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All the letters I can write
25 December 2014 @ 09:53 am
Hello and welcome!

I'm sorry to have made you wait to read this. Feel free to ignore all of the prompts. They're only suggestions. If they don't suit you, and you have a plot bunny of your own that you've been dying to write, go for it. If you do that, I request just two things. First, please don't ignore my "do not want" list. I know, it's an odd thing to say in a letter to my author but this actually happened to me, though not during Yuletide. The other thing that's important to me is that you be kind to the characters.

I'm not a shipper in the conventional sense of the term, although I'm not exactly a gen person either. However, unless a sex scene is integral to the plot, I'll probably skip over it. I don't like reading hurt/comfort fic, or stories that contain graphic descriptions of rape or torture. Stories that humiliate and embarrass the characters will make me feel unhappy and uncomfortable, too.

What do I like? I love poetry and prose. I love a well-plotted mystery. I like alternative universes and stories about time travel. I like stories that take a scene or an event from canon and expand on it, revealing more about the characters in the process. I love snappy dialogue and banter. I enjoy humor. I like stories about friendship. I like stories about love.

I'm an optimist. I know life is hard. Bad things do happen to good people. However, I like reading stories about how people cope with adversity; how they get through the hard times and come out on the other side, transformed in some way by those experiences.

#1 Nashville: Juliette Barnes, Avery Barkley
#2 The X-Files RPF: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson
#3 L'Écume des jours | Mood Indigo (2013): Nicolas, Isis, Colin, Chloe
#4 The Americans (TV 2013): Stan Beeman, Matthew Beeman, Sandra Beeman

This is rather longer than I'd expected it to beCollapse )

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All the letters I can write
19 November 2014 @ 11:36 am
It is foolish
to let a young redwood
grow next to a house.

Even in this
one lifetime,
you will have to choose.

That great calm being,
this cluster of soup pans and books–

Already the first branch-tips brush at the window.
Softly, calmly, immensity taps at your life.

Jane Hirshfield, "Tree" from Given Sugar, Given Salt (2001)

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All the letters I can write
16 November 2014 @ 10:58 am
The December Talking Meme. Although I'm looking forward to reading what other people write, I'm not going to participate. I simply don't have the energy to take on anything more right now. What I need to do instead is spend more time on the commitments I've already made to people--on and off the internet. The other problem is that this exercise reminds me of the Tumblr asks memes which I can't do either. I owe answers to one of my followers. I will get to it but it won't be this month or the next.

There is a lengthy list of tasks I've been neglecting, mostly mundane things like getting my laundry caught up again and finding a new dentist and making an appointment to get my teeth cleaned. Some things are about duty: I need to spend more time with my aged parents and reconnect with my siblings and friends. The other time sink quite simply is my house. It has years and years worth of deferred maintenance that has to be dealt with and soon. It requires painting inside and out. Installation of new windows and a new front door are all long overdue. We need new cat-friendly flooring to replace the pet-stained, fraying carpet. We need a new sofa and drapery. The list is long, and getting longer. Unfortunately neither of us enjoy this sort of thing, so it's good to start with something small, something easy.

We need to buy a new refrigerator, preferably before the old one breaks down for good. When we last bought one back in the eighties, we drove to Sears. There was only one model they stocked that fit our kitchen so that's what we bought. With no internet, comparison shopping was much more arduous and we didn't have the time or interest. It's different now of course, and while it's good to have choices, it makes everything more complicated.

What I want is a refrigerator that has the fresh food within easy reach and LED lighting so I can see it. My husband wants his ice and frozen pizzas at eye level. We aren't remodeling so we still have the same space limitations.

"Every time I go to get ice, I'm going to have to bend down. The freezer section on that model is too small," he says, frowning at the model I've fallen in love with.

This seems ridiculous to me. After all, I'm the person who does all of the cooking. I suggested that we could try keeping track of how often we use the refrigerator (me) versus the freezer (him) using hatch marks on the family calender which is on the freezer door. He was not enthused.

To his credit, he was willing to compromise on a Whirlpool model that had a bottom freezer with wire shelves but ordinary lighting. I decided to keep looking, which made him unhappy with me.

"You always have to keep looking before you can make a decision," he scolded.

What's wrong with that? If I'm going to live with this appliance for the next 10+ years, I want to be happy with it. After much clicking on links (and gnashing of teeth), I think I've found what I want at Home Depot, of all places. I hate the damn stores--who can find anything in those caverns? But their internet site is perfect! You can filter for everything: size, features, price, manufacturer. The fridge I've decided on is a Whirlpool, just like the one he was willing to buy at Sears, but this model has adjustable shelves, no space-robbing automatic ice-maker, and LED lighting! It's also CEE tier 3, so it should save a bit of electricity in the long run. I guess it will be black to match the stove and dishwasher, although the old one is white with fake wood and chrome handles. You gotta love the eighties.

A couple of links before I begin the laundry and do kitchen cleanup.

I don't know how you felt about the film Julie and Julia, but I loved the half of the movie that was story of Julia Child discovering the country and cuisine that will change her life, and was bored to tears by the blogger's story. Now there's a version on vimeo called & Julia that has the tedious bits edited out. I watched it this morning and Meryl Streep's performance is just as good as I remembered. You Can Finally Watch 'Julie and Julia' without Julie.

Looking through last week's movie reviews, I found this old post by Roger Ebert that he wrote in response to a TED talk by Kellee Santiago, a video game designer and producer. Why Video Games Can Never Be Art. Now I suppose I should go listen to her side of the story.

I want this. I need this in my living room. A Rainbow Bookcase in New York City.

And one Ebola link, about a young Liberian nurse's fight to take care of her sick family. In Liberia, one woman's singular fight against ebola

I hope you had a fun weekend and have a great week.

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All the letters I can write
03 November 2014 @ 02:16 pm
Some of these are so old. Better late than never? These are the non-Ebola links.

First, a signal boost via cofax7, I think. I hope folks can help pass this along. silwritersguild: HASA Story Rescue Project

Just what it says in the title.
What I Saw in Ferguson

I meant to post this back in August. My husband had just had surgery so the time just got away from me. There were many pieces written about Robin Williams following his death but Matt Zoller Seitz's was the one that spoke to me.
A constant quality: Robin Williams, 1951-2014 | MZS | Roger Ebert

These Are the Brave and Fluffy Cats Who Served in World War I

I wasn't sure if I should be embarrassed or what by my result.
What children's book character are you? | New York Public Library.
You're the Little Prince! You're independent, imaginative, and you hanker for adventures – but love is the most important thing in your life. Other people love your sweetness and your unique way of looking at the world.

This was published in 2011 but still moving and relevant.
Twenty-five years after the world’s worst nuclear accident, More visits a hardy community of women who’ve made a home in Chernobyl’s desolate, radioactive surroundings. Why they chose to live here after the disaster, defying the authorities and endangering their health, is an inspiring tale—about the pull of ancestral lands, the healing power of shaping one’s destiny and the subjective nature of risk. Ukraine: A Country of Women | MORE Magazine

FINALLY my fashion moment has arrived. Please Lord, let this trend last at least as long as skinny jeans.
How To Wear Your White Sneakers Outside Of The Gym |

This is for dictionary nerds and other people who love words.
Color definitions: Their history and why it's so hard to define cerise, taupe, blue, begonia, or any other color

This research was for a story I've been trying to revise forever. The food looks good but the scene will still probably get cut.
Your Guide to a Full English Breakfast (Fry-Up) | Serious Eats

A scathing review of this book and its ilk.
'Jane Austen, Game Theorist' by Michael Suk-Young Chwe Is a Joke | New Republic

I loved ST:Voyager and I loved Captain Janeway and if you didn't, I don't want to know about it. The music still gives me goosebumps: Star Trek Voyager Main Title Theme.

This is from the archives of Roger Ebert's site.
Now, "Voyager": in praise of the Trekkiest "Trek" of all | Balder and Dash | Roger Ebert

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All the letters I can write
13 October 2014 @ 02:28 pm
Today is Fox Mulder's 53rd birthday. How did that happen? I've been thinking somewhat the same thing, except in regards to my own age. How did I get to be so old, and so quickly? Not that I am complaining, mind you. I am a fortunate woman with (so far) very minor, non-life-threatening health issues. By my age, my mother was already a breast cancer survivor. So happy birthday, Fox Mulder. It's also Chris Carter's 57th birthday. He's kind of splitting the difference, age-wise, between me and Mulder.

 photo DavidDuchovny53resize_zps4dcb8e95.jpg

Technically, this is a picture of David Duchovny, not Fox Mulder. But the most recent picture I have of Mulder is already six or seven years old, from the 2008 movie. So if you don't tell anyone, I won't either.

Assignments have already gone out for [community profile] fringe_exchange and we've begun our discussion of season three at [community profile] fringe_rewatch. xf_is_love is going fine. We've lost a few people over last year due to natural fandom attrition (and the ongoing LiveJournal exodus). Those of you in other closed canon fandoms know what I mean. But the faithful remnant is there, posting about season two, the good ("Duane Barry"/"Ascension"), the bad ("Fresh Bones"--still upcoming) and the really bad ("Excelsius Dei"). In honor of Mulder's birthday, today is a discussion post: Wendelah's Top Five Mulder Moments. Tomorrow the season two rewatch resumes with "Aubrey."

Having watched the movie, we've finally finished with Veronica Mars. Overall I give it a solid B-. I didn't think the third season was as terrible as some people did, but then I didn't think the first two seasons were anything more than consistently entertaining. The movie was exactly what I expected it would be, except for the ending which wasn't terribly believable--or pleasing--to me. C'est la vie.

Like most of the world, I watched the first two episodes of How to Get Away with Murder. It was entertaining enough, and Viola Davis is a great actress, but it's just--too--over the top. If you like Scandal and/or Grey's Anatomy (I don't), you will enjoy HTGAWM.

On the other hand, I've watched three episodes of Madame Secretary and so far, I'm sticking with it. I think it's a smartly written show with good-to-excellent dialogue and Téa Leoni is very engaging. I like the rest of the cast, too. Also, my husband is willing to watch it with me without complaining about how ridiculous it is every two minutes, which is a plus.

What else? Sunday a week ago we drove to UCLA to see the National Theatre Live broadcast of A Streetcar Named Desire. How do I put this? It was a very well-done production of a very over-rated play. As everyone has already said, Gillian Anderson was breath-taking in her role as Blanche DuBois. I'm certainly glad I had the opportunity to see her perform. And, I would go see another NTL televised play. I think we might have seen more from our movie seats than many people did from their seats in the Young Vic. If you're in the LA area and you haven't seen it, there are encore broadcasts tonight and Saturday afternoon at the Sundance in West Hollywood, and other dates at their other venues.

I have about a half dozen links to post, too, but even with the air conditioner on, it's too damned hot in my house. I need to take a shower and get dressed. We are finally going out to see Boyhood, while it's still playing in a theater. Very old-fashioned of me, I know, but I like watching movies in movie theaters.

No news from the doctor's office about Kyle's biopsies. I assume no news is good news but today I called them and left a message.

Have a good week, everyone.

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All the letters I can write
29 September 2014 @ 01:56 pm
1. Kyle's in-office laser surgery on Friday went fine, although he was a little uncomfortable toward the end. He's still on voice rest so time will tell what effect this will have on his speaking voice. I can enthusiastically recommend the Hilton Garden Inn Fontana for anyone who needs somewhere to stay near the medical center. Because his dad had surgery, [personal profile] son_of_wendelah came home for the weekend. It was good to see him. I miss him.

2. I put in my Yuletide nominations.

The Americans - Stan Beeman, Sandra Beeman, Matthew Beeman and Paige Jennings. I thought about nominating Jared Connors, but it didn't make any sense to nominate him without his parents and Kate, and I'd already promised people I would nominate two other characters. So I threw in Matthew Beeman instead. Now I can ask for a story about his crazy family and hope someone besides me offers those characters. Plus, the last time I nominated a character that wasn't already on the tag list, it didn't get approved. I didn't want the nomination to go to waste like it did last year.

The X-Files RPF - Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny, Chris Carter, and Téa Leoni. The last two are kind of beside the point but the character I really wanted to ask for is Matt Zoller Seitz. Why? Because he's a great critic whose writing I love and HE SHIPS DAVID AND GILLIAN. This is a perfect self-insertion opportunity prompt for the right person.

How about a story about Matt Zoller Seitz shipping Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny. Don't worry, I know Optional Details Are Optional. Suggestions include drawer fic, his photo collection, his anon submissions to fuckyeahdavidgillian and his never-sent-tweets. If you can, please include his imaginary on and off screen reactions to their cavorting around last year for the 20th Anniversary. His presumed bitterness about Keith Uhlich being picked to moderate the panel could be a plot line as well. "But I'm a fan of The X-Files, too, dammit. Plus I WAS NOMINATED FOR A PULITZER! What does Uhlich have that I don't have?" he fumed.

Sigh. So not going to happen.

 photo MattZollerSeitztumblr_na2ldwT8jC1qzkjc0o1_500_zpsd5b9845d.jpg

For the third nomination, I went with a long shot: Mood Indigo (2013) - Colin, Chloé, Nicolas, Isis. I probably won't get matched for it but someone might write a treat. I am going to come up with wonderful, exciting prompts and there will be pictures, too.

3. There are just two more days until xf_is_love begins. I am frantically trying to get my season two rewatch posts done and into the queue. The First Annual Halloween Candy Exchange (yes, stolen from Yuletide) signup ends on October 1st to give people time to do international mailings. And there is still one day open to claim.

4. There are just two more days until the signup for [community profile] fringe_exchange closes. And four days until [community profile] fringe_rewatch begins the epic third season. I should make a banner. But...

5. Since the latest update, Photobucket won't let me edit anymore. Any suggestions for free photo hosting with easy (mostly just crop, re-size, add simple text) editing?

6. One week more until I get to see Gillian Anderson in A Streetcar Named Desire. We have tickets for an encore performance being shown at UCLA.

7. Does anyone have voice-to-text software they can recommend? Typing is getting increasingly problematic thanks to worsening arthritis in my hands. (Everything is getting harder...but there is no software for most of the stuff I do...)

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All the letters I can write
25 September 2014 @ 11:32 am

Well, so much for trying to post every day in September, huh?

Fringe fans, don't forget to sign up for [community profile] fringe_exchange. It's a multi-media exchange, which means its open to artists, vidders and pod-ficcers as well as writers.

[ profile] fringe_exchange
A Fringe gift exchange for the holidays, signups end October 1!

While I'm on the topic of Fringe, [community profile] fringe_rewatch starts again on October 3 with season three. Get caught up with season two and join us. Or don't get caught up. Watch the season two finale and come join us.

What else? On October 1, xf_is_love will begin its daily posts and season two rewatch with "Little Green Men." In the meanwhile, there is a wishlist prompt post you can contribute to and even a Halloween Candy Exchange, an idea I stole wholesale from Yuletide. I've already hooked up quite a few people with their new international sweets supply source. There are still two days available to claim, too.

The past month was hard.Collapse )

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All the letters I can write
14 September 2014 @ 06:34 pm
Yesterday we attended a beautiful outdoor wedding and reception. It was held in the Rose Garden at Descanso Gardens on what was the second hottest day of the summer, today being the first. The mercury topped 106 F/41.1 C today, 18 degrees above average for the middle of September. It was only 105/40.5 yesterday. I'm not sure if it was the longest marriage ceremony I've ever witnessed that didn't include serving communion, or if it just seemed that way because of the heat. Or maybe this is just what happens when two English majors get married and they write their own vows...

 photo 3e90f82c-e178-451f-ab85-d135c56f1972_zps068af7c0.jpg
Despite the weather, a lovely time was had by all. I wore a floor length Rachel Pally White Label sundress and had my hair pinned up in a loose bun. My husband and son each took one for the team and wore dress shirts, suits and ties.

When we got home, the menfolk stayed up and watched UCLA post a 20-17 win over Texas, thus avoiding an upset. I collapsed into bed. Avoiding overheating is exhausting.

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All the letters I can write
03 September 2014 @ 10:10 pm
This is the story I wrote for [community profile] crossovering.

It's the prequel to a fic I wrote a number of years ago, "Reason." When I wrote "Reason," two people whose opinion I respect felt strongly that I'd left too many questions unanswered about Redverse Fox Mulder. I hope this fic answers at least some of those questions.

Second Chances (7664 words) by wendelah1
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The X-Files, Fringe
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Fox Mulder & Dana Scully, Fox Mulder/Dana Scully
Characters: Fox Mulder, Dana Scully, Charlie Francis
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon, Case Fic

The man who broke Donnie Pfaster out of prison is tearing holes in the fabric of the universe. It's The X-Files episode "Orison," in the canon AU of Fringe.

Now that this is done, my heart wants a fluffy Redverse Mulder/ Redverse Scully courtship story. True confession: though still a noromo for The X-Files, I ship my versions of these characters, probably because they were created to have the happy ending that I have such a hard time envisioning for the long-suffering Mulder and Scully belonging solely to Chris Carter. Never going to happen though, unless I can think of a genuinely compelling Redverse/Fringe plot to wrap around the romance.

I missed posting yesterday. This counts as a post, right?

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All the letters I can write
02 September 2014 @ 01:35 pm
I've already missed one day--so much for my resolution to post every day in September. My husband is sick. Technically, he's never been completely well, not since he got pneumonia three+ weeks ago. cut for people who are as tired of reading about this as I am writing about itCollapse )

Today is my son's first day of classes in his DPT program. He's gradually moving his stuff down to Orange County. Someday I will get that room back for my own use, but today is not that day. I took him out to dinner last night, just the two of us because his dad's too sick to leave the house. I'll miss him but I know it's good and right for him to be out on his own.

Our fourth cat Boris, the male stray who wandered up to the door starving to death a few months ago, finally got carted to the vet for his shots and neutering. He was very anxious about being indoors for the first couple of days but he's settled down now. We only have to keep him in a week for the stitches to heal, after that, we'll see. He's gotten very fond of lying smack dab in the middle of where people need to step. He's tripled in size since we started feeding him. By the time he's full grown, he could be the size of a small black panther.

Our tiny girl Nina has gotten a little bigger but she's still half the size of the smallest of our males. She managed to escape today by climbing through a small hole in the wall under the sink, and falling down into the crawl space under the house. She managed to climb back in the same way she escaped. I'm going to have to put a baby lock on the cabinet door, which is too bad because opening those things hurts my joints.

The three boy cats have settled into a truce with our fierce little girl. She's not chasing them, hissing, or even getting a puffed up tail now. Thank God for small favors. Our oldest boy Pumpkin has decided he prefers sleeping outdoors most of the day on the porch, to avoid her, just in case. I make him come in to eat but leave a water bowl outside.

Don't laugh. Or, laugh if you want. To cheer myself up, after I finally stopped revising my [community profile] crossovering story, I started writing an X-Files AU for the following truly cracked prompt I saw on Tumblr.

imagine an AU where mulder and scully are adult shelter cats and share a cage (bc crowding), and they share their life stories/comfort/get to know each other. they get adopted by different families but neither is sure of the other's fate because adult cats often get put down. but they each run away from their new owners and miraculously meet again, and then run away to the countryside and are adopted by cabin-dwelling reyes and doggett and live meowpily ever after. IT'S WEIRD BUT GO WITH IT

I WENT WITH IT. Right now the first chapter is in draft format at AO3. I don't think I'll ever post it but imagining Mulder and Scully as shelter cats is strangely relaxing. Well, so far, it's just Mulder the stray, but Scully Cat should appear in Chapter Two.

One last thing. I want to rec my [community profile] crossovering gift, which is everything I could want in a Fringe/Orphan Black fic. The clones of Fringe Division, plus the Redverse characters! Thank you, dear author. You made me very happy.

Variations of their Being (5589 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Fringe, Orphan Black (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Alternate Olivia Dunham, Cosima Niehaus, Alternate Walter Bishop, Rachel Duncan, Alternate Astrid Farnsworth, Tony Sawicki, Alternate Lincoln Lee, Alison Hendrix, Alternate Charlie Francis, Beth Childs, Sarah Manning
Additional Tags: Crossover

Meanwhile, in another universe.

or, Five moments in the lives of the clones of Fringe Division.

Bye now. I hope everyone has a good week.

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