Posts Tagged ‘fandom’

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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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.)

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.

Meant to Be

February 19, 2013

Sometimes, talking to W is just the best.

I was saying something about how fandom loves Tony Stark (aka Ironman) and Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) paired up, romantically. It’s interesting to me, but I don’t know anything much about the background of the comics and I watched the movies half-asleep. I don’t mind reading some, even though it’s not my fandom, especially if the fics have been recommended to me. So I was just vocalizing my surprise at the EXPLOSION of fic when W says, “It’s obvious.”

Me: Why? (I am genuinely puzzled. I think the characters are interesting, but as I ain’t comix, I don’t know.)

W: Because bad boy/good boy dynamics, that’s why.

Me: (pondering) What? (Catching on) Oh. Oh! Oooooh.

He’s not even a fanboy, nor does he have the slash goggles (that I know of), but geez, he can sure cut through to the core, can’t he? (And I admire him for it.)

In knitting news, I finished his socks (and my second pair and my first toe-ups). It was almost a tragedy, as I had fitted the first sock on his foot the whole way – making him try it on every other row practically. The second sock I only tried on his foot a couple of times, so the ankle was bit tight. He said he couldn’t get it over his heel – but I was all, “GRR. You WILL put on this sock.  Even if I have to cut off the bind-off.” And he did, without cutting the binding-off, and he wore them the whole day, so it seemed okay. (Unless it was because he couldn’t take them off without fear of losing part of his foot.) He told me he isn’t going to be wearing them to work – they’re too short. He seems happy with them, though, so it’s a success.

I probably should have made the leg longer – if you look, they would have been close to identical if I’d made the first one (the one on the left) just a couple of inches taller in the leg.
wsock2

Edited to add: Yarn is Opal X-Large 8-fach, green-gray colorway.

summer crafting

September 4, 2012

So this is what I’ve been doing this summer.  A lot of tie-dying.  While poking around on the Internet, I saw this:  and thought, my kid would love it, and better yet, I could actually do that.   Regardless of me never having done any tie-dye ever.

Captain American Tie-Dye

This is the Captain America tie-dye.  Mine’s a little crooked, but my kid really likes it, so it’s a win. (He painted in the star stencil.)

Kid was so happy about these results, he asked for an Iron Man tie-dye.  So, I cogitated for a while and then decided on a conceptual Iron Man.

Iron Man tie-dye

Conceptual Iron Man tie-dye.

This also made kid happy.  I left the power source “arc reactor” bit white in case Henry wanted to paint it a light blue or something, but he has left it alone.

I ended up buying a big multi-color dye kit to do this and a bunch of fabric paint to do the Cap’n, so I tried some other things out.


The spider (can you see it in the center of the shirt?  It looks more like a squashed bug, but it is a neat effect) and the spiral.  Not professional, but I’m pretty happy with the results.  Tie-dye was really interesting to do, but the washing out is kind of time consuming.  Then I have to remember to be careful not to wash with other things because of the terrible amount of dye bleeding.

Things Meme made me do

July 21, 2012

I watched The Fifth Element.  You know, that cheeze-tastic movie with Bruce Willis and the lady without eyebrows, and directed by Luc Besson.

So, thanks to the internet, I figured out there’s a lot more going on in this movie than I first thought when my brother made me watch it when it first came out on DVD.  (It’s his favorite movie, by the way.  Honestly.  He loves it.  I think he has a bit of a crush on Bruce Willis.  Although to be fair, so did almost everybody in the world at one time or another.  I just didn’t think the bleach blond look did a lot for him – or the orange.  What is up with Gaultier and the orange in this movie?)   So now, I do respect it more.  Still not in the top ten, though.  Sorry, bro.

However, I did watch John Carter recently.  (Based on Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars books.)  I could give two nothings about the actual Princess or John Carter or their romance.  I was totally captivated by the Tharks (not the Martians).  Their horde, their rituals, their religion – even the overdone arena/gladiator scene is somehow new and fresh in this movie.  There’s something so awesome about them – I can’t quite explain it.  I also quite liked the bits of steampunk-ishness.

I’m afraid that John Carter might be my Fifth Element.  I can’t tell if it’s bad, because I am overwhelmed with the four-armed awesome that is the Tharks.  And Tars Tarkis.  And Solas.  All my tears for them.  It appears I am a sucker for weepy family tropes tucked into stupid sci-fi/fantasy novels.   And alien physiology.   Sigh.  (Maybe it’s just alien weepy family tropes that I like.  I do have trouble with John Carter wearing his wife’s wedding ring with his ring on the same finger.  Yes, I know, angst.  Still, his wife either had a really fat ring finger or John Carter has unusually skinny fingers.  My mother, who is zaftig and a bit taller than my father, still wears a smaller ring than he does, because he’s got big knuckles, like most guys I know. )

Now I want to go out and read the books, but I’m afraid I won’t like them.  Because they’re full of the problematic stuff of a 100 years ago.  And not just any 100 years ago, but the 100 years of the most id-ficcy Ur-tropey dude-bro thing ever.   Maybe when I have time, and find the books my brother’s got.  I just don’t want to shell out the money for this yet.

More Thor-ness

July 7, 2012

I was going to write some more fic, but found myself staring at the screen and checking email.  Go me.

So now, I will post my thoughts (scintillating) about having actually seen Thor, the movie.  (I am so edgy, you’d best keep your distance, else you might get cut.  Ha.)

ALIENS?!

ALIENS?!  What the ever-loving thing was the writer thinking?  They should know better!  Technology so advanced = magic bleh trope.  THOR’S A DIETY, NOT E.T.

I’m so irritated, it ended up in capslock.

At least he didn’t end up with the girl.  (I do think it would be nicer for her to end up a lesbian with Darcy, but there you go.)

I kept running this through my head, trying to figure out the best way this piece of fanart might actually turn into decent fanfic – but all the true horrors and pleasures of fanfic escape this movie.  There is no gratuitous sex, gay or otherwise, there is no real clothing/furniture/technology pron.  There is a little bit of woobie.  Okay, movie, I’ll give you that.  But nobody is getting their id stroked from what bits were available.  It’s not really long enough for the scenes that are most interesting, and the scenes that draw out forever (getting to the hammer) are kind of unnecessary.  Also, what – the sword in the stone analogue?  *rolls eyes*

I was a little irritated with the whole Marvel Universe thing coming over and over, but it is a franchise so you have to allow for them to sell it.  Never mind the Grape Nuts they were also trying to sell.  (Did anybody else notice that?)

I also have a hard time buying most actors as scientists/nerds.  I just do.  I have spent my life around them and being one and it’s just different.   What Hollywood thinks is nerdy and scientific is not what I have seen.  Fake glasses don’t cut it.  Nor do whimsical t-shirts.  Will think more and come back to this.

Naruto Shippuden 4 Movie Review

December 12, 2011

Hey!

I just finished watching the Naruto Shippuden 4 movie.  It was okay.  Standard good guys vs disposable bad guys to save a princess.  With time travel and mysterious source of Never-Ending Chakra.  And puppets!  The trailers were full of their terrible teasing about the meeting of Minato and Naruto (father and son who canonically never really meet).  And yes, they did meet, but the movie danced around the issue terrible.

There was a little bit of waste about the side characters – but given the time constraints of the movie, the writers obviously decided to go with one group of characters over another, and that makes sense.  (When one is in the Naruto fandom, one gets used to having one set or another shafted, so it really doesn’t matter.  I didn’t have any real favorites in this, so I feel sort of even-keeled about it.)  I liked the distinct lack of ship material here – which is sort of nice.

Then there’s the ending – which had me all full of sadness and melancholy for what might have been had Naruto and Minato been able to remember their meeting.  It came out of nowhere, which might have been part of its power.  (Where Minato might have mouthed something?  What is it?!  Trying to lip read an animated movie in a language you don’t know is stupid, but I still tried.)  No lie, my eyes went sort of damp.  But I’m a huge sap like that.

Also, I am a complete and total sucker for the melancholy of “what might have been” sorts of stories.  You know the one where the love of your life takes the stairs instead of the elevator – that same elevator where you’re supposed to meet in some other universe.  I suppose that’s why I write the fanfic.  Especially for the series I do, because it is full of the “what might have been” scenarios.

A while ago, I remember reading a review for “The Lion King” and it said something about the hunger for father figures, so even though Mufasa was in there a short period of time, he was such a strong, ideal figure of a father that it made a huge impact.  I think that is what the bits of Minato in this movie did for me, really.  Because honestly, the Naruto manga is sort of crap for mother figures, but it does father figures okay, and then they all *spoiler* die or disappear somehow.  And Minato is totally Mufasa – a wise, strong leader who dies for his people/son.

There is a huge hunger in the Naruto fandom for a father figure who will stay around.  I believe so, anyway.  Partly because of the amount of fanfic for Minato, and partly because of the gasps of horror and shock when yet another important parental figure disappears.  (*Shakes fist over Jiraiya’s passing and Iruka’s virtual drop down the elevator shaft.*)  Partly because of the slow acceptance of future teacher/father figures – the readers have been sort of scarred by now.  It’s hard to love again.

Which is sort of how I’m taking the movie.  I didn’t love it, but I liked it okay.  It’s worth the time, if you’re sick and don’t have a lot to do and your expectations were suitably low.  I did like it – don’t get me wrong.  I just don’t think it was worth a lot of hype.  And yes, I’d see more like it.  But I’m a fan, and fans do stupid things all the time.

NaNo no-no’s

November 8, 2011

Things I need to remember not to do while working on NaNo project.

Start panicking about your word count.  I think I’m a few thousand behind – and if I extrapolate, it makes me well over 10k behind for the end.  This does not include the holidays, which I will be far from home and the comforts of my writing place.  I’ll most likely have internet, but that’s no guarantee I won’t just give up.  Grah.

Posting finished stories.  I’ve finished a few one-shots, and my usual recovery period has been compromised, of necessity.  But I think I’m taking it out on myself in other ways – getting less sleep so I can surf the internet, things like that.

Editing.  I think I’ve deleted almost as many words as I’ve kept.  Got to stop that.  (I think I will take deleted words and put them into a special file to pad out my NaNo.  I don’t know if this is against the rules, but it is driving me crazy, thinking about my word counts.  I edit as I go, and lots of times I start my writing sessions with editing the previous session and this is process is just sort of bringing me down.)

Reading any meta.  I like all the discussions about social justice and perpetuation of tropes/stereotypes and the white male hegemony, but reading them while doing NaNo is totally wrong.  I’m second-guessing every other word now because I don’t to be part of the problem.  Dang!  I should just be writing, even if it’s horrible politically incorrect fart jokes, right?

Start watching new television show.  W and I decided, a little whimisically, that we could try watching the BBC Sherlock show from our online media streaming provider.  So, we’re one episode in and I think I’d like to shotgun the rest, mostly to the detriment of my free time and my writing.  While this is nice, and I believe I’m sucking W into the fandom huddle, I think this is counterproductive.

Something I have done that seems like a good idea is set up a spreadsheet of all my words.  I’ve pecked away at 5 different stories now.   We’ll see how far that goes.  This is also partly because I can not figure out how to navigate the NaNo website – it is a bit hard to figure out where one is supposed to put stuff (like daily word counts, or track interesting discussion threads).

I want to think this is done purposefully, so as to force the writers to actually write instead of wasting precious time surfing the site, but I don’t believe this is so.   It’s just a little website thrown together for the cheap for a project of crazies like me.  (As opposed to me being a total dummy.)

my co-pilot

October 21, 2011

I mentioned the possibility of writing something steampunk with W recently. We talked about how awful the Victorians were. And then how I was still getting sucked into the idea of an airship pilot thing – but yet how I was driven insane by the idea of how much training each person must have, how big a ship could be, the ranks on an airship, what background knowledge a pilot of that period must have. W was then later pretty cute. He handed me a book from his personal library about Darwin’s first ship captain – as an analogue for some of that kind of thing. I guess I’m just going to have that write that thing now.  (Yes, this is how we do cute.  We trade books.  Don’t judge.)

I have the outline scratched out already. It’s turning into a regency romance, but with airships. I don’t know how this happens with things in my head, but there you go.  (W might be conscripted into reading draft – but I’m not certain this is his cup of tea.  Too bad, W.  That’s what you get for being so cute.)

And in another news, I think I’ve mostly finished my first attempt at exchange fic. Now I’ve got to finish up second attempt and figure out what to do with it. Can I submit it, do you think? Would it be worth hurrying up to do so? Hmm. Deep questions. The kind of questions that require something starchy and sweet to ponder. Maybe a babysitter too.