The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

*meekly raises hand*
I'm about 25,000 words through the shameless SGA harlequin I'm writing now. At least I know I'm not alone...

*gives you a hundred brownies*

I adore that John/Bates fight all out of proportion


God I loved that. And John with all the wanting to claim and then like going to Carson for a nervous breakdown and I am yelling "CLAIM HIS ASS. CLAIM IT. HE'LL LIKE IT! HE WILL!" at the screen.

I will cautiously raise my hand, here. I have to be in the right mood to read these fics and others like them, and I'm seldom in that mood. But when I am, I am glued to my screen.

*nod* It *is* definitely a mood thing, but romance is my total comfort and happy place. I am in the mood a *lot*. *g*

It would be nice if people weren't shamed out of ever writing such stories...

I agree completely. Do not even start me on the disrespect romance gets in general.

"But then they fought over Rodney! I mean--he was going to kill Bates! And then John wanted to claim him! And was having a nervous breakdown about it! And there was bonding! They were soulmates! SOULMATES."

I think I started laughing hysterically here and then didn't stop until

But they're in love! They're in love!"

Because yeah, I totally get where you're coming from:)

I want my romance, dammit. I mean, all the other stuff is great, but we need more romance too.

I sulk about this a lot.

::nodnodnod:: ::nodnodnod::

(No, really, that's all I've got. Except maybe for this: WORD.)

*glee* I knew there were more of us!

I loved the Harlequin challenge deeply. I am not ashamed. I love reading fanfic based on soap operas. I love reading fanfic based on romantic movies. I love *wrestling* when it has romantic storylines, and I read *that* fanfic. I *wrote* fanfic in wrestling and soap operas!

Fic in any form that makes people happy is never shameful. These people do God's work.

They totally do. And they give me duels to the death. *hearts*

I'm with you on this. There are things that fall into this category that I just personally find over the top and can't read, but I get where you're coming from.

Acafan moment:

Janice Radway says some really interesting things about romance readers. She talks a lot about the readers she interviewed valuing romances for the story's ability to show the "essential importance of love to a full, human life" and romances vicariously supplying "attention, nurturance, and care" the women (the readers were all women) didn't always receive in daily life (and as far as the novels go, they're not expected to dispense care, etc. in return).

The quotes are from
Radway, Janice A. "Reading is Not Eating: Mass-Produced Literature and the Theoretical, Methodological, and Political Consequences of a Metaphor." Book Research Quarterly 2 (Fall 1986): 7-29.

which I recently read, though I think her book _Reading the Romance_ is better known, not to mention easier to find than a journal from the 80s.

*nods* Oh, completely. And some I don't like because of whatever random reason, but the genre itself is one of my favorites.

I need to read that. There's a lot of focus on social and etc issues in current meta, but a real lack of it on the importance of genre as well, and the fact that we are more than our intensive studies of the value of the genderfuck and mpreg as symbols of something or other.

(I am rabidly non-intellectual. *g*)

Stray surfer you don't know, here...

but I just had to leave a comment saying YES!


Those two fics are two of my most read ones, and I unashamedly adore them.

Re: Stray surfer you don't know, here...

Not only in my folder, but in one of my accounts, *just in case* i want to read them and I don't have my laptop.

I need my hit, dammit.

I am with you. I am WITH you. It's one of the reasons I completely love (and have abandoned all shame in admitting that I love) soulbonding fic, mindbonding fic, One True Love fic, that perfect focus on the Pair That Is Beyond Perfect For Each Other.

It's escapist, yes, and sometimes it wanders over the edge into completely unrealistic. But I don't CARE, I love it, I eat it up. I want my two characters to be so necessary for each other that if one is oblivious, or goes away, the other pines and doesn't eat and fades, slowly, heartbroken. I want the two of them (three of them? Whatever) to be utterly necessary to each others' survival.

It's my very favorite thing. So I thank you for making this post, because it made me stood up and cheer and say "YES YES THAT EXACTLY!" out loud!

I want my two characters to be so necessary for each other that if one is oblivious, or goes away, the other pines and doesn't eat and fades, slowly, heartbroken.


There has got to be more soulbonding and mindbonding and all of it. MUST BE THERE. It is the highest pinnacle of freaking one true love romance; YOU GET INTO THEIR MINDS TOO.

I am totally getting high *thinking* about it.

YES. (And do not get me started on how much crap I see romance readers getting from fanfic readers/writers in general. Grrrrrrr.)

I *love* romance novels. LOVE them. And when a piece of fanfic manages to capture that, it's even better.

It really is awesome when fanfic does it right, because it's like my two favorite things--my fandom and One True Love. HAPPY!

the delicious rippling pecs of the Viking warrior as he kidnaps the tiny buxom Saxon maiden from her father's keep and takes her to his mountainous fortress for hours and hours of ravishing

I... think I've read that book. Or possibly it was a Norman warrior. Or a sheikh. Or a medieval Italian mercenary captain.

I do believe I squeed over the John/Bates fight in Coming Home. And I'm totally with you on the rivals fighting and people growling over their mates.

Everything is finding and keeping that one true love. People, animals, countries, planets in the way? Screw it. Bring out the swords, stunners, muskets, or phasers (or Doranda level bombs); it's pure in a way that no other fiction really is, focusing and honing itself on that single, shining goal of true love, no matter what, no matter what happens, bring it on because they will totally fucking conquer it.

This reminds me so much of Spike in BtVS - and a discussion I read somewhere that was suggesting the reason Buffy has difficulty with his love is because it is that huge romantic kind of love and we are taught now that this isn't entirely healthy. Which I think is probably true that this attitude comes through, or why would so many of us feel that enoying that kind of romance in fiction is a guilty pleasure?

There are definitely books and fics that I would... be ashamed of liking isn't quite the right phrase, but I would feel a defensive need to explain why I liked them.

I didn't, before fandom. Before slash, actually, and I started reading more and more meta on it and what people recced and it became--problematic for me to admit that I liked the beautifully written exploration of Clark and his world and superpowers--but I was sort of panting over the one where Lex was mindcontrolling Clark in his Fortress Lair. Just--yeah, no way to get that one across well.

Okay, y'all, that fight was *epic*. There should be *odes* about that damn fight. *glee*

Hmm. First of all I HAVE NO SUCH FOLDER *shifty*

..*proves your point* *G*

I think-- for me at least-- I get annoyed by certain romance fic in fandom because if I'm not in the right mood I hate hate hate my sekrit guilty stories even as I'm reading them because in order for some of them to exist, what I have to IGNORE (in characterization at least) is huge and vast and really annoying.

It's not that I hate the genre, because I too sometimes deeply deeply crave OMGONETRUELOVE romance. See: Why Ami stuck around in TPM for so long and still goes back there from time to time. It's that I'd LOVE that to read that genre in FANFIC (because it's not the same issue if I pick up a romance novel, at least in terms of canonical characterization) and not have to ignore ignore ignore everything that is completely illogical and/or out of character. ...follow?

(edited for clarity.)

Edited at 2008-02-17 11:04 pm (UTC)

*nods* And I understand the characterization issues on taht one, because to do it real, to do romance like it has to be, characterization has to be bent. Well, for all fanfic, characterization has to be bent, but for some reason, we tend to think for some reason it can't be bent for romance. No clue what is up with that.


When you find these fics, plz do not keep to yourself! :D :D :D

*grins* When my instinctive knee jerk will *stop*, I'll be a lot happier.

While I don't necessarily agree with you on those particular stories, I do agree about the genre in general and how it is awesome. I mean, I own like a billion of them and nothing is better than reading John and Rodney in one.

Are you familiar with Smart Bitches, Trashy Books? I go to them when I am feeling guilty about my love of the genre. They make me feel better. *G*

Edited at 2008-02-17 11:12 pm (UTC)

yes! I've been casually reading there to see what's new.

I like romance. I like deathless proclamations of love and obsession and possessiveness and rivals fighting to the death.

[grins helplessly] You know, I was mouthing along to this as I read it. Because oh god - you say exactly what I want to say but felt all sorts of shame for even thinking.

Because I can read erotica or crime or any other genre but reading romance has all this stigma associated with it that everything else doesn't... Cause as much as the smut is fun I still prefer the aching "I'd kill for you"/"I'd die for you" declarations. And I buy Lynne Graham M&B every time they release a new copy and spend an hour curled up crying over the angsty love of the ridiculously pretty (but poor, down trodden but still brave and intelligent and resilient) woman for the macho Italian/Greek/Spanish millionaire... It's unrealistic but - it just - it's like some sub-section of modern fairy tales, something in me craves it almost as much as other parts of me feels so guilty that I'd rather read THAT then socially relevant psycho-thriller with political commentary (or, even worse, than the latest PWP smutty whatever).

Also, there has to be a rec list of harlequin-esque ff out there. SURELY there has to be one.

I've often thought I'd love a community devoted to reccing the romance, but there just aren't enough people who *do* it. It's annoying. A rec list would be deeply awesome.

I like Xanthe's Coming Home! I might love it, I'd have to reread it to be sure. But it is in my personal offline archive, and I don't save just any fic.

An Affair to Remember is also in my archive, but I haven't been able to bring myself to reread it yet. I need to be in a place of greatly needing angst by the bucket to reread it.

God yes. I wallow in both. ANd with those two, I restrict my reading so I don't wear them out anymore; I just started a full re-read of Coming Home and am now doing a scene-read of my favorite moments to swoon over. Just--the fight scene kills me every time. And every time, I keep reading, hoping this time John totally claims Rodney's ass right after.

God I miss Xanthe. So much.

An Affair to Remember was even harder for some reason--I kept having to flail and say "But his legs! And he was afraid he wasn't going to be loved!
DSKFJSDLKFJSDJFJ YES YES. I was away on holiday (sans internets!) around that time, but I'd saved that story to my hard drive and still remember reading it for the first time, at 1-2am, at my grandmother's house, and bouncing around gleefully and angsting along with Rodney. HIS LEGS! It broke my heart. I kind of love that story a lot.

I still have to get to KMcFayddon's stories, but I haven't had the time. :( Erin has been describing some of them to me and they sound delightful(ly wretched.) \o/

I'm a bit more reserved about 'Coming Home', because it somehow hit my embarrassment/humiliation squick a bit too much at times (cue skim-reading), but I do remember impatiently waiting for a new chapter to pop-up.

My fantasy fic is Rodney systematically killing every person John has ever, ever slept with in his entire life while John watches (and likes it!).
*makes cooing sounds* Someone had to write that. Asap.

*nodnodnod* YEs, they do. They *do*.

I would pay Karen McFaddyon (sp?) one million internet dollars if she'd come back to SGA and write more h/c stories, because omg I love them so much.

Someone today posted a story where John was down on his luck and took an offer to make a porn movie, and it ended up that Kolya and Cowen were running some underground rape porn ring, and just before John was raped FBI Agents Rodney and Ronon burst in and saved the day. It was GREAT.

(Deleted comment)
Ha, this made me laugh, because a) i love those stories too, but mainly b) because you totally DO write them. Or - not - you don't write the genre-compliant stuff you're describing, but, but - the payoff part of those stories? The world-defying THERE-WILL-BE-BLOOD climactic awesomeness that genre romances spend 100,000 words getting to? You write that. I didn't know you loved genre romance any more than the rest of us, but it makes complete sense. When you're on a winner, you just find another way, your own way, to give us the best parts. Ahahah A Handful of Dust is totally 279k (I checked) of John killing Bates for Rodney, just with different words. I AM SO RIGHT.

...Dust was totally my apocalypse romance novel for SV. I sat through most of it going AND HOW CAN THEIR LOVE ESCALATE MORE? It was awesome. I just never got quite that--level and I always wanted to.

*thoughtful* It's true, though. Everyone Clark killed was for Lex. Mmm. That explains a *lot*.

Now Crimes Against Humanity? That one is skimming closer; I just didn't get to destroy a world yet. Yet being operative. *crosses fingers* Chaya 's purpose may yet be for me to hit my kink button as hard as I can.


It's odd, because I don't like most of the trappings of romance. I don't like heaving bosoms or rippling pecs or the florid prose or whatever. But then I look at my list of pairings that I ship and not one damn *one* of them is anything but a fucked-up co-dependent mess that can't be unentangled. They're wrapped up in each other--canonically, mostly--so badly that you can't readily unentangle them. And when you try it's just painful to watch on so many levels. They need each other, are so tied up in each other, that they can't be apart.

(My pairings include: Jack/Daniel [SG-1], Sam/Dean [SPN], Matt/Danny [Studio 60], Don/Charlie [Numb3rs], and I could go on but you're probably starting to get the picture here. THIS IS MY PAIRING PROFILE, SWEAR TO GOD. "Oh, look, there's some co-dependence. HI THERE, LET ME SLASH THAT UP A BIT." Sometimes I feel shame but mostly I just sort of wonder if there's something wrong with me. Or something. It's not like it matches my own personal relationship profile or anything. D:)

So, anyway--it's romance I crave. I just can't step away from the fact that that sort of need is actually pretty fucked up. I want to read about how fucked up they are! I want to glory in their issues! I want to see them bizarrely, horribly, over-protective of each other in all kinds of psychotic ways. I want violence and blood and death! I want that desperate, all-consuming need. I want romance--just. I really need the fucked up to be something that is *recognised* if not by the characters then at least by the author. Because, apparently, I want realism in my ridiculous and unrealistic desires! *wry*

*grins* Romance. World-ending romance. The rest of it is--at least for me--details. And decent spelling. And a passing acquaintance with grammar.

I have yet to find anyone willing to sit and squee with me over that John and Bates fight. I hate the world so much.

::squees with you:: GOD, I love that fic. And my favorite part? Is in chapter five (yes, I know the chapter; it's the part I reread the most), with the training collar and John goes APESHIT and rearranges Bates's face, and then Rodney chokes Bates with the collar, and John busts him back a rank and somewhere in there there is a part where John "casually backhands" Bates so he slides to the end of the collar. And during all of it, from when John is watching with slowly increasing anger all the way to Marines dragging Bates to the bridge, I am squeeing. Go Top!John go!!

I love that fic. I love it so much. I cannot believe you hav not found others to tell you how much they would pay Xanthe to finish this. I would. (maybe we could start a collection?)

In conclusion. Coming Home: one of my most-often reread fics. Love x infinity +1.


::squees with you:: GOD, I love that fic. And my favorite part? Is in chapter five (yes, I know the chapter; it's the part I reread the most), with the training collar and John goes APESHIT and rearranges Bates's face, and then Rodney chokes Bates with the collar, and John busts him back a rank and somewhere in there there is a part where John "casually backhands" Bates so he slides to the end of the collar. And during all of it, from when John is watching with slowly increasing anger all the way to Marines dragging Bates to the bridge, I am squeeing. Go Top!John go!!

OH HELL YES. And John is all TOPPY ENERGY and wanting to claim Rodney and I am riding along like "YES CLAIM HIM" because that sex would be *epic*. There was a *fight* over a *sub* and that's *instinct* and I just--just--flailed.

...can you *imagine* John's reaction when Kolya cut up Rodney, which she was totally going to write, I have to believe that? BLACKOUT RAGE and oh the sex, the epic lifebonding dominant sex, want want want.

*curls up* Want.

Oh, and when John got all freaked out when Rodney was under that shield and after, totally zoned out? *breathless* Just. No words.

Oh God, An Affair to Remember is awesome. *loves* I haven't read Coming Home, that's the one that's 'in a BDSM verse, right? I want to read it, but the fact that it's described as a "BDSM 'verse" keeps putting me off. I like BDSM in my fic as much as the next person, but I don't know that I want to read a fic where it's what defines the 'verse. (And feel free to tell me I'm making mountains out of molehills!)

Anyway, romance. I was reading your post think, yep, I love romance. Possibly not romance quite so far along the scale as you're describing, but as soon as you classed An Affair to Remember as romance, I was on completely the same page. *g* If the context is right (and if the author is any good, they can totally give me the right context!), I'm all for Soulmates (God, you should have seen me in the Lois and Clark fandom, I was in my element), and epic battles, and Overcoming Adversity, and Love Cures All, and True Love Conquers All, and Protectiveness, and flailing, and all the romantic stuff.

*sigh* I can't even think of any romance that I could link you and my delicious tagging system has failed me - what I've tagged as romance isn't quite the definition you have of romance. (I think my romance tag = More Substantial Than Fluff.) Tho, if you want to check it out...

*tracks comments so as to see if people link to other romance fic*

Edited at 2008-02-17 11:47 pm (UTC)

Hmm. I don't know for sure? The heavier stuff is saved, and there's one section that I have to kind of skim, but otherwise, it's modern Regency romance, more or less. I really, really *love* it, because hello, institionalized possessive obsession and fighting is like, the *norm* so anything works. Lifebonding = totally normal! It just hits my kinks like someone leaping on them and jumping really hard.

Ooh, marking your link! Thank you!

I post links, not recs, but this is so I can let myself post ALLLLLL the links - the stuff I have not read yet but plan to, and the stuff I have read with my high brow hat on and the stuff I reread in the dark. I took secret recs and posted links *this week* because I refuse to be fucking cowed in this place (which means I am stealing myself against my own shyness, as I am cowed first - the refusing it is a *reaction*), because this is my place of power, of comfort, of pleasure and refuge and of free sexual expression and god, if what I like is ASSBABIES WINGFIC tonight, then so fucking be it.

It's hard, yes. But the more time I spend in fandom and the more I think it's crucially important.

And I am sorry that Karen McF vanished before I could read her fic (though I am not sure my buttons for Romance are like yours at all. *g*)

OTOH, I always felt like what I co-wrote in Lotrips (BDSM Dom/ELijah) was exactly the trulove/concentrated look on two people for ever and nothing else - and yes, it did make me squirm in the high brow hat department, but.... it was what it wanted and needed to be. And that, beyond my conscious control, was certainly Romance. When I say "always felt" I mean, of course, "was retrospectively surprised to understand that"

Assbabies wingfic. Hell and yes. And if they lay eggs? MORE POWER TO THEM. WHEN THEY ARE IN LOVE.

And I am not LOTRIPS, but I am curious, so marking this for when I feel brave and reckless.

I bookmarked Coming Home. I have never recced it to anyone, because then I would have to explain myself. But it gives me little warm fuzzies. Well, no, actually. It gives me big warm fuzzies.

My other source of comfort fic is in HP fandom, where there is a fair amount of Magical Soulbonding Tru Wuv 4eva fic. Don't judge me. I judge myself.

I recced it and had to defend myself in comments. *amused* I just love it, and I'd just--gah, I want *more* of that, it is just that damn awesome.


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