lotesse: (starmap)
Writing is hard for me right now. Critical writing, I mean, not creative - I'm working right now, not playing, I don't have enough words in me to do both. But I'm doing it. It means putting down my wraps of protective fuzziness and breaking out my brain. It feels like jousting, single combat, one-on-one with my brainweasels. I ... think? it is a good thing that this is what I am trying to do for a living. I think. It feels like victory each time I send work in - although then of course the revisions do come back!

Working on C.S. Lewis, this week; heart grant me patience with the dear idiot.
lotesse: (Default)
Looking back through my fic over the years - wow, that bit from Tolkien about eucatastrophe - "he waukened then and turned to her" - must've really struck a chord with me, cuz I stg i run some form of it in everything I write.
lotesse: (Default)
patterns that i observe in my recent-ish creative output, not that there's been so very much of it:

two of the most successful stories I've ever written, until you cry: now you must try my greed and Loving in the war years, use the same two-part structure of surprising the characters initially with an id trope (prostitution, body transformation/size kink/semi-foeyay), having them freak out over it and pull apart to get shit figured out, and concluding with a confession-heavy reunion and tentative get-together sequence

I'm stalled at exactly the same point in my body of work around the Star Wars OT and the Chronicles of Prydain. I've previously completed shorter-but-still-elaborate fics (A bed of daysided gold, Airy cages quelled) that try to repair the cracks in the characters' relationships that I observe in the respective source texts; now I've got these two large WIPs that I've had going for literally years that try to work through those issues instead of undoing them. They're stories that I feel very serious about, enough that I've blocked myself in terms of actual execution

the two pieces I'm closest to finishing right now are both small three-part things teasing the nightmares out of their respective canons (Prydain and BSG 78); they are pretty but dark and bleak

i want to write all these tiny sentimental inconsequential feels-bits of stuff in the Vorkosiverse, and keep not letting myself; and i'm doing the same self-censorship with my work on Peter Pan, even though that's bigger, maybe even biggest

I notice i've been dropping caps in my orthography more often lately, and that i;m likely to do so in two noticeable contexts: when i'm making confessions, and when i'm using academese or moving around academic topics. in the first situation it's more like whispering, but in the second it's totally a typed-up version of vocal fry, deliberately feminized/infantilized refusal to use language without an edge of sarcasm. i seem to be experiencing teen rebellion a decade late via tumblr. i kind of love it?
lotesse: (Default)
One of the biggest and most valuable things I've learned through fannish engagement is just how complex identification actually is; because we're operating outside of the cultural paradigm that assumes identification based on likeness - she's a girl I'm a girl therefore she's automatically my identity character - you can see how much potential variance there is in degrees and types of identification. We talk a lot in fandom about the "do I want to be them or have them?" question. Because there's the identification of "you are the person I want to be," and the "you are everything I hate about myself" identification, and the weird hurt/comfort-y one where you recognize your own pain or strangeness in a character and go about trying to fix it for them in a sideways attempt to bring it right for yourself. Sometimes loving a BSO is like loving a partner, but a lot of the time I find that it's more about loving myself. Or - this is maybe more right - about loving myself the way I would love a partner.

I was reading Slings & Arrows fic a moment ago, and just thinking about how passionately I loved Geoffrey Tennant, and how much he was the person that I wanted my Ex to be able to become, the person he was, in reality, never ever going to be. I - well, he was dark-haired and scruffy and creative and mentally disordered, so I can see where I was going with it. If he'd be Geoffrey, be that creative and powerful and effective, I thought, I could be Ellen, I could have my creativity elevated by and expressed through my partnership. I'm big on power-couple fantasies, and it wasn't a problem for me to chill in the supporting role.

But then I had this weirdly intense and transgressive-feeling thought: that of the two of us, I had really been the most like Geoffrey. I was the one overflowing with creative and intellectual energy. He - he was fucking Claire, pretty much.

Is my tendency to classify Geoffrey Tennant as a love-object, rather than an identity-object, a way of shrinking from a claim of identification with power that I subconsciously find too presumptuous?

When I'm loving Geoffrey Tennant, is that truly me loving on an expression of my own most powerful potential self?

During an energy-reading a few weeks ago the reader said that I was a creative genius. I felt so awkward. I spent years sitting next to my Ex with our writing machines, and he was failing to finish his third draft, but I was finishing better and better fanworks, taking on more ambitious projects, writing solidly and consistently - but he was the writer in our relationship, no question about it, that was what we both said and believed. Why did he get to call himself a writer, and not me? His (unfinished) works had been read by classmates in workshops and that was about it; during the same period of our lives together I was getting positive feedback from the source author on my yuletide story. And he asserted his "creative genius" all the time - so why did I feel so awkward over the same claim applied to myself? Why was I so much more invested in establishing his genius than my own?

I think there's something to the way that female-driven fandom tends to love on heroes rather than inhabit them that's really about gender and the (in)accessibility of power-claims. Not all of it, but something.
lotesse: (downton_beauty)
Lately I've been feeling the lure of the one-card tarot draw; until now, I've always worked from a six-card array, but the simplicity of the single card, not a pattern but an insight, is currently appealing to me. Last night I drew the Hanged Man ill-dignified, self-sacrifice and seeing strange; this evening I drew the Nine of Wands ill-dignified, which is a card my mother usually draws, a card about solar energy which for me is about the house I grew up in that was built to trap the sun, and upright it's about achievement but reversed it's bad faith, closed-down conversations, lack of initiative.

Had a fight with mom and dad last night; mama was taking out frustrations, and so was dad I think tho also quite intoxicated which makes him an asshole particularly to me. Patched things over with mom last night, sort of, and sent dad an email just now letting him know that I'm not cool with being his vent. Everyone's tired of me being depressed - as if I'm not.

Writing fic, a little - I'm trying something sort of ambitious for Yuletide this year, doing one of the stories I always wanted to write but didn't see enough audience to justify the effort, and it's nice to be back to spitting out words with some regularity. I dunno about how good those words are, but am not minding that right now.

I'm not really moving forward on academic stuff - still in a bit of a slump, too tangled up in unidentified emotion & baggage to deal with my document proper. I am working laterally, tho, exploring and digesting and regrouping; my project isn't off my mind. Am procrastinating marking papers; am sure I will lady up and get on with them sometime tonight or tomorrow.

Rewatching White Collar and Due South. Quite liking the new season of WC, looking forward to next week (El there behind Peter's shoulder, Neal speaking to them both - !). Also watching and enjoying the new series of Downton Abbey, shipping Mary/Branson all the way, and thinking that Edith's been looking tres chic, good for her poor dear, also god rich people really do have endless time to dramatize god damn.
lotesse: (prydain_ship)
I've been trying to get my fanwriting mojo back, and, well - I have these two massive projects that I've been carrying around for a while now, and I'd like to see them come to something before starting up anything else sizeable. So I'm looking for betas, cheerleaders, interlocutors, whatever - people who would be interested in reading one of these two works in progress. Chat in comments here would be great - even having a strong sense that the pieces have an audience would be motivational, but if any of y'all are interested I would also love to take it to email.

(And there's also the potential that I might weird out a little; asking for interaction and particularly for help is really really hard for me, and I get spooked and shy and disconnect. So, um, patience for the socially awkward?)

Star Wars original trilogy: the one with the truth drugs )

Chronicles of Prydain: the one that writes past the ending )
lotesse: (Default)
... I didn't think I was ever going to get that done; I miss writing not being a process of pressing water from a stone.

But oh my god you guys, I might bitch about my father sometimes, but when he's good he's wonderful - he sat with me through a prose-style workthrough for over an hour last night, and oh my god I didn't realize how much I missed being taught by someone I trust. And I didn't realize how much of my own 1-on-1 teaching patter was borrowed wholesale from him! It just seemed like the way to do things, but I totally replicating the way he taught me when I was first learning how to really write.

After that session, I think writing might get a little more fluid for me again. I hope so. I want to hang on to the way I'm feeling right now.

Anyway, now it's thunderstorming in Indiana - my cats just ran in looking super bedraggled - and I'm off to curl up with one of my favorite things: Joss Whedon's commentary track on Serenity.
lotesse: (shakespeare_tempest)
I'm writing! I'm writing! I'm not writing my yuletide assignment - which I'm excited about in sort of a warm quiet way, because I think it's going to come out a warm quiet story that might not change the world but will make me & hopefully my recip warm and happy - or either of the other two projects I'm maybe doing for other yuletide folks. No, I'm finally writing on the Star Wars OT truthdrugs story I started the same month as A bed of daysided gold, but that keeps getting bigger and more intense on me. (not, sadly, faster and more intense. slower. slower and more intense.) I think I've maybe figured out some of the overall thematic unities of the story, which is really good information to have, but a lot of what I've been doing today is going back and getting myself out of the bottlenecks I'd got myself into when I was blundering around in the trope-infested dark. At 10k+ right now, finish line not yet in sight.

here are some other bits of fannish stuff and/or linkspammage:
- dept of Tony Stark + robots. Did you know that DUM-E starred in his very own GM commercial before becoming a prop on Iron Man? (this might be a thing that everyone's seen but me, but I'd never seen it so I thought I'd share. um, warnings for sad robots/implied robot suicide? DUM-E is not doing so well.)

- in other Tony Stark + robots news, apparently the sound effects for Tony's babies are drawn from ILM's sound library - which was largely compiled by Ben Burtt for the original Star Wars trilogy. Which pretty much explains their lovability factor in my book - Burtt is a god among men.

- Nick Mamatas defends genre fiction against all the snobbery the New Yorker can bring to bear.

- the best parts of this discussion of Narnia and divine justice over at [livejournal.com profile] cartesiandaemon's is the stuff in the comments about the nature of a certain kind of fantasy: "Where riding for weeks and weeks of wilderness only to find a knight guarding a bridge with no shelter and certainly no way of getting food, and no suggestion of what he does the three hundred and sixty-four days a year that someone isn't trying to cross his bridge, is just the kind of thing that happens, because the idea that the world should make coherent sense is just inconceivable and what is important is that there are two knights and a bridge and one of them is going to have to give way. Oh, and a barefoot maiden might just happen to come along in the middle of the fight too to point out that the knights are in fact brothers, despite that the nearest village is weeks of hard ride away so where was she hiding, eh?" Includes interesting stuff on Star Wars as well.

- and also here, have a link to a lovely essay on self-care from Elise Nagy: "It’s difficult to practice self care without slipping into a self-interrogation about complacency, about whether you deserve this care or are just coddling yourself, about whether giving yourself credit for something so basic—taking care of yourself—really makes you a more broken and less competent human being. (People make it through author’s talks in crowded theatres every day without needing to take a time out, people go grocery shopping every day without making it into some huge meaningful deal, people go through much worse, people would love to have the problems you have, the voice says.)" Because we've got a hurricane and an election and a Disney buyout, people, ish is pretty intense right now.
lotesse: (fairytale_goldenbird)
{tred tired semester teaching exam list argh} - so pretty much the usual. Except I'm pretty sure that when George Gissing told me that "there are half a million more women than men in this happy country of ours," i.e. Victorian Britain, he was either wrong, lying, or doing some really weird shit with population statistics. Because. That can't possibly be true.

And, for a change, I am writing words that are fictiony! Which is making me so, so, so happy. And, yanno, maybe someday I'll even finish a fic and I can do that thing I used to do where I posted the words on the internet and people read them. In the meantime, meme! Ganked from everywhere, idek:

Pick a number and I'll answer the question.

1 - Your current OTP
2 - A pairing you initially didn’t consider but someone changed your mind
3 - A pairing you have never liked and probably never will
4 - A pairing you wish you liked but just can’t
5 - Have you added anything stupid/cracky/hilarious to your fandom, if so, what
6 - What’s the longest you’ve ever been in a fandom
7 - Do you remember your first OTP, if so who was in it
8 - Do you prefer characters from real action series or anime series
9 - Has the internet caused you to stop liking any fandoms, if so, which and why
10 - Name a fandom you didn’t care/think about until you saw it all over tumblr [let's substitute LJ here for a more meaningful question in my case]
11 - How do you feel about the other people in your current fandom
12 - Your favorite fanartist/author gives you one request, what do you ask for
13 - Your favorite fanart or fanartist
14 - Your favorite fanfiction or fanauthor
15 - Choose a song at random, which OTP does it remind you of
16 - Invent a random AU for any fandom (we always need more ideas)
17 - A ship you’ve abandoned and why
18 - A pairing you ship that you don’t think anyone else ships
19 - Show us an example of your personal headcanon
20 - Do you remember what your first fanwork was?
21 - Self-rec: What's your favorite fanwork you've created?
22 - Are you one of those fans who can’t watch anything without shipping
23 - 5 favorite characters from 5 different fandoms
24 - 3 OTPs from 3 different fandoms
25 - A fandom you’re in but have no ships from
26 - Just ramble about something fan-related, go go go
lotesse: (panslabyrinth_book)
First week of the semester is down for the count, and I'm home and home is still an holy mess but it's safe and cool and dark and contains cats and an internet. Moving the weekend before semester is not something I should ever do again, note to self. But nothing's been too catastrophic for the last few days - last week is another matter altogether about which I shall not speak here, because it just doesn't bear repeating.

I'm really hoping to write some fic this weekend. I think maybe one of the reasons why I wrote so little this last summer is that I had so little time alone - I was with my grandmother until late each night, and then I couldn't get up enough enthusiasm to do much more than scroll through tumblr. I can tell, right now, that I haven't had enough alone time of late, because I'm so ridiculously thrilled at not having to talk to anyone at all tomorrow. Things are going to even out again now, though, I'm sure they are. I hope they are.

As an appropriate close to this week, have Oscar Wilde in drag as the eponymous heroine of his play Salome:


eta: which is apparently not him after all :(
lotesse: (Default)
a meme from [personal profile] musesfool: Pick any passage of 500 words or less from any story I've written, and comment to this post with that selection. I will then give you the equivalent of a DVD commentary on that snippet: what I was thinking when I wrote it, why I wrote it in the first place, what's going on in the character's heads, why I chose certain words, what this moment means in the context of the rest of the fic, lots of awful puns, and anything else that you’d expect to find on a DVD commentary track.
lotesse: (holmes_hyacinth)
As expected, stayed up to 5:00 am last night & produced over a thousand words of Sherlock Holmes fic. Homg new movie! Wtfyuletidebears!

spoilers for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows )
lotesse: (fairytale_goldenbird)
1. Kicked ass on my remaining paper - I now have 14 coherent pages of text! Out of, like, 20-something. And all the words, you know, make sense and mean things.

2. Finished - not my yuletide fic proper, that I've scarcely begun, though I'm up on the source canon now & have some decent ideas - but a treat I'd set aside to write. And tidied up some of the loose bits of Prydain stuff I produced while working on Airy cages quelled; some should be in postable shape soon. Hadn't written creatively for a while, and it felt lovely to get back in that mode.

3. My advent gift for the day was a pair of gorgeous antique clip-on rhinestone earrings in the shape of two little interlocking squares. I suspect them of being my great-grandmother's, but will have to wait until tomorrow to get confirmation from mama. Grandma Margaret never pierced her ears - just like me! - but she worked as a lounge pianist in the 40s, so her bling was pretty fab. Most of the rhinestone earrings I've got were hers - since I'm the only one in the family who remains unpierced, they tend to come my way.

4. JFC SHERWOOD SMITH PUBLICLY RECCED MY YULETIDE 2009 STORY AGAIN. FLAILING! VALIDATION! HOMG HOMG HOMG!
lotesse: (lostgirl_appleprincess)
I have all this fic that, like, almost ready to post. But I can't seem to actually get anything finished. Bah.

have some Lost Girl 2.04 babbling instead )
lotesse: (p&p_letters)
Here's [a meme] where I'll post the working title of a story, and the first sentence, for (some of) my most current WIPs. No pairing or summary info.


A Study in Circles: The Amestrian military keeps doctors as well as dogs on its leashes; having completed my course of medical study at the Second Laboratory in Central, I was bound to service for several years.

my gold signal like a dragonfly: Teal'c tells people, when they ask him, that his inlaid golden serpent tattoo is a mark of his former slavery to false gods.

Neglect me, lose me, only give me leave: “No,” Taran said, pulling away from under Fflewddur's hand.

saffron and haze and Tyrian purple: Arram Draper had left Tyra as a very small boy, taking with him only a dark olive-brown complexion, a head of curling dark hair, and the recollected tastes of cakes flavored with saffron and sesame, and aromatic bread heavy with olive oil on his tongue.
lotesse: (prydain_bother)
[community profile] ladiesbigbang entry away! holy hannah, I thought this day would never come! I'd say I was excited to write something other than Prydain, but actually I've spun off so many little bunnies in the process of producing the big one that I might keep doodling around there for a while. We shall see :)

Now I really want to lie in bed and read Steve/Tony (the Avengers are taking over my mind - help!), but instead I get to do anti-racism 101 all over the responses my students wrote to N.K. Jemisin's excellent The Effluent Engine. I hate trying to do 101-level work in written comments.
lotesse: (feminism_writtenonthebody)
I owe some back-comments, but as I seem to be getting sick y'all just get linkspam today.

on #yestogayYA, [personal profile] via_ostiense, Just Buy More Books!: a timely critique of systems of capitalism & consumption that underlie this whole imbroglio

at [community profile] chromatics, Four artworks of Sekhmet: because awesome lion-goddesses = never not good

over at The Chronicle, an article on On Shame in Academic Writing

and a bloody fascinating piece on tarot-reading: The Querent
lotesse: (prydain_eilonwyredgold)
- cohort meeting next week, not today. Plus side: I got in an extra walk?

- preliminary connection spotted between Adam Bede and Tess of the D'Urbervilles - no, not unwed mothership. Further notes, if any, to follow.

- total reshuffling of comp syllabus: in progress. Lots of work, but ultimately lovely & freeing - it turns out that I took instruction on this project a little too well, and focused so hard on the "composition" part and the "not overpoliticizing" part and the "not having a thesis" part that I policed myself out of a strong conceptual structure.

And I've got 14,000 words on my [community profile] ladiesbigbang fic - not that it's done yet! Wordcounts and plots do not seem to be matching in this case. Sigh. If I could go back to writing short fic, maybe I'd post stuff sometimes! As is, I'm writing up a storm over here, but since stuff just keeps on branching ...
lotesse: (sarc_victlit)
meme, via [personal profile] musesfool: If you were asked to pick one scene, one line, one detail, one moment of some kind out of all the stories I've written and say "This, this, for whatever reason, I remember, this is something that struck home with me, that I wanted to keep," what would it be?
lotesse: (academia)
Christ why will this paper not end?! I keep writing - and it keeps getting bigger. Am now over minimum page length, nearing maximum, and I still have waaaay to many notecards left unincorporated.

... I think I may have over-researched. Curse Ivanhoe anyway, for having both Jews and Saracens. How can I write about one and leave out the other?! But on the other hand, I want to be done with this asdaklsjf paper.

daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin

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