selenak: (Live long and prosper by elf of doriath)
( Nov. 4th, 2015 09:31 am)
Due to Darth Real Life, in all brevity, some fannish news:

1.) New Star Trek tv series: a cautious yay! ST always works better on tv, that's the format it was invented for, and a tv series won't have to come up with a save the world/universe - defea the supervillain plot every time. Plus it can develop an ensemble of characters. Also, Alex Kurtzmann has plenty of tv experience between Alias, Lost and Fringe. On the downside: if the cinema rebootverse is any indication, Kurtzmann (and not writing the tv series ex pal Orci) aren't good with alien races, which is an absolut must for any ST. (One word: Romulans. Oh, the indignity!) Then again, that could be because of the cinema format.

2.) BBC series based on His Dark Materias: also looking forward to it. I'm not in love with the Pullmann novels, but they, too, are far more suited for a tv adaption than for a cinematic one, hence failure of Golden Compass movie some years back.

3.) Yuletide: haven't started canon review for my assignment yet, but I've been possessed by the urge to write one particular prompt ever since spotting it, and this morning I got up early and finished a rough draft for a Yuletide treat.

And now: back to work.
selenak: (Hitchcock by Misbegotten)
( Oct. 31st, 2015 10:25 am)
Yuletide assignment: more generic than most I got - basically it amounts to "more of what canon does so well" (which I sympathize with, since I have fandoms where I want just that, too). I can work with that, since I love the canon in question (obviously) and it leaves me ample manvoeuvring room. But because there's no specific prompt, I'm currently at sea as to what the plot might be...

Meanwhile, I did a meme and fed it some of my stories in various fandoms. Fitting the day, the first result I got was this:

I write like
Edgar Allan Poe

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

What surprises me about this is that the story in question was a Breaking Bad one, Blood Ties, about the relationship between Marie and Skyler. Mind you, I love Poe, but he's not the voice that comes to mind when thinking of either Breaking Bad in general or this story in particular.

Next, I tried one of my adventures into RPF, to wit, the one where Mary Renault meets Alfred Hitchcock, Saving Mrs Fleming. This led to vile slander:

I write like
Dan Brown

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

Were it the real life prominent names? Hitch trying to lure Mary to the cinema side at the British Museum? I protest, anyway.

Still reeling, I tried a Once upon a Time story next, the one about Snow and Regina. Which had this result:

I write like
Anne Rice

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

As long as it's early Anne Rice, when she still had an editor, I'm good with this. (And suspect the result came through all the fairy tale related words.)

Anyway, it seems I write differently for every fandom?
selenak: (Jimmy and Kim)
( Oct. 22nd, 2015 09:01 am)
Dear Yuletide writer,

thank you SO MUCH for writing a story for me. I really appreciate it. Since we're matched in at least one fandom, we share at least some objects of enthusiasm. Let's see whether there are some more:

General likes and dislikes: I'm easy to please. As a writer, I'm a gen girl at heart, but as a reader, I'm game for anything - slash (meaning both m/m and f/f), het, gen, whathever suits your own preferences. Only one of my requests includes the wish for one particular pairing. While I admire people who can unite actual plot with character exploration, you don't have to; if it can be only one of the two, go for the character exploration. Regarding AUs: generally, I'd rather not with this years' requests. I'm fond of the characters in their particular setting and canon. Crossovers: depends on whether or not I know the canon. Feel free to browse through my journal in order to find out, if you want to take the additional trouble. I like a cool crossover as much as the next fan, but it would be wasted on me if I haven't the slightest idea who half of the cast is.

Speaking of the cast: while I love some characters more than others, I only requested fandoms where I like the entire ensemble. Which means that if your favourite isn't among the characters I mentioned in my requests, and you find away to weave him/her into the story, go for it. I love ensemble interaction!

Squicks: BDSM, parent-child incest, Alpha-Omega or whatever it's called, character bashing. Several of the fandoms I requested have canonical rape in them, and if you want to explore the effects it had on the characters in question, I'm okay with that. But please avoid coming up with new additional rape scenarios. As for uncanonical character death, if you must. It's not a squick for me, and you don't have to warn for it if the story demands it. However, DON'T do it as a form of character bashing, i.e. Character X annoys you, therefore X must die.

On to my particular requests:

The Americans )

Black Sails )

Matthew Shardlake Series - C. J. Sansom )

Better Call Saul )

In conclusion: I hope you've found a scenario that appeals to you, and look forward to reading the result.

Your grateful recipient
Last night, the Frankfurt Book Fair was opened, so in the next few days, it'll be books, books, books for me, and also politics, because as the opening speeches showed, the refugees (and certain infuriating people on the right) are so much on everyone's mind that you can't not debate. However, the fannish part of me did notice something:

All the accepted Yuletide nominations are up. I'm glad, because not only were all my nominations accepted but the coordination in the fandoms worked really well - Black Sails has 15 characters to choose form, The Americans 17. (!) (No one else nominated the Shardlake novels, but never mind, one can't have everything.)

Then there are a couple of fandoms I can offer in, and some I might be able to do a treat for if I have the time, but won't offer because it really depends on the prompt. Mind you, there are also a couple of fandoms where I would offer and every nominated character, too, but for the fact this could end up in landing me pairings I really don't want to write. The usual way to avoid this is to not offer one part of the pairing. The problem: take Bates Motel. I'd love to write about Emma, especially her relationship with Norma. I also would write about Dylan, in the context of his family. I just don't want to write Emma/Dylan, which is a popular pairing, so if I offer both of them, I have visions of being landed with just this combination. Penny Dreadful offers some similar problems, i.e. there's virtually no character I can't imagine writing about, but...

Anyway, that still leaves me with enough fandoms to offer. As for requests: I already have some pretty specific ideas. And now I'm off to the fair!
I seem to have done something wrong with my Yuletide nominations. I just checked whether or not they were accepted, and they came across as unsent altogether. :(

ETA: Thankfully, I worried for naught. I was instructed on how to look properly, and lo, the nominations were sent. PHEW.

Also I just returned from a great matinee celebrating Michael Ende (the writer) and his father, the painter Edgar Ende (the occasion is the 20th anniversary of Michael's death and the 40th of Edgar's), and while the matinee itself was fabulous, a great mixture of prose text excerpts and songs written by Michael Ende together with anecdotes by his illustrator and friend, plus an exhibition of Edgar's paintings, I learned something terribly sad. Now I've known ever since his original indignant interviews back in the 80s that Michael Ende despised and hated (the later term is not too strong in this case) the movie version of The Never-Ending Story, but I hadn't known until today there was an additional reason for this beyond "author despises film version of work due to it getting all he cares about completely wrong". Michael Ende and his wife, actress Ingeborg Hoffmann, lived in Genzano di Roma, and when the movie The Never-Ending Story hit the local cinema, Ende told his wife "you don't have to watch it" - he himself had done so at a preview in Munich, and had been vocally appalled - "but if you must, it's here now, it'll probably be your last chance". She went and watched. And got so upset that she got a pulmonary embolism and died. She literally got transported out of the cinema by the ambulance to her deathbed in the hospital.

There are a lot of authors who feel wronged by translations of their work into other media, and you might agree or disagree with this, but this event certainly sets a kind of morbid record for "author's life ruined by film based on his work"....
While pondering this year's Yuletide options, I received last night a wonderful, unexpected gift from last year, as one of my prompts from then has resulted in this terrific story:

Lydia Gwilt in the American Melodrama Novel, or The Bride And Some Other People In The Tomb (10462 words) by Blueinkedfrost
Chapters: 13/13
Fandom: Armadale - Wilkie Collins
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Lydia Gwilt
Additional Tags: Adventure, Mystery, Supernatural - Freeform, bloodthirsty murder, antihero protagonist, Mrs Alex. McVeigh Miller

Lydia Gwilt goes to America and has further adventures. There's a bride, a tomb, bloodthirsty murder, Spiritualism, monsters of various kinds, and maybe even a new passion for our brave antiheroine. Epistolary fic.

Lydia Gwilt from Wilkie Collins' novel Armadale is my favourite Collins character by far (she also was my first antiheroine, and remains a favourite redhead), and her witty, acerbic voice as Collins presents it in the various letters and diary excerpts that form his "sensation novel" is a big reason why. So I was delighted that not only did this author come up with a great adventure for Lydia, but one that followed the Collins precedent, voice wise. And managed an affectionate spoof of certain 19th century novel tropes besides. I loved it.
selenak: (Sternennacht - Lefaym)
( Sep. 26th, 2015 03:26 pm)
Yuletide nominations are open! I also browsed the nomination confirmations and found several fandoms I can volunteer for this year in addition to those I was planning for. Excellent.

Vonda M. McIntyre about writing Star Trek novels. For verily, hers were among the best. Also, her beef with the third TOS season reminds me there's nothing new in fandom - it's exactly the reaction anyone has today when a current day series stops matching one's own ideas of characters. Cautious phrasing is deliberate: I've become disenchanted of shows myself, but I'm also aware that I've loved seasons which for other fans were hateful, and vice versa. And there's nothing more tiresome than someone insisting that you MUST despise season x/movie y/book z, and if you don't, you're doing fandom wrong. (Which is a mind set depressingly many people seem to share, says the woman fond of the Star Wars prequels, season 4 of Angel and Wesley Crusher, among others.)
On the 25th, Yuletide nominations start, so I'm pondering which I'll nominate this year. The Americans again, and I'm already coordinating that over at the community. Black Sails, of course, and here alas there is no community (that I know of, and I continue to avoid tumblr if I can). Since it would be lovely to have more than four characters to choose from, I have to ask: gentle readers of these lines, are you watching Black Sails and if so, would you care to nominate it for Yuletide in coordination with me so we can each nominate different characters? I like almost the entire ensemble! (And it's a huuuge ensemble.)

That leaves two more fandoms. I think I'm going to nominate the Shardlake series by C.J. Sansom in the hope that someone will write me a story about Guy, but I'd also take case fic, or a Tamasin pov story that fleshes her out, or a story set post Lamentation in which Matthew settles in his new job for Elizabeth, or backstory (young idealistic Matthew meets Cromwell, gets hired, maybe?), or, well, anything. Again: huge ensemble. If there are other Shardlake readers out there, would you be willing to nominate a few characters? It doesn't mean you have to write anything!

Fourth fandom: Agent Carter is out of the question due to the MCU connection, but Better Call Saul should qualify, and I want Jimmy & Kim, or Jimmy/Kim. Backstory, first season era story, Breaking Bad era story speculating what happened with Kim during that time, post Breaking Bad era story in which Kim meets "Gene" - don't care, gimme. Since I have no other wishes in this fandom, I'm game to nominate whichever other two characters you want, gentle reader, should you also wish for Better Call Saul characters at Yuletide. (Wait, on second thought, I do have another wish, but I don't think Daredevil is a tiny enough fandom, because again, MCU connection. But I still dream of that crossover where Jimmy temporarily ends up working for Nelson & Murdock.)

In other news: BBC Radio 4 did a radio production on Ava Lovelace, starring Sally Hawkins as Ada, Anthony Stewart Head as Charles Babbage, and Olivia Williams as Ada's mother, Annabella, Lady Byron. It was broadcast today, which means you can listen to it for another week at least here.
Happy New Year, everyone! Here are my two Yuletide tales:

Like the Fellow Says (7425 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Americans (TV 2013)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Philip Jennings & Charles Duluth
Characters: Philip Jennings, Charles Duluth, Elizabeth Jennings
Additional Tags: Unresolved Emotional Tension, Backstory, Character Study, Non-Linear Narrative

He knew damn well that without these meetings with Philip, handing over information, trading sarcasm, his life now would be meaningless. He'd known that for a while. But what he hadn't known before was what Philip got out of it. Asset and handler: Charles and Philip through the years.

Some background rambling )

Saving Mrs. Fleming (10542 words) by Selena
Chapters: 7/7
Fandom: Mary Renault RPF, 20th Century CE RPF, Alfred Hitchcock RPF
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Mary Renault/Julie Mullard, Alfred Hitchcock/Alma Reville, Mary Renault & Clementine Challans, Mary Renault & Alfred Hitchcock, Mary Renault & Alma Reville
Characters: Mary Renault - Character, Alfred Hitchcock, Alma Reville, Julie Mullard, Sidney Bernstein, Clementine Challans
Additional Tags: Mommy Issues, Character Study, Dark Comedy, Mother-Daughter Relationship

In 1947, Mary Renault's novel Return to Night won the MGM award. The director charged with filming it: Alfred Hitchcock. Where her book ended, their story began...

Aka the story I’ve been threatening to write for a while, and which Naraht kindly requested. It all started when Naraht hosted a discussion of Mary Renault’s novel Return to Night, and almost simultaneously the movie Saving Mr. Banks, aka the Disney take on Mary Poppins creator P.L. Travers clashing wit Walt Disney over his intended film version of her book, was released in Germany. In the discussion, someone brought up that Return to Night (today practically unknown compared with Renault’s other novels) had won the MGM award and so presumably at some point must have been intended as a basis for a film version. This made me wonder who the director would have been, and more specifically, which director would have been guaranteed to have the most entertaining clash of personalities with Mary Renault. And somehow, my mind produced Alfred Hitchcock.

The idea, cracky as it sounded, absolutely refused to let me go, especially when I started to brush up a bit on both Hitchcock’s and Renault’s lives. Not only were they both creative, interesting people with issues galore and very different attitudes towards creation, but they came each equipped with mother issues, and in Hitchcock’s case, with a partner who was just as interesting but would have been bound to clash with Mary Renault as well. (Sidenote: Julie Mullard, Mary’s partner, was an interesting person as well, but didn’t work with her on her books, and it was the life time collaboration that made the Hitchcock marriage so intriguing to me. So Julie gets a less prominent part than Alma in my story.) At first, I wanted to write an AU in which the film got made, but eventually decided with go with a more “missing interlude” approach.

There was the question of the setting. I gave up my original idea of letting Mary Renault go to Hollywood pretty soon, because once I had read Sweetman’s biography of her, I couldn’t imagine her spending money on such a trip, or the studio paying it for her. Fortunately, Hitchcock actually was in England for part of 1947, the year Renault’s novel won the MGM award (and the year before she left England and moved to South Africa) because of his last movie for David Selznick, The Paradine Case. (Otoh 1947 meant Naraht’s dream casting for Return to Night’s heroine, Hilary Mansell, would have been very unlikely, because Deborah Kerr was still too young then. This was her
Black Narcissus era.)

Once I had determined the year and place, the Renault meets Hitchcock(s) ball started rolling. With such vivid characters, the story practically wrote itself. I hoped the result would work both for people who were somewhat familiar with them, and for people who’d never read a single Renault novel or seen a single Hitchcock film. It’s certainly one of the Yuletide stories I enjoyed most writing. reverse order.

Call the Midwife: don't have much to say other than it was lovely as usual. I'm a bit torn on Avril doing something spoilery ) This was the first episode where we see old Jenny, whose voiceover was the narrative voice throughout and apparantly is here to stay, but I'm not sure whether the framing scenes with Vanessa Redgrave had any other point than to ressure us of this, given that young Jenny has left the show and it is now later seasons Blake's 7. :) Not that it wasn't nice to see her, of course. As to the rest of the gang, everyone was as endearing as always. Cynthia doing something spoilery ) This is still my comfort show, and the way it treats not just one but a myriad of choices women make as valid is a great part of why.

Now, as to Yuletide. I'm trying not to let the usual Yuletide angst get to me (i.e. repeating the "self, the recipient and a few others liked your stories on the first day, you can't expect more with small-even-for-Yuletide fandoms and no one having recced them elsewhere so far" mantra). Here are a few more stories I loved reading:

Euripides: Bacchae

Agave in Illyria: Half poetry, half prose, gorgeously creepy and cruel in its take on two sisters who went through some of the most gruesome fates Greek myths have in store.

Benjamin January Mysteries:

Escargots: casefic! With Rose as the leading detective, co-starring Olympe and Augustus Mayerling. Set while Ben is off in Washington, and immensely enjoyable to read.

Where there's a will: lovely missing scene about Chloe and Dominique making the transition to the friends we see them be in the last few novels.

The Musketeers:

Knife to a musket fight: in which Porthos gives Constance more self defense lessons. Fantastic friendship story, and the last line packs a punch.

Hilary Mantel: A place of greater safety:

Our wars will be our own: because if Camille, Lucille and Danton didn't have a threesome, they ought to have had.


Step into Christmas (the admission is free): Steph spends Christmas with Gethin and Jonathan mid movie; the story has the great characterisation and warmth the film did, and is lovely to read.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles:

Start with the first ten: in which John Henry becomes. John Henry, Savannah, Catherine Weaver and James Ellison were the other family in SCC, and I'm always thrilled to discover fic dealing with that. This one manages to come up with a John Henry perspective which feels plausibly A.I., and specifically an A.I. which developes as radically as John Henry does. I loved it.

Watership Down:

The Mercy of Frith: The story of Blackavar, one of the most intriguing minor characters in the novel. Intense and marvellously written.

The Wire:

Whereever you go, there you are: Randy and Carver, years post show. Heartbreaking, yet also hopeful.
selenak: (Breaking Bad by Wicked Signs)
( Dec. 26th, 2014 10:40 am)
Just a first bunch, I still have so much more to read.

Breaking Bad:

These lifeless things: Skyler post show, looking back, trying to find a forward, with an emphasis on the Skyler and Marie relationship: as devastatingly intense as the show itself.

Dune: (Or rather, the tv version)

In the first days: Irulan and the twins. I've always had a soft spot for Irulan, one character I thought the tv version did do better by than the books, and here we see how the twins, and what happens with Leto in God Emperor of Dune, affect her.

Galaxy Quest:

Galaxy Gals : in which Gwen and Leilari give an interview, and it's not about their uniforms. As with all the Gwen centric GQ fanfiction posted in Yuletides past and present, this is great, and I love the look we get at how Leilari adapts to Earth. (And the art of lying acting.)

Historical Fiction:

Come the good peasant to cheer: AU. Edward the Black Prince--now Edward IV of England--has been king for four years. Now the peasants have rebelled, the Black Prince wants to declare war on them all, and his stubborn, determined queen, Joan of Kent, is desperately trying to prevent utter disaster. Great AU, and extremely entertaining historical fiction.

Hallowmas, or Shortest of Days: Richard II.'s second queen, Isabelle, was a child (something Shakespeare's play ignores); here she meets the ghost of her predecessor, Anne of Bohemia, and the result is amazingly endearing.

Penny Dreadful:

Aside from the stories I received, which I already recced:

Teranga: Sembene! This is the backstory of Sembene which the show hasn't given us (yet). Fantastic world building, and it's awe-inspiringly good.

A breath to notice: the unfolding Ethan and Vanessa friendship. Which I guess will become a romance in season 2, because I recognize set up when I see it, but in the meantime, I can enjoy them as platonic friends as in this story.

Twin Peaks:

Through the woods and far away: in which Audrey Horne rescues Agent Cooper from the Black Lodge. This is so my headcanon now.

West Side Story:

If it's sewing, she sews: Maria puts her life together, stitch by stitch. I love stories about grief and yet moving on, I tell you, and this is a fine one, taking full advantage of the fact that Maria, unlike her predecessor Juliet, doesn't die.
selenak: (Malcolm and Vanessa)
( Dec. 25th, 2014 01:30 pm)
The Yuletide archive is open , and I got two wonderful gifts, both Penny Dreadful, and giving me the Christmas the show only teased us with in dialogue, plus wonderful Vanessa and Malcolm characterisations:

Light in the Darkness (1018 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Penny Dreadful (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Vanessa Ives/Sir Malcolm Murray, Vanessa Ives & Sir Malcolm Murray
Characters: Vanessa Ives, Sir Malcolm Murray
Additional Tags: Found Families, Strange Families, Christmas

Christmas, as it is, is theirs.

Some Shape of Beauty (1385 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Penny Dreadful (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Vanessa Ives, Sir Malcolm Murray
Additional Tags: post-season one

Ever since she was a little girl, Vanessa has always found Malcolm at the heart of a maze.

No prizes for guessing the two stories I've written this year, because they're both screamingly obvious, but I'm enormously pleased both recipients liked them. Now excuse me while I go off exploring the rest of the archive!
selenak: (Bamberg - Kathyh)
( Dec. 23rd, 2014 02:08 pm)
The tree is standing and decorated, the APs are in dire need to relax, the cats are eyeing the tree speculatively, last minute issues keep coming up: in short: I'm back in Bamberg for Christmas. :)

This will not make for much online presence in the next few days, though I hope to post my nativity scenes photos like every year, and of course am so looking forward to Yuletide. Among many alluring prospects: 13 new Penny Dreadful stories to read!

Meanwhile, the radio version of Good Omens is up and about even for non Brits like yours truly to listen to, thank you, BBC. It's as delightful a hoot I hoped for so far.

Also entertaining: Paul Cornell about Doctor Who fandom , which of course includes the writers. I agree with many of his points, but on the less serious side, I get a kick out of him mentioning his internalized Russell T. Davies as editor, as in this paragraph:

This emotional conservatism, expressed in smaller, less ethically important ways, is a trait I recognise in myself, something I have to fight against to keep myself going. I think several creators of Doctor Who over the decades have instinctively realised that that particular fan gene is in opposition to creativity, and have therefore set their faces against it, sometimes too much. There are also those who’ve gone too far the other way. To be a good writer, you have to smash things up. To make great Doctor Who, especially, you have to destroy something someone values with every step. Those footsteps of destruction will, in a few years, be cast in bronze and put on a plinth for the next great story to destroy. Doctor Who lives because of that process boiling away in its cells. (Metaphors all over the place, fix it in the next draft please, love, internal Russell.)
selenak: (Thorin by Meathiel)
( Dec. 18th, 2014 06:53 pm)
Finished the Yuletide treat as well and sent it off to be beta'd. Phew. I wasn't sure whether I'd manage to finish the story in time this year, and I really wanted to because it's been churning in me for a good long while, and the recipient is a treasure.

Also, post Battle of the Five Armies hurt/comfort fics, because of course yours truly is in the market for them. Just to be on the very safe side, I shall employ a spoiler cut, decades old book or not.

Spoilery recs await ) Sydney Bristow used to ask during the one and a half first seasons of Alias. The Yuletide assignment were sent, and I'm pleased with mine; mind you, something that happened to me last year with a completely different fandom and a completely different recipient also happened this year, which cracks me up (it's nothing bad). But I already have ideas for the fandom and request in question, so I'm pretty sure I can do something decent with it.

Meanwhile, I'm eyeing at least one treat, unless rl collapses on me.
selenak: (Default)
( Oct. 20th, 2014 07:15 am)
Dear Yuletide Writer,

I'm happy and grateful you're going to write a story for me. We must share at least one fandom, and I hope you'll have fun writing in it. The ideas in my requests are just that: ideas. If you feel inspired by another direction of story altogether, go for it, as long as it features the characters I requested.

General likes and dislikes: pretty ordinary. I don't like character bashing. (Or the bashing of a relationship in favour of another, but that hardly applies with my requests.) Not to be confused with whitewashing; some of the characters I asked so have canonically done some pretty apalling things, and you don't have to pretend they didn't, or that it was all someone else's fault, just because I love them. As long as they come across as three dimensional people with flaws and strengths, I'll be content.

Quiet character exploration or plotty tale, gen or slash/het/any combination thereof, humor or dark fic, canon or AU, it's all good, though unless you're one of those awesomely talented people who can write characterisation via sex, I'd prefer a story that's more than a PWP.
Now, as to individual requests:

The Americans )

Penny Dreadful )

15th Century RPF )

Bates Motel )

Armadale )
selenak: (Malcolm and Vanessa)
( Sep. 23rd, 2014 07:53 am)
Alas, I won't be able to watch The Good Wife or Manhattan for another week (don't spoil me!), but I can get a hold of the Sleepy Hollow season opener; watch this space. Meanwhile, the weather is splendid, meaning the Aged Parents & self spend most of this week outdoors, and thus there isn't much internet for me. But there is some.

Since the Yuletide nominations are open now, Penny Dreadful fans, shouldn't we coordinate our efforts to get as many characters as possible nominated? (However, I'll have to drop my Vikings intentions since this year you can nominate three fandoms, no more. I definitely want Penny Dreadful and The Americans, which leaves me with just one slot for one of my cracky historical RPF ideas.

Also: it's always a pleasure when a poster you appreciate discovers an old show of yours for the first time. [personal profile] local_max is watching Twin Peaks, and has been writing Twin Peaks meta already. The owls are not what they seem!

Lastly: for some reason, I can't copy a link to The Guardian anymore on this iPad since the latest update, so, without links: you may or may not have heard about the current kerfuffle that unfolded when Hilary Mantel's short story The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher and an interview accompagnying it in which she mentioned having carried it with her for thirty years got published. Now on the one hand, as Lisa Appignanesi points out in one of the commenting articles I can't link, either, given that assassination plots against public figures who did in fact not get assassinated have a long tradition in fiction, both of the written, tv and movie kind (she mentions The Day of the Jackal for Charles de Gaulle, and Nicholas Baker's 2004 take on the assassination of George W. Bush, which didn't get him called "sick and deranged" or in need of a therapist or a visit by the coppers). But on the other, the interview with Mantel that went with the publication of the story contained something I objected to as well, and it wasn't the idea of killing off Margaret T. in fiction. (Or for that matter, anyone in fiction. I mean, were it a public figure I actually care about, like, say, Patrick Stewart, I certainly wouldn't read it, but I wouldn't call the pitchforks, either.) No, it's Mantel something I also recall Antonia Fraser saying once, and several others when commenting on Thatcher: calling her a "psychological transvestite" (or, to give the context: The idea that women must imitate men to succeed is anti-feminist. She was not of woman born. She was a psychological transvestite. (Mantel) or "honorary male" (Fraser, who also called Elizabeth Tudor this when comparing her to Mary Stuart), in other words, a woman who isn't really a woman, not entitled to be treated as a woman. Which, just: no. "Woman" isn't a title you can deserve or can be discarded of.

Speculating, I would guess where this comes from: if you're a woman seeing yourself as a feminist, and loathe a female politician, you're unconformtably aware that there is an eons old misogynistic tradition there of vilifiying any woman in power. On the other hand, this politician truly does do and say things you can't stomach, and which you'd have no problem attacking were they voiced and done by a male politician. So your psychological and emotional out is to declare that this woman doesn't deserve any type of female solidarity because she's not truly a woman. I get the mechanism of that, but that doesn't make it less objectionable for me, because, to repeat: nobody gets to decide who is or isn't a woman. Margaret Thatcher did a great many things which left lasting damage to British society. She also was beyond any doubt a woman. (And let's not even get into the use of "transvestite" as a negative.) And it should be possible to hold forth on why her policies were objectionable without feeling the urge to strip her of her gender.
selenak: (James Boswell)
( Sep. 19th, 2014 12:10 pm)
So the United Kingdom remains united, Gordon Brown is the hero of the day and the rest of us can a bit envious about the fact so many people actually went to vote. (Because 85% is fantastic! Last time I voted in something, early this year, only 50% or so showed up which was truly depressing.) Hats off to you, Scots, for being truly invested in exercising your democratic rights.

One of my favourite dead Scots, James Boswell, would have probably have voted pro-Union, unless of course the vote took place on a day where he had a bad experience in the theatre of the crowd booing fellow Scotsmen. I was delighted to hear that there will be a a film about his defense of Mary Bryant, because a fictionalised version of that episode in his life has been an old Yuletide request of mine. I never had the chance to watch the play the film will be based upon, Boswell for the Defense, and the tv two parter about Mary Bryant, while great, only mentions Boswell in dialogue and doesn't let him show up in person. However, I'm not sure about the actor they cast as Boswell. I mean: does my icon look like Steve Coogan to you? (It's Boswell as sketched by Sir Joshua Reynolds.) (Then again: lots of actors played people they didn't resemble physically and were so good no one cared, the primary example being Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote.) So not only do I have the film to look foward to in 2015, but a better chance for fanfiction in the following Yuletide because let's face it, watching the movie will be easier for people than reading biographies.

Tomorrow, I'll be off to Southern Tyrolia for a week with the APs. I'll have an internet connection, but only the chance to watch those tv episodes they put up at iTunes the day after (the trusty Ipad can't be tricked even by TunnelBear), which is bad timing because next week a whole lot tv shows start their new season, not to mention the ongoing Doctor Who and Manhattan. Well, we'll see what I can get. Mostly I hope for good weather, because after this rainy summer we need it, and Southern Tyrolia is gorgeous to hike through.
...along with everyone else, though mind you, I still owe three stories to three people and WILL write them, but my muse has deserted me this summer; Darth Real Life has frightened her off for a while.

Anyway: Yuletide, since one can nominate fandoms and characters on September 22nd. There are a few new canons I've been aquainted with since last year which could qualify: The Americans (has the advantage that there's no character I wouldn't want to read it or write about), Penny Dreadful (ditto, though of course I'll request Vanessa and Malcolm), Vikings (will ask for Siggy and Laguertha, must ponder whom to offer). (Though with the last I have the problem of not having watched the second season yet, which makes for spoiler-wariness. Maybe I can rectify this before Yuletide, though.) I will definitely nominate and offer Bates Motel again.

I also have two somewhat cracky historical RPF ideas which nonetheless I'd love someone to write if I shan't write them myself: Margaret Beaufort meets Rodrigo Borgia aka Pope Alexander VI is the older of the two. Could be the historical characters in the writer's interpretation, could be The Borgias version of Rodrigo meeting The White Queen's Margaret, that would be utterly up to the writer. (The White Queen was an - considering the source, expected - let down by and large, but Amanda Hale as Margaret Beaufort was fabulous.

The other cracky RPF idea is Saving Mrs. Fleming (concept and title obviously inspired by Saving Mr. Banks, this year's Disney take on P.L Travers and their very own Walt), wherein Mary Renault, mostly known these days for her Greek history novels plus the early WWII set The Charioteer, goes to Hollywood where MGM has optioned her early (just pre WWII set) novel Return of Night (MGM actually did give her some sort of prize for it, but the rest is fiction) and clashes with fellow Brit Alfred Hitchcock who, following his success with Rebecca, is asked to transform another novel into a hit movie. Alas, Hitch and his wife Alma are busy rewriting the Renaultian tale into a sly murder mystery/satire. Renault/Hitchcock clashes about everything ensue, until they discover their mutual mother issues give them at least one thing in common and bond. Haven't decided yet whether in this AU the film would actually get made, though.

...I don't think anyone would read up on Renault and Hitchcock for my sake, so it's probably a case of "offer to write" rather than "request", but it's one of those pesky silly ideas you can't get out of your head.

Back to Yuletide ideas: I would like to nominate Sansom's Shardlake novels as a fandom. Now they have a lot of readers, but would they volunteer to write? Book fandoms can be intimidating. There is, of course, huge crossover potential to 16th century RPF in general and Hilary Mantel's Cromwell novels in particular, especially if I were to ask for Matthew Shardlake's pre-Dissolution career and relationship with Cromwell, or the same for Barack pre-Dark Fire. Though I would also love to read a story about Tamasin between novels "Revelation" and "Heartstone", working in a queen's household again and having to decide whether or not to take Jack back...
The shared theme of my two Yuletide stories, one Breaking Bad and one The Godfather, being: siblings. (And crime, I suppose.) (And hot chocolate.)

This year something happened to me which never did before: I was matched with a recipient who requested something very similar to one of my own requests, and then I got exactly the story same type of story as a gift that I myself was writing as a result. Since it was one about Marie and Skyler and the aftermath of Certain Spoilery Events, I was all for it. My own recipient was [personal profile] nicole_anell, whose Battlestar Galactica meta I love, and so I was rather desperately hoping she'd like the result, which used a lot of the headcanon I have about the childhood and adolesence of the Lambert sisters as well:

Blood Ties (7070 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Breaking Bad
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Marie Schrader & Skyler White, Hank Schrader/Marie Schrader, Skyler White/Walter White
Characters: Marie Schrader, Skyler White, Hank Schrader, Walter White Jr., Walter White
Additional Tags: Character Study, Grief/Mourning, Family Dynamics, Siblings

Is spoilery for season 5. )

[personal profile] chaila guessed this was my story, and thus is entitled to a drabble on the subject of her choice if she wants one.

My other story, which I wrote as a treat, is set in the granddaddy of all Crime-And-The-Dysfunctional-Family fandoms, The Godfather. I've always wanted to explore Connie, and her relationships with her brothers, particularly Michael, but also Connie and her mother, and the Godfather saga, which is as male-centric a narrative as they come, from a female pov. Now I know the book and the movies pretty well, but when I refreshed my canon knowledge, I still was startled to realise that I had plain forgotten Fredo was married in the second film (let alone what his wife was called - Deanna), and had trouble remembering the name of Sonny's wife (Sandra). Also, Vito Corleone's wife is referred to so often as "Mama Corleone", "the Don's wife" etc. that it took some time to hunt down her first name as well (Carmella). Which in itself tells you something about female characters not Kay or Connie in The Godfather. Anyway, the scene at Fredo's funeral between Connie, Sandra and Deanna ended up as one of my favourite things to write, and I could finally create something with the thoughts I had about how her parents' reaction to what Connie's marriage turned out to be formed her. As for Connie and Michael, who, as the third movie shows, end up having spent most of their lives together which was certainly not what either of them expected - well, read for yourselves:

Fuit Quondam (4869 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Godfather (1972 1974 1990)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Connie Corleone Rizzi & Michael Corleone, Connie Corleone Rizzi & Santino "Sonny" Corleone, Connie Corleone Rizzi & Vito Corleone, Connie Corleone Rizzi/Carlo Rizzi, Kay Adams/Michael Corleone, Connie Corleone Rizzi & Frederico "Fredo" Corleone, Connie Corleone Rizzi & Carmella Corleone
Characters: Connie Corleone Rizzi, Michael Corleone, Carmella Corleone, Santino "Sonny" Corleone, Vito Corleone, Sandra Corleone, Deanna Corleone, Kay Adams, Carlo Rizzi, Tom Hagen, Frederico "Fredo" Corleone
Additional Tags: Character Study, Siblings, Mother-Daughter Relationship

Being a Corleone is supposed to be different when you're a woman. Connie and her brothers through the years.



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