14 December 2013 @ 07:18 pm
post every day meme!  
Gina Torres and why she is your girlfriend

There's a long answer to this question that involves me tracking down all the interviews I've read with Gina Torres where she is smart and sassy and I am forced to draw air hearts in her direction. But let me go with the short answer.

The short answer is: she's so stunning she makes me stupid.

The first time I saw Gina was in Firefly, and I distinctly remember a particular shot from a particular episode. The crew were playing basketball, and Zoe was playing in her leather vest, and there was a shot from above the net that, without revealing anything untoward, emphasized Gina's curves. I remember feeling like I'd been smacked in the head, and likely I thought something terribly profound, like, hot damn.

Zoe )

Turned out that not only was Zoe beautiful, she was handy with a gun, took no guff from anyone, and was slyly funny. I was a goner.

For a while I only saw Gina at red carpet events (looking stunning). And then came Suits.

Jessica )

Suits was almost more than I could take. Jessica was whip smart, driven, and so very in charge, and I still get a visceral thrill thinking of every time she called Harvey or Lewis to heel. She could hold her own in any argument, and had a poise I envied like crazy. She also chose to wear things like this ) to work, which was just such a wonderful 'fuck you' to the rules by which everyone else played. That she did all this as a woman of color was even sweeter - I savored every instance in which she took down a white guy like it was necessary for my continued existence. I adored her. And I adored Gina talking about her, too.

I actually stopped watching Suits after season two, because I couldn't take Mike's manpain any longer. For a while I just watched the scenes with Jessica in them, and then I stopped doing that because I just cared too much about the character to want to see her interact with, or be undermined by, almost anyone else. But I still see stills and think intelligent things like hot damn ) all the time.

So why is Gina my girlfriend? Because of an overwhelming and enormous physical attraction to her; because I would watch her in anything; because she is queen of all she surveys; because I want her to conquer every medium open to her; because I hang on her every word. MY CRUSH. LET ME SHOW YOU IT.

*happy sigh* She is splendid. The end.

(P.S. There's an even shorter answer to this question. It goes like this: asdjhflkasjdfasdfhsadfsa.)
13 December 2013 @ 01:51 pm
post every day meme!  
What do you like about history?

I like that history changes constantly. It's tempting to think that the past is static, but really, what we know about the past are little plausible stories we've drawn up around pieces of surviving evidence, and as we change, and society changes, the questions we ask about those surviving pieces of evidence change, too. So what seemed blindingly obvious 100 years ago is not anymore. Everything's up for questioning.

I like that when it's done right, history is social justice work. Recovering the histories of people who've been marginalized by dominant narratives, looking for stories where others have thrown up their hands and said there are none, giving as much weight to oral histories and creation stories and folk tales and legend as George Washington's diary - that's important work. It matters that we know that the most common tales told about American history (for example) are generally made up, spun, or written to give power to educated, wealthy white men. If we pull apart that narrative, we help pull apart the social norms that rest upon that narrative, and that's satisfying work.

I like that even kindergarteners can master the basics of historical inquiry. For instance: send home a ziplock bag asking the kids to bring in six objects, one from every year of their life. At school, the kids put the objects in order (therefore learning about a timeline), and do a walk and talk about what they brought in (therefore taking artifacts and using them to create a story). They also learn about change over time - that they're not the same now as they were when they were a baby. Those are the big tools of professional historians, scaled down to kindergarten size, and it's awesome that six year olds can do this work. Imagine how empowering it is to learn that you know how to make history when you're so wee. Imagine how critical you can be as a consumer of history as you grow up. (Imagine if your history teacher hadn't lectured to you in school, but let you figure out the truth for yourself.)

And for me, history is just plain fun. I love the detective work involved, and the writing, and the talking about the past with other people. I love being able to smack people down at parties when they say something ignorant about abortion, or birth control, or marriage, predicated on the idea that something has always been a certain way. Nope. Nope nope nope, you just cannot say that. And that's a glorious thing.
12 December 2013 @ 05:56 pm
post every day meme!  
What's your favorite among your own stories (at least at the moment) and what do you love about it / what do you hope others will love about it?

This is a tricky question, since my favorite stories tend to shift with the time of year. For example, since it's almost Christmas, I can't help but gravitate toward [The Baby Jesus' Pom-Poms], which features knitted nose warmers that actually exist. Can anything be more jolly than a pom-pom on your nose? (YES, says almost everyone, especially those who got into the nog.)

But the story I come back to, again and again, is [All My Guards Away], a tag to episode 1x18 of Hawaii Five-O. That story was such a labor of love, written in the two weeks I had before the next episode of the show aired and inevitably jossed my version of events. It's not a particularly happy story - although it ends on an up beat - but I think that's part of why I love it. I find funny things easy to write; I find grief and sadness much harder, and so it took steady work to build a world that made sense for Danny to inhabit after his brother made the stupidest of stupid choices. I loved imagining a family for Danny - I will go to my grave insisting that he has a series of loud and magnificent sisters - and making his other chosen families (Rachel, the team) important as he found his bearings, too. Danny's such a big-hearted guy. Writing all his emotions, good ones and hard ones, was one of the best experiences I've ever had at my keyboard. Oh, Danny.

Honorable mention: the very first [Farm in Iowa] story, because it was so fun to imagine how to make farm-owning John and physicist Rodney meet, because I got to indulge in describing somewhere so very dear to me, and because it still stands up pretty well despite having been written seven-and-a-half years ago. Holy cowbells.
12 December 2013 @ 10:47 am
post every day meme!  
Does Derek Hale have a sweet tooth?

Oh, for sure, if for no other reason than he needs something to help him through the shitstorm that is his life (O DEREK). I think on his good days he's a [really good Mexican chocolate] guy - just a little bit after dinner goes a long way. On other days, the kind of days when he's so busy chasing the Big Bad from one end of town to the other, and trying to prevent people getting killed along the way, he goes for a Snickers bar, which he can eat in big bites in the car. He has a fondness for chocolate eclairs that he will never, ever tell anyone about, and he's been known to accept a Reese's peanut butter cup from Stiles. Mrs McCall once slipped him a handful of Dove promises at the hospital, and frankly, he'd have killed to protect her before that, but it's an iron-clad guarantee now.
11 December 2013 @ 12:43 pm
post every day meme, more catching up!  
I totally missed one! Whoops!

Your favorite fannish trope

HUDDLING FOR WARMTH. Omg, I love this beyond the telling of it. It mixes two of my favorite things - people touching each other (full body contact: bonus!) and people pining for each other (and realizing their love!) I enjoy, in particular, that it's an acceptable way to engineer men into touching one another while acknowledging that many male characters are not touchy-feely. Rodney McKay? Hardly a man who goes in for the full body hug. Remus Lupin? Way too repressed. Derek Hale? The man is a living 'keep away' sign. But! Throw them into a situation where they (or someone else) could be hurt, or even die, for lack of warmth and their full body presence makes perfect sense. That said, I don't need the cold to be life-threatening. Chilly houses and a comfortable bed with lots of blankets or a fluffy duvet makes me *full body wriggle* happy down to my toes. People nuzzling into one another after sex, falling asleep in a tangle? YES, PLEASE.

*sigh* So happy. Rec me your favorite sharing body heat stories! There can never be enough! :D
10 December 2013 @ 07:39 pm
post every day meme!  
Cake or pie? (With recipes)

PIE. Pie pie pie pie pie. I love pie SO much. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't turn down cake if I were in a dessert-free situation, but mostly I enjoy cake (like carrot cake) for the frosting (cream cheese, of which I would eat a bowl). Pie, on the other hand, I enjoy in all its forms, and no cream or ice cream is needed for it to be awesome.

I don't have a pie filling recipe to share that's anything special, but I do have a kickass recipe for fool-proof pie crust:

2 sticks butter (16 tbsp)
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp sugar
ice water

1. Cut the butter up into small chunks. Work into the flour and sugar until the mixture forms small breadcrumbs. (Handy tip! A kitchen aid mixer fitted with a regular paddle will do this for you. MAGIC.)

2. Add the egg yolks. Mix.

3. Add ice water a couple of tbsps full at a time. Work the mixture until everything hangs together in a firm dough.

4. Split into two sections and wrap each in saran wrap (cling film!) and chill in the fridge for an hour.

5. Roll out. Fill. Bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. (Your filling mix may have different instructions - do whatever your recipe tells you.)

I love this pie crust beyond the telling of it. The egg yolks make the crust hold together beautifully and you can roll it nice and thin. I also add a few drops of almond essence to the ice water when I'm making apple pie, because omg that is delicious.

This is totally how Ada Gunderson makes pie, btw.
05 December 2013 @ 04:12 pm
post every day meme, day four!  
What do you like most about where you live?

I live in a small town, and I love the quality of being known. The owners of local stores and restaurants know me by name; the staff at my pharmacy do too. I love being able to walk down Main Street and see people I know, and to walk into the coffeeshop and greet the owners. At social events, I likely known someone who knows the people I'm talking to, or people have heard about me because of my job, or I've heard of them because of theirs. I know to some people this could feel stifling, and that they love and protect their anonymity, but to me I like the comfort and familiarity of being known and knowing others. It makes my community feel tremendously warm.

I love the quiet of my town, interrupted only by the sound of trains passing through. I love the history of my town, which stretches back to abolitionism. I love the way the streets look, and that we don't have to sort our recycling, and that Tuesday mornings during fall I'm woken up, regular as clockwork, by the guy who's cleaning the street of leaves. I love that when there's a big snowfall my neighbors will come over and help me dig out my driveway, and that when the power goes out we all take to our porches and chat.

I grew up in a big, industrial city, and yet I've found my home in a small, rural place. I love that contradiction. I love cities, love visiting my friends in Chicago and Minneapolis, but each visit is made all the sweeter by the welcome I feel when I come back home.
05 December 2013 @ 02:59 pm
post every day meme, day three! (belated)  
Danny Williams

Oh, Danny. I fell for Danny in the pilot episode, when he picked up Grace and Mr. Hoppy - there was so much great storytelling in that one little scene, and my empathy for his character only grew as the episode continued. He's my kryptonite - or at least, he is as he was written in season one, which is how I continue to think about him and write him - loyal, decent, generous, snarky, a great dad, and in possession of a huge heart. The view doesn't hurt, either.

I also love Danny and Steve as a pair - as partners however you define the term. Their affection for each other, their banter, playfulness, loyalty, and ability to get mad at one another and then patch it up is just glee-making for me. Even if I didn't ship them, I'd love their dynamic, their friendship, their do-or-die attitude around one another. They're the centerpiece of the show - something the show-runners seem to have forgotten recently, or at least forgotten how to write generously. Danny as a misogynist asshat (see all his conversations with Steve about Catherine early in the season) just sits wrong with the characterization the writers came up with in the beginning. Sigh. But *hand wave* I will always love him, exactly the way I want him to be :D
03 December 2013 @ 09:15 pm
post every day meme, day two!  
Where did Ada Gunderson come from?

Ada is a complete figment of my imagination. I know no one like her, although I think she's a definite Iowa type - hardworking, loves her land, and has no shortage of common sense. I'm not sure I've ever written about Ada's backstory, but she married young and had a happy married life until her husband passed early, in his 50s. They had three kids, all of whom are grown and have left Iowa, and Ada has a good relationship with all three despite the fact that they rarely come back to visit - they're not a family that needs to be together to feel togetherness. Ada's unflappable, because in her time she's weathered three kids under the age of five, tornadoes, a stampeding heifer, floods, two weeks in winter without heat, a dog that liked to snack on road kill, deer in her garden, raccoons in her attic, several governors she thought had the brains of a curly fry, two attempts to cut off her social security payments, a run in with the IRS, fourteen door-to-door salesmen in one summer, chickens that wouldn't lay, chickens that laid too much, and John Sheppard taking up with that Canadian gentleman. And that's just scratching the surface.
02 December 2013 @ 03:32 pm
Post every day, question one!  
What fic story have you wanted to but haven't yet?

There's a part of me that still wants to write a code to season three of H50, and wrangle all the craziness that happened then into some kind of sense. I really want to understand Doris, and give her more to do than lie enigmatically, and I'd planned to do exactly that over hiatus. But it ended up that I was away on work trips for most of June, and by July I had so little brain I couldn't begin to fathom a fix-it. The inconsistencies of season three were so rampant it would take spreadsheets and drawings and maps and schematics to be able to structure a proper story, and I just wasn't invested enough. If that story could spring from my mind to the page without me having to actually write the words, I'd get it done :D

I wish I had more time to write, in general. There are so many stories to tell, but life has been so busy I haven't had time to sit down and craft them. So I guess I wish I was writing in every one of my fandoms, more and more, because that would be totally fun, and would mean my life was less bananas. Maybe in 2014!
01 December 2013 @ 02:11 pm
a new post every day meme!  
I've seen this all over the place, and it looks like tremendous fun - my friends feed is going to be full of posts all December. That is an awesome thing!

So I'm joining in: Pick a date during Decemeber that hasn't been used yet and give me a topic, and I'll ramble on. It can be anything from fandom-related (specific characters, actors, storylines, episodes, etc.) to life-related, to whatever you want.

They may be brief, or not, depending on the subject.

Also, I reserve the right to decline prompts that I don't feel equipped to meet (or if I feel I will only speak negatively on something, I might ask you for something else).

Calendar behind the cut )