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[sticky post] fanfic master list

Below is a list of my various fanfic and blog posts discussing different books, TV shows and movies. Feel free to poke around and read anything that strikes your fancy.

The fiction in particular often carries specific warnings and benefited from the help of beta readers and (in the case of some poetry) co-authors. Rather than trying to recreate this information here, please find it at the archive where the stories are posted. If you've helped me out over the years and I haven't properly thanked you, please let me know so I can correct it. Most of the links point to ArchiveOfOurOwn.org, which I joined several years ago, and while I've done my best to give credit where due, I do know my own limitations in this area and am willing to fix any mistakes.

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Today we got $16k of old bills paid for one of our patients. Well, I say "we"...

Also, we had the records to generate $32k in loans for the funding company we work with today. Again, I say "we"....

Granted, that's not in my bank account, but as I can turn good will like a well-balanced bat'leth, I feel like celebrating. Will probably swing by Olive Garden or some such if I ever get out of here.

This entry was originally posted at http://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/7008.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
This is the realty: It is 6:59 PM and I'm away from work, in Washington Square Park. A minor miracle. I thought I had therapy tonight but apparently I got my dates confused and it's an off week. So I came all the way down here (which isn't so very bad after all), got some Russian dish I love (think pierogies but with grilled meat and sausage inside - don't know the name), and found out I have the time.

My therapist apologized I feel like I've been given a gift, or at least, that I ought to feel like I've been given a gift. Technically, there's nothing to stop me from just chilling out. The park is lovely. The weather is cool. There are chess games to be lost, and maybe some shopping to be done later.

I wasn't really in the mood for therapy tonight anyway. Actually, I feel like screaming or crying over work stuff, and I'm not entirely sure why. But just complaining about work is neither productive nor cheap on a therapist's couch. But anything else would have been performance art tonight, I'm afraid. Not a great occasion for introspection or soul-searching, and I sort of feel like a dodged a bullet there.

The reality is I live in one of the best cities in the world, and I have at least an hour of carved out time to enjoy it. This is a blessing, and a necessity.


This is the perception:

I want to scream. I don't know why I want to scream, particularly, when today hasn't been spectacularly bad. I could point to the factors, but they don't seem to cover it, subjectively.. Meaning I feel like this anger is me being weak, a sign I can't hack it because I just can't handle the normal. (And also am probably indulging, more-than-probably taking my bad mood out on others (though I know, when I think about it, I actually haven't been.)

Today was a short day: maybe 6 hrs in the office, another hour at home, and maybe 30-45 minutes of file-sorting on the train. Not *that* light for most works and made up for on other days but very light for me. So it feels like I haven't earned the time off, and there's certainly work still to be done. Meaning I actually feel a bit lazy, definitely that the specter is still hanging over me. Which isn't helping the first factor.

Again, perception: I hate my job. I know I need to find another one, which I seem unable to do. The usual excuse is the vicious cycle of not enough to do to properly search. But now I have tie after a comparatively light day and I can't make myself dive in. As if I have to. As if -- having suffered through a day that really could warrant some kvetching, if that would help -- I then have to subject myself to the equally degrading world of a job search. (It really is no fun!) I am trying not to think so hard about all the other things that keep me from doing this well. Lack of social graces, shot nerves, minimal self-confidence just now, and probably most of all, lack of professional connections I can use as references. (People who like me- Check. People I can tell I don't want my current job, though?)

The perception is that I am a self-indulgent do-nothing who desperately needs to be able to set boundaries, and that that's no one's failing but my own, who can't even properly unwind. And now that my therapist has apologized twice for the mix-up, I now feel a bit mocked, too, though I most certainly am not being.

But the reality is that it really is a lovely evening. The monkey-grinder between my ears cannot change that reality. *g*


In other news, an acquaintance over on Tumblr offered to put me in contact with the folks who used to run the now-defunct sherlockiansbepositive blog, which was a kind of anonymous love fest. The idea is I might get involved in helping run it again. I don't know if anything will come of it, but the prospect is quite nice. The reality (no self-deprecating perception here!) is I miss adminning, the structure and positive results, and would really like to take on some fannish project again if just for the structure.

This entry was originally posted at http://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/6841.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

The Blind Banker, Continued

Apparently I'm not done yet with this episode. Let's talk about one of the cuter moments in the episode.

Sherlock: I need to get some air. We're going out.
John: Actually, I've got a date.
Sherlock: What?
John: It's where two people who like each other go out and have fun.
Sherlock: That's what I was suggesting.
John: No it wasn't. At least, I hope it wasn't.

(With thanks to Ariane.)

My inner Socratic always wants to jump up and dance around at that exchange, because it's precisely the kind of bad "definition" he'd dismiss in the early sections of a Platonic dialogue. That may describe a date, but it hardly defines one. Particularly as Sherlock's precisely right: here, what he was suggesting does meet that definition. He later throws in another criteria: that part of a date was trying to get off with Sarah. But if the only difference between friends' night out and a date is the possibility of sex? That seems cold, somehow.

I wanted to stay away from this scene because I'm trying to experience the show as something other than a slowburn John/Sherlock romance. And this scene, following so closely on the heels of Sherlock's firting with Molly to get access to those corpses (which means he does at least understand romantic code), is pretty damningly TJLC. , That, or queerbaiting, at least at first glance. So I'm not sure how comfortable or fun this particular conversation will be for a lot of people, or helpful to my project of "seeing a story other than TJLC.

But I think there's something important going on here.Because I think canonically (as in, Doyle stories), John and Sherlock love each other even if they don't love romantically or want to have sex. (Which to be clear, I'm also quite open to as a way of understanding these characters.) I think that would have worked reasonably well in Victorian times, when men and women operated in such different spheres; but today, it is harder to make space for a close friendship, even one where there's no romantic competition - a girl friend for a gay married mane, or a male friend fo a hterosexual, for instnce. I mean, we all need friendships and I wish it wasn't this way, but a really close friendship can seem to intrude on the emotional territory of a marriage, because we expect more of that within the marriage than we did 150 years ago.

What this means is the most straightforward answer to the problem raised by Doyle!Mary -- have her and Watson have their own world off-screen, and Holmes and Watson's adventure pose no more a threat to that than regular nights with the men at the club -- doesn't work in the modern times. I'm sure I'll be talking quite a bit about this as we get to S3 & 4.

But for now, what fascinates me is that John and Sherlock don't even have the framework for a close friendship that's distinct from a date. Doubly complicated by the fact that I really and truly think Holmes is meant to be gay or at least not-straight. The problem here is grammatical, they don't even have the words. And if that's not frustrating in the most beautiful of ways!

(Also a bit "persistent," to put it politely, because if Sherlock doesn't pop up like a game of wackamole, time and again throughout the evening. Yes, a big part of that is Sherlock not being great with social boundaries and being as stubborn as kudzu; but I think there's also a big element of neither of them knowing how to make space for the realistic, necessary friendship that seems to be growing between them, that's important and matters at least as much as John's romantic love with Sara but isn't really being validated at that moment.)

This entry was originally posted at http://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/6500.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Marta Rewatches: The Blind Banker

 It's the weekend, which means I get to rewatch another Sherlock episode. This week: The Blind Banker.

Before we get started: I know a lot of people aren't big fans of this episode because of the racial elements. And I can see where they're coming from here, the treatment of Soo-lin leaves a lot to be desired. I suspect a bit of that was trying to translate "The Dancing Men" (we can all agree that's the canon inspiration here, yeah?) which relies on a focus on honor and secrecy I don't think translates all that well into modern Western culture. Maybe they felt a need to make that seem "exotic"? (Which is still problematic.) Also there's the ending, where Sherlock lets the pretty white receptionist keep a very valuable, historically noteworthy piece of Chinese jewellery. It's played up as a sweet moment, but I wonder how people would react if we were talking about the Elgin marbles or some such. Which we are, it's just not recognized as such.

So, yes. I get why some folks would be more than a bit turned off by all that. I'm choosing to focus on other things, just because I don't feel all that qualified to talk about those other problems. I did want to at least highlight them, though.

Last week I talked about how in ASIP, John and Sherlock are actually very comfortable in their skins but a bit blind to how they might improve. This episode, the focus is much more on how incomplete they are. How they need to move forward.

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ACD_Holmesfest is back

I am as excited as Holmes considering a rose with an intensity that is in no way creepy. None at all.

This entry was originally posted at http://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/5746.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Rewatching "A Study in Pink"

I’m rewatching Sherlock with an eye for non-shipping stories the showrunners might be trying to tell, and because --yes-- I am on Tumblr, I’m thinking about that snippet from Gatiss’s interview making its way around Tumblr: that by the end of S4, John and Sherlock are comfortable in their own skins. It seems to imply this is a new thing, that they weren’t that way before. Like in earlier series, they’d be uncomfortable in their own selves.

And you know what? They’re just... not.

Pardon my language here, but: Sherlock is an asshole in ASIP, not just a “bit of a a”, we’re talking full out; but he’s the king of the assholes. Watch that press conference. He’s showing Greg and Sally up, completely needlessly, but he owns it. This is being a jerk raised to an artform. Or again the “four suicides and now a note” moment in 221B, right after that awkward hasty tidying up of the flat where he’s so clearly trying to appear normal for John? Normal people do not jump in the air at the prospect of a really interesting murder. This is not normal, but it is Sherlock, and he exults in that moment.

There are other examples. The look of glee when his deductions don’t drive John off. The simply not caring about how inappropriate it was to call John from across London. The more-than-slightly-cruel way he plays the game with the cabbie. I could describe this Sherlock many, many ways, but “not comfortable in his own skin” is not one of them.

John’s a little harder to paint that way. He’s clearly suicidal which does bring a whole level of discomfort, even self-disgust, with it. He’s alienated from his therapist. He’s itching to get away from Mike Stamford, visibly distressed by how thoroughly he doesn’t fit in to the kind of civilian life he represents. But there’s also this easy lethality about him. John Watson with a gun in his hand is (again pardon my language) fucking art, it’s a grace and self-possession I aspire to on my best days. And the race after the cab is that, too, to a lesser extent. So too with the people he meets: hitting on Anthea, standing up to Mycroft, running off to Lauriston Gardens after Sherlock. He’s a man of action, and when he’s given a context that allows that, it’s really something to behold.

What I am noticing, though, is there are huge parts of their characters that they’re a bit too comfortable with. Sherlock makes an art out of causing pain. Anderson embarrasses him? He’ll call Anderson out, but in the process he’ll humiliate Sally Donovan, who as a black woman police officer is bound to suffer more for the perception of sleeping around on the job. Or take John. He’s beautiful when he shoots Jefferson Hope, there’s a skill and even aesthetic to it that always takes my breath away; but I actually think he should regret the need for it, and the fact that he kills him not to save other lives but to save Sherlock specifically who put himself in this situation does bother me. I think it should bother us all. If I let myself think about it instead of getting swept away by the romance* of it.

(*Not necessarily the erotic, more just the idealism of it, the faerie.... I’m grasping for words here a bit, but I mean romance more in the sense of Le Morte d’Arthur than Romeo and Juliet, if that distinction makes sense.)

When I first watched these first two series, I saw Sherlock and John on a path toward something like Aristotle’s virtuous friendships (whatever other components their relationship might have). Sherlock has this daring quality, a kind of courage of the intellect, and John envies that. He wants to be more like that again. And for his part, Sherlock is drawn to John’s ability to care. It awakens a realization that maybe this is something he’d like to grow into. That means he has to be more aware of what he’s lacking - not a bad thing, it’s the first step toward actually acquiring that virtue. You can’t become more generous if you don’t realize right now, you’re more stingy than you should be.

But this is the great tragedy of the show, as I remember it. It breaks them of this false comfort in their own skin and while it does end with them being comfortable again in what’s supposed to be a better way (that lovely montage at the end of TFP!), I don’t see how it was really earned. It does feel a bit boop, and they’re fine. Which makes the comfort and self-awareness feel a bit tenuous to me, certainly it’s not well-earned or any more secure than what they had at the first meeting. That may be shipper’s frustrations shining through, so it will be really interesting if I can see that journey back to self-comfort better as I rewatch.

My point, though: rewatching ASIP, I want John and Sherlock to get back to this point. I want them to be as home in their own selves as they were here, but I want it to be a self that's better, less driven by cruelty and violence and more by justice and knowledge and standing up for the oppressed, and I want their unique friendship to be what gets them to the other side. Then again, that may be my inner Aristoteian setting up an unrealistic standard. Like I said, it will be interesting to see if I can find this arc as the show unfolds again.

This entry was originally posted at http://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/5463.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Jul. 14th, 2017

So, first the bad news: Queens got hit by a wee bit of weather, leading to them cancelling most every flight out of LaGuardia. No beach getaway for me.

The good news: I ow have extra money to play with. And two days I've already taken off work, after having told everyone up to the head of the lawfirm not to expect any emails answered or phone calls accepted until Wednesday. And a GroupOn account I know how to use. Can we say: staycation?

(I think we can.)

This entry was originally posted at http://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/5235.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Clearly I've got something in my eye

Also: owwww.

This entry was originally posted at http://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/4994.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Bless social media. Tom Smith just wished me a happy birthday.

So did loads of other people. Makes me a bit surrounded by love - honestly my favorite part of the day. Thank you!

This entry was originally posted at http://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/4802.html. Please comment there using OpenID.



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