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11 October 2009 @ 01:00 pm
Writing things and how I got outed as a fic writer in RL (crud)  

Apologies for the lack of LJ cut on the last post. My cuts and coding haven't been quite right since last September, and I have no idea why they sometimes act up. It only seems to get funky when I include LJ usernames, but not links. Any ideas what may be going on?

I've been pretty quiet the last two weeks, but I have been silently puttering around in my own way. I just overhauled my memories, so all of my fics and certain types of related fandom posts should be nicely categorized now. All of this was already on my sidebar, but I thought I'd cover myself twice over, especially my past recs from buffyversetop5. Classic recs week is October 29th - November 1st this year and I hope fandom comes out to participate. I've been working on a few lists and hope to have some really interesting ones up for your viewing pleasure.

Although it's outlined, I'm going to hold off finishing up and posting my menstruation in the Buffyverse meta until after seasonal_spuffy and iwry_marathon are done. I had a long discussion with eowyn_315 last night about what I'd like to accomplish with my SS entry and I think we got to a really good place with it. My posting date is in 2.5 weeks and, as usual, I'm quite behind since I only have time to do this on the weekends, but I'm hoping I knock out at least 2000 words today. I'm feeling pretty doubtful about being able to produce a contribution to shapinglight's Darla ficathon at the end of the month though. Between the other ficathon entries and recs, I just don't have time to dedicate it. I'll also be doing beta work for only_passenger around that time for her IWRY fic so, yes, stretched rather thin. 

Speaking of betaing, I just worked with rebcake for the first time on her SS fic and it was a really positive experience. For those of you who haven't seen it and are in the mood for wedding fluff, go check out Under My Skin.  

I wanted to talk more about each of these happenings at length, but fic writing awaits, so I'll just say that in the last two weeks, my post-work and weekend activities have included seeing a screening of the Wizard of Oz in Central Park for it's 70th anniversary (with musical performances by Jennifer Hudson!), seeing Alvin Ailey perform "Revelations" at Fall for Dance, attending a preview performance of David Mamet's "Oleanna" on Broadway (with Julia Stiles and Bill Pullman), visiting the Whitney to view the brilliant "Georgia O'Keeffe: Abstraction" exhibit, as well as a few dinners and a rooftop BBQ in Long Island City.

One odd thing that's happened in the last two weeks is I've met people in RL that know about my fic - people I don't personally know! Recently, a co-worker of mine left his position and a friend of his has filled in for him. Four days into his working at my company, I come in one morning and we had this exchange:

Guy: Hey, L. So, what do you know about Buffy?

Me: *shifty eyes* ...Um, things? Why?

Guy: Oh, cause I met your friend Alex this weekend. 

Me: *stares at him blankly, tries to think of someone she knows named Alex*

Guy: You know, your friend from school? She lives in Park Slope and said that you have a mutual friend. 

Me: Oh! Alex. [Alex is a girl I peripherally know through my good friend and college roomie Amanda. We've spent some time together, but aren't really close and I was trying to figure out how my fanfic, which she somehow new about?, even came up in conversation]. How do you know her?

Guy: I was over at my friend's place and he's Alex's next door neighbor. She seems pretty cool. We were hanging out and talking and  she asked where I worked. When I told her she asked if I knew you.

Me: Huh. Small world. 

Guy: So, you write Buffy fanfiction?

Me: Yeah, I do. 

Guy: That's pretty cool. 

And then conversation petered out, but I still don't know how this came up in conversation. I'm not very close with Alex and she'd just met Co-worker Guy for the first time. How the heck would my fanfiction be brought up in casual conversation!? 

Fanfiction reference #2 happened at the rooftop BBQ at my friend R's place. We were buds in college and she knows I write fic, but isn't a Buffy fan. I'd never met the other two people part of the conversation, who were former co-workers of hers. We were talking about Travel and Girl says that when she went to Jordan Buffy was all over TV there, in addition to SMG movies.

Me: Huh. How weird.

R: Sounds like a place you'd love!

Guy: How come?

R: She's a real big fan of Buffy. Remember I sent you her stuff?

Guy: *looks at me* Oh, you're the fanfiction writer?

Me: *I look around confused* Um, yes?

Guy: I really liked your writing. It was great.

Me: Oh. Really? Thanks.

We then started talking at length about Buffy and Dollhouse, since he was a big fan of both, which was cool and enjoyable, but I felt really embarassed and a little bit flattered. I'm really open about fanfiction with my friends. They know I do it. I talk about it sometimes. My parents and family know I write it, too. But encountering someone outside of my online persona, where they meet me The Person and relate it to ClawofCat just seems... weird. I guess I'm glad it's being read and  enjoyed, but it still seems like something to feel embarassed about. Probably because I assume they read something graphic of mine, though I do have plenty of stuff that doesn't have sex. 

Gus also told me he recently sent a link to my LJ to his friend Steve to read. We were all friend in high school. On a separate occasion after reading whatever he read of mine, Steve drunkenly confessed to Gus that "it was very arousing."

So, I was over at Steve's place with Gus on Thursday evening playing with his fluffy black cat and I ask him about it. 

Me: Which story did you read?

Steve: Well, I'll admit, I don't know much about Buffy, so I was so just skimming through them looking for really dirty parts. 

Me: *amused* Oh. Do you remember which characters were in it?

Steve: I'm not sure. Just that there was a cross and it was burning Spike (I think?) everytime he - when she... *he smiled* Yeah. That was hot.

Gus looks on from the couch with a naughty grin on his face. 

Me: That would be Burn Marks. If you want a really dirty one, you ought to check out Drive It Home.

What's with all these guys reading/inquiring about the fanfic!? Isn't that sort of amazing? Is this an untapped market?

Steve went on to say that he actually found it a lot more *stimulating* than watching straight up porn. To this I say duh, but really. Guys reading the fic? Heh, makes me laugh.


slaymesoftlyslaymesoftly on October 11th, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
Guys read porn. They're very fond of it, actually. The fact that he admitted to skimming through for the hot parts says all you need to know about why he likes fanfic. :)

It is kind of interesting that you've developed enough of a fan base that more or less strangers now know about you, though. That's pretty cool.
ClawofCat: think sexclawofcat on October 11th, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC)
What sort of porn do guys I read? I can't imagine a friend of mine sitting back and relaxing with a romance novel, for instance.

It is kind of interesting that you've developed enough of a fan base that more or less strangers now know about you, though.
Well... I'm not sure if it's quite like that. The common factor among these examples is that 3 separate friends of mine pimped out my work to one of their friends. It's an odd word of mouth thing. Stranger still is that only 1/3 people was a Buffy fan. It would be crazy if it was like that movie "Pay It Forward" and every person that read my stuff told someone else. Let all the 20 somethings of NYC unite over porn!
slaymesoftlyslaymesoftly on October 11th, 2009 10:20 pm (UTC)
Uh, no. Romance novels would not be on the agenda. They're fond of "lets get to it" Wham, bam, thank you ma'am kinda stuff. Big boobs, lots of pounding into her - that kind of stuff. So, something more subtle, like much of what you write, would probably catch a guy by complete surprise when it turned him on. (I'm basing this pretty much on one or two male fanfic readers/writers that I've "met" in the fandom - BTW. So don't take it as gospel. I just know what appealed to them, and what they tended to write.)

ROFL - will be interested to know how far it spreads. :)
ClawofCat: pondersclawofcat on October 12th, 2009 01:22 am (UTC)
Oh! When you said guys like reading porn, I thought you meant some other literary source other than fanfic, like books or erotica or something. I was confused.

I feel like I need to probe a little more deeply about the guys and fanfic thing, particularly in regard to character POV. Do they connect or relate more to a scene if it's told from a male or female character's POV? Does it matter? Maybe I'll send an email out to my friends and post what type of responses I get back.
slaymesoftlyslaymesoftly on October 12th, 2009 03:35 am (UTC)
Oh, I think they do. Not "guys" necessarily (as in 20 somethings) but men. They both read and write porn. I would say, until fairly recently (recently for someone my age - not yours. lol) the porn industry was all about the men and what they wanted to read or write. Henry Miller, D H Lawrence (although that's probably pretty tame by today's internet standards), the Story of O - those come to mind off the top of my head. My father liked to read porny books, although they were not easy to come by back in the day. I think most of the erotic literature of the past was written and read by men. There are a few exceptions - Anis Nin, I would think - but any that I can think of were by male authors.

It will be interesting to see what kind of a response you get.
Rebcake: hellorebcake on October 12th, 2009 06:44 am (UTC)
The author of "Story of O" was actually female. She came clean a couple of years ago, possibly posthumously.
slaymesoftlyslaymesoftly on October 12th, 2009 02:24 pm (UTC)
Ah, you're right. That's what I get for relying on my feeble memory. It's been so long since I read or saw any of the old stuff that it's all run together in my brain. Thanks for the reminder. :)
The Mezzaninedeird1 on October 11th, 2009 09:10 pm (UTC)
My cuts and coding haven't been quite right since last September, and I have no idea why they sometimes act up. It only seems to get funky when I include LJ usernames, but not links. Any ideas what may be going on?

Are you using rich text, or html?

I had to switch to html, because rich text was stuffing up my cuts so much. (Especially when I tried editing posts.) I've heard it's a common problem around LJ, lately.
ClawofCat: huhclawofcat on October 11th, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC)
I'm using rich text. I think I tried html last year when the issue first started and it a) took a long time to hand code, and b) was still all messed up. The text would get all mashed together. Maybe I'll give it a try again. Perhaps the PTB at LJ have worked out some of the kinks.
The Mezzaninedeird1 on October 11th, 2009 09:35 pm (UTC)
Uh, yeah, if you try to change an entry from RT to html it goes weird, with mashy text, and stuff.

But if you just type normally, and chuck in italics coding and "lj user" and stuff when you get to that, it tends to work okay.
Emmie: Buffy prettyangearia on October 11th, 2009 11:47 pm (UTC)
I've had this very problem every time I post fic that has a banner.

I end up ctrl+f searching for "lj-cut" in html when I edit a post after I fixed what I wanted fixed. And I switch the inappropriate "" with a "</div>" and then put another " at the bottom of the post. All this happens because I like to use Rich Text and apparently centering makes it all go haywire. I have to do this every time I edit one of the chapters for my long WIP.

Fun stuff. /sarcasm

KSena: Sailorslash by zeroambikseenaa on October 11th, 2009 09:16 pm (UTC)
*giggle* That is so awesome! X-D
ClawofCat: special hellclawofcat on October 11th, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
I think there's also an element that goes through a guy's head that's something like this: "Ooo, a girl is writing dirty porn! Gimme!" Like, they're tickled by the very idea of it. Ah, men.
Emmie: More Beerangearia on October 11th, 2009 11:48 pm (UTC)
Steve drunkenly confessed to Gus that "it was very arousing."

LMAO! That's too funny. :D

ClawofCat: drunkclawofcat on October 12th, 2009 01:30 am (UTC)
Ha! I know. It'd be especially funny if you knew these two guys, too. Hard core bromance. They are so in love with each other. Gus doesn't drink, so I could just imagine him sitting in a bar with drunk!Steve sloppily listing to one side on his bar stool, while Gus smiled and pat him on the back and said, "I know, man."
(Deleted comment)
ClawofCat: Buffy stake raisedclawofcat on October 12th, 2009 01:33 am (UTC)
LOL. Thanks. I made a similar hilarious post back in 2007 when my mom "accidentally" read Drive it Home right after I'd posted it. I just about died of embarassment. Finding that your mother read and liked a fic about Buffy buttfucking Spike with her stake is like... Gah!
hello_spikeyhello_spikey on October 12th, 2009 03:03 am (UTC)
Oh. My. Gawd.

I would probably spontaneously combust from blushing if a guy in RL told me he read my fanfic.

ClawofCat: Buffy what?clawofcat on October 12th, 2009 03:19 am (UTC)
LOL! Flames of Shame would engulf you in a torrent of embarassment? How dramatic.

I dunno. I tried to play it cool. I'm proud of my work and what I do, it's just really unexpected when someone in RL you don't know makes that connection. I felt a little thrown off guard, probably because I was wondering if they were judging me. Frankly, unless I was writing incest or something really fucked up, I don't think most of the people in my social circle would be too shocked. I'm a raunchy girl in life. It sort of stands to reason that this aspect of my personality would shine through in my writing, too. You just gotta own it, you know?

Now, if it was a boss or someone with authority, than I'd have cause to worry. Don't know what I'd do in a situation like that.
Rebcake: hellorebcake on October 12th, 2009 07:04 am (UTC)
I'm really honored that you worked so closely with me on that piece, especially since it's so very different in tone from your usual interest area. I'm getting a little misty...

Anyway, I think fanfic in general is getting way more mainstream. Maybe it's because I'm hyper aware, but there have been references all over the place to it, and not always in a completely dismissive way. That said, it's terribly niche, which as a comics fan, you've seen before. If you find people that know the code words, they are most likely copacetic folks. That's how it was for me in my 20s. We all found each other and made a creative community, which included the people who just liked to consume the creative product.

So, I'm not surprised that you are finding and being found by people who not only accept but are interested in your creative work. Even if it's for the "arousing" bits. And, hey, the more people who get turned on to the quality fic, the less you'll have to feel embarrassed. Maybe.

The LJ weirdness is weird. I was having all kinds of the same problems, and then they stopped. Maybe I updated a browser or something, but I really have no explanation.

Edited at 2009-10-12 07:05 am (UTC)
ClawofCat: comics: nightwing flyingclawofcat on October 12th, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC)
Aw, Reb. *hugs* True, fluff is not exactly my forte, but betaing is betaing. You have to respect the vision of the writer and try and make that vision as good as it can be. Like I said, I would be happy to work with you again. Because more than the content of a fic, betaing for me is about whether you mesh with the writer. I've worked with Eowyn and Pass for a long time, and that constancy and familiarity only makes the partnership more effective because you learn about your writer's areas of strength and weakness, what feedback is most helpful to them, etc. It's all sort of wonderful, but let me not go on... *gets misty eyes, too*

Oh, you used the word copacetic. I actually had to look that one up. You get extra bonus points! But agreed that fanfic is becoming more mainstream. I went to school with Lady Jada, who is a very well known writer in HP fandom. She did some epic slash fic called The Shoebox Project and she was a very recognizable face on campus for this (I took Astronomy with her, heh). The paper I wrote for did a piece on her and fanfic, as well as the Wall Street Journal when she and her writing partner published their first original sci-fi work at whatever age we were... 20? So, I think the connection and the awareness that fanfic at the very least can lead to published work is definately in the public's consciousness. I think you see genre crossovers with comics, too. Not only the Buffy comics themselves, but film/tv creators like Joss writing for X-Men, Kevin Smith penning Green Arrow, and Brian K. Vaughn of Y:The Last Man fame and Paul Dini writing for Lost. Convergence of genre is definately on the rise.
dragonflylady77: DFL kelly gifdragonflylady77 on November 14th, 2009 11:39 am (UTC)
Guy: Hey, L. So, what do you know about Buffy?

Me: *shifty eyes* ...Um, things? Why?

That bit cracks me up. Probably because it's pretty much the way I would respond if someone asked me that and I don't even write fanfic!! I do beta and read. Lots.

Hehehe you have a fanbase who keeps finding you it seems!! LOL at the boys reading fanfic and finding it more stimulating than watching porn!!

ClawofCat: knowing faceclawofcat on November 16th, 2009 01:50 am (UTC)
Hee, glad you found my fannish encounters amusing! About two weeks ago, I was at a restaurant with a friend, her boyfriend and sister and fanfic came up again. Apparently her b/f was a Buffy fan when it was airing and he and the sister were like, "You write fanfic? Could you send me link to your stuff?" Everyone seems so curiously interested and really nice about it. I'm never even the one to bring it up.

LOL at the boys reading fanfic and finding it more stimulating than watching porn!!
Well, us ladies have known that for awhile. I'm betaing a story for only_passenger and had a male friend over last night. He was making dinner and I was reading her fic aloud and making notes with a pen. At one point he turned to me, eyebrows raised, stopped me and said, "Whoa. Say that again? That was way hot."

Yes. Way hot. They're learning.
dragonflylady77: Ewan shirtdragonflylady77 on November 16th, 2009 02:15 am (UTC)