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LJSanta 2012: Bring It On!

Wow, I haven't posted here since LJSanta 2011 ended. How lame is THAT?

...Sooo, I'm here to tell you that LJSanta 2012 is AWN! Bring it! (Oh, it has been brought-en!)

Sign-ups and info in the usual place: http://lj-smith.com/ljsanta/

LJSanta 2011 is COMPLETED!

So after lots of extensions and deadbeats and backup writer wrangling, all the LJSanta stories went up earlier this week, and I've just finished posting author and deadbeat names today. Wee! Go thank your author if you signed up, and feel free to write to any authors whose stories you enjoyed if you did not (or even if you did, but you like someone else's story a lot too).


Now to rest up and gather motivation for next year. ^_~

Sidenote: It was a strangely low-rated year. No NC-17s and only 3 Rs, most of which weren't really hard Rs to begin with. Also a good year for Diana, who got action from both Nick and Faye in two different fics, and promises to get MORE action from Faye in a fic that one of the deadbeats has promised to complete for their assigned person outside of LJSanta (but who knows if that'll happen). Dayumn, Diana.

LJSanta cont'd

I think pretty much everyone who was going to sign up for LJSanta already has, but I'm going to be out until this evening, so if you were dithering and missed the deadline or something, if your sign-up email magically appears in my inbox before I come home, then I will magically add your name to the hat before I draw names. MAGIC!

That is all!


LJSanta has been BROUGHTEN!

Dear LJ Smith fandom friends...

LJSanta is happening! Sorry we three flaked out last year, but it is happening this year and it is live now, with slightly modified dates to sidestep the holiday season ever so gently (while still cheating our way to a Christmas release).


Sign up! Spread the word! Turn on the bat signal! I demand fanfic!

Nov. 14th, 2011

Many historic lessons were obtained through tremendous sacrifice. Such as eating food - if something is poisonous, we all seem to know it. It is common sense. But in the past many people must have eaten this food and died so that now we know better. Therefore I think the first person who ate crabs was admirable. If not a hero, who would dare eat such creatures? Since someone ate crabs, others must have eaten spiders as well. However, they were not tasty. So afterwards people stopped eating them. These people also deserve our heartfelt gratitude.
- Lu Xun

A Dream, A Story, A Dream

A long time ago, I had this strange and surreal dream. Nothing special really happened in it, but the imagery and layout of everything still stays in my mind. I think I blame Lovecraft and Ligotti, as I'd recently read their stories involving renditions of terrible, impossible cityscapes only seen in dreams.

So, here's mine.

I found myself in a hospital of some kind, of maybe an insane asylum. Everything was poorly lit and black and white - mostly black. I didn't know much about what was going on, but I did know that getting to a safe room would be imperative, because if either the nurses or the patients found me, I'd be in a heap of trouble.

I finally found my way into a strange dilapidated bathroom - like everything else in the hospital, it was rundown, cracked, peeling, burnt, with only a strange flickering whiteness providing light from cracks and light sources in the room, at least the ones that still worked.

I made my way to the window, trudging through some layers of filthy documents and bits of wrapping paper and things like that. Once I got to the window, I was shocked to realize that the hospital wasn't just weirdly lit, the entire world was a strange grayscale existence with some very odd backlighting. It was almost like a shadow puppet show of some kind. As I looked out into the sky, it seemed a pale grayish sort of white, but the color itself flickered, as though the sky were a giant sheet of paper with a flickering lantern behind it or something.

I saw the cityscape below me, for I must have been really high up in this hospital building, and it was all just murky, indistinguishable blackness, until finally my eye caught a strange series of spires in the distance, so black and flat and tilted that they looked cut out of black construction paper. The windows were all lit with that same flickering yellowish-white light. In retrospect, a strange little black aura haze lightly surrounded the cityscape too. I chalked it up to the weirdness of the lighting.

I murmured a word to myself as I had a dream-epiphany that that was the fabled city I was searching for. I think I called it Nethescurial, which is from Ligotti story. Don't know why I called it Nethescurial, a Ligotti-penned terrifying evil god, rather than Vastarien, the mythical city where Ligotti's protagonist keeps going in his dreams and increasingly not wanting to come back out. I may have just mixed the two words up in my sleep.

Somehow I made my way through the terrifying, lightless hospital full of nurses and patiens, all insane in equal amounts. I think I may have been stabbed at some point.

Finally, when I got outside, there was a complete tonal shift, like someone'd cleared out act 1 behind me and was in the process of setting up for act 2. Everything was beige and white and silvery blue now. I was standing on a sandy beach with a lot of people, bright white light preventing us from seeing anything more than a few yards away. We were all packing, and then a sudden gust of wind and rain came, and we all took off running, all towards the glimmering black city in the distance. Some took their baggage with them, while others left an obstacle course of suitcases on the ground. The rain came hard and fast, and even without the bright light, it was like a wall of perfectly white fog concealed everything after a certain distance - like shitty low-res draw distance in an old video game, where the distant background was white until you got closer enough for it to render.

I ran too, though I didn't understand why until the wind roared and the rain picked up so hard that I became disoriented and collided into another runner. This runner - I can't remember them anymore - told me we must keep running, the tornadoes will be watching for the weak and fallen. (Real life note: I am AFRAID TO DEATH of tornadoes, you guys. They're in my top 5 phobias list and everything.). Tornadoes? Okay, that makes sense about the wind then... and I took off running, all of us in pastel-colored '20s clothes, pelted by the dirty sand and the water. Again I lost all sense of direction. I couldn't see anything, just walls of sand-streaked dust, distorted rain streams, and the wind whipping them all around us. I was sure that one of the tornadoes would get me as I got cut off from the group, so I just kept running.

I never made it to the city, because I woke up first. And like the protagonists in Lovecraft and Ligotti's stories, I am sorely tempted to go back and explore more.

And that is my little story for today. Enjoy!

Step Right Up! I'm Takin' Pictures!

I'm trying an experiment, another attempt to expand my artistic skills a bit, and I'm lookin' for guinea pigs (GUINEA PEEEEGS!).

If you send me a good photo of you, I will try to photomanipulate you into something cool of your choice (within reason - I can't like, photoshop you into a dinosaur or anything). Fairy princess? sexy vampire? fantasy warrior? cyber-apocalyptic warrior punk? I can't promise you it'll be any good, or that it'll even get done, but it's free, so you lose nothing.

So, if interested, send me a picture of yourself that you like - or send me a handful of pictures that I could work with and I'll choose the best for what I want - as well as some kind of guiding keywords on what you want to become - you can be vague, like "a cool magic using person" or specific, like "I want this white coat and glowing gold eyes and kinda like X character in my favorite movie..." or somewhere in between, all you have to do is give me a direction to work from.

Obviously solo shots of you in an unassuming background would be preferred, but I'm not afraid of a challenge. If I have to crop out your mom next to you and your car in the foreground, I'll sure give it my best shot. Like I said, this is an experiment, and the ultimate goal for me is to grow as an artist, so you can definitely grow as an artist while completely fucking up the picture you're working on because you got too ambitious. -_-

Who's game? Anyone? Bueler?

Misc. Updating

So I got a Spotify account thanks to one of my Facebook friends, and it's... actually pretty swanky. I mean, there's the whole having to listen to brief commercials between every 3-5 songs or so, but on the other hand, it's free, and the commercials are just for other music, so that's cool. And having the ability to switch fairly seamlessly between my music collection and their streaming one is really convenient.

I'm participating in sihaya09's care package swap this year and super-excited, both to shop for my giftee (because when we moved, we moved minutes away from a precious, quaint downtown area with lots of cool little stores, and I'm dying to check it out, so having an excuse is awesome) and to see what I get in the mail.

Umm... soooo yeah, most of you I talk to on Facebook, but for those I don't, we finally got our house at the end of August (we bought it in July but didn't move in 'til end of August, which is cool because the old owners paid us rent). It's an awesome house with a large yard, a small lake (or big pond, depending on how you look at it), and surrounded by woods, but right near bigger, more developed neighborhoods and maybe a block away from the local middle and high schools, so we get privacy but we're right there in civilization too. The cats took a little while to adjust, and they still don't really go to the bottom floor on their own (except to hide), but they're happy. I can't wait to be done moving all of our stuff in - the bright side of moving locally is that we can take our time hefting our things from our parents' houses to ours, but the downside is that we can take our time, so just when I finally get everything squared away, a new wave of stuff comes. It's exciting, but daunting, and the financial aspect is terrifying, but so worth it.

Thaaat's about it? I'm excited about Halloween coming up. I wish I had eleventy gazillion dollars just to spend on Halloween decorations, but this year that money would be better spent on little unimportant things like, um, furniture and cookware and lightbulbs and whatnot. Sigh. Anyone wanna go see Paranormal Activity 3 with me when it comes out?


So I was going to use Cannonball Read as an excuse to post in here more, and then I read this book that was so stupid and occasionally offensive (oh the delightful sexism of women about women!), and I was really not looking forward to reviewing it, and... yeah, that didn't happen.

I leave you with my current favorite song, which has played on a loop in my office on and off for about a week now. I like the track that follows it (My Kingdom) better for energetic dancey vibes, but this one is wonderfully soothing and melancholy.

The saga continues! Rather than apologizing like an adult who cares about the deep traumas of others, LJS is "standing by" her analogy because, you know, she's the one who was raped and then blamed for it, so it's totally okay you guys. She's clearly more important than anyone else who has ever been raped.

And I quote: I should have been more straightforward in that interview. The victim I spoke of was myself, and I should have said that outright. There is a strong sentiment against speaking of rape at all, and this was not something I had previously shared with readers. I am sorry for disturbing anyone with the analogy, but I stand behind my right to make it--now that I have owned up to being the one who could compare the two experiences.

I just can't even... I quit you, LJS. I was going to give the future non-sequel works a shot, but I quit; she is a disgusting, self-centered person without even a basic sense of empathy or perspective and pretty much the exact antithesis of the strong female role models she claims to want to spread. I may or may not shut down DP. I'm not sure yet.