thoughts on what makes this trope satisfying, please comment with them!
krait: a sea snake (krait) swimming (Default)
Consort Jing and Su Zhe meet at last!

Jingyan is 1,000% convinced something hinky is going on, but can't find the cracks that would let him in on the secret.

Su Zhe, meanwhile, is radiating Thank you, Doctor Mom interspersed with fervent wishes that she not blow his cover.

Poor suspicious Jingyan! He is doomed to further frustration, I fear. :D
krait: Su Zhe in a cloak with Fei Liu behind him, in the snow (Nirvana in Fire: Su Zhe and Fei Liu)
I just finished Episode 41!

I love everyone in this entire show, seriously.

You get bullet points today. )

Anyway, suffice to say that I'm still enthralled and am doing much better at picking up names (but whhhyyyyyyy does everybody have to be named something with 'Jin' or 'Jing' in it?!?! Prince Jing/Jingyan, Consort Jing, Jinrui, Yujin, Jingting...) but still amuse myself by coming up with descriptive nicknames as well. One day I should make a post with the nicknames and pictures, in the style of FFA's 'Explain This Canon By Fannish Osmosis' threads.

If anyone knows where to find NiF icons, please point the way! I made the one above in a hurry, but I am not an artist in any medium, and there must be better ones out there.
krait: a sea snake (krait) swimming (Default)
Ahhh, I am behind on posting lately - I have a 90% complete entry written for one of my Journaling January prompts, but just haven't had the time to polish it up and hunt out the links I need.

I promise it'll be up soon! Saturday is going to be Do All The Things day, including fandom things. :D
krait: dark-skinned alien in armour (Foreigner - security)
I'm a tea drinker.

That encompasses the basics, but there's so much involved with that simple statement that it can't possibly all fit in a DW entry, so I'll pick a few subcategories to discuss. You're welcome to ask about others in comments.

Tea talk below the cut: Types and flavours, history, paraphernalia (with recs), and rambling! )

Hopefully that wasn't too much Tea Discussion for the non-tea-drinkers who read this journal. :D I apologise for this entry's late appearance, too - I posted an initial draft under lock, and forgot to unlock it after editing! *facepalming*
krait: a sea snake (krait) on a blue background (alternate sea krait)
Instead of Dreamwidth December. :D

Basically, if there's something you want me to talk about, comment with that subject (and optionally a date) and I will make a post about it in January!

Edit: Dates and topics so far below the cut. )

Feel free to add more items to the list any time before January 31st. :D

If you also missed DW December or just love receiving prompts, please feel free to steal, spread, adapt, or adopt Journaling January as your own! :D


krait: a sea snake (krait) swimming (Default)

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