selenay: (Default)
I've been seeing bits and bobs floating past on Twitter over the last few days about a wankery situation happening on Tumblr around AO3 (and the existence of "olds" in fandom, heh). It's...a little rage inducing.

If you want to get some good discussion and a bit of background, this post by [personal profile] cereta has some fantastic discussion in the comments about all the issues. From what I can gather we have:

1) Horror at olds in fandom. ie. those of us over thirty. Just...yeah.

2) Fury that AO3 won't let people report fics and get them deleted for abuse/homophobia/whatever. I.e. AO3 will not let them censor content of fics. And by abuse, they mean anything with non con/rape. Fics where canonically gay characters are in mixed-gender pairings. Fics with underage content, which they often define in...interesting ways. They'd be horrified by the Buffy/Giles fic of my youth, that's all I'll say.

3) Some of those young fans apparently thinking Strikethrough was a good thing, because it got the ball rolling on kicking out abusive fic.

I'll wait for you to all stop face palming and hitting your heads on desks.

*muzac plays*

*ticky clock appears*

*refreshments are distributed*

So.

AO3 was built in response to Strikethrough, as a place where fic couldn't be censored in that way. It was built as a place where fandom could own the servers and we weren't beholden to the whims of advertisers and private site owners. Where fics couldn't be deleted at the behest of one person, or one company, because something in it wasn't to their taste. Where the rule "don't like, don't read" would reign supreme.

(One of the specific things I've seen on some of the Tumblr posts is a complaint that "don't like, don't read" might be great for the olds, but waarghbl it's not good enough for me! It exists! It hurts my soul! I might read it despite the warnings and tags and that's not fair! *sigh*)

As long as appropriate warnings (or "choose not to warn") are used--and violating that can get a fic reported and the abuse team will take action--then AO3 won't censor. They won't censor for bad grammar and spelling, no matter how much we wish they would, and they definitely won't make anyone take down their Derek/Stiles fic, or their Ianto/Gwen fic, or their sex pollen non-con Doctor/Missy fic. It was set up that way, because today's "icky non-con, ban it!" fic is tomorrow's "omg teh gays, make it go away!" fic.

Us olds remember the old days. The days when you had to label all slash--even when it was just hand-holding--as NC17 and plaster it with warnings. The days when only certain archives accepted slash at all, and you could get your FFN account or LJ suspended if someone objected to your boy kissing fics, so everything was locked down under f-lock or posted to the adult slash-friendly archives with a thousand warning pop-ups. The days when RPF was never to be spoken of because almost no archive accepted it. The days when we all danced around carefully because at any moment, our favourite fics could be deleted and never seen again if a site advertiser threatened to withdraw funding.

Trust me, that was not a good time. Everyone freaked out about Strikethrough because it was the start of a slippery slope. Nothing deleted was illegal, even though it wasn't to many people's taste, and it was only matter of time before they came after the less problematic stuff.

I may not like what you say, but I'll defend your right to say it (or read/write/art it) to the death.

I think there's a multi-layered problem. Fandom has splintered since the Strikethrough days, and we've all wandered off to different places. Back when I entered fandom, we all lived on the same mailing lists and LJs. Us babies (I was a mere twenty...which wasn't that young, actually) and the "olds" together. We all inhabited the same spaces and the newbies to fandom learned about the old ways, the old history, from the more experienced fandom people. And the newbies opened the eyes of the older fans to some things, too, which caused ructions but enabled us all to learn and change.

Current fandom has splintered and seems to have broken into generational buckets. The youngest part of fandom is on Tumblr and Snapchat. The older part of fandom is on Tumblr a bit, but not much, and many of us have stepped a long way back from it because we're made so unwelcome. We're still here on LJ, DW, Twitter, and Imzy, where the youngs aren't so much. Due to those divides, there isn't that interaction and mutual learning, so the younger fanfolk don't know the history. They don't know why AO3 exists and why we're so passionate about not censoring it. They've never had to creep around on the edges of fandom because they were slashers, or RPF-ers, or wrote explicit fics after FFN banned them.

The divide is also contributing to the feeling that anyone over thirty shouldn't be fannish anymore, and I suspect that's part of the AO3 wankery. There aren't many people from that very young end of the fandom involved with the OTW or AO3, so it feels like the olds run it. We created it, we fundraised for it, we continue to work on it and we're old, by their standards. We should have shuffled off to our graveyards or our adult lives or something.

Except we haven't, because when we were the fandom babies, there were all these fans older than us who were still active and we learned we'll never be too old for fandom. With the divide getting so sharp between the youngest and everyone else, they're not getting that part of the fannish experience, either. They can't imagine being thirty (or forty, or fifty), never mind being that age and still being in fandom.

You've also got the problem that Tumblr-style activism is very different from what we were doing five or ten years ago. It's all about protecting young eyes not just from the content, but from knowing the content is even there. About removing it so it doesn't need to be thought of. For them, "don't like, don't read" isn't enough. They don't want anyone to read it or see it or write it.

When AO3 was first being set up, there were huge arguments over whether warnings should be mandatory. A lot of people are still annoyed that major warnings are mandatory and that their only option, if they don't like warnings and have warnable content in the work, is to use a tag that's basically a buyer beware notice. The kids screaming about AO3's refusal to remove works because they don't like the content would hate a version of AO3 without those warnings.

Hint: it's what fanfic was like for most of us and it's why we still hold to the "don't like, don't read" principle. Hell, AO3 makes that one doable now! I haven't read surprise!rape in years because I don't read anything with "choose not to warn" on. The existence of fic that contains stuff I don't like does not harm me because I don't have to read it. The existence of stuff that's triggery for some people doesn't harm them as long as warnings are used, because they don't have to read it. Having warnings and tags enables people to avoid those fics and even filter them out of searches so they don't have to see them. It's the beauty of AO3.

In the end, the people screaming on Tumblr about AO3 unfairly refusing to censor its content aren't going to get anywhere (hopefully). The worst they can do is refuse to donate to the OTW and boycott the archive. I doubt they donate anyway, and boycotting seems like a "cutting off their noses to spite their faces" move, although I imagine a few will. I doubt that a few dozen people boycotting will change AO3s policy, though. AO3 isn't in danger, but the shouting on Tumblr is alternately rage-inducing, face-palm worthy, and ridiculous, because it's so unnecessary.

If they get really mad, though, they could go away and set up an archive of their own. One where they own the servers and get like-minded fans to help them run and fund the project. Hmm, I wonder what they could call it...
selenay: (Default)
I've been playing around this morning with a new service that seems to be pitching itself as the new place for communities, particularly fandom ones: Imzy.

It doesn't seem to be particularly friendly for personal blogs like this--they're doable but awkward--but there are already a ton of communities there and I'm guessing they'll get more active as membership increases. I've already spotted a couple of comms that I recognise from LJ days, and I think it's going to be much easier to build communities than Tumblr has been.

I've got 5 invites available, if anyone wants to PM me their email address. There's a comm for femslash (Femslash Frivolity) that's already bigger than I expected, a slash comm, and plenty of pairing and fandom specific comms. Cross your fingers that it works? I've missed the old LJ community days and DW has never quite taken off the same way.

Imzy seems to be very responsive to requests for features and fandom is one of the potential default interests, so I'm hesitantly hopeful that it may be the next big fandom platform.

(If anyone is already on Imzy and has some comms to rec, throw them into the comments!)
selenay: (Default)
*blows dust off the furniture*

So, that whole "I'm totally going to blog regularly, really!" thing didn't last through the end of the winter of hell. Whoops.

So, time to start again.

Where to start?

I'm enjoying the lack of winter. I'm over the moon that Agent Carter got renewed with a ten episode order. I have no words to express what I feel about the Hugos clusterfuck.

My back has totally borked itself and I've spent two months trying to get a new GP, because walk-in clinics are bloody useless for this stuff. Next Friday I'm seeing someone who *might* be my new GP. Cross your fingers? It would be nice to have some help and a referral to the right people.

I've also got a colonoscopy next week. The original plan was to do it later in the year, but I got offered an appointment on Friday for next week, after some bloodwork results came back. That's not worrying at all, obvs. I doubt my haemoglobin is low, so it's probably a raging white blood count and possibly some high inflammatory markers.

I can't imagine why that's happening. My back has only been a mass of inflammation since February. Although I'm willing to concede that I might be getting some belly pain that I've cheerfully been ignoring for a couple of weeks. Urk. It'll be interesting to see what the scope shows, anyway.

Guess I'm playing medication roulette again soon :-)

I have done so much reading. The only time my back is relatively not painful is when I'm walking or pedalling on my stationary bike, so I've had my nose in a book while I pace the house or pedal. So much fic reading. So many books.

Writing hasn't been easy, because sitting makes my back hurt, but I have managed to figure out an arrangement with my iPad and a keyboard that isn't too awful. I write in bursts and then wander off to read and pace for a while before writing some more. Working at my desktop only happens on weekends during my good phases of the day, so editing of any form has been horrendously delayed. Ugh. But I'm getting there.

Summer hiatus is upon us. I managed to keep up with most shows, but I've still got a few Sleepy Hollow episodes to watch and I didn't quite manage to marathon the last half of Arrow before Mum arrived for her annual visit last week. I'll be trying to sneak in the last couple of episodes whenever she's out.

I'm sure there must be interesting things for me to talk about, but the habit has gone again. Drat! Anyone got something they want me to write about?
selenay: (Default)
After today, I am going to be off work for six entire, whole days. It will be glorious. I need the break so much, just to catch up on sleep.

So far, my NaNo novel is going pretty damn well. I'm still enjoying it, and I'm actually having more fun with it the further I get into it. There is one scene that will probably lose the first few paragraph in revisions, and another I know will need expanding, but I'm not actively hating it. Remind me of these positive feelings when I hit the mid-novel, everything sucks, part of writing, okay?

At least I still feel confident that I have the right MC on this one :-D And yesterday, I got to throw in a library description from my research, which made me squee a little as I wrote.

Unfortunately, this morning I wandered onto Twitter and immediately got filled in on the latest SFF fandom explosion. Reading to figure out what the hell everyone was talking about was beyond depressing, and made me a bit afraid for the nebulous potential future when I might be a published author. I know that there will be negative reviews, it's inevitable, but the idea that a reviewer could take such a dislike to specific authors that they mount campaigns against them and anyone who enjoys their work is...frankly, terrifying.

And this comes after a couple of weeks of reading about two separate authors who hunted down, stalked, and even attacked (in one case) negative reviewers.

It's enough to make an aspiring writer want to throw in the towel and never ever let any of my original fic see the light of day. Fanfic 5eva!!111!!!

(Except it turns out this morning's shitstorm culprit started out in fanfic land many years ago, and committed many of the same offenses there. So, you know, fanfic land isn't any friendlier than original fic land, sometimes.)

On the one hand, I wish I hadn't fallen down the link trail. On the other hand, ignorance isn't always bliss, if there's a chance you'll walk into the same traps as previous people have. At least, in the event I do sell anything, I know this is something that could happen and can be braced for it. At least a little bit.

Now I need to go and find some happy things, and then I need to write my novel some more. Today is the day I get to write a little reveal I've been looking forward to, so it's going to be fun.
selenay: (darcy 1)
A topic prompt from [personal profile] executrix: Prompts: what did you want from fandom when you first got involved? Did you get it? What do you want now? Are you getting it?

*rubs hands gleefully* I love talking about fandom :-)

Cut for length )
selenay: (Default)
As anyone following me on Twitter or Tumblr would have noticed, last month I went to England for my first Worldcon: Loncon3. And then I failed to write about it UNTIL NOW.

This is mostly because it was huge and overwhelming and awesome, and it's taken me this long to digest it and get homesick for it. I got to fulfill a long-term dream and actually watch the Hugos live. I met Seanan McGuire. I found out that Connie Willis and George RR Martin and utterly hilarious if you put them on a panel together.

Plus, I got to visit with lots of old friends and hopefully make some new ones.

I suppose this should really be put in something approaching chronological order, shouldn't it?

Cut for length )

In conclusion, I had a brilliant time. Excellent. Would do again. It was my first time working on operations, and I loved every minute of it. Even the hectic ones. I'd definitely do that again...which is good, because I've already been volunteered onto the team for Nine Worlds. Heh.

I can't speak to other peoples' experience of Loncon, but for me, it was excellent. I expected something fustier and filled with intolerant old dinosaurs, even though we'd been trying not to do that, and what I found was bright, fun, vibrant, and filled with great people and new ideas. A large part of this, I suspect, is because of how I chose to do the con.

Most of the panels I went to were not the kind that attracted that old dinosaur element: diversity, representation, urban fantasy, transformational works. I had a big group of friends there, and I met some new people. All of them are lovely. It felt like a world away from the Eastercon I attended a few years ago. I'd love to do another Worldcon, but only if it's like that. Sasquan doesn't sound like my kind of Worldcon. I might see if Dublin 2019 happens, and whether I can swing doing that one.

It probably helped that I didn't do it coming off Nine Worlds, which is a very, very different kind of con. I didn't have 9W to compare to and, for me, Loncon3 was one of the best cons I've been to. My opinion on some things might change after seeing 9W next year, but we'll see.

The other factor that might have helped, was being on the ops team and seeing the staff side of things for months beforehand. I knew how much work we'd put into the code of conduct and the team supporting it. I knew how many knots we'd tied ourselves in trying to make the con safe and welcoming to everyone. And I think we largely succeeded, which makes me feel incredibly proud to have been a part of it.

In short, roll on a Worldcon run by the next horrible, liberal, diversity-conscious, BLOODY FANTASTIC team to stick their necks out and try to take it on. Helsinki 2017. Dublin 2019. Let's make those happen.
selenay: (angels have the phone box)
Cut for length - policies on LJ/DW )

I've also been thinking about the way that fandom seems to migrate from platform to platform over time. When I first got online, I was in Buffy fandom and most of the activity was based on the Buffy posting board on the WB site. Email lists (that are now Yahoo groups) were the other major way to interact and were the big way to get fic and talk shipping.

Message boards and mailing lists were the main thing for several years and I'd been in Stargate for a year or two before LJ became the inevitable Next Big Thing. LJ stayed the main location for fandom for a long time but started to splinter a few years ago after a lot of the big LJ dramas.

I've noticed over the eighteen months that most of my fandom interaction is migrating to a combination of Tumblr, Twitter and AO3. I use my LJ/DW when I've got something to talk about (like today) that really doesn't suit Tumblr or Twitter's formats (in depth discussions are still much easier in comments on LJ/DW) and when I need to vent or chat about RL stuff.

Tumblr is my happy place where I try not to let the crappier side of RL intrude. Good and happy things, like big comic hauls, totally go on Tumblr. My adventures with IBD stay over here.

And Twitter is where most of my actual fannish interaction seems to be happening now.

I'm sure that in five years there will be another gradual migration to another platform or combination of platforms. I really do hope there isn't a migration away from AO3 because it's genuinely awesome for fic. But it doesn't worry me much that we're migrating from LJ to Tumblr or Twitter and onwards as long as I can keep in contact with everyone during the transition phases. Fandom and fandom interaction has been evolving and shifting ever since people realised they could exchange letters about fannish stuff and it will continue to do so.

I've just learned to go with the flow and move along with it because it's the involvement that matters to me, not the platform we use for it.
selenay: (Giggly Toshiko)
All the US shows are premiering this week, which is yay-ful. There is also Merlin currently running and Spooks started this week.

Effectively I've gone from practically nothing airing that I actually watch to "too much TVs! oh noes!". Heh.

Last year I looked through the new shows and picked what I thought were going to be the year's winners, Flash Forward and V. Yes, laugh heartily now. Particularly at my thought that the weird thing about a high school glee club couldn't possibly succeed or be good.

I'm midway through S1 of Glee on DVD and have S2 set up to record on my DVR, so that I can start watching it as soon as my Glee marathon is over. I know when to admit that I'm wrong :-)

This year, The Event is the one that I've picked out to watch. The previews looked good and everyone loves a good conspiracy show. Right? It's even got some darned good actors in.

Of course, so did Flash Forward. And we all know how that ended (or didn't, that cliffhanger was evil). If The Event goes the same way then we'll declare me death on any new shows and I'll resolve not to try things until everyone is raving about them and they've been picked up for a second season, OK?

The House and NCIS premiers were both good, The Event and Glee premiers are on my DVR. Tonight there appears to be nothing (time for more Glee DVDs and possibly Spooks) and tomorrow there will be Bones and Grey's Anatomy which are both going to be DVR'd due to being out at knitting. I can see that my biggest problem this year may be keeping up! Friday is CSI:NY and Medium, which are both fairly mindless and perfect for that end of the week slump.

So, that's eight hours of programming. Well, six if you take out the adverts :-D Plus Holby City, Merlin, Spooks and Strictly Come Dancing. TV-addict? Me? Never!
selenay: (bitchy trampoline)
So, today has started off kind of sucky and I'm hoping that this is a sign that things will get better rather than an early predictor for the rest of the week.

My car, which was only repaired a couple of months ago from a mystery ding that may be related to the neighbourhood kids play street hockey, has been dinged. Again. On the same panel. There is some cosmic hate on for that door, I think.

The good thing is that the girl who dinged it tracked me down (it was at work and she's the girl who keeps the lists for the carpark passes, phew!) so that we could do the insurance thing and work out what to do. I'm taking it to the place that repaired the last ding (well, at least they know my car...) to get an estimate tonight, to see whether it's going to be cheaper in the long-run for her to pay out of pocket than run it through the insurers. The bit that I'd really like to avoid is having my premium hiked by someone else's actions, so we'll see how this goes. I'm hoping that it won't cost much and I won't need to rent a car while it's done because that always pushes up the costs.

It's going to be another crazy busy week so this isn't exactly what I wanted to be doing. This is the only evening when I have enough of a window to actually get the estimate sorted out - the next time that I'm not going straight from work to another event is Friday.

Wow, just typing that makes me tired.

My menu plan for the week looks rather silly, what with most of the week being marked as 'eating out' and all.

I've been a little bit surprised by the fire storm on my self image post. The main reason I wrote it is to explain why, despite everyone's reassurances, the person that I see myself as doesn't match what everyone else is telling me. It will probably never match and I'm sort of OK with that. Or if not OK, then I mostly don't think about it until I need to dress up pretty and discover that I have no pretty to dress up in. The thing that is reassuring is that there are other people who know exactly what I'm talking about and why I talked about it. Also, it's reassuring that there are other people who have gone out there and taken steps to learn how to dress nicely and how to do the 'girly' things that I'm clueless about. Much advice there for me to read, digest, and hopefully make use of. Thank you :-D

In slightly more fun news, everyone needs to go and see this post on Scalzi's Whatever: Brilliant Wil Wheaton-John Scalzi fan art with competition!

That picture is just too brilliant for words. Seriously.

Is it bad that I'm trying to come up with some ideas for the competition? And may have a first sentence?
selenay: (Ancient City)
Last night I finally got to go to knit night, after missing two weeks in a row for various reason. I'd missed my knitters. We were discussing Sock Summit and some of the insanity (not all connected to SS09, although some definitely was) that has been going around Ravelry lately. In fact, it's been so bad at times that I made the remark that "They've made fandom look sane!"

Oddly, even though my knitters aren't involved in the fan community, they knew what I meant :-D

That got me thinking on the drive home and I realised that this year (actually in May) marks ten years that I've been on-line and involved with fannish stuff. 10 years of having my Selenay identity. Yes, children, it's not my RL name. 10 years of writing and discussing and laughing and boggling and having a lot of fun despite the tendency for fandom to ocassionally descend into the kind of insanity that isn't always fun.

Cut for length )

Rather than feeling like I'm a part of the Buffy community or the Stargate community, now I'm a part of the wider fan community and I want to sample a little bit of everything. I wonder what the next ten years hold?
selenay: (star trek - mckoy)
This morning the sea was completely motionless when I left. So still it looked like glass, even out near the rocks by my mailbox where there are usually at least small waves. It was rather eerie.

I'm reminded yet again why I love being a part of fandom. Right now, it's in full-on explosion. I haven't seen fandom like this since the week between Stolen Earth and Journey's End last year and this time it's not about Doctor Who. There is so much happy chatter and sharing of resources and discussion of Star Trek. People that I didn't know were Star Trek fans are discussing the movie and the original series, the parallels and the differences, giving recs for novelisations generally being fans. There are new communities popping up all over the place. It's so much fun! Fandom only does this kind of explosion once or twice a year and I'm having so much fun.

It will die down in a few days as people settle into the new grooves and decide where in the Trek world they want to reside. I'm holding off on joining any communities (apart from [livejournal.com profile] trek_news) until I've seen which comms will actually have sustained interesting content :-)

Of course, fandom will have Explosion 2 for 2009 when the Harry Potter movie comes out and that will also be amazing fun :-)

One of the fun things is the reaction of the knitting community. When crafters and fandom collide, the reaction is great. People are already working out patterns for knitting Scotty's hat and Spock's sweater (from the early Vulcan scenes) and I'm sure the costumers out there are working out patterns and fabric resources for uniforms. I've never been in the crafting world for this kind of thing before - it's fun!

In less fun news, I am currently working on something where I need to trace the source of a column in a table and work out why certain values are loaded. For the fourth time, I have declared that I don't understand what I thought that I understood and gone back to the drawing board. This code is a nightmare!

But to cheer me up, Annie loves me soooo much that she wouldn't let go from her morning cuddle so that I could go to work. She wraps her front legs around my neck and holds on like a baby. It's utterly adorable and would have been even more adorable if she hadn't needed two time-outs in the craft room for bad behaviour this morning :-D
selenay: (ace vs dalek)
This isn't a meme yet, but I suspect that it's turning into one and I couldn't resist. This was posted in [livejournal.com profile] fandomsecrets over the weekend and triggered a huge discussion of female characters in SF. [livejournal.com profile] misscam's response here was brilliant and I've now seen a few people list their amazing, strong female characters so I had to join in.

Donna Noble, Doctor Who. I am so predictable, but she's one of the first characters that comes to mind. She's strong, she learns just how brilliant she can be, she doesn't take anything lying down and in Turn Left we saw that all she needed was circumstances to find her inner-awesome. It's not dependant on the Doctor. I still haven't forgiven RTD.

Ace McShame, Doctor Who. She killed a Dalek. With a baseball bat. She blew stuff up with homemade explosives. She got ridiculously excited about rocket launchers. She killed Cybermen with gold coins and a sling shot. She could be so incredibly vulnerable (see Curse of Fenric, Ghostlight et al) but always came through it stronger. It seems entirely appropriate that she was destined to become a Time Lady if the show had continued.

Tegan Jovanka, Doctor Who. She accidentally wandered into the TARDIS and, after he initial WTF-ness, proceded to be awesome and help to defeat the Master. Yes, she spent the first few adventures trying to get back to Heathrow, but when she was given the chance to stay on Earth, she didn't. She was loud and bossy and sometimes rude, but she was brave and caring and funny as well. Bonus points for leaving team TARDIS when she needed to, rather than getting killed or left behind by accident.

Sarah Jane Smith, Doctor Who and SJA. It is hard to express the sheer awesomeness of Sarah Jane. She's smart and brave and curious, which is how she hooks up with the Doctor in the first place. There are times when she's scared, but never times when she lets her fear get in the way of doing what needs to be done. OK, yes, there were a few poor fashion choices (pink dungarees? Seriously?) and the writers needed to find better cliffs for her to fall off so that it looked slightly less lame to be rescuing her from small hillocks, but I blame that on 70s TV budgets. In the recent series she has matured but still saves the world regularly with a sonic lipstick. She's a mother, not just to Luke, and she isn't afraid to let her chicks go out there and save the world as well.

Susan Ivonova, Babylon 5. There are no words to express my love. Susan doesn't take crap from anyone, she stands up to the biggest, nastiest aliens out there and she can be sort of diplomatic if she has to be. Although she is very much attached to her Russian heritage and that can inform her 'diplomacy' at times. She sleeps in slinky nightwear and could probably drink Garibaldi under the table, if the vodka was good enough. I think Ivonova was the first character that I wanted to "be" when I was a teenager.

CJ Cregg, The West Wing. My mantra for the last few years has been "I want to be CJ when I grow up". TWW is filled with wonderful female characters, but CJ outshines them all. She's smart and sassy and strong, at times she can be a total dork, and Josh is afraid of her even if he won't say it out loud. Her conscience regarding lying to the press is what kept her out of the loop sometimes, but she's got the strength of character to overcome that when she needs to as Chief of Staff. I want to be CJ when I grow up.

Miranda Bailey, Gray's Anatomy. She's tough and scary and really short, but she can do all that and be a caring person at the same time. Is some of that scariness to overcome the disadvantage of being female in a male profession (and really short)? Totally. Do I care? No, because she's tough without turning into a man in skirts and can be beautifully feminine with pride.

Hermione Granger, Harry Potter. Try to imagine what it must have been like for her those first months at Hogwarts. Yes, she's excited about the magic and the spells and the history and all, but underneath? Who wouldn't be terrified to discover that everything you thought you knew about the world was wrong. She doesn't curl up and cry or run away, she grasps everything with both hands and doesn't flinch when Harry and Ron's adventures sort of roll over her. By book 7 she's the one that knows what to do and puts things together. She survives terrible things and comes out more awesome. Where would Harry and Ron be without her? Probably dead, with Voldemort ruling the world.

Alanna of Trebond and Olau, Tortall books. For the first two books she's disguised as a boy and through that discovers what kind of woman she wants to be. Then she goes out into the world and is awesome for the second half of the series. She can compete on equal footing with the boys and finds ways to compete when her size is against her. Despite the early years disguised as Alan, she never becomes a man in skirts character. Her romances are sweet and about strengthening her rather than becoming an attachment to a man.

Kerowyn, By the Sword and other Valdemar books. She's tough and smart and she has a magic talking sword. Kero knows what she wants and she does it. She's also able to accept it when life takes unexpected turns and take full advantage of new opportunities. There aren't many female mercenary characters out there and they are often the hard-bitten, faintly nasty sort of bit-characters that appear as opposition to our hero. Kero is the herione and she's brilliant for it.

Connie Beauchamp, Holby City. Not SF fandom, but HC has a teeny tiny fandom out there somewhere, I'm sure. Connie can be a complete bitch, a caring friend or a loving mother. She can be all three at once sometimes. Husband betrays her? She sniffles for three seconds and then goes for revenge. Connie can be more ambitious than is good for her, she hates being reminded of her roots and she makes bad decisions for bad reasons as often as for good reasons. We've watched her use men to further her career, but we've also seen her heart broken when she allows someone to see her vulnerability so we understand her. She's a character that is fun to watch because even when you're hating her, you know that you'll love her again in two weeks' time.

I know that I've missed a few and people will probably remind me of them as soon as I post this, but these are the immediate ones that come to mind. So who are your strong, amazing female characters?

ETA: OMG, how could I have forgotten Buffy? And Faith? And Willow? Hell, the entire female cast of Buffy deserve their own accolades. Then there are Kira Nerys and Jadzia Dax from DS9, although Dax is slightly more problematic because how do you classify a symbiote currently in a female body but previously in a male one?
selenay: (bored now)
In two hours and fifteen minutes I am out of here for Christmas. I love a company that gives us Christmas Eve off :-)

Theoretically, I am working on something here. I'm modifying and testing a mapping on the data warehouse.

Er, in reality I'm occassionally looking at my mapping and running test scripts, while also working on the Donna Fix-it Fic (probably won't happen before New Year, but I plan to get it done early January come what may) and browsing LJ. Merlin is turning out to be a shiny, sparkly, cracky fandom apparently and as addictive as the show. Damn them. I may also be looking at the Yuletide Treats list and feeling relieved that none of the things up spark my interest. Yet. I cannot write a fic in 24 hours. Seriously. Don't let me think that I can. I would be insane. Really, really, really.

Also, I apparently need to watch Star Trek: Phase II. Particularly now that I have an Internet connection that can cope with downloading things.

Oh, god, will this day never end so that I can do my shopping and finally see my sister? I want Christmas to start, damn it!

Still here

Dec. 23rd, 2008 08:47 am
selenay: (coffee)
I lost power yesterday just after lunch, but thankfully just after we established that my sister's plane had indeed landed in Moncton. Phew! She spent the night safe and warm in my cousin's house being spoiled rotten and then another cousin is driving down here for Christmas and has found her a seat in his van. So hopefully she'll be here by the afternoon and her nightmare, fifty hour trip will be over.

The bad news is that her luggage didn't get on the plane :-( Apparently the airline has it, knows where it is, and will be trying to reunite her with it ASAP. For now, though, she needs to buy some necessities and we both need to purchase token gifts for the parents because the real gifts were in her suitcase. Da's comment this morning was that he slept much better last night than he has since he arrived because it feels like things are finally going our way.

The window held, although it was leaking heat like a seive which wasn't good once the power had gone. Around mid-afternoon the winds started to die down a bit, enough that my parents could get out of the house without being blown over, so they went to the hardware store to pick up some wood to secure the window better. They also went to the store to pick up some groceries including some hot chicken for supper. Yay! Miracle of miracles, just as we'd served up supper for Mum and I and were trying to work out what to do with Da's cold tofu, the power came back. Hooray! It flickered a lot over the next couple of hours and then steadied. It's amazing how much better one feels with hot food and hot tea inside and some actual lights.

The window has now been boarded on the inside so we're not worried about flying glass if the inner pane gives way. Hopefully today we'll be able to get out and secure it from the outside so that nothing can smash the inner pane. Boarding the window also insulated it better, which we decided was a good thing just in case the power went out again.

The glass that we picked up looks incredibly thin and we suspect that the window wasn't quite as well-constructed as it should have been. Damn contractor who built the house. Our roof was not the one loosing shingles - it was my neighbour. We replaced our roof in the spring when we discovered that it was very poorly constructed. His house was built by the same contractor and he obviously didn't replace the roof. Now we're feeling very grateful for spending the money on a new roof because our neighbour is going to have a nighmare getting that fixed. Plus he's trying to sell the house!

The adrenaline ran out not long after the power came back and we all kind of flumped. Once we'd got the window boarded and some of the mess cleared up, we decided that we needed a truely daft, escapist movie to unwind with. Cue Star Trek IV! Damn, that move is fun and it reminded me yet again why Bones is my favourite original Trek character :-)

I'm at work today and the good news is that the office was in fact closed all day yesterday rather than just until noon so I haven't lost a day of pay. Apparently the power was out most of the day here. There has been 'discussion' over the late announcement of the closure on the emergency line - nothing was said about my office until well after most people had started to battle their way in. The window was the only reason that I didn't come in first thing and a lot of people then had difficulty getting home again due to the storm. Methinks that the decision will be made a bit earlier next time!

To sum up, my sister is going to get here in a few hours, the window is semi-secure, my cousin will be on a flight here this afternoon, we have power and I've still got enough time to do the last bits of shopping that I need. Christmas is starting to look more hopeful than it was twenty-four hours ago :-)
selenay: (bookworm)
I've had a wonderful few days with [livejournal.com profile] paranoidangel42 visiting. She arrived on Saturday and we had a relaxed evening recovering from her flight. Then on Sunday we did a bit of a road trip, visiting the sugar camp near Truro where they made PA some vegan gluten free pancakes (yay!) and took us on a tour of the camp so that we could learn how maple syrup was made. On the way back, we stopped at a corn maze that I'd heard discussion of and discovered that it was really rather a large maze in corn eight feet tall.

We ended up navigating by mud - "I haven't seen that mud before!"

Monday was spent over in the city doing a bit of exploring. We visited capital hill in time to see the noon gun fired (quite a climb!) and, after lunch, explored the Museum of the Atlantic completely. It was fascinating to learn things about my city that I hadn't learnt even after all these years of visiting.

Yesterday was a quiet day, visiting a second hand bookshop in the morning and mooching around at Fisherman's Cove in the afternoon.

PA read a lot while she was here, trying to cram three Chalet School books from my shelves. But she did it! I spent a lot of time reading SFX and Doctor Who magazine borrowed from her. It was weird to realise that I actually miss them, despite rarely reading them when I lived in England.

Actually, what I think that I really miss is having a sci-fi fan around. Not that I had a sci-fi friend around much in England, but I got to chat Doctor Who and Star Trek with a couple of people at work and I've missed that. We spent a lot of time discussing other stuff, but we did spend a fair amount of time discussing Doctor Who, fic, writing, the state of sci-fi generally. Oh, and bitching about Willian Shatner's ego. Heh.

I really need to find the sci-fi community here. Maybe there will be contacts at work? After all, I'm going to be employed as a Programmer (official job title!) and there are always geeks in IT :-)

Now I'm going to watch Holby City (eee!), SJA and the hours of stuff that I videoed over the last couple of days. Still not entirely convinced about Fringe, but I did record it, and I already love My Own Worst Enemy. Heroes is always good and I have two episodes of that stored up.

I also have two Doctor Who DVDs from the library. After all, I don't need to job hunt anymore!
selenay: (bemused Doctor)
I was out at a party for one of the girls that I've met through Ravelry on Friday night. I fully intended to get home to see the first presidential debate but it was suddenly quarter to midnight and...well...that wasn't quite the way I planned things :-)

So instead I sat down and watched it today through the glories of teh Internets. It's still amazing to me that I can do that.

It was definitely an interesting debate, but I didn't feel like one came out the clear winner from the exchanges. My sympathies are firmly with Obama and the debate backed up the reasons for that, but I'm not sure that either one came out really far ahead.

Just checked the wires and it appears that polls over the weekend have declared Obama the winner including getting a lead with the undecideds. So that's good :-)

Friday night I had one minor triumph - I turned my first heel on a sock :-) Hooray! The rest should be pretty simple and I'm feeling very good about it. Lesley at the Ravelry group was the key, showing me how the pattern's vague instructions actually worked on the yarn, so I owe her a debt.

My little kittens have already grown, I think. They're not looking quite so tiny as they did, although other cats still look huge compared to them. Annie is turning out to be the snuggler, but both of them seem to feel that me sitting at the computer is the signal for nap time. They'll sleep on my lap for hours if I let them! It's totally adorable.

I am downloading Merlin to see what they do with the second episode when they don't have to introduce the world and all the characters.

I'm trying to decide whether I sign up for [livejournal.com profile] muskratjamboree in April. The sign-ups are in a month so I'll have a better idea on whether I can afford it (both tickets and time). It's very tempting, but can I really afford to jet off to a con when I'm going back to England in Feb for one already?
selenay: (thoughtful elizabeth)
A few of you may have noticed that so far this year I have written exactly two short fics so far. Leaving aside the small matter of how many long fics I used to write in a year, the thing that I have been thinking about is that both of those fics are Doctor Who fics based around Donna.

Why have I been thinking about this? Because Donna seems to be my break-in character for Doctor Who.

I have got the beginnings of several Ace fics littered around my hard-drive. Try as I might, none of them seem to call me even though I really want to write fic for my favourite character and a much under-used Doctor. In classic Who, the only character that I've actually finished a fic for was Brigadier Bambera. Not anyone's first choice, I think, although she was great to write for. In new Who, I have vaguely considered writing fic for both Rose and Martha, but never got further than vaguely thinking about it. I love both characters to bits, yet they just don't speak to me.

This brings me to Donna, who should be the hardest of the new companions to write for because she's loud, brash, shouty, obnoxious and pushy. She's so easy to caricature that she should be incredibly hard to get right and intimidating for writers. And yet she's the character that I've written two fics for with another half finished and a couple more germinating in my brain.

I'm calling her my break-in character because she's the character that I finally found to write in DW.

It doesn't seem to be the character that I most identify with or that I share the background to and that holds true for every fandom. Buffy was my character in Buffy, it was Daniel in Stargate and Elizabeth in Atlantis. It's not necessarily the most popular because half of fandom seemed to hate Elizabeth and a lot of fandom still isn't sure about Donna. It's not a character that I feel needs redeeming or the prettiest or the most fun-loving or the funniest.

I guess the thing with all those characters is that they're the ones that I want to explore and that I have something to say about. Perhaps that's why I spend a couple of years writing for a fandom and then largely move on because I have nothing left to say. Fannish butterflies like me is an essay best left for another day. These are the characters that catch me up and that I can actually feel when I'm writing, who I don't have to struggle to create words for. I like exploring the sides to these characters that are hinted at on the screen but never explored hugely and I enjoy working out how they think.

Perhaps it's easiest to say that these are the characters that speak to me, except it's not a literal voices in my head thing! Just...they are the characters where the stories write themselves to a degree rather than the ones where I have beginnings littered around that never go anywhere without a monumental struggle.

I haven't found my Torchwood character yet. I assumed that it would be Tosh - computer whizz! - and it isn't. Except lately I've been getting the vague ideas for a Captain John Hart story and I'm not sure that I'm ready to write a sociopathic murder addict even if his story is starting to write itself in my head when I get quiet moments.

So, does anyone else experience this or am I just crazy?
selenay: (bemused Doctor)
I arrived in town with rather a lot of time to spare before my hospital appointment so I decided to have a bit of a browse in the new shopping centre while I waited. I hadn't called in at HMV yet so I wandered in and what do you think was the first thing I saw?

A big stack of Mysterious Cities of Gold DVDs!

Yes, that's right, the best cartoon of the 80s is finally out to buy, in English, on DVD. Guess what I'll be saving up for now? *g*

Cut for boring hypermobile feet and hospital stuff )
selenay: (Doctor Dent)
So this is where I attempt to remember a terrific weekend, what happened and make some intelligent comments on it. Hmm.

Cut for length )

I had a wonderful time at Eastercon. I still think that Redemption is my favourite con ever and Orbital only reinforced that, but I had a terrific time and wouldn't object to doing it again if I happened to be in the country at the time.
selenay: (blackberry moment)
Well, I am currently in the unusual situation of having no panel or workshop for an hour and being at a con hotel that has an Internet lounge (albeit with a computer that has a bit of a space bar issue and this workwoman is definitely blaming her tools for her typos) so I am writing a quick entry to let folks know how it's going.

Fabulously is probably the best quick summary :-)

Most recently, I have spent an hour and a half listening to Neil Gaiman speak and read. He started out with a very funny short story called Orange, which is definitely worth hunting out, and finished with a reading of the opening pages of The Graveyard Book, which I will have to buy when it comes out. This was straight after a panel on politics in young adult fiction (Cory Doctorow and Amanda Hemingway to name two people that I already read and enjoy and China Mielville to name another that I now need to seek out) and this morning's panel on the future of fiction and the Web.

Da, you would have enjoyed all of those so much. You will come to one of these things with me one day. And you definitely need to jump if you see Neil Gaiman talking anywhere, ever, even if I'm not going to be around to force you.

I was on one panel yesterday, What does Ashes to Ashes tell us about Life on Mars, which ended up going much better than I expected with a much bigger audience and I actually made coherent points. As expected, my fellow panelists said "Oh, of course I know you!" when we found each other in the Green Room and I explained about the con using my real life name rather than my fan name on the programme! There are so many article ideas for my blogs fermenting in my head inspired by panels. I might get through them all over the next year. Possibly.

There are another half dozen panels that I want to attend before I leave tomorrow and tonight is also the second panel on which I am a guest, opposite Paul Cornell. Kind of intimidating, although less so now that I've seen him in other panels and kind of at nodding stage when passing in hallways. Still, I have to be intelligent about Doctor Who at 11pm tonight. Not going to be easy.

And now the space bar is driving me insane enough that I shall sign off and find a book to read until it is time for Fan History: Why Bother? Who says fans don't know how to have fun?

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