June 10th, 2014

granada holmes

this and that

In my last post (or a recent post, at least) I mentioned I was underwhelmed by Clara, which kind of turned into a lot of people talking about how they didn't really care for Eleven generally. Of course everyone should be able to like or not-like fictional characters, for all kinds of reasons. But as I know quite a few of you happen to like Eleven, and really I like him fine in a lot of ways as well.

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Okay, other stuff. I'm finally getting back in the swing of fanfic inspiration. I have drafts of a follow-up to my Holmestice story open on my computer but that's taken a back burner to a scene expansion on the ending of A Study In Pink I think I mentioned. dioscureantwins, you should get an email from me when I'm able to wrangle it into submission, hopefully in the next few days, but you never know how those things work. I've also got ideas about a bit of fluff for a fan-artist's birthday I'd like to get down on (digital) paper and an idea for an AU exchange involving a bit of young Sherlock in Manhattan, my own stomping grounds. These are things that are a bit hard to explain and in some cases are supposed to be kinda-sorta surprises, but suffice it to say I'm having a lot of ideas swimming around my head, some of which are even making it into half-finished fic drafts. It's a bit of a boom time for fannish productivity for me. A lot of the ideas are just silliness and may not ever be finished, but at least one of them (the Holmestice follow-up) is shaping up to be a rich playground to play with some philosophical concepts about love and desire and sentiment, about loving well and what that means. And I can't talk about it in depth until the actual Holmestice fics are all published as I don't want to spoil the surprise of my actual Holmestice fic. But it's giving me the space to play with some of the philosophy I researched for a course I never got to teach, and it's quite nice to play with those ideas in a fic that's set in the modern world with well-educated characters who might have read Plato and Augustine and the like.

Also for reading other peoples' fics, both friends' and otherwise. The acd_holmesfest fics continue to be a goldmine of intriguing Doyle-era fanfic. sjames_centre has a really interesting-looking new Johnlock fic up, The Whole of the Moon. Haven't read it yet but it looks lovely from the reviews. I'm really enjoying vulgarweed's Sherlock/Straw Man crossover, even without having seen the other half of the movie. Someone over at the 221b_rec comm recommended holyfant's And Let the Well Run Dry, which models the series three trip back into Serbia (if Sherlock hadn't been recalled) on the Orpheus myth cycle, which again I haven't been able to read but which looks divine. earlgreytea68 is working at her lovely Olympics Johnlock AU, Working on the Edges, and it's really quite a bit of fun. dioscureantwins's "Lethal Water deserves (and will, I hope) get a review from me at some point, but snarky Sherlock is always a lot of fun, particularly in a story with meat on it. I think there are a few other stories I've read recently that really were quite lovely and I want to recommend, but they're on my phone which isn't handy. Suffice it to say I'm discovering a lot of fun Sherlock + Doyleverse fic that's touching and thought-provoking or just plain fun.

Finally, some bits and bobs I've put together over at Tumblr some of you might find interesting:

answers to a meme about what I hope it will look like if Johnlock ever makes it onto the BBC show - basically some thoughts about what I expect and hope for in that area, and why

a narrative about my own asexuality, in response to a friend who asked whether I thought asexuals should be considered queer. It ended up being kind of a description of my own past with that label, and may be interesting to people wanting to read a bit about my background.

I talked a bit about the unaired Sherlock pilot, which I've been rewatching mroe than is strictly necessary to research that scene expansion fic.

Outside the fannish world, there's nothing much to report, really. I've been looking for and sending out resumes, including one that looks quite interesting in my old school's disabilities office. No real active prospects at the moment. I need to clean up my bedroom in the worst way. Called in and decided to skip my therapy appointment today (bad Marta, I know) for several reasons. So I've got a free day around here so maybe I can get some of that in order. I've been going through my old @fordham email, unsubscribing from email lists I no longer want and updating the rest to the @gmail address, and it's actually quite soothing, if time-demanding. I happened to see really a beautiful piece of art at the local shopping plaza, a baby-grand piano that had been painted with Italian phrases, and keep meaning to grab a picture but never quite manage.

... which is really a very stream-of-conscious RL update, but there you go...

Enjoy your day, all.
granada holmes

interesting piece on Richard Dawkins, the Inklings, and the value of faery-stories

.... here. Quoting from Lewis's "Three Ways of Writing for Children" and Tolkien's "On Fairy Tales," the author tries to answer Dawkins's concern that fiction, even our best-loved fairy-tales, encourage kids to accept the supernatural. Basically, believing in wizards and hobbits and consulting detectives is supposed to make us believe in other things as well that we don't have the evidence for, like God.

Only that's not the way fairy-tales work, is it? I grew up on a steady diet of Germanic folklore, but I don't think I ever thought Baba Yaga existed in the same way the great-grandmother who told me the story did, at least not since I was old enough to grasp the difference. It's probably why I never felt disillusioned by Santa Claus, another story the article mentions: because when I was, maybe, seven or eight i asked whether Santa Claus really existed, and that same great-grandmother told me that, no, there wasn't a house you could go visit at the North Pole if you traveled far enough, he didn't exist like we did, but that he did teach us about what should be, how we should care for strangers we never met and how everyone deserved nice things - just as Baba Yaga told us what it meant to be scared and brave.

And that carried over to how I thought about science, too. I knew at a young age that there was a difference between how I thought things should be or what I hoped for or was scared of, and how they actually were. Science was about the latter. The former still mattered because it gave me the conviction to use the how-things-actually-are in the best way possible, but I had to keep that separate from science because what I was afraid of or hoped for couldn't color my perception of how things really, literally were. This is entirely different from how most religious people (myself included) thinks God exists, interestingly, and I sometimes think a little faery would go a long way in helping us think more rationally even about religion. For instance, while I believe in God, it's largely my ability to dream big (which, apologies, traces back more to Grimm than to Einstein or Darwin) that leads me to be so critical of some of the ideas people have about God that seem so unworthy of the idea. The tribalism. The petty sky-god punishing my enemies. It's faery that's given me the ability to say anyone worthy of the name of God wouldn't act like that. It's also faery that taught me the difference between "I'd really like this to be literally, factually true" and "I have good reason to believe it actually is true" - an ability I can only hope someone like Dawkins would approve of.

Anyway. The essay. It's worth reading if only because it has a really nice discussion of Lewis and JRRT's views on the importance of good stories, even (perhaps especially) fantasy. I actually disagree with the author's point at the end, that reading great stories and participating in creation actually gives us a reason we should believe in a Story-teller, but that's a tiny part of the piece. I'm really recommending it for the discussion of the Inklings, which I found interesting.
granada holmes

BBC Sherlock Fic Rec: A Study in Honey, by Bookaddled

Bookaddled has a lovely fic set between "The Sign of Three" and "His Last Vow." In which Archie accompanies Sherlock to a crime scene and Lestrade gets a glimmer of hope that Sherlock might be okay after all.

A Study in Honey

I alwys worry when I write these things that I will sound like John Watson, because "fantastic!" and "amazing!" are the first words that come to mind. Or that I'll end up paying a backhanded complement to the fandom by saying something along the lines of "You know, you don't often see fics that do ____ well, but here's the exception." I can't think of another way to describe this one-shot than amazing, though, precisely because you don't often see fics that both show a heartbroken Sherlock in the wake of John's absence without it being a trudging angst-fest, and you also don't often see parentlock stories that operate as more than just "genre" fic. Not that there's anything wrong with genre-fiction, but this story feels like a convincingly canon Sherlock interacting with a child, rather than a story about parenting or children per se. And it's, well, fantastic.

If you liked the Archie character and would like to see more of him, I highly recommend this story. Ditto if you like a paternal Lestrade looking out for Sherlock, or a prickly-but-still-human consulting detective. I know the author from Tumblr, which is probably why I read it (there's so much fanfic to read out there, I'm sure I'm missing out on all kinds of jewels). But that's not why I'm recommending it so heartily. It's genuinely a very worthwhile quick read that did a very solid job on characterization and was just plain fun.