vixenmage: (existentialist)
I made it all the way up to Cryoburn. Then I had to stop. I don't think I'm psychologically prepared for the ending of that book. I know what's coming. I just don't want to face it. I'll give it a few days and maybe think about it again.

I have not yet slept tonight. Crawled into bed at two in the morning, laid in bed awake until now. Yaaaay.

There's a young, earnest, and not-entirely-normal marine biologist wandering around in my head. He stumbled across interesting things, and he wants to know more. He's about to fall into a heap of trouble, too.

Sometimes I feel guilty that my protagonists are most often male. But I figure, I'll try crossing over some other time. I wonder sometimes if it's terror of being called a Suethor, having crept subliminally into my brain, even while I can't mesh with the PPC on that point. I hope not. I don't know how long those things last. I suspect it's a lifetime. And that would suck. But I find myself more and more just straight-up not giving a flying rat's tailfeathers about who says what I am and am not allowed to enjoy/create. I wrote a Stu. Nobody said anything. I'll write Sues. I read Sues and Stus, too, and it's getting to the point where I do wonder if it's anything more than jealousy - "Your character is allowed to be only so awesome." I know it's more than that. I know when people complain - at least, the people I know - what they mean is "Everything goes right for this character, and it becomes boring to read about." In fanfic, there's the added subversion of the canon characters.

But I maintain that the way to respond to that is A) click the 'return to home' button and try again, or put the book back on the shelf and try again, or B) click the 'review' button and, gently but honestly, point out the issues you have with it. NOT "Oh my god this is a flaming sue, rewrite the whole thing OR ELSE," but... correctly. I dunno, once I found a Tortallan assassin who... eh. It was pretty bad. She appeared in Jon or Thayet's window, turned Alanna into a deranged anger-bot, immediately commanded the fear and respect of George and Jon, had the trust and care of Daine and Numair, was somehow related to Jon but had been brought up in a secret assassin's school and trained from five years on or so, had killed thousands of people after graduating at thirteen (was seventeen), politically significant... I winced. I wrote a review that basically said "Hey, I feel like the Tortallan court would be a lot more hesitant to trust a random-but-feared assassin who popped up in their palace at night, and also the math of your assassin doesn't quite work, she'd be a lot more believable of a character if you toned her back a little. If she's killed thousands of people in four years..." and crunched the numbers.

She got back to me over a year later, and thanked me for being honest, said she'd put a lot more thought into the story since and was working on the logic of it. Made me absurdly happy. I wish the kids I see in the PPC blasting "badfic" and leaving bad reviews would focus on concrit - at this point, they don't even concrit each other. It's a thing that older members have frequently grumped about - when people plug their works, they tend to get a "Great job, more plz, I laughed," reaction. Almost never a detailed... review. Something helpful. I don't bother plugging there anymore - most people don't bother reading stuff that's neither badfic nor a mission, and besides a handful of oldbies, I doubt I have a wide, breathless audience looking for more about the Cafeteria workers. Alas.

I am having fun with them when I write, though. Their only missions involve the purchase of food - the only on-site work I've done with them mostly was an excuse to have someone fling durians as a projectile weapon. (Yes, it is brought up that as cafeteria workers, they really should not have found themselves involved in a combat of sorts.)

The community... well. I'm holding my tongue. I would point out, though, that "Power corrupts" is hardly a 'new' philosophy, let alone a juvenile one. And it seems disingenuous to have a nice, long thread discussing how the community has meant so much to so many people, how it's saved some people from suicide or other terrible things, helped us through life drama and tragedy... and then have people talking about how 'real life' government principles, like checks-and-balances and balance of power and not putting 100% authority in any one person or group's hands - how all of that doesn't apply because this isn't important enough to warrant careful handling, I guess.

I would also point out that it's not so much disingenuous as flat-out dishonest to say you agree with a policy or decision, act like it's a good idea, never speak out against the rules and, in fact, set up a nice long topic of discussion so people can all talk about the rules... and then dismiss the entire system as 'sheer spite for authority' when the next authority crisis comes up. Not to mention the incredible bad faith it implies on the parts of, oh, I don't know, everyone who worked on it. And I cannot help but notice that that topic is something that has only come up in a room with very few people in it, and fewer actually paying attention - rather than a concern brought to the attention of the community.

So I guess I'm not holding my tongue after all. I think saying anything much above this, though, would be more venting my emotional reactions to the various factions and parties than saying anything of value. And if there's anything I've learned about online journalling, it's that your emotions are the part that should not come out.

His name is maybe Farid. He's single. He was in a relationship - getting ready to propose - but his research took him to the other side of the world, and he decided to break off with the girl rather than ask her to wait for him. (No, he didn't sit down with her and discuss it. Yes, he is a bit of an idiot sometimes.) His research is in the ecosystems of gulf streams, maybe, and he comes across, one way or another, something very interesting about some migration...

It's a bittersweet tale in the grand scheme of things. I think I know how it ends - on the main, actiony plot, anyway. I'm not sure how his personal life ends, and I suspect that's going to be important. I think I will be doing some research before I start this thing, too. I do not want to make marine biologists or physicists cry.

I am yawning, but somehow I doubt I will get much sleep in the remaining two hours before I have to get ready for work. Yaaaay.


Jun. 2nd, 2012 01:16 am
vixenmage: St. Francis wiv a bird on 'is haid! (Default)
It's the first thing I've written and finished and actually... put up somewhere that wasn't my own blog, in a very long time. And I think people like it?

I am suddenly hopeful about writing again!

Grey Eyes, a Vorkosigan Saga oneshot fic.
vixenmage: St. Francis wiv a bird on 'is haid! (Default)
I got bit by a plot bunny, and it is nomming on my brain. (Fairly heavy AU, of course.) I am continually surprised at how it's actually kind of hard to grasp the characters and write in their voices, and I'm sure I slipped here and there. Sam I'm giving myself a pass on-- he's not supposed to be a copy-paste by any stretch. But Taylor's a hard sell; his lines have been the hardest to write, so far, and that's nothing compared to his bloody body language. He's no Vetinari, that's for sure. (I should write more Discworld stuff. Vetinari would be fun-- but just about as challenging, I'm sure.)

(In other news, Retail Christmas and Drama have conspired to eat my brainz. Please pardon my lack of everything.)

Taylor might full well be the man he seemed, and not just a pawn of the rich, like every other superior he’d ever had. But he’d be damned if he was just going to roll over and bat his eyes because the man talked the part. )

(Of course it's not done.)
vixenmage: A disgruntled rhino; I promise you sir, your slight does NOT go unnoticed." (Rhino)
1) I am monogamous. I am naturally monogamous. I was born this way. I don't want more than one person. I only want one person. I understand completely that other people are not necessarily monogamous. Some people have feelings of love for more than one person at a time. That's the way they were born. Fine, cool, great, lovely. Love is the important thing. Or happiness. Or whatever floats your boat, whatever, seriously.

But the next time someone tells me monogamy is unnatural, or puts fucking quotation marks around it, I am going to either punch them or call them a bigot. Probably the latter, because I'm a hopeless pacifist. (ETA: Seriously, it's just, how is this any better than claiming homosexuality/bisexuality/intersexuality is unnatural? I was born this way. Telling me I don't know my own orientation is bigotry, no matter which part of it you're objecting to.)

Some people are born with a natural attraction to the same sex. Some people are born with a natural attraction to the opposite sex. Some people are born with a natural attraction to more than one person at a time. Some people are born with no attraction to anyone at all. Some people are born into the wrong gendered body. Some people are attracted to both sexes, but only one person at a time. Some people are attracted to a lot of people.

I'm monogamous. I respect the rights of any consenting adults to do as they please. Polyamorous individuals deserve the same respect and rights as the rest of the world, this is a thing I believe. But that does not make my relationship invalid. Your attraction is not mine. Your kink is not my kink. Your relationship may be perfect for you, but wouldn't work at all for me. And vice versa!

Seriously, Can't We All Just Get Along?

2) I think Character is more important than Sex, in stories. (And I see the world in stories, often.)

Thus, I get really grumbly when I go to try and find a story that pokes at the characters and pulls on their motives and explores the nuances of their relationship... and it's just an excuse to see Hawt Sexorz. I mean, ain't nothin' wrong with erotica! I like the odd explicit ficlet. And, yes, I definitely understand the desire to write Taylor/Mira. I just am like "Woot, Wash and Taylor!" aaaaand every single story is about them hooking up. Which is all kinds of o.O if only because he's her commanding officer. So much Do Not Want.

I want to read a story about mutual respect and friendship and a long relationship of things other than sex between Wash and Taylor. IS THAT SO MUCH TO ASK FOR. (Also? I really can't see Taylor moving on from his wife. In that one ep, he nearly slit his own throat over her. He's not the type to let go, and I think one of the stories did make the excellent point that even he isn't Taylor anymore. Taylor is a legend no one could live up to.

...Also I want to write a short 'fic that explores what happened in the episode with the Frontier Justice that I complained about. With a Vimes-type instead of Shannon. I like where Shannon is going, and I like that he did grow a spine later on. But I really, really do not like what happened in that episode. And I want to write an AU about it. And I think I will.

...I think that's it.

Hey, everyone. It's The Holidays. I'm tired, cranky, and it feels like every single thing I have done today has gone horribly wrong, except for the one thing this morning, when I changed my oil with my dad. That's a good thing!

Everything else has been a long, drawn-out event of Fail.
vixenmage: Tea: truly, the solution to all life's ills. (tea)
I wrote an Iroh ficlet! Uncut, it's fairly short. Also findable here.


The air hung heavy, and the sky was an unearthly tone. Though to be fair, Iroh reflected, it was only natural that the sky be the opposite of the earth - unless you were contrasting Earth with the Spirit World, 'unearthly' as a tone for the sky was right and proper. Nodding sagely, he revised his thought.

The air hung heavy, and the sky was an unnatural tone.

No, that didn't quite fit either. Unreal? Ah, he'd leave that to the poets. Right now, he just wanted to get through the gardens unseen, and find the shelter he'd built as a boy, down where the beautiful garden sloped into the forest. He'd hidden some things there, against just such a time-- important things, very important. The sort of things you'd want to retrieve on a day like today, when the end of balance and the world itself seemed to be at stake. It was ironic, he thought, that this fateful day brought so much wild energy to his spirit - but that was the problem, wasn't it? This energy which he felt coursing through his veins was the same spiritual boost that his brother was, at this very moment, harnessing in a last-ditch attempt to destroy the remnants of the Earth Kingdom, and with them, truly, the world.

The blossoms draped over the paths, thicker and wilder in these far paths, their fragrance permeating the air all around him. Nearby, on the other side of the hedge, a trickle of water added a musical touch, soft and fragile against the omnipresent thunderous backdrop of fire blasting in the distance. Iroh shook his head, remembering the beautiful lotus blossoms that had floated there in his youth, the quiet, hidden pond beneath the small waterfall. He remembered the stone pai sho board that had been overgrown with vines, until he'd carefully cleared it off one day, curious at the tiles. The feeling of peace that he'd felt once, meditating by that oasis. He remembered, with a thickness in his throat that seemed closer than usual today, the first time he had sat there with Lu Ten, showing his only son the game that he'd come to love so.

He shook his head once again to clear it, hurrying through the little trellis, nearly overgrown with climbing roses by now; the gardeners probably focused on the inner courtyards, these days, if they were still about at all. Under an elder tree that had, by now, become fully grown, he saw the shack, still standing, small and humble and, if he did say so himself, remarkably well-built for a teenager. He quickened his steps; with no knowledge of anything else going on in the Fire Nation capital, there was no way he'd enter the fray without first stopping here. The door creaked as he opened it; the light was slightly musty, as though it had aged with the shack, and his own mind. Smiling, Iroh stepped at long last into his first shelter.

The tea pot was exactly as he'd left it, though rather dustier. The lotus design on the side was bright beneath the dust, though, and as he brushed it away, he cast about for the pump handle - there, in the corner. He was glad, now, that he had slipped through the kitchens on his way through. For a moment, he fiddled with the fireplace, making sure there was a tinder there, and then he carefully cupped his hands and sparked the flame. It lit and held immediately - how could it not, on the return of Sozin's Comet? As it caught, he went to fill the pot with spring water - the same spring that bubbled into the pond, he knew; this caught in his mind, for a moment, and it took him longer than usual to realize there was someone standing behind him. This may also have been accounted for by the lack of footstep on the grassy path, or the silence of tread on the creaking stile. Iroh started for a moment, caught unawares by the stark - could you call it a face?

"Oh-- it's you," he said, after a moment. There was a brief pause. "Would you share a cup with me?"


The Dragon of the West smiled, pulling the little bundle from where he'd stowed it, beneath his robe. "You can never be too prepared, where tea is concerned," he explained.
vixenmage: (icarus)
It's Complicated: A Bruce Almighty Ficlet. )


vixenmage: St. Francis wiv a bird on 'is haid! (Default)

May 2013

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