kaydeefalls: The Last Unicorn by Samantha Darko (i write the bestest stories)
[personal profile] kaydeefalls
Much like 2012, I sucked at being fannish this year. For once, my primary pull away from fandom was actually being social and reasonably busy in my real life, as opposed to being swamped with working too many jobs and lonely and depressed. 2013 treated me better than any year has in a while, although there's still plenty of room for improvement, so while I didn't produce as much fic as I would have liked, I'm not particularly sorry about it. (I AM sorry for still not having finished Queen's Gambit, if only because having that damn thing hanging over my head constantly is really freaking aggravating now.) My word count for this year is about 10k lower than it was for 2012, but I did create more total fics and vids this year. The fics were just shorter overall. And I dunno what the equivalent for word count should be for vids -- length in minutes?

So while I wait for the new Sherlock episode (!!!) to download, here comes the usual yearly writing/vidding round-up. Also, at the end there's a scene from the next chapter of Queen's Gambit, as my promise that I really will finish it someday.

Fics: 8
Vids: 8
Fandoms: 10
Word count: 59,251

By fandom:
Doctor Who: 4
X-Men First Class: 3
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 2
Sleepy Hollow: 2
(Firefly: 2)
A:tLA/LoK: 1
Hunger Games: 1
Star Trek Reboot: 1
Pan's Labyrinth: 1

Queen's Gambit, WIP, XMFC/Inception fusion, ensemble (2 chapters added, roughly 20k words)
The Pond Continuum, Doctor Who, Amy/Rory
she's the one that they call old whatsername, Star Trek reboot, girl!Kirk/Spock
All Maps Welcome, Doctor Who, Clara
enough to go by, Sleepy Hollow, Jenny + Abbie
tell them I ain't coming back, XMFC/Firefly fusion, Armando/Alex + ensemble
burn the land and boil the sea, XMFC/Firefly fusion, Charles/Erik
in the religion of the insecure, QAF UK, Stuart/Vince

Lullaby for a Stormy Night, Pan's Labyrinth, Ofelia
Galileo, A:tLA + LoK, Korra + Aang
Tribute: Highlights of the 74th Annual Hunger Games, Hunger Games, Katniss/Peeta
Run, Doctor Who, Clara
People Get Ready, Doctor Who, Ponds
brave new world, BtVS, Wish!verse
Die Young, BtVS, ensemble
Level Up, Sleepy Hollow, Abbie

Leitmotif of the year:
Finding/defining yourself -- that runs through nearly all of the fics I wrote this year, and more than a few of the vids as well. I hadn't thought of it in those terms as I was writing, but wow, yeah, the themes I've been drawn to as a writer/vidder this year have definitely reflected what I've been going through in my real life -- finding a place where I belong, figuring out what makes me happy. It's a fairly positive message overall, I think.

What's the fanwork that makes you happiest?
Die Young! Because it's a happy peppy Buffy high school vid about death and destruction! Making this vid filled me with slightly inappropriate joy.

My favorite fanworks this year:
Crap, I'm bad at this game. My favorite idea for this year was the XMFC/Firefly fusion 'verse, which spawned both tell them I ain't coming back and burn the land and boil the sea, and will likely be expanded upon in the future. I love a good fusion (which, y'know, no surprise there), and the possibilities of melding the X-Men characters with the Firefly 'verse just make me really happy. Vidding-wise, I have a great fondness for Level Up, because Abbie Mills is the queen of my heart.

My best fanworks this year:
For vids, probably Galileo -- I have never had a song/fandom match that hit me quite as strongly as the Indigo Girls' "Galileo" paired with LoK/AtLA, what with the reincarnation and ramifications of a past life's mistakes and ripples through time and all. I'm really quite fond of that one. For fic, I do think I have to give a shout-out here to she's the one that they call old whatsername -- new fandom for me to write, but it all fell into place quite easily, and exploring how Kirk would have been different if he'd been born female was fascinating for me on a meta-level.

Most popular fanwork:
By kudos on AO3, The Pond Continuum, although IDK how accurate an indication of popularity that is. Still, considering that my Doctor Who fic tends to be far LESS popular these days than, say, XMFC, that was a pleasant surprise. Vids are harder to judge -- I got a lot of great responses for Die Young and Galileo, in particular.

Fanwork most underappreciated by the universe, in my opinion:
I generally feel that the fanworks of mine that get the least response are the ones that deserve it, to be honest, but I guess I'm a little sorry that tell them I ain't coming back never quite found an audience (although I posted it fairly recently, so there's still time). I know Alex/Armando is not a popular pairing in the XMFC fandom, and that's a big part of it, but still, I'm very fond of the 'verse I'm building there, and it'd be nice to know a few other people are interested as well. (Apart from [livejournal.com profile] pocky_slash and [livejournal.com profile] tricksterquinn, of course, who have been endlessly awesome at cheerleading. ♥) In terms of vidding, Run never got much love -- but then again, neither does Clara as a character.

Most fun fanwork:
Die Young, again, but also she's the one that they call old whatsername, because girl!Kirk's internal monologues were an awful lot of fun to write.

Sexiest fanwork:
This was really not a sexy year for me! I got nothing here. No porn whatsoever, and the most romantic fic (tell them I ain't coming back) was more about building up the mutual camaraderie and affection rather than lust.

Fanwork with single sexiest moment:
...okay, I say that, but then I do quite like the description of Armando absorbing Alex's powers in that fic, which was definitely meant to imply physical arousal.

Fanwork with single sweetest moment:
I DON'T KNOW, I guess tell them I ain't coming back AGAIN, because again, that was my one real "romance" fic this year. The Charles/Erik in burn the land and boil the sea wasn't about sweetness, it was wartime and attraction and arguments, and the Kirk/Spock in she's the one that they call old whatsername wasn't particularly saccharine, either. That's just not my style of writing. There are some sweet moments between Amy and Rory in The Pond Continuum, but it's not the focus of the fic.

Hardest fanwork to make:
Obviously Queen's Gambit, because it's still not fucking finished, is it? I only have two more chapters left, I swear, I will finish it in 2014 if it fucking kills me. For vids, People Get Ready went through a LOT of drafts before I finally sorted it -- way more than usual for me and vids, and it had been on the backburner for a while, too.

Easiest fanwork to make:
brave new world just kind of happened, as did this year's Festivid (not yet posted, of course.) I'm not sure that I'd call she's the one that they call old whatsername EASY to write, exactly, but it did flow out quite smoothly over only a few days.

Fanwork that made you cry:
Lullaby for a Stormy Night, because Pan's Labyrinth, jesus, that movie, it breaks me.

"Holy crap, that's wrong even for you" fanwork:
brave new world. Because the Wish!verse is just deeply unsettling, and finding the parallels/foreshadowing to future seasons of Buffy (particularly S6) kind of creeped me out. Also using the lullaby from "Rosemary's Baby". It's just fucking creepy, okay.

Fanwork that shifted my own perceptions of the characters:
All Maps Welcome made me think a lot harder about Clara than I had previously -- and I'm pretty sure I put more thought into who she is as a person than the writers of the show, sadly.

Biggest disappointment:
Run is just kind of a thing that exists. I like it well enough, but that's all.

Biggest surprise:
I didn't ever expect to actually write QAF UK fic, nor did I have any idea what the hell to do with the prompt I received, but then in the religion of the insecure happened all in a rush and I'm actually quite pleased with it. And it gave me the excuse to go back and rewatch the show, which I'd nearly forgotten how much I love.

Most telling fanwork:
I don't think I indulged in any id!fic this year, but to be honest, Armando's thoughts on love and lust and his easygoing, almost passive nature in tell them I ain't coming back are a bit more of myself than I usually let slip into fic. I haven't yet met an Alex of my own, though.

Favorite opening:
It was waiting for them at the concierge's desk. Except "waiting" wasn't really a strong enough word, was it? Lurking, more like. Lying in wait. Stalking. Vince was bloody well being stalked by a cream-colored envelope embossed with velvety calligraphy. He had the nagging suspicion that if he tossed the thing into the bin unopened and hustled on to another hotel, it would follow them, stealthily appearing on other concierge desks or landing neatly on their freshly laundered bed pillows or, god forbid, turning up in their luggage. - in the religion of the insecure. The recipient pointed out that it had a Harry Potter-ish feel to it, which was unintentional, but I just like the mental image of Vince being stalked by a wedding invitation. It makes me giggle.

Favorite closing:
And if the Admiralty plans to change the game on her again, well, they can bring it on. She's Captain Jamie T. Kirk. Nothing's gonna drag her down today. - she's the one that they call old whatsername. Fuck yeah, girl!Kirk. I also quite like ending People Get Ready on the cover of Amy's book.

Favorite moment anywhere:
Pairing the S6 Dark!Willow clip with the S3 Vamp!Willow audio in brave new world and having it match up perfectly is a thing that will never not make chills run down my spine. Also some of the ironic lyric-clip matchups in Die Young ("take my hand", with Cordy finding the severed hand in a dumpster, yes I am exactly that immature), and pretty much everything in Galileo ("now I'm serving time for mistakes made by another in another lifetime", hello Korra and Aang, christ). For fic, all of the girl!Kirk & Uhura interactions in she's the one that they call old whatsername.

Favorite title:
This has been a year for song lyrics as titles, but she's the one that they call old whatsername is my favorite. I listened to a couple of Green Day albums on repeat the entire time I was writing that fic. (Also considered calling it "last of the American girls", or another lyric line from that song, and if I ever wrote a sequel dealing with the rest of the events of Into Darkness -- which I won't -- it'd be called "she's the hero of the lost cause".)

Looking back, did you create more fanworks than you thought you would this year, fewer than you thought, or about what you predicted?
Fewer than I would've liked, but about as much as I could've expected. I'm a slow writer, unless a killer plotbunny strikes, and while I vid fairly quickly, I don't get vid ideas all that often, nor do I have the time to indulge in them.

What pairing/genre/fandom did you create for that you would never have predicted in January 2013?
Didn't expect girl!Kirk to be a thing I'd write. And I never saw Sleepy Hollow coming, obviously.

What's next for 2014:
Actually finishing Queen's Gambit, goddamnit. I've already finished my Festivid, so that'll be posted, and I'd like to fill a treat for a friend but I don't think I'll have time to make it before deadline. I have many ideas for further adventures in the XMFC/Firefly fusion 'verse, and probably the release of DoFP will refuel my enthusiasm for the fandom. I have a Sleepy Hollow fic bunny I might indulge in. Beyond that, I honestly have no idea. We'll see what happens.

Normally at this point I post snippets for all my WIPs, but my only active WIP at the moment is, of course, Queen's Gambit. (I have other fragments of fics on Google Drive, but since I haven't touched any of those in the past year, I'm not considering them active unless I get an unlikely burst of inspiration.) So, sure, have a snippet from the beginning of the next chapter of Queen's Gambit, a.k.a. oh fuck, Raven's in Limbo, and the person going after her might not be who you were expecting.

For a long, wasted minute, the dream seems to freeze Angel in place, her heartbeat slowing to a crawl. The body of Jason Stryker -- Raven's body -- doesn't vanish. No one is waking up out of this dream.

She lets out a breath. Time resumes its forward march. Blood flows through her veins, her eyes blink, there's a faint roaring in her ears, and Raven is in Limbo.

Distantly, she's aware that Stryker has dropped his revolver to the floor with a clatter, that he's walking away through the muted outlines of the dream. The impression of the house around them seems to sigh with it. The inception has taken. That's important, she reminds herself dimly. That's why they're here. To change Stryker, to screw Cain and Hellfire, to get paid tomorrow. It all feels very superficial at the moment.

Angel has been working in dreams since she was nineteen years old. She knows the rules. When you die in a dream, you wake up. You're supposed to wake up. You have to wake up. "This isn't real," she whispers, stroking Jason's mousy brown hair back out of the wreckage of his face. When had she knelt down beside him? She doesn't remember moving.

"This is as real as it ever is."

She flinches away from the child's empty body. Charles's voice sounds as though it belongs to someone else entirely. She looks up into blue eyes as cold and fathomless as a mountain lake. His skin is pale, drained of all color, but the expression on his face...

It's as though something inside of him has shattered, and there's nothing of Charles left. As though he's the corpse. And for an instant, she's terrified that he'll dream up a handgun and follow his sister right down into Limbo -- and then Erik will follow Charles, of course, and then she and Hank will be the only ones left in this nightmare with Stryker, and neither of them with the authority to decide what to do next--

The buzzing in her ears isn't just the blood rushing to her head. It's music. Erik is cuing them for the kick.

"We're nearly out of time," Charles remarks, in that stranger's cool, dispassionate tone. "I have to finish the job."

He turns and walks away, pushing through the blurred outlines of rooms in this fading dream-house to follow Stryker's trail, leaving Angel alone by his sister's forged body. She doesn't know if it's a relief or a disappointment. All she feels is numb.

If Charles had been the one to die in this dream, Raven would have gone after him. Raven had known this was a possibility. She'd planned for it, even. But Charles didn't meet with Ariadne. He might not even know that anyone had managed to return from Limbo before. Despite all his years of research, his experiments with the CIA, his torments under Shaw's imprisonment, Limbo is the one line Charles has never crossed. What could Angel possibly expect him to do?

Don't waste any time, Ariadne murmurs in her ear, like a half-remembered dream. If you're going to go, don't think about it, just do it.

Angel always keeps a hypodermic needle somewhere on her person, in dreams. It's practically her totem. She doesn't like guns; poison is a far more elegant way to wake herself up. But there's no waking up out of this dream. This is as real as it gets.

The music swells, vibrating in her bones. Here comes the kick.

She jabs the needle into her own vein and blinks awake on an ocean shore.
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