sparrow2000: (sparrow)
So here we go again, with sparrow’s annual attempt to remember some of the fandom things I’ve enjoyed this year. As always, it’s not an exhaustive list because god knows the brain cell isn’t getting any younger, so if I wildly applauded something during the year and don’t mention it here, it isn’t because I’ve changed my mind, it’s just that I forgot to take a note of it at the time.

I will say this is a shorter list than usual because the year has just disappeared on me. I also have a scary list of things that I’ve either still have to start, or to catch up on if I’d started and then got sidetracked by that pesky RL stuff.

Amble this way for my musings and mutterings... )
sparrow2000: (sparrow)
Title: Absence Like the Sky
Characters: Xander, Oz
Type: Gen
Warnings: Character study
Disclaimer: Joss and Mutant Enemy et al, own everything. I own nothing.
Summary: Xander seeks out an old friend to give some bad news. This is a one shot set after the end of my story Memento Mori
Comments and feedback are cuddled and called George
Beta extraordinaire, as always: [ profile] thismaz

Title is from a quote from CS Lewis’ Grief Observed. “Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.”

2016 is my 10th anniversary of writing fic – really of any kind of creative writing since I left school, which wasn’t just yesterday. I started writing again for two reasons. One, I had an idea in my head, but no confidence to realise it. Then I met Maz, whose writing I already admired and she persuaded me to be brave. The scene in my head was the ‘too many ties’ scene from Memento Mori, but I had no idea how to write the story that went with it. So I finished up writing Perceptions because doing a season rewrite seemed less daunting somehow. When it was finished, I realised I felt confident enough to try writing Memento Mori.

That’s all a long-winded way of saying that I still think of Memento Mori as my first story, because it was the first story that I wanted to write. For my 10th anniversary year of writing fic, it felt like the right time to revisit that ‘verse, so here’s a one shot of what might have happened a few months after Memento Mori finished. You don’t have to read MM to read this one-shot, although you’ll get more colour to the narrative if you do, and I’d be delighted. I hope you enjoy.

Absence Like the Sky )
sparrow2000: (sparrow)
Just a drive by to wish all my Canadian flisties a very happy Thanksgiving. Me and Mr Sparrow did turkey day yesterday and looking at the leftovers it's going to be turkey sandwiches to work all week... *g*
sparrow2000: (sparrow)
I haven’t posted in ages, so I hope everyone is doing well.

We all know YouTube is a rabbit hole, but sometimes among all the dross you find some diamonds. A couple of weeks back I came across this gorgeous dance video made to honour all those who were lost in the Orlando club in June. Soundtrack is X Ambassadors ‘Unsteady’.

Beautiful Boys, amazing, heartfelt, emotional dancing. As Lin-Manuel Miranda is quoted at the head of the video - Love is Love - is love, is love, is love, is love...

It’ll only take up less than 4 minutes of your time, but I know it stayed with me for ages when I first saw it.
sparrow2000: (sparrow)
Just when I thought Brexit was no laughing matter, I was pootling through The Guardian online and came across this little gem.

Anthony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, writers back in the day of the very wonderful Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister have resurrected the peerless Sir Humphrey Appleby to explain Brexit to a new minister.

As I was reading I could just hear Nigel Hawthorne speaking. Brilliant stuff.

And now, I want them to write Sir Humphrey trying to explain Trump!

Anyway, you can find the article right here Yes Minister Brexit Special: Sir Humphrey Explains All
sparrow2000: (sparrow)
It's [ profile] thismaz' birthday today and that's a reason to celebrate. I hope you are having a super day, my lovely lady and that you have a great year ahead of you.

Thank you for being a terrific beta, a terrific writer and best of all, a terrific friend. (and if you were doing a beta on this post you would spork me for word repetition *g*)

much love to you
s xxx
sparrow2000: (sparrow)
Title: Crossroads
Written for: [ profile] summer_of_giles 2016 - thanks to the mods for making this such a great community every year
Characters: Giles, Ethan
Type: Gen
Warnings: Character study – musings on religion
Disclaimer: Joss and Mutant Enemy et al, own everything. I own nothing.
Summary: In the early stages of their relationship Giles and Ethan take a trip to France. Turns out Ethan has more on his mind than red wine and cheese (although that’s there as well).
Comments and feedback are cuddled and called George
Beta extraordinaire, as always: [ profile] thismaz

A/N: Last year I wrote One of These Days, which provided a snapshot of Giles and Ethan’s relationship shattering. This year I wanted to go back and explore a little of their relationship right at the beginning before they were tainted by the events that were to come. This is one way things may have started off

Also, to my fellow [ profile] summer_of_giles contributors, apologies if I haven’t yet commented on your post. I know I’m very behind due to RL stuff. I will get there, honest!

Crossroads )
sparrow2000: (sparrow)
I’m very, very slowly writing my [ profile] summer_of_giles and don’t really have anything new to report. But for the sake of waving to people ,I thought I’d share one of the few clips on YouTube that I actually have bookmarked.

I am a terrible dancer, but I love watching people who really can. And if it’s a bunch of gorgeous boys (and a few girls) who are doing the dancing, so much the better. Check out Al Blackstone’s Not For Me from the 2015 Fire Island Dance Festival. You could say it’s a tale of self discovery in dance that’s funny, sweet, hot, just a little naughty and generally gorgeous. And at just over 8 minutes, it’s not going to take a huge amount of time out of your day.

And the bonus for me is that it’s got the divine Jakob Karr in it – he’s the first guy to appear in a towel and not much else at the start of the locker room scene. The things that boy can do with his legs…

Check it out and enjoy the fun.

S xx
sparrow2000: (sparrow)
Title: The Long Game
Characters: Lindsey McDonald, Willow
Type: Gen
Warnings: Character study
Disclaimer: Joss and Mutant Enemy et al, own everything. I own nothing.
Summary: Lindsey knows Willow’s coming to LA to tell Angel that Buffy’s dead. It’s embarrassing easy to bump into her once she’s done delivering her news.
Comments and feedback are cuddled and called George
Beta extraordinaire, as always: [ profile] thismaz.

A few weeks back I wrote Laying the Blacktop in which Willow runs into Lindsey in LA after she’s told Angel that Buffy is dead. That story was from Willow’s point of view. After curious comments from some readers as to what was going on in Lindsey’s head, I decided to write Lindsey’s point of view of the same conversation. It was a lot more difficult than I expected!*g* Huge thanks to [ profile] thismaz for her always insightful beta comments. I would say it makes sense to read Laying the Blacktop before this one to get the flow of what's going on in my fevered brain! :)

The Long Game )
sparrow2000: (sparrow)
Title: Laying the Blacktop
Characters: Willow, Lindsey McDonald
Type: Gen
Warnings: Character study
Disclaimer: Joss and Mutant Enemy et al, own everything. I own nothing.
Summary: Willow goes to LA to tell Angel about Buffy’s death. She runs into one Lindsey McDonald while she’s there.
Comments and feedback are cuddled and called George
Beta extraordinaire, as always: [ profile] thismaz. Thanks especially for the notes on Lindsey.

The space post-The Gift has always been an interesting place to put characters to see what they do. Last year I wrote Pushing Limits, in which Xander runs into Lindsey in a bar. It started me thinking how Lindsey might run across other Scoobies and what might happen. This isn't the same 'verse as Pushing Limits, but the jumping off point for my fevered brain is the same. *g*

Laying the Blacktop )

Whoo Hoo!

Mar. 5th, 2016 06:05 pm
sparrow2000: (sparrow)
Wow, the results of Round 11 of the the [ profile] rwsawards - Running with Scissors Awards are out and I was chuffed to bits to get a couple of nods.

My Xander, D'Hoffryn, Andrew angst fest Words to Live By won in the Rigor category for fics between 1001 - 10,000 words. And I'm blushing to have come runner up in the 'Bloody Brilliant' Author category, and I can tell you that to be runner up in this category to [ profile] snogged makes my day. So a huge thank you to the judges and to those who voted.

Congratulations to everyone on my flist who was nominated and recognised this time around. I think the sterling list demonstrates that our fandom still has a lot of life in it yet.

And thanks to [ profile] darkgoddessgege for putting so much time and effort into running the awards each year.

See this - this is one very chuffed sparrow :)
sparrow2000: (sparrow)
Title: Of Mice and Men
Characters: Xander, Giles
Type: Gen
Warnings: Character study
Disclaimer: Joss and Mutant Enemy et al, own everything. I own nothing.
Summary: Xander can’t understand why Giles loves books so much. Giles helps him understand. This is way post series.
Comments and feedback are cuddled and called George
Beta extraordinaire, as always: [ profile] thismaz

I was writing this as my [ profile] summer_of_giles, but somehow it turned into as much a character study of Xander as of Giles, so I thought I’d just post it now. Of course, that means I have to think of something else for SoG!

Of Mice and Men )
sparrow2000: (sparrow)
Wow, a very lovely person (I'm thinking possibly Gabrielle, but thank you to whoever it was *g*) nominated my Xander, Willow fic The Collector at the Willowy Goodness Awards in the Best Friendship category.

I'm really fond of this story, not least because it came about as a result of one of my [ profile] summer_of_giles stories last year Being Normal. Xander was only fleetingly in that story, but Giles and Illyria both called him The Collector and it made me curious what his role was in that universe. So I had to write The Collector to find out, and it turned into a Willow and Xander conversation that I was really happy with, especially as I rarely write Willow because I don't feel I have a handle on her.

Go check out all the great stories that are nominated and there's still time to nominate until the end of February, so go make someone as chuffed as this nom has made me.

I hope everyone has had a good weekend :)

s xxx
sparrow2000: (sparrow)
I'm not quite sure how this happened, but I seem to be writing my [ profile] summer_of_giles story. It's not like I meant to do it (but not in a 'dog ate my homework, kind of a way...), but I just started musing and then I started writing and then all of a sudden I've got nearly 1500 words and it looks like it might be all about Giles, even if Xander won't stop talking at the moment.

Hey ho, I've got about eight different stories in my head at the moment, but my brain wants to write something that's not needed until June at the earliest. My brain is weird...
sparrow2000: (sparrow)
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.
sparrow2000: (sparrow)
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...
sparrow2000: (sparrow)
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. :)
sparrow2000: (sparrow)
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.

Fic Rec

Jan. 12th, 2016 05:21 pm
sparrow2000: (sparrow)
If like me you are mourning the passing of David Bowie yesterday - and yes, I've had Life on Mars going around in my head all day - try this lovely little ficlet by [ profile] gillo in which Spike remembers Bowie. It's just perfect in every way. In Memoriam

I bet you the screen has gone all misty now...
sparrow2000: (sparrow)
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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