June 1, 2018

Book review

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 8:09 pm by vrtrakowski

Battlestations! by Diane Carey (Star Trek)

This is one of the odder Classic Trek books, or at least it was when it was first published–it’s in first person, and the main characters aren’t canon. Piper is a Command candidate who finds herself scrambling to deal with dangerous situations, only some of which are her own fault, accompanied by her own nascent team of officers. It’s good fun, mostly lighthearted, and while I would say it sometimes veers too close to the edge of silly, I still enjoy the story and the banter.

Also, Kirk’s response to the damage to the Enterprise is still one of the funniest things I’ve ever read in Trek.


May 30, 2018

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 9:11 pm by vrtrakowski

I have joined Pillowfort.  It will be interesting to see how this goes.

May 4, 2018

Old fic coming back online

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 5:44 pm by vrtrakowski

I am forging ahead with the new site.

Long-time readers have requested the reposting of a few stories that were only available on Light in the Mirror.  My updates are kind of random, but so far I have put up Breakfast at Grissom’s (CSI, GSR) and both parts of It (Iron Man, Tony/Pepper).

Please note that these are both NC-17 (which is why they weren’t on FF.net).

If there’s something else you want to see, drop me a note.  Ditto for AO3; I’m porting things over there gradually, and I must say that the download function is extremely useful.

March 21, 2018

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 9:13 pm by vrtrakowski

I finally sat down today and created a spreadsheet of all my posted fic and its locations, from my new site to my old, on FF.net and AO3 and LJ.  Including the Advent stories and the drabbles.

It’s roughly 300 items.


That doesn’t count the multiple-chapter stories.  Not that I have a lot of those, but it’ll add another hundred pages or so to the lot.

Okay, yes, I’ve been posting since roughly 2000.  According to FF.net, I’ve put up almost 1.8 million words, so more than that.

Let’s just say that porting everything over to the new site is gonna take a lonnnnng while.

(Not to mention the still-unanswered questions.  How do I classify crossovers, particularly those where the cross is a spoiler?  What about the three sets of Advent stories, which are multiple fandoms?  What about that one fic I posted anonymously?  Do I list series stories together, or separately?  Why was I born too soon to take computer classes in school?)

(This is not to say I’m not glad to do it.  It’s needed to be done for some time.  But it’s not going to be quick, particularly when I keep changing little details in the format.)

March 14, 2018


Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 8:55 pm by vrtrakowski

Well, I’ve solved the biggest hurdle on my attempt at a new fic site.  Now, I may yet encounter one that makes me throw up my hands and quit Weebly, but for the moment I am going ahead on putting stuff back up.

So on that note, I will point out (for you long-time CSI/GSR fans) that Breakfast at Grissom’s is posted again.  I don’t think I’ll be announcing every repost here, but a few of ’em were available nowhere but on my Light in the Mirror site, including this one, so for anyone who was looking for it…

Please note that it is rated NC-17.

January 20, 2018

Well, that’s annoying

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:34 am by vrtrakowski

Tuesday evening…I think it was Tuesday…my laptop died.

*moment of silence*

I’ve spent the intervening time trying to resurrect it, with no success.  Also going into mild Internet withdrawal.  This is not unexpected; the Chromebook was three years old and I had used it hard.

I do have my faithful Mac, of course, but it’s ten years old and one OS too far, and therefore is a bit sloooow.  Also awkward to use without a desk and a proper chair, which I don’t have.  Currently I have an old translucent iMac keyboard plugged in, with my thumb hooking under it to keep it in place on my knees.  I got it from the thrift store when my wireless keyboard gave up, and it locks up every time I forget and use caps lock.

Needs drive, though, so I’m trying to work out where to put the iMac so I can type comfortably.  Got fic to write.

I intend to replace the Chromebook, but I can’t do it until next month.  We’ll see how things work.

Next step: secure hard drive from old machine.  *hefts hammer*

November 19, 2017

This is weird.

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 8:05 pm by vrtrakowski

A couple of days ago, I was looking for a book I’ve had for decades, whose title I’d been trying to remember, off and on, for a while.  I knew it had “princess” in the title, but I couldn’t recall the rest of it.

Then I glanced over at one of my shelves while I was doing something else, and remembered the title at exactly the moment I spotted the book.  The Piebald Princess, by Joan Balfour Payne (it’s delightful, and delightfully illustrated.  A lifetime favorite).  There it was, and I smiled, but declined to grab it just then because it was out of reach (my bookroom is a disaster).  I recognized the spine, the old blue-gray library binding of the hardcover, the print of the title.

Tonight I went back to get it and read it.

It’s not there.

I haven’t touched it since I moved all my books into that room.  And while I’m not beyond saying my apartment is sporadically haunted–occasionally something invisible jumps onto the bed with me when my tangible cats are visibly elsewhere–this is different.

All I can say is, it had better turn up soon.  I will take a very dim view of my books being hidden.

September 12, 2017

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:11 pm by vrtrakowski

I’ve seen a post going around about how bland British food is. And having spent eight months there long ago, and never finding a burger that wasn’t cooked halfway to crisp but in the American restaurant, I can agree on some things (granted, this was the height of the mad cow scare). You think pineapple on a pizza is weird? Try canned corn.

But every time someone claims British food is bland, I remember stepping into a bakery in Bath and buying an eclair made that morning, a crisp shell filled with fresh whipped cream (none of that yellow pastry-cream goo, feh) and glazed with a sweet dark layer of rich chocolate.

I could get piping hot pasties stuffed with fluffy potato and just enough sharp cheese to be a delicious meal in itself; the pastry would crumble into thin buttery flakes. Or sausage rolls with sausage that was sausage, all the way through, and not laden with old pepper the way the American stuff is. In fact, the sausages by themselves were mellow, subtly flavored links that were just greasy enough and not too greasy.

I could sit down in a teashop and get raisin teacakes slathered in melted butter, sweet and salty and oh so good. Or a plate of scones; delicate, dense rounds just barely sweet, to be split and spread with the heavy richness of clotted cream and topped with the garnet sharp-sweetness of strawberry jam. Nothing will ever match scones and cream; I dream about it.

More varieties of cheese than I knew existed, and all locally made. Good chocolate, not some poor excuse that has only enough cacao to meet the legal minimum–chocolate that came in textures. Golden, crunchy filled cookies that bore as much resemblance to an Oreo as fresh-made mousse does to canned pudding. Candy bars with layers of chocolate, caramel, and delicate wafers that had actual flavor, not just a blast of sweetness. The indescribable weirdness of the Crunchie bar.

If you think British food is bland, you just haven’t tried the right thing yet.

August 31, 2017

Your assistance, please?

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 8:52 pm by vrtrakowski

My fanfic Website, such as it is, may be shutting down soon, and in any case it’s showing its age. I’m experimenting with a Weebly site to host the stuff. If you’re interested and feeling kind, would you please visit it and tell me if it’s working? There’s very little there just yet, but I’ve got a basic framework roughed out.

Thank you!

August 28, 2017

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 8:49 pm by vrtrakowski

I dream more vividly and clearly if I leave off my CPAP machine. Which I try not to do, even though I usually enjoy the dreams, but this past weekend I kept drifting off without it.

The landscape set in trees, with ancient buildings half built into the ground, was stunning enough, but the colors–the sky was so deep a blue as to be almost upper-atmosphere, and the air was so clear.  And the light was brilliant.  There was a mud-edged road running past, that had a trick of looking like a tall cliff when one peered over the edge.  My mother had a guidebook about the place and we laughed at the illusion of the road.

And then it deteriorated into something that wanted to be horror but didn’t quite make it, invoking Labyrinth and The Princess Bride and voluntary sacrifice.  Which just shows my age, really.

But the colors.

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