tsubame: (wings)
Saturday, February 11th, 2012 02:33 pm

The problem with all of these competing Internet services is that they tend to divert you for the shear ease of usage. Actually writing an LJ entry actually takes some devotion, some thought . . . not much, but even so. And so people don't, because it's easier to put a shorter entry elsewhere, and so there's less reason to come to LJ in the first place, which means you end up not updating as much and . . . vicious circle.

But the fact remains that, while other services might be more convenient, LJ still reigns when it comes to having coherent and meaningful and in-depth conversations with people . . . when there are posts to comment on, that is. And when people actually comment. Granted I'm no model as far as that's concerned.

The thing that's been eating up large amounts of my spare time these days is Tumblr; mine is over here, if you're curious. I occasionally write brief pieces inspired by the pictures that I post. Not often, but occasionally.

LJ, however, remains the most convenient place for posting writing, especially as so much of mine is not in a finished form that might qualify it for a place like AO3. Et alors!

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"I thought you might be one of those people. You know. Proselyte-ing-y ones."

She shook her head. "I have two religions, one for my head and one for my heart. Science--" she tapped her temple, "--and poetry." She laid her hand on her breast. "Neither has any particular need to evangelize."

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'Do you want your receipt?'

'You may keep it. Consider it a gift from my heart to yours. I don't know what it says about my heart, that it produces cheap paper and pumps blue ink, or that it considers such things suitable gifts, but nonetheless I hope you'll accept it.'

Rose: your heart does not produce cheap paper and pump blue ink. believe me--i've checked. would you like to see the blueprints?

Me: The blueprints might be handy. Usually my heart produces smooth lined paper and pumps aetheric graphite, so this change is a bit alarming. Of course, it's SUPPOSED to produce vellum and pump egg tempera and gold leaf, but it's never worked quite right from the beginning, so . . .

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I played a random priest in a game set in 1666 London, and he was great fun. Father James Savant: High Anglican/crypto-Catholic, power-hungry and utterly ruthless, but absolutely convinced that he was doing God's work, with a taste for the finer things in life (mainly fine art, but his absolutely simple cassock is blacker than black, and his crucifix is ornate silver, and his Bible's cover is inscribed gold and jems, and his shoes are heinously expensive . . . you get the idea).

I came home from the game absolutely wanting to write stories about him, and despite the late hour sat down to hammer one out . . . only to find that the voices were ending up all wrong, too amusingly lighthearted, and I was actually writing a scene from a fanfic. So after an attempt at repair I sighed, gave up, changed the names, and now it's an XMFC AU snippet and that's it (there's precedent! Marvel 1602 by Neil bloody Gaiman, because he gets to do all the most fun stuff).


the Consolation of Philosophy )

. . . let us pray the merciful gods I write no more, at least of this.
tsubame: (reading)
Sunday, May 8th, 2011 06:03 pm

Taken in Brugges during my first afternoon walking around there. I found a great deal of gorgeously blooming wisteria on my travels-- I never knew it smelled so nice. Sensei spent some time trying to get me to say “藤” and “藤壷” correctly. You’d think it wouldn’t be that hard, but I had a terrible time . . .

Transcripts of my writings from my recent trip to Ghent, Brugges, and Leiden.

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26 April 2011 )

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27 April 2011 )

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28 April 2011 )

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30 April 2011 )

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Sonnet XXX, by William Shakespeare (painted on a wall in Leiden) )

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“But now we are all, in all places, strangers and pilgrims, travelers and sojourners . . .”

~Robert Cushman, Pilgrim Leader, 1622

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Poem 23, by e e cummings (painted on a wall in Leiden) )
tsubame: (yue)
Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 12:38 pm
Hail, bright Lady of the night.

I am seeking something. In all this wide world, always looking, searching. I don't know what it is, only that it is always beyond my reach.

I have called it my unicorn.

What is it that I am seeking in this strange place?

Edinburgh is a city of spires, Of buff and tear-stained stone. Of hidden places, of broad parks. Of hills and scattered clouds. Of small shops, of curved lines.

Of unicorns.

They are everywhere, but it is so easy not to see them. They sit sentinel over the park, on tall mossy plinths, lost among the leaves. They stand rampant and glaring in reliefs, supporting crests and shields. They crouch in the shadowed corners of buildings, watching the unknowing people pass below.

If you are not the last--

My steps led me, footfall upon footfall, down the narrow roads. I meant to go west, but my feet took me south, down the tree-lined road to the Meadows.

They spread wide and flat and green below the twisted medieval closes of the old city. As if the two are different worlds that bleed together at the edges-- the road is the conduit between them, greenery making inroads to the city, a sparse scattering of buildings giving way to the trees. Shady lanes cross the open space, paths of light beneath the stately branches.

I crossed the compass rose, found the distinctive church spire that marked the beginning of Morningside, and let them guide me south and west. Looked south and east, across the Meadows--

Hello, Luna.

A gibbous moon, nearly full, rising. The clouds passing over, pearlescent. The sky, deep navy and bottomless.

I sank down on a bench and watched, and let my head fill with moon-thoughts. So bright, the moon. We only ever see one face of the moon. What is your hidden face, Lady? What do you see when you look away from us? What secrets do you keep?

The leaves rustled. In the distance, a siren, unreal, a sound from a different world.

Silhousetted against the golden light of the path, a bike glided across the short grass, silent as a shadow, only a shadow. Stopped, and the man riding let it fall, let drop his backpack. And spun there, in the moonlight, danced silent in the meadow. Whirled slowly, kicked a leg high, swung down to touch the earth, then up. Silent, musicless. Here lost in the shadows, there again, against the golden light. Danced beneath the moon.

I watched, silent and still. Should I run to him? But I sat, I could not move.

A final turn, and the slim figure stooped, swung up his bag, mounted his bike again. And swiftly, silently, he slipped back into the night, and I lost him into the lanes.

Dancer on the green. Shadow, shade. Free spirit of the night, the dark sky given form. Graceful, turning, gliding. Do you know me? Do you know I'm here?

Who are you?

The moon filled me, and I walked. South and west, towards the spire, carrying the moon inside of me. I could feel it, cool and bright, leaking out my eyes. Could those passing by see it? Did they not know? How could they not? I moved among them, but they could not touch me. Could they not see it, glowing in my eyes?

Traveller. Journey-woman. Seeker. Watcher in the dark-- not the story but only the one who tells it. Touched, but not chosen.

Who are you?


Who are you?
Thursday, February 15th, 2007 09:56 am
Valentine's Day is not a particularly relevant holiday for me. My favorite memory of the event is the one I spent drinking bitter in a 14th-century whorehouse, and this seems an adequate portrayal of my behavior on an occasion dedicated to romance.

Yesterday's February 14th had a very rocky start. I woke up late and had to run out, the signal boards were malfunctioning so I missed my train, a woman was throwing up on the platform, it started raining and didn't stop all day . . .

I spent the entire day singing, because [livejournal.com profile] lucifermourning called me to let me know that [livejournal.com profile] urizen proposed. She of course said yes.

Ah, dearest, you have no idea how happy I am for you. I wish you every conceivable joy, every good thing that this world has to offer. I would wish the same to your boy, but since he's marrying you there's really no need. It's strange, but somehow after 12 years of friendship I feel as if your happiness is mine as well. I've been going around bragging of it to all my colleagues and friends, who have greeted the news with a somewhat puzzled "um, good for her?"

Waited a day before posting to give you time to tell everyone yourself. :-D

In honor of this momentous occasion! Some pure, unadulterated Emrys/Nghia sap from the hitherto unacknowledged depths of my notebook. I will subsequently deny all knowledge of this snippet's existence. That other writings of a similarly repugnant and/or embarrassing nature might exist is obviously a vicious lie being spread by my enemies to discredit me.

To drive the cold winter away. . . )
Friday, September 29th, 2006 01:51 am
Beware people who post at 2 in the morning when they really ought to be sleeping. Beware people who post unedited, unconnected bits of writing which contain bad attempts at non-specific dialogue writing.

May be edited/removed completely when it's no longer 2 in the morning . . .

I have no idea why Emrys is going north, why he's taking the slowest of all the travel options available to him, or why he's traveling extremely incognito. Yes, of course he's wearing an illusion to hide his real appearance. It doesn't hide the tattoo, though, that can only be concealed through normal, conventional means.

Very sparsely written, and short.

The long road . . . )
Thursday, August 10th, 2006 12:20 pm
This was written at some point during the China trip. Actually I got a lot of writing done there. There were long periods of time where we were traveling from place to place, and as I'm not particularly interested in endless games of Spades there wasn't much else to do. I finished off the book I'd brought to read early, during the cruise up the Yangtze. Fortunately my imagination clocked in serious overtime, and kept me entertained when there was nothing to look at in the darkness beyond the train windows.

More Emrys, kind of. This particular snippet is from those events surrounding Tor and his adventures growing up. The Kitchen God is a trickster deity, though of course his roles and attributes are a great deal more complex than that. His stories are many, because tricksters are naturally always getting into trouble. He is in fact the god in charge of the hearth and the kitchen, among other things, and is referred to as such in the hopes of staying on his good side. He's the main antagonist in Tor's story, though this particular bit is a small part of the resolution of those events.

I suspect that part of the reason that he and Tor don't get along, beyond plot-specific reasons, is that they're actually quite alike in some ways.

When gods come a-calling . . . )
Thursday, July 13th, 2006 11:11 pm
My shakuhachi teacher tells excellent stories. Today, he told me about a Chinese monk, Fukei . . . he could only remember the Japanese pronunciation of the monk's name. This monk was very popular with the people because he was very humble, not at all proud. Wherever he went he carried a staff with a bell on top, so that its ringing marked his comings and goings.

One day he told the villagers, "I have decided. Tomorrow morning, I will die." They were very unhappy, and everyone gathered in the field that morning to say farewell. However, Fukei said, "I have changed my mind. I will die tomorrow morning."

The next morning the villagers gathered once again. But again Fukei said, "I have changed my mind. I will die tomorrow morning."

The third morning, only a young boy came to the field. There, he saw Fukei coming and dragging a coffin. The monk opened the lid, climbed inside, and then closed it after him.

The young boy ran into the village and told everyone what he had seen. The villagers rushed to the field. But when they opened up the coffin lid, there was no one inside. All they heard was the sound of a bell emerging from the coffin and echoing up to the sky.

* * * *

I leave for China on Sunday and will return in three weeks. I'm not certain how often I'll actually have internet access during that time, so I may well be absent from my usual haunts for that full period. Wish me luck, and hopefully the trip will only be eventful in the best of ways.
Wednesday, July 5th, 2006 02:17 pm
One does find interesting things when one randomly browses one's friends' friends pages:

A brief history of a would-be Chinese assassin.
Tuesday, June 27th, 2006 02:03 pm
I was thinking, as I so often do, about Emrys and Nghia, and thinking about the beginnings of their story. And I realized that their story really started in a cheap, drafty bar that clung to tenuous existence between the ruins of an age of heroes and the start of an age of civilization. That is the beginning of their story because Nghia used to go there and drink and argue with other proto-scholars, and it was there that he got the strange and rather silly notion into his head that the horribly evil Dragon Lords could be convinced to be good if only someone would go to the effort. Because in a sane, rational, and just universe in which everyone has free will and the gods are all good, no creature can just be evil.

Nghia had a whole lot of strange ideas back in those days. Among them the idea that any world to spring out of my and [livejournal.com profile] lucifermourning's twisted imaginations could be sane, rational, or just.

So what's the true lesson behind an epic, world-spanning melodrama that explores issues of the darker side human nature, the relationship between love and hate, and the great questions of forgiveness and redemption, with a whole lot of star-crossed love thrown into the mix?

Alcohol and philosophy are a bad combination.

That's right, people. Nothing good will come of it! Don't drink and think!
Sunday, June 4th, 2006 03:22 pm
For some reason, I just feel like posting stuff on livejournal. Possibly because people keep giving me icons, so I feel the need to use them . . .

And I haven't posted any Emrys-stuff in a while. This was actually written some years ago. Italics are Nghia talking, in this case.

Evil Emrys! Because he's so very, very good at being evil . . . )
Tuesday, April 11th, 2006 11:03 am
My dreams have been strange lately; the two that I remember from the past fortnight have been nightmares.

My mind is a disturbing place. You might potentially regret clicking on this cut; do not if you don't want to hear about my horrible and extremely vivid dreams. )

Last night, after I got back from my lesson, I cooked, did dishes, cleaned my bathroom for two hours, took a shower, and then watched the first episode of Firefly. For some reason, I just didn't want to sleep.

I really enjoyed Firefly, though. )

By the time I fell asleep, perhaps a half-hour after four, I was far too exhausted to remember my dreams.

And now a language joke, because I just found it:

Q: What does it mean if you're multilingual?
A: You speak several languages.
Q: What does it mean if you're bilingual?
A: You speak two languages.
Q: And what does it mean if you're monolingual?
A: You're an American.
Friday, March 17th, 2006 05:44 pm
Once upon a time there was a princess.

As is proper for a fairy tale princess, she had three gifts: grace, beauty, and charm. Somewhat unexpectedly, she had some other gifts as well: intelligence, a strong constitution, a cheerful outlook on life, a healthy appetite, a certain aptitude for music, a good sense of humor, and an excellent memory. Entirely unexpectedly, she had another gift besides these: that of true prophecy.

Of course to balance out such an array of gifts, there must be an accompanying curse, and she herself foretold it when she was 15: "It will come on the dawn of my sixteenth year. From that day onward, any man who sees my face will die."

Her parents, the king and queen, who had their own gifts, nodded in agreement, as they had been expecting something of this nature. And though they lamented the thought that they should no longer look on their daughter's smiling and much-loved face, they considered this curse to be infinitely preferable to some of the other ones that were floating around. So they added to the princess's wardrobe an aray of lovely masks, so that she could wear whichever one she chose, and life in the castle continued much as it had before.

Problems arose, however, when it came time to find the princess a properly royal husband. The king and queen, having poured over portraits and ruminated over registries (and also sent a few royal spies to make sure that those under consideration weren't secretly jerks), were somewhat at their wits' end. Although there appeared to be a few decent candidates, who among them would accept a wife who bore such a curse? Even if she did posess such a generous alotment of gifts (not to mention certain political advantages that came from having a king and queen as parents), it didn't quite seem to balance out the possible ramifications of seeing her face.

The princess was not at all bothered by her parents' perturbation. "Give me the list," she said. "I'll go and see them for myself."

So she gathered up her retinue and accordingly began to visit the neighboring kingdoms. A few of the royals were even fairly nice, if a bit stiff. But all of them knew of her curse, and none were willing to risk it even for so pleasant a spouse.

She read the spy's report on the second-to-last prince before her audience: "handsome enough despite the hair, but a bit grumpy before his morning coffee. Plays the oboe indifferently. Nice to animals if they don't try to sit on him. Doesn't sing while drunk. Knows at least one good joke." Really, it was a completely inadequate way to find a husband, and all the portrait-painters were liars.

The spy, at least, was right: although handsome enough, the prince did need a trim around the ears. And as she had arrived barely an hour after sunrise, he looked a bit irritated to be rousted before breakfast and seated on his uncomfortable throne. He was trying to stifle a yawn as she curtseyed and began reciting her lineage.

"All right, all right, enough of that," he finally cut her off at thirty generations. "What are you here for, anyway?"

She curtseyed again. "Your Majesty, I have traveled far and wide, over fields and forests and mountains and plains, across rivers and through endless woods, following the winding road that runs from--"

"Oh, for heaven's sake, can we skip this bit?" The prince ran a hand back through his hair, rumpling it further. "And would you take that ridiculous mask off, please? I like to see the faces of the people I'm talking to."

"Your Majesty, it would be my fondest wish, but I fear I am under a curse. Any man who looks on my face shall die."

"So what?" the prince did not look impressed. "Everybody dies, whether they look at your face beforehand or not."

The princess was smiling when she took off her mask. And she didn't bother visiting the last kingdom on her list.
Wednesday, March 8th, 2006 12:53 pm
Oh, the random of the scenes that drop into my head.

He found the other man outside, staring sightlessly into the falling rain. The acrid smell of tobacco overwhelmed that of damp; he took the cigarette from an unresisting hand and stubbed it out. "I thought you had stopped. Those things will kill you, you know."

That earned him a brief smile. "If I live long enough for them to kill me, it'll be nothing short of the God's own miracle." The expression washed from his face. "I've been recalled. This-- all of this-- it's over."
Friday, March 3rd, 2006 03:11 pm
Hikaru )

I think I'm going to have to skip the characters I don't remember enough about to type coherently on. For instance, that same year I played a Korean-American woman in a Hunter game, but the game was not particularly long-lived, nor was the character particularly detailed. I don't even remember her name, just that she crushed zombies using moves based on WWE.
Tuesday, February 28th, 2006 02:19 pm
In repayment to myself for surviving the second most miserable class ever today, I'm going to spend some time doing something that is only relevant and enjoyable to me, and that I've been wanting to do for a while: ramble on about my old roleplaying characters.

As a small measure of mercy to those who are far enough from sanity to actually read my journal, I'm sticking them behind cuts. Feel grateful.

Kamiya Ashura )
Sunday, December 4th, 2005 01:03 am
"My lord! My lord!"

Thevor opened his eyes and regretted it, squinting against the day. The light was foggy, blurred, and some sort of dark shape leaned over him. He blinked, and blinked again, and things slowly swam back into focus. Not a shape, a man. Darius, with his mail hood thrown back on his shoulders, tears tracking down his dusty face.

Thevor coughed, and forced the word through a throat both thick and rough. It came out as little more than a croak. "Darius . . ."

But it transformed the other man, and his face kindled beneath the grime, tears of grief turning to tears of joy.

"The gods are kind," he wept, dashing at his eyes with the back of one clumsy hand. "The gods are kind. I can call you back."

Thevor closed his eyes. "The gods are cruel," he whispered. "I can hear you."
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005 10:10 am
Part of a much larger EN conversation that I don't have time to work out the complexities of at the moment.

Mini-snark-snippet! )
Saturday, August 20th, 2005 12:36 am
A random scene happened last night. Many other interesting things happened last night, like extensive discussions on public urination (I don't know why we were talking about that; it might well have sprung from our comparative analysis of Japanese vs. Western toilets. When living in a completely different culture, you have to learn not to make value judgements. "It's not better or worse, it's just different." This is true for most things, save for Japanese toilets. Although they posess an admirable simplicity in terms of design, there's really no way to get around it. Western toilets are not merely different, they are better. Now, Japanese versions of Western toilets, on the other hand . . . ), but most of them are not going to be mentioned here. Mostly because I can't remember them.

I do remember the giant cockroach ). Kinda wish I didn't.

Anyway, the random scene is of the mage and the gryphon. It amuses me very much, oh yea verily. )

The deadline for Eye of Unicorn, Tongue of Dragon is approaching. September 15, if you'll recall. I plan to submit a mage and gryphon story, so if you want to see it, you'd better submit something too.

Wow, my arrogance is truly unspeakable. I guess I like the pair of them so much I think everyone else does, as well . . .