hedda62: Harold Finch in his HAT (hat baby)
*cheers self up with favorite lines post*

By the way, it was about this time last year that I started writing fic like a mad thing, resulting in about 40 stories depending on how I count them and (if I can do math in my head) something like 166K words, which is an entire novel if somewhat shorter than one of my actual novels. A slow and verbose explosion of which I am inordinately fond.

Okay, so I think the last one I picked out darlings for was "Untalked Of and Unseen," so onwards from there:

A Heap of Broken Images is all about the imagery, so I should probably pick something like He doesn't need to cast a hook; the fish leap into his arms. But since I love getting the dialogue right, what I really like best is She leans forward. "I believe in him, Harold" because I can hear Root saying it.

For Night's Candles, oh, maybe "Then let me do something else to persuade you," Harold said, still furious and failing completely at the come-hither voice.

To Make Amends In: okay, this is likely to end up being my favorite story of the year despite being the one the smallest number of people have read, and it's harder to pick a favorite bit, or even single lines. Here's my favorite series of lines: Ben is now used to the way gazes slide off him, either to avoid eye contact or to search behind for someone who isn't there. Who matters more. It's the way his father used to look at him, and once it infuriated him, but now he almost wishes there were more people left on the island to tell him that he's no Jack. He is so pleased to not be Jack that he wants to shout the glad tidings all day long, but no one would listen to him. And for something with only one period: He's getting ready to say How the hell would I know, Hugo? when they hear the shocking, incongruous, long-awaited whine of engines, and all stand still for a minute, looking up like a dazed flock of cranes, until the plane passes over. Even though "crane" and "plane" rhyme and the next sentence has "whoop" in it.

If I'm going to count the PoI ficlets collection as one fic, then my favorite line is clearly "Let me buy you a drink and you can tell me," he said, signaling the bartender, and she ordered a gin and tonic as if it was something she'd just invented, and clinked her glass against his. I've decided that the best way to write Grace is to pretend I'm writing Elsbeth Tascioni and then dial it down about three levels.

Speaking of drinking, No, We Only Have Plane: probably "No, actually I'm a… oh. It's a song. Douglas sang it all the way to Saskatoon once. Interspersed with 'I'm a Lumberjack and I'm Okay.'" He paused. "Hello," he added.

For Faith, it's "Always good to meet a fellow baseball fan. At a funeral." Oh, Peter.

And Fierce has several potential choices, but "He didn't actually kill the guy," Sam explained to Harold's face, which was trying to decide if it was terrified or triumphant is probably number one.

So there we are. And oh look, there are Vorkosigan prompts to play with...
hedda62: Harold Finch in his HAT (hat baby)
And other emotional expressions of ONE MORE DAY TILL DOOM-ness (I've got Dinah Washington on repeat in my inner ear, blaring out "You took the part that once was my heart, so baby come on back and take the rest of me"). I am saving the rewatch of PoI episodes until post-apocalypse, so when I collapsed in a literally sodden heap yesterday (not from crying; I'm not that badly off. It rained on a garden workday, again, dammit) I rewatched some "Lost," not the part in the subject line, but the end of season three whyever I thought that was a good plan, oh CHARLIE, oh Hurley way to rock the gun on the mantelpiece, oh Ben blood is such a good accessory on you almost as good as Finch's purple scarf and much better than Jack's emo-beard.

I've got a really busy weekend coming up (that starts with driving to PA very early Friday) so you probably won't hear from me again aside from possibly some incoherent whimpering at 10 pm tomorrow. So I thought I'd do another darlings post. I'm determined to keep up with these, egotistical as it may seem, because a) I am a stupid bundle of insecurities about writing and need the reinforcement and b) I continue to want to shoot "murder your darlings" in the kneecaps.

But I will put them under a cut this time. :) Five "Person of Interest" fics since I did this last. What the hell, etc.

grim enthusiasm, middle school, and numbers )

And there you have it. *gets on with other stuff*

spoons

Mar. 20th, 2013 01:23 pm
hedda62: Harold Finch, half in shadow, text: Oh, Mr. Finch (finch)
And finally the icon. Better late than never, as Finch would probably not say.

I thought it was time for another "darlings" post, the rest of which (and the explanation) can be found here. AO3 page here.

The next set after I last did this are the three timestamp meme Vorkosigan fics. For "Anecdotal Evidence" the favorite line is clearly Gregor's: "Mm. Installation, design, and maintenance of emperors. The Vorkosigan mandate." (Because I love when serendipity makes me appear clever.) For "The Heart Has Its Reasons" it's a less easy choice, but I think: And he snapped out, good and bitter, 'the hell with the past tense, Simon,' and we started laughing. (Oh, Jules.) And I don't really have a favorite bit from "The Same Side of the Board" (though the dialogue's not bad throughout).

"Goshawk" is long and had a lot of lines I liked, but I guess I'll still go with Alys's "You've forgotten to add 'full of terrorists,'" she noted. "Unless your objection is to the nature of the establishment or to Lieutenant Finch as my escort." (Or possibly "I'm not giving it to you as jewelry, Captain Illyan.")

"Children of an Idle Brain," oh dear; there is so much writing in this that was consciously shaped, it's hard to pick one bit out. I mean to put together some kind of post on writing dreams, soon, so let me arbitrarily choose Isolation is his hallmark; it's stamped in little greeting cards all over his skin, each of them yearning to be opened because it has a dreamlike associative quality to it, and because I didn't have to worry it as much as many of the other lines.

And then "The Three Graces," for which I can't choose between "Blessed are the peacemakers," Harold said sardonically, "for theirs are the treats in the special drawer." and But if you want to go with spoons, that's fine with me.

(Also worthy of mention: But the fading rays of sun in his mind's eye weren't lighting sand and ocean; the sun was setting over New York, and John was alone in the Library, older, grayer, Bear gone… it was really not to be allowed. I should note that the first draft of this sentence ended "it was unbearable" until I realized the horribleness of the pun and hastily rewrote.)

I am fighting another migraine and have to go out tonight and talk intelligently for an hour about spring vegetable gardening, and my projector remote isn't working, and argh. But this too shall pass.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
(This is ridiculously, insanely long. Venture beyond the cut if you dare.)

(My AO3 page, for reference.)

2012 was a dismal and disappointing year for me in some ways, but even I can't say it was a bad year for producing fiction. I wrote and posted a total of 96771 words of new fanfic; this doesn't include "The Emperor's Garden," which was written at the end of 2011 and makes part of last year's count despite its publication date, or "In Time of Pestilence," which was written years ago and just posted this year. It does include my latest Lewis story, "The End of All Our Exploring," which had to wait for AO3 posting until my authorship was revealed. I'm not counting lots of snippets (some quite good but nevertheless incomplete or insufficient as stories) that went up on my journal as part of memes. (Despite some wavering, only two of those made the final cut as posted fics, and one of those is clearly labeled "crack.") But 100K is a fair estimate for total output.

The wordcount is especially shocking because that's for half the year; "No Time for Sergeants" went up in mid-July, and then the floodgates opened. I'm sure I've never written so much in so short a time. Not a word of that was part of my original fiction universe (I did do some editing of the novels in there, so technically some words got added and subtracted, but really nothing new occurred) and more importantly I did nothing toward publication except mull the possibilities over (I'll post about that soonish) but, well, it was a shitty year health-wise and, yeah. I do feel that, aside from being fun and good for me as a writer (because writing anything well is never bad), the fanfic work had some ulterior purpose; I joked "to George" here, somewhere in the middle of the floodtide, "Darling boy, I am building you an audience," and I hope there's some truth to that, though it's not the reason I wrote all the fic. I wrote the fic because I wanted to, because I love the source material, and because I love this method of conversing with my fellow fans, not because I want to sell you all books later on (although that would be nice, and George wants to meet you).

Anyway. I can label this year lots of ways, so here are a few of them:

1) It's all [livejournal.com profile] yunitsa's fault. Well, part of it; but who else could drag me into two new fandoms in a year and get me writing in them? I haven't done much in Person of Interest, aside from say "Oh, Mr. Finch" a lot, although I'm proud of the writing quality in the two short fics I've posted. (And the crossover, discussed below.) In Lewis, I think I could call myself an established, popular writer and a part of the community, though not an especially vocal or prolific one.

2) It's all [personal profile] philomytha's fault. And [livejournal.com profile] penwiper26's and [personal profile] raven's, too, but it was Philomytha who really yanked me forcefully into the universe where…

3) Simon Illyan Is The New Black. Oh, Simon. (Also a fair amount of "Oh, Aral" shadowing the black. Part of the package deal.) I actually only wrote four fics in which Simon figures prominently, but that was nearly all of my Vorkosigan output, and a lot of words, and a lot of Simon-POV, which I'd only done briefly before in "Imperial Bedrooms." So I feel rather Simon-dominated, to say the least. (Insert "L'oiseau qui vole" joke here…)

crossovers, original characters, slash, etc. )

Favorite lines: I've been keeping track of these as I go along, here and here. To complete the record, favorite lines from "The Human Heart" (again, I like Harold noticing language):

There's just such perseverance to it. Such stubborn, gutsy… well, not gutsy, one really can't--"

"Harold. What are you talking about?"

"The human heart, John.


For "The End of All Our Exploring": I am inordinately fond of "Batter me up and fry me, you flipping God," but since that is a paraphrase amid all the allusions and quotes, I think I'll go for "You literary types, you readers of legends in hotel bedrooms with adequate lighting."

Word of the Year: apparently "gentle." This is not the result of statistical analysis, just my subjective observation, but I think it's a legitimate choice. And a curious one.

So: 2012, The Year of Fanfic, really. I'm sorry to say that I don't plan to have 2013 be the same (but there will at least be some. And who knows. Let's see what happens).
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Back from yet another trip to The State To The Immediate North. (I am driving there and back TWICE next weekend, so the kiddo can come home and see a show at his high school. This is the thing about being an indulgent and fairly close-by parent.) If by any odd chance anyone should ever require a recommendation for a queer-friendly B&B in Hellertown, PA (convenient to Bethlehem and Allentown!) please contact me. Also the Braveheart Highland Pub there is much better than it sounds, even when horribly crowded post-hurricane. We did a brewery tour and tasting (Weyerbacher, but in general eastern PA is one of the many hubs of excellent micro-brewed American beer) and watched the kid perform in one of those black-box collaboratively-written based-on-17th-century-Spanish plays that only happen in college. A fun weekend.

My knee is really sore, and I'll have to baby it all week to be able to manage that drive on the weekend. This doesn't fit well with the goal of getting all the weeds out of the community garden plot, but judicious use of ice should help.

Indeed there does turn out to be a small but enthusiastic contingent of Vorkosiverse/"Person of Interest" crossover fans! I am so glad.

As a follow-up to my favorite lines post (in which I was sure the fic-writing streak was over, ha ha ha), here is the somewhat indecisive list from the recent lot:

"the heart is hard to translate" makes for a hard choice; it was very consciously written, which means lots of things struck me as clever at the time. To bring it down to two, certainly while writing the line I kept smiling at was this perfect example of my just-throw-it-all-at-them style:

He knew neither language but the words echoed in his skull along with incongruous images of sunlight on bougainvillea and lime sugar brightness, and Miranda's sympathetic smile, alone desolate forsaken forlorn unique, ice dripping from the eaves, and he looked straight at Vargas and saw forty-five stories of glass and lean steel, and he knew.

but probably in the end (well, literally in the end) I am most pleased with Aral's:

"Oh, yes. We gave up waiting and just danced in the dark. It was a bit chaotic, and the musicians hated it, but we muddled through. With moments of brilliance, I like to think."

because, you know. It has Meaning.

For "Then Move Not," everyone seemed to like "tingling all over with lust and ambiguity," and yeah, I do too, but I really prefer:

It's not a stranger, of course, or worse, someone he knows. It's his perfect amalgam of the two, bearing sencha.

Or the inadvertent doggerel, because it did, in fact, happen (or not happen) inadvertently.

"Sparrow" is one of those cases (like "Offerings," where my favorite line was Miles's purely reactive "Holy fucking shit") in which my little darlings are meaningless out of context. But, nevertheless: "And I didn't say ImpSec wanted you. I do." and "I'll bring Bothari."

And there you are. And now I can start panicking about the election tomorrow. I have already voted; early voting is a great invention.

Let's see what happens.

Darlings

Oct. 4th, 2012 08:12 am
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Since I suspect that my fic-writing streak is over for the moment, unless another tale seizes me with the urgency of "Thirty" (or, God forbid, the head-over-heels lunatic passion of "L'oiseau qui vole"), it's a good time to do this now. First try at a personal meme I should have been doing all along.

Probably a lot of us have favorite lines in stories. Sometimes you know it when you write the thing and sometimes it's only in retrospect. To some extent, these are the sort of "darlings" that conventional writing wisdom orders us to excise. Not a bit of advice I believe in, by the way, not least because it's so incredibly vague, but in any case I think the intent of that excision is to get rid of what we've written consciously to please other people, and the lines I'm talking about need please only ourselves. (And yeah, you can write a self-pleasing line that's bad or pointless or incomprehensible to anyone not you. I'm not saying don't edit.)

Some of these lines make me laugh when I read them over, and some make my heart do a little jump, and some do both, and some are just fun or intellectually pleasing. I don't have favorite lines for all stories; I'm quite fond of "Further Up and Further In," for example, but no one line leaps out at me as special.

But here's what I've got (for the recent "Lewis," "Sherlock," and Vorkosiverse fics all at my AO3 page for the finding). Nothing here is spoilery.

"Lewis" first. Nothing from "No Time for Sergeants," and nothing from "Dear Stephen" (I am quite taken with "You have debauched my Piglet" but it's 80% Patrick O'Brian so doesn't count).

"Da Segno al Coda" has a lot of nice stuff in it, I think, but my personal favorite line is: "Though I recited Morse one hundred percent less poetry." I'm not sure it makes mathematical sense, but it is incredibly Robbie.

"Rich and Strange" I am modestly quite proud of, and I could pick out lots of lines. For some reason the one that tickled me most while I was writing it and continues to do so is: He thumbed out a quick, likely misspelled text to Lewis, which felt more like We who are about to die salute you than anything he would have really wanted to say, and ran. This is entirely due to the notion of Hathaway being concerned, in the middle of what does turn out to be a life-threatening emergency, that he might not be using correct spelling.

In "And Love Itself Have Rest" I do really like multiple snippets from Hathaway's internal monologue, but they make no sense out of context, and anyway I have to go with this: The trouble with warding off grief and remorse by means of industry was that he solved the case all too soon, through perseverance and logic and damnable luck: a thinking machine burrowing into the soft heart of malfeasance like a monstrous drill. Sometimes I just have to show off, and I heart Hathaway for allowing me to do so. *hugs*

On to the pair of "Sherlock" stories. "Improbability" is a style exercise as well as an exploration of psychology; it's full of nice bits, but my favorite sentence hands down is: When he looks up again he's outside Barts, watching a dark bird swoop down out of the sky into ruin. I think it may be the best sentence I've written all year.

"The Cat Did Nothing in the Night-Time" is quite different in tone, but my favorite sentence in it is a harkening back to the imagery of the other story: In another lifetime, in no time at all, he realizes that it's not an echo; it's the shout across the valley that starts it all, the end and the beginning and all the heartbreaks in between. Although the list of ways Sherlock is like a cat is rather a triumph too.

Of the Vorkosiverse stories only two produced a favorite line for me. "L'oiseau qui vole" is probably my favorite story of this... long productive whatever that's been happening to me. And, although I am very fond of the line about the bird holding still, my absolute favorite two sentences are: Then he wanted to scream, but of course he didn't, merely let out one heartfelt "Shit" and started throwing office supplies into Duval's box. Half of them were ImpSec property and had to be patiently removed by Duval's gentle hands. It's the visual, of course, with the emotional backing; it is how Simon Illyan deals with having his heart torn out and stamped on. And oh, I did use the word "gentle" quite a few times in this fic, didn't I? Interesting. A contrast to just about everything else that's going on, I suppose.

And from "Thirty": "If there are horse bars in there, I'm throwing you in the lake," Mark said. Just because I love Mark, and I had missed writing him more than I knew.

And that's it. I would be thrilled if anyone else wants to do this.

June 2016

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