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if only because touch was the last sensation

It's that time again! The AO3 hit-and-kudos count meme!

Previous years: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011.

Top 10 stories by hit count on AO3 (as of 4/18/15):

all AvengersCollapse )

Obviously the big change is the explosion of Steve/Bucky as a pairing after CATWS came out last April. Only one of these stories was posted after that (Greetings to the New Brunette), so my own difficulties in writing meant I didn't really ride that wave, but as they say, a rising tide lifts all boats, and my older Steve/Bucky stories certainly benefited. The only Steve/Bucky story on the list last year was Welcome to Wherever You Are, which is number 11 this time. In fact, it's not until #17 in hits that you return to non-Steve/Bucky stories (Six Meetings Before Lunch, the Steve and Thor bro fic).

And here are my Top 10 stories by kudos on AO3:

Also all AvengersCollapse )

Again, the impact of CATWS is clear. I never thought anything of mine would have more kudos than the coloring story. It was inconceivable to me. And yet.

I didn't do it by comments because I haven't in the past, but if I had, two yuletide stories would jump into the top 10, as would the Steve/Peter and the Despicable Me/Avengers crossover.

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In other news, don't forget Orphan Black comes back tonight!

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Today's poem:

The Calling Out of Names

The place the dead go has hooded windows. No binoculars.
There are no birds in that air or anything else worth watching

though sometimes this or that one stirs in the red-roofed loggia
disturbed by a dream, only there it's more like memory

not fully purged. That's when we're put on notice, aware
our thoughts are read. It's what interests them. Not the body,

so like theirs were once, even in the oddities of birthmarks
but, no, there's no thought to body. The sense of it, they dispel

lying so deep in one another's grief. Still, there's the tug of the familiar,
the familial — someone's habit here of singing out a name — that solicits

attention if only because touch was the last sensation
a hand brushing a forehead

and for a moment, they think our thoughts and our inarticulate arms
open and birds, with the most beautiful bodies, lift into the air.

~Anne Compton

***

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you deserve much more than this

And here's the year in review post, so we can close the book on 2014, writing-wise.

month by monthCollapse )

By the numbers:

stories: 23
fandoms: (including crossover fandoms): 5 (counting Marvel and DC each as one large fandom without counting individual properties individually)
het: 8
boyslash: 9
girlslash: 0 – well that's embarrassing
gen: 3
threesomes: 3
crossovers: 1, unless Flash/Arrow counts?
remixes: 2.
word count: 65,256 (according to AO3)

number of West Wing episode titles used: 0!

the breakdown by fandom:
Marvel (including Avengers and related movies and cartoons): 16 (including 1 DC crossover)
DCU: 5 (including 1 Marvel crossover)
Middleman: 1
MASH: 1
Life (TV): 1

And, the various navel-gazey questions:

the usual questionsCollapse )

Last, but never least, thank you to all the people who listen to me whine and moan about writing, who beta and try to make my stories better, and who leave such lovely feedback. <3

Okay, that was the look back. I guess now it's time to look forward.

***

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Happy birthday, America! Happy birthday, Steve Rogers! And anyone else who is celebrating! And Happy Friday to those of you who aren't.

I hoped to have a story to post today, but as all of my writing lately has been nonexistent, I do not. Here are the stories I wrote the past couple of years for Steve's birthday, though:

we are thunder wrapped in cellophane (@ AO3)
Avengers (2012); Steve/Bucky; pg; 2120 words
This year, he's got Bucky back, which means that no matter what they do, it's going to be the best birthday Steve's ever had.

Now with podfic yay!

Our Carnival Life (at AO3)
Avengers (2012); Steve/Bucky; pg; 1,880 words
Bucky is the best gift he's ever gotten, every time.

Also, many many years ago (TEN!!!) I posted one of my favorite Remus/Sirius stories I ever wrote on July 4:

Straight on Till Morning
Harry Potter; Remus/Sirius; adult; 2555 words
Remus believes.

I think it's hilarious that I'm still writing the same sorts of stories for the same sort of pairing. Steve/Bucky really does have a lot in common with Remus/Sirius. I just really like my stoical pining BFF-turned-lovers who are separated for long periods of time by tragic circumstances. It's a thing. *g*

I also just finished watching National Treasure, and lbr, Riley Poole is still the best part of that movie. I might watch 1776 now, or I might just watch Cap 2 again. Or do some writing? I don't know. It's rained here all day, so I stayed home and was lazy. It was nice.

***

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So our building is closed today - apparently Good Friday is a union holiday, so there's no HVAC, no maintenance, and no cleaning services, but we're still here working. Or looking like we're working. Whatever. Sigh. I think I'm going to go back to taking Good Friday and Easter Monday off in the future.

In better news, Orphan Black returns tomorrow night for s2, and so far reviews of the first four eps have been promising! I am excite!

***

The AO3 hit-and-kudos count meme, since it's exactly a year since the last time I did it (what, I like anniversaries):

Top 10 stories by hit count on AO3:

all AvengersCollapse )

For the first time, a Steve/Bucky story breaks the top 10 hits list! (Imagine if I actually had something new to post now, post-Cap 2! I'm kind of sad I'm not ready to post while the pairing is hot, but it's nice having all this fic to read that I didn't have to write. *hands*) Also, goodbye Raj/Howard, which fell from 9th place to 16th in the year since I last did this meme.

Nothing is ever going to catch up to the two Clint/Darcy stories, which got recced around, but I'm always pleased that the Steve-and-Thor bro show is up there so high. Why is there not more fic about Steve and Thor's epic bro-ship?

Anyway. Here are my Top 10 stories by kudos on AO3:

Also all AvengersCollapse )

Once again, Steve/Bucky finally breaks the top ten! And the Steve/Peter, which was so close to breaking through last time. (More people should write Steve/Peter. IJS.)

I didn't do it by comments because that's just depressing*, but if I had, both BBT yuletide stories would jump back up into the top 10, as would the Steve/Peter and the Despicable Me/Avengers crossover.

*(also depressing, not even having a 1 kudos per 100 hits ratio on even the most kudosed story. Like Joe Walsh, I can't complain, but sometimes I still do.)

Maybe I will do some writing today! I still have to pick a remix. Um...look over there! A wild pome appears:

Diary [Surface]

Spring is not so very promising as it is the thing
that looking back was fire, promising:
ignition, aspiration; it was not under my thumb.

Now when I pretend a future it is the moment
he holds the thing I say new-born,
delicate, sure to begin moving but

I am burned out of it like the melody underneath
(still not under my thumb)--
was he ambiguous, amphibian?

Underneath, his voice, the many ways
he gathers oxygen; it will not stop raining
until the buds push through the brittle trees.

If they fail we will not survive,
washed and washed with rain, will we?
No, we are not there yet.

She is pushing me two ways until
I am inside the paradox, the many lungs,
and they're at it again, gathering oxygen;

no wonder I am wrung out
holding out for the promise of
something secret, after--

~Rachel Zucker
From Eating in the Underworld

***

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Yesterday, when I went grocery shopping, the front stoop was covered in sheets of sheer ice, so when I got home without mishap, I said to myself, says I, Self, don't go back out there. No use tempting fate! And then I realized I didn't have enough flour to make the cake or bread I wanted to make, and also didn't have enough chicken stock to make risotto. Oops. This is what comes of not being home for two weeks. There was basically nothing in my fridge or my cabinets (I'd say pantry, but I have no delusions of grandeur. I wish I had a pantry. Sigh.). Oh well, I will stop off tonight and remedy that. Hopefully before the temperature hits the single digits, which it is supposed to. I DO NOT APPROVE. Friday night, I ended up putting my old comforter on top of my new comforter and sleeping in a fleecy. (My apartment is drafty and I am always cold anyway.) POLAR VORTEX: DO NOT WANT. People in more northern climes, STAY WARM AND SAFE.

Anyway! On Friday, when it was snowy and cold and gross and I had a SNOW DAY, I spent most of the day curled up on the couch doing a Justice League rewatch, which I absolutely recommend. When I hit "The Savage Time" - aka, the one where they go back in time to fight Vandal Savage during WWII and John joins Easy Company - I was like, "I wish Diana had met Steve Rogers instead of Steve Trevor" and I posted to tumblr about it. And then on Saturday morning, I realized it wasn't going to write itself, sadly, so I wrote it:

The Lucky Ones (@ AO3)
DCAU/Captain America (2011); Diana of Themyscira/Steve Rogers; pg; 1,765 words
He's tall and broad and wears a star upon his chest, the same as the one on his shield, the same as the ones on her uniform.

I think the beginning does rely a little too heavily on the episode for context, but overall, I like how it turned out. I was surprised at how much my Bruce/Diana feels came through, and also was pleased to be able to have Peggy meet Diana, even if it gave the whole thing kind of a wistful feel. Captain America/Wonder Woman is my current crossover OTP, so I was happy to finally have written it, and happy that other people seemed to like it. There are so few stories pairing them and there should always be more.

Then yesterday, I decided I really did want to finish the ugly Christmas sweater story this holiday season since it was in the nature of a gift, so I buckled down and voila!

The First Annual Avengers Ugly Christmas Sweater Party (@ AO3)
Avengers; Ensemble (background Steve/Bucky, Tony/Pepper, Thor/Jane; Clint/Natasha); pg; 2,240 words
"Darcy assured me it was the height of Yule fashion on Midgard." He presses one of the snowflakes on his chest and a tinkly version of "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" plays while Rudolph's red nose lights up in time. "Is it not magnificent?"

Earlier in December, before yuletide and the holidays overtook all, I had scrapped a couple of different beginnings (Steve's POV, Tony's POV, Thor's POV, Darcy's POV) and mentioned to [personal profile] snacky that I was having a hard time figuring out how to write the story so the holiday teaminess was more centered than the Steve/Bucky feels, and she suggested Natasha's POV. I was skeptical, but after a brief false start (it wanted to be all Steve/Natasha/Bucky feels, and while I am fine with that, once again, I didn't want it to swamp the shenanigans, and also, [personal profile] angelgazing only ships Steve/Bucky and [personal profile] laurificus ships Clint/Natasha, so the ot3 was going to have to wait), it went pretty smoothly.

I'd emailed myself the various texts from Laura and Nichole detailing scenarios they wanted to see, so it was just a matter of getting them all included. And figuring out what sweaters each of them would wear (of course Bucky got bears. Come on, who do you think you're dealing with here?). It amused me anyway, and I'm glad to see it amused some of you as well. If anyone wants to do fanart of all of them in their ugly holiday sweaters, I would be thrilled.

So the weekend was surprisingly productive, writing-wise.

Now I want to concentrate on the three works in progress that I am bound and determined to see finished before Captain America/Winter Soldier comes out, and hopefully by posting them here I will be inspired (or shamed) into doing so:

= with your pockets full of rain (Steve/Bucky/Natasha)
excerptCollapse )

= In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (gen, MCU/DCU crossover)
excerptCollapse )

= Brooklyn, Brooklyn, take me in (Steve/Bucky)
excerptCollapse )

I have other wsip (the one where everyone thinks they're dating! the Steve/Natasha undercover married! etc.) but these are the ones I'm most invested in and will hopefully spend most of my energy on, since they're the ones that need the most done (and already have the most written).

Hopefully, I can do it.

***

In other news, last night's The Good Wife was slight but enjoyable. spoilersCollapse ) But the best part about it is this ridiculous video the cast and crew made. Wow, Julianna Margulies cannot dance. And Christine Baranski looks great even with her hair all up in curlers.

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month by monthCollapse )

by the numbersCollapse )

And, the various navel-gazey questions:

lots of rambling about my storiesCollapse )

Last, but never least, thank you to all the people who listen to me whine and moan about writing, who beta and try to make my stories better, and who leave such lovely feedback. <3

Okay, that was the look back. I guess now it's time to look forward.

***

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a little less fight and a little more spark

Let the yuletide revels reveals commence!

My gifts were:

Stratigraphic Context (1227 words) by Aderam
Fandom: Doom (2005)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Samantha Grimm, John Grimm
Summary: Stratigraphy is the layers of soil which build up over time. Each layer, or context, contains artefacts and evidence which allow us to learn about the past. Sam and John find new contexts.

Oh, cool. I wrote an Achilles/Patroclus story for Aderam for yuletide 2008!

Necessary Research (444 words) by Amy
Fandom: Captain Marvel (Marvel)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Carol Danvers/Jessica Drew
Characters: Kit (Captain Marvel)
Summary: After the success of her first Captain Marvel textbook, Kit knew she'd have to write a follow-up.

Ha! I should have known! <3

Thank you again for my lovely gifts! I really appreciate it! <333

I wrote the following:

My main assignment:
May Your Days Be Merry and Bright
Practical Magic (1998); Sally, Gillian, Aunt Frances, Aunt Jet; g; 3275 words
"What else are the holidays for, but taking in lost lambs who have nowhere else to go?"

This was something of a challenge, as my recipient specified no characters (I had offered Any, and that is something I will not be repeating ever again) and listed no optional details whatsoever. The assignment email was bare of anything but fandom names and a link to an LJ, which contained yuletide letters from 2012 and 2011. Cue panic. Eventually she did put up a letter for 2013, and mentioned she wouldn't mind seeing holidays with the Owens ladies, and it was but a tiny step from there to this story. Not only did I rewatch the movie (again; I had watched it fairly recently, which is why I thought to offer it when I saw it had no offers during the signup period), I reread the book which. Okay. The book is VASTLY different in some ways from the movie - you can see where they got the movie from and why they did it that way, but yeah. Very different. And I am no Alice Hoffman, though I did try to incorporate some of the atmosphere from the book into the story. It didn't even have 50 hits before the reveal, so I guess Christmas with the Owens family is not a big seller, but the recipient left a really lovely comment, and I got some good recipes out of it (I recommend the cider-brined pork - I made it on Sunday - and I am eager to make cranberry cordial next holiday season) so I'm considering it a win.

Then there was my pinch hit:
The Dual Proficiency Protocol
The Middleman; Wendy, Noser; g; 2,445 words
"So, this happens to you a lot?" "Oh, you know, just on days that end in y."

I couldn't believe there was a Middleman pinch hit still left unclaimed an hour after the emails went out, so I snapped it up right quick! I feel like writing a Middleman story has become kind of a yuletide tradition for me - I've never gotten it as a main assignment, but I do love writing in it when the right prompt sparks something, and the prompt here was Wendy and Noser being BFF with bonus points for discussion employment benefits or performance reviews. Which is why there's all that stuff about health insurance and O2STK's lack of an EAP in the story. *hands* It was originally going to be even more about that - the original title was The Open Enrollment Anxiety Paradox - but that didn't quite work out - it didn't feel natural. but I got to put them in wacky situations (the floor is lava! fighting alien raccoons with cheeseballs!) so I enjoyed writing it and the recipient enjoyed receiving it, plus it got recced a couple times, so I'm happy.

Then there were the two treats I wrote. Usually, I don't pick out treats until Christmas Eve, when I look at the long list of prompts and wait for something to ping. But these two - I KNEW from the moment I saw them that I wanted to write them, and I had titles and notes from even before assignments went out (in case I actually got assigned them, since I had offered both Young Allies and Earthsea). Needless to say, I still didn't write the stories until right before Christmas, and the original titles did not survive the writing process, but I knew I was going to write these two stories, and they are pretty much exactly the way I imagined them.

Treat 1:
Like carrying water in my hands
Young Allies; Anya, Natasha (Anya/Rikki); g; 1,155 words
Anya still has the last voicemail Rikki ever left her, and the last text Rikki ever sent.

Writing a really sad story doesn't seem like much of a treat, but it was in the request/letter, and even prior to losing my mother this year, I've always been attracted to stories about grief and mourning, and this year even more so. *hands* I was afraid it was TOO much about me projecting and not enough about Anya's grief, but lanyon and [personal profile] snacky assured me it was postable. And it also received a lovely comment from [archiveofourown.org profile] beardsley (and from a few other people, which I was not expecting), so I'm happy with how it turned out.

Treat 2:
Khamsin
Earthsea; Arha/Penthe; pg; 1,072 words
Arha learned Penthe's body the way she learned the tunnels and rooms of the Labyrinth.

As soon as I saw the original prompt for something about Tenar pre-Ged, something set at the Tombs, I was like, I am totally writing Arha/Penthe first time/sexual awakening femslash. The night before Christmas Eve, I didn't sleep? So I stayed up and reread The Tombs of Atuan, which is both one of my formative influences and one of my favorite books of all time, and Tehanu, which revisits Tenar so many years later, and then I felt confident in attempting to write the story, though again, I am no Ursula LeGuin, but I did try to capture the rhythm of the prose in Tombs. [personal profile] rachelmanija graciously helped out with the ending, which had totally spun out of my control, and then recced the story, which I think gave it a much higher profile, because I got quite a bit more response than I expected. The recipient also left me a really lovely comment, so I am considering it a win all around.

Since I made that panicky post asking for a beta, it's possible people knew these two were mine going in and that's why nobody guessed? I don't know. But I thought the Middleman one was obviously mine. Probably not enough people read the Practical Magic one to guess, but I thought the list of recipes at the end might be a giveaway. I had to make all those bookmarks private on my pinboard so as not to give anything away.

And that was my 2013 yuletide. I'll post each story here eventually for archiving purposes, and be back later for my year in review post, but right now I need to go get ready to go to Dom's. Happy New Year!

***

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i am not a girl that can ever be defined

This is a two-week period of scheduling mishegas for me because that is what happens when other people schedule important meetings and don't look at a calendar. Sigh. So my boss is already cranky about it, but I still have hope I can at least get the electronic version of the board packet out on Wednesday afternoon. Then at least we can say they have it. Even if they are going to make me spend money and FedEx it all out on Monday.

Meanwhile, I spent a good fifteen minutes this morning removing the curly wire from a bound report because we needed pages in it for a different report. My thumbnails didn't survive the experience. Sigh.

Welcome to the working week!

I got my period yesterday, which might also explain the sudden reemergence of my ability to write 5700 words in one sitting. I don't even know. Why it couldn't have been a story I was already working on, I don't know. My brain, she is mysterious. But I sat down at 7:30 in the morning, and in between checking tumblr and playing solitaire, I managed to write a lot. It's been a long time since I've been that productive in one sitting.

Anyway, if you were looking for a Steve/Bucky/Natasha Breakfast at Tiffany's AU, have I got a story for you:

Like moths who've found our flames (@ AO3)
Avengers; Steve/Bucky/Natasha (Steve/Tony, Tony/Pepper); adult; au; 5,720 words
In which Steve is a kept man, Bucky's hiding from the Russian mob, and Natasha does what she likes. An AU loosely based on Breakfast at Tiffany's.

[personal profile] angelgazing and I had talked about this story a couple times over the years, and I said I would never write it, but sometimes the heart wants what it wants. *hands* I feel like I could talk a lot more about this story and why I chose to do it the way I did, but I doubt anyone but me cares.

I was productive in other ways, too, this weekend. I did in fact make both coffee ice cream - it's a bit fussy but it tastes fantastic - and peanut butter ice cream - I don't like peanut butter but my dad taste-tested it and said it was good (also, I added chocolate chunks after it was churned) - for the girls, though since we didn't end up going over there yesterday, my brother stopped by to pick it up this morning after he took my dad to the doctor.

I also made espresso meringues but given the amount of anxiety they cause (my dad, during a tense moment when I wasn't sure they'd ever whip up into peaks: "meringues are tricky! don't feel bad if it doesn't work!"), I didn't think these tasted all that great. Next time I will definitely chill the whisk in addition to the bowl, though. *hands*

Stupid meringues.

***

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i'm no one's wife, but oh, i love my life

Random things:

+ I realized this morning that it was a year ago today that I posted Welcome to Wherever You Are, and it's true, once I got enough distance from the experience of writing it (and my unhappiness over various factors along the way), I do think it's pretty good. I can still see the seams of where what I wanted to do didn't necessarily line up with what I was able to do, and it could probably use another good revision, but overall, on rereading it, I was pretty pleased. I know 20K words is nothing to some of you, but it is one of the longest stories I've ever written, and it was hard, but I'm glad I did it.

+ I have enjoyed all the pics of and quotes from the Cap 2 guys coming out of D23, but this pair of Sebastian Stan's FACE nearly killed me last night. Good lord, that man is pretty.

+ Dear Marvel, please let Anthony Mackie be in EVERYTHING YOU MAKE. HE IS RIDICULOUSLY DELIGHTFUL. love, me.

+ Why is writing so hard? Sigh.

***

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Ugh, in an attempt to work out my stress and frustration over the Rangers, I made the dough for these brown butter salted chocolate chip cookies. My apartment smelled like brown butter last night, which was very comforting after that terrible loss. Ugh. And I shall have cookies tonight, which is never bad.

Unfortunately, I overslept this morning and I hate how that makes me feel like I'm just spending the rest of the day trying to catch up. Also, I wore my black sandals yesterday for the first time and even though I put preventative band-aids over the spots where I know they rub, I still managed to somehow get a blister. Sigh.

My life is the hardest.

Anyway! Wednesday! Reading meme!

What did I just finish?

Nothing got finished because...

What am I reading now?

I am still slogging through The Terror, though I have to tell you, I am about 450 pages into this book and that is just shy of half-finished (!!!) according to my kindle, but I think I might just be done. I feel like spoilers?Collapse ) What else can possibly happen for another 500 pages? If I owned the book, I wouldn't care, but it's a library book, and three of my other holds became available in the past couple of days, so I would prefer to read them first and maybe come back to this at another time, if I shouldn't just skip to the end and read the last hundred pages. I don't really care about any of the characters but Crozier, and I know how the story ends (at least, historically), so those of you who've read it, what is your advice?

I also started The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters, and I'm enjoying it so far. Henry Palace is a newly minted police detective in Concord, NH in the months leading up to what is expected to be the end of the world. He still cares about doing his job even when most other people are either killing themselves or trying to check items off their bucket lists. I'm not far into it yet, but it's been interesting so far.

What I'm reading next

I have Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway and The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson from the library, and apparently R.A. Dickey's memoir is now available for download, so those will probably be next. I honestly did not expect all these books to be available at once, but it would be fine except for how ridiculously huge The Terror is. At least I'm not closer than 20th on the list for the next thing to become available.

***

Lastly, I already did this on tumblr, but why not do it here too?

I currently have 474 works archived at AO3. Pick a number from 1 (the most recent) to 474 (the first thing I posted there), and I’ll tell you three things I currently like about it.

(it says 479 on my dashboard, but that's because there are 5 podfics in the listing, and I'm not the creator of those.)

***

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you're in my blood like holy wine

2012 writing roundup:

month by monthCollapse )

By the numbers:

stories: 46
fandoms: (including crossover fandoms): 8 (counting Marvel and DC each as one large fandom without counting individual properties individually)
het: 17
boyslash: 18
girlslash: 0 – this makes me sad; I might have to write some Aurora/Mulan or Emma/Regina in 2013
gen: 9
threesomes: 2
crossovers: 2 (technically, counting the ASM/Avengers one)
remixes: 4
word count: 158,125

number of West Wing episode titles used: 9

the breakdown by fandom:
Marvel (including Avengers and related movies, Captain Marvel, and both Ultimate and Amazing Spider-Man): 31
Push: 5
DCU: 4 (plus 1 Marvel/DC crossover)
AtLA: 1
Harry Potter: 1
Middleman: 1
Fringe: 1
The Iliad: 1

And, the various navel-gazey questions:

lots of rambling about my storiesCollapse )

Last, but never least, thank you to all the people who listen to me whine and moan about writing, who beta and try to make my stories better, and who leave such lovely feedback when I post. <3

Okay, that was the look back. I guess now it's time to look forward.

***

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more than begin but less than forget

Okay, first off, once again, thank you so much to the lovely people who wrote for me:

The Devil In The Details (8615 words) by Eustacia Vye
Fandom: Push (2009)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Characters: Nick Gant, Cassie Holmes, Elizabeth Holmes, Pop Girl, Original Characters, Chromatic Characters - Character
Summary: The plan was to take down a Division facility in Singapore. Why do plans never go smooth?

Five Christmases Nick and Cassie Spent Together (3954 words) by MaeveBran
Fandom: Push (2009)
Rating: Mature
Warning: Underage
Relationships: Nick Gant/Cassie Holmes
Summary: Five glimpses into the life that Nick and Cassie had after the end of the movie. They go around the world taking down division and still finding a way to celebrate the holidays.

Reunion Song (4752 words) by moirariordan
Fandom: Push (2009)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Nick Gant/Cassie Holmes
Summary: Cassie’s been with her mother for two weeks when she has the first vision of him.

Being Open (1349 words) by kinky_kneazle
Fandom: Captain Marvel (Comics)
Rating: Explicit
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Carol Danvers/Steve Rogers
Summary: Carol only has one true love but Steve is more accepting than she thought he'd be.

***

Next, [personal profile] unfitforsociety has been updated for Yuletide 2012 with 60 recs in 33 fandoms:

* 4 Bourne Legacy, 2 Skyfall, and 1 each Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, The Unusuals
* 4 Push and 1 Captain Marvel
* 3 Calvin & Hobbes/Hobbes & Bacon, and 1 What's Your Number?
* 3 Middleman, 2 Pushing Daisies, 1 Northern Exposure
* 3 Elementary, 1 The Thin Man
* 3 Community, 2 Sports Night
* 3 Ultimate Spider-Man (comics), 3 Young Avengers, and 3 Hawkeye
* 2 Blue Beetle, 2 Batgirl, 1 JLU and 1 Nightwing
* 2 The Queen's Thief, 2 Rivers of London, 2 Code Name Verity, 1 Earthsea, and 1 Gentleman Bastards
* 2 Snow White and the Huntsman, 1 Brave, and 1 The Mummy
* 1 Terminator/Sarah Connor Chronicles, 1 Greek Mythology, 1 Political Animals

All with author names on.

(there was some problem with crossposting to LJ, so I just didn't.)

***

And last, the four stories I wrote:

this city misses you already
Ultimate Spider-Man (comics); Peter Parker/Johnny Storm; adult; au; 2750 words
Having Peter here is something Johnny thought would never happen again.

This was my original assignment, and I had a little bit of difficulty with it, but I like how it turned out. Also, I set it in the neighborhood where I grew up, so all the places mentioned are real and I believe are still in existence (well, the cemetery is obviously still there, but the bakery and the deli as well).

Girl, You're Like a Weird Vacation
Blue Beetle; Brenda Del Vecchio/Paco Tejas, Jaime Reyes/Traci Thirteen; pg; 2475 words
They don't go on dates. Therefore, they're not dating.

Was a pinch hit I was lucky and quick enough to pick up (though, oddly enough, there were two other stories that filled exactly the same prompt that had been uploaded before mine, so I don't know what happened there) and it wasn't exactly the double-date shenanigans asked for in the prompt, but I really enjoyed writing Brenda feeling her way around to being okay with the relationship with Paco instead of being afraid that it would end badly and ruin their friendship. Plus, I kind of love the title.

Your Kiss Is On My List
Captain Marvel; Carol Danvers/Steve Rogers, background Carol Danvers/Jessica Drew; adult; 2040 words
"You know, you're number one on my freebie list. You're number one on everyone's freebie list."

I was very sad there were no Captain Marvel stories in the archive on Christmas Eve, so when I saw that [personal profile] sundancekid wanted Steve/Carol, I was like, I CAN DO THAT. SET PHASERS FOR DANGERS. Also, I really like the image of both Carol and Steve in tuxes. If anyone ever wanted to make me fanart, a picture of that would be most appreciated. Two people guessed this was me, which, I guess was really kind of obvious? I mean, more so than usual. heh.

Let's Keep the Party Polite
Middleman; Wendy, the Middleman; g; 1,255 words
A lady doesn't wander all over the room and blow on some other guy's dice.

I had a lot of fun writing this one. I'd pasted all the Middleman prompts into a document to see what pinged, and the first thing I had was the title, and once I had that, I realized I could just crib the floating crap game from Guys & Dolls, too, and add some alien loan sharks and some puns and it was all good. I wonder if the way the title doesn't follow the usual Middleman convention or the lyric as summary kept people from reading, but the people who read it seemed to like it, so I'm happy.

I'm really pleased with all four stories, and my recipients seem happy, so I'm going to call the whole thing a success.

I'll be posting the individual stories here over the next couple days for archiving purposes, and I'll be back in a little bit with the year in review post. I know no one else cares about my navel-gazey, but I enjoy doing it so...

***

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'cause everybody is a star in his eyes

Definitely feeling better today. Not 100% but not miserable. I feel like there should be a rule that if you're sick over a weekend, you automatically get to have Monday off. Who do I talk to, to make this a thing that happens?

*

Over the weekend, [personal profile] melusina did that "How you know it's a story by me" meme, and in looking at the last time I did it, only the names have changed. *hands*

When I sent Welcome to Wherever You Are to [personal profile] laurificus for beta, I said, "You may recognize this story from when it was called The Hush of Waiting or I Got Some Beer and the Highway's Free, except it's twice as long as the latter and three times as long as the former!" (well, it wasn't three times as long until she got through betaing it - it was 15k when I sent it to her and 21k words when I posted it. *hands*)

If there's a story I tell over and over again, at least when writing m/m slash (it's different for het), it's about people who reconnect after years of being apart through tragic circumstances beyond their control and then have to learn how to be together as these new versions of themselves - Sirius after Azkaban, Dean after hell, Bucky after being the Winter Soldier.

How much is just holding onto something familiar? (and, as a corollary, is that necessarily a bad thing?) How much really is familiar when so much has clearly changed? If you're not the same person anymore, are you still the person your partner loved? Especially if those years included doing horrible, terrible things? And after years of being in the world while you were locked away, they're not the same person either - how could they possibly still love you? Or trust you? Or even want to look at you? Sometimes it's a long-delayed first time, and sometimes it's a resumption of a sexual relationship, and even there, that probably doesn't solve everything.

but those issues of reunion, reconnection and reconciliation, rebuilding trust etc., that's a story I seem drawn to over and over again.

For het, I often like to write about strong but somewhat broken young women and the older, broken, protective men who love them (Logan/Rogue, Mal/River, Nick/Cassie) and how there's an equalizing of the relationship that starts out looking kind of lopsided (whether due to age or, um, in River's case, mental health/consent issues). I enjoy other types of het stories - e.g., bickering partners is a particular favorite since I imprinted early on Han/Leia and various screwball comedies, and the brilliant narcissist boss/long-suffering awesome assistant is another one I enjoy - but that dynamic is one I find myself repeatedly interested in.

so much depends on character dynamics and personalities (or my interpretation of them, anyway, and that goes especially for pairings where the characters have never met, e.g., Steve/Darcy, which I love and which has its own brand of screwball dynamic that I enjoy, but which is a lot bigger stretch than, say Steve/Natasha, where they are clearly starting off from a place of mutual respect and working together well, and also just that look on his face when she uses his shield as a springboard. ♥).

***

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the wisdom of the fool won't set you free

let's do a lists. lists are good:

1. I spoke with my dad first thing this morning, as I usually do on 9/11. Though we've recently had more personal hair-raising adventures, still. My office is within walking distance of the WTC and I can see the new tower being built and. I think I'm more sad than angry now. I mean, I'm still angry (when am I not?) but it feels a little different this year. I dunno.

b. I spent last night battling an epic clog in my kitchen sink. It was not pretty. I took the world's longest shower afterwards, because I was covered in gunk and Drano. I am probably going to have to call the super because there is still a lot of gurgling and clanking going on in the pipes, but I have to get the apartment straightened up a little before I can do that, and I did not have the energy last night after the epic drain battle.

tre. Last night, I slept without the air conditioner on for the first time since June. I hate that summer is ending, but my wallet will be pleased to see my electric bill drop. I don't hate fall - I think fall is lovely - but I hate winter with a fiery vengeance. I do not like being cold. bleh.

D. I also dreamt that I was getting a mani-pedi with Harvey Specter from Suits. *dreamy sigh* Harvey, you magnificent bastard.

5. while I'm sighing dreamily: Chris Evans, shaped like an actual comic book superhero. You're welcome.

VI. There was new Tom McRae yesterday. \o/ Though I don't understand how he has apparently recorded the most depressing version of "Sloop John B." ever. I wouldn't have thought it possible, but I should know better than to underestimate Tom McRae's ability to make anything sound incredibly sad. I'm really pleased to finally have a copy of "Belly of the Whale" though. And a non-bootleg version of "Alphabet of Hurricanes" (the song, I mean).

VIa. It's kind of funny, because "Sloop John B." is actually involved in something I'm writing (well, it's more like a playlist with some text attached, but still, "Sloop John B." is the second song on the list) and I realized on Sunday night that I had only ONE Beach Boys song in iTunes or on my iPod ("Don't Worry Baby") and that just Would Not Do. (Also, my brother would probably disown me if he knew.) So I used up the last of my iTunes gift certificates to buy the best of the Beach Boys, which I listened to quite a bit of yesterday on my commute home. I might still be humming "Little Deuce Coupe." You don't know!

7. Of course, I might also be earwormed with "Can't Help Falling in Love" because I posted a story yesterday:

Only Fools Rush In (at AO3)
Avengers (2012); Steve/Bucky; g; 1,570 words
In which Captain America ends up married to Bucky Barnes, with Thor, prince of Asgard and god of thunder, as their witness.

So on Sunday evening, [personal profile] angelgazing says to me, she says, "There should be fic where Steve and Bucky accidentally get married!" And I say, "You should totally write that!" And she demurred, and I thought a little more and an hour later, I said, "Here is the first 300 words." Sigh. The stealth crossover was totally her idea. I was just going to have it be Hill/OFC, but Hill/Barrigan for the win!

So I amused her and I amused me, and if you like fluffy stories where Steve and Bucky get married on a dare and also because they don't want to disappoint Thor, you might like this one. *hands* Thanks to the people who've commented. I appreciate it.

*

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this tangled web on which i've lain entwined

I keep starting posts and deleting them, because there is too much and it is not that interesting. Suffice it to say that after some delays and extra tests, my father is now in a rehab facility for a few days before he comes home, and he's doing okay.

Work was ridiculous today. Ugh. I just want to sleep for a week.

*

White Collar

I swear, sometimes this show is just like someone decided to film some fanfic. spoilersCollapse )

*

Tell me someone has made a Tony Stark vid to "Mr. Big Stuff." I will be very disappointed if that doesn't exist.

*

So I posted fic Sunday night/yesterday morning at 4 am:

The same deep water as you (at AO3)
Avengers (2012); Steve/Natasha; adult; 3,510 words
content notes: D/s, spanking, crossdressing, collar, light bondage, implied pegging
"I'm certainly learning all sorts of new things about you on this mission, Steve."

At about 10 pm on Sunday night, I got a text from [personal profile] angelgazing that said, "This is the story you are going to write." And she basically gave me the plot of this, such as it is. And I said, "No. I am not writing that. Since you seem to have it all planned out, you should write it." I think we all know how that conversation ends. Two hours later, I was sending her the first five hundred words. *hands* She's just lucky her id and my id are compatible.

I don't generally think the stuff I write is hot once it's written down - it's hot in my head, but the act of putting it on paper (or whatever) turns it from hot to irritating and full of annoying details like, for example, what word would Steve Rogers use for ladyparts (fleurdeleo suggested "ladygarden," which made me snort beer but which would not actually work in this context) and when neither [personal profile] angelgazing nor I could come up with something that seemed in character (at least, for Steve at this point), I elided it altogether. Writing is hard, you guys! But I still feel like this story is hot. It's basically everything I like about Steve/Natasha in the most blatant way. Plus, Natasha puts a collar on Steve. *hands* Hotness achieved, with minimal effort on my part.

Anyway, she was pleased and I was pleased, and some other people seem to have liked it, so thank you. I am behind on answering comments, but I do appreciate them and will answer soonish. <3

*

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was it right to leave?

Yesterday, I spent most of the afternoon failing to write porn (Steve Rogers, you morose bastard! There are hot ladies who'd like to have sex with you. Please stop being so melancholy. It's kind of a downer.) and then after 11 pm, while I was in the shower, I realized I wanted to write a story about John Blake. So I did:

Commencement (at AO3)
The Dark Knight Rises; John Blake, Lucius Fox; pg; spoilers; 1,195 words
even the summary is kind of spoilery as is my babbling about writing itCollapse )

***

I enjoyed last night's Leverage though spoilersCollapse )

Political Animals started out really strong - I actually thought it was a joke when Sebastian Stan said spoilerCollapse )

***

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Most of the email I get these days is from the Long Island Railroad, letting me know that there is trouble on the Ronkonkoma branch. Most of the time, I'm just grateful I only take it once a month and don't have to deal with all the problems on a regular basis. After posting a story, though, there's nothing sadder than seeing you have a new email and hoping it's feedback and discovering that no, it's just that the 11:41 am train into Penn is running 13 minutes late.

My life, so hard.

I also find it interesting that conventional fannish wisdom says porn gets more comments than gen and m/m gets more comments than het, but my most commented on stories ever are 1. a gen crossover (HP/Firefly), 2. a gen crossover (SPN/Muppets), 3. a gen SPN story (Dean knits), and then, yes, 4. a PG rated Wincest story. My most popular Avengers stories are either het or gen, as well (though I think that's also the Darcy Factor at work. There should absolutely be a story titled "The Darcy Factor." IJS).

I'm not really going anywhere with this. I was just thinking about it because I posted a story yesterday:

The Drop In (at AO3)
Avengers (2012); Steve/Bucky/Natasha; adult; 2,390 words
Steve knows better than to walk into a room without knocking, but the door was unlocked.

[personal profile] holli and I talked about how we couldn't find any Bucky/Natasha pegging fic, and seriously if ever there were a poster pairing for pegging*, it'd be Bucky/Natasha, and then we both wrote some, with bonus Steve! Because Steve/Bucky/Natasha is an OT3 of PURE AWESOME and also pegging.

I almost didn't finish mine, though, because while I was writing on Sunday, I got up to refill my water bottle and dropped the TV remote on the laptop keyboard, and suddenly got this REALLY SCARY AND DEMANDING message that I had to REBOOT IMMEDIATELY. In the two years I've had the MacBook, I'd never seen anything like it. So I rebooted, and was afraid that I'd lost ~400 words but thankfully they were in the recovered document. I know you're all relieved to know I didn't have to rewrite the description of how pretty Bucky looked while being fucked.

Speaking of which, I am so amused by this ad for Political Animals. GAY ICON. FORMER FIRST SON. RENEGADE. *dies* Please let this show be good!


*Also, Dick/Babs. Or Dick/Kory.

***

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a dream too tired to come true

There are few things more disappointing, in fannish terms, than reading a story that's been pretty good and then hitting that first "taller man" (or "smaller man" or even the so awfully generic "other man"). It's not an automatic click-out for me (though I may actually groan out loud in dismay when I hit it), at least not in smaller fandoms or pairings where there isn't a lot of fic to begin with, but it's such a disappointment. Especially when things were going pretty well up until that point!

*

So you know how they're airing Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes in Australia practically daily, so I tracked down copies of "Code Red" and "Winter Soldier" so I could see what they decided to do with the story. spoilersCollapse )

So while it wasn't an ideal retelling of the story, I was happy to have gotten it at all, considering. (Also, reunion with Natasha: y/y?) now I just have to keep hoping they'll do it in the movies.

*

I posted a story last night:

The way that light attaches to a girl (at AO3)
Avengers (2012); Steve (Steve/Peggy, Steve/Darcy); pg; 2,415 words
Five women Steve has drawn.

Not at all what I planned to work on yesterday, but for some reason, the idea just wouldn't go away. I mean, I'd had the idea a while (I love artist!Steve a lot), title and all, but no words to go with it, until yesterday, suddenly I couldn't stop thinking about it even though I was supposed to be writing minutes (which, thankfully, I did finish).

The funny part is, I couldn't decide whether it was going to end up Steve/Natasha or Steve/Darcy - I knew he was going to draw Darcy as a Varga girl (me: Can I have Darcy say, "Draw me like one of your French girls?" [personal profile] angelgazing: Probably not. me: Dammit!) - but I was mostly leaning Steve/Natasha until I figured out what Natasha's section was about ("NO CAPES!") and it wasn't smoochies. I think it works better this way.

I entertain myself, anyway. And I'm so pleased other people have liked it. Thank you! <3

*

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Woo! Did you see that game last night? SO TENSE. I don't know what the press is talking about - these games are very exciting! I guess if you don't like good defense and amazing goal-tending you might be bored, but defense and goal-tending win playoffs. *hands* Of course, in hockey, sometimes the best defense is a good offense, and the Rangers are...working on that, but overall, I AM EXCITE.

(I kind of can't even let myself be hopeful out loud without fear of tempting the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing. I have issues. But wow, I had a good feeling after last night's win.)

*

So Sunday at my brother's, the first thing Victor said to me was that he'd seen Avengers and thought it was awesome. I believe his words were, "I didn't think anything could be better than Captain America, but it was!" (Cap is his favorite, but he allowed as how Black Widow was also awesomely badass.) Trisha said that the Hulk is her favorite even though he's scary, and Nicole dismissed the whole thing (she hasn't seen it) and said she was way more interested in The Amazing Spider-man, because he is her favorite superhero. We high-fived over that, though I did tell her to give Avengers a shot. Then Alyssa texted me to say how awesome the movie was - I believe Thor is her favorite, along with Cap and Natasha. (I haven't heard from Anthony V., but he's always been a Batman stan, though Alyssa said he thought Avengers was cool.)

I feel so proud. Like, I did my job as nerdy aunt right with these kids. *hands*

(I also learned that Superman is my sister-in-law's favorite superhero, which I would not have guessed. I knew he was my brother's from way back, though. Of course, she also told me she's reading Fifty Shades of Grey and I was just like, I could find you better porn for free. But whatever!)

*

so I posted a story yesterday:

what a smile means (at AO3)
Avengers (2012); Natasha/Steve; adult; no real spoilers for the movie; 4,470 words
Natasha knows a lot of things Steve doesn't.

The title comes from Dogfish by Mary Oliver, which seems like Natasha in a nutshell to me, and at one point I'd considered using lines from it as section headers, but it was too unwieldy and didn't really suit the story in the end, though certainly many, many lines from it were in my head as I was writing.

It was interesting to write Steve/Natasha without really bringing the specter of Bucky into it (well, until the end), because as far as Natasha knows, Winter Soldier is dead and gone, so even if he was Bucky once, Steve doesn't need to know that. Especially since the story is so much about the things Natasha knows that she does or doesn't share with Steve (and, to her surprise, the things she learns from and about him).

I definitely had fun with some of their exchanges, with the way Steve interacts with her and how that comes across (I think Steve bases a lot of his interaction with women in the present not only on his belief that everybody deserves a fair shake, but also on how much he hated being told he wasn't capable, he couldn't do things, because he was smaller or weaker, and he also has the shining example of Peggy - not to mention the USO girls and his own mother before she died - to look to about what women are capable of if given a chance). I think as much as Steve seems like an open book, in some ways he's as inscrutable to Natasha as she sometimes is to him. (I might have A LOT OF STEVE THOUGHTS AND FEELS, OKAY?)

Mostly I wanted to write them having sweaty post-sparring sex, because I loved the few glimpses we got of their interactions in the movie and wanted more. Even though that didn't quite happen this time around, I like how it turned out. I'm surprised and pleased that other people seem to like it too. <3

I may write the sequel. I have been thinking about it. It's totally Bucky's fault. Speaking of whom, [personal profile] coffeeandink has a good post streamlining Natasha and Clint's comics history, with bonus Winter Soldier explanations. Bucky/Winter Soldier is pretty easy to explain, since it's just the one major retcon, but Natasha's history especially is super confusing, unless you just accept that all those pasts are things the Red Room programmed into her (like, for example, how she remembers being a ballerina as a cover story, but she never actually was one).

I should get a Bucky/Natasha icon. Hmm...

*

Now back to expense reports. Sigh.

*

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because it's the cup

I should be packing but instead I'm huddled on the couch watching hockey and doing a meme.

[personal profile] deepsix gave me these questions:

1. What kind of impression do you want to leave with the people you meet?

That I'm a reasonably funny and competent adult. with fantastic hair. Unfortunately, I think if people do think that, it's probably immediately followed by "shame about the social awkwardness, though."

2. What are your favourite narrative tropes in fiction (of any genre)?

Best friends becoming lovers! Stoic pining with unrequited love that turns out to be requited! People who say 'I love you' without actually saying 'I love you.' e.g., "If you were in an accident, I wouldn't stop for a beer." "If you were in an accident, I wouldn't stop for red lights." I do this a lot in my stories, or try, anyway. Found families. Also, people who are good at what they do and who love doing it. Mmmm...competence.

3. What sort of reader response do you prioritize in your writing? What sort of reactions do you try hardest to evoke?

I really like making people laugh and I also like hearing that they got a little teary. That's the best possible combination for me as a reader, so that's what I often try to evoke.

4. You haven't baked in a while! (Or at least haven't posted about it.) What are your favourite blogs/other sources for finding new recipes?

I haven't been baking as much, and when I have, it's often been things I've already made and don't have to think too much about, and don't see a need to share since I've already posted about it. I need to get back into trying new things. I like Smitten Kitchen, and also Taste-spotting, which aggregates posts from a huge variety of food and recipe blogs. I used to check my g-reader regularly, but since they changed the format, I don't check it very often - I don't like how it looks. I also like Love & Olive Oil and Pioneer Woman.

5. Tell me why you love the Rangers! (Specifically this season's Rangers, because I am selfishly curious.)

I like this year's team a lot - they seem to really buy into this whole five man defense thing, and also into being a team. I like that they're young and are growing up together and as a team. They play good strong defense (oh my god, the shot blocking; though sometimes they still have trouble clearing the zone) and are also good offensively (though they still spend too much time passing on the power play), and they're good on the forecheck and will grind it out in the corners. Also Henrik Lundqvist. He is kind of irresistible.

***

I'm going to have my iPad and my phone with me, but I don't know how much I'll actually be on the internet over the next few days. I'm sure I'll post about Avengers but other than that, who knows? try not to blow the internet up until I can watch.

***

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Our history is just in our blood (history, like love, is never enough)
Captain America (2011); Steve/Bucky; g; 4,880 words
Steve is sure the guy working the morning rush at Starbucks is Bucky. Unfortunately, the guy doesn't seem to know that.

Remix of this snippet by [personal profile] angelgazing. Title and cut-text from "Human Remains" by Tom McRae.

I recognize / so much of you in these eyes / always so blue / why always so blue?Collapse )

~*~

Feedback is always appreciated

~*~

So this was my actually assigned remix and the first one I wrote. I was looking at [personal profile] angelgazing's O11 stories and she said to me (since, as a mod, she knew I was remixing her), no, you are remixing the barista!Bucky snippet. *hands* So, uh, that is what I did. Once again, I expanded what was basically a snippet into a full on story. It's a tried and true remix technique.

blather about the story that talks about possible plot points for a sequelCollapse )

Anyhow, I really like how it turned out and so did [personal profile] angelgazing, and it's making me want to write a sequel, something I haven't really done much of since the XMM days, so I consider it a success.

And that was remix 2012 for me. If you ever have any questions about writing remixes, or these remixes in particular, or any of my stories in general, feel free to ask. Obviously, I love talking about them.

***

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Objects in the Mirror May Be Closer Than They Appear (The Didn't See That Coming Dance Mix)
Push (2009); Nick/Cassie; adult; content notes: implied torture and medical experimentation; 5500 words
Five times Nick surprised Cassie.

Remix of Blind Spot by [archiveofourown.org profile] medie. Thanks so much to [personal profile] devildoll for betaing.

Objects in the Mirror May Be Closer Than They Appear (The Didn"t See That Coming Dance Mix)Collapse )

~*~

Feedback is adored.

~*~

This was the second pinch hit I finished - I knew, once I picked it up, that I would remix one of [personal profile] medie's Push stories, it was just a question of deciding which of the two to tackle. "Blind Spot" seemed to have the most room for expansion, and it was an idea I hadn't really considered before, that watchers might get blocked by strong emotions or be unable to see the future of the people they cared most about. I also just really like the idea that no matter how good Cassie gets at seeing and interpreting her visions, Nick is still going to be an anomaly some of the time, because he's really good at not making a decision until the last minute, and at planning ways around having to make a decision before that - for all that he's kind of a loser when we meet him, it's a good skill to have when going up against people who can see your every move coming if you make plans ahead of time. I thought that explanation for how the future works, and how clairvoyance works, was really clever, and it's fun to play with ways around it.

Anyway. I knew it would be a five things story, five times Nick surprised Cassie, culminating in the consummation of the relationship. At first I thought about writing from Nick's pov, but I realized that wasn't really going to work, for a variety of reasons. I had the title and subtitle before I even started writing, and a vague idea of the surprises, though I wasn't expecting it to be as long as it turned out. It just kept going. I enjoyed writing it a lot, which maybe you can tell, but I was like, THIS NEEDS TO BE DONE. I HAVE ANOTHER PINCH HIT TO WRITE. I'm really pleased with it, though, and [personal profile] medie seemed to like it, too, so that worked out.

~*~

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Nothing But the Rain (The Quit Your Grinning and Drop Your Linen Overdub)
Captain America (2011); Steve/Bucky; adult; 1,905 words
We have to get out of these wet clothes.

Remix of Bring your hips to me by [archiveofourown.org profile] zeen. Thanks to [personal profile] angelgazing for looking it over.

Nothing But the Rain (The Quit Your Grinning and Drop Your Linen Overdub)Collapse )

~*~

Feedback is adored.

~*~

This was the last remix I wrote this year, and I admit, if the matching had worked out differently, this might have been my actual assignment, so when the pinch hit came up, I grabbed it. Again, it's expanding on a ficlet, but this time in a not-quite five things format (okay, four things! four is not-quite-five), taking the original premise of Steve and Bucky making out during a rainstorm, and contextualizing it in their relationship over the years. The subtitle was almost "Grab Your Gun and Bring in the Cat," because of course, but then "Quit Your Grinning and Drop Your Linen" seemed more appropriate, or at least amusing. I knew I wanted to show the first time as well as something during the war and then something in the present/future, and "let's get out of these wet clothes" is one of my favorite tropes, so it seemed wise to just go with that in the short turnaround time. Again, fairly straightforward and fairly obviously mine. I've never been good at anonymity. *hands* I liked it, though, and luckily, I think my remixee did too. I like it when that happens.

***

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Toward those isles of yours that wait for me (the sand in your shoes remix)
The Iliad; Achilles/Patroclus; adult; 1,339 words
"The great Achilles, best of the Achaeans, undone by sand in his armor."

Remix of Something Better by [personal profile] oultrepreu. Title from "If You Forget Me" by Pablo Neruda. Thanks to mousapelli for looking it over.

everything carries me to you, / as if everything that exists, / aromas, light, metals, / were little boats / that sail / toward those isles of yours that wait for me.Collapse )

~*~

Feedback is always welcome.

~*~

So this was technically the second pinch hit I picked up, but the first turned out to be unnecessary, which, thank god, because I ran into the brick wall that was writing in Bruce Wayne's POV (about his parents of all things; they're dead, you know) and failed completely to get around, over, or through, and basically would have had to give it up to someone else had it not been rendered moot.

ANYWAY. After we defaulted everyone who hadn't turned in a story by the deadline (technically, NINE HOURS AFTER the deadline *cough*), [personal profile] laurificus and I did the usual horse-trading, i.e., "I can do these two, you can do those two, the rest we'll throw at the list, and in the worst case, if no one else grabs it, I suppose I could manage that one over there as well." (generally speaking, pinch hits get grabbed pretty quickly) and as soon as I saw the list of Achilles/Patroclus stories here, I knew this one was mine.

The original is a drabble about Achilles taking a bath after battle, and I just expanded on that idea. I like showing the human side of him, and how that comes out most when he's with Patroclus, and, well, it's basically schmoop and I'm okay with that. I feel like knowing the tragic ending lends the fluffier stuff some weight, because you know it all goes pear-shaped soon enough. *hands*

This was the least complicated/most straightforward of the remixes I wrote, simply expanding on the original drabble and filling in the details. I like how it turned out, mostly because I feel like there is never enough Achilles/Patroclus fic to read. The original author seemed pleased, as well. I thought it was pretty obviously mine, from the title and pairing on down.

~*~

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don't go for second best, baby

[personal profile] shayheyred said pick your five best-written stories and post about them, so I did, in no particular order:

The Sea Will Open In Your Veins (Supernatural; gen) - so I wrote a whole clutch of stories in SPN that are basically set in resort towns near water after the season is over, and there are obvious monsters that reflect Sam and Dean's emotional state/relationship at the time - Alone I Fear the Tide, your ocean refuses no river, and I've never been too good with names (but I remember faces) all sort of do that, and I feel like any one of them could be on this list, but I think this is the best of them from a writing standpoint.

Daylight Won't Remember Her (Supernatural; gen) - The other thing I tried to do in SPN, and I think succeeded in this story, was write casefiles that felt like they could have occurred on the show, except trying to correct for some of the show's race and gender issues, or at least trying to comment on them critically. I also just really like Special Agent Georgia Swofford, which is unusual, because I usually hate my original characters, but I'd watch a show about her.

The Hush of Waiting (Harry Potter; Sirius/Remus) - and this is pretty much the apotheosis of me writing OotP-era Remus/Sirius, where Sirius is stuck in 12 Grimmauld Place and unhappy about it, but he and Remus do eventually come to some accommodation.

The Place Where (Firefly; Zoe & Mal; gen) and Another Gravity (Firefly; Zoe/Mal) are really two sides of the same coin to me and I can't think of them separately, because the first is Zoe and Mal's relationship where they're actually sleeping together in the same bed but not having sex, despite what everyone else thinks, and the second is the one where they do have sex and it sort of doesn't really change anything between them because they're already so close.

Brush Up Your Shakespeare (The Wild and Whirling Words Remix) (Firefly; River; gen) - This is one of the only stories I've ever written that consistently makes me cry, even now, and I think it packs an emotional punch that feels totally earned.

Boys of Summer (The Hot Corner Rag) (Supernatural; gen) – I think this story is a good example of what a remix can do – the original story is lovely, and I think this one complements it by going deeper into what baseball means to Dean, in ways Sam can't really know but clearly has some awareness of in the original. I like the back and forth structure of it, and I think it does a good job of evoking what it feels like to love baseball, while also using it as a symbol of everything Dean's had to give up to live the life he leads.

A Million Light Years from Home (HP/Firefly; Sirius, ensemble, gen) - I don't think it's sentiment that makes me choose this story every time; I think in addition to working as a crossover that seems like it shouldn't work, it also just stands up well in terms of the writing. I don't think I would change any of it, which isn't the case with any of the other stories on this list, which I also think hold up, but most of which I still kind of want to edit when I reread.

I don't think it's any surprise that most of these are either SPN or Firefly - I think both of those fandoms sparked things that made me write stories I might not have otherwise tried, and I think that's made me a better writer. But writing still makes me so frustrated sometimes. I had five different stories open to work on last night and managed about a paragraph on one of them. Ugh. Why so difficult? On the plus side, I think I know what I'm writing for remix. I just have to figure out how. *hands*

So the current wip list looks like this:

= Remix!
= Just one swig of me would get most guys smashed (Sif/Steve)
= Welcome to Wherever You Are (Steve/Bucky)
= in each place and forever (Steve/Bucky)
= This cup of days and shadows (Nick/Cassie)
= Where Things That Don't Match Meet (Darcy/Steve fake dating)

(all titles are of course subject to change)

I mean, there are a bunch of other things I want to write or have started writing, but those are the ones that I had open last night.

*

So today we're going to my sister's for Anthony's 19th birthday. 19! Who told him he could do that? Idek. But it means that I won't be home in time to watch tonight's Once Upon a Time (and possibly not in time for The Good Wife either), so I really hope my DVR works.

*

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i'm your eyes when you must steal

Yesterday did not start auspiciously, but it got better. For one, I posted a story:

The Leadership Breakfast (at AO3)
Captain America (2011); Steve/Bucky, Darcy; pg; 4,015 words
Steve likes Bucky more than pancakes.

There was a much more depressing iteration of this story in my head, but I couldn't bring myself to do it; vestiges remain in the middle section, with Bucky's nightmare, but I figured the stuff from the past was sad enough without piling on. So instead there are pancakes and makeouts. I feel like that is a pretty good summation of my entire body of work, such as it is. Also, now Bucky knows where he falls in the hierarchy of Steve's affections - above pancakes but below bacon. I don't think anybody loves anybody else more than they love bacon*, though, so that's all right.

*I don't know what to do with people who don't love bacon. *hands* They are a mystery!

For two, I got my hair cut last night. And my roots touched up. I wasn't planning on the dye job, because the appointment was at 6 pm and I didn't want either of us to be stuck there all night, but the stylist was like, 'I wouldn't be doing my job if I let you walk out of here looking unkempt!' And it's true** - it's not that I mind the gray qua gray so much (though I do mind it a little) as that it isn't... it doesn't look nice. My dad and my brother have silvery hair. My aunt's hair went completely white. My grays are just wiry and dull and prone to misbehavior. So I let her touch up the roots (add another hour and fifteen minutes to my time in the salon, sigh) and I have an appointment for highlights in two weeks. Which was always the plan. And I guess this splits up the amount of time I have to spend there - nearly 2 and a half hours last night, and then probably another 2 next time, instead of four all at once, which, ugh.

**also, her job upselling me - that was another $60 added to the $60 for the wash/cut/blow. But it honestly wasn't the money that made me hesitate; it was the time.

At least the grays and dead ends are gone and hopefully it will be more manageable. I really like this lady - she seems to understand that it is not my fault that my hair tangles when you look away for a second, even after you've spent fifteen minutes painstakingly detangling it - and she checks with me before she does anything, even though I'm just like, 'I am at your mercy, do what you think is best' when I sit down in her chair (something I only ever said to Lala before, and she did my hair for almost 15 years). I feel like my hair looks better than it has in years since I put it in her hands, and since I only get it done 2 or 3 times a year, I don't mind the expense. I've recommended her to a couple of people who've asked where I got mine done, and one was fairly recently, so both the cut and color were like, six months old. Otoh, she put so much product in it I am probably going to have to wash it tonight, even though she washed it last night, and normally I wouldn't wash it again until Sunday. But ugh, it is crunchy already and the smell was giving me a headache last night. I swear, I think she used half a bottle of stuff to scrunch up the curls. But I feel like that is a minor complaint in service of having fabulous hair.

In other news, oh, man, I think this Tebow-to-Jets thing is a TERRIBLE idea. I mean, I get that they felt the need to do something because they had a pretty crappy season in the end and the Giants won the Super Bowl, but ugh. I think it is not only a bad idea because I'm going to have to be seeing and hearing about Tebow ALL THE DAMN TIME, but because I like Mark Sanchez and think he has the makings of a good QB and this is basically a vote of no-confidence in him, despite the contract renewal and the lip service the GM is paying to how Tebow is a backup. You don't make a deal like this for a guy who is a backup. You make it to get on the back page of the NY Post and stay there, whether the headlines are good or bad. Ugh. Not to mention whatever locker room issues the team has - I don't think this is a the answer to their chemistry problems (I think Rex Ryan is their chemistry problem, or his big mouth anyway, but... whatever. Not my team).

Meanwhile, I'm still kind of in shock that I don't have to spend the rest of March and early April fretting about whether the Rangers will make the playoffs. Heh. Now it's just a question of if they'll go one and done per usual, or maybe take another Cup run. We'll see, I guess.

+++

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that you'd come and look for me

Hey, so I posted a story yesterday:

The curves of your lips rewrite history (at AO3)
Captain America (2011); Steve/Bucky; adult; 2,360 words
Five times Steve was distracted by Bucky's mouth.

I blamed [personal profile] angelgazing and she blamed Sebastian Stan's mouth, and I just thought I would provide some illustration of why that is for those of you who don't understand what we're talking about.

these are all technically safe for work except for the ridiculous hotnessCollapse )

There are more, but that is enough to make my point, I think. He needs his own tag on LJ/DW too, I guess. Hmm...

***

This entry at DW: http://musesfool.dreamwidth.org/437993.html. comment count unavailable people have commented there.

like a warning of what could be lost

Today has already been kind of a weird day. Not just because we had Monday off and Tuesdays after a three-day weekend are always weird. My bus didn't stop at my stop - I rang the bell and was standing in the stepwell, and it's BROADWAY so it's not like it's a local stop (it's not like crosstown buses even HAVE local stops! they stop at every avenue!), but the bus rolled right on through past West End Avenue and we were all like, WHAT THE HELL? So I had to walk back to the subway, which was fine, but not the usual morning routine. But then I got into work and Boss2 is on vacation, but Boss1 had an unexpected death in her immediate family, so that means rescheduling most of the week, except for the things that other people can handle etc. It's just weird.

***

I made almond biscotti yesterday.

click for a pictureCollapse )

They're tasty. And you won't break your teeth trying to bite into them. I'm going to have to experiment with flavors. I'm pretty sure my dad is going to want anise (which I do not like, but which is basically standard), and I would like cranberry (maybe orange cranberry even) and hazelnut and of course chocolate. I'll have to see. They were pretty easy to make, so it shouldn't be that difficult. The cookbook they came from (Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours) does list some variations to start with.

Speaking of baking, yesterday I posted a story:

Bake Until Golden (at AO3)
Fringe; Astrid; g; very vague spoilers through "Making Angels"; 885 words
The evolution of Astrid Farnsworth: stress baker.

When Astrid revealed herself to be a stress baker in s2, I was like, MY SISTER. Because I have been known to stress bake. And I then forgot about it for a while, but the other morning I woke up at 5 am because there were fire engines tearing down my block and while I was trying to get back to sleep, I was contemplating what I was going to write for [personal profile] dotfic's birthday, and there it was! I was glad, too, because I find Fringe an intimidating canon. Because ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. AND PROBABLY WILL. And I don't care about whether my stories get jossed post-posting, but I find it really hard to keep writing something that gets jossed while I'm working on it.

I also posted a story on Sunday:

This voltage to ignite (at AO3)
Push (2009); Nick/Cassie; content notes: Cassie's 16; adult; 3,805 words
It's not the sex that makes her worry; it's all the stuff that goes with it.

I think any fic I write in this fandom should just come with a blanket disclaimer that it's written to my kinks (even more than usual) and is probably a little id-vortexy. (I feel like this gif set explains a lot.) Anyway, [personal profile] devildoll was having a bad day and I offered to write something for her and she said, "Just finish that five times Nick and Cassie make out and then deny it story," so I did.

I woke up this morning about 90 minutes before my alarm, and while I was desperately hoping to get back to sleep, I was thinking about how I really want the story where Nick gives himself up to Division in return for the promise that they won't go after Cassie, and then she spends the next six months trying to rescue him and then she yells at him a lot after she does and then they make out. Someone who isn't me should write that.

Speaking of things people should write, I will just link you to my tumblr post on the subject of Sebastian Stan in leather pants in a bathtub. Mostly because everyone should see that picture and then write the Steve/Bucky awkward sexytimes story that goes with it.

I'm here to help! if by "help" you mean try to convince you to write stories for me, and I do.

***

This entry at DW: http://musesfool.dreamwidth.org/436963.html. comment count unavailable people have commented there.
[community profile] white_lotus Lunar New Year Exchange stories were de-anoned yesterday, so I can tell you that I wrote Waiting to Spark, a bit of post-series Katara/Zuko, for [personal profile] kaydeefalls. I really wanted to make something good for her, since she made me that AMAZING vid last year. Writing Katara/Zuko was more difficult than I expected, given that I kind of do actually ship it, but I think it turned out okay.

And [personal profile] tobu_ishi wrote the amazing Sokka/Suki story I received this year: The Grace That It Takes.

I also posted a story for the porn battle yesterday:

All Right and Satisfied (at AO3)
Push (2009); Nick/Cassie; adult; content notes: Cassie is 17; 1,525 words
Nick loves when Cassie's like this, her slim frame as powerful as a Mack truck when she rolls over him and uses him every way she can to get off.

aka, the one where Nick loves it when Cassie just uses him to get off.

***

So yesterday for the first time ever, I watched Lilo & Stitch. I'd heard good things, and I'd seen stills and gifs, so mostly I thought it was going to be a cute movie about a little girl and her alien dog, and oh my god, NOBODY WARNED ME. I bawled my face off, and it was worse than the usual Disney tearjerker shenanigans because it wasn't just at the beginning (UP) or the end (Toy Story 3), it was all the way through the movie. I had to stop it once or twice because there was some serious ugly sobbing going on. And I had that awful post-crying headache when it was done, but wow, talk about a movie crafted to hit all my buttons. "Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten." Oh my heart.

***

It's only 10:30 and I already want to kill everyone. This does not bode well for the week.

***

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and i see myself turn into something else

Yesterday afternoon, I was liveblogging the NHL all-star game, and then the Pro Bowl, and I thought I posted, but it was to my writing journal instead of here. Huh.

day old ramblings part 1Collapse )

I kind of zoned out for the last two periods, doing remixy admin stuff. I logged into all the socks and made a post in each of them, so hopefully they won't get deleted as inactive journals, and then I imported all three archive comms to DW ([community profile] remix_redux, [community profile] remixredux08, and [community profile] remixredux09). So they're not going anywhere.

I also archived about 800 old comment notifications from, like, 2009 and 2010 that I realized I was never actually going to answer, so there are only 30 emails in my inbox now. It is like a great weight off my back. (Yes, I know about google's planned privacy policy change; no, I'm not planning on moving my email elsewhere at this time. No, I don't really want to talk about it today.)

And then the Pro Bowl...

day old ramblings, part 2Collapse )

And then I got really bored and stopped. I mean, there was some amusement - that play where Rodgers went up for the rebound, I mean, caught his own blocked pass (the way he was laughing afterwards = adorable), the fake punt, the two onside kicks, Brees attempting to dropkick, etc. - but I feel like having the game the week before the Super Bowl makes it even more meaningless and kind of rubs everyone's faces in the fact that they're not playing in a meaningful game. I mean, I don't care that much this year, since the Giants are in the Super Bowl, but it does seem kind of cruel.

I was really tired so I just recorded "The Good Wife" and will watch it tonight.

***

I posted a story yesterday:

Driving with the brakes on
Push (2009); Nick/Cassie (Nick/OFC); adult; 13,650 words (at AO3)
Nick discovers a way to help Cassie see more clearly. It's a little sketchier than he's comfortable with.

I'm still a little amazed at how hard Push hit my bulletproof kinks, and that is even before you add in the Chris Evans factor. So I said to [personal profile] angelgazing, "Tell me not to write the story where orgasms make Cassie's visions clearer" and she said, "you should TOTALLY write that story" and two weeks and 13k words later, I wrote the story. I'm really pleased with how it turned out, though since it's basically written to my kinks, I can't tell if it actually works as a story for other people. *hands*

Also, it was too big to crosspost to LJ, and oh man, there is nothing worse than having to split a story. I forgot how awful that was. Ugh.

***

fleurdeleo gave me a Starbucks giftcard, so I had an iced latte this morning. It's amazing how much better that makes my day for some reason.

***

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zen, your ocean refuses no river
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