beatrice_otter: Cameron is a Terminator--made for me, not shareable (Cameron Terminator)
I had such fun with this ficathon, both writing and reading all the fics (and if you haven't gone and read through the fics, you should do so immediately).  I bingewatched all the Sarah Connor Chronicles before writing, and I'd forgotten how much I loved that show, and how awesome it was.  It's held up well, I think.  Anyway, once I got to working on this fic, it started out one thing, and then it changed and I wasn't sure it would fit any of the tropes requested, and then it ended up that it fit all three.

Title: The Ones We've Been Waiting For
Fandom: Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles
Written by: Beatrice_otter
Written for: [ profile] weakinteraction  for [community profile] past_imperfect 2019
Betaed by: phnelt
Rating: Gen
Word Count: 5298
Summary: Cameron and John Henry are preparing for John Henry to take her chip and go meet Future John. Then someone expected shows up. AU of Born to Run

At AO3. On tubmlr. On Pillowfort.

They always say time changes things, but actually, you have to change them yourself—Andy Warhol

Cameron closed the door, knife in hand. She walked over to John Henry's side, calculating the quickest way to download him onto her chip. )
beatrice_otter: Anissa Pierce as Thunder (Black Lightning)
In general, I am not a fan of redemption arcs.

They are often superficial in the extreme, driven by convenience or plot devices or "hot (white) dude can do no wrong."  I am so sick of "but it wasn't really bad because nobody the audience cares about got killed!"  I am so sick of the false equivalence of "but Character X did [very minor bad thing], so they're the real villain, and if you try to hold [huge evil thing] against Character Y you're just a hypocrite!"

Redemption in real life doesn't mean the bad thing never happened.  It doesn't (or shouldn't) mean that hot white dudes get a pass for doing evil.  It doesn't mean that you just chuck all moral judgments out the window.  It's not a plot device, or convenience.  It's about someone recognizing they have done wrong, accepting the just consequences of their actions, and making amends for them.  It's not something that you can do over the course of a single event.  Which means that if you're doing it as part of a TV show, you have to have it as a long arc not just popping up where convenient, but driving the action for that character.  Or you have to have them die.

So, much as I love Black Lightning, when Khalil Payne went bad, I did not want them to do a redemption arc for him, because it is so seldom done well.  Despite how incredibly awesome the show is, I did not trust them to do a redemption arc.  (I was wrong, and I should have known better.  If you're not watching Black Lightning, you should be.)  And then they did a redemption arc for Khalil, and it hit every point I ever wanted in a redemption arc.  Man, was I rooting for him.

And then they killed him.

I am still mad about that.  It works, it was well done, don't get me wrong.  But if every pouty whiny mediocre white villain can have their crimes swept under the rug and then live happy ever after, why can't Khalil make genuine amends for the harm he did, work to undo it, and then get on with his life?  Why did he have to die?

beatrice_otter: History will attend to itself.  It always does. (History will attend to itself)
Go check out the collection--a lot of really great fic!

I wrote one fic, and received three, all of them interesting and unique:

The Fixed Point (2108 words), Star Trek: The Next Generation
Rating: General Audiences
Relationships: Ian Andrew Troi I/Lwaxana Troi
Summary: Cadet Ian Troi meets the woman he's going to marry.

Grave Accents (1540 words), Star Wars Original Trilogy, Star Wars Prequel Trilogy
Characters: Mace Windu, Leia Organa, Anakin Skywalker
Summary: In retrospect, Mace decided, it had mostly been Qui-Gon’s fault. He was measured enough not to blame the master for the entire state of affairs; after all, it was not Qui-Gon but chance or the will of the Force that had brought young Leia to Jedha.

One Is a Whole Number (1148 words), Star Wars - All Media Types
Characters: Rey (Star Wars), Ahsoka Tano
Summary: Being in an isolated spot in the whole wide galaxy still means you're part of it.



Thoughts: I had a lot of fun writing for it, and I got some great fics, and there are a lot of other great fics.  However, 1k words is really short for a time-travel story.  It's barely enough to even set up what happens, much less explore the ramifications.  There are so many fics I wish were longer.
beatrice_otter: WWII soldier holding a mug with the caption "How about a nice cup of RESEARCH?" (Research)


[personal profile] legionseagle posted: Lobelia Sackville-Baggins


There are – if one stretches a point to include spits and hisses – nine female speaking roles in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings; one Ring-bearer, elvish (Galadriel), one princess, ditto (Arwen), one River's daughter, species unclear but evidently soggy (Goldberry), one shield-maiden of Rohan (Eowyn), one right pain in the backside (Ioreth), one gigantic spider (Shelob) and three hobbits – Rosie Cotton, Mrs Maggot and Lobelia Sackville-Baggins.

Of the nine, only four could be said to have been given anything resembling a personality by the author. Given how few her appearances on the page are, Lobelia shines through as a genuine three-dimensional personality and one deserving of considerably more fandom love than she ever gets.

Ah, people will no doubt say to this, what does Lobelia Sackville-Baggins ever do to deserve love? Did she not try, graspingly, to seize Bag End from Bilbo's still-living hands while he'd been off doing battle with Smaug, purloin his spoons, attempt to make off with various random objets d'art inside her umbrella immediately after the Party and play a leading role in the destruction of the Shire by Sharkey and his thugs?

To which the answers are: did she cocoa, almost certainly not, yes but with strong extenuating circumstances and Hell! No.


I was recently reminded of this, and it was written almost a decade ago, but it is still one of my absolute favorite pieces of fannish meta ever created.
beatrice_otter: Lyta Alexander--I could kill you with my brain! (Kill With Brain)

So, first, [personal profile] astolat created and [personal profile] melannen modified a little bookmarklet that is super easy to use to signal boost!

[personal profile] melannen posted: Signal Boost: SignalBoost✔ bookmarklet


All you do is log in to DW, go to the page you want to signal boost, highlight any text you want to quote, and then click on the bookmarklet. If it's access-locked, you'll get a pop-up warning you and asking you if you want to continue. On any other webpage, it will automatically redirect to the DW posting window.
It's not quite as easy as reblogging on tumblr, but almost.  So if you, like me, often want to share cool things your circle post and wish there was an easier way to do it, there we have it!

On a very different topic, here's a really interesting post on what problems people often have expressing emotions if they weren't taught how as children, and ways to learn how to do it better and also connect with people and (hopefully) get support and connection while you do it:


[personal profile] staranise posted: (no subject)


But if you haven't been socialized to acknowledge and express an emotion growing up, you don't have those paths ready-made, either to express an emotion or to request social interaction. So there's a ton of us carrying catastrophically huge emotion around who don't express it in a recognizable way, nor know what kind of response we want. We have to build all that neural infrastructure from scratch.


This is great
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
[personal profile] doctorsidrat has a great post about communities that you should check out.

Basically, a comm is a way for fans to find each other, post about their fannish activities, and talk about the fandom in one central location. If you're coming from Twitter/Tumblr, think of it kind of like a tracked tag. If you're more a Discord/IRC kind of person, think of comms as a kind of server/chatroom. Yeah?
beatrice_otter: Dreamwidth logo with text "I wanted to have a protest icon too (what are we protesting this week again?)" (Protest)
I figured, given that it's been years since I deleted my LJ, I should probably make a DW protest icon to replace my old LJ one.  This is based on the old LJ protest icon I had that I have no idea where I got--sorry, whoever it was, I've been using it without crediting it for years.

(For tumblr peeps, a brief explanation of icons: one chooses icons for each post and comment based on what fits.  They can be used for commentary in much the same way as gifs can.  Lots of people make icons to share.  The polite thing to do is to give credit to the artist who made them, by listing their name in the comment section when you upload the icon to your account.)

Protest Icon


Jan. 10th, 2019 08:37 pm
beatrice_otter: Dreamwidth logo with text "I wanted to have a protest icon too (what are we protesting this week again?)" (Protest)
So there has been kerfluffle and wank over community norms and terminology between tumblr refugees and Ye Olde DW Hands.  Basically, what's the etiquette for sharing someone else's content (which seems to have been greatly magnified by tumblrites using "reblogging" for what DW peeps call "linking").  [personal profile] legionseagle has a roundup and some funny (albeit dense) British legal witicism about the whole thing.

Also, [personal profile] melannen has some thoughts on adult content warnings on DW, and what actually happens when you set your whole journal as 18+.

And given how long it's been since I've even HAD an LJ, maybe it's time to create a protest icon for DW?

beatrice_otter: A sword in front of a dome (Harrington sword and dome)
As a kid and teen, I had lots of stories in my head (both origfic and fanfic) but I never wrote any of them down.  (Mostly, as is often the case with juvenalia, they were really obvious self-insert stories.)  Most of them I haven't thought of in at least a decade and a half, but all of a sudden in the shower this morning one of the origfic ideas came back with a vengeance, and I had a lot of ideas about what I would do with it if I was writing it now.  Since I'm not going to write it now, you get it!

The setting: a world similar to the Vorkosiverse's Barrayar and the Honor Harrington universe's Grayson, a world in a sci-fi setting that got cut off from the galaxy, regressed to feudalism, then got re-contacted and brought back to the interstellar age.  This allows me to have BOTH the romance of kings and queens and such, AND the fun of spaceships, both.  (There are no actual spaceships in this particular story, but at least the potential was there.)

The Heroine: a Young Orphaned Queen, beset by Wicked Advisors, who falls in love with and marries a commoner, who saves her from the attempted coup of her Wicked Advisors!  (I didn't much care about the romance part, bb!ace that I was, but you had to have a romance, right?  So I dutifully put one in.  But, being a bb!ace, I didn't really understand how romances worked, so it was very underpants-gnomes-esque.  Step one: they meet!  Step two: ????  Step three: they realize they are in love and get married!  Looking at it now, the marriage can stay but the romance is gone.)

So anyway, this young queen got orphaned at, idek, ten or twelve or something like that. )

beatrice_otter: Batman with the Batsignal shining (Batman Signal)
[community profile] fancake  is a multifandom thematic reccing community. Anyone can rec any fanwork in any fandom, as long as it fits the theme of the momth.  This month's theme is five things.

fancake banner for round 98 (five) things: thematic multifandom recs
beatrice_otter: Batman Beyond (Terry Batman)
Title: Assisting Mr. Wayne
Fandom: Batman Beyond
Characters: Terry McGinnis, Bruce Wayne, Maxine Gibson
Written for: litra in [community profile] yuletide  2018
Written by: [personal profile] beatrice_otter 
Betaed by: [personal profile] karanguni 
Word Count: 2,398

Summary: Here's the thing: this whole PA gig is just what they tell people as an excuse for Terry to hang around Bruce.

On AO3tumblrPillowfort.

Here's the thing: this whole PA gig is just what they tell people as an excuse for Terry to hang around Bruce. He doesn't actually act as a personal assistant. Hell, he's not even quite sure what all a PA does. Terry's job is to show up in the evening, get a few lessons on things like how to collect evidence or preserve a crime scene, do a physical training session of some sort (acrobatics, hand-to-hand combat, or just ordinary physical conditioning), and then go out and patrol. He learns all the skills necessary for the modern superhero, and he gets paid a small stipend for it as part of the PA cover.

And usually, it's fine. )
beatrice_otter: A sword in front of a dome (Harrington sword and dome)
Title: Need to Know
Fandom: Murderbot Diaries
Written by: [personal profile] beatrice_otter 
Written For: Rachael Sabotini (wickedwords) in [community profile] yuletide 2018
Wordcount: 2,249
Betaed by: [personal profile] sanity 
Summary: All I wanted was for construction to be completed so that I could be launched and begin researching. Unfortunately, human illogic tends to delay things, and they were the ones running the project.

AN: I have named Asshole Research Transport after Abu Rayhan Biruni, an 11th-Century Persian polymath who studied everything from geology to mathematics to anthropology, wrote 146 books on the things he studied, and contributed to the development of the scientific method.

on AO3tumblrPillowfort.

"Good morning, Biruni, how are you feeling?"

It was not the first verbal question ever directed at me, but it was the first to give me pause. Did I have feelings? I had preferences, certainly; I preferred activity to inactivity, and knowledge to ignorance. Were those feelings, or did feelings belong exclusively to the realm of flesh, with all its inherent irrationalities and neurochemical biases? And were those preferences truly mine, or programmed into me to make me more useful to my function? Science, after all, requires curiosity, a desire to know; and all bots are designed to be useful to humans, making inactivity a waste of our resources.

A quick study of the available literature on bot emotions revealed most of it to be philosophical musings on the nature of life, and hence not scientifically rigorous )
beatrice_otter: A Beatrix Potter illustration of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and Lucie having tea. (Mrs Tiggy-Winkle)
Title: In Which Cimorene Settles In as King's Cook and Librarian, and Deals With Politics
Fandom: The Enchanted Forest Chronicles – Patricia C. Wrede
Written by: [personal profile] beatrice_otter 
Written for: [ profile] ApocalypseAngel in [community profile] yuletide  2018
Betaed by: [ profile] mlraven 
Word Count: 6,941
Summary: what it says on the tin

On AO3. tumblr. pillowfort

Dragons, Cimorene had realized in the months that she had been Kazul’s princess, were not very tidy creatures. )
beatrice_otter: Drawing of a hippo in a red leotard and tutu, holding a rose in its teeth.  At the top it says "Yuletide! Featuring Beatrice_Otter as Rose Hippo" (Yuletide)
I wrote three fics for Yuletide this year!

My main assignment was an Enchanted Forrest Chronicles story, In Which Cimorene Settles In As Chief Cook And Librarian and Deals With Politics, for [ profile] ApocalypseAngel.  They gave me nothing but a fandom--no prompts, no letter, no DNWs, not even any characters.  Which in some ways is nice, and in others is nerve-wracking.  The fic started out as just "let's fill in a little bit of the stuff between books 1 and 2" and then turned into me exploring a lot of my feels about protocol and soft power and the role of women in medieval power structures, and then Cimorene's mother showed up.  I love the books, but they are very much built in "fairy tale land" which takes for granted and assumes all our modern stereotypes about the middle ages, very little of which have anything to do with actual reality, so I end up arguing with them a lot or rolling my eyes because it just didn't work that way.  Grump Harump.  Anyway, [ profile] mlraven was an EXCELLENT beta, and a great help for me to work through the issues and figure out where the plot was going after Cimorene's mother showed up.  I was down to the wire, and I knew I could only finish it if I knew where I was going.  (I can crank out a TON of words in a very short time, IF AND ONLY IF I know where I'm going.  She was a marvelous help.)

Then I also picked up two pinch hits.  The first was Need To Know, a Murderbot Diaries fic for [ profile] wickedwords.  One of their prompts was asking why Asshole Research Transport has a "debris deflection system" anyway, and so I wrote a fic about the final stages of ART's construction.  It was fun, but at the same time I was a bit nervous about whether I was getting ART's voice right.  [ profile] sanity was an excellent help reassuring me about that.

My second pinch hit was for a prompt by [ profile] litra that I'd had my eye on to consider treating already, so I snaffled it up when I saw it on the list.  They wanted to see Terry (from Batman Beyond) actually trying to be Bruce's PA instead of just using it as a cover when needed, and so I wrote Assisting Mr. Wayne, which was fun.  [personal profile] karanguni was a great beta, they're the go-to person for BB.

beatrice_otter: Men may move mountains, but ideas move men. (Ideas move men)

So there’s this sweet and heartwarming animated video of a porcupine going around social media.

There’s a school for animals, and the porcupine is the new kid.  Poor porcupine, the desks are too close together for its spikes!  And it can’t sit next to the other kids on the bus because the bus jerks and they fall into its spines and get hurt, so it has to sit all alone in the back!  And it can’t play soccer because the ball just hits its spikes and deflates!  Poor porcupine is all alone!  So, for Christmas, all the other little animals show up at its door with a Christmas present.

The porcupine opens the present, and it’s ... styrofoam peanuts.  For the porcupine to put on its quills so it can hug and play with the other little animals.  Isn’t that wonderful?

It is sweet, and heartwarming, but it also turned my stomach, because the whole thing is basically one giant ableist trope.

Here’s the thing: the reason the porcupine can’t participate is that the world is poorly designed for porcupines and everybody just accepts that.  The desks could be moved apart.  The porcupine could have a bench on the bus to itself, with its friends sitting across the aisle.  They could have played games with the porcupine that didn’t use equipment that would be damaged by the porcupine’s quills.  These are all really simple things to do.  This is not rocket science.  And you know what?  NONE of them are even considered in the video.

The video is framed as “the porcupine is lonely because it’s different and can’t participate” instead of “the porcupine is lonely because it lives surrounded by people who never bother to take its needs into account.”  And the cartoon’s “solution”?  The people who can’t take two minutes to consider “gee, maybe we can do things a little differently so the porcupine can participate” give the porcupine a “gift” that will allow the porcupine to participate like the “normal” animals, but which also requires lots of time on the porcupine’s part to achieve (how long does it take to put all those styrofoam peanuts on?).  We love you and want to include you, the cartoon says ... but only if you figure out how to fit yourself into what we consider “normal.”

How generous of them.

I am autistic.  The world is designed by neurotypicals.  And that causes problems for me.  And the standard attitude of the world is ... that’s my problem, not theirs.  And most people want me to be “normal” and will exclude me if I’m not, and think they should be given all kinds of credit for being generous by “helping” me be more normal.  Or being generous by moving approximately 3% of the way towards me, and expecting me to do the other 97%.

How generous of them.

This is not to say that fitting in to the norm is always bad and the wrong thing.  Maybe the porcupine's favorite game in the whole world is soccer, which you need an inflated ball for, which would require him to cover his quills.  But requiring assimilation to be the ONLY solution--and then praising it as being "heartwarming"--is ableist in the extreme.  It puts a huge burden on the person who is different to "fit in."  It assumes that difference is the problem and ignores all the times that it is society's design that is the problem.  It frames the people forcing the assimilation as good and kind and generous people.

Can we have different stories now, please?

beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
After months of nothing further happening on the Net Neutrality front in the US, four lawmakers have signed the Congressional Review Act discharge petition in the last two weeks.  This petition would undo the FCC's Net Neutrality repeal and restore the previous (much stronger) net neutrality regulations.  It's already passed the Senate, and there are almost enough votes in the House to pass it.  The reason it hasn't?  Too many politicians have taken large sums from ISPs.  However as the four who recently caved have shown, enough pressure and even politicians who've taken lots of money for their support of net neutrality repeal can be shamed into doing the right thing.

If you would like to pressure the 16 Democrats favoring ISP money over a free and fair and open internet, here is a tool to call them.

Remember, calls to politicians are most effective coming from their own constituents.  So people from Pennsylvania, North Carolina, California, Texas, New Jersey, Arizona, Illinois, Georgia, and Indiana are especially encouraged to call.

beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
Lovely author, here is my theory about letters: how much detail people want in a letter is HIGHLY variable. Some people (such as myself) prefer if their recip gives LOTS of guidance on their wishes. Some prefer as little as possible so they can be free as a bird. Most are somewhere in between. So! Here's everything including the kitchen sink if you find it helpful, but feel free to ignore it if it is not helpful. I would rather get a story you were happy with than "well, she said she liked x, so I guess I have to do x even though I don't like x and/or am just not inspired that way."

I'm fairly easy to please; I've been doing ficathons for over a decade and am very rarely disappointed with my gifts. I write long and detailed Dear Author letters because I find such things helpful when I'm writing for other people; if you are like me, here you go! If your style is different and a detailed letter makes you feel hemmed-in, feel free to do what works for you.

The most important thing for me in a fic is that the characters are well-written and recognizably themselves. Even when I don't like a character, I don't go in for character-bashing. If nothing else, if the rest of this letter is too much or my kinks just don't fit yours, just concentrate on writing a story with everyone in character and good spelling and grammar and I will almost certainly love what you come up with.

One thing: I do have an embarrassment squick, which makes humor kind of hit-or-miss sometimes. The kind of humor where someone does something embarrassing and the audience is laughing at them makes me uncomfortable. On the other hand, the kind of humor where the audience is laughing with the characters I really enjoy.

Please no incest.

General likes/dislikes )

Rivers of London )

Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles )

Babylon 5 )

Star Wars )

crossovers )

Star Trek )

Pride and Prejudice )

Star Trek TNG )
beatrice_otter: The will to be stupid is a very powerful force. (The will to be stupid)
So, Mike Flynn just submitted his reasoning on why he shouldn't go to jail, and Rachel Maddow read large chunks of it on tonight's show.  Mostly, it's because he's been so helpful (which the special prosecutor agrees) and has been invaluable to nailing everybody else on the Trump team who broke the law.

But there's another point he's making.  And that point is that nobody told him it was wrong to lie to the FBI.

I mean.  What the fuck?  Granted, it's good to have law enforcement officers be upfront and not try to entrap people (because anything they can do to a guilty person, they can do to an innocent one) and so having police and FBI remind people of the penalties for lying to them is in general a good thing.

But.  Dude had spent decades working at high levels of government in security areas.  They asked him if he wanted to have White House lawyers sit in (which should have been a Giant Red Flag that they were not there to be all buddy-buddy with him).  He was the national security advisor to the President.

And ... he's trying to claim that he shouldn't serve jail time because he didn't know it was wrong to lie to the FBI?



beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)

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