taste_is_sweet: (Harry is Bleeding)
It's Hurt/Comfort Bingo ([livejournal.com profile] hc_bingo) time again!

Last year's card is here, and I murdered that sucker. It was awesome. :D I don't know if I'll get as many squares this year, but I certainly aim to try (and if I hit, there will be injuries).

Here is my painfully beautiful card for this year:

crucifixion arena Betrayal strapped to a moving vehicle Amnesia
isolation surgery loss of hearing Humiliation Loss of Identity
nausea confession in desperate situation WILD CARD Accept Injury to Protect Someone Self-Harm
eating disorders sex pollen headaches / migraines destruction / natural disasters minor illness or injury
serial killers assault phobias learning to be loved Combat


As you can see, I've already filled a square. Misery for the win. :D

And Yet

25/3/16 00:27
taste_is_sweet: (My OTP has issues)
So, Empire Online posted this thing about how Captain America: Civil War is a love story but Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes are not boyfriends (Which I found out via this Tumblr post originally by YouNeedToStrut). For those of you who aren't into links, the Empire post by Phil De Semlyen talks about how director Joe Russo refers to Civil War as a brotherly love story, saying:

"These are two guys who grew up together, and so they have that same emotional connection to each other as brothers would, and even more so because Bucky was all Steve had growing up."

Now, I made my own post about that whole 'Brotherly' thing back in February, generally going on the assumption that the Russos were madly trying to avoid a mass homosexual freakout. And then Sebastian Stan said this:

"I think it’s easy and generalising [sic] it to say that they’re lovers, when you’re forgetting that one has a lot of guilt because he swore to be the protector of the other, the father figure or older brother so to speak, and then left him behind." Adds the actor: "I have no qualms with it but I think people like to see it much more as a love story than it actually is. It's brotherhood to me."

Here's the thing. He's not wrong, and the Tumblr post I mentioned above has some thoughtful discussions on that fact. I know for myself that even way back in my Star Trek: Enterprise fandom days, I would occasionally wonder if we slashers were devaluing male friendship by interpreting the male characters' chemistry as romantic so much of the time. And I'm certainly aware that friends can love each other platonically.

And yet, I'm just so freaking disappointed.

It doesn't matter to me that the Russos' Word of God is that Bucket and Steeb are only friends. I'm used to creators overlooking or blindly ignoring aspects of their own work, especially when it veers towards territory they're uncomfortable with. Given what I've seen of Disney properties, it seems reasonable that even if the Russos were all over the Stucky like Red on Johann Schmidt, the mouse paying them would never, ever go for it.

But this is Sebastian Stan, who has played gay characters before and is actually playing Steve's long-lost whatever now. And if the actual actor who made Bucky Barnes live for us says Bucky and Steve are bros, not lovers, then...Then it's true. Then my wanting to see their relationship as anything other than that feels wrong. Illegitimate. Not a reinterpretation of canon, but a desperate scrabbling for something that never existed.

It's weird. I shipped Danny Williams and Steve McGarrett even when Hawaii 5-0 kept throwing women at Steve like spaghetti at a wall. In Stargate: Atlantis, I happily wrote around the cannon Rodney McKay/Jennifer Keller relationship to keep him with John Sheppard. I love Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton shacking up even though they were both with other people in Age of Ultron (then again, I ignore a lot of things about Age of Ultron). But Sebastian Stan calls No Homo and suddenly I feel like a kid sneaking porn.

I wanted his approval, damn it. Not for me or my fic, because that's pathetic and creepy. But for the possibility that went into the fic. I wanted him to say, 'sure, that's cool,' and instead I got condemnation.

Maybe it is overly facile to see romance where there's only deep affection. Maybe we (female) writers are just picking out nonexistent subtext for all the same varied reasons we enjoy slash in general. Maybe we're just seeing what's not intended to be there, because we've been trained to (I urge you to read this brilliant essay on that subject). Maybe an actor's opinion about the character he plays shouldn't carry more weight than my own, but it feels heavier all the same.

This issue is that, as a writer who also writes fanfic, I'm always fighting the sense that my hobby is illicit; that I'm furtively dabbling where I don't belong. Allowing myself to do what I do is hard enough, without the knowledge that one of the actors who inspired it wouldn't accept my perception of his work. The fancy of tacit approval, no matter how spurious, is far more liberating than the certainty of its opposite. And honestly, I was expecting the guy who made his career playing troubled, gay sons to not reject the thought of a gay romance out of hand. Maybe seeing a romance in every love story is generalizing and easy, but that didn't mean he had to make it difficult.

The two seconds of the film wherein Bucky is happy
taste_is_sweet: (Brave Little Toaster)
I'm not apologizing to Demi Lovato, because I'm linking to the really cool video I stole the chorus from.

Let me say, O best-beloveds, that there is nothing at all wrong with giving compliments. I used to not do it very often, because it felt safer to keep things to myself than to court the potential embarrassment of engaging in a possibly unwelcome interaction. But then I got older and I decided that life is too short not to tell someone that you like their shirt or that they have beautiful eyes.

Last night I sent a message to someone I know on Tumblr just to say I really liked their posts, and I made them really, really happy. That made me happy too. Being nice is almost always a win-win.

I've mentioned before about how I leave kudos on AO3 for fics if I read them the entire way through, because someone went to the effort of writing the story. A kudo is a quick way of complimenting them for that effort. Clicking it says 'hey, I liked this. You did good.' Nice comments are even better, but a kudo is so easy it astonishes me that so many people don't leave them.

The last time I posted about leaving kudos (the link above), someone replied that they only give a kudo when something really moved them. Otherwise they thought that the hits alone were enough acknowledgement of the writer's effort.

I've honestly been thinking about that on and off for two years, and I still have a problem with it. While I can understand the principal--be happy anyone bothered looking at your fic--all that hits actually show you is that someone went to that page. Maybe they noped out after reading the tags. Maybe they got three paragraphs in and hit the back button in a panic. It's impossible to tell. But a kudo means that they both read the story and thought it was good, or good enough. And seriously, we're writing this stuff for free, here. Isn't a story that keeps you reading until the end automatically good enough for a lousy click on a burgundy button?

I know that some people like certain stories so much they read them several times, and unfortunately (or fortunately, I suppose) you can only leave kudos once. But there are loads of readers out there who don't bother leaving them in the first place. Not one little compliment saying that they appreciate your time and effort.

And that, honestly, is just mean. Sure, no one forces a writer to put their stuff out there, just as no one pays us. But that's also the point. We don't have to do it. That fic you rolled your eyes at but still gave you ten minute's worth of entertainment is completely, totally free. Our only expectation as writers is that people will read our work, and our only hope is that they'll let us know they did.

So, why should anyone think they deserve a masterpiece before leaving a kudo? It's one click. One tiny, easy little click. But I can tell you as both a writer and reader that one tiny, easy little click can actually mean the world.

And life is too short not to say something nice.
taste_is_sweet: (Please be Advised)
I'm just going to say it: this post has no redeeming social value whatsoever, and is entirely AmyCat's and foxfireflamequeen's fault. Because blaming people is fun.

It's their fault because FoxFire said I should watch the 2015 Man from U.N.C.L.E. movie, which I'd wanted to do anyway. But still. And AmyCat asked me if it was any good.

Yes, AmyCat, it was good. Not going to lie, though. The best part of the movie is this guy:

Plus, he's tall enough to see space.
Looks like a cinnamon roll; will actually kill you

Meet Illya Kuryakin, as played by Armie Hammer with those big, soulful eyes. He has an admirable work ethic and breathtaking anger management issues, as perfectly illustrated in his and Napoleon Solo's (played by Henry Cavill) first conversation.



In short, he is an absolute, giant bae. This is almost literally the conversation I had with my husband while watching that scene in the cafe:

Me: I had no idea Henry Cavill was that hot.

Husband: That's Armie Hammer. Henry Cavill's the other one.

Me: The hot one is Armie Hammer?

It was a reasonable error, because Henry Cavill is blandly good looking and I'd only seen Armie Hammer when he was blandly good looking in The Lone Ranger, where he was upstaged by Johnny Depp and a horse. Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger was fine. Pleasant. I'd go so far as to say not unattractive. But definitely nothing to write home about. Pretty much like the entire Lone Ranger movie.

Illya, however, has an accent, painful backstory and mental health concerns. And he doesn't lose fights. Ever. He's perfect.






Yes, in the second one you saw him push a motorcycle frame off himself, then carry it down a hill and throw it at someone. That's not his only super power either. In the beginning of the movie, Illya dodges bullets (as you do), runs down Solo's car on foot and then rips the trunk hood off with his bare hands. But it was the motorcycle-toss that got me thinking. Specifically about this guy:



And especially this one:



Here's the thing--it never made sense for me that the KGB/Red Room/Hydra would only create one Winter Soldier, or stop trying to perfect their version of the Super Soldier serum after it worked on Bucky Barnes. Even if you go with Bucky having global amnesia when the Russians find him (as in the comics), they go to a hell of a lot of trouble with building a memory erasing machine just for one guy. And we know from season two of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that there's more than one way to skin a cat make someone happy to comply via brainwashing.

So I've decided that Illya Kuryakin is another Winter Soldier.

Oh, for sure he's not in the same league. He's not about to walk off bridges or kick guys into jet engines. But unlike the original, Illya can act like an ordinary human, albeit one with extraordinary talents, because he has memories. The Winter Soldier is the ruthless, unstoppable stuff of nightmares because he's more a weapon than a man. Illya Kuryakin is one of the best spies the Soviet Union ever produced, because he's still a person. He can work in a team; he can have emotional ties; he doesn't have to stay in the shadows like a ghost. And if he risks falling out of his programming, all his handlers have to do is kindle a reset via psychotic episode, by reminding him of his shameful family history. A family history that of course never actually happened.

And if that doesn't work, there's always the chair.

The canon fits beautifully, as far as I'm concerned. Illya and Bucky are even around the same age, give or take one of them being frozen for a few years. I can easily imagine the Winter Soldier training Illya. I can certainly imagine the two of the becoming friends. That is, as long as they could remember each other. Because there is no part of the Winter Soldier's history that isn't tragic. Then again, even without Hydra and the Red Room, Illya's story is pretty tragic too. And fandom can't ever have too many tragic super powered Russians, am I right?

I'm totally right.
Burned not-actually Russian cinnamon rolls who will kill you

Mrow!

17/10/15 19:55
taste_is_sweet: (He is a Ghost)
Promo picture courtesy of the awesome Taibhrigh
kotik_promo3

The fic goes up on October 23!

Read an excerpt here.

taste_is_sweet: (Aliens Made Me)
Check out my Wattpad version of "Write it on the Skyline"!

The link goes to a handy-dandy explanation of what a Wattpad even is. (It's not an electrified cushion, in case you were wondering. But it is Canadian. Yay, Canada!)

As a special bonus, here is the very small cover for my fanfic that I made tonight, without much wailing or teeth-gnashing, even!

This took more effort than I feel entirely comfortable relating at this juncture.
Write it on the Skyline Wattpad Cover

Yes, it is very small. Wattpad likes small covers. But it's a cool font, right? I like that font.

ETA: I've since taken the fic down from Wattpad. Ultimately the site seemed like far too much effort for too little return. At least for me.

taste_is_sweet: (Black Mask)
I'm back from this year's FanExpo Canada shindig, and it was of the awesome. I had a wonderful time seeing my sister and her family, geeking out huge with like-minded Canadians, and spending shitloads of money enjoying the dealers' offerings and the Artists' Alley.

One of the highlights was getting a professionally-done photograph of my kid and his cousins with Hayley Atwell.

Left to Right: Mini!Peggy; The Beautiful and Charming Hayley Atwell; Rescue!Bucky and Skinny!Steve
Hayley Atwell and the Nascent Geeks

The boys seriously practiced smiling for the entire time we were waiting in line, and then afterwards Javier (Skinny!Steve) expressed his concern at Carter growing old and infirm. He wanted to know if she ever received the Super Soldier serum. I told him that no, unfortunately she didn't, but that he could fix that with fanfiction if he wanted. He didn't want to, alas, but I loved how he was obviously smitten with Ms. Atwell.

I was also able to take pictures of some of the awesome cosplayers:

The way the guys are posing just killed me. So cute! (And badass. ::coff:: Really.)
Cosplayers of Awesome

That's Captain America (Winter Soldier movie version) with Javier the Dragon Slayer. Next is Felicity and a lovely Genderswapped Arrow, then Harley Quinn and Black Widow--who are friends now after beating the shit out of each other (see the blood on their cheeks?). Last is my personal favorite: Daredevil in his black 'how the hell did I survive this long?' uniform.

I also got some gorgeous art, which I'll have to post at some point. Not to mention frame and put on a wall. Urk.

Oh, hey! I have a Tumblr account now! Please follow me, if any of you lovely FListies have Tumblrs! I have two followers and am horribly pathetic.

taste_is_sweet: (FitzSimmons in the Water)
Oh yes! You read that right, O, Best-Beloveds. It's [livejournal.com profile] hc_bingo Time! Last year I kicked that puppy to the curb (and then comforted it) with 16 fills. I don't know how I'll do this year, but I've already filled a square two squares and will have fills for at least two more by the end of the summer. \o/

I love this challenge so much.

Here's my card! And seriously, this is one of the least-stressful challenges ever. You can take part every year even if you never fill a square, and you have an entire year to write/make anything. It's awesome. :D And I love H/C like kittens, so it just makes me really, really happy.

Here's my card:

shipwrecked caught in a robbery Hugs arena Accidental Mating for Life
Magical Trouble washing / bathing someone Stockholm syndrome forced to rely on enemy / rival Unwanted Transformation
Forced to Face Fear Dub-Con WILD CARD Healers culture shock
Protecting / Losing Precious object Person Motion Sickness De-Age Toothache Atonement
prostitution skeletons in the closet Captivity Blood Loss arrest


Look at all that wonderful torment. :D
taste_is_sweet: (Want to dive into your ocean)
[livejournal.com profile] selenic76 came up with this:



Want to dip your toe in a new fandom? Have a hidden desire to try out a new pairing? Or maybe you're dreaming about writing that first fanfic or original story? Why not take part in the low stress, deadline and wordcount free Writerly Summer Fling, and take that first step in making it happen! Click the pic to learn more on what the Fling is about, and how to join in on the fun ^_^

It's no-pressure and Selenic is a sweetheart, so there is no reason at all not to participate if you've been wanting to get a bit more (or any) writing done. I've got my Gay Were-Dinosaurs of the Pseudo-Amish Apocalypse novel(la) as well as three Stucky fanfics I'd like to finish, and between this and [livejournal.com profile] ushobwri I figure I should get something banged out. And with my DH's broken arm stressing me out like a stressing-out thing, I figure I could use all the stress-free encouragement I can get.

I'm also not likely to get to a beach anytime soon, alas. So at least I can look at the lovely back of the model water in the picture. Because, y'know, it's inspiring. And I'm all about the inspiration, really. :)
taste_is_sweet: (Bad Decisions)
The longer I don't post, the harder it is to think anyone might want to read any of my ridiculousness. You know how it is. (Or maybe you don't, in which case you are awesome.)

But! I do have some nifty stuff to mention, so I figure I should actually, you know, mention it. So here goes:

Dreamspinner Press, my favorite online purveyor of fine quality gay romance, is offering 50% off all of their in-stock paperbacks for the month of April! This includes my novel Black Hawk Tattoo, which is pretty great.
BlackHawkTattoo_FBThumb

I also have a new novella coming out in the beginning of May (I know I've mentioned it before but it's still totally \o/), which I'll talk about more once I have the cover design. It's called Aiden's Angel because it has an angel in it, in case you were wondering if the title was a coincidence. It is not.

Another cool thing is that I'm going to the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention (May 12 - 17)! It's in Dallas, and it looks like it'll be a lot of fun. I'm also nervous because I'll have to actually talk to people about how I have a novella out.

Any of my flisties going to be there? I'd love to meet up with you. :D

Last but not least, on the fanish side, Spring Sign Ups are open for [livejournal.com profile] intoabar! I freaking love this community--where else can you have Bucky Barnes meet Applejack the Pony? Nowhere else, that's where. I've already signed up (they close April 5, Best-Beloveds, so get in on it!), and I can almost guarantee that my entry this year will have an even less likely pairing. I can't wait. :D

Never heard of them? Of course you haven't!
Obscure Fandoms FTW!

taste_is_sweet: (Boom Baby!)
Pretty much all of us know what February 14 is, but did you know that February 15th is International Fanworks Day?

Well, you do now! And if you don't, or hate clicking links (it could happen), IFD is a creation of the Organization for Transformative Works, who are the lovely people who gave us the Archive of Our Own, among many other things. But currently relevant to my interests is their IFD Drabble Challenge.

The rules are simple: On February 15, post a drabble/drawble/short vid/another media format about your favorite character(s) getting fannish over something. Because of course they would. Does Draco Malfoy secretly ship Snarry? Does Clint Barton admire Oliver Queen? (I'm sure they'd totally be bros.)

I've got a drabble all set to go, and so does my buddy [livejournal.com profile] brumeier. I hope you guys will play too. And if you do, please comment here with a link so I can read it.

Come on, FListies! Write about your beloved characters as the fangirls and boys we all know they secretly are. I'll love you eleventy (which is far greater than three).
taste_is_sweet: (Boom Baby!)
It's been nearly two months since my last personal LJ post, O, Best-Beloveds, which means I've spectacularly failed my New Year's Resolutions. (I did, however, post at least once a week to [livejournal.com profile] ushobwri for NaNoWriMo, but you need to be a member to read them. They were awesome though, just saying. And you should totally become a member if you haven't already. Seriously, all the cool kids are doing it.)

However, even if I haven't been posting anything here, I've still been doing, stuff like a stuff-doing thing, let me tell you. Baking giant chocolate-chip cookies, for example. And writing my gift-fic for the final Stargate: Atlantis Secret Santa Gift Fic Exchange ever. ::sniffle:: (Posting for that starts on the 14th, and the marvelous mods will be asking for more pitch-hitters imminently. JUST THROWING THAT OUT THERE.)

I also finished and posted my epic Captain America/My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic crossover of epicness for the [livejournal.com profile] intoabar community! (I posted about it here, and it was epic.)

Bucky and Steve are not, actually, ponies. But I did manage to turn a cracky premise into nearly 40,000 words of angst, because that's how I trot roll. I'm actually quite proud of it, so I hope you might give it a read if improbable fanfiction crossovers are your thing. (The Archive of our Own collection of Intoabar fics is here, if you're interested. And you should be, because the world needs more Hawaii 5-0/Teen Wolf fics like burning.)

Only With the Heart as the CA/MLP fic is called, also fills the 'Invisibility' square of my Hurt/Comfort Bingo Card, which you may note I've been killing this year, Sweetpeas. Or at least hurting quite badly with comforting afterwards. Heh.

Last but not least, I've been mainlining YouTube vids. This is one of my current favorites:

And there goes another $1.29 to iTunes, Oh, la la.

So, yeah, totally stuffy, or something. And always happy to give. I'm a giver. <3

Do you Lovelies have anything to share and/or crow about for me? I'll bet you do, Chickadees! And after all, it's the holidays and sharing is caring (Oh, la la).

taste_is_sweet: (Pony!Bucky)
Yes, I admit it: I write fanfiction. Which is a surprise to absolutely no one here whatsoever. (It's all written with joy and love and is only intended as an admiring homage and etc. etc. etc. please don't sue.)

So, since I've just outed myself as a fanficcer to absolutely nobody, I might as well tell you that I just signed up at the Into A Bar Community on Live Journal. And let me tell you, it will be epic.

Or chocolate and misery!
Best! Day! Ever!

This is how it works:

1) Choose a fandom character. They'll be going into a bar (or bar-ish environment), and they'll meet...
2) Another character from one of the other fandoms you've listed, which the community mods will choose via dice, dart-throwing, Ouja board, etc.
3) You make something about the meeting.

I am, of course, all about the epic, so naturally my walk-in is Bucky Barnes. And one of the fandoms I listed is My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Now, I know what you're thinking--how could such an obvious pairing have never come up before? Because Captain America and MLP fit together like peanut butter and jelly, right? Or macaroni and cheese.

"That little guy from Ponyville, who was too dumb not to trot away from a fight. I'm following him."
Kid from Brooklyn

After all, MLP is all about the magic of friendship. And Steve and Bucky's friendship is nothing if not magical. And epic.

Steve would be a sickly little Earth Pony, who would come into his full Clydesdale size and strength after the serum. And he'd be plan brown. Like, the only MLP in existence that looks like a regular pony. Except for the red, white and blue shield on his butt.

And Bucky is Rainbow Dash.

"Ready to go to my certain death, sir!"
Rainbow Dash salute

(Only male, and dark blue and burgundy. Because yes, I have spent time thinking about this.)

And then, tragedy! Rainbow Dash Bucky breaks a wing and falls out of a train, and he can't grab the door handle because ponies don't have thumbs. Earth Pony Steve entirely fails to go on with his life by crashing a plane, and wakes up in Canterlot in 2011.

And then, three years later, Steve has a brutal fight with the Winter Pony in D.C....

"Who the hell is Twilight Sparkle?"
Winter Soldier with Apocalypse Twilight

All seems lost, until brave Pony Steve is willing to sacrifice his life in the name of friendship!

And because of his heroic sacrifice--and how he tells Rainbow Bucky, "'cause I'm with you, 'til the end of the trail"--Rainbow Bucky remembers Pony Steve and stops trampling him long enough for the deck of the helicarrier to break and dump Steve into the Potomac. But Bucky dives after him and pulls him out of the water! Only he still doesn't have thumbs, so he uses his teeth or something.

You made Fluttershy cry, you son of a bitch.
Epic trauma

Epic, I tell you. And magical. Like friendship!

Of course, with my luck, the [livejournal.com profile] intoabar mods will flip a coin and I'll get Arrow instead, which means I'll have to actually come up with something vaguely original that has humans in it. At least Stephen Amell totally rocks the shirtless, tormented assassin look.

Unfortunately, he poses for photographs like a corpse propped against the wall. But I'm good with angst; I can work with it.

Stephen Amell

taste_is_sweet: (And Counting!)
'Cause it's my birthday! (And also because I've got dinner in the oven.)

I turned 42 today! (Very, very early this morning, according to my mom.) And thank you very, very much to [livejournal.com profile] firesign10, and [livejournal.com profile] brumeier for her super-sweet congratulations post, and to everyone who left such nice comments! I got a little teary, I swear.

But still, 42. And aside from it being the answer to life, the universe and everything, I can't say as I feel much other than kind of old. I know I have Flisties who are older than I am, but, still. Maybe it's because I live in a city very, very skewed towards 20-somethings, but some days I feel absolutely ancient compared to all the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed kids running around getting university degrees.

Then again, I don't have to get a university degree anymore. \o/

But hey, birthdays are still awesome. And since it's also my awesome sister [livejournal.com profile] squeakyoflight's birthday, I wrote her fic! MCU fic!

I already added it to my H/C Bingo Card earlier this week, but I didn't actually tell anyone about it here, so I'm indulging myself and doing so now. It's called The Right Way to Fall. It's set post-Captain America: The Winter Soldier, because everyone who wants to write anything in the MCU fandom has to write a Winter Soldier fic these days.

Anyway, there it is. :) I'm quite happy with it, and I've been told it's good. I hope you like it. (And it's my birthday, so even if you don't you have to lie. Birthday rules! ::g::)
taste_is_sweet: (Bad Decisions)
In other words, Hurt/Comfort Bingo time, y'all!

Now, much as I totally adore H/C (seriously, I love it like kittens), last year I was only able to fill three squares of my card. Alas, I did not get a bingo.

I'm a little more sanguine this year, because I've already filled my first square, and will hopefully have my second square filled by Monday. I'm feeling pretty good about this, guys. Comfortable, even, as opposed to hurt. Heh.

And here's my card. (You notice the convenient links in the square(s), right? Right?)

Abandonment Issues blood loss Suicide Attempt bites Possession / Mind Control
Invisibility restrained hunger / starvation time travel gone wrong On The Run
branding poltergeist WILD CARD (Comfort Item) Telepathic Trauma Purgatory
pandemics and epidemics Captivity dystopia Forced Soulbonding Clones
Bruises Electrocution Taking Care of Somebody Grief Forced to Hurt Somebody

taste_is_sweet: (Chuck was Worried)
I love the internet.

You probably do too--you're here, after all (and thank you for that). The 'net has given me fandom, friendships, introduced me to things I never knew existed, and enabled my first professional novel.

The World Wide Web is a repository of the simultaneously best and worst of humanity. Name anything you could possible want to learn about, see, hear, share or buy and it will be there in one form or another. Because of the internet we can debunk urban legends; learn new and awesome terminology; revel in fandom; and read stories and stories and stories and stories and stories.

And if you live in the U.S., you might lose it.

This excellent excerpt from Last Week Tonight not only makes the situation pellucid (that was for [livejournal.com profile] brumeier), it's incredibly funny. Well worth 13 minutes of your time. Just be careful of the NSFW language.



For those of you who don't have 13 minutes, the TL:DR version is this:

The biggest cable companies in the U.S., like Comcast and Verizon, want the Government to enact a law that will let them charge internet companies (think Netflix; Amazon; Etsy; that place where you bought that stuff that came in a box with no return address) more money to enable them to load faster on your computer.

That means companies who can't afford to pay (like that place with no return address) will suddenly become far less accessible. It's like the Fastpass at the Universal Theme Park in Orlando: The companies who can't pay will end up waiting in line to get to the consumer Revenge of the Mummy ride, while the rich ones just walk on through.

We can't let that happen. It probably will, but there's still time to do something about it. Go to fcc.gov/comments, read the simple instructions, and leave a public comment. Hopefully if enough people remind the Government who voted for them, it might keep this from happening.

Might. I'm not holding my breath--I'm not Comcast; I can't afford it.
taste_is_sweet: (Joy)
I'm not really writing a post today, o, best-beloveds, because I want to be writing other stuff, which is the kind of irony I can get behind. I'll be off in a minute.

But because I do love you, I'm embedding vids. So don't leave.

First, a video about living with cats and dogs that made me laugh:

Here's part one, which I posted before but is even funnier.



And a beautifully-done, bitter and brilliant vid examining the glorification of the military in the Marvel Movie 'Verse:



(Here's the whole song.)

And finally, because I'm a sucker for great songs, angst and editing, have a Steve Rogers/Bucky Barnes Captain America: The First Avenger vid. The cuts are very fast, though, so beware if that might bother you.




And now I'm off to write. :)
taste_is_sweet: (Target Acquired!)
Raise your hand if you like Hurt/Comfort, which I'm sure you all do because anything else is as inconceivable as hating kittens (I love kittens; The icon is an in-joke with my sister [livejournal.com profile] squeakyoflight. No kittens were hurt during the writing of this post).

We love you, Bucky!
Bucky falls cropped & screened

For anyone not up on the fannish lingo, "Hurt/Comfort" stands for the wonderful creative exercise of tormenting the shit out of a favorite character--this is called 'whumping'--and then having your other favorite character(s) take care of him.

Often the whumpee is the hero. Almost equally often he's the Lancer, The Darkhorse, The Co-Hero and/or that one beloved character whom nobody else understands. But if he's popular, at some point someone is going to hurt him. Very, very badly. Occasionally even the writers of the original material, though rarely as frequently or as terribly as the fans would like.

Not bad, but he's still standing.
Hurt Steve

(And I'm using 'him' because I think I've read a fic where a female character was the whumpee maybe once since I started reading fanfiction. Not that I read fanfiction...Okay, yes. Yes I do.)

I'm bringing this up because the movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier came out recently (You may have seen it). And after watching, my brilliant and adorable 12 year-old niece, who previously said that Captain America was her favorite, has now switched her allegiance entirely to the eponymous anti-hero of the subtitle. Why? Because of the suffering.

Yep, she's within throwing distance of her teens, and she has already understood that, while horrible to witness in real life, physical and mental injuries improve the attractiveness of a fictional character exponentially. And the Fighting Man for Lousy Climates gets that in spades. Like the kind you could use to dig a deep hole to pitch him into.

I love my niece, and I love that she's been bitten by the H/C bug. I love that there's this wonderful fangurl in the making. I love that she will probably write fanfic herself someday, and I'll get to share it with her. I love how she makes me remember being a kid and telling my sister fanfic stories for hours on end without knowing what fanfic even was, and populating them with my fictional crushes at the time. And, yes, treating them mercilessly and loving every second.

I have a hypothesis on why, exactly, H/C is so awesome (and I'm sure especially awesome among women), but you should probably just read this instead. I admit, however, that most of the time I don't really care about the why. I just love it.

Like kittens. And don't we all love kittens?

Picture of Bucky having a very bad day courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] lastsongs at [livejournal.com profile] grande_caps; Picture of Steve's moderately-acceptable injuries courtesy of Swannee's Screencaps.

taste_is_sweet: (My OTP has issues)
Over at [livejournal.com profile] ushobwri (and why haven't you joined it yet? They have such cool stuff) today, the topic is pet peeves in fanfiction--as in, the stuff that makes one backspace quicker than a porn pop-up add at the office, or keeps you reading only for the hate.

Now, I'm not saying I actually read or write fanfiction, because I'm trying to be all professional an' shit. But if I did, my pettiest peeve ever would be what I call "Passive-Agressive Utopia Fics".

Passive-Agression, if you, O best-beloveds, are unaware of the term, is basically trying to make other people do all the emotional work for you in a conflict. A perfect example is someone who will brood in hurt silence until you realize you upset them and apologize--only for them to then turn around and berate the fuck out of you for the original transgression. Another perfect example is someone who will mope and sigh for hours, but won't say anything's wrong until you ask. Even worse is when you ask and they say, 'nothing', because if you loved them enough you'd already know.

Guilty yet?
 photo Wormpic.jpg

As you can imagine, and have probably read, this shows up fairly often in fic. It generally follows a particular pattern:

1) The most beloved but flawed (and occasionally badly treated) character (think Rodney McKay of Stargate: Atlantis or Ezra Standish of the 1998 The Magnificent Seven TV series) will experience something in canon that is perceived as cruel and/or unfair by his fans (I'm sure female versions of such characters exist, but I can't remember encountering any).

2) The fans, angry at this character's perceived helplessness and unjust suffering, then write a story either dealing directly with the ep where the unfairness happened, or a story that keeps the same general theme of bad treatment.

Wherein:

---The Beloved Helpless Character will be treated with great cruelty and prejudice by the other characters, often to an uncharacteristic or even absurd extent. Shunning may occur in retaliation for something the BHC did in canon or otherwise, or threats to the BHC's continued acceptance in the group and/or employment. Rarely, their life.
---The BHC will not contest this or stand up for himself in any way. There may be an attempt at protest or apology, but this will be rebuffed by the other characters. The BHC will subsequently just accept his fate.
---The BHC will either ostracize himself from the group, or, already shunned, go off alone and/or cease all but minimal communication or interaction with the other characters. Rodney McKay may take himself to the wretched bowels of Atlantis to do horribly unpleasant menial repairs unworthy of his skills and intelligence. Ezra Standish may leave Four Corners without telling anyone, preferably by riding into a monsoon or blizzard.
--- OR, the BHC will attempt or actually commit suicide, or will be believed to have died by the other characters. The BHC will then get to, in essence, attend his own funeral and witness the other characters' praise of him and their remorse at his ill-treatment. (If the BHC dies, then the reader is their proxy for this.)
---The BHC, due to their misery and the privations of their ostracizing, will become horribly ill and/or injured. It will likely take days to find them, unless they manage to drag themselves back to aid. Either the other characters will have begun a frantic search at this point, or will not even realize the BHC was in peril because he's been shunned to the point of insignificance.
---A character who is the BHC's True Friend and The Only One Who Understands Them (like Rodney McKay's buddy Carson Beckett, who is conveniently a doctor, or Ezra Standish's Mom) will then proceed to berate the fuck out of the other characters for their cruelty, generally while standing at the bedside of the insensate and possibly dying BHC. The True Friend will also, if necessary, explain the BHC's real motivations for their original offending action(s) and basically make the other characters go fetal with guilt. Unless they're already fetal with guilt, in which case the True Friend's job is to make them feel even worse about their treatment.
---The BHC naturally survives and either returns to his previous position within the group or gets some kind of promotion. Occasionally he'll leave for a better offer from people who will appreciate him. Either way, the other characters will fall all over themselves in apology and remorse, which the BHC will righteously milk for all it's worth. Maybe, if he deigns to stay with his former abusers, at the end of the fic he'll begin to forgive them. Maybe.

As you've probably guessed, I call these kinds of fics "Passive-Agressive Utopia" because it's possibly the one place in the universe where the tactic actually works exactly the way its adherents would want it to. Their BHCs are vindicated, glorified and defended, all without them actually having to do anything. They go eat worms because nobody loves them and everybody hates them, and they really do get admired for it; they nearly or actually commit suicide and everyone really is sorry. It's the best of all possible worlds.

And honestly, who wouldn't want that? I still have to remind myself sometimes that my darling husband can't read my mind so if I'm pissed off I need to tell him. It's scary to admit you're angry when you've been raised never to show it. How awesome would it be not to have to?

So I get it, I really do. I just wish it didn't show up so often. And you'd better agree with me, or I'm going to slink off and sit outside in the rain until I get pneumonia. And then you'll be sorry.

Picture is courtesy of antpkr at freedigitalphotos.

taste_is_sweet: (My OTP has issues)
Oh yes, my best-beloveds. The Write Something, You Miserable Fuck LJ community is up and running and looking to share the pain! The annual membership drive is driving and will be until late on October 31, just in time for National Novel Writing Month! (Does anyone not know about that? Whatevs--links are fun.)

WriSoMiFu's goals are a little less...ambitious than NaNo. Instead of smacking out at least 50k words in a month, the WriSo goal is to write for at least ten minutes a day.

Yep, ten minutes. We all can do that, right? And then the best part is that you can bitch and moan about it as much as you like in the comments of the daily check-in posts. You get misery; you get company; you get productivity, what's not to love?

I love it, personally. It's fun and supportive, and I've met some really cool LJ friends via WriSo, too. So head on over to [livejournal.com profile] fitofpique's Live Journal and sign up. Seriously. All the cool kids are doing it.

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