laurajv: Don't give me any wild ideas! (Default)
Dec 31: for [personal profile] beatrice_otter: plot bunny/trope/fic kink you love but will probably never write and why.

There are a few of these.

One of them is marriage of convenience, which is nearly* a bulletproof fic kink for me. I haven't yet found a fandom I don't love this trope in, but I also have never found a fandom where I've managed to think of how to do it. I think usually because it works best in AU situations, and AUs aren't where I tend to go, as a writer; I like working within the canon too much (and, in fact, I have trouble working in open canons where I can be Jossed, because that will often kill my creativity). Related tropes like arranged marriage I *can* see myself writing (I mean, Vulcans, right), but where would a marriage of convenience even fit in with most fandoms? It doesn't, except of course OTHER people seem to be able to do it just fine...

Another is A/B/O universes, but I very specifically only like ones that have some serious worldbuilding and trope inversion. I find mainline A/B/O squicky and rife with creepyweird romanticization of consent issues, and so I only discovered I liked the trope handled well when it was combined with a marriage of convenience (see? bulletproof) by a writer I already trusted. This one I'll probably never write because, again, the AU thing, but also because what I really WANT to write is a completely gen version of an A/B/O universe and I cannot figure out how to do it, because of the nature of the trope. I've tried a few times and the worldbuilding always kind of falls apart. If I ever figure that out, I will probably write it.

* I say nearly because while I'll start reading just about anything in any of my fandoms labeled MoC, I will bail for the usual culprits of bad writing and bad characterization.
laurajv: Don't give me any wild ideas! (Default)
This is a day late, because yesterday was too exhausting!

Dec 27: for [personal profile] dine: do you make resolutions? if so, what will be this year's?

I don't, really, because I get very down on myself about them, and I have a tendency to self-sabotage, and then it's just me being mean to myself about things!

In 2015 I want to apply to grad schools, construct earthworks water control systems in my side yard, and help revitalize a student outreach project. We'll see how it goes.
laurajv: Don't give me any wild ideas! (Default)
for [personal profile] copracat: travel, a place, fictional or real, you'd like to go.

A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies....

but there are so many real places I'd love to go! Fiction pales!

In no particular order, my top 5 non-US destinations:

The Galapagos
Costa Rica

After that, it'd probably be a return trip to Ireland, or a trip to Morocco.

My top 5 US destinations are all national parks! Thanks, John Muir!
Grand Canyon
Carlsbad Caverns
Hawai'i Volcanos

The national parks we have plans to do, once our kids are older. The younger one isn't 3 yet, so probably not for another 5 years at least.
laurajv: Don't give me any wild ideas! (Default)
hey look, getting it done!

for [personal profile] beatrice_otter: Favorite thing/most interesting thing/idea about Vulcans that you've never used in a story.

Up until I wrote those snippets a little bit ago, it was the thing about photosynthetic algae causing redness in eyes/on lips! Before that, it was the existence of a subadult phase of maturation, but that's one of the very very first ideas about Vulcans I ever had -- I was about 16, 17 -- so a lot of my early Trek fic deals with it, in a way I wouldn't deal with it now.

I write so many of my ideas about Vulcans...

I've never written a serious exploration of Vulcan marriage structures, including the biology of pon farr and level of contact accessible via the mental link. I'm also wondering about alterations in marriage & family structure due to the reemergence of the mind meld as a practice, post-T'Pau.
laurajv: Don't give me any wild ideas! (Default)
Dec 12: for [personal profile] dine:what are your favourite holiday dishes? (share recipes if you want)

This one's both easy and hard! My favorite (childhood) holiday dishes are a mix of ones that aren't holiday-specific -- my mom's spicy spinach and her famous green beans -- mom makes those all the time, because they're so good, and holiday-specific Polish dishes my mom learned from her paternal grandmother -- chrusciki, kielbasy, and kapusta. In adulthood, I've added some favorite dishes from my husband's family traditions -- scallops over pasta, rib roast, lobster bisque, crabcakes Benedict.

None of these do I have recipes for, exactly -- I know how to make many of them, but it was mostly learned in the kitchen. I'm sure I've written some of them down before, but here are some basic methods:

Spicy spinach: sweat garlic in extra-virgin olive oil (or butter, or a mix of the two) in a LARGE, wide pan until translucent. DO NOT allow it to brown! add cayenne and a giant amount of spinach. No, more spinach than that. Seriously, it shrinks down to like 1/10 the amount. Add pepper and salt to taste and then throw some handfuls of grated parmesan in there. Fend off other diners with a knife while you shovel it into your mouth, snarling.

Green beans: chop up some onions and bell peppers. Cook over medium heat in extra-virgin olive oil until they are soft and caramelizing. Add green beans, rosemary, salt & pepper. Cook til beans are how you like your beans. Throw some handfuls of grated parmesan in there.

Kielbasy: look you're gonna need my mom's recipe, a meat grinder, a sausage stuffer, and some sheep casings if you can get them. And pork butt and mustard seed and marjoram and it has to smell right and...look I can't really help you out with this one.

Kapusta: chop up some white cabbage and boil it until tender-ish but not TOO tender. meanwhile, melt some butter in a giant high-sided pan with a lid (like a big enameled Dutch oven) and in there you put some bacon (leave out if vegetarian) and sliced onion. when the bacon & onions are cooked, toss in a bit of flour and cook that in the fat for a bit, then add sugar, white vinegar, and the cabbage. Stir it all up together til the sauce coats everything and the cabbage is properly tender.

Chrusciki are a fried dough cookie. You can use any chrusciki recipe you find online for these, really. It's a dough with a lot of eggs in, and you roll it out and cut slices and fry them in shortening or lard (lots of people twist them or wrap them to make "wings" -- their English name is Angel Wings -- but my mom never did) and then dust them with powdered sugar. If you have teenagers you will need an extra wooden spoon to rap their knuckles as they steal from the pile of chrusciki as you make them.
laurajv: Don't give me any wild ideas! (Default)
Dec 11: for [personal profile] brownbetty: Can you talk about a purchase you made and feel good about?

I’ve started trying very carefully to only make purchases I can feel at least OK about. This has a bunch of knock-on effects — for example, it means that I buy fewer shoes, but they’re more expensive and made in places with good labor laws. (I saw a cost analysis once of making shoes in the EU, the upshot of which is that you should expect shoes made in places with good labor laws to cost you over $130 USD. That was a while ago & of course I’m not sure how accurate it was, but that kind of stuck with me.)

That said, the best purchase I made recently wasn’t of a physical thing; it was an enrollment in a set of classes to get my Permaculture Design certification. I learned so much, and met so many wonderful people, and it was worth the money and even worth the missing time with my kids to do it. It wasn’t cheap, and I stressed out about the cost a lot, but I’m so happy I did it.
laurajv: Don't give me any wild ideas! (Default)
for [personal profile] the_rck: One author, living or dead, who you would like to meet and talk to and what you would like to talk to them about.

This one's hard, because two authors immediately popped into my head!

The first one is Octavia E. Butler. I first encountered her work when I was 11 or 12, in my local library, and I struggled to understand it. Something about it held me, but it was difficult to wrap my head around. It still is difficult to wrap my head around -- her work never stopped challenging me.

I would ask her how the Parables series would have ended, if she'd had time to write it, or what she was trying to get at with the super, super creepy dub-con vampire sex in Fledgling. (Her vampires are the ones that freak me out the most, of all the vampire stories I've ever read -- they remind me more than a little of those parasitic wasps whose larvae take control of the host insect.)

The second one is Stella Gibbons, and I would ask her what wrong was done to Robert Poste, and what exactly happened in the 1946 Anglo-Nicaraguan War.
laurajv: Don't give me any wild ideas! (Default)
for [personal profile] beatrice_otter: what do the non-fannish people in your life know about your fannish life.

I think most non-fannish people in my life know that I write fanfic, though I haven't taken a survey or anything. I don't hide it, or the name I write under, and I know some of my high school & university friends have read fanfic (mine or otherwise) and some have written it (some of which I've read and some I haven't). I know my mother knows, and I think all my siblings, but even if they didn't it's not like being a giant nerd is out of character for my family in any case. I know many of my former coworkers know, & at least one of my former bosses. A number of my spouse's coworkers know. The security & abuse team at my old workplace, because I had some troll/internet stalker issues at one point and made sure they knew about it. There's a group of non-fannish friends that I chat with regularly (Jabber room) and I often send along links to fanfic I think they'll enjoy -- Yuletide gems especially; that group contains an ex-boyfriend and his wife, several former coworkers, a woman I was a bridesmaid for, some professional associates of a friend, my husband, his best friend, random alumni of my alma mater who know someone in the group somehow or other. My Twitter account is a giant mishmash of fannish and non-fannish stuff, so anyone who follows me -- lots of non-fannish folks including people like my kids' babysitter -- knows probably as much about my fannish life as most people in fandom.

I mean, I know that I'm lucky in that I have never particularly had to care who knew and who didn't, or hide anything about what I am doing. I mean, obviously I'd prefer it if no one ever sent my mom my more sexual fiction, but if they do I know all she'll do is roll her eyes and close the window. I know that's not a luxury everyone has.

I should mention, Maxim once had an article making fun of fanfic in it, and they quoted one of my sillier pieces of juvenalia in it, with links & iirc my legal name. The cat was already out of the bag by then, which means I was mostly just entertained, but you know -- hard to keep a secret after that.
laurajv: Don't give me any wild ideas! (Default)
for [personal profile] beatrice_otter: Favorite fandom you've never written for (and why not)

Funnily enough, [personal profile] beatrice_otter, you are probably one of the few people who knows me who might have been able to guess this one: Babylon 5. At least, I don't THINK I've ever written B5; it's possible I did and forgot it, or tossed off something quick in response to a prompt, but it's not something I've ever really wanted to write.

I'm not sure why. I love the universe and a lot of the characters, but I think in some ways it's so strongly itself that I never had much of an impulse. I do read it -- which is why you might've been able to guess, because I've commented on yours -- and it's odd, because the stuff I love in B5 is similar to the stuff I tend to write about Vulcans (side characters, worldbuilding-y, not super long). You'd think I would go haring off after some Minbari or Centauri or Narn or Drazi cultural aspect, wouldn't you? But I don't. I don't know why. I love to read that, but I don't want to write it.
laurajv: Don't give me any wild ideas! (Default)
for [personal profile] vass: what's the news with you? Whatever you feel like sharing about your life in the last year or so.

The last year's been a time of transition for me, in a lot of ways. I've taken my first steps towards finding a new career -- shaky and uncertain as those may be -- and I've developed some new friendships. My hands are in the earth a lot more. I have a permaculture design certification now, and I'm going through my state extension's master gardener program. My first two permaculture projects are both on my own property -- an edible garden (designed, in progress) and a rain garden (designed, not yet in progress). Water on our property is a big issue -- everything on the lot drains to a single spot, which has a 4" diameter drain. For a lot ~8000 sq ft, 1/3 of which is house and 1/3 of which is concrete. Let's not talk about how I want to find the person who designed this and poke them with a sharp stick.

My son is now 5, and he spent much of the past year ill. In the spring, he had a major personality change that was terrifying, but it resulted in him finally getting a diagnosis and treatment; he had surgery in early October to permanently correct the problem. It's been such a relief. His growth is now back on the charts, his behavior is back to usual, he's no longer in severe, unrelenting pain, and he can eat without getting sick. "Adenoids" sounds so minor, doesn't it? It's not.

My daughter will be 3 next month, and she loves Spider-Man and school, in approximately that order.

Still battling my own brain chemistry. A while ago it took a lot of the pleasure out of running in public for me, so we're investing in a treadmill -- both for winter exercise, and for those times when going out is going to be a horrorshow.

August 2017

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