jlh: Seamus and Dean, in uniform, hugging and looking at the viewer (SD Clio)
Before I go off on an entry filled with weird ego-feelings and the usual bittersweet memories, I'm excited to say that [personal profile] reena_jenkins has recorded a podfic of my Natasha/Pepper story, The Shoes Make the Woman, for the KISSES II podfic fest [community profile] audiofemme is hosting for International Day of Femmeslash! You can also find it here on AO3! Go, go, listen! It's really super good! I am flabbergasted and can barely contain my excitement.

So! I went off to Ascendio last weekend, and it was a blast! Got to spend plenty of quality time with my pal [personal profile] catja_mikhailovic, whom I don't see enough, and roomed with [personal profile] heidi, whom I've been lucky enough to see a whole bunch this year, plus cherished convos with [personal profile] stinaleigh when she wasn't wrangling celebs, [personal profile] bookshop when she wasn't on a panel, and [personal profile] zorb when she wasn't Merlin's Circling it up. Heidi also gifted me with the general hilarity of sharing a suite with two thirteen-year-old boys who mostly wanted to hit each other over the head with a pillow shaped like a giant Duff beer can.

This next bit I'm putting behind the cut because it contains weird egotistical ramblings about fandom. I think I have the fandom bends. )

In the meantime I think I might send out an email to some pals to ask for fix cheerleaders for all this stuff I have coming up. I've always been shy about actually talking about what I'm writing—it just seems weirdly egotistical to me, not to see others doing but to do myself; you know, "nobody cares about your rpg character" etc.—but I see lots of folks doing it and maybe it will make me feel better about my first drafts. Hmm. Anyway if anyone has actually read this far and has any interest in that, I would appreciate it!
jlh: Chibi of me in an apron with a cocktail glass and shaker. (Default)
The funny thing about the blanket permissions for someone to make work off one's own work is that it seems egotistical, as if you're saying, "Why yes, I am indeed enough of a BNF/popular writer that people are clamoring, I say, clamoring, to make me art and podfic!" I finally got around to putting up my statement the other week and then this came up:

Banner by [personal profile] crazybutsound

and that led me back to this, which was posted a year ago:

So if anyone knows if there's a Trek listing? I know there's a panfandom listing at fanlore that I think I'll be added to, but not sure if there's a similar-to-these Trek entry someplace.

Anyway, my blanket permission:

You do not need to ask my permission to remix, podfic, translate, create art for or create any secondary fanwork of any fanwork I have posted. Anything you produce in turn should feature a link back to my work and credit me by name, and you should also share the link to your work with me! It will serve two purposes: keep me abreast/informed, and make me really happy. I'd absolutely love to know about it.

And now after that alarming burst of ego gratification I will go back to my general coping mechanism for managing my expectations in fandom, which is to tell myself with mantra-like regularity that no one cares about my stupid fanfic.
jlh: closeup of typewriter with black keys (typewriter black)
Ten years (and a few days) ago, I posted my first fic ever, the first chapter of Eight Ways from Sunday, on FictionAlley. Also, ten years ago (sometime next week) I got the code and started my livejournal. And right now, leaving out one co-authored fic, I have 200 stories posted at AO3.

I've written 200 stories in 10 years, nearly 800,000 words in total. So you'll allow a ridiculous chart or four, right?

a pie chart about bars and a bar chart about pies )

I'm pretty proud of what I've written, I have to admit. And I have more goals for the future than ever before. It's nice to take a step back and remind yourself that all these things you write, they aren't for nothing, even when there aren't tons of people watching.
jlh: (community: Annie Britta Shirley)
I was going to make a post the other day about the way that fandom pushes us to take sides in things that aren't even oppositional, and how weird and destructive I find that, all the Team this and Team that crap, the mine-is-better-than-yours. Then, it was about male characters, and the destruction of my (perhaps completely silly) idea that when favorites from two different fandoms come together in another film, that fandoms could come together in the spirit of fun and crossovers, rather than splitting apart even further. (If this is the trend, lord help us when Magic Mike comes out!)

I was reminded of this again today because there's a DW comm doing one of those "women fandom hates" memes and I really don't like that meme. I love plenty of "women fandom hates" like Sara on White Collar or Britta on Community or Uhura in the reboot. And yes, shipping exacerbates these problems, because some shippers get a little uncool in the defense of their ship and the dismissal of other ships, whether it's het shippers battling over canon or slashers saying "ew girly bits."

But it seems to me that all the "women fandom hates" meme really does is set up a new way to feel smug and superior, make a new list of women that you, as a feminist in fandom, should like, and if you don't you might want to check yourself. Which is silly--you're no more or less a feminist based on who your favorite female character is. Like so many other things that happen in social justice on the internet--not just fandom, mind you, but the internet in general--this leads us to all point fingers at each other, demanding greater and greater purity and orthodoxy, instead of pointing fingers at the canon creators for giving us these messy and problematic characters in the first place.

Can't we celebrate all the variety of female characters that we do have, while hoping for a much greater diversity in the future? Can't we make a space not just for the female characters that get a lot of attention AND the ones that are "hated" but ALSO the ones that are "ignored"? Can't we agree that it doesn't really matter if your favorite female sitcom character is Liz Lemon or Leslie Knope or Britta Perry or even Reagan Brinkley or Jess Day, no matter what various feminist television critics might say?

I know to a certain extent what we wanted to do was create an atmosphere where critique of female characters would be free of misogyny, but I worry that what we're actually doing is creating a space where it's okay to critique some characters and not okay to critique (or simply not care for) others. Often there's a disclaimer, stated after the fact: "I'm not talking about just not liking them, but saying lousy things about them" but I think we all can see how quickly that distinction gets lost. Not to mention, there's saying something about general fandom trends, and then applying that trend to individual people, another unfortunate thing that happens quite frequently (and is a big problem with doing cultural critique of the culture you are in during the moment the culture is being reacted to, and attaching a moral value to those reactions).

I watch White Collar and I love Sara, who fandom hates, and I love El, who fandom loves, and I love Diana, who fandom pretty much ignores. Ditto Annie, Britta and Shirley from Community. I watched ATLA and I loved Suki and Toph, had very little time for Azula, and thought Mai and Katara were fine but not my favorites. I never much liked Jackie on Veronica Mars, but I loved Mac and Veronica. These things should all be okay! Isn't the point of wanting lots of different female characters that there will be someone that appeals to anyone, not that we will pit them against each other to find the most perfect one?
jlh: Bennett Cerf smoking a pipe (Bennett Cerf)
Hey all! I am coming to you with the following questions because I've reached the kind of impasse where there's a manic squirrel running around in my head and there doesn't seem to be an answer that can keep me out of trouble! Please, please, please, even if you never like to comment, even if I intimidate you, please let me know if you have any opinions about the following questions. I might have follow up questions for you if anything is unclear.

Many, many, MANY THANKS in advance!

two questions about AO3 tagging )

tumblr tagging )

DW icon descriptions )

I do have systems that I'm using now, but with all the incoherent and unspecific grouchiness around they are apparently inadequate! I like to avoid getting into fannish trouble because then you just end up on fandom wank for having bad tags and all the old bullshit gets dragged out and trust me, I've been called a sockpuppet enough in this lifetime.
jlh: Simon Cowell, with the word "FAIL (gents: Simon fail)
On the LJ issue: They got rid of ?format=light as well? Ugh, I used that all the time; guess I'll have to get used to ?style=mine. (Should have known when they put ?style=mine on the header.) That said, with what they've done to the S1 comment pages I wouldn't have wanted to look at it in format=light anyway.

If you don't want to rush to take advantage of the current no-code-needed on Dreamwidth (the imports are taking a while as y'all are flooding them) I have literally about 15 codes. So no hurry. While I never like to talk up anything I'm using that is somewhat controversial, I do wish that more folks were on DW. I understand the issues, and I know not everyone is here, but I really do find it a better platform. Certainly more reliable, and not just because of the DDoS (which weren't LJ's fault). Crossposting is really easy; I've done it for about a year now.

ETA: Forgot to say, I'm also [personal profile] jlh at Dreamwidth!
jlh: photo of old fashioned green typewriter keys (typewriter green)
There's another one of those posts/articles going around talking about how sex scenes in fanfic, specifically slash, is unrealistic. As usual, the blame for this is place on the presumed ignorance of heteronormative women writers. But I find this criticism to be unfair.

After all, we don't expect realistic sex from:
1. Mainstream films that are not comedies
2. Pornographic/erotic films (even the lady-friendly ones)
3. Pornographic/erotic stories (Penthouse Forum, Anaïs Nin, whatever your flavor)
4. Romance novels
5. Other novels that are not comedies
6. Manga and anime of whatever stripe
7. [insert your own example here]

I don't really understand the idea that fanfiction should be more realistic than just about any other sort of fiction that depicts sex explicitly. Romance novels, especially Regencies, nearly all have the same sex scene and I think we generally recognize that as a trope, a style point, part of the form. It's heightened, like many other things in fiction. Can't we say that slash also has its tropes, that there are certain things that come up frequently? And can't we stop castigating ourselves for that?
jlh: Cameron Frye from Ferris Bueller (gents: Cameron Frye)
So the NYMag entertainment blog posted this video from a press junket asking the Twilight cast who would the cast be if it was an 80s movie (it's on my tumblr, and hilarious mostly because R Patz is never not trolling) and hey, I can't sleep so why not post?

I'm not doing this with HP because to be honest, I don't know enough 80s teen British actors. BUT!

If Star Trek TOS/AOS were an 80s teen movie, who would you cast?

I'm thinking Jasmine Guy for Uhura.
jlh: MTV sock puppets sifl and olly (duos: sifl and olly)
So here's a great thing that happened today.

On a post from The New Yorker's book blog, The Book Bench (which I highly recommend) I was linked to a post on Hairpin called "How to Write a Romance Novel." And I thought, "oh dear."

Now, Hairpin is the sort-of lady-cousin to The Awl, with which I have a complicated relationship as a reader. A pal writes for them sometimes, and at the start I gave them the ol' college try; I have a login there and everything. But I soon realized that their way of talking about things is pretty much opposite to mine, so I stopped reading. Which means, I had every reason to think that this blog entry would be not just annoying and snarky and superior but also the exact same annoying, snarky, superior blog entry that you think it's going to be.

And it was terrible and, which is worse, entirely unoriginal!

Now, usually I don't read comments on these kinds of things, and I'm not sure what led me to them, but part way down there was a comment from "Yahtzi": "I'm going to assume that we're all smart ladies who know that romance novels are actually fucking awesome (and many are well-written), so I'll save the screed." Following this comment was a long string of comments from people proclaiming themselves not just romance novel readers but (wait for it): fanfiction readers! And saying the sort of things that we would say, basically: that sure, a lot of it isn't great, but if you know where to look, there's a bunch that is better than a lot of published fiction.

It's here that I want to note that my aforementioned friend, in writing a post on The Awl that referenced fanfiction, was not entirely dismissive of same because she had some friends who wrote it, including me, and wanted to be respectful. And I felt respected. Now folks are coming out in the comments and saying, "me too!"

My heart, you guys. I feel like we're not so strange after all.
jlh: Kirk and McCoy in cadet reds with the banner "get in loser, we're going shopping" (KMc shopping)
So I have failed to write a recap of my time at Dragon*Con last month, but actually you can hear me talking about it to [personal profile] wordplay on the next-to-last day of the con, while we were sitting outside being rebels, on the Slashcast!

The segment, called "Slashers on the Street," is at 43:48, right after [personal profile] kaalee's awesome segment pimping Sherlock fandom. My voice has apparently gotten lower as I've aged, for which I'm grateful. I actually sound reasonably intelligent so thanks for the kind edit, Slashcast!

Of course that multi-fandom friend I mention that I would like to bring down next year because she can tell which Robin is which is [personal profile] sistermagpie. I had so much fun with my J&B pals and everyone I saw and met there.

I did buy myself two completely awesome toys while I was there, as well. They are tiny and so hard to capture on film:

Look at that scowl and that smirk!
jlh: Chibi of me in an apron with a cocktail glass and shaker. (Clio Chibi)

My thread is here. I know that [personal profile] imaginarycircus, [personal profile] amazonziti and [personal profile] verity have threads up; anyone else please link me!

By the way, if you're going to Dragon*Con and you're not (1) a [livejournal.com profile] jim_and_bones person; (2) [livejournal.com profile] illogicalvulcan, or (3) [personal profile] pinkfinity, definitely let me know! I went through the schedule today (there's an app!) and I have plenty of downtime where I can just wander off and get a cocktail or similar.
jlh: Chibi of me in an apron with a cocktail glass and shaker. (LIZ!)
This is a mixture of fannish and real life things from the last 48 hours or so.

  • I'm helping to run a crossover challenge on [livejournal.com profile] jim_and_bones that we're calling Worlds Collide, so if you ever wanted to write some fic about any Chris Pine or Karl Urban character you should go check it out. I'm really excited about the response so far!
  • Damn it rained a lot Saturday night and Sunday. My cat is afraid of the rain so she hid for most of the day, poor thing.
  • I got lunch at Cosi today for reasons that aren't particularly interesting (I usually bring my lunch) and damn if they didn't leave out the chicken from my cobb salad. So I marched right back down there and got it, damn it, and he gave me extra. Just this weekend I'd been feeling like getting what's owed you and setting boundaries was seen as being entitled, so it's weird how some guy at Cosi made me feel a little better about that sort of thing.
  • Relatedly, I'm trying to get over my anxiety about crossposting. I've been poking at various Harry Potter comms for the crossposting of the sequel and various adjacent fics--so far I've racked up two h/h comms (one of which I was already a member of), two d/g comms, a rarepairs and a rarehet comm (hurrah for ron/padma). Of course there's also [livejournal.com profile] hp_girlslash and [livejournal.com profile] deamus; that goes without saying. (I also trawled around for new icons, yayness!)
  • Speaking of which, the Pansy/Parvati I posted the other day and crossposted at [livejournal.com profile] hp_girlslash got picked up by both [livejournal.com profile] quibbler_report and [livejournal.com profile] femslash_today which is pretty groovy. Reward for psyching myself up to crosspost!
  • They had a Ralph Bellamy fest on TCM Sunday and wow, Ralph Bellamy was the Ralph Bellamy in a lot of movies. In Headline Shooter he was even engaged to a newspaperwoman who leaves him for a more exciting newspaperman, though he wasn't played by Cary Grant.
  • My tummy is full of pasta made by [livejournal.com profile] hoshizora and sauce made by [personal profile] ali_wildgoose who were nice enough to ask me to stay for dinner when I came by to pick up my shades.
  • Fandom is bliss, but I'm feeling overloaded on the pop culture blogs. Any recs for things I can put on the reader that aren't about either culture or social justice activism or current politics/geopolitics/economics etc, I'd be much obliged.
jlh: Neal, Peter, Mozzie and El from White Collar (white collar: four)
So I was going to write a thing about social justice fandom and *fail and shaming others about the cultural products they like, and then I remembered that [livejournal.com profile] kalichan wrote it last fall so I don't need to.

I'd been a little slow to catch up on White Collar because though I liked it there was such a strong negative reaction to the new season from many quarters, whether about Neal's morality, the Nazi loot, or Sara-as-love-interest.
further thoughts on white collar )

As a reward, here is Matt Bomer doing the cheer from Bayside High:

jlh: Johnny Carson's character, Carnac the Magnificent, holding an envelope to his forehead to read its contents (gents: Carnac the Magnificent)
But first: Does anyone want the three special EW True Blood covers? I got them free at work and am happy to ship out to someone who'd want all three. It's Anna Paquin with Moyer, Skarsgard and Manganiello in poses like American Gothic.

Okay, so you guys have figured out by now that I'm something of a worrier, and that one of the things I worry about pretty consistently is inadvertently doing something that will upset someone else, or inadvertently doing something that is seen to go against like, the rules of engagement on the internet or what people see as cool or whatever. It is a constant and ongoing worry which flares up on some occasions more than others. And if you follow me on twitter you're probably aware that this week was something of a solar flare.

When this happens I try to do a sanity check-in with my pals. This week I got worried about two separate issues, and in this post I'll just talk about one of them. I'd love to hear what you think. (Unless it's "I don't know why you care so much" which isn't helpful and makes me feel kinda bad. I care, and that isn't going to change and in healthy moments I think it's even a good thing; I just have to manage it.)

How much are we responsible for knowing everyone else's contexts? How much should we be able to keep straight the names of people we don't know? )

I happily anticipate your thoughts and suggestions!
jlh: Jill Scott (music: Jill Scott hair)
A little less than a year ago, I signed up for three bingo challenges: [community profile] kink_bingo, [livejournal.com profile] kissbingo and [livejournal.com profile] schmoop_bingo. I knew I wouldn't get any points, because the points-giving period overlapped with the two bigbangs I'd signed up for, but I liked having all those open-ended prompts since I wanted to write some short stories anyway.

I ended up finishing five kiss, four kink (and another to come, honest!), and twenty-five schmoop stories, a lot of which were written in the last month. And along the way, I learned three things.

The more you write, the more you can write. )

There really is a trick to writing short stories. )

Writing happy stories is a worthwhile thing to do. )
jlh: Chibi of me in an apron with a cocktail glass and shaker. (Diana)
Okay so this is the thing: If you have issues with the royal family as a symbol of imperialism, or with weddings in general and particularly Christian ones? Totally valid! Write about it! Share with the class! Some folks on my flist already have done so this week.

But if you're just telling me that you "don't care" about the wedding, without anyone asking you? It doesn't make you look cool; it just makes you look like a jerk. It's a very difficult thing to say that you don't care about something without dismissing the thing entirely, which also sort of dismisses the people who care about it on any level.

And more to the point, you aren't adding anything to the conversation. I don't care that you don't care. I haven't been sitting here wondering why everyone I know isn't talking about the wedding. If you don't care and you stay silent on the matter no one will notice!

We all have frivolous things that we like, and one person's frivolity is another persons couldn't-be-bothered. Which, yay diversity and all of that, but you have to actually act on it.
jlh: Chibi of me in an apron with a cocktail glass and shaker. (Default)
I did two memes this week, the character one and the kiss one, and here are the results! On the kiss meme stuff, I'm probably going to slightly expand a few of them and repost for schmoop bingo purposes, so if you have any thoughts (or title suggestions) please share! Also, they mostly ended up being kidfic for some reason.

On the character meme, I was asked for Rachel Brooks (Justified), Shirley Bennett (Community), Susan Bones (Harry Potter), Diana Barrigan (White Collar), Nyota Uhura (Star Trek), Jun (A:tLA), Marshall Ericksen (HIMYM), Angelina Johnson (Harry Potter), Hermione Granger (Harry Potter), Robin Scherbatsky (HIMYM), Javier Esposito (Castle) and Winona Hawkins (Justified). Thanks for the requests for both memes!

Just a note on the diversity thing: I by no means meant to shame anyone, for asking for white boy slash, and I'm really sorry if anyone felt that way. I wrote almost nothing but white boy slash last year, myself. I just realized after the kiss meme that if I wanted to get diverse requests I had to ask for them, so I did!

I'm in a reasonably good place today, not only because I went to [personal profile] bhanesidhe's place last night and got BFQOTY'10, Glee, and fish cakes with rice and beans, but also because I was working on a scene for the EWFS sequel that was not working and then I realized how to fix it and now it's moving forward swimmingly. But you know, I'm still really uncomfortable, sometimes, with writing in this journal as though you all actually care about what I'm talking about, if that makes any sense. It makes me feel sort of embarrassed, to be honest, but I'm trying!


Apr. 7th, 2011 02:16 pm
jlh: Suzanne Vega (music: Suzanne Vega)
There's probably a bad Yakov Smirnoff joke in here someplace, like "In America you hate blogs; in Russia blog hates you!" but better. ANYWAY.

I crosspost from DW and have been doing so for almost a year now. It's incredibly easy, as is backing up your LJ onto DW. I don't think anyone feels like I've left LJ, and I really haven't. I have no intention of leaving LJ, either.

However, it just seems prudent to back up journals and fics and things on other platforms as well. My fic is on LJ, DW, and AO3 as well as various fandom-specific and ship-specific archives. I feel good knowing that if any one thing goes down all won't be lost. Not to mention that on those days when LJ is down, it's nice to be able to talk to you all in other places like twitter and DW and the like.

A big thing I do like better about DW: you can expand people's cut-tags without leaving your reading (friend) page. Seriously, if I know you and you write long posts and you cross post I'm much more likely to read your post on DW. (I also tend to comment on the DW post if you're crossposting.)

Anyway I have like, a metric fuckton of DW invite codes so if anyone needs one let me know. And it isn't hard to get onto AO3, which has a great interface and makes uploading your fics from LJ incredibly easy.
jlh: Zach Quinto with scruff (st: Spock)
I just want to note that I am incredibly paranoid about internet accusations, basically, and that's why I worry. I want to be accusation-free as much as possible.

on Monday's rpf meta )

Shortly after I made my post about online feminism yesterday, I read this post on Racialicious about being an online feminist who doesn't fit the dominant paradigm. Fantastic reading; I highly recommend.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who chimed in! See, this is why I make posts, to start conversations that help me think through my own positions on matters. yay!
jlh: Ryan Seacrest with his hand up, text says "talk to the hand" (gents: Ryan talk to the hand)
So there was a secret up at [community profile] fandomsecrets that got me thinking about rumors and open secrets and "people who know things" and I thought I'd throw it open here since so many of you write RPF (as, of course, do I) and I know have Firm Opinions on the matter. (By the way, let's just take as given that RPF is cool, all right? I don't defend RPF on my own journal.) Anyway as I see it there are these issues that, when they come together, create a lot of confusion at least in my own head.

The first is the idea that it's uncool/unethical/somewhat homophobic/fill in your own negative word here to write het RPF about an out gay public figure, like Adam Lambert or Rachel Maddow or NPH. Others have made this argument, and I take their point.

(Note: I don't think this applies to that Mary Sue fic you're writing in your head, because that gets into people's sexual fantasies being right or wrong, and I don't go there. I can't imagine why it would be homophobic for me, as a cis woman, to sit around thinking that David Burtka is hot.)

The second is the issue of using our gaydar on people we don't know and are unlikely to meet, who are being at least a little performative in the spaces where we see them as themselves because they are still public spaces. I don't know Matt Bomer and am pretty unlikely to meet him, but pictures of he and his partner are not difficult to find. I don't know Zachary Quinto and am unlikely to meet him, either, but I also don't really know enough about him to have a firm personal opinion on his sexuality. That said, isn't it a little weird, that I'm expected to have a firm personal opinion on his sexuality? I mean, is saying that I don't really know anything about him so I don't know if he's gay actually my being homophobic, as seems to be implied by the Quinto fandom? I'm not saying "Surely the man who plays Spock can't be gay!" I'm just saying I don't personally know.

So where these two things come together is really my question. Does the first idea—no writing het rpf about gay celebs—only apply to celebs who are publicly out, and therefore are somewhat symbolic, etc, etc, etc? Or does it also apply to the "open secret" types like Anderson Cooper or NPH before he came out, where they weren't really trying to hide it but also never spoke about it and weren't on the red carpet with anyone? And then beyond that, does it also apply to those in the "strong rumor" category like Quinto? And where does the fangirlish shippy hysteria tip over into just general ridiculousness (like the aforementioned secret, where someone was stating the Quinto-dating-Jonathan-Groff rumor as fact)?

I guess, how much of this stuff am I required to believe, and where does my natural skepticism for dating rumors become homophobic?


jlh: Chibi of me in an apron with a cocktail glass and shaker. (Default)
Clio, a vibrating mass of YES!

October 2017



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