Archive for the ‘fandom’ Category

post regret

January 9, 2014

I have just posted a new story.  It’s a genderbend het.  It’s explicit.  It’s nervewracking.

I should never post while there is time during the day that I can worry that nobody likes me, that they really  hate me and I should go eat some worms.

I don’t know why I post when I feel so terrible the day of posting.

*goes to hide*

Note:  I had a lovely comment for another fic which while it doesn’t exactly make me feel better about my current issues, it does make me feel better in general.

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Pacific Rim movie

January 6, 2014

Just saw Pacific Rim.  I had a couple of thoughts.  Just stupid little formless things.

First: the equation that might have indicated the exponential increase of kaiju attacks – I’m definitely not mathematical, but it seems like an equation like that could either be much simpler or else it could have been done in a graphical format.  You know, the whole math thing be done two moves earlier like they talk about so much in the movie.

Second: most scientists I know don’t fetishize their work as it is presented by their characters.   Yes, lots of them are weird and over-involved in their product.   It’s their work and hence while really cool to them, it is also humdrum and kind of a pain and an ever-present burden hovering over their shoulder as they worry about their jobs.

Third:  Guillermo del Toro loves the conflict between hardware and soft nature.  He is usually on the side of hardware, but he does love all the flourishes only crazy organics can do.  He also totally loves anime, and is obviously the same age as W because W could pinpoint a lot of the homage.

Fourth:   I have got to stop reading movie meta.  Don’t get me wrong, I love it.  I don’t give a crap about spoilers.  But people love these movies and they start theorizing and I eat that up, so delicious, and then it gets me all excited about the movie.  I imagine the movie is going to be awesome.  Then I see the movie and it’s a bit of a let-down.  I just imagine that the movie would have been so awesome before I was in on somebody else’s squee.  Very little can match somebody else’s squee.  You’ve got to build up your own squee yourself.  At least, I do.

Things nobody wants

October 9, 2013

I’m all twitchy because I just posted a little story.   And I can guarantee you it is something nobody wants.  I checked before I posted and there isn’t much else like it.  It’s a crossover between a couple of different fandoms.  Nobody wants crossovers, nobody wants gen fic, nobody wants this story.  This however, has never stopped me from writing anything.  It has, more likely, stopped me from pursuing a career in writing because I’m aware of the small appeal my tastes run.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the latest scarf I’m working on to distract myself from the fact that my readership count will be exactly the same next week as it is today.  Which is zero.

This scarf is something that thousands of people wanted, though.  Wanted enough to make.  It’s turning into a great knit.  Not difficult to memorize, relatively easy stitches, clear pattern.  A dream.

Clapotis by Kate Gilbert.  I have wanted to make this scarf for a long time.  I think I posted it to my facebook account a couple of years ago, even.  I found the yarn last year.  But I somehow couldn’t start it.  Why, you ask?

You know how it gets sometimes when you’ve got all the right ingredients and it somehow is just you that stands in the way of something awesome?  Yeah.  That’s me.  But I got over my knitting insecurity (mostly because I don’t have a lot of other projects going on right now and the ones I do I’m even more afraid of screwing up).

It doesn’t look like much, because there’s a magic trick at the end, but here is where I am right now:

clapotis1

The yarn is Baa Sonoma, My Sweet Valentine colorway.  (And yes, those are the same colorway, which is why I’m having to alternate balls of yarn so it looks cohesive.)  It is yummy and just a little sheepy.  Disregard that last adjective if you don’t understand what I means.  I didn’t really either before I started knitting seriously.

genderbending

June 28, 2013

I’ve been getting into a new fandom recently.

It’s on the small side, and there isn’t a lot of genderbending fics out there.  (Internet rule 63 – if it exists, there is genderbending.)  I’m not hugely into genderbending, but I do find it interesting, especially if done well.  Anyway, I was wondering about this lack and went through some mental exercises, because I immediately got snagged on it.  But the thing is, it also made me really uncomfortable.

Main characters are male.  The one who’s POV we follow is a guy in his middle-30’s who is a career superhero – let’s call him K.  K’s career is in the dumps, he’s in the cusp of being replaced by a  younger guy (the other main character, whom we shall call B), he’s been a widower for some time, his daughter is back in the small town he grew up with his mother.  K’s also a bit of a drinker, he doesn’t cook, he’s socially oblivious and loud.  I’m trying to make him a woman, and suddenly, all of these traits which are acceptable in a man become more difficult to accept in a woman.  (Which just goes to show how entrenched I am in gendered thinking, I guess.)

I don’t think I’m alone in this.  A woman who drinks a little, is devoted to her job to the exclusion of her child and yet is unsuccessful at said job, has no domestic abilities, and can’t handle herself socially (but has a really big heart) would be much more harshly judged.  I judge that characterization quite a bit.   Same personality, different genders/sexes, different reactions.  Each one of these things, especially the child piece, I find difficult to accept in a woman.  (I mean, I find this sort of hard to accept in a man, but less so.  I think I just failed feminism.)

( It kind of sort of brings up a comparison to Cagney and Lacey (I think the Sharon Gless character, Cagney?), and while I never really watched the show, I was definitely aware of the characters.  Maybe I’m thinking about that because there aren’t a lot of other shows that feature two women as protagonists (as opposed to two men, or a man and a woman).)

I think it’s easy to make the foil character, B, a woman, perhaps too easily.  B is career driven, calculating, sort of mean to the main character, revenge-driven.  It’s funny because those things are unlikeable in either gender/sex, but somehow, less likeable in a woman.

Eventually, though, they learn to work together through the Power of Friendship and Trust.

I may actually write this, but it would definitely only be an exercise for me – a little bit to see where I could take the story, a little bit to see if I could actually do it, and a little bit to see if I can get over myself and my gendered way of thinking.  I’m leaning toward the theory that if something makes you uncomfortable, you should write it, because there’s going to be a lot of juice there.

One thing’s for certain.  Nobody, maybe not even me, is going to like it.

And that’s a bit of a shame.

(W thinks I just put too much thought into it.)

covetousness

June 11, 2013

I’m not a terribly covetous person by nature.  I try very hard to be happy with what I have.

I’m also the least likely person to be a knitter.  I don’t wear a lot of sweaters, or shawls, or scarves, neither does W.  (On the other side of that, I do wear a lot of down coats, but I’m not going to be raising ducks any time soon.)  I can’t wear a lot of animal fibers – after a while, they make the more sensitive skin on my face/neck/arms itch.  I’m not very crafty.  I don’t have and don’t necessarily want to have much of a stash.

And yet, somehow, I’m completely taken over by knitting right now.  I love the puzzle of it, the doing, the thinking, the community that I’m finding.

Then there’s the objects themselves.  The beauty of the fiber.  The skill required to make some of these items.  Most of them have an inherent usefulness/beauty.  Sometimes there’s humor or whimsy.  I love that – you can see the personality behind the pattern.

There’s something so dangerous about looking at other people’s knits – I covet it all.  I don’t have the skills to make it all, but in my head, there’s a voice that’s like: “ALL THE KNITS!”

I am in so much trouble.

knit vs fic

May 30, 2013

Why fanfic is and is not like knitting.

In a way, knitting fulfills a similar role to writing.  It’s a nice hobby, it fulfills a creative urge, and I get to make things I show to people.

But it’s not the same.  With knitting, I have a physical object.  I have, as yet, (knock on wood) to abandon a project without making the final decision of frogging it.  I’m not embarrassed about it, hell, I even have a local group I take my projects to.  (Knitting, for whatever assumptions other people might have about it, usually doesn’t involve assumptions about poorly executed pr0n (regardless of the actual existence of said pr0n.))

As for writing, well, I’ve got a double sh8tton of unfinished work.  Things I know I might never finish, for whatever reason.

I’m hip-deep in a story and I’m wrestling it into shape.  I don’t know if I’ll ever make this story presentable.  The way to finish is unclear, there is no pattern.  It’s easier to avoid, fewer people to show it to, harder to get into, and it’s best if I do it alone.

So right now, while I’m between projects, I’ll get to wrestling this story.  What happens, whether or not I finish, regardless of how much effort I put into it, is another question.

not alice starmore

April 24, 2013

I just finished reading Adrienne Martini’s book, Sweater Quest: My Year of Knitting Dangerously.  Basically, the author knits a difficult sweater and talks a lot of people during the time she does it.   The author is interested in why people knit, what is the meaning behind really designing a sweater, the community of knitting.  It was a good fast read in a topic I’m obviously interested in.  I liked it, but I had some thoughts.  Further, she talks about the designer – Alice Starmore, who is a star in the knitting world.  (I have some of her books, and they are inspirational, but I probably won’t be knitting any patterns from them.)  Martini (or the persona she presents in this book) is someone who is seeking validation for her choices, trying to learn more about a person (or a way of thinking) who is, ultimately, not accessible.   It’s a bit unsatisfying in that way.

I think a central concept of the book – whether or not any changes made to an item designed by someone, even an item as particularly detailed as the sweater of the book by the designer in question – it doesn’t sit well with me.  Because things as perceived by the designer isn’t necessarily going to satisfy the knitter.  (I suppose Martini could be doing this intentionally to the reader, but she doesn’t seem to be that kind of writer, nor this that kind of book.)

I’m not quoting this right – but I think it’s Stephanie Pearl-McPhee that says what is closest to what my own opinion: any changes you make to a sweater makes it less theirs and more yours.  (Like making an Alice Starmore-designed stranded sweater in exactly her branded 100% wool specially dyed yarns and colors as opposed to fiddling with sizing and pattern and color and yarn content.)

My thinking is that this relationship between knitter and designer, between concept and execution, is a collaboration.

Honestly, by virtue of having made the sweater, it is yours.  The designer, most likely, doesn’t have a relationship with you, ordinary consumer knitter (except by a few small types of impersonal transactions – sales, Ravelry displays), and it is unlikely they will ever see your work of their design.  But you definitely have a relationship with them.  (There’s got to be a word for that kind of mostly one-sided relationship.)   Knitting something that was designed by someone else reveals a bit of the contours of the designer’s thought process – even simple phrasing like “Cast-on in your preferred method” versus “Cast-on tubular, exactly like this link, or else the fit will be wrong.”

It’s a bit like fandom, really.  Someone presents you with their work (“canon”) and you love it so much that you want to participate in it (“fandom”).  (The knitting thing is all about participation, but some people by their very nature are just participators, whatever their “craft” – fic, art, what have you.)  And Pearl-Mcphee also says something about being very surprised about some of the ways/places her patterns have ended up (“not her vision”) – and I imagine much similar can be said for the creators of almost any popular media.

It’s multiple levels of transformation, some more faithful than others. (The stories I have loved and have gone back to over time are often not exactly the way I remember them.)

Part of my feelings have to do with being a creator of sorts, of writing fic – that what I imagine as fabulous and amazing doesn’t necessarily come out to be the same as I imagine.  (Translation 1.)  And then there’s the weird thing where someone else seems to like it – but maybe not necessary for the reasons that I like it (or why I wrote it)  (Translation 2).  And if they do a riff on it, then it becomes something else entirely, in my opinion, even though they think they’re being faithful to some aspect of it (Translation 3).  It’s interesting, and I want the stuff to be done well because if it truly is a story I don’t like for whatever reason – what does it say about my own work?  (Which I recognize is stupid – because really, it should be bout the pride and happiness of the writer who did that story as opposed to self-centered me.)  But this is all hypothetical.  If and when that does happen, I will accept that and try to be happy I inspired somebody else’s creativity because, really, what else can I do if I put my stuff out there?  If it truly gets to be a problem, I will take my stuff down and be done with it.

Now, perhaps the creators of canon see my fic as some awful misshapen acrylic Red Heart Supersaver in neon colors when they imagine their own canon to be, well, an Alice Starmore.

currently

March 12, 2013

So I finished the brioche stitch hat as it was and didn’t let it ruin my day.  (We’ll let the whole “ruin my shower” thing go.)

briochehatdone

You can’t hardly tell that it was driving me crazy, could you?  (The encouraging answer here would be “No.”)

It’s too big for J, but that’s okay.  I can keep it safe for her (while wearing it).  I purposely made it a few repetitions longer, and I guess my knitting is always a bit loose.

Now, I’ve got to figure out what else to make.

And in other news: on Presidents’ Day, W and I saw Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Killer.  (Awww, yeah, ‘Merica!)  The movie was okay, but I think I must have a knee-jerk reaction to action movies these days.  It’s just too slick, and generic, and the analogy of slavers to vampires kind of doesn’t work.

Abraham Lincoln’s real-life mythos is a hard thing to overcome – he’s a towering figure in American history, and he doesn’t need to be a vampire killer to be awesome.  (In fact, it makes him a little bit diminished if that’s all he is.)  He’s my favorite president.  I was a fangirl from waaaaay back – like, second grade.  So, your media presentation better do it right, otherwise, it just won’t work for me.

I know I’ve said that if there were depictions of American historical figures as action figures, I’d be all over it, but this was not the way to do it.   I guess I meant it more cartoony – like anime style.

Besides, if you think about young Abraham Lincoln, dude was already an action figure.  Splitting all those logs?  Wrasslin’?  Circuit-riding?  Action-debating?  Rising from poverty and a harsh childhood to become President of the United States?  Aww, yeah, Abe.  You the man.

clash of the whoozits?

March 9, 2013

Recently saw the remake of Clash of the Titans.

Ugh.  Just terrible.  Not even so bad it’s good.  Just terrible.  Shitty writing, shitty direction, poor use of what is obviously too many resources.  An all-around rotten movie.

But probably better than the movie it started being.

From Wikipedia, “The Main villain was the Sumerian Sea Goddess of Death and Destruction, Tiamat. Perseus was originally kidnapped by an avatar of an unidentified Chthonian Earth Goddess, who planned to have him married to Andromeda so as to develop better relations with humanity. The Earth Goddess and Perseus proceed to fall in love. Zeus prepared to engage in war with Tiamat; taking the aids of other gods (such as Thoth, Marduk, Yahweh and Osiris). A High Priest named Fantasos starts a Cult of Tiamat that quickly conquers the city. Andromeda was originally a promiscuous spoiled Princess who possessed various male sex slaves.”

Like they were just cutting and pasting random words and images from an 1980’s D&D manual.  Ridiculous.  But in light of this information, the resulting movie is probably genius.

(In thinking about it, the wikipedia snippet sounds like fanfic on steroids – the stuff that other people spork.)

knitter down!

March 1, 2013

I have, somehow, lost the ability to count to 100.

There has got to be a word for this: numnesia?  Or, in bad latinate: nomnesia?

The current project has only 100 stitches.  I keep getting 99 or 101.  Or 50+49.  Or 49+52.  This happens to me occasionally and when it’s a simple little hat in a stockinette stitch, I let it go if no one would be able to tell.  Not this time.    This time, it’s in brioche stitch with contrasting colors, and so it matters for the way the whole pattern will look.  I put in a lifeline (a piece of yarn through the last good row) after the first time I messed up.  Good call.  I have ripped back twice already.  The same 4 rows.  k1k1b over and over and over.

Some of it is because I don’t know how to fix the brioche on the needle.  Most of it, though, is the sad fact that I just can’t count to 100.

Sigh.

Makes me think that writing fanfic, even the long-dead stories that I could never figure out a way to make work, is so much more appealing right now.

(Why can’t I just have a simple little hobby that I won’t drive myself crazy over?)