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: (bucky steve mouths)
I'm skipping a few and yet, somehow, still behind. I've either been doing what the challenge was about, or it's something I can't do, like name three things you like about yourself.

Day 10

In your own space, share your love for a trope, cliché, kink, motif, or theme. (More than one is okay, too.) Tell us about it, tell us why you love it, give us some examples and recs. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

I've talked a lot before about my predilection for found families, how much I love friends to lovers, and a lot of other tropes. So this time I thought I'd go with a kink--I do not have a bulletproof kink, because writing quality is my overall dealbreaker and I will gladly forgive a lot for the things I love but not that much, you know? But the closest I can come is hair washing and shaving. I mean, I suppose any kind of ablutions given from one character to another--I have only very rarely indulged my kink in writing, or at least, in more than passing mentions, but I loooove to read it, especially if one character is injured and it's the other character doing the hair washing or the shaving or helping them bathe or whatever. But god, give me one character shaving the other (head, face…other things…) and I will probably melt if you have even the slightest writing skills, and if they're washing their hair I will squeal with joy.

I suppose that has something to do with why I've been more passionate about Steve and Bucky than almost anything I can remember, and why they've lasted so long for me: there's an inherent quality about Bucky post-Winter Soldier that gives Steve the opportunity to show his love through that kind of caretaking, plus Bucky has long locks that need tending and lots of stubble. :-D And pre-serum Steve is a great chance for Bucky's caretaking, too, although I can absolutely see that as a quality that brings out Bucky's personality--Steve's attraction to danger, getting injured, needing care, and Bucky being able to give that to him. Ack, now I almost feel a story coming on post-Civil War where Bucky has to work around being one-handed but taking care of Steve… (And if you have any good, well written hair washing or shaving recs in Cap fandom let me know!)

It's incredibly intimate to rely on someone to do those things for you, and it often leads to make-outs and/or sex, but I also love it when it's platonic, or at least not acted upon as sexual. I mean, don't get me wrong, I think washing someone's hair or shaving them is feckin' HOT, but I've also read it as platonic or familial and been super happy about it. It pairs well with a nice hurt/comfort, which I love too (see above re: someone being injured), or for people who are into sex kinks, aftercare.

One of my favorites that I could recommend is [ profile] devilpiglet's Rock of Ages

I was trying to remember the times I've used it prominently, and I think that it's only been in a few: Don't Wait Up for Me for Steve/Bucky, Ciudad de Estrellas in The Fast and The Furious, and Broken-Hearted Savior in X-Files. I'm probably forgetting some (I can't remember most of my stories, it's sad, and possibly there was something in Buffy or Mag 7, but…who knows!).
gwyn: (bumble _hellsbelles)
So I've changed my password yet again, and put it in the DW settings, and…I guess I'll see if at some point this fucking LJ thing decides to allow me to crosspost again. ::fights urge to kill::

Day 06

In your own space, create a list of at least three fannish things you'd love to receive, something you've wanted but were afraid to ask for - a fannish wish-list of sorts. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your wish-list if you feel comfortable doing so. Maybe someone will grant a wish. Check out other people's posts. Maybe you will grant a wish. If any wishes are granted, we'd love it if you link them to this post.

1. This is a hard thing for me, and something I've been fighting with myself over talking about for a long time. But I guess I might as well bring it up here. A few years ago, I had a hard drive crash and lost all the video files for the digitally remastered Media Cannibals vids, not to mention a lot of media I had ripped or downloaded for my own vids, and the originals of a number of my own vids that I only have less than stellar copies of, and can't replace with better copies now. The only way I can get those files (at least the MC ones, I can live without the other stuff even though it would be nice to have it), is to give it to a data recovery service. There's one near me, and I know from experience and people who do this that it'll cost somewhere in the range of $1,000-2,000, which I don't have. Or at least, I might be able to eventually pay for it, but the truth is, that's all I have for stuff I want to do, like go to a con or on a vacation, or stuff I need to do, like the animals or the house or whatever. If it comes to that, I'm not gonna spend money on data recovery, you know? Which is why it's sat there for years.

So I've talked about this with people and a lot of folks have said that for the MC vids and the possibility of us putting up a site with all the old MC vids (not remastered, just digitized and put online), they'd be willing to contribute to the data recovery, but I don't know that enough people would be interested to make it actually happen. I suppose any little bit would help, and I could try to make up the rest. We'd need those files if we're ever going to build a Cannibals vid space (a WHOLE other issue, which makes me cry, but I'll deal with that later), but something that might help me now is just having a sense of whether it's even worth starting a funding-help campaign or something--because things are hard for almost everyone I know now, and it's probably just going to keep getting worse, and I feel like this is a lot to ask people when people are losing homes, not able to pay vet bills or their own medical care, and so on. But just knowing it might be feasible would help me make a decision, before it becomes impossible to get any data off the drive. (And yes, I now have my external hard drives backed up to a service, but that drive WAS my backup, at that time, rather hilariously.)

2. Since that's a big ask, I guess the other thing is just the standard that I think most fan writers ask for: I'd love to see translations or podfics or artwork or fanmixes of any of my stories. It's just such a kick when someone makes a fanwork of your fanwork.

3. I'm trying to work on a vid where I'd like some external source. I got some stuff from a friend but I still can't find anything like what I'm looking for, and so maybe someone reading this might be able to direct me toward some media. I'd love some video footage that shows what looks like two (white) guy's hands together--holding hands, twining fingers, or just touching each other. This, close-ups of hands, is a thing that seems to be difficult to find in moving images that I can use and manipulate a little for the vid (it always seems to be what's identifiably male and female hands). I'd also love some atmospheric shots of maybe a white guy with dark hair walking or sitting alone, doing something that could seem melancholy, or even just landscape shots of like windswept beaches or cliffs or walkiing on a city street and brooding or something. Anything that conveys that sense of isolation or melancholy, that could be used to intersperse with the footage of the source material as a way to build atmosphere. Recs from YouTube or Vimeo are fine, music videos, clips from films, or trailers, or things that a person might be able to get hold of in the US would be great.
gwyn: (walken wonderland)
I'm skipping 3 and 4 since I don't do very well with goal-setting and I've been interacting with a lot of people lately already.

Day 5

In your own space, post recs for at least three fanworks that you did not create. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

It's always good when this happens after a big challenge has just finished up!

I loved this Good Place story in Yuletide, it captures so much of what I love about the show.

Strange as Angels (3055 words) by burglebezzlement
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Good Place (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Tahani Al-Jamil/Eleanor Shellstrop
Characters: Tahani Al-Jamil, Eleanor Shellstrop
Additional Tags: Burglary, Limitations of soulmates, Drinking, ambrosia, Michael's truth cube, Tahani's little Jianyu problem, Yuletide Treat

How do you solve a problem like Jianyu? Certainly not by breaking into Michael’s office with Eleanor’s help. Tahani wouldn’t dream of it.

This Losers story is utterly amazing. I just...I can't even.

Solid Copy (14668 words) by thefourthvine
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Losers (2010)
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Carlos "Cougar" Alvarez/Jake Jensen
Additional Tags: Telepathy

Jensen shifted his gaze to Cougar. “I really thought that if I ever had to say the words ‘telepathic disaster,’ it’d be a lot cooler than this is turning out to be.”

This Kings story is the kind of thing we rarely ever get in this fandom--long, plotty, great writing, fantastic characterization.

Single Use Weapon (67407 words) by Fahye
Chapters: 3/3
Fandom: Kings (TV 2009)
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Jack Benjamin/David Shepherd, Michelle Benjamin/David Shepherd
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Loyalty, Politics

"The king is dead," says Samuels. "Long live the king."

A story about fealty and destiny, spies and secrets, and the things we do to hold onto power.

gwyn: (bumble _hellsbelles)
I'm super late with the second entry; trying to bust a move on my book edit and had to put everything aside (other than running off to see Rogue One, augh, I hate this, I want to vid something so bad and NO SOURCE).

Day 2

In your own space, share a book/song/movie/tv show/fanwork/etc that changed your life. Something that impacted on your consciousness in a way that left its mark on your soul. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

Okay, so, speaking of Star Wars. My answer to this is that, but it's also something many people have tried to get me to put down in print for a long time, because it's a fannish history not a lot of people had (I know a couple other fans who were at a theatre opening night, now, but for a long time it was something I rarely heard about).

In 1977, there wasn't a lot of decent SF in theatres--it was a really crappy genre to be in love with if you were a fan and wanted to see things on a big screen. It was very much a literature fandom, and cons, what few there were, were fan-run experiences whose main focus was on lit, not film and definitely not TV. Star Trek had a modicum of respect, but that was it. For every 2001 or Silent Running, there was a Logan's Run or Saturn 5 or whatever. Most of it was schlock, is what I'm saying, and even the decent things were often quite flawed. I hung out with a lot of guys who were fans of the genre, some who were just plain movie buffs like me, and we'd been hearing about this movie being made by the guy who'd made American Graffiti and THX-1138. Starlog was THE movie magazine for SF and horror and fantasy fans, and that was where you got information--there was no Internet, nothing. You read newspapers and magazines and watched shows on TV that might tell you about new films.

I was a junior in high school in '77. My friends were telling me they planned to go see the movie when it opened, which, for a teen, was kind of a big thing; most of my friends were older than me by a year to three years, so it wasn't a big deal for them to schedule around as it was for me. I ended up ditching my last classes of the day (it was a Wednesday), the first time in my life I ever skipped class. I was one with the Rebels, and I didn't even know there were rebels in the movie! No one knew anything about the movie--there was just so little information. There'd been a few pics in Starlog, some discussions, speculation, and hilarious bits of news with incorrect names and stuff, but overall, we just didn't know what we were getting into.

Which was also part of the fun--it could have been just another schlocky piece of crap, which was honestly what we expected, or it could be cool, who knew--THX had been somewhat interesting, and American Graffiti was pretty good, but a lot of the excitement was simply that sense of going into something blind. A lot of people don't know that Star Wars only opened on 32 screens (but it opened up an additional dozen or so by that Friday because buzz was so high), so we had to go downtown to the UA150 here, which was this amazing round moviehouse that had a full, curved 70mm screen and that I still miss like hell to this day--I saw all my favorite movies of the '70s-'80s there and they were stunning. Since I and one other guy were ditching class, we waited to go stand in line for the second showing, in late afternoon.

Standing in line, outside of large cities, was still pretty unusual, too. It was for primarily the biggest of the big event movies and not something you tended to see in smaller cities or rural areas, and it was still common practice, too, for double features, and for an event movie to only play in a downtown theatre if it played a city at all. Single-screen houses were the norm for films; the UA was a really unusual theatre in that it had two large screens, but the 150 was the half of the theatre that had that glorious huge wraparound screen. But we dutifully drove downtown and got in line, somewhat close to the front, though where we were standing was outside the exit door at the rear of the auditorium.

People were filing out after the first matinee, and they all had this dazed look on their faces. We started asking them "what was it like?" "was it good?" and they were all speechless, just kept saying "you'll like it so much" or "you're gonna have suuuuch a good time." By the time they let us in, we were crazy psyched about it. In the lobby they had cardboard boxes with buttons that said May the Force Be With You. We had no idea what it meant, but a few of us picked them up; after the first screening, we ran back out to the lobby and gathered up as many as we could.

It's hard now, with it being part of the zeitgeist, to imagine what it felt like when the curtains parted, and parted, and parted to the entire width of that enormous screen, and then to hear those first notes and see the crawl begin. The crawl seems…normal, now. Enough that when I saw Rogue One I was heartsick that there was no effing crawl and I muttered darkly at my companion. But on May 25, 1977, it was mind-blowing. We just hadn't seen anything like it, not in modern-day cinema, certainly, and not on such a beautiful, majestic scale. And then the battle cruisers come into view and we gasped. We all, including my cynical, jaded, I've seen everything friends, dead-ass gasped when those ships came on screen, I swear to you. And when Darth Vader strode through the hall and spoke in James Earl Jones's voice, I thought I would faint from excitement.

I felt like no time had passed when we got to the end, and the music started up. I suffer from an inability to suspend my disbelief, I guess I've just been writing too long or something, but it is so vanishingly rare for me, even back then, to get completely immersed in a film or book, enough so that I don't notice time passing. And people cheered through at least a minute of the closing credits, people literally stood up in the theatre. My friends and I all looked at each other down the row, and I said, "I want to go again." And they all said hell yeah, so we stayed for the, like, early evening showing.

That was another thing that was so different, and that Star Wars changed completely--up to that time, you could not only often go to double, even triple features of first-run movies, but that also meant you could stay in the theatre without buying another ticket. The ushers came through to clean, but they didn't shoo us away; the friends who saw it two days later told me that they were clearing the theatres after the showing. After Star Wars, I never saw first run double features again, either.

While people were filing in for the next showing, my best friend was throwing handfuls of May the Force Be With You buttons out into the seats; people were mingling and talking, someone would catch a button and ask, "What's this for?" and we'd shout "JUST YOU WAIT" or they'd ask, "What was it like?" and he'd yell, "Prepare to get your mind fucked!" We were just silly and giddy and so so happy to have gotten a good, well made, interesting space fantasy that we didn't feel like we had to cringe in horror about having seen, the whole place felt like a big party. It was almost as exciting when the crawl came on screen the second time as it had been the first time. And then, because we had some kind of happiness high, we stayed for the last showing, too. I confess, during the really quiet times, it started to drag a little but I'd also been up since about six a.m. with nerves over skipping classes, so I was pretty ragged, plus, I knew I had to be at school the next day. My parents were used to me staying out really late, though, thank god, and I'd called them before the early evening show to tell them I might be home really late, but I had never expected we'd sit through all three showings.

The next day I wore my button to school, and everyone asked me what it meant. No one knew anything about it, had heard of it, but between my evangelizing and the news media, they quickly learned about it. I was so enthusiastic about it that, without knowing anything about conventions or fan groups, I hunted around till I found out about a group of local fans who wanted to put on a Star Wars convention, and started going to meetings. And I would like to point out, for anyone who identifies as female and gets shit about women not belonging in SF or insisting it's a new thing that they care? The makeup of that group was 70-30, in favor of women. I didn't stick with them long enough to see it come to fruition because of a lot of emotional issues that had come up around that time and family trauma, but it was the first experience I would have with organized fandom like that, which I would learn more about in a few years when I got invited to be a panelist at the big SF con in Seattle.

I was still pretty fannish about it after Empire, in a slightly different way--I collected every picture and article I could about Harrison Ford, and had all the things about Han and Leia in a box or scrapbook, because we didn't have the interwebs and that was really all you could do. By Return of the Jedi I was working as a film critic, and there was so much I didn't like about it that kind of overshadowed what I did like, and that was sort of the beginning of the end for me. By then there was also a lot of SF and other creative genre stuff coming out, and the landscape had changed considerably. I knew that a lot of those things--the scarcity of showings, the dearth of information, the specialness of the theatre--played a part in what made it so magical, and there was no way to replicate that or catch lightning in a bottle again. Then Lucas's endless tinkering with the originals while refusing to let us have them on home video, and the awfulness of the prequels, killed any enthusiasm I'd once had for it.

But those first few years, those were magical. I found a site that says Star Wars (it's always been Star Wars to me, I cannot think of it as A New Hope, it just doesn't compute) played longest in Portland, but I…sort of question that, because after Empire Strikes Back finished its run at the UA150, Lucas gave Seattle a gift for playing the first movie longer than any other city, which was to show the two films back to back for free, as part of our late summer arts festival here. It was the first time anyone had seen Star Wars onscreen since it had left theatres, and the first time it was shown with Empire. We waited in line all day, and I have to say, that was almost better than when we'd seen it the first time, and even more of a fan party. And on New Year's Eve 1977/78, the theatre had timed the Death Star to blow up at midnight, so we waited in bonebreaking cold for hours and hours just for the chance to see that--it was worth it, totally totally worth it.

I haven't even included stuff that isn't related to the movie, of which there were many monumental things that night for me, too. But to say that Star Wars changed my life is putting it very mildly. I literally can't imagine my life now if I hadn't cut class and gone to the theatre on May 25, 1977.
gwyn: (bumble _hellsbelles)
I'm late! As always. But I thought I'd try to do as much of it as I could, to keep posting on a regular basis. (I know, I say that every year.)

Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner

Day 1

In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you have created. It can be your favorite fanworks that you've created, or fanworks you feel no one ever saw, or fanworks you say would define you as a creator. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

I thought I'd try to pick a theme again this time, and so I'm doing fanworks that were created for challenges. This first one was a Yuletide story I was always really proud of, though I think a lot of people were scared off by the slash, which I mostly included because of references to a past relationship Charlie and Ted had in prison.

The Moon Cannot Be Stolen (4190 words) by gwyneth rhys
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Life
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Charlie Crews/Ted Earley
Characters: Ted Earley, Charlie Crews
Additional Tags: Pre-Series, Friendship, Rescue, Prison, Past Relationship(s), Backstory, Origins

When Charlie found Ted.

The second was for Festivids a few years ago, for Kings, part of my Kings Winter, I guess, since both my Yuletide stories were for it as well.

[vid] Monsters (180 words) by gwyneth rhys
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Kings (TV 2009)
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Jack Benjamin, David Shepherd, Silas Benjamin, Joseph Lasile, Rose Benjamin, Michelle Benjamin, Thomasina (Kings), Ephram Samuels
Additional Tags: Fanvids, Video, Angst, Terrible Human Beings, Poor Jack, Festivids 2014

Here there be monsters.

And the third was for my entry in the Stucky Big Bang this past year.

Still Let Me Sleep (40500 words) by gwyneth rhys, Riakomai
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Avengers (Marvel Movies), Marvel 616
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers, Steve Rogers & Thor
Characters: Steve Rogers, James "Bucky" Barnes, Peggy Carter, Jimmy Jupiter (Marvel), Thor (Marvel), Natasha Romanov, Sam Wilson (Marvel), Heimdall (Marvel), Frigga (Marvel), Jim Morita
Additional Tags: Dreamsharing, Dreamscapes, The Land of Nowhere, Road Trips, Asgard, Grief/Mourning, See the USA in your Chevrolet (with an Asgardian prince), We're Dream Engineers
Series: Part 1 of Still Let Me Sleep

When the Valkyrie hits the water, Steve doesn’t die. Instead, he crawls out of the wreckage and finds himself in an amazing, confusing land that could be the alternate universe of Nowhere—or it could be his dreams. And he gradually realizes he’s not the only one. Steve doesn’t know if he’s even alive, but he’s certain of this: Bucky’s there with him, sharing his dreams, and outside their idyllic world, he’s suffering. Something is terribly wrong. Steve has to find Bucky—if he can. But how does he do that when he awakens in a new century where he feels like he’s all alone?

gwyn: (liz lemon go to there)
Day 12

What makes you fannish? And by that we mean, what is it about a tv show/movie/book/band/podcast/etc that takes you from, "Yeah, I like that," to "I need MOAR!!!" Is it a character? A plotline? The pretty? Subtext that’s just screaming to be acknowledged?

In your own space, tell us what it is that gets you to cross that line into fandom. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

I wish I knew! Because then I would be able to find fandoms on purpose!

I know more of what I don't respond to: No one can pimp me into feeling fannish about something. It's not possible. I have to find it on my own, discover whatever it is that will make me go from 0 to 60 by watching it by myself, it's very much an internal process for me. You can show me the work, but it won't happen to me if you sit me down to watch it or tell me to read fic. I have never gotten into a fandom by reading fic or watching vids for something I didn't know.

I know that I have never been hardcore fannish about a book, though I will sometimes read fic for certain books. I'm mostly motivated by visual media, and in particular certain types of characters, and certain types of actors. I'm pretty much impervious to fannish osmosis when it comes to someone, an actor or a singer or whatever--I'll absorb the information, but never the squee, if I'm not already inclined to it.

Talent is a huge thing for me--actors who are serviceable rarely cut it. I'm as shallow as the next person, but if the best they can do is hit their marks and say lines, I'm rarely going to respond to them at that level.

So I wish I knew what changes those things, what makes me go from "don't care" to ALL THE FEELS. I remember being fannish about Buffy, for instance, and I'd made some vids, but the thing that made me want to write all the fic was Spike falling in love with Buffy. Almost the instant that happened, I was writing fanfic. There was something about the impossible UST of it, of a character I loved falling against his will for another character I loved, and something about that alchemical reaction turned lead into gold for me. But it hasn't been that way for other fandoms or ships. And I wasn't super fannish about the first Cap movie, or Steve in general, until somewhere along the line watching Avengers again, and then Winter Soldier came out and it hit something inside me, just an explosion of feelings that I didn't have before for those characters--sad Steve, lonely and against the world, developing friendships over the course of the film (I'm sure that a male-female friendship played a huge part for me), finding out the person he loved most in the world was alive…it seemed to be a perfect recipe to tip me over the edge, plus the acting in that was so elevated from Avengers and the story was so tight and fascinating and just…a perfect storm.

I think there has to be some kind of openness to the story, something else that needs exploring. Something that hasn't been said, so I want to say it.

So I wish I could bottle that. I feel weird lately, how most of my other fandoms are small and background and I'm still so focused on Cap fandom. I wish I could figure out what the elements are that could make me excited about more things.
gwyn: (bucky with mask)
Day 11

In your own space, make a list of at least 3 things that you like about yourself. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

Yeah, I don't know. I can't really do this. I'm hard pressed to think of even one thing I like about myself.

I mean, I guess there are things that are okay or acceptable, but like? no. Especially because throughout my life, the things I might have liked have always been thrown back at me as terrible things when people got angry with me.

1. I guess I have a pretty good sense of timing in vids.

2. I'm good at finding music, for my own vids and other people's.

3. I have a pretty decent aesthetic eye.

I hate this challenge day.
gwyn: (beaten cap shield)
Day 10
In your own space, post a rec for fannish and/or creative resources and spaces. Tell us where you go to dig up canon facts for your fandom, or where you get all the juicy details about your favorite ship. Where do you like to hang out and squee like a squeeing thing? Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

So, [personal profile] minim_calibre posted some great resources here and I'm just gonna say you should go look at hers. [personal profile] killabeez also has posted some great resources.

But me? I don't have a lot of things that I can rec people, because my research is often so idiosyncratic and centered around what I want to write that I can't imagine it being of use to anyone. For instance, I wanted to fill the prompt in the kissing meme for Steve/Bucky, baseball, which led me to look up casual baseball leagues in the '30s in NYC, and uniforms, and then that started me down a road toward which year the Dodgers might be playing a double-header on Steve's birthday, which led me to Bucky Walters, the famous pitcher back then, and television (finding out the first televised baseball game ever was the date when Bucky Walters pitched against the Dodgers in Brooklyn), which led me to an idea for baseball being played by soldiers in WWII so I started researching the where, when, and how of it. I can't imagine anyone else caring about that sort of research, so...

And I don't belong to any prompt communities or things that are designed to inspire writers, though sometimes I wish I could be. I tend to avoid those, because I know a lot of people who like sex kink and rape stories post there, and I really fucking hate seeing that stuff show up in front of my eyes because then I'm stuck with their summaries in my head for days and it's very upsetting. I loved the kissing fest that such heights put on last February, because the prompts were so interesting and fun. But I tend to stick with my little corner.

I will say that, much as I hate Tumblr as a tool because I think it's the most poorly designed website ever and it just keeps getting worse and worse to use, I've gotten a lot of fic ideas out of it. Meta and art and photography have sometimes been inspirational; and there's the squee factor, writ large. I know it was a huge portion of what made the summer of 2014 so spectacular for me, because at the time I was watching the movie every week in the theatre I was also seeing hundreds of gifsets and pics and meta and vids crossing my dashboard.

So my source seems to be…mostly myself. Seeking out what I'll respond to, delving into research for whatever new thing I'm working on. Talking about it often with friends helps, and I have a BFF who has a deep, deep knowledge of military stuff and WWII stuff that I can poke around in and talk about with. Inspiration can come from the strangest places sometimes--when I was working on Things We Lost in the War, I was copyediting a guidebook about living abroad in France. I was reading about the Masif Central and the hundreds of hot springs there, and I realized I had the fix for a segement of the story that had been bothering me for months. I just couldn't find a way to make it work to my satisfaction, even with all the WWII material I was sifting through, and then that little hot springs note made me remember some other stuff about the area I'd read in a book about the war, and just--pow! Fixed the whole section.

(And speaking of min, she also posted a list of reseources about mental health in WWII, and perusing that back in 2014 helped Dark Approach, because buried in some of that I found a treatment discussion for combat fatigue, which led to a whole other thing, and so on down the line, and helped me with the final chapter of the story.)

There's just always little fragments of information that I love to latch on to, whether it's from online resources or something that floats by in tumblr or something someone says to me.

ETA: Ooo! I did think of one resource that can be helpful for people writing historical fic: The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. There are a lot of extremely popular stories in Cap fandom that just kind of enrage me because they're so full of anachronistic phrasing that it ruins anything they write for me. You can often find out the date of origin for a word or phrase in a decent dictionary or even just a quick google search, but I've also come to love my AH idiom dictionary to double check on certain oddball English idiomatic phrases. They don't have a lot of sweary ones and some things are missing that I wish they'd address, but god, every time I see a historically set story where someone's saying "freaking out" or "gross" or something, I want to beat them over the head with this book. We have this tendency to take for granted that words always meant what they mean now, as if English isn't this constantly evolving language, and especially pop culture phrases, I wish writers would check more. Even if you can't check out an idiom dictionary from the library, there are people out there who can find out for you pretty quickly.
gwyn: (bucky & steve alley purple)
I skipped Day 8 as well, since I have been interacting in spaces a lot lately.

Day 09

In your own space, set some goals for the coming year. They can be fannish or not, public or private. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

This one's a bit hard for me. There are all these things I want to do--work out more, walk more, be a better person, earn more money/get more clients who actually want to pay me, but a lot of things feel very much out of my control. The biggest thing would be to find some way to reduce my constant unending back pain, but nothing so far has helped, and I don't have the funds to really try anything else. I don't know that surgery's off the table medically speaking, but I have no one to help me out post-surgery, and from everyone I've spoken to who had this kind of back issue, they are pretty debilitated for a while. So. I try to figure out other things, but it's both an expensive and time-consuming route.

I did already check off one thing on my list of goals, though--the other day Killabeez and Mr. Killabeez came down to help me figure out how to back up my system so I won't have something happen like last year, where my video card died and I was terrified I was going to lose all my vid stuff like I did in the hard drive crash a few years ago. Plus we had lunch at the Swinery, which I've tried to get up to for years and never did, and oh god, it's pork heaven (plus other things! but pork OMG).

Fannish goals, I honestly don't know. I have tons of fic ideas, but I feel like a lot of times I'm the only writer who instead of building an audience in a fandom by posting lots of fic, has actually done the inverse and fewer and fewer people want to read anything. So my big goal is to try to ignore the fact that I feel worthless and push on. I don't think I can write even a quarter of these things and work at the same time before Civil War comes out, and that feels like a sword hanging over my head, because it'll pretty much torpedo everything I want to do.

This is the first time in 20 years I'm not going to Escapade, unless something wild changes my mind and I rush off on the spur of the moment. But I would like to do a vid, only it's Jan. 15 and I haven't done anything. I want to make more vids, if I could get my pain under control. But it's tough, with the worthlessness feeling (see above). Depression and that sense of you're not worth anything if you're not achieving highly really do a number on my creative impetus, plus the work I do tends to eat up time and doesn't really allow me much leeway when it comes in. Freelance is a weird life.

I'd also really like to read more books that aren't for work. Much of what I read for work is pretty atrocious, and it's been hard to finish anything for years. But last year I read two whole fiction books, so I would like to continue that and do more.
gwyn: (nikita fatale sinecure)
Day 7

In your own space, share a favorite piece of original canon (a TV episode, a song, a favorite interview, a book, a scene from a movie, etc) and explain why you love it so much. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

So behind!

I couldn't decide here what I wanted to share, but I remembered looking for this scene from La Femme Nikita a while ago for a friend who was working on a book. She is a good writer, solid and workmanlike, but because she's super analytical and has an engineer's brain, everything is kind of flat, and her characters don't seem to have a lot of interior life or express any intense emotions. She'll describe them that way, but it often doesn't come to life on the page in our critique group readings until she gets feedback from us. I was telling her about this scene because she had a section where her protagonists in a thriller romance were in a horrible situation, and how this show was such a perfect series to rip off for fiction.

La Femme Nikita, War )
gwyn: (bucky end of the line)
I skipped day 5 because I leave a lot of feedback anyway, at least when I can.

Day 6

In your own space, create your own challenge. What’s something you want to see more people doing in fandom? Is there something you’ve tried that you think other people would enjoy if they gave it a go? Dare your friends to try it out, and have fun with it. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

I couldn't think of anything beyond the wish I made on day 2 for people to leave feedback, and of course, that's day 5's challenge, but then I thought maybe it'd be a small personal challenge for me that people could help with.

So, I have never been the biggest poetry fan. I have some poets/poems I love, and I wrote a whole damn 31,000-word fic about Bucky and poetry, and a lot of my story titles come from poetry, not to mention a lot of epigraphs, so you'd think I'd actually be a huge poetry fan, but it was always a bit opaque to me, for the most part. So my challenge would be to help me get more knowledgeable about poetry, or point me to some of your favorites or things you think would help me grok it more. Basically edumacate me.

I've really enjoyed reading some of Richard Siken's poems online, though I know more is available in books. I can probably find some things at the library, but if you have online recs, that's great. Modern poems are fine, as are older and classical (Browning was always intriguingly opaque to me, and of course, I read a lot of Rilke for Things We Lost in the War).
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: (Default)
I probably should do a big dump of days, shouldn't I, to catch up? But I'm not. I am a contrarian, I guess.

Day 2

In your own space, create a list of at least three fannish things you'd love to receive, something you've wanted but were afraid to ask for - a fannish wish-list of sorts. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your wish-list if you feel comfortable doing so. Maybe someone will grant a wish. Check out other people's posts. Maybe you will grant a wish. If any wishes are granted, we'd love it if you link them to this post.

1. I would love beyond reason, and I feel really ridic asking for this, but spirit of the challenge, yadda yadda, to see some fanworks inspired by my fanworks. I thought it was so interesting and cool to have podfics of a few fics this past year, and the fanmix playlists inspired by Things We Lost in the War literally made me cry, it was so amazing. I don't really know any artists in my current fandoms, so I know it's really unlikely to ever have art or story covers based on anything I wrote, but wow, that would be beyond amazing. One can dream (and I think that's the fan writer dream, isn't it? Art inspired by your writing? And the artist's dream, fic inspired by your drawing?). I confess I've considered even commissioning someone to draw something (is it weird that I want to see the scene where Steve and Bucky eat ice cream in the Groundhog Day fic?), but I don't even know how to go about doing that, so mostly I just dream.

2. I really miss collaborating on vids. I've never collaborated on fic. But I think collaborating with someone for something would be a wonderful thing to do that I miss. There are ways to do vids over the interwebs, I think, and though I've never done it with fic, I see people do it all the time, so that seems like something fun to try.

3. Comments. Recs. Not for me, necessarily (though I'm never gonna turn that away), but sperrywink inspired me to remember that this is a thing I want for the world: I want people to comment or make recs (whether it's a formal rec on a list or a reblog with your comments about it) for a fanwork or a creator's body of work, especially someone who's not a BNF who's already drowning in comments and is recced everywhere in the universe. Because yeah, the kudos button is great, whatever, but so often, even if anonymous commenting is enabled--yes, that's a thing you can do sometimes!--people won't do it, even if they like something. Or they stay silent and just hit a like button on tumblr or never post a rec to a community they're part of for various reasons.

But there are a lot of things out there that just don't get the love or attention they deserve, and knowing that so many people sort for things based on hits to comments ratios or what have you, that those works will never get the love they deserve makes me really sad. And those comments sometimes can be the difference between that creator feeling hopeless and worthless and never creating again, and feeling inspired and worthwhile and eager to keep going. There are communities out there that exist just to shit on creators ("this person should kill themselves" was a line a friend saw once), and I would like those of us who aren't vile, disgusting people to counteract that and spread love instead of nastiness. I know sometimes commenting seems fraught--there are people who'll be crappy if you commented on an old fic, or who never respond, or pick fights, or whatever. But those folks, I think, are outliers, and for the most part, people are thrilled to receive even a tiny "I liked this!" It's often the same fics or the people getting all the comments, so it would be even cooler if you commented or recced something that is under-recognized.

But that's what I wish for--that you will make the effort to leave even a tiny comment, or reblog a fanwork announcement post with at least "rec" on it. For anyone, even if, yeah, it's already got a million notes, but someone who might be under the radar is even better. Just…let people know you value the time and effort. Because fanworks come from the heart. They are not paid for except by sharing love. And I am sad at how one-sided a lot of that squee and sharing love has become. It's a gift economy, and your gift can be a comment or a rec.
gwyn: (walken wonderland)
I've seen so many people doing the Snowflake Challenge, and one thing I keep wanting to do more of is post outside of just fanwork announcements or crappy life posts. So I guess I'm in, even though I'm super late--is it too late? They say you can start any time but I feel like I'm really late to the game.

Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner


So this is day one for me.
Day 01

In your own space, talk about why you are doing the Fandom Snowflake Challenge? What drew you to it as a participant? What do you hope to accomplish by doing these challenges?

I love to talk about fandom, but it seems like, with DW and LJ being such a vast empty desert these days, there's little point, and Tumblr, where I spend a lot of time, is basically even worse--most of the people who follow me don't ever interact with me, a lot of times because we're friends or acquaintances and don't necessarily have the same interests. (And now that Tumblr's removed replies, it's even more impossible to interact.) So a lot of times I just use the journals as fic or vid announcements, or when something's going especially crappy. I comment fairly often, and I love reading my flists, but…I feel like no one's interacting anymore much of the time, and I should post about other things. Since so many people I know are doing it, and I'm a lemming, it seems like a valuable tool, and I hope it lasts. I loathe twitter and facebook and I don't have fannish spaces there anyway, they are for my professional life and I barely ever use them, so a part of me constantly hopes this space will be revitalized. I don't think it can, but, well, I can at least contribute, I suppose.

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