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Happy AO3-versary to me!

I've been feeling at sixes and sevens recently b/c Current Events. But even when the world decides to go to hell in a handbasket, there are little personal milestones and such worth marking. So. For myself, here's one of them:

Seven years ago tonight--almost to the minute--I got an invite to AO3's open beta!

(How can it be 7 years already?)

I made my account and started uploading my fics a few days later. In that time since, the account has garnered:

164 fics spanning 14 fandoms and 20 years (!) of writing
410,838 words posted
97,053 hits (!!)
2902 kudos
134 comment threads

The overall number of fics is different, b/c I condensed various drabbles and ficlets into a couple of larger, chaptered works. That 20 years of writing encompasses 1996, 2005-2012, and 2016 to date; 22 years overall since I found fandom via Usenet in 1994. Even when I dropped out for extended periods (1998-2004 and 2012-2016), I never really left. You can take the girl out of fandom, but you can't take fandom out of the girl.

And the time spent reading, kudosing, commenting, bookmarking, and squeeing at everyone else's works on the AO3 = priceless.

Here's to the next 7!

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X Company Fan Fiction: "Ten For A Sou"

Concrit is adored as always. ♥

Also on the AO3.

Ten For A Sou

by Topaz Eyes

Fandom: X Company
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Various
Summary: Drabbles written for the Ten Songs Meme.
Words: 1047
Notes: Warnings for graphic violence and torture, implied and actual character death. Spoilers through S2. Dialogue in “Safe And Sound” from “Fatherland.” Each drabble is exactly 100 words (minus the title).

How To Play The Ten Songs Meme:

1. Choose a fandom, characters or pairings you like.

2. Set your music player to shuffle.

3. Write a drabble related to each song that plays. (For extra fun, write each drabble during the time frame of the song.)

4. Write ten, then post!


To the playlist!Collapse )

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Inquiring minds want to know...

Does anyone else use "anymore" as a synonym for "now"? Or is this strictly a regional English usage variation? (Rural Ontario/Queen's Bush, if people were curious.)

E.g., "She heard shouting, voices growing louder as they approached, but she was too tired anymore to decipher the words."

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20 First Lines meme

Rules: list the first lines of your last 20 stories. see if there are any patterns. then tag your favorite authors.

via @nairobiwonders​ on Tumblr. Talk about a blast from the past!

All links go to AO3. I’m not tagging anyone specific, but I would love to see what other writers think of their first lines...



1. They’ve just reached a small storage shed at the edge of the wood, when the sky splits open with a blinding crack. ( One Safe Place, X Company)

2. House was awakened by the ping-ping-ping of raindrops bouncing off the corrugated metal roof of the motel they'd selected for their first night on the road. (First Night, House MD)

3. Five months passed. ((Lies, Damned Lies, And) Statistics, House MD)

4. Neil was a man of his word: he'd promised Tom he wouldn't pry. (Larks Still Bravely Singing, X Company)

5. “They've seen us! RUN!” (Run (To A New Beginning), Doctor Who)

(the rest, and the musings, are below the cut)
 

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Yuletide assignments are out!

That was FAST, eep! Signups just ended today!

I shall enjoy this one! :-D

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Dear Yuletide Writer!

Dear Yuletide Writer:

Hello there, and thank you so much in advance for writing a fic for me! I am so excited! :-D The most important thing to me is that you enjoy writing your Yuletide fic. Please don't feel beholden to specific request details. Optional details are optional! Aside from my DNWs, anything's open: angst, fluff, AU, first time, established, a family fic, whatever you like to write.

Likes and DNWs:Collapse )


X Company (TV):Collapse )


Evening Primrose (Radio Play):Collapse )


The Queen And The Soldier (Song):Collapse )


I hope these help when you're deciding what to write. And again, thank you so much, dear Yuletide Writer! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Yours,

Topaz

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1. It is definitely fall. With all its attendant swings. Oh joy. :-P

2. I moved 2700 words into my slush file a couple days ago. :-( :-( :-( They aren’t the 400+ words (currently 700+) I talked about in my last entry; those ones are still safe. For now. The 2700 words were for a rare-pair fic. There's nothing like jettisoning over 3 months' worth of writing off-and-on. Le sigh. It was mostly nice (IMHO) writing, too! Except one of the characters became horribly OOC in the process. Which, not so good, gdi self. I started writing their side of the story to see if I could justify/rescue the OOCness. Lol nope. Wasn’t gonna happen. I might cannibalize or adapt part of it for later use, but usually, slushing is a one-way street. Not a happy camper here.

3. Speaking of unhappy campers, CBC announced that the third season of X Company will be the final season. Figures. The first time in years I feel truly, fannishly invested in a show, I get broadsided by its cancellation. I can’t have nice things for more than 3 seasons it seems.

TV series come and go, but this one is special to me, b/c it's homegrown TV, not American, not British. It's part of my story as a Canadian, a part of my history I didn't know about before I watched it. Everyone learns about WWII and Dieppe in high school history here. Camp X, nope. More importantly? X Company reflects Canadian ideas and values, as far as they can be carried in a WWII setting, anyway. Nuance. A willingness to try to understand the other side, to acknowledge and address the fact that there are endless shades of grey even as there is right and wrong. This show makes the viewer uncomfortable, as it should, because it’s about the toll of the war on the people who fought it as much as it's about the espionage. It asks the difficult questions. It asks the viewers to consider what they would do in the characters’ place. It is a very hard show to watch at times.

And also? The show is breathtakingly beautiful. A few continuity glitches aside, it's gorgeous to watch. No grimdark blue-and-orange movie palettes here. Sweeping cinematography! Stunning period costumes! Music that rivals Murray Gold's Doctor Who scoring in places! (Seriously. I want a copy of the sheet music.) The acting is top notch! The writing is excellent! All the characters undergo massive (sometimes massively heartbreaking) development! Whyyyy aren’t the rest of you watching and squeeing along with me?

Oh, right. B/c almost no one knows about the show.

Supposedly the details were posted last week on the "Dispatches" page linked above, but the news only broke on Thursday. The fandom of course is mourning. (Again.) Especially the Evelyne Brochu fans, b/c Orphan Black also ends next year. I think they were hoping X Company would continue for a couple more seasons at least. I kinda thought that myself. Imagine my side-eyeing and wry cackling when I saw the announcement.

I have Theories as to why the show's ending after S3, and I even wrote a rant about it, but I want to hear an official explanation first. At least TPTB will get to end it properly. If the info that has been released about S3 is true, we will be in for quite a ride. When X Company ends, there will be 28 episodes of television I can point to and say, as a Canadian, "this is mine". I will have that at least.

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1. Summer's over. The Junior went back to school yesterday, and the Miss flies back for school next week. It is definitely darker earlier in the evenings. I've had to break out the dawn simulator to get me out of bed to get the Junior going.

Also, the surrounding trees have started to change colour. Even though we've been over 30 degrees this week. Weather, how do you even? Though tomorrow is supposed to cool a lot.

2. A week or so ago I picked up my alto recorder, after how many years of not practising it. All I know is that it's been awhile, heh. The Miss now makes a point of asking me how the earwigs are when she sees I have my recorders out. She will never let me live that down.

This time around I find the alto easier to play. My fingers now stretch comfortably to reach the holes. That said, because the soprano recorder is keyed in C and the alto is in F, I keep mixing up the fingerings when I play pieces for which I've scored both instruments. I also need to practice the upper register a lot more for alto so it doesn't squawk. But, that will come.

It does remind me of how I want more sheet music.

3. I forgot how fic writing makes me so squirrelly. The Mister thinks it's good for me. He thinks I'm happier for it. I... don't know about that. When the thoughts whir, I don't sleep well. I get so focused, everything else seems to slip by the wayside. Then, when it's done and posted, I feel so drained, I don't want to write. Rinse and repeat.

4. That's assuming I don't throw a tantrum outright and shove everything into the slush files, never to be heard from again. (I'm currently glaring at the 400+ words from yesterday that are currently on the edge of being slushed. Okay, words, tell me why I shouldn't slush you.)

5. There are buzzings of the next fandom migration, but to where? I've seen Imzy and Pillowfort tossed about. Am keeping an eye as to where the fandom herd will end up.

6. And since I posted yet *again* before I finished, I guess I shall end here for now.

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X Company Fan Fiction: "One Safe Place"

As always, I treasure all concrit. ♥

Also on the AO3.

One Safe Place

by Topaz Eyes

Fandom: X Company
Rating: R
Pairing: Neil Mackay/Tom Cummings
Summary: Whatever it takes to get through the night.
Words: 4796
Notes: Occurs before "In Enemy Hands," but no real spoilers.

To the fic!Collapse )

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House MD Fan Snippet: "First Night"

Posted here for now (DW/LJ): I will gratefully appreciate any concrit!

Edited to add: Now on the AO3.

First Night

by Topaz Eyes

Fandom: House MD
Pairing: House/Wilson
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Post-series ficlet: their first night on the road. PWP.
Words: 743
Notes: Another scene from that probably never-to-be-finished WIP. Can be read as a prequel to (Lies, Damned Lies, And) Statistics. Letting this one fly, too. Many thanks to my circle/f-list for first reading, and to Nightdog for concrit!

To the fic!Collapse )

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This hedgehog is grumpy today.

In letter format!

1. Dear 4200+ word fic monster: You were supposed to be a PWP. You were only supposed to be 1500 words at most. You were not supposed to grow a plot or feels. And it's been over 3 freaking months since I started you. (Three different times!) Why are you still not done? Also, why do I feel compelled to finish you when I know no one will even read you now? Since a) you're for my teeny-tiny fandom, b) not the golden pairing, and c) (highlight to read b/c spoilers) half of you is dead? But, should I even finish you, knowing c) ? Yes, I know, this is what I get for joining the fandom after 2nd season ended, but still... can you just be done now? Kplzthx?

No love, Me

2. Dear TV show writers: Please don't tease me by describing awesome performances in a scene, when it's going to be another 6 months before I get to see it. Getting my hope, and my dread, up like that is just cruel. (Dread, because I have Theories. Please not to go there, writers?) Yes, this means you, TV writer. And you. And especially YOU.

No love, Topaz

3. Dear brain: Yes I know you're conflicted, because you have a second scene from that never-to-be-finished House WIP tweaked to stand on its own. I know you feel guilty about it because you wrote these snippets years ago, you've moved on, and you wonder whether you're being unfair, or attention-grabbing, or whatever. But, kindly get over it, kplzthx? You were going to post it anyway had you finished it back in the day instead of 4 years later. Better late posting than never.

Definitely no love, Me

4. That's probably enough whining for today. It's lunchtime anyway. Lasagna has cheese...

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I was trawling through my unfinished files again, and found this hiding in a WIP from 2012. I'm thinking this little guy can stand alone, maybe? Thoughts? Posted here (DW/LJ) for now.

Edit: Now on the AO3.

(Lies, Damned Lies, And) Statistics

By Topaz Eyes

Fandom: House MD
Pairing: House/Wilson
Rating: PG
Words: 250
Summary: Wilson’s expiration date came and went.
Notes: Post-series. Scene from a probably never-to-be-finished WIP. Letting this fly.

Five months passed.Collapse )

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The Ten Songs Meme: where did it originate?

I seem to remember it started at housefic_pens, on this post if I'm not mistaken. And then it morphed and took on a life of its own. Am I remembering right?

If yes, then this year will be the meme's 10th anniversary. And my brain keeps saying, wouldn't it be awesome to hold a 10th anniversary celebratory meme challenge? (Brain, WHYYYY?) Thoughts? One fandom, multi-fandom, have I lost my mind...?

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House MD Fic Rec!

Requital (The Love Is Not Enough Remix) by [archiveofourown.org profile] zulu ! Rated Teen and Up, Amber Volakis/James Wilson, 11113 words.

Summary: "House saved Amber's life. Amber gets her revenge. Don't waste a minute on the darkness and the pity sitting in your mind."

Written for FemmeRemix 2016. This is a gorgeous, thoughtful remix of Starting Point by [archiveofourown.org profile] SegaBarrett . It's an AU set post "Wilson's Heart", where Amber survives, but must deal with the consequences. She is placed in an impossible situation, but she deals with it with grace and in a way that's true to herself. Beautiful Amber voice, go read!

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Trick or treat, what would it be?

1. I'll be so glad when road construction up the avenue is finished. I'm tired of the house shaking every time heavy equipment rumbles up the alley, or pummels at the intersections. It's been going on for months. Oh well, at least our street intersection is done so I don't have to pull the tight 3-point turns to turn our vehicle around in the middle of the street.

2. The raspberry harvest is just about over. I think there's one more round of berries left on the canes, and that'll be it for the year. I've been picking every few days for the last few weeks and it's been wonderful. Mmm, fresh, sweet/tart raspberries.

3. The sour cherry harvest is also over for the year. I managed to pull 2 litres off the trees for us yesterday. What's left is either too high to reach, or half-eaten. The birds have been very happy this summer.

4. I am making cherry pie today. As soon as I can go get the pie crust. And pit the cherries. And dig out my recipe. There's sugar, and tapioca, and almond extract, as I recall...

5. I guess one plans on sticking around in a fandom for awhile when one actually purchases the relevant media, rather than relying on other, sketchier means for it? (IOW, guess who owns the X Company S1 and S2 DVDs?) The bigger question is when I'll actually get around to cracking open the cases. I bought the Brokeback Mountain DVD years ago, and I still haven't watched it. I came across a DVD from years ago, still in its wrapping. So. (I probably will poke around them soon though. I'm getting annoyed with the bottom-of-the-screen ads interfering with the pictures on my sketchy copies. Goddammit, network television.)

6. My media mini-spree also included buying "All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend" CD by AURORA. This may be even bigger for me, because I can't remember the last time I bought a music CD. And I *adore* it! Every song is amazing! Usually only 2-3 songs are good, and the rest are fair to middling. Many people compare AURORA to Sia, but tbh there's a definite Enya vibe to many of the songs ("Through The Eyes of a Child"). I'd venture to say the live versions of her work are even better.

7. I'm chatty today! Seven for a post. But, must run. The pie crust won't be walking home by itself...

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Concrit is always greatly appreciated. ♥


Larks Still Bravely Singing

by Topaz Eyes

Fandom: X Company
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: gen
Summary: Tom had left a message for them after all.
Words: 4164
Notes/Warnings: Major character death. Spoilers through S2. Recognizable lines from “Quislings”, “Butcher and Bolt,” and “August 19th”. Title from “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae. Mad props to my circle/f-list for encouragement!

Also on the AO3.

To the fic.Collapse )

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1. Today I decided to disappear outside with my laptop. I find weekends to be rather stressful when everyone is home. Everyone else has a room or a space they can disappear into for privacy. I have the kitchen, which is the central part of our teeny-tiny house. On weekdays it's fine, but weekends everyone comes and goes, which means I have little privacy and lots of interruption when working on stuff.

2. So I've been sitting on my back deck all afternoon, a perfect sunny day spent writing and editing and watching the bluejays, robins, chickadees, blackbirds, and some tiny yellow guys flit between the backyard pine tree, sour cherry trees, honeysuckle, and lilac. I don't know what the tiny yellow guys are, but they're cute. A couple of dragonflies have been hanging around, too. No deer today, but they usually come around dawn or dusk.

3. The sour cherry harvest has begun! The Mr. picked a couple of 4-litre pails on Wednesday. Yesterday we had a former work colleague over to pick a couple of pails, and we picked 4 more 4-L pails as well, which we passed off to a friend who makes preserves. The birds, aka winged piggies, were royally ticked that we were interrupting their feast. They certainly gave me a piece of their mind yesterday when I told them to piss off and wait their turn. :-D

4. I hope to get this damn fic o'doom posted tonight or tomorrow. I wanted to post it last week, TBH, ideally yesterday at the latest, but if I didn't get stuck on the writing, I got stuck on the editing. Also, see point #1 above. Whyyyyyy must this be like pulling teeth? Why did I decide that getting back to fic writing was a good thing?

5. Oh look, I posted again before I finished! I guess five things make a post.

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I can has first fic draft yay!

1. And yes, the first draft sucks, but It. Is. Finally. Done. \0/ It only took 12 days to nail down the end to the 2nd section which I whinged about previously. Compared to the 3rd section, a bookend drabble which took maybe a day total.

2. Now to set said draft aside and let marinate a day or two before I undertake further edits.

3. I would love to find a beta for this puppy, if possible. Would anyone here be interested in taking a look? No pressure!  This is a Yuletide size fandom, for a show that really isn't well known outside Canada and a few other countries. (And it should be, it deserves more love, dammit!) So canon knowledge isn't required, more that I'm looking for the usual technical suspects: pacing, balance, readability, internal consistency, all the fun stuff.

4. As an aside, I never fail to be amused that remixing is freaking *canon* in this fandom. I kid you not:

From S1E8, "Into The Fire": cut for spoilersCollapse )

X Company: Bringing quality character drama and writing advice since 2015. *g*

5. I may have had a very large celebratory glass of Bailey's earlier this evening, so I may still be a wee bit tipsy. It's been 4 years since I finished anything new, so I think I deserved it. (The DW fic was more-or-less done in 2012; it just needed fleshing out and cleaning up.) :-D
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1. I plucked the first harvest of raspberries from our canes today! They are deliciously sweet and tender. I ate enough sun-warmed berries outside that the rest are for the Miss and the Mr. *eyes bowl sitting at end of table out of reach* *slaps wandering fingers*

2. Our sour cherries are ripening 3 weeks ahead of schedule. The winged piggies birds are already feasting in the trees. (Let's just say they'd better leave us some this year.) They get hilariously mad when any of us are in the backyard. They literally screech from the neighbours' trees, like, how dare you interrupt our gorging, human! Be gone! They're not quite dive-bombing us yet, but give it time. Some of the robins are so chubby they bend the branch when they land. Seriously, some of them could feed a small family.

3. The first draft of the current Fic O' Doom is past 3200 words. The damn draft is almost finished, it's so close, but the end is kicking my ass. I'm looking at 3 sections for it: the first section is a proper drabble and is pretty much done. The second section is a remix of said drabble. (Hey, it just turned out that way. Yes, I'm amused too.) For the third section I'm planning a second drabble to bookend the fic, which I've started to sketch out. I know how I want the second section to end, but it keeps wanting to go all melodramatic on me. :-\ I can't seem to move past it. Which sucks, because I need it to be emotional. Just not soppy. Out of practice, that is me.

4. Uhm. Three things make a post? Back to the head-desking.

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