Jan. 1st, 2016 12:14 pm
arduinna: Santa-hatted Momo (from Avatar the Last Airbender), saying "mo mo mo" (Yuletide)
I had an embarrassment of riches this year, with three gifts written for me, two in the main collection and one in Madness.

Two absolute charmers were in Boston Legal, written for me by debirlfan:

Names and Other Irrelevant Labels (1073 words) by debirlfan
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Boston Legal
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Denny Crane/Alan Shore
Characters: Denny Crane, Alan Shore
Additional Tags: Post-Finale, Yuletide

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Crane, 2015 (100 words) by debirlfan
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Boston Legal
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Denny Crane, Alan Shore
Additional Tags: Yuletide Madness Drabble Invitational

You just know Denny would do it...

Boston Legal is a fandom of my heart, largely because of Denny and Alan, and I was over the moon to get two visits with them this year. ♥

The third was in Jumpin' Jack Flash, full of the awesome that is Terry Doolittle:

Old School for New Tech (1091 words) by BardicRaven
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Terry Dolittle/Her Imagination
Characters: Terry Dolittle, The Russian Lady Fitness Instructor, James Page, Miscellaneous I.T. semi-professionals
Additional Tags: Banks - Freeform, Finance, Money Transfers, Money, fitness, exercise, Russian exercise telly ruining data-entry scores, Data-entry, Soul-sucking jobs, Job Disatisfaction, Employment, problem solving, Old School, New Tech, Misses Clause Challenge

Sometimes, ya just gotta handle it old-school.

Basically I spent Yuletide reveal night beaming my head off.

I wrote Invisible Man for Ark, who asked for "smutty and in love", so I was pretty much beaming my head off on assignments day, too. Right up my alley, that. I had a few false starts, but in the end I'm really happy with what I wound up writing:

A Day Like Many Days (1875 words) by Arduinna
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Invisible Man (TV 2000)
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Darien Fawkes/Bobby Hobbes
Characters: Darien Fawkes, Bobby Hobbes
Additional Tags: Partnership, downtime, Dinner, after-dinner fun

Sometimes a dinner invitation was just a dinner invitation -- but sometimes it was more.

I managed to forget to put the quote that explains the title in the end notes like I'd planned, but oh well, so it goes. I think it works anyway. :)
arduinna: Santa-hatted Momo (from Avatar the Last Airbender), saying "mo mo mo" (Yuletide)
Thank you so much! The thought of a story in any of these fandoms is already making me happy.

I love all of these fandoms unreservedly, so if you have a yen to explore the universe, or bring in additional characters I didn't list, it's all good.

If you want more information about my requests, read on - but please don't worry if your ideas go in a different direction. Optional details are optional! I would much rather read the story you wanted to write than the story you felt you were obligated to write because of something I said. As long as it's for one of these fandoms, and uses the characters, you totally win at Yuletide. \o/

my fic tastes )

Why I love these fandoms

(Alphabetical, not ranked by preference! I love them all. :)

Boston Legal )

Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986) )

Night Court )

Tango & Cash (1989) )

I adore all these fandoms, and will be happy with absolutely anything you write, as long as you enjoy writing it.

And thank you, again!!
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
In the past few weeks I started randomly watching Endeavour, mostly thanks to [personal profile] therienne. Over the weekend, I caught up with a few first-season eps I'd missed, including Rocket.

I was not expecting that. )


Dec. 31st, 2014 04:41 pm
arduinna: Santa-hatted Momo (from Avatar the Last Airbender), saying "mo mo mo" (Yuletide)
ETA: *facepalm* I forgot that this year's YT was being based on midnight UTC for major stuff, and have been sitting here sorting finances to have everything from 2014 done before 2015 instead of wallowing around in the archive. Which I just virtuously closed up the checkbook and the budget and was about to go do, and spotted people doing reveals posts already. Whoops!

Many thanks, [personal profile] merryghoul! <3 <3


I should have spent today running an errand that I couldn't finish yesterday, since otherwise I won't have time for at least a week or two. But it consists mostly of driving for about 3 hours round-trip to stand in a line for probably 15 minutes to return some equipment, and I admitted to myself when I got up that I just didn't want to. I took a few days off this week (after months of incredibly busy RL between work and family), and it has been bliss to (mostly) just stay home and not worry about anything. I wanted one more day of that, so screw the errand; it's worth it.

That busy RL has meant that too much stuff has piled up around my house to let me actually dive into Yuletide and not come back out the way I wanted to, but I've managed to do some poking around without the usual pressure to squeeze in as much reading as I can between other obligations. Again, bliss!

Starting, of course, with my own gift. My request wound up going out as a fairly last-minute pinch hit this year, so I was completely bowled over when it turned out to be something targeted so closely to my likes:

Duck and Cover (1470 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Burn Notice
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Sam Axe/Michael Westen
Characters: Sam Axe, Michael Westen
Additional Tags: Backstory, Missions, Missions Gone Wrong, Escape, Caves, Kissing, Pre-Series

Sam and Michael are together on a mission in Thailand that goes wrong. What happens next involves a lot of running.

I mean, look at those tags! ♥

The voices in this are bang-on, and I could totally see this happening. And the ending leaves them in such a solid, together place. *happy sigh* Mike/Sam is woefully rare in Burn Notice, so I'm doubly chuffed to have gotten this.

Now, as usual, I just wish there was another week till author reveals, so I could work my way through more of the stories while they're still anon; there are whole fandoms I haven't touched yet as I've bounced around the list. c'est la yuletide.
arduinna: Santa-hatted Momo (from Avatar the Last Airbender), saying "mo mo mo" (Yuletide)
Thank you so much! The thought of a story in any of these fandoms is already making me happy.

I'd really like something that falls on the warm / happy / fluffy / vanilla end of the spectrum, if possible. If that isn't something you can do, I understand! Just please no deathfic or loss of a loved one, including pets; and no terminal illnesses of any kind as an h/c or angst trope. Thank you. <3

I love all of these fandoms unreservedly, so if you have a yen to explore the universe, or bring in additional characters I didn't list, it's all good.

If you want more information about my requests, read on - but please don't worry if your ideas go in a different direction. Optional details are optional! I would much rather read the story you wanted to write than the story you felt you were obligated to write because of something I said. As long as it's for one of these fandoms, and uses the characters, you totally win at Yuletide. \o/

my fic tastes )

Why I love these fandoms

(Alphabetical, not ranked by preference! I love them all. :)

Burn Notice )

Grimm )

Voyagers! )

I adore all these fandoms, and will be happy with absolutely anything you write, as long as you enjoy writing it.

And thank you, again!!
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
If you haven't been following the [livejournal.com profile] yuletide_admin comm (there's also a DW feed of it: [syndicated profile] yuletide_admin_feed), things have been happening! The old Yuletide archive is going to be imported "in early May" -- there's no specific date, but this is happening within a matter of weeks. \o/

Originally they weren't sure if comments would be included. That has been steadily firming up, and as of today has reached a point I honestly never expected: not only are comments going to be imported with works from the old archive, but if you tell them exactly which stories to connect, IN ADVANCE, they'll also be able to import comments to old YT stories you've already uploaded.


If you imported them yourself from the old YT site, you're all set; it should happen automatically. If you uploaded them manually (that would be what I did), that link will give you a link to the contact form to give Open Doors the info, and will tell you exactly what information to include.

So here's the thing. Technically, "early May" is... next week. Looking at the schedule, it looks like the import won't happen till sometime after May 4 (since they have a "how will this work?" chat scheduled for that day), but that's next Sunday. Presumably, the import could happen at any point thereafter. If you want your old comments attached to works you've already uploaded, you have to set it up in advance, which pretty much means "do this now".

If you wait till after the archive import, it'll be too late, and you'll lose those old comments.

Unrelated to the comments issue, the YT admins have created collections for all YT years now, and you can go through and add your old works to the proper collections. Please do, if you're planning on keeping your uploaded versions instead of deleting them in favor of the imported versions! I am greedy, and want allllll the YT fic together. <3

If you haven't already uploaded/imported your old YT stories, you don't have to do anything but wait, then claim your stories after the fact. Your stories will be imported to the correct collections with comments intact.

More info from the AO3 announcement, including chat dates and times -- the first chat is going on as I type this, the second is next week, as mentioned.


Mar. 10th, 2014 04:38 pm
arduinna: early galactic star formation (star formation)
I saw my first ad for Cosmos about a month ago, which consisted of a lot of visuals and no obvious indication of who the host would be.

First reaction: outrage! "Cosmos is Carl Sagan's! No one else can do it!"

Second reaction: "... hm, unless they got Neil deGrasse Tyson. He could do it."

*brief interlude of rewinding and watching the footage slowly over and over again, trying to pin down the tiny flash of host I'd caught out of the corner of my eye*

Third reaction: "WOO Neil deGrasse Tyson! This should be great!"

The first episode aired last night, and was everything I'd hoped. There were a lot of callbacks to the original that made me happy, including some straight-up repetition of approach and dialogue. But it wasn't a rip-off; it was clearly an homage to tie the two versions together. This is an updated revision, not a wholesale rewrite, and I totally dig that. Also it's hugely clear that Tyson admired and respected the hell out of Sagan, as a scientist, a person, and the man who'd helped popularize a lot of science almost 35 years ago. The final few minutes of the episode had me choking up.

(Also holy cow, they got Obama to do the intro.)

I can't wait for the rest of this series.

And then there's this, which has me grinning all over my face:

arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
I keep meaning to post about this and then getting distracted, and it's probably all over Tumblr anyway, but hey.

So, last year, when the Kickstarter campaign got announced, I was both intrigued and wary -- what a cool idea! But erk, what if Hollywood decides "get the fans to pay to make the movie, then pay to watch it, woo" is a great business model? But I figured there's no way this movie had a chance in hell of happening otherwise, and I'd loved first season VM, so... sure. I kicked in. Then watched in awe as the numbers climbed and climbed and CLIMBED.

From the get-go, I thought Rob Thomas was being pretty damn decent about everything. The rewards were spread out nicely, and a digital download came at a lower level than the DVD, instead of being added as an extra perk for a higher level, so more people had a shot at it. The original idea was to get people the digital download a few days after the theater premiere, which is more than reasonable.

I've been on the backers update mailings ever since, and I gotta say: the VM team is working its ass off to make this movie available to as many people as possible, as fast as possible, with as few hurdles as possible. The first few months were obviously focused on making the movie, but the last few months have all been about distribution as far and wide as possible.

At this point:
  • They got the entire series streaming on Amazon Prime in time for people to watch one ep per day leading up to the movie release.

  • The movie's being released widely across the US. And there are advanced screenings the night before in 17 US cities. For a fan-funded movie.

  • The movie will premiere in theaters in Canada, the UK, Ireland, and Germany on the same day. No staggered releases. (... wait, I take that back. Germany's premiering it on the 13th, a day earlier than the US.)

  • Some countries that aren't officially getting it in theaters are getting "fan screenings" set up by Warner Bros: Sweden, Mexico, Australia.

  • Can't get a theater or fan event? Check your cable/satellite, or digital retailers (like Amazon or iTunes). This is being released digitally across the world on premiere day. All backers who contributed at least $35 will be sent instructions on how to stream/download their copies on the same day as well. No waiting.

  • They've set up a line of tie-in novels. Because fan-funded film. The first book is co-written by Rob Thomas and will be available on March 25 (I haven't read the blurb or anything else, and would rather not hear spoilers, if this is canonical to post-VM-movie, tyk!). He's already said that the first novel is canonical to both show and movie, and will remain so; if there's another movie, it will either be an adaptation of that book or will be set after it. (Which totally counts as a gift to the fans because look at all the arguments about "yeah but is the book *canon*?" he just stopped!)

  • At the same time Rob Thomas is working on his own tie-in novels, he's added the VM universe to Kindle Worlds and announced that now people can write fanfic! Which, okay, I pat them on their little heads at the idea that fans need an official sandbox to play in, but still: it's a solid tip of the hat to the idea that this universe is about more than just them, and it gives fans who want to go that route a chance to make some money for their fanfic, just like him (at least in theory). (Also, sort of adorably, he carefully explains that Kindle Worlds novels won't be canon, they'll be fanon. Although tsk, he links to Wikipedia instead of Fanlore for both definitions. Someone needs to put him in touch with Orlando Jones, he'll steer him right.)

  • They set up a Cafepress fan portal as the gateway to all VM merchandise on Cafepress -- from official merch to fan-created stuff, all mixed in together. Fan-created stuff has limitations like no images from the source, and needs to be approved before it's added, but anyone can make it, and again can make some cash on sales of stuff relating to this universe, with official blessing.

  • For US folks only, Apple has a few Countdown to Veronica Mars offers, including a free download of the extended pilot (not the aired version), a behind-the-scenes featurette, and ways to order or pre-order VM stuff (soundtrack, novel, movie).

This is all just sort of unreal, in terms of how Hollywood usually treats fans. They're going way out of their way to make this as inclusive a deal as possible. Warner Bros is doing a lot of the heavy lifting there; they told him they'd do distribution if he raised the money to make it. But this is just staggering. Free screenings, international distribution deals (whatever they set up with Germany set back the DVD release, so there's some real negotiation going on here), merch and fic that fans can get a cut of, simultaneous global digital release across both broadcast/on-demand and download services, not to mention on the same day as the global theater release... holy cow. If this is the lesson Hollywood takes away from this Kickstarter, everyone wins, man.

I can't believe all of this has only taken a single year. This is amazing stuff.
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
Does anyone know how to rip an Amazon video to be able to vid with it? It's even legal now (woo, DMCA exemption!), but the googling I'm doing is bringing up very few programs with even fewer reviews, so I'm not sure what's reasonable and what's potentially malware. I'd be happiest with something free, obviously, but am willing to pay for something that works. Amazon has some stuff that iTunes doesn't, and it's starting to get frustrating.

The two options that seem to be most likely are GetFLV and Aimersoft Video Converter Ultimate. Anyone have experience with either one, or know of something better? (CNet loves GetFLV, gave it a five-star Editor's Pick rating, but the user reviews are full of people claiming spyware/malware...)

Legal or not, it is so hard to leave this post open!
arduinna: chibi Finch and Reese from Person of Interest (POI - Finch <3 Reese)
I have hit that point of not posting where posting is hard and I feel like I need to work and rework everything to make it good enough to put out there, which is ridiculous and yet. (Even more ridiculous, as I still have a couple December questions to answer, and at this point we're coming on for February...)

So this post has been written in three phases. I'm just going to post it as is, a little disjointedly, because trying to mesh it all into one thing that looks like I wrote it in one sitting will take me another month, and I'd rather have it up while last week's episode is still vaguely "new". ish.


For [personal profile] astolat: Talk to me about Harold/John! Especially Harold/John right now! (I totally want help with my own rowing.)

I'm writing I was writing this with half an hour to go before tonight's last week's episode (3x13), and may well rue this by the time it's over. But I've been thinking about the past few weeks, and how I'm making them work in my head, so.

spoilers for s3 of POI )

Okay, so at that point the ep had been airing for half an hour and I couldn't take it and had to go watch. So now I am caught up to 3x13 and will be talking about that, too.

more spoilers! 3x13, '4C' )
arduinna: Nathan hugging the stuffing out of Duke, from Haven (Haven hug)
I wrote Haven for Yuletide! I was a little hesitant to offer it, partly because I'd also requested it, and partly because I'm always nervous writing for the first time in a non-tiny fandom for some reason. But I love the show, and this season in particular I was over the moon about Duke and Nathan, so it was too tempting to resist.

Bank Shot (5522 words) by Arduinna
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Haven
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Duke Crocker/Nathan Wuornos
Characters: Duke Crocker, Nathan Wuornos
Additional Tags: Pre-Canon, Reunions, Reunion Sex

Nathan's got the weekend off, and Duke Crocker's back in town.

That's not the best summary ever, but I was stymied. My title and summary always wind up being last, and this time I had a punch-drunk version in my head I couldn't get rid of, and that I couldn't use because they were: )

... yeah. No. *g* But it meant I was scrambling and wound up with the most basic thing imaginable. Oh well. I'm pretty pleased with the title, at least.

I was extra-happy to be asked about Haven and the Duke/Nathan fanservice coming out of it this season in the December meme, because it let me wallow around in fourth season and do some more thinking about these two and how they fit together, even if I then had to be very careful not to go into anything that might give away what I was writing. Thanks, [personal profile] justhuman - that couldn't have been better timing! <3

rambling a bit about story process )

Meanwhile, in the rest of Yuletide, I didn't get nearly enough read this year before reveals, and my recs count is woefully down from previous years. I blame the Wednesday holidays; I didn't have any time off from work, and just never had time to settle in to a few days of nonstop reading like I prefer. Next year, I am determined to do more!

In the meantime, though, here's the handful of recs for this year so far, and I should be adding to this for a while.
arduinna: Cartoon Walter and William Bell from Fringe, with the thought bubble "how wonderful!" (wonderful)
A week late, but here we go with the catch-up edition of the meme.

[personal profile] quarter_to_five asked for: Fringe vs. Person of Interest

Huh. I'm not sure what angle to tackle this from! But I'll ramble on and see what happens.

I was intrigued by Fringe from the original ads, and watched the first few eps live, but I think I drifted away for a bit. Partly things weren't quite grabbing me hard enough, and partly I stopped trusting JJ Abrams shows after Alias; he loves mysteries but hates answers, and that's frustrating to me. But by mid-season I was back and caught up, and never left again; by the end of first season, I was actively pimping people into the show. Some of the things that really upset a lot of the fanbase in the last season or two didn't bother me; I was along for the ride without any real qualms. It was one of those shows where I watched pretty religiously but didn't really go looking for fanac, beyond enjoying vids at Vividcon, and I didn't pay that much attention to what other people were saying about it.

In a lot of ways, I reacted to it the way I did Farscape several years earlier; I was in it for the mindfuck and the sheer sense of "this is SF, and we can do whatever the hell we want to". Hedgehog man? Sure! Time-traveling bald aliens in hats? Sure! FBI agent all mpregged up with worms? Sure! A cow hanging out in a lab where homemade LSD was being created next to genetic experimentation next to a window into an alternate universe? SURE! \o/

I was absolutely terrible at keeping track of things except in the moment; I was hugely impressed at people who were writing in the different universes, or crossing the different universes, because my brain was basically just stuck on "wheeee!"

Person of Interest was different; the few ads I saw before it aired didn't particularly interest me, and I never even turned it on. Then partway through first season, [personal profile] dorinda came to town for a visit with a fistful of eps (having recently been pimped in by [personal profile] sakana17, and by the time she left a few days later, [personal profile] mollyamory, [personal profile] therienne, and I were all completely hooked. For the first time in years, I wanted everything with this one: more canon, all the fic, vids, art, gimme gimme GIMME. (Not that I've managed to catch up with everything, or keep up as things have gone along, mind you.)

About the only thing it has in common with Fringe is that it has SF elements; it approaches them very differently, with no real sense of gleeful abandon. More of a wary paranoid protectionism. *g*

It's -- huh. Huh.

Fringe had that gleeful abandon in the possibilities it was willing to explore and was full of people being heroes, but really was dystopic; universes crashing together, thousands people dying horribly, really just vast amounts of misery, and nothing anyone did made a difference, except to make things demonstrably worse, at least for someone, somewhere, right down the line. (Which is why I still think they got the finale wrong, but hey.) It was all sort of summed up by Walter at the heart of it all, singing and dancing in delight but so incredibly, incredibly broken at his core.

POI is way more dystopian on the face of it, with the sociopathic spies and the brutal government agencies and the secrecy and the spying and seriously, but the heart of it, to me, is people learning to trust and love each other, creating families out of (often self-imposed) isolation, learning to look past the grimdark world and find a little comfort and humanity. Trying to make things better almost always works, if only in small ways (and small ways are almost the only way it works -- Finch already knows that trying to save the world will only make it worse).

I think, with Fringe, I watched to see what would happen next; I was in it for the characters, sure, but also hugely for the universe itself, and all the weirdnesses therein. And the multiple versions of the characters, of course -- ye gods, but Anna Torv and John Noble are good at that. But I never got personally invested in the other versions, particularly. As the show got increasingly convoluted and started eating its own tail a bit, I was a distant enough observer that I could ride it out, just sorta fascinated to see where it went.

With POI, I watch for the characters and their relationships, and "what happens next" is basically just the framework within which those relationships develop for me. I don't sit back and go "wheee!", I lean forward and go "omg he *tapped the eggs benedict on the menu*!" and "oh he's so upset that the phone went dead!" and "holy crap, that was a complicated emotional eyeroll! From JOHN! eeee"" and "omg WASHING BEAR TOGETHER" and the like. And I am super-invested in these characters, which is making the current part of the current season kinda dicey for me, where if this season's POI events had happened in Fringe, I would have sailed right past them, I think. (I'm sort of... rowing past them, in POI. It's a lot more effort and my shoulders hurt and there are blisters involved and ow. But I'm moving.)

Okay, that was really interesting to sort out in my head. Very cool question!


Full list here, with a few spots still open!


Dec. 26th, 2013 03:16 am
arduinna: Santa-hatted Momo (from Avatar the Last Airbender), saying "mo mo mo" (Yuletide)
(But first, I am so far behind on the meme, zomg -- I'm currently very glad that most of the end of the month didn't fill up, so I can shift the questions I haven't answered forward. I will get to them all!)

Yuletide bears ate me for most of the last week, but I got a story done and posted and edited and tweaked and made myself stop touching it a few hours before midnight on the 24th, to be safe. *g* Today was supposed to be for hours and hours of reading, but was more like a little reading, and then hanging out with [personal profile] mollyamory and [personal profile] therienne for a wonderful dinner and some presents and Doctor Who and a very nostalgic trip to the pilot episode of Stargate Atlantis.

But I did manage to read both my gifts, of which I got two! I don't usually get treats, so I was hugely chuffed to see one this year.

My official story was in Haven, which I'm just beaming over, having spent some time earlier this month wallowing in the joy of this season of Haven -- the story itself is set during the season opener, which! Really couldn't be better timing. This melted me into a little puddle of happy goo.

Complicated (3081 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Haven
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Duke Crocker/Nathan Wuornos
Characters: Duke Crocker, Nathan Wuornos, Jennifer Mason (Haven)
Additional Tags: Bruises, Hurt/Comfort, Bathing/Washing, Reunions, Missing Scene, Complicated Relationships, Self-Flagellation, Empathy, Kissing, Minor Injuries, Napping, Season/Series 04, Established Relationship, Yuletide Assignment, Yuletide 2013

Having just found Nathan busily involved in his own peculiar brand of self-flagellation, Duke spends some time getting him cleaned up and the both of them reacquainted. (Takes place during the reunion scene of Season 4, Episode 1, "Fallout.")

The treat was in Forever Knight, and also made me really happy. I miss Schanke like crazy, and the author did a great job with him and the world he inhabits (and if you're a Cohen fan, she nailed Cohen in this, too).

Copper's Instinct (5788 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Forever Knight
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Nick Knight, Don Schanke, Amanda Cohen, Natalie Lambert, Officer Lipinski, Sgt. Mandrake (Forever Knight), Myra Schanke, Jenny Schanke, Det. McCabe (Forever Knight), Det. Dreyfus (Forever Knight), Janette DuCharme
Additional Tags: Canon Related, Wordcount: Over 1.000

Schanke's perspective on the events of the Season Two premiere, "Killer Instinct".

I foolishly didn't take any time off this week or next, and I'm losing prime reading time on Sunday to a family get-together, so I'm flailing a bit at how to make it through the rest of the archive before reveals. But it's a fun kind of flailing, at least.

Yay, Yuletide!

And now to bed, so I can work tomorrow. Woe.
arduinna: Santa-hatted Momo (from Avatar the Last Airbender), saying "mo mo mo" (Yuletide)
for BEARS.

I'm behind again, and am going to stay that way for a few days -- I'll shift the questions out a bit and tackle them after the Yuletide deadline.

(I'm behind on comments, too, but hopefully won't have to push them out quite so far *g*)
arduinna: Nathan hugging the stuffing out of Duke, from Haven (Haven hug)
I shifted the Dec 14 question forward a few days, since I did two posts on Saturday, and then I forgot to answer Sunday's. Whoops! So this one is for December 15.

[personal profile] justhuman asked: Tell me about Duke and Nathan and the fanservice that's gushing out of Haven

Oh, man, I'm not even sure I can be coherent about this. This season has been a Duke/Nathan slasher's dream )


Full request list here, still open!
arduinna: slice of a Stargate cake, showing the Earth glyph (starcake)
Another make-up post! This one was meant for December 13.

for [personal profile] princessofgeeks: How you came to compile your absolutely kickass and indispensable handbook for the Gateverse.

Believe it or not, it was kind of an accident.

And oh, hee -- this has morphed in my head over the years to just "I wanted to write SG-1 and was intimidated by the sheer amount of information in the show, and wanted to have a way to look things up by subject rather than episode (which is how existing sites, like the fantabulous rdanderson.com, tended to organize things)." But I've been poking at old versions of the site and just came across a note that says that I started it because I wanted to know what Jack's medals were, which sounds... exactly right.

But the other is also right, if less specific. I'd never been involved in a military-based fandom and didn't have a strong grip on the military stuff, and for all I've been an SF fan forever, I'd never written any before. Plus there were lots of characters to keep track of. I wanted information at hand to look things up as I needed to when I started writing, and going by episode was too cumbersome for me. I wanted things organized by subject so I could see at a glance all the times Jack got injured, or whatever.

So just for myself, I started organizing some vital stats on a webpage so I could get at it from anywhere; I think the very first one was just a plain list. Eventually I organized that into a nice little table, and I think that's the point at which I told a few friends about it, since I knew they were also writing SG1 and thought it might be useful for them.

Then a while after that, someone on a list asked a question, and someone I'd never heard of linked them to my page. Oh dear god. *g* I'd never actually intended it for broader public consumption; it wasn't that good! I'd never even linked to it from my main page. But clearly it was public now, and I had two options: buckle down and make it better, or take it down quietly (at that point, there was still some info on it basically taken directly from other sites -- when this was a personal project, I wasn't worried about that, since I knew I was using those sites for reference, just reorganizing the notes a bit. So I didn't have disclaimers or whatever up.)

I enjoyed the taking notes and organizing info, though, and honestly it was really happy-making to see people getting use from the site, so I decided to keep going with it. I reworked everything that I'd borrowed with my own notes/observations, I expanded things, I started putting updates pages up.

Note-taking got steadily easier and more complicated at the same time: I went from tapes and a pen&paper to a TiVo (pause and rewind, omg yay) and eventually a laptop (no more transcribing!), then DVDs and a better laptop. Easier and easier! I built myself templates for as much as possible, so I could just plug things in as I went through episodes. But the easier it got to focus on tiny details, the more tiny details I wanted to focus on.

I went from tracking major things happening to the main characters to tracking everything that happened to everyone, every race, every planet, every Earth-based organization, every bit of technology, every scrap of alien language. It originally took me a couple of hours to take notes on an ep, I think, and then another couple to transcribe and format the info to put up. By the end, it was taking me 5-10 hours per ep for notes, and several hours for formatting/inserting into the site (which meant not just putting the info in its own slot, but crosslinking it anywhere it needed to be crosslinked, keeping the Site Index updated with new terms or additions to old terms [like new SG teams, new people in established races, new tech], repeating everything in a structured, easy-to-read format on the Updates page -- there was lots of detail work).

I revamped and/or relocated the site every couple of years, trying to make it easier to navigate and more useful for people. I was really set on keeping it all on one page for many years, though; I didn't have a search engine, and I think I wanted people to be able to just ctl-f to whatever they needed. When I started breaking things out, it was sloooowly.

I loved it; it had become my main form of fannish engagement (I wound up barely ever writing a word of SG-1, I was so caught up in the canonical details of the show), and I just really loved being useful to people. I tried hard to keep the site shipping-neutral, and tried hard not to present my opinions as facts; I included them when I felt strongly about something, but I tried to make sure they were clearly marked as opinions in that case. When it got too unwieldy to include SGA information, I revamped the entire site into CSS and created two versions, one for each show (oh my god, coding a site that big and sprawling, all written in plain html, into CSS -- it is not fun. But for a while there, I was really good at coding basic CSS! Okay, it wasn't good CSS, it was kludgy and odd in spots. But it mostly worked, and I think the site looked cleaner and easier to read.) That took months (I was starting from less than zero, and there were a lot of failed attempts), and that put me months behind on eps. So I spent the next year trying to catch up, and failing, and burning out. Which made me cranky, because seriously, I cannot tell you how much I loved working on that site.

At some point I decided, okay, instead of just failing to catch up, I'm going to take a break, and let myself not worry about it for a month or two. I was clearly burned out and needed to recover. I spent the next several years absolutely convinced I was going to go back to working on it, any day now, and just utterly unable to face starting, because in the meantime I'd rediscovered the rest of fandom. I was reading fanfic again; I was watching vids; I was watching tv and reading books. And I had so much to catch up on in terms of notes for SG-1 and SGA that I knew it would take over my fannish life again. (I was also suffering from an undiagnosed sleep disorder that meant I was beyond exhausted all the time without even realizing it, so looking back on it, it's no wonder I couldn't face the effort it would take to pick it back up.)

And by that time, there were SG wikis, and all kinds of other resources out there. My site was no longer necessary the way it had been originally; people could easily find out whatever they wanted. So it languished, and I've largely stopped feeling guilty about it.

But hey, for what it is, it's pretty complete and useful, and it's not bad for something I started completely by accident, because I didn't want to forget how many times (and when) people got injured. *g*

Every now and then I've had a moment in other fandoms where I wanted to start it all up again for something new; the urge to catalog ALL the details can be really strong for me. But I think the SG Handbook is going to stand alone. <3

Okay, I'm hijacking this a bit for my own purposes here - I'm figuring how and when I changed things, with links to old versions where I have them )


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arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
I'm so late with this -- sorry! It was mean to be for December 12. Apparently performance review week at work was just enough added stuff to push me off my schedule.

for [personal profile] sholio: how about your favorite fannish trope? Or any one of them that you'd like to talk about. :)

Oh, there are so many tropes that make me happy. I've been thinking and thinking about this question off and on since Sholio asked it, thinking wow, I'm just fickle; I keep veering from one to another. I mean, I've always known that I don't have a bulletproof trope kink the way a lot of people do, but still - surely I could settle on something.

So I settled on first time, then realized that well, first time but also all kinds of tropes that can lead to first times -- hurt/comfort; cave fic / desert island / Canadian shack; two men, one bed; huddling for warmth...

And then I realized that really, I like all of those for gen, too, if the point of them is warmth. Er, emotional warmth, not just physical warmth. *g*

Which is when the lightbulb went off: my bulletproof trope kink is intimacy tropes in general. And not really established intimacy -- which I also enjoy! -- but growing intimacy, or even surprise unexpected intimacy. I don't think there's one specific path that makes me happiest, but what I love is people realizing that they mean more to each other than they'd thought, or knowing that and finding the courage to say or do something about it, or realizing that the other person feels like that, too.

So in canons, one of the things I'm drawn to is characters who don't necessarily expect to like or trust each other, then that starts changing -- White Collar, where Neal and Peter like and trust each other even when they know they shouldn't, necessarily; Person of Interest, where Finch and Reese, who should be safely isolated from each other in their complementary paranoid distrust of everyone, instead grow together to the point that have rainy-day activities and walk their puppy together and panic if one of them loses contact; Haven, where Duke-the-smuggler and Nathan-the-cop bitch and moan about each other and declare to anyone who'll listen that they don't like or trust each other, but who have each other's backs without a blink (okay, maybe with a blink *g*); Grimm, where Nick runs into people who should hate or fear him, or whom he should be lying to to protect them, and instead just talks honestly to them and builds himself a Scooby gang like no Grimm has ever had before, with people willing to go to the mat for him on all sides (and vice versa); on and on.

Give me a mismatched set of people, or people with obstacles between them that they overcome to deepen their relationship, and I'm there. (Or, for that matter, characters like Magneto and Xavier, who started out friends, realized that they have intensely fundamental differences and wound up on opposite sides, but who never lost their connection; see also Doctor and Master, etc.) Found families ftw.

In fanfic, I like that extra little (or big) push than we tend to see in canon, whether gen or slash -- the h/c, the bed-sharing that isn't played for a joke, the intimacy that can come with isolation. I also like a particular version of WNGWJLEO; not in a "we could never be *gay*, ew" way, but if one or both characters has always thought he was straight, and finds himself falling for his partner and realizing oh, er, not so straight after all - I love that. It's a huge obstacle, and it tends to work best for me in buddy pairs that would expect to get along -- cop partners, fellow soldiers, fellow scientists. Which really should have a different acronym, I guess -- something like Huh, I Never Knew I Was Queer (HINKIWQ). (Which in my head is now "hinky-wick", which is cracking me up.)

So, yeah. Tropes that lead to intimacy; they'll get me every time.


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arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
For [personal profile] cesperanza: Why one vid a year, why??? How do you know what fandom? Is it compulsion? a list? the song?

Sometimes it's two! One year it was three! ... Okay, that was the first year we made anything, and it was a fluke. *g*

But yes, okay, most years it's one vid. We don't do it on purpose. It's more a combination of things: we're hugely deadline-driven, we're entirely song-driven, and we have limited vidding time.

We basically only vid for cons, which works out to "we vid for Vividcon"; I think we've released two vids at Escapade in 12 years, and everything else has been Vividcon. It's also really hard for us to vid for a con we're not going to be at; we want to see the reaction. So years that we don't go to a con, we may very well not produce anything, despite making the attempt; there's just not enough push to finish if we start having problems.

We can't start until we have a song; neither one of us understands how people decide on an idea and then go looking for a song that matches it. We do have a small pile of songs we've collected over the years that we want to make a vid to someday, but mostly we get inspired by things we hear during the year. We send things back and forth to each other, and at some point something sticks. But because we're deadline-driven, we usually really only start *focusing* on songs in February or March, when we start thinking about that year's VVC. It's completely normal for us not to have a song, and thus no idea for a vid, until March and sometimes even April. (We start getting twitchy if we don't have anything by April.)

We never know the fandom till we have the song. The odds are extremely high it'll be something we're currently invested in, but we watch a lot of stuff and it could be any of it. We generally both gravitate toward the same fandom for a given song; sometimes we don't, but one person's idea will match it better, or they'll have a better story idea, or whatever, so that fandom takes over pretty fast. I think there's only ever been one where we went back and forth on the fandom almost up till the moment we started vidding (Haunted, which could have been a Dead Zone vid instead of Odyssey 5 - but I think we made the right call there).

We also do sometimes hit the barrier of one of us loving a song, or loving it for a particular fandom, and the other one just not really feeling it. Those vids tend not to get made, just because it's easier for us to vid together, and generally there's *something* we can agree on out there. We're lucky in that our fandoms overlap to a ridiculous degree, as does our idea of what makes a good vid song for us to work with.

So once we've got a deadline and a song/fandom/idea we're both on board with, we start vidding. But we do our vidding at [personal profile] therienne's place, which has always meant I have to physically be there. So between our offset work schedules and the fact that I'm a raging introvert who needs lots of down time, that means that most of our vidding happens on Saturdays. On top of that, we're usually only good for about six hours of vidding in any given day (flat-out or broken up into chunks, doesn't matter -- it almost always adds up to six hours max). At six hours a week, it takes a lot of weeks to get a vid done! (Okay, it takes us a lot of weeks. I know other people can produce an entire vid in six hours, but we're slow.)

We do ramp up more as the Vividcon deadline approaches; I start going over both days on the weekend, and in the last couple of weeks, I go over after work more and more as well to get in at least an hour or two of tweaking things and working out technical issues. By the final week, I'm there basically every day for at least a few hours, more if I can manage it. But by the time we're done and uploaded, we're both so burned out that we don't want to see each other for a while, and then we get out of the habit of vidding. And then it's Yuletide, so it's writing time, and vidding gets punted till the next year.

A lot of years, we have more than one vid in mind, and will even start working on more than one. This past year, we had three going at once. It was very ambitious! But as the deadline approaches, we have to decide which one gets the most focus, and put the others aside. Some years we can still manage to get two out; most years, it's just the one. (If it's two, it's likely to be one more complex/involved one and one much simpler one. The one year we produced two complex ones -- Jerusalem and Walking on the Ground -- nearly killed us.) We don't forget about the ones we put aside; some stay on the back burner. But some were really only viable for the particular season we were in, and we never really touch them again.

So we sort of only vid for 4-5 months out of the year, a few hours at a time, usually on just one song (or narrowing down from several to one as we go), and then we take a really, really long break before we start up again. *g* Despite our repeated best intentions to not stop this time, which we say every year before we collapse from VVC deadline stress.


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January 2016



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