Kismet-Frank threat


Could someone who uses the Tumblr mobile client please go to on your phone or other mobile device, and tell me if you see a link to the first page of the comic at the top of the page, and if it actually works?

Since Tumblr's mobile theme overrides all other theme settings on the mobile client, my webcomic navigation doesn't work -- you have to scroll through the pages backwards to read it. I've known about this for awhile, but I'm still struggling to figure out what to do about it. This is about the best (stopgap) solution I can think of, but I can't test it since I'm the blog owner and when *I* click on it, it just takes me to a page for editing it. So I need to know if the link is live.

ETA: I now have an answer, and unfortunately it's the answer I was hoping it wasn't. (But thank you!) I'm leaving this post up just in case anyone has ideas for getting links at the top of Tumblr's mobile style. I mean, I don't HAVE to (obviously the comic hasn't had it for the last year+) but I hate the idea that I'm in essence shutting out a lot of potential readers by not having that. At the very least I wish I had a way of letting people jump to the start.

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WhiteCollar-Elizabeth smiling

All the fandom things lately

There is a post over at CollarCorner on the next few months' themes and activities, including the possibility of a small, low-pressure, gen White Collar fanworks exchange.

Also, the Vacation prompt at [community profile] starwarsflashmeme is extended for another week ('til Saturday) since SOMEONE (me) forgot to post a new prompt this weekend.

I seem to be mostly talking about fan stuff on Tumblr these days, which isn't something I MEANT to happen, but then interesting pieces of meta come along and I reblog them with notes and, well, yeah. My recent tumblr-reblog meta:

- A gifset and meta on how everyone's reactions to the "suicide mission" in 2x10 are little capsule versions of their personalities
- Daniel's moderating influence on Peggy, and Jack as a cynical balance to their shared idealism

I also stumbled across a tumblr-organized Agent Carter ficathon (not an exchange) with the theme Summer Nights. OF COURSE I signed up, because apparently I now have a Pavlovian reaction to anything with "Agent Carter" and some variation on exchange/ficathon/challenge in the name. >__> Luckily it's only 1000 words and it's not for someone else or anonymous (at least I don't think so), so I can write whatever I want. And just recently I had been wondering if anyone used the word "ficathon" anymore. It's actually very old-school, even though it's on Tumblr! There is a fairly distinctive current style to most fanworks events (run through AO3 exchange-style, anonymous period, fic & art both allowed, etc); either that, or everything is bingo cards. And although I enjoy both of those, it's nice to run across one that's set up differently.

I'd been thinking lately that Agent Carter fandom feels very scattered, compared to LJ-based fandoms; it's harder to find out about the events that are going on, or find all the places where people hang out. But actually, thinking about it and reflecting on past fandoms of mine, I don't think that's true. I think it FELT less scattered when fandom was mostly on LJ if you could manage to get hooked into the "where things were happening" places and get to know people who tended to post about events going on around the fandom. But not everyone was able to do that, and not all fandoms had that, and even so, they tended to localize into little pockets of activity centered around a particular ship or shared interest. Like, when I first got into SGA fandom on LJ, it was the gen crowd that I was hanging around with, and while I had a vague idea that things were happening elsewhere in the fandom, I really had no clue about either the het or slash parts of the fandom; aside from a few nexuses like sga_flashfic or the Big Bangs, which involved people from all corners of the fandom, there just wasn't THAT much overlap. Or A:tLA fandom, where the corner of the fandom that I got to know was a small and fairly well-connected one on DW, but I had the vague sense that there was a LOT going on elsewhere, it just wasn't here.

The existence of comms and newsletters did help centralize things, or at least made it easier not to miss events until after they happened. Newsletters don't seem to have made the jump to tumblr and I kinda hope someone will reinvent them someday, though I am certainly not going to be the sucker who has to comb through all the tags to find things. Or maybe they won't; maybe tumblr tags and the fact that most fanfic ends up on AO3 means that newsletters aren't necessary as they once were, just like people don't tend to have dedicated rec sites or directory sites anymore.

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Avengers-Peggy smile

Movie rec: Spy

YOU GUYS. If you like spy/heist stuff and women being awesome (and who doesn't), I highly recommend Spy!

It's an action-comedy about a CIA support-staff office person going out on her first field assignment. As well as being funny (and sweet and charming), it's also a good action movie, with spy gadgets and exotic locales and cool cars and characters dangling out of helicopters .... all the basic spy tropes. Basically imagine Agent Carter except with Rose instead of Peggy in the lead role. And it's also ... whatever the polar opposite of grimdark is, this movie is that, although without being saccharine or cloying. The characters may be quirky and often violent weirdos, but they're all decent people (well, okay, with certain exceptions, but even the ones who aren't are charming in their own way). And although the guys are also great, the majority of the movie is women -- the main character, her best friend, her boss, and her main nemesis are all female. She gets no respect from either her fellow spies or the bad guys because she's overweight and middle-aged and female, but of course she shows them, because it's that kind of a movie.

This movie made me so happy. I just want to turn around and watch it again from the beginning. I'm definitely buying it, and I don't remember the last time I watched a movie that made me feel like running out and buying it immediately (well, at least not a movie that isn't from one of the franchises that I'm addicted to).

Content notices, for those who might be bothered by the following: there is a certain amount of grossout and sexual humor, and some considerably-more-graphic-than-I-was-expecting-for-a-comedy violence (it's R-rated), and also a character whose schtick is mainly sexual harassment played for laughs. On the other hand, for a comedy about a fish-out-of-water character, there were surprisingly few embarrassment-squicky scenes -- the movie isn't completely lacking in that kind of thing, but I was expecting a lot more than it had.

Basically I loved this movie and just want to turn around and watch it again immediately. I am also craving a Spy 2 and I hope they make one someday; I would love to see these dorks save the world again.

If you've seen it, come talk to me about it! :D

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Avengers-Peggy smile

Random thoughts after rewatching Agent Carter S1

I finished my Agent Carter season one rewatch -- I was originally planning to post about the episodes as I watched them, but as I've said before, I'm terrible with follow-through on that kind of thing. Also, it took me like a month to watch all eight episodes, and it was taking even longer to watch new episodes because I kept feeling like I should write a post about the last one. I only seem to have two settings on TV shows: "binge-watch" and "snail".

Anyway, I'm still blown away at how good this show is. It's such a perfect, perfect little piece of television ... though of course the usual caveats apply: perfect for me. I know other people have criticisms and various ways the show let them down, and those are entirely valid for you! Of course nothing is really perfect, or can be all things to all people.

But rewatching season one after watching season two makes me love season one all the harder (and I loved it pretty hard to begin with), because the character stuff is so good. The character development for everybody, and the growth of all the different character relationships, unspools so well and so seamlessly from the first episode of season one to the last episode of season two. There's just so much thought that went into it. It's fascinating to remember watching this season the first time, because season two went ahead and gave me all the stuff I thought I had at the end of season one. I remember being so excited that everyone was starting to come together and get teamy and become friends by the end of season one, but now after watching season two, it makes me go, "Wow, it's really just the seeds of it so far, isn't it?" Everything I wanted at the end of season one, I got. (Well, okay, not quite everything, but so much more of what I wanted than I ever dared hope for, as well as a bunch of truly lovely things that I didn't even know I wanted!)

There is not a single episode in either season that I can't just start playing on a random scene and have it make me happy.

But I also think some of the things that make this show "my show" are reasons why it didn't do better on network TV. Not just the central and integral female POV, but also that doesn't have the fast pace and dazzle that is the modern TV action-show aesthetic. It's a show that unfolds slowly, with a lot of talking, a lot of low-key character stuff, and very few big fight scenes. It's not all quippy one-liners, gunfights and car chases, and sexy young people having relationship drama.

I really think part of the problem is that the show had an audience, but the audience never really found it -- they would be people who like period stuff, people who like spy stuff, people who like dramas. The audience who liked Mad Men or The Americans are the people who should have been watching this, but I think ABC just never managed to get the show in front of those people, because they're not really into superhero stuff and it was marketed more as a superhero show.

Plus, ABC's lackluster promotion of the show is pretty obvious. It's STILL not streaming on any of the fee-per-month services, that I know of, and the season one DVDs were an Amazon exclusive, so not available in stores. Netflix doesn't even have the DVDs! You can buy the episodes individually from places like iTunes and Amazon, which is great for hardcore fans (... me), but you're never going to pick up casual viewers that way, and that's what a show needs to do well.

But it has a very enthusiastic audience (the "save the show and bring it to Netflix" petition is already over 80,000 signatures!). Ambivalent though I am about the changes the show might make in a possible season three (especially after all of this; I can't think of a single show off the top of my head that got better after being dropped by its network and picked up elsewhere, and a number of shows that got markedly worse) I would of course be over the moon if it actually did get picked up somewhere, on Netflix or a cable network or something.

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I just got a notification from Amazon that the new Ben January book has shipped! For some reason I thought it wasn't out until July. And it's supposed to get here by Wednesday! (Thank you, Amazon Prime!)


I guess I know what I'm doing on Wednesday.

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Kismet-Frank threat

(no subject)

And Kismet updates are now uploaded and scheduled through the end of the month. Sun-Cutter has been giving me a chance to do more interesting backgrounds and exteriors than the first book, since let's face it, Kismet is an interesting place (for me anyway), but it's also an underground city on a world that is basically Mars with no atmosphere, which doesn't give me a lot of opportunity to do scenery. (Though I do hope to get out and explore Kismet's planet a bit more in future books. This book has a more galactic scope, though, and is a lot less focused on Kismet itself.)

I can't believe I've been doing this webcomic since 2002. Not continually, I admit, but I've done around 600 pages counting the side comics, and it's coming up on its 15th anniversary next year! (Which is also its 25th anniversary if you count from the time I started writing it in 1992.)

But right now I think I will write more Agent Carter promptfics. The ones I wrote last night have a masterlist here. I'm not currently taking more prompts 'til I finish writing the ones I have, but I really appreciate all the inspiring prompts; they're great! ♥

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Avengers-Peggy smile

Now taking Agent Carter prompts!

ETA: Between here and tumblr, I think I have enough for now; I'll go ahead and fill the remaining ones over the next few days. Thank you! I'm sure I'll do this again soon. :D

The masterlist (updated as I finish things)

Peggy with young Tony and a Jarvis or two
Peggy&Howard&Jarvis in an awkward situation (also on Tumblr)
Michael Carter was turned into a werewolf (also on Tumblr)
Ana Jarvis takes fighting lessons from Peggy (also on LJ: comment part 1 / comment part 2)
Angie shows up at the L.A manor and meets all of Peggy's weirdo friends there (also on AO3)
Daniel finds that watching Peggy get hurt never gets easier
Follow-up to Pistol Packin' Mama with the OT3 (also on AO3)
Jack helping Peggy and Daniel with house hunting (posted to my non-fanfic blog; reblogged to sholiofic here)
Howard missing Steve (also on Tumblr)
Angie and Peggy's girl's night out (also on Tumblr)
Michael Carter meets Peggy's friends and new boyfriend
Halloween in the Carter-Sousa household

My houseguests are gone, so I have time for a commentfic spree! Who cares about network TV execs; we'll make our own fun around here. Leave me an Agent Carter prompt and I will write at least 100 words of fic for it. (Here are examples from the last time I did this.)

Taking prompts for any character or gen character combination; any canon pairing; or any pairing combination of Carter/Sousa/Thompson (OT3 4evah). You can send me prompts for other pairings, but results are even less guaranteed than usual. (Or you might get a gen version instead.)

The usual caveat: I am not always good at follow-through, so I may not get to your prompt; if I don't, it's me, not you! I might also ask you to leave me a different one if I don't think I can do anything with the prompt you gave me. I'll close the post to new prompts when I have enough that I start to feel like I'm reaching prompt saturation.

You can also send me your prompt as a tumblr ask. I will also be posting fills to sholiofic.

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On a happier note

Lauren's new book is out! And I had super fun with this one, guys. :D (The official announcement will go out on Lauren's mailing list in the morning.)


Here it is on Amazon!

This is the third book in a series, but it completely stands on its own ... actually better than the previous ones do. This is the one with the cruise ship shaped like a giant floating sphinx!

Blurb copy under the cutCollapse )

And if you'd like to read it and want me to send you a copy, just send me an email at laureneskerwriter at gmail and I will happily do so.

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Avengers-Peggy in cafe

noooooo :(

Agent Carter is officially cancelled.

I'm sad, but ... surprisingly not as sad as I thought I'd be. The thing is, I didn't believe we'd get a season two. And because of that, the second season felt like a gift. I didn't expect to get it, and then it came along and was so gloriously, perfectly just what I wanted, and left all of the characters exactly where I hoped they'd be. (Well, except for that CLIFFHANGER, but even the cliffhanger is a wonderful jumping-off point for fic.)

If the show had to end somewhere, I don't think it could've been a better place -- well, okay, not having an eternal cliffhanger would have been nice, but I came out of the season so much more inspired to write stuff than if it'd tied everything up neatly, so for fanficcing purposes, it's great. (I was also very gratified to find out that the fandom didn't assume the worst in fanfic with the cliffhanger ... I was braced for something like Carnivale, which ended very similarly but literally ALL the fic, what little exists, assumes the worst-case scenario. AC fandom hasn't done that and hopefully will continue to explore all the post-canon hurt/comfort possibilities.)

So, yeah, I wanted a season three so bad. But it's ours now, guys. They can never kill anybody off or take the show or any of the characters in a direction so terrible that it taints everything that came before. And I have multiple LONG post-season-two fics I want to write, and more vids I plan to make. I'm not even that worried about the fandom contracting, as fandoms always do in the post-canon period, because the fandom wasn't that big to begin with; it's not like something like SGA where half the fun was being in a big, active fandom, so losing that was sad. Here, the fandom has always been small but hardcore, and hopefully we can pull a Firefly, where the fandom is still going strong long after the tiny amount of canon is over.

I can't do this tonight or tomorrow because I have houseguests, but as soon as possible (this weekend hopefully?) I'm going to do another ficlet-prompt session (or two), because canon may be over -- unless it gets a new lease of life on Netflix or Hulu, which would be LOVELY, but I'm not holding out too much hope -- but that just means we can take it in whatever direction we want, and I'm going to be there for that ride.

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Avengers-Peggy smile

Various things

• We bought a loveseat today! And it's great. I'm sitting on it right now. It was on sale and matched the two recliners we already own (well, close enough), so now we have comfy places for more than two people to sit. (Often a problem in a two-introvert household. You're good until guests show up, but then what?!) We haven't owned anything couchlike in a really long time, so this is very nice.

This Manhattan brownstone with an indoor swimming pool made me think of Neal.

• I made a Peggy-related post on Tumblr that contains Civil War spoilers and apparently I was the first person to do this particular thing, so consequently it already has over 700 notes, which is rather boggling considering that I think a post is doing really, really well if it gets around 100 notes during its lifetime.

• I cleaned all most some of the things today. My in-laws are coming tomorrow and I had a whole month to get the house in shape, but did I?? No, of course not. However, I have most of the stuff on my priority-cleaning list done (bathroom, kitchen, etc); I just need to clean off the table, which seems to have become a junk-mail-storage depot, and do a few other lower-priority things like giving the refrigerator a good scrubbing (should probably be done; but doesn't absolutely have to be done) and it'll be good. They're flying in tomorrow evening, so there's still ample time for last-minute cleaning.

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Avengers-Peggy smile

Agent Carter fanfic: Wonders of the World

Yessss, the [community profile] marvelismarvel reveals are out, so I can share my AC story! I have been looking forward to being able to admit to it, because I had ridiculous amounts of fun writing this.

Title: Wonders of the World
Fandom: Agent Carter
Word Count: 3700
Pairing: gen
Summary: Howard has a new venture involving the La Brea Tar Pits. Unfortunately for Peggy and Jarvis, it goes about as well as anything Stark-related ever does.

Wonders of the WorldCollapse )

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Due South-Vecchio


(I also found the perfect icon for this.)

So I was thinking about werewolves and the wolf!Peter (White Collar) universe, as applied to other canons. It really doesn't work at all for Agent Carter, because it needs a canon where at least some of the characters are longtime friends or siblings/parent-child/etc.

But it works beautifully for Steve and Bucky!

So, the way werewolves work in the wolf!Peter 'verse is that werewolves become wolves involuntarily on the night of the full moon. They need to be with their pack at that time; otherwise they go off the deep end and become homicidal monsters. Being with their pack keeps them sane. (Well, in theory. None of them have every actually tested this in the installments I've written so far; it might not be that simple, because the rest of it isn't.) Traditional werewolf packs are just wolfpacks -- nuclear family and mate, plus a few more distant relatives if they're around. But basically close blood relatives and mates. "Nontraditional" werewolf packs involve friends and chosen family and generally people who aren't included in the standard definition of "family". Traditional werewolves don't believe this could possibly work, but of course it does. (And there have been blended packs like that since forever. They're just not the dominant werewolf paradigm.)

In the MCU, then, either both the Barnes and Rogers families (werewolf Winter Soldier, can you even imagine D:) or just Steve and his mom are werewolves. And after his mom dies, Steve is sort of de-facto adopted by the Barneses, so things are still all right. (Uh, I need to figure out what happens during his time with the showgirls; maybe there are Barnes siblings and one comes along, or something? Or maybe he pack-bonds with the showgirls or something.)

Anyway, after they rescue Bucky things are good again because he has his favorite packmate, and after Bucky "dies" ... well, things are obviously terrible, but he's still got the Howling Commandoes. And then he goes into the ice and wakes up in the future and his whole pack is dead.

And Steve is not just a wolf; he is a SUPERWOLF. Werewolves in this 'verse aren't particularly supercharged normally. They're really just normal wolves, except their mass doesn't change between wolf and human, so large humans (like Peter) become very large wolves. Steve would be a really big wolf to begin with, but after the serum, he's a werewolf ON STEROIDS. He can probably bite through steel.

So all he can really do is demand to be locked up or sedated at the full moon (and sedation would only be moderately effective because of the serum). For 8-12 hours a month he's totally out of control, potentially homicidal, and incredibly dangerous, ON TOP of being isolated and depressed and alone.

Poor Steve.

But then there comes a time when he starts to bond to the people here. He can't quite trust it, though. What if he's wrong? If he's wrong, he'll kill someone! But if he can bond with a new pack, he can get through the full moon like most werewolves do, by sticking around his pack. But he can't trust himself anymore ...

(This Steve would probably get along REALLY well with Bruce. Actually, a fusion between this 'verse and the MCU works wonderfully for the Hulk too, because they must have been trying to create another supersoldier, but all they really got right was the "enormous ragey werewolf" part ...)

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WhiteCollar-Neal sidelight

White Collar fic: The Long Winter

The Long Winter (22295 words) by Sholio
Chapters: 3/3
Fandom: White Collar
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Peter Burke & Neal Caffrey, Elizabeth Burke/Peter Burke
Characters: Neal Caffrey, Peter Burke, Elizabeth Burke, Diana Berrigan
Additional Tags: Original Character(s), Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Alternate Universe - Dark
Summary: When things fall apart, you just have to keep going. This is a post-season-four AU that was 95% written during the season four hiatus; then of course season five came along and jossed it thoroughly.

So I finally finished and posted this, which I wrote most of back in 2013. It's kind of dark and kind of bitter, and I will freely admit that at least some of the writing process for this fic was basically therapy in fic form, an outlet for my mixed feelings about season four. I still feel somewhat ambivalent about posting it, but I didn't want to put in all that work and then stick it in a drawer. You should know going in that it doesn't end happily for all of the characters; however, it's not a deathfic or a total miseryfest. Feel free to ask me questions if there's something specific you need to know before reading.

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Avengers-Sousa Thompson

Agent Carter fic: Without Maps

No, I don't write that fast. :P I wrote this for [community profile] fan_flashworks and now I'm cross-posting to the usual places since the exclusive period is over.

Title: Without Maps
Fandom: Agent Carter
Word Count: 4800
Author's Notes: I started writing this for the fan-flashworks "Memory" challenge way back in February, in the middle of the season. And then I missed that deadline, but the season ender gave me a much better opening than I was originally going to use, and I finished it for the "Purgatory" challenge for Amnesty. Thank you to sheron for helpful plot feedback and talking over Jack's characterization with me!
Summary: Post-finale. The last thing Jack remembers is taking a bullet in a hotel room, but now he's back in the war. Except it isn't his war. It's Sousa's.

Without MapsCollapse )

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Avengers-Peggy in cafe

Agent Carter/Highlander fusion: Little Deaths

I wanted to write something for [community profile] fusionfest (it's an open challenge for fanfic fusions - that is, there are no signups, you just write a fusion and submit it to the collection) and ... this happened.

Title: Little Deaths
Fandom: Agent Carter
Pairing: all the canon ones
Word Count: 2300
Summary: Highlander fusion. Peggy dies in the war ... but for her, that's only the beginning. (Spoilers through the end of Agent Carter season two, but not beyond that.)

A little about Highlander canon for those who haven"t watched the showCollapse )

Little DeathsCollapse )

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Winter Sunlight

(no subject)

Editing is haaaaard. /whine

I discovered last night that Barbara Hambly has a new Ben January short story out AND a new story for her Bride of the Rat God characters. (Which, incidentally, is my other favorite of her books, besides the Ben January ones, even though almost no one has heard of it. It feels slightly dated now, especially the "cursed Chinese artifact" that MacGuffin-fuels the plot, but it's still a delightful little slice of 1920s Hollywood. It was the first of her books I ever read, back in the early '90s, and I'm thrilled she's still interested in writing in the 'verse.)

There's an interesting economics lesson in this, though. When she first started writing these and selling them off her website, a number of years ago, I didn't bat an eye at paying $5 a pop for downloadable PDFs that I had to read on the computer. Her prices haven't changed, but now that ebooks are big and there's an accepted pay scale for them, it feels weird to pay $4.99 for a novella-length story. I'm still happy to buy them and support her, but it's just interesting to me, because several years ago it felt perfectly reasonable to pay $5 for a self-published short story, and now there's a different price scale in effect, and I'd only expect to pay a buck or two. An object lesson in the dangers of undercharging, perhaps.

Anyway, I've already read the Ben January one and it is a delight as always. Looking forward to the other.

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