alixtii: John and Cameron, looking cue together. (Sarah Connor Chronicles)
One of the things about fanfic is that things which are ambiguous in the original text need to be resolved, even if you like them ambiguous. Sometimes storytelling demands deciding whether Schrodinger's cat is dead or alive. At these times, whether or not a fic will work will often depend on whether or not it fills in the blanks in a way which is plausible to its audience.

So I'm working on my post-"Born to Run" John/Savannah universe, and I'm wondering is John Connor a virgin in "Born to Run"? If not, with whom has he had sex? If so, what is the extent of his sexual experience?

To be clear, I'm not asking what you like to think happened in your own personal canon, but rather what you think the most straight-foward explication of the text would be. In the closest possible world to the actual one where what we see on the show is "true", is John Connor a virgin?

Poll #1408 Is John Connor a virgin?
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 5

In a "least hypothesis" reading of the text (which is to say, one which is relatively 'shipper goggle-free), is John Connor a virgin at the end of the (television) series?

View Answers

No (go to question 2)
3 (60.0%)

Yes (go to question 3)
2 (40.0%)

If not, with whom has John had sex?

View Answers

Cameron, in season 1
0 (0.0%)

Cameron, in season 2
0 (0.0%)

3 (100.0%)

Someone else
0 (0.0%)

If so, what is the extent of his sexual experience?

alixtii: The groupies from Dr. Horrible. (meta)
My post the other night on person and tense was, admittedly, about equal parts tl;dr and navel-gazing (but then, that can describe most non-fiction posts in this journal), but its contents did also point towards a conclusion that I didn't draw then but will now: that our talk of "tenses" and "persons" in reference to fiction are oversimplifications, grammatical terms that just can't handle narrative. Is "Requiem at Reichenbach" (or "The Tell-Tale Heart" or Frankenstein or whatever) told in present tense or past tense? Is it in first-person or second-person? (I'd say the first, since it's Moriarty's rather Holmes' thoughts which we are privy to, but I've received plenty of comment discussing my use of the second-person.) One of my dreams is to write a novel told in alternating narratives, one in first-person and second-person, which finally culminates in "I" meeting "you" at the end.

Not to mention the possibilities like "first-person omniscient" or "third-person telepathic"--the latter being a POV I've written quite a bit, thanks to River and Drusilla.

Janet Burroughway in her textbook Writing Fiction (which I loved in high school because it was much more in-depth and complex than any creative writing work I've read before or since) provides as an alternative a series of questions, only two of which ("Who speaks?" and "To whom?") I remember off the top of my head, but my impulse when encountering a broken system isn't to create a newer, better, much-improved system but instead to ask whether it wasn't the systematizing impulse itself that was flawed in the first place.

Now I'm re-reading my post alongside Kristina Busse's blogpost on Speranza’s Written By the Victors as Exemplary Fantext and the resonances are striking. Victors, which is a novel-length SGA fic I have not read, is made of exactly the phenomena I was discussing on Tuesday night (Wednesday morning) a situation where the narrative itself exists diegetically within the fictional universe. Victors includes seemingly contradictory narratives which are nonetheless assumed to exist within the same fictional universe (i.e. the narratives themselves exist within the same fictional universe, but the events they describe cannot be reconciled and thus do not)--the situation "Requiem at Reichenbach" is in when read alongside the original canon narrated by Watson.

Requiem at Reichenbach: Moriarty's memories of Holme's first case <-- Moriarty's internal monologue as he falls at Reichenbach <-- Alixtii writing a fic for [ profile] yuletide
Conan Doyle's canon: The adventures of Sherlock Holmes <-- Watson's chronicling of his friends' adventures <-- Sir Arthur writing stories in The Strand

It's the two events in green (and not the two events in red) which are assumed to exist within the same universe--since all of the events in red cannot even exist in the same universe with each other; at the very least, it would be necessary to choose between the Moriarty backstory we are given in "The Final Problem" (where Watson first hears of Moriarty when Holmes is already running for his life) and The Valley of Fear (in which both Watson and Scotland Yard are fully aware of Holmes' obsession well before the events of "The Final Problem" are assumed to take place), which cannot be (easily?) reconciled with each other. To preserve the illusion, we construct the interpretation such that it is Watson rather than Doyle who has made a mistake. (Cf. other works of Sherlockiana, the most famous of course being The Seven-Percent Solution.) And none of this even touches on the subject of Watson's war wound or the question of how Moriarty brothers there were and how many of them were named James. Or the fact that there are stories in Doyle's canon which are not narrated by Watson.

That Doyle's canon has these features is, of course, no surprise: it is the text which gave birth to fandom.

Moriarty in "Requiem" has read the Watsonian canon pre-"The Final Problem" (which is of course assumed to be identical to the corresponding Doylist canon); he even makes a direct reference to a line in A Study in Scarlet at one point, when he compares his own first impressions of Holmes with those of Watson. The sketch we get in canon leaves the status of these diegetic writings rather in doubt; fanon generally imports as much information from the actual world into the fictional world as possible, so that Watson's stories were published in The Strand under Doyle's name, etc. (This line of logic leaves us to assume that all of the people who searched out Holmes to solve their mysteries within the canon after reading Watson's accounts didn't understand the notion of fiction.)

For Kristina, this type of scenario "mirrors fannish and academic disputes in analysis and interpretation by asking the reader to weigh the different historical accounts and documents against one another. As [she has] argued before, fan fiction does not consist only of individual works of art but must be approached as a collectively written, highly intertextual, internally contradictory text which is continually being written through the use of various modes of interface."

This all so very postmodern.


While the use of texts within texts is a common postmodern trope, it also predates postmodernism by several thousand years, unless we are to consider Homer to have been a postmodern when s/he had Odysseus relate to the Phoenician king the story of his journey. OTOH, if one accepts (as I do) along with Umberto Eco that the postmodern is a mode of reading rather than a mode of writing, than The Odyssey is totally fair game. After all, I once wrote a fifteen-page paper in undergrad on Troilus and Criseyde as postmodern text. (Note that T&C also contains multiple contradictory texts-within-texts!)
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
As remarked before in this journal, the underlying process of the game of "How Many Children Had Lady Macbeth?" provides some interesting fundamental similarities and dissimilarities to other processes of inquiry: to a detective investigating a mystery, to a scientist developing a theory, to the work of logicians, linguists, and lawyers. So it should be in no way surprising that while going through my favorite blogs, I came across several matters of interest which speak to the philosophical issues at hand in the way we go about our canon-formation (speaking of canon here as a set of "facts" about a fictional and/or actual world derived from a text, rather than as the text itself).

Language Log, Volokh Conspiracy, and Original Meta )
alixtii: Mal and Kaylee, from Serenity the Movie. Text: "I Love My Captain." (iluvmycaptain)
Here are twenty-five favorite characters from twenty-five different shows, in no particular order.

1. Dawn Summers (Michelle Trachtenbeg) from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
2. Fred Burkle (Amy Acker) from Angel
Bonus! Drusilla (Juliet Landau) from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel
3. River Tam (Summer Glau) from Firefly

Is there really anything else to be said about the above?

4. Player (Justin Shenkarow, Jeffrey Tucker, Joanie Pleasant) from Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? Commentary )
5. Dr. Olga Vukavitch (Justina Vail) from Seven Days Commentary )
6. Morgan Matthews (Lily Nicksay, Lindsay Ridgeway) from Boy Meets World Commentary )
7. Capt. Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) from Star Trek: Voyager Commentary )
8. Cindy Mackenzie (Tina Majorino) from Veronica Mars Commentary )
9. President Mackenzie Allen (Geena Davis) in Commander-in-ChiefCommentary )
10. Donna Moss (Janel Moloney) from The West Wing Commentary )
11A. Tess Doerner (Summer Glau) from The 4400 Commentary )
11B. Maia Skouris née Rutlidge (Conchita Campbell) from The 4400 Commentary )
12. Clarissa Darling (Melissa Joan Hart) from Clarissa Explains It All Commentary )
13. Alex Mack (Larissa Oleynik) from The Secret World of Alex Mack Commentary )
14. Fred Rogers (Himself) from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood Commentary )
15. Nona Mecklenberg (Michelle Trachtenberg) from The Adventures of Pete and Pete Commentary )
16. Rogue (Lenora Zann) from X-Men (90's cartoon) Commentary )
17. Kitty Pryde (Maggie Blue O'Hara) from X-Men Evolution Commentary )
18. Jan Brady (Eve Plumb) from The Brady Bunch Commentary )
19. Wednesday Addams from The Addams Family Commentary )
20. The Doctor (Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant) from Doctor Who Commentary )
21. Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (DeForest Kelly) from Star Trek: The Original Series Commentary )
22. Col. Saul Tigh (Michael Hogan) from Battlestar Galactica (2003) Commentary )
23. Rita Repulsa (Barbara Goodson, Carla Pérez, Machiko Soga) from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Commentary )
24. Ezri Dax (Nicole de Boer) from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Commentary )
25. Rory Gilmore (Alexis Beidel) from Gilmore Girls Commentary )

Ari wondered what it meant that she guessed that most of my favorites were female. It means that she knows me well, because most of my favorites--all but four, plus the ambiguously-gendered Player--are female. Which is interesting, because many of these relate to early childhood, when my heterosexuality wouldn't have been a factor (right?). I'm not sure what it says that I've always found it easier to identify with (or at least be interested in) female characters than male ones, but I think it's pretty clearly true.
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
Masochist, noun. A canon whore in X-Men movieverse fandom.

1. How old is Kitty Pryde? What does she look like? And why the frell is she an X-Man? (In the sense of being on the team, that is. I love Kitty, but there is absolutely no explanation given.)

2. Since we see Hank with non-blue skin in X2, the secondary stage of his mutation must have set in some time while Jean was dead, right? So his reaction to his response to Leach is one to being returned to a state he very recently held, right? Which raises the question, when did he become in charge of Mutant Affairs? I had the impression he was "closeted" during X2, but that might not be canon--we don't see him long enough to base many conclusions upon his scene (if you can call it that).

3. In X3, we have four distinct "times." If I remember correctly, they are: thirty years "ago", twenty years "ago", the not-too-distant "future", and the narrative "now" against which the other times are being measured ("our" past, "our" future). So Jean's age is her age in the flashback (early teens?) + twenty/thirty years (I forget which flashback was which) + the difference between "now" and the not-too distant future. Warren's age, same deal. Right?
alixtii: Peter and Susan, in extreme close-up. (incest)
Via [ profile] voleuse: [ profile] hth_the_first on what makes a couple slashy, and [ profile] liviapenn responding (not really rebutting) with "normal behavior isn't slashy."

See, the thing is: yeah, normal life is slashy. It's 'cesty. It's a lot of things, some of them things which even fandom doesn't have words for, that we don't see because we're not used to looking at a life-text that way. I've lived in an appartment with two other men, and I've lived in a house with my family members. And there have been perfectly innocuous events (doing the dishes even!) that if they were to appear on a television screen then yeah, I would read them as slashy or 'cesty.

Which is not to say that I wanted to sex with my roommates or my family members, or that they wanted to have sex with me. When we're looking at life, we tend to get caught up in the ding an sich, in issues of "what really happened." It seems perfectly sensible to wonder "How many children had Lady Macbeth?" when you've just had Lady Macbeth over for tea.

But literary texts don't work that way. Lady Macbeth has a dozen children and no children at the same time. The cat is both dead and alive. (Fanfic opens the box and collapses the eigenstates, so to speak. And this metaphor is so not my own; I remember [ profile] wisdomeagle using it, but I doubt that it's hers either.) While for the most part we conveniently and deliberately forget that our life-text is a floating signifier (which doesn't mean that it isn't real or is radically modifiable or any other pomo nonsense, just that it's eternally cut off from the thing-in-itself), we can't forget that about our fannish texts. We can (and possibly should) argue over what is the most straight-forward interpretation of canon, or even the best interpretation, but not the right one. "It's just a story." (Real life is sort of story, too, but we don't usually look for morals in it, do we? And if I said, "The rain outside is a metaphor for racist intolerance" people would look at me funny, wouldn't they?) (Of course, sometimes we do treat life events as metaphors, like with tarot cards. But this is seen as an unorthodox response--and just not plain understood by some people.)

I mean, this is half the reason why RPF exists. Because John Kerry and John Edwards were slashy. Because William Moseley and Anna Popplewell really are het-tastic sometimes. (Sometimes as a deliberate choice on the part of the photographer, least as I construct the photographer-function.) Sometimes the subtext is a hint to "what really lies beneath" the floating signifier, as in the Lance Bass case, but I think that for the most case we (for at least the "my flist" value of "we") recognize that Kerry and Edwards weren't sexually attracted to each other, and that Will and Anna have almost certainly never had sex with each other. But because the signifier is floating, we can imagine it being attached to a completely different "what lies beneath," like Anna being a Vampire Slayer or Jason Dohring and Krsistin Bell breaking Katie Holmes out of a Scientologist fortress. (And OMG there's a sequel?! *goes to read*)

Do we really think that the only reason Simon could possibly have done what he did for his sister was if he were sexually attracted to River? And if we don't think this, does that mean their relationship isn't 'cesty? Because I think we can all agree that their relationship is 'cesty as hell and, if you privelege authorial intent or use interviews when constructing the author-function, deliberately so.

Reading subtext/slashiness/'cestiness isn't like finding out whodunit in a detective novel. Because whodunit is revealed at the end of detective novel (although I'm sure there's some postmodern detective novel out there that doesn't reveal whodunit) and, y'know, that's text. It's only subtext if there is no explicitly right or wrong answer.

Cinematic texts have elements like the camera work and the soundtrack which influence the way we read a text without changing one whit "what really happened." But these elements are objective features of the text, and part of the communicative mechanisms which make up the medium. Reading a text is more complicated than just figuring out "what is really going on."

So reading subtext/slashiness/'cestiness into/out of a text is a response to the floating signifier, to the text qua text, not to the Events Themselves. In Real LifeTM, if a brother accidentally enters a bathroom while his sister is getting out of the shower, that doesn't mean he wants to jump her bones (or vice versa). It just means they live in a house together and she forgot to lock the door and he neglected to knock or she didn't hear him and so he, completely by accident, saw his sister naked. That's what "really happened" (we say). And it happens. No big deal, although the sister probably isn't going to be very happy.

(Nor the brother, probably, who's likely to be actively repulsed by a combination of social taboos and the Westermarck effect. But we can read that repulsion as a performative act, either a deliberate dissimilation and pretense or as a less conscious Freudian denial. And of course this is why Freudian analysis is so much more popular in literary analysis than in, y'know, empirical psychology.)

And then, that evening, in the course of doing his wash, that brother takes his sisters' bras and panties out of the dryer and he puts them in a laundry basket. Hell, maybe he even folds them. This is Standard Operating Procedure in pretty much every family across the world that has its own washer and dryer.

But if I'm watching a forty-minute show and thirty seconds of it is devoted to each of these events, then yeah, it Means Something. Because things don't "just happen" when read as part of a literary text. Because we--if you let me channel Jubal Early for a moment--imbue them with meaning. We give it a purpose. We construct an author-function, and we decode a message, and yes, the decoder ring is jury-rigged so the message will be sex, sex, sex. The mechanism of literary (and within literary I include cinematic and other modes of artistic criticism) criticism is predisposed to read sex out of a scene, in large part because literary critics like thinking about sex. And so do writers, so they play along.

Let they who are without sin throw the first stone.

A long expositionary dialogue conducted while two female characters are dressed in towels in the girls' locker room is femslashy. Because yes, Virginia, the all-female space does queer the relationship, despite the fact that this is Perfectly Common Behavior and having conversations dressed in a towel in a locker room doesn't make one a lesbian. (I have doubts as a het male how often this type of behavior actually happens outside of television, but that's neither here nor there. Because, as I've said, "actually happens" isn't the point--there 's a system of cinematic signification and realism doesn't really play into it all that much at all.) (Plus we can't forget the camera as a placeholder for the het male gaze, which sexualizes things even further. I should probably have used two male characters in a boy's locker room, but that's not so much fun for me to visualize. But the point would be the same.)

When I watch Buffy and Faith in season 3 and see them as femslashy as hell, when the heart that Faith draws isn't a love-heart at all but really a vampire heart (with a stake through it), and besides teenage girls use that sort of heart imagery to each other all the time without meaning anything at all sexual by it (although I still think those interactions are femslashy as hell too), I'm not illegitimately reading my own interpretation into the text. (Although if I were reading my own interpretation into the text I don't see necessarily why that should be illegitimate, but I probably wouldn't write an essay for a grade on the Anne/Violet 'cest in Man and Superman just because there's not a lot of textual evidence.)

I'm using a more-or-less agreed-upon system of deciphering textual cues, regardless of whether cues were intentionally put in by the writer. (Are Rosalind/Celia so gay on purpose? Probably, but who cares if it's not deliberate? It's a facet of the text that's there. It even meets the non-visual criteria of [ profile] hth_the_first's slash texts--and when I imagine it, it meets the visual criteria as well. Which is not to say that we would at all assume that two cousins who were that devoted to each other had to be sexually attracted to each other if it were happening in "the real world.")

And when someone points out that hermeneutic I'm using to interrogate the fictional text isn't the same one I'd use to interrogate real life, I answer: whyever the hell should it be?

And then I imagine them making out with their sister.
alixtii: The groupies from Dr. Horrible. (meta)
Consider these two facts:

1) In all of New Who, we have not seen any Time Lord other than the Doctor. This is despite the fact that all the Time Lords were time travellers (or at least had the potential to be; presumably some of them stayed home and raised families and didn't go gallivanting through time). As a result of his ending the Time War by wiping out both the Time Lords and the Daleks (or so he thought), the Time Lords no longer have any influence over time and space, because they don't exist anymore. The Doctor is the last of the Timelords. In order for all this to be true, it is necessary that not only do they no longer exist but, in the new altered timestream brought about by the Doctor's actions, they never existed to begin with.

2) Civilizations within linear time remember the Time Lords. Jabe, Mr. Finch, Margaret?

Both of these facts are clearly canon, but I cannot for my life figure out how to reconcile them. They seem like they should be mutually contradictory; if 1 is true then 2 should be false, and vice versa. I understand that Who likes to play fast and loose with temporal mechanics, making stuff up as they go along, and in principle I approve, but this paradox seems to be so glaring that I just can't get past it. Yet there has to be some way to fanwank it, and I wouldn't be surprised if those more involved in the fandom than I am have already come up with some sort of answer. Any ideas?
alixtii: Drusilla holding a knife to Angel's throat. Text: "Got Freud?" (Freud)
After I accidentally deleted my open windows at skip=525, I worked my way back through my flist, reopening the windows, and IE crashed at skip=475. At that point, I gave up, and I'm just going to rely on newsletters to catch up. If anything interested, don't be afraid to drop a link in the comments.

Speaking of which, meta on reading texts, detective novels, Veronica Mars, and of course the will-to-power ).

I hope to do some longer and more sustained meta later, particularly a craft-of-writing on how we structure fic and how only a subset of fics are strictly speaking "stories," but as my life is going at the moment that "later" promises to be very long from now.

Okay, back to watching the Lindsay Lohan Parent Trap on ABC Family. I really love this film, but a Londoner likes to eat her Oreos with peanut butter? WTF?

Where is the Annie/Hallie twincest?
alixtii: Drusilla holding a knife to Angel's throat. Text: "Got Freud?" (Freud)
I wrote yesterday that there’s a difference between the way fanficcers and fundamentalists approach their texts, with fundamentalists wanting the “right” interpretation with fanficcers only wanting the “best” interpretation. It doesn’t matter if the most reasonable interpretation of the Bible is that the Rapture is in two hundred years if God actually meant that it would start in an hour, and thus it is going to start in a hour. In a sense, fundamentalists still privilege authorial intent (it doesn't matter what God wrote as much as what God meant), and fanficcers don’t always do that (thank God).

Then it occurred to me that there are fanficcers for whom it is meaningful to speak of a difference between a “best” interpretation and the “right” one—those in an open canon. If one sees the entire source text as describing the same popsssible world, even when some of it isn’t written yet, then it’s true that the best interpretation of a part of the canon won’t always be “right.” Seen in this light, those fundamentalist Christians who make a reasonable conclusion about what Scripture means but are ultimately wrong can be sort of seen as being jossed by God.

This is of course why there’s an impetus to privilege authorial intent in an open canon like Harry Potter—it’s the best reliable indicator of what new canon will bring. Equally coherent interpretations of the same canon are only equal so long as no new canon is coming. It’s also why I’d be glad that I write in a closed canon if it weren’t for the fact that I so badly want to see Juliet Landau and Summer Glau to play their characters once again.
alixtii: Drusilla holding a knife to Angel's throat. Text: "Got Freud?" (Freud)
Source Text: A text used by fans as a repositary for fictional facts about a fictional universe, such as the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series or J.K.R.'s website. In general, fen will decide for themselves which texts they consider authoritative, although they may look to authorial intent for guidance. Also, not all elements consists of content which cannot be transformed into propositional "facts" about the fictional universe, e.g. the soundtrack of an episode or the tone of a book. These are ignored in constructing canon, although they may be considered relevant in interpreting it (see below).

Canon: A. The total set of fictional facts about a fictional universe; B. The condition of being a member of that set of facts.

The problem is, in visual media, there's a very small amount of facts that are actually canon. Basically, we just know what people say, and a little bit about what they do (what's shown on screen). We don't know if they are telling the truth, and we don't know if things are going on as they seem. We haven't seen Xander and Anya actually having sex (and personally I don't want to), although we're led to believe they have sex a lot: we see them in a variety positions from which we are led to infer that they are having sex, or have just had sex, or are going to have sex. My favorite example happens to be the this debate over whether Giles goes to the bathroom. There's not enough canonical evidence to say for sure.

We really need a word for near-canon, those things--like the presence of Giles' reproductive system--that we would never think to question unless we were being perverse (and perversity is perfectly legitimate when writing fanfiction!). Giles could be a robot without the story being an AU, but the writer would still need to explain that choice where s/he wouldn't if s/he made Giles human, and this is despite the fact that both options are equally canon.

You see, when we think about our universes, we assume that the canon--a set of propositional facts--applies to a fictional universe, a "possible world" to use analytic philosophy language. We play "How many children had Lady Macbeth?" And in general, we imagine the closest possible world (in "logical space") to our own in which canon holds true, so we imagine Giles as a human and not a robot. The possible world closest to our own in which canon is true I call the least-hypothesis interpretation of canon, because it involves the minimum injection of weird stuff like Giles being a robot.

Sometimes when we are speaking (or typing) loosely, we treat uncontroversial facts about the least-hypothesis interpretation as if they were canon. Read more... )

Okay, in the subject I said I was going to defend ambiguity here, and I am. As [ profile] wisdomeagle has pointed out before, there really aren't that many people who look at a text as if it were a set of facts about a fictional universe, basically narrowed down to fundamentalist religionists and fanfic writers. (And if Biblical literalists realized that the canonical facts of the Bible could refer to any number of possible worlds, and the closest one isn't necessarily the right--since presumably fundamentalists have a concept of "right" which isn't equivalent to a fan's notion of "best"--one, I wonder what they'd do.) I love Buffy as a playground in which to play, but also as an aesthetic object. Indeed, my aesthetic appreciation of it leads to my fannish love. And part of what I like about it is that it plays with ambiguity.

Ambiguity in a text admits of different interpretations, which enriches it. The fact that the text can sustain a reading in which Giles and Ethan were lovers as well as one where they aren't makes the text multi-faceted, interesting, more complex--for me, more beautiful. If Giles' relationship with Ethan is confirmed, if River is shown actively lusting after Simon, if Faith's last name is revealed (it's not canon until it is on screen, damn it!), then something is lost. Where we once had a hundred possibilities, a Schrödinger's cat, now there is only one. Now something is gained, too, and in many cases it is worth it (different people can argue over whether when something is worth it or not). Also, new ambiguities would be created. But I'm grateful for the ambiguities in canon, and I'm grateful that I don't know Book's past or the populatio of Londinium.

Read more... )
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
Only [ profile] wisdomeagle has asked for a Top 5 list so far, but if you want one don't hesitate to sign up here.
Things That Are Shiny
5. Dimes. (I like dimes because they're the smallest U.S. coin, but they're worth more than pennies or nickels. A handful of dimes is worth more than a handful of any other common coin.)
4. My name when sparkly.
3. The college ring I got "for Christmas" (there was a picture in my stocking) and will be waiting for me when I return to campus!
2. My flist.
1. Having a girlfriend.
I switched from the literal to figurative meanings of "shiny" about halfway through. Shiny?

I left a request for the top 5 Jossverse fics even she wouldn't write in [ profile] wisdomeagle's journal, but she detected my evil plan:
This is clearly a trick question, because as soon as I start listing them I'll think, "Oooh, actually, if I set it then and changed that, maybe it could work!
But her ultimate answers (found here; scroll down a little) are food for thought, methinks. Summerscest )

M/M/M )

Noncon . . . sometimes )

Hurting Kaywinnit )

Zoe/Wash and infidelity )

All this thinking about characters and pairings is more or less continuing in the same vein from my last post in which I answered the "What characters/pairings can you write with your eyes closed" question. [ profile] glossing asked "So would you say that your pairings are the same people across different stories?" and the question made me think and write about my writing process enough that it seems worth reposting here: Characterization Across Stories . . . and Universes )
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
[ profile] babyofthegroup posted recently about something I've been thinking about for a long time. Namely: what makes an AU?

Now, I know that this basically is the same as asking what does or doesn't count as canon, and that in some circles this a big part of the slash wars, and is used in an excessively proscriptive fashion. While I've recently been accused of participating myself in said conflict, I am more interested because I like to think thinky thoughts, and it's fun to engage in the high level of abstraction that said debate requires. After all, this attempt to define what, exactly, an AU isn't all that far removed temporally from my previous post on why definitions are meaningless.

Read more... )

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