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( Stargate: SG-1 )
( Star Wars )
( Stargate: Atlantis )
( Babylon 5 )
( Battlestar Galactica )
( Batman )
( Superman Movieverse )
( Wonder Woman )
( Terminator )
( Doctor Who/Torchwood )
( Buffy: the Vampire Slayer )
( Star Trek )
( Vorkosiverse )
( World of the Five Gods/Chalionverse )
( Damar )
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( Miscellaneous Fandoms--NASA posters, Teen Wolf, Pacific Rim, Outlaws of Sherwood, Enchanted Forrest Chronicles, Starfire Series, Rio Bravo, Big Fish, the Bible, Honor Harrington, Pride and Prejudice )
( Disclaimer and Creative Commons License )
I live half a continent away from my family, and I only get four weeks of vacation per year. (More precisely, four SUNDAYS of vacation per year.) It generally works out to one at Christmas, one in early spring, and two in late summer. Between Thanksgiving being murder for flying, and how close it is to Christmas, I generally just stay at home. And because going to someone else's family holiday dinner, particularly when you are their pastor, is hella awkward and cooking a holiday meal for one is just depressing, I generally don't have any kind of celebration that day.
Well! This year, I have a new niece, who is SO PRECIOUS, FOLKS, and who had the good taste to be born on my birthday. Given that her father (my brother) does shift work at a power plant, and my parents own their own business which has a very irregular schedule, and my own schedule is rather complicated, arranging dates for such an event is ... difficult. So in late August/early September, we were discussing things, and there were not many Sundays that would work for everybody, and none at all until November. Then it occurred to me that if it were scheduled for either the Sunday before or the Sunday after Thanksgiving, I could be home for Thanksgiving! And said as much. And Mom said she would check if the Sunday before would work, but that sounded good, and she would let me know, and if it couldn't be then, they should probably just see if they could schedule it for the Sunday after Christmas when I am normally home anyway.
I heard nothing. For a month and a half. I assumed that it hadn't worked for November, and would be after Christmas.
In a phone call today, my Mom asked me if I had my plane ticket home for Thanksgiving yet.
"You know, for the baptism."
"We're doing it in November?"
"Of course we are!"
"Does ... does [brother] know? Does [sister-in-law]?"
Apparently, after getting everybody's responses that yes, the day would work, she just assumed that everybody knew that it had been scheduled for that date, without telling everybody that yes, it worked for everybody. I love my Mom, but she does this. She will schedule things and not tell people. She knows how everything fits together, and so she just assumes that everyone else knows too. Even when you ask her directly, sometimes she'll leave out crucial information because she'll assume that either you don't need to know it or you already know it because it should be obvious.
My Dad loves Google Calendar. It's the first time in their marriage that he's been able to figure out what's going on ahead of time, because Mom uses it religiously and now everything is in one place. Instead of in five different places, one of which is inside her head.
This is definitely an emotional labor issue, but at the same time ... scheduling is not the exclusive province of my mother because Dad doesn't want to help and participate, okay?
Anyway, now I have a plane ticket home and the good news is that I will be home for Thanksgiving!
Fandom: Star Trek AOS
Characters: Spock, Nyota
Length: 3,802 words
Betaed by: Laura JV
Summary: Sarek gets married. Nyota has a decision to make.
At AO3 and tumblr
Sequel to The Desert Between
( It took Nyota most of a shift to notice it, but there was something up with Spock. )
Next work in the series: Children of the Desert
Information the first: people who experience dissociation (as many people do who have psychological conditions resulting from trauma or neglect in childhood, or other adverse childhood experiences) should probably not meditate or do other mindfulness exercises because generally, when they try to, they don't go into a meditative trance, they dissociate. Which is not helpful, and sometimes not pleasant. I mean, according to some sources it apparently is possible to learn not to, but you need some specialized instruction.
Information the second: do you think the Jedi "release your emotions to the Force" Order knows this or would have ANY clue what the heck was going on? Given that they don't seem to have any way of identifying or dealing with trauma besides "meditate and release it to the Force"?
This is relevant for just about any Jedi who suffers a lot of trauma, but it is ESPECIALLY relevant for Anakin, who, may I remind you, was a SLAVE for most of his childhood and while I'm sure Shmi tried to protect him as much as she could, I'm also sure that as a slave herself there was NO WAY she could have protected him from all the shit that would have been common in a slave's life. Given that, as far as we can tell from the Jedi Order's traditions and practices he probably didn't receive any actual therapeutic help dealing with all of that, and that a Jedi's life is QUITE likely to send them back into potentially traumatizing situations even from a young age, it is quite likely that he has an undiagnosed psychological disorder of some sort, and there is a very good chance that he dissociates.
Which brings me to a question. Is it canon or fanon that Anakin hates meditating and isn't very good at it? I've only ever seen it with the subtext of "well of course he's emotional and passionate, so of course he wouldn't like meditating." Not that I know many people who meditate regularly, but I can tell you for a fact that at least some emotional and passionate people can and do get quite a lot out of meditation.
Whether Anakin's meditative difficulties are canon or fanon, though, it strikes me that Obi-Wan/Yoda/the Order as a whole might see this as just another instance of someone who is too emotional to be a proper Jedi, and completely and totally miss any dissociation and attendant difficulties.
This is a very long letter with lots of stuff, but please don't let that intimidate you. I'm actually fairly easy to please; I am very rarely disappointed with a ficathon story. 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 good 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 because I identify too much with the person getting laughed at, so instead of being funny it is squicky. On the other hand, the kind of humor where the audience is laughing with the characters I really enjoy.
( General likes/dislikes )
( Rivers of London )
( Hobson's Choice (1954) )
( My Fair Lady (1964) )
( Random Harvest )
( Wonder Woman (2017) )
( Metropolis: the Chase Suite - Janelle Monae )
Their newest finding? That in the last year, public opinion in America has swung quite dramatically in favor of immigration, diversity, and refugees, with most population segments adding at least 10% to their approval. And practicing Christians who believe the US should welcome refugees more than doubled between 2016 and 2017, which is why there are currently more religious leaders across the board speaking to refugee and immigration issues. (Evangelicals are the lone holdouts, surprise, surprise.) For example, the Christian community is pretty much united in opposition to ending or limiting the DREAM program. Even the Evangelicals agree there.
Unfortunately, the shift doesn't seem to be from racists, nationalists, and other right-wingers changing their minds. Where the shift seems to be coming from is the people who were undecided a year ago moving towards open-mindedness, tolerance, and compassion. So it's not that the whole country is moving towards tolerance, it's that the people in the middle are moving leftward on this issue. Which is good, don't get me wrong! It just means we've got our work cut out for us to reach out to the Evangelicals and the FOX newsers and all and help them see things in a different light.
(Obviously I'm not talking to people who aren't safe or wouldn't be safe if they tried to reach out, whether psychologically or physically.
Here are some of the other fandoms I am considering nominating, and I need to make a decision like, NOW.
Random Harvest (1942)--classic, classic melodrama starring the ineffable Greer Garson. Tropetastic.
Archandroid - Janelle Monae--another one that others often nom, and there hasn't been new canon for a while, but always reliable for some great worldbuilding fic.
Kitty Foyle (1940)--Ginger Rogers showing why she is an AWESOME actress. I want the fic that covers the original ending, the one that the studio and the censors made them change: she keeps the baby and raises him out of wedlock.
Hobson's Choice (1954)--I want more of Maggie and Will! So much more.
Here are the fandoms I would request fic in if someone else nommed them, but wouldn't take up a nomination slot for:
Lord Peter Wimsey - Dorothy Sayers--classic cozy mysteries, and I love Peter and Harriet and Bunter all together.
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - Heinlein
My Fair Lady
And, again, Batman Beyond is pretty likely to be nommed, and so is Peter Wimsey, but NEITHER IS ON THE SPREADSHEET OMG.
I just need to figure out a) whether I can take the risk of RoL not being nominated, and b) if so whether to drop Kitty Foyle or Hobson's Choice. (If I nom RoL, Kitty and Hobson are both gone.)
Looking at that list, I am REALLY into classic movies this year. I guess.
ETA: There is a second spreadsheet of noms, and Rivers of London is on it. Peter, Thomas, Varvara, Seawoll, Lesley, Stephanopoulos, and Sahra are the characters. I have accordingly nominated Random Harvest, the Archandroid, and Hobson's Choice.
Fandom: Star Trek AOS
Characters: Original Female Characters,
Length: 8,203 words
Betaed by: laurajv
Sequel to: The Desert Between
Summary: There are many hybrid children on the new Vulcan homeworld, including Spock and Nyota's children. Things don't always go smoothly.
AN: Vulcan words are taken/adapted from the Vulcan Language Dictionary. “mekh” means parent, I adapted it to mean “stepmother.”
“Jata” is a girl’s name in Kikuyu, it means “Star”
Sequel to: The Desert Between
At AO3 or Tumblr
( “But that’s the way Grandma taught me to sing!” )
(If you're not fond of WIPs, it doesn't end on a cliffhanger or anything.)
(Also, the summary is in 1st person, but that's because it's dialogue from the first chapter--the story isn't written in 1st person, if that's a dealbreaker for you.)
Of Queens, Knights, and Pawns (199023 words) by chancecraz
Fandom: Star Wars - All Media Types, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015), Star Wars Original Trilogy
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Leia Organa, Anakin Skywalker | Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Bail Organa, Breha Organa, CT-7567 | Rex, Mon Mothma, Davits Draven
Additional Tags: Time Travel, Time Travel Fix-It, Skywalker Family Feels, Implied/Referenced Torture, Angst
Summary: I went to sleep on the worst day of my life and woke to find myself in the past on the second worst day of my life. As experiences go, I don’t recommend it.
But you guys, there is SO MUCH interesting stuff about early American history that, if it were taught properly, would REALLY change peoples' perspectives on the "brave, gallant, noble" men of the Confederacy. And I'm not talking just the racism stuff, like 90% of them were whiny pissbabies and THAT is why the Civil War even existed in the first place. I shit you not. The modern Conservative Christian persecution complex has NOTHING on the antebellum Southern elite. Sure, a lot of those guys were personally brave in battle. But on a political or moral level, they were ... most five-year-olds are more mature. (I'm simplifying things a lot here and painting with a really broad brush, but it's not inaccurate.)
This meta is going to take as read that slavery=EVIL and that there is no such thing as a "good" slaveowner and that racism is horribly, horribly evil and nothing good can ever come of it and white supremacy twists and mutilates everything good it comes in contact with. You all know that, or you should, and you can find lots of places talking about that with a quick google search. Also, Blacks and poor Whites had vibrant cultures during this time period that I'm going to largely ignore because while all that is awesome, I want you to truly understand ALL the reasons why it's stupid and pathetic to glamorize the Southern elite, which means focusing on them. The South was (and is!) REALLY AWFUL AND SCREWED UP and racism is part of that but not the only part. But we will start a bit by talking about racism, because it's the root of so much other evil.
I'm sure you've heard that "race is a social construct!" Let's look at how that construct got constructed, shall we?
( How Black And White People Came To Be )
( Economic Differences And Political Boondoggles, or, How The South Learns That Temper Tantrums Are A Viable Political tool. )
( The South's Persecution Complex vs. the North's Manifest Destiny )
( Taking Their Marbles And Going Home, Then They'll Be Sorry: Civil War Edition )
( More Delusions Of Grandeur: The Whole Lost Cause Romantic Bullshit )
And I look at this and shake my head at the triumph of propaganda over reality, and also at the fact that ANYBODY, even a racist, could POSSIBLY think that those idiotic inbred delusional cretinous whiny pissbabies were cool or worthy of adoration.
Anyway, I have a number vid ideas that will never get made if I don't pay someone else to do it, and so I'm always on the lookout for vid auctions featuring vidders offering those sources that I think would do a creditable job with the idea. Which is how I bidded on (and ended up winning) grammarwoman's services to make a Star Wars fanvid to that old American Civil War hit, "That's What's the Matter." And she did a really great job, and the vid is SO FUNNY. You have to go see.
Title: That's What's the Matter
Source: Star Wars movies (Rogue One, Episodes IV-VII)
Music: "That's What's the Matter", Stephen Foster
Vid Download Link: 183 MB m4v file at Sendspace (If you'd like it in a different format, let me know.)
Summary: The Empire would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for those meddling Rebels and incompetent Imperial officers.
The issue itself isn't out yet, but many of the personal essays about disability and science fiction are available for free on the Kickstarter page. They're all good, and you should totally check them out. Here are some of my faves:
K.C. Alexander, We Are Not Your Backstories:
Science fiction shapes generations—how we think, the way we act. It influences the careers we choose and our thirst for knowledge. It cautions against the worst of our impulses, and quietly teaches us empathy. Without knowing it, we are slowly acclimated to people and beliefs that live outside our rigid monocultures.A.T. Greenblatt, The Stories We Find Ourselves In:
So, I'll let you in on a secret, the thing I've learned about having a life-long disability, the thing that lots of stories never quite grasp: The real trick, the true solution to a disability, is to find a balance between your abilities and your goals.Michael Merriam, We Are Not Daredevil. Except When We Are Daredevil:
I live in this world. I can't toss my white cane aside when I need to spring into action: the cane goes with me everywhere. I travel around my city on public transportation. My other senses are not supernaturally sharper because I am blind. I simply pay better attention to those other senses. It's a learned skill. I live within my blindness every day, and I want to read about fictional characters who also live with and within their blindness.
Marissa Lingen, Malfunctioning Space Stations:
I have a major balance disorder. When I am awake and able to use all my senses, I can reason out the vertical. If you make me close my eyes, I can still get it to within about five degrees of the correct answer if I'm sitting still on a firm surface. If I’ve got a squishy surface, motion, or other things confusing my senses, doubtful. Asleep? All bets are off. I literally do not know which way is up.H. Ace Ratcliff, Nihil de Nobis, Sine Nobis:
Since I have read and written science fiction for decades, what my sleeping brain knows to do with this much disorientation is to process it into a malfunctioning space station. And so I dream. Occasionally my dreams veer into carnival rides, roller coasters, giant swooping swings. But that is someone else's genre. This is mine.
I narrowly avoided the temptation to throw my Kindle and watch the book shatter into a million plastic pieces. If it had been a printed paperback, I’m positive I would be able to show you the dent in the wall. “For the record,” I tweeted out to the hashtags The Expanse was using, “you can be a fucking Valkyrie in a goddamn wheelchair.” I can assure you that any human with the wherewithal, sheer willpower, and pain tolerance to put her skeleton back into place on an hourly basis absolutely deserves a place in any mythological pantheon.Day Al-Mohamed, The Stories We Tell and the Amazon Experiment:
As an example, I once asked a room full of authors what their response would be if I asked them to make the protagonist in their current Work-in-Progress a woman – most nodded, yesses were heard around the room. Then I asked if they could make their character a person of color – again, nods around the room. Then I asked if they would make the character disabled – silence. The discomfort was palpable. In theory diversity and disability was great to include in fiction but when it came to implementation, they couldn’t easily connect disability with their protagonist. They had trouble adjusting to the practical reality of disability existing outside of the boxes they knew. This is why 134 stories on Amazon could be broken down into five story categories.Ada Hoffman, Everything Is True: A Non-Neurotypical Experience with Fiction:
When I read #ownvoices autistic characters, I often think the authors have had that same feeling. Many of these characters have devoted family, friends, romantic partners, even when the world at large is awful to them. Most of them first have to overcome a broken relationship with themselves. To learn to believe that they're worthy as they are.Haddayr Copley-Woods, Move Like You're From Thra, My People:
With autistic characters written by NT authors, it often feels like everyone is tired of their shit from the start.
You don't have to be tough. People sometimes say things like, "If you can be discouraged from writing, you should be," and use that as a way to justify being unkind to people who are tender. I don't think it's meant as a cudgel against disabled people specifically, but it can function as one. If you doubt your abilities, if you are sometimes crushed, if you feel like an impostor—that's fine. It's normal. If only tough people wrote stories, then we'd only have their perspectives, and we would lose all the things other people—you—have to offer.
I was glad I didn’t have this unfortunate internalized disableism stilling my movements, but I didn’t know why I’d found it so easy to make the switch until I sat down with my little boys to watch The Dark Crystal, which I hadn’t watched in decades.
I didn’t know. It took my breath away. The reason why I am fine with moving like this, the reason I am fine with people staring and why I love myself this way, is because of The Dark Crystal.
The issue is more than fully funded, right now they're adding content left and right as more people pledge, and if they get to $45k (they're at $39,425 with 9 days left to go) they'll do a hardcopy of it for supporters pledging $50 or more.
I mean, the Greek gods were "born" and came to life in all kinds of weird and wacky ways. Athena, for example! Athena was Zeus' daughter with Metis (and very similar to Diana of Themyscira, in a lot of ways). How was Athena born? She sprang fully formed from Zeus's head! He was still her father and Metis her mother. A bunch of Zeus's other children were at least sometimes considered to have been born through means other than sexual reproduction. (Ares' mom may have gotten pregnant with him by eating the wrong lettuce leaf at the wrong time. Ares was still considered a child of Zeus.) The Greek gods just kind of went with the flow. The people involved in your creation (whether through sex or not) were your parents.
What I'm trying to say is, everything we are told in the movie could easily be true all at the same time: Hippolyta wants a daughter so she sculpted one out of clay and prayed to Zeus. Zeus wants a god-killer to take out Ares, and so he obliged her by flinging a lightning bolt her way or whatever, and bringing the baby to life. The Amazons know this, but what is most important to them? This is their Queen's daughter, their princess, the only child on the island, their Diana who was sculpted out of clay by her mother. What is most important to Ares? That Diana was brought to life by Zeus and is thus his daughter, and therefore Ares' sister, whether or not her birth fits into the standard "mommy and daddy have sex and nine months later a child is born" model that is the only way humans reproduce. Ares and Diana are not humans. They are Greek god and demigod. Ares, in particular, scorns humans, so why would he care about human definitions of parenthood and sibilinghood? Especially when he's trying to get Diana onside. "Come join the family" is a lot more compelling than "come join the dude you've been taught to hate all your life for all the horrible things he's done."
As for Diana? How does she consider herself? What is most important to her? That she is Hippolyta's daughter, sculpted from clay. Yes, she was brought to life by Zeus. Yes, that means that in the way the Greek gods thought, Zeus was her father. She acknowledges this tie. That means Ares is her brother. But I bet you that when you ask her how she was born, five minutes heart-to-heart with Ares on a battlefield doesn't overturn the fact that she is an Amazon and thinks like one. And therefore, unless you are specifically considering her role as god-killer, the fact that Hippolyta sculpted her from clay is far more important than Zeus's contribution.
Look at the battle between her and Ares. She doesn't really ... react much when Ares starts calling her his sister. She doesn't look, talk, or act like a person having a major identity crisis. She's just like, "okay, you want to call me sister, sure, fine, whatever, guess that fits too, let's get on with this." She doesn't react like "OMG, my mom LIED to me, everything I know about myself is a lie!" It's more in line with "oh, right, yeah, from your POV Zeus's contribution is the most important, whatever."
Anyway, there are a lot of fics about, say, Bucky recovering from torture, or where his psychological recovery is a large part of the story. And one thing I've noticed is that the treatments for PTSD that people normally use are behind the times. Like, they'll have talk therapy, and maybe a therapy animal or journaling--and these are good and helpful--but there's been a LOT of research into trauma disorders and recovery in the last two decades, and a lot of developments of new treatments. Talk therapy is not the gold standard of what a cutting-edge therapist recommended by Tony Stark would use. It might well be part of the therapy, but not the whole of it. And Sam Wilson, working at the VA, would certainly know this as well. I am not a professional, but I have read enough of the top books on trauma to have some feel for the subject.
If you would like to incorporate some more current research, understandings, and techniques, the best place to start is The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk. He's got decades of experience and research dealing with combat vets, survivors of childhood abuse of every kind, and every sort of trauma you can imagine. The book is well-written and interesting and suitable for a non-specialist to read, and it covers the history of trauma in psychology and how we learned what we know today, along with some very interesting case studies. Best of all, the last few chapters are overviews of what he's found to be the most effective forms of treatment, including a brief overview of what the treatment is and their best guesses as to why it works, and then some examples of what's happened when he has used it or seen it used. (Also, it's fun how he burns the DSM-V and some of his colleagues. Like, there is SO MUCH SHADE, OH MY GOD.)
If you want some medical jargon to use in your fic, the place to start would be The Body Bears the Burden by Robert Scaer. Scaer is a neurobiologist, not a psychologist, and boy howdy can you tell in his writing. This one is a little more challenging, but it has a lot of medical stuff if you want to use that in your fic and wikipedia isn't doing it for you.
( Abigail and the CCTV )
I love her resourcefulness--and the fact that she's double-checking stuff from the records by getting an old film camera and learning to develop film.
Also, Peter, word DOES get around. How many landmarks have been demolished or seriously damaged with you involved?
( The Thames Valley Police: I don't think they were joking ... )
And Nightingale, hee!
( Greek, Abigail, and operational priorities )
And Peter has good taste in music if he likes Janelle Monae.
( Spoilers for the end )