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30 May 2007 @ 12:34 pm
Where does the weekend go?  
It was a rush to the end of last week, never as productive as I'd like at work-- too many project snippets, too many distractions. The death blow was someone over my cubicle wall turning something on repeatedly that had shop-vac volume. I finally got up on the desk to ask what that was and when it would be over. Looks like a new hardware box, and if THAT continues it will be tested out in one of the sealed rooms across the building, because the nearby engineers are not putting up with that noise!

I dug out my Marcy Playground CD to cover up the noise, and promptly got way too distracted by the music. I'd forgotten how much I loved that CD.

Finished betaing the J-Squared Sweet Charity Fic for jasmasson. I think people are going to really like it. Just a final sweep over the revised ending, and it's off!

Still stalled out on writing my own fic for same, and on a birthday fic for particlesofgale, thanks to the Hell Quarterly story that's due tomorrow. I'm creeping through that one (again, it got longer than I wanted, which I hate). Fingers are crossed, mood is nervous.

Cycling: Nicely uneventful Saturday ride. Far too many people out on Monday, but the saving moment was a woman coming the other way with a bicycle basket, in which she had a plastic ET doll covered with a blanket. That made my day!

The Shield: Started Season 5 of this show on DVD, and damn but I love Forrest Whittaker. Last season, with Glenn Close guest-starring, was also fantastic. What a show...

John Doe: We're starting to rewatch this, thanks to the DVDs from thelana. ♥ We remember why we liked it so much, and darn Fox for cutting it off after one year. For those of you who follow this at home, in rewatching episode one my husband said, "Gosh, he's really pretty good-looking, isn't he? In spite of the tiny ears." Yes, we have convergence!

Read too much Sentinel almost-slash and watched vids on YouTube, and must stop it now! Darn that "smarm" discussion-- I don't want to get hooked on a dead show. Must say that I'm starting to find Blair's eyes compelling (Jim's muscles were always a win), and the shots of the Cascades (again, probably Vancouver) make me homesick. *sigh*

Gardening: Some planting done, but mostly I got sidetracked on cleaning up dead stuff. I got rid of those extra Green Waste cans a couple of weeks too soon, apparently. Also, mini-rant: why is it so hard to find cherry tomato plants? That's the kind I really want-- I like them raw. I can take/leave other tomato offerings.

Reading: Got some recs to make later...



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The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on May 30th, 2007 08:07 pm (UTC)
Eeeee, I was just thinking of you today :D I even thought of emailing you and asking you where you've been. In part because way last time we talked I almost wrote this endless rambly post about fanfiction and motivation until I realized (1) it would be too long and rambly for a journal reply (2) it would be too long and boring and uninteresting to you to send it to you via email (large part of me are me wondering and musing about the nature of writing and inspiration and what not) (3) yet still too weird and specific to post in my own journal.

And connected with that I wanted to ask you whether you had started watching John Doe yet :D In the "think happy thoughts, gain inspiration from good-mood-creating stuff" category :D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on May 30th, 2007 11:51 pm (UTC)
I'm not checking in as much on the weekends, and so I post less then unless there's a story. Hence, I miss comm updates that sneak through on my f-list, and what do you know-- my challenge prompts for one of them are down to almost nothing as a result.

Mostly, I've been buried in trying to beta the Big-Bang (21K words!), push various SPN fics along toward my Sweet Charity goal-- they are darned stubborn!-- and angsting over getting that Hell Quarterly fic done on time. I mapped out the basic story early (don't always do that), but got waylaid with shiny birthday stories and the BigBang beta, and now... *cringe*... down to the wire!

I've thought about making a post re: writing inspirations and such myself, though I'm almost afraid Metafandom might snap it up and then there would go another weekend! Still tempted, though.

Ah, "John Doe"-- when Dominic was unquestionably hot all Season long (as opposed to S2 for Prison Break, when people finally started to see the hotness in Lincoln). ;) And I do like several of the secondary characters on that show, which is a big thing for me. We'll enjoy rewatching that, especially since much of my DVD watching is stuff my husband's not interested in (Oz, Queer as Folk, Six Feet Under).
The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on May 31st, 2007 06:11 am (UTC)
Part I
Not having time for lj... it really reassembles your priorities. Or all the people I have friended I have like two on notification (which would be you and errr iscaris). And like three I check when I come online and am just passing through (usually from the bollywood/general fandom like dangermousie and plazmah and I check simmysim from the House fandom for House stuff and sometimes clex).

I'm almost afraid Metafandom might snap it up and then there would go another weekend! Still tempted, though.

You can post a disclaimer at the top of the essay that you don't want metafandom to pick it up. You can put a disclaimer in your userinfo that you never want metafandom to pick it (though maybe then telling the peeps at netafandom would also be good. I assume they have sort of a black list for the people who compile the newsletter). And if it was added against your will then you can go to metafandom and ask them to remove it.

I always figured if I was in the same situation I would just start a really huge plotted monster fic that I rally want to write/that I want to say something about the characters... and then never finished it. Because to me, I often end up doing the most stuff when I'm supposed to do something else. So that one fic might never get finished but hopefully I would be writing tons of other things. But it seems like you already have that.

Like I said, my post about inspiration ended up being more about myself and what I think inspiration is and where it can come from, so it started feeling OT. For example, you know that I'm a meta person. So I think my think would be mostly "messianic" in nature. Like I would write it because I wanted to say something particular about the characters, so I would probably start with thinking about the characters (and meta-ing about it), trying to pin down how I feel about the characters and what I want to say about them. Which probably explains why I'm not a writer because I'm guessing that is a rather unnatural place for a story to start. But that seems to kinda be just my type of mind. I was asked to do a 6 minute presentation about wormholes and I got myself like 27 books on the subject because I have this obsession where I feel like I can't really, truly speak about a subject unless I know everything about it/feel totally secure in it.

Another big part of motivation comes from the fandom interaction. I have this one person on my flist who writes a rare het pairing in SGA and we talk about it a lot. My theory is that for a writer (or some writers) the communication aspect is important. You write something, drop it into the fandom pool and it creates ripples. More than just feedback but... something hard to describe. Basically in the end writing fics is about praising these characters and couples we love. People write them because they really, really love and care about these couples. And they want to feel like other people love these characters too and share this interpretation. Can voice itself in squeeing happy feddback, in seeing the squee go up on your flist when a new episode airs and it can also be seeing fic about them go up. The kind of fic that you don't even have to necessarily have to read but that still tells you (from the summary or what not) that somebody shares your love and interpretation and thinks, like you, that your couple is the best thing since sliced bread. Basically the feeling that if you drop a story there's a welcoming ground to receive it.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on June 1st, 2007 08:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Part I
and then never finished it. Because to me, I often end up doing the most stuff when I'm supposed to do something else. So that one fic might never get finished but hopefully I would be writing tons of other things. But it seems like you already have that.
That has happened before-- when I did the mini_na_nowrimo challenge in November, I had a larger Sam/Dean story I was working on (that wasn't supposed to be so large!) and I wrote probably 20+ other stories that same month because of it.

Right now, it's a little different. Beta work uses up the same creative energy that goes into writing, so betaing a story that's 21K words (total) took me about 2-3 hours every day for 4 days running. On top of that, the Hell Quarterly story I was working on wound up being longer than I intended once I started writing it, and I'd added extra challenge by deciding to make it about John (and sympathetic!) rather than Dean (the obvious other answer to the prompt).

As for all the started-up-but-not-finished stories, some of that's due to trying to write the larger Sweet Charity fic (with 3 different ideas running), and also having the S2 finale canon kind of leave me in a funk where schmoop is concerned. Rats!

and I got myself like 27 books on the subject because I have this obsession where I feel like I can't really, truly speak about a subject unless I know everything about it/feel totally secure in it.
This is me for real-world stuff-- and thankfully far less so for fiction. ;)

Basically the feeling that if you drop a story there's a welcoming ground to receive it.
That's definitely part of it-- the feedback is important to me, simply because I like to know it resonates. I don't like writing into a void.

The other thing is the aspect of sweating blood on something that few or no people read. That's just disheartening, and even if you're proud of the result, the lack of reaction tends to paint the story as crap no matter what.
The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on June 2nd, 2007 07:58 am (UTC)
Re: Part I
That's just disheartening, and even if you're proud of the result, the lack of reaction tends to paint the story as crap no matter what.

It's kinda sad that it's actually hard to communicate about things like this. Hard to talk to people and ask them why they didn't read a particular story or why they didn't comment on it. Though I'm guessing the answers would usually be dishearting even if you get them (have better things to do; don't care about this character; this pairing).

And if you ask somebody what would make a story "must read" for them even if they have better things to do it would usually be some variation of "has to have my pairing/has to have more porn or schmoop".

Personally, that's probably the true reason why I could never be a writer. Because I would probably spend way too much time navel gazing on why I wrote a particular story and what it is about, basically as an advertisement on why people should read that. Something that actually bugs me a lot when other people do it too much (I have always admired you like whoa because you barely ever do that at all; Even though it totally interest me in certain cases).

also having the S2 finale canon kind of leave me in a funk where schmoop is concerned. Rats!

Awwww :( But yeah, in that situation my meta brain would totally try to write down what bugs me about the situation and then write fic where the characters actually express this kind of problems that I have. Though I guess the troublesome part with having the characters voice the thoughts that I myself might have is that you might, in character, get an answer you really don't like. Oh well, again we see that my brain is probably only made for meta :D
The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on May 31st, 2007 06:12 am (UTC)
Part II
I think reading would also be a great motivation to me. Reading something and feeling like YES somebody reinforced and strenghtended my love for these characters so much it makes me want to write about them. Or even reading crappy fic or fic that I disagree with that makes me want to write a story expressing my different POV (but that's the meta-conversationlist in me; again, maybe not a good place to start a story). [of course I always have this thing where I read books and start imagining AU scenarios for the characters, draw immaginary parallels, think about how certain aspects I just read in a totally unrelated book would totally fit these other characters I love] I dunno, it always felt to me like the best, most fertile period is when the show starts out, canon is still very free, everybody is still reading everybody and reacting to it, everybody still feels like they have a story, they have something to *tell* about these characters. When people sort of stop reading in fandom, or stop reading newbies, that often feels like a certain discontent/subtle difference thing going on. Or at least as a sign that the fertile, initial happy period of fan creating is apparently over.

BTW, I know that you can't stand betas for yourself most of the time, but bad immoral me, I always thought that it would be a really cheap way to ensure at least one or two in depth comments from people who might not typically comment. :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on June 1st, 2007 08:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Part II
BTW, I know that you can't stand betas for yourself most of the time, but bad immoral me, I always thought that it would be a really cheap way to ensure at least one or two in depth comments from people who might not typically comment. :)
Hee-- very devious and clever. ;D
The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on June 2nd, 2007 05:48 am (UTC)
Re: Part II
Well, I'm obviously to evil for this world. Never ever listen to me (not that I think that there is much danger... ;p).

But I have to say, I'm the kind of person who would at least be curious about what somebody would *want* to change. Even if I wouldn't actually change it. Plus, since it is email based the chance to get even not 100% positive feedback out of somebody who maybe normally wouldn't have said anything.
Anthrogeeke (Brynnydd): TS Geek Loveanthrogeeke on May 30th, 2007 09:16 pm (UTC)
Ahh, Sentinel. I got addicted to it through fic. I didn't get UPN at the time so It was in the last season before I ever saw an episode. Still remains one my favourite shows.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on May 30th, 2007 11:54 pm (UTC)
It's funny how fic can suck you into a show-- moreso when the show is already gone.

I remember it being on way back when, and that I thought the concept of Blair (too much of a stereotype) would really bug me. And looking at the meta-concept of the show, that might have been the right decision. The backstory "mysticism" on the Sentinel is kind of... Yeesh.

But it's the homoerotic subtext in the fic and the sweet Odd Couple love that's kind of getting to me now. That and Richard Burgi trying to kiss Garett in that blooper reel, and the "Blair, honey, it's me... Jim..." like he's forgotten his own name or something.

This all makes me sound very naughty, I realize.

Your username-- Ydych chi'n gallu siarad Cymraeg?
Anthrogeeke (Brynnydd): TS Geek Loveanthrogeeke on May 31st, 2007 12:38 am (UTC)
there are so many of my fandoms that I started reading fic first, or have since gave up on the series but continue to love the fic.

It was definitely the "odd couple love" that pulled me in also. The plots were often...eh and they played lose with the newagey (is that a word) stuff. But, I loved Garett and Richard's chemistry.

I about died when I saw the bloopers. In fact, I found a wave file of the "Blair honey" one and it's currently my ring tone. Confuses the heck out of whomever I'm standing by but I inevitably end up answering the phone giggling.

I drift in and out of TS fandom, but I often go back and reread my fic. There was some amazing stories to come out of that fandom.

I just hope they get around to putting the rest of the seasons out on DVD.

No, I don't speak Welsh. I really wish I did. I attempted to teach myself...mmmm it didn't turn out so well. I think I got as far as Bore Da and then I got completely lost. (of course I was also struggling to learn Spanish at the time so it probably wasn't a good idea to tackle two languages.) I keep telling myself I'll try again soon.


The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on May 31st, 2007 01:44 am (UTC)
eh and they played lose with the newagey (is that a word) stuff.
Not a word, but I know what you mean-- and it's one of the things that scared me off of the show, originally.

My sister picked up a word from Texas for the New Age stuff-- "Woo-woo." I kind of like it, as it almost implies the eye-rolling just with the sound. ;)

Ah, I see you love that quote as much as I do. :D The whole rant Burgi goes on, with "Just you and me" and "I hope you crush them like little ants" was hilarious.

I think I got as far as Bore Da and then I got completely lost. (of course I was also struggling to learn Spanish at the time so it probably wasn't a good idea to tackle two languages.) I keep telling myself I'll try again soon.
I was lucky enough to have it be a one-time offering in college, so I took a year of it. The instructor had made a syllabus out of the "Living Welsh" book, and he'd been through the advanced course at Lampeter for it.

The pronunciation is actually the easiest part, and it has the advantage of not conjugating any verbs other than the "to be" verb (this is unheard of in languages, and a real help). However, there's the gender thing (for native English speakers, genders are always a problem. At least Welsh only has 2). The mutation of beginning sounds can also be a little confusing, but the main difficulty (other than hanging onto vocabulary) is the mutating adverbs. Whose great idea was that? :0
Princess Robot Bubblegum!astrothsknot on May 30th, 2007 11:04 pm (UTC)
I'll join you in The Shield love. Programme is truly amazing and I always wonder how they'll top it and yet they always do.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on May 31st, 2007 01:28 am (UTC)
When it first came out, I was aggravated that it was on cable because we don't have cable and overall really don't want it.

We'd had a secret love for "The Commish," and Michael Chiklis playing against that teddy-bear-cop type-- and very successfully, from the reviews-- was so compelling. Plus, CCH Pounder in the cast-- I really like her.

Finally, when the DVDs came out, we started to pile through it. All of seasons 1-4 last summer, and what a fantastic show.

Part of what really pulls me in is the incredible and unpredictable gray area that is Vic Mackey. He means well much of the time, his overall goals are often very good ones (though the means by which he achieves them are often illegal and/or flawed), and at times he goes straight for the sociopathic solution to a problem.

Complexity within believability-- I am its bitch. ;)
Deadbeat Nymph: lincoln scrapedeadbeat_nymph on May 31st, 2007 02:15 am (UTC)
I dug out my Marcy Playground CD to cover up the noise, and promptly got way too distracted by the music. I'd forgotten how much I loved that CD.

Oh, man, I'd forgotten that Marcy Playground had ever existed. I wonder where my copy is? Now I want to hear "Saint Joe on the School Bus". Aunt Mary... Aunt Mary...
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on May 31st, 2007 02:37 am (UTC)
I like that CD far more than I'd remembered.

See now, the song you mentioned was one of the ones that sprang back up into my head. Though the line I remember is "Saint Joe... he says he's never been... dressed up like a woman."

Well, well, well! There's a whole story behind that line, isn't there!

Plus, "Sex and Candy" and "One more suicide" and pretty much everything on that album. :D
colleenishcolleenish on June 1st, 2007 12:39 am (UTC)
I have to tell you that your post about smarm brought back some fond Sentinel memories for me - it was my first! fandom! - and I spent my weekend revisiting some of my old, decidedly *slash*, favorites.
Problem is, I don't really *recall* the show very well, and I can't *hear* those voices anymore, so I found myself trying to re-cast Sam and Dean as Jim and Blair, and that didn't... work so well. Heh.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on June 1st, 2007 07:52 pm (UTC)
Hahahah! So, I wasn't the only victim of that whole thing then. Hope yours went better than mine-- I mostly read Extreme Smarm fics that people pointed me to (that were over the line into Slash, but not far enough over). Oh, the frustration! And yet, I couldn't tear myself away.

Like you, I hate it when I lose the "feel" for a beloved 'ship.

I've been all over Garak/Bashir (until canon ruined it for me), Clark/Lex (ditto), and I think the same has happened for House/Wilson even though I was never hardcore on them. It's just sad when the magic is gone!