Jan. 16th, 2016

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Snowflake Challenge Day 13

And yet again, I’m in catch up mode, so apologies for spamming you...

In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you did not create.

Here are three non-slash stories that I really admire.

[livejournal.com profile] sam_arkand’s A Tall Ship. This is Buffy/Xander and is a prime example of how to do this pairing well. It's post Chosen with Xander taking some well earned post Africa vacation time down Mexico way, when a certain Slayer comes to visit because she's lost her luggage. Lovely characterisation, great voices, lots and lots of wonderful detail about their pasts and their presents and some truly wonderful one-liners. Just a great, fun and satisfying read. I’ve read it multiple times and I know I’ll read it multiple times in the future.

For a different take on this relationship there is Near Enna’s Walls is a Deep Lake by [livejournal.com profile] dipenates. This is a missing scene from Seeing Red in which Buffy and Xander have a sort of conversation on the floor of the bathroom and there are no words that can make this better. Obviously this is post the attempted rape and I think dipenates does a great job in writing this scene while not attempting to find resolution to an impossible situation.

[livejournal.com profile] waddis wrote in the Buffyverse for only a relatively short time, and wrote at least one honking swash buckling epic in He’s No Jack Sparrow, but the story that really stays with me is a small one written in a minor key - Retrospect. There are five short post-Chosen pieces delving into the thoughts in turn of Xander, Willow, Dawn, Buffy and Giles. They are all beautifully written and a joy to read, but I have to confess I have a huge soft spot for the Xander and the Giles pieces – the images and emotions they conjure up just winds round and round in my head.

So that’s three stories that I very much admire and didn’t write, but wish that I had. :)
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Snowflake Challenge Day 14

In your own space, share your love for something fannish: a trope, cliché, kink, motif, theme, format, or fandom.

I had to scratch my head about this one, and I’ve deliberately not gone back and read what I wrote last year to this question in the faint chance that I might have an original thought. *g*

As I’ve said before, I’m pretty open minded about what I read, so long as it’s engaging, written in a way that doesn’t make my eyes bleed and I believe the story – it can be het, gen or slash, it’s all good, so long as it’s good, as it were...

Having said that, there are particular story types that I do love and revisit time and again. Angst is one of them. When I’m writing, I’m never happier than when I’m making my characters suffer in some way or another – mental, emotional, physical, it’s all grist to the mill. I actually feel sorry for my long suffering beta [livejournal.com profile] thismaz because she isn’t an angst fan at all, and I make her read my stuff multiple times – I still feel guilty at making her beta my story Piece by Piece.

There are so many great examples of quality Buffy ‘verse angst that I could mention, but the granddaddy of them all for me is Modus Vivendi by wiseacress. Xander is living in LA and finds himself on the wrong end of a severe punishment beating by enemies of Spike. Things go downhill from there with Xan holed up in Spike’s apartment with no way of contacting anyone and unable to get about unaided. On top of that, he keeps getting these really strange dreams. A lot of people didn’t like how this story ended, and it’s a question of be careful what you wish for because wiseacres wrote a sequel Ars Moriendi, in which she took the previous story in a different direction a couple of chapters from the end and turned the screw harder than you would have thought possible. Being from the author in question, you know the quality is going to be good, but oh, the angst, the angst...
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Snowflake Challenge Day 15

In your own space, talk about what you’re taking away from this challenge. Did you learn something? Did you interact with new people? Or did you try out different fandoms or formats or relationships? What’s changed between Day 1 and Day 15 of this challenge?

Real Life has intruded a lot more than normal on fannish activities over these last couple of weeks, so i don’t feel I participated as much as I would normally do in terms of interacting with other people’s challenge posts. So from that perspective, not a lot has changed.

But to go back to my thoughts on Day 1, I said the reason I was doing the challenge was because it was a good way of taking stock. And that is exactly what I’ll take away. I haven’t had any big revelations about my habits or my likes and dislikes, or even my fannish aspirations for the next year, other than the wish to continue doing good work and enjoying myself. But what it has given me, is a bit of time to reflect on fandom – to appreciate the friendships, the wealth of creativity and the feeling of belonging that fandom, and in particular the Buffy fandom gives me.

So while nothing has really changed between Day 1 and Day 15, sometimes reaffirmation is just as important as change.

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