havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
For anyone who might be interested, Pixar has Pixar in a Box on Khan Academy.

It's primarily directed at film writing, but I think it can be used for all types of narrative storytelling. I've been listening to The Art of Storytelling video series.

It starts out with "We are all storytellers," (I'm there still) which I think is an admirable point and has a number of their creators talking about their amateur efforts and how they got started, like Betty and Veronica fashion fanart. :)

It leads to characterization and story structure, and while I don't know that visual language is going to be terribly helpful to us print writers, it might give good ideas for descriptions of scenery to go around dialogue. There are also lessons and activities that you can do, should you choose.

(I can't find closed captions on Khan Academy, though. That's my one quibble thus far.)

One of my favorite pieces of writing advice is still this graphic: Pixar's 22 Rules of Storytelling.

No, I'm not saying they have to be YOUR rules too. I'm just saying I find the list as a useful set of way to help me go through one of my stories and figure out what's not working and what I need to do to make it work. Or sometimes, for me to just let go and stopy worrying at something, and maybe come back to it later.

Drink Recipe: Barley Twilsley

Jul. 20th, 2017 02:23 pm[personal profile] taselby
taselby: (Manjuice (tall))
This is a refreshing, nutritious, non-alcoholic drink that's a favorite of my daughter and me. I have a pitcher in my refrigerator right now!

Barley Twilsley

2 1/4 -2 1/2 quarts water (you want 2 quarts left after cooking)
1 cup pearl barley
3 lemons
1/3 cup honey

Put the water and barley in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 min.

While the barley is cooking, peel the lemons, being careful not to cut into the white part (the pith). You just want the yellow outer part. Juice the peeled lemons. Put the peels, juice, and honey into a 2 quart pitcher.

When the barley is done cooking, carefully pour the water through a sieve or strainer into the pitcher. Save the barley for other uses! Stir, and chill overnight. Lemony, lightly sweet, and entirely delicious!

Other uses for the barley: use in yogurt in place of granola, make barley and mushrooms (I cut that one down a bit, use 1 onion, 8oz mushrooms, and 2 cups cooked barley), or beef-with-barley soup. It's a great, nutty substitute for rice.

Makes about 2 quarts

1/2 kids approve!

No good very bad day

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:19 pm[personal profile] gwyn
gwyn: (8ball wizzicons)
Today's my least favorite day once again. The date I lost Miss Olive two years ago, and I'm not over it--I think about her every day, and miss her, especially now. I could really use her soft, soft fur and sweet purrs and funny little voice when she talked to me all the time. And it's the day we lost Sandy, which I'm never gonna be over, either. With Vividcon ending next year it feels even more like losing Sandy all over again.

Basically July 19 is just a terrible horrible no good very bad day.

I'm trying to get things done in anticipation of the surgery and whatnot, but it's really hard. Not only is there a lot to do, the bills are starting to come in, and I'm getting really depressed about it. I haven't had enough work so far this year, but even though I suddenly have a bunch of stuff coming in, it's not going to be paid for a while yet. Even with the ACA still hanging on, this country is majorly fucked up about health care costs, and it's pretty easy to go bankrupt even with insurance.

Last night we went to see the documentary Score, about composing music for films, at this teeeny local theatre that was the first art house in Seattle way back in the '60s. I hadn't known it was still in business--it's run by vounteers now, and the lobby is now a restaurant so the actual theatre is about one-tenth the size it used to be. The movie was great--if you have a chance to watch it, you should: there were some really good reminiscences by directors and other composers about some of the legends, and interviews with all kinds of fascinating film composers, plus a glimpse into the process of recording film scores.

My only complaints were one I shared with feochadn, which was that a guy went on and on about King Kong (the first real movie score) being cheesy and stupid, and that the music was the only thing that helped audiences get over the cheesy and stupid, which is utterly, patently false and doesn't understand the audience dynamic at the time the original King Kong was released. And my second gripe was that as they talked about modern scores and unique or avant garde approaches, they interviewed and spent quite a bit of time following the guy who did the utterly forgettable Age of Ultron score instead of spending any time with Henry Jackman, who did the Winter Soldier score, which most people I know still talk about with a certain amount of awe. Especially because I think it would have dovetailed nicely with talking about the "game-changing" soundtrack for the Social Network by Trent Reznor (I'm not one of the people who think it was game-changing, but whatever), and they did talk to Henry Jackman, but only for a microscopically short time. Plus, they didn't list Winter Soldier in his credits, and that was…weird to me. And it's not my own blind prejudice for anything related to Winter Soldier--I've read so many people talking about the amazing things he did with that score, especially regarding the Soldier himself, and it just seems like a huge missed opportunity in the modern section…and instead we got fucking Ultron. I'd defy anyone to remember anything unique or special about the music in that movie. But I still definitely recommend seeing Score if you can, and stay for the credits and James Cameron's dicussion of James Horner's score for Titanic. (It's in a couple cities right now, and rolling around other parts of the country for the next few months--you can find out where on the web site linked above.)

I wish I knew how you find a therapist. I am very lonely and depressed, and there's no one to talk to here, but I just don't know how you go about finding someone you mesh with, and who's competent, and one you can afford (the importance of either can be switched). I mean, I've met some truly shitty people in RL who I find out later are therapists and it's like O.o so the idea of going into this cold doesn't thrill me.
havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
ETA: Logged out and gone to sleep. Good night, all!

I'm going to be trying to figure out what city I should be setting my urban fantasy in. (Or at least, what it should be an analogue to, geography-wise.)

I'll be on Discord for a couple of hours, if anyone wants to join me:

https://discord.gg/w9PK3Yg

(This time I'll remember to edit the post to say when I log off Discord!)
taselby: (Food: apple)
If Snow White's stepmother had offered me this, I'd be a goner. This makes a lovely, sweet-tart, rose colored martini. A personal favorite.

[hopefully a pic will go here]

Cranapple Martini

Makes two, because sharing is caring!

2oz vodka (I use Costco Kirkland brand American vodka)
2oz apple vodka (I use Skyy Honeycrisp Apple)
2oz Sour Apple Pucker
2oz cranberry juice cocktail

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake and serve.
Can also be served on the rocks, but why?

I really need martini glasses, if only for the pics. :)

(no subject)

Jul. 17th, 2017 01:01 pm[personal profile] nestra
nestra: (Default)
DS9 rewatch:

"Looking for Par'Mach in All the Wrong Places"

Julian is really invested in the state of O'Brien's marriage, to the point of eavesdropping. That's weird, Julian. As is the idea that Kira is now some kind of pseudo-wife, because she's carrying the baby. We're supposed to be concerned that they're developing feelings for each other, but the complete lack of chemistry torpedoes that. (Poor Keiko. She does not have much to do in this episode.)

Ah, Quark's Klingon ex-wife returns. Not really a storyline I needed follow-up to, but I suppose it's interesting, given the hostilities between the Klingons and the Federation. Or, it's interesting for about 10 seconds, and then the rest of the episode is Worf playing Cyrano for Quark, in between moaning about Klingon opera and Klingon mating traditions.

I guess it accomplishes the main goal, which is getting Worf and Dax together.

"...Nor the Battle to the Strong"

It's a good idea to pair Jake with Bashir in a situation where Bashir is practicing medicine on the front lines. Julian was kind of the baby of the adults when the show started, idealistic about "frontier medicine". Now he's aged into some maturity, while Jake is 18 and still learning how to be an adult. One minute he's fantasizing about something terrible happening so he can write an interesting article, and the next minute he has to confront the reality of that situation.

I am circling back to my theme of DS9 being a show where sometimes, there are no good answers. Bashir's decision to go help means putting Jake in mortal danger. Jake judges a man for injuring himself to get out of battle, but then Jake does something equally as bad, if not worse. These are the wages of war.

The episode title is from the Bible. The verse says that sometimes the fastest person doesn't win a race, or the strongest person win a battle. Sometimes it's just chance, and there's nothing you can do about it.
taselby: (Food: pomegranate)
link to original recipe at Food52

This is a blatant tweak of a recipe at Food52 -- see link. So, I wandered into this blind. I've only had Ethiopian cuisine once, and had thought the spiciness was a quirk of the restaurant rather than something endemic to the dishes themselves. I had no idea what berbere spice was, and had to order it online (Amazon has a jar for about US$3). But the recipe looked simple enough, and even if I didn't like it, it wasn't a huge investment.

Warning: this is hella fucking spicy, like weaponized spice. BUT! It makes the house smell amazing. It's also super delicious and satisfying, and the heat calms down somewhat the next day (the flavors develop more, too! Yum!), but right out of the pan it was right up to the edge of what I could handle. Please note that I live in a highly Latinx area, and routinely eat spicy traditional Mexican dishes and salsas.

Next time I'll probably toss in some carrots and potato chunks.

USE AN OVENPROOF PAN WITH A LID!

Zighini Beef Stew - this is a one-pan dish, but it will take some time: ~2 to 2.5 hours depending on how fast you are at prep

1 lb beef stew meat in 1" cubes (recipe calls for boneless short ribs, but they're expensive, and the regular stew meat was fine)
salt & pepper
olive oil or other neutral cooking oil
1 onion, about the size of a baseball, chopped
3 Tbsp berbere spice (half this if you don't like the super-spicy)
16oz canned tomato sauce

Preheat your oven to 350*. Coat the bottom of a heavy pot with oil and heat over med-high heat on the stovetop.

Season the beef with a little salt and pepper, and brown the beef in small batches in the oil. The browning gives a nice flavor to the stew. Move the browned beef to a bowl, but do not clean out the pan. Reduce the heat to medium.

Add a little more oil if you need to, and put the onion in the pan, scraping up all the tasty stuck bits in the bottom. Saute the onion until it's translucent, about 10 min. Take your time with this, really.

Add the berbere spice and stir. Cook about 1 min. Stir in the beef and it's juices, the tomato sauce, another pinch of salt, and 2 cups of water.

Bring to a boil, cover, and place the covered pot in the oven to keep cooking. Cook until the meat is tender and the stew is thick, about 1.5 hours.

NOTE: I needed to cook mine for closer to 2 hours, and it still wasn't what I'd call "thick." This is where personal taste comes in. Check it often, and listen to your gut.

Serves: recipe claims 4, but probably closer to 2 or 3
Sides: I served it with rice. (Bread, mild veggies, plain yogurt, cucumber -- these would also be good)
Drinks: Something cold and fruity! Peach tea or raspberry lemonade

1/1 kid approved, but begged for milk! (1 kid was out of town)

(no subject)

Jul. 17th, 2017 07:52 am[personal profile] lakeeffectgirl
lakeeffectgirl: (Default)
This August, [personal profile] rsadelle and I are finally going to power through that 90's fan favorite: Once a Thief. Both of us purchased the DVD set when it was released, watched a few episodes, and never finished. (I'm sure we got distracted by other, more contemporary things? Possibly this was something I planned on finishing while I was on medical leave but then I just watched all of Futurama and half of Arrow instead. Speaking of: I need to finish Arrow one of these days, too.) Anyway, if you'd like to join us in watching Ivan Sergei be confused, Sandrine Holt by annoyed, and Nick Lea be grumpy, here's a tumblr post with details and a sign-up link.

So far no one has signed up but us buuuuuuuuuuuuut I remain optimistic.

Currently I'm watching Daredevil (the show) because I keep thinking that I want to write Matt/Foggy one of these days (or Matt/Foggy/Karen!), so I need to wrap that up before this OaT extravaganza starts.

Went to see Spiderman: Homecoming yesterday and it was delightful. I remain baffled by how much Tom Holland (still?) looks like Jamie Bell.
havocthecat: polly (red-haired geek with glasses) and celia (blonde loner) of st. trinian's (st trinians polly/celia)
The best part of the Doctor Who casting announcement is that it opens up EVEN MORE amazing possibilities for horrifyingly beautiful St. Trinian's crossovers.

"Oh, Beverly!" called Miss Fritton from her office, leaning over and waving one hand. Beverly could see one her out of the corner of one eye.

"Yeah, miss!"

"What's that little knobbly thingummy you're pointing at the door?"

"It's a sonic screwdriver, miss!"

"What's it for?"

"Nothing, miss!" There was Dalek invasion and the First Years were busy lobbing explosives from the tower while Beverly - the Doctor, really, but she'd been undercover for years and thought of herself as Beverly still - remodulated the alarm system to broadcast a frequency that would short-circuit their disruptor beams. The Daleks, not the First Years.

Though Beverly privately thought the First Years infinitely more dangerous to let loose upon the human race than the Daleks, but she did have standards after all, and centuries of enmity with the Daleks to uphold.

"So what you're saying," said Miss Fritton, appearing in her doorway with an empty bottle of vodka in one hand, "is that we're out of vodka and you forgot to stock up, is that it?"

"Get the gin, miss," said Beverly, holding back a sigh.
morgandawn: (Ariel Yes?)


UPDATE: I heard from them. The archive is closed to new submissions but the admins are still there and can be reached via their Help Desk. There are no plans to move the archive.


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