Giles/Spike 3

Snippets: 1 of a bunch

Fragment from an untitled Giles/Buffy story with a lot of Spike in it.




"Why did I leave her with you lot?"

"You thought she was dead," Spike said, pleasantly enough. He struck a match. The end of his cigarette glowed red. He blew out a stream of smoke. "She was dead."

Giles reached out a hand and Spike passed over the pack. Marlboros. American cigarettes. He tapped one out and handed it back. He struck a match on the side of his shoe. He did not often smoke these days. Only on special occasions, for very special kinds of shock. Inhale, out through his nose. A little bit of a buzz already. Spike was watching him closely over the glow of his own.

"The witch says she was in a hell dimension," he said.

Giles jabbed his cigarette at Spike, who danced back warily. "Slayers don't go to hell."

"Don't suppose they do."

"Why the bloody blazes did Willow think she was in hell?"

"You're assuming she isn't lying through her teeth. Wouldn't put it past her to be inventing excuses."

"Fuck," said Giles. Something butted against his shin: the cat, tail up, rubbing against him. In agreement again, he supposed. He peered down at the animal. It seemed friendly enough. "Hello, moggy," he said. "I wonder where you come from."

"Its name is Patches," Spike said.

"It bloody well is not."

"Answers to it." Spike dug around in one of his coat pockets and pulled something out. "Hey, Patches. Here you go." He tossed whatever it was at the ground before the cat. It moved, squeaked. It was a rat, no a deer mouse, white belly, furred tail, little round ears. It reared up and chittered at the cat, but it was in vain. The cat seized it and bit at the back of its neck. It carried off the corpse to the base of the tree, just out of the lamplight, and began eating.

"That was utterly gruesome," Giles said.

"Takes a predator to understand."

"You're neutered."

"At the moment."
  • Current Music: Photosynthesis : Marco Madia : Music For Plants [DTR023]
Tags: ,
facepalm

Oh crap.

I have no idea if I'm going to manage to finish a story by the end of this week. Life/work/whatever ate me. Oh CRAP.
Tags:
waiting

And boom! a new tool for you

A thing of usefulness for you: Draft. This is how you should be beta-ing fic, friends. Screw google docs! This thing is specifically about editing drafts of text-centric documents collaboratively. Which is, I note, exactly what beta-ing fic is.

The dude who wrote it seems like a nice guy who was scratching his own itch. Plus it supports Markdown! As you know, you should not be editing fiction in things that allow you to fuss with format, because then you will fuss with format.

Free to use, though you can buy a subscription if you want access to beta features. I am a satisfied customer.

Bonus music: Kerry Muzzey's "The Night Sky", with dance. This piece was inspired by NASA audio renderings of radio waves emitted by the earth. The music in turn inspired the dance. Just awesome.
  • Current Music: The Night Sky (With NASA Sounds) : Kerry Muzzey : The Night Sky - Single
Tags: ,
Giles/Buffy dark

Whoops

24,000 words already in the demonic-transformation soulbonding wingfic. And I am still working out the main bloody conflict plot thingie.

Oh crap.
Giles/Buffy sword

Oh, right.

It occurs to me that I'd better start working on my Summer of Giles story now, hadn't I, given the pace at which I write these days.

I know what I'm writing. There is no other choice.
  • Current Music: One Thousand Suns (Disco Citizens Remix) : Chicane & Ferry Corsten : One Thousand Suns (Remixes)
action giles

Moving in slow motion

I am putting around rather than getting this thing finished & driving toward shipping. As you know, Bob, it's ship or die. Shipping is preferable to death. So how do I effing ship this thing?

I need to make some front-end decisions. I have been dithering about how to do the browser-side interactivity. I need to pick something and go. And I need to open up the freakin' repo.

Bleah. What do you think? Angular.js or Flight? They're very, very different...

This morning at an ungodly early hour I picked up heavy weights and put them down again. Well, actually, since I was working on Olympic lifting skills, I flung fairly light weights into the air explosively then casually set them down again while grousing about how bad my form is. Max weight lifted: 75 pounds in an endless series of hang cleans while I practiced dropping under the weight at its moment of freefall. The trouble with this lift for me was partly how light 75 pounds is. I had to hang-clean it because if I lifted it from the floor I'd drive it up over my head by accident.

Compared to the average woman I am beastly strong these days. Compared to the average strength athlete I am a piker.

The video linked in the earlier graf shows a very nice shirtless young man demonstrating cleans. Do click if if the jargon is puzzling. The people who do this lift seriously are brick-shaped not all ripped, because of how much raw muscle is required to move serious weight. But nearly every sport requiring explosive movement trains its athletes with the clean in some form.

Music: Not going to recommend today's music. Too glitchy for me.
  • Current Music: D ll Sabl : Arovane : Cycliph
Tags: ,
facepalm

No, wait, I'm not done on the topic of tags.

Everything you need to know about AO3's author-freedom-is-paramount tagging experiment: The canonical tag "Fanfiction" is used 910 times.

No, wait, I'm not done ranting.
"Slash": 12835 despite the fact that the plumbing on the participants in any sex acts is a top-level fic category in the archive.
"To Read": 5584
"Unread": 2036

Mmmmmmffggasdfadfasffhfhfhfh.

Today I am writing the core of the subscription feature. When in need of procrastination from that, I'm adding a few tags at a time to the canned taxonomy. I am getting hard-core about tags. If something is longer than one word, I stare at it extra-hard. If it is not a Big Thing in fanfic, I stare at it hard and ask myself if it is better off being searched for rather than browsed using a tag. For example, pancakes & waffles. Despite what I said yesterday, I think those are better off searched for. Topes, on the other hand-- every darn trope needs to be a tag. If pancakes were a trope, they would be in instantly. Sadly they are not.

Mmm, pancakes.

I have a week off between jobs. I shall see how much I can get done in that week with its large blocks of uninterrupted time.
librarian

Uber-geeking about tags with my "Giles the librarian" icon

So I have the AO3 freeform canonicals in a nice json file, and now I am looking at them. And I am boggling.

There are 14400 tags total in this category, but the tail of infrequently-used tags is very long indeed. Only 434 canonical freeform tags used more than 500 times each. Bring the cutoff down to 100 uses and you get 1589 tags, which is still a small number. The 500 use list includes junk items like Rating: NC17. No, really, that’s a tag in the AO3 archive that has appeared more than 500 times despite the existence of a completely separate fic rating field.

And I'm off to the races! Or the moon. Unclear.Collapse )

So, what lessons do we learn? One, if you want your tags to be a browsing tool not a search tool (consider the difference!) do not let your users invent them. Particularly not your writers, who have different mindsets than your readers. Readers are far more numerous and they interact with a fic archive far more often than writers do. Optimize for them. Also, tags will be used to prop up deficiencies in search if you have them. Really awesome search takes some burden off your tagging system.

Two, fandom-namespaced tags. Episode names, concepts, characters all should not be at the top level.

Three, argh, use punctuation consistently.

Four, I cannot examine just the high-frequency tag list for inspiration. There are solid things that should be in any taxonomy in the less-frequently-used list, and junk tags in the popular list. Woes.

And in conclusion: What’s your favorite thing about space? Mine is space.

  • Current Music: True Romance (Brave Intro Mix) : Arctic Moon : True Romance - EP
Tags:
drinking beer

Happy Sunday

I enjoyed this comment on the anon meme about why fandom seems to ship the same thing over & over: it's because we sort of have one ship and we tend to hammer everything into the shape of that one ship.

To mix one's metaphors, there.

Anyway. Today I ask you if you have any examples of pinboard fic collections that are particularly well-tagged in your view. Awesome wording choices, thoughtful tag schemas, easy to browse structures, whatever it is that attracts your fancy. Give me some examples of good stuff!

I am trying to seed my tag database intelligently so I can guide my poor users in the right direction with tags. I continue to think that the "tags don't have spaces" choice is the right one.
Tags: ,
puzzled

Really it's just an excuse for a pile of RH links

I had as a goal Sunday recording a video of some archive interaction live. I got distracted by working on the project instead. I hacked for about 12 hours Saturday and Sunday both on a ton of stuff. Have begun to split out some submodules into open-source pieces. I'll try to record something tonight when my marathon 14-hour Monday is over. ETA: Doh. Let's try for Tuesday night, I guess.

I enjoyed reading this thread about AO3 tag wrangling on the anon meme. I only have time to scan the meme about once a week these days, so I'm never around when the conversations are happening, sadly.

Had this insight a couple of weeks ago that the reason I love javascript despite its wtfuckery & ruby despite its slowth and the reason I cannot even fucking contemplate writing another single line of Java is metaprogramming.

Random music: This week in mashups! "Whole Lotta Helter Skelter"

More music: Robyn Hitchcock, "Chinese Bones", recently, also recently with Peter Buck, and originally. Aaaaah chiming Rickenbackers <3 <3 <3 Also love his bassist. Am not entirely certain I understand the Dead's cover with Suzanne Vega. But with the Dead I'm either a crazy fan of whatever Garcia is doing or I'm effing annoyed by the dual percussionists, neither of whom could find a groove to save their own asses.

In conclusion, a very young Robyn on the show of a very young Letterman. Oh, god, the passage of time.
Tags: ,
dangerous 2

Lawn. Off. Umbrella shake.

Hmm. I need to write back-end support for following people and for importing data from external sources and then I think I'm done with the heavy lifting on the back end. It'll all be miserable web app & browser app work from there on. I dunno, maybe I should take a week off and deep-end on import. Haven't thought about how to do it yet.

I need a data liberation feature but not for launch.

The hard part of the upcoming work is all the pre-created tag taxonomy. I am not sure I should try doing that on my own. What I need to do is recruit a few librarians to write a tagging system for fanfiction.

If you want to know where I stand on the Controversial Issues™ of the day, it is this: no meta. Post that stuff on your blog where it belongs, not on a fic archive. And keep your feels out of the goddamn tags, kid.
Tags:
goofy

In which I make a bonus post of bonus things.

Since you have all kindly chimed in on the topic of fic vs story and comment vs feedback, here are some fun things in return.

Bonus gaming: I just finished playing Little Inferno and enjoyed it immensely. I played it on the iPad (see review), but I think there's a PC version as well as a Wii-ish version.

Bonus music: Boston vs the Black-Eyed Peas, "I Got More Than A Feeling". From Best of Bootie 2009. The sort of fun I'm looking for when I look for mashups.

Even more music: My favorite trance broadcast is Aly & Fila's Future Sound of Egypt, now available as a free podcast on iTMS. Nothing too abstract or tech-y here, just the mostly-uplifting trance sound they are known for. Good work music.

Bonus programming: Eloquent Javascript is the one book to read if you're looking for one book on the world's-most-used programming language. Pair with Project Euler if you ever wanted to get going with programming but had no clue how to start.

Bonus reading: My train reading just now is KJ Bishop's The Etched City. So far thumbs up.
Tags: , , ,