fictional: (doctor traveling)
Just posted my post of adoration for Ten in [ profile] idol_reflection.

You can read it here. Let me know what you think, if you do!

fictional: (star wars)
OMG resetting the router worked. Thank you thank you thank you.

Part 3 is coming soon. Caveat for these: my brain's pretty swiss cheese at the moment. Might have forgotten some totally apt response, and will curse myself later. Decisions are hard!

For [ profile] lefaym
top five moments of AWESOME FAIL - that is a plot hole, bad acting, etc, that turns out to be awesome because it provides an opening for fic, or simply because you love the cheesiness of it, etc. )

For [ profile] stardragonca
top five things a TV show/movie got right )

For [ profile] laughingacademy
Top five things I did not see coming. ) [Contains spoilers for: Doctor Who, The Prestige, The Mist (film), Julian May's Pliocene Exile & Galactic Milieu series, Supernatural.]

For [ profile] neifile7
Top five bunnies that ate your brain -- whether they turned into fic or not. )
fictional: (Default)
After many days to cogitate, here are my thoughts on yaoi Torchwood, RTD, the whole shebang.

Dear Mr. Davies,

You like analogies, right? Many writers do. Here's one for you:

Imagine that I'm a fan of sport-- track and field, to be precise. And I've come to watch a patricular relay race. I like races, I may (or may not) be a runner myself, but I'm very familiar with them, and this race is particularly special, because I know that the baton (that this particular team I'm rooting for is carrying) is especially shiny! In fact, it was handed down from another relay team that I particularly like, so I'm excited, you know, weight of tradition and all. It's quite an honor. This baton has the name of the new team emblazoned on it; in fact, all they've done is switch the letters around. Instead of my beloved "Park Lamb" this team's called "Lampbark."

Okay, great. So I'm settling in to the bleachers now, excited, anticipatory, ready for whatever comes. The first runner comes on, and you know, they're not the best runner in the world -- a little overweight, maybe, and not great form -- but oh, man, have they got heart. So even though they look a little silly, from time to time, I'm okay. I'm there, still happy, still cheering. The second guy takes the hand-off, and he starts out pretty well, a bit too flash and full of himself maybe, but still, gets me rising to my feet, yelling, "go on! go on! yay!" And then, omg, just as he's about to hand off, he takes a tumble and FALLS. Not just a little stumble either, but full on face-plant. He struggles to his feet, though, and even though I'm wincing for him with that road rash all over his face, and I don't even want to look anymore because, whoa, gross! and I'm pretty sure they've lost the race now, right? Even then, some sense of tenacity makes me hang on... I mean, this guy had heart too, right, and hey, if you're gonna fall, do it with gusto and panache, eh?

And then, somehow, he manages to make the hand-off. I look at this next runner, and I think, okay. Great, good, perfect. Because he's beautiful. I know him of old (he used to anchor my beloved "Park Lamb") and I'm all like, oh, god, yes. Because this guy can run. AND he has heart, I think. No one else comes close. Now we're gonna fucking knock this baby out of the park.

Avast. Here there be Spoilers )

Death happens. Not all stories end well, especially some of the most beautiful ones. I accept this. But, let me digress for a moment. There's an author by the name of Sara Douglas, and despite being into doorstopper fantasy, I made it partway through one of her books, and then was unable to continue. And this doesn't happen to me much. Once started, I pretty much almost always finish. One time I googled her, and found the following and then I understood why I couldn't, questions of writing quality aside.

Why did I kill/maim/be cruel to 'x' character?

I am going to use Ray Feist's answer here: "Because I bloody well could". Because I'm the author and because it felt good for me and for the integrity of the novel at the time. I don't particularly like happy endings, and novels where no-one gets hurt occasionally makes for bland reading. Tension requires that the characters which readers get emotionally sympathetic with must occasionally die. Badly.


Is Faraday ever going to have a happy ending?

I would dearly like to squash her under a huge pumpkin studded with rusty twelve-inch nails so that she dies a lingering, painful death from blood poisoning and a badly leaking belly, and I reserve the right to do so any time I feel like it. (Of course, by the time you get to the end of "Crusader" you'll see that that is not quite the fate I've given her ... nevertheless, I've been nasty enough ...)

Do I like my characters?

Sometimes, sometimes not. As is apparent in the above question, I have never liked Faraday very much, and other characters I get seriously annoyed with... (Source.)

What I ask from a writer of meaningful texts, and tragedy, is very simple. I ask that you love your characters and your world. I ask that you be them, though they are not you. I ask that you mourn with me when they die, because you love them, and because it hurts you to do this to them as well, but you will, only because you must. If we use the divine metaphor, where you are the god of this world you've created, I demand that you be the kind of god that cares for the fall of a sparrow as much as for the death of a star. Or a person.

I do not respect you if you kill these things and experience no pain. I think, then, that you are a coward. And one that has no understanding of stories and their immense power.

I also do not respect you if your method of justification involves cutting down the community around you, and other writers and other stories. Your fans, many of them, are writers too. And not just of fanfic (though that is not a value judgement.) Also, they are scholars, artists, activists and most importantly readers. They too fight. They too think. They too are geeks in a mainstream world, curved in a world of straight lines. Their typing is not fundamentally, essentially different from yours. In quality perhaps. In quantity perhaps. But you don't always come out on the right side of that balance, and in the end, it's simply a matter of degree.

Respect them. Sure, there are the crazy ones. What lover of something isn't a bit mad? And some more than others. Even then, they just might have a point. They might make you better. They might keep you grounded.

Be a reader of your own work, with them. It might remind you... are not alone.

fictional: (Default)
While I was napping, Michael Jackson died?


Could the world stop changing just when I've closed my eyes, thanks! More to say later, after I've washed my face and am convinced I didn't port dimensions in my sleep.
fictional: (not sorry)
I'm supposed to be thesis-writing...
Which is why I'm posting.

I heard that TW-fandom has had a little poetical excitement re: John Barrowman while I was away in the Desert of the Real.

So... er... I decided to present y'all with a small sample of my *ahem* lyrical stylings.
[[ profile] rm dared me to post it at [ profile] dalekinthepond. I'm reposting here for those of y'all who don't read that ;-) ]

Title: He Walks In Beauty Like The Night
Rating: 13+
Pairing/Characters: John Barrowman, Captain Jack Harkness, OFC
Warning/Spoilers/Notes: So I was having a little conversation with [ profile] rm about fans, celebrity, and verse. This was the result. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
Disclaimer: It's all true, baby. Except not.
Summary: ~I want a dream lover so I don't have to dre-e-am alone...~ )

Meanwhile: cancer continues on apace, but hopefully paces slower than the chemo. The lung tumor, is, we're told, shrinking -- but it seems unclear as to what that means in real life (or death?) terms. Insurance battle goes on, but is at this precise moment out of my hands -- and with the neurosurgeons who are appealing the decision -- they seem to think they'll have better success getting the 50 grand out of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield than they will out of us, which makes a certain amount of sense.

I've been pretty depressed lately.

But I seem to have had some social engagements here and there: Dave took me to see Chicago, he, D., Tam and I had a post show Bacchanalian Revel (I'm still a smidge hungover...). The sunrise was pretty. I haven't seen one from that end for a while. Tam's taking me to the ballet tomorrow night - it appears to be about pirates! (Le Corsaire from the Byron poem @ ABT which is extremely awesome.)

However, one assumes that I will get back to the internets SOMEDAY. To that end, I've got a dreamwidth account courtesy of [ profile] bentley who rocks like a rocking thing. I'm over there -- it's almost completely empty at this point, but at some point I'll make it all spiffy, so please do let me know if you're on there! At some point soon (for a given value of soon) I will begin cross posting etc.

Also, I got twitter -- that is, I registered a number of names.

[Poll #1405703]

I miss y'all like whoa.
fictional: (regency)
Item: Lord Peter Wimsey.

Sadly Dorothy Sayers wrote Lord Peter mysteries of a finite number, and then moved onto religious plays, and Dante of all things...[and I say, wasn't one infernal poet enough??? I ask you. When the world could have been blessed with tales of Lady Peter (nee Miss Harriet Deborah Vane) and the Wimsey sproglets in WWII to say nothing of Bunter & Lord Peter's engrossing activities in Intelligence as well as those of Viscount St. George alias Jerry (it occurs to me that nickname couldn't have done him any favors in the RAF, now could it???) and his adventures in the Battle of Britain... from where I am sure he effected a daring escape of some kind, Miss Sayers' opinion to the contrary. And Winnifred. Perhaps we might actually meet her. And some more Dowager Duchess wouldn't come amiss. But I digress.]

So, okay, you read all the mysteries, then move on to the continuations by Jill Paton Walsh, then you want more. Naturally, being a person of sound taste and judgement, you proceed to the Wimsey fanfic on the web, all of it being of a surprising quality, but small in number. (Perhaps the explanation of the former lies in the latter.) You watch the filmed adaptations (Strong Poison and Have His Carcase excellent; Gaudy Night unforgivably awful).

And then? What then?

There are numerous directions to go: one can proceed to the incomparable Miss Heyer for the regency worldbuilding tinged with a gorgeous and delightful twenties/thirties aesthetic - (Incidentally Lord Peter's world, and Heyer's Regency are... surprisingly similar, now that I think of it. Including rhythms of phrase, etc.; says something about our tendency to merrily and muddily accept anything prewar and historical as "back then")... and know the path from there is straight towards comedies of manners, and probably on into fantasies of manners. Unexceptionable, what?

But suppose that's not desired... one can go and read inspirational texts... not the spiritual kind (not the chicken soup meaning anyway), but the ones that have their genesis in love. I've got Lois McMaster Bujold at my fingertips... and I remember my last reread of the Sayers oeuvre was in fact a sort of reverse application of this phenomenon -- I was desperate for more Miles Vorkosigan, and clearly the only thing to do was apply poultice of Lord Peter and hope for the best.

However! Ruthlessly back to the original quandary. One could go straight into P.G. Wodehouse say, and maybe after that wind up with a little Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in A Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)... and then... maybe a soup├žon of Evelyn Waugh? Or backwards instead and choosing to indulge in a little, as Lord Peter might say, coming over all Galsworthy? I've always meant to give the Forsyte saga another wallop. And from thence backwards to Miss Austen? And then through to Emily Eden's "The Semi Attached Couple" and oh golly, back to la belle Georgette. A person could get dizzy with all this perambulating backwards and forwards in time.

[Incidentally, it occurs to me there is something quite Wimsey-esque to the Doctor and his TARDIS. Screwdriver/monocle, TARDIS/enviable Lagonda, post-(Time)war PTSD -- the arrogance, and the angst over condemning those that must be condemned... the list goes on and on. There's the fun of it all too.

Anyone up for a Tennant-Wimsey remake????

Incidentally, I wonder what pre-WWII era Torchwood would have made of Lord Peter....

...I but stir the pot.]

Thoughts? The important thing is to have a Plan.

Also, I really need a "reading books" icon.
fictional: (rift city)
Okay, I'm a bit late with this one; the panel was at 5pm. But better late than never, I suppose. There aren't that many comments from me. How many different ways can you express "omg, i wish i were there!! hates you!!"? Not that many it turns out. ;-)

Also, they talk about series 3 quite a bit.

how unfair is it that I get stuck transcribing in NY while in L.A., apparently gdl and kai owen have already had a kissing incident? )

Also, at some point, gdl apparently sent his regards to Sam.
fictional: (academic)
So, I think about fanfiction a lot, y'all may have noticed. And serial fiction. And the whole act of making fiction "real". What is it in a narrative that makes us think -- after the door is shut, after the windows are pushed down, after the covers are closed -- that the story goes on, before the first page, and after the last?

If you think of a single-author book as a window, or a doorway, you realize that even through you can only see a small portion of the world (i.e. what's framed by the aperture), there must be so much more just out of frame. If there isn't this sense, then the story is flat, two dimensional -- it doesn't encourage wandering. But in a good story, you don't think that the small, squared off picture is all that's real. Because if the thing is three-dimensional, it has solidity. You can pick it up and turn it around. It still exists when you look at it from another side.

Think about mythforms. Superheros. They all exist and the more people use them, carve another perspective onto them, the more solid they actually get.

From Henry James's preface to Portrait of a Lady (a little wordy; James never used one word where fifty would do) :

The house of fiction has in short not one window, but a million-- a number of possible windows not to be reckoned, rather; every one of which has been pierced, or is still pierceable, in its vast front, by the need of the individual vision and by the pressure of the individual will. These apertures, of dissimilar shape and size, hang so, all together, over the human scene that we might have expected of them a greater sameness of report than we find. They are but windows at the best, mere holes in a dead wall, disconnected, perched aloft; they are not hinged doors opening straight upon life. But they have this mark of their own that at each of them stands a figure with a pair of eyes, or at least with a field-glass, which forms, again and again, for observation, a unique instrument, insuring to the person making use of it an impression distinct from every other. He and his neighbours are watching the same show, but one seeing more where the other sees less, one seeing black where the other sees white, one seeing big where the other sees small, one seeing coarse where the other sees fine. And so on, and so on; there is fortunately no saying on what, for the particular pair of eyes, the window may NOT open; "fortunately" by reason, precisely, of this incalculability of range. The spreading field, the human scene, is the "choice of subject"; the pierced aperture, either broad or balconied or slit-like and low-browed, is the "literary form"; but they are, singly or together, as nothing without the posted presence of the watcher--without, in other words, the consciousness of the artist.

Now, apply this not just to fiction in general, but to a single story. Isn't this the act of fanfic? To make things real?

D. and I argue about this all the time. He thinks that contradictory/differing versions make things less real. I think they make them more so -- just like multiple eye witness accounts differ, if they're true. When they're identical -- that's when you begin to think people are lying.

What d'you think?

I wonder about this a lot.

On a not entirely unrelated note, remember the Paul Cornell thing? Here is my version, the lovely [ profile] magnetgirl's version, the dulcet tones of [ profile] rm's recap...and Paul Cornell's account of same.

Kind of funny, no? We loom so large in our own minds. For everyone else, we're all just sidekicks and extras. Sometimes we're the cool best friend, or the romantic interest. But protagonists? We're all our own. As it should be.

I almost called my thesis "Windows on the World" but then decided the WTC/9-11 allusion was not quite... what I was going for. Fucking terrorists.
fictional: (rift city)
So I didn't get to go to NY Comicon. Luckily for me, and the rest of us who weren't able to make it, our live correspondent was on the ground, ready to report back in 160 chars. Or less.

Warning: Some spoilers, and also spoiler-y speculation for Series 3 abounds.

I think out of all the folk on Torchwood, I might want to hang out with Eve the most... )
fictional: (rift city)
Not what you think. *grins*

We did get drunk, though. And there were three of us.

And on an almost entirely unrelated note, Rach and I reflected a bit on how our preferred fic "pair"ings are all threesomes. Even IHNIIHBT -- while about Jack and Ianto, it was sort of always involved with groupings of three as well. We have Jack & Ianto -- and Lisa, the ghost in the room. And then Jack, Ianto and the Doctor; Jack, Nine and Rose; Jack, Ianto, and Asha; Ianto, the Face, and the priest; Jack, Ianto and Jens; Jack, Ianto, and Jamie; Jack, Ianto and Rose; and of course, Jack, Ianto & Gwen.

So we have decided what our next fic is going to be. Rest assured, we are not giving up on Jenny. (Which, come to think of it, is a threesome too!)

But we're moving this one up because I have a really hard time writing non-canonical AUs, and writing things that are going to be Jossed. And this fic? It's a Jack/Ianto/Gwen (yes, like that) which is NOT going to be true by the time S3 rolls around. So, we've got to finish it before June. Jenny (has spaceship, will travel!) on the other hand, can wait a bit.

We descibed our Jenny-fic as a sort of BDSM French Farce in Time and Space...

This fic? -- Well, I don't want to give away *too* much, but you could call it our version of curtains!fic. Also, it has a plot. A real live honest-to-goodness plot.


Threesomes for the win!
fictional: (doctor traveling)
I just have to say that the levels of dialogue we've been able to have during and after the posting of IHNIIHBT -- about Torchwood, about Doctor Who, about canon, about writing, about characters, about sexual politics, about fanfiction and stories themselves -- have utterly astounded us.

It's been fun, it's been illuminating... to steal a word, it's been grand. We are very grateful!

And now this: [ profile] neifile7 has written Sex, Lies and Storytelling, a meditation on our story, but also the nature of fanfic, and fanfic in this fandom specifically. Please do go and read it, if you have a moment. Or several moments; it's detailed, beautifully organized and written, thoughtful and really, really insightful. Not just about our story -- and I hasten to add that I'm not just telling you to read it just because it's complimentary (although it is, which in the interests of full disclosure, does induce a great deal a fair amount of squee in me) -- but also about timeframe & fiction, and the possibilities of fanfic: the form itself, as well as how it is disseminated and produced.

I hope to talk to some of you about some of these things in comments there.

It's moments like this that make me feel really happy about fandom. Happy that it exists, and even happier to be a part of it! Y'all are awesome.


fictional: (Default)

August 2009

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