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So, back from London. I had a really good time there but immediately followed it up with a few bad brain days, which I think is as much to do with expecting the bad brain days and working myself up about it as anything else. Still don't regret going.

Brain news first, I've started keeping a journal at the end of the day, writing down the bad brain things but then making myself reflect on the things that made me happy and writing them down to. I got a few CBT books on London specifically for dealing with medical anxiety but it's weird becasue it's like my brain think they'll make me worse instead of better and I don't even. Don't worry, I'll bully myself into reading them.

And now, happy things! London!

I met up with a lot of awesome people. Monday night I met up with the 9worlds fanfiction people and we had a nice meal and talked some and it was great. I love spending time with fangirls. And then Tuesday night I went to visit a friend who's just bought a house (which is an awesome house) and I looked at her house in awe. It was good fun and great to just casually see friends. I also went to Expo on Sunday and it's always nice to be surrounded by geeks. I walked around London on Monday and went to Regents Park. Tuesday I did the tower of London. Saturday I went to Tatty Devine and bought this and this.

And also on Saturday night I went to see Les Mis.

Which might seem like an odd choice for someone with depression but I'd been wanting to see it. I saw the movie when it came out and it's kind of a staple of theater so I paid my money and went to see it and...

...and did I miss in the film that Grataire is really gay for Enjolras? I mean, so gay? I think they toned down his drunkeness in the movie, but that seems to cheapen him somehow. I mean, I haven't read the books but how I read the musical, Enjolras is the ideal. He is the dream of a better society but he doesn't understand the individual. The rises and falls of a small, ordinary life. Grantaire is the people. He knows from the first that they're doomed to fail but he stands with them becasue he wants them to win, he wants to believe. Graintaire is the one who encourages Marius to sing about his love. He's the one who goes to Marius after Eponine dies. He's the human heart of it and that's why he's constantly drunk, becasue he's the one who understands they're going to a tragedy, not a rebellion. That's why he doesn't work as well if he isn't drink, he isn't as tragic.

And the song Drink with Me, that was different in the movie, right? Because on the stage, Grantaire sang his verse to Enjolras and then broke down and Enjolras came to comfort him and it's the only time he comforts anyone and...

So gay. Such love. Wow.

And now it's Nano so I should be making words. I'm not sure how winning nano's going to go this time becasue...yeah...but we'll have a crack at it. I remember doing it lsat year and being so excited and now I'm really not but I'm going to try anyway because if I don't try then what's the point?

Depression

So, I pretty much like being up-front about my mental health. I believe it's something we should talk about so I'm going to talk about it.

Trigger Warnings for discussion of mental health, hypochondria etc.

I'm quite open about the fact that I had a bad time of life a few years ago. I had what I can only describe as a small mental breakdown in the middle of an episode of depression. Ended up dropping out of my job, moving back home, spent like two years on prozac. This was all, like, five years ago?

Lately I've been really anxious.

Just, all the time. I basically scare myself into thinking I'm going to die quite frequently. And when when I'm not convinced that perfectly normal mole is definitely going to kill me, I'm still just wound up. The last six weeks, I don't know why but it got really bad. Like, I stopped doing everything more or less than sitting in the living room under a blanket and doing the bare minimum required to function in my down time.

So I'm going to go back on the prozac for a while.

It's not actually been the easiest decision to make. My experience on it before was quite good but I'm still wary. I think it's with it being a mental thing, the nature of the beast is that I want to write it of as being something unimportant, a temporary quirk that'll go away if I leave it long enough.

The reality of it is, though, that it's starting to impact on how I live my life and I shouldn't have to live like this. Part of my is worried the prozac will stop me writing (I don't know why, it didn't last time. I was writing Hetalia and Glee fic most of the time I was on anti-depressants) but the truth is that the depression is stopping me writing. It's stopping me doing a whole host of normal things I used to enjoy, even spending time alone. And my independence and ability to enjoy my own company are important to me.

So I'm going on prozac again. Just a small dose and hopefully not for long. And I'm going to put myself on the waiting list for counseling.

It's not as bad as it was. I've had a crying jag at work which scared me but in general I'm not bad (I used, the first time, to lock myself in the toilets at work a couple of times a day just to cry) and I'm pretty good at bullying myself into some semblance of functioning. That almost makes it harder to make the decision to take the drugs. The first time, I was so low it almost wasn't a decision. The doctor could have handed me anything and I'd have taken it. I went to the doctor because my PhD supervisor took me aside and told me I needed to. So in a way this is empowering as at least I'm making the choice to head it off at the pass, but it also feel like maybe I'm jumping the gun.

The takeaway of this long ramble is that mental health is hard, that depression isn't black or white, always depressed or always fine. And that it's okay to be scared but I'm going to take the fucking drugs anyway and if they don't work I can try something else.
Ok, first, I'm going to try to sell you Carry On.

Carry On is the latest book my Rainbow Rowell. Who is a beautiful individual. She wrote Fangirl which you might have come across about a year ago which was a great portrayal of fandom and how fandom isn't a force for bad in the world. Carry On is the most meta of all meta, it's basically the fic the fictional character in the book wrote, which was based on Harry/Draco fic. So in a lot of ways Carry On is a love song to Harry/Draco but if you don't ship that, it's still good. It's a love song to Harry Potter in general and it's a love song to all of Fandom.

I don't want to spoil it too much but Rowell writes romance so I don't think it's a spoiler to tell you there's a romance element. And it's executed beautifully. You won't know if you're reading original work or the best kind of fanfiction and you won't care. The romance is adorable, the characters are great. The sidekick character is a south-Asian girl who's a bit pudgy but kicks all of the ass in the world. This book basically addresses more or less every criticism that fandom has collectively leveled at Harry Potter over the years.

And the writing is Rowell so it's beautiful. She has real emotional punch and lush descriptions that somehow feel true and sometimes it's more like poetry than prose and basically I want to marry her. Her writing is so good.

So, go read it. Then come fangirl with me becasue I have a need.

Now meme.

5 –If you have ever had a character try to push their way into a fic, whether your "muse" or not, what did you do about it?

I'm half-assing this one as the short answer is no.

6 – When you write, do you prefer writing male or female characters?

...In my original writing I tend to write female, in my fanfiction I tend to write male. Though it's debatable how true to the way masculinity is performed in society my men come. It's my personal belief that when a lot of us write men in slash pairings what we're really doing is exploring what it's like to live in an equal world as it's almost impossible to write male/female romance without politics coming into it somewhere. And we know that because we live it. But when we write slash, we don't have to worry about that. We can conveniently forget that bit for a while and forget that sometimes being a woman in society sucks and, yeah, this is hugely problematic because among other things it accepts (normally) white man as some kind of default the rest of us can explore humanity through but it's also freeing in that we can tell the kind of romance and erotic stories we want and also in that we can redefine masculinity in our own way.

Rest of the questions under the cutCollapse )
4 – Do you have a "muse" character, that speaks to you more than others, or that tries to push their way in, even when the fic isn't about them? Who are they, and why did that character became your muse?

No. Really kind of don't and never really got the entire muse character thing. But, then, I'm depressingly skeptical about this entire 'the story has it's own life and flows' thing. I'm a planner right down to the ground. I'm okay with a bit of flowing but also like to know where we're going and what stops we're going to make along the way.

Anyone remember back in the 'good old days' when people used to have long conversations with their muse characters in the header of their fic for ages before they actually told you the story? Those were the days...


All the questions are under hereCollapse )
3 – For each of the fandoms from day two, what were your favorite characters to write?

I'm not doing ALL those fandoms. I'll pick a few I want to witter about.

Avengers

The obvious answer is Clint Barton since I have written a million fic from his POV. I actually prefer Phil to Clint in my pairing but since I prefer Phil, I like to write from Clint's POV and be in love with Phil. Also, Clint is a complete human disaster which I can relate to. Love me some Clint.

Supernatural

Cas was always my favourite character but he was never my favourite to write. I loved writing Kevin which is why that show lost me the minute it killed him. I noped right the fuck out of there.

Glee

Kurt Hummel. I would NEVER have watched this show for so long if it wasn't for Kurt. I mean, there were some secondary characters I loved but it was Kurt's voyage from that one queer kid in the back of the room struggling to mean someone to someone to this wonderful, confident, mature young man that I really loved. I wrote several Kurt pairings becasue I'd ship him with just about anyone who'd be good to him because I loved him. That's, again, why I bailed from the fandom when I did (when he left for college) becasue the writers only knew three types of story - will they/won't they, she's having a baby, they're breaking up (again) and since Kurt and Blaine were together and neither of them could get pregnant it was clear where that was going and it wasn't Kurt/Happiness and though the show had hurt him before, it felt like an earned hurt, like growing pains, not something there for the dramaz!

Harry Potter

Neville Longbottom. God I love Neville. Neville/Draco. He's a down-to-Earth boy from my neck of the woods, what's not to like. One of my secret desires is to record a podfic of Lust over Pendle.

Enterprise

Getting into old fandoms now but I thought I'd leave this one in as it was a formative one for me. I shipped Reed/Mayweather, so stuffy British guy with hot young man XD Loved it. I liked writing them becasue they were such a contrast but they had this odd affection in the show and this history in the extra-canon material and I enjoyed playing with that.

Bleach

Another of what I'd define as one of my big fandoms. I wrote reams of Ichigo/Renji/Rukia. It's notable as one of the first time that I shipped a multiple pairing seriously. I just didn't enjoy any of the various pairings alone as much as I enjoyed them together. And the text set it up greatly, though probably unintentionally. I just wanted them running around together kicking ass and Ichigo being like, how the fuck did I end up with these two idiots?

Hellsing

The only fandom I've written a lot of femslash in. Also one of my early long-fic. I used to ship Seras Victoria with Integra Hellsing. Because Integra was awesome. Who doesn't like ladies kicking ass and making powerful vampires do their bidding and I kind of wanted Seras to lick her shoes.

Pacific Rim

NEWTON! Seriously, Newt is my baby. I love him. He's such a little shit and he's so inappropriate and I love him for all that. I love writing his voice and how everything can be that big quicker like things are going through his mind so fast there's no time to filter them before they get out and...yeah, just love him.

Soul Eater

Chrona! Canon person of indeterminate gender who's gender was (at my time in the fandom) never CLEARLY revealed. There were strong hints but nothing 100% conclusive and I loved that. Most of the fandom fixed their gender but I wrote them as genderqueer and shipped with Maka who had 0 fucks to give about Chrona's gender.

All the questions under the cutCollapse )
2 – Name the fandoms you've written in, and how much you've written in that fandom, and if you still write in it.

So, being the person I am, I have a database with every piece of fanfiction I've EVER written so I can tell you that I've written, in my lifetime, 330 pieces of fanfiction. These are the fandoms I'm willing to admit, in polite company, that I wrote for. Along with how many fic I wrote for that fandom. It should be noted that while Bleach is clearly in the lead, I wrote a shitfuckton (which is a legitimate measurement) of drabbles in that fandom and was probably more prolific in terms of words produced in other fandoms.

Bleach 65
Avengers 45
Glee 41
Supernatural 34
Harry Potter 32
Hetalia 19
Escaflowne 14
Enterprise 13
Soul Eater 11
Buffy The Vampire Slater 7
Hellsing 5
Pacific Rim 4
Sherlock 4
X-files 4
Azumanga Daioh 3
Hobbit 3
Star Trek:Voyager 3
Gravitation 2
Phoenix Wright 2
Sailor Moon 2
Smallville 2
Fullmetal Alchemist 1
Fullmetal panic 1
Futurama 1
Karin 1
Lord of the Rings 1
Pani Poni Dash! 1
Rocky Horror Picture Show 1
Roswell High 1
Star Trek:The Next Generation 1
Strawberry Panic 1
Tenchi Muyo 1
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 1

As for what I'm still active in, the fandoms represented in the fic on my e-reader are the MCU, Pacific Rim and Hannibal (which I haven't written for yet but I'm on with it). And I'm active in Harry Potter in that every so often I'm like, yay, Harry and come back and read some fic and cry about Neville and Draco's obvious canonical love then forget about it again for a while.

Actually. Since, you know, accurate statistics - here's the entire list by word count per fandom. Though this may give a false sense of how prolific I was in Supernatural as a chunk of my longer fic in there I wrote with Trojie so half of the words are hers.

Avengers 352986
Supernatural 297236
Glee 105269
Harry Potter 95314
Hetalia 75222
Enterprise 50082
Bleach 35223
Buffy The Vampire Slater 31619
Hobbit 31325
Hellsing 31264
Rocky Horror Picture Show 21900
Smallville 20430
Pacific Rim 16044
Soul Eater 15366
Tenchi Muyo 10214
X-files 9307
Azumanga Daioh 7478
Sherlock 7203
Sailor Moon 6114
Phoenix Wright 4990
Star Trek:Voyager 4408
Futurama 3812
Star Trek:The Next Generation 3252
Lord of the Rings 2932
Pani Poni Dash! 2739
Escaflowne 2217
Roswell High 1128
Gravitation 624
Fullmetal Alchemist 622
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 457
Strawberry Panic 285
Fullmetal panic 100
Karin 100


All questions under the cutCollapse )

Ant Man

Okay, so I've avoided talking about this because I got so upset by the fan reaction to Age of Ultron - how fandom went in to destroy it and did so. How they tore Whedon and Natasha appart for having a woman raised to be a killer by the extreme equivalent of Soviet Russia express the belief that infertility made her monstrous when the text then followed through by proving she was NOT monstrous. So I know what it is to see something you enjoyed torn apart. And I try not to but frankly I've been surprised that all those voices who were so quick to hang up Whedon were silent on this.

So I'm going to talk and it's not going to be complementary. Feel free not to read if that's what you need to do. I make no judgement of you. Also, should be obvious but this does not constitutes value judgement on people who enjoyed Ant Man. Our preconceptions and politics affect our reading of the text. There is no right or wrong way etc.

So, I guess I'll do my preconceptions first. I was watching with a feminist lense as a result of the above criticism and also the grudging of Janet Van Dyne, who is awesome. I also had a pre-concieved and largely irrational hatred of Hank Pym. I was openly sceptical but had heard good things and was ready to be convinced.

I wasn't convinced.

My non-feminist observation was that it felt like a film outside its cultural moment. It felt like a less charming Iron Man and I feel like if I'd seen it before Pacific Rim and Jupiter Ascending and Mad Max were things I wouldn't have reacted so negatively to it. It felt like a call-back to the times when a female as an action hero would have just been a thing that didn't happen and Hope being vaguely useful would have been a victory. But I feel like I expect more now. I want my men and women up there kicking ass together. I wanted Ant Man and the Wasp.

I could talk a lot about the idea of the daughter who must be protected (the main motivation for both male characters) or about female agency and the fact they used fridging one woman to justify side-lining a different character. But as much as those are problems, the film could have come back from them. I watched this film with hope in my heart because I wanted the fucking thing to get better.

The point I lost hope was the scene where Pym reveals why he's been trying to protect Hope. She thinks on it. In this moment, all I wanted was for Hope to say 'no, that's bullshit'. For her to be angry. For Pym to pull out the Wasp suit. For hope to go in with him. If they'd gone that route I'd have been 100% there.

Instead they went another rout. Instead she kind of accepted his reasoning and he kind of apologised and accepted that she's a grown-ass woman but this had 0 imp!ication for the plot going forward other than her accepting that Scott was the right guy to do it because reasons. Instead of, you know, them letting the man they were blackmailing into helping them go and letting Hope do it as she's not only the most competent but genuinely believes in their mission.

So Hope remains where she is, consigned to hang out in the background and make out with the male lead at the end. A wasted opportunity.

And yes, I saw the post-credit scene. Too little too late. Had that happened half way through I could have forgiven the rest of the movie its faults. But it didn't. Instead we have a story about protecting women and a competent woman consigned to training a less competent man to do what she could because reasons.

Fanficiton writing meme - day 1

1 – How did you first get into writing fanfic, and what was the first fandom you wrote for? What do you think it was about that fandom that pulled you in?

My first piece of fanfiction was for Star Trek: Voyager, which is also the first fandom I read fanfiction for. Was back when. My FF.net account dates from 2000 so probably then. I honestly did fandom before I know what the internet was, when I was a kid I used to imagine the characters from Rainbow Brite were my friends and hung out with me (I always made the yellow one the bag guy because I hate yellow and possibly had a crush on one of the purple ones). So when we got the internet basically the first thing I did was search for Star Trek, a fandom I'd picked up on a school bus ride when they put first contact on the bus TV.

I still remember the first piece of fanfiction I ever found, a piece of cabin!fic, I do believe. It was Janeway/Chakotay. It didn't take me long after that to decide I could write too so I waded into the pairing. I mean, naturally, the thing I wrote was an abomination. It was magical healing cock fic written by a 14 year old girl who thought sex involve a guy putting his penis into a vagina and that somehow triggering a magical orgasm, like pressing a button, then he took it out. I was young. But that's where I started XD

Full list of questions under the cutCollapse )

New people

Hi, new friending meme people. Sorry it's taken me a while to reply XD

Last weekend I was in Liverpool for my "I'm nearly 30" party. I actually don't turn 30 until October but this was conveniently between me and another friend who just turned 30 so we partied. And by partied I mean ate an excessive amount of junk food, hung out in a rented house and played various card and board games. I cant remember when gaming became the default activity for a group of friends but I like it!

By the time I've recovered from that I'd rather stupidly manufactured for myself the rather gargantuan task of sorting out out the lego robot kits for the school and assembling the robots. This took up literally all of Wednesday and Thursday night and it's not looking good for tonight either. Sigh.

So this is actually the first time I've been at a desktop PC this week and able to add people/reply XD

I've also been reading a lot of Hannibal fic in stolen moment. It's so deliciously dark. I want to write some but I'd need a lot more writing time to find time to so that. I've barely been scraping by on my writing every day push. Sigh.