vaznetti: (crossovers! yay!)
Good luck to all you Yuletiders! I hope you get a really good assignment, and are assigned to someone who loves your prompts! I will not personally be taking part this year because between now and December 8 I anticipate having roughly 0 days free of work, but I will keep an eye on the pinch hit list in December just in case I see something where I could do a good job quickly.

On the more positive side, I am nearly ready to upload my [community profile] crossovering story, which I think is the first piece of fanfiction I've written since 2015. Wow. (I have a half-written Yuletide story from that year, but I had to default, and a bit of handwritten drawerfic.) I'd also like to finish a treat I started, but we'll see.
vaznetti: Arya and Nymeria, from A Game of Thrones (when the wolf comes home)
a. I stopped reading The Power for a little, and started to read Neil Stephenson's SevenEves, which proceeded to keep me up at night because it was so completely depressing and horrible, but in the compelling Neil Stephenson way. I read it very quickly because I just skimmed through all the stuff about physics and spaceflight, and have finally reached part 3; A suggested that I would really like the last 200 pages or so of the book, so I am somewhat hopeful. I am also perpetually interested in Stephenson's ongoing attempt to write female characters who are more than their cup sizes (see earlier comments on Cryptonomicon, Anathem, and Reamde; I bounced off the Baroque cycle). I guess I find it interesting because on the one hand I admire Stephenson for trying, and think he should be given credit for doing so. He doesn't have to: there's a perfectly good market for books in which the female characters are basically walking brassieres. But also because I think his failures are interesting. As A put it here, he is trying really hard here to prove that he can write lots of different female characters, and mostly succeeds until he suddenly reduces them all to archetypes. And I find the limits of what he thinks possible interesting, too -- as with pure theory in Anathem, for example -- because here is a guy who is actually very imaginative, but htere are still really clear limits on what he is capable of imagining. And there are things here about women and power that I don't like, but again, I find it interesting that Stephenson can't escape from certain ideas about women and femininity.

It will be good to get back to The Power after this, because of the ways that book does understand gender as a social construction, and power as ungendered.

b. I am 2000 words into my crossovering story and... the main characters have met, at least? I can see that this will be a story where I have to get that very rough first draft written before I can go back and add in the emotional stuff that will make the whole thing work. I hope!

c. I have thoughts about the last season of Game of Thrones, mostly to do with pacing and plot logic. Here is one thing about the Winterfell plotline: under the cut )

4. On a completely different note, my Florida cousins, whose usual hurricane preparedness involves vodka and junk food, are clearly a little worried about this one. So I am too, on their behalf.
vaznetti: (Default)
I am currently reading The Power, by Naomi Alderman, which is falls into the "science fiction (or other genre) elements but shortlisted for literary prizes" category, but which I am also still 85% convinced began life as the author's post-Chosen Buffy fanfiction. Not that that's a bad thing in itself! The conceit is that all over the world, women start developing the power to electrocute people with a touch -- starting with teenage girls but eventually spreading to women of all ages. Over time (but not much time: a few years) this results in changes in society; the book starts very well but I'm now about halfway through and it's starting to become a little heavy handed about power and violence and sexualisation, and all a little too quickly for my taste. Suddenly, women have physical power and men are sex objects! I mean, I spend enough time on tumblr to know that men are sexy, but this still felt a little rushed to me. Actually, it is possible that having spent a lot of time reading pornography generated by women is what makes the particular nature of the sexualisation feel off to me.

The is not unenjoyable, although the larger framing device which makes this a story within a story actually drives me crazy, and I am starting to wonder about the worldbuilding BECAUSE HISTORY DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY GOD DAMN IT!!!! Sorry. Sometimes I get a little crazy about this sort of thing; I had to stop rading the Temeraire books because I started to wonder about the development of sedentarty societies in the post-Holocene transition and it was starting to keep me up at night.

What is particularly good here, I think, and isnt always in books of this kind, is the character building -- I am interested in pretty much all the major characters (although some of the minor ones are really one-note caricatures), especially Allie, and especially the distinction between "Allie" and "Mother Eve." (I am holding judgement on the religious elements of the storyline until I get to the end of it.)

Has anyone else read this? I'm still not quite sure what I think of it.
vaznetti: (crossovers! yay!)
I can't believe I managed to sign up for this! But here we go!

Dear Crossovering Author,

Thank you! I love crossovers! I put a few ideas in my sign-up, but here is some further information about what I like and don't like.

In certain ways, I am pretty relaxed about pairings -- het, m/m, f/f or gen is all fine with me, and I have no strong OTPs or NOTPs for these canons, with one exception noted below. The thing I like most about crossovers is seeing characters from different canons interact with each other (which is why I have requested crossovers rather than fusions), but they can do that in a shippy way or not. I will happily read a first time fic for any of these prompts, but if you want an established relationship instead, I will be just as happy with that. One thing I don't really like, however, are status differences in ships (teacher/student) or D/s -- I prefer the two characters to have a fairly equal relationship.

I am also pretty relaxed about the mechanics of the crossover. If you want to assume that two canons occur in the same universe, that's fine with me (this might technically count as a subset of fusions, I guess, but I'm never completely clear on that). If you want to transport one character to another universe through the power of handwavium, that is also fine with me.

On to the details! This is an expanded version of the information in my sign-up form.

Rivers of London/MCU )

Alias/Revenge )

A Song of Ice and Fire/MCU )

Rivers of London/Indiana Jones )

12 Monkeys/Doctor Who/Primeval )

Thank you so much for writing something for me! I hope some prompt here gets you thinking and writing, and I'm sure I'll like whatever you come up with.
vaznetti: (god will dance for john)
1. I am pleased about the new Doctor -- as much as I am ever pleased by cast changes on Doctor Who. Normally I spend about half a season not sure about the new Doctor or Companion and then decide that I love them. I will certainly miss Moffat and his addiction to ridiculous time travel shenanigans and Time Lordish female characters, but I expect that Chibnall will be fine, and will bring something new and interesting to the show.

2. I am, as usual at this point in the challenge, eying the [community profile] crossovering tag set and wondering about signing up for it. I haven't yet, but who knows, maybe this will be the year for it! There are certainly many interesting possibilities there. The problem with crossovers is that there are stories I want, but I want them in a very specific way.

3. GAME OF THRONES IS BACK!!! and I am feeling all the love )

4. I am still rereading old XF fic. Thank goodness, there is a lot of it, and a lot of it is still worth reading. I do miss Krycek, that cranky, violent, uncooperative asshole (to quote a friend). He was fun to write. (On which note, self, do not write your Thomas Nightingale/Alex Krycek crossover idea. It is not a good idea. No one will read it.)

5. A crossover people would read: Tony Stark and the Westeros Starks. In New York? In Westeros? There is a lot of good crossover potential in the MCU/ASOIAF thing.
vaznetti: (crossovers! yay!)
[personal profile] deslea asked for a commentary on this. I wrote it back in 2005, for a femslash exchange -- the details are lost to me, but I am pretty sure the request was for Dawn Summers/Hermione Granger, since that's what I wrote, and that it was a pinch hit. The key point about the date is that it was before the HP series ended, so I was left to imagine how it would play out, and for the purposes of this story I imagined a pretty high death toll in the final conflict. I'm pretty sure Ron Weasley died in this universe, although I think Harry is out there somewhere.

Memorial Inscriptions
Harry Potter/Buffy, Hermione Granger/Dawn Summers, 1141 words, no warnings
Numerology, demonology, ice cream and bad drama.

on to the commentary )
vaznetti: (only one)
I fell down an X-Files fanfic nostalgia wormhole recently and spent a while rereading some of Bardsmaid's old stuff. It's still good, and it made me miss her. Then I had a dream that Krycek was going to be back in the new series of the show (is there going to be another new series of the show?) and I was so upset because now I was going to have to watch it. That was just a dream, right? Please tell me it was just a dream.

I have given up on the new Twin Peaks, anyway, because it's just too David Lynch for me. I was definitely starting to interrogate that text from the wrong perspective. But we're up to episode 3 of American Gods, which I am cautiously enjoying. I really didn't like the book at all -- I thought it was a lot of fancy bullshit, and you could see the twist coming a mile off -- so I don't feel like I have a lot riding on the adaptation. I am 100% here for Ian McShane chewing the scenery and generally playing an asshole, though, and I feel like the show is going to keep satisfying me in that regard, at least.

Now that I have most of my fanfic archived at AO3, would anyone be interested in a fanfic commentary from me? My stories are here, and earlier commentaries can be found here.
vaznetti: (end of the world)
...not that I actually expect anyone to read this, but I want it here for my own reference if nothing else.

Also, do I need an icon? Do people even make icons these days?

spoilers up to the very bitter end )
vaznetti: (end of the world)
...you know how sometimes, something goes straight to your id? It turns out that the dynamic best described as, "It's like Mulder/Krycek, but they're middle-aged women" is that for me.
vaznetti: (end of the world)
Uploading old fic (slowly, very very slowly) makes me miss the sense of having a fandom -- but I don't feel like I'm watching anything with quite enough attention to manage. Maybe, eventually, 12 Monkeys? Is anyone else watching this? It is both a post-apocalyptic story and a time-travel story, so it hits pretty much all my boxes. And I love so many of the characters, especially Jennifer (both old and young Jennifer) and Jones. And Deacon, but then again, the show keeps reminding me what a terrible human being he is.

We are up to episode 7 of this season, and now I want to rewatch S1 and S2 as well.

Other things that I am watching: Doctor Who, the 100. One has time travel, one is a postapocalypse. The truth is that mostly we watch The 100 to mock it, because things just keep going more and more wrong, to a completely ridiculous extent. Nonetheless, I shall be sad when most of the characters die stupid and pointless deaths, as seems probable a this point in the series. This is the problem with apocalyptic scenarios, isn't it? I took a year or two off from The Walking Dead because I couldn't handle the constant resets to point zero -- although now I'm back with the show as long as Carol is OK. But at least with 12 Monkeys there's an in-universe explanation for why thinks keep getting worse and worse -- they're working against a well-established conspiracy of time travelers who are actively using them to destroy time itself. Speaking of well-established communities of time travelers: I have really enjoyed Who this season, especially the standalone episodes, but cannot make myself fannish about it. I think I like the show to much to be a real fan.
vaznetti: (cooking)
Spartacus had chicken pox last week, and has his half-term break this week, so I have been enjoying an unexpected couple of weeks on a very light work schedule. Luckily these are the two lightest weeks of a light term for me! Last week was also unusually warm so I spent a lot of time in the garden digging up weeds and planting seeds and generally clearing some things up. Now it no longer looks quite so much like a disaster zone, although the lawn could already use more cutting (which will have to wait until the weather clears a bit, and until the garden waste bin is emptied so that I have somewhere to put the grass cuttings.)

Now the weather has turned cooler and wetter, and so I am finally uploading some very, very old X-Files fic to AO3; some of it is so old I have no idea when I first posted it. 2001? 2002? some time between 2002 and 2005? Why didn't I put dates on things when I uploaded them to my old personal webpage? And then there are the other questions, like: how did I expect this story to end? What was I even thinking? Why did I write a story about Alex Krycek and a piece of marble? Surely I haven't written the only Monica Reyes/Marita Covarrubias story on AO3? (I mean, I'm sure the answer to that last one is "not", but I typed in the pairing differently somehow.) Anyway, I feel a bit bad about flooding the fandom tag with old fic, but rationally I know that there aren't that many to post.

Tomorrow's project: cheesecake, because Shavuot is the holiday where some people pull an all-nighter and everybody gets cheesecake.
vaznetti: (Default)
In a development that will surprise exactly no one who knew me in real life as a child, we have doing The Lord of the Rings with Spartacus -- half reading them to him at bedtime, half watching the movies. We finished (watching) The Return of the King today, and I think will have to find something new to read, because he has not been totally charmed by the books, especially -- they are long on descriptions of scenery, and short on epic battle sequences. Also, it takes everybody a very long time to get anywhere; I feel like I now know where GRRM got his "wandering at length through the countryside without anything much happening" bug. As a love letter first to the English countryside and then to the landscape of Tolkien's imagination they are perfect -- but I think that I will not be totally sad to move on to something else, and maybe S will come back to them at some later date. (I read them at his age, but I had a high tolerance for reading things I don't understand.)

Reading long chinks of them aloud was also interesting -- Tolkien is not the greatest prose stylist, especially at the start. Towards the end the epic rhythms take over, but when he wants to write poetry he writes actual poetry, and his prose is just prose. Of the authors I've read aloud the one which really struck me was Sutcliffe, when we read The Eagle of the Ninth -- she also goes in for long descriptions of the scenery, but my mouth doesn't stumble over her words the way it did over the Lord of the Rings at points. Richard Adams, also, in Watership Down, was a smooth read. I was surprised, really, that Tolkien proved so difficult. Even so, I have a strong preference for the books over the movies.

The problem now is what to read next. S has chicken pox so we are stuck at home together for the next few days and will have to rely on something we have at home. (Other things we have read to Spartacus: Rowling, Shakespeare, and Plutarch -- don't judge us! -- but I would like something which is not hundreds and hundreds of pages.)
vaznetti: (Default)
...and it isn't going to kill me.

It is great to see so much posting on DW these days. I haven't deleted or locked my LJ, but I also still haven't logged in to the new TOS, so I can't crosspost at the moment. But anyway, deleting what's there does seem counter-productive, although it was all imported here not too long ago. I spent a while looking at old fanfic and realized that I have vast quantities of stuff that never made it on to AO3, and I should probably get onto that. Much of it is still on my old personal website, which I can't even remember how to update. Ah for the days when we could all crochet our own websites!

I feel out of touch, although I read things here all the time. It is hard to talk about myself, or about what I think about things. Sometimes I feel like there's something actually weighing down my tongue to keep me from speaking, and there is something similar going on with writing as well. What do I have to talk about? I don't really know.

Here is a sample of what I have to say for myself these days, so you can all see what you've been missing. Spartacus passed into the second swimming level yesterday, a year after starting. This happened only because I needed to change his class -- it turned out that they were keeping his group together to move up as a whole class, and he was perfectly capable of moving up before this. Why am I grumpy? Because the class has two older children (S and a girl about his age) and the rest are about 3 years younger than them. So he could easily have been moved up months ago if they'd bothered to push him along a bit, instead of holding him back, and it's actually been bothering him that he's taken so long to move up a level. Physical things don't come easily to him in the first place, and it really upsets me that this was made to seem even more difficult for him than it was.

(Also, these classes cost money! I feel vaguely scammed. And my thoughts on how long he will need to stick with swimming classes have definitely changed because of this.)

Perhaps it will not be months before I update again, who knows?
vaznetti: (cooking)
I woke up early this morning, having had a nightmare that Brexit had won, and decided to get up to see the news, since when I went to bed last night it looked like Remain would win. So much for that: it looks like the nightmare is real. (I am devastated and worried; I've also made an appointment to apply for UK citizenship, since I doubt that this vote will make life any easier for non-EU immigrants either.)

I didn't want to go in to work today, so I have stayed hom to make challah; I started to do this earlier this spring when my usual supplier didn't have them, and find it kind of restful to take out my frustrations on some innocent bread dough. I've been using this recipe, which I find very reliable -- and the blog is full of great recipes. But I've made a few tweaks, so I'm writing the recipe out below:

recipe for future reference )

And writing this out I have realized that I left the salt out. Grr. I will have to try to knead it in during the punching-down stage, but that doesn't work very well.

* * *

I don't know. The future is not looking very bright right now.
vaznetti: (god will dance for john)
what the FUCK was that? )

I have a feeling that I need to request this at Yuletide, not in the sense that I need a fix-it AU, but I need to make sense of what actually happened, and perhaps deal with all the hanging threads (like Cat Hartdegan, or how no one ever found out that Victor was reanimating dead people, or how Lily and Ethan never met again)
vaznetti: (cooking)
Due to a disruption in my usual suppliers, and having Fridays free, I have been baking challah. Last week was nutella challah. The recipe (or rather, my execution of it -- it needed more nutella) needs work, but I would definitely make that again!

On the "things consumed" front, I have seen the two Hollow Crown: Henry VI episodes. After the first one I said to A that as far as I could tell the Wars of the Roses were caused a massive game of pass-the-parcel with the idiot ball. As of the second, they seem to have moved on the the crazy throat-slitting ball. Everyone gets a turn! Next week: more Cumberbatch as Richard III, presumably with more crazy throat-slitting fun. Although actually the high point so far has been Ben Miles as Somerset.

With almost as high a mortality count The 100 continues to be entertaining. )

On the subject of other things which are The Aeneid, I am re-reading Watership Down in preparation to reading it to Spartacus at bedtime; I hadn't realized how many narrative beats it also shares with The Kin.

Tonight is the next episode of Game of Thrones, and tomorrow the next episode of Penny Dreadful. I admire the fact that Vanessa's taste in men is so consistent!

Oh, and back to producing -- I crocheted a string bag! It is very stretchy, so stretchy that you could use it as a beach bag more easily than a market bag.
vaznetti: Arya and Nymeria, from A Game of Thrones (when the wolf comes home)
I suspect that, as with The 100, no one likely to see this is actually still watching the show. But now that I no longer have a book canon to compare GoT to, I am really interested again. It can go be its own thing. Still too much (talk about) rape and not enough Frey-related cannibalism, but otherwise it was enjoyable.

Spoilers obviously under here, for books and new episode )

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