tsubame: (wings)
Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 01:54 am
I was at Sensei's house one time, and his son, and some of his son's friends, were studying in the kitchen. Sensei asked my then-roommate and I if we would come downstairs so that the kids could try their English on us; we agreed. We went downstairs and answered their questions in our best slow, clear English-teacher voices. I don't remember most of them save the last; they asked us, "what is your favorite place in Kyoto?"

My flatmate said Kiyomizudera, a beautiful temple perched on the mountains to the east of the city. It's the obvious choice, of course: the buildings and grounds are beautiful, there's a view of the city, the temples and relics are old and significant, they illuminate the cherry blossoms in the spring and the maple trees in the autumn, there is a perpetually-flowing spring of pure water you can drink right out of the ground. The road up the mountain is through a charming old district; the shops have been catering to tourists for hundreds of years. The great stage of Kiyomizudera is a miracle of engineering, built without a single nail. It floats among the trees, and catches a refreshing breeze even in the stickiest Kyoto summer. There are fun festivals there; it even boasts credible wisteria which grow on trellises and shade benches where pilgrims can rest. There are charming eateries tucked among the groves of trees beneath the temple. Maiko and geisha regularly come to visit in full regalia, since it is the patron temple of one of Kyoto's "flower towns."

Everyone nodded when my roommate gave her answer; clearly Kiyomizudera is one of the most wonderful places in Kyoto.

Then it was my turn, and I had to think. What place in Kyoto could compare to Kiyomizudera's virtues?

"This house," I said.

xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx

I have no skill at art whatsoever, but I doodle for fun, and thought I might as well put up a few of my slightly-more-credible scribbles. Behind a cut to protect your eyes. Primary mediums are pencil (my favorite cheap-ass Bic mechanicals) and colored pencils.

Pencil Detritus )
tsubame: (wings)
Wednesday, June 1st, 2011 02:30 am
A fascinating link regarding a great editor.

Crowd-sourced publishing. An interesting idea, though we’ll have to wait and see how it goes.

xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx

Edinburgh bears the unfortunate label of “not Japan” in my head, and so I tend to give the place short shrift, and easily forget just how lucky I am to be here. Since the culture and language are much closer to that of my native place, I don’t experience the same degree of foreign-ness, and so I don’t appreciate the city as much as I should.

So it’s good for me to go by North Bridge every once and a while, because out of all the places in the city somehow the view from their reminds me of just how lucky I am. And it reminds me that Edinburgh is an incredible place, a vision in buff stone, a place of history and wonders and mysteries if only I dig beneath the everyday to find them.

And it figures that I don’t have any particularly great photos of the view from there. It’s rather difficult to capture such a grand view on a 2D camera-- half the magnificence is the wonders receding further back into space. Carlton Hill with its whimsical structures falling away to the sky and the far-off waters of the ocean, seagulls wheeling in the wind, the impressive sweep of the bridge over the great ravine that holds the train station, the height of the hills on either side, the ornate stone buildings decorated with mythic beasts and reclining gods . . .


Here’s the one shot I do have of Carlton Hill. They hold the Samhain and Beltain celebrations up there-- both of which I missed, alas. But if I were going to pick a likely spot for magic in Edinburgh this’d be it, with the eclectic buildings, the observatory dome, the obelisk, the tower. It would be a great location for a school of wizardry, a part of the town and yet separate, a lofty place between land and sea, sky and rock, looking over both the cultured city and the barren wildness of Arthur’s Seat.

xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx

I wanted to put up more writing for [livejournal.com profile] saiun_challenge’s birthday celebration, but alas it seems this is all I’m going to manage. And I still have one more bit to write before it’s really complete! ::sobs:: Oh, and I haven’t edited it yet, so it’s probably so terrible as to be embarrassing. But I’m too tired to look it over now, and the deadline will be past if I wait to do so until I’ve had some sleep.

This AU makes me nostalgic for high school. How weird.

Dark Jewels Saiunkoku

Roseford's Queen: Part 1
Roseford's Queen: Part 2
Roseford’s Queen: Part 3

Roseford’s Queen: Part 4 )
tsubame: (demon gold)
Friday, May 20th, 2011 12:59 pm
This is possibly the saddest thing I have ever written for Saiunkoku.

the Death of the Heart )

xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx



Somebody better put up something fluffy, STAT.
tsubame: (foot-mouth)
Thursday, May 5th, 2011 09:46 am
It happens to be the birthday month of [livejournal.com profile] saiun_challenge, which means I need to post a bunch of fics that haven’t gone up thus far. So prepare yourself for an invasion of Saiunkoku AUs . . .

The first being a continuation of one of my previously-posted AUs, which I very simply titled “College” (link is to the ff.net page, since I can’t find the LJ post at the moment). It’s purest insanity. The continuing adventures of Seiran and Ensei. At college. Warnings for language.

College: Unfortunate Acquaintances )
tsubame: (foot-mouth)
Thursday, March 31st, 2011 11:10 pm
I have FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY finished chapter 3 of Demon Hunter! We’re not going to talk about how long I’ve been working on it.

Demon Hunter: Previous Installments
Chapter One: Departure
Chapter Two: The Long Road
Chapter Three: Learning Experience (part 1: Gold)

Chapter Three: Learning Experience (part 2: Soap) )


xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx


One of my previous roommate's cats, Shunki, as an adolescent, having a stretch on my futon. An absolutely gorgeous cat, and well aware of it. Like my Jackl she was also a rescue-- my friend fished her and her littermates out of a box in a river in Tokyo. All went to good homes and have grown up to be wonderful pets. Shunki and her brother Ensei are now living happily in the United States, where they are referred to fondly by my previous roommate as "her Stupids."

The kanji for Shunki's name is "春姫", which translates to "spring princess." Rarely have name and personality suited each other so well in anyone.

xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx

5 Reasons Humanity is Terrible at Democracy

Deeply interesting and informative reading. Terribly depressing, though.

Bioware Tells Straight Men to "Get Over" Being Hit on By Gay Men in "Dragon Age 2"

Good for them. An intelligent and reasoned response to a complaint probably wasn't either.

xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx

A Color of the Sky, by Tony Hoagland )
tsubame: (hey!)
Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 12:38 am

There is a rather remarkable propensity towards flowers in Scotland; hard to believe in a country so far north and yet true. Summer, for instance, is nothing but endless green and gold where I grew up in the States, but here there were more flowering things than I could name. The roses, too, grow splendidly, and last well into fall.

I never did find that camera cord; I ended up replacing it.

xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx

The birds outside our window are dinosaurs. WE NOW HAVE THE BEST FACT.


xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx

while reading the Mauritius Command:

Oh, Stephen. Jack was up all night worrying about you and you come back with an albatross egg and a parrot that speaks French.

xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx

geekery and fanfic in an email today:

I have a crazy Ryuuki, a three-eyed demon Ryuuki, an assassin Ryuuki, a chichi-ue Ryuuki, a Ryuuki hooked up to computers, a ridiculously cute Ryuuki, a Ryuuki with piercings, a courtesan Ryuuki, a dragon Ryuuki . . .

::is beginning to suspect that she's deeply insane::

You know what I don't have? A one-eyed warrior Ryuuki!

::glowing cheerfully at the thought::

::fairly certain that she is quite insane, actually::
tsubame: (hey!)
Saturday, October 30th, 2010 01:35 am
I finished watching Soukyuu no Fafner.

Behind which I am a scary fangirl, without any real spoilers )

Soukyuu no Fafner, or Fafner in the Azure, hereby receives a hearty recommendation from me. GO WATCH IT SO WE CAN FANGIRL TOGETHER.

Nothing good ever comes of of talking to shoulder demons.
tsubame: (foot-mouth)
Tuesday, October 12th, 2010 02:24 am
Thanks to a really incredible review on my Dark Jewels Saiunkoku fic, I was actually motivated to continue writing it. It isn't finished, not by a long shot, but I thought I would type up what I have so far.

Dark Jewels Saiunkoku
Roseford's Queen, Part 1 | Part 2

Roseford's Queen, Part 3 )

xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx xOx

This song is well and truly lodged in my head, and I find myself singing it most everywhere I go.

tsubame: (foot-mouth)
Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 12:01 pm
For reference, I thought I'd put up the glossary I've created to go along with my Cyberpunk fic. This was created for my own convenience, so I could keep track of the terms I was using. I generally prefer to leave the exact definitions up to the reader's imagination, but some prefer a more concrete example.

Cyberpunk AU: Glossary )

This glossary will be updated as more terms are created and require definition.

Previously posted Cyberpunk installments:

Main Storyline

Chapter 1: Welcome Home
Chapter 2: First Day on the New Job
Chapter 3: Search Parameters
Chapter 4 Part 1: Memory Parity Failure
Chapter 4 Part 2: Is it Tuesday?
tsubame: (foot-mouth)
Tuesday, September 7th, 2010 07:27 pm
All right, I managed to do a bit more of Cyberpunk. So hopefully this, plus what was posted earlier, makes for the entirety of Chapter 4. I've thought about adding more to it, but I think that content's going to be pushed back into Chapter 5. Although everyone's thoughts on the matter would be very much appreciated.

Main Storyline

Chapter 1: Welcome Home
Chapter 2: First Day on the New Job
Chapter 3: Search Parameters

Chapter 4 Part 1: Memory Parity Failure

Chapter 4 Part 2: Is it Tuesday? )
Friday, March 23rd, 2007 09:29 pm
The following have made me laugh in recent days:

This page from the webcomic Friendly Hostility. Specifically panels 2 and 3. "Sweet Neietzche, what the hell?!" I DIE.

Maura-san's livejournal. She regularly astounds me with her laconic and utterly original wit. Usually I'm left blinking in bemused, amused astonishment.

This page from the webcomic Gunnerkrigg Court. Specifically the last panel. One finds such interesting things by reading Neil Gaiman's livejournal, really.

Skippy's List. A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

Calvin & Hobbes. It doesn't matter that I've read every single strip at least ten times. They're still funny.

This page from the webcomic Questionable Content. Actually QC makes me laugh on a regular basis. The punchlines tend towards awesome. They're killer, really. It hits all the bases; it even has robots! With existential crisises! This strip, though, is my all time favorite. It is made of SOLID GOLD PLUTONIUM SLEDGEHAMMERS NAMED SVEN. That's how hard it kicks your ass.

Kanshou and Bakuya in the Demon Hunter AU, as per my icon. It's [livejournal.com profile] majochan's fault, really, since it was her idea to have the swords literally talk in the first place. Now they won't shut up. Why is it that when I write inanimate objects or pets they always end up having as much or more personality than their supposed owners do?

This is possibly the sweetest poem ever:

roses are #FF0000
violets are #0000FF
all my base
are belong to you

Where do I find these things, anyway?
Wednesday, December 20th, 2006 03:14 pm
Remember how Saiunkoku has eaten my life for more than a month now? Yeah, this is one of the results.

This is the first fic in a much larger Saiunkoku AU that [livejournal.com profile] majochan and I are working on. All 3v1l that follows I blame on her, since she started the whole thing with this sketch (bottom-most). Decided to put this one up first since this is the point where our version of events diverges from the canon. A thousand thank-yous to [livejournal.com profile] subsiding_leaf for beta-reading and giving this monster of a fic such a thorough and much-needed editing.

X-posted like woah. Sorry about that.

Title: A Double-Edged Sword Cuts Both Ways
Pairing: none
Rating: PG; brief violence
Summary: A single pebble changes the course of an avalanche. During Seien's thirteenth year, his grandfather takes the prince and his mother to Sa Province. One year later . . .

The sky was grey . . . )

Oh, the 3v1l is great, yesyesyes.
Saturday, November 18th, 2006 11:52 pm
I am alive, in case anyone was wondering.

For some reason this fall the weather has been bad . . . on weekends. During the week, when I'm at work, it's sunny and lovely and, while not warm, certainly it is not raw and miserable. During the week, it has been an utterly ideal autumn.

On weekends, however, it's been grey, rainy, and cold. According to Accuweather they're expecting this trend to continue next weekend, as well. Perfect weather for sitting around one's apartment reading and browsing on the internet; not so good for seeing the justifiably-famous momiji of Kyoto at their spectactular autumn best.

I grabbed my umbrella, stuck A Clash of Kings in my bag, and went to Tofukuji anyway.

I'm glad that I did, because this week it looks like the leaves are at their peak. They're late this year, but then it's been a fairly warm autumn. And Tofukuji is one of the most famous places to view the leaves, with a high stage overlooking a valley full of brilliant momiji. The hordes of Japanese tourists were somewhat less than they would have been due to the threatening weather and the lateness of the hour at which I dragged myself reluctantly out the door, and so I was able to enjoy myself. The rain managed to mostly hold off until I was leaving, too.

After that I spent some time in Kyoto, shopping for Christmas presents. I was not able to resist picking up a copy of Beans Ace, though. The reason for picking up this particular magazine, of course, is also one of the reasons that I've disappeared from livejournal for a month and a half. That would be Saiunkoku Monogatari, which I will obsess about behind this cut. )

I grabbed some taiyaki before I went further into the city-proper . . . taiyaki with custard cream! The more I eat them, the more I like them. They're not as sweet as the red bean ones, and though I do like the red bean ones it is a well known fact that I'm not a big fan of sweet things. This seems to be a good weekend for deserts, though. The chocolate mushrooms that I bought yesterday turned out excellent. Apparently they're some sort of winter special. I love the fact that they have crushed macademias mixed in with their chocolate caps, it's delicious. And just the other night, for the first time in a long time, I sat down with a carton of ice cream and had as much as I wanted-- the equivalent of a full bowl! I haven't done that in . . . ages and ages.

These small mundanities are the foundation of my life.