Dear Yuletide Writer,

First, let me say that I'm so happy to have you writing something for me that I don't get to see every day but wish that I did. Thank you in advance for that!

I know that my prompts lean toward the slashy and the sexy. I like slash, het (though not vanilla het), and femslash. If you’re writing either het or femslash, I like strong, capable women who own their own strength, intellect, and desire. Of course, I like that in men too. I like BDSM, though more in terms of power dynamics and less in terms of highly ritualized behavior.

However, I love interesting and complex characters and good stories above all else. Even when it comes to the sexy, the sorts of stories I like best are the ones that really get inside the characters’ heads, ones that go beyond the act itself and show how it impacts the characters or their relationship. If you want to see the sorts of things I write (and like to read), I'm also Savageseraph over at the Archive of Our Own.

This is not an exhaustive list, just some things that often tend to make me smile.

Likes )

While this shouldn’t be perceived as a critique of items in the list, these are things I would prefer not to receive in my Yuletide Fic.

Dislikes )

And now, a bit about the fandoms I've requested for this Yuletide exchange.


The Exorcist (TV) )

Critical Role (Web Series) RPF )

Wonder Woman (2017) )

Grayson (Comics) )

Midnight, Texas (TV) )

Having said that, I read and write and enjoy lots and lots of things that aren't really represented in my fics, so I don't want you to feel boxed in. Write what you really love, what inspires you, and it will show in the fic. If you have any questions, you could bounce them off my writing partner [livejournal.com profile] caras_galadhon.

I'm sure I'll love what you make for me, and I'm already looking forward to reading it!
I like Marvel’s Inhumans. In comics form, that is. Which is why I’m so sad that ABC’s Inhumans is downright terrible. Not just bland. Not just mediocre. No, it’s flat-out bad. To be fair, I only watched the first hour, and I’ve heard that the second hour is better. But that’s a helluva low bar to get over.

What makes it bad? Well, the costumes and sets have a bargain basement look to them, as do a lot of the make-up effects. The Inhumans who appear on Agents of SHIELD look WAY better than any on the new series thusfar. Let’s not even discuss Medusa’s hair, which is a glory on the page and looks like cheap Halloween wig on the show. And the time they animated it, it looked equally bad.

The look of the show isn’t the only problem. The script is clunky and ham-handed in pacing, plot, and dialogue. I’m not sure how well it plays to those who don’t read the comics or watch Agents of SHIELD. The royal family also leaves something to be desired. The actor who plays Black Bolt looked like he was IQ-impaired in many of the shots. If you are going to play a character who can’t speak, you need to emote convincingly with your face. That didn’t quite happen. Oh, and when Maximus captures Medusa and shears off her hair, she just sat there and let it happen. She’s a queen, and the only fight she put up was to say, “If you do this to me, I’ll never forgive you.”

Not impressed.

If there were points of light, they would have to be Iawn KKKK’s performance as Maximus, Black Bolt’s treasonous brother and, well, Lockjaw. Because he’s awesome. And clearly an expensive CGI addition that they’ve literally knocked out for the moment.

###


However, the good news on the superhero front is that Fox’s The Gifted was pretty good. It had the obligatory Stan Lee cameo, loads of action, and interesting layers of conflict for the various characters and the world. If there’s a criticism it’s that there isn’t much new in terms of X-Men tropes and narrative, but it was totally more watchable and enjoyable than Inhumans. Also, there were a lot of characters to introduce in an hour-long show.

The mutants seem likeable enough, and their persecution gives us an emotional connection to them. The shadowy government agency is properly menacing. I liked their little deathbots quite a lot. I’m quite interested in seeing how their mutant prosecutor father is going to change now that his family are the “enemy.”
Wow. 2017 has been kicking my ass. I can’t believe it’s already October. It seems like it was just February and all those months in between just got lost. I feel like I got a bit lost. Sure, there have been times I’ve not been as in touch with my LJ before, but this has marked the longest time I’ve been away. Not posting. Not reading my flist.

Not present.

I’m sorry about that, all. I can’t even say it was a total wreck of a year. I got a promotion at work, and I’m helming our two largest clients, which is a lot of challenge and pressure, but those things tend to motivate me. It was the year of the live-action Beauty and the Beast and Wonder Woman. I’ve read some good books, remain hooked on Critical Role, have some new favorite television shows. I went to DragonCon.

However, I’ve also found myself stressed and worried and tired and just not feeling great. The political climate here at home makes me anger and sad in equal measure. It has just been hard finding things that make me feel excited and upbeat. Even things that normally make me feel excited and upbeat.

Today, I gave myself a shake and told myself, “Self, get the fuck over it. There’s plenty of crap you can cling to, but all that does is leave you covered in shit.” And frankly, who wants to spend their time covered in shit?

So in order to not end 2017 in that condition, I’m going to try not to wallow in misery and remind myself of the good that I’m not seeing when I do that. I’m going to celebrate the things I do love instead of lingering over the things that sap my energy and make me feel bad.

This was one of the places I could come to recharge and talk about fun stuff with friends, and if any of y’all are still out there reading, I’m hoping we can have some fun as we close out 2017.
In honor of October, one of my favorite months and home of my favorite holiday, I thought I’d try to do some creepy posts this month. Because creepy things make me happy, and we all could use some happy.

Today’s post will feature one of my favorite horror writers: Clive Barker. I started loving Barker’s work in his Books of Blood story collections, and while I’ve seen Hellraiser and Nightbreed and CandyMan and Lord of Illusions, I’ve always preferred Barker’s written works to the filmic ones. Barker’s language is beautiful, baroque and ornamental,even--and perhaps especially--when it’s detailing horrific things. Beauty and violence and sex and death are entwined in a dark, glittering tapestry where the points of light are sharp enough to cut, bright enough to blind.

If forced to pick favorites, I’m a bit hard pressed. Among the stories, “Dread,” “Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament,” “The Life of Death,” “The Forbidden,” “The Madonna,” and “In the Hills, the Cities.” And I confess I have a soft spot for the darkly comic, “The Yattering and Jack.” It’s harder for me to pin down the longer works I enjoy, but probably Cabal and the Abarat trilogy are special favorites.

So I’ve pulled together a few quotes from Barker talking about horror and from some of the works I mentioned above.

Enjoy!


“Evil is never abstract. It is always concrete, always particular and always vested in individuals. To deny monsters as individuals the right to speak, to actually state their case, is perverse - because I want to hear the Devil speak. I like the idea that a point of view can be made by the dark side.”
― Clive Barker

“He spoke of both dancing and death with equal nonchalance, as though one carried as little significance as the other. It calmed her, hearing him talk that way.”
― Clive Barker, The Hellbound Heart

“Everybody is a book of blood; wherever we're opened, we're red.”
― Clive Barker, The Books of Blood

“[Horror fiction] shows us that the control we believe we have is purely illusory, and that every moment we teeter on chaos and oblivion.”
― Clive Barker

“You cut up a thing that's alive and beautiful to find out how it's alive and why it's beautiful, and before you know it, it's neither of those things, and you're standing there with blood on your face and tears in your sight and only the terrible ache of guilt to show for it.”
― Clive Barker

“Any fool can be happy. It takes a man with real heart to make beauty out of the stuff that makes us weep.”
― Clive Barker, Days of Magic, Nights of War

“Darkness always had its part to play. Without it, how would we know when we walked in the light? It’s only when its ambitions become too grandiose that it must be opposed, disciplined, sometimes—if necessary—brought down for a time. Then it will rise again, as it must.”
― Clive Barker, Abarat

“With the inevitability of a tongue returning to probe a painful tooth, we come back and back and back again to our fears, sitting to talk them over with the eagerness of a hungry man before a full and steaming plate.”
― Clive Barker, Books of Blood

“There is no delight the equal of dread”
― Clive Barker, The Books of Blood

“The moon had risen behind him, the color of a shark's underbelly. It lit the ruined walls, and the skin of his arms and hands, with its sickly light, making him long for a mirror in which to study his face. Surely he'd be able to see the bones beneath the meat; the skull gleaming the way his teeth gleamed when he smiled. After all, wasn't that what a smile said? Hello, world, this is the way I'll look when the wet parts are rotted.”
― Clive Barker, The Great and Secret Show

“Good horror fiction deals with taboos. It must always go to the limits of what is acceptable.”
― Clive Barker

“Three is the number of those who do holy work;
Two is the number of those who do lovers work;
One is the number of those who do perfect evil
Or perfect good.”
― Clive Barker, Abarat

“Decker pulled the mask on. It smelt of his excitement. As soon as he breathed in he got a hard. Not the little sex-hard, but the death-hard; the murder-hard. It sniffed the air for him, even through the thickness of his trousers and underwear. It smelt the victim that ran ahead of him. The Mask didn't care that his prey was female; he got the murder-hard for anyone. In his time he'd had a heat for old men, pissing their pants as they went down in front of him; for girls, sometimes; sometimes women; even children. Ol' Button Face looked with the same cross-threaded eyes on the whole of humanity.”
― Clive Barker, Cabal
savageseraph: (Default)
( Jan. 28th, 2017 11:22 pm)
My family is broken. It's being abused and degraded and tarnished by ignorant, hypocritical, pathological liars who should never have come close to seats of power, let alone occupy them.

I'm ashamed it has come to this. I'm angry it has come to this. This is not what my country is about. I'll never stand with what is happening now.

Instead, I'll stand with my Mother of Exiles. That's the country I want to live in.


New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
I've been sitting here watching Grimm and Emerald City and listening to the sleet hissing against the windows for the last 2.5 hours. It hasn't switched over to snow yet, so there's that to look forward to. Back North, this wouldn't be anything to fuss about, but down here in the ATL with no plows or salting, it's a weather catastrophe.

The grocery store tonight looked like people were prepping for the zombie apocalypse. No eggs, little water, little bread. All the main staples were picked clean. But the little hound and I have food and drink, so we'll settle in and watch the Wild Card games and eat potato pancakes and kielbasa tomorrow.

And ignore the snow.
savageseraph: (Scalora)
( Jan. 6th, 2017 10:13 pm)
Is anyone else watching Emerald City? I have to confess, I'm not quite sure what to make of it. There are stunningly gorgeous visual moments and some interesting narrative moments. But I'm honestly not sure if it's clever and interesting or a hot mess.

Perhaps a bit of both.
So on Monday, the sis and I were walking the dogs before bed. It was a crappy day, weather-wise, here in the ATL. Rainy and chilly. No storms or Southern downpours, just steady winter showers.

As we walk, there's this flash of light. Now there was heavy, low cloud cover, so it really lit up the whole sky. Lightning, you might think. Well, we did too. But the light was green. The streetlights, though not the building lights, flicker and fade, but they don't entirely go out. The filaments glow an angry orange-red. Then there's this low THWFUMM sound. It wasn't like any thunder I've ever heard.

We see some more flashes of the green light. Though they seem to be coming from a different direction. Then after a little, there's another one close and off to our side where the first one came from. There's another THWFUMM sound, and then the streetlights come back on.

Nothing else happens after that. At least not that we know. The sis was like, "We're going back the fuck inside RIGHT NOW." And we did. The dogs never seemed fussed, but the sis was quite insistent that I stay away from the windows and balcony so as not to tempt the creepy-ass lights from coming back.

I have no idea what the hell happened, but it was both creepy and cool.
Day 4



Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner


Comment to someone you haven't ever interacted with before or introduce yourself to someone you've interacted with and friend/follow them. Afterwards, leave a comment in this post with the equivalent of "I did it!"


I actually did something like this today, but not in fandom. My company has a field force, and I work closely with the various Regional Managers. I’ve not met most of them, and they’re really just names on emails to me.

This year, I decided I’d start calling them just to say hello and get to know them as people, not just when we need to interact over business. And I started that today by talking to one of the managers in the Northeast.

So it’s not quite the challenge of the day, but I think it’s in the spirit of it.
Day 3



Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner


In your own space, set some goals for the coming year. They can be fannish or not, public or private. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.


I think the word of the year for 2016 was “loss,” and I don’t want 2017 to be anything like 2016. So for the new year, I’d like the theme of the year to be “finding” or “discovery.”

What would I like to discover? A regular schedule of habits is the primary thing I want to find. I want to carve out a schedule that will have me writing daily and getting some exercise daily. I want to eat healthier. That same schedule will leave time for reading books and my flist and such.

I want to discover a journaling habit, not just on LJ but creative pen-and-paper journal.

I want to discover ways to keep me from withdrawing from stress and pain and hardship and to stop sabotaging myself and punishing myself. I want to discover ways to nurture resilience and forgiveness.
Day 2



Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner


In your own space, share a book/song/movie/tv show/fanwork/etc that changed your life. Something that impacted on your consciousness in a way that left its mark on your soul. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.



If you’ve read my LJ for awhile, you know how I tend to waffle on questions like these. Usually because I find it hard to narrow things down to just one thing. So in keeping with that spirit, I’ll pick to films: one from my youth and one not.

STAR WARS

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When I was younger, more than anything else I watched or read, Star Wars left that kind of mark on me. It was like nothing I’d seen before, and I’m not just talking about the droids, cool aliens, and cutting edge (for the time) special effects. The whole quest story, the fact that the rescued princess has to rescue her rescuers, the adventure, the mysticism/magic (Shhh, the less said about miticholorians the better.) just resonated with me. To this day, the Lucasfilm Ltd. logo and Williams’ iconic score bring with them a surge of excitement

When I had the chance to enter the world of Star Wars in Bioware’s fantastic Knights of the Old Republic game, I was delighted, and yes, I even played and liked The Sith Lords sequel.

One of the things that made me happiest about my trips to Dragon*Con was the time I bought myself a lightsaber. It’s a beautiful dual-bladed saber with a purple blade, and I brought it and my handmade Yoda hat to the premiere of The Force Awakens. While I was not a fan of the prequel triology, I’m finding new excitement in the The Force Awakens and Rogue One


THE LORD OF THE RINGS

2001-poster-lord_of_the_rings_the_fellowship_of_the_ring-3.jpg


When I was young, Tolkien’s books had places of honor on my shelves. I read them and reread them and reread them some more. I’m not sure I can say the books themselves had the impact today’s question mentioned, as I read fantasy before and after them. However, fast forward until New Line Cinema made those books into films. I was prepared to be disappointed, as so many book-to-movie adaptations are, but I most certainly was not.

The films were stunning, so much so that I saw The Fellowship of the Ring about 35 times while it was in the theatre. While the films so powerfully captured a world I’d spent so much time in over the years, it was more the consequences of them that had an impact on me.

Those films brought me to my first online fandom: Yahoo! groups mailing lists. From there, it was here to LJ, and the rest is history. I wrote fic, participated in fan communities for the first time, and made it a new focus for my academic research.
Day 1



Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner

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. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.


It’s always hard to pick a few fics for the Snowflake Challenge, but this year, I picked two older fics and two newer ones, including one I wrote for Yuletide. Hope you enjoy!


Kindness. – Dragon Age Inquisition/Dragon Age 2, Cole, Female Hawke/Anders, R.

Cole meets Hawke when she visits Skyhold and the Inquisition, and her pain draws him to her.


A Hero’s Lies. – Beowulf (Film). Beowulf/Grendel’s Mother. NC-17.

The victors get to shape the stories we know, but are all those stories true?


Doubt. Supernatural. Castiel/Anna Milton, Castiel/Dean. NC-17.

Castiel's doubt is his strength and his weakness.


Alice’s Wonderland. – The Magicians (TV series). Alice Quinn/Quentin Coldwater/Eliot Waugh, Quentin Coldwater/Penny Adiyodi.

Eliot might be a serious pain in the ass, but even Alice had to agree, the man could mix a mean drink.
savageseraph: (Sons of Gondor (by caras_galadhon))
( Jan. 1st, 2017 12:09 am)
DD-New-Year-Illustration-32009-Preview.jpg


Wishing, y'all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR! May the year ahead be full of more laughter than tears, more bright times than dark. May it be full of magic and wonder, enough to wash away the sorrows of 2016.
Yesterday, the sis and I went to The Center for Puppetry Arts, primarily to see the limited run anniversary exhibit for Labyrinth. While the center isn’t huge, it’s full of cool stuff. They run puppet shows and events and have workshops. The museum part was divided into three sections. The larger two were their standing exhibits: Puppetry around the World and the Jim Henson exhibit. There is a smaller space for special exhibits.

The puppets around the world had everything from hand puppets to marionettes to puppets that float on water to shadow puppets. They had bits on political puppetry and Punch and Judy show puppetry and stop motion puppetry. For the last, they had a Corpse Bride and her groom puppets and a diorama from Coraline (Coraline in the kitchen with her Other Mother and Other Father.

The Henson section… Well, let’s just say we both got more than a little excited there. Why? Well, let’s see. When you first go in, they have Henson’s desk set up in a faux office with his things. They have two of his Emmy’s and gold and platinum records. They had Big Bird and Little Bird, Grover, Cookie Monster, and Elmo from Sesame Street. Fan of The Muppet Show? They had Kermit and Piggy, Robin and Scooter, Dr. Teeth and one of the chickens (Chicken #5 to be specific). There was Fozzie! Prefer Fraggles? How about Mookey and Red and a bunch of Doozers, along with some Fraggle babies and “Chorus Fraggles”?

As excited as we were by that, it didn’t in any way prepare us for the next room, which was the standing exhibits for The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. From the latter, they had that door guarded by the playing card guys: the red card was on one side, the blue on the other. They also had that big dark door with the huge gold demon knocker. Also… Sir Didymus. And that little spiked goblin they shoot out of the cannon that gets embedded in the wall.

The special exhibit for Labyrinth had Worm and the Junk Lady (sans the big Sherpa pack of junk) and a host of goblins (including the orange jousting one that Sir Didymus fights), their weapons and their armor. They also had a display from the masked ball. They had a host of masks and fans, a female gown (pale brown with gossamer over it) and male suit (with a skeletal ribcage breastplate). They also had Jareth’s costume from the Escher stairs scene. And, guys, they had Jareth’s crystal balls!

Circling back to The Dark Crystal (because we both loved it best), they had Jen! And Fizzgig! And Aughra! They had one of those little pod people who raised Kira.

And…THEY HAD A GARTHIM! It was GLORIOUS!
So. 2016. I have to confess, I’m not sorry to see this year die. Looking back, I could say that 2016 was an SOMETHING slog of misery from beginning to end. However, there were some bright spots, and in years like this, those points of light, as dim as they might be, are what saw me through the long night.

The Home )

The Job )

Family )

Loss )

Writing )

Fun )

For me, 2016 was full of more shadows than light. It was a year where I felt lost and helpless. It was a year when I let go and surrendered to feelings of doubt and woe that came from the lost and hopeless. There were good things too. I have to keep reminding myself of that, and of how those things made me feel. More importantly, in 2017, I have to work to find those things and those people that make me feel like that more of the time.
savageseraph: (Rose (by icon_goddess))
( Dec. 28th, 2016 09:23 pm)
Debbie Reynolds too? I can't...

I just can't...
So. If 2016 hasn't sucked hard enough, it has to take Carrie Fisher too?

Fuck this year. Seriously, fuck it.
savageseraph: (CantSocial)
( Dec. 27th, 2016 01:27 pm)
Is anyone else having problems accessing their scrapbooks to upload images? The dropdown that should dropdown to give access doesn't seem to be working, and when I click on the number I have uploaded on my profile page, I get taken to a broken page.

Grrrrrrrrrr.
We seem to be marching through November at a seriously quick pace, so it's time for the holiday card post. I'm happy to send cards in the US and overseas, and yes, you can ask for a card even if you aren't sending any yourself. Also, please send along an address even if you think that I already have it. Pretty please.

Comments are screened, so you can reply by comment, or if you'd prefer to PM or email me instead (savageseraph AT yahoo DOT com), feel free to do that instead.


GreatHallYuleBall.jpg


If you'd like my address--and I moved in September, so you probably don't have my new address--let me know in the comments, and I can PM or email you.
[…] everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.


I am so sorry.

To my friends here in the US, I’m sorry there weren’t enough of us to turn the tide last night. To my friends outside the US, I’m sorry America didn’t do better last night.

I’m sorry we didn’t take a stand against racism and sexism, against homophobia and Islamophobia, against anti-Semitism and ridicule of the disabled.

I’m sorry we didn’t take a stand against sexual assault.

I’m sorry we didn’t take a stand against bullying and narcissism and mean-spiritedness and ignorance and intolerance and hate.

I’m sorry we didn’t take a stand against the vilification those who don’t agree with us and the dealing in conspiracy theories and outright lies.

I’m sorry we didn’t take a stand against nationalism and exclusion and division.

I’m sorry we didn’t take a stand for treating each other with compassion and respect and thoughtfulness and care.

I proud that nearly 60 million of my fellow Americans did stand against those things. A slender majority of the popular vote. However, I’m sorry--so deeply sorry—that nearly 60 million of my countrymen did not and that their voices overruled ours.

Today at work, we gathered in small groups to share our pain, our sorrow, our disillusionment. We were bound together by those feelings. Like mourners at a funeral, we needed to talk through our grief and loss. Those conversations will continue for a long time.

Because you see, one other thing we shared was the unshakable conviction we didn’t want this man who embodied the worst in us to represent what should be the best about us. To inhabit the house and the office that is the symbol of our country.

I’m tired. And I’m sad. And I'm soulsick. And I’m discouraged to my core.

And I’m very, very sorry.
.