So Busy

Jul. 21st, 2011 08:32 am
azn_jack_fiend: (Miracle Day - Gwen)
So much stuff going on, oh man. Most if it is writing related. We're doing a lot of research into publication and submission now -- we did research at the very beginning, but now we're getting really specific -- and we're almost done. Maybe 1000-1500 more words to write on the epilogue. There's also one chapter -- Chapter 19 out of 26 total -- that's proving difficult to edit. So far, the edited chapters have been basically sentence level, but we have feedback from two sources (amazing beta plus amazing alpha/cheerleader) that part of Chapter 19 is a bit problematic in terms of structure and pacing. We need to cut part of it and recast some of the beginning, but deciding on which parts to cut is tough. The eternal lament, and I'm sure many of you can relate.

On the plus side? That's only one problem chapter. Also, I've been downloading into Scrivener, and we're looking at the equivalent of a 312-page paperback. The synopsis is going to be fairly easy to write based on our detailed chapter breakdowns. The structure is rock solid, the pacing is exciting and there is no filler. The setting is fucking awesome and I have to say, the balance it strikes between reality and mystery is better than pretty much any urban fantasy I've ever read (though I'm not including the New Weird writers in that, I think they're a different league altogether).

I have some ideas for little MD fic as well: drabbles and so on. I'd like to do something grim and comic for Rex/Lyn. But I haven't been reading much fic in the last few weeks because so much of my energy has gone into the novel. I really want to catch up once we're done! For example, I know [ profile] joking  wrote more fem!Nine fic recently and I'm really looking forward to reading that, because it's always amazing.

And more Miracle Day tomorrow, woo hoo. I hope we get some character exploration and backstory in this episode.  Honestly, I'm looking forward to that more than the sex scene... although from the pictures I've seen, Jack is looking damn good in it. And I'm dying to see how closely it follows along the lines of a certain nasty RPF piece a certain someone might have worked on earlier this year, ahem.
azn_jack_fiend: (Asia the Invincible (armor))
I'm loving all the Ep Two reaction posts, but the funniest has been Heather Hogan's parody recap at AfterElton. [ profile] 51stcenturyfox linked to it and I'm going to read them religiously from now on... I even added [ profile] aftereltontw to feeds so I won't miss any. Read more... spoilers )
azn_jack_fiend: (bowie)
First Torchwood on the big screen, and now this?!?!

I own The Man Who Fell to Earth on VHS, DVD and laserdisc and I have seen the uncut version many times. Uncut in more ways than one, hahahaha. ANYWAY. The uncut version will be playing on the big screen in Atlanta in September!

I love TMWFTE on so many levels. Being a film geek, as a gorgeous piece of avant-garde art. As the apogee of 1970s fashion aesthetics (and I am not being sarcastic there). As a Bowie fan. For the philosophy and the portrayal of alienation. For the information overload television scene. For the terrifying atavistic slime sex. For the amazing, joyous gun sex.

This could be one my favorite movie ever. It's right up there with Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, Fellini Satyricon, Jodorowsky, Herzog, Tsui Hark. I've seen other Roeg movies and lots of other Bowie movies but this is the best. Seriously, I'm just about to get up from my laptop and do a little dance, that's how happy I am.

Ep 2 tonight as well! Woo hoo!

Originally posted by [ profile] ziggythewalrus at Great news!

Ok, this is a little late, but better late than never! Especially in this case!

If you've always wanted to see The Man Who Fell To Earth on the big screen, now is your chance! The film is being re-released in the U.S. in all its uncut, NC-17 glory!!learn where you can see it! + NSFW pic )

azn_jack_fiend: (Default)
I cleaned this up and reversed the timeline to post. I love Jane Espenson's off-kilter sense of humor, by the way. Read more... )

azn_jack_fiend: (landlady)
This is my first post from unemployment! It's been a pretty amazing change, and mainly for the positive. I gave a long notice because I wanted to leave on the best terms possible, but the downside was that the last few weeks were almost agonizing as I saw the end approaching. I wanted to get the hell out so badly.  I'll miss a lot of the people at the job, though.

It's going to take a while to get the job I want in my new career field, but I've been saving up money slowly for five years in preparation for this, so I can afford to wait out the whole rest of this year, if that's necessary.

I have extra time for my kids, I do more cleaning stuff around the house (my husband has done the great majority of chores for the last decade) and I get to write. A lot! We burned through the rest of the penultimate chapter last night. I'm really excited about it. Everything we carefully planned is coming together at last (in more ways than one, since it's mainly a sex scene, haha).

I'm pessimistic about developing my ribbon idea for raising awareness of Georgia immigration issues and the anti-HB 87 boycott for Dragon*Con attendees. I just don't think the social dynamics on LJ are conducive to this sort of stuff. I'll just keep an eye on things off-LJ and participate that way and link here from time to time.

My sleep schedule is messed up right now, unfortunately. I woke up at 4 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep and I'm feeling a bit queasy.  I'll adjust. I need to start working exercise into my schedule, for the sake of my back, which is still not that well, although nowhere near the levels of pain I was experiencing a few months ago. 

I've downloaded all the Torchwood radio plays (fuck region blocking!) and I'm really, really looking forward to listening to them. I also got Dance with Dragons in the mail. Damn, it's heavy. The one absolutely non-postponable piece of media this week is Miracle Day Ep 2 on Friday, however. We're hoping to finish the first draft of the entire book by then.


Jul. 8th, 2011 11:04 am
azn_jack_fiend: (Seven Samurai)
When we publish our novel, I want to have an anti-dedication page as well as a dedication page. And the anti-dedication page will have exactly three names on it: Comcast, Cisco and Telus. BASTARDS! I was on the phone with Cisco for two and a half hours last night -- prime writing time -- listening to some godawful country-lite hold music on speaker phone.  I think I finally fixed our connectivity problem, though.

I'm really looking forward to chatting more about Miracle Day Ep One once it airs tonight in the US! Just two quick notes:

- in respect for non-US viewers I'll put anything specific behind a cut. Comments will probably be full of spoilers, though.
- I don't mind if anyone criticizes the ep for being too whatever-y. I might advance different perspective (I am 90% sure I'll love the series) but I'm totally open to new criticism of it, as long as it's not the same old same old that I just glaze over at this point.

I might be watching MD with my mom tonight, by the way! She and my stepdad are the only two people I have successfully convinced to enjoy Torchwood. And I don't think it's because of my persuasive abilities... she'll watch anything that's from the UK and he'll watch anything with exploding aliens.  I'm just not cut out to be an evangelizer, I guess.
azn_jack_fiend: (Default)
Whoo hoo! [ profile] rm got quoted in Time in an article about fanfiction! The Boy Who Lived Forever by Lev Grossman.

I only skimmed the article so far, but it seems pretty balanced. I especially loved the context at the end that shows how the divide between high and low literature is totally historically contingent.

Up until relatively recently, creating original characters from scratch wasn't a major part of an author's job description. When Virgil wrote The Aeneid, he didn't invent Aeneas; Aeneas was a minor character in Homer's Odyssey whose unauthorized further adventures Virgil decided to chronicle. Shakespeare didn't invent Hamlet and King Lear; he plucked them from historical and literary sources. Writers weren't the originators of the stories they told; they were just the temporary curators of them. Real creation was something the gods did.

All that has changed. Today the way we think of creativity is dominated by Romantic notions of individual genius and originality, and late-capitalist concepts of intellectual property, under which artists are businesspeople whose creations are the commodities they have for sale. But the pendulum is swinging back the other way. The particular feature, or bug, of our millennial moment is a double vision that allows us to look at stories both ways at once. In 1966, the year Star Trek premiered, Jean Rhys published Wide Sargasso Sea, which retold the story of the mad wife from Jane Eyre, and Tom Stoppard staged Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which borrowed two bit players from Hamlet. Both works fused homage and critique as surely as Spockanalia did. In her 2005 novel March, Geraldine Brooks filched the absent father from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and took him on a tour of Civil War battlefields. March won the Pulitzer Prize.


azn_jack_fiend: (landlady)
I recommend [ profile] neo_prodigy's latest post on "How to Slash Better"... though I also recommend taking his warning seriously!

I'll go through the points and add my thoughts here and there. I have an unusual perspective on this because I didn't start reading slash fanfiction until last year, when I got into Torchwood. Before that, I knew it existed, I simply assumed it was all objectionable and fetishizing. I realized that 1) it wasn't as objectionable as I thought, and there were already internal debates about what to do and what not to do 2) there were also gay men writing it, and not just that, lesbian women (to be honest that confused the hell out of me at first) and all sorts of people in the LGBT spectrum.  The majority of people into slash fanfiction are straight women, but still, I saw that there was a enough diversity that I didn't feel guilty about contributing to something purely fetishistic.

So [ profile] neo_prodigy 's post is actually a lot more charitable to slash than I used to be. However, by saying that, I don't want to set myself up as wholly virtuous and take a "nyah nyah I know better and you don't" attitude. I'm a cis straight women participating in a highly problematic genre and my hands certainly aren't squeaky clean. I do like to think my eyes are open though. I also have two disagreements with his post -- NOT in terms of his experiences as a gay man, but in terms of logical social equivalencies he argues at certain points -- which I'll raise at the end.
Frank discussion! )

ETA: comments frozen (like I often do with potentially controversial posts, see explanation to the right). Sorry to those who already commented... I'd meant to do that in the beginning, just right when I posted, but forgot! If you would like to express any agreement or disagreement please make your own post and link here or feel free to PM me.
azn_jack_fiend: (Default)
Top tags at the Torchwood Starz Forum

I haven't been back there in a few months, and I have no idea which side did some of these tags, but I've been giggling at the absurdity of the collection for the last few minutes. It's like a surrealist party game poem.

azn_jack_fiend: (Fragments)
I got a lot of interesting responses to my last post, and one I had to respond to in longer form, from [ profile] xtricks:

I also think, however, that your implication about Jack’s motivations is also fanon – we really have no idea what he’s thinking the majority of the time about Ianto in CoE. Only at the end, in his very difficulty in saying he loved Ianto is there a strong (to me) suggesting that, in fact he did. The idea that he has some hugely different idea of social mores is fairly fanon, not canon. He’s been married, his reaction to Gwen was pretty typical UST, he shows signs of jealousy in regards to Rhys.

Point taken about CoE. I don't think my particular interpretation of Jack and Ianto's relationship in CoE is definitive, inarguable, or the last word. I just think it's more supportable than some other ones that happen to be more popular.

However, the idea that Jack has a different idea of social mores... oh man, that's the hill I'll plant my flag and die on! I'm not angry at all; in fact, I really appreciate the chance to argue this. It's one of the things that attracted me to the character so much: the outsider perspective to social mores. It's my fanon, sure, but I think it's pretty well-supported and emotionally coherent.

Looking at Jack's developmental timeline, he spent his formative years in the 51st century, then had a period where he traveled all over, and he also learned how to imitate early 20th century UK/US culture enough to pass on the surface; then he got stranded in the 19th century. He's an immigrant, and more than that, a refugee, albeit a super-privileged one. Like a lot of people who emigrate to foreign countries as adults, he learns the culture, sometimes well enough to pass, but he refuses to learn anything that would jeopardize his sense of self as someone who is fundamentally different, someone who was formed in the 51st century. That's a pretty common psychological phenomenon. People who immigrate as very young children or babies, people who immigrate as older children or adolescents, and people who immigrate as full adults have very, very different identity formation processes, although there's enough of a range that I can't say "it's always 100% this way."

Anyway, he knows the culture well enough on the surface. He knows what marriage means, and sexual jealousy, and how men and women and straight and gay people are so supposed to act in certain culturally-sanctioned ways, and so on.  But sometimes he blocks himself from learning more and sometimes he refuses to learn more.  There's a certain conservatism at issue, although Jack's "conservatism" would be the polar opposite of what people think of as social conservatism. But he's holding on to the old (future) and conserving it. Drawing a line and refusing to change himself past that line. He can't show outside signs of that conservatism -- he can't, say, put a bumper sticker on his SUV that says "51st Century and Proud!" -- but he shows it in other ways, dropping things like "you people and your labels" and also adopting a weird conservatism in dress (the WWII-era wardrobe).

And I think his jealousy of Rhys is more about mortality than anything else. Jack probably goes through stages of wanting a normal human according to some sort of cultural standard. Rhys can have that with Gwen. Jack can't. And John Hart is capable of getting jealous, too... he was jealous of Jack's relationship with his team. 

As someone who loves reading and writing Jackstory, and is obsessed with looking at through an anthropological and psychological lens as much as an emotional/poetic one, I will hang on with every ounce of strength to the idea that he has a totally different idea of social mores. That's the one thing that would probably kill my love of the character, if he lost that!

Anyway, I love laying out arguments for this stuff.

azn_jack_fiend: (Default)
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I'm a Buddhist, though not a Zen Buddhist, and I think this question unfortunately contributes to common misconceptions about what "Zen" is. Zen is not just a synonym for "feeling kinda groovy". As something that involves deep awareness of the non-existence of self, many practitioners say it can be profoundly terrifying. It's more than stuff like this. Just wanted to drop that out there for education purposes.
azn_jack_fiend: (Fragments)
I've run across renewed criticism of Children of Earth in the last couple days, and one particular point strikes me as not terribly valid: that Jack was being cold to Ianto on Day One. Day Three, yes, but not Day One. I don't get it at all. The first time I saw Torchwood, I saw all the episodes in a row, S1 to Day Five, and I didn't know anything about fandom. I didn't even know who RTD was. He was just a name in the credits to me. And what I saw on Day One was a complicated relationship at a really, really complicated stage.

I went back to the transcripts and found the three crucial "couple" related interchanges:
Read more... )

I personally think it's a beautiful poetic pattern that got set up and fulfilled there on Day Four. But even if you hate that pattern, I don't see how people can say that Jack never believed he and Ianto were a couple.

azn_jack_fiend: (Default)
As I mentioned in the voice post, I am a dumbass. For some reason, I thought the premiere was tomorrow. I was all prepared to go several hours early and wait in line in front of the theater for a good spot. Instead, I logged on to Twitter and saw some posts that the premiere was TODAY. Luckily, my husband took care of things at the house while I rushed out, jumped into my toaster-car and burned rubber down Ponce (an awful twisty road) and got there just in time. The tickets were all sold out, but the Starz people let me and a few other latecomers in anyway, and got a bench for us to sit on. But after our group, the theater was absolutely packed and they had to turn people away.

Spoilers. No huge plot spoilers... maybe a 5 or 6 on a 1 to 10 scale. )
azn_jack_fiend: (Seven Samurai)
I went to the HB 87 protest this morning with my family. It was massive.  A sea of people everywhere, filling up downtown Atlanta. There must have been ten thousand people at the very least.

Honestly, I've been a little bitter at the lack of interest here on LJ in terms of immigrant rights in general and HB 87 in particular. I really appreciate everyone who has commented about these issues when I've posted on them. I also appreciate it if you quietly educated yourself more on the issue. But going to this march, seeing the strength and passion and dedication of the Latino organizations and their many allies, really helped me to calm myself on the topic and try to focus on the most constructive approaches in the future.

Here is an example of how people in Georgia are coming together against HB 87:

Atlanta LGBT activists speak out against HB 87 for Saturday's 'March for Justice'

Craig Washington, prevention programs manager at AID Atlanta:

"As a black gay man who has been HIV positive for most of my life, I embody identities deemed as taboo, different, queer, those whose bodies are demonized, criminalized and imprisoned. I do not need to face the same pitfalls as an immigrant to recognize where our paths cross," he said. "Let our chants resound to claim freedom for all, to celebrate the contributions of immigrants throughout Georgia and the nation, to declare that we share the struggle, and that only when we are all free, can we proclaim the victory."

The speeches in the beginning were kept short, and as far as I could tell (I got there a bit late) they were all in Spanish. The last was by a woman who led a prayer that reminded everyone about the "love your neighbor" part of the Bible, and closed with the Lord's Prayer. I'm not a Christian and never have been, but seeing thousands of people all gathered together all praying and crossing themselves at the end was very powerful and sent a chill down my spine. Then we marched.

I had my baby with me, so it was damn good exercise walking miles in the 90-degree weather pushing a stroller while yelling along to the chants. Luckily, the march was organized super-well, and there was a lot of bottled water being passed out.  This was one of the most family-oriented protests I've ever been to, and strollers and babies were all over the place.  My little son learned some new Spanish from the chanting! He almost got down the couplet "Obama, escucha, estamos en la lucha!" (Obama, listen up, we're in the struggle!) 

I feel like my batteries were recharged a bit on this issue. Also, a judge has already temporarily blocked two of the most flagrantly unconstitutional provisions of HB 87, which is great news.

Still, we're facing a huge uphill battle here. I'll list some factors that make it hard for this issue to gain traction:

1. Framing. The anti-immigrant coalition has created a moral frame based on "the rule of law" while obfuscating the economic and moral underpinnings of the law.  In our country, it is not acceptable to question the fact that US-based companies are allowed to outsource jobs, leaving the country to get cheap labor. That's just taken for granted that there is no legal way to stop them doing that. Yet, when people from cheaper labor countries come to the US because of economic demand, and we benefit from their labor, it's acceptable to demonize those people and call them "illegal immigrants". Companies moving jobs across the border and immigrants moving their labor across the border are treated totally differently; the people who are least to blame are blamed the most, because they have the least money.

2. Racism.  Both white racism and intra-POC racism. Not just in the sense of individual people, but also on an institutionalized level, exerting influence on what gets communicated and what doesn't.

3. Complexity. Because this issue has so much to do with business and economics, it's easy for people to think that they shouldn't have an opinion on it because they're not experts on economics.

And specific to LJ, there's demographics. I think most people in the US that are politically active on LJ live in the Northeast and West Coast. Issues in Arizona and the deep south don't affect them very much. LJ is also overwhelmingly female and immigrant rights has never been fully publicized as a feminist issue, even though it should be... seeing all the many, many women there, both as marchers and leaders, made that very obvious, and also knowing how these laws hit immigrant women twice as hard as men.

I'm not the best at advocating these sort of sensitive political issues. I get frustrated too easily. But I'd really like to work more on the idea I had about Dragon*Con. It would go something like this:

1. start a comm with informational pieces about HB 87 and links to immigrant rights organizations
2. have posts explaining why this issue SHOULD matter to everyone
3. make people coming to Dragon*Con from other states aware of HB 87
4. make people coming to Dragon*Con from other states aware of the Georgia boycott advanced by several immigrant rights organizations
5. Ask that if they do decide come to D*C, they help by making a donation to immigrants rights groups or initiatives
6. Send them a special immigrant rights badge or ribbon when they show proof of donation. Everybody loves ribbons!

However, I just don't have the time and emotional energy to do it all myself. And things like this succeed more when there are co-owners, anyway. I don't want to do something half-assed and have to give it up. So I'm going to think about it some more over the weekend, and maybe post about this to [ profile] foc_u  or some other comm to see if anyone wants to get in on the project.

Leaving comments open in case anybody has any advice or questions. And hope everyone is having a good weekend!
azn_jack_fiend: (Seven Samurai)
I'm not a member there, but I do check from time to time, and I read through some of the 200+ comments on the recent post. I just had two points I wanted to make that might seem contradictory at first, but I regard them as complementary.
Read more... )

Comments off.
azn_jack_fiend: (jack/rose2)
This is something I never, ever expected. Seriously, it's just now sinking in. I will definitely be there. I just hope I don't puke or cry. I'M THAT EXCITED!
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