You are viewing phoenixfalls

Writing Recap, October 12-18

Stone & Sky
Total words: 4,740
JATWIWB 'Verse: 0
Fic Assignments: 4,490
Other Fan Fiction: 250
Original Fiction: 0
Blog Posts: 0

Total days: 5

Only wrote two ficlets this week: MCU, Darcy/Jane cuddling; and Teen Wolf, Allison/Kira unrequited. This was fairly obviously because the deadline for my femslashex fic was this week, and it just. kept. growing. In many ways, this is the most ambitious fic I've ever completed, and right now my brain is fried from forcing it out like I had to this week. So not much commentary beyond: Hey, there's a thing I did, and we'll see in a little less than a week if what I did worked for people outside my head.

Writing Recap, October 5-11

Stone & Sky
Total words: 1,511
JATWIWB 'Verse: 0
Fic Assignments: 622
Other Fan Fiction: 889
Original Fiction: 0
Blog Posts: 0

Total days: 4

Not bad, though still not as much as I need to be doing weekly.

This week I suddenly discovered that I had been going down entirely the wrong path in my femslashex fic, which was incredibly disheartening; luckily, sanguinity was able to figure out where I had gone wrong and helped me figure out that much of what I had written was still salvageable. So that was. . . fun. New experience for me! This is definitely the first time I've had to completely discard my approach to something so far into a fic. And now the deadling is *really* bearing down on me. . .

While I was unable to settle in that fic, I wrote more ficlets: a requested Pepper/Natasha bodyguard AU, and four Teen Wolf femslash ficlets (Kira/Lydia/Malia, Allison/Erica/Lydia, Laura/Lydia, and Kira/Lydia -- can you tell Lydia's my favorite?), because I needed to work on something completely fresh.

And on the technology front, our cable/internet provider messed with our service, so we called to complain/renegotiate, and ended up with upgraded internet. This has resulted in my old-ass desktop suddenly being much more functional! Tumblr is still broken on it, but my email accounts are now accessible (if only via the mobile site, because the browser's still unsupported) and I can now use both Google and Wikipedia! I rejoice greatly.

Writing Recap, 10/1 - 10/4

Stone & Sky
Total words: 2,059
JATWIWB 'Verse: 0
Fic Assignments: 342
Other Fan Fiction: 792
Original Fiction: 0
Blog Posts: 925

Total days: 3

Pretty good start to this month, though half of the words are the blog post talking about how much last month sucked, which I'm only counting because I'm desperate for words.

Having my internet access limited is having an interesting effect on my writing. On the one hand, I do write *more* without the internet to distract me. On the other hand, because my brain still isn't any better at focusing when I'm stalled for the next line on the main fic I'm working on, what I do without the internet to turn to is write a ficlet, which sounds like a good thing, but if I turn my attention to writing a ficlet then it's actually *harder* to get back to the project I was working on to start -- if I'm just browsing the internet then my back brain can still be working on whatever stalled for me, while if I'm writing on another story, however short, my back brain is taken up with working on THAT.

I found myself an old solitaire program that still works on the ancient desktop; that might actually be the better option when I get stalled on my femslashex fic, at least if I want to finish it before the deadline.

So the round-up for this week is three more ficlets: Pepper/Natasha slightly-subversive soulbond fic, 00M pornlet, and Joan/Ms. Hudson character/relationship study. And even though it was less progress than I wanted, at least I am still making progress on the femslashex fic. It's doing that weird thing where I'm shifting from thinking "This story is too long, I'll never finish it in time" to "Christ, this is going to be so short and rushed, I am not doing justice to my idea at all." Because I still definitely have a problem figuring out a good balance between exposition and scene.

(Also, sitting at the desktop again is giving me massive knots in my shoulders and neck. I went through the same process when I first switched from the desktop to the laptop; they just require me to be in too-different a position to make the transition easy. Fucking body.)

September Writing Recap

Stone & Sky
Total words: 2,384
JATWIWB 'Verse: 0
Fic Assignments: 1,119
Other Fan Fiction: 738
Original Fiction: 0
Blog Posts: 527

Total days: 8

Well this has been a sucky month overall. On the one hand, yay (ish) to the prospect of employment at last, which won't solve all my financial troubles but will make them more manageable. But I must admit to a fair amount of trepidation, because I have absolutely no idea if I'll be able to handle a commute and a full-time job in my current mental state. (Which is, as always, fragile.)

I also posted asking for fic cheerleaders and several people responded very nicely, including one person who was really excited about both the Sam/Steve kinkmeme fill and my femslashex fic, and we've since been talking in a way that has really helped with my frustration and fear over those fics.

But weighed against that, last week my laptop decided to die without warning, and until I get a paycheck from the new job (which I don't even start for another three weeks) I can't afford to take it somewhere to get it looked at. Which means that I am currently limping along using my partner's iPod, my ancient desktop computer that can't even load wikipedia or my email programs, and the public library computers that also have trouble with some of my go-to sites (like tumblr) and have the added wrinkle of blocking things they deem pornographic (like tumblr). And I get to be stuck in the fun limbo where I have no idea if anything on my laptop harddrive will be salvageable.

And that sucks. A lot. Because of course I haven't backed anything up anywhere.

I don't use my computer for that much. I'd lose my digital music library, but since most of that's just songs I've ripped from my own CD collection to put on my partner's iPod, that can be rebuilt. I'd lose my resume and my past tax returns, but with a new job I have less need for those things right now. I'd lose all my bookmarks and the ways I customized my web browser, but that's more an inconvenience than an actual hardship, because I tend to be chary of bookmarking things (relying on faulty memory and google instead) and am not computer-savvy enough to have done a lot of customization.

But the main thing I use my laptop for is, of course, my writing, and that loss would be devastating.

In terms of the two projects I've been working on most recently, I wouldn't have lost that much. I've been posting the Sam/Steve kink meme fill as I go, so all that I can't access is a couple hundred words from the next section. Similarly, I have a (now-lucky) habit of procrastinating by uploading drafts of my WIPs to AO3 so I can play around with the tags, so the first two sections of my femslashex fic are available to me as well, and all I've lost is (again) a couple hundred words of the next section. (Those words are truly lost, however, because since that fic has a deadline I had to just start writing the section over so I could keep going on it. So even if I get my computer back those words are scrapped.)

But pretty much everything else that isn't already posted to AO3 is gone. In terms of one-shots, all that is the first third of the Bering & Wells catgirl fic and the start of that original erotica piece (which I'd probably give up anyway now that I have a steady income coming to me in the near future). I've started other one-shots at various points, but none of them were further than like 100 words in, so the loss of them doesn't cut particularly deeply. But in terms of bigger projects, the loss would be devastating. Because if my harddrive is unrecoverable, I have just lost pretty much everything I ever planned and started for the JATWITB 'verse and the entirety of my last couple NaNoWriMo attempts. (I think older writing than that is still somewhere on this ancient desktop, which is why I've saved the desktop despite never using it.) That's... a lot of writing and planning that I know I would not have the heart to try and replicate.

So yeah. September sucked. I've been able to force myself to keep working on the femslashex fic, though it's got quite a ways to go and now I'm down to 2 1/2 weeks before the deadline so I've gotta push harder on it. I haven't done anything on the Sam/Steve fic because I liked the couple hundred words I lost there and am hoping I'll be able to get them back rather than scrapping them like the couple hundred words on the femslashex fic. But beyond that I just wrote ficlets at the end of the month, things I could finish in one sitting and post immediately. (They are: Jane/Maya MCU fluff, Finch/Reese animal transformation POI ficlet, and Eve/M Skyfall pornlet which finally got me to the three ficlets I set as my minimum for posting to AO3.)

My word count was always going to be low for September because I started the month so slowly, but I'm really behind the eight ball with my goals the rest of the year now. To hit 75,000 words for the year I now need 9,322 words each month; to hit 100,000 words 17,655 words each month. Obviously I have to participate in NaNoWriMo if it works at all with my work schedule. But if my JATWITB verse is lost I have no idea what I'll write for it.
Anne Tucker Quote

So, this is probably a weird thing to ask, but does anybody out there wanna cheerlead for my fanfic writing?

I’ve been having a real hard time lately motivating myself to write, and part of that is my crap brain telling me nobody would care if I never wrote another word. I try to help myself out as much as I can by working on projects with a built-in audience — fic exchanges, kink meme fills, ficlets written to prompts — but that just means that the stuff I’m writing just for me (like my poor neglected JATWITB ‘verse) get pushed further and further down the list. And even using that strategy, it’s hard to force myself to write without a looming deadline.

I’d really love it if there was someone who wanted to talk about my fic with me, and who was interested enough in its progress that they’d occasionally message me to ask how it’s going, especially if I haven’t mentioned it in a while. I don’t need a SPAG beta, but I wouldn’t say no to someone who wanted to beta for plot/character development/general excellence. The projects I’m most in need of cheerleading for are:

Elementary

Nothing specific, but I want to write something more substantial for this fandom than the ficlets I’ve posted thus far.

MCU

This is my main fandom; these are just the most urgent of the literally hundreds of plot bunnies I have.


  • My JATWITB ‘verse generally, but specifically the MIT-era Rhodey/Tony get-together arc and the Clint/Natasha/Tony soulbond fic that takes place post-Avengers.

  • An unrelated Rhodey/Tony one-shot.

  • The Sam/Steve kinkmeme fill that’s so close to being done I can taste it, but which I can’t seem to get over the hump on.

  • Femslash! Nothing specific, but I want to write something more substantial for Pepper/Natasha and/or Maria/Melinda.

Warehouse 13

SOOO many bunnies, and so little (apparent) audience interest. This is the fandom I get the fewest comments in, so it’s the hardest for me to motivate myself to write.


  • I’ve tentatively committed to a Myka/H.G. drabble-cycle (10 ficlets of 100-250 words that together would make a complete (angsty-with-a-happy-ending) fic).

  • I’ve written like 1/3 of a Myka/H.G. catgirl fic that I want to finish at some point.

  • I still want to expand my Warehouse 13/Kushiel’s Legacy fusion series.

  • Once upon a time I was planning an epic Myka/H.G. bookshop AU that if anybody else but me cared about I’d totally still write.

So if anyone would be interested in doing that, PM me and we can exchange emails. You can also ask for more info about any of the projects, if you’re concerned. I do tend to write a lot of kink and the JATWITB verse involves underage sex but I have no plans to write rape or character death.

And let this also be an announcement that I totally welcome people generally bugging me about updates — not if you’re rude, obviously, but if you’re ever wondering whether I’m still working on something I’ve posted part of, PLEASE ask, because I’m far more likely to keep working on it if I feel like it’s wanted.

Writing Recap, 9/14 - 9/20

Stone & Sky
Total words: 114
JATWIWB 'Verse: 0
Fic Assignments: 114
Other Fan Fiction: 0
Original Fiction: 0
Blog Posts: 0

Total days: 1

Yup.

But, on the plus side, I appear to be employed! I can't even go in to fill out my paperwork for another month, so it's not like I'm not-crushingly-poor yet, but there is hope in sight for the first time in... years, really. Now I just have to get comfortable behind the wheel again, because it's a 40 mile commute.

Writing Recap, 9/1 - 9/13

Stone & Sky
Total words: 647
JATWIWB 'Verse: 0
Fic Assignments: 647
Other Fan Fiction: 0
Original Fiction: 0
Blog Posts: 0

Total days: 3

Ugh. I'm just feeling so incredibly burned out with my writing, I can't make myself do it lately. The femslashex assignment is helping a bit, because it's something totally different from everything I've been writing lately, but it's still going slow. I just want to scrap everything.

August Writing Recap

Stone & Sky
Total words: 5,708
JATWIWB 'Verse: 0
Fic Assignments: 1,020
Other Fan Fiction: 861
Original Fiction: 288
Blog Posts: 3,539

Total days: 9

Pretty crappy month for writing. No real reason, just poor discipline. Two blog posts, but one of them was kind of marginal as it consisted of me simply throwing my neuroses out onto the web, and no book review. Only completed fic was the rarepairfest fic. I still haven't decided if I'm going to participate in polybigbang, and I was putting off that decision until I finished the original erotica short story and the kinkmeme fill, but then I didn't finish either of those. And then I signed up for femslashex, because what I need is clearly another fic exchange.

In terms of word counts, I fell even further behind on reaching even the 75,000 word goal. So for September I need 7,588 words to reach 75,000 or 13,838 to reach 100,000 words for the year. Projects are the same as they've been all summer: Sam/Steve kinkmeme fill, original erotica, chapter 2 of Slow Ripening Fruit, Myka/Helena catgirl!fic, tumblr 100 follower giveaway fic, book review. And now added to that, the fic for whoever I get assigned for femslashex, and the polybigbang fic if I decide to participate. Oh and I also signed up for femslash100's drabble cycle, but the due date for that is a year away so it can stay on the backburner for now. I'm an idiot.
Stone & Sky
Note: Vague spoilers for Teen Wolf follow, though I'm only talking about the first two seasons because that's the point a lot of the fandom refuses to look beyond.

So a while back I got into the Teen Wolf fandom in my usual ass-backwards way. I wanted a new fandom to read fic in and Teen Wolf is massive so I gave it a try, figuring out the canon based on the things I saw repeated over and over again in fic as is my wont. I had been on tumblr long enough to know that it was a fandom like Inception where the largest pairing did not involve the lead character at all, and that plenty of people invested in social justice had significant problems with that because unlike Inception the lead character in Teen Wolf is Latino. I had also heard vague rumblings about creepy consent and sexual assault issues in canon.

And reading the fic, I thought I got some of those vague rumblings. Characters were constantly invading each others' space in vaguely sexual ways, stalking abounded, and Stiles was a Nice Guy(tm) with a ten-year plan to win Lydia's heart, despite Lydia & Jackson's epic love story.

But then I learned that the Teen Wolf show runner is the guy who created Criminal Minds, which was such a WTF discovery that I had to check the actual show out, something I still haven't done for, for instance, Sherlock, my first fandom. (It also explained why characters in fic often watch Criminal Minds, which was baffling to me before I knew this fact, because generally when fic writers bring in pop culture it's Joss Whedon and Disney/Pixar, not cerebral police procedurals.)

And watching the show did provide lots and lots of examples of the personal space invasions and sexualized violence and creepy stalking. Derek was the worst offender (of the heroes, the villains are all terrible too), constantly lurking around the high school (Derek's somewhere in his early/mid-twenties) and locker room, breaking into peoples' houses to lie in wait in their bedrooms, grabbing people and throwing them up against walls to yell in their faces. Jackson was nearly as bad, and even Scott, while never violent like those two, definitely stalked Allison, lurking on the roof outside her bedroom window to listen to her with his heightened senses. Derek was totally Bad Touch in his seduction of Erica (a 16 year old girl) to take the Bite, and then Erica and Isaac immediately used their new werewolf powers to also start throwing people into walls and talking in their faces in vaguely sexual ways.

But I didn't (and still don't) see Nice Guy(tm) Stiles at all in canon.The things that came up over and over (and over and over) again in fic were: Stiles has had a crush on Lydia since elementary school; Stiles asks Lydia to all the dances even though she ignores him; Stiles obsessively collects invasive personal data about Lydia; Stiles has a ten-year plan to woo and win Lydia. And, well, those things are kind of there in the show. But the overall effect is startlingly different.

So (in my view of) the show: Yes, Stiles has had a crush on Lydia since elementary school. We know this because in one early episode when Lydia enters the school hallway Stiles calls out a witless infatuated "Hi Lydia," which she ignores, and then Stiles and Scott have a line or two of exposition about his crush. Yes Stiles asks Lydia to a dance and she turns him down because she's going with her boyfriend, but I don't remember anything establishing that he always did that. Yes, when Lydia has been assaulted and is missing Stiles can rattle off her height and eye/hair color to his dad, the Sheriff. Yes, Scott references Stiles's ten-year plan, once, when they're off on their own, and Stiles has just wished Lydia happiness with her boyfriend. (I think; I've only watched the episodes once. But the context was definitely Stiles doing something to indicate he's cool with Lydia being with Jackson, because Scott's line was "But what about your ten-year plan?")

But all of that seems so much less creepy Nice Guy(tm) and so much more benign teenage crush in context. Both the immediate context of the scenes which I tried to explain above, where in canon the interactions struck me as one-off but fic writers assumed they exhibited a pattern of harassing behavior, and also everything else about Lydia & Stiles' interaction on the show, which somehow never makes it into fic.

Like the scene where Stiles comes over to Lydia's house after some supernatural attack to check if she's all right and she starts hitting on him, acting super seductive and inviting him to lie down with her, and he gets wide-eyed and gleeful until he realizes she's taken some painkillers and thinks he's her boyfriend Jackson, at which point he immediately turns her down and leaves the room. Or the multiple times that Stiles is the only person willing to listen to Lydia's concerns that something weird is happening to her (spoiler: something is), after both her boyfriend and her best friend have brushed her off in fairly cruel ways.

I try really hard to second-guess my instinct to defend white male characters. I have stopped myself repeatedly from defending Tony Stark, because while I love him there are definitely elements of his character in the movies that are problematic -- I personally don't read him as a chronic sexual harasser, but there's enough in canon to support that reading so I won't argue with people who see him that way.

But I am disturbed by (and wish to argue with) the reading of Stiles as a Nice Guy(tm) who feels himself 'friend-zoned' by Lydia, because I don't see that in canon at all. I can't think of a single point where Stiles seems to expect anything of Lydia -- he thinks himself in love with her, yes, and he has clearly spent a lot of time watching her from afar, picking up details that everyone else around her has missed (like the fact that she's a math genius). But he never exhibits any disappointment or anger (or even surprise) when Lydia does not return his feelings; he doesn't feel she owes him anything, which to me is the hallmark of a Nice Guy(tm). As they become friends, rather than the acquaintances they are at the beginning, he seems happy about that -- not because he thinks it's getting him closer to getting in her pants, but because he genuinely likes hanging out with her and values her friendship.

And the thing is. . . Stiles is one half of the fandom OTP of Derek/Stiles. All the fics where I was getting that impression of Nice Guy(tm) Stiles were fics where the writer was brushing off his crush on Lydia as unhealthy in order to get him together with Derek. Meanwhile, Lydia was being written as still eternally devoted to Jackson, their romance a Hollywood-style True Love.

And that's what seriously bugs me. Because even if I were to read Stiles's behavior as critically as I am capable of, Lydia/Jackson as a romantic relationship is waaaaaaaaaay more awful. There's one scene very early on where Lydia, in her persona of Queen Bee, is kind of controlling and bitchy* to him; and then there are two full seasons where Jackson is verbally and emotionally abusive to Lydia, repeatedly saying the most awful things he can think of to her, often at the top of his voice and in public.

Like, really fandom? You're going to harp on Stiles's crush as unhealthy, then write her staying with Jackson as unambiguously happy and not at all problematic? In that context, people "calling out" Stiles's behavior feels less like legitimate understanding of consent and rape culture and more like grasping at straws in order to erase a canon relationship (even an unrequited one) with a woman and advance the fandom relationship with a man. Just part and parcel of all the female love interests who are suddenly "too good" to be with the male main character, who get backgrounded and relegated to the role of matchmaker for the dude/dude romance.

But, well, issues of consent are one of the three places where I often find myself at odds with the Social Justice movement online, so maybe there's still something I've internalized that I need to work out.

----------

*I try really hard to avoid this word, but so much of how Lydia is constructed in the early seasons of the show is upholding a very particular view of women and femininity that I couldn't come up with any alternative. She's clearly the equivalent of Cordelia Chase from Buffy; the writers deliberately wrote her as The Bitch in what I'm sure they think is an attempt at subverting the trope, and calling her behavior anything else would miss the point.

Fic: Annul a Want

Melinda May/Hold Tight
Fics have come off anon in the rarepairfest, so I can now claim mine! I was assigned to write for originally (who also wrote my fabulous White Collar gift fic, coincidentally) who wanted Melinda/Natasha and didn't mind angst and character/relationship studies. I had a lot of feels about how the dynamic between these two might work after Ward's betrayal, so for maybe the first time I posted something without a happy ending. I'm pleased with how it came out!

Title: Annul a Want
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe -- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. & Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Relationship(s): Melinda May/Natasha Romanov
Word Count: 1,020
Genre: Angst, Character/Relationship Study
Rating: Teen & Up
Summary: Since the fall of SHIELD, Melinda has been avoiding Natasha. Natasha’s given her time, but enough is enough. Unfortunately, the conversation doesn't go as she would've liked it to.
Excerpt:
Natasha uncurled, spreading her legs and stretching her arms over the back and arm of the couch so that her uniform gaped where she had unzipped it. “Is there some reason we can’t get a little mutual stress relief in the meantime?”

Melinda slammed her cup down on the table. “Don’t do that.”

Natasha sat stunned for a moment, then drew her limbs back in carefully, arranging herself in a neutral, attentive pose. She didn’t speak until she knew her voice would be steady, abstractly curious instead of defensive. “Don’t do what?”

Melinda took a deep breath, then looked her straight in the eyes. “Do not seduce me to get what you want.”