Dance of the Hours  





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Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: NodWick
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On Monday, May 13, 2002 at 12:44 p.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:

Link of the day is a strange RPG cartoon about the perils of being a henchmen. Also, Robbie has gotten back to me and informed me that Everyday Life was written by his friend Mike Litwin. Just wanted to give credit where credit was due. And now, on with the social blogging and rambling! Why? Because it's my pitas page that's why.

Thorne also has some wonderful advice about writing smut, specifically yaoi. Very interesting. And I think you do a much better of talking about what poor Jane Fangirl has to go through to try and write about yaoi, Thorne, then what I managed. Research can be a pain (must resist butt jokes...) if all you have to go on are romance novels and the Encyclopedia Brittanica. Which, sadly enough, was the limit of my sexual knowledge before college.

Though I must admit, the Encyclopedia Brittanica did clarify what exactly was not possible in romance novels and what was. Yes, I was the kind of person who felt more comfortable going to a book to have my questions answered than to a person. Still am. I think that's why I don't like the nitty-gritty descriptions of sex. It reminds me too much of reading an anatomy lesson. I read smut because I want to enjoy myself. Clinical temrs tends to kill that real quickly for me. Though that is my own personal taste.

I would have said something about the flowery euphenisms, but really haven't run across that many in the fan communities I read. Then again, I tend to be very picky about what I will and won't finish. Now the romance novels... good lord. Lately I just can't read them. I always wind up going "Why did I pay money for this again?" Even some of the older ones I really liked have lost some of their goodness in my eyes. I'm sorry, but I can no longer read the terms "man-root" or "shaft of love" without dissolving into helplss laughter.

And if one more main female character goes through their wedding night feeling no pain and immediate orgasm,I think I'm going to scream.

Final comment on smut. What is up with the insta-sluts? I can not stand this piece of drivel. "I'm a virgin! I'm a virgin! But suddenly I have the entire kama sutra downloaded into my brain and am no longer body concious nor awkward." ARRRRRRRRRGGGGH! I'm sorry people but the first time is not all glorious. It involves a lot of hesitiation, a lot of fumbling, if you're lucky a lot of laughter, and some elbows and knees in very uncomfortable places until you sort out what goes where. It does not usually involve complex positions, a sudden understanding, or the person suddenly losing all sembalance of inhibitions. I'm sure that this does occasionally happen, but not with the frequency it appears in fanfics.

And now I shall stop talking about smut. I swear. Really. ^_^

Well, I'm glad that someone took notice of mine and Flidget's rants about fanart Chairman. And I'll agree, I don't have enough artistic talent to tell people how to correct fanart. Usually, my comments go along the lines of "The left hand looks funny" but I can't tell them why or how to fix it. In writing, I can usually pin-point the problem, tell the person how to fix it, or at the very least give suggestions. And Flidget, people giving underserved praise is universal. I try not to do it, but the urge is there. I wonder why that's so? Why are people so reluctant to tell someone "You're person looks like a deformed cow?" The worlds may never know...

Lunar, congrats on acquiring two knew little fluffballs! they're so cute. Bright, orange sunshine and dark, gray stromclouds wrapped up into little kitties. Yeah! Speaking of cats, something I saw over on Pensieve had me falling out into fits of laughter. Direct quote here "which reminds me, ever notice that cats always give you that look that says 'Dude, just take the dump already' when they see you gardening?" Sorry, but I've seen that happen.

Lilack, a fun and interesting life? Yeah!



Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: Everyday Life- Fire Drill
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On Friday, May 10, 2002 at 03:07 p.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:

One of my on-line friends (hi Es! had to go AFK for a bit because of a fire drill. This reminded me of a comic done by a friend of a friend (hi Robbie!) called Everyday Life. It hasn't been updated in years (sometime in 1998 the last comic was posted). Yet to this day, this particular one about fire drills still sends me into fits of laughter. Mostly, because it is so true. My only complaint is that sometimes, the strips are so compressed that it's hard to read the words. But oh well.

Smut is the hardest thing in the world to write.

It's true. No wait, that's not exactly right. Let me try again. Trying to write good, well thought out smut that the reader can actually follow is an absolute pain in the butt. Even if it's not yaoi (BAD PUN! BAD PUN!!!!!). Actually, writing about same sex couples makes it even more difficult because you lose the use of pronouns. So you wind up with things like this happening when you edit. "'He touched his face gently.' wait a minute. Who's touching who's face? Or is this guy touching his own face? ARRRGGGGHHH! Now I can't remember. Stupid pronouns."

I think everyone should be made to write a serious smut scene with the following criteria: the actual smut part (not the lead up, but the part where thing start getting hot and heavy) has to be two pages long, single spaced, 10 or 12 point type. One or both participates must "finish." There can be no fade to black. No "we were close but we decided to just cuddle" things either. This has to be pure smut. The mechanics are up to you, as is how far the participates actually go (Remember! One must reach orgasm. No chickening out!)

Why do I think everyone should be made to do this experiment? Because then people will realize just how hard it is to write something decent that involves two people doing the wild thing. People look ridiculous having sex. They do! It's a fact of life. And now suddenly you've been handed the challenge of trying to make it romantic or arousing or even anatomically possible. It's a very difficult prospect. The amount of difficulty you will have writing this doubles if one or both of the people involved are members of the opposite sex. The amount of difficulty if triples you have never actually seen a member of the opposite sex naked in real life. Pictures don't count. What do you do?

Well if you're me, you get embarrassed as Hell. No, it doesn't matter that I've been writing this stuff since I was thirteen. Yes, I was writing smut at that age. It wasn't necessarily good smut, and I have the misfortune of still knowing exactly where it is (even to the page in my notebook). If I think "Hey, I'm writing smut!", I cannot write it. I imagine others have this problem, and can't overcome it. I imagine others are like "What? I can write smut day and night and not think anything of it." Well good for you. Me, I write as quickly as I can the first time and get it over with.

After doing this several times and then having to go back anf fix stuff over and over again (editing is your friend!) I figured out a few of the elements that make it hard to write. Or, in other words, a few of the things I kept messing up. I've seen other screw these up to. Even veteran smut writers who should have known better scre wup on these points. While paying attention to these thing will not automatically make you a good smut writer, they will help.

Pay attention to the clothes. No, I don't mean like describing them in detail. I mean, that if in one scene Duo's got pants and Heero is grabbing his bare butt there better be a sentence or something that says that Duo took the pants off. Same goes for shirts, shoes, socks, or even the whole outfit. There are no instant disappearing clothes despite my theories on what Hotohori's seishi power may be. If they come off, you've got to tell your readers. Why? Because they can not see into your head. All they have is your words to go by. And if you don't describe to them what's going on, when something in the fic suddenly comes up bare when in their mind it was clothed, they are going to notice.

Pay attention to the positions of the people involved in the scene. I don't know what it is about sex scenes, but for some reason people want to be extremely vague about exactly what is going on. I don't know how many times I have been jarred out of a very good story because one of the characters starting doing something that was physically impossible in the position I was imagining. You, as the writer, need to tell me the reader who's on top, who's on bottom, who's side by side, and who's doing what. Please don't have one of your characters holding someone from behind, then sitting across the front of ther person's hips, then kissing them in the small of their back, and then pressing their lips passionately to their throat all at the same time. Because unless they have two heads and are a contortionist, it's not physically possible to do all that at once. And trying to do those things one after the other is more likely to throw your back out than anything else.

Pay attention to the setting. While the two characters involved in your little hot and heavy scene should be the main show, keep in mind where exactly they're doing it. Despite some romance novels I've read matress with rose petals and silk sheets do not magically appear in the abandoned hunting shacks the two characters have never been in before. Usually said shacks are small, dirty, windy, and have creepy things in them. Not the place for romance. Similarly, if your two characters are having fun standing on the beach, the water should not hit mid thigh with the first wave, waist high in the second wave, and be chest high by the third. Yes, it makes a lovely setting but the tide has never come in that quickly.

Keep the pacing and writing style constant. You should not have three pages of kissing, then two paragraphs of "Wham, Bam, thank you Ma'am" at the end. This not only reads badly, it really annoys your readers (me). Similarly, if the story is slow paced, the smut scene should be slow paced. If the story is fast paced, so should the smut scene. Same goes for the level of description. If you're story up till now has been in graphic, minute detail suddenly glossing over the smut bits is going to be noticeable. Similarly, if you've ben light on the detail and heavy on the action for the first two pages, suddenly writing seven pages of descriptive smut is going to be a shock. Yeah, you can make the arguement that "When you're with the one you love time slows down and you notce every detail" but I'm not going to buy it.

These are where I think most smut needs work. If you try to write the smut scene like I've detailed before, you can bet that after the first time through you'll need to correct something I've mentioned. Or you can use them as guidelines for stuff you write (or rewrite) in the future. But if you do need help with a smut scene, my inbox is open at the email address on this page.

My aren't I generous. ^_^



Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: Countdown!
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On Thursday, May 9, 2002 at 10:34 a.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:

Special thanks to Kemmy for the really, really nifty countdown script. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a count down to how long before I leave this job. This is a countdwon to how long it is before I move on with my future. This is also assuming they don't extend it. While I would love to have more money, I'm would also love to be free. FREEE! FREEEEEEE!

Moving on now...

Flidget, yeah I was probably underestimating the time is takes for pictures to load. And I agree, there's nothing more annoying than waiting for twenty minutes for a giant picture to load only to have your eyeballs seared from their sockets by the abuse of ugly. But I still say it's the time difference between realizing that a piece of fanfiction is bad and a piece of fan art is bad. It still takes longer to decide on the fanfic once it is downloaded. And people can forgive slow modem speeds (because what can you do but get a faster modem or better connection?) but they can't forgive people wasting their times. Mostly because they feel by ranting, they can do something about it.

Start opinion:Many people rant about bad fanfics. I don't or try to keep it to a bare minimum. Because quite frankly, there is no specific class that in most public schools (don't kno about private) that teaches you how to write stories. Even in creative writing, they expect you to know how to write and then they go in and tell you how to fix it. "You're plot is too slow. Speed it up some." But then, they never explain to you how it's too slow or how to fix it. You just have to mess around until something works. This is assuming you can actually spot the flaws without someone else's help.

Overall, art is encouraged in the young. When you were little, if you wrote an essay or drew a picture, which made it up on the fridge? If the picture you drew of your Mom really looks like a deformed cow, no one criticized you. You were told it was very pretty and encouraged by those who were both older, wiser, and had drawn more than you. Even on-line, people are more likely to encourage and praise bad art. And people are less likely to criticize those who praise and encourage it. Why? Because you can only get better with practice. And everyone rememembers what their own art was like when they were young.

Meanwhile, writng is encouraged only when you get older. Long before you learned to spell, you were able to pick up crayons. But writing took time. You had to learn words, then basic grammer, then sentences, then complex sentences, then even more grammer. So when you start writing, you tend to be much older than when you started drawing. You have less experience in it. Also, those who have already spent years writing aren't always nice. The criticize and those that encourage bad writing (because you know, it requires practice just like anything else) are criticized.

Don't beleive me? Go into any chatroom. Say "I'm fourteen. Does anyone want to see my picture?" I bet you'll get responses. Go in there and say "I'm fourteen. Does anyone want to read my story/poem?" and you'll get a completely different answer. Most people automatically assume that if you're young and writing, you're writing poorly. If you're young and drawing, there's a chance you can be good. It's because of this mindset that fanfics are more often criticized. It's because of the late start that fanfics are often behind at ages where people can be very good at any of the other arts. It's a vicious cycle, and making fun of people who are learning only makes it worse.

End opinion

Finally, Thorne, I don't know why guys are like that about feminine products. Confuses me as well. Although one lady I knew had a great story. When she was in the military, they would have a special training exercise. While you were on it, all you were supposed to eat was Army rations. Army rations are aweful, so people were known for trying to sneak in candy bars, sodas, etc. They higher ups would do inspections to try and prevent this. From what she said, there would be soldier sneaking candy bars in the bottom of their shoes and then eating the squished, melted remains (bleck!). Well, the female soldiers found away to get around this. They would take boxes of feminine supplies, line the bottom with candy bars and such, then layer the tampons, pads, etc on top. Their commander would open it up, take on look at the tampons, and hand it back to him. Ther was no way he was going to dig through them.

Finally, Nangke, if all the series of Samarai Jack was done in your style I'd watch it religiously rather than sporadically on saturdays when I catch it. I think he's very cute in that style. I approve! And your drawings are getting better and better. At least, I can notice a difference.



Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: BBC: Queen's Pyramid found near Cairo
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On Tuesday, May 7, 2002 at 2:15 p.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:

Well, it looks like my entry from yesterday will be completed today. I apologize to everyone. Didn't mean to just leave it hanging like that. The problme is, the great State of North Carolina has decided to freeze all state funds. This means I spent all yesterday afternoon tracking down state accounts so they could be changed or spending halted on them. Fun, fun.

Anyway, I wanted to talk about something Flidget said about fan art. And of course, as soon as I want to talk about it she moves it to her archives. Ah, here is the right one. Specifically, I want to talk about the following quote "Watching the current round of ranting against bad fanfic, it occurred to me that I have never seen a fraction of that vehemence and passion directed towards bad fanart." This statement kind of bothered me, becuase I've never seen the type of passion and vehemence directed towards bad fanfics direct towards fanart either. Unless the fanart is a piece of copy art or stolen art. I thought about it some and I think I came up with an answer rather than what Flidget gave.

I think the biggest factor is not that I don't read the right blogs, or that artists are less eloquent in debates than writers. I think the biggest reason is time. Think about it: how long does it take you to judge that a piece of fanart is bad? Five seconds. Add thirty seconds if you're waiting for a picture to load (and another thirty if you're on dial-up). So tops, the total amount of time you the viewer take to judge of a piece of art is just slightly longer than 1 minute. That's it. By that time you've made the decision to either look at the picture and decide what's wrong with it, or have moved on.

Now let's look at a fanfic. How long does it take the reader to determine that a fanfic is bad? Thirty seconds if the summary is well written (which it often isn't). Five to thirty minutes to read the first part of something. If the author cares about th story for the first chapters, then just starts putting anything down to get feedback, you're talking about hours. So the amount of time the viewer (or in this case, the reader) has to invest into finding out whether something is good or not increases ten to a hundred fold when the medium changes from fanart to fan fiction.

Time is a precious thing. People are going to be more upset if they think a large amount of their time has been wasted as opposed to a small amount of time. So they naturally get more nasty about fan fiction than fan art. Not because it's not bad (good lord, I've seen some abysmal fan art) but because it requires less of the viewer.

I hope that made sense.

Something you said, Catt makes me snicker everytime I read or think about it. The whole you getting lost in Atlanta AGAIN reminds me of every trip into the Norfolk, Virginia area I have ever been on. Heck, every trip into Virginia I've ever been on. Because no matter where we're going or how many times we've been there, it's not a trip to Virginia unless we get lost.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm sure Virginia is a very lovely place. But whoever designed it's roads needs to be drug behind a suped-up red truck across a gravel road inbedded with shards of glass roads. Because they BITE! In order to go from one highway to another you have one short ramp to go down and about twenty feet to get on. People in Virginia refuse to move over and let you on. So if you don't get on, you go back up a ramp and back down the ramp again in an endless loop. One of thse days I'm going to find someone who's been trying to get on a highway for five years and I'm going to cry. Another fun thing about Virginia, it is the only state I know of where I can get on 64 East and be heading west. Yes, that's right WEST. The entire road system needs to be ripped up and redeisnged by people who are not the product of interbreeding.

Not that I am bitter.

Hmmm.... who else did I want to comment on? Oh. Leareth I'm glad you found amusement in my non-typing skittles (note to self: don't start with the jokes no one's going to get). I just wish they didn't get me in trouble so often. It was through them that I discovered mistyping "www.livejournal.com" will lead you to a very... um... interesting site. One with lots of pop-up windows that should not be viewed at work or in a public lab. And I definitely don't want a Chinese curse. Didn't mean to imply I did. My life is odd enough wihtout one.

Finally, CONGRATS TO TWIG! Who has graduated. May the force be with you in your quest for a job. I also see that someone has discovered the goodness that is Howl's Moving Castle. Now I have such an urge to find and read that book again. And also to read the sequel (which while not as good, is still better than a lot of books I've read). Last thing: Good luck in the kitty hunt Lunar and good luck packing.

Until later all.



Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: Way of the Stick
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On Monday, May 6, 2002 at 2:38 p.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:

Link above included because I can't remember if I've posted it already or not. Bah, my brain is rotting because of exam time and I'm not even in school. I think it remembers that it's supposed to shut off about this time of year.

So here we go with the social blogging. For some reason this page has begun to alternate bewteen social blogs and rants. I think I like the combination. Keeps me from feeling like I have to come up with something to say everyday. I can just comment on other people's stuff an not have to worry about it. Tsaiko is, as always, LAZY! And apparently very behind. I promised Dan of Acid Reflux fame I'd look at the Roxy story months ago. And I still owe Pingu and Sky the Team Hentai picture. But I feel less bother by not having it considering Pingu hasn't updated his pitas page since he got it. ^_^

Joy I think most everyone feels that way about their blog/pitas when they realize people they don't are linking to it. Kind of "Well, why are they doing that?" Which instantly makes me want to read through my old posts trying to figure out if there was something interetsing going on there that I missed. I just enjoy hearing about other people's lives (because I am nosy). Plus, I think you have good points and valid, well thought out opinions. That's all.

Bah. Work interupts. I will finish the post later.



Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: Way of the Stick
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On Monday, May 6, 2002 at 2:38 p.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:

Link above included because I can't remember if I've posted it already or not. Bah, my brain is rotting because of exam time and I'm not even in school. I think it remembers that it's supposed to shut off about this time of year.

So here we go with the social blogging. For some reason this page has begun to alternate bewteen social blogs and rants. I think I like the combination. Keeps me from feeling like I have to come up with something to say everyday. I can just comment on other people's stuff an not have to worry about it. Tsaiko is, as always, LAZY! And apparently very behind. I promised Dan of Acid Reflux fame I'd look at the Roxy story months ago. And I still owe Pingu and Sky the Team Hentai picture. But I feel less bother by not having it considering Pingu hasn't updated his pitas page since he got it. ^_^

Joy I think most everyone feels that way about their blog/pitas when they realize people they don't are linking to it. Kind of "Well, why are they doding that?" Which instantly makes me want to read through my old posts trying to figure out if there was something interetsing going on there that I missed. I just enjoy hearing about other people's lives (because I am nosy). Plus, I think you have good points and valid, well thought out opinions. That's all.

Bah. Work interupts. I will finish the post later.



Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: Kick-ups
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On Friday, May 3, 2002 at 03:02 p.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:

Okay, redoing this entry. Hopefully my computer will decide not to crash mid-post this time.
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Another addictive little game where you try to keep the ball up for as long as possible. My high score is a 18. I've seen scores of over a hundred bandied about. What can I say? I suck at all types of games (with the exception of most puzzle games). To give you an idea, in Super Mario Bros. it was not unusual for me to get stuck in a brick block I was trying to break. The only way I could get unstuck was to wait for time to run out. Talk about your lousy ways of going. I think a large part of me dying is my Kiki complex. If it's pretty and shiny in a game, I try to touch it. Sometimes this is not a good thing.

My entry from two days ago has garnered lots of responses. Which I enjoyed immensely as it sparked several interesting and intelligent conversations with various people. What really made me happy was that no one laughed, and no one didn't believe me (I think that last sentence contained a double negative, but I don't care. WHEEE! Abusing the English language since 1979.) I guess everyone is worried about being laughed at or disbelieved. Ghosts feelings and fears of the times when we were taunted and shamed as children. Sometimes I'm storng enough to ignore it. Sometimes it rules my life more than I care to admit. Luckily, this time it didn't happen.

Learethr (and not "Leather" which is what my fingers always want to type), you are the first person to have called my life interesting. I'd like to think it's not really all that interesting so much as I've become a good enough story teller to make it seem interesting. For the most part it just wavers between "boring" and "strange." If it were actually interesting, I'd have to wonder if someone was using an old Chinese curse on me (May you live in interesting times). And while I have you attention, I'd like to say that Playtime is one of the cutest stories I've read in awhile. I would have left comments for it on the FF.net, but you didn't have it up.

I feel really sorry for Trinsan. Most schools have some kind of process where you can get arbitration done about grades. I know mine does because I've sat on the board for such things as a student representative. Having been a TA, I also know that a syllabus counts as a legally binding contract between the school and the students. If I were her, I'd take that syllabus to a person above her professor and outline in every detail how it was violated. With the way she describes him acting, I'm sure he's done something to violate it.

Several days ago I forget to mention that Jag got me the cutest little dragon for my birthday. He's holding a ball and everything. Of course, he also gave it to me in a Victoria Secret's bag which I then walked around the mall with all night long. This was revenge because my roomie had given his Christmas present in the same bag. Eventually, I'll probably use the bag to give a gift to someone else. I have a feeling this will become the bag that refuses to die.

And Wind, I recognized the quote. Pooh isn't just for your childhood. It's a philosophy for life!



Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: Okashina Okashi (Strange Candy)
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On Thursday, May 2, 2002 at 12:28 p.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:

Eslington, I swear if I get addicted to this comic I am blaming it ALL ON YOU! Yes, they have bishounen, Yes, they have bishounen cat boys running around (mmmm....). But I do not need another comic to keep track of! Do you hear me? I do not need... oh my... I want this as the background for my new laptop. Maybe I can download and color it... but that woul dbe wrong. I would never do that. Not even for my own personal use and never letting anyone else use it. Mmmmmmm... catboys.... bishounen... yaoi...

What was I saying again?

So anyway, my new laptop came in yesterday. I picked it up from my roomie's office. It works! I was thinking of calling it "Vagrant" (get it? Vagrant? It's a portable computer and it moves around a lot? Right. Nevermind). My roomie has named it "Riot" in the meantime. I think I'll stick with Riot. Both after the Character in Vagrant Story and because I'm sure in sparks riots with the stuff I plan on writing on it. I was going to name it Ashley, but everytime I har that name instead of thinking of a hunk burning riskbreaker, I imagine the guy from "Gone with the Wind." (and now I'm ignoring the image of Sydney running around in Scarlet's dress).

Thorne, I was wondering why I was getting so many referrals from you! It's because you have a link to me! YEAH! Yes, I realize this makes me very slow on the uptake. And Twig, you're on the road to being famous! technomancy has mentioned you in their blog! Before long, they'll be linking to you. You'll have been mancered! Yeah! Have a cookie.

And while I have your attention Twig, a certain fan-boy friend of mine who shall remain un-named would like to know when the next chapter of Whisper will be coming along. I would have asked you on AIM, but I couldn't ever catch you on it. Good luck to you and everyone else taking finals, and good luck to you and everyone else looking for a job.

My linking to people on the side of my blog, then clicking on the links seems to be working! I've gotten several hits from people trying to figure out who the heck they're getting referrals from. although the last post is not the one I would have wanted them to have found Dance of the Hours on. They're probably all thinking "What is this crazy person doing linking to my blog/pitas page?" Oh well. So hi everyone who's coming because of referrer logs. And hi to Robbie ( and not "Roobie" like I almost typed). He's an old friend from HS. It's sad that when I saw "Greenville" pop up in my referrer I knew exactly who it was ^_^.

There was something else I wanted to say, but now I don't remember what it is. Oh well. Until next time!



Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: Tenshi no Korin: Jezebel
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On Wednesday, May 1, 2002 at 01:49 p.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:

It was going to be such a nice, happy entry. Then Tenshi no Korin mentioned ghosts. And so I was inspired to tell a little bit about myself and my family and some experiences. I didn't get it all written, but this is where it led. Think of it what you will. I feel better having written it.




My family is psychic.

Call it the sight, the gift, the curse, the touch, whatever. Try to ignore it like I believe my family does, and it doesn't matter. You can't change the fact that we see things, know things we are not supposed to. Ghosts. Poltergeists. Sounds. Dreams. Cold spots. Feelings of dread. Shivers that run down your spine. Images over laying reality with the impossible. It doesn't matter how it manifests itself, the fact is it runs in my family.

They'll talk about it if you can get them in the right mood and the right time. I didn't know much about it before North Carolina, though I suspected. Evidence it bits and pieces. Like how my mom could sometimes put herself into a trance and make her blood pressure go up or down at will, her heart rate slow at a thought. She told stories as well. Dreaming of a pink convertible, then watching it drive up the next day.

It was summers spent in North Carolina that were to open my eyes before I moved here. Tales of how after my Aunt Betty Jean (a woman I never met) was seen by all her children after her death. Well, not by all. One never saw her. I suspect… well, let's just say I suspect I know why. Stories of great-great grandparents appearing to their grandchildren (my grandparents), or of great grandparents appearing my grandparents. Always calm those happenings, like being told one last time that you were loved or forgetting for a moment that they were dead.

There were the darker tales too. Tales of a great uncle that was killed, his neck snapped while racing down a dirt path, his ghost still riding a horse at night. Stories of relatives knowing when their death was, or people thousands of miles away knowing or suddenly crying and then finding out that at that moment someone had died. Chairs that rocked by themselves, cold places, things you brought up as a child and watched as the adults all looked at each other over your head and changed the subject.

But I was to find out that such things were common, almost expected, among my relatives. They always mentioned God or religion when talking about such things. "God must have wanted her to know…" or "I think God was telling me not to get on that car…" or "God must have had it in his plans…" I wonder now if it was their way of coping with the gift?

I hit puberty before I really noticed that I could see and sense things. Lucky for me, since that time I have lived in temporary living (apartments, dorm rooms, etc) or a trailer home. I've never actually seen a ghost. Well, not in the typical floating mist or person or clear, concrete "THERE'S A GHOST!" But my elementary school was haunted, and it's there that I first realized I could see and feel things beyond the normal five senses.

All the kids were afraid of the stairwells. After awhile I became afraid of the stairwells. In fourth and fifth grade we would refuse to go down from the second story by ourselves, preferring instead to creep down in pairs or small groups or trudge down single file. Or even in a giant mass of children right after the bell had rung. But occasionally it became necessary to brave the steps alone. It was then that the noises started. Footsteps when no one but myself was on the stairs. Cold spots. Shivers. Murmured voices or shouts when no one was around, or that no one else could hear. Then, one day, something in a fit of maliciousness tried to push me down the stairs.

I didn't trip. I couldn't have. I was stock still on the landing, clutching a hall pass in my hands. I felt cold, heard footsteps, I was stopped because I was carefully looking around to see who else was on the stairs, and then… a shove in the middle of my back. I stumbled but managed to catch myself. Another push. Whatever shared those stairs with me wanted me to fall down them. I ran, sliding and tripping down stairs in my haste.

The school was an old one, built in the early 1900's, burned down twice, and then rebuilt on the same spot. My grandmother went to elementary school there. They tore it down to build a bigger school a few years ago and plan on building over it. Again. Hopefully, since the new school will have one story the thing that inhabited the stairs will fade. But they're keeping the auditorium, a theatre place with Latin I could never read above the stage. Another place given to cold spots and murmured voices, though without the maliciousness.

I feel sorry for the kids who have to go there.

Luckily, my Middle School was new and not prone to haunting. Same for my High School. Friend's houses would give me the occasional willies (again with the cold spots and footsteps, voices not quite heard and things moved mysteriously). I could sense people's feelings before I saw them or they told me. I could read the moods of the woods and mountains and the weather. I knew instinctually when it would storm, when it wouldn't, when hunting season had started without having to hear a gun or read a newspaper, when not to go up mountain for fear of rockslides. But for the most part things remain quiet and I liked it that way. No ghosts, no feelings, no attracting the notice of things bigger than me. Nothing.

Except for one thing.

Figments, tiny fragments of reality that you see out of the corner of your eye. Sometimes colors more often shapes. Animals. People. Furniture. Things that couldn't be there yet for a split second were. Later I was to open a book, read something, and freeze as I realized others experienced them. I'd half convinced myself that they were products of an over active imagination. Something I wanted to believe but never could.

The worse is when I'm driving. The worse one was the image of a girl, darting out into the street. I was in the middle of the country. There was nothing but woods on either side. But I saw a girl, chasing something into the road, hands outstretched, hair streaming behind her. I slammed on brakes, knowing it was too late to stop. Then I braced for an impact that never came. There was no girl in the road though I can still see the pattern, blue and white checked gingham, on her dress.

Needless to say, after that incident, I pulled off the road and had a nervous fit.

I see animals more often. A black dog, head held high, standing under a tree. Then gone, not having moved just no longer there. Cats are a big one. Blacks and grey, tabbies and calicos in my room or walking through an open door or even perched above my professor while he lectures. Nothing will keep you awake like sitting in a lecture hall and then seeing out the corner of your eye the sharp edge wing of a hawk or the smooth line of a woman's pale throat.

When it happens I usually stiffen or jump a little. Then the little piece of reality is gone. This leaves me looking around trying to see if anyone else saw it. Very few people do. I saw one girl go white as she looked behind me. I turned around, saw the briefest flash of red, then it was gone. The look on her face makes me glad I saw nothing else.

Luckily for me, the little pieces of reality don't happen all the time. They do get more common around exam time. Added stress from the other students I guess. I'm making sure I stay away from campus as much as possible during those weeks this year. They also get more common around Halloween some years, and other years the holiday goes by without a hitch. Fall is the season they are most common though, with summer being a close second.

I just turned my head. I thought I saw something looking at me. If you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to stop now.



Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: Black Rose- Home of the Rabid Plot Bunnies
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On Tuesday, April 30, 2002 at 01:24 p.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:

Okay, yesterday's entry just demonstrates to me that I should never start an entry, wander away, write some more, wander away, go to lunch, and then finish it. That entry fails in the department of coherence with a big old red "F" like the ones on a ten page paper you did at 3:30 am the night before. Yeah.

So as you can see, I have a new layout. With pictures! And poem fragments! This was supposed to be a birthday present to myself but FTP decided to be an absolute pain in my @ss. My lovely roomie managed to get it working. Bad FTP. No cookie for you. So now the images are hosted off of my site (direct linking to my own stuff. WHEEE!) and I will not have a repeat of last time where Fortunecities decided to eat them without notice. Though I do kind of miss the hourglasses I did in fifteen minutes using photoshop. And no, that is not a complete list of blogs I read. I haven't finished compiling that and probably won't for many moons.

And in a bout of randomness, I love having copyright privelges over my own poetry. Means I don't have to cite any sources and can defile it any way I so choose. For all of you who care the original poem can be found here in all its uncut glory.

Heh. I said uncut.

Now that that brief moment of childishness is over, I want to talk about my link for the day. The wonderful, talented Black Rose. She does yaoi fragments and yaoi stories and yaoi pictures and even commissions (though not Harry Potter any more and please don't ask her to because she doesn't like it). I emailed her about a broken link on her site and tried not to gush too much about how great she was. Which as everyone knows, puts me into fits of paranoia (the emailing strangers, now Black Rose herself -_-). So she has to be good, right? So you're all going to look at her stuff and tell her she's great right? Right?

Also, belated thanks to everyone who wished me Happy Birthday (and not Borthday) last Friday. I appreciate it all! Special thanks to the people who got me gifts. Cneko for the Sword book, and the book of Grimm's Fairy Tales. Thanks to Em for the Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz DVD. thanks to Light Hawk for the second volume of Yami no Metsui(sp?) manga. Thanks to my roomie for the laptop (SQUEEEEE!). Thanks to my mom for the money and the clothes. Thanks to Kari for the picture (DRAGGIE!). Thanks to Jeram for the birthday story (now I want a tiger plushie). And if you gave me something, and I forgot you, throw an email my way and I shall call myself a idiot in big, bold letters on my pitas page.

Writing (or should I say typing) continues. The third (A)Typical Gundam Wing Fanfic is almost done, complete with references to Terry Pratchett, Fushigu Yuugi, and... crap. I can't remember what the third reference is to. I hope to be able to do a Sluggy Freelance reference and an Acid Reflux reference before the series is over. I don't think I'll have a problme with this. Also my winged bishounen fics (as I suddenly realize I have more than one going) are coming along. And I should soon be able to work on some more Digimon stuff. Mmm... Digimon...

After getting hits for such things as "clean porn" (I think the term you were really looking for was "oxymoron") and and "acid reflux pillow" (WTF?) I have decided that my pitas page has officially entered referrer Hell. After much thought and debate my roomie has decided that this occurred when I mentioned "doujinshi" and "Gundam Wing" in the same post. I tend to agree.

Finally,Lunar, my condolences. Life is never fair when it comes to losing a beloved pet whether you've known them for fourteen years or fourteen minutes.



Tsaiko's neat, nifty URL of the day is: What Trigun Pairing are you?
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On Monday, April 29, 2002 at 1:10 p.m. Tsaiko was slowly going insane. This is why:


What Trigun ship are you??



Hehehehehehe

Something Thorne said has made me think (and not thin like Kalil so nicely pointed out). Not specifically what she said (well, a little bit) but more like what she said was a grain of sand. You know, the little bit of info or thought that will get into your head and worry at the back of your mind until you get tired of it, take it out, and suddenly you have a pearl with the little grain of sand at the center but is no longer the important part. Yeah, that's what happened. I read her thing about original characters, and it stuck into my head and before I knew it, it was covered with layers upon layers of my opinion.

For most people it is much easier to write fanficiton than original fiction. Most people start out with original fiction. I started out writing original fiction. But they start out thinking in fanfiction. How many times as a child were you a part of your favotire movie? Cartoon series? Book? I bet you were making up plotlines with them long before the people in your head became anything more than vague concepts.

But if you were anything like me, you didn't write anything down. The reason? Because I wanted to write. And since I had never heard of the internet, and had never read anything like stories involving other people's characters, I assumed that it didn't exist. So I learned to make my worlds more real. I held them up to what I saw on TV and read in books, to all the other worlds people had created. And when they seemed flat or unreal, I fixed them until they weren't. My worlds to me became more than words on a page. They became real.

What I'm trying to say is, I don't have original characters. In fact the only reason I use the word "characters" is that people give me strange looks when I say I have people in my head. Because I do. Whole worlds and whole people that exist whether or not I actually pay attention to them. Complex universes and star systems to the smallest microorganism growing in someone's food or the deepest trench in the ocean. They live breathe and die in my head.

I love the people in my original stories. I have been with them, beside them. They share their lives with me, and I feel that I should write their experiences down. Not because I want to force them on th world. I seriously doubt anyone can understand them without me writing whole novels (I'm working on it!). But some of the writing isn't for other people. It's for me. Scenes and fragments that mean everything to me, that hold a world of importance, yet to others are just... fragments.

The two of us slogging through the mud and grit into a river turned brown and dangerous. I'm holding the reins of a frantic horse, feeling the leather bite into my hand as I try to force the animal across the rushing water. Trillium's horse rears and the blue roan's back legs are tugged by the flow. Somehow it manages not to get swept away though it smashes into my horse in the process. I can feel the shudder from the impact run up the reins, nearly jarring my arm from it's socket. I know that if we don't get out of here right now, if we don't get across the wash and out of the gully, that there will be no getting out. The water will continue to rise, and we will die caught in a flashflood neither of use expected.

I have come here to the mountains, one I wished I coudl forget about. One I wish I never had to do. The air up here is so cold and thin that you can feel it crystallize in your lungs. Even with my clothing in layers (cotton shirt and pants covered with an embroidered cotton padded tunic that hangs to my knees covered by a thick wool cape and laced boots that extend to my knees) I can fel the bite of cold. At the temple, they pointed me towards an outcrop of rock that juts out from the moutain side. In the spring and summer, you can see the foothills unfold beneath you like a carpet of green. Why someone would look at it in the winter, when everything would be painted in shades of steel and silver, crystal and white, is beyond me. The snow crunches under my feet as I walk the path. Before it ends, I'm covered in sweat and my breath wheezes in my lungs. Finally I see her sitting on the rock, her arms wrapped around her legs, her chin resting on her knees. I shiver in sympathy as I realize she's wearing a lot less clothing than humanly possible. When faced with her in front of me, the words are much harder to say, the promise much harder to break. Somehow, I manage.

"Ly... I'm sorry. You're needed back home."


What was my point? Oh yeah... both those scenes have very few characters. Both those scenes describe the worlds in my head. Both these scenes mean nothing to others. But theoretically, I could with a little bit of mangling, fit both those scenes in a fanfic. Why would I? Because in order to give depth to worlds in fanfics, you need extra characters. You need the original characters, and the new casts, and extras who only purpose is to say one line or one fact or even to be convient cannon fodder.

Thorne you mentioned that fanfics should focus on the characters in the series. I agree. After all, that's what fanfics are about. But in order to make the world in which the characters move seem real, you have to have original characters. The people from the series can't be placed in bubbles. To make them real you need them to interact with people some of which are not supplied by the series. So I can understand the need for them. I just don't think they should take over the fic.

Okay, this is long and rambliy and I think my point took a long walk off of a short pier. I'm stopping now. But first, after all that deep thinking and self indulgence (look I can write pretty!), I give you something to laugh at. Or at least something to beak your mind. Gundam Sing






Stats
Name: Tsaiko
Age: Legal
Sex: No thanks
Birthday: April 26th
Sign: Taurus
Location: In front of computer
tsaiko1@hotmail.com
Page: Tsaiko's World
GW Page: Miome's Maxwell House
LJ: Leave comments here


Archive
Random bits
Around two weeks of entries
Twig to Valentine's
Literary and Death week
Around X-mas
Some time of randomness
Week of ANGST!
Week of Upheavals
Week of the Terrorist Attacks
Week of Randomness (part 1)
Two weeks of work
Week of the Mecha Anime Rants
Week of the Digimon Rant
Week of the Posessed Toaster

Comics
8-bit Theater
Acid Reflux
Angst Technology
Ever Summer's Eve
MegaTokyo
Sluggy Freelance
Strings of Fate


All graphics and text on this are © Tsaiko and cannot be reproduced in part or in whole without my express written permission. Feel free to link though.

 




Pitas