Writing – Sing, Sing a Songfic

I generally feel bad when I say people ‘shouldn’t’ do something in fanfiction, since I feel like fanfiction is a beautiful world where you can follow your own fancy to the end of your proverbial rainbow. However, if you are trying to improve as a writer, if you are trying to write works that will engage the fandom, if you are trying to make sense… Please consider my suggestions.

Today I will discuss the ever popular songfic
and offer up my suggestions so that you do not drive your readers into fits of painful laughter intermixed with the urge to vomit.

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Take Control of your Capacity for Change

You have the capacity for change.

There’s a trend I’ve noticed, well I say noticed, but really its been around for the last decade or so. It boils down to this idea that we should all be perfectly happy the way we are, that the way we are is perfect and that the world as a whole is evil for telling us that we’re not good enough.
It seems, in essence, to be a highly defensive response to the media inundating us every day with images telling us we won’t be good enough if we don’t have this bag/makeup/car/lifestyle/weight.
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Writing on Writing

While I have previously stated that I love bad!fanfiction and that you should write it as often as possible, that does NOT mean that I believe we (both you and I) should stop trying to improve.
So, to promote improvement in writing, I will be writing articles about writing and how to improve your writing (This is where we enter some kind of Inception level writer-scape).
To those of you who have been here before, this will be an expansion of my topic ‘Writing Erotica’ except without the Erotica.

While there are many sources to help you with grammar and spelling (Best Options: use your spellchecker and consider getting a Beta reader), I will mainly be focussing on themes, story construction, characterization, and plot. My main focus will be on fanfiction, however I will address original work as well.

So stick around for Tips, Tricks, and Hilarity.

(Writing on Writing sounds like some kind of violent after school special….or a porno)

Writing – Bad!Fanfiction and why you should Write it ANYWAY!

I’m going to preface this post by saying that I enjoy reading bad fanfiction.
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE good fanfiction. I salivate and adore. I worship upon its alter. I make offerings to the Fanfiction Muses (and their pet Bunnies). I am, to quote a rather overwrought novel, ‘deeply and irrevocably in love’ with Fanfiction.

But on top of that. I also read BAD fanfiction. By bad, I mean terrible plots, awful characterizations, hilarious misspellings and mutilated grammar. Fanfiction with Mary-Sues and self inserts and poorly constructed dialogue.
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The Danger of Tradition – or – Why the Ancient Egyptians didn’t have Air Conditioning

The Ancient Egyptians were an extremely organized and advanced society. It is believed that they existed, as a cohesive society, for around 3,000 years from around 3100 BCE to 30BC when they were taken over by the Romans. They built pyramids, had one of the first recorded writing systems, and left us some of the most inspiring historical remnants. To sum it all up, they were awesome. Using the original definition of the word Awesome. Awe inspiring.

That said.

They didn’t have air conditioners, did they? Unless we’ve missed some HUGE hidden deposit of historical electronic devices, the Ancient Egyptians didn’t have air conditioners. They had fans, sure. And lots of people to wave said fans. But they did not have air conditioners as we know them today.
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Republicans and the Denial of Reality

Trigger Warning: Discussion of Rape, Politics, and Republicans

It’s come to my attention that the GOP doesn’t live in the same reality as the rest of us. Certain members, although the party itself is quite implicit, seem to be completely detached from our consensus reality. I was thinking about this while washing my face this evening and I have come to a startling conclusion.

Religious Conservatives don’t like to believe that bad things happen. Continue reading

Fundamentalists are Boring & Heteronormativity and Gender Roles Suck – A Mission Statement

I thoroughly believe that once you become too serious about something, you become too boring to listen to. I know that sounds incendiary, but once you get to the point where you can’t laugh at yourself, even a little bit, you become stodgy and stuck up and simply too stuck in your ways for anyone to want to listen to.

Its like the crazy people with the GOD HATES EVERYONE (ESPECIALLY YOU) signs. They take that pseudo-church bullshit way too seriously (I say pseudo-church bullshit because while I grew up Hindu-Christian, we read the gospels. Jesus said love thy neighbor, not burn a cross on his lawn. Thus these people aren’t following Christ, they are following hatred and bigotry and most of their rules are from the Old Testament, which isn’t even their book [Lewis Black]. I have never seen a Jew with a sign saying “All Fags to burn in hell”. If you have, let me know. However, these crazy sign people seem to be interpreting the Old Testament in ways that the original readers don’t. Seems fishy. This is an argument for another time, but still, I hardly think their all loving God condones hatred of his other children)
So back to the crazy people. No one bothers to listen to them, at least no one I know. The only people I know who bother with the crazy people are members of Anonymous and hot gay couples who like to get photos making out next to the crazy people signs. You don’t actually listen to these people. I have yet to hear of one case where someone found ‘religious enlightenment’ from a crazy person with a sign denouncing humanities ‘sins’.
“Omg You are So RIGHT! I have been wasting my life in secular SIN! I have seen the light. I must dedicate my life to a more noble pursuit; yelling at people who have REAL jobs on the corners of intersections with signs that spew hatred! YOU ARE SO RIGHT!!!”
Said No One Ever.

I think this tenet is true pretty much everywhere. I’m not saying you have to go make huge jokes about your passions, (obviously in some cases this would probably be vastly uncomfortable) but having a little perspective and the ability to poke a little fun at yourself allows you to be relatable. People who become too serious are very boring at parties. All they talk about is THAT ONE THING, they get really offended when someone pokes fun or GASP isn’t interested.

I fully admit to being a Californian pseudo Hippy from a bizarre religious background. But I have the perspective to realize that my desire to dance in the moonlight on the 21st of December in the bitter cold while surrounded by candles……sounds like complete and utter bullshit to a lot of people. I get that, and I’m not even offended. Sometimes when my toes are freezing and I’m already wearing three pairs of socks I wonder why I couldn’t just choose a nice indoor religious practice. Like being a nun. However, I realize that my taste in ceremony isn’t for everyone. (Although I must admit that I have a weird fascination with the Eucharist. You’re eating HOLY BISCUITS! It’s like a little bit of the divine gets taken inside you all week.) Perhaps my attitude comes from my bizarre upbringing. Perhaps it comes from the fact that early on I was taught that all religions are equal. (The followers on the other hand…. Well that’s an individual gamble now isn’t it?)
But have you noticed that once someone becomes too fundamentalist, no one except other fundamentalists will listen to them? Other fundamentalists and people searching for an identity really. Oh, and Fox News. But no one of a different perspective will sit down with a crazy fundamentalist for any cause and be open to considering their ideas in a sane and rational light. When I run into a crazy fundamentalist, all I’m thinking is ‘How do I get out of this situation,” I am not thinking “Oh you have an interesting point, maybe I should consider your ideas.” I am looking for an exit strategy.

So I’m not just mouthing off on crazy religious people today. I actually penned this article for another reason.

I’m worried I’m in danger of becoming boringly fundamental about the annoyances of heteronormativity. Its just so pervasive and annoying and closed minded, it drives me nuts. Anything that has any variation of “Omg Men and Women are lyk different!!!” makes me want to stab the speaker in the legs with knitting needles til they look like swiss cheese. And I wonder if I’m getting boring. There are a lot of important issues out there and we need non-boring people to champion them. People who can take the time to be able to make their issue approachable and not-crazy. People who have perspective and lives and are able to make issues relatable. I worry that I might fall past that into the ‘crazy ranting lady on a street corner’ category.

Heteronormativity and Gender is my issue at the moment. Gender roles bother me on a deep and profound level. George Carlin had a riff about how ethnicity is an accident of birth. It is not something you control. You can’t help what ethnicity you are born or what skin color you have. You have absolutely no control over who donated to your genetic makeup. Gender, to me, is the same way. Gender roles are really just the equivalent of racial stereotypes. “You’re a girl so you should cook” is really just as demeaning as “You’re black so you like fried chicken.” (Hint: You know who else likes fried chicken? EVERYBODY -Fabrice Fabrice)

But I worry that I’m becoming unrelatable. Because the entire social construction of Gender is utterly pointless to me. In fact I tend to find it rather insulting. I am NOT saying that women who like pink and shoes and Barbies and cooking aren’t valid in their expression of self. Nor are men who like Cars and Sports and Beer. Nor are women who like Cars and Sports and Beer or Men who like pink and shoes and Barbies and cooking. Or any combination of any preferences.
There is nothing wrong with liking what you like. But to me the whole system breaks down when you realize just how constructed gender roles are.

I’ve gotten the argument that “Well boys and girls play differently! They mature at different rates.” Its bullshit. Sorry folks. Its a bullshit argument. EVERYONE plays different and matures at different rates. You early and late bloomers know what I’m talking about. Sure, what’s happening to the boys is similar in a broad sense but the timing isn’t uniform, nor is the expression of the changes. Some people are inundated with hormones and try to get some, some pine awkwardly for years after some first love, and some decide to blow apart their school with weapons from their grandfathers arsenal. Three very different reactions to puberty.

And about children playing differently at young ages – Are you really so naive as to believe that children aren’t inundated with Gender Roles from the moment they open their eyes? Blue blanket, Pink Blanket. Think about it. The minute someone finds out the gender of your baby its suddenly GENDERED EVERYTHING!!! “All I know is that when my daughter was young, she was all about pink.” Right, and she grew up in a gender neutral bubble at the same time. It had nothing to do with the fact that in all likelihood, in particular due to the trends in baby garments and toys over the past twenty years, everything bought for a little girl the age of your daughter would have probably contained some trace of pastel ‘girly’ colors and an overabundance of PINK!!!!
I played with trains and dinosaurs and Legos as a child. (And dolls. I like to BUILD them houses mostly and have elaborate soap opera sex orgy stories about them. I was probably a very special child). My cousin played with GI Joe and Barbie dolls with his friends. (Barbie was Joe’s hot girlfriend between battles sadly. Should get some Camo Barbie in there). You can say that ‘Boys like cars and videogames’ but a lot of people like cars and videogames. And how do you know that that boy wasn’t castigated by some other child or adult for even TOUCHING a Barbie doll. If he grew up in a standard Heteronormative household, its likely he never saw one except on TV or in his sisters bedroom. When my brother was 5 he got an American Girl Doll for Christmas because he wanted one. He got to pick her out and everything. My white hetero videogame loving little brother chose an African American girl doll for Christmas and we made them skis and a ski run in his bedroom. Then we built a K’Nex Roller coaster and played Native American’s in the wilderness with PlayMobil figurines.

Like I said, I am not castigating anyone who likes the preferences attributed to their chosen Gender. I happen to like Pink myself. The very dark almost red fuscia pink. Extremely saturated. I am also very fond of noxious Blue Raspberry Cerulean Blue and that bizarre Yellow/Green ‘kiwi’ color that looks nothing like kiwis and more like a fake poison. Just think about a bag of Tropical skittles and you’ve got my colors down pretty pat.

But, God its so bloody mindless! This acceptance of the ‘norm’, this acceptance of MAN MADE CONSTRUCTED PERSONALITIES that we are meant to pull on from birth like some kind of outdated ill-fitting chastity sack. Don’t go thinking outside the bag children, that’s a sin!

We shouldn’t throw away our identities but we should at least analyze it for a moment. At the very least be aware that society is trying to brainwash us into assuming roles that may or may not be in our best interests. I don’t honestly care how people identify or present themselves, I just want us all to have informed decisions. A decision based on who we are and not who society tells us we should be.
The problem is that I think I sound preachy. I think I sound like some high minded fundie who thinks they have the whole thing worked out. And I don’t. I know I don’t. I just don’t want other people who are stuck in my position, feeling kind of awkward and alone and confused, to believe they have to bow down to societies dictates over their sense of self.

So there’s my rant. I’m curious to see if I get any flak for it. Although I suppose, in this business… if someone doesn’t disapprove, you aren’t doing your job right.

Love Bites

Is it weird that I like to give myself hickies? I suppose ‘love bite’ is a less tacky term.

Not anywhere obvious. Not anywhere obscene (not that I could reach anywhere obscene. Not that flexible, thanks)

I tend to do it when I’m bored, or feeling particularly tactile. When I’m reading or in the shower mostly.

Its a slightly bizarre pursuit, but I rather enjoy watching the blossoming color. I have excessively pale skin (I live under a rock) so the color difference is quite notable.

I’ve been the victim of unwilling hickeys in the past. From both partners and overly pushy strangers who could not seem to take the words ‘What the fuck are you doing?’ at face value. While I tended to enjoy the former, the whole practice was a little unsightly. Nothing truly says tacky like huge black suction bruises on your neck. (Yes black. I had an ex who wanted revenge for a mark on her collar bone. I had to wear a rather large plaster over the thing for days. My mother was /not/ impressed)

My last partner tried to leave a mark on my thigh right before we went on break (and then broke up). I was never more thankful for a mark not appearing. Had it appeared, I think I would have felt nauseous and sick. In fact thinking about it makes me feel kind of nauseous. (Red Flag the relationship wasn’t working hmm?)

And yet…. I think they way I feel about the hickies I give myself is the way most people feel about the ones they give other people. Its an ownership. There’s a pride in it. This. Is. MINE.

I don’t know if I’ve ever felt as much ownership over my body before. This is mine. I keep thinking that over and over. This body is mine. This bruise was something I chose to make, something I got some level enjoyment out of. This is something I chose. Not something anyone else suggested or did without my consent. This is mine.

I don’t know if its healthy or not, but this is why I am single. Because I am mine. Even if I do choose to one day enter a secondary or tertiary relationship with another. I am mine. I am no one else’s. I do not belong to anyone but myself. My body is mine, and what I do with it is my choice.

I am a bloody fucking adult, and no one else gets to choose what happens to my body. (I think I have some left over anger, don’t you?)

I am an adult. This is mine. I have chosen to bruise it… and its fucking hot.

Writing Erotica 3: Gendered Anatomy (Fight Heteronormativity)

I ran into a fic today that more or less tickled me pink.
Let me explain.

While I personally loath the practice of personifying genitalia, it does seem to be somewhat common. In particular the urge to engender one’s anatomy with the pronouns ‘She’ or ‘He’. Generally speaking, vagina’s are personified as female, and penis’s as male. I suppose this seems fairly straightforward (and thus to my mind, boring).
The fic in question turned this on its head by having one of the main characters refer to his cock as ‘she’.
Edit: Another instance of this phenomena occurs in the film Pitch Perfect. In the film, the character Stacy refers to her vagina as a “he”. Her self satisfied smirk is amazing. Go watch it!!
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