lotesse: (Default)
It’s January, and that means I can talk about my yuletide work! I’m so, so proud of myself for seeing this project through; and I’m so happy it’s not over yet. This is the longest fic I’ve written to date, and I never do series work, so it’s all pretty new and exciting. It’s felt really good to be back in the writing/posting saddle.

Wherein was bound a child (24996 words) by lotesse
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Dark Is Rising Sequence - Susan Cooper
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Bran Davies/Will Stanton, Minor or Background Relationship(s)
Characters: Bran Davies (Dark Is Rising), Will Stanton, the Stanton family, Jen Evans, Alice Stanton, Barbara Stanton, Ensemble
Additional Tags: Fix-It, Post-Canon, Rivers, Memory, True Dreams, Celtic Mythology & Folklore, Family, Grief/Mourning, rescuing the inner child
Summary: It's the late 80s, and Bran Davies is more perturbed than he ought to be by the news that Mrs. Evans' youngest nephew, an English boy he used to play with as a kid, who like himself is now grown to young adulthood - and who he can barely remember, no matter how hard he tries - has gone missing from his home in Buckinghamshire.
lotesse: (afrofuturist)
--I always find myself wanting to tell someone about, or write about, the times when I experience intense overlays of affect or signification. For me, this is what it's all about, what I read for, what I listen for, what I live for. But they're always so deeply obscure and personal that I'm never sure if they're worth sharing, if the frission of it is something that can be conveyed to people outside of my head.

I'm going to anyway, because this is my journal, and I can be self-indulgent.

The bit from The Dark Is Rising with "Good King Wenceslas" has always been important and central for me. Part of that is that I was a choir girl whose peak event of the year was the holiday concert with the local symphony orchestra; part of it has to do with my general Thing for traditional carols. But it was also about Will and Merriman, alienation and community unlooked-for. Will loses the support of his brother's voice, sings alone as he goes forward, and just as he's wondering what he's going to do to keep the song going by himself Merriman comes in on the joyful king's verse, lyrically offering protection and restoring harmony. The Old Ones aren't always good community for Will - there's a darkly funny way that I think of DiR as the opposite of Harry Potter, where becoming a wizard on your eleventh birthday means leaving your abusive family for a wonderful world of magic, because in his waking Will loses his family, his humanity, and his future, and only gains a set of crochety old absentee mentors. Will Stanton is the eternal graduate student. But in that moment, singing "Good King Wenceslas," Merriman comes through for his pupil. In that moment, at least, Will isn't left alone.

And it means something to me that this is all framed in terms of poverty, generosity, honor, and snow.

So, on the opposite side of the collision--

I keep drawing the Fool card in my tarot, shall I or shan't I, and one of the questions pulling at me now is how much I want to keep fighting to wodge myself into the world versus how much I want to just go be the crazy witch lady at the edge of the woods. And I've been reading a lot of pieces like this one at the Atlantic about reclusive or in-revolt artists who start letting the madness through; the link centers Blackness, touching on Kanye West, Dave Chapelle, Lauryn Hill, and Nina Simone, but Courtney Love and Tori Amos are also artists that are part of this for me, in addition to badgal Rihanna. I grok that there are racialized aspects of this subject position that I can't legitimately lay claim to, but it's been giving me language for the simultaneous turn-away and aggressive-visibility impulses I've been feeling.


I've had a rough few days, dealing with an unusually nasty menstrual period, handling unfamiliar work that I'm less fluent with, and also doing first talks with a new therapist that I'm checking out. So yes, I was watching What Happened, Miss Simone? on Netflix looking for catharsis; but I really wasn't expecting the doc to open with her coming onstage, pushing the edge of her alienation, and sit down at the piano and start playing "Good King Wenceslas." God. The footage is from her 1976 return concert in Switzerland. She casts this beautiful incantation - she draws her limits verbally, hard, and it's awkward, and she does the throw-away gesture over her shoulder, and tells them they have to go with her to the beginning, girlhood. And this is still before the title card.

I recommend the doc, fwiw. It bothered me sometimes that her songs were used so heavily in the soundtrack; it especially nerdled me that "Put A Spell On You" underscored the section on her experience of marital abuse. It's too specific and too general all at once; those songs are standards, not confessional contemp-style singer-songwriter pieces. The civil rights music is different, it belongs in the context.
lotesse: (curioser)
I forget how much I dislike reading historical!KingArthur scholarship until I try it out again, ugh. It's all that thing in "The Monsters and the Critics" - the questions that are being pursued in the research are overwhelmingly documentarian-historicist when what i want is mythopoetics and sacred/social anthropology, I don't care if Arthur was real or not I just want to talk about who was telling what stories when and with what meanings -

I was trying to find out about Arthur, land-magic, and British-Isles colonialism. I want to know if I can legitimately make the land of the Thames valley react to Bran Davies as the rightful king come again, being that he's not English but Welsh. I would be confident having the Welsh mountains react that way to Bran, and the Thames valley would absolutely react to say T.H. White's Arthur, who isn't Welsh at all - but I'm not entirely clear on how it works, having a Welsh king function as a unification figure for Britain, when Wales has had a subordinated position in the British Empire since basically forever.

T.H. White's is the version of the canon that I know the best, and it doesn't deal with that aspect, being pretty post-Tennysonian in its characterization of Arthur and the meaning of his reign; and I mean I've also got a bunch of MZB bouncing around in the back of my head, but that's not likely to help me much in terms of either clear politics or good history. I turned up a book by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, whose work I've liked before, on the postcolonial Arthur that I mean to read, and I've had Graham Robb's book on sacral Britain on loan from my dad for about forever; but unless I turn up something explicit to prohibit it, I do think that Susan Cooper gives me enough in-text justification to cross British regional folklore traditions, if not to completely intermingle them. I feel like DiR very much lets particular traditions wash over each of the books in the series, leaving behind a series of overlapping residua. There's the never-explained Bran/Herne connection, for one thing, to justify the linkage; Herne is very solidly Thames-region-specific, and Bran Davies has his eyes.
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: (avengers_sexystark)
So I went & bought myself a microphone & have been recording merrily. The fruits of my labors:

Time's sublimest target is a soul forgot, by me
Dark is Rising unrequited Will/Bran, mature, 12:22 minutes
at sendspace


Precious Illusion by [livejournal.com profile] simmysim
Avengers comicsverse, Steve+Tony+bodies+transcendence, general, 26:50 minutes
at sendspace
lotesse: (myth)
I spent the weekend upstate with my grandmother, who's not in terribly great health, & is rehabbing from a broken collarbone in a pretty dismal institution. Read Greenwitch out loud to her. My tentative plan, depending on how all things go with her, is to spend the summer up there & lend a hand. I'm reading for exams, but there's no reason why I have to do that here, and I haven't summered on the Big Lake in nearly four years, and she just needs some joy & love around her. There's no reason in the world why she ought to be a sad old lady.

I'm also through Season 2 of "The X-Files." What an interesting ride! The paranoia can hack me off at times - there were definitely moments of either woman-torture or xeno/homophobia that I skipped over, just because I don't always want to see that sort of thing. It's interesting contrasting the MotW format here with shows like Supernatural - I think it's the way spn connected the monsters directly to the heroes so often that makes the difference, if that makes any sense. And I need fic! I ripped through RivkaT's Iolokus series over the weekend - oh, y'all, YUM. I've tasted blood and I want more.

Rec me Mulder/Scully fic! Within S1-2 canon would be great, but spoiler stuff that I can understand based on context is also cool. Longfic & Muldertorture appreciated.
lotesse: (lotr_samwise)
Heard a great lecture from Suzanne Keen today - I think I need to my by own copy of her book Empathy and the Novel.

my answers to the ten-questions meme from this weekend, each comprising a nice little babble: Fullmetal Alchemist, SG-1, the Aubreyad, The Dark is Rising, Prydain, Eight Cousins, Star Wars, Downton Abbey, and Westmark.

I am sitting here morbidly avoiding the tab in which I have opened today's Mark Reads - it's the Choices of Master Samwise today, and I can't take this chapter, I can't, just thinking of it makes me start tearing up, I couldn't read this chapter aloud to my little sister when we were kids because it made me cry so hard. I love it so, it's the most beautiful thing that's ever happened to me. And I have the tab open and I keep, like, accidentally switching to it and then covering it up again really quick.


Oh, hell. Now I am crying. God, Samwise, Samwise, Samwise. Further inarticulate muttering and general weeping & gnashing of teeth will continue until morale improves.
lotesse: (shakespeare_tempest)
meme, snagged from [personal profile] astridv:

Name a fandom you know (that you think I know too!) and I'll tell you

1. The first character I first fell in love with
2. The character I never expected to love as much as I do now
3. The character everyone else loves that I don’t
4. The character I love that everyone else hates
5. The character I used to love but don’t any longer
6. The character I would totally smooch
7. The character I’d want to be like
8. The character I’d slap
9. A pairing that I love
10. A pairing that I despise
lotesse: (untold)
First things first: thank you so very much for writing a story for me!

Some things that I like )

Haroun and the Sea of Stories )

The Dark is Rising )

Westmark )


19 Aug 2011 10:52 am
lotesse: (narnia_girls)
[personal profile] starlady's Last Will, and Testament, a Narnia/Dark is Rising crossover with a little His Dark Materials thrown in - all the left-alone ones together in a community of outsiders that broke my heart as much as it healed and inspired me.
lotesse: (fairytale_goldenbird)
The meme's been going around - if there was a zombie apocalypse and I had to choose five of my own stories, they would be these five.

(bind you with love that is) graceful and green as a stem Frodo/Sam postquest h/c, 21435 words - because this is the one where I finally feel like I managed to say what I mean about hobbits, and also to coherently feel through my half-opposition to the Grey Havens. Because I still feel proud of myself for finding a way out of that ending I could live with. Because I feel like I could happily bask in hobbits taking care of each other for ever, yo.

Of Smoke and Gold and Breathing The Dark is Rising, Will/Jane/Bran multiple histories, 9421 words - this was my Yuletide 2007 main story, and I still have very tender feeling for it, and for this canon as a whole, and for the girl I was when I wrote it.

Calligraphilia Hermione + autoeroticism + pens and ink, 1307 words - an old story, back from a moment in my life when I was just starting to really explore my own sexual identity and the excitement of that was erupting into my fiction.

until you cry:now you must try my greed Holmes/Watson rentboy porn, 6440 words - because this one gave me a chance to play it oldschool, and use pretty nineteenth-century words, and everything in it was pretty and Victorian and sexy. One of the pieces I'm most content with - I feel like it's doing everything I meant it to, and that's not nothing.

we have laced the world together Sherwood Smith's Wren books, Wren/Tess/Connor/Tyron ot4, 9158 words - my Yuletide 2009 story, which got positive author feedback homg! But only if I could also save that review!
lotesse: (darkisrising)
title: time's sublimest target is a soul forgot

The Dark Is Rising, Will/Bran. Teen (sexual content). Depressing lyrical post-canon academia!fic: Will recognized, clear as stillwater ice, the futility of the project: he was looking through a history of dreams for his own lost Pendragon. 1,846 words.

Thanks to [personal profile] sgrio and [personal profile] fyrefly101 for Celtic-Literatures-picking and Oxford-picking, respectively!

pleasurable interruptions and momentary fulfillments from other times )
lotesse: (darkisrising)
Would anyone be available for Celtic-picking and/or Oxford-picking a bit of Dark is Rising fiction? Prolly around 1500 words, nonexplicit slash? Only being a Victorianist in Indiana does not entirely set me up to write about a medievalist in Oxford, and I do prefer to avoid blatant inaccuracy when possible!
lotesse: (darkisrising)
brought to you by my tendency to plunge back into obscure childhood fandoms when faced with schoolwork. I've been reading in The Dark is Rising, and I keep finding fic that labels Bran as an albino, either in narration or in dialogue. And it keeps hitting me as incorrect, somehow - though I've no idea why. So I'm putting it to you all.

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 10

Hey kids, would you call Bran Davies an albino?

View Answers

5 (50.0%)

4 (40.0%)

1 (10.0%)

something that I will expound upon in the comments
0 (0.0%)

And if he is/is not, how on earth does that intersect with the Evil Albino trend that's been running these last couple of years?
lotesse: (darkisrising)
When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back;
Three from the circle, three from the track;
Wood, bronze, iron; water, fire, stone;
Five will return, and one go alone.

Iron for the birthday, bronze carried long;
Wood from the burning, stone out of song;
Fire in the candle-ring, water from the thaw;
Six Signs the circle, and the grail gone before.

Fire on the mountain shall find the harp of gold
Played to wake the Sleepers, oldest of the old;
Power from the green witch, lost beneath the sea;
All shall find the light at last, silver on the tree.
lotesse: (darkisrising)
It got so cold these last few days that I ended up turning back to Susan Cooper to cope with it! And oh dear me, I do love her books. The Dark is Rising books are sweet as honey, and I get all heart-clenchy over them. They're the sort of books that have me gasping out characters' names in peak narrative moments, just to somehow give voice to the abundance of love I end up feeling for them.

Question: did anyone else ever read Cooper's book Seaward? It was one of my best beloveds as a kid, and I haven't seen nor touched in for years, now - it tends to be hard to find. I remember that it was one of those books that were a big deal for me in early adolescence: the ones that were still pretty much children's lit, not YA - classic high fantasy, not hip or modern or anything like that - but that had sex bits in them. And not porn or anything, but just sort of an awareness of the body as a subject. Seaward and Many Waters and Tehanu, and Freckles. Before Song of the Lioness and Mists of Avalon. I loved those books so very very much.
lotesse: (darkisrising)
Thank you so much to [livejournal.com profile] lazigyrl for my Yuletide story; I thoroughly enjoyed it, and y'all should read it.

I wrote "Of Smoke and Gold and Breathing" for [livejournal.com profile] shortcakegreen:
The Dark is Rising, Jane/Will/Bran, PG, 9,438 words.

fairytales on both sides of the glass )
lotesse: (truelove)
So I finally got everything in that I needed for my Letters of Recommendation today. God above, it's like a mini rough draft grad school app - they need to have a copy of everything. But they're in, so that's one less thing to think about.

The Boy and I started reading "The Dark is Rising" out loud last night. He missed it as a child, and I think that sometimes kidlit can be easier to deal with as a grown-up person if it's read aloud to you. It's too easy to skitter over the surface of them, and lose their very unique pace, otherwise. I love Susan Cooper so much, y'all. I can't even. It's almost perfectly nonviolent. Does anyone ever kill anyone else with a sword? For all the excitement over Eirias, it's a symbol rather than a weapon. And I love that beyond all reason.

I'm taking my English Subject GREs tomorrow morning. I'm not too nervous, even though it's been over a year since I've taken a test. I do enjoy being an English major. And then maybe I'll be able to relax for a while. It would be nice; I've been burning the candle at both ends, so to speak.

daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin


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