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The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
05 January 2020 @ 10:49 am


Prison Break Fanfiction
I write primarily non-shipper general fiction, and some Lincoln/Michael slash pieces as well. Yes, I know they’re brothers… and no, I normally wouldn’t be writing brothercest. That said, if it’s not your thing then please stick to the General Fiction section.

                  Prison Break Gen Fiction                      Prison Break Slash Fiction

Supernatural Fanfiction
Supernatural also deals with two brothers, who in this case are bound together in the pursuit of demons and vengeance. An excellent overview of this show and its characters can be found here.
                  Supernatural Gen Fiction                      Supernatural Slash Fiction

Other Fanfiction: Iron Man, Die Hard 4, Chuck, White Collar, Burn Notice, Reaper, and more

Original Fiction and Non-Fiction Stories: Miscellaneous Original Fiction // Real LJ Idol Season 8 // LJ Idol Exhibit A // LJ Idol Exhibit B // LJ Idol Season 9

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
09 December 2016 @ 01:58 pm
I'd planned to do a "what I'm reading" sort of post last week, and yet it is not last week! I blame household stuff and Idol, mainly reading Idol entries. I'd like to blame my Yuletide story, but I haven't gotten much done on it since November ended.

Idol is also why my book-reading slowed down, in addition to some things I started reading and bailed out on. I finished Patricia McKillip's Kingfisher last week, which was an interesting combination of modern setting and older knights-on-quests elements, creating kind of a mystery. Very pleased by that part of it, and how it all worked out. NOT pleased with the parts that are ongoing problems for the author, where I would like to see some growth from her: all the characters appear to be white (true for virtually all of her books), all romantic relationships are hetero-normative (which defies statistics, really), and as for the mechanics of writing itself... she is still burying the climax. While reading, you reach the point where the climax has ended (or you realize you must have passed it), and think, "Wait, that was IT? That's ALL?" Imagine if an author resolved all of their stories via deus ex machina? That gets very unsatisfying before long. Unless McKillip is secretly 80 or something, I would really like her to try harder.

I started the most recent Lynn Flewelling Nightrunner story, and then bailed on it. I used to be a fan of the series, but there's so much good fan-fiction slash I would rather be reading, and given the recent torture!Porn book in the series, and the fact that I can't remember any of the factions or minor characters anymore... eh. I even donated my 3 or 4 series paperbacks to the library a few weeks ago, which should have been a clue.

I thought I'd be done with Harrison Squared by now, but... Idol. I'm about 6-10 pages from the end, so Today For Sure! I found the book in the sci-fi/fantasy section of the library. It's kind of a YA setup: teenager who lost his father to a long-ago sea attack journeys to creepy North Eastern coastal town with his scientist mother, who then disappears at sea. The kid (Harrison Harrison, hence the Harrison-Squared or H2) is convinced his mother was kidnapped by something sinister. Meanwhile, he's stuck in a school full of pale, weird, black-haired children who rarely speak and take classes like "Practical Skills" (which consists of making fishing nets), and non-Euclidean geometry (which consists of word problems thick with non-sequiturs but bereft of actual math). Also? There are mutant creatures. And snark. \o/

By sheer coincidence, we saw Manchester By The Sea last weekend (set in Massachusetts). Very good, heavy with grief and with characters trapped by their mistakes.

I also did some Xmas shopping last weekend, and got some of the Xmas lights up. My part of that effort is usually a multi-day project (we put up a LOT of lights), so even working in the dark on Sunday didn't finish the job. Who knows about this weekend? It's been raining for days (and more is coming). On the plus side, our daughter arrives home for break on Saturday, so if things don't get done, I'm okay with that.

How's your prep coming?

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
04 December 2016 @ 12:49 am
Against All Better Judgment
idol season 10 | week two | 681 words
That One friend


Even back when we were young, Larry McGill was always the kid who had no sense. You know the type: "Look, Ma—no hands!" or "Betcha I can." You found yourself saying things to him like, "Get down from there!" or "Geez, Larry, are those leeches?" He ran with scissors, he played with matches, and if you spent too much time with him, he'd get you in trouble, too.

He never meant any of it, but hell if he ever learned anything either. He was a bad-luck magnet in bib overalls and second-hand cowboy boots, and when things went wrong, well… best not to stand too close.

Larry wasn't the kid who fell down the well (that was Johnny Hayes), but he could have been. He nearly lost a finger to a lawnmower at age four, and he broke his leg jumping from a tire swing into the creek one year when the water was low. He lost a pickup to that same creek a decade later because he forgot to put the handbrake on. All the shelves that fell off the walls at the dry goods store that one time? That was Larry. He had to work for over a year to pay that off. The turkeys that escaped the farm over in Waterton and ran down the main street through town? Folks were pretty sure Larry was visiting nearby that day.

I owed the scar over my left eye to him and his refusal to yield to the concept of "dibs," even when flatware was involved.

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If you enjoyed this story, you can vote for it along with many other fine entries here.

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
30 November 2016 @ 04:46 pm
I hope all the U.S. folks had a nice Thanksgiving. Our daughter was at home, and we had a nice dinner with just the four of us. This is partly because my brother now goes to Portland to be part of my sister's blowout, because he does not hate driving the way I do. This also means that I dread calling up there to say hello to everyone, because I might potentially be talking to at least 6 people or as many as 9 or 10, and the thought just exhausts me. Only 5 this year, since the host and hostess were about to serve and couldn't come to the phone.

We watched Clueless as a family Thursday night, rather than our daughter's suggestion of Heathers (no way am I watching that with our teenage son, with the sexual politics involved). She rejected my pile of potentials, which included Doc Hollywood and The Long Kiss Goodnight (neither kid has seen those) as well as the rewatchable Dave and Big. I hadn't seen Clueless since it was first out, so it was a shock to see baby Jeremy Sisto, baby Paul Rudd, baby Breckin Meyer (actor camp!), and baby Donald Faison (Scrubs!). Damn, has it really been 21 years? :O

Saturday, the two of us and our daughter went to see Fantastic Beasts, which was a lot of fun. I think our daughter was as stymied by some of the movie trailer previews as I was (Power Rangers? Seriously? Though at least there was no Great Wall As Alien Defense trailer this time). I loved the choice to set the movie in the 1920s, which enriched the visuals and guaranteed that anything fancier than a radio would already be unimaginable to the populace. There were some steampunk-like touches in a few places, and the CGI work was solid. At the end, my pressing question was whether the casting call for the film might have described one of the parts as a "lovable schlub," because that phrase pretty much defines that character. Whom I loved. As will you.

Last week was a lot of Idoling (SO much reading—gah!), relaxation, shopping (but not after Wednesday), and... not as much other stuff as I'd planned. Typical. HalfshellHusband remains firm in his pledge to shun politics in the media and elsewhere, because he is so incredibly angry about the election results (and the Cabinet appointments are just... %(*&FG!!! already). I can't argue with one of his biggest sources of anger, which is that many of the people who will get screwed over by the next administration didn't even vote. *sigh* Don't get me started.

We're far enough away from the election that we are back to watching The West Wing, though. We just finished S3, and I have much hate for the character-death choice in the season finale. Not as much as the one in late S2, but still. And oh, Blindspot? How could you 180 my favorite character like that? HOW? *so disappointed*

Hoping to talk about books this week too, if I can get around to it. It only took more than a week to get this post out!

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
22 November 2016 @ 11:34 pm
Chasing The Dream
idol season ten | week 1 | 754 words
I need the struggle to feel alive


People say that nothing ever happens in small towns, but I think they're just not paying attention.

Something was always going on in my town if you looked hard enough, and me? I always did.

It started when I was eight, and my mother would send me on errands to the corner store. "We need milk and eggs," she would say, counting out money to pay for the food and dashing off a quick note to the grocer.

I would go to the store and gather the things she'd asked for, and show the note to the man behind the counter. I couldn't read the note—my mother always wrote in cursive—and the grocer never said anything, but I knew those notes were secret messages. Maybe my mother was reporting on the day's activities on our street, or maybe something extra was packaged in with the food and sent home with me. Either way, I was the courier of something bigger than a simple errand.

At ten, I biked to my friends' houses over a network of ever-changing routes, in case I was being followed. I never carried anything more valuable than a couple of quarters for ice cream, but for all they knew, I could have been carrying information for my mother. Whoever "they" might have been.

I kept a diary—in code—of the things I saw around town and what I thought they meant. The mayor's wife went to the liquor store a lot—was she smuggling alcohol somewhere? Billy Traskell was taking violin lessons and he didn’t even play in the school orchestra. What was he hiding?

My friends never joined me in uncovering any of these secrets, and they weren't particularly interested in what I found.

"God, not this again," Pete would say if I suggested biking downtown to watch the comings and goings at City Hall for a few hours.

Ted Barker was no help, either. "Can't you just have, like, a normal life?" Read more...Collapse )

If you liked this story, you can vote for it along with many other fine entries here.

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
16 November 2016 @ 01:36 pm
There's still time to sign up for Season 10 of LJ Idol! The deadline will probably be sometime next week, so don't too long. :)

I feel a little better for having gotten the Trump thing off my chest. It needed to be said before I could talk about anything else. It's going to be a long, terrible ride for a lot of people who are already hurting. :(

Thanksgiving is next week, and we have no idea what our plans are. Probably just staying home? We haven't been invited by HalfshellHusband's Bay Area relatives, and couldn't go last year. HSH had C-Diff, and that meant staying as far away as possible from the rest of the family, as one of them is highly immuno-suppressed and the rest have regular contact with her. It would just have been too risky. From last year's failed alternate-celebration planning, we did learn that pretty much everything is closed on Thanksgiving—so no Chinese food or pizza options. We might have Weber-barbecued turkey yet, which I would enjoy. It's been awhile.

I have next week off, so I hope to do more clearing out of stuff. We'll see how well that goes. Our daughter will be home for part of the week, and I'm really looking forward to that. The last likely activity, wading into Christmas shopping, definitely gives me pause. *dreads*

HSH and I went on a date last weekend to see Dr. Strange, which was fun. Really neat visuals, much of it kind of Escher-esque. The previews before the movie, well... Since I'm not really a fan of comics in general, a lot of these made me think, "God, why?" The Great Wall of China as a secret alien defense system? Power Rangersreally? OTOH, there was a trailer for Toycracker, a toy-based version of The Nutracker, and HSH is excited about that. It has Minions. :)

Now, with that anti-comic-based-material bias laid out, we HAD started to watch Luke Cage on Netflix. I like the cast (despite what they've done with Alfre Woodard, which hurts me on some fannish and unexplainable level). For those of you familiar with the show or comic at all, you might enjoy this little video of Who Said It: Luke Cage or Nic Cage? that WIRED magazine put together. I think the end verdict is that we would all like to see a lot more of Mike Colter!

All right. How is it only Wednesday?

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
15 November 2016 @ 06:22 pm
Our household is still reeling from the shock of last week's election results. Our daughter called us on the phone last Tuesday night, sobbing at the shock of the ugliness reflected by Trump winning the election. She is majoring in political science at school, and believes very strongly in helping people through government service. Having the public servant rejected in favor of the "Fuck You" candidate just devastated her opinion of the electorate and of her future, and all we could do was listen to her cry.

My husband and I had to take sleeping pills that night, to quiet the level of anxiety those results triggered. All night long, I would wake up happy for about half a second before remembering what had happened. It reminded me of those times when someone I loved had died, and in sleep there was a brief reprieve before reality came crashing in all over again.

Above all, I was distressed that so many people could vote for such a hateful, racist, misogynist candidate. This can't help but seem like tacit approval of his behavior, and it has already resulted in overt threats and hostility toward people of color in a number of cities. It's not that racism was a reason for a lot of people to vote FOR him, just that it wasn't enough for them to draw a line in the sand and say, "Absolutely not." That was a blow to my faith in humanity, and we'll be living with the fallout from that for years.

We elected a candidate with a massive ego and a volatile temper, with no regard for anyone but himself. I worry very much about having him be our public representative to other nations—he will almost certainly piss someone off, or (more likely) become pissed off himself and want to retaliate. I don't want us going to war over his inability to behave like a grown-up. That loose-cannon behavior could also hurt our economy, and by extension, the global economy.

I worry about the poor and the disabled, who traditionally suffer when Republicans are in office. The one thing I can almost guarantee Trump will do is to reduce taxes on wealthy people. That usually results in cutbacks to social programs, and honestly? Those people are already struggling.

I would be very surprised if he did anything to benefit the blue collar workers who have been disenfranchised by the reduction in U.S. manufacturing. Many jobs were lost to automation, a non-reversing trend. We can't really return outsourced jobs to the U.S.—we can only penalize moving additional jobs, reward companies who stay, and provide incentives to revive areas like the Rust Belt by opening businesses there. But there is no 'magic bullet.' Typically, people often have to go where the jobs are, even when they would rather not.

I really, really don't understand why people voted for him. He has a record of screwing over the "little people" when he can, which makes him a very unlikely champion for much of the demographic that elected him. He has had no interest in helping people, and I think his wanting to be President is more about being King than about leading this country. It's just that our system of government doesn't work that way.

He is a dreadful excuse for a human being who brought campaigning to a new low, and we rewarded him for it by electing him. Expect to see the political climate grow ever uglier as a result of that.

I don't understand why Evangelical Christians voted for him at all. They were quoted as saying, "We believe in forgiveness," but the thing is that Trump does not want forgiveness. He is not sorry for any of the things he has done to women, to people-of-color, to anyone. I don't believe unending amorality should be forgiven. I think it's a harbinger of what is to come, so by voting for him, those same people effectively sanctioned any future misbehavior.

I know there were people who wanted "change," and there are areas of concern where I agree that change would be good. But throwing a live grenade into a house is not the kind of change that helps!

Four years of who knows what. Of Supreme Court Justices who likely think that Citizens United was a fine ruling, but that actual humans don't need quite so many rights. Of potential recession due to his economic policies. Of international embarrassment, and the kind of scorn others felt for us when George W. Bush was elected, but now magnified more than tenfold.

I don't feel quite as worried or panicked as I did last Tuesday night, but for a lot of LBGTQ people and people of color, I imagine that anxiety is still pretty high. They may have four full years or more of looking over their shoulders now.

I have to wonder now, for the people who got us here, was it worth it? Would they want to live like that?

Or does that still not even enter their minds?

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
10 November 2016 @ 12:42 pm
A Day In The Life
lj idol season 10 | week 0 | code


#include "stdio.h"

void halfshell_parallel_universe(char *your_name, boolean yay, int seasons_in_the_sun)
   int week;

   printf("Howdy, %s.\n", your_name);
   printf("Welcome to the universe of HalfshellVenus' day job.\n\n");

   if (yay)
       printf("It's great to have you here!\n");
   else  /* Not 'yay' */
       printf("All right, sure-- the back door's right over there.\n");
   if (seasons_in_the_sun == 0)
       printf("Hello, new person! Looking forward to getting to know you.\n");
   else  /* An Idol veteran */
       printf("Oh, you couldn't help signing up either? Must be the water.\n");
   if (idol_prompt_release_day)  /* Yikes. */
       prompt = get_the_topic(&week, &wacky);

       if (wacky)
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The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
08 November 2016 @ 11:41 am
While I want this to be over, I'm petrified of the fallout if American voters make the wrong choice this election. I can't vote until after work, as my polling place is back to being my local elementary school and there isn't enough parking. Before work is also school drop-off, so that wasn't going to work out.

This weekend, I took down the outside Halloween decorations. They still aren't boxed up (I had to shake the water out of the lights, and crack open and drain a plastic ghost), but maybe tonight? I DID get out on the roof and look around for any chewed spots that might explain how the creatures-between-the-floors got in. The roof looks great, so no news there.

Sunday, while I was in the bathroom, I heard a *scrabble* *whoosh* sound-sequence that I thought might be a squirrel skidding on the roof.

Me: Hah! So there!
??: *whuff* *whuff*
Me: Wait. Kitty, is that you?

The noise wasn't from the roof, it was from the door to the hallway. Someone was seeking access to her buckets again...

I'll be going out for a bike ride in an hour or so. The weather should be nice—about 75o, with little wind. OTOH, the wind direction is from the dump. Also? It's spider migration season again. *positive arachnid-free thoughts* *positive arachnid-free thoughts*

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
02 November 2016 @ 01:34 pm

if e. e. cummings

if in these drifting thoughts(sleep-scattered
or day-dissembled)there is intent
to seek or say, i would(you
and i)find sweet purpose and
the strength of all strengths
to tap in keystrokes and soft
dream words the bluest skies
    greenest meadows 
        richest earth
and all we know

we sing(now rise the chorus)the songs
and the dearest(loveliest)hardest(darkest)
shall flow forth to live among

   (now rise the chorus)

This is my official announcement of my entry into LJ Idol Season 10.