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December 17th, 2015 12:07 pm - How do you write like---
So! Hamilton an American Musical.

As usual I'm a day late and a dollar short, but hey, y'all voted for this one, so you're asking for it.

So first off: the music is AMAZING in every possible way, so smart so catchy so emotionally evocative so clever so culturally important so beautiful, and I could look at pictures of the male cast (in costume or out of it) basically forever, and Lin-Manuel Miranda may literally be too good for this world, and I love what the colorful casting has done to the historical narrative and the way that's been made an integral part of the story through the music and book, and I love the reaction it's gotten and the way it's changing Broadway and people in general's perception of the history. And I legitimately teared up when young Philip tried to show his Dad he was going to be a politician too by rapping for him, I want to live in a world where ability to freestyle is a prereq for political power, we wouldn't be the first country ruled on that basis and there are much worse ways.

Also there needs to be a Doctor/Master vid to 'I'll Be Back'

And then my feelings get more complicated )


I REALLY LOVE THE MUSIC. AND I REALLY LOVE THE CAST. And I love that the fandom exists and is writing tons of nobody-dies modern AUs and second-generation shipping. It's so great! And I'm sure my expectations were too high, even if I do firmly believe that if he tried, Lin-Manuel Miranda could write a rap about Hamilton being a dork about accounting that would convince me the Federalists were right.

And I'm probably not going to be in the fandom ever. Unless Burr fandom really gets going. Meanwhile I shall keep writing about Grantaire being drunk on stage during the presidential debate and Toussaint being Valjean's campaign manager.

Possibly if I read Chernow and got more of where the show was coming from, I would have different opinions, but a) reading one entire brick for the sake of a musical fandom is enough for this decade, and b) Les Mis fandom on Tumblr has been posting enough excerpts of Chernow's wrong wrong wrong opinions on the French Revolution that I'm not sure I would trust him on the broad political stripes anyway. I do kinda want to finally read the Federalist Papers now though, so there's that.

(55 comments | Reply)

December 16th, 2015 07:15 pm - How To Describe Clothing In Fiction
So, some wise life advice for y'all: Don't be sick. Being sick is no fun.

Anyway, where were we? Oh right: how to describe clothing in fiction. This came up because there was a post going around Tumblr that listed 'paragraphs of clothing description' as one of the cardinal sins of bad writing, and then [personal profile] beccaelizabeth posted In defence of all those paragraphs about clothing: a cultural studies view, which is definitely worth a read, and the problem is, I agree with both of those.

Because clothing is important to your story, and also, there is nothing that makes me roll-eyes out of a story as fast as clumsy wall-o-text descriptions like that.

The same thing applies to other kinds of descriptions - if you want to want me roll-eyes out even faster, try doing it with paragraphs of descriptions of guns. That happens at least as often, although generally not in the same kind of books that do clothes. And then there's descriptions of food, of spaceships or steam trains, of scenery and nature, which I tend to be more tolerant of, but are just as easy to do a clumsily bad job on.

I'm going to stick with clothing in this post, because it's a pretty universal one, and because it gets the gendered complaining in a way the others don't, and because nearly all stories will have clothing appear at some point, but most of this applies to all sorts of things you might need to describe in a story.

Also, pls don't get the impression I actually have answers here, this is just me throwing out Thoughts.

Thoughts )
A Writing Exercise For Description )

...Anybody else wanna try that?

(24 comments | Reply)

December 9th, 2015 01:31 pm - Why I don't read many novels these days
This entry is actually less relevant than it was a year ago when I first talked about writing it - in 2014, if you include kids' and YA books over 200 pages, I read a total of 15 novels, a third of which were Yuletide canon review. Which was still better than 2013, during which I read Les Miserables. And some Daniel Pinkwater rereads for Yuletide. (I wasn't tracking them as carefully then, but durned if I can remember any more.) And granted if you're going to read one novel over the course of a year, Les Mis is a good one to pick, but compare that to when I was in high school and reading, conservative estimate, 350 books a year.

This year I have managed 31 novels (11 of them YA) and if I really push to make my goodreads challenge by the end of this month, I'm on track for at least 36 this year. Which is, I guess, good by most folks' standards, but 16-year-old me is looking at my overloaded bookshelves and shaking her head sadly. And adult me is looking at the library patrons who go through ten a week with abject jealousy.

I still read a lot! I read 160 adult nonfiction books in that year, plus comics, picture books, poetry, some novellas and short stories, and this and that other things. Not to mention fanfic - some judicious sampling of my AO3 page says I've read about 9,000,000 words of fanfic this year, an average of 25,000 words a day. And I still read quickly - I can read a 350-page novel in four or five hours tops, with no interruptions. It's just that I seem to have to make a deliberate effort anymore to sit down and read a novel, when it used to be like breathing.

So, what changed? I've made a bunch of attempts to write this post out, and it keeps being an incoherent mess, but I think, honestly, what it comes down to is: Because reasons )

I'm going to keep trying to push to read more novels (I'm really enjoying reading more of them, even if it seems to be coming down to 'Sunday mornings and waiting rooms only'). I want to at least have a good enough list that I feel ok about nominating for the Hugos. I think next year I'm going to try to push harder for pro short fiction, though. And catching up on my shelves at home rather than new stuff.

(20 comments | Reply)

December 3rd, 2015 08:11 pm - Notes on Birth Control and Childrearing for Fantasy Writers
I thought this one would be easy because I wrote it in a comment reply on a post many years ago, and broke the DW comment limit in the process. Twice. I always kind of wanted to expand it, polish it up and repost it here, but then I ended up rewriting a little more extensively than I'd expected, to nobody's surprise.

This is, in rough paraphrase, meant to answer the question: I want to write sexually active cis female characters in a world with pre-industrial technology, without having them be tied to childbearing and childrearing. How can I do that, realistically, without having to rely on "because magic" or "because I say so"?

So below the cuts are various ways people have used to control and limit their reproductive and childcare roles across cultures and histories. It's heavy on historical European and Mediterranean cultures - that's way easier to research if you only read European languages, and also I'm less likely to completely screw them up. But most of these things, at least in broad strokes, would apply to most human cultures more or less. Warnings for... most things you can think of regarding gender, sexuality, reproduction and/or unwanted children, and possibly a few things you can't.

Ways to avoid the problem )

Ways to end a pregnancy or prevent conception with PIV sex )

Things to do with a baby you don't want )

Things to do with your kids other than become a full-time mom )

...and this just hit 6,000 words, so I'll leave it there. A lot of this is based on memories of things I studied in college quite awhile ago now, so no guarantees on accuracy, but if you want me to try to expand on any particular thing or offer recommended reading I will do my best to either give you something more or admit I don't have it.

(46 comments | Reply)

December 2nd, 2015 05:40 pm - So What's Up With The OTW Anyway
I am glad to see there is still so much interest in what's up with the OTW!

The Organization for Transformative Works is a smallish, fannish, entirely volunteer-run community/arts/advocacy nonprofit with a staff and membership who are scattered around the world and communicate amongst each other entirely online.

If you have any experience with grassroots nonprofits that should tell you more that you want to know about what's been going on.

Oh, you wanted more than that?

Okay, then, but disclaimers first: I am a staff member on the OTW's Tag Wrangling Committee, who is writing this instead of overdue staff work. (I also did a very small amount of AO3 coding work, way back in the day.) My only contribution to the recent unpleasantness was reblogging stuff on Tumblr and filking "Do You Hear The People Sing" in chat. Everything I say here is my own opinion, may be various levels of ill-informed, and does not reflect the official positions of the OTW as an org or the opinions of any other staff member.

My usual policy is "if I post it publicly, link it all you want" but I would like to request for this post, as a kindness please don't link it publicly anywhere? Feel free to share with friends if you want but I'm not well-informed enough that I'm comfortable with being The Entire Internet's Source on this.

(Also the above probably gives the impression the rest of this post is going to be way juicier than it actually is.)

Here's what's up with the OTW )

Anyway, so there you have it, that's what's up with the OTW. A lot of the basics above are covered on the OTW website, and I thought about linkifiyng it, but I'm lazy and you can probably find the information yourself if you want the less colorful versions.

You are welcome to ask questions in comments, but tbh pretty much everything I actually know (and quite a few things I don't actually know) are included above, so I may or may not be able to answer them.

(40 comments | Reply)

December 1st, 2015 01:22 pm - :(
So I did not make 20,000 words in November: I got to 17,333 words and then went to Chessiecon and wrote nothing for three days, and I had hopes of finishing it yesterday (I've written 3000 words in a day before, easy) but work was frazzling and after work on Mondays I have a total of one hour of free time, so, yeah, that didn't happen. I got up to 18000 and then fell over.

But, you know, could be worse, and I did keep going up to the very last day instead of giving up, which is new for me. Now I need to decide if I want to keep the 666-words-a-day thing going, or give myself a break. I would at least like to push through and get to an ending for the other original story that's almost done.

And then Yuletide.


I had a ton of fun with the December meme last year - or at least my variation of it- but on the other hand it was a ton of writing that didn't involve finishing things already on my lists. So let's try a different variation of it this year: I have made a list of DW posts that I have been wanting to do/have had half-finished, and you all are going to vote on which ones you would most like to see me post, and then I will see how far down the ranked list I get in December.

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 66

What should I post in December?

View Answers

Chessiecon and CapClave reports
12 (18.2%)

It Came From The Wips File, revisited
13 (19.7%)

Thoughts on Hamilton the Musical
30 (45.5%)

How To Design Selfpub Book Covers that look like pro book covers
26 (39.4%)

How To Get Comments on Your Posts
24 (36.4%)

How To Save Money By Not Buying Stuff, the Melannen way
25 (37.9%)

I attempt to make a post entirely in Icelandic, fail miserably
12 (18.2%)

Jello Mold Updates!
13 (19.7%)

Melannen's Favorite Drunk, Cynical and/or Depressing Christmas Music Mix
18 (27.3%)

Thoughts on The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
27 (40.9%)

Notes on birth control, for fantasy writers
38 (57.6%)

On relearning piano, two years in
10 (15.2%)

Some Things I Have Been Reading Lately
19 (28.8%)

So What's Up With The OTW Anyway
35 (53.0%)

Over The Garden Wall postwatching reaction
4 (6.1%)

How To Describe Clothing In Fiction
34 (51.5%)

Thoughts on my first time traveling outside the US
20 (30.3%)

Post your scans and squee about Kingyo Used Books and Raven the Pirate Princess
6 (9.1%)

shoes and ships and sealing wax, cabbages and kings; why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings.
15 (22.7%)

some links to interesting scientific papers. And stuff.
22 (33.3%)

Stuff from old notebooks
5 (7.6%)

Things that are currently annoying me about aro/ace protrayals in fanfic
36 (54.5%)

My first year with a smartphone, or: sufficiently advanced technology
25 (37.9%)

Mayor Madeleine's 'Country' skills, this time with actual resarch
6 (9.1%)

Why I Don't Read Many Novels No More
35 (53.0%)

Questions for my Readership
21 (31.8%)

Some random meme that looked interesting
11 (16.7%)

free space
5 (7.6%)

that thing you remembered five minutes after posting this
13 (19.7%)

that other post you promised but have clearly forgotten about so I will remind you in a comment
0 (0.0%)

(15 comments | Reply)

October 13th, 2015 10:37 pm - It's Ada Lovelace Day!
...or at least it still was when I started writing this.

Last December we did a meme where we wrote about topics suggested by readers (you all remember that, right?), and [personal profile] redsnake05 asked me to talk about The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, which I am now doing.

...almost a year late, but we're in a small pocket universe where time sometimes folds back on itself, right?

Actually the delay was due to a couple of things, first that I wanted to get my hands on the book, which I sadly didn't manage to do until this month. Second that I don't really have anything deep to say about Lovelace and Babbage except OMG, it's the BESTTTT, you all HAVE TO READ IT ok, look I now understand about quaternions! this comic is magical.

And third that if I wanted to write anything more coherent about Lovelace and Babbage, I would have to talk about my feelings on steampunk in general, but I can't really do that, because my feelings on steampunk in general is "gosh, it's all so insipid compared to Lovelace and Babbage, why bother", and thus I don't have enough background in it to make a fair comparison.

But I shall make a valiant effort anyway! After all, not knowing what he was on about never stopped Babbage.

So here are my Three Things I Want In Steampunk, broken down into ridiculous layers:

  1. The Victorians Were Goddamned Off-The-Wall, Turned Up To Eleven, there is basically nothing you can write in speculative fiction about them that can't be outshone by something from real history that was more amazing, spectacular, horrible, terrible, cruel, ridiculous, awesome, etc.
    • This Also Applies To Their RL Tech vs. Invented Tech, i.e., the real stuff is always going to be way weirder and more interesting that the made-up stuff, and if they didn't quite get there in real tech, there's probably some related tech in actual Victorian spec fic that's more interesting than the tech in 21st century cod-Victorian spec fic.
      • Which Is Not To Say That The Victorians Were Any More Off The Wall Than Any Other Group Of Humans, but they were courteous enough to also exist at the first point in history at which they were able to leave us copious and detailed documentation of all the weirder-than-fiction things they did

  2. New Technology Catches On When Society Is Ready For It, not as a result of some lone genius working on his own, no matter how dramatically compelling it is
    • And When Society Is Ready For It means that the materials, tools, and skill needed to make it exist and make it go are reasonably available, the transportation/communication/trade networks needed to transport those things around are in place and secure enough to be usable, and a real demand exists for the technology that makes putting all the above together worthwhile.
      • When It Does Catch On, It Changes Everything, and especially things nobody would have expected it to change.
        • Human technology is always changing at an accelerated rate, faster than we can keep up, it always has, and thirty years later we've always forgotten it was ever any different.

  3. The Victorians Lived At The Inflection Point Between When It Was No Longer Possible For One Person To Know Nearly Everything, And When It Newly Possibly For Nearly Everyone To Know Many Things
    • The Last of the "Polymaths" - the upper class, classically educated gentlemen who could make major contributions in all the sciences -- were dying out and being slowly replaced by modern hyperspecialization, as the amount of known information rapidly outpaced what one person could know
      • At The Same Time, Everybody Could Do Groundbreaking Science In Their Shed - mass literacy, relatively cheap printed materials, and urbanization which gave access to public lectures created a class of non-wealthy people who could follow science fairly closely as a hobby, but at the same time most sciences and technologies were still at a point where a relatively intelligent person could replicate groundbreaking experiments cheaply at home, and have a pretty intuitive understanding of the results.
        • The whole point of steampunk is that if anybody stuck gears on something, they would do something. Probably something that nobody had ever figured out how to make gears do before. Make your gears do something real.

If you know anything about Lovelace and Babbage - and if you don't, you need to scroll back up and follow that link and read it all, I'll wait, there's not that much - you'll probably start to understand why I love it so, because Syndey Padua quite apparently shares my views on at least the first of those things: that nothing she could make up could ever outdo the actual history, and thus her best function is to make the primary sources as accessible and compelling as possible - partly through fictionalizing in an (excellently put together and hilarious) AU, but at least as much through copious footnotes and quotations, because yes. Footnotes.

But anyway rather than talk about that to illustrate my completely unfounded by wide reading issues with steampunk as a genre, I'm going to talk about some other books I've been reading lately, which include:

Raising Steam, by Terry Pratchett
Rockets, Missiles, and Men In Space, by Willy Ley
The Knight and the Umbrella, by Ian Anstruther
Passages from the Life of a Philosopher by Charles Babbage

You'll note that only one of these is fiction. )
Which is all just to say, read Lovelace and Babbage. It doesn't get any better than Lovelace and Babbage.

(12 comments | Reply)

January 20th, 2015 01:40 pm - Decembre Meme: Their Majesties' Bucketeers
A belated december meme post: [profile] fenellaevangella asked: could you talk a bit about Their Majesties' Bucketeers? I reread it not too long ago and I'd love to hear about what kind of fic you wish there was, or some meta if you've got it in you.

So for those of you who don't know about the thing of beauty and joy forever that is Their Majesties' Bucketeers, it is a short sf novel that is also a Sherlock Holmes pastiche that is set on a desert planet occupied by trilateral furry crab people with three genders.

But other than that it's exactly like Sherlock Holmes. It's set in that planet's equivalent of the high Victorian era, down to steam cars, a raging controversy over the new theory of natural selection, and a society built on racist imperialism. (In fact lamviin-Holmes's mother was the equivalent of east Indian, and his surfather was also foreign, though was his father was upper-class English equivalent and he seems to be successfully coasting on that, one of many things I wish canon had explored more except not really because I don't trust the writer to not suck at politics, so I guess we need fic.)

Anyway you can read more about it in this old entry about pro Holmes fic or my yuletide letter the year I asked for nothing but increasingly bizarre Holmes pastiches--everything in those still applies. And I still want more of the WIP about Srafen and rher inexplicable romantic life that I got as a treat that year, you're not off the hook.

I will also probably talk about the Srafen plot in this more in my entry on Lovelace and Babbage because they're probably my two favorite versions of steampunk ever.

But anyway. [profile] fenellaevangella knows all that already so now I am going to talk about a specific worldbuilding/speculative biology thing that Bucketeers does, and so do several other sffy things from that period, that I wish somebody would take a closer and more rigorous look at: a culture where it's taken for granted that you don't know what your adult gender will be until puberty. )

So I guess that's one answer to your question: I'd like more stories that explore the really different ways gendering might happen in a world where gender is never assigned at birth.

Not necessarily Bucketeers, really any version of that world you'd like to build, although I would still like fic that explored that with any of the canon characters, especially Vyssu or Srafen.

(I'd also like stories that do it more like Kazul's people, where gender isn't assigned at all but you are expected to pick one sooner or later. I suspect in a human society like that we'd still be fucked up about gender, because unfortunately, as you know, people, but in ways that were expressed quite differently. Some of the non-Α/Β/Ω D/s AUs used to touch on that, but again usually in ways that pretty closely reproduced contemporary gender issues and rarely in any depth.)

(6 comments | Reply)

December 23rd, 2014 06:08 pm - Sunreturn! (well no, actually more cold rain. Theoretically sunreturn!)
[personal profile] espresso_addict asked about my writing process.

Since the alternative is actually writing, here it is: Way more than you wanted to know. )

...and all of that is really misleading because it's not so much my writing process as what I know my writing process should be.

My actual writing process more often than not is "flail, whine to friends that writing is impossible, post unrelated tl;dr meta on DW accompanied by a disclaimer that I should be writing, screw around on Tumblr. Words? No, no words. No more words ever. *wordvomit something that I can pretend is a complete story that makes sense in the two hours before the deadline*."

..It is always changing, though. I can actively feel myself getting better at writing longer and more complicated stuff now. Note to self:It would be interesting to do this again in five or ten years and see how utterly different it is.

(18 comments | Reply)

December 20th, 2014 03:02 pm - So-called 'continuity'
1. Greetings on this shortest, darkest, most miserable day of the year (by which I mean yuletide due date, of course.)

I unexpectedly got mine in shape to post yesterday, so I'm way less panicked than I was planning to be this morning, and thus feel like I'm flapping around at loose ends (I know, cry moar). Now I just have to decide if I want to do more Yuletide or if I want to just lay back and read comics until after Christmas.

..and if I want to hang with family on Christmas Eve after all or if I want to spend the day in my pajamas watching the rest of AtLA.

2. WXPN, my current favorite radio station, did its morning show as a non-Christmasy winter music set to celebrate the solstice. I approve (and will probably be looking up a bunch of them when I get home.)

3. [personal profile] chordatesrock asked about how the MCU compares to comic universe. There are many ways to compare them! The super-basic answer is the comic universe is so vast and complicated and ever-changing that it's frankly impossible to compare it to anything other than itself. And the MCU isn't (yet.)

But I'm going to pull out one small part of it, and talk about serial storytelling as it pertains to Marvel. )

Does that, uh. Does that answer your question?

Current Mood:: [mood icon] cranky

(18 comments | Reply)

December 17th, 2014 05:00 pm - bears. possibly platypus bears.

2. So I have now read Avengers: The Children's Crusade (which was very very omg good, all my YA feels are now reignited after being slightly meh about the Secret Invasion and Dark Reign trades).

Also I really need all the fic about Billy and Teddy and their grandfather and all the different things that family means. (There are only a couple - Trust Me by dangerouscommiesubversive is really really good - but there need to be more.)

(btw I wrote up an outline of the first issue of the YA-set-in-billy-and-teddy's-apartment series. *innocent whistle*)

3. I keep meaning to catch up on replies to everyone else's posts but at this point I am SO FAR BEHIND. I am reading and enjoying them all though!

4. [personal profile] umadoshi asked: Is there a book/show/movie you've been fully intending to get to this year but find yourself putting off for some reason? (Fear of disappointment, not wanting it to be over--whatever!)

Oh gosh, there are SO MANY of these. I am totally the person who will listen to your recommendations and nod along sagely, but even if it's something that sounds perfect for me, I can never start reading/watching/listening until the time is right. Sometimes that time is ten years later.

Today I am going to talk about Avatar: The Last Airbender )

Anyway just this week I bought a couple of the missing S3 discs at a flea market so maybe I will get back to watching it soon. I could do it over the holiday when I have the TV to myself again except I was planning to spend the holiday watching both series of Cosmos back-to-back (something else I keep trying and failing to watch through.) So I guess we shall see.


And then I can start putting off watching Korra.

5. Bears.

(19 comments | Reply)

December 15th, 2014 04:56 pm - Saving the World and So On

Leave Us Time To Waste (5457 words) by melannen
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Pacific Rim (2013)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Newton Geiszler/Hermann Gottlieb, Raleigh Becket & Mako Mori, Newton Geiszler/Kaiju
Characters: Newton Geiszler, Hermann Gottlieb, Tendo Choi, Raleigh Becket, Mako Mori
Additional Tags: Aliens make them not have sex, Post-Canon, Drift Side Effects, Platonic Relationships, Sleepy/Unconscious Sex, Dubious Consent

One of the side-effects of Drifting is that Drift partners are no longer capable of being sexually attracted to each other. At all. Dr. Newton Geiszler is not happy about this.

Look, look, I finished a fic!

2. For the talky meme, [personal profile] alasse_irena asked for: Tell me something (or somethings, if you like) you would like to see more of in the fantasy genre.

Well, first, I have a confession to make: I don't read a lot of fantasy these days. (And don't watch much TV or movies, either.) There are a lot of fantasy novels I read back in the day that are still very dear to my heart, but in the last twelve months, I have read a total of six grown-up fantasy novels for grown-ups - if reading a five-book series about Edwardian vampires and one book about She-Hulk counts. (If you add in kids' novels and comics it's a little better but not much.) So it's possible they're already doing all the things I like and I just haven't noticed... but hey, when did not knowing what I'm talking about ever stop me?

My first version of this post was going to be "things fantasy novels could do to make me more likely to read them", but that really quickly turned into "reasons I enjoy fanfic more than published novels". Which was actually really interesting to write out, but not really the question I wanted to answer here, so I may post it later (I do still have slots open for the last week of meme....)

So instead I am going to talk about one thing that I would like to see less of in all the stories I consume, but especially in fantasy novels: the good guys only winning because they find the Cheat Codes of Destiny.

Or, explained at much greater length... )

Also I would like more diversity in characters and worldbuilding, obviously. And less heteronormativity and gender essentialism. And for it to be exactly like fanfic in every way. And more Capital Letters of Emphasis, obviously.

But mostly I would like a ban on using Cheat Codes of Destiny to take out the Assholes In Charge, and more of whatever we come up with instead.

(27 comments | Reply)

December 12th, 2014 01:17 pm - I lost the USB drive that had my notes for three days. :(
[personal profile] aoifes_isle asked for: Most oddball piece of research done this year - whether it be for work, wrangling, fic or because the brain-weasels attacked ...

So, uh, is there anyone reading this who has some Russian and would be willing to look over a first-pass translation of some Vysotsky lyrics I'm trying to put into English? I think I've got a rough literal version via Google and two other not-great English translations, but given that I know, like, three words of Russian, it would be nice to have someone to confirm it's all basically right, and stuff like "Does 'в настроеньи питейном' mean 'feeling drunk' or 'wanting a drink'?"

[personal profile] schneefink asked: what would be your ideal next canon YA series?

SO I actually wrote up a version of this right after I got the topic, because, well, Young Avengers! I had a whole twelve-issue storyline that was both something I really wanted to see, and that centered around the Young Avengers' ongoing themes of time travel/AUs, meta and reality shifts, and questions of identity. Unfortunately the main plot hook was "trying to bring Cassie Lang back from dead". Oops.

Anyway the short version: if I was proposing a YA series to Marvel right now, I would want it to center around Loki experimenting with reality-alteration using the power of storytelling (specifically: fanfic! :P) with the help of Billy Kaplan and America Chavez and, if I'm shooting for the moon anyway, maybe Kamala Khan? And whatever assortment of other current, former, and future young superheroes I can get my hands on.

Actually... )

If I could have ANY YA series I wanted, though, and not just one there's a slim possibility Marvel would actually make, what I want is basically the Young Avengers version of Fraction's Hawkeye - 'what they do when they aren't saving the world.'

It starts with Billy and Teddy's housewarming for their first apartment together. )

The chances that Marvel would actually make that are, like, 0%, though, if only because it's clearly aimed at a slightly older audience than Young Avengers is meant for. ...Maybe somebody will fanfic it someday.

Actually though if I could pick any one Young Avengers series to get it would be a movie trilogy. :P You didn't specify comics series, so that counts!

Because if they keep doing comics eventually they will fuck it up completely, because comics always do, but if they do a reasonably good movie, there will be enough movie fanfic for me to dine out on for years. Also, I would love to see some of these characters get a substantial incarnation with simplified/re-imagined backstories.

Set the first movie after whatever MCU does with Civil War, with a similar origin, i.e, the grown-up superheroes have fucked up big, so it's up to us kids come together to try to fix at least the small things.

The first movie is called 'Young Avengers: Red, White, and Black.' )

Call me, Marvel Studios, I'll throw together some spec scripts.

(16 comments | Reply)

December 8th, 2014 01:37 pm - Can everything be a YW crossover?
[personal profile] sineala asked: Young Wizards crossovers! Why are they awesome? Can everything be a YW crossover? Discuss.

These are both excellent questions. I am going to answer the first one via answering the second one, otherwise this will get even more too long than it is.

The answer to the second question is, of course, simultaneously yes, everything, and no, nothing at all. For if you define a 'crossover' as a story that combines several different, unconnected universes, nothing can be a YW crossover, because the story of Young Wizards canonically encompasses all other universes that there are, and therefore, no matter what you are writing, whether you know it or not, you are writing a YW crossover.

...but if you define "crossover" more broadly as entangling two pieces of story that previously didn't formally coincide, then everything can indeed be a Young Wizards crossover! After all, canonically, the YW multiverse includes them all, so there must be a way to cross them over.

That said, some universes are harder than others. And it is curious, given that all stories flow to Timeheart one way or another, that relatively few of our other canons acknowledge the presence of wizardry outright, even those set on worlds that ought to be astafrith. But I suppose that's part of keeping Earth's dominant colonialist/capitalist culture safely sevarfrith, for now.

It is tricky to find the wizards who serve the Powers in some stories, it's true, especially those which have a system of wizardry that is very definitely not the wizardry that Kit and Nita and Rhiow and Ssaash practice. And it's also true that wizardry, as we see it through Kit and Nita's eyes, is very heavily influenced by the way American Christian culture sees the world, and how it sees stories.

But we know - from canon - that the way wizardry comes out in the world can very a lot from place to place, from universe to universe. )

Basically, there are several ways to do a YW crossover: one is your basic "okay, if wizardry here works pretty much how it does for Kit and Nita, who would the wizards be, and what would they being doing?" For worlds where that doesn't work - where Kit and Nita's wizardry would not happen - you can have a character from the YW universe fall through into their world, or vice versa, and use them to figure out how wizardry in their world will work. And even without YW book characters, you can always take a world that's deep in the Lone One's power and give a few characters the Oath, so they can start to pull it out...

Although I'd also love to see more worlds that do the crossover by playing "find the wizardry" also take into account the ways in which wizardry might feel very different for those wizards, on very basic levels, even if they're on an Earth that looks like Kit and Nita's, even while following their recension of the oath. Not everybody's "growing and living well in their own way" will look like that. Of course, that's a lot harder to do! And really I just want all the YW crossovers in general.

(btw this is one of the reasons I side-eye the way AO3's tags, in practice, have been leaning toward labelling all fusion crossovers as AU. My story where Sitwell is a wizard may or may not be a crossover, but there's absolutely nothing about it that's AU. :P)

Anyway, I think it's time for another round of "Who in your fandoms is under the Oath, and how?" Who has new fandoms since last time? Who has new wizardy headcanons? Who's new here and missed the last round and wants to play?

My super-duper-new fandom is the Librarians! Because so far it's basically Leverage dropped in a blender with Stargate SG1, as you might expect, given the showrunners! And who doesn't want that, c'mon.

So. Librarian wizardry )

Current Mood:: [mood icon] awake

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December 6th, 2014 03:00 pm - a book you loved that you didn't expect to and why
So for the record, I am totally going to finish liveblogging the bag of STUFF tonight. If you catch me not doing that, call me on it, pls. (Also thank you so much for actually, like, spending your Fridaay night reading my cleaning liveblog, which I did truly not expect anybody to do - the steady trickle of comments really did a lot to help me keep going.)

Anyway, December Meme Week 1 Prompt 2: [personal profile] the_rck asked for "a book you loved that you didn't expect to and why"

This was actually pretty hard to come up with an answer for! Because I have broad enough reading interests, and a long enough to-read list of stuff I know I'll like that I don't usually read books unless I've convinced myself, at least a little, that I will love them. Unfortunately this means I read a lot more unexpectedly bad books than I do unexpectedly good books.

(Occasionally I will hate-read through something that is a classic of its genre, even though I expect to hate it, just so I can say I've read it, but usually in those cases I know exactly why I will hate it going in, and usually I am right.)

So I am going to talk about something that is probably not quite what the prompter requested and answers the question via a lot of sort-of-off-topic rambling, in a pattern that will probably be very familiar to you by the end of the month. :P I could talk about some books that I expected to like and ended up falling in love with a lot more than I thought I would, but instead, I'm going to talk about Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Book One. (And to some extent ChordTime Piano: Classics.)

Because, as I think I've mentioned here a few times, for about the past year I've been semi-seriously trying to get back into learning piano, after not really doing anything but messing around since I stopped my lessons in elemetary school.

On Piano Lessons )

What I did come out of piano lessons with was a deep, deep hatred of a) having to play classical pieces on the piano, and b) any piano book that looked like it was intended as a lesson book, since in my experience that just resulted in boringness and not learning what I wanted to learn. So I'd play with a book of Pop Hits or Favorite Old Singalong Tunes but avoid the teach-yourself books and exercise books or anything classical (I don't have anything against classical music to listen to, but most of it's not well-designed to be played melody-line-only by a poor pianist, and I had bad associations from childhood recitals.)

But then three things happened at once: 1) I got tapped to fill-in as accompanist at our church (because 'can pick out melody line' was still better than the only alternatives in the congregation); 2) I bought a copy of ChordTime Piano: Classics for a quarter at a flea market; 3) I started to put all the songs from my increasingly ridiculous collection of piano music into a spreadsheet, for easy searching.

(also 0) Mom attempted but failed to give away our piano since nobody was playing it much.)

And suddenly I was really enjoying lesson books? )

So I'm still working through those three piano books - slowly and haltlingly, because let's face it, I'm still not very good at this, and I'm easily distracted (my sister just gave me Les Mis Easy Piano for Christmas, so that'll be nicely distracting for awhile, but I CAN SIGHTREAD IT WITH BOTH HANDS, which is so far beyond where I was this time last year, OMG,) and I'm really enjoying it.

Anyway I was going to close this post with a recording of me playing last fall and me playing now, but, uh, I'm not that much better yet. :P

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December 2nd, 2014 07:09 pm - What are my feelings on Agent of Asgard
..ugh I forgot that the problem with the December Meme is that suddenly there's SO MUCH good content on my DW reading list that I am so busy reading I don't have time to write posts. BUT! I will persevere. And by persevere I mean "tl;dr on command."

[personal profile] dhampyresa asked "What are your feelings on Agent of Asgard?"

I'm afraid I won't have anything very deep for you, alas. My current thoughts on Agent of Asgard sort of go like this:

1. SO MANY things I want to talk about and/or want stories about, except there's so much canon out that I haven't read, and I know it's a comics fandom so I should just ignore that, but with a recent series it's hard, okay, augh, THIS IS WHY I TRY TO AVOID OPEN CANONS, by the time I figure out how I feel about something it's already out of date.


3. The thing is, I have a TYPE. And that type is Really Old People (like, age measured in centuries old) who try very hard to stay young despite all their tangled history and memories, and as a result are usually the only Old One, living semi-incognito among mortals, who have really complicated relationships with morality and guilt and the concepts of good and evil (partly because you can't live that long without your morality going at least a bit blue and orange) and with their own identity (ditto the way that outliving worlds screws with sense of identity) and with their own mythology; but who are sustained by endless and unkillable - no matter how hard they sometimes try - reservoirs of love. Love for family, love for students and friends, all-encompassing love for that-which-lives, love for sunlight and cats and stars and breakfast meats. Oh and preferably they have a semi-adversarial, semi-flirtatious relationship with a peer who uses slightly different shades of blue and orange, but that's optional.

I think my first character who fit that archetype was Deth, the High One's harpist. (I feel like there must have been someone before him but I can't think of any offhand. Perhaps that is why Deth hit me so hard when I met him.) And, of course, Methos. And ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ. And the Doctor and the Master. And Crowley and Aziraphale. And certain of the more ambiguous avatars of the Lone Power. and Don Simon Ysidro, the Oldest Vampire in Europe. And I could probably go on into progressively more obscure stuff, but you get the gist. Basically, I should have known better, even leaving aside that it's Loki and I definitely know better than to mix it up with trickster gods.

4. Srsly why no Loki/Sigurd slash????

4a. Dammit if I have to write it myself does that mean that I have to start caring about the Volsungasaga? But I've worked very hard at not caring about the Volsungasaga for thirty years now.


5a. Oh hey it's Advent, that means I can put Lokes Rapsody and Gudesang back in the MP3 rotation!

Anyway for the under-the-cut rambling I'm going to choose to focus on #2, which sadly has less to to with Loki, and more to do with how I go about acquiring comics )

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November 24th, 2014 11:33 pm
I just went through and left prompts for (I think) everyone I'm now subscribed to who's doing the December meme. If my prompt came off as weird or tasteless, sorry, there's a lot of you and I was getting kind of punchy by the end. (Hey it's still less weird than what I did last year, nobody was asked to talk about cabbages and kings or pigs with wings.) Unless I asked you about the weather. If I asked you about the weather I definitely sincerely think it would be really interesting to hear you talk about the weather. We internet people don't talk about the weather enough except when it's being nasty.

If you're doing one and I'm subscribed to you and I missed you, feel free to drop me a link.

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November 17th, 2014 05:35 pm
1. I have been doing a terrible job with the writing lately. Since last update, I have written a few hundred more words of the ANitLO crossover, some more Montparnasse fic, some more Booby!Marius story, and a tiny tiny bit of the one where Cap and Tony are both fail at coming out.

2. Part of the reason for this is that I keep coming home at night and not wanting to do anything but SLEEP. So yesterday I read [personal profile] rydra_wong's post on winter light and realized that the fact that f.lux is set to make me sleepy at sunset probably isn't helping. I didn't want to turn it off because I still don't need to be staring bright-eyed at Tumblr until 2 AM, so I decided to try reversing the latitude on my f.lux location - it may be getting dark under the daystar, but my laptop's brightness now thinks I live off the coast of South America and it's late spring with the days still getting longer. We'll see if it helps.

3. Also possibly more relevantly to the lack of writing I read the Loki: Agent of Asgard trade and then read all of the Boyband!Loki fic on AO3. I knew better than to start reading Loki:AoA, because getting mixed up with trickster gods is ALWAYS a bad idea, and besides I've read enough Marvel Now trades to know that it'll inevitably get mixed up in a massive crossover event and start to suck. But you know. As of the first trade it is basically flawless and also 100% made of fandom catnip and I can't. Come talk to me about AoA.

Comics!Loki, for those who don't know, has in the past few years gone through a complicated series of disincorporations/autocides/reiterations, more-or-less intentionally, and is currently in a body that frequently gets him mistaken for Harry Styles and/or Justin Beiber, trying to figure out how to stop being the villain of the story and develop a working conscience, despite everything - from his destiny to his Queens - working against him. If boyband!Loki gleefully out-scheming everybody in the Marvel Universe, swashbuckling with hot dudes, going on crime capers as a hot chick, having vaguely-platonic coffee with a cute hipster girl he met while speed-dating, being blatantly objectified by the narrative, being canonically pansexual and genderfluid, and being tragic yet determined about stuff like the nature of free will and stories and truth and good and evil and guilt and redemption sound like your kind of thing - well, run very fast in the other direction from Agent of Asgard, okay, because Loki is always bad news.

(If you've seen the panels where Loki confesses to having created a most terrible slash on the internet, okay, so, on the one hand yay, on the other hand given all the meta stuff about how Loki is defined by the stories written about him, and his newly canonically fluid gender/sexuality, I really want to talk about why Loki is creating slash on the internet, and what stories he's telling.)

(he's writing about Sigurd fucking him in their trash dumpster.)

4. Here are some boyband!Loki fic recs )

You will notice there is no Sigurd in those recs. That is because there is no Sigurd fic on AO3. At all. ...fandom, write me some Loki/Sigurd fic like, yesterday. HOW CAN YOU RESIST THAT FACE

5. I shall put in for the DW friending meme that [personal profile] ladyscribe is running, but it totally expects you to be doing the December posting meme. I have too much stuff going on to commit to posting on certain days, but I will borrow [personal profile] isis's weekly variation. So here is your chance to make me talk about a thing, any thing at all. as long as it's AoA Loki

Give me a topic and pick a week and I will try to talk about that topic on my journal at some point during that week. (disclaimers: topics for a given week are cut off after 5; several topics may be combined into one post.)

Week 1: Dec 1-7 : a book you loved that you didn't expect to and why ([personal profile] the_rck); what are your feelings on Agent of Asgard? ([personal profile] dhampyresa)
Week 2: Dec 8-14 : what would be your ideal next canon YA series? ([personal profile] schneefink); Young Wizards crossovers! Why are they awesome? Can everything be a YW crossover? Discuss. ([personal profile] sineala); Most oddball piece of research done this year - whether it be for work, wrangling, fic or because the brain-weasels attacked ... ([personal profile] aoifes_isle)
Week 3: Dec 15-21 : how the MCU compares to comic universe ([personal profile] chordatesrock); Tell me something (or somethings, if you like) you would like to see more of in the fantasy genre. ([personal profile] alasse_irena); Is there a book/show/movie you've been fully intending to get to this year but find yourself putting off for some reason? (Fear of disappointment, not wanting it to be over--whatever!) ([personal profile] umadoshi)
Week 4: Dec 22-28 : could you talk a bit about Their Majesties' Bucketeers? I reread it not too long ago and I'd love to hear about what kind of fic you wish there was, or some meta if you've got it in you. ([personal profile] fenellaevangela); talk about your writing process ([personal profile] espresso_addict).; perhaps you could talk about The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage ([personal profile] redsnake05)

6. If you're curious about why I sometimes go a long time between DW posts, my process here was literally: a) I can't post the friend meme comment until I've made the DW post to link to; b) I can't make the DW post until I've made the Tumblr post to link to; c) I can't make the Tumblr post until I have scanned the comics; d) I can't scan the comics until I have dug the scanner out of the pile behind the couch; e) I will deal with the pile behind the couch sometime after hell freezes over.

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