gwyn: (8ball wizzicons)
Today's my least favorite day once again. The date I lost Miss Olive two years ago, and I'm not over it--I think about her every day, and miss her, especially now. I could really use her soft, soft fur and sweet purrs and funny little voice when she talked to me all the time. And it's the day we lost Sandy, which I'm never gonna be over, either. With Vividcon ending next year it feels even more like losing Sandy all over again.

Basically July 19 is just a terrible horrible no good very bad day.

I'm trying to get things done in anticipation of the surgery and whatnot, but it's really hard. Not only is there a lot to do, the bills are starting to come in, and I'm getting really depressed about it. I haven't had enough work so far this year, but even though I suddenly have a bunch of stuff coming in, it's not going to be paid for a while yet. Even with the ACA still hanging on, this country is majorly fucked up about health care costs, and it's pretty easy to go bankrupt even with insurance.

Last night we went to see the documentary Score, about composing music for films, at this teeeny local theatre that was the first art house in Seattle way back in the '60s. I hadn't known it was still in business--it's run by vounteers now, and the lobby is now a restaurant so the actual theatre is about one-tenth the size it used to be. The movie was great--if you have a chance to watch it, you should: there were some really good reminiscences by directors and other composers about some of the legends, and interviews with all kinds of fascinating film composers, plus a glimpse into the process of recording film scores.

My only complaints were one I shared with feochadn, which was that a guy went on and on about King Kong (the first real movie score) being cheesy and stupid, and that the music was the only thing that helped audiences get over the cheesy and stupid, which is utterly, patently false and doesn't understand the audience dynamic at the time the original King Kong was released. And my second gripe was that as they talked about modern scores and unique or avant garde approaches, they interviewed and spent quite a bit of time following the guy who did the utterly forgettable Age of Ultron score instead of spending any time with Henry Jackman, who did the Winter Soldier score, which most people I know still talk about with a certain amount of awe. Especially because I think it would have dovetailed nicely with talking about the "game-changing" soundtrack for the Social Network by Trent Reznor (I'm not one of the people who think it was game-changing, but whatever), and they did talk to Henry Jackman, but only for a microscopically short time. Plus, they didn't list Winter Soldier in his credits, and that was…weird to me. And it's not my own blind prejudice for anything related to Winter Soldier--I've read so many people talking about the amazing things he did with that score, especially regarding the Soldier himself, and it just seems like a huge missed opportunity in the modern section…and instead we got fucking Ultron. I'd defy anyone to remember anything unique or special about the music in that movie. But I still definitely recommend seeing Score if you can, and stay for the credits and James Cameron's dicussion of James Horner's score for Titanic. (It's in a couple cities right now, and rolling around other parts of the country for the next few months--you can find out where on the web site linked above.)

I wish I knew how you find a therapist. I am very lonely and depressed, and there's no one to talk to here, but I just don't know how you go about finding someone you mesh with, and who's competent, and one you can afford (the importance of either can be switched). I mean, I've met some truly shitty people in RL who I find out later are therapists and it's like O.o so the idea of going into this cold doesn't thrill me.
gwyn: (middleman german film)
::glares at [personal profile] kore for getting Gap Band stuck in my head::

What a weird day today. It started by getting up earlier than I would like, especially since I couldn't sleep last night, to talk to the people who help me out with the ginormous garden that I can no longer manage by myself. Then I had to go off to an appointment with the genetic counseling specialists, who were going to do an intake evaluation before setting up an appointment with the doctor later. I thought it was just going to be me answering questions about my history (my repetitive answer: I don't know, because outside of questions about my sister, I have no idea what my family history is as I'm adopted) but it turned out to involve all this strange stuff.

First they asked me questions and the nurse doing the interview was…odd and not a very effective communicator, and then they told me I'd have to do another blood draw and I was very unhappy about that, because one of the reasons I'd gone in for a blood draw after the CT scan was so they'd be able to run all these tests. It's nearly impossible to get a vein on me and I just finally got rid of the awful bruises from the last one and the CT scan and I'm really sick of them, and she didn't seem to understand it well but there was an alternative that involved spitting a lot, or at least she seemed to think so. We agreed to that (like, I had to tell her three times that yes, I would prefer that test), and then they make you watch this little video from the genetic testing company, and then call the number on the phone there where you'll talk to yet another person about the same sorts of questions.

I was supposed to meet up with someone afterward, and when I finished watching the video I had to send them email saying I wouldn't be there at the appointed time--which, ha ha, turned out to be unnecessary because the little video tablet was an hour off; I'd seen 3:08 and wondered how the hell it had been over an hour when it turned out it had only been about 40 minutes. It's…annoying to have to keep explaining my situation over and over, and then listen to the obligatory sympathy. It's not that I don't appreciate their kind wishes and their condolences about my sister, I do, I really do. It's just that, I don't know, I thought all this paperwork was going through and instead they were asking me why I was there/calling, as though this was satisfying curiosity on my part or something. I had to keep explaining that the surgeon wanted to see if I had genetic markers for ovarian cancer so we could determine what, if anything, should be done while I'm in surgery for the tumor removal.

Anyway, after a lot of fumbling and confusion, they brought me this little kit, and I had to spit into this funnel to a certain line, and then mix it with some kind of liquid. It…is really, really hard to generate that much spit in a short amount of time. So, lesson for using it as lube in slash stories--unless your human is super drooly, they're probably not going to be able to do that (and spit is terrible lube anyway).

She didn't seem to know what she was doing, and so I'm not confident about this, but it goes off to their lab and then supposedly they call me and we move forward. I kept asking about insurance, and no one would really talk to me about it--they said that once they call me, I can decide to go forward or not, but if insurance won't cover this, I know it's very expensive and it's not something I can really think about, considering the costs I'll incur from major surgery. But it was frustrating, because no one was committing to what had to be done re: insurance, and how I find out whether this is covered or not. Since my insurance company is weaseling out of the ACA exchange next year, I have this terrible feeling they'll be a lot less willing to approve things for those of us who get our insurance that way, because they're evil sons of bitches and should all die in a fire.

So I finally got out of there with very dry mouth, and traffic both ways had been kinda hellacious so my back was really screaming a lot, but I couldn't meet up with my friends, and just went home. I'm trying to get rid of stuff lately, purging a lot of things, and I had this very expensive thing up on Craigslist for a good price, and this woman kept jerking me around about coming to see it, but finally she showed up at 8 and then proceeded to push me into a corner on the price and I felt just tired and bad enough that I went, fine, whatever. I took an instant dislike of her, and she wanted to know about this nearby restaurant but I was thinking, ugh, go away, take the damn thing and stop talking to me about how cute my neighborhood is and how you want to move to West Seattle and what a hard day you're having.

All I could think was "bitch, I have cancer" and that made me want to laugh. So that's my new mantra, and I'm combining it with something a friend told me to do, which is start making a list of, like, all the dog breeds you can name in your head when people are talking about things you don't want to hear, which they are doing A LOT of lately. I'd forgotten, since it's been a while, how much everyone loves to tell you what to think/feel/do when you get sick.
gwyn: (steve rogers shield)
Just a little vignette for Steve's 99th birthday.

We Could Just Run Them Red Lights (3030 words) by gwyneth rhys
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers
Characters: Steve Rogers, James "Bucky" Barnes
Additional Tags: Service Dogs, Bucky Barnes Recovering, Steve Rogers and the 21st Century, Bucky Barnes the Dog Whisperer
Series: Part 3 of War Dogs
Summary:

Steve wanted a different celebration: to honor a part of their past and move forward into a new kind of future.



___

And I woke up to the most wonderful surprise today: [archiveofourown.org profile] reena_jenkins posted a podfic of Dream of Caramel: or, A Recipe for Disaster, and it's just delightful! She has an amazing reading of Clint, a special guest for his inner all-caps monologues, and makes fantastic use of the music that runs through Clint's head throughout the story. I can't wait to listen to more. If you've ever wondered what a podfic of that story would be like, now you can hear it!
gwyn: (bucky confusedface)
Keep meaning to post, but haven't had the spoons. I saw the surgeon on Thursday, and she seems pretty cool, as doctors go. My own regular doctor is so amazing she hasn't taken new patients in years, because none of us will leave her and we bond in the waiting area about how afraid we are of when she finally retires, so she's a hard person to live up to, and I'm not fond of going to doctors anyway.

It'll be a lot more invasive than I thought--I'll be in the hospital for 3-5 days. She said she has patients who live alone all the time, but that it's just helpful to have someone to do things like cat care or take me to appointments or just go get me a sandwich, because I won't be able to drive for a few weeks. There are tons of risks, of course, and that's mostly all I can think about, even though everyone keeps telling me about their relative or friend who had colon cancer and is fine now. Your mind just gets into a loop. She was interested in sending my information to the genetics lab there to see if they thought I should consider getting my ovaries yanked; the fact that my twin sister died of ovarian cancer at 45 was of interest to her and she said it's only just extra time in surgery to remove them, nothing else.

Apparently they can't stage the cancer till it's out, so no, I don't know what stage it's at and won't till after the end of August. And she was fine with me going to Vividcon; with the genetic workup it'd be a few weeks anyway before they would do surgery and that wouldn't allow me enough recovery time to go to the con, and she said she's had patients who were taking around the world cruises and things, so it wasn't an unreasonable request. If I was angling for three months, then she'd get worried, but I feel like I'm pushing it with two months. Her vacation schedule and mine overlapped, and the next available appointment after she got back wasn't till August 30, because all the surgery days were booked. Who knew colorectal surgery was such a booming business.

It's just…very weird to know you're walking around with cancer growing inside yourself for two months. All of a sudden everything my body does seems terrifying and suspicious and potentially deadly. People kept telling me the other night that there are all these people who can come help out around the house after I get home, but then five minutes later were talking about their trips that are happening at the same time, so that's something I still have to work out. All I have is a couch to sleep on, there's no real room for any kind of mattress, it's just not an ideal situation here. Not to mention it's all just so gross and horrible.

OTOH I now know more than I ever wanted to about the systems down there. And my god, the prep for surgery is so freaking complicated. Special drinks, special soap and showers to take, all this stuff to think about. I have to start calling around and finding out about insurance, too, after the holiday--I'm sure that'll be super fun. There are so many little things to think about--I have to elevate the bed, and fix the windows so that they're easier to open and close (it'll be hot out and we don't have AC much here) and probably make it more accessible to feed Blues on the counter. And I remember after the gall bladder removal how I had no appetite for weeks, and how slow it felt to get back to normal.

In the meantime there is work to do, and fic for different things. I'm going to add a tag so that if you don't want to read see these updates on your dash you can filter out "the cancer" and not read them. Last weekend was especially lonely and depressing, but I imagine there'll be more, I'm feeling extremely alone and hopeless, and I can't promise I won't write about that, so feel free to filter.
gwyn: (8ball wizzicons)
[personal profile] goss has created a cool new community for fan artists called Drawesome. If you're an artist or just interested, go check it out. I keep thinking about trying to learn to draw--I'm completely wihtout talent, I can't even draw stick figures, and I really don't know how to even go about it, but I'm surrounded by artists and they're always grousing at me that anyone can learn, you don't have to be born with talent. I don't believe this, but I still want to learn, at some point.

Drawesome on DW
[community profile] drawesome: A Drawing Community for Fan-Artists



___

I haven't been making this public much yet, but I feel like I have to, just so everyone knows what's going on. They found a cancerous tumor during the colonoscopy Thursday, so…yeah. Guess who has cancer. Did you guess me? You're correct!

It's weird, I've been expecting this for years, but not this one: I figured it'd be melanoma or the thing that killed my twin sister, ovarian cancer. This one is my ultimate nightmare--I'm phobic as hell about bodily functions, and there's so much awful stuff that results from colon cancer that I'm completely freaked out about.

I don't see the surgeon till Thursday so right now I don't know much. I had a CT scan yesterday to see if there's more cancer anywhere else and additional bloodwork, and then I had to put on my everything's normal face and go do a guest lecture at the UW. This one woman waited till I was saying thanks goodbye to pop up with a question, and to say she had resting bitch murderface is to put it mildly; I wouldn't be surprised if her whole family was axed to death and they're buried in her basement. And she asked this totally angry, pissed off question and I just didn't have spoons to answer so I was like a deer in the headlights.

Anyway, my biggest fear is that this means I can't go to Vividcon. Like, I care way less about my life, especially these days, and am totally willing to wait till after so I can go. I have a feeling they will not like this. But it's the one thing keeping me together. Not to mention very expensive nonrefundable tickets. The doctor kept stressing how early they'd found it and how good that was. But he also smiled when he said I might have cancer so who knows what's going on with him. Oh and also I got notice that the insurance I have through the ACA is going away next year--the only reason I was able to afford the colonoscopy was that this insurance was really good, and the only other decent one doesn't work with my doctor and clinic. So even if the fucking republicans take everything away in two years, I'm out for 2018 just when I need it most. (And they're such fucking liars, they blame this on market volatility and say it was such a hard decision…no, it's not, you just want more money lining your bonus pockets.)

I'm turning off comments, even though yes, I am really sad and depressed and feeling very lonely. My family's all gone, and most everyone lives far from me or useless (like, I love my BFF, but he's useless) so it's a lot to expect of people. It's been hard just doing day to day stuff like I'm fine. But I have a lot of this in my future so I have to get used to it. I hate the not knowing the most, though.
gwyn: (steve rogers shield)
Celluloid Hero (29728 words) by gwyneth rhys
Chapters: 6/?
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe, Golden Age Hollywood Actors
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Steve Rogers, Bette Davis, John Garfield, USO Tour Dancers (Marvel), Original Characters, Barbara Stanwyck, Gene Tierney, William Powell, Cary Grant, Randolph Scott, Jack Warner, Delmer Daves, Ida Lupino, Hedy Lamarr
Additional Tags: Golden Age Hollywood, Hollywood Canteen, World War II, The Star-Making Machinery, Propaganda, someone's going to get his V-card punched, and by someone I mean Steve, Letters, Minor Bucky Barnes/Steve Rogers, First Motion Picture Unit, Pining Steve, Period Typical Everything
Summary:


The talk of the town last night was Captain America’s star-spangled appearance at the Hollywood Canteen, where the ladies swooned and the gentlemen cheered. Rumor has it he will be meeting with studio heads to discuss bringing his patriotic man with a plan to the silver screen.



Chapter 6 finally posted! In which Steve doesn't do well at his own premiere, learns how to play the Hollywood game, gets to know Ida Lupino and Hedy Lamarr, and receives a very important envelope.

Vid beta?

Jun. 21st, 2017 06:00 pm
gwyn: (vids)
Would anyone be interested in betaing a Star Wars vid? I have some tweaks to make but if everything goes well on the (ugh gross awful) colonoscopy tomorrow, I should be able to have a copy ready by tomorrow evening. The bad part is that it's due on Friday, so I kind of don't have a lot of time.

It's the original trilogy and Rogue One and The Force Awakens if that matters.
gwyn: (flashpoint asshat)
You know, I'm well aware that I'm not the kind of fan writer that people go "oh, she posted a new story, I'm going to go read immediately." But having someone say they saved your story till they ran out of good fic is…just astoundingly tone-deaf, nasty, and demoralizing.

Thursday I'm having a dreaded medical procedure that I've been avoiding for years. Now that I'm officially an Old, my doctor's wanted me to have a colonoscopy, especially since my twin died of cancer, any kind of screening test is pretty important--and we don't know any other medical family history, since I'm adopted. I really, really hate bodily functions things. Like, I'm nearly phobic about talking about it, and I flap my hands and sing la-la-la really loudly whenever people talk about it. So I really, really do not want to do this, but since the fucking Republicans are determined to take away any health care I can have, and I earned so little the previous year that I qualified for a lower deductible, my doc and I decided to take ALL the tests this year. I just had a new MRI for my back (nothing useful, still nothing to be done that will really help), and now this, and there's some other things I'm hoping to do later on while I have the chance.

I have a bit more to write on the next chapter of Celluloid Hero and then should be able to send to beta and post, then I have to get started on the pod-together story, and meanwhile I'm desperately racing to finish this Star Wars vid for the Premieres show at Vividcon. Still have a little under half to go, it's taking forever and making me cry. Why can't I find a nice, horizontal hobby where I can lie down and not be in agonizing pain?
gwyn: (bucky steve mouths)
Save my life and I’ll save yours (24272 words) by gwyneth rhys, Elendrien
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers
Characters: Steve Rogers, James "Bucky" Barnes, Natasha Romanov, Sam Wilson, Sharon Carter (Marvel), Tony Stark, Everett Ross, Helmut Zemo
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Captain America: Civil War (Movie), Spies & Secret Agents, Espionage, the Moscow Rules, cap family, Accidental Kitten Rescue, Military Commendations, Bucky Barnes Recovering, Protective Steve Rogers
Summary:


What if Bucky had actually escaped in Bucharest?


Now the race is on to find out who framed the Winter Soldier—and why. Cap and his family of soldiers and spies must rely on old-school tradecraft, coded messages, covert meetings, mistaken identities, and the Moscow Rules to bring Steve back together with Bucky.



I feel like my whole life I've been working on this fic. It's taken so much effort, and I have no idea why…oh wait, I know: it's because I was trying to make sense of the incoherent. But now it's up, with the art, including a cute sketch of Bucky rescuing a kitten, because gratuitous self-indulgent animal rescue is how I roll. Hope you enjoy!

Now onward to the Hollywood WIP and infinity and beyond!

WTF

Jun. 9th, 2017 12:48 pm
gwyn: (slings & arrows wtf)
So I have to take a work break to write this out because I'm still sort of WTFing about this today. A while ago I was writing about how I'd had a few requests to translate a fanwork but how I figured at this point, after more than a year in some cases, I was never going to see them (and of course, right after I wrote that someone posted a translation into Russian of one of them). Even though I give blanket permission to translate, I've noticed people still will ask, usually in comments on AO3 but sometimes on Tumblr.

I got a message from the person who'd asked about translating the Groundhog Day story I can't remember how this started (but I can tell you exactly how it ends); she'd left a really sweet comment and said that there was nothing like it in Russian and would it be okay if she translated? I said yes and thanked her for her lovely comment. On Tumblr last night she sent me a private message, though, saying she was the person who wanted to translate it--and between autocorrect and language difficulties, I'm not totally sure I understood everything completely, but that she wasn't feeling really sure about it (I did love that she said Russian grammar is terrible, because man, I feel that, I think grammar in every language is terrible!) but she'd had a lot of trouble finding anyone who would check the translation for her.

She said that she finally found some girls who would look it over but that she had to bring it to what sounds like possibly some kind of con or gathering (a "fest") at the end of the summer; she said they would only look at it then, and that she had to delete the comment on the story at AO3. Which I just…what kind of weird Russian mean-girl shit is that? Like, you can't have a trail of asking for permission to translate, or you can't have a trail that you liked the story and left a comment? I can't figure it out for the life of me, it struck me as SO WEIRD. Cultural differences, yadda yadda, but I felt so bad for her that they were putting her in this position just because she was excited by a fanwork and wanted to have a translation out in the world, and also, deleting a comment affects the author, too. I mean, it's the most-commented on story I have so it's not a huge deal, but that's not saying a lot, as I don't tend to get a lot of them--so their demands affect both people, the translator and the writer, in a really odd way.

I responded that of course I remembered her, and I was glad she'd found someone to check the translation and that of course I was sorry to see her lovely comment deleted, but that it was her comment and so she should do whatever she wanted with it, and that I hoped the fest would be fun. But I couldn't stop puzzling over that: why they would only look at it there and why they would demand that she remove the comment on the fic. It's just so peculiar.

ETA: So it turns out that this is actually a legit fest thing with some seriously hard core rules, which you can read some explanations of in the comments! I assumed that it was something negative because her message sounded so sad and frustrated and anxious, but I'm hoping that it'll turn out to be a great experience for her.
gwyn: (spuffy band kathyh)
I had just started checking my flists the instant the Vividcon announcement was posted, and so for a while I was just sitting there in shock and sadness and of course no one was posting about it because it had just happened. I spent the rest of the day just being miserable and sad, finally checked back and there had been some reactions. Seems like a lot of people are "shrug, whatever" and fine with it, but I am not. When your life is pretty shitty, having something to look forward to, people you love and only get to see in one or two places a year, is important, and this means I'll never again see a lot of people who mean very much to me, after next year's con. This fannish thing is something I'm stuck with, I've always been one and I will always be one, and having places to participate with that is incredibly important to me. And yeah, okay, I understand what they're saying (although I can't help wondering if an every-other-year format wouldn't help, I don't know), but it still feels very much like I'm/we're losing Sandy and Zen and Abby all over again, and that really fucking hurts.

On the other hand, I had a laugh yesterday when I got a notification that one of the fic translations I'd mentioned in my last post actually was posted; I really had given up on all of these things because it had been soooo long. If you ever wanted to read Your 21st-Century Boy in Russian/Русский, this is now a thing you can do! It's really fascinating to me how fans translate fic, especially things that have cultural nuances and idioms that might not be easily translated, and it was fun talking to secretlytodream about the "takes a village" approach she used to make sure she was getting everything right.

These kinds of things, I guess, are why I will always be a fangirl, even when I'm not really into anything in particular.
gwyn: (work feh infinitemonkeys)
I guess because I don't have enough on my plate stressing me the fuck out lately all the time, I've decided to sign up for the [community profile] pod_together challenge where writers and podficcers work together to create something specifically to be podficced. I've never done any challenges besides Yuletide until the Stucky Big Bang last year, and I'm doing the Cap Reverse Big Bang (my posting date is June 12, just saying--I don't expect this fic to go anywhere, but at least now I can say I've done something other than the disastrous SBB). This seemed different, and I figure it's probably one of the few shots I have at seeing something podficced--part of the fun is the idea of seeing if I can create something with that in mind, it really does feel like a challenge. Plus it's smallish, so that's helpful, and the minimum word count is 1,000, which is doable even with all the stress stuff. Most of which should be done by the time I'd need to write. (If you're interested in the challenge, signups look like they close June 3, so still a couple days.)

There's something really squeeful, for me, about having fanworks of your fanworks, maybe you get jaded and it's no big deal when it happens a lot to you, but it's so rare for me that I still get excited. Which I wish I didn't--in the past year or so I've been told that someone podficced Dream of Caramel: or, a Recipe for Disaster like, over a year ago, but that they had to edit it and at this point I've come to accept that it will never see the light of day; I've had at least four people ask if they could translates fics into Russian, and got really excited about that, but again, they will likely never see the light of day; and had someone mention wanting to make a playlist, and again…you get the picture. I should know better than to get excited, and yet every time I do, and every time I get disappointed and then feel like a putz for doing so. It's not that I can read the other languages, it's just…it's the thing I love most about fandom, this unique fannish thing where we create works off of each others' works, a circular world where we're in cahoots. The podfic thing is the heartbreaker, for me--I could actually listen to that, and that story in particular always seemed like it could be fun because it has a built-in soundtrack, and I get sad every time I think about it. Anyway.

The Vividcon premieres vid is not…going. And the deadline is fast approaching, I don't know if I can do this in the time I have. I still don't have the original trilogy footage. Arg. I'm in full panic mode right now, I also found out that the copy of the particular remix of the song I have is protected, it's so old--back when iTunes put restrictions on using the songs. So I have to deal with that too. It's easy to find other remix versions but the one I want is harder to find. I hate everything right now.

The vertigo is getting a little better--there are moments where it's still unpleasant, usually when I'm getting up from bed or a chair, but yesterday I was able to get through the whole day without feeling like I was going to ralph if I moved too quickly. I still can't walk a straight line, and have to be careful not to tilt my head up or down much, but maybe it's on the mend? Who knows.
gwyn: (ordinary day _silent_rage_)
I keep falling down on my promise to post more. Everything happens so much.

The BPPV/head situation is continuing, long after most of the attacks have usually gone away. I'd been doing the exercises but they made only surface improvements this time: I can walk upright and drive pretty easily, but looking up or down, or turning my head at an angle in any kind of recline/looking up will make me wobbly for quite a while. It's made daily chores such…chores--the house was so gross so I finally had to vacuum and that was a study in Tilt-a-Whirl terror, and cleaning stuff like the sink or tub is a challenge I don't want to accept. I was in the store the other day and had to bend down to get something off a low shelf and then got treated to someone who thought I was drunk in public. I liked the idea a friend has: wearing a sign that says "not drunk, just wobbly." Anyway, much as I don't want to go in, I might have to get pro help this time.

I've been working away on my Cap Reverse Big Bang fic, it's up to 22,000 words now. No one said they're good words, but there's a lot of them. The artist is squeeful about Bucky's kitten rescue in it, so she might draw a second piece about that. Since the art is basically Steve and Bucky fucking, the sex scene was obligatory, and I don't know why but that made writing it about 10,000 times harder. I've made two editing passes--honestly, the first one wasn't even so much of an editing pass as a complete rewrite, almost nothing stayed untouched--and I hope I can make another, because it's such crap that it really needs more work. It's very plotty (I think the artist was unhappy at first because I was getting plot all over her "I just want a fluffy reunion sex scene") and I'm trying to make sense of Civil War as a canon-divergence AU, so it's very complicated and I keep finding plot holes and logic flaws that I have to correct--wait, no, if they do that, then they can't do this.

This is complicated by the fact that I have a book edit that came in late but they're not changing the deadline (yes, this is typical), and the fact that I'm my usual mentally ill self and am pre-emptively depressed about posting the fic. I'm kind of right in the middle of the posting schedule, and I'm seeing all these stories with hundreds of notes but a couple with only a few, and I know damn well that'll be mine, too, and it makes me feel…really bleh. There will probably be a lot of fic fatigue by then, and my SBB fic last year pretty much bombed, so it kind of feels like that, even with the well-run tumblr reblogging postings and giving the visibility we didn't have in the SBB. I try to get the brain weasels that eat me up about this off the hamster wheel that says "nobody cares" but they steadfastly refuse to move.

But I have to post, so I will. And just try to make it the best it can be, even if only my pals will read it. And I need to really get back to working on Celluloid Hero, which I had to put on hold, because I know there is a handful of people who are reading that one. Plus there's the Vividcon premieres vid. I've never vidded Star Wars before so this will be really interesting. I'm really looking forward to reading some of the CapRBB stories, though, once I finish with mine, though one of the ones I'm most looking forward to is coming at the end, [personal profile] sineala's 616 Bucky Barnes and Marvel Noir Tony Stark together. ::waves tentacle pom-poms in your general direction::

Anyway, that's what's new with me--weirdness and just being a dithering idiot and emotional basket case. How's by you?
gwyn: (vids)
Might there be anyone willing to beta my Club Vivid vid? It still needs a few things smoothed out and credits, but since it's been such a tricky vid for me to make, I would love a different set of eyes on it. It's Steve Rogers with Sam and Bucky and Peggy. The deadline is the 12th and so it would be something I'd need input on pretty quickly.

One of the reasons I've pushed it so far up against deadline is that I've been battling vertigo for over a week now, and I keep thinking it'll go away because I've been doing my exercies to get the particles back where they belong, but it's still hanging around, making me have trouble focusing, etc. I have an MRI for my back scheduled for Friday and I really hope it's gone by then, but at this rate, I don't know. The first few days were pretty brutal--the usual fight not to vomit, not being able to sleep because the room wouldn't stop spinning, etc. It's really compounded by my spine issues--I can't sit for long, but standing all the time isn't an option either, and so when I lie down to save my back from screaming agony, it makes the BPPV worse and then I'm fighting not to throw up. They tell you to avoid reclining chairs and to sleep with two pillows, neither of which are options for me because of pain levels. So damned by spinning and vomiting if I do, damned by severe pain if I don't. Bleh.

I have to get started on a premieres vid, too, but I haven't been able to do that either. Too much stuff. I really want to do a Star Wars vid, but getting workable copies of the first three movies seems to be a challenge I can't meet (my dvds, as an example, were so locked down by Luscasfilm's drm that I've never found a program that could rip them) and when I've looked at torrents all I find are mkvs. I'm a little nervous about trying to remove drm from Force Awakens and Rebel One, too, but I'm so in love with my idea that I can't quite let go of it. Vidding is hard, yo.
gwyn: (bucky confusedface)
I'm kind of reluctant to post this anywhere just because the only two people who even want this ship are me and the person I wrote it for as a birthday present, but in the interest of finding something to post when I'm this down, I'm doing so. This is only baby's second crossover, and with an even smaller audience than the first one!

Four Times Quinn Encountered the Winter Soldier, and One Time the Soldier Engaged (4076 words) by gwyneth rhys
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Homeland, Captain America (Movies)
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Peter Quinn
Characters: Peter Quinn, James "Bucky" Barnes
Additional Tags: Winter Soldier Bucky Barnes, Assassins & Hitmen, honey traps, Spies & Secret Agents, Precious Fucked Up Assassin Babies
Summary:

What a fucking waste if they’re keeping him somewhere off the grid when he’s not on the clock; he’s a walking wet dream. “I’m not in the habit of not reciprocating a fantastic blowjob.”

gwyn: (hearts wizzicons)
To all the people who've helped me out with the cost of the hard drive repair--thank you so, so much. It means a lot to me, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. Especially since I was the dumbass who never did a better backup system than, you know, using this drive in the first place till it was too late.

My hope is that at some point soon I can start identifying a place to host the digitzed vids (i'm not necessarily thrilled with my vids site host and have been talking with Mrs. Killabeez about migrating my personal and professional web sites elsewhere), and then start putting things online and maybe with the help of some of the other cannibals, put the handful of vids that are digitally remastered onto Critical Commons. I have an account there, but have never actually taken action on using it--not enough spoons, etc. etc.--but I can do that because I think it'll be a good place for those things to exist, since they're a part of fannish vidding history. And then I don't have to worry about stupid YouTube blocking them or whatever.

Now I just have to find the…energy and ability to do these things. When you can't even get out of bed in the morning, it's hard sometimes to look at this stuff and want to do it, but I know that as the unintentional and unelected keeper of these things, it's something I gotta do.

Heavy sigh

Apr. 24th, 2017 04:10 pm
gwyn: (8ball wizzicons)
Back in January, during the Snowflake Challenge, I mentioned that one of the things I've avoided doing for a couple years now was taking a dead hard drive with all the Media Cannibals vid remasters and digital copies in to a data recovery service, because I couldn't really handle the cost and still do any of the things I wanted to do, like take a vacation. And I floated the idea of crowdfunding it, but it makes me squirmy, asking people for financial help when so many are in serious need. An anonymous benefactor contacted me and offered to pay for the whole thing as long as the vids would make their way online, and I was really humbled and grateful, so I finally took it in to a data recovery service because of their generosity.

It turned out the service said they could have the manufacturer repair the thing that went bad inside the drive without sending it to one of those clean facilities, so they sent it off to the drive manufacturer and it was a simple repair (that took, inexplicably, 2 months of back and forthing with the local company I worked with and driving those guys crazy because they'd ping them at, like, three a.m.), and I got it back today. I haven't hooked it up yet, but I plan to soon, and pull everything off that drive.

Unfortunately…in the meantime, I must have said something that pissed my anonymous benefactor off, or done something, because they recently unfriended me (uncircled? what do we call it on DW?) and haven't responded to the private email I sent about the update. I could contact them again, but I feel kind of uncomfortable about it, I feel like they've made it clear they don't necessarily want to deal with me anymore, although they've been cordial to me when I've commented in their journal or others' journals. (Look, there's a reason Lit's My Own Worst Enemy is my theme song.)

And I also did the commission of the art I posted the other day, which, while not very much money at all, makes me feel even weirder about crowdfund help for the cost of the hard drive repair. So I'm really feeling…stupid and embarrassed about all of this, but hey, the drive's here, yay. I figured I'd at least just float my PayPal address out here, I guess, and if anyone feels like throwing a few bucks my way toward the $300 and change the drive cost to repair, I'll embarrassedly offer you my profuse thanks and also start trying to figure a way to get the vids digitized and hosted somewhere so that people can access them once again. My PP address is gwynethr at gmail dot com, and note that r on the end of gwynethr --you'd be amazed how many times people have left that out and things vanish into the ether (or someone else's email inbox). I guess if it's sent as a gift there's no fee? I'm not sure, really, I've never done this before.

ETA: You guys are so generous and thoughtful, seriously, but I really mean it when I say A COUPLE BUCKS. I know things are hard for a lot of people right now and a big chunk of change is not required, I don't want anyone to use funds they could put to something else more necessary!

Squeeeee

Apr. 22nd, 2017 03:46 pm
gwyn: (bucky end of the line)
A while ago, the artist who made the three incredible pieces for my Stucky Big Bang story opened up a few commissions slots, and even though I had to dip into the "sell a few things for funds" pot, I really wanted to work with her again. I gave her a couple of fics that she could use for the commission idea, if she wanted, and she really liked my Christmas fluff piece War Dogs, so she arted the first scene in that fic. I am just so thrilled with this, I can't say, it captures the way Bucky befriended the guard dog and their connection together, and I'm all flaily.

bucky and gretel


There's a tumblr post here if you prefer that sort of thing, and after a lot of hair-tearing I finally figured out how to put the image in the fic (the instructions in the AO3 FAQ are completely utterly useless).
gwyn: (steve rogers fullhouse)
One of the things I'm really enjoying about writing Celluloid Hero, my Steve Rogers Goes to Golden Age Hollywood and Makes Some Movies, is the research and figuring out which real people to bring in and which to make up. I always love research, anyway, especially in the film world and WWII because I have a fuckton of books and articles and whatnot to flip through, but it's particularly fun with this story because I get to bring back all those memories from my teenage years, when I was a raging film buff and think about the different types of actors and films I responded to most.

It's fun getting to slip little nods to this or that into it--I'm not sure if anyone but me is watching Feud: Bette and Joan on FX right now, but it's been a riot seeing all these little elements I've turned up in my own research for my silly little story also turning up in the series at the same time. Like, when I was talking about which actress would punch Steve's v-card with [personal profile] dorinda and she mentioned the rumor that Joan Crawford had done stag films, I was almost bouncing in my seat at the restaurant--I knew that was gonna have to go in, some way. And then this week that rumor became a major plot point in Feud and I was squealing with delight. In, I think it might have been the first or second ep they had Hedda Hopper referring to Louella Parsons as an incontinent cow, which delighted me no end because that's something that comes up in a future part of the story, something I found when trying to decide which gossip columnist would terrify Steve--I'd never known that about her despite having read what I'd thought at the time were some pretty detailed articles. If you ever wanted to know about the feud between Hopper and Parsons, there's a Vanity Fair article from quite a few years back in their archives that is magnificent.

Harder, though, has been writing like Louella Parsons wrote for the little tidbits in the story. Not only is there a distinctive style to reporting back in those days, but she had a…quirky voice, let's just say, to begin with, and her fame and power to ruin people's lives amped that up quite a few notches. Copying someone's style--especially one so idiosyncratic--is the hardest parts of these chapters, but it's also kinda fun.

And then there are the people whose histories have been so manipulated by their estates or by themselves that you don't have anything to really work with, so you have piece together enough of a picture to write a real person who seems believable yet true to their image. Cary Grant and Randolph Scott's long-term relationship is so whitewashed and edited, and their families and homophobic fans so adamant in their denial that they loved each other for decades, is heartbreaking and infuriating, but it also means you have to create things out of the ether because outside of first person memories that are few and far between and some photo shoots of the two of them together, there's next to nothing to work with. And Grant never gave interviews or did press; very little exists out in the world except a few small recordings of him talking on tape--it's almost all people who seem to have a vested interest in maintaining the fictions about him.

But I admit I kind of love this stuff, at the same time, figuring out all the different interpretations or making small nods to real-life people or bringing in places and people that can represent them. In one chapter I mentioned Gene Tierney being super good friends with Howard Stark--in real life, Howard Hughes (who Stark is modeled after) had tried to seduce her but she rejected him, though they stayed friends for the rest of their lives, so I figured why not have the same situation happen for her and Howard Stark? And it was really fun in this latest chapter to bring in Betty Carver from Agent Carter, the damsel in distress version of Peggy she hated so very much. I figured Betty had to come from somewhere, and why not the comics first before she was used in the radio show Peggy loathes.

I do tend to lose myself down a rabbit hole of reading, though, that right now I can't really afford: I need to work on my Cap Reverse Big Bang fic very badly, and I have less than two weeks to make my Club Vivid vid, which I haven't started on because I've had so much trouble conceptualizing it. Plus there's work, and a friend's birthday coming up I'd like to write a fic for that would be literally only us who know and like these characters together, which somehow makes it feel more important since that's a gift that only I could give to only them.

But it's just…kind of all I want to think about, the various ways poor fish out of water Steve would become so disillusioned with this insane place, and the people he would meet, while he makes those films we see in The First Avenger. I figured there had to be at least two, since the Red Skull says "I am a great fan of your films" plural. That would definitely require time there, or wherever he made them, and it offers such a great, sprawling cast of potential characters or people to use as a model for original characters. Plus you can add in all kinds of wartime hijinks and shenanigans or pathos or what have you--it's wide open.

And as much fun as I'm having, I'll be sad when the story ends. But I hope to write a couple of…I don't know, sequels or timestamps or whatever the kids are calling them these days, to show both Steve and Peggy once he sees her again and her reactions to everything, and Steve and Bucky once Bucky finds out about all the things Steve wrote to him about that he never got to see, and maybe even a modern-day story with Steve and Sam about his big Hollywood lifestyle Sam never knew anything about.
gwyn: (skinny steve helmet)
Celluloid Hero (24399 words) by gwyneth rhys
Chapters: 5/?
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe, Golden Age Hollywood Actors
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Steve Rogers, Bette Davis, John Garfield, USO Tour Dancers (Marvel), Original Characters, Barbara Stanwyck, Gene Tierney, William Powell, Cary Grant, Randolph Scott
Additional Tags: Golden Age Hollywood, Hollywood Canteen, World War II, The Star-Making Machinery, Propaganda, someone's going to get his V-card punched, and by someone I mean Steve, Letters, Period Typical Attitudes, Minor Bucky Barnes/Steve Rogers, First Motion Picture Unit
Summary:


The talk of the town last night was Captain America’s star-spangled appearance at the Hollywood Canteen, where the ladies swooned and the gentlemen cheered. Rumor has it he will be meeting with studio heads to discuss bringing his patriotic man with a plan to the silver screen.



Chapter 5: in which Steve sees himself on film for the first time, avoids gossip columnists, attends big Hollywood parties, and notices something suspicious.

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