sekiharatae: (Fangirl Focus)
I have created an announcement ML for anyone who doesn't have an LJ and wants to be notified when I update my fanfiction.  (Or I suppose even if you do have an LJ but you don't want to watch/friend me.)   The form itself is below, and pretty self-explanatory. ;)

 
E-mail:



 
This ML is hosted on my paid webspace provider (Dreamhost), which I have been using for more than ten years.  It is for announcements only.  That means it won't accept replies from members (or anyone else), which should mean no spam.  (It won't even accept email from my email account; I have to login to Dreamhost and send through their interface.)

sekiharatae: Unhappy Fizzgig (arg)
I hate it when fandom eats my brain. Fandom can be worse than zombies in that respect.

Why, oh why, did I decide I needed to watch Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman? It's a show from the mid-nineties that gave a romantic comedy spin to the Superman mythos. It's fun. It's often adorable. Dean Cain (especially in season 1) is a right hottie, and the chemistry between Lois and Clark is fantastic.

So I dragged out the DVDs and watched them. And that's when fandom chomped my brain. "Go read fanfic!" it said. So I did. Then it started trying to get me to write L&C fanfic--which I am resisting, but it's seriously difficult.

Since I was having trouble finding stuff that was hitting the right buttons for me, I ended up branching out into other forms of Superman, reasoning that it's still L&C at the end of the day.

A few days ago I made my way to Smallville fic, and now I'm going to have to cave and watch the show. There're just too many things referenced that I'm clueless about.

And, you know, watching a new show would be fine, except:

(1) At least when it started out, Smallville was a teen angst show. Not really into teen angst.
(2) Lois isn't even introduced until season 4. That gives me three seasons of teen angst to watch for nothing but backstory.
(3) Clark apparently spends 7 or 8 seasons (out of the ten total) being especially angsty and dramatic over his supposed love for Lana Lang. Not only am I not interested in watching it, I'm utterly baffled by this. I'm especially baffled by the sheer number of people who ship the pairing, despite the fact that Superman has never, ever, in his entire history, chosen anyone over Lois Lane. I really don't understand how the romance hung on for another four seasons after she came on the scene.

I'm considering starting with season four, but I'm afraid I'll still be confused. I've also considered starting with... I think maybe season 8? Whenever it is that Clark and Lois start eyeing each other for serious... but, again, I suspect there will be much confusion.

It wouldn't be nearly as annoying if I could stream it--then if I didn't care to watch an episode (or decided to skip entire blocks of them) it would be easy to pick and choose. Instead, however, I'm having to get the discs from Netflix, and thus if I need to go back and watch something, it might be on a disc I don't have at the moment...

~.~

In conclusion, I guess I'm saying that fandom is a harsh, brain-eating mistress. And also, if someone else is a Lois and Clark fan and can tell me a good point to start watching Smallville, feel free to lay it on me.
sekiharatae: Which one is the throttle? (confused)
I haven't managed to play either of the Dissidia games, but from what I've read, this fic strikes me as both (a) hilarious and (b) appropriate. There's even a hint (if you squint?) of cloti at the end:

Cyclic Dilemma

Enjoy!
sekiharatae: Adult male protecting his mate (cloti protect)
The awesome [personal profile] fairheartstrife (Windrider1 on LJ) gifted me with this Tifa artwork. Because, as I said, she's awesome.

Isn't it fabulous? I'm thinking I may have to work it into the conclusion of Calling.

sekiharatae: sexy Cloud (sexy Cloud)
Title: Pen Pals, Fan Clubs, and SOLDIERS
Words: 950
Note: This is set in the Fidelity universe. I'm not sure why, but my brain insisted I write it. Just how did Tifa find out about Cloud's fan club?

In which Tifa receives an unexpected letter... )
sekiharatae: (smexy kenshin)
Title:  Most Precious, Part 2/?
Pairing:  Kenshin/Kaoru
Rating:  T
Length:  4600 Words
Prompt:  Written for [livejournal.com profile] dylynnr, the winning binner on my RK fanfic [livejournal.com profile] help_japan  auction.  Request was for a fantasy-themed Kaoru/Battousai
Thanks To:  [livejournal.com profile] jane_drew_[livejournal.com profile] quoth_the_ravyn,  and [livejournal.com profile] guardantares for the ongoing encouragement. You're all made of win.
Note:  OMG! Finally! Also, there's a slightly revised chapter one you might want to read.

In which our cast of characters grows, and Kaoru meets a statue. Sort of. )
sekiharatae: (smexy kenshin)
Title:  Most Precious, Part 1/?
Pairing:  Kenshin/Kaoru
Rating:  T
Length:  7500 Words
Betas:  [livejournal.com profile] jane_drew_[livejournal.com profile] quoth_the_ravyn,  and [livejournal.com profile] yuenmei.  Thank you all, you were immensely helpful! <3
Prompt:  Written for [livejournal.com profile] dylynnr, the winning binner on my RK fanfic [livejournal.com profile] help_japan  auction.  Request was for a fantasy-themed Kaoru/Battousai
Note: This is a slightly edited version -- roughly an additional 1000 words -- from the one I posted, oh, two years ago.

In which Kaoru and Misao are *still* taking a trip... )
sekiharatae: Cloud adjusting his goggles (goggles)
Title: Language Drift
Characters: Cloud/Tifa, Barret, Reno
Word Count: 1500ish
Rating:  T
Warnings: Crackish silliness and a little bit of language
Prompt: Written for [personal profile] emory (hakuen on livejournal), who had the winning bid on my FFVII Help Japan auction.  No specific prompt was given, I was just told to keep doing what I do... so I hope this works.  (I owe you another 1500 words, too.)

Language Drift )
sekiharatae: (Default)

Had a check-up this week.  The verdict is that I'm not well, but I am better.  I will be continuing the nasal steroids and antibiotic washes, and then going back for another check-up next month.  I'll also be starting allergy shots (joy).

In other somewhat freaky put possibly good news, I'm also going to be checked to see if there might be an auto-immune condition that is making this more of an uphill climb than it should be.  I've been on medicine for something called Hashimoto's thyroiditis for twelve years now -- that's when your immune system attacks the thyroid gland.  (I imagine my immune system as a bunch of extremely dedicated but keyed up and stressed-out soldiers who think everything is Godzilla.  It's a vision that explains my allergies and joint problems, too.)  My family has a history of auto-immune whackiness, so it seems reasonable to check.   

Thanks to everyone for your well-wishes and patience!  <3
sekiharatae: Unhappy Fizzgig (arg)
Normally I would f-lock this entry, but considering my writing commitments -- and the utter lack of any apparent progress on them -- I thought I would share why that is.  Hopefully the extent of the treatment I was prescribed today will be sufficient explanation.

On February 12th, I finished the latest in a string of 30-day courses of antibiotics. (I think it was the 3rd 30-day, and the 5th prescription overall since the end of August.)
On February 13th, I saw my doctor, and she confirmed what I already knew:  my sinuses showed no improvement.
On February 21st, I had my first appointment with an ENT.  He did a CT scan of my head, seemed impressed by the degree and extent of infection revealed, and referred me to an allergist.

Today I visited the allergist.  After making me breathe in a tube to test my breathing, turning my right arm into a field of hives, and making me blow my nose on some sort of special tissue, he sent me away with the following instructions:

(1) A 30 day course of prednisone (steroid), starting with five pills a day for five days and tapering off from there.
(2) A 30 day course of Augmentin (antibiotic)
(3) An 8 week regimen of nasal washes using a saline-and-bactroban solution (this would be similar to neti-pot, except using an antibiotic)
(4) A prescription for rhinocort aqua (nasal steroid) which I am to use for the foreseeable future.

In four weeks I go back for a check-up, at which point if I'm not any better, sinus surgery will be the only remaining option.

So... clearly, there is a lot going on in my head, and none of it is condusive to writing.
sekiharatae: CC Cloud (I wish)


I'm trying to be a good little author and finish my way way way overdue auction stories.  But they're all difficult and require world building and brain power which I've been lacking.  ;_;  On the other hand, it's time for the FF Kiss Battle, and those tend to be short but sweet one-offs.

To give myself a treat, I'm going to try to write five final fantasy kisses.  Trouble is, there aren't five prompts over there that I can write at present.  There aren't any, actually, except maybe the Zack/Aerith one.

That's right, there aren't any cloti prompts!

But if someone were interested in leaving some.... (hint hint)

The battle is on Dreamwidth, but all participants -- to prompt or to respond -- are welcome.  You can use your LJ openid if you want.  The announcement and such is here:

http://ff-exchange.dreamwidth.org/17789.html

sekiharatae: (Default)
I'm not an adventurous person, and I don't particularly like to travel.  However, since I'm writing about characters traveling from the US to Wales I'm having to learn things that other people already know.

For example, I'm absolutely stunned at what constitutes first-class travel on a commercial Emirates Airline or Oman Air flight.  It's like your own personal little travel pod!  Seriously, it's practically a cubicle with a pull-out in it.  However, I only discovered the first-class amenities because I was trying to find out about in-flight internet on trans-Atlantic flights.  Surely, I thought, in this day and age someone offers such a thing.

As it happens the answer is both yes... and yet also no.

Back in 2001 we were there.  Delta, American, United and Lufthansa all partnered with Boeing to develop Connexion, an in-flight internet service which was based on leased satellite service.  However, after 9/11, all but Lufthansa backed out of the agreement.  Boeing continued to offer the service to the European and Asian markets, but Connexion eventually shut down at the end of 2006 due to a lack of sufficient customers. 

Somewhat ironically, Row 44 -- a company formed in 2004 as a competitor to Connexion -- is still in operation.  Customers include Southwest Airlines, Alaska Air, and Norwegian Air Shuttle.  That's good news for customers who want a broad-band in-flight internet connection... but means nothing in terms of trans-oceanic flights as none of these airlines make them.  (i.e. These airlines could offer it... if only they flew from here to there.)

Then there is the satellite company Inmarsat.  Inmarsat offers a communications service called Swiftbroadband.  Other companies then bundle the service to provide internet on commercial flights -- kind of like very focused ISPs.  OnAir is one of the biggest of these, but there are others such as Panasonic's eXConnect and ARINC's Cabin Connect.  (Lufthansa actually uses Panasonic's eXConnect to provide internet using their original Connexion by Boeing equipment; the end product is called Flynet.)   In addition, Inmarsat is currently working -- in conjuction with Boeing, which again smacks of irony to me -- to build the next gen of Inmarsat satellites.  The three satellites together will comprise a new network dubbed Global Xpress.  Inmarsat has tapped both OnAir and GoGo/Aircell to distribute the service beginning in 2013.

So the technology is there, and has been for some time.  Since 2010 at least, even if you don't count Connexion in 2001.  What's holding things up today is that the airlines -- in direct contrast to the gung-ho attitude of 2001 -- are being slow to adopt it.  OnAir has a list of about 25 customers, but most are only using the service in a very limited capacity (British Airways, for example, only offers it on flights from London to JFK) or are for providers that primarily operate domestic and/or international flights outside the English-speaking world.  It's been especially big in the Middle East -- Oman Air's claim to fame is that it was the first airline to provide the service back in March of 2010, and Emirates' entire fleet is supposed to be using the service as of June of this year.

Which is all really impressive to know, but was a lot of work and techno-babble to wade through in order to determine that there really isn't an airline, right now, that offers in-flight internet access between the US and Cardiff.  Therefore, Kaoru will not be working during the flight, which was the sole reason I wanted to know if internet were available.  ~.~ 

I am SUCH a geeky nit-picker.

However, maybe someone else will need to know in the future, and now you won't have to hunt so much for the info.
sekiharatae: (Default)


Just to show that I'm alive and have been working on my RK fic set in Wales, I thought I'd present this list of interesting things I've learned while doing research in recent weeks.  (A few of these will be familiar to some of you...)

Rushlights:  Thanks to hysterical historical romances I'd always known they were akin to the candle, but now I know exactly what they were and how they were made.  I have also learned about the special stands made to hold them, which is important when you have an antique dealer going to Wales.

Rushes:  They aren't what many of us think they are.  Rushes and bulrushes (or cattail in the US) are not, in fact, the same thing.  Neither is a plant called 'sweet flag'.  This is interesting because when you read about 'rushes' being used as a floorcovering (again, historical romances ftw), the text is probably referring to 'sweet flag', with the second most likely meaning being bulrushes.  Also, there's a company in the UK today that makes rush floor mats as an alternative to carpet, and I think that's cool.

Sycamore:  The 'sycamore maple' or 'celtic maple' was (and is) a popular wood for carvings and ornaments in Wales.

Footman:  Although usually used in reference to a male member of the domestic staff, a footman was also once a type of furniture!  It was used to keep dishes hot where they were kept in front of the dining room fire.  I now wonder if I've read the word as the servant when the table was intended.

Royal Mines:  The mining of gold and silver has a very interesting history in Great Britain, as all such ore producing mines were considered to be the property of the crown after a ruling in 1568.

California Gold Rush:  The gold rush was so instrumental in the forming of the western states that it changed the way the US government handles mineral rights.  In some such states, mining companies were even granted powers of eminent domain! 

International Flights:  It doesn't appear to be possible to fly directly from the US to Wales.  If you're lucky, you can get a connecting flight from Dublin.  If you're unlucky, you get to go way out of your way and connect in Amsterdam.  Also, it's ridiculously difficult to find out how much it costs to charter a private flight.  (No, I don't want to provide my info and let you call me.  That would be a waste of your time as I will never, ever, actually charter a private plane.  I just want a ballpark figure of what it would cost my fictional characters, thanks!)

Empty Leg:  This phrase refers to an empty flight generated due to a chartered flight.  For example, if you charter a one-way flight from A to B, then the return flight from B to A would be an empty leg.  Since the charter has to make the flight regardless, passengers can sometimes purchase discounted tickets on an empty leg.  Which would be useful to know if only I could figure out what the rate would be...

Bangor:  There's a Bangor in Wales.  I was disappointed to learn the town of Bangor, Maine was not named for it, because it would be the first such Welsh-named town I'd ever heard of.  Bangor, Maine is instead named for a hymn, which in turn was named for a Latin manuscript, which was named for the abby in which it was written, which was named for the town of Bangor, Ireland.

sekiharatae: doujin comomo (chibi K&K)

It's not something I've ever really thought about in detail, but if anyone ever asked me what shape (generally) a medieval town would be when drawn on a map, I would have said either rectangular or circular. Those are the general shapes we see in books or games or even movies.  We've also probably all heard some version of history that explains how towns grew up around castles, manor houses, cross roads, etc. Circles and rectangles therefore make sense.

I'm doing (more) research for my RK story set in Wales, however, and I've noticed something really interesting (at least to me):
Welsh villages tended to have vaguely triangular sprawls.


Or at least that's the way they appear to me on the old town plans I've been able to find.  It has me wondering why, and if it may have something to do with the mountainous region in which the story takes place.  If you're building in a valley between a couple of mountains, maybe triangular is the shape that makes the most sense.

Whatever the reason, though, I find it neat and thought I'd share.  Especially since I don't believe I've ever seen such a thing in a work of fiction.

sekiharatae: (Default)
When you stare at the word 'relict' and can't figure out how to say it or what it means -- when you go so far as to think it's a type of plant (as in the relict bush or some such) because of the sentence context, then you know your brain is too tired to be doing research and you should just stop.
sekiharatae: Adult male protecting his mate (cloti protect)
While poking around on Ravelry, I found the pattern for Cloud's Advent Children sweater: 

 

As a fan of Cloud, AC/ACC, and knitting, how could I not like this?  I even feel compelled to make one, although I don't know anyone who would wear it. Well, I think [livejournal.com profile] kitsune13_tam has cosplayed as Tifa in Cloud's clothing, but clearly she already has a sweater or the cosplay would not have been successful.

Should anyone be interested in checking out the pattern, it can be found here.

Also, if anyone else knits, crochets, plays with string, or otherwise has a ravelry account and would like to friend me, here I am. I spent a fair amount of yesterday uploading my yarn stash and now I feel all organized. 

Finally, I finished the scarf I was working on.  Pictures are uploaded on ravelry or:

http://www.sekiharatae.com/Yarn%20Stash/kasumi-scarf1.jpg
http://www.sekiharatae.com/Yarn%20Stash/kasumi-scarf2.jpg

(Kasumi is the name of the yarn I used.)
sekiharatae: Cloud at end of CC (Very Bad Day)

Most of what's going on with LJ doesn't directly impact me -- I don't really use the comment preview or subject lines, so the current changes don't bother me much.  Mind you, I'm not particularly sanguine about the upcoming layout changes, but I'm happy to 'wait and see' how it goes.  That said, however, if the bulk of my f-list jumps ship, there's not a lot of point in staying here by myself.  Plus, I'm not terribly impressed with the way staff members are responding to the uproar, and I'm definitely less than happy that my paid account was switched over to auto-renewal unbeknownst to me. 

Given that dreamwidth is currently offering accounts without requiring an invitation, I decided to go ahead and get myself setup.  Livejournal is still, at least for the present, my home (I'm just posting this on Dreamwidth to try out the crossposting feature) but all of my entries are now available on both sites.  I've also granted the same permissions to your open ID accounts -- so if you can read locked entries here, you'll be able to read them on dreamwidth if you login with your livejournal open ID.

Feel free to add me to your circle, or to comment and let me know who you are over here (if you're over here) if you'd like me to add you to mine.
sekiharatae: (Being an author)
It's embarrassing when you have to go re-read all your research notes to figure out what you were trying to write.

On the other hand, y'all will probably be pleased to know I'm working on the next part of the Gryphon!Kenshin fic.  (I was trying to write Draco, but he's being, well, Draco.)

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sekiharatae

September 2015

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