bookworm

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.

Collapse )
bilbo

(no subject)

I was recently rereading "A Scandal in Bohemia," and was struck by an interesting detail. Holmes is planning a ruse where he'll be injured by a kind of mob assault outside Irene Adler's house (so she'll take him inside without his arousing suspicion). And Holmes being Holmes, of course, can't just appear as a nondescript man about town:

He disappeared into his bedroom, and returned in a few minutes in the character of an amiable and simple-minded Nonconformist clergyman. His broad black hat, his baggy trousers, his white tie, his sympathetic smile, and general look of peering and benevolent curiosity were such as Mr. John Hare alone could have equalled.

But why a Nonconformist clergyman in particular? As I understand it (Brits/history buffs, correct me if I'm wrong), there was usually an official church whose clergy enjoyed the right to perform sacraments and preah in public and establish officially recognized churches. Like the Church of England in England, the Roman Catholic church in Ireland, and I believe a presbyterian church in certian parts of Scotland. But there were all sorts of minority Christian sects — the Methodists of my own background, Baptists, unitarians, evangelicals, even the Quakers — that operated outside the bounds of the official church. Sometimes they had limited authority to perform (some) religious rites; sometimes they weren't so well tolerated.

Collapse )
bilbo

(no subject)

I am very much in love with these socially-distancing kitty-kats. I read somewhere that cats like boxes because it gives them a sense of security, and I wonder if something similar might be at work here.

Also, with Bence Peter, the pianist on YouTube. The sheer creativity and raw skill is truly flabbergasting. The term "cover" doesn't quite do it justice.

Collapse )

I've also read the new Hunger Games novel, but I need to think about how I feel about it. I want to like it; I definitely want to reread it, and now's not the time to really go into spoilery details I don't think. I will say for a whole host of reasons it was probably published at the absolute worst time given current politics: it's a story worth thinking through, but it's also very hard to give it a fair hearing just now. Can't hold that against her, of course. But a lot of the skills people found lacking in the original trilogy (like plausible world-building) seem much more of an issue here. Maybe I've grown more picky, or maybe I'm just more tired these days so not as easily swept along. I did like the premise and a lot of the concepts, but my first impression was I could have written it better myself!

Anywho. Back to the paid work.

(no subject)

I've been thinking lately about how the Fellowship doesn't seem to carry money; or at least I can't remember a point where they even offer to buy something. When the Nazgul drive off the hobbits' ponies in Bree, Frodo has a bit of coin (though not enough to meet their current circumstance), but certainly once they get to Rivendell and join up with the Fellowship proper. But I can't remember t happening outside of the hobbits. Gandalf couldn't even afford his own horse.

Compare that to the Hobbit. The dwarves need advice and a place to rest from Elrond, but I don't recall there being any expectation that he'd outfit them. They lose all their luggage unexpectedly and have to trick Beorn into helping them, and then again the Mayor of Laketown is presented as helping them out of self-interest. The whole thing is shot through with fair trade and contractual details, from Bilbo's employment contract covering funerary expenses through Bard being owed a certain share of Smaug's horde as the actual dragon-slayer. Which, granted, is quite hilarious in its way, but it's also very modern and self-interested (or at least ingroup-interested).

Which makes a sort of sense because this really is Thorin's quest and not Elrond's or Thranduil's or even Dain's in a way that's just not true for the quest to destroy the Ring. But I think there's something deeper going on here. I have only a vague understanding of medieval concepts of hospitality, but I do know it's significant in pre-modern societies, and I wonder if there's not something like that going on here. That it's not some sort of quid pro quo or even a kindness but a way of really engaging in the Quest even if you're not one of the walkers. You see it in devotional literature about pilgrims going on their journeys and the people who support those journeys materially going on the pilgrimage vicariously, a bit. I wish I was better educated on this and could speak more specifically, but I do wonder if there's not something going on here.

Fic Rec - The Bang and the Clatter

I may be a bit wobbly as a writer in the last few years, but I am exercising my readerly and commenting muscles. Most recently I've read earlgreytea68's lovely story "The Bang and the Clatter," a Johnlock AU where the boys are professional baseball players.

Mind you, I haven't actually sat down and watched a baseball game since I was actively writing fic! But there's something about late spring that has me thinking baseball-ish thoughts, and with the sports lockdown and all, this definitely scratched an itch.

More than that, it's just a comfortable, eminently enjoyable, well written and all-around happy-making fic in any universe. As EGT usually provides. You can read my full comment (slightly spoilerish, majorly squee-ish) here if you'd like more details on why I loved it so much, but really, just go and read the thing.

*cracks philosopherly muscles*

First, the big question: I'm physically well and financially secure. Very much ready for this nonsense to be over, though of course not wanting to rush it and return to the big wide world philosophically.

Also: happy Passover to those who celebrate it. It's hard with the social-distancing thing, but as someone pointed out on Tumblr, scrounging for food while you huddle indoors from a plague sweeping the land, knowing that staying inside your house is the only way to be safe, is about as Passover as it gets. But sheesh, why is this year's night unlike all previous year's nights!

 I'm also going a bit stir-crazy so to stretch the muscle between my ears I've signed up for an online "course" — really mostly a series of videos on the kind of standard questions covered in your freshman philosophy course, but it's kind of fun to revisit them. The latest question is an interesting one — is morality objective — and I do have thoughts, but when I tried to write them up they seemed really too technical for week four of the quarantine.

Thinking about it, that's ... depressingly true of my relation to the written word generally, just now. Lots to say, it just doesn't seem I have the confidence or skill to wrestle them into something fit for public consumption. So I'll just leave it at that for now.

bilbo

Mountains, Gandalf!

Check-in time!

I'm working from home. I'm one of the lucky ones who can: work gave me a laptop and my job involves staring at a screen and talking on the phone anyway, so I'm really ridiculously lucky. Work's actually a good deal more pleasant because keeping up my public face is exhausting all day (never mind the commute), and I can also do stuff like listen to Cabin Pressure all day on the computer not being used for work.

I'm not really set up for longterm work from home, though, so I've been dealing with a lot of lower-back pain from sitting hunched over a laptop all day. Also nothing fun is open! It's amazing to me how much I rely on movies and shopping and just people-watching on the bus. Have also been staying away from the Kid for social-distancing reasons, and that's no fun at all.

The big thing is probably that I'm mentally wiped out. I don't know if it's stress or just the ennui of living in my apartment all day long; I want to write (I really did intend to do at least a piece or two for BMEM!), quite badly, but I just... can't. Even blogging seems like too much effort just now. And you'll tell me there's no reason I have to write, which is true enough, but misses the point that I actually want to and am just too worn out to do it. Worn out with no objective reason (I'm not commuting, after all), and I'm stuck at home all day and all night anyway.

I don't know. It feels like the world's gone off the rails, and I'm not set up for living where I'm not</> navigating the great sea of people that is New York. It's wearing on me, and this is only after a week.

That said - I'm not sick, I'm not broke, I am so much better off than so many people. I am trying to be grateful. Would that it were so easy!

(no subject)

I got to see Onward tonight, which I'd been looking forward to months, which of course meant I was inevitably let down. It's a nice enjoyable romp and I'd definitely recommend any fantasy lovers see it at least once, though it wasn't as all-absorbing as Pixar movies usually are for me.

Doesn't mean it wasn't fun. I'd put it at the leve of maybe How to Train Your Dragon or Abominable, which is far from nothing.</p>

What I did love were all the Tolkien references! The movie's set more in the world of Dungeons & Dragons than what you'd call high fantasy in the Tolkien mode. But there are tons of clever references, and each one had me smiling. Putting this under a cut so other fans can enjoy discovering them. Did I miss any?

Collapse )