apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Cooking - Chef / pirate symbol)
It is time, once again, for me to get my proverbial shit together. I have deadlines coming up, a challenge running at [ profile] pulped_fictions, a fic fest ending at [ profile] sherlockmas, a new campaign to edit, and social obligations to meet.

I need to be more organized and more productive.

*sigh* Anyone else have any motivation for me?
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (LSD)
It's something I've been thinking about lately: that even though I get tired of the wank, and the arguing, and the accusations of bigotry/scrambling for the 'more progressive than thou' brownie points--I'm actually grateful these discussions go on in fandom.

I started thinking about this when someone at [ profile] fail_fandomanon made the edifying comment: "It's men who start wars: women are more sensible than that." And rather than +1 and LOL and giggle and sigh and say "Oh, those men!": women actually disagreed! The giant pile of anonymous gender police who jumped on the thread to respond was probably (definitely) overkill for such a naive and ridiculous comment, but by the time the fourth person mentioned "gender essentialism" I was suitably impressed. Because outside of my own academic experiences and this journal, I'm never privy to a conversation where someone can mention the term "gender essentialism" and assume that people following along will know what they're talking about.

In my own life, I have very intelligent and liberal friends, but still I find myself sucked into conversations based on the premise "But I like it when my husband opens the car door for me." (And for the record: you are allowed to like it, and he is allowed to do it. Feminism is not about who opens doors and who crosses their legs and who does the weekly shopping. It's not about the door: it's about gender roles, and learned helplessness, and this fallacy that women can't take care of themselves when men are around. What matters is not whether he wants to open the door for you or not, but whether he buys into those stereotypes or not, and to what degree. The point is, basically: that door-opening is not a reliable marker of quality in males. In short: forget about the door! It's not about the goddamned door!)

Fandom can be an impossible and frustrating echo chamber of wank and disagreement, but at least these discussions are going on! Sure, unreasonable shouty people get an unfair advantage in the debate, but amidst the endless sturm und drang at least these ideas are out there.

I'm glad that slash writers are called out for ignoring women and fetishizing gay men, and that het writers are called out for ignoring LGBTQ people and perpetuating misogynist stereotypes. I'm glad that while people are complaining about the awkwardness of gender neutral pronouns, gender neutral pronouns and when to use them is being discussed. And asexuals. And POC. And global tragedies. And appropriating cultures. And fetishes. And any measure of stereotypes and hot button issues I'd have to go out of my way to seek out in my offline life.

Do I agree with all of the arguing that goes on? Do I think that it doesn't occasionally do more harm than good? No. But I truly, honestly appreciate that it's out there. I just wish I knew a better way to drag it out into my offline life.
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! (Good Books)
New friend (HELLO!) [ profile] emmyangua has introduced me to 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. (Link takes you to the Amazon listing for the book; to view a list of the works included, go here.)

Those of you who've been reading this journal for awhile and are familiar with my "I Like Making Lists" tag know what's coming: yes, I've composed a list of all the works I've read from the master list. Read it here! )

I also have a meme going!

Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Lists, lists, lists! It's like heaven... )

Finally: The Decemberists have a new album out in January and they are coming to Michigan in February! WOO HOO!!!

ETA: There's one more thing I wanted to include in this entry!

I've signed up for [ profile] fandom_stocking, which is a really cute idea: people post their wishes for short fiction, icons, and other holiday greetings, and other fans fill their "stocking" with content. Here's a link to my stocking, which just went up today. I think I'm going to write a bunch of Doctor Who and Sherlock drabbles, and then skim through posts looking for requests that fit the bill.

I'm also experimenting with learning how to make graphics! So maybe people will get some not-quite-perfect but well-intentioned icons and such. :) Let me know if you sign up, so I can stuff your stocking! (I will never stop giggling about that...)
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Doctor Who...the hell cares?)
As I might have mentioned, the topic of my research paper is how the proliferation of the internet has impacted people's sexuality and sexual behavior. In order to come up with research articles, I spent a lot of time searching various sex-related journals for use of the word "internet". (This was the best method I found; all attempts to narrow or focus my search ended with no results.) Since my search methods were less than precise, I've spent a lot of time browsing through unrelated journal articles. Combined with the research for my paper, I've learned a few things, namely:

  • A LOT of scientists have studied the practice of condom-less sex among gay men. Seriously, during my research I thought about creating my own Research Paper Drinking Game where I would down a shot every time I came across the word "barebacking".
  • "Autassassinophilia is a paraphilia (i.e. "fetish") in which a person is sexually aroused by the risk of being killed." I have no idea how to pronounce that.
  • Social scientists REALLY enjoy coming up with cutesy article titles. Some of my favorite examples: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered ... I’m Yours”: Calibrating Body Ownership through the Consensual Mastery/slavery Dynamic; the elegantly simple Hey stud: Race, sex, and sports; and the enigmatic Silver 'porn bullet' for information technology industry?
  • Studies regarding the use of pornography and other sexually explicit materials are still disturbingly biased toward male use.
  • Apparently sex, and especially porn, is bad, yo. Not all of the research agrees, but man: it is difficult to find good, comprehensive research that focuses on normal, healthy, positive sexuality.
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Hug)
You remember that scene from Dead Poets' Society where Todd stands up on his desk to protest the dismissal of Mr. Keating?


(Sorry, the site wasn't giving up the embed code, so you'll have to follow the link.)

Fourteen-Year-Old Michigan Student Stands Up For Suspended, Gay-Defending Teacher
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (LSD)
First, I have to say that there will always be a place in my heart for, as it's one of the places where I first discovered fan fiction. There's a still a lot of awesome stuff there; it just can be really hard to find. (I tend to find an author I enjoy, then read all of their stuff and everything they've favorited. That tends to work.)

Anyway. I have an account there, and most of my (non-porn) stories end up there. The thing is, I'm used to posting my Amy/Rory Doctor Who fics, which are posted and then largely ignored. {We won't even go into how cranky I get when my stories that include The Doctor get more hits on AO3 than my (better-written, I think) Amy/Rory fics.}

Sherlock is an entirely different animal.

It hadn't occurred to me to put my first Sherlock fic for [ profile] thegameison_sh up there, but when I was archiving my latest entry today I thought, why not? So I put both "Strange Bedfellows" and "Almost Anyone" (formerly called "Of Death and Dying") up yesterday.

"Almost Anyone" got two very lovely, very thoughtful reviews. I was pleasantly surprised, and responded right away to thank them. All good.

"Strange Bedfellows"? I don't know what is going on there. It's gotten about 10 "story alert" subscriptions, and the following reviews:

Cut, because I feel a rant coming on... )
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Default)
Had a lovely day today: I spent it thrift store shopping for my Halloween costume. At the salvation army in Redford, I found a wedding dress that would be ABSOLUTELY PERFECT for dressing as a Calvierri girl from Doctor Who. It was of a thick, satiny ivory fabric with a swirling french pattern, long sleeves, and a very full gathered skirt with long train. There were a few too many sequins on the bodice, but overall, they were tasteful and would have blended in perfectly. The best thing: it FIT me! Perfectly! The one problem? It was $70.00. I'm sure that's a very good deal for a wedding gown, but it's a little pricey for a Halloween costume.

Calvierri girls, Vampires of Venice

What I ended up buying instead is a long black and white formal gown, the kind one might wear to prom or to be a bridesmaid. It was only $15.00, and just a little bit too big; it only needs a few tucks in the bodice, and it should fit perfectly. My plan is to be some sort of Zombie Miss America. Stay tuned for pictures.

Now here comes the dilemma:

Cut because I'm going off on a tangent again )

I welcome your input.
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Typewriter)
So, [ profile] originalfic_las, a Last Author Standing competition for writers of original fiction, has started. The prompt for the first challenge is "change". I was hoping for something a little more detailed, but I can work with this. I'm getting a few ideas rattling around my brain, I'm just waiting for them the gel into something writable.

ETA: I meant to mention that if you wanted to sign up for this challenge, you still have until Wednesday to do so!

I just want to make it through the first few rounds, get some idea of where I stand and what I'm up against, and then who knows? I'll blunt my ambitions until I have a better feel for the competition.

I know a couple folks from my flist (like lovely [ profile] ladylovelace) are signed up for the competition--holla back if you're one of them so we can commisserate and cheer each other on!

I'm also in the midst of writing something for [ profile] she_is_to_me's latest challenge. It's an AU challenge, and I'm REALLY excited about my idea, but I still don't know exactly where I'm going with the story. I also have to write my entry for the dark!fic challenge at [ profile] thegameison_sh. It's amazing how these commitments tend to snowball, isn't it?

And now, in honor of National Coming Out Day (October 11 in the US, 12 October in the UK), here is my coming out story:

Re-posted in a cleaned-up version from my old Livejournal )


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