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just out of curiosity, does anyone in fandom on my flist know of a story that takes the 'Magical Healing Cock' trope (FanLore link) to it's logical conclusion - that of making the character an actual sex therapist?

i seem to recall that there was one AU in The Sentinel fandom where the Sentinel could literally f*ck his Guide into health.  which is kind of a scary thing, now that i think about it, because what happens if you're already healthy when you have sex?  grow the tail that evolved away?  maybe turn on some of the bits of 'junk DNA' left over from millions of billions of years of evolution?  maybe we shouldn't go there.

anyway, i was wondering about this because i suddenly had a vision of the mag7 guys as a collection of psychiatrists/ psychologists/ therapists.  maybe at the '4C Mind and Body Center'.  i thought yeah, that might be interesting.  the 7 of them working in a whole-body health clinic that integrated therapies for their clients.  Josiah, as the oldest and presumably most experienced, could specialize in profiling patients, building a baseline of personality and needs so that the others could tailor the therapies they offered to fit in best. 

Nathan could be in some kind of internist/ nutritional balance/ pharmacist position, specializing in integrating medicinal therapies with patient requirements.  like, how people with blood pressure medications can't eat grapefruit, or how taking St John's Wort may be a good substitute, but it should be treated like a MAOI drug and the diet adjusted accordingly.

Vin could be the physical therapist, knowing how the body moves, and/or is supposed to move and helping people regain their flexibility and muscle movement.

Ezra could be an occupational therapist. :) 

JD could do be the genius who figures out how to handle each patient's accessibility needs, and how to accomodate them.

Chris would be another psychologist, specializing in helping traumatized patients with PTSD and/or wounded warrior type stuff and etc.

And if Buck ain't a sex therapist... i'm not sure where to put him ;)  just call him mr. Dr. Ruth.

this idea is up for grabs, if anyone wants to use it.  i'm tagging this post as a dream-journal entry so it's easier to find.

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... beggars would ride, and i'd totally be able to make 'videos' to songs.  i'm not even talking about cutting clips and remixing them to tell a story, just making a montage of stills with different fade-out times that synced with a song. i can't do either.

this post brought to you by youtube )

in completely unrelated news, [ profile] spartanwerewolf , this link's for you:

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so, there are a few things going on in my life right now which sort of dovetail together, and make me sneeze.  (hay fever)

one of them is that post-offering the character study of ATF!Chris, i got to thinking i might do one for each of Mag7 guys, and the next char who spoke in my head was Buck.  and i started writing a little something, and then ran across a few questions regarding Buck's and Chris's developing relationship in their BUD/S training days, which in turn led me to emailing my handy dandy RL retired SEAL friend those questions.  RL!SEAL sent me an answer, which did two things - 1) it promptly cracked me up, and 2), it made me wonder...

ladies and gents of the mag7 fandom, lend me your ears.... )

work-out/ physical health stuff )

BS is feeling sorry for herself )

foot-clubs )

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so this week has been a bit argh-inducing.  not horribly bad, but one of those weeks where everything i try has an annoying ending.  see, this week, i was/am supposed to check out the YMCA, try the elliptical, etc.

the irrationally irritating bit )

but it wasn't all bad )

bit about my mag7 writings )

Spread the word - Mike in 2012! )

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so, i just got done watching season 7 of buffy - as in, two minutes ago - and, um, wow.  and also, sorry for scaring everyone in chat when is said i knew now how Xander lost his eye (one of our chat-friends is 'XanderOpalDragon', who has two eyes, thank you very much).

but i'm thinking that i like a lot of the last couple of seasons better than the first couple, a lot of times.  the last season kept getting more and more intense, and there was no let-up until the very end - the last few minutes of the very last episodes.  and oddly enough, i think it was the right choice - sometimes life is like that.  and at the end, as they're standing there over the Hole That Was Sunnydale, i thought 'aww, you can't end it like this! what happens next?!' 

which is... kind of the exact note you want to end a series on.  Giles says something about the Hellmouth in Cleveland, and Willow mentions that all the Slayers in the world have woken up.  so there's a pointer of where to go - you can just see the next season poking around the corner, but really, what's left to say?  we know now about the life of a Slayer, the pressures they're under, the issues they face in their personal, professional, and Slayer lives, and that the Watcher's Council, which had a number of problems, is now defunct.  and i'm sure this is the reason Buffy-fandom is still going strong.  they have a foundation on which to build a 'future' after the season ends.  in addition, there's a ton of new 'characters' around every corner - all the demons and slayers that are still in the world.  there's a ton of stories in buffy-land, both with the 'original' characters from the series, and with fanauthor-created characters.  the buffy-verse can support a full range of 'story styles' from 'could have been an episode' all the way to 'original story with original characters in a fannish 'verse' - fan-stories like the Star Wars fandom trends towards.

i don't usually read buffy-fic, but i can completely understand why the fandom is still thriving. 

i was watching buffy primarily for 'research' on Xander, the best way to get to know a character being to watch the show.  when i read buffy-fic, i tend to read fic about Xander.  i shall continue to write on my Xander-in-FC crossover fic.  it's good fun, and a good pick-me-up during these time of joblessness.

still, after the intensity of season 7, i needed a break, so i popped in 'Renegade', because i like drooling over Lorenzo Lamas. :-)  already, it's a choice that's paid off, because i realize that Bobby's left ear-ring is supposed to be a tomahawk, but it sure looks like there's a phallic symbol swinging from his ear, there.  maybe we can set him up with poor Andrew, who just needs a little love, really. *wicked grin*

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In which I comment on my reasons for writing fanfic. )


-BoogieShoes, the peeved off
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Or: How To Be True To A Different World, While Not Confusing Your Readers.


Long Meta Essay is Long. And also, YMMV. )



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sooooo..... i've been reading pern-fic for the past couple of days, and squeeing happily over the awesome that is dragons. seriously, dragons just kick ass.

my geekiness, let me show you it! )

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occasionally, i have to wonder about my writing process.  i'm waiting for my betas to get back to me with Green Day, and in the meanwhile, have another story pinging my brain.  i never thought i'd be into Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but i'm currently writing a Buffy/Mag7:OW cross.  and i'm going along and it occurred to me i'm still on 'Part 1', and i'm 10 pages in.  Green Day's Part 1 is less than 5 pages long.  also, i wrote the prologue of Green Day in one shot - i've got the basic concept of the Buffy cross's prologue down, but it's been half-finished for a couple of weeks now while i concentrate on the rest of the story.

i apparently have a thing for kids, or for 'fix-it' fics, or something, as the the only character i'm really working with from Buffy is Xander, and he's been de-aged to 8, although not de-scarrified or had his experiences taken away.  and i have a thing for Chris, because i write an awful lot from his point of view.  i think this is the first time i've tried to write anything from Nathan's point of view at all.

any way, my brain is weird, my writing process is weird, and my obsessions are weird.  i just wanted to tell everyone that i wear the cheese, the cheese does not wear me.  yeah, that's it.

-bs, pondering imponderables
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so, i  was thinking about the time-traveling girl fic i put on the back burner a few months ago.  i named it 'in time relieved', but then i got to thinking, and the lyrics to 'One Night in Bangkok' (anyone know which group does it?) are more appropriate as story titles to this particular group of stories i want to tell.  the lyrics are presented below for your amusement, along with a small discussion afterwards of my thoughts on story titles....

ETA: correct attribution of the song - thanks BK and Esperanza!
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Thanks for staying with me this far - only three more essays to go - Factual Realism (this post),  Characterization, and OOMPH-factor.  The first three essays in this series - Visual Presentation, Story Mechanics, and Story Flow - all represent foundational factors to some degree or other.  When they're done well, they 'disappear' from the reader's eye - but when they're done badly, their glaring atrocity can throw the reader right out of the story.

Factual Realism, Characterization, and OOMPH-factor are a bit different.  These three elements, when done well, are often remarked upon, because they're individual bits and pieces in  a story that make all the difference.  If we go back to the house metaphor, when done right, these factors will both 'fit the feel' of the house, as well as 'dress the house up' a bit.  It's like a coffered ceiling in the dining room.  When done badly, or set off wrong, all you want to do is avoid the dining room or cover it up - but when done right and highlighted correctly, it might just be the thing that you fall in love with the house for.  


Next Up: Characterization



6/19/2008: ETA for spelling and fact correction - yup, even I screw up!

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 I'm having a great time with this rec-meta series, and am a bit surprised at how easily it's flowing.  

In the past few days, I've discussed the two major hurdles readers face when accessing a story: How the author Visually Presents the story, and the basic Story Mechanics that are likely to throw a reader off his or her game.  Today, the essay is on Story Flow.

-bs, thinky

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Story Mechanics:  Rec Meta 2

In this post of recommendation meta, I'm going to look at story mechanics.  For myself as a reader, 'story mechanics' means something mildly different than it might as a writer(1).  As a writer, I think of 'story mechanics' as: grammar and spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, paragraph structure, and basic structure of the scene progression.  What I mean on that last point is how the tale itself is told - is it a linear telling, where the story starts at the beginning, and progresses to the end?  Does it start near the end, jump back to the beginning, and go on through? Does it follow a parallel story construction, with alternating scenes?  When I'm writing, those things are important to me as the story foundation - I think of the story like building a house, and those things are all important on a basic, need-to-have level.

But when I'm reading, I'm looking at the end product, and the things I'd think of first while writing are the last things I'm going to see and be hit with.  The first things I'm going to see are house's cleanliness, it's furnishings, it's draperies and paint and layout.  This is why I'm structuring this series the way I am - I'm trying to show the writer the things the readers notice first.  Hence, last time, I spoke about Visual Presentation - This is akin to getting a house-buyer in the door with a clean house that has plenty of light and an inviting atmosphere.  As a reader, things that fall under 'Story Mechanics' that I look for are grammar, spelling, punctuation, tense, complete sentences, and the right words vs the almost right words.  These are the furnishings and draperies, the floor rugs and lamps - if they're not laid out correctly, organized to help with the flow throughout the story, it's going to read as clunky and inept, if it's readable at all.

Next Up: Story Flow


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 So, I've enjoyed my time at the helm of the  Crack_van for Mag7 fandom, and thought I'd write some related meta.  BMP, one of the authors I recommended, asked me how I chose stories for recommendations.  My answer was somewhat off the cuff and boiled down to 'after I get past the 90% of stories that are dreck, I look for things I'd pay for in a bookstore.'  I'd like to expand on that answer here.

There have been a metric ton of posts on story writing and story mechanics from the writer's point of view.  What to think about, what to look for, what to do and not to do.  I haven't come across as many from the reader's point of view, although I'm sure they exist.  But that's what I'm going to be looking at here.  When I look through stories with an eye towards recommendation, I look at visual presentations, story mechanics, story flow, factual realism, characterization, and lastly, OOMPH-factor.  All of these things are important, necessary to even get on my consideration list, and worth discussing.

This is longer than I thought it would be, so I'm going to make this into a series, going through each of the factors I use to decide if a story is worth a recommendation.  Next part: Story Mechanics.


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well, had a burst of energy this weekend, and managed to finally vaccuum the house.  spent a ton of money on the son of lwj2 and his platoon-mates, because i get such a kick out of it.  managed to calig two scrolls for christmas revel and wash fabric for the new garb.

as a sidenote to the fandom kerfluffle over the yuletide thing, i managed to get in touch with my Jewish friend Dale, and ask him what Chanakah was all about.  i still can't spell it, but now i know it is pretty much a celebration of the Maccabee rebellion... which really doesn't put it on the same sort of par as Christmas to the Christians.  Dale tells me probably the most important Jewish holiday is Passover.

otoh, i have to say that as a Pagan, i consider Yule/Solstice to be the religious equivilent of Christmas.  if you look at the surrounding mythology, you've got the same events representing the same basic messages for the Wicca/ generic european pagan crowd and the Christian crowd.  only the trappings and the names are different.  personally, i'm happy let that holiday float between the solstice date and the 25th.  and since i love giving and recieving gifts, i'm totally down with the whole santa clause thing.

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this is just a general grump, but sometimes when reading senfic, i feel like i'm the only one who views the military favorably.  i don't think i've run across a fic yet that has the military discovering jim and blair, but also treating them with dignity and respect.  except for sg-1 crossovers.  makes me grumpy.  also makes me want to continue on my own AU thingy that... keeps trying to write itself while i'm at work.

-bs, sighing over too many ideas, at the wrong time, with not enough writing talent to do the job right
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so i just settled down with a paper at work, and the abstract begin:

'A computational algorithm based on the multiquadric, which is a continuously differentiable radial basis function, is devised to solve shallow-water equations.  The numerical solutions are evaluated at scattered collocation points, and the spatial partial derivatives are formed directly from partial derivatives of the radial basis function, not by any difference scheme.' 
                     -(A Multiquadric Solution for the Shallow Water Equations, Yiu-Chung Hon, Kwok Fai Cheung, Xian-Zhong Mao, and Edward J Kansa)

i scare me sometimes.  not only do i know exactly what this says, i'm actually somewhat interested in this paper, for reasons relating to the gloriousness of math as opposed to work.    

however, i must note that after a couple of these papers, the easy interpretive scheme of fanfic is more attractive all the time.  in engineering papers, which tend to be not only dry and boring, but chock-full of tech-ese and convoluted sentences, one has to be prepared to follow mathematical formulae.  it's like switching languages mide-sentence, several times.  

in original sf/f, which i really do like, one is also doing a lot of interpretation and translation.  paying attention to the details, building up a picture of the universe and the characters and the universe rules.  i do like this sort of puzzle, but because it has to do so much more, and i expect so much more, i like to put in a lot of time into it, personal energy which appears to be lacking, especially after a day full of engineering papers.

fanfic, otoh, is just easier to *read*.  you don't have to figure out the universe rules - you already know them.  you also know the characters and a good chunk of why they act the way they do.  the thing about fanfic is, it's always comparative, not interpretive, for the reader.  the reader is comparing what s/he 'knows' about the charactes, to what is shown in the fanfic text.  they don't have to build the character in their minds, sift for details from the text - that's all been done for them.  what they get - or at least i get - is the joy of seeing what other people see about the characters in question.  fanfic is a discussion on an allegorical level.  it's easy for the mind to access.  and like any good fable, the lesson is easy to find, without distracting from the surface enjoyment of the story.  and that's what i like about fanfic,  on days ending in 'work'.

-bs, thinkier than she thought.
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so instead of poetry friday, i'm going to try my hand at meta today.  i have been reading a lot of lj essays lately - especially cupidsbow's essay* on whether/if/how fanfiction keeps women poor.  and it occurs to me that one of the over-riding themes of the essays i read, whether implicit or explicit, is that fanfiction has a language, a symbology all it's own, and when reading it, being able to interpret that language makes a great deal of difference as to whether or not it's interesting to the reader.

this makes perfect sense to me, and i'm not particularly arguing the concept.  you see it all the time in art, particularly classical art - the artists put in a lot of symbology and while you can enjoy the art without knowing what, say, that cup or this swan means, it's a lot richer read if you know the language.  similarly, in celtic mythology, the surface story may be captivating, but knowing the symbology behind the elements makes for a richer read.  there are times when this falls down:  art, to me, is successful if it communicates between the artist and the art viewer.  abstract art rarely, if ever, communicates anything to me.  that surface blush must be captivating before you investigate the art further, or you will simply dismiss it out of hand.

at any rate, i understand that when i read fanfic, and fanfic meta, and engage in character discussions, i am reading and engaging in a symbological system that seems inherent in this method of textual interaction.  what i don't understand - perhaps because i'm an engineer, and not a liberal arts major - is the specifics of that system.  we say slash isn't just about the two hot guys getting it on - so what *is* it about?  what *are* the fannish tropes and interpretations that are commonly used?  the symbology and language and which context is important, and which context isn't important in understanding the point of a story?  are there any universal 'must-haves' for something to stand as fanfiction?

to put it another way, when i look at greek characters, i understand lower-case alpha to mean 'angle of attack the airplane's wing makes with the horizontal component of the airflow', and yet in another context (thermodynamics), alpha means 'coefficient of thermal expansion'.  what does alpha mean in the context of fanfiction? (or beta, theta, gamma....)  i'm interpreting it implicitly, but does anyone have an explicit definition?

-bs, hoping she's actually being clear

*actually, cupidsbow's essay has absolutely nothing to do with this one, other than that the many different types of reads on it inspired my question of exactly *what* i was reading in fanfic that non-fanfic (but generally open-minded) people *didn't* read.
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so... i was randomly hopping around the web today, and looked up the Dragonriders of Pern stuff, because i was trying to see if there was anything more out on the movie.  nope.  but then i noticed dear old Anne McCaffrey had, in allowing fandom Weyrs and the fanfic, set up rules for world usage.  all well and good, and then i saw that one of her rules was 'no weird crossovers.'

and of course, the entirely subversive part of me, the part that asks 'why the hell not?' went into action...

the obvious thoughts are star trek or star wars crossing with DoP, since everyone wants to see how folks would react to dragons.  i've also seen a well-done TS crossover.  and then i got to thinking....  what would be the weirdest crossover with DoP you could imagine?  could you make it work?

mag7 - with some minor world finagling, i'm pretty sure i could do this, and fairly easily.
Pretender... interesting thought, no idea how to set it up.
SG-1/Atlantis - easy squeezy, but would anyone get chosen?  i don't think so, but i also think it has the best potential for an ongoing adventure series
Tour of Duty - i'm already sort of working on something like this.  no, it isn't going well.
highlander - i've thought about it, but....
x-files - same problems with pretender
dS - see above, although i suppose it's possible to transpose the rays and ben into harpers

anyone else want to take a shot?  who would you put a-dragonback?



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