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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Is anyone vaguely aware spam goes through trends?

Okay, like the big thing through the last couple of months was the two inches to penis size thing. You know, all well and good, possibly interesting if I'd had a penis of my own that needed inches, but there you go. Not the smartest spammers in the herd.

Now, however, it's eat pizza and lose weight and Remote Controlled Mini Matchbox Cars. And Scooters. I suppose in honor of the Christmas season. And they're far more energetic than the Penii People--I get five a day.

What should scare me is that this is just the spam that makes it through all my filters.

I find it funny that real email sometimes doesn't make it, but spam does.

Right, completely pointless entry. Moving on.

Recs:

Snowlight That Falls by Andariel. Bethy's birthday fic--see? Told you Beth is like mainlining inspiration--and I am a total whore for that title. Just read it out loud to yourself once. Anyway. Clichefic exactly the way it's supposed to be--sweet, GOOD, interesting, gentle as snowflakes, and stunningly lovely. *hugs Andy* It's pure enjoyment, with coffee and cuddling and 'lget out of those wet clothes'<--love that.

I'm so very jumpy right now.

Stapling Clark by jacynrebekah. There are times when people just--write things. That just shouldn't make sense. Or work. Except, you know, they do. *shakes head* I am totally amused as HELL and this is just--*giggles*. Read it.

Now, if you aren't already in love with this lady, you will be now.

The Bodyswitch Snippet by RivkaT. See, it doesn't have a title yet, so I must make one up! I almost laughed myself into a hernia reading it, and it's--like the story I never knew I wanted to read until it appeared before me.

Go stalk for it. No, really. Hyperactive Lex in Clark's body?

Ah, there you go. Run along now.

Rivka also offered up part I and part II of another story to constructive critique. I'm still thinking of what to say besides, aww.

*grins* Author note on the story.

Notes: I read that yellow Kryptonite was “fictional,” unlike all the other kinds of Kryptonite, and somehow that turned into this.

*snickering*

Okay. I'm a giggling mess.

Other Stuff

I went to bed early last night, incredibly stupid thing to do, but my head hurt and I was getting jittery. Which is jenn-speak for, I have nothing I can actively work on and it's making me gripey.

I suppose most people actually LIKE it when they finish a story. I do too, really. It's just--it leaves me with nothing to do briefly, since there's the highs of the pre-posting panic, the post-posting panic, the post-posting euphoria, the post-posting let-down, the obsessive checking for feedback, the feedback-euphoria, leveling out to eventually, something resembling peace, where I can work on something again.

I'm not a huge fan of peace myself. Let there be emotional eddies, I say. And lots of them. Lots and lots. This can't be healthy.

In more fannish related thought, I was talking to Koi one night (Mercy writer, yippee! sorry, must advertise for that story at any time opportunity is given), and I was making noises about trends in fanfic. Some are purely artificial, like, say, the wonderful challenges (Isilya's lovely Snugglefic Challenge comes to mind). Others are episode related, or specific event related--for those around post-Jitters, I think everyone remembers the flood of Woobie!Lex H/C's that soaked the landscape of SV fanfic. Wow, that's a bad metaphor. And I think we're all still pretty damn reactive to the episode "Red", which has, possibly, surpassed Jitters and Hourglass in the number of stories based on it. It's still surprising me that Heat didn't generate that kind of energy, though that could be because it was the second episode of the season and most people were still in 'thank God we have episodes again' mode.

Anyway, I was thinking more specifically at the time, in terms of fics that tended to cause a change in how most fanfic writers wrote their characters and/or stories. Or view the characters, for that matter.
Er, cut text. This is getting a little long for an entry and sort of rambling.



A good example would be the Alien!Clark or PonFarr!Clark stories, of which there are so very, very many. Which is fine--not my cup of tea, but it was and IS a growing subgenre in the entire Clark/Lex fanfic pool o' fic. The first of the serious efforts towards Alien!Clark was, I think, Storm Warning by C Roxane, and I think that's probably one of the biggest influences on those fics to this day.

But you know, there are other catalytical stories. I've mentioned before, numerous, numerous, a scary number of times, perhaps, that Te's Past Grief. left massive footprints all over fanfic, most especially in relation to the characterization of Clark. Not only in how fanfic writers viewed him, but how they related to him as a character and how they wrote him.

I suppose this is what makes me like fandom so much, actually. It may sound weird, but it's where the term community becomes more active than symbolic.

Around September, Pearl-o and I started listing out the hundred fanfics we thought were most influential on the SV slash fandom as a whole--though I'd go so far as to say that some slash fics have been influential on the fandom as a whole as well, not just the slash portion. It's a still-shifting list--I tend to emphasize older stories, since I can see echoes in current stories occasionally from those, and Pearl-o is better at picking out later stories she felt seriously influenced current fandom trends.

When I say 'trends', I'm not saying 'copying the concept of a story' or even borrowing fanon. Again, it comes out more often in how authors choose to characterize and among CLexers, how they choose to view the relationship as a whole, and then the trend to be reactive to that trend and write the opposite, and really, I have far too much fun in this. I'd probably be much better at observing it if I wasn't so damn reactive myself. Possibly the only thing that could ever lure me from active writing would be just being able to sit back and watch this.

It's nice my attention span is so short that I know I'd get bored doing that in under two weeks. I like to write.

But anyway.

I did manage to seriously annoy someone one night making a very random observation on fanon in fanfic. Which I found kind of frustrating. Originality in plot is all well and good, but excellence in writing beats originality with a two by four most of the time. I think originality is highly overrated, I suppose. I mean, it's nice when someone writes something totally new, but it's not a benchmark for quality. I'm still shuddering over some experimental fic I picked up once in an anthology. Which may just show my plebian taste or my preference for stories that, you know, ARE stories. Since the point, at least for me, is to entertain AND say something interesting, with the emphasis being on entertain. I don't see the point of just doing the latter alone.

And that sound was someone lining me up for a shot. Hold on, I'm not finished.

There was, is, and will always be a criticism of the use of fanon in fanfic, just like authors of non-fanfic criticize fanfic for being derivative of a show/movie/book/comics instead of original creations. In other words, I've spent too much time on the Ellis forums wondering if half the people criticizing fanfic had ever actually read any. It makes me wonder what they started out writing, or if they write at all. Even my original work bears the stamp of influences from television, books, etc--I really can't escape it, popular culture is part of who I am, and to be honest, I don't want to escape it.

Right, wandering off topic. As I said, rambling.

Anyway, being incurably curious about my own tradition and influences, I flicked around to check out who I've been borrowing from all this last year of fanfic writing. It turns out the biggest three are about what I expected--Te's Past Grief and Koi's Mercy (especially for The Wasteland, though I'm not sure how obvious that is). But those are the ones I remember specifically because they were great, massive pianos that dropped on my head, not the ones that sink into the subconscious and come out in unexpected ways.

Lanning's Identical series, for example--I KNOW I've internalized that one big time, especially her Lex, though I can't point out where and how, since I just don't have that kind of objectivity in my own work. Destina's Chrysalis, definitely, for the Lex there, and of course, my personal Must Read List, which is somewhere in my diary but I just can't face looking for it right now, God there are a lot of entries. Jane St. Clair's Ozone is another one, and again, that's the ones I can REMEMBER giving me ideas.

I meta alot, don't I?

Ones that really surprised me, however, because I didn't catch them as being so specific, are ones I seriously seem to internalize--Sarah T and Livia seem to have actually left some skid marks across my ability to form a story and story idea. I've always admired their work, though I didn't always relate to the characterizations as well as I probably should have, but especially with Sarah T's Immanence, I picked up a lot more generalized understanding of and sympathy for Clark.

Livia just hits me with baseball bats whenever I start showing re-emerging Clark Issues.

But that's not the end of it. *sighs*

Honestly, I have the sneaking suspicion that if I've read a story and liked it, I internalize pieces of it, whether I know I'm doing it or not. And I think that comes out when I write. It's not exactly a secret that in SV, I'm very reactive to what I read, moreso than I was in X-Men, which had a smaller pool of writers and an even smaller pool of writers I could stand to read without wishing for blunt sporks to ease the pain. Or in Voyager, actually, since there I neither social nor did I read as extensively and thoroughly, which I think was one of the main reasons I burned out on the fandom well before I'd actually run out of ideas.

*grins* Community. Not necessarily in social terms, though God knows, I'm losing my proud anti-social stance by leaps and bounds, but in artistic terms. A single, very powerful, and condensed group of writers who both influence through their fic and their thoughts ON fic and the show.

I'm just easy to amuse today. Feel free to discard as a testament to me avoiding going anywhere near Common Spaces.



Speaking of Standing in the Common Spaces, I think the beta I had for that fic is in a serious time crunch and doesn't have time to beta and I hate to push someone who jsut doesn't have time. Anyone out there have time and sufficent interest in beta'ing a crossover fic? It's--*swallows*--Smallville/Spiderman (there HAVE been weirder crossovers!), futurefic, and about sixty pages/twenty-three thousand words, though you will be asked to muse on the ending with me, since I'm having my usual Ending Issues, as well as over pacing, structure, and well, the usual. Though I did spellcheck this time first. Really.

And for those following My Longing for the Foley's Teddy Bear That Wears Cute Glasses....

Teddy Bear Icons I've been working on. I have one more set to go. Damn page only had sixty bear pictures! I shall go looking for more. Many, many more. Until I burn that bear obsession RIGHT outta here.


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Particularly "Debauch Me."

Oh, the Teddy Bear ones are priceless. I'm just laughing my head off at some of them. If you see any that looks likes its sipping a Peppermint Soda or eating Indian Food, would you do one for me? Pretty please?

Re: Loved the Icons

Okay, this is completely not what you wanted, but I could not find anything even close to the above two except a chef. Which is cute, but I'm so bad with cool little sayings. How do people THINK of things like this? Beth did most of the sayings on my icons page, because I blank out.

*grins*

So, would this be acceptable?



Or just download it here if you like it.

*hugs*

Still working on bear icons. I feel wrong, oh so wrong. *grin*

Re: Loved the Icons

Oh, wow. I love it. Though the chef would also have been very appropriate for me. Thank you so much. I'm downloading now.

Spam, Popular Culture, Repetition

Hello, Jenn! I've never posted on your LJ, but I've been very intrigued by your take on fanfic and writing. I'm still cogitating, and I've only got a minute here, but I've been wondering why so much fic is repetitive. I mean nothing negative by that (what, after all, is new?) - especially since so much of the work that covers and recovers territory is exquisitely rendered.

You've answered it very nicely here - entertainment.

Then, there's the notion of plot - and why it seems horrifically absent.

You've answered that question too.

I'm off to think some more about this.

As for popular culture, it's a vital part of any writer's world. It may be gauche to embrace it, but meh. I like it, I use it, I work through it and I don't see the problem with grabbing hold of it like a lover on a chilly morning. And those poo-pooing it – well, I suspect they aren't as untainted as they'd have us believe.

Now, about the spam… (and weaving the tale you already know)… Some marketing genius clearly distributes annoying email to a bunch of people telling them they can make money in their spare time by doing what must be the 21st century equivalent of stuffing envelopes. Yup, noticed the cycle o'spam myself. And still maintain I so do not want to enlarge my penis regardless of how many times you ask. ;)

Re: Spam, Popular Culture, Repetition

I've been wondering why so much fic is repetitive. I mean nothing negative by that (what, after all, is new?) - especially since so much of the work that covers and recovers territory is exquisitely rendered.

You've answered it very nicely here - entertainment.


*grins* The original point of literature was to tell caveman A where to find the really cool woolly mammoths, but I'm almost certain it was also to make fun of caveman A's annoying wife, Cavewoman. Or so some of the figures would have me suspect.

Then, there's the notion of plot - and why it seems horrifically absent.

You've answered that question too.


Entertainment?

Partially, but in SV, I wonder sometimes if it's also the fact that the show itself is so much plot without strong characterization that fans write what they're missing or longing for. It's like an eternal debate--I half-wish I could find some of the excellent theories I've read on why some fandoms are more naturall inclined to some types of stories than others.

As for popular culture, it's a vital part of any writer's world. It may be gauche to embrace it, but meh. I like it, I use it, I work through it and I don't see the problem with grabbing hold of it like a lover on a chilly morning. And those poo-pooing it – well, I suspect they aren't as untainted as they'd have us believe.

I don't think it's actually possible to escape it--but what makes no sense to me is age becoming a prerequisite for something being important or acceptable AS literature or high art. Shakespeare and Charles Dickens were popular literature--Dickens wrote on demand, for God's sake, the original literary pop culture icon of a sort. They were entertainment and makign ends meet first. Only after that was meaning and deep thoughts attached.

I admit it. I am a total literature ignoramus. *g*

One of the many reasons I roll around happily in the bog of popular culture, like a happy puppy. Except reality shows. Mostly because they bore me. *g*

Yup, noticed the cycle o'spam myself. And still maintain I so do not want to enlarge my penis regardless of how many times you ask. ;)

*giggles*

One day, someone needs to write ficspam. A Spam Fic Title Challenge!

Oh God, I'm delirious. Blame the late afternoon and the bear icons.

Re: Spam, Popular Culture, Repetition

*grins* The original point of literature was to tell caveman A where to find the really cool woolly mammoths, but I'm almost certain it was also to make fun of caveman A's annoying wife, Cavewoman. Or so some of the figures would have me suspect.

And every cave man puts his "spin" on the woolly mammoth saga... And the annoying wife winds up an interesting subplot. Or comedic device. Or...

Entertainment?

Indeed.

Partially, but in SV, I wonder sometimes if it's also the fact that the show itself is so much plot without strong characterization that fans write what they're missing or longing for.

Oh, definitely. It's part of the history. Fan fiction equals part textual poaching, part expression of desire. The percentages? Well, it seems to depend on who's doing the fic'ing.

It's like an eternal debate--I half-wish I could find some of the excellent theories I've read on why some fandoms are more naturall inclined to some types of stories than others.

I bet someone here in LJ land has ready access to some of the stats and theories. As "available texts" go, I completely agree that part of what propels the fanfic of SV is the conspicuous absence of strong characterizations. When combined with two leads who may very well go down as the most beautiful pair of men in television history...

::Big Val Grin::

I wonder if there's also an unconscious mirroring - something you touched on earlier. Sort of a simultaneous void fill/replication of the SV "system" activated in fic - if that makes sense.

Or the notion that SV fics tend to be vaguely plotless, because, frequently, even in the face of such, there's more substance and ultimately more satisfaction post fic than post ep?

Ok, I'm babbling now. lol.

One of the many reasons I roll around happily in the bog of popular culture, like a happy puppy. Except reality shows. Mostly because they bore me. *g*

No interest in the 15 Minutes of Fame Phenomenon? And how it's warped our perceptions, interactions, expectations?

Word! ::grin::

Although, I confess: I did watch "Survivor." Sort of. The first season. Eh, it was new. ;)

One day, someone needs to write ficspam. A Spam Fic Title Challenge!

Hmmmm... ::giggle::

Oh God, I'm delirious. Blame the late afternoon and the bear icons.

The bear icons are adorable. And if they've inspired lunacy, so be it. ::grin::

Fiction.

(Anonymous)
I don't have much in the way of beta experience, but I'd like to beta for you if you want.
Thornsilver@hotmail.com

I'll put up a copy on my site for you to download. Would HTML be better or just a MSWord doc?

And you need to get an LJ. *grins* Want one?

Pearl-o and I started listing out the hundred fanfics we thought were most influential on the SV slash fandom

Any chance of getting ahold of that list somehow?

Also, if you need a nitpick/grammar/punctuation/final beta, that's what I'm good at. Though not so much plot or endings, sorry.

Try early-mid September in my diary at http://seperis.diaryland.com. I'd look it up myself but I'm rushing to finish up stuff. We've debated bits of it over and over--it's a fluid sort of thing.

Same answer as Thorn. I'll have a copy uploaded tonight and email you with the addy. That sound okay?

I'll have a copy uploaded tonight and email you with the addy.

Works for me. I'd prefer a word.doc if I still have a choice.

I so love the bear icons. Do you think you could come up with something on the French maid teddy bear? I swear, he looks like me. Probably speaks the same language too :)

Pretty please?

About betaing, I'm good at plot and structure. Not at grammar though. Don't know about endings, but am very willing to try. Let me know if you still need someone!

Eek. I made the French maid bear for Isilya yesterday! But there are tons of bears at the site--let me look and see if there's anything else in that line, kay?

And sure. Same answer as above two. I'll email the addy.

Speaking of Standing in the Common Spaces, I think the beta I had for that fic is in a serious time crunch and doesn't have time to beta and I hate to push someone who jsut doesn't have time.

Erm, that would be me, guilty as charged. I sent you an e-mail, but just wanted to drop you a note to let you know that I am now totally done with the semester (yay, free time!), and you should be getting something from me later this evening.

Emailed you already. *hugs* No problem.

I must be behind on spam, because it's still all mortgages, with the occasional bigger penis, for me.

Re: originality. Sing it, sister. As a theoretical matter, I'm committed to the belief that there's nothing new under the sun, and I like my stories to have plots. That being so, I'm going to read a lot of variants. The good news is that good writers write good variants.

I can beta, as long as you recognize that I'm a bitch on wheels. In all seriousness, this tends to be because I focus so much on story that I lose sight of authorial sensibility, but I'm trying to cut the slices of the praise sandwich a little thicker these days.


Livia just hits me with baseball bats whenever I start showing re-emerging Clark Issues.

No I d...... *laughing* Oh, man... it's so true. I've given up on the possibility of indirectly influencing fanon with, you know, actual stories, and have cut straight to hitting people with bats. That's so sad. I think I have to register as a Bitter Old Fic Queen now.

So, btw, what do you mean by "skid marks across my ability to form a story and story idea?" Just in the area of characterization, or something else?

(*hoists bat threateningly* and I still have my eye on you, little missy.)

It's scary, Livia. Like, huge massive wooden bat and your aim is SPECTACULAR. I still have bruises!

I show them to everyone.

But characterization, definitely, but to a lesser extent, and far more noticeable to me, in how I'm thinking when I start a story. I'm not joking when I say arah T's Immanence seriously sits with me--so does Affinity in some ways, though I don't like that one as much (personal, not quality-wise). For yours, Ascension and All Human Things most powerfully, though Many Waters is as close as I can imagine to canon after-Heat for Lex and it influenced me (along with the discussion after the airing) a LOT during both the original writing (from discussion) and my most recent edits (from the story) of Common Spaces.

It's noticeable to me, on what I discard and what I don't when writing, if that makes any kind of sense.

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