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18 July 2006 @ 11:26 pm
Sizzle, sizzle, toil and sunburn  
The weather is so hot it's making me stick to things.

I realise that many of you live in places of extreme warmth (and stickiness), but in Ireland it's just not normal. I have it on good authority that in Texas, for e.g., you can use the pavements as fry pans, but here we're more accustomed to defrosting car windshields in June.

This piffling twenty-eight degree heat has lead me to do all manner of OOC things -- like sunbathing. We've set up sun-worshipping base camp in our converted hay barn. And when I say converted, I mean we added a concrete floor to foil the little mousies and tarted it up a bit with red paint and so on. And when I say we I mean 'not me.'

Ma was in fact painting the pillars silver this morning. (It looked grey to me, but who am I to judge?) She said it was the same paint used on ships, ergo it will last for a long time and still live to flake another day. I said, "Unless we take it to sea."

That is about as exciting as it gets around here.

Thus I was hoping something would happen today, just so I would have the pleasure of describing it.

Who says wishes don't come true?

I have had hackthis friended for about a week, because I'd heard such good things about Twentysomething and the style of her lj entries suggested that they weren't all hot air. (You can tell a lot about someone from their lj entries; I shudder to think what mine say about me.) (Don't tell me.) On a whim, I took a gander at her memoried fic this arvo. Boy, but was that a most excellent idea.

In a word, her writing is pure gold. (Or platinum. Or silver. Or the precious metal of your choice.)

I recall lunacy describing her writing before; something along the lines of her ability to capture so perfectly the intensity of the emotions she's describing.

There are many reasons why people write long and plotty stories. Me, I know it's because I need the prop of events and 'things happening' to chivvy my characters along. I reckon a lot of people are the same. We need a beginning, a middle and an end. It's a rare person who can capture just the perfect moment. And then do it again. And again. Because it's a scary thing to do, to let your writing 'be.' And she isn't afraid to snatch that moment, describe it in all its glory, and lay it aside.

I can get pretty graphic on the whole description front -- I'm honestly surprised that no one's called me on purple prose before now -- but the way I imagine her fic, right now, is like one of those wind-charms made of mirrors and shiny bits of class, that catch the light and throw all those dazzling reflections over any handy surface.

I feel all giddy, like a kid on Christmas Eve, knowing there's all this fic in multiple fandoms I know about but have never before dared read -- in the justified assumption that the fic would be abysmal. I don't think I can describe how wonderful it is to open an OC fanfic and know it'll be just like what I imagine when I drool over Adam Brody and picture him making out with other boys. Or when I think of how sharp and shiny Grey's Anatomy is, but shy away from the fandom because I know, I just know, that the writers will warp them into something unrecognisable. And fluffy.

I can handle that sort of diversion in HP because we see through Harry's eyes all the damn time. When I see with my own and then read the vision of someone else, someone who didn't seem to be looking very closely or indeed at all -- that sucks.

Which is why she's basically like my fandom Messiah, come to spread the good news … that she has fic. Lots of it. And it's all shiny.

I honestly don't think I've been this excited about fic since the_dystopian posted her Geek & Jock original story. I enjoy fic all the time, but it doesn't often leave me bouncing off the walls.

In the interests of fairness, I have to admit that the lack of ratings, pairings, summaries and warnings for spoilers is a tiny bit vexing. But honestly? These are trifling concerns when compared to how crap it would be not to read her fic because of them. I actually didn't mind the spoilers overall. And you can imagine how much that means for me.

Anyway I've decided that when I grow up I want to be hackthis.
 
 
Current Location: Fly Headquarters Int.
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Current Music: Portions for Foxes (Rilo Kiley)
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Eggsscoradh on July 18th, 2006 10:48 pm (UTC)
Nurr ... am slow.

HEEE I CANNOT WAIT. THIS IS LIKE CHRISTMAS WITH PORN.

And she's truly inspiring too. I'm going to try and let my fic be more free and wild, like hers.

Well, after I post that tenth draft of the monsterfic that ate my brain.
pale pubescent beast: casira/neville/herbologistwildestranger on July 19th, 2006 12:11 am (UTC)
Coming over just to say that "Trade"? Is the best thing ever. One of those fics that make me giggle with happiness. She is indeed a brilliant writer. ;)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Gauzyscoradh on July 19th, 2006 08:15 pm (UTC)
Word, dearheart. Any luck with your own writing lately?
pale pubescent beastwildestranger on July 19th, 2006 08:35 pm (UTC)
It's going a lot better, actually. Have written 1000 words of reversathon today. :)

Have you had any more thoughts on the Draco/Neville?
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on July 19th, 2006 08:37 pm (UTC)
Excellent!

[squirms] Not really. I'm more trying to get my H/D fic off the ground, but I also think that one's irrevocably stalled.

I shall write you proper D/N someday, I swear!
...: [Brideshead Revisited] C/Schowburger on July 19th, 2006 12:39 am (UTC)
Thirty one degrees anseo, I was informed. God, I'm dying! Real weather and the Irish were never meant to mix!

Heyyy, OC fic. I'm afraid of venturing near that fandom... but I'll read the good stuff.
I really need to watch the second half of season three sometime. I miss my Seth fix.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Dracoscoradh on July 19th, 2006 08:13 pm (UTC)
I have BURNT the back of my NECK and I have FRECKLES on my KNUCKLES.

This is so not right.

Trust me, this is the good stuff. This is the stuff that Adam Brody was made for.
Online I'm a Giantparthenia14 on July 19th, 2006 08:40 am (UTC)
Have you read 'Trade'? That is one of the best grown-up post-Hogwarts stories ever. Also, she rules at writing smut. And, she casts her stories with pretty people. The artwork for Trade is great.

OMG, I haven't read 'Twentysomething' yet.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Cat & ballscoradh on July 19th, 2006 08:10 pm (UTC)
Stop tempting me with ficcy wiles! I have a driving theory exam to be studying for. [pretends to read the Highway Code]

Mmm, 's good.
Lord Marmaduke Newbrycatsmeat on July 19th, 2006 12:35 pm (UTC)
The thing about texas that you have to remember is this. Sure, you can have a full english on the pavement, but everywhere has air conditioning.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on July 19th, 2006 08:07 pm (UTC)
So you should sort of move about by teleportation, to avoid burning the soles of your feet once outside?
Lord Marmaduke Newbrycatsmeat on July 19th, 2006 08:37 pm (UTC)
Wear really thick soled shoes, and drive everywhere. Most cars have air con.
JRevalangui on July 19th, 2006 06:46 pm (UTC)
I'm not to tell you your entries are usually cracktastic and sometimes very insightful, oops!

By "letting your story be" you mean not worrying so much about the structure and just write whatever way it comes? Because I thought that was just a way of doing it and using outline another...
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Cat with no handsscoradh on July 19th, 2006 08:06 pm (UTC)
Tsk, tsk. [languidly waves you off to the torture-chamber]

No ... what I mean was more of a 'not forcing things' sort of way. I can sit down at a computer and say 'I'm going to write this pairing, and I want this this and this to happen, so I have to go set them up and write fillers' and it is quite exhausting. Then -- rarely -- I sit down and just write whatever comes into my head. It seems like that's what hackthis does, and does exceptionally well.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Retarded Voldemortscoradh on July 19th, 2006 08:17 pm (UTC)
Actually, to your question: yes. I said no and then repeated your comment back to you, phrased differently. Am on Dumb Pills tonight.
jehnt: sga - teyla - walljehnt on July 20th, 2006 08:20 am (UTC)
Speaking of Texas, the temperature has been hovering between 105 and 110 F here in Dallas these past few days. It's about ten degrees hotter than what I consider the perfect temperature to be, but it's at that divine stage where you can just feel the heat soaking into everything. The ground is hot. The air is hot. When you get the mail the paper is hot. You know when it's cold and the wind whips through you and you feel like tiny cold teeth have just bitten you all over? This is the opposite of that. That's the only way I can think of to describe it.

Of course, I do understand how the heat could be a bit traumatic if you aren't used to it. Or if it's humid. Because humid heat = not as blissful as dry heat.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Chatting ballerinasscoradh on July 20th, 2006 07:49 pm (UTC)
That's what, about forty degrees celcius, I gather? GOOD GOD IN HEAVEN, WHY ARE YOU NOT MELTED?

I'm quite used to the whole being bitten by tiny cold teeth thing. Even in summer. What we're getting is sunshine and intense humidity. I feel like I've been wrapped in a woolly blanket. I haven't been barefoot for so long in years. This would all be fine if we had ways to cool down like we have ways to heat up (thank you, central heating) but we don't. No a-con, no fans, nothing. I'm practically dead.

Speaking of Dallas, is that the capital of Texas? We were trying to figure that out at dinner the other night. Other options we came up with as capital were: Austin City (is there such a place?), Arizona and Nevada. Oh, and Texas as capital of Arizona.

I think it will be quite easy to see that American geography is not on the Irish curriculum.
jehnt: misc - ballet - bluejehnt on July 20th, 2006 09:04 pm (UTC)
The weather doesn't melt us so much as bake us to a crisp. XD

Humid heat + no air conditioning = hell. Have fun with that!

Austin is the capital of Texas. It's full of old hippies and dust storms. Dallas has more people and more business/technology stuff going on. Also, our highways are slightly less crazy than those in Austin.

Well, Irish geography isn't on the American curriculum, so it's quite all right. I know where Dublin is, and that there are two parts (of Ireland, not Dublin), one of which was formerly batshit insane before theoretically giving up their crazy ways in favor of no longer being with the car bombs and so on.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Chuck Norrisscoradh on July 20th, 2006 09:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, but I am.

And also ... that TV show. Where they keep resurrecting a man from the dead. Stalwart stuff.

Definitely 'theoretically', because there's no sign of them giving all that up any time soon, unless Northern Ireland just breaks off from the mainland and just floats away, leaving everyone happy.

Dublin's a nasty place, precious. Cork is much nicer, although I doubt it'd even be a city by American standards -- it's only got a population of something like half a million people.
jehnt: misc - warning - radioactivejehnt on July 20th, 2006 10:39 pm (UTC)
Oddly, not many people in Dallas have ever seen Dallas, the show. One would probably expect otherwise.

"Theoretically" meaning "I read it in newspapers, but our newspapers don't really give much coverage to things that don't have drastic economic impact here, so I have my doubts." What's all that mess with the Catholics and Protestants, anyhow? I've never understood that business, despite having theoretically learned about it in history a bunch of times.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on July 20th, 2006 11:34 pm (UTC)
My mother used to love it.

Well, here's the breakdown. Ireland is the country of many invasions. The Vikings first, setting up Dubh Linn (the Black Pool), then the Normans, who became 'more Irish than the Irish themselves.' The English when they came weren't so interested in that. They held these plantations, where they shoved a bunch of English people on to Irish land. Famous last words? Cromwell, 'To hell or to Connaught.' For some reason that I can't recall, that didn't work so well in the southern provinces -- Munster (my one), Leinster or Connaught (because, you know, hell was the better option). But in Ulster it did. They had more Scots living there than Irish.

After a while England increased its stranglehold on Ireland, much as it did all over the world. People were forbidden to speak Irish or hold Catholic Mass, so they held hedge schools and rock Masses. THEY WUZ ROBBED. It was all tremendously exciting, I'm sure. Naturally the English in the north (Ulster) were Prods, so they could worship wild and free.

So it came around that Ireland held an embarrassing series of failed rebellions trying to throw off the yoke of British rule. I think it came to a head in WWI when England tried to recruit Irish soldiers for cannon fodder, like the Australians. They mostly came back on their shields and not with them.

During WW1 there was the 1916 Rising in Dublin, with Padraig Pearse and Michael Collins and Eamon De Valera. That failed too, but they proclaimed the Republic and eventually their treaty got ratified -- but only if they'd leave the North to the English. Half the Republicans said that's okay, we don't want it anyway; the other half went grabby hands. Sinn Fein (which was a political party then and not a terrorist group) schismed. Thus we are the only country in the world whose political parties are based on the fact that your grandfather either didn't sign a treaty in 1921 or he did.

Back up North, Sinn Fein was trying to inflitrate the loyalties and get a 36-county republic. But the treaty only gave us 28 counties. Those other eight are Northern Ireland, which belongs to neither England nor Ireland but wholly itself (as evinced when Ireland asks it to do something -- no, we're English! -- or England does -- no, we're Northern Irish!).

Quite frankly the troubles stem from the high unemployment in the North ever since they closed the shipyards there. As my history teacher said, unemployed and poorly educated people have little to do but throw broken bottles at each other's heads. He also said that Catholics have bigger families so they'll breed the Protestants out of the North, which given the high rate of immigration from Nigeria and Poland to Ireland is losing sight of the big picture, I think.

That was fun. And exactly as much as you'd ever want to know about Irish history -- the most boring history IN THE WORLD.
jehnt: sw - leia - only hopejehnt on July 21st, 2006 06:49 am (UTC)
Exciting! I'm oddly fond of history, especially when told in an interesting fashion. I'm sure other places have more boring history. Like, say, Canada.

*drum hit*

Poor Canada. I pick on Canada a lot, but it's only because I like it so much. And it can't fight back. It's not like Mexico, where if I pick on it I might get kidnapped by a prostitution ring running out of Nuevo Leon. What are the Canadians going to do, sic their elk on me?

Thus we are the only country in the world whose political parties are based on the fact that your grandfather either didn't sign a treaty in 1921 or he did.

Hee!

He also said that Catholics have bigger families so they'll breed the Protestants out of the North

We have that sort of trouble in America, only we're worried they'll breed all the scientists out of the country.

And exactly as much as you'd ever want to know about Irish history -- the most boring history IN THE WORLD.

I think you forgot the part about the potatoes.

*serious face*

Umm, but yes, that was much better than the short paragraph my world history book devoted to it. All the attention always goes to the potato famine and the influx of immigrants which resulted, since obviously world history is all about America. *rolls eyes*
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on July 21st, 2006 10:08 pm (UTC)
Poor Canada. I pick on Canada a lot, but it's only because I like it so much. And it can't fight back. It's not like Mexico, where if I pick on it I might get kidnapped by a prostitution ring running out of Nuevo Leon. What are the Canadians going to do, sic their elk on me?

I know Canadians from my class. They're excessively lovely, but they get a mite irritated when you call them Americans. Even then they can't put too much bite behind it. [loves on them]

We have that sort of trouble in America, only we're worried they'll breed all the scientists out of the country

ilu. C'est tout.

The most interesting point about the Great Famine of 1845 is how resistant modern Irish people are to refugees and immigrants. Categorically do not want them here. And they get very tired of the 'BUT YOU DID IT!' argument very quickly.

More Irish people live in America than Ireland. Then they come back to Kerry and Kerry people indulge in American-baiting. It's all very symbiotic.