syllic: ([words] love)
So [livejournal.com profile] bookshop and a few others have some interesting posts about Oscar nominations, and I just wanted to jump in and bring people's attention to A Single Man, which has had a fairly limited release in the US (and a practically nonexistent one in other countries), and which you should watch, if you get the chance.

Colin Firth is nominated for his role in this, and I promise you that this is Colin Firth as you have never seen him before, and perhaps as you never thought you would see him (truly. I love him with the Hugh-Grant-kicking and the Silence-is-Golden-humming, but god, this is the sort of role in which he should clearly be being cast all the time). He is heartbreaking and caustic by turns and incredibly subtle throughout, and though I have yet to see all the other best-actor-nominated men in their own roles, I am happy to say, even now, that this must be one of the year's best performances.







The film is extremely self-consciously visual, which is perhaps no surprise--Tom Ford directed, and there are moments when you feel as if you're looking at a sun-dappled spread ad in Vogue. But it's beautiful--really beautiful--with a real air of 60s and 70s allure a-la-Godard, and has moments that are breathtaking (I'm thinking here of the final scene) and moments that are unexpectedly wonderful and made me smile joyfully in the cinema ("My mother cuts hair in Spain. She cut my hair before I came here. Do you like it?").

I will not say that I didn't feel moments of (mild) exasperation at what I'll (uncomfortably, for lack of a better word) call the 'elaborate' lushness of the film at first, but with time I did become enchanted by it, I did fall into it, I did relish it. There are some interesting visual things done with the Isherwood text, too, which are wonderful to watch.

And finally, with all the complaints about how un-diverse the Oscar nominations are this year: this is a film about being a man, not a film about being a gay man, and that is one of its most brilliant accomplishments, in my eyes. (COLIN FIRTH!!! Oh, and I also have to say: Julianne Moore, with her desperation and her perfect capture of an open-ended ennui and her loyalty.)

There is a heartbreaking and amazingly loving intensity in how Tom Ford and his team deal with this love story (this life story), and if it is playing anywhere near you, you should definitely make an effort to catch it.

That is all.

[[Oh, and SPN fans--watch for young Dean Winchester selling guns in a sports shop in an incredibly cheesy way about forty minutes into the film. Good god Christ.]]

eta: Oh, trailer, which I have just watched. Way to subtly mislead. But--go see this anyway!

eta ii: I have not done Matthew Goode (or Ford's treatment of Goode) any sort of justice in this post, but there is plenty of love for both in the comments, for those interested.
syllic: ([words] help haiti)
I'm sure many of you know that the World Food Programme has had its warehouses in Port-au-Prince looted.

This is, as the article says, normal for times of crisis.

Aid agencies are working to replenish the stock of food in Port-au-Prince, but Haiti is having trouble getting food supplies from abroad due to strain on their small airport. It doesn't help that many of the administering aid offices themselves have suffered horrendous losses.

Now, it can't be reiterated enough that WHAT HAITI NEEDS MOST RIGHT NOW IS MONEY.

I, however, am going shopping today and tomorrow for several of the products that Haitian embassies are receiving as part of their direct aid drives.

If you would like me to buy food or other supplies for donation on your behalf, PayPal me the amount you wish to donate (sigebeam(at)gmail(dot)com), and e-mail me with any preferences for donations. I will send you proof of purchase of items totalling the amount you donate and will make sure they are donated in the name you specify.

I will also send proof of purchase of the total bulk to anyone who wishes to donate in this way.

I am currently in a country that is able to get supplies to Haiti by boat, eliminating the problem of air transport. Food is also relatively cheap here, and even $5 stretches a long way.

Any (legitimate) aid helps, though I urge you to consider donating money. Direct aid in the form of supplies that can arrive by boat is very useful at this time too, though.

If you would like to donate this way (or have any questions), let me know and I will purchase your food and take it to the Haitian embassy on Sunday.

I will be able to make use of any donation that arrives by 9pm CST on Saturday, though if there is any interest, I'm happy to do a second run.

Haiti

Jan. 15th, 2010 01:48 am
syllic: ([words] help haiti)
Right. So I'm finishing up my another fundraising story this month, and trying to juggle a series of RL things.

I've donated some money and bid on some things, but I want to offer something, too. My [livejournal.com profile] help_haiti thread is here.

The only thing is that I'm offering to deliver on or before April 1, rather than on February 14, due to the aforementioned commitments.

I'm offering one story, 10,000 words minimum (probably longer), starting bid $10.

Any of the fandoms listed here, or any canon of your choice that I can acquaint myself with in the time given (a book or film, say).

I'm happy to do a timestamp for anything I've already written.

If you have a hankering for original fiction and you are the winning bidder, I'm willing to write something to your (precise, if you wish) specifications, 20,000 words minimum, to be delivered on or before June 1, if you prefer.

The scope of this doesn't need to be reiterated, but: a classmate's family has lost its home. Some people I worked with last year are missing. I wholeheartedly believe we are helping.

Fandom is awesome.
syllic: ([merlin] hanging crest)
Right. So I meant to have some sort of informative post about the fact that I was going to be away from the internet for a couple of months, often well away from anywhere where I could get online, and then... I didn't have the internet for a month before I got around to doing that.

I shall continue to be away with a fair degree of regularity (with some two- and three-day exceptions) until mid- to late December. I will post In Possession of a Fortune at some point before that (god, I sucksucksucksuck); if you are someone else to whom I owe something (most notably [livejournal.com profile] nemo_r and [livejournal.com profile] phantomjam, I believe) I will get it to you by the end of this week, when I will be skedaddling again.

If I have failed at life elsewhere and owe you something, too, please let me know here.

If there is some sort of... er... fandom... situation... emergency? (I do not know what kind of emergency that would require my incompetent assistance might ever arise, but... well), [livejournal.com profile] arlad can get hold of me quickly. E-mail from a variety of other folk gets forwarded to my phone (which is great, when I have phone signal, which I have not in the past few weeks but will this month, I think), too.

This past month I've stood on cliffs and eaten amazing ice-cream while surrounded by cured ham and listened to part of Defenders of the Realm while atop a lake on a mountain with no-one else around for miles: it has been very good. I have missed you all, though.

If it has been your birthday: happy birthday!

If you are doing NaNoWriMo: good, good luck!

If you want a postcard from nowhere, send me an e-mail with your address, please (sigebeam(AT)gmail).

If you have any good due South recs: please! Me! Me! I'm having a Kowalski/Fraser renaissance like you would not believe. I think it's been the walking in the cold and building things and telling myself, "If I were in a [livejournal.com profile] cesperanza story, I'd be well on my way to paying for a happy Canadian-shack ending with this task." Nodnodnod.

Much love and happiness to you all.



But this icon meme is so pretty, Ma, and everyone is doing it... )
syllic: ([words] i loved it ALL)
1) JC Chasez still does things like say ".. So diverse. And it just has--range. Range," every few minutes (this announcement brought to you courtesy of finding that CD, [livejournal.com profile] worldwouldend deciding the right response to this was to send me a story about a gun, and [livejournal.com profile] nicolasechs's dirty implications that I would download 100 Ways illegally. Also, YouTube and sleep deprivation).

2) WHEN GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO GIANT DORKS (I VERY MUCH INCLUDE MYSELF IN THIS LATTER CATEGORISATION).
syllic: ([words] fail fail fail)
Wow, it's been a few months since I had the pleasure of seeing 'je suis loser' in text form. I do love me some 'je suis loser'.

So I got myself into a mess today, because--well, see subject line. And I was talking to [livejournal.com profile] nicolasechs about it, and I've just re-read chunks of [livejournal.com profile] _mournthewicked's Tell Them We're Like Magnets and was thinking about the last chapter, so at the end of my anecdote, I was like, "FML, [livejournal.com profile] nicolasechs".

And she says to me, "There needs to be a fandom FML, y/y?"

"I commented on my favorite author's story, and she nitpicked my grammar. FML."

And: there very much needs to be a Fandom FML, friends. Because sometimes you honestly forget to log out before posting some crappy thing to an anon meme (rare, but like dogs that eat food-related science projects, not always just an excuse), or you leave a Word document open on your desktop while you open something else to show a friend that knows nothing about your fandom pursuits, and she says, "Is that... is that Merlin fanfiction?"

Fuck My Fandom Life: it happens.

And so I give you: Fandom FML.

(Does this exist already? I do not think so, but who knows. If it does, the only entry in this one will be, "I created this community but an outrageously famous version already exists, so no-one came to my LJ party. FML.")

If you feel inclined, come post. And tell your friend who left an ugly manip in the family computer's 'Pictures' folder, which then cropped up on her mother's screensaver, to come too.

Post logged in, or anonymously.

Or anonymously, except for the bit where you forgot to log out.

ETA: HAHAHA of course this already exists, and of course I wouldn't Google it before creating it. See FML: Fandom Edition. HAHAHAHAHA: FML.

But we're going to persevere, here, because that is the F My Fandom Life ethos: showcasing mediocrity for public enjoyment.

God, I need sleep.
syllic: ([merlin] princess pratdragon)
I have a million personal research concerns at the moment, and to tell you the truth, I haven't had a chance to look through this information carefully myself, but a quick glance made me slightly uneasy, so I thought I'd post this and encourage people to share it if it's at all useful.

Fan Fiction Survey: The Cognitive Neuroscience of Fan Fiction: Be Informed

Details about the survey, provided by the researchers, are here.

This is one of the men doing the research; this is his research partner.

The Wikipedia page on Dr. Ogas is, uh, not precisely confidence-inspiring, but then, hey: I really wanted to be on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire once, too. Like, really badly. Really, really, badly.

They're both at BU, which is a really respectable institution, for those of you not familiar with it.


Some thoughts about why you might want to participate:

[livejournal.com profile] cjandre has a (positive) write-up about it here. The last comment in the thread is useful.

[livejournal.com profile] crack_van has a thread about it here. The discussion in the thread has points for and against.



Some thoughts about why you might not want to participate:

[livejournal.com profile] suaine has some thoughts about it here.

[livejournal.com profile] eruthros has a pretty comprehensive post detailing her own opinions (negative) here, on Dreamwidth.

This thread has been highlighted by more than one person.

[livejournal.com profile] woldy has some thoughts about survey design and publication here.




Right.

Uh, now go forth and participate/not participate as you see fit.

NB:

If you wish to see the survey questions before 'answering', you can click "Submit" after each question without filling in an answer.

You can also edit your answers once you have submitted the survey by returning to the start page (even after you have exited it).

The survey is here.

IRAN

Jun. 18th, 2009 11:20 am
syllic: ([words] reading is CRAZY)
I, for one, want to stand up and be informed, if nothing else.

This is what you should know about Iran right now )


دنیارابگوییدچطورآنهاانتخاباتمان دزدیده اند
Tell the world how they have stolen our election


- original post by [livejournal.com profile] one_hoopy_frood



Go here for the re-post code.
syllic: ([spn] piepiepiepie)
So these past couple of months, life has been decidedly ambivalent in its treatment of me. There's been much epic fail, but a series of amazing things have also taken place. I feel as if these should be celebrated, and I really want to thank the individuals who brought them about. So excuse the length of this, and, uh, here we go.

1. The incredible, amazingly talented [livejournal.com profile] cellophane_ria created art for Three Tasks. It is the cutest thing you have ever seen, and she's made me re-picture the lilac robes in my head. I can't say how amazing it is to see something new and beautiful and creative come out of something I wrote, flaws of that writing aside. I love this so much; I look at it every day.

Drawing here.

Please leave her feedback, if you have a moment, because she is brilliant.


2. The lovely, wonderfully-cadenced [livejournal.com profile] pennyplainknits recorded Three Tasks into a podfic. Podfic and audiobook are available here. Please leave her feedback, too, and tell her how great her reading voice is. This took hours to record, I'm sure, and is wonderful; I don't know how [livejournal.com profile] pennyplainknits managed it, but she got the pacing right for even some of my most nightmarish, awful, sentences (there are many, as the lovely and sharp-eyed [livejournal.com profile] sistermu can attest) and made them sound amazing. I am incredibly grateful, and flattered.

3. In further amazing (and unbelievable) news, Three Tasks and Easy There won things at the Spring Camelot Awards. I know I'm so behind on the boat on this it's ridiculous, but I just wanted to take the time to thank the generous [livejournal.com profile] smokey2307 for taking the time to organise it, to sort through votes and put the awards up. I am literally disbelieving of having won anything, and I just want to say thank you not only to [livejournal.com profile] smokey2307 but to whoever voted in the awards, the winners of which I abuse as part of my Favourite Fiction Rotation on LiveJournal.

4. The talented, creative [livejournal.com profile] solanyxe made this video, which I love with a pretty death-defying passion. It's difficult to explain why this means so much to me, but suffice it to say it came at a pretty difficult time, with a wonderful message from her, and that it cheered me up despite being in extremely weariness-inducing and drab surroundings at the time. It is also powerful, and so skilfully put together--it's a little breathtaking, for me.

I've embedded it here )

Please leave her feedback, too!

5. Today, I got a package from [livejournal.com profile] puckling. It contained space opera. It had COOKIES. There was post-ironic stationery. It was, in short, amazing, and I'm blown away, because people in this fandom are so effing generous, and I'm so glad I've met so many of them. Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] puckling, for being as wonderful as they come. I AM UNSPEAKABLY HAPPY ABOUT THIS PACKAGE'S ARRIVAL.

In fact, this is how this package made me feel )

Yes, all those dances.

6. And finally. These past couple of months, I've had some wonderful messages, and e-mails, and LJ comments. I can't thank [livejournal.com profile] eltea enough for checking on me when I was practically in a ditch by the side of the road, and I also can't say how grateful I am for the patience of all the individuals who have left me feedback, and who have been so wonderful about waiting for the last chapter of Easy There, along with a bunch of other fiction I'm been trying to finish, as well.

Some of the comments regarding Easy There, and particularly those generously left at the Anonymous Feedback Meme (thank you thank you thank you for the constructive criticism), have expressed some confusion about what the hell I'm doing with my life, and why I've failed so utterly about being clear about what's happening with my writing. I think this is fair, and so in this spirit I have unlocked the Endnotes to Easy There, the first section of which I've expanded a bit, in the hope that it will explain what's been going on:

Easy There Endnotes.

7. Because seven is a good number, and uh, people I've met through this LJ are generally amazing. So yes. Thank you.

7b. Oh! Oh! [livejournal.com profile] lanning and [livejournal.com profile] worldwouldend, thank you for being awesome. I am now on Dreamwidth (yes, I too bought the Michael Jackson glove in 1999); I am syllic there, too.

7c. Not an amazing thing, but [livejournal.com profile] roundmerlin will be back up and running in time for the summer slump, I promise. One more week of exams, and then it's all going to be smooth like a rhapsody. Or, uh, as smooth as it ever is, anyway.
syllic: ([merlin] red gwen)
Bidding closed now; click here for further details )

Other people still have bids underway: see [livejournal.com profile] australia_aid for more incentives.

Thank you to [livejournal.com profile] nicolasechs, [livejournal.com profile] simallyher, [livejournal.com profile] lyore, [livejournal.com profile] romanticidiot, [livejournal.com profile] thisgirl_is, [livejournal.com profile] blamebrampton and [livejournal.com profile] puckling for cheerleading; [livejournal.com profile] selfinduced, good luck with your own fundraising!

MANY THANKS to the amazing [livejournal.com profile] mamoru22, [livejournal.com profile] opusnone, [livejournal.com profile] sistermu, and [livejournal.com profile] _la_la_la for bidding.

[livejournal.com profile] _la_la_la offered the spectacularly generous amount of $100USD, and she shall be receiving fiction soon.

[livejournal.com profile] opusnone has made a generous donation, too, bidding aside.

Three cheers for people's amazing generosity.
syllic: (Default)
--happy holidays, for all of those who celebrate today and also for those who don't.

My computer unfortunately blew up in rather a timely Yuletide fashion, taking boating! Arthur and Merlin with it (as well as my very exciting time-travelling-gift-giving-Merlin Christmas short story (tell me about it)), but I nonetheless am feeling quite a good deal of appropriate seasonal cheer, and I hope that has been the case with everyone today, and throughout the holiday in general.

May these days be very happy, and may you all be surrounded by loved ones (and delightful, charming, laughter-inducing individuals, for the fun factor), and may that be a good marker of the things to come in the new year.

...here's a good image from The Dark is Rising, because I've just finished re-reading it (and re-living my childhood with inordinate glee) and it's awfully fun, and why not:

Indoors, the tree glowed and glittered, and the music of Christmas was in the air, and spicy smells came from the kitchen, and in the broad hearth of the living room the great twisted Yule root flickered and flamed as it gently burned down.



PS--Does anyone know how to get a Mac that is flashing a question mark upon start-up to cooperate? I've tried the restore disks and selecting the start-up disk and resetting PRAM. Is it beyond my amateur help? More importantly, once it receives professional help (if it is indeed beyond me), will all my files have disappeared into a malignant technological ether, forever?

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