ljlee: Queen... er, Lady Misil (misil)
Loopy's excellent essay on why ATLA-Ursa and Search-Ursa are two different people got me thinking about how little The Search has affected my headcanon, probably for the reasons Loopy discussed. The Search simply doesn't seem to be about the same Ursa.

My own Ursa headcanon is and will remain, until an even stronger contender comes along, Qwi-Xux's Guide Me Home which I have reviewed at length on this journal. The fic's Ursa feels like the same woman from the show, and her story fits neatly with canon events. The character has an inner life and character arc that I find compelling. The Hakoda romance, while handled well, is distinctly secondary to Ursa's own character development as far as I'm concerned.

So what's your Ursa headcanon? What fanwork or series of events describes your idea of her story, and why?
ljlee: Lee Yo-weon during a break in the filming (deokman)
I am a complete ignoramus when it comes to music, but after getting to know vmuzic I can truthfully say I have at least one musician in my circle of friends. I mean, a few of my friends played instruments very well when we were younger, but so far as I know no one went on to play regularly or professionally, except maybe that one girl who went on to major in church music.

The point being, I started thinking more about music due to our acquaintance, and when I scan the newest Longform.org articles for reading material I find myself saving articles about music that I might have skipped before. Then today I read a really good music fic (not your run-of-the-mill songfic, I promise), so I thought I'd throw the whole lot into a linkspam post.

Pitch Battles

On the history of the standard pitch of A = 440 Hz and how an attempt to change it was associated with weird conspiracy and utopia theories. The idea of lowering the standard pitch itself seems to be based on sound ideas, though. I never knew the standard pitch harmed vocalists.

The Vulgarian in the Choir Loft

A self-professed dick talks about becoming a choirboy. Choice quotes:

Singing is nakedness. And it is a far more fathomless form of nakedness than that achieved by the removal of clothes.

"If a person plays a piano badly, you think there's something wrong with their piano playing. If a person sings badly, there's something wrong with them. There's not that divorce between what they are and what they're doing."

Also, the following is now in my quotes file for future reference:

Most people who claim they "can't write" don't suffer from a lack of talent; they suffer from a lack of license. . . . The truth is that when done right, the struggle to be a good writer—and a good singer—is a struggle not to be good but to be free.

Day of Destiny

This is a drabble I read today by [personal profile] loopy777[personal profile] loopy777 , written for an unusual music-centric prompt that set only the soundtrack (Rastrelli Cello Quartett Piazzolla - Oblivion) and the fandom (Avatar: The Last Airbender). The result is an Ursa story that--well, see for yourself. I think the story should be read with the designated soundtrack playing. The story feels almost incomplete alone because the text and music move together so well.
ljlee: where I work & play (workspace)
My Ridiculously Long pastfic, Shadow of the Dragon King, is about 75% posted with the recent upload of Chapter 17: Games. That concludes Part 2 of 3, so it's time for another extended fanfic note. Since I talked about the overall conception and planning in the extended notes for Part 1, I'll stick to chapter-by-chapter commentary here, centering around the stuff that won't be obvious to readers. Spoilers for Part 2 abound, naturally.

Chapters 11-12 )

Chapters 13-14 )

Chapter 15-16 )

Chapter 17 )

So those are some of the things that were going on in my head when I wrote these chapters. Just four chapters more and the whole story will be done, yay!
ljlee: (Default)
Title: The Need to Be Seen
Author: [personal profile] ljlee
Rating: K
Words: 474
Genre: Gen, Drama
Characters: Tenzin, OC
Summary: Will Air Acolytes be content to remain so forever?
Notes: This arose out of [personal profile] amyraine's speculation about the place of non-benders in the preservation of Air Nomad culture. Edited and slightly expanded from a shorter version originally posted to [community profile] avatar_contest Prompt #67: Hunger.

The repairs are well underway... )
ljlee: (Default)
A publishing house picked up a young writer's One Direction fanfic to sell as an e-book, according to Crushable (via Jezebel). Is this actually becoming a thing in the wake of 50 Shades of Grey? Obviously fanfiction writers have been going pro for a long time, for the obvious reason that people who get good at a craft (in this case, writing) by practicing it are likely to do it professionally.

I have Thoughts about this )
ljlee: where I work & play (workspace)
A publishing house picked up a young writer's One Direction fanfic to sell as an e-book, according to Crushable (via Jezebel). Is this actually becoming a thing in the wake of 50 Shades of Grey? Obviously fanfiction writers have been going pro for a long time, for the obvious reason that people who get good at a craft (in this case, writing) by practicing it are likely to do it professionally.

I have Thoughts about this )
ljlee: Queen Artesia! (artesia)
When I'm feeling low and down on myself after an exhausting few days, I look at the reviews I got to remind myself I am not entirely useless. It does my deflated ego some good.
ljlee: (Default)
A Box of Pearls: FFN link | AO3 link

amanda91's profile: FFN | AO3


Jun from Avatar: The Last Airbender is hands down one of the coolest characters in the show. Not only is she a more than capable fighter in her own right, she also has a unique sidekick and asset in the form of a shirshu (an Avatar-style chimera that stole the snout from some poor star-nosed mole) that can find anyone in the world with its sense of smell.


She seems to enjoy Korra-levels of strength, emphasis on "enjoy."

Perhaps her defining characteristic, though, is that the lady don't give a damn. The backdrop and central problem in the show is a world war, a war that most of the cast is invested in one way or the other, but that's none of her business. She gets her money and lives her life, and that's enough for her. She helps out both sides of the conflict in "Bato of the Water Tribe" and "Sozin's Comet" arc respectively, and mostly for selfish reasons. She wants money in the first instance, and in the second, she presumably doesn't want to burn to death in Ozai's genocide (and was probably promised money). She's a Lovable Rogue much like Han Solo in the Star Wars movies, but unlike Han she doesn't get a character arc that puts her firmly on the side of the White Hats.

Enter [livejournal.com profile] amanda_violet's one-shot fic A Box of Pearls and character arc with a vengeance. Pearls is an [livejournal.com profile] atla_crackfic exchange story that Amanda wrote for [livejournal.com profile] amyraine, and I don't know about you but for me these two names by themselves are enough to catapult any project into the awesomesphere. It is also a Jun/Piandao story, which I'm guessing was Amy's request because Amy herself has written a story with that pairing called Can't All Be Heroes.

The strengths of Pearls lie in Amanda's skill in developing the central character in a believable and sympathetic way, giving the character new dimensions while keeping the qualities that make her interesting. Before I go into more detail I should note that I have kept the review spoiler-free, sticking to the content of the summary, but it may make more sense if you read the story first.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it... )

Overall, I found A Box of Pearls to be a fascinating read about an interesting but unexplored canon character. The unusual pairing is also believable and made a part of the main character's development. Pacing and story structure need some work, but the story does a solid job of portraying character development and the struggle for healing in the post-war world. I highly recommend it.
ljlee: (workdesk)
This grew out of a message exchange about one of my reviews to [livejournal.com profile] loopy777's Maikka 2012 story Trapped in Ba Sing Se. Loopy's was the first vignette, and then I wrote this in answer.

Follows from Part 1 on Loopy's journal.

The writing adventure continues! )
ljlee: (workdesk)
I have just finished the first draft of Shadow of the Dragon King, almost a year and a half after posting the first chapter. There are six chapters (some 40,000 words) to go from the current update so it'll be a while before the readers see everything. It won't even be the same text because whoa, hella editing to do, but still I have the base of the thing. Dragon King could end up a lot of bad things, but at the very least it will never be an incomplete story, not according to the current outline anyway.

Since the project will change and grow from this point (hopefully smaller, not bigger), and because I am stupidly excited about the whole thing, here is the current snapshot of Scrivener's Project Statistics. Disregard the top part, I have no idea what that 3,619-word section is and I'm going crazy trying to figure it out. The Selection below it, current selection being the top-level Project folder, is closer to the actual word count. Pages (paperback) is at 350 words a page, which is the default option.

Scrivener Statistics for Shadow of the Dragon King

Still left: One or two possible interludes and two or three side stories to write, beta-reading to be gotten, editorial decisions to make like what scenes to add or delete or how to arrange them (in one chapter the scenes are more or less in random order right now), lower-level editing and, when all is done, chapters to print out and check one last time before posting.

Since there's still so much work left on the story I'm happy I got the first draft out of the way before the end of summer, since the upcoming semester is going to be hectic. I've met my writing goals for the summer, and can move onto... uh... the giant tottering pile that is everything else in my life. *panics and runs away*

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L.J. Lee

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