1. Spending way too much time on Wikipedia playing with ideas for my remix fic. I am so excited about it, so of course I am procrastinating like crazy and writing 200 words at a time before looking for some detail like average rainfall in a certain place at a certain time of year (*poker face*) and then looking at pictures of Mt. Etna and reminiscing about volcanoes and ash clouds (you guys think this Iceland thing is bad, try living in a place where it rains sand for serious), which leads to research on the various types of volcanoes, which leads to reading about Romans, and yeah.

2. Falling HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE with Justified. (You can also find it on hulu, which I find to be a nicer, more browser-friendly way to watch.) I love Timothy Olyphant, and therefore Raylan Givens. I love Elmore Leonard for giving him to us. I love every single supporting character. I love the south, and the way come morning in Kentucky, the fog curling and the cicadas warming to the day hot already, it's like the land knows you're there and doesn't mind much.

3. Slinging drinks. And burgers. And, when it gets to be late-night and there's no one out in the stupid Wisconsin spring drizzle, doing plenty of crosswords. And remix plotting. And re-reading Dante's Inferno for a John/Mary fic that I really really want to write but that I haven't done anything but sketch out, because I have very little time right now, what with remix and watching Justified like a million times so I can get the character voices right for fic I am not writing. *cough*

4. Being my usual excitable self.

open letter

Apr. 9th, 2010 12:51 pm
Dear Show,

I love you, I really do. We've been through our ups and downs, had our squabbles and some awesome conciliatory funtimes, agreed and disagreed, spent some time apart and come back together better for it.

Sometimes, though, and I am dead serious about this, I sort of want to put out a restraining order on you.

I'm not even going to get into what made me angry/defensive/let down about this episode. It certainly had its moments, and some of those moments were gorgeous or hilarious and reminded me why I sit down and devote swaths of my life to this odd pastime of fandom. But some of those moments were like watching your parents fight, or listening to your boss tell you you'll never be as good at your job as the man you replaced, or having to walk home with your keys in one hand and pepper spray in the other, just because you were born with the ability to carry another generation of humanity.

You have a devoted following of people who come here and together because you have inspired love: semi-irrational, deep-seated love for this world and its people.

That's not something you shrug off, not something you throw away. With all your discussion of faith, and the deep, gutting place that is faith lost, you of all entities should understand.

Love (because yes, still, love, even through deep disappointment),


P.S. To the rest of you: our show sometimes fails at women (surprise!) So, go claim a [livejournal.com profile] spnwomen_kink prompt, fire up the word processor, kick some ass, and take some names.
Title: A Pathless Land
Author: [livejournal.com profile] xaara
Rating: G, gen
Timeline: post-5.16 (vague spoilers)
Characters: Castiel (Dean, Sam)
Summary: From this distance, the earth curves like a solitary marble, rolled into a corner and forgotten.

A Pathless Land )
It's not winter any more in Wisconsin, which means it's spider season. While I love my semi-rural adopted state with all its corn fields and lakes and cranberries, I could do without the daily spider patrol. Of course, the cat helps out, but then I have to be worried that she'll eat something poisonous, and overall it's not so fun.

I feel like it would go faster if I could kill them instead of having to do a patented catch-and-release routine that returns them to their natural habitat, but I am incapable of killing anything that isn't a house centipede.

This is beside the point.

The point is that I am in love with this whole Castiel-centric commentfic festival right now, to the point where I have written one 1000-word thing one 1500-word thing (that is TOTALLY NOT RPF about Castiel protecting Misha Collins-one-of-the-66-seals) because why write a short thing when I could instead write 2500 words of UNREPENTANT CRACK?

Yeah, I thought so.

Also, [livejournal.com profile] lassiterfics posted a prompt that was four words long (to wit: "Intrepid investigative journalist AU!") and has spawned a rather long, rather serious, and still-developing story about Dean the reporter, Castiel his best friend/also reporter, Sam his brother who is a lawyer working a pro bono case on behalf of some residents of a housing development who are determined to reveal a coverup, and Uriel the Landlord. There's angst! There's drama! There's dashing romance! There's probably a very Bullitt car chase!

Someday, anyway.


I am reposting both commentfics here in the interests of having everything I've written under my spn fic tag, but really you should not read them. Instead, you should go join the party and write more so I can read it and squee and abuse capslock.

Chaos; Dean, Sam, Castiel (gen); PG-13 (language and gore); no spoilers )

Gotta Break a Few Eggs; Misha, Castiel (gen); PG; no spoilers )

last call

Mar. 18th, 2010 03:52 pm
I've been fiddling around with a few fics lately, gen stuff, some set in season two, some in season five, and an AU of Lucifer Rising tentatively titled "Sam Listens to Dean For Once in his Goddamn Life; Also Dean Doesn't Act Like an Ass, and There's This Angel Dude."

However, I keep getting distracted. I keep getting distracted, because the story I want to tell and can't figure out how, the story that is really getting to me this season (and last, actually), is Dean's drinking.

In the spirit of full [tmi] disclosure, I have quite a bit of experience with drinkers. I work at a bar. My last boyfriend was a bartender; the one before that was a (now-recovering) alcoholic. My best friend is a recovering alcoholic. For about four months following one really, really bad breakup, I was mostly either drunk or hungover, until I realized that I could go one of two directions: down, or up.

Bearing that in mind, watching Dean's drinking intensify over the last couple of seasons has been an uncomfortable experience. I desperately want Bobby or Sam to notice openly, to say something, but aside from a few offhand comments here and there, they don't seem to think it's that big a deal.

It's a big fucking deal. Here's what it's like to be a high-functioning alcoholic: you wake up because your blood sugar drops dramatically, disoriented and slightly nauseous. You get out of bed resolving that this is the morning you're going to drink just water and maybe a little juice. Then, you think it can't be that bad to pour a shot of whiskey into your coffee, because it'll make you feel better. It does make you feel better. It takes the edge off your headache, and gives you a slight buzz, because you're so dehydrated that anything would get you buzzed right now. You fight to clear your head, and after a while you have a sort of gentle awareness of the world around you. It's like reining your brain in so it goes from functioning like a modern computer to functioning like an abacus, capable of doing only things that make solid, tangible sense in the solid, tangible present. You eat some cereal for breakfast, take a shower, and are careful to brush your teeth, despite the fact that the taste of toothpaste makes your stomach heave.

You go through the day on autopilot, and by the time you're done with your obligations (you've probably had a beer or two with lunch) you decide it's time to kick back with a movie and a glass of whiskey. And another. And a third. By ten, you're drunk and tired and just want to pass out, or you're out with friends just getting started on the real drinking of the night. Either way, you pass out--you don't sleep, not really, not with all that alcohol clogging up your body--and you wake up the next day, suddenly, and your mouth tastes like you licked a bar rag and you think, Man, I could use a screwdriver about now.

It's not romantic. It's not fun. It's painful, and disgusting, and alienating. You drink to get away from what's bothering you (in my case, grief and anger and loneliness; in Dean's, well, grief and anger and loneliness), but because the alcohol dulls your mind's ability to multitask, you end up unable to focus on anything else. So you drink more, because if you drink enough, eventually you'll pass out and you won't have to think about anything.

This is a liability at the best of times. When you're drinking consistently (even if it's not much--it doesn't have to be much), you lose the ability to create mental hierarchies. You're chronically sleep-deprived. Your reaction time and decision-making skills are moot points. It takes ages to process new information, and even important things like names and faces and remembering to call your mom on her birthday just sort of slide away.

Dean's not in the best of times. He's in the middle of the capital-A Apocalypse. He can't think straight; his body is breaking down and betraying him. His reflexes aren't what he's used to, and his fine motor skills, especially new ones, ones he doesn't know like the back of his hand, are suffering. Mostly, though, his friends and his family, people who need to sit him down and say something, treat it like a minor issue. The show's writers seem unsure of whether to play it as a joke or just ignore it altogether, but they've written themselves into his mess and need to acknowledge it's there.

I don't want there to be some sort of Intervention! episode. I understand that hunters, like most men and women who work grueling, unappreciated jobs, often end the day with a glass of the closest hard stuff. I think it's unrealistic for Dean to quit drinking, but I also think it's unrealistic for him to continue at his current pace without serious, potentially deadly, side effects.

So yeah. I want to address that. In a way that doesn't send people running for the hills, since it's not exactly a lighthearted topic, and I'm not sure I'm capable of treating it in any way except extremely seriously. I want the show to take responsibility for the characters it's created, and their choices. If you choose to set a series in Modern America+Monsters, you are obligated to address the problems inherent in the setting. Dean's drinking, like that of lonely, desperate people around the world, is not cute and not funny. It deserves far more nuanced, careful, and responsible writing than I've seen so far, if only in deference to those of us who see him unscrew the cap on his flask and take a swig to steady his nerves and feel a sympathetic burn right below the sternum where we've tried the same medicine.
Back in the day, I was talking to my poetry professor. (It was one of the conversations we had that was actually about poetry instead of gardening, which turned out to be our other shared passion.) I told him that I couldn't hear my prose. I thought it was okay, but I wasn't ever sure.

That's because you're a poet, he said, and shrugged, and we went back to discussing how to use the metric ton of grape tomatoes our vines had yielded that year.

I didn't know what he meant until I wrote this, which turned out to be a lullaby, a long-form sonnet, a love song. Or, y'know, 400 words of pretentious iambic prose, complete with alliteration and internal rhyme. I've read it out loud a million times, I have a sore throat, and I'm done trying to figure it out.

As always (and especially here), all feedback ranging from "huh" to "wtf srsly" is welcome.

Title: Flicker
Author: [livejournal.com profile] xaara
Rating: PG
Timeline: season 5-ish (no spoilers)
Characters: Dean/Castiel
Summary: His charge, who sings the songs of sirens

Flicker )
I'm a massive freaking nerd. I mean, this really shouldn't come as a surprise, but sometimes I surprise even myself.

I've been working on my Enochian.

This involves reading lots of rather dry and irritating pseudo-linguistics, like Towards an Enochian Grammar, and An Essay on the Pronunciation of Enochian, as well as deciding whether or not the alphabet consists of 21 or 24 characters, and interpreting the idea that it's "usually" written left-to-right as meaning that it doesn't have to be (which seems to be the case if you're writing in geometric shapes, like when you're seeking the Abyss Experience, and I am not making this shit up.) Also, the only linguist who seems to have worked on this is named Donald Laycock. I am not making this up, either. I think he probably became a linguist to understand how he got saddled with such an unfortunate name, which still reduces me to 12-year-old giggles every time I read it. Basically, he says that Enochian isn't a language, and shares traits with more run-of-the-mill glossolalia, but that's not nearly as much fun as a secret angelic script. Plus, what does he know, his last name is Laycock.

In a moment of caffeine-fueled insanity last night, I even stumbled across Enochian Sudoku, proving, as Terry Pratchett would say, that there's nothing really damn stupid humans won't do.

(I know that I should instead be working on learning more Spanish than I need to understand basic dirty jokes from the guys in the kitchen. However, Spanish is useful and real and therefore not nearly as appealing.)

Even more caffeine later, I had decided that since Castiel was an Angel of Thursday and also of November, he was the Angel of Thanksgiving, which got me thinking all sorts of things about how he would speak sternly against the genocide of Native people and push Indigenous People's Day. Also, I am customarily hungover on Thursdays, since they are my Saturdays in the wonderful world of working at a bar and the day that I usually don't train. So when I'm lying there muttering to myself Never again will I combine four shots of whiskey with that many vodka tonics and I really shouldn't have picked that fight by playing "Legs" three times in a row on the jukebox and then beating the annoyed gentleman in question at darts, Castiel is listening!

Anyway. Time to go for a run, and then sit down and puzzle out some calls. Onward and upward.
I started writing a few days ago, and, well, this happened.

Title: The Word
Author: [livejournal.com profile] xaara
Rating: R (violence & language), gen
Timeline: sometime mid-season 3 through 4.18
Characters: Chuck, Sera, OCs
Summary: All he can do is write.
A/N: I think some explanation of characters is in order. First, although I don't remember hearing a name for her, that odd half-blonde woman introduced as Chuck's publisher at the beginning of 4.18 is called Sera over at IMDB. It made no sense that she would be a publisher (what, she's got a printing press out on the back porch or something?), so I ignored that and made her an editor. Maybe working for a publisher. Second, at one point in that episode, Chuck says something like, "Phil put you up to this?" and looks at the house next door. Hence: Phil. Finally, I realize that parts of this don't quite jive with parts of "The Real Ghostbusters," but I'm really trying to will that episode into nonexistence. All right. Enough yammering.

The Word )
I posted here a while back—a looong while back—saying I was abandoning this journal for a lot of reasons. At the time, it was true. I fully intended to leave and not to return.

However: I may have lied. I blame this on Supernatural, which has grown into such a beautiful, complex, and honest show that I am once again compelled to write back to it, to find my way into its world and its mythology. (Also, Castiel has run far, far away with my heart.) I thought about starting a new journal, but I didn't want to become a new fic-person or go through the trouble of rediscovering all my old fic-people, so I decided to stay me here. How's that for convoluted use of pronouns?

Having said that: it's been a very long time since I've written anything but poetry. Even longer since I've written fic. (Like, three years). It may be a bit until I regain my sealegs, so I'm starting somewhere small, with a little coda to the latest episode. A morning. Some words. A blooming.


Title: that it was good
Author: [livejournal.com profile] xaara
Rating: G
Timeline: post 5.14 (spoilers if you squint)
Characters: Dean, Castiel (gen)
Summary: A sunrise, a cup of coffee, and a conversation.

that it was good )
The following story is the combination of:

1. Random shuffle on my Zen
2. Way too much Coleridge
3. Not much in the way of sleep for the past three days
4. Three straight hours of blue-book
5. The fact that I made it through all of this was that I sure as hell wasn't going to die just before a new episode of SPN aired.

So, with apologies to

1. Zeppelin, whose song (or at least its title) sort of inspired this
2. Annie Proulx, whose work, with the exception of The Shipping News, is rather amazing
3. The world at large

I present:

I Can't Quit You Baby
Supernatural, the Gay Cowboy Remix
Cursed!Sheep Fic, Which Is Almost as Cracktastic as Yakfucking, Except I Don't Think Anything Can Be as Cracktastic as Yackfucking

I Can't Quit You Baby )
Title: Yesterday, and Days Before
Author: [livejournal.com profile] xaara
Rating: G, gen
Timeline: pre-series & pilot
Characters: Dean, Sam
Summary: He’s not going to write a book.
Notes: This was originally written for my little sister’s birthday. When I pulled it out to give to her, it decided it was incomplete and would not be ignored. So here you go, [livejournal.com profile] miliani_2000. A few days late, but for you just the same. With love.

Yesterday, and Days Before )
I am in love with elegant things lately, which is a switch for me--I'm usually much more whimsical and ooh, that'll look interesting on the wall or hanging from that random hook on the ceiling or pasted onto my blue blue blue IKEA wardrobe.

Recently, though, I love smooth lines and gentle curves, dark colors and stainless steel. Which is why, when I stumbled across these espresso cups while salivating over espresso machines that cost more than a month's rent and which I will never ever be able to afford, I stopped. And drooled a little. And sighed, and brought out my wallet, and bought them, because. They are so damn beautiful.

Unfortunately, there are multiple lines by that same design company, which means multiple opportunities for me to feel depressed about life in general and solve said depression by indulging my glassware habit.

Speaking of habits and indulgence, my [livejournal.com profile] spn_j2_bigbang story has gone off in a totally unanticipated and very strange direction. I'm not sure whether I want to leave it there or wrangle it back on track. I still have time to write myself into a corner and then backtrack, so for now I'll leave it and see what happens. God, I love writing.
ETA: I didn't really think of it this way originally, but I suppose I should slap a spoiler warning on this for (possible?) spoilers for next week's episode.

The Weekly World News website is currently running a story featuring Sam and Dean.

So: it's a real story about fictional people portrayed by real actors on a real television show about hunting fictional things, but it's published in a real newspaper that is a spoof of other real newspapers that report fictional things as real and that reside next to the Twix bars in your local grocery store.
So, um, in class today? When I was supposed to be listening to lecture? I ended up whipping out my sketchpad and writing three-quarters of a page of a half-baked story in which Dean falls in love with a 'Cuda and cheats on the Impala with her and the Impala vows to get her revenge and it is crack, I tell you, crack. Hence the not typing it up, because typing it would mean acknowledging its existence in a very real way, and yeah, so not ready for that.

I took a picture, though... )

omg. seriously, brain.
1. Put a lot of songs in a hat.

2. Pick a song out of the hat.

3. Write entire episode for song.

4. Use at least 10 of the following 16 elements.
    a. Bitchface
    b. Dean angst (bonus points for single tear)
    c. Car porn
    d. Porn
    e. Self-conscious gay jokes
    f. Dork!Dean
    g. Sam's Trustworthy Eyebrows
    h. Sam's Trustworthy Eyebrows, Sympathy Edition
    i. Coffee
    j. Perky women
    k. Superfast grave-digging
    l. Unsubtle product placement
    m. Heartfelt brotherly conversation
    n. Dean is HETEROSEXUAL!
    o. Mommy issues
    p. Daddy issues

5. Pick a Zeppelin song title.

6. Cover the camera with something. The more opaque, the better.

7. Zoom in on faces. A lot.

8. Air!

Oh, I love this show. Also: I want to watch an episode titled "I Can't Quit You Baby," in which Sam and Dean are bound by some strange spell that doesn't let them get more than fifteen feet away from one another (wait...I think I read that somewhere.) Or possibly an episode called "Moby Dick," in which Dean gets stoned a lot. Hey, it's like practically canon.
Do you also find yourselves constructing playlists as you write? Taking your inspiration from lyrics and melodies, writing about them as much as to them? Is the association always logical?

This generally happens to me a lot more with my original fiction, but lately I've discovered that, rather unconsciously, I've been constructing two SPN playlists. One corresponds roughly to the progression of season one; the other is just a random free-associated list of music I listen to while writing fic. Perhaps it's because the music is such an integral part of the show? I certainly never did this with Star Wars, the only other fandom I've ever become this involved with.

The [livejournal.com profile] spn_j2_bigbang fic is progressing nicely. And not at all how I expected. I don't know why I bother being surprised by this sort of thing anymore.
I am randomly excited about life today. I was also skimming through this journal and realized that my RL posts tend to the bipolar. I'm not; it's just that if I feel the urge to post about my real life it's probably because I'm (a) happy or (b) not-happy. Also I tend to forget that despite how much I complain about school, I actually rather like it.

Signed up for [livejournal.com profile] spn_j2_bigbang because omg yes. I already have an idea sketched out. I'm already a little bit in love with this idea. I'm not sure whether that's a good thing.



May 2010



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