Autumn-berries in sunlight

DVD commentary meme thus far

You can still ask me about a scene in any of my fics should you be so inclined! (Link to LJ version)

So far:

[personal profile] veleda_k asked about the last scene in Ghost Stories in the Van (appropriate considering Halloween is coming up!) and then asked about Original Sin from the psychic Neal AU, which prompted some rambling about Kate and EVEN MORE rambling about Neal, Keller, and the way the series approaches trauma and people's individual responses to it.

aqwt101 wanted to know what was going through Neal's head in All These Roads Lead Home.

trobadora wanted to know more about Natasha in Written in Blood and Bone, which I was more than happy to talk about (I have many thoughts on Natasha in that story!).

Over on Tumblr, [ profile] rosweldrmr wanted to know more about Rodney's hallucinations in the snow from The Killing Frost.

This entry is also posted at with comment count unavailable comments.
Oh man, me too. :D It was also remarkably difficult to get myself back into the headspace I was in when I wrote the story enough to answer the question -- not only because I've changed fandoms several times since then, but I was also in a very different headspace regarding those characters and their relationship(s) at the beginning of my time in fandom compared to the end of it. The only thing I really remember now about that part of the story is that we hadn't met Jeannie in canon yet, but at my current rate of posting chapters the first Jeannie episode was going to air well before I was done, so I wrote the Jeannie scenes in a desperate attempt to be as vague as possible so that I wouldn't be completely jossed when the episode aired.
Without giving away too much of the plot, what is going through Owen's head when his marriage proposal in Homespun doesn't go as he probably planned.
Mostly pure bafflement. His thought processes at that point are just a long string of "!!!!!" and "D: D: D:" and "?????" And once he gets past the initial flatline of total befuddlement, he feels personally rejected ... with a lot more bafflement mixed in. He just really fundamentally does not get where Kerry is coming from here -- he doesn't understand Kerry's background and doesn't see why Kerry would see marriage as an illusion/delusion and why it has very little to do with him. He thinks that it has to be about him personally, but it's not.

... which actually is one of the fundamental building blocks in Kerry and Owen's difference in worldview. Owen sees their entire relationship in terms of both of them as individuals; he doesn't get the systemic context. Kerry sees them both as cogs in a fundamentally fucked-up system and has trouble moving past that to write his own happy(ish) ending. I tried to keep the book true to both viewpoints depending on whose head I was in -- I mean, Kerry's definitely not wrong and Owen is failing to get Kerry or Kerry's worldview on a really fundamental level (whereas Kerry has a much better idea of where Owen's coming from, just because of having to be acquainted with the world of smalltown-marriage-kids-heteronormativity in self-defense) but Kerry's also having a lot of trouble moving on from what basically amounts to an abusive relationship with the society he grew up in.

I thought it was interesting that most of the reviewers for the book found Owen a more sympathetic, relatable character than Kerry, because I kind of felt the opposite about them when I was writing them -- I loved Owen, but found his viewpoint frustratingly obtuse at times: he's naive, I guess, in a way that Kerry isn't. Not that Kerry's view of life is that much broader than Owen's, it's just ... narrow in less directly applicable ways, I guess, whereas Owen's worldview is narrow in ways that specifically impact his relationship with Kerry.

Thanks for asking about that one! *loves talking about her original works*
This was really interesting and exactly how I had read it!

Interestingly, I am one of your readers who found Kerry the more sympathetic -- well, sympathetic is the wrong word, because I did completely empathize with where Owen was coming from as well, but I definitely did read Owen as the one who had more growth to do in re: understanding his partner and where Kerry was coming from and, you know, personal growth related to their relationship. (If that makes sense!)
:D That makes me happy - I do have an enormous soft spot for Kerry (brave, conflicted, angry, sweet Kerry). Not that people aren't entirely right to gravitate to whichever characters make them happy! But I adored writing him, and it really delights me to have Kerry get some love/sympathy.
Interestingly enough, this is actually my prevailing (though completely non-canonical) backstory for Peter. What we know of his backstory on the show is that he grew up in a blue-collar household with a dad who was a bricklayer, and nearly ALL the guys I know in physical blue-collar professions are regular drinkers, occasionally bordering on functional (or non-functional) alcoholic. Those kinds of guys don't talk out their problems; they self-medicate with alcohol, both from the physical damage of their daily work and the emotional stresses that they don't really have another outlet for. Plus, it's a social bonding activity: finish a day on the job, have a few beers with the boys. The way Peter drinks on the show -- not to excess, but it's clear that coming home and cracking open a beer is his regular after-work routine -- also fits with the idea he grew up in a social milieu where regular drinking was a thing.

Now, it certainly doesn't follow that his dad HAD to be an alcoholic from all of that, and I'm also not picturing Peter's dad as a drinking-himself-into-a-stupor-every-night wino, or the sort of person who blows his entire paycheck at the bar. I'm more thinking along the lines of "functional alcoholic with occasional benders" -- and also, now that his dad is an older guy with the health problems that go along with aging, he doesn't usually drink to excess anymore. In Peter's childhood, however, at least as developed in that particular story, his dad would've been getting regularly drunk after work (if not severely drunk) and periodically fighting with his mom about it, and/or spending money he really shouldn't have spent. It's not the sort of thing that scarred Peter for life or gave him a lifetime aversion to alcohol; it just made his childhood stressful and gave him something he periodically felt like he needed to escape from.
This is interesting to me, not just because it makes sense, but because I've always considered it likely (though also completely non-canonical) that Neal's mom was an alcoholic. She doesn't have to have been. Parents can be absent/neglectful without being alcoholics. But she went through such a stressful time, with her husband being accused of murder, going into witness protection, starting a new life, and being a single parent, that it doesn't seem like an unlikely way to cope.

And now I'm toying with posts about how my headcanons for Neal Peter's childhood are similar in a lot of way, but they coped so differently.
I like that! I'd honestly welcome more fic exploring Neal's relationship with his mother without making her a bogeyman. It's absolutely canon that he had an abusive, neglectful childhood, but fandom (being fandom and therefore not really dealing in shades of gray) goes straight past a regular unhappy childhood to make his mother the worst human being ever. So far we've only ever gotten that relationship through the eyes of a hurt child -- and yes, his mother treated him badly, that's total canon, but also clearly had a whole array of her own issues; kids don't see the whole picture and tend to view their parents as one-dimensional paragons rather than people, and it'd be interesting to get a more nuanced view of that relationship.