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flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
I'm reading a fic, which shall remain nameless, and some of the things characters do and say to their friends and loved ones are casually abusive. And I am just thinking about how normalized it is in our culture to tell people to shut up or to treat them like their emotional safety is not a consideration, enough that a writer doesn't even realize what it is giving away about them that their characters all treat each other this way.

We can't write characters that don't reflect experiences we haven't had or simulated having. And growing up with a background of abuse, it would be hard to imagine a character from a background so radically different. Normativity is possibly the root of all evil.

Edit to add: And another thing! Reflexive sexism in characters who are canonically feminist is a characterization issue. I may have to track this person down so I can talk to them about this in a nonpublic venue. It's getting egregious.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
So I posted the first chapter of the Agender!Steve fic, and as far as that goes, it's going well. But I'm having trouble with characterization of the side characters, and can't find anything freely available that shows the Dora Milaje as independent people with distinct personalities. I'm not sure what to do. What if I pay for the Ta-Naheesi Coates run of Black Panther to read and there is still too little characterization to base my versions off of? T'Challa is well characterized in the movies for as little screen time as he had. But is that based in the comics?

I am thinking of going back and writing out all the plot. This is what I get for not ruminating this all out before I begin writing.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
It's developed a plot.
... help!

You love Natasha being awesome, I love Natasha being awesome. So why not make this character-focused story about Cap being suddenly female turn into a MASSIVE MISSIVE about Natasha being a spy? Yeah.

Because who doesn't love competence porn? I just have to write ... a lot. And quit quietly freaking out about it.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
I am grateful for coffee with ground cacao nibs brewed into it, so gentle and fragrant. I am grateful for online shopping, for music sharing, for jersey cotton - soft on my skin. I am grateful for nasal spray anti-inflammatory and decongestants even if they are ten seconds of ouch. I am grateful for ripe fruit in the summers, for wifi that works and connects me to people. I am grateful for Summer that keeps most of my aches at bay. I am grateful that I know how to keep pushing at fanfic when I am discouraged. I am thankful for life, and that I know how to fight for it.
flamingsword: Black Widow appears in a telephoto lens sight. (Black Widow)
So the outline is now six pages long, and only the first chapter of the outline is really fleshed out into scenes. I'm starting to get the OMGWTFBBQ feeling of having bitten off ridiculously more than I can chew, but I'm not gonna quit just because it's going to take a longer time than I had thought it was going to. But I am now looking for this thing to be done by maybe September rather than having previously thought it would be done by the end of June. And it will be multiple chapters. Should I post it chapter by chapter? Should I just post the whole thing in one go when it's done and edited? Protocol?

What do?

Also, there's no way to work Pepper into having a major role in this fic, and I'm kinda having withdrawals. No Pepper/Natasha this time. The sex, of which there will be some (ill-advised though it may be), is going to be a strange amalgam of queer and het, and I'm not sure how to tag for it? Demi-boy character in female body has sex with cisman? Is it possible for genderqueer people to be straight? What does straight even mean? So many questions I need to research on the nature of gender and sexuality. And I'm probably going to have to ask tumblr and piss off a bunch of trans activists and get yelled at, which will be a barrel of laughs. APPRECIATE MY SACRIFICES, FANDOM.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
I am grateful for Wonder Woman. I am glad of it's popularity, it's craft, it's warmth, humor, and depth. I am overjoyed that it makes it's female protagonist learn to embrace mankind's uneasy duality, that the toxic masculinity and constant striving to prove oneself better on an imaginary yardstick to be worthy of respect are shown to be exactly as ridiculous as they are, without humiliating the man being shown to use this yardstick. I am glad that children will have a girl hero to be like. I am glad that there were multiple persons of color, even if they did not interact like I had hoped for.

It is not a perfect movie, but it is GOOD in a way so few things are. And I am grateful for it.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
So I was thinking that the two fics I was going to write, the Bucky&Nat bro!fic and the Agender!Cap fic, were going to be 15k between the two of them. Now they have become parts of the same story, and I will be lucky if this monster is done before it's 40k. And somehow it has turned into almost a Team As Family fic, which while one of my heart-squishiest genres was not something I was planning on writing. I still have a handle on the slow mission creep of extra things I need for the story (for now). I don't know how long that will be true for, though.

I have begun taking CEU's for updating my massage therapy license, which I have to do this month. I don't know why I let it go so late. Possibly I have dread and anxiety about diving into figuring out how to get my NCTMB certification without going back to school and spending thousands of dollars. I want to do the thing, but I don't want it to be complicated or stressful. And that is just not how life works, which sucks.

I still have a homeless friend living in my car, which is going to get dangerous here in a couple weeks when it starts breaking 95 degrees on the daily. Not sure what to do about that.
flamingsword: Tiny!Steve captioned Bad Body Day (Bad Body Day)
I keep getting more kudos on my fics. I have this slow but steady trickle of people reading and liking the things I wrote, and I am full of warm fuzzies about that. If you are one of the people who liked or commented on my fic, thank you so much. It means a lot to me. :D

In my effort to avoid living in my body right now I am trying to plot out the Agender!Cap fic where Natasha is better than everyone. Do I rely too much on Natasha being better than everyone? I don't care. But this story and it's follow up are going to need a lot of research and carefully sorting through the feelings of a lot of different people to find the reactions that are going to be useful to my narrative, so I am planning on watching some Marvel movies I haven't seen yet, like Ant-Man, and rewatching CA:CW.

I need to do my 12 continuing education hours before the end of June, and it would probably be best to do those this weekend. I am having trouble deciding how to finish a hat I am working on crocheting, the homeless friend is still living in my car and we need to find him a better place before he gets heatstroke, and I am working on making some bracelets for my sister and for people's xmas presents. That is what is going on with me currently. Ghost's brother is in the hospital right now for depression and dehydration and my sister-in-law is having a rough time dealing with the stress at the end of the school year. Ghost is worried and falling back on bad habits to deal with it, and his parents are coming into town pretty often to help deal with paperwork and hospitals. But hopefully everything starts looking up soon, with the new treatments.

My roommate narrowly avoided some financial trouble, but may not be able to attend their art commune event this weekend because of car trouble. I am getting ready for them to move this summer, trying to remember what belongs to who, what can be given to them if they need it (book cases) what I need to keep (kitchen rug) and that sort of thing. I want everything to go smoothly, but that only seems to happen with over-planning and aggressive preparation. So that's what I'm gonna do.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
I am grateful for headache medicine. I am grateful that [personal profile] numb3r_5ev3n is a compulsive baker. I am grateful for Netflix, and BPAL, and people who will forgive me if I am not always up for the activism I have planned. I am grateful for fandom as a way for people to connect. I am grateful for fanfiction as a way to tell the stories of the under-represented (including me). I am grateful for coffee, for air conditioning, and for cell phones.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
Other Lives and Dimensions and Finally a Love Poem

My left hand will live longer than my right. The rivers
of my palms tell me so.
Never argue with rivers. Never expect your lives to finish
at the same time. I think

praying, I think clapping is how hands mourn. I think
staying up and waiting
for paintings to sigh is science. In another dimension this
is exactly what's happening,

it's what they write grants about: the chromodynamics
of mournful Whistlers,
the audible sorrow and beta decay of "Old Battersea Bridge."
I like the idea of different

theres and elsewheres, an Idaho known for bluegrass,
a Bronx where people talk
like violets smell. Perhaps I am somewhere patient, somehow
kind, perhaps in the nook

of a cousin universe I've never defiled or betrayed
anyone. Here I have
two hands and they are vanishing, the hollow of your back
to rest my cheek against,

your voice and little else but my assiduous fear to cherish.
My hands are webbed
like the wind-torn work of a spider, like they squeezed
something in the womb

but couldn't hang on. One of those other worlds
or a life I felt
passing through mine, or the ocean inside my mother's belly
she had to scream out.

Here when I say "I never want to be without you,"
somewhere else I am saying
"I never want to be without you again." And when I touch you
in each of the places we meet

in all of the lives we are, it's with hands that are dying
and resurrected.
When I don't touch you it's a mistake in any life,
in each place and forever.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
Since the gabapentin I don't hurt as much as I used to. My bad body days are at a 2.5 on the five scale for functionality and a 3.5 on the ten scale for pain. I don't have days where it is impossible to work, just where it is harder than normal to do so, so mostly I don't take pain days off anymore. I had a bursitis flare for the first time in over a year in March, so maybe they're not gone, but they don't come back often. The PQQ is what has helped the most for the energy, so if you know anybody with fibromyalgia, pass that one along.

I have settled into #resistbot, post cards, and email as ways to contact my representatives that don't set off my anxiety. I go to some protests, and I joined an activist group on facebook to help exchange ideas and information and coordinate actions. So I am doing well on the activism front. I have not done as well on rebuilding my social ties, but I am a bit tied up in making sure that one of my depressed friends has a place to live and doesn't hurt himself.

I've been making CDs for people to feel younger to and slow the decline into senility, and that's going well. I wrote two poems so far this year. I am about to sign up for the continuing education hours that I need before June ends, and maybe outline some scenes to write for the Bucky&Natasha bro-fic that will precede the agender!Cap fic which I have a feeling is going to turn into a sprawling epic. Well, sprawling by my standards which probably means 40k words. So my to do list looks like:

  • Get CEU hours, probably in a deep tissue modality
  • Renew my ABMP membership
  • Write stories so that my brain stops pointing out things I could use in my stories
  • Make chakra bracelet for my sister
  • Go back to the Japanese dollar store for weird snacks
  • Get blood work done to make sure my antipsychs aren't doing bad stuff to my kidneys
  • Go to gynecologist and confirm menopause
  • Eventually go to dentist.
  • flamingsword: Black Widow appears in a telephoto lens sight. (Black Widow)
    So I have this thing where I think fiction is one of the potential answers to problems of representational biases in mainstream consciousness. And fanfiction is where I can be a fighter for my own representation without having to devote 40 hours a week to something that I could never do professionally.

    I want to do two stories, one that tells the story about disability bros and hanging out with people who get you rather than the people who help you get better, the story that tells about how both kinds of relationships are necessary. And then, increasingly, there is a second story I want to tell, about the slow realization that the gender that you never really questioned does not really fit, is not right for you, and the need to move on from identities that don't work any more.

    So if I did write an MCU agender!Steve fic, how do I get people to read it? Probably by making it porn. I:m thinking Stucky. But I can do porn; it was really frustrating but I did fine last time, I think? And I learned how to write it without resorting to keysmashing in frustration, which is also important. It's a little weird to think I've been learning to write porn while going through menopause, but ... enh. Whatever. My life used to always be like that. The return of weirdness is interesting rather than frustrating at this point.
    flamingsword: Geek pride with glasses (geek pride)
    You'd think that the invention of a globe-spanning resource that gives us access to all of human knowledge would make decisions more simple. You'd think.

    But instead of reducing our anxiety and making us more certain, the internet has exposed us to all of the conflicting interpretations of its data and to data that is factually wrong which we often have difficulty distinguishing from the truth. Noticing when you are confused is the first part to knowing when you are working from faulty assumptions, a situation common to the Information Age. Then, once you have started to learn where your blind spots are and how to navigate them, you need to practice spotting your assumptions. Assumption based planning is mostly used by businesses, but you can use the same tools in your life. Once you get a handle on both those sets of figuring out blind spots and assumptions, try reversing your assumptions to help you explore the idea space of what possibilities there are, and how probable they may be.

    Being forced to assign a probability a numerical value emotionally divorces you from the anxiety and paralysis of trying to weigh decisions, taking the decision making away from the emotional limbic brain and putting it in the prefrontal cortex, where we plan things and use our executive functions without as much emotional involvement. It is a huge piece of how you can deal with uncertainty without it making you crazy, and as such is an invaluable skill for navigating the internet. Or just for being a person.

    So how do we deal emotionally with never being certain of three quarters of our operating assumptions? Well, first we have to maintain our social networks as a form of preemptive damage control. We have to err on the side of caution at all times and act ethically so that when we do mess something up, people will give us the benefit of the doubt about our intentions. Natural laws have no pity, but if you were acting in good faith to keep people safe, most people will forgive you when you get stuff wrong as long as you fix it later. And second, as you get faster and more secure in making decisions while dealing with the presence of uncertainty, you'll start to become more familiar with how much thought is productive and how much is just dithering and overthinking. You'll be able to draw a boundary on knowing when “good enough” is actually good enough without either oversimplifying or making things more complex than they are likely to be just so that you can put off having to make the decision.

    We have to deal with the vulnerability of openly not knowing stuff, and there are three tactics that make the drowning feeling of not having solid answers bearable.
    • You don't have to be perfect, and that's good because you're not going to be. Accepting that a certain batting average of failures to successes will help you to see and count both circumstances without beating yourself up or congratulating yourself on what is out of your control. Give up on the illusion of always being in control, and you will acclimate better to the Sea of Doubt.
    • When you’re dying, most individual decisions won't seem that important, so look at all decisions as though you are looking at them from your deathbed to get a more accurate reading on how important this is outside the context of the immediate moment. Performing a post mortem on the decision before it takes place will
    • Be okay with things having costs. Lots of folks run around like headless chickens because they can’t deal with ever paying a price for things, like nothing is supposed to hurt or be difficult. Your problem is not that you have problems; your problem is that you think there's something wrong with having problems.
    flamingsword: Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. (Seuss Activism)
  • Had my favorite client at work today, heard about a style of art called primitivism. Will research.

  • Started my study into humor and laughter. Will begin writing me-flavored political humor soon.

  • Got package ready to send to [profile] wv_wildchild to send tomorrow for her much belated birthday.

  • Sent myself links so that I don't have a million tabs open.

  • Need to figure out a time to call senators, etc. that does not wear me out so badly.
  • flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)

    When I was young, I was perceived as intelligent, mostly because I was hyperlexic and loved puns which were considered to be beyond my age level. Whatever. But people had expectations about me because of those talents that didn't match up to the rest of me. Sometimes those mismatches were obvious and I would say so, and other times they were not obvious and I would try in vain to meet those expectations, sometimes for years. Sometimes for decades. I knew that I was never going to be an astronaut because I was no good at sports other than fighting (and I wasn't even great at that). I knew that I wasn't going to be a senator, no matter how good with words I was, because we were poor and my family did not look anything like TV families did, and people disapproved of us. But that did not keep people from having those expectations of me.

    And maybe if I had been raised to think of talent as something that happens to you, something that comes from the outside and is bestowed on you, I would not have been so hard on myself. Maybe if our culture had that thought, they would have rested gentler expectations on me, and I'd have borne them easier.

    But we can never know.
    flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
    Where is my policy wonk, resident
    Forward, dyed-in-the-wool die-hard try-hard?
    We don't need this bully as president;
    The job is rough enough. There's no reward
    For circling around the world with lies.
    His tactics aren't enough to fix his mess;
    Aggression always fails where hard work thrives.
    A steady hand can steer through most distress
    And her hands at the wheel would guide us straight
    Instead of into walls and slippery slopes.
    She has proved every chance to validate
    While he's imploded and deposed all hopes.
    Madam President - she would understand
    Every rock you throw must somewhere land.
    -Feb 2017
    flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
     I am grateful for hot baths, sharing smellgoods with friends, Argentinian bakeries, hair dye, and regular clients. I am glad in my soul for returning spoons, foresight, being able to take care of myself while I take care of other people, and activism. I am thankful that we are on this journey so near to one another that our paths could cross. Thank you. 
    flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
     The you that doesn't talk but stays,
    Calmly sits though joy and woe alike:
    Perhaps this you loves me, but never says.
    Against such love, silence would be no strike
    If but our friendship weren't in languor writ.
    Frustrated with words, I turn still to words:
    Relentless verbal thing - always been it, 
    And difficult like keeping cats in herds.
    Meter and verse must have their game to play
    If you'll not put your feelings into rhyme.
    So must I judge your acts, not what you say,
    And your logophobe heart must keep the time.
    If with your words you will not pay my due
    Then must I give a talking-to to you. 
    -Jan 2017
    flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
     You've grown old, but in one way I'm older. 
    When I talk of being dead your shoulders
    Don't move down from there like it got colder.
    Take comfort: it's not too hot or cold;
    It's not at all like being sick or old,
    Just darkness, peace, like nothing we've been told.
    My deaths have been commas, odd ... pauses
    In a winding sentence full of clauses.
    Pardon me my claudicated causes,
    They were not like what ends your sentence now.
    The closing curtain falls and we must bow.
    If you'd like to let go, I'll show you how. 

    - May 2009
    flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
    An IRL friend asked for my help, and you know how I get. Research ahoy!

     The AVENwiki Lexicon
     is the glossary of terms you might need for quick reference when reading pages on gender theory. Most of these links will have their own explanations in the text, but just in case. 

    Gender identity is descriptive rather than prescriptive. It seeks to be a useful adjective rather than an exact formula or rulebook. 

    A FAQ for questions on gender, because tumblr is awesomesauce for that. 

    A helpful gingerbread person explains, in visual terms:

    A helpful gingerbread person explains gender and sexuality.


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