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All chains only glorify freedom...

Also known as: Sonata Arctica @ Pakkahuone, Tampere, tonight.

Full report with pics, clicky clicky.Collapse )

All said and done - yes, I was right in that it didn't feel as awesome right after Anathema as it should/could/would have otherwise, but it was also better than I expected, and I enjoyed it a lot, was certainly worth going.

So, about those photos...

I promised pictures, and pictures you shall have, whether you wanted or not. (Then again, if you didn't, I suppose you don't have to click the link to see them... Oh well.)

Read more...Collapse )

Words. Fail.

What looks like a drowned rat, smells of the henna hair dye (still a week later my hair smells like herbal mud when wet) but feels absolutely fabulous? Ile after ~half an hour walk home in the rain after an Anathema gig.

It was amazing. I fully expected to enjoy it - Anathema was one of the bands that Sina introduced to me back in 2004 and one of the few that I instantly liked, and I've been listening to them ever since, with varying levels of activity. But they're (or perhaps I should say were) not among my absolute top favourites. I pretty much planned to go see them with Sina because Sina loves them, but then Sina decided he couldn't afford it, and I went anyway just for the heck of it. And I am ever so glad that I did, because it was all kinds of awesome and great and perfect.

*squeeeeeeee*Collapse )

Well this is exciting

My hair has been in dire need of new dye for a while now, but I was going to wait until late November because I wanted a fresh dye before the London trip and couldn't justify spending twice the money that it would cost to have my hair dyed at the hairdresser's to do it once before uni started and again in late November. And I have bad experience with the dyes that you can buy in stores and apply yourself - the result is never what I'd like and I have this (maybe incorrect? I honestly don't know) feeling that it's actually worse for my hair than what the hairdresser would do. So I resolved myself to just looking like ass with 10+ cm of grey-blonde roots showing. No biggie. I don't mind what I look like when I'm at home or going to uni, but when I go to omfg!London, my hair at least has to look perfect.

Well, that's the history. Now, last week, in addition to all the shit that went down, I found this natural products store, which I've kind of known about for ever, but never realised that they sell hair dyes. But last week I found out that they do, they sell something that calls itself "100% herbal hair colour". And as I've recently been sort of interested in all kinds of healthy stuff, I figured that I might want to try this instead of yet another chemical treatment. And this is the perfect time to do it, really. 1) My hair needs moar colour. Fact. 2) It's a few months until December, so if this ends up looking like ass, I can justify another, proper dye around late November, as initially planned. 3) But if it does look awesome, I've saved over 50 euros and perhaps done my hair a favour by sparing it the chemical treatment.

So I bought the dye, got home, started reading the instructions... "Place the SANTE Herbal Hair Color in a heatproof bowl and stir approximately 300ml of boiling water into the herbal powder to achieve a creamy consistency. To deepen the color result, use boiling black tea or boiling red wine in place of the water." ...Well, damn. Unfortunately I didn't think of buying red wine when I was planning the dyeing of my hair. I do have black tea, though. Hmm...

Will report back later.

//edit: later...

Well, that was messy. The paste that resulted from mixing the powder with the water (I forgot to use tea) looked like shit and smelled like... like herbal tea. It also dried fast, I'm not sure if it's supposed to do that (maybe more water?) but towards the end I was having difficulty applying it to my hair. Anyway it was a strange feeling, happily sticking stuff that looked like shit and felt like shit and smelled like herbs into my hair. (If it had also smelled like shit, I wouldn't have done it. Just thought I'd clarify that.) Now the instructions say 1-2 hours for the colour to take effect. Hmm.

This isn't working

Okay, I already kind of gave up on even trying to get 50k words before the end of August - and with what a mess this summer has been, I'm happy to be writing even as much as I have been. That's not the problem, I can live with not finishing the Camp NaNoWriMo event, not a big deal.

The story itself, however, is a problem. How can it be so difficult to write simple, basic human interaction? Sarah (my protagonist & first person narrator) feels like she's from another planet entirely, I can't get inside her head and when I try she turns into me. Brilliant. And her aromantic-love-interest-thingycharacter just makes me want to jump off a tall building. Or better yet, throw the computer off a tall building. He's supposed to be a difficult person, and I guess I can hope that my difficulties in writing him actually result in a somewhat realistic portrayal of a difficult person, but fuck me sideways, why do I do this to myself? There I was thinking that Ismael (from Evernight) was challenging to write... (Let alone the small detail that both he and Sarah seem to have better chemistry with his best friend than with each other. Sigh.)

I think something drastic just needs to happen. I'm not good at writing about normal daily life. *wanders off, pondering whom to place in a tragic car accident or so...*

Characters living a life of their own

I think it was sometime last November that I read a post on Tumblr by a fellow writer, talking about how he found it ridiculous when people say that their "stories write themselves" or that their "characters took over the plot". And I completely see where he was coming from. At the end of the day, you write the story. If you quit writing, the story won't finish itself. If you kill off the main character, the character doesn't have any say in the matter (although this may be a somewhat counterproductive way of proving a point - depending on the story, of course).

All that said, sometimes it does feel like my characters have minds of their own.Collapse )


I think I mentioned that I was reading A Dance With Dragons. And I was unimpressed by it so far. Well, since then I've read on... and a few chapters on, came across Jaime Lannister. He spent most of his chapter just being generally awesome, and at the end of it, took off with... Brienne. Who was last seen (years and years ago) getting hanged by Catelyn Stark. And I'm like... no. Just no. If this is going where I think it must be going... I shall not be impressed.

Sometime last winter - before I landed in LJ; I wrote a long rant about in on tumblr - I read a series called The Codex Alera, by Jim Butcher. I loved it, it was great, entertaining, with a lot of characters that I grew ridiculously attached to, and once I realised that Butcher was the kind of author that doesn't randomly kill off half his main cast, I found the series a rather relaxing read. Until... Well. I fell in love with the wrong character. Aquitainus Attis. He started out as a bad guy, then, gradually, over the course of the entire series, turned into a very strong, interesting grey character. No grand redemption in the vein of Darth Vader, he did not "turn good", simply... his motives were revealed to the reader, and they made sense. He had his own kind of honour, and he was utterly doomed even before he was fatally wounded and rotted away, and like a complete idiot I fell for him harder than Sherlock off the roof of St Bart's. (Yes, this is me, obsessing over fictional characters. Deal with it or gtfo.) So, High Lord Aquitaine dies, and ruins the whole series for me, regardless of all the other great characters that I loved and who bloody lived happily ever after.

Anyway, I was going on about ASoIaF and Jaime Lannister; what does Aquitainus Attis have to do with this all? Because I've got the sinking feeling that Jaime is headed for a similar fate. He's already gone through the "bad guy turned into an interesting grey character", and now he's gone off with a character who was last seen at the mercy of Cat Stark, who I imagine must hate him. I smell a trap.

Prove me wrong by the end of the book, please. Let him live.

Anyway, err. I guess I should go finish the book instead of complaining here. ~200 pages to go, and then back to waiting for the next book...

Stones Grow Her Name

After listening to this album for... uh, a month? Something like that. Anyway. I guess it's time to say something about it. So we have Sonata Arctica with their latest album called Stones Grow Her Name.

First, the overall impression is... a bit random. It hasn't become my all-time Sonata favourite, not by a long shot, but to be fair, topping Days of the Grays (their previous studio album, 2009) would have been a hell of an achievement. Make no mistake, however; Stones is not a bad album, far from it. I think it currently ranks about equal with Unia (2007) and Winterheart's Guild (2003) right behind Days. It's maybe less consistently awesome than either, but then again its strong moments are really strong.

Stones Grow Her Name; Not A ReviewCollapse )

Anyway, now I'll have to dust off my Reckoning and listen to the whole Wildfire saga.

The Way of Shadows

Just finished The Way of Shadows, the first book of The Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks. I discovered this quite by accident - my brother had read it (because I forgot to bring him more Malazan books and he ran out of stuff to read) and now the past weekend I found myself with nothing to read and decided to give it a shot. I was skeptical at first - it sounded like the basic assassin's apprentice shit - but it didn't take long until I was hooked.

However, ultimately, I was disappointed. Isn't it funny how a single character can make or break a reading experience?

Spoilers. Like, big ones. Don't read if you haven't read The Way of Shadows, or if you're positive that you're not planning to read it.Collapse )


Evernight, again

Because naturally the best time to be writing a novel is while I have two essays to finish in the next couple of weeks and one more exam next Tuesday. Oh well. But the positive thing is that I've actually been writing. Hoping to rewrite the whole thing during the summer, it shouldn't be too demanding a goal. I find myself freaking out a bit because so far I've changed very little aside from making it third person instead of the first person narrator that I used in the first draft... But then I remind myself that I'm still in the first chapter and none of the major events have kicked off yet, none of the major characters have been introduced apart from Nine & Aleksei, so there's been very little to change so far.

Another thing I find myself struggling with is Ismael. I killed him in the first draft. Then afterwards I decided that I'd find a way to let him live on the rewrite. But now that I think about it again, I feel that leaving him alive would be the easy way out, pulling a Meyer, not wanting to kill a character just because I'm attached to him. And let me be clear about this, he's one of my favourite characters ever out of those created by me. And a part of it is because throughout the story, I kept him true to his nature. He didn't magically change, he didn't get saved. His whole point, from the very moment the concept for him formed in my head on a dark late October night while listening to My Dying Bride, was to break people's hearts. And fuck me, but it succeeded. Ismael, the one whose prayers weren't heard, and yes I'm way too much in love with the irony of his name. Anyway. This is something I shall have to think about.

Also, found this while reading through the first draft... Figured I might as well share it. I'd completely forgotten about the existence of the whole scene, let alone the absolutely golden piece of dialogue... XD

Excerpt from the first version of Evernight. My dialogue rocks ass.Collapse )


"We prefer fucking each other, at least when Tremaile is around."

Oh God, what time was it when I wrote this? XDDD Ah, Gaebril, I'm glad you weren't there to hear that, your ego would have inflated too much to fit through doors...
If my soaring presence threatens to break your neck, then so be it; you should dread my name!

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