PLEASE NOTE: MY SIGN-UP ON AO3 LOOKS ENTIRELY DIFFERENT TO THIS LETTER, BECAUSE THE TAGSET DOESN'T SEEM TO OFFER THE THINGS THAT I WANT; IF THIS STATE OF TAGSET AFFAIRS CONTINUES, I WILL NOT BE PARTICIPATING.
IF THINGS ARE FIXED, THEN I'LL ADJUST THE SIGN-UP ACCORDINGLY.
Welcome to my Dear Author letter for marvelismarvel, wherein I try to give you a snapshot of the kind of stuff I like, and which you are welcome to take as gospel (although I don’t recommend it), consider as guidelines (rather than rules), or simply read as an exercise in curiosity (entirely acceptable).
Do Not Wants:
- non-con, dubcon
- fridged women
- in sex: wet, messy, dirty, bodily fluids, guro
- pairings I haven’t asked for (even in the background)
- men dominating the narrative
- unhappy/depressing endings
- female-driven narratives
- non stereotypically-feminine female characters
- action, dialogue, conversation, crisis/conflict, resolution
- show, don’t tell
- friendships/romances that are respectful of difference
( letter in progress )
All these ideas are, ultimately, optional. If they speak to you, then well and good. If they don’t speak to you, then go with the fandom, character, and relationships that we matched on, and it’ll be fine!
⌈ Secret Post #3940 ⌋
Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.
( More! )
Secrets Left to Post: 01 pages, 25 secrets from Secret Submission Post #564.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
(Resurrecting a post that’s been sitting in the Drafts folder for almost 2 years now, and testing a new crossposting plugin at the same time.)
We are not social people. Well, okay, we’re selectively social. We have our groups of friends that we see now and then, but we don’t generally seek out new acquaintances. This will become important in a bit.
But we do like to cook. When looking for things to do on this trip, Stephanie found this cooking class that covers several Japanese dishes, and includes a main dish of actual Kobe beef. We figured, “Sounds cool!” and signed up.
( Read more... )
“Relax, Syn,” he told her. “It’s just a ghost picking up his carry-out order.”
His sister rolled her eyes.
“Sure, Marshall,” she said. “And when I turn around to look, you bogart the rest of the egg rolls. Try again.”
“Don’t believe me then,” he said. “I don’t care. I mean, there’s a giant floating bag of shrimp crackers passing behind you, but I guess that’s fine.”
Syndi glared at him. Marshall went back to eating his chow mein, striving to project an air of unconcern over the steaming forkfuls of noodles.
“Mars, don’t taunt your sister,” said Edgar, his tone mild. “Obviously the hovering rice bowls are part of some new marketing ploy.”
“What?” said Syndi, twisting in her chair to see. Her father promptly slid the plate of egg rolls over to his side of the table, winking at Marshall as he did so.
“Hey!” Syndi protested, catching the movement from the corner of her eye. She spun back to face them, stabbed wildly with her chopsticks and succeeded in recapturing the two fattest rolls.
“Just order another portion, you three,” said Marilyn, even as she manoeuvred the plate towards her own place setting with practised stealth.
As the laughter rose around him, Marshall watched the heavy brown paper sack of carry-out glide through the air and out through the front door. He sighed.
Then he looked down at his plate. His egg roll was gone.
( Read the rest of the Teller Family History here )
Widowmaker brought herself in from the cold, one day, exchanging a list of Talon agents for sanctuary, and at first couldn't or wouldn't say why. Her first breakthrough in explaining herself came in a talk with Lena Oxton, who then helped her break through Angela Ziegler's insistence that Widowmaker was not really a person, and that Amélie Lacroix could yet be recovered. But despite that truth, sometimes, some of Amélie's last memories - mostly but not always tightly compartmentalised away - trouble the spider, and this is one of those times.
This is the sixth in a series of stories set in the It is Not Easy to Explain, She Said continuity, a timeline largely compliant with known canon as of July 2017 (pre-Doomfist/Masquerade), which is when I wrote and posted the first story. It is not part of the on overcoming the fear of spiders AU.
"Do you remember what it was like?"
Lena held Widowmaker's hand, gently, as they sat together, otherwise alone, mid-afternoon, in the smaller canteen at Gibraltar. She drank tea, cream, two sugars. Her counterpart drank obscenely hot coffee, unsweetened, strong, and dark.
For the most part, Amélie's memories stayed safely in their place, out of Widowmaker's way, but there were a few, occasionally, at the border between her birth and the previous woman's death, that picked at her, at times. Dr. Ziegler suggested that was because of the emotions around them - emotions could, perhaps, last long enough, even if the thoughts themselves didn't, to become Widowmaker's emotions as well.
"A little," said the former Talon assassin, after some delay. "Not very much, thankfully. I do not think she was making new memories very well, by then. But there are some."
Lena shuddered a little. "I can't even imagine it."
Widowmaker shook her head. "For her, it was not even the fear of it happening. It was..." She pondered a moment. "It is not easy to explain."
"I can't imagine it would be."
"She would feel, and think, one way, one thing, and then, she would find herself thinking another way, a different thing, a thing like I would think, sometimes, but she would be thinking it, and not me. And sometimes it would be something neither of us would think, but something they very much wanted her to think. And she would believe what she thought, and what she felt, but she would know, she would remember, moments before, thinking very differently about the same thing."
"And she'd fight it," assumed Tracer, "and that would hurt."
"No - but yes? Both would feel like it was her. There was nothing for her to fight. But the difference in the two... that, she found horrifying."
Lena let out a long breathy hoo sound, and took another sip of her tea, before continuing. "So they were making her think... their thoughts, then."
"My thoughts, at least, at times." She leaned her elbows against the table. "Or, to be more correct, the kind of thoughts they wanted me to think. About... how lovely, how beautiful, how perfect it would be when they put her back, and she killed Gérard. And she would believe it, because she could already feel it." The assassin smiled. "As I do, when I kill."
Tracer shuddered. She knew, she knew that the assassin enjoyed her kills - that for a long time, it had been all she lived for. But making Amélie feel that, and Amélie knowing they made her feel that... "Was it you, then? When they did it?" she asked, hoping for an unlikely yes.
The blue assassin laughed, a sound that still made Lena's heart ring every time it happened, no matter the context. "No. I could hardly have imitated Amélie so well for so long. I'd've been discovered, almost immediately. No - it was still her." She took a sip of her coffee. It had cooled a bit, but remained hot enough for her tastes. "That's why it took her two weeks to strike."
"So in the end..." the teleporter said, voice distant in her own ears, "Amélie killed Gérard. And enjoyed it."
Widowmaker nodded. "In a way. They were never above to achieve everything they wanted with her, but they were able to recondition her enough to kill - at least, for a time. And so, she assassinated Gérard, but being torn between the grief and the guilt and the ecstasy..." She shook her head. "That all but shattered her. When she returned, as programmed, they took her apart completely. And built me."
"But you feel some of her... emotions, from then? Her conflict?"
"I do," she said, a tinge of sadness in her voice. She put down her cup. "It was the only death about which I felt conflicted, until Mondatta, and the fight with you."
Lena put a third sugar in her tea. She needed something sweet right then. "D'ya ever wonder," she said, as she refilled her cup from the teapot, "if they'd done a better job sealing her off, if you might not've started to, y'know, think on your own?"
"Internal conflict as the source of self-awareness? Dr. Ziegler has suggested that idea as well." She shrugged. "I do not know. But let's say it's true - in which case, Talon did me yet another favour. They..." she picked her cup back up, sipped at the coffee, and put it back down, "left me open, on accident, to you." And she smiled again, just a little, at the side of her mouth.
The Overwatch teleporter let out her breath, and her eyes softened just a bit, as she looked into those metallic eyes. "Aw, luv. That's..."
"May I kiss you?"
Lena blinked, putting down her tea. "...you... care about..." She shook her head, just a little. "...things like that?"
"I don't know." The spider shrugged again, this time with something artificial in the nonchalance. "But I am finding I... may. At least, with you. Shall we find out?"
Lena wasn't sure what she expected. Would she be cold? Would she feel wrong, would she feel like some dead - and then no, she did not, she was not, she was none of those things, she was cool, yes, but not cold, cool like the first breezes of autumn, like the first hints of snow off the mountains, not chilling, but invigorating, and Lena returned the kiss, almost involuntarily, herself warm, no, hot, like summer sun, like the last day at a Spanish beach before the turning of the weather, and Widowmaker was just as surprised, finding herself melting just a little bit more, and she gasped, pulling away, panting, looking down at her coffee, thinking, How can she be so warm?, before looking back up at the one who had reached past her eyes of molten gold, and finding she had no words then at all.
"Blimey, luv..." managed Lena, after a moment. "You're... only the second woman ever to make me feel like that with a kiss."
"For me, you," breathed Widowmaker, eyes wide, "...are the first."
"I hope it don't make you feel like killin' someone," Lena half-laughed, half-serious, half-joking, a lot nervous and a little afraid, and if that made more than a whole, so be it. "Chiefly, me."
"Never." Widowmaker reached across the table, grabbing Lena's hands with both of her own. "Do you understand? Never. I could not."
She pulled Lena forward, close, quickly, knocking the teacup across the table, shattering it on the floor, and the smaller woman gasped, startled, but did not flee.
"I do not know why, and I do not know how, but..." The spider kissed the teleporter, again, the meeting short but intense, "...I have found someone I could never kill."
Hooooooo, thought a part of the teleporter, unexpected emotions swirling around her mind, throwing her into responding before she even knew she was doing it. This is not gonna be easy to explain, to... to anybody.
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cap_ironman is accepting prompts for its holiday exchange community prompt pool. Read more here.
"Native-Land.ca: Our home on native land". Searchable map of North America's First Nations territories and pre-colonial histories. "There are over 630 different First Nations in Canada (and many more in the USA) and I am not sure of the right process to map territories, languages, and treaties respectfully - and I'm not even sure if it is possible to do respectfully. I am not at all sure about the right way to go about this project, so I would very much appreciate your input." (From umadoshi)
Death of a Modern Wolf by J.B. MacKinnon for Hakai Magazine
Once feared, vilified, and exterminated, the wolves of Vancouver Island face an entirely different threat: our fascination, our presence, and our selfies.
This wolf essay is really worth a read. I've worked with similar problems here (and know many of the people interviewed for the article), and it really frustrating and sad. Fortunately, our local animal has so far come to a happier ending.
(On a related note, I'll post the quiz answers this afternoon.)
Title: Poor Dog
Characters: Dee, Ryo, OFC, Dog.
Setting: After the manga.
Summary: Out for a walk on a windy day, Dee and Ryo come across a lost dog with a rather unfortunate name.
Word Count: 1488
Content Notes: None needed.
Written For: Challenge 206: Name.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
( Poor Dog... )
(You can see my photos from the event here and from the last ALEP three years ago here.)
While I was there, I heard some wonderfully spooky ghost stories, several of which revolved around faces seen in the topmost windows of the West Family Wash House (1842), shown below, the building in which I gave my presentations and workshops for the event.
Since then, I’ve indulged in Shaker Ghost Stories from Pleasant Hill, Kentucky by Thomas Freese (2005) and learned some more spooky lore from the place. Here is one of my favorite anecdotes from the book, which is about the Meeting House and told by Bill Bright, a former Pleasant Hill employee:
Since I was a bit bored, I walked over to a spot between the two front doors to sing a little. I was next to a gap in the wall benches, facing the back wall. I started to sing sets of three (triads). Since I had spent plenty of time in high school band, I figured that it’s be a neat exercise to try the acoustics in the large room of the Meeting House.
As I was singing, something appeared in the middle of the benches to my right, on the sister’s side. For lack of a better explanation, it looked like a human form, very similar to the special effect done in Star Trek when they beam up somebody. It seemed to rise up from the floor to my height. At that point, the hair on the right side of my body stood on end, while the left side was not affected. I immediately got cold chills, like I had just walked into a meat locker. I just wanted to get out of there. I left the building immediately…
When I saw Randy [Folger, the music director], I told him about the experience and he simply asked me if I knew what I had been doing. At that point I had no idea. Then Randy asked me to sing as I had been singing in the Meeting House. After I sang for him, Randy explained to me that I had unwittingly been singing the “Angel Shout.” The Angel Shout was a set up notes that were sung like: “Lo…lo…lo…” and were sung in descending thirds. The Angel Shout was supposed to call the Shakers to meeting.
This photo is from the Shaker graveyard at the village (1811).
This is the second time I pulled the “TV episodes count too” card, and I want to try to make it the last – because Eerie is a half hour show, I tried to pick two favorites. Despite taking place on Halloween, America’s Scariest Home Video is one of the more humorous episodes in the series, highlighted by a deadpan Tony Jay performance and the general idea of a bratty grade schooler replacing the monster in a 50’s horror b-movie and still managing to terrorize the female lead. Heart On A Chain is one of my favorites because the plot, where a young girl gets a heart transplant from a reckless male suitor and starts behaving like him and being unable to pursue any other romantic interests, feels like a classic urban legend. I also like how it’s one of the few episodes where, up until the ending, it’s left up in the air whether something seemingly supernatural is all in a character’s head. 3/5 / 4/5.
☆ More RL: Augh it's getting so dark so early and it's starting to drive me batty already, this bites. But at least it hasn't snowed again. And the moon was so pretty this morning...
☆ Random music rec: Into the Trees by Zoe Keating. 's another good one for those who like cello music. Favourite track on this is, hmm... Probably "Hello Night", or "The Path", or... it's hard to pick one, honestly. They're all lovely. Anyway, yes, give this one a listen if you love beautiful string instrumentals, and cello in particular.
☆ Signups for mini_wrimo are open! It's a bite-sized version of NaNo - the goal is to write something every day; the amount you do is up to you. I don't think I'll be doing this, because I can't manage it every day (though I'm going to try anyway) but I figured that perhaps some of you would be interested in it.
☆ Speaking of NaNo... hooo boy, I'm not sure what I'm even going to do. I kind of want to try to write 20k, but who knows? 5k is probably more realistic. WE WILL SEE. (Come to think of it, I... should check to see if there will be write-ins in my town again. At a time that I can attend, that is. Hmm.)
☆ Tistow: Ahhh so, Elli's started posting it! Finally! Yay! First page* is the only one up for now, but she'll be posting one every two days until the 31st. Fooor those who don't know, Tistow is a comic inspired by Victorian England, with a focus on the working class. Identity will also be a major theme. And there'll be a dollop of magic as well, a bit later on. So, if that sounds interesting, perhaps check on the 31st when the first 8 pages will all be up - or read along as they get posted. <3 (Also, have I mentioned that Elli's art is gorgeous? Because it sure is gorgeous. Hooo boy. If you like pretty webcomics, well, here's one.)