selenay: (Default)
Agents of SHIELD and Holby review posts are incoming, but first! STUFF.

I think that I have expressed my flail and frustration and every other emotion about the snap election on Twitter, so I won't bring it over here (today). Instead, today I has a sad because the woman who hired me over eight (nearly nine?) years ago is retiring today. She sponsored and championed me through my first couple of years at the company, she supported me through tough some tough stuff, and she's been a terrific teacher throughout my career here. Every time someone gives me kudos for my systems knowledge or planning skills, I just want to point to her and declare she did it. I just learned from her.

In a profession dominated by men, often hostile to women, I've been really grateful to have a woman like her around to be a role model. So I'm sad, but I'm also happy for her, because she's been looking forward to retiring and all the travelling she'll do, so how can I be sad for that?

In other news...

I took a couple of days off and let me tell you, I can rock a vacation like nobody!

On Tuesday, I spent the whole day filing taxes and sitting in passport offices and generally resenting all government bureaucracy. Woo hoo!

Monday was equally relaxing, in a different way. I finished writing the novel. That's right, The Hunter and the Monochrome Princess has got an ending (an epilogue, oh noes!) and I can now bask in the joy of having a complete manuscript for a few days. Or at least, let it stew in its finishedness for a week or two before I dive in and try to wrestle it into being a manuscript that doesn't look like I vomited words everywhere. Then I can let a couple of people read it (the first few chapters have been through crit group, but I need some people to look at it as a whole, rather than in little chunks) and do more edits. SO MUCH EDITS.

While sitting at the kitchen table, fighting the words, I also had food preparing. There was a loaf of bread. A pot of soup. A pot of lentil bolognese. My freezer has been partially restocked. And after I wrote the last words (and changed the last paragraph three times), I went for a loooooong walk.

See? Totally relaxing!

I need to get better at taking vacations.

My joy over Doctor Who was such that I wrote a short fic. It's back from beta so hopefully tonight or tomorrow I'll post it. I can't promise there will be a fic-per-episode, but it did feel good to write some fic after being in novel mode for so long. YAY FANFIC.

Tonight I have to pick up groceries and go to the library. It's a good thing I'm done novelling for a while, because holy holds, Batman! SO MANY HOLDS. And one of them is a seven day loan, but it's The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi and I don't think it'll be a hardship to dive into that one and consume it in a glorious burst of reading heaven.
selenay: (Default)
Non-spoilery reaction: OMG SQUEEEE!

Also, I adore Bill :-)

And now, the spoilery version

Cut for spoilers )
selenay: (Default)
Hello! If you've found yourself on my journal for the first time here's a little bit about it.

I post about anything that pops into my head. Mostly that's fandom stuff and some personal stuff, because I use this as a journal as much as a discussion place, but sometimes it's links or discussion of real world politics if I'm feeling really opinionated. Don't worry, those posts are the rarity. The fandom stuff is the most common.

My always and forever fandom is Doctor Who, but I am a fandom butterfly who glomps onto all sorts of things. Current loves include: Holby City, Call the Midwife, Supergirl, the MCU, Star Trek, Star Wars...Star anything probably. This list may change, but the SFFness of it never will.

I write fanfic and original fic. I've written gen, het, m/m, and f/f. My current main ships are f/f ones and my current WIP original novel is an f/f romance. But if you're here only for the f/f and any mention of dude slash will make you rear back in horror, you might not want to be here. Just a heads up.

I rarely post locked stuff, but when I do, it's because I'm talking about something potentially controversial (religion), or something intensely personal that I'm locking down to a select few.

I'm always happy to meet new people, so friend/subscribe/circle away! Comment somewhere and introduce yourself! I don't bite and I try to keep discussion here vibrant and friendly. Welcome!
selenay: (Default)
At last, that glorious day of days is here and it's time for some new Doctor Who! I have been doing chores this morning and I am sitting down to write, but after I've got the words down (and a nice walk outside in the sunshine done), I plan to have a mini Doctor Who marathon.

Just because it's been so long.

I can't decide what to watch, though. Should I rewatch the last few episodes of season 9? (Probably.)

The Christmas special? (Er, maybe not.)

Some favourites from earlier new Who? (But which ones?)

An old favourite serial? (Which, let's face it, will be Battlefield because it's my favourite old Who serial and I'll never get tired of watching it.)

Anyone else doing a wee preparatory marathon? What are you watching?
selenay: (never trained)
*peers at Twitter notifications* Ah, I see a Big Name in publishing retweeted something. Goodbye, ability to see any other notifications :-)

You know how a few months ago I was all aflutter because I love my iPhone so much? I STILL LOVE IT. Having a cell phone? One that's capable of sending texts and making calls and stuff? So good. If I, to take a random example, want to ask a friend out to dinner tomorrow night, I can just text her! And have it arranged in a few minutes! It's wonderful!

Who knew having the ability to communicate reliably would be so brilliant? (All of you knew that, but let's pretend...)

Anyway, Holby City.

Cut for spoilers )
selenay: (never trained)
(Look at me, posting more than three times in one month. Hey remember when I used to actually talk about telly? Let's see what happens when I do that.)

Cut for spoilers )
selenay: (never trained)
Currently around my company there are projects happening to secure and lock down various systems, removing obsolete code etc etc.

Unfortunately, they've decided to describe this activity as "hardening" the systems.

So we're all smirking and giggling every time we have to meet to discuss a hardening project, or reference that someone is hardening something, or question whether something has been hardened yet.

(We haven't had the guts to ask "Is system X hard?". Yet.)

I'm sorry, my team is a bunch of children at heart. Even the boss :-D

I was a good girl and did my wording last night. I'm staggering towards the novel finish line, one day at a time. I'm almost done with the big boss battle, and after that, it's just the tidy-up and the happily ever after. Woo hoo!

Agents of SHIELD is back, which means Tuesdays have become a dilemma. Do I watch AoS or Holby? I could watch both, but realistically, I never have enough time to watch two hours of telly in one evening. Last week, Holby won, but I think AoS is going to be winning from now on. My twitter feed has far more AoS fans and it's hard to hide from spoilers until I watch on Wednesdays.

Cut for Holby spoilers )

I'm debating whether I go back to paid status here, as a gesture of support for DW providing a sanctuary for all the new LJ refugees and totally not because I want all my icons back DEFINITELY NOT THAT.
selenay: (Default)
It's April 10th and it hasn't snowed for almost a week and I am SO FREAKING DELIGHTED. The long nightmare is over!

I even wore my red spring coat for the last two days. Can you tell this has been a very long winter?

I got a reminder on my FB that five years ago, I had to shovel snow to go to church on Easter Sunday morning, so it's not the longest winter ever, but it's pretty close. And at least this year, there will be no pre-church snow shovelling according to the forecast (touch wood).

I foolishly remarked at work that I'll be making my own hot cross buns on Friday. I'm off Monday/Tuesday next week, but I sense I'll be making more hot cross buns on Tuesday to feed the hungry coworkers on Wednesday. That snack table we set up before Christmas? Still here. Still getting treats on at least a couple of times a week.

I'm getting close to finishing the novel I've been writing. It might be the best thing I've written--it might even be publishable--but now I've hit the stage where I'm making deals with myself to stay on track because the end is so close and I just want to write something (anything) else.

Actually, I want to write a Berena fic about Bernie going to find Serena and bring her home from her sabbatical. With exotic locations, comedy, and kissing. But I have to finish the novel. So my deal with myself is this: after I finish the novel, I can write the most self-indulgently fluffy Berena reunion fic ever, but the novel has to be finished first.

*puts on determined face*
selenay: (Default)
I know, it's been over two months since I posted. But I needed to do a bit of housekeeping and I swear that I'm going to try to do better in the future.

You may all point and laugh when I don't post again until June.

I've turned off cross-posting to LJ, thanks to the new shenanigans being done with TOSes in Russian and so forth. I'm not sure what I'll do with my LJ long-term, but I'm glad that I backed it up over here years ago and have only been cross-posting for the last few years.

I've also done a tiny bit of housekeeping on Mostly behind-the-scenes tweaks I've been meaning to do for ages, but I have removed the ability to add new reviews to the review section. Bet everyone forgot that was there! I don't plan to take them down, because it's a good record of what was hot like, ten years ago, but I don't plan to update anything any more. Not even broken links, no.

When I have more time, I may be installed a Wordpress thing on the site to make managing it easier. It's no longer the best source for my fic--that's all on AO3 now--but it would be good to get things a wee bit more up to date. And maybe I could set up a WP blog and cross-post to here.

Anyway, that's it. No huge changes, but if you want to know what I'm up to, the best source is probably [ profile] selenay.
selenay: (Default)
It's the 26th of January again. Six years ago, I insisted on having some blood work done because I felt ill and exhausted and thought I might be slightly anemic. Or at least, suffering from messed up electrolytes because I hadn't been able to keep any food inside me for a few days. Friends had been telling me I wasn't imagining, I really looked ill, for a long time and I finally insisted the doctor was wrong and I needed some blood work.

A few hours later, I was told to rush to hospital ASAP, where I received multiple blood transfusions and began getting tested for bowel disease.

That morning, I didn't feel too concerned. With six years of hindsight, I can read between the lines and see how much of a front I was putting up. When I said I was working from home? I meant that I was lying on the sofa with my laptop on a coffee table, working, because if I sat up for long, I got so light-headed and started to pass out.

The next day, after a night in the ER receiving all that blood, the gravity of it hadn't really sunk in yet. It was so hard to believe I was really sick. Obviously, it sunk in over the next few days, as tests and heavy-duty drugs and so on began. But at that time, I just couldn't accept what had really happened to me and how close it had really been.

If I hadn't had the blood work that day, it's probable I would have gone to bed that night and not woken up. I don't have to speculate--medical professionals have told me that.

The nurse who took my blood that day and put a rush on the results saved my life. The receptionist who took the results off a fax machine and called me to tell me to go to the hospital immediately, she'd send an ambulance if I couldn't get a drive, saved my life.

The doctors and nurses who worked on me saved my life.

The donors who gave their time and their blood saved my life.

The friends who told me I wasn't crazy and should get some tests done saved my life.

Every year, I think I'll forget about this. But every year, I feel so grateful for the extra year I've just had. There are now six years I wouldn't have had without all those people who saved my life.

That time hasn't always been easy. I've had days when I've been in so much pain, I didn't know what to do. I've had days when I'm so fed up with drugs and needles and doctors, I've wanted to stop it all. But the good days have far, far outweighed those and I'm grateful for every one of them, the good days and the bad days.

And so, as has become tradition, I can't forget about that day six years ago when I came so close to dying. I can't forget about all the people who combined to save my life that day.

All I can say is, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, to everyone, thank you for saving my life and for the six years I've been alive since. THANK YOU.
selenay: (yuletide)
Dear Yuletide Writer,

First of all, an early "Thank you!" for writing a fic in one of my fandoms. That alone has made me happy. If you've already got the perfect idea, please, go ahead and write it! If you want to know more about what I love about these pairings and prompts I've been mulling, I've thrown some thoughts together below.

I'm happy with any rating you're comfortable writing for.

General likes: I am a total sucker for tropes: accidental marriage, fake dating, stuck in a cabin, baby on the doorstep, cheesy AUs, the works. Throw them at me! I adore competent women kicking ass, women bonding, get together fics and figuring out how to stay together fics. I read fic to get the happy endings that are often missing in real life and in canon.

Dislikes: Death fic, sad endings, BDSM and heavy kink, graphic violence, dub-con/non-con, character bashing, cheating/adultery.

Holby City (Serena Campbell, Bernie Wolfe) )

Custard Protocol - Gail Carriger (Primrose Tunstall, Tasherit) )

Ghostbusters (2016) (Jillian Holtzmann, Erin Gilbert) )

Cornetto 40 - love Commercial (Debbie, Maria Fernandez) )

Persuasion - Jane Austen (Frederick Wentworth, Anne Elliot) )
selenay: (ace 2 (with gun))
Stolen from [profile] shinyjenny

1. Your main fandom of the year?

I...didn't have one. Huh. I flitted so much between different things, which may explain my tiny, tiny fanfic output. There was the usual background hum of Doctor Who and Star Trek, both of which exploded into OMG SQUEE at various times through the year, and then there was the joy of Supergirl and Alex/Maggie, and the beauty of Bernie/Serena on Holby, and a dozen other little fandoms I floated through.

This was definitely the year my fannish butterflyness was strongest.

2. Your favourite film watched this year?

How can I choose? HOW? Top three? Star Trek: Beyond, Ghostbusters, and Rogue One. I loved them all, for very different reasons.

3. Your favourite book read this year?

This one, strangely, is easy. If I can only pick one, it's The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin.

4. Your favourite TV show of the year?

So hard to choose. Again. If we're talking "shows that had new episodes this year", it's a tough pick between Supergirl, Holby City, and Call the Midwife.

5. Your favourite online fandom community of the year?

Er...the community of people I've found on Twitter? Does that count?

6. Your best new fandom discovery of the year?

I feel like I re-discovered shows I already loved (Supergirl, Holby) more than I discovered new fandoms. I found the fandoms for those shows, I guess.

7. Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?

Honestly, fandom was the one place where I didn't get any major disappointments. All the books I'd been looking forward to were great, all the TV and films I'd been anticipating lived up to my hopes...fandom was the one place that didn't turn into a trash dumpster fire in 2016.

8. Your TV boyfriend of the year?

Henrik Hanssen. Shut up :-)

9. Your TV girlfriend of the year?

I cannot choose between Alex Danvers and Bernie Wolf and you can't make me.

10. Your biggest squee moment of the year?

The news that we'd officially be getting a new Star Trek telly series. FOR REALS. Or getting a Star Trek movie that was really great. Or that moment when I came out of Ghostbusters over the moon. Or maybe Nine Worlds, the whole of it.

When Alex and Maggie kissed.

When Bernie and Serena kissed.

When Delia and Patsy reunited.

Apparently this was the year when all my f/f ships were awesome and ON SCREEN IN FRONT OF ME.

2016 had so much fannish squee, when I think about it.

11. The most missed of your old fandoms?

DOCTOR WHO. But we get a Christmas special in four days and a whole series next year, so the drought is nearly over.

12. The fandom you haven't tried yet, but want to?

Hmm, I haven't got any. Mostly because I've flitted around so many fandoms and I can't cope with any more right now.

13. Your biggest fan anticipations for the New Year?



The last book in the Broken Earth trilogy. New books from KJ Charles that sound amazing. Worldcon in Helsinki. I think 2017 is going to be rather filled with fannish squee :-)
selenay: (Christmas Doctor Who 4 (snow))
How did we already get to December 21st? Wasn't it June 21st yesterday?

We've already had some snow here, so saying it's the first official day of winter feels a little superfluous. The "official" seasons have little relationship with what the weather is actually doing, I feel.

Anyway, I'm mostly ready for Christmas. More ready than I usually am at this stage. All the baking is done. There are mince pies in the freezer ready to bake whenever I need some.

(I'll bake some tonight to bring into work tomorrow. We have a treat table going in my department this week, so the pies will fit in perfectly.)

Cranberry sauce is also in the freezer, along with Christmas pud and Christmas cake. If anything happens to keep me from my aunt's Christmas lunch, I've got a cashew roast in the freezer that I can bake off and serve for myself with all the trimmings. I think I'm ready!

I need to polish my Yuletide fic based on beta feedback, but it should be easily done in the next day or two. And I even wrote a Yuletide treat! Which needs to be posted in the next day or two, as well. It feels like this Yuletide was much less stressful than it has been over the last couple of years. I think the tactic in the future is to skip NaNo, because I'm feeling much more relaxed about Christmas right now. I've ended up as a post-deadline pinch hit, but I'm sure whoever is writing for me is working on a fic that I'll love. (THANK YOU.) And Yuletide, for me, is just as much about giving fic and working my way through the collection while eating Christmas cake, so being on the pinch hit list isn't too stressful.

Today I got a little bit of unexpected Christmas joy. One of the business analysts I work with--I spend hours every month helping him to balance revenue--gave me a present! We are both LotR fans, so he found a Lego Gimli for me! It's adorable and has taken pride of place in my desk geek collection :-D

So, how is everyone else doing with Yuletide and Christmas or Hanukkah prep? Have you had any bits of unexpected seasonal joy fall into your life?
selenay: (Christmas Doctor Who 3 (Happy Christmas))
I'm choosing not to look at how many days it is until Christmas, but it is starting to feel a bit Christmassy now. We've decorated at my office. I've started my advent calendar.

I'm trying to figure out how many Christmas-themed books I can read in three weeks. I'm feeling a need for a Dark is Rising reread and I've got a stack of cozy comfort books with Christmas in the title. I'm trying to resist the temptation to add The Domesday Book to the stack because I read it last year and it's not exactly cheerful.

And I'm halfway through the annual Box of Delights rewatch, which always makes me feel festive.

At church, we're embracing the advent season and it's lovely. I hadn't realised how much I missed the Anglican traditions around seasons until I spent a few years in a Baptist church that did its best to ignore all of the festivals except for Christmas Day and Easter Sunday. It's such a relief to be back in a congregation where I feel like I fit--all of me, not just the Baptist-appropriate parts.

Yuletide is starting to come together, too. My main fic is in its second draft and I'm well into writing a treat, which is most unusual for December 6th! Over the last few years, I've been doing NaNo and ending up feeling totally burnt out in December, so Yuletide has been a struggle. This year I'm excited about Yuletide again!

I chose not to do NaNo due to the horrific work deadlines and trying to get my Marvel Bang fic edited on time, but it's turned out to be a blessing in disguise. By the time I was through the worst of the post-work-and-Marvel-Bang burn out and starting to itch to write something, I still had loads of time until the Yuletide deadline. Maybe this is a signal that NaNo just isn't the right timing for me.

Provided this week doesn't go to hell, I'm on vacation on Friday until December 19th, which will be fantastic. Lots of time to finish recovering, to read books, to do Christmas baking, to veg out with the telly...I'm excited to have a vacation, even though we're forecasted to get out first big snow on Monday!
selenay: (Default)
Today I got told that I'm in the wrong field and I should go and open a cheesecake shop. Or maybe just a bakery with a lot of cheesecake.

That's possibly the nicest compliment anyone has given me :-D

I made myself a chocolate cheesecake as a birthday treat (it may be the best one I've ever made) and I brought in a slice for a coworker on the Great Upgrade Project who has been having a bad week. A little while later, I got a hug and the outraged declaration that I'm in the wrong field and need to go pro with my baking, because it's the best cheesecake he's ever tasted.


You see, cheesecake is one of those things that most people I know seem to find intimidating--it's a thing they buy, not make--and on the surface, I can't understand why. The base is easy. Crushed biscuits and butter are so easy, children can do it! The batter is pretty damn easy, too. It's hard to go wrong with eggs, sugar, cream cheese and other flavourings, unless you try to use low-fat cream cheese and that shit is evil for cheesecake making purposes. The only total fail I've ever had was the time I tried to go low-fat. The batter turned ridiculously thin and refused to set no matter what I did to it. Low-fat cream cheese is an abomination unto cheesecake.

So, if the base and batter are easy, why is it so intimidating? Why am I so damn pleased with this one?

It's the baking. You have to get it just right. You have to have the courage of your conviction to take it out of the oven and trust that it's done and it will set properly, even though it feels terrifyingly soft in the middle. This is particularly true with chocolate, because you can't see that the edges have hit the perfect level of slightly gold the way you can with vanilla. I have no objection to a cheesecake ending up slightly cracked on top, although it's more aesthetically pleasing if it isn't, as long as it's not over-baked. Finding the perfect degree of bakedness? That's probably what makes it so intimidating.

Then there's the whole to bain-marie or not to bain-marie question. I'm pretty sure some cheesecakes really need it, and it's probably easier to get it evenly baked. I've done my chocolate one in a bain-marie and without, and I can honestly say it hasn't made much difference. I didn't use one this time, and it's perfect: no cracking, just set in the centre, not overbaked on the edges. If it was a less familiar recipe, I'd probably use one, as a security blanket if nothing else.

So, yeah, I can see why cheesecake intimidates and why my coworker was so impressed. I have to admit, it felt really good to be complimented like that on something that felt properly skillful. I mean, I'm good at my job and it's not easy to write code and manage a massive data warehouse, but baking feels different somehow. It's something that's partially following directions, and partially following instincts from much practice.

Maybe if I ever won the lottery, I could think about opening that bakery/bookshop I've dreamed of.

For now, I'll just bake for fun and maybe write that comfort food romance with lesbians I talked about on Twitter yesterday :-D
selenay: (Default)
Stone of the North (58915 words) by Selenay
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Avengers (Marvel Movies)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Clint Barton/Phil Coulson
Characters: Clint Barton, Phil Coulson, Natasha Romanov, Darcy Lewis, Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, Nick Fury, Jane Foster (Marvel), Thor (Marvel)
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Steampunk, Alternate Universe - Edwardian, Valet Clint Barton, BAMF Phil Coulson, Mystery, Action/Adventure, Comic Book Science, Blimps & Dirigibles, Background Relationships, Minor Bucky Barnes/Steve Rogers, Minor Darcy Lewis/Natasha Romanov, Minor Pepper Potts/Tony Stark, Minor Jane Foster/Thor
Series: Part 5 of Dangerous Instruments

Sequel to Clockwork Murders. The happily ever after isn't always easy, but Coulson and Barton are determined to figure out how to make it work. After all, how difficult can it be to pretend to the world they're still just a gentleman and his valet, settling into a quiet life with no excitement or adventure at all?

More difficult than they anticipated, it turns out. And that's before Stark asks for their help tracking down a missing gem, people start disappearing around London, and Natasha resurfaces with a mission of her own for them. Their quiet life together may feature more dirigibles and explosions than they'd ever counted on.

The amazing accompanying artwork is also on AO3 (as well as embedded in the fic).
selenay: (Default)
I know I said that I can't imagine time existing after my Big Deploy weekend, but I lied. Not that I can make plans or even consider the possibility that specific dates exist, but...

I am so very, very tired. And stressed. And TIRED. This weekend I've got a bunch of stuff that I need to get done, none of them relaxing things. Next weekend, I'm theoretically at my local convention (unless I have to work and then I'm working), which will hopefully be fun but will definitely be exhausting. Then it's Deploy Weekend. The 11th should be a holiday, but we're working it. And the Saturday. And the Sunday. And then we spend the following week putting out fires and possibly working part of the weekend due to another team's big Thing that my upgrade team may need to support.

So there's going to be this period of time where I have absolutely no time off and no rest and I've somehow got to write the last chapter of my Big Bang fic and get the whole thing edited for November 15th, so I've started fantasising about this:

Having an entire day, maybe two, where I have nothing I have to do. Where I am free to read or watch TV and do not need to think about working or writing. It sounds like heaven.

Hopefully all the time in lieu I'll be accruing will enable me to make that happen at some stage. For now, it's just a fantasy. I really, really want it to happen, though.
selenay: (Default)
I need to write a proper post about them, but for now I'll just say "Eeeeeeeeeeeeee! I loved them! Why is Saturday so far away?"

Feel free to get real spoilery in comments :-)
selenay: (Default)
I have reached the stage in my current work project where I cannot fathom the concept of a world existing after November 12th. I'm sure it will, but that idea seems impossible. Someone asked me about plans for my birthday and I just can't cope with that because it's after November 12th and that time does not exist yet.

November 11th is when everything hits the fan. At the moment, I know I'm working that day (it's a holiday here), working the 12th, and I may have to work the 13th if things don't go to plan. And let's face it, huge upgrades never go to plan, so I will honestly be shocked if I'm not working the 13th.

We're also anticipating there will be fires to put out all week afterwards and, quite possibly, over the following weekend when a big code release is due to happen on our newly upgraded data warehouse. So in that sense, I can acknowledge a world where things happen after November 12th. It's just that I can only envision work-related things and I can't even think about plans that don't involve work because argh.

This is why anyone who asks me about plans after the middle of November is likely to get either a blank look or a hysterical amount of laughter. Life might exist after that, but really cannot imagine it right now, and I definitely can't plan anything.


selenay: (Default)

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