spock: logic is sexy

Star Wars Fic: Flesh of My Flesh

Even though life has been awfully busy, I managed to write a couple treats for Trick or Treat. This one was actually meant to be a gift for EveryWoman, but I didn't finish it on time. [personal profile] acequeenking asked for a story about Vader finding Leia when she was young, and I was completely smitten with the possibilities for both cuteness and evil. Although I really, really loved the way it came out, I wasn't expecting too many people to want to read it, but I was pleasantly surprised!

Title: Flesh of My Flesh
Rating: Teen
Characters: Leia Organa, Darth Vader, Grand Moff Tarkin
Summary: Leia was not adopted. She was stolen in the middle of the night and registered to House Organa with forged papers. This was kidnapping, a class one felony, and her parents could be executed -- unless she returned voluntarily to her rightful father. Immediately. A man called Grand Moff Tarkin explained this to Leia when she was eleven years old.
Word Count: 3600
spock: logic is sexy

AO3 Meme

Last month, I officially started my own little educational consulting business, and it's 90% awesome. I already have a steady freelance writing contract and summer work lined up, but the sad thing is that it eats up all the time and energy I used to spend on fandom. On balance, making money is obviously more important than writing fanfic, but I still miss it. In lieu of actual writing, here is an AO3 meme...

1. What’s your first and second most common work ratings? Any surprises?

Teen & up: 151
General audiences: 55

This is not especially surprising. I'm terrible at writing porn, occasionally write fluff, and mostly write about grown-up issues that are not overly disturbing.

2. What is your most and least common archive warning? Do you consider yourself an adventurous writer?

Major character death (5)
Graphic violence (1)

I consider myself adventurous in that I'm willing to try out new fandoms, new ships, and new characters. I would not say I'm adventurous in writing potentially disturbing content or kinky content that would require warnings.

3. How many fics have you written in each relationship category? Is this intentional? Do you have preferences?

Gen (112)
F/M (92)
F/F (10)
M/M (8)

Doesn't everyone have preferences? I used to gravitate pretty heavily toward gen because romance is so often covered on-screen, so I wanted to write more about friendships. Also, I teach high school, so when HP was my main fandom, I had ZERO interest in reading or writing about teen romance. These days I think I write more ships. I tend to write a lot of het because I'm bi, so a het ship has one of each thing I like. And it's not exactly a secret that I'm the one fangirl whose slash goggles are completely broken.

4. What are your top 4 fandoms? Are you still active in them? Do you tend to migrate a lot?

Star Trek AOS (84)
The Avengers (36)
Harry Potter (19)
Veronica Mars (18)

I'm not super active in any of these fandoms anymore, although they are all "comfort food" for me, so I'll watch them when I feel like having something familiar and then write little ficlets sometimes. I have gotten quite a bit more migratory than I used to be. I feel like there is so much more sci-fi and fantasy content than there was when I started in fandom, so I have more choices.

5. What are your top 5 character tags? Does this match how you feel about the characters, or are you puzzled?

Gaila (26)
Natasha Romanov (34)
Spock (16)
James T. Kirk (15)
Nyota Uhura (15)

I think AO3 must have a glitch, because I've written 18 Veronica Mars stories, and most of them are about Veronica, so... Aside from that, this list reflects my early Star Trek days and my interest in female characters pretty well. I've mostly written about Jim as a supporting character, but since he's the captain, he ended up in a lot of fics.

6. What are your top 2 additional tags? What about your bottom 2? What would happen if you combined them into a fic?

Getting Together (31)
Bechdel Test Pass (28)
Humor (7)
Families of Choice (6)

Actually, I'm pretty certain I have written about all those things together, and it was The Dating Rituals of Superheroes (The Role Reversal Remix). It would need some more work-related interaction between Maria, Pepper, and Natasha, but otherwise it fits the bill.
spock: logic is sexy

Star Wars Fic:

Remix this year was a mixed bag. On the one hand, I got to play with [personal profile] celeste9's lovely works; on the other hand, I got some rude anon comments. Celeste had a cute story about Poe and Finn mixing up their uniform shirts, and I immediately thought about how that could have been a career-ending mistake in the US Navy not all that long ago, so I ended up writing an AU set during the Don't Ask/Don't Tell years. I do understand how someone could find that choice odd, but it was a story I really wanted to write. As a queer person who works in a conservative profession and lives in a conservative area, the relationship choices I made were constrained by my fear of losing my job. Obviously, I'm happily married and have no regrets, but I also see our country backsliding toward less accepting times. I remember feeling lonely when I was younger because I could never find slash that actually addressed the difficult choices I was facing, so I wanted the chance to write about some of those issues. Of course, I got a rude comment almost immediately, which was disappointing but not altogether unexpected. I'm still happy I wrote the story I wanted to tell.

Title: This Is Only a Drill (The Anytime, Anywhere Remix)
Pairing: Poe/Finn
Rating: Teen
Summary: The year is 1993. The Cold War is old news. Don't ask, don't tell is brand new. Poe Dameron is the best fighter pilot in the Navy, and he's in love with a man.
Word Count: 4800
spock: logic is sexy

Defenders Reaction Post

"Your ability to get through [life], even as things get harder, is worth a hundred times more than your ability to slap a smile on your face and pretend that everything is just fine."

Thank you, Matt Murdock. I really needed to hear that this week. In other news, I streamed the entire Defenders series yesterday and wrote a short fic about Foggy dealing with the aftermath (spoilers, naturally).

On the whole, I liked it. It's not flawless, but it didn't have as much dead space as some of the individual series, and they improved some areas that were lacking in Daredevil season two and Iron Fist.

More detailed thoughts, with spoilersCollapse )
spock: logic is sexy

Book Post: Ruby by Cynthia Bond

Ruby, the title character of the book, is a black woman who fled to New York City when she was young but ultimately comes home to a black township in East Texas. Adjusting to life in the South after the freedoms of the North is harder than Ruby realizes it will be, and the pressure of her barely suppressed childhood traumas quickly results in severe mental illness (or, to be more accurate, something modern readers will quickly recognize as mental illness, while the townsfolk mostly blame her for "not keeping herself under control"). Ruby herself believes that she is haunted. As a child, she witnessed terrible things happening to other children, and now the souls of those children flock to her for protection. Readers get the choice of how to interpret these "haints" -- as a symbolic representation of being trapped in a moment of trauma, or as literal ghosts that cling to Ruby's skirts. The situation comes to a head when Ephram, who loved her from afar as a child, sets himself as Ruby's protector amid fierce opposition from his ultra-religious sister.

This book contains serious triggers for rape and child abuse, both of which are referenced below the cut.

I need to discuss this book with somebody (spoilers)Collapse )
spock: logic is sexy

Star Trek Nostalgia

I rewatched Star Trek: Into the Darkness last night, and...I really love the movie. I wish that Kirk and McCoy did not sexually harass women. I wish that the role of Khan had not been given to a white guy. But in the storytelling sense, I think it's a really good movie.

I love that the characters' strength and maturity are tested by impossible dilemmas. Of course Spock wouldn't be willing to let a planet die after witnessing the destruction of his home world. Of course Kirk wouldn't let his first officer perish for the sake of a rule. Their response to those dilemmas creates a huge conflict rooted in their underlying cultural assumptions. Kirk, the brash American rule breaker, thinks it's just common sense to lie to Starfleet. Spock, on the other hand, has fought so hard to be considered Vulcan and now feels obligated to be the living embodiment of a culture someone tried to destroy. His response is totally Vulcan: tell the truth, make someone see the logic of the situation, and take full responsibility for it. Neither Kirk nor Spock understands each other's perspective, which puts a huge strain on their friendship. This is the kind of thing that happens all the time, both between individual personalities and different cultures trying to get along.

Another impossible dilemma appears when a beloved character is murdered, and the crew receives questionable orders to execute the killer. The right thing is to refuse completely, but only the oldest member of the senior staff -- Scotty -- can bring himself to do that. The rest of the crew goes with Kirk's "halfway" plan that actually makes matters worse. Chekov takes on responsibility he's not ready for. Sulu feels ambivalent about being in the captain's chair. Uhura behaves unprofessionally by starting a relationship argument on a dangerous away mission. After that, you get the second half of the movie, which is basically everyone repairing their mistakes. Uhura tries to negotiate with the Klingons by herself. Spock tricks Khan to save the Enterprise. Kirk immediately calls Scotty to admit his mistake and ask for help, then sacrifices himself for his ship. All this contrasts with Admiral Marcus, who responds to his mistake by trying to kill everyone. He claims he's looking out for Starfleet, but he's really trying to avoid responsibility for his decisions.

I've heard people claim it's not a Star Trek movie because they characters do not behave admirably. I agree. It's better than the original movies because the characters make mistakes and have to fight their way back from them. Underneath all the character conflicts is the moral dilemma of targeted killing and clandestine warfare, which we have engaged in heavily since 9/11. The movie concludes by telling us that seeking revenge is natural after loved ones have died but will turn us into the very thing we are fighting against. As someone who lived less than a mile from the World Trade Center after 9/11, I find that a very powerful message.
star wars: leia han luke

Star Wars Fic: Any Scar You Give Me (I Will Endure It)

You guys, it took me a YEAR to write this story, and I finally finished it for Fandom 5K (with lots of help from fleurlb's inspiring prompts!) This definitely goes on the list of hardest stories I've ever written, but I think (hope) it is also one of the best.

Title: Any Scar You Give Me (I Will Endure It)
Rating: Teen
Characters/Pairings: Leia/Han, Ben Solo, Luke Skywalker, Poe Dameron
Summary: Leia and Han had escaped from Imperial assaults, been captured by Jabba the Hutt, blown up the shield generator on Endor, and helped to found the New Republic. After all that, raising a child together couldn’t be that hard, right?
World Count: 15K
star wars: leia han luke

Star Wars Fic: Fast, Thorough, and Sharp as a Tack (Leia/Han)

Title: Fast, Thorough, and Sharp as a Tack
Rating: Teen
Pairings: Leia/Han
Summary: Leia knows how to fire a blaster, survive an interrogation, and escape from the Death Star, but she's still missing a few essential survival skills -- like how to apologize, how to accept help from a friend, and okay, she might not know how to wash her own clothes or cook a real dinner.
Word Count: 3,000