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[sticky post] Things You Should Probably Know

In May 2004, when I was 25, while walking in Epping Forest, I tripped on a tree root, displaced something in my spine (opinion is divided as to whether it was a disc or a vertebra itself) and permanently damaged a nerve or nerves. Since then, I have mobility problems, sensation problems and chronic pain - but fortunately I am not paralysed. I can still walk with crutches, as long as it is not very far.

I'm on opiates for the pain, which is not otherwise treatable. But they don't get me out of pain and they don't prevent flare ups.

Fandom has saved my life and my sanity as I now spend several months of every year housebound. (The average is six months per year at the moment.)

As a result of my brain on pain and opiates (and my reaction), I also have chronic clinical Depression and an Anxiety disorder, for which I am also medicated.

Thanks to all of this, I was forced out of work in December 2008 and have not been able to work since. Yes, I'm one of those bloody scroungers living on benefits - if you pay UK tax, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Additionally, as well as the mood disorder, pain affects my memory, concentration and attention span and sometimes causes problems with words, such as dysnomia. The combined effects of my disability affect every aspect of my life, including my participation in fandom - and not least my self-confidence and my ability to *do* anything, especially with a deadline.

If talk about this sort of thing is not what you need in your fan-ish space, please feel free to defriend me, not friend me, or only follow/watch my fan-ish tags. No harm, no foul. I don't want to get anyone down, which is why I'm putting this up front.

My drawings and watercolours (such as they are and including attempts at fan-art) are here and here.

My Professionals fan-fiction is here (one ficlet, so far) and will also be at natsuko_fics if I ever write anything more.


It's like LJ don't actually want bloggers.

One of my comms linked me here. The tl;dr seems to be that the coding LJ are using to identify and suspend/delete spam accounts are highlighting, then suspending/deleting random accounts with entries containing off-site links.

If you link off LJ in an LJ post, you are (apparently) at risk of your account being suspended, then deleted.

This might be the straw which makes me finally import my archived entries to DW.


Given my drawing and painting abilities (INability?) as seen on LiveJournal and DeviantArt does ANYONE think I have enough skill to volunteer as a BB Artist?

Unlike writing, since my drawings (graphite or coloured pencil) are A5 or A4, they take a single (albeit sometimes long enough to leave me immobile after) session. Watercolours, with drying time, sometimes take two sessions, sometimes one.

Even if I did a watercolour cover image and a couple of drawings, it's not the same time/confidence committment as writing, finishing and editing a fic. I *could* do it, physically.

The question is: am I good enough?

I no longer ask even good friends if they'd like an illustration for their fic (though I may try for my own sake, rather than theirs) because when I *have* in the past, people either wanted an illustration of a scene beyond my powers (I can either do a wide-scale scene OR a portrait, not a portrait that fits in a wide-scale scene) or even - without so much as a "thank you" - got, "that wasn't how it looked inside my head". It probably wasn't how it looked inside mine, either, mate. i never claimed to be a professional quality illustrator/cover-artist.

Given ALL THAT... but given that I feel as if I'm kind of neglecting Pros fandom given I have pulled out of the BB TWICE now and posted two parts of a fic I *still* haven't finished here way back in 2015 and I've made several MCU relevant posts recently... I'd love to DO SOMETHING.


It's a genuine question. Most of my "art" posts get very few responses - if that's because you think I'm too crap to share, PLEASE, just tell me that. (And I'll stop sharing to LJ and DW and go back to DA.) I honestly want to know.

Looking at my pics, would you feel screwed if THAT'S what you got from you BB artist? Because I have looked at BBs, in multiple fandoms,  in the past and thought, "That writer deserved better art". I'd hae like the devil anyone, least of all any writer I was paired with, to think/feel THAT.

Help? Advise me? Tell me to bugger off? All honest responses welcome.

(Crossposted via [personal profile] dee_natsuko78  on DW)


In the country...

So, last night[personal profile] splix  apparantly watched Trainspotting 2 and promptly declared it '90s night.

Thus inspired, I spent last night listening to Blur, Travis and Pulp. :D

I've had a soft spot for Blur since the Parklife album: Damon Albarn owned a dog he used to race at Walthamstow Greyhound Stadium and my Dad used to go to the 'Stow two or three times a week back in the '90s. And on the back cover, he's visible in the crowd behind the band.

And since Dad had a heart attack followed by a stress-induced nervous breakdown and had to give up work back in 1992, Country House always spoke to me (when it came out, Dad *was*, "knocking back Prozac"). I was definitely a Blur-fan in the Blur vs Oasis battles.

Only, who d'you think those lyrics make me think about *now*? ("I'm a professional cynic, but my heart's not in it/ I'm paying the price of living life at the limit")

Kid Steve Rogers

From Arrhythmia by agentsimmons aka starkandbanner. Hope Steve's grin brightens your day, sweetie. *HUGS*

(I know I screwed up the foreshortening, but I always screw up *something*. And that's supposed to be a sketch pad he's holding. I'm also not sure if I've made him look too *young* for eleven. :(  Gah. I wish I could draw!)

(click to embiggen, if I remember how to do that)

Signal Boost

brumeier and taste_is_sweet (who I know from both Stargate: Atlantis fandom and ushobwri) have started a new comm for all-fandom Alternate Universe fiction challenges: whatif_au .

Since I know several of my Readers write AUs, I thought it fitting to give this plug.

I've joined; why don't you?

Use Your Head to Live With Heart*

*Today's Thought from the Tea, which, like so many of them could be an excellent Bruce/Tony (MCU) prompt.

Bit of a blip since I posted the Poll (which is still open if anyone else - theemdash, msmoat, starkandbanner, anyone - wants to give feedback) since my godmother chose to tell me (at my Mum's birthday party!) that I'm basically ruining her life and she should be travelling and visiting John in Aus and going on cruises, not being tied to looking after me. "It's no life for her." Disability, chronic pain, mental health problems, a medical inability to work, and needing a Carer when I'm only in my thirties, was, of course, a choice I made and the life I always wanted. I was forgetting that. :-/

The number of responses my friends, family and parents' friends have to my situation boggles me at times. There are people who think I'm "inspirational" (which in the context of disability generally, I find a little uncomfortable - and these people certainly don't see me during my lowest lows or worst pain days!) and people who think I'm basically swinging it and I could do XYZ if I wanted to and tried hard enough. This included the official fire marshal at work who while designing my evacuation plan said that she was sure if there was a bomb or fire I *would* be able to run out of One Canada Square (aka Canary Wharf Tower, the tallest building Britain, where I worked). I'm pretty sure if the DWP thought that I wouldn't be receiving Employment Support Allowance - Support Group benefits! I'm pretty sure if my parents thought I was swinging it *they* woul not be helping and supporting me the way they do. But some people still think it's fine to tell me that to my face. And there's the ever helpful and sympathetic, "Well, it's only pain, isn't it? You can ignore that."

ETA: And I forgot to say that on 27th January this year, I had another denervation/surgical procedure on my back, under Dr A. So at the moment (and on-going, God willing?) I'm more mobile and in less pain than I have been for months. Although it's still a question of good days and bad days and a handful of REALLY bad days, even the really bad days have not been as severe as some of the horrible days I had in December and January and the good days have been both *better* quality and higher in number. I have been able to reduce my opioid dose and get to leave the house on a number of occasions in February and March so far and I even did a little bit of the Spring Cleaning/going through piles of papers alongside Mum.

However, I don't think the procedure is *as* effective at reducing my pain as the steroid treatments have been; but the effects should last longer than the steroids and the whole idea is to get me off steroids before I start to accrue serious side effects from long term use. And I still can't get off the prescription pain meds. :(

Is that a Real Life post or a Rant?

MCU Fic PeevesCollapse )

I realise it has been many months since I posted or even commented. While I miss you guys, I'm sort of wondering if I've left it *too* long and whether anyone is interested in catching up with me. I'm not even sure if I've done the poll right.

Poll #2064807 Reader Interests
This poll is closed.

Posts You Are Interested In Reading (check all that apply)

Personal / Real Life
Fandom Related
Rants / Pet Peeves
Writing Related (mostly me kvetching)
"Art" Related


Cabin Pressure
The Professionals (CI-5)
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Other Marvel-verse Movies


GAH! And also, BLURGH!

Apologies to all the people I owe replies - especially vanillafluffy @ comment_fic and starkandbanner for your PMs - but I have a COLD. :( Today is the first day since *last* Friday I've actually had coherent thoughts. (When I tell you I haven't even been reading anything...)

Summer Colds are miserable, evil things at the best of times.

Summer colds when you already have chronic health problems? If you have anything chronically wrong, your immune system is already under pressure and probably not at full capacity. Add in being house-bound for long periods of time and thus not exposed to as many germs and between the two, you *will* catch anything and everything doing the rounds.

And when you are coping with pain, fatigue &co on a daily basis anyway, your capacity to *deal* with even a minor illness is vastly reduced. I used to *work* with colds, sometimes even flu (once I was over the worst feverishness) as long as I didn't have any secondary infections, and sometimes even when *on* antibiotics if it wasn't a chest infection I was likely to spread with every cough. I remember being vastly put out when my boss once insisted on me going off sick; because it was "just a cold". But others had complained they were all going to get it with me sitting there coughing and sneezing. And in teaching - with the troubles of getting supply teachers - you had to be half dead to excuse you phoning in sick! (Teaching when you've lost your voice to laryngitis is an *interesting* experience. So is developing pleurisy due to your neglected flu.)

FRIDAY: Go to GP and chemist. Coffee with a friend. Start comment_fic fill. Realise I can't write comment-fic (this prompt wants - deserves - a good, LONG, juicy, meaty fic!). Have to lie down because of huge amounts of leg pain and lose the rest of the day in consequence.

SATURDAY. Storm. Storms also in my head. Ah - the joys of migraine.

SUNDAY: Why am I so sleepy.... And feeling blah?

MONDAY: *coughing* *sneezing* *two boxes of tissues* *DYING*


And so it goes.

HEAD COLD. Earache. Sore throat. I have no voice. I've eaten no "real" food in days (can't face it) just fruit and picked a bit at a stir-fry I made last night - and it's not exactly the weather for "cold" foods like soups etc. Even scotch is a no-go - my throat's so sore it just burnt and had no taste! So it's hot Ribena, ginger tea, lemon and ginger tea, hot lemon and honey, iced lemon juice and lemon sorbet, and stuffing myself with fruit for the vitamin C.

I don't recommend a fever on the hottest day of the year. Beautiful weather - and I'm in bed sneezing, shivering and sweating, alternately throwing the covers off and pulling them back up again and wrapping up warm. Not fun. :(

Still, if I caught it Friday and have had it since Monday, I must be on the turn now, so should be back to being me by Monday with any luck. (Touch wood; cross fingers; touch nose, touch toes; DV; God willing: don't jinx yourself, woman!) If you haven't heard from me by Wednesday and expected/deserve/hoped to, give me a prod. :)

Random Post Is Random

So, after the weird Professionals-Avenger fusion dream, I've now had an Avengers/Avengers fusion/crossover dream.

id est: Tony Stark (as played by RDJ in Marvel's Avengers (Assemble) and Iron Man) in the UK 1960/70s The Avengers, instead of Patrick McNee's John Steed - working with Emma Peel and Tara King (and LOVING it). LOL!

However, I don't remember any specific details of this one, let alone the full "movie in my mind", like last time. (Aren't you glad?!)

Does anyone remember my weird Bruce Banner feels from Yogi Teas? How about this for a tag? "Remember that the other person is you" :D :D :D

(ETA: Just made a cup of the Bedtime Tea blend, only to be told, "The Purpose of Life is to enjoy every moment". Something I really need to take forward with me whenever I wonder about life when I can't work etc. God, I LOVE these teas.)

My on-going Bruce/Tony fic attempt has ear-wormed me with Whitney Houston's The Greatest Love of All. Does anyone else have songs declare themselves the theme tune of their writings? I'm not talking about a deliberate playlist, but just a song emerging from your memory as expressing the theme of what you are trying to write?

In other news, we adjusted (reduced) my meds a few days ago and I'm suddenly feeling a lot more human and able to cope. Sorry about the last couple of Depressive posts. (Alternatively, I may just have hit the rock-bottom of this latest bout and be on my way up again.) But I'm feeling very different. Thanks again to everyone who commented. *HUGS YOU ALL*

I'm having physiotherapy/acupuncture tomorrow and seeing the doctor for a meds review on Friday, so *fingers crossed*.


Dee Natsuko

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