f.a. day 6

Jul. 22nd, 2017 11:00 pm
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[personal profile] ritzfics
Current word count: 700.

I felt so unmotivated today, I almost didn't write. But I wrote and finished scene 2 (4). The last sentence was tough. Writing this fic is like writing a bunch of drabbles, which is like running a marathon without training for it. Now I get to be stuck on the first sentence of scene (5), which I still don't know what it's going to be... Help me...


Jul. 22nd, 2017 05:11 am
insaneladybug: (z)
[personal profile] insaneladybug
So the trip was overall a success! I found a Turtles shirt at Sears that ended up only being $2.66. **jaw drop.** It's a heavy black shirt, so probably too warm for right now, but it will be great as soon as the temperatures drop! Also, wow, Sears has a lot of Pokemon shirts.

K-Mart still had the one America: The Radical shirt in my size, so I snapped it up. Also, the price had dropped a bit. Squeee. I also decided to go ahead and get the socks. I wear sandals almost all the time anyway, except in winter, so there should be a lot of opportunities to show them off.

The Leonardo hat was super popular, wow. They only had two left. But no matter how I adjusted it, it was uncomfortable and the brim pinched my temples, ugh. I had the feeling it would give me a serious headache and I get enough of those as it is. So I passed it by.

I still didn't get the other, more expensive shirt. Debating whether I should have. But there were other things I needed to get too. I may get another chance at this item next weekend; we'll see. There's also the K-Mart in the capital city to think about. I'm still hoping to visit it in a month and see what kind of stock they have.

Good thing I didn't have my heart set on the Miraculous Ladybug figures, because they were all gone. So were most of the Pony things I was considering, but the Pony things I wanted most, they didn't have to begin with.

The orange craft fur is miiine! Plus I got some fabric for Vincent's clothes. I found something perfect for one of his loud shirts, LOL. I also got some thinner wire for glasses, but it's giving me problems of another sort. I tried a pair on Baxter and so far I can't make them hold on. Ugggh, I was hoping so much I wouldn't have to fight with the thicker wire again. That was probably the main reason I held off on making a Barney plush in the past. But if the thinner wire won't hold on, that's an even worse problem!

We also stopped at a local bookstore so Mom could use some of a gift card to get stuff for people, because she is awesome that way and getting stuff for others makes her happier than getting things for herself. We got a couple of things for Dad's birthday, some stuff for grandkids, and she wanted to get me something, so I picked a steampunk Beauty and the Beast story. I hope it will be good; I don't tend to like that author's leading male characters or support the pairings she sets up. But I couldn't resist a steampunk Beauty and the Beast with ghosts and werewolves and vampires floating around in it, LOL. Especially for only $3.99 on Clearance.

I'm working on the current Turtles story. Had to pause and quickly jot down a scene a bit further along in it, but now I've jumped back to where it is currently. I'd love to work on the Barney plushie some, but I think I'm too worn-out since I didn't have much sleep the last time I was asleep. I did try drawing some more practice expressions and of course, the fight with the new glasses. I like to practice the expression many times before actually applying it, since I only get one shot at that. I think I've figured out how to get Barney to look gruffer, but I have to be careful not to make him nasty-looking or villainous.

I'm also looking into ways to dye the other plush blue. I may have hit on something that will work for me with fabric dye markers. Doing some checking on that.

I definitely decided the other plushie will be Vincent, both because I knew I'd want Vincent once I made Barney, and because I'm a sentimental sop and I feel too sad to separate those two plushies after they've been sitting in the bag for seven, eight months together. Turning them into Barney and Vincent will enable them to stay together, heh. And also ensure that the one won't languish alone in the bag for some time yet.

f.a. day 5

Jul. 21st, 2017 11:59 pm
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[personal profile] ritzfics
Current word count: 645.

I'm still not done with this scene yet. I meant to finish it today, grr. I have no idea what the next scene is going to be. This is a theme. I'm literally making things up as I go. I'm also writing so slowly, it's like I plan to finish this on Aug 12 or something and spend a whole month on one single short fic. Apologies to the spy AU readers orz

f.a. day 4

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:59 pm
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[personal profile] ritzfics
Current word count: 455.

I typed "day 3" at first... What is this semi-permanent 1-day offset...

But yes, I finally got some writing done, even if it's not a lot. I look at the first sentence of this scene, and I'm just like, "I agonized for 2 days over THIS?" Sometimes it does feel like there can only be one true first sentence for every piece of writing. I hope I'm not going overboard with the "opposites" theme. It'll be like, "How many instances can you spot?" And I'll have to give out rewards or something to the reader(s) who caught them all plus the ones I didn't even notice.

Slow as the progress has been, it's still a lot of fun to write. I also got a possible idea for the spy AU plot thing I was trying to work out while chatting with [personal profile] fidgetfidgets about the current abysmal state of Detective Conan, so I'm one step closer to a resolution.


Jul. 20th, 2017 05:21 am
insaneladybug: (baxterstockman)
[personal profile] insaneladybug
Incredibly, Dad actually seems willing to let us go all the way to Sears and the Joann's that has the craft fur. Maybe it's because we caught him in a seriously good mood; he's intrigued by Al Jolson and when we asked about the shopping stuff, we had just finished watching The Jazz Singer (and nearly all of the DVD's extras, oh wow). But so, weather-willing, we will get to do that very soon!

On Monday I had a most serious burst of wanting stage Baxter hurt/comfort and entertained myself with it while getting groceries. I finally figured out some more content I should have had in my hurt/comfort scene in that story installment and I became very anxious to either flesh it out or start drawing a hurt/comfort picture of the scene. I started the latter, and I've been working on it this week. Stage Baxter has been giving me trouble; I wanted him very limp in his Barney's arms, with his head falling back. Even though I managed to do a picture like that with Barney a while ago, I couldn't seem to make it happen for this one for a long time. I finally got it pretty much how I wanted, though! Then I added 87 Baxter and Barney uncomfortably watching. I really like how they turned out, especially Barney. The theme of the picture is "Not My Brother's Keeper," and while stage Barney is too scared to check for a pulse for fear he won't find it and distraught that his Baxter was hurt rescuing him after he didn't seem willing to help Baxter, 87 Barney is haunted by memories of the past and is tightly gripping his Baxter's shoulder, remembering when he did try to help Baxter but went about it all wrong and also made himself believe he hated Baxter. 87 Baxter is very uncomfortable by his counterpart being hurt. I have a very light sketch done, in case I needed to erase things (which I did, many times). Next step is darkening it. Then inking and coloring. It's probably the most ambitious picture in a while; usually I don't have more than two characters in a picture, although occasionally three. And I've got people standing behind other people, which can be challenging. And I even have a sort of background on this one, as I felt it needed it for the mood. I have a curtain hanging down to the side and I'll probably color the stage.

I learned this past day that Archie Comics has been asked by Sega to stop publishing the Sonic the Hedgehog comics. Even though I had many issues with those comics, I have good memories too, and I am sad to see it end. But at least Sega does still want Sonic comics to be out, so hopefully soon we'll know who's picking up the reins. I must admit I would kind of love a game-based comic, especially if they'd adapt the old games in a lush and grand way. It has been my dream to see an epic Sonic 3 and Knuckles adaptation for a long time! But it will be sad if we don't see the SatAM characters anymore, so I'm slightly torn. And I definitely feel sad for all of those who had stronger ties to the comics than I did. I probably feel sadder for them than for the thought of not seeing the SatAM characters anymore, as I think I'm really ready for something new (as long as it's not BOOM! and only that).

I started pondering on how last year I actually entertained the thought of writing a Sonic 3 and Knuckles epic fanfic. That's still in the back of my mind, but I sort of doubt it would happen. It's more likely to happen than me continuing my Sonic X adaptation of the game Shadow the Hedgehog, though. I got three chapters in, stared at the stuff I was writing about alien invasions and destruction everywhere, and went "What am I DOING?!" and stopped cold. I haven't been able to get inspiration since, even though I had a whole episode guide planned out. I'd still love to do stuff with Shadow trying to find himself, but I'm not keen on all the destruction that a good Shadow the Hedgehog adaptation would entail. I'm probably even less keen on it now than I was when I wrote it. I'm just so worn-out and don't want to write that sort of thing. Like, one chapter would have a whole city destroyed, as I believe it was in the game. I just don't think I have the strength to write that.

I'm so amazed that I actually got my TMNT 87 series off the ground because of my past failures in writing series. I'd have plans for all kinds of stories and most would never happen. When I started the Turtles series, I thought I'd be lucky to get some of the stuff on my first episode guide written. Then, once I decided to redeem Barney, I hoped maybe I could at least write up to that point. Then another point, and another. . . . Every milestone I hoped to attain I reached. I'm in awe of it. There are still many specific fics I hope to write for it, and I hope I will attain those milestones too.

I'm finishing up the current fic now, but I'll let it sit and proofread it again to see if it needs more. Then, unless I suddenly get bonked by different inspiration, Caitlyn's headlining adventure is next. I'd better go watch The Great Boldini again to prepare.

natural language processing

Jul. 20th, 2017 06:00 pm
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[personal profile] ritzfics
Recently I came across the field of natural language processing (NLP). It studies human language in a statistical way. Since I love writing (and by implication language) and have a penchant for analyzing data, it's like I've discovered a new world. It took a bit of trial and error, but I finally found a way to learn the subject, and it's making me Very Excited. My first goal is to analyze my own writing - to quantify my own style and track any significant changes, even to compare my journal style to my fic style. And then it'll be interesting to compare the styles of different authors. And then maybe one day in the far future, we'll have an app that just writes our fics for us.

I won't talk much about NLP here, since this is a writing journal, but eventually I'll write about the results of analyzing my own writing. It'll be like my AO3 stats posts!

But now I should go get some actual writing done...

f.a. day 3.5

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:00 pm
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I wrote a grand total of 0 words today. I think this is the first time since I started this journal that I skipped a day in the middle of writing. Never mind that old Gintama fic.

I accumulated ideas when I was trying to sleep last night, and I scribbled them down on paper earlier this evening. But no words came to me while I sat there and twiddled my thumbs. Admittedly I got distracted by other things too. I'm in that transitional phase where I spend a good chunk of the day doing non-writing things, and I find that every time I do that, my writing process gets a little disrupted because part of my brain is still processing the non-writing things. It'll take some time, but I'm trying to get back into my grad school schedule where I only write for a few hours every night. It's what I've been doing this week, actually, hence the slow progress in some sense.

I may have already written 280 words, but I'm stuck on the dreaded first sentence... of the next scene...

Edit: Ahaha I put day 2.5 at first and then after I hit post, I see day 3 beneath. Oops, went back in time.

**repeated headdesk.**

Jul. 19th, 2017 02:38 am
insaneladybug: (barneystockman)
[personal profile] insaneladybug
So two and a half weeks ago, we were in the nearest metropolitan shopping area and I took an idle notion that as long as I was in a big crafting store (Hobby Lobby), why not check and see if they had orange or red craft fur, with the thought that maybe I'd maybe make a Barney plush if they did. They did not. I also remembered that our nearest Joann's did not. So I opted not to also check the Joann's in that other town.

I tried checking eBay with some success but not exactly what I wanted. This past day I tried searching some more and I ended up discovering that some Joann's do carry such a product, including the one I opted not to check. Maybe they didn't have any in stock at that time, but they probably did. I am so incredibly frustrated with myself. Unless we can convince Dad to let us go to Sears before they're gone, I probably won't be able to get to that Joann's or any other with the product in stock until the end of August.

On the plus side, I examined my two blank dolls and one of them is definitely the right build for Barney. I also have blue jeans cut out and ready to sew; they're an extra pair from when I made Baxter. And I have enough material for the vest, the coat, the ears, and the bowtie. I think I need some new shirt material. And I'm seriously thinking of buying that thinner wire that bends easier for the glasses. Maybe I'll redo Baxter's glasses if it works better.

Also contemplating whether or not my other blank doll can be Vincent. I figured I'd have to make him from scratch with blue cloth. So I guess I'd either be making a Caucasian Vincent or I'd have to get the courage to dye the other doll blue. Or I'll use it for someone else. But I know very well that once I make Barney, I'll want Vincent.

I'm a little concerned that making Barney will mean I won't pay as much attention to Baxter, though. Especially if Barney is made a little better/doesn't have the mistakes Baxter ended up with. My attention usually does get divided when there's more than one, like when I got Fluttershy in addition to my Build-a-Bear Twilight. And I have liked when it's just Baxter and me, LOL. But I do like the thought of making Barney more and more and hopefully I'd try to give Baxter and Barney equal attention, like I do with my Ginger and Lou plushies.

I'm also increasingly panicked to get back to K-Mart before a lot more time goes by. The bag completely satisfied my desire for TMNT wearable merchandise at the time, but I started wanting an 87 series styled shirt again before too long. I'm back to liking that America, the Radical shirt in spite of the problems I might run into explaining over and over that "radical" in that sense is surfer slang and basically means awesome. But I'd take the other, more expensive shirt if its price has come down. Or the Leonardo hat that I hoped I'd be able to get since they had a lot of them. Now I'm no longer sure I especially want the Miraculous Ladybug figures, because I had a very disturbing dream involving those characters and it may take a good while to get the bad taste out of my mind/not think of the dream every time I see the characters. Ugh. I hope it's gone by the time the show comes back in the fall. Or maybe the bad taste will be gone if I go and they still have the figures and the price for them has come down even more. Heh.

Also listening to Imagine Dragons' song Believer on Repeat. Ladyamberjo introduced me to the band and the song, and from the first time I heard it I immediately thought of Baxter and Barney (well, especially my versions of them). I really want to do a breakdown of the lyrics and who sings which parts, as I picture it being both of them. I think it's mostly Barney, though.

f.a. day 3

Jul. 18th, 2017 11:00 pm
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Current word count: 280.

I have no idea what the next scene is supposed to be, I said. Well, it's one line long. What counts as a scene?! Technically "the first scene" of yesterday is the second if you count everything I write between scene breaks as a scene. Some of them just happen to be a line or two long. So either I have one scene and two in-between things done or I have three scenes done. I have ideas for the next scene, but I'll decide tomorrow which one to write.

f.a. day 2

Jul. 17th, 2017 11:59 pm
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[personal profile] ritzfics
Current word count: 155.

I got dragged to an impromptu movie this evening so I was expecting to write a mere 10 words. I wrote 10 times that. Not bad. Almost done with the first scene.

I have no idea what the next scene is supposed to be.

f.a. day 1

Jul. 16th, 2017 11:00 pm
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[personal profile] ritzfics
Current word count: 55.

Ahh, it feels good to be writing again. I didn't think I'd be able to start today, but the first sentence demanded to be the first sentence, so I wrote it, and then I wrote some more. To be honest, I don't really have the story in my head, just this vague concept that materializes a little more every time I put down another word. In other words, I don't know where I'm going with this but I also do know the general direction, especially the end point. Sometimes I feel like the way every fic writes itself - to the extent that they do, if they do - has to do, in part, with what the story is. As in, the way this fic is materializing kinda fits the story itself. If that makes any sense to anyone besides me.

I'm really excited to be writing this, lol. Let's see how long this mood lasts.

kuroyaku plans

Jul. 15th, 2017 06:00 pm
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[personal profile] ritzfics
I'm back o/ No more traveling for me in the foreseeable future. Phew.

The muse for kuroyaku weekend hit me the night before I left for my trip. At the most inconvenient time. I'd just crawled into bed and burrowed under my blanket when the muse decided to say, "Remember how you wanted to write [thing]? Let's use it for this. Here's what we can do." Me: Goddammit. So I jotted down some keywords just in case I forget but I think it's become one of those things that I won't forget, which is good news because that means it's settling. It also has a structure and a summary and a title that I won't reveal in full yet (it might change, unlikely as that is). Now I just need to sit down and figure out the details and find the words to write it.

As per usual, I only write one thing at a time, so spy AU 21 is on hold. Which is just as well because I need to straighten out some plot and timing things. They don't impact chapter 21 (or even 22), but I still need to sort them out before I continue. I'm about halfway there. The most important part was realizing that I didn't have to introduce a new character. For a while, I lamented, "No, why did I kill [character]?" But in using this other character, I'll be able to resolve some problems I couldn't resolve before. I just need to spend some time with the side characters to make it work out.

Today I did some field research though! Unintentionally. I passed by a Sony store that was advertising the PlayStation VR headset, so I tried it on. I'd never experienced VR before, so when I decided to include VR in spy AU, I picked the brains of a gamer friend, who asked his roommate, who owns a HTC Vive. But nothing beats actual experience even if it was just for a minute. I loaded a virtual aquarium, and my own reaction surprised me: "Wow this is really cool!" Pfft. Thank you, random Sony store.

WTH, Livejournal.

Jul. 10th, 2017 04:37 pm
insaneladybug: (hamilton_cup)
[personal profile] insaneladybug
So now LJ is apparently making up tags for me? It stuck the number fifty in as a tag and claims there's one usage of it. Naturally, when I click, it goes nowhere since there is no such tag. I deleted it from the list. It had better not come back. Or be replaced by another. I really do not appreciate my journal being tinkered with in any way. I also hate how if you write a number in an entry, it will automatically get linked to a search for it. Maybe that's only if there's a hashtag with it, but ugh, this isn't Twitter! People I know use LJ because it isn't Twitter. Or Facebook, etc. And we liked it better before the changes that started to make it more like them.

But seriously, making up tags? That is inexcusable. Unless it's some kind of a glitch. And if it is, it had better be fixed quickly, unlike how they claimed the extra ads were a glitch yet they did nothing about them until apparently the last mass migration from the site in April.


Jul. 9th, 2017 07:06 pm
insaneladybug: (hamilton_shocked)
[personal profile] insaneladybug
So over the weekend, Sears announced more closings, including the K-Mart up in the capital city here. Unless the one way down South is still open, this will close all K-Marts in the state. In any case, it certainly closes all that we could go to. I hope we can look at that K-Mart's selection, but I doubt we'll be able to get up there until Dad's class reunion next month. I wonder if they'll be doing the liquidation sales by then. (I have been looking forward to the class reunion for years. I love the 1950s culture, the food, etc. I hope he's still planning to go, especially since it's the last official one.)

Also, I am super aggravated with myself that I forgot to find out if our nearest Sears is closing. I discovered that it is, and it will be closed by the end of the month. If I'd looked that up when I meant to, we could have also gone there on Thursday. We were just down the street from it at one point! Mom is gutted about both Sears and K-Mart, and hopefully this news will at least mean that we'll definitely be able to get out soon to look at both places ... although Dad will not like spending the gas money to go to Sears especially, I'm sure. But their discounts will be further along/likely higher and maybe we'd be able to get something.

I am pretty sad about all the closings. I'm pretty sure Sears was where I got my Shadow the Hedgehog shirt in 2009. And the longer I think about the nearest K-Mart closing, the more sad it is. Even worse now that I know the other one we could get to is closing too. The nearest K-Mart was almost always a staple of our visits to that shopping hub. And so great at holidays, as mentioned.

I'm also sad about the Scottish Festival being a bummer this year, as I am every year that that happens. I look forward to it all year long. Ugh, I hate that the heat had to ruin this one for me. I don't know if Mom enjoyed it as much this year either. I wish the other Scottish Festival didn't charge for attendance.

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