kitty

bookworm_2005


The Bookworm's Musings

Adult Themes are discussed and linked to in this Journal - Read Responsibly!


Writing Smallville Fanfiction
kitty
bookworm_2005

In the past, I’ve mentioned the difficulty of writing serious Harry Potter fiction, because if you do enough thinking about the implications of magic, you just end up tying yourself into a big logic knot.

Writing Smallville is different.

First of all, forget about logic and embrace the insanity. It’s the only way it’s going to work at all. Trust me.

Having forsaken logic, the real problem with writing Smallville fanfiction is that the main protagonist, Clark, is too powerful. He’s a canon Mary Sue without the perfect emotional health. Unlike, oh, Buffy, for example, Clark’s main problems revolve around the fact that he’s a self-centered, overly emoting, highly susceptible, utterly illogical TEENAGER. Actually, this is a rather natural state for teenagers, and I don’t really hold it against him. Setting aside the superpowers, I was pretty much the same as a teenager, if slightly more capable of using logic in my everyday life. Yes, sometimes his enemies appear to have an advantage over him, but it’s all an illusion, and what’s more, we know it. No cunning villain, no clever plan, no seemingly unbeatable apocalypse. No, most of Clark’s problems could be solved if he just took a chill pill and consulted a five-year-old child (the evil overlord’s list isn’t just for evil overlords). Communication. If he and his family and friends just sat down and actually talked to each other, 99% of his problems would disappear.  Also, dumping his Spaceship into a live volcano during the pilot episode wouldn’t hurt. Don’t even get me started on the Jor-El AI. Really. Can you say Deux Machina?

My real point here is that most of Clark’s problems are obviously and poorly contrived by the writers. Add in his Mary Sue status and it makes him almost impossible to write in any meaningful way. Arrrggggh.


Doll Clothes
kitty
bookworm_2005

Well, here’s a mega-post of all the doll clothes I’ve made recently:

Read more…Collapse )

First Item of Doll Clothing Finished!
kitty
bookworm_2005

I got a lovely Alexander Girlz (Madame Alexander) doll for myself for Christmas. She was a great buy at the Spokane Discount Store. Since I also got some other dolls as gifts, I swapped the outfits around, leaving my doll (I named her Jade Morningstar) with the ugliest outfit. In the picture to the right, she’s wearing the most hideous dress I have ever seen. I have no idea what the designers were thinking when they designed this outfit! And the dress is even more ugly in person! At least the boots are cute…

 

I just couldn’t stand it anymore, so I made her a new outfit. I kept the purple tights and turtleneck, but added a skirt, necklace, and headband, as you can see in the picture on the left.

I made the skirt from Joan Hind’s Sew the Contemporary Wardrobe for 18” Dolls Pattern book, using the A-Line skirt pattern. It was easy and turned out quite well. And it taught me a new, nicer way to put in a waistband – I’m going to try it on the next full-size skirt I make.

I think Jade looks awesome in her new outfit, but you be the judge… 


Writer's Block: Cause or symptom?
kitty
bookworm_2005
Do you believe that violence in media promotes violence in real life? Does media reflect cultural values or can it actively reshape them?

No, I don't believe that properly presented violence in media promotes it in real life. Unrealistic violence (like that found in old movies, where everything is clean and quick) can foster false expectations. Media violence should be as realistic as possible, so that people can make a truly informed choice. 

Harry Potter Musings
kitty
bookworm_2005

Right now, I’m working on research and plotting for several Harry Potter stories: the continuation of By The Sword (HP/Highlander xover); A Harry Potter/Valdemar (Mercedes Lackey) sort-of crossover about who Harry would be if his main source of social and moral guidance were the Valdemar Series; A story exploring the implications of Wizarding Society being an armed society; and several other shorter pieces.

On the surface, Harry Potter appears to be a very easy fandom to write in: magic, after all, is the perfect excuse for just about anything, and can fix almost any plot hole.

Until you start thinking…

Back in pre-history times, when Humans were wandering bands of hunter-gatherers, some lucky people discovered that they could do a lot of really neat things! They could create fire without any tools; they could sneak up on game effortlessly (silencing and chameleon charms, anyone?), even hold the game in place or lure it right onto the hunter’s spear or over a handy cliff; they could find things and people; they could heal serious injuries; they could call rain; sometimes, they could see the future or predict the weather; the list goes on and on…

Now, those first magical people didn’t have wands or established rituals or spells or potions or any of the tools they would later invent to make their work easier. For them, it was all wandless, all the way. It was hard work, and took lots of practice and training. But it was worth it.

The people around them could see just how useful these abilities were, and showed their appreciation in culturally appropriate ways. In some places, the magical folk were worshiped as deities or at  least as the servants/avatars of deities. In other places, they were simply valued members of the tribe. Certainly, people were wary of their wrath. But they weren’t terrified of them – after all, they could see that this was a skill like any other and took lots of effort and practice. Do you fear the bow-maker because he makes the finest bows? Of course not.

Life was good. Magical people were highly valued and sought after. Life wasn’t good for everyone, of course, but in general, magical folk had a good thing going.

When those hunter-gatherers became farmers, magical folk adapted to the new needs of their people and developed new skills. Life was still good.

Once agriculture was well-established, people had enough time and resources to make war on each other, which they did vigorously. Magical folk developed new skills that would be useful on the battlefield. Life continued to be good.

Civilizations rose and fell, magical folk adapted and made themselves useful, as always. They created magical methods of speedy travel, invented useful potions, etc.… Life continued to be good.

All of a sudden, people all across the globe decided that magical folk were more trouble than they were worth and began to hunt them down and kill them.

Wait. Stop. Say that again.

Here, try it this way: All of a sudden, people all across the globe decided that skilled weavers/hunters/farmers/bow-makers were more trouble than they were worth and began to hunt them down and kill them.

Or maybe this: Man discovered fire; man decided that fire was more trouble than it was worth, despite all it’s many benefits; man hunted down and slaughtered everyone who knew how to make fire.

Because that makes so much sense.

Of course, there’s the second theory: Magical folk decided that they were tired of solving the problems of non-magical people - a task for which they were richly rewarded with wealth and status, by the way – and decided to convince people that they didn’t exist any more. That way, those pesky non-magical people would stop showering them with wealth, worship, and prestige.

Yes, of course, that makes a lot of sense.

What am I saying?! It makes no sense at all!

And there you have it: the reason why Harry Potter is actually a very difficult fandom to write in. If magic is a gift/talent that has been with us from the very beginning, there is no way that a hidden society such as Harry Potter’s would exist. From a magical point of view, it would be like deciding to throw away all your wealth and status to become a homeless beggar. From a non-magical point of view, it would be like deciding to starve when sufficient food is freely available. Certainly, some individuals do make such choices, but societies as a whole generally do not.

Not to mention that the very presence of magical people would have great effects on our culture and history, especially in areas of communication and transportation.

And just to make it even more fun, there’s the difficulty of applying the government, morals, and customs of an unarmed society (Modern Western World – when’s the last time you wore a gun to the grocery store?) to an armed society. An armed society has different problems to solve and needs to fill – and their government, customs, and morals would reflect that.

How do you explain the inexplicable? Justify the unjustifiable?


Minor Rant
kitty
bookworm_2005

Okay, this is just a minor Harry Potter rant concerning The Half-Blood Prince and The Potions Book.

For heaven's sake, Hermione, build a bridge and get over yourself!

Using The Book is cheating?! Next thing you know, you’ll be locking Harry out of the Library, insisting that reading anything except Ministry-Approved textbooks is cheating! Are you sure you aren’t Umbridge under polyjuice potion?

Bet you’d be singing a different tune if you were the one to find The Book in the first place. Heaven forbid that Harry should do well at anything without you holding his hand.

It’s hard to believe that you are the same girl who started an illegal defense club last year. Seriously, that polyjuice theory is looking more likely every minute…

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, we now return to our regularly scheduled programming…


Random Language Post–An Inappropriate Farewell
kitty
bookworm_2005

Today, while shopping at Wal-Mart, I had a strange encounter in the checkout line. My cashier was an older lady whose farewell phrase of choice was “Bless your heart.”

Now, given the fact that she said this in farewell to every customer, even the very patient and polite ones and due to her tone of voice and general body language – I am giving her the benefit of the doubt. It is clear that she was trying to express good wishes.

Unfortunately, by the time it was my turn to checkout, my teeth were grinding in irritation and it was all I could do to smile and nod politely.

Why?

I’m sure all of us have heard it at one time or another:

Bless her heart, she means well…”

“Did you see what ____ was wearing? Bless her heart, that color looks terrible on her!”

“Bless her heart. She tries so hard, but everything she cooks tastes like shit. I just pretend to eat it so she won’t be offended.”

“Well, bless your heart! It’s…well, it’s clear that you put a lot of work into this.” (Ugly thing, how soon can I ‘lose’ it?)

Yes, we’ve all heard it. Even if we don’t understand exactly what the problem is, we know that the speaker is laughing at us in private or disagreeing with us without explaining why. It’s condescending. It’s patronizing. It is in no way an expression of good wishes or true gratitude, no matter what the individual words may mean.

The Urban Dictionary offers several meanings for this phrase, and none of them are positive expressions of goodwill:

    1. [A] phrase used by Southern women to excuse themselves for speaking ill of someone else.
    2. [A]n expression of sympathy or pity.
    3. [A] polite way to respond to an ignoramus, particularly male, who showers upon you flattering but unwanted compliments.
    4. [A] term used…to express to someone that they are an idiot without saying such harsh words.
    5. A polite way to say "go to hell".
    6. A verbal form of making a rude hand gesture toward someone. (<-- My paraphrasing.)
    7. A term used prior to ridiculing, insulting the sensibilities of, or pointing out the shortcomings of someone.

All of this explains why I was so annoyed after hearing that phrase five or six times, despite my realization that she did not mean to be offensive. Sometimes, good intentions alone just aren’t enough.

In summary, “Bless your heart” =/= appropriate way to wish someone a pleasant farewell.

Wal-Mart Lady, if you’re reading this, bless your heart. I know you mean well, but please find another, more pleasant, farewell phrase. My teeth will thank you and your customers may actually respond nicely to your conversational overtures instead of glaring at you in silence. 

Thanks,

Me


The Brian Williams and Jon Stewart love story?
kitty
bookworm_2005

So, I was watching clips of old Daily Show episodes. I’ve never really understood the Fake News / TV Personalities fandom before, but…OMG!

Brian Williams and Jon Stewart are so adorable together. So adorable! It’s like this epic love story between them, honestly. They have this beautiful chemistry onscreen and they seem to really like each other, even when they’re scoring points.

They poke fun at each other, but when it really matters they are there for each other. Especially Jon being there for Brian. This was really evident during the Katrina interviews – normally, Jon is very witty and cutting, making jokes about pretty much every word out of Brian’s mouth. But during the Katrina interviews, when Brian is clearly still very affected by his own experience in New Orleans, Jon is very gentle with him. There’s this sense that Jon is giving Brian the chance to say what he really thinks, to say things he couldn’t otherwise. For a little while, Jon acts like a ‘real’ reporter – something he usually avoids. It’s very sweet. He does it in several other interviews as well, although not usually for the entire segment. 

And Brian keeps coming back. When he has something to say or a point to make and he can’t do it on the nightly news, he turns to The Daily Show. The level of trust between them seems quite high – Jon mocks him, but he could tear him to shreds and he doesn’t.

And of course, there is the flirting! Lots of flirting, both the intentional stuff and the more subtle things. As time progresses, they get more comfortable with the whole idea of flirting on TV and their jokes get more explicit. But the body language and level of comfort with each other is what really makes you think that the sexual jokes have a thread of truth in them.

Their love is epic and adorable!

Ummm, I may have acquired an RPF pairing?

Brian Williams/Jon Stewart forever!


On Time Travel
kitty
bookworm_2005

So, I was thinking…

What would it be like if I woke up tomorrow in my 14 year old body, in 1996, with all the knowledge I have today?

At first, I thought it would be kind of cool. I mean, it’s not like my childhood was bad or anything, but there are some things I wouldn’t mind the chance to do over.

For one thing, I acquired my embarrassment & humiliation squick the hard way. I wouldn’t mind avoiding that. And there are plenty of other decisions that I wouldn’t mind the chance to change.

And then I thought about it some more.

  • No computers (well, not something I would consider a computer when compared to my current setup.)
  • No Internet! <--- This is a big one. No Google, no online communities, no online shopping, no email, no chat…
  • No Cell phones
  • Most of my favorite movies, TV Shows, and Books wouldn’t have been released yet. Plus, I’d have 14 years worth of spoilers in my head.
  • All of my writing and other creative projects would be lost, and I would be unlikely to recreate them.
  • No Fandom! (Or, at least, it wouldn’t be easily accessible to me).
  • I wouldn’t be able to drive
  • I wouldn’t have any money of my own
  • 6 people + 3 bedroom house = no privacy
  • No independence - I would be treated like a child
  • In order to retain the parts of my teenage years that I really enjoyed, like Bible Quizzing, I would have to lie about myself – a lot. Strangely, I don’t think my liberal, atheist, bisexual, opinionated current self would be welcome on the team. Something about living a ‘Godly Life’, whatever that means.
  • I would have to constantly monitor my social behavior – there are some things that children simply cannot say to adults without giving offense. Realistically, I would probably end up in some sort of conflict with every adult figure in my life at that time.
  • My foreknowledge of the people around me would tie me in moral knots. It’s not like I’d be changing the world or anything, but still… What should I change, how should I change it, do I have the right to change it, could I change it?
  • I would have to figure out the exact details of that time in my life without people thinking I’m crazy. I mean, I remember the best and worst parts, but I don’t remember every little detail. And it’s not like I can just say “Hey Mom, has milestone happened yet?”
  • I could destroy my relationships with my parents without actually meaning too. I mean, what if your previously dutiful 14 year old daughter woke up one day and started acting like she was 28? Time Travel would not be the first thing you thought of.

On the other hand, there are a few positives:

  • I would enroll in public High School immediately. Not because I think it would significantly improve my education, but because it would give me greater access to scholarships and grants for College, as well as other opportunities later on. Of course, first I have to re-live High School. Ugggh.
  • I would visit the Dentist immediately, begin a regime of maintenance,  and save myself $20,000+ worth of future costs.
  • I would make more of an effort to reach out socially. I would strengthen pre-existing friendships and make new ones as well.
  • I would pay more attention to other people.
  • I would participate more fully in life at every level.
  • I would seriously kick ass at Bible Quizzing.
  • I would go to college immediately after High School. And yes, I would Major in Computer Science. I might even Double Major: Computer Science and Accounting.
  • I would write. A lot.
  • I would not remain silent out of fear or social awkwardness.
  • I would not do (the same) stupid stuff.
  • I would relax and not sweat the small stuff. Perfection isn’t always desirable. Cost-Benefit analysis is a great stress reducer when applied to life.
  • I would not live my life in fear.

Even so, I’m not sure the positives out weigh the negatives. I’m pretty sure I could adapt, but I would definitely miss the future. No internet! No computers! Research means hours of looking through physical books in the Library, not a few minutes on Google. Would it be worth it? I don’t know. I’d get the chance to relive my teenage years with a bit more wisdom and self-knowledge, but I would also be deleting everything I’ve accomplished since then.

Time Travel is a popular trope in Harry Potter fanfiction, but when you consider applying the idea to your own life in the real world, the issues become more apparent. Everyone probably has something they would like to redo, but would it be worth it?

Now that I’ve finally got that off my chest, maybe I can finally go to sleep. We’ll see.


(no subject)
kitty
bookworm_2005
  • 11:07 Seriously, Facebook! Just because it's not important to everyone, doesn't mean it's not important to me. Bring back "Recent News". Please.
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Writer's Block: Too mainstream
kitty
bookworm_2005
If you've been following a relatively obscure band and they start to become popular, do you tend to lose interest at some point? Is mainstream appeal a turn off when it comes to music?

No. I like what I like.
Now, if their music changes in response to the new popularity, I might lose interest. It all depends.

(no subject)
kitty
bookworm_2005
  • 07:50 Dear Facebook, please stop messing with me: bring back the "Most Recent" filter for the News Feed.
  • 07:52 How else am I supposed to keep track of my friends' new entries? Visit each of their profiles individually? I don't need facebook for that!
  • 10:14 Get Free Amazon Prime with .EDU address: is.gd/dqAN3
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(no subject)
kitty
bookworm_2005
  • 06:23 DSL is down. Using cellphone tethered via Bluetooth for internet now. Not bad, but I miss DSL & Home network. Hope it gets fixed soon. :(
  • 23:50 Looks like the DSL is back up. Finally. :)
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(no subject)
kitty
bookworm_2005
  • 21:29 Perkins Chocolate French Silk Pie: Yum!
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(no subject)
kitty
bookworm_2005
  • 17:50 Updated Post-Apocalyptic Slash List. New Entries here: digs.by/byU9Og
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Updated Post Apocalyptic Slash list
kitty
bookworm_2005

Hey everyone, I updated my Post Apocalyptic Slash list. See the new entries here.


(no subject)
kitty
bookworm_2005
  • 14:05 Starting work on the Scareware article. Found some good sources, have some good questions to answer. It's going to be great when it's done!
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Writer's Block: Fight or flight
kitty
bookworm_2005
Have you ever struck someone in a fit of anger or self-defense? If so, did you live to regret it?

Yes, I and my siblings often fought physically. 
Yes, I do regret it.

Kink Encyclopedia/Resource
kitty
bookworm_2005

So, um, does anyone know where I can find a good encyclopedia of sexual kinks? Something very comprehensive? Not a how-to manual.

It turns out that my mom is actually kinkier than I when it comes to fanfiction, and I would like to avoid mental scarring on my part by simply pointing her to a comprehensive resource when she has questions. Because, really, there are some things I just don’t need to know!

Ideas? Please?


(no subject)
kitty
bookworm_2005
  • 08:50 Watched Jonah Hex yesterday. Meh. Nothing special.
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(no subject)
kitty
bookworm_2005
  • 07:33 In Spokane again.
  • 14:10 Watched the A-Team. Very enjoyable.
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(no subject)
kitty
bookworm_2005
  • 12:01 Graduation complete. Hurrah! I've got sun burn and sore feet.
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(no subject)
kitty
bookworm_2005
  • 21:35 Graduation on Saturday...
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(no subject)
kitty
bookworm_2005
  • 00:45 Watched Prince of Persia w/ bro. Not bad. Fun, wouldn't mind watching it again.
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(no subject)
kitty
bookworm_2005
  • 15:23 I'm so excited, I just can't hide it...
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