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... And I've been having such a tough time that I couldn't rehash what I was feeling on site after site, but I did want to post something to acknowledge him, and am linking to a 7 second video I posted on my Tumblr on the off chance anyone's interested.

The salute comes from The Hunger Games series, another part of pop culture that's been inspiring me lately. "It means thanks, it means admiration, it means goodbye to someone you love." Goodbye, Spaceboy. I miss you: you're beautiful.
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Slightly belated, but I hope everyone's had a good holiday and has a happy New Year! All the best for 2016 to my lovely followers on here.
thegirlwiththemouseyhair: (Velvet Goldmine Arthur)
Whee, it's that time of year again! )

So excited for Yuletide!
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OK, I'm cribbing some of this from previous Yuletide letters, so I hope you don't mind, Dear NPT Writer!

Good morning, NPT writer,

First things first: thanks so much for signing up and being willing to write for me! I really appreciate the thought of getting a story and your efforts; I’m sure I will love your creation.

Second, if you have a story you’re just burning to write in any of these obscure fandoms/parent texts, write it! I am sure it will be good and inspired, and I don’t want to cramp your style. However, if you want to get a sense of what I like and/or use my suggestions as prompts, then I hope the following letter will be helpful.

What I like in general
I love slash, and I love contrasts between characters in slash or het pairings - e.g. in temperament, appearance, background, etc. I love and often go to fan fic for character and relationship development which canons tend to gloss over or do the bare minimum of. I also like angst., though angst with happy or at least hopeful endings is best.

I don’t usually go for paragraphs and paragraphs of smut (though I'd feel more comfortable with that in Velvet Goldmine relative to my other fandoms given that sexuality is such a big theme in the source text, so that request's fairer game). I’m a sucker for romance and deep emotional bonds between characters, particularly when you can just see how two people who care about one another balance each other out and work well together, or maybe don’t work well together. Finally, I love AUs that can capture the "essentials" of a character and a relationship dynamic even when they transpose the setting. (For more meta on that, and on the way I see and like certain essential traits of characters or ships to carry over into AUs, please see this post on my Tumblr.)

Velvet Goldmine
OK, this movie is hugely important to me and it always makes me really sad that there's so little fandom for it and that what there was largely dried up years ago; it's therefore a perennial request and offer of mine in exchanges. I really ship Curt/Arthur, and am less into Brian because I just find it so hard to get inside his head. However, that could make him an interesting choice to read about, or read (or, for you, write) something Curtor Arthur centric but that looks at how Brian impacted them? I don't know, but I'm always just thrilled to see more fic and more love for this fandom.

Also, I noticed when I offered this fandom that Oscar Wilde popped up as a possible character. If anyone wants to explore the movie's Oscar Wilde connections, or write Wilde in this "verse" or something, that would be super cool.

Finally, I have to say - as much as I want to see more work expanding and exploring the world of the movie canon, this fandom deserves to, you know, "radical" AUs like other fandoms get.

Kingsman: The Secret Service
All right, I've wanted to "fandom" for this movie since I saw it, but haven't really broken into any fandom or read any fic for it. However, I love the "world" of this movie, the idea of the "Service", and of course the Arthurian references with the Knights of the Round Table theme and, presumably, a modern sense of chivalry. However (see my meta on how nothing should be outside the law and how in real life Kingsman would be so worrisome) - what code of honour/chivalry keeps the Kingsmen in line, or does anything really? How does this not go to hell in a handbag every single day of their existence?

More specifically, I love the idea of Harry Hart as a "pure-hearted" character and a real modern Sir Galahad. I'd also like to see more of Merlin as well. I didn't get much of a "Hartwin" slash vibe between Eggsy and Harry when I saw the movie, but if you want to go that route, you might be able to make a believer out of me. Just... I love the idea of these idealistic orders (same reason why the concept of the Jedi is what sold me on Star Wars fandom way back when) and the modern Knights of the Round Table idea, so anything looking at those themes would be much appreciated. (Also, how is JB the pug a nominated character here, but not Eggsy? I like JB very much but, you know, including Eggsy instead of just his dog might be a more natural choice...)

Arthurian mythology
OK, I have loved Arthuriana since I was a wee thing reading books on King Arthur and his knights that were lying around the house since my older brother outgrew them. As I've gotten older, I've realized how much I love the potential for exploring the female characters in this mythos. I love Arthur himself, really don't like the idea of a Guenever/Lancelot affair bringing down Camelot or the interpolation character of Lancelot (.... works that posit that, "oh, the "real" story didn't happen like that and didn't involve the kingdom destroying adultery" would be great), and I really, really like works that at least attempt a historically plausible post-Roman Britain setting of warring tribes and population movements including the Anglo-Saxon invasions rather than the historically implausible "Merry Olde England" with late medieval armour and ladies in velvet dresses and things.

... Sorry if all this makes me sound like, well, not a Bride-zilla, but a recipient-zilla, and I hope you enjoy writing for me anyway! Thanks so much in advance.
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... I'm so glad I pulled that book out again (well, technically an audio book which I have been listening to while walking to and from my bf's home in the cold - it's lovely being home and in walking distance of him). I like to do a seasonal reread but obviously don't have time to do one every year. It's been a couple years since I've been able to reread it, but we had a rather horrifying ton of snow around my December birthday earlier this month (quite a bit earlier - the eleventh) and it put me in mind of this.

I'm super glad I got to write a Yuletide treat for it, too. That was the first time I've posted any fic for this series, and I will be linking all my Yuletide stuff in a couple days after reveals. I want to write more for it too, and have remembered how much I especially love Miss Greythorne. She's... such a badass. I need more of her and Merriman, including how that dynamic would work when he's posing as her butler despite being the oldest Old One and, presumably, more senior than she is. Gah. (Also, seriously, how does Will not realize she is an Old One until the last couple pages? Seriously?)

Also, while I’m on the subject of griping about this book (which I really do love!), I do find it weird how much Will (and the other Old Ones) don’t seem to be making choices. It’s like everything is predestined and it’s very poetic, the way she makes magic like a sort of chess game or other complex with very ornate rules and steps (e.g., clearly Herne the Hunter is an ally even though he’s part of the Wild Magic and not specifically the Light - why? How are they making an ally of him?) I do feel that that very strong “pattern” oriented feel of it - e.g., people do these things because that’s what has to happen - may be in keeping with some types of mythology and folk tales, but I do feel like it suffers a teensy bit because of it. Does that make any sense? I do love these and Susan Cooper though! They even explain why I have the Livejournal handle that I do.

...OK, in personal news, my brother and his fiancee are coming in from Boston tomorrow. I'm super excited to see them and get to tag along to some wedding planning stuff too. Happy New Year everyone in case I'm not around before then! <3
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I really need to use this journal more - as I've said, I've been over on Tumblr (mainly being sucked into Downton Abbey fandom drama) to the exclusion of pretty much any other social media site, but I do miss some really nice people here. Anyway, I'm still job hunting, back in my hometown, and applying for PhD programs, so not a terribly exciting life. I am, however, excited about the prospect of going back to school, crossing my fingers that I get one of the two programs I applied to at McGill so I can stay here, and wishing I could start in January but there's no January admission. My proposed research would pick up on my work on fandom, fan practices, and intellectual property law challenges, so I'm excited about that - and also a doctoral program would buy me time to hopefully eventually parlay my way into a teaching job.

Anyway, happy Christmas and a slightly belated happy Chanukah to all of you who may happen to see this!
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... What's the consensus on, er, fobbing off existing ideas as Yuletide fics? (Or, you know, parts of existing fics?) Is that considered really gauche or something? I did it last year but was such a newbie, I'm not sure if that's considered legit or not - and I really wanna write treats in a certain fandom, but have a pretty much appropriate idea I could polish off that just happens to have been hanging around my hard drive for, oh, a year and a half... Does anyone know? Haha.
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(I will probably tweak this letter in the next couple days, but am posting a mostly-finished one so I can link it in my sign up.)

Read more... )
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*temporarily fosters a cat lost in her building for a couple hours till the owner gets home and realizes* *names said cat after a prominent WWI era early psychiatrist known for treating shell shock* *bribes Rivers with tuna, has him sleep on her chest on the master bed, baby talks him, lets him play with yarn (which is now all covered in cat spit), etc etc*

Well... I'm rereading Regeneration, and the first scene I picked up was one of Dr. Rivers's scenes... And I saw signs all over my building for a lost cat whom they were keeping in the management office, but when the manager left, the security guard who's there overnight didn't seem as keen on cat sitting as I was, so I've adopted Rivers temporarily. He is the single sweetest cat I have ever seen (well... tied with a couple other sweet little guys); he's like just over a kitten, kind of a teenage boy cat but super cuddly and sweet. Seriously, my family cat, Sophie, is such a grumpy cat that she hasn't shown me as much love since 2006 as this guy has in the last couple hours.

I want to keep him forever, but I kinda need his owner to reclaim him because I'm in a studio apartment and have an allergic boyfriend whom I want to host often. :( And yes, the boyfriend's actually high quality enough that I don't want to trade him in for a cat, which is saying something...

Giant kitty pics! )
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Just got back from the Oxford Ghost Tour. I really hesitated before booking this, as I’m such a wimp about horror media (see: my experience trying to follow Penny Dreadful this summer), but apparently I’m more and more of a skeptic about any supernatural and unlikely, no-real-evidence-to-show-for-themselves experiences each time I do a tour like this. Like… the ghost tour of Boston in 2004 creeped me out, the Ottawa one in 2012 was interesting but not scary, and tonight I’m just thinking “Eh, if you’re the ghost of Charles the 1st still wandering around Oxford after the English Civil War 450 years ago, maybe you should just get over yourself by now.” (Seriously - I expected the history and sheer age of the place to make ghost stories a little more believable, but they actually had the opposite effect.) I guess I’m more an end user of folklore and ghost stories and things than an actual believer, especially given the boyfriend’s and the brother’s good scientific and skeptical influence. I had my literal candle in the dark (to borrow a phrase from Carl Sagan) with me, too, in the form of my smartphone flashlight app.

I was struck by the one or two stories of ghosts haunting the various Colleges, however, especially because McGill does have a bit of a similar story about an alleged ghostly old man in old fashioned garb appearing and then disappearing on the sixth floor of the McLennan Library. Also, while on the subject of spooky libraries, I got into Doctor Who the spring I was working at the Library of Parliament, and had to do some research in the very quiet, empty stacks of the main library right the day after I saw Silence in the Library, the episode introducing the Vashta Narada. That was really creepy. (It's weird. Apparently, if you try to sell me any supernatural phenomena as a "true ghost story" that people have really sighted, my desire for demonstrable, predictable, rigorously testable evidence-based theories kicks into overdrive and I'm like, "Nope; claims require evidence, and the greater the claim, the greater the evidentiary burden it should meet and this ghost sighting just isn't cutting it". If you try to sell me something as a TV show/short story/whatever and it's well-written, my imagination kicks into overdrive and I'm like "Well, what if what if what if...")

Also - saw this cute little black cat with lovely blue eyes on my walk back from the ghost tour, daww. That was very appropriate - I just wished I’d been carrying some cat food on me to assist her if she was a stray or bribe and befriend her if she wasn’t. (I had the same thing when I saw Macbeth last night on one of the College’s grounds and what looked like a stray tortoiseshell ran by me running away from the crowd and the production.) Seriously, it’s not even out of line for me to be walking around with cat food in my pocket for any stray kitties I may run into; I just didn’t bring any overseas…

Also also - I was probably walking around for like 8-9 hours today. Yesterday morning I felt like I was going to collapse before I even left my dormitory in the morning, before yesterday’s 7-8 hours of being on my feet, but today I feel like I’ve crossed the line twice and got used to pushing myself so hard I barely feel the foot cramps and exhaustion. Ah, well - bus tour to London tomorrow so I can sit on the bus, and then flying back to Canada Sunday ( :’( ) so I’ll sit on the plane…
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So I've been pining for the book Dandies in the Underworld, about the glam rock scene in music. I finally ordered it from Amazon (more on that later, possibly). Anyway, yesterday when I was home sick from work and about to order the book, I started wondering "Is it titled after a song or something?"

That led me to discover that yes, in fact, Dandy in the Underworld is the title song on T. Rex's last album. Naturally I had to check out this song and holy crow, I'm having one of those one song obsessions that I sometimes get. Dandy in the Underworld has now shot up to surpass Teenage Dream and Children of the Revolution and become my favourite T. Rex song, omfg I love it so much. It is... really inspiring me too... I want to go write some fan fics and some research papers and so on fuelled by it. I just wish I had time...

(Also, I am having the book Dandies in the Underworld shipped to my office because basically my apartment building sucks. I tried the trial of Amazon Prime with two day shipping, and am really hoping it arrives in the office tomorrow. The mail room takes at least a day to get things to the proper people, and I was hoping to have the book Friday, read it over the bus trip to Montreal on Saturday and over the weekend/Passover, and then maybe leave it at my parents' place so it'll be one less thing to move when I high tail it out of Toronto...)
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Am semi recovering from a stupendously bad wet cold and am starting my period... which led to this hybrid sinus headache/period migraine combo and it is devastating. I feel like my head is imploding...

Give me all the medications. Right now. All of them. (And seriously, someone please come give them to me because I'm scared to get out of bed to go get them myself...)

ETA: Oh my gosh, I love my Zolmitriptan... The headache has almost cleared up! It's not great; I still felt it when I got out of bed a bit too quickly now, but I no longer feel like I'm dying and even got done some little tasks like paying bills that I was putting off...
thegirlwiththemouseyhair: (Bowie lyrics hot tramp!)
So I saw Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience today. I try to go to a G&S adaptation most years, and Patience is particularly special to me because it started as a spoof of Oscar Wilde and the Aesthetic movement. This production modernized it, updated it to spoof sort of Goths and hipsters, and instead of having a military regiment as the male chorus (representing conventional, athletic, macho masculinity) they had a football team. It was so much fun.

For me, though, the female chorus in this version just stole the show. The female chorus are basically all fangirls of the sort of Oscar Wilde-inspired poet figure. Fangirls or groupies; one of the characters is actually named Saphir, which kept reminding me of the groupie Sapphire in Almost Famous. (OK, technically they’re band-aids in that movie…) There was even this hilarious scene of the female chorus literally chasing one of the poets they’re obsessed with through the theatre a la Beatles fangirls in Help!. I loved it.

There are so many things you can do with these plays. I really identify with the chorus of lovesick maidens/lovesick fangirls in this one (seriously, listen to me moan about how David Bowie is breaking my heart by not touring, and you'll see that the lovesick maidens actually aren't too out of line), but I love how these plays remain so relevant…

(I haven't heard anything back from my interview Monday, and I'm terrified of not getting it and constantly depressed and wishing I hadn't taken my current job or moved out here. But I find it hard to be sad when you're watching anything Gilbert and Sullivan, so I'm glad I was able to revive that little tradition of mine.)

(Also, when I live my dream, return to Montreal and start a PhD back at McGill to buy time to get into college teaching, I will totally try to get involved with the Savoy Society there. I therefore think a Gilbert and Sullivan tag is in order...)
thegirlwiththemouseyhair: (Bowie lyrics hot tramp!)
Had such a nice time at the Elton John concert but for the bloody headache - it seems to be a sort of signature move for me, having migraines at concerts; I spent half of Thursday night trying to figure out whether that migraine was worse or whether the one I had when I saw Iggy Pop was worse. But Elton John was awesome. I had this cheap nosebleed seat that was maybe five to eight rows from the back of the arena. (Seriously, I just kept looking over my shoulder and thinking "Well, it could be somewhat worse: I could be in one of those rows that are somewhat behind me.") Elton was in this awesome sequin jacket - so glam - that I could even see from my seat. I wanna say that he looked like a sparkler on a birthday cake, but it wasn't quite that bad.

And I really, really enjoyed the music. I felt so out of it that I only really perked up for the absolute favourite songs, like Tiny Dancer and Rocket Man, but that was a wonderful experience. I also had this sneaking suspicion that he'd do either Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters or Daniel and that I'd just burst out crying. Sure enough, he did Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters - which really resonates with the disappointment and disillusionment I've been feeling lately, only substitute "Toronto" for "New York City" - and I just burst out crying - but I'm still very glad he did it, you know? Rocket Man is another song that really resonates with me and I teared up a little during the piano outro at the end. Gah, I'm so glad I went though.

Also - got totally lost leaving the Air Canada Centre. That's another trademark of mine - get lost after the concert. Seriously.

Also also - this one girl sitting somewhere in front of me had this amazing 70s esque Penny Lane coat. I wanted that coat so much....

Ugh, I have more to say but still have this damn headache so I think I'll just call it a day. I may or may not eventually upload some of my crappy, trophy, "proof I was at the concert!" footage. =p
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Off to see Elton John at the Air Canada Centre in a few. :)

... Of course the migraine I've been struggling with for weeks *would* get extra horrible tonight. I ate so healthily today (after days of constant cakes and treats and crap and work) until the migraine set in, leaving me queasy and with no appetite for anything except carbs and comfort food. Then I mixed up too much pancake batter for supper, ate these two super pancakes and completely overdid the carbs/comfort food, which was not good for the queasiness. Ugh. Effing migraine, go away...

But, off to see Elton John in like half an hour. ;)
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I've never participated in a fandom auction ever before, but animal welfare and trap-spay-release of stray animals is/are very dear to my heart and I am in the market for prompts. (Not that I'm not already in the middle of two Downton Abbey fics, with Velvet Goldmine scraps to finish up and get out of the backlog - but hey, you can never have too many ideas right?) So I'm offering to write for this and may well donate too and I totally suggest that other people check it out.

 photo HelpAnimals_zps94757a79.jpg


It's a new year and that means there is a new chance to help animals in crisis! Come be a part of the second annual “Help Animals” fandom auction. This time all proceeds will benefit “Barrio Dogs” which ‘focuses on giving proper animal care in low income communities.' Just think of how many animals might be suffering in our tough economic times - going without life-saving vaccinations and surgeries because their owners cannot afford to pay their bills! If you’re passionate about animals and helping to make the world a better place, then please check out this community. Every single penny earned makes a world of difference to the animals helped through this service! THANK YOU.
HELP ANIMALS

Probably signing up for shipswap too but I feel more iffy about that.... Like, what if I'm the only person who offers/requests the things I'll be offering/requesting?
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So I have totally discovered Downton Abbey... and have discovered and started reading and writing fan fic for it (what can I say? I fell in love with Thomas surprisingly fast). A week and a half ago I was only just testing out the first episode. Somehow I marathoned the whole thing while home sick with a horrible, horrible flu, and, well.

I started my own slash story for it last night and continued it at work today and I... was totally NOT sitting at work researching historically appropriate lubes for this, nope nope nope. /suspiciously specific denial. XD A friend of mine in high school once said that if the teachers at our rather religious school knew what I used to sit there writing in notebooks that looked like, but weren't, class notes, I'd be expelled. I was always the Hermione of my class, so I wouldn't have been expelled from school - but let's just say I had cause to think of that conversation at work today. It's also probably a good thing that high school me didn't have a data plan, though I could not live without one now.

Seriously, though. I so need an accomplice in obsessing over Downton Abbey; anyone know anyone or any comms? Also - historically appropriate lube? Yeah, my searching didn't go so well so if anyone has suggestions... XD

Also - notice how the majority of my posts seem to start with "So I"...

Also also - am back in Montreal and I swear, one of these days I will end my bad-relationship-with-parents-imposed exile and come back and not leave.
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1) Happy belated birthday to David Bowie! Thanks for giving me so much, inspiring me so much, reminding me that I can live my dreams and letting me know that oh no, love, you're not alone.

This would be a very poor tribute but a tribute just the same... (Me doing a slight Bowie medley and playing with the distortion on my electric guitar.)

2) This is even more belated, but I really enjoyed the whole Yuletide process and the Yuletide reveals on New Year's Day. [personal profile] gonergone wrote me two wonderful and much appreciated stories:

The Dawn Before the Rest of the World. Oscar Wilde RPF, rated Teen.
Every Sinner Has a Future. Velvet Goldmine, Teen.

And I received a third story by someone I don't know but I so appreciate the thought from a stranger:

Like the Painting of a Sorrow. The Picture of Dorian Gray, Teen.

I don't know if this is bad form but I do want to link the pieces I wrote, most of which are quite short:

Morning. Velvet Goldmine. Teen; ~700 words.
Refraction. Velvet Goldmine. Teen; AU; ~850 words.
Growing Pains. Velvet Goldmine. Teen; ~1050 words.
The Shadow of a Rose. The Picture of Dorian Gray. Teen; ~2200 words. (This was my main assignment and it was a real challenge to write but I'm so glad I did...)
Schoolroom. The Picture of Dorian Gray. Teen; ~250 words. (When I first got my assignment I was like "No, I love Oscar Wilde too much to write for this novel!" By the end of the process I was like "Nope, apparently not - let's do another one!")
Once and Future. Arthurian mythology. Rated General.

So, yes, good times.

3) I have discovered Downton Abbey. How did I never discover this show before? It has almost everything I love in it and I can feel a huge phase coming on.... I may even start a study of the World War One poets again (am in the middle of season two now; please no spoilers...) and, yes, a huge obsession is probably in the wings.
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So, I had a fabulous Yuletide and am really, really glad I participated. I received three stories, which I really appreciate - although I'm curious which was my main gift and which was a treat. (One I am inferring was a treat and am pretty confident in that inference.) I'm super grateful to the people who wrote for me and am eager to see the reveals!

I also wrote six pieces myself, two of which cracked the 1000 word mark (my main assignment and one of the treats I did). It was great challenging myself to write some new works based on fandoms I would not usually write for, since I'm normally a strict "one obsession or inspiration at a time" kind of girl. Great experience all around - I got to write for The Picture of Dorian Gray for the first time in my life, despite at first feeling that I loved that novel too much to write for/about it. (By the end of this process I was all "Nope, apparently not.") I also got to revisit some Arthurian mythology, which I hadn't thought of in years, and got to use some of the ideas from my Velvet Goldmine backlog. So this has been a lot of fun.

Also watched the Doctor Who Christmas special. My spoiler-free review is that that was super disappointing. I loved the fiftieth and was all excited that they were finally getting back on a role. And then I thought this was a ginormous mess, in the typical Moffat mess way where they just throw every plot point and character and species and monster etc etc at the episode willy-nilly and hope that'll make it good. Maybe I was just distracted when I watched it and didn't follow well enough to understand but I don't think so - and damn, that was disappointing. I will miss Eleven and Matt Smith, because I love him/them, and really wish they'd have regenerated Steven Moffat into a new head writer instead.

Finally, I just put on the first episode of the new Dracula series with Jonathan Rhys Meyers. What am I watching here? This is another series that just seems bizarre and I'm not sure how far I'm going to go with this. If JRM weren't in it or weren't so damn attractive I probably wouldn't have bothered at all - but he's not even looking that good because of that stupid facial hair. Meh.

My head hurts...
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