No Little Arms Here

So I have designs to update more often…and they are all dashed. Life will not leave me alone, and it’s all terrible. Mr. Minty got a new job with a night time shift, which means I cook two dinners every night and do more housework. He’s off today, so I’m trying to get this post finished before it’s back to the grind. However, this downtime has been good for me, because I’ve been speculating and such – even if I don’t get time to write, I still (occasionally) get time to think. If you want more of my ideas, you’ll have to come along to my house and chat to me while I’m cooking steak at 11.30 at night…or later. Otherwise, we may have to meet up when my husband is off work like an exciting secret rendezvous…but with non-lesbian women (or at least I have no taste for women – lesbians are always welcome to come round and watch me cook steak).

In apologies, I bring you this tangentially related (to this post which will contain potential spoilers) funny picture. And an assurance I’m not dead if I go missing for this long in future – I can say I have hopes, but that just will probably make me a big old liar. Big fat warning here – I have a patchy track record – some wins, some misses. If this is a miss, no problem. If this is a hit, you’re about to spoil yo’self. It can’t be taken back. So consider carefully if you want to read it. As a corollary, I sometimes wonder just how narrow minded other readers are – complaining that Sookie did something in a book other than macking on Eric, and have relationship chats with Eric. They really should be reading Fifty Shades instead of something with substance, and for the rest of you know that the wonderful dissection by Jennifer Armintrout has resumed with Fifty Shades Darker. Best quote:

“But you said you could take some pain! By refusing to let me
beat you with a patio umbrella, you’re betraying me!”

I haven’t (and wouldn’t) read the books, but I do love her dissection of the text. Hell, I didn’t get past the meadow scene in Twilight.

Some readers bitch about how terrible it is that Sookie has a personality and other interests other than sex, and how wonderful men are. There’s not enough sex scenes in the books, or the endless call for life’s most boring and stupid conversation – the chapters long relationship chat where you clarify every single word out of people’s mouths. No, Sookie does something other than all that fucking and chatting, and it’s bad to some readers. You know – bitching about cooking a sweet potato casserole, and the two lines wasted or something – !!valuable time out of your life you’ll never get back, and makes her a full character with interests other than sex?!! What fuckery is this?!!!! There’s also been a bit of bitching about peripheral characters, like Kennedy etc. and what a timewaster they are. If that’s your view….yeah….you should go now. This theory is born of paying attention to not-the-kissing scenes.

Okay, so I’ve been trying to put my brain power into figuring out how Eric is going to get out his contract with Freyda. Continue reading

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Cluviel Dor Set to Live

Phew, real life stands in the way of the important information about Sookie Stackhouse. This has been my longest absence to date – and I can assure you I didn’t die in the intervening time. It’s a long and complicated tale of school holidays, illness and family visitors. After the chicken finger debacle, rest assured I have not resorted to cannibalism. I could have used a cluviel dor to free me up. Or maybe it was used with the word “Live” and the internet didn’t count, so I was kicked off. If you’re sick of patrolling my journal, you can always go to my wordpress site, and sign up for the email list. That way you get an email when I update both places. But onto the good stuff.

I was asked here if I analyse the covers – nope, I do not. Covers are vague, really. Knowing Bill and Eric would be in FDTW does me no good. I mean – important spoiler – Bill and Eric will be in the final book!!! You heard it here first folks. A vague feeling of the sun setting on Sookie is kinda like a visual depiction of what the last book will be. I do far better with text…although I did get my first ever 100% for analysing this picture of Salvador Dali’s for art class. But truly, I don’t think they really shed light on much of anything. There are always alternative meanings. Trust someone who lived with psychics and tarot card readers in her dissolute youth – you can debate this shit forever without ever getting anywhere. Text is much more reliable – but I must say, the final cover is beautiful.

There’s no spoilers in this post (apart from my awesome one above), but as ever, I’m going to speculate on the ending. In particular, this post is going to deal with Sam. I finally got my audiobooks back, and have been listening again, but to the whole book this time – and that means I’ve gotten something I missed with my selective cutting. Bits that I didn’t think were important, and so I didn’t memorise bits of them.

Sam got a sort of mixed reception with the release of the last book – one of jumping on the “Sam is HEA” bandwagon, and then the resulting vitriol aimed at Sam (and Sookie) because Sam commits the terrible sin of not being Eric. He’s evil that way…apparently. Any time any person looks like coming between Sookie and Eric, the very amateurish way of dealing with it in fanfic is making them the villain. This time, it looked like it was Sam. Another factor is that so many people were blindsided by Bill’s betrayal, and they keep trying to find the evil person who’s going to shake Sookie’s world – more evil Bill, evil Quinn, evil Dermot, evil Sam. So if someone doesn’t look too dodgy, conspiracy theories will take root, in ever increasing complexity. So vitriol either way, usually.

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Deconstructing a Deal

I did intend to post this one quickly, and it’s been obstructing me something fierce. But my chicken finger actually started peeling and the skin underneath was soooo sensitive. So I didn’t post, because I wanted to keep typing to a minimum. I haven’t been able to stop pondering this one. I’m also going to answer a related question from the text file, because it goes with this subject. I tend to be lazy like that, as you can see from some of my long-arse sentences. Jamming thoughts in together with no consideration if they can all fit. This is my text file question:

How did a vamp like ALO end up in OK in the first place to negotiate with the queen?

So firstly, let’s go with Appius, and I’ll explain how I see him based on the text. That impinges on how I see Appius ending up in Oklahoma. For my part, I see him as the sort of jealous toad maker, and that impacts how he treats Eric, and why he would do that in the first place. One only need to observe how he acts when he first arrives in Sookie’s house:

“Yes, but then I wouldn’t have seen such a charming sight.”
Ocella let his gaze brush Eric’s shirtless body almost tangibly.

Dead in the Family, p. 167

There is a distinct message here – one that Appius is trying to send Sookie – that he lusts for Eric’s body, that he enjoys her jealousy, and that he has rights and first dibs every single time. I mean, this is almost like a jealous ex-girlfriend here, making sure to send the message that they used to have good times, and that he still lusts for Eric. Most of the vampire makers are like crazy jealous ex-partners – Lorena didn’t take too kindly to Sookie being with Bill, and Hot Rain sent someone to kill something Eric loved. Lorena, Hot Rain and Appius are some of the villains worthy of the sort of behaviour of Debbie Pelt, right? And that’s exactly who most of them act like – jealous exes with a desire to kill someone for daring to be more important.

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All or Nothing

A Dance of Dragons is one long arse book. 😀 I still haven’t finished it and haven’t had time to retrieve my Sookie audiobooks. And since I have no True Blood recaps to put up, I’ve been lazy as hell about things on here. Plus, the end of my ring finger is disturbingly flat and weird. One of my sons laughed at me getting creeped out at it, so at least I know all is still normal, and I get no sympathy. It’s numb, though, which is also weird to feel and type with – and it looks nicely browned. Like a lovely bit of chicken one would put into a smoking hot wok…and now I’m even more creeped out typing with my literal chicken finger. So to stop concentrating on its possible deliciousness and stop my descent into cannibalism, onwards we go.

There’s this seeming obsession with fanfic – one that’s driving me a little crazy actually – is that all the post-Deadlocked fics of any length always have the same sort of storyline. Eric leaves for some period of time to marry Freyda, or Sookie puts up with being the third wheel in Eric’s marriage. As well as that, there’s also this theme that if Eric does leave Sookie, she’ll just spend the rest of her life alone. It’s the way fanfic rolls – whatever will make the most out of Eric’s angst, while degrading Sookie completely – that’s what gets the popular vote. Nothing like a good, old fashioned Sookie beatdown.

I thought it would be interesting to look through Sookie’s past and see if this is a reasonable predictor. I actually would hate the books if either of those scenarios end up being the way the books go. I don’t think that they will go that way, so I’m looking forward to the next book. I think it’s really just fanfic’s way of punishing Sookie for having her own personality and agenda. But then, I would never put up with this, so I kind of think my own agenda is kind of leaking into my perspective. After all, I’m the type of woman who would dump a man and because of my pride, never ever stop that from living my life and looking for love again. I say that, because the boyfriend I had before Mr. Minty, that’s exactly what I did. I’m pretty sure I loved him, but he was a shit, and I have pride, so I dumped him – love or not, he was still a shit. Looks like it was a good decision, right? Mr. Minty has all of his good points and more, and none of the serious failings.

I also think that one of the driving factors for this kind of fic is the old romantic trope that there is one true love, and you’ll only ever find one person who is your true match, and that’s it. If you lose that person, you’ll never have it again. I think this is a lie as well, actually. I don’t believe that Mr. Minty is the only man in the world I would ever find myself getting along with. After all, the great love I have with him is built through our shared experiences. I think this kind of bull comes from the unique, special snowflake thing – which would work if unique, special snowflakes come in pairs. But I can assure you, I am not mesmerised by Bear Grylls and I don’t like Death Race 2000. Mr. Minty for his part couldn’t give a shit about embroidery and beading, and is not mesmerised by Jo Seagar – my favourite Kiwi cook. We both happen to be a bit different in things without having to be completely incompatible.

So while I’ve made a substantial case that Sookie and Eric mirror each other’s traits, I do not for one moment believe that Sookie’s only shot at love is with Eric. I actually think that if Eric didn’t lock her down so tight, she might have more options. Looking at how he shut Quinn out of the entire state, I don’t think Eric Northman is averse to a bit of argy-bargy to keep the top spot. Quinn just pressed all of Eric’s buttons, with his flagrant disregard for Eric declaring that he owned Sookie. I think that if Eric left the state, Sookie would find herself with a whole lot more options, not alone and lonely as fic likes to do. Because how else can a writer justify putting her through years of shit, making sure that Eric’s happy all the while? But perhaps I’m letting my own gumption and self respect colour what I think would happen. So let’s analyse this puppy.

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Next Year – Season Finale in a Foundry

You’ll have to excuse my lateness. It wasn’t slackness, it was actually injury. It was Father’s Day here in Australia on Sunday, and I cooked Mr. Minty potstickers. You can’t buy these delectable little parcels of deliciousness in Australia – not that I’ve found. And we both fell in love with them on a trip to Los Angeles. All was going well until I deep fried the tip of my ring finger while crisping up the first batch. Goddamn my finger hurts when I type. Wince for me every time I press the SWX keys….fuck that hurt. It’s times like this that I wish I was one of those chicken peck typists and not a touch typist. Book post is up here.

Russell the Paper Tiger

Well, that was the least amount of fanfare ever. No building tension – they ruined it by not having Eric give Russell shifty eyes across the room all season. Having Eric kill Russell seems like a lame cop-out honestly. Particularly since I don’t believe that Eric would have been hovering around looking for Sookie to see what had her worried. This just seems to be pandering to the Eric/Sookie shippers in the most phone-it-in way. *sotto voce* It seems to have worked. Those chumps are going on about an endless love of the ages. Popcorn for smart people – pffffft. Evidence says that not seeing through this flimsy ploy makes them not the smart people. *resume normal voice and makes you swear you won’t tell them*. If I recall correctly, he’s been sticking it to Nora with the soundtrack “Fuck Sookie”, so him crapping on now is just because he needs something. I must say, Tweedleshithead did look particularly attractive this episode – I think this should be the new viral Eric picture:

As I predicted, Russell was really a lot of talk – he didn’t do much other than kill extras. None of whom we’d seen or care about, which doesn’t leave one with a lasting impression that he’s a character to worry about. I’m sure they’ll find a way to bring him back because he was probably the only thing keeping the ratings up this year. But he didn’t really do much as far as on screen. I mean, fuck – Demon Anya killed as many fratboys as he did. And I actually cared that she did – amazing what a good script can do…and it’s a pity True Blood doesn’t have one.
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AB ‘n’ Me – Ruiners

For those of you who didn’t notice, I was late and slack on the whole book post, but here it is. I’m committed to the one book post a week thing. And I think at this point, the only thing keeping me to that promise is the reminder of True Blood every week. I’m hoping that my workload and schedule cycle down sometime soon so I can do more than weekly updates.

You know, I do believe the channel I watch True Blood on actually inadvertently provided a review with their ad for it. It said “Get ready for a big old bloody mess” – and they were right. Ah, even the people who sell it know, and they’re trying to warn us, the kind hearted souls.

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Deep Impact

Before I go any further, you just have to look at this wonderful rage comic made by Finite Anarchy from how to write a Smarter Sookie post. It is the most awesome comic ever. I love it. 😀 Go and roar at her that you love it too, like I did. 😀 Then roar FINITE ANARCHY in her face to make her feel like a proper fanfic Sookie, whence Eric just had an orgasm and roared her name in her face. Women like that …apparently. 😀

This post is about the importance of having emotional integrity in characters. It’s something often missing from amateur writing, and I think it’s a big failure. I was kind of surprised that it rated so well in the poll actually. Colour me shocked. 😀 It’s been on the backburner for a while and slipped further back when I was concentrating on other comments and spoilers and such. And then after this post, it’s straight back to concentrating on spoilers. It’s already forming as I’m finishing this up.

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Smarter Sookie

So you want to rewrite canon from your starting point of choice and “improve” on the books and make them far more awesome. One of the ways you want to do that is give Sookie powers up the wazoo, give Sookie all the money in the world, or often times to make her smarter.

I keep seeing these claims that fics have a “Smarter Sookie” or reviewers claiming Sookie is smarter. It’s rare that I agree – she’s usually made way more stupid than Book Sookie, who, as I have discussed doesn’t seem so stupid to me.

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This Week in Fanfic…Damns Not Given

I suspect I had a similar experience to some of you, that went (for me) like so:

I’m sure this picture will be relevant again, although it may alter in the stunning way of “Reads from feed”. There’s just that much variety in these scenarios. I’ve mentioned the up-surge of rape-as-romances, and I’ve posted about the rape-as-romance phenomenon before. But I just wanted to say what I think the response should be when someone goes into the middle of a room that’s a bit messy, and takes a huge stinky dump, to share it all with us. For those of you that read here – I know you all pretty much think for yourselves, so I don’t intend to be the definitive word on this – just the perspective of what happens every single time this scenario comes up – the commonalities as it were.

My overall tactic is not to take it to the writer – via PM or reviews – my tactic is to immediately get my hands off that trainwreck and never consider reviewing that person again, and I’ll explain why with my FAQ, and save myself the PMs because I’ve been asked a couple of times now. Continue reading

Comfort Food

Lately I’ve been thinking about how things work out in fiction, as opposed to how fanfic often works them out. Most of the time, fanfic is forced (or readers want it to be forced) to be the most conventional story that ever existed. I was discussing that with a few friends by PM – the need to have a fanfic wherein the good get rewarded, the bad get punished, and there’s a sense of justice for the characters. It can be as simple as wanting all the ends tied up and infidelity/deceit punished, or Eric and Sookie together, even if Eric is an abusive rapist; or it can be just the (relatively constant) pleas of “You can’t leave it there! What did they do on their third grandchild’s birthday?”

Oh, so I made you one: Continue reading