Saturday, June 29, 2002

Double Trouble

Confused? Check out the Blog Wars.

Seema was confused. Which was not a strange occurance because confusion is a perpetual state of being for Seema, but this was an interesting situation. At one point, there was an island. There was also a black minivan- which apparently was now multicolored, thanks to the misuse of a wand (which apparently had been misplaced by one of the cloak-wearing boot-shining Swiss), and then the various fandom muses - who the heck had time to keep up with them?

Seema tried to count all of the people who had come and gone. Various members of Trek fandoms, Buffy had come and gone - run off with Seven, if Seema recalled correctly, and at some point, that horrible duo of Richard and Em from "The Blue Lagoon" had been here, not to mention pontificator extraodinaire CJ Craig.

So now, they were all in the multi-colored minivan, which was curiously expanding to fit everyone. Liz, representing the Swiss Department of War was in the back, with her entourage; scary lot they were, decked out in black and saying strange things under their breaths. Christine was teaching Em the words to "Everyone Wants to Rule the World" while Jemima was offering Richard a well-needed logic lesson. Most of the poolboys were resting; they had worked hard during the previous blog wars and needed a little time off. This latest skirmish didn't seem to be quite as intense as its predecessors, which gave Seema the time to relax in the front seat of the minivan with Lori.

Lori was driving and this time, instead of careening through space, they were driving across a large body of water. The waves provided a little bit of turbulence, but in general, the minivan had a nice, smooth ride.

"So where do we go from here?" Seema asked Lori. Lori shrugged.

"I don't know," she said. "But look over there."

Standing on a little island were two blond teenage girls surrounded by an gaggle of little blue...

"Smurfs?" Seema asked incredulously.

"I say we vote them off the island!" Jemima exclaimed in excitement. Lori pulled over to the beach and opened the door so the blond girls and the smurfs could get on.

"No more," Seema said. She twisted around in her chair. "We've got members from five Trek casts, Mulder and Scully are back there *somewhere*, I don't know what's up with the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but at some point that was involved and I don't even want to go near that Harry Potter stuff."

"Hey!" Liz cried out in an injured tone of voice. "Give us some respect, will you?"

The smurfs at this point were clamoring for attention.

"Where are you going?" One smurf demanded. "This is a smurfy van and I can't smurf, but I want to smurf wherever you smurf."

"I'm Writer Smurf," the smurf with a pad of paper announced. He puffed out his chest. "I could tell you a thing or two if you'd like-"

"Oh shut up," Christine said crankily. She looked at the two blond girls. "And you are?"

"I'm Elizabeth Wakefield-"

"And I'm Jessica Wakefield-"

"And we're the Sweet Valley High twins!" the girls finished in unison.

"I think I'm going to be sick," Seema groaned. She had a vague memory of fluffyfic staring these two perfect 'California' blonds with size 6 figures. "What are you doing here?"

"Well," the one called Jessica said, "we heard a rumor that this was high school and of course we *had* to be here because we're everywhere worth being, you know."

"We're really cool," Elizabeth added. "And everyone knows it. It's like, we know *everything* about *everyone* and *everyone* like *everything* we do. It's really cool. So we thought we could come here because we like everyone liking us. Plus we like to get really, really involved and we're always doing like the latest and coolest things."

"This is *not* high school," Lori said. "It's *like* high school. There's a difference. No proms here, no cheerleaders, no nothing."

"But we were told..." Jessica looked distressed. At that moment, a fight broke out between Seven and T'Pol (which, btw, solved the question of where Seven had gotten herself off to). At some point, their voices grew so high pitched, it was almost impossible to comprehend what they were saying, but Seema gathered that it had something to do with one of them borrowing the other's catsuit and at some point, Chakotay's name kept coming up. Which was odd, as at this point, he was practically full in-grown and the poolboys were considering repotting him.

"What's their problem?" Elizabeth Wakefield asked. She looked close to tears. "Why can't everyone get along? I just want everyone to like everyone else."

At that moment, T'Pol punched Seven in the nose. The poolboys were collecting bets and Seema signalled to Robbie to get her another margarita.

"I mean, can't we all just agree to disagree?" Jessica asked just as Seven placed a well-aimed right hook in T'Pol's stomach.

"Move along, nothing to see," Jemima said in an attempt to break up the crowd standing around the catfighting women. The twins glared at Jemima. Richard was staring at them, his mouth wide open. Obviously, he was madly, deeply, truly in love. with one or both of these girls. Jemima hit Richard and he fell back against the seat, completely zonked out, his mouth forming the word 'why...'

Meanwhile, the Wakefield twins found themselves seats next to Mulder and Scully. In the meantime, the Mod Squad assembled for a hasty conversation. The poolboys could handle T'Pol and Seven, but really, they had a royal mess on their hands. Seema glared at Jemima.

"This was Jemima's fault," Seema said.

"Actually, I believe the blog wars were your fault," Jemima answered placidly.

"At any rate, we've got a problem," Lori said. She jabbed a finger back towards the Wakefield twins. "We're running out of room in this minivan and- oh oh."

"What?" The entire Mod Squad looked out the window.

"Uh, that's not good," Seema said slowly. She looked at the others and it was evident from their expressions that they agreed with her. "So now what?"

Friday, June 28, 2002

And while I'm here...

Can I just say that I don't care for the term 'feedback whore'? I have no idea where it came from or how it was coined... that's the thing with fandom. Things just happen and all of a sudden, there's this whole other language you've got to speak from the vague pronouns (ze? hir?) to phrases like 'fanon' or 'Jossed' or 'BNF' or whatever. Not all of this verbage is very pleasant or flattering to fandom. It makes me wonder if we respect what we do or what others do or are we just looking for the very next 'cool' way of expressing ourselves and when one cool phrase comes around, we all jump on the bandwagon to use it? "Quirk a grin anyone"? And out of respect to Jemima, I won't mention the verbization of "gentle."

I admit to being guilty of doing these things as well. I just never thought about until today why we choose the words we do, why we coin the phrases we do, and why oh why do we keep using some of these things when they are obviously not the most elegant way of describing or characterizing fandom? It seems a community of writers could create a language that is both fluid and creative, but at the same time respectful of what we do.

Fandom writing - and I'm talking about blogs and journals, not fanfic - is very different. Maybe it's because fandom writing is free from the constraints of editing and it's more personal, more raw. So the first words to spring to mind are the ones that hit the screen. But still, it doesn't always make sense and sometimes, what's said is downright confusing. I'm not advocating editing blogs, no - I'd be the first one who'd have to line up to do that - it's just curious to me how differently we express ourselves online, in the comfort and anonymity of whatever persona we've adopted, versus how we would in RL. And perhaps that's the beauty of blogging - we say what we want and how we want to without worrying about consequences.

But at the same time, you can see the line between fanfic cliques, one that is clearly defined by language. You have 'clean' blogs that you could read in front of your mother and then you have other blogs which practically need an NC-17 rating on a paragraph 3 lines long and they all link together - ie the 'clean' bloggers seem to hang together and the more risque ones are linked up. Which lends credence to theory that yes, language is absorbed from fandom and each fandom has its own, distinctive way of putting and saying things.

I honestly think there ought to be some kind of dictionary for fandom out there - some blogs are utterly incomprehensible to me and the stylistic writing tricks occasionally trick me up, along with the gushing words of praise - I'm not always sure what the reviews mean except that someone really, really, really liked the fic ("Love, love, love this fic and I will follow the author to the ends of the earth just to convince them to write one more word. I will bake them brownies because they so rock - it's like better than Cats, I laughed and cried so much."). When you read some recs these days, you get the feeling that the person doing the rec'ing has just whipped out every adjective in the dictionary to tell you how much they loved the fic and along the way, they invent new adjectives to convey exactly what they mean. Which makes me think that there is a whole hip and cool lexicon out there that just doesn't show up in Trek and you can have a varied fandom culture across the board (though I constantly see the same names in some fandoms - you can almost trace the migratory path of some writers).

But back to the issue of language.

I'm still confused why any author would profess herself to be another author's 'slave' or why someone would confess that they would be willing to lick so and so's feet. Yes, there has to be a limit in the vocabulary of devotion, methinks, because frankly, it gets scary and occasionally makes me glad that there are pixels between me and the rest of the world out there. Or maybe it's just envy because no one has ever offered to be my slave, lick my feet or start a fan club in my name (and if you do, please don't tell me about it).

But I'm also one of those uptight people when it comes to language because I really believe the words used say a lot about a person and what the person is like. For instance, I can't not terribly fond of that one word that starts with an 'f' and can be used interchangeably as a noun/verb/adjective, depending on the whim of the author; other people are almost obsessive about using the word and voila, it's every other sentence and as my beta would say when I fall into the redundancy trap, "Please buy yourself another word. Thank you." To me, that makes sense - we're writers and theoretically, we shouldn't have to depend so much on one word, yet we do. Or that could just be my hang-up. Others don't have such issues with language - I accept that I could be in the minority here and I'm willing to listen and be convinced of the literary value of such language.

Don't mind me. Slightly bitter, slightly cranky, very unemployed.
Fic Recs

Lost and Found in Wyoming by Dasha K. A lovely surprise from the author of one of the very best X-Files fics out there ( Blinded by White Light). Post-"The Truth" and answers my questions about "William." Touching, sweet, sad, but not melodramatic and never too much. I'd much prefer "all together now happily ever after" but I think Dasha K gave us the logical and sensible ending. In other words, this is as good as it gets.

Yet Another Statistic

Well, the city has one more unemployed person to add to the masses of unemployed people here. Yes, that would be me. I spent my last couple hours at work today working on password encryption, which was fine, but more intense than I'd planned to spend the day. It feels strange... I think I'll go for a walk now.

Thursday, June 27, 2002

My latest blog war post disappeared thanks to the errant keyboard. Tomorrow. In the meantime, we've had three (three!) new entries. Check them out.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Huggles for Lori for cheering me up in her blog. Much appreciated. I'm okay now, folks. Really, I am. I actually made a joke earlier today and I don't feel so weepy-eyed anymore. I have the paperwork in hand, had the talk with HR, and life is good. I've been asked to return when I can a) be fulltime and b) be in the same city as the job. They're being unbelievable nice to be about leaving as well - two of the managers have been just as sad as I've been. It's been a great four years. Now, if I can just get through telling everyone else that I'm leaving without crying - well, I did tell the people whom I've worked with the longest as I didn't want to withhold any information. I did cry at the party they threw for me last August when I left for school and that was knowing that I was still part-time gainfully employed. Now, it's really, well, sort of good-bye. My boss refuses to consider this a goodbye - he says "Call me when you graduate. We'll find a place for you." There is definitely something to be said for this.

Now that I have time on my hands... bombs away - the blog war is up and away and it's all Jemima's fault. Humph.
Because Lameducks Can Only Do So Much

I'm hopping on the google craze too, now that I figured out how it works:

"Seema is Star - Stuff, In a crowd." Why, thank you.

"Seema is one of the most creative individuals I've ever worked with. She has the experience and know-how to get the job done. Her enthusiasm is exciting. ... " Thank you again.

A diploma holder in Pharmacy and a postgraduate in Hindi, Seema is interested in poetry, theater and participates in disability advocacy issues. Um, two out of five isn't bad.

She comes from a musically inclined family who have encouraged her throughout. Seema is fun-loving who likes listening to Kishore Kumar and Led Zeppelin. Except for the Led Zeppelin part...

Seema is a thoughtful and dedicated worker. She has a flair for creativity, and brings enthusiasm and a great sense of humour to every endeavor. Gee whiz, I'm going to get a swelled head.

Seema is a self-described "passionate, considerate and extravagant" woman. She's got a petite build, long black hair and green eyes. No green eyes here and certainly not extravagant.

Seema is a senior at Indiana University Bloomington. Seema is majoring in Informatics. Um, no

Well its this mind-set and effort, which comes to her so naturally that sets things right for her. Seema is a firm believer in God. Yes.

Seema is a graduate of Indiana University's School of Business where she received a bachelor of science degree with a major in accounting and a minor in finance ... Accounting should be a dead giveaway that this isn't true.

The protagonist, Seema, is the daughter of a rich industrialist, Naidu, who thinks of women as objects of sex and useful only to produce children. Gee. Just my type.

It's very strange to be sitting here finishing up projects, asking people what they want or need from my files. And they don't know that I'm leaving. Very strange, very unnerving. I am determined, however, to leave everything in the best possible condition as I still consider Friday my last day - the boss has disagreements with that and wants to talk about it more tomorrow. In a way, I'm very relieved that there is finally a resolution - this has been hard the last few months and I've been wanting to leave. I thought I was mentally prepared, but I wasn't, not at all - but it was more the way things were done than anything else. But I am leaving on good terms - performance has never been the issue, only distance. They've offered to help me find another job with the company that's actually housed out there so I no longer have to telecommute and I am grateful for that. And I do need motivation for another job - so maybe this is what I need to get started, to just start being aggressive about job opportunities next May now. We'll see what happens. To say I'm bummed would be a minor understatement, but hey, things could and have been worse. There's an opportunity in here - I just have to be able to find and see it.

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

A Message from the Principal of Sweet Valley High

The Official Guide to the Blog Wars


We'd like to bring to your attention that the temporary cease-fire in the blog war has come to an end, thanks to a defiant cry of "Get over it!" echoing from the masses somewhere out there. There's also a bit of concern that some of the parties involved are taking things too seriously and others not seriously enough. There has also been a vague rumour that fandom may or may not resemble high school, and the Peace Keeping Force is looking into this allegation. It is not known yet what effect these recent events will have on the reconstruction of the Death Star nor on the exorbitant costs Amidala has incurred for her elaborate gowns and headdresses; however, all 'doomed to fail' marriages will proceed as planned, according to the wishes of Jemima. In addition, the status of Richard and Em is yet to be determined, though a lawyer has been arguing that the conclusion of the Great Film Classic The Blue Lagoon is inflammatory and should be moved to another venue, preferably the Antarctic, where clothes and good hair are necessary. The official dress code has yet to be voted on by Official Delegation, but the Swiss insist on black capes and shiny boots; they have wizards on their side, we think their motion will pass. We are not quite sure what to do about various members stranded on the Blue Lagoon but given that they are on the Planet of Baywatchers, it is theorized that rescue may come sooner rather than later. One can always hope.
Jacqui, because this is what true courage and strength is. Unbelievable pain, but the spirit - unforgettable.

Monday, June 24, 2002

New article up at zendom: "Help! I'm in Love With a Fictional Character or Why We Write the Characters We Do" by Rocky. Lots of fun - explains much, methinks. WiP Recs, as compiled by the Inimitable Miss Barr are scheduled for our next article on July 8. Enjoy the new addition.

ps. I'm not ignoring anyone. Really. Yahoo is making a mockery of my email. It's making me nuts. I still haven't received email I sent last week. If this keeps up, I may ask some of you to switch to one of my alternative email addresses.
I haven't seen the X-Files finale yet - I'm still somewhere in February-run Enterprise actually - but this is all I need to know.
Talked to the boss. They need me. I have work. They changed my project completely around while I was gone. Which means I now have to catch up. And dang it, they didn't tell me this before I bought the tickets to California? I'll be making up the time now. Which means working Saturdays again, not to mention going to work the rest of the week. The boss was nice enough not to make me come in - I did offer, but he said no, start tomorrow. Which gives me exactly five week days to get my act together and get caught up, not to mention I' may have to come in on a Saturday to make up the time. I do like working Saturdays though. It's quiet and I got a lot done when I worked that Saturday before leaving for France. Hopefully, I can do some of this from home. But looks like the 33-cent mac and cheese fate has been averted for the time being.

Sunday, June 23, 2002

Monday Blues

Well, it'll be Monday in two hours. I'm still doing the Great Job Debate. I sooo don't want to go in. I can't even explain it. I'm afraid everyone cool will be gone by now, that the place is a sinking ship with people apathetic and demoralized by a bad job market and a restructuring effort that wasn't supposed to be the secretive, scary thing that it turned out to be. And even though I've mentally prepared myself for months, I'm still not ready to hear my boss tell me that he has no work for me. And if that's the case, Wal-Mart sells macaroni and cheese for 33 cents a box.

Friday, June 21, 2002

Amuse me please

Fic recs, if you've got them. The boss hasn't called me back - which is omnious thing in itself, which is why I'm still piddling here and not over there - and I've got one week to burn before heading to California. Then, it's back to the grind. I'm taking a marketing class (my concentration) and a statistics in research course (see if anyone tries to question my credentials after that! Humph!). Anyway, so I want to read something. Angsty, preferable. Character torture would be nice. P/T preferable and maybe pigs will start flying, but I'd love to see some W/D. Trek is preferable, but any MSR in X-Files would be lovely, WW or Sports Night (Casey/Dana) would be absolutely tops. Happy ending is a must - no dead bodies, thank you very much, I like my heroes alive and well at the end. But you can certainly hurt them along the way.

What I have read and recommend (as promised):

  • Accidental Suicide by ChristineCGB. Shelby and Janeway. You're never quite sure who's in control in this story with two strong women, but that's part of the beauty of this story. One of those stories you've got to read a couple times before you really understand what's going on. Part of the FFF and one the best I've read so far.
  • Impress by Kelly. Winn, Dukat, Janeway. Enough to make one's toes curl, but not when Kelly writes. This is not quite what you think and the Dukat/Winn relationship comes across just as creepily as it does on the small screen. Another excellent addition in the FFF.
  • Lily White Boys by LR Bowen. Locarno and Paris. Paris and Locarno. Some things need to be explained. Or don't. This was a lot of fun. Mirror image slash. What's not to love?
  • The Snow Queen by LR Bowen. J/C/P - yes, it's cold, cold out there and our brave heroes make the best of the situation and things warm up pretty quickly. Slash and het both.

Thursday, June 20, 2002

It occurs to me that I've been doing a lot with style lately. I wrote 100 Days all in first person, present tense, limited POV (Tom's) because the story needed it plus someone told me it could be done and by now, y'all know that "you can't do that!" pretty much amount to fighting words for me.

Lines in the Sand, that was a direct inspiration from "Iolokus - I admit that I shamelessly stole the idea of alternating first person POVs from MustangSally and RivkaT. It worked so well for them, I wanted to give it a shot. I also structured this story very differently than anything else I'd written - the POVs were written in past and future. For instance, Janeway was in the here and now when she was the narrator, but Chakotay was taking a trip down memory lane. So every other scene was in the past. I do have to say, writing this story really messed with my head because I wasn't always sure where I was. It wasn't the easy flow that "100 Days" was, but I had to constantly check myself and ask, "Okay, what timeline are you in now?" I went days writing one POV and leaving the blanks in between where the other POV would go. It was almost like writing two different stories simultaneously and then hoping and praying that it would all hang together in the end.

Not That Kind was my first attempt (and so far only, until this Quark experiment showed up) at second person and that just demanded to be in second person POV because of the 'lecturing' style of the story. I did want Chakotay to feel horrible and well, the only way I could do that was in second person POV. But I also wanted a disinterested narrator, someone who could evaluate the situation coolly and not make any value judgements. So in that case, I think the narration worked pretty well.

Intimate Expression was my 'authorized' venture into what Liz and I call "pronoun hell." In this case, I wrote an entire story without using names - only pronouns. Since there were only two characters, that works perfectly, especially since there is one male and one female. But still, it's difficult to write and I was so tempted to use names because it can get confusing (as I did when I wrote one f/f slash piece - I didn't know who was doing or saying what).

New Orleans wasn't so much stylistic as much as it was moody. It was about mood, about the city of New Orleans being a character in the story as much as Sisko was. It was also my first attempt at an OC in the Trekiverse. To me, this story is the predecessor of two other equally moody DS9 stories, In His Own Words and All Things as well as Surfacing.

There are other stories that I think can be considered stylistic experiments, but these, imho, are the major milestones. They are the ones where I feel like I broke away from the constraints imposed on writing and the ones I remember as fond writing experiments because I felt like I was learning as I went and the characters revealed themselves to me slowly. I didn't necessarily know where I was going or what I was doing, but that was okay - these stories seemed to have pulled out their endings from the style imposed upon them.

I do admit that writing the same characters and the same style does bore me to an extent - I need something different to keep fanfic fresh and interesting. At the same time, I need to know that I'm changing as a writer, that I'm not the same writer I was back when I started in '97. I'm not sure, however, if my stylistic interpretations get in the way of the story or whether I'm completely distracting the reader. I'm sure there's a good, hardfast reason why you shouldn't write first person present tense, but I haven't seen a good one.

Style is so hard to do well and certain authors pull it off with panache. Kelly comes immediately to mind as one who succeeds as does Michele Masterson. Yvonne is another one who took on the difficult task of journal-style storytelling and actually made it work. Jenn wrote some of the most heart-stopping stylistic VOY fanfic out there. So when I grow up, I'd like to be any one of these talented ladies. But in the meantime, I'll just keep practicing.
Two questions

D'Alaire asked a great question and in attempt to reduce fic taxes, I'm pasting my response below for your reading (dis)pleasure. She asked:

What is the most difficult part about writing a story?

What is the easiest part about writing a story?

My response:

Hmmm, as a writer, the most difficult part of the story for me is getting the character to change and make it believable. And through the whole process, I don't want to whack the reader 'side the head with where I'm trying to go - so that's what I find difficult. Being subtle and at the same time, making the motivations of the characters and their reactions to a situation believable.

I also have problems with what a friend refers to as the 'placement fairy' - ie where are the characters? What are they doing? How are they saying something? I'm not always paying attention to the descriptions and in the editing process, I have to go back and look at what the characters are doing more carefully since I usually get carried away with things other than placement.

The easiest part of a story... oh that's hard. Some stories just naturally flow and they're there. Those are easy - I don't have to think about those. I think dialogue is the easiest part of writing for me. Conversation just comes. I can hear the words as I type them sometimes and it's like this whole conversation is happening in front of me and I'm just the transcriber.

The other thing that comes to me easily are stylistic issues. When I work out a story, I know instinctively the style it's going to be written in, whether first person or second person, past tense or future tense, alternating POV or omniscient. Once the style is determined, it's so easy to write and I can't ever think of writing the story in a different way or style.


I'm channeling Quark weirdly enough. Or rather, I just wrote a Quark POV. A second-person Quark POV. Does anyone else share the horror? Here I was thinking something along the lines of Janeway and Picard, but nooooo, Quark insisted, absolutely insisted that this be his story, that he for once get a little bit of attention. I blame Sara and Liz Barr. First Sara because she wrote that lovely compelling character sketch from a distant POV and then Liz Barr, because she gave the cocktail challenge in the first place, which has had me thinking ever since she issued the darned thing. I'm sooo not above blaming others for my strange fic forays. Keeps things interesting and alive.
I'm Being Like Lori today and upgrading my comments. Or rather, I have to upgrade the code as per YACCS and thought I'd Be Like Jemima and play with stylesheets so that the comments now match the newly red blog.

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

You ought to be over there

Drowning in a Strawberry Daquiri by Sara. If you haven't read it yet, do. It's a lovely little TNG vignette and I absolutely love the way she's written the perspective here (I won't spoil it for you), but you should check it out.

On my mind

Still catching up on RL and figuring out what's going on with stuff, namely the job. The fact that I don't want to call my boss and tell him I'm back is the first big clue that I don't want to go back to the job. I'm probably going to extend my leave as long as I can. I know the economy is bad and it's hard to find a job - I take some comfort in the fact that in one year, I'll be an MBA and I'm more general than specific. Nearly four years of project management and training has gotten me to the point where I won't be happy to doing just one thing. I liked the variety of my projects, even if I was having to deal with people who seemed ill-suited for their positions (translation: how the heck did you end up here anyway?). But at the same time, a part of me is very motivated to just up and leave - friendly-like, of course - and that would get me going to find a new job for next summer.

I've been looking at the budget to see if I could survive without a job and the answer is definitely yes. It would be nice to keep the job just because of the health insurance issue, but if I could find a GA position and get the insurance through the university, that would be acceptable as well. It's just a tough time all around and being risk-averse, resignation is like taking a flying leap off a bridge without looking. I'm also afraid that if I don't cut the ties now, I'll be stuck at this company forever - that I'll fall back on this position and not look very hard for a new job. I'd hate to go back to what I was doing before I decided to go after the MBA. Isn't that the whole point of getting an MBA? To have more opportunities? To do something different? As a coworker once said, "I was looking for a job when I found this one..."

I've been fiddling with the fic a little bit and it's much less nebulous now, more along the lines of what I wanted. It's kind of like throwing words up against a computer screen and seeing what sticks. I'm much happier now with the way things are going, but we'll see what the beta has to say - she does have veto power and it's quite scary when she excercises it. I hope that won't be the case here ::looks hopefully in La Beta's direction::. It's still strange to write - I haven't got a style right now. My fic always goes in stylistic waves - I can practically chart the months/years by the style of writing or the subjects tackled. I get rather bored quickly with one style or one character - in a way I like to play with ideas or types of writing and see what happens. A little third person here, a little first person there, alternating POVs, you get the picture. Weird pairings are my thing right now - someone requested another Picard/Janeway recently, can't remember who, but that could be fun to tackle again. We'll see what the muse brings.

Tuesday, June 18, 2002


USA versus Mexico: 2-0

After weeks of listening to US bashing in France... whoop!!!! And for those of you wondering the same as my brother (the first question, btw, that he asked when I got off the plane), yes, it was a dark, dark day in France when its team was unceremoniously ejected. For once, Lille was unbelievably quiet. My brother, a big soccer fan, gives a play by play of games on his site.

So there... soccer is too a real sport and Americans are good at it.

Monday, June 17, 2002

I sat down to write today and it was so hard. In a way, I really wanted to write and I did complete a story based on one of the outlines I wrote out, but it was just so *strange*. Imagine going over 6 weeks without writing - I think the last story I wrote was "Touch" - but I've still been receiving FB over the last few weeks even though obviously there hasn't been anything new, so I've been feeling very motivated in general. So I've written something new. It's a little on the dreary side - you'd think after my long vacation I'd write happyfic, but no, it's dreary!fic. It's all about war and loss - generally unhappy topics, but lately, topics that have been on my mind for a variety of reasons.

Part of me is absolutely fascinated by the psychology of said topics, but the other part of me thinks that the readers are going to absolutely wilt in boredom once they see it. Fanfic is supposed to be escapist, but sometimes I feel the need to be, well, not escapist and by association, rather boring. But I did think that of "All Things" and I've always been really bad when it comes to testing the audience (and I call myself a marketer!). Stories that I think are too 'out there' for whatever reason, they always seem to be the ones that work. The ones that I think cater to the alien mentality, those rarely elicit any attention. I think it's because you're competing against the giant unwashed masses of fic out there - no way to differentiate one J/C fic from the next or P/T (VOY, not Lori's P/T because I would never, ever dream of infringing on sacred territory).

But it was so strange on how hard it was to write. It was kind of like, "how does this work again?" Very strange. The flow wasn't there and I had strange moments going on in the fic. It's kind of sad when you send it off for beta and have to attach a note that says: "I hope you've got the translomatic on because I'm not exactly sure I'm saying what I want to be saying." I probably should send my beta flowers and chocolates at this point for all of the translating I make her do. I really envy people who have such a coherence when they write, when they know exactly what's going on from point A to point B and they always seem to have the right words. Me, I'm the fumbler and I'm always amazed when the words fall into line. To me, it's practically a miracle.

In other news, I'm searching for airfares to Sacramento for the July 4th weekend. Doesn't like it's doable - it must the entire world is heading to California for the fourth, and dang it, I want to be there too and I want to be there on the $198 roundtrip fare because the job situation is so iffy right now and I simply cannot afford the $1099 ticket American quoted me. So now I'm searching all of the airports in the Bay Area like Oakland/San Fran/San Jose/Santa Rosa, not to mention trying Reno as well. Incidentally, it just occurred to me that I was supposed to be in California on the 4th last year and such a good fare I got for that ticket and I never used it. Ah well. C'est la vie.
Home Sweet Home

I'm home! Slowly catching up on email and fanfic, thanks to jetlag which got me up at 4:30 in the morning despite being awake for nearly 24 hours. There has been some really good fic posted recently and I'll link some of my favorites when I'm more coherent to handle HTML.

In the meantime, for those of you looking for a fic challenge, here it is. Use this generator and write a fic (any show, any pairing - your call) incorporating all of the elements. Can you do it?

Friday, June 14, 2002

And you are...?

The Which Zendom Mod Are You? This might be your best chance to actually be Like Liz, but moi, no matter how many times I try to be More Like Liz - I'm really just me. Coding by Jemima, graphics by Liz, and descriptions by Jemima & Liz. I think. Correct me if I'm wrong on this, ladies.

New article up at zendom: Fandomtwits and How Not To Be One by Meghan.

Well, it's Friday, the first sunny day we've had in Lille since getting here and yes, I'm in the computer lab. But only for a little bit. I pack tomorrow and get on the plane on Sunday. Cannot wait. For a variety reasons, some of which the Mod Squad is aware of. But in the end, much as I've loved it over here for the last six weeks, a part of me is eager not to be living out of a suitcase anymore, to stop shlepping stuff around and gosh darn it, I want picante! Yes, lovely as the food is in France, there's still an element of blandness that is missing. Would love a good, hearty dose of salsa. Plus I cannot wait to communicate in English again, not to mention watch television or listen to the radio and catch up on my fic reading. But I will miss the World Cup excitement. That has been mucho fun. But it does feel good to be going home indeedy.

Monday, June 03, 2002

This and That

I thought I'd blog about something non-Europe today, even though I do have things to fill in from my recent trip to Spain (lovely - but more on that later). Now I'm in Lille, north of France, near Calais and the Belgian border for those of you interested. But for other things...

The muse is back. Very much back. I've outlined three stories while I've been over here. The first fills in Kasidy Yates' background and her involvement with the Maquis. I'm very, very excited about this story as I have mentioned to both Rocky and Liz Logan. There's just so much potential here and I've just got to find a way to reconcile the timelines and canon to make it work. DS9 TPTB were actually quite kind to fans on that level, so I think it will work out. The other two stories fit in Rocky's "Glory Days" universe - ie two characters meet somewhere five years after Voyager's return and it's a little character study/sketch to fit there.

I've also finished read several fics. Five of Lori's C&C stories - though I think I got a couple out of order, including "The Omega Doorstop," "Wuthering Holodecks," and "Elephants in the Lift." I also finally read m.c. moose's "Tapestry" trilogy and a couple stories by Michele Masterson and Ragpants. It felt really good to be a reader again and to read such quality fic. I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of Lori's C&C fics this summer plus more of m.c. moose's work.

I saw a post on zendom about Real Life and discussion on fandom interfering with writing. That's one thing I've realized while being on this trip with limited computer access (I'm back online, btw, for the next 2 weeks). I like *not* talking about fandom. I like *not* keeping up with what's going on in so-and-so's blog. When I first started this blog about 18 months ago, I talked about life, about things that amused me, occasionally fandom, but it wasn't the overriding 'thing' in my blog. Now, I make the blog rounds and there are mini wars everywhere and people talking about esoteric things in fandom which are way over my head and beneath my knees. I love Trek, but I don't think I love it as much as other people love their fandoms. I do love fanfic and certain fanfic authors (they know who they are), but I lack the ability to pimp them properly or the vocabulary to properly gush over the said fics written by the said authors and I only have the energy to stalk two or three of them at this point. Which makes me think I must be a wannabe fandom blogger rather than the Real Thing. I just don't have it in me to discuss endlessly or characterize or post snippets of fanfic. People who want to read my WIPs can email me and I'll be happy to send them my snippets in their unvarnished glory.

So what I'm saying is - I like feeling like a writer again. I like feeling that I have stories on tap and that I have outlines. And I can't wait to get home to start *writing*. That's not to say that some meta isn't good - it is. You have to have a little bit of both, but it is *possible* to get carried away and when I move past my little Trek blog rounds, ie the Mod Squad, I get bamboozled and honestly, some days I can't remember my own name, let alone what's going on in fandoms I'm not a part of - in the hope of finding something that I find useful.

Lori posted about stopping her blog in June (which I hope she doesn't do - otherwise I'm with Jemima, what's left for us to read?) and I've thought about the same because I cannot keep up with fandom in the way I need to in order to be a Good Fan. But I think I'm going to go back to the way This Blog Used to Be. Maybe fandom will get discussed, maybe not - I just know that this break from the internet, painful as I thought it would be, as been good for me and for getting the muse back.

Next blog entry: Four girls and a bathroom.