And that really is it for the moment, I hope, although concert No. 2 was so delayed from the original schedule that we've got another one due in a couple of months...
Fan-fiction progress:( Read more... )
We played the A Minor quartet.
We also have a summary, provisionally at least, and about six hundred words of beginning (two days' concentrated work; at this rate, the story is going to take some time...)
Apparently I made several wrong assumptions so far as the WW1 stuff goes, partly due to cursory reading of inaccurate sources; there was no 'second wave' call-up of older men, so Raoul would have been involved right from the start. After several days' panic I worked out that the dates are about right for him to be on leave (assuming he's an officer; the first leave didn't come through for the general troops until considerably later), although this of course has knock-on effects on everything else. Gustave is rather further away from official call-up age (twenty in France) than I had imagined, although rather closer in reality than the official dates would suggest. And there was no American equivalent of the VAD for untrained women :-(
I hope I don't find any more nasty holes after I've written the material...
(Memo to self: I still need to proof-read the last chapter against the manuscript and fix E.E.'s "globed head and hands" passage...) Done :-D
Blue Remembered Hills
Chapter 1: Outsiders
Olag Gan had never dreamed, in all his born days, that one day he would stand on the flight deck of a starship. But then many things had changed in the long months since he’d killed an armed man with his bare hands; since he’d brought down the Federation trooper who’d left the woman he loved crumpled and lifeless on the street.
There were weeks he preferred not to remember. Weeks of bright light and antiseptic and pain, as his helpless body had been passed from prison cell to test lab as involuntary subject, along with other specimens selected for their strength. Weeks that had left him with a shaved patch on his skull and a dead place in his mind where that act of retaliation had once lain: a metal spider sent its filaments into his brain, locking those impulses now and forever.( Read more... )
I finally got round to doing the picture of 'Rall' and 'Cris' in their crossover "Blake's 7" incarnations that I've been vaguely planning for years -- it started off with the idea of being based on one of my favourite sketches from deviantArt, but once I actually got round to drawing my own version, four years later, the characters took on a look of their own...
Which means that, for the first time in years and years, there is actually no remaining obstacle (other than the physical separation of computer from Internet) remaining between me and publishing my Grand Crossover Story. A very strange and unaccustomed situation.
(Although I do now have to go back and edit the details of the relevant chapter to make it match what's shown in the picture -- my ideas at the time about Federation uniform turned out to be based on a memory of Tarrant's costumes from the final series rather than what anyone in the Federation Space Fleet actually wore!)
And if I'm going to adopt my accustomed habit of posting new chapters here first for a final check-and-edit, it would probably make more sense, before I start, to post the Prologue chapters that are already uploaded to fanfiction.net...
BLUE REMEMBERED HILLS( Prologue-1 )( Prologue-2 )( Prologue-3 )( Prologue-4 )( Prologue-5 )
No doubt I didn't make the holes large enough, although I used the biggest darning-needle I could find and when I tried to enlarge them further they threatened to crack dangerously. But everything I read talked about the difficulty of breaking up the yolk in order to get it out -- my problems were always with the white, which proved gelatinous at best and all too often emerged in solid white chunks which bunged up the hole and had to be fished out with the needle-point. Once I actually got to the yolk, relatively late on in the proceedings, it was quite liquid and came out in a thin stream rather than a bulging lump.
Then trying to open up the holes enough to actually let the tap-water in to rinse out the shell (they kept closing over as the internal membrane of the egg flapped back into position) was almost impossible. I managed to get enough in to blow a thin jet out again under pressure, and when this ran clear I gave up and stuck the egg in the oven to leave it there overnight in an attempt to dry it out inside. It still smelt eggy when I sniffed the hole :-(
Whatever remains in the morning should at least be dried-on egg rather than raw egg, which is probably less likely to go off in a hurry once decorated.... I did have ideas of doing two eggs in different designs, but I am definitely not going through all that again!
At any rate, I've got a framework for the beginning (Raoul with his old uniform from the Reserves, writing his second letter and getting flashes back from the first letter), an opening for the carriage scene (scratches from Meg--rumours about Gustave--future children--Christine with the Phantom--but he put her there), and the essential New Backstory for their estrangement and the gambling, as required for every LND story :-p
(He had married a woman, not an opera--he had denied her nothing in those days--when she wanted to go back to the stage, the child had affected her voice--gradual alienation from the avoidance of caresses that could go no further--cousin Rodolphe de Sessaies went to Monte Carlo--Christine encouraged him to go with them--a drunken girl staked her pearl necklet and he won it against his watch--to give to Christine, like a boy with a fairing--things were better for a while, and he went again, but it didn't stop there. He was a rich man, after all, richer than Rodolphe--he could afford to lose--and then he couldn't)
Then Gustave wakes to ask again about Christine -- she will hate me. Back to letter.
As I said, apparently I am writing this story, like it or not! So it looks as if I need to work out the deal with the Phantom (always my weak point).
Finally created a Gustave tag and went all the way back to 2012 again (240 posts) looking for all the posts where I would have tagged him had the tag existed at the time. I found twenty-two — plus this one. A waste of a very considerable amount of time, since character tags are really not that helpful on Dreamwidth.
(But then very few of the others are either, once they get used sufficiently often to make it difficult to find the specific entry I'm looking for...)
I'd have to be careful, because this is actually a plotline I've seen done in fan-fiction, albeit in a somewhat different vein. ( plot elements so far )
( Notes on French Army in WW1 )
Here are some daffodils that were busy growing outside (not a real painting, but a pencil sketch 'coloured in' with watercolours)
And here is Major Thania from the B7 episode "Trial", copied from the Sevencyclopedia as part of my push towards finally getting "Blue Remembered Hills" published -- sadly she is not going to feature in the story, but I thought I might pinch her smart uniform as a basis for my Rall's clothing; I really can't see the officer cadets running round in baggy Federation troopers' overalls, somehow.
Since there doesn't actually seem to be a sign-up link, either on this page or the Russian-language agreement to which it points, signing up would seem to be a little difficult... So that looks like the end of even cursory participation in my LiveJournal account, then. (I was still using it very occasionally to comment on phanwank, for example.)
The grand "Blake's 7"/"Phantom of the Opera" crossover project that I started in response to a forum challenge ("least likely crossovers") back in December 2013 is finally typed up and -- barring some proofreading on the final two-and-half-thousand words -- completely computerised. The challenge is long since over, the forum itself is now defunct, and I did wonder with increasing urgency whether the computer itself would survive long enough to see the end of the story... but it's done. The final few months went considerably quicker once I'd given up on trying to get the chapters properly beta-read, alas, but I think the improvement in quality achieved thereby was probably not worth the enormous delay caused by lack of communication at the other end and massive procrastination on my part when it came to tackling edits.( Read more... )
Most of the film ranged from mediocre to downright annoying -- I don't know how I would have reacted if I hadn't been mentally comparing it to the animated version, which charmed me so much that I remember buying my mother a ticket to make sure she went to see it, but in comparison with that version I felt it came off very badly. ( Read more... )
( Read more... )
It might possibly have worked if the tin had been less warped and if I'd spread the mixture out more carefully (though it was pretty runny, and I thought it had found its own level); as it was, the sponge ended up much too thick in the middle and very thin at one end, so it was obvious that it wasn't going to roll up. It didn't.
The issue with this story that I had not anticipated (I was worrying about coming across as whitewashing Raoul, or antagonising Americans by writing a grotesquely caricatured protagonist) is that the readers have spent most of the story wanting to know what 'Erik' is up to, what cunning plans he is going to unleash upon his opponents and how he is reacting to finding himself temporarily foiled. Everyone is waiting for the big showdown... and there simply isn't one. ( Issues with overlooked Phantom )
Chapter 6: Jos Confronts Christine
“He thinks the world of you,” Christine said softly, with a glance at the door. “I am so very grateful.”
And the smart thing to do would have been to leave it there. Take his thanks and go, and leave the lady to sing opera in peace for Hammerstein and the rest, with warm feelings all round. Only... he liked the pair of them, and maybe they were owed something more than that. Than just the easy way out.
“Nice guy — when he’s sober,” Jos said with a sigh. “What d’you reckon his chances at of staying that way? And... was there something you were planning on telling him sometime about the kid?”( Read more... )