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: (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: (thetimeisnow)
Starting a new semester, putting together my teaching syllabus, prepping for my exam study group, and writing a fair amount of fic, yay!

I'm throwing Bujold's "Labyrinth" into my sff comp class - first time I've ever let myself teach something I'm really actively fannish about. I mean, I guess there's "Serenity," but somehow that feels different. I'm not as passionately in love with Malcolm Reynolds as I am with Miles Vorkosigan - and besides, the Big Damn Movie doesn't concentrate on the aspects of the narrative I find most emotionally compelling, i.e. the Crazy Space Incest. So we'll see how that goes.

In further news of excellent and awesome, [personal profile] ataratah drew fanart for Airy cages quelled! And it's goooorgeous. Extra yay!

I'm ready to go, world. Bring it on.
lotesse: (Default)
I spent so much time doing Prydain het this year that Prydain slash was inevitable.

Neglect me, lose me, only give me leave
Chronicles of Prydain, Taran/Fflewddur, Taran Wanderer era
enthusiastic consent, intercrural sex, worship, traces of healing cock
2712 words, explicit

There is nothing, Fflewddur said, suddenly thick-throated, that you are not worth. )
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.

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 )
lotesse: (prydain_bother)
My [community profile] ladiesbigbang fic!

title: Airy cages quelled
author: [personal profile] lotesse
fandom: The Chronicles of Prydain
characters/pairing: Eilonwy-centric, ensemble, Taran/Eilonwy
rating: teen (pg-13)
summary: Eilonwy deals with the power of Llyr, kills a sorcerer, avenges her mother, and rescues her lover. You never know what you can do, until you get away from the canon that marginalizes you and prefers to develop its male lead. AU of Taran Wanderer.
wordcount: 20,016
art by [personal profile] zopyrus

read at the AO3 or behind the cut )
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_ship)
So I have been doing all this reparative/critical work with Prydain. For a while now - and I swear I will finish and post some of it soon. It's interesting turf in terms of sex/gender: on the one hand, so dated in terms of narrative focus, with the male protag getting all the real development and the female protag being just a little Too Perfect - or just being airheaded. But on the other, Lloyd Alexander was always someone who really tried to write inclusively & to have Strong Female Characters, and I know that I found more for myself in Prydain than I did most other places, as a kid.

Prydain does a really good job, imo, separating sex from gender. Gender tends not to matter; sex does. Representation remains as issue - why are there no women in this universe?! but for all that, it does some interesting things with fairly feminist sex/gender politics. Lemme 'splain.

cut for length, nattering )
lotesse: (prydain_eilonwyredgold)
Poll #7180 ladies bigbang!
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 11

Should I write an Eilonwy-centric Taran Wanderer au for [community profile] ladiesbigbang?

View Answers

10 (90.9%)

0 (0.0%)

1 (9.1%)

something to be specified in comments
0 (0.0%)

0 (0.0%)

lotesse: (woods)
So it finally stopped raining today, and all of a sudden I think it's maybe going to be May in my heart. April really was the cruelest month this year, but I have high hopes for May. I spent the afternoon outside picking violets & rereading Lloyd Alexander's The Foundling and other Stories - I'd forgotten just how easy I am for "The True Enchanter," and somehow Fflewddur just gets cuter the closer I get to his age, though I sometimes feel that that oughtn't to be so.

I've been doing a metric fuckton of writing. Multiple Prydain projects - they're breeding! - but also an OT Star Wars/Firefly fusion. Unfortunately, my Boy is drafting the climax of his novel, which I do edit, and all the lovely affect is making my ficbrain vibrate with interest. Note to self: writing fanfiction of an unpublished text possibly not most productive idea ever.

I finished my grading yesterday, and so far only one of my kids has emailed me complaining about his grade - here's hoping that luck holds. I tell them to email me, because I hate the idea of them going home for the summer confused or bummed, and just grading them and turning them loose somehow doesn't seem properly nurturing - but at the same time I do rather dread those emails!

have a random link: Hungover Owls
lotesse: (prydain_taran)
... so I just realized that of course the scene that I meant to be smut persistently refused to get properly explicit. I was writing from Taran's point of view. (somehow I think he'd have trouble naming those things to himself - and as a rule I find I don't like writing het sex scenes from male povs, because I worry about how easy it is to objectify the sexualized female body in that context.) Okay, switching to Eilonwy, who has no trouble thinking dirty thoughts or naming her desires.

Also, my sff comp course got approved for next fall!

And in further rambling - okay so I'm kind of having an affair with Mumford & Sons. It's the banjo, I think - my daddy played the banjo when I was a little girl, and I still turn to the recorded sounds of Pete Seeger's banjo when my heart hurts. Banjos are like direct taps into the place where all my happy optimistic feelings are kept. I will never understand the tendency to stereotype them as "hick" instruments without potential for virtuosity - they're such delicate instruments! All little filigree notes slipping together, a full sound composed of tinier noises combined. Am assuming that it's a race thing that slowly changed into a class/region thing. Urgh.
lotesse: (laputa_sheeta/pazu)
things that are Getting Better:

enrollment for next year done! successfully, even.

I just ate the last hundred pages of Middlemarch. I'm going to have to go back and write notes over the next week, but I just couldn't help myself. I am totally unable to resist George Eliot when she really gets her roll on - and girlfriend gives good ending.

Writing is also happening! Mainly on Prydain - and I'm trying to decide what I'm going to do with this fic. It's turning into a monster - over 8,000 words and I'm only just getting started, and I'm thinking about maybe posting it as a WIP? Which is something I never do, really, because I'm too much of a control freak/backward writer - but I want this to see daylight at some point!

My proposal for my spec-fic comp course went off today. I ended up including nuTrek, Serenity, LeGuin's "Winter's King," and N.K. Jemisin's "The Effluent Engine," as well as essays by LeGuin, Frederic Jameson, Joanna Russ, Francesca Coppa (TWC represent!), Elizabeth Freeman, and Adrienne Rich. So I'm excited about that, and hope it will get accepted - and also I am pleased that I have one less thing to work on.

Yesterday we went out to the farm and did things with tractors, and The Baby helped me pick a huge bunch of early jonquils, and we watched the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie with him, which he'd never seen. We've successfully converted him to Star Wars - we watched the OT together two summers ago, and now his closet door has a handwritten sign on it indicating the entrance to the "Jedi archives," so.
lotesse: (woods)
SPRING BREAK TIEMZ NAO. I will celebrate with Cadbury caramel eggs and pornography, I think, because the new Jane Eyre is not playing in my (big-ten-university-hosting) hometown - like whut fr srs. And Prydain. Because Prydain is a happy land of wonders and otps.

Sending out my happy freedom energy to Japan, where the weather is not nearly so lovely as it is here and now.
lotesse: (prydain_eilonwyredgold)
While there are maps of Prydain, they seem to have rather fallen out of circulation - they were not printed in the editions I had as a child - and there is also not, as far as I can tell, a complete map in existence. The beautiful maps printed in each of the volumes of the Chronicles are clearly hand-drawn, and do not reproduce one another with any spatial accuracy.

Because it's hard to find them, here are the four maps of Prydain printed in the books - note that these are recombined from hi-res screencaps of GoogleBooks, and so might have a few jagged edges: behind the cut )

In each of these the geography is highly variant, and major locations appear and disappear - it weirds me out to remember how close they must come to the wreck of Spiral Castle several times in the series, for one thing. So I decided I wanted a complete map, so as to begin getting my head properly around this world. I used the map from The High King as my base, erased plot details, and added in marks for elided locations.

again, map behind the cut )

Note that some of these names are placed on fairly vague evidence! We know that Pen-Llarcau is one of the northern kingdoms, but not exactly where it might be. Rheged, Mawr, and Dau Gleddyn (all allies of the Horned King) are identified only as "the cantrevs of the south." The location of Madoc is completely without evidence of any kind, I'm afraid. The placement of Avren Harbor rests only on the geographical point of the slight natural harbor formed in the shape of the river at that point. But it works well enough, I think.
lotesse: (books_rereading)

This post brought to you by an evening of mainlining all of Prydain, and a morning of reading histories of Victorian women's rights movements.
lotesse: (prydain_taran)
So apparently my fic-writing mojo was waiting for me in Prydain. Who knew?! It's been a long time, but rereading has commenced, and fiction is being written. These books - I heart them so hard, you guys. So. Hard. The funny differences in syntax between Taran's and Eilonwy's speech - he's much more formal and archaic, she's quick and contemporary, and it's such a funny inversion of so much about them, because she's the one with ties to the ancient past while he's the story yet to come, but yet it's painfully fitting, because of course Eilonwy is the one with the clue.

I'm trying to learn geography. The editions I grew up with didn't contain maps, and I never did have a firm grasp on the relative locations of things. It feels a bit backward, because the value of Alexander's ordinals is very much the reverse of the secondary realities that I do have geographic knowledge of - certainly very much the opposite of Tolkien, for one thing. So I've got to rewire that.
lotesse: (Default)
First, a rec: The House of Your Heart is Lit From Within, a gorgeous Prydain NYR fic that [livejournal.com profile] thistlerose unknowingly wrote for one of my Boy's yuletide prompts.

Second, I just have to register my nebulous and yet ongoing squee over DreamWidth. This is going to be sooo cool homg. (and oh my god do I ever want one of those codes!)

Third, a poem in honor of the cruellest month, in hopes that it will not be so for me:

Song Of A Second April
Edna St. Vincent Millay

April this year, not otherwise
Than April of a year ago,
Is full of whispers, full of sighs,
Of dazzling mud and dingy snow;
Hepaticas that pleased you so
Are here again, and butterflies.

There rings a hammering all day,
And shingles lie about the doors;
In orchards near and far away
The grey wood-pecker taps and bores;
The men are merry at their chores,
And children earnest at their play.

The larger streams run still and deep,
Noisy and swift the small brooks run
Among the mullein stalks the sheep
Go up the hillside in the sun,
Pensively,—only you are gone,
You that alone I cared to keep.
lotesse: (darkisrising)
So I would pretty much sell my soul for a decent Prydain movie.

I've been under the weather for the past few days, so there's been lots of curling up with comfort movies - notably the entire original Star Wars trilogy and the Anne of Green Gables miniseries. And comfort fic. And all sorts of fanbrain-oriented stuff. But I've also been having Prydain fanbrain since summer, and I realized this afternoon that the thing I really wanted was a Prydain movie. Or a Prydain miniseries!

There was that terrible Disney abomination, but their characterization of Eilonwy is so utterly wrong that I can't even get any sideways pleasure out of it. It's borderline criminal, the way they de-fang and engirlify her. Plus they let Taran get away with far too much - there's a reason why Alexander's narrative is always kicking him down, why it takes him three, or possibly five, books to actually get to be the hero. The Disney lets him draw Dyrnwyn right off the bat, and it's like, guys, do you have any idea what makes this character tick? Clearly not. They build him up and break her down, and it adds up to something without any possible satisfaction value in any way.

But the books would be fabulous on film - they have lovely sweep, and elegance, and they even fit in pretty well to our expected hero-narratives. They're simple enough little things that they wouldn't need any sort of dumbing down. Just let them play out and be pretty, and don't screw up the mythological patterning of the characters and the plotlines, and you'd be golden.

Why has no one done this? It would give me such a total happy!

daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin


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