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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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i feel a sarah mclachlan tune coming to mind....
bored
seperis
...for a boring Sunday afternoon.

Recs

Prodigal Ficlet by girlinthetrilby. Ooh, it does my heart good. Adorable Clexiness and so sweet and mmm. Yes. Goodness. Everywhere. *hugs beth*

Incurable and A Happy Place by bexless. I think I recced both when they were in LJ format, but final versions are now posted to the SSA, so you know, can't hurt you at ALL to go read and revel. Revel a LOT.

Seduction by Lenore. Because it's--creepy. And right. And still so damn creepy. Clark and Lionel is just a pairing that knee-jerk yells 'no no no' yet reading you this just end up saying, 'yes yes yes'. And you know? Can't see how Clark's getting over THIS anytime soon. The worst part is, this is one thing he can't ever tell. God. Dammit. Poor Clark.

After All by liviapenn. A lovely Jonathan POV Prodigal fic. Very sympathetic and understandable Jonathan Kent on family, his life with Martha, and Lex Luthor. Very lovely.

Become by ivyblossom. Lex watches his dad die and contemplates his life. Sort of. It's moving and heartwrenching, but what I liked best about it was Lex thinking he was objective when he's not objective at all.

*****

Other Things

I got depressed today when I started reading an author I used to love and who now seriously, seriously annoys me. For the record, Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables amongst others, and I was enjoying a lazy afternoon reading The Story Girl when she managed in three pages to jerk me out, asking myself, okay, does she mean to be this depressing and dismal about life or is it just me?

I overlooked the mild sense of racism in some of her work--thank you God she didn't make it constant--but geh. She has a tendency to be generally okay with people being very nasty if they're in the right social class and a frustrating (okay, very, very frustrating) thing with characters mentioning child abuse and then leaving it at that.

Though granted these are written in a completely different time period with a completely differnet mindset than today, so it's not as if I can judge. I do get that. Just. Can I be the only one who spent most of Rainbow Valley, even as a kid, wanting to smash that stupid minister's head in because he never paid attention to his children? Ever? At all? And doesn't correct this despite the fact his kids are half-starving, underdressed, and getting ill at random intervals, almost dying, and pretty much showing every major sign of neglect in the book? And people TELL him? Yet they don't do anything either.

Okay, yes, reading from a completely different time period and all that, but still. I don't get nearly as annoyed by romance novels or historial novels that pull this sort of thing. I suppose it's just--they were my favorites when I was young, I read everything by her, wanted to write at least partially because of her, so it's harder to read now and see these huge flaws I now have serious problems with.

Okay, rant over. *sighs* I should avoid books I read when I was a kid, so I can keep the memories, dammit.

*****

Post Valentine's Day sugar-deprivation commencing. I think everything chocolate in the house has been comsumed. I comfort myself with thoughts of Easter and Cadbury cream eggs. Lots of them.

Okay, going to go look for something to do. Thinking up new and exciting ways to squick myself shall be relegated to another time.

Though. In the spirit of martianhousecat, a rule for writing Clark.

1.) At no time, at any age, in any universe, for any reason other than a radical sex change in which he possesses only female sexual organs AND ALSO thinks of himself AS a woman, should Clark be referred to at any time, in any way, for any reason, as Mommy by either his genetic and/or adopted/foster offspring, his significant other of whatever sex or neuter he/she/it may be, or any person at all, living, dead, or in-between, past, present, or future, including any and all multidimensional beings, clones, artificial intelligences, or deities.

Did I cover all my bases for that one?

*buries head in hands*

Anyone wanna add a rule?


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1.) At no time, at any age, in any universe, for any reason other than a radical sex change in which he possesses only female sexual organs AND ALSO thinks of himself AS a woman, should Clark be referred to at any time, in any way, for any reason, as Mommy by either his genetic and/or adopted/foster offspring, his significant other of whatever sex or neuter he/she/it may be, or any person at all, living, dead, or in-between, past, present, or future, including any and all multidimensional beings, clones, artificial intelligences, or deities.

can I just say WORD? Actually...wait...I *really* can't pull that off. But I totally and completely agree. He is also not allowed to think of himself as Mom --bad or otherwise.

.) At no time, at any age, in any universe, for any reason other than a radical sex change in which he possesses only female sexual organs AND ALSO thinks of himself AS a woman, should Clark be referred to at any time, in any way, for any reason, as Mommy

Did I miss some badfic? Because otherwise, this sounds like a challenge. An *evil* challenge, but a challenge.

Replying to myself, how tacky.

I must respectfully disagree with your rule. I have now recalled this passage from one of the best SV Mpregs, "Playing Banjo In Sgt. Zygote's Ragtime Band", by Aklani:

Clark shook his head. "The passing of time doesn't make this any less odd, Katherine," he said. "But, biologically, I am your mother."
[snip]
"Darn. That would be so cool." Kitty hugged him some more. "But that's okay, this is still the best present, knowing my Auri is really my mom."

"Yeah, well, keep it under your hat, kiddo. I'm still a little unnerved by the idea." He shuddered.


What does this prove?

(a) a good writer can do anything. There are *no* totally hard & fast, immutable rules.

(b) kids, don't try this at home.

This is one of my favorite mpregs, a genre for which I have limited patience.
I think that pointing out that Clark is Kitty's biological mother is a little different than a character constantly calling Clark "mom". I'm sure that after that revelation, Kitty still referred to Clark as Auri. Another reason it doesn't really work is outside observation. If someone sees a little kid calling Clark mom, he's gonna get a lot of funny looks and questions, as will the little kid. Assuming Clark's trying to keep his identity secret, he won't want that. The kid probably wouldn't understand why Clark is a mommy but all other men are daddies, unless you told the kid about Clark being a hermaphrodite, and that's the kind of information it's not good to tell little kids, who truly can't keep secrets. Asides, it's hard enough on kids to have two daddies. It would be much worse to have a male-seeming daddy.
-Silverkyst

Although I think you're right about the difference between these two stories, I think what we've proved is that the law Jenn formulated is invalid. It's not what you do, it's how you do it. A much more valid law is,

I. Unless you know the author well enough to be certain that it's a simple oversight soon to be remedied, clicking on a story that has spelling or grammar errors in the title or summary means it's your, the reader's, own damn fault if the story sucks such big hairy ass it scars you for life. Spelling & grammar errors in title or summary are like unto the rattle of the rattlesnake: Nature's Way of Saying Do Not Touch.

(confused look) Although I think you're right about the difference between these two stories Which two stories? The babychan one and the zygote one?

It's not what you do, it's how you do it.
This always applies to all laws of fiction writing. In general, it's probably not a good idea to mix angels, devils, demons, bloodsports, and SV all in the same story. Te, however, makes it actually work in Whosoever loveth and maketh a lie
(grin) So, yeah, you're right about that.

However, Kitty doesn't ever actually call Clark mommy. The author actually states that she can't.
"When she first started talking, they weren't sure how to call Clark. "Mommy" was definitely not an option."

What Jenn is saying here is not that Clark can never be referred to as the biological mother, he just shouldn't be called "mom, mommy, etc." to his face as a title. A woman who donates an egg to a surrogate parent does not get called "daddy" because she's impregnated another woman, she gets called mommy because that's the gender appropriate term. Which is a whole other interesting issue.

Spelling & grammar errors in title or summary are like unto the rattle of the rattlesnake: Nature's Way of Saying Do Not Touch.
This is very, very true. Yikes. Of course, that doesn't mean we can't confirm the fact of a story's suckiness after reading it.

-Silverkyst

1.) At no time, at any age, in any universe, for any reason other than a radical sex change in which he possesses only female sexual organs AND ALSO thinks of himself AS a woman, should Clark be referred to at any time, in any way, for any reason, as Mommy by either his genetic and/or adopted/foster offspring, his significant other of whatever sex or neuter he/she/it may be, or any person at all, living, dead, or in-between, past, present, or future, including any and all multidimensional beings, clones, artificial intelligences, or deities.

I see you've also read the most recent babychan story?
Good call. Especially the part about *also* thinking of himself as a woman.
I hear you on the re-reading of childhood books and authors. I read a couple of the Ann of Green Gables/Avonlea books in my early teens, which was probably too old. I couldn't, at the time, believe that a kiss was as good as a proposal of marriage. I've actually read some interesting books about how the instance of male and female mutual masterbation went up right around WWI because of girls being engaged to soldiers going off to war. Then, you have to keep in mind that I recently reread the first lesbian sex scene (alright, they didn't actually do anything below the waist) I ever read, and I read it at age 9, approx, I may have been younger.
It was interesting. The passive girl was much more into it than I remember (and shows that certain slash plot fixtures have really been around a long time, their biggest grope session happens when they're having a sleepover and one of them has a bad dream - this book is 25 years old). It strikes me and a couple of other people who reviewed in on Amazon.com as amazingly ahead of its time for a book published in 1978. "Hey Dollface" by Deborah Hautzig is, unfortunately, out of print. There's a couple of copies floating around libraries though. (grin) That's where I found it the first time. It is still one of the most realistic books written on adolescent same sex relationships. I like Nancy Garden's "Monster Hunter" series (which has nothing to do with sex at all), but "Annie on my Mind" makes the relationship between the girls too perfect. And yeah, okay, the fading out of the sex scenes I understand from a publisher's perspective, but it loses a *lot* without them (yes, the fumblings cease to be awkward, but why?).
It's not quite believable, while "Hey Dollface" is full of gritty, adolescence sucks, everyone's a fashion victim, realism.
-Silverkyst

Mommy

(Anonymous)
Oh, yes, and I have read that story too.
It would have much better without that whole mommy thing.
Horryfyingly I also saw references to Legolas and Blair as mommies. Is it the hair?

Thorn.

I think we should add one small caveat to that rule. In Bethy's Expectations series, a snide and rebellious teenage Lexine is allowed to call him "Mommy", just to piss him off when they're having a fight. That is the only circumstance. And even then, Clark himself should reject the title.

Re: Rainbow Valley, I know *exactly* what you mean. Even as a child, I remember thinking that somebody really should've done something. And of course there's the emotional abuse Ilse's father subjects her to in the first Emily book, and.... In a way I think Montgomery was quite realistic, in that, unlike many children's authors, she wrote grey parents. In most books for kids and young adults, parents and caregivers tend to be either fantastic, or villainous. Montgomery wrote a lot of emotionally inept parents and quasi-parents who meant well but stifled their children anyway. But yeah, sometimes it's cringeworthy.

Oddly enough, I was having a conversation w/somebody else on LJ just this morning which brought up this very phenomenon of negligent parents (who are not bitch-slapped into awareness and change by the other adults who can see the harm in what they do), but in connection with a different classic children's writer. Hive mind at work, I suppose.

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