Single Chapter Stories
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Cooking with Gallifreyans (LJ)
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Sarah Jane Adventures
A Light in the Dark (LJ)
Carbon, Earth and Stardust (LJ)
Going Out With the Tide (LJ)
Walk Out With Me to the Unknown Region
Sapphire and Steel
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Marvel Cinematic Universe
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How to Gather Rosebuds (LJ)
Timing, As Always, Is Everything (LJ)
External Links: Ao3; Teaspoon
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External Links: A03
Most links to my multi-chapter stories will be to their Dreamwidth posts; links to stories prior to 2012 may go both to LJ and DW. Each multi-chapter Whoniverse story is also available at my Teaspoon and AO3 accounts.
Walk Out With Me to the Unknown Region
Hearts and Moons Recall the Truth
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Sea Bound Hearts
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Redeeming the Tree
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Warning - this will be an image heavy post, so it will be going under a cut (and let's hope the cut works!)
When I got back from Canada last fall, I promised pictures. I didn't deliver. And when last fall's political events started drowning me in the deepest of depressions, I promised I'd try to rise above it, at least occasionally. I haven't truly delivered on that, either.
So, before the start of another undoubtedly stressful week, I'll be giving you some pictures that make me smile. I hope you can enjoy them!
These are some pictures taken on the day of my stepdad, Rob Stirling's, birthday. His many kids, two stepkids, grandkids, at least one grandchild, and various spousal units, took him to Lunenberg, Nova Scotia, in hopes of sailing on The Bluenose, one of Canada's cultural icons. As you'll recall, we weren't able to sail, because the boat's electronics chose to misbehave, but the Bluenose's Captain was still able to present Rob with greetings from the Prime Minister, the Nova Scotian Premier, and various other People of Importance. You'll be able to figure out who Rob is; you'll see a boat load of his family; you'll also be able to ID the aging couple (including the woman with the horrible posture) as BB and I, and one would-be artistic picture of the Bluenose's mast.
Here is an admittedly fuzzy picture of my brother Mac and Rob, wearing Chicago Cubs sweatshirts; those were my Christmas gifts to them, along with the copy of the Chicago Tribune that the two of them are holding. I was more than pleasantly surprised to hear how happy Mac was at getting his presents; I'd thought he might roll his eyes and just be polite about them, but he was genuinely excited, and said he was going to save the paper because of its historic value. I asked him to send me a picture, and he did. Cool! It's fuzzy, but it's still cool!
( And here. )
And finally, here's a picture of one of my succulents with a completely unexpected flower. The last time it flowered was two or three years ago, when I got it from my daughter of the heart. I never expected it to bloom again. So that's kind of a great omen for 2017, right?
( And here! )
And I'm 61.
Also, writing is getting less hard.
But I'm still 61.
Faced with further contemplation of all those facts, I am going to bed.
Bonus comment. I have new slippers, about which I am overwhelmingly excited.
See previous comments about being 61.
ETA: Augh. I should have made it clear that yesterday was not my birthday, which was back last September. I was just whining about being old. Thanks to all for the birthday wishes, they will make my 62nd birthday, eight months or so from now, extra nice.
Folks, for the first time since 2011, when I fell in love with fandom_stocking - the only "-athon" I write for, and the one that has given me such joy - I am most probably not going to be able to fill anyone's stocking.
When I signed up myself, I was full of plans; I'd just finished the last two promised 2015 stocking stuffers, and I'd thought that had primed my creative pump. And, as I always do each season, I thought perhaps this was the year that I could focus on drabbles, or at least shorter stories. Plus, I had my vacation coming up, and I'd be able to write something every day ....
Yeah. Didn't happen. I can't even figure out definitively why, although last night I told BB it might be that finishing up those 2015 stories had, instead of priming the pump, run the well dry. God knows, this has been a terrible writing year for me; it's the first time since 2007 that I haven't been able to get at least one chapter of Hearts & Moons completed.
The events of November also have affected me, perhaps more deeply than even I thought.
Yesterday, the day before my vacation ended, I suddenly wrote two paragraphs of something, and I thought, "Aha! Adrenaline junkie time! You can at least get two stories done before my vacation, and perhaps a third one before the stockings go live ....
And then this morning, I burned my left index finger, ironing a shirt. It's bandaged up now, and doesn't hurt too much, but the bandage makes typing incredibly frustrating. I'm down from 80-plus words a minute to, I don't know, 30-40, what with having to fix up mistakes. GAAAAAAaarrrhh!
tl;dr - after burbling about fandom_stocking , and looking forward to it, I don't think I can take part. I don't say it can't happen. Anything can happen, of course, and one never shuts the door, but - and there's an end to the sentence.
Perhaps next year more of us can hang stockings, and I can fill all of them.
*sighs, heads off to the grocery store*
2016 should have been fired about two weeks after it arrived. Unfortunately, it hung around, like that one guy at the party who manages to insult your parents, alienate your best friend, spill red wine on your best white shirt and possibly absquatulate with one or two pieces of heirloom silverware. Bad cess to 2016, then. And possibly bad cess to its younger brother, who is already looking to be the kind of unfortunate dudebro one hopes one's son won't emulate. I do not hold out much hope, I confess.
On the other hand, hope, like that pixilated aunt you adore even as you know you should worry about her, springs eternal. In fact, she refuses to give up springing, jumping, leaping, pogoing, and otherwise acting in a completely unbecoming fashion, while motioning you to join her on the dance floor. I suppose just one sproing couldn't hurt ....
Meanwhile, there are all of you out there, my friends and acquaintances, all of you eminently worthy individuals, each of you having added something positive to my life. I will, at least temporarily, hang onto my pixilated aunt as she pogos around the room, and wish you all the very, very best 2017. You are in my heart, each of you, and you have provided much of what joy 2016 offered me.
So - wanna join me and Hope on the dance floor?
Since many of you have probably already seen this, and helped boost the signal yourselves, I'll just say that a_phoenixdragon , one of the sweetest, most hard-working, most imaginative people you could hope to meet, a woman who writes, mothers, binds a family together with fierce intensity no matter what the world throws at her, is about to embark on a great - and expensive - adventure. As someone who moved here 35 years ago with two suitcases, I know what it takes to undertake such an adventure when it's only one person. Doing it with a family is an amazing challenge.
Here's a link to her GoFundMe page. As she says in her message, it's probably the worst time of year to ask for financial help, but if you can do so, know it's going to a very, very good cause. If you can't, let other folks know, and perhaps they can.
Happy Birthday (on the 20th, oh my god, I'm late, I'm late) apostle_of_eris! I am very glad I know you. You enrich my intellectual life, add laughter to my days, and are, in general, a most admirable creature. May this year be a good one for you, despite everything that it may bring!
Most of them we will never know. God alone knows if we'll ever make our way out there. And God alone knows whether we're worthy of getting off this ball of mud, this little jewel.
So here we sit, turning our world to bloody red, dirt grey, despoiling the place, and ourselves, body and soul. We take pearls, and become swine - or worse than swine, because pigs are pretty damned smart animals, and we, with all our great big brains, are small and petty, dumb in a way that beasts never are, and unworthy of pearls.
Somewhere, a father cradles his child and prays he can protect her; a mother hunts for something to make her son's eyes grow big with joy.
Somewhere doctors fight death; somewhere men and women tear aside bomb-broken walls, in death's way themselves, to rescue their fellow human beings.
Somewhere, a girl creates glorious art, a boy makes music that makes peoples' hearts glad.
Somewhere, someone gives up being selfish and cowardly, even as she is frightened to death of being good.
Somewhere, someone is reaching out to her, giving her the strength, because he knows what it's like to take that step.
Somewhere people are cleaning up their messes, and our messes, too, helping the sky stay blue and the earth still verdant.
Somewhere, someone is standing up to a bully, and maybe even reaching into the bully's heart and starting a sea change.
Somewhere, an old man gives wisdom to a young fool, and a young fool gifts the old man with joie de vivre.
Somewhere, one scientist pulls aside the sky of stars and looks into the infinite, while her colleague peers into the microscope and finds the cure for Alzheimer's.
Somewhere, hearts yearn for love, and are rewarded.
It isn't much, against all the death, and filth, and despair.
But perhaps it's not us doing the judging.
We have always excelled at beating the odds, we fearfully arrogant humans. And perhaps, says the woman who isn't even sure one exists, except at the darkest time of year when she needs one, there's a God out there, forgiving us our arrogance, loving us for it, saying, "Alright, you beloved cheeky monkeys, another year. I can't bear to give you up. I love you."
It's a gift I'll take.
And to all of you magnificent people out there, here's a gift I've proffered before: my riff on "It's A Wonderful Life."
Which should give me a chance to:
1. Decorate the tree that's been standing, nude, in our livingroom for the past two days. Late start, anyone?
2. Finish my holiday cards. I got 19 out this week and if I can get the same number done tomorrow, people will get them before ... uh ... New Year's? Maybe?
3. Tell the story of Andy's tale of woe - stolen guitar, smashed car window - which then turned into an honest-to-god Christmas tale of loveliness.
4. Wrap presents.
5. Cook a goose.
6. Write ALL THE FIC for fandom_stocking . (I have a stocking up myself, and here it is, but that's not quite as important as WRITING ALL THE FIC.)
More, later, after I've decompressed into holiday cheer. Oh, and a martini
ETA: Huh. I can't get through to LJ, ("Bad Gateway") and it's not cross-posting. Anyone else seeing those problems?.
Fandom: Sapphire and Steel
Characters: Sapphire, Silver, Steel
Summary: Bridges can be utilitarian or they can be beautiful. In either case, they allow people to cross obstacles and travel from one place to another - or, in the case of Elements, to break through hostile attacks of Time and rescue one of their own. Trust Silver to have an elegant touch ....
Author's note: Now, just as the 2016fandom_stocking fun is in full swing, I have finally made good on my 2015 fandom_stocking IOU to liadtbunny . I cannot begin to describe the chagrin with which I view my laggardly efforts.
Edited by: the priceless dr_whuh
Disclaimer: None of the characters in this story are mine. They are the sole property of the BBC, Peter J. Hammond, ATV, and their various creators. I intend no infringement and take no coin.
( I have never.... )
It's just that I'm not doing much at all, or at least it seems that way.
In what I suppose I can call some sort of victory, I finally finished my 2015 fandom_stocking stories.
You read that correctly. My 2015 stories. As fandom_stocking 2016 is well underway.
Sweet weeping god of fanfic on a rubber crutch.
Tomorrow, I have another endoscopy, to see if the infection I had in my throat has been taken care of. I'm going to head for bed, but first? I guess I'll upload that last 2015 story and alert its recipient. Who may well be bemused, amused, and confused.
Then it's on to this year!
*twitches, remembers she hasn't even started her holiday cards, twitches some more*
Back on Nov. 26, othermewriter had her birthday. It's been a long time since she's been around, but I hope she's doing well. I always liked her appreciation of Donna and the Ninth Doctor, and it would be lovely to see her again around these parts. Many happy returns of the day to you!
Just yesterday, the long-vanished lonewytch celebrated her birthday. She is an Eleven and River fangirl, and has written lovely fiction and elegant, thought-provoking meta. I miss seeing her here and I hope her life has been full of good things. May it also be full of good things in the year to come.
Today ... today is the birthday of the long-absent (oops; I'm beginning to see a pattern here) spiderine , who I always enjoyed reading for her well-written and often unnerving fic - from Torchwood to MCU Cinematic and Who in general - as well as for her trenchant, often creatively profane, and always well-considered commentary on the world. I hope she is doing well, and that she could observe her birthday with a smile, and with friends.
Finally, I can wish Happy Birthday to the quite present (hurrah!) azalaisdep . After a bit of an absence, this lovely person has returned, talking about the small things that make her happy, and that, in turn, makes me happy (and many others, I suspect.) She has written wonderful LotR fic, and is, all in all, a tiny bit of a treasure. Happy Birthday to you!
And it was pretty much magnificent. Dennis Villeneuve has created an amazing film based on Ted Chiang's novella "Story of Your Life." I have not read the story, but based on what I saw today, I'll be buying it soon.
It is elegant, intellectually clean, unsettling, and challenging. It is emotionally sonorous. It is beautiful. Amy Adams deserves so much praise for every minute change on her face and in her eyes. Every character, human or otherwise is treated with respect and, as a result, acts in ways that are understandable. The music is amazing, the message about humanity, language, love, and fear, and time, and more, are what you make of them.
If this doesn't win a ton of awards, I will be very disappointed.
Years ago now, I met two lovely young women on TWoP; fellow Doctor Who fans, fellow science fiction fans, and fellow genre television fans.
More than that, however, they were lovers of language, and people of faith. They combined those two things and have found a mission, and a path. I don't share their faith, but I'm proud to know people who live theirs.
I hope your Nov. 24 birthdays were very good ones; I wish the coming year treats you well - all the best, mack_the_knife and namarie24!
This world is a horrible world. But it's also, as Louie sang, a wonderful world.
There are children dying in the Mediterranean. There are families starving in Aleppo. There are indigenous Americans and their allies being injured and frozen in North Dakota. There are black men and women, fellow citizens, who are being shot and prisoned here in a country that pretends it wasn't built on the backs of black men and women. There are people who wish to know nothing, and wish us to share their ignorance, at gunpoint, if necessary. There are slightly different versions of this horror across the globe. There is death, and starvation, and dying, and hate, and hate, and hate, and bitter tears, and the silence of apathy.
But there are sunrises. There are unexpected sperm whales greeting delighted underwater oceanographic nerds. There are lives saved. There are lives lived fully and fiercely with full and fierce love. There are rockets and tiny, tiny starships carrying bits of us into the icy dark, not caring one whit that there might not be anyone out there to meet. There are wonders, and children who may still save us. There are beautiful books, there are lovers, there are people who we love and who love us back. There are angels unawares, dressed just like us. They are, in fact, us.
And you are there, my friends, in that latter.
Any support I can give you, I will. Any love I can send you, I will.
I love you all.
I have just roasted cauliflower florets after tossing them with coarsely chopped garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and olive oil. It is really, really good. I don't know why I didn't think about roasting cauliflower before the age of 61. (Me, not the cauliflower.) I have a new side-dish for Thanksgiving!
I was playing around with the idea of having a capon rather than a turkey for thanksgiving dinner. After some thought and reading, I've decided not to do so. I'll just go with a smaller turkey and slow/moist roast it.
Can you tell I'm going into Thanksgiving dinner mode? Doing so makes me happy. We're having FB and Em, our friend JT, Drs. Gonzo and Bob (not my BB, a different Bob), and maybe a couple of others. BB has asked that we don't talk about politics. Knowing our friends, that may be impossible, but we'll try to minimize the talk. As he says, he'll even be willing to watch football if it stops the political talk. "I want to be thankful," he says, and I understand.
Early deadlines, early deadlines, early deadlines. Lord, what a pain. And I signed myself up for a Saturday evening assignment, which is also a bit of a pain, although it'll be an automatic 6 hours of pay.
And now, to sit with my beloved and watch anime!
I have been thinking of Leonard Cohen's music today, having been reminded of it via an add on our local jazz radio station for a one-hour remembrance of him. I only got to hear the last 20 minutes or so of it, but it's made me want to listen to his albums, both the early and the later ones. I really want to hear his last one; "You Want It Darker." I heard the title song, and it's Cohen at his elliptical, emotionally unsparing and beautiful best. I don't know what I love about his music more, the words, the imagery, the love he bears for everything he views ... perhaps, too, the past week's events beyond his death have kept him in my head.
Facebook and Livejournal share the creepy practice of telling you about upcoming birthdays of people who have died. I got one such notification today and was reminded that we all live on, on the internet.
I completed (I think) a conversation over on LJ, in my last post; because I didn't put the post under a lock, this person wandered in and launched into a strong attack on my progressive stance. I decided to try to engage; although the effort wasn't ultimately successful, I'm glad I didn't simply ignore the person. At the very least, he challenged me to think about the best way to respond to his claims. I do worry, from time to time, about living in my own liberal/progressive echo chamber, and requiring myself to step outside that chamber, even if it's just in the tiny way I did with this conversation, is probably a good thing.
BB and I are finally getting into the latest run of anime titles. I'm extremely impressed with one that has the rather unprepossessing English title of "Flip Flappers." I'm not even going to try to describe it, except to say that if you liked FLCL, chances are you'll like this one, too.
Last night I got the chance to hear Father Michael Pfleger speak in person for the first time. He impressed the hell out of me.
Your birthday was on Nov. 11, and I hope your Remembrance Day (at least that's what we called it in Canada) was a happy one, whether than meant quiet cheer, raucous friends, close and loving family, or a mix of all three. You are a talented writer, a craftswoman with the self discipline to put beautiful things together with your hands, an adventurer in ice cream, a science fiction and fantasy fan, and so much more.
You are a person of faith, who tries to live by the tenets of her faith, and who thinks about that faith as she does so. That's a rare thing in my experience. Even though there are places where we hold very different views, I think you are a force for good in the universe - you have certainly brightened my little part in it, and have offered comfort on those days when I've felt lowest. If I ever get down to your corner of the world, I hope we can sit and talk; I'd consider it a particular joy.
May the coming year be a good one for you!
Leonard Cohen has died.
(All jokes aside, I adored Cohen's poetry, his music, his brilliance, his humor, his resilience - and, of course, his flawless abilities as a ladies' man. I'll miss the fedora and the quirked smile, the darkly glittering entirety of him.)
I want to wish a late, but very sincere, birthday wish to cathica, a gifted writer, and one of the only writers of fine, distilled horror whose work draws me, a confirmed horror-avoider, in. She writes with humanity, and with an eye to both the pure and the twisted ways we love and live. I first saw her skill in her Doctor Who fanfic, and it was a rare pleasure to get to know her a tiny bit more via the occasional letter and postcard. She sent me a journal to write in, and I still find the time to write in it! To you, excellent writer, kind person and opponent of bears, I raise a glass, and wish for you in the coming year.
Believe it or not, I'm actually working tonight - going to a hastily-organized Cubs-watching party in one of my towns. It means I'll be forced to look at the game, which could be fatal, but it could also provide me with a cover for next week. And, hey, it may be fun. Yes, yes, of course, it could be absolutely heart-breaking, but let's just ignore that for now.
I'm just going to leave these two videos here, both songs by the late devoted Cubs fan Steve Goodman, one a gently snarky tribute to the team's ability to make us weep, and the other a paean to Cubs' fans boundless optimism.