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Chapter update: Chapter 4: If I Had Wings

Finn learns some lessons, and we get some perspective on a few things. And of course, BB-8 weighs in.

Poe looked over at Pava, rolling his eyes. “Do you let your astromech watch you fuck?” he asked. “I feel like that would be really inappropriate, but is that hopelessly old-fashioned of me?”

“I do not let my astromech watch me fuck,” Pava agreed, making a horrified face. “That is not old-fashioned, that is just having healthy personal boundaries. But BB’s right, if you’re a person who likes sex, it’s good to have it.”

“I am never going to hear the end of this,” Poe realized, looking at the curling corner of Pava’s mouth.

“Nope,” she said, popping the P, and got up.

“Jacket Thief would likely let you put your extensions in his ports,” BB-8 said to Poe, very earnest now.

“I don’t know who that is but it sounds like a great idea,” Pava said.

BB-8 refused to use any other name besides Jacket Thief for Finn. Poe covered his eyes with his hand. “I do not think Jacket Thief wants my extensions in his ports.”

“Everyone wants your extensions in their ports,” Pava said. “That’s like. A universal truth of the Resistance. Everyone wants Poe Dameron to put his extensions in their ports.”

“I am never going to hear the end of this,” Poe said, haunted.

“Nope!” Pava said cheerfully, and walked away.

Full story link 

This is juuuust about the halfway point of this story, so I really should have thought of a title for the sequel by now. 
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bomberqueen17:

I have given in to my crackier sensibilities and posted another short Star Wars work on AO3. It’s a kind of sequel to Dealing With Your Inevitable Crush, kind of, and it’s set after the events of the Novel more or less, but not totally in the same continuity. (Don’t worry about it, I’m the only one who cares about these things.)

Morale Surveys, based on the @deputychairman‘s terrible just-shower-thoughts reblog. 

Sometimes these things just– hit you just right, you know? Anyway. Hopefully this eases people’s time-change Monday, or just regular Monday if you’re not in this terrible backwards awful situation. 

I’m almost done with the dang novel. And then there might be a sequel to this too. Depends. 

Poe/Hux is also definitely happening but not in this sequence. <3

Evening reblog if you  missed it. Still not The Novel, but I wrote the end of the Novel today and this is kind of a celebration of it.
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I saw this when it was going around and then can’t find it again, but it was a Work-In-Progress Guessing Game and the whole game was just that you could send an ask with a word, and I’d respond with the sentence it appeared in, in my WIP.

In this case, though, since I have about eleventy-billion WIPs, you should specify whether you care which WIP. 

The list of works I still consider In-Progress:

The Star Wars Thing (Finn/Poe, OT3-ward leanings, and like 120k to pick from)
Subcategory: the Hoe/Pux thing (10k words of Poe and Hux being assholes to each other)

FOG and related– yes, I promised at least one Steve/Bucky/Natasha scene, and it’s still technically in-progress

Choice Is Not A Word A Bullet Knows and related: parts still in-progress include Facepunch and the resolution to the Peggy arc I solidified in Guts)

and yes, yes, yes, neither of the two SG:A verses are officially moribund. Two-Body Problem and Other Stuff are still both things I have active projects in, though they progress very, very, very slowly. 

If you don’t specify, I will pick whatever I’m most excited about the result of a cursory search in! 

If nobody sends me anything I will take it as some kind of sign. But don’t be shy. I like talking about myself sometimes. You can also send me asks about other things. That would be okay too.
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Mmm going by my emails, Friday marked one month since I decided to write this novel that nobody asked for. (I’d had an ask I’d answered, I think an anon one, where I’d said I was interested in the dynamic but didn’t need another epic. But Alby mentioned, as part of another convo, that she’d love to draw something. And so on 1/6 I banged out a summary. I was hoping for a 20k word story but you know I don’t play like that, baby.)

I’m at about 100k words. Part 1 is 50k and is out with betas, and has been for two weeks. Part 2 just surpassed 50k on Friday, before I left to come out here. 

Part of writing is that you uncover themes in your own work. You sometimes set out to say certain things, and I knew I had a couple points to make about found family and self-discovery and what not. But mostly, I tend to get surprised by stuff. 

Hilariously, Part 2 of this story at least seems to mostly be about inappropriately-honest motivational speeches. 

1) R2 tells Rey that their lack of a plan is an excellent guarantee of its success

2) Leia Organa tells Finn that pure seething rage is actually an excellent tool against the Dark Side if you’re committed enough, and also promises him that if he gets killed she’ll avenge him personally

3) Rey gives a comforting speech to Poe in which she tells him she’s not here to cheer him up she’s here to save the fucking day and he needs to suck it up buttercup and get saved (improbably, he actually *does* find this comforting)

4) “Your discipline is fucking terrible,” Finn said. “And I don’t mean your following orders. I mean your mental discipline. You need to focus, all right? All of you! You need to focus. You need to ground yourself in your mission. You have your orders, you have your task. There’s no fucking sightseeing on missions like that.”

I still don’t have an ending though. 
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“We have upgraded our collective databanks with additional information but it remains unclear,” BB-8 said, and projected a little hologram of–

“BB!” Poe said. “Where did you guys get porn?” This was what came of leaving the astromechs unattended together overnight in the hangar every night.

“Where didn’t they get it,” Pava said, tilting her head to get a better view of the hologram.

“Stop that,” Poe said, peering out from between his fingers, “that’s in poor taste. You can’t get real information from porn, it’s fictional, we’ve been over fiction, I know you know what it is.”

“Fictional,” BB-8 said, astonished. “This is fictional?” Ey sounded indignant, like perhaps ey felt ey’d been lied to.

“Nobody really fucks like that,” Poe said. 

“I wouldn’t know,” BB said a little accusingly, “you never let me watch and anyway, you never do it, which is the entire point of this discussion. Clearly humans would not be so obsessed with this thing if it was not necessary?”

Poe grimaced. “Could you turn that off please?”

“Ew,” Pava said, turning her head the other way as the view shifted.

BB-8 finally turned the holo off. “Necessary,” ey insisted.

“No,” Poe said, “it’s really not. Some people don’t even like it at all.”

“You do though!” BB-8 insisted.

Poe looked over at Pava for support. “Do you let your astromech watch you fuck?” he asked. “I feel like that would be really inappropriate, but is that hopelessly old-fashioned of me?”

“I do not let my astromech watch me fuck,” Pava agreed. “That is not old-fashioned, that is just having healthy personal boundaries. But BB’s right, if you’re a person who likes sex, it’s good to have it.”

“I am never going to hear the end of this,” Poe realized, looking at the curling corner of Pava’s mouth.

“Nope,” she said, popping the P, and got up.

“Jacket Thief would likely let you put your extensions in his ports,” BB-8 said to Poe, very earnest now.

“I don’t know who that is but it sounds like a great idea,” Pava said.

BB-8 refused to use any other name besides Jacket Thief for Finn. Poe covered his eyes with his hand again. “I do not think Jacket Thief wants my extensions in his ports.”

“Everyone wants your extensions in their ports,” Pava said. “That’s like. A universal truth of the Resistance. Everyone wants Poe Dameron to put his extensions in their ports.”

“I am never going to hear the end of this,” Poe said, haunted.

“Nope!” Pava said cheerfully, and walked away.

From the WIP. Currently standing at 47k. More thoughts next post. 
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It will in fact go up on AO3! I don’t have a timeframe for it yet but it will definitely be posted there. Thank you for asking! :)
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I could, but here’s the thing– sometimes that works, and I have some plans to go back and do that in some older works, someday if I become less prolific– but a lot of times, these things are tossed out for a reason. The basic bones of it aren’t stable, but all the character notes are good, in this case. I had two characters I didn’t know well, and a third character I knew well whose POV it absolutely wasn’t, and I spent 10k flailing, having plot just– happen– and it won’t hold together, not even as an outtake. But all the good parts of it– I mean, I sorted the plot for *the entire work*, including the 50k of stuff that I’d thought was mostly finished beforehand– the good parts of it will work beautifully if i start over and build a new framework.

Nothing is ever wasted. Nothing is ever really thrown away. I don’t ever delete things; I sometimes even save a copy and do my revisions in a new draft, if I’m getting rid of a major direction. Anything more than a couple of paragraphs, I hang onto. Because you never know. It all gets reused eventually. 

(The really hard part is when you have ¾ of something good, and eventually realize you’ll never get the other ¼, and you should just recycle the parts, and god, that’s hard, to go through and strip out the good parts, because it’s usually enough that you have to discard the old thing afterward. It’s hard! But it’s important and it helps you make stronger things going forward.)
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I have a bunch more Full of Grace material, not totally organized. I had to put it onto hiatus for various December reasons, and I partly killed my momentum beating myself up for not ever quite finishing the last chapter of Facepunch. So those are a Thing, and have pushpins stuck in them, but I have immediate plans to return to both as soon as this new thing (actually there are two new Things, one being Star Wars and the other being as-yet undiscussed) is beaten into a semblance of shape, enough so that I know I can walk away and it won’t fall over while I’m gone. 

So– I don’t have a schedule, because precisely what I thought would happen if I let myself start a new fandom has happened– namely, it ate me headfirst and screaming– but someone bribed me with an art collaboration and I plumb lost my head. (As one does. Hey. I don’t get a lot of offers.) 

But I do have a priority list in my head, and I haven’t said several of the major things I wanted to with FOG. Although another source of hesitation is that I’m about to take a plot twist there and I’m sort of thinking I should consider marking one story complete and starting another? I’d meant to about 20k ago– so– there’s that too. There’s organizational stuff to ponder.

Which is why I haven’t posted any Star Wars. It’s got to organize itself too, and I’m rather pleased actually at my own restraint, because spending another little while organizing it means I can do craaaazy things like actually foreshadowing plot twists and setting up emotional resolutions and stuff, instead of just blindsiding the reader all the damn time.
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This is going to be in the Hour of Our Death series at some point, or is in that continuity, anyway, but I just can’t figure out where or when. It came to me kind of entire a little while ago, and I wrote it, and I’ve been sitting on it, and I just– it wants out, so I’m posting it here, at least temporarily. (For anyone not reading that series, Full of Grace has as one of its major plot points that Bucky’s trying to avoid disappearing into a basement after his inevitable recapture by making a series of videos that go viral on the Internet, so– there’s none of his POV in the story, except the videos, which he mostly narrates.)

It’s A Funny Story, 2400ish words, tw for descriptions of gore and depersonalization: The Winter Soldier tells the viewer all about cryostasis.

“I got a story,” the Soldier said without preamble, sitting back from the camera. He was shirtless, illuminated by silvery natural light from an offscreen window to his left. “I got a story I gotta tell. I don’t got names or dates or nothin’, I just, I gotta tell it. I was thinkin’ about this and I just– I don’t know if there’s a point, lemme tell it and I’ll figure it out.”

He sat back in the rickety wooden chair he was in, which creaked in protest at his weight, and crossed his arms across his chest, metal over flesh. “So here’s the thing with– I was readin’ documentation on this, I know now I’m the only one ever to survive cryo, and I know people been, like, debating it. Like, it could help real people or something, and I gotta tell you, no. Just– no. It’s– no.” He sat forward. “In the docs it talks about some stuff that sounds all medical and sterile and boring and whatever.” He gestured with the metal hand, a flyaway gesture. His hair was loose and fell in his face, and he shook it back absently, a practiced gesture. “Subject experienced tissue damage, organ function compromised, acclimatization period blah blah. Skin sensitivity, I remember that phrase. So like– the only reason I survived thawing was that I got amped tissue regeneration. I got a healing factor. And it’s like– it’s a doozy. Okay? I know they tried to duplicate it, it gave all the subjects like–” He closed his eyes, shook his head quickly, “fast-acting face cancer or some shit. Don’t fuck with it.” He grimaced. “It’s not– actually a picnic. Is the thing. Anyway.”

He sat back a little, shoving his hair back more with his skin hand. “I could try to tell you how fuckin’ nasty it was, but I’m gonna tell you a story instead. So imagine– I don’t know what year it was. I don’t know how long I’d been in cryo. I know it was some kind of party. Whoever had me in his department, he was having some kind of shindig, showing off for other people, right? So you know how sometimes nowadays– well, everybody’s got a freezer. And you see it on sitcoms and memes and things.” He glanced up. “You see like, Mom asks the kids to take the chicken out of the freezer to defrost it so she can make dinner when she gets home, right?” His eyes were very blue in the indirect light, a cloudy hazeled blue, and he cocked an eyebrow. “And the punchline is, the kid forgets to take the chicken out and then the mom is super mad.”

He gestured. “Whoever was in charge of getting me out of cryo didn’t leave enough time.

 I don’t know the details, I was never awake for this, but it takes a while for the tank to come up to temp, and then I gotta be on a respiration machine dealie, my lungs were flooded with PFC fluid during stasis and had to switch out to air, it’s this whole process, and you can’t like microwave me to hurry it along because I’m still wrapped in foil.”

He grinned, and brandished the arm. “Ding! Somebody made that joke and I been waitin’ to repeat it forever. Anyway.” He looked down, then brushed his hair back. “Ah. So like, some schmoe fucks it up and I’m not defrosted in time for whatever this fuckin’ party is, and they’re like, trying to hurry me along. It takes, like, a while for me to come up to speed outta the cryo tank. I’m not sayin’ how long, because like, I don’t need that info out there but also I don’t know, see. Because I’m not in great shape and it’s not like I can possibly understand what’s going on for that first, y’know, couple hours or whatever.” He shrugged, rolled his eyes a little. “To put it mildly.”

He sighed, blew his breath out through his mouth, clearly collecting himself to tell the story. “So I guess the deal was, they were gonna have me fight, like a prizefighter, show off how good I was at fighting, right? So they got some– some guys, soldiers or convicts or whatever, I’ve no idea to this day what the deal was. Only I’m, you know. I got organ failure, not everything comes back in the right order, my skin is sloughing off, I’m shitting out my intestinal lining, I’m puking blood and stomach lining and what have you, and I can’t stop screaming. So there’s your image, that’s what cryo is like. That’s what defrosting is like. I got this crazy regeneration thing that’s keeping me alive, I’m held together internally by microfilaments– I don’t know, I can’t find any documentation, I still got it and it unnerves the fuck outta me every time. But I’m like, I should be dead, okay? And so I’m– I can’t bear anything touching my skin, my skin is splitting and bleeding. My nerves, it’s like I’m in boiling water, there’s fire, there’s ice, I’m screaming. My vocal cords aren’t working right, they’re half-shredded, I’m making these awful fucking noises, I’m like howl-groaning and puking while I do it.”

He tipped his head back and made a wavering, half-voiced, awful hoarse noise, Wookie-like. “I sound like Chewbacca in a blender. I’m bleeding from the fuckin’ eyes. I’m just, shitting out like, body parts. It’s horrifying. It’s disgusting. It’s– it’s monstrous. It’s fuckin’ horrible, is what it is, and it’s like, the boss’s like, big party for the muckety-mucks like, he’s reapplying for funding or something, they really really need me to go out there and show ‘em what I got, right. Puking. Shitting. Howling. And they’re like–”

He cut himself off, shaking his head. “Up and at ‘em, tiger!” He gestured with one hand, a gung-ho clenched-fist gesture. “They’re just– totally trying to ignore what a disaster I am, like, I’ll snap out of it if they just believe hard enough, right? They’re trying to psych me up. And I’m drooling, my eyes are pointing opposite directions–” He held up his hands in front of his face, fingers pointing out in opposing directions as if to indicate the directions of his gaze. “I’m like, totally incoherent. And naked, don’t forget that. There’s just– I’m shitting blood, I’m drooling puke. It’s fuckin’ horrifying. I don’t know who I am, I have no memories of anything, as far as I know I’ve just been born, this is the first thing that’s ever happened to me. And I’m in goddamn agony. And these jackasses, they know they’re gonna get fired or killed or whatever, so they just–” He grimaced. “Like, if they just pretend this is fine, we’ll be okay, right?” He rolled his eyes, and sighed, and shook his head.

“Yeah. They hose me down, which is fucking agony– even the water splits my skin, I’m just a fuckin’ mess. And they get a pair of, like,” he gestured, holding his hands out in front of his belly. “Shorts. Big ones. Like boxers wear. Big shorts on me. Red, I remember that. And like, the waistband is just ripping my skin. It’s agony. I’m too uncoordinated to fight them off. But they can’t get shoes on me, they just can’t, no matter how hard they fuckin’ ignore my screaming and flailing. They’re like, I remember one guy being like, it’s okay! He doesn’t need shoes! This is fine! Like, massive denial.”

He closed his eyes a moment, shook his head slowly, gestured with one hand, a helpless palm-upward half-curled-finger gesture of resignation or supplication or giving up. “So I got no shoes on, just these shorts. I’m droolin’. I’m probably still shittin’ blood. And they get me up on my feet, and it hurts everywhere they touch me, it’s agony to stand, my feet are like, fucked-up. And I can’t balance. I’m staggering around. My arm,” and he gestured at the metal shoulder. “The metal arm is glitching, I don’t have control, it’s just like, twitchin’ around, and it’s jerkin’ me off-balance.”

He paused, looking down, and crossed his arms across his chest again. “Thing is? I think it had been like, a fancy dinner party. Military types, politicians, etc. And this is, like, out back, or somethin’. The wives and everybody else, they’re inside with like, cocktails or dessert or whatever. And the men come out to this– it was like a gym, and there’s a ring, and all these guys are in their dress uniforms and suits. It’s a fancy fuckin’ party, they got drinks and cigars and whatnot. And they’re here to see a display of, I dunno.” He shook his hair back, glanced over at the camera. “I think they were supposed to be seeing my fighting prowess. I’ve surely been talked up, right? Like, I’m this mystical shit, I’m some kind of magical super-soldier weapon. And they have– the guys they have to go up against me are just random guys, I think. Convicts maybe? I dunno. I probably was supposed to kill them. I don’t know. I can’t think about it too hard. They were just a random assortment. And they’d kind of sorted them, right? I think?” He screwed up his face, gestured at his head. “Again, my memory of all this is a little hazy. They had a little guy, a kid really, to face me first, and then a slightly bigger one, on up, and there were at least half a dozen of them and the last one was this big meathead scary motherfucker. If I’m remembering right. Which– I might not be.” He waved a hand near his face, the metal hand as it happened, and it was bare and glittering in the light. “It’s kinda not the point of the story, but I mean. It’s relevant.”

He shook his head. “So they must have announced me or something, and there’s all this frantic he’s not ready and somebody’s like, well make him ready come on, and I’m like, still trying to scream because I can’t– to say I don’t know what’s going on is a huge fucking understatement. I just, like, I don’t know what reality is. I’m not competent to walk. I’m not even breathing right yet, I’m coughing up lung tissue. There’s just, it’s all blood. I know I couldn’t bear the light, it was like knives in my eyes, and everything was red. That’s why I remember the shorts, because later they were still red. But then everything was red. And I couldn’t stand up.”

He paused, looked up. “It’s a funny story,” he said, “I guess, it’s supposed to be, but I mean, I was in agony. So I’m only guessing how funny it was to the people there. Because I know it was funny, I heard the story told later, which is the only reason I’m able to reconstruct it as well as I am.” He glanced straight into the camera. “I’m assuming the people who told it again in my presence are dead of old age. I can’t recall specifics well enough, but it was a very long time ago.”

He cleared his throat, and pushed his hair back. “So they must’ve announced me, and my handlers get me on my feet and point me the right way, and one of ‘em lightly socks me in the shoulder. Like,” he makes a big cheesy grin, “go get ‘em. And he probably barely touches me but it splits the skin and it fuckin’ hurts. So I fuckin’ deck him.” He gestures, a punch, with the left arm, swinging wide. “Only I got no coordination, no control at all. So I think I broke his jaw. Maybe his neck. He goes down like a sack of bricks. Scares the shit outta me, I didn’t mean to do it, it was reflex, and I don’t know how my body works at all. I don’t know what’s just happened. They’re all freaking out. They shove me out the door. So I come out into this bright room, this boxing ring place– so bright, knives, in my eyes– and I’m bleeding and shitting myself and puking and howling, and there are all these people and I don’t understand what’s just happened, so I’m standing there like, fuckin’, bellowing, because everything hurts and I don’t know where or who I am and I’m fuckin’ terrified. And– it’s just– there I am, staggering, I look like I’m drunk, I’m a mess.”

He gestured. “That’s the punchline, kind of, I think. Here, this super-soldier secret weapon, and I come out and I’m this horrifying monstrosity, blood down my cheeks, puking and staggering and glitching and making this inhuman noise.”

He paused a moment. “That’s the part where everyone laughs,” he said, with a horrible sad smile and an encouraging gesture, a little nod. “When the person telling the story is impersonating me, staggering and flailing like Frankenstein’s monster, groaning– that’s always when everyone laughs.” He let the sad little smile thin out into something unmistakably bitter, then looked down and away from the camera. “Later one time my handlers all sat with me and watched that movie, the Frankenstein movie, and I remember it because I was so hurt.” He turned his head to one side slightly, tilting it, mouth pulling sideways. “And I remembered having seen the movie, I think, I know I saw it when I was a kid– and I was so confused, and they were laughing because it was me. I recognized it. I was the monster.” He curled into himself a little, left arm across his stomach and right holding it in place, and let out a tiny, shaky breath; a profound little noise. “I didn’t have any context, but I got it. I mean, now, I understand. I was a monster. And if you’re just some kid, you signed up to be a soldier and they make you work with this fucked-up thing, you gotta deal with that somehow. So you poke fun at the monster, a little, to try and kind of. Have some control, I guess. But I just. I was so hurt.”

He twisted his mouth to one side, and glanced up at the camera, raising his eyebrows to look up without lifting his head. “It’s a funny story, I’m told.” He looked back down. “I don’t remember what happened, really. That’s the– the thing is, I know, I killed the guys I was supposed to kill. I got out there, I’m screaming and bleeding, they made the kid come at me to fight me, and he’s sort of laughing, like is this for real, and he comes up and just sort of hits me, not all that hard, and I just, I straight-up took his head off.” He shrugged. “I just– I didn’t remember anything, I didn’t know what was happening, but I knew I was supposed to fight, I kinda picked that up. So I just, I think I just punched their heads off.” He shrugged again, still looking down. “I don’t know if it illustrated what it was supposed to. I was in so much goddamn pain, and I was so fuckin’ terrified. I don’t remember what happened, I just remember I was so fuckin’ scared and everything hurt and I didn’t understand. And then later when they told the story, I just–”

He stopped, and was silent for a moment, breathing in sharp, breathing out slow. He didn’t raise his head, shoulders hunched, staring down. “It’s a funny story,” he said again, muffled, and sat like that for a moment, and then the video cut out.
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bomberqueen17:

Ficlet series: outtakes from before I fell down the rabbit hole and wrote an epic. (This is how I write epics, btw, I open a document and start writing things that amuse me until I suddenly get sucked into A PIT OF FEELS and that’s where the plot comes from.)

Bucky Barnes makes hilarious, sometimes-serious videos as part of his recovery. 

Part One

Part Two

Part Three: 

The text appeared, bright yellow, on a blank black screen. Bucky Barnes’ Children’s Funtime Corner.

The Benny Hill theme started playing over a montage of images. Steve ran by, in workout gear, obviously just jogging for fitness, and suddenly Bucky dropped from above the frame, wrapped his thighs around his neck, and took him to the floor. “Ow,” Steve said, off-camera, weakly. 

Sam came down a hallway in his underpants (exceedingly flattering boxer briefs), looking morning-sleepy and half-conscious (and fucking glorious), shuffling stiffly and yawning. Bucky jumped out at him and Sam screamed and reflexively punched Bucky so hard they both fell over. 

Keep reading

I had forgotten I ever posted these. One year ago! Insomnia is sending me on a little jaunt through the weird back alleys of my back catalogue. Apologies for the self-reblog spam.

I really ought to collect everything into a central AO3 location. 
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bomberqueen17:

Ficlet series: These are outtakes from before the Choice Is Not A Word A Bullet Knows series began to coalesce. Traces of them exist in that series but these are from a rather different atmosphere. I’m struggling a bit so it struck me that I could post this mini-series here on Tumblr. I’ll perhaps eventually collect them on AO3 if they hold up as amusing. 

They’re in a scrap document called “videos”, and perhaps unsuprisingly (though it would be surprising if you knew how not-descriptive most of my working titles are) most of them are just descriptions of videos posted on social media by an Avengers Tower-confined Bucky Barnes as he readjusts to life as a non-puppet. 

Part 1:

The week Bucky discovered Instagram let you post videos was simultaneously awesome and terrible for PR for the remnants of SHIELD and the inhabitants of Stark Tower.

Keep reading
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I’m weak and I’m still letting myself doodle more for that story I am not writing. I’m really sucked-in guys. If I’d told myself to go for it I would’ve already lost interest. This is so dumb but this is how my brain works.

If, theoretically, Bucky had a box of orphaned/abandoned kittens he was bottle-feeding, and he’d secretly named them, just for his own reference, what do you think he would name them?

There are five, two females and three males. One female is a loudmouth gray tabby, one male is a black tabby with cream and gray who likes to ride inside Bucky’s hood, and the other three are tuxedo kitties. 

He also walks the big dogs at the local shelter, which are too big for the little old lady who mostly volunteers there. There’s an exuberant German Shepherd mix female who is utterly devoted to him, and he to her, though he won’t adopt her because that’s a promise he can’t keep. But if she had a name, what would it be?

I am taking any and all suggestions. Because I’m not really writing this, see, but I just like to think about it. (OK to use chat, messages, asks, whatever, or comments on Dreamwidth or LJ.)

(I was leaning toward him naming the kittens for the Howling Commandos but then, the females? unless he’s genderbending them? he wouldn’t name any of them for steve or peggy because in this verse those two are still alive and active and possibly trying to bring him in to what they think will be safe custody.)

?
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It’s up! The rest of Ch 13, with the Neko Atsume stuff and meeting Lakeisha’s family and getting some of her Tragic Backstory. We’re also getting more of James’s cyborg deal revealed. I promise that’s cooler than it sounds. 

Chapter 13, That’s All Right (Mama), and I’m so high on knockoff Mucinex that I’m starting to think I’ve already used that chapter title somewhere else so maybe I’ll fix that and maybe I won’t. Fuck, we’re all lucky if I haven’t just pasted the script from the Bee movie in there instead of the chapter I wrote, because I don’t know where my face is.

I am most proud of this line:

Lakeisha stared at him, and it was really good she’d transcended her physical form or there would have been more hitting. “You would love for this to be about that, wouldn’t you?”

Oh siblings. I love siblings. Also I might set a record for the number of times I have a character curse in one segment of dialogue. 

Also, Baghead Idiot: 

My dude literally has an actual figurine of this character on his keychain. He’s got a real name, but in our household he’s just called Baghead Idiot. 
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> hope you finish it

this is the sweetest most optimistic sentiment to express, LOL. Honey. I never finish anything. And I don’t mean that I abandon things, it’s that i keep going long after most people would have concluded. The facepunch story should have ended at chapter 9 minus cliffhanger, and 9 onward should’ve been a separate story, which I feel like I then could’ve wrapped up a little more neatly– as it is, I’m stuck on the finale because i feel like it needs to be weightier than I’m making it. 

Well. I overthink things. And it was a sweet sentiment. My point was actually that I have so many ideas, it’s not a question of the story continuing a long time, it’s a question of me picking a stopping point. :)
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Steve’s mom got him a camera when he was 13 and recovering from pneumonia. It was a cheap one, used, one of the really basic box cameras, but she knew he liked to draw, and knew many artists used photographs as references. She was, Steve thought rather bitterly, always on the look-out for things he could do without going outside or moving too much.

Of course Bucky instantly knew how to use it. His family had a much fancier camera, one of the kind that folded, and had a nice leather case, and had a lens that could be focused. It also had been purchased new, and that meant it had its instruction manual with it. The instruction manual was important, because it had the chart in it that told you how to make the pictures come out. Steve knew that developing film was expensive, and he didn’t want to waste any.

So Bucky came over after school with the notes he’d collected from Rosemarie Anderson, who was in Steve’s class, and also with his father’s camera, in its original box with the instruction manual.

“Dad almost never uses this,” Bucky confided. “He thought he would, when he bought it, but like Mom said, he shot like one roll of film with it and then put it back in the box and only drags it out when she makes him.”

It was a very nice camera, in a very nice box– black, with orange chevrons, and the interior of the box was a lustrous gold, matching the cover of the manual. The camera and its case were exactly the same shade of brown, and there was all kinds of fancy chrome detailing on the camera’s body. To open it, there was a button you had to press, and the door dropped down to reveal a folding bellows assembly and a lens that slid out onto the door on a track, and settled into place with a really substantial and satisfying click.

Steve’s own camera was much less interesting. Somewhat battered, and it was just a box, a solid box, and there was a lever to make the shutter go, and that was it. But Bucky wasn’t fazed at all. “This kind’s just as good,” he said. “The back opens like this, see?”

He unfastened the catch and opened the rear door. That much, Steve had figured out on his own. “I can’t see where the film goes in, though,” Steve said.

“You gotta pull out the film holder,” Bucky said, and his strong fingers wrapped around something Steve couldn’t make out in all that matte black interior. “And you gotta pull out the film winding knob. Here.” He wound the knob until it protruded, then pulled carefully on the very back of the camera’s interior, and worked out the camera’s insert, which was all matte black and looked like wood or cardstock. “Here, this is where the roll goes in. You take the empty roll out and put it in the takeup position, and then you put the new roll where the empty one was and wind it through.” He demonstrated deftly.

“You taken a lot of pictures?” Steve asked a little gruffly.

“Yeah,” Bucky said, “Dad always made me load the camera because he said I had clever little hands.”

“They’re not that little,” Steve said, and Bucky paused, holding his hand out, palm up. Steve fitted his hand against it, and they were pretty close to the same size, but Steve’s hands and feet had always been kind of too big for his small frame. His mother had used to joke that it was because he was like a puppy and he’d grow into them, but he was starting to worry he might not. Most of the boys his age hadn’t hit their growth yet, but he privately doubted that his weak heart would be able to withstand the kind of dramatic growth spurt a lot of the older boys seemed to go through.

Bucky was still pretty small, but he was growing steadily, perfectly average for his age and bigger than Steve by the year. He’d grow into his hands too, but a lot sooner than Steve would.

His skin was warm and dry, and he held his hand against Steve’s longer than he had to just to measure. “I guess,” he said finally, and Steve couldn’t tell what he was thinking. “So what do you want to take pictures of?”

“I can’t go outside yet,” Steve said, glum.

“Me, then,” Bucky said, cheerful. “I’m the only interesting thing in this place.” He pretended to preen, patting at his curls like a girl– but his hair was too short for curls, so it was a meaningless gesture. He fluttered his eyelashes, too.

When it was long enough, his hair did curl, and quite fashionably too. Unlike Steve’s, which just flopped into his eyes. Like it was doing now. He shoved it out of the way a little fiercely. “Interesting is the nicest way to put it,” he said.

“I got character,” Bucky said. He neatly fitted the roll of film into place. “Anyway. It goes in like this, and then you pull the leader over this way and thread it through the take-up reel, like so. Then the whole insert goes back into the box like that.” He shoved the insert back into position and fastened the catch. “Then you gotta wind the take-up reel. You know it worked ‘cuz you can feel the resistance. Got it?”

Steve took the camera from him obediently, and wound the take-up reel in the direction of the arrow. “Okay,” he said. “Your camera doesn’t work the same way, though, does it?”

“Nah,” Bucky said, “but we had one of these when I was little, I used to load it for Dad too. Oh yeah, don’t load it outside, load it where it’s kinda dim.”

“Is it dim in here?” Steve asked, looking around the bedroom. The blinds were mostly drawn. He supposed it was.

Bucky laughed, and went over and opened the blinds. Sunlight streamed in. “That’s perfect now,” he said. “You can take a picture indoors if there’s sunlight. Here, in the book, it lays it out pretty good.”

Steve read through the charts, and Bucky got his father’s camera out and set it up and focused it and then went and posed, and Steve did as he was shown and took a picture. As long as it was a picture of Bucky, then Bucky’s mom probably wouldn’t complain about them wasting film. So he peered through the backwards-and-upside-down little mirrored finder and approximately centered Bucky in the frame, lit from the side, and took the picture when Bucky looked appropriately solemn and dreamy, gazing out the window with his eyelashes somewhat lowered.

“That’ll be a good one,” Bucky said approvingly, having heard the click. “Now you gotta wind the film.”

Steve did, and then he set up his camera, and Bucky posed him in the sunbeam and showed him how the view-finder worked to compose the picture, then took a portrait of him. Steve sat self-consciously, and tried to make the same expression Bucky had, tried to look interesting, tried not to look deathly ill, and Bucky said quietly, “Yeah, Stevie,” and took the picture.

“You think it’ll come out?” Steve asked, squirming a little.

“You looked like an angel,” Bucky said. “Your mom will like it, I think.” He wound the film and put the camera down. “Anyway, that’s enough of that for now, we gotta get through these notes.”
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I didn’t mean for this to happen. But I put them in a cab together and Natasha got in in the middle.

James bent and kissed her temple. “I know about the trackers,” he said. “I wear those boots on purpose, Nat.”

“I thought you probably knew,” she said.

Steve was watching them, and she glanced over at him. “Don’t judge me,” she said. “You’d put a tracking device on him too if you had a chance.”

Steve smiled sadly. “I haven’t had a chance,” he said. “I count on you for that sort of thing.” He considered her a moment, then leaned down and kissed her other temple.

“I demonstrate my affection through inappropriately intrusive surveillance,” she said, a little glumly.

“You do better than that,” James said. “You’re why I even bother pretending to be a person, ever.”

“I gotta admit,” Steve said into the moment of silence that followed that, “the same goes for me, Nat.”

“I barely even hang out with you,” Natasha said. “I haven’t done shit for you, Steve.”

Steve put his hand on hers, where it was on his thigh. “You definitely have,” he said.

“You makin’ a move on my girl?” James asked, mouth curling with– it was trouble, that was the best Natasha could do at parsing it.

Steve looked over at him, head tilted at an angle Natasha hadn’t seen much of. “Only if you want me to,” he said.

“Oh, ho ho,” James said, and leaned in. His body was warm all along her side, and he murmured, right in her ear. “Has Steve ever told you about the time we shared a girl?”

“Noooo,” Natasha said slowly, turning her head a little to look at Steve. “Maybe you should tell me that story.”

Steve leaned in a little. “Bucky tells it better,” he said, his voice a low rumble of a murmur, vibrating in his chest along her arm.

“I doubt that,” James said, his lips brushing against her neck as he spoke, barely a hint of voice in his breathing. “I never told anybody that story, Stevie. That was never a braggin’ story.”

Natasha couldn’t help it, she tipped her head up to give him better access to her neck. “I love the way you tell stories, James,” she said, “but you know, there don’t have to be words in this story.”

Steve let out a low rumble of a chuckle. “That’s one way of putting it,” he said.

James kissed her neck, slow and teasing, mostly lips, a nip of teeth and a soothing touch of tongue, working his way slowly up from her shoulder to her throat. She caught her breath and tightened her fingers on Steve’s leg. “I like this story,” she whispered.

“You oughta hear Steve’s side of it,” James murmured.

“Oh?” She blinked dreamily, and slid her gaze over to where Steve was watching James’s mouth from under his eyelashes. “I bet I’d like that,” she said.

Steve’s eyelashes were just unreal, how long they were, and his mouth was shiny and plush and red and she wanted him. “Would you?” he asked, letting his eyes move slowly up from James’s mouth, to her mouth, to her eyes.
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Oh oh oh this made me go back thru my Giant Scrivener Doc O’ Fanfic and find the thing I remember as my earliest foray into this fandom, after TWS came out and I was like OH MY GODDDDDDD (as so many people were), and I found a gem, a real gem, that has never been incorporated into anything. This is the abortive first flailings of my getting into this fandom. 

I HAD COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN. 

This is for you. 

— “Can you tell us a little about what Captain America is like as a person?” the woman asked, smiling with a lot of teeth, shoving a microphone at Natasha’s face.

Sam grimaced, actually physically tensing to prepare for what would happen when Natasha thigh-choked and flipped the woman, but Natasha just pushed the microphone back slightly with her palm, steadied it, and smiled dangerously.

“He’s very nice,” she said. The woman had noticed Sam’s facial acrobatics, and his unwittingly skeptical look now, and turned her attention on him.

“Are you a friend of his?” the woman asked, predatory, moving the microphone over to Sam.

“Sure am,” Sam said easily, but he was sort of annoyed; c’mon, there weren’t a lot of black dudes who flew around New York with actual wings, it was pretty rich that nobody ever recognized him.

“Can you tell us anything unexpected?” the woman asked. “What about Captain America would you least expect?”

“He cusses like a sailor when he doesn’t think anybody’s listening,” Sam said, counting off on his fingers. “That’s number one. Number two, he will not put his damn smartphone down for anything. If it’s not texts, he’s Tweeting, he’s playing games on it, he’s— oh my God he beat my Flappy Bird score, I was so mad—“

“State secrets,” Natasha said.

“Oh,” Sam said, “oh, and this girl, oh, you know I think she actually beat Flappy Bird, I can’t even. I just— I can’t even, y’know?”

“That’s classified,” Natasha said, and now the woman was looking at her again. She hadn’t known who Natasha was either. Man this chick was dumb.

“And number three,” Sam said, drawing the woman’s attention back. “Number three, in the list of things you would not expect about Steve Rogers, is that—“

“Is that he’s standing right behind you,” Steve said, amused. He put an arm around Sam’s shoulders. “What foul lies are you spreading?”

“I told them about the cussing,” Sam said.

“No,” Steve said, laughing, hiding his face behind his hand. “Oh god. My image.”

“You filthy, man,” Sam said.

“I try,” Steve said earnestly to the woman. “I really try not to say bad words. I tried the thing where you put a rubber band around your wrist and snap it! I tried putting a quarter in the swear jar, I tried all of it. It’s just, you know, you stub your toe, are you really, really gonna say jeepers? Phooey! C’mon. I grew up in Brooklyn, we never talked like that.”

“That’s the truth,” Sam commented, slipping easily into the entertaining-sidekick mode for the benefit of the cameras. He’d never been one to Tom it up but for Steve, sometimes, he found himself doing it anyway.

“How come you don’t wanna ask me for secrets about the Falcon?” Steve asked the interviewer, gesturing at Sam. “He’s way cooler than me! He has a jetpack with wings and more actual service-related military decorations than me.”

Sam actually blushed a little, really touched. “You’re a good dude,” he said to Steve.

“Not as good a dude as you,” Steve said, and shook him a little. “I got a secret about the Falcon: he snores.”

“I do not!” Sam exclaimed, batting at Steve’s arm. “Oh! I do not!”

“Like a chainsaw,” Steve said to the interviewer, then laughingly pulled Sam away into the building. “What was your third thing gonna be?” he asked Sam as they went through the door.

“Hm?”

“The third thing you were gonna tell her,” Steve said.

“I was gonna tell her you drink milk straight from the carton,” Sam said.

Steve laughed. “It’s my apartment, it’s my refrigerator, I do what I want.”

______

Steve woke up as Bucky settled onto the bed, kneeling astride his chest, ruthlessly trapping his arms with precisely-placed knees. “Muh,” Steve said, startled but too groggy to react— and too restrained by his instinctive awareness that this was Bucky and sudden motions were out of line. “Whuh?”
Bucky was holding— he was holding a laptop, open, shoving the screen into Steve’s face.
It was a headline. “CAPTAIN AMERICA IS GAY!” it read.
“Is what,” Steve said blankly, focusing with difficulty on the smaller type. Yes, his eyesight was excellent, but he had been awake for six and a half seconds and Bucky was really heavy.
Bucky let out a cackle of laughter. “This is the best one yet,” he said, and stood up, dropping the laptop on Steve’s chest. “This is awesome. Now will you fuck him already?”
Steve shoved himself up on an elbow, rescuing the laptop as it lurched off toward the floor, and read the story. “Caught outside the gala last night on the red carpet, we snagged an interview with two of Steve Rogers’s friends as Captain America signed autographs. Sam Wilson, better known as the Falcon, revealed intimate knowledge of Captain America’s home habits, but the real shocker was when Cap himself returned to the conversation, embracing the Falcon in a definitely more-than-friendly way and telling our surprised correspondent about some of the Falcon’s habits in bed!”
Steve sighed. “Coulson’ll probably want to kill me,” he said, “but honestly, I don’t see the harm.”
“So fuck him,” Bucky said, raw and intense, “for the love of God, you deserve to have something,” and it suddenly wasn’t all that funny, and he was gone.

5, 6, 13

Nov. 28th, 2015 01:40 am
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You didn’t say which fic! I am going to do Full of Grace, then, because that’s the current ongoing. 

5: What part was hardest to write?

There’s no one part that’s been hard, I’d say, but what I’ve hit my head against a lot is that I wrote this all out of order and I keep having to write in-between scenes. The whole thing started off as bits I wrote during A Face Built For Gettin’ Punched wherein Bucky did not immediately turn himself in, but instead kept his distance, and I wanted to know what that would entail, so I had snippets going back about a year before I started posting anything. I only posted it because I couldn’t get organized any other way. 

6: What makes this fic special or different from all your other fics?

Arguably the main character is Bucky, right? His POV does not directly appear anywhere in the story. I’ve been obsessed with POV for about ten years, ever since a point about a decade ago where I noticed I sucked at it, and so I always write tight-3rd, almost always from the main character’s POV. That lets you have all the nice juicy angst without the stoic manly character being OOC to say it all out loud. 
I decided this would work better if I didn’t. Also, nobody tells stories from Natasha’s POV much, and I thought she was underrepresented. So much outcry for a Black Widow movie, but nobody’s letting her be the narrator. (And I originally wanted to do the whole thing from her POV but that wasn’t feasible; there are chunks of the story she doesn’t witness. So originally it was going to be only from women’s POVs– Natasha, Lakeisha, Wanda– but then I had to put Steve and Sam in there because, again, I don’t have women witnessing everything that has to happen. And I cheated by giving Bucky videos to express himself directly and tell his own story, but I sort of figured I’d do that from the beginning.)

A thing I’m not fond of in my own writing is that I feel the need to extensively tell the reader *everything*, and I’ve been working really hard in this story not to do that. Leave things out and let them get it from the absences. The only way to do that is not to show the inside of Bucky’s head.

13: What music did you listen to, if any, to get in the mood for writing this story? Or if you didn’t listen to anything, what do you think readers should listen to to accompany us while reading?

Well… I was writing The Night Has Seen Your Mind and I wanted to have Bucky send Steve some CDs he’d found, and I got annoyed individually looking up songs on YouTube. I was raised on a steady diet of public radio and classical music, so I have basically zero native understanding of popular culture. I got into music in the early filesharing days, but never in any coherent way. I finally got a Google Play Music subscription just so I could listen to anything I wanted to search for, and ever since then, I’m like a weirdo alien anthropologist finding music I think Bucky would like. (It’s super keen but actually *doesn’t* have everything and is expensive, so, I don’t know that I recommend it, but I like it a lot better than any of the “online radio” things because look I don’t want your playlist, I want the album, I don’t get the context otherwise. Show me everything this author did, preferably with liner notes, and I’ll fill in the rest with Wikipedia, because while I could tell you all about the redundant engineering and overlapping fields of fire that made the B-17 such a serviceable medium bomber I had to go to Wikipedia to find out what people listened to in the 80s that wasn’t Madonna because I lived through it without ever knowing.)

I think the ChoiceBullet series needs a playlist but I have zero proficiency at making such; I made some on Google Play but those aren’t shareable (I suppose i could post the track listing, at least; I’ll do that later if I remember). As far as Full of Grace– well, Bucky is into *everything*, and Natasha really isn’t. She listens to music to suit the person she’s trying to be, and hasn’t totally mastered liking things for their own sakes. 

So… I listen to a lot of things, but mostly in the car while I’m thinking about the story, not as much while I’m writing. This story has involved a lot, a lot a lot, of Nicki Minaj and Rihanna, mostly because my boyfriend bought the albums somewhere and put them on a USB stick and it’s in my car and I drive 300 miles each way every other week. 

So if Bucky occasionally lipsynchs the entirety of Talk That Talk and The Pinkprint in my head, that’s why. (Also Florence + The Machine’s Ceremonials, and Black Sabbath’s first two albums, and Windhand’s Soma and Grief’s Infernal Flower, which I downloaded onto my phone for long drives when the USB cable doesn’t cut it.)
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1: What inspired you to write the fic this way?
2: What scene did you first put down?
3: What's your favorite line of narration?
4: What's your favorite line of dialogue?
5: What part was hardest to write?
6: What makes this fic special or different from all your other fics?
7: Where did the title come from?
8: Did any real people or events inspire any part of it?
9: Were there any alternate versions of this fic?
10: Why did you choose this pairing for this particular story?
11: What do you like best about this fic?
12: What do you like least about this fic?
13: What music did you listen to, if any, to get in the mood for writing this story? Or if you didn't listen to anything, what do you think readers should listen to to accompany us while reading?
14: Is there anything you wanted readers to learn from reading this fic?
15: What did you learn from writing this fic?
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since i’m ahead of schedule maybe i could… take someone up on… an offer to beta-read… the next… chapter? there’s a scene I rewrote and a later scene refers to it and I’m not sure if it contradicts or if it’s okay and–

I don’t remember how that works, I don’t know if I could actually– this is crazy talk, people don’t– I don’t get editing suggestions and feedback, that’s a crazy Livejournal-era thing that nobody does anymore, well nobody I know how to connect to– 

people have offered, and i have no idea where they did so, because I don’t have any of my social media accounts connected to one another. I only know how to write alone in the dark.

… If anyone is at loose ends and bored and wants to help me figure out the maybe-done-early next chapter of this sprawling epic, drop me an ask (anon is open) or leave a comment (this x-posts to LJ or DW and I check both) or hit me up on tumblr chat or leave me an answer with how to contact you or something? 

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