21 February 2013 @ 01:11 am
On my website - two ficlets  
I've just added two more ficlets to my website, both based on Mary Renault's The Charioteer. The first, "Wings of Bim" is actually a drabble that my sister wrote for Brigit's Flame. However, I tweaked it a bit; and she liked the result so much that she said she considered it to be co-authored (which is rather generous, really). The other, "Faded Valentine", was written for the Valentine's Day Challenge on [livejournal.com profile] maryrenaultfics.

"Wings of Bim" may be nominally the thoughts of a character from The Charioteer; but, in truth, it could be any airman from the Battle of Britain. At any rate, I decided that I wanted a sky background. Nothing I had in my files suited. (On the whole, sky graphics don't tile well: the repeat is too obvious.) So I decided instead to use a gradient. On it, I positioned two little fighter planes, a Spitfire and a Messerschmidt, derived from photos that I got from Wikimedia Commons.

For "Faded Valentine" I initially thought I'd go with a traditional (if not trite!) red or pink hearts'n'flowers theme. However, most of the hearts I had were far too modern. Instead, therefore, I used a rather pretty white rose background that is clearly bridal—but, as the story is about Laurie's mother's memories of her romance with Michael Odell, whom she married, this isn't inappropriate.

For the fancy border, I decided to modify a gradient that I got ages ago from Syruss.com. Given the breadth of modern browsers, it's too narrow to be used as the background for a webpage; but it is still suitable for the sort of border that I put around stories, provided I specify the width of the table. Two variants are actually used, one slightly pinker than the other.

I also modified a clipart rose, which I used to decorate the title of the story. The rose was originally a rather strong (though lightish) pink; but I created a series of variants in softer shades of pink, peach, apricot, cream, and white, and then used the one that seemed most suitable to the colour scheme.
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fawatson[personal profile] fawatson on February 21st, 2013 10:19 pm (UTC)
Did you realise the Messerschmidt is showing its wheels? I think they flew with the wheels retracted.
greerwatson[personal profile] greerwatson on February 22nd, 2013 01:06 am (UTC)
Well, the photograph I used shows a Messerschmidt in flight. I just whited out the background (which was sky and treetops), and then turned it into a transparent gif at a website that lets you do it for free.
fawatson[personal profile] fawatson on February 23rd, 2013 12:21 am (UTC)
According to wikipedia the Messerschmitt Bf109 had a retractable landing gear. Having said that, that webpage has a picture of the airplane in flight with its landing gear down. Perhaps it was coming in to land?

greerwatson[personal profile] greerwatson on February 23rd, 2013 12:46 am (UTC)
Interesting. In that particular picture (the one heading the infobox), the wheels are clearly in a transitional position. If they were fully down, they'd be vertical.

Well, all I can say is that the picture that I used had the wheels down! As it was, in other respects, the best of the bunch, I think it's going to have to remain this way.