Winter Sunlight

Stephen King exchange is open!

[community profile] kingofexchanges, the exchange for Stephen King fandoms, is now open with 11 works in 12 fandoms! One fandom, Gerald's Game, doesn't appear on the list of fandoms because it's unwrangled, but you can see that story on the Works page. Other represented fandoms include Dark Tower, It, The Stand, and several of his books that are rarely written about, such as Dolores Claiborne and 11/22/63. If this sounds like your kind of thing, go forth and read!

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Winter Sunlight

So apparently I have a new hobby

Back when I was in anime fandom (lo these many years ago) I was kinda into buying action figures. I lost interest for a long while, except for occasionally buying one that I just couldn't say no to (like the Misty one which you'll see below). But I got back into it in a major way with the Defenders ones. I couldn't help myself. THEY'RE SO CUTE. ♥ At this point I have all of the main characters except for Matt. I'm holding out for one with his mask off; there are several different Daredevils, but the only one that shows his face is a limited-edition Comicon one that's expensive and I don't really like it; I want one where he's in street clothes, not the Daredevil costume. (This is the Matt one and believe me, it's the best of a generally terrible bunch.)

But I have the other three in their Netflix versions, and have also picked up a Netflix Claire and Colleen, as well as the comic Misty that I already had since I'm a fan of hers (and this particular subset of the comics in general) from way back in the 80s. There is no TV Misty action figure (yet?).

And, uh. Then I decided I needed accessories for them. I am just at the beginning of this slippery slope but I'm starting to be able to see that it's a loooonng slippery slope and at the bottom is me turning into the dollhouse equivalent of a cat lady, with each dollhouses full of superheroes.

But at the moment I'm having a great time picking out furniture on Amazon and Ebay, and [personal profile] rachelmanija made me some custom accessories out of Fimo clay when she was here, and they are AMAZING.

See all the adorableness under the cut!

PicturesCollapse )

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Winter Sunlight

Reccing Thursday

Look, I made it this week! \o/

Not a fanwork per se, but [personal profile] naye is hosting a lovely conversation about comfort tropes that is highly relevant to my interests. ♥ (I assume it's okay to link to it since it's unlocked? Please let me know if you want the link taken down!)

I also read a wonderful Agent Carter fic this week:

on the home front by [archiveofourown.org profile] oh_simone/[personal profile] chouette
Jack takes Peggy home as his fake girlfriend for Thanksgiving. Funny and sweet and adorable with great OCs, mostly gen with some Peggy/Daniel and hints of pre-OT3.

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Winter Sunlight

Whumptober prompt claiming

Okay, I'm gonna do this. :D

1. Pick a prompt from the list below. (A more accessible text-based list is under the cut, also crossing out the ones which have already been picked, though double-claiming/some not getting claimed is probably inevitable and that's fine too.)

2. Give me a fandom and two characters, plus any additional details if you want. Any fandom I've written is fine to request (though admittedly the ones I've been actively writing lately, i.e. Defenders-verse, Agent Carter, the cosmic/magic side of the MCU, Stranger Things, and Alliance-Union, are probably the most likely to actually get written).

3. Original fiction prompts are also fine, so if you want, say "sparkly teenage unicorn shifter and her dad", sure, go for it.

4. Pairings are not guaranteed (except in original fiction; if you request a romantic couple I'll try to write them that way), but I think I can write gen combos of just about anyone.

5. I will write at least 100 words of whatever you asked for and post it on the appropriate day in October!*

*Results not guaranteed; I have a tendency to wander off from these projects halfway through. But I will TRY.

List of text prompts

Text list and claimed prompts under the cutCollapse )

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Winter Sunlight

Art talk

So, for starters, I have an Instagram now. I don't know what I'm actually going to do with it; as you can see, there's almost nothing there so far. My vague idea was that it'd function mainly as a promotion tool for my webcomic, but ... we'll see. I'll probably post Inktober art and that kind of thing. My biggest goal was just to get used to the Instagram interface since so many art and comics people use it now.

And a weird interface it is, too. Instagram only accepts square photos, auto-cropping anything that isn't square, which is really difficult to get used to. Though I have now discovered that my phone camera has a square mode, so I guess I'll be using that quite a bit. It also doesn't have a desktop browser mode (you have to upload things through the mobile interface, though I also found instructions for getting your browser to enter fake mobile mode so you can still do things from the desktop) and you also can't download your own pictures, which is bonkers! Who does that? Well, you can, but only by putting in a support ticket to get a temp link to download your entire photo archive as a package. Jeez.

Anyway, I'm trying to get back into art a little bit. For my birthday this year, I treated myself to an art-supply-of-the-month subscription. I went with 3 months of Paletteful Packs (it auto-renews on a monthly basis, but I figured I'd give it three months and cancel if I wasn't getting my money's worth out of it) and the Inktober box from Artsnacks, a different subscription service.

So far, the Paletteful subscription has been pretty disappointing. It's not their fault; the art supplies are really nice, and beautifully presented. It's just that they've been picking mainly things I don't use. Their boxes are themed, and it just so happens that the first two boxes in a row were pencil-themed boxes, which is a medium that a) I don't do much with, and b) I already have an entire tackle box containing a million art pencils left over from college. There have been a few things I like and feel that I'll get use out of (a pad of Bristol paper, a nice pencil sharpener) but on the whole, their selections haven't really been my thing.

I'm really hoping the third box will be something other than pencils. If I like it, I may stick it out for a couple more months, but I'm starting to think Paletteful's curation just isn't geared toward my tastes. They've been sending large pads of paper, for example, and while that's nice and I will probably use it, especially the Bristol paper, I would much rather have small sampler packs so I can try out some different things. Or just nice paper in little sketchbooks.

The Inktober box, on the other hand, is AMAZING. I mean, I'm easy for ink supplies anyway because that's my medium, but they also included a really fantastic-looking sketchbook and a big box of colored brush pens. I don't plan to touch any of it until October, but it's going to be hard to wait because I'm really eager to dive in. I'm going to see if I can manage to make this the year that I actually do all of the days. I'm also going to try to use the official prompts this year.

Speaking of October prompting, I discovered a delightful thing on Tumblr: Whumptober, a.k.a. a list of hurt/comfort prompts for each day of the month. Direct link to the prompt list (as an image). I don't know if I'll actually do anything with it, but it's marvelously inspiring. Come to think of it, I could combine it with Inktober and kill gently maim two birds with one stone...

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Winter Sunlight

Any excuse to use my seasonal Halloween icons

Trick or Treat Exchange signups close tomorrow just before midnight UTC, in case you were considering a last-minute signup. Femslash Ex is also taking signups 'til the 25th.

I kinda burned out on exchanges a little bit this summer, but I'm enjoying my laid-back exchange schedule right now. I have one for Unconventional Fanworks, I'm doing ToT, and I have a no-pressure signup with Spook_Me. (Ooh, prompts for that are due out tomorrow!) The only other thing I'm doing this year -- unless I end up joining and/or running one of the single-fandom secret santas -- is Yuletide, for which I plan to request mainly small book fandoms (Matt Scudder will definitely be one of them; probably Alliance-Union as well).

I've been doing so many small exchanges over the summer that it's kind of exciting being in a big one and seeing so many requests for my fandoms. There are EIGHT(!!) for Defenders this time! I miiiiight be coming around on lumping the different shows together. It makes requesting it more complicated, since it's usually multiple sets of characters that I want, but it give it a stronger presence in exchanges than splitting it into separate shows; I also think it makes it more appealing for people who are into it in a more casual way to request it, especially in a character-based event like ToT, since they can just throw their faves in there ....

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Winter Sunlight

And also this!

I got an absolutely ADORABLE Iron Fist fic in Kidfic Exchange:

when I was an astronaut - in which Danny and Colleen are accidentally kid-ified by magic gone wrong, and there is also a baby dragon and (not baby) ninjas, a light Misty/Ward pairing, and Luke being extremely WTF about it all. It's completely darling without being cloying, and everything I hoped for from this exchange. <3

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Winter Sunlight

Oh right, forgot one

See previous post for a linked list of early-September fic. But I also wrote a pinch hit for the DD/Defenders exchange on Tumblr:

Roommate Blues (Punisher, 9700 wds, outside POV - OFC + Amy + Frank)
Post-S2. Amy's roommate thinks Amy is a bit weird, but pretty boring and ordinary ... until Amy brings home an injured mystery man.

I mean, it probably says a lot about how many exchanges I signed up for this summer that I keep completely forgetting that I wrote things.

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Winter Sunlight

Fic I wrote for AU Exchange (and other recent exchanges)

I love AU-Ex. It's one of my favorites of the seasonal exchange cycle. I wrote:

Math and Poetry and Gunmanship (Punisher, 6100 words, Frank & Leo)
Basically True Grit with Frank and Leo in a post-apocalyptic wilderness. Leo hires Frank to help her find her missing parents; they each learn a little from each other.

Runaways (Iron Fist, 5300 wds, mostly Danny & Ward with some Joy)
For a request for an ageswap AU in which Danny is the oldest of the Rand-Meachum kids. It's actually kind of amazing how much this changes, once I started thinking through how the characters' personalities interact with birth order and parental expectation; Danny is more responsible, Ward is brattier, and all in all it's just a really fascinating dynamic to play with.

Only as Old as You Feel (Stranger Things, 1500 wds, mostly Robin & Nancy + the ensemble)
For the requested tag (nominated by me) "Weird Adventures While Living Together In A Retirement Home AU". Instead of Hawkins the town, it's Hawkins Care Home, in which residents mysteriously go missing and geriatric sleuth Nancy is dragging her reluctant roommate Robin along to find out why.

A Zailor in the Making (Guardians of the Galaxy/Fallen London, 2100 words, Peter + team)
For a request for a Fallen London/GotG fusion. In which Peter has landed himself in disgraced exile in the Tomb-Colonies, because of course he has, but don't worry, Zee-Captain Gamora is here to, er, not rescue him. Probably.

And for other recent exchanges:

The Old Ones Wait (Doctor Strange with references to several other fandoms, 2200 wds)
Treat written for Jump Scare, for the requested tag "Unusually high death rate in peaceful English village caused by eldritch monstrosity", because I couldn't help myself.

Dragon's Daughter (Iron Fist, 2000 words, Danny & Davos)
A pinch hit for Rule 63 Exchange, in which Danny is Danielle, and it changes everything and nothing.

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Winter Sunlight

Dear Trick or Treat writer

(Signups for [community profile] trickortreatex are open until Sept. 18!)

Thank you for writing for me! The prompts are suggestions only. I'm sure I'll like whatever you write for me.

General likes and DNWsCollapse )

Any prompt you like from one canon can be adapted for another canon as well. Also, feel free to look through my past letters for inspiration. I asked for most of these fandoms for AU Exchange and Hurt/Comfort Exchange and would enjoy getting anything prompted for those!

Stranger ThingsCollapse )

The DefendersCollapse )

Schitt's CreekCollapse )

Mrs. Pollifax seriesCollapse )

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Winter Sunlight

:D

I have a [personal profile] rachelmanija!

I also have amazing gifts at Alternate Universe Exchange. There are 100+ fandoms in the collection and my gifts are an absolute delight.

First Pilot (Punisher, 9200 wds, Frank + the Liebermans)
Beautifully realized space opera/hyperspace pilot AU with A+ worldbuilding, friendship, and h/c. This could actually be read with no knowledge of canon; while a little osmotic knowledge of Punisher is helpful, I think everything you need to know is in the story itself.

Even Now (Iron Fist, 4700 wds, Ward + Danny/Colleen)
Gloriously hurt/comforty and wonderfully characterized fic in which Ward goes to the afterlife to get Danny and Colleen back, at great risk to himself. This is everything I could have wanted from that premise, and more. <3

I haven't had a chance to read much yet, but I really enjoyed this Ben January AU in which Shaw is a werewolf and this Ava Starr Endgame AU.

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Winter Sunlight

August/early September fic roundup

Various fic I've posted in the last month or so, mostly for exchanges.


For Writing Rainbow: Purple:

Lonely Purple Nights (Avatar: The Last Airbender, Zuko & Azula, 800 wds)
Zuko can't sleep. And he's not the only one. Kidfic fluff, or at least as fluffy as these two get.

Purple Haze (Stranger Things, Kali/Nancy, 1900 wds)
Kali swept into Hawkins in the spring of 1986. Featuring bonus dinosaurs.


For the Daredevil & Defenders Exchange:

Serenity (Iron Fist, Danny & Ward, 6700 wds)
If you were in trouble, the survival manual said, you should stay where you are rather than wandering around and getting lost.

"Thanks a lot," Ward muttered darkly. "We've got the staying-put part covered, thanks."

(Or: Ward and Danny fall down a sinkhole, and Danny breaks his
other</i> leg.)</i>


For Het Swap:

Screwball Love Story (Ant-Man, Scott/Paxton/Maggie, 2700 wds)
Scott is definitely not Cary Grant but he's probably also not Jimmy Stewart and ... yeah, even he's not entirely sure where he's going with this.


For Just Married Exchange:

Brides of the Iron Fist (Iron Fist, Ward/Misty & Danny/Colleen, 15K)
"And they definitely won't execute me if I have dependents," Danny said, and waved his hands vigorously at Ward and Misty, while they stared at him.

"We're not your dependents," Ward said, managing to pack a truly impressive amount of horror into his tone without actually raising his voice. "We're your accidentally married kung fu spouses or ... something."

"I want this day to not have happened," Colleen said, pressing her forehead against the bars.


Yes, somehow this is the longest thing I've written in the fandom so far. Though before that it was the cactus fic, so I see that I'm staying true to form.


And for a tumblr prompt:

Bluff and Call (Iron Fist, Danny & Ward, 2600 wds)
They didn't fight -- really fight -- all that often these days. But every once in a while, Danny's prickly places -- and he did have them -- ran headlong into Ward's prickly places (which was most of him; Ward sometimes felt like a human porcupine) and they ended up verbally tearing strips off each other at 2 a.m.

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Winter Sunlight

State of the everything

We're at least a week ahead of where autumn would normally be - the fall colors already look like mid-September. This is the view out of the window of my office (technically the spare bedroom) right now:

yellow aspens and blue sky

I get to have a [personal profile] rachelmanija next week, and I'm crossing my fingers we don't get a fall windstorm so all this brilliant gold will still be there for her to enjoy!

I drove about 15 miles up the Elliot Highway yesterday evening (otherwise known as the Haul Road, it's the trucker road that eventually, in 500 miles or so, ends at the Prudhoe Bay oilfields) and took some more pictures, which are posted on Facebook. They're not locked, but you might need an FB account to view them. Because Facebook.

---

The Jump Scare Exchange is a flash exchange taking simultaneous signups/nominations right now. (AO3 collection | tagset; signups end on the 4th, and the writing period is through the weekend.) I was going to do this, at least partly because one of the freeform tags is "Character Comes Back A Little More Wrong Every Time They Return From The Dead" and c'mon, this is actual canon in the Defendersverse, but I've changed my mind and decided to sit it out; I'd rather work on treats for AU-Ex and Fandom Giftbox. But if you feel like writing some quick Halloween/horror fic, it's there for you!

I also decided not to do the Netflix Originals exchange (signups now closed) and am skipping Multifandom Tropefest (signups thru the 7th), essentially for the same reason: nobody is really asking for or offering any of my fandoms, so rather than Being The Change I think I'll just focus my attention on other projects. I mean, it's not like I'm dropping out of the exchange-o-system entirely, or suffer from any particular lack of things to write.

As well as being signed up for Unconventional Fanworks, I am currently participating in the purple round of the Writing Rainbow flash exchanges, and plan to sign up for:

Marvel Femslash Drabble Exchange (signups open on the 8th). It's only 100 words!
[community profile] trickortreatex (they're taking nominations now; signups open on the 11th)
[personal profile] spook_me despite my abysmal record of actually finishing things for that. And I had a good monster last year, too! Maybe this year I'll requests ghosts and write that fic I've been kicking around in which Harold's ghost torments Ward and he doesn't know if he's hallucinating or not.
• Yuletide, probably with mostly rare book fandoms (totally asking for Matt Scudder fic)

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Winter Sunlight

Dear Unconventional Fanworks Creator

Hello, [community profile] unconventionalfanworkex creator! This is going to be so much fun.

My requested tags are the ones that looked like the most fun to me for each of these fandoms, but I give blanket permission to treat me with absolutely anything in the freeform tagset.

Likes: hurt/comfort, character studies, people gradually becoming friends, prickly friendships, loyalty, banter, sarcasm, slice of life, outside POV, tropey tropes (e.g. soulmates, sex pollen), badass normals dealing with weird stuff, casual intimacy, characters being all up in each other's space, found families, love languages, lonely people learning to be loved. I'm not sure how much of that actually applies due to the nature of this exchange, but if you end up, for example, telling a story through letters or writing a framing story for a set of clippings/articles, these are some of the things I enjoy.

DNW: visual porn (i.e. adult-rated artwork - it's fine to use clips of canon sex scenes in vids); unrequested non-canon pairings, though including canon pairings is always fine.

The DefendersCollapse )

Agent CarterCollapse )

Stranger ThingsCollapse )

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Winter Sunlight

Fall harvest

I can't believe how early autumn is hitting us this year. We had a frost a few nights ago that killed all the outside plants and some of the greenhouse plants, so today I'm harvesting potatoes and getting the greenhouse stuff in. Since most of the squash and pumpkin plants are still alive, I'm leaving the less-ripe ones on the vine for another week or so, to try to get as much vine-ripening as possible.

potatoes and squash on dirt

More under the cutCollapse )

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Tags: ,
Winter Sunlight

Those little relatable moments in the Matt Scudder books

I mentioned earlier that Lawrence Block is really good at nailing those little "I feel that feel" moments. This is a less emotional variant than the ones I was thinking of earlier, but it also strikes me as exactly the kind of thing I'm thinking of, those little moments that make it feel like the characters really inhabit their world. The protagonist is searching newspaper archives for information related to a case:

I didn't have to scan an entire paper, just the Metropolitan section where the local crime news was concentrated. The biggest time waster was the same one I always have in a library, which is a tendency to get sidetracked by something interesting that has nothing to do with what brought me there. Fortunately they don't carry comics in the Times. Otherwise I'd have had to wrestle with the temptation to wallow in months' worth of Doonesbury.


(from A Walk Among the Tombstones)

I feel that feel, Matt.

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Winter Sunlight

Still reading the Matt Scudder series ...

... and I didn't sign up for all these feels!

I remember enjoying these books but I really didn't remember how slow and introspective they are, let alone how much of any given book is a full-on punch in the feelings. Actually, I think what they're reminding me of the most right now is the Vlad Taltos books, maybe because I just read those. But also, they're both books in the action/mystery genre which are also slow-paced meditations on being a decent person in an imperfect world, both with protagonists who are flawed and a little bit criminal, who are striving mostly for minimizing the harm they do, rather than being good. (And who somehow stumble into "decent" by accident anyway.)

My previous times reading this series were haphazard and out of order; I read various books off and on throughout my teens and early 20s, but I don't think I've ever actually sat down and read them through in order (well, okay, this time around, I skipped a couple of the 1970s books because the library didn't have all of them) and this is bringing me a fresh appreciation of how these books have one of those arcs where the protagonist starts out miserable and alone, and slowly accretes a circle of loyal people around him. And I guess we all know how much of a sucker I am for that.

I can't get over how much I love Matt. It's one of those "despite, or even because of his flaws" kinds of things, because in some ways he's terrible (and I don't mean the drinking, I'm really more thinking of things like his corruption and cheating and the like), but he kind of just sneaks past all your defenses and dodges in there and is just so goddamn decent that you can't not just want everything to work out for him.

I love how characters from previous books tend to come back in later books, and I also love how the author has a real knack for capturing real-feeling little emotional moments -- the only specific example I can think of off the top of my head is that thing where you meet someone and sometimes you just click, for no reason either of you can figure out, but there are actually a lot of those types of things in these books, those oddly specific and yet strikingly relatable moments that make you go, "Yes, that feel! I know that feel. I've had that one."

It's also one of those series that makes you feel like this is a world you want to inhabit and people you want to hang around with, even when some of them are terrible, and terrible things are happening. You know, there are some series I've noped out of after a book or two because I found the narrative POV simply unpleasant. And then there are series that really make you feel the author's affection for all the characters, and for people in general, no matter what kind of people they are. This is one of those. There are definitely places where it stumbles, and things I'm uncomfortable with. But also, there are things like ... nearly everyone that Matt is around is openly racist and often sexist and other *ists, but it's interesting to me how even going back to the earliest books, Matt never says those things; the author doesn't put those words in the narrator's mouth or the book's narrative voice, and it's pretty clear, even early on, that Matt is comfortable, and unapologetically so, about associating with people from just about any demographic, even though a lot of the people he hangs around with wouldn't want to hang out with each other. There is also just a sort of background level of, idk, awareness of things like using the right pronouns for people, or what exactly was going on with the AIDS crisis in 1991 and how it was changing, that makes you get the feeling that, while the author probably is not in those scenes, he must, in a pre-internet world, have done what Matt does, hanging around with a lot of different people, actually listening to them.

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Winter Sunlight

This sounds like something we'd do, honestly

I'm researching Alaska in the 1970s for a thing I'm thinking about writing, and I just learned that during the Cold War, Alaska Airlines at one point made its own secret deal with the Russians without actually bothering to ask permission from the US government:

In the late 1960s Willis [then-CEO of Alaska Airlines] made his boldest move yet; after three years of secret negotiations with officials of the Soviet Union, he won permission from the USSR to take tourist flights into Russia during the height of the Cold War. The State Dept. was aghast but couldn't block the plan because it would have offended the Russians needlessly. In 1970-71 Alaska took a dozen flights a year into Khabarovsk, where Intourist received the groups for tours to Leningrad after which Alaska flew them back on a route over the North Pole.

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Tags:
Winter Sunlight

For my own info as well as others' ...

I put myself in for Merry Belated Treatmas, in which you link to your requests for past exchanges in case anyone wants to write you treats. <3 I picked this year's Chocolate Box letter and HurtComfortEx letter; those seemed like good ones. Like with Fandom Stocking and Fandom Giftbox, there's no reciprocal requirement to write anything; there's also no guarantee you'll receive anything.

Things I am considering signing up for:

- Netflix Originals Exchange - taking both nominations & signups 'til Aug. 31.

- Multifandom Tropefest, taking nominations 'til the 24th; signups open on the 28th.

- Jump Scare Exchange, a Halloween flash exchange in early September.

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