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[sticky post] The Golden Bird Master List

The Master List Sticky Post. Kinky!

Summary and WarningsCollapse )
ChaptersCollapse )


I've been shocked and touched in equal measure by how many readers have asked about how I've been. I don't think there's a single comprehensive adjective to describe the state of my union. (Maybe in German?)

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.

Chapter 41 goes up on Wednesday. I've started Chapter 42. The semester begins in two weeks. Let's hope I square the impossible circle better this year than the last. 

Behind the times ain't even half of it.

I just logged onto AO3 for the first time in almost a year and, to my shock and delight, discovered that the fabulously talented and gobsmackingly generous arsenicjade and writing buddy hoosierbitch completed my H/C bingo square request for another installation in the "Like an Arrow Through a Flock of Doves" 'verse. This request was gifted by lady_om, which I also didn't know. I cannot thank both of them enough, nor apologize sufficiently for my extreme tardiness in tendering said thanks. The story is gorgeous and heartbreaking and absolutely perfect. I'm bowled over. Read it immediately, if not sooner.


Chapters 40 and 41 are finished and currently in beta with the ever-wonderful yingtai. I'll post 40 this Wednesday at midnight and 41 a week after.


I'm (sort of, kind of) Alive


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'm exhausted.

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,

A little meta for your Monday midnight...

A friend who shares my interests just sent me a psych dissertation he stumbled across which seeks to prove that kink and criminality are NOT linked. Excerpt from the introduction:

"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."

*fist pump*

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...


I just got a paid publishing internship! Okay, it works out to less than minimum wage, but I'll be doing real work, not just reading slush, and an extra several hundred dollars a month will hardly go amiss.

I am so, so happy. Is this real life?

The Golden Bird: Chapter 39

Sorry for the wait! Here's Chapter 39 at last. This may be the last chapter for a few weeks, so I wanted to end on a somewhat optimistic note. Not sure I managed it, but, well, "angst" is prominently featured on this story's ingredient list, after all.


Robert woke to empty arms and an empty bed.Collapse )

It has begun...

It's Orientation Week! Which thus far has translated to hours of monotonous droning from various school officials on absolutely nothing important, with only the promise of free food and booze afterward to keep us from slipping out the back. Confession: I totally slipped out the back anyway. Fortunately one of my roommates is also in the program and took notes for me. Gracious woman!

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.)

I hate Brian Kinney.

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?

Mild spoilers for Breaking Bad under the cut.Collapse )

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!

The Golden Bird: Chapter 38

And you all thought the person at the door wasn't Luca. Oh ye of little faith!


There was a lord sitting on the bed.Collapse )

The Golden Bird: Chapter 37

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


"...and then that stupid Thracian feints at the boar, see, like so."Collapse )

On The Big City and plot spoilers

I have officially moved into my apartment in the Big City! The last few days have been a blur of seeing friends and exploring the neighborhood, but now I'm somewhat settled in I can get back to writing again. My graduate program starts at the end of August/beginning of September and I want to get as many chapters of TGB done as humanly possible in case I have to take a hiatus again. The thing about being in an MFA program (and an infamously competitive and intense one at that) as opposed to studying lit during undergrad is that while before I was churning out critical essays and writing slash during my free time, now my work will be almost entirely fiction writing. I have no idea what effect that will have on TGB. Will I exhaust my creative energy doing my schoolwork? I just don't know. And that worries the fuck out of me.

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 and don't want everyone to hate me -- I'm wondering if I ought to post an outline of the events between now and Robert and Luca's Big Fat Together Forever (which will not be the end of the story, just so you know). I'll keep it as vague and spoiler-free as possible, just providing a very basic road map so you'll know where we are and how far we have left to go before the hurt ends and the comfort begins.

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 )

The Golden Bird: Chapter 36

Have an early chapter to make up for all the late chapters!

Yes, things are sad. But they will get better! Lights at the end of the tunnel and all that. And I promise a Robert/Luca reunion is nigh. So don't hate me please.

ETA: Beta'd as always by yingtai.


Luca was being fucked again.Collapse )


My paid account expired several weeks ago. I just cashed my final paycheck so I went to upgrade, only to find that a paid account costs $19.95. What? I could have sworn that the last time I upgraded it was less than $10. Am I misremembering, or did LJ jack up the price? $19.95 seems like a ludicrous amount to pay for more icons and some (admittedly nifty) stat graphs. 

What I've been reading lately.

Angst, angst, and more angst. I'm guessing you're not surprised.

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.

Weekend eye candy

It's been far too long since I posted any porntastic pictures! Consider this my apology for all the late chapters. I love you all.

Ranging from mildly inappropriate to seriously NSFW.Collapse )


My friend G fixed my computer! The computer that the Staples tech support liars looked at for two seconds before deeming it unfixable and recommending I buy a new one. From Staples. Never again with their lies!

(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.

The Golden Bird: Chapter 34

Fuck it, I'm splitting this chapter in two and posting the done bit now. You've all waited long enough! (My readers are saints. Seriously.)


The ballroom had been transformed into a forest.Collapse )

Bad news

This week has officially entered the running for Shittiest Week Ever. After returning home from visiting my grandmother, whose Alzheimer's has advanced to the point where she no longer recognizes me, my cheapo laptop gave up and died. Fortunately I backed up chapters 34-39 of TGB, but I have no idea if the rest of my work can be salvaged. (This is what happens when you spend $200 on a computer, kids!)

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.

Updates (again)

The next chapter will be posted on Friday due to family issues. So sorry, once again, for the delay.

The Golden Bird: Chapter 33

...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 )

Update on updates

Unfortunately a new chapter will not be going up this Thursday due to major editing/reorganization on Chapter 34. Sorry, sorry, sorry to go off schedule. I will try to write a good-sized rec post this week to make up for it.

God Only Knows

I recovered from a grueling week at work by...reading a lot of slash. Are you surprised? I'm guessing you are not surprised.

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.

The Golden Bird: Chapter 31

I'm still open for prompts on this post. Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions so far!

[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 )

Best readers ever? Best readers ever.

sennalily has gifted me this wonderful story in her Frequent Traveler's Guide to Jovan 'verse. Non-con, forced prostitution, beautiful boys in bad situations? Check, check, check. Oh, and it's gorgeously written. Like all her work, this is a must-read.

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!

Thank you

arsenicjade just informed me that an anonymous benefactor is sponsoring a square on her hurt/comfort bingo for me. I am gobsmacked, staggered, and close to tears.

Thank you, friend, from the bottom of my black and withered heart.

Thank you.Collapse )
I got a message from a reader asking for recommendations for novel-length, romantic angst and hurt/comfort stories that aren't darkfic. Being ever the solicitous top, I drew up this list.

Beach reads for the bedroom.Collapse )

Please feel free to suggest your favorite stories on this theme in the comments!

White Collar

I'm reading White Collar slash while watching White Collar on TV. It's like Inception.

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.

Hurt/comfort for a cause

Slash genius arsenicjade is raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society here. She's been assigned an extremely sexy hurt/comfort bingo card; readers can sponsor a square for $30, which will get them a 1k story on that prompt or theme. If I had the money I would pay out for the entire board.

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.
The new chapter of The Golden Bird will go up on Tuesday 11:59/Wednesday midnight since I'll be going to Maine on Thursday morning to visit a dear friend. (One of the invisible advantages of going to a fancy-pants New England college is that you meet people who have vacation estates on private islands in Maine.) If you were wondering what happened to Asher, his fate shall be revealed! *dramatic music*

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. 

Freak Camp: A Monster By Any Other Name

Freak Camp: A Monster By Any Other Name was rec'd to me by a wonderful reader who prefers to stay anonymous, and I can't thank them enough for the gift that is this story.

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, caffeinated. Sam is just the sort of trembling, brainwashed, abject submissive that hits me hard in the good place, and Dean is a lovable lug who has absolutely no idea what he's gotten himself into. I ache for Sam and want to hit Dean over the head with a two-by-four. (Sound familiar?) The relationship between these boys is always compelling and frequently heartbreaking. Please heed the warnings -- this story goes to some intense places. It's also not updated very regularly, so be prepared to be stuck on the edge of your seat for awhile between chapters.

I want to rec Freak Camp on The Slash Pile, but I'm not sure it's AU enough to pass muster. Thoughts?


It's always such a trip watching movies and shows with my family when I slash the characters. Right now the mother and I are vegging out to White Collar and all I can think is "You have no idea what I've seen these guys do..."

The Golden Bird: Chapter 29

I cannot apologize enough for not posting this at midnight, as per usual. I got back from New York on Tuesday and have basically slept nonstop. On the bright side: I now have housing! On the dark side, I am ridiculously behind on comments. Argh. Have I mentioned my readers are the most wonderful and patient readers? You totally are.

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.


Luca was afraid.Collapse )

Get outta town

I'll be in the Big City til Monday, apartment-hunting/friend-seeing/couch-surfing. I'll respond to comments and post another list of fic recs when I get back. Update Thursday as usual (I'm usual! First time for everything).

Can't tell you all how much your feedback on this story inspires me. I love you guys.

The Golden Bird: Chapter 28

I am officially incapable of waiting until midnight to post chapters.


Robert"s vision doubled.Collapse )

After my last post enthusiastically recommending hoosierbitch's fanfiction, I realized that I never actually wrote about my favorite story of hers, a collaboration with arsenicjade. Thanks eternally to the wonderful lady_om for suggesting Like an Arrow Through a Flock of Doves on the Rec Post of Doom. It destroyed me in the best possible way.

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.
hoosierbitch is among my most favorite slash authors (she wrote Like an Arrow Through a Flock of Doves with arsenicjade which I cannot recommend enough) and she has worked her pervy magic once again! Learning Your Lines is a White Collar AU with corsets, wax, painplay, breathplay, light D/s, crossdressing AND Richard Burbage. This story (plus a long conversation with yingtai about the historical and sociocultural implications of kink) made my otherwise dreary Tuesday all bright and shiny like a heads-up penny.

If you enjoy the fic, please let the author know. Comments are love, and what's more, they're just plain good manners.

Porn, porn, and a survey on...porn!

If anyone else is interested in vintage pornographic art, this Tumblr is filthy gorgeous.

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! 

So, uh...

I had a dream that Laura Antoniou wrote me a fan letter.

Apparently I am way cooler in my dreams than I am in reality. And waaay more self-important.

More excellent Slash Pile discussion!

The Slash Pile is killing it with the meta these days. If you're not stalking this blog, you should be. The latest and greatest: a survey on comments, commenters, and commenting for writers and readers of slash. The responses are, without exception, excellent. Mine is here. Fellow slavefic writers berthablue and clodiametelli replied here and here respectively. (Hope you don't mind me linking your responses, sweet ladies!)

So here's a thing

There's a great discussion going on over at The Slash Pile about which slash tropes we want to marry, fuck, or kill dump. My answer is here. I'm intrigued and a little dismayed that so many respondents are dumping slavefic tropes, albeit ones I agree are problematic. I will forever and always adore this genre, but I can't deny that there are a lot of common slavefic tropes that squick me, many of which are brought up. I think this goes back to these authors writing from the hips instead of the hips on up. Then again, slavefic is such an id-centric genre it seems unfair (not to mention rather disingenuous) to require that an author engage their superego in equal share. Far be it from me to throw a bucket of cold water over somebody's kink fuel, particularly given that my own doesn't exactly burn clean...

The Golden Bird: Chapter 26

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.


When Robert returned from class, the flat was unsettlingly quiet.Collapse )



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