bloodyrosemccoy: (Default)

YES! It is the final installment of Scatterstone! I told you I'd get it up before the Sun became a red giant! I just barely made it!

It's been fun, it really has. I'm hoping to come back and revisit these little guys at some point, too, somewhere, somehow. But in the meantime, enjoy your closure!


So! Where did we leave off? )
bloodyrosemccoy: (Lobot!)
I wasn't planning to write this, mind you, but then this scene--set somewhere in the middle of The Force Awakens--showed up in a dream and then it WOULD NOT GO AWAY until I wrote it. So, you know. Blame the dream. And my current slight bout of hypomania, which is space-opera-themed. Y'all, I just finished the first Doctors! book's overhaul and I can already tell you that the sequel's gonna be EPIC.

But anyway. This had to come out first.


Spoilers! )
bloodyrosemccoy: (Elsa Lets It Go)
Rereading one of my old notebooks from when I was sixteen/seventeen--a bit of old research. I remember Teen Me as being an insufferable know-it-all. Turns out I was, but I was also extremely smart and funny. I was right in my religious awakening, which for me consisted of reading Stephen Hawking's books and thinking DAMN science is cool and also kind of being baffled to realize that other people seemed to actually believe their weird religious nonsense.* I was witty and full of wonder and excited about life and kind of a jerk with my friends. Also, there was a little bit of bad poetry, because of course there was.

And I was depressed.

I think I had my first bout of depression at age 15. A year and some change later, another came along. It's a little difficult for me to read some of those entries--though I seemed to recognize the moods/thoughts were not right, and commented on them with a lot of snark, they were still very THERE, and I remember the sadness. I also remember a more difficult-to-describe emotion: when trying to pull myself out of it, I would try to do things with my family, and they would not be enjoyable even though I knew I enjoyed them in the past.** This led to a sort of dread of those supposed-to-be-fun times, because they wouldn't be fun and would I ever be able to connect again? (This came to a head in October when we went to get pumpkins--there might have been some yelling.)

So amidst my snark on high school and enjoyment of AP European History and my awe at what I was learning from Professor Hawking, this particular notebook discusses my going on antidepressants.

Here's what I said:


I feel just great today! I've made an important decision that may get my life back on track!

Here's the thing: Mom, Dad, my teachers, my counselors, [my psychiatrist], and I are very worried about my state of mind right now. It's a little scary--a few are afraid that I may wind up doing something stupid--they're afraid that, because of depression, I may resort to doping myself up. So, in order to stop me from doing this they decided, in an incredible display of logic, to: dope me up!

Yes. I'm going to go on antidepressants. I got sick of having nervous breakdowns at school every single goddam day, so Mom called [my psychiatrist], and they decided that, if I didn't object, they'd give me some medication.

Hell, yeah, I don't mind. I'd volunteer for a brain transplant to get rid of this desperation right now. I'm drowning in myself right now, and I'd really rather not be. I've tried solving it the tough way; now I'm going to try it The American Way (pills)

What puzzles me is the aversion people have to antidepressant pills. "You're not yourself when you're on those," they point out. But why is the self assumed to be a constant in the first place? The depression is dictated by chemicals [scribble] what's wrong with introducing other chemicals to get a different balance?

If someone has diabetes, then non one begrudges them insulin. Why, then, is seratonin different?

I'm personally fine with it. I'll ask a lot of questions, of course--but if I can get a firm footing in my whirlwind life, I'm willing to go for it!!


Why do I bring this up now? Well, because antidepressants are getting another bum rap in the news today. Or depression is. It's hard to tell sometimes. Antidepressants have that weird backwards-logic stigma where admitting you take them makes people MORE afraid of you--the "only sick people take pills; if you don't take pills, you won't be sick" fallacy. (Me, I'd rather find out that somebody was taking the pills they needed than that they weren't.)

Slate already has an article arguing that "depression" does NOT make you murder 149 other people (and discussing the difference between depression and "depression" in a wonderfully sensitive way--yes, we need to fix situational problems AND chemical imbalances). But I just wanted to point out from a depressed teenager's perspective, antidepressants were the SAVING GRACE. I was not going to murder anyone, but I was desperate and anhedonic, and antidepressants fixed that.

So to naysayers I will say: teenage me knew what the deal was. Maybe she can persuade you.

*Till then I was under the impression that Church was just a really DEDICATED book club, where they discussed Biblical stories as literature, which seemed strange but hey, if they liked it, good for them. I was extremely confused when I realized that people believed it in a far more "literal" sense.

Evidently, some Christians do treat it like literature, and they make a far better case for it that way. Hell, the way Fred Clark describes it, especially in his incredible dissections of Left Behind vs. his theology I actually do agree with a lot of Christianity. Except for, y'know, the whole "whether there is a god" thing.

**For a brilliant description of this detachment, check out Allie Brosch's Depression Part Two at Hyperbole and a Half. It is the best description I've ever read of depression. And it has an interesting effect: everyone who has never been depressed reads it and earnestly says, "This has taught me a lot! I will try to be more sensitive in the future!" Everyone who has been depressed reads it and says, "OH GOD I LAUGHED MY ASS OFF."
bloodyrosemccoy: (Default)
Hey, look! A Scatterstone Index! Does this mean ... ?

Yes! I missed posting a Good Thing yesterday, but here's a doozy to make up for it. Almost to the end of this darn thing! I should have one more to go after this. With luck I'll get it written before the sun swells into its red giant phase. Don't want to leave Largo hanging where he is for too long, now, do I?

For now, though, enjoy!


With Special Guest Star Admiral Ackbar )
bloodyrosemccoy: (Santa Iroh)
Hey, look! I wrote a fairy tale!

It has some backstory. )

In the old days, when the webs were still sparse in the heavens and the spirits still came to Earth in crowds, there lived a man in the city of Jubilation Lake. He was a trapper; the finest in the land. He would go into the mountains with his traps and return with stacks of pelts--red fox pelts, striped raccoon pelts, soft rabbit pelts, even silvery wolf pelts and rough warm bear pelts. And he used his furs for one thing--to trade them for gold and treasure.

He filled his house with riches. Jewels the size of apples, bars of gold and silver, finely wrought art pieces, he hoarded them all as a magpie dragon hoards glittering pebbles. He became known as Goldeye, for his obsession with treasure.

But though the gold gave off a warm glow, his spark stayed cold, for he had no love in his life. And fear of losing his treasure cooled it further.

Consumed with thoughts of thieves in the night, Goldeye finally went out into the mountains taking with him not traps, but with his chests of gold, and returning with not pelts, but with nothing. His gold remained hidden, far from the prying fingers of thieves.

But a man cannot hide from everything. The day he had taken his last bit of treasure to his secret hoard, the mountains were cold and snowy. As he made his way back toward town, an avalanche buried him. Not even thieves would discover his body.

His spark was displeased. He had amassed great treasure, and he would not let death take it away from him. Rather than return to the sky where it belonged, his spark stayed in the mountains--by the cave where he had hidden all of his fortune. Vowing to guard it forever, his spark sought a form in which to dwell.

After days of searching, Goldeye's spark found a grizzly bear.

The bear was a mean one, and had been a terror to all who came through the woods, so Goldeye reasoned he was doing a good deed when he displaced the bear's spark and took its body for his own. The spark of the bear wandered far and wide, but it does not come into this story.

Thus, Goldeye became Goldfur, the grizzly who guarded his treasure.

Many years passed--cold, lonely years for Goldfur. Tirelessly he drove off all who came into his territory, trappers and woodsmen and treasure-seekers alike. His mountain became known as a place no man dared to go.

But one spring day, someone who was not a man arrived.

Aster was a young woman, brown-skinned and blue-eyed. She lived in a cottage deep in the forest. One day she came to Goldfur's mountain carrying a basket.

Goldfur could not tolerate this. )
bloodyrosemccoy: (Default)
HOLY SHIT, AMELIA, IS THIS A SCATTERSTONE POST? YES IT IS! Forgot everything that's happened? That's okay, you can go back and read it using the index here!

Oh, Nolly thinks Alricshire is much more straightforward about who's male and who's female, but I suspect there are a few hobbits even in Birchdale that might surprise her.

Fodzi's character wasn't supposed to be quite so talkative. I wanted to just hint that there are different cultures and, for lack of a better word, races of dwarves in this world, because it always bugs me when nonhuman species seem to have their own monoculture (although both of these particular cultures do seem to share gender attitudes). But it was only going to be a suggestion of a bigger world. Then somewhere along the way [ profile] westrider and I started talking about counterculture dwarves (I still love the idea of greaser dwarves with studded leather jackets and blue jeans and big elaborately-carved combs for their gelled-up beards), and suddenly here was this Triple Peak dwarf with a speech style like that pretentious hipster with a thesaurus in his back pocket carrying on about souls and poetry. I love this guy.

The story of Manjusha's castle is a long one that might not make it into this narrative, but if it doesn't I promise I'll put it somewhere.



Counterculture Dwarves And Disappointed Dragons )

What's this? A Part 13? Better read it!
bloodyrosemccoy: (Default)
Woo! Still doing this! If you're wondering where the hell to start, enjoy this handy index!

Fairy wings serve two main purposes. Of course, they help fairies fly--but not in the way you might expect. The wings are too small to do the job of flight by mere physics, though they do use them for balance. Rather, fairy wings have evolved a natural spell matrix into their structure. Unlike other species, where magic is a rare phenomenon, fairies all have some natural magic (though some, like Terwu'arie, have more than others). They use this magic to fly--although using straight magic is tiring, so when they can they usually apply it in combination with their more prosaic, but still impressive, acrobatic abilities.

The primary purpose of fairy wings, however, is as solar panels. Fairy wings are leaves. While fairies do have full digestive systems, they supplement their food intake with photosynthesis. While it is not crucial to her survival, a fairy who has been out of direct sunlight for a while will become sluggish, irritable, and unable to focus.

Biologists are divided about whether to call fairies hibernatory or deciduous. The fact is that in the late autumn fairy wings will change color, dry out, and eventually fall off. This coincides with a period of subtantially increased appetite, after which the fairy will go into hibernation for a few months. In fairy communities, the wing loss and initiation of hibernation is marked with a huge, days-long feast before everyone goes off to their respective winter dens. They emerge in early spring with new wings budding out of their backs.

None of this has much to do with the story, but I thought you'd be interested in some of Arie's background.



Impromptu Dwarf Lessons )


Finally1 It's Part 12!
bloodyrosemccoy: (Default)
Has it been so long you've forgotten what happened before? Don't worry! You can catch up using the index!

Dwarves have words for physics concepts like "mass," "force," "gravity," and "momentum," but the Common Speech doesn't do much with math and physics. Thus, dwarves have to get creative when translating. "Earthpull," for example, is one term for gravitational force.

Dwarves have a generational kinship system even more simple than the Hawaiian one since it does not distinguish genders. Everyone in a dwarf's parents' generation (including parents) is addressed with a term that is usually translated as "uncle"; in his own generation as "cousin"; and in his children's generation as "nephew."* While specialized terms distinguish biological relationships, in casual conversation nobody uses them; they're considered clinical and dry. Thus Orlof and Hruldar's use of "Dhul," which literally means "nephew," is rather akin to addressing him as "son."

They also seem to have the same casual prejudice against left-handed people (or trolls, at any rate) that humans do.

I did not expect to have this much fun coming up with the dwarven bits. Dwarves were never my thing, especially since they always seemed so one-dimensional in fantasy. And then my determination to go beneath the gold and the maille takes over, and you get Mighty Dwarven Knitting and those darn dwarven kids being all punk with their beardstyles and Twilight-style stupid teenager love triangles and, of course, rollercoasters. Hot damn, I love it when writing goes like that.

*I propose we refer to this as the Duckburgian Kinship Model, since complicated Duck family trees might (okay, do) exist, but the uncle-nephew dynamic does seem to be how kinship works on a cursory examination of the Duckverse.


Part 10 - Mine Cart Carnage!  )


Hey, everyone! I hear Part 11 is up!
bloodyrosemccoy: (Default)
You want an index? Oh, I'll GIVE you an index!

The Fyan system of pollution avoidance here is loosely based on a number of similar systems you find in real-world cultures: Hawaiian kapu, Romani marime, Hua nu, and of course good old American cooties. Hell, even germ avoidance takes on a less scientific and more ritualistic aspect at times. (And I might argue that we have another one in America--"testosterone" vs. "estrogen." Sure they're real hormones, but quite a bit of the assumptions surrounding their functions get pretty fanciful. They're often useful shorthand for longer concepts.)

I'm always intrigued by the systems' internal consistency. If you know the premise--even if you don't accept it--of one of these systems, then somebody abiding by it may seem perfectly rational. If you don't know the premise, their actions make no sense.

I'm also intrigued by how gosh darn often these systems suggest a weird sort of male anxiety. Whichever men came up with the rules seemed to live in constant terror of somehow getting LADYNESS all over their manhoods. And not in a fun way. No, it's in a way that makes it clear that the most horrible fate these rule-makers could imagine was to BECOME MORE LIKE A GIRL. Darlin, I'm living the horror and it's not really that big a deal.

Any rumors that I spent the entire day wandering around humming "Caravanserai" to the tune of "Qué Será, Será" are completely unfounded.


Part 9: Meanwhile, Back At The Caravan ... )


Tune in for Part 10!
bloodyrosemccoy: (Default)
BUT AMELIA WHERE IS THE--oh, never mind, here's Part 1 and the index.

The guy who informed Arie that she doesn't swear was ¾ wrong. He was all the way wrong about ladies having no need for some good cuss words. Everybody stubs their toes, after all. But his assertion that all fairies are female is subject to variable levels of truth. Woodfairies have a complicated life cycle, but the upshot is that they grow on trees. As such, they have no reproductive organs and are not male or female (or, given how their chromosomes work, they could be considered both). However, as they have high voices, delicate features, slim bodies, a love of frilly dresses and sparkles, and names that sound like they were chosen out of a Bath & Body Works catalog (Terwu'arie literally means "Shadowrose"), humans and other such species generally automatically assume they are female. As such, the common speech refers to them using female-gendered terminology. Following convention, I am using it that way here.

In contrast, dwarves do come with the more recognizable binary reproductive systems. But aside from the primary sex characteristics, dwarves have no visible sexual dimorphism. All dwarves, male and female, have blocky builds, big muscles, and swathes of face and chest hair. And as the gender-free Dwarvish language offers no clues, and nosy questions about their reproductive systems mostly just annoy them, figuring out a dwarf's sex is only possible after the third date (or, for more traditional dwarves, after the wedding).

Fortunately for speakers of languages where gender is a required bit of coding, dwarves also don't seem to give two shits about how other species perceive them. They are perfectly content to all be referred to as "he" in the common speech, and where nouns come in masculine/feminine pairs, they always go with masculine. I'm using that convention here. To be honest, I have no idea what sex either Orlof or Hruldar might be. They refer to each other as 'husband,' but they could just as easily one male and one female, or two females, as two males. It doesn't actually matter, but it's an interesting bit of trivia.

In completely unrelated annotation, the thing Orlof refers to as an "oven" is actually a cast-iron Dutch oven set over a large earthenware brazier. For some reason, I feel it is important that you know this.


Heavyweight Knitting Champion )


Nextward to Part 9!
bloodyrosemccoy: (Default)
Looking for Part 1? It's here, along with an index!

I've been holding off on posting this one. I wanted to have the next installment at least roughed in, too, because it would be mean to leave y'all with the way this one ends for too long. I am so considerate!

I like how the big thing Nolly wants to talk about is her discovery of seafood. Hobbits must be hilarious tourists. They'd go to France and buy postcards with images of Versailles and the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre and whatnot, but all they'd write on them would be details about the incredible coq au vin they had in this one restaurant and how they found a bakery that makes amazing profiteroles. The first draft of Bilbo's Red Book must have been twice as long with all the Redwallish food porn. If Elizabeth Gilbert had been a hobbit, her book would have just been titled Eat.

Anyway, better get to writing the next installment. You're gonna want me to work fast after reading this ...


Part 7: Kuen Versus The World )


Quick! Better read Part 8!
bloodyrosemccoy: (Default)
Hey, look! An index!

Well, FINALLY. Setting the stage takes a lot of work. Hopefully it's worth it, since this installment introduces all sorts of fun new characters for you to try to keep track of.

A couple of you might recognize the name of Kuen from my various doll posts. Yes, that's her--the doll was modeled after the character I'd thought up years earlier. The sprites have an extensive, multi-universal history, but Kuen herself has always lived here in this Playtime Universe. She seems to like it there, though she also seems to have an ability to dimension-hop. I could go on for hours about her.

The actual term for an overhand catch in juggling is "clawing the balls." I thought writing it that way might be distracting.



Part 6 - Strange People, Strange Fish, And A Very Helpful House )


Now! With Part 7!
bloodyrosemccoy: (Default)
Lost? Part 1 and its index will put you right on track!

Their mother must have made Ron promise to look after Ed at some point long ago. Otherwise Ed seems like the kind of guy who might embarrass the other depraved cutthroats and murderers. I wouldn't let him into my band of hardened criminals, and I certainly wouldn't throw myself between him and a ravening beast.


Making New Friends As You Travel )


Part 6
bloodyrosemccoy: (Default)
Part 1 also has an index!

Even if it's in character, it always bugs me when somebody tells a recently traumatized character "Don't think about [your recent trauma]." It is completely unhelpful.

Of course, with the lack of licensed therapists in most Standard Fantasyland trade caravans, I can sort of see where they wouldn't feel they had a lot of options.

For a shortish installment, this sure took a while to lay out. Still not sure why, but I'm eager to get going on the next installment. Largo's getting behind on real adventure. It's almost time for him to catch up on that front.


A Sudden Need To Leave, Proper Disposal Of Dead Bodies, And A Moral Dilemma )

Part 5
bloodyrosemccoy: (Default)
Part 1 - With Index

All right, I think I got this set up right. I've been looking forward to this bit, so getting it formatted right wasn't too terrible. Menace is always fun to write!

It's a bit shorter this time. But hey, Nolly finally gets to see some magic, so that should be interesting ...


In Which Secrets Are Revealed, And Then Shit Gets Real )

On to Part 4!
bloodyrosemccoy: (Default)
First, if you haven't read it yet, enjoy Part 1

I'd just like to say that this may be the first time the traditional Big Dumb Jock Rival has ever made fun of Our Hero for not being as big a reader as he himself is. Somebody ought to write that down.

Remember, kids, before inciting a mob, you should always make sure you have all the facts.


Scatterstone Part 2 - Cooking As Diplomacy, Realistic Dreams, Possible Trolls, And Mobs With Poor Senses Of Direction )
On to Part 3!
bloodyrosemccoy: (Default)
Part 1 - You Are Here
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12
Part 13
Part 14 (Final)

Okay, y'all, I can't take it any more.

Since grade school I've had this fantasy world in my head. ---Well, actually , I have quite a few worlds in my head, but this one is my Playtime Universe. It tends to catch whatever random story critters don’t fit into my other worlds--plant-based fairies, volcanic pirates, hyper-religious trolls, cetacean merfolk, mind-melded dragons, and wingèd giants. Naturally, it wasn't long before a whole shireload of hobbits stumbled into it.

Having a bunch of little hobbits crashing around in your head is pretty entertaining, but their stories so far have only been fragments. AWESOME fragments, but still. Fragments.

And then suddenly my brain was all like DAMMIT LET US WRITE THE REST OF THIS DOWN. And that seemed like a good idea, so I obeyed my brain, and I am in fact writing them down.

Except now my brain has taken it a step further. Now it's hollering AND THEN YOU SHOULD POST IT ON YOUR BLOG.

So I think I will. And you lucky bastards get to put up with it.

Given that this is a perpetual work in progress and only done for my own entertainment, I'm not really sure if this'll go anywhere. But who am I to argue with the inscrutable exhortations of my soul? Not to mention all the darn hobbit feet stomping on my brain.

I would also just like to say that I now know more about the perilous, disaster-laced history of matches than I ever thought even existed. Good lord, the things you take for granted here in these modern times.

So anyway. Meet the hobbitses.


Scatterstone Part 1 - Caravans, Wanderlust, Witchcraft, And The Unexpected Saving Grace Of Apple Butter )

Part 2
bloodyrosemccoy: (Calvin And Uncle Joker)
One of the things under my bed was a “poetry portfolio” I had to make in what appears to be ninth grade. Behind a stack of bad poetry following formats like “Simile Poem” and “Permit Me Poem,” I tucked this goofy parody.

The Crash

Once upon a midnight dreary, I sat and pondered, weak and weary
Over how I could produce a poem that would earn me a good score.
So I could make the font look cuter, I thought I’d use my old computer
So I went and tried to boot ’er as I’d done every time before
Little was I ready for the shock I had in store—
For it would turn on nevermore.

It Goes On … )
bloodyrosemccoy: (Beastly)
One sentence from your works in progress? Man, I wonder if the abandoned ones count. Nothing like a fic meme to get you feeling guilty about what you haven’t been doing lately.


-The first time Alice’s entire family was murdered, the citizens of Henderson, Nevada mounted a full-scale search effort for her.

-But while the shining jewelry was catching, Largo was always riveted by her eyes—a strange, citric orange, with slitted pupils, eyes that suggested something not altogether human.

- Something had to be done to get inside the mind of the entity, just as it was now getting inside the brain—a strangely shaped brain, like an animal’s, but with extra layers of complexity.

- I considered pointing out that wanting to be driven insane wasn’t exactly all that sane to begin with, but he went on.

- She didn’t respond much to my prods, except to answer my questions or to calmly volunteer “That’s really painful.”

-“When this whole thing plays out, I’m gonna shrink your head and keep it around just to remember what fun you were!”

Now I’d better get back to one of those. Now that most of the mucus has cleared out of my skull, maybe I’ll be able to make sense again.

The Report

Sep. 14th, 2008 02:14 pm
bloodyrosemccoy: (Default)
Birthday - Walter Koenig (TV - Star Trek)
Battle of San Jacinto Day (Nicaragua)
Chusok (Korea)
Moon Festival (China)

I’ve spent the entire week pretty much incommunicado from everyone, so’s I can sleep at weird hours play moar Spoar* get some projects done and go to work. I have yet to figure out how to arrange my schedule around this damn inconvenience that is a job.

But the good news is, I finally managed to edit “The Squid, the Serpent, and the Scot” so that it goes in proper sequence after “Not Yet Born.” It wasn’t actually all that hard, but I’ve been putting it off. The good news is I managed to slide in some important worldbuilding exposition about how doctors function in, you know, SPACE. Bonus!

Exposition! )

For the record, the catalyst for Stumbani’s interest in macrosymbiosis? A story in itself. It involves one of my favorite ubiquitous characters** and a blatant ripoff of a chestburster. They named it Walter.

Now I’m on to the new Doctors! story, which features a scene with a shoplifter. Exciting! But, you know, it’s a shoplifter! in! SPACE!!, which we all know automatically raises the coolness factor by 100.

Also, I’m working on some more doll clothes, and the debut album for Super Sekrit Doll Project FTW, doing some reading, and watching妹 frantically pack for college. I feel so productive.

How’s your weekend?

*Fun with Spore: 妹: Well, what are your plans for tonight?
AMELIA: The same thing I do every night, 妹: try to TAKE OVER THE WORLD!
妹: Enjoy your game.

**One trio of characters shows up in all the varied stories in my head. They either have a whole lot of parallel universe doppelgängers, or they’re dimension-hoppers. I have never figured out which it is.


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July 2016

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