Sometimes sanguine, sometimes sanguinary.
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Escher Snakes
Two thoughts on Mockingjay Part I:

1.) Why the hell you'd engineer your fire sprinklers to go off that casually and copiously in an evacuation stairwell, I have no idea. Also, the emergency lighting on those stairs was a travesty, far, far worse than no lighting at all. Someone in that organization should be deeply, deeply ashamed of themselves.

2.) Turning the oxygen down to fourteen percent is the kind of excellent decision that you can expect of people who... are operating in a fourteen percent atmosphere. That is, if that's the kind of decision that they make in a 21% atmosphere, I shudder to think what their judgement looks like at fourteen.

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Escher Snakes
There was a long time this year that I was actively avoiding public convos — for so many reasons — which is why I’ve been pretty silent here. (There have been words elsewhere! So many words! But most of it has been email and fic and spur-of-the-moment “you’re wrong”-ing on tumblr. But cold-bloodedly setting out to say something in a public-ish space, on my own initative, to an audience with multiple people in it… that was been difficult.) I’ve started to pull out of that reticence a little bit, which means I now have the urge to tell y’all about stuff, but then I consider the mechanics of writing a post and feel a wave of exhaustion at the need to organize my words and provide background and make sentences and ugh.

Exhaustion is better than anxiety, I guess? :-/

But in the interest of having to start somewhere, with some topic…

The big news of the weekend is that I did not default on Festivids. \o/

Which, because I have not been talking to y’all, prolly seems like a nothing statement, but believe me, this has been hard-fought over the last several months.

Back in September, I fried my computer. (Looooooong time coming, that.) I limped along sharing [personal profile] grrlpup’s Chromebook for a while, then got a vidding-capable machine mid-October. I spent a weekend playing with some old vid projects, assessing what software still worked on the new machine (everything but my DVD ripper, it seemed), and signed up for Festivids, comfortable that when I turned in my Holmestice assignment I’d be able to drop straight into my Festivids assignment, easy.

However, during the interim before properly beginning my Festivids project, I began watching Strange Empire, got hit by a trio of the worst vid-bunnies ever, attempted to start vidding one of them, and discovered a fatal bug: I could work on pre-existing projects with my old software, I could even begin and edit a new project with my old software, but I could not save and reopen a new project with my old software. It would let me put in eight hours of work on a vid, but then I’d only be able to access that work if I never shut down the program ever.

This is, of course, unacceptable behavior in a vidding program.

So there I was, signed up for Festivids, with no vidding software at hand.

In a panic, I emailed [personal profile] ghost_lingering, [personal profile] frayadjacent, and [personal profile] chaila. (The first two are both Mac vidders, whereas Chaila was my first vidding friend and thus is personally responsible for every bad thing that ever happens to me while I’m vidding ever.) Chaila, in her turn, introduced me to [personal profile] kuwdora, who also vids on Mac.

Kuwdora immediately got on chat with me, and spent six hours ascertaining that the bug was real, immovable, and irresolvable. It was like suddenly having a first responder with big fireman muscles and warm blankets and hot electrolyte drinks giving me small and actionably concrete instructions in an assured voice, it was so exactly what I needed. We ended that chat having only confirmed what I had already been moderately sure of — that iMovie 6 was dead to me for any and all new projects — but those hours of her first-respondering at me made the situation feel manageable again.

Meanwhile, Fray and Ghost were sending me long emails with pro-and-con lists about other editing programs, plus offers to hold my hand through the programs they’re familiar with.

I just. I love everyone in this bar.

So the next several weeks were spent identifying an editing program that I could afford (in both time and money), and then learning to use it. All while finishing up my Holmestice assignment, which was having its own set of problems, I don’t even.

I finally ended up settling on Lightworks, mostly because it was free (its pay-vs-free restrictions are all about export formats, which are no restriction at all to a vidder distributing her work over the web), and they had a really good set of video tutorials, narrated by a guy who sounds exactly like Mark Sheppard. (Given that Mark Sheppard is a villain in all my fandoms, I don’t know why I should find that voice so instantly reassuring, but I swear, I can put one of these videos on, the guy says “Welcome to Lightworks,” and my breathing calms instantly. Go figure.) It took me a few weeks, but I’m now about as comfortable in Lightworks as I was in iMovie. So the vidding-software part of my Festivids drama got resolved, hooray!

But then I ran into source-acquisition issues ([personal profile] ghost_lingering to the rescue again!), so it wasn’t until Thursday that I was finally in a position to put clips on a timeline. And the default-deadline was Saturday.

But! By end-of-day Friday I had thirty seconds of timeline that I liked, and by end-of-day Saturday I had nearly a full minute, so… I let the default deadline pass me by.

And that is my major news from the weekend: there may actually be a vid from me in the line-up when Festivids goes live. Isn’t it exciting?

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3rd-Dec-2014 03:56 am - Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Road Trip
Escher Snakes
I am tickled beyond measure that Raymond Holt and Kevin also celebrate their own Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day. Tickled beyond measure.

Also, I would like all the Raymond Holt at Burning Man fics, please. Y/Y?

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25th-Nov-2014 09:52 am(no subject)
Escher Snakes
Well, of all possible ways to learn that there isn't a battery in the smoke detector (??) (...!?!?!?!?!!), I suppose that's one of the better ones.

("That," in this case, being my messing around with the oven before I had my caffeine. It really was an impressive amount of smoke.)

Note to self: get a battery in there when I come home from work. There is WAY too much smoke in the house to put a battery in that thing now.

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28th-Oct-2014 07:52 pm - Dear Festividder
Escher Snakes
Dear Lovely Person Who Volunteered to Make a Vid:

Physical triggers: I can get video-induced migraines, which appears to be set off by a certain kind of stuttering or shaky-cam. It's rare for that to come up in vids, but this is an example of a vid I can't watch, and I likewise have trouble with most Hunger Games vids. Quick cuts seem to be no problem whatsoever. I'm okay with occasional flashes, but fading to black on every cut pushes my physical limits, so I'd rather you didn't do that, please.

Music: Vids are the primary place that I'm introduced to new-to-me music and artists, and that is one of the things I love about the genre. However, if you want a run-down on the kinds of things I best-like and worst-like, there's this. Just please don't feel you need to limit yourself to something I discussed there: I really do enjoy getting introduced to someone else's musical passions via a vid.

On to the optional details...! (Blockquotes are what I already said in the on-site sign-up.)

BorgenCollapse )

Gotham CentralCollapse )

HLOTSCollapse )

New Russian HolmesCollapse )

Noah's ArcCollapse )

Saving FaceCollapse )

In short, thank you so much for volunteering to make a vid for one of these fandoms! I think the really important thing here is to make a vid that makes you happy: please don't contort yourself to make a vid that you think I'll like, if it's at the cost of making a vid that you like. Because life is too short for that, and in any case, part of the joy of an exchange is seeing what excites you about these fandoms.

Have a lovely Festivid season, and I'm looking forward to meeting you in January!

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Escher Snakes
I need to give y'all an actual update on my life at some point, but here are some fannish things:

holmestice sign-ups close today at midnight EDT. Holmestice is a bi-annual Holmesian fanworks exchange, ecumenical both in types of fanworks (fic, vids, art, icons, podfics) and in Holmesian fandoms. (As you might expect, BBC Sherlock dominates the requests, offers, and resultant works, but there are usually a half-dozen requests each for ACD, the Ritchie movies, and Elementary, with a smattering of requests for other things, such as Sherlock Hound, the Watson and Holmes comic, or the Irene Adler mysteries.)

I played last summer, and received a lovely story from [personal profile] language_escapes, "Un dì, felice, eterea," which I already posted about. But I never mentioned here what I wrote:
Persistence of Memory by [ profile] sanguinity for [ profile] amindamazed
Elementary, Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century
Joan Watson & Sherlock Holmes, Robot Watson, Beth Lestrade
AU - fusion; hurt/comfort; angst; earnest crack
approx 8K words
It is 2198, and everyone Joan Watson knows is dead. Everyone except Sherlock Holmes.
I had a lot of opinions about Joan Watson's role in Elementary S2 -- as well as about the adaptive traditions concerning Watsons in general -- and a lot of them get expressed here. There's no need to be familiar with 22nd Century for this story (and no spoilers beyond the 1x01, "The Fall and Rise of Sherlock Holmes"), but for those who are 22nd Century fans, this is a major break with that show's tone.

I'm working on a continuation for that story, but I took a break to write another bit of Elementary crack:
Holocene Park by [ profile] sanguinity for [ profile] language-escapes
Elementary, Asylum's Sherlock Holmes (aka The One With The Dinosaurs)
Joan Watson & Sherlock Holmes, Tommy Gregson, Marcus Bell
Dinosaurs, case-fic, action, suspense
approx 25K words.
“It’s fifteen feet tall, got claws as long as my hand, and teeth.” Trina’s expression dared Joan to contradict her.

Joan eyed the length of tooth Trina was indicating. “All right,” she said. “Tell me everything you know.”
So, yeah, this is an adaptation of The One With the Dinosaurs. Those familiar with the Asylum film know that it's an astonshingly stupid romp, achieving MST3K levels of terribleness. You will be either relieved or disappointed to know that I failed to live up to that extreme terribleness, but I can promise lots of screaming and running and derring-do, punctuated with egregious abuses of science and some high-octane mustache-twirling. I had a hella lotta fun writing it; I hope you have as much fun reading it.

But in the meanwhile, come sign up for Holmestice! I will be offering/requesting the game theory book! Also zombies! It'll be fun!

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12th-Aug-2014 02:01 pm(no subject)
Escher Snakes
Who knew "just an elopement" would require this much in the way of logistics? (Everyone who is not us, I imagine.)

So very, very glad that we decided to not try for a "proper" wedding. We are so not cut out for that kind of thing. I mean, really.

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Escher Snakes
It took several years to get here, but we've finally finished Xena: Warrior Princess. (More accurately, we have approximately finished it. [personal profile] frayadjacent has assured me that 6x19 "Many Happy Returns" makes a fitting conclusion to the series -- it does -- and additionally, that there's apparently something reprehensible about the official finale. I trust my friends when they say that I would not enjoy whatever-it-is, and so I am content to stop here, knowing essentially nothing about what goes on in the final three episodes. [1])

Oh, but I wish I'd watched this show when it was airing. We didn't much watch TV that decade, but Xena and The L-Word were the two major pieces of media in the lesbian community in the early 2000's. We watched enough L-Word to be functionally literate about it, in a vague, "I know the names and archetypes of the characters" sort of way, but we entirely missed Xena. And now, finally getting around to playing catch-up nearly two decades late, I can see the shape of the feelings I would have had about it, had I watched it then. I feel like I cheated myself of something worth having.

(Which is not to say that I don't have feelings about the show now. But there's a lingering disconnectedness, a less-than-it-should-be-ness.)

Of course, the reason we made the effort to track down and watch some L-Word -- and by "track down" I mean "furtively handing off brown-paper-bagged VHS tapes to each other at work" -- but didn't make the effort for Xena, was because L-Word had explicitly canonical lesbian relationships and Xena didn't. Xena was all subtext, or so we understood. Blatant wink-wink-nudge-nudge we-all-know-what-we're-talking-about-here subtext -- Xena fists a fish, fergawdsakes, and calls it that -- but until the final season, it's all technically deniable. During the middle years, Xena is about as textbook an example of queerbaiting as you could want. (Although it felt more playful than a lot of queerbaiting, because they weren't spending a lot of energy on no-homoing.)

And then in the final season, they suggest that Xena/Gabrielle has been canon for a good long while now, they just hadn't bothered saying. They still don't show it, though: there's lingering room to deny that Xena/Gabrielle is a sexual relationship. They are self-acknowledged life-partners, and are similarly recognized as such by others, but it could yet be a platonic relationship. (Well, a platonic relationship with a lot of fish-eating jokes, however likely that seems. JUST HAVE THEM KISS-KISS ALREADY, argh!)

*goes back and checks airdates* You know, I think it was after that final season aired that I really started hearing the in-community buzz about it. (F'rex, the Other Lesbian Engineer passing me a note during a meeting that read, "What Would Xena Do?" What would she do? BURN IT ALL TO THE GROUND.)

So. At a rough estimate, there's two seasons of Xena & Gabrielle as friends, then three seasons of Xena-likes-to-eat-fish-har-har interspersed with technically-they-kissed-but-not-really, and then a season of "Xena/Gabrielle has been canon for a good long while now, didn't you notice?"

I have mixed feelings about the show ending with retroactive Xena/Gabrielle. On the one hand, yay, they made it canon? But there's also something about it that retroactively makes the intermediate section feel less playful. If we read that intermediate section as "ha-ha, you thought they were straight, joke's on you!" I think we can understand that the joke was supposed to be on homophobes who were overly invested in Xena and Gabrielle's straightness? And yet I feel like I got caught by some ick in the blowback of that joke. That when I said things like, "but it's still not canon, it's only subtext," that I was somehow acting just like the homophobes who also denied the subtext. When really, I wasn't inscribing heteronormativity on them, but pointing out how space had been deliberately left for inscribing heteronormativity on them. Meh.

I suppose my no-surprise-to-anyone conclusion is that I would have much preferred having Xena/Gabrielle be explicitly canon as we went, instead of retroactively canon: there is something deeply unsatisfying about most retcons, however much the text-as-it-currently-stands may be improved by the retcon being put into place. And then, you necessarily start getting into the thing about whether The Powers That Be would have permitted canonical Xena/Gabrielle, blah blah.

...all of which comes back to: damn, but I wish I had watched this live, while the rest of my community was watching it. Because there's always some loss, reading a primary text outside of the context it was written in.

And I feel it particularly with this one.


[1] I broke. I have now read the synopses of the final three eps. I may yet pick them up at some point for completeness's sake, but I am fully content with taking the ending of "Many Happy Returns" -- Xena and Gabrielle flying off into the sunset together -- as the canon ending of the series.

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19th-Jun-2014 10:11 am - Graduation and Wedding Plans
Escher Snakes
Sunday was commencement. I walked, because [personal profile] grrlpup told me I had to. (I laugh: she and I only just barely showed up for our Reed graduation. But here she's been in charge of regalia and tickets and photos and inviting people and getting me there. It's like she's a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PERSON.) My parents came down for it, too, so now graduation has been done all nice and proper-like, and there are cap-and-gown photos for both her family and mine.

(Her family have really been into it -- I have received many congratulations from them. But then, I spent a decent chunk of my visit at New Year's studying for comps in front of them. And word about that got around: every time extended family would come by to see us, they'd walk in the door saying, "Now, I know [Sang] is studying for her comps, so I'm not going to disturb her, but I did want to say hello real fast!" So I suppose it's not a surprise that now there's a big chorus of YAY SHE GRADUATED AFTER ALL coming from that quarter.) (My side of the family, I'm not sure anyone even knows I graduated, besides my parents.)

I knew pretty much no one at graduation -- so much time elapsed between my coursework and my graduation! -- but most of the master's grads weren't graduating with friends anyhow, so a lot of us were looking for someone to amiably kill the time with. And it turns out that having a moment of theater-induced panic and dropping a handful of safety pins into one's bag before one leaves the house, is a very effective icebreaker! I spent a decent chunk of time before the ceremony saying "You want a safety pin?" to people who were struggling with their robes or hoods, and then getting swamped with effusive gratitude. (One woman said to me, "You're wonderful! You're just like a grandma!" Which made me blink a bit. When I went back to school, I abruptly discovered that I code to twenty-somethings as "mom" nowadays, but this is the first time that I've had someone call me grandma.)

The ceremony was huge, btw, much different from my last one. Even after splitting the graduating class into several ceremonies, they still had to rent the Blazers' arena. So yes, I got to be on the Jumbotron in my cap and gown. For all of two seconds. :-P


And in other news, as [personal profile] grrlpup has already said elsewhere, now that marriage is finally legal in Oregon again, we finally stopped dithering and began making concrete plans.

...I never really said much in public when the federal courts overturned Oregon's Measure 36 a couple of weeks ago. Mostly because I had a huge range of emotions about it, and not all of them happy. (The unhappy ones were mostly blowback from the twenty-one years of crap we went through to get here. Plus, the sense of UNSTOPPABLE DOOM that one comes to associate with positive court rulings when for all one's adult life nearly every positive court ruling is followed by a ruthless backlash at the polls. Honestly, my first reaction nowadays tends to be oh shit when a positive ruling comes down from the courts, and it is really, really hard to shake that sense of impending nightmare.) But the court announced the overturn at noon one Monday a few weeks ago, she proposed again-again at lunch (and she looked at me this time!), and I said yes again-again, and then we agreed to let ourselves have some time to be chill before making concrete plans, because goddamn, maelstrom of emotions that needed time to settle.

But as [personal profile] grrlpup said in her own post: we've decided to elope on the anniversary of our original 1993 commitment ceremony, because that was the real wedding, and we don't want this one eclipsing that. We've also asked the officiant from our 2004 wedding (when Multnomah County made it briefly legal, before the subsequent ballot-box backlash that was only just now overturned) to be the officiant this time, too. Because it's been a long, long journey to get here, and he was there for part of it, and we'd like him to be there again. Plus, when the court voided our marriage license in 2005, his work got voided, too; it seems fitting to have him be part of setting it right again-again.

Also, we really liked him. Which is probably the best reason. :-)

So that's that moving forward.


...and you want to know what's really bizarre? How I can be writing about the ceremonies celebrating what are allegedly TWO BIG LIFE-CHANGING EVENTS, and yet my life feels so static. People ask, "So, what's been going on with you lately? Have any big plans for the summer?" and I wrack my brain for a bit, and then come back all, "Nah, not really." My brain, it is wired very strangely, I tell you.

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Escher Snakes
I owe you many posts -- including the one I keep meaning to write about New Russian Holmes -- but have not been making the time for it.

(In short, New Russian Holmes is doing many things that I have been craving in a Holmes adaptation. Those of you who enjoy thoughtful, literary adaptations that wrestle with thematic issues that canon sidestepped, you will enjoy this adaptation. There is one ep that was unsuccessful, imo, but given that I have barely seen an adaptation even try to discuss imperialism in the Holmes stories, I laud them for the attempt. And other eps -- like the one about police and policing -- have been so successful that they raised the hair on my arms. Alternatively, those of you who enjoy ridiculous dorks who engage in shenanigans and punching, you also will enjoy this adaptation. Episodes and fan-created English subtitles are available here: eight two-hour episodes, seven of which have been subtitled so far. Go watch, and then you will be in excellent position to argue with me about how wrong I am about everything when I finally get around to making that post.)

But! I am not here to discuss New Russian Holmes! I am actually here to say that I participated in the current round of holmestice, and I just today received a lovely story about Holmes, Watson and Mrs. Ricoletti. She gets glancing mention in ACD canon (the "abominable" Mrs. Ricoletti from when Holmes got out of housecleaning by teasing Watson with his old cases), but Bert Coules develops her more fully in his radio play, "The Striking Success of Miss Franny Blossom," in The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. (I have greatly enjoyed the Coules adapts, and adore what I've listened to so far of the Further Adventures: they expand on many things that the stories beg to be expanded upon. There is a spiritualism episode! Holmes trod the boards! How Holmes learned to look past the blinders of his education and class!)

But I digress again. Bert Coules expanded on Mrs. Ricoletti, and then my lovely mystery author expanded further, giving us a story about jealousy and maturity and opera:

Un dì, felice, eterea
Fandom: The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Characters: John Watson, Sherlock Holmes, Mrs. Ricoletti
Rating: G
Warnings: None
Summary: In opera, a duet can begin with each performer singing their line separately, and then coming together harmoniously in the end. With just some minor chromaticisms, this is true of them as well.

And, of course, the fanwork I made will have been posted by the time we get to the June solstice. (And may have been posted already. I am not saying.) You are welcome to make your own guesses about what it was.

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23rd-May-2014 08:03 am - Mazel Tov!
Escher Snakes

We couldn't be there last night, but we are very much looking forward to being there this evening. :-D

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11th-May-2014 06:54 am - Rarewomen is Live
Escher Snakes
Rarewomen is live!

I received a sweet and entertaining Middleman fic, "The Roommate Transposition Irritation," by [ profile] desertscribe, which captures so much of what I loved the show.

And I wrote a TSCC ghost story for [ profile] teaotter about Jesse Flores's lives through the timelines: "Rabbit."

...and there are many more things besides! Go check out the collection!

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Escher Snakes
For [community profile] invisible_ficathon I wrote this for [personal profile] violsva:
Bee Culture for Detectives by [ profile] sanguinity for [ profile] violsva
Fandoms: Sherlock Holmes and Related Fandoms: Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock, Elementary, Practical Handbook of Bee Culture.
Tags: bees, 221B ficlets
Summary: Three Practical Handbooks of Bee Culture, their authors, and their other publications about beekeeping.
663 words
Invisible Ficathon, remember, is about writing fanfiction for works that exist only within another fictional work. In this case, my assigned fandom was the beekeeping monograph that Sherlock Holmes wrote during his retirement: Practical Handbook of Bee Culture With Some Observations on the Segregation of the Queen.

Of course, I approached this assignment as any reasonable geek would: I got my hands on every Edwardian beekeeping book I could find, hoping to benchmark what might or might not have been in Holmes's book. I quickly found myself in the position of loving the fuck out of all of these real bee books and desperately wanting to write fic about them, while simultaneously having every Holmes-specific bee-handbook fic idea morph into "His Last Bow" fic.

(I finally gave up fighting these things: I'm currently 8K into an bee-centric "His Last Bow" ACD fic, in which some of my favorite Edwardian bee books get a shout-out.)

As pure research fun, it was all incredibly satisfying, but as a strategy for completing my assignment, it was as frustrating as hell. However, noting that [personal profile] violsva had written for three Holmesian fandoms -- and that Practical Handbook canonically exists in two of the three -- I finally decided to do a trio of 221B ficlets, each from the hand of a different Sherlock Holmes, each being the introduction to some other monograph about bees.

I loved it as a concept, especially since it let me use a variety of shiny things that had caught my eye in my research, but I'm unsure if it's satisfying from the reader's side to jump eras, voices, and topics so quickly, and to never hear more than a tease about any of the mentioned cases. (I, um, appear to have written invisible fic of an invisible monograph, I am so very sorry.) Unfortunately, writing it was its own special hell: unwittingly, I had committed to writing the introductions to three academic papers. I hate writing paper introductions with a fiery, burning passion. I banged out several thousand words of tropey prompt-fic while I was working on this, trying to get coax my brain into writing each new set of two-hundred and twenty-one words.

...and in the end, I'm still not dead sure that I wrote Practical Handbook fic instead of Sherlock Holmes fic. But ah, well.

I was uncertain of the fic at go-live, but now that I've got a little distance from it, I've grown rather fond of it. And researching it was hella fun. :-)

While I was trying to coax myself into finishing "Bee Culture for Detectives," I wrote an Elementary Reichenbach fic:
Tellings the Bees by [ profile] sanguinity
Fandom: Elementary
Characters: Sherlock Holmes, Ms. Hudson
Tags: Reichenbach, bees
Summary: "It fell to me to tell the bees, though I had wanted another duty..." Watson doesn't return from Switzerland.
approx 900 words. Endnotes.
(I would apologize for the endnotes being over half again as long as the fic? Except that my conscience is clean: both of these characters are ginormous nerds in their fields of interest, you don't need the endnotes to understand the fic, and everything I included in the fic is there for a narrative reason. So there.)

And then [personal profile] amindamazed wrote a Mary Watson prequel for it:
The Steep Part of the Wind by [ profile] hophophop
Fandom: Elementary
Characters: Joan Watson, Sherlock Holmes, Mary Watson
Tags: Reichenbach
Summary: It’s been a scant twenty minutes since the airport shuttle dropped him off, twenty hours since he was cleared to leave Switzerland, twenty days since they determined this was the path they’d take. And yet he can’t formulate how long it’s been since he slept; he’s not sure what day it is. No matter; he feels every second from the moment Watson walked alone into the park etched into his cells.
"I was hoping to talk to my daughter."
approx 2400 words

Please note that these are both Reichenbach fics, thus both feature copious grief and angst as characters do terrible things to friends and family who really do not deserve it.

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Escher Snakes
The Invisible Ficathon collection opened early last week, and I received a lovely, lovely fic for the Forbidden Greeny Jungle Field Guide (from Zarah the Windseeker): Of Wood Wits, Bisimbi Bi Masa and Speculating Frogs.

(Zarah fans! Go show my author some love!)

I wrote a fic in that collection, too, if you feel like going looking for it. (It's not that difficult to identify; one person has already called it.)

Oh, and I should say: for the most part, you're not going to recognize the fandoms in that collection: most of them are little more than a title mentioned in some other work. Which means that you can browse without worrying that you don't know anything about the canon: for a lot of these, the canon never existed, which means that you know exactly as much about the source as anyone else does. :-)

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18th-Feb-2014 02:03 pm - Sanguinity's Musical Tastes
Escher Snakes
[personal profile] seekingferret asked:
Every time we talk about your taste in music, you are evasive. Meanwhile, I overshare effusively. What about your taste in music are you willing to share with the world?

That reads as evasive to you? Huh. I would have characterized it as, "When Sang has nothing to contribute to a conversation, she stops talking." Me and Ilsa, we don't really listen to music.

I got out of the habit of it in the mid/late nineties. I spent nearly a full decade working on manufacturing floors, 75-85db environments all, and the last thing I wanted when I got home was more sound. And somewhere in there I lost my ability to manage background music: nowadays it is a constant mental distraction from whatever I'm doing. When people ask, "Can we put some music on?" my reaction is always, "But... we were having such a nice conversation!"

(Weirdly, I do okay with music at coffeeshops and restaurants. I assume it has something to do with the mental filters that kick in when there are so many simultaneous aural distractions? But that's nearly the only place that I listen to music anymore. And obvs, I'm not running the tapedeck there, so who knows what it is I'm listening to. The people behind the counter usually don't.)

But you wanted to know about my tastes, such as they are. If I'm seeking out things on my own, I have a particular fondness for torch (my preferred genre to sing), blues, vocal jazz, country, and their myriad overlaps and interstices. (I know all of those overlaps and interstices have names, but I like everything in that millieu well enough that the divisions have little utility for me, especially since I spend so little time talking about music. In fact, worse than that: if I use the names, then people expect me to know enough about, say, slide guitar, to be able to have a convo with them about it. When really, it's little more than, "I've liked pretty well most of the slide guitar I've heard, and I own an album or two that really grabbed me." So, there's actually a strong social disincentive to learn the genre names.)

From there, it's mostly a grab-bag of things I've acquired from various social circles: Romantic and impressionist piano. 80s pop. Musical theater through '92 or so. (Sondheim, Sondheim, Sondheim, Sondheim.) Stuff that was popular in lesbian/feminist circles in the '90s. A smidge of death metal. A smidge of Arabic pop. Some minimalism (but not Glass). A dozen-or-so individual artists that are faves inherited from family or good friends.

There's some stuff I actively dislike -- throat singing, the Bulgarian women's choir, electronica/trance, and the genre I think of as "underproduced music by hipsters with thready voices who whine about their lives" (I'm sure it has a name, I'm going to have to ask [personal profile] bookherd to help me figure it out before next festivids) -- but the list of music I actively dislike is pretty short.

...and I'm not sure what else to say, but I'm willing to expand on any of that for you. I've got bookshelves that are private, but not so much with my music.

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Escher Snakes
Foundations by [ profile] sanguinity
Fandom: Elementary
Characters: Marcus pov, Marcus/Joan
Tags: disability, mentions of child abuse
Summary: It's not the life that Marcus planned. But Marcus can build a new one.
approx 4600 words

Spoilers for 2x10 "Tremors" and 2x11 "Internal Audit", but divergent from 2x13 "All in the Family."
aka The One In Which Marcus Doesn't Take the Job in Demographics, Nor Does His Arm Get Better. In my head, it's a sequel-in-sprit to my Joan 2x10 fix-it Bedrock, but they're really both stand-alones.

On the Uses of Dogs in the Work of the Detective by [ profile] sanguinity
Fandom: Sherlock
Characters: Sherlock, John, Redbeard
Tags: Sherlock's monographs, ACD Canon References
Summary: Redbeard would have been the best dog a Detective could hope for.
approx 700 words

In which Sherlock and John have a domestic, and Sherlock misses his dog. :-(
Yeah, I wrote a fic about Sherlock's feelings. A post-S3 fic about Sherlock's feelings. I don't know, either. I blame the Invisible Ficathon: I considered nominating the Sherlock Holmes monograph, "On the Uses of Dogs in the Work of a Detective" (and then decided not to), but then it kept knocking around in my head anyway.

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14th-Feb-2014 03:33 pm - Acting Like I Know Where My Towel Is
Escher Snakes
Today I:
  • got YAYS and a hug from the department secretary for passing comps
  • helped her with her knitting project
  • got a fancy signed letter certifying that I have indeed passed my comps
  • went to seminar
  • asked knowledgeable questions, suggested a resolution for an issue the presenter had, helped answer some other questions from the audience (to the point that the questions started being addressed to the three of us: the presenter, the supervising professor, and me)
  • accomplished this without annoying the presenter
  • did not slink out the back after, but introduced myself to the presenter, told him I was graduating soon and that I've been hoping to talk to someone from [$hisemployer], and asked if we could have lunch
  • got an enthusiastic response to that request, including an impromptu pitch for why I would want to work there
  • went to the Office of Graduate Studies to check up on lingering SNAFUS
  • learned that all SNAFUS are resolved, i.e., that both graduate certificates are already MINE MINE MINE YAY
  • and took care of a few miscellaneous errands.

In other words, I ADULTED LIKE A BOSS TODAY. (Next step: actually email presenter to set up time for lunch. And then refresh myself on WHAT ONE ACTUALLY TALKS ABOUT during these things. But that needs to wait until I'm at home.)


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Escher Snakes

And my advisor was super-considerate, he put RIGHT IN THE SUBJECT LINE that I passed, I am finished, and congratulations. So no adrenaline-fueled moment of BLAM BLAM BLAM while I clicked open the email to see what it contained.

I mean, we all know that I was pretty sure that I passed. But there's nothing like the email that says that YES, YES YOU DID.

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12th-Feb-2014 09:53 am - Diana of Themyscira: Greg Rucka's run
Escher Snakes
[personal profile] chaila asked about DIANA OF THEMYSCIRA. (Yes, yes, she asked elsewhere, but I'm gonna answer here, because I suspect we're gonna want to natter on a bit, and this format plays nicer for that.) So, keeping in mind that I've only read Rucka's run, i.e. Wonder Woman v2.195-226, plus his stand-alone The Hiketeia...

How I feel about this character:

I got to the end of Rucka's run -- v2.225 "Nothing Finished, Only Abandoned" -- and was frankly astonished to discover that I was reading a Christ narrative. Or more to the point: a Christ narrative that made emotional sense to me.

That has never happened. The Gospel crucifixion stories have no emotional valence for me: my usual response is a vague puzzlement that I'm supposed to be having profound feelings of some kind. Likewise, when I run across fictional Christ figures my usual responses are either 1) confusion about why the story stopped making sense, or 2) extreme eyerolling.

But when trying to puzzle through why 2.225 rang true for me, the key difference appears to be that Rucka successfully sold me on Diana herself. Her integrity. Sincerity. Mercy. Fierceness. Commitment. Compassion. Her hopes for the people of the world. Her deep faith in her god. (Both the validity of that faith, and the difficulties of that faith.) And Rucka sold me on these things 100%, without a hint of irony or cynicism or ouch-that-was-unfortunate caveats.

With the result that when Diana disbanded her staff, putting her Mission into their care while she went to turn herself into the Hague... It felt necessary and true and coherent and I mourned.

Of course, right at this moment I'm also pretty weirded out, because I just bought into a Christ narrative, wtfh.

But on the other hand: Diana. Whose compassion and integrity runs so fucking deep that you can hang a Christ narrative on her and it doesn't look absurd.

All the people I ship romantically with this character:


....or maybe I just think Io is the sexiest character who ever walked. (Leather apron with no bra and omg her MUSCLES and blades blades blades UNF.) I could point to various arc-points to make a shipping argument for Diana/Io, and what would be so satisfying about it. But by the Lasso of Truth, those arc-points are mostly happy circumstance: three-quarters of me sailing that ship is Io's leather apron with no bra. (Who the fuck decided to put her in a Sexy Bikini for 2.218 "The Calm"? Whoever he is, he needs to be taken out and shot.)

My non-romantic OTP for this character:

Batman. Sometimes those two are the only people in the room who understand each other, and who can consequently accord the other the respect each deserve. And sometimes they are at irresolvable loggerheads for precisely the same reason. I don't romantically ship them at all, but whoa, is that a relationship worth exploring. (And when you do, sometimes you have the lovely hilarity of one of the kids trying to coax the Dark Knight into eating pancakes!)

(Although someone's gonna need to explain to me Batman's response in v2.220 "Affirmative Defense," because I don't get it. Do I not get it because I didn't read "Sacrifice," parts 1-3, wherever they were? Or do I not get it for some other reason?)

My unpopular opinion about this character:

Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman is not corny. And my seven-year-old self is going to have words with anyone who thinks otherwise.

One thing I wish would happen / had happened with this character in canon:

Hahahaha, I've read less than one-half of one percent of Wonder Woman canon (and that's just counting her own title, let alone everything else she's appeared in), so for all I know, everything that I might wish would happen HAS ALREADY HAPPENED FIVE TIMES OVER.

But hell, let's talk about The Hiketeia.

Spoilers: It was never this cold in Themyscira...Collapse )

There you are, [personal profile] chaila. I HOPE IT WAS WORTH WAITING FOR.

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11th-Feb-2014 02:42 pm - Dear Invisible Author
Escher Snakes
Dear Invisible Author,

If you want to know about my tastes, here's the serious version (second paragraph) and the crack version. If you want to get advice from someone who knows me well, [personal profile] grrlpup is a great choice.

But I wouldn't worry about my tastes all that much; I'd rather see you write something that makes you happy. Because one of the very best things about fic is finding out what goes on in other people's heads. :-)

Specific-but-optional details about the requests follow!

Consider the Porpoise
(Appears in Grandmother's Pigeon by Louise Erdrich. The illustrations suggest it is a children's picture book.)

I adore this book: there are so very few natural history books by indigenous authors, and even fewer that center traditional knowledge. I love that it doesn't hedge about whether the old stories "really" happened or not.

Anyway, I'd love more fleshed-out stories of the early singers and riders, filling in between the fragments we do know? Additionally, I'm fascinated by the singer side of those first rider-singer partnerships: the author minimally discusses porpoise worldviews, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on why any particular porpoise might leave her school to throw in with a human instead.

Of course, if there is something about Consider the Porpoise that particularly fascinated you, please go ahead and write that!

The Forbidden Greeny Jungle Field Guide - The Great Explorers of Knowledge and Adventure
(Appears in Zarah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor; some excerpts appear in the text. Additionally, Appendix 820 was published as the short story, "From the Lost Diary of TreeFrog7.")

I love the weird team dynamics, I love the adventures, I love the inter- and intra-species politics, hell, I even love the ecology. (I'm something of an ecology nerd. You could write Real Plant Fic about the epic, millennia-long romance between a senient baobab and her jealous mycorrhizoi, and I'd be thrilled.)

In short, there is nothing about this book that I don't love. Go write the thing that makes you happy; I'm sure it'll make me happy, too.

Earthseed: Books of the Living - Lauren Oya Olamina
(Appears in the Parable series, by Octavia Butler. Some excerpts appear in the text.)

Dear Earthseed, I have no prompt for you, only the request: change the text, change yourself, change me.

Which should be entirely manageable! After all, all that you touch, you change; all that you change, changes you. (Fic authors are Earthseed through and through, are we not?)

A Treatise on the Binomial Theorem - Prof. James Moriarty

What more could possibly be said about the immortal Treatise at this late date? However, I have faith in you, my beloved Invisible Author, and I am sure you can come up with something.

If push comes to shove, you can always go completely crack and throw in some firefighting cephalopods. Or fantasy mathematics. Or update it to reflect that newfangled Elementary show. I DON'T CARE. I have complete trust in anyone who says, "I know! I'll offer Treatise! It'll turn out great!" Consequently, I'm eagerly looking forward to finding out what goes in that amazing head of yours.


...most of all, have fun and write something that makes you happy. I am looking forward to reading it!

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