enemyofperfect: a spray of orange leaves against a muted background (Default)
alhflkahsgldhsgls so last month I signed up for this gift exchange called Chocolate Box, which is beautifully low pressure, because all you're agreeing to do is create one (1) nice sketch or short fanfic of at least three hundred words for the person you're assigned. So simple, so adorable, so tiny, right?

That's what I thought right up until I got FIVE WHOLE AMAZING GIFTS -- from, I am guessing, at least two separate people -- and just, HOW IS MY LUCK EVEN?

I DON'T EVEN KNOW. IT IS A MYSTERY TO ME.

But since author reveals aren't for a week and it's killing me that I can't go lurk adoringly at my writer(s) and bask in how awesome they are, I'm just going to tell you all about it. IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER (or rather, in what I think might have been chronological order, only the AO3 is confusing me now so you know what, don't even worry about it):

In How to Get Away with Murder news, I got ACTUALLY FEUDAL ANNALISE/BONNIE FEELS, and I'm not sure I have actually stopped screaming. When I wrote about my quasi-feudal feels in my dear author letter I never dreamed I would get an ACTUAL MEDIEVAL AU, but it is so amazing and so perfectly HTGAWM-awful and so them. HOW IS THIS MY BEAUTIFUL LIFE.

In Person of Interest news, I got ZOE/JOHN FEMDOM OF INFINITE HOTNESS. Oh my gosh, I just casually mentioned in my letter that I would be delighted by kink, and in return I got a Zoe who's both careful and confident in her handling of John and a John who is so there for that, and just, it's the most wonderfully nuanced take on how BDSM could work for them. I know there's at least one of you here whose interests this might be relevant to, okay. SHARE IN THE CELEBRATION.

In Elementary news, I got the loveliest, loveliest portrait of Sherlock and Joan's lives growing, as the summary says, increasingly intertwined. It's so painstakingly, heartbreakingly in character, and I can't even say how delighted I was to see Marcus make an appearance too. I almost don't want to capslock in case I disturb the perfect delicate balance of this fic somehow, but seriously, THIS FIC.

In a surprise twist of MORE PERSON OF INTEREST NEWS, I also got this absolutely classic Finch/Reese fic of wry observations, understated pining, and just the most gorgeously gentle resolution. There are so many amazing things about the later seasons of this show that I wouldn't give up for the world, but you remember that quiet intimate feeling of the first couple of seasons with these two shut up alone in a library? NEVER GOING TO BE TIRED OF THAT. Also if you like hands, the name of this fic is "Palmistry", I am just saying.

And then as if all of that were SOMEHOW NOT ENOUGH, I said in my letter that I'd love to see some Bear character development, because I'm weird like that? AND I GOT BEAR POV. With Finch/Reese as well, and so many pack feels that I can't even. It is so hard not to quote the last line here, seriously, but I'm going to be strong so you can read it in context. HEARTS.

This is the first time I've ever gotten gifts in an exchange[1], and I'm still not sure what to do with the fact that I basically won the fannish lottery. I got some of everything! Three different fandoms; four different relationship categories, including gen; tiny perfect 300-word fics and lovely longer ones; and so many of the things I love best about these fandoms and pairings. It's an embarrassment of riches, and I'm just so happy that I had anything at all to do with these stories coming into the world.

Best February 14th ever.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

1. Although I will always have love for a brave unknown anon who tried, and so clearly wanted to make me something wonderful, but who must have ended up getting overwhelmed by life or something in the end, as so many of us do. Let us remember the fallen soldiers of fandom as well as the glorious heroes, okay. (back)
enemyofperfect: a spray of orange leaves against a muted background (Default)
1. Anxiety is not always an unpleasant state. At least, it isn't always consciously so. Sometimes -- I imagine it like a day when snow falls so thick and fast that almost all you can see is white, everything fading to white as it recedes into the distance, with even sounds softened and muffled by the heavy hush of the snow, so that it can feel almost as if you're entirely alone in the world, everyone and everything else having disappeared behind a thick white curtain. It isn't an awful feeling. Lonely, maybe. And perhaps discouraging in the sense that it seems unwise to travel very quickly, or away from places you know very well, on such a day, when you might not even know if you were walking in circles, or see hazards until you were almost upon them -- but as long as you stay still, it's safe enough, so again, it isn't in itself unbearable. It's just a little cold.

2. [personal profile] staranise has a really good post on dealing with criticism and/or flames. It is, in the first place, an awesome resource, and in the second, left me somewhere between hysterical laughter and simple hyperventilation for a little while after I read the description of triggered states. I, ah, gather it isn't typical to experience those routinely during harmless interactions with friends? Maybe that's something for me to work on. Another thing to work on: consistently rounding up any state of affairs I can conceivably live with to "being okay". There may in fact even be multiple intermediate levels of existence to be found between acute, unmistakable lack of cope and reasonable wellness! It's something to think about.

3. I'm having a hard time finding words to talk about this beautiful post of Leiah Moser's, probably because my head is full of emotions instead. In it, she talks about being transgender and Jewish. I have no personal experience of the latter, but the former... is maybe something I should stop questioning my experience with.  Or maybe even find words to talk about, one of these days.

4. Springtime Will Kill You starts out as a very nice noir pastiche in which Mr. Orpheus, private detective, is engaged by one Demeter Dione to find her missing daughter, Persephone. From this entertaining beginning it builds, and grows, until it ends up -- someplace pretty amazing, in my estimation. You may wish to overlook the paragraph about the mystique of Death Valley, which Orpheus describes as the only "wild" place left in the otherwise "civilized" state of California; it's a rare false note in a complex and skillfully told story, which does not otherwise have much truck with false dichotomies. Do heed the author's choice not to use archive warnings.

5. I don't know if I'm actually clumsier than average these days, or if that's a leftover bit of self-image from back when I was still growing and couldn't reasonably be expected to keep track of where my elbows were at any given time; if I had to guess, I would say that in practical terms I'm much less accident-prone, but that some of that has come from knowing the limits of my motor skills, rather than having dramatically expanded said limits. Anyway, regardless of whether my lapses of physical grace come more or less frequently than most people's, I've been known to get pretty frustrated with myself when they occur, because, well, getting frustrated with myself is something I am good at.

One of the things that's helped, though? Is learning a little bit about how monumental a task it turns out to be to build a robot that can move around on legs and keep its balance -- or, more impressive still, regain its balance after having lost it. I mean, I still trip or slip or just randomly start to fall over because, like, it is dark, and how am I supposed to stay upright when I can't see? And it's still totally a pain in the neck, and I still sometimes have that familiar internal chorus of "Oh shit! Why am I always so clumsy? I don't even know there is to trip on here, what is my deal?"

But what's newer is, the times when the ground is a little uneven, say, and maybe slightly icy too, and even though I'm trying to be careful, my feet start to slide out from under me, just a little bit, until I correct for it -- at these times, I notice that I did correct for it. And I think, damn, I've got some decent programming at my disposal, here.

And thus cheered my by utter geekiness, I generally feel quite a bit better.

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