August 31, 2003

Did they register at Target?

Well, I really must say that last night's animated Batman-Superman block was truly a cornucopia of gayness. "Old Wounds," in which Nightwing (looking remarkably sexy with the long hair) recounts the story of his, hm, well, "breakup" with Batman to the new Robin, takes the blue ribbon for Most Easily-Misinterpreted Comments Made to Third Parties in a walkover, and as for "Brave New Metropolis"--any episode in which Lois complains that Superman is "married to Luthor" is all right by me.

I can't believe that Superman was so very gay all these years and I never noticed it.

Posted by Sarah T. at 08:29 PM | Comments (0)

August 28, 2003

Fandom as seen through the wrong end of the telescope

I can't decide whether to put out my action figures in my new home. It's not that I'm ashamed of them, it's that they don't quite go with the decor, and there's only the one, very small, room.

It's strange and disorienting to go from an environment in which eccentricity of character is practically viewed (if incorrectly so) as a badge of intellect to one in which it exists, on sufferance, in tiny zones of tolerance.

Posted by Sarah T. at 12:32 AM | Comments (2)

August 12, 2003

Happy birthday, Becky!!!

I dreamed last night that I and my sister met Justin Timberlake and visited a little pied de terre that he had in Cambridge. Actually, it was surprisingly small and cramped, but the bathroom was nice. Want to know what my subconscious thinks real rockstar extravagant living is? Not one, but *two*, computers in the bathroom. Sheesh.

Let me reassure my inexplicably boyband-loving friends that Justin was extremely nice, friendly, down-to-earth, and funny--quite the gracious host. However, he did have that bizarre afro-thingy he had some time ago.

Posted by Sarah T. at 03:53 PM | Comments (2)

Tonight: Lovely and Amazing. Don't bother. No, not even if you love Catherine Keener.

I got sparkly teal eyeshadow free with my purchase of Bedhead Control Freak Serum. Truly terrifying. I'm donating it to the cousin I am visiting, who coaches synchronized swimming for one of the local universities. "We need really *garish* makeup, and that would be *perfect*!" she said to me cheerfully. I couldn't decide whether Ethan Rayne would be more appalled by the idea of synchro or overcome with the urge to steal the makeup for himself. It's sad sometimes, not being able to share these thoughts with the people you happen to be with at the moment.

The used bookstores in Ann Arbor are different from East Coast used bookstores. They collect more flotsam and jetsam, and the f. & j. get picked over a lot less quickly for newly-trendy items. I can still pick up half-a-dozen Rex Stout mysteries on every A^2 visit--good luck finding them in Cambridge! I also paid a dollar for a copy of Last Son of Krypton (the novel). I wasn't going to, but then I was flipping through and found this sentence: "Even naked and imprisoned, Luthor was not to be dominated." Naked! Imprisoned! Being-attempted-to-be-dominated! Lex! Who could say no?

Posted by Sarah T. at 01:17 AM | Comments (3)

August 11, 2003

Ramblin' girl

I saw Easy Rider today. Dated, but gay enough to keep one entertained.

Peter Fonda's counterculture gentleman was more compelling than I expected. Jack Nicholson was more charismatic and attractive than I expected. Dennis Hopper naked, however, was exactly as traumatic as I expected--which is to say, a LOT.

The Michigan Theater has been restored since the last time I was inside it, in a manner handsome, but not over-the-top. I like it. Also, one can't but approve of the way they sell Zingerman's baked goods in the lobby. Palmiers! That beats the Brattle's lobby selections all hollow.

Posted by Sarah T. at 04:17 AM | Comments (0)

August 10, 2003

This may be the first story *ever* that I failed to finish because I just got bored with it. I think the problem is lack of humor. I am not particularly known as a writer of comedy, but most of my stories of any length have a good supply of banter, if only because I am compelled to write about world-historical pains in the ass like Ethan and Lex. Bobby and Marie are a nice young couple, but cynical wits...not so much. So the tone is not varied as one could wish for. Hence, a certain degree of tedium.

Posted by Sarah T. at 07:05 AM | Comments (1)

August 06, 2003

Fan-fiction is (generally speaking) art, and one of the signs of an art that still lives is a vigorous critical debate. Thinking anything less patronizes us. Should an adult be unable either to cope with criticism or to develop avoidance strategies (it's perfectly respectable to keep away from criticism if you know it won't be helpful to you as a writer!), then that person is not (yet) suited to showing her work in public. That's not the end of the world. (You don't have to be a writer to be a full contributor in fandom, and you don't have to publish your work to be a writer. We aren't all impoverished beyond compensation if someone chooses not to write, or to circulate her work privately!) That's the price of being able to have an adult discourse about our art.

Of course, you could say: we *don't* have an adult discourse about our art. We have a public milkbath, while isolated groups debate critical matters privately, where access is limited based on who knows whom, outsiders can't bring in fresh perspectives, the same matters are hashed out in different corners simultaneously rather wastefully, and creators can't learn from (through either accepting *or rejecting*) various critical judgments. And, I'd add, where *critics* can't learn from each other--little wonder there's so little useful criticism out there when the chief model of negative critique is the badfic site, which certainly can be amusing but doesn't offer much in the way of modelling how to separate personal reactions from aesthetic judgment, avoid the ad hominem, or work out broader consistent principles of criticism.

That would be a good point, but I don't think the solution is more milk in the bath. Maybe there is something of a disparity of expectations...but there'd be less of one if we actually faced the sometimes unpleasant consequences of taking ourselves seriously as writers. And if you *don't* take yourself seriously as a writer, why the hell do you care what some constipated jealous bastard on the Internet says about your work?

Posted by Sarah T. at 05:26 PM | Comments (0)

August 05, 2003

P.S. Having just completed my eighth or ninth reread of Portrait of a Lady, now totally believe that Buffy Summers is Isabel Archer's spiritual descendant, even if they'd be very unlikely to get along.

Posted by Sarah T. at 06:09 PM | Comments (0)

Sometimes, I miss the Buffyverse a great deal. Especially as a writer. That show was a fanfic writer's dream for its breadth and depth and possibility. SV's reality often seems paper-thin by comparison.

Posted by Sarah T. at 05:56 PM | Comments (0)

Some interesting responses to Destina's post on dealing with criticism, but something also seems to be getting missed...

It's okay to have most of the reactions she described unfavorably. You just need to have them privately and then get the hell over them. Seriously. Anyone who tells you criticism of their stories doesn't bother them is either lying or heavily medicated. God knows my own initial reaction to a mere less-than-positive beta is a nice fit of unmitigated sulking and private caressing of my maligned and horribly misunderstood genius. But then, you know, one moves on.

Posted by Sarah T. at 03:04 AM | Comments (7)