eurydice james: pepperlandgirl4

Reopening...kind of

For a Monday, today wasn't too bad. Except for the fact that I think I might be losing the battle with this cold. But I'm doing everything I can to fight it, and I'm 99% sure it's not covid, so it's one day at a time there.

Our governor lifted the state lockdown based on the projections that our ICUs will be more manageable within the next two weeks. Individual counties still have control over what happens, though, and ours is back in the purple tier we were in prior to December 3. Outdoor dining, hair salons back open, maximum of 25 people at an outdoor gathering from a maximum of 3 households. We'll see how long it lasts. Without major holidays on the horizon, I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but people are already being stupid about the lift. Of course, they see the timing as further proof that this was all a ploy to steal the election rather than the fact that LOCKDOWNS WORK if you make them strict enough. The stupidity really burns sometimes.

I did actually hit a store today, though, because I needed to go to Office Depot. Apparently, so how did half my town. I was inside for a full half hour for a simple transaction, but I couldn't put it off any longer. I sanitized like crazy and was good with my mask, so I'm not really afraid. Just annoyed at how long it took. Not that I took it out on the poor staff. There were enough people doing that already. Like it was the staff's fault everybody decided to show up today.

Still not done with my galleys, but I don't feel overwhelmed by them today. And my pain levels were much more tolerable. So all in all, I'm counting today as a good one in the long run.

It would still be nice to get some writing done for a change, though.
mood - pooped puppy: angstchic

I wasn't joking about needing more time

I'm two challenges behind at Snowflake Challenge, but I just don't have the motivation to work on them. I've been consumed with so much stuff in the past few days - still working on galleys, organizing tax information, reorganizing the kitchen, dealing with The Body Shop stuff, tons of laundry, hot soaks at night because my pain has been pretty bad since Wednesday, trying to hold off this cold that keeps creeping up - that I don't want to even think about anything too demanding. Writing? What's that? I don't even know why I call myself a writer anymore, to be honest.

In good news, my 72 y/o mother is due to get her first covid vaccination on Thursday, while my favorite aunt and uncle (her older sister and brother-in-law) get theirs on Monday. It's a weight off my shoulders. I worry about them all the time and there's nothing I can do because they're in Michigan and I'm in California. So this is a relief.

And now I'm off to switch yet another load of laundry, have some tea, then run a bath. At least I can read in the bath.
mood - smack a bitch: ushitora_icons

I need more time and less argumentative acquaintances

I have to keep reminding myself to breathe. In. Out. Don't get bogged down by the weight of it all. Just in. And out.

I have SO much to do. Two galleys. Work at the library. Stuff around the house. Big things like taxes. Little things like mailing packages. And right now, I have a headache from trying to get stuff done and failing to find too much time to give myself room to breathe.

It doesn't help that the husband of a friend of mine keeps picking arguments with me and a different friend on Facebook. He's a fire chief and doesn't like Biden. He's gotten into it with us on a whole host of things. Today, it was a news item she shared about rejoining WHO. He jumped all over it and said we were right to leave because it was better to give the money to Americans and not to "foreign countries that suck." And I commented when I should've let it go, but I've always loved him before all this and it just makes me so sad to hear all this shit coming from him. This, in particular, triggered me because he *is* a public servant. He thinks it's wrong to give anything that might help Iran or a couple other countries, so the fact that it helps 95% of the countries he "approves" of doesn't matter. It should all get thrown out. By that logic, he shouldn't help save people from a burning building if it's housing a criminal. Or someone he doesn't approve of (an earlier fight was about letting religion trump all other rights and essentially giving people permission to deny services/help to people they disagree with, a problematic view for us because of his job).

Arg. I'm still angry about it, which doesn't help my mood.
btvs - spike wish/need: elizalavelle

Snowflake Challenge #10

In your own space, write a love letter to Fandom in general, to a particular fandom, to a trope, a relationship, a character, creator, episode, or it could be your fandom friends. Share your love and squee as loud as you want to.

Dear Spike,

I resisted watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer for years. My mom loved the movie and would constantly quote from it, which was annoying, and then there was my problem with Sarah Michelle Gellar for what I thought was insanely unprofessional behavior after she finished up with All My Children. Even though my husband nagged me over and over again about trying it, I always switched the channel on him. Until that fateful night when he said, "There's a chance this is the very last episode and I want to watch it. You can stay or go, but I'm watching it."

I stayed. It was the last two episodes of S5, aired together in the UK. I knew very little about the show except that the red-haired girl was Buffy's friend. It got to the end, and this vampire was breaking down over the death of his mortal enemy, and I couldn't get that image out of my head. Why? What had I missed? The following Monday, I started watching on Sky One at 6pm where it was showing reruns. It was the middle of S3. The blond vampire was nowhere in sight. Apparently, that didn't matter because by Wednesday I was hooked. When S3 finished, it started over at S1 and I got to see what I'd missed. I went out and bought S4 and S5 on VHS so that I would be ready to watch S6 when it aired.

And it all started with Spike.

I had never been a part of a fandom before. I had liked other shows and books before then, but I'd never obsessed like I did with Buffy. I went off in search of everything I could find and that's when I discovered this glorious thing called fanfic. But my love for Spike and my overwhelming desire to give him the happy ending he so clearly wanted compelled me to write prose again for the first time in 15 years. Don't get me wrong. I love the ensemble. I love the whole damn show to pieces.

But Spike hit a chord. Because he'd started from a shy, bookish, bullied past, turned to revenge when he could, then fought back to try and be good when he fell in love with his mortal enemy. Because he has the heart of a poet and a romantic. Because he covers it all up with a bravado even he doesn't believe sometimes.

Spike opened my world. I found online friends, such a valuable commodity since I was an expat American in the UK who was stuck at home with toddlers and not working for the first time in fifteen years. I found my writing voice again, which I'd thought lost when I switched to scripts as a teenager. I found a world where I could be wholly accepted instead of viewed as a freakish geek for the first time ever.

Some of my best memories are because of Spike. For our fifteenth wedding anniversary, my husband and I renewed our wedding vows. He surprised me by quoting Spike's speech from Touched: "When I say I love you, it's not because I want you. Or because I can't have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you *are*. What you do. How you try...I've seen your kindness, and your strength. I've seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand, with perfect clarity, exactly what you are... You're a *hell* of a woman... You're the One." I cried for the rest of the ceremony.

So thank you, Spike. For simply being you.
mood - writing is hard (arthur): kathyh

Snowflake Challenge #8 & 9

I skipped #7 because it's about coming up with new challenges, and I could not think of anything fandom-related that wasn't wish fulfillment. Which is kind of the point of #8, lol.

#8: In your own space, create a wishlist.

1. I wish BtVS and AtS had a weekly drabble community here on LJ that was like camelot_drabble. It's a weekly prompt for Merlin fics up to 1k that people sign up for. You can skip weeks. You're not limited by character. Gah. I would be all over that. I would even help mod if someone else wanted to help with it.
2. I am always on the lookout for good recipes. I love to cook and bake. We don't have any allergies, but I can't tolerate very much heat at all so I avoid things with most types of peppers (I can do bell and banana, but that's about it) or too much cumin/cayenne. My capsicum sensitivity makes my soft palate swell.
3. Like all the other creators have wished for, comments on my fics are always loved and appreciated.
4. Tom Hopper/Percival icons. I have a few, but they tend to be from canon and I write him so much in modern AU, it would be nice to have other options.
5. This one is wishful thinking, but I miss the old LJ days when there was so much fandom stuff concentrated in one place. With so many different platforms, there's very little community anymore.
6. And my final wishful thinking...time. God. What I wouldn't do to have more of it. I suppose it means I need to say no to things, but I don't really think there's much in my life right now that I could've said no to.

#9: In your own space, brag about yourself. Tell us what things you've done that you're proud of; the things that make you the wonderful person you are.

I suck at promoting myself in any way. It feels wrong, even though I know I'm smart and a worthy person (when my imposter syndrome and depressive insecurities aren't rearing their awful heads). But I'm going to force myself past my discomfort as best I can.

Personal stuff:
- I'm a hard worker with an excellent eye for detail.
- I'm a good parent. I helped raise two amazing young adults who are kind, generous, self-sufficient, and ready to go out into the world to make it a better place for everybody once we can do that again.

It's a little easier to talk about fics I'm proud of. I limited myself to 1 per fandom:

1. Legions of True Hearts: BtVS, William/Buffy, 180k, set between S3 and S4.
- I wrote this story entirely for myself, back when nobody was really writing William very much. In my Spuffy corner, I really didn't expect anybody to read it, especially since in my original disclaimer, I told people not to hold their breath on seeing Spike in it. But this story weaves so much of what I love to do in fic (when I have time, which has not been in recent years). It's a love story, with a twisty plot that allows me to mostly focus on external conflict while my leads fall in love. And it still has my favorite last line that I've ever written.

2. Haven by Chance: Merlin fandom, Arthur/Percival, 85k
- This wasn't my first long fic for the Merlin fandom, but again, it was a story I started writing completely for myself because so few people were writing Percival. So few people *still* don't write Percival. It started out as a response on the Merlin Kink Meme and exploded from what could've been PWP into this long romance between two amazing men.

3. Portable Magic: Logan Lucky, Clyde gen, 3k.
- I wrote this for Yuletide a couple years ago and couldn't have been more ecstatic about the opportunity. I *love* this movie so much. It's the movie that made me fall in love with Adam Driver. And the chance to write some backstory for Clyde (his character)? No way could I pass that up. I'm so happy with how it turned out.

4. The Work of a Moment: Black Sails, Flint/Thomas, 4.5k
- The other Yuletide story I'm most proud of. I love Black Sails with a passion, and I was so excited to have the chance to write this pairing. This was the ending for them I wanted to see. (And parts were oddly prescient.)
eurydice james: pepperlandgirl4

A fresh week

I have been buried under boring work for the past four days, and I'm only just coming out of it, so be prepared for a flood of Snowflake Challenge posts to come as I try and catch up.

As for other stuff in my life to post about...buried under work, remember? I've done almost nothing else and none of it is interesting. I failed to do any fic reading, which means I don't have a rec post this past weekend. On the other hand, I did manage to hit a different goal by pulling a cookbook out and making three new things from it over the weekend. One was a lemon garlic chicken with roast potatoes (chicken was fine, but the potatoes were the absolute BOMB; everybody loved those so much) and the other was a new take on a black bean soup that was again fine but nothing I'd probably fuss with again.

The only interesting thing about today so far is that it's currently 72F degrees outside with clear blue skies and I wish I was out in it.
mood - pooped puppy: angstchic

Tension = exhaustion

This whole country is sitting on a powder keg. It feels like I can't even take a breath sometimes, I'm so worried about everything.

I walked into a situation when I showed up at the library this morning. Our library shares space with the high school's library. Since school started, they've been using the high school half as a day care for teacher's kids. There's never been more than three or four kids in there, and they stay on their side, so not a big deal. Well, apparently, the school decided to move them to a better space on campus, starting this morning. One of the girls is autistic and does not react to change well. She got very upset, but eventually left. The only people in our side were two people who had come in early to do some training.

Well, the girl's father came barging in and promptly got into our male librarian's face. Apparently, the school failed to tell the parents they were moving the kids, and he was absolutely furious. Our guy got the brunt of it because there was literally nobody else in the library, even though we had NOTHING to do with any of it. He didn't get hurt, but he felt threatened enough to contact the administration. When I came in, we were in a lockdown situation. We weren't allowed outside or near the windows because the admin wasn't sure what the teacher might do. They couldn't legally remove him from the property because he hadn't broken any union rules.

We stayed like that for about an hour before the administration said they felt safe and had it under control. On the other hand, they kept our doors locked and told us to be watchful.

I get the father's anger, but it was entirely misdirected at us. I hope when he calms down that he comes and apologizes. I didn't see him before I left, but he would've still been teaching at that point. I guess we'll see what happens.

It made for a pretty exhausting day, I'll be honest. Tension will do that to me, even if I'm otherwise okay.
books - reading dreaming: coloryourdream

Snowflake Challenge #6

Challenge #6

In your own space, rec at least three fanworks that you didn’t create.

Well, one of my goals was to rec on Saturdays, which I did this past weekend. So that was two right there. However, to satisfy this one on its own, I went through my bookmarks over at AO3 and pulled out a few in various fandoms that deserve more attention. That means most of these are small fandoms.

It's Crumpet! (3249 words) by therumjournals
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: New Girl
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Jessica Day (New Girl), Schmidt (New Girl), Nick Miller, Winston Bishop
Additional Tags: Christmas, Yuletide 2012
Summary: Jess tries to convince her roommates to join her in a part-time job at the mall’s Santa Meet ‘n Greet.
Why should you read this? This could've totally been an episode. The pacing is great, the humor is spot-on, and I loved how she could play the boys.

In Between (1536 words) by zeldadestry
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: 3:10 to Yuma (2007)
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Ben Wade/Alice Evans/Dan Evans
Characters: Dan Evans
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe, Yuletide Treat
Summary: Their friend is in love with his wife, but Dan senses no threat, only a strange security in this discovery’s rightness.
Why should you read this? It's just absolutely lovely. There's a quiet sensuality and inevitability permeating the whole piece.

Flotsam (2468 words) by trollprincess
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Psycho (1960)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Lila Crane
Summary: Lila goes on in the aftermath of Norman Bates.
Why should you read this? This was delicate and heartbreaking and utterly convincing in its portrayal. It hits all the right beats on how I imagine her life would be like afterward.

Ingénue-ity (3604 words) by likeadeuce
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Artist (2011)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: George Valentin, Peppy Miller
Additional Tags: Friendship
Summary: Being innocent, spontaneous, and entirely without guile takes a LOT of work. Sometimes, Peppy wonders if George knows how much.
Why should you read this? It's absolutely, thoroughly charming. It manages to both enhance the humanity of both characters while keeping that otherworldly charm that made the movie magical.

School Spirit (Or Lack Thereof) (1155 words) by Missy
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Calvin & Hobbes
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Calvin' Father/Calvin's Mother (Calvin and Hobbes)
Characters: Calvin's Mother (Calvin and Hobbes), Calvin's Father (Calvin and Hobbes)
Additional Tags: High School, Pre-Canon, First Kiss, First Meetings, Bugs & Insects, Yuletide Treat, First Love
Summary: It's her friend Susan's fault she's standing here in the hallway with a bottle of meal worms in her hand and pantaloons slung over her shoulder, talking to this tall goofy guy with glasses sliding down his nose. </p>

Or, Calvin's Mom meets Calvin's Dad.
Why should you read this? I have loved Calvin & Hobbes for decades. It never even occurred to me that I wanted to read how his parents got together until I was at the end of the first paragraph thinking, "Oh, my goodness, this is wonderful." And finished the story with the very same thought.

btvs - buffy warrior: stephie04

Snowflake Challenge #5

Challenge #5

In your own space, promote a canon/talk about a part of canon that you love.

For some reason, I had a hard time figuring out what to write here. What could I say that wasn't already said? But then I saw a comment somewhere that kind of annoyed me, so here I am, finally with something to say.

It's no secret that I adore Spike on BtVS. I started out writing Spuffy primarily because I loved Spike so much. In my brain, Spike loves Buffy, Spike didn't get Buffy, so my job as a fanfic writer was to give Spike what he wanted - Buffy.


There is no way I would've stuck to the show if I didn't love Buffy, too. Yes, she's flawed, but she's the root of the whole show. She's why I sit through every single episode when I do a rewatch (even Restless which I absolutely loathe). I love the ensemble, which is why it's so easy to go back to S1 and watch from the beginning, but if I didn't love Buffy, I don't know if I would've been as obsessed back in the day or still in love with the show now, 20 years later.


1. For the most part, she almost never gives up. She has so much shit thrown at her, both in her personal life and as the Slayer, and she does what she can to fight through it. She has her lapses - running away after S2, going catatonic right before the big fight with Glory - but I can't blame her for those, not when I evaluate how much she goes through. Even when she makes mistakes, she does her best to fight back from it.
2. Her mistakes make her so relatable. We all screw up. Even gorgeous blondes with superpowers.
3. She fights to the death for the people she loves. And for people who don't deserve it.
4. She's funny and charming and just enough of an oddball to be endearing, as long as the weight of the world isn't suffocating her. Or she isn't newly come back from the dead.
5. She's surprisingly quick to forgive the people she loves.