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I’ve been watching people doing the Fandom Snowflake Challenge ([community profile] snowflake_challenge) with interest. I keep thinking about trying it, but I haven’t been able to find the energy to start. Usually, I find that sort of meme easy, but mostly, when I think about this one, my mind goes blank. I did, however, spend a while yesterday trying to figure out what makes me fannish about a canon. Part of that was trying to figure out what I’m actually fannish about.

Part of that is that I don’t actually have a solid definition of 'fannish.' Is it things I write? Things I read? Things I rewatch/reread often? Things I think about a lot and want to bend into different shapes to see what happens? Actually, now that I think of it, I suspect that that last is the biggest factor. It doesn’t dictate what I love and/or enjoy, but it does dictate what I put on the list below. There are a lot of things I adore and would love to discuss and/or write but usually don’t, and a lot of things I don’t adore but happily write and discuss anyway.

The five fandoms that I’m sure go on that list of yes!-this fandoms are Weiss Kreuz, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Chronicles of Amber, The Pretender, and, oddly, Sky High (which is the only one on the list that I’ve never written). I think they’re not all on the list for the same reasons, though.

Harry Potter and Rurouni Kenshin are on a related list in as much as each has given me one ginormous fic idea that I’ve been chipping away at for years. I don’t feel strongly drawn to write other fics in those fandoms. That’s not to say that I couldn’t or won’t. I very easily could. I just don’t feel like I have to if that makes sense.

InuYasha, Ranma 1/2, Labyrinth, and Phineas and Ferb fall into a third category— They’re things I could get very into in terms of digging stories out of them but that I haven’t actually fallen into for one reason or another. I don’t have specific ideas for any of them or headcanons or anything similar just a general feeling that something there could work.

There are two or three hundred other canons that I’d be perfectly happy writing, given a prompt and time and access to canon for review. My problem for Yuletide and Not Prime Time and such, in terms of offers, is always narrowing things down to less than thirty options. There are probably even more fandoms in which I’m willing to read when I’m in the mood for fic or when a recommendation sounds like exactly my sort of thing.

I don’t need to love something to have a blast writing it or discussing it or reading it. The prompts/story ideas I have saved in a locked entry include things for a number of fandoms not on this list. I have no idea if I’ll get to any of them, but I was interested enough to keep them for later.
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Yea! I have finally finished coming up with answers of some sort to the questions posed to me about my fic in that meme a while back. I apologize for the delay.

[livejournal.com profile] rosielotrfan asked about Covenant, my Harry Potter/Sandman/xxxHOLIC crossover.

1. What was my inspiration for this fic? How did it come to me?

When I write, I tend to find a first line and sort of wander from there. I wrote this one for Fandom Stocking 2008 and spun it off from a fragment I'd already written because the recipient's fandoms seemed to fit. This story addressed a plot hole that would be in Auguries of Innocence if I carried it forward (and I have for at least a few chapters in the years since).

I still have no idea why I put Morpheus in the story. I don't actually like the Sandman comics at all. The characters interested me, but I couldn't deal with the horrific elements. Morpheus just seemed to fit here and to be necessary.

At any rate, I started with the idea of Luna needing a wish. I didn't think that she'd likely be in a position to visit Japan, but Yuuko's store doesn't seem to exist entirely in the physical world, and that led to the entrance through the dream realm. I didn't actually know when I started the story how the characters would interact. Luna kept surprising me.

I don't think I quite got Luna's wish right, not for the other work I have in mind, but this will do.

7. Were there any major decisions I made about the fic that could have made it go a whole different direction?

I think the biggest decision I made was to try to make this story stand on its own. There are a few bits— mostly references to Draco— that make sense only when one knows that this is a canon divergent AU. I could have made the AU elements stronger, more obvious. I think, though, that the story works better kind of vaguely unanchored.

I do think, too, that Morpheus adds something, possibly context, that doesn’t come from Luna and Yuuko interacting with each other. If I’d omitted him, there are a lot of things that would have been left unsaid. So, I guess, I do know why Morpheus is in the story.

8. Was there anything I only learned about the fic after I had finished it? (themes, motifs, symbolism, etc)

I’m not actually sure. I think there are more things that I discovered as I wrote. I tend to wander as I write and discover both the details and the shape of the story as I go. I don’t generally analyze my stories much after the fact. I end up looking at things and being surprised that the bits all fit together when I didn’t plan how they would.

14. If I were to write a sequel to this fic, what would it be about?

I’ve already written six and a half chapters (about 40000 words) of sequel to this. I have no idea how long that story will end up being or where it will end up going. I’m still trying to construct a plan for the plot. I’ve gotten as far as I have simply by writing and discovering things like "Oh. That character is a villain. I didn’t know that."

It is a dark, canon divergent AU in which Draco succeeded in killing Dumbledore during sixth year. Things go more than a bit sideways from there. The story picks up after Harry defeats Voldemort (six or seven years after Dumbledore’s death), but pretty much everyone has gotten a lot darker than in the canonical timeline. Draco and Luna are my main point of view characters, and they’re both more than a little, um, at an angle to reality as everyone else sees it. That makes writing them challenging but also a lot of fun.

This is the story I was working on when this year went pear shaped.



[personal profile] lunabee34 asked about Faded Colors, my Jadis centric Narnia backstory.

3. What’s the part of the fic I’m most proud of?

I wanted very much to make Jadis a person. As Lewis wrote her, she’s a single note character, and she doesn’t have much of a past. He establishes that she did something really and truly terrible and doesn’t regret it all, but he doesn’t give her the complexities that would explain why she would become a person who would do that. I didn’t want to assume that she was born evil and so doomed from the start. I also didn’t want to minimize the terrible things that she does in canon.

I thought the scene where Aslan offers Jadis redemption was key. All of her life built toward her being the sort of person who would rather destroy than share, who would rather suffer than humble herself or admit to any error.



[personal profile] maramcreates asked about Fulcrum.

7. Were there any major decisions I made about the fic that could have made it go a whole different direction?

This was a Yuletide fic. My recipient said that they were definitely interested in a crossover between Zenna Henderson’s People stories and some other fandom. They didn’t list the fandoms that they had in mind, but they had a few fandoms listed in their interests on their LJ profile. My suspicion is that they were thinking of a crossover with Smallville, but that’s not a canon I knew much about. Doctor Who on the other hand… Well, I knew a fair amount about that. I don’t recall if there were other fandoms listed that might have worked for the crossover, but using a different fandom would have changed things vastly.

I had to decide which Doctors to use. I couldn’t tell from my recipient’s LJ which was their preferred Doctor, so I went with the ones I knew best, the Seventh and the Fourth. I’d seen the bits of new Who that were available up to that point, but I hadn’t really internalized them enough to see Nine (was Ten around yet when I wrote this? I don’t remember) as really being the Doctor. At any rate, given that every Doctor has a different personality, this story would have gone differently with different Doctors.

I’m not sure that the other decisions I recall would have made a big difference— I decided which state the story took place in, but I don’t think that mattered too much. I decided that I wanted Melodye there because I thought that Karen/Melodye was a real possibility even if I didn’t end up doing more than think about it.

11. If I were to rewrite this fic, what would I change?

I think I’d use italics a bit less. I’m trying to get away from doing that these days.

Also, we know a lot more about the backstory for new Who now, and I think that that would have an impact on the plot. I was relying more on old Who canon than on new, but I was playing with the idea that this might be what the Doctor did to destroy Gallifrey, that, by letting the People establish themselves on Earth and not just on the New Home, he altered history enough that Gallifrey didn’t come into being the way it had in his personal history.

14. If I were to write a sequel to this fic, what would it be about?

I would like to figure out what happened on the other occasions when Karen met the Doctor, and I’d like to expand on Karen’s relationship with Melodye. This is the closest I’ve come to writing a f/f romance, and it’s just barely implied. I mean, I think that one can see it that way if one’s paying attention, but it’s not even stated, so it’s equally possible to read it as 'merely' a close friendship. I’m not sure that more romance would have fit the story since the focus was elsewhere, but… Yeah. Karen and Melodye deserve more attention. I’m curious as to what Karen’s family would have thought. I like to think that the People would be open to same sex relationships. I don’t know that Zenna Henderson ever thought about it, but the sort of folks she wrote the People as being ought to welcome love in all non-abusive forms.
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Comment with the title of one of my fics (at AO3 or at my website. There’s one story on AO3 that’s not on my website, "Future Imperfect (The This Is a Mean World Remix)" and one story at my website that’s not on AO3, "Occlusion") and the number of one (or more, as many as actually interest you) of these questions, and I will answer.

1. What was my inspiration for this fic? How did it come to me?
2. What’s my favorite part of the fic?
3. What’s the part of the fic I’m most proud of?
4. What part of the fic was the hardest for me to write?
5. What part of the fic am I still dissatisfied with?
6. Who’s my favorite character in the fic?
7. Were there any major decisions I made about the fic that could have made it go a whole different direction?
8. Was there anything I only learned about the fic after I had finished it? (themes, motifs, symbolism, etc)
9. Did anyone in the fic surprise me by doing anything? If so, what?
10. If I had to sum up this fic in a sentence, what would it be?
11. If I were to rewrite this fic, what would I change?
12. Did any thing about this fic’s reception surprise me?
13. What were my beta’s major comments about the first draft of this fic?
14. If I were to write a sequel to this fic, what would it be about?
15. Any other question about the fic!
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Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner


Day 7
In your own space, share your love for a trope, cliché, kink, motif, or theme. (More than one is okay, too.) Tell us about it, tell us why you love it, give us some examples and recs. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.


There's something that fascinates me about time travel fic, specifically fix-it time travel fic. I love the idea that history is malleable when it becomes the now. I don't generally care if the time travel is intended to produce the same story as canon (fixing things that were worse than canon) or if it's meant to try for better results. I don't even care if the fix it attempts work or make things worse as long as the repercussions of the meddling seem plausible.

I've mostly seen this sort of story in Harry Potter and Naruto, but I don't see why it couldn't work for other fandoms. I haven't read any new time travel fics recently (largely because I haven't been reading much fic at all. I need to remedy that).

I highly recommend Deadwoodpecker's Backward With Purpose and its sequels (not all of those were complete the last time I checked). This is a Harry Potter fix it fic that starts from a world where things went considerably worse than they did in canon.

I'm sure I've got links for other time travel fics. I just no longer remember most of the titles and can't bring myself to follow all of the links I've saved off. I'm afraid I'd fall into the rabbit hole and never come out. Then again, it would probably be a good thing to start updating my recs site, and that requires following those links and rereading those fics.

Day 11
In your own space, post a rec for fannish and/or creative resources. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.


I've got three resources to recommend.

First, [community profile] metanews, [livejournal.com profile] metanews, [tumblr.com profile] metanews. This is a newsletter that collects links to meta posting around the web. The link finders, of which I am one, do some searching of DW, AO3, Pinboard, and those meta blogs we've found out about. We're currently looking for someone to look for meta on Tumblr (we had someone, but they haven't been able to continue), and we would like someone to look for meta on LJ.

[community profile] writethisfanfic is a writers' community. Every day, there's a check in post where writers can talk about their progress and support each other. I usually do check in posts for one week every month. The community is fairly quiet right now.

[livejournal.com profile] ushobwri is a writers' community. There are three posts a week, an inspirational post on Monday, a check in post on Wednesday, and a snippet post on Friday. This community is fairly active.
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I'm still working away on the Fandom Snowflake Challenge.

I haven't managed to do Day Four yet-- That requires talking to someone new. I've decided to comment on a fic I loved when I read it years ago. It's on fanfiction.net, and, at that time, I didn't have an account, so I couldn't leave feedback. I've had the window open to comment for days, but I keep failing my morale check.

I haven't even started the challenge for Day Six. That is to make a new fanwork. I don't have any ideas that are brief enough, and I'm afraid of starting yet another story that I can't finish. I so seldom write short things, and I don't generally write fast, so something longer would be quite a commitment.

I'm skipping Day Eight altogether because I'm not comfortable asking other people to praise me.

Days Seven, Nine, Ten, and Twelve, I'm still working on, but I've done Day Eleven. I'll post that later, hopefully when I have a couple of more days done to post with it.
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Remaining questions from [personal profile] silverr:

The most useful piece of writing advice you've ever received (or puzzled out for yourself)?

I don't usually seek out writing advice because it tends to confuse me. I mostly write by instinct rather than by plan (which comes back to bite me from time to time). The things I've picked up that have stuck with me are basic technical things like picking a point of view character for a scene and sticking with them the whole time or not being afraid to use the word 'said' or the characters' names. I used fangirl Japanese in the first couple of things I posted. I'm unlikely to do that now. Though I do still often use honorifics when writing anime/manga fandoms. I think they're important bits of characterization. I'm always afraid of not doing them right, but I think they're necessary in a lot of cases.

I think, though, that the most useful thing I've learned is to tell the story that speaks to me. Even if I'm writing a story for a specific other person and trying to match their tastes, I need to find something in the story that works for me in order to be able to write well. Even if I'm writing a character or trope that never appealed to me before, I have to find something about it that works for me or the story will be hollow. I have learned that pretty much any character can fascinate me if I dig far enough. There are still some I'm not comfortable writing because I'm not sure I can write them well, but there's always something I can latch on to, some place I can start.


Things that aggravate you the most?

That's pretty simple-- People saying they'll do something and then not doing it and not telling me that they won't be doing it. I understand that circumstances change and that things come up. Sometimes we all promise things we can't deliver on. I just-- It frustrates me to no end to be relying on someone for something and have them not come through and not tell me that they can't or won't do it. There are usually alternative avenues I can pursue if I know. When I don't know, I wait and wait and whatever it is ends up not done at all because the time when it could be done is past.


Favorite food or type of cuisine?

This is hard. Most cuisines tend to use ingredients I can't handle-- Peppers, tomatoes, peanuts, eggs, and various troublesome spices turn up all over the place, often with no warning. Usually, there are only a few things on the menu that I can safely eat, and half of those are things I'm pretty sure I won't enjoy. I haven't found any particular cuisine that reliably has a lot of options I can eat without getting sick.

I suppose my current favorite would be Ethiopian food as served at Blue Nile (I don't know about Ethiopian food elsewhere. I haven't tried it). I know very clearly there which things I can safely eat and which I can't, and it's all very, very tasty. But we went in once and discovered they'd temporarily changed their menu. That was difficult because, once again, I had no idea what I could safely eat. The menu descriptions either didn't help or told me that I definitely couldn't eat what was offered.


Favorite fictional critter (striped or not)?

I didn't try to dig into my library in the basement to find candidates (though I'm sure I'm forgetting some I really love). I just skimmed over our DVDs and the books upstairs and drew a bit on my own memories. Honorable mentions go to Ein (Cowboy Bebop), Stitch (Lilo and Stitch), Mogget (Garth Nix's Old Kingdom series), the fire lizards in general (Anne McCaffrey's Pern books), Gromit (Wallace and Gromit), Perry the Platypus (Phineas and Ferb), and Totoro and the Cat Bus (My Neighbor Totoro).

I settled, however, on Gonzo the Great. I've known him since childhood and have always loved his willingness to try new and unexpected things. He's never put off by failure, even spectacular failure. A lot of his ideas are things no sane person would follow through on, and he does anyway. He never seems to get discouraged.
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This is the last of the topics offered specifically to me for the December meme. I have a handful of others remaining that someone posted for anybody who wanted to write to them. I don't feel so motivated to complete those, so I may or may not. I'm putting off the rest of the Fandom Snowflake Challenge until later because Day 4 requires a little more thought and a little more courage (and really isn't something to post about here anyway. It's something to do rather than a topic to write about).

Moment this year when you were the most proud of yourself. (for [personal profile] mergatrude)

I'm not really sure how to answer this one. I feel like the things I achieved this year were small triumphs. Life was mostly everyday stuff that leaves me reasonably content. Thinking about it, though, there are a couple of things--

First, "Not All My Grief" passed Rheotaxis for number of kudos on AO3. I'm very pleased with what I managed with that story (even if the recipient never did comment). It did exactly what I meant for it to do.

Second, I managed to figure out how to post fics on fanfiction.net. I got all of my fic that are appropriate for the site up there. None of them get a lot of hits (I write a lot of obscure fandoms), but people are reading them, people who wouldn't go to AO3 or my website. I'd been afraid of posting on fanfiction.net for a long time, partly because of its reputation and restrictions and partly because anything new scares me. Now I just have to get myself past the next anxiety barrier there and comment on somebody else's story. There are some stories there that I really do love, and I've never been able to let the authors know before.
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Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner


Day 1 )

Day 2 )

Day 3 )
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You have a two way trip in a time machine backwards only. When do you choose to visit and return to the current time? (for [personal profile] zhelana)

There'd be a lot of factors playing into my decision-- How many people could go with me? Do other people get to make trips of their own or is this the only time ever for anybody? Do I have time before hand to learn a new language? What are the risks that I'll introduce a disease or some such to that time or otherwise catastrophically alter the timeline? Can I make deliberate changes? How long could I stay? What resources would I have for local money/trade goods? Do I have a way to defend myself if things go wrong?

For a short trip, one without a lot of preparation time, I think I might go back and see a Shakespeare play in the first run. That seems like something manageable. I'd probably experience extreme culture shock over being in a different time, but I think I could get by long enough to see a play. I'd do whatever I could, though, to avoid having to search out a privy in that time. I'm a little worried that I'd get mugged.

For a longer trip with more preparation (and more precautions), I think I'd be interested in going somewhere in Pre-Columbian North America. I haven't narrowed it down further than that, yet. That's where I'd be really worried about introducing some sort of disease to the population and where I'd want carefully selected trade goods.

Then again, if I could sneak in some modern technology in order to do some (a lot of) scanning of texts, a trip to the Library at Alexandria would be really tempting. Extremely tempting. I'd just have to learn a couple of languages first.

Of course, I'm mostly likely to want other people to go to all sorts of different times and places and to come back and write about what they experienced. There are all sorts of questions that time travel could answer.
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You have a one way trip in a time machine. Forward or backwards in time. When do you choose to go live? (for [personal profile] zhelana)

I am assuming, for this, that for some reason I absolutely have to take the trip, no options. I'm not sure that, otherwise, I'd travel to a different time.

I think I'd gamble on the future. There are medications I take every day that I wouldn't do very well without, and if I went back, I'd be pretty sure not to have access to them once whatever supply I'd brought with me ran out. I'm not entirely sanguine about the future, but I know the past is a place I wouldn't survive particularly well. I'm also attached to clean water and indoor plumbing, and I like being able to vote and own property and all that. I'm not sure how far in the future I'd go, though. Even a decade would leave me hopelessly out of my depth technologically given how fast things are changing.

There's also the question of Scott and Cordelia-- Could I take them with me? If I couldn't, I'd want the shortest possible trip into the future just because it would break me to lose them.

My answer might change if it were possible for me to change the past and if it were possible for me to take a lot of things back with me. I could see going back a century or so and trying to alter our current world's dependence on fossil fuels. I'd want to do a heck of a lot of research first. I'm woefully ignorant about a lot of more or less recent history. I'm not even sure where the potential points are for changes. And who knows? Perhaps more research would suggest some other change that I'd consider more important.
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December 31: your favorite moment of the month. (for [personal profile] zhelana)

This one is hard because my moments blur into one another. There don't tend to be events in my life that stand out, either positively or negatively. I'm largely content with my life. The really good moments are things like when Cordelia hugs me (I know that will stop some time in the next year or two, so I'm savoring the hugs now) or when Scott rubs my back.

I took pleasure in seeing Scott and Cordelia open presents I'd picked out for them on Christmas morning, and I was quite pleased when I posted my Yuletide story and again when it got good feedback, both kudos and comments. I just don't know if any of those was my favorite moment. I felt a sense of accomplishment with regard to all the baking and food preparation I did in getting ready for Christmas. I particularly enjoyed making lemon bars (even though they didn't come out very well) because Cordelia helped me. Both of us standing together by the mixer, wearing aprons and measuring out ingredients was pretty neat. I did enjoy putting up the Christmas tree. That was more in watching Cordelia trying to find the exact right place to put each ornament than in anything else.

There were a lot of good moments in December. I don't think I can pick an absolute favorite, though. None of the highs were spectacularly higher than the others, not enough to be obviously better than the others. I feel sort of like picking a favorite decreases the value of all those other good moments.
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What's your favorite fictional world? (for [personal profile] lynnoconnacht)

This one was hard. There are worlds, like Weiss Kreuz and Narnia, that I love to write fics for, but I don't know that those are my favorites. There are worlds I enjoy visiting, even over and over again. I just don't think any of those are my favorite. I think, to be my favorite, a world has to be a place I'd really want to be real. Unfortunately for me, the two worlds that are coming to mind would likely seem just like my everyday world if I lived there.

I'm thinking of the worlds of Phineas and Ferb and The Magic School Bus. Both of those worlds are pleasant places.

Phineas and Ferb has incredible things happening regularly, but nothing ever goes permanently wrong, and nobody ever really gets hurt. Of course, I'm a responsible, adult woman; I probably wouldn't ever see any of the spectacular stuff. Cordelia, on the other hand, would have a blast. I think she'd enjoy being a Fireside Girl.

With The Magic School Bus, the magic seems to be very, very localized. It's just Ms Frizzle's class at that particular school. Of course, we don't know that there aren't people like Ms Frizzle with things like the bus all over that world. Again, as an adult, I likely wouldn't encounter the magic directly. Still, one never knows. If it's possible, it might touch the adult world, too.
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Tell me what you enjoy about Zenna Henderson's People stories. (for [personal profile] hyperfocused)

My first Yuletide, I wrote for [personal profile] hyperfocused, a crossover between Zenna Henderson's People stories and Doctor Who. I would never have thought to write that on my own, but I really enjoyed the process. Reviewing the stories was fun as I hadn't read them in quite a while. (I didn't review Doctor Who because I didn't then have access to any episodes.)

I enjoy Zenna Henderson's People stories because they're about people who are fundamentally decent. The conflicts tend to be quiet. I like the personal relationship with the deity that the characters have and the simple phrase that calls these people to action-- "There's need." The characters aren't perfect. They feel fear and uncertainty, but they persevere anyway.

I first read the stories when I was in high school. I'm not sure if the books were my mother's or if they were books that my father left behind when Mom kicked him out. I think Mom is more likely because those books don't really seem like Papa's sort of thing. At any rate, the books pretty much immediately became mine. I was really pleased when the Science Fiction Book Club put out an edition that collected all of the stories in one place, including the ones that hadn't been in the two previous books. (And I was fairly upset when my copy of that book got water damaged by a problem with our kitchen sink. I need to replace it. It's still readable, but it's a bit warped.)

I had some trouble with depression in high school, and books like these helped because they gave me hope for a better world. The characters seemed like people I might know instead of like fantasy figures, in spite of their powers. They seemed possible.
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Since I've still got time with the kids distracting me, here's a meme entry. I'm not sure how seriously to take this topic. [personal profile] silverr listed about twenty questions (even after I eliminated the ones that I really couldn't answer or that duplicated things other people had asked me), and this is rarely asked seriously in my experience. Anyway:

What are your thoughts on yaoi?

When I first came into fanfic, I came in mostly through anime/manga fandoms, and I saw all m/m slash labeled as 'yaoi,' so that's the convention I followed. I thought the terms were synonymous.

I thought some things were strange-- Like those folks in Gundam Wing fandom who fought not just over pairings but over who topped in the pairing. 1x2 was considered a completely different thing from 2x1, and neither set of fans was keen on 1x2x1. (For those who don't know, in anime/manga fandoms, the order in which the character names are listed tells readers who they should expect to do what. The character listed first always tops.) There also seemed to be a tendency to weaken one of the characters in comparison to how he was presented in canon.

What I didn't know at first is that yaoi is a commercial genre in Japan. It's a genre with very specific conventions and a very specific audience (adult women). There's always a size difference between the two men, and often the smaller one is younger than the larger one. The smaller one tends to display a lot of stereotypically feminine traits, and the larger character frequently (but not always) forces himself on the smaller. This results in true love.

I'm not entirely (or even mostly) comfortable with the genre conventions of yaoi. Some of that is that I'm dubious about most romances, yaoi or slash or otherwise. I tend to want something more to the story than a lot of romance provides. I want a different type of plot complication than is typical. I think that shows in what I write. I'm terrible at straight up romance. I don't think I've written it successfully more than once or twice. Usually, I don't even try.

So I guess my main thought on yaoi is that I wish it were more flexible and did more of the things that interest me, but I feel that way about slash in general, too, and about f/f and het romances. I wish I were clearer on just what I do want so that I could articulate it.
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What's been your best fandom experience to date? What made it great? (for [personal profile] silverr)

It's very hard to narrow it down to one thing. My fandom experience hasn't been particularly eventful, not really. I'm not very vocally fannish, so I don't always connect with other people. I have made some friends through fandom, but I can only think of one that I talk to regularly now. I suspect that part of it is that I don't fall headlong into fandoms and so often don't have love for a canon to share with others. I enjoy reading other people's joy in their fandoms; I also enjoy reading criticism of canons whether by people who love them or by people who hate watch/read/whatever. But I don't tend to respond to those posts because I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other. My silence makes it rather as if I don't exist.

Perhaps that's a New Year's resolution I should make-- to comment more often, on fannish posts or otherwise. I wonder if I could manage a comment a day? Or maybe more?

At any rate the thing in fandom I take the most joy in (and am most likely to participate in) is fic exchanges. I prefer exchanges to challenges because having a recipient gives me a specific person who's expecting the story from me. Without that, I'm likely not to finish or, at best, to be late. The only challenge I managed to do that wasn't exchange was the Finishathon, and that had an audience expecting the story because the conceit of the challenge was that each author put up a list of possible fics and then anyone who wanted to could vote as to which story the author should complete.

Still I think fic exchanges are my favorite part of fandom. I like the writing better than the receiving, so as long as I finish (and I've not yet defaulted), I'm satisfied. I was pleased, for example, by the Shameathon even though I didn't receive a story (only about three stories ended up getting written for that exchange. I have no idea why the default rate was so high. We got to pick which prompts we wanted to write to) because "Rustication" worked so well. I took a completely off the wall pairing (Mousse/Ukyou from Ranma 1/2) and made it work. I'm very proud of that.

Yuletide, Remix, and Not Prime Time (and a couple of others I've done once) make me stretch to write fandoms I never would have tried otherwise and, some times, to take angles on canon that wouldn't have occurred to me independently. I love that. When I write, I want to do things that are new to me, things that are a challenge to make work. My first Remix, I wrote Miroku/Kikyou from InuYasha ("Interstice (the Saddle in the Rain Remix)"); I picked that story to remix because I thought the pairing would be hard to pull off right and I wanted to see if I could do it convincingly.

I've enjoyed single fandom exchanges, too, but I'm less likely to do them because there aren't many fandoms that have exchanges for which I'm certain I can write. There have been a couple of Weiss Kreuz exchanges, I forget the names, and there's the Narnia Fic Exchange every summer.

I write mostly for the pleasure of it. I won't pretend that comments and kudos aren't sweet, but I have a realistic enough sense of what I choose to write to know that I'm never going to write anything wildly popular. That's what comes from writing obscure fandoms and characters. If a fic on AO3 garners a tenth as many kudos as hits, I consider it a success. Not all my fics make that threshold, but I'm not less pleased with those that don't make it. I don't love "Not All My Grief" better than "Rustication" even though "Not All My Grief" is, going by hits to kudos, quite the most popular thing I've ever written. "Rheotaxis" may be a bit dearer than other stories, but that's because of the time I've invested in it rather than because it's popular compared to my other stories.

I don't think all of that really answers the initial question. I'm not sure I have an answer to that question because my fandom experience doesn't have any particular highs or lows. It's simply a good part of my life.
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New Year's resolutions? Love em? Or leave em? (for [livejournal.com profile] rthstewart)

I'm not usually prone to making New Year's resolutions. It's not out of any strong feelings one way or the other about them, though. It just generally doesn't occur to me.

Last year, I had a sort of New Year's resolution in that I intended to focus my writing time on Rheotaxis in a push to get it finished. That didn't work out particularly well as I'm blocked hard on the current chapter.

This year, I expect to have two intentions for the new year-- First, Rheotaxis again. This time, I'm just going to write fragments and see what I can shake loose. My second intention is to get back to exercising regularly. I fell off the wagon with my daily exercise during November and haven't managed to pick it up again. I keep wanting to bake or write during that time instead. I'd like to get back to Body Electric and Sit and Be Fit again. I'd also like to start walking on our treadmill again. I haven't done that in more than a year. I've got audiobooks on my iPod, waiting for me to start walking again. (Walking on the treadmill is more likely to happen than walking outside. I can walk longer and farther on the treadmill than outside even under the best of circumstances. I don't do so well with uneven surfaces or hills. Also, at this time of year, spending time outside is fraught-- I'm asthmatic to cold air and so have to be really careful about exerting myself when it's really cold.)

Of course, the reality of parenthood means that my 'resolutions' will start on the 5th of January when Cordelia goes back to school. I won't have time to myself before that. I'm hopeful that I can establish habits before school ends in June. Summer will be a hard time to keep everything going because time kind of flows differently then. Cordelia and I sleep later, and she often wants the TV in the afternoon when my exercise programs are on. Or she has friends over then, and I feel weird exercising when they're around.

Of course, her two most local friends are moving away at the end of May. They may or may not finish out the school year at her school (their parents have said they may end up moving outside of Ann Arbor because it will be cheaper). I don't know who she'll play with next summer. I can think of three kids within moderate walking distance (about six blocks), but one isn't a real friend, just someone she's been on many sports teams with and who used to be in her class. The other two may not be home during the days because their parents work. Then again, I think sixth grade is about the time that most options for kids for daytime in the summer evaporate.
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Favorite science show/book? (for [personal profile] silverr)

My favorite show is also a series of books-- I'm very attached to The Magic School Bus series. I haven't seen all of it, just what's available on DVD (maybe a third of the whole series). I like the way it introduces basic science concepts in a fun way, with a story and kids exploring things they wouldn't really be able to investigate quite that way. It's science with a touch of magic.

For those not familiar with the series, the conceit is that an elementary school teacher, Ms. Frizzle, has access to a school bus that can shrink and turn into various other things. It can also transform the people riding in it-- At one point the members of the class become bees; at another point, they become drops of water. The bus can fly and can travel in time. It can do just about anything that's needed to show the kids the day's science lesson.

Some of the books extend to having the class visit certain historical events, but I haven't gotten my hands on any of those. Cordelia used to have a large collection of Magic School Bus books, but she decided a few years ago that she no longer wanted them, and we donated them to her school. Only a very few hardcovers ended up in the library; most went to classroom teachers. I think we had thirty or forty books, and we didn't manage to collect all of them.
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What superpower/ability would you most like to have? (for [personal profile] silverr)

Once upon a time, I played in a campaign where we played ourselves but with superpowers. We rolled randomly on a table for how many powers we'd get and what they would be. I got a form of pyrokinesis. The GM had the policy that the powers worked not according to rules he'd established but according to how each player character interpreted them. In practice, that led to a lot of very creative uses of powers, but it also led toward power creep. The GM always said that possession of a particular power implied possession of its opposite. I took all of that to mean that my fundamental power was the ability to add energy to or subtract energy from chemical reactions and substances.

Later on in the game, the GM decided he wanted to reshuffle people's powers, and he rolled randomly to see what everybody ended up with. No matter how many times he rerolled for me, I still ended up with some form of fire based power, so he decided that that was fundamental to my character, something that couldn't be changed.

People in that game had all sorts of useful powers-- Scott's character advanced far enough that he could make structures out of force fields. He used it to build spaceships. (The GM ruled that he could make any vehicle from any canon he'd seen at least five times. That led to a point when we were in an alternate world and up against him as a villain when we had to face the Deathstar.) There was one fellow who could teleport and who developed it into interdimensional travel. One player was given the power to turn into any one creature, real or mythical, of her choice and have all of that creature's abilities. Naturally, she chose a Chinese dragon. We were all really startled when the GM allowed that one.

At any rate, that game has led me to think that I'd really like some sort of fire/energy based power. I liked being able to add and subtract heat from things. It's a really flexible ability, one that can be used with precision or as a large blunt object. Later on, I was able to turn my body to flame and fly in that form, but I think that's an extra that doesn't entirely make sense with the basic power. I wouldn't say no to it (flying is likely to be fun! A flame body is probably impervious to bullets!), of course, but it's not a fundamental part of the power.

Of course, I'm not sure what I'd do with this ability in the real world. I don't know if I'm up to being a superhero, and I definitely wouldn't enjoy being a supervillain. I very much doubt I would be as ruthless in real life as I was in the game. I would probably look for scientific applications. Or maybe I'd fight wildfires. It would depend on what scale I was able to work on.

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