Archive for July, 2003


Thursday, July 31st, 2003

Word count: 7

Moving into the present, I read Vigil by Nanda, but didn’t know the context so the effect was somewhat lost on me. A little bird also told me to read Things We Say (Prologue) by Gunfodder. The formatting was too wide to read comfortably, but I persevered. That was some highly coordinated UST, I must say. The writing was good, but the simultaneous thoughts, angst and tears were harder to swallow. Perhaps I should ease into the shipfic more gradually. I’m not ready for simultaneous angst.

So I tried some action - Sleepers by…well, I’m not sure. The site has this funky two-lights scheme, but no name on most of the pages. [Note to others: Put a “by so-and-so” under your title so the clueless newbies know it was you.] After extensive research, I did find a name on the graphics page - Alli Snow. No wonder I saved this fic. Unfortunately, the fic was exported to HTML from Word, so the file size was more than doubled by moronic and gratuitously incompatible HTML generated by Microsoft applications. I wanted to change the font to something more readable than grey Courier on white, and that meant nuking every egregious font and span tag. The things I do for fic…

The work was worth it. The plot of “Sleepers” was an excellent combination of weird planet (a ghost planet), SGC politics (damn Ruskies!), and episode coda (post traumatic possession-torture-death syndrome). [Note to self: figure out what episode that was. Sounds messy.] The plot twist was extraordinarly effective - one of those so that’s what’s been going on moments. I did think the story started off slowly, with a lot of post-trauma introspection surrounding Jack and related canon-dropping (citation of canon events about which your ickle newbie knows nothing), compared to once the action got going. The conclusion was also drawn out past the resolution of the main plot, yet the new question raised at the very end wasn’t answered. Is there a sequel? Inquiring minds want to know!

Fic of All Kinds

Wednesday, July 30th, 2003

Word count: let’s not and say we did

Today was a big day for Jemima’s Trek updates. On the Trek front, the recent filk, Goodbye to VOY, is up in the VOY section, along with a new C/7 vignette You Think that the muse popped out of retirement to write for Die J/C Die II. A few links have also been fixed in the Trek sections.

More exciting by far is my first Stargate fic, a drabble based on the fifth season episode “48 Hours” called To Russia with Love. I also made a new Stargate SG-1 page with plenty of handy links. That also meant adding a new tab. While I was at it, I put title attributes on the tab links, so if you hover over a tab, you get a link description, at least on the pages I’ve updated.

The cool layout is based on the CSS tricks at css/edge. You won’t see the full niftiness unless you use a standards-compliant browser like Mozilla or Netscape 7. In the ideal browser, the pattern (the Earth glyph from a standard Stargate font) matches exactly between the edges, the middle and the tabs, even when you hover over a tab. All the pattern colors should be fixed like a watermark, so the text scrolls over the pattern. I hear the pattern scrolls with the text in IE, which is a pretty minor offense as Microsoft goes.

The CSS for the home page has been altered to better match the main FicML site design. I also did some work on ficml (which inspired me to make the change), but most of that was behind the scenes. FicML progress is recorded in the other blog.

Blast from the Past

Tuesday, July 29th, 2003

Word count: 597

I took at look at the SJD’s lists by date for 1998. I Want To Believe by Vanessa Nichols had Jack trying to negotiate with the Goa’uld in Sam [note to self: figure out what episode that was] and was a bit too angsto-introspective for my tastes, but not technically bad. Dream by Vanessa Nichols had enough dying-together-on-a-snow-planet action (apparently taken from an episode called “Solitudes”) to balance the angsto-introspection. Punched by Vanessa Nichols again was a good example of the spiked-punch and mistletoe themes that pervade winter shipfiction. I skimmed some other stories with similar plots but this was the best one I found. Is getting Teal’c drunk some sort of SG-1 winter sport? I think I need to walk away from the 1998 archives and find some action-adventure.

In the Famous Last Words category, I’ve already written my first Stargate fic. I’ll link it as soon as the SG-1 section of the site is set up.

Plausible Deniability

Monday, July 28th, 2003

Word count: 343
Cool link of the day: The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest

blue muse
[Icon by chiroho]

Seema is concerned about my plans to take the shippy, fanon approach to Stargate, as opposed to the serious, canon/adventure route. That’s how I started writing VOY (three years ago this month), because it was the summer and I had far more access to fic than to canon. Shipper themes are universal and accessible, while technical details (such as which planet is which and how many Stargate movies there have been) require more knowledge of the show. I’m working on a base of approximately two episodes here, so I’m going to read Sam’n'Jack until I get a clue.

Jerie was kind enough to recommend some authors and awards sites, but she was sleeping when I gave up VOY in the middle of the night and went looking for fic. So I found the Stargate SG-1 Fan Fiction Awards on my own. I read the required three paragraphs of a few award-winning stories before I hit on one I liked enough to finish. I’ve always thought it would have been cool if I’d kept track of all the VOY fic I read over the past three years. One of the benefits of finding a new fandom is doing it right this time, so here it is, the first SG-1 fics I read:

Something Worth Hiding by Sally Reeve
Ship: Best Romance and Ship: Best UST, Stargate SG-1 Fan Fiction Awards 2002
The thing that kept me reading this story when I’d given up on several other award winners was the flow of the writing. Though it took quite a while for anything to happen, there was enough motion and description to keep my attention through Sam and Jack’s constant UST musing. I thought Daniel’s car metaphor was clever, though capitalizing it made it a bit awkward. The scene in the bar [note to self: learn name of bar] was lovely, and the story holds this momentum through the end.
Knowing close to nothing about the show, I can’t speak to whether the characters were in character. I did find the premise, that Sam and Jack hadn’t smiled, laughed, or looked each other in the eye for a year since some sort of alien-induced “Resolutions”-style confession of true but forbidden love, hard to swallow. [Note to self: if there was an Angry Warrior speech involved, find new fandom fast.] I suspect this overlong year timeframe has something to do with when the fic was written. I would have preferred more live examples of non-eye-contact, and fewer inner dialogues about it, but that’s the genre so I can’t really complain.
My blog entry title and the story’s title have to do with the resolution of the fic, which I won’t spoil but will say it’s a perennial yet underused plot in UMST (unresolved military sexual tension) fic. Plot is king in genre fic, long may it reign.

Semiprecious by SuzVoy
Suz is always good for a romp of a plot. Here Jack gets turned to stone and Sam and company try to fine a cure. At first I thought it was a bad sign for the fandom that someone could carry out an entire Sam/Jack fic with Jack as solid rock, but of course Suz came through with a comic plot twist and the power of sex conquers all (without any actual sex). “Semiprecious” is classic fanon that tells me exactly where matters stand in the fandom, with a smattering of fanon tropes that I [note to self] will eventually have to figure out. Suz has a little trouble with capitalizing dialogue tags that shouldn’t be, and a heavy reliance on the one-liner paragraph.
Of course, I’ve been known to do the latter myself.

Today I also watched my first episode as a fan, and my third (more or less) overall. I have to say that so far, the fic has been better:

48 Hours, 5.14 (#102)
Teal’c gets stuck in the stargate, leading to all sorts of arcy stuff with Russians, a government conspiracy involving Q and a missing Gou’ald, and a scientist who spends the whole episode insulting Carter. There is less than no Sam/Jack chemistry and no cool new planet (unless you count the one Teal’c was leaving when he got stuck, and I don’t).
I’m a little concerned about Jack. He seems a bit…stupid for Sam, but probably not much worse than Chakotay compared to Seven or Janeway. He’s also the strong, silent type, but not because the writers can’t fit him in. That fanfic year of not speaking to Sam is looking more credible now. Needless to say, I haven’t been overwhelmed with episode coda ideas, but I am thinking Teal’c would make a good muse.

Goodbye to VOY, The Filk

Monday, July 28th, 2003
Filk: Goodbye To VOY
Original: "Goodbye to Love" by The Carpenters

Recorded by: The Kimtones
From: the 2378 album, "A Filk For You"
Written by: Jemima Pereira and retired muse B'Elanna Torres

I'll say goodbye to VOY,
Neelix left the ship and crewmates, so must I.
Time brought to an end our epic voyage 'cross the sky,
Now all I see of VOY is Janet's Star Trek screenshots -
I've run all out of fic plots...

So I've made my mind up I must write some SG-1,
And though I'm sad to see it go
I knew the day would come
I'd say goodbye to VOY...

There are no new seasons for this muse of mine.
Maybe time will heal these Endgame memories
And I'll find that there is Star Trek to believe in
And to write for,
Some show I could write for...

All the years of Delta Blues
Have sadly reached an end;
Sam'n'Jack and Goa'uld fans will be my new fic friends.
From this day VOY is forgotten -
I'll write on as best I can.


What show's in our future is a mystery to us all;
No one can predict the rate of Nielsens as they fall.
There may come a muse to turn my leaden fics to silk,
But for now this is my filk...

And it's goodbye to VOY...
I'll say goodbye to VOY...

Goodbye to VOY

Monday, July 28th, 2003

Half an hour past midnight this morning I gave up on Voyager.

I’d been working on my first-season AU in response to my own Leather-clad Challenge and I was excited about it from a plot point of view, but I couldn’t get a grip on the characters. I’d written half of my daily word count and was stuck in the middle of a scene involving Tom Paris, Harry Kim, and Seven of Nine (first season AU, remember).

I once said that even a monkey with a typewriter could write Tom Paris, and I believe that when Tom stops writing his own lines for you, it’s time to give up on VOY fic - the muse has flown. So at 12:41 a.m., I checked the story back into RCS (pardon my geekiness) with the comment: “518 words and giving up on the entire fandom.”

I will make a noble, hopeless effort to tidy up some works in progress and finish my revisions to Colony, but for all intents and purposes my affair with Voyager is over. A memorial filk is in the works.

Now my long-suffering readers may say don’t let the door hit you on the way out, or they may ask why, Jemi, why? Much of the answer was in my reply to Jerie about what I need from a fandom, but Jerie’s own requirement gets right to the point - a show should make you ask “What if…?” If I’m not asking that question about VOY anymore, I’m never going to come up with the fanfic answers.

Stealing the Show

Sunday, July 27th, 2003

Word count: 518

There’s a new version of the Color Wheel up, with a slightly er and much prettier PNG image of the wheel. The missing colors haven’t been found yet.

I saw Pirates of the Caribbean, which was pretty good. To be more specific, Johnny Depp was amazing, the special effects were cool, and the other characters were average. At some point it became clear that Depp’s pirate was undermining the whole movie - the Young Hero paled beside him, he had more chemistry with the Young Heroine than either her fiance or the Young Hero did - he was the movie.

You Are Sam From "Benny & Joon."

You are very talented at physical comedy. People are in awe of your abilities. However, you have many quirks which can either win people over or completely annoy them. But you’re a sweetheart through and through, and it’s hard not to love you.
Take The Johnny Depp Quiz!

On Barriers to Entry

Saturday, July 26th, 2003

ASC, Enterprise and Beyond, and the LiveJournal set are all aflutter about the ENT problem. I don’t mean the problem that Enterprise is courting cancellation or even that it’s managed to alienate so much of the huge Trek fanbase. I mean the apparent problem that some unspecified number of ENT writers don’t post to ASC. Here’s what I posted to ASC on this thread:

I don’t think the proportion of ENT writers who never post to ASC is any greater than the proportion of VOY writers who never posted to ASC was, back when VOY was on the air (and possibly now as well). It’s been the case for years now that the day-to-day cranking out of pairing fic goes on on mailing lists and (more recently), and that only a certain quantity and quality of it eventually reaches ASC.

If ENT survives another season it might be worth the effort to recruit some good ENT writers, but at the moment ASC is doing as well with ENT as I would have expected.

To be more explicit about it, I know the vast majority of J/C writers either never post to ASC, or have posted once or twice and then given up. And ASC is better for it - that quantity of fic would be overwhelming, especially during the awards.

Most of the alternatives to the newsgroup have a lower barrier to entry, which results in either badfic or too much fic - is a good example of both. In Real Life, publishers and editors are the barriers to entry that guarantee a certain quality to the fic. Online, the barriers are woefully low and getting lower all the time. Newsgroups aren’t hard to use, but you do have to be geeky or persistent enough to figure out how to post - the first barrier.

Also newsgroups are completely public and unowned, so no one is responsible for coddling bad writers or preventing flames. This lack of feedback for mediocre fic is the second, and probably bigger, barrier to entry. It means that people who are cranking it out for the feedback have little incentive to post to ASC. It’s not exactly an editorial process, but nevertheless the result is that the best Trek fic has all been posted to ASC at one time or another.

Those of us who benefit from these barriers to entry are sometimes too willing to try to break them down for new people. But the truth is, not wanting to post to ASC already says something about a Trek writer, whether of ENT or any other series - and I hear it, even when they don’t say it aloud. I’m not crying over fic that never made it to ASC.

Red Web

Friday, July 25th, 2003

The color wheel is missing some colors, as I suspected. I’ll have to figure out the algorithm and fix it, but not today. Today I’ll just list a few cool links: NASA’s Flash Mars page, Destination: Mars; the latest cool designs at CSS Zen Garden, Entomology and Hedges; and a cool new, somewhat free landscape generator for the Mac, terragen. Check out the image gallery, especially Mars.

Color Wheel 1.2

Thursday, July 24th, 2003

The 4096 Color Wheel is new and improved for Version 1.2 with a sidebar of clicked color choices and some basic instructions. It still needs a blurb about the 4096 web-smart colors, or at least a link to moreCrayons, home of The Cube.

The new image and a choice of wheel sizes will have to wait for later versions - I’m all geeked out tonight.