hth: recent b&w photo of Gillian Anderson (Default)
2014-12-03 10:23 am

everything old is new again

I like that fandom now that everybody else likes! That NEVER happens to me. Ever since I got the magic box that makes Netflix happen on the big tv, I feel like all I ever watch is Clue and How I Met Your Mother reruns -- because obviously if you give me the power to endlessly stream hundreds of thousands of titles, I'm not going to use it to watch things I HAVEN'T seen before. How am I going to do four things at once if I have to *focus* on a storyline? Use your heads, people!

But yeah, that one fandom! You know, with the dark, soulful, impossibly sexy dude who's a stone-cold killer but also loyal and generous and quietly heroic, who's terribly, terribly damaged by captivity, experimentation, and long-term trauma and turned into a raspy, feral ball of angst and knives who is no longer sure how to interact with other human beings and then has a long road to recovery that involves having to fight his lifelong best friend?

Ronon was Bucky before Bucky was cool


Basically what I'm trying to say is that I approve highly of the love of Captain America that has consumed fandom, but I can't write any good Bucky stories because I already used up all my good Bucky stories.

Whatever, Hth, I hear you say. You can't write any good anything, or else you would have done that sometime in the past year and a half. Okay, but -- guys, it was a REALLY BUSY year. A house was bought. Everyone in the family changed jobs. And...that's pretty much it, but those are very disruptive things! Anyway, the new job is amazing but somewhat more part-time -- I think I can live on it okay -- which is a statement that fills me with the thrill of potential and absolutely not the thrill of constant waves of anxiety attacks! I am not at all lying right now! -- and have a lot more time to write, so that I can finish the damn book sequel, and, uh, maybe some of these endless fannish WIPs that are languishing on my hard drive.

Basically, 2015 is my Year of Being a Writer Again, because I remember being one of those, and liking it. And who knows, maybe even my year of blogging, because I kind of feel like there's this internet just sitting here, and I'm already paying for it. I might as well do something with it.
hth: recent b&w photo of Gillian Anderson (Default)
2013-11-28 09:36 pm
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happy thanksgiving, war is over

I pulled the trigger yesterday on the e-book version of the novel. It's out there in the world. Contributor copies have been sent. The thing is done and done forever.

A little bit I'm excited. Mostly I'm having an inexplicable anxiety attack.

I don't know what I hope for it, really. I'm aware that independent novelists tend not to sell until they hit a point where they have a back catalog of 3-4 books and start looking real to people. Christ, I don't know that I ever expected people to *buy* this thing at all. That's somehow just a little too far outside of my current sense of reality.

I don't know what I hope for it. I just know that I love it very much. I started some Jurassic version of it in 2002 -- I still have notes I wrote while on a plane to Europe that summer. Some of the characters' names are the same. Almost nothing else about it is. There was a Captain Michael Bruce and a Queen Semele. There was a Lorenzo and an Estrella and a Georgiana, and a Jem Jobs, and an Anne Gordon, although she was a grown-up at the time. I think she was a professor. Who fucking knows what I was doing back then, or why.

I started it, and started it over, and started it again. I don't know how many times. It crystallized for me at the end of 2011. I was intently following the Occupy movement -- the romance of revolution, the utter exhaustion of cynicism. Trying to figure out what to do with far too much understanding of the ways that power props up power, the way that the very mythology of our culture, including and especially my beloved SF fan culture, glorifies force when it punches down and panics at the thought of force that punches up. I'm not a revolutionary; not really. I'm just a girl who grew up wanting to write fantasy novels, and someone once told me that the underlying question in every fantasy novel is "Who is the rightful king?"

That person may have been right. (I don't remember who he was. Some editor on some con panel once upon a time.) But the thing is, I love fantasy as a genre so much because I suspect that the underlying question in everything, in everyone's life story, is "Who is the rightful king?" Who has the power, and who deserves it, and how do you gain it, and is gaining it the same as having the right to it?

When I went back to writing at that point, I knew why I was doing it, beyond the sheer stubbornness of having already invested so much time in these people. And I'd always loved this world and these characters, but from that point on, I loved *this story.* The story about a great queen, and a good soldier, and a bad wolf. The story that I always summed up to myself, after the fall of 2011, when I found myself wandering off the path, as, "Who is the rightful heir of Semele?"

I feel like it's a question I'll spend the rest of my life trying to answer. Hopefully it's a story that won't take me *quite* that long to tell. We'll see.

I don't know what I hope for it. But it's a thing that exists now and it didn't before, and that's as much as most of us get out of life.

 photo fortunate_promo_zps18f812fc.jpg

You can buy it pretty cheap.
hth: recent b&w photo of Gillian Anderson (Default)
2013-09-09 01:48 pm
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These are my victory arms: see them? ---> \O/

The novel is finished. It's 103,001 words. I almost hate to do that last edit, because it will sadly end without that one extra word that I find strangely adorable.

I expect to edit for about a week. I don't do second drafts; it's hard enough for me to focus long enough to get all the way through a project, and there's no frigging way I can write anything twice. I have no choice but to get it right the first time, which is why I'm so goddamn slow.

After that it's all just the technical end of the whole self-publishing/POD experience, and luckily I have a lot of support on that front, so hopefully it will be pretty painless. (If you've done it and it was the worst experience of your life, please don't tell me today. I'm basking.)

I'll have more to say soon. Today, basking.

It's *done.*
hth: recent b&w photo of Gillian Anderson (Default)
2009-12-08 06:10 pm
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another round of stories, old and even older

More coding and posting took place yesterday. Here's what's new! And by new, in many cases, I mean unbelievably old.

Daughters of Jerusalem -- Firefly. I really like this story, though if I hadn't been under deadline for it, I probably would've made it a lot longer. I don't know if that would be good or bad. I love the concept of River in the Companions' guild house, but I found as I was writing it that I enjoyed writing Inara just as much, in spite of her being my least favorite character on the show.

East O the Sun, West O the Moon -- due South. This was my first genuinely ambitious fanfic project, one where I really wanted to tell a specific story and worried about the best structure for it, etc. It's so freaking old that the Harry Potter reference in it was meant to be obscure information that only a bookish child would have; I was working in a bookstore back then, and HP was all the rage with the bookish children, but hadn't broken big in the general culture yet. Anyway, I have a lot of fondness for these three stories -- which I've archived as three chapters of a single story; EOSWOM was originally the name of the first part, while "Happily Ever After" was my appropriate but not very interesting series title, but I've swapped them around here. I also did some minor editing to make it easier to read, but I left the VAST QUANTITIES of very purple prose. It's fascinating to me to go back and look at what I was like as an inexperienced writer. There are just so many words! It's all wordwordwordword! I wrote shorter back then, actually, but just so incredibly dense with stuff, as if I thought I had to get everything I'd ever thought about, RIGHT THEN AND THERE before some kind of timer went off. Ah, anyway. Post-COTW kidfic. Yeah, I did.

Fourteen Years -- Stargate Atlantis. The earliest of several attempts to deal seriously with Ronon's years as a runner and what the psychological fallout of that would have to be like. For writers who like to write about things like loss and trauma, Ronon is just the gift that keeps on giving -- pre-brutalized for our convenience. I finally buckled and filed this story as M/M, although to me it will always be a gen story about Ronon's struggle to overcome the fallout of his victimization by the Wraith; his relationship with John is a piece of that, but not really the plot of the story. I always felt like billing it as slash creates this weird ghettoization where any story that queers a character immediately becomes a story about queerness, which this isn't. But I realize I'm kind of alone on this issue, hence the buckling.

Headbanger's Ball -- Stargate Atlantis. OT4 fluff, revolving mainly around Teyla. Sweet and porny and fairly short.

Loveslut -- Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I think I originally meant this to kick off a series of Xander/Willow/Cordelia stories. But then Cordelia moved away and canon made an effort to put the Xander/Willow relationship to rest and, I don't know, it started to seem more difficult to write, so I quit. Now I don't even remember what I intended to do with it. It's interesting to go back and look at a pre-gay Willow and how I was teasing queerness out of her rivalry/fixation with Cordelia. I kind of wish now that I'd kept up with this.

Never Have I Asked an August Sky -- Stargate Atlantis. A weepy John/Rodney story that I wrote for the zine Surfacing. Anyone who remembers the Justin/Chris traumafests I used to write under my popslash pseudonym knows that a weepy story where they can't be together is my highest form of compliment. It was really interesting to go over this the same night I did East O the Sun and Loveslut -- it's just such a radically different style, short and focused where I would've once written it in full operatic melodrama mode. It makes me feel like I actually learned things over the years!

Officer Friendly -- due South. I don't write much kinkfic anymore; I guess I still have all my old toppy kinks, but I rarely really find a story in it; some fantasies just don't translate as readily into narratives for me. But back in the day I was still using fanfic as much to explore sex as to write stories, and so I had a brief phase of writing kink. This was the best of the crop, I think. Although I find it funny that during the course of writing it and all the years after, I never realized until last night -- why the hell is Ray knocking on the back door at the start of the story? It's a store; why doesn't he just walk in through the front? Sigh.

Satisfaction -- Stargate Atlantis. This is the only full-on collaboration I've done in my fanfic career, and I wrote it mainly because Caroline doesn't put enough effort into getting her brilliance out there for public consumption. She was coming up with all this great stuff with me over chat, and finally I was just like, fuck it, I can slap some transition scenes around this and it's a story. So it was super easy and fun to write, and it makes me sound deceptively hilarious. We billed it at the time, tongue-in-cheek, as the best story about impotence you'll read this year, and we must have terrified people, because I got a fair amount of feedback from people who avoided it for a while because of a fear that there'd be some kind of humiliation theme. Really, it's not that kind of story at all! It's really about Rodney having to reach deep down and find his sensitive side in order to respond to someone that, for once, he doesn't want to make feel bad. *g* I think Caroline and I also both enjoyed sneaking that theme of what kind of damage Ronon's past has left him with into a purely romantic comedy formula. Also, it's just a terrifically fun challenge to write a sexy story with sex that's imperfect. I recommend it as a writing exercise.

In the next round of posting, I promise to do "In the Hands of Yes," so nobody else has to ask me about it, okay? *g*
hth: recent b&w photo of Gillian Anderson (Default)
2009-12-01 12:56 pm
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Slowly but surely, a lot of my fanfic is beginning to reappear on the internets, thanks to the OTW and the Archive of Our Own. Now, before you get excited, allow me to point you toward that first word! To rephrase whatever your favorite story is, I will get to it, I promise. But because it's taking me some time to input everything and choose my tags and all that (seriously, the tags and labels are going to *kick my ass* on some of this stuff -- Teen and Up or Mature? Mature or Explicit? M/M or gen? Do incidental pairings go in the pairings section? No Warnings Apply or Choose Not to Warn? Is this a *graphic* depiction of violence, or just the regular kind?) Also, some of this stuff I haven't read myself in two years or more, so there's stuff I don't even remember about it until I read the thing! And I haven't even begun to figure out what to do with series and collections.

But the fun part of all this (other than getting to reread my own work from years ago) is that I can just randomly decide what I feel like adding when. I'm trying to kind of mix up the Wildly Popular stuff with the more oddball pieces and maybe even kind of press forward gen things and minor-pairing and minor-fandom things that some of the very sweet people who've been waiting all this time to see my stories again (thank you all for your nice notes!) might be interested in but didn't know about.

Here is what's available as of this very moment:

13 O'Clock SGA -- A super-straightforward and basic cuteness-and-light Rodney/Ronon comedy-romance. 5,000 words, the very definition of short and sweet.

And Dark Our Celebration Was Smallville -- A nice angsty bit of Clark/Lex. It was futurefic in 2002 when I wrote it; dunno what the hell it is now, except rather bleak. I really like the way the Chloe/Clark friendship turned out in this.

As He's In It due South -- I seriously lack the brevity gene; I write long, and the older I get, the longer I write. This is really anomalous for me, a 1440 word story that feels complete unto itself. I don't know where I came from, but I like it -- it makes me feel like I can do concise! Which, let's face it, I really cannot.

De Profundis SGA -- This has to be the last or close to the last complete SGA story I finished before my fic sabbatical. It's sort of OT4 and sort of Rodney/Ronon and John/Teyla, but the emotional thread that runs through it actually skews John/Rodney, so basically, it's just a vat of teaminess. Team stew. The sex is pretty non-explicit, though, so it's not *that* kind of OT4, sadly. People told me this one was depressing, but I never really saw it that way! It makes me feel all warm inside.

The Fortune-Teller Firefly -- Technically a crossover, in that the titular (heh heh) fortune-teller is Tara from BtVS, but it's from Kaylee's POV and really reads like a Firefly story. It's a nice, gentle, family-friendly piece of f/f that I particularly like because the brief bits of all the rest of Serenity's crew feel very on-point to me. Post-Serenity and compliant with that canon.

Handsome Johnny SGA -- This is my big, gen Aiden Ford story. There's some queer content to it, but it's not a relationship story of any kind, and it really just came from me thinking, somewhere in S1 or S2, about how the US military on Atlantis might feel about the fact that the show takes place in the middle of a war that they've been tapped out of. One of many things I wish the show had brought up, because I feel sure it would've been on a lot of characters' minds.

Hope Chest due South -- Francesca gen. I've always had a wildly unreasonable love for Francesca. This was a flashfic (the prompt was "jewelry," I believe) that I ended up using to try putting some kind of context on her obsession with Fraser, which a lot of people think of as kind of a cheap joke, but always felt very poignant to me, because isn't the subtext of the show always that Franny is sort of stupid for not realizing that she's not good enough for Fraser? From one perspective, I get tense with the show for using what treads very near to misogyny and classism to score laughs off the girl who thinks she's somebody when she's not -- but on the other hand, that's exactly why I like her so much. Because Francesca is someone who hasn't yet surrendered her belief that she *is* somebody, or at least that she could be, in a world that doesn't feed that message back to her very often. I think she's kind of heroic.

I Love My Love Thoughtcrimes -- A rare attempt to include a rock-em-sock-em crime plot in my usual moping around about relationships. I really wish they'd made this into a show, because I really adore both the main characters and their actors. The movie and this story put me in touch with my inner Mulder/Scully shipper, or rather, the Mulder/Scully shipper I would've been if I hadn't been pretty sure it would strangle the show. This also has the distinction of being my only full-on het story with explicit sex and everything. So now I can say I dabble in heterosexuality. As a writer, that is.

Metropolis Girls Smallville -- Chloe/Lana/Lex, and just porn all the hell over the place. I'd really wanted for a long time to write a girl-on-girl-performed-for-boy story that wasn't exploitative, just to see if I could do it, and I feel like I did. Chloe is magical like that! The primary pairing is Chloe/Lana, but there's a strong Lana/Lex element to it, which I guess I should warn for, because I know some people are allergic to it. So there you go.

Quarterlife Veronica Mars -- Eli/Logan futurefic. This is the goddamn sweetest kicking-the-crap-out-of-each-other story that I could possibly devise. It's also the only kinky PWP in a broom closet I've ever read that's actually about getting old.

So, yeah. Other stories will continue to appear! Next up: Fourteen Years, Daughters of Jerusalem, East O the Sun West O the Moon, Satisfaction -- all this and more, yay.
hth: recent b&w photo of Gillian Anderson (Default)
2009-05-28 10:39 pm

an outtake from the novel

Ever been stuck for ages on a particular scene, only to realize that the reason you can't make yourself go back to it is that, deep down, you know nothing is actually going to happen in this scene? D'oh!

Anyway, clearly I have to do Something Else here, but rather than just delete it, I thought, what the hell, DVD extra. Dunno that it'll make much sense, but there were some pretty lines that deserve a decent burial.

elfpunk novel-in-progress: the late, lamented beginning of ch. 12 )