chapel sexy

The self-reccing meme

from ivanolix: Post, in your journal, a rec list singling out the best of your own fics. Tell people why you are especially proud of those particular fics, and of course provide links to them. Yes, that's right, this step involves self-promotion. How else are people supposed to find your fics? List as many or as few as you feel appropriate to represent your body of writing.

Also include a paragraph about the types of fics you most enjoy reading or are most interested in reading in the immediate future -- favorite tropes, pairings, fandoms, whatever. If you're particularly lazy, link to that Dear Writer post you did for whatever holiday exchange comes to mind.

Reply to other rec posts (like for example the one you are reading now) by reccing a fic of your own that might fit the original poster's tastes, or that you'd just really like them to read, because maybe they don't know they'd like it.

I am actually really happy to see this going around. Lately I've been trolling the Ladyfic meme for new friends, and every time I click on someone's journal, I wish they had a list of their best fics in their profile. It would be such a good way to get to know people, and I would really love to re-discover some of my old friends' favorite stories too! (*looks at flist hopefully*)

I know we're supposed to pick however many works we think represent us, but I have to admit I struggled. I thought five would be a good number, maybe ten at most. Then I decided to just fucking OWN it already and admit that I have written twelve stories I really love. These are listed chronologically, not in order of how much I love them, because that would be impossible.

1. How Winona Kirk Fell in Love, Found Her Strength, and Healed a Relationship with Bread Pudding - Winona/George, Jim Kirk
Three scenes from Winona's life involving bread pudding. I'm proud of this first and foremost because I was so, so tempted to choose one of the scenes, post it as a ficlet, and be done with the whole thing. Instead I stuck it out for three months to make a complete story, and I love it principally because of Winona and Jim's reconciliation scene. I could tell from the comments that I struck the right balance between what was said and not said, and let me tell you, it took lots of drafts to do that.

2. There Is Joy in Repetition (But Sometimes You Have to Break Routine) - Christine Chapel, gen
Christine Chapel defends sickbay from Romulan intruders while Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are critically injured. I'm proud of this because I almost gave up on it multiple times, and when I thought it was finished, it needed a pretty big overhaul...which again tempted me to default. I stuck with it though, and I think the work shows in the small details of Enterprise life, the realism of the action, and the final scene where Kirk and Chapel discuss the burdens of command.

3. Just Like a Waving Flag - mostly Sulu gen with a bit of Gaila/Sulu (please see story header for warnings)
When Sulu was a boy, he and his father tried to smuggle an Orion girl into freedom. It didn't work out. This, honestly, is the best and hardest thing I've ever written. It still breaks my heart a little that I've gotten more comments on silly drabbles about Gaila. It is a hard, gritty, sad story, but I didn't flinch from any of it, and I'm glad I wrote the *true* ending instead of the happy one.

4. Not the Desert, Not Repenting - Amanda/Sarek
Amanda and Sarek alone in a moment of the night. This ficlet is odd and possibly a little difficult to understand, but I love it anyway because it captures the push and pull of Sarek's desire and restraint. There's no sex, but the tension is hot, and I think you can see their love underneath.

5. Walk the Line - Amanda/Sarek
Sarek gives Amanda terrible Christmas gifts. It's one of those things that should be small, but it's not. Obviously, the story is about the challenges of an intercultural relationship, but it's also about what it's like to be in a relationship, period. We are all alien sometimes, even to the people we love, and working through that is both frustrating and beautiful. I think I got that across.

6. I Have Been Her Kind - Number One, gen (content advisory for abortion)
It's hard for me to even know what to say about this story except that it was important to me to write it and I'm glad I did. I just hate that abortion is so shrouded in silence; it means so many women -- my friends included -- have suffered alone. I wrote it for them.

7. Not Her Body But Her Life - Amanda, Spock/Uhura
Spock memorializes his mother through stories. I like this because so many of us never realize our mothers are human beings until it's too late, and I think this story captures that truth. I think I did a good job with Spock here, and the way that he and Uhura are both stumbling through their grief feels real to me.

8. Nobody to Help Me (But Myself) - Christine Chapel, Jim Kirk (see story header for warnings)
Christine Chapel is reluctantly sent on spy mission by Captain Kirk. No lies, I'm a little in love with my Kirk characterization here. I wish I could write more of him this way. He is so in love with Chapel -- not that he admits it, even to himself -- and there's going to be a story about that one day. It's actually half written... But I digress. I'm proud of this story because it captures the balance of strength and vulnerability that makes characters feel real. Chapel is scared, but she's a bad ass, and I'm happy I dealt with some of the complicated feelings she experienced after successfully completing her mission. Also, I love this story because it's proof that inserting yourself into a story does not make bad writing. What happened to Chapel happened to me, and the story is better for it. In fact, the story wouldn't exist without it.

9. Matched Set (The Clothes Make the Man Remix) - Chekov, gen
Starfleet issues everyone a uniform skirt and uniform pants. Chekov would really prefer to wear the skirt, and this is the story of him becoming sufficiently secure to do so. Writing this story was scary because I had never written about anything as important as gender identity and gender expression before, and I so badly wanted to get it right. Receiving comments saying I got it right are some of my proudest moments in fandom.

10. Surak and Socrates Want You to Masturbate - Gaila, background Spock/Uhura, past Gaila/Uhura
Gaila uses logic to convince Spock to masturbate in front of her. It's porn, but it's also about what it really means to be sex-positive, and I'm happy people have commented to say that came through. If I do say so myself, the title's pretty awesome, and this also contains the best one-liner I have ever written.

11. The Proper Treatment of Sexorexia - Gaila and Uhura, gen (sort of)
Gaila and Uhura aren't getting along, which is obviously because Uhura isn't having enough sex. Gaila decides to help, which unsurprisingly does not go according to plan. I'm really proud of the Gaila voice here, especially the balance between humor and just a bit of pathos. It is absolutely the funniest story I've ever written, but it works because it has emotional resonance too.

12. Carrion Comfort - Number One, Spock, gen
One helps a young Lieutenant Spock cope with his guilt after several members of an away team are killed under his command. This is more of an honorable mention than a real rec because I only wrote it two weeks ago, so I can't say whether it will become an enduring favorite. It's on here because it perfectly represents who I am as a writer now. I like stories that are understated. I find fulfillment in the balance between what characters say and what they don't. Most of all, I like stories where 'comfort' comes from simply acknowledging how much pain exists in the world sometimes. This story encapsulates that.

Doing this meme was strangely therapeutic. For a long time, I've believed that my stories are not as good as they were last summer. Now I can see that my interests as a writer have just shifted. I used to write stuff that was primarily funny and hopeful, with a bit of pathos. Now, as in "Carrion Comfort," I lean toward bittersweet and understated. It's not even a question of good writing vs. bad writing; it's just who I am right now. Some of that is me drifting toward the kind of writing that I admire rather than the kind of writing I think people want to read. When I was in college, I feel in love with the epilogue of Stephen King's On Writing. It was so austere, and because of that, incredibly powerful. I thought instantly, this is the writer I want to be. So there's that. There's also a long and terrifying look into my id. When I am being honest, I tend not to view happy things as real or true. I think happiness is usually qualified or complicated in some way, and it has to be earned. I don't think people ever really comfort us, but I think it is beautiful and consoling to know that we are never the only person to have experienced a particular kind of pain. (All of which might just be me saying that I reject easy answers, which sounds a bit less demoralizing than what I've written here.) Some people write to get further from themselves, but I write to get closer. I find something intensely satisfying in seeing myself and my issues laid out so clearly, even if no one can see them but me. There is an essay about my childhood in here somewhere, but I'm not going to write that today.

Most of my reading comes from where_no_woman, which is no surprise since most of my flist comes from there too. I love stories about strong women, but even more than that, I love stories about real women who lead complicated and sometimes messy lives. I like women who are leaders and action heroes, but I also love stories about people making mistakes. Awesome isn't about being perfect all the time; it's about figuring out how to work around our flaws. I enjoy those themes about male characters too, but knowing where to find those stories is difficult.

I love friendship fic about anyone really, but especially Kirk and McCoy. Friendships are every bit as complicated, fascinating, and beautiful as romance, and stories that acknowledge that are intensely satisfying.

I'm still looking for m/m or f/f slash that tackles some of the issues of self-discovery and being different that (for me at least) are inextricably woven into the experience of being queer. It's maybe not as complicated as it sounds. That moment when Ianto's sister asks him if he's gay, and he has to explain his sexuality and deal with the fact that people have been talking about him? That's enough for me.

I like stories where people who canonically have nothing to do with each other form friendships or fall in love, and I love stories where characters employ Socratic dialogue against each other. (Um, that is a very specialized literary kink that I don't really expect other writers to indulge in, but I am mentioning it here just in case...)

Less ambitiously: I love Gaila, always Gaila. Amanda/Sarek and Pike/Number One are always and forever my OTPs. I like stories where women enjoy sex, and where characters are sex positive in general. And, as much as I love women, I also love Sulu, Spock, McCoy and Kirk, especially if the latter two are working through their pasts or the burdens of command (because there have to be some for McCoy, too, right? I mean, was he really prepared to be a CMO? I am curious). Other loves include fics that explore what went wrong between McCoy and Jocelyn, McCoy/Uhura stories of any stripe, and, somewhat bizarrely, Kirk/Sulu (but not really porn for that pairing).

Please do not feel shy about reccing! Obviously, since I have enthusiastically recced twelve stories of my own, I will not judge! More importantly, if you gave me recs, I would think of it as a favor to me rather than self-promotion to you.

Really, do the meme. And not because I am afraid of being the only one to do it. Because if you are on my flist, I love you writing, and I would love to see what you think is your best.
I've written so little fic in Trek that I can't honestly point you to anything you haven't presumably read. "A Sea of Summer Air" is one of my favorite stories. It's both funny and moving, plus I think I nailed the characters. I was surprised at what a tepid response it got from fans, but then it confounds expectations on a number of levels. The ending I imagine was especially unpopular, but that was the ending the characters wanted.

I believe "Sleepover," the last TXF fic I completed, works as a stand-alone short story, even if you aren't familiar with series canon. It's technically the most polished story I've ever written and the most emotionally complex.

I'm also really proud of "Five Thanksgivings Gary Sheppard Never Celebrated", my 2009 Yuletide story for the show thirtysomething, which has the best ending I've ever written and great character voices.

My favorite story, however, is the RPF story, "Five Times David Duchovny Didn't Make Love to Gillian Anderson and One Time He Did," which I wrote a couple of years ago while vacationing in San Diego. It's very bittersweet, and the main character's emotional arc hits all of my personal kinks, I guess. I think this story works without knowing anything about the actors, too, since it's completely a work of fiction.

Oh, this meme looks delightful--which is why I'm about to start writing up my own self-rec post in a minute--and it's so much fun to read about other people's writing processes and how they approach writing fic.

And a story of mine that you might enjoy is my first McCoy/Uhura fic (and I did not know you were into this pairing! I love finding people on my flist who are into them!) something like a phenomena, NC-17. Not just because of the pairing, but (and maybe this is because of how I approached writing it) but it does feel like one of the most subtly sex-positive stories I've written, because even though the bulk of the story is straight-up porn, it also (to me, anyway) is about the two of them having figured out what works for them and for their partner, and just really enjoying each other.
I do love McCoy/Uhura! Usually I ship whatever's in canon, but as much as I liked Spock/Uhura in the film, I'm not convinced it's going to work out for them. I mean, Uhura's what, 22? I know some people do settle down with the person they love when they're that age, but a lot of people change too much for their first love to be the one to last. I feel like McCoy might be a better partner for her in the end. Like Spock, I imagine he's a bit clueless and uncommunicative about emotions, but I think he would be much more capable of meeting her in the middle than Spock ever could be.
I'm still looking for m/m or f/f slash that tackles some of the issues of self-discovery and being different

I did that a lot when I wrote HP, since it's set in the modern era and it seemed wrong to ignore the sociopolitical climate.

Not so much in Trek, since it's set so far in the future and I assume/hope attitudes toward sexuality will have evolved by then. In a number of my m/m Trek stories, Kirk and McCoy spend a lot of time reflecting on why they're so drawn to each other, not so much on why they're drawn to members of the same sex. In my big, epic arc, McCoy is deeply distressed by the fact that he's falling for Kirk, not so much because Kirk is a man, but because he's Kirk. *g* He ends up getting support from Winona, of all people.

Kirk probably reflects the longest in Faithful Friends, but, again, the big realization is that he cares for his friend as more than a friend, not that he cares for a man.
Also, I find I really like writing about Gaila's friendship with Uhura. Not that I've done it so much, but when I do write, I enjoy it. Trek is so often about male friendship. Even on DS9, which often passes the Bechdel Test, Kira and Dax's friendship isn't explored anywhere near as much as O'Brien and Bashir's. So I like writing the occasional genfic about women who have each other's back.

That said, you might like God Help You If You Are a Phoenix, which is a missing scene set toward the end of XI.

And if you haven't read it, you might like Sing Me Something Brave From Your Mouth, which is McCoy/Uhura. Writing the fic made me realize I really love the ship.
I love, love, love seeing people's self-recs alongside meta. That's just wonderful—I will need to read all of these, once I have time.
This is an awesome meme and I can only think of two stories I would add to this list (Throw Your Rock and Hide Your Hand and You're Gonna Make It After All) and none I would take off, if someone asked me to make a list of my favorites of yours. God but I love Just Like A Waving Flag; I've reread it several times, and cried each time.

Also, I love this story because it's proof that inserting yourself into a story does not make bad writing. Amen. Amen.

I'm still looking for m/m or f/f slash that tackles some of the issues of self-discovery and being different that (for me at least) are inextricably woven into the experience of being queer.

I feel like I owe you a couple of recs along these lines, not least since my slash comes at this from the opposite direction. And, well, you know why else. One day when you least expect it I'll have found some for you!
Aw, thank you for remembering Throw Your Rock and Hide Your Hand! It does have a special place in my heart, but I wasn't expecting anyone else to remember it. And thank you for re-reading Just Like a Waving Flag - you know that means a lot to me.

I'll look forward to the recs whenever you stumble across them. I need to go inspect lgbtfest to see if anything there meets my needs.

I'm still looking for m/m or f/f slash that tackles some of the issues of self-discovery and being different that (for me at least) are inextricably woven into the experience of being queer.

This might work its way into my oc_bigbang fic, but as of this moment, I have nothing that qualifies. If you find any, please let us know!

Hmmm . . . Socratic dialogue . . .
I will! I am kind of pessimistic at this point and not even looking at slash comms, but perhaps something will pop up!
I don't know which of mine I consider the best. The whole Love and Loss series, I think, is some of my best solo work. And part of that is because -- even though I am neither a widow nor a mother -- in the opening story "Howling" I tried to put some of my own feelings about living with depression down on the page. And I think I did it successfully.

And also This is not a Rose, I am not your Echo, in which Winona balances being a mother with being herself, and refuses to be "the widow Kirk."

And if someone could explain either the title of that last one or my fascination with and empathy for Winona, I'd love to know why.

I hesitate to recommend Funshi, because the subject matter is so dark, but I'm really proud of the job I did dealing with said dark subject matter.

Of the stuff I've written with shinychimera, I think our best is probably Bottled Up, which is a fairly heavy BDSM scene that takes place after Jim's first Kobyashi Maru simulation; I think we captured the emotions and the emotional push and pull of handing over control to someone else (only not really) very well.

The one of ours I think you'd probably like best is Nothing but Trouble which can be read as either frendship or pre-slash, depending, and involves Pike as Jim's father figure, a McCoy devastated and wandering post-divorce, and a Jim and Winona trying very hard to take care of each other without clipping anyone's wings.

Regarding m/m or f/f self-discovery and the awareness of difference: I think one reason shinychimera and I don't often deal with what (I agree are intrinsic parts of the queer experience) is that we assume one's sexuality in the 23rd century is pretty much a non-issue (because we want that to be true). If we were to write something closer to today, I'd want to make sure both of those issues are addressed, certainly.

Along those lines, one thing I don't see that I'd like to see more of are asexual and/or aromantic human characters.
I think the title of This is not a Rose, I am not your Echo makes perfect sense! The this is not a rose part seems to relate to Winona's practical rejection to romanticism, and of course, she is more than George's echo. It is quite a lyrical title, and I am envious because titling stories is not my forte.

That all makes sense; of course, I had "A rose as any other name" and "ceci n'est pas une pipe" in my head, too, I think.

Sometimes, a title springs into my head. Other times, it takes me upwards of an hour to figure it out once the story's finished, and even then I'm not really satisfied.
I would like to write that story also, but then, somethings in my life feel too personal to spin into a story. I can do it when I write the story first and then disclose that it came from my life, but having already admitted to how my own experience with sexuality has shaped what I want to read, I would take it too personally if I wrote a story based on that and it wasn't successful.
somethings in my life feel too personal to spin into a story. god yes, this.

I was scared as hell to post Howling, because so much of that Winona is also me. (Edited to add) Which, *facepalm* I already said.

Edited at 2010-07-09 05:46 pm (UTC)
I love Howling! I read it ages and ages ago, but I can still remember the atmosphere of it very vividly. I hope I left feedback on it...
I love everything you said about drafting. (I also realize how much more of your fic I have to read! \o/) With the satisfaction of feedback available at the click of a button, it's hard for me to sit on my hands and go back and do my rewrites like a good girl. I think I've become more disciplined over the last year, and it's made a noticeable difference in my fic. favorites of my work, in no particular order:

Five Times Winona Kirk Took Care of Her Son, and One Time He Took Care of Her It still warms my heart to read this, because it reminds me of my mom.

Captain Chris and the Fantastic Fourth Wall is me dissecting Pike--I really love this because it's funny and fast paced and trippy, and I think it challenges the reader to really pay attention to what's happening in the narrative.

With Women's Revolutionary Law This fic was something I knocked out in two hours at work, but packs a big emotional gut punch and significant plot into a tiny space, and I will love the OFC forever.

Hey Sugar, Are You Rationed?--I did more research for this AU than anything I ever wrote in life, and I think I did a really good job translating the characters to another era. Plus, it was just wild fun to write.

The drabbles Counterpoint and Spinodal Decomposition are not my best work from a technical persepctive, but I have special love for them because they are about Valeris and Carol Marcus. It always burned me up that Khan got an episode and an entire movie to whine about his motivations, but they are relatively background-less despite being the crux on which the entire plot depends. I try to fix that.
Ah, yes. Drafting vs. the reward of instant feedback. I struggle with that too. A LOT. Making this list was a good reminder for me though. More than half of the stories here took more than a month to write, which means that it is probably better to write fewer, better stories, even if it makes me feel bizarrely unproductive.