Month: February 2014

Sponsored post: Use Grammarly’s plagiarism checker because you don’t want to become like Shia LaBoeuf.

From BTT this week:

What do you think of fanfiction? In general—do you think it’s a fun thing or a trespass on an author/producer’s world? And of course, obviously specific authors have very firm and very differing opinions about this, yet it’s getting more popular and more mainstream all the time. Do you ever read or write it yourself?

Yes, I’ve read a lot of fanfiction. In fact, a couple years ago, one of the habits I’ve had to cut down on is reading less fanfiction. Much like tv show marathons or Youtube videos, I can easily find hours flying away if I find a good fanfics.

In general, I think it’s fun and I’ve read some brilliant and fantastic fanfiction over the years. In the early 2000s, I was apart of the Harry Potter fandom to the point where I beta read/edited for at least 2-3 fanfic authors. I even tried writing it myself briefly. For me, the easiest way to enjoy a fandom whether it is from a movie, tv show or book is to read the fanfiction.

There are an increasing number of published authors who started out writing fanfiction. EL James of Fifty Shades is just one example. Cassandra Claire of the City of the Bones series wrote Harry Potter fanfiction. I see a lot parallels from her published series from her original works. Whether they deserve it or not, I am glad when authors can get published after having “fun” in fanfic. I believe it can be a good writing exercise.

Then again, I am not an author so I have no real opinion on what it is like to know my stories and characters are being played with. I rather not know about it, but I think a lot of art becomes more than the creator. I think fanfic is largely harmless and actually enhances a fan’s experience of the work. It’s only plagiarism if the fanfic author rips entire plotlines, dialogues or shows a flagrant disregard for intellectual property. Fandoms are also very good at spotting authors who plagiarise other fanfic authors.

What is your view on fanfiction?

Filofax Update

This is a continution of my Filofax Malden Setup and Updates posts just covering the pens I use and other tips I like.

As with some other Filofaxers, I bought one of these Passport Holder organisers which really do fit a lot of pens and random post-its and stickers. I am not one of those Filofaxers who decorate their planner; it’s just not for me. I do like the occasional sticker and sticky note though. I use the organiser to hold some of my favourite pens and stickers though. Unseen here is another box full of old and current refills I am not using and other stickers.

Let’s talk about pens! Continue reading →

Filofax Update

From Top to Bottom: Mini Chameleon in Red, Pocket Finsbury in Yellow (more mustard than it appears here), Personal Malden in Vintage Pink, A5 Malden in Ochre

It’s been more than half a year since I got my first Filofax, and I have been very satisfied with my Personal Malden. I do not really use the A5 Malden or the Mini Chameleon. The latter has been used on a couple occasions as a wallet, and I would use it more as a wallet if Filofax made card holders for the mini size. I love the colour, but I am not sure what I will do with it in the long run. The A5 is just waiting to be my next personal journal.

Here’s a long update on how I am using the Personal Malden. Continue reading →

Sunday Salon

Hello, everyone!

I have not been reading very much lately. I’ve been too busy and tired to read most days. Some readers like to read to unwind, but I am really active and like a book to take me away for hours and hours. Time of which I do not have lately.

As for my book of today, I am still undecided. I could read my Classics Spin book (Kim by Rudyard Kipling), but I think I will err on my two pile of library books. Goodness, I am glad I have not bought any fiction for awhile. I’m trying to hold out until June as well.

One of my reading goals this year is to read more out loud. I think it’s an interesting exercise as it could help improve my public speaking and normal conversation. It seems a lot of words and stories were written to be read out loud such as poetry. I hope to do more of that this year.

Knitting: Haven’t started. The chart is the most complicated one I’ve encountered yet. I gave up colour coding it. I think I will cast on today or this week to get it started.

In terms of fitness, I signed up for a 10KM next month. I don’t have the proper time to train for it and complete it to the best I could. I am running more though. This week, I ran 6k and 5k. Perhaps by the time the race arrives, I can do that three times a week. Swimming is not going as well as I would like. I can just barely front float and glide. No actual swimming to be done yet. I’ll be glad when the snow starts melting so I can ride my bike again and run more without muddy shoes.

This weekend, I watched season 2 of “House of Cards” which I enjoyed even more than S1. You can see my review of House of Cards season 1 and a review of the British series.

What are you doing this weekend?

IMG_2093Last summer, I started riding my bike for the first time in over 15 years. I really enjoyed it as I commuted to work. As the weather got colder, so did my face! I am not even a fast cyclist and quite slow really. I still need something to protect my face on early morning bike rides. I also thought it would could double as a running balaclava.

As with others on Ravelry, I was not that satisfied with the face opening or shaping. I tried to modify it, but it was still too big. I would have tried to make the face hole even smaller except I was running out of yarn. I quickly did a round of single rib to finish it off. I did like the addition of the strap holes and instead of two pigtail holes, I put one ponytail in the back.
Continue reading →

It’s harder for me to write about a show I love because it’s hard to find fault with things you love. Objectively, I know this show is not the smoothest at times and it’s not for everyone. For me, I was engrossed with this little series. I’m excited for the premiere of season two in April.

As follows are ten reasons why I liked this show:

Continue reading →

2013 Knitting Flickr Slideshow:

A little late on the knitting review and the 2014 goals, but knitting has just become less of a priority these days. Among my friends and colleagues, I am still known as the knitter, but this is less applicable to me nowadays as I read more, socialize more, exercise more and other more things than knit.

In 2013, I only completed eight projects but worked on about three or four (two of which were the sock blankets). The completed eight projects included: three pairs of socks, two hats, one cowl, one sweater, and one necklace. Not an an exciting year, but I’m modest delighted with the Gap-tastic cowl, Shedir II, and Buttercup.

For 2014, I have a few modest knitting goals:

  1. Continue not buying yarn and/or use stash as much as possible.
  2. Make Sylvi. My goal for Ravelympics 2014 is to start this project. It will take more than a couple weeks to complete too. I’ve had the yarn for awhile now, and I may or may not line it. Either way, this is will my most ambitious project yet.
  3. Work on my sock yarn blankets. Gosh, I have no idea when these will ever be finished.
  4. Optional Goals: More socks, Spin, a Christmas jumper, Balaclava for cycling (done!), and Legwarmers.

I actually made a semi-decent balaclava the other week and the FO post will probably be up next week.

As for Sylvi, I have swatched it and will soon colour code the charts. It is a daunting project. I will post more about it as a goal. I definitely think there will be many posts on it.

What are your knitting goals for this year?

Classics ClubThe Fourth Classics Spin from the Classics Club. As with before, I must pick twenty books, then a random number will be selected and each of us must read the number listed at X number by April 1, 2014.

These Spins are really useful because other reads and activities have taken me away from the challenge often.

My challenge is that I own almost every one of these books so I must read them to clear them from my shelves.

Continue reading →

My third Netflix show this month. I’m just going through them based on recommendations and why not, so far all of them are entertaining,

In general, I do not like prison shows or movies. They can be excessively violent, but I heard great reviews of this show. Furthermore, I heard it wasn’t too violent and that it was humanistic. I’m also interested in female centric shows. There are a lot of male centric or shows with large male casts, but this show is a rare thing which is rather sad. Besides Captain Janeway is in it!

If you enjoy good acting and good character development, this is a great show. It is real and tells stories of women who are marginalized in society. It does not make them into stereotypes or tropes. There are strong friendships and relationships. There is a large cast of characters and I was interested in almost all of them except one notable example. This is rather rare for me because I often find that with ensemble shows, I only really like a couple of characters and am largely indifferent to the others. With this one, I was engaged with most of the characters early on.

Notably, as much as I find Piper the protagonist annoying, we are supposed to and the show does not hold back from being critical of her. I’ve never warmed to Laura Prepon even though I adored “That 70s Show,” but I think the casting worked perfectly for her here. I adore Kate Mulgrew so she was pitch perfect here as the matriarchal Red. There a slew of great characters and actors. I think the only one who truly fell short for me was the born again Christian meth head girl who came off as one note for me. The writing also kept pushing her as an antagonist. The character was overdone and I am not enamoured by the actor either.

All in all, this is probably the best of the Netflix shows I’ve seen in terms of writing. While it is intense at times, it is done because it is real and honest. I look forward to where they will take the show the next season.

Watched January 26, 2013.