Wed, Dec. 20th, 2006, 05:03 pm
Supernatural -- WIP, gen
driving to byzantium
“When waking from a bad dream, don’t you sometimes think it’s real?
Or is it only false emotion that you feel?”
The dream was familiar. It never changed.
He clings to the nursery door. Charred wood and burning flesh reek. His six-month-old brother screams in his crib. His mother screams, her body spread-eagled across the ceiling, with flames shooting from her mouth and the palms of her hands.
A double circle chalked in black lies below her on the floor. Outside the circle his father stands, holding an open book. His voice sounds higher than usual, as if he would scream if he could. The words sound like nothing Sam knows or remembers.
At some pont, the thing on the ceiling stops screaming. His brother’s face turns blue, as if his shrieking consumes all his breath. Small hands shake the crib rails. The wood on one rail cracks; splinters fly and burst into flames, like flocks of fireflies swarming in the heat.
“Veltis,” his father says. The word ends it.
The thing slams into the floor.
Dean’s screams stop. He gasps, gasps again, then looks at his palm and wails.
“Sam, help your brother,” Dad says.
John Winchester kneels over the thing, turns it over. “Don’t look, Sam.”
Don’t look. If only he hadn’t —
The face is not his mother’s. The face is something dead, something that crumples beneath his father’s touch, falling into itself with a stench of a thousand open garbage bags, then turning grey and crumbling.
Dad opens the window. Clean night air floods the room, roiling the stinking grey dust, tearing it into millions of motes, blowing it through the nursery door and out into the staircase away from them.
Dad takes the splinter out of Dean’s palm while Dean drools on his shoulder. He seems not to see Dean’s eyes, to see what Sam sees as he pats his brother’s back.
To see the gleam of gold, the inhuman, demonic tinge that was in his mother’s eyes as she died.
This time he woke alone in his dorm room. Alone, but he could hear Dean screaming. Miles away, but screaming.
Fri, Jan. 20th, 2006, 12:40 pm
The two basic acronyms of fandom:
Obviously, everything here said is my own opinion. I'm drawing generalities, and my sources are my experiences. Grains of salt offered throughout the text.
Fandom wasn't invented by men. I'm not sure it was invented at all; most of the time I think it's akin to the genetic theory of religion, in which the impulse to believe in God is coded in our DNA, so that even if God did not exist, we would find it necessary to invent him, or her, or it. Ergo, fandom — if it didn't exist from the dawn of the human race's first capacity to idolize invention, we would have to create something about which we could be fans.
Ergo, (2) — The basic poles and acronyms of fandom: FIAWOL and FIJAGH. Or, expanded — Fandom Is Just A Way Of Life versus Fandom Is Just A God-d**d Hobby. (Notice the gratuitous God reference. Even among those professing their freedom from fandom, the acknowledgement that fandom touches deep inner needs surfaces — Yes, I'm joking. Well, no. Not entirely joking.)
Nevertheless, there's the dichotomy. How much of your life should fandom absorb?
The archetype of the fan was popularized two decades or so ago by an SNL skit (starring none other than that icon of fandom, William Shatner) in which we saw The Fan as an overweight, under-exercised young male in a Star Trek Lives! T-shirt, living in his parents' basement and terrified of the 'real world'. That image is a holdover, I think, from an earlier fandom: the science-fiction fandom of the 1930s and 1940s, populated by young (and not-so-young) men plunging headfirst into a universe of ideas and frequently never again emerging.
Fandom is a place of ideas: an arena of communion and challenge. In the science-fiction fandom arena, a woman was a rara avis.
Maybe it goes back to the dichotomy. A woman's life has been geared traditionally to the more practical matters: doing the laundry, raising the kids, keeping the home fires burning for the male of our species. Even in these more modern days, most women still turn their lives to the emotional bond of marriage or other committed relationships and the details that crop up in it. A woman without a man may be like a fish without a bicycle, but the romantic bicycle was built for two. A woman bereft of those responsibilities — free to pursue an intellectual life — is still often an object of pity or derision.
But that male Star Trek fan of ours from earlier? He was the rarity. Star Trek was nearly cancelled at the end of its second season. A female fan, Bjo Trimble, spearheaded the first letter-writing campaign to bring ST back for a third season. (And thus spearheaded the phenomenon of the dismal return season, I fear. Honestly, Spock's Brain? We went through all those stamps for that?) Women wrote and edited the first Star Trek zines: Devra Langsam, Ruth Berman, Laura and Margaret Basta (among others).
Keep in mind, though, that mainstream science-fiction fans (not an oxymoron!) sneered at Trek. It wasn't literature. It wasn't books. It wasn't even the movies. It was that bastion of commercialism, the television series.
I add cynically, here, that it was also something women enjoyed. Women wrote Trek. Women discussed Trek. And Trek drew women's attention away from its proper sphere — men. (See? I said it was cynical.)
There have always been women — female fen — who wrote about women. But the first big fandoms were about men. The stories in those fandoms, though, tended not towards the action-adventure end of fiction, but to the character end. The emotional end. And, frequently, to the emotional end of two men interacting with each other, depending on each other, and often, loving each other. The only point of the slash argument I want to bring up here is that these relationships tended to be between two equals who gave up some of their masculine independence to each other. If you skidded down to the power exchange of the dependence slope, one of them relinquished most or all of their independence to 'the other'.
In other words, the writing of men forming emotional and unbreakable bonds with each other was performed by women who in that writing formed emotional bonds with other women while talking about subjects they regarded as important to them, although those subjects were not important to the men surrounding them in the 'real world'. (There is an English sentence in there, I swear — I can hear its desperate little whimpers.)
But, with that in mind, isn't it interesting that the main subject of scholarly studies of fandom is slash? Stories, written by women, about men?
It seems I digress. But actually, I don’t — I have come full circle to my original starting point.
FIAWOL vs. FIJAGH.
How much of a part should fandom play in the lives of women? How much are we willing to cede to an activity that doesn't put food on the table, a roof over their heads, or do anything else practical?
There have been, and will continue to be, I’m sure, strong marriages/relationships between female fen and non-fen males, between female and male fen, and between non-fen females and male fen. But it can't be denied that fannish pursuits have shattered relationships. Intellectual pursuits have shattered relationships throughout history. Whenever a commitment is superseded by a new commitment, something has to give. The question is what.
And there isn't a right or a wrong answer to the question. And the dichotomy isn't truly one thing or the other: it's a continuum. Somewhere along that continuum a female fan finds her limits, and that's where she lands. I don't think it's a moral choice. I don't think it's a transgressive choice. I think it comes down to a selection of priorities. And where ever you land is a valid decision.
Wed, Dec. 7th, 2005, 11:55 am
Overheard in New York
Woman: Do you have a non-fiction section?
Book Guy: Well, everything that's not fiction is non-fiction. [Over] there's cooking, and there's history.
Woman: No, that's not what I asked. Do you have a section for non-fiction?
Book Guy: Well, there are no non-fiction novels. Everything here that's not a novel is non-fiction.
Woman: But you don't have a non-fiction section?
Book Guy: No. Everything that isn't fiction is non-fiction.
--Barnes & Noble, Staten Island
You can't make this stuff up -- it really happens.
Fri, Mar. 25th, 2005, 05:33 pm
something on repeat loop in my head throughout the day
"O dark dark dark. They all go into the dark,
The vacant interstellar spaces, the vacant into the vacant,
The captains, merchant bankers, eminent men of letters,
The generous patrons of art, the statesmen and the rulers,
Distinguished civil servants, chairmen of many committees,
Industrial lords and petty contractors, all go into the dark.
...And we all go with them, into the silent funeral,...
I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
Which shall be the darkness of God."
"....The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food;
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood-
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good." (T.S. Eliot, "Four Quartets")
Thu, Mar. 3rd, 2005, 12:39 pm
Molly Ivins does it again
Tue, Jan. 18th, 2005, 03:21 pm
A Kindness of Ravens, part ii
Tue, Jan. 18th, 2005, 03:11 pm
This is the femmeslash WIP I mentioned briefly somewhere else... As it stands, there's no sex to speak of, but it's -- well, I wanted to explore aspects of female friendship and try to see if I could find a Cassandra I could write. It has as a basis some sexual contact in the past, but whether or not there's any in this I don't know yet.
Highlander, takes place after Revelations.( A Kindness of Ravens )
Thu, Nov. 4th, 2004, 12:15 pm
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it first
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Thu, Jun. 10th, 2004, 12:32 pm
In the "don't worry" category
The New York City Police Department has issued the following statement in
response to an email that has been circulating. Please feel free to cut and
paste this statement and send it via your intranet systems.
Lt. Jessica E. Corey
"THE NEW YORK CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT HAS RECEIVED NO CREDIBLE THREAT
INFORMATION CONCERNING A WIDELY-CIRCULATED EMAIL MESSAGE THAT DISCUSSES A
PURPORTED SUBWAY ATTACK ALLEGEDLY PLANNED FOR FRIDAY, JUNE 11TH. IN
ADDITION, THE EMAIL IS PART OF A COMPUTER VIRUS WHICH ATTACKS THE ADDRESS
BOOKS OF ITS RECIPIENTS AND SPREADS BY USING THOSE ADDRESSES. COMPUTER USERS
ARE REMINDED NOT TO OPEN MESSAGES OF FROM SUSPECT OR UNFAMILIAR SENDERS."
Fri, Jun. 4th, 2004, 09:58 pm
At MediaWest*Con. Jean C. was sadly missed, but the reasons were understandable. (Next year! And maybe I'll stop going to bed at 10 pm!) Of course, not being in the con hotel was something of a hassle... coordinating with those with cars in order to get back and forth (though heaven knows I should have been able to walk the distance).
I do remember years and years ago the weekend there was a snowball fight at MW*C -- sometimes Michigan does that to you. And yes, sometimes I think about cons that were, and get stupidly nostalgic and weepy (proof I'm getting old or proof of menopause...) But I primarily go to see old friends, so it was a nice experience after missing out on last year.
One of these years I'll start going back to panels I'm not on. I gave those up in the early '90s when it seemed like all the panels were designed to create two groups of people, on either side of the room, screaming at each other. That's not a discussion, that's a gang war.
But I did buy a few zines, and I actually will do my best to read them this year. Then I will take what I don't want to keep and recycle them via friends who deal in used zines.
The plane flights weren't too bad, in spite of having to be at the airport by 5 am Friday. (I can't stand to waste a day of vacation in travel.) And it was fairly nice weather until Sunday.
So all in all -- a good time.
Mon, May. 24th, 2004, 01:20 pm
|dejla may explode without warning|
Wed, May. 5th, 2004, 12:52 pm
Measure my heart against a feather, Lord,
but anneal me first --
plunge me smoking from sorrow's fires
into joy's springs --
let my grief dissolve as steam dissipates in air.
Lay me on the anvil, strike me with life's hammer,
let knowledge spark wisdom
and refine my thoughts.
Etch me with peace,
inlay me with laughter,
gild me with love.
Set my soul in my heart.
Cut it glittering with facets
or polish it as a cabochon,
but set it in my heart
an ornament reflecting the world
At the end,
weigh against me a feather --
and let joy lift me in the balance
on wings beaten on the sun
and tempered on the moon.
Wed, Apr. 14th, 2004, 02:51 pm
Shirley Maiewski died yesterday...
Who was she - for those of you who just came in? Shirley Maiewski, for many many years, ran the Star Trek Welcommittee, which was a group founded partially by Jacqueline Lichtenberg, known for writing one of the most hotly debated ST:TOS series, Kraith (which like so many other series, never quite got finished).
When I first met her, in the late seventies, she was middle-aged. Just exactly the sort of person you wouldn't expect to be a fan. Of course, all of those pictures of the fat boy living in his parents' basement and glued to his TV set to watch Star Trek -- yeah, well, as far as percentages go, he's so far into the minority he probably should be an endangered species.
Shirley was the quintessential 'media' fan -- female, educated, intelligent, enthusiastic, always willing to share her time and her knowledge with anyone else who might share those interests. Without Shirley, there might be fandom. But it wouldn't be the same, and it wouldn't have survived as long as it has, over as wide a space as it has.
Peace and long life - Shirley had both, thank God.
Mon, Apr. 5th, 2004, 01:24 pm
This is a terrific post...
Tue, Mar. 30th, 2004, 05:14 pm
There are times I just want to kill a number of people, en masse, all at once...
And then I go and bang my head against the wall until I feel dizzy. And when I stop, everything seems so much better...
Mon, Mar. 8th, 2004, 11:51 am
Why I don't like Mondays...
swiped from fanficauthor
Sun, Mar. 7th, 2004, 11:55 pm
a friday fannish five running late as usual
gacked from dargie
, who got it from fanficauthor
1) What are the physical characteristics of a character that turn you on, and give at least one example. Dark and a little unusual -- Martin Castillo comes to mind, as does Ironhorse. Methos.is in there, too. I'm less likely to go for blondes, or small men, although my own serious relationship was with a guy who was completely opposite what I would have thought of as my type. Women -- well, Xena comes to mind. So does Sean Young and Yancey Butler.
2) What are the physical characteristics of a character that turn you off, and give at least one example. This is harder. I don't have any idea what the actual characteristics are. I know that Archer (Enterprise) and Sam (QL) do nothing at all for me, although the actor is quite good. Peter Wingfield is a turn-on, but Michael Vartan, who has some of the same facial and physical characteristics, does nothing at all for me.
3) What are the personality characteristics that turn you on, and give at least one example. Wit, intelligence, I like a good talker, usually -- and someone a bit of a romantic. Actually, McCall has most of the particular personality traits I like, and physically, I like older men as well.
4) What are the personality characteristics that turn you off, and give at least one example. Ah... know-it-alls. Claire Kincaid and the character Jill Hennessey plays on Crossing Jordan both irritate the hell out of me. For that matter, so does the Emily Proctor character on CSI: Miami. Men -- I can't even watch five minutes of the guy on L&O: CI without wanting to throw something through the screen.
55) What kind of clothing (or lack thereof) is most likely to make you melt like a puddle around your character, and give at least one example. Oops, forgot this one first time through. Uh... depends on the character. I like black turtlenecks. Don't ask me why, I don't know. Black turtlenecks and black jeans. Oddly enough, I also enjoy very buttoned-up clothes... I suppose because thinking about removing them is enough to melt my knees.
Tue, Mar. 2nd, 2004, 06:34 pm
Must really say 'damn!'
I got the second MediaWest*Con progress report, and noted that Cathie Whitehead died 2/29, of a heart problem. I am sorry to see that -- I liked her very much, and I'm always sad to lose an old fan.
Fri, Feb. 27th, 2004, 02:56 pm
Current household updates
Well, for the first time in about 9 years, we have a real shower. How does one not have a shower? Well, the house in which we live is, my guess, about a hundred years old. There's a gaslight connection in the kitchen ceiling. I will not harrow you with tales of newer electrical wires running through the ceiling next to a live and uncapped gas line.
The bathroom is probably not much newer. At one time, there was a separate shower. In a little room inside the bathroom. With a little glass door. However, it leaked into the basement, and after that, our landlady had hysterics and insisted we not use the shower. Instead of fixing the shower. Yeah, you got that right. So we have a tub, which we can use, yes, but it has no hand-held shower. It has a tap (or whatever you call the thing where the water comes out) which is so old that you can't connect a hand-held to it. We had to keep track of a very old type of rubber connector that is not permanent and tended to wear out.
Oh, and did I mention that the entire bathroom is tiled?
Adding hysteria to inconvenience, the pipes are so old that they don't match modern pipes. After the plumber tore out the tub wall, he had to go and get couplers and then solder them.
This required about ten hours of work. I was at work myself; only my roommate was inconvenienced. The dogs were well-hidden under the bed.
All I had to do was hang my clothes back up (no, that's not a non-sequiter) since the access to the tub pipes is through my clothes closet.
Ah! the joys of a ten-minute hot shower in the morning!
I have also bought a ceiling fan for my room and hope this summer to have Vido, the Russian handyman whom our landlord found, put it into the ceiling instead of the three bare bulbs currently sitting there in their 1900s sockets.
What else, what else...
The two Highlander stories are limping along slowly. I'm trying to learn to use my own resources for plotting and not coaxing someone else to act as sounding board and plot-maker. What that means is it takes a lot longer for me to write.
Have an idea for a Miami Vice/CSI: Miami story (although I have to admit I can't see H/Calleigh AT ALL)
Preparing for a second road trip with the twins, and hoping to have less escapes this time.
Fri, Feb. 27th, 2004, 02:53 pm
And yet another...
You are the the Hierophant card. The Hierophant,
called The Pope in some decks, is the preserver
of cultural traditions. After entering The
Emperor's society, The Hierophant teaches us
its wisdom. The Hierophant learns and teaches
our cultural traditions. The discoveries our
ancestors have made influence the present.
Without forces such as The Hierophant who are
able to interpret and communicate traditional
lore, each generation would have to begin to
learn anew. As a force that is concentrated on
our past and our culture, The Hierophant can
sometimes be stubborn and set in his ways. This
is a negative trait he shares with his zodiac
sign, Taurus. But like Taurus he is productive.
His traditional lore can provide a source of
inspiration for the creatively inclined, and
his knowledge provides an excellent foundation
for those who come into their own in the
business world. Image from: Morgan E.
Cauthers-Knox.http://elfwood.lysator.liu.se/loth/m/o/morganc/morganc.html Which Tarot Card Are You? brought to you by Quizilla
I have to say that I've always found Tarot cards evocative. Whether or not I believe in them is a question I am not prepared to answer....