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Snowflake Challenge, Day 10


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I got more than a bit behind on the snowflake challenge. I have every intent of finishing it up particularly as there's no end date, but for the moment I'm jumping around a bit. Specifically:

Day 10: In your own space, create a list of at least three fannish things you'd love to receive, something you've wanted but were afraid to ask for - a fannish wish-list of sorts. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your wish-list if you feel comfortable doing so. Maybe someone will grant a wish. Check out other people's posts. Maybe you will grant a wish. If any wishes are granted, we'd love it if you link them to this post.


This one caught my attention immediately, and right away my funny little brain translated it into a regret-list. Some regrets over things I've done and wish I could do over, and also some regrets over things in general. My fannish brain being where it is, this focused on Sherlock. I don't think there are any specifically season three spoilers, but I do discuss my frustrations with series three a bit in the last item. I tried to be vague, but if you're being truly careful perhaps it's best to skip this.



Wish #1: More Community

The BBC Sherlock fandom has turned out to be wonderfully creative. Crazy, yes. Bored, yes. But also very talented. There's no denying its virtues. But it's also very spread out. As far as I've gathered, people post fic to AO3, which is very convenient but also so huge there's no real community, and individual people have various LJs, Tumblr pages, and the like with varying numbers of followers to do with their popularity and renown. But for the most part there don't seem to be as many discussion groups and smaller archives where you can really get to know people. Maybe there are and I simply haven't found them yet. And I am getting to know some individuals. Still, I find myself longing for a group of people to discuss the intricacies and more importantly to comment on each other's fic, like you had on listservs and smaller archives in the Tolkien fandom.

So at the top of my fannish wish list would be Sherlock friends. Or, rather, more of them. Specifically, ones who are as taken with the BBC rendition of Sherlock as I am, but also want to discuss it serious and deconstruct it seriously through high-quality fanfic. It's not that I never get that from people I currently know. It's just that I want more of it, and I want a place where this is the focus so it doesn't feel like I'm boring other people. (Whether that's the case or not, it's often a niggle in the back of my head.)

Two sidenotes on this topic:

1) If I could do one thing over, it would be the way I shared different memes and fanarts on Tumblr when I first came to fandom. I've gotten better at either tracking down the original creator, or making it explicit I don't know who created it when I don't, or hope I have. But one of the upshots of this period is I've never felt comfortable getting back on Tumblr - among other things, I simply never could get a hold of community mores and how to interact with folks there. So that could be a big part of my lack of community right there.

2) I am thankful for Sherlock fans on LJ who have made a bit of room for me. Most noteworthy, arianedevere has let me help her proof her Sherlock transcripts, and taking part in a project like that is a lot of fun. I've missed it, and am grateful for the chance to rub elbows.

Regret #2: More Johnlock-Acceptance

With BBC Sherlock, I had an experience I'd never really experienced in the past: getting subtext. More properly, being grabbed by subtext. Within the thirty or so seconds of Sherlock's "Afghanistan or Iraq?" deduction, I saw romantic chemistry between Sherlock and John. At first it seemed one-sided, but as the show developed there were moments that made me see it from John's side as well. To me, it was obvious. This wasn't about the paucity of male platonic friendship or about the need to sexualize everything or that women couldn't be good enough for anyone else. It simply seemed that the characters were viewing each other (though never quite acknowledging it, to themselselves or the other) as the kind of person they wanted to set up a life together with, that this would be the permanent underpinning of the years to come, and that they wanted that life to be with each other. That to me seems like marriage, functionally if not romantically.

And what I want, right after more Sherlock community, is more Sherlock community where I feel less compelled to defend this aspect. Because to me it seems so blindingly obvious, when I hear certain show-creators or actors balk at it, call it ludicrous and not the show they're trying to tell, I bristle. When I see other fan-artists say they want the Johnlock ship to just go away or that we're all lust-crazed teenagers who can't stand the thought of Benedict Cumberbatch being with another woman or the like, I have this compulsion to argue back. Which more often than not leaves me feeling isolated and belittled but also combative, which is so not me. Or at least not the me I want to be.

I don't need other people to actually agree with me, by the way. What I need is less dismissal out of hand, both by the show PTB (Moffat, I'm looking at you) and from people who don't read the characters that way. I don't necessarily mean my Tolkien friends who also enjoy talking with me about the show - you guys have been wonderfully tolerant of me on this topic. It's more other people who, for whatever reason (possibly my own psychology as much as anything!) seem to bring out my more belligerent side on this topic. And I don't like feeling like I have to always defend myself to myself, or bite my lips when people start off posts with "I don't ship Johnlock, but..." Fandom aside, it makes me feel like a bit of a let-down to the LGB folks I know in real life. I also hate to keep bothering everyone reading this with my frustrations and thoughts and apologies for Johnlock, because I know that's not everyone's interest, and I do seem drawn to this topic an awful lot.

I don't know what the solution to this is, except to find more fanfic and more fan-friends who can provide a wide range of interpretations from thoughtful slash to committed platonic friendship. Also, quite possibly to read fewer Moffat interviews and more Doyle fiction, which gives the relationship such a depth and beauty along entirely different axes than the "Is it romantic?" question. So if anyone has any particular recommendations along that line, either fanfic or Doyle originals that do a good job at looking at Sherlock + Watson relationship: I'm more than game.

Wish #3: To wake up tomorrow and find it's episode one

Don't get me wrong on this one, there's so many moments I loved from both "The Empty Hearse" and "The Sign of Three." Still, there's a part of me that can't quite turn a blind eye to how much like fanfic those episodes seemed. Particularly, bad fanfic, or at least not the kind of fanfic that stayed with you and let you ruminate over it. TEH is a particularly bad offender here, but as sweet and as lovely as TSOT was, it felt more like a fine French pastry than a three-course meal.

I may be proven wrong tomorrow night. All (or at least most) may be redeemed and we may see the figurative elephant in the room. I am hoping. But I'm also kind of missing the hiatus (how did that happen?), the theorizing and the hope and the energy.

So my wish here is for recommendations for good casefic, the adventures fan-artists imagined for them over the last hiatus. Also, for Doyle stories in the same mold. Any suggestions?

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
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marta_bee
Jan. 18th, 2014 10:45 pm (UTC)
I know, it's weird because when I look at the fanfic written and so on, so much of it is Johnlock, and I can definitely see someone who didn't see the slash pairings feeling a bit put-upon. But my introduction to the fandom were specific image-sharing boards over on Pinterest, and for some reason there are quite a few people there who really can be quite aggressive about getting across the fact that they're not Johnlock shippers.

There's a whole range of reactions, actually, from the ever-present disclaimer any time someone shares anything even mildly slashy that "I'm not a Johnlock shipper, but this was still cute" (with the implication that if someone thought they did ship J/S that would be disgraceful), all the way through posts saying their one real wish for series three was for the Johnlock ship to sink, and... less polite ways of putting that basic sentiment. There's just this attitude that seems to be there everytime the John-Sherlock relationship comes up that people who do see romantic potential between them are indulging their libido or twisting the show or perverting what is a beautiful, platonic friendship. In the abstract, I know these views are in the minority, and that quite a lot of fans actually do see the Johnlock pairing - enough that it probably explains a fair bit of pushback against the same. But the only places I knew to discuss the Sherlock show until fairly recently were actually very dismissive of anyone who took Johnlock seriously, that it provoked a certain amount of defensiveness in me, which I'm not crazy about, I guess.
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