bronze_ribbons: (tentacle sex)
Seeing these cookies at a Starbucks after today's workout reminded me of time spent laughing and drabbling with y'all -- especially [identity profile] valis2.livejournal.com. ;)

octopus cookies at a Starbucks

And the recent "36 hours" feature on Tokyo in a mainstream US newspaper brought to mind fics shared with [personal profile] geri_chan, [personal profile] lysanatt, and the rest of the Harudaki deep-divers.

(I have not cancelled my subscription to said paper, primarily because access to its archives remains essential for my work, but the defensive condescension displayed by various staff members -- see analyses at Fusion, Esquire, American Orthodox if you need context -- has me irritated enough to cease linking to or quoting from said paper for the time being. As I said in my note to its executive editor, "In publishing writers whose claims wouldn't make it beyond a New Yorker fact-checker, and headlines that not only soft-pedal but normalize the Trump administration's crimes, [your paper] has plummeted in reputation to the point that I can no longer link to or tag [any piece from the paper] -- even nonpolitical ones -- without asking myself to what degree my own credibility will take a hit.")
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bronze_ribbons: knife with bronze ribbons (bribbons)
The Christmas Day service at First UU ("It's the Most Jewiful Time of the Year") included a dramatic reading of Lemony Snicket's The Latke that Couldn't Stop Screaming, led by the sabbatical minister with audience participation (congregants waving their arms and going "aaaaah!" on cue); a Dr Who reference (Rabbi Rami: I was hoping to watch the special tonight but my wife is insisting that we go out for Chinese); an extended Star Trek benediction in both Hebrew and English; and substantive theological points to consider, with the rabbi comparing closed systems (salvation-based) and open ones (hope-based). The quote I repeated to several other people later in the day : Johanan ben Zakkai's "If you are planting a tree and you hear that Messiah has come, first finish planting the tree."

Also: The thrill of hearing a professional soprano several pews behind me warbling through "Silver Bells" and other standards. The pleasure of petting my friend Victoria's therapy dog through the first half of the service. The hugging of friends and acquaintances and the talking about plans for dancing, performing, volunteering...

For champagne tea with my honorary mama, I baked potato wafers. The BYM and I heard someone very, very good playing the piano in the assisted living lobby when we arrived, and it was indeed her son, who'd brought along sheet music for several super-silly, wildly virtuosic seasonal pieces.

I was not feeling well enough to join the late-night crowd at Lipstick Lounge, but I did stay up to sort out a few things and to say a few more blessings...

second night

And, speaking of blessings, my thanks to all who responded to my Feast of Stephen appeal. I am full of gratitude. See you in 2017.
bronze_ribbons: three daffodiles learning left (daffodils)
The subject line is from Alison Luterman's "Telling Your Own Fortune."


Graceland shooting range

Elvis's shooting range, Graceland, Memphis, February 2012


I devoted most of my Saturday was to one of the tulip beds. There is more weeding and digging and hauling to be done -- it is not a large patch of dirt, but I have neglected it for several seasons. This year's shoots are looking scraggly, and I am not feeling confident about the two hollyhock seedlings I have been sheltering with pasta jars, but I shall start more plants after the cleaning and prepping, and spending time outside was my chief priority.

I also stopped by Woodland Wine Merchant for the Saturday tasting. Of today's samples, I liked the Domaine de Fontsainte Gris de Gris (a rosé) the best.

Over at nineveh_uk's DW and LJ, I'm enjoying the discussions about naff hymns and mondegreens and Boredom Increments for wedding singers.
bronze_ribbons: yoshizumi flying off cliff (yosh37 yoshizumi off cliff)
But the real hurdle facing "Londongrad," one I didn't expect, wasn't that it was too Western. It was that it was too Russian. A common stance among educated Russians -- the ones I imagined would enjoy "Londongrad" the most -- is to refuse to watch a series or a film simply because it's Russian. The first Twitter reactions to "Londongrad" sounded the same note, over and over: "It's watchable, probably because it wasn't filmed in Russia." "As much as I hate everything Russian, I might give this one a try." "God help me, I can't believe I am watching a Russian TV series." "I might watch it later. I'm in no mood to see my compatriots." On a site devoted to romantic fan fiction, an author expressed her shock after combining two of the lead characters' names into one, as is the custom among fanfic writers (Misha + Alisa = Milisa): It was the first time in her memory that the names were Russian.


- Michael Idov, My Accidental Career as a Russian Screenwriter
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bronze_ribbons: Dee and Ryo from FAKE in deep kiss (Dee/Ryo liplock)
dragons and Laurens

#joyfuljan

Something I have been giving thanks for recently: living long enough to enjoy the company of people who share my interests, and to see some of those interests catch hold in larger circles and even get their fifteen minutes (and then some).

The John Laurens biography is a gift from around 15 years ago, from a friend I met back when our journals were on Diaryland. I first heard of Laurens during the 1984 miniseries on George Washington, and developed such a crush on the combination of his idealism + tragic fate (or, to be precise, Barry-Bostwick-as-Washington's reaction to it) + the actor portraying him (Kevin Conroy, since known mainly as the voice of Batman) that I ended up combing through all the Washington bios in the high school and local university library for any mention of Laurens, writing two papers on him and drafting a third ("Alexander Hamilton's Best Friend") in my 30s.

So it was a hoot for me to check in on Jen Talley's timeline yesterday, where she was live-tweeting about Hamilbrarians rapping (#alamw4ham #Lib4Ham #alamw16)...




...which is icing on top of my Hamilton-Laurens stocking stuffer having 1066 hits as of today.

If I'm remembering right, I "met" Jen through a Sayers mailing list and then stayed connected through Diaryland and now Twitter. I met [personal profile] dichroic through the same Sayers list, and this year she answered my yearning for the baby Loch Ness monster ladle in the photo above. A friend I met through Snupin fandom sent the sleeping dragon cake pan.

I mentioned both the ladle and the pan yesterday night at a party, having been greeted by the substantial Nessie sculpture in the host's front yard. During the course of the evening, the conversations also included Cthulhu, Doris Salcedo, earring backs, film processing, Stephen King, parks, bruxism, real estate, the High Museum, imaging tech, karaoke at the American Legion, cold water flats in Africa, and trying to finish art/craft projects begun mumble-mumble years ago.

And also cancer and health: one of the guests was a man younger than me with a newly installed replacement hip -- one of many surgeries resulting from cancer + treatment. He emphasized how glad he was to still be here. Another guest was a librarian who, as she put it, will be living with myeloma for the rest of her life. The day before, a friend from high school e-mailed me about a classmate who has just begun treatment for leukemia.

Which all ties back to feeling so immensely grateful that I am here, and you are here, and we together get to giggle and admire and obsess and shout out these things to each other and (if/when we choose) to those in the wider world longing for the spark and sizzle and solace of shared interests, and the things we make and send in celebration.
bronze_ribbons: Sveta kissing her French Open trophy (Kuz kiss)
While giving myself a pep-and-perspective talk of sorts earlier today, it struck me that I am not as anxious as I used to be about whether my writing will find its readers. And that a reason for this is because strangers are still letting me know (primarily via AO3 kudos) that they are enjoying fics I posted more than three years ago.

It is so pleasing to receive them. There is so much out there, and so much claiming and clamoring for everyone's time, that it continues to amaze me when people read and respond to pieces I wrote many moons ago. Thank you all -- for entrusting some of your time to me, and for taking the time to let me know that you are reading. This knowledge is a blessing I did not expect, and I am so grateful.
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bronze_ribbons: (hooch boots)
We've got us a ongoing sexual harassment problem in fandom. For context on this latest manifestation of it, see Natalie's post, "Readercon: Some Members Are More Equal Than Others."

Then, if you feel so moved, please sign the letter by Veronica Schanoes: http://vschanoes.livejournal.com/86558.html
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range

16/3/09 15:40
bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Yoshizumi 8 chin on hand)
Says You is a public radio program that includes bluffing rounds, where one team is assigned an obscure word, two of its members create fake definitions for it, and the other team tries to guess the actual definition. Yesterday, the word for one of the rounds was filk.

I thought, "Oh, geez, that's a gimme!"

The guessing panel picked one of the fake definitions.

The studio audience was in favor of the other fake definition.

In tandem with my partner discovering Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog only just last week, it's a well-timed reminder that my perceptions of "popular" and "well-known" are somewhat skewed.

(This is related to why I generally discourage academic authors from using the adjective "well-known" and "famous" in their prose: if something is truly is well-known, saying so is redundant, and if it's knowledge that wasn't previously shared by the reader, it can unnecessarily distance or alienate them.)

(Tangent: the only other word I've recognized going into a bluffing round was "hardanger." That one, not so much of a double-take.)




I haven't gotten around to reading Alma Alexander's books yet, but I peeked at her Flycon posts from this past weekend, and this one really struck a chord with me:


...whoever said that you or ANYBODY else are going to be reading the same book, ever, even when every word in it is identical between your two copies?

...It is flat impossible to write for every possible interpretation of a given set of words – you would have to have the mind and the breadth of vision of a God to be able to understand everything about everybody, to know the contents of every single person's duffle bag as they slog along the road of life. You write a story -- and after it's out of your hands it's between the story and the readers. They may have issues with the story. While "issues" are often something that you can take on board and fix in your head and do better (or try to) in your next story -- it's also true that you could not posssibly have known about every issue from every reader. You owe the reader the best story that you could write. What they discover in it… is more often than not something that you never thought that you had said. As a writer, this is something that you have to live with.
bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Dee edgy grin)
The odds of me finishing a drabble for halfamoon today are looking iffy (have character, have concept, lack energy), but I think I've pinned down another strand of the plot for "Not As Dumb," so go me.

Also, [insanejournal.com profile] marginaliana pointed her readers to the prompt post for the gen battle being organized by fox1013, and just reading it is a hoot and a half. (Including fox's intro: "I am in fandoms where bears and frogs go on road trips together and real people dive into human-sized bowls of pasta..."). Too many highlights to provide a comprehensive list, and I don't know if I'll manage anything for it at all (in spite of the short wordcount max), but I want to remember prompts like these anyway:

People will cross over the Muppets with ANYTHING. I'm not even quoting most of those... )
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bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (houndbunny)
Nineveh-uk has posted another bit of Sayers-inspired brilliance, this time featuring Bunter and tissue-paper. Work-safe.




Marginalina linked to the Yuletide brainstorming post; I clicked. That crashing sound you hear in the background is my resolve to stay out of fests this year colliding with the possibility of prompting some good FAKE fic. More on that in a sec.

My original shortlist + runners-up is on page 7 of the comments therein, but I had a three-hour drive earlier today, which meant I had time to ponder what I really want. So the fandoms I currently plan to nominate are looking more like this:

1. FAKE - Sanami Matoh
2. Haru wo Daiteita - Youka Nitta
3. Copenhagen - Michael Frayn
4. Muppets
5. Chicago Manual of Style
6. Vicky Bliss - Elizabeth Peters

Some thoughts (in reverse order) on fic I'd like to see, whether via Yuletide or some other panfandom challenge or me-writing-it-myself-during-some-future-bout-of-insomnia (and yes, this is partly so I don't forget all this when it's time to write my "Dear Yuletide Santa" letter -- although it'll definitely need trimming so as not to scare whomever's assigned to me out of her or his gourd). I guess I should cut for spoilers for some of these...

6. Vicky Bliss )

5. CMOS - oh, the possibilities. CMOS/MLA bondage or hatesex, CMOS/APA, two CMOS rules together, one single CMOS rule... mwahahahahaha. I really am not kidding when I say that 17.169 would lend itself nicely to an extended exploration of UST.

4. Muppets. Heh. Coming up with potential guest-stars (which may or may not violate the "no crossovers" guideline - I'm just brainstorming here) was a welcome mental break. Possibilities, in rough order of preference:

  • anyone from Tenth Doctor Who or Torchwood (actor or character)

  • Cthulhu or Hastur from User-Friendly (and dudes, current storyline involves the Large Hadron Collider. Whee!)

  • anyone from Haru wo Daiteita

  • anyone from Neil Gaiman's Sandman series

  • Lord Peter Wimsey. Bonus for scenes showing Bunter dealing with the insanity

  • Irene Adler

  • Jonathan Papelbon


  • 3. Copenhagen. More discussion and/or flashbacks among those involved.

    2. Haru wo Daiteita: Yoshizumi or Shimizu gen; Iwaki/Katou PWP...

    1. FAKE - some possibilities:

  • Ryo/Dee hurt/comfort

  • Dee and Jim Campbell friendship fic

  • Ryo's early twenties - answering questions from Dee, Carol, and/or Bikky about his time in the Army (if that's what he did), or Dee mulling over how Ryo's Army habits/skills show up in his current habits, or how Ryo met his bomb-making friend (if it wasn't via the Army)

  • Ryo and Dee discuss and compare their knowledge of bombs

  • Kai and/or Louise (second season) - what are their stories?

  • The 27th precinct heads to Bikky and Carol's wedding. Craziness and crises meet them there.

  • second season spoiler )

    And now for the mini-manifesto... my personal preferences re: FAKE fic )
    Ok, that's more than I meant to say... and I'm not done yet. Some other day. The to-post list also includes a delightful German translation of "Those I Can Save" (courtesy of LJ:incapability87), a couple of audiofics (once I stop coughing long enough to record them), some recs of FAKE fics (especially ones not in the usual archives), and the ever-floating raft of to-writes (once they're written, heh). But for now it's back to the comma mines. *hugs to all who wants 'em*
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (wirite)
    Via kirbyfest: Merlin Missy's Your Friends Are Not Watching the Same Show You Are (And That's Okay).

    cut for Dr Who/Torchwood spoiler )

    The "fandom as an evil clone of The Potato Salad Theory" postulate:


    To summarize the potato salad theory, fanfiction works for readers because the readers are already coming to the story with enough history and background to enjoy the story without piles of world-building and setup, much like stories that feature historical or mythological characters. We are bringing our own utensils and plates to the picnic, not expecting restaurant service. That's fanfic. When it comes to our source material, we're all bringing very different things to the table, and that's going to affect what we consume.


    The description of the Torchwood that half of my friendslist is watching: Torchwood spoiler )

    Her alternate titles are not only a scream, apparently they're triggered a meme now percolating through TV fandom. (See link to kirby's journal for examples.)

    the picnic in the pro world / weapons against self-inflicted woe )
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (treehouse)
    Dreary day. What to do? A game!

    Moonshadow archive. Whomping Willow slash. My friends.

    (Your turn. Inspired by this. Comment below.)
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    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
    There's a comment thread at Dear Author on the Cassie Edwards mess that has generated some really thoughtful posts not only on plagiarism, but on (1) editorial responsibility, (2) seeing authors as separate from their work (if/when it should happen, and if/when does it affect one's interest in their new books), (3) how the behavior of some fans affects/silences others, and other charged topics. Nora Roberts herself responds to several comments.

    [And in this thread, Roberts clarifies her stance on fanfic (she doesn't want to see it on the fansite she visits every day but elsewhere is fine). I don't happen to harbor any urges to play in her universes (even though I reread several of her trilogies every year or so), but it's nonetheless cheering to find her views are similar to Bujold's on this issue.]
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    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (spiral notebooks)
    Saints and sugarplums... I just caught sight of a scale model of Minas Tirith during the Battle of Pelennor Fields - built out of candy

    The builders' progress pics

    *admires*

    More decluttering of the bookmark stash:
    [Disclaimer: I have not read all of these links all of the way through. I don't know if/when I'll ever get around to doing so. But there's a feast for thought here several times over, and I'm more likely to look them up here than three Firefox submenus deep (I know, I know, that's sad...)]

    "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufock" summarized in two lines. The same thread has LOLcat for the Makers.

    Shooting script of The Princess Bride

    Sulky_rhino's crossover fanart masterlist.
    Sulky_rhino's fanart making fun of fanon masterlist.

    Kassrachel's "On Judaism and fandom". I bookmarked this post and its comments in part because I may want to reread them the next time a majority vs. minority race/religion/etc. debate flares up in fandom, and also because its themes include (1) the right to stay disengaged from a debate when one doesn't feel compelled to say something and (2) fandom being "basically midrashic" (which is essentially what I was rambling about a couple nights ago...).

    Sistermagpie: "Canon does not exist" (which one commenter suggested would be better titled "nothing is really canon")
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (wirite)
    BPAL log:
    Kindly Moon - limited edition; tester
    Lab description: Utterly ethereal, an exquisite expression of love: moonflower, lotus root, white gardenia, beeswax, peach blossom, blue musk, stargazer lily, golden osmanthus, ti, sandalwood, hyacinth, ylang ylang, and a touch of vanilla bean.
    Ribbons's reaction: Smells like juice and musk, but more pleasant than "Paris." Not offensive, but I won't be ordering more of it. Two samples do not a representation make, but given my reaction to "Long Night Moon" (which I also thought on the sweet side) I'm wondering if Moon scents aren't my thing. (The LE series that has worked well on me so far is the Zodiac.)

    Shameless squeeing:
    Listened to some more of Cedar's reading of "The Hounding of the Baskervilles" over supper. Oh, is she good. *glee*

    Spork-watching log:
    Deadly Hollow as a variation of midrash )
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
    ETA 11/7: LJ has suspended the plagiarist.

    LiveJournal's handling of the Thamiris plagiarism situation? A whole new class of FAIL.

    In a nutshell: some clown has been reposting Thamiris's stories and LJ entries as his own, and LJ has claimed it cannot act against him unless a complaint is filed specifically by "a family member of the deceased user." The writer was not "out" to her family as a participant in fandom.

    I never interacted with Thamiris personally, but The Water Horse (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, R?, 11000 words) remains one of my all-time favorite Yuletide stories. If you've not read it before, you're in for a treat.

    Although the circumstances are appalling, it's heartening to see Thamiris's fans and friends working to guard her work and preserve her memory.
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    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
    1. Purity in Print )

    (2) The November issue of Wired (yeah, I'm behind) has a mini-manga on manga. And the feature article on the economic and intellectual property culture/issues is worth perusing as well (e.g., to what degree could/should creators of original works look the other way?).

    (3) Two quick Snupin Santa recs:

    A jug of wine, and thou beside me in the wilderness (PG13, Alternate Reality, 9K). Takes place just after the First War. Gentle, clever plot; incredibly hot non-explicit love scene (no, that's not an oxymoron - reading it made me more breathless than many a NC17); delightful OCs.

    The Blood-Dimmed Tide (PG13, Alternate Reality, 4K). I'm not sure I can discuss the details I liked about this story without giving away too much, so I'll simply say it's an especially lyrical and thoughtful take on "What if Remus had sorted into Slytherin?"
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    bronze_ribbons: three daffodiles learning left (daffodils)
    (1) Lack of immediate feedback doesn't mean your fic sucked. It may mean you wrote a pairing or rating that doesn't happen to appeal to the hordes. It may mean your scenario or universe isn't one that lends itself to a single sit-down skim-through and quick review. It may mean your usual peeps are going out of their minds with OMG HANUKKAH STARTS TOMORROW or other seasonal madness (when not procrastinating on coping with said madness by peeking very randomly at fics) and are holding off on several shiploads of reading until later this winter (especially the long'uns). It almost definitely means there are a couple of lurkers (or more!) who haven't quite worked up the nerve to tell you how much they enjoyed your story, because they're afeared of sounding stupid or shallow (note to the lurkers: be brave! Feedback is a wonderful thing! It encourages more fic!), or they're flummoxed by the interface, or because the !@#@# server went down just as they finally worked up the nerve to click the magic make-the-author-happy button (or won't accept their security code, or some other nonsense. The SnuSa site is working like a dream, but this has happened to me on at other archives from time to time). Or they're just indolent.

    ETA: Or they got distracted by a dog throwing up on the carpet just as they were about to tell you how brilliant you are. Etc., dammit. Dinnae fash yersels over comment counts and other manifestations of popularity or lack thereof, because therein lies madness, including the odd syndrome of folks not realizing that manifestations of neediness and fragility = reader repellent. (Perhaps I simply have the heart of a black mountain troll (to steal Lee's phrase), but Author Notes along the lines of "Be kind to me" tend to trigger exactly the opposite impulse in me -- i.e., it wakes up an insane urge to kick puppies.)

    (I know I've held forth on this subject before, but there are a lot of new writers/readers in this year's fests, so it seemed worth saying this again.)

    (2) I will bet a tall skim cappucino (no sugar or syrups for me, thanks) that Not Quite What the Doctor Ordered (RL/SS, AU, rated R, 33000 words) is by either McKay or someone whose style very closely resembles hers. I am stating this publicly even though I was dead wrong on most of my guesses in last year's fest, because the suggestion that McKay might have written it will lure some of you into reading it now instead of saving it for later. *eg* The characterizations remind me of some of her other Snapes and Reguluses -- and speaking of Regulus, he's a delight in this. And so's the secondary pairing and the casting and the very detailed plotting. (I like AUs - when they're done well, the cleverness warms my toes and the characeterisations often make me think harder about canon. Good stuff.)

    (3) A new handful of imps arrived in the mail over the weekend. The BYM liked Ivanushka and Long Night Moon best, and wasn't so crazy about Aunt Caroline's Joy Mojo (a frimp) or Sagittarius. He likes scents to be on the subtle side.

    Lab descriptions:
    LONG NIGHT MOON
    The nights are at their longest, the sky is at its darkest. The air is still with reflective silence.

    A bouquet of night-blooming flowers, petals dusted with frost. Cereus, moonflower accord, night phlox, honeysuckle, silver thyme, white mint, and blue musk.


    SAGITTARIUS
    Mutable Fire: the essence of striving.
    Sage, clove, dandelion, balm of gilead, fig, and chamomile.


    IVANUSHKA
    Soft, velvety fur and warm musk, brushed by forest woods and dusted by dry leaves.


    My initial impressions: I wasn't wowed by any of them, but none of them were "OMG no" either.
    Ivanuskha (decant) I have to sniff hard to smell at all (not unlike Ozymandias). Kind of powdery.
    Long Night Moon (decant) - sweet but not cloying. Has a bit of a bite to it - maybe a winter version of Gemini?
    Sagittarius (decant) - kind of sunny and mild. I think it's the chamomile. (Doesn't quite fit the name, associations with arrows notwithstanding.)
    Sol (decant from a different circle, received earlier) - heavier, more aggressive scent.
    Cleopatra's Veil (sample from a different manufacturer) - interesting and pleasant. Reminds me of Chanel No. 5, but I'm not sure if they've actually anything in common. It just tickled that tendril of my sense-memory.
    Aunt Caroline's Joy Mojo (lab imp) - very flamboyant. Very orange, which I personally like. (Probably wouldn't smell all that good on me, but I'll keep it for the "staying awake until stupid hours trying to catch up" nights.)

    And on that note, I'm off to make cranberry-orange relish, run a gadzillion errands, and then return to hardcore comma mining. *g* *hugs all y'all*
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    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
    Inspired by statements both firmly pro- and against- on various lists. Bring your fanon on and discuss! *grin*

    Poll under the cut )
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    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
    It's been a long haul work-wise this week (and I've been better health-wise as well), so I took the morning off to bake an Indian pudding and inch forward on a fic.

    (The reviews of the pudding so far: "Looks like cat barf, tastes like pumpkin pie without the crust." Let it not be said my officemates don't tell things as they are. *g*)

    I've also been obsessing a bit too much about gift culture (both in fandom and real life), prompted by some wibbling in various quarters over the past couple of months that has been rubbing me the wrong way. I suspect I'm overreacting to and/or misreading a fair bit of it because of my personal issues, which I'll elaborate upon in a moment; that said, if something's coming across to me as passive-aggressive or reeking of entitlement, chances are it's hitting other people that way as well.

    A list much, much longer than I'd intended it to be... *sheepish* )
    Put another way: If lack of feedback is a deal-breaker for you, your skin is frankly too thin. And the best way to thicken it is to sit down and work on something new that will turn out better (luck and stubbornness willing). And if the bunnies just won't behave for you, you could at least take that negative energy and route it into recs and nominations and feedback for other people. It's not just talent that makes the high-profile fans beloved among so many -- to name three of the highest-profile names in Snape/Lupin, [insanejournal.com profile] snegurochka_lee, [insanejournal.com profile] scribbulus_ink, and [insanejournal.com profile] lore are adored not only because they're fantastic storytellers, but because they also routinely encourage and promote other writers and artists besides themselves.

    (And now I need to get back to work and take my own damn advice. *rueful smile*)

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