gwyn: (flashpoint asshat)
You know, I'm well aware that I'm not the kind of fan writer that people go "oh, she posted a new story, I'm going to go read immediately." But having someone say they saved your story till they ran out of good fic is…just astoundingly tone-deaf, nasty, and demoralizing.

Thursday I'm having a dreaded medical procedure that I've been avoiding for years. Now that I'm officially an Old, my doctor's wanted me to have a colonoscopy, especially since my twin died of cancer, any kind of screening test is pretty important--and we don't know any other medical family history, since I'm adopted. I really, really hate bodily functions things. Like, I'm nearly phobic about talking about it, and I flap my hands and sing la-la-la really loudly whenever people talk about it. So I really, really do not want to do this, but since the fucking Republicans are determined to take away any health care I can have, and I earned so little the previous year that I qualified for a lower deductible, my doc and I decided to take ALL the tests this year. I just had a new MRI for my back (nothing useful, still nothing to be done that will really help), and now this, and there's some other things I'm hoping to do later on while I have the chance.

I have a bit more to write on the next chapter of Celluloid Hero and then should be able to send to beta and post, then I have to get started on the pod-together story, and meanwhile I'm desperately racing to finish this Star Wars vid for the Premieres show at Vividcon. Still have a little under half to go, it's taking forever and making me cry. Why can't I find a nice, horizontal hobby where I can lie down and not be in agonizing pain?


Jun. 9th, 2017 12:48 pm
gwyn: (slings & arrows wtf)
So I have to take a work break to write this out because I'm still sort of WTFing about this today. A while ago I was writing about how I'd had a few requests to translate a fanwork but how I figured at this point, after more than a year in some cases, I was never going to see them (and of course, right after I wrote that someone posted a translation into Russian of one of them). Even though I give blanket permission to translate, I've noticed people still will ask, usually in comments on AO3 but sometimes on Tumblr.

I got a message from the person who'd asked about translating the Groundhog Day story I can't remember how this started (but I can tell you exactly how it ends); she'd left a really sweet comment and said that there was nothing like it in Russian and would it be okay if she translated? I said yes and thanked her for her lovely comment. On Tumblr last night she sent me a private message, though, saying she was the person who wanted to translate it--and between autocorrect and language difficulties, I'm not totally sure I understood everything completely, but that she wasn't feeling really sure about it (I did love that she said Russian grammar is terrible, because man, I feel that, I think grammar in every language is terrible!) but she'd had a lot of trouble finding anyone who would check the translation for her.

She said that she finally found some girls who would look it over but that she had to bring it to what sounds like possibly some kind of con or gathering (a "fest") at the end of the summer; she said they would only look at it then, and that she had to delete the comment on the story at AO3. Which I just…what kind of weird Russian mean-girl shit is that? Like, you can't have a trail of asking for permission to translate, or you can't have a trail that you liked the story and left a comment? I can't figure it out for the life of me, it struck me as SO WEIRD. Cultural differences, yadda yadda, but I felt so bad for her that they were putting her in this position just because she was excited by a fanwork and wanted to have a translation out in the world, and also, deleting a comment affects the author, too. I mean, it's the most-commented on story I have so it's not a huge deal, but that's not saying a lot, as I don't tend to get a lot of them--so their demands affect both people, the translator and the writer, in a really odd way.

I responded that of course I remembered her, and I was glad she'd found someone to check the translation and that of course I was sorry to see her lovely comment deleted, but that it was her comment and so she should do whatever she wanted with it, and that I hoped the fest would be fun. But I couldn't stop puzzling over that: why they would only look at it there and why they would demand that she remove the comment on the fic. It's just so peculiar.

ETA: So it turns out that this is actually a legit fest thing with some seriously hard core rules, which you can read some explanations of in the comments! I assumed that it was something negative because her message sounded so sad and frustrated and anxious, but I'm hoping that it'll turn out to be a great experience for her.
gwyn: (work feh infinitemonkeys)
I guess because I don't have enough on my plate stressing me the fuck out lately all the time, I've decided to sign up for the [community profile] pod_together challenge where writers and podficcers work together to create something specifically to be podficced. I've never done any challenges besides Yuletide until the Stucky Big Bang last year, and I'm doing the Cap Reverse Big Bang (my posting date is June 12, just saying--I don't expect this fic to go anywhere, but at least now I can say I've done something other than the disastrous SBB). This seemed different, and I figure it's probably one of the few shots I have at seeing something podficced--part of the fun is the idea of seeing if I can create something with that in mind, it really does feel like a challenge. Plus it's smallish, so that's helpful, and the minimum word count is 1,000, which is doable even with all the stress stuff. Most of which should be done by the time I'd need to write. (If you're interested in the challenge, signups look like they close June 3, so still a couple days.)

There's something really squeeful, for me, about having fanworks of your fanworks, maybe you get jaded and it's no big deal when it happens a lot to you, but it's so rare for me that I still get excited. Which I wish I didn't--in the past year or so I've been told that someone podficced Dream of Caramel: or, a Recipe for Disaster like, over a year ago, but that they had to edit it and at this point I've come to accept that it will never see the light of day; I've had at least four people ask if they could translates fics into Russian, and got really excited about that, but again, they will likely never see the light of day; and had someone mention wanting to make a playlist, and again…you get the picture. I should know better than to get excited, and yet every time I do, and every time I get disappointed and then feel like a putz for doing so. It's not that I can read the other languages, it's just…it's the thing I love most about fandom, this unique fannish thing where we create works off of each others' works, a circular world where we're in cahoots. The podfic thing is the heartbreaker, for me--I could actually listen to that, and that story in particular always seemed like it could be fun because it has a built-in soundtrack, and I get sad every time I think about it. Anyway.

The Vividcon premieres vid is not…going. And the deadline is fast approaching, I don't know if I can do this in the time I have. I still don't have the original trilogy footage. Arg. I'm in full panic mode right now, I also found out that the copy of the particular remix of the song I have is protected, it's so old--back when iTunes put restrictions on using the songs. So I have to deal with that too. It's easy to find other remix versions but the one I want is harder to find. I hate everything right now.

The vertigo is getting a little better--there are moments where it's still unpleasant, usually when I'm getting up from bed or a chair, but yesterday I was able to get through the whole day without feeling like I was going to ralph if I moved too quickly. I still can't walk a straight line, and have to be careful not to tilt my head up or down much, but maybe it's on the mend? Who knows.
gwyn: (hearts wizzicons)
To all the people who've helped me out with the cost of the hard drive repair--thank you so, so much. It means a lot to me, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. Especially since I was the dumbass who never did a better backup system than, you know, using this drive in the first place till it was too late.

My hope is that at some point soon I can start identifying a place to host the digitzed vids (i'm not necessarily thrilled with my vids site host and have been talking with Mrs. Killabeez about migrating my personal and professional web sites elsewhere), and then start putting things online and maybe with the help of some of the other cannibals, put the handful of vids that are digitally remastered onto Critical Commons. I have an account there, but have never actually taken action on using it--not enough spoons, etc. etc.--but I can do that because I think it'll be a good place for those things to exist, since they're a part of fannish vidding history. And then I don't have to worry about stupid YouTube blocking them or whatever.

Now I just have to find the…energy and ability to do these things. When you can't even get out of bed in the morning, it's hard sometimes to look at this stuff and want to do it, but I know that as the unintentional and unelected keeper of these things, it's something I gotta do.
gwyn: (Default)
Skipping ahead again, because I'm so behind:

Day 13
In your own space, write about a moment in fandom that meant a lot to you. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

A long, long time ago, when tapes were still the norm for people trading vids and there really was no viable streaming medium (and anything you put online had to be super low quality and the size of a postage stamp), [personal profile] feochadn and I were finishing up compiling a bunch of vids for what would become our first collection together, primarily because I really wanted a way to get our Magnificent 7 vids out there and Jo's Band of Brothers vid to Ebben? Ne andro lontana. I'd posted asking if people would be interested in a collection, and because she is one of the kindest people on the planet, [personal profile] killabeez offered to make us a DVD if anyone would prefer that instead of videotape. The times, they were a-changing, but there were still just as many people who had no way to play discs as had no way to play VHS tapes, and I was so blown away that not only could someone take our VCR-made vids and make a playable DVD but that she was volunteering to do so.

I made a poll to see how many people would prefer discs and there were enough, so we put together a master tape with all the vids, and sent them off to killa, and she sent me a test disc and I couldn't believe my eyes! It was magic! Sorcery! I had only just gotten a computer that was capable of vidding, but here were vids on a lossless medium! It was amazing. And then on top of that she created the title cards for each of the vids and I think if I recall correctly duplicated them for us so we could mail them out to people who had purchased them. It was amazing! And all I could do really was write fic with a pairing she liked, which still feels wholly inadequate. But it meant so much to me--I didn't have the technology, but I knew people were interested in the vids, and I wanted to move into the 21st century, but I didn't know how, and like so many times since then, killa's been my guiding light about how to do that, has helped me through tech problems that I don't know how to solve myself. ♥ ♥
gwyn: (yuletide lights)
From [personal profile] sineala, You've been in fandom a while. Is there something you miss from the olden days of fandom that no one does anymore? Or is there something that fandom does or has now that you wish you'd had way back when?

Man, yeah, there's a lot about fandom of yore I miss, and I think a lot of it was that sense of we were in a small group of people who weren't known much, and so we were all in this together. Now it's this thing that's talked about endlessly in the media, there are people who have academic careers built on it studying us like we're lab monkeys, everything's out there and in public. Which--it's great because you don't have to be mentored into things anymore, you can start doing fandom sort of right out of the box and if you're a person in a hostile space or live somewhere remote, you can still have fannish connections with people, you don't have to have enough money to get to a con in order to make connections or find an ad in a magazine and write away for zines.

But the flipside is that we have these shitty-ass communities that mock and sneer at and attack fic writers and vidders and artists, we have people who steal fannish content and appropriate it, we have anon hate and all that kind of crap. We have corporations making money off of fans and thriving on our energies. I was talking with someone recently about how now that Yuletide is so huge, we have a lot of people who create sock puppets just to get gift fics and don't do anything in return, there are tons of people who participate who really only do it for themselves or to try to become popular in as many places as they can. We have these awful sites like Yuletide Coal, because sure, why not shit on the people who are providing this entertainment for free out of their own time as gifts for other people.

There's no way to put the genie back in the bottle, and I love that people who might not have been able to find fandom can now, but god, I miss that sense of community, I miss the world where the levels of wank and shittery were much lower, and there wasn't so much anonymized hatred out there for the cowards and mean girls. I was actually feeling like, the other day, I almost kind of missed the days of personal web sites for fic and web rings! Simply because it wasn't about this relentless popularity contest, and you didn't see fans getting attacked in their own story comments sections.

Certainly there were assholes back in the day, god knows there were plenty of them, but I honestly can't remember anyone ever saying "you should just kill yourself" because someone's story didn't provide them the proper level of free entertainment and apparently backbuttoning was too difficult for them. Certainly there were people who mocked or laughed at someone's fanfic or their fannish personality, but I can't remember the vitriol I've seen heaped on people or felt myself just because someone doesn't like your fanworks.

There's so much more to choose from, obviously, so much more fic and vids and art, and you don't have to pony up $20 for a zine all the time or go to cons so you can bid on original art. And that is cool, it really is. But I miss the...smallness of it, I guess, the community that felt a little stronger, a little more loving, and less fractured.

And to end on a more positive note, one thing I would have killed for back then, though? Digital media. There are times I hate like hell what's going on with the vidding landscape as programs disappear and codecs stop updating and media conglomerates make it harder to distribute vids, but holy hell is it so much easier to work, once you can get things finessed. I think about a vid like Hallo Spaceboy, with so many different types of source and being able to completely change the look of clips and "age" them and all that stuff...and I boggle. Of course the tech had to evolve, that's how it goes, but back then, oh the things we might have been able to do!
gwyn: (bumble _hellsbelles)
Today's question from [personal profile] sholio : If you had been in fandom when you were a kid, what shows would you have been fanning on, and what kinds of things would you have looked up for them?

I used to actually write stories, sometimes on paper, sometimes just in my head, for my favorite shows and movies when I was little. The first thing like this I know of I wrote when I was five--a little Hound of the Baskervilles remix, I suppose you could call it, of the Mickey Mouse and Goofy version. We found it when we were going through my mom's things after she died, and I laughed my ass off because…wow, even though I didn't know about this kind of fandom till I was in my twenties, apparently I was a little fanfic writing fangirl as a child.

I also still have the record albums my sister and I wrote all over with ballpoint pen--the first two Monkees albums; we put hearts and stars and shit all around the names of the guys we liked best (she was a Davey Jones girl, I went for Mike and Mickey). I was fucking obsessed with that series, and their music, I really was. I still love it, unironically, unashamedly. If we'd had internet then, I would absolutely have been following them on social media, and buying all the weird merch, and going to shows, and whatever else was out there. As it was all we had was Tiger Beat and 16 magazines, so I had to get my fixes there.

I also would have been writing fanfic and vidding, I'm sure, for this incredibly obscure western called Laredo. No one knows about it, but for some reason my sister and I were obsessed with it, which was difficult because my mother pretty much banned westerns from our television--my sister and I wanted to watch Bonanza and the Rifleman and stuff like that, but my mom had this deepseated antipathy toward any show where anyone used the words "ma" or "pa" and so it was rare for us to be able to watch those things. There was very little written about it, and I think we found it after it had gone off the air and was being shown in reruns on a Saturday afternoon or something--that was the one time Mom wasn't dictating what we could watch, so I think that was how we found it.

It was a strange show, in that it was tonally different from anything else you'd find on TV then--not quite a dramedy, but definitely a comedic hour-long series. The two main characters were complete hotasses, and even my young self was wide-eyed at William Smith's pecs and biceps and traps, and he wore pants that rivaled Jim West's in tightness, BUCKSKIN pants that were deliciously tight, and he had that Chris Evans Dorito shoulder to waist ration. So much of the series makes me cringe now, the racism and the sexism and all of that '60s era shit, but man, little me loved it, and I'd have been all over fan sites if I could have.

There were a lot of things I was actively fannish about without even knowing that a thing like fandom existed--my walls were littered with the pullout posters from Tiger Beat (sigh, David Cassidy), I'd write in for giant posters of actors like Paul Newman, and I collected clippings in scrapbooks and stuff. I was a budding film buff as young as ten, so I was starting to research movies and collect things about them, and the movie stars, and the musicians I liked. I think that's why I know I'm never going to be able to fully disinvest from fandom--I've been this way my whole damn life, without even knowing that such a life existed.


ETA: Did anyone else get a kudos email today from AO3? Man, I finally have some kudos and I still don't get an email even when I have some! I'm used to going days and days without any kudos, but it would have been a nice thing today except that there's been no sign of one, it's almost midnight, and I can't find anything about it on the twitter feed so I assume everything's fine.
gwyn: (veronica takethat _jems_)
After sort of taking a break from Yuletide (I ended up writing a treat, and someone wrote a treat for me, even though I wasn't signed up) last year I think I'll sign up this year. I was surprised to see that two other people nominated the little commercial fandom I nominated--the Android Rock Paper Scissors ad I fell in love with. I love stories of unlikely friendships and people sticking up for one another and having each other's backs (like, oh rlly, you say, pointing to the ridiculous amount of fanworks about Steve and Bucky), and there's so much potential for stories around these little characters, I think. So I've added it to the pimping post, too, and I confess it's one I hope someone writes for me so I can write something else that I've sort of vaguely got an idea for.

I'm definitely more on the fence about Festivids. I couldn't even get signed up last year and in the end, I was okay with that since taking off the year for all the challenges was a good one. I have a vid I'd like to make for a usually eligible fandom, but I also can just…make it without that, if I can find the external footage I'd like to work with to supplement the canon.

Speaking of challenges: thanks for the sometimes hilarious responses to my post about the Stucky Big Bang. I'm still bitter and angry about the whole thing and the way the mods just basically fucked those of us who aren't BNFs over, and the complete lack of support for making all of our fics more visible. It's been incredibly soul crushing to put that much work in and have no support, but even more just galling to see how much praise is heaped on them over it--but the most amazing thing? They said they're going to do it again. Ah ha ha ha. I can only hope that most of the smart people know better now and will run like the wind once it's announced, or will already be participating in a Stucky Big Bang that is being run on LJ for next year (I was going to link to it, but I can't find it on this computer and LJ utterly sucks at searches). All the credulous people will probably be excited, though.

You know what makes having a story bomb and disappear even worse? Weird or creepy comments, especially when they're almost the only comments you get. Like, are you insulting me, or is this your idea of a compliment, I can't tell. Or did you simply feel you had to share your antipathy toward [thing] because you needed a place to air grievances and I seemed like someone who'd care (hint: I'm not). The downright awful ones you can delete, sometimes, but occasionally you're just flummoxed and left with only a WTF? I know not every comment deserves a response (I'm one of those people who believes in responding to comments, and it's not exactly like it's a hardship), but so often I'm just left feeling deflated and can only sit there going, "thanks for sharing" in a regretful, Leslie Knope sort of voice.

Time to try to pep talk myself into finishing a fic.

ETA: Oh, and I meant to say--I watched the first few episodes of Kristen Bell's new series The Good Place, and I thought it was cute and okay but I was totally blown away by the guy who plays her soulmate, Chidi Anagonye (William Jackson Harper). Like, I immediately was upset that nominations for Yuletide happened so early that I wouldn't be able to nominate it, since it hadn't premiered yet. But it was on the tagset! Someone did somehow manage to nominate it, and now there might actually be fic for Chidi and Tahani Al-Jamil (oh god, I love her) and all the rest of the characters. I am really happy with this. The show is charming and weird and that slightly askew quality that I really enjoy, but seriously, Harper as Chidi is just a thing of beauty and I'm completely in love.
gwyn: (whatever scarymime)
Day 4

In your own space, create a fanwork. Make a drabble, a ficlet, a podfic, or an icon, art or meta or a rec list. Arts and crafts. Draft a critical essay about a particular media. Put together a picspam or a fanmix. Write a review of a Broadway show, a movie, a concert, a poetry reading, a museum trip, a you-should-be-listening-to-this-band essay. Compose some limericks, haikus, free-form poetry, 5-word stories. Document a particular bit of real person canon. Take some pictures. Draw a stick-figure comic. Create something. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

Well, this one's a lot harder. I'd love to write something ficcy, but after four stories in four weeks plus a vid, I'm running on empty right now and trying desperately to get something going on a fic I left off a while ago.

But I've been meaning to write this meta post for a long time, so…

I've been thinking a lot about how fandom, specifically this corner of fandom that sprang from the early days of Star Trek (when at that time, fan culture predominantly revolved around literature in the science fiction and fantasy realms), has become mainstream. Enough so that now publishers are taking fanfic, filing off the serial numbers, and publishing it as original fiction, and Entertainment Weekly is hosting a fanfic contest, and Amazon's trying to capitalize on fandom with a fanfiction publishing scheme. Fewer and fewer fan-run cons that are just for fans are happening; these days it's all about the huge ComicCons and Wizard Worlds, where people have to pay big bucks for the opportunity to see their favorite celebs. Money is king at the sites where fans have mostly migrated, such as Tumblr and Twitter and Facebook, who only care about advertiser investment. Any of us who post vids to YouTube or Vimeo know how quickly a vid will get banned or blocked or just disappeared--all because of license agreements with music companies (mostly, some video producers will do it too), historically the most notorious business for screwing people over for what they perceive to be a profit threat.

And the newer generation of fans, man of whom have no idea of the history that's out there and may not ever connect with other fans beyond follows and friends lists, who may never delve into the history of how hard fans had to work to have their creations shared, are often unaware of the fact that fanworks have historically not been public, have not been out there where just anyone could find them with a quick internet search. That a lot of people didn't even know what slash was, for instance, because zines had to be sold under the table since they were considered porn and a violation, even if there was nothing explicit in them. Or that most people had to buy tapes, and later DVDs, to find vids, because the equipment was monumentally expensive and difficult to learn and there was no such thing as streaming. Everything was done from fan to fan, and people had to connect with each other in order to get content.

And it was decidedly not public. To be public usually brought scorn and ridicule, and since so much of media fandom, as opposed to the SF or comics world, was created by women, we were even more likely to get scorn heaped on us. Sometimes people were even threatened by participation--I know of at least two people whose partners used their fannish activities against them in divorce proceedings, and one person who was outed at her job for writing explicit slash by someone who disliked her. Read Fanlore and find out about the actions Lucasfilm took against Star Wars zine producers. It was just not a friendly world at all, outside the walls of our little castle.

So it's been a hard road, sometimes, for people who started out when fandom was not talked about outside of fandom, when your porn fantasies or vids about your crush object weren't likely to be discovered by People Who Didn't Get It. We used to call those folks "mundanes." We weren't creating fanworks that would be read or viewed by mundanes, we were creating them for our fellow fans who squeed with us over the same things, who loved the same actors or musicians or athletes we did, who adored the same tropes we did. Who wanted to talk endlessly about the way those two characters gazed into each other's eyes or the way you just knew that the singer and the guitarist were knocking boots because of the way they interacted on stage. Who respected the boundaries of the fandom universe.

In short, to quote Dr. Frank N. Furter, "I didn't make him for you." Our fanworks are not created for nonfans.

The main reason I've been thinking about this so much, aside from things like articles about EW's stupid little fanfiction contest coming across my dashboard, is that a while ago I got the most delightfully hilarious comment on a YouTube video, and it reminded me that there are all these people out there now consuming our fannish content who just have absolutely no freaking clue that our content is not meant for them. They don't get it. They don't understand what fannish vids are, or what fanfic really means to the readers in the fandom. It doesn't stop them from sharing their opinions, of course.

So the vid in question was one I made a few years ago for Vividcon, a Miami Vice vid I've wanted to make pretty much since I discovered vids back in the early '90s. It was to Peter Gabriel's Red Rain, a song that was used on the show in one of the later season episodes. But that wasn't why I wanted to make the vid, in fact, I'd actually forgotten Red Rain was used at all until…I got this YouTube comment from an actor who was in the episode where it was used.

This is GREAT... But actually RED RAIN was used in STONE'S WAR episode when I killed Lonette McKee... Check out the episode if you can. It's a classic! As are all the Vice's Trivia... G. Gordon Liddy returned as Capt Maynard and played my handler in that episode.... Bob Balaban played Ira Stone.

So, I laughed and laughed and laughed when I got this. Because he felt compelled to tell me that I was using the song wrong! It was only used in that episode, and I messed it up by putting all these other episodes to the song! And clearly you never saw that episode or you would not have used the song incorrectly, so here it is, go watch!

It never occurred to him, I guess, that if there were clips from, like, 20 other Miami Vice episodes in the vid, that would mean I might have watched Stone's War (which, I did, when I first got the discs, but it's one of my least favorite episodes, so…). Fannish vids aren't a concept that he's familiar with, so he doesn't understand how clips are recontextualized in fanvids, how different stories are told using the format of blending song and video source material to create something new. He isn't the audience that the vid was made for. (I actually am not making fun of him for leaving the comment, I was flattered as hell that an actor who appeared on the show watched the vid--that show gave me a lot of enjoyment for a very long time and is one of my all-time favorites.)

But it really brought home to me how much the audience has changed for these things. A number of years ago, a friend of mine was caught in a really difficult situation where someone uploaded her vids to YouTube, didn't give an attribution, and one of the vids was an explicit look at a Kirk/Spock relationship. It went viral, and there was a whole kerfuffle around it that she never wanted, but the funny thing to me personally was that another friend of mine, who's only marginally fannish but loves my friend's vids to pieces, told me that someone had forwarded him a link to the vids, and made a snarky comment about the explicit one. He was like, "Yeah, I told them to shut their piehole and also that I'd seen them before and that I thought they were incredible and you're not the audience they were made for." In the years since that, I've seen this play out over and over again: mundanes discover fanworks, think it's hilarious and stupid, mock fans in public (or maybe worse, try to shut down the production).

This past year, when the Avengers actors were on Jimmy Kimmel, he showed some (thankfully not explicit) fanart of Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo's characters and seemed to be, like the dick he is, baiting them and the other actors about how stupid and silly and embarassing fans were, and when they came back from commercial break, RDJ and Ruffalo were gazing into each other's eyes, Ruffalo sitting on RDJ's lap, re-creating one of the art pieces shown earlier. And I don't know if they did it as a way to say "fuck you" to Kimmel, or they were mocking fans (with Ruffalo, I tend to think not), but it at least felt like they were saying, "Hey, it's our fans. It's okay. Let them have their fun, this isn't for us." And we've seen how the Sherlock actors were pushed to read some fanfic in public, as a way to laugh at and embarrass them and the writer of the fanfiction.

The fact that the lines are more and more blurry between fan content creators and general mass consumption work is making these things happen so much more frequently. Sometimes we'll get people who grok us, and love us, and support us (Orlando Jones, for instance, who was such a huge participant in Sleepy Hollow fandom). Sometimes it'll be someone like the actor who left me that YT comment, people who don't get it, but feel the need to share anyway, or my friend who told off a nonfan who wanted him to join in the mocking of a vid. Sometimes it'll be people who buy an ebook because it sounds interesting, not knowing that the writer is also a fanfic writer and that the characters are based on the ones they write fanfic for.

The genie's out of the bottle, and fandom is a public thing now. But one thing I see that hasn't really changed, over and over again, is that we didn't make it for them. We made it for ourselves, our friends, our follow lists, the other congoers, the person who has yet to discover fanworks but will when they think, "Wow, I love this, I want to read more about this or see more about this" and input a search, discovering a whole new world they never knew existed. It's that thing that people like my comment-leaver don't understand--fanworks are an invitation: Come squee with me.

ETA: This post is on Tumblr if you want to reblog it there.
gwyn: (beaten cap shield)
It is sooooo fucking hot and dry here, all month. This is the second year in a row we haven't had Juneuary--normally Seattle doesn't get summer till after Independence Day. Most of us don't have air conditioning here, and my house just doesn't cool down. I can't sleep. (Thanks, climate change.)

I try not to look at my AO3 dashboard very much, because it's just too fucking depressing to be confronted with that all the time. But when I was posting the last of the kissfics I noticed that in my list of fandoms at the top, which I don't think I've looked at in forever, Marvel Cinematic Universe and Captain America have overtaken Buffy and X-Files as my most-fanworked fandoms. I guess nothing makes a more emphatic statement about how much Captain America has taken over my life than that. (Thanks, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, for eating my brain and ruining my life.)

And I mean, I was never as prolific in other fandoms as many people I knew were (and most of my older vids aren't posted on AO3), but for me, that was a large output of fanworks, especially because I'd given up on my real life writing at some point before I found fandom (thanks, relationship with emotion-sucking partner). And then after sis_r died, even fan writing dried up for me, so outside of Yuletide, I didn't post anything fic-wise until an MCU Avengers little thing with Loki and Pepper hanging out together keeping vigil. I was never into the huge fandoms of the past fifteen years that most people I knew were. With the MCU/Avengers vids, that pushes the Marvel Cinematic Universe up ahead of Captain America, but I always feel like I should tag fic with MCU. Anyway, I still have story ideas, so I guess that number will keep climbing. More than 200,000 words so far, which kind of boggles my mind, considering how long it was in between the Loki & Pepper thing and the Pacific Rim stories, which is when I really got jump-started back into fanfic. (Thanks, Steve and Bucky and Sam and Natasha and Peggy and everyone else, for all those words.)

If only more than, like, ten people were actually interested in the writing. It's hard, sometimes, to feel motivated to keep putting them down. Easier to just leave them in my head.

gwyn: (steve rogers shield)
So, a year ago a little movie came out and totally changed my life. I had been slowly getting back into the feeling fannish again thing with Pacific Rim, writing fic for the first time beyond Yuletide (well, I wrote one Pepper and Loki hanging out keeping vigil with a girls' night story after Avengers), but I had no idea the tsunami of fannishness that would sweep me away with Winter Soldier.

I should have guessed. I mean. I loved the comics, I love Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes more than I can coherently render (SebStan's been ruining my life for years, OMG his mouth, his eyes, his voice, his everything), and I had fallen in love with Steve Rogers somewhere along the line totally against my will, but such is the power of Steve and Chris Evans. My adoration of Natasha Romanov is boundless, and Scarlett, and so they are two great tastes that taste great together and she fucking owned that movie. And then there was the casting of Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson--when they announced it, I might have squealed to a level only dogs can hear. I'm not admitting to anything. Because I adore Sam in the comics and I adore Anthony Mackie and it was kismet, I'm telling you. Kismet.

But then. It was a '70s political thriller. Maria was in it! Sam Jackson got to be a major badass! Robert Redford was eeeeviiiillll. Frank Grillo! And Peggy fucking Carter still being awesome just lying in a bed, calling Steve on his issues. That flashback. To the end of the line. I just. I still cannot. I love this movie more than I can even say. I saw it 23 times in the theatre alone, and that doesn't count all the watchings in between of crappy cam copies until the DVD came out. I watch it at home all the time. It still hits me just as hard as it did then. I read fanfic at night before I go to bed--I hadn't read fanfic much at all for the past decade outside of Yuletide. I write. So many words, and I still have ideas to chase. I vid. It just hasn't slowed for me at all, though I'm sure at some point it will, and then I will be sad. I see people moving away from it already, and I get sad, because I'm just as head over heels as I was back then.

And speaking of fandoms, one of my old loves, Fast and Furious, came out yesterday. I'm sure I'll go see it, but I have a lot of pain, with Paul Walker being gone. I know it's gonna be hard. It'll be easier because the last two movies weren't quite as important to me as the first and the fourth, but I did enjoy a lot of the fifth one (caper!). So spoil me, if you've seen it. I know I can't go until I know what to expect.
gwyn: big eden (pike m'lyn)
Trying to write two stories, make a vid for Escapade, and thinking about other vids I want to make, and it all feels like too much. I got another one of those emails I get from time to time, where someone comments on how much they liked a story but they can't believe that it doesn't have more kudos/bookmarks, and that always depresses me something fierce. I know it's a lovely compliment that someone thinks your work deserves more, but it also starts to remind you, time after time, that you are in that situation.

It's a lot like when I was young and just starting out as a writer, and I'd send out stories that always came back with personal notes from the editors about the quality of the stories, along with the rejection that (usually) it wasn't what they were looking for. People in my writing group were always, wow, I never get personal notes from the editors! And I was like, yeah, you know, the first couple times it's cool, but then you realize that it's all still a rejection (after rejection, after rejection). The first time I ever got an acceptance, I almost threw it away, because I thought it was a note from the editor about the rejection.

I've been trying really hard to think about this wonderful post from [personal profile] sperrywink and just concentrate on my own efforts to put forth what I want to see in the world, or think about [personal profile] destina making dolphin noises (waves at destina), but I do really get torpedoed sometimes. A lot lately, because I feel like I'm writing and vidding into a void--fandom's always been about participation and communication for me, and once I lost my fic website a couple years ago, all my fic's been on AO3. Try as I might, I've never been able to develop conversations with people there the way I have been on LJ/DW/email, or on Tumblr (I mean, certainly if you have a lot of followers on Tumblr, you could, but that's not my world). I've met a lot of great people in those spaces in the past, and even recently, because I wrote them a comment on their fic or vid, or they wrote to me, but it doesn't seem like you get that on Tumblr or on AO3, and a lot of those friends have been lost to attrition lately. Although, really, yeah, it could very well be a referendum on the quality of the work, and that's definitely the place my depression-mind goes to.

I think too the isolation of not having a lot of friends left/friends who are into the same thing I am compounds that. There are so many stories floating around in my head right now, so many vids, and it's a struggle to get past the why bother. Especially when I can't seem to get them to come out right, like the vid for Escapade feels (ugh, I keep looking at the timeline and wondering if I can ever make a good vid again, let alone a good Steve/Bucky vid) or the stories ("you're keeping the outfit" porn should not be this difficult!) have been lately.

I should probably shut the comments off on this, because people will think I'm fishing for compliments and I am not fishing for compliments, seriously, but I don't know, maybe there's someone else out there in the depresso-ball pit too who'd like a safe space to talk about that, so I guess I will keep them open. Or maybe you have some cool tricks, like sperrywink, to remind yourself that it's the creating that matters and you are more than welcome to share them with me.
gwyn: (bucky confusedface)
Behind again on memage! [personal profile] grammarwoman--Is there a fandom you resisted but fell into anyway, or one that you thought would be a great fit for you but turned out bleh?

You know, I rarely ever get into anything that I didn't discover on my own. There are a lot of shows I've watched based on recommendations, but fandoms are always things I have to discover on my own. No fic or vid can pimp me, I just seem to be impervious to fandom for something I didn't find the fannish feeling for myself. (check out that alliteration!) So when I do fall for something, it's definitely because it hit something in me I needed. Like, even Due South, I fell for the show and I made some vids with Sandy, but as a fandom experience, I watched it from the sidelines. I never really got more into it as a fannish whole than the vids. (That might also have been because the show went off the air almost within weeks of me being converted, and then when it came back a couple years later, I didn't enjoy the changes they'd made much at all.)

But probably Captain America fandom has surprised me more than most, especially the comics part of it. I've always avoided comics fandoms, especially ones with a really lengthy history, because I cannot keep all that shit straight in my head and it drives me crazy, as a completist, trying to keep track of which universe a character's dead in or in outer space or is a ghost or is involved with someone in this universe but not in that universe…argh! It's maddening to me. And with Cap, you've got all these disparate takes on him, and his relationships with different people, and his history…it's enough to make me lose my mind. I think that's one reason I like the MCU because even if it's retconning stuff or not keeping track of its own shit (like, say, the gray canon of Steve and Bucky meeting in an orphanage that came from the first movie, then changed for Winter Soldier), for the most part, they're sticking to one universe (helpful when you don't have rights to other characters!).

But if you'd have asked me a couple years ago if I'd fall head over heels in love with Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes? Or Sam Wilson and Natasha Romanov and Sharon Carter? I'd have scoffed. I liked the characters, sure, but to fall as deeply in love with them as I have? That was totally unexpected, and kind of glorious.

On the other hand, fandoms I totally expected to have but then didn't are legion. The worst one might be Agents of SHIELD. I thought that was a given for me, because Coulson, and I already liked Ming-na Wen, but Jesus Christ on a biscuit I hate that show. I keep hate-watching it, but what they did last week, I'm not sure I can stomach it anymore. I've never been so underwhelmed and then pissed off by something I thought was made for me to love as I have been about that show. I just have to keep putting my fingers in my ears and going la-la-la Coulson and Clint are off somewhere making waffles and drinking coffee from the pot together, and he's not flying around on that fucking plane on that fucking show.
gwyn: (steve and bucky)
[personal profile] sholio asked for today: a narrative trope you like, and what makes it appealing to you?

Man, this is SO HARD. Because I have so many tropes I love. I don't have anything like a bulletproof kink, but I have a few things that come close. But tropes I love abound. Cabin in the woods during a snow storm or desert island? I'm there! Fake marriage/dating/undercover and falling in love? Yes, please! Life and love during wartime? Sir, yes sir. Timey-wimey stuff? THE BEST. Especially Groundhog Day/time loops (well, obviously, she said). Really, there's too many to list.

But if I have to pick one, I'd probably say friends becoming lovers, especially if it's wrapped up in pining and longing. I have a big thing about equality, that my pairings and friendships are usually based in people being at least sort of equal in most things. I think it's why bdsm doesn't do anything for me, or why I react so badly to stories that infantalize a character (which is a huge problem in a lot of Captain America fic, where they make Bucky almost nonfunctional and so childlike it's creepy). But most of what I write, if I'm writing relationships, and I usually do because I'm all about the love, is about characters who start with feelings of friendship.

So you take characters who have a friendship and really care about one another already, and then they realize (slowly or when an anvil drops on their heads, doesn't matter) that they're in love with their friend, and they get all messed up about what to do about it. There are so many fun things you can do with them in that context, which can often sublet to other tropes, like fake dating or trapped in a cave-in, whatever you've got. I am built for longing and pining. I think I was put on this earth for that (and is pretty much most of my output for Captain America fic). The furtive glances and the awkward touches and the hidden fantasies, it's all so good. Especially when they are completely, 100 percent convinced their friend couldn't love them back.

Most of my relationships came out of being friends. We knew so much about each other already that it made the romantic aspect easier to deal with. But I also like it when that transition is awkward and cute. It's fun to see characters navigating the changed landscape of their friendship.

I'm reasonably certain that's a huge part of why I am so into Steve/Bucky and Steve/Sam (okay, let's face it, Steve/a lot of people), because both of those are often based in friendship, especially MCU Steve and Bucky where they changed the dynamic to be Bucky as Steve's protective friend. It just hits all my buttons, that they've loved each other since they were little boys, and that love changed into something else when they were older. And has lasted for nearly a century. With Pacific Rim last year, a huge part of what made me Team Hot Dads was that Herc and Stacker so clearly had this long, deep history together, a really treasured friendship that played out over the course of the movie. And drift bonding was an established thing, which would be the ultimate form of friendship and love for people, really, to be inside someone else's mind. SO DELISH.

So yeah, give me characters with a deep bench on the friendship stuff, put them in a situation where they make the shift to being in love, and throw in some hardcore pining and yearning, and I'm there.
gwyn: (bucky winter soldier)
I did the DW friending meme last year and found a bunch of cool new people to connect with, so I've thrown another entry in the pot this year at theladyscrib's journal, especially since I'm in the throes of fandom love for such a huge fandom this year with Cap/Winter Soldier MCU stuff. As soon as I get this book I'm copyediting out the door, I'ma be friending people!

If anyone's interested, that's where my big passion lies right now -- I haven't been posting here much beyond the fic or vid announcements, but I do occasionally venture forth for other things, and hope to do both the December talking meme and something I did last year, the 31 Flavors recs meme I stole from raveninthewind. I hope that will help get me out of my depresso slump a bit.

I miss the conversation, I do -- both in the sense of people posting on journals and me being involved more with the people I know and with fandom at large. Tumblr's great for giving me a visual rest for my eyes when I work on books, but it's impossible to talk to people there, and it seems like the tide of great Cap2 gifs and fanart is ebbing, so…
gwyn: (steve rogers fullhouse)
Having a good tine so far on my trip. Wednesday was kind of a wash -- got in late afternoon at National and I made the foolish mistake of checking my bag, and everything was a mess there from torrential rain and thunderstorms, so by the tine I got to my hotel, it was evening and time for dinner. My friend took me to a place by my hotel called Lincoln, which was outstanding and I loved the floor made entirely of pennies (always wish I could do that in a room at home). I was awake all night, unfortunately, and should have just given up and written but I kept thinking I could sleep, since I was so frigging tired.

First thing I did in the morning was head out to Dupont Circle so I could find Steve's apartment from Winter Soldier. Which I did -- I'd done the sleuthing beforehand and located the address, and it took me a bit of getting lost but I found it and posted pics of it to my Tumblr (I'm on my iPad or I'd link, but the username is teatotally). It was so fun to see it, and where he parked his bike. I'm such a fucking nerd. But what pissed me off were a couple of snotty people saying "oh yeah, I knew that" but fuck them -- why the hell did no one who knew where it was never post it? Why did it take me forever to sleuth it out? Geez, back in the day, we used to regularly tell people where things were filmed so other fans could make pilgrimages. Kids these days, I don't know. I also was not expecting all the reblogs and likes -- I thought maybe a couple friends might find it amusing, but apparently a hell of a lot of people wanted to know where Steve's apartment was.

After that, I went off to the Mall to find the tree where Sam and Steve meet cute. I knew it was on 3rd St., but I wanted to see if I could suss out the exact spots where they stood. That was fun. I stopped in after that to the National Gallery but there wasn't much new I hadn't seen before. Then my friend dragged me on this hot, sweaty chase for dinner all over town after taking me to a sherry and ham place called Mockingbird Hill. Yes, you read that right -- they specialize in sherry and ham. My friend has become chummy with the owners and bartender, and it was fun, but it was so fucking hot, and we got stuck next to this horrible young woman who was meeting a guy on a blind date or something -- they didn't know each other, at least. As soon as Keith and I got out, we both were like, "I wanted to tell him to RUN" and save himself. I hate slagging off other women like that, but she was just poisonous and definitely ruined what should have been a nice time.

Anyways, we finally got dinner at a nice place called Proof, another hangout of his, and then in the morning we headed off to NY on the Acela train. Not cheap, but fast. The hotel gave me an upgrade to a lovely king suite, and I actually finally got more than an hour of sleep. We went off to the High Line today and both ended up exhausted, but he's kind of a baby and I have to wait to see now if he'll be less crabbypants after a nap so we can go get dinner proper later tonight. Last night it sounds like he had fun on his own while I went off to [personal profile] cesperanza's house, including, I guess, striking up conversations with actors from Book of Mormon and hanging out and buying them drinks. But I was having Winter Soldier FEELZ with Ces and others, so I think I win.

I wish I had one more day here so I could meet up with others, but we have to head back at some point. I have one more full day in DC and then most of early Tuesday before an evening flight home. This is definitely my Winter Soldier vacation -- aside from talking about it last night with other fans, doing the location scouting, I got in the cab Thursday night and it was playing on the tv screen in the cab, and I keep seeing these Starz promo ads that feature it prominently. It follows me around!
gwyn: (steve and bucky)
1. Went up to [personal profile] killabeez and Mr. Killa's new house last night for dinner and it is really beautful and dinner was lovely and of course the company was awesome. The view from their living room is spectacular, overlooking the area where the ferries leave from Mukilteo -- seeing the ferries with their lights on, crossing the water at night, is always one of the things I love about living in Puget Sound.

2. This fucking spectacular Winter Soldier paper art project by beelikej for [personal profile] talitha78 is utterly amazing and you should go read this post to see how she did it. I am green with envy!

3. Um. Oh! A couple people rec'd stories I've written this week, which means the world to me. I've been feeling pretty crappy about writing lately and that was definitely inspirational.
gwyn: (hearts wizzicons)
This was definitely the most active fan fiction year I've had in a very long time. A lot of people know that when my twin sister died some years ago, my creativity sort of died as well -- I've participated in Yuletide and made vids, but it's been a serious struggle to write. Downright agonizing. But I've plugged along, writing something outside of Yuletide for the first time last year when I wrote a little Loki & Pepper Avengers story.

And it was the same kind of year, going along, making vids, until July happened. I didn't expect it, but man did I fall hard for Pacific Rim. I was just obsessed, still am, and it's been weird, because I don't know anyone else in the fandom with my pairing interest that I can spend time around talking about it, or anyone who's at the obsesso level I still am at. I'm the kind of person who really needs to squee with people. Still, I have a third part of a story kind-of series coming up, and more vids I want to make, and I guess you could say Pacific Rim changed my life, because suddenly, for the first time since my sister died, I felt like I could create, I felt the overwhelming DESIRE to create, particularly in writing. I can't tell you how monumental that feeling has been, and I wish I could share it with people.

Yuletide reveal and year in review for fic and vids )
And I guess that's it? Not too bad for someone who's had such a hard time creating.
gwyn: (hardison swell day ruttadk)
So I'm behind on days, and I think that since the back half of the month is so sparse with questions, I'll just slide on all these front entries by a couple days. My thumb's a bit better today but wow, I still feel like I got hit by a truck.

[personal profile] nagasvoice asked: Talk to us about your experiences of fandom, what you love, what cheers you up when you partake of it, what drives you berseerrrker.

This changes a lot, depending on what's going on around me, and also it has changed a lot over the years and my own emotional journey. I think one of the biggest things about media fandom is how welcoming it was for me, much different than science fiction fandom had been. That's where I initially entered fandom as a general subject, but cons like Norwescon or Westercon, which are usually centered around literary SF fandom, at least they were back in the day, weren't quite as open-armed, and I think a lot of that was that they're more heavily focused on the mens. Whereas media fandom was so heavily female-centered that I was more comfortable entering it (though of course my first slash con, I brought my male best friend, because I was so shy and afraid of going alone). That is one of the things I loved best back then, and still do.

I love the way fans will rally to each others' aid when they need it, things like FandomAid when disasters strike, the way someone gets an idea that's basically "let's put on a show" and somehow it happens because a bunch of people jump on board and make it happen. That really putrid picture that the mundane media like to paint of fans as pathetic people who live in their parents' basement and all act like the Simpsons' Comic Book Guy? Yeah, we wouldn't get much done, like the AO3 or the OTW or Dreamwidth or Fanlore or Bitchin' Party or Vividcon or Escapade or any of the charities, if we were those people. I love that about us. I love that we get shit done, and we have fun doing it.

But there's also a lot I don't like, and lately I have to admit I'm really floundering with some things, particularly the subtle, offhanded racism, particularly in slash fandom. My friend said the other night when we were talking about this that of course no one wants to think of themselves as racist. And none of the people who are perpetuating this of course would ever admit to it -- as another friend reminded me, we insist that that's what the show or the movie gives us. And Sandy used to say, "Or we could just be racist fucks," and I think about that a lot lately. Because it seems like whenever there's a white guy slash fans love, they'll find some way to pair him with another white guy, rather than the black guy or the Asian guy that he might very well be life partners with on the show or in the movie. It depresses the shit out of me, especially lately because it's pervasive in my fandom du jour.

So I try really hard to focus on other things, like the awesome AU gifsets I see people do on Tumblr, or what little fanfic there is for my particular pairing and interest right now because much of it is really good, or the fact that Yuletide and Festivids are coming up, and there's so much creativity floating around out there. My thing lately seems to be me saying, "People are so shitty," or "People are so creative!" and I much prefer to say the latter. But I do a lot! Because fans, especially, are so very creative, and I'm always gonna be a fangirl, no matter what happens in my life.
gwyn: (keith mars infinitemonkeys)
Gah, every time I vow to post more often, I fall behind. LIfe's been kicking my ass in a bad way lately, though there have been a few light moments in there, like last Friday when a bunch of us went out to dinner at a fantastic sushi place and had the most amazing meal. Good company, great food, what more could you ask for?

But now I've got a huge book that's looming over me and I really want to just write and vid. Converting my vid files for my Festivid is taking forfuckingever. For a show that didn't last long, there are entirely too many episodes. I had no idea. I used to always post a story on my birthday, and I would really like to finish what would be the third in a Hot Dads sort-of series, but I'm not sure if I'll have enough time to work on it and have it read over.

I've also been really battling the depression that settles on me this month, the whole dealing with my birthday without my sister, and now there's December and my dad's death, and everything feels very lonely. I went to see Gravity last week, and wow, I really found myself wrapped up in Ryan's pain and isolation. The way she remembered the details of her daughter's death. I don't know that I got out of the movie what other people got out of it, because I was really focused on that specific part, but I respected it a lot and I'm so glad I saw it in 3D. It truly was stunning.

I'm going to try to see Thor 2 on Thursday, even though I shouldn't since I'm already behind on this book. But I feel like I'm the last person in America to see it (at least, among people who count Thor and Loki as fandom objects of affection).

I've been watching a lot of TV. I have thoughts on many things, but I wanted to specifically mention Sleepy Hollow )

But as for Almost Human )

I guess this is the hard part of finding yourself in a movie fandom like Pacific Rim, especially where your pairing is the smallest one out there. I keep checking for new fic, but there has been nothing for Team Hot Dads that isn't also an AU, has multiple other pairings, or is a crossover with something else. I'd hoped there might be more after the DVD came out, but so far, no, and I haven't really seen a lot of vids, either. This is where movie fandom sucks -- when you only have one film to work with, and you aren't in the dominant pairing, and you don't have any friends to squee with. I never could have foreseen that PR would make me so crazed, but it has, but man does it feel lonely.

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