fufaraw: (Default)

The top picture is a Michael Parkes print that has hung in my house for years--since we moved and finally had the space to hang it. It had languished in a folder for a long time. It took my breath away at first sight, and I often stand for a few minutes, looking into the picture and noting details, imagining the scent of that oncoming storm, the breeze disturbing things in the physical room around me, and stroking the soft fur of the cat.

Parkes cat and storm

The second pic came up today on my Tumblr dash. It's titled Tuscan, taken by Lars van de Goor. My breath caught when it scrolled into view, and I've been studying those hills, the light, those clouds, and imagining I can smell rain and feel wind rising, scent the mown hills and the dust in the air.
Tuscan hills in gathering storm

Aside from sharing those lovely autumnal tones, both pictures feel very similar emotionally to me. I've studied the photo off and on all day.

Have you ever wanted to step into a picture on the wall? These would be good candidates, I think.

fufaraw: (Default)
To everybody on DW and LJ who wished me happy yesterday: [personal profile] deanshot1 , [personal profile] herminekurotowa , <lj user="stir_of_echoes">, <lj user="milly_gal">, <lj user="phoenix1966">, <lj user="casey28">, and <lj user="jj1564">. It was a lovely day--spent at home, but in wonderful company. OH has been away for a month caring for his brother, who is in pre-surgery cancer treatment, and his mother, who is elderly and needs constant supervision. He has a month at home before he will need to go back and take care of his mother while his brother goes through surgery and recovery, and provide at-home support when the hospital releases him. We've missed each other, but being together was especially nice yesterday, and we have stuff planned for the month he's here, to keep us both busy and productive. 

In other news, I've been watching the Shadowhunters series on Freeform, and I've fallen right down that rabbit hole in a way I've not done since first discovering Supernatural. I've always been a serial fan--one primary fandom at a time, and a few that I was minorly involved in: following the show, reading fic, knowing a little something about the actors, etc. But the primary fandom has always been my focus--writing fic, reading fic and meta, discussing meta, learning about the actors, writers, producers, and their previous work, watching old shows they were involved in, etc.

It was Buffy/Angel for the longest time, with Firefly/Farscape/BSG/Stargates/Lost/Heroes as peripheral fandoms, until I fell into Supernatural. SPN is still my primary fandom, and will be for a while, still, even after new episodes are no longer being filmed. The cast and their creative efforts will be of interest forever, and I'll be reading and possibly writing fic in SPN fandom maybe forever, appreciating art and vids and even speculative meta as long as it's available.

But meanhile, Shadowhunters has swept me up in its silly, shallow, ridiculous storyline, and wooed me with it's So Very Pretty cast. I'm in a little bit of luuurrrvve with them all, with their characters, and with the noir romanticism of it all. The attraction was visual, as someone on my Tumblr dash began posting pics and gifs of the cast and snippets of dialogue. SO PRETTY! and I went looking for the show. Found it, and the previous season was available on Instant Watch, so I binged on it, and just fell into it, surrounded by the escapism and ALL THE PRETTY!  I mean, these are seriously pretty people! The roster of actor names pleases me to no end, as well, including the actors who play recurring characters: Jade Hassoune', David Castro, Alisha Wainwright. And the primaries: Isaiah Mustapha, Matthew Daddario, Emeraude Toubia, Alberto Rosende, Katherine McNamara, Harry Shum, Jr., and Domnic Sherwood. I mean, you could fall completely in love just with the actors' *names*!

I had no idea of the provenence of the show when I fell into it, but I quickly learned it was derived from a book series by Cassie Clare, and that she has some input into scripts. Aware of her background, I did a little digging, and found a terribly unfortunate film, The Mortal Instruments, that had a decent cast and a similar dark, romantic look, and somehow still failed miserably. Honestly, if I'd seen the movie first I might never have given the series a chance. The series is a whole different thing entirely, for all their origins in common. But I didn't, and I did, and I am wallowing in pretty, pretty escapism, and expecting little from the storylines but sheer fantasy. So imagine how, suddenly, I was rocked by a second-season script that addressed racial profiling, gettoisation and persecution of a segment of the population, bigotry, addiction, recovery,  homophobia, classism, and a few other little minor things so topical today, and so dear to my heart. Reader, I blinked. And then my heart grew about two sizes, for the grace the writers used to hit those notes without big flashy afterschool special arrows pointing to the issues. And for the growth and changes of heart each of the characters continues to experience on their journeys through this strange and unexpected world.

Oh, and discovering the character Magnus Bane is played by Harry Shum, Jr. formerly of Glee, I had to check out his performance there. Now, I avoided Glee in first run. It was silly, shallow, and high school--an assumption and possibly unfair judgement, but life is short and I had more important things to watch at the time. ...I'm almost finished with S3 in my binge of Glee episodes. Don't judge me. Oh! In blitzing through the series I discovered that both Supergirl and the Flash were Glee performers. Show choir as training ground for superheroes, maybe?

But back to Shadowhunters. Have I said Pretty? Do you need convincing?
malec kiss

fufaraw: (Default)
binding spell

Fourth waning crescent moon observance of the binding spell last night. I have to believe it's having some effect, if for no other reason than the world hasn't already ended yet.

fufaraw: single candle flame (one candle)
...from doing harm,
harm against other people, and harm against yourself.

I bind you, Nancy---"

Oops. Wrong spell.


Mar. 26th, 2017 10:49 am
fufaraw: (Default)
Tonight is the date for those continuing the binding ritual at midnight DST for the US east coast, on the waning crescent moon.
fufaraw: (J2)

For those not following on twitter - Mike Pence went to Hamilton tonight - got booed by the entire audience, was subjected to massive extended applause after “Immigrants, we get the job done”, and then King George sang “What Comes Next?” directly to him leading to a three minute standing ovation for the King.

Finally some good news.

I don't know if this link will work or not.

fufaraw: (J2)
from a man much smarter and more compassionate than I. From Tumblr, George Takei:

"I am addressing this to all who voted to defeat Donald Trump and what he represents. We may not
have prevailed, but we must not despair.

"Many of you are, like me, in a state of shock. This does not feel like the America you love and
honor. We are in uncharted waters. In times like these we must reaffirm the values we cherish
and have fought for: equality, justice, the care of the planet. We must stand up defiantly to any
dark or devisive acts, and look out for the most vulnerable among us. It is more important than

"Within our hearts we know the society we wish to live in. No one can take that vision from us.
We are each of us keepers of that promise. This country has seen wars and grave injustices, slavery
and even civil war in its past. Yet we found our way through.

"Hold your loved ones close. Tell them that it is in times of sadness and in the toughest of days
where we often find our true mettle."

Also via Tumblr, from [livejournal.com profile] morgandawn:  Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.
fufaraw: (herb pots)
The trellis is covered with blooms. (click to enlarge pics)

The vine is called "Purple Bells"

flowers crop
the "clapper" is the actual blossom, and the leaves are heart-shaped.

Buddha crop 2
fufaraw: (J2)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] dugindeep, in the interest of generating more interaction,

Supernatural Friending Meme

Come join us!
fufaraw: (J2)
OH and I found this primitive-style curio for a really good price on Craigslist a few years ago, and promptly stuffed it full of things. And stuff, as you do. The door and both side walls and all but the center shelf are glass, but still, it was very dark inside--what was meant to be showcased, well, wasn't. These pictures were taken in daylight, with flash.
100_1907c 100_1910
(click any pic to enlarge)

He installed a light at the top, but against the dark green it bounced weird, and the solid wood shelf blocked the light from the bottom half of the cabinet. We'd just been frowning when we passed it, vaguely unsatisfied. While we were trying to decide what sort of light to use, OH carefully pried the cabinet back, a sheet of 1/8" paneling, off for me and laid it on a worktable. I used some flat latex and painted it white. When it dried, it...still didn't look good. It looked flat, and dead and no better than the green. I stirred in some metallic silver craft paint and laid on a second coat. When dry, it looked...grey. With a very tiny amount of shimmer.

The cabinet is too primitive a style for a mirrored back, so that was out. I've used contact paper to cover third generation hand-me-down furniture and flea market reject furniture, especially when circumstances prevented painting. And I will never do it again. It always messes up, and when you do remove it, it pulls part of whatever finish there is off with it. It's just a mess. I haven't tackled wallpaper, but it looks difficult. Plus, expensive.

But giftwrap is comparatively cheap, it goes up with tape, and comes down easily if you get tired of it and want to switch it out for another pattern. So I went off to Target to look at the giftwrap. I found this geometric, with small mirrored dots.100_5362 s(click to see the pattern) OH helped me get it onto the back straight and taped well, and I like it! 100_5355 ed 100_5357 s

Now I'm wondering if, rather than trying to light the china cupboard in the hall, I should maybe paper the back (and sides? whad'ya think?) of it, too. Opinions?Y/N?100_1957
fufaraw: (J2)
We have snow depth markers along most of the roadways here, just posts with blue reflectors on top. As we stopped for a turn today, I noticed one of them, standing bare and alone with a sea of daisies around its foot. Seasons do turn.
fufaraw: Bobby lit match (Bobby)
When I started Hostage, I was well into the first rough draft, and everything was from Jared's point of view. Jensen was only perceived through Jared's (understandably resentful) eyes, and as Jared was the hero of his own story, he was a faultless paragon, unfairly treated.

The story *was* Jared's, and it was completely understandable that I saw it, at least to begin with, through his POV. But unless Jensen was to be merely a nyah-ha-haaaa! cardboard villain, there had to be a way to look at him through eyes other than Jared's. There had to be some motivation for him beyond arrogance and ruthless acquisition, and there had to be a reason why the people of his household held him in not only respect, but in some affection.

And then I got out of my own way and I simply told Jensen's story: his love of his land and his culture, his care for it, his acceptance of responsibility, for land, culture, and the people under his care alike. His perception and understanding, his will to do what was right--even though he felt he knew what was right, that his traditions were the right way to do things--helped to make him a human character. At least I hoped they did and would.

Giving the reader a view of Jared through Jensen's eyes brought their differences into even sharper a division, and in the end, I don't think I could have finished the story had I not found a way to give voice to Jensen's POV.

For Not All Cats, I had all these distinct scenes written or half-written. I had a chronology, a timeline the story was to develop along. But there didn't seem to be any cohesion between those distinct scenes. Even viewing it cinematically, where the camera cuts from scene to scene, left me feeling the story was fragmented, with some...element missing. And I was also having trouble inserting Jared's flashback nightmares. Until I wrote the flashbacks out, then shuffled them around like puzzle pieces until I realized that in the right order, healing and Jared coming to acceptance was apparent. Once I saw that, I had the spine of my story, to arrange the scenes along chronologically.

For 2016, everything starts out from Jensen's and his family's POV, straight into the body of the story, bringing Jared and the rest of the world in on a chronological timeline. But rereading the draft last night, I realized--again--that opening on a single scene of a dramatic reunion, then starting again, going directly forward into the meat of the story, is the way to proceed. That rather than line up events purely by chronology, bringing them in at strategic points as illumination of motive and behavior will help to heighten suspense, anticipation, and guesswork (I hope) from the reader. The way forward seems suddenly clear. (Beware, there may be dragons!)

At least, this time I didn't wait until mere weeks before my posting date to figure out how to arrange my ducks.
fufaraw: (red umbrella snow)
But I wanted to say something in my own, as well.

This is heresy to a lot of people, but this news hit me harder than Bowie. Mr. Rickman lived in a back corner of my conscious mind, making wry and often hilarious, frequently poignant, comments on daily events, and most usually, on my own shortcomings. I can't believe he's gone. A most remarkable man.

...I need to go watch The Winter Guest, again. It's got his presence all over it. It'll be a while before I can watch Truly, Madly, Deeply, now.
fufaraw: (red umbrella snow)
We don't have a fireplace, but we do have a yawning black hole when the tv is off, so we've been playing the fireplace dvd a lot during the holidays, without music, just with the crackle-snap-hiss of "fireplace sounds." I've been creeping the Other Human out by randomly looking up and cooing in my best Lauren Bacall* voice, "What a pretty fire!" or "That's a pretty fire."

"Stop it! Stop it! You sound creepy, stop it!"

"Such a pretty fire..."

*the Witch of the Waste, Howl's Moving Castle
fufaraw: (red umbrella snow)
Thanks for the pretty paper and e-cards I've gotten from my lovely flist this Christmas--you know who you are. And to [livejournal.com profile] fireheart13 for the adorable v-gift.

We have a light dusting of snow--like a very large baker sprinkled powdered sugar over the windowsills and bushes, and left the roads perfectly clear. Best snow ever, if you're not a skier or sledder.

Second batch of coffee's brewing, for those who haven't switched to tea. The scent of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies is being overtaken by the oatmeal walnut cookies baking. Soon it'll be time to put in the ham. The tree is twinkling and the old toys will fill the empty space underneath for the rest of the holidays (don't you hate that bare, bereft space? This is better).

Warmth and light and love to you all. Peace and kindness, and a Happy New Year!
fufaraw: (red umbrella snow)

This is Arlo )

And Taliesin Bach in his sleigh full of toys drawn by the second child's elephant pulltoy.

click on any picture to embiggen. And Merry Christmas, to all who celebrate!
fufaraw: (many candles)
I can't do it now because if there's more than one wick lit at a time, OH will whinge and expire from the dread heat, but when he used to work third shift, in the evenings the living room resembled a Shaolin temple (as portrayed by Kung Fu reruns), or perhaps a Police video. We used to make pilgrimmage to the candle factory outlet thrice a year (after Christmas, late spring, and late fall) to stock up--tapers, pillars of all heights and diameters, votives--10hr 10 cents, 14 hour 15 cents per candle, but you had to choose carefully because most of them were scented. You could find packages of 50 unscented tealights for a dollar--that's 2 cents a candle. After the outlet closed, I'd find bags of 50 tealights at the dollar store for a dollar or two.

I learned that changing empty tealight cups for full ones inside votive holders was much easier than removing wax from said votive holders, and though I have a huge stock of votives, I almost exclusively use tealights, any more. Also, if I pop off the aluminum tealight cup and substitute one of the clear plastic ones I saved from used-up tealights, the candlelight through the glass candleholder isn't obscured by the aluminum cup, so that's what I've been doing. Freezing the plastic cup to pop out leftover wax, and popping in a new tealight before using again.

Lately tealights have been made out of whipped parafin, they have a styrofoamy texture, burn down the center in about a half hour, and often have wired wicks, which give off toxic fumes and flash into a larger flame at random, which is dangerous. I've looked everywhere for better quality--even Ikea--without success. I was down to about five tealights, though, and charged OH with bringing home a new bag, which he did.

Reader, they're smooth and solid poured parafin, with a pure cotton (no wires) wick--and they come in clear plastic cups! Pricey, but worth it. We're a hop-skip from the Canadian border, and these are made in Canada, where apparently, they do things right! So I sent His Nibs back to the store today to buy more--he said the display was half-gone since yesterday, and he brought me three more bags. Now, how long do you reckon 200 tealights is going to hold me?

I will retain a handful of the aluminum cups--in a metal candleholder, the plastic can get hot enough to melt, so in those cases I'll use the metal.


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