never a day off

Writing Memes Even Though I'm Blocked

I nicked this from thesmallhobbit and it's brilliant. I can't seem to write for the life of me (or look at my WIPs) so maybe a bit of introspection might help. Can't hurt!

Put a number in the comments and I’ll answer accordingly.

The mission for those of us who answer the questions, should we accept it, is to stay positive about our writing and ourselves, but to also be fair about our shortcomings.

1. Of the fic you’ve written, of which are you most proud?
2. Favourite tense
3. Favourite POV
4. What are some themes you love writing about?
5. What inspires you to write?
6. Thoughts on critique
7. Create a character on the spot... NOW!
8. Is there a character you love writing for the most? The least? Why?
9. A passage from a WIP
10. What are your strengths in writing?
11. What are your weaknesses in writing?
12. Anything else that you want to know... (otherwise known as Fill in the Blank)

PLEASE consider posting the meme on your own LJ even if you don't want to ask me a question.
never a day off

Hurricane Sandy Request

Fortunately, I don't have any family on the East Coast, but I have a few friends in New York who are doing okay.

Climate change?  What climate change? Yeah, no.

Unfortunately, I am super-swamped with studying and working and blah blah blah or I would offer to do a fic for fandomaid.  This time, however, I've posted this on the Custom Requests page:

Username: kim_j_8472
Fandom: Sherlock BBC
Request: JohnLock fanvid featuring Mika's "Make You Happy" (Miami Edit) and as many angst-ridden moments mixed with heart-breaking affection between Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.
Additional Information: I don't mind clips from the two actors' other works as long as the differences aren't too jarring (different hair color, glasses, period pieces, etc.)
I am willing to donate: $50 USD for something really amazing

I'm serious.  I really love Mika's new song from his "Origins of Love" album.  And the first time I heard it, all I could think about was Sherlock fandom.  I really need to soak my head.  I've never requested a fanvid of anything, so if you know of someone who can do this really well and would enjoy it, let them know.


The Man Who Saved My Life

I'm not using hyperbole in this lj entry title at all.  Just by accident - and all because I spent some time with my mom on her birthday - did I learn the entirety of how my family (when I was two years old) escaped Vietnam.

I don't think anyone on my lj f-list really knows my background.  I did do a facebook meme a while's back that let people know that I was thisclose to being one of the orphans who could've perished on that fateful Operation Babylift out of Saigon during an exodus of its children in April 1975.  My mother had made a bracelet for me that had her and my father's surnames on it in case we would ever be reunited, but at the last minute, she changed her mind and decided not to give me up to the U.S. in her absence.  We'll never know the outcome of what could've been and I'm so grateful that we never have to know.

Here's a little background.  My mother and father, both Vietnamese, met while in New Zealand on a college scholarship.  He went all the way and received a Ph.D in engineering; my mother got her B.A. in economics. They got married in Auckland and when they got back to Saigon, my mother got a job working at the American Embassy in the financial sector for a man named David Devin.  My father worked on ways to get ammunition to the South Vietnamese army via Korean boats along the Mekong.  Basically, he was in the most danger following the fall of Saigon; he would've been imprisoned (along with me, my mother, and my grandmother) for conspiring against the communists.

So of course, it was a major issue in getting us out of the country when it was clear that the U.S. had lost.  We had two plans.  Plan A was my mother's connection to David Devin.  It was a well-known fact that any employee of the embassy could list "family" members on his inventory and thus, get them out of the country.  My mother knew that he would be getting his Chinese-born/Vietnamese girlfriend out; she remembered as much.  But he also decided to list my mother (even though she was only a few years younger than he was) as his 'daughter,' along with my 50-something grandmother (again, as his 'daughter') and my father and me as her dependents.  As an aside: another reason to love the U.S. of A is that they didn't even blink as to the age discrepancy, never mind the ethnicity differences.

In interest of telling the whole story, the Plan B was that my father's contact with a Korean national would allow us passage on his boat (since all of the Koreans were being expatriated back to their homeland) and we would end up living in Korea as refugees.  I can't even begin to imagine how different my life would've been in South Korea, so thank goodness Mr. Devin got our papers in order and shuffled us all into the embassy car.

There were more than a dozen checkpoints along the way, but because it was a car with diplomatic plates, the VietCong weren't allowed to check the passengers in the vehicle.  My dad was safe.  And according to my mom, I wasn't helping much.  Apparently I was wailing like a banshee the whole time; I missed my beloved nanny, who we had to leave behind, sadly to say.

But the anxiety never waned past that.  Because at some point, Mr. Devin had to drop us off at a bus that would take us to the cargo plane for Guam; my mom and the family just weren't allowed to go further than that in a diplomat's car.  This meant more checkpoints.  My father was forced to hide in a compartment in the floor of the bus, in stifling heat.  And my mother and grandmother were so afraid that he would be found out, pulled out and shot.  Because they were taking people out of buses and executing them outside.

We made it to the cargo plane and to Guam.  And because of Mr. Devin, we were safe and we never had to wait the mandatory year in Camp Pendleton to be sponsored by a church family to enter the U.S.  He had vouched for us and we could start our lives immediately.  He settled somewhere in Washington state and that was all my mom remembered, other than the fact that he had once contacted her about a real estate proposition but she didn't have the money at the time.  His goal was to buy an apartment building and house refugees there.

So I did a search of David Devin.  The first thing that I found was that he had, indeed, married his Chinese/Vietnamese sweetheart.  Sadly, she lost her battle with breast cancer in 2002 according to the obituary.  But it gave me more clues.  I found him for my mom to contact and I think he's gone back to Vietnam as a missionary.  I really hope to meet him one day and thank him.

It chokes me up more than a little to know about him and what he did for us.  If I never get to speak to you, Mr. Devin, I send up good wishes and love.  I could not be where I am without you.
  • Current Mood
    grateful grateful
Chak Silly

Voyager Boys Having Dinner

Robbie Duncan McNeill has a twitter account and I found this.  Apparently, the boys got together in January of this year to send off Ethan "Neelix" Phillips because he's moved to NYC.  I believe this is at The Palm in BevHills.  This is also apparently a yearly thing, what Robbie tweets as the "boys steak dinner."  I wonder where Tim Russ is?

Anyhoo, in the midst of a syndrome-y week, reminders of Republican junk science that's just horrendous, and that I'm about to start school again, this cheered me up.

Chak Silly

Voyager and BSG

I'm a recent fan of the reimagined series of BSG and after watching the show from start to finish, I looked up more about its showrunner Ron Moore and was pleasantly surprised to learn that he was a writing partner of Brannon Braga at the start of Season 5 and quit within two months after they did not see eye to eye on the direction of Star Trek: Voyager. It's not a secret that I personally loved the characters and the concept of that show but always thought it was poorly written. Much of what he's said about the work environment there (particularly from his friend Bryan Fuller) makes sense to me now about how inconsistent some of the storytelling and character arcs became. So it will be interesting to see what he says about Trek at the big Vegas Convention this coming weekend.  I'm sure someone will put up something on YouTube eventually.

I also finished seeing "Trek Nation," a very good and very candid documentary about Gene Roddenberry's vision of Star Trek from the 1960s on, told from the perspective and findings of his son, Eugene. Moore, as well as the late Michael Piller and Rick Berman (I'm not surprised that Braga was omitted) was interviewed and it was interesting to see that they all butted heads with Roddenberry during ST:TNG. Apparently, Roddenberry didn't like the idea of the characters on his show being in too much conflict with each other; his vision reinforced the idea of a utopian future in space. And since writing a good drama no matter where the setting is involves conflict (and sometimes within the core cast), this was a constant problem. I also read somewhere else that much of what Moore put into the reimagined BSG came from leftover ideas he had about ST: Voyager.  Anyone who wants to watch "Trek Nation" can upload it as a 24 hour rental on iTunes, btw.  It's worth it.  The whole father-son thing sucked me in considering that my dad died not that long ago.

Since I love BSG, I can't imagine how wonderful Voyager would have been if Moore had been allowed his vision. And it now makes so much sense that if I liked the character setup of Voyager, I was going to automatically enjoy the reimagined BSG with a female President (which mirrored the advent of the first starring Trek female captain in Voyager) in constant conflict with a fleet commander/admiral.

Kudos to Ron Moore for making thoughtful entertainment. I wish him well in future projects.
Speaking of future projects, I hear that he's been marked to adapt Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series, which I think is a fave author of scififangurl's.  I read the synopsis and character breakdown; it involves post-WWII medicine mixed with time travel to 1700s Scotland and a strong female lead.  Should be interesting.  Moore is slated to adapt it for cable TV.  I guess in a Game of Thrones kind of way.  If he does do it, I hope he incorporates some of the cast of BSG in it.  Scorsese managed to take with him De Niro every time he made a film in the 1970s, I think good TV writers need to do the same with every new series pilot they try.  It garners an automatic audience.

In other things Trek, I'm considering going to the Grand Slam Star Trek and Sci-Fi convention here in L.A. in Feb 2013.  It's a ways off to consider but I've yet to go to one and since it's probably 5 miles away from my house, what the heck.  TNG is celebrating its 25th anniversary and unlike the Las Vegas Con this weekend, Sir Patrick Stewart will be there.  I just have to rally a few local buds to go with me.

never a day off

New VOY C/P is Done

Hello from some dodgy basement internet cafe in Leicester Square off Charing Cross Road.  Yes, I am on vacation in London.  I needed to rest my feet and lo and behold, I can use a compy and share some of my new work.

Before I took off for England, I finished shayenne's Australian Flood Relief fic that she won in an auction a long time ago.  I had a lot of good moments writing it and rewriting it (after I'd gotten immersed in Battlestar Galactica).  Man, I'm loving this show; took me long enough.  Anyway, I've had some issues with my compy.  The problem with traveling in close quarters with a sproglet is that he can cause some accidents.  For example, yesterday morning, he bumped my laptop into my hand, which was holding a mug of coffee.  I've done my best in drying out the thing (can of compressed air, storing it upside down in a bag of rice), so we'll see.

Regardless, I'm having a wonderful time in London so far.  We're staying in the Notting Hill section, very close to Portobello Road and where all the vintage and antique stores are located.  We've already been to the Tower of London, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Kensington Palace and my two men, Mr. Kim J and Junior are at the transit museum at present.  I'm loving the Tube and the pubs.  I can drink all day!  Well, not when I have a kid along obviously. 

Next week, we'll be in Biarritz but the problem is that it's probably going to rain all week.  So much for sunning ourselves, but we've rented a car and we'll try our best to make the most of all the villages along the way.  And then, after that, we'll be in Paris!  For the first time.  Anyway, it's been interesting trying to do a vacation that's filled with so much unpredictability with a child who has Asperger's.  He's not in his comfort zone, wants routine (which means the same food everyday), and we're debating whether or not we can do this again with him.  We remind Junior everyday that he needs to try new things, but it's hard.  There is a fine line between what he needs to do and what he is able to do.  I think our life is a constant journey of trying to figure that out.

Okeydoke.  Here we are:


It's long, it's a big dark, characters aren't fluffy, but shay seems to like it.  Maybe you will, too?
never a day off

Holy New Fandom, Batman

As inspiration for attempting to complete shayenne's C/P slashy fic, I was looking for other 'ships and I stumbled upon Torchwood's Jack/Ianto pairing.  I was never really into Dr. Who, but I saw a very intense male on male kiss animated gif in my searches and got curious.

Captain Jack Harkness is a con man from the 51st century who works for an organization that hunts down aliens that threaten peace on Earth.  Ianto Jones is the tea/coffee butleresque agent who joins Torchwood and ends up becoming Jack's love interest for a good 2.5 seasons.  The actor who plays Jack, John Barrowman, (who I thinkkate04us mentioned at some point during a discussion about openly gay actors on VAMB - where is kate by the way?) is 45 years old - about as old as Chak was during Voyager.  And Ianto, played by Gareth David-Lloyd, is 30 - giving me shades of Tom Paris.

My curiosity turned into a full-fledged obsession this weekend - seeing as how's I was out of commission due to a bad back and was lying prone for 48 hours (visited the chiropractor today, so I'm better), and went through all three seasons of Torchwood on Netflix.  I have to say that the writers for that show (past the first season, which was kind of cheaply done and didn't have enough Ianto scenes) took far more risks than anything on Voyager.  I'm particularly in awe of season three, Torchwood:  Children of the Earth, which was a five episode series where Ianto dies.  The kind of character sacrifices made in that run were kind of amazing.  The most mature writing for episodic television I've seen in awhile.  Harkness is a touted omnisexual - he'll fuck anything - and he has a genuinely warm relationship with Ianto, who has a dark side himself.

Anyway, this is the video I stumbled upon that stirred up my curiosity:

These two are hot.  I also found some good Janto slash fanfiction, but alas, the author only wrote a few.  I have no idea where to go next, except to finish that C/P dammit.
never a day off

It's Shatner's World, and I Live In It

My good friend Andrea and I had the fortune of seeing William Shatner's one man show at the Pantages Theater downtown.  She had the brilliant idea of picking me up, driving to Universal City at the train depot and taking the rail to the Hollywood and Vine stop - so's we could properly get soused before the show.  Since I hadn't been able to celebrate her birthday in style, it was a perfect time to catch up.  She had Midori sours and I kept to my Manhattans at the next door down Frolic Room (featured in the film L.A. Confidential).  It was packed, but after 40 minutes (8 minutes to show time), we had a good view of the place and had caught up on about 3 months worth of stuff, both comic and heavy.

The show was more than I'd ever hoped for.  Going to see the Shat costs a pretty penny, but when I saw the ad for it, I only thought of Andrea (who is the only friend I know who'd understand fully my obsession with all things Trek) to go with and thankfully, she had the time to do so.  Unlike many in this genre, The Shat was very self-effacing in a very sincere way - he really had nothing snide or snarky to say about anyone he'd worked with and came off as very grateful for what he'd been able to experience.  One of the best anecdotes he had was about falling in love with horses.  Prior to this, I never really understood it, but the way he lured us in (that it occurred during the filming of his part as Alexander the Great, in a movie where the emperor had a distinct relationship with his horse) was so effective.  I've never seen him so earnest and genuine.  And I'm a huge cynic when it comes to The Shat.

We had a great time and I also realized the next day (after a good prodding by Mr. Kim J) that the Pantages Theater was the site of The Talking Heads 3-day shoot for the film "Stop Making Sense."  I didn't believe him at first.  The theater is amazingly well-maintained in all of its art deco glory.  So now I can imagine it for a particular fic I'm already writing...

In other not so great news, I, on a whim, contacted the general support email of to ask how I could delete my account.  I didn't expect a reply so imagine my surprise when not a minute later, "James" emailed me back and said that there is nothing in the way of deleting my account and suggesting that I merely erase my stories, profile and disable my settings. 

Well, of course, having a "warm" (and I use that word sparingly) body at my behest, I told him about my friend's issue with FictionPress, their lovely sister site, and whether or not he could direct me to the person that would take care of the plagiarism issue.

Crickets.  Nothing.

Even more than ever, I am convinced into being done with  By April Fool's, my work will be deleted and the profile (since I can't for the life of me delete my account) will direct everyone and their dog to Kim J's PADD.

That Must Be the Place.