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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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my love letters tend to ramble
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
I think a great deal can be said about my current mood in that I'm finding like, reams of meaning in Disarm by Smashing Pumpkins. Reams. Like paper, but less corporeal and filled with fifteen year old girl angst. Well, fifteen year old me angst--that was when I was writing a sequel to Phantom of the Opera where Raoul was drugging Christine and had her locked up in his chateau in France and she barely escaped with her life and crossed the entirety of France because she was like, intuitively certain Eric was alive, and oh my God I tried to write sex.

That's not specifically what I was angsting about then--I was angsting because I couldn't speak French so as to make it more authentic and if it would be wrong if they had sex before they got married.

I come by my fanfic tendencies honestly, at least. This is also why I find ff.net ridiculously charming sometimes. I want to pinch their cheeks and say, yes, they can have sex first. Don't worry so much! You don't have to learn French! Or Catholicism. Or the French road system. Or have a horrified midnight revelation there were no toilets.

Keep in mind there was one small used bookstore and I was buying things like Book of the Courier and reading bad romance novels and not just for the porn. I needed to research.

Sharing now:

If you write a story about--oh, random, Princess Eleanor marrying Simon de Montfort, you know, this doesn't exist, you will give fifteen year old girls really inflated expectations of what to expect in the way of the shaft of love. Holy God, Virginia, what were you thinking?

If you write about random English noblewomen pretending to be servants to stop their (possibly?) younger sister from making a dreadful mistake and a Russian prince's servants assume she is a prostitute wiht a bad attitude, kidnap her and drug her with Spanish fly, leading to life-changing orgasms, don't be surprised this is something their librarian will catch them researching in the freaking twenty year old Encyclopedia Brittanica.

If you are Catherine Coulter--don't change anything. I love you.

If you are the one who had a thing for women who marry their rapists or men who rape other people and cause them to suicide in horror, that's not romance, that's soft-core Gor Light. Deal.

Your name may be Jude Deveraux. I'm not over that yet.

If you are Frank Herbert and were responsible for a twelve year old girl suddenly making the theoretical-to-practical leap of "penis goes into vagina, oh, so that's how it works!"--hey, thanks. It's fairly likely you saved me from years of therapy. Jude was right after you.

For making a twelve year old wonder how you go about that imprinting thing, leading to another round of Encyclopedia Brittanica research--really, Frank. Really. Detail, man. Detail.

If you are not Frank Herbert and wrote Dune novels....you're not actually improving. And it wasn't like the first one set that high a bar. However, thank you for the image of the Baron floating desperately after Feyd-Rautha toddling in pure evil on a balcony. I will say, if you meant to have so much humor in there, I'd be impressed. But then I read about Jessica's smooth oval face and soft white throat eighty times and realize it was an accident. A cruel accident, that kept me reading.

If you are Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, a Russian novelist, or named Joseph Heller--you taught me I will never love anything with the word classic appended.

If you are Jane Austen or Robert Louis Stevenson or Jules Verne, you proved me wrong.

If you are Orson Welles--well, you're Orson Wells. Well done.

Thank you Narnia--before you were an expression of my faith, you were the fairy tales of my childhood and Eustace was amazing. Thank you Sydney von Scyoc--I didn't know what I was reading until years later, but you told me sci-fi was about people in the end and I've never forgotten the lesson. The ships were just there for window dressing. Thank you Anne McCaffrey--this is how I found out about gay sex and Romeo and Juliet as a universal language. Thank you Marion Zimmerman Bradley--you are why I seek out the stories of women, and led me to Sharon Kay Penman and Cecilia Holland and Mercedes Lackey and Julie Dean Smith.

Melanie Rawn gave me my name and Stephen King the desire to build the worlds I'd write and VC Andrews the power of taboo. Lucy Maud Montgomery reminded me to tell my son about elves beneath the house and gnomes in the garden and fairies that you can only catch with a special net and after cleaning your room, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.

And then I turned sixteen, but that's another list altogether.

You know, this wouldn't have happened if in fifth grade, Ms Bartz hadn't orchestrated a reading competition and told us the highest number of books anyone had ever read in six weeks. Who doesn't want to double that? No one, that's who.

Trekfic clocked 33k and is in final beta. I'm in a very good mood. Let's have cookies!
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If you write about random English noblewomen pretending to be servants to stop their (possibly?) younger sister from making a dreadful mistake and a Russian prince's servants assume she is a prostitute wiht a bad attitude, kidnap her and drug her with Spanish fly, leading to life-changing orgasms

Wow, I read this about 15 years ago and it's still all too memorable. And not necessarily in a good way.

On the other hand, it's not a bad introduction to the concept of Alien Sex Pollen.

Some things are sort of engraved in your head for all time.

On the other hand, it's not a bad introduction to the concept of Alien Sex Pollen.

I've had my suspicions after ten years in fandom that she got it from Trek.


Love letters to authors are always lovely to read, thank you for sharing. And 33k! Eeeeeeee! I am excited to read :-)

EXPECTATIONS LOW! IT is weird and kind of got away from the 15K I thought it was going to be.

If you are Catherine Coulter--don't change anything. I love you.

THIS.

Her awesome is legion. Totally legion.

I love Jane Austen - my favorite writer with Mary Stewart a close second.

I feel like I have her books memorized.

I am deeply traumatized by that particular Courtier novel. And also rapist marrying kink.

OMG Romance novels. My mother bought one on a trip once (she normally doesn't read them either) and I think in the light of things you have mentioned it might actually have been one of the more respectable ones, but to this day mentions of cat racing make us crack up. (Yes I said cat racing, deal, they even had a cat whisperer!)

Also I totally learned about the penis/vagina thing when I was 8 or 9 (we also had sex ed in 4th grade, so I would have known by 10 at the latest) so I was ahead of you there.

When I was 13 I read my mother's Ayla books (the sex at the end of the second one get reread repeatedly, yes, why do you ask?) and then her Outlander books. The third one of those was actually the first book I read in English (the last Ayla one I'd still bought the German version for), because she only had the first two in German. I think I managed to get the gist of it, but there were still passages I only understood in context.

I think after that was when I started in on my Star Wars reading.

The Wild Baron and the one about his friend with the crazy architecture!

I LOVE THOSE.

You are just so cool sometimes. *leans*

editted for icon correction

Edited at 2009-06-10 01:43 am (UTC)

Ah, Sunwaifs... pollen and storms.

Hot Damn I remember the Russian Prince book where he's all surly and angsty and he and the servant/lady in secret argue and angst and at one point some other higher up servant punishes her by whipping her with an actual whip and then Russian Prince is all hulk smash cause that is so not on but wait, let's drug her again when communication breaks down and then she escapes/is let go and makes it back home pregnant with his secret love child.

Johanna Lindsey smokes the good crack and her books sell like fucking hot cakes and she just chills in Hawaii raking in all the dough.

Ever read the books about the Mallory's? That family was insane, but damn I used to want Anthony Mallory and James Mallory because they were hot as hell.

Oh and Jude Deveraux used to be my go to author cause she had Montgomery's and Taggerts and they were awesome and related and had family mottos like 'never sell the land' and back in the (fictional) 40's when the US military needed some American guy to marry this Princess from some small nation they picked a Montgomery(or was it a Taggert?) because "he's the closest we have to royalty."

*Eyes my bookshelves that are weighed down with teh romance*

I truly *heart* the way you think. :D

this is an awesome post of love!

I'm curious though about something.

If you are Jane Austen or Robert Louis Stevenson or Jules Verne, you proved me wrong.

How did they prove you wrong?

Oh, that I would love classics. It's related to teh line right above it.

This post is awesome because most of it reads like "What Sorrel read as a teenager!" And that's especially cool since I'm twenty-one. Some things wear better than others, I suspect.

For historical romance, no one will ever beat out Loretta Chase in my book, for sheer awesome. But she wasn't discovered till I was a little older. I do remember that the first Freedom book by Anne McCaffery was the first time I admitted to actually reading the sex scenes to my mom. (She kept giving me these romance novels because I kept telling her that I was skipping the sexy bits. Like any good teenager, I lied a lot to my parents.)

Oh, Jenn. I love your brain. I really, honestly do.

This entire list made me happy. Also made me remember my deep-seated wish to someday sit down and read the original Dune books (all of them. In order. At the moment, I've read about three, out of order, skipping around, and I still loved it. Much like the Thomas Covenant series, I have books I loved reading and yet never got around to reading properly).

But, mostly, book glee. And the way that stories can stay with you, even the bad ones.