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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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Blackkklansmen

I went and saw Spike Lee's Blackkklansmen tonight. From all the reviews I was expecting something really remarkable - it has like 96% on RottenTomatoes. With Spike Lee at the helm, I wasn't expecting subtlety. In fairness, this is the first film I've seen by him, but I know his reputation of course.

What I was, was bored.

The basic plot actually had a lot of really clever potential. From the trailer you probably got the basic gist: a black cop goes undercover with the local KKK, doing phone work himself but having a fellow white (Jewish) cop attend meetings as him, since obviously he's black so can't go himself. One additional detail, though not a major spoiler: Ron Stallworth, the black cop, begins dating what I'd call a black separatist, who doesn't know he's actually undercover. So you have the potential for some really interesting dialectic: a white Jew who identifies with his Jewishness only in the most basic of terms. A black man who's thoroughly able to "pass" (at least over the phone) and another black woman with no interest in doing so. And there's some really good conflict between working "within" the system versus rejecting it.

Just to make sure the point isn't lost on the audience, Lee bookends the Ron Stallworth story with a screening of scenes from Birth of a Nation (the DW Griffith standard, not the 2016 Nate Parker film about the Harpers Ferry revolt) at the beginning, and news footage of the Charlottesville attack at the end. I'm just not sure what the point is supposed to be, actually. That racism is still a thing, and that we're still grappling with the same issues? I didn't need the movie to tell me that. That white America is hostile toward black America, and good white people need to wake up to this act? Strangely, Blackkklansmen undercuts itself here: the local KKK is stupid to the point of being offputting, and what other white characters there are are actually fairly supportive, up to a point. The local police is actively recruiting minority applicants, for instance, and Ron probably does more good in the context of the system by working with the white power structure than do the other characters actively rejecting it.

The whole thing had a distinct whiff of preaching to the already converted, and simultaneously letting King's "white moderates" off the hook because we are very much not like Them (TM), the true racists. If you want to feel good about your wokeness, this film will probably scratch that itch, but it certainly didn't compel me to do better. The characters felt flat, both because they didn't develop and even when there were natural tensions between their positions and starting-points, that wasn't really followed through on.

I did find it interesting as a writer, though, because it really didn't involve me in the story, either plot-wise or character-wise or even theme-wise. It's interesting to ask why, and why that failure kept me from really connecting with the point it was trying to make. And I think the best take-away I can offer is I just never made it into the film's target audience -- either because I wasn't the intended audience (which is fine, I guess, though I'd like my evening back), or because it was a bit muddled and didn't really have one. It was so well received, I have to think other people connected with it in a way I didn't. As a cautionary tale on the importance of connecting to your readers, it does seem worthwhile.

PS - I know I haven't been around much. I've been thinking of you all and missing you, but also fighting through a touch of depression so not having the energy to really reach out.  This entry was originally posted at https://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/17162.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

I have new skills!

Specifically, setting up a basic Access database and setting up a form so I can print patient demo sheets. 

Access was the one real member of the Office Suite I'd never dug into, at least as a designer. Which is a waste because I have some experience at least thinking in terms of what database queries can accomplish, if not writing the actual queries (all our correspondence and pretty much anything automated on the MEFA website was built off of SQL queries. I've always thought if I mastered the syntax and basic mechanics, I've got the analytic skills to really do a lot with databases.

... And yes, I suppose this counts as working on a Saturday afternoon, but I'm going to put a more positive spin on it inside my skull at least.

This entry was originally posted at https://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/16966.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

A bit of Johnlock fluff

Because it's Sunday afternoon, and rainy/chilly, and because I can.

*****************************

Sherlock couldn’t quite hide the smile twitching across his face. Hamish sat bouncing on his knee, the pale-yellow of his christening gown cascading around the black wool-tweed of Sherlock’s trouser-leg. Pale-yellow was an odd choice, he knew, but there was purity, the customary white, and then there was light. A pale fire; or honey, properly cured. The black sash  pointed quite clearly to the latter, even without the wings they’d planned (ethereal as fairies’, but to his mind more apian in their design). If the host of Watsons and smattering of assorted others all around could not see, well, the great swath of humanity was more the fool than Sherlock had previously thought.

Mycroft had of course guessed the outfit’s meaning at first glance, but in the spirit of the day had wisely kept his thoughts to himself. So too had his mother, or else Mycroft wasn’t quite so discreet as he liked to think.

John was turned, deep in conversation with one of the many Watsons whose name Sherlock probably should not have forgotten so quickly, his hand still a comforting anchor on Sherlock’s thigh. “Well, yes,” Sherlock heard him admitting, “yellow is a bit unusual. But Sherlock is hardly one for convention.” He opened his mouth to object, but John’s hand patted his thigh just then, and Sherlock let the words pass unspoken. He could play his part, today. “We should count ourselves lucky he didn’t just dunk her into the nearest pond,” John said with a laugh.

That was a lie, of course. Sherlock would have gladly paraded her around Westminster, preening all the while, if he’d thought they could have managed it. But he’d not fought too hard when John had suggested the colors. Not cadmium, not ochre (John’s vocabulary in colors was still pointedly, purposefully limited), but simply light yellow. Pale as the new-morning’s sun, and sweet as spring’s first honey, properly cured. Their little bee. 

Sherlock thought then (or dreamed) of summer wine, sickeningly sweet but just this once; and a lazy sun shining down through a curtain of willow-fronds, he and John feeding each other honey-cakes as their little bee flitted about. And he found he didn’t mind the lie so much, the plain truth hidden in plain sight. 

It was a christening, after all.

This entry was originally posted at https://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/16649.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
 This video brought to you by the letter: badgers.


This entry was originally posted at https://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/16528.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Jul. 17th, 2018

I am back safe in NYC. I was supposed to fly in tomorrow, but given the entire east coast is being slammed by a storm and they were projecting half the flights into NYC airports were going to get cancelled or delayed today, I cashed in my ticket and took a train instead.

Which was lovely. I honestly love long train rides, and the romanticism of a storm just made it all the better. And now I have a day to get errands done before I jump back into work on Thursday.

I do have a tired, though!

This entry was originally posted at https://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/16147.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Jul. 13th, 2018

 I have a vague sense of all the people wishing me happy birthday today. I have grand plans to read through and acknowledge them all, but at the moment I just feel cocooned by a cotton-wool cloud of being loved. Is that unbearably sappy? Perhaps; but it's also true. So, thank you.

I'm also giving myself a much-needed gift of time. Going out of town tomorrow night to visit a friend and not coming back to work until Thursday. The only people I'll be spending time with are friends I'd take an airplane to spend time with. Plus: adventures. I work from home tomorrow and then I'm off. This time in more ways than the one. *winks*

Today was actually really nice. I took The Kid and The Mom out to Italian in the old neighborhood and totally carbed out, and there may have been wine. Then met up with some old grad school friends for a game of Risk, where there was definitely scotch and yet more sugar in the form of birthday cake. You have not played strategy games until you have played them with former philosophy grad students, particularly with the standing addition to the rules: if you can convince the group you ought to have won on ethical, logical, or otherwise philosophical grounds, the heck with the dice.

Also I may have bought the "Lego Movie" Blu-Ray from a street vendor. I never saw it, but I'm really looking forward to it!

You know, sometimes people talk about thirties like we're actually adults, but I'm not seeing the evidence today. This entry was originally posted at https://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/16018.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Sherlock Happy Fun Time

Two bits of fun times from yours truly.

First, Holmestice is through so I can brag about my story. Remember the Doctor Who  episode where Rose and the Doctor meet Charles Dickens and try to stop an alien invasion into Victorian Cardiff, leaving more than a few people dead under suspicious circumstances? Who among us hasn't imagined letting Holmes and Watson have their crack at the case?

The answer is precisely no one, probably. It's still a fun story and gave me a chance to write Holmes and Watson in all their bickering glory, though, and dig into one of my favorite Doyle stories (but so underwritten in fanfic), "The Devil's Foot." Well worth a read if I do say so myself.

In Heaven and Earth (on AO3)

Second, I threw out some questions about Sherlock S4 over at Tumblr today, and would love anyone's opinion here as well. My specific questions below, but I'd be interested in anything you want to discuss:
 

If you thought S4 had an overarching story or point to it, what do you think that was? Does it connect up with the story/point of S1-3, and do you think it’s reached its natural stopping-point or does it still feel unfinished to you? If you think it’s a different story they’re telling now, why do you think they changed tracks? 

I’m particularly interested in why they killed Mary when they did (odd to kill off a major character in the first act like that), and why they introduced a previously-unknown antagonist for the final episode. Particularly if this was meant as the final final episode: what’s the point of Eurus in story terms? I love her; but as an author it’s not a choice I’d make, especially with Mofftiss's good history of developing villains over the whole series/seasons.

This entry was originally posted at https://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/15826.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Three Cheers for Altariel

I'm really enjoying the new DS9 novel. Just the premise of bringing Dr.  Pulaski into the mix of Cardassian politics is really original, and it's as well told as you'd expect from her. Do check it out. This entry was originally posted at https://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/15399.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Holmestice is Icumen In

And the first fic is just wonderful.

It's Doyle-canon, with a focus on Kitty Winters (I haven't read the original Doyle story). She's clever, so clever, and Watson is so kindly and observant in his own ways. Not to give too much away, but if you've ever been slightly irritated with Holmes's/Doyle's attitude toward women, this shows a more evolved view that seemed like so natural a progression, I could see it being part of the canon.

And just when I thought I was done - that coda! I reckon I'll be smiling remembering this one quite a bit over the next few days. Do give it a read.

This entry was originally posted at https://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/15130.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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