myaru: (Dragon Age - Alistair)
If you set a thing on fire once, you're a pyro in the collective memory forever.

I was minding my own business at work one day when I opened the warming oven to retrieve someone's cookie and found a happy little fire dancing on the edge of the parchment paper. Since it's generally good policy not to piss off your entitled customers more than necessary, I grabbed the tongs, retrieved the cookie, and shut the oven. When we opened it again (my shift supervisor was kind of worried when I said shit was on fire) it had gone out.

As it turns out, according to the person in charge at the time, you're supposed to grab a soaking wet cloth - probably from the sanitizer bucket, which seems like a bad idea to me, but WHATEVER - stick your hand into the oven, and smother the fire with the wet towel.

Sticking your hand in the oven sounds perfectly safe. Like a fantastic idea, even! Especially when something is burning.

I have my doubts as to the validity of this approach for the situation above, but a wet towel will probably put the damn fire out, so I'll give it that much credit. And I found out later that this isn't an isolated problem, so the way I see it, put that fire out any way you can do it, and discuss the merits of burning your skin off afterward. Then you can ask yourself why Starbucks hasn't formulated a cookie that won't spontaneously combust.

Fast forward several months. (At least this doesn't happen every one or two, am I right?) I'm pre-heating my oven, which I haven't used since early spring; it beeps to tell me it's ready, I open the door, and-- fire.

First thought: What the fuck, there's nothing in there to burn!

I slam the door shut.

Second thought: Shit, A FIRE. WHAT DO I DO.

Third thought: The internet will know. Ask Google!

Google told me I was right. I tried to be patient while the pretty little flames got smaller, and decided to text "lol, oven fire!" to my husband, because I do like to brighten his day whenever possible.

We went out to dinner that night.

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First thing my former coworkers tell the noob baristas when I walk into the store now? "That's Amber. She sets things on fire! :D"

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myaru: (Dragon Age - Alistair)
First via Jim Hines, and then others on LJ, I was introduced to Amazon's Kindle Worlds while guzzling my morning coffee and trying to wake up. At first I didn't quite believe it existed. Now? I still can't, kind of.

Kindle Worlds: Not bigger on the inside (via Oshun) raises good points, especially #3: why would you sign a contract to give Amazon all rights to your work? If this were original work, I'd run the other direction the moment I saw those terms. One could argue you're lucky to have the opportunity to legally publish your fan fiction at all, but my next question then is: why does it have to be published to be worth something?

This may sound strange coming from me, with my talk about feeling like I'm not worth anything as an author unless I publish something, but fan fiction is not, by nature, something that I think would benefit from publication of this sort. To me, fan fiction is fun, community, fannish conversation, speculation, and most importantly, being able to explore what I want to explore, when I want to do it, in the way I prefer, without having to meet someone else's content guidelines. It's freedom. I can enjoy my process to the fullest extent - and that means not editing if I so choose, or writing some kind of weird biblical allegory, or an AU, or a crossover with Fate/Stay Night, if I think the story will benefit from it.

Granted, I don't have any rights to fan fiction I might write today, but I'm also not looking to get paid for it. Bringing money into this makes it less about the fiction or the experience, and more about meeting standards and earning dollar signs, which I personally don't like in this context. Hell, I hate writing gift and exchange fics precisely because I have to stress about meeting someone else's standards for the canon or characters. As for money, I'd rather make it on something I created from scratch-- because I may have an exaggerated expectation of my ability in that area.

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All of that said, at the moment I don't have a dog in this fight. None of those properties interest me, and the chances of a property that does strike my fancy appearing on their list is slim. If that comes to pass, the question then becomes: do I love it enough to write for it, to jump through their hoops, and not care about the rights to the words I just typed? It's true I'm using someone else's characters in this scenario, but the development, leg work, and writing time/skill are all mine. I could put all of that into something I do have the rights for, or something more fun and without restrictions. Since fan fiction to me = fandom participation, bringing money and Amazon into the equation complicates it to questionable benefit.

Since there's very little to see right now, I reserve the right to change my views, but I'm going to let other people do the early adopting.

This feels like an April Fool's joke. Remember DeviantHeart?

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Links:
- Kindle Worlds: A (Former) Fan Fiction Writer's Perspective
Writer Tamago. Pimping especially because it makes a really good point about creating original characters for fanfic and later deciding you might want to use those stories elsewhere. The KW contract would make that a problem.

Related:
- Filing off the serial numbers - from fanfic to novel (part 1) (as a companion to the above; Kara Braden)
- Amazon’s Kindle Worlds: Instant Thoughts (John Scalzi)
- Getting Paid for Your Fanfic? Here Comes Kindle Worlds! (Dawn Felegund)
- Amazon Jumps Into the Fanfic Business (Jim Hines)
myaru: (Dragon Age - Alistair)
Went to see Prometheus. Having never seen an Alien movie, it was just an average SF-horror flick to me - i.e., not a huge disappointment, but not awesome. It was an entertaining hour and a half that offered a lot of eye candy. It reminded me of the Stargate movie, actually, but I have a lot more affection for Stargate.

That's not what I want to talk about. Here's what I want to talk about: all that bullshit they make you watch before the movie. Who gives a shit about 666 Park Avenue, or Storage Wars? (I mean, what the fuck, a reality show about auctioning crap-- no, never mind, that's a whole different rant.) I was there to watch the movie, not twenty minutes of inane trailers for shows that had nothing to do with what I came to watch, not even in terms of genre, followed by the making of X TV show trailer. (Just... what.) How long did I have to sit there watching that nonsense before they finally segued into previews, which ate up ten more minutes, before the movie actually started? If I had known it would take that long, I'd have gone out to buy a snack.

I haven't been to see a movie in a "mainstream" theater since The Return of the King. The movies I've gone to see since then were shown at small places, usually for film festivals. Huge changes were afoot in the world of movie theaters while I was gone, apparently.

Anyway, I wish I had taken a book. Seemed like a rude thing to do when I was going with other people, but next time I'm so taking my Kindle. :| And "next time" will probably be for The Hobbit. Anything else can wait.

/shakes cane

I will watch the original, now - finally. Eventually. There's a long list of movies I haven't seen that it seems everyone else has. For example: The Godfather. For some reason that always shocks people.

Someday I will make another 100 things post. If anybody has any suggestions, please do say so. I only have seventeen things on my list. Some aren't that great.
myaru: (FSN - Bazette again)
How many years late is this? I hate theaters, and kept forgetting to put it on my Netflix list, and let me tell you, I'm glad I didn't buy it - even used.

Most of the complaints I heard (back in the day) focused on things that were in the book that didn't make it into the movie. I consider story cuts to be a natural casualty of the adaption process; they don't surprise or offend me, and I expect to see them. The movie is not the book, etc. I'm generally pretty tolerant of movie interpretations because the writing demands of books and screenplays are different, and sometimes they don't get along.

My complaints are just these: they compressed too much and didn't make up for it with proper set-up. Every story point was heavy-handed to the point of absurdity. It's like the script decided we had to be told everything straight-up, just in case we missed it - not an unrealistic fear with the way they handled their information - and so there were moments in which the actors stared at us and told us exactly what just happened, or exactly what they intended, like it was a frigging Scooby Doo cartoon. Watch the super-dramatic evil churchmen announce that they want to rule the world! Look at Lyra announce what those guys at the North Pole are really doing with the kids! (I guess they'd have to, because public imagination would move in different directions.) Of course, if they'd set daemons up better from the get-go, they could've introduced some subtlety into that revelation, but since that didn't happen, their hands were tied.

I don't know. Movies have strict time demands, but there are plenty that introduce their concepts at the beginning without stumbling and leaving people confused. (There are also a lot that don't! Sigh.) It seems to me they didn't do their adapting very well, and all of this heavy-handed storytelling came after a lengthy prologue they should've used to set up the immediate situation.

(Listen to me, the amateur writer, criticize storytelling. Hilarious.)

I laughed at the ending. They had to end it there. Any farther and they would've been obligated to make a sequel, and you know that'll never happen. It might offend the conservatives! Besides, we can't show violence against children in a movie, adapted from a book, that revealed a systematic violation of those poor little kids' souls in the name of the church. GOD NO.

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Not sure how I feel about Lyra. I thought Nicole Kidman could've made a great Mrs. Coulter, but the role felt overacted-- like everything else in the movie. Lyra was an okay fit, I guess, but Asriel seemed off, and I just died laughing when I saw Christopher Lee in the church committee, and then heard Ian McKellan's voice. Died. I could not stop seeing Saruman and hearing Gandalf. XD I did think the guy they got for Lee Scoresby was a perfect fit, but those two - Coulter and Scoresby - are the only ones I felt were cast correctly.

The disc wasn't even worth keeping an extra day for screencaps, though the visuals were nice enough. Not stunning, but nice.

Next on my list are Prince Caspian, then Dawn Treader. After that I'm not sure. I always meant to see one of the X-Men movies, and one of the Transformer movies, but neither topic is all that interesting to me.

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