nebroadwe: Write write write edit edit edit edit edit & post. (Writer)
2014-08-03 07:41 am
Entry tags:

Fanfiction: The Secret (Transformers Prime)

Title: The Secret
Fandom: Transformers Prime
Character(s): Megatron, Soundwave
Pairing(s): None
Rating: G
Word Count: ~3300
Warnings: Spoilers for the end of season 3 (no spoilers for the series finale); also, spoilers for Foxbear's Trickster.
A/N: This story acts as an epilogue to Trickster, a crucial installment in Foxbear's "Blood and Energon" AU. Trickster's climax reveals a game-changing development about which, as one character tells another, "Megatron cannot know." In storytelling terms, of course, that means "Megatron must find out," and I could not help but imagine how he might react when he does. Many thanks to Foxbear for the beta-read, though this story should be considered metafanfiction and not in any way binding on this AU's "canon." (Foxbear also tried to tone down my Miltonian rhetoric, but what overheated bombast remains is wholly my doing.) Crossposted to [community profile] transficsation. Concrit welcomed with covert intelligence of the highest caliber.



As, when a spark
Lights on a heap of nitrous powder, laid
Fit for the tun, some magazine to store
Against a rumoured war, the smutty grain
With sudden blaze diffused, inflames the air;
So started up, in his own shape, the Fiend.


— John Milton, Paradise Lost IV, 814-819


          Megatron stood on the bridge of the Nemesis, at the hub of all his devices and desires, and was pleased with what he saw.

Read more... )
nebroadwe: (Books)
2014-06-04 08:34 pm

Needs More Love: Victorious Children (Tobu Ishi)

I never got into the whole Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons crossover thing. I like all those canons individually, but mixed together ... eh.

And then I saw that Tobu Ishi, one of my all-time favorite FMA writers (and probably my first fandom writing crush; dear heaven, s/he can drabble), had a new story up: Victorious Children, which is a Rise of the Braved Tangled Dragons 'fic ...

... set in the Hunger Games universe.

And it works.

This has everything to do with Tobu Ishi's fantastic grasp of characterization and narrative voice and the kind of fanficcer's inventiveness that sees exactly how to take a set of characters out of their established plot and set them down in a new one that's just as entertaining. Did I say entertaining? How about gripping, amusing, startling and plangent by turns? Each chapter is a more or less self-contained vignette that together add up to one heck of a story.

And not enough people are reading it. So here's my recommendation: give it a shot. The odds are in your favor ...
nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
2014-01-22 08:35 am
Entry tags:

Personal Note: Brrrrrr ...

... it's cold.

The NOAA tells me it's 4F this morning. I wish I could run my heat normally, but I still have the downstairs smoking neighbor problem. So I'm warming the house up to Tropical Rainforest and then letting it cool to Arctic Tundra over the course of the day. Gah. I can't wait to get out of here.

I have managed over the past several months to get new floor and countertops laid down in my kitchen and am currently badgering Paint Contractor #3 for a written estimate so that I can get the room painted. Then I just have to clean the carpets and find a realtor. I've already boxed up all my paperbacks, but I fully expect to be asked to decrease the number of books/shelves for showing. I look forward to the expression I'll get when I explain that I've already taken down about half of them. :-)

Meanwhile, the job gave us a half-day yesterday during the snowstorm and told us all to stay home today, a bizarre mercy. I suspect alien involvement. Fortunately, I haven't packed the tinfoil hats yet ...
nebroadwe: Write write write edit edit edit edit edit & post. (Writer)
2013-09-22 10:17 am
Entry tags:

Fanfiction: At Odds With Morning (Transformers Prime)

Title: At Odds With Morning
Fandom: Transformers Prime
Character(s): Ratchet, Optimus Prime, Raf, Miko, Jack, Agent Fowler
Pairing(s): None
Rating: G
Word Count: ~4200
Warnings: Spoilers for the end of season 3 (no spoilers for the series finale).
A/N: When I watched "Deadlock," it was immediately clear to me why Ratchet, of all the Autobots, would choose to stay behind; then I realized his motivations would unpack nicely into a short story. Despite the epigraphs from Paul Simon, this is not a songfic per se. Originally it was headed by a quotation from Epictetus, but then LadyM turned me on to the possibility of using pop lyrics by her adept employment of same in Life in Glass Houses. This is for Foxbear, who expressed an interest in it (and has written a much more cheerful why-Ratchet-stayed story, "Where I Am Needed"). Crossposted to [community profile] transficsation. Concrit welcomed with bongos, brass and a bass guitar.



A man walks down the street.
He says, “Why am I soft in the middle now?
Why am I soft in the middle?
The rest of my life is so hard.
I need a photo opportunity.
I want a shot at redemption.
Don't want to end up a cartoon
In a cartoon graveyard:

Bone-digger, bone-digger.
Dogs in the moonlight —
Far away, my well-lit door."


— Paul Simon, "You Can Call Me Al"


          Optimus Prime's retreating form disappeared into the swirling green fire of the space bridge. The gate remained patent for a few moments afterward, marking his passage across the light years to Cybertron, then closed automatically. Decepticon engineering, Ratchet thought wryly. He would have to make do with less sophisticated devices for a while, but he was used to that. He also knew that it would be some time before the memory of his gilded cage on the Nemesis ceased to color his appreciation of Decepticon engineering. The Earth-based computers of hangar E, for all their faults, at least held no such unpleasant associations — and perhaps even a few fond memories.

          Not that he intended to admit it.

Read more... )
nebroadwe: (Books)
2013-09-19 08:20 am
Entry tags:

Fandom: There's a secret cabal ...

... that seems to be passing around an advance copy of the DVD/Blu-Ray of the Transformers Prime series finale. It's the only way I can explain the sudden appearance of a complete and highly spoilerrific recap page on TVTropes.org and a number of fanfics based not on speculations about the finale, but what appears to be actual knowledge thereof. And, silly me, I managed to spoil myself slightly before backbuttoning madly away. On the other hand, I now have time to accustom myself to the idea that several of my desiderata for this story (a six-year timeskip, the [life event] of [character] and [character], and a glimpse into the future careers of [characters]) just aren't going to happen. Boo, hiss. I'm just going to have to write that one myself, I guess. I could have sworn that they were setting up those desiderata in the final episodes of season 3, but I guess not. Sigh.
nebroadwe: (pic#1047247)
2013-09-10 08:47 pm
Entry tags:

Personal Note: I'm not complaining, I'm not complaining, I'm not complaining ...

... okay, maybe just a little bit.

It's been a lovely summer, really. We had that awful week and a half of torrid weather back in July and then the dewpoint dove down and stayed down all through August. Which was good, because due to the smoking downstairs neighbor, I can't run my central a/c without tobaccoing up my house. Argh. But it's September, now. We were down into the 50s a few days last week. I thought it was safe to take the fans out of the windows.

It wasn't. And I suspect that doing so attracted the attention of Mother Nature, so I now I feel responsible for all the other people suffering through 85+ degree weather with a 70+ degree dewpoint. I'm sorry! I didn't mean it! The fans are staying in until the World Series is completed and summer is officially over, I promise!
nebroadwe: Write write write edit edit edit edit edit & post. (Writer)
2013-09-07 04:27 pm
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Fanfiction: The Roughest Day (Transformers Prime)

Title: The Roughest Day (Part 2/5)
Fandom: Transformers Prime
Character(s): Sierra, Smokescreen (this part; eventual Knock Out, Optimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, Jack Darby)
Pairing(s): None
Rating: PG
Word Count: ~5030 (this part; 9480 overall)
Warnings: Canon-typical violence.
A/N: I meant to cover the entirety of the action in this chapter, but realized in the writing of it that I had more action than I'd thought. So the three chapters, prologue and epilogue of my original plan have become four chapters, a prologue and an epilogue. The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft agley, as the poet says. This chapter is for Ron, who introduced me to Blind Guardian ("This won't make your head explode!") and his sister Karissa, who giggled at the vain attempt to make Sierra feel better. Crossposted to [community profile] transficsation. Concrit welcomed with a jack and some Fix-A-Flat. (Part 1 can be found here.)



          The bus jounced over a seam in the tarmac, dislodging Sierra's left earbud and waking her from an uncomfortable doze. Read more... )
nebroadwe: Write write write edit edit edit edit edit & post. (Writer)
2013-08-23 12:05 pm
Entry tags:

Fanfiction: The Roughest Day (Transformers Prime)

Title: The Roughest Day (Part 1/4)
Fandom: Transformers Prime
Character(s): Sierra (this part; eventual Smokescreen, Knock Out, Optimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, Jack Darby)
Pairing(s): None
Rating: PG
Word Count: ~4450
Warnings: Canon-typical violence.
A/N: This story was inspired by two dangling plot participles from season two of Transformers Prime: Sierra's reintroduction in the opener and the evacuation of Jasper in the finale. It was first conceived after the season 3 episode "Project Predacon" but before the full scope of that arc became clear. Though now completely AU, it remains, I hope, a plausible and enjoyable might-have-been. Crossposted to [community profile] transficsation. Concrit welcomed with a ticket to ride.



          She bears down on the strut with all her weight and will, but it's not enough. The boulder under which it's jammed merely teeters back and forth, taunting her with its stability. She lets up, gasping, then throws herself against the lever once more. Her hands smart where the fluorescent blue liquid oozing from its torn end has soaked through the jacket she wrapped around it and her ears ring with the din of battle rising out of the gorge below: reports as loud as cannon fire and the crash of metal into metal like a fifteen — no, five hundred car pile-up on the highway.

          She's running out of time to make this work.

          Panic chews at her nerves. Damn it, she has a fulcrum and a place to stand and it's not the world she needs to move, just this one huge, heavy, dirty, stupid rock! She heaves at it again, teeth gritted together, breath whistling in her nose, and feels the strut bow slightly under the strain.

          The boulder has to move. It has to.

          Because if it doesn't, she's dead.

Read more... )
nebroadwe: (pic#1047247)
2013-08-16 06:28 pm
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Personal Note: I will have my vengeance!

I emerged from another writing fit this evening to notice that:
a) the ants are back; and

b) they brought a friend, probably named Mickey.
Whence follows the ritual scrubbing of the countertops, the liberal application of Ant-B-Gone, and the baiting of the mousetrap with peanut butter.

Ye gods, I hope those were just really large, really odd looking ant corpses and not mouse turds, but I have very little hope.
nebroadwe: Write write write edit edit edit edit edit & post. (Writer)
2013-08-11 08:59 am
Entry tags:

Fanfiction: The Test (Transformers Prime)

Title: The Test (Part 2/2)
Fandom: Transformers Prime
Character(s): Bumblebee, Optimus Prime; mentions of Ratchet and Megatron
Pairing(s): None
Rating: PG-13 (this part; R overall)
Word Count: ~2700 (this part; ~8150 overall)
Warnings: Aftermath of torture (no sexual content), psychological distress.
A/N: I have freely interpreted various (and occasionally conflicting) moments of backstory revealed in the Transformers Prime cartoon to create this piece; I have also borrowed details from other continuities (Aligned and G1) to flesh it out. The result is, perhaps, an unholy hybrid, consonant with no canon, but it is the story I wished to tell. In addition, everything I know about writing Optimus Prime I learned from Foxbear and Alathea2, but any failure of characterization should be ascribed solely to my inability to emulate their example. Crossposted to [community profile] transficsation. Concrit welcomed with a coupon for one free therapy session. Part one may be found here.



It is the generous Spirit ...
Who, doomed to go in company with Pain,
And Fear, and Bloodshed, miserable train!
Turns his necessity to glorious gain.


— William Wordsworth, "Character of the Happy Warrior"

        Optimus Prime strode quietly through the hospital's corridors. Those who did not know him well were always surprised to discover that a mech of his size could move so unobtrusively. Most assumed it was the product of a warrior's training in stealth; few recognized in his light step and contained presence a habit of courtesy ingrained by long service in the Iacon Hall of Records, where the concentration of a scholar or a fellow archivist was not lightly interrupted.

Read more... )
nebroadwe: (Bear)
2013-08-07 02:43 pm
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Random: Today is a good day

Today turns out to be filled with all kinds of fannish good things, including the new Thor trailer (which I saw tagged on Tumblr with "HIT HIM AGAIN JANE"), John Scalzi laying the smackdown on self-appointed geek gatekeepers, this meme, and pictures of Tom Hiddleston sitting down with the Cookie Monster. It just doesn't get any better than this, people. It just doesn't.

(Also, free-range capybaras, to which I sadly cannot link. [profile] kanja_177, are you responsible?)
nebroadwe: Write write write edit edit edit edit edit & post. (Writer)
2013-08-03 08:19 am
Entry tags:

Fanfiction: The Test (Transformers Prime)

Title: The Test (Part 1)
Fandom: Transformers Prime
Character(s): Bumblebee, Megatron
Pairing(s): None
Rating: R (for violence)
Word Count: ~5450
Warnings: Graphic depiction of violence: hostile interrogation, physical torture (no sexual content), psychological distress.
A/N: I have freely interpreted various (and occasionally conflicting) moments of backstory revealed in the Transformers Prime cartoon to create this piece; I have also borrowed details from other continuities (Aligned and G1) to flesh it out. The result is, perhaps, an unholy hybrid, consonant with no canon, but it is the story I wished to tell. Crossposted to [community profile] transficsation. Concrit welcomed with an escape tunnel.


Tis, finally, the Man ...
Who, whether praise of him must walk the earth
For ever, and to noble deeds give birth,
Or he must fall, to sleep without his fame,
And leave a dead unprofitable name —
Finds comfort in himself and in his cause.


— William Wordsworth, "Character of the Happy Warrior"

          The whine of a blaster charging up beside his left proximal audio receptor and the words Don't move, slagger! weren't the subtlest of signs that Bumblebee's mission had gone to Pit, but they did clarify that it was taking the express chute.

Read more... )
nebroadwe: (Bear)
2013-07-26 10:13 am
Entry tags:

Random: Fannish fun

Transformers: Prime's third season finale airs this evening, after which all that will be left is a made-for-TV movie coda later this fall. I am equal parts eager to see how the Final Battle plays out (though I must admit I'm not too worried about the Fate of the Earth; the good guys usually win, though I don't discount the possibility of a Heroic Sacrifice) and sad that This Is The End. It's been a fun ride since my goddaughter Amber_Dawn informed me that I really needed to watch this one. In honor of the occasion, we're getting together at her house for a viewing party: she's supplying the cable; I'm bringing the cake. I attempted to decorate it with a representation of the classic Autobot symbol, but since art is not my forte, I console myself that Amber_Dawn and her family all have good imaginations. Also that chocolate cake is ultimately for eating, not admiring.

Sigh. Thanks for the memories, Hasbro. Will look forward to your next venture into this canon.
nebroadwe: (Books)
2013-07-24 12:48 pm
Entry tags:

Random: Cave cuniculum historiae

Diane Duane shows us all how not to behave in the presence of a Plot Bunny here. Heed the warning! Take heed!
nebroadwe: Write write write edit edit edit edit edit & post. (Writer)
2013-07-22 01:59 pm
Entry tags:

Personal Note: Anatomy of a Descent into Fanwriter Hell

Wow, this show is the co-coolest thing in the history of ever. It's got some good 'fic, too.

Not enough, though ...

Wouldn't it be interesting if ... no, no, not going there. I can't write for this one; it's been around since my childhood and there's too much canon.

It gets worse ... )
nebroadwe: Write write write edit edit edit edit edit & post. (Writer)
2013-07-17 06:39 pm
Entry tags:

Fanfiction: Falsely True (Transformers Prime)

Title: Sketch: Falsely True
Fandom: Transformers Prime
Character(s): Ratchet
Pairing(s): None
Rating: G
Word Count: ~1300
Warnings: Major spoilers for season 3, episode 11, "Persuasion"
A/N: This sketch came into being five minutes after I finished watching "Persuasion" and I have hastened to edit and post it because I am certain the scenario it depicts — an unsupervised Ratchet — will be jossed by "Synthesis." One character alone in a room with his thoughts is a difficult recipe for drama; plus, no writer worth his or her salt would pass up the opportunity for a snark-off between Jeffrey Coombs and Steve Blum or Daran Norris. Crossposted to [community profile] transficsation. Concrit welcomed with free upgrades.
Dedication: For Eric and Mark and Kevin and Charlie, from whom I learned just enough to fake my way through a conversation (or a story) about computing.



For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?
— Mark 8:36 (NASB)

          Ratchet has to admit that the wages of collaboration are excellent. He hasn't worked in a lab this well-equipped since he left the Ark and never in such ... splendid isolation. His every act is monitored, of course, and the guards stationed in the corridor have orders to offline him if he so much as pokes a digit outside, but otherwise the Decepticons do not trespass upon his solitude. Megatron is nothing if not shrewd: Starscream would be hovering at Ratchet's elbow to gloat over his defection, but the Lord of the Decepticons withdrew rather than rub corrosive into the wound. No doubt he will return if positive results are too long delayed, but for now Ratchet has no one to defy and nothing external to resist. The only way to keep his processor from implementing an endless loop of self-recrimination is to lose himself in the project before him.

Read more... )
nebroadwe: (Bear)
2013-07-01 12:30 pm
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Random: In honor of Cornerofmadness's recent milestone

The good folk of Making Light are having fun with a meme:
He only uses prepositions when it is entirely necessary. He doesn’t misplace commas: he helps commas go into the Punctuation Protection Program. The characters in his novels send him fan letters. ... He once wrote a story that consisted of a single sentence which was serialized in three issues of The Paris Review. ... When he was in a coma after an automobile accident he made his deadline anyway. A copy-editor once queried one of his sentences -- and he allowed her to live. ... People read his prologues. His grocery lists have gone for six-figure advances at auction. Grammarians adjust their rules to match his realities. He is the most interesting writer in the world.
The rest to be found here -- share and enjoy!
nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Magadalen)
2013-06-26 09:48 pm
Entry tags:

Personal Note: The gallery reopens!

So I finished painting my hallway today, a project I'd been putting off for eight years. I'd gotten the trim half-done before I had a contractor in to rip up the (disintegrating, ew) carpet and replace it with Pergo and then just let the space sit, baseboards in one color to match the living room and door molding in (mostly) another. This time I bought a couple of cans of decorator's white and did the whole thing in bland. I'm too busy writing to play interior designer.

But this project meant that, in addition to unscrewing doors and covering the edges of the floor and ceiling in painter's tape, I had to take down all the pictures and such. And then I realized that, hey, I didn't have to use the holes the previous owner had made to hang my stuff -- I could make new holes. And hang more stuff. So I did. The hallway is now my art gallery: I have a print by Janice. J. Hanson, a landscape photograph by Melinda Hall, and a watercolor by Ginny Masters, all local artists. I'm still trying to figure out where to hang the reproduction of an illuminated "Obsecro te" from a Book of Hours that a friend gave me for Christmas a few years ago, but the Norman Rockwell and Days of Christmas plates are back above the guest room and bathroom doors, where they belong.

Then it occurred to me that, apart from my grandfather's seascapes, almost every piece of real art I own was created by a woman. I have a seascape by Carol Haese in acrylics that I inherited from an aunt and another in watercolors by Bettie J. Fahs that I bought myself. I have another of Melinda Hall's photographs, a sunflower garden. I have Ultra Magnus in a kilt by my goddaughter and an elaborately cross-stitched "Peace" sign by her mother, as well as pottery from every woman in the family (and the dad, too). I also have a few cross-stitch projects of my own hanging up, as well as two artsy landscape photographs I took and thought were good enough to frame. There are a few anonymous pieces as well: a still life on a board signed "Tomar," a foggy watercolor landscape from my hometown signed "Fultz," and an unsigned picture of two roosters in a bush from Mexico. Beside all this, the number of works by indisputably male artists -- that one pot, a Michael Podesta print and a marquetry seascape by Robert Johnson -- is paltry. I didn't do it on purpose, so I guess women's art must speak to me in a way that men's doesn't.

I also appear to have a thing for seascapes, but I knew that. I've told my parents that they need to earmark the rest of my grandfather's paintings -- especially the Chinese junk and the rocky shore -- for me in their will. My brother can have the Waterford crystal and the cranberry glass instead.
nebroadwe: Write write write edit edit edit edit edit & post. (Writer)
2013-06-16 08:30 am
Entry tags:

Fanfiction: The Faultless Monster (Pumpkin Scissors)

Title: Sketch: The Faultless Monster
Fandom: Pumpkin Scissors (animeverse)
Character(s): Muzé Caplan
Pairing(s): None
Rating: PG
Word Count: ~1400
Warnings: Mentions of suicide and medical/psychological experiments
A/N: This character sketch of Muzé Caplan has been sitting on my desk in draft for years. I had intended it to be longer and include a version of her canonical meeting with Oland, but that got stalled in development. Looking it over, however, I decided that what I had managed to write could stand on its own. Concrit welcomed with psychological evaluations.



There is something at work in my soul which I do not understand. I am practically industrious — painstaking, a workman to execute with perseverance and labour — but besides this there is a love for the marvellous, a belief in the marvellous, intertwined in all my projects, which hurries me out of the common pathways of men, even to the wild sea and unvisited regions I am about to explore.

— Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Muzé Caplan slit open the embossed envelope with the same swift efficiency (if but a fraction of the interest) she brought to a dissection. The three flimsies hardly seemed worthy of the rag paper and red wax seal that enclosed them, but she was Caplan now and such courtesies were deemed her due. She often thought that the ancients should not have dismissed the philosopher who defined man as a featherless biped by showing him a plucked chicken. The Institute, the military, the imperial court: how little different they were from a fowl run in the energy their inhabitants devoted to creating and maintaining a pecking order.

Read more... )
nebroadwe: Write write write edit edit edit edit edit & post. (Writer)
2013-06-15 02:51 pm
Entry tags:

Fanfiction: Mere Mechanic Art (Transformers Prime)

Title: Mere Mechanic Art
Fandom: Transformers Prime
Character(s): Jack, Miko, Ultra Magnus; mentions of Raf, Bulkhead and Optimus Prime
Pairing(s): None
Rating: G
Word Count: 2195
Warnings: Spoilers for season 3 through episode 6, "Chain of Command"
A/N: Off the joke about Agent Fowler's communications style in "Project Predacon," I commissioned this picture from the artist, Amber_Dawn. That picture then inspired this story, though the sketch described herein in no way resembles the original. Amber_Dawn draws much more skilfully than Miko, trust me. Crossposted to [community profile] transficsation. Concrit welcomed with a groundbridge day pass.
Dedication: For Amber_Dawn, of course, with many thanks!



Who shall say that Fortune grieves him,
While the star of hope she leaves him?

-- Robert Burns, "Ae Fond Kiss"

I hate being the homefront.
-- Foxbear, Dying Embers


It was quiet. Too quiet.

Read more... )