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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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fandom in review - 2005
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
I feel it's my LJ duty to do some kind of year in review thing. You know, look back, marvel at yourself, note how many porn scenes you've written. That sort of thing.



1.) Pretty When You're Mine - the majority of this ongoing--yes, ongoing, not dead, it's comatose on heavy life support but there is brain activity, and okay, that sounds weird--wip was written in 2005, where I prostituted Clark out to more people than I can count, but if anyone's curious, he reached three digits, just not onscreen. Weirdly, this story still kind of makes me go huh, because it's just really dark. And to be honest, writing for the dark side at this level does get to me after a while. It's like how I reacted to BSG--I love that show, but seriously, I walk out of it feeling like I'm part of the war effort and need *downtime* and I really cant' watch it anymore. I'm waiting until the entire second season comes out to watch the whole thing and get it all over with at once. But right, I was talking about Pretty. It's dark. And I don't--feel right about that. When I create a dystopia, I want there to be a way out for the characters--even if they don't take it, I want the choice there for them, but in this one, they're too freaking damaged to make a choice, or even comprehend one if it was given to them. So--hmm.

2.) My Usual Lie - for amandajane5 who asked for ice skating, and I think when I wrote this one I sort of knew it'd be my last in the fandom, just from the way it read. I have to have hope somewhere in there, and everytime I read it, I just stare at it blankly and think to myself, yeah. You just broke up with your boyfriend, and this is how you mourn. It was also a style exercise, since at the time, I'd been trying to control my love of pretty sentences, but in this one, I was working rhythm the entire time. It was fun. I mean, a good break-up is so rare.

3.) Frantic, or The Day There Were No Porkchops - for chopchica, and it took *eight months* to complete. It was--I don't know. Half way thorugh I lost my sense of humor completely and it took eight months to get it back. But it was fun as *hell*, I admit that openly. Just fun as all hell. I mean, sentient goo! That is never not-fun.

4.) Sleeper - my first foray into SGA fic. I spent quality time not just freaking but *freaking* over this story, complete with deep breathing and rewrites and staring at everyone blankly. Mostly it just hurt when Ford left and it hurt me when John just stared at the gate with that bewildered lost look, but not surprised, just--I don't know. He's too used to losing people, and then he got almost-not-used-to-it, and then boom, Ford wanders off and John's hit with it all over again. And his poor team's got to feel that. It felt especially hard on Rodney--his first real team, and one member runs off while another does a short trip into a very repressed nervous breakdown. Not fun.

5.) Instructional - there were two things fun about this one for me. And by fun, I mean, just fun. I wrote it as a pre-slash, which I hadn't been sure I could do, and then it all slid together and made me happy when it read as gen just as well. And it was kind of a thing--not so much military versus scientists as original explorers versus second wave and Daedalus crew. The second or third edit, I added Bates' antipathy in to make it clearer it was a family thing. But mostly, it was Atlantis versus The Guys Who Are Mean to Sheppard and Weir, with Rodney enjoying a stint as Evil Overlord and Chief Protector of John's and Elizabeth's Honor. I abused Caldwell and Lorne, but to be fair, I was not in a happy Caldwell place with his speech about Ford to Sheppard. Because I whore for Sheppard. Pretty much there you have it. Later, I posted a snippet of Rodney pov of when the war began and how he hid it beneath a general dislike of the military, but--that wasn't really necessary to the story, just some fun I had.

6.) Like Running Through Water - the problem with entering a new fandom already *shipping* a couple is that I already believed it too much to know if I could write it well enough to make other people buy it. Until I was comfortable in my own writing skin, I didn't feel comfortable writing them. But I'd wanted to do Antarctica and I wanted to play with the chair, and more than anything, I wanted Jack and John to *talk*, because my God, they'd either hate each other or just freaking *fall in love* in a very manly military mostly-platonic way (I have yet to give up the dream that one day I will read a good John/Jack, becuase dear God, yes). John's reserved in that really open, friendly way that pretty much fools everyone, but Jack's fantastic at *people*. He'd totally be amused by John's aimless chatter that completely diverts from the point. And he'd know exactly how to counter it, something that could have prepared John for Rodney, who doesn't *notice* chatter to save his life. And--having immersed myself in the first season so fast--I had a pretty good timeline of the development of their relationship in my head, and it just--it slid together. To make it fun, I did it in four time points, because I like starting with something *happening* and letting teh past and future work out themselves from there. I had a blast writing this one, from beign able to build up where I wanted the story to go to where it ended up.

7.) Lucky He Didn't (Brother's Grimm) - incest fic. I mean, it just screamed for it. Dark magic, fairy tales, Will's strong and really admirable ability to ignore what he can't deal with or doesn't want to see, all the ways that fairy tales are really acid trips of the subconscious. That rocked. I got to creep myself out.

8.) Skirting Dignity - I have no excuse but one. I wanted to John's virtue to be saved. I do not buy the Slut!Sheppard thing, but that does not mean I don't enjoy playing with it, which is terribly hypocritical of me, but there you have it. And I could just *see* Rodney in that hotel room, staring at Simpson and saying "whoring" and seriously, that amused me for *days*. There was also the fun of the multiple unreliable narrators. I mean, it was an accident, and then I just loved doing it, and I keep wondering if I could pull that off again. I think now that I know I'd be doing it, it wouldn't work, but I didn't realize until I'd written quite a bit that all my narrators were leaving out key facts. *grins* So cool.

9.) Shed Your Skin - the title that came so fast I was suspicious. Until around the time Rodney entered the infirmary, I had no idea what he was going to do. Then CJ is like, he should peel him or something. And I stared at the AIM window and thought that maybe I should get freinds who didn't scare me. And then I remembered CJ is always right, went back to re-read and see what I needed to change, noted that the *entire freaking story* was about John freaking out in his own skin, which is another sign that the story always knows even when I do not. And so there was peeling. And I will be dead serious when I say I twitched and twitched and twitched while I wrote it, and I twitched with every edit, and I thought everyoe would just *hate it* becaues it's *skin peeling*, but then they didn't and I was happy. The intimacy of it just threw me, though--I don't know why I didn't see that coming, but I'm always surprised how the slow peeling is just as intimate as the sex, maybe moreso. A buddy does not peel you. I love CJ, but I would not peel her. I love Madelyn, and Ami, but again, see above. So yeah. Rodney was being a friend trying to reason with his friend, but also a (potential) lover caring for someone he loved, even if neither of them are quite at the place where they can say the words.

10.) How Much For the Little Girl? - just crack. Fun fun selling-John-into-slavery crack for coffee.

11.) Something More - I was on my way to Wal-Mart when a single vision of Rodney in uniform, looking grumpy, on the beach hit me. I wrote a whole meta on this one in my LJ a day or two after, and it's just--yeah. This one was pretty.

12.) The Boys of Summer - I should have subtitled this one, The Atlantis Military Are Not Idiots, because it was very reactionary to a view of the Atlantis military in a very few fanfic as, well, *idiots*. Or grunts. Or etc. Pru, you can stop mocking me now, annnnytime. It's just--the armed forces are going to pick their best people for something like this. Just from logic, these guys probably are at the very least highly skilled mechanics and engineers. The officers are *going* to have degrees in this sort of thing. And logically, they would have been trained on Ancient technology, at least enough to ensure basic survival. It's not like they didn't have months to sift through and find the best people to act as protection, security, and for survival. So it stands to reason that they'd be able to turn on a lightbulb, or make dinner, without Rodney standing over them to tell them how to turn a switch. I was being reactionary. I'm willing to admit it.

13.) Don't Tell - crackfic. Total unabashed, I wonder if I could get them married crackfic. John's my favorite pov for that sort of thing, because I love to see Rodney through his eyes, brilliant and aweing and a force of nature, all rough edges and sudden light and unexpected sweetness that's hidden in dark corners. And doing Don't Tell from Rodney's pov would have gone scary places, like how Rodney was stalking John and manipulating him with well-timed blowjobs and generally keeping him so confused that he would show up at the wedding without any clear idea of how it happened. And man, it was *planned*. He'd been working out how this would go for *months*. I really don't think John could have gotten out of it short of blowing himself up in a Hive ship, and frankly, I think Rodney's plenty smart enough to take over the Daedalus and drag his ass back in time for the ceremony.

14.) Synchronicity - written with Amireal. It can be summed up as, so, what is the upper limit on porn anyway? How long can they go on like this? And the scary part is, *we had to stop ourselves* because honestly, there could have been more. Plus, variant on aliens make them have sex, which never gets old, and Virginish!John, which never stops being fun. Never ever ever.

15.) The Atlantis Project - I just--I *love* these stories. I love that I started off with, what if John was an assassin and Rodney built a ZPM? And I thought, man, this is like a really weird hybrid of action adventure and a bad romance novel. And it was soo whee, straight through, this incredible rush of just barrelling through it without pausing for breath. Yes, there will be another one, but probably won't be finished until everyone's lost interest.

16.) Midwinter - a lot of this was--I want to say an exercise in style. I never got over my creative writing teacher telling me my strength was in imagery and a variation of show, not tell. I like visceral, feeling it myself, and I want readers to feel it too. I've always liked the idea of the explorers of Atlantis going native. I like the idea of them hybridizing, of becoming more than visitors. And I like the idea that they survived. Not just survived, but realized how rare and precious and wonderful it is, scarred and broken and fixed and coming out something different, something better because of it. Midwinter symbolized this for me, how I feel about what they could become, and while the mood was bittersweet, it was also their survival as more than what they'd been. That every scar made them better, stronger, where Rodney can be a scientist and a soldier and be able to accept that in himself. No matter what they thought they were signing up for, they're soldiers by this time, and the war, to me, isn't just the Wraith, it's like--God, to be melodramatic, the line between civilization and the dark ages. The Ancients abandoned the Pegasus galaxy to something worse in some ways than slavery, a darkness that admitted no progress, no growth, and the Atlanteans are the ones fighting that, standing on the edge of light, enlightenment, *growing up*, change, the right of any person, any civilization, any *world* to choose what it will become, not having it chosen for them. I have this entire Alfred the Great and the Vikings thing goign on in my head via Joan Wolfe, with the saving of the monastaries under Alfred and his insistence on the spread of books, and it just--that works for me. It's like they fell into it--they didn't come to save a galaxy and change a universe--but that's what they're doing. And win or lose, they're *trying*, standing where the Ancients ran away, the super technologically superior, oh so enlightened *ran away* and these people didn't.

I could babble on about what happened in the story itself with midwinter adn dancing and why John picked Rodney and why, in the end, Rodney chose to make this a night he wants them to remember, but most people really just--do it better on their own without me interfering. I can tell my intent, but reader interpretation trumps me, so....yeah.

Okay, and there's my fandom year in review. Whee!


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Yes, there will be another one, but probably won't be finished until everyone's lost interest.

so...if I *say* that I've lost interest does that make it be finished faster? ;)

Girl, you also wrote pages and pages of a certain fic I still owe comments on and I'm so sorry for my tardiness. Holiday season squish and all, but it's coming! And! Almost the end (hopefully with the happy)! *dances*

Um... website addy? (Yes, yes. I'm a bad fan that I don't know this already but... *hangs head in shame*)

Lucky He Didn't (Brother's Grimm)

I need to read that sometime. *makes note*

Then CJ is like, he should peel him or something. And I stared at the AIM window and thought that maybe I should get freinds who didn't scare me.

Bwahahahaa! Because, yes, that was so my reaction to "ewww, skin-peeling" and somehow, it was hot and good and um... *waves hand vaguely* Yeah.

I really don't think John could have gotten out of it short of blowing himself up in a Hive ship, and frankly, I think Rodney's plenty smart enough to take over the Daedalus and drag his ass back in time for the ceremony.

*sniggers SO MUCH*

Re: atlantis project

(Oh! Good plan.)

I've totally moved on.

::peers anxiously at Jenn's journal for fic updates::

(Think I was convincing?)

Re: atlantis project

This totally belonged up above somewhere, in response to somebody else's post. Second time this has happened to me this week. Something seems to be trying to tell me not to try to be funny in comments.... *sigh*

I could babble on about what happened in the story itself with midwinter adn dancing and why John picked Rodney and why, in the end, Rodney chose to make this a night he wants them to remember, but most people really just--do it better on their own without me interfering. I can tell my intent, but reader interpretation trumps me, so....yeah.

Oh, I wish you would babble about this! I've been working to come up with some competent feedback for this story, but every time I try, I go back through the story for specifics, and end up rereading the whole thing. And then I end up staring out the window and thinking about the emotional resonance of the piece, and I don't get to the feedback. There is just a haunting quality to the story that stays with the reader. I feel like I know Rodney's motivations, but I would love to hear what you think spurs John's choices.

Joan Wolf -- Edge of Light, right? I had a headache the other day and reread this in a show of solidarity for poor Alfred's migraines.

What does it say about this post that your readers need time to organise their responses?

Pretty

(Anonymous)
Oh, what wonderful news, Pretty When You're Mine is still breathing! In my mind I have imagined dozens of scenes in which Lex finally gets to broken Clark and... I don't know what next, I just don't want him to be all alone after the horror he went through. This is a beautiful, haunting story, and I'm thrilled to know there's a chance it will continue, as well as firm in my conviction that even the most damaged people can heal.
As always, thanks for everything you write and share
Chimera

Yes, there will be another one, but probably won't be finished until everyone's lost interest.

I think you *drastically* underestimate our interest. :)

(And, yes, if you'd like to babble about "Midwinter", chalk up another person who would be interested in hearing it.)

15.) The Atlantis Project - I just--I *love* these stories. [snip] Yes, there will be another one, but probably won't be finished until everyone's lost interest.

You left it on such a cliffhanger. I'd like to put in my vote for getting this story rolling again. Because, really, such a well written fic deserves to be finished.

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