arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
(still taking questions/suggestions, if you want me to talk about anything in particular - mixing up my responses to those with other stuff as I go)

[personal profile] princessofgeeks asked me to talk about my fannish history, which I touched on a bit in yesterday's post. Usually when I talk about it, I stick to my media-fandom past, but really it goes back earlier than that. This is also going to riff a bit off [personal profile] gwyn's post about her first viewing of Star Wars, and how that changed her life, because I basically just went flaily when I saw that and was all "yes, that! That's what it was like!" With the Starlog and the not having any information and the game-changing-ness of it all!

So here I am, flailing. :)

Things are SO different now for SF fans; I never would have believed that there would be so much SFF available, both in print and in visual media, that I would have to pick and choose what I wanted to consume because there was no way to keep up with it all.

When I was in jr high/high school, it was pretty much possible to keep up with everything that got published in the genre, if you were a fast enough reader. Not just novels; all the magazines, too. And not just the short-story mags (Asimov's, and Analog, and Astounding, and Fantasy & Science Fiction...), but things like Starlog and Omni (♥ Omni ♥) and Fangoria. (I started working a paper route and babysitting at 12, and along with taking out as many things from the library as they'd let me, all my money went to reading material, basically.)

For a lot of that time, "fandom" was something magical and amazing that happened over there somewhere, for other, luckier people. I knew about cons from seeing ads in the back of the magazines, and from reading things like the Star Trek Concordance and similar things, but I couldn't imagine being part of that, much though I wanted to be.

Then in 1980, when I was 15, WorldCon came back to Boston as NorEascon III, and the Sunday paper had a bit about it. My parents showed me the article and I drank it all in, then went off to my room to read a book because these things were not for me. My dad knocked on my door a few minutes later and offered to give me $50 and a ride in to the hotel where it was being held, so I could get a day pass and have a few hours to explore.

!!!!! Z.O.M.G. !!!!!

So in I went, and wandered around wide-eyed and amazed. I'd already missed three and a half days of the con, but I didn't care; this was the best thing ever. I don't think I went to any panels, but I walked around and listened to hall conversations and looked at people's costumes and wallowed in the Hucksters' Room and bought some stuff, including a NorEascon III beer mug that I still have.

Worldcon is a trippy, trippy first con to attend, let me tell you. *g* A few months later, I went to my first Boskone, this time for all three days (although for some reason my parents didn't want 15-y-o me staying at the hotel so I had to be driven in and out...), and I was hooked. I could only afford one con per year, but I went every year without fail. I loved all of it: the filking, the in-jokes, the merchandise (SO MANY BOOKS *swooooon*), the costumes, the conversations, the con suite, the people.

The hucksters' room at Boskone is where I discovered Elfquest; I was chatting with one of the dealers and he talked it up, and I went home and sent in a subscription (that was when they were theoretically coming out every three months, during the initial run of the initial quest). I filled in the massive holes in my book collection, bought BSG and Doctor Who and Star Trek merchandise, bought waaaay too many glossy 8x10 photographs (with the circles and the arrows and the paragraphs on the back... wait, no) of pretty pretty actors. I picked up the SF-con speaking cadence.

SF fandom at the time was very much book-based; people watched (all of the) SF movies and shows, but that was just entertainment. Real ("real") fandom was reading and writing books, reading and writing for zines (not media fanzines, though!), making and selling SFF art, costuming (we weren't calling it cosplay back then), talking about science, etc etc. Star Wars had been creating an influx of new fans to con-going fandom and there were some cranky rumblings about media fans versus trufen.

So there I was - a book fan, sure! I fit right in at SF cons! But also I really liked all those movies and tv shows everyone was looking down on. :( But I was at teenager who thought I'd found my people, and I relegated tv shows to being just something I did on my own, and focused on the stuff everyone else liked as my social activity.

And it really was social; I made friends that I saw every year, and I introduced family and friends to cons if I thought they might like them, and I even bought the Fandom Directory most years, and made some penpal friends I kept for years and years.

So it was okay! These were my people, this was my thing, all was well. I just kept reading comics and watching tv shows and movies off in a corner on my own. Then in the mid-80s someone brought fanzines -- fanfic fanzines -- to Boskone, selling them out of their room. I poked around the room and discovered a box of zines labelled Star Trek K/S, and when the dealer told me what the slash meant, I handed over my food money for the weekend and took as many as that would buy. *g*

Alas, my roommate for that con had also been to the zine room and flipped through some gen zines, and was dismissive of the whole idea when I mentioned I'd been there, so I figured I would just keep my little stash of slash to myself. I spent most of the next decade still in SF fandom, still with that tiny handful of slash zines, and still not talking to anyone about any of it.

Then I got online and plugged "forever knight" into what passed for a search engine at the time (I'm pretty sure this was pre-Alta Vista; I can't for the life of me remember how I did the search now, but I remember Alta Vista coming along later and being blown away by what an amazing search engine it was).

And then I realized that I'd finally *really* found my people. *beams* And here I still am, more than 20 years later. ♥
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
[personal profile] kass asked me to talk about my first fannish love, and I've been mullling that over since she mentioned it. I'm not entirely sure how to define it.

It could be Lord of the Rings; I read it for the first time when I was 12, and wow. It was an annual re-read for me for years; I learned some Elvish; I memorized some of the poetry. It sparked my interest in Nordic legend and myth, and shoved me full-tilt into the SFF side of genre. ("It's just a phase," my parents thought. "She'll grow out of it." Hahahahaaaa not so much...)

Or it could be ST:TOS, which I watched in reruns starting god knows when, and bonded with my soon-to-be sister-in-law over when I was 13-14. I could recognize episodes from the first few seconds; I bought the novelizations and the fotonovels and the tie-ins as soon as they started appearing. I discovered my embarrassment squick through Plato's Children when Spock was forced to behave ridiculously; I started down the path of seeing humanity as a whole and being totally confused by nationalism. I found the Star Trek Concordance at the library and read it cover to cover, marveling at the stories about the first Star Trek conventions in New York and wishing I was brave enough to go to a con. (It really did have that little moving wheel on the cover, too – so cool!) TOS zines were the first I ever bought, and were my introduction to slash. ♥ No other ST series ever worked for me as well as the original.

It could be Star Wars, which came out when I was 12 and oh my GOD was I the right age for that. I wanted as much as I could get and then some; I saw it many times in the theater that summer and dozens of times in the theater over the next year or two. When my family got cable for the first time a few years later, I got up at 6am to watch it on HBO. (Dad: "... haven't you seen this before? Why are you awake?" me: "shhhhh!!!!!") I wanted the novelizations and the calendars and the t-shirts (... I still have the t-shirt *kof*) (... and the novelizations). I dressed up my dolls and stuffed animals as Star Wars characters. (You haven't lived till you've turned a stuffed skunk into a stormtrooper with careful application of tissues and scotch tape.)

It could be Battlestar Galactica (the original). This is the first canon for which I consciously made up stories, mostly about how Apollo and Starbuck were meant to be together, or how one of them needed to rescue the other, so that makes it a first as well. I hadn't quite gotten all the way to slash on my own yet, but I was right there on the verge.

Or it could be Forever Knight, which I watched religiously no matter how hard it was to find, and taped regularly (first show I ever taped for keeping!), and went looking online to see if anyone else watched it, too, when I first got online. I've talked about my early FK days here before – hah, actually, because Kass asked about it a few years ago. <3 That was what pushed me from being in SF fandom proper to being in media fandom, and man, I loved it. I loved the people, the energy, the creativity, the fan theories, the riffs and in-jokes, all of it. It was the first time I'd interacted with people who were writing fanfic, and it made me think that this was something I could maybe do? It wasn't the first fandom I wrote fic in (hah, I checked this time – usually I get this wrong and say FK was the first), but it was the second, and I made some really strong connections with people in that fandom.

So, uh. My first fannish love was sort of ... everything? Heh.


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: 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: 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, 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 )


Full request list here, still open!
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.


Full request list here, still open!
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
for [personal profile] kass: reminisce about your first fandom. What did you love about it?

This ties back into the first post I did, about the people I encountered first in fandom: my first online fandom foray was Forever Knight, and I adored it. Part of it was the fandom itself; I really had a blast, met some great people, wrote my first fanfic there*. Part of it was just that it was the first time I realized that hey, I really am a media fan -- and wow, other people liked this weird little show that I loved! Cue fandom honeymoon phase. *g* I should say upfront, though, that this was nearly 20 years ago (wow, seriously -- next spring/summer will be my 20 year online-fandom anniversary), so I've lost a lot of details, and a lot of what's left has turned rosy in memory.

I kept going off on tangents here about my pre-FK background, but suffice to say that I didn't know any media fans, and was always surrounded by people who thought it was weird to want to watch a tv episode more than once, or tape it so you didn't miss an ep, or talk about a show in any depth. So to find people who not only liked to watch tv the way I did, but loved this one particular oddball, late-night show, was amazing. I only had a computer at work for the first year or two, so I would stay late and go in on the weekends to keep up with everything. I looked like the world's most dedicated employee. *kof*

Then I started going off on more tangents, because my remembered love of FK is inextricably linked to my delight in finding the internet and online fandom at large: the lists, the shared culture (and the bits that weren't shared), using tools like IRC and FTP, putting fannish images into a rotating screensaver, realizing that the lists were full of women -- not exclusively, but there were a lot of women, and it was so rare for me to find women who liked the things I liked.

So all of that was also great, and is a huge part of my memory of FK fandom.

I loved the way the fandom structured itself. The main list was Forkni-l. Basically everyone was on that list; that's where the fandom lived. There was also a fic list, fkfic-l, for gen fic, and an ftp archive to store the stories that got posted there; an erotica list, JADFE, for het or slash erotica (this kinda blew my mind, that you could get erotica so easily, and slash, too! that wasn't about Kirk and Spock!) (not that I was specifically looking for non-K/S, just that the only slash I'd seen in almost 15 years was K/S, and it was a revelation that people were writing it for other characters. IDK, I was sheltered or something.). And partway through second season, another list was created, FKSPOILR, for spoilery discussion, to keep the main list safe for people who didn't want spoilers. I actually joined the spoiler list! ... For about a day, then realized nope, I really didn't want to know. I was happier on the now-spoiler-free main list. (No, I didn't imprint at all on the idea that spoilers should be kept completely separate from general conversation, why do you ask?) And the different factions would form off-list "loops", where they could focus more intently on the characters or pairings they liked, without taking over the main list, which then got to stay for general show discussion that everyone could participate it. It was the best of all worlds, IMO; a really centralized place where the entire fandom hung out together, and lots of smaller offshoot areas where people could focus on their own thing.

It was a great gateway fandom for me all around. The list was active and full of people who liked all sorts of different things about the show, and that "we all like different aspects and characters" was built in to the list culture in the form of factions. Which I guess might sound confrontational? But they weren't; factions were just a way of letting people know what character or pairing you liked best, and it absolutely didn't mean you were bashing other characters or fans of other characters. (There was even a faction for people who liked all the characters equally.) It made it really weird for me later in other fandoms, when things started turning into "well, if you like that pairing, you must hate this other one!" because -- no? It's just not my thing, and that's okay. And there was never a limit on factions; as the fandom grew, the number of factions grew, as people liked more and more things. There was room for absolutely everyone. Not that people didn't some time get a little over-invested in their factions, but mostly the point was to have a good time with it.

The faction thing was also the first way I learned about fandom wars -- but not like any other fandom's wars. FK wars were giant round-robins where factions competed and collaborated and had a blast. They wouldn't have been nearly as much fun if everyone approached the show from the same direction.

Forever Knight also started me on the road to technical competence, as I learned how to hook two VCRs together to dub tapes so I could swap with other people (this seems so meaninglessly easy now, but it was hard then; I had an idea of what I wanted to do and knew it was possible, but the guys at Radio Shack were utterly flummoxed. And the cables I used were like nothing I've used since; they were specifically for dubbing VCR to VCR, and when I finally unhooked those two original VCRs last year -- no, really, they'd been hooked up all that time -- I didn't even recognize the cables). I learned what IRC was and how to use it, including things like dcc'ing files around, and then made friends with people in the IRC channel who I'm still in touch with nearly 20 years later, and it's still one of my favorite ways to get to know someone. I learned not to be shy about contacting people, whether to see if I could get tapes with the Canadian eps (which I could, and which I still have some somewhere <3) or just to strike up an offlist conversation.

I went to parties and gatherings, mostly with the local slash contingent, where we had a good time. My favorite memory of that was someone trying to figure out the name of the episode where a particular thing happened, and everyone saying no, that never happened, until someone realized she was talking about a Susan Garrett story. *g* (Seriously, very easy to mistake one of her stories for canon -- she created an OC that was so well-drawn that he had his own faction.)

I got my hands on whatever images I could; I just found a folder with a bunch of FK images from 1996 and 1997, although I don't know whether I got these over email, IRC, AOL chats, or what. They're mostly tiny by today's standards, but I loved them; I think I put them into a rotating screensaver. At least one is a digital manip. I'm grinning all over my face looking at them now; I remember them so well!

I got exposed very fast to the idea that TPTB were around and interacting with the fans; we had both actors and behind the scenes folks on the list, and while Nigel Bennett (Lacroix) never said anything publicly that I remember, Fred Mollin (the music guy) used to post fairly regularly. When Sony decided to try tie-in novels, they read the archive and hired three fanfic writers to write them. Really good training for the steady erosion of the fourth wall, when you get right down to it.

FK was the first time I heard people talking about songs that went well with particular fandoms; basically they were talking about vidsongs, although I'm not sure if I quite understood that at the time. I remember a conversation with someone where I was all "oh, huh, it never occurred to me to listen to music like that, to match it to a show" and them saying that once you start doing it, you can't help it, you do it all the time. I think I thought that was a little silly. hahaha. *looks at 'vid ideas' music directory*

Basically, reading that list was my favorite part of the day. I got into huge offlist conversations with people, often because we had different takes on things and it was fascinating to see how other people interpreted things. I found out about other fandoms there as well; there was a lot of overlap between FK and Highlander, especially, and people would mention what was happening on Highla-L or hlfic-l, not to mention all the crossovers. There was a little less cross-cultural stuff with the Due South list, but there was some, and I'm pretty sure FK is how I found the DS lists.

I loved that it was my entry into online fandom, and that it just kept going long after I'd moved on. I still recognize names as I move around fandom, especially if they're faction-based; there's just no mistaking a faction-based name for anything but what it is, and I smile every time I see one.

♥ FK ♥

* ahaha, no I didn't. I just made myself check. I'm always completely positive that I wrote my first fanfic in FK, and I'm always wrong; it was Due South, after which I wrote a couple of FK stories. But FK was such a well of firsts in other ways that it feels like the first one I wrote in, regardless of the truth. It is, however, the only fandom where I ever wrote fic under my real name. *g* At the time I figured I'd do gen under my real name and slash under a pseud, but that was way too unwieldy so I just switched to all-pseud, all the time. (back to post)


Full request list here, still open!
arduinna: a pile of open books (book pile)
[personal profile] dorinda requested:

please talk about fanzines! For instance, maybe the first time you discovered them, your relationship to them, what you liked/didn't like about them, specific zines that might come to mind that were particularly good/interesting (or not)...just anything about zines that you care to share.

Oh, zines. <3

I may have seen them around earlier (probably did, in fact), but I discovered zines in the mid-80s. I was at an SF con, probably Boskone, and was in a dealer's room -- she didn't have space in the main Dealer's Room, she was selling out of a hotel room, and she had lots of zines. I was poking around, sort of vaguely interested but not enough to shell out any money; I was sadly too indoctrinated into the SF world's then-snobby response to media fandom, despite being at heart a media fan myself.

Then I hit the box marked with the strong, clear K/S on the top, and reached my hand in to poke around in there like I had everything else. I was in my early 20s, and looked like I was in my mid-teens, and the woman who owned everything (and who I suspect had been keeping a wary eye on me as I wandered toward the slash box) instantly asked if I knew what the slash meant. I didn't; she told me. My eyes went round, my eyebrows went up, and I held out my spending money for the weekend and asked her how much that would get me.

Seriously, nothing like discovering slash and zines basically at the same time. The money let me buy six zines, I think, all K/S, and I read them over and over again for the next several years. There were a few Naked Times, and a Daring Attempt, and maybe a couple As I Do Thees, and I thought they were the greatest things I'd ever read.

I was in college at the time, and didn't want to risk more issues coming to me either at the dorm or at my parents' place, so I just hoarded those few zines and hoped to find more at another SF con -- but I never saw that dealer again, and I don't think anyone else ever brought any, either. (Really, the mindset against media-fandom stuff was hard to break past back then.)

So technically I was reading zines in the zine heyday. But I was never part of zine culture; never wrote a LOC, never tribbed, never even wrote to a publisher asking for more, or for a flyer. Then I got online almost a decade later and discovered media fandom and realized I was home. <3 Online fanfic was amazing, but I still loved my zines, and when I got into Due South, I started buying everything I could.

This was a kinda dicey proposition; especially early on, almost everyone I ordered from was in the UK or Australia, and there was no Paypal then. I wrapped up cash carefully and sent it off, hoping to get a zine back. And I did, and they were fantastic. When I started buying from US publishers, I could use checks, and I wrote them religiously. For the next several years, I was buying zines as often as I could -- new, used, whatever -- and borrowing/swapping zines around with a bunch of people. DS, Pros, Starsky and Hutch, multi-media, Quantum Leap, Alias Smith and Jones, Sentinel, Ladyhawke, Robin of Sherwood, Equalizer, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, you name it.

I loved online fic and devoured it, but there was just something about holding a whole book of stories in your hands - especially if you'd tribbed to it. Which I didn't do often, but there were a few! So my collection grew. I was particularly determined to have a good Pros collection; so much good Pros fic was in zines, and the lists talked about them regularly. You could get really good recommendations just by hanging out on the list and watching the convos; you could figure out whose tastes aligned with yours, and whose tastes were exactly opposite to yours. You could also write to the list and say you wanted to order some zines, you liked x and y stories by a and b authors, what should you be looking for? And people would give you a list of things that would probably appeal to you. Fantastic resource, Pros fandom back then.

Anyway, so, I bought hundreds of zines over a few years. I loved them; I waxed enthusiastic about them to anyone who'd listen. But then somewhere in the very early '00s, I stopped buying so many, and then tailed off very fast into basically not buying any at all. It was a combination of things )

Some of my keepers )


Full request list here, still open!

(ETA: Wow, I feel like this is really disjointed and odd. I totally ran out of time. Sorry! If I wind up with empty slots maybe I'll take another stab at this...)
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
For [personal profile] james:

the first or one of the first people you encountered in fandom

This is cracking me up, because James is one of the first people I remember coming across online (which is the fandom I'm defining this as). *g* (hi James, I have known you foreeevvvver!) I don't think I ever said boo back then, though, other than probably sending in an age statement for JADFE (♥) So I'm not sure if it counts as "encountered" or not.

The first person I encountered face-to-face was a woman whose name I no longer remember, although I have visual memories of her and her home.

I was all about Forever Knight in those very early days, mostly lurking on Forkni-l, and someone offered to host people for... something. Season premiere night, maybe? Just general tape-watching? I don't even remember, but I decided to go, and showed up to find the house decorated in Raven images because she was a Ravenette. *g* I was pretty charmed, and we had a good time, even though I was the only person to show up, which was a tad awkward what with us not knowing each other at all. Those were the days when people actually did think that if you met a person from the internet in person, they would turn out to be an ax murderer, so it was nice to have that disproved!

I lost touch with her almost immediately, probably because I wasn't in her faction (much though I love Janette), so I wasn't hanging out on her faction loop at all. Someone posted to the main list about the list's IRC channel, I think on Efnet back then. I had no idea what IRC was, but the post included some instructions, so I got a copy of mIRC and logged on one night. It was great! Turns out it's one of my favorite ways to be fannish to this day, although now I tend to avoid public channels.

Back then, #foreverknight (that's an IRC channel, not a hashtag) was full of tons of people (for mid-90s values of "tons of people") chatting away pretty much 24/7. I got to know a bunch of people pretty well, enough that our conversations would start to dominate the main channel and annoy people, so we broke off into a private channel instead, where we hung out for ages.

And I'm still friends with a handful of them! (waves to [personal profile] eviltammy, [personal profile] ithildin, [personal profile] ninjababe). I've never met Ninj in person, sadly, but got together with Ith, Tammy, and a couple of other friends at Syndicon East in 1997 (that con was a vector -- for years and years later, I'd run across people and find out they'd been there, too); Tammy and another friend came to visit me for a few days at my place; Ith, Tammy, and that same friend and I all went and spent a week on Cape Cod one bright, cold November, where at least one waitress couldn't take it and had to ask us where we knew each other from, because we all had such vastly different accents. *g* And where we accidentally broke into a pirate museum. ♥

Off IRC, meanwhile, I was eventually hanging out with the UFfers, both online and locally. One of the oddest moments was realizing at an UFfish party that I was talking to a woman who went to the church where my cousin had been a priest, and that we'd both been at the same Mass at that church at least once. And she remembered the priest I remembered from my childhood, who'd switched from my parish to hers before moving on again later. It's a small, small world, people. Alas, I've long since lost touch with all of those folks; something about the faction itself, or the faction loop, or something, got less appealing to me, and I just moved on to Due South without much of a backward look at some point, really.

It's really amazing how many people I still know from the 90s in fandom, though. Although huh, thinking about it, I'm still in touch with people from FK, and people from TS (good lord, I still know so many people from TS!), and a few people from Pros, but I think the only people I still know from my DS days are those who moved on to TS about the same time I did. Strange.


Full request list here, still open!

(I should really get more icons so I can use appropriate ones for these...)
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
I had given myself an amnesty for posting today, on accounta too tired and no time to do anything (seriously, all I've accomplished all night is to heat up a frozen dinner -- twice, because I forgot to eat it -- and watch SHIELD through bleary eyes).

But then I was scrolling back through my reading list before heading off to bed and hit a post by [personal profile] morgandawn about a bunch of different things, including a video news report about a UK Blake's 7 con. She mentioned that Ann O'Neill was in the video, and I had to click; I was never in B7, but Ann published the first Due South zines I ever bought; I'm pretty sure they were the first zines I bought after getting online, and if so, they were the first I ever bought direct from a publisher. (I had half a dozen that I'd bought out of a box at an SF con a decade earlier, but that was it.)

I never interacted with her much, but my memories of her have stayed positive all these years. She passed away -- wow, I was going to say "a few years ago", but it was in 2000.

And tonight for the first time ever, I have a face to go with the name I've never forgotten. <3 The internet is an amazing thing.

The news piece is interesting outside of that; first, the news anchor (?I think?) is wearing a shirt that looks like a parody of the 80s, which is cracking me up, and second, it's fun listening to the unprepared reporter find out that all these strangely dressed people are really completely normal. His reaction to the cop is priceless. It's been a long time since I've heard someone that unused to the whole notion of fandom.

I also love this one bit right at the end, where the camera pans over a list of "Space City" drinks to show the audience how committed these convention attendees are to live out this Blake's 7 fantasy for the weekend -- and pauses on the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster. Hee!


Sep. 19th, 2013 11:36 pm
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
I've been hearing about Wattpad for the past year or two, generally in the context of "there's this GIGANTIC ARCHIVE that all the kids are using now, it leaves even in the dust". And earlier tonight, I was link-hopping and saw it mentioned again and thought okay, I actually want to look into this now. So I did; I went to Wattpad to see what was what. And, ugh, it's one where you have to log in to see anything. I hate that; you shouldn't have to be a member unless you want to post content. But by now I was really curious, because lord knows the non-logged-in front page was kinda useless. So I made an account and logged in, and went searching.

... Okay, seriously, why do people complain about the AO3's search*, when this is what's out there as the shiny new face of awesome?

There is a search bar, at least, into which you can type keywords. You can also pick a category (of which "Fanfiction" is one - you can't narrow any kind of fannish category beyond that), a length (... in "pages", not words, and I have no idea how many words make up a page in Wattpad terms), and a language. You can also tick a box for "completed" or "mature".

That's it. Typing in a fandom name while filtering for fanfiction will probably get you at least some fanfic in that fandom, but will also potentially bring up non-fanfic, people whose names match your fandom's name, summaries that include your fandom's name, etc. (This is not a good place to be a Supernatural fan, in other words.) And there's no way to filter down from your results; all you can do is go page by page.

This is awful; we had more control over archive searches 10 years ago on basic, early-days automated archives like AA or efiction.

I know it's not purely a fanfic archive; it's meant to be a clearinghouse for all writing everywhere. But it has to be miserable trying to find something in *any* category. Is this seriously something that pro writers think is awesome and a great way to reach readers?

Searching is bad enough that I'm starting to think that those stories that have nearly 2 million reads get them just by virtue of being the first results to show up.

Man. I do not think I'll be using this account much. Or at all. I honestly feel bad for the people who think this is the best thing there is.

*This was a rhetorical question.


Unrelatedly, I think this makes 30 posts in 30 days. \o/ I've never managed to do that, ever. I may keep using the tag just to see how long I can go without breaking the streak. *g*
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
I'm sorting out a bookcase today, the one that has my media tie-ins. I've purged a lot of them over the years; fanfic gives me more of what I want. But I used to buy anything I could find for any show I loved, and I've hung on to a bunch, especially Star Trek books.

I used to buy a lot of Star Trek books. Some of these I'd forgotten I have; the only way to fit everything is to have doubled rows of books, and the titles in the back rows tend to fade. But today I'm looking at everything, and wow. Seriously, I'd forgotten.

Before VCRs, in most cases your only hope of knowing what happened in an episode was to actually watch it live as it aired, whether first run or rerun/syndication. But for some shows, you could buy books.

James Blish wrote adaptations of (almost) every episode; they weren't perfect, as they were written off scripts rather than final episode transcripts, and they were short stories rather than being particularly fleshed out, but. You could have the episodes in your hands!

I bought as many of the original paperbacks as I could find used, when I discovered these, but I couldn't get my hands on all of them. I was buying in the mid-80s, and there just wasn't much available; used bookstores weren't quite in vogue yet, and I could only get to one con a year with their fabulous dealers' rooms full of rows and rows and rows of used and new SFF. Then the Science Fiction Book Club offered four hardcover volume "Star Trek Readers", which collected all of Blish's adaptations, and I bought those, too. So now I have doubles of almost all of it, and still can't bring myself to purge any of them. *g* What if one day there are no more reruns or DVDs or blu-rays or downloads or anything!!

Blish wasn't the only one writing; a few years after him, Alan Dean Foster wrote adaptations of the animated series, which I also got my hands on, to my delight, as I'd never seen the animated show. Again, I don't have them all, but at least I had something.

And I bought behind-the-scenes books, and making-of books, and anything else I could. (Anyone else have "Chekov's Enterprise"?)

And then I discovered a couple copies of a treasure trove I'd had no idea existed: in the late '70s, Ballantine started publishing "fotonovels". I wound up with copies of Metamorphosis and Day of the Dove.

Metamorphosis front cover )

back cover )

They used comic book layout, with multiple panels per page in various combinations to carry you through the story, using tricks like outlining specific people in a white panel border to show that they're in a different place (like talking over communicators), or that a conversation was cutting back and forth on screen, so the still picture would have both face-on shots together. Although someone appears to have decided that that looked silly, because by book #10, they were no longer doing that - so it's less cheesy looking, but also a bit less fun. *g* Some photos spread seamlessly across a two-page spread (which, wow, has to have been a BITCH to print -- there are no whitespace margins in these books, they're pure photos).

interior pages )

I didn't want to break the spine on the book to get a sample of one of the two-page photos, but they're there.

The front of each book has a short cast list, including guest stars, and a two-page interview with one of the guest stars.

The back of the books have a helpful glossary to explain the terms in the book, from basic ST stuff like "communicators" and "phasers" to episode specifics like the disease one of the characters had, the planets involved in the ep, etc. Plus there's a quiz at the end, to see how much you were paying attention! (Answers on the very final page, so you didn't have to wait till the next book came out to see how you did.) And there would be a teaser photo from the next fotonovel, with a descriptive blurb. They packed a lot into these little books.

I'd completely forgotten about these, but man, now I remember how over the moon I was when I found them way back when. It was like being able to watch the episode any time I wanted!!

Even with VCRs available not long after, these were still fabulous for a long time, because a VCR was only useful if you had episodes to record - and the money to buy enough tapes to record more than a few episodes of anything. A single VHS cassette cost as much as ~10 fotonovels.

I kinda wish the trend of making these had started about five years earlier than it did, just to see how widespread it might have become before it got completely overshadowed by VCR tech.

(Seriously, these are so cool.) (How do I not have a TOS icon?)
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
So since I posted my list of comms two days ago, a couple of people have created a new Person of Interest discussion comm: [community profile] pofinterest_chat -- looks like it just got created today, in fact. Check it out!

Lifehacker had a post today about video conversion programs that looked interesting; I've used three out of their top five, but it's always good to have more options. All the programs they list are free and will convert multiple formats back and forth.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to write up a decent con report, and keep getting buried in the fact that I want to report on everything, which is a lot. We'll see how it goes. It wasn't helped today by digging out my panel notes from Friday and seeing the audio editing stuff, and promptly haring off to Adobe Audition to stare at waveforms for a while, and go "ooo" a lot. Time to start looking at how-to videos for that, too.
arduinna: deck chairs by a pool (aruba)
[personal profile] dorinda was talking about a story that [personal profile] mollyamory wrote for her, which was in the general "idyll" vein; in Dorinda's words, a story "in which the characters are stuck in a peaceful, comfortable, well-stocked place, usually with some kind of swimming available".

I love those kinds of stories, and mentioned that I thought an Idyll Challenge would be an awesome thing to have, and even as I thought that, I was thinking about the Canadian Shack challenge, because in some ways those were similar. And then I laughed, because Dorinda mentioned Shacks in her reply to me, which led to this comment from me:

I thought Shacks briefly, too, when I was thinking about an Idyll Challenge -- but that has less a sense of peaceful rest and comfort, and more haven from the elements -- cave fic with walls and a nice wood fire.

And okay, now I'm cracking up at my mental sliding scale of "Alone In Some Place" fic tropes. ... Wait, no, sliding parallel tracks.

Cavefic -> Canadian Shack
Desert Island -> Idyll

Except the second track starts midway along the first track, because in my head a desert island starts out a bit more comfortable than a cave, and an idyll is inherently more comfy than a shack, despite potential individual differences in all those things. So:

Cave  ->  Shack
      Island   ->   Idyll

All aboard the train to isolation and snuggles!

Which is still cracking me up. But also getting me to think more seriously about an Idyll Challenge. Would anyone be up for that? I'm thinking maybe a soft deadline of the Equinox, which is September 22 this year -- soft because I really don't care if people keep writing later than that. *g* But that's roughly a month, which is a good timespan, I think, and it would wrap up "officially" before YT really cranks up.

Actually, what the hell: I've made an AO3 collection. Why not just do it, right?

Multi-fandom, and I'm going with multi-format -- fic, art, vids, whatever people want.

Idyll Challenge on AO3.

ETA, since people are linking to this: The challenge is an open one, no signup needed. Just write/draw/vid/whatever and add to the collection!
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
I haven't done one of these in ages, but I've seen folks reviving it recently, so what the heck. Have some comms!


[community profile] vidrecs Just what it says on the tin, and a good place to post those VVC recs burning a hole in your pocket... It's a low-activity comm right now, and I'd love to see that change. (note to self...) Anyone can rec. Basic rules: no self-reccing, one rec per post, two posts per reccer per day, publicly available vids only.

[community profile] fanart_recs Again, just what it says on the tin. This runs mainly on a sign-up basis, where people sign up in advance to make at least 4 recs in a month in a particular fandom. They're always looking for more reccers, but I've never seen a month go by when there wasn't at least one person reccing things. Not always in my fandoms, but I've found some fantastic art this way.

[community profile] fancake Okay, I rec this one a lot, because it's one of my favorite recs places. Themed recs, themes change every month, anyone can rec anything they want in that theme, one rec per post, three recs per reccer per day, amnesty period once a year for all themes. I need to get off my duff and start making recs again.

Fic prompts:

[community profile] fic_promptly is a pan-fandom prompt comm that has a different theme every Monday through Thursday (Fridays are free-for-alls, post any prompts you want). This isn't an anon meme; every weekday there's a new post. The comm went silent for a while so may have fallen off people's radar, but it's been revived, and it's back in business.

[community profile] meme_of_interest is the Person of Interest kinkmeme; it allows both anon and non-anon prompts and fills.

[community profile] grimm_kink is the Grimm kink meme, which you can probably tell from the name. A little slow at the moment, but still active; the most recent comment on the prompt post is from yesterday.

Panfandom fannish chat:

[community profile] tv_talk is a fairly new comm, where people can sign up to be Captain of a show -- which just means you agree to put up a new discussion post for people to talk in within a week of an episode's airing. Right now only two of the shows that people have asked to sign up for are currently airing, so it's a little heavy on the Teen Wolf and Falling Skies, but I'd love to see this take off as the fall season starts up. Oh, also anyone can post a "General post" about whatever they want, whenever they want - it's not just for official discussion posts.

The comm doesn't allow character or ship bashing, and the spoiler policy is one that works for me (no spoilers of future shows, no spoilers outside of cuts, no spoilers for episodes airing a week previously in general posts).

[community profile] allfandom_chat is an anon-meme-style comm where you don't have to be anon unless you want to be, where you can talk in comments about any fandom or fannish thing you want. Brand new, set up this week.

[community profile] whumpable For all your hurt/comfort discussion needs, whether finding h/c canons, talking about h/c tropes, making or asking for recs, etc.

Specific fandom comms:

[community profile] pofinterest_fic This is the DW mirror to the most active Person of Interest comm on LJ. The _fic part is misleading; it allows "fanfic, icons, screencaps, any other fanart, fanvids, fanmixes, recs, links, discussion posts, news, etc. -basically anything that is related to the tv show Person of Interest" It's basically the only POI comm on DW right now, other than the kink meme, and with the new season coming up...

[community profile] havenfans For all your Haven needs! Discussion, fic, vids, you name it.

[community profile] grimm_daily A daily roundup of Grimm fic - originally meant for rounding up kink meme fills, but now lists fic from all over -- the kink meme, various LJ comms, AO3, Which I just found, and have now added to my reading list. \o/
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
Okay, this "every day" thing is hard. Midnight comes too fast, and my brain is still mush.

So I will just say, if you watched TV in the 70s, you should check out a Major Crimes episode that aired a few weeks ago:

Go here, and pick "There's No Place Like Home" from the episode list (I have no idea if that works outside the US, sorry!)

The guest stars are:
  • Tim Conway (please tell me I don't have to identify him)
  • Paul Dooley (character actor, in everything)
  • Ron Glass (... okay, I suppose more people know him from Firefly, but I look at him and see Harris from Barney Miller every time)
  • Doris Roberts (I know her best as Mildred from Remington Steele, but she was in everything)
  • Marion Ross (Marion Cunningham from Happy Days, also everything else).

They play a group of retired actors and crew from a 70s show, and they're fabulous. <3


Aug. 21st, 2013 11:42 pm
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
I went to Vividcon! \o/ And premiered a vid with [personal profile] therienne and everything! Which occurred to me tonight I never did announce here, because omg I came home and just collapsed.

It's Person of Interest, team gen, called "Some Nights". Streaming, downloads, lyrics etc here on our vidding journal

or if you prefer AO3:

[Vid] Some Nights (38 words) by Flummery
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Person Of Interest - Fandom
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: John Reese, Harold Finch, Lionel Fusco, Joss Carter
Additional Tags: Team, Vividcon, Fanvids, Embedded Video

Team Machine

"Team Machine" really pretty much does sum it up. ♥ POI ♥

But one vid does not a con make, and the con itself was loads of exhausting fun, as usual. I traveled, also as usual, with [personal profile] therienne and [personal profile] mollyamory. The trip went the way it generally does, with one fabulous exception. I always check a bag just because it's easier having the extra room, and then there's always that doubtful moment of "okay, so how do we get to the labyrinth of dark, dingy, endless back corridors, with the weird sports-team elevator hiding around behind things as inconspicuously as possible so you're never sure you're in the right place?"

Usually we just wander around trying to find it, but this year were having issues that mean less wandering is much better, so I actually asked an airport employee what the best way to the shuttle buses was, just to confirm our instinct that we wanted to go thataway.

He pointed away from the direction I thought he would and said, "Go to door 1-F and go outside, cross all lanes of traffic, and it'll be right in front of you."

Which, for the record? Is a great shortcut from baggage claim! It takes you to the sidewalk in front of the parking garage, which is indeed where the shuttle buses are. The Springhill Suites shuttle picks up at Door 2, which is almost all the way down that sidewalk, but you're certainly not doing any more walking than you are in the labyrinth indoors, and it's all nice and bright daylight-y with your goal more or less in sight at all times. \o/

So a very auspicious start to a good con.

I'm hoping to do a more detailed writeup or two later, but wanted to get some general impressions down while they're fresh, and as a way of kickstarting this 30 days of posting thing (which I'm going to attempt, although I've never managed 30 straight days of posting anywhere). (I do write posts nearly every day, though. I just don't finish and post them. So maybe this'll work after all.)

I was really pleased by the Critique panel on Saturday morning (which was very well-attended); it kept drifting off into beta instead of public review, but that's to be expected these days, when the default is not to say anything critical (or I should specify: negatively critical) in public. But public crit was definitely part of it, and there seemed to be a general sense that people missed it, especially at the con itself. VVC has always been a haven for public crit, but there's been less of it in recent years.

I think the panel paid off on Sunday; Vid Review felt like it had more constructive crit than I remember it having lately. We're not back to where we were 10 years ago (and may never get back to that level, especially without Snady to be the voice of reasoned honesty), but it felt like maybe we're starting to recover the ability to give and take crit. This makes me ridiculously happy, as that's one of the things I most love about VVC; you can learn so much!

What else -- Premieres continued its recent trend of having lots of tiny-to-small-fandom vids; almost 40% of the show this year, by my count (compared with about 20% in the 2002 Premieres show I was talking about a few weeks back), in a vidshow where only one fandom had more than one vid (Person of Interest \o/).

And in 2002, there was really only 1 vid that risked not being recognized by more than a handful of people in a fannish context; this year, I'd put that at more like half a dozen.

It's an interesting trend. I miss the days when I knew more of the fandoms - but otoh I wouldn't have missed this year's Lego Batman and Wicker Man vids, in particular, for anything. (... don't watch those back to back, though.) Not to mention the gorgeous Queen Seondeok vid, and Little Miss Sunshine... And it's no bad thing to be past the days when a single fandom dominated the show; it was always great in the years when it was your fandom, but not so much when it was that fandom you couldn't really stand (people who disliked Stargate, Supernatural, or Buffy had it rough for a few years there).

OTOH, there's nothing like it when the entire room is reacting to a source that almost everyone knows to some extent. <3

And now I am abruptly hitting post, so this goes up on Wednesday and doesn't turn into yet another never-finished draft.
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
I spent a good chunk of today being cranky at people being Wrong on the Internet, and wanting to tell them how they're wrong and to maybe stop doing that.

Then [personal profile] movies_michelle posted to say that for Sandy Herrold's birthday today it would be great if people would post recs of things: "Post a rec of something, anything, you enjoyed today, whether it was a story, vid, photo, meme, discussion, whatever. Whether it's new or old. If you've been meaning to go back and leave a comment on a story, go do it now, even if it's just to say "Love this!"" And really that sounds like a much more constructive use of my time. (Even though Snady would totally have agreed that Those People Are Wrong On The Internet *g*)

So have a couple of things!

First, if you're not reading [personal profile] morgandawn's fanlove posts, you should be, because they're wonderful. Today's installment was a set of quotes from fanzine publishers back in the day, talking about dealing with print shops who perforce saw the (often explicit) artwork and stories in the zines. I wasn't involved in fandom back then, really, but roughly 2000-ish I watched a friend carefully pick a local printer by means of spotting the gay pride poster in their window and deciding they could probably deal with the slash zine she was putting together. I was grinning my head off at [personal profile] morgandawn's post.

Second, as I've had Maru on my mind lately (he has a new kitten friend! Named Hana!), have a Maru story:
[ I succeeded in crawling into the breast of my big boss! ] (1693 words) by miss_pryss
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: I Am Maru
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Maru, Harry (I Am Maru)

[ Hello, I am hedgehog of the newcomer.
My name is Harry.
What a big you are!
I follow you forever. ]

Harry the stuffed hedgehog toy adores his "boss" - Maru the cat, of cardboard box fame - but Maru hardly seems to notice him. When Harry finds himself in terrible trouble, will Maru come through for his most devoted toy at last? Warning: various profanities uttered by a pot of cat grass.

And one more while I'm here, for a fandom that started up too late for Snady, but I think would have loved. This is a lovely h/c POI story:
Random Access Memory (4504 words) by Xparrot
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Person of Interest (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Harold Finch & Nathan Ingram, Harold Finch & John Reese
Characters: Harold Finch, Nathan Ingram, John Reese
Additional Tags: Sickfic, Fevers, Angst, Smarm, Friendship, Present Tense, (possibly to be jossed) backstory, adventures at MIT, Reese can read too, as well as cook breakfast

"You're running a fever of 104," Nathan says.

Happy birthday, Snady. ♥
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
I have been reliably informed by separate sources that I need to stay off the internet for a while, possibly as long as a year, because there are huge honking spoilers out in the open all over the place, in both fannish and non-fannish spaces.

This is very frustrating! Because a) I'm the sort of person who, if you tell me "Don't look at that, you'll get spoiled," actually won't look at it. If you want to surprise me with something, you can put it in the middle of a room under a thin piece of tissue paper and tell me it's a surprise, don't look, and I will find a way to avoid looking at it for as long as necessary. (... Please don't take that as a challenge.)

But also, b) I spend a lot of time on the internet, really. And the people who warned me figure that the rampant discussion of whatever this is will die down in a week or two, so really it's probably okay to look at things again after that -- but that I'm probably going to be spoiled anyway at some point, because these spoilers are so widespread that everyone's going to assume everyone knows them and will talk about them freely outside of cuts until they happen, so basically I'm doomed.

So now I'm in this place of "I should just look. Rip the bandage off, get it over with, get spoiled and be cranky and move on" -- but being constitutionally incapable of doing that. I cannot deliberately seek out a spoiler, it's against my very nature. So I keep taking a deep breath and reaching to click the links for my DW reading list, or Tumblr (I should just give up on tumblr, man; I can't manage more than a day or two every few months, from avoiding spoilers), or ffa, or whatever, then stopping cold, unable to click. It's like telling myself I should just go kick a rock with my bare foot, because odds are good I'll stub my toe accidentally at some point anyway, so why not do it myself on purpose?

It is not easy being a spoilerphobe in modern fandom, man.

On the flip side of that, the Venture Bros team are clearly my soulmates, as exemplified in this interview with io9: Why the Venture Bros. creators want you to know nothing about Season 5

You two have been super-secretive about season 5. It's like you're the Mad Men's Matt Weiner of animation at this point. What can viewers expect coming up?

JP: It's not like we're being secretive. I just don't know why anyone would want to know about something rather than just watching the thing, you know.

DH: Yeah. And you could say for people to watch the show, we're not going to tell you what happens so you don't have to watch the show.

JP: Yeah, the means of delivery are just as important as the package.

DH: We spent a lot of time making sure this stuff happens in cartoons. so why blow by saying it out loud?

JP: And have people form opinions about crap.

Would that extend to like very broad things like "In this season, Dr. Venture is going to go on this adventure" or something like that?

JP: I mean, sometimes we'll say if certain characters are going to be around or not and sometimes we'll say there are a lot of exotic locations.

DH: It's like a crappy sales pitch. You do not want to hear us talk about might kind of happen.

Except that I’m interviewing you, and the whole reason I’m interviewing you is to ask what's happening in this season.

JP: Well, there's your mistake. Why don't you ask what you think you want to know and we'll see if we can answer it or be colorful about answering.

DH: Getting to your original point, I don't think that's really the point of an interview, to find out what's going to happen. You could find out how we write, you could find out what the show is about in broader terms, we could talk about all the past seasons. I'm not sure, I think you might be incorrect. I just want to point that out.

You reject my entire premise.

DH: I think it's a flawed premise that journalism is the art of asking what's happening next.

♥ ♥ ♥

This: "the means of delivery are just as important as the package", is really it for me. The context, the nuances, make a huge difference to me, and once I know something in advance, the ability to see it fresh in context is gone. Either it falls completely flat when I see it, or I don't bother watching/reading it at all, because there's no point.

I'm honestly glad it's easier now for people who want/need spoilers to get them; I just wish so many people didn't assume that everyone must want to know every possible thing in advance.

OTOH, it's vidding season, and most years as June progresses I pay less and less attention to anything but the terrifying looming Vivivdcon deadline (oh dear god, it's June already). So there's that. And if I need a break from that, I'm way behind on the POI kinkmeme, with lots to catch up on, not to mention a bajillion things to read on AO3.

And meanwhile, Venture Bros starts its new season tonight. \o/
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
These are Greasemonkey scripts, which will work in Firefox and I think Chrome (and Chrome clones) and Opera. If you don't have Greasemonkey, it's definitely worth installing. You can get it in add-ons/extensions. Once you have the add-on, you can install all kinds of scripts to customize your browser to do what you want.

DW scripts:

Dynamic and persistent DW reading/network page expand/collapse/hide This is amazing, and I wish I could install it on my mobile devices. It lets you collapse (and later expand) or completely hide entries on reading and network pages on DW -- not just your own, but anyone's. Collapsing a post will leave the subject line; hiding it will make it go poof.

LJ New Comment "This script remembers which comments you've seen on LiveJournal or Dreamwidth, and marks new comments with a link which says "NEW". Clicking the link selects that new comment."

Dreamwidth ljwho This lets you add notes to anyone's username on DW. It's browser-specific, so it's less useful than a native action tied to your account, but I still find it plenty useful.

You can find more DW scripts here.

AO3 scripts:

I found these through [community profile] ao3some, a comm for AO3-related stuff.

ao3 download buttons This adds a Download button to everything listed on a works page, so you don't have to click into something specifically to download it. Just click the download button right there in the header info, choose your format, and you're done.

AO3 Kudos Tools Once it's set up, this will let you know if you've already kudosed something by changing the color of the kudos button to green, and putting a green background on your name in the kudos list. You can also set it up to put a dark grey background behind anyone else's name, if there are people whose tastes you really trust.

Fair warning on this one: it takes a bit of work to get set up -- not very much! But you need to edit the script once it's installed to add your username to the script so it knows what to look for, and to add anyone else's usernames if you want it to check for them, too. See below for instructions if you're not used to doing this.

AO3 Saved Filters This adds a section to the sidebar with two boxes, one for global tags and one for fandom tags, which will save whatever you put there. This took me a bit of figuring, but once I got it, I was floored.

Both of these will take either includes or excludes. To include something, just type it (enclose it in double quotes if it has more than one word: "hurt/comfort"). To exclude something, type it with a minus sign in front, again using double quotes if there's more than one word: -"hurt/comfort".

The "Global" box is persistent -- anything you put there will be filtered on no matter what works page you're looking at, and it remembers it across browser sessions. If you never want to see fluff, add -fluff to that box and hit save, and fluff will forevermore be filtered out of any results for you automatically. (You can always edit the boxes later to add or remove things.)

The "Fandom" box is for stuff specific to whatever fandom you're looking at, so you have to be on a specific fandom works page for it to show up (meta-tags don't count - "Sherlock Holmes - All Media Types" won't have a "fandoms" saved-filter box, but "Sherlock (BBC)" will. Collection works pages don't count, either. Both those pages will only have a global box.) This box is persistent for a given fandom: if you put -Lestrade into the box on the Sherlock BBC works page and hit save, you'll never see any works with Lestrade named in the header info when you're browsing through the fandom.

So if you never want to see fluff anywhere, put -fluff in the Global box and hit save. If you're good with fluff everywhere except The Wire, put -fluff in the Fandom box on The Wire's works page, and now that will be the only fandom where it doesn't show up.

I am just boggled at how customizable this is. Wow.

AO3 savior Works like Tumblr savior, in that anything it protects you from is hidden, rather than gone completely. You can choose to unhide them, then hide them again if you realize that nope, you really didn't want to see that after all. You can specify authors, tags, or summary terms/phrases; matches need to be exact.

Fair warning on this one as well: you also need to edit this script to tell it what you want it to protect you from. Again, it's not hard, but if you've never done it it can look confusing; instructions below.

Editing those user scripts )

Couple of important notes:

1. Greasemonkey is installed on your browsers, and have nothing to do with your DW/LJ or AO3 accounts. You need to install it on every browser you use, and set up the scripts you want on each one.

2. This is much harder on mobile devices. iOS won't allow extensions to be installed unless you jailbreak your device, which I haven't done so I can't tell how well it works.. Looks like Android has a TamperMonkey app that's a browser that allows Greasemonkey scripts, but I don't have any Android devices so again have no idea how well it works. I can't find anything at all about installing Greasemeonkey on Windows phones/tablets on a fast search.

But if you're still regularly using a computer or two, these scripts are really useful.

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