I have been...er. Well. In November, an election happened and that sort of drove me off the face of the world and also spiraling into dismay for a while there. As it did, I'm sure, for all of you who are American or hoping not to die in nuclear fallout. I don't particularly want to talk about it, but anyway, long story short, November was really hard and I'm expecting a lot of really hard times in the coming months, so I decided that what I needed was kittens. Yes, soft fluffy kittens, I adopted two of them, a brother and a sister. Their names are Winnie and Chester (haha, get it?). They are wonderful, erotically co-dependent nightmares. They have destroyed my nice apartment and my ability to sleep. But look how flufffffffyyy they are:
This is Chester:
This is Winnie:
Winnie and Chester are incestuous babies:
Winnie and Chester are really bad at helping mommy write:
"Hey, could you move so Mommy can put her laptop there?"
They are pretty dumb:
But they are such happy babies and I love them:
I got them around Thanksgiving and I won't pretend they haven't made the prospect of living in this terrible world a little better. Then another thing happened that made life dramatically better: I discovered a new fandom/OTP. Now, obviously I am a Supernatural/J2 forever girl, it's not like I'm leaving that fandom, but I don't think it's news to anyone that things have been less-than-inspiring in those worlds of late (though I am actually liking Season 12 more than I have liked another season since AT LEAST 7), and it's been so amazing to have something fresh to distract myself from the real world. The fandom is Eyewitness, which has a canon gay couple, Philip/Lukas, who are the best kind of tragic perfection for my angsty heart. Oh, I have fallen for them so hard. I think I've rewatched the 10 episodes we have about 7 times already in the last month? I watched the series finale On Demand on my phone on a bus home from New York because I was so desperate to count toward the ratings. If you haven't watched it, I couldn't honestly recommend it more. Aside from the ship, it's just a really well-handled crime drama with a group of incredibly three-dimensional characters--even the bad guys are interesting and complex.
Also, I wrote an 11k+ fic for them toward the end of last month and have gotten the most incredible, warm welcome from that fandom. Seriously, I was terrified to dip my toes in new water, but it's reminded me of all the best things fandom can be. So happy to have found it. The fic:
Rating: NC-17 for explicit sexual content between minors
Word Count: 11,382
Summary: Technically, it starts in English class.
Another thing I wrote was this little J2 fic for spn_j2_xmas:
Title: Falling Into Heaven
Fandom: Real Person Fic: CW
Rating: PG-13 for language and comedic violence
Word Count: 3,118
Summary: AU: Jensen is an acquisitions demon assigned to get Jared's soul. Problem is, Jared is so clumsy, he might just get himself killed before Jensen has a chance to corrupt him.
I wrote the above while enjoying maybe the best thing that's happened to me since the end of October, which is that I went on a roadtrip to Charleston, SC for a few days over the new year holiday with some of my favorite fandom people, dugindeep, kelleigh, zubeneschamali, quickreaver, & wildgeeseafter3. We had so much fun, even though for the most part all we did was this:
It was so awesome to have a few days of just fangirl hang-out time. :D
Anyway, that's a quick catch up session with me. Right now I'm trying to enjoy the long weekend and keep my mind off what a nightmare my city is going to become for the next two weeks. I live in the absolute worst place to be right now, but at least I'll be on the frontlines for protesting. I'm not sure where I'll find the emotional energy to fight the good fight at this point, but I know I will. I hope you are all doing well and resisting in your own ways as well. ♥
And now, for my own benefit and absolutely no one else's, the end-of-year fic writing meme I do annually, a little bit late because I was out of town and then swamped with work when the actual new year happened.
Tenneesee Honey [CW RPF; Jared/Jensen] spn_masquerade - 4,951
One Lucky Stiff [CW RPF; Jared/Jensen] spn_masquerade - 4,081
Metamorphosis [Supernatural; Sam/Dean] spn_masquerade - 1,037
Homeward Bound [CW RPF; Jared/Jensen] spn_masquerade - 4,873 (4,704 in 2016)
Tabula Rasa [Supernatural; Sam/Dean] salt_burn_porn - 1,849
Do Androids Dream? [Supernatural; Sam/Dean] spn_cinema - 16,398 (13,243 in 2016)
Origins [Eyewitness; Philip/Lukas] - 11,382
Falling Into Heaven [CW RPF; Jared/Jensen] spn_j2_xmas - 3,118
Slow Burn [CW RPF; Jared/Jensen] spn_j2_xmas - 1,622 (I wrote 364 words of it)
Unpublished But Written in 2016:
Forever and a Day [CW RPF; Jared/Jensen] – 6,185 (1,537 in 2016)
Star-Crossed [CW RPF; Jared/Jensen] unfinished spn_reversebang - 13,967
Shipwreck Between Your Ribs [CW RPF; Jared/Jensen] – 12,854 (5,973 written in 2016)
A Penny For Your Thoughts, A Nickel For Your Kiss (A Dime If You Tell Me That You Love Me) [CW RPF; Jared/Jensen] – 2,094
Total Word Count: 68,300
Fandoms that I dabbled in this year, old and new: Only Supernatural and CW RPF for 11 and a half months and then I fell HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE with Eyewitness at the end of December and suddenly wrote 11K+ for that fandom, too.
My favorite story this year: Not sure if it’s just because it feels fresh or because there’s so little else to choose from or because the response I’ve gotten to it has been overwhelming, but I’m feeling very proud of my Philip/Lukas Eyewitness fic, Origins.
My least favorite story this year: Honestly, I’m really ashamed of my spn_j2_xmas story, Falling Into Heaven. I don’t think it’s bad, really, it’s just not very me. I was trying to write this very involved story for that challenge and I ran out of time so wrote something quick and easy and if I was going to do that, I should have given up on the original idea sooner so I could at least post the cute, forgettable thing on time. I’m not proud of how I handled that, but there it is.
Most successful story: Origins has gotten such an incredible response. The kind of thoughtful feedback we haven’t seen around the Supernatural fandom for years. It has reminded me why writing used to feel good.
Story most underappreciated by the universe, in my opinion: I thought my Bladerunner Sam/Dean fic, Do Androids Dream?, was pretty cool and it didn’t get read much. But I understand why the summary wouldn’t have appealed to people not familiar with the movie, so I wasn’t really expecting it to be a hit.
Most fun story: I amused myself so fucking much writing Homeward Bound, I can’t even lie about it. The ~twist~ at the end had me amused for months.
Story with single sexiest moment: For all the incredibly kinky stuff I tried out in this year’s spn_masquerade, I actually think the most vanilla fic of the bunch was the hottest. Tenneesee Honey with the breathplay and Jensen kind of out of it and possessive. It worked for me, at least.
Biggest story fail: I’m going to say Star-Crossed. I wrote so much of it for my wonderful artist, but life got crazy and I just stalled out and meant to get back to it and finish it within a few weeks. That was in February. :/
Hardest story to make: Origins was so goddamn hard to write. I have been almost exclusively writing the same four characters for eight years now, so to suddenly have to get into another character’s head, and a character who is so much less explicit than implicit in the canon but who I really loved and wanted to do right by? I rewrote probably at least a quarter of that story to get it to a place where I felt okay with it.
Looking back, did you write more fic than you thought you would this year, less, or about what you'd predicted? So much less. I wrote less than half than I did last year, and last year was my least productive writing year until now. I feel pretty down about it, to be honest.
What pairing/genre/fandom did you write that you would never have predicted in January? IF YOU HAD ASKED ME IF I WOULD WRITE A SERIOUS STORY IN A NON-SPN FANDOM FOR 11.5 OF THE MONTHS IN 2016, I WOULD HAVE SAID NO. Eyewitness came out of nowhere, bless it.
Did you take any writing risks this year? What did you learn from them? I know I keep harking back, but after being so safe and settled in one fandom for eight years, it felt so terrifying to wade into a completely new fandom. I’m so glad I did, because it’s shown me that the kind of feedback I used to write for isn’t actually dead. It’s just dead in Supernatural fandom.
Story that shifted my own perceptions of the characters: Well, the point of Origins was to nail down my headcanons and character voices in a new canon and I think it definitely did that. I feel like I understand Lukas and love him so much more than I would have without writing this story.
Biggest Surprise: Writing a new fandom.
Story with the sweetest moment: The 3 a.m. phone call in Origins, I think. If it had been better handled, maybe Dean talking about helping to build Sam in Do Androids Dream?, but I didn’t completely nail down how I wanted that scene to read.
Story that made you cry: Okay, so granted that I wrote it at 4 am on a day when I’d been up writing spn_masquerade fills for literally like 20 hours straight, so I may not have been in the most stable condition at the time. But I cried all through writing Metamorphosis.
Most eye roll-worthy title: I’m so happy with my titles this year, actually? Maybe the unfinished hookerfic, A Penny For Your Thoughts, A Nickel For Your Kiss (A Dime If You Tell Me That You Love Me). That’s a line from Guantanamera and I couldn’t bear to make it shorter because it’s such a good line and I am such a Cuban stereotype but oh well, THIS IS WHO I AM.
Most intentionally telling: Probably both Homeward Bound and One Lucky Stiff. I was so excited to really get to let my freak flag fly in that round of spn_masquerade and finally get to write those two kinks in particular.
Unintentionally?: I guess Origins by default because the whole point of it was to learn the characters & where I stood on them, so I didn’t really have any intentions going in?
Most overdue: I have so many things that are so fucking overdue. If we’re talking only things worked on this year, probably Forever and a Day, which I was supposed to post with amberdreams at some point in 2015, and which I tried really hard to wrap up in time to post on Halloween, but no dice. Maybe in 2017.
This year's theme and the story that demonstrates it most: Not being able to follow through and finish my long fics? Which I guess would make Falling Into Heaven the thing that demonstrates that the most?
Favorite Opening Line(s):
Technically, it starts in English class.
There's an argument to be made for a bigger picture. Billions of years ago the universe exploded into existence and since then every planet that's rotated a star, every animal that's lived and died, every molecule that's fused with another, all of it happened exactly how it had to in order to lead to the first time Philip Shea drops to his knees in front of Lukas. It's hard to separate out a starting point when any of a million butterfly's wings might have stopped it, which is a terrifying thought, except they didn't. It seems ungrateful not to acknowledge that.
But Lukas is a simple guy, and, for simplicity's sake, he'll go with fourth period English. That's when he became aware. However many centuries had been working toward this, there is an exact second you can point to when Lukas's carefully sanitized, bleached-bland world was overtaken by mess and color.
Favorite Closing Line(s):
She rolls over when they finish, wrapping the comforter around herself. "Five more minutes," she mumbles from inside her cocoon, just like she did when she was a bony thirteen year old boy with acne and racecar pajamas.
Dean watches her after, too, when she drifts off in her afterglow, and it's nearly painful sometimes to look at her, to see something so beautiful all over and know that she's his, but that she might not always be.
He has a list a mile long of the differences: hair length, tone of voice, which movies make her roll her eyes, where he has to touch her inside to make her cream for him. But there's one change that matters more than the rest. When he watches her like this, she smiles, and it's easy, unguarded. She doesn't scream as she shakes awake with nightmares anymore. The dimples come more often, her eyes are brighter.
He's learned to let her go, because that's the only way to be sure she comes back. He's gotten addicted to watching his little sister flap her butterfly wings and fly.(Metamorphosis)
Top 5 Scenes from Anywhere You Would Choose to Have Illustrated:
1. Lukas and Philip in the muddy, overgrown church courtyard from Origins.
2. Trans!Sam at the dive bar the first time Dean sees her with the pink tank top and the tight jean skirt from Metamorphosis.
3. Dog!Jensen being looked over by sweaty-just-went-for-a-run!Jared from Homeward Bound.
4. The world Sam and Dean fuck into existence in Tabula Rasa.
5. The mental image of Jared head first in a garbage can that has fallen into a pool cracked me up so much when I was writing Falling Into Heaven.
The things I've learned this year: I didn’t beat myself up over not writing as much this year, which was kind of nice. I had fun writing the things I did manage to finish and took some of the pressure off myself. It’s important to remind myself that this is a hobby I do when I am not at my grown-up girl job, which tends to drain all my energy, and it’s okay that I don’t write as much (or as well?) as I did when I was in college and had a lot more free time and creative energy to play with.
Fic-writing goals for 2017: I have been trying for years to post at least one fic every month of the year, and I have not done it in ages. I’d love to do that. I’d love to get a bigbang finished since I haven’t done that in a few years. And it would be amazing if I finished all my unfinished fics, but LOL, let’s be realistic here.
I hope 2017 is being kinder to you than 2016 was, friends. ♥