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Sunday Six: more Guardian

AO3 won the Hugo for best related work! \o/

After a thoroughly unproductive week, I managed to eke out a bit of writing yesterday; fingers crossed that this is back on a trend rather than an exception?
"Okay, then," Zhao Yunlan said with a careful nod. "Let's get them there and figure it out from there."

He started to turn back to collect the kids, only to realize that the Envoy had gone still--frozen, looking at him with such unalloyed focus that it sent a frisson down Zhao Yunlan's spine. "What?" he snapped, quelling that shiver.

"You trust me?" the Envoy asked, quiet but intent.

Zhao Yunlan could've lied, could've told him they were best friends, comrades for life; but the sharpness of that gaze would cut through any glibness as easily as the guy's blade through that monster. It wasn't worth the effort. "If you wanted to kill me now, you would've already." He shrugged. "So come on--" He couldn't say it aloud; giving it as a name was one thing, but actually addressing the guy like some lord in a historical drama, with a straight face...not possible. "--Hei-Laoge."

The Envoy's shoulders jerked under his bespoke suit jacket at that insolence, but he didn't say anything.

Cross-posted at https://xparrot.dreamwidth.org/183707.html with comment count unavailable comments over there.

Sunday Six: Guardian + plotbunny farm

The Guardian Plot Bunny Farm has officially moved to @brush_and_lantern so check it out if you're in need of inspiration (or want to throw some out there!)

There's also a new monthly theme up: Aliens, Demons, Superpowers

Meanwhile, being blocked on my other fic, I started a new one, in the grand old tradition of tossing the characters into a cliche and hoping they'll figure it out. I'm still sulky with my writing atm but I'm having fun with the story, so I'll take it...
The figure started to step forward, and Zhao Yunlan cocked the pistol, the metallic click loud enough to be heard over the kids' whimpering. "You get one more warning," he said. "Stay back."

The figure didn't move closer, but it brought down its hand in a sharp gesture--Zhao Yunlan braced, but it wasn't calling back its weapon. Instead the black cloak and mask dissolved around it, to reveal a man--a man in glasses and a neatly tailored blue suit. And yeah, of course Dixingren could look as human as anyone if they tried, and most of them did; but still, this guy didn't look like he'd crawled up from any hellish underworld. More like he'd stepped out of an accounting office, or a university classroom.

"Zhao Yunlan, are you all right?" the man asked.

Zhao Yunlan didn't lower the gun, kept his elbows locked so his arms wouldn't shake too hard and his eyes narrowed against the vise of pain closed around his skull. "I'm just dandy," he said. "So who the fuck are you?"

Cross-posted at https://xparrot.dreamwidth.org/183486.html with comment count unavailable comments over there.

Guardian drama timeline: the past

I've seen and done a lot of speculation about what the Guardian drama shows us about the Kunlun story, in particular, how long was he really back there, and finally decided to sit down and try to work it out to my (dis)satisfaction.

Obviously, spoilers for GuardianCollapse )

Cross-posted at https://xparrot.dreamwidth.org/183220.html with comment count unavailable comments over there.

7 Guardian fic recs

Tomorrow I leave on a several week vacation overseas, to be roadtripping with my family + @naye and @doctorskuld! \o/

...So today instead of packing I've been poking at the epilogue of my current Guardian WIP (@bonibaru gave me excellent beta feedback that helped me figure out what was troubling me about it, but it means rewrites) and making rec posts I've been intending to do for weeks...

So to add to the other themed rec lists for Guardian -- here's seven of my favorite fix-its in the fandom, working in and around and through to a different end than what canon gave us.

Some spoilers for the drama, so behind a cut!Collapse )

Cross-posted at https://xparrot.dreamwidth.org/182895.html with comment count unavailable comments over there.


Sunday Six: Guardian

@bonibaru wrote a beautiful rec for @naye's epic Guardian fix-it "With a Twist of the Kaleidoscope" -- read the rec, and then read the fic, if ever you hoped for a better ending. It's a fantastic, engaging, angsty, romantic, h/c-filled epic from start to finish, complete with brainwashing and a redemption arc, and it sets right, if not every plothole and forgotten thread of the drama, at least a bunch of them. And yes, fixes it, rewarding Shen Wei and Zhao Yunlan as they and we deserved.

And @frith_in_thorns just posted a lovely bit of Shen Wei h/c that makes me hope for lots more where that came from: "We are all still standing"

And I have been ficcing myself, but the current scene I'm on is being a pain, so have a bit of pre-porn that may or may not ever happen (or may or may not actually be porn if it does):
"All those people, and you're this charged up. But you were only looking at me," Zhao Yunlan reveled.

Shen Wei made a rumbling sound that was maybe a chuckle and maybe a purr. His teeth were set to the tendon along Zhao Yunlan's throat--not biting but scraping along it, making sparks down his spinal cord like flint on steel. Zhao Yunlan felt his tongue flicker against his pulse point as Shen Wei spoke. "None of them compare."

Cross-posted at https://xparrot.dreamwidth.org/182748.html with comment count unavailable comments over there.



The Guardian drama started airing a year ago today, and [community profile] brush_and_lantern has an Anniversary Celebration post for ficlets and such, lots of fun happening there!

I wrote fluff for the occasion! Actual genuine fluff, anniversary-themed, no less.

...That it's complete fluff I'm proud of given my track record of late, like, I got Shen Wei stoned on allergy meds and he still went angsty on me (very confused and completely unnecessary angst but still). And my current WIP is hardcore angst h/c (wait for it, wait for it...) -- I'm relieved to know I still have more than one setting!

--Okay, so yes, those settings are all for "HEA WeiLan." But I'm having too much fun to stop. Happy anniversary, Guardian fandom!

Cross-posted at https://xparrot.dreamwidth.org/182516.html with comment count unavailable comments over there.


Sunday Six: silly Guardian snippet

Any Guardian fans on my flist probably have already seen this, but [community profile] brush_and_lantern fanworks comm is open for business with its first theme -- and its first work already! \o/

And I want to write something for that, plus I have two different long fic that I really want to be working on, one I have hopes of finishing this week and the other still has a ways to go but where it's going, ahh, I am nervous but excited to get there!

...and then I got on Twitter, and let's just say that [personal profile] tanndell is a menace and also I am weak, there are certain tropes I am so, so weak to, and Shen Wei tickles my id in a particular way...

"Shen Wei?" Zhao Yunlan asked over the phone.

"Zhao Yunlan?" Shen Wei said back.

"You call for anything in particular?" Zhao Yunlan said, in that particular tone that meant he was leaning back in his chair, with a specific grin Shen Wei knew very well, informal and satisfied. "Or just to hear my dulcet voice?"

"I do like hearing your voice," Shen Wei said. "Even over the phone, it's so gentle and yet so lively."

Cross-posted at https://xparrot.dreamwidth.org/182179.html with comment count unavailable comments over there.

Fic: Not All Those Who Wander

As mentioned, this was my fic for the 520 Day Guardian Exchange:

Not All Those Who Wander (23,476 words) by Xparrot
Fandom: 镇魂 | Guardian (TV), 镇魂 | Guardian - priest
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Shěn Wēi/Zhào Yúnlán, Kūn Lún/Shěn Wēi
Characters: Kūn Lún, Zhào Yúnlán, Shěn Wēi, Dà Qìng
Additional Tags: canon AU, Drama, Angst, epic fantasy, or else scifi?, Old Haixing Era, Post-Apocalypse, Show-Book Fusion, Fix-It of Sorts

The god Kunlun is as old as the mountain range that bears his name, if not older. Or so the villagers say. He was here before any people were, as eternal as the mountains — moreso, in truth. The mountains might change, but Kunlun remains Kunlun.

(While a drama-novel fusion, it's specifically an AU of the drama and should make sense even if you haven't read the novel.)

I wrote this fic in a week and a half, and it devoured my life for that time. Have you ever had a story that feels less like you're inventing it, and more like it exists already and you're just serving as the transcriber, the vessel that it's poured through to come into being? Yeah, one of those. I'm pleased it exists and excited about it like it's not really mine at all; it surprised me as much as it could any reader as it developed. And there were some things that didn't make it into the story, due to the limitations of the POV. So these are the DVD extras, for my own fun, and for anyone curious.

Spoilers for the fic (and a few for the drama and novel)Collapse )

So that's the story. And thank you so much, everyone who's taken to time to read it, and kudos'ed or left a comment; after living with one foot in this fic's world, I can't tell you have happy I am to have company. It means everything to me to know anyone's enjoyed it!

Cross-posted at https://xparrot.dreamwidth.org/181825.html with comment count unavailable comments over there.

Guardian 520 Exchange!

The [community profile] sid_guardian Guardian 520 exchange is live!!! And there is SO MUCH fantastic stuff, omg. (Especially given that the word limit was a friendly 300 words...that lured us all in and then inspiration took us all for a ride!)

First my gift is this amazing adorably domestic fanart from the incomparable Altie:
There is a tie! And Zhao Yunlan being sweetly naughty and Shen Wei not minding one bit, and Da Qing has a fish so you know all is right with the world <3

Then there is an incredible amount of awesomeness that I'm just starting to work through. And before that, this (because I had the pleasure of beta'ing so didn't need more time to savor it now!):

[personal profile] naye's To fall but in your arms
16K (!?!) of delightful h/c and UST, set early series, when they run into a detour in the journey up the mountains in episode 9. It's from Shen Wei's POV and he's as big a basket of delicious issues and unreliable narration and eternal longing as anyone could hope for.

And a few more recs in no particular order:

[personal profile] galaxysoup's In Vino Veritas
The conversation and bonding between Zhu Hong and Shen Wei that I always wanted (plus so many gorgeous insightful things about Shen Wei and everything that makes him as beautiful a character as he is, I can't quote them all, but: "He puts down his chopsticks and takes off his glasses, setting them down beside his plate. He looks different without them - less friendly but more honest, a strange meeting point between the Professor and the Envoy.")

singlecrow's justice gave me an amber necklace
A fix-it with the challenges of moving on; the end is an exquisite breath of relief.

[personal profile] ranalore's The Touch of Your Mouth (your heart's truth tells me)
Four first kisses and then the fifth -- beautiful writing, and then, the end...the end!!!

Speaking of kisses, Goss's fanart Forever be colliding is a gorgeous one, as is abyss_valkyrie's Always stay here and never leave me and Tinny's manips!

Plus because this was a multimedia exchange, we also got [profile] lolachrome's vid Bury a Crown for all your BAMF!Shen Wei needs (that bit at the end when he screams, hot damn.)

(And my own is the absurdly over-long Not All Those Who Wander -- and frankly I'm proud to have brought it in at under 24K words; it could've been 150K. This story ate my life for a couple weeks so it'll be getting its own post, for my sake if no one else's!)

Cross-posted at https://xparrot.dreamwidth.org/181690.html with comment count unavailable comments over there.


Cheating a bit as these words were from last week, as this week I've only worked on my fic for the [community profile] sid_guardian 520 exchange, due Monday afternoon.

...Which is. Well. So I had this very clever strategy that I didn't even start it until last weekend, in hopes that hard limit would rein in my tendency toward rapidly expanding wordcounts. Given that the minimum wordcount for this exchange is easygoing 300 words, I figured even I would be okay.

The fic is now 15K words and is not done. It's gonna be a long weekend.

But these words aren't from that; they're from my other thing that I am dying to get back to (I de-stressed a couple days ago by reading over all I had of it, and while I still don't know if anyone else will like it, man but I do...if I had any shame I'd just keep it to myself, but I don't, so.)

Shen Wei didn't blink. Didn't break or lower his locked-on gaze. "I would forgive you," he said.

"Forgive me?"

"If you broke your promise," Shen Wei said. "I would understand."

(now I just gotta decide whether to wait to finish it and post it all at once, or make it a multi-chapter WIP and start posting it now...)

Cross-posted at https://xparrot.dreamwidth.org/181263.html with comment count unavailable comments over there.
Just squeaking in this Sunday Six Sentence (which I haven't had much chance to write this week, which has been driving me slowly insane, but on the other hand it feels so good to be wanting to write again!)(...meanwhile this draft is at 14.5K and nowhere near done and did I mention that it was supposed to be maybe 5K, what is wrong with me, why are these chars like this??):

Shen Wei was standing under the shower, arms braced against the wall. His eyes were closed, his head tipped back into the water.

He was still fully dressed, soaked shirt and trousers clinging to his body, so they didn't conceal the shivers, fine tremors running through his shoulders, his extended arms.

"Shen Wei?" Zhao Yunlan said, over the water. When Shen Wei didn't react, Zhao Yunlan swore and leapt forward to shut it off.

Just sticking his hands under the shower long enough to reach the tap hurt--it wasn't just turned all the way to cold; there were icicles collecting on the showerhead, frost patterns spread over the metal. When Zhao Yunlan wrenched the tap off, it was with the crackling of breaking ice.

Cross-posted at https://xparrot.dreamwidth.org/181180.html with comment count unavailable comments over there.
Originally found on Tumblr, Six Sentence Sunday is:

a writing thing where, on Sunday, you post six sentences from an unfinished work. It can be a new fic, a new chapter of a WIP, or even something you’re not sure you’ll ever post.

Shen Wei’s voice was even, calm; but his hand at his side was curled into a fist, just visible under the hanging sleeve of his bathrobe, and pressed tight against his thigh.

"Shen Wei,“ Zhao Yunlan said, and the way Shen Wei snapped to attention, the slight bow of his body towards Zhao Yunlan, as his too-dark gaze locked onto him–it was almost as usual, but not quite; at once appealing and disturbing. Zhao Yunlan cleared his throat, said, "If my being here makes this harder—if it’s really going to be better for you to go it alone, if you really want me to leave, then I’ll leave. I’ll clear out now and keep my distance until it’s all over.”

"It…“ Shen Wei swallowed. "It would be—you have your duties as Guardian, and this is hardly among them.”

"Not what I asked,“ Zhao Yunlan said gently.

Cross-posted at https://xparrot.dreamwidth.org/180924.html with comment count unavailable comments over there.
So Guardian is still my fandom du jour -- just posted a new fic, and now here's some meta speculation, to join in on the fandom renaissance on Dreamwidth! (at least for Guardian and the very active [community profile] sid_guardian! Only makes sense, given that Guardian feels so much like a '90s genre/cop show, just with 10x the subtext and fanbait. So many old-school fans here, it's like coming home...)

Spoilers for the end of the Guardian drama, along with the unaired alternate ending sceneCollapse )

Cross-posted at https://xparrot.dreamwidth.org/180574.html with comment count unavailable comments over there.

on scrap-metal fanning

I’ve seen it argued that “good” doesn’t have to mean “deep” or “meaningful”; nor does “good” have to be “perfect.” That a work of fiction that is light or silly or flawed can still be “good” or “great” -- and this is totally true; I completely agree with this. (And “good” and “great” are subjective anyway, of course; anyone can argue them of anything.)

But sometimes I love things that I think are not good. I love works of fiction that I also think are trash -- and that’s part of why I love them.

When something is good, I want to appreciate it for what it is. The parts that make me depressed or uncomfortable or angry, I have to find ways to explain, to accept, to excuse.

But something I think is trash, that’s the stuff I’m willing to -- joyfully, without hesitation -- to rip apart, to shred into pieces and pull out the parts that I love. To bend and break and melt down and reshape into what I want.

This ship I love came to a terrible end? Oh, that ending sucked -- here, let me write a better one.

That character I love did something awful? Well, that plot twist was stupid -- listen up, I’ll tell you what they should’ve done.

To me, “trash” doesn’t mean “no redeeming features”; nor does it imply one has no taste -- it means “here is an open bin; take what you want and leave the rest.” And I love it for that.

(cross-posted from tumblr)

Cross-posted at https://xparrot.dreamwidth.org/180373.html with comment count unavailable comments over there.
Quick post to say hi, anyone here from Tumblr -- I'm historically terrible about using my journal for actually posting things, but I've always been here reading and commenting.

(If you're someone I know/follow on Tumblr (or lj or somewhere else) and I haven't followed you back here, drop me a comment -- I'm not great at keeping up with my subscriptions here and probably have missed folks.)

I'm probably sticking around Tumblr for the time being, but who knows how long that will actually be. Have been through enough fannish migrations/banishments before that I'm more tired than angry or upset. Really I'm mostly personally disappointed that it's going down now, when I've just found a new fandom with a nice fun circle on the platform.

(That would be the slashtastic h/c extravaganza that is the Chinese series Guardian, and more generally Cdrama. And more specifically the actor Zhu Yilong, so that for the last couple months [personal profile] gnine and I have been trying to watch everything he's been in. Which is a new...low? high? for us when it comes to actor obsessions, in that the majority of his past work hasn't been subtitled, and I know, like, 50 words of Mandarin. Which is 46 words more than I knew a couple months ago. And Zhu Yilong isn't even named David! ...He is breathtakingly beautiful, however, and frankly way more talented than most of the stuff he's been in deserves. And honestly, I needed this, after the last year. I've written more in the past two months than in the year before that. Yay for obsession!)</dw>

Cross-posted at https://xparrot.dreamwidth.org/180169.html with comment count unavailable comments over there.


on fannish pilgrimmages

I went to Comic-Con and all I got was this...well, actually it's quite a nice t-shirt...

So earlier this year, [personal profile] gnine and I had another go at the San Diego Comic-Con ticket lottery -- and actually lucked out; I got in within the first 15 minutes, and we got tickets for the four main days, Thursday through Sunday. So that was last weekend. And for our first SDCC -- we killed it!

long rambling excuse for a con reportCollapse )

Cross-posted at https://xparrot.dreamwidth.org/179677.html with comment count unavailable comments over there.



Sad pet talk under the cut (and a little sad family stuff), so, yeah, only if you’re in the right frame of mind.

Read more...Collapse )

(If you have anything funny or cute or happy to talk about, how much you love your latest fannish obsession or something that's gone just right for you, I'd love to hear it...I kind of want to get out of my life for a bit?)

Cross-posted at https://xparrot.dreamwidth.org/179370.html with comment count unavailable comments over there.


on Lucifer

In silly fandom news -- we just watched the FOX show Lucifer. And now I want there to be more of a fandom for it, because it tickles me in just that fannish way.

In some ways it's a hard sell because it's not exactly a good show; it's tropey and cliche and even at its best, it's a cautiously shallow dive into some deep waters. Though based on the Lucifer of Gaiman's The Sandman and other DC comics, those horror/philosophy stories are a very loose antecedent; the show is a lightweight police procedural -- albeit with supernatural elements, but those arcs are usually the B-plot to the murder of the week. It follows that established genre of the main het pair of a by-the-books (usually female) cop teamed up with a wacky (usually male) "civilian consultant" with a mysteriously vital skillset, and plays it straight, UST and all.

The civilian consultant in this case is the fallen angel Lucifer, recently retired from Hell and looking for entertainment and purpose on Earth by helping solve crimes. He owns a night club and goes to therapy (one of my favorite parts of the show, poor Dr. Linda) and hides his divine nature under the most impenetrable cover, which is that he tells anyone who asks that his legal name is Lucifer Morningstar, you know, Satan, and the reason that identity only goes back five years is because that's when he came up from Hell, which he used to rule, because he is in fact the Devil, and also he would appreciate it if people would stop blaming him for all their sins. And yes, those scars on his back are from when he cut off his wings. And no, he is not a method actor. Really.

The procedural cases are run of the mill and the angelic mythology isn't anything too original -- but it's developed nicely, and the cast is beautiful and has fabulous chemistry. It's one of those shows that just feels like everyone has fun making it together. I don't have any OTPs in particular, but most combos of the characters are entertaining. I lowkey ship pretty much any relationship that isn't blood-family (and those platonic relationships I naturally adore).

And Lucifer himself is pure fannish catnip for a certain type of fan, that is, if you have a thing for the devil-may-care lunatics and wildly inappropriate hedonists with darker backstories who secretly care more deeply than they ever should, and are slowly realizing they want and want to be more, and occasionally shatter into a glorious mess of angst...yeah, he pushes my buttons hard. The star Tom Ellis does a great job with the part; he deftly walks the line between obnoxious and charming, projecting confidence, glee, and menace without losing comedic lightness. He is supposed to be supernaturally attractive and he sells it well -- he's not the hottest guy on TV (which isn't to say he's any trouble to look at, and the directors -- many women among them -- know how to shoot those dark eyes and fitted suits to excellent advantage) but he carries himself like he knows he's irresistible, which is what counts. And he is so very good at maniacally smirking at people like he's about three seconds away from either going down on them or going for their throat.

He's also great at being completely emotionally devastated. I can point to the exact scene I really fell for the character and with him the show; it's partway through second season and I would be embarrassed by how cliche a fangirl I am, except that unabashed fanning like this is really just fun. The Lucifer show is such a marvelously old-school fan experience for me, a so-so but cute show with a fun cast and a few shining moments of fannish delight.

(It's old-school in less fortunate ways as well -- especially first season is problematic, with obvious and oblivious racism, sexism, consent issues, etc. That improves, but other issues remain. Throughout the show it all but ignores other faiths -- like Supernatural, it's not exactly Christian in that Christianity or Christ is never name-checked; but Christian mythology is all that's explored (I actually prefer no mention to badly handled dismissal or appropriation, but ymmv.) Like most procedurals, it tends to tilt more conservative than I'm really comfortable with, in the politics of crime and also socially -- like, Lucifer is canonically bi/pansexual, but we see him with way more women than men, while the demoness Mazikeen we also see being sexy with more women than men.)

The first season is on the slow side -- actually it feels bizarrely old-fashioned; without contextual clues I swear I'd have mistaken it for late-90s TV, down to how it's shot.

The second season is when the show hits its stride -- not only does it have a stronger story arc, but it expands the cast (including adding the gorgeous and hilarious Tricia Helfer; with her and another, the main cast is more female than male) and develops all the character relationships, mixing and matching in unexpected ways and giving everyone a chance to shine, such that a lot of chars who start out annoying end up becoming awesome. Maze especially is by-the-numbers seductive torturer in season 1; in season 2 she starts making friends and the actress gets a chance to show her range, particularly her comic side. Also Dan, who starts out as the stereotypical 'douchey cop still hung up on his ex-wife' but moves into a more solid supportive friendship with Chloe (exes who have genuinely moved on romantically but are still friends/family is so one of my kinks) -- and also ends up in ridiculous situations with Lucifer, which I suspect is because the actors play off each other so well they started writing to it.

The third season (which the show is finishing up now) has been extremely erratic; the plot arc isn't as directed as 2nd season's, and the characters are regressed somewhat. But it's had some good stuff, too, enough that I'm hoping it gets renewed.

And meanwhile I'm looking for fic, which is pretty slim pickings -- it's a mid-sized fandom, but the focus is nearly all on the main het pairing of Lucifer and his detective partner Chloe, and while I don't mind the ship, it's one of the less interesting aspects of the show to me. As is my wont, I mostly want gen team-Lucifer stories. (That or Lucifer/Dan stories, because it would be too funny. There needs to be an episode that Lucifer and Dan wake up naked in bed and handcuffed together and have to solve a murder by figuring out what happened to them, which might be easier if Lucifer would stop suggesting that they should have sex (again?) to see if it sparks any memories...)

Cross-posted at https://xparrot.dreamwidth.org/178974.html with comment count unavailable comments over there.

on The Last Jedi

So, went to the new Star Wars last night!

Massive spoilers, and less positive opinionsCollapse )

Cross-posted at https://xparrot.dreamwidth.org/178759.html with comment count unavailable comments over there.

OMG we're going to SDCC!

[personal profile] gnine and I just managed to score tickets for all days! ...now we just need to find a hotel. I'm sure that'll prove an interesting challenge...

Cross-posted at https://xparrot.dreamwidth.org/178456.html with comment count unavailable comments over there.


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