maidenjedi: (Default)
Oh my. A whole fic exchange for crossovers?! This is amazing!!

So, dear author, let's talk shop. A few generalities first. I would love, love, love for you to mess with timelines for these crossovers, to make the characters similar ages; obviously for a fusion, it isn't necessary. I like world-building, stories that take place in unexpected places or that include some detail about surroundings. I like character-driven stories, ones that include backstory or off-screen speculation and events. I'm fond of secondary and minor characters, their perspectives on the bigger events. I like main characters, too, and getting different viewpoints from them. Angst is my cup of tea, though not sexual violence of any kind. (Speaking of sex - consensual, vanilla, and het or femslash is my preference, if you go there). I really enjoy friendship stories or stories that deal with non-romantic aspects of a relationship that may BE romantic later (UST is awesome, and kinda hot! Team-building is awesome!) DNWs: fridging; coffee shop, high school or modern AU; horror tropes in a non-horror fandom.

Some ideas/prompts/specifics under the cut. These are just ideas to get you started, but if you've got something else entirely in mind, please go with it!! Thank you, dear author, for doing this exchange! I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Read more... )
maidenjedi: (Default)
Super excited about this exchange (as I am about them all, really). It isn't very often that there are opportunities for gen fic in this manner.

So, dear author, here are some things you should know generally, and then under the cut are some fandom-specific thoughts.

I like world-building, stories that take place in unexpected places or that include some detail about surroundings. I like character-driven stories, ones that include backstory or off-screen speculation and events. I'm fond of secondary and minor characters, their perspectives on the bigger events. I like main characters, too, and getting different viewpoints from them. Angst is my cup of tea, though not sexual violence of any kind.   Non-canonical character death is okay if it furthers your story.  Seeing as how this is a gen exchange, and some of my requests are more traditionally shippy, I need to clarify that I really enjoy friendship stories or stories that deal with non-romantic aspects of a relationship that may BE romantic later. Team-building is awesome, partnerships between people who aren't very connected in canon or have very little screentime otherwise.

Okay, on to the fandoms.

Read more... )
maidenjedi: (Default)
Hello Author!

I think this is the first time I've done this exchange. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

A few things you should know about me: I prefer angst over fluff (yup, even in YA), I like happy endings that come after struggle or discord, I love character studies and backstories. I love minor characters in fic, the chance to flesh out what we don't see on the page or screen. Not into pregnancy AU, high school or university AU, or modern AU. BUT I love canon-divergence or AUs within the given universe (a different meet-cute, or a different ending, for example). While I love angst, I don't love trauma, especially of the sexual variety. Not really into a lot of kink or graphic sex (especially for this exchange).

Fandom specifics )
maidenjedi: (hermione)
The Exchange at Fic Corner is a gift exchange for fic based on children's and YA books and short stories from picture books to edgy teen novels.  They are holding sign-ups for this exchange right now, due to end on Wednesday.  Would really love to see wider participation on this one!  Assignments are due August 21.
maidenjedi: (Default)
Dear Author,

That we matched on even one pairing is a pretty good sign, I think. I'm super excited about this exchange and I hope you are, too!

I know I put a lot of ideas in my sign-up, so this won't be very long on top of it. Just generalities and a little more detail where warranted.

Generally speaking: I prefer angst over fluff, I like happy endings that come after struggle or discord, I love character studies and backstories. Plot is awesome, especially character-driven stuff. Since this challenge is specifically pairing-driven, I should tell you - I'm not into pregnancy AU, high school or university AU, or modern AU. BUT I love canon-divergence or AUs within the given universe (a different meet-cute, or a different ending, for example). My pairings aren't canon, so no worries if you're wandering beyond canon constraints. While I love angst, I don't love trauma, especially of the sexual variety. Not really into a lot of kink or graphic sex.

Some specifics beyond what's on my sign-up )
maidenjedi: (Default)
Eeeee!  Not Prime Time!

Seriously, I love this exchange.  It hasn't once failed to bring the fun.  Plus, NPT means spring and summer and all that comes with those.  Can't complain.

So, dear writer, know that you have an astronomical chance of making my day, just because we matched and you're writing for me.  :-)

Some details and suggestions under the cut.

Generally speaking: I prefer angst over fluff, I like happy endings that come after struggle or discord, I love character studies and backstories. I love minor characters in fic, the chance to flesh out what we don't see on the page or screen. Not into pregnancy AU, high school or university AU, or modern AU. BUT I love canon-divergence or AUs within the given universe (a different meet-cute, or a different ending, for example). While I love angst, I don't love trauma, especially of the sexual variety. Not really into a lot of kink or graphic sex.

Read more... )
maidenjedi: (fanfic writer)
Texas is experiencing spring - in other words, that late March-late May stormy season - and given tonight's forecast I suspect I may be up late tonight.

So let's meme. Pick a story of mine, choose a question from below, I will answer.

My stories.

1: What inspired you to write the fic this way?
2: What scene did you first put down?
3: What's your favorite line of narration?
4: What's your favorite line of dialogue?
5: What part was hardest to write?
6: What makes this fic special or different from all your other fics?
7: Where did the title come from?
8: Did any real people or events inspire any part of it?
9: Were there any alternate versions of this fic?
10: Why did you choose this pairing for this particular story?
11: What do you like best about this fic?
12: What do you like least about this fic?
13: What music did you listen to, if any, to get in the mood for writing this story? Or if you didn't listen to anything, what do you think readers should listen to to accompany us while reading?
14: Is there anything you wanted readers to learn from reading this fic?
15: What did you learn from writing this fic?

maidenjedi: (Default)
TITLE: They Who Bear the Cost
FANDOM: Mercy Street
PAIRING: Jed/Mary, Henry/Emma
SUMMARY: The inhabitants of Mansion House and the Battle of Antietam.

On AO3.


I had no intention of staying up to actually finish this.  I came into my home office at 11 and picked up a book I have on Civil War battlefields, to get a sense of the timeline of Antietam for this story.  It was originally meant to be a shorter vignette for the series "Sea of Tranquility, Ocean of Storms" (indeed, "Ocean of Storms" was the working title), and I had intended it to be about just one or two of the characters.  It kind of grew as I went, so I just wrote.  It felt longer, while I was writing.  I am sure it could be, if I felt equal to the task of conveying 1860s hospital chaos with no visual aid.  

It is about Antietam, obvs, also called the Battle of Sharpsburg (in the South).  I was struck when watching the series finale (spoiler!) that they didn't about the battle, per se.  The show went with the political aftermath, which I get.  This battle didn't have the impact on Alexandria that others did, in a physical sense, plus battle scenes cost more, and the show is and isn't about the war itself.  But the single bloodiest day of the war does warrant more than a political tussle onscreen, I thought.  And that's how this grew in my head.

maidenjedi: (what i like)
TITLE:  By God's Kindness Alone
FANDOM:  Mercy Street
PAIRING:  Jed Foster/Mary Phinney
SUMMARY:  Jed and Mary contemplate the next steps, after the events of the season two finale, "House of Bondage."

On AO3


I intend this to be the first of a series of vignettes set after the series ending and during the American Civil War.  We'll see how it goes (that's why a series and not a WIP).  The series title is "Sea of Tranquility, Ocean of Storms" (which came about because I've been binging episodes of both The West Wing and The West Wing Weekly, and I just got through "Galileo").
maidenjedi: (Default)
Day 6

In your own space, create a list of at least three fannish things you'd love to receive, something you've wanted but were afraid to ask for - a fannish wish-list of sorts.

I don't know that I've been afraid to ask for these, just that there's not really a platform on which they're appropriate to ask for!  :-)  The fic I could, admittedly, write myself, but just haven't for one reason or another.  

1 - Okay, this is cheesy, but for years I have wanted someone to make a Josh/Donna (The West Wing) video set to "Complicated" by Avril Lavigne.  :-D

2 - An X-Files/Stephen King crossover in which Mulder and Scully are investigating sightings of a certain clown in Derry, Maine.  I mean, you KNOW that there's a case in the X-Files, detailing the various sightings and incidents over the years.  Or, in which Mulder himself grew up in Derry or spent significant time there.  I've thought about a story in which Samantha may or may not have been killed by It, kind of in the vein of the XF episode "Paper Hearts," complete with Mulder revisiting Derry and coming face to face with It.  

3 - I have asked for this one in Yuletide before, but I think the fandom is just more non-existant than the usual offerings, and I did only ask once.  I would really love a fix-it for Hell on Wheels in which Lily lives.  A detailed one, romance with Bohannon a must, and a dead Thor Gunderson.  
maidenjedi: (Default)
Well, Day 4 is an ongoing challenge (interacting with someone) - I'm trying to reach out, based on common interests. I mean, I've complained often enough that the journaling community is dead or at least dying, and things like the [community profile] snowflake_challenge and Yuletide really prove that's not true at all. Time to expand horizons!

So, Day 5:

In your own space, post recs for at least three fanworks that you did not create

Alrighty. These fandoms are kind of all over the place.  But so am I, so it works out.

Hungry Ghosts by [ profile] SignificantOtter (Zootopia, Judy/Nick) - You know, what I was hoping would happen with The X-Files revival last year was what ended up actually happening in the nascent Zootopia fandom. A wide variety of shipping stories, yes, but a good smattering of solid casefiles, too. This was one of the best of the early casefiles that were posted, and is still a favorite. What I said at the time: "A tense, creepy casefile fic, with an easygoing relationship aspect and incredibly well-drawn OCs. Highly recommended." It is pretty dark, though not the darkest by any means, and it ends well. Part of a series, but doesn't need the other stories in the series to be understood or enjoyed.

Not words, not music or rhyme I want, only the hum of your valvèd voice by [ profile] emmadelosnardos (Mercy Street, Jed/Mary) - The show comes back for a second season on Sunday, but honestly, the fic that resulted from the first season was more than enough to tide over a fan.  Emmadelosnardos is hands down one of the best authors in this fandom, and this epic story - which ventures wildly AU, and is going to be jossed so hard, but who cares, you know - is damn near the magnum opus of said fandom.  I adore every word and have reread it for mere comfort a dozen times since it was posted.

West by [ profile] Edonohana (The Stand) - This story.  THIS STORY.  This was my Yuletide gift in 2013.  I would have listed it first here, except that I think it is one of those stories that, once you've read it, you really can't read much else for awhile.  You have to let it sit, and then go back for a second helping.  The premise is that, instead of Stu, Larry, Glen, and Ralph heading west for Vegas in the final act of The Stand, it is Fran Goldsmith, Nadine Cross, Lucy Swann, and Sue Stern.  It is a story, you see, that puts the ladies in the spotlight, ladies who, in various ways, are really given the short stick in King's narrative.  As much as I love the original, what [personal profile] rachelmanija and [personal profile] kore accomplished here more or less blew it out of the water.  "West" is not terribly long, but so much is packed in - I am truly in awe of how this came together.  Do you need to have read the novel?  Well, yeah, I think so, because this is essentially the end of the book, reimagined, so context is important.  But you could probably get by without it if you have a love for Women Being Amazing During the Apocalypse.  Y'all, the richness of this work cannot be overstated.  Highly, HIGHLY recommend.

maidenjedi: (fanfic writer)
Actually, I think posting this on the 17th day of the year is pretty encouraging, all things considered.

Day 3

In your own space, set some goals for the coming year. They can be fannish or not, public or private.

The first of my goals is to fill out the goals worksheets I downloaded from Art of Simple.


Okay, in reality, my non-fannish goals are:

1 - Maintain non-contract employment.
2 - Write a short story for publication.
3 - Upgrade my wardrobe.

That first one is a doozy.  I'm only a week into my new job, and really, it isn't a huge challenge right now, but I can see the speed bumps down the road.  Summer child care is going to be an issue.  But I'll deal with that as it gets closer, because there's just too much happening right now.

The second one - look, I've been saying for years that I need to do this.  When I try to explain my fic hobby to someone I usually fib and say I write short stories for fun.  Time to put up or shut up.

Finally, well, I have been doing this in pieces for awhile, which is the only way to do it when you haven't won the lottery or have a huge amount of disposable income.  But really, I need investment pieces, I need things I can fall back on easily for the new job, so.  Working on it.

These really aren't grand goals, except for the short story one.  But I feel like, these are the things that would make me feel most accomplished when the year is out, in a personal way.  There are definitely other things brewing.

And some fannish goals:

1 - Do more than two fic exchanges (so, something in addition to Not Prime Time and Yuletide).
2 - Finish the Zootopia fic.
3 - Write more than 5000 words outside of fic exchanges and the Zootopia fic.

I love fic exchanges, and they are a huge motivator generally, so I want to do the usual two and something new.  Any suggestions?  I like non-fandom-specific exchanges the best, but I'll look at others, too.  

Gotta finish the Zootopic fic.  It's sitting there as this open WIP on AO3 and it actively bugs me.  I still have my story notes, and the general inspiration.  Just need to sit down and do it.

Finally, I really want to write more fic this year.  In what fandom, or what kinds of stories, I really don't know yet.  But I want to hit over 5000 words of fic outside of the exchanges and the Zootopia story.  I think that's reasonable and not so ambitious that it'll intimidate me.

maidenjedi: (Default)
I am laughably behind, but that's okay. Still gonna do it.

Day 2

In your own space, share a book/song/movie/tv show/fanwork/etc that changed your life. Something that impacted on your consciousness in a way that left its mark on your soul.

You know, that word "change" - it implies that there was something significantly different before this thing came into my life.  Rather than just "impact," "change" in this challenge question means that I can't just pick something at random that has an obvious influence on me.  There are a ton of those things, in a fannish sense.  I could opine on what Cameron Crowe did for me with his films, or Star Wars, or the Little House books.  All formative, all impactful.

And then I think, I don't have just the one answer here.  I have two.

The first - Stephen King.  Specifically, The Stand.

The summer ABC aired the mini-series/TV movie version, I was fourteen.  Somehow, I was home alone or left alone in the evenings, and I have no idea how that can be true but I do remember it that way.  My family had been forceably relocated - the bank had foreclosed on my parents and we were living in a rental for the scant few months we had left in Oklahoma before we moved permanently to Texas.  I had just finished the eighth grade.  My life was about to change in huge ways and that summer was a big one anyway.  Add Stephen King, and boom, right?

I fell in love with Stu Redman, I think.  That's gotta be how it started, because I remember I wanted to watch the series at first because Gary Sinise was in it.  And then Molly Ringwald, who later would not really be Fran to me, but who I recognized and loved already.  

I bought the book after the first episode aired.  And I devoured it, no better word.  I could not put it down.  I often had that problem as a young reader, so it wasn't weird or special in any way, it was just the way I read.  But I finished it in a week and immediately read it again.  And again.  By the end of the summer, I read the entire novel (the uncut edition, a paperback with Gary Sinise and Molly Ringwald on the cover), including King's intro, four times.  I took it with me to summer camp at Lake Eufaula, and a Dr. Pepper exploded in my bag and stained the first hundred or so pages.  I repaired the cover with packing tape later when it started to fall off from my repeated readings.  I wrote in blue ink, that has since faded into purple, next to particular lines and paragraphs that spoke to me.  

I still have that copy, it is still the one I use for re-reading.  When my husband and I went through to get rid of duplicate books, I sold his practically pristine copy and held on to mine.

Man proposes, God disposes.

That line stood out so starkly (Nick says it to Larry and Stu and I think Glen at one point).  It was the line that I held on to as the "plans" I made for my life often fell to pieces.  When I was questioning my faith as an older teenager, Glen Bateman and Nick Andros brought me new ways of thinking.  I occasionally found myself, over time, echoing Fran's lines when dealing with my own weird boy dramas.  The good guys have always been my guys, and I'm less enamored with Harold and Nadine - or at least, that was true back then, when I couldn't fully understand either of them and didn't realize I was also identifying with them both to a point.  And Lucy.  LUCY.  How many times have I felt like Lucy.  

You always wonder, did the fiction influence you to the point that you are imitating it?  Or, are you really seeing yourself as you are in those characters regardless of their influence?

And there is no doubt whatsoever, The Stand influenced how I write.  I wrote a bunch of throw-away short stories in high school that were blatant rip-offs of plot points and The Stand Mary Sues, but over time, it was just the rhythms and the atmosphere that stuck with me.  The Stand deeply influenced what I like in my pop culture consumption, too (post-apocalypse is my jam, you might have noticed).  

I've read a lot of King since then (memorably, I read It as a high school freshman, and found a new obsession), but not everything.  I liked a lot of what I read, disliked a bunch as well.  It was around the time of Dreamcatcher that I fell out with King, and I've never really gotten back to him, except of course with reading The Stand.


Years after The Stand, there was The X-Files.

When I was 19, I got involved with a young man.  It was one of those weird, intense relationships, a really damaging one for both of us.  I probably knew it at the time - I was always trying to sabotage it, get out of it, and I would be drawn back in.  I hate what I remember of myself in that time period and I absolutely think that's the time I would take back if I could.

As those things go, it was also incredibly benign in some ways.  He wasn't cruel or mean, he was just lost and incredibly young.  

Anyway, we had been dating for a year when dating became "sitting at his house watching him play video games."  He was obsessed with some RPG that was popular at the time and would play for hours, and was somehow really titillated by me watching him blow shit up with a keystroke.  I hated it.  So I usually walked out.  I didn't drive, so I would be stuck for awhile.  In the other room, his 16-year-old brother would be watching The X-Files reruns.

I started sitting with him and watching.  He was thrilled that someone would, because he was treated in the family as a little geek and his interests as silly and unimportant.  He would tell me every theory about the show, all the online forum stuff, as we watched.  And I got to be a bigger fan than he was.  We became quite good friends for the duration of my relationship with his brother, and it was rooted completely in The X-Files. 

I think most importantly, though, The X-Files got me writing for real.  Boyfriend's brother introduced me to fanfiction - he shyly showed me some of his own stories, now lost to the ether.  He was my first beta reader when I decided to try my hand.

Dana Scully, y'all.  Dana Scully.

She was so incredible to me.  I was at a really weak point in my life, I wasn't in school and I was working in retail, I hated my relationship and my boyfriend and I couldn't see a way to end that peacefully.  Dana Scully gave me an awful lot of courage as things finally waned.  I broke up with my boyfriend and it was as acrimonious as you might imagine.  But the night I ended it, I sat down and watched "Beyond the Sea" and had a cry and stiffened my shoulders, and I woke up with no regrets.  I bought a suit for a job interview at a communications firm and called it my Scully suit.  I got that job and started finding out what my strengths were.  I kept watching and it kept being a refuge from things that were uncomfortable, various parts of the show operated as metaphors for me, allowed me to process a lot of shit.  It was cathartic.

It was interesting!  I loved the conspiracy, the tentacles of it throughout the show, even as they increasingly made no sense.  I remember clearly when the plot became too convoluted even for me, but the early years, available on just VHS back then (and $100 season sets - oh, I saved up for those), all resonated, all interested me deeply.  I worked out a lot of creative kinks by exploring the show in fanfiction.  My tastes expanded, my interests as well.  

The show itself remained a huge part of my life in the years that followed.  I found community online, first in the Yahoo groups and and then on Livejournal.  I taught myself HTML because of the show and that helped me when I was laid off from that Scully suit job and rehired during a restructuring.  Today, I haven't watched more than a handful of episodes in ages.  I watched the new season and felt stirrings of the original passion, but honestly, the role I needed the show to play in my life has long since become obsolete.  I enjoyed them (insofar as one can enjoy a train wreck, right).  But I'm quite different than I was back in 1999.  

I think, really, that's the whole point.

maidenjedi: (Default)
I'm a day behind but I'm doing it this year, dang it.

Day 1

In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you have created. It can be your favorite fanworks that you've created, or fanworks you feel no one ever saw, or fanworks you say would define you as a creator. 

Well, let's see.  I'm going to go with the ones I think define me.  Or rather, the stories that, though they were quite early, started patterns or consistencies that continue today.

In the beginning, there was The X-Files.  And the story that sticks out, from the earliest days:

Black Hole
, written in 2002.  Inside Cassandra Spender's mind during the cliffhanger in "Two Fathers/One Son."  My first foray into writing a POV for a minor character, and definitely the darkest thing I wrote in the beginning.  Both those things were second nature and I didn't know it then.  It was also the first story I recall writing that wasn't more about me and whatever was going on in my life than the characters I was playing with.

Later, there was Bleeding Kansas.  This story is about William, 11 years old and on the run from aliens or the government, and Marita Covarrubias, who takes it upon herself to rescue him when she learns what is about to go down.  I think the most defining thing about this one is that it is, basically, unfinished.  I couldn't get past the first crescendo.  I feel like a lot of things I write are like that, though I'm better at putting a bow on things.  There's too much story left untold.  But also, style-wise, this was a story whose atmosphere I'm most likely to return to now.

Finally, in much more recent years, I started writing fanfiction for period-set source material.  The piece that I think set the tone for how I would write all the others was A sorrow's crown of sorrow, a Downton Abbey look at the might-have-been amnesiac who came to the estate for convalescence during the war. This story explores an AU for the series, which is something I do most frequently for period work, but didn't take anything out of time or basic context.  This is certainly a common way for me to tackle this kind of material today.
maidenjedi: (Default)
Well, I see everyone is having trouble with LJ again, and that it isn't unlikely that more trouble is ahead.

I'm on Dreamwidth if anyone is planning to back up their journal here and wants friends (maidenjedi).  I'm also on Tumblr, though I don't post often there and it's usually only reblogs of fannish stuff.

Please, let's not let 2016 also kill off our collective experience here.  It's already ridiculously desolate. 
maidenjedi: (princess leia)
Title: Untitled 
Fandom: When Harry Met Sally
Rating: PG-13, warning for character death
Summary: Five moments in Sally and Marie’s friendship. 
Notes:  This has been knocking around in my head all day.   And I'm sorry.

Read more... )

maidenjedi: (princess leia)
A friend of mine on Facebook says we should all stop anthropomorphizing years - blaming "2016" for being horrible is silly, he says, because the span of time itself isn't responsible for its awfulness. There are other factors, he says. Okay, fine, he's right. The year itself is not the problem. It is the things happening inside that time frame that are.

But still. 2016, you motherfucker.

What to say about Carrie Fisher, as a fan, that hasn't already been said? The impact of this one is kind of out of left field. I didn't ever know she meant as much to me as she did, until today. And that's not really true, because of course it was going to hurt. But like Robin Williams, whose death shook me rather horribly, whose influence and presence in my childhood and coming-of-age was so huge that when he died, it felt like my dad was dying - it turns out I felt Carrie Fisher's death today in the same way. I was helping my daughter with a new Lego set she got for Christmas, and my husband came into the room to get his laptop. He sat down and was apparently checking Facebook, and he looked up and said, "So, Carrie Fisher died."

I finished what I was doing with the padawan, and excused myself to go to the bathroom. I went upstairs, locked the bedroom door, went into the bathroom and locked that door, and then bent over the sink in wracking sobs. When I was done, I went back downstairs and asked the padawan if she wanted to watch Star Wars. She was enthusiastic in her agreement, and I put on The Empire Strikes Back.

For a good portion of the afternoon, I was thinking back on my encounters with Carrie Fisher's work over the years. Star Wars, yes, obviously. I doubt there was a little girl of my generation - the one that doesn't remember a time without Star Wars - who wasn't impacted by Princess Leia. I've known women who have never seen a single Star Wars movie, of course, but even they know Leia and they know her as more a warrior than a love interest. I didn't really read comic books (except Batman) and was too young to have known Wonder Woman well as a kid, but Leia was in my living room from a time I can't exactly pin down. The boys were fascinating (come on, Han Solo!) but Leia was....look, you all get it, I know you do. She kicked ass. She talked back. She stood in front of Darth Vader, knowing how evil he was, and lied for the Rebellion. She survived torture. She didn't wait for someone else to rescue her lover - she dressed as a bounty hunter and did it herself! She killed Jabba the Hutt!

There is no way that I had any clue, as a kid, that the reason Princess Leia was so important to me was that she was everything I really wanted to be.  Intelligent, a leader, looked up to, and with nice hair and perfect lipstick while doing it.  That sass that might have been bratty in anyone else in A New Hope, or her command of herself in the wake of her planet's destruction, her ability to command others in Empire...I mean, this was all hugely impactful.  And Leia wasn't without flaws and she wasn't without doubt.  She was totally real, and it wasn't like George Lucas had some kind of insight into women.  It was Carrie Fisher, imbuing her character with her real self.  She said as much in a recent interview, though it was more about how the years have melded her and Leia, not just culturally but personally.  

I was thirteen or so, though, when Carrie had a brand new impact on me. Around that time, I was picking up romance novels at garage sales, reading them when I thought no one was looking, etc. Occasionally I picked up different books, and one day it was a hardcover copy of Carrie's Surrender the Pink. I must have read it half a dozen times that summer. This may be a little too much information, but I can credit Carrie Fisher directly for my sexual awakening, at least a huge part of it. No run-of-the-mill Harlequin held a candle to that book. I remember it well, though the copy I had is long gone.  

The first movie I saw in a theater was Blues Brothers (yes, I was an infant and do not recall the experience, but the fact remains and it was a frequent rewatch at my house through the 80s), and the first romantic comedy my mom let me watch (officially, because she consumed plenty on sick day afternoons when I was in elementary school - I have fond memories of watching Arthur and The Goodbye Girl with my mom)  was When Harry Met Sally.  And there is no doubt that Marie, Sally's best friend, is one of the best characters in that movie and hands down the best "best friend" role in any romantic comedy, largely because of Carrie's portrayal.  It was not Princess Leia who first came to mind this afternoon, but that first scene of Carrie's in WHMS, when she's recounting the deeds of her married lover and trying to set Sally up with men from her Rolodex.  

Going through her resume, I realize there's plenty of Carrie's film work that I haven't seen, but I've read her fiction (in fact, I was planning on rereading Postcards from the Edge this coming year, because it's been probably fifteen years or more since the first time) and yeah, it had an impact.  She was a witty, clever writer, and I loved her stuff.  

Her struggles with addiction and depression were so public, and I still think of it as one of the great tragedies, the way she suffered.  You want to think, if she had grown up anywhere else, maybe it wouldn't have been like that (and you realize the truth, which is that she might still have done, and that people who aren't in the limelight maybe have it worse in the end - no one is telling their stories, and they often cannot tell their own).  The fact that she took her ordeal, her bipolar disorder and her addiction, and spoke out for mental illness awareness, makes her a kind of lioness to me.  That's huge.  

And you definitely think, on hearing about her heart attack, that so many things likely contributed, lifestyle, the stress her illness put on her.  That makes it sadder, it makes it all so much worse.  She was experiencing a high in her career, from all indications having hit a stride in her personal life, and it's over.  Her suffering, of course, is also over, so there is that.  

(And I will say now, the fact that it was her heart, and she was so damn young - 60 is YOUNG - it isn't like this didn't hit hard for other reasons.  I will be NAGGING my dad about the cardiologist appointment he is supposed to be setting up in the new year.  NAGGING)

It was difficult not to think about Debbie Reynolds, too, outliving her daughter like this, a daughter with whom she had a complicated relationship (and don't we all, really, have difficult or complicated relationships with our mothers?).  I sat there, tears running down my face and splashing into the pasta salad I made for dinner, when they talked about Debbie on the evening news, reading her Facebook post, and I thought about my mom and my daughter and I just had to stop and sit down for a bit.

I once said, when Robin Williams died, that it was as if my dad had died, so great was the impact of losing one of the chief voices of my childhood. Today I came to the conclusion that Carrie Fisher was a like a big sister or the rebellious, cool aunt you always hope is going to make it to the reunion so you can have a good time, the woman in your life who gave you your first glass of wine or first shot of whiskey, or who babysat and let you watch horror movies, or let you have a drag of her cigarette and then laughed when you gagged.  I can't get past this image and feeling.  And on some level, yes, you think of the people who are really in your life in that kind of role as being invincible, immortal, unchanging, up until the moment when their flaws are revealed or they unaccountably disappear, or when they die.  I don't think it is a terrible stretch for Carrie Fisher (or any public figure) to be that kind of person in your life.  Because of that, I think the collective mourning we've been going through this whole year is legitimate, and probably the kind of thing that's going to change us somehow.  

Carrie Fisher didn't apologize.  She didn't ask for our pity, nor for our adulation.  She said once she wanted her life to be art.  I like that sentiment a lot.  

I have no doubt this is going to ache for awhile.  

maidenjedi: (Default)
Dearest Yuletide Author, you have already made my year just by signing up!

Generally speaking: I prefer angst over fluff, I like happy endings that come after struggle or discord, I love character studies and backstories. I love minor characters in fic, the chance to flesh out what we don't see on the page or screen. Not into pregnancy AU, high school or university AU, or modern AU. BUT I love canon-divergence or AUs within the given universe (a different meet-cute, or a different ending, for example). While I love angst, I don't love trauma, especially of the sexual variety. Not into threesome pairings in any of my requested fandoms and prefer femslash if any slash (though not graphic). I'm on Tumblr as Maidenjedi (it hasn't been updated in ages, but what's there is probably still relevant).


Suite Fran├žaise (2015) - I ship Lucile/Bruno so hard, and there are so few stories on the Archive for them! I'd really love to see them back together after the war, finding a way to make it work, or even having one fling to get some closure. Alternately, I'd love to see Lucile the Resistance Fighter, haunted a bit by her almost-love with Bruno but determined to beat back the Nazi invasion. If Benoit can join her in those adventures, awesome! Another idea - give me some backstory for the severe Madame Angellier that gives her more dimension and cause. I've also read the book, so if you have and you want to use that for material, go for it!

Death Comes to Pemberley (2013) - I was enchanted by the film version of the PD James novel, and I would like more Georgiana/Henry! I'd especially love to see them in their courtship phase, post-film. I'm also quite curious about Darcy and Lizzy in the years between P&P and DCtP. Lizzy's anxiety over the way Darcy relates to her, the history between them rearing it's ugly head, seems like it may have been a issue earlier. So yeah, some angst as they get used to one another would be great to read about, before but in the context of the DCtP events. Love to read, too, about a happy Christmas in the future, with Georgiana and Henry in the center.

The Buccaneers (1995) - I've always thought the decidedly-un-Whartonlike take on this story is actually a lot of fun. I ship Nan/Guy and would most like to see them in their happy ending. OR - I love canon divergence, and how about hooking Guy and Nan up much sooner, saving her from a loveless marriage with the Duke? And, here's a thought - mess it all up, and let Nan remain a Duchess. Maybe she knows about Julius and maybe not, but she takes the coronet and makes it all work beautifully. Maybe she and Guy reconnect decades later, and Julius is gone, and Guy has to break down walls that Nan has put up? Another idea - Guy comes to the States to work on railroads, and meets Nan there instead. If none of this floats your boat, how about a romance for Laura Testvalley with a man who values her?

The Great Escape (1963) - No slash, please. How about Hendley and Hilts after the war, meeting at a reunion? They can be much older, or it can be shortly after the war. Hendley goes on an Honor Flight to see the memorial in Washington? Hilts plays minor league baseball and Hendley sees him play? Basically, I just want to know what happens to these guys in fictional terms.

The Incredibles (2004) - Honey Best, secret Super! Mirage, has powers but doesn't find out until after the events of the film, or she knew all along and hides it so she can work to foil Syndrome. Helen Parr and Honey Best team up to save the world from a baddie. Edna Mode gets her start in Super fashion. Edna and Helen plan Helen's wedding dress. Anything involving any of these ladies works for me!! (also, Mirage/Helen would work for me, if Bob is NOT in the picture)
maidenjedi: (Default)
TITLE: A Thing of Beauty
FANDOM: Harry Potter
CHARACTERS: Hermione Granger, Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, Hermione's Parents
SUMMARY: If Hermione was successful in nothing else, she at least saved one beautiful thing during the war.

For [personal profile] pauraque, filling a prompt from a prior post pleading for such. I haven't written Hermione ever, Harry Potter at all in ages, and I didn't reread anything before writing. So....thanks, Google? :-)

Here under the cut, or on AO3.

She was the cleverest witch of their generation )


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