So, a bullet-point list of life updates.
- I was awarded a teaching fellowship at the university where I'm a grad student. This is very likely one of the best things that has ever happened to me and I still can't believe it's real.
- I was also given a very big merit award, which was almost as nice.
- I had a boyfriend, which may even have been nicer. It was one of those archetypical twentysomething friends-with-benefits situations that ended up mutating into us practically living together. I was (am?) lovestruck, but things were (are?) more complicated for him. We were on borrowed time from the beginning, since he always knew he'd have to move this summer to pursue his Very Important Career at the City Where They Do Politics. I miss him. It aches. That's all.
- I got a cat. My cat is the BEST CAT.
- I've done a lot of writing. I've done a lot of reading. I've pulled a lot of all nighters and drunk a lot of coffee. I think my friends are beginning to know me for my cancelled hangouts and IOUs. Time management is difficult when you have no time. But I get along somehow -- usually at the last minute and by the skin of my teeth.
Because you've waited long enough.
It's been a while.
I put off posting a life update because I didn't want to natter on about myself when, well, this is a fic journal, and there's been a dire shortage of fic. The truth is that graduate school is hard. And I'm doing well. I'm doing very well. But the reward for doing well is more work. I finished my internship and am now in training for a Very Big Fellowship. I'm taking classes in the PhD program. I'm writing, and reading, and workshopping. I'm presenting a paper at a conference next month, a paper I have not had time to start. And, of course, there's family and friends and health problems and ill-considered sexual entanglements to navigate, not to mention the extreme adventure of living young and poor in this city.
I haven't given up on TGB. Not by a long shot. The next chapter is in progress -- slow, slow progress, but progress nonetheless. I dream about Luca. Sometimes I make a sarcastic remark and think, "I stole that from Robert." I miss this story fiercely. I know I've probably lost readers due to the length of this hiatus, and I'll lose more before I begin posting again, but please know that I am grateful for your patience (endurance? tolerance?) and that TGB isn't over.
Apologies infinite, and love besides,
"Deviant sexual interest is a frequently used construct in the sex offender literature wherein the presence of deviant sexual interest is seen as the herald of problematic and criminal sexual behavior. However, research findings suggest that deviant sexual interest is surprisingly common among individuals who are well-socialized and lack any criminal history. It may be that criminal sexual behavior reflects maladaptive ways in which criminals meet otherwise normal needs."
The same friend also won a piece of erotica written by me as a prize for donating $50 to a Planned Parenthood fundraiser (we may be a weird bunch, but we do love us some pro-choice activism!). If the prompt yields decent fruit I may end up posting it here. You'll also (hopefully) be pleased to know that despite 1) school, 2) the internship, 3) applying for a third internship, I'm making actual headway on Chapter 40 of TGB. Wheee!
And now back to your scheduled radio silence while I figure out this whole second-week-of-grad-school business...
- Current Mood:drained
I am so, so happy. Is this real life?
- Current Mood:exhausted
Classes start on Tuesday. I can't think about that for too long without wanting to curl up under the couch like a pillbug.
(Speaking of bugs, there was a cockroach in the bathroom this morning. I threw my hairbrush at it. Welcome to the Big City?)
In order to apply for a just-listed class on historical fiction that I want desperately to take, I have to produce an additional writing sample by early next week. And read War and Peace. All of it. Which means, alas, no update this week. (I told you it was beginning.)
There, I said it. I know that as a slash enthusiast I'm supposed to love this character, but I kind of want to hit him in the face with a brick.
When I first watched Queer As Folk I was an undergrad and would host QAF marathons in my room. We'd all drink boxed wine and cheap beer and boo every time Brian Kinney did something reprehensible (which happened at least once an episode). It was obvious that the show's writers were in love with Brian, but I never imagined he had such a devout following among viewers. True fact: he totally does. And there's nothing wrong with that! I just...don't get it. At all.
Which is why I found queerasfray's excellent post on her Brian Kinney headcanon so interesting. It raised several questions for me. Is there a female analogue of Brian Kinney? A straight analogue? Or is Brian's appeal inextricable from the fact that he's a gorgeous gay man? Do any actual gay men like his character, or is he a wish fulfillment vehicle for (mostly) straight women? And do beautiful and emotionally tortured men exist in a kind of infinite forgiveness loophole when it comes to audience affection?
I'm really interested in hearing everyone's thoughts about Brian, QAF, and protagonists that are so unlikable we like them. Also, I encourage everyone to hop over to Fray's entry to let her know what you think!
I want to thank everyone who left such lovely, thoughtful comments on this post! Based on your feedback I've decided not to post plot spoilers, but if individual readers feel that they need to know when Robert and Luca's Happily Ever After will begin before they can continue reading, please message me privately.
This chapter was beta'd by yingtai.
( "...and then that stupid Thracian feints at the boar, see, like so."Collapse )
My plan for the moment is to write, write, write until classes begin. I have finished chapters in the pipe and will keep up with my Wednesday midnight posting schedule until/unless it begins to conflict with school. I feel like the work for my MFA program has to take precedence, at least for the first semester. The fact is that I want to be a Professional Writer, and in order to do that I have to produce as much publishable work as I can as quickly as I can. Alas, The New Yorker isn't really interested in dark slash and hurt/comfort. (Those bastards.)
That said, I am committed to finishing The Golden Bird, for myself as much as for my readers. I can't tell you how important having this journal and getting chapter-by-chapter feedback has been for me. I feel like I've grown so much as a writer while working on and posting this story. The community I've found on LJ has been like an interactive online workshop. I've gone from TGB being my dirty little secret to seeing it as something to be proud of -- even if it will never be published or appear on my CV. I am unspeakably, infinitely grateful for all of you.
And I know that The Golden Bird must be incredibly frustrating to read. Despite my repeated assurances that Robert and Luca will end up together and that the story does have a happy ending, things seem to have gone from bad to worse with little hope of respite. Of course I have the plot mapped out and know exactly how and when the Happily Ever After will happen, but all you have are promises. Because of how relentlessly depressing the last few chapters have been (though the next few will be better, really!), and how much more I'm going to put these characters through before their HEA -- not to mention the fact that I may very well have to take a break once the semester starts
Thoughts? Suggestions? Opinions? Please let me know.
As some added incentive, here's a picture of Dumbledore and Gandalf getting their flirt on.
( Randy wizards under the cutCollapse )
- Current Mood:nervous
( Married Dance by Jane CarnallCollapse )
( Origami Soul by PuckthePlayerCollapse )
( Spiders and Snakes by Wanda WalkerCollapse )
( Both Sides Now by HollycombCollapse )
( YeakaCollapse )
***Please read the warnings***
There is quite a bit of Not Nice Very Bad in these stories -- then again, given who's rec'ing them it should probably be expected.
Almost on time! Thanks as always to yingtai, the champion of beta readers.
( The next few hours passed in a blur of dancing, drinking, and insipid conversation.Collapse )
(Apparently the touchpad got turned off somehow. That was literally THE ONLY PROBLEM.)
Before G worked his miracle, another friend (not sure if she wants to be named or not?) offered to give me her old laptop, purely out of generosity. The goodness of people astounds me.
I'm moving to the Big City in two weeks. I cannot afford a new computer. My loans don't disburse until late August. The drama at home is ongoing and toxic. Fuckity fuck.
On the bright side: My grandmother may have no memory of me, but she seems happy. I managed to rescue at least some of my important documents. I'm headed to a city full of friends and opportunities and fellow kinky people. In September I begin the graduate program of my dreams. I will probably have enough money to feed myself if I budget carefully, which is more than most people in this world can say.
Perspective. I need it.
...So the promised rec post totally didn't happen, and neither has replying to comments/ messages/ emails. I am so sorry. Again. I'm moving to the Big City for graduate school in less than a month, and "hectic" does not even begin to describe the state of things right now. (Who knew that being a real adult means that you are expected to locate and purchase a bed? Never mind bedding for your bed. Growing up is going to kill me, hand to god.)
( The thief knew that he was going to die.Collapse )
I was fortunate enough to find this rec, which directed me to this wonderful series. God Only Knows proved to be the high point of my weekend. I rec'd it at The Slash Pile here.
My review, cribbed from TSP:
( ReviewCollapse )
I was surprised (and a little embarrassed) to find that patriarchal power dynamics work for me as kink. Brendon was taught that a boywife (yes whatever it's a very silly word) has to completely submit to his husband's spiritual leadership, domestic guidance, and sexual desires. As a result, he's totally an abject sub, albeit in a very vanilla kind of way. I also got an unexpected kick out of the structure of the polygamous relationship: John is the head of the household, and the lives of his boywives revolve around him. He might have taken up his mantle reluctantly, but he's in charge nonetheless. Kink buttons pushed. Vigorously.
Now I'm desperate for more slash stories with patriarchal/authoritarian relationships, where one partner is dominant inside the bedroom and out of it. Points if this is the socially accepted relationship structure (think 1950s husband and housewife, only the housewife has a dick). Mega points for domestic discipline. Any suggestions? I will send you virtual cookies and slash karma.
[WARNING: This chapter contains scenes of piercing and branding.]
( Luca had never been owned by a whorehouse as lavish as the King's seraglio.Collapse )
Not to get maudlin on you lovely people, but due to my family's finances I haven't been able to celebrate a birthday or a holiday since I was fifteen. This outpouring of kindness means more to me than you know.
So, in an attempt to give back a little of the goodness that's been given me, I'm now open for prompts! sennalily had the great idea of asking her readers to pair a word with a place or character (e.g. Luca, happy; Robert, drunk; Grandfather, conniving). Suggest a pair in the comments and I'll write a short tale based on your prompt. I would prefer it if you stuck to canon thus far, but if you want to see a timestamp set during Robert and Luca's much-promised Happily Ever After I can write one without spoilers (insofar as that's possible).
I will be in Maine for the next few days and won't have internet connection. Hopefully I'll return to an inbox full of good ideas!
(PS: Have I said thank you? Because thank you. Thank you. I am so, so fortunate to have you as my readers.)
ETA: Yes, you can also comment anonymously or message me with a prompt!
So, anyone remember that cliffhanger?
( Robert had not expected withdrawing from College to feel so much like pulling out his own teeth.Collapse )
Seriously though, how did this show get greenlit? The kink is CANON. The very premise is perverted. That anklet does things to me. And all of Neal's heterosexual entanglements are thoroughly unbelievable. His real chemistry is obviously and explicitly with Peter. Fortunately for them, Elizabeth seems like an open-minded lady...
My favorite fandom authors thus far are hoosierbitch (of course) and Puck the Perv. I highly recommend their everything. Oh, and the White Collar Kink Meme is full of goodness. Anyone have other suggestions for White Collar slash? (If it involves domestic discipline I will bless you.)
ETA: I have officially exhausted all the E-rated White Collar slash on AO3. HELP.
And, um, in case anyone wants to buy a square but doesn't know which one to choose, I highly recommend "taking care of somebody" for a Clint/Coulson fic in the Arrow Through a Flock of Doves 'verse. Just a suggestion. Totally impartial. Ahem.
Also, if anyone has a good summer drink recipe, please do share. I plan to do much sipping from an oversized glass while lounging on the dock in a skimpy bikini.
Yes, this is Supernatural fanfiction, and yes, the pairing is Dean/Sam, but it isn't what you think. This is an AU where Sam and Dean aren't related (a bullet dodged for me - I'm not a huge fan of consensual incest, yes I said consensual incest, yes I know you're judging me). Sam is some unidentified kind of a monster and grows up in a concentration camp for supernatural beasties where all sorts of deliciously awful things happen to him. His sole connection to the outside world is Dean, the son of a famous monster-hunter and Sam's only friend.
This is hurt/comfort done the way I like it: dark, strong, gritty,
I want to rec Freak Camp on The Slash Pile, but I'm not sure it's AU enough to pass muster. Thoughts?
Also, given the despairing comments on previous chapters I feel like I should reiterate my Happy Ending Guarantee. No matter what these characters go through (and I know I put them through a lot), there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Most of the story will [SPOILER] be Robert and Luca together. I am currently working on Chapter 39, so I'm considerably ahead (my my standards anyway). You guys will not be left hanging. Pinkie swear.
Thanks again to my magnificent beta, yingtai.
CHAPTER 29( Luca was afraid.Collapse )
Can't tell you all how much your feedback on this story inspires me. I love you guys.
( Here there be SPOILERS.Collapse )
I don't want to spoil Like an Arrow Through a Flock of Doves more than I already have. Suffice to say it is the most gorgeously written and emotionally wrenching piece of hurt/comfort -- of fanfiction -- of anything I have ever read. There seriously are not adjectives in the English language that sufficiently describe how much I love this story. Read it.
If you enjoy the fic, please let the author know. Comments are love, and what's more, they're just plain good manners.
This picture is pretty much my new favorite thing:
( If you think this is safe for work, you would be very wrong indeed.Collapse )
The angst! The torment! The abjection! Prompt ideas, anyone?
On a less prurient note, there's a call for participants in an academic survey about how we read noncon and consent issues in fic here. An interesting topic, and one well worth exploring. I would love it if my fellow darkfic enthusiasts answered en masse -- god forbid we let the vanillas be be the only voices heard!
I'm posting this a few hours early to make up for last week's late chapter. Hope you enjoy!
( After a small eternity of being banged around in the dark, stuffy trunk, the door was thrown open and Luca was hauled out.Collapse )
Holy gym socks, Batman, LiveJournal is working again! I've been refreshing the page every five minutes since yesterday trying to make this post. Sorry for the late update; blame Frank chewing on the wires (har har). This chapter (and the one before, and all the ones after) was beta'd by yingtai.
CHAPTER 26( When Robert returned from class, the flat was unsettlingly quiet.Collapse )