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March 14th, 2015 09:26 pm - jupiter ascending
So I went to see Jupiter Ascending to celebrate Pi Day.


very vague spoilers under cut )

There are a bunch of ways I just expect a movie to betray me eventually and watching it is sort of like just counting down until the inevitable betrayal and this movie kept NOT DOING THAT. The internet had warned me about most of them so I was prepared to maybe not be betrayed in the standard ways? BUT NOBODY WARNED ME ABOUT THE SCIENCE. NOBODY WARNED ME THAT THIS WAS A REALLY SMART MOVIE BY PEOPLE WHO REALLY LOVE THE "SCIENCE" IN SF AND TRUST THE AUDIENCE TO ALSO BE SMART. WHY DID YOU NOT WARN ME.

that was a really good choice to celebrate pi day.

Current Mood:: [mood icon] ecstatic

(39 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 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 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

(21 comments | Reply)

June 12th, 2014 10:07 am - Ten Simple Ways To Get More Attention For Your Fanwork
I am still not ready for con.txt, so here is a completely unrelated thing that I clearly needed to finish RIGHT NOW.

Ten Simple Ways To Get More Attention For Your Fanwork
(On AO3 and Elsewhere)

I figured I should share these since it took me a long time to figure some of them out. A few caveats before we start:

A few caveats:
1. Some of these are AO3-specific (but can be adapted elsewhere), some of them are pretty universal.
2. I said "simple", not "easy".
3. These techniques help to get work that is in the competent-to-good range, if you're lucky, solidly into the midlist when it comes to hits and kudos. They will not make you the most popular person in the fandom.
4. If the work is bad (poor grammar and spelling, no character logic at all, etc.), even this won't help. If your work is super-excellent, these will probably work as well as they do for competent-to-good stuff.
5. This is written from the deliberately cynical perspective that one's primary goal in fandom is maximum positive attention. There are other reasons to do fanwork, probably better reasons, as evidenced by the fact that I personally don't bother with most of these things most of the time.
6. Overdoing any of these may backfire spectacularly.
7. Results not guaranteed.

1. Post Early )

2. Post Often )

3. Answer all your reviews )

4. Talk to people. )

5. Bring in shills )

6. Tag for popular pairings, fandoms, and characters at the least excuse )

7. Tag Lots. )

8. Put the main character's name in the title )

9. Craft your summary carefully )

10. Find your niche and stick a flag in it. )

"If you know all these good strategies, [personal profile] melannen", you cry, "Why aren't you getting way more kudos than you are?"

"Because I'm lazy and I hate doing them," I say. "Also I decided that getting four or five kudos every single day was enough to keep me in buttpats with minumum effort, and I seem to have already managed that by accidentally doing 1, 4, 6, and 8 a few times. Lazy and midlist is where I've hung my hammock. You should try it."

(37 comments | Reply)

December 2nd, 2013 10:22 pm - Some Exercises in the Craft of Writing
There was a really interesting conversation on Tumblr recently about how to practice writing as a craft (read the reblog comments too, they're all interesting), especially compared to other creative arts like music and visual art, and it was full of interesting thinky bits and any of you who are trying to be better writers should read it.

Anyway, I didn't speak up there because a) still refuse to discuss anything with any depth via tumblr sorry, and b) what I had to say is sort of orthogonal to the fascinating points they were making. But I have had "post about the stuff you do as writing exercise/practice/warmup" on my list for awhile, and I am fresh off a triumphant tenth massive failure at NaNo, so here is a list of five things I do as a writer that I do sort of think of as the equivalent of an artist doing drawing exercises or a musician doing scales or a boxer jumping rope, and that I think address, at least a little bit, the question from the tumblr thread of how you divide "write a thing" up into individual, simpler skills that can be practiced without having do everything at once.

Though first I should say that every brain works differently and every writer has a different way of working with words, so probably most of these will make no sense to most of you. Also, the first and always advice for being a better writer is the same advice for anybody trying to be better at any skill of any kind - do it a lot, do it with discipline, keep doing it. And read what other people are doing, too, read constantly.

The below are just things I have worked out as semi-effective substitutes for being disciplined and diligent, that I can do when I make time or in-betweens, because let's face it, disciplined and diligent is just not happening anytime soon for some of us, and they're things that work for me, more-or-less, or at least they feel like they work. But also, I think there's a tendency with beginning writers to steer them away from these kinds of exercises, because it is easy to fall into doing "writing exercises" instead of actually writing things. All the same, though, I think some of them can be very useful, as long as you keep in mind that they aren't a substitute for actually writing, so it seemed like they were worth sharing.

Also someone recently asked me how I managed to sit down two nights before an exchange fic was due with a blank page and end up with 7000 words of passable fiction by the deadline. My best answer was something like "Well, didn't write anything down until then, but I'd been working on writing it for months..." This is sort of the expanded version of that answer.

Write without writing anything down )

Sketch from life )

Do Stupid Language Tricks )

Pastiche Things )

Do stuff. Try things. )

(25 comments | Reply)

May 20th, 2013 04:40 pm
1. Minor thirdhand spoiler from ST:ID )

Here is new favorite gif to give you some spoiler space:

a giant tribble is sitting in Kirk's captain's chair. It breathes.

2. I posted a fic!

Hand In Hand (1595 words) by melannen
Fandom: Les Misérables - Victor Hugo
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: Canonical Character Deaths
Relationships: Cosette Fauchelevent/Marius Pontmercy
Characters: Cosette Fauchelevent, Marius Pontmercy, Les Amis de l'ABC
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Prehistoric, Empty Chairs, Cave Paintings, Post Barricade, Caves, France (Country), Painting, Memories
Summary: In the south of France, a group of young men once came together to teach, to learn, and to fight for the rights of all humankind.

...I am told it makes people cry, so, uh, be warned? (all of the fic I want to write in this fandom right now is about all of Marius's friends being dead, don't ask me why.)

3. Speaking of, there is now a general, everybody-welcome Les Misérables community on DW so we don't have to keep trying to have serious discussions on Tumblr:

[community profile] les_miserables

If you are even peripherally in Les Mis fandom, come join! Come play! My current plan is to keep posting stuff about Waterloo there until other people start posting just to stop the pain. :P

4. Reminder that the Books and Comics giveaway is still active. If we have ever had any interactions in person or on the internet you count as someone I know.

(Oh btw, if you claim any books: can you PM or email me a functional mailing address? I kind of forgot I would need that when I made the original post.)

(9 comments | Reply)

October 22nd, 2012 06:29 pm - Things To Do While Not Watching The Debate
The last few nights before bed, I've been watching The Thick Of It (starting with S1 - I'm now caught up through the specials). This was a show I've been aware of in a vague sense since it started, but especially (obviously) when I was active in British Politics RPF fandom. I drifted out of that fandom about the time that the new government stopped being an exciting story and started clearly being about screwing over the young, old, poor and disabled.

But then [personal profile] thatyourefuse started watching it and posting about it, and that means it almost certainly has interesting female characters and powerplay, and apparently what I really needed now was a political fandom I could enjoy that had no real-world stakes, and being a BBC show this one has a much less intimidating amount of canon than West Wing, so I started watching.

For the record: watching this before bed every night is possibly not a great idea. :P

Some Things about The Thick of It s1 + specials )

For the past month or more my fandom activity has been: watching QI and HIGNFY and listening to the Bugle and The News Quiz; attempting to work on my Avengers polybigbang fic and other fics in that universe; attempting to finish one of my Community fics; poking at last year's yuletide (which I am going to post more of this year! I swear!) and related canon; keeping up with a couple of webcomics; watching The Thick Of It; and, when I just want braincandy, reading Teen Wolf slash.

I have no desire to watch Teen Wolf canon, though. It's partly because it's clear this is one of those fandoms that exists to spite canon, but let's be honest, it's at least partly because Derek and Stiles both have epically terrible hair.

I think NaNo is going to be werewolves this year, though. Just because (and because I have nine different things in my wips file that involve wolves, coyotes or werewolves in some way, for some reason.)

...no, I am not going to write a Thick Of It werewolf AU, stoppit.

(17 comments | Reply)

July 25th, 2012 04:42 pm - oldest fandom, newest fandom
While my sister was here, we went through and cleaned out a lot more of the Star Wars junk, so all that's left now fits on and around one bookshelf. (The junk we cleaned out is now sitting on the back porch, while we figure out what to do with it. I was in favor of just emailing the Star Toys museum about another mass donation, but sister wanted to see if anything was worth trying to sell, and meanwhile I'm trying to decide if I can bear to open all the mint-in-box action figures so I can play with them (and store them better), or just donate/sell them as mint in box, and also trying to convince our cousins to take it all.

...so uh anybody want any Star Wars junk?)

My sister gave me a list of the books we have that I haven't read that I should, starting with Jedi Apprentice, so I started with those.

You guys. Jedi Apprentice. I know that I've previously been told, when asked why Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan blew up into a giant fandom, that the reason was Jedi Apprentice, but somehow I was still assuming that most of it came from the fandom. NOT SO MUCH.

Destiny! Soulbound! )

What I am saying is that these books are very silly, and I can't find any Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan on the AO3 that is quite as gay as them.


I also had some crochet I needed to get done, so I decided to start watching Community. It is you guys's fault. Yes, you. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, Community people.

I am watching in silly mixed-up order, starting with the five legal free online streaming episodes (all from later in S3) and then at the beginning of S2. (since I have already read ALL THE FIC - and wow, Community people, that didn't take long, get on the ball there - and been to the con-txt panels, and been subjected to many people discussing it - I had already been spoiled, so that seemed like a good order to go in.) I'm about a third of the way through S2 now. Here are my comments:

1. JSYK, if somebody had told me that John Oliver had a brilliant recurring guest role on this show, I probably would have started watching two years ago. :P

some more things that surprised me )

(There is nothing in the above about Troy and Abed and the general geek-friendliness and Annie and Britta and Pierce and Shirley and the Dean and postomdern magical realism and the episodes themselves and etc. because the fandom did prepare me adequately for how awesome all of that is. Yay!)


Oh, so the last part of the Avengers-are-geeks fic went up on AO3 a few days ago, and so did that not!fic I posted on here a few months back, The One Where Tony Stark And Princess Leia Hook Up, since I was writing about Avengers and Star Wars anyway.

My writing has been going interesting places this year! I signed up for [community profile] inkingitout with a wordcount total for the year, and it's the last half of July and I'm actually ahead by a comfortable margin!

The main thing I am learning about my writing is that writing hard things is hard, and writing silly crossovers is easy. So while I have a bunch of Hard Things that I am still pounding away at (including the Avengers fics I was talking about at con-txt, and some Homestuck things, and the next bit of the October megacrossover, and a couple of DF WIPs, yes, before you ask), it makes it easier if I am working on something silly at the same time, to turn to when all writing seems a pit of despair and failure.

Unfortunately once I let myself decide that I immediately got overrun with silly crossovers, so I need you guys to help me out.

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 29

Which crossover that I have started in the last couple weeks should I focus on finishing next?

View Answers

The sequel to the Tony/Leia one, in which Jedi Knight Steve Rogers served with Tony's father in the Clone Wars
14 (48.3%)

The one that follows the careers of the first twelve Alternian initiates to the Jedi Temple
2 (6.9%)

The one where John, Jade, Rose and Dave move in next door to Abed, Troy, Annie and Britta, and discover that Abed and Troy broke the new universe by somehow reaching God Tier without playing sburb
3 (10.3%)

The Vorkosiverse/Study In Emerald one that's Lannamichaels' fault where all Barrayaran Vor are hybrids of humans and Lovecraftian tentacle gods
10 (34.5%)

...okay, I'll be honest, regardless of the poll, it's probably going to be the Avengers/Star Wars one, if only because it only needs about five hundred more words of snappy dialogue for a complete first draft. Unfortunately, despite being a silly crossover, I am filled with angst about what to do with it then.

Completion and pairings )

(While I was working on this [personal profile] lettered wrote a much more coherent post on the topic of pairing tags, which covers the same ground, you should go read that instead.)

(29 comments | Reply)

June 25th, 2012 12:30 pm - This post appears to be mostly about poly. HMM.
First, two general notes:
My laptop power cord/socket have reached the point of non-working that it's generating more heat than power, so in the interest of not setting another motherboard on fire, I am going to be opening it up this afternoon and attempting to replace the parts. I have never sucessfully soldered on a motherboard before, so if I unexpectedly go silent, it is probably because I have melted my laptop, jsyk.

Also, I will be going to Boston at the end of this week, and then bringing [personal profile] stellar_dust and her cats (and all of her stuff) back to Maryland after. Any Boston people want to hang out or go see Avengers again or anything? :P I'll be free... um, Friday. I will even have a car and everything this time!

Five slightly more interesting things:

1. I fixed my radio yesterday (the power of rubber bands!) and turned it on just in time to discover that Jim Packard had died. ): The world of radio quiz comedy shows has lost a luminary. (I had to change the channel while I was waiting for the radio to wind down, I couldn't take listening to Michael Feldman trying not to cry anymore.)

2. I have read Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, courtesy of a very kind person who loaned me a copy of the e-ARC! It is general, but no specific, spoilers )

3. Oh and speaking of writers who should definitely keep listening to the fans, one of the ways I know that I have assembled a very good network here is that when I go to my network page, I always find interesting things based on what you all are reading. Yesterday, I learned that [personal profile] dduane ships Nita/Kit/Ronan.

DIANE DUANE HOW ARE YOU SO AWESOME. (not going to follow her tumblr though, tumblr still scares me.)

/me continues to believe that bit at the end of Spock's World where Spock and McCoy head off to bed and ask if Kirk is joining them really was intended to be what it sounds like.

4. Speaking of poly ships, somebody at the poly panel at con.txt (I think it was [personal profile] viklikesfic) recommended the Polyamory Weekly podcast as a good source for people writing poly fic who wanted to learn more about the ways people do poly in RL, and I've started listening to it, and really enjoying it.

It's exactly what I wanted - not advice or how-tos, but a glimpse inside a wide cross-section of the poly community - because when I think about poly fic, I often want to write people who identify as poly, and not write them in ways that would make poly people cringe; but all the people whose poly lives I know anything about are in fandom, which might skew things a little. Poly Weekly give me that! And "from a kink-friendly, pansexual point of view" which is even better.

Anyway, highly recommended, and it has me thinking about poly ships in fandom, and that one of the reasons I like explicitly poly fic (and in a different way than plain OT3/OTTeam fic) is that to be good at polyamory, you are expected to communicate openly with your partners, to be self-aware and responsible for your own feelings and needs, to be adult and compassionate, to think in terms of networks of many kinds of important relationships instead of One Person Who Matters.

Because yes. Yes please to all of that. And you don't have to be poly to have that, but you have to have most of that to make poly work.

...which on the surface makes it kind of hilarious that I am having so many polyamory *feelings* about Avengers )

5. Oh and speaking of stuff from con.txt, I posted about the QUILTBAG on the new [community profile] contxt_lounge community. I was going to post a general crafting update here that included all that, but just the QUILTBAG part got way too long, so I threw it up there instead.

Also included in that post is the current draft of the Dalekling crochet pattern from two years ago, if anyone was still waiting for that. :P

Here's the photo and basic description, copied from that post:

Also here is a picture of me in the Sufferer cloak I altered for con.txt )

(29 comments | Reply)

June 13th, 2012 05:40 pm - Avengers: Assemble
I just realized that I never made a post here after I saw the Avengers movie.

...um, I saw the Avengers movie a few weeks ago! As has probably become obvious already. But by the time I saw it the internet had pretty much said everything there was to say about it, so I don't really have much to add.

(Except Nick Fury you are my very favorite. But I didn't believe even for a second that Coulson was dead, Nick, you are fooling no-one.)

(Also the plot makes no sense once you think about it, and why didn't they just go hit Dr. Selvig over the head as soon as they found him, cut the fight scene by about fifteen minutes, and prevent the destruction of whole swathes of Manhattan? Bah.)

Anyway, I kind of wanted to finally watch the Hulk movie after that, because, well, BRUCE. And I wanted to re-watch Iron Man 2 which I hadn't seen since it came out. So what I did was I went and downloaded the nine-hour fan cut which chronologically meshes together both Iron Man movies, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, and the Coulson short into one long movie. Somebody on my reading list linked to a review of it awhile back, which recommended it as much preferable to trying to watch Hulk straight through. Thank you, whoever linked to that!

I was figuring I'd just skip to the Iron Man 2/Thor/Hulk section, but I kind of wanted to see the transition between the two Iron Man movies, and then I wanted to check some bits of Cap canon, and the next thing I knew it was nine hours later and I'd watched the whole thing (and finished a QUILTBAG for con.txt, so it wasn't a total loss.)

Watching them all put together like that was actually really cool, and it brought out all sorts of themes and recurring issues between the movies that weren't nearly as apparent otherwise.

Also I agree that it's probably the best way to watch the Hulk movie; I suspect I would have been alternately bored and frustrated if I'd watched it straight through, but in the 9-hour fancut, it worked pretty well - just when you were getting a little overwhelmed with the glitter and bombast of Asgard or the frenetic decadence of Stark Industries, it'll cut to a suburban park or a small marketplace or a quiet forest and give you a chance to breathe (and watch Bruce Banner yay.)

Hulk discussion )

So anyway, while I don't recommend it as a good movie or anything, it's very pretty and not too painful, and if you're thinking about writing anything very substantial about Bruce Banner, you should probably watch it; it didn't so much change my idea of his character as solidify some of the things that had already been bothering me about how people have been writing him lately.

And also write stuff that lets Betty live up to her potential, bah.

More things that I noticed watching the 9-hour cut that I wish fandom would do more with:

9-ish things )

...uh, there's more I could talk about but that's probably enough for one post, especially since I should be working on con-txt stuff.

Also [personal profile] brownbetty has made [community profile] cap_chronism for historical stuff relevant to Steve Rogers, which you should join. Maybe I will even get around to posting the rest of my collection of risque artifacts from the '30s and '40s!

(30 comments | Reply)

April 8th, 2012 08:27 pm - Ashes
So those of you who aren't fans of Homestuck but have carried on reading this journal regardless may not have picked up on this yet, but one of the reasons I love Homestuck fandom so much is that it has a completely different concept of romantic relationships than any other fandom I've been in. In Homestuck canon, "romance" does not mean "two people of the same (or opposite, if not slash) gender fall in love, have sex, and commit to be in a relationship only with each other." While there are some other SF fandoms where the canon has an opening for this kind of thing, Homestuck is the first one I've encountered where the majority of the active fandom seems to have really embraced the possibilities instead of falling back on standard monogamy.

And I don't just mean the fact that at least two-thirds of the main characters come from cultures where homosexuality "isn't even a thing" - where a few of them have an expressed preference for partners of one gender, a few of them have an expressed preference for partners of another, but it isn't the most important thing about them, and the vast majority of the characters simply don't care.

It's the fact that in Homestuck fandom, "romance" can mean a lot of different things. There is sexual romance and non-sexual romance, romance based on hate, and romance based on compassion, and romance based on necessity, and romance based on lust; romances of two people and romances of three people; romances that fit the normal human ideas and romances that are compromises between people who have different needs and preconceptions; and romances that transcend all definition. And it is ordinary and expected that everybody will be in several romantic relationships of different types, with different people, at the same time. And if you start having romantic tension with somebody, the first step is flailing around about exactly what kind of romantic attraction you have for them and if it matches the kind they're feeling. And all of these forms of relationships have 'romantic' and 'platonic' versions, and people actually remember to specify which one it is.

And Homestuck accepts this as how you do romance. It understands that romance is not a simple concept that only means one thing. And in Homestuck fandom, a 'ship in which the partners have sex and stare dreamily into each other's eyes is given exactly the same status and consideration as a 'ship in which the partners gag at the idea of sexual contact with each other, but make sure they get enough to eat and sleep and cry on each other's shoulders and die at each other's side. And it is perfectly okay to 'ship a character the first way with one person and the second way with another person, and it doesn't mean either 'ship is 'less important'. (And in fact the two most-beloved canon ships in all Homestuck are the non-sexual kind.)

And Homestuck fandom has a whole, vibrant, functional vocabulary for talking about all these things; and forget about / vs. & - Homestuck fic hearders regularly use six different pairing delimiters. People write black flirting and pale porn and ashen infidelity and flushed cuddling and everybody knows exactly what all of those things mean. And the terms work, and people accept them instead of arguing about them, and talk about all of this stuff (and write it in fic) in a nuanced way, and none of the terms make me cringe and want to page away. (okay people's attempts at spelling them yes, the terms themselves no.) Basically, Homestuck fandom on romance is what the asexual community wishes it was. And they do most of this on Tumblr.

(Or possibly it's just what I wish the asexual community was. Can we please appropriate 'moirail' and stop using the terms 'zucchini' and 'queerplatonic' and so on? Please?)

Anyway, all of the above is to say that I've written ashen pwp. Or possibly "have been writing it", since I put up the first one on [community profile] bucketlist a few weeks ago and then just finished the second one last night. They're up on AO3 now, so here are the links:

Intercession (1702 words) by [archiveofourown.org profile] melannen
Fandom: Homestuck
Rating: General Audiences
Relationships: The Handmaid ♣ The Grand Highblood ♣ The Sufferer

The Sufferer is the Auspistice of the World, for his cloak is Ashen, and he standeth amon9st us, and sayeth, Peace. 6y which he meaneth, shut the fuck up, for I am Sick of dealin9 with your Shit.

--2nd Testament of the Disciple, 4:13

(for a kinkmeme prompt wanting anything involving the Grand Highblood and another (or more) of the ancestors that's either ashen or black. Given the choice, I obviously had to figure out who I shipped him ashen with! And now this is my favorite ancestor ship of all.)

Passion (4089 words) by [archiveofourown.org profile] melannen
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Homestuck
Rating: General Audiences
Relationships: The Handmaid ♣ The Grand Highblood ♣ The Sufferer, Darkleer/The Handmaid, Darkleer ♦ The Disciple

You cock your head, pretending to think this over. And then you lean over the table, your face bare inches from hers. "Nah," you say. "I DECLINE THE HONOR. Bright fuck-off scarlet DON'T ALL UP AND MATCH MY DECORATING SCHEME."

(Or, the Ancestors do Easter.)

Because once I had the Sufferer and the Grand Highblood and the Handmaid in a quadrant together, I couldn't not do the Sufferer's version of the Passion story. (Which, uh, it's an Easter fic, it's not spoilers to warn that the Sufferer dies, right? No graphic torture or death scenes though. Also I think despite writing a fic based around the Passion story, I only made one bingo on all those cards I wrote up last entry, and that one uses a free space. This story pokes at entirely different kinks than the version with Human Sufferer in it.)

And now that that's written and posted, maybe I can actually concentrate on some other creative project now. Any other creative project! That wasn't even the Easter fic I was supposed to be writing.

---also, while I am here, I want to whine about the fact that various male relations are allowed to get online during the family Easter dinner, so that they can check on their fantasy baseball teams, and not only that they put the game on, and nobody says anything about it, but I'm can't check to see if the new fic I posted to AO3 has any new comments, because it's a family dinner. It's not that I want to be able to check AO3 instead of playing with younger cousins, it's just, dude, if fantasy baseball is more important than your kids' Easter, why are you even here? And why do they let you get away with that?

Current Music:: Tiger Lilies - Banging In the Nails

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March 26th, 2012 09:32 pm - Paaaaanels!
It's early spring in an even-numbered year! You know what that means - Con.txt is looking for panel ideas!

I gave myself the length of the walk to the library where I was TAing a computer class tonight - that's 1.8 miles or about 40 minutes, if I don't dawdle - to come up with panel ideas, and decided that would be it, no more.

I have 22 listed.

I have come up with a couple more since then but they don't get to go on the list! 22 is enough dammit!


Some of them are resubmits that didn't get in two years ago, some of them are similar to panels that have been at Con.txt before but I think would make a good repeat, some of them maybe shouldn't even get in but I at least want to see them on the list for people to think about, some of them are similar to suggestions already up, some of them are things I'd like to see more discussion about, some of them are things where I think existing discourse could be expanded with some non-computer-mediated interaction, some of them are just fun... but I thought I'd post them here, because I'm currently kicking myself over the fact that I didn't save a copy of my panel suggestions from last time.

(also I may not actually be able to submit them yet because I only just got around to registering for con.txt and now I have to remember to mail them a check tomorrow because PayPal, there goes my election judge pay!)

Anyway. Panel ideas! Under cut! (Also if anybody at all is looking around for meta prompts lalala feel free to yoink any of these.)

con.txt panel ideas )

I haven't actually submitted any of them yet. Anybody have any suggestions/critiques/comments/wording tweaks about any of them, while there's still time?

Also I considered listing "No-name newb to panel moderator in just one convention!" but really I should just write that one up as a journal post already.

(20 comments | Reply)

January 12th, 2012 10:40 am - I'm bored, Sherlock, and your casefiles are boring
I watched The Hounds of Baskerville last night. Yeah, yeah, I know I said I was done with that fandom, but it was only two more episodes, and it was one of my favorite Holmes stories, so I figured I might as well finish. (Plus I wanted to finish another row on my quilt.)


Okay, I've done some more thinking about why I can't enjoy Sherlock for the fun, brightly-lit romp it's meant to be.

I have strong feelings about Holmes: I first read the stories when I was, mm, 8 or 9, and of the stories of my pre-net years that still have active fandoms, it's the earliest one I was actively engaged with. And Sherlock Holmes meant a great deal to me then, and still does: he was the first character who told me, explicitly, without talking down, "it's okay to be too smart, even if it's not in the ways you're supposed to be smart," "it's okay to be uninterested in sex and romance, and you don't have to grow out of it, ever," "it's okay to process and experience emotions and relationships differently from the way other people do, and it doesn't make you inhuman," and "you're allowed to forge your own path in the world, you don't have to fit into a box."

So yeah, Holmes fandom means a lot to me, but actually, my issues with Sherlock don't mostly have to do with that? I mean if they had really screwed up on the above I would be actively avoiding, not just bored, and I really liked the first RDJ movie as an adaptation.

And bored is what I am. I actually paused Baskerville during the pivotal reveal scene and went to do something else because I was so unutterably bored by it. And then I forgot I hadn't finished the episode until I noticed half an hour later that my video player was still open. BORED, Sherlock, your deductions are boring.

I think what it is, it's the same reason doctors I know can't watch doctor shows and lawyers I know can't watch lawyer shows. I'm not a doctor or a lawyer, but what I do do is know massive amounts of random knowledge, put it together in interesting ways, think I'm awfully clever, and process feelings poorly. And no, I don't think I'm better at any of those things than Sherlock Holmes, but that's the point: I shouldn't be better at any of those those things that he is. And yet watching Sherlock, I am. He should be at least two steps ahead of me all the time; instead, he's usually about ten steps behind, and usually wrong anyway.

Here, have a detailed summary of every thing that was wrong with the Baskerville casefile. )

The fanfic is still fun, though! And usually does better casefiles than the show.

...So if you were recasting BBC Sherlock with Lamviin, which characters (other than Watson, obviously) would be surmales? Mrs. Hudson has to stay female (so she can pretend to be the third part in their trine if people complain, though of course there's nothing wrong with pairing off these days, she thinks they make an adorable couple), and Irene has to stay female so she can fill out the trine eventually and I like the idea of keeping Harry a lesbian, though possibly with two ex-wives. I'm really tempted to make Mycroft surmale, it would do interesting things to the sibling relationship and rher in-the-shadows positions of power, but then again, his careful and knowing manipulation of his privilege is a fundamental part of Mycroft's character, and I can think of equally good reasons why-and-why-not to make Lestrade or Moriarty surmale. (What? :P I had to think about something to get to sleep last night other than how annoying the casefile was.)

1Okay, now I'm tempted to write a Lonesome October/Study in Emerald/Hound of the Baskervilles/Lovecraftiana sequel to my Yuletide story where it turns out to be a Hound of Tindalos.

Current Mood:: [mood icon] *sigh*

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January 5th, 2012 09:33 pm - Sherlock
Oh, did I mention that I was forced to watch all of BBC Sherlock this week? It was not bad, as Holmes adaptations go, and the acting/production values were pretty good, and the characters are great, but somehow I am no more enthralled by it than I was just by way of the fic.

Basically, I think, if you want to sell me on a series that is supposed to be about the solving of puzzles, you need to be better than that at writing puzzles... (I am told that thinking about the cases is missing the point and I should be looking at the pretty people, but, dammit, the cases would be interesting! If they weren't shot through with massive plotholes and total impossibilities.)

Five things about Scandal in Belgravia )

My reaction to the rest of the series )

Reactions to the series as a whole ) and I come full circle right back to where I started in July 2010, when I first heard about the BBC doing an updated Holmes.

...or wash up on [personal profile] verity's Madelyn Mack AU.

And on that note, I think I'm done being in BBC Sherlock fandom now.* Three days was long enough! :P Off to read the other Madelyn story from Yuletide. Or maybe some Phryne Fisher.

*except for the rest of those werewolf AUs that [personal profile] lindentreeisle linked me, of course. I do need to do research for my Night in the Lonesome October fic, after all.

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November 2nd, 2011 11:50 am - I am not the only one who ships this, right?
I have been reading a ton of Avengers-y fic lately, and I have learned that in certain places in Thor movie fandom, it has been decided Nick Fury, Director of Shield, is Jormungandr the World Serpent, condemned to enwrap all Midgard in his mighty coils until the end of days.

This fact is so self-evidently true that I keep forgetting it's only fanon; I was re-reading some old post-Civil War fic and I was like, "Of course Tony couldn't manage SHIELD effectively; he's not a Son of Loki [he only thinks he is]."

I kind of desperately want movieverse fic where Fury and Thor go fishing now, but I'm not in that fandom, so.

Also, due to an interesting concatenation of friendslist posts, I now find myself wanting Tony Stark/Leia Organa fic,1 and if there is any, I can't find it in the post-AVOS era.

And there are so many possible way to do this and they are all awesome. But.

So a a week or so back I posted about the Star Trek TOS barista thing, and I used the term "notfic" a few times? Notfic is a concept that seems to have come out of bandom, or, at least, most of the people on my reading list that I've picked it up from are bandom-y people. (Any of you want to speak up usage of the term?)

It seems to refer to - well, you know when you've got a fic idea, and you kind of love the idea, and you know exactly how the story would go, but you also know you don't care about it enough to put the necessary work in to turn it into a real fic, or maybe you don't care about the fandom enough to want to do the research? And yet it is an awesome idea that you want to share with the world. (Or sometimes you have a story you started without realizing that you were never, ever going to finish it, and yet you still want to let everybody know how it ends, or what the sequel is.) So you write out a kind of stream-of-consciousness synoptic thing that occasionally lapses into dialogue or even proper scenes (for the really good bits) but most of it's just a pretty bare-bones summary? And then you've got the thing out and you can stop having it nag at the back of your brain, and other people can enjoy it too. And a good notfic can be up to a couple of thousand words (but it's telling a story that in decompressed form would be a couple of hundred thousand.)

That's notfic.

I approve of this becoming an accepted form of fanworks, obviously. I think the first full-on one of these I posted was the Jess Has Agency SPN AU, four (urgh) years ago, but that's partly because there was a certain amount of shame I had to get over, there's this idea I internalized somewhere that an unfinished story is a private thing, and talking about it before it's polished and prepped is, well, at best deeply impolite, at worst just gross

I don't think I'm the only one. Hence all the NaNo filters.

Well, screw that. Not!fic a go.

Which is only to say, So Tony Stark has to be from Alderaan, )

Um. And now to do the NaNo writing I was supposed to be working on today. :P

1Actually what I'm shipping is Tony Stark/Carrie Fisher as OTP of trainwreck, but somehow Carrie Fisher RPS still trips my shame circuits.

Current Music:: Loving You Is A Dirty Job But Someone's Got To Do It
Current Mood:: [mood icon] enthralled

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March 12th, 2011 02:12 pm - lala lalalala lala!
This morning we went yard sailing! I am thinking that maybe this year, as the season starts to wind up, I will try to blog my yard sailing for the year, because I keep getting in conversations where I realize that lots of people don't really understand how seriously skewed by idea of "buying stuff" is as a result of a lifetime of yard sailing. Plus it might be fun just to have a record.

So, here Record of purchases )

Yard sailing, by the way, is why I missed most of the stuff that I am supposed to be nostalgic about from the '80s, and by that of course I mean Saturday morning cartoons. Because sure, we could have gotten up early on Saturday and parked in front of the TV, but instead we got up early, strapped on our roller skates and our $.25 allowance money, and went exploring all over the back roads of the county and buying cool stuff!

And that is a totally smooth segue into: I am still watching My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.

Also: totally crossing it over with Dresden Files. Look, if you need any more evidence that Twilight Sparkle basically is Harry Dresden, just watch Feeling Pinkie Keen from about 15 minutes in: complete with laciviously wisecracking lab assistant, pyromanical anger management issues, complicated relationship with faith, heroism lemming-ness, and all. Although admittedly Twilight is the protege of the Summer Queen rather than the Winter Queen, but that's because Equestria's Winter Queen wasn't really in any position to mentor anybody until Twilight Sparkle brought Summer fire to Arctis Tor. (Rarity is obviously Thomas, Pinkie Pie must be Butters if only because they're the only two people in history to have saved an entire town with a one-man-polka-band, and Rainbow Dash is probably Murphy. I am not so sure about Apple Jack, though - one of the Carpenters? And I am stuck on Fluttershy.)

One of the things I like about Dresden Files - and one of the reasons why it's so much fun to cross it over with really girly things like My Little Pony and color-coded dragons - is that DF is a canon with a lot of powerful women in it. And I don't mean Strong Female Characters - I mean women with enough power to crush any given male character with just their pinky finger, who are not at all hesitant about using it and don't get punished just for having it, and male characters who are very, very well aware of what these women can do.

Even characters like Harry (the wizard) and Marcone (the mob boss) and Michael (the knight), who seem like they're full of traditional male power, aren't really. Harry gets a lot of his power through Lash (spiritual), and Luccio (temporal), and his power in a magical sense comes in large part through his mother and his fairy godmothers. Marcone's power in the magical world comes mostly through the favor of Gard, and she works for him very much on her own terms, and while Amanda and Helen are more or less his fridge motivation, yes, Helen at least is a powerful figure in her own right who acts in her own interest (and survives above all.) Even Michael the Knight of the Cross has Charity behind him like a sovereignty maiden in an Arthurian romance, making it possible for him to act at all. And then there's Maeve and Lily and Murphy and Ivy and Molly and Elaine and Susan and Lara and Mavra and ...

I mean, I guess it's kind of inevitable in a series that started as a mash-up of hardboiled fiction and fairy tales, because those are both genres that are obsessed with women's power, and women's power being dangerous. But it is so amazing to have all of these awesome - in the original sense of tremble-in-fear awe-inspiring - women to play with. It takes real effort to leave out the women in Dresden Files fandom.

Which isn't to claim that Dresden files is some kind of shining light of feminism, or even anything less than frequently deeply faily when it comes to gender and sex, but it makes it a heck of a lot easier to forgive the fail when I know that for every time Harry does something face-palmingly douchey involving women, Mab will do something even worse to him, or Lara will effortlessly manipulate him into being her catspaw, or Charity will narrow her eyebrows at him and turn his bones to jelly, or Murphy will give him a dose of sweet reason + aikido and he'll have to apologize and admit he's in the wrong, and Harry will just have to sit there and take it because he's utterly unable to do anything about it.

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January 24th, 2011 02:57 pm - I can do five things. Sure.
1. Ebook piracy: the latest hot topic. I have been staying out of this discussion, mostly because: I have been listening to pirated audiobooks since before I could *read*, since pirated audiobooks meant "check the LP out of the library and copy it on to reel-to-reel tape." I worked through all my moral and ethical questions about the issue by the time I had hit kindergarten, with the assistance of the fact that *all* of my peers and authority figures did the same things; I had picture books that were photostat copies bound with brads; I had Boxcar Children books that were bookstore remainders with the covers stripped.

My father was a math and programming teacher in the early 80s; the county-wide department inservice days were the best thing ever, because Dad would come home with 5.25-inch discs holding pirated copies of all the latest Apple II games that all the teachers were trading around under the desks. (True story: I once asked Dad what the "kracker" did in programming, since all the programs we had at home had a "kracked by" credit before the opening screen.) In fact, I have never met a single teacher, at any level, and growing up a TK I've met a lot, who has taught for more than five years and doesn't routinely make illegal copies of things for her classes. When a law is that widely flouted (by pretty much everyone who doesn't directly benefit from its existence, and also often, quietly, by them as well), what you need to do is change the law, not human nature.

Which is to say, I got over this topic two decades ago. Can we move on and stop acting like fainting flowers about it? ^_~

2. Still listening to (pirated) Dresden Files! 3.5 books in have reached Step 10 in the getting-into-a-fandom timeline. Current fic bunnies: A Day In the Life of Father Forthill; 5 Times Harry Dresden Narrowly Avoided Learning About Slash; and Ray Kowalski Dances With The Winter Lady. Also did another meme fill, which was probably obvious to anyone who knows me and is reading over there. However, I've reached the point where I know just enough canon that I no longer feel comfortable writing fic without knowing it all, sigh, so that's stalled, mostly.

Luckily, the anon meme is keeping me in fic for now! Actually I was just thinking that maybe Dresden Files has finally cured me of politics RPF, given the relative numbers of times I've been reloading the two memes, but then Dresden Files fandom decided on its own to adopt Rahm Emanuel as a character, so I suspect I'm just cursed to read politics RPF forever. (Oh, Rahm, oh.)

3. I am almost finished with my mending basket! Which means time to start a brand-new sewing project, maybe! (Or go back to a years-old retired one.) The last thing in the basket was the Madelyn Mack dress I wore at con-txt and ripped the hem out of. It's 100-year-old black silk, so thin it's translucent in sunlight. I have a picture of my grandmother wearing it, c. 1930, in an "Old Hometown" history pageant; I have a picture of her grandmother wearing what might be the same dress, 30 years earlier. I was really, really nervous about attempting to repair a dress that's practically an artifact and such fragile fabric, too - until I actually started the repair.

I am at *least* the fifth person who has attempted to repair the hem of this dress! (And a better seamstress than at least two of them.) That makes me feel a lot better, and, somehow, love the dress a lot more, too. In fact, its value as a historical artifact may not so much be its value as a dress, as it is a record of Edwardian and early-20th-century home clothing repair techniques; this dress wears its scars proudly, and I'm learning things about effective and efficient repair just from studying it that even my mother's generation seems to have forgotten. (I never did get a picture of me wearing it last summer. Maybe once the repair is done I'll attempt a photographic record. Repair being done make take awhile - there is literally six yards of hem around this skirt.)

4. Last Thursday was the first 10 O'clock Live! It was not terrible! It could use some settling-in time, but it was legitimately good. It actually feels like it's kind of halfway between wanting to be the Daily Show and wanting to be something more like W$W - a serious but irreverent real current events magazine. Am looking forward to more.

...and then the next day Keith Olbermann signed off for the last time. D: D: He wasn't always right and he wasn't always good, but he almost always said the things that the American left needed said but was afraid to, and shouted them when they needed shouted, and now who's to do that?

5. I joined [community profile] inkitout - the DW community to challenge yourself to keep writing all year - and so far, thanks to Dresden Files, am doing okay. But! This week's support post was to introduce one of your characters, and I was like hooray! I always want to talk about my original characters! Until I tried, and realized I couldn't do it. original character wibbling )

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January 19th, 2011 12:19 am - fic recs and dresden files: yep, that seems to be about it.
OMG, this was clearly the right time to get into Dresden Files fandom, it seems like everywhere I go there is somebody who is just getting into it or starting something new.

Look, there's even a Dresden Files anon meme as of, um, yesterday! And just when I finally got caught up on the politics one. And I offer free whuffie to anyone who can guess which fill I wrote! Not for which prompts are mine, though, because they're probably painfully obvious.

There are way more I want to fill, but I am hampered by being less than 1/4 of the way through the canon, on a lot of them. I am so tempted to skip to the end. But. I think I have just realized something about myself: Audiobooks are the *ideal* way for me to consume any fandom that I'm writing fic in. They take a lot longer for me to get through, but it's worth it. Because when I'm writing fic for a non-text-based fandom, the stories don't unspool in my head as text - I'm thinking in terms of camera angles or panel layouts instead of phrases and paragraphs, and it gets difficult to translate onto the page, especially if the story needs a close POV. But one thing I need in order to really feel good about my characterization is a strong sense of voice, being able to hear the intonations and accents of the characters when I put their words on the page, and I don't get that when the canon I'm working from is just text.

Good audiobooks combine the diction and structure of text with the strong voices of TV, and it's actually working for me. And I'm remembering that the first fandom I did a really steady amount of fic in, HP, was a fandom where I knew the audiobooks better than the paper books by the end, too. So right now I'm rationing out the Dresden audiobooks by forcing myself to put in 1000 words on fic on write-or-die immediately after every hour I listen. So far, it's kind of working. (The fic is blatant id-spill so far - I am currently whacking it hard with a stick in hopes of stopping the mpreg - but at least it's *progressing*.)

Also I am finally getting my quilt repairs done. ^_^

Anyway. While I was off being all proud of that, my sister went and wrote over 7,000 words of AMAZING and AWESOME Q/Captain Jack Harkness crossover slash, which is brilliant and which you all should read:

Qniversal Constants by [personal profile] stellar_dust.

Also, poall in last entry is still open. Please vote! I meant it about not caring if you knew the fandom or had any intention of reading it.

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