Silmfic woes

So I've had this story idea sitting in my head since about 2005 - a long, long episode set in Himring covering the years from the Aglareb to the Bragollach (I'm not sure if I'll actually have the heart to do Nirnaeth Arnoediad - the original passage in the Silm didn't impact me much at first, but after writing about the Finweans and coming to love them well, it was almost painful on a reread).

Problem is? I can't do it.

Or rather, I can't do it without OCs. Maedhros is the only canon character there for most of that time. Most of the events pre-Doriath-Kinslaying feature him marginally at best. In short, there's a big great unfilled blank there - and it has to be filled with OCs or else it will be a very introspective story. And while introspective vignettes are all very well, you can't do that for a whole novel.

Now, I do not abhor all OCs. But I do know that most readers would rather read of canon characters whom they know and love - that is, after all, the point of fanfiction. And having a cast almost entirely of OCs would be off-putting, to the writer as much as the reader. The exceptions, of course, are fabulous - Isabeau of Greenlea's Andrahar stories and Surgicalsteel's Serindë come to mind - but it would be too much to expect such of my OCs before I even write them.

The second point - which all Silmfic shares in part - is that things take too bloody long to happen. Years pass, decades, centuries. According to the Grey Annals it was 400 years between Thingol pitching a fit about Quenya and Beren and Lúthien running into the Sons of Fëanor. That sort of timeline is way, waaaay too long to make each chapter more than a disjointed episode.

So now I might wuss out and cover only the time before and after the Bragollach, or even take a mortal character as my PoV character, in the style of Marnie's Battle of the Golden Wood, and use the whole thing as a Fëanorian character study - except I'm not sure how dark my Maedhros will be. I never envisioned him as very dark - the relevant bits of the Silm seemed to hint that he recovered mostly, except for a "shadow of pain" - but fanon seems to like leaving him either a wreck or fairly callous/soulless post-Thangorodrim.

As you can tell, I'm a bit daunted by the idea of my first long fic - and having to make up most of the events isn't helping. The other long fic I'd like to attempt is one covering "the making of Fingon" and why he was close to the Fëanorians. And - well, those who write fanfic will know what I mean when I say I read one of those fics: the ones that are so good that they make you want to stop writing in the time period they cover, because no way can you match something like that. For record, I read Ivanneth's The Follower, which is good enough that I could wish it were canon, except that it's unfinished. And now I wonder if I won't be covering ground too often tread if I do yet another Time of the Trees Fingon/House of Fëanor fic.

My long ramble was long - apologies for that.

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Fic bunnies again!

I... have this sudden urge to write anti-Arwen fanfiction.

(Also, what happened to good old I used to lurk there about three, four years ago and now it's gone...)

I've also been driving myself crazy trying to remember this one fanfic I read way back which had a some people of Gondor (Lossarnach? Lebennin?) offer to back Faramir against Aragorn (which he refused). I thought was a remarkable insight into Gondorian politics. If only I could actually remember what it was called...

On dress sense, culture, and random ranting.

Our school's due to have a singing competition tomorrow, with classes competing against each other in a choral sing-off. Sounds perfect, right?

Yep, till you get to the bit where you're deciding what the class will wear.

As one of the people in my class with some performing experience, I went shopping with two or three other people, looking for shirts/blouses to buy for the girls who're going on stage. We spotted one of those really lovely blouses with lacy collars and tiny faux-pearl buttons, and I fell in love with them at first sight.

So I draw my classmates' attention to it, and suggest that we get some long, colourful skirts to match. Collective objection ensues.

"It's too feminine!" complained one. And another, "I'm not wearing that, it's so womanly!"

And the guy who's directing the choir rolled his eyes and said pointedly, "You know, you might not care about wearing a skirt, but some girls are actually modest."

Now, from this reaction you might think I wanted them to go on-stage in their underwear. However, the garment that caused such hubbub is...

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For goodness' sake, this isn't Victorian England. The zeitgeist has changed. Society in general has moved on and stopped obsessing about what women wear, and whether they might "tempt" people. What I wear does not determine who I am; at best, it reflects it. So get over it already.

At least there was a small triumph, which was more from coincidence than anything else. All the other blouses were sold out, so we ended up buying the pretty lace-and-pearl ones after all, and we'll all be wearing them if only for ten minutes. I suppose it's a start, at least.

Well, I'm back.

I've been away from LJ for -- what, two years now? It seems like longer.

There have been lots of reasons, beginning with school and running the gauntlet down the many busy little things of daily life, but the most direct reason was that China banned LJ for these two years. I've never quite understood why -- probably something political.

In any case, whoever banned it must have relented, because now I can access the site. I've been randomly lurking for a week or so due to finals, but exams are now over and I'm hopefully back for good. So hello again, and I bet you've all forgotten me by now!

I'm writing this on my mobile phone in my dorm, and it's almost lunchtime. Will probably be back later today or tomorrow with more stuff.

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Well, I'm back.

I haven't died. I haven't gone mad. And the big exam is over. It was a bit of a disaster, but I'll live. :P I might even make it into my high school of choice. We'll see.

It's been so long since I've been on LJ-- two months since my last post, half a year since I've been here regularly. Actually, it's been half a year since I've done anything at all except study. I mean to rectify this problem-- no more textbooks this summer! I'm just going to go read sci-fi and sew and sing and write.


(no subject)

I am not doing well at the moment.

I did quite badly in my Chinese exam, scoring just 89 out of 120. :( That's 18 points lower than the highest mark. As a result, Mom has banned me from the internet, and filled my spring break with extra-curricular lessons. That in itself wouldn't be too bad. I mean, it'd be a nuisance, but not that awful. It's just that all the things added together... it gets to me.

I'm having the zhongkao in about two months. My teacher says the course of my life will depend on whether or not I can get into a good high school. I have a ten-hour schoolday, lessons on Saturday, three tests per week, the works. It's... depressing. And the parents are angry because I didn't do well, and the lectures abound. It feels so <i>unfair</i>. I want to plead that I'm not perfect, but I can't. Nobody asked me to be perfect. People don't care whether or not I can sing, or write, or play the piano. All that's wanted is a good grade, and that last is the one thing I don't have at the moment.

I hate the way life's going. I hate looking at the classroom window and seeing those ugly iron bars. I hate all this pressure, the cold judgement of my worth as a person based on a bunch of numbers. My hands shake whenever I see an exam paper, and I feel trapped and trammelled and helpless like a wild animal.

I feel so lifeless and grey. It's springtime, and I shouldn't, but I do. I don't even care what I do any more. I'm that tired. I just want to cry and have it all stop, but it isn't going to no matter how hard I cry. I can't show my talents in an exam, and nobody will ever know. All they'll know is what I scored.

My sixteenth birthday's in three months. How I celebrate it will depend on how well I do in the big exam, as will my vacation. Damn it all.


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I am so absolutely in love...

I bought Carol Berg's Rai-kirah series a few days ago (the Transformation, Revalation, Restoration trilogy) and I have one word to sum it up:


And, for once, I will give in to my baser instincts and do a rave review.

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And the dialogue! *turns green with envy*

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I am a pyromaniac. I am, however, in good company. There are about a million other pyromaniacs in the city.

Today is Chinese New Year, the Spring Festival, whatever you'd like to call it. Traditionally, people set off fireworks. Which is why an alien from outer space would have thought that Beijing looked like a war zone with all the smoke. Last night saw the most spectacular burst. The ban on fireworks was lifted just a few years ago, and there must have been hundreds of people setting off their own fireworks just in the area around our house. For good measure, dad brought some, and we lit them. They went up with a sparkle and a bang. We couldn't see them properly, because we were too close, but other people could. I had lots of fun, and almost got blasted by one.

This morning I was wakened by people setting off crackers. To be fair, it was ten o'clock. And they're still at it right now, which is nine thirty in the evening. But then, this is the New Year, and noise is traditionally involved. It also happens to be my mother's birthday, and tomorrow we're heading off to Singapore, where dad gets to go golfing with his buddies, mom gets to go shopping, and I get to bury myself in the local Borders-- a rare treat, since there are no foreign bookstores at all in China. It's not allowed, or something. *mutters* Then we're going to Bali for a bit.

I still haven't finished my homework ('bout two hundred pages left) but apart from that, life's good.

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Ahem. I do have reason to be pleased; I just messed around with a bit of new software today and recorded a song. *beams* I am an Aramel-of-all-trades after all, it seems.

Link! 2 megs.

It's Greensleeves. I can't remember where the accompanying music came from, unfortunately; it's been on my computer for ever. And I accidentally ended up recording everything twice, which is why I sound like a one-person choir. But it does sound nicer than it would otherwise.

Greensleeves was all my joy,
Greensleeves was my delight,
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
and who but my lady Greensleeves.

It was meant to be sung by a man, I guess, but whatever.

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(no subject)

Feel like testing your subconscious? Try this. It's fabulously eye-opening.

I did a few tests, and the results were mildly surprising.

  1. I was told that I identified Asian Americans more readily with America than European Americans, when my real reaction is quite automatically to think of them as my countrymen (sue me, but I'm trying to work on it). I suspect it may have more to do with my inability to recognize American landmarks than anything else (what was that greenish monolith thing anyway?)
  2. I was told that I have more positive feelings with Jewish people when I really never ask about others' religion lest they ask about mine and then try to convert me.
  3. I was told that I have a moderate preference for gay people over straight people (that takes up only about 6 percent of the whole) when I'd expected them to come out roughly equal. ('S all you guys' fault for writing slash. :P Just kidding. But hey, I feel special.)
  4. I apparently have a moderate association of male with career and female with family. I'm trying to work on this too, since I obviously don't want to spend my life just doing housework, but I will admit for once that this has something to do with the culture I grew up in.
  5. I have little preference between African Americans and European Americans. Possibly because I spent my time among a hodgepodge of people of all kinds. I was surprised by the diagram, though. It's the most extreme one I've seen. Bar the gay/straight diagram.
  6. I had a slight preference for other people as compared to Arab Muslims. Point is that I've never met an Arab Muslim. Weird.
  7. I was neutral about abled/disabled people too. I mean, guh? What was the point of this test? Why would anyone be negative about disabled people? Apart from the fact that they need help?
  8. There was a test on ambivalent sexism on a linked site. I scored ridiculously low. 0.4 out of 5, when the average was around 2, meaning that I'm fairly non-sexist. The interesting thing is that they put "benevolent sexism" on too (finally!). Benevolent sexism, FYI, is the knight-in-shining-armour kind of sexism. Think Victorian England.
So... any other takers?