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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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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 [ 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 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.

[ 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 [ 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.

[ 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 12

What makes you fannish? And by that we mean, what is it about a tv show/movie/book/band/podcast/etc that takes you from, "Yeah, I like that," to "I need MOAR!!!" Is it a character? A plotline? The pretty? Subtext that’s just screaming to be acknowledged?

Fannishness crept up on me in increments. I've written about this before, but I only really realised I was fannish when I had the vocabulary to put a name to the behaviour.

Going to X-Files parties back in the '90s with like minded people to watch favourite episodes could rightly be called fannish, but at the time I just thought I was going to watch a programme I was into with other people who were into it as well.

Then there are degrees of fannishness. I'm madly anticipating the new six-parter X-files, but I've never had any desire to read the fic. I read The Sentinel fic like it was going out of fashion for a few years, but only gave season 1 of the show a cursory watch and haven't rewatched - but oh boy the fic... I got bored with NCIS fic, because there's only so much wooby Tony I can take, and around the same time I got bored with the series, but I'm very glad I was there at the time. And Sherlock, glorious Sherlock - I love the show and I love the fic, but I'm no Cumberbitch, however pretty he is, I don't go out of my way to watch him in other things if he's on.

So yeah, degrees of fannishness - it might be a character, or a show, or the fic, there's something different pressing the buttons each time with any of these.

But then there was Buffy...

The difference is that with all those other fandoms I never had any desire to really participate. I was mainly a consumer. But with Buffy I wanted to be a participant. And it's no surprise to anyone that it was one character that made me want that. Mr Xander Harris take a bow. I'm a sidekick, it's my personality and the portrayal of Xander fascinated me - especially as the teenage boy in the midst of all these strong women. (and I should say I'm neither a teenager or a boy...) And don't get me wrong, I adored these strong women, but something about Xander that really spoke to me and made me want to take him apart and see what made him tick - if that's not too serial killer of me.

At first, I satisfied my curiosity by reading other people's take on how he ticked (and some of those takes are pretty damn weird, but hey each to his own - it's been said that both Xander and Spike are the little black dresses of Buffy fandom). Finally I started to explore my own take, in my own writing. because I had stuff in my head and the only way to read it was to write it myself. And what I found was that that I didn't have one take on the character, I had lots, and it was fun exploring them. And in that exploration I discovered I liked exploring some of the other characters too. I like wondering about 'what ifs' and 'might have beens' and 'what the hells...' The possibilities are endlessly seductive, even now.

So for me, my ultimate expression of fannishness is shaped by my love of a character, and through that by the love of the show and all the other characters, and of the friendships I've gained along the way. Once I'd discovered that, well there was no going back. So now I have a name for it, I can say categorically that I'm a fan, I do fannish things and think fannish thoughts and I'm proud of my fandom and of having the opportunity to be a part of it.
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Snowflake Challenge Day 11

In your own space, make a list of at least 3 things that you like about yourself.

Be kind to yourself today. Say some nice things about yourself, without any caveats.

Okay, I'm going to stick to fandom, since that is what most of my posts have been about - and since I'm kind of reticent on the personal front.

I think I'm pretty good at writing certain Buffy character voices - Spike, Xander and Giles are the main ones because I hear them really clearly in my head. I would like to be better at others, so I guess I'll just have to practice. *g*

I'm pretty good at leaving comments on things I've read. I'm always chuffed to bits if someone comments on my stuff, so I try to make sure I comment - and if I don't get the chance at the time, I try to make notes so I can go back at a later date.

I've got pretty catholic tastes in fic, so although I started off as a slash writer and reader, nowadays I don't pidgeon-hole fic by genre, ship or fandom. If it interests me, I will give it a go - I may not always go back a second time, but at least I'll know I've made up my own mind about it. And that buzz when you find something you haven't come across before that blows your socks off is just awesome.

Okay, I think that's more than enough! Going back in my box...
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For day 2 of this year's Snowflake Challenge we had to ask for something we would really like and I asked for some art for my Xander angst fest Words To Live By.

The very lovely [ profile] rbfvid made me a super piece of art, and I just wanted to thank her for answering my request so creatively. The shiny is right here under the cut
Here be pretties )
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Snowflake Challenge Day 10

In your own space, post a rec for fannish and/or creative resources and spaces. Tell us where you go to dig up canon facts for your fandom, or where you get all the juicy details about your favorite ship. Where do you like to hang out and squee like a squeeing thing?

It's not surprising that I love a good rec, so rec sites are a must for me. [ profile] su_herald is a good place to start and I really appreciate how much work the mods put in keeping things going. [ profile] buffyversetop5 is also terrific, both for its classic recs season around Halloween, and for recs from the previous year that happens in January (which of course means it's on at the moment, so check it out and contribute your recs). And again, the mods work really hard keeping this great community going. And one of those mods - [ profile] petzipellepingo has been posting regular recs on her own LJ under the wonderful title of More links than a bag of sausages!, a title that always makes me giggle.

As a reccer with my own ridiculously large rec lists, I am conscious that I need to revisit them regularly to make sure the links are up to date. Websites disappear and people leave fandom, so one resource that's invaluable to me is The Wayback Machine. I've been able to 'rescue' links to a lot of old fic that I've recced by using it.

As for writing, I use to look up episode details and Google images to check on other stuff. And of course, I bend [ profile] thismaz's ear - it's very useful having a beta who knows her canon inside out.

I'm sure there are lots more, but those are the ones that come to mind on a Sunday morning.
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Snowflake Challenge Day 09

In your own space, set some goals for the coming year. They can be fannish or not, public or private.

I think I'd like to continue a bit of a theme from last year and have a go at writing some characters I've either not written before or written very little. It doesn't mean I'll give up writing Xander because he's my boy, but last year I wrote Andrew, D'Hoffryn, Lindsey and Illyria, none of whom I'd really written before, so that was an interesting experience. So we'll see if anyone else starts to whisper to me this year.

And in direct contradiction to that goal, the other thing I'd like to do is to revisit some of my 'verses. This year is my 10th anniversary of writing fanfic, and going back through my master list there are a few stories where I'm curious what might be going on. So again, we'll see if anything comes of that.

As always, writing is RL dependent, but if I can get some discipline going again, who knows...

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a good weekend

s xx
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SnowflakeChallenge Day 08

Comment to someone you haven't ever interacted with before or introduce yourself to someone you've interacted with and friend/follow them.

Well I have friended quite a few people over the last couple of months who usually run in different circles from me, but for one reason or another our paths have crossed and opened new horizons for me to enjoy and comment on, so I'm going to call this challenge done.

Now I just hope everything at work today is as straightforward as that! *g*
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Snowflake Challenge Day 7

In your own space, share a favorite piece of original canon (a TV episode, a song, a favorite interview, a book, a scene from a movie, etc) and explain why you love it so much.

Well everyone knows I’m a Xander girl and the piece of canon that really got under my skin is from Restless. For sure there were lots of other pieces that did it for me before then – the power walk in Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, the gatecrashing Buffy and Angel drama-fest in the Zeppo and a pile of other scenes in between. But the thing that always strikes me about the Xander segment in Restless is how economical it is in portraying his character in all his insecuritites, his obsessions and his strengths. If you hadn’t come across that character before and someone sat you down and made you watch that segment, I think you’d have a pretty fair picture of who Xander Harris was as a person, and that’s why it’s a favourite piece of canon for me.
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I’m in catch up mode again...

Snowflake Challenge Day 6

In your own space, create your own challenge. What’s something you want to see more people doing in fandom? Is there something you’ve tried that you think other people would enjoy if they gave it a go? Dare your friends to try it out, and have fun with it. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

At the risk of being dull and repetitive, I would probably say something very similar to last year. Which basically is to appreciate each other. We’re in fandom because we love to be here. We create and consume, lurk and engage because hopefully it makes us happy. So it seems only right that we should give something back. If you see something you love, then comment. It doesn’t have to be an essay or even a lengthy paragraph. Just let the creator know you liked their thing, whatever that thing is – say thank you, say I loved it, say something.

And if you get a comment like that, as a creator, thank your audience – all you have to say is thanks, I appreciate you taking the time to comment – it’s not hard and it might just encourage a lurker to become a participant.

I can honestly say that back in the day when I plucked up the courage to tell [ profile] thismaz how much I loved one of her early stories, if she hadn’t replied, I would never have written any of my stories, because it was the fact that she replied to my comment on her fic that opened a dialogue between us. Without that dialogue I would stayed a reccer, but I probably would never have started writing.

So yeah, say please, say thank you, say you’re welcome – it doesn’t take much and it can make a huge difference to our fandom experience.
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Snowflake Challenge Day

Leave feedback for a fanwork. Or multiple fanworks. It can be as simple as I liked this to a detailed list of all the things you loved about the fanwork. The key is to leave some sort of feedback.

Well, I think I can honestly say that feedback is one of the things that I always try to do, whether it's on story itself or by way of my many rec lists, and often through both. And end of year lists and communities like [ profile] buffyversetop5 just cry out for a reader to comment on things they haven't come across, and it's always a delight. I know how much getting a comment on my stuff means to me, so I'm really happy to comment on others, so I think I can say that this challenge is done. :)
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Snowflake Challenge Day 4

In your own space, create a fanwork. Make a drabble, a ficlet, a podfic, or an icon, art or meta or a rec list. Arts and crafts. Draft a critical essay about a particular media. Put together a picspam or a fanmix. Write a review of a Broadway show, a movie, a concert, a poetry reading, a museum trip, a you-should-be-listening-to-this-band essay. Compose some limericks, haikus, free-form poetry, 5-word stories. Document a particular bit of real person canon. Take some pictures. Draw a stick-figure comic. Create something. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

I’m running behind with the challenge, so for this one here is a rec list of 10 classic BTVS fic that I want to reread this year because I just adore them. All are Xander focused and most are slash, but there are a couple of gen ones as well. (I could have put a lot more than 10 in, but that seemed a manageable number.)

This way to the goodies... )
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Snowflake Challenge - Day 03

In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you have created. It can be your favorite fanworks that you've created, or fanworks you feel no one ever saw, or fanworks you say would define you as a creator.

Hmm, again this is a weird one, because self-pimping feels weird, but since this is the challenge, let’s go for it.

It’s well known that I’m not a Spuffy shipper (for the record, neither am I a Bangel shipper, just in case anyone wonders *g*), so it took me by surprise to write my one and only sort of Spuffy fic. This is my take on a what if ending to As You Were - Querencia. This is Gen

I’m very fond of Oz and I don’t write him often enough. Tools of the Trade is a three parter in which Xander finds himself stuck in the north of Scotland after being sent on a wild goose chase. He runs into someone he didn’t expect to see. I really enjoyed writing the dialogue between these two and I keep meaning to revisit this pairing. This is slash.

Also slash is Pushing Limits. Xander isn’t coping after Buffy jumps from Glory’s tower and one Linsday MacDonald isn’t coping with being on the run from LA. I thought it might be interesting if they didn’t cope together.

And to balance out the slash, here’s another Gen fic. It’s an oldie – 2007, but it’s one I’m very proud of, and it kind of jumped into my head fully formed. Perfect World, finds Xander coming home early from work. What really pleases me about this fic is that readers decide on their own backstory when they get to the end, which is exactly what I intended.

Right, now I’ll go back into my cave :)
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Snowflake Challenge Day 2

In your own space, create a list of at least three fannish things you'd love to receive, something you've wanted but were afraid to ask for - a fannish wish-list of sorts.

Well, this is always a hard one because asking for things is just well, it’s embarrassing - blushes and toes the ground at the thought. But last year when I bit the bullet and asked for a banner for one of my stories, I was thrilled to receive some gorgeous art from [ profile] double_dutchess for my story Searching for Jim.

So with that in mind, I have two requests and of course, if neither appeal to anyone, that’s absolutely fine.

If anyone would care to have a go at it, I would love some art work – a banner/movie poster, whatever someone would like to do for Words to Live By, which was the huge bit of bitter harsh angst that I finished 2015 off with – it features Xander, D’Hoffryn and Andrew.

And if anyone has any good Xander/Cordy recs, I’d love to see them. Even if they are ones I’ve read before, it’s great to be reminded of good ones, and if there are ones out there I haven’t read, I’d be delighted to discover them.

Okay, that’s two things I’m had the nerve to ask for – wow, I think I need to go lie down now. *g*
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snowflake challenge 2014 photo snowflakechallenge2015_zps75ce80ee.png

Yes, it’s that time of the year again...

Day 01

In your own space, talk about why you are doing the Fandom Snowflake Challenge? What drew you to it as a participant? What do you hope to accomplish by doing these challenges?

Hmm, this is an interesting one because I wasn’t going to do the snowflake challenge this year, mainly because having participated the last two years, I didn’t think I would really have anything fresh left to say – and some would say that I don’t!

But then when I read this first challenge it made me think and I realised that is the one thing probably above all others that has appealed to me about this particular fandom community – it makes me stop and think about fandom. Fandom has been a huge part of my life since 2002, when I was a lurker on archive sites, and I can’t believe it’s now 2016 and here I still am, only not so much with the lurking.. 2016 will mark the tenth anniversary of me posting my first story on LJ and it seems a good time to take stock of why I write, why I read, why I still participate and why I still love it after all these years, because honestly, I do - in all its joy and creativity and craziness, there is so much about fandom that makes me happy, and when it comes down to it, that's the biggest reason to stay.

So to answer the question, what do I hope to accomplish by doing these challenges? Well, it’s that process of stopping to smell the roses, consider the past and the future of fandom and being thankful for all the pleasure and giggles and friendship it’s given me, as well as the ‘holy shit, I can’t believe that just happened’ moments, because god knows, it wouldn’t be fandom without a few of those every year. Taking stock is healthy and in doing so, hopefully allows some fresh air to blow through as well. So I’ll see what the breeze brings in the coming days.
sparrow2000: (sparrow)
The very wonderful [ profile] double_dutchess has made me a banner for my story Searching for Jim. Part of this year’s Snowflake Challenge was that day when you had to talk about something fannish you'd love to receive, and I toed the ground, looked embarrassed and said I’d love some art for this story. Anyway, here are two very lovely versions of the banner - the first has a darker feel and the second is a little more whimsical and I adore them both.

The pretties are under this cut... )
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Snowflake Challenge:Day 15

In your own space, create your own challenge. What’s something you want to see more people doing in fandom? Is there something fun you’ve tried that you think other people would enjoy if they gave it a go? Dare your friends to try it out, and have fun with it.

Final Snowflake Challenge ramblings... )
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Snowflake Challenge: Day 14

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

Three Xander fics with something for everyone... )
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Snowflake Challenge: Day 13

In your own space, talk about a creator. Show us why you think they are amazing.

Second post of the day to try to catch up a little...

A little love for a brilliant writer... )


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