2016-04-09 09:00 pm

Nuns, Black Female Saints and Literary Progress

 This more than likely won't matter to anyone but me, but I've FINALLY made progress on an original character I've created. I say character because at the moment she crosses into several story ideas I have so I haven't quite nailed her down to just one. Anyway...

...for years now I've wanted to create a Black female saint.

In the last decade or two, with the exception of Susanna Clark's "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" and the Harry Potter series, I've fallen out of love with mainstream fantasy and sci-fi books. I can still stand to watch them in the movies (The Hunger Games) or on TV (Syfy's The Magicians). But when it comes to books, I haven't really seen anything that truly makes me want to engage. Non-fiction is fine. I have a taste for history and biography. But fiction has been quite a disappointment. When it comes to fiction, I basically only read fan fiction because I know that at least I'll find something that I like albeit I'll have to hunt for it.

Like a lot of folks I've given up on current fiction and decided that I'll have to write my own. As any aspiring writer knows, that's a BIG mountain to climb. But today I managed to rise a few feet.

I had an idea for a saint but how do I make her believable? I write her version of "scripture."

Today I finally managed to draft pages of "scripture" authored by my character, including her near end-times prophecy. Previously, I couldn't figure out when to place her. Currently, I'm toying with the era of Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate and church scholar Augustine. (There's a reason for this). I've written her version of St. Paul's letters (to the Romans, to the Corinthians, to the Ephesians, etc.). And I've given her a revelation a la St. John the Divine. I can now also fit her more comfortably into the histories of the 3 fictional convent orders I've created for her: one in Alexandria, Egypt; one in Europe; and one in America).

And yes I know this is weird, lol. In my defense, I had an aunt who was a nun and once in my twenties I spent a week in the convent with her. Yep. That's what I said. For those among them who are still alive to remember, they'll remember me from when I was a baby because my family regularly visited my aunt from the time I was an infant. It's very weird (in a nice way but still weird) to travel to the Maryknoll convent in Ossining, NY when you're 7 years old and meet women whom you've "never" seen before but who remember YOU from when you were a baby. Lol.

In any case, I came by my inspiration honestly.

The Maryknoll nuns are some of the bravest, smartest, most dedicated women I have ever met. My aunt spent 15 years in Tanzania. She only left because she became ill and had to be flown out. I remember as a child (and this is dating myself) watching news coverage of Idi Amin's invasion and waiting for the phone call that my aunt had gotten out before he went in. Thank God she did. The nuns who were killed in Central America (I believe it was El Salvador but I know it was in the era of the Sandinistas) were Maryknoll nuns. My aunt taught Gertrude Mongella(sp?) who went on the lead the Women's Conference in Beijing. To me, imperfect as they are, these women are heroes. I am so proud I got to know them and forever proud of my aunt who passed away years ago. God bless you, Aunt Geneva. This one's for you.


2016-03-15 05:43 pm

This is painful - Paramount sues fanfic writers over copyright infringement

Read the article here. 

As a Star Trek fan from way back - i.e., ORIGINAL Star Trek and all of the fanzines (remember that word anybody?) were PRINTED - this is painful. I haven't seen the film although the article includes photos from it. But based on what I have seen there is no way these guys can win this. And honestly, I don't think I want them to.

It doesn't seem possible that they didn't know EXACTLY what they were doing. If that is the case, there really is no leg to stand on as far as I can see. I believe the current copyright law extends ownership of a work to 90 some odd years before the work goes into the public domain (unless of course the owner renews the copyright). The original series debuted in the 60s. We'd have to get to something like 2050, before this kind of work would be legal. And these guys are clearly using concepts from the 1980s films and the 1990s show and so on and so forth. So nowhere near enough time has passed for any of this to be legal.

Look I know fanfic gets a bad rap. But as all the really serious fanfic writers know, fanfic is hovering right on the edge of the mainstream right now. Like it or not, Fifty Shades of Grey made that happen. I can't help but think that fanfic has become the unofficial farm team for publishers scouting new authors. Self-publishers are the official minor league. But fanfic is right behind it. Mainstream content creators are taking it VERY seriously now. So now more than ever we have to watch our p's and q's.

I know it's not easy. In fact I think it's frankly ridiculous to have to add the disclaimer to every single piece of fanfic we create when to me it's quite obvious that no money is being made. I mean, if I'm printing copies to sell (and even THAT was overlooked as long as no one made a profit), or placing a download link conditional upon dropping some money into PayPal account, that's a different story. The vast majority of us are clearly not out here trying to score a buck on fanfic.

But it IS hard to ply your blood, sweat, tears and creativity into generating quality writing while knowing that you can never profit from that labor. I know I feel that way. Which is why I've turned toward focusing more on my own original fic. Fanfic is what I use to sharpen my skills as both a writer and a reader. But I don't expect to make a dime off it because it is illegal to make money off of someone else's work.

If I can figure that out, these guys certainly can. Let's just hope they don't ruin it for the rest of us.
 
2016-03-10 08:26 pm

My list of WIP fan fics

 Stole this from Delphi who stole it from Solosundance. Just because I've listed them doesn't mean they'll keep this title or ever be finished! Just a nice long list of wishful thinking that MIGH come true.

FANFIC
Harry Potter
1. Confessions of a Cornwall Grad - Severus Snape/OFC
2. Well Done, My Good and Faithful Servant - Severus Snape/OFC
3. When Earth Kisses Air - Dramione
4. Hogwarts - Help Wanted - started out as a look at all the jobs we never see at Hogwarts, like plumber, chaplain, etc. and somehow segued into a potential Dramione
5. Harry Potter and the Poisoned Apple Princess - this is a Harry/Pansy story. I never liked Harry and Ginny. I used to ship Harry and Luna HARD. But then I discovered Harry and Pansy and that was that.

Sherlock
Living Proof series - This is a Sherlock/Moriarty mpreg - Yep I went there! I just finished and posted part 5 of this. I expect there are only at most 3 more parts to go.

Sherlock/Cabin Pressure
Not a Holmes series - this is my Capt. Martin Crieff as the littlest Holmes brother. Except he's not - not a Holmes that is. He's still the littlest brother in my series. This one is up to 7 installments and I have no idea when it will end.

Superman Returns
Love's Divine - my "What if Superman Had a Black Girlfriend" story. My best reviewed work but also my most weirdly received. Some people absolutely fell in love with it. Others seemed to think it was some kind of quasi-porn simply because the girlfriend is Black. Not a good look, Internet! In my fondest dreams, this would be my web series. From what I can see, some of my ideas about Superman turned up in Batman vs. Superman. But they existed before I wrote them. They were explored in the comic Kingdom Come. But I never thought they took it as far as it could go. This is my attempt to follow to a logical conclusion.


ORIGINALS
Game Change - screenplay idea. Sort of The Big Short meets The Big Payback. Scene written and submitted to ABC network casting department. Alas, no word back. Working on turning into a full length screenplay.

Dirty Lens - part one of a romance novel series.

The Book of Esther - my twist on that old romance novel trope of the heroine getting kidnapped into a harem on the orders of a lusty prince

Majesty - my "what if" story looking at what might have happened if the infamous Duke and Duchess of Windsor shocked everyone and actually had a child and how that might have impacted Princess Diana.

Emancipation, Calling All Angels and The Calendar Girl - my paranormals.
EmanEm
 

2012-01-22 12:34 am

Throwing my hat in the ring I guess for hp_diversity beta

Beta Name: Librasmile 
Strengths/Weakness: I tend to speak in terms of what works and what doesn't rather than saying something is right or wrong. I respect the author's authority. It's your story. You have the final word. I care more about story content and structure than punctuation and spelling. But I can give great insight on character development. I'm not good on rush work because I have limited energy. But if you can give me enough lead time, I can beta for you.
Preferred Genres: Severitus or Sevitus, Romance, Angst, Gen, Hurt/Comfort, Humor, Mystery, Spiritual, Drama 
Squicks: Femmeslash, incest, chan
Other Info: I don't like gore or unnecessary brutality. I'm a huge Severus fan so I'd probably be no good on any pro-James Potter fics. I also loathe the Marauders and Ron Weasley so again I'm no good there.
2011-02-21 08:26 pm

Fic: Hair Without the Shirt ( Cheveux sans la chemise )


Hair Without The Shirt ( Cheveux sans la chemise )
By Librasmile

(517 words)

Logline: So, greasy git am I? Let the mindless little rug rats laugh. Children are so shortsighted. Just like their parents. Only ever seeing what they want to see… Severus understands the tradition of the hair shirt. He just can’t follow it.

Author’s Note: Yes I’m one of those sevvie fan girls who wants to come up with a plausible excuse for the state of his hair. This is what I got…

Rating: G

Disclaimer: All characters including Severus’ hair, are the creation and property of JK Rowling. I make no profit from their use.
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Cheveux sans la chemise. 

That sounds so much better, so much more…noble.

Hair without the shirt, on the other hand…

Those words thud to the ground with all the leaden uselessness they possess.

So, greasy git am I?

Let the mindless little rug rats laugh.

Children are so shortsighted. Just like their parents. Only ever seeing what they want to see.

Let them scoff.

Of course their piddling insults sting. But they hardly hold a candle to the inner fires, the ones that nightly stand between me and sleep.

…I’ve earned so much worse…

…It’s not as if…

I suppose I could have done other things, made a grander gesture.

The headmaster had “fixed his cannon against self-slaughter”* so my options were rather limited.

Still, I might have given them something truly comical to laugh at. I could have raided Sprout’s greenhouses. Explaining to the arch-bleeding heart of Hufflepuff why I’d stolen all of her lilies would, I’m sure, have yielded me a plentitude of the abasement that was my due.

I could see it now. The Head of Slytherin at the mercy of the sweet little badger - brilliant. Whatever lying excuse I’d come up with would have crumbled under the baffled sympathy - or worse, the pity – I’d see in her eyes. But the headmaster has already left me with a stomachful of useless pity and it wouldn’t do to vomit onto a fellow head of house’s shoes. 

It would have been hilarious. 

I suppose I could have held my humiliation up as an offering to the fates that seem hell-bent on tripping me up by offering me the worst possible temptations for my desires and pride. And all of it could have been set to the sound of laughing students. 

Yes, that might have been sufficiently humiliating.

But it would have been a one-time event, no matter how intense, and nowhere near enough. 

Nor is the grand gesture my strong suit. I release the arrow but it never stays the course, instead veering from the ridiculous to the…the tragic.

I’ve never been particularly adept at practicing willing humiliation, either.

I suppose that is why there is a time-honored ritual fo these things, a prescription if you will.

Putting aside the pain of the fact that I cannot fully honor it…

I cannot rent my garments and don sackcloth.

But I can drape myself in black.

I cannot sit in ashes and wail.

But I can shut myself up in the dungeons and snarl at those who come too close.

I cannot even cut my hair.

But I can let it soak in the detritus that coats every minute of my cursed life – until the locks are as black and slimy as I know my deeds – my inner self, my soul – to be.

Yes, it is rather funny, isn’t it?

Blessed are the ancients, for they truly knew how to mourn.

Blessed are those with the right to mourn. 

May they have mercy on me.

Let the world see. Let them that have eyes see.

Let them laugh at the greasy git.

As long as they laugh at my hair I don’t have to cry.

~Fin~
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Author’s End Note: I’ve read a lot of fan fic author’s rationales for why Severus’ hair is the way it is and none of them quite satisfied me. While doing yet another character analysis on him for my stories Confessions of a Cornwall Grad and its prequel The Healer’s Apprentice, I came to the startlingly simple conclusion that he’s a penitent and/or a mourner. And what little I know of the rituals of mourning includes the renting ( tearing of one’s clothes ), donning of sackcloth, pouring ashes on one’s head, and possibly cutting one’s hair. Severus can’t do any of that because he has no right to do it. So he does what he can to mourn. Hope you liked it! Please read and review! ( P.S. I’m still working on Cornwall Chapter 4. Reviews encourage me to keep going! Nudge, nudge… *P.P.S. the statement “fixed his cannon against self-slaughter” comes from Hamlet and his famous “to be or not to be” soliloquy, courtesy of Shakespeare. )
2011-01-26 11:32 am

It's been forever and a day since I've posted here....

...and that's just wrong =^( Here's my first step to rectifying that. I've posted an update to my Harry Potter fan fic, Confessions of a Cornwall Grad. It's chapter 3 and can be found here: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5475961/3/Confessions_of_a_Cornwall_Grad

Second, there are noises from across the pond that Kate Bush may have new music out at the end of this year. YAY!!!! This woman is a mad musical genius who's inpsired the likes of Bjork and Tori Amos to name a few. I've yet managed to connect with her early albums but everything from Hounds of Love on I snatch up. She's one of the musicians ( including Sting and Seal and Annie Lennox and the wonderful Alanis ) whose work I use to inspire my creative writing. So, again, YAY!!!!!! I tried to embed a Kate Bush video on my Live Journal account and of course it didn't work. Let's see if it'll happen here. If it works, enjoy! If not, sigh, I'll have to try again....much, MUCH later...
 

 
2010-10-30 03:52 pm

Finally back in the journal...

...after enduring a computer crash. Arghhh!
2010-09-03 12:51 am

My First Post

[Looks around]

Hmm...

...I think I'm gonna like it here...

(Thanks for the invite D!)