resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
No! It's not over! [personal profile] wanted_a_pony asks: Are there fandom(s) for which you *only* enjoy fanworks, but you don't intend to (or actively dislike) the canon whatever-it-is? What is/are they?

This is a great question, and the answer is: Most of them.

Fandoms for which I genuinely like the source material, and would enjoy it and seek it out whether there were fanworks or not: Due South. The Discworld books and Good Omens. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Jeeves and Wooster (stories). The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings (novels). Horatio Hornblower (stories and novels). Georgette Heyer novels. Pixar movies. John Hughes movies. MASH.

Fandoms where the source material is entertaining, but fanworks add something significant to my engagement with it: Sherlock Holmes (storles and novels) and most of the Holmes movies/series1. Most any Disney cartoon (except Lilo & Stitch, which is perfect unto itself, perfect, I tell you2).

Fandoms where I really can't take the source material very seriously except as a kit that fans will take apart and reassemble into something actually worth our time: Marvel Cinematic Universe. James Bond movies. Harry Potter (both novels and movies). Angel (TV series). Star Trek (all series and all movies, including reboot). Stargate SG1 and Stargate Atlantis. Star Wars (original trilogy, The Force Awakens, and Rogue One). The Losers, the Magnificent Seven remake, and other such festivals of beefcake. Supernatural. Teen Wolf. X-Men. Inception. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings (movies).

Fandoms where the source material is barely tolerable and redeemed only by the fanworks: Leverage. Star Wars (prequels). Merlin. And please forgive me, but: The Sentinel.


1Exception: The Ritchie movies. Beautiful as they are, I cannot enjoy these movies, and I cannot enjoy any fanworks based on them, because the relationship between Holmes and Watson is so full of resentment and hard feelings, and that relationship is really the main thing for me.

2Not that I wouldn't enjoy any Jumba/Pleakley fanworks you wanted to point me at.


How would your list be different from mine? This was a fascinating exercise.

And I'll be out of wifi range till Tuesday, but y'all know you can ask me a question anytime.
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] muccamukk asks: Moments in canon that still emotionally resonate with you, many years later.

A nice one to end the meme with!

- Fraser in "Asylum" saying, "You didn't shoot that man," and when Ray tries to talk him out of his certainty he says, "I know you."

- I'm not even especially fannish about these characters, but the moment in "The Breakfast Club" when Andrew the jock is talking to Allison the basket case about parents, and he says, "What do they do to you?" and she says, "They ignore me."

- I was sold on Harry Potter when the snake at the zoo said, "Brazil, here I come." It wasn't just the worldbuilding but the wit.

- Zelenka's description of Atlantis coming up from under the water -- he was speaking poetry, and if you didn't look up a translation, you'd never know.

- Any Sherlock Holmes adaptation is going to live or die in my esteem by how it treats John Watson. BBC Sherlock sold me in the exchange where Sherlock asks what John would be thinking if he were dying. "Please let me live," John says. Sherlock scoffs, "Use your imagination," and John says, "I don't have to."

Go here to add your own question.

The questions thus far are under here. )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
Yeah, I skipped a day; I spent the evening at both a City Council meeting and an overlong school concert. (I feel sorry for the orchestra kids; by the time it's their turn, everybody's looking at their watches.)

[personal profile] kass asks: what fannish character is bringing you the most joy right now?

I'm ... not feeling the fannish joy right now.

Bits of it are there. There's a stage in every book I read, every movie I see, where I'm thinking, "Oh, hey, this person could be matched with that person ... this universe could cross over with that other universe." But somehow it doesn't catch.

I think there are two things going on:

1. The source media themselves are more fanfic-savvy now, and so nothing totally loses control of its subtext the way it used to in the old days.

I can't imagine anybody making entertainment in 2016 without being aware that viewers/readers will consider the possibility that characters are attracted to one another even if you didn't write them to be attracted to one another -- even if they are [gasp] the same gender. You'd have to be living under a rock on another planet to have missed that development.

And of course to the extent that this gets us actual non-heterosexual characters that's a great thing, though that part is not moving along quite as briskly as I would like.

But -- like, we're now getting classic Trek out of the library and watching it. And nothing equals the accidental subtext-fest that was classic Trek. I can see where the people who were slashing classic Trek could feel like they were totally stealing the archetypes and totally expressing the true nature of the show at the same time. There's nothing like that now.

2. I'm not interacting enough with fans (a situation that's unlikely to change until my nest goes empty next fall), and it's just no fun to be fannish alone.


Go here to add your own question.

The questions thus far are under here. )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] kass asks: What do you enjoy most about parenting a kidlet of this age?

Oh, man, this age is the best. This age is ... when I think about it, it almost seems unethical. I have basically genetically engineered and hand-trained my own ideal roommate.

The parenting role starts out every-waking-hour-and-then-some at birth, and gradually, pretty steadily, shrinks. Getting accustomed to the shrinkage may be the challenge of parenthood -- remembering that six-year-olds don't need you to be responsible for most of their clothing choices and ten-year-olds don't need you to be responsible for their bladders and fourteen-year-olds don't need you to be responsible for their friendships.

By now, I don't really have to exercise my "authority." I have just enough superiority in life experience that I'm occasionally called upon to give advice, which is good for my ego, and just enough difference in personality type that I'm the Family List-Keeper, and that's about it.

(I didn't mind exercising authority when the kidlet was smaller and life required it, but it does take energy. It's very restful to be able to say, "Well, if you make that choice, what do you predict the consequences will be? OK, does that sound good to you? Cool, you've made a decision. Good talk.")

So the only thing I don't like about it is looking at the pileup of college mailings and knowing how soon it's going to end!


Go here to add your own question.

The questions thus far are under here. )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
In the absence of a question for today, I'm just going to toss this out there:

I'm semi-voluntarily* devouring Ben Aaronovitch's "Rivers of London" novels and so far quite enjoying them. These are books that feature a cop who's an apprentice wizard, and also such supernatural characters as something kind of vampirish, something kind of dwarfish, something kind of goblinish, and the human incarnations of the spirits of all the rivers.

So the Rivers series is especially lovely in its sense of place, and in Moon Over Soho, I came upon this description:

Cheam is another typical outer London village that acquired, in short order, a railway station, some posh detached villas in the late-Victorian style, and finally a smothering blanket of mock-Tudor semis built in the 1930s. Cheam is what the green belt was established to prevent happening to the rest of southeast England. Pictures of Cheam adorn the walls of planning offices of every Home County to serve as an awful warning.


Which made me think, as one does, how much I'd like to see Aziraphale and Crowley in this universe.

It would be a challenge, since the Good Omens mythos is Christian (for values of Christian that are very interested in the Genesis and Revelation and not too much interested in anything in between) and the Rivers mythos is so cheerfully pagan. But that might be part of the fun -- poor Aziraphale would have a crisis if he had to admit that he liked a genius loci.



* By semi-voluntarily I mean that I'm enjoying them very much, but a long vacation and a Jeeves and Wooster anthology taught me not to binge-read the works of a single author in a single universe; too much risk of the author's quirks becoming annoying via repetition. HOWEVER, the library owned Book 1 and Book 5, so not unreasonably I put in a Request To Purchase form suggesting that they maybe consider buying Books 2, 3, and 4 ... and when they bought them, they immediately checked them out to me. So I'm trying to finish them before they're due back.



Go here to add your own question.

The questions thus far are under here. )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] zulu asks: best vacation/break you ever had?

That would have to be our honeymoon!

This was in 1989, so pre-internet. The spouse, who is comically inept at organization most of the time, somehow managed to put together this lovely tour of multiple bed-and-breakfast type places in multiple towns up and down through New England. It was mid-October, and the leaves were falling. We went to 18th-century graveyards in Boston, rented bicycles on Nantucket, visited the official shop of the official witch of Salem. Once it rained all day, and we stayed in the library of the inn we were staying at and read books, and the inn's two standard poodles (I still remember that one of them was named Lili Marlene) kept us very dignified company while wearing matching sweaters.

The one thing that we hadn't planned on was needing to spend one night on the road between New England and central Illinois. I was doing all the driving because we were in my car and the spouse couldn't drive stick yet, and when I hit the point of total driver's exhaustion, we stopped at a place called the Stardust Motor Inn near Schenectady, New York, which was the worst kind of no-name motel imaginable. The woman who checked us in was wearing green face makeup, and we had been out of touch for so long that it was only when we were in the room that we figured out that this was because it was Halloween.

Go here to add your own question.

The questions thus far are under here. )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] james asks: Who is the most obscure composer, band, or individual musician that you adore?

I don't quite know if you can call them a band -- more of an event -- but I love the Revels. I first met them via Christmas music, of course, but they also have collections for other seasons, and one on a seagoing theme, and others as well. There's not just one Revels, either; I have music from the Portland Revels and the California Revels.

This is music that you want to get on CD so you can read the booklet. I've learned all kinds of things about the history of music, or history through music, from the Revels.

It's a dream of mine to actually see a Revels show, but since I seem to keep moving further and further away from big cities, I don't know how likely it is.

I also have some much-loved songs from Solstice Assembly. The CD notes said something like, "This collection was born when I thought to myself, 'What if the Revels came to my town and they didn't invite me?!'" They seem a bit more irreverent than the Revels.



Christmas Revels:
Aro Que Nostre Seign'Es Nat
Malpas Wassail
Traveller's Prayer (for your pagan needs)

Non-Christmas Revels:
The Merry Horn
Anchor Song
Le Semeur



Solstice Assembly
The Ripe and Bearded Barley
Roulez!
No Ozone


Go here to add your own question.

The questions thus far are under here. )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] james asks: Which (if any) Harry Potter book is the best totally on its own, with no meta or context or fanfic to bolster it up?

First I eliminated Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows. They're too tied up in the 7-book arc to be accessible to someone who hasn't read the rest of the books, and frankly they needed some editing that they didn't get. If you weren't already in love with the universe and the characters, I'm not sure you'd read them and say, "These are good books."

Then I eliminated Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone, because if you take it on its own instead of with its series, it's a children's book. It's the door into everything we all loved, but taken on its own, there's not enough to it.

At that point, left with Books 2 through 5, I was at a loss. So I punted the question to the kidlet, who just re-read the whole series last month.

After some thought (but not really very much thought), the kidlet said, "Prisoner of Azkaban. Because Voldemort doesn't dominate the whole plot. He's part of the worldbuilding."

Also: the Marauders in person, and their relationship with Snape; Dementors and Patronuses or possibly Patroni; Buckbeak; Time-Turners ...

I can't disagree.


Go here to add your own question.

The questions thus far are under here. )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] mific asks: If you had to give up one of your 5 senses (you know, to save Atlantis or Benton Fraser's life, or suchlike), which would it be and why?

Oh, wow. This is a really tough one. I don't wanna!

Lose vision and I lose the ability to drive a car or read a book. I know there are lots of people who get along without their vision, but given the choice, I'm going to take an easier option.

I'm somewhat hard of hearing as it is, and it's incredibly frustrating. Give up hearing altogether and I lose music. There has to be an easier option.

I once knew a woman who had lost her sense of smell -- something about a severe disease when she was a toddler? She told me that when you lose smell, you also lose taste; she could enjoy spicy food and variations in temperature, but generally she found eating to be a chore. And think of the access to memory that you'd lose if you lost smell! This is not a loss that would interfere with work or hobbies, no, but it would take so much of the fun out of life.

Losing the sense of touch sounds dangerous. It would deprive me of everything from itching to pressure to heat and cold sensitivity to my sense of balance.

So I think we're down to taste. I'd hate to see it go -- I'd probably lose the pleasure of cooking as well as the pleasure of eating -- but it seems like the lesser of five evils.



Go here to add your own question.

The questions thus far are under here. )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] james asks: Is there a tv show or movie that you would pay a billion dollars to get either a re-working of an episode or a sequel to? (It might not cost that much. Millions.) Because sometimes fanfic isn't enough, you just need to see it on-screen.

Wow. Where even to begin?

All respect to Maggie Smith and Alan Rickman, but I'd like to see the Harry Potter series done with the teachers cast at the correct ages. I believe we have canon that Snape, Lupin, and Black should all have been in their early thirties at the start of the series. The HP wikia gives McGonagall a birth date of 1935 and puts her leaving Hogwarts in 1957, making Maggie Smith about the right age, but I don't know where those numbers come from; she's described with dark hair, and I pictured her in her early fifties.

But if I only have enough for one thing, I'm not sure I'd squander it on that.

No, you know what I'd spend it on? A reboot of "The Breakfast Club," that's what! Update the stereotypes (in the 21st century you'd have to have at least one character gay, for one thing, and an all-white cast would not fly) ... the parenting issues and the school problems probably wouldn't need any changes ... if I have my preferences, the nerd character won't be stuck doing everybody's homework while everyone else pairs off ...

I would so watch that!





Go here to add your own question.

The questions thus far are under here. )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] reginagiraffe asks: what was the best birthday present you ever got? (You can supply your own definition of "best".)

I never wanted to be a hard person to buy for, but apparently I am. One year the kidlet drew me a bookmark with a picture of our cat Alice (who died before the kidlet was born) being typically bossy and persnickety, and I've lost it the way readers always lose bookmarks, but I remember it very fondly.

However, the birthday that gained me the best haul of gifts was 2006, when fandom really outdid itself.





Go here to add your own question.

The questions thus far are under here. )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
Before beginning, a story. The kidlet says to me, "I need help finding a fanfiction. I've been looking all day long. It was Harry/Draco, and it involved a snake that was a gift from Draco's father."

I said, "Well, I'll be surprised if my first guess turns out to be correct, but ... Lustre? Julad and Calico?"

Yep! That was the one!


[personal profile] julad asks: What was publishing Exog like for you? The good, the not so good, the unexpected.

I think the best thing was that Amanda Jean, my editor, turned out to be of the fannish persuasion! The editing process was great, partly because she found some small ways to make the story flow better, and partly because it was a validation of the whole beta process; it turned out that the manuscript was quite clean.

The fact that the story was written so long ago troubled me; I would love to have a lively writing life happening right now, but I so very much don't, and here's this publication sitting there ... it feels a little like getting invited to a masquerade and dressing up as something you could be and have been (and, lord willing, will be again) but currently are not.

I have to admit, I was hoping it would earn more than a week's groceries cost. But considering that it required almost no new labor, what little money I got from it feels like money for nearly nothing.



Go here to add your own question.

The questions thus far are under here. )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
9. [personal profile] china_shop asks: Thoughts about writing original fic vs writing fanfic, whether it's different processes, different feelings (or the same process, and the same feelings), or whatever.

My writerly self-image is of a person who is bad at plot and conflict, good at smoothly flowing sentences, and better than decent at characterization.

But characterization in fanfiction is completely different from characterization in original fiction.

Once I've got a character who's fully real in my head, I can do the same thing I do when writing fanfiction: say, "This person refuses to say those words, and insists on saying these other words instead." But it's difficult to get there. Many of my characters come out flat; others refuse to coalesce, but remain a collection of traits that don't come together to form a real person.




Go here to add your own question.

The questions thus far are under here. )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] monanotlisa asks: What's the hardest thing to write for you, and how do you get around it and yet write it?

Word by word, sentence by sentence, even paragraph by paragraph, I find writing very easy. On top of the usual ways that writers get educated, I was also a journalism major in college, which means I spent hours, literal hours, doing nothing but re-wording a page full of sentences to improve their parallel structure.

But I find it incredibly hard to make things happen.

Left to themselves, my characters want to sit in vaguely drawn rooms and have conversations. Or sometimes my narrators want to describe things. In depth.

This is especially a problem when the story in question involves any sort of worldbuilding. I've built a world; the most fun thing I can imagine is to let some characters just go wander around in it, picking things up and looking at them. You remember in "Groundhog Day" the montage where the Bill Murray character just experiments with the terms of his curse? Tries things that ought to kill him, and wakes up the next morning ... learns what everybody in town is doing so that he can catch people who fall? My writing wants to be nothing but that montage.

And I'm afraid that the only way I can write meaningful conflict is to make a great slog of it. It takes forever for it to come to life and flow -- while I'm waiting for that to happen, I have to write hundreds, thousands of words that are like walking in knee-deep mud, knowing that once the life finally comes into the thing I'm going to have to go back and rewrite all that sloggy stuff to make it sound good. (I think this paragraph contains several contradictory metaphors, but what the hell. It's a good example of what I'm talking about.)

I'm sure there's a point at which I will have had enough practice that it will get easier, but it hasn't happened yet.







Go here to add your own question.

The questions thus far are under here. )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k asks: What's a garment that's well-loved by fandom, to the point of fanonization, that you really don't care for. Examples might be Fraser's hat; Ronon's gun; Sherlock's coat...

This is surprisingly difficult! I find I'm full of affection for all the ones you listed, not to mention RayK's glasses, and Snape's hat with a vulture on it, and even Blair Sandburg's Schrodinger's nipple ring.

I did from time to time get tired of authors dressing BBC Sherlock in the purple shirt, but why should they be expected to have any more restraint than canon?


Go here to add your own question.

The questions thus far are under here. )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] cesperanza asks: What three things do you find unexpectedly sexy?

1. Glasses. Pretty much anyone who's attractive to me without glasses is about four times as attractive with them.

2. Singing. I'm constantly getting choir crushes because people become more attractive when they're singing harmony with me.

3. Moving toward the center of the gender spectrum. To make a woman more attractive to me, give her a butch haircut or a wardrobe low in ornaments. To make a man more attractive to me, give him jewelry.



Go here to add your own question.

The questions thus far are under here. )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] grammarwoman asks: what's a go-to comfort meal for you?

When I'm looking for a comfort meal, I get breakfasty.

- When I was a kid, my mother used to make "fried" apples (actually sort of braised), and I'll still make them as part of breakfast-for-dinner -- unpeeled, cored and sliced, softened in butter and then cooked with brown sugar and a bit of water or cider until they're nice and soft.

- Another childhood favorite is the thing where you butter a slice of bread on both sides, cut a hole in the middle, and break an egg into it. We called it "egg in a nest."

- If I want the kind of meal where I'm going to cook all afternoon, I love the Cook's Illustrated chicken potpie, which is basically a thick chicken stew cooked in a pie shell. As I type this, I'm wondering what would happen if you used some other kind of stew for a potpie? I have a cauliflower-and-cheese soup recipe that I'm very fond of; if I left some of the vegetables chunky, instead of pureeing the whole thing, would that make a decent potpie? Or is meat required?



Go here to add your own question.

The questions thus far are under here. )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] armadillo1976 asks: Dec 4. From the perspective of a parent of a big(ish) kid, what do you remember most/best from the time your kid was 1-2? (Asking as a mom of a 1.5 year old, terrified that she is going to forget all the love and beauty and mess of these times...)

... yeah, I wish I had kept a journal, because my memories of that time are so sparse. And the photos are all prints, so they don't just come up when I'm scrolling through my phone.

I remember that the second Christmas, my brother-in-law sent the kidlet some electronic toy, and the kidlet touched it, and it sprang to life with a musical chord and a cartoonish voice saying, "Hi, there!", and the kidlet very firmly pushed it away and said, "Too noising."

I remember being up until the middle of the night putting the damned kitchen set together -- it was a gift from my parents, and I had assumed that it arrived all assembled (poor innocent that I was), so it hadn't occurred to me to open it up in advance. But I remember that kitchen set so fondly, and all the imaginary meals cooked on it, and all the conversations with "Mrs. Moldiwarp" had on the attached phone.

Mom remembers the kidlet climbing up to the back of the big chair (the one I'm sitting in now) with the Little Golden Book of Christmas Carols, singing some random words, climbing down, and saying, "Sing Si' Night book self!"

An older friend of mine used to tell me, "The hours are long but the years are short," and that is so true.




Go here to add your own question.

The questions thus far are under here. )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] mific asks: Do you enjoy Christmas more, or less, now the kidlet's older?

I have mixed feelings. Every now and then I catch myself looking longingly at a toy catalog or a coloring book. Little kids actually like toys and play with them. Teenagers give you a sympathetic glance full of shared nostalgia, but really all they want is money.

On the other hand, when your kid is a high school senior:

- Yes, there are still kids' performances to go to this time of year, but they're well-done and genuinely entertaining.
- If something needs assembly, you can hand it to the kid and say, "Here. Your eyes are better than mine."
- You don't have that period right after a gift-giving holiday when your living room is so full of brightly colored plastic that you can't walk across it.
- Teenagers know their limits, so you don't have to be the one doing all the tantrum-prevention duty.

I got particularly lucky because the kidlet's new favorite thing to do on Christmas morning is cook a huge breakfast.

So I'd have to say that on the whole the balance is with the older kid.

On the other hand, my best friend, who got her spawning done much younger than I did, has been rewarded with a brand-new grandchild, and that's looking like it might be the best option of all.



Go here to add your own question.

The questions thus far are under here. )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
Another day of making up my own question: A few excellent books I read this year.

  • Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters In the End. A moving and fascinating study of old age, part journalism and part essay. The spouse lost his mother this year, and his father is in an assisted-living apartment now instead of in his own house in California, so this felt very relevant -- but of course it's always relevant. I'd recommend it to everyone.

  • Daryl Gregory, Raising Stony Mayhall. Don't expect me to recommend a zombie book ever again, because generally it's a field in which I have zero interest. But one way to get my attention is to write the book from the POV of the zombie.

  • Elisabeth Tova Bailey, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating. Get this one on paper rather than in an e-book so you can enjoy the drawings. The author was bedridden with a mysterious illness, and someone brought her a snail. She didn't have the energy to do anything else, so she watched the snail. It's a great book.

  • Gail Carson Levine, Ella Enchanted. Everyone already knows what this one is about, but it was a good sharp look at a fairy tale trope.

    Go here to add your own question.

    The questions thus far are under here. )

June 2017

S M T W T F S
    123
4567 8910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930 

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags