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09 January 2009 @ 10:45 pm
Why Rai wins at bluffing!  
To open with an aside: I bought a gel eye mask today, for those days when the heat is just too much. On the back of the packaging it has this immortal line:
BEAUTY TIP Avoid stress as much as possible.

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. That's where we have all been going wrong!

Now to the point of this entry, which is to rave some more about this entry at hd_holidays, raitala's series Thaw.

About eight weeks ago, I was sitting in an attic hotel room in Florence, gleeful at being there with raitala  and pingrid , when Rai pulled out her most recent works.

She passed them over, and I just wanted to run downstairs and put them in my bag and say ‘Sorry? Paintings? No, you were going to show some but then you were distracted.’ when she asked for them back. Alas, I am ethical and slow, and was not smart enough to get her drunk first.

What she showed me were the first two images of these four. I sat and looked at them for as long as I could before it started to look a bit weird and stalkery. What I said at the time was something along the lines of ‘Oh god, Rai, these are brilliant! Look at their coats, and their expressions, and the underarm hair, and Draco’s little smile, and the sweat! These are just bloody brilliant!’

What I thought was ‘In this first one, Ron is so crankypants, and Harry is so curious, and Draco is counting to 10,000 in his head and planning to come first in every single exam if it kills him. And in the second one, there’s the moment when Draco’s smile moves from “I can’t believe I beat him!” to “Did his cock just twitch? It DID!” and Harry is thinking “Bugger” and “Bugger!” and last week he stayed back after their martial arts lessons and told Draco that the reason he could never beat him in that throw wasn’t because he was smaller and lighter, but because he drops his shoulder, which of course leads to an ironic edge to the first bugger. His word choice may not be ironic, BTW.’

She seemed pleased that Pin and I liked them so much, and did her standard modest hand wave thingy when we began to rave enthusiastically. She told me that they were for her recipient for hd_holidays, and I immediately developed an unreasonable hatred for said person, since they would ‘have’ these images, which wasn’t fair, because they were talking to me!

There was a reason for that.

Raitala is the TRICKIEST and KINDEST and NAUGHTIEST and CLEVEREST woman, and I really cannot say thank you enough! Though I am never, ever playing poker with her, because she managed to completely convince me they were for someone vague and annoying (oh, hang on ... no, it was acting! I am sure!) and I had not an iota of suspicion!

Though it is ENTIRELY my fault they were posted so late due to the fact that my own work was submitted appallingly late. However, what a brilliant addition to the final week!

My partner, who refers to fandom as ‘that odd thing you do, no, the other one’, describes Rai’s work as ‘kind of Aubrey Beardsley, it’s someone who is using human forms to make artistic points about the figure or the environment they’re placed in, rather than just representing a body’. Quite so. (He can be quite clever, that J.)

If you somehow managed to miss them, trot over to her lj and view the series here, and leave her some thanks for sharing her artistic and storytelling skills with us.

You know, with raitala , leochi , red_rahl , oldenuf2nb , lillithium , and the many other brilliant artists out there all providing their diverse, insightful art for free, as a fandom we are ludicrously lucky!

Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY tnumfive !</span> All the best for your day!

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maggiemarguerite_26 on January 9th, 2009 12:33 pm (UTC)
That is an awesome story. :D
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 9th, 2009 12:36 pm (UTC)
I am in awe of her sneakiness!
(no subject) - marguerite_26 on January 9th, 2009 12:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 9th, 2009 12:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Vaysh Swiftstorm: never immunevaysh on January 9th, 2009 12:42 pm (UTC)
You know, when Rai mentioned, kind of casually, in email that her submission is for you, I was like - what, did I miss that in said hotel room? Brammers must know! No? She must! But maybe she doesn't! And isn't that sneaky, Slytherin-like from our pure-blood Princess!

The pics are awesome. And J should be an art critic.

BEAUTY TIP Avoid stress as much as possible. Yes, well ...
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 9th, 2009 12:53 pm (UTC)
She is SO Slytherin! I didn't even suspect! (Hmmm, perhaps I am secretly Hufflepuff! EEEEK!)

J is a brilliant critic, wholly wasted as an accountant. And yes, the avoid stress thing is my new motto!
(no subject) - vaysh on January 9th, 2009 01:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 9th, 2009 02:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
OkyDokyokydoky on January 9th, 2009 12:49 pm (UTC)
Hee, that's a funny story. Very sneaky way of gauging how much you will like your gift!

It was a gorgeous gift :) ♥
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 9th, 2009 12:55 pm (UTC)
I am so impressed at her superior trickiness! She even asked me if I thought they needed the text added to them or not. Completely straight faced! Never play poker against her unless you are tremendously wealthy and do not mind losing.
Meredythmeredyth_13 on January 9th, 2009 12:49 pm (UTC)
Man, I was SO envious over this art - I can't imagine being the recipient of anything so beautiful. But if anyone deserved it, it was you, honey.

She's a right cheeky one, but awfully talented. I keep having to remind Lil that she's an artist - she never gives herself any credit for what she produces. I think that's something almost universal in the seriously talented people here, artists and writers - they never given themself enough credit for what they do.

The ones who are all about the self-congratulations are in another category all-together (and not necessarily the one I'd consider to be about talent. Oh, is that too catty? - blame the grog)

I am fangirling you like mad right now - you really should come down here so I can remember that you're human and probably slurp your coffee (actually you probably don't but I can dream).

Enough now - before one of us becomes embarrassed. :D
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 9th, 2009 01:40 pm (UTC)
Oh YOU! *hugs* I do not slurp my coffee, but I cannot be trusted with tomato-based anything and white shirts. In fact, anything and white shirts. I never wear the ones I own these days, it's too stressful.

Yes, what IS it about artists that they have these moments of 'I am not worthy'? I NEVER have that. And I choose to believe I am still in the talented set, just at the rampantly egocentric end of the bell curve ;-)

I am TRYING to organise a visit. I think that I may well be out of luck before I head off to NZ, but I will keep looking for a date with cheap flights when I have no inescapable responsibilities here!

libby_drew on January 9th, 2009 12:56 pm (UTC)
My partner, who refers to fandom as ‘that odd thing you do, no, the other one’

I hear that all the time. Huh.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 9th, 2009 01:36 pm (UTC)
We must never let our menfolk meet, for they would run off to a shed or tool sale or do something else boyishly bonding, since they are both fabulous. While their inevitable friendship would be lovely, it would distract them from us, and must therefore be thwarted ;-)
Blytheblythely on January 9th, 2009 01:10 pm (UTC)
a favour?
*is extremely out of fandom loop*
*also extremely lazy*
*also extreeeeeeemely picky*
*but gets the feeling you'd have an idea what I'd like*

... any recs from the HP holiday stories? I haven't read any Potterfic in an absolute age but fancy some this weekend.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 9th, 2009 01:33 pm (UTC)
Re: a favour?
I have to confess that I have read precious little, but I feel safe I suggesting that you would like this one a great deal: Alohomora Society
It starts as a simple Harry rescues Draco from disgrace story, but shifts in mood and tenor as it moves along and becomes something altogether more complex and interesting by the end. The writing is assured and witty, though the author has since said that she screwed some things up in a bid to submit in time. She is editing at the moment and hopes to have the final version up soon.

All Tomorrow's Parties was one of the most interesting stories; playing off lilithium's art to construct a tight mystery that reveals its dark obsessiveness slowly. Certainly one of the cleverest of the fest, and a nice short read.

I feel certain that I WILL like Master Work, All's Fair in Love and Wards, and Misuse of Muggle Artefacts as soon as I have an hour to myself to read them.

If you can forgive the shameless self-pimping, you might also like to try For the Public Good. I hesitate to mention it, save that I make a deliberate homage to Corridors of Power that might give you a giggle. The author is well aware of the errors remaining in the fest text and will be posting a new copy here, soon. She hastens to add that her beta was operating under cruel and unusual conditions.
Re: a favour? - blythely on January 9th, 2009 02:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: a favour? - blamebrampton on January 9th, 2009 02:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: a favour? - vaysh on January 9th, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: a favour? - blamebrampton on January 9th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: a favour? - blamebrampton on January 9th, 2009 02:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Pureblood Princess: Tee Heeraitala on January 9th, 2009 01:17 pm (UTC)
Aww! *play shoves*

I'm so glad you like them. I love that you can see so clearly the scenes and dialogue I was trying to capture. In the first panel Draco is indeed pinchedly determined to excel and show the lot of them and not because he wishes to atone, or anything lame like that, except it is.

I love the idea that Harry's outrage at getting pinned like that is in part because he knows it is because of helping Draco out like that. He just didn't expect him to master it so quickly. "Bugger!" and also "Ron's going to kill me!...or Draco, except that I won't let him touch him, grrrr!...Oh. Oh Bugger!!!" :D

The third panel I really struggled with. There was a lot of ground to cover between "Oh Bugger" and "Come here", if I didn't want to it come across as soley "This one is beautiful, I shall have him", which I didn't. All the scenes I thought of, helping each other out on exercise, competing together or against one another, the growing attraction and friendship between them, wouldn't fit into a single image. I also love long-suffering Aurorboss!Kingsley, particularly Mistful's DDG, when Harry and Draco are working together and causing mayhem and Kingsley is all "I know I did this to myself, but it still hurts". In the end I came up with this solution and while I still think it is a bit clunky as an idea and a composition I'm pleased I persevered. I wanted to show the balance in the relationship, Draco bossing Harry about all over the shop but Harry just loving it and when Harry is moved to put his foot down about something, (one of the putative captions was "I think you might need to get in touch with the Ukrainian Ministry about the whereabouts of Smith and Paulig, sir") Draco is prepared to listen. I don't know if all that came across, but lots of people particularly liked that scene.

The last scene is just shameless, artistic groping :D

I love J's comments. All your art history books must be rubbing off on him, very perceptive. Mr Rai has yet to rise above "That's very gay".

Edited at 2009-01-09 01:18 pm (UTC)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 9th, 2009 02:26 pm (UTC)
*Shoves back*
*Steadies you, resolves not to shove people in heels*

J does it to startle me. Accountant on the outside, Kenneth Tynan on the inside. He has a better memory for plots, actors, artists and events than I do, by a significant factor.

They spoke to me, I tell you! I love your explanations, especially the rejected comment! And yes, Kingsley does have a touch of the DDGs about him, in all the best ways. I have to run away now and shame myself with more fic in which male characters have babies. Your birthday fic is starting to look like a much more cheerful option!
(no subject) - scrtkpr on January 9th, 2009 03:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - raitala on January 9th, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
trichinopoly ash: art: poopaldehyde on January 9th, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC)
hehe i love having the background to all this. YOU ARE ALL TRICKSY PEOPLE, you writers and artists!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 10th, 2009 04:23 am (UTC)
It is true, but Rai took it to new levels!
scrtkprscrtkpr on January 9th, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC)
I adore Raitala, absolutely adore her, and I am SO JEALOUS you got to hang out with her! (And she with you, actually.) I wish both of you could make it to Azkatraz!

YES, we are lucky for all of those artists! In that group of other brilliant artists, I would definitely include heathen_arcade (her art delights me) and naadi (I've been admiring her art for years), and lol, now I'm thinking of other names to list and am understanding why you went with "the many other brilliant artists" because there are so many of them, aren't there? I just started watching stellamoon's journal today because I was so impressed with her hd_hols and wankfest entries, and I know there are other hd_hols artists I wanted to start stalking too.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 10th, 2009 04:25 am (UTC)
ARGH! How could I forget naadi? I did not forget Heathen_ursidae, but was so tired after being buggered by the heat all week that I couldn't manage to spell her name and thought most people would automatically insert her into the list. I've forgotten several other great ones, too ...

And hanging out with Rai and Pin was HILARIOUS. Add the elegant and clever Vaysh, the smartly snarky shiv and the divine anthimaeria into the mix and a jolly good time was had by all!
pingridpingrid on January 9th, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
Muhaha, I knew too! We were shamelessly discussing your reaction to them behind your back when you left the room to get the wine opener. Remember those angelic expressions; they are our "who, me? I'm innocent" faces! ;)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 10th, 2009 04:29 am (UTC)
Pin! You are so EVIL! I had thought you were both giggling at being able to convince me to stagger down and up all those stairs in support of your drinking problem! I AM NEVER PLAYING POKER WITH YOU, EITHER!
(no subject) - pingrid on January 10th, 2009 08:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 10th, 2009 08:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pingrid on January 10th, 2009 08:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 10th, 2009 11:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pingrid on January 12th, 2009 03:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Bryoneybryoneybrynn on January 9th, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
Very sneaky indeed! How completely of the win is she, pulling that off? And that whole series was gorgeous. There's something about every picture that makes it my favourite, though I admit to being partial to the third - I love a playful Draco and the h/d Aurors/partners/friends thing.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 10th, 2009 04:31 am (UTC)
I agree, every picture is the best! She is really brave to have come up with such an evil plan, there s no way I could have kept a straight face in the circumstances!
maya231maya231 on January 9th, 2009 08:35 pm (UTC)
Great story!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 10th, 2009 05:21 am (UTC)
I have such tricky friends. And she has balls of steel!
uminohikariuminohikari on January 9th, 2009 08:38 pm (UTC)
I'm impressed that she kept a straight face! Or...are you secretly hufflepuff?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 10th, 2009 06:12 am (UTC)
I didn't think I was! I am usually the tricky one in any room, but she looks so innocent and sweet, and I was completely fooled. *Shakes head in shame!*