esmenet: the castle in the sky where eternity dwells (Utena) (the castle in the sky where eternity dwe)
Ten Reasons to Study Arithmancy
Summary: A meditation on magical numerology and Hermione Granger.


So here is that fic from last night. I've re-read and edited it too many times to have any actual opinion on it, but I remember that I had fun writing it! Gosh, I love writing Harry Potter fic; the fandom is so big you can take it in any direction you want.
esmenet: Jin, with the caption "I AM SMART" (I AM SMART)
Sometimes I think my creative mojo is 100% gone, and then it turns out it's just misdirected. Which is to say: I cannot believe I just spent three hours working out the rules of a fictional duelling game that I will, in all likelihood, never write about.

(For an AU in which the Death Eaters are, instead of magical neo-nazis, just a really aggressive group of tournament gamers.)
esmenet: Little!Anthy with swords (Default)
I want like five hundred fics where Draco and Hermione accidentally become BFFs.

Draco: I HATE YOU. YOU ARE GENETICALLY INFERIOR HOW ARE YOU BETTER THAN ME AT EVERYTHING.

Hermione: I HATE YOU TOO. YOU'RE A DICK. THE ONLY THING I HATE MORE THAN YOU IS THE FACT THAT ZACHARIAS SMITH WON AN AWARD FOR HIS PIECE-OF-A-SMALL-SAMPLE-SIZE SCIENTIFICALLY-UNSOUND WOLFSBANE EXPERIMENTS.

Draco: OH MY GOD, HE IS THE WORST. We could brew something better than that in our sleep!

Hermione: I know, right? Give me a hundred galleons and a week.

Draco: . . . shit, we actually could, couldn't we?

Hermione: You get the money and facilities. I'll get the research.


...look, I just have this thing about people bonding over mutual academic disdain, okay.
esmenet: Fuu, Mugen, and Jin, all doing that ridiculous peace-sign-over-eyes pose (*dorky pose*)
On a completely different note: I have found myself working out an entire theory and history of Arithmancy, as well as a system of magical education in America. Harry Potter universe, why can't I quit you?

(The US doesn't really do the Magic High School thing; people learn from their families or through community programs or the lady who runs the magic bookstore, and then they can go to magic college or not, whatever they want. There is a set of government-sponsored tests, about six, for each major discipline of magic, and these cover absolute beginner up to pre-Master's level*. There are also separate master's tests, usually sponsored by one or two of the national/international guilds and sometimes by universities, which are a bit different from the Master's you would get from a university. However, unlike the Europeans, the U.S. has gone and split the standard mastery up into two levels, master's and doctorate, to match the muggle university levels. A doctorate may only be obtained from a university; anyone who comes from the European apprenticeship model will have to attend a university to get the credentials even if their work is more than up to scratch. --The official level of journeyman is nonexistent in the United States.)


*based on language tests such as the HSK and the JLPT, which are the closest equivalent I can think of -- tests that are not required, nor part of a particular school system, but give a big boost to your CV if you've passed a high enough level. And you can get exam preparation books at your local magic bookstore!
esmenet: one hand held in two others (hands)
So I pretty much never do this, because I almost always write short things, but, um. Would any of you be willing/have the time to beta/bounce ideas back and forth about this Harry Potter fic I've started writing? It has Ginny, and Dean, and Hermione, and I think Luna + some original characters, and it's about a) the symbolic rituals people make for themselves, b) the ways you go quietly mad when you feel like you're not doing anything, c) trying to help institute wide-spread social change without really having any idea what you're doing, and possibly d) something that may or may not be totally off-the-wall and belong in a different fic but ties in nicely with b).
esmenet: Bolin looking very confused (i'm very confused right now)
I keep forgetting to mention this stuff, but I posted my [livejournal.com profile] springtime_gen fic! Writing it made me love Scorpius and Astoria quite a lot, and Hermione even more, and gave me a chance to finally articulate the Draco inside my head as separate from the ones in everyone else's heads. I'm not sure I'm quite satisfied with the story itself, but it does make me want to write lots and lots about the weird adorable pseudo-incestuous clan of Hogwarts Classes of 1998 & 1999 (which is apparently what we're calling them now) and their kids.

Also, someone made me a thread on the love meme! Thank you, mysterious person, and also everyone else. I've kind of needed it lately.
esmenet: Powerpuff-style Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini, with the top text "Blaise Zabini" and the bottom text "is better than yo (blaise zabini is ALWAYS better than you)
I keep forgetting to post about it, but [personal profile] roxy_palace did a super-amazing podfic for Evening Beauty, my Madame Zabini fic!

I keep thinking about how I could have phrased things better and being embarrassed by all the things that sound kind of awkward now that someone is reading them, but I'm pretty sure this is a case of me being over-critical of myself.

Anyway, the podfic is really great and you should all go download it here.
esmenet: Kanae standing at a window (kanae)
So I think I wrote a lot less than last year, but more fic & ideas for/of fic actually happened? Which is to say, I am very unsatisfied with myself all around, but I actually made some stuff.

Leitmotif(s) of the year: Freedom, escape (as usual); relationships that may or may not be romance, no one is quite sure; poetry; meta-fiction; and "Well, what do we do now?"

Favorite(s) of the batch: history of the rose, because even though I don't think it's particularly well-written, it's a bunch of things I love all squished together.

Best of the batch: streets and skies and open doors is the only thing I wrote this year where I feel like I really got everything just (almost) the way I wanted it. Writing is a giant pain sometimes, because I keep wanting everything to be a great big spiral of perfect, but honestly if I can get the phrasing and imagery right then the rest doesn't matter that much.

Most underappreciated by the universe: ars poetica, first fic in which I publicly mentioned Tracey Davies and poetry in the same sentence. I feel like I got more of the imagery right here than in the actual poems I wrote for her, mostly because actual poetry is a fucking pain in the ass.

Favorite first lines: My actual favorite first line is Their lives are made of ink and paper, which was going to be in history of the rose until that turned into a completely different fic. My favorite posted line is Latin leaves me like an ex-boyfriend, from wizard-born.

Most fun to write: no such thing as silence was super fun, because it is one of those short crunchy character-sketch fics, self-introspection cheap at twice the price. And I learned that I really do love Taki quite a lot.

Sexiest fic: (not gonna write you a) love song, which I have barely even started on, because I'm still hashing out all the characters in my head. I'm not even sure it's going to have romance in it, let alone sex, but it is still the sexiest thing I have written all year, because it involves a lot of girls staring at each others' hands or hair or mouths. This untitled Chrome fic is probably a lot closer to the traditional definition of sexy, but it's actually asexy so it doesn't count.

"Holy crap, that's wrong even for you" fic: That Hermione-goes-to-Ohtori fic. It is self-indulgent crossover meta-tastic idfic at its finest, and at some point I will finish it and post the damn thing.

Fic that shifted my own perceptions of the characters: (not gonna write you a) love song, absolutely. The reason none of it is done is that I'm spending lots and lots of time thinking about Pansy and Parvati and Tracey and Ginny and Hermione, and I still haven't gotten their basic characteristics all worked out in my head yet. But it's going to be fantastic.

New pairing/genre/fandom you never predicted writing in January: I certainly didn't think I was even going to consider writing Mahou no Tenshi Creamy Mami fic! And yet it is happening.

Hardest fic to write: ALL THE ONES I HAVEN'T FINISHED YET. Everything I have finished was easy, otherwise I couldn't have done it. These current ones, now, these ones are hard.

Biggest disappointment: ME. More particularly, the fact that I haven't written those help_pakistan and help_japan fics yet. They're on the work table, I swear! It's just going slow.

Biggest surprise: The amount of fics I actually did manage to write this year, even if they're tiny.

Most telling fic: silence speaks louder than words, I think. The way Taki relates to the world is not the way I relate to the world, but the way she reacts to great pressure is the way I hope I would.

What's next? Finishing some of the things I've started. Starting some of the things I've talked about. DEFINITELY NO THOR FIC. I refuse!
esmenet: Two of the Shadow Girls (aka the Greek Chorus) from Shoujo Kakumei Utena (shadowgirls)
Apparently, when left to my own devices, all I do is play Echo Bazaar and write Tracey Davis poems. (Perhaps there is potential for a crossover in here somewhere.)
esmenet: Toph in a mud bath, earthbending the mud on her face. Larger text reads "I feel pretty", smaller text "oh so pretty" (oh so pretty)
Now that I (technically) have time again, I am doing what I said I would and borrowing [livejournal.com profile] makeste's super-excellent meme!

1. My favorite character.
2. ANOTHER favorite character!!
3. My favorite character relationship, and by "relationship" I don't necessarily mean pairing and certainly not OTP, but on the other hand, depending on the fandom MAYBE I DO!
4. The moment/character/THING/WHATEVER that first hooked me on the fandom.
5. One of my favorite moments.
6. A song or track that reminds me of this fandom.
7. One miscellaneous awesome thing about the fandom.
8. One completely random thought I have regarding this fandom.
9. One fic/essay rec, fanart, or fanvid that depending on the fandom I either had lovingly bookmarked or saved onto my hard drive, or only just now found during a two-minute Google search.
esmenet: Mugen with his sword on his shoulder, from the opening of Samurai Champloo. Text reads "Live what you love." (live what you love)
Instead of writing up HP meta or going 'aaaaaa JLPT on Sunday don't know enough words going to fail'—too tired for any of that right now—I am going to alert you all to the existence of [tumblr.com profile] askkingsley. Go submit some questions so we can get more fantasticness!

Also, there is some interesting stuff on HP fan-worldbuilding here (go join that promptfest, everyone!), here, and here.

Will post about wizarding music and connections with the muggle world (and possibly also lack of numinousness?) some time tomorrow-ish. Expect lots of Pansy and Hermione and mentions of the African Institute of Black Magic.
esmenet: three-frame .gif of Shin and Yankumi. Shin is in a fundoshi, and Yankumi is staring at him. (shinkumi)
I know I've really gotten back into Harry Potter fandom when I've started hunting down Viktor/Hermione fic again.
esmenet: Powerpuff-style Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini, with the top text "Blaise Zabini" and the bottom text "is better than yo (blaise zabini is ALWAYS better than you)
(Finally) watching DH2. Hermione = amazing. (But kids, you should maybe check those contract terms before actually acting on them. This is why you should have grabbed a Slytherin.)

Watching canon after seeing all this fanart is making me kind of depressed, though. Rolanda and Harriet and Hermes: WHAT COULD SHOULD HAVE BEEN.

From what Aberforth says about the set of mirrors, I think those aren't nearly as common as most of fandom assumes. I don't know if they're just out of fashion or if they're really difficult to make or something, but if they were easy to get Aberforth would just have bought a new set. Maybe some kind of Black family heirloom?

So there are only seven secret passages that go in and out! I mean, there must be a lot more inside because it's a magic castle, but it's nice to have a definite entrance/exit number.

Room of Requirement scene: Dean! Parvati! Padma! Cho! and Seamus and Luna and everyone, aaaaaa. And also I noticed that quite a lot of the students in the panned-over Great Hall scene were characters of colour, that was nice.

OMG Kingsley + Order grand entrance. BUT MOSTLY KINGSLEY. And McGonnagol, eee! Pfft she threw him through a window. Badass.

--Oh hey, was that Blaise? Fabulous.

Similar ramblings follow. )

Anyone got any fic they want to recommend? I've just re-read all of Blood Magic, so I'm very much in the mood for it.
esmenet: Jin, with the caption "I AM SMART" (I AM SMART)
Every Sorting Hat quiz I've ever taken has put me in Hufflepuff. When I was younger I used to wish it was Slytherin or Ravenclaw, because they were the cool Houses, but now I know better. Honesty, loyalty, justice, dedication—Hufflepuffs kick ass.

(A lot of these quiz things had questions like "Do other people respect/look up to you?" "Do you get described as 'talented'?" and, um. Yes? GOODNESS KNOWS WHY. It's not like I actually spend my free time doing anything but reading bad fanfic and looking at pretty pictures, and I am pretty sure my only actual talent is remembering hanzi/kanji. How these are assets in anything but fandom and linguistics, I do not understand. I should probably get kicked out of Hufflepuff for not fulfilling the 'hard work and dedication' requirement.)

Some of the questions on one I happened to take* yesterday were actually enlightening, though. A bunch of questions about stress and breaking down under it, and then at the end they snuck in one about "do you consider yourself emotionally stable?" And yes, yes I do, even though I start crying at just about anything, because none of it really sticks for long and I'm totally okay after a while. I mean, I break down a lot but it's nothing serious?

*I totally did not go around taking a bunch of sorting hat quizzes just so I could say they all put me in Hufflepuff. Really.

(Btw, I'm beginning to think I should re-keyword this icon to Jin The Hipster. He liked wearing glasses before they were cool!)
esmenet: Powerpuff-style Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini, with the top text "Blaise Zabini" and the bottom text "is better than yo (blaise zabini is ALWAYS better than you)
I like how Hufflepuff's big selling point is "We're not jerks!" You've gotta admit, that's a pretty good selling point.
esmenet: Mugen with his sword on his shoulder, from the opening of Samurai Champloo. Text reads "Live what you love." (live what you love)
My first use of 750words culminates in a Harry Potter essay, in which my own tastes are extremely apparent even if my logic is possibly not.

Pureblood culture vs. Mudblood counterculture, or, why I wish all HP fic was like <i>In Loco Parentis</i> )


*Sometimes I really, really want to write fic that is just Dean and Hermione making fun of wizards.
esmenet: Azula raising her eyebrow and giving a sidelong look (*raised eyebrow*)
This fic* . . . well. If it were written by any of my r-list, I would be absolutely confident that the final chapter would feature Hermione waking up and complimenting Snape on his excellent Blatant Feminist Allegory Draught—"It was horrifically obvious what was going on after I woke up, but while I was under, everything seemed so plausible."

It is kind of amazing, actually. Because Hermione's love interest is clearly and obviously a personalization and embodiment of The Patriarchy (capital letters and all). I'm not kidding! Every thing he does is one of those problematic things that feminist blogs write posts about, and he warps the narrative around him. Hermione cries about his Dead Little Sister—not because she was raped and killed, but because Mr Love Interest Dude had to go through the trauma of having that happen to his sister! <-- Heavy-handed lampshading of Manpain, there. And Harry and Ron are probably the archetypal friends-who-don't-ask-questions-about-society. It all fits perfectly!

Unfortunately, I don't think the author is doing this intentionally. :| Half the fic is enough, I think, while I can still pretend my ending is the real one.


*Link provided in case anyone is up for Blatant Feminist Allegory Draught and doesn't have the real thing on hand.
esmenet: Powerpuff-style Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini, with the top text "Blaise Zabini" and the bottom text "is better than yo (blaise zabini is ALWAYS better than you)
Every time I read Al Potter And His Very Epic Plan, my brain is divided into roughly equal parts of "Wow, this is just as amazing and hilarious as the last time I read it!" and "I really, really, really want to be Benjamin Avery."


Not necessarily when I grow up! I mean, right now would be fine.
esmenet: Powerpuff-style Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini, with the top text "Blaise Zabini" and the bottom text "is better than yo (blaise zabini is ALWAYS better than you)
Posted here partly because I still haven't found a satisfactory replacement for GoogleDocs, and partly because I'm out of practice and could really use some advice on it.


Hermione watches them laughing all together, a little group of happy people wearing different colours, and a thought jarred loose by something in that picture floats up into the front of her mind: Yes, this is the war I signed up for. Obviously untrue, of course; she'd never signed up for anything—

Abruptly, Hermione remembers her father's Howard Zinn books, with bent covers and underlined paragraphs and some of them with little marks where her two-year-old self had banged them on things. He used to read them to her at bedtime, and they always made her lie still and quiet, thinking and thinking about war and class differences and racism and history and everything until she finally fell asleep. She'd meant to bring one of them with her this year, but it hadn't quite fit in her trunk. . . .

—But she had, hadn't she. When she was thirteen (yes, thank you, Draco Malfoy and your bigotry), when she was fifteen (just because the slavery is magical doesn't make it better). When she was eight, and she'd asked her mother why her classmates were always making fun of her hair. When she was born.

It's a stupid, heroic thought she's having, too grandiose in scale to have any real relevance to what she's actually doing. Very Gryffindor, she supposes, if that matters. Big and flashy.

Yes. Yes, this is the war I signed up for. And it's the one that matters, so I'm going to win it.
esmenet: Powerpuff-style Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini, with the top text "Blaise Zabini" and the bottom text "is better than yo (blaise zabini is ALWAYS better than you)
I go through these bouts of finding fairly good Star Wars longfic and wanting to keep on reading, maybe even take part in the fandom. And I just can't. The fic I've started reading may be interesting, but Star Wars is such a white boys' story that that one aspect of it overshadows everything. Unless the author is specifically dealing with that, but unlike (say) Harry Potter there don't seem to be a whole lot of Dealing With Canon Issues fics. And also unlike Harry Potter, it doesn't even make a token effort to not be a white boys' world. (Harry Potter: dudes still get to have all the fun and heroics, but women exist and get to actually do plot stuff sometimes. People of colour, there is more than one of them! Star Wars: not so much.)

I've posted about it before, but ugh. Star Wars, why you gotta be like this. Even the other boys-fandoms I complain about are way less sexist. Ai is a brilliant scientist who kicks off the whole plot! Sakura gets to punch giant holes in the ground! Lenalee gets to save everyone! Yuuko has all the fun! Even Bleach, for all its flaws, at least has more than two girls.


Going to go read some shoujo manga and write some Bechdel-test-passing fic now. I need a good healthy dose of POC and women.

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esmenet: Little!Anthy with swords (Default)
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