Partner was doing some decorating while I was away which didn't (as planned) actually get completed before my return, for reasons.
There are therefore piles of displaced STUFF here there and everywhere (but not in its usual place) and a general sense of disorientation.
Also, I knew I was going to have to examine a late-submitted Masters dissertation I have been supervising (for some value of supervising where I had precisely one face to face meeting with the candidate and it all went silent for months even when I prodded) next week but had not factored in last-minute panicked emails from the candidate asking for comments on draft sections. Which would be a bit last-minute and not something I could be giving my best critical attention to even were I not still jet-lagged. I gather there are reasons why they are being allowed to submit after the usual deadline, and I know that I myself am more of whatever is the equivalent of 'income 20/-, expenditure 19/6' when dealing with deadlines, and this probably makes me much weirder in statistical terms.
This is possibly a subset or allotrope of our work plaint re archive research queries that sometimes people approach people who could help them in ways that are not the most effective way of getting that help or just don't ask), and this is actually quite irksome when you know that you could be a lot more helpful IF ONLY.
Folks, I am getting quite possessed by the_comfortable_courtesan. Lying awake last night with jetlag insomnia I was trying to work out what Mr P-'s horrendous play was going to be about (and now I know). (And it really does have an absolutely whopping part for Miss A-.)
However, I discovered a copy while going through a bunch of office supplies for Freecycle. I've long ago forgiven a lot of egregious stuff in fanfic if it's otherwise a good story, but from a published book? Sorry, not willing to cut much slack.
Here you go( Read more... )
Double drabble , Buffy/Angel by a2zmom.
Sign ups still available for summer_of_giles.
Sign ups now open for writerconuk.
fantas_magoria re-watches "Go Fish" .
Thinky thoughts on that vampiric claim business by feliciacraft.
sunclouds33 discusses Buffyverse head canon thoughts here and here .
Though will admit that some of the British versions are dear to my heart (o hai, Arnold Bennett) this was not quite that.
Anyway, this was one version of the one of the young(-ish) man with wider ambitions who finds himself in an unsympathetic provincial milieu, sitting next to me on the flight home.
(I had had some hope that the seat next to me would remain empty, but they let on a group of passengers who had been on a connecting flight that was late, right at the last minute.)
Anyway, comes and sits down next to me a young(-ish - maybe 30 or so?) man, being ebullient in conversation with the other latecomers.
After take-off, when the landing-cards are distributed, he asks whether I have a pen he can borrow, and we fall into conversation.
I initially thought his exuberance was a)American b) due to being one of those enthusiastic bouncy-Labrador-puppy characters, but on the basis of the number of tiny bottles of vodka he managed to put away, realised it it v likely that he had already drink taken before boarding.
So, it became revealed that his life was not what he would have wished. His journey was undertaken in connection with a relationship for which he did not hold out happy prospects. He had had a place on a prestigious graduate programme in the field he wished to pursue but this had not worked out. He was working in his father's (comfortable middle-class) business Somewhere in the Mid-West, and did not find either the career or the environment congenial.
He seemed utterly and vociferously thrilled to discover himself seated next to somebody who read books, and could make literary jokes and allusions, went to the theatre, etc, even if the recognition of my qualifications did not deter him from a certain amount of mansplaining, along with what threatened to become 'and let us become BFF forever'.
By the time we landed he appeared to be in the throes of a severe hangover and I was tempted to offer him one of the more potent painkillers from my handbag.
But, anyway, this struck me as being a little vignette scene in some novel of not yet quite male midlife crisis about having so far failed to affront his destiny.
For some reason, this essay on being struck dumb when asked to recommend books. resonated.
Two drabbles , Buffy/Angel by a2zmom.
Hhwlod podcast talks I Only Have Eyes For You & Go Fish .
Storywonk podcast talks Band Candy .
TinyFences podcast talks I Robot, You Jane .
AngelRewatch podcast talks Billy .
Listverse talks "10 Surprising Ways ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ Influenced Modern Culture".
EntertainmentTonight talks to SMG about a BtVS re-boot.
BleedingCool previews Season Ten, Issue No. Sixteen .
More news from the Sunnydale Press.
Yesterday I got a mail informing me the BBC will stop its Global iPlayer service, so that was depressing. Whyyyyy, BBC? I loved watching your shows in my trusty iPad! Has the newly confirmed Cameron slashed your budget that much already? On the bright side of BBC news, though, they're planning an adaption of A Place of Greater Safety. Considering this is the Hilary Mantel novel I love, whereas I have mixed "yes, BUT" feelings about the Thomas Cromwell novels, I hope this will indeed come to pass. Not least because: a British production about the French Revolution in which the French revolutionaries are the heroes and there's not a heroic aristocrat, British or otherwise, in sight, that will truly be a first one. (There are some sympathetic aristocrats in Mantel's novel - poor trying-to-do-the-right-thing Lafayette who gets loathed by Marie Antoinette and the Jacobins alike for his trouble, Mirabeau as the gifted and corrupt but not evil type, oh, and Mantel has fun giving a few scenes to the author of Les Liasons Dangereuses since he's Philippe d'Orleans' sidekick for a while - but they're all supporting, not major characters.) I'm also looking forward to bisexual Camille Desmoulins, a tragic instead of evil Robespierre and hope that whoever gets cast as Danton has the necessary charisma (and voice!). Finger crossing for Alex Kingston as Annette Duplessis - for Lucille, I have no opinion yet.
And lastly, because Elementary is so much on my mind these days, a fanfic rec:
When You Know I Can't Love You (3319 words) by AxolotlQueen
Fandom: Elementary (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes & Joan Watson, Sherlock Holmes & Kitty Winter
Characters: Sherlock Holmes, Joan Watson, Kitty Winter, Jamie Moriarty | Irene Adler
Additional Tags: Character Study, Platonic Love, Mental Health Issues, Mentions of addiction, Past Sherlock Holmes/Jamie Moriarty | Irene Adler, Gray aromantic Sherlock, Loneliness
He had thought himself, for a long time, incapable of love. Some people simply are, after all.
A character study of Sherlock and various kinds of love.
What I read
For reasons which may be apparent, not much. Finished The Door into Sunet, which held up better than I remembered, and at least doesn't leave one on a massive cliff-hanger waiting for the long-delayed final volume.
Picked up as a freebie at Wiscon, Clay and Susan Griffith, The Shadow Revolution (2015), first in a trilogy involving occult goings on in an AU, generically and not very well-worked-out 'Victorian' London (felt earlier to me). Possibly if I had felt more drawn by the characters, the plot and the writing I could have borne with the fuzziness of the period, but, really, if we posit a date by which Bedlam had moved across the river to what is now the site of the Imperial War Museum, I think that by that date the Commissioners in Lunacy might have had something to say about Orrible Experiments being done in the basement (I really do not care if that's a spoiler). Also, all the main characters seem to be carrying dark secrets or at least Complicated Backstory, which may, I suppose, get clarified in subsequent volumes. Do I care.
Found at Wiscon - Aqueduct were also carrying Twelfth Planet Press books - the second Livia Day mystery, Drowned Vanilla (2014), which does not have an e-edition and which I was reluctant to buy in non-virtual form with postage from Australia. This was a great read for a dreary plane journey (though I may post further about the incident that made me feel like a character in somebody else's novel, and not a novel in the sort of genre I normally read). Enormous fun, if at the cosier end of the crime spectrum. The novella which falls between the two full books is purportedly coming out as an ebook but so far is No Can Haz.
On the go
Christine Lloyd, Doing Time on Planet Earth (2015) and possibly that title is giving me a clue to characters who seem to have learnt English from US and UK noir movies... it's got some lovely touches and a real sense of place and particular time, and I should add that it is self-published by a social media friend.
I just picked up Marjorie Bowen, The Rake's Progress (1912), nothing to do with Hogarth, a romance set in generic-ish C18th or so but nicely done, and having the ruined nobleman sell himself into marriage for money was probably quite shocking at that date.
I'm also dipping into The Wiscon Chronicles 8 and 9 but my head is not really in the place for these at the moment.
No idea. I have been saying for ages that I ought to do some Tanith Lee re-reading, and this seems like it might be the occasion.
This is a very peculiar list on Buzzfeed of Greatest Books by Women: How Many Have You Read which skews strongly North American and late C20th onwards. I scored just over 50% - too many instances of That Book By Whoever that I hadn't read rather than any that I had, and some things where I was going, you know, I think I did read that, back in the day, and I did not count things I bogged down in.
But what, for me, is "play"? It's a bit of a family joke that I was born 40 years old. It just took a while for my body to catch up to my intellectually-inclined mind and serious personality. But looking back now, I can see ways that wasn't true. I was a kid, once. I did kid things. I "played" in a way that's difficult to do now.
Is writing "play"? It's my favorite activity, but a lot of time, it feels like work. Cameron's "Morning pages," for example--free writing every day for 15-20 minutes--still falls in the "wait and see obligation" category, and so feels like work. God knows composing a story or essay, or editing same can be a LOT of work. Is "I pretend I'm writing even though what I'm actually doing is looking at pretty pictures on the internet and calling it research" play or work?
Usually when I'm tired at the end of the day and too sore to write, I collapse in front of the TV, or grab my kindle. But many (my momma included!) would say passive absorption of someone else's content, as relaxing as that can be, isn't "play." Play is Active.
When I was a kid, I hated sports and bored easily of bikes and roller skating. I spent oodles of time in my room with the door shut inventing my own planet complete with its own language. That was play for me. Or my brother and I would build entire cities out of blocks and Little People buildings. We'd work hard on our cities, then when bedtime arrived, we played "It's the end of the world!!!1!" and tear it all down.
Nowadays, it would be unthinkable to engage in an imaginative activity that was so light-hearted I'd nonchalantly tear it all down when I was done! No, all imaginative activities must have an end goal! They must be precursors to writing or writing itself. But that makes them work more than play. Letting the imagination run wild for no reason whatsoever….
Sometimes, I tell myself stories without writing them down. I even act them out. That's play, right?
"Play," I guess, is whatever random calming or enjoyable activity I do that makes me feel guilty because "I should be working on something where the goal is productive and obvious." Play may even be all those times I fool around at whim/randomly and even make a record of the results, intending to go back to them and "do something with them," but never do.
INADEQUATE PLAY MAKES NANCY A DULL GIRL.
INADEQUATE PLAY MAKES NANCY A DULL GIRL.
INADEQUATE PLAY MAKES NANCY A DULL GIRL.
In a new post, list ten fic that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” works, or even all the same pairing or fandom, just the fics that have touched you or that stuck with you somehow.
I'm sure I could come up with ten more, but these are the ones that came immediately to mind (and which I could find again online!):
1.) From Me To Q by Julia Houston (Star Trek: The Next Generation). Star Trek in its first three incarnations is one of my oldest fandoms, and the time when TNG and then DS9 were broadcast was when I started to get aquainted with fanfiction, first via fanzines and then via the earliest online archives. Finding this particular story was like striking gold. It's TNG; it's plotty, like a well written episode complete with ethical dilemmas; it's Picard/Q (which was what I was looking for when finding the story) but uses the entire TNG ensemble well; it takes the most reviled of fanfic clichés, the Mary Sue, and gives it a highly original twist. (Well, back then it was original, for all I know, it's been often imitated since.) Also, the dialogue sparkles. In short, I fell in love, so much so that I gave Voyager, which I had almost given up upon, another shot, simply because Julia Houston back then was also writing Voyager reviews and I adored her writing that much.
2.) Last Set Before Closing, by Kat Allison. (Highlander: The Series). HL was another early online fandom of mine, and this story left me shaken and breathless the first time I read it. On the surface, not much happens in this tale, which is set several years after the series ended; Joe Dawson is very old, not far from death, and his mind has started to wander; Duncan visits. Behind that simple description hides one of the best and most gutwrenching stories I've read in any fandom, which at once gives us the relationship between Joe and Duncan, and how both of them relate to Methos, about friendship, about mortals and immortals, and at the same time manages to say something very personal to anyone who has an older relative. (Until then, I don't think I had ever read fanfiction tackling a rl subject such as aging, its physical and mental decline, so unflinchingly, and with a beloved character, no less.) Another reason why I love it is this: at the time when it was first posted, its take on Methos was pretty much unique and went directly against how most fans then wrote him. (Probably still does.) And yet I find it entirely plausible.
3.) Changed Utterly by Parda (Highlander: The Series). Another HL story. Parda was a writer I interacted with a lot during my HL days, both as a reader and as a writer. This story is still my favourite of hers, and at the time it was first posted struck me as one of the best meditations onf grief and surviving I had read i nthe fandom. It's set about a year after the show ends, wherein Duncan is still dealing with Richie’s fate, when he sees Cassandra again. Not present in body but very much in thought are Methos, Connor and Richie. What to do when you’ve both done and experienced the unforgivable is a question with a dozen answers and none, and all the characters here are dealing with it. Poetic and profound.
4.) Father's Heart by Fernwithy ( Star Wars). Still my favourite Star Wars story, many years later (this was written shortly after The Phantom Menace was released). Set between trilogies, it pulls off something a lot of people tried since, and does so in a credible way: Vader and the child and later teenager Leia forming a tentative friendship, which falls apart with a vengeance as she grows older and experiences the Empire at its worst. In addition to a terrific take on Leia and Vader, Bail Organa and his wife (who in this version is one of the former handmaidens, Sabé) as well as some original characters are compellingly written. ( Not to mention it caters to two of my narrative soft spots: non-romantic intense relationship, relationship that breaks up because of politics and ethics (and rightly so). ) I was only ever at the periphery of SW fandom, not least because I happen to like the prequels, but this story made me search for and read a lot of SW fanfiction for a while. It was years before I found its match.
5.) Freefall by Penknife (X-Men movieverse). This is an X2 AU, ensemble story, Scott pov, and one of the earliest penknife stories I read. X2 had just been released. As after X1, I hunted for stories that weren't Wolverine/Rogue. Hard to imagine for current day fans, but back then it was actually difficult to find Magneto/Xavier stories, or stories that featured Mystique in a prominent role, or stories that featured Scott at all. Bingo, thought I, when I found this one, and little did I know I had also found a favourite writer in many fandoms more. Oh, and I think this was the first AU I really liked (the twist is that Scott realises a bit sooner what's going on during the prison visit at the start of the movie, with the result that he and Xavier end up as fugitives together with Magneto and Mystique; it's Jean who gets captured instead). Until then, I had avoided AUs. After reading it, I gave them a shot.
6.) Ten Thousand Candles by Andraste. This is another early story by a future favourite writer; Charles Xavier post X2, trying to cope with all that happened (read: ( spoiler for big X2 twist )). Back then, Charles Xavier centric stories were incredibly rare; stories in which he wasn't either the wise mentor type or trying to win Erik back were even rarer. What he experiences in X2 is pretty horrifying, and I loved finding a story which addressed that. Of course, Andraste turned out to be the biggest Xavier expert in the planet, but I didn't know that then. :)
7.) Bed of Bones by Roz Kaveney (Buffy the Vampire Slayer): I had spotted Roz on a couple of Buffy discussion mailing lists (remember those?), but this was the first BTVS or fanfiction in any fandom tale of hers that I had read, and it was sharp, poetic, and made the First Slayer(about whom at this point we only knew what Restless had mentioned) into a fascinating character. I was wowed. It also raised my standard of expectation re: fanfiction creating mythology in present day or futuristic fandoms to no end.
8.) Queen of Spades by Astolat (James Bond: Casino Royale): Ah, ye golden days when the Craig Casino Royale had been released and for the first time in my life I actually went and looked for Bond fanfiction, because Dench!M and Craig!Bond dynamic in that movie had gripped me in and fascinated me. (I had also loved Eva Green as Vesper and her relationship with Bond, but not in a way that made me look for fanfic.) And again, I hit gold. I think this probably was the first Bond/M story online. It set a most pleasing trend - for the next few years, you could rely on Yuletide including some great and sharp Bond and M fanfiction. (And then came Skyfall which brought the avalanche of Bond/Q and the Bond movies were no longer qualified for Yuletide, but that's another story.) Now, most combinations that have one character in a position of power over the other character are hard to sell to me as pairings, but there are exceptions, and Queen of Spades made me realize Dench!M and Craig!Bond were such an exception for me, because wow. (It also made me realise that I had a new story or rather old story archetype, not necessarily always as pairings, I love the gen variations, too, but: Morally ambiguous queens and their morally ambiguous battered knights, bring them on! Though only if the Queen is the older of the two. Read: Dany/Jorah does nothing fo rme.)
9: Working Order by Eatscissors (Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles). John/Cameron is a pairing that intrigues me but which I find more interesting on the actual show than in most of fanfiction, because, imo as often, fanfic tends to simplify and dispense with much that makes this particular relationship so layered, starting with the fact that Cameron is a machine, no matter what she looks like.( Some spoilery ramblings about John and Cameron on the show ensue. ) Working Order, by contrast, addresses this and the other issues between them head-on while also being one of those stories where the explicit sex is part of the character exploration instead of reading as just being there for its own sake. For a reader like me who often finds sex scenes (both slash and het) reading like involuntarily funny gymnastic mannuals, with the participants interchangable to other fandoms and thus not very interesting, this was an eye opener. Really well written.
10.) Petrarchan Sonnets from the Vatican by Petra (The Borgias): I was and am grateful for all the stories I got in exchanges, and often loved them to bits, but this one will always remain special. Its just that awesome. It's a story in the guise of a fake article about the discovery of sonnets between L.B. (now who could that possibly be in Borgias fandom?) and person unknown, female and apparantly her tutor. Complete with the sonnets. And the commentary. Absolutely delightful, needless to say, poetic (my Yulewriter's ability to compose Petrarchan Sonnets with clever allusions to events from the show's first season still stuns me), and full of subtlety, and the wit and love for language that the characters in question display on the show as well (and did in history). (And now I'm grieved again that the Lucrezia and Guilia relationship post s1 fell by the wayside on the show, but never mind me.) If I could ensure that just one bit of Borgias fanfiction survives, this would be it.
It takes forever to get a connection, then it takes forever to get any info or login screen, the free 20 minutes is weak and unreliable, and it seems the only way to get connected is to pay evil Boingo and try to remember to cancel the subscription in due course.
As I have hours yet to my flight, since the weather in Madison was so horrible I took the earlier bus, I decided to pony up. I just hope signal is reliable enough to justify it.
I thought the situation was better last time I was here. Or another terminal?
Lust at First Sight , Giles by feliciacraft.
Chapter Forty Three of Shattered Remains by xspike4evax.
Chapter Six of Broken Arrow by velvetwhip.
fantas_magoria re-watches "I Only Have Eyes For You" .
Buffyverse icons by itsnotmymind.
Buffy icons by red_satin_doll.
Today has been quite a pleasant day and I don't know why I am so exhausted, except, well, cumulative effect.
The whole thing went pretty well as far as I could see: apart from a few few minor irks, my main plaint was nothing to do with the con as a con but the absences of so many I hoped to see on account of life-stuff, assorted.
I was having thoughts about institutions and organisations and causes and change and old guards and new guards and the situation where a one-time innovator and mover and shaker becomes ossified and a source of stasis, and this resonated with looking back over my work-life, and various conversations about different things, and that something's lost and something's gained with change and sometimes mourning is needed, but I am too tired for this to become coherent.