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Today's rec is Seeker's Unexpected series, and there's a story that goes with it. You see, Unexpected is a Snape/Harry series in which Snape is deaged and then he and Harry have some increasingly kinky sex. I was in a panel at Escapade a couple of years ago, and I said something like, "Seeker just deaged Snape so Snape/Harry would be hotter," to which Brenda Antrim said something like, "That's not why I did it," and only then realized that no one knew she was Seeker and she'd just accidentally outed herself. (I've always found this interesting because I could never get into Brenda Antrim's fic, but really liked a lot of the Seeker stories.)

Anyway, the stories are hot and increasingly kinky, if, like yesterday's rec, based on a somewhat ridiculous premise. I apparently like the middle of the series: Unexpected 3 (Harry teasing Snape during class, and then fisting him on the demonstration table), Unexpected 4 (in Snape's bedroom as he's recovering from part 3), Unexpected 5 (Hagrid fingering Snape while Snape sucks off Harry), Unexpected 6 (Harry shares Snape with Lupin), Unexpected 7 (wax), and Unexpected 8 (Harry/Snape/Remus/Sirius).
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Femslash: The Other Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name actually made it onto the main track this year. On the one hand, that's good. On the other hand, I'm fairly sure it only made it because there weren't very many panels suggested.

As usual, attendees were enthusiastic and excited to talk about girls, and as soon as I very loudly announced that the femslash panel was starting, the folks from the previous panel skedaddled.

As promised, I took home the flip chart paper we used (complete with alternating colors - a good charting habit) to type up. ([ profile] typhoidk says, "That's what we like about you. We don't have to take notes.") I also remember some of the other things I and other people mentioned. If you recced/talked about something I neither wrote down nor remembered, please feel free to comment with whatever it was!

From the flip chart paper:
  • Some kind of Valentine's Day femslash challenge on LJ. I think it was probably the femslash_today v-day porn battle (Part 1, Part 2).
  • [ profile] femslash_today for multi-fandom listings of fic and [ profile] girls_today for HP fic listings.
  • [ profile] sg_femslash for Stargate: SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis femslash.
  • [ profile] girls60 for Studio 60 femslash.
  • Passion and Perfection, a multi-fandom femslash archive. (One I'd never even heard of. Ooooh. D.E.B.S. fic. I wonder if it's any good...)
  • [ profile] stargateficrec for, uh, Stargate fic recs.
  • Yuletide, a rare (for large values of rare) fandom challenge thing. Apparently there's Fried Green Tomatoes femslash that's good, although I think I remember someone saying it's not explicitly sexual.
  • [ profile] crack_van for multifandom recs. (People mentioned it in this panel, so it must have some femslash recs too.)
  • Circlet Press, which someone mentioned has good variations of erotica.
  • "Are You Sweet On Your Sister," a Kara/Vala fic that [ profile] hederahelix posted a fic search for during the panel.

Other Things I Mentioned
  • Substitute For Love by Karin Kallmaker, which I brought up as an example of bad lesbian romance novels. You can read more of my thoughts on this here. (Wow. That was over four years ago, and I'm still mad about it.)
  • Hunter's Way by Gerri Hill, which was an example of a better lesbian romance novel despite the fact that they always eat cheeseburgers and never eat the birthday cake. (And Molly caught that they misstate the number of victims in one place.)
  • The Woods, which is mostly terrible despite the presence of Patricia Clarkson. (Why, Patricia, why? You're so much better than this movie.) We don't recommend the movie, but it does have a very nice Heather (Agnes Bruckner)/Marcy (Lauren Birkell) falling in love (although they never explicitly say that's what's going on) montage set to Lesley Gore's "You Don't Own Me." And you know how I like a good montage.
  • Bandidas, which you may be tempted to watch because it's Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek robbing banks. Don't be taken in by that. It's bad, and they're cast against type (Penelope is the populist peasant girl and Salma is the European-educated Don's daughter) to the movie's detriment.
  • "Parts" by [ profile] reremouse, the Spike and Xander both get turned into girls and have sex story that's the only femslash I've read in a long time.
  • Rode Hard, Put Away Wet: Lesbian Cowboy Erotica - the lesbian cowboy erotica collection I mentioned working my way through. (I can't believe no one else had even heard of it.)

Other Things Other People Mentioned
  • Sarah Waters novels. I think we specifically mentioned Fingersmith and Tipping the Velvet.
  • Um... You all will have to fill in here. I know there was some BSG and SGA talk I didn't understand, but I don't remember what else people said.
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I keep meaning to write something about the movies I've seen so far this year (Children of Men, Smokin' Aces, The Queen [which may yet get its own entry about how the Royals were my first fandom], Pan's Labyrinth, and Breach), the awesome concert I went to (The Chieftains; you should also go if their tour is coming anywhere near you), and the completely frivolous book I totally want (The Science of Sexy by Bradley Bayou), but I don't think I'm going to get to it. Instead, I bring you the important parts of my Escapade 2007 experience.

Flavor Flav is much shorter in person
Flavor Flav was on the same plane from Sacramento to Burbank as [ profile] amatia and me. As the section heading says, he's much shorter in person. He also actually wears the clock. It looks like one of those plastic kitchen clocks you can buy at Target for two dollars, and it's hanging from a gold chain amongst other bling. I have no idea what he was doing in Sacramento.

Non-famous people we encountered
When we went out for milkshakes on Sunday afternoon, we went to a small coffee shop which was mostly empty. The only people in there were the barista and a guy with his dog at one of the tables. Molly immediately chatted up the dog. I had this whole thing in my head about how the guy and the barista were in love and he was just hanging out with her while she was at work. And then she asked him for a dollar so she could make the tip jar an even 20, and he said something about having to tip his girlfriend. It was very cute.

Fangirl or Scientist? You decide.
Like last year, there was a science conference ending as we arrived at the hotel. Fangirl or Scientist is a pretty easy game to play. There were only two people we saw who could be either. We also easily spotted [ profile] norwich36 and [ profile] paraviondeux in the airport, and not just because they were near the rental car counters where we had agreed to meet.

Hot Girl's identity revealed (but not to you)
You may remember from last year's con report that we were trying to identify a woman we referred to only as Hot Girl. This year, we discovered who Hot Girl is. And, no, I'm not going to tell you. (She seemed vaguely alarmed when I felt compelled to confess that we'd referred to her as Hot Girl.)

I will, however, tell you two more things:

1. I sent Molly an email last year speculating that [Hot Girl's LJ username] might be Hot Girl, which goes to show you that my instincts are good.

2. We had talked early in the weekend with other slashers about how we wanted to find out who Hot Girl was. Later in the weekend, we had this discussion with one of them:

Other Slasher: [Hot Girl's name] is the hot girl you were talking about, right?
Us: Yes.
Other Slasher: I knew exactly who you were talking about. I just didn't know her name.

Yes, I attended panels. More than I expected, actually.

Panels I led
The femslash panel gets its own post with transcribed flip chart notes.

But You're A Slash Fan! started out with a large number of people raising their hands in answer to "Who likes SGA but just can't see the McShep?" We had a little bit of interesting discussion about whether or not it's socially acceptable in fannish circles to be a slash fan and a het fan. And then it somehow devolved into a discussion of newspaper content in the 19th century. I then suggested that slashers are the Basques in Spain while het fans are the Basques in France. I'm not sure that made sense to everyone.

Panels I attended
Quest for *Guh* - Writing Powerful Sex Scenes was worth attending. It almost hit my limit for amount of time to sit still and listen, but it was good, despite the fact that one of the attendees had a tendency to dominate the discussion and two others were a bit overheated. The handout is great, and available online. There was something Aristide/Mairead said that was particularly good, and now I can't remember what it was. Perhaps I should have taken more useful notes over the weekend.

Is It A Crowd - Or An Orgy? was about how the ensemble show has replaced the buddy show as a staple of TV. Someone mentioned Martin/Danny (Without a Trace), and I said, "," and people just laughed at me. Hmpf! I also tried to bring up comedies, and no one wanted to talk about that. What was most interesting to me was what we didn't talk about: Why ensemble shows have replaced the buddy show. I think there's something there about how ensemble shows are a way to put women on TV without alienating audiences who want (or who content producers/marketers think want) to watch men on TV. The other most interesting thing was the woman across the room with the drop spindle; I could not stop watching her. (I think we stayed all the way through this one, but it's possible that it actually belongs on the list below.)

I'd never been to [ profile] minotaurs' Sex Tips for Slash Writers panel, so this year I went. (I liked it that they put both sex panels on the same day.) Apparently the prostate feels like the tip of your nose. I found the whole panel highly entertaining and informative.

Panels I started to attend
As you may remember from years past, Molly and I have a habit of ducking out of panels that take a sour turn.

I really liked the idea of Cops, Spies, and Secret Agents. The reality, not so much. One of the moderators was disorganized, and the other one admitted straight up that they'd suggested this panel as a way to shoehorn a Pros panel into the schedule in case the actual Pros panel didn't make it. I'd never seen most of the things they brought up as examples, so I left early.

We went to the Mystical Bonds panel, but then it wasn't as interesting as advertised, so we left.

We intended to go to the Fueling The Fires of Genderfuckery panel, but we were hungry and based on the panel leader and the people gathering, it looked like it was likely to be all HP, so we went to lunch instead.

We also intended to go to Writing Race and Alien Characters, but it didn't sound very interesting at the beginning and I was restless, so we went to have milkshakes instead.

The Party and other social things
Many people we're usually excited to see weren't there this year ([ profile] j_crew_guy and [ profile] elekdragon, [ profile] dine and [ profile] sorchar, [ profile] meaganola, [ profile] mousewrites). I also noticed that there weren't as many men there this year, and [ profile] typhoidk observed that there weren't as many folks who aren't white.

All was not lost, however. We spent some quality time hanging out with [ profile] hederahelix and crew ([ profile] typhoidk, [ profile] reccea, and [ profile] kuwsi_dilla), and even stuck out way more of the party than we usually do (primarily because we were at a table with those folks). I also met another slasher from my town, so we're talking about starting up some kind of fannish gathering here.

We went to He-He after we left the party, and stuck out two rounds before I reached my limit of spending time with other people. That was, however, the only time the whole weekend that I was fed up with other people. Molly and I decided that having only the two of us in our room worked really well.

Mal and other acquisitions
In addition to the aforementioned milkshakes, we had a lot of good food. In fact, the only bad food we ate all weekend was in airports. If you're ever in Ventura, I highly recommend Full of Beans (coffee shop with excellent muffins and yummy milkshakes), Cafe Bariloche (South American food), and Nature's Grill (healthy and yummy, with excellent smoothies).

For the past couple of years, the con has given away 4x6 photos with the name badges. This year, I got someone I didn't recognize (from Supernatural, I think). Because I didn't even know who it was, I was willing to trade for just about anything. Someone wandered by and traded me for Rodney (from SGA). I was then able to trade Rodney to Molly for the Mal picture she got.

I then bought way more Mal in the dealers room: a Serenity crew photo (8x10), a Firefly cast as themselves photo (8x10), a different Firefly cast as themselves photo (8x10), a racier variation on one of the Firefly cast as themselves photos (4x6), a hot Mal photo (4x6), a photo of Mal and Jayne with guns (4x6) (I'm not a Mal/Jayne person at all, which is a subject for another day, but it's a great photo) (4x6), and a Serenity postcard that's the movie logo. The 8x10s are going over my bed (possibly with green matting or frames) and the postcard is going in my office at work (in an orangish wood frame). I put the hot Mal 4x6 and the Mal and Jayne 4x6 on the fridge, but I have no idea what to do with the other 4x6s.

Molly's friend Kellie Lynch (like the namedropping?) was in the dealers room with a booth for her company, Iris Print (possibly not work safe). Molly gave me A Strong and Sudden Thaw for Christmas, and I loved it, and I told Amazon that, so Amazon started reccing me the other Iris Print titles. I'd been thinking about buying Connections, but I wanted to look at it first. This gave me the perfect opportunity, and the book was my only non-Mal dealers' room purchase.

We pulled two items for Sky off the swap table, and they'll be in the mail soon (since I didn't do it this morning). I also got two items from the swap table for myself: a hugely long King Arthur promo poster I want to put over my bookshelves (preferably in a red frame, but I'm never going to find something the right size [21x50]), and a tape labeled "Twitch City #1."

Torchwood is apparently the hot new fandom, and Life on Mars also had some buzz. There was also lots of talk all weekend about SGA and Supernatural, and BSG amongst the people I was hanging out with. I spent a large portion of the weekend and at least half of the two panels I led having no idea what people were talking about. I'd never even heard of Torchwood or Life on Mars before they started showing up in proposed panel descriptions, and I've never seen SGA, BSG, or Supernatural. I kept looking at pictures in the dealers room and saying, "I don't know who this is." I did manage to pick up that the guys in Supernatural are Sam and Dean, that one of the actors is named Jenson Ackles (And it's entirely possible that someone will appear to tell me I've gotten the name wrong. I could look it up, but that feels like cheating in this context.), and that one of the actors is very, very tall while the other is not.

Yay new friends!
I've gone on a post-Escapade friending spree (when you friend one person at a time after months of contemplation, four people counts as a spree), never mind the fact that half the people I friended didn't even go to Escapade and half of those half wouldn't be interested in Escapade and may, in fact, mock me for attending.

That's all folks!
At this point, I don't think I'm going back to Escapade next year. Admittedly, I did have a lot of fun: I got to spend a whole week with Molly, had some fun times with the people mentioned in the social life section above, got to be my fannish self unrestricted and unmocked, attended some good panels, and acquired fannish items. Having said that, I don't think Escapade is my crowd anymore. A lot of the people I would usually hang out with weren't there, I was put off by how late and disorganized the panel scheduling was, there's something of a "you kids and your internet" feel about the con, I'm not particularly fannish about anything specific these days, and I sometimes *gasp* actually like the canon het relationships on a show.

I am planning to go to BASCon this year since I rolled over my membership last year (or at least I sent them a letter saying I wanted to; no one ever sent me a confirmation), and Molly and I are seriously thinking about going to WisCon in May, so you may yet see me at a con. And, of course, if you're the fannish sort and you're in the Chico area, I'm always happy for some fannish fun. (I got horrified looks and possibly some sympathy when I explained to a table full of fangirls that the only friends I actually spend time with on a regular basis are not just men, but straight men.)

Femslash recs are in the femslash panel post.

I love The Class, and I kept trying to rec it to people, without much success. I really like the het relationships. There's a canonically gay character who hangs out with one of the straight men, especially when his partner's out of town. Palmer (played by Jaime King) hits on one of the other women. It's completely compelling, and one of my can't miss shows. (I also started watching partway through the season, so you don't have to watch from the beginning to get it.)

I also recced Keri Arthur's Riley Jenson novels to, uh, someone. I used to not like werewolf or vampire novels, but now I read a lot more of them, and I really like this series. (I finished the book I was reading [Princess Academy] this morning and promptly went to Barnes and Noble for Tempting Evil, which came out this week.) I think the reason I was reccing them is that there's a whole lot of really hot sex. The downside to this is that I can't take the books to work. But I don't really mind reading a whole book over the weekend.

I again recced moonwhip's "Childish Things," a lovely Mal/Kaylee story. I think I only mentioned it to Molly.

Things I forgot
I'm sure there are some (even with all the things I've remembered to include over the last five days that I've been working on this), but as I've forgotten them, I don't know what they are. I do know Molly and I had a discussion about something (possibly a Vin Diesel movie) and she said there might be some at Yuletide. Not knowing what it was, I can't really go looking for it.

And now that I've posted this, I can meet the boys for lunch, and then go read other people's con reports.
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These are the lists that we made on the flip charts at the panel, with a few annotations.

  • Pretty Persuasion
  • Jawbreaker
  • Saved
  • Mean Girls
  • A Great and Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels by Libba Bray
  • The Craft
  • DEBS
  • Grey's Anatomy
  • Grey's Anatomy RPS
  • Law & Order: SVU
  • Bring It On
  • Far From Xanadu by Julie Ann Peters
  • Bleak House (miniseries only or also the book?)
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Battlestar Galactica RPS
  • The L Word
  • Alias
  • Marcia Cross/Felicity Huffman
  • Katy/Lucy (I don't know who this is; the Katy might be spelled some other way.)
  • Katy/Michelle Forbes (I don't know who the Katy is; it might be spelled some other way.)
  • Foxfire (movie only or also the book?)
  • Angelina/Winona
  • NCIS
  • Blue Crush
  • South of Nowhere
  • CSI
  • Sarah Waters novels
  • Wonderfalls
  • Xena
  • Deadwood
  • Firefly/Serenity
  • Desperate Housewives
  • Ensign Ro! (I think the exclamation point was just because I was so excited that someone else has a thing for her.)
  • Star Trek
  • Heathers
  • Popular
  • Cold Mountain
  • Bewitched
  • Soccer
  • Bend It Like Beckham
  • Underworld
  • Buffy & Angel
  • Dark Kingdom
  • Cybill
  • Will & Grace (someone wanted Karen slash)
  • Wicked (Apparently there's some kind of split between musical and book fans.)
  • West Wing
  • Girlfriends
  • Coupling (UK)
  • Farscape
  • Space: Above and Beyond

LJ Resources

Future Panel Idea
  • Femslash sex tips (Apparently someone has a vulva puppet and a full vulva costume.)
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Overall Con Theme
Too much SGA. Seriously, people, too much.

Catch Phrase of the Weekend I
"Your vagina is not a purse."

Catch Phrase of the Weekend II
"Penis, penis, vagina."

Bad Story Concept
We were talking about AUs, and someone told us about a lotrips AU. In this AU, Viggo is a teacher at a boarding school that Orlando attends. This sounds good, right? But then whoever it was told us the rest of the plot: Viggo is actually undercover looking for alien activity, and Orlando is an alien but doesn't know it.

Bunny for Sale
The consuite is actually an old nightclub, which had Molly and I trying to think of old nightclub AUs. Here's one I'll probably never write: Angel was Spike's something (father, brother, lover, mentor), but he died recently and left all his money to Spike. Spike takes this money and buys an old, rundown nightclub. His accountant, Willow, suggests that he might hire her best friend/client Xander to do the renovations. Spike instinctively introduces himself to Xander as William, which only Angel ever called him. Faith, Buffy, and Riley are all members of Xander's crew. At this point, you should insert some handwaving about Spike and Xander starting to fall in love/lust. As part of this, Xander brings in a fabulously beautiful wood bar, and it's Willow who tells Spike that Xander actually made it himself. Eventually, at Spike's request, Xander makes exactly the kind of desk Spike needs for the office upstairs. And there's some Spike and Xander having sex in the apartment upstairs during club hours.

Ah, the dealers room. I got the Firefly pics I wanted for my blank wall, and I bought another Spike picture for my Angel and Spike wall which will now have to curve around the corner. I also bought two very pretty Willow and Giles pics. I have no idea what I'm going to do with them, but they're pretty.

Girl, Unidentified
There was one particular fan who never wore her nametag that we took to referring to as Hot Girl. The only thing I heard her say was in the femslash panel where she said the LA lesbian community she's familiar with does not look like the community on The L Word. She also spent a lot of time hanging out with [ profile] hederahelix. If you know who Hot Girl is, please let us know; we want to stalk her on LJ. Hot Girl, if you're reading this, we appreciated looking at you, and we mean the stalking you on LJ thing to be complimentary and not creepy.

Thursday Evening
While lounging about in the lobby, we halfheartedly searched for [ profile] soobunny. This consisted of us asking people, "Has anyone seen Soo?" Someone asked us, "What's her last name?" To which we, of course, answered, "Bunny."

Friday Morning
First up: Angel panel. I'd yet to actually see my co-moderator, but there she was in the panel. I was not prepared for this panel, and, uh, I don't really remember much of it. I tried pimping The S Curve, but people didn't seem too interested.

Friday Afternoon
After snacking instead of real lunch, it was time for the Research for Fic panel. This was less about how to do research and more about how to work that research into your story. Again, too much SGA. However, this was where we discovered that more people than we know are into boutique-y fandoms, as one woman was reading a gargantuan book on the pox for research for a Libertine story (I think; maybe Libertine was someone else).

Then we stayed in the same room for the Beta Circle. I greatly appreciated that this was scheduled for Friday afternoon, because it meant that people could take things with them. There were only a few people there, but I think we got some good work done. I have to admit that I haven't yet read all the comments people left for me, but I definitely appreciated those of Glass Houses, who asked sensible things like, "What is he tied to?" and "Wouldn't that take a long time?"

At some point, we swung through the fannish tradeshow, but that was it for Friday panels.

Friday Evening
We ducked out of the party early (as in after about five minutes) and went back to the hotel room to watch, um, something that had a lot of ads for Armageddon the next night.

Saturday Morning
Litslash: Again, I was unprepared. Again, boutique-y fandom people. Dine had just given Molly a copy of Luck in the Shadows, so we even had a visual aid. Molly kept the list of litslash fandoms we came up with. I only remember a few. The most interesting thing to me was the discussion of fan ficcing the fan fic. No one seemed to think anything much of it.

Saturday Afternoon
Religion and Slash: It seemed interesting, but it started out way more about the religion of slashers than religion in fic, so I took myself back down to the con suite.

Eroica: I expected this to be a small panel. What I hadn't realized was that there are no Eroica fans who are also young folk. The funniest moment of the panel was when one of the attendees started complaining about a classic slash plot, which is almost exactly the plot of the Eroica epic I'll probably never finish. Best plot bunny of the panel: Dorian is really deep under cover working for MI-[some number].

DamonAffleck: This panel was myself, Molly, Soo, Charles, and Meagan watching video clips and dividing up the merchandise Molly brought for us. The cigarette smoking thing! Ben's hand on Matt's knee! Ben jumping on Chris Moore!

Dykes on Parade: Mmm, femslash panel. The panel was again awesome, but it really needs to be on the main track. I have the list we made in the panel of femslash places and pairings, and I promise I will type it up in the next couple of days.

Saturday Night
Molly and I played a little bit of He-He, but we were very tired, so after only a few rounds, we headed back to our room to watch the end of Armageddon.

Sunday Morning
This year, we actually made it downstairs in time for breakfast. Of course, we were running later than everyone else, so we ended up, just the four of us, at the table way back in the corner.

Sunday Afternoon
The Absence of Color in Black and White Fan Fiction: This was the best panel I went to all weekend. It was awesome, and Con and Lady J brought academic handouts, which made it even more awesome. (I occasionally have the urge to read academic handouts, but I don't know what to read.)

Jay and Silent Bob: This panel was myself, Molly, Soo, Charles, and Meagan (Elek joined us at some point) watching Charles' highlight reel and discussing both the recs handout Charles brought and the list of fanon. We discovered that my brain full of Jay and Silent Bob is still in action. On the list of fanon is "Jay gives good blow jobs," which is totally canon. In the Clerks comic, Jay gets a job as a fluffer, but gets fired because he's too good at it.

RPS: Ah, the RPS panel. Where everyone loves the RPS and if anyone doesn't, they know not to show up at the panel.

Escapade Review: This was the worst panel I went to all weekend. Instead of really encouraging new people to lead panels, they seemed to be discouraging people who lead panels to either not lead them or lead fewer, and it seemed really negative. They are, however, looking for ideas about how to get more young folk to come to Escapade. If you have any, let them know.

Sunday Evening
Dead Dog Party in the con suite. Woo-hoo! We stayed until the last people were filtering out, and then we went back to our room. Where we found the best TV show ever: Bailando por un sueƱo which appears to feature some people dancing, then celebrities giving roses and candles to people with sob stories, and then some other people dancing. It was hilarious.

Then we got Molly hooked on Grey's Anatomy.

Monday Morning
We got out of the hotel fairly early, and so we found time to visit a mall that was not a mall. It seemed to consist of a Borders, some movie theaters, and a lot of restaurants.

Monday Evening
I decided to have dinner at LAX. I went to the chain clam chowder in a bread bowl place. This was a bad idea. First of all, I burned my tongue. I have burned my tongue every time I've had their soup. A burned tongue hurts a hell of a lot more the second day. Secondly, I spilled soup on me, making me have to wash my sweatshirt in today's laundry. Thirdly, there were high winds and therefore turbulence in Sacramento, and I was nauseated. I appreciated the cold and the wind when I got out of the airport though; it helped settle my stomach.

And then, on the drive home, I hit the worst of the storm just before Yuba City. Thank goodness the road is mostly straight there, because I certainly couldn't see much of anything.
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I only care when it's about me.
I've been skimming every con report in Elke's list. I went to any panel I was really interested in, so I fully admit that I really just page down until I find something that's about a panel I led or was in.

The quality of writing.
It occurred to me on my way home from work last week that Jay/Silent Bob fic is remarkably mediocre. I don't think I've read anything Jay/Silent Bob that was too horribly bad, but I also haven't read anything that was fantastically brilliant.

Why I like ritualized violence in a sex scene.
Charlotte brought up humiliation at the end of the panel; earlier someone mentioned betrayal. Both of those things will make a scene really unsexy for me, and I figured out how to articulate that. I'm something of a control freak with some trust issues. The idea of someone trusting another person enough to willingly giving up control of their body to that person is what's really hot in BDSM fic.

Making new friends.
In the beta panel, one of the suggestions for finding a beta was to start by talking to writers whose work you admire. Brenda Antrim said that people always tell her they're afraid to talk to her.

As you probably know from my history of fannish troublemaking, I'm not particularly afraid of people. What I am wary of, however, is the trend I've noticed. Generally speaking, I don't like the authors whose fic I like. Conversely, I have liked people whose fic I don't like.

My point here is that I have trouble finding people I like whose writing I also like. This means making fannish friends is difficult for me.

Slash fandom as gendered space.
In his con report, [ profile] elekdragon said, "I just don't pass well, and having people who are VERY gendered staring at you makes things uncomfortable." I've been mulling this about. I don't know that I have a point, but I have been thinking about slash as gendered space. My first instinct is to say that one of the things I like about slash fandom is that it is a community of women. On the other hand, one of the things I don't like about slash fandom is the way we're increasingly exclusionary. (I mean this in a larger sense. I may stay in my own little corner and take a really long time to make new friends, but I'd like to think that I'm not going to immediately dismiss anyone new just because they're not already part of the group. Without knowing anything much about it--I stay away from fandom wank and my friends list is fairly small--the sense I get is that slash fandom at large is rejecting new folks just for being new.)

Terminology issues.
In the sex writing panel, someone brought up the fact that "dick" is rather uncommon in the UK, and someone else said it's very common in some branch of the US armed forces. I realized use "cock" and "cunt" because they're what I like, not necessarily what the character would use. I have some sense of what's appropriate for female anatomy for varying types of characters, but no idea about male anatomy. So here's my question for anyone who (a) is male or (b) knows men who've shared such things with them: What do men say? Dick? Cock? Prick? Man-meat? Something I haven't thought of?
rsadelle: (Default)
In the Spike/Xander panel, we made a list of authors and fics to read. Here's what I remember, plus some I think I forgot. Please note: These are not all recs. They're mainly just things we thought of. I do realize that other people may have different taste and like things I hated.

[ profile] darkhavens - I like darkhavens not so much for her fic as for her memories, which contain a whole bunch of other people's fic categorized by type.

[ profile] tabaqui - I particularly liked "Hero," "Little Runaway," and "Little Runaway 2."

[ profile] tgray - I liked "Discoveries" for the first 24 chapters full of porn, but then I didn't like her plot as much. "Tangled Hearts," also an all-human AU, is great.

[ profile] entrenous88, Entre Nous - "Shacking Up" is hilarious, as is "Expecting."

[ profile] spikedluv - I especially liked "When Visions Come True."

[ profile] witling - Oh, right. She's okay, but it tends to be rather depressing.

[ profile] winterlive - Mmm, "Affected."

Wordsmith - Just good. The "Reconstruction," "Restoration," "Reunification" arc is about Spike and Xander after Buffy's death.

Nashmaveric's Viral Recs Meme - A whole bunch of other people's recs.

Jackson - I loved that "Sweet Revenge" had a big emotional scene in the rain, but it's not that great.

[ profile] snakes_ladders - "No More Snakes And Ladders" by Tabaqui and Reremouse. It seems really slow to me. I made it through 11 or 12 parts, and I haven't gotten back to it since then. It appeared to be heading in a Spike/Xander/Wesley direction.

[ profile] subtleaddiction - "Letters" by LadyCat and Rubywisp. Very good.

"Modus Vivendi" by Wiseacress. I didn't really like it that much, and I was irritated by her comment that people wanted a happier ending for them so she wrote the sequel, "Ars Moriendi."

"No Pirate on Earth" by Circe. A Pirates of the Caribbean crossover. The resolution to the emotional buildup didn't satisfy me.

[ profile] ladycat777, LadyCat - Mmm, LadyCat.

[ profile] reremouse - "28th Day Itch" is good. Hyena Xander who needs Spike to fuck him.

[ profile] rubywisp, Rubywisp - Good stuff.

[ profile] secondverse - A lot of people like her. I think she needs to learn to use a paragraph break before I can get far enough to really judge.

[ profile] camisha - I kind of liked early "Survival Instincts" better than the end, back when it was Spike/Xander/Jamie and all weird and tense.

[ profile] kimberly_fan - I loved "It's Just a Jump to the Left" and "Late Night Double Feature," and I'm really enjoying "Through the Looking Glass."

[ profile] spikess - "Gotta Get It" is the thing I was thinking about where Spike's a poet and Xander loves his poetry but doesn't know he's the poet.

[ profile] dessert_first - I totally forgot her in the panel! She's writing a porn star AU.

Lazuli - Some people really like "Repossession." I liked the concept, but thought the story wasn't that good. I made it probably 30 or so parts in.

"On the Doorstep" by Meg Graham. This appears to be unfinished, but part 15 does exist.

Xander Xtreme - A Xander-centric BDSM archive. Not all Spike/Xander.

[ profile] othercat - This is in my bookmarks, but I don't remember why.

Te - "Post-Grad" and "Post-Grad II" are classic Spike/Xander fics. I find they don't hold up well after time. I have enjoyed other Te fic I loved back in the day, so this is clearly not just Te issues.

Meagan - I realized it wasn't really odd to hang out with Meagan because we actually do know her from back in the day when she wrote the Roommates series.

[ profile] eliade, Anna S. - Meagan actually recced Anna S. to me last year, and she's really fabulous.

Mad Poetess - Particularly of note is the Chocolatey Goodness series.

James Walkswithwind - We particularly mentioned "Small Fry." I liked the first one, but couldn't get into the second.

"Waiting Here" by Alexandria. I've started to read it a couple of times and gotten irritated with it, but Anne and Bluespirit said it was good, so maybe I'll try again.

flaming muse - Mmmm, Conjunctions series.

shrift - "Loserville" is great.

"Twilight Time" by Shadow. I read a least part of this and didn't think it was that great, but other people love it.

Pet - Spike as a girl in one series, Xander sleeping with Oz and Devon while wanting Spike in another.

Kay - Tends toward the overdramatic, but still good.

ivyincubus - Good stuff. I tend to forget it exists, though.

Twisting the Hellmouth - A Buffy crossover archive. I have no idea what's there.

[ profile] estepheia, Estepheia - I mostly remember the Spike/Xander/Anya, but I think I've read other stuff by her that was also good.

Saber Shadow Kitten - I've never particularly liked her fic, but many other people have.

MJ Gage - I have a soft spot for "Precious." I realize it's not really a good fic. And yet, I love it.

Ahestele - I really liked "Midnight at LAX."

Kayla - Not a great writer, but "Coming Out" is totally worth it for the laughs.

[ profile] kyrieane - She was writing a cowboy AU that wasn't bad.

And now we come to the end of this list. I'm sure I'll think of something in five or ten minutes that I've left off of here, but for now, this is what I can think of.
rsadelle: (Default)
Friday, 10 am
It didn't get enough votes to make into the regular track, so I put the Where have all the lesbians gone? panel onto the alternate track. Every person who came into the room said, "Here I am! I didn't know I was lost." Next year we'll call the femslash panel something different. Because there will be one, dammit!

I didn't have much of an agenda, so we made lists of canon, not canon, and maybe canon (Xena/Gabrielle gets its own category) pairings and chatted about the lack of femslash. And then we started a list of terms not to be used in femslash. Avoid horticultural euphemisms.

Friday, 11 am
Melle and I went to the panel on how loyalty is killing fandom. We escaped early.

Friday, 11:05 am
We moved on to the pimping room, where Charles was in purple trimmed with leopard print. This included a wide-brimmed hat with a feather and, later, anatomically correct origami made out of a dollar bill. Meagan later reported that one less than clued in fan asked her, "Why is he wearing that?"

Friday, 2:00 pm
Mmm, the sex-writing panel. The panel moderators actually had a very ambitious agenda that we didn't stick to. However, we still managed to cover, with varying degrees of detail, every topic area on their agenda. They also gave handouts, which are partially helpful and partially amusing. Horticultural euphemisms appear on one of the synonyms list.

One of the most useful things I got out of it was someone's (apologies for the shoddy attribution; if you remember who it was, comment and I'll edit) suggestion to use run-on sentences, especially near the end of the sex scene. I know I've seen this done, and it's entirely possible that I've even done it myself, but I'd never thought about it in such clear terms.

Friday, 5:00 pm
Charles and some girl ran a movieslash panel. The girl got through her agenda and we got to the point of suggesting resources. She beat me to making suggestions other than the movieslash list, and said that she has a site about slashy movies. "Oh," I said, "are you Michelle?" She is, which means that my suggestion was redundant.

Because we'd done the lesbian panel earlier in the day, I was conscious of mentioning movies with femslash as well as movies with maleslash (guyslash? boyslash?). We determined that Paul Walker is the gold standard of slashiness. His movies are always homoerotic. Therefore, Michelle Rodriguez is the Paul Walker of femslash and Tony Curtis was the Paul Walker of his time.

Friday, 9:00ish pm
I'm not really a party person, even when it's a party full of slashers, so I was quite glad to go up into the corner (the con suite was actually a nightclub, so it had all these cool levels and nooks and things) and play He-He for a bit.

Friday, 11:15 pm
I helped Mouse and Kady Mae set up the late-night write fest. We put the tables where they would be convenient for people who needed electrical outlets. Mouse was the only one of the three of us who did.

I wrote a sentence or two, and then nearly fell asleep on the table, so I went to bed instead of writing more.

Saturday, 10:00 am
After the panel on violence, someone came up to me to tell me how good it was. Other people also said it was great. Perhaps it's just that I don't like large panels, but I thought it was nothing special. There were a couple of times when no one had anything to say. We did, however, greatly appreciate Charlotte's attempts to play devil's advocate.

Interesting concept: Where you think your limits are and where your limits actually are are not necessarily the same place.

Saturday, 3:00 pm
The beta reading panel was run by one person who betas but doesn't write and one person who writes and has a kajillion* betas go over everything she writes before she posts it. It was fairly interesting until a certain person who shall remain nameless showed up and somewhat derailed it.

*Number not to scale.

Saturday, 3:45 pm
Melle and I sat on a couch and discussed how to make new friends while keeping the old. Now that I think about it, the problem is not doing both. The problem is doing either one. Despite my resolution to do so, I haven't really made any new friends recently. And it is hard to keep your old friends as your common interests dry up.

Saturday, 4:05 pm
Melle and I ducked into the making new friends panel. We did not find it interesting and ducked out again.

Saturday 4:15ish pm
Alice and I chatted about Jennifer Crusie novels and Buffy. (These things are not strictly related.) If you have even the slightest interest in the romantic comedy genre, I highly recommend Jennifer Crusie. My favorites are Welcome to Temptation and Faking It, which should be read in that order, and I also really liked Bet Me.

Saturday, 5:00 pm
"Welcome to my panel," I said to an empty room. Shortly thereafter, Bluespirit and Melle arrived, followed not long after by Anne. Since I've been reading a whole bunch of Spike/Xander recently and I have a good memory for words, we made a list of things/authors that could be read. As much of that list as I can remember, plus some other stuff, is in a separate entry.

Saturday, 8:30 pm
He-He, organized style, in the executive boardroom (table sturdy and easily cleaned, ceiling leaking, chairs comfy) with plenty of booze and snacky food. In addition to the earlier learned Oversharing gesture, Mistress Acer taught us the more elaborate Oversharing, Roughing the Listener, Two Beer Penalty signal.

Sunday, 10:00 am
We arrived too late to actually get any breakfast, but we did get our complimentary songvid DVDs. I'm not that into songvids (although I still really want to see the Qui-Gon/Jar-Jar one from two years go), so we'll see if I find it at all interesting.

Sunday, noon
The con gave us coupons for five dollars off in the dealers room. I've been slow to purchase Buffy merchandise (previous to this, I'd only bought this year's wall calendar, and that at half-price after the year started), and Melle was being a good enabler, so I did spend some money. I got a gorgeous pic of Spike, a Xander/Willow postcard, and a picture of Spike and Angel that I kept coming back to and eventually just had to buy. Also considered: Giles and Willow on the hillside, Xander lounging in a sexy pose with bare feet, and a King Arthur poster-like pic.

Sunday, 1:00 pm
Although it didn't get enough votes to make it on the main fandom panel track, 15 (or so) people showed up for the Jay and Silent Bob panel, which was appropriately titled "The Love That Cannot Spell Its Name." Three of us were wearing the same shirt, which a couple of people didn't know was official merchandise.

Now, I don't think of myself as being heavily involved in the Jay and Silent Bob fandom, but apparently I know a heck of a lot. For example, not everyone knew that in the comic book, Jay gets a job as a fluffer, but does too good a job. I was the first one to bring up the "Guys We'd Go Gay For" segment they did for I Love the 90s, and I haven't even seen it. I also remembered all kinds of details from fic: Bob's fanon Russian mob connections, the one with the candy cane, the series with Mercy. Odd.

Sunday, 5:00 pm
I had invited several people to watch the Oscars with us. Sorcha dropped by for a while. We ate junk food and Melle read comics and the draft of "Montana." Later, we went to Denny's because Melle had never been there and everywhere else was closed, too meat heavy, or somewhere we'd been for lunch.

Overall Theme: Metallica
We got a chance to chat about the state of Metallica fandom with both Sorcha and ivy, which was really nice.

Overall Theme: Fandom of the Year
House is the hot new fandom.

Overal Theme: Costumey Goodness
Elke wins the Ruth seal of approval for best costumes. She had the young Molly Weasley Gryffindor outfit, the short-skirted Slytherin outfit, and the Mary Sue House of Sparkly Poo outfit.
rsadelle: (Default)
I felt a little queasy when I got off the plane in San Francisco on Thursday, so instead of having lunch, I just hung out to wait for my plane to LAX. I didn't feel like digging out my book, so I people watched and tried to guess people's stories.

There was the guy with his very young daughter: obviously he has part-time custody. He was taking her on a dream vacation to make up for all the time he's not there. There were the two guys with eye-dizzying officewear shirts: clearly they work in the kind of place with cubicles. Although they're important enough to travel, they're not going far until they learn that there's a reason most corporate types wear shirts that look all about the same. There was the guy with headphones and non-dizzying stripes of varying widths and colors including pink: grad student or creative professional of some sort, probably gay.

And then there were the guys who were clearly together but drifted in one by one. Two of them looked a bit like the punk roommate from Dead Man on Campus, but they didn't seem to have British accents. Then there was the large friendly looking guy. Clearly a punk band with this one guy who gets along with everyone. Except then other guys filtered in and they didn't all look alike. If I were a different kind of person, I would have gone up to them and asked, "Are you a band? Tell me your story." Alas, I am not, and I amused myself by watching them.

Because we were on the same flight, the band was standing near us as Meagan, Melle, Taz, and I waited for my luggage to make its way out onto the carousel. (My bag was the absolute last one.) I was glad to see that some of their luggage looked like musical instrument cases (unlike the rest of it, which was backpack style stuff); it meant my instinct about them being a band rather than aimless travelers was right.

On Sunday evening, Meagan, Melle, and I, with Sorcha for a while, kicked back to watch the Oscars. After saying, "Why Beyonce?" a couple of times, we finally got to something we liked: "Accidentally In Love" by the Counting Crows, actually performed by the Counting Crows. Halfway through the song, Meagan said, "Those are the guys from the airport! No wonder they kept looking at me like they thought I should know who they were."
rsadelle: (Default)
I found Melle's list so interesting that I thought I might as well keep track as I voted. In some cases, you really need the descriptions to know what the heck the panel's about.

Escapade Panels I Will Attend:
  • God is in the details*
  • Goin' To The Chapel*
  • Going Home
  • Hit me baby one more time.*
  • Pairing Names: Cute or Stupid?*
  • Make New Friends, But Keep The Old?
  • They're not just characters, they're family!
  • The Next Big Thing
  • The Tipping Point in Fandom: Mavens, Connectors, Salesmen
  • Troublemakers in Paradise*
  • What's My Story?
  • Where have all the condoms gone?
  • Where have all the lesbians gone?*
  • You Can't Say That About My Friend! How Loyalty is Killing Fandom
  • Buffy: Now, more than ever, we love Spike/Xander.*
  • DamonAffleck: Oversaturation or No New Material?
  • From Eroica With Love: Found in translation?*
  • Jay & Silent Bob: The love that cannot spell it's name
  • Jeremiah: Science Fiction or Theological Renaissance?
  • Jeremiah: The End of the World as We Know It
  • The Wolf & Bruckheimer Effects
  • Let's talk about research, baby!

* Not only will I attend, but I'll lead. These are also the panels I myself suggested.

Note to Soo and other interested parties: Although I did not say "Will Lead" for the DamonAffleck panel, I will lead or help lead it if you need/want me to.

Escapade Panels I May Attend:
  • Beyond Mary Sue - Writing Credible Original Characters
  • Brothers Should Be Close: Incest in Slash
  • Clams and Curmudgeons: We Love Our Dysfunctional Guys
  • Fandom Sluts and One True Fandoms -- trends?
  • Magic: The Slashability Factor?
  • Real Life in the Industry
  • Slasher Zero
  • Top? Bottom? Flexible?
  • Where have all the slashy novels gone?
  • Who's Slashworthy?
  • 2 Slashed Bi-curious
  • House: Out of House and Holmes
  • HP: The Phantom of the Soap Opera
  • Slash in the Movies
  • X-Men: Queer Subtext and Slash
  • Getting the Good Parts of a story Just Right
  • Late night write-fest

Now that I look at it, that's a heck of a lot of panels. I guess I'm more interested in fandom than I thought I was. On the other hand, just because I'll attend doesn't mean I'll stay the whole time. I'm a pro at escaping bad Escapade panels.

Digression: One of my Escapade notes says, "Take scorecards! a la Celeste in the City," but that would really only be fun if Sky were going, so it'll have to wait for some other year.

The potential problem I see with me actually enjoying some of these is that while I might want to discuss the universe, I might not necessarily be interested in the slash. Like Jeremiah, for example. I love the show, but I'm just not interested in reading/discussing fic for it.

Of course, it looks like this might be a trend larger than just me. The description of Jeremiah: Science Fiction or Theological Renaissance? doesn't actually have any mention of slash or fic in it. Similarly there's Lost: Theories Anyone? Which is partially to illustrate my point and partially to digress: I watched an episode of Lost on, um, Tuesday? Whatever day it's on. Is that a typical episode? Because if it is, I'm not sure I see what the fuss is about. It seemed pretty unremarkable to me. Perhaps it's more fascinating if you've been watching since the beginning.
rsadelle: (Default)
And if I were you, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for one. Really, there's not much to say. I only made it all the way through two panels, one of which I was leading, and all I bought at Borders were Chocolate Frogs. If you really want to know what I did, I spent most of my time with Molly, Melle, Sky, and Dara, and Molly and Melle took detailed notes.

The real point of this post is this, which coalesced in my head out of all the Spike/Xander I've been reading and the hair ribbons in the book I read on the way home, and which I conceive of as being in the same spirit as those "Charlton Heston Is My President" or "God Is My Copilot" bumper stickers.
rsadelle: (Default)
RPS, part 1. The RPS panel was incredibly good. The panel description said, "Taboo or old hat?" but it was really more about RPS as a fandom than the okayness of it. What's canon, where do you get it, do you use tabloid info or only the carefully constructed publicity, who do you write? We had a whole list of pairings on the flip chart, and the whole room cracked up when I mentioned Bill Gates/Steve Jobs as one of the pairings with a huge amount of history between the characters. Emma, who was at Red Rose when I went three years ago, said that she remembers me being the only voice out there saying, "What about RPS?" Escapade's RPS panel this year had a huge number of people, and only a very small number of them said they had never gone looking for RPS.

RPS, part 2. My fannish friends circle is rather small, everyone in it is into RPS, and I don't really talk to people outside of that circle, so I pretty much have no contact with the anti-RPS people these days. This made it quite startling to listen to a couple of groups of old-school fans sitting around talking about how RPS is evil. As the only RPSers in the consuite room where one of these conversations took place, Dara and I occupied the Corner of Evil, which became the Corner of Evil and Cheese when Dara got a snack.

Dara. Dara sounds exactly the way I thought she would, but she's much shorter than I thought.

Harry Potter. The Harry Potter panel was also incredibly good. The ostensible topic was young!Harry vs. adult!Harry in the Snape/Harry pairing, but we drifted a bit and talked all about the world of it. In addition to the panel, I had several other Harry Potter conversations with people, one of which developed the following very important question: Would McGonagall in cat form/Mrs. Norris be bestiality?

Battlefield Earth. This is a crap lousy movie which should only be watched late at night with other fangirls when you're either drunk enough to put up with it or tired enough to sleep through bits of it, in which case it can be quite fun. The highlight of the whole movie is John Travolta's ultra-queeny voice. Also, Peter Jackson stole heavily from this movie. Aragorn and Legolas are just prettier versions of Carlo and Jonnie played by better actors than Kim Coates and Barry Pepper.

Slash writers who write het. This small panel managed to go rather off-course. We ended up trading recs and ideas for finding good het rather than actually talking about slash writers who write het, which is also okay. I felt kind of weird for the first day or so of the con because I've been writing so much gen and het and having so many gen and het conversations that being so inundated with slash, slash, slash! was a bit overwhelming.

The one conclusion I can bring this number to. Go to Escapade next year. It was so much fun. The panels I went to were fun, except for the fannish status one, from which I had to escape, but it was just as much, if not more, fun to just sit around the consuite or the lobby and talk to people about fandom and slash and "Have you read this?" and "Oh, you wrote that!" and "Where can I find some of this?"


rsadelle: (Default)
Ruth Sadelle Alderson


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