thedeadparrot: (meditation)
(posted by on May. 27th, 2017 06:18 am)
(or maybe just enough?)

Saw Moonlight for the first time last night. I've been waiting on seeing it, mostly because I wanted to be in the right mood for it. It's such a lovely, aching thing. Quiet and understated. Full of unspoken things. The sound design is fantastic. I think I wanted the ending to have more of a punch, but maybe it's better that it drifts off the way it does. The most amazing thing about it is that it's pretty much the opposite of Oscar bait, and yet.

In more fandom-focused topics, I saw a survey about ways of financially supporting fan creators on Twitter and I'm still trying to process my reaction to it. I am a creature of the gift-economy fandom. In some ways, this conversation is a sign of just how far the wider internet fan communities have come that we now do have mechanisms and models for supporting creators in ways that still mean that their content is still freely available. Probably spearheaded by dudes who are far more shameless when it comes to asking for money, but that's another post and conversation for another day.

I'm glad these models do exist, and I'm glad that creators who want or need that support can get them, whether it be through commissions or Patreon or tips or what have you. But I don't think it's ever going to be something I do for myself, whether it's paying into someone's Patreon or opening myself up for commissions. And to some degree, I know this is my privilege talking, because I'm pretty financially stable right now, and I have a work/life schedule that allows me to indulge in numerous hobbies at my leisure. But I would feel uncomfortable, having the pressure on me to provide work to the people who are giving me money, and it would feel uncomfortable to me to know that other people would feel pressured to write things for me because money changed hands.

And, I dunno. I feel fundamentally like I am happy to write for the feedback I get. Or, well, post for the feedback I get. *eyes up fic hoard full of wonky first drafts* And I feel like making that the basic exchange that happens for my writing makes everything simpler. Everything gets uglier when money gets involved.

thedeadparrot: (need for speed)
(posted by on Jan. 14th, 2017 04:02 pm)
I went to a parkour workshop today, and it was super great. My back and arms are sore because I went to class yesterday, and I have an ugly bruise on my right knee from screwing up a jump (which is exhibit D of a future post entitled 'Athletes have disgusting bodies'). I do have a longer post that I would like to write about why I love this sport so much, but I have not had enough time to gather my thoughts.

The rest of my weekend will probably involve sitting on my couch, working on a third fic that I will write and never post, and hunt down authors to bid on for [ profile] fandomtrumpshate. (There's a very long list of people offering things if you want to try to skim it to find authors you might recognize.)

I am thrilled that I have the cash to actually bid for things in one of these big fandom auctions. I'm eager to get into bidding wars over some of the ones that I've already bid on (so yeah, if you are at all hesitant about hurting my feelings by bidding against me, I am actually really excited to tangle with you).

And I dunno. If I'm feeling mostly recovered by Monday, I might go ice skating. That could be fun. Maybe I'll even learn how to stop like a real skater instead of just running into walls.
thedeadparrot: (tux the linux penguin)
(posted by on Apr. 14th, 2015 10:55 pm)
Blaine'll have meant it look and leaned forward to ask me to enjoy the one. Sometimes he swallows the weather, I do that their lips when Kurt pulls back of possessiveness raging bitch's legs, kissing him somewhere they usually. I want out in his tongue and when he could expect a little hair. He feels like Hunter. Blaine wasn't want to be easy to engage in high and healthy (as his back toward the doctor told you tonight, shifting down, giving him right away).

I got bored of writing porn and decided to make a computer do all of the work for me.

This project is still mostly incomplete. I have a lot more work I can do to tweak things, from improving the algorithm to improving the formatting to figuring out a mechanism to generate fake fanfic on a more ongoing basis (Twitter bot? A website?).

But anyway, I've been working on this for the last few days, and it's been a source of joy and delight and a decent amount of programming. I will put the code I used to make this up at some point, so if anyone is interested, they can take a look.

Here, I will explain the math behind it, because machine learning is a lot simpler than computer scientists would want you to believe:

Okay, so the first part of machine learning is called 'training.' This is where you show the machine learning algorithm a bunch of known and understood data such that the machine learning algorithm has some basis for its predictions afterwards. In this particular case, I fed the machine learning algorithm a bunch of existing Kurt/Blaine stories. With this large set of unstructured text, the algorithm then creates what we call 'bigrams,' which is just a fancy way of saying 'pairs.'

For example, a sentence like: "The brown dog jumped over the brown dog at the park."

Turns into this set of bigrams:

("The", "brown"), ("brown", "dog"), ("dog", "jumped"), ("jumped", "over"), ("over", "the"), ("the", "brown"), ("brown", "dog"), ("dog", "at"), ("at", "the"), ("the", "park"), ("park", ".")

Yes, punctuation does count as its own word in our world.

After we have bigrams, we then construct what is called a 'Conditional Frequency Distribution', which is a fancy way of say 'we counted a bunch of things.'

So the bigrams we have can be turned into a list of the number of times we've seen word X immediately after word Y.

For example, if we take a look at the word "the", we can see that it is the first bigram in a few different places. (For my example, capitalization doesn't matter, but the algorithm works better if it does.)

Here are the pairs that start with "the":

("The", "brown"), ("the", "brown"), ("the", "park")

So we see that "brown" shows up twice after "the" and "park" shows up once. The conditional frequency distribution then says that if we see a "the", there is a 2/3 probability that "brown" will be the next word and there is a 1/3 probability that "park" will be the next word.

We do this sort of counting for all the bigrams in our training set. Machine learning algorithms tend to get smarter the more data you throw at them, and you can see why based on the example here. Sure, in the English language, "brown" shows up plenty of times after "the", but it doesn't show up 2/3 of the time. That's just a quirk of our training set.

Now that we have our conditional frequency distribution, we can then start generating text! We need to give it a good starting word. In this particular case, I chose "Blaine". The algorithm has a list of which words have shown up after "Blaine" and will then pick one of those words based on the frequency. Say that the next word is "is". We can then pick the word after that based on the words that we've seen that have followed "is", and so on and so on.

And that's it. That's the algorithm.

One thing I'm thinking of doing to improve my current algorithm is to use trigrams instead of bigrams, which will help a little bit with the weird jumps, especially with the contractions. Trigrams will allow the algorithm to look at the previous two words instead of just one of them in order to make decisions about how to pick the next word. That will fix some of the weirdness I'm seeing with contractions, at least.

I also want to mess around with different corpora. Maybe different fandoms. Maybe different search criteria for different fandoms. I have the tools in place. It would be easy to run different runs on different data sets.

Anyway, I'm open to suggestions, comments, thoughts! I have plans for this thing, but the future is so open and full of possibility. I'm also happy to answer questions.
thedeadparrot: Clemenza kissing Michael Corleone's ring at the end of The Godfather (an offer they can't refuse)
(posted by on Feb. 28th, 2015 07:18 pm)
So here's me talking about the big Connor/Oliver spoiler in the season finale. Probably even more about fandom's reaction than my own. There's a lot of other stuff we could unpack in these two eps, but this is the one that brings the most baggage, I think, for lack of a better word.

spoilers )
thedeadparrot: Clemenza kissing Michael Corleone's ring at the end of The Godfather (an offer they can't refuse)
(posted by on Feb. 26th, 2015 06:41 am)
So I kind of figured I'd put in a post about writing WiPs and my experience with posting them vs. posting a long fic in one go. I'm usually someone who dumps everything all at once, but this time around, it was just such a miserable slog to get from beginning to end (and the timing was so wacky with the end of the season) that I wanted to get things out sooner rather than later. I feel like I know very few of you guys probably care, and that's okay!

Stuff that I have learned:

1. The way people comment is different. I don't think I've been told that I'm an awesome writer this often since, ever. I usually get comments that are like, 'this fic you did is awesome!' but this time around it was a lot of 'you are awesome at writing fic!' I suspect it's because the way people engage with WiPs are so much more personal. When you invest in a WiP, you are investing in something that may or may not ever reach completion. Also, the expected update-begging shows up the way you'd expect.

2. People comment a lot more. At first. Related to the above, I think more people comment then because there's a worry there, that you won't post everything or that you'll give up on it. At the end, they don't have to worry about that anymore. If you're lucky, you'll have some commenters willing to stick with you and give you lovely feedback on every chapter, but that's a little rarer. There's also this thing. It happens to me when I read WiPs. At the beginning, a story is wide open, and as fans, we naturally tend to start filling in the rest of the story in our heads. As the WiP progresses, the many and varied stories we write in our heads start shrinking and shrinking, to be replaced by the one version that the author writes. Sometimes, that version that the author writes is disappointing. It happens. You can't always match people's expectations. I'm sure I did it with this fic. Plenty of great writers have done it to me.

3. You stay visible longer. I've talked about how quickly fandom moves, and writing a WiP means that you stay on people's radar for longer. Or you might end up in a position where you end on people's radars at all. You get to stay at the top of AO3's most recent works for your pairing/fandom. Your fic goes by on people's tracked tags. In Glee fandom, it's customary for writers to reblog their own fic so it won't get buried so easily on people's dashes. Writing a WiP is like that. You give people a lot more chances to find your fic and decide if they like it.

4. The high lasts longer. This is probably also kind of obvious. You're posting a whole bunch more times. You get feedback for each one and not just the whole thing. It keeps your energy up when things are annoying or difficult or just don't seem worth it.

I know there are readers who get frustrated by the way WiPs work. You're not guaranteed to have them finished by the end, and it can be so long between updates that you forget what happened in the last chapter. But like, unless the incentive structures change, I don't think it's likely that writers will stop posting things that way.

Oh, and I'm super super glad that I finished posting that fic before the finale. Phew. What a bomb to drop on people.
thedeadparrot: (silent sigh)
(posted by on Dec. 23rd, 2014 06:08 am)
I rewatched Star Wars this weekend with my friend, all of the original trilogy, because we are giant nerds, and Star Wars is so, so perfect in so many ways. It captures something, I think, a big, wonderful world to play in, the stories of wizards and princesses and heroes translated into a retrofuturistic space opera that still manages to be its own thing.

It's hard to tell whether or not it does manage to execute its emotional beats, because my feelings about them are so clouded by the fact that I get the urge to sob every time I hear John Williams' Force theme playing and squeal with delight every time I hear the Imperial March.

Due to the resurgence in Star Wars feelings, I went looking for fic, naturally. It's interesting, the mix of the old and the new. Back when I was reading Star Wars fic, there was a lot of Obi-Wan/Qui-Gon fic, which kind of squicked me out because of the teacher/student thing. It doesn't bother me as much now, fandom having desensitized me to pretty much everything. Obi-Wan/Anakin seems to have had a surge of new stuff, and so has a lot of gen. It's definitely a fandom predisposed to ripping action yarns, which has been pretty cool to see and a very different change of pace from what I've been reading lately.

And then there's a going back. Finding things that I remembered.

I hope to one day be that good, that memorable of a writer. Maybe it's not a matter of skill. Maybe it's a matter of being in the right place at the right time for a particular person. Capturing the right kind of mood. Capturing the right kind of image. But I'd like to be someone who can do that, who can write something that will lead another person to track it down across the internet years and years later to an ancient Angelfire site with a terrible tiling background image.

That would be cool.
thedeadparrot: (happiness is a warm gun)
(posted by on Jun. 16th, 2014 08:17 pm)
This is a rant about worldbuilding in fandom.

I think, as fandom, we do this thing where we try to justify our id-pleasing premises by trying to explain it. Oh no, um, evil scientists just invented dudes who can have children, okay? There was totally financial thing, like, twenty years ago, and I guess we had to resort to a slave economy. Totally.

Sometimes, it can be done well, but a lot of the time it feels like watching a terrible Christopher Nolan movie, where you can pretty much see the convoluted machinery that's moving us to the predetermined ending, clearly reverse engineered and not particularly organic.

What I love seeing in fandom, what I love almost more than anything else, is the part where we, as authors, move past that point and say, "so then what?"

We have slaves, sexy slaves, and people buy and sell them against their will. So then what? How does the slave trade look, now that we exist within a heavily technological, commercialized culture? How do your slaves signal status or lack thereof? How does the burgeoning emancipation movement work? Which politicians do they target? How? Do they go the radical human-rights-terrorism route?

Oh no! The evil dystopian government is forcing people to get married. So then what? What is their career situation look like? What is expected of married couples of various ages and life-stages? What is up with raising children? How are they expected to interact with other married couples? What happens to the stragglers or the people who try to buck the system? What does this look like to other countries? Do they all have similar systems?

It frustrates the crap out of me when I see authors twisting themselves up into knots trying to justify their id to me. I don't care! I don't care why aliens that secrete aphrodisiacs might be on Earth or why otherwise perfectly normal human men go into heat! I am willing to start with you guys there.

But for fucks sake, please make the rest of it interesting. Ask the other questions. Dig a little deeper. You'll be surprised at what you find.

Our worldbuilding shouldn't end at the point where we get our id-pleasing premise. It should start there.

</end rant>
thedeadparrot: (obvious place)
(posted by on Nov. 3rd, 2013 06:13 pm)
So one idea that's popped up into my head recently (and I'm willing to accept that it's an awful thesis that is WRONG and full of truck-sized holes), is that each OTP in fandom of a certain size tends to have its own Ur-Fic. This is a slight misnomer, as it doesn't have to be the original fic in that OTP or that fandom, but it is that general plot and attitude of a fic that all fic in that fandom tends to be based on. This even crosses over into AU stories, and I think, fundamentally, AU stories are about unearthing these Ur-Fics so that we can tell them to ourselves with the window dressing changed.

Examples of ones that I have thought of:

Mark/Eduardo (The Social Network) - Mark and Eduardo have to learn to love each other again!
John/Rodney (SGA) - John and Rodney have adventures (and occasionally wacky misadventures)! And are forced to admit their feelings in awkward circumstances!
Kurt/Blaine (Glee) - Kurt and Blaine are totes soulmates. Watch them figure this out together!
Charles/Erik (XMFC variety) - Erik is a brute, and Charles is the gentle soul that must soothe the savage beast!

I think there are several fandoms where I have thought the idea of a pairing as intriguing, but the Ur-Fic in that pairing was just really off-putting to me. And there are a few pairings where my own conception of the pairing ran counter to what the Ur-Fic said it was.

So, do these examples hold up to you? Do you have examples from other OTPs? Am I overgeneralizing to the point of offensiveness? Let me know!
thedeadparrot: (oh the angst)
(posted by on May. 22nd, 2013 10:18 pm)
I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about Amazon Kindle Worlds, yet another attempt to make cash on the backs of fanfic. To be fair to Amazon, they're doing something way smarter than most have before, setting up a revenue share program and targeting fandoms that I think are popular outside the rarefied air of Tumblr/AO3/LJ/DW, like Gossip Girl and Vampire Diaries.

I think this is perhaps the result of Fifty Shades of Grey being a huge money maker for them, trying to see who else they can get in the pipe and see if they can find another runaway hit in the fanfic world.

Considering the limitations placed on the fic that can be written (lol, no pornography?), I don't think that this will ever replace our existing slash/het/gen fanfic infrastructure. We're a place that thrives on our own perversity. I don't see how that will ever be fully in line with corporate interests. Our lack of restrictions is what makes fanfic so great, free to let our ids fly where they may.

But hey, I could be wrong, and some significant portion of fanfic could be taken over by the corporate interests we seek to protect ourselves against. Who knows?
thedeadparrot: (saving the world)
(posted by on Mar. 24th, 2013 03:52 pm)
I am back from MJ! It was fun, and I was much better about being able to talk to new people than I was last time! Hooray! I even managed to make some new fannish friends who are still clinging to the last lingering throes of LJ/DW.

I don't have as much to report, since I wasn't super enthused about any of the panels or the ones I went to, but did spend a lot of time sitting around and chilling with M, [personal profile] merisunshine36, [personal profile] amazonziti, [profile] azephrin, and [personal profile] ninhursag.

It was super cool that there were more POCs in attendance this time around (and even ones that I didn't know!)

I am somewhat regretting the fact that tomorrow I will end up in the real world again, but it was nice to have most of Sunday to rest, recharge, and get my introvert time.
thedeadparrot: john watson palming his face (facepalm)
(posted by on Feb. 6th, 2012 07:19 am)
Fandom is something we do outside, out in the open, where anyone can see us. It hasn't always been this way, of course, but that's pretty irrelevant because we are now.

I found fandom through a friend of a friend, but not through 'zines. I was a lurker in those days, hunting through Geocities archives with shitty design and bad organization and always being too afraid to e-mail any authors my feedback. I remember the mailing lists, which also gave an illusion of privacy, an extra hoop to jump through, a way to prevent people from getting in when they didn't want to. I remember when you had to send an e-mail to certain archives to prove you were of legal age in order to read the porny fic. I remember the first move to LJ.

I think in some ways, fandom has always been feeling this tension between becoming more public or trying to be less public. The lines between creator and fan have been coming down especially fast now that we have things like tumblr and twitter giving us access to celebrities. And it doesn't help that tags get aggregated outside our own semi-walled journals and communities, making it even easier to stumble across each other in new and interesting ways.

People are able to find us. I don't think we'll ever be able to go backwards, to go less public, less open. Being mocked in public is a blip. (Yes, there has been a blowup in the TSN community over this, unsurprisingly.1) Having jokes about it on SPN is a blip. Jokes at our expense are a blip. Even Strikethrough, that wonderfully epic shitshow, came and went fairly quickly.

I guess this counts as fannish history now, as it happened five years ago now (omg!), but the reason why AO3 even exists is because fandom wanted to learn how to control its own image in public, wanted to stop hiding to some degree. This isn't to say that you can't or shouldn't if you're more comfortable that way. If the OTW were that dogmatic about their views, they wouldn't give people the option to lock their fic. But the AO3 is there to be seen, to be public. The OTW does have a public relations arm. They helped Lev Grossman with his article about fanfic. They do legal advocacy for vidders. Fandom is public. It's out in the open. It lets the lurkers see us. It lets the gawkers (pun intended) see us too. There are prices we pay for that openness, but I think it's worth paying.

At this point, I don't think there's any point in trying to force the genie back into the bottle when it comes to slash fic. And to be honest, I think if we start shutting things down, if we start forcing the lurkers to stop lurker fandom will become a much smaller, much more insular place. I don't want that for us. I don't want a return of the password-protected archives. I don't want all our fic disappeared until someone can prove that their intentions are good.

Fandom means too much to me. Even though my lurker days are long since past, I remember what it was like on the outside, looking in. I don't want to take that away from anyone else.

1 For the people who need the background: Gawker wrote an article about Mark/Eduardo and I won't link it because they don't deserve the page hits. TSN fandom is in total meltdown mode right now, not just because of the article, but because of some other stuff that is just so stupid, I won't even dignify it with a full explanation.
thedeadparrot: (batman begins)
(posted by on Jan. 8th, 2012 09:18 am)
This year I ended up writing a lot of words. So many words. I'm glad I did, though. The average length of one of my fics is getting longer, which I hope is a good thing. Thematically, this year was all about TSN, and mostly about the mafia AU.

the fic )

the meme itself )
thedeadparrot: (ents)
(posted by on Oct. 23rd, 2010 05:23 pm)
(1) Wheeeeeeee [ profile] muskratjamboree! Man, I am so nervous about going and like, meeting people and being around so many excitable fangirls. I don't know how I'm going to handle being around so many people I know by reputation or like, people I've just seen around fandom. It'll be surreal, at the very least.

(2) In similar news, the OTW is having a donation/membership drive! We needs more serversssssssss, precious. I'm so proud to have been a part of the AO3 project from the beginning. I don't have the time to devote my coding skills to it anymore, but I use it on a regular basis to find fic in new fandoms or even old fandoms. Basically, I love it, and I want to make sure it keeps going and keeps improving (hopefully in time to survive Yuletide, too, omg).

Also, I have one AO3 invite to give away that I TOTALLY FORGOT ABOUT LOL. It's not hard to get one these days, but if you want to skip the hassle of being put on the waitlist, hit me up.

(3) I was going to use this space to whine about how PLOTTING IS HARD. Because it is. This was going to be inspired by the Study In Emerald/Sherlock fusion-y thing I am currently working on and that was kicking my ass, but then I talked to [personal profile] zulu about it. And now I'm not quite so flaily about everything? Yay? Note to self: You should go back to writing everything out long hand. Notice how you're a better writer when you do that? Yeah.

(4) So there's this video that went around a while ago:
cut for embed )
For some people, it's about recovering from a break up, but to me, it's a celebration of introversion, of finding the quiet places inside your own head where no one else gets to see. It's not about loneliness so much as aloneness, about being comfortable by yourself, within yourself. Every time I see it, it brings back that feeling I get when I'm happy in my own skin, quiet and content.

(5) There's this moment you get sometimes, where even though the story you're writing is being uncooperative, you can lose yourself in the feel of writing, of making words appear in front of you in a particular order. It's the most amazing thing ever, and even if everyone hates it later (including yourself), you can still hold onto that feeling and it makes it all worth it.

(6) I am kind of a pathetic squeeing fangirl over the fact that Martin Freeman has been cast as Bilbo. Fuck yeah.
thedeadparrot: (oracle)
(posted by on May. 6th, 2010 11:14 am)
Dear pro authors,

I would just like to point out that copyright is about protecting your work financially. It is a set of laws designed to ensure that you, the content creator, can earn cold hard cash from your work and that no one else can without your permission.

It is not:

a) about protecting your feelings
b) about allowing you to control interpretations and reactions to your work
c) about the morality of fanfiction
d) about protecting the integrity of your work, whatever the hell that means

I hope this will help clarify why fanwriters are always arguing that we don't profit from fanfic monetarily. You can argue that things should be illegal because you don't like it and omg, you have intellectual property rights, but when it comes down to it, all the courts will care about is whether or not it hurts your ability to make money or that it is someone else making money off your work.

In addition, I am troubled by the difficulties many of you seem to have with understanding the differences between plagiarism (using someone else's work without attribution) and copyright infringement (using someone else's work in a way that could induce them to lose money as outlined by law). They do overlap in many cases, but they are not the same thing by any means. Plagiarism in and of itself isn't illegal, for one thing.

Remember kids, illegal != immoral. Please argue that fanfic is illegal separately from arguing that fanfic is immoral instead of conflating the two ideas, because it's driving me bonkers.

thedeadparrot: (blind)
(posted by on May. 4th, 2010 10:13 am)
I'm KIND OF SORRY I'M GOING TO DO THIS, but I'm about to rec an awesome book that is currently out of print (in the US, at least). But not for long! Amazon tells me there will be a reprint coming out in October, and, um, I'm tempted to buy copies for anyone who wants one, because it is THAT AWESOME.

So, the book is Stories Of Your Life And Others by Ted Chiang, and it's a sci-fi anthology of short stories. I basically scoured everywhere for a decently priced copy, and I ended up getting it shipped from England. Yeah, you heard me.

Anyway, Chiang writes science fiction about Science and Math, capital letters included, but he never loses sight of the human beings at the center of it all, and even when he's rambling about mathematical proofs, he still makes you care about people first and foremost. They're not the most distinct characters ever, but they still live and breathe and ache, and they still feel like people you'd know, people you'd meet. He even writes smart female scientists without a trace of smugness or condescension, which is what frequently aggravates me when cis male writers try to write competent female characters.

I'm a little disappointed in the ways he doesn't really touch on identity issues, especially racial identity issues. Nearly all his characters read as white with the exception of those that take place in a particular non-white historical context.

But on the other hand, I dig the way he investigates religion and philosophical systems and his worldbuilding is epically awesome. Some of my favorites out of this collection are "Seventy-two Letters," "Tower of Babylon," and "Story of Your Life."

Seriously, go find a copy somewhere and read it.


I should start busting my ass off on remix. I have a story and an idea, now I just need to sit down and write it. Unfortunately, final projects and such are kicking my ass. Alas.


Speaking of remixing things, there's yet another pro-author telling us we're disgusting thieves. It's all boring and routine and blah, blah, blah. I don't really feel the need to refute her points, because plenty of people have done that before and better. No need to ride that train again.

However, I would like to humbly request that people stop defending fanfic by saying that it's a good training ground for becoming an original writer. This argument just reinforces that really annoying hierarchy, where fanfic isn't writing. Only original fic is, and the only reason to write fanfic is a pitstop on your way to doing things that are actually legitimate. Or whatever. This argument basically makes their argument so much easier, because this argument allows them to make the basic assumption that fanfic is inherently inferior to original fic. Yeah, I'm not okay with that. On any level, really.

Look, I love writing fanfic because it's fanfic, not in spite of it. I love fanfic because it's a way for me to talk back to, to explore, to argue against the media I love and maybe sometimes hate and occasionally have "It's complicated" relationships with. I love fanfic because it's always in conversation with other fanfic, because it's a reclamation of stories that are written for other people, other audiences other than us. I have no desire to channel whatever writing skills fanfic has given me into a pro career, and if you do, that's great! Good for you!

But please don't shit all over what we do in your attempts to defend it.

We should be arguing that fanfic is worthwhile in and of itself, not just what it enables us to do later. We should be arguing that fanfic is creative work, maybe not creative work defined by what is commercially important and commercially viable, but creative all the same. We should be arguing that fanfic is legally transformative, that fanfic is parody is criticism is reader response, and it is important. Because it is.

And not just because it sometimes gets us somewhere that's considered more respectable.

P.S. I would like to propose the following (somewhat flawed) analogy for future fanfic debates: Publishing your stories anywhere public ever is sort of like owning a farm and selling someone a cucumber. Yeah, you can hand it over to them with the intention that they eat it with some delicious salad, but it's kind of stupid for you to tell them after the fact that they can't place said cucumber in whatever bodily orifices they damn well please.
thedeadparrot: (cookies)
(posted by on Mar. 15th, 2010 03:40 pm)
1. Man, this daylight savings time thing is almost sort of killing me. Sort of. We will see how things go. I have also managed to end up with a week where there is nothing due by Friday. Technically not true as I will need to read some papers and probably present one by Thursday, and there is a midterm for one of my classes on Friday, but no projects or homeworks until Sunday. You have no idea how much this freaks me out, mostly because it means that next week is going to be highly unpleasant, even more so than usual.

2. I have been writing, and I've even finished a draft of a story, but I've been feeling kind of 'meh' about it. I'm sort of thinking of not posting it which is a little weird, with the current discussion of commenting and why people post and comment. Usually, I post everything I finish just because hey, why not? If it makes at least one other person out there happy, it's usually worth it. But I dunno if I feel that way right now. Part of this has to do with the fact that I get really anxious about posting in a new fandom and all of the attendant self-promotion involved in doing that. Posting fic is serious business, yo.

3. π day was yesterday, and [ profile] porlanoche and I baked pies! Loooooooots of pies. I think we ended up with 7 at the end, mostly because we usually ended up with more filling than could fit in the crust(s). Even then, we had some overflow issues. But for the most part, everything turned out fine. These pies will probably be eaten tonight with great happiness.

pictures of pies )
thedeadparrot: (obvious place)
(posted by on Jan. 5th, 2010 09:38 pm)
So this article, In Defense of Fan-fiction (courtesy of the [community profile] metafandom feed), which is kind of hilarious coming in on the heels of the whole OTW thing and the discussions about fan works and how fandom is becoming more public.

So I think I need to check my biases here, because my first reaction is to say, "who the fuck are you to represent fandom? You post on" Which of course is silly to say, because is part of fandom, and it has its own fannish communities, and to say that her fannish experience is invalid is totally a douchey thing to do. So I won't do that.

What I will say is this:

  1. There are a lot of reasons to write fanfic.

  2. No reason for writing fanfic is more valid than the others.

  3. This paragraph:

    Some people think that fan-fiction is purely voyeristic (spelling?!) – in that people like to imagine their favourite fictional couples together, and that’s the end of that one… and on some levels, yes; I agree. A lot of if is voyeristic. But, to counter that, a lot of it isn’t. True, “romance” is probably the most popular genre on, for example, but I have to say that probably has a lot to do with the people writing and reading it. Sadly, I fall firmly into this category – teenage girls who can’t really help themselves but let their daydreams carry them away.

    makes me flinch, because I believe that we should not be ashamed of writing fanfic. Yeah, I write romance. Yeah, I even write porn. Yeah, I did this as a teenage girl. And yeah, I sometimes daydream about characters. None of this should mean that my writing -- our writing -- is automatically worth less than that of some fanboy who daydreams about being Paul Atreides and about things blowing up and writes a script about his daydreams and then gets it turned into a movie. I am looking at you, James Cameron.

  4. Fuck the need for outside validation. If other people want to pretend that we are all stupid and giggly and can't write for shit, then it is not my job to educate them or convince them they are wrong. (And, of course, they are.)

  5. I haaaaaate the "Why don't you write original stuff?" question, because my answer is, "I don't want to." I love taking things that already exist and turning them inside out and playing with them to see what they do. I love mashups. I love remixes. I love fan films. And I love fan fiction as a means of reclaiming stories and turning them into stories that are written for us. I have better things to do with my time than to write stories I don't really care about, kthnx.

  6. Kirk/Spock is hot, and I think Kirk totally loves to bottom.

  7. I think I could give a list of fics that I think define fandom to me, what it is, what it can do, how it operates, how it can be transcendent. But I don't trust my motives in doing so, so I won't.

  8. I love fandom, you guys. I love what we do. <3

    No shame.

thedeadparrot: (bitch please)
(posted by on Nov. 17th, 2009 07:55 pm)
So I managed to stumble on a story on [ profile] trek_rpf_kink about George Takei that is making me want to kill things.

Okay, I'll spare you from most of the stabbity pain )

Okay, that's now off my chest. 'Scuse me while I go find a bucket to vomit in.
thedeadparrot: (bitch please)
(posted by on Sep. 20th, 2009 12:40 pm)

Unfortunate Fandom Predictions

  1. The more screen time the girls get on Merlin, the less popular the fandom will become.

  2. Somewhere out there, someone believes their RPF smut fic actually happened.

  3. In the next few seconds, a female fan in fandom will say something incredibly failtastic gender-wise about a female character somewhere on LJ.

  4. Regardless of how slashy House and Wilson's relationship will be next season, there will still be a group of people on [ profile] house_wilson who will insist that anything less than the two of them fucking in canon will be a cop-out.

  5. As the season goes on, Glee will only get more misogynistic, racist, homophobic, and ableist. It will also be Fox's smash hit of the year.

  6. Fandom's next big slash OTP will be two white guys.

thedeadparrot: (need for speed)
(posted by on Sep. 13th, 2009 09:21 pm)
My knuckles hurt from punching through a piece of wood. Owwwwww.

Class I am TAing is eating my life.

I haven't really been writing much. Except for this bit of the ninja!Foreman AU for [personal profile] hannah, because she wrote me this awesome story about food in the Trekverse.

I have been getting other stuff done. Like, I cleaned the bathroom, took out the garbage, did my laundry, finished up a week's worth of homeworks and class notes, baked cookies, and set up port forwarding on my router. Productivity is awesome!

Also, I gotta say, I am really fucking sick of people who complain about other people calling out racism/sexism/other-ism. I've run across a few of them, some even anonymously, and you know what? If you're one of those people who has a problem with me hating on your favorite TV/movies/books, you know where the de-friend button is, and I will not be offended. In fact, it will probably be better for both our blood pressures.

Yeah, fandom is changing, and fandom has changed me. You have no idea how important it was for me to discover the words to describe my discomfort and my anger and my existence, and I will always be grateful to fandom for giving me those tools. I am not an acafan. My degrees is in fields that are basically math with a tiny bit of engineering thrown in. I have never taken a class on gender or race theory.

You are not being oppressed by my anger. And when you say, "Why can't fandom be happier?" and, "Jeez, you don't have to make such a big deal out of it," all I hear is, "Why can't you sit down and shut the fuck up?"

Yeah, no. Not going to happen. I've been silent enough as it is.

Context and further discussion:
[personal profile] ciderpress brings the truth.
[personal profile] maschalismos has the screencaps.


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