Fandom: Legend of Korra
Characters and pairings: Lin/Tenzin, Ikki
Notes: Sequel to "The Wind in the Dark", but you don't need to read that to follow this. As with the first fic, title is from a Vienna Teng lyric, but somehow I failed to write down which one. Self. Please.
Summary: Lin and Tenzin try to make it work; Ikki has mixed feelings about her father moving on.
( Tenzin woke slowly, conscious of the spring breeze outside and the warm body beside him. )
I don't really do podcasts much, but I love Galactic Suburbia, which ranges widely from fandom to general Australian pop culture from a local feminist perspective that works hard at intersectionality. There is also cake.
I also don't really listen to albums per se, let alone Beyoncé albums -- I usually find her work very hit and miss, most of the misses being ballads. But Lemonade really is outstanding. For one thing, there's a coherent narrative, which I don't find in many albums, and it all comes together in "Formation" at the end.
Speaking of coherent narratives: Hamilton. I didn't much like it on a first listen -- I think I got as far as "You'll Be Back" -- but I gave it a second go because I was intrigued by all the discussion. Listening to it with the Genius annotations open was great -- but it took the entrance of George Washington to make me fall in love. Turns out I just quit one song too soon on my first attempt.
I have a lot of Issues with its portrayal of women, which I think is a lot less feminist than people give it credit for, but I sure do love it a lot.
Spinning off from there, I've also been listening to a lot of the '80s and '90s hip hop that inspired Hamilton, and from there I keep falling down a TLC/Salt 'n' Pepa spiral, which inevitably leads back to Destiny's Child, Beyoncé and Lemonade.
ReadingIt's Hugo's season, and once again, the shortlists are a clusterfuck of right wing trolls. The novels aren't so bad this time, but I may nope out of Best Related Work all together, not only because I'm a bit disappointed that Companion Piece didn't make it, but I'm absolutely heartsick that we don't get to lose to Letters to Tiptree.
But once again, I'm going to read as many of the finalists as I can, review them on No Award, and vote according to merit. I just finished Seveneves, and I'm struggling to come up with a coherent way to talk about it on NA. I might just do the post in three acts: one's really slow, the other is quite interesting until everything suddenly happens offscreen and we hear about it later, and the third is a review of a completely different book all together.
My reward for finishing Seveneves is Star Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Gray. It's very good, but what I'm really interested in with regard to the post-OT timeline is Ben Organa Solo and his descent into darkness. Sorry, Tumblr, but I have a serious weakness for characters who grow up in the shadow of their family legacies and either deal with that or fail spectacularly, so the only way Kylo Ren could be more awesome in my eyes is if he was Han and Leia's daughter instead of their son.
Also read lately:
- Vol 1 of Archie 2015, the "reboot" with art by Fiona Staples. I was pretty cynical when I heard this was happening, but it's really good -- I think because it takes the whole Riverdale format seriously, and isn't setting out to be a Dark and Gritty Version. It's still a comic you could give to your kids. And the art and writing are just good, to the point where I may actually have to get the Jughead title as well. (I realised that Mark Waid has written a bunch of stuff I've enjoyed over the years, so I should pay more attention to him.)
- The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks -- another YA/Middle Grade graphic novel, set in a city that has been invaded and colonised so many times, it's original inhabitants no longer have a name for it. This wears its Avatar inspiration overtly -- not only does it have a blurb from Bryan Konietzco, but the cover uses the AtLA font -- but it's a worthy successor. For one thing, unlike a lot of AtLA-inspired works, it's not about white people.
- The Murder of Mary Russell by Laurie R King -- I sort of fell out of love with this series after Locked Rooms pulled its punches and then God of the Hive looked at all the foreshadowing and set-up of the previous book and went, "Nah, actually I'll ignore all of that and be disappointing and racist instead." But this was outstanding, and I really wish it had come out ten years ago, when I had the fannish drive and energy to really do something with it, fic-wise. It's a massive retcon of not just the previous Russell novels, but also the Doyle canon, and nearly everything about it delighted me. Even the flashbacks to 19th century Australia were great, and I usually find gaping errors in that sort of thing.
WatchingOn the insistence of nonelvis and sorryforlaughing , I've been watching The Americans. They were right: it's very, very good. It's sort of my Mad Men, in that every episode features a style of clothing or hair that I've seen on pictures of my mother.
It turns out that America is suddenly doing really good historicals set in the last few decades. Well, not "suddenly", I suppose Mad Men proved it could be done, and then it was just a matter of time until it inspired some really good shows. Between seasons of The Americans, I've watched Show Me A Hero (set in the '80s and '90s, about the court-mandated desegregation of Yonkers) and The People v OJ Simpson, which I started expecting hilarity, and ended having actual feelings about the Kardashians?
Then my MacBook's logicboard exploded, so for about ten days, I was confined to what I could watch via streaming services. Which was fine, it was just in time to binge watch season 2 of Janet King via ABC iView. I quite liked season 2 -- I thought it was better plotted than season 1, and despite the Dead Lesbian Trope that drives it, it also gives us Marta Dusseldorp dealing with trauma by wearing a lot of tank tops, and also a plot about a woman seeking justice for her murdered wife.
I was less impressed that the final episode reveals that the murderer is ( spoilers ), which doesn't really affect the plot or motivations, it's just a means to a fake-out. That could have been done differently, guys.
Stuff I watch week to week:
Elementary's season 4 was a mixed bag, and I have some issues with the finale, but it left me shipping ( spoilers )
And Orphan Black's season 4 is great so far, pulling back from the labyrinthine conspiracies of season 3, but still dealing with repercussions from last year's plotlines.
( More spoilers )
I am FINALLY emerging from both, thanks in part to my new habit of keeping a journal that tracks both pain and plot bunnies. I should be working on one of my novels, but what I've actually achieved is 1000 words of really schmoopy Lin/Tenzin where they are in love and trying quite hard not to repeat the mistakes of their youth, and also to not leave Tenzin's kids with any new neuroses, and also the world is kind of, "Really?" at Tenzin daring to fall in love again after his sainted wife passed away and all.
(Because I am a contrarian, I seem to end up with a lot of oppositional headcanons, one being that -- instead of regretting that Lin and Tenzin broke up and secretly hoping they get back together -- most people who know them greet the news of a reunion with feelings on a spectrum from Strong Concern to Setting Up Bomb Shelters And Organising An Intervention. Except Korra, obviously.)
While my new job is great, I’m also going through a fibro flare-up, so I get home and basically crash. And the very last thing I have the energy for is human interaction.
Which is to say, voicemails and unanswered calls from Mum are piling up; I’m starting to feel bad.
Tags:spoonie, fibromyalgia, ugh, and dreamwidth
- pop music
- non-fiction about the pop industry
- guide tracks
Being American, the book largely overlooks the UK pop scene, which I think is a mistake -- the Swedish song factories that made Britney Spears famous refined their art in the UK, and StarGate, for example, who are currently massive, started out with acts like S Club 7, Samantha Mamba and Billie Piper.
Overlooking the UK seems to me to be especially a mistake because there is a chapter on K-pop, which also embraced the Swedish machine. Don't laugh, there are pretty striking similarities in production between Billie's "Something Deep Inside" and Girls' Generation's "The Boys".
Anyway, I find it really interesting that many songs are written with no particular artist -- or even language -- in mind, and it might get shopped around to a variety of artists before it gets made. (Or, sometimes, it's written with one artist in mind, but they pass on it -- "...Baby One More Time" was written for TLC, who rejected it, so it went to Britney. Some years later, Britney turned down a little ditty called "Telephone", so its lyricist claimed it back or herself.)
A (sort of) more obscure example:
A quintet of Swedes wrote a track now known as "Genie", or, sometimes, "Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)", depending whether you're looking at the Korean or Japanese version. It was shopped around in various countries, and eventually purchased for Girls Generation. New lyrics were added. It was released in 2010 to considerable success.
But in 2009, Uzbek artist Dineyra had recorded it herself. Her producers didn't secure the rights, so there were legal kerfuffles when "Genie" came out. As usual when you go up against the Korean pop industry, she came off second-best.
And just before the Girls Generation version was released, a Dutch artist named Nathalie Makhoma released a version with the original English lyrics.
And finally, a UK hip hop artist named CJ Lewis released a track called "Genie" which heavily samples the track, and -- instead of the English lyrics -- translates the Korean back to English. And so we come full circle.
This is all particularly interesting to read on the same day that Beyoncé releases a new song -- because, while she presumably uses the services of song factories, her process is much more opaque, and she is far more likely to make significant changes from the creators' versions. (Especially since she ran into problems when it turned out the writers of "Halo" had written a remarkably similar song for ... Kelly Clarkson? Someone of that ilk.)
Meanwhile, in the Anglosphere, the current fashion is for singer-songwriters, so there's a certain amount of controversy over the use of song factories -- especially because the factories mostly employ men, who literally put words in the mouths of female artists. (Women in the business of songwriting tend to either have been successful performers themselves, eg Linda Perry, or go on to become successful performers, eg Jessie J, Lady Gaga. Sia's an odd case, having been a successful alternative performer before becoming accidentally successful as a pop writer. And Carole King was an unsuccessful performer who became a major songwriter, and then became a successful performer.)
IN SHORT -- because my dinner is getting cold -- there are a lot of interesting and meaty issues underlying the current state of pop music construction, but since the things I love include everything on the list above, this book speaks to me.
Unfortunately, due to the peculiar nature of my employment, I don't actually know precisely when I'm going to be paid. Rather than being employed by a company, I'm working for four individuals. Everything is done manually, and judging by my predecessor's emails, a couple of my employers are not great maintaining a consistent payment schedule. My predecessor had a partner, so she apparently didn't mind occasionally being paid late, but I don't have that safety net.
I'm going to be discussing this with my employers next week, and explaining that my rent is due on the last day of every month and I would like to be paid at least 48 hours in advance. But between that and the fact that the bank won't let me put my loan repayments on hold until I can give a specific resumption date, I'm suddenly quite stressed about money.
My RedBubble store is here.
I am now taking commissions for machine-pieced, hand-quilted quilts. Specifically:
iPad/tablet/eReader pouches: AU$75 + materials
Hot water bottle cosies: AU$100 + materials
Cushion covers: AU$100 - 150 + materials, depending on size
This hot water bottle cosy and cushion cover are basically prototypes -- which is to say, I had a cushion and a hot water bottle and needed something to put over them.
Baby blankets (approx 40 x 60 inches): AU$200 + materials
Other: let's talk about it.
You can find some photos of my old work at Flickr.
Now, quilts take a long time to make. My cushion cover and hot water bottle cosy took about two months each, although they were hand-pieced -- I'd estimate about a month with machine piecing. I'm about to finish the baby blanket I started in October 2015. I work for at least two hours a night, at least five nights a week. So, depending on the size of the project and the complexity of the piecing, you might have quite a wait.
This is the baby blanket on the verge of being complete. I have some ... regrets about the colours.
And as you can probably guess, they will not come from a pet-free home. I'll wash them and aggressively lint-roll them before I send them out, but if you are deathly allergic to cats, I would not recommend my quilts.
As for patterns and colours, I am ... not great at geometry. Despite my ongoing attempts to figure out hexagons, I'm best with squares and triangles, and also very specific colour schemes from which I am absolutely not allowed to diverge, or else I end up with weird multi-coloured monstrosities.
For AU$25, I will create a digital Tiny Mood Person, as demonstrated by Tiny Mood Stephanie over at No Award. If it's a Tiny Mood You that you're after, I'll obviously need some photos, preferably at least three of your face and one full body.
Fan art: let's talk about it.
Finally, if you're in Australia or New Zealand, I have half a dozen copies of Companion Piece: Women celebrate the humans, aliens and tin dogs of Doctor Who, going for $25 each plus postage and handling. I can't get Minotaur's site to load right now, but from memory they were selling it for about $40.
May come, because somewhere around here I still have some of the jewellery and badges I made for the Continuum Sunday Markets in 2014.
Queries, questions, liz.barr (@) gmail.com
Ganked from sorryforlaughing
1. Your 3 fanfics with the most comments:
“Makes A Battle Like A Song” (aka the epic Tophzula, with 39 comments)
“The Princess of the Dragon Flats” (aka the Private Detective AU, with 15 comments)
“Disengagement” (aka 2100 words around one weak joke, with 7 comments)
2. Your 3 fanfics with the most kudos:
“Solution” (aka 650 words of a kinkmeme fill that gets praise all out of proportion with its quality but it’s m/m so, like, of course it does, with 161)
“Escapee” (aka the AU where Mai and Ty Lee escape from the Boiling Rock, with 120)
3. Your oldest fanfic:
4. Your latest fanfic:
5. Your proudest fanfic:
6. Your longest fanfic:
7. Your 3 fanfics with the most bookmarks:
“Evidence” (my very first White Lotus exchange fic! Oh God, I’m having so much trouble with it this year!)
8. Your top 3 crossover fics:
9. Your favourite characters to write in fanfic:
10. I tag:
Notes: Many, many thanks to nonelvis for the beta. This was inspired just over a year ago by a piece of art posted by storyboarder Will Ruzicka, depicting a 50-something Chief Mako. Suffice to say, I had some feelings. Mostly, "Um, it's a shame about the age difference, Lin would be totally into that." Fic has, at last, happened. Title is from a 1943 advertisement that probably wasn't meant to sound totally terrifying.
Summary: Thirty-five years ago, Lin Beifong gave her life for Republic City. Except ... she didn't. Chief Mako takes his old boss out for a drink.
( Mako gave orders that he was to be contacted if Beifong went near the spirit portal, but three weeks passed before he got the call. )
From the Lin/Mako timeskip fic, where spirity shenanigans happen and the next thing Lin knows, it's 35 years later.
Regarding Suyin's run for the presidency of the United Republic, and the ugly bit of history that brings to light:
Mako shook his head.
"When that business came up, her opponents tried to put it all on you. Destroy your reputation, damage your sister's chances. Su told the truth, and Tenzin backed her up. And -- well, Toph made that choice a long time ago."
She nodded, slowly.
Mako added, "As for her legacy -- well, there's a new Beifong statue down at headquarters."
I tag ... NO ONE. If you are so moved, meme away.
Your main fandom of the year? Still Legend of Korra and the Avatarverse as a whole. I'm also dipping a toe into Star Wars, and expect to have a lot of feelings about Rogue One at this time next year.
Your favourite film you watched this year? I didn't get to many movies, but I've seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens twice in a month, so I guess that's the winner!
Your favourite book read this year? Liu Cixin's Three-Body Problem was absolutely bonkers and I loved it. I also adored Laurinda by Alice Pung and Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. It was a good year for books!
Your favourite album or song to listen to this year? According to Spotify, my top artists from 2015 were Dessa, Nicki Minaj and Jessie J. (That last because I mostly had "Wild" on repeat from the day I first heard it.) But obviously I also have to mention the Hamilton cast recording, which absolutely blew me away even though I'm not into musicals or the American Revolution.
Your favourite tv show of the year? Ready for This, ABC3's delightful and almost perfect 13-episode series about five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids who share a house in Sydney as part of a program for gifted ATSI teens. Every character was a perfect cinnamon roll, even the Token White Guy, and I was continually pausing episodes to tweet or text about how great it was.
Your best new fandom discovery of the year? Probably that obscure space movie series, Star Wars. A work colleague sold me on The Clone Wars, and then obviously I went on to Rebels, and they're just great. I mean, for a given value of great. I just adore Ahsoka and refuse to believe she's not kicking back, alive and happy, by TFA-era.
Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year? The MCU. I was incredibly disappointed by the mediocrity of Agent Carter, and then Age of Ultron just decided to ... pretend a bunch of movies just didn't happen? Because it's not like they contained important character development or anything?
Daredevil was interesting but dudecentric, Jessica Jones was great for (white) female characters but I didn't love the overall structure. And then it came out that the government is cutting Screen Australia's funding and giving it to ... Thor 3? (And the next Alien movie.) And I'm like, seriously, my tax dollars are going towards this? At the expense of local works?
So while I know it will have even less effect than the MRA boycott of Star Wars, I'm not consuming any MCU products until that changes. (And also doing more effective things, like Writing Angry Letters To My MP.)
Your fandom boyfriend of the year? I just sat here for five minutes, completely stumped by that question. Pass.
Your fandom girlfriend of the year? Lin Beifong, same as every year. I am a one-cartoon-girl sort of lady.
Your biggest squee moment of the year? The Mai/Zuko pining in the "Smoke and Shadow" arc of the comics. I mean, Zuko is pining, Mai refuses because THAT WOULD INVOLVE FEELINGS AND SHE'S NOT WASTING THOSE ON ZUKO ANYMORE, HONEST, FOR REALS.
The most missed of your old fandoms? I miss being excited about new Doctor Who -- my dislike for Clara and the gross subtexts that kept popping up in the second half of the season, including the finale, made it hard to enjoy this last season. (Here is my rant about the final few episodes -- I like to pretend the season ended with "Face the Raven".)
The fandom you haven't tried yet, but want to? I have no interest in getting into a new fandom just for the sake of getting into a new fandom. But there are things I'm looking forward to consuming -- The Expanse, various books and TV shows, that sort of thing.
Your biggest fan anticipations for the coming year? Going to Contact 2016 in Brisbane and squeeing at Ben Aaronovitch about Rivers of London/making him sign my Remembrance of the Daleks DVD cover; the new companion announcement for Doctor Who (please not another twenty-something white girl!); maybe actually finishing a fic one day, who knows?
Rating: all ages
Notes: Set during the Book 3 finale. Apparently, in the last week of NaNo, I had a lot to write about Lin and her sister.
Summary: Pema overhears a fascinating conversation.
( Su was saying, 'Look, what I said when we had that fight…' )
Rating: all ages
Notes: Set during the Book 1 finale, because apparently I'm never going to be over Lin losing her bending. Title from "The Crow" by Dessa.
Summary: Su visits Republic City in the aftermath of Amon's revolution, and completely fails to learn an important lesson about her sister.
( As soon as the newspapers said Republic City was stable, Suyin ordered her airship to be readied. )
Cheating: I wasn’t tagged, and I tag no one!
“9 Crimes” - Damien Rice feat Lisa Hannigan
“Prettier Face” - Hawksley Workman
“You Sound Like Louis Burdett” - The Whitlams
“Marble House” - The Knife (thank heavens! I was afraid I was in an eternal spiral of Sad White Guys!)
“Too Many Women” - Rachael Sage
“Gloria” - Patti Smith
“U-huh” - Tkai Maidza
“Madonna” - Secret (no, I haven’t gotten title and artist mixed up)
“Change” - Hyuna & Joon Hyung Yong
“LES Artistes” - Santigold
Tags:music, memes, and dreamwidth
The advantage of NaNo is that you don't have the luxury of sitting around being paralysed by all the things you don't know, and just writing helps narrow down the things you need to learn. And, for example, no matter how much you might want to print out a series of incredibly detailed maps of the Hoddle Grid c1910, then annotate them based on archives of The Argus until they're more or less current to 1924, those shenanigans will just have to wait until December.
Helpfully, my main character is no longer the nebulous blob of vague likability and stereotypical spunkiness she was when I first had this idea. I mean, she's still not what you'd call multi-dimensional, but this is Draft Zero, a chance to outline, get to know the characters and see where the plot takes them. (You could call it Outlining Via Pantsing.) She's getting there, and so am I.
- I've worked out that the terrible nerve pain I've been getting in my hands for the last few weeks is psychosomatic and stress related. I've turned into the Mrs Bennet of legal assistants.
I have a job interview on Friday, which I won't discuss in a public post except to say that, while it looks like an interesting role, the potential for dysfunction is quite high, so this is much about me interviewing the employer as vice versa.
- Aldi's $5 rosé is indeed excellent.
- Mary S. Lovell's book on the opium wars is informative and often entertaining, but also full of patently untrue statements, like "nobody in this day and age is still angry about British imperialism." Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ...
(I was going to say, has she even met Tumblr, but aside from the strong likelihood that the answer is no, I will never forget the post about Empress Dowager Cixi that said she was a terrible and problematic leader because she refused to let the British take control of China.)
- today I bought milk that was already sour, and cheese that was already going off, and earbuds that just plain didn't work. I am possibly cursed. Although I exchanged the earbuds with no dramas, so maybe it's just random bad luck that's mainly attributable to a probable overnight fridge failure.
Automatic Dreamwidth to Tumblr crossposting.
I'm not sure how much I'll use this, since I tend to mostly use DW for locked posts and Tumblr for random flailing and No Award for actual coherent content, but I like to have the option.
Actually, a widget that cross-posts selected Tumblr posts to DW would be handy also. Get on that, technical geniuses!
@actualmermaid tagged me!
In no particular order because I just finished tidying up my GoogleDrive so there are old fics at the top because they were the last to move.
I like to interpret “first line” as “first line or whatever seems to make the most sense and produce a good effect, eh, I’m not the meme police.”
The first time Pema met Lin Beifong, Beifong had a black eye and blood streaming down her face from a cut on her cheek.
She hardly recognised him, lean and hollow-cheeked, greying hair pulled into a short ponytail. He was clad in faded greys and blues, and if not for his pallor and the tattoos he could not quite hide, she might have mistaken him for his brother.
“They’ve seen us,” Beifong hissed. “Run.”
Mako didn’t need to be told twice. He could hear them giving chase, but when he turned to see where they were, Kita swept up a dagger of oily water from the gutter and threw it at him. He stumbled, pain blooming in his shoulder and chest, but Beifong grabbed him, keeping him upright.
It had been drizzling all night, but now, at the worst possible time, it started to rain in earnest. Beifong pulled him into a narrow alley and said, “Did they see your face?”
The morning of the trial, they brought her uniform. Lin dressed slowly, appreciating the feel of real clothes on her skin instead of a rough prison jumpsuit.
It wasn’t quite the uniform she remembered. The cable spools on the back had been removed, along with the metal bands on the sleeves and legs. Even the buttons had been replaced with bakelite.
Phuong, her lawyer, if she were here, would frown and say it was an insult, a demonstration of distrust. Lin’s only reaction was disappointment. After eight months in this glass-and-wood-and-bakelite cell, it would have been nice to touch metal again.
“General Beifong? Are you ready?”
Huan liked to think that his creativity peaked between the hours of midnight and four in the morning. He worked outside, inasmuch as any of Zaofu could be said to be outside at night. At least it never rained, and his projects were always returned to their wooden plinths before the sprinkler system was activated at four-fifteen.
His mother complained about the wet, grassy footprints leading from the back door to his bedroom, but affectionately. She liked that he had a passion, and anyway, she wasn’t the one cleaning the floors.
If anyone had asked, Bumi would have said the days were long past when he had to worry about interrupting his baby brother in the middle of a romantic moment. Years past. Decades past.
No one had asked him, and no one had warned him, either, that there was a risk of (embarrassing, highly awkward) interruption, or that someone (presently lifting her head from Tenzin’s chest and giving Bumi a death glare) might go around rearranging the terrain on Air Temple Island in the middle of the night.
Zaofu, Pema decided, was a big, metallic, flower-shaped oasis.
It was the perfect refuge after the nightmare of everything that happened at the Northern Air Temple. A modern, well-equipped hospital for Korra and Tenzin, an efficient security force if the remnants of the Red Lotus tried again, and Su Beifong’s personal estate had more than enough room to hold the various refugees – airbenders, Mako and Bolin’s family, Korra’s family … Meelo.
Prince Wu didn’t stay on Air Temple Island for long after the revelation that the Avatar was missing. He declared the dinner boring and set out for a nightclub, promising Mako a cocktail that would taste like his head was on fire, but in a good way. Mako gave Lin a pleading look as he left. She ignored it.
“Look at that storm!” Meelo shouted.
Bumi waited until Tenzin and his kids had vanished into the crowd before he said, “So I’ve been seeing Lin, sort of. Informally.”
Kya said, “By ‘seeing’, do you mean ‘sleeping with’?”
“Oh, Bumi,” she said, “that is such a bad idea.”
I tag … look, just do the meme if you want to. Say I forced you if you need an excuse.
Tags:and dreamwidth, (reblogging so it hits my DW)