dancinguniverse: (puddlewonderful)
Yay, Yuletide! The fact that we matched is already an awesome sign, and this is me acknowledging that you may peruse this letter, but write what your heart and muse dictate, I'll be happy with anything that fulfills my official request. but if you want to know why I chose these fandoms, or get some prompt ideas, please read on.
Listen to me natter on here )Thanks so much, dear Writer, whatever you choose to do. I'm sure it'll be amazing. I will be over the moon to get any story in any of these fandoms, so even if you read this whole letter and disagreed with everything I suggested, I'll still love whatever you write. Good luck! I already can't wait for reveals!
dancinguniverse: (normal)
Dear Yuletide Writer,

Yay, we matched! That automatically means you're pretty cool. This is my first Yuletide, so please take everything in this letter with an even bigger grain of salt than normal, and I apologize if anything in here comes off wrong. It's probably me not thinking it through, and you should just ignore it. The whole letter is, I am well aware, optional, and especially on your part to listen or adhere to anything. So if you would prefer I hadn't written one at all, stop here! Go, write whatever characters/fandoms we matched on, and I will be happy! If you want prompts, ideas for why I picked the things I did and what I prefer in fic, read on! I'll get the basics out of the way first, right?
Read more... )
dancinguniverse: (newworld)
Life update. )
In short, Minnesota is the best place on the planet, and I want so badly to be able to move back here once I finish grad school.
dancinguniverse: (puddlewonderful)
Some Nights I Always Win (1193 words) by dancinguniverse
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Haven
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Audrey Parker, Duke Crocker, Nathan Wuornos
Additional Tags: AO3 1 Million, Picnics, Friendship, Feel-good
Summary: Just a short feel good fic for the Ao3 1 million day. Audrey, Nathan, and Duke have a picnic.

I wrote this when I saw that the Ao3 had hit one million postings, and I wanted to write something short and happy making, because the Ao3 is amazing. I have bits and pieces of a half dozen Haven fics sitting on my hard drive, most of them bits of case fic that I will probably never finish. And I'm finally heading into the home stretch on The Good Wife story I've been working on for a while now. But this was written and posted in the space of about two hours last night, and I'm pretty pleased with it. There's always the part of you that needs the show to stay a good show, keep doing casework and carrying on plotlines. And then there's the part that just wants the characters to eat pancakes and drink beer and hug each other, every episode. I think I would be okay with that.

MillionFanworks-350-Rachel G_0
dancinguniverse: (puddlewonderful)
I enjoy sometimes looking at the Google history of things I have researched, however briefly, for fanfic purposes. Lately, it's been all The Good Wife, so I can tell you whether governors of Illinois typically live in Springfield or in Chicago, what the governor's mansion is like, how long it takes to drive from Chicago to Springfield, that governors of Illinois do not have term limits, a few random facts about the Detroit Lions and Michigan colleges, what horror movies came out this year, that Walgreens are indeed, as I suspected, more ubiquitous than CVS's or Rite-Aids in the Chicago area... I'm sure there's more, but that's what I'm seeing right now. The crazy part is how little any of that matters once the story is finished, but I like my throwaway mentions to be as factually accurate as I can make them. I kind of wish someone would call me on it sometime. "A Walgreens? Wouldn't he be more likely to go to a CVS?" And I could say, "No! No, there are far more Walgreens than CVS's in his area. Check any map." But I don't think that kind of thing really happens.

I successfully made ciabatta bread and amaretto ice cream in the past few days, which were a bit more labor intensive than the bread and ice cream I've been making, but also were both super amazing, so that was cool. And I had a snow day yesterday, and went sledding for the first time since probably sophomore year of college. Yay, winter!
dancinguniverse: (puddlewonderful)
Research )

More fanfic )

Always Byzantine (1734 words) by dancinguniverse
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Good Wife (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Eli Gold, Peter Florrick, Alicia Florrick
Additional Tags: Sickfic
Summary: “I’ll stop by when I get done. It's probably just that forty-eight hour bug that's going around, Eli. If you have to call a doctor, call me back, but until then, I’m going back to work.” Alicia hangs up on him, and Eli stuffs his phone in his pocket. No backup, then.
dancinguniverse: (starbuck)
So I posted another The Good Wife fic. I have no idea why I can suddenly write again, but I'm happy to be posting things. Getting comments is such a high.

This is partly that I'm just crazy about The Good Wife lately. )

These abundant skies (3117 words) by dancinguniverse
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Good Wife (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Alicia Florrick, Cary Agos, Clarke Hayden
Additional Tags: Friendship
Summary: Alicia and Cary have fought hard against each other, higher powers, and themselves to get here from their early days of grudging respect and occasional outright hostility, and Alicia thinks that they are both equally enamored of every painful, precious step.
dancinguniverse: (normal)
HAVEN! There's one thing to be said for the government shut down. It's been giving me plenty of time to devour Haven as a fandom. I've watched the whole first season, been following along with season 4, and read waaay too much fanfic over the past week and a half. I'm torn between wishing the fandom were bigger, and enjoying that the ratio of good fic to posted fic is actually pretty high. Also enjoying that there doesn't seem to be any animosity in this fandom. OT3s solve everything!Teeny spoilers for season 4. )

I've caught a few random episodes with my roommate over the past season or two but having a bunch of time off work just as a new season starts up turned out to be the magic combination to put me in gear for real.

Also watching Eric Balfour combined with a Buffy vid idea I've been pondering (and probably watching Sarah Michelle Gellar on The Crazy Ones) is making me want to watch the Buffy pilot again. I never get around to making vids, but I love making them in my head.
dancinguniverse: (space)
Today I finally made good on a project I've been meaning to do forever and set up my telescope for solar viewing via a projection screen. The idea is that the sun is too bright too look at, as parents everywhere know, and obviously that problem is literally magnified when using a telescope. You can get fancy telescopes designed for solar viewing, or you can rock it old school the way Galileo did, and put a piece of paper a few inches in front of the eyepiece. I managed to see two small sunspots and got it really nicely in focus. I want to get some posterboard though, since I think that will hold up better than a piece of paper if I want to bring my telescope to a school and show a bunch of kids. I might also get a shade so that the picture shows up a bit clearer, but really, it was pretty nice as it is.

I want to sign up to be a solar system ambassador, but you need to come up with four projects you can do. A solar system ambassador is a person who does, essentially, the public outreach stuff I've been doing, but formally, for NASA. So I think I could offer to give another talk at my university, and I'm thinking of calling my high school classmate who is now a physics teacher at my old high school, and asking if I can come in to talk to her class and maybe bring my telescope, either for nighttime viewing or daytime, solar viewing. I'm not sure what else. The problem I keep running into is that I'm too well connected, so everything I can think of to do, I know other people who can do it way better than me.

In other news, Tom is gone this weekend at PAX, a big videogame convention, and my roommate is off with her boyfriend, who is visiting from Australia. In having the house to myself, I decided to watch Orange is the New Black, and I'm really liking it. No one told me Kate Mulgrew was in it, and she's definitely one of my favorites. I have three episodes left, so I'll probably finish it tonight or tomorrow. Everybody's been talking about it, but I'll just echo all the reasons I picked it up, which is that it has a great, big cast of mostly women, with a lot of women of color, and a lot of non-straight people, and the best TV depiction of a trans woman I've ever seen, who is in fact played by a real trans woman, which is pretty impressive. I don't find the main character, Piper, to be the most intriguing character, but the actress who plays her is fantastic, and I don't dislike her yet. But the race relations are interesting, the characters are mostly all pretty well fleshed out, and it's got surprisingly good directing. I'm not sure how they manage to make a show that takes place in a prison look so nice, but there are some fantastic shots sometimes. Also it's a hilarious show. This is one of the more bizarre scenes, but Kate Mulgrew makes everything amazing.

Hm. And lastly I made this cake tonight. It takes a bit of time, because you have to make the cake, the filling, and the frosting, but it is definitely worth it. And all of it's kind of fun. I didn't do the layering step as carefully as I should have, and I let the frosting cool too much, which made spreading it hard (tip I know now: if that happens, microwaving the frosting for about 10 seconds will melt it enough to make it spreadable again), so the resulting cake was sort of lopsided. But it still tasted amazing. It's really not a hard cake to make, especially considering the outcome, though making it beautiful might take a bit of practice. My family was very impressed, which always feels nice. I love cooking, but I'm very self conscious about cooking for other people. If it's not perfect, I have a tendency to apologize all over my food, and then I sound like I'm fishing for compliments on it but no, I'm just really paranoid about all the stuff I know isn't 100% correct about it. Also, there's all the things that I like, like sauteing vegetables too long so they start to caramelize, also known as burning all your veggies slightly, which is not something everyone loves. I will also douse food in lime or lemon juice, and I don't believe there is such a thing as too much garlic. So when I make things like that, I think the outcome is great. But when I'm cooking for other people, I freak out trying to cook to their palates, which is kind of an impossible task, but one that's hard to stop attempting.

Life is good.
dancinguniverse: (genius)

I swear, I'm going to start updating on a regular basis so all my posts aren't epics.  )

So that's the plan guys. New year's resolutions for the new academic year! And if you can, help me stick to them. 

Two links before I go! First, the engineers for Curiosity did an AMA on reddit. They're all awesome, and you should check it out if you're remotely interested. 

Second, this vid about starships is awesome. I love fandom so much. 
dancinguniverse: (puddlewonderful)
Today Tom, Erika and I signed a two year lease on a townhouse. I'm a little nervous about two years because well, that's a long time! But it's a great place, and I have 2-3 more years in my PhD, and Erika has at least a year and a half, so we figure we'll cross bridges if we come to them.

It's literally across the street from work, so I can bike on nice days. It has two master bedrooms, so Tom and I get our own bathroom, and Erika gets hers, plus no one gets shafted with a tiny bedroom. Most places we looked at had one big bedroom and two tiny ones. It's all hardwood, which I love. The kitchen is a bit small, but there's a deck, and way more common space than we have now. And Tom gets his basement, so when he's working late at night, I don't have to constantly walk out and ask him to be quiet so I can sleep. Also he won't be working or gaming while Erika and I are trying to watch TV, or use the kitchen, or in any other way use the common space. Or rather, he can do whatever he wants whenever he wants, but in the basement, where our noises won't bother each other.

The landlord seems incredibly nice. We can even get a dog if we want, and we have a small yard that backs out into a bunch of common space, so we'd have room for him to stretch his legs.

And because it's right next to work, instead of 40 minutes away, I get over an hour of extra time in my day, and I can finally start joining in some of the clubs at NASA. I hated either having to stick around until 8 pm, or face the idea of going home and driving back later. And I'll be much closer to DC and the metro, which opens up a whole new slew of things to do in the evening.

Now I'm just looking forward to actually moving. We can't move in for another month. I think it is not unlikely that in that time, I will occasionally swing by after work just to stare at the house we will rent, creeping out the current residents. Good times.
dancinguniverse: (girlpower)
Breaking a long silence to say something not very important... I have priorities.

But The Hunger Games soundtrack is nothing like what I expect from Hollywood, and exactly what I would expect the better parts of fandom to come up with if they made a fanmix for the book - and so, in a way that probably only makes sense to LJ, I'm trying to say it's freaking amazing.

Usually songs from the motion picture soundtrack don't seem to have anything to do with the characters in that movie. But these songs are just so clearly being sung about - or in some cases by, Katniss. Though Dark Days is clearly Gale to Katniss, I believe.

I heard the buzz and I was like, "Yeah, they were popular books and the first is now a popular movie, of course the soundtrack's popular." And then I saw the artist list (Decemberists and Punch Brothers were enough to make me buy it), and I still just put it on in the background. And then I had to replay the first track three times to catch all the words, but holy shit, Abraham's Daughter is awesome. It's creepy and powerful and I love it on so many levels. Definitely a good purchase on the whole album, though I still think Florence and the Machine's Dog Days Are Over should be a Katniss song.

And now I go back to my life of research and homework and cooking and watching too much tv with my boyfriend. Seriously, that's all I do anymore, you're not missing much when I don't update.
dancinguniverse: (lesbianism)
I'm proud to be a Marylander today.

Also, I'm going to Chile to visit my brother, I passed 2 of my 4 quals, and I'm running a half-marathon in April. Guess I should update this thing more often...
dancinguniverse: (puddlewonderful)
Okay, my family already had our Christmas, since my sister won't be in town for the 25th. So Christmas itself is going to be a bit of a let down. BUT!
  • I already got A Dance with Dragons, and it is so far only about my very favorite people, so that's wonderful.
  • Doctor Who Christmas special! In Narnia!
  • Series 2 of Sherlock starts on New Year's Day. With this! I didn't realize it was coming so soon, and now I can't believe I still have to wait so long.
  • Right after that, Tom moves in with me! I can't really wrap my head around this fact yet, but my eternally long distance boyfriend is actually moving in with me. I'm a little concerned about how things will work out, but mostly so happy that I'll have him to talk to and eat dinner with and go places with... so many good things.
  • Yeah no, can't really top that last one.
dancinguniverse: (Default)
Well. This is me reserving my username, in case/when I finally leave LJ and switch to DW. Let's see how this latest disaster goes.
dancinguniverse: (newworld)
I was watching an episode of Anderson Cooper's talk show (what? He's awesome), and he had a teenage girl on who was looking for her biological father, since she found out at the age of 12 that she was the product of a sperm donation. Her parents had been married, couldn't conceive, so they used a sperm bank. Her parents later divorced, and the girl says she does not have a good relationship with her mother's ex-husband, the man she thought was her father.

And the show was all about how she's been looking for her biological father, and she found a half-sibling through a website. And she was talking about being angry when her mom told her, and feeling like there was something missing in her life.

But the thing is, this is my story, almost exactly. The guy I think of as my father, my mom's first husband, is still in my life. We're not terribly close, and we have our issues, but I didn't think of him as being less of my dad after I found out. I have a step-father too, who I'm also not close to, but he's not a bad person, really. And somewhere out there, I have a biological father as well. I've vaguely thought about finding him. Some times I still think it'd be worth at least looking into, since my understanding is that some people can be found, if the child wants to.

But on the whole, I believe in the families you make, not the ones made of blood. Even if my step-father and I aren't close, I love my step-siblings. I only refer to Alex and Sarah as my step-brother and step-sister when I need to clarify my family situation. The rest of the time, they're just my brother and sister. We may not be as close as some siblings, but I can't imagine trying to replace them with a half-sibling I'm related to by blood alone. I've got two dads already, and I'm grown up enough now to recognize that the flaws in our relationships are a two way street. Maybe my biological dad is an awesome person. I don't know. What I do know, and this is the part I can't stress enough, is that both of my mom's husbands chose me. My mom didn't have a kid behind my dad's back. He wanted me too, and he wanted me even after my mom and he split up. My step-dad didn't have to pick a woman who already had a kid, and he didn't have to teach me to fly a kite, or to cook, or to parallel park. But he did all of those things. My biological dad didn't want to raise a kid. Or at least he didn't want to raise me. I don't know why he did it. Maybe he wanted some cash. Maybe he just wanted to spread his genes around. Maybe he wanted to help out some gay or infertile couples. But he didn't choose to raise me, and two other men, plus a woman - who wanted me more than anything in the world - did. That's my family. Not some guy who gave me frankly weak ass genes, considering how much I resemble my mom's side of the family.

And I come at this from another angle too, which is the gay rights group I used to work for. And you know, it wasn't even about the workplace, it was about one of my co-workers. She and her partner had a child using a known doner, and he got attached once their little girl was born. At first, he just sent a baby gift, but then he wanted to get to know her. And in my coworker's eyes, this man was a sperm doner. He wasn't her dad. She has two moms, grandparents, a whole family of her own. Her moms didn't want a third parent in their marriage. And in their minds - and I completely agree - if he wanted a kid, he should have a kid of his own. Sperm donation is for couples who can't conceive in the traditional way, for whatever reason.

I'm honestly not sure what their stance would be if their daughter decided, when she was older, that she wanted to know this guy. That's up to my coworker, her partner, and their daughter to decide. But it's not the guy's decision. He's not her father. He's her sperm doner. And I feel pretty strongly about that.

I read a ton of fantasy novels, and I always have. So I can't count how many times kids end up being important because of whose blood is running in their veins, not who raised them. And I just resent that.

I mean, sure. There's always something heartwarming about a kid finding their long lost parents. But in real life, all kids who don't know their birth parent(s) are not brought up in poverty, or abused, either emotionally or physically, by their adopted parents. But so often, our stories stress that we're missing something out of our lives if we're missing a biological parent. So while finding out about my own family situation wasn't that big of a deal for me, I understand why it is for some people. I just think it shouldn't be.

So, basically, everyone should watch The Kids Are Alright. I think the situation is always a little different for gay couples, because kids aren't dumb and gay people aren't delusional, so there's always the understanding, from a very young age, that the child was not conceived by their two gay parents. Whereas with straight couples, they sometimes never tell the kid, and even if they do, it's often at an age where the kid is old enough to have their world rocked. But in both cases, as well as with adoption, I just think that kids should be happy with the families they have.

And if their families aren't great? I have to give a hearty, "So what?" Plenty of people don't like their biological families anyway. It's not about DNA. It's about love. You might love the family you're born to, or raised by, or you might not, but it's not because of your genes. Sometimes families - of all kinds - can be hurtful. Sometimes we have to make our own families from people we find later. But I think you're always better off looking first to the people who chose to have you, or at least chose to raise you, than you are looking to a stranger who got paid to jack off into a cup.
dancinguniverse: (newworld)
Omg, omg, and following up my last post, there are currently 8 requests and 10 offers for The Magicians at this year's Yuletide signups. There are I think 5 stories on Ao3 right now, so this is exciting for me.

I have never participated in Yuletide, because I haven't written a story in ages, and I wouldn't want to let someone down for Yuletide, of all things. But man, I look forward to Yuletide as one of my gifts every year anyway. There are things I could request, but I rarely find myself thinking, "Man, how come no one requested ___?" Other people, in aggregate, have very good taste.

And I have to be honest, I would just request exactly what I obsessively hunt down every year: The Dark is Rising, So You Want to Be a Wizard, Tamora Pierce's Tortall universe, The Thief, Disney and fairy tales. A little Sky High, The Fast and the Furious, and 80s movies. There's something about Yuletide that brings out that side of me that just wants to settle down with my favorite things from middle school and read all the things that didn't happen.

Yuletide is a step to the side of what I usually like in fanfic. I mean, I love reading long epic stories about Arthur and Eames, Arthur and Merlin, Kirk and Spock. But Yuletide brings me things like Genie trying to protect Aladdin and his kin, over 1000 years, and Hades making the terrible mistake of asking Apollo for relationship advice, and how the universe can never really be done with Will and Bran.
dancinguniverse: (lesbianism)
The Magicians and The Magician King, by Lev Grossman

Man. Okay. These books are awesome. I think everyone's been calling them "Harry Potter for grown ups," which is probably more accurate for these books than absolutely any other books out there. And I've read a lot of books that have been called that. But there's a school for magic, and a group of friends, and on the surface, it's very much like Harry Potter for adults because the school is actually a college, and they all drink and have sex. But that's not the cool part, and it's actually for adults in a different way. This is a book for adults who love Harry Potter, in the best possible way. There are plenty of nerdy references, because the main characters have all read Narnia and Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, and the main character came very close to breaking my heart. He's not perfect at all, and there are times I outright disliked him, but in the way that you can watch a real friend do selfish, awful things, and just want to shake them and hug them, even though you know they have to figure it out themselves. It's a book about growing up that felt more real to me than most books on that subject. Actually, I just saw it referred to as "Catcher in the Rye for fantasy fans," which is probably even better than "Harry Potter for adults." Except I didn't really like Catcher. But it's still completely accurate. Quentin is much more Holden Caulfield than Harry Potter. He's not an orphan, he has no special destiny (well, maybe a little). He's just an unhappy young adult with a chip on his shoulder, because he wants something more out of life, no matter what he has. He's unhappy like most people are unhappy - not because of some great tragedy, but because he sees life as a fucking tragedy. Which, incidentally, is why I hated Holden. But Quentin pinged for me the way Holden has pinged for generations of teenagers. And because reading about unhappy people is much easier when they're learning magic along the way.

Spoilers for The Magicians and The Magician King - mostly shipping talk )

The one consistent complaint I've seen about Grossman is that his writing is a bit disjointed. People said the first book didn't flow together very well, and not much of the main plot beyond setting really carried over into the second book. I'm very much about the journey, not the destination, so none of this has really been a turn off for me. But it does mean that while I do think there's going to be a third book, I wouldn't call the end to either of the first two a cliff hanger. Room for growth? Yes. But not annoyingly open ended. So it means I can wait another two years or whatever until the third one comes out. But in the meantime, everyone should be reading these.
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