Smugness

Sep. 29th, 2013 08:04 pm
tehta: (stained glass tree)
I just got back from ice-climbing. Whee! One might expect I would be full of Maedhros/Fingon feels, but for now I will celebrate by posting the next chapter of The Archer's Triangle. It is a bit outdoorsy-themed, after all. It is also... well, it's the reason why I rescued this fic from obscurity: I myself find it quite amusing. I guess it's just my sort of thing...
tehta: (ecthelion and glorfindel)
The Month of Writing Dangerously over at [livejournal.com profile] silwritersguild, I mean. I am wishing I had officially signed up because I would have totally "won" (i.e., met my WIP goals) and so I could ask for a "prize", such as an illustration of the "heroic nudity" moments of Many Happy Returns. I guess I might have to draw my own, possibly in the Greek style of the Glorfindel and Ecthelion icon I am using here. (Incidentally, I would totally offer "prizes" to others, but 1. I cannot actually draw and 2. My writing has certain tendencies towards irony and general mockery, which people might not enjoy when directed at their own OCs or headcanon characters.)

Anyway, regarding my "victory": apart from finishing one eight-year-old story, I made some progress on several others. Including an odd Turin-Beleg-Mablung drama which I originally started as a speedw-ritten exercise, but which came to amuse me so much I started to feel that it would be a shame not to polish it. I am not *quite* done with that--the last two chapters are still a bit disorganized--but I have decided to start posting it, chapter-by-chapter, in the hope that this will guilt me into wrapping it up.
tehta: (stained glass tree)
Not posting my Amarie story, I mean, since I had finished it weeks ago. So, here you go: Many Happy Returns (The secondary title is due to my beta, [livejournal.com profile] eveiya). Summary:

The Silmarillion is so full of heartbreaking, wasteful, tragic deaths that it sometimes seems as if the not-tragically-deadly parts of the narrative are there only to give the readers a little breather.

I expect that everyone has a death or two that they find particularly distressing. Amarië certainly does. But at least she can do something about it...





(Un)Interesting facts about the story:
1. It was definitely written as a reaction to the tragic, distressing parts of the Silm. And by "reaction" I mean "antidote".
2. It passes the Bechdel test only in VERY incidental ways (in the overheard discussions of minor characters.) However, I cannot imagine anyone claiming that it marginalizes Tolkien's female characters.
3. I stared it in 2005. When I faded out of the fandom, it was half written. I would occasionally poke at it. There are occasional (buried) references to whatever other fic I was writing at the same time. And now it is finished -- I still cannot believe it!
4. I am very, very amused by it myself. It contains some of my favourite characters, doing particularly characteristic things. And the antidote aspect of it really seems to work.
tehta: (stained glass tree)
So, I recently signed up at [livejournal.com profile] tolkien_weekly, which sends out weekly drabble prompts, thinking that I might want to try a few. (Even if I am very ambivalent regarding drabbles.) And what was the first prompt? PEG. So obviously my first association was pegging (NB: that's a wikipedia link, but a bit NSFW.) Now I cannot shake the association. And I don't think I want to enter a new community with THAT as my intro.

The second word is DRILL, btw. So there is a definite drabble series forming. In my head. Probably yours now, too.

More SFW-ishly, I have recently discovered a new book series. Through LJ, so most of you know them already: the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik. (Who is of Polish extraction, judging by on of her book dedications! Woo!) The premise can be summarized as "the Napoleonic wars, with dragons." It's very O'Brien-ish (though written in a slightly lower literary register, but that makes it more accessible), and perhaps a little Smaug-ish (the dragons have very distinct not-quite-human personalities, with a marked love of treasure.) Now, when I first saw this premise, I was a bit worried that there would be weird mystical mumbo-jumbo, but it is intelligently imagined, down to all the climbing gear that is needed to ride around on the back of a giant creature, and the logistic nightmares of feeding someone so large. And yes, there is a strong, special bond between dragons and their "captains", but this feels quite natural and emotional rather than frou-frou magical. Overall, the series features a lot of fun escapism: some strong female characters (the dragons have no gender-specific traits that I can see, but some of the deadliest accept only female captains -- who then proceed to ignore societal constraints, quite merrily) and some very satisfying rewrites of colonial history.
tehta: (stained glass tree)
Recent, er, events in my head have inspired me to dash off a quick chat between Maedhros & Maglor. I call it:

The Artistic Temperament, a ficlet à clef.

And here it is! )
tehta: (stained glass tree)
So, Sultry in September is in full swing now. Most people will have read their gift, and the stories most relevant to their interests (and hopefully there was an overlap) and are now poking around at all the other exciting stuff. I have done a fair amount of poking myself, and have the following (slightly contradictory) observations:


- Imagine a chart displaying all the possible (not-sibling-incestuous) Finwian cousin pairings. Now imagine marking all the pairings that have been explored in at least one story. Wow, we sure are making progress on filling in that chart, aren't we? (Or maybe I just think that because I like reading about Finrod. Guy gets around! I think the only cousins I have not seen him with are the twins.)

Someone should draw this chart. Maybe we can work on filling it in some more.


- Very, very few of the stories in this SLASH EXCHANGE are PWPs. Actually, few have very explicit sex scenes, at all: most choose to focus on character exploration, or canon commentary, or world-building, or mood, instead. And, well... I do not hear anyone complaining. Nor do people complain about the amount of het that seems to sneak in (mostly via canon.)

I think this might be a sign that most of the participants are... versatile, and also interested in far more than porn, or even romance. I know I am! The slash is all very well, but some of my best experiences in the exchange come from seeing all these different interpretations and viewpoints of the same legendarium, all right next to each other.

I wonder if it might not be nice to have a gen fic exchange? Or rather one where all pairings are allowed -- or none -- and people ask for aspects of the canon they would like to see explored, instead? I think I would love to participate in something like that. (Back to ME month has a little of that flavour, but without the extra pressure to step out of one's comfort zone.)
tehta: (stained glass tree)
It’s finally here! The day of gifts! By which I mean the Sultry in September fic exchange. I am super excited to read all the things. And I got a gift! My request was rather vague, but [livejournal.com profile] marchwriter used it to construct an atmospheric ghost story starring Gwindor and Beleg, Only Ourselves Remain.
So please go read, comment, and so on.

My own entry is Something Stronger, aka The Fic That Ruined My Life For a While. It’s Aegnor/Glorfindel (though not my usual Glorfindel*, obviously) and it’s a sweeping saga that starts on a beach in Valinor, and ends in a forest in the Second Age. I have never written anything with such grand scope! Or with so much random meta crammed in: I gave poor Aegnor some unique views on First Age favourites such as the Kinslayings and Luthien’s Choice. But everyone loves meta, right?


* Probably just as well! Ecthelion/Glorfindel is the single most popular pairing in the exchange, with four fics. I feel very mainstream. I wish I could be a hipster, like the cool kids.
tehta: (stained glass tree)
So, today I visited the ruined castle of Durnstein with a (non-fandom, actually all-around-luddite) friend.

I don't know how many people know this, but Durnstein is where Richard Lionheart was imprisoned for a while. And there is an (improbable*) legend saying that he was released from obscure captivity only after he was found by his minstrel Blondel, who happened to be outside the castle singing a popular song when a familiar, royal voice picked up the tune. A further version of the legend suggests that Blondel had been actively searching for him, visiting various likely castles and playing his favourite songs under each.

The thing is, the castle of Durnstein stands 150m above its town, up a rather steep road -- and there are no helpful Eagles in sight. So my friend, who dislikes hiking, and (as mentioned) is barely aware of the internet, told me,

"You know, I have a theory. Blondel obviously had a HUGE crush on Richard."

...so there you go, Fingon/Maedhros shippers. Your ship follows a slash trope that is blatantly obvious even to innocents.



* Improbable, because EVERYONE knew where Richard was, anyway; they were just slow to pay his ransom. Allegedly, he even wrote a rather passive-agressive song about how his friends were letting him rot there. So now I am surprised never to have encountered such a song in Maedhros fics...
tehta: (stained glass tree)
What a productive day this has been, across the years! All the best to [livejournal.com profile] eveiya, [livejournal.com profile] vulgarweed, and [livejournal.com profile] mirien!
tehta: (stained glass tree)
I continue to be a failure at finishing my WIPs, but I knocked out a drabble:



It's almost fanon, really. )



Note: in this context, "knocked out" means "picked at for almost an hour even though it is ridiculous." A hundred words! How can a hundred words capture the full absurdity of any concept?
tehta: (stained glass tree)
Old-ish meme stolen from [livejournal.com profile] moetushie.

Pick any passage of 500 words or less from any story I've written, and comment to this post with that selection. I will then give you the equivalent of a DVD commentary on that snippet: what I was thinking when I wrote it, why I wrote it in the first place, what's going on in the character's heads, why I chose certain words, what this moment means in the context of the rest of the fic, lots of awful puns, and anything else that you’d expect to find on a DVD commentary track.

Because you can't spell meme without saying (it's all about) ME twice.

I will not be sad if nobody bites. Also, 500 words is A LOT. But the awesome thing here is that, even though so many of my stories are OLD, I still have many of my (numerous) drafts! So I can remember a lot of what I went through when writing.
tehta: (stained glass tree)
Whee! Fun trailer!

And I have an explanation for Tauriel's hair! Apart from the obvious "slutty Maedhros" one, I mean. When I explained why it is a bit weird to a (geeky) colleague, he went "oh, but it's obviously not her natural colour."

Upon further reflection, I do not see any reason why it should be. I know Tolkien (or Pengolodh, or whoever) never wrote about Elvish hair dye, but I am sure they had the technology.

I think my version of Egalmoth might try it.
tehta: (stained glass tree)
Various comments I have received in response to my whiny post have led me to make the following conclusions:

  • Pretty much everyone sees their own views as a minority opinion, and their own fics as of specialized interest only.
  • It is very hard to determine who is right about this, because the evidence we have (meta discussions, fics, and fic comments) are a very biased sample of views-at-large, and are often emitted in highly correlated clusters.
  • Many (most?) people enjoy well-written stories that conflict with their own headcanon, but some of those same people are made uncomfortable by impassioned meta that conveys the same opinions.
  • I should stop stressing out about this and just write stuff.
tehta: (stained glass tree)
Pick a trope from this list and provide a pairing (or character, where gen-fic seems appropriate -- Tolkien fandom only, sorry) and I'll tell you something about the story I'd write for that combination (i.e. write a snippet from the story or write not!fic or tell you the title and summary for the story I would write)

1. genderswap
2. bodyswap
3. drunk!fic
4. huddling for warmth
5. pretending to be married
6. secretly a virgin
7. amnesia
8. cross-dressing
9. forced to share a bed
10. truth or dare
11. historical AU
12. accidental-baby-acquisition
13. apocalypse fic
14. telepathy crossovers!
15. High School / College AU
tehta: (stained glass tree)
So basically I am thinking: Australia.

Blatherings )

Amused.

May. 4th, 2013 11:00 pm
tehta: (stained glass tree)
I finally found something fun on tumblr: a link to this picture of Finrod painting. (Buttock warning.)

I am super-amused because the Finrod I wrote in Sketches from Beleriand would totally act in this way.

It's a fic!

May. 2nd, 2013 08:43 am
tehta: (Xmas G)
If you head over to AO3, you might see that I have posted something titled The Return of the Balrog Slayer. No points for guessing what it's about. Some points for guessing how the story unfolds.

Comments are always very welcome, here or there.


(PS. I consider this my REAL "return to writing Ecthelion and Glorfindel" fic. The Burden of Beauty was just a warmup. Not that being REAL makes this a fic to be taken too seriously...)
tehta: (stained glass tree)
I am jealous of all the Elf-writers on tumblr who get questions for their characters.
Does anyone want to ask any character I have ever written any questions? I will try to answer both honestly and IC. Unless honesty would be very OOC.
tehta: (stained glass tree)
I have already posted a list of my first lines. And now, final lines! WIPs will be missing from this list, for obvious reasons. Actually, all I am posting here is the last lines of my stories off AO3:

Here they are... )

This was a bit more interesting for me than the first lines, because I remembered fewer of them. And huh, I seem to like ending fics with dialogue, don't I?
tehta: (stained glass tree)
Stolen from [livejournal.com profile] moetushie. It's supposed to be "the latest 21 stories", but I don't actually have many more than that, so I am doing them all.

Here they are. )

I actually don't hate most of them, even if they aren't all huge attention-grabbers. I think most of them work for setting up a story, anyway. There is a lot of dialogue, which is fine considering how it puts one right in the center of things, some close POV feelings and observations, a few scene-establishing shots... I guess thirteen is weak and not really necessary.
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