labellementeuse: dairine callahan with her laptop from an old cover of High Wizardry (yw geek chic(k))
Hi, dear author! First let me apologise for my appalling sign-up. I raced through it in a hasty work lunchtime just before sign-ups close, not because I'm not excited about the challenge but because I'm incredibly disorganised and just forgot. Many apologies for that. To make up for it I'll include the kinds of brief prompt descriptions I would have included in my sign-up as well as more extended thoughts here.

My usual challenge preamble: It's really important to me that you have fun with the exchange, so please treat my requests with exactly the degree of attentiveness that you need for a good experience, and no more. If what I say below bugs you or is going to, like, mess with your creative impulses, feel free to ignore it: if I requested it, I will pretty much read absolutely anything. With this in mind, if my, uh, fabulously detailed prompts of "fandom and a couple of characters" have already inspired you: go for your life.

But if you're like me, you probably need more information. I like a nice thorough letter, so I write my letter with people like me in mind (i.e. it's ridiculously detailed). It's in two parts: general stuff about my likes and dislikes, and specific stuff about my fandoms. Feel free to read any of it, part of it, or none.

me me me )

Protector of the Small )

The Changeover )

Young Wizards )

I hope this isn't too detailed and doesn't drive you crazy. Please feel free to contact me in the appropriate anonymised ways if you need more or less information. <3 And HAVE FUN!
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (hockey yay whatever Kaner)
The triumph of hope over experience: clicking on an AO3 notification thinking it'll finally be the WIP update instead of another adorable but ultimately unsatisfying 1000-word piece of fluff.

Here are some other thoughts I had browsing the AO3 today that I couldn't share with twitter:
- Eating out and chewing out are not the same thing. It is highly recommended that you do not confuse the two in your writing.
- Why will I read anything tagged kidfic? Why would I make that terrible life choice?
- I don't care what you say, babies do not recognisably look like adult humans. That's just you projecting.
- It's not okay to bring your kid to work and ask a coworker to take care of them all day. Also, your other coworker's wife is not a babysitting service. Why would anyone ever think that's okay? I'm so confused.
- God, I hate it when people in an RPS fandom criticise other people's characterisation. THEY'RE NOT ACTUALLY GAY EITHER, EVERYONE IS JUST MAKING THIS BULLSHIT UP, SO SHUT UP AND STOP RUINING EVERYONE ELSE'S FUN.

Is that last bullet point totally hypocritical and inconsistent with the first bunch? YEP. But hey, I just got real drunk with some coworkers so I don't care anymore. also omg burritos are delicious.
labellementeuse: animated icon with shots from various fantasy novels or flicks followed by "fantasy. what more do you want?" (misc fantasy pride)
I hate to be all looking-at-fandom-like-it's-a-zoo-exhibit but here are some things I learned tonight:

1. There are people out there writing 450,000-word The Faculty fic - which is a sequel to a 250,000-word fic.

2. People still write 200,000-word Harry Potter fic. Also, Queer as Folk and LOTRPS are both still things. (Seriously?!) (Although I have to say that I saw this youtube clip the other day and I was a solid foil tinhat for a good sixty seconds.)

3. There are just shedloads of fandoms out there that not only do I not know about, I haven't even heard of their source (I think they're all computer games and anime, like Kingdom Hearts and Vampire Knight. OK I've heard of Kingdom Hearts but not really. Stuff I recognise but never knew there was a fandom for: Dragon Age, Final Fantasy (many numbers), JAG (?!!!)).

3.1 Someone needs to clean up AO3 fandoms - there's a Weiss Kreuz and a WeiƟ Kreuz.

4. As far as I can see there isn't a way to browse the AO3 by wordcount. You can search all stories and view by wc but as far as I can tell that only gets you the most recent 1000 fics, sorted by wc - and it turns out there are a lot of Russian-novel-length fics for fandoms I've never heard of.

5. This is annoying when you're in the mood I am, viz: "I want to read something between 30,000 and 100,000 words and slashy and I don't really care what fandom as long as I vaguely recognise people but also, the writing has to be good." Any recs along these lines gratefully appreciated, and if they happen to be in fandoms with which I'm familiar, bonus! (This is a massively weird mood. I sort of feel like I could go for some Ron/Draco. um? Please send other pairings?)

6. Relatedly, does anyone have any recs for books with gay protagonists? I just really am in the mood to read about people who aren't heterosexual for a change. Warning, I don't usually read commercial romance novels. I could probably go chicklit if it was, you know, lesbian chick lit. Also nothing too depressing please. *bats eyelashes* ty.

7. Speaking of, a few weeks ago I read Mission Child and then China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F McHugh - [livejournal.com profile] shoelessgirl lent me the former and then I hustled off and bought the latter from Arty Bees. I liked them both ENORMOUSLY and I can't recommend them enough - terrific, terrific science fiction, controlled, character-focused writing and plots, truly compelling characterisation and situations. Highly recommended. I believe there may still be a copy of one or the other at Arty Bees, although I can't recommend her third book, Half the Day is Night, because I got a third of the way in and stalled unhappily. (Not enough sex, probably.)

Huh

May. 7th, 2011 01:03 pm
labellementeuse: an icon of Barbara Gordon with her laptop on her lap (comics babs is aspiring)
So I don't know what to do with this comment ), which came from this post. On the one hand, it looks and sounds like spam. Right? And also the canon is not totally correct.

On the other hand, are spambots really this advanced? Already?

Also: I totally caved and got a tumblr, tell me yur tumblrs so I can follow you!
labellementeuse: a white woman, around 30, has her chin in her hand and a listening expression. (wc: *chinhands*)
I don't think of myself as a person who has lots of WiPs, but in between betaing, cleaning, doing 5 loads of washing only one of which was actually clothes, walking to town and having a lengthy meeting with a lovely woman who knows nothing about the internet but is nevertheless extremely demanding and walking home again, I sorted out my My Documents folder (partly, I still have to go through and do the things I've downloaded - I began in exasperation because I couldn't find AAAANYTHING).

screencap of my WiP folder under the cut )

So I thought I'd do WiP meme. I'm going to do the one where people talk to each other! Because that's fun! Also most of these don't have titles yet, I hate titling things, there's a reason I called a fic "The One Where They're All In A Rock Band" and one, okay, subtitled, "Young Wizards: The Regency AU."

blah blah memecakes )

Pleasant dreams!
labellementeuse: dairine callahan with her laptop from an old cover of High Wizardry (yw geek chic(k))
It's the most wonderful time of the year )
labellementeuse: A picture of the Skywalker family: Darth Vader in the background, Luke and Leia in foreground (sw first family of fandom)
spoilers for this week's Merlin )

I am doing really super well with , I'm really proud. A couple of days ago I wrote a little snip, about 800 words, of Nikita fic; it's one-sided Jaden/Alex and I wondered if anyone out there would beta it? I'm really trying to improve my willingness to be beta'd, so someone in the mood to take a short piece and rip it apart would be nice. Canon familiarity would be cool but I don't mind if you don't.

Anecdote: So Nikita is a pretty small fandom and there aren't many comms. I tried to post a friendly beta-request let's-get-to-know-each-other-and-share-Nikita-writing-tips post in the fic comm, and I got rejected, which! I mean, OK! I get that some fic comms only want posts with actual fic in it. But when you're in a teeny tiny fandom, to my mind the best thing to do is to encourage people who like fic to talk to each other, make friends, beta. When there are only five pieces of fic in your community, so it's clearly not high volume or spammy, and crucially none of those fic posts thank a beta, wouldn't you think it would be in your fandom's INTEREST to at least set up a beta matching/meet & greet post?! Argh. So anyway then I posted to the like main/noticeboard community because it was the only other option and got absolutely no nibbles, which, argh, frustrating! I might try again next month if I've written any more and pitch it in an even more friendly way, but sheesh.

The other stuff I've been learning from being a MiFu: Apparently the best way to get me to write is to convince me I have an obligation to write something. I won't be able to write that thing ... but I'll find it perfectly easy to write something else. So on Tuesday when I wanted to work on one of my YW WiPs I ended up writing Nikita fic, and yesterday when I wanted to write White Collar fic from [personal profile] china_shop's prompt for me I ended up writing YW; not one of my WiPs, admittedly, but the Nita/Joanne college!fic I've kind of always wanted to write. (Turns out the trick was writing from Joanne's POV, not Nita's.) This is a tricky proposition because we really don't have a lot of characterisation of Joanne other than that she's a bully, and I'm kind of hoping she's gotten over that by college; so it's basically writing a Nita/OFC story. So probably no-one will read it, but that's OK! I'm enjoying writing it. I managed 450 words yesterday which is actually really good for me, and then 1300 today, which is EPIC for me. (I used to struggle to make the 1000-word Yuletide minimum.) Who knows how long it will be? I'm hoping not too long so I keep my momentum.

Also today: I baked bread, learned a couple folk tunes, and applied for an overdraft. Very Lady Artist. By the way, I really appreciate everyone's words of support the other day; they came at just the right time.
labellementeuse: Kate Kane (Batwoman) taking off her mask (comics kate demasking)
Yuletide! Nominations are open! I'm so (so!) happy! But guys, I need you to help me, can anyone remember a rare fandom I ship slash in? Because my noms (not sign-ups, but still) so far are:
- Young Wizards (will ask, Dairine/Carmela; will probably ask again, gen; I usually do at least one "any" request for this fandom and then give a het, slash, femslash and gen idea to suit everyone)
- Gilmore Girls (will maybe ask, Rory/Paris)
- Nikita (will maybe ask, Alex/Jaden or Nikita/Alex)
- Circle of Magic (will probs ask, Briar/Tris)
- Batwoman (DCU) (might maybe ask; Kate Kane, Renee Montoya, gen or fslash although I always feel guilty for liking Kate/Renee, like what, the only two lesbians in Gotham must be together? This looked esp. bad in that one scene where Maggie Sawyer and Kate Kane are both in tuxes at a party and nearly hook up. I'm sure Anissa Pierce will be in the upcoming series, ha ha.)


So you see. It's a problem. I have a whole lot of fslash up in there but only one het pairing and NO SLASH PAIRINGS, what has the world come to? I know it sounds ridiculous to stress about this, but I'm aware that some people will only write in one genre and I want to make it nice and easy for eeeeveryone because that's how I roll. Only I can't think of a slash pairing I'm into right now that's obscure (right now I'm reading: Wincest, Dean/Castiel, Sassy, Sherlock/John, and I had a brief kick for Harry/Draco on the weekend. See, I do read slash, honest! This is all very distressing for me atm because I have so long identified as a slasher. I don't want to be a femslasher or a het shipper, people, the writing is so different! Also, there's so little femslash written that it just makes me want to cry.) I have one nom left, someone tell me how to vote?!

Also of interest: pursuant to a discussion at [profile] get__together about threesomes and moresomes assuming the role slash played in fandom twenty years ago, as the ~edgy-but-not-really, lower-volume, and less-obvious-to-outsiders fandom flavour. I would sort of like it if fslash did this as well, but: is the whole maximum-two-characters thing going to harsh people's mellow, or will just get way bigger this year? (IT SHOULD GET WAY BIGGER THIS YEAR, PEOPLE. I would really like to see: Dean/Lisa/Castiel, Sam/Dean/Castiel, Parker/Hardison/Eliot, Neal/Peter/Elizabeth although there's a fair bit of that in fandom, it doesn't really need the boost, the usual DCU m/m/m suspects and also Tim/Cass/Steph, Harry/Ron/Hermione, etc. EVERYONE GO SIGN UP; I barely feel confident writing het, let along threesomes, but I read that shit like it's going out of fashion.) Remember is due *after* Christmas so it won't overlap with Yuletide! What else do you want to do on Boxing Day other than write threesome porn, huh, huh?
labellementeuse: Shirley, Britta, Abed, Troy, and Annie standing around a laptop looking up. (community the human beings?)
This weekend was [livejournal.com profile] get__together, which obviously was absolutely fabulous, and consequently I have been going around friending people. If I have friended you from g/t and I'm not in your fandoms/you dislike really loud people/I said something awful and you were righteously offended/etc there is NO obligation to friend back. On the other hand, if you are cruising my journal post-g/t, feel free to friend me, probs the only reason I haven't already friended you is that, like last year, I was pretty dazed and confused about who I actually met. If you are crossposting to DW, friend me here, for lo, I have many more pretty icons to spam with there.

Some highlights:

- slash pictionary. this is a game I admire so greatly that I often try to turn parlour games into their slashy versions, or at least their fandom versions. I don't really recommend slash charades, unless you think you would enjoy acting out any of these prompts: drawing them was bad enough for me :P (The one I ended up with was "David Brett (The Office, UK) fucks Barney Stintson (How I Met Your Mother) in a stationery closet." I probably should have thrown it back since I know nothing about The Office and ended up having to cycle people through "guys who wear suits" ... and then I had to do it again for Barney. [I tried to draw "legendary." Did not go well.] ) Anyway, my point is, I am really bad at that game but it is so damn fun and funny.

- The G/T Craft Circle. *g* At one point I remember I was knitting (I finished a whole pair of slippers!), [livejournal.com profile] tamarillow (I think) was crocheting, [personal profile] hazel was... also knitting? Someone was either cross-stitching or embroidering and it was beautiful and I forget who it was, and someone else was knitting a gorgeous pink reversible-cable scarf (see, this is what I mean by dazed and confused. Everyone was very very nice. I just don't remember who anyone is.) (I'm pretty sure I don't have pink cable scarf friended and she was super lovely and I would like to!)

- [livejournal.com profile] arysteia's vidshows. These were themed and awesome (and I'm not just saying that because a couple of them were my nominations). There were people out there who hadn't seen Women's Work and How Much Is That Geisha In The Window! And also One Girl Revolution! (I don't think anyone hadn't seen Handlebars... but I really don't think anyone minded rewatching it. :P )

- meeting [livejournal.com profile] blademistress properly! We were both at g/t last year and through my powers of awesome, I totally failed to realise who was who until I got home on Sunday and checked the timetable. (I wasn't expecting her to have an accent!) Since we've been mutual LJ friends for like. IDK. Five years? (lol oh god, trying to figure that out I went back to some very very old posts, and I think we friended each other around the 2005 general election, but wow, my old posts are horrifying. Never read posts from when you were 16.) Anyway, this was ridic, so it was very nice to actually converse with her. (It did lead to the unfortunate line of dialogue: "oh wait, you ARE on my friendslist!" about half an hour into a conversation. Sigh!)

- getting stacks of discs from [livejournal.com profile] dewey3067 - thank you!! - including Sherlock, which I'm already nearly done with and is, yes, super-great (it was very ably pimped by [livejournal.com profile] erilyn).

- the panels, all of which were really interesting (and well-modded - I felt like I got to hear from everyone - I am a chronic overtalker and I really appreciated this.) Some things I learned:
- SPN is definitely the perviest fandom (but we already knew that);
- Lots and lots and lots of different OT3s;
- OT3s might begin to function a little like slash used to back in the day in terms of its role in fandom (i.e. the ~edgy thing that media doesn't acknowledge);
- people have a lot of feelins about DW, the AO3 (esp. current functionality) &c (OK, I already knew that, but I can't really summarise)
- Tennis fandom is adorable!
- So are soaps!

- seeing everyone I met last year - I'm not even going to try to namecheck because I suck but yeah, so nice to see everyone again!

Meme!

Sep. 22nd, 2010 08:20 pm
labellementeuse: Batgirl!Steph and Red Robin!Tim face each other. The background is a panel of Steph as Spoiler and Tim as Robin together (comics steph/tim otp!)
via [personal profile] ilyena_sylph.

Pick nine ships you are currently into and three ships you don't like and then answer questions about them.


1. Dean/Castiel
2. Sam/Castiel
3. Sam/Dean
4. Dairine/Carmela
5. Stefan/Elena/Damon
6. J2
7. Steph/Tim
8. Steph/Cass
9. Rory (GG)/Paris
10. Jo/Ellen
11. Bruce/Tim
12. Dairine/Roshaun
questions )
labellementeuse: grayscale icon. castiel reaches towards the camera. he looks grumpy. (spn castiel goes grrr)
Insta-rec: A Charming Man, a Castiel-centric vid by [personal profile] giandujakiss - I don't get this vid at all, I need to watch it ten or fifteen more times (or read a commentary or something), but this vid is excellent, really well put together. Slight overtones of Dean/Castiel, if you're squinting, but I think you can read it as a gen vid.

SPN starts again in a few days and I'm super-excited! When was the last time I was excited for the premiere of, hell, any show? IDEK. Which reminds me: a post about what I'm watching this season! Gosh.

New shows I'm going to try/am trying: )
Returning shows:
Supernatural
Grey's - Maybe; I stopped watching half-way through last season (Izzy and Alex break up, I break up with show), but they had a killer finale.
Brothers & Sisters - Mmmmaybe? I kind of got sucked in last season?
Community
Modern Family
Gossip Girl - Probably not, but I hear they're in Paris for the premiere and that I do want to see.
Vampire Diaries, Bones & the Big Bang Theory - I'll let my flatmate download these so they don't count against my share of the bandwidth, probs. *guilty face* I've been watching Entourage for the same reason.

In other news, last night I went to bed at five and slept till 8:30 the next morning. It was lovely. I was late to the doctor's, but who gives a fuck? Bliss.
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (steph/cass otp!)
1. Just FTR, this week's issue of Batgirl is epically funny, reminiscent to me of YJ and its slashy, sassy, pop culture loving ways. Overall I have been hugely, hugely impressed with this series. Bryan Q Miller really "gets" Steph and I have been charmed by the way he's kept the book light and funny, while simultaneously dealing with what are, to me, very serious issues for Steph: independence, adulthood, her worth as a crimefighter. I have always loved Steph, but he makes her tremendously appealing to people who aren't fans as well; her sincerity, her good cheer, her terrible jokes, her tendency to narrate her own life, her desire to be her own woman and her awareness of her own flaws - I really think this is the best writing Steph's had since before she became Robin. The first seven volumes of this run have just been collected into a trade, Batgirl Rising; give it a go!

2. Last vid meme post!

Day 19 - A movie vid you love
Sorry, did you say a meta vid I love?

Kill A Man by [livejournal.com profile] zimshan
Supernatural, gen/Wincesty overtones, spoilers through season 5, violence, use of screencaps and stills

read more )

Day 20: A narrative vid you love
Hurricane by [personal profile] laurashapiro
Farscape/BSG, Starbuck/Aeryn Sun, two pilots walk into a bar, sex, little bit of violence

So everyone has seen this vid already, but if my some faint chance you haven't, RUN DON'T WALK.
read more )

OKAY WOO ALL DONE LOOKIT THAT *twirls*
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (katara's feminist rage)
1. I didn't want my radio silence on the terrible fail that's been going on in SPN and Bandom big bangs lately to be taken as tacit consent, so for the record (and in case anyone hasn't seen these): This post on the complicity of fellow fans in race-related fail, especially in the context of a Big Bang fic, I think is really salient. Although it's an awkward, difficult thing to do, especially for fans who aren't people of colour and don't feel "qualified" to talk abot this, I think it's really important for us to tell our friends: stop. I think you've done something wrong there. That's a hard thing to do - but, from one privileged white person to a bunch of other privileged white people, it's also our own responsibility, to notice that shit, pick up on it, speak up about it, and try to clean up our own acts instead of wasting the time of others. And note that this doesn't just apply to racefail. So on that note if you see me doing something and you think I might be showing my ass, I would rather know than keep being an ass. [Of course - of COURSE - it is also our responsibility to scrutinise our own work.]

2. Relatedly, someone in the Young Wizards fandom wrote to me about the Young Wizards Kink and Cliche Meme yesterday asking me to consider restricting non-con or to apply warnings more consistently, and I want to thank her for being a good anti-rape activist and speaking up about this. Although I ultimately felt that I couldn't ban non- and dub-con from a kink meme, I ended up screening and reposting some prompts with subject-header warnings. So first off, if I screened your prompt, that is why, and thanks for not kicking up a stink; and secondly, I'd appreciate any discussion about this (or links to similar discussions.)

3. Malinda Lo has recently written a five-part series on Avoiding LGBTQ Stereotypes in YA Fiction, which I recommend (although a bit tentatively because well, this is fandom. The idea of anyone on my flist needing to be told that there is more to gay men than being flaming and that not all bisexuals are slutty makes me lol.) In the process of that I ended up reading her post at Scalzi's blog about writing a world in which same-sex attraction and opposite-sex attraction are treated in the same way (i.e. there's nothing weird about being gay or bisexual.) Someone in the comments, which are interesting, asked whether it's ever appropriate or useful to write about minorities in exactly the same way that you'd write about majorities, i.e. without the knowledge and context of Othering, discrimination, etc. She compared it to a discussion during Racefail about the fact that having a character who in all other ways behaves as if she is white, but giving her a randomly different skin colour, doesn't do much to increase diversity. I found this a really interesting discussion and I guess I have two things to say about it:

- I think this is a classic case of why discussions about and experience of one type of discrimination, or the lack of one privilege, don't always translate. Because actually speaking as someone who actively seeks out LGBTQ fiction, sometimes I DO just want to read something where the spectrum of sexualities [and gender expressions!] are all totally A-OK and fine and wonderful. In that vein, Diane Duane's Door books should be getting a lot of props (not wrt gender expression where they're fairly traditional: this is, after all, epic fantasy.)

- Queer YA literature is crisis fiction. It is fiction read desperately and sometimes under subterfuge by teenagers who are questioning, lonely, or miserable. And what this fiction mostly is - nine times out of ten, pace David Levithan, almost all queer books written before the year 2000 - is fiction about how goddamned hard it is to be queer in the Western world. Mostly about how hard it is to be a wealthy white cisgendered queer person with typical gender expression, which is an added layer of irony. For quite a long time, in fact, these books all had devastatingly grim endings in which [for the boys, and also for transgendered people] someone was beaten to death or contracted HIV or [for the girls] the crush turned out to be straight and the parents separated them horribly or, admittedly much more rarely, somebody got raped. And frankly this is pretty friggin' miserable. Some of it could be uplifting, challenging, brilliant, inspiring, a call to arms - I don't want to bash a whole generation of queer YA fiction. And I also want to say that teens *do* need this kind of thing, just like they need books about sexual abuse and domestic violence and drug abuse and drunk driving. Teens need to know that they are not alone. That other people are going through what they are going through. And that they will get out on the other side.

But on the other hand. Teens also need romance. They need fluffy, silly, fantasy. They need bouncy, happy fiction. They need to know that unhappiness isn't going to follow them for the rest of their lives and that it is possible to be a girl dating a girl and have a normal, ordinary romance with flowers and chocolates or a boy dating a boy with a million paper cranes and ridiculous romantic gestures. There's this book by Sonya Sones called One of those Hideous Books where the Mother Dies which features - spoiler! - an adult gay couple in a side role, and although the book really isn't about them, I distinctly remember reading it and thinking "at last, a couple with a normal life." There is definitely something to be said for undermining the "monogamous permanent couple with a kid is the height of normal and the goal of an adult life" idea, BUT, as a teenager you aren't always - I wasn't always - thinking of radically undermining heterosexism like this: I just wanted a happy normal life for some people like me.

There are always going to be people - I've read their reviews - who think Boy Meets Boy is a ridiculous book that betrays queer teenagers by failing to represent their real experiences of pain and discrimination. But there are also teens who are crying out for this stuff (many of them, of course, are straight teenage girls, as Alex Sanchez recently pointed out!) Don't diss the happy ending and the happy life: for some genres, a happy book *is* a radical book.

4. Upcoming: three ways the publishing industry made me mad last week! Tune In Next Time.
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (let me define seven wishes)
I made this recipe up a few weeks ago* and it's just been recipe-tested by my flatmate (who did a tremendous job reading my handwriting considering a) my handwriting is awful and b) she speaks English as a second language and c) her first language is Japanese, which obvs doesn't even have the same alphabet.) Anyway, this was a great success and we like it very much. This recipe is vegetarian-friendly, but I don't think it would be too easy to veganise because of the pastry, filling, etc. Gluten-free people: is wheat-free pastry even possible?

*I am not the first person to think of leek and potato pie, obviously. I believe some people also put chicken in, which I think would just be kind of bland unless you used SMOKED chicken in which case it could be delicious. But not vegetarian any more.

Ingredients
A sufficient quantity of flaky or puff pastry, depending on how much time/energy/butter you have, to make a pie bottom and top crust. Or you can just buy sheets. Puff pastry is one of those things that it's not necessarily worth making at home, IMO.
Three large-ish potatoes
Two leeks
50g + 25g butter
Two eggs
Half a cup of milk
Salt
Pepper

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F.

2. Peel potatoes and slice into small pieces - cubes or slices are both fine, but the pieces should be small.

3. Boil potatoes in salted water for 10-15 minutes, or until fork-tender. Drain.

4. Meanwhile, clean and slice the leeks - into rings or julienned are both great. Melt 50g butter in a wide saucepan and saute the leeks in the butter with a little salt (Or not if you use salted butter!) until shiny and soft.

5. Grease your pie dish. Lay out a sheet of pastry over the bottom and press in per usual. (Just as seen on TV, in films, etc!) Scatter drained potatoes over the bottom and top with soft, shiny leeks.

6. Melt 25 g butter in microwave (be careful about this, butter is dairy and dairy goes nuts when heated. Melt slowly on a low temp.) Whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper together with the butter and pour over leeks and potatoes. DON'T RINSE THE BOWL OUT.

7. Top the pie with the second sheet of pastry. Use the leftover egg-milk mix in the bottom/on the sides of the bowl to brush the top of the pie. Bake for about 30-40 minutes - sorry, not so sure about that time, but the top of the pie should be all crispy and it should all look, you know... cooked. (Sorry, there are learn-to-cookers on my flist and this isn't very clear! Never mind!)

This is a really truly delicious meal during winter and works really well to get rid of those leeks you bought last week because they were super cheap at the vege market and then realised that you were sick of leek and potato soup. On the other hand, I find that, especially straight out of the oven, it doesn't hold together super-well and is likely to fall all over your plate. (When it's been in the fridge for a night this is not such a big deal.) This doesn't bother me because well, I'm just not that picky/obsessive about plating. But I know it would bother some people.

Also! A request! New Zealanders! Go to UKTV NZ and vote for your favourite Doctor Who episodes? I really want some people to vote for Blink (You can only pick 3, and I picked The Empty Child/Doctor Dances, Partners in Crime, and Sound of Drums/Last of the Timelords - but I really really wanted to do Blink too.) Anyway they're doing a marathon over the June long weekend, so! If you go and vote you should come over to my place that weekend and we'll watch Doctor Who and eat baking, it'll be awesome. I'll make pie and everything.
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (the other wizards)
Guys, I need some help. I'm writing about how web pages and books are structured differently. It's really easy to give examples for non-fiction (I'm probably going to talk about feminism 101 and TV tropes) but I'm really struggling to think of examples for fiction, especially narrative fiction, because all of the best examples I can think of are, of course, fanfiction. I'd really like to find some stuff that demonstrates flexible narration, like Crysothemis' Fix or Cesperanza's Scrabble; I'd also really like something like Catherynne M. Valente's The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making that includes links to all parts (instead of just before and after parts) on each page, like most Big Bang fics do, for example. (I feel like before and after merely replicate the structure of the conventional book.)
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (raise your voice)
So [livejournal.com profile] china_shop is running Fandom Appreciation Week - this is where, every day of the week, you do a small thing that celebrates fandom, connects writers and readers, etc. I really love this because I rarely write anything and feel I don't give much back to fandom, so it's a chance for me to participate. Consequently, I'll be playing this week as much as I can!

The challenge for Day 1 was to rec three fanworks created for a challenge. Fortunately, this is easy for me, since most of the terrific fic in the Fandom of my Heart is written for challenges. However, I decided to make it a little bit more spicy by excluding this year's Yuletide. I did so because everyone reads Yuletide and those stories, brilliant as so many of them are, should be fresh in your mind. (If they're not... go and make it so.) After some mucking around, I came up with these three, which pleased me because it's almost like a set (theme: devastating.)

Balance, by coffeebased (DW? LJ?), Yuletide 2008.
This is a really brilliant what-if that sneaks a happy ending out of a devastating premise. It's N/K-ish gen that begins just after W@W and I think it's clever and really well-written, with some wonderful ideas that are, unfortunately, mostly concentrated in the first half of the story. The back half gives the requisite happy ending although it is less thoughtful, but I personally like a happy ending on my Yuletide fic.

The Stars Will Still Remain, by [livejournal.com profile] semiramis, Myriadwords challenge 2005
So this is a story about Nita losing her wizardry, and I absolutely love it. Yeah, I know! I think it has a brilliant atmosphere and the writing is beautifully visual. I also love the creeping sense of oppression.

No White Flag Here, by [livejournal.com profile] senri, Yuletide 2007
So, this was actually written for ME by one of my favourite people ever, and it's about Joanne and Nita, so it is pretty much... my Kryptonite. Nevertheless. This is a really terrific little piece about Joanne, watching Nita, watching her mother die. Highly recommended.


And now that you're devastated - um, sorry. Here, have three of my all-time favourite Tom/Carl fics to make up for it: An Unwilling Heart; Not Enough; and Three Ways Tom and Carl Never Met.
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (the other wizards)
Yuletide reveal!

But first, a reminder! My story was Cave Canem, by [livejournal.com profile] icefalcon, and I want to give a special shout-out because I have never, as far as I know, even bumped into her in fandom and she wrote something so carefully catered to my likes and dislikes that it's almost embarassing. It's a truly heroic effort and, you know, props and thanks to her. :)

I wrote two stories this year: my main story, and a treat for [livejournal.com profile] senri because I think she's aces and liked the prompt in question.

My main fic was To Each His Thunder, Rain or Wind, a 9,500-word Young Wizards Regency AU.
Which is really all that I can say about that. This fic is eight times longer than any other piece of fanfiction I have written. It is shorter than anything else I have written, including papers, except for my research essay from this year. I know that it's not much to many people, but it is absolutely EPIC for me, I am SO proud of it, and I absolutely had a BLAST writing it. I do wish I'd had time to flesh out the ending, but I'm still pretty thrilled with it, and ecstatic I get to show it to everyone now. :D

Also, I have to give a shout-out to the village who helped me raise this in my blinding uncertainty: Ilyena, Lucy, and Sarah for awesome first-pass beta-ing and audiencing; #yulechat's Nextian, Spoke, and Sleepfighter who generously agreed to read a stranger's 10k fic and reassure them that it made sense; and Meg and Senri, who wrote all the best lines and without whom I would never have finished.

My treat was Synnecrosis, an Animorphs story featuring Cassie in one of the various dystopic AUs that the Animorphs visited. This is a pretty weird story about the relationship between Cassie and the Yeerk in her head, who we see working together in this dystopic future. I found it disturbing but kind of fun to write!

I also had a terrific beta for this, Captain Oblivious, whose LJ name I'm not sure of but someone point them out to me!

The stuff I beta'd! I don't like to rec stuff I beta'd before the reveal, but I very much enjoyed all of these, so there you go. In the order in which I beta'd them, approximately:

In Most Directions, Water by [livejournal.com profile] senri. Young Wizards, N/K flavoured gen.
This is a terrific story about dreams and sexual tension. Erm, it's hard to summarise? But I loved reading it. :)

The Tale of Prince Gawald of Valdemar and Princess Avasolarwe of Rethwellan, by [personal profile] hazel/[livejournal.com profile] maudlinrose, Valdemar.
This is a really awesome fic in a fandom I have never read in my life. I found it utterly charming and it makes me want to go and read the Valdemar book/s, which no-one has ever achieve for me and Lackey before, so there you go!

Just the Way it Works by Ryuutchi. Gentlemen Bastards, Locke/Jean, sorta, NC-17.
This is young!Jean and Locke hilarity and sexual experimentation, IMO with a really classic slash vibe. I liked it a lot!

Can't Offer You a Wedding by Kastaka. Dragonriders of Pern, OFC/OMC, G.
This is a look into the way Weyrs influence the lives of ordinary people, as well as the movers and shakers of Pern. Really interesting exploration of Pern society.

The Social Contract (Boys and Tigers remix) by [livejournal.com profile] senri again! Calvin & Hobbes, gen.
This is a super, super sweet treat, one of the few C&H fics set during canon (as opposed to being a Calvin-Grows-Up story) and it has a really terrific snarky Hobbes, as well as some terrific images.

Nuns fret not at their convent's narrow walls, by Ambyr. Tortall, an Alanna/George what if Alanna never became a knight AU.
This is great and tremendously intriguing, and I'm really hoping Ambyr will write more of Alanna and George's future adventures Saving Tortall.

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