magnetic_pole's Journal

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25th March 2010

12:18am: Happy birthday!
A very happy birthday to [info]minnow_53 (March 17th), whose stories are still teaching me how to do it after all these years, and [info]westernredcedar (March 23rd), whose sly, self-deprecating humor never fails to make me smile. Springtime joy to you both!

Best wishes to three folks I haven't seen around much lately--[info]elsane (March 25th), who's lent a shoulder more often than I'd like to admit over these past few years; [info]klynie1(March 24th), of wonderful, dark, and moody fic fame, and [info]aleoninc (March 25th), whose Snupin sketches always make me smile. Hope all three of you are doing well out there somewhere! Squeal-worthy image under the cut, because nothing says spring--or cute--like sleeping piglets!

22nd September 2009

5:47pm: A ficlet and a drabble...
Title: Do You Remember Alan Mackenzie?
Characters: Remus, Sirius
Word count: 300
Notes: Birthday drabble (times three) for [info]mindabbles, prompt: friendship

Do you remember Alan Mackenzie? )

Title: All the Time in the World
Characters: Remus/Sirius
Word count: 100
Notes: Birthday drabble for [info]la_onza, prompt: getting older

Sirius is not happy about being thirty-six again. )

3rd May 2009

11:49am: Anyone interested in reading or reccing some Asian American and/or queer-themed books and movies this summer?

Last year, it finally dawned on me that I was using my fannish journal for all sorts of other RL purposes--one of which was to collect book and movie recommendations from you folks, who always have good ideas about what to read or watch next. Last May, on an impulse, I posted a week's worth of APA book and movie recs on my journal, creatively calling it Asian American Recs Week. Then--because that was fun, but it's always more fun to do things with friends--a group of about twenty of us posted LGBTQ-themed recs throughout the month of June at [info]lgbtq_recs.

Anyone interested in reviving these recs this year? I'm posting a poll here to see if 1) anyone's interested in reading along and/or 2) if you'd like to sign up to make some recs yourself. It would be relatively low-key--if you know of some books or movies* you'd like to point out, you'd sign up to post a link and short description on a certain date--no obligations beyond that.

Let me know what you think. I posted some extra questions on the APA front, since I thought we might be interested in expanding it somehow--to include British and Canadian themes, for instance. Suggestions welcome. I'm excited to see [info]50books_poc going strong this year, but I thought there might be interest in something focused on the Asian experience this month. [ETA: check out APAHM on IJ this month for posts celebrating Asian or Pacific Islander descended characters and/or actors in sf/f fandom.]

Please link or promote this on your journal, if you're interested! My journal's been quiet lately, so any help in getting the word out would be welcome. Also, if anyone's interested in helping organize, I'd be grateful for assistance...

* Or music or TV or theater or websites, etc.

Poll this way! [link takes you to my LJ]

26th March 2009

6:09pm: Ficlet: Hard Bargain
Title: Hard Bargain
Characters: A wee Severus Snape
Word count: A wee 500 words
Summary: The Sorting Hat thought it had seen it all, over the years. Severus Snape proves it wrong.

Desperation and bravery weren’t so far apart, after all. )

25th March 2009

3:14pm: Birthday wishes...
Folks, I've missed several Very Important Birthdays this week. This situation needs to be remedied as soon as possible:

Happy belated birthday to [info]westernredcedar (March 23), who drew me in with her subtle, shades-of-grey Snupin stories; charmed me with posts that radiate intelligence, mischief, warmth, and a sense of proportion about the world; and sealed my fate with her Snape-in-the-classroom story: I'm a hopeless fan. All of my best wishes to you, Cedar!

Happy belated birthday to [info]klynie1 (March 24), whose Snape I adore. Do you ever read someone's fic and find yourself convinced that you'd get along in real life, just because their portrayal of a character is so thoughtful and nuanced and familiar? That's how I felt, reading her fic for the first time. Happy birthday, Klynie!

A very happy birthday to the rather brilliant [info]elsane (March 25), with whom I've had some wonderful, challenging, and reassuring conversations--fannish, ficcish, and otherwise--over this past year. I'm so very lucky to have met you, E. May this next year bring you adventures!

Finally, I realized the other day that I missed my three-year LJ anniversary at the beginning of March. As many of you know, these past three years have been rather rough for me, but they've also brought a number of joys, including the friendship and wisdom of a group of amazing folks here on LJ (and on IJ), a few of whom I've been lucky enough to meet in real life. Sometimes I'm not here as much as I'd like to be--and sometimes I'm here more than I should be--but that seems to be the nature of online interaction. ([info]schemingreader has brief but rather perceptive post on this very topic today.) Thanks for keeping me going, everyone.

25th January 2009

9:57pm: Fic: This Absolutely Brilliant Thing (Remix)
Title: This Absolutely Brilliant Thing (Remix)
Characters: Lavender/Parvati
Word count: 2400
Summary: There should be another word for what they have but there isn’t, so Lavender secretly calls it their Thing.
Notes: A remix of a thought-provoking ficlet about race and sexuality, [info]woldy's Three Reasons, or Maybe Excuses, which explains why Parvati can't fancy Lavender, even though she does. Thanks to Woldy for permission to rework her premise and play with her characters. Retold (with some changes) from Lavender's POV.

That’s thing about the Thing: it’s not going anywhere, the way even her stupid not-Thing with stupid Ron Weasley went somewhere. )

14th January 2009

10:43am: Fic: A Slow Waltz with Severus Snape
Title: A Slow Waltz with Severus Snape
Characters: Neville Longbottom, Minerva McGonagall, Severus Snape
Rating: G
Word count: 2600
Summary: As they say of the greatest dancers, Neville's strength is in his passion, not his technique.
Notes: A belated happy birthday to Severus Snape!

As his grandmother always said, there are some wizards whose backs were more attractive than their faces, and Neville had been very glad to see the back of Professor Snape. )

12th January 2009

1:29pm: Fic: How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away?
Title: How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away?
Characters: Alice and Frank Longbottom, Marlene MacKinnon, Sirius Black
Rating: PG for language
Word Count: 2400
Summary: 1979 has been a difficult year. Alice blames Frank, who can’t seem to say no.
Notes: This ought to have been R/S but come out almost entirely gen. I blame Alice, whose story wouldn't let me go. Written for the patient and forgiving [info]last_radio and originally posted here at rs_small_gifts.

Be careful when you pick up a stray; sometimes it takes a fancy to you and never goes away. )

4th January 2009

12:59pm: Fic for me!
I've been terribly ungrateful recently, neglecting to mention that I've received no less than four charming fics in the past month or so, far more than I deserve.

Over at [info]rs_small_gifts, [info]minnow53 nabbed my prompt "a flat Remus or Sirius hates (or learns to love)," and Minnow responded with the wonderfully painful Childish Things (R/S, PG-13, about 5000 words), which shows Remus struggling to live with and accept a less-than-ideal flat. (And by "flat" we mean "relationship with Sirius," "life after school," and "self," of course.) It's vintage Minnow, spare and sympathetic but unsentimental, and if on the off-chance you haven't read it yet, you should give it a try.

Minnow also wrote the zany but charming 22 Magnolia Mansions (background R/S, PG-13, about 5000 words), featuring a beautiful, opinionated, man-hating Art Nouveau flat, built by the architect La Corbusiere, and if that summary doesn't get you to click, I don't know what will. Go. Read. It's brilliant.

[info]celandineb wrote Sunday Afternoon, Before Teatime, a drabble in the world of Noel Streatfield's Ballet Shoes that reminded me just how much I loved those books.

Finally, I dropped off a prompt for [info]westernredcedar a while ago and was delighted to find she'd replied with a ficlet about Viktor and his family, In Sofia (Charlie/Viktor, PG, 1400 words). I love her take on Viktor, plus I've been secretly writing and thinking about Charlie recently, plus bossy sisters, plus the Krum family eyebrows...need I say more?

Thanks, everyone!

In related news, we've finally wrapped up and posted the master list for 2008 over at [info]rs_small_gifts. I always enjoy this exchange so much. Stop by and see if there's anything that catches your fancy!

27th November 2008

2:43pm: Birthday and holidays and feasts, oh my!
Several miscellaneous celebratory announcements:

* Happy belated birthday to [info]snegurochka_lee, who suffers from the curse of the late-November birthday! Hope you were able to find some time to celebrate at a busy time of year.

* Thanks so much to everyone who left birthday wishes for me over the weekend! I wound up napping away most of Big Day, but now I'm a little more rested as we push to finish off the year, which feels lovely. Special thanks to [info]such_heights, who somehow perfectly captured the feeling of late-night (read: end-of-term) exhaustion in the ficlet Let's Call the Whole Day Off (Remus/Sirius, 900 words, PG). Who can help clicking on a ficlet with a title like that? Thanks, A!

* Belated but heartfelt thanks to two people I've been meaning to thank on this journal: thanks to nelly estryn, who translated "The Hand that Rocks the Cradle" into Hebrew here and to [info]archaea2, who translated "Pants Down" into French here. I'm thrilled and grateful and impressed by your translation skills. Thank you!

* A little love for Remus/Sirius: only four days until [info]rs_small_gifts begins posting! This should be fun. I realized when I signed up to write this year that I hadn't written R/S since last year's exchange, and I'm excited to try it again in the low-key context of this exchange. (Even the non-prolific Maggie can do 1000 words, right?) It's been fun to see old friends again, too. If you're not signed up this year, we'll be calling for pinch-hitters mid-month. *nudges* Watch the comm for coffee-break-sized R/S next month! Let the holidays begin!

* Finally, happy holidays to those of you celebrating today, and happy Thursday to everyone else!

5th September 2008

9:05am: Back-to-school...
Just a quick announcement for those of us who are headed back to school ourselves this fall:

over on LJ is up and running again with an introductory post today. This comm has been around for two years, but quite a few of us have graduated or returned to grad school since we last introduced ourselves. Stop by and meet others in the same boat--faced with classes, readings, oral exams, labs, dissertations, conferences, applications, and late nights--all the while wishing we had a little more time for fandom. We'll have discussions and polls throughout the year, and you're always welcome to stop by and post about the trials and tribulations--and joys!--of academic life.

Everyone's welcome--past, present, and future grad students from all disciplines. Hope to see you there!

6th August 2008

7:58am: Fun stuff to do when it's too hot to go outside...
* Nest_of_spiders, a daily prompts comm for First War-era fic, is up and running--follow along or write a ficlet or draw something yourself!

* Mind_spark is a new comm organized by [info]redvelvetcanopy for original flash fiction, with its first challenge next Monday. If you've been looking for a chance to do some short, non-fannish writing and some folks to share it with, this is your chance! Genre fiction--fantasy, science fiction, bizarro, horror, and romance--especially welcome.

* For those of us feeling left out of the Terminus fun, [info]snegurochka_lee is hosting a Least Favourite Character/Pairing Drabble/Drawble & Ficlet Challenge! Pick a pairing or a character you hate and go to town! Lee has instructions on LJ here and on IJ here.

* Finally, fun, random stuff to look at on the internet: Sarah Haskins' "Target: Women," a series of clever spoofs on ads aimed at women. There's an NPR interview with several links here or you can just google her name to find her work. My favorite segment points out that yogurt is the official food of women (link takes you to a work-safe Youtube clip, 3:30).

29th July 2008

9:12pm: Nest_of_spiders coming this August!
The First War-era prompt community nest_of_spiders is returning to LJ this August! Nest is a low-key, low-pressure community for writing or art having to do with the First War/Marauders era (roughly 1970-1981) in the HP universe. All characters, all pairings, all themes welcome. There are no rules and no deadlines, just a prompt a day for the entire month. Challenge yourself to write a drabble every day, or post a single ficlet on the one Saturday you have time. Join or watch the comm for fic and art about your favorite period and your favorite characters!

26th July 2008

10:27am: Ficlet: Red Hair (Dr Horrible/HP crossover)
Four 15-word stories (making up a 60-word ficlet) for those of you who left requests after last week's Dr. Horrible Sing-Along Mini-Challenge.

Red Hair (Severus Snape, Dr. Horrible, 60 words) )

Sea0tter12 requested: Bad Horse/Voldemort
Bethbethbeth requested: Potions experimentation
Redvelvetcanopy requested: Lily
Poultrygeist99 requested: Redemption?

12th June 2008

11:51am: Fic: The King of Grimmauld Place
Title: The King of Grimmauld Place
Summary: The family treats Arthur like royalty when he returns from St Mungo's.
Characters: Arthur, Remus, Molly, Sirius, and assorted Weasley children, red-headed and honorary
Rating: Thoroughly G
Word Count: 1500
Notes: For [info]such_heights. Thanks to [info]secretsolitaire for last-minute beta help!

On the day he is released from St Mungo’s, Arthur Weasley is king of Grimmauld Place. Or, if not king, at least an honored citizen. For three--well, two and a half hours. Give or take a few minutes. )

This is a birthday fic for a long-time lj-friend and someone who makes fandom a better place, [info]such_heights. It was originally posted at Amy's birthday comm, [info]willbetime, where there are some wonderfully clever fics by [info]ineffabili_tea, [info]elsane, and [info]mindabbles, among others. Go and enjoy!
11:49am: Fic: The Hand That Rocks the Cradle
Title: The Hand That Rocks the Cradle
Characters: Lily Evans, narrator
Summary: This is no way to start a family, with a lie.
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 1600
Warnings: Dark themes, discussion of abortion, implied infidelity

Aconite, asphodel, belladona, hellebore, wormwood, they’re just ingredients. What the girls do with them is none of my business, or anyone else’s. Anyone who says different is a hypocrite, or a man.

The link takes you to the 800_words community at LJ, where this ficlet was posted earlier this week. All thirteen of the entries over there were simply delightful--I'd forgotten how much we have to say, and how different and original our fic is, and how much can be accommplished in just a couple hundred words. Enjoy!

2nd June 2008

10:51am: Queer and MWPP, not necessarily at the same time...
lgbtq_recs month has begun! Thanks to [info]kyasuriin and [info]schemingreader for starting us off by recommending Beth Goobie's young adult novel Hello, Groin, about a Canadian teen coming to terms with her sexuality, and sex columnist Dan Savage's The Commitment, a book about marriage equality and the commitment he's made to his own same-sex partner. I'll post the master list here at the end of the month, but if you'd like to follow the daily recs, feel free to watch the community. This should be fun! Pride's only one weekend, but this lasts all month. Plus you don't need to wear your leather.

800_words is up and running! Huge thanks to co-mod [info]sambethe for setting it up this weekend. Watch or join this low-key, low-commitment comm for ficlets about the MWPP era. Sirius/James porn, motorbike appreciations, Very Serious scenarios in which Peter's Muggle-born status leads to his eventual change of political allegiances...all is welcome. 800-word ficlets are due at midnight Sunday, June 8th. You get two days to read them anonymously and guess who wrote what, then reveals go up Wednesday, June 11 to celebrate [info]such_heights's birthday (and coincide with the publication of JKR's own 800-word ficlet). What's easier and more fun than ficlets you can read and write on the run? Enjoy First War era fic again! Beat JKR to the punch!

29th May 2008

5:20pm: Two announcements...
1. My fellow First War enthusiasts, you've all seen that JKR has written an 800-word ficlet to auction off to charity, and that it deals with James Potter and Sirius Black a few years before Harry's birth?

And you've all worried, like [info]snegurochka_lee and others, that this does not bode well for those of us who write in the First War era?

Announcing: THE 800_WORDS CHALLENGE.

Use 800 words exactly, no more, no less, to tell us what happened in the years before Harry's birth. Plot, characters, and themes up to you. Deadline, midnight EST, Sunday, June 8. Voting on Monday, June 9, and Tuesday, June 10. Winner announced Wednesday, June 11, the day JKR's ficlet becomes public. Eternal internet fame awaits!

Write what you want. While you still can.

2. SIGN-UPS FOR lgbtq_recs CLOSE TOMORROW! Please drop by if you'd like to rec LGBTQ-themed books, movies, etc. in the month of June. Even if you don't want to rec anything, feel free to watch the community and assemble a summer reading/movie rental list!

28th May 2008

6:49pm: Announcing LGBTQ Recs Month!
Since there seemed to be a good response to my post last night, I've set up a comm, LGBTQ Recs Month where we'll be posting recs to fun LGBTQ-themed stuff during the month of June--books, movies, music, websites, fiction, non-fiction, children's and young adult's books, academic articles, television shows, you name it. If I can interest enough of you, we'll do one rec a day, and you'll be all set for summer reading and movie rentals.

Sound fun? Want to participate?

* Everyone's welcome to sign up to post at least one rec in the month of June. Check out our first post here.

* Just want to watch? Click here to watch the community.

* Feel free to promote this on your journal! The more people who watch and participate, the better.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the queerest month of the year: LGBTQ Recs Month

LGBTQ Recs Month

Coming June 1


27th May 2008

7:00pm: Recs, recs, recs...
Want to rec some LGBTQ stuff? I had so much fun doing Asian American recs last week that I'm thinking of doing something similar in June for LGBTQ issues and would love to get enough folks involved that we could have a new rec every day all month. Anyone interested in doing it with me? You would (1) come up with a couple queer-themed recs--movies, books, short stories, plays, music, comics, whatever--that you think others on your flist would enjoy, (2) write up a short summary or comment, and (3) provide links to whatever type of preview you can find. Sound fun? Comment below if you're interested.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to click on one of my Asian American/APA links last week, and I hope you discovered something fun (or interesting, or thought provoking)! In case you missed anything, here's a summary of the week's recs below the cut. )

P.S. The most popular dim sum item, according to Maggie's flist? The little shrimp dumping har gao (with 64.3% of the vote), beating out the other two perennial favorites, the pork dumpling siu mai and the steam barbeque pork bun cha siu bau (which both attracted 50% of the vote).

LJ elections Speaking of voting, if you haven't already, please take a few minutes to read up on the candidates and vote in the LJ user representative election. [info]sasha_davidovna has a great list of links to help you read up on the election. I know some of us have moved off LJ and others don't believe that the user representative will have much power--fair enough--but let's try to get someone fandom-friendly in there anyway.

25th May 2008

2:34pm: Asian American Recs Week / Day 7: Angry Little Asian Girl
Finally, a laugh for our last day:

DAY 7: Angry Little Girls Lela Lee, one of the actors from Friday's recced movie, Shopping for Fangs, created the comic character Kim, the Angry Little Asian Girl, while an undergraduate at Berkeley. Kim has the charming habit of saying what you wish you'd thought to say, every time someone does something sexist, racist, or just plain annoying. (Or, you know, just pisses you off for no reason at all.) It's lighthearted, fun, and therapeutic. This week's comic is great. My favorites? Between Kim and boy: Don't bother trying and, between Kim and her mother, the Original Angry Little Asian Girl: I got you a gift. Sorry about the links, somehow it was easier to find things on the merchandise, but you can click through the actual comics here. You can meet the whole cast of characters at the bottom of Kim's page.

24th May 2008

11:27pm: Asian American Recs Week / Day 6: Birth of a nASIAN
DAY 6: Birth of a nASIAN Tired of Margaret Cho, the only Asian comic who seems to get any airtime? Kate Rigg and Lyris Hung, who perform with Slanty Eyed Mama, knit together a series of character monologues and music segments to make "Birth of a nASIAN," a performance the better half and I saw here in DC last week. Rigg, daughter of white Australian and Indonesian parents, did a fabulous job addressing hapa issues (hapa being a term for people of half or mixed Asian descent), sending up stereotypes, and making fun of the confusion we face when people don't fall in easily recognizable racial categories. Hung played the electric violin. (Need I say more about that?) Interested? Here's a clip with half a dozen different Kate Rigg characters. (Running time 5:00 minutes, not safe for work due to language, the last segment, "I will survive," is best) As far as their music is concerned, Mulan has a nice montage of images of Asian in American movies and tv to accompany --and drive home the point of--the lyrics. (Running time 3:00 minutes, not safe for work) I can't seem to find a touring schedule, but you can check out the group's webpage if you're interested in their CDs.

23rd May 2008

1:24pm: Asian American Recs Week / Day 5: Shopping for Fangs
DAY 5: Shopping for Fangs Okay, folks, I'm going to be honest about this one: Shopping for Fangs is not so much a good movie as it is an interesting one. It follows the story of (1) Phil, a frustrated, single accountant who is trying to avoid going to Bible study with the woman he'd like to date and seems to be turning into a werewolf, and (2) his boss's quiet wife, Katherine, who is suffering from unexplained blackouts and being stalked by (3) Trinh, a charismatic, crime-fighting waitress with sunglasses and a blonde wig, who, in turn, strikes up a friendship with a lonely gay man at the cafe where she works. Sound bizarre? It is, and the movie suffers from no-budget special effects and the pretension of two young filmmakers who have watched too much Quentin Tarantino.

But I loved Shopping for Fangs anyway, in large part because I rarely see movies about Asian Americans that deal so frankly with issues of identity, particularly sexual identity. There are some queer subplots, but the focus is more on gender identity and sexual expression beyond the stereotypes of Asian passivity and the extremes of sexual repression and overt sexuality and aggression. Notably, there are no demanding Asian parents in this movie--no family pressure, expectations, or immigrant guilt--just young Asians figuring out who they are and who they want to sleep with and love. The trailer is here. (Running time 1:30, safe for work)
12:16pm: Birthday greetings...
A very happy birthday to [info]mnemosyne_1! I hope this late spring day is as beautiful where you are as it is here.

Want to read something by the birthday girl? Try the lightest, sweetest ficlet about young, bookish love, Harry: Definition of Distraction" (Harry/Percy, PG-13, 500 words). Syne is bringing me 'round to Percy slowly but surely--who could resist someone with his love of knowledge and organization? Enjoy!

22nd May 2008

8:09pm: Asian American Recs Week / Day 4: Angel Island
DAY 4: Angel Island: Angel Island, a picturesque island in the San Francisco Bay, was the entry point for tens of thousands of Asian immigrants--mostly Chinese and Japanese, but also Filipino, South Asian, and Russian--who arrived in the United States between 1910 and 1940. Because of extremely strict, discriminatory regulations on Asian immigration set in place in the late nineteenth century, men, women, and children were detained at the Angel Island Immigration Station for weeks and sometimes months at a time while their qualifications to enter the country were questioned.

In order to gain entrance, Chinese immigrants had to prove that they were the sons or daughters of male US citizens--a difficult task, since there were few official records to prove paternity. Officials were often hostile, and immigrants withstood intense questioning about their families and home towns before they were admitted. Many immigrants, denied any other way of entering the US, had arranged to represent themselves as the child of a US citizen who was not their father. These immigrants were later known as the "paper sons" and "paper daughters" of their sponsors.

In person: If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area or ever have a chance to visit, Angel Island, now a state park, is a wonderful day trip. The island is accessible by ferry from San Francisco, Oakland, and Marin County, and the views of San Francisco, the bay, and the Golden Gate Bridge are beautiful. Most of the immigration station buildings are still standing, abandoned, and you can walk through the same spaces where immigrants stayed during detention and see the poetry painted and carved on the walls by detainees.

Online: There are some good sites that show you the immigrant experience at Angel Island. The classroom magazine Scholastic recounts the story of one seven-year-old girl as she leaves China and arrives in San Francisco in 1933. The local public television station KQED has put together a short, introductory video that takes you inside some of the old buildings and introduces you to some immigrants who came through Angel Island, as well as a site about the poetry from the walls of the station, where you can read transcriptions and hear the poems read aloud in Mandarin and Cantonese.
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