vr_trakowski: (sleep depraved)
The muse woke up.  She loves Jupiter Ascending.  I'm in trouble.

Rise starts before the end of the film, and will continue on beyond it.  It's PG at the moment and Jupiter/Caine, and [livejournal.com profile] cincoflex made the gorgeous banner, and cheered me on despite the fact that it's not her fandom.

Rise1.JPG

Production notes )
vr_trakowski: (dementor)
--and I am constantly trying to type it as "Jupiter Rising".

Oh, it's so much fun.

Yes, it's flawed--it leaves too many minor questions unanswered, though a sequel could clean some of them up.  The fight scenes do run on a bit (a failure, I might point out, of just about any action film these days).  The vilains are so completely over the top that they climb down the other side--and have fun doing it.

But the visuals are stunning, the dialogue works, there's great chemistry, and it has Sean Bean enjoying himself.

I keep hearking back to Independence Day, or 1999's The Mummy.  SF/F movies that are exactly what they say they are--somewhat lighthearted adventures that are enjoyable to watch and solid enough to watch again.  Improbable, perhaps, but if you want reality, why are you watching movies?  :P
vr_trakowski: (pages)
As ever, a listing is not necessarily a recommendation.

Cut for length )

That's 180, better than last year but not as many as I'd like.  *sigh*  I don't even really have fanfic as an excuse this time. 
vr_trakowski: (sleep depraved)
The muse woke up long enough to throw out a short bit of fluff.  Memories of Water is Captain America/Avengers and rated G.

Production notes )
vr_trakowski: (pages)
Let me admit, first off, that I very much enjoy H. Beam Piper's Fuzzy series.  They're somewhat outdated, but they're light and fun, and I like them enough that I was horrified when Scalzi "rebooted" the first book.  (Seriously, who does that?)

So, since I enjoy Piper's style, I thought I'd try another of his books.

Space Viking...doesn't work.

For one thing, it's more of a synopsis in places than a story.  Great swathes of time and activity are glossed over.  For another, it's much more sexist than the Fuzzy trilogy, though to be fair everything on the cover warns that the protagonist's lady is fridged right at the beginning.  I nearly gave up partway through, because I couldn't bring myself to care about the protagonist at all.  He throws his entire life away to avenge the death of his wife, and then halfway through the book he finds he doesn't care about vengeance any longer.  I suspect that this sort of thing is much more true to life than otherwise, but as a plotline it just makes him look like a twit.  More of a twit than he is already, anyway.

It's also fairly racist without coming out and saying so, and pretty vehemently anti-democracy, though again to be fair the protagonist admits that there doesn't seem to be a better system to use instead.  But really, the main failure of the book is that it zips past half the story without stopping to look at it.  Most of the other flaws can be blamed on the time it was written; the lack of actual storyline, as it were, is solely Piper's fault.

However, I might try another if one comes my way.  Perhaps there's a medium somewhere.  
vr_trakowski: (sleep depraved)
...And others, of course.

Adam Storke is back! 

I haven't watched it yet, but hey, who cares?  :P 
vr_trakowski: (artichoke)
...or the plagiarist, if they grew a conscience.  The copied story is gone.  *whew*

Thanks to everyone who left a comment there! 
vr_trakowski: (mad scientist)
An alert, and very kind, reader has tipped me to the complete plagiarism of my Iron Man fic Mnemosyne's Lock, reposted entire on Wattpad under the atrociously spelled title of I Dont Remeber. (Wow, that hurt to type.)  I have reported the repost to Wattpad, and hope that they will respond swiftly.

Please check out the "author" and see if they have done the same for any other posted stories.  These folks are often serial plagiarists. 

At last

May. 26th, 2014 08:43 am
vr_trakowski: (motivations)
If anyone had asked me during my adult life if I had a quest, my answer would most likely have been "To find the soundtrack album for Highlander."  I saw the movie early in my college career (not when it was released; in the school's theater on movie night) and it, along with Ladyhawke, became iconic for me in so many ways.  And while I don't care about Queen much one way or another, I wanted the music--both the songs and the gorgeous instrumentals.

But despite the listing at the end of the credits, the soundtrack album was not released in the United States.  It was released in the UK, but promptly became an item of unbelievable rarity, to the point where nearly every Highlander fan believes it to be a myth.  I came within inches of finding it once, at a vinyl shop in England, but it was sold a day or two before I got there.

Most of the music, in one form or another, has been released in different albums--one or two instrumental packs for the movies, Queen's A Kind of Magic--but never the original stuff, not all together.

You see where I'm going with this, don't you?  :P

Someone on Amazon has it. It's print on demand, and it comes in a measly cardboard sleeve; and I know everyone is rightly pissed at Amazon just now.  But if, like me, you have been searching for a quarter of a century (or more)...there it is.  I can even accept the inclusion of one track from the TV series (there should have been only one!).

The CD ripped to my computer just fine.  And for the first time, I got to listen to all that beauty without interruption.

*happy sigh*

(...Now what do I look for?)
vr_trakowski: (artichoke)

1.  Not anywhere near enough Falcon.  He's barely there half the time!  Needs more Falcon!

2.  I want his wings.  Moreover, I want him to teach me to use them.

3.  Rogers.  Neighbor.  XD

4.  That can't possibly have been DC that Fury was driving through.  There wasn't anywhere near enough traffic.

(4a.  BWI, IAD, and Reagan?  What on earth are you thinking??  Nobody calls it that. Dulles, you egg.)

5.  Buddy movies with Natasha and a guy smart enough to not underestimate her should be a thing.  It should be a long and multiple-iteration thing.

P.S.  Perhaps the MCU and OUaT should go on swapping actors.  It seems to be working quite well for them.

vr_trakowski: (motivations)
Okay.  I am not going to explain why I occasionally listen to David Ball's "Riding With Private Malone"; suffice it to say that country is not usually my thing.  But this last time the muse woke with a start and fastened on the "she" part of the song, and wondered what the car thought of the whole thing.

Thus:Cut for lyrics )
vr_trakowski: (Moon)
Dear CBS (and all attendant companies and producers):

You’ve finally done it.  I’m quitting CSI.

I started watching back in the summer of 2003 because there was no good sci-fi on (I don’t care for StarGateTV) and rather surprised myself by falling for Brass.  And then I got into the fandom, and found out about GSR, and I was lost.

For ten years.

I joined the myriad of fans who loved the stories, the science, the characters.  I spent endless hours watching back episodes, reading fic, chatting online with fellow fen, making wonderful new friends.  And writing fic.  And writing, and writing, and writing.
One hundred and thirty-five posted stories, give or take a couple.  Some of them co-authored with [livejournal.com profile] cincoflex; one of them over a hundred-seventy-thousand words.  Plus the private gifts and the unfinished stuff.  Most of them were fixing the GSR problem, over and over again, but not all of them.

Writing CSI fic matured me as a writer, but more importantly it showed me that I wrote well.  That I had something to offer.  The CSI fandom showed me that my gift is a true one, and worth using.

Ah, GSR.  You, CBS, meant it to be there from the very beginning, but you took your own sweet time about bringing it to fruition.  We didn’t mind, not really; it just gave us more to think about, discuss, speculate on, and write about.

You gave it to us eventually.  Slowly and subtly, and--in the end--beautifully.

And then you broke it.  And fixed it, and broke it again.  And then you broke it one more time.

In the meantime, you took characters we’d loved for years and treated them like cheap toys.  You rewrote their pasts, you distorted their personalities, you put words in their mouths they’d never say and made them do things that made no sense.  You got rid of excellent characters and brought in interchangeable replacements.

You turned a thoughtful, often terrific show into dead-blonde-of-the-week with occasional forays into break the cutie.

I could fix the GSR again; I even tried it once.  But honestly I don’t have the energy any longer.  Grissom’s gone, Sara’s back where she began, Brass is practically unrecognizable and you’re getting rid of him anyway.

Congratulations; I don’t care enough any more.

Oh, you won’t miss me.  I wouldn’t buy an SUV even if I could afford one, and I was never your target audience as it was.  But I’m hardly the first to leave.  The fen have been trickling away ever since Grissom left, and every time you hurt the show another one decides not to watch the next episode.

It’s your show.  It’s your right.  Go on, squeeze out every drop you can.  But know this:

You broke our hearts.  You didn’t have to, but you did.  And that is a very shabby way to treat the people who watch your shows.

No love, VR Trakowski 
vr_trakowski: (motivations)
I recently spent quite some time watching music videos from the '80s and early '90s.  It's an interesting pastime if for no other reason than it's the adolescence I didn't have.  At that time I was listening to Cleo Laine and George Winston and Michael Franks, and (to my later embarrassment) Barbra Streisand.

I don't know if my parents would have kept me from such music, but I wanted nothing to do with most of it, for reasons I don't care to describe.  I don't remember when we finally got cable, but we certainly didn't have MTV.  Yet some of the tunes seeped in anyway; between ambient sound and my rocker best friend in college, enough was laid down to create a little nostalgia.

So watching these things is an adventure in amusement, befuddlement, and occasionally wistfulness--I wouldn't have had any idea what to do with the ideals put forth in the things, but a small part of me wishes I'd had the opportunity to try.

Conclusion:  According to the Eurythmics, sweet dreams are made of cows.

Hmm.

Mar. 3rd, 2014 06:52 pm
vr_trakowski: (artichoke)
I’ve been dreaming of pet stores lately.  This is not surprising, as I used to work in one long and long ago, but it is notable to be presented with the idea of keeping a betta, which is not a fish I have ever cared about (and it’s been even longer since I kept a fish at all).

Last night, sequentially, it seemed a terrific idea to purchase one of those small slender white-ringed red snakes (possibly a milk snake?).  Now, I like snakes, but I have not been tempted to own one as I would probably feel excessively sorry for its meals.  Nonetheless, this progression is intriguing.

I await the next suggestion with interest. 
vr_trakowski: (artichoke)
I have spent most of the day passed out in bed with either a cold or the flu; at least one of my kittens is a mouser, but would rather play with her food; and both my kitchen sink and the ceiling over my toilet seem to be leaking slowly.

It's not so much that I want a do-over as I'd like a little moderation.
vr_trakowski: (artichoke)
Mostly.  I might have missed a few.  (Also I refuse to italicize all these titles by hand.)

 The Abbot's Ghost, or Maurice Traherne's Temptation - Louisa May Alcott
 All Through the Night - Grace Livingston Hill
 Anatole and the Poodle - Eve Titus
 And So My Garden Grows - Peter Spier
 Antiques - Sharon Gillenwater
 The Anything Box - Zenna Henderson
 Arrow's Fall - Mercedes Lackey
 Arrow's Flight - Mercedes Lackey
 Arrows of the Queen - Mercedes Lackey
 The Art of Detection - Laurie R. King
 Beaten by a Balloon - Margaret Mahy
 Behind a Mask: or, a Woman's Power - Louisa May Alcott
 Bently & egg - William Joyce
 The Best Man - Grace Livingston Hill
 The Big Blue Soldier - Grace Livingston Hill
 Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life - Anne Lamott
 Black Fire - Sonni Cooper
 Blackout - Mira Grant
 Blood and Chocolate - Annette Curtis Klause
 A Book by Georgina - Barbara C. Freeman
 The Boy on a Black Horse - Nancy Springer
 Bright Arrows - Grace Livingston Hill
 Castle Waiting Vol. II: The Definitive Edition - Linda Medley
 Cat in the Manger - Michael Foreman
 The Catalogue Of The Universe - Margaret Mahy
 The Cataract of Lodore - Robert Southey
 Cats Know Best - Colin Eisler
 Chalice - Robin McKinley
 Changes - Mercedes Lackey
 The Chickens Are Restless - Gary Larson
 Children of the Seed Gatherers - Mary M. Worthylake
 The Christmas Bride - Grace Livingston Hill
 The Christmas We Moved to the Barn - Cooper Edens- Alexandra Day
 The City of Dragons - Laurence Yep- Jean Tseng
 Coll and His White Pig - Lloyd Alexander
 Coming Through the Rye - Grace Livingston Hill
 Cover Up - Lavinia Harris
 Crystal Cove - Lisa Kleypas
 Deadline - Mira Grant
 Dear Enemy - Jean Webster
 Demons - J.M. Dillard
 Dogsbody - Diana Wynne Jones
 Dreadnought! - Diane Carey
 Duskin - Grace Livingston Hill
 The Elfstones of Shannara - Terry Brooks
 The Enchanted Barn - Grace Livingston Hill
 Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France - Peter Mayle
 A Fair Barbarian - Frances Hodgson Burnett
 Feed - Mira Grant
 A Fine and Private Place - Peter S. Beagle
 First Tomato: A Voyage to the Bunny Planet - Rosemary Wells
 The Four-Pools Mystery - Jean Webster
 Froggy's First Kiss - Jonathan London
 Fuzzies and Other People - H. Beam Piper
 Fuzzy Sapiens - H. Beam Piper
 Garment of Shadows - Laurie R. King
 A Good Year - Peter Mayle
 The Great Rip-Off - Lavinia Harris
 The Green Futures of Tycho - William Sleator
 The Green Lion Of Zion Street - Julia Fields
 The Grey Horse - R.A. MacAvoy
 A Haunting Air - Barbara C. Freeman
 The High King - Lloyd Alexander
 The Horse and His Boy - C. S. Lewis
 The House Called Hadlows - Victoria Walker
 The House on the Volcano - Virginia Nielsen
 How Much for Just the Planet? - John M. Ford
 I Am Puppy Hear Me Yap: The Ages of Dog - Valerie Shaff- Roy Blount Jr.
 The Incredible Journey - Shelia Burnford
 Irresistible - Mary Balogh
 The Island Light: A Voyage to the Bunny Planet - Rosemary Wells
 Juniper- Gentian- & Rosemary - Pamela Dean
 Just Only John - Jack Kent
 Kushiel's Dart - Jacqueline Carey
 The Last Battle - C. S. Lewis
 The Last Boyfriend - Nora Roberts
 Leo the Magnificat - Ann Matthews Martin
 The Lion- The Witch- and the Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis
 Living Alone - Stella Benson
 Love Bugs - David A. Carter
 Love of My Life - Meredith Bond
 Lucy Dove - Janice Del Negro
 Maggie and Silky and Joe - Amy Ehrlich
 The Magician's Nephew - C. S. Lewis
 Many Waters - Madeleine L'Engle
 The Mark of Merlin - Anne McCaffrey
 Memory Prime - Gar Reeves-Stevens- Judith Reeves-Stevens
 Merry Ever After - Joe Lasker
 Millions Of Cats - Wanda Ga'g
 Miss Bianca in the Salt Mines - Margery Sharp
 Moonwise - Greer Ilene Gilman
 Moss Pillows: A Voyage to the Bunny Planet - Rosemary Wells
 Mr. Death and the Redheaded Woman - Helen Eustis
 Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH - Robert C. O'Brien
 The Mystery Kiss - Judith Lansdowne
 Necklace of Kisses - Francesca Lia Block
 The Next Always - Nora Roberts
 No One Noticed the Cat - Anne McCaffrey
 Out of the Silent Planet - C. S. Lewis
 Owl Babies - Martin Waddell
 Paris in Love: A Memoir - Eloisa James
 Perelandra - C.S. Lewis
 The Perfect Hope - Nora Roberts
 A Pocket of Silence - Barbara C. Freeman
 The Porcelain Man - Richard Kennedy
 Preschool to the Rescue - Judy Sierra
 Prince Caspian - C. S. Lewis
 The Prodigal Girl - Grave Livingston Hill
 Provence A-Z - Peter Mayle
 Pussy Meow - S. Louise Patteson
 Romeo and Juliet - Andrea Hopkins- William Shakespeare
 Rowan - Robin McKinley
 The Runaway Bunny - Margaret Wise Brown
 The Search - Grace Livingston Hill
 Season of Ponies - Zilpha Keatley Snyder
 The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever - Julia Quinn
 Sector 7 - David Wiesner
 The Ship Who Sang - Anne McCaffrey
 The Silver Chair - C. S. Lewis
 The Sleeping Beauty - Trina Schart Hyman
 Snow White - Brothers Grimm
 Soaps in the Afternoon - Lavinia Harris
 Something Queer at the Ball Park - Elizabeth Levy
 Special Deliveries - Alexandra Day- Cooper Edens
 Starseed - Spider Robinson- Jeanne Robinson
 Stealing the Elf-King's Roses: the Author's Cut - Diane Duane
 Sten - Allan Cole- Chris Bunch
 Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life - C. S. Lewis
 Tales from Moominvalley - Tove Jansson
 Tam Lin - Pamela Dean
 Tambourine Moon - Joy Jones
 Teddy Bears Go Shopping - Susanna Gretz
 That Hideous Strength - C.S. Lewis
 Those Who Hunt the Night - Barbara Hambly
 Tight Times - Barbara Shook Hazen
 Time for Yesterday - A. C. Crispin
 Together - George Ella Lyon
 A Touch of Madness - Lavinia Harris
 Traveling With the Dead - Barbara Hambly
 Turtle Time - Sandol Stoddard
 Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom - Jennifer Holland
 The Velveteen Rabbit - Margery Williams
 A Very Young Circus Flyer - Jill Krementz
 The Voyage of the   Dawn Treader   - C. S. Lewis
 When the Sky Is Like Lace - Elinor Lander Horwitz
 Where Two Ways Met - Grace Livingston Hill
 The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption - Elaine M. Aoki- Jean Davies Okimoto
 The Willow Pattern Story - Alan Drummond
 The Wind Between the Stars - Margaret Mahy
 Windflower - Nick Bantock- Edoardo Ponti
 The Winter of Enchantment - Victoria Walker
 Wizard's Hall - Jane Yolen
 A Woman's Christmas: Returning to the Gentle Joys of the Season - Arlene Hamilton Stewart
 The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet - Eleanor Cameron
 Yesterday's Son - A.C. Crispin

Not too bad, but it doesn't seem like enough, somehow.

Also, please note that a listing is not necessarily a recommendation... 
vr_trakowski: (artichoke)
[livejournal.com profile] cincoflex came through the surgery well and is in recovery!  XD

Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers!   I told her you were thinking of her. 
vr_trakowski: (artichoke)
[livejournal.com profile] cincoflex is in the hospital for...emergency isn't quite the word, let's say urgent abdominal surgery.  She's going under tomorrow morning, all else being well, and any good thoughts you can spare her way would be greatly appreciated.  *worried sigh*

She's my bestest buddy, and I'm on the wrong coast to go see her.  I'm sure she'll be fine, but... *whimper* 
vr_trakowski: (write)
...sheesh, one never knows with her.

I've posted a new short story, an inter-ep for the latest CSI episode "Under a Cloud".  If anyone out there is still watching the show, Traces of Contact is GSR and rated G.  I don't advise reading it if you haven't been watching. 

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