nenya_kanadka: blue tentacle monster with a heart above head (@ Lemon the Tentacle Monster)
Dear Yuletide Author:

Thank you so much for writing a story for me! :D I hope at least some of the prompts and suggestions below are helpful to you, and that you have a generally excellent Yuletide this year. Hope this letter's not too tl;dr—is 7,000 words too much? enough?—optional details are always optional. I'm very excited for fic in the small fandom(s) of my heart. <3

General Likes )


General Dislikes )


Prompts by Fandom:

Jump to:
The Comfortable Courtesan - Madame C- C-
The Murderbot Diaries - Martha Wells
The Invisible Library - Genevieve Cogman
Mirabile - Janet Kagan
Grace and Frankie (TV)
Questionable Content (Webcomic)


The Comfortable Courtesan )


Murderbot )


The Invisible Library )


Mirabile )


Grace and Frankie )


Questionable Content )


Thank you again for writing fic for me! I hope some of this has been helpful, and I'd be happy to clarify through the mods or whatever if I've been confusing or haven't given you enough to work with. Onward! <3
nenya_kanadka: Cosima Niehaus in glasses (Orphan Black Cosima)
So watching the show the first time, it seemed to take years and yeaaaaars, because of course IRL it showed over the course of five years, most of which was spent pining for the next season (at least for the viewers).

But! In-world, the show took place over a lot less time than that. Because of spoiler for people like Mucca who haven't seen past season 1 ), we know it can't have been more than ten months max between Sarah stepping off the train and "Shite fish in shite lake." Which means that if Beth died in the last week of November 2012 (we see paperwork on screen with this date), the final showdown in season 5 can't be any later than September 2013.

Which makes sense--I spent a lot of time wondering how Team Sarah managed to escape the clutches of their multi-tentacled multinational enemies for so long, but it really wasn't "so long." Less than a year, and they did a LOT of running around in that time.

Huh.
nenya_kanadka: Cosima Niehaus in glasses (Orphan Black Cosima)
WTF, there's a Castor in the first episode of season 2! I thought they didn't show up until the end of the season at Marion Bowles's house.

WHAT.

/things you notice on rewatch
nenya_kanadka: Wonder Woman poster (kneeling with sword) (DC Wonder Woman sunset)
(Bolded lines are titles of Orphan Black season 5 episodes. (Still rewatching--just started season 2. My days of crushing madly on Siobhan Sadler are certainly coming to a middle.) I really love "To Right the Wrongs of Many" as a title for the series finale--and it fits the episode, too.)


To sin by silence, when we should protest,
Makes cowards out of men. The human race
Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised
Against injustice, ignorance, and lust,
The inquisition yet would serve the law,
And guillotines decide our least disputes.
The few who dare, must speak and speak again
To right the wrongs of many. Speech, thank God,
No vested power in this great day and land
Can gag or throttle. Press and voice may cry
Loud disapproval of existing ills;
May criticise oppression and condemn
The lawlessness of wealth-protecting laws
That let the children and childbearers toil
To purchase ease for idle millionaires.

Therefore I do protest against the boast
Of independence in this mighty land.
Call no chain strong, which holds one rusted link.
Call no land free, that holds one fettered slave.
Until the manacled slim wrists of babes
Are loosed to toss in childish sport and glee,
Until the mother bears no burden, save
The precious one beneath her heart, until
God’s soil is rescued from the clutch of greed
And given back to labor, let no man
Call this the land of freedom.
nenya_kanadka: thin elegant black cartoon cat (The Cat Who)
So after watching the (very satisfying) Orphan Black series finale, I'm starting back at the beginning of the series again because I really wanted more of them all.

Holy shit! It's so weird seeing Sarah so wary of everyone that I now know she will come to consider her best friends and sisters. It's so weird seeing Art and Mrs S as semi-antagonists (not that they're evil, but that Sarah sees Art as getting in the way of her plans, and S as "unreasonably" keeping her from Kira, and the viewer doesn't yet know how trustworthy they are). Then to compare with S and Art's scenes with Sarah in the last couple episodes of the show...mind = blown.

And we haven't even met Helena yet! (Mid-episode 3 right now.)

Also it's so strange seeing Sarah as Beth now that I know enough about them to know how very not-Sarah she looks in Beth's outfits. The straight hair, the business-casual clothing...wow. And I care so much more about Beth's story this time around too (plus I know more about why she did what she did, of course). I'd forgotten, too, that it was Beth that got them together in the first place (after Katja looked her up), not Cosima as I'd somehow remembered it. But Sarah-as-Beth is the closest we get to actually seeing Beth onscreen for a good long while after this, until some of the later flashbacks. So it's sort of cool from that angle too.

I'm watching for the first time we see major or recurring show themes, like how soon Kira being unusual comes up, or S's network. The clone sickness was in episode 1 (Katja), and Felix has already met his morgue boyfriend. <3 No Dyad yet.

I may also have snagged seasons 3 & 4 on DVD off eBay, because as much as some of the later plot threads didn't grab me, I love everyone in this bar. And it's one of those shows that I kind of need to own, have on my shelf, watch in future when the urge strikes, remember that someone made this amazing thing, and lend to anyone who will let me press it on them. :P

I love these weirdos so much. <3

ETA: Cat icon! Apparently it's from the cover of one of those The Cat Who... mystery novels (which my grandmother used to send me, having somehow got the idea that I was into mysteries but not that I liked sci-fi; they were fun enough). And so pretty! Not half bad as a cartoon depiction of Kaylee, either. :D More here.
nenya_kanadka: cartoon teddy squees with joy (@ squeh!)
Mucca, holding the cat, and turning to me: I have a serious question.
Me: Okay...
She: WHO'S A KITTY??

I'm afraid Kaylee-cat has just lost the title of Most Cutest after only two weeks. It reverts back to Mucca. ❤ Kitty still holds world record for Best Cat Ever, though.

Kitty is doing MUCH better (further updates, as well as pictures, forthcoming from somebody or other here). Does not like the taste of antibiotics, but they've had a magical effect and she's bouncing around with a far more normal-looking properly healing spay site. Didn't need to take a taxing trip to the vet (so far! fingers crossed!) after all. Out of her cone collar all day today for the first full day, without worrying at that bit of her tummy, so we've left her free tonight as well.

She is the loveliest, snuggliest, silliest little critter. Hilariously enthusiastic about catnip mice. Bemused and determined when faced with the mystery of a paper grocery bag with a catnip mouse inside it??? *pounce pounce etc* Just a delight to have around.

We've named her Kaylee after another small, cheerful, enthusiastic, curious, calm in a crisis favourite of ours. So far no signs of spaceship engineering, but she's kinda into the parks radios, so give it time.

kitty!

Jul. 31st, 2017 02:43 pm
nenya_kanadka: The Middleman makes exclamatory jazz-hands (@ !!!!)
So we ended up not getting the cat burglar cat (Marge). Instead, while Mucca was away in New Brunswick for a week-long union convention, I met up with a cat we'd talked to one of the rescue agencies about, and looked at a few others (in from Saskatchewan! apparently that is a thing they do when there are more homes for cats on the coast and more cats in the prairies?). Settled on the lovely, lovely kitty from Cat's Cradle Animal Rescue. Her name is currently Marie but we're tossing around various other names for her.

She's a very brave cat, because immediately upon coming into our possession, she had to deal with an hour on the helicopter! (Usually it is not that long. Fog forced a detour. Even the humans were a bit grouchy by the time we got home.) She started going at her spay incision site (which had been mostly, but not entirely, healed up), probably from travel stress. Mucca's been detailing that on her blog, but I just wanted to post this ADORABLE picture. The home-made cone of shame + the little stretchy sock (sleeve of old long-sleeved tee) to further keep her from scratching turned out to give her a bit of a superhero look. Mucca's brother says it looks like we realized at the last moment that we didn't have a cosplay outfit for her:

red cone, blue sock, black kitty

Isn't she a darling? Look at that floof of a tail! It's like a cartoon kitty (Aristocats, anyone?). She's sweet-tempered and loving and friendly and adventurous, and I can't wait for her to feel a bit better so she can explore the house and get to play with her new toys (and humans).

Aforesaid brother arrived this morning with a whole kit of first aid supplies for her, including a proper transparent plastic cone. So she can see better now, and no longer looks like a superhero. Probably more comfortable, though!

KITTY! <3
nenya_kanadka: Captain America shield with text "Son, just don't" (MCU Capt America son just don't)
Trying to figure out what order the stories were written for the MCU Rolling Remix 2017 story set--which I'm finding harder than last time, even though there's fewer stories.

I know there's two streams, and I've figured out what I think are the first two stories in each stream. Then there's three stories about Wanda (but I am not sure what sparked the first of them) and two stories about Steve, Tony, Natasha, and a robot, and then one story (that might be related to that one somehow?) set in Wakanda after Civil War (the others seem to all be based on Age of Ultron though).

HMMMM.

Current theories:

Stream One:
Fractures and Echoes
Between Past and Present Tense
Captain America Was Here [carries over the Steve vs Tony, Avengers team theme]
Worlds Apart (Coming Together)
Until We Hit the Ground (The Exit Sandman Remix) [IDK where this one goes remix/plot-wise, but this is the last slot left, and it has a later story number than the others]

Stream Two:
Fractures and Echoes
Paper Wings
Gaze Upon the Glass (a war poem remix) [carries over the grief/hospitals/bedside theme but changes it from Steve & Peggy to Wanda & Pietro?]
Bedside Vigil (The Cups of Comfort Remix)
Rebuilding, Restoring (The Found Family Remix)

Alternately, maybe Captain America Was Here is a remix of Paper Wings, and Gaze Upon the Glass picks up the "Steve's past" theme from Between Past and Present Tense (Steve calling Tony Howard --> Steve remembering other stuff from the 40s).

Anybody else have thoughts?

Story-wise Until We Hit The Ground was really good (or maybe just very angsty, it's one of those days where I can't tell), and the ones with Steve and Tony arguing over how to run the Avengers team (via smashing Tony's robot) were a lot of fun. I'm glad Wanda got so many stories, even though I can't quite follow the thread that got from what I think are the earlier stories to that. Overall it seems like more contemplative, even sad, stories this time out, but with a strong team-looks-out-for-each-other vibe, which I like.
nenya_kanadka: commas & apostrophes in sex positions (@ comma sutra)
Or, things people often get wrong when writing people like Nenya. ;-)

1) Red hair: Your red-haired character does NOT need to have ginger parents!

Red hair is a recessive trait... )

But on television, soooooooo many families are wall-to-wall redheads if there's a ginger in the mix at all. This is pretty uncommon in real life! It throws me out of so many stories. It's much more likely for a couple of redheads to pop up in the middle of some browns and blondes.

So, Blossom family on Riverdale, I'm looking at you. (Though in that specific case, I have to laugh, because they're practically lampshading it at this point. Not only are a pair of fraternal twins and both parents redheads (the dad at least is less fire-engine red), about half the members of their board of directors are also redheads! It's a purely symbolic casting/hair dye choice by now--which, fair enough.)



2) Deaf people & lip reading: Your deaf character WILL NOT be able to understand people 24/7 based ONLY on lip reading.

They just won't.

Lip-reading (aka speachreading) is the skill of understanding speech from watching the movements of a speaker's mouth and face while they're talking. It is an extremely important part of the adaptive skillset of most deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Especially in combination with a clear voice, it adds tremendously to the amount of information a person can understand.

However! Only about a third of English language is visible on the lips at all. Did you say 'shoes', 'chews', or 'Jews'? )

A quick reference here has some of these thoughts in bullet-point form--might make a good bookmark or info sheet.

It's a good thing if you have your deaf character's friends and family face them when they speak! That's excellent. (Please do that in real life too!) But it can't be the only thing. And it's simply not plausible that they won't have developed other adaptive behaviours to understand the world around them.
nenya_kanadka: Reality has a homoerotic bias (@ homoerotic bias)
So after writing 1900 words defending the het ship in a movie from 1945, it's now my third very non-het anniversary. :D

Happy birthday, my love. You've been my wife for three years and my sweetheart for seven, and they have been the best years of my life. I love you, and I hope you like the cake.

(It's three layers, two chocolate and one white, and will have buttercream frosting + strawberries between layers, and chocolate + strawberries on top. If it turns out anything like last year's, it will be delicious and amazing. We'll probably make it last until Mucca's first 34th birthday on Saturday, too.)

nenya_kanadka: rubber stamp text: "complete and utter bullshit" (@ bullshit)
Rewatched Spellbound last night. I really think it's going to become one of those movies that goes in the queue to be watched again every year or two. Peck is so pretty and Bergman is so determined!

It's really her movie, too, in the sense that she's the main protagonist and it's all told from her point of view. And pretty much from the moment she opens her mouth in the first scene where her male coworker is trying to get her to soften up to his romantic advances and she's like "Lol, no," I just really like Dr. Constance Peterson. (He tells her she's too cold and cerebral, and she asks if he's buttering her up; he says her "lack of emotion" is "fatal for her as a woman" and a doctor, and she says yes, yes, she's heard that from any number of amorous psychiatrists who toootally want to make her a better doctor. :D)

And she's the one who takes action to find out what's wrong with Ballantyne and try to get him some psychological help before the police lock him in the slammer. She's the one trying to figure out WTF is going on (while Gregory Peck is intermittently collapsing, staring off into space, being grouchy as fuck, or looking attractively dishevelled). And she doesn't give up. Not just because Peck is hot (though she certainly thinks so) but because she believes in his innocence and she isn't satisfied with the explanations she's getting. And then they get a happy ending, entirely due to her efforts, and Peck swoons a little less but still canonically "madly adores" her and thinks she's "brilliant."

So, I like her. She's cool. Bergman is hot. She gets the hot woobie. Very nice.

But then of course I run across someone being Wrong On The Internet about her. Okay, maybe Wrong In A Book? I was googling around to see if anyone had any opinions on Peck's more slashy roles, and came across some essay in a book on Google Books1. Some kind of "queering the text" analysis of Hitchcock movies. And oh boy, are they wrong!

cut for Spellbound spoilers )


It all starts to remind me of fans who decide that a female character has gotten in the way of their slash ship, so she must be a huge raging bitch (and that plant in the corner proves their faves are doing it). Or people who see an advertisement that features a beautiful, sexualized, perhaps vulnerable man, and go, "Oh wow! That's really homoerotic!" without stopping to think that, wait, straight and bi women just might have some interest in male beauty. Halfway through reading this thing, I said to myself, "Good lord. Some people just REALLY can't handle women being in charge." Women can't be assertive or take the lead role, especially not in a het relationship! No, there has to be some other explanation. He's gay. She's an alien agent of patriarchy. (I never did figure out why that was supposedly the case here.) Something. Anything, to prove a woman can't be the knight in shining armor.

I'm queer. I'm also a woman who really appreciates active female protagonists. I also enjoy a good dose of beautiful man occasionally, and if he's a little vulnerable along with his gorgeous broad shoulders and deep brown eyes and delicious ruffle-able hair, all the better. (I might, too, have a carefully-nursed pet peeve about how alpha male heroes are so much more common than dominant women and their pretty boy-toys in het romance.) I'm a m-slasher and a fem-slasher as long as the day is long. But it really gets my goat when people take a female hero I love and pretend all the awesome things about her don't exist.

Dr. Constance Peterson: brilliant, determined, gets the hot boy. And badly-conceived meta can go fuck off.


_________________________

(1) I've lost the link now, but I think it was for something called "Intimate Violence." I'm not opposed to queer theory generally, but just as I sometimes disagree with queer fandom meta, I had huge issues with this particular iteration of queer theory. It really felt like they were trying to force the facts to fit the thesis ("someone in this movie is queer and being oppressed by a straight woman, I just know it!") rather than the reverse.

(2) Even the 18-year-old son of Mucca's assistant lightkeeper feels that Guns of Navarone is pretty damn gay.
nenya_kanadka: Bag End, looking out the front door (LOTR Bag End)
I found this in my quote file this week. It's something that helped patch my heart back together at a time when I thought I was awful and everything would be horrible forever.

(I think Francie Chisholm should have read it, too.)


You have not danced so badly, my dear,
Trying to hold hands with the Beautiful One.

You have waltzed with great style,
My sweet, crushed angel,
To have ever neared God's Heart at all.

Our Partner is notoriously difficult to follow,
And even His best musicians are not always easy
To hear.

So what if the music has stopped for a while.

So what
If the price of admission to the Divine
Is out of reach tonight.

So what, my dear,
If you do not have the ante to gamble for Real Love.

The mind and body are famous
For holding the heart ransom,
But Hafiz knows the Beloved's eternal habits.

Have patience,
For He will not be able to resist your longing
For long.

You have not danced so badly, my dear,
Trying to kiss the Beautiful One.

You have actually waltzed with tremendous style,
O my sweet,
Oh my sweet, crushed angel.


-- Hafiz of Shiraz