rebecca_in_blue: (pursed lips)
Okay, I kinda did a lot of complaining in my last post, so today I decided to make today a Thankful Thursday. I'm calling this one the "cold weather edition," even though it isn't exactly cold here. It's a typical Louisiana winter, cold one day and warm the next.

Things Rebecca is thankful for during the wintertime:

  • Tovah loves sleeping in bed with us, and on cold nights, it's really nice having a warm cat curled up next to you. (Although she's very obviously about preferring Sara's bed over mine.)
  • The water in this apartment gets hot and stays hot! In fact, I almost burned myself right after we moved in. The hot water never lasted this long in Smallpartment, which had the oldest plumbing known to man, so I try not to take this one for granted.
In other, more embarrassing news... I can't believe I'm posting this, but here goes. I've set a goal for myself to write a fanfiction for fandoms in every letter of the alphabet. I made this goal recently, after realizing that I'd written for fandoms starting with A, B, C, and D. It's going to take some time, but I'm sure that I can do it, since I've already written fandoms in more letters than not. Writing fewer NCIS stories has helped. Make no mistake, I still love NCIS, but writing for new and different fandoms feels kinda liberating. My other goal, to write more stories about Jewish characters in different fandoms (made here), is still going, too.

For my own future reference:
Fandoms I've written stories in: A, B, C, D, G, H, J, L, M, N, P, R, S, X, and Z.
Letters I have yet to write: E, F, I, K, O, Q, T, U, V, W, and Y.

I've never written a fanfic for Star Trek, but recently I browsed around in that category, and the first fic I happened to see was Data/Tasha Yar. When I told Adam and Sara this, they said: Adam: "Well, they were a canon couple. I mean, sorta." Sara: "Well, it could've been worse. It could've been Warf/Troi!" Adam: "I kinda like Warf and Troi together."

P.S. Quvenzhane Wallis, the young actress from Beasts of the Southern Wild, got an Oscar nomination for Best Actress today!!! She's nine years old and the youngest actress to ever get this nomination and she's from Louisiana! What a time to be alive!
rebecca_in_blue: (bemused shrug)
Two years ago today, Rebecca published the first chapter of her first fanfiction. I know some people post fanfiction stats at the new year (like my friend [livejournal.com profile] alidiabin did here) but I prefer to do it on my ficaversary. So far, I've still stuck to my pattern of one story for NCIS, then two for different fandoms, but I'll probably abandon that in Year 3. Don't get me wrong, I still ♥ NCIS as much as ever, but I just don't have an endless number of story ideas for it. (I'm still slowly spending this summer posting episode reviews for Season 8. Maybe I'll find more plot-bunnies that way.) My muse really wants to write for more fandoms.

Year 2: 15 stories, 36 chapters/shots, 242 reviews, 6 fandoms. 10 of my stories are for NCIS, and 5 are for other fandoms. Of my NCIS stories, 6 are tagged to specific episodes. The first story I wrote during Year 2 was Hiding Place, and the last was Know How It Feels. The longest story I wrote during Year 2 was Defensive Wounds at 15,260 words; the shortest was A Girl with a Watering Can at 843 words. My most-reviewed multi-chapter story for Year 2 was Defensive Wounds at 88 reviews. My most-reviewed one-shot was Daffodil at 14.

I wrote fewer -- six less -- but longer stories in Year 2 than in Year 1. (I only wrote one story a month for most of the year, except for a few months when my muse started working double-time.) My average story length jumped up by about 600 words. I also went a little crazy compiling more stats!


Overall statistics )

Reviews per chapter )

Last year's ficaversary is here. On Sara's art calendar, I'm looking at Meule de foin, matin, Eragny, an 1899 oil painting by Camille Pissarro.

P.S. On a more serious note, today is also the anniversary of something else. It was just about a year ago (2011's 4th of July weekend) that Grandma moved out of her old house. I remember how depressed I was over that, and it was hard because Grandma's old house WAS my childhood, but damn, I really wish I could go back in time and tell myself to stop moping and start being grateful that Grandma is still alive! What is it they say about hindsight?
rebecca_in_blue: (happy smile)
All hail Rebecca, who actually did something with her day off! First, I woke up way too early this morning and had coffee with Sassy Jewish #1. He's in another play, The Odd Couple this time, and I read through Acts I and II with him to help him learn his lines. He's playing Oscar (the slobby one) and only has about half his lines memorized with three weeks till opening night!

After that, Sara and I drove downtown to the park. Remember when I spent a day helping rebuild a playground that burnt down? Well, it's finally finished and open to the public! Since I'd seen some of the under-construction phase, I couldn't wait to see the finished product. The new playground is massive and so cool. Heck, I'm glad the old one burnt down because this one is even better! I played on the spinner and see-saw that I'd worked on, and it was sweet to be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor. After the spinner made me dizzy enough to puke, Sara and I walked over the lake and fed some stale bread to the ducks and seagulls.


Me on the spinner. Sara spun me around so hard that I flew off, and now I have bruises on my arm and hip.


Me lying across the tire swing. Like my hair?

And now, about last night's new NCIS episode. I'm still watching one old Season 8 episode for every week that we don't get a new one. Since I began writing these episode notes (my first one was for Restless), I've been under assault from fanfic plot bunnies! I've never really lacked plot bunnies, I've only lacked the time and talent to turn them into good fics. But now, this one particular bunny refuses to leave me alone, and it's for a very uncanon pairing that I would never ordinarily write -- Zibbs! Yeah, as in Ziva/Gibbs! And heaven help me, I think I might actually end up writing the story!


Observations on 9x13 "A Desperate Man" )

Go, fanfiction writers! To your keyboards! A new world of possibilities awaits you!

Random P.S. On Sara's page-a-day art calendar, I'm currently looking at Surf, Isles of Shoals, a 1913 oil painting by Childe Hassam. It's quite lovely.
rebecca_in_blue: (raised eyebrows)

One year ago today, Rebecca published the first chapter of her first fanfiction. Some statistics for my own future reference: 21 stories, 37 chapters/shots, 8 fandoms, 305 reviews, ~2500 average words per story. 14 of my stories are for NCIS, and 7 are for other fandoms. Out of my NCIS stories, 7 are tagged to specific episodes. The first story I wrote during Year 1 was Hell and High Water, and the last was Measure of a Man. The longest story I wrote during Year 1 was Hell and High Water at 8,683 words; my shortest story was A Day's Work at 605 words. My most-reviewed multi-chapter story for Year 1 was With Blood on Her Hands at 72 reviews. My most-reviewed one-shot was Silver and Gold at 19.

Although FF.net has an option to automatically rank your stories by number of reviews, I also like to rank my multi-chapter stories by number of reviews per chapter. So, I made my own list. But since I only wrote five multi-chapter stories during Year 1, it's pretty short!

It's under this cut. )


For some reason, I made a rule at the beginning that for every two NCIS fics I wrote, I had to write one for a different fandom. I've stuck to it so far, but I'm not sure how long it'll last. There are a few that I'm embarrassed to look back on and wonder, "How did I ever write something so awful?" but for the most part, I'm proud of what I've put out there. It's been an interesting thing to do. I've met several nice folks (e.g. [livejournal.com profile] kew121) and a few strange ones. I'm currently hacking away at my first ficathon, and I sure hope it doesn't suck too much. Update: My Year 2 stats are posted here!

Okay, enough nerdiness. Sara, Athena, and I went out for lunch at a Chinese restaurant today. I don't eat Chinese food often (almost never) and had too much fried stuff that I'm really regretting now. Ugh. The stereotype that all Jewish people love Chinese food is one that Rebecca won't fulfill. And the one that all Jews are rich.

rebecca_in_blue: (bemused shrug)

I had wanted to get this post up while we were still in January (barely). This is a list of things that I encountered for the first time in 2010. I know some of them are stupid, but I'm still proud of myself, because my life feels so stagnant sometimes, and this list makes it seem less so. I mean, most of things are things that I'd had no experience with at all before 2010, and by now, they've grown familiar to me.

     $3 chicken sandwiches. I admit, I thought they looked so cheap and disgusting when I first saw them in the supermarket deli. But then I tried one and discovered they were cheap and delicious! Unfortunately, the deli hasn't been making them as much lately, so now I usually have to request them from the people behind the counter. My friend EJ's sister used to work in this deli, and apparently she told him that I would come in looking for chicken sandwiches like a drug addict in need of a fix. Haha.

     Fanfiction. Before this year, I'd never really written a single fanfic. I took it up exactly halfway through 2010, after some NCIS plot-bunnies refused to leave me alone, and since then, I've completed twelve stories, have one currently in-progress, and several more ideas on the back burners. I don't think I could kick this habit if I tried. (It's embarrassing on several different levels to admit this.) 

     $4 pizzas. I know writing about this is was a mistake, since it'll definitely make me hungry. I first discovered a four-dollar pizza sale from the local pizza chain back in October 2009, right after Sara and I saw Paranormal Activity. The sale continued on and off throughout 2010, and I tried to snatch it up whenever I could. By spring, they stopped asking for my phone number when I ordered, and to thank me for my loyalty, they had the sale on for the NCIS Season 8 premiere. Which brings us to...

     NCIS. If you read this journal at all in the last twelve months, you know that 2010 will go down in history as the year that NCIS took over Rebecca's life. I literally slept, ate, lived, and breathed this show for a few months. I'm no longer quite as obsessed as I was when I first discovered it -- and I confess, I don't hate Abby as much as I used to -- but it still certainly has a bigger hold on me than any other TV show ever has. (Of course, I'm not a big TV watcher.) I never would've taken up fanfiction without it.

     No glasses. I still can't believe I finally lost my poor old glasses for good. Life without them doesn't suck as much as I thought it would, but I do still wish I had them. I know I could buy more, but instead I'm just relying solely on my contacts, which is pretty much what I was doing when I still had my glasses. Clue Steph from The Goonies: "You broke my glasses? You broke my glasses!"

     Shirley Temples. I've been a hard-core fan of the actress Shirley Temple since 2005, and I've been wanting to try the drink Shirley Temple for almost as long. It took me so long because I thought that you could only get them in bars -- shows what I know, right? -- and I never go to bars or drink alcohol. But then I finally discovered that some resteraunts serve them, too. I had my very first one in February, in a seafood resteraunt in Houston, and through the rest of 2010, I ordered them at several other places. I'm grateful that after waiting to taste them for so long, they didn't disappoint. Yum!

     Judaism. I saved this one for last because it's easily the deepest thing on this trivial little list. Although Judaism is something I've always felt connected to, in a way, I never thought I would ever start down the path to converting. I still remember the first day I rode my bike to services, August 27, and I can count on one hand the number of Shabbat services I've missed since then. The simple truth is that often when I'm riding back from a service, I feel like the richest, most powerful people in the world aren't as lucky as I am. It has changed my life in ways I never could've imagined.

Okay, okay, that's it for this trip down memory lane. And don't worry, I promise that's about serious as you'll ever hear me get.

rebecca_in_blue: (bemused shrug)

Lately when I walk Sable, he's gotten into the habit of flinging himself in front of oncoming cars. I don't know if he's actually trying to do away with himself, or if he's doing on accident because he's just gotten that uncoordinated in his old age, or if he is so blind and deaf now that he doesn't know a car's coming. But either way, I have to make sure I don't take my eyes off him when we're on a walk.

My trips to the hospital for a breathing treatment and the doctor's for prescriptions, while they didn't put me in the red, turned out to be more expensive than I'd expected. And I still haven't gotten the prescriptions filled yet. And I need to order more contacts. And I should get a haircut and buy new dishes for Sable. It seems stupid to buy new dishes for a dog who might not even be alive to use them that long, but his old ones have gotten so grime-encrusted, and I can't pretend I can wash them anymore. *sigh* Back to collecting cans. I can budget, I just don't want to.

I'm trying to decide whether I want to do NaNoWriMo this year. Last year was my first attempt, and it didn't go as well as I'd hoped (i.e., I let it peter out before November was even halfway over). I remember thinking last year that for NaNoWriMo 2010, it might be fun to pull a really weird, random story idea out of nowhere and just go with it. The story I wrote last year had been sitting in the back of my mind forever, and I think that might've made me feel more pressured to make it perfect. It wasn't bad; I just wish I had done written more on it. I've been writing fanfiction pretty intensely lately (which is good practice, right?) but I can always put that on hold. I'm also trying to decide whether to put a link to my FF.net profile up here, but I don't think I'm comfortable with that yet.

rebecca_in_blue: (subtle sigh)
The first hurricane of the 2010 season, Alex, has appeared in the Gulf. Bad news for the people of Mexico (where it's currently expected to make landfall) and even worse news for us if it makes the oil spill spread further and faster. Which it probably will. So in the meantime, I'm enjoying all the fresh, cool wind and rain that it's sending our way. It rained for most of today and yesterday, but not so hard that I couldn't go bike riding in it. It felt so nice. I like to think that somewhere in Jamaica and Mexico, Nakesha and Mariana are enjoying some cooler weather, too.

Re: the oil spill, by the way, our street has been flooded by storm surges before, because it's a former drainage canal that connects to a lake that's part of a river that flows into the Gulf. So my worst-case scenario is a river of oil rising right outside my bedroom window!

Sable's skin is bad enough as is, but it always gets worse during the summer, so yesterday I finally gave him an overdue, much-needed bath. He was awful. He's never liked baths, but usually he just suffers through them silently, with Gibbs-like stoicism. ("Stoic? You think my house is stoic?" Oh dear, how does everything I talk about end up back at NCIS?) This time he whined like I was killing him! I've never bathed a squirming baby, but now I think I have some idea what it's like.

In other, geekier news, I've begun writing fanfiction (to quote Craig Ferguson again, "Don't dare laugh at that! How dare you laugh at that!"), which is very strange and not something I've ever really done before. While I am glad to finally have those creative juices flowing again in some way, the bad news is that inspiration only comes late at night when I should be in bed. The past two nights, I stayed up until about two in the morning, and both times I had to be up at eight. Although the second time was more Sable's fault for wrestling with the comforter.

I'm off for the 4th of July this weekend! I'm still debating how I should spend the day, and whether I should make some dessert for the occassion.
rebecca_in_blue: (curious)
Reasons why Rebecca is a horrible person:
  • I haven't given any money to the Salvation Army bell-ringer, even though I hear his bell ringing almost every day on my way to and from work.
  • I let my story attempt for NaNoWriMo slowly peter out and die, before November was even halfway over. But I recently started rereading this young adult novel, The Silent Boy, by Lois Lowry, and it's made me want to go back and try it again. I remember realizing back in high school, in Coach Jeff's class, that one the biggest problems with my writing was that I couldn't establish a stronge voice. I just tried to imitate the voice of whatever book I'd read most recently, and that's what I'm doing now, slowly going back and changing my narrator's voice to a more serious style (a la The Silent Boy), rather than the Baby-Sitter Club-ish style it had been in before. I just wish I could stick with it for any length of time.

I don't know why Mom is so determined to make her daughters miserable on our birthdays, but she sure does a damn good job at it. It rained obscenely all day on Sara's birthday, and when we went over to Mom's house, we were told not to drip on her floors, but Adam came home, he got, "Was the flooding bad? I was so worried about you!" Gag me. I just hope we can avoid seeing her on Christmas Eve. Sara is sick at home with a vicious cold. I hope to God I don't catch it, but I probably will.

rebecca_in_blue: (subtle sigh)
Today was the third day of NaNoWriMo. It's very difficult to judge my progress at this point. During the first two days, I wrote about 2100 words, but I'm not happy with a lot of it, and I'm not sure whether I'm going to leave it in or not. Today didn't start out much better. I was so preoccupied with my story for most of the day, and overthinking things is never good. But when I finally sat down and forced myself to write, I ended up with about 2200 words that I think are much better than what I wrote yesterday and Sunday. Maybe I'm finally hitting my stride. But I'm worried that while I have the action mapped out well enough for right now, the plot gets very murky further down. It doesn't help that Sara is doing NaNoWriMo too, and her story is coming along much better than mine. But I do value her opinion, and she's the only one I've shown my story to yet.

The real problem is that I haven't written anything in so long that I'm all rusty. It's just like when I try to speak French after I haven't done it in a while, and it feels like glue in my mouth.

The idea for my story has been in the back of my mind since early 2007, when I saw a production of my very favorite Shakespeare play, The Merchant of Venice, by the LSU drama department. This production put a very different spin on Jessica, Shylock's daughter, a fairly minor character. It suggested that Lorenzo didn't really love her but was only using her to get to Shylock's money, and that even after she converted to Christianity, the other characters still viewed her as an outsider. (I also saw a French production in Paris in 2008, but it pretty much followed the formula.)

Originally, my idea had been to write the events of the play from Jessica's point of the view (which has been done at least once before, in the young adult novel Shylock's Daughter, which unfortunately I found rather awful) but by now my ideas have changed and evolved so much that they've lost most resemblance to Shakespeare's play. My main problem was the ending; Jessica is either a tragic or empowered figure, depending on how you interpret the play, but ever since I saw the LSU production, I can't see Shakespeare's ending for Jessica as anything but tragic.

According to one of Sara's many name books, The Oxford Dictionary of First Names (which she bought while we were on vacation in London), Jessica is "apparently of Shakespearean origin. This was the name of the daughter of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice (1596). Shakespeare's source has not been established, but he probably intended it to pass as a typically Jewish name. It may be from a biblical name that appeared, in the translations available in Shakespeare's day, as Jesca (Genesis 11:29; Iscah in the Authorized Version). This occurs in a somewhat obscure genealogical passage; Iscah appears to have been Abraham's niece. Notable bearers of the name include the British actress Jessica Tandy (1909-94), the British writer Jessica Mitford (1917-96), and the American actress Jessica Lange. The name has been extremely popular since the 1990s."

God help me, now I'm posting about names!
rebecca_in_blue: (trembling hand)

I barfed in the bathroom at work today. You can imagine how unpleasant that was. I was scheduled to work until 7, but Laidback Manager said I could early, so I staggered out the door at 1. I felt so monumentally awful, I'm surprised that I even lasted that long. I only hung in there because I can't stand the thought that my co-workers might say, after I leave, "Oh, Rebecca just didn't want to work a long shift," etc. I don't think anyone would say that, because I have good work ethic, but I'm paranoid.

Getting home from work was another hassle. It rained hard all morning, and every street I drove was flooded. At one point I honestly thought that water was splashing into the cab.

More bad news: Adam and I saw Where the Wild Things Are last night. (That's two movies in the theater in one week, since Sara and I saw Paranormal Activity a few days ago. I haven't done that in years. Literally, years.) I can't understand how that movie has gotten such good reviews. I couldn't even tell you what it was about now, because it was that boring and slow and disjointed. Only about half the scenes had dialogue, and the other half was just the kid and the wild things running around or playing some game. About thirty minutes in, I started kicking myself and saying, "We could've seen Zombieland instead! Why didn't we see Zombieland?" Abigail Breslin almost looks like a badass on the poster. I'm both impressed and amused that she could pull that look off.

As for some good news, I'm seriously thinking about doing NaNoWriMo this year. Click here for an explanation if you're not familiar with it. I meant to do it last year but chickened out. There's about another week until it starts, so I've been making lots of notes. I don't know how well it'll turn out, but getting ready for it is geekily exciting.

rebecca_in_blue: (stiff shoulders)

I just saw three commercials in a row that all talked about how the thing advertised can save you money in these dire economic times. I'm so sick of commercials like that. The Quizno's ones are the worst. They think they're American heros for lowering the prices on their sandwiches.

We had a good succession of dark and stormy nights last night. (And we might have another tonight, from the looks of it.) It's good writing weather. I've started writing in earnest, probably for the first time since I graduated college. It feels good to write for myself, instead of for a class, but it makes real progress harder when you're not up against a teacher's deadline.

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