spock: logic is sexy

A year away from fandom


I came back to say how bitterly disappointed I am in the new season of Veronica Mars, but I can't remember how to make spoiler cuts, so I can't actually write that entry.

Looking at my AO3 account and seeing that I haven't posted a story in a year is a strange feeling. Writing was a constant in my life for almost ten years, and I just...stopped. There were a lot of reasons. I felt cut off from fandom because LJ/DW were getting so quiet, I still hate tumblr, and I can't feel a real sense of community in an anonymous meme like FFA. My education consulting business is flourishing, and I started working out after school every day, so I only have tiny slivers of time in which I could write stories. That is particularly problematic because every story I start morphs into a 10,000 word monster, and there's no way I have time to finish that sort of thing.

And weirdly, Netflix gets a share of the blame. When I first joined fandom, there were maybe 2 or 3 nerdy TV shows or movie franchises to love. Writing fanfic was a way to stretch them out and make them last, because it might be 5 years before I found something else I liked equally well. Now the world is a much friendlier space for the geeky among us, and I can hop from one nerdy scifi show to another without needing to create material of my own. I do really miss my creative outlet though, so I am trying to finish one or two of the WiPs on my hard drive before school starts.

How are you guys? What have you been up to?
spock: logic is sexy

Chocolate Box Letter

Hello, and thank you for agreeing to write for me! If we matched, I'm certain we have a lot in common, and I'm sure I will love your story. I'm really very easy to please; I love everything I requested (although I wasn't able to come up with the same number of prompts for every relationship), and I love friendship fic just as much shippy fic.
On the subject of shipping, I enjoy everything from friends with benefits to getting together to established relationships. Please feel free to make your story as explicit (or unexplicit) as you like. I enjoy reading sex scenes, but I don't feel disappointed by stories that fade to black.

I've left quite a few prompts in my letter because I find that helpful when I'm writing; if you do not, please feel free to disregard them. So long as you respect the DNW's, I'll be just fine! I know some of the prompts probably lend themselves to stories much longer than the minimum for Chocolate Box, and I would be happy to see just a small excerpt of the situation.

*Unrequested background pairings, other than those that already appear in canon
*Pregnancy, childbirth, kids who don't exist in canon
*Love triangles or infidelity
*Rape, non-con, dubcon, or any question at all about sexual consent
*Character death (unless it really happened in canon)
*Anything kinkier than a little fun with handcuffs
*Alternate setting AU's such as coffee shops, rock bands, etc.

*Banter & snark
*Competence kink
*Female character being physically or emotionally protective of a male character
*Friends to lovers
*Away missions gone wrong
*Characters who don't seem to have a lot in common slowly forming a bond
*Tough characters showing vulnerability to one another
*5+1 fics for any scenario
*Stranded in a hostile environment together
*Interesting settings, exotic alien planets, etc.
*Food as a form of love

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spock: logic is sexy

Book Review: Black Klansman

Title: Black Klansman by Ron Stallworth

Genre: Memoir

The story: As the first black detective in the Colorado Springs PD, Ron Stallworth never imagined he would join the KKK, but he did just that. When he saw a KKK recruitment ad in the local paper, he sent a response, expecting to receive some pre-printed brochures. Instead, he was invited to join. To pull off this ruse, he recruited a white coworker to play him at personal meetings, while he managed phone conversations with everyone from low level Klan members to David Duke himself.

My review: You know how your grandpa has a story he's told a million times, and the experience itself is pretty interesting, but the way he tells it is boring as fuck? Unfortunately, that's this book. Stallworth has an interesting story, but he is not a gifted writer, and the story lacks any of the emotional punch to engage the reader. Although the mechanics of undercover work are interesting, the actual results of the investigation are not. This is one case where the movie might be better than the book.
spock: logic is sexy

Book Review: The Pisces

Title: The Pisces by Melissa Broder

Genre: uh...erotic magic realism?

Trigger warnings: Suicidal ideation, drug abuse, animal harm

The story: Lucy is thirty-eight and her life is falling apart. Her dissertation is stalled, she dumps her boyfriend, then becomes obsessed with him and falls into a low-key suicidal fugue. After running into some trouble with the law, she spends the summer house sitting for her wealthy sister in California. This is where she falls in love with a merman who fulfills her deepest fantasies, but she's not 100% sure that he's real...or that he has her best interest in mind.

My review: I'm just gonna be honest and admit I have no idea WTF to say about this book. I read it because the premise was too bizarre to pass up, and also I was curious about mermaid sex. And, uh, I read the book? The main character is really kind of a train wreck, and it's horrifying how she's so unsympathetic yet also exactly like us, and somehow I never managed to actually put the book down until I was finished. Do I love it? Do I hate it? I really don't know.
spock: logic is sexy

Solo reaction post and a fic

I saw the Solo movie this weekend, and I was surprised by how much I liked it (although that isn't saying a lot, since my expectations were very low). It felt like fan fic to me, but in a good way, like someone really wanted a heist movie about these characters and got to make one. The actor who plays Han is bland and kind of awkward, but I am a sucker for lost people looking for family in all the wrong places, so it worked for me.

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Since I was sad that I won't have time to finish the elaborate treat I planned for Fandom 5K, I consoled myself by writing a little character study of Qi'Ra instead. Mind the spoilers.

Title: Feelings Are a Luxury & This is War
Pairing: Han/Qi'Ra
Rating: R
Word count: 1300
spock: logic is sexy

Book Review: Every Heart a Doorway

Title: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan MacGuire

Genre:: Fantasy

The story: What happens to children who fall through magical doorways into fantastic realms and then return to our earth? Many of them don't know how to adapt, and most long to return to what they consider their real home. Eleanor, a woman who fell through a doorway and returned to Earth long ago, operates a boarding school for her fellow survivors. Nancy, the protagonist, recently returned from the underworld and immediately falls under suspicion for the murder of one of her classmates.

My review: Cool world building, but not actually a good book. The author is so focused on exploring her premise that the characters mostly feel like puppets moving through the plot. 160 pages isn't really enough for a murder mystery, and there is a lot of random extraneous material about the protagonist's asexuality. If it had connected to the plot, it would have been fine; since it didn't, it felt like a public service announcement about what asexuality is. It was reasonably entertaining while I read it, but I wasn't very satisfied by the end.
spock: logic is sexy

Book Review: I'll Be Gone in the Dark

Title: I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

Genre: True Crime

The story: The Golden State Killer, who was recently captured with the help of a DNA website, was among the most prolific serial killers in America. Michelle McNamara, Patton Oswalt's late wife, was an amateur detective drawn into the case by an internet message board. Over the course of several years, she became an unofficial partner in the investigation and began writing a book about her quest before the killer. She died of an accidental overdose before the book could be completed, and Oswalt hired another writer to finish it for her.

My review: This book hooked me from the first sentence: That summer I stalked the killer from my daughter's playroom. While the lurid details of the Golden State Killer's crimes are riveting, what sets this book apart is McNamara's beautiful prose and her empathy for the victims. There's a story within a story within a story -- the investigation, McNamara's obsession with it, and the book's life after her death. Notes tell you which sections were reconstructed by the writer Oswalt hired, and some chapters are transcripts of interviews she conducted by never got to write up. The whole book is suffused with poignancy because you know the investigation killed her. McNamara was so disturbed by what she learned that, unbeknownst to her husband, she began self-medicating with a cocktail of prescription drugs. This combination ultimately killed her. The book is an odd yet beautiful tribute to her life, and the lives of the Golden State Killer's victims.
spock: logic is sexy

Book Review: Finding Samuel Lowe

Title: Finding Samuel Lowe by Paula Williams Madison

Genre: Memoir

The story: Paula Williams Madison's mother was half-Jamaican and half-Chinese. Her grandfather, the Samuel Lowe referenced in the title, was a Hakka Chinese man who owned a general store in Jamaica in the early 20th century. Eventually, he began a relationship and had a baby -- Paula's mother -- with a Jamaican woman. This happy family idyll shattered when Samuel's family sent him a Chinese bride. Infuriated, his common law Jamaican wife took their child and hid her in the countryside to ensure that she would have no contact with her father again. More than sixty years later, Paula Williams Madison set out to trace her mysterious Chinese grandfather and locate her aunts, uncles, and cousins still living in China.

My Review: I love books that transport me to new and different places, and this book delivered in a big way. The author's meticulous research transported me into the life of an immigrant shopkeeper in Jamaica in the early 20th century. It taught me about Jamaican history, Hakka Chinese culture, how slavery affected concepts of family in Afro-Caribbean communities, and even what it was like to grow up poor in Harlem during the Civil Rights Movement. The book flags a little when the author tries to fit the entire history of 20th century China into a couple chapters, but that one flaw is easy to overlook. This is a complex story with a happy ending, and very enjoyable to read.