The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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so this is what sleep feels like when you aren't getting it
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Between work and insomnia, I think TMI is about to reach epic levels of wtf.

It occurs to me, belatedly, to be thankful I am a.) not part of any famous writing partnership or b.) famous at all, due to my sudden and really uncomfortable flashbacks to losing my two writing partners early on in fandom. And thankful before God and man that LJ, diaryland, and online blogging had not reached fandom yet, because I'm imagining my twenty-something year old self having access to a blogging platform, an audience, several CDs of Sarah McLachlan, and a sense of righteous wrongness. Private then, thank God.

[personal profile] svmadelyn is the only one I ever really talked to about it, and even then, it was weirdly complicated: I couldn't just say "there were these people I wrote with" because God knows, I don't like simple and I am not exactly the minimizing type; it was "they wrote with me and then left and I want to burn our wips that we never finished; instead I zip filed everything and pretend it never happened." Cause I'm classy like that.

I mean, there is a moment when you have to sit back and think to yourself, you really need to let this go.



I've cowritten with a lot of people, but only two were partners for more than a fic or two; after 2001, I never made the mistake of even trying (maybe Pru if we weren't, well, us, but luckily Pru and I went to separate fandoms or she'd probably be my third and possibly my most bitter; she was the best I ever wrote with and I'm guessing I would have taken that as well as can be expected, which is not well at all and with an LJ to take it not-well publicly. Christ, I could have nightmares imagining that. I might now that I can see it unspool in my head. Oh badness).

It was actually really bizarre to remember that; my strongest fannish memories are memorialized here, and the time pre-2002 is all very indistinct now, but the first time, I was mad for months, I changed fandoms and walked away from a WIP that no, I had no excuse not to finish, but I was mad and that story represented all of it. I don't even re-read it and I just--and I mean this--realized why I don't even like looking at it, and it's not the guilt. It's the frustration.

The first time was like losing half my creativity and all the motivation in the world; I had to get out of the fandom because the investment was so huge with her that there wasn't anything left. It's the only fandom I never went back to, either, not directly. We didn't write everything together, and a lot wasn't even direct line-level cowriting, but I could send her anything and she told me what she thought, fixed it, improved it; she improved me beyond words, but she also made me confident about trying anything, because it didn't matter what it was, she'd read it and tell me what she thought and she'd send me things and you see where this is going. And God she was good, better than I was then, clean and sharp and gorgeous prose.

The second time was worse and better; our fandoms grew apart, but we were still friends, and so it dragged it out. It was compounded by the fact that we were close and when it petered out, I a.) was a fandom away from where we'd been together and b.) Te was there and Te was God and pretty much where the entirety of my fannish attention was focused, so I didn't have the bad fandom associations and could blow it off (never speak of it again) and sulk in private and boy, did I sulk.

I still sulk about it, in this weird scorned-woman way that's too self-aware to really enjoy all that much; trust me when I say, it is hard to really feel comfortable with your own neurosis when you can't even remember the last time you wrote with anyone. But I do remember how I felt, and how my work opened up with that, and how it felt giddy-joy to have someone to constantly bounce off of and it's been years--I mean, years and I still remember that and stare at the zip files and wonder if I'll ever open them again.



If there is a happy Beatles fic out there without foreshadowing, I think it is hidden somewhere and I will not find it until I have read another hundred fic that make me want to get really stoned and really drunk. I have to stop reading this; I'm seriously craving a joint and I really never got into that. And I only drink once a year. And they're very girly drinks, ask anyone.

I am thinking it would probably help, on a sideline, if work would back off long enough for me to breathe. I need retail therapy. Luckily, Christmas is obliging that nicely.

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/68499.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

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I've never really written with anyone, at least not in that way but I can imagine it must be pretty much of a let-down when they drift away. :(

The first time was hideously painful. The second time was more just mournful and not so angry.

As is often the case with your fiction, here you have peeled of your armor with an ease that is overwhelming and remarkable. If I knew you better, I would say more. But perhaps by the time I am reading this you would no longer be in this frame of mind. Hopefully. So I will only say, "Yeah, I feel you, girl."

*g* I'm always in this frame of mind. Too much Beatles and their acrimonious split up, I was connecting with Paul way too much. It could have been worse. I could have lost them and we were still in the same fandom.

This entry made me think about "Landscape of 1000 Lies".

Did I ever send this to you?

Your Love is My Kryptonite

...I don't remember, but if you did, I apologize i didn't respond. Jesus.

*reading, enchanted*

Thank you. I mean, I don't even know what to say to that. Since you kind of completely nailed what I did, when I didn't even know when I was actively writing it.

*reads it again*

It's one of those all-too-few, truly astonishing stories that sticks and stays with me.


I've never really written with anyone but washa_way and I think part of that is the fear that it would be too intense.

It really is. Up until that time, each of them were the most intense friendship of my life. Of course, I balance with the fact that if they hadn't ended, I probably wouldn't have ended up getting to know svmadelyn since I tend to be focused, so I can't say I'm sorry for the trade; it's worth it.

Edited at 2010-12-22 06:56 am (UTC)

Oh, my dear, that is so... sad. You know, I had a cowriter once - she was gorgeous and interesting and we would talk forever, and we were so into each other, and of course it all ended with bitterness and tears. So I do get what you mean. ♥

*g* I dont' think I fought with eitehr one. They just vanished in a drift or vanished period. It was awful. *sighs*

Mine was the infamous First Girlfriend, so.

I am the sort to drift, and I worry I do this to other people... :-/

*hugs you lots*

*g* You do drift? But I don't worry much. You always come back.

(Deleted comment)
Still, spike21 is awesome. I kind of envy you.

This is... Okay, two different responses. One, what you've written actually makes so much sense. Writing together, done well, is so very intense.

Two, I'm feeling so freaking guilty because... I'm the flaking one in a cowrite relationship. I don't want to flake from the friendship, but the writing... I'm just, completely unreliable. I want to do it still, but it's... hard. And it's fucking up everything I'm trying to write, not just that.

I have learned about myself that... I should never promise anything to anyone writing-wise, whether it's a cowrite or a charity fic or... anything that has someone depending on me, because -- I'm a fuckup, lol, and unreliable (In fairness to myself, I just didn't completely realize what my fannish cycle tends to be, and how that ties with my writing). And then the guilt builds and then it screws up everything else I want to do and... yeah.

Talk about tmi. Lol. Who knew fanfic writing would be so fraught? <3

Ack, don't feel guilty! I go on fannish cycles too, and mine are completely unknown to me. I jsut know when they start and how they feel when they end.

*hugs you*

Awww, thanks. And I wouldn't except for the fact I made some commitments before I really understood myself so well...

Three help_haiti. the really horrible part is, I can't even say they're not done; they pretty much are. I just start editing and rewrite every damn time and have to stop and try to wait so I don't rip them up.

OH MY GOD... *throws self into your arms* ... SOMEONE WHO UNDERSTANDS.

HELP. FUCKING. HAITI.

or actually it might have been DonorsChoose, even longer ago. I don't even want to look back and know for sure...

Yeah I'm... about three fourths done with one. It was supposed to be five hundred words. I'm sure you can imagine how that went.

The other... omg and it's for Jerakeen, which... I want it to be something really nice for her you know? She's done a lot for fandom etc. Anyway, yeah, uh. God. About maybe one quarter done. Except the whole idea of it? Doesn't even really fit what probably she wants.

ANYWAY.

Trying to start to work on them. Again. I even want to!

Also my cowrite. Yes. God. Have owed work on that for sooo long. Bleergh. *opens it in a tab* You're good for me!

p.s. if you have a HH in a fandom I know that you want to throw my way for honest critique/spelling only/whatever and that would help in any way, do it. i'm around more now than I have been in ages and would be honest if you wanted that or just be like, postNow! if you wanted that, or whatever. Time is limited but definitely have some.<3

Edited at 2010-12-22 02:17 am (UTC)

I totally get that -- we were never actually collaborators, but that period when were on AIM together a lot and bouncing ideas off each other was the most productive period I've ever had, fanfic-wise. Changing fandoms into LotR really messed me up, because I couldn't find anyone like that, and by the time I got into Doctor Who I'd pretty much given up on myself ever writing much in the way of fanfic. A few pieces here and there, and I'd be thrilled with myself each time, but the enthusiasm to maintain the focused effort doesn't really spring from within. (It's gotten diverted to knitting -- I'm really good there about finishing things, sometimes large and complicated things, but I'm getting more positive feedback and there's a more concrete finished project to enjoy. I definitely noticed that one of my few outbursts of fictive creativity in Who happened when I was really frustrated with all of my then-current knitting projects -- the creative drive got dammed up and diverted back to an old channel.)

ETA: Also, you keep talking about the Beatles and I was trying to remember who it was I friended for her Sherlock fic that also wrote a lot of Beatles RPS. candle_beck, I think. And she's a pretty damned good writer.

Edited at 2010-12-21 09:48 pm (UTC)

Christ. Now I'm thinking about what a total downer letdown of a fandom LotR was. I mean, this was a fandom I was raised in -- my parents named our first two dogs Frodo and our next one Bilbo, I was shown the crappy 70s animated Hobbit and RotK repeatedly by mother, and had read the cover off The Hobbit over the course of many years before I finally tracked down a copy of FotR as a teenager. (Mom had TTT and RotK but had left FotR over at Dad's parents', evidently.) But I never really found my fandom niche, hardly anyone seemed to care about my fic, and then there were arguments and people taking sides and pretty much everyone I'd met in the fandom winding up blocked from my journal. Major bad taste in my mouth, and all the worse for coming after X-Men when I had so much fun. (At least with DW, and SG-verse, and Holmes, I've got the downgraded expectations, and I've been able to enjoy all of them.)

Oh man, I loved those times! That's when I was writing Love and Lust and Jus Ad Bellum pretty much every night. We had some fantastic convos.

(And reading X-Manson that one night!)

So much fun. And yes, X-Manson -- which came to mind when I was having so much fun on AO3, once I discovered the joy of having a multifandom fic archive that I could A) navigate on my Blackberry browser and B) download entire multi-chapter fics as handy little MOBI files to the e-book app of my choice for reading at my leisure. A pity that doesn't seem to be on AO3 -- but I was thrilled that your stuff is, because I somehow never actually read the ending of Jus Ad Bellum. (I think it had something to do with me having a huge inbox backlog when it was posted, and then at some point having Juno program failure and then going on to webmail-only and all those hundreds of messages just being lost.) It's lurking in my e-book folder now, though, and I'm going to get around to it. (One of these days. Though I must confess right now Sherlock fic is kind of taking up all that space at the head of the reading queue.)

The ending of Jus was posted like, ten months after I left the fandom; I think by then you were gone too?

God, Sherlock is awesome. *g* Tempted to write? I'm around if you need a bounce.

Yeah, I seem to remember an extreme delay in running across the ending being a factor, in that by that point I figured I needed to reread the entire preceding story before going on to the ending and just never got around to it.

The problem is not so much not having Sherlock plotbunnies as not having any that are fit for public consumption. As well as the knitting flowing along really well right now and me not having any particular urge to divert that creative energy when I'm running low on heavy kneesocks and Yahoo!'s weather report is swearing we'll have lows in the 20s this weekend.

For Beatles RPS, I love this writer:

http://www.livejournal.com/tools/memories.bml?user=hb_princess&keyword=My%20Fic&filter=all

Especially "Admit It" it's set in Beatles Hamburg era. It has John in leather pants.

*g* I love her, and yeah, Admit One was ridic hot. *breathes*

I have only lost one co writer that way and i still feel sad about it. But I know that I tend to drift in and out of fannish pursuits like the classic faithless harlot so i can't really blame anyone. Anyway, I like to keep the wips around- you never know what they may lead you back to.
:)

There is that. *g*

*hugs you*

I've come back to read and think about this several times today. Partly because this:

I'm imagining my twenty-something year old self having access to a blogging platform, an audience, several CDs of Sarah McLachlan, and a sense of righteous wrongness

Is just...yes. Wow. In my case, that would have been so, SO bad. *g*

But also because...I never had a writing partner, per se. I co-wrote a couple of throwaway fluffy things for fun, but it was never as part of a relationship like you're describing. But I have been part of fandom friendships and intense beta collaborations that have shifted and changed while the fandoms (most of them small ones) died out or splintered, or while one of us moves on to other fandoms while the other one (usually me) clung to the original fandom. I can't imagine that intensity and the sense of loss when it changes multiplied by whatever number represents an actual writing collaboration (and possibly by being in one's early twenties ;).

It's bittersweet looking back on it, and you write about it so evocatively.

Ooh, God, yes, the changing fandom interest thing. It's somewhat better than it used to be, since with LJ it's not as easy to lose touch, but yeah. That.

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