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May. 14th, 2010

One too many (bad) HL fic

My issues with characterization in HL fics )

Oct. 29th, 2009

鼠猫害文不轻

Fandom related rant concerning 75 slash and various 焦剧 related fanfics...

fandom related rant )
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Feb. 25th, 2009

The definition of "侠"

Inspired by a tangent to this post.

So after all that musing about the definition of the western superhero, I got thinking on what my interpretation of "侠" is.

tl;dr )
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Feb. 2nd, 2009

GW update and fic-induced ramblings about Superman

Canthan New Year festival was this last weekend. GW stuff - ignore if not interested )

Outside of Guild Wars, I finally weaned myself off the Chinese BBS for fanfiction (however long that lasts). I've been reading mainly LnC (Lois & Clark TV series) fanfiction lately. It started off with being curious about some of the links on the main fanfic archive site, and then snowballed from there. The authors of this fandom, I note, tend to write long. A great many of them like to write fics which are a few hundred KB in length, and that's only one part of a series. Also, the archive is still updated weekly with new works, which is impressive for a dead series (went off the air in the mid 90s).

Writing isn't too bad either, though I think that mainly has to do with the fact that the targeted demographic for the TV show was probably the best for good fanfiction (adult female audience). So far most of the writing have managed to keep Lois as a strong female protagonist without turning her into an annoying Sue (ala Lana of Smallville), and a Clark aka Superman without much of the "superdickery" (ala the comics).

Though, reading so much LnC fics got me musing on the differences with the other portrayals of the iconic character of Superman. tl;dr - Superman analysis )

Add: Rumbles thread
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Oct. 26th, 2006

Because I'm being driven mad...

...by a idjit customer who does not understand the simple notion that *gasp* products are supposed to work according to the documentation and if the docs say you can't do something, *doublegasp* surprise, you can't do it! =_=

Anyhow, random thoughts while I was scrolling through Chinese myth-related pages.

The term 日精月华 should look familiar; it's from Journey to the West. 日月精华 is the other term I see used sometimes in stories.

日 = sun, 月 = moon
精 according to a lot of smut fics I've read, apparently equates to semen
So... 华 = egg? ovum? vaginal fluid? XD

*dragging mind out of gutter*

So, we know Sun Wukong emerged from a rock after... thousands? millions? of years of absorbing 日精月华. Most other spirit creatures out there that originally were inanimate objects or animals also attained human form and powers from this.

So, would that mean, to the traditional chinese spirit monster type creature, that Superman would look to be as attractive a meal as Tripitaka ever was? All that sun energy! And look, since they're magical peeps, they won't even have to worry about his invulnerability! XD

*shutting up for now*

Oct. 9th, 2006

musings: time in chinese mythology

Kind of like in the Avalon myth, time is supposed to run differently in the heavens than on earth. The most common saying is that 1 day in heaven = 1 year on earth. So a 1 : 365 ratio.

Read more... )

Oct. 2nd, 2006

封神榜 = draft?

So I've been reading the original text of 封神演义.

Specifically I read the chapter (99) where all the peeps who got deified/canonized by the 封神榜 were listed. Some were daoists of quite established power from both the Zhou and Shang sides, some were normal human members of the imperial court (on both sides), and some were evil evil 妖怪 (from just the Shang side). And the only common link between them was they died at some point in the story.

And then, when I think back through the course of the story and how those daoist members of the group, who explicitly knew (and if they didn't, they were very helpfully reminded of it every other page) about the fate waiting for them if/since their names were recorded on the 封神榜, were so very not willing to go to fate peacefully... I have to wonder if most of them didn't want to give up their old lives of being freegoing wanderers/independent hermits and get burdened by the responsibilities of heavenly office. Not to mention it meant no more possibility of enjoying 'the good life on earth' as it were (power, riches, women, drugs that sort of thing). So I guess that would make the 封神榜 some kind of heavenly draft that the Powers That Be came up with in order to have enough heavenly officials to keep up with the population growth on earth... or something. :p

Interesting enough, there was no mention of those well known figures such as 李靖, 哪吒, 杨戬, etc. who survived to the end of the story, even though we know they were deities and held heavenly office by the time of the Han (Sun Wukong's little ruckus in heaven was 500 years before Tang). In the 封神演义 story, though, they were more daoists than heavenly officers (yet?). So I have to wonder if they got their positions later on in the years, or if they already had positions and were only momentarily deployed to the human world to participate in the whole ordeal.

I can believe the latter for 杨戬, whos mythos had him alive and hoppin' back when there were still 9 suns in the sky, and the text mentions his hound specifically as a '仙犬'. Not so sure about 李靖 and sons, since 哪吒 had only graduated from inanimate (though celestial) object for 10 years or so. I doubt his previous incarnation could have held heavenly office. It's an interesting thing to ponder.

EDIT: Actually, read the last chapter (100) and I guess it was the former case for them... "後来李靖、金吒、木吒、哪吒、杨戬、韦护、雷震子,此七人俱是肉身成圣。"

*off to make some more 杨戬 icons* w00t new icon ^__^

Jul. 23rd, 2005

JKR interview & my 2 cents on it

The first page isn't intersting, but there are some things I wanted to respond to starting from page 2.

The xover of major muggle and wizard events/wars - OMG, don't even try to put those together. Especially not by someone with only a layman's (or less) understanding of history and politics. I can buy something like that out of, say, Harry Turtledove or Eric Flint, who actually do comprehensive research on the moments in history they open their mouths about. But JKR? Stick to imaginary wand-waving. Please.

Muggle to Wizard population ratio - Well, at least JKR honestly admits that she's hopeless at math. How else do you come up with 40 kids in one grade level (Harry's) and then blurts out 600 for the student population of Hogwarts... yeah. But ~3000 wizards in Britain? With only a tiny portion of even those (see page 3) working for Voldemort. And yet they can be a global threat to the world? And with the pitiful magicks that the Potterverse has shown? Excuse me for being skeptical, to say the least.

The anti-shipping stuff - Okay, this time it's the interviewers being an idiot, and JKR is at least smart enough to be politic to avoid breaking her food bowl. But it brings to mind the fact that these people are utter idiots for not realizing that for any story, once it's published and read, becomes the interpretation of the reader, whatever the reader believes. The writer has no right to the readership's (or a reader's) beliefs on how things should be in the story.

Draco - I'm not touching this one with a 10-foot pole. I'm sure [info]cashew will have something to say about it though. :p

The prophecy - I think this is probably the only worthwhile information given in the interview (it's on page 3). Basically, the prophecy regarding Harry and Voldemort was more of a MacBeth/Oedipus kind of self-perpetuating prophecy than a Tolkein or standard sci-fi/fantasy "it *must* happen this way and the timeline is set" kind of prophecy. That bodes well for fanfics, if nothing else. :p

The rationale for Slytherin House - Regardless there were some actually decent sentiments in Rowling's reply, the sheer condescension of the reply and the tone of the interviewer just... argh! Irritates me, to say the least.

Snape - I know there's oodles of ambiguous clues in the books pointing that Snape's allegiance is still with the side of light. But from a lot of Rowling's responses (as well as her personal dislike of the person she based the character on), it seems that one of the twists in the next book might be that Snape is actually evil. While at this point, I'm not sure I'd care that much about the good side winning, I do think that would be such a cheapening/slaughtering of his character after all this time. It'd be pointless. Meh.

Jun. 2nd, 2005

Rant: What's Wrong With Most HP/YYH Crossovers

I've been on a YYH kick lately, having been watching the anime. I've naturally also been reading the fics on fanfiction.net, and have found several HP/YYH crossovers, including two C2 communities. Some might remember my little mini-rant on the subject some time ago. Well, now that I've much more experience in the genre, and more time for introspection, I thought I'd write up a more coherent analysis of the stereotypes in the genre. And why they suck.

(Note: Potterverse bashing ahead. Consider yourself warned.)

My issues with HP/YYH stereotypes... )

Apr. 16th, 2005

GATE manga, The 4 Beast-gods, and PoT ideas

This is inspired by the "GATE" manga volume 1, by Hirotaka Kisaragi [info]cashew and I were squealing over today. And yes, this also led to more insane crossover ideas for our PoT Psidai universe.

About the manga/mangaka )

About the mythology of the 4 Beast-Gods )

The quadrants and their Seishuku )

D-travel )

Feb. 5th, 2005

CBR in Tenipuri personas

This is some off the wall randomness that [info]cashew and I were musing on last night. Which Tenipuri character(s) persona(s) would best describe those we know...

Me = Inui's geekiness + Kawamura's schizo-ness (according to cashew)

[info]cashew = Fuji and his sadistic streak :p

[info]mg_knt = Akutsu on the inside + a bit of Echizen's apathy on the outside

[info]ossian = Oishi's niceness & politeness

[info]cougarmadcat = Shiba (new to the tennis (anime) world and enthusiastic about it)

More... )

There were more, I think... but I can't recall them at the moment.

Jan. 19th, 2005

Random thought...

...because [info]cashew has been showing me Tenipuri eps and I've been reorganizing my HP fic folders.

Supposing an AU where "Prince of Tennis" was "Prince of Quidditch"... who would play what spot on the Seigaku team? For those unfamiliar with Quidditch roles (I had to look it up myself ^^;), there's 7 spots total - 1 seeker, 1 keeper, 3 chasers, 2 beaters. There are 9 members to the main cast of Tenipuri, and 8 Seigaku regulars. So I guess we have 2 for reserves.

Off the top of my head, my impressions would be:

Chasers: Oishi, Kikumaru, Fuji
Beaters: Kawamura, Momoshiro
Keeper: Kaido
Seeker: Echizen
Reserves: Inui (also manager), Tezuka (who can probably sub in for any position)

I have this mental image of Eiji doing his acrobatics on a broomstick and making quaffle shots from the oddest angles/positions. Then again, he would also make a good seeker, since he has the best eyesight and reflexes... but then Ryoma would have to be a Chaser (he doesn't cooperate well) or Beater (not good due to his small stature)... But I suppose it could also go:

Chasers: Inui, Kaido, Momoshiro
Beaters: Kawamura, Oishi
Keeper: Echizen
Seeker: Kikumaru

Nov. 23rd, 2004

Maedhros and Fingon...

...only the slashiest couple in the Silmarillion. Their lov-er-loyalty won them the pity and aid from the Valar, even when they were pretty mad at the House of Feanor.

So what might've been Maedhros' response to the aftermath of the Nirnaeth Arnodiad (I know I misspelled that)? He was the one who put together the plans. He was the one who roped together all the allies. He was the one who presumably convinced Fingon to join in. He was the one who employed the Easterlings that betrayed their side. And one of the major reasons he was so desperate for the fight was because he was also being pressured by his Oath to go and attack Doriath for the Silmaril Beren just stole (this back when Meilian & Thingol were still around).

But the Easterlings did betray them, and that fact destroyed Maedhros' entire host - which was about 2/3 the total fighting force the "alliance" had in that war. And of course Fingon was turned into a smear by Gothmog.

What kind of depths of despair and gloom could Fingon's death, and the guilt of his death and the general failure of the entire battle, have sent Maedhros to? How much could the results of that tragedy influence the next major event in history - the second Kinslaying in Doriath?
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HP Fic I'd like to see

cut for length )

Oct. 7th, 2004

Ideal Education System

Looking at [info]cashew's fics sorta kinda reminded me of a fic I read (reread, actually) recently, in which we're introduced to some Japanese OC's (not students, thankfully) in a mainly Hogwarts fic. Naturally, the "original" stuff (and not just the Japanese stuff) is all trumped up versus the topics that Hogwarts had. This in turn reminded me of a thread on SD.net, also somewhat recently, which talked about Japanese education, it's pros and cons and stuff.

So basically, for Japan and I guess most far Asian education systems, you have a teaching method that emphasizes on rote memorization, obedience and a complete unquestioning of authority. In Japan in particular you also have an emphasis on uniformity, conformity, and cooperation - working within the structure/company/system/school etc. Cirricula are usually set by a central system for a large region if not the whole country, and all kids are forced to learn it.

For western... well, American, I guess, you have a system that emphasizes critical thinking, questioning, experimentation/hands on stuff, and individuality. You also have very varied levels in different schools and regions. There's also a larger margin for slackers and underachievers, if we believe census reports concerning grades of different countries.

Obviously, neither is 'better', per se. But they both have good points and bad points. And there's also other good ideas or bad ideas that might not be mentioned. So I was thinking, and I wanna throw the question out there: What kind of system do you think would bring the best of (both) all worlds together? Say, for a child that's just entering grade/middle school who's pretty much a blank slate in all ways that matter where it comes to education.

What kind of courses *should* the child be required to take (again, idealistically) for such a grade/middle school? Ethics and morality? Philosophy and logic? All the hard sciences? Language classes that emphasize certain classical works? History (when and where)? Sports? Music/Arts? (Note we're not talking college here, so there probably wouldn't be any topic-specific classes like "Socrates" or "Advanced OChem". These should be classes that set good fundamental skills and knowledge.)

Any thoughts?
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Sep. 5th, 2004

YvtW Musings - Doom of the Noldor

Cut for those who don't care )
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Jul. 24th, 2004

YvtW Musings - fate of the Fourth Age

In my rewritings of the last part of the Afterlife Arc for YvtW, I've just gotten to the segment dealing with Mg back on Middle-earth. So while my mind was on the subject, I got to thinking about a couple of things...

cut for those who aren't interested )

I'd love to hear what [info]ossian has to say on any of these issues... though I don't think we'll ever get to deal with them in-story at the rate things are going. ^_^;;
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Jun. 9th, 2004

Counting Coup at Helm's Deep

So there was this Rumbles thread, whose topic veered off into a comparison of Legolas' and Gimli's performances at Helm's Deep. Particularly, it seemed to me that, given the epic level abilities of our two heroes, and the sheer numbers pressed on Rohan, the body-counts in the low 40's seemed somewhat low.

So, me being the LOTR-obssessed fangirl that I am, I went and reread the relevant chapters and rewatched the relevant scenes. Yes, I know. I disturb even myself.

What happened in the book )

What happened in the movie )

In conclusion:

While the ~40 count is okay for the book version, it really doesn't fit *at all* in the context of the movie. The movie versions should have accumulated much higher body-counts.

As for Legolas vs. Gimli... Well, in terms of kill rate, the book version of Gimli *might* *arguably* have a slightly faster kill rate than Legolas. However, Legolas came out in better condition from the battle. In the movie, both of them are killing machines with murderous kill-rates. Yes, that includes Legolas in knife/sword-only melee. No definite answers either way.

Me? I'm inclined to think half-half either way in melee. 5/10 each.

(Disclaimer: The conclusions and analysis that I make from the scenes are highly speculative given the ambiguity present in both film and book. They should not be taken as canon. Canonicity belongs only to the explicit quotations.)


Addendum )
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May. 9th, 2004

What is wrong with me?

See, I like Highlander. I've seen a couple of episodes of the series and read quite a few transcripts of a lot of the eps I haven't seen. But I haven't seen any of the movies after the first one, and even with the first one, I only have very dim and misty memories of seeing snippets of it when it was showing on TV (not too surprising, since it only came out a few years after I was born, after all).

That I like Methos is no great surprise to myself. I've seen quite a few episodes with him in it. He's handsomely sexy with a wicked tongue and a killer accent. What's not to like?

On the other hand... there's Connor MacLeod. I still don't quite understand how he came to be my second favorite character, since he only appears in the movies and the first episode of the series (which I have not seen). Almost everything I know of him comes from... well, fanon, I guess. Or maybe in particular a handful of Connor-centric writers.

Looking at the his pictures from screenshots of the movies, he's not half as good looking as Duncan. In fact, he's rather... um... plain (homely?) unless it's a distance shot or he smiles just so. I hear that he has a cool accent, but I've never heard it (or have no memory of it, at least). And just about all of my conceptions of his character comes from online sources that I intellectually know are biased.

So why do I seem to have a crush on the character? Is it because of some knee-jerk response to my *dislike* of Duncan, and therefore I reflexively latched onto the other official "Highlander"? Is it because, according to fanon characterizations, Connor's personality is more like Methos than Duncan?

I dunno... all I know is that I now have 35 icon bases for the guy. *facepalm*

Well, the title of this entry is sort of a rhetorical question. But if anyone thinks they have the answer to this particular... perculiarity of mine, feel free to tell me.
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Apr. 24th, 2004

Clamp Cosmology

The following (possibly incoherent) ramblings were brought to you by my trip to Borders today.

Read more... )

In other news, I also read a couple volumes of CCS today. It was kinda disjointed since they didn't have all the volumes (in order) there, but I think I got the gist of things. It's a pretty cool series. Though I didn't think much of the romance among the younger characters (they're in grade school, for goodness sakes. How can anyone seriously talk about romance and "one true love" when they haven't even hit puberty?)... but the more adult romance was kinda cool (hey, it has an explicit shounen-ai relationship between two hot guys ^_-).

Feb. 20th, 2004

Misc. Stuff

Came across this intresting PSoH fic a few days ago. Drugs by Talya Firedancer. It's slash, but not between D & Leon (well, not explicitly)... um... maybe kitty-slash? *sweatdrop* A rather weird fic, all said.

Hm... something else I forgot to write down earlier... last Sunday when I was at Borders bookshop, I also read the manga version of The Ring. Eh, if the movie (Japanese or American) is anything like the manga, then I can see how people find it scary. Then again, I am somewhat of a wuss when it comes to horror. :p

Though, come to think of it, if it weren't for the fact that Sadako was so spooky, and I really can't seem to find compassion when confronted by scary walking corpses 'n ghosts... I'd almost be inclined to think that, just based on her life story, Sadako does merit a smidgeon of sympathy, and she did have cause for revenge, even though her revenge has gone seriously out of hand. I mean, she was just a little kid when her mom was denounced as a quack in front of journalists from all over the country (and later commited suicide?). While one could say she was evil for killing one of the journalists and sending her dad into the loony bin, it's also quite possible that those things happened because her powers were too strong for her inexperienced youth to control properly. I mean, do we call normal kids evil or even take them too seriously when they throw a tantrum or scream "I hate you!" for little reason? Of course, normal kids don't have Sadako's power. Also, since it's said that she visited her dad often at the asylum, that could be a sign that she didn't mean for that, at least, to happen. On top of that childhood trauma, she appears to have been raped before she was brutally murdered and abandoned by the guy who worked at the asylum. This done to a psionically senstive child, it's no wonder her head was so screwed up, even after death.

Of course, a sucky life and an insanity plea shouldn't excuse all the other innocent people her curse has killed. But it does provide some understanding of why she's so vengeful and unreasonable. Also, I think the guy at the asylum deserved some of the blame and responsiblity as well for his actions. Why the heck has he been left alive and un-haunted all this time?

Hm... of course, now it occurs to me that Sadako being a dead spirit, she could potentially feature in the Afterlife arc of YvtW too...

Feb. 17th, 2004

YvtW: Couple of questions for ossian

When the last scene with me and Elrohir took place, we'd just met the fake-serpent-guardian. This is supposed to be the Logrus, who whisks us off elsewhere for a confrontation. But I'm kinda stuck on actually writing the scene, since it's been a while since I've read the Amber series. So I thought that two minds would work better than one. :p

1. What do you recall of the personality of the Logrus-serpent? I would guess that it would be cryptic, since it probably plays the games of intrigues that the Princes of Amber and the Courts of Chaos are known for. What about overconfident? Manipulative? Petty? Cunning? Loquacious about nothing? Terse? Flashy? Condescending? Etc...

2. What kind of motives would set it personally against whatever is between Llwella and "Locke 2.0", instead of manipulating a Chaosian or Amberite to do it? I suppose if it could predict that someone of Urd's and her sisters' power would get involved, then sending a Prince/ss of its native multiverse would be outpowered... But it still needs some kind of underlying motive, or even emotion.

3. Hypothetically, how would it handle rivalry in the arena of other deities over Chaos? Like Loki, for instance, and possible others in other mythologies and fiction. Cooperation? Competition? Friendly or otherwise? Any/all of the above depending on the other guy?

4. IIRC, a lot of what goes on especially in the second Amber series is that the Logrus and the Pattern(s) play the lords and ladies of their domain like chess pieces... although said nobles tend to do that on their own to each other as well. A possible trap that I need to beware is to write myself into a serious confrontation with an entity like the Logrus, who obviously has enough power to do whatever it wants to a much lesser entity, no matter how friendly with other deities. It's not like said other deities can do much to it. So if the Logrus is actually serious about things, it's highly implausible writing to get us out of this adventure alive, even if other powerful entities intervene... However, if the Logrus is treating this like a game, or a wager involving other unnamed deities, and even the likes of Llewella are pawns to it, then there is more plausible room to get out of this alive. Thoughts?
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Feb. 6th, 2004

Thoughts on where the current arc is going

It occurs to me that if I make a suggestion to the others in the arc/thread, then I should be obligated to at least consider it myself. Practice what I preach, so to speak. And actually, this has been something I've been pondering lately. Oh, and [info]ossian? I'm gonna need your feedback on this one.

What I refer to, of course, is the "end result" of my part of the Afterlife arc. Now, [info]ossian and I have already decided that MU Loki would be involved, which also brings in the indirect involvement of MU Hela. Currently, my short terms plans also involve the Logrus, which is a pretty obvious character to bring in when it comes to any adventure that has its start in Amberite nobility/politics. Now, these foes might or might not be working together, to any degree... but together or apart, I don't think anyone doubts that they are all big-name players in the grand scheme of things.

So, naturally, when pitted against these foes, at least two of whom are known for their cunning and trickery, if not outright power, I really think it would be a stretch to say that a bunch of bumbling Net Eventers (half of whom aren't even on the actual quest in question) can totally show up and outsmart them. Even with limited (and sometimes decidedly unhelpful) aid from the OMGU Norns. Unlike other RP'ers who I shall not name (unless forced to), I don't have any pressing need to prove my character as some kind of Great Force Beyond Reckoning in the Omniverse.

Anyways... my point is... we never decided on what would happen *after* we found Locke 2.0's soul, didn't we? I think everyone, right now, assumes that we're looking to ressurect him. After all, that's what you do with souls who've died, right? It's not fair to the dead soul who "died before his time"... yadda yadda yadda

Well. Why be fair? In the story sense, what dramatic value is there to be fair? In the IC world-POV, what logical reason is there that the various malevolent and cunning foes out there will *allow* things to be fair? Heck, haven't we learned our lesson with Mg, regarding: bringing peeps back from traumatic afterlife experiences is "not a good idea"?

So my current thought is this: whatever reason there was for our foes to take all the trouble into offing Locke on Earth 2.0 (and I would suspect that most offworld deities would prefer to stay the heck away from the Thread worlds, where they're highly vulnerable), what's to say that reason still doesn't exist? The very fact that Llewella (and possibly Urd) wants to get him back might point to the fact that there is still some plot there. (Granted, they might also be doing it out of remorse or just because they're good guys.) So there's no way to guarantee Locke 2.0's continual safety, even if we're to bring him back to life, unless we can come up with a 24/7 guard around him that is capable of taking on whatever plots our foes can come up with - which is to say, "not happenin'".

The other solution is both simple and elegant, IMO. Let's think - if bringing him back to life is dangerous, then what alternative is there that is not dangerous? Why, getting him to perhaps the only safe place when it comes to the foes we're facing - a *good* afterlife realm that is watched over by being(s) of sufficient power and possibly omniscience. The end of this quest doesn't have to go much further than to *find* our errant spirit.

Moreover, if there is something that still makes Locke a target, placing him in an afterlife that is also beyond *our* reach would also help decrease the threat to him and to us. After all, he would be safe and happy... and we (and others) wouldn't be in danger of learning the secrets or whatever that got Locke into this mess in the first place. Plus, it's not like these places don't exist all over the fictional realms. The DCU Heaven, for one - where none (living) who don't have a pure soul can enter, and which is accessable through CBY's self-proclaimed connection to Didi. And I'm sure there are other alternatives out there.

Of course, if [info]ossian still wants to use his 2.0 character in the future, and needs him to be alive or accessible, then I'd be happy to try and come up with a way to get him back. But dramatically speaking, and without suspending too much disbelief or developing "jobber-auras" of our own... I think this idea really deserves some thought.

So what do you think?

(Edited for asterisk-overdose and spelling/grammar)
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Jan. 27th, 2004

Analysis of HP Book 1, Ch.1

No, I didn't buy the book and bring it with me. I'm using an e-version. Just thought these notes might be of help in future Rumbles threads or fanfics. At the very least it'll save me from hunting down references in the future.

And no, I don't have too much time on my hands (well, actually, I might, but not for this). Each chapter is pretty short. Typing takes a bit more time, yes, but not that much.

Chapter 1: The Boy Who Lived

snipped for length )

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