apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Doctor Who...the hell cares?)
I was reading a post today about the recent official announcement of the airdate for Doctor Who's 7th series premiere. (September 1st!) On it, I came across a discussion of the lengths to which a fan went to stay unspoiled, and it included details and sources I never would have considered spoilers. And it made me wonder: does fandom at large generally agree on what constitutes a "spoiler"?

I'm very aware that the conventions concerning the treatment of "spoilers" can vary widely across fandoms and different forms of media. So I'll ask participants to think generally and to answer based on what you yourself think, rather than the general consensus of any particular fandoms in which you participate.

I'm also aware that certain details might be considered more or less spoilery based on context. For example: casting news that an actor who plays a recurring character is returning vs. general casting news for new, unknown characters or news that filming will return to a previously-used location (indicating that a storyline that took place there might be revisited) vs. general news about filming locations. In those cases, please assume that the provided details are only general information, and don't carry any added implications about plot.

Finally (and then I'll shut up and let you answer the damn poll): I'm first going to ask what you yourself consider to be a "spoiler", and then I am going to ask what particular details you generally avoid before experiencing a new show/movie/book/manga/whatever, whether or not you consider that information to be a spoiler. (i.e. You might not consider the titles of upcoming episodes of a TV show to be spoilers, per se, but you might avoid that information beforehand because you don't want to know anything about the shows before they air.) Then I'm going to ask again what information you consider to be "spoilers", only this time I am going to force you to make a choice, rather than giving you a lot of ticky boxes to check.

I will try to make these questions broad enough to apply to various forms of media around which fandoms form, but they'll definitely be heavily-biased toward television. If an item appears only to apply to a form of media which you yourself don't consume, then please think about whether or not you would consider that item to be a spoiler if you did enjoy that media type.

For the purposes of this poll, please only consider spoilers for media that has not yet been widely released for consumption by the public.

[Poll #1861769]

You know the drill: any and all discussion welcome in the comments. What lengths do you go to to avoid spoilers? What lengths do you go to to find spoilers? Any stories about the worst time you were spoiled? Which fandoms are notorious for spoiling people, and which have the extra-strict spoiler policies?

Also, feel free to pass the link to this poll on to any friends in fandom: the more data, the better. ;)
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Nerd - Fanfic)

Still time to prompt before we unleash the undead:

Prompting is going swimmingly over at [ profile] zombi_fic_ation! So many awesome prompts I want to see filled. (I'll do a rundown of ones I'm gunning for later in the week.) If you haven't contributed yet, you have another week to get your prompt in.

And now, inspired by a discussion at [ profile] fail_fandomanon, and one I've seen crop up many times in many places: Prompts and Prompting Etiquette.


As per usual, discuss in the comments!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Adorable Watson + Sherlock)
Once again, it's time to play: "What Would YOU Do?", the fantastic play-at-home webgame wherein I ask you, dear flist, to make my life choices for me.

No, I'm kidding! But I do want opinions.

I just discovered the "legacy story stats" feature at, because I am WAY on top of things. (Seriously, I don't know who designed their user interface and whether or not they have a deep-seated hatred for humanity, but DAMN is it hard to navigate when you want to post a story!) This feature lets you see which communities and collections your works have been added to.

Two of my Sherlock stories have been added to a community called "Non-Slashers Unite!" which is described thusly: (copy and pasted from the comm's description)

For those of you who don't like to read slash stories then I have a place for you! NSU is your place to find all stories that a) aren't slash, b) don't have really strong/prolific language, c) any sort of explicit sex scenes—m/m, f/f, m/f—, and d) some pretty awesome Sherlock fics! If any of a-c start to appear then it will be taken off and if you awesome readers find something we missed please let us know! If you don't want your stories put into NSU then please let us know and we will remove them! Thanks!

I have thoughts:

a. I do not remember being solicited to "unite" with anyone, and am disturbed to discover I have been "united" with this community for about five months. (They added my stories back in February.)

b. I am rather offended and also discouraged to find my stories are considered to be devoid of "prolific language". Hey buddy: my stories contain hundreds, if not thousands of words! Some of them three syllables even...

c. Is this homophobia at work?

Now, before I ask for your opinions, I would mention:

I don't find the idea of excluding slash (and only slash) from an archive to be necessarily homophobic, in and of itself. For me, it has more to do with the reason slash is excluded and the attitude that accompanies the exclusion.

I can also sympathize with the comm's desire for PG fare without explicit sex or language. (Though Mrs. Hudson does call Moriarty a "son of a bitch" in one of my stories.)

As far as I can see, this comm has not made any explicit judgment of slash, LGBTQ persons or relationships--they've simply stated "this is an archive for all that is not-slash". HOWEVER, if they are operating under the pretense that slash is "gross" or "wrong" or are projecting any implications other than "it's just not my personal preference", I do not want any part of it.

With all that in mind, what do you think? THE POLL. )

Any issues you want to raise, feel free to bring them up in comments. I'm especially interested to hear what people make of the general tone of this comm.

I tend to write mostly gen in the Sherlock fandom, with the odd bit of Molly/Moriarty thrown in. My stories are generally appreciated, but then I do also get a few Weirdos who think that because I write Sherlock and John as platonic friends I'm somehow morally opposed to the idea of them fucking. I'm not: I'm just not particuarly interested in reading or writing about it. I don't consider myself a Non-Slasher, but rather someone who tends to prefer other types of fic ahead of most slash fics. (The balance is rapidly shifting as regards Eleven/Rory though. But that's a whole 'nother fandom...)
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Ludicrous Speed!)

...tomorrow. In the meantime, I have a poll!

So I've mentioned here several times that I like to lurk/post on various anonmemes. The ones I've posted to are: [ profile] fail_fandomanon, [ profile] who_anon, and [ profile] eleventy_kink. (Oh, and I theoretically mod [ profile] concrit_anon, though it's pretty slow-goings there these days.) I've visited/perused others, but these are the ones I visit regularly. The set up. )

So, flist, help me out: What do you think? Detailed results are viewable to just me, and as always, feel free to be honest: I have a thick skin, and I wouldn't ask if I didn't want to know. (For instance: you will never hear me ask if my ass looks fat in these pants, so don't tell me! :P)

[Poll #1755088]

(Feel free to share questions, concerns, and any points I might have missed in the comments. Also, a question I forgot to add to the poll: does [ profile] fail_fandomanon have a particular reputation in your fandom/circle of friends?)
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Default)
If you missed it, I have a poll up about 'femininity', what it means, and how well you fit into the paradigm here. (Please don't tell me you all are finally getting sick of my incessant polling???)

The garden is pretty much all dug in and planted. All that I have left to do is build trellises for the pumpkins, squash, and melons. Here's what it looks like so far: (click to embiggen)

And now, a few things that sparked my discussion post on femininity: Read more... )

Well, rambly TL;DR post is...yeah, you know! Do share your thoughts, vote in the poll if you haven't, and...well, accept my kisses and hugs for being exceptional, regardless of your gender! :D
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Whatever Floats Your Boat)
(Disclaimer: Dudes, I want your opinions, too. I know there's, like: two of you who read my journal regularly. But don't feel left out if it seems I'm only talking to the ladies!)

The subject has come up elsewhere, and it's been on my mind recently: what is femininity? Is it the traditional, stereotypical traits that have historically been prized in women? (And in whose history?) Has the definition evolved significantly over time, or are we still stuck in an antiquated frame of mind? Which qualities are absolutely necessary in order to be considered feminine, and which are optional?

Are you offended when certain traits, interests, or qualities are described as masculine or feminine? As for myself, whenever I've taken any sort of "Male or Female" brain test, I've always skewed slightly toward the masculine side of the scale. (Including when I took such a test in college as a research participant for credit in my psychology class.) It does bother me when people say I "think like a guy", but I do realize that when it comes to science, they're speaking about statistical norms, which I'm cool with, because I like math. :P (Even though, as a child, I got much more attention for my writing abilities than I did my mathematical skill.)

(If anyone else is interested in taking a test based on "male vs. female" brain science, here's a really good one from the BBC. Save it for when you have some time, though, as there are multiple parts. Though I do believe you can save each section as you finish.)

Oh, you just know there's going to be a poll... )

Also, I'd like to know: how well do you fit into (what you perceive to be) your culture's definition of 'masculine' or 'feminine'? What do you think of others who are unable to adhere to your culture's rules? How many of the differences between men and women come from biology, and how many are culturally constructed?

I'll provide my own responses once I've had some sleep!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Molly for Moriarty)
This is taken from [ profile] fail_fandomanon in a thread about "annoying fanon taken as canon":

Oh, in Sherlock fandom there's so much of that going on. A few examples:

- Sherlock being asexual.
- Sherlock being or having been a cocaine (or any drug) addict.
- Sherlock hating the way his own brain works ("too much noise" and the like; I blame wordstrings for this. She's very good writer, but I don't like her take on Sherlock, and I really don't like her take being accepted by large parts of fandom).
- Sherlock being a sociopath (yeah, I know he says so himself, but that doesn't make it true).
- Mycroft not really caring about his brother.

*forehead slap*

An exercise in futility, in which I take on this comment point-by-point. )

/end Sherlock-specific bit

All of this brings me to my topic for discussion: what is canon? How attached are you to the 'facts' of the media you enjoy? Do you like it when the source material mixes it up and plays with canon, or is a foolish consistency the hobgoblin of your little mind? (I know it is of mine...)

Where is the line between canon and fanon?

Also: Do you have bits of fanon you find annoying, or that you actually like better than canon?

As for my own personal favorite bit of fanon: see icon!


May. 19th, 2011 08:18 pm
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (WTF)
One of my students puked today, and guess who got to clean it up? I'll spare you all the disgusting details, but let me assure you: they are disgusting and they are very detailed.

I'll tell ya, it really puts things into perspective: any day you don't have to clean up vomit is a pretty damn good day. Conversely, today...

Anyway. I need to start writing something again. Since waiting for inspiration to strike seems to be a bust, I've decided it would be best to force myself to work on something. And why not let my flist arbitrarily decide what that something should be? So, here it is: ANOTHER POLL! Oh, how I spoil you all...


[Poll #1743031]
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Triplets of Belleville)
The POLL to accompany my post about languages. As usual, I cut myself off because I ran out of time, and not necessarily because I finished asking everything I wanted. So take note: there may be follow-up questions! XD

For the purposes of this poll, we will use the following definitions from Wikipedia, that bastion of academic rigor and accuracy: (Also see this article on multilingualism.)

Language fluency is used informally to denote broadly a high level of language proficiency, most typically foreign language or another learned language, and more narrowly to denote fluid language use, as opposed to slow, halting use.

Conversational means able to carry on a casual conversation, but not necessarily without halts in speech, or gaps in vocabulary.

Skip any questions that don't apply. Pretend that it's not weird I spend so much of my free time coming up with meaningless LJ Polls written in unneccessarily-academic language.


Please leave any details you're willing to share about your language abilities and experiences learning foreign languages in the comments below!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Velociraptor "How You Doin'?")
Just a quick poll before I run off to work! Inspired by a gif someone posted on a friending meme and on a discussion thread elsewhere.

I have a general squick of anthropomorphism: assigning human qualities to animals and, occasionally, inanimate objects. How crazy am I? ("VERY!")

[Poll #1705746]
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Alice)
A question, dear flist:

If you were running a spring fanworks fest, what would you name it? (Keeping in mind that I am likely to steal your answer...)

Quick poll:

[Poll #1681905]

Also: what other phrases/sayings can you think of that are about spring?

For some great Sherlock fic reading, here is a Masterlist of all the works produced for Sherlockmas's Christmas fanworks exchange. :D

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. ~Margaret Atwood

Why is it not spring now??? I want to dig in my garden!!!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Beauty and the Beast)
First things first: have you voted in my Princess Poll yet? If you haven't, you should: it's about princesses.

And now, in lieu of any actual content, I have another poll: about phone behavior.

Have I always been this cranky? )

So, did everyone survive the latest Snowpocalypse? I stayed home from work, which is good and bad: good because YEAH SNOW DAY, and bad because no work = no pay.
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Math Nerd)
In the end, I had twelve respondents to my survey on fanworks exchanges. (If you haven't taken it and feel you'd like to, please do go ahead: I won't close it.)

I really, REALLY had to fight the urge to pimp it out to other comms and beg for more responses; as I said, I am a social science geek who loves surveys, statistics, and data. However, coming up with a "representative sample" of fandom on my journal is just impossible. And no matter what I like to pretend, I am NOT a legitimate researcher!

So, anyway: 12. Thank you to that twelve! (And to the thirteenth person who expressed her opinions in the comments.) The results of the survey are naturally skewed, as all of the respondents came from my flist, and let's face it: you guys are most definitely a better class of fan than the average rabble! However small and skewed my sample was, I did draw a few conclusions.

Take a gander, if you're interested. )

CONCLUSIONS: To me, the most telling piece of data is the revelation that NO ONE from this survey cited receiving a gift tailor-made to their interests as their most enjoyed aspect of the exchange. While a few people admitted they expected their author to adhere pretty closely to the scenarios they provided, most people were just happy to receive a gift that showed a little effort on the author's part. This is good news for those of us who stress ourselves out trying to come up with a story to please our recipient! The fun comes from taking part and having a batch of new stories to read, not in receiving THE PERFECT STORY. Everyone gets stressed out participating in an exchange, and so giftees are likely to be understanding so long as an author tries their best.

From what I can tell, the important rules to follow for fic exchanges are these:

  • It's important to be specific in what you will or won't write in order to avoid an awkward matching.
  • When making a request, be specific about what you don't want, and give several options/scenarios for what you DO want.
  • Read your recipient's request thoroughly, and make an effort to include at least the characters they like and to avoid at all costs the things they don't like.
  • Effort is the key point, so even if you can't come up with an idea that perfectly matches everything on your giftee's request, start writing your story with enough time to polish and perfect before turning it in. A well-written story that misses some of the marks is better than a hastily cobbled-together one that matches the request exactly.
  • When you get your gift, be sure to say "thank you" and provide a list of aspects you enjoyed. If you're so inclined, it's OK to exaggerate a little; if you prefer to be completely honest, get creative in your praise! (More enthusiasm is better.)
  • If you want to complain about the gift you received, be careful where you do it: remember, you're talking to fellow fans who know how stressful writing for someone else can be! Unless your story was clearly a rush job that included details you specifically asked your author to avoid, people aren't likely to be sympathetic to your whining!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Fanfic Nerd)
You all realize that I see you as a ready pool of research subjects, don't you? I've spent far too long studying the social sciences. While I can appreciate the qualitative approach, when it comes down to it, I want DATA!

Feed me? Please???

The season of fic exchanges is upon us. This is my first year both writing fan fiction, and participating in these exchanges. While overall the experience has been fun, there's still some issues I'm trying to wrap my head around. Behind the cut I've compiled a poll about fanworks exchanges, and fic exchanges in particular. If you've participated in any at all ever, even as a spectator, I'd like to hear what you think. The results are viewable only to me, so feel free to be honest. (I'm not in a position to judge!)

Give the circle thingies a tick, and then we can have a lovely chat in the comments. :) What sort of exchanges do you do? Do you stress over them? Are you generally happy with your gifts, or do you get your hopes too high? Ever have a nightmare gift/recipient? Bad/good experiences? (I PROMISE SOME DAY I WILL WRITE A BOOK WITH ALL OF THE USELESS KNOWLEDGE I'VE TORTURED OUT OF YOU, MY DEAR FLIST! All shall not be for naught.) ;)

Zee poll! )

ETA: There's one more thing I'd like to get opinions on! Is MPreg something you need to warn for? I want to archive my 10, Donna, Jack fic, and warning for MPreg kinda ruins the ending. It works out fine here, where I can hide the warning under white text, and leave it up to sensitive readers to highlight for the warning if they're worried about being squicked, but that method wouldn't be an option in other places.

I know warning for MPreg is the convention in a lot of communities, but is that because it's a serious squick or because a lot of people just don't care for it? Any thoughts would be much appreciated.


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