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In which I wax ranty [Aug. 29th, 2013|06:43 pm]
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An incomplete list of things I'd be perfectly satisfied never to see again, thank you, in Sherlock fanfiction. In no particular order:

1. Mystrade seriously presented as canonical. There is no evidence that Lestrade and Mycroft have ever even met.

2. Hobbit crossovers/fusions. Or Star Trek crossovers/fusions. Or any “ooh these two completely different characters in separate universes are played by the same actor!” crossover/fusion/meetup.

3. Vampire stories. Werewolf stories. Sherlock-Goes-To-Hogwarts stories.

4. Any crossover involving more than one fandom other than Sherlock. Honestly, what the hell makes you think any sane person wants to read a story crossing Sherlock over with the Star Trek reboot and Doctor Who and Supernatural and the entire Marvel movieverse and James Bond and Criminal Minds and some anime 'verse I've never even heard of?

5. John's fucking jam. The entire “John's jam” trope. For some reason a lot of the fans are inanely amused by the idea that John has a jam fetish. This is borrowed from a “Hark, A Vagrant” comic that featured ACD's Holmes and Watson – in which the character who liked jam wasn't even Watson, but the annoying comic-relief character “New Watson”, later known as Stupid Watson. Before you write any story or even Facebook posting involving John and jam, remind yourself of three things: a) there is only one mention of jam in the entire nine aired hours of the series, b) it is metaphorical, and c) it is in the context of someone getting hit by a train.

6. Any story or kinkmeme prompt involving the alleged “real reason” Donovan doesn't like Sherlock – because he stole a case from her, because he wouldn't let her steal a case from him, or (all too painfully often) because they dated and he dumped her or she once hit on him and he shut her down, or basically anything other than because she's a good cop and really thinks he's a danger to the public!

7. Any use of the plot, or plot element, or subplot element, or motif, or even faint mention of Sherlock's supposed, and supposedly Deeply Significant, inability to say “I love you”.

8. Holmescest.

9. Elements from the Guy Ritchie films, including Gladstone. This goes double for any story in which BBC!John is portrayed as not merely a gambler but a compulsive gambler.

10. I will automatically hit the Back button at any use of the nicknames “Sherly”, “Mykie”, “My”, or “Lock”.

11. High-school fics or Teen!Lock.

12. Eating-disorder fics, particularly Anorexic!Sherlock.

13. John portrayed as utterly falling apart after Sherlock's death, paralyzed or immobilized by grief, especially in fics set months or even years after the Fall.

13a. John portrayed as utterly alone and friendless after the Fall. Even if John's friendship with Lestrade doesn't survive TRF – hello, Mike Stamford? Bill Murray? Harry? Ella? Remember, it was Sherlock, not John, who said “I don't have friends”.

13b. John portrayed as utterly alone and friendless after the Fall because Harry and Mike and Bill are all dead. Come now, let us not get gratuitous.

14. Mary-bashing.

15. Ella-bashing. If John's been misdiagnosed, which is at best arguable (I seriously question Mycroft Holmes's qualifications as a psychodiagnostician), it's in large part because he hasn't been fully honest with his therapist.

16. Any use of the phrase “A certain _____” in story synopses: referring to Sherlock as “a certain consulting detective”, or pairing Mycroft off with “a certain Detective Inspector”, etc. etc. and thuddingly unoriginal etc.

17. MorMor, particularly if it involves the nickname “Tiger”. Get back to me when we've actually met Sebastian Moran. Fannish speculation on a single shot in “The Hounds of Baskerville” does not count.

A few tips for writers:

John is blond, not blonde. Blond is masculine, blonde is feminine.

Names are invisible. Use them as many times as you need to: don't (particularly in the middle of a sex scene) suddenly jump to calling Sherlock “the detective” or John “the blond”.

Singular, Holmes: Sherlock Holmes.

Singular possessive, Holmes's: Sherlock Holmes's brother Mycroft.

Plural, Holmeses: the Holmeses glared at each other.

Plural possessive, Holmeses': John listened to the Holmeses' incessant bickering.

If you ever use the form “Holme's” I will mock you relentlessly and you will deserve it.

In speech it is “Baker Street”, not “Baker St”. No one can pronounce an abbreviation. If you ever refer to it as “Bakers Street”, see above under “Holme's”.

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Placeholder [Oct. 15th, 2012|10:36 am]
Do I have a Livejournal account under my Facebook name, "Susan Cactuswren"?  I don't recall ever starting one.
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(no subject) [Oct. 17th, 2010|12:23 am]
There are books you can gulp down at a sitting, or at most in a day or two:  tasty, delicious even, but not difficult to get through.  There are books that take more labor:  books you have to nibble at for some time.  And there's another category.

I've finally finished John Crowley's Little, Big;  or, the Fairies' Parliament.  It's in that third category, because it's a book I have loved for some time now without having finished it.  It's so dense, so complex, like a truly fine and enormous meal:  I devoured about the first quarter of it, up through Smoky's marriage to Daily Alice, and even as I was loving every word I stopped -- it was as if I could not digest another bite.  I picked it up months later, got as far as Auberon's moving into the Folding Bedroom at Old Law Farm ... and stopped again.  Really it was very much like thinking, "Every bite, every word, of this is delicious beyond comprehension but OH my GOD I'm FULL."  I've finally finished it, but my brain is still buzzing a little.

Next:  my fourth try at finishing another book I love every word of, Greer Gilman's Moonwise.  I know I've made at least four separate attempts at it.  This one is even slower, because it's so textually dense that I have to start over again at the beginning every time.  And Gilman has written another book which I'm afraid even to try before I've finished Moonwise.

If Greer Gilman had never had a word published I would still love her for her four-word description of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford:  look at the end of the paragraph beginning "Oxford, for all his privileges of birth".
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A Spur Of The Moment Production [May. 14th, 2009|04:00 am]
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[Current Location |Living room]
[mood |pleasedpleased]
[music |None]

Four out of five doctors who tried Camels decided they preferred women!
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Pizza? [Apr. 27th, 2009|05:22 am]
[Current Location |Bedroom (about to fall over)]
[mood |nauseatednauseated]
[music |Good lord, are those *birds*?]

For years I wondered where my mother, one of the great non-cooks of all time, got the idea that Wonder Bread topped with ketchup and Velveeta, warmed under the broiler until the Velveeta was barely softened, could possibly be classified as "pizza".

Now I know.

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JREF debanned! [Apr. 4th, 2009|04:51 pm]
[Current Location |Living room under a blanket, I have a cold]
[mood |pleasedpleased]
[music |Blessed silence]

Nothing could please me more.  But I tend to agree with PZ Myers at Pharyngula:  "Responding to a violation by automatically yanking the whole account is not appropriate and civilized behavior, especially when it can be resolved by an amicable communication. How about communicating first, and then yanking if someone is intransigent?"
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YouTube bans JREF [Apr. 1st, 2009|05:59 am]
[Current Location |Bed]
[mood |angryangry]
[music |An insomniac nightingale outside my window]

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Just a shameless LAM [Mar. 21st, 2009|10:50 am]
[Current Location |Living room, mostly]
[mood |proud]
[music |"Can we turn that down a little? I'm trying to count."]

Socks.  I made socks.

For the longest time I'd had the idea that socks were hard -- I knew people knitted them, but I thought they must surely be difficult or at least in some way very tricky.  (The odd thing is that I've heard other knitters say the same thing about fairly simple knitting techniques:  "Oh, it's a lovely pattern, but I couldn't possibly do it -- it has cables!  I don't know how to do cables!")

Finally I sat down with a ball of worsted weight yarn in a shade of purple that looked nice in the store -- acrylic yarn, which your yarn-snob correspondent normally would not touch -- five double-pointed needles and a copy of Ann Budd's Getting Started Knitting Socks, and I started casting on.

And I knitted, and I followed the instructions.  And I knitted, and counted stitches, and counted rounds, and flipped pages in the book.  And I knitted, and tinked, and knitted again, and swore and clicked my row-counter, and kept finding the wrong number of stitches on my needles, and had to tink back and knit again, and I stared in wonder as the heel shaping produced something actually shaped like a heel, and I did the toe shaping absolutely perfectly until I reached the very tip where I expended a very great many very bad words indeed on Kitchner stitch which I know there's no devil but if there was he invented it.

Then I started over again, and did the whole thing a second time.

And now I have socks.  They are fat and ugly and clumsy and far too big around, they're in an appalling color, but my housemate can wear them around the house and they will keep her feet warm.


Really awful purple socks

Real socks.  Which I made.  Myself.

Next:  one of those extremely cool self-patterning yarns.  Schachenmyer Regia, perhaps, or Plymouth Sockotta.
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Knowing when to apologize [Mar. 20th, 2009|12:55 pm]
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[Current Location |Living room]
[mood |pleasedpleased]
[music |There's a mockingbird in the back yard singing its head off!]

One thing I greatly admired Barack Obama for during his campaign was his adamant refusal to apologize for things he hadn't said.

The Republican campaign, in standard Republican form, would come up with some strained deliberate misinterpretation of something he had said, and claim that their wild spin on it was what he'd meant.  Perhaps the most memorable was when he compared John McCain's policies to "putting lipstick on a pig";  the McCain/Palin campaign tried to draw some nonexistent connection to Sarah Palin's line about a hockey mom being "a pitbull in lipstick", and were immediately up in arms:  "Oh horrors, Obama just called Sarah Palin a pig!"

He had done nothing of the sort, of course, and he did not apologize for saying something he had not said.  It would have been easy to issue a vaguely-worded apology there, on the order of, "I didn't mean to be offensive, and if anyone was offended I'm sorry".  But he didn't, because he hadn't said anything to apologize for, and he wasn't about to apologize for what the Republicans said he'd said, or what they said he "really meant".

I admired him then, for refusing to apologize for things he hadn't said.  And now I admire him more, for his willingness to acknowledge when he has said something stupid, and to apologize for it.
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PETA and the AKC [Feb. 12th, 2009|04:09 pm]
[Current Location |Living room]
[mood |coldcold]
[music |The wind chime out back which I can hear through the closed door]

It is an undeniable, irrefutable fact that the AKC’s breeding practices have led to many dog breeds being dreadfully inbred, perpetuating and spreading health conditions such as hip dysplasia.

It is also a fact that many dog breeds have been over-bred to conform to increasingly preposterous “breed standards”.  This has resulted in tiny, fragile, unhealthy “toy” breeds;  large breeds prone to heart problems and bloat;  and short-faced breeds which are unable to give natural birth.


It is an equally undeniable and irrefutable fact that the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’s recent campaign outside the Westminster Dog Showis an enormous noisome reeking heap of fail-flavored fail topped with failsauce and garnished with freshly crumbled fail.


Anybody care to join me at the next PETA rally for a big bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken?

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