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Nov. 19th, 2015

Mockingjay Part 2: Thoughts & Feels

MOCKINGJAY DAY. Man, I've been running on high anticipation for so long that it feels totally weird not to have that anymore!

Reactions under cut, and also ALL THE SPOILERS, so stay away if you haven't watched it yet! )

Fic: Seven Times Nasir and Agron Failed at Goat Farming, and Seven Times They Didn't

Title: Seven Times Nasir and Agron Failed at Goat Farming, and Seven Times They Didn’t
Author: [info]aldiara
Fandom/Characters: Spartacus; Agron/Nasir
Word Count: 1400 (14 drabbles)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Fluff-adjacent. Also, not all the goats make it.
Summary: As it turns out, goats are hard work and entirely too fond of violent home invasion.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Spartacus, or any goats.
A/N: Written for the 2015 Fic or Die challenge. This is a completely ridiculous undertaking. I blame [info]alsha who kept throwing goat prompts at me like there was no tomorrow.

~Fic is here @ AO3~

Fic: The Lorelei (The Hunger Games; Mags; PG)

Just slipping this one in before I go to see Mockingjay 2 and my heart is too shattered to do anything!

Title: The Lorelei
Author: [info]aldiara
Fandom/Characters: The Hunger Games, Mags (with a smidge of Finnick/Annie)
Word Count: 700 words
Rating: PG
Warnings: Canon-typical descriptions of violence.
Summary: Through the years, Mags tries to figure out who she is, apart from who the Capitol has made her. A character study in 7 drabbles.
Disclaimer: Not mine. No profit made.
A/N: Written for the 2015 Fic or Die challenge, filling [info]antiteb’s prompt “Mags’ life after she won the Hunger Games.” Thanks for the inspiration, BB <3

~Fic is here @ AO3~

Nov. 16th, 2015

Spartacus Rewatch Thoughts & Feels: War of the Damned (full season)

I missed doing a detailed season 3 feels post on time because I had to go to a Big Gay Wedding over the weekend, which incidentally (apart from gay boys) featured actual goat farms and mines (the weekend, not the wedding, although the latter might have been interesting with goats), so it was all very a propos.

GOATS and feels )

Fic or Die: Prompts

As you may have noticed, it is time to Fic or Die.

This is the place to share prompts and hopefully inspire your fellow participants! Prompting is open to anyone, even if you won't actually be writing for Fic or Die.

How to Prompt )

It's That Time Again: FIC OR DIE.

Welcome to our now annual Fic or Die challenge! This year the Administrator will be assisted by a herd of threatening and/or cute goats, because goatfarm reasons.

The details )

Nov. 11th, 2015

Fic: Where Do We Go From Here (Spartacus; Belesa, Gen)

Title: Where Do We Go From Here
Author: [info]aldiara
Fandom/Characters: Spartacus; Belesa, smidge of Agron/Nasir
Word Count: 1500
Rating: Gen
Warnings: Set just after the series finale, so canonical character deaths.
Summary: Belesa wonders who she is, apart from passion or a cause to fight for. Just a girl at the waning edge of winter. It doesn’t seem like much.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Spartacus. Sobbity and woe.
A/N: Final piece in a string of loosely connected WotD fics coincidentally having titles starting with "W" and sharing a common theme of angsty pining. Now combined in the Would That Things Were Different series.

Fic is here @ AO3

Fic: Welcome the Dawn (Spartacus; Castus, Gen)

Title: Welcome the Dawn
Author: [info]aldiara
Fandom/Characters: Spartacus; Castus, Belesa
Word Count: 800
Rating: Gen
Summary: In which it occurs to Castus that he has tried all he damn well can, and after this final battle, it may just be time to move on.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Spartacus. Sobbity and woe!
A/N: Just a quick character study thing set after Worth Every Moment.

Fic is here @ AO3

Nov. 10th, 2015

Poll: Fic or Die 2015! (spoiler: the answer is YES.)

It has come to my attention that certain individuals among you are:

1) hoarding finished or near-finished fic on your sneaky hard drives; or
2) dithering about, occasionally poking at, and/or furiously scribbling unfinished fic; or
3) pondering fic in your enormous sparkly brains without yet having set pen to paper or finger to keyboard about said undertaking; or
4) in dire need of being prompted into engaging in activities 1-3.



Now that I've got your horrified attention, I am sure you all remember the last time we had a Fic Or Die challenge (that I bullied [info]spaghettitoes into organising, whereupon she, in turn, bullied everybody into writing - which, incidentally, is exactly how I want things to go when I rule the world!).

My pressing question now is this:

Poll #7662 Fic or Die - Yes Or Yes?
Open to: All, results viewable to: All

Would you be interested in (and more importantly, willing to commit to) Fic Or Die 2015?

View Answers

4 (33.3%)

Cool, I've been meaning to finish That Thing! Yes.
1 (8.3%)

I think so, I could use some motivation to write. Yes.
3 (25.0%)

I am super-busy so it may not be more than a snippet/drabble/haiku, but sure! Yes.
2 (16.7%)

I have no unfinished fic, but will come up with something new! Yes.
1 (8.3%)

I feel totally uninspired but I will let you lot oppress me into trying. Sigh-yes.
4 (33.3%)

Soz, not feeling it at all, but I pledge to cheer madly and visibly from the sidelines (in OUTFITS that I will post PICTURES of. YES.)
2 (16.7%)

I see there is no actual "no" option but I feel I have a compelling reason not to! I shall elaborate in the comments so you can then try and convince me otherwise. (YES.)
1 (8.3%)

Nov. 2nd, 2015

Fic: Unravelled (Spartacus - Agron/Nasir; NC-17)

I was working on something else, but felt somewhat angsted out for the moment, so I decided to hone my PWP skills instead, lol. Brought to you by my need for more top!Nasir, about 11 bottles of cider, and a lot of typing with my eyes closed. Smut is hard work, yo.

Title: Unravelled
Author: [info]aldiara
Fandom/Characters: Spartacus; Nasir/Agron (Nasir POV)
Word Count: 5800
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Total PWP.
Summary: Nasir puts the skills he acquired as a body slave to good use. Agron benefits. Several times.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Spartacus. Clearly I’ve made the wrong life choices.
A/N: No redeeming qualities whatsoever, I just wanted Nasir to shag Agron into whimpering boneless pieces. Set during ep 209, Monsters, after the mock fights and before the Roman attack on the temple. Thanks to [info]alsha for beta-ing!

Fic is here @ AO3

Oct. 31st, 2015

Spartacus Rewatch Thoughts & Feels: Vengeance (episodes 6-10)

Onwards with the random! I'm not sure I can remember exactly which bits go in which episode, so I'll just go by characters and storylines again.

Spoilers )

Oct. 30th, 2015

Spartacus Rewatch Thoughts & Feels: Vengeance (episodes 1-5)

First off, I am so happy the prequel exists, because it really helps with the Andy-Liam transition to have a buffer between s1 and s2.

Secondly, I still kind of almost wish that they'd had the time and option to tell the story in a way that involved the original Spartacus actually dying and another guy taking over, in an "it's the idea of the man that matters, not the man himself" kind of way. I know that for various reasons it would never have worked; I just love that kind of story (hello, Robin of Sherwood!).

I'm going to ramble by episode this time:

Spoilers )

Spartacus Rewatch Thoughts & Feels: Gods of the Arena

(ahahahaha I am behind on these ALREADY because apparently [info]lilithilien and I have no lives and are spending two days max per season.)

Quick thoughts & feels spew on GotA in no particular order:

Spoilers )

Oct. 26th, 2015

Spartacus Rewatch Thoughts & Feels: Blood and Sand

The lovely [info]lilithilien and I have embarked upon yet another Spartacus marathon. Her second one, and my... IDEK, between fourth and, for some episodes, sixth, I guess (which sounds really sad, considering the first time I watched it was... 4 months ago? At most? lol).

Series 1 is probably the one I've watched the least often - once on my own, once with [info]alsha, once with commentaries. Not because I love it any less - on the contrary, it's fucking masterful - just because I'm more drawn to the rebellion era, and a lot of my favourite character arcs (Ilithyia, Spartacus, Oenomaus, Mira, Agron, Crixus, Naevia, to name just a few) don't unfold until later. Also, the very concept of slavery always squicks and appals me to a monumental degree, to the point where I'm not even very intrigued by s1 alt-canon slavery-based fic. It's cool that it's out there and I get that there's a lot to explore in it, but it's just not something I'm drawn to much. (Exceptions apply. I will give any Barca/Pietros a go, always. My poor doomed pigeon aficionado OTP :CCC)

Anyway, rewatch! I thought I might like to ramble here about random thoughts and feelings while watching, because I think my Twitter followers are probably thoroughly tired of my Sparty marathon spam, and this is a little more permanent :)

Here there be fangirling, and also spoilers )

Oct. 25th, 2015

Fic: Our Days of Blood and Sunset (Spartacus - Agron/Nasir; NC-17)

Ever since my last War of the Damned rewatch, I've had all these ~feelings~ about Nasir and how the fuck you would cope with being pre-emptively dumped, left to deal with a lot of war-related crap on your own, finding our your lover has got himself killed, blaming the shit out of yourself for it, then finding out he's alive (YAY!) but horrifically injured (NOOO!). Stable, steady support? Cuddles and kisses? An explosion of unconditional love? I don't believe it for a minute. Not this fucking Syrian.

So sometime last week, I started to work on what I thought would be a 500-word character study thing to explore how he'd actually be pissed as hell while having to balance that with supportive boyfriend mode.

It... kind of exploded, lol.

Title: Our Days of Blood and Sunset
Author: [info]aldiara
Fandom/Characters: Spartacus; Agron/Nasir, Castus, Naevia, OFC (Nasir POV)
Word Count: ~11,000
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Angst and feels. Y’know, the usual. Also medical trauma and warrior identity issues.
Summary: Nasir knows he should not be angry at someone he’d thought lost forever, someone he loves this much who has been hurt this badly; but he can’t help it, either.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Spartacus. Sobbity and woe!
A/N: Set between The Dead and the Dying and Victory. Kind of a follow-up to that i live and you are gone, but you don’t have to have read that to get this (I just like to set fics in the same context, apparently). Enormous thanks to my awesome beta [info]alsha for being my soundboard and research buddy for crucifixion injuries. (Romans were fucking vile, man). All remaining medical inaccuracies are my own.

Fic is here @ AO3

Oct. 20th, 2015

Angsty gladiators ate my life.

I'm trying to make a semi-conscious effort to not just post every random thing that happens exclusively on Twitter. It's so addictive and easy and I do truly love it (well, caveat: the way I use Twitter is basically just like a private chat room, lol), but it's in the nature of the beast that things slide very quickly way down your feed and out of your mind. One of the things I've always loved (and lately missed) about the IJ/LJ experience is how easy it is to take a stroll down memory lane and cheer yourself up with some sparkly old thing when you're having a shit day. Well, provided you keep decently organised tags, which I really, really don't, lol. But I am trying to revive it a bit and get back into the habit of semi-regular posting. (It helps when you upload approximately seven gazillion new icons so you actually want to post just so you can use them.)

Right, so, I'm still stuck way hard on Spartacus. Poking at fic, bemusedly wading through Tumblr, meta-spazzing at [info]alsha and anyone else who will listen. It's pretty damn awesome. I've missed the days of only sleeping 4 hours a night because you're too busy tearing your hair out over some scene that won't come right or spending a ridiculous amount of time on researching crucifixion injuries (I have to say, Vikings really dropped the ball on this one, with Athelstan's unceremonious full recovery, lol).

Anyway, just taking a break to trawl more cast tribute vids. Unlike show-based fanvids, with these, I don't really give two shits about quality, I'm perfectly happy just ogling the unfairly gorgeous shiny people. (And vaguely regretting that Liam got to do humour on the show so rarely, because he is so freaking funny!)

Also? Lining up the We won't break, we won't die, it's just a moment of change" part of these lyrics with Andy footage is FUCKING EVIL. Arrrgh :CCCC

Oct. 18th, 2015

Fic: the perfect time to say this (Barca/Pietros, NC-17)

Soz about the spam today, f-list. I'm catching up with crap I've meant to post all week.

Title: the perfect time to say this
Author: [info]aldiara
Fandom/Characters: Spartacus; Barca/Pietros (Barca POV)
Word Count: 2300
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Fluff. Literal fluff.
Summary: Barca and Pietros are expecting baby pigeons and it’s about as ridiculous as you’d expect.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Spartacus. Clearly I’ve made the wrong life choices.
A/N: Brought to you by my exploding feels while watching ep 301 of Please Like Me. Yeah, IDEK, but here, I dare you to resist. I also blame [info]lilithilien for this because I was perfectly happy poking at various angstfest fics before she suggested that Barca and Pietros needed birds put on their heads.

Fic is here at AO3

Fic: that i live and you are gone (Spartacus, Gen)

Title: that i live and you are gone
Author: [info]aldiara
Fandom/Characters: Spartacus – The Man Himself, Naevia, Agron
Word Count: 2400
Rating: Gen
Warnings: None.
Summary: Spartacus, Champion of Agonised Self-Recrimination, reflects on the loss of his friends.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Spartacus. Clearly I’ve made the wrong life choices.
A/N: Set towards the end of The Dead and the Dying. (Yes, the title is unoriginally nabbed from “Empty Chairs and Empty Tables”.) We never see on screen how Spartacus reacts to finding Agron alive - all the focus of that reveal is on Nasir, which was definitely the right choice for the show, but I was having Sparty feels because he's lost so many people by then. Ergo, angsty wallowing.

Fic is here on AO3.

Shiny Spartacus fanvids *paws*

I'll put this out there first: I'm annoyingly picky about fanvids. I don't like talking heads. I don't like random kiss compilations with no actual story, set to a slow-mo ballad that has nothing to do with a character or pairing. I don't like heaps of text in fancy fonts or heaps of dialogue sprinkled throughout a vid. Basically I'm predestined to not like about 95% of all the fanvids ever. For this, I blame the people who have introduced me to fanvidding - all of whom were people with very high standards of vidding, who knew their shit, not just in terms of tech, but also in terms of what looks and sounds good, how pacing works, what engages the viewer emotionally, what puts a new spin on a storyline or pairing. CURSE YOU FOR MAKING ME PICKY, VIDDING FRIENDS. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE :p

So, ever since I fell head over heels with Spartacus, I've been wading through fanvids when I have time, with somewhat predictable results. There are a LOT of kissing and fight scene compilations out there, lol. There are a lot of talking heads and slow-mo ballads. Shockingly, there are a LOT of variations on "This Is War." (Not really judging here, actually - liking kissing and fight scene compilations is fine and I like This Is War as a song. I'm also too lazy to learn vidding but I know from watching others do it that it's an incredible amount of work. So, y'know, people should make what vids they want to make, obviously).

Anyway, I wanted to share a few Spartacus vids that I genuinely loved, and ramble about why. Let's go!

1. Time of Our Lives - Spartacus tribute by Zurik 23M

Time of Our Lives

This is my favourite Spartacus tribute vid ever. I love the song choice. I love how it spans all the seasons; how it gives equal focus to Andy's and Liam's Spartacus; how its main focus is on friendship and loss (ALL THOSE FUCKING ARM CLASPS! Y U NO HUG, GUYS!). I think it perfectly captures what the show is about, and it's incredibly moving. After I finished with the show the first time, I looped this an embarrassing amount of times.

2. "This love that I've found, I detest" - Spartacus/Ilithyia by ItsTheWonderfulAmy

This Love That I've Found, I Detest

I ship the crap out of these two and their glorious hatred, ngl. In general I think this show is pretty much perfect but there are a few things I wish it had had more time for, and one of those things is Ilithyia. I think she had more story left to tell. I liked Laeta and eventually got on board with her and Sparty's thing in s3, but not-so-secretly I always wished Ilithyia had lived and they'd delved more deeply into this fucked-up relationship and she and Spartacus could have had.

Enter this vid, which I think is just perfect. Firstly: Mumford & Sons! Can't really ever go wrong with that. Secondly: the editing is fantastic. I love how it actually tells a story that's different from what we see on-screen, rather than just compiling scenes we've seen. This creates new context, new emotions, and new character nuances, especially for Ilithyia. That's exactly the kind of vidding that I admire hugely: the kind that takes existing footage and creates something new out of it. Also, the colour filters are beautiful.

3. "I'm ready for you now" - Agron/Nasir by Mary_Bell

I'm Ready For You Now

OK, so this has dialogue lines at the very beginning, not to mention Nasir's name spelled wrong, lol. However, apart from that, I love it. I think the two big things that sell it are the pacing and the song choice. The cuts are fast and dynamic, which works great for this pairing (their lives are fast-paced, and their decisions - both rational and emotional - often spur-of-the-moment). There's a lovely balance of their beginnings and their later moments (yay for a smidge of Castus!!), and I think the song works really well, especially for Agron. He's such an utter scrambled mess after losing Duro, he's the kind of guy who just really needs to be somebody's everything (whether that somebody is a brother or a lover), and the whole "don't want to fight alone" thing is just him to a T. And I think the part about "Bring me out / Come and find me in the dark now" also resonates really well with what Nasir does for him. Basically, FEELS, is what I'm saying here.

4. Random cast appreciation vid because reasons.

Cast Tribute

Aaaand this is where I throw editing/vidding preferences out the window and just bask in how sparkly and lovely this cast is and how I adore them all madly :D

(PS: Does anyone know how embedding YT vids on IJ works these days?? YT has disabled the old embed code, and the iframe one still doesn't seem to work on IJ. Annoy! ETA: Solved! This handy tool will convert it.)

Oct. 11th, 2015

Every Saturday Is Halloween - Entry No. 2

lol, so I suspect this one won't make any sense at all, BUT I couldn't decide whether to do Mazikeen from Neil Gaiman's Sandman / Mike Carey's Lucifer or some random steampunk character, so I decided to mash them up. Voila - Steampunk!Mazikeen. (I know, she'd murder me.)

And then I had way too much fun with the cartoon filter, so then I decided I needed TEXT.

(bigger version is here.)

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