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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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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.
In the past --oh-- six hours.

1) I popped over to work. Today was meant to be an at-home day, but I'd left the power charger to my main computer there, and while I had one for a six-year-old dinosaur that got me through the workday, it was in no means up to a stress-free weekend streaming videos and reblogging other folks' creativities on Tumblr.

2) Which meant a rather hectic twent minute high-there-bye-there exchange with my coworkers who were managing a busy doctor day.

3) Finished editing my Holmestice fic.

4) Discovered that I'd only drafted the email asking for a short extension, not actually sent it. So technically my fic was just late. So technically I may have lost my spot.

(Holmestice mods are way more understanding than I would be, and if they can't accommodate me I 100% understand. This is my fault. Which is why I'm less disappointed and more simply kicking myself over being such a dunderehead.)

(But worst case scenario, I have a finished fic ready for posting, probably the most substantial I've written since...well, my last Holmestice entry probably. :-D So at least a year.

5) Whilst looking for a power cord for my scanner, knocked over a very nearly full 48 oz. water bottle. Without a lid. Right on to my laptop and my cell phone.

6) Rescued the cell phone (*knocks wood*), just finish and send off the Holmestice fic before my machine does the blue screen sudden stop, then tells me I have no OS and (on running the fixer) no hard-drive either.

7) Do the tech support thing with HP. They didn't ask how it happened, I didn't volunteer the information. Here's hope my warranty level is sufficient they don't have to get into "reasonable use," etc.

8) Get out the door to Aldi's where they have *gasp* Diet Coke twelve-packs for $3.83.

(Diet soda is my main vice, and what gets me through many a work day. Bought individually at the store, they cost $1 a can, which is frankly ridiculous. Normally they run $5-7 for a twelve-pack. Scoring them for $3.83 feels like an achievement to be proud of, like finding that perfect white blouse you've been shopping for for years.)

9) Not technically the last six hours, but: a teen I tutored back when I worked with Sloan Kettering relapsed and died. This is of course very sad, but keep in mind I was working with teens with bad cancers - some were never going to make it. But while I was planning a fun day off next week, that's now to be built around going to a funeral, which is just deflating. (Yes, sir, I'm going to a funeral; no, that is not why you shouldn't fight me when I say i'm taking a personal day out of my vacation)

... Basically, I am jointly exhausted, and damned proud at how well I've adulted this afternoon/evening.

This entry was originally posted at https://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/15073.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Let’s talk some more about Infinity Wars. I mentioned earlier tonight at Tumblr I had Theories with a capital T, revolving around the concept of Chekhov’s gun, which just means you don’t put a revolver on the table in the first act unless you mean on using it in the fifth.

Before I go further, the usual warning: spoilers.

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This entry was originally posted at https://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/14593.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

May. 2nd, 2018

So, Avengers. The kid and I used our $5 Tuesday to see it tonight, and she seemed to get swept away in it all easily enough. I was more than a bit underwhelmed. (Spoilers, obviously, though I'll do my best to stay away from the truly huge ones.

First: there's nothing truly wrong with the movies, in the specifics. Gamora in particular is brilliant, and Benedict Cumberbatch is yet to find a genre he can't rock; apparently we can add "thinking man's action hero" to the list. There are characters I would have loved to see more of (Shuri, for instance, if only because I love Letitia Wright in the role). And Loki didn't get nearly enough screen time. But largely I think that comes dow to personal tastes. It's not that the story really needed more, just that I personally really liked them.

But there's the rub. Not that I get bonus points for having called it, but based just on the size of the cast, I was more than a bit worried it would be too much. And I think it was. Even knowing so much about the earlier movies so I didn't need to "learn" all these characters, there just wasn't much room for character moments, or even to really feel the high "wallop" moments. Again, Gamora's a standout exception here, but I think that's because her big moments happen when the plot is at its least busy. (Plus the actress playing her is brilliant and can own any scene, in my opinion.)

I suspect a lot of this comes down to why you watch Marvel movies. I'm not a comic book fan, and not particularly in it for the action and SFX. I like the characters and that's what keeps pulling me back. That, and the irreverence, and the light and humor. The opening scenes seemed much more DCU than Marvel, if you know what I mean.

Repeatedly, I saw noticed changes to the characterizations from earlier movies just because it served the plot. A great example of this is the Bucky character. We've gone from boy from Brooklyn, to Winter Soldier, to White Wolf. His look is distinctly pastoral by the time we meet him in IW, almost Christlike. But none of that is really referenced or made sense of in IW; T'Challa merely says he's rested long enough (as if the deprogramming and new lessons to learn in the Black Panther post-credit scene are the same as taking a sabbatical to recover from too much work). Of course he's got to fight, and in just this way. But because there's so much going on, there's no room to explain what's to me a really crucial new chapter in his story.

Other characters suffer from this, too. Strange's newfound respect for rules, for instance; or Peter's choosing the Avengers over being a neighborhood spiderman; though in fairness Rhodey's change in loyalties (if you want to call it that) felt so right, I'm grinning about it just thinking about it. I'm not sure I can really blame them for any of that, given the cast size. But for someone who massively prefers her plot to serve the character's purpose rather than the other way around, I did feel underwhelmed throughout.

On the other hand... Black Panther, Thor, and Spider-Man are all tough acts to follow, on top of which I was bringing in a lot of personal baggage. Tough several days at work and I was looking forward to this as a way to "reset" my mood a bit. It shouldn't have to.

Still, all that said, I do think I prefer the solo character flicks to the Ensemble casts. Probably a reason for that.

One last thing: as a Sherlockian, it was such a pleasure to see RDJ and Cumberbatch on the same screen. Because obviously they're their own characers here, but there's a lot of their Sherlock characters as well in how they approach this, and they're so different but also such different sides of the same coin. As I said over at FB, just seeing them snipe at each other was worth the ticket price alone. It's still weird to hear Cumberbatch in an American accent, though.

This entry was originally posted at https://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/14552.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Mar. 26th, 2018

Apparently yesterday was some sort of Tolkien reading-day (happy V-S day all!). I know I'm late but I'm toying with rereading something Tolkienesque. The Akallabeth is my obvious go-to text, just because it never gets old, but I'm also toying with something more Third Age-ish. Maybe "The Quest of Erebor" or "The Hunt for the Ring" from Unfinished Tales. Maybe even "Of Fairy-Tales" - seems like heavy lifting, but I've never actually read it, which I'm sure will shock and horrify all who know me.

... I'm trying, is what I'm trying to say. I have good intentions, I still think about Tolkien (quite a bit). And I miss being in the swing of it all.

Did anyone read anything fun?

This entry was originally posted at https://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/14279.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
To whom it may concern:

  • You have money.
  • I have skills.
  • Nature abhors an imbalance.

Please don't make me break out the Adam Smith on you.

~ M.


Some days I am tempted to just make that my cover letter and be done with it. Other days I want to drop the please and insert a few others of the four-letter arrangement.

This actually isn't meant as anything angst-filled, more an acknowledgment that job hunters spend crazy amounts of time on those buggers and they're all such BS. "I am highly skilled in [objective 1 quoted from the advert], [objective 2], [buzz wordy jargon], and [objective 3]. I can technology and word, and have even been known to be a team player." It's all rather hilarious.

I'll admit, I haven't made the job hunt as much of a priority as I should have. Too exhausted, too soul-crushing. I'm on a bit of an upswing just now because of a work situation that is ridiculous and probably illegal, but equally I know if I brought up to my boss I'd be told to get over it. Which is telling. (I deserve better!) So I'm writing a lot of these letters, and the amount of work they take really is bizarre. It makes me smile, for some reason.

This entry was originally posted at https://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/13958.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

I have never been so simultaneously proud and embarrassed to be an American....

This entry was originally posted at https://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/13716.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

health cost-sharing plans - thoughts?

Heaven help me, I am seriously considering an HCSP (health-care sharing plan). For realz.

So I missed the deadline to sign up for health insurance through the ACA marketplace. The simple explanation is due to a technical snafu, but equally it's because I couldn't bring myself to pay what felt increasingly like a penalty for working at a job that didn't provide health insurance.

At my income the "bronze" plans would have cost just under $300/mo, and the silver just over $500. Bronze was doable, barely, but as I understood it, outside of preventive services, I'd have to rack up about $7500 in bills before it would cover anything - on top of the monthly fee. I couldn't imagine having that much medical expense; better, in purely selfish terms, to sock $300 a month in a savings account and pay out of pocket and just plan on paying the tax fee for not having insurance.

I'd looked at HCSP's in the past, mainly just out of curiosity. They sidestep a lot of the bureaucracy, and they're non-profits which appeals to me. They were also billed as a Christian alternative, meaning you had to live a certain "lifestyle" (no smoking, drinking, extramarital sex), which raised all kinds of privacy concerns for me. Also I just didn't like the idea of having my lifestyle or faith be judged before I got to participate, on general principles. And and, they tended to only "share" (offer reimbursement) for pretty high amounts.

So I like the principle, but I did have some Concerns with a capital 'c'.

Anyway, when I didn't sign up the website that had been pinging me with reminders now sent a link to an HCSP. And it's very upfront, this is not health insurance, it does not cover all the areas ACA plans are required to (notably, mental health and drug rehab). It is religious in nature but this isn't emphasized, and the values statement you're supposed to accept is so generic, if you believe in God at all I don't see you having a problem agreeing to it. I certainly could.

What's interesting is, the way it's described it seems pretty good for the routine stuff. You get for instance five visits to a primary care doctor at $20 per visit, and that includes any labs they order. Drugs too - you can get some very generous rates (about $10/mo/Rx for mine), all before you hit your deductible. The problem is when you need to go beyond that: with the plan I'm looking at you have to pay the first $10k per incident yourself, and it caps out at I think $150k. So for instance if I fall and break my leg, I'm in trouble. ACA plans, true "insurance," tended to have lower deductibles and higher per-incident caps, meaning if I need something beyond routine office visits, I'd be better off.

On the other hand, I'm walking around without insurance at all right now. So... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Just being able to get back on some medicine I'd stopped taking because I couldn't afford to see a doctor, I think would be a big step toward improving my life quality.

And... I'm rambling. Also hating myself a bit for considering what essentially feels like a sell-out (buying a cheap plan to manage my own out of pocket costs rather than paying my "due" to support others who can't afford it). I'm also beyond frustrated that we (meaning I) have to make these choices. But equally, the one thing holding me back is the fact they charge an application fee ($125 on top of the first month's premium) to join up, and there's a part of me worried it's somehow a scam. On paper at least, it seems simple and commonsensical, and really quite good.

I'm curious... anyone have experience with these kinds of plans?

This entry was originally posted at https://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/13401.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Dear Sherlock Fandom

Sherlock fandom: This is just a Sholto songfic waiting to happen, isn't it?

How has it not happened?

This entry was originally posted at https://marta-bee.dreamwidth.org/13221.html. Please comment there using OpenID.



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