1. I just received a friend request and Facebook message from a guy who goes to Yale and reads SKoM. Apparently he read this article a year ago without knowing the Annie mentioned in it = me. I thought it was a pretty cool coincidence XD
But seriously, I need to take the link to the YDN article off my MNFF author profile. It's kind of embarrassing. I still don't know how the reporter figured out when I wrote The Sweetest Sin, because I didn't tell him my age and I don't think it's mentioned anywhere on MNFF. I rather resent all the implications in the article. There were no "obsessive descriptions of Malfoy's bare chest" in TSS, and the sex scenes were only "hazy" because, HELLO, I WAS 14 YEARS OLD, I KIND OF DIDN'T WANT TO GET KICKED OFF THE INTERNET FOR WRITING X-RATED SMUT. The rest -- "A slave-and-master love affair results, full of titillating S&M undertones and a climactic death scene in which Malfoy dies in Hermione’s arms" -- is pretty accurate, though :(
2. Not to sound dramatic, but I'm having a moment of crippling insecurity about my hd_inspired. After I fell flat with Day of the Dead, I swore I'd never write an idea I wasn't head over heels in love with. I realised I can't force an idea, because I'm not talented enough to BS my way through a fic if my heart isn't 100% into it -- that is, I can't rely on my writing style to cover up a semi-lame plot. Furthermore, I DEFINITELY don't want to write a fic I'm not crazy about for a fest, because fests as I see them are an opportunity to show off your full potential to readers you never would have encountered otherwise. I don't want them to read a crappy fic of mine and assume I fail at writing, because the truth is, when I really, truly care about an idea, I can write a decent fic. (Sadly, that's only happened twice with What's Left of Me and The Battle Within. I'm hopeful about this Harry/Draco/Ginny fic I've been working on for the past two months, though. I've never planned and outlined a story so fast and completely in my life.)
But I digress. The reason why I'm feeling insecure about my H/D Inspired fic is a combination of my utterly lame and anticlimactic plot and the fact that I'm still stuck on could've-beens. It has nothing to do with my prompt, because my prompt is verily awesome. It's just how I clicked with it. I had an lightbulb moment when I read the Mirror of Erised prompt, but I only had a fleeting "oh, this is interesting, I might be able to do something with it" thought when I read the prompt I've got now. Uh, does that make me sound like an ungrateful bitch? It probably does.
I dunno, though. I've been struggling to come up with an outline for my fic, and it's just... not working. I've got the story, but it's not a story that will grab attention, a story I can be proud of. There's no tension, no build-up, no breathtaking ending. Also, I'm pretty sure the fic I'm going to write isn't the fic the person who submitted my prompt is looking for. She hinted that she'd like a lot of hardcore sex, but that's not how I roll. I guess I can't help the difference in styles. Thank god this isn't a gift exchange fest. *sigh* I just hope I didn't steal this prompt from someone who desperately wanted it, because I'd feel really bad.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, is it worth it? I mean, should I even bother investing energy into a fic that won't really showcase my abilities and will probably end up disappointing the person who submitted the prompt? I really want to participate in H/D Inspired, but not so much that I'd submit a mediocre fic for a few "That was sweet, funny, and angsty, good job!" reviews. If I'm going to do this, I want to do it right. The same applies to my writing in general -- from now on, I'm not going to post any fics I'm not excited about (count SKoM as an exception, since that fic is so fucking old/long/beyond repair that I don't really care anymore).
3. Seriously, how is it that great writers can make even the most vomit-inducing cliches read like a work of genius?
4. Does anyone know of any classic H/D... things? Like black roses (which reminds me more of Take My Heart Away, sorry) and fairy rings, and quotes like "The stars will sing of it. We're immortal, you and I." In other words, anything that just embodies H/D classics for you.
5. I'm currently reading Earthly Joys by Philippa Gregory. I know, guys. I know. Don't start on her. Historical accuracy and wordiness can suck it; I fucking love the Tudor dynasty, I fucking love Gregory for writing about it. Yeah, her prose can be headache-inducing and her plots absurdly melodramatic, but she is the ONLY author I'm willing to forgive for that. And just because I know idiots are going to bring up Twilight and *gag* Stephenie Meyer, I'll tell you why Gregory >>> Meyer: because Gregory's novels, historically inaccurate or not, don't leave me feeling like I just gorged on cotton candy and had half of my IQ points knocked out of my head at the same time.
Again, I digress. So far I've read and adored four of Gregory's novels: The Other Boleyn Girl, The Boleyn Inheritance, The Virgin's Lover, and The Queen's Fool (which was so good it made me loathe Elizabeth I). I intended to finish up her Tudor novels with The Constant Princess (and OMG did you guys know she has a new one coming out this fall?! It's called The Other Queen and it's about Mary, Queen of Scots *g*). The problem is, now I'm accustomed to slash to the point where het kind of scares me. Then I discovered Earthly Joys (SPOILERS AFTER THIS POINT). Check out this summary:
Whether he is nurturing a single rare seedling into a blossoming tree or planning acres of exquisitely conceived royal gardens, John Tradescant's fame and skill as a gardener are unsurpassed in seventeenth-century England. But it is Tradescant's clear-sighted honesty and loyalty that make him an invaluable servant, and in his role as informal confidant during garden strolls with Sir Robert Cecil, adviser to King James I, he witnesses the making of history, from the Gunpowder Plot to the accession of King Charles I and the growing animosity between Parliament and court.
Tradescant's talents soon come to the attention of the most powerful man in the country, the irresistible Duke of Buckingham, the lover of King Charles I. Tradescant has always been faithful to his masters, but Buckingham is unlike any he has ever known: flamboyant, outrageously charming, and utterly reckless. Every certainty upon which Tradescant has based his life -- his love of his wife and children, his passion for his work, his loyalty to his country -- is shattered as he follows Buckingham to court, to war, and to the forbidden territories of human love.
Okay, tell me that doesn't at least SOUND slashy. I'm not asking for hot gay sex here. I understand that even though Gregory can write as much graphic het smut in her books (and she does), it's a little more difficult to get anything remotely gay cleared. The problem is, Gregory leads you on to believe that John and Buckingham's relationship will develop into something meaningful, but it never does. There are three short lovemaking scenes (the first one is beautiful; I'll grant Gregory that), then four or five pages of John longing for Buckingham and thinking emo thoughts when he realises Buckingham will never truly love him. That's it. Oh yeah, and John is about 60 years old at the time of the sex/realisation of desire (though the way Gregory writes, you'd think he was in his twenties). I could have tolerated that if there had been any relationship development at all. 300 pages of nothing but master/gardener affection, and then bam, hands are sliding down breeches and the poor 60-year-old, straight gardener is taking it up the ass (without lube, ouch -- though I can't imagine what they would've used for lube). Fifty pages later, Buckingham is dead. I just don't get it. I know courtiers in 17th century England viewed homosexuality differently, but I can't help feeling slightly disappointed. Gregory has so much talent when it comes to developing relationships. This one fell flat. I think I would have preferred if she just took out the sex and left their relationship at one of utmost devotion. At least that way, it'd be consistent
Then again, I'm only ~380 pages into the book (still got 140 pages to
So yeah. Animal shelter volunteer orientation tomorrow, hopefully Taste (to see Stevie Wonder, omg) if I don't have to work on Sunday :D Yay for busy weekends!