selenay: (Default)
2017-04-15 11:29 am
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[sticky entry] Sticky: Introduction

Hello! If you've found yourself on my journal for the first time here's a little bit about it.

I post about anything that pops into my head. Mostly that's fandom stuff and some personal stuff, because I use this as a journal as much as a discussion place, but sometimes it's links or discussion of real world politics if I'm feeling really opinionated. Don't worry, those posts are the rarity. The fandom stuff is the most common.

My always and forever fandom is Doctor Who, but I am a fandom butterfly who glomps onto all sorts of things. Current loves include: Holby City, Call the Midwife, Supergirl, the MCU, Star Trek, Star Wars...Star anything probably. This list may change, but the SFFness of it never will.

I write fanfic and original fic. I've written gen, het, m/m, and f/f. My current main ships are f/f ones and my current WIP original novel is an f/f romance. But if you're here only for the f/f and any mention of dude slash will make you rear back in horror, you might not want to be here. Just a heads up.

I rarely post locked stuff, but when I do, it's because I'm talking about something potentially controversial (religion), or something intensely personal that I'm locking down to a select few.

I'm always happy to meet new people, so friend/subscribe/circle away! Comment somewhere and introduce yourself! I don't bite and I try to keep discussion here vibrant and friendly. Welcome!
selenay: (yuletide)
2017-10-06 04:06 pm

[sticky entry] Sticky: Dear Yuletide Writer 2017

Dear Yuletide Writer,

Thank you for writing for me! This is my favourite challenge of the year and I'm looking forward to reading your story on Christmas morning. So without further ado, here are my general loves and hard DNWs, with famdom specific thoughts and prompts behind the cut.


- Women rescuing each other
- Competency
- Cheesy tropes!
- Female friendship and women bonding
- Intense, passionate, world-shattering kissing
- Flirting, banter, humour
- Happy endings

Do not wants:

- Deathfic and sad endings
- Rape and dubcon
- Graphic violence, blood play, extreme kinks etc.
- Incenst, paediophilia, bestiality etc.
- Humiliation, adultery/cheating
- Character bashing

Fandom-specific thoughts and prompts )
selenay: (Default)
2017-10-17 07:57 pm
Entry tags:

I did the scary thing - new MacBook

I did it. I bought a MacBook Pro. Eeeep!

I’m torn between excitement and terror at spending all that money, even though I’ve actually had the money saved up for a while so it’s not like this is an expense that’s going to kill my savings. I’ve specifically been saving for it, outside my regular savings. It’s just more than I usually spend on a computer, but hopefully the investment will pay off.

Thank you for all the buying advice. I’ve learned so many unexpected tips, too, about things to use it with and apps to get for it. It’s made me feel much more comfortable with this choice.

It arrives on Monday. I need to think of a good name for it :-)

Does anyone have a suggestion for a good password manager?
selenay: (Default)
2017-10-16 11:33 am
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Advice needed from MacBook users!

I'm planning to jump ship and go over to a MacBook. Hooray, I can hear my Apple aficionado friends crying :-)

The problem is that there are so many options out there and I'm wary of making a mistake, because this is an expensive investment. So a bit of advice would be appreciated.

A lot of my usage will be general stuff: browsing the Internet, bit of video watching (not editing), writing and editing documents and spreadsheets, using Scrivener etc. I'm also probably going to be doing bits of development, learning and messing about with Python, doing some courses on data analytics etc. I doubt I'll be running around all day every day with it, because I have an iPad, but for various reasons I don't want a desktop and I'll need something that isn't awful for lugging onto planes and so forth.

I've narrowed it down to absolutely NOT the 12" MacBook (every article on it says its not worth the price-tag) or any 15" monster.

I'd been leaning towards the 13" MacBook Air, with the best CPU on offer and 256GB drive, but it's an older architecture and that makes me wary. I want to get at least five years out of whatever I buy, and I'm concerned that the Air might not match my needs or stay update-able for that long.

I've been looking at refurbed 13" MacBook Pros - October 2016 release or June 2017 release. For not much more than the Air I'd been looking at, it seems like I'd get more power and the architecture is newer (same disc amount, though), so they're likely to stay update-able for longer. But are refurbished models from Apple actually reliable?

Does anyone have any opinions on which way I'm better leaning towards?

And will 256GB be enough disc space? I don't tend to store videos on my machines and I can archive stuff on external HDs when necessary, so it sounds OK to me, but I haven't gone Mac before so I don't know how much space the OS etc. needs.

Any thoughts much appreciated!
selenay: (writing)
2017-09-28 07:48 am

Long overdue update

Wow, where did the last month go?

How is it September? How is it nearly 30C AT THE END OF SEPTEMBER? The weather here is so messed up.

Mostly I've been catching up on stuff, working a ton, and being generally terrible at actually updating this or going out to do anything with local friends. Yay me?

But! I finished the first draft of my femslashex fic and I'm pretty happy with it. Must be a personal record for early finishing, I think. I credit, because it made planning how to handle the work way easier than my usual procrastination. I like seeing little green boxes that mean I did what I was supposed to do :-)

And with that out of the way, yesterday I started writing a new book. Hooray!

I do love the early days of new bookness. This is something I've been planning and researching for months. It's probably got the most detailed outline I've ever done--not a single "and then cool shit happens" in sight--and I worked out characters, locations, backstory, world building, all that stuff.

Obviously I added a new minor character as soon as I started writing but OH WELL. I like her. Niamh is lovely and drives my spellchecker nuts.

It's an urban fantasy set in Devon (so not *very* urban, heh) and I am excite. The main character is already starting to have a voice, I'm excited about getting the other characters on the page, the setting is going to be fun, and I'm looking forward to discovering who else shows up that I wasn't expecting.

I'm planning to take a leaf out of Charlie Stross's book and try a new beta reader/early reader thing for it. More on that in a separate post :-)

I'm also writing in first person for the first time in...probably ten years or more. So that'll be an interesting experiment. The first day of writing went way better than expected yesterday (including the unanticipated new character) and I'm hoping that's a good sign.

I haven't forgotten about the Snow White book I wrote earlier in the year. I'm rewriting the ending for the billionth time. I plan to go over it with a fine tooth comb again after that and then I *will* send it around on query for a while. I promise. It was one of my goals when I started writing it.

And I'll be sending it out with the knowledge that if it doesn't get any bites (and it may not, because niche), I've got a new book in progress already. That feels like an important thing to have.
selenay: (Default)
2017-08-30 02:38 pm
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Doctor Who: Survival

I'm slowly catching up on my podcasts from when I was away, and the episode of Verity! discussing Survival just came up in rotation. It's been interesting listening to the presenters discuss this episode and their feelings about it, particularly the way their feelings have changed over the years.

Season 26 includes some of my favourite classic Who serials (Battlefield, Curse of Fenric, Ghostlight) and has some of the best moments between Ace and Seven. It ends on Survival, though, and my feelings about that one are complicated. It's why I've never been able to wholeheartedly declare it's my favourite season.

As a kid, Survival scared the shit out of me. Maybe not quite as badly as Paradise Towers, but not far off. When I rewatched it as an adult a few years ago (probably more than a few - I think it might have been before we had any new Who), it wasn't as scary but it still made me deeply uncomfortable. I don't think it's entirely because it's the last classic Who series and, for a long time, the last ever Doctor Who we had. After all, I do like the little monologue as it ends, with the Doctor and Ace walking away to more adventures, so it's not about my sadness at their being no more Doctor Who.

It's all about Ace.

She's my favourite classic companion. For many years, she was my favourite full-stop, although Donna and Bill have now joined her. My feelings about her have always been very complicated: I was ten when the final episode aired and I wasn't conscious of having a crush on her (mostly because I didn't know that could be a *thing* yet - very sheltered childhood, yo), but my feelings went pretty deep and I know that I was deeply attached to her.

By the time I hit my teens, my complicated feelings were very complicated indeed. The only thing about Ghostlight that I remembered for a long, long time was Ace in that tuxedo. Ace's episodes (except Survival) were my most rewatched ones, I adored Fenric for reasons I couldn't articulate, and Battlefield was (and still is) my comfort Doctor Who serial.

The big reason that Survival makes me so uncomfortable, I think, is because Ace goes through some difficult and uncomfortable things and I didn't want her to. It shows a side to Ace - a violent, wild side - that runs deeper than what happened on the Cheetah people planet. Even in my ten year-old brain, I knew that one of the messages was that it was something that had always been there in her and would always be there, even after the planet was destroyed. That wasn't a very happy thought because, until then, Ace had always been this beacon of kick-ass awesome but somehow it was an innocent kick-ass awesome. After Survival, my rose-tinted glasses were a little smudged and I didn't like that. My Ace wasn't quite the same person any more and my intense adoration couldn't cope well with that. My solution was to dislike the whole serial and try my best to pretend it never ever happened.

Battlefield is my favourite because it has the best Ace. Even though tuxedo!Ace is quite the mental image, it's Battlefield Ace who represents everything I love about her. Plus, Battlefield has the best girlfriend of the week for Ace :-D

Survival Ace is almost the opposite of Battlefield Ace and I didn't like that.

Maybe it's time for me to rewatch Survival again and see how I feel now. I've changed and grown a lot since the last time I watched it. Maybe the extra maturity (hah!) I've developed will let me see it in a different way. Maybe I'll end up loving it at last. Or no longer shivering and backing away rapidly from any thoughts of it. Even that would be an improvement, because I'd be able to say without any footnotes or corollaries that season 26 is my favourite.

Anyone else have feelings about Survival?
selenay: (Default)
2017-08-27 06:42 pm
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What I did on my vacation: Worldcon edition

I'm working on a very long software release on a Sunday night, waiting for people to finish things, so this seems like a good time to write up my Worldcon experience. The rest of the trip will be a separate post :-)

As I said before, [personal profile] bookmonster was my roommate for just over a week and she was an excellent one. We had so much fun, she even put up with an accidental sugar-and-caffeine induced late night giggle-fest (pretty sure that Diet Coke was *not* diet), and we're plotting Dublin 2019 so I don't think I scared her too badly! We did a couple of days of sightseeing in Helsinki before the con, which was terrific fun despite the distinctly soggy nature of Monday's weather. Buying umbrellas on our first walk into the city centre was a good plan.

We spent Monday wandering through Helsinki, visiting a Lutheran cathedral, the harbour market (where we had excellent smoked salmon on rye for lunch followed by delicious pastries), riding the tram, seeing a gallery...despite Helsinki's tendency to close most things on Mondays, we did a *lot*. Supper was in an Italian restaurant we returned to a few days later. (It's just occurred to me this is where we ate on both rainy days - there's something about pasta/risotto and rain, I guess.)

And then bookmonster dragged me (kicking and to an Irish theme pub because how could we not and we got to sample the breath-taking expense of Finnish alcohol.

On Tuesday we met [ profile] embraceurfandom, who gave us an amazing tour of Helsinki's natural history museum. Everyone should get a tour from a trained biologist of the natural history museum they worked at! After that, we set out for a late-afternoon visit to the Russian Orthodox church, where bookmonster got to discover why I'd declared the Lutheran church very restrained. Talk about BLING! We had coffee and pie and relaxed on the steps below the Lutheran church, enjoying the sunshine, before trotting off to Zetor for supper with a bunch of friends and some tractors.

After that, it was CONVENTION TIME.

Bookmonster and I didn't have any panels we were interested in until 12pm, so we pottered down to the convention centre late morning and managed to miss the worst of the registration queue. It was incredibly smooth and quick - I think we were through in under two minutes. And I got into the first panel I wanted to see, so that was good. In fact, I don't think either of us ended up not seeing anything we'd really earmarked as "must sees", and we had very few times when we were unexpectedly not in panels because nothing we wanted was accessible. I think that's probably because we were both marking at least one back-up for any slot we wanted to fill, which is a trick learned from 9W and Loncon3.

There was definitely a crowding issue on day one, but that eased a bit afterwards as the con staff handled the ticket situation (very few tickets available on the door after day one) and got extra space arranged so panels could be moved to larger venues.

I had a fantastic time and I have to give the staff a lot of kudos for working so hard to keep the convention rolling and fun for everyone despite challenges. They really worked their socks off.

One con staffer in particular needs a shout-out and I wish I knew his name. On the first day, there was a presentation scheduled in the evening on bad book covers, which bookmonster and I both wanted to go to. We joined a big group outside the room...and after a while, it became apparent it had already begun. The room had filled up so fast that they'd closed the doors and started early. The con staffer who appeared on scene realised they'd massively underestimated the popularity of that item and, because it was day one and not all the rooms were in use yet, he decided to fix this. He asked the presenter if he'd be willing to do a rerun of the presentation. Then he led his merry (and ever increasing) train of con goers through the halls on a search for a suitably-sized room with AV equipment. It was a little Goldilocks-like, stopping in rooms and then moving on when they weren't quite big enough, until finally we settled on one that could hold us all. At a conservative estimate, there were over two hundred of us...for a panel they'd only expected a max of eighty to want. Wow.

The presenter looked slightly surprised by the huge number when he arrived, but he did a fantastic job of rerunning his presentation and it was AMAZING. The combination of his good humour and some astonishingly awful book covers was perfect. Thank you to everyone who made that happen!

Before this turns into a 5k word essay, I'll retreat into a system of highlights and so forth. I had a fantastic time at Worldcon, thanks to a wonderful convention and some excellent friends. Hopefully we'll all do it again in Dublin 2019!


- The aforementioned bad book cover panel

- The short stories for novelists workshop by Mary Robinette Kowal. I didn't expect to get into this because I was on a waiting list, but Mary was lovely and allowed in everyone who could find a seat. It was totally worth it. I learned so much! I think I even learned how to improve a short story I've been fiddling with for a while and, more importantly, how to write better short stories. Things she said made so much sense, particularly about pacing and tension issues my critique partners always point out. I know why they're happening now so I can fix them! I think this may have been the most useful and productive panel I went to.

- Live Tea and Jeopardy recording. Who knew GRRM was such a fantastic sport? I'll post a link when the episode goes up, because it's hilarious.

- The imaginary book club. Four panellists each make up a book and then review/discuss it, with a Q&A session on each book. This was exactly as hilarious as it sounds :-D

- Authors and their cats. It followed an intense panel on high fantasy, so it was a perfect and beautifully restful session of authors talking about their cats, showing photos and highlights from twitter feeds, discussing why cats are so important in the authorial process...I loved it.

- Surviving the two panels I was on. I had a lovely little panel on shipping non-canon pairings and a terrifying panel in the biggest room on the site about beta reading with Real Published Authors (including Charlie Stross) on either side of me. Apparently I didn't sound little a total idiot and someone talked to me after about how lovely and validating it was to see a fanfic writer on that panel :-) I also picked up some great tips from Charlie Stross about beta reading that I want to try out (more on that another day).

- A panel on systems of magical healing that went to some dark places and birthed some plot bunnies for me.

- Babylon 5 vs Star Trek: Fight! A funny and thoughtful panel debating the merits of each show, the parallels and differences, with a vote that ended up with B5 winning (their team sold their case really well) and a promise from bookmonster to finally watch B5 (I'm holding you to that).

- Playing Exploding Kittens and discovering [ profile] selcaby is a total shark despite being a newbie to it.

- So much giggling and laughter and discussions of geek things with friends, I can't express how important that is to a good con experience.


- The overcrowding on day one was a bit trying on day one, but not enough to spoil anything.

- Um, that's it?


Worldcon75 was fantastic and it was hard to come out of the con space, which is the sign of a good con. I wasn't ready for it to end. At the end of a five day con, that's impressive. I remember being quite con-and-people-ed out at the end of Loncon3, but that wasn't how I felt this time.

Bookmonster and I did a bit of sightseeing in the morning the day after (a nice tour of the Rock Church, which was beautiful and peaceful and exactly what I needed as I came down from the con high) and then we flew back to London. It was nice to have that transition day before reality really hit and I think we were both glad we did our sightseeing before the con, because we were exhausted. There was a fair bit of napping on the plane back!

Worldcons aren't for everyone, but I've loved both the ones I've been to. Spending several days talking about nerd stuff, seeing other people get excited about the same things I am, is a fantastic experience. I've returned with new ideas, new plot bunnies, and new lists of things to read and watch. I got to meet people I've only talked to online before. I got to see old friends. It was everything I wanted it to be and that's really the best anyone can hope for out of a Worldcon.
selenay: (Default)
2017-08-25 08:19 am
Entry tags:

Home from the road

I got home from the big trip on Monday. It was a BIG trip, so I will need to write up some notes from Worldcon etc. because it was amazing and I don't want to forget it.

Brief summary: wedding was amazing, Worldcon was fantastic, really liked Helsinki, the days with dad post-Helsinki were busy but lovely.

Pretty sure Helsinki/Worldcon wouldn't have been half so fun without roommate extraordinaire [personal profile] bookmonster :-D

Being back has been...interesting. The office managed not to collapse without me, despite the boss's worries and dire predictions. They didn't contact me while I was away (I suspect my coworkers sat on the boss whenever he suggested it) and nothing came in that couldn't wait for my return. Phew! I've been doing all the paperwork and prep for the release on Sunday of the project I've been working on since January. It's the first phase--lots of new code to replace all the COBOL we were running--and the second phase will happen in a month--deleting all the obsolete COBOL--if nothing falls down. I decided to leave the old COBOL in place for a few weeks in case we have to roll back, but if we get through a full month end batch cycle, it will go.

It's a bigger deal than I realised. So far, the director of my department has sent out an email to the whole of IT about it and I've had the manager of another department come over and congratulate me, and explain why freeing up some COBOL licences has huge benefits to his team. I'm a little gob-smacked that my little project is getting so much attention. There's talk of getting me to help some other teams do similar and of getting me to work on some projects to port stuff out of other old code-bases into something newer and better supported. Wow.

On the home front...

I love my mother. I really do. Remind me of this regularly, guys? It's only been four days and she's driving me up the wall. We'd been doing so well over the last two or three summers! But she came out later this year, so I had more time to get used to being on my own and doing my own thing and it's hard to adjust. It's probably all petty little things, but I'm not dealing well with her this year. Plus, there was an incident with my car and if it turns out she's wrong and the parking barrier didn't malfunction (the car park operator is trying to dig up CCTV), I'm going to need to have a talk with her about why she needs to pay for the damage she did and not me. I mean, I don't ask her to pay for any other maintenance or insurance, even though she uses it a lot when she's here! If she damages it through carelessness, I see no reason why I need to foot the bill. I'm waiting to see how her claim against the car park goes before we discuss that, though. We're getting the damage assessed this afternoon for the adjuster.

I'm ready for another holiday.
selenay: (ace 2 (with gun))
2017-08-22 12:31 pm
Entry tags:

Dear Femslashex Creator Letter


- Women rescuing each other
- Competency
- Cheesy tropes!
- Intense, passionate, world-shattering kissing
- Flirting, banter, humour
- Happy endings

Do not wants:

- Deathfic and sad endings
- Rape and dubcon
- Graphic violence, blood play, extreme kinks etc.
- Incenst, paediophilia, bestiality etc.
- Humiliation, adultery/cheating
- Character bashing

Specific fandom thoughts behind the cut )
selenay: (Default)
2017-07-31 09:03 pm
Entry tags:

New Doctor Who fic: At the End, A Beginning

At the End, A Beginning (3475 words) by [ profile] Selenay
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Thirteenth Doctor & Bill Potts
Characters: First Doctor, Thirteenth Doctor, Bill Potts
Additional Tags: Reunions, Regeneration, Not the Christmas episode except in my head
Series: Part 7 of Collected Bill Stories (Doctor Who)

Summary: There was once a stubborn old Doctor in a snow storm, fighting his fate...
There was once a young-old Doctor waiting for him...
But this isn't their story anymore. It's time for a new story, a new body, and Bill is pulled back to be a part of it.
selenay: (Default)
2017-07-27 10:40 am
Entry tags:

Trip planning!

In less than a week(!!!) I'm catching a flight to London for the beginning of the Epic Wedding and Convention Tour TM, so I feel like it's time to note dates and maybe plan any meet-ups that might be possible. Thus, itinerary!

1 August - Flight to London leaves at just before midnight. Hopefully.
2 August - Flight arrives in London.
2 to 3 August - At parent's house, wedding prep.
6 August - Fly to Helsinki.
7 to 8 August - Sightseeing in Helsinki.
9 to 13 August - Worldcon in Helsinki.
14 August - Fly back to London.
16 August - Day trip to Cardiff for Doctor Who exhibition.
17 to 20 August - Pottering around my parents house/home town.
21 August - Fly back to Canada.

I'm currently noodling around a trip into London for books and cake-eating on August 18 (Friday). If anyone is free to meet up for lunch/cake/drinks/supper, let me know and we'll arrange it :-) I usually hit up Foyles for a few hours because I'm a nerd, so I'll be pretty centralish.

And anyone going to Helsinki Worldcon should raise their hands so we can figure out meeting for coffee or panels or whatever.

This trip is going to be EPIC.
selenay: (Default)
2017-07-25 10:19 am
Entry tags:

Minor notes

It was SDCC weekend so many, many, many trailers were debuted. The new Star Trek: Discovery trailer made me particularly happy, as did the Doctor Who Christmas trailer. It's going to be so weird, in a really great way, to have two of my longest-time fandoms in active production.

I really need to post that alternate Christmas episode ending fic. Really. Before it gets totally Joss-ed. I have the feeling Thirteen might be the Doctor I actually write for. All my other DW fic has been companion-centric. It would be interesting to write Doctor-centric fic :-D

(See, I can find a way to bring all posts around to Thirteen.)

For my fellow femslash fans, [community profile] femslashex is running again this year! And running a few weeks early, so nominations open TOMORROW. Sign-ups are running from 13 to 23 August, which is a relief because it means sign-ups are going to still be open (just) after I get back from England. Phew!

Hoe many Thirteen pairings do you think people will nominate? Hmm...

There are a couple of posts in the comm outlining other small changes to the fest. The one that I am a fan of is making request visible during sign-ups, which will help people to check whether their collection of tiny fandom requests/offers is making them matchable or not. And it'll give us some extra time to write treats if we want :-)

Femslashex is one of my favourite fests so I highly reommend it if femslash is your thing in any way.

Must get that planning post for England up.

Must buy a suitcase.

Must write a to do list of everything I need to do in the next week (!!!) before I leave.
selenay: (Default)
2017-07-21 01:22 pm
Entry tags:

A couple of requests?

It's Friday and Jodie Whittaker is still playing Thirteen. I TOLD YOU I WOULDN'T BE OVER THIS SOON.

Anyway, my requests are teeny tiny ones. Apparently now that I've given up on LJ entirely, I've lost the good icon sources.

Can anyone point me to some Thirteen icons? I know ya'll have them, because I've seen some, so point me that way?

And if anyone has some good Bill icon sources?

Actually, if anyone knows where the Doctor Who icon makers are posting to on DW that would help *so much*.

I have posts I need to write. Posts about England/Worldcon trip plan (less than two weeks, OMG!) and arranging meets, an AMA post, probably MORE Doctor Who thoughts. But right now it's hot and humid and my ridiculous big fluffy cat keeps sitting on me and so my brain is too fuzzed out to make them.
selenay: (Default)
2017-07-20 02:09 pm
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Have I talked about the new Doctor enough yet? No?

It's possible I will never reach the point of "enough" with her :-D I've even written a fic. More of an alternate ending to the next Christmas episode, but you know. I have written Thirteen. And One. And Bill. So much fun :-D It'll be posted as soon as it's been edited.


Today I had a (very polite, yay) discussion with someone on Twitter about the potential companion choice. It was sparked by a thing I quoted and RT'd about getting a female companion (and the fact that I want it so much), and the person on Twitter (we'll call him Dave) pushed back about why a male companion is important. I don't think he's entirely right, but he had some reasoned arguments and I can understand his view point.

He's concerned that young boys will be put off by an all-female cast (I disagree there--they're only put off if they're told they should be) and that young boys need a male role model to identify with. I disagree with that, too, but that's coming from a position of always being told that I should be able to identify perfectly well with an opposite-gender hero, thank you, so there's no need for a woman Doctor (or a woman Jedi, or a woman Star Trek captain, or...). Of course, my feelings on this can be easily dismissed as a bit of tit-for-tat going on, which is why I didn't use that argument.

My big concern with casting a male companion as the only companion (note, I have no issue with this in a mixed-gender multiple companions team) is that it would very easy for the companion to end up being seen as the hero/leader/authority figure just because of gender. Ask any woman who has had their less experienced/less senior colleague viewed as "the authority" (i.e. all of us, particularly in technical fields) and you'll know how often it happens and how frustrating it is. I don't want to watch that onscreen every week.

Dave's big concern is that boys need to see a male companion respecting the Doctor and treating her well, but without making him weak or lose authority in front of the young boys. Because boys will turn off if he's a weakling. And...I kind of get where he's coming from, but I also rather gathered from his comments that he and I will never agree on what that looks like. He feels that the male non-Doctor regulars have been poorly-served and one-dimensional. I thought Rory was written well, with complexity, and I enjoyed his role in the TARDIS. Jack is...Jack. We haven't had any other prominent regulars. For Dave, Rory was written as weak and a bit subservient and, er, Jack is queer so he probably doesn't count.

Dave also wanted the male companion to be a little in love with the Doctor, maybe, and still able to show respect without ever being weak or allowing the Doctor to dominate him. As an example to give, Dave wanted to see a relationship like Ten and Rose but with their gender roles reversed.

Which, uh, no. That is definitely *not* a healthy example to give. And something like that would be the opposite of what I think would be good for anyone. I have a feeling Dave and I were watching with very different glasses on. If he wanted to use any example of that dynamic, Nine and Rose might have been better, IMO. But still no.

Having a man as the only companion is a potential mine-field. It would have to be cast very, very carefully (which is why this morning's touting of Kris Marshall as the main contender made me scream and shudder) and the writing would also have to be done very carefully. Frankly, I think it's a balancing act they're going to fail on no matter what they do.

If they write the usual Doctor-companion dynamic, with the Doctor given lead hero/authority status and companion asking questions/pushing plot forward by interacting with aliens-of-the-week/being the cipher for the Doctor's solutions, then a certain group of fans are going to complain because the male companion seems "weak". He's not a good role model for the young boys. Etc.

They'll claim Doctor is an aggressive and over-assertive you know what, even though she's doing exactly what she's always done.

If the writers make those roles close to what that group of fans think of as 'equal', all the women watching will cringe at the way the Doctor is overruled, spoken over, and not listened to until her male companion reframes her plan in his words. We'll be questioning why the Doctor suddenly isn't the hero solving everything with her brain, why it's the companion's solution that saves the day 70% of the time. She won't be the Doctor we recognise.

If the writing is amazing and incredibly clever, they could highlight the way women's contributions are dismissed and their male colleagues are automatically assumed to be in charge. It could challenge that. But it would require some very careful writing and I suspect it would make that first group of fans so uncomfortable that they would make very loud ructions.

Making the solo companion a woman would get past a big chunk of that problem and still give some of the writers a chance to throw shade at the way women are treated in these situations. I loved the way they pointed and poked at racism and white-washing and so on through Bill. I'd love to see them do the same with gender assumptions.

(But as with season ten, it's a theme best used carefully and not every episode, or it gets wearing for everyone.)

(It might also be able to do a bit of heterosexual assumptions highlighting, because I can easily see people moaning about the lack of possibility for companion/Doctor shipping and...dude, femslash exists, okay?)

(Is it shallow that I'd kind of love to see a companion/Doctor combination that I could throw my heart into shipping, for the very first time? I'm slightly confused about this whole thing where the Doctor is suddenly attractive to me. Is this what my friends went through with David Tenant?)


Giving us a TARDIS team of one man and one woman would give us the benefits of both options and, I think, negate a lot of the potential downsides of a solo male companions. Are there still going to be fans crying out because the women are "dominating" the narrative? Absolutely. No matter what happens, they'll shout about that. But the combination would give fans like Dave a male role model to look up to, and it would give the rest of us a hope for a dynamic we can watch and enjoy, without bracing ourselves for something cringe-worthy.

Of course, it all comes down to casting and writing. It always comes down to that. They could cast the perfect combination and kill it with bad writing. They could make casting choices that we all loathe at first and then the writing could prove us wrong.

But I am feeling very wary about the possibility of a solo male companion, and Dave's comments have actually made me more worried about that. For me, it's the one option I really hope they don't go with.

(I'll still watch it if they do, of course. And judge loudly if they get that wrong. And possibly write fic of how the episodes should have gone, if Bill had continued as companion. Doctor Who is the one show I can never stop following.)
selenay: (Default)
2017-07-17 02:30 pm
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MORE Doctor Who thoughts

I've now had twenty-four hours to digest and my brain is still a bit stuck on squee and joy and squee and joy.

I mean, I woke up this morning and a night had passed and IT'S STILL TRUE. JODI WHITTAKER IS STILL THE DOCTOR. IT WASN'T A DREAM.

There was a teeny tiny bit of me that was half-expecting to find out that it had somehow all gone wrong and Kris Marshall was the Doctor after all.

But I also have more thoughts. Some of them I am going to end up ficcing. I've got a Bill and Thirteen plot bunny nibbling my ankles that I'm going to need to play with.

Other thoughts, I just need to noodle through. The first is related to some discussion I saw yesterday about how this should have happened sooner and Moffat should have done it, and I have feelings about this.

There was, predictably, outcry over the casting. There always would be. But you know what none of the butthurt fanboys (and girls, sadly) could do? They couldn't claim it broke canon.

That's huge. HUGE. If Moffat had done it for Twelve, people would have thrown a wobbly *and* yelled about canon. Until that point, we'd had a vague hint about the Corsair and a possible hint about the Doctor being a little girl once (or that might have been something Missy said about the Doctor, I get confused). Someone had to establish, without a shadow of a doubt, that Time Lords can change gender when they regenerate. Someone had to do it with another established Time Lord, so Moffat created Missy. Someone had to show a regeneration onscreen that included a gender and race change. Moffat wrote the General's regeneration in Hell Bent. Someone had to push it in our faces, in ways that couldn't be ignored, that Time Lords are flexible around gender and it's not a big deal for them, so that when we finally had a woman cast as our Doctor, the fans who complained couldn't use canon as a reason to whine.

That's what Moffat did. All that work, which took years, paved the way. He shepherded this in as much as Chibnall, and all that work guaranteed the complainers would look incredibly foolish to anyone with a brain. It was important. Is Moffat perfect? Hell, no. Nobody is. But what he's done over the last few years was important and shouldn't be forgotten or overlooked.

The other thing is that I've seen talk about is the way this casting leaves out fans of colour, because Jodi is a white woman. Someone posted a tweet along the lines of "I cam simultaneously be overjoyed at the casting we have *and* critical that it's another white actor" and that's very, very true. I don't want to harsh anyone's squee. Heck, I don't want to harsh my own squee, because it's so wonderful to feel this squeeful.

I'm also aware that I have the inbuilt privilege of being a white woman, so I'm not feeling left behind.

(Although one critique I saw that totally forgot we've just had a season with a prominent WOC, who was centred a lot *and* got to be a queer black woman in a major role, which is still rare...well, I was glad to see that (white) writer get corrected.)

Honestly, when I was thinking about this, I knew we wouldn't get a WOC. We'd get either a (male) POC *or* a woman. The BBC had to go outside the white male box this time, but it was inevitable that they wouldn't be able to smash it into too many pieces. One of those identities had to be challenged, but not both at once.

And out of the two options, I really thought they'd go with a black or Asian male actor, because casting a woman felt too daring. Too far. A line they haven't crossed yet. It's part of why I was so surprised, so overjoyed, because at no stage did I ever think they'd do this. Not this time. Not yet. For Fourteen? Yes. I had hope. But I expected them to push through the race barrier first, not gender, particularly after everything they've done in the last season to highlight and talk about race and privilege in the text.

And trust me, I would have been every bit as overjoyed right now if that's what they'd done. The only way I was going to be unhappy was if we had another white man in the role, because we've had thirteen of them and if a character can change skin and gender, and it doesn't signify to them, then why would they only ever look like a small section of human society?

I hope they'll cast a WOC for Fourteen. I really do. It's the next logical step. And it really sucks groups of fans feel like they're always being told to wait, that change has to be incremental, because in an ideal world it wouldn't. In an ideal world, the Doctor would have been played by Archie Panjabi or Shelley Conn after Tennant regenerated. I wish we lived in that ideal world.

In the meantime, I hope the TARDIS team won't be overwhelmingly white. I know that I'm not getting Bill back (although my dream is a whole season of Bill and Thirteen travelling together, sometimes flirting, while Bill boggles at her old grandpa figure having turned into a hot woman she can't keep her eyes off), but let's not mess up the progress that's been made so far.

Cast the first Asian actor as a companion. I mean, if the BBC is committed to diversity and reflecting British society as it truly is, then someone with South-East Asian heritage is long overdue. This goes double if they cast a male companion, to ensure "gender balance" in the TARDIS, because we do not need a white dude in the TARDIS right now.

We've had thirteen* male Doctors, let's have thirteen women as the Doctor and have them as diverse as possible. All colours. All shapes. All presentations. No Doctors who are identified as male. No cishet white male companions unless they're part of a big multi-companion TARDIS team.

I think the fandom is ready.

* including the War Doctor.
selenay: (Default)
2017-07-16 01:07 pm
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We have a new Doctor and I couldn't be happier

In case you missed it, here you go:

Yup, I watched the announcement live. I was nervous. I was pacing up and down while I waited and zoomed back to the TV as soon as they said the announcement was going to begin. And then I watched. Tried to guess who it might be from build and gait.

Saw the hand and thought "young, is that a woman's face?"

The camera panned up and I started to get both excited and...something else. I was half-expecting it to be a fake-out. That the person standing there with the TARDIS key would open the TARDIS and the real Doctor would walk out and disappoint me.

Then the caption flashed up. "Introducing Jodie Whittaker. The 13th Doctor." And I might, possibly, have screamed a little bit because THEY FUCKING DID IT.

I mean, really. They did it. There had been reports weeks ago that they'd ruled out a woman, so I'd given up hope. I was almost expecting Kris Marshall after all.

But nope, they did it. Jodie Whittaker wasn't someone I'd seen named at all (although I'm told she was being talked about in a major paper this morning and Tennant had recommended her), but she was absolutely fantastic in Broadchurch so I'm really excited about this. She's got incredible range, she has good comic timing...she'll be able to take whatever they throw at her and do something brilliant with it.

I haven't been this excited about a new Doctor announcement since...I can't remember. As much as I loved Smith and Capaldi, they were both picks that had me initially disappointed because I'd been rooting for finally getting a black Doctor or a woman Doctor. So there had been that little stomach drop before I accepted it and started getting excited about what they could do with the role. Plus, the last time, they did that long weird program that was over the top and in some ways made my little stomach drop moment worse, because there was so much build-up to the reveal.

This time? There wasn't that disappointed moment. There was instant squee. Instant excitement. They've finally gone and done it. Moffat laid so much groundwork for this, demonstrating multiple times that it was a thing the canon supported, and now they're reaping that.

We've got a woman Doctor. We've got a bloody fantastic actor playing her.

I cannot wait.
selenay: (Default)
2017-06-30 08:50 am
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Late to the game, but...

...I have discovered online clothes shopping.

I need something to wear to my sister's wedding(s) (two days, two outfits) in five weeks (!!!) and I've been putting off going out on the hunt because I loathe clothes shopping and usually get horribly intimidated by the shops and the racks and the people, and end up running away with nothing to show for the attempt.

It's a thing. Going with people doesn't help--I end up feeling like the ugliest creature alive and picking the dullest outfit possible in a size too big, because it gets me out of there and nobody has to look at me any more. Then I indulge in a pity party because I hate what I bought but I can't take it back because omg no the shops are scary. Urgh.

So my sis suggested I try shopping online, which I'd never thought of before because how can you figure out what will fit from photos? (Hint: there are size charts. I'd forgotten that.) And she sent some links and I did some browsing, it's so much easier to pick something when I can see it on a model so I know how it will fit and fall.

The shirt that arrived yesterday was something I probably would never have picked out off a rack, because it looks pretty shapeless on a hanger, but I loved the way it looked on the model so I ordered it. (In my size and a size up, obviously, because I am still convinced I'm bigger than I am and the size up is definitely too big if I'm being honest so it's the one I'll return, not the one that fits.) It's possibly the cutest shirt I've ever owned and everyone I've shown it to says it looks good on me and that feels good.

Plus, I'd never have even tried it in a shop? But shopping from home gave me the confidence to give it a go.

So I guess online shopping is going to be a thing now. I've got another shirt arriving soon and hopefully by the end of this, I'll have outfits for both of the wedding days. Plus, I might actually start updating my wardrobe a bit and feel less frumpy by not wearing ancient clothes that are too big for me!
selenay: (Default)
2017-06-25 01:45 pm

Doctor Who 10.11: World Enough and Time

I don't think it's spoilery to say WOW. But I can't say any more than that without going into spoilers, so I'm going behind a cut.

Cut for spoilers )
selenay: (Default)
2017-06-18 05:44 pm
Entry tags:

New Doctor Who fic: Of Letters Never Sent

Of Letters Never Sent (792 words) by [ profile] SelenayDoctor Who (2005)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Bill Potts
Additional Tags: Vignette, Character Study, Episode Tag
Series: Part 6 of Collected Bill Stories (Doctor Who)

Summary: She asked the Doctor once about visiting her younger self and he'd given her a two hour lecture about time and paradoxes and theories about time stability. She hadn't understood all the maths he'd scrawled on the blackboard, but she'd followed enough of it to work out that meeting her previous self was a Very Bad Idea.
selenay: (writing)
2017-06-14 03:11 pm
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Not doing Marvel Bang and that's okay

When I finished Marvel Bang last year, I said it would be my last one. I'd done it five years in a row and last year's was the first one that really felt overwhelmingly stressful, so it was time to stop.

And you know, I'm feeling really good about that decision. I was worried that, as sign-ups happened and things got going, I'd get tempted into going back to do just one more. I've really enjoyed every one I've been in (even though last year's got very stressful due to too many commitments) and it feels a bit odd not to be doing it.

Now that sign-ups are closed I've realised that, actually, nope, I don't miss it. I mean, I've got no Bang-length plot bunnies, so that definitely helps.

But I'm also facing another summer of being incredibly busy and having loads to do, and knowing I'm not trying to write a big fic at the same time is so freeing. No deadlines! If I don't want to write tonight, I don't need to! It's so nice :-)

I'm sending Hunter out to a couple of beta readers this week and I plan to let it rest for a while, so there's no editing to poke at. I'm casually doing world-building and plotting for my next book, but I don't plan to start writing until after the summer busy has finished, so I can do that at my own pace. For the first time in a long time, I've got no deadlines hanging over me during the summer and it feels like I'm free.

Which definitely demonstrates that my time in Marvel Bang is done and I've made the right choice.

Fic challenges should be fun. As soon as they stop being fun, it's time to step back and do a different thing.