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.
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