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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.


On Thor 3

(Whoops it's been a while -- just posted this on Tumblr but thought I'd put it up here too since this is a better place to talk...)

Went to Thor Ragnarok last night and just, WOW YES WOW. It lived up to its preview and that is saying something (if anything I am disappointed I watched the preview, it spoiled some bits a little. Not that there wasn’t so much more to enjoy, it’s not that it ruined all the best stuff, but.)

It was hilarious and ridiculous and took the occasional turn into heartfelt and then whiplashed out of it in that way that I love so much. The characters were all perfect, both in casting (oh my god Cate Blanchett was such an outrageously awesome villain, her voice and her poise and that helmet) and in characterizations.

And the leads -- Loki was amazing, amaaaaazing, everything I want my Loki to be; but I actually think Thor might have been even better -- the one worry I had, watching the previews, was that they would make Thor into a complete doofus, but no -- while he is a blowhard idiot and a lot of the jokes are at his deserved expense, he’s also courageous and perceptive and legit clever, a lot, like, briefly talking science with Bruce or executing plans and just...okay, I wrote 150K of Thor, I got really fond of the guy, and while this version isn’t mine, it’s what I loved most in mine.

And Thor and Loki together were perfection, every single scene they had, and there were a ton of them, which will get spoilery so under a cut they go.

Read more...Collapse )

Cross-posted at https://xparrot.dreamwidth.org/178424.html with comment count unavailable comments over there.
So currently in SPN fandom there is a good-old fashioned...shipping war? Gen war?--there is a contretemps going on, and I feel the need to rant here because otherwise I am liable to get into something on tumblr, and who wants that?

Cut for those who don't want spoilers for the current season of SPN or don't give a fig about the show, which is wise of you, keep that up! Those who care, or enjoy reading about dumb fanwank, continue...Collapse )

In conclusion -- SPN continues to be the oddest fan experience in that, as frustrating and flawed as the show is, it still delivers to my id far better than the fandom...

Cross-posted at https://xparrot.dreamwidth.org/178157.html with comment count unavailable comments over there.
So with lj moving everything to Russia, I finally got around to importing my lj to my dw (which I've had almost since the site opened...I'm just really slow with social media, okay?) Am still going to be crossposting to lj so you can follow me here or there or wherever you'd like.

If we're lj mutuals and you're on dreamwidth but I'm not friends with you there, give me a poke? (I'm currently watching both my lj and dw flists to see if there's any that don't overlap...)

Now let's see if this crossposting thing works... (edit: it does! ...but does it crosspost edits too?)

Cross-posted at http://xparrot.dreamwidth.org/177183.html with comment count unavailable comments over there.
I'm assuming the Americans on my flist are already on this, but just in case, if you haven't yet, please vote!

(I'm afraid I don't have anything less stressful to offer! Fannishly speaking I'm still deep down the Supernatural rabbithole, with the fanfic and sideblog to show for it - I forgot how inspiring and yet agonizing fanning on an on-air TV show can be - but right now I'm mostly just biting my nails and trying to avoid the news for as long as I can hold out for...)

on wildlife

Animal sighting today that I never expected! I was coming back from picking up takeout, and as I was pulling into the driveway I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. Glanced over, and sitting on top of the gate of our backyard fence, staring straight at me, was a bobcat - must have been 30 pounds (at a guess; it looked about three times the size of our ten-pound house cat.)(Indoor kitty, thank goodness!) and it stayed in place long enough for me to see that its black-tipped tail was longer than I expected. After a few seconds it jumped off into the backyard, then up and over the fence and into the row of trees dividing us from our neighbor.

I didn't quite have time to grab my phone to snap a pic...especially what with hyperventilating from excitement. I know bobcats are pretty common everywhere, but all growing up in rural New England I never caught a glimpse. Definitely never thought I'd see one here - we're in the suburbs, a more wooded neighborhood to be sure, and there are forested parks nearby, but there are houses or driveways on all sides here. One of our neighbors saw a coyote in the common drive earlier this summer, but no one's mentioned wildcats.

We've had a lot of (very tame though technically wild) bunnies around here, but haven't seen many in the past month or so...guess I know what's happened to them!

Now I can't stop peeking into the backyard, just checking...

on sibling jealousy

So gnine was just up in Vancouver for work and happened to go to a SPN shooting this afternoon! And I am torn between being thrilled for her and being SO JEALOUS - I've always wanted to see TV/film shooting anyway, but of a show we're actively fanning on...!!! J2 were being silly together and Jensen was driving the Hero Impala (Baby is apparently as crazy loud as everyone says), plus Nina Lopez-Corrado was directing (new director on the show, this is only her second ep, but her first was "Red Meat," the h/c extravaganza I was squeeing about before) and just, eeee! waaaah! If only I'd known for sure it was happening, I could've driven up myself...(it's about 3 hours plus a border crossing...the fact that I'm seriously considering it should another opportunity present itself, well, such is the fangirl life...)

on SPN's season finale

The short review: eeeeeeeee *flails everywhere*

I can now call it - 11 seasons in and Supernatural just had its best season. Not a single terrible ep in the entire run and several of my all-time favorites, including the finale, which had everything I wanted and a couple things I didn't know I wanted but now totally do, in particular a potentially major game-changer that I did not see coming. [Spoiler (click to open)]There was a casting spoiler that Samantha Smith might be in the episode, but we were assuming ghost, not that after 11 years Mary Winchester would return from the dead...!

(Not to mention, Dean doesn't actually kill a female this season. And given the various character introductions, and how the finale passed the Bechdel test twice, they really do seem to be trying to turn over a new leaf...)

Also I totally called it!

Plus, you know:

on cartoonage

Just finished catching up with Steven Universe, after naye and doctorskuld introduced us when they were visiting (for far too short a time, siiigh!)

I feel sorry for the kids growing up on this. Anyone who sees SU as one of their first formative TV shows is going to have far too high standards to enjoy most adult TV - they'll be expecting thoughtful, consistent world building, with coherent character development and nuanced conflicts with satisfying resolution. It's setting them up for a lifetime of entertainment disappointment (or else, gnine and the bro argue, it will lead to a demand for better TV writing...)

Seriously though, great stuff, and I love how much pleasure the show takes in being a kid's cartoon, in telling its story in that format.

A couple spoilery thoughts - I went into the show mostly cold and absolutely loved the reveals, so I'd recommend not reading if you might watch in the future.Collapse )

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