raven: Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, wearing green and red and looking up (Default)
Dear [livejournal.com profile] yuletide author,

Thank you very much for writing for me. I appreciate it. As I say every year, I am a very strong believer that optional details are optional, and also that it does me good to read things I didn't expect to read. So if you have your assignment and your idea, go away and write that now and never mind me, and I will love whatever it is.

If you like to have more guidance, then here we go:

The True Meaning of Smekday - Adam Rex )

MASH )

Parks and Recreation )

Amstel Lager - The Chef )

Generally I like: people being competent; people being kind; found families and communities; gen and queer gen, though I'm down with any kind of pairing you like, inc poly; cliché tropes; friendships.

Generally, I don't like: women being erased; PWPs; character-bashing.

Lastly: I just got married. It was great, we threw a party. Why do you care. Because it was wedding no. 1 of 2. Wedding 2 of 2 takes place on December 29th and 30th, in New Delhi, a city which is approximately 4500 miles from where I'm writing this. While I may have time to read/comment on yuletide the week before the wedding, I may well... not. I honestly can't say at this stage. And after the wedding I am away another week, so I may not read your story until, ah, Epiphany or reveals or whatever. I am so sorry about that, in advance, and I don't want you to think I hate you or your story or that I'm not enormously grateful to you for writing for me! Because I don't and I don't and I am, and thank you, again.

Happy yuletide!

Raven
raven: subway sign in black and white, text: "Times Square / 42 Street station" (stock - times square)
I have written elsewhere and at length about this, but a long time ago, I watched Sidney Freedman on television say: "Actually, Hawkeye, I think you're the sanest person I've ever known."

At this particular moment, it seems a good place to have come round to again. Although there are some complete sentences in this story that were written eleven years ago, thankfully not very many. [livejournal.com profile] gamesiplay betaed this with a great deal of kindness.

A brief content note, that should not be much of a surprise: (skip) This is a story about recovering from mental illness.
(As usual, please feel free to contact me if you would like more detail before reading.)

fic:: what is living is fugitive
by Raven
10,000w, M*A*S*H, gen, Hawkeye and the whole ensemble. How Hawkeye went home, and all the people, things and acts of kindness that got him there.

July 1953 )

Prompt fics

Sep. 7th, 2013 01:06 am
raven: Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, wearing green and red and looking up (Default)
Today, I did answer some email and do some washing-up, but mostly I wrote. Only three stories, but in my defence two of them got longer than expected:

-For [personal profile] musesfool, who wanted CJ Cregg meeting Margaret Houlihan;

-For [personal profile] hedda62, who wanted something about Night Vale's actual weather, if you lift your eyes I am your brother (at the AO3; Cecil, Carlos and Dana coming home, 1200w)

-For [personal profile] forthwritten, [personal profile] marymac and [personal profile] philomytha, all who wanted stories about Nightingale from Rivers of London (!), a spell against the lonely (at the AO3, Nightingale and a queer life, 1500w).

To bed, to bed, etc.
raven: Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, wearing green and red and looking up (Default)
One of the remaining wedding tasks is figuring out the music. Am currently resisting the urge to replace Mendelssohn with "I knew you were trouble when you walked in".

(Getting married in five weeks! Permanently unemployed in three!)

(Look, some people juggle geese.)

Um.

Stories:

For [personal profile] cosmic_llin, five times Margaret Houlihan was really proud of herself (well-behaved women seldom make history) (also at the AO3);

For [livejournal.com profile] jennygriffee, five episodes of M*A*S*H that Cecil and Carlos watched together (this is radio nowhere)

For [personal profile] philomytha, five four times Simon Illyan nearly resigned (and then it was too late).

And "wild dreams of a new beginning", five times Carlos surprised Cecil, is on the AO3 now as well.
raven: (vorkosigan - will I lose my dignity?)
I've had a lovely and interesting few days, and then a couple of weary-mental-health days, on which more anon; in the meantime please have several thousand words produced as a function of me at my wonderful super maddest.

For [personal profile] hedda62 and [personal profile] bibliotropic, which may be the only other people who share this teeny-tiny fandom nexus. Basically; how do you do a Vorkosigan AU for M*A*S*H? Well, take seventeen uterine replicators and stand well back.

Content note: (skip) This story has non-graphic discussion of rape. For more details, feel free to message me privately.


Fic:: Small Town
by Raven
3500w, gen, Vorkosigan and M*A*S*H. "You know," Hawkeye says, thoughtfully, "I'm allergic to fast-penta. It's natural, not induced. The first time they tried it on me I babbled, I giggled, I gave them two scenes of Hamlet, right down to the flights of angels only with more screaming and crying for my mother."

Illyan stares at him. "Why are you telling me this?"

small town )
raven: (misc - inside the box)
I was writing a totally srs business longer story, and I still am writing it, but I broke off on Thursday to write this after it arrived in my mind fully-formed in the dentist's chair. I should floss more. [personal profile] elb very kindly gave me some academic theology 101 for this, and also listened patiently while I worked out my daemon AU; thank you, dear.

Fic:: Talitha Cumi
by Raven
6500w, M*A*S*H, gen, daemon AU, BJ and Hawkeye and Mulcahy and everyone else. "Don't be afraid," Hawkeye says. "Don't be afraid. Trust the scientific method. They'll slug it out in peer review. I can't wait."

Of daemons, and enduring distance.

his second day, his last pair of scrubs, his third skull-cracking hangover )
raven: Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, wearing green and red and looking up (Default)
I have nothing to say for this one, except, it's a love letter. [personal profile] cosmic_llin looked it over for me; thank you very much, my dear.

[vid] you know there will be days [M*A*S*H]
by Raven
You know there will be days when you're so tired you can't take another step.

music: "Can't Go Back Now", The Weepies, from Hideaway
content notes: a very little gore
password to stream: afterlife / download from sendspace, 71MB [not my favourite, but agh, Reasons]

stream, notes, lyrics )

avoidance

Jun. 24th, 2013 11:32 am
raven: subway sign in black and white, text: "Times Square / 42 Street station" (stock - times square)
One of last week’s prompt fics has made it into the big leagues, I've decided: call the roll of the blacked-out lands, M*A*S*H, dystopia fic, Hawkeye/BJ.

What frightens me about M*A*S*H is... well, okay. So, very early on in the show, when Hawkeye and Trapper make up Tuttle ("You might say that all of us together... made up Tuttle!") - actually, can you leave that there? No, you can't. Hawkeye and Trapper make up another unit surgeon out of whole cloth so they can draw his salary and use it to buy medicines for the orphans on the black market, and then are surprised when everyone keeps telling them about the fascinating conversations they've had with Tuttle in the mess tent, and it kinda makes me hurt laughing.

Anyway! So, when they're trying to produce fake papers for him they need to give him a fake birth date, and naturally give him the same birth year as themselves - 1925. And I'm like - 1925. Seriously. Yes, the Korean War was a long time ago, but that little detail really brings that into relief - in the year Hawkeye Pierce was born, the Depression, Prohibition, Nazi Germany, the Cold War, basically the political body of the twentieth century, were all in the future. But the thing is, Hawkeye, barring accidents, could live right into the twenty-first century (and I wrote a fic a couple of years ago where he did just that). He is uniquely temporally situated to know, to really know, there is no war to end all wars.

So that's the dystopian part, I guess. That you can tell this story set now - make it about twenty-five year old surgeons born in the 1980s, and you can tell the same story. That's the idea M*A*S*H engaged with throughout, and it hasn't stopped being relevant.

Anyway, some notes on trying to make a M*A*S*H vid on a rainy weekend when you're trying not to think:

-truth, freedom and the American way of plumbing )

Notes on also spending your rainy avoidant weekend trying to write a Vorkosigan story about all the lady spies that were totally secretly in ImpSec all along, I am not writing this story to hit my own kinks, why would you say such a thing:

-Making up characters’ names is hard. So far I have called them all Vorone, Vortwo, Vorthree and Vorfour in lieu of inspiration. Though the canon does this too – I think it’s A Civil Campaign where Miles makes up some rhetorical Counts and calls them Vorenlightened and Vorstodgy. (Maybe I’ll be passive-aggressive and call them things like Vorbharat and Vorshah and Vorkumar. Someone told me – told me, mind you, not suggested or theorised or interpreted – that “Vorpatril” was some sort of variation on Patel and therefore how could I possibly suggest there wasn’t much in the way of brown people in Bujold’s universe. She’s done a bit better in recent years.)

-So is trying to impose some sort of narrative structure on a story that is basically “lady spies! lady spies! my id let me show you it!” Although speaking of ladies, I came across the most amazing fusion the other day: Vormarlow’s Honour, by [archiveofourown.org profile] Ankaret, in which Antonia Forest’s Marlows are reborn into Bujold’s Nexus. I read Autumn Term a long time ago (and found the other books a little too bizarre to get through), so can’t say much to the Marlows, but I love this idea so much, I wish people would write space opera girls’ own boarding school stories. Imagine the Chalet School as a girls’ finishing school for minor Vor in the Southern Continent. Joey Vorbettany has adventures saving Elisaveta Vorbelsornia from kidnappers trying to make a claim to the Imperium. After Robin’s father, an ImpSec agent, dies on assignment in Jackson’s Whole, they send her away to school for her own protection. They have a special school holiday for the birthday of the District Count. I could do this all day.

-Lady spies! Yes. I’m watching The Americans, which is sort of shaping my plots at the moment, but it’s no bad thing. At this point I am a little too avoidant to watch actual TV that’s on TV now, but if I ever decide to engage with my life again I’m going to pick that back up, alongside Orphan Black. Ladies and plots and espionage! Yes.
raven: (mash - 89 cents)
Still watching M*A*S*H, still talking about it. Sorry. (Except I'm kind of not.) I'm on the later seasons now, and I think I appreciate them more this time around. I'm not getting over how unusual this show is, how kind, how funny and warm and heartbreaking but above all things, how humane. And it's proudly, angrily, assuredly liberal, and oh, god, I love that. I love how it's not hipster racist, and, and, sex is not the enemy! BJ has a lot invested in his fidelity to his wife, and that's okay. Hawkeye really likes casual sex, and that's okay. Margaret really likes casual sex, and that's okay, too. (There are so many sweet little moments where the rest of the cast make jokes about how much Margaret likes sex, and they're full of affection and occasionally, awe. It makes me very happy.)

And if those ways in which I love it were not enough, it respects mental illness, in both ways that you can. It doesn't ever deny that mental illness is serious, is real, debilitating illness, and at the same time, shows you that people with mental illness can be and are happy, sad, joyous, talented, real people, thank you Hawkeye Pierce, Exhibit A so glorious and crazy.

(Oh, and it's really, really quite funny. Just to mention it.)

I will take these down in a few days, so please grab them if you want them. They're a completely random selection from season four onwards, so a quick note on who's who: Trapper is replaced by BJ, who is very different - he's gentle, a practical joker, less caustic than Hawkeye, but they're best of friends anyway - and Henry by Potter, who is a former cavalry soldier, regular army, but surprisingly sweet with it. Oh, and Frank is replaced, eventually, by Major Charles Emerson Winchester III, whose name can stand in lieu of description.

episodes; or, I can babble for Europe on this subject )

In conclusion - I heart this show thiiiiiiiiiis much and I am going away to try and not be so uncool now.
raven: (mash - last goodbye)
Hello, hello. My name is Raven, it's nice to meet you. Thank you for writing for me; I hope you enjoy it and I hope you don't find it difficult; I am easy-going as pie, honest. I will enjoy anything you write for me, and more so if you enjoyed writing it. I have no triggers, if that worries you - especially in fandoms of ANGST and HORROR - and I like happy stories, sad stories, wistful stories, thoughtful stories, sparse stories, etc., etc. I don't especially go for cracky or off-the-wall, but otherwise I will read most anything.

Some additional detail follows below, if you would find that helpful.

Here's what I requested:

M*A*S*H )

Sapphire & Steel )

Diana Wynne Jones - A Tale of Time City )

Anyway! Have a lovely time writing, dear author, and don't worry too much about me, if you like it, I will like it. I should mention at this point that I will be travelling around a bit from December 23rd, so if you don't hear from me on Christmas Day it is not not not because I hate you. I will be back just as soon as I can.

Hearts,

Raven



[1] Do you understand why the AO3 insists on giving them all their full names, down to "Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce"? No, me neither.
raven: (mash - last goodbye)
This morning at work I had trouble with a first registration; there was a missing easement in the epitome, and I said to one of the associates, can you give me a hand. He's a good guy, he said I'm busy now, come in at half past ten. Sure, I said, it's a date. Don't even, he said, waving down at his hungover self, and waving me out. I went back at ten thirty, and we went through the easement, and I made some notes for my drafting, and I stepped out into the pen and the fire alarm went.

I said, "What..." - and then no one said anything, and someone in the pool said, wait. It's eleven. I certified my copy of my easement. I hereby certify this is a copy of the original, sign and date here. Eleven eleven eleven.

I remember Armistice Day from school. I've had a horrible week. Round about Wednesday, Shim was trying to cheer me up. He said, we're away this weekend, and on Friday you'll come home, and the week will be over, and we'll have dinner and a drink and watch "Goodbye, Farewell, Amen". We've been rewatching M*A*S*H in bits and pieces, not exactly in order, but sort of. We'd been saving it. Not on purpose for today; we got to Friday and here we are.

So we did, and we did. And here's the thing: I don't know much about Armistice Day. It's one of those days where I'm a foreigner. Remember your grandfather's wars? No - my grandfathers were fighting their own wars, in other places. And what strikes me, watching this old show that I love so much, with my dear and uncool love, is it's about all the ways there are to fight wars. I love that, I do: I love that Hawkeye fights it until the end, the war and the army mentality and the senselessness of it all but also his own mental illness, fighting, fighting, always fighting it. And Margaret, fighting the army, fighting the world, fighting the men that tell her, don't love yourself, don't love sex, sit down, shut up. These are real battles, the show tells us. This is a war.

I'm okay with that, I find. And now that there are only the very few actual survivors of the First World War left, then perhaps that's what it becomes: about all wars, all wars that we go on fighting. I recently read Joseph Heller's many-years-after-the-fact prologue to Catch-22, in which he talks about some stickers he'd seen printed off and put up around buildings in New York: "YOSSARIAN LIVES". I said to Shim, well, yes, Yossarian is like Scrooge and Spock in that way. He lives forever, fighting his war, beyond context. I don't know if Hawkeye is the same, but perhaps.

I have another post in me about M*A*S*H - about politics and pacifism and sexual politics and rats and socks - but this one is just about that moment of confluence, that small moment where I think that although I love novels and television and, well, stories, fiction, that's not bad, it's all how anything ever makes sense in the end. I don't know how other people do it, but this is how I do.

This is the bit from "Goodbye, Farewell, Amen" where the announcer comes on the radio. (Add ".avi"). A little later, Klinger will ask: "Where's Vietnam?"

Goodnight.
raven: (mash - last goodbye)
After a ten-year hiatus, I give you M*A*S*H fic. It's still betaed by [livejournal.com profile] gamesiplay - here's to continuity.

(A note on warnings - this story is around as disturbing as a disturbing episode of the show. Specifically: (skip) oblique references to suicide and domestic abuse)

For my girls.

fic:: these are the days of miracle and wonder
by Raven
4000w, M*A*S*H, gen, Hawkeye & the whole ensemble. We are all fighting our wars.

the radio is a quiet presence under everything )

Diwali

Oct. 25th, 2011 09:15 pm
raven: lit tealight against dark background (stock - diya)


[image of small tealights in coloured holders on a table]

Happy Diwali, flist. May it be full of light and promise.

I don't have much of a celebration planned this year - quite by coincidence, dinner with friends tomorrow night, and I shall take sweets in for my colleagues - so here's something for y'all. Four little stories, each on a general theme. Enjoy, and pretend there are sweeties.


mysterious ways
M*A*S*H, gen. Mulcahy, Hawkeye & co.
boy, bear, agnostic )

watch
Discworld, gen, Carrot, Angua and Vimes.
the regulation breastplate and sword )

emergency
Sports Night, gen, Dana, Dan, ensemble.
every light in the building )

night driving
X-Men: First Class, gen, Charles & Erik.
light all the way )
raven: (mash - last goodbye)
Morning, all. I'm home alone, supposedly reading for an exam on financial regulation - Shim has gone to London - but I'm in a much better mood than this suggests. The sun is shining in a perfect halfway to autumn way and I spent yesterday with [personal profile] marina and [personal profile] gavagai and another v. nice fangirl whose LJ/DW name I missed. We wandered by the South Bank, we talked about sparkly vampires and Charles/Erik. It was a good day.

In other news, it has come to my attention that not everyone in the world has seen M*A*S*H. I mean, I knew it was a small fandom - okay, I admit that at one point it was a small fandom consisting entirely of me and my friends - but I did rather think that everyone had dabbled, or at least seen a couple of episdoes, or at least understood the significance of a tongue depressor.

Apparently this isn't the case.

So. Well. I dithered a bit about making this post, because there are eleven seasons of M*A*S*H, almost an entire rotation of the main cast, a change in tone, etc., etc. The problem is, because the main cast changes so dramatically throughout - only two of the ones we start with, Hawkeye and Margaret, make it all the way to the end, and while all the others are there for a few seasons each, they do appear and disappear - it's hard to talk about it as a whole. And talking about it all at once might spoil people who don't want to be spoiled. So I thought I'd tell y'all about the first three seasons of the show, see if that makes you watch it, and if you want more you can tell me so.

Okay, so. The show is a sitcom set at a field hospital a few miles from the front lines of the Korean War. The characters are the doctors, nurses and enlisted personnel who've been drafted to work there, mostly very much against their will. Every day or week or few hours helicopters come in, bringing wounded soldiers from the front, and the unit's job is to return them to the front, if they can, or send them on to Seoul and onwards to the States, if they can't. It's usually referred to as "meatball surgery". Our heroes are the MASH 4077th - the asterisks in the title are something of a mystery.

There are six main characters. Hawkeye was born in Maine, named after the character in The Last of the Mohicans; Trapper's from somewhere else in New England, married with two daughters. They're both very young, mid-twenties, and they're both very, very good surgeons, which is often their only joint redeeming feature - they're also constantly chasing nurses, doing awful things to Frank Burns and living off gin they make themselves in a still they have in their tent. Frank shares their tent. He's a true-blue patriot and something of a worm. He's having a torridly nauseating affair with Margaret, who is much smarter than he is. She's chief nurse, and someone somewhere ought to be writing their thesis on her particular brand of feminism.

Henry Blake is the unit's hapless commander, and he's a good doctor and an awful administrator, and tends to fall apart when asked to make a decision. He drinks a lot, plays golf, and has rings run round him by everyone, but especially Radar O'Reilly, his clerk, who sleeps with a teddy bear and worries about ever meeting girls. (And mails a jeep home piece by piece.) Radar may, or may not be, clairvoyant. It's delightfully ambiguous.

Also, not as regulars but around quite a lot, there's Klinger, who - well, you'll get it when you see him - and Father Mulcahy, the unit's gentle and much put-upon resident chaplain.

And that's it. It's a warm, totally hilarious show in a lot of ways, and very upsetting in a lot of others, often in the same minute. And it is political. It gets more so later, as it moves from being a comedy per se to something between a comedy and a drama, but it was first made in 1972: though it's set in Korea, it's about Vietnam. It's about war as meaningless, and patriotism as empty, for the most part, and it has a strong pacifist and occasionally totally absurdist streak. It can be totally anvillicious one moment and then make you cry. I love it.

(Relatedly. You may watch episodes of this and think, hey, epistolary format, that's been done in Sports Night, hey, real-time, that was done in Frasier, hey, it's about their dreams, they did that on Buffy, hey, a documentary-style episode, they did that on The X-Files, hey, a whole episode where a hospital try to make it so no one dies on Christmas Day, that was done on Scrubs.

....yeah. M*A*S*H is not derivative.)

(And it's the fandom of my heart, it's the show that made me the best friends of my life, but y'all knew that.)

You don't need to watch any of these in order, but I'd watch the last one listed last.

episodes )
raven: (mash - last goodbye)
I've never been a big fan of October. It always seems like a halfway month that's not on the way to anywhere.

work )

--

IN OTHER NEWS ENTIRELY. I am keeping myself cheerful at the moment by watching M*A*S*H and it is very lovely. It is, and I'd forgotten, rather - I am watching the early episodes, with the laugh track mercifully removed on the DVDs, and a couple of nights ago I watched "Sometimes You Hear The Bullet" and it made me clutch at my heart rather. I love M*A*S*H in some of the same ways I love Star Trek - because it can be so unsubtle, so in-your-face in what it wants you to believe, but at the same time I believe those things. I can't help myself. I am not cool. I am especially not hipster cool. I heart my lovely khaki-green show with Hawkeye's anger turned sideways and Radar's quiet clairvoyance and Henry who launched a thousand indecisions and Trapper, and BJ, and Sidney Freedman ("Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice...") and my heart will always hurt a little when Hawkeye says, "So I think too fast and I'm afraid of children, that's not so terrible."

(Before anyone asks, I have not dared touch my old fic. I have, however, re-read the remixes, which I recommend: Missing Hawk (the Anger Turned Sideways Remix), by [personal profile] eponymous_rose; The Acme Judgement Company (Uncloseted Remix), by [livejournal.com profile] iamsab.

ALSO. Here is another reason why I love Hawkeye Pierce, why he's one of my favourite fictional characters of all time. He's queer. He's almost definitely bisexual. How do we know this? Because he says so. He says so all the damn time.

don't believe me? )

Stepping back, I think you could only watch this show in a heterosexist society - a society where your unspoken assumptions code how you hear dialogue - and then come away from it believing Hawkeye isn't queer. (And, here's another thing: queer, bisexual, maybe fluid, not as simple as "gay". I heart Hawkeye, I really do.)

I need to go and read for an exam on financial regulation. It's really not 2002. I checked.

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