1: What inspired you to write the fic this way?
2: What scene did you first put down?
3: What’s your favorite line of narration?
4: What’s your favorite line of dialogue?
5: What part was hardest to write?
6: What makes this fic special or different from all your other fics?
7: Where did the title come from?
8: Did any real people or events inspire any part of it?
9: Were there any alternate versions of this fic?
10: Why did you choose this pairing for this particular story?
11: What do you like best about this fic?
12: What do you like least about this fic?
13: What music did you listen to, if any, to get in the mood for writing this story? Or if you didn’t listen to anything, what do you think readers should listen to to accompany us while reading?
14: Is there anything you wanted readers to learn from reading this fic?
15: What did you learn from writing this fic?
Rather than explain it in depth, I'll just link to this (spoilery) primer: The Queer Hockey Bros Webcomic You Should Be Reading.
I enjoyed it and found it a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours. Although my current assessment is "doesn't hold a candle to YoI," I remember that my first assessment of YoI on Dreamwidth was the notably lukewarm "I may be kind of enjoying it... the romance is rather sweet." Interestingly, although the relationship between Jack and Bitty in Check Please has zero ambiguity, we see less of its development than we do of the relationship between Victor and Yuuri. I felt that the narrative skips over a lot, but I suppose that just leaves space for fandom to fill in. There definitely seems to be some good fic available, and a surprising amount of it – over 5000 works!
• It's an achievement that this managed to make me feel sympathetic about hockey bros. To be fair, they're Massachusetts liberal arts college bros, who may be a slightly different breed.
• Unlike YoI, this is set in a universe where homophobia exists, but embedded within a basically homophobia-free college and sports team. I feel like we're going to get a collision with the wider world soon, as the characters are closeted beyond the sphere of friends and family, and wonder how it's going to turn out.
• It's interesting how this has many of the same themes as YoI but combined in different ways. YoI if Victor had Yuuri's anxiety and JJ's pushy Canadian family.
In conclusion, or perhaps in a complete derail, I really want to read a proper longfic from someone who knows their sports where Victor ends up going into hockey instead of figure skating. Including his journey from KHL to NHL. It would be most obvious to have him playing for SKA Saint Petersburg – which means he'd still be based at Yubileyny Sports Palace! – but I love the names of some of the other teams. Metallurg Magnitogorsk, Traktor Chelyabinsk, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. Victor is slightly shorter than the average NHL player (though they'd probably just lie and say he was 6 feet even), and certainly a good deal lighter, but the latter would be mainly down to the difference in training regimens. Anyway, it would be interesting, but very much not something that I could write.
ETA: Dear God, I just realised that 'Check Please!' has an exclamation point in its title too. This really is a metric of how gay a source text is, isn't it?
ETA 2: Evgeni Plushenko plays hockey on an amateur team! How did I not know this? So interesting.
Warning: This poem includes some touchy topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It has emotional upheavals, Vagary's continued stress over Calliope not wanting to do things with him, Calliope's continued stress over his closeness, tornado formation, interrupted therapy session, which triggers Vagary's abandonment issues, unexpected changes in superpowers, Calliope looming over Vagary, emotional suppression during an emergency, an emergency dispatcher doing a shitty job, negotiating with supervillains, stormchasing, exhaustion, crashing with friends at a weather station, and other challenges. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.
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- The English sofa is a loan from Turkish. The Turkish for the English sofa, however, is kanape, as a loan from the French canapé, which has the original meaning of English sofa and, by figurative extension, the meaning of English canapé, because you've got a little piece of bread or pastry or something that looks like a sofa with the topping perched on top of it. (sebastienne conjectured this etymology when I was grumbling about the Turkish last week; they were surprised and delighted to be correct.)
- Fox/vixen is the solitary surviving example in modern English of the Germanic feminine suffix -en, -in: Fuchs/Füchsin.
- The English/French foyer is rendered, in Swedish orthography, foajé. It is pronounced the way one might reasonably expect foyer to be pronounced. See also: restaurang.
This is a collection volume, containing Komarr, A Civil Campaign and (actually in the "previously unread" category), the short A Winterfair Gift. The title for the collection volume is very descriptive, as that theme starts in Komarr, continues through the entirety of A Civil Campaign and comes to some sort of culmination in A Winterfair Night.
As is the custom, these are all eminently readable. It is also perhaps not the worst place to pick up the Vorkosigan Saga books (but, I should stress, it is also not the best), since I seem to recall that Komarr was actually the first one I read.
It's been a while since I last read any of the Expanse novels. Don't really know why, maybe the whole "TV hype" has put me off. On the whole, they're eminently readable, although one of my distinct memories of "oh, no, not again!" from the first four is mercifully not as prominent in this one.
All in all a pleasant read, although I have a nagging feeling that the acceleration required to cover distance in this book may possibly require higher sustained acceleration than what seems to be happening.
I figure, in Terramagne, they're either discussing "Should we all move to the Maldives?" or "That really romantic bay in Japan has stopped murdering everyone who goes there. Who wants to go on a mating trip?"
I'm not "in the wrong body"; this body is very much part of me, and there are things I really like about it. But there are parts that feel stunted, like they never fully developed like they were "meant" to, and at times they ache as if they were still desperately trying to. Descriptions of phantom limbs from amputees often resonate with me. I assume this would not go away in a perfect society. It has got worse with perimenopause and seems to show some cyclical variation, so I imagine there's a hormonal factor involved.
Also, some of the parts I really like are the very ones that cause people to guess my gender wrong, and that causes a real psychological tension. I have to choose every day whether I want the cognitive dissonance of hiding those parts as if I were ashamed of them, or the cognitive dissonance of leaving them visible and being misgendered. This part would clearly improve if societal etiquette changed so that it was understood to be rude to guess someone's gender without being told, or at least rude to voice the guess.
Then there's a gender role/performative component, which expresses itself as a feeling that I'm constantly failing at "being a girl" by looking wrong, acting wrong, thinking wrong and just generally Being Wrong. This part has improved considerably since I gave myself permission to stop trying to be one, but there's a residue that would probably require societal permission to get rid of. For me, full societal recognition of nonbinary gender(s) would probably do it, but total abolition of the gender binary would also work for me (and for agender people? but maybe not for strongly binary-identified people?) Even then, there may be a biochemical component that would not disappear, because I feel the looking wrong part is linked to my bulimia, and that gets worse with certain nutritional deficiencies and could presumably still happen without sexism. Society not being so damn fat-shaming would surely help, though.
Summary: In a perfect society I'd probably still have body dysphoria and maybe a small amount of psychological discomfort. I might still define as trans because although we wouldn't be assigning gender at birth any more, I might still have self-assigned as a girl before the hormones kicked in enough for the body dysphoria to become noticeable. But I'd have much less cognitive dissonance and everyday life would be much more comfortable, so none of these issues would be the grave threats to mental health that they are now.
I may plausibly one day write one of these, but then again I may not. And either way, please do borrow/steal/adopt if you are so inspired — the world needs all the f/f regency fluff it can get.
The one that is really just Pride & Prejudice fanfic
Edit: FRIENDS!!! THIS ACTUALLY EXISTS!!! ~60K OF MARY/ANNE FANFIC!! I haven't read it yet, but eeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!
Edit 2: I HAVE READ IT NOW IT'S AMAZING GO READ IT YAY!
Mary, the priggish, unlovely and unloved middle daughter of five, is packed off to be the next in a long line of particular companions to her cousin-by-marriage Anne. She hopes that by her strong moral example and deep interest in scripture, she can become an inspiration and a comfort to poor sickly, ill-tempered Anne.
Chronically ill and utterly fed up Anne just wants everyone to stop fussing about her, but at least this latest nuisance is amusing — not least because of how much she annoys Anne’s mother.
Out from the hustle and bustle of her busy family, Mary finds a place to grow into herself, and learns that humility and humour are not always at odds. To her great surprise, Anne finds someone who actually listens when she talks, and may even have something worth saying in return.
The one that’s a bit my favourite Georgette Heyer set up, but also very clearly not
Stately, proper Mrs Sophia Banks, recently widowed after a not too unhappy marriage to the well-respected Reverend Banks, has always been conscious that while Caesar’s wife must be above reproach, that is far too low a standard for the daughter of an English missionary and his Yoruba wife. Her own youngest daughter is about to make an advantageous match, but a visit from a distant cousin on Sophia’s mother’s side may throw everything out of order.
Iron-willed Dowager Lady Margaret is charmed and delighted by her only son’s fiancee, Charity, the beautiful and modest youngest daughter of the Reverend and Mrs Banks, but privately worries that she is perhaps too good a match for her much indulged son, who does, after all, resemble his late father a little more than one might like. When Charity’s distant cousin, a bright young girl not at all impressed by this cold and stupid country and its cold and stupid people, comes on the scene, Lady Margaret wonders if perhaps the mistakes of one generation will not be repeated on the next.
Sophia’s hopes for Charity seem to be in direct opposition to Lady Margaret’s privileged idealism, but could their wishes for a better future and shared amusement at the vagaries of youth help them find common ground?
The one that’s In Orbit but longer, set slightly earlier, and with a bit more plot. (If you haven’t already read In Orbit, my one bijou published bit of original fic, this kind of spoils for it. Go read In Orbit first. It’s very short, and I’m still very proud of it.)
Sarah, raised by her grandfather the golem-maker, has only ever wanted to take apart the sky to see how it works. When the time comes for her to marry and continue the line, she dutifully goes to meet her grandfather’s friend’s three sons — and his one daughter, Naomi. Unbeknownst to the oldest son, she begins a correspondence with one of his tutors under his name, positing ideas about the inner workings of golems that raise questions about the nature of the universe and the structure of stars.
Naomi, fascinated by the witty, driven woman one of her brothers is to marry, begins her own preparations for adulthood. She dreams of a loud family, of love and laughter and her own secret life away from them. She can never settle on anything — not an ambition, not a husband, not a direction for her life — until somehow, without her noticing or consenting, love finds her.
Will Sarah’s academic dreams be crushed when her identity is revealed? Will Naomi pick a path and follow it the whole way? And what do the golems think of all this, if they think at all?
The one that’s a country house mystery
Sweet, good-natured Modesty is quite sure she doesn’t have an enemy in the world. Her only flaw, if indeed she has one, is that she is perhaps a little too much of a credit to her name — despite a very proper settlement from her loving uncle and not unappealing features, she has been out for three years and failed to make a match. She prides herself on seeing the best in everyone, and finding fault in no one. But during a fortnight in her uncle’s country estate she may finally meet her match in the cruel and quick-tongued wife of the internationally famed detective Mr Ghatge. Surely this wicked, heathen woman would try the patience of a saint?
Baiza and Daulat are the perfect double act. She plays the self-important fool, he the quiet genius, and together they solve crime and seduce men and women across three continents. But when they are hired to protect the naive Modesty from an unknown threat, Baiza finds herself a little more invested and a little less objective than she might wish to be. What does Modesty know that she’s not telling them? Why is her uncle so insistent that she shouldn’t find out about the Ghatges’ investigation? And would it really be so wrong to mix a little business with pleasure?
I do see that she has come to realise that 'children's books: not the easy option',from trying to write one, because have we not, my dearios, seen an awful lot of celebs who think any fule can can write a kiddybook?
But, might we not also see in that article that she seems also to be coming round to the notion that fantasy is Not A Bad (or at least, a lesser, genre) Thing?
The two categories do seem to be somewhat assimilated, even conflated.
And I really don't think you get very far just by replacing one binary with another binary:
Instead of thinking there’s “literary fiction” and “everything else”, or even adult fiction and children’s fiction, I now believe that there are books with magic and without.
I don't think it's that simple, even if she's using 'magic' in its broader sense?
I think there are still some unexamined assumptions around canon and literary value going on there.
Weather is warm but very blustery.
There are still two white eggs in the mourning dove nest by the kitchen window.
The barrel garden has a purple hyacinth budding beneath it. The first of the purple grape hyacinths have opened near the patio. Daffodils are budding in the inner ring around the maple tree, and a purple crocus is blooming there. I saw the first blue-and-white violet blooming today.
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While I have quite oft remarked that, if you want to exercise regularly, it really helps if where you do it is easy to get to, and something that may not be the absolutely ideal thing but close at hand is more likely to actually get done on a relatively regularly basis than something that might be optimum but a faff to get to. (This probably applies to other things as well.)
But while this article more or less substantiates The Wisdom of the Hedjog in principle, I was a bit beswozzled by the travel distance cited - 3.7 miles - which does not strike me as what I would consider a walkable distance, at least if one's combining it (there and back) with a workout.
It's a different world. And I would like to know, are we talking public transport? or driving? to get there.
Reiterates anecdote of walking from where I was staying in Austin TX to Zilker Park, through entirely deserted streets, and found when I got there hordes of people who had driven there to walk, jog, etc.
As a Pagan scholar, this makes me think about goddesses who created life by themselves, without assistance from a god. Parthenogenetic life formation relates closely to a shift from celestial water to cthonic water. Alternatively, one might argue that either underworld gods are more life-oriented than formerly thought, or we should really be looking for cthonic goddesses. On the third hoof, this raises interesting points regarding those underworld deities who are hermaphroditic. This could make for some fascinating ritual inspiration.
Then I had a meeting with 2 of the other composers on the Beethoven project with me. That went...reasonably, but we need more information to proceed.
One of them has an upper-voices choir and asked if they could perform O nata lux, so that's pretty neat.