annalytica: (Default)
Thank you for offering to write in one of my tiny fandoms! 

I did Yuletide for the first time last year, at which point I hadn't read much fanfiction and didn't know much about my own preferences, so the letter I wrote was largely based on what I like in original fiction. Turns out my preferences in fanfic are quite different!

The major thing that determines whether I enjoy a story or not is whether I care about the characters. If you're writing for one of my requested fandoms, somebody else has already created characters I love and I will probably love whatever you do with them! Inclusion of any other favourite things of mine is a bonus really. So, if you already know what you'd like to write then go forth and write it and feel free to ignore everything below. If you'd like some more prompting, read on.....

I adore crossovers, alternative universes, and really really silly reinterpretations. One of my favourite discoveries on AO3 was Pride and Prejudice with all the characters gender-swapped and replaced with Buffy characters. If you like writing crackfic, go wild.

Relatedly, don't worry too much about getting the details right. If you contradict the canon I won't be upset. Feel free to do what works for your story, even if it's not entirely consistent with the original.

If you prefer  writing stories set within the original universe, don't worry! I love those too!

Some themes I enjoy:
Power struggles, where the rivals are evenly matched, I can root for both simultaneously, and it's not at all clear what the result will be. 
Con artist stories. I don't know why, given that in real life I really hate lying and manipulation, but I kind of love it in fiction.
Retelling a story from a different character's perspective, in a way that gives different meaning to the events. Redeeming villains.
Queer love stories.
Intense relationships which are not romantic or sexual (I have nothing against romance, I just think other kinds of relationship don't get enough attention)

Some things I'm less interested in:
Porn. I don't mind sex in a story but would rather it wasn't the main focus.
Graphic violence

And now to the details of my requests:

Request 1 by Amethyst
Fanny Whittington - Lashings of Ginger Beer Time (pantomime)  
I would be delighted to read a story about any of the characters, whether nominated or not.
A few ideas....
What adventures did Fanny and Basil have on the way to London?
Fanny and Ali some point in the future, being simultaneously cute and romantic and also political, plotting some kind of campaign while snuggling and flirting.
Anything with rats bickering
Osbourne after the end of the story
Request 2 by Amethyst
Ulysses Dies at Dawn (Album)  
Again, I'd be really happy to see stories about any of the characters. The thing I love most about the Mechanisms is the way they bring different worlds together, in this case Greek mythology with dystopian cyberpunk future, and translate one into the context of the other in interesting ways. I particularly love the little details, the passing references to familiar stories, and the way they twist those stories into something new.
Request 3 by Amethyst
Penny and Aggie (webcomic)  
I have a lot of love for Penny and Aggie and was disappointed when it ended, and Quiltbag Comics never quite lived up to expectations. I love the detail in which the characters are drawn (literally and figuratively), the foreshadowing and references back to things that happened earlier in the story, the complexity of the storylines, and the power struggles. For some reason I love reading about power struggles, especially when you can root for both sides.
I could only nominate 4 characters but I love them all, so write about whoever interests you most! Having said I love the complex storylines, that's not something I'd expect you to reproduce for Yuletide, unless you happen to have a lot of time on your hands. Stuff that would be interesting to read about in fic could be ....
one character's introspection on events, perhaps a character whose perspective didn't get explored in the comic,
Conversations about bisexuality (lots of characters seem to be attracted to people of various genders but none of them uses that label and Lisa and Cyndi explicitly reject the label. Why?)
Any kind of power struggle story involving any of Penny, Aggie, Karen, Cyndi
Sara being cynical about stuff. Because Sara is great.
Request 4 by Amethyst
Suzanne - Leonard Cohen (Song)  
God, I love this song.
Favourite lines are: "You know that she's half crazy/ But that's why you want to be there," and "You want to travel with her/ And you want to travel blind/ And you know that you will trust her/ For she's touched your perfect body with her mind."
I'm really interested in the idea of what it means to trust someone who is crazy. Speaking as someone who experiences mental health problems myself, I associate "crazy" with unstable, unpredictable, unreliable - all things you'd think would make you less likely to trust someone. And yet the song suggests that there can be a trust that goes beyond that, grounded in something deeper, and I'm fascinated by that idea.
I don't really get what the Jesus verse is about to be honest but if you have ideas about that you want to explore I'd be interested to read interpretations.

I hope you have fun writing!
annalytica: (Default)
So, there's a whole lot of discussion online at the moment about whether some forms of privilege-checking are actually just bullying. The post that started the discussion is here, and there are thoughtful responses here , here and here

The thrust of the original article (which was also reprinted in the Guardian) is that, in an online culture which encourages people to speak up if they consider someone else's behaviour or language to be marginalising an oppressed group, some people are using this as an excuse to show off how righteous they are and pounce on every mistake. The author describes this as "performance art privilege checking" and argues that it's essentially bullying and doesn't actually further the cause of social justice so much as it boosts that person's ego, by giving them a chance to shout "I'm right and you're wrong!" in a public place.

I don't want to get too much into the motivations of people who shout at other people on the internet. I think part of the problem with this article is that the author is trying to second-guess what people's intentions might be. As a moderator/editor, she has to make judgments about which comments to allow and which to delete, and she might feel that some are not conducive to the kind of discussion she wants to encourage, and choose to delete them. Perhaps she feels better doing that if she believes the person was only engaging in "performance art" anyway - but the fact is she doesn't know that. It's better to own your reasons for making a choice than to try to excuse it by just making assumptions about other people's motivations.

What I think it is important to acknowledge is the effects these kinds of interactions have. Often in these conversations, everyone involved is marginalised in some way, everyone has experienced being shouted down and told they are not allowed to speak. And if the way you get someone to be quiet is by  tapping into their own vulnerabilities by reproducing the behaviour of their oppressors - well, maybe your anger is justified, but so is theirs. Often people argue that being called out on your privilege may be hard, but it's nowhere near as hard as being oppressed. But if the manner of calling someone out looks suspiciously similar to abusive behaviour they've experienced in other contexts, who's to say that isn't just as bad as whatever they have said or done to provoke it? It isn't always possible to compartmentalise your identity, so that you can put your own marginalisation to one side. My own experiences of marginalisation don't stop being part of my identity just because they aren't the topic under discussion. 

Trigger warning - discussion of verbal abuse )

I wrote a post here a couple of years ago when I was struggling to get to grips with the "rules" of anti-oppression spaces. The post is about the difficulty of not knowing which side of the privileged/oppressed line I'm on, and therefore not knowing what role I'm allowed to play in the conversation. Like I said in that post, I'm not trying to get other people to change the way they run their safe spaces, if that's what works for them. But some of the generally accepted ideas about how we should go about discussing oppression and privilege mean that those discussions are not safe spaces for me. I don't know what the answer is, I don't want to silence anyone's valid anger either. I guess it bothers me when tone arguments are presented as though they always come from a place of privilege, as though the experience of getting yelled at for showing your privileged can never, in itself, be as bad as the experience of feeling angry enough to yell at someone who is being privileged. It seems like there is such a desire to talk in absolutes about who is right and who is wrong, and the reality is always more complex.
annalytica: (happy)
(If you are just someone who reads my blog and you don't know about Yuletide, you can ignore this post, or if you are intrigued, read more here:

(I am probably going to keep editing this post and my prompts until signups close. I promise to stop making changes after 28th!)

Dear Yuletide Author,
Thank you for offering to write me a story!

If you're the kind of person who likes to read their recipient's blog to find out more about them, you'll probably notice I haven't updated this journal much lately. If you're interested, you can read more of my writing here:
but only if you want to!

I'm very new to fanfiction and have never done Yuletide before, so I'm not really sure what to expect. I'll tell you about some general things I enjoy in fiction and you can feel free to incorporate any or none of these! 

The first thing to say is that I'm really not going to be upset if there are factual details in your story that don't match the canon. I want you to have fun playing with the characters, not to be stressing about whether something happened in that one episode you can't quite remember which might contradict your story. Also, I would be delighted to receive stories about any of these fandoms! Some of my prompts are longer than others but that doesn't imply any particular preference.

I like stories that focus on characters and their relationships. If I find the characters believable I don't mind if there isn't much plot. You might have a totally different interpretation of these characters from mine. That's OK! Believable doesn't have to mean they behave/think/feel exactly the way I would expect them to. I just like to see that some thought has been given to how the characters might react and why, rather than having them do things purely to drive the plot forward.

I also often enjoy stories that have silly complicated plots, like comedies of errors and mysteries. Complicated plot is by no means an essential, just a thing that can be fun sometimes. If you'd prefer to keep the plot simple that's fine!

Queer readings of characters are welcome, regardless of whether there is any hint of it in canon. (I'm bisexual. Most people assume I'm straight. I wouldn't consider it out of character for someone who has never openly expressed an interest in people of a particular gender to suddenly start doing so.) It makes me especially happy to read about bi/pansexual characters.

I'm happy for the story to include sex scenes as long as it's all in character and makes sense in context. Two exceptions: nothing non-consensual please, and I'd rather not read explicit sex scenes featuring real people unless the people concerned have said it's OK. I'm also happy to read stories that aren't focussed on romantic or sexual relationships. Either is good!

I'm very up for reading crossovers and alternative universe stuff. I'm also very fond of magical realism. If you feel like inserting some magic into a world that doesn't usually have any, that's cool with me! 

This is totally 100% optional, but if you wanted to write a crossover with something I know and like, and none of my other requested fandoms appeal to you, or you just want to get a better sense of the kind of things I like, here is a slightly random list of non-nominated things I enjoy:

Penny and Aggie (webcomic)
True Blood/ Southern Vampire Mysteries
Once Upon A Time* (TV series)
Like Water for Chocolate (novel)
Leonard Cohen songs

If you happen to also like any of those things and want to write crossover, that would be awesome! If not, I'm sure whatever you write will be awesome in different and exciting ways! 

In case you've come to this post without having read my original requests and prompts, I'll just copy them here:

Request 1 
Bleak House - Charles Dickens  
Honoria Dedlock
I have requested Lady Dedlock mostly because I wanted to avoid being paired with someone who was *only* offering Esther and/or Woodcourt. Lady Dedlock is awesome and I would love to read about her, but it's not actually essential for you to include her to make me happy! In general I'm more interested in reading about the older characters than the younger characters. I'd be happy to read stories about other characters such as Mr Tulkinghorn, Miss Flite, Mrs Rouncewell, Mr George......
I'd love to read backstory about some of the older characters, eg, what did Jarndyce and Boythorn get up to in their youth? What was Lady Dedlock like before she became so withdrawn? How did she feel when she first married Sir Leicester and moved into Chesney Wold? It'd also be interesting to find out more about George's past....what is he so ashamed of? Or something from Mrs Rouncewell's POV.
For something more off-the-wall, what if Tulkinghorn faked his own death and is actually still lurking somewhere?
These are all just suggestions!
Request 2 
Jonathan Creek (TV)  
Jonathan Creek Maddy Magellan
I would be equally happy with a story that just explores the relationship between these two, or a story with a mystery in the style of the show, or some kind of totally ridiculous time travel/AU/crossover story. The show is really silly and I'd love to see that reflected in some way. I'm fond of the unresolved, never directly mentioned sexual tension dynamic so I don't really want to see them actually get together.
I'd quite like to see something from Maddy's perspective. If you're thinking of writing for the Misses Claus challenge, feel free to use this prompt as an excuse to write a story that is mostly about Maddy. I'd like Jonathan to feature in the story but he doesn't have to be the centre of attention.
Request 3 
Pointless RPF  
Alexander Armstrong Richard Osman
Apparently these two met at university. A story about them as students together could be interesting. Or if you want to send them into space/ the Wild West/ the Discworld/ an AU of your choice, that would also be fun to read. I kind of want to see them have adventures together. Possibly fighting crime.
There isn't much in the way of canon here - well, you could say there are two people's entire lives, but I don't know that much about them beyond what you see in the show and I don't mind if the story has little to do with reality. Mostly I just like watching them interact with one another. If you're stuck and looking for a fandom you can get to know quickly, you can get a sense of their characters and how they interact (at least in so far as these relate to my request!) from just watching a few episodes of Pointless. There are several whole episodes on youtube.

I'd rather not have explicit porn about real people, unless you happen to know them in real life and they have given their consent, but implied romantic/sexual relationships are OK.
Request 4 
Fairy Tales & Related Fandoms
Any Character
I want to see fairy tale women being active rather than passive, having important things going on in their lives other than just marriage, having significant relationships beyond love interests, and generally kicking ass. I don't mind which fairy tale(s) you want to draw on or whether they are stories I've heard of. Just pick something you like and go for it!
If you're familiar with Once Upon a Time* (recent US TV series) and want to write about that as a "related fandom", that would be lovely, but certainly not essential! 

Happy Yuletide!


 * Note on Once Upon a Time: As I live in the UK, I have seen all of the first series and none of the second series. Please avoid spoilers for the second series if you are writing about this!


Oct. 4th, 2012 11:22 pm
annalytica: (Default)
 This year I'm suddenly really excited about Yuletide (the fanfic exchange, though the season in general excites me too). Every year I see lots of my friends start talking about it  and think "Do I want to do this?", but usually I conclude that I probably don't really want to, and it's only a sense of wanting to join in with what all the other kids are doing that makes me think I do. This year, I was prompted to look into it by the fact that Lashings has been nominated as a fandom, which is kind of surreal. That in itself wouldn't be enough to persuade me to participate though. I guess I'm feeling generally more creative, and also more excited about various fictional things I'm into. I missed the deadline for nominations and there are several things I'd like to see which aren't there - but some of them would probably be too large to be eligible anyway (Once Upon a Time, True Blood).

I've just been looking at the list of nominated fandoms  and some of them are so odd that I'd be tempted to ask someone to write them just to see what they'd do. "The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock" is listed, with the characters "The Women", "You" and "J Alfred Prufrock". You can request real person fic of Pointless. This is a whole new world.

annalytica: (frustrated)
Near my house there are two paths, whose entrances are about 100m apart, and which both end at the same place. One of these paths is very wide, flat, mostly straight, and a designated cycle path. The other is narrow, bumpy, windy and somewhat overgrown. It has signs at both ends saying "No cycles" for the very good reason that there are places where it is extremely difficult for a pedestrian and a cyclist to pass each other. I don't cycle, so I may be wrong about this, but I'd imagine that in most respects the cycle path is preferable for cyclists.

You see where this is going, right?

Why, why, why do cyclists insist on using the path with a big "No cycles" sign when there is a perfectly good cycle path covering pretty much exactly the same route? Sometimes I point out to cyclists that they're not on a cycle path but they're generally quite rude. Even the polite ones continue to cycle.

Conversation I had this morning, with a man who had just gone past the "No cycles" sign at the entrance:

"Excuse me, but this isn't a cycle path."
"What isn't?"
"This path here, that you're cycling on. It's not a cycle path. There's another path, over there - "
"It has been since I was four years old." (By this point he's started to cycle on down the path so I have to shout after him)
"There's a sign at the entrance saying "No Cycles""
"First I've heard of it."
"Well then you're not very observant."
"I'm not going to argue with someone like you. You're not even from around here."
[slightly pointless argument about where I'm from ensues]
At this point another man, who had been sitting on his bike just outside the entrance, right in front on the sign, listening, cycles past me saying "Look at me! I don't give a fuck!"

I could of course just use the other path myself, on the grounds that it's wide enough that I can safely pass cyclists without having to throw myself into the undergrowth. But the footpath is closer to my house, and prettier, and if there's going to be a separate footpath and cycle path, why shouldn't I be able to walk on the footpath?


Love meme!

Aug. 3rd, 2011 03:59 pm
annalytica: (Default)
 Last rehearsal Lashings played the compliments game and it was great! Then I happened to come across this love meme which is essentially the same thing in Dreamwidth form. 

And now I have that song from Fame stuck in my head: Let's play a love meme, we don't need no violins, to play a love meme........

annalytica: (Default)

I have a couple of posts on the Lashings blog:

I'm queer and vanilla which is actually from about a month ago but I forgot to link it here at the time


I'm bi and monogamous from this week.

Both are references to the Lashings version of Hand in My Pocket, which is the first thing I ever wrote for Lashings!
annalytica: (Default)
Panel 8 from Dykes to Watch Out For 371

Two lesbians cuddling in a library, looking suggestively at each other.
Mo: Wanna fool around? I think we're the only people in the building
Sydney: Really? I've always fantasized about library congress. Let's do it in the HQ 70's.

Bonus points if you're enough of a library geek to know what's in the HQ 70s.

Reading this is really making me want to draw/write some kind of Lashings comic strip. Or possibly "Bis to watch out for" ;)

annalytica: (Default)
 If you'd like to open a dreamwidth account, let me know - I have 5 invite codes.
annalytica: (Default)
 Here's another thing that bothers me about the whole "Are asexuals queer?" debate. A lot of the people arguing for "No" were basing their arguments on a definition of queer as "attracted to people of the same gender". When someone pointed out that this didn't include trans*  people, they sort of went, "oh, yeah, and trans people too. People who are attracted to people of their own gender and trans people get to call themselves queer. Everyone else is straight."

But when your definition of queer relies on being able to divide all the people you might be attracted to neatly into "people of the same gender as myself" and "people not of the same gender as myself", you're not actually including trans* people in any meaningful way, are you? 

Queer is deliberately vague as a slur because it's an easy way to say "people I don't like because they're different from me - and I'm not that interested in the details of how you're different from me, or how you're different from those other queer people, because you're all queer and that's all that matters." It's deliberately vague as a reclaimed slur because it's a way to share the common experience of having your gender and/or sexuality regarded as deviant by the broader society.  Policing the boundaries of the queer community through narrow definitions doesn't help.
annalytica: (angry)

If you're here from tumblr, here's the short version of this post:

I am a bisexual member of a queer group which includes quirkysaur as a very welcome member. I respect her identification as asexual and as queer, and I don't regard her as a straight person invading queer space so that she can oppress us with her straight privilege. This is because 1) she isn't straight and 2) she behaves respectfully towards the various queer people in the group.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's the context for this post:
There has been a lot of debate in some corners of the internet about whether asexuals are queer. A friend and fellow Lasher posted a piece on her blog explaining why, as a heteroromantic asexual, she identifies as queer and participates in queer communities. She has come under attack for this, including being told that she is straight. One of the arguments is that, in referring to the fact that she has been welcomed into other queer spaces, she is speaking on behalf of queer people, and thereby abusing her so-called straight privilege. So, I'm here to speak up on behalf of myself, as a queer person who recognises her as queer.
Since a lot of this debate has been about who may or may not identify as queer, I should start by laying out my own queer credentials. I am a bisexual woman in a monogamous relationship with a man. As far as I can tell from what I've read so far, most of the people involved in this debate would accept that I may call myself queer. However, I don't understand the criteria some people are using so maybe I'm wrong. If you don't regard me as queer enough to speak about what it means to be queer, I guess you'd better stop reading now.

Triggers for discussion of anti-queer oppression )
annalytica: (Default)
Yesterday I was walking past a pub with A and he commented that we'd never been there.

Me: It looks like a scary pub
A: It doesn't look scary, it just doesn't look very nice.
Me: I find it scary.
A: It just looks like a town pub, the kind of place that shows sport and serves crap food and cheap lager. Not scary, just not the kind of place I'd like to go.
Me: Often the people that do want to go to that kind of pub are people I find scary.
A: People in pubs aren't scary. Mostly they just want to get drunk.
Me: (gives up on trying to explain why drunk people might be more scary to me than to him)

A few minutes later, a couple of drunk men walked past talking loudly about how disgusted they feel by certain kinds of women's bodies.


A: I think those guys were just very drunk.


Apr. 24th, 2011 10:35 am
annalytica: (Default)
There is a really interesting post here about the way people talk about not having enough spoons, and who uses this phrase, and under what circumstances. It articulates a lot of what I have vaguely thought but haven't quite been able to put into words.

The original spoon story was about a particular individual's experience of having Lupus. Sometimes people who are mostly healthy say they don't have enough spoons when they're really just tired, and sometimes people wih disabilities respond by saying that unless you have a chronic illness or disability, it's appropriative to talk about not having enough spoons. Reading a discussion along these lines prompted me to wonder whether my depression constituted a disability, and whether it was appropriative, or appropriate, for me to say that I don't have the spoons to do something when what I mean is that I'm too depressed to do it, or I fear I might become depressed if I did it. I guess in the context of depression, "spoons" would represent something like ability to cope with stuff.

The more I thought about it though, the more I thought that spoons don't really describe my experience of depression. Which is unsurprising, since they were intended to describe someone else's experience of Lupus, but I do hear other people talking about spoons in a mental health context. The thing is that with depression, I can't always tell whether a particular activity - say, going out and socialising when I feel more like curling up in a ball in the corner of my flat - is going to increase or diminish my ability to cope with stuff. If I were to talk in terms of spoons,  it'd be more like gambling with spoons than spending them. So, generally I don't talk about spoons because it doesn't seem like a relevant metaphor to me.

Obviously some people do find it relevant to them, but the line where it becomes appropriative is rather blurry, and I think farnam's alternative bath metaphor deals much more effectively with the continuum of health.

annalytica: (silly)
When you start typing search terms into google, it has a guess at what you might be about to type and offers you a drop down menu of likely searches. This makes for a strangely addictive game, and possibly the source of some pretty weird poetry. Blame Sally for my discovery of this game.

Google generated 'poetry' )


Mar. 29th, 2011 04:56 pm
annalytica: (Default)
I would like to get my hair cut like this:
Pixie hair
Any recommendations for a hairdresser?

(Edited because of failure of picture to display)
(Edited again because the link wasn't working, which may be why the pic didn't display. Arggh)
annalytica: (Default)
This is what kyriarchy does. It attacks all those aspects of our identities which are not culturally valued and leaves us feeling so insecure and vulnerable that we cling to our privileges like a life raft. Kyriarchy tells us that our privilege is what entitles us to exist and take up space, and that without it we would be worthless. That's why letting go of privilege is so hard. But if we see our own self-worth as dependent on our privilege, it follows that those who don't share our privileges are not worthy. That's why letting go of privilege is so important. As the ever-wise Sally Outen puts it:
"We should be careful not to let others fall through the cracks in our own legitimization of our identities."

Read more... )


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