I got a sample of this based on the commentary that it is a scent that Marisa Coulter or Queen Jadis would wear. (I mean. I had to, after that.)
Provisional conclusion: this is not what I think of when I think about Jadis and her offer of Turkish Delight, but goddamn is it amazing. And belongs on a woman with a lot of unpleasant, complicated power.
The first thirty seconds are rose and sharp face-powder, almost astringent, and I thought it wasn't going to be wearable and I was intensely sad. And then it bloomed into peach (my skin LOVES peach, it's a little ridiculous) and jasmine and something that I'm thinking of as blackberry, but it's not how blackberry smells, it's how blackberry tastes (maybe that's the passionfruit? or the hyacinthe?), with the rose and the sharpness like a scrim over it, and something like dark, overturned earth underneath. Loam, and flowers growing out of it, white and dark purple-red.
This is a scent for the Empress Theodora, barefoot in the palace in Constantinople an hour before dawn, with Justinian asleep in their bed after she's done with him. It is deliberate. It is complicated. It is deeply femme and intensely sexual but not in a -- scent-of-sex way. In a my power derives from sex way.
This one I'll wear. Maybe a lot.
Everything is terrible forever, re: my dissertation and bureaucratic obstacles between me finishing it and me submitting it, and also I am reading a book which is making me very angry but which I need to read so that I can prove I’ve read it. And also it’s about 60% awesome insights, just with 40% WHAT THE FUCK, IMPORTANT SCHOLAR, YOU ARE MADE OF AGENDA AND I CAN TELL.
So I am briefly pausing to review Bulgari Black, which I put on this morning after reading thatyourefuse’s writeup.
This is supposed to be a leather-tar-and-rose scent. I picked up a sample of it when I was in a Sephora and trying out a billion rose-based scents, and I was sort of hoping for something that’d be good for days where I want to be cyberpunk femme: a Molly Millions kind of perfume.
That is not what I got.
Right out of the sample vial, Bulgari Black gives me innocuous florals, very soft, very pink; I get rose and vanilla. I spend about ten seconds thinking really? That’s IT? and then it hits my skin chemistry and goes solid melted asphalt in July. Thick, mechanical, sticky-hot scent, nothing human about it. The city at its least flattering. A bit after that, the florals are back, but now in a sort of artificial way, like floral air freshener sprayed to get rid of the asphalt scent by a middle-aged woman in a ground-floor apartment. Still in July.
I go outside in the 25F cold, and we’re back to mechanical, but now it’s not asphalt, it’s rubber. Rubber like the taste of bubblegum after you’ve chewed it so much the flavor is almost gone.
Eight hours later, as I’m writing this now, my wrists smell lovely — distant leather and rose, warm, faded.
I will not be wearing this regularly. It is an experience, not a character, and I don’t like New York in July.
So I love citrus. I love citrus a lot. I have grapefruit-scented body wash! I will make lemon buttercream which is about 50% lemon juice just to eat it with a spoon afterward. I like citrus EVERYTHING. So I thought, self, what you need is a citrus perfume you can wear in the winter and which won’t make you smell like a teenage girl with a gift card to The Body Shop.
and thus I acquired a 2ml spray decant of something that’s only available in bell jars imported from Europe.
I wanted this because citrus + rumored ‘oriental’ spice notes, especially wood and amber; that just sounded delicious.
What I got? Something that I love for the first thirty seconds I’m wearing it and then … mm. It’s not bad. It’s just not what I want. Because those first thirty seconds —
It’s like someone broke a twig of young wood over a bowl of mandarin oranges and some kind of white flower — magnolia? — which have been set aflame and are caramelizing, not burning. This — greenstick scent. It’s glorious and perfect, it smells like temple ritual.
And then on the drydown all of that green sharpness goes away and I’m wearing a warm citrus-amber-caramel perfume which is actually too gourmand for me. It’s lovely, but I feel like I should be eating it. Not wearing it.
I want to wear the first thirty seconds. I wonder how I could get something that’d do that. Green and fire and incense and flowers.
A thousand thank-yous, to begin with -- whatever you end up writing, dear Yuletide friend, I am going to be ecstatic to see it upon reveal. Please don't think that you need to adhere closely to any of the following (after all, optional details are optional, and these are more optional than most) slew of vague preferences -- write what pleases you, and I will also be pleased.
Those promised vagaries, however, as follows.
I enjoy most everything. Slash, het, gen; porn and plot (and porn that's plot -- and plot that's porn, too); kink or the entire lack thereof. Though, as you may have guessed from my prompts already, there are kinky things I definitely really like
: kingship and devotion, appearances and disguises, body horror, spiritual horror. These are, possibly obviously, not just sexy
kinks, but also narrative kinks. I tend to prefer (but do not demand) plot over slice-of-life, and porn-with-plot over porn-without-plot. I like complicated stories about complicated, often not-very-nice people.
I am a difficult person to squick! Which is to say: if dubcon or noncon work in the story you want to tell, I will not be bothered by them. Nor will I be bothered by reading about deeply immoral or amoral activities, up to and including terrorism, which -- is actually a concern for one of these fandoms, remarkably enough. Possibly two of these fandoms. Possibly all of these fandoms, depending on your definition of 'terrorism' and 'Crusading'.
I would ask you, if you are writing fic about Saladin, to treat Islam with respect and a modicum of research.
Prompts follow below:( Revenge, The Booth at the End, 12th Century CE RPFCollapse )
a short postscript re: The Booth at the End. This is a short webseries with ten 20-minute-long episodes, available streaming on Hulu; it is entirely worth your time, if you're stuck on one of the other two, to try it out!
Why, LiveJournal! You have finally done something I cannot deal with! I needed a comment system that worked! That was, in fact, the point
This is thus the announcement that, while I will still read my flist over here, and play in everywrites
I am otherwise No Longer Really On LiveJournal; when my paid account expires, I will not be renewing. I will still crosspost to here, because I have lots of friends who only read on this service.
On the other hand, if you want to find me:
Dreamwidth (for journaling): lindensphinx
tumblr (for fannish amusement and general frivolity): byzantienne
twitter (for inanity, composed in equal parts of shoes, pornography, Byzantines, and what happens when I stay up too late): lindensphinx
email (for everything else): quantumseraph at gmail dot com
Apparently that was not how to make mint-infused vodka.
I, uh. I think I ferminted it.
Put the mint leaves in the vodka! I thought. Leave it alone for a week or two! I thought. Watch it, uh, turn ... greenish-brown? Okay. Surely this is how it is supposed to go! The color is a sign of the intensity of flavor! drink it, I thought.
worst plan ever
tastes like: mint, moonshine, medicine, mothballs, mold?
does not taste like: fimbulwinter
new plan: normal vodka, drops of wintergreen extract
All Helps and Advantages of War (AO3)Authors: lindensphinx
Rose Lalonde, Eridan Ampora, Feferi Peixes, Dave Strider, Terezi PyropeRating:
10k, this partContains:
revolution, horrorterrors, sloppy angry public hatemakeouts, Dave/Rose/Terezi, gratuitous politics, Commandant Feferi Peixes, and the worst half-cape in the known universe.Notes:
In nearly every respect, this is urban_anchorite
's fault. We blame her. She shipped it first. There's reason to suspect she's some kind of patient zero for Rose♠Eridan. Not that we mind.
There was a moment in which we could have just written the blackrom porn. But instead, this thing insisted on growing plot horrortendrils, and those are nigh-impossible to escape. (Stubborn throes.)
Extensive and heartfelt thanks to Gileonnen, Gatty, and Taz for beta services well-rendered.Summary: The clutch of trolls subsides into an awkward silence, glancing back and forth between them. Eridan takes a step toward her, his hands half-raised from his side as if he’s prepared for violence, with the whole room watching.
Rose gives it to him first.
On the eve of Her Imperious Condescension's visit to the Ninth Hivefleet, Eridan Ampora tries to balance his career in the Alternian High Command and his loyalties to Feferi Peixes, while Rose Lalonde is drawn into a revolution -- and into reprising her role as emissary to the horrorterrors.
(Takes a left turn at end of Act Five, lands splat in the middle of a space opera.).( Truly, Rose thinks, neither the slippery piles of alien canapes on skewers, nor the grating tones of the Alternian equivalent of a military brass quintet are the most egregious examples of poor taste in this ballroom.Collapse )
Back in May when I needed to get to Patmos, I did some fundraising/sales of editing and etc. services on LJ. It was very successful; everyone was amazing and I got to do some great work for people, and also pull together enough funds to go to Greece to look at manuscripts for my dissertation!
Now I am going to Chicago, to learn a language I need for that same dissertation. I've gotten a grant from my department to cover most of tuition, and saved up enough to pay for the rest of that on my own. But I could really use some extra income to cover things like plane tickets and paying for housing. I'm actively looking for a seasonal retail job, but those tend to be a crapshoot -- and regardless, I'd much rather make extra cash by offering services I'm really good at, to a community I care about.
So I thought I'd throw this post open again. I'm offering editing services, both academic and fiction-based. I also do wardrobe consultancy and personal style/shopping advice (think What Not To Wear, except I won't make you look like a soccer mom with a decent office wardrobe -- unless that's what you want!), and academic advising.
(Sadly, I am not a fanartist, and I cannot legally or ethically take fanfic commissions. However, if you want to commission original fiction, send me an email and we'll talk -- I'm very open to the idea.)( A detailed description of what I'm offering and my rates is under the cut.Collapse )
This post is public; please feel free to link it around if you'd like! I am mostly planning on using PayPal to receive payment for these things (quantumseraph at gmail dot com), but if PayPal isn't good for you, comment to say so and we'll do something else.
You're awesome. Already. Just for writing in one of these fandoms. I hope you have a great time writing them; I know I'm going to love whatever you produce. Please feel free to use my requests as guidelines, not as commands. Write what makes you happy and excited.
That said, the traditional list of Things I Like and Things I Don't:Things I Like:
history, meta, intertextuality and reference, politricks, devotion, het, slash, gen, kink, loyalty games, agency games, consequences, partnerships, scope.Things I Don't:
embarrassment squick, kidfic (including pregnancy and MPREG), fix-it fic (i.e. ignoring the consequences of the canon to make a happy ending.)
I am good with just about any rating you want to give your fic; smut is awesome, gen is awesome. I'd prefer that -- unless you are taking my Oglaf request, 'cause, well, OGLAF -- the sex is integrated into the plot, instead of just being sex for sex's sake.
And above all, thank you for writing one of these fandoms. Have a good time! See you in December~( Further details on my requests behind the cut! (Promethean Age, CHESS, Red Cliff, Oglaf)Collapse )
So I'm reading this book of Russian literary criticism theory, on the aesthetics of 'Aesopian language' in Russian literature -- 'Aesopian' meaning the sort of writing one does which is deeply encoded and meant to get political sentiments or ideologies past endemic institutional censors. I'm reading it for the theory bits of my dissertation, actually, since I'm really interested in encoded and multivalent languages in political/literary texts in Byzantium. (And this author, Lev Loseff, does awesome things with conceptualizing a three-person poetics of transmission: the Author, the Censor, and the Reader -- all of whom are enacting coded interpretations on the text, and none
of whom have the same codes or, for that matter, the same 'text', it's SO COOL and so useful!)
BUT ANYWAY, the dedicatory epigram of this book. It is the best thing.
"There is one person in Madrid without whom the whole project would never have been possible. This person taught me to understand and to enjoy the subtlest nuances of Aesopian prestidigitation.
You, rather than I, should have written this book, and you would have done it better. Let me at least dedicate it to you, my unforgettable Persian friend."
I want the story! I want it so much
, this Russian expatriate and his Persian 'friend' (slashy as hell, no? I am such a bad person. I should not want slash about real people. This book is from 1983 they are probably still alive) in Madrid, talking about censorship and language and literature and they obviously parted without resolving anything, and something has happened
to the Persian friend and he is unable to compose this book and the Russian has not spoken to him since Madrid and maybe he is dead or imprisoned or silenced --
is it very very wrong to want a Yuletide fandom for a dedicatory epigram
? Because I do. I really do.
My Russian class, for various reasons, is kind of immensely disappointing, and involves a lot of watching episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond with Russian dubbing, which I despise even in English.
I would like to have more Russian immersion in my life. Like, classic Russian film!
Recommend these to me. I like political things, I like art film, I will watch Soviet stuff. Comedy is okay if it's ... not modern? I don't like modern comedy?
Subtitles in English are okay. Maybe they're a good idea. But classic Russian film in Russian!
I really ought not to sign up for a fanwork exchange that:
a) is due in late November, when I am already planning a semi-NaNo;
b) is for a fandom I’ve never written in before (Weiss Kreuz);
c) is for a fandom where I’ve NEVER ACTUALLY WATCHED THE CANON;
d) and for which I only care about half the cast. (CRAWFORD/SCHULDIG OMG)
Why on earth does this seem like the best idea ever?
I never think I have the right reasons for participating in this day.
(Because even though I believe in the principle behind National Coming Out Day, and also believe in the fundamental injustice of having to come out, over and over again; and recognize that there are people for whom coming out is impossible, impractical, dangerous, or just undesireable --
-- I also love secrets, and hidden things, and keeping parts of yourself for yourself, and not having to confess unless confession is part of what you want.)
But despite that, there is an entire discourse about how easy it is for me to pass, for women like me to pass, and how that's both a privilege and a problem. And I'm not sure I want to talk about it today, in detail; it's been a really long day, and I don't know if I can articulate as well as I'd like the shifting between marked and unmarked cases that is part of how I think about all the ways I'm not straight.
So we'll do it the simple way, which isn't actually simple at all (labels never are): I'm femme, and queer, and bisexual, in approximately that order; I hover around a Kinsey 3.5, I like identity-games but I'm ridiculously cisgendered, and above everything else I am all about the politics of the gaze.
I might come back to this later, if I figure out how to say what I'd really like to say.
has been telling me about Gundam Wing for years now, and she finally sat me down and had us watch it all the way through.
Verdict: I am surprisingly emotionally invested in this incredibly 90s anime about giant robots and teenage terrorist pilots. As in, I want to read all the fic
. And maybe write some. I am a decade late to this party, guys.
But it's an awesome party
. To absolutely no one's surprise, I am aaaaaaaall about Trieze Khushrenada (manipulative charismatic self-sacrificial politician with twisted interpersonal dynamics with his subordinates? fuck yes) and if I was to write fic, it'd probably be Trieze/Lady Une, with codependence and personality-molding and long-range plans interrupted by his disastrous attempts to manage her mental illness, and also Zechs.
I rather adore Zechs, too. (The lack of surprise continues. Broken by his own honor, YES.) And DOROTHY, omg, that girl is wrong in the head in a beautiful way, and I ... would cosplay her. In a heartbeat. Or maybe just write the Dorothy/(Trieze)/Relena. Or the Dorothy♠Quatre, oddly enough. Despite also being enormously, soul-crushingly fond of Trowa/Quatre.
Okay. This is where I ask the internet for fic recs. This fandom is ancient and huge and apparently everyone I know wrote juvinalia for it? But still. I want to read:
- 6x13 and 13x6 - at any point, honestly, pre-canon or during canon, and dubcon is totally okay (that goes for everything on this list, really) but pure villian!Trieze is not really desireable? And if there is 6x9 or 13x9 going on, that is JUST FINE.
- 13x5 - honor and dueling and oh, Wu Fei, you don't know what you're playing with
- 3x4 - I will read fluff for this. ... not curtainfic, but fluff is JUST FINE, or h/c, or ... anything, these boys, they are in love.
- Dorothy/Relena if their relationship is actually the POINT of the fic, not just a way to get Relena offscreen
- Trieze/Lady Une - fuck yeah superior/subordinate complications
- Noin/Sally Po - YES PLEASE GUERRILLA WARFARE
- Quatre fic in general, especially anything that makes the Paul Atreides parallel even more blindingly obvious
- 6x1 - prescience and rivalry and honor glee~
... and now that Mith has corrected my orthography (this is a fandom where the order of the names matters? OLD SCHOOL FANDOM IS OLD SCHOOL) and assured me that really I want 6x1 not 1x6, and 13x5 rather than 5x13 ...
Have at it~
So I'm sitting here covered in henna paste and I've got nothing to do but things I ought
to do (and who wants to do those, seriously, what is this 'career' you speak of) for the next three hours while it sets, and I think to myself, Self, you have not updated your LJ in some time.
Thus, salient points from the last two weeks, fandom/creative edition, in rough chronological order:1.
I, or rather my pseudonymous alter ego, sent off my Very First Story For Possible Professional Publication. I should probably be more nervous about this. But I'm not. I mean, if it gets picked up, I'll be incredibly squeeful, and I'll be sad if it doesn't, but mostly I'm proud of myself for sitting down and getting through 10k of feasible short story all by myself, getting it edited by people I trust (thank you, gileonnen
), and being brave enough to submit it. VICTORY AT SEA, etc.2.
Filed some of the serial numbers off That Art School Thing with mithrigil
. It might be an actual thing someday. Probably not, it's still something that ought to be a 90s CLAMP manga, and neither of us can draw for shit, so -- but at least we renamed everyone
(except Portia, damnit, we didn't get to her!) so at least it's not blatant fic with too many OCs anymore?3.
Went to visit cpip
in Pittsburgh, which was absolutely delightful. They showed me Bollywood film and in retaliation I made them watch all four hours of Red Cliff
. (Takeshi Kaneshiro, you beautiful beautiful man. Guh.) And we played board games with some friends of theirs, which I haven't done in AGES and which was tremendously fun. I highly recommend the Battlestar Galactica game, if high-level scheming strategy sounds fun to you. (Next time I wanna be the Cylon.)4.
I'm going to admit right here for posterity that I've read this FFVII AU fic by synecdochic
four times now. All 100,000 words of it. I don't really think it's IC; I'm so, so, so okay with it anyway, because it is all about good kings and loyaltykink. Seriously, I read this on the bus back from Pittsburgh and just had glowing hearts in my eyes the whole time. I don't even like Tseng/Tifa as a pairing. Or think this Rufus is the Rufus from the game. But I love this Rufus. I'm pretending I just got handed a novel all about the things I adore beyond reason, and its validity as fic can go hang.5.
Speaking of fic I can't stop rereading, Strider's Edge
, by paratactician
, who is UNGODLY AWESOME. (Seriously, sir. Between the Classics PhD and the Dave/Terezi and the brilliant prose, I hardly know what to do with knowing you.) This is some incredible absurd brew of Brideshead Revisited
and Homestuck, and I found it two days ago and have read it three times to just luxuriate. There is a moment where the characters quote Theocritus. This moment is nevertheless in character
And to continue the Homestuck revelry, artillie
and I have just finished 3k of Dave/Terezi bodyswap for the first round of hs_olympics
. (T34M D4NCE_P4RTY!) We wrote all of this this afternoon. (Okay, we outlined it the day before yesterday.) I feel all productive
. AND, as a marvelous cherry topping on the ice-cream sundae which is this piece of fiction (can you tell I've been Dave all day), odie
is illustrating it. I am looking forward to her rendition of the xenokink makeouts.
Tomorrow I get to see meltedpeep
. Tuesday, megkips
is bringing us ravioli. Wednesday, puella_nerdii
comes back after a month away! And Friday, I go see mithrigil
perform, up in Boston.
And then there's a week of vacation with my family in Maine, but we can't have everything.
Stolen from petronelle
, augmented by mithrigil
, reappropriated here:
Name two (or more) characters that I have shown evidence of including as a pairing (or non-romantic exclusivity, or pale romance, or really any quadrant will do) in fanfic or original fic or Random Shit I Talk About On The Internets. I will answer with:
1. What they most commonly do during sex (if they are the sexing type)
2. Who has prettier (or just more attractive) hair
3. What they argue about most often
4. Who'd cope best if the other one died
5. The happiest plausible happily-ever-after I can think of for them
6. The most tragic possible ending for them
7. What I enjoy most about their dynamic
8. What I find difficult to write about them
Have at it. It is disgusting out and I have a short story to finish that doesn't want to be finished.
It is too hot. We do not have air conditioning. Nearly every evening I stand under the shower turned all the way to "ungodly frigid" in desperate attempts to reduce core body temperature.
Why is summer, people. (Explanations about axial tilt are right out.) When can it be September? I am excited about September, even if it involves teaching and classwork and making terrifying decisions about the year after
next (Oxford? Budapest? Sofia? Something else? Though I think I've pretty solidly picked 'leaving the country for at least six months'. And, well. Thinking very very VERY hard about Oxford. I want. In a slightly scary fashion I want.) But still, September! Declining temperatures!
- Just signed up for intermediate Russian conversation hour, Tuesday evenings starting next week. Operation: Skip A Semester Of Russian continues.
- 6.5k of cyberpunk noir story. Tremendously fun to write something that feels publishable, and which is all mine. I may try to finish it today/tomorrow - I think there's about 3k left.
- Listening obsessively to Sage Francis; have therefore plotbunnied myself for some seriously dark Dave/Terezi sexytimes fic. All the fault of this song, plus artillie and discussions about Dave and masochism. ... the fandom will probably eat me alive, but I really want to write it anyway?
- I have watched Season One of Luther; it deserves a post of its own, and I will probably write it one. The short version is ALICE MORGAN ALICE MORGAN ALICE MORGAN OH MY GOD YES and also this is the tightest plotting I have ever seen on television ever.
- I remain utterly terrified of my dissertation. I don't know if that's going to change but I should probably work on it.
In summation, this month's soundtrack: We Are Beautiful We Are Doomed", Los Campesinos!.