magibrain: Hope you like eels. It's EEL SEASON out there. (It's EEL SEASON.)
• An SG1 fic set in Ancient Egypt, wherein it turns out the Goa'uld are terrible at architecture and engineering (because of their habit of, you know, stealing all of their technology and not innovating), and so they have no idea how to actually build pyramids beyond going "Rargh! Humans! Build us a great platform!" So it would follow all the Egyptian engineers who had to design the Pyramids, solve the resource management issues, and manage conscription and labor. Because fuck you, alien conspiracy theories, the Egyptians were-too smart enough to pull that off and occasionally I come up with braintics to give agency back to people whom plot convenience has casually robbed of agency.

• A White Collar fic where some criminal trolls the police and eventually the FBI, in part by making latex fakes of Al Capone's fingerprints and using them to leave bewildering evidence at crime scenes.
magibrain: Peter Burke would like to know where you are at all times. (White Collar)
So I was looking up Kate Moreau's actress, because I was toying with the idea of doing some sort of Gunnerkrigg Court Realm of the Dead ficlet with her and I wanted to know which psychopomps would be fighting over her when some guy with a terrifying visage &/ bad costume showed up to offer her an out.

(That idea is backburnered because I realized I didn't have a plot for it. This happens surprisingly frequently.)

Anyway, I ran into the line, "At the end of 2012, Alex [Daddario] starred in the music video, "Imagine Dragons' Radioactive"."

Huh. Okay. I went to check that out.

This is one of those videos I've seen a grand total of once, both because I think the Lindsey Stirling version sounds better (strings! I fall so hard for string renditions of things) and because I'm not a big fan of the "pretty white girl, suffering white guys, and villainous brown men" imagery in the vid itself.

But... no, that's Kate. Engaging in some illicit underground muppet fighting. For the salvation of white guys and teddy bears everywhere. Not sure how to feel about this.

Part of me wants to prompt it as an AU on [livejournal.com profile] collarcorner, and part of me wants to go back to pretending that actors only ever exist in one role shhhhh.
magibrain: This alt text intentionally left blank. (This icon intentionally left blank.)

This is the elevator that leads to the White Collar offices.
From this, we know that the floors at least go up to 24.
We don't see whether or not this is the top of the button plate, though.


For ficcing purposes, I need to know exactly how high the buttons on the plate go.

Larger image under cut.

I just want to do something screwy with the number of floors in this building. LOOKS LIKE HALF MY WORK'S BEEN DONE FOR ME. )

Considering that the sets and props department obviously didn't think I'd ever need to find out many floors were in the building by counting the buttons in the elevator, I decided to just ask the internet how many floors the NYC federal building has.

Cue Wikipedia:

The Jacob K. Javits Federal Office Building at 26 Federal Plaza on Foley Square in the Civic Center district of Manhattan, New York City houses many Federal government agencies, and, at over 41 stories, is the tallest federal building in the United States.


...

Sometimes I don't know why I bother doing research.

(Counting the windows suggests to me that "over 41 stories" means "41 floors of offices and a ground floor that probably has a lobby or something". I can work with that. Though I need to come up with a plausible reason for Neal to accidentally hit a floor button that's twenty floors off his actual destination.) (It would be a lot easier if the federal building were only 24 floors tall, to be honest.) (I wonder if I could just claim that it was. Would anyone except me care?) (I could claim that in White Collar 'verse, the federal building was at 41 Federal Plaza and had 26 stories...)
magibrain: The Manchester skyline with bright blue skies, somehow less real than the sepia of 1973. (Where trouble melts like lemon drops...)
This is a very small photo appreciation post for White Collar's tendency to put Neal in scenes with people or objects which make him look like a tiny thing.

It just makes me really happy for reasons I can't articulate. )

That's it, White Collar writers. That's how to make me happy. Put Neal in a scene with someone 6'5", and/or with ostentatiously oversized furnishings.
magibrain: A brain with eyes and an adorably innocent smile which you should not at all trust. (magibrain)
...I find myself vaguely wanting to write A/B/O fic, except less with sex and more with navigating tricky power dynamics and slews of body dysphoria, and with a heavily tweaked version of the whole A/B/O premise.

(Basically, the idea in my brain is that Alpha, Beta and Omega are just psychophysical modes people operate in, and while people tend to have "baseline" modes that they operate in for long stretches – sometimes even their entire lives – people can switch from mode to mode in response to various physical or psychological stimuli. Like, a baseline beta might find themselves going omega or alpha after a major trauma, for example. And there would be drugs and such which could affect what mode people operated in. Plus, while the modes would have specific physiological effects – people operating in alpha mode might have overactive adrenal glands and produce more testosterone, while people operating in omega mode would experience heat and all its attendant fun – it would only affect personality in as much as, say, gayness does. In that there would be a ton of stereotypes and there would be established cultures which people might or might not do any social commerce with, and aside from that, it's not really something you could tell by looking at someone.)

(...though you could probably tell it by scent. Because that seems to be a thing?)

(Also, people would be able to resist physical urges, with varying degrees of difficulty from "I am having this strong craving right now!" to "I am experiencing this with the intensity of an addiction." And there would probably be a lot of discussion on medical and political stages about that.)

I don't know. I've read a grand total of two A/B/O fics in my life – feels like the start of something and The toppiest girl in the school, and ironically neither of them is for a fandom I'm actually in – and I feel like this may just be a continuation of my picking at the assumed conventions of tropes I don't actually write or read (see also), which always makes me feel a little weird. But I feel like, given some of the discussion in the prompt thread for feels like the start of something, it might be a weird little space to explore which other people are also interested in seeing explored. And it does seem like there's a healthy movement in A/B/O writing areas to dissect the heck out of the trope, from what I've read.

Of course, it also doesn't help that I already have way too many other projects clamoring for my attention. Including the one where Neal is stuck on a magical Greyhound for five years.




This is one of the ways you can tell I'm ace. I find tropes that are deeply rooted in kinky sex and then expend considerable time and energy carefully plucking out the sexybits so I can nest in the kinky power dynamics. <_< One of these days I'll write and post my WC OT3 fic and it will be 80,000 words of neither sex nor romance, continuing my trend of OT3 fic which is neither sex nor romance, and everyone will be able to tell me that I'm doing it wrong. AND I WILL LAUGH FROM ATOP MY ASEXY THRONE, I SHALL EAT THE CAKE THAT IS MY BIRTHRIGHT, AND KNOW THAT I AM THE OVERMIND, THE ETERNAL WILL OF THE ACE COMMU – no, wait, that got away from me, sorry.
magibrain: Hope you like eels. It's EEL SEASON out there. (It's EEL SEASON.)
Someone please tell me not to cross over White Collar, Live Arcade, Magic for Beginners (the short story, not the entire collection), and Candle Cove. At least, tell me not to try it until I've finished some of my other projects.

I just think it would be terrific, slightly-brain-melty fun to have Neal up at odd hours, watching a television show nestled in the snow of a dead channel or twenty, which seems to keep predicting, altering, or crossing over with Neal's life, but which no one else can see.

In related news, wow has my mental image of Neal's loft deviated from the actual set. I could have sworn that couch was red and claw-footed.


[ETA: Okay, and now it also wants to be an Alphas crossover (on a more literal than thematic level), and it is entirely the fault of this fic.]


[ETA 2: Son Of ETA: Oh, brain, we're also crossing over Dangan Ronpa? Oh, so we're also crossing over Dangan Ronpa.]
magibrain: There ARE no tunes. It's TALK RADIO, Torg! ALL TALKING! (Still just talking.)
I occasionally feel kinda odd about maintaining two blogs – this one and [personal profile] magistrate – because I post so infrequently that it occasionally feels like I don't have enough content to reliably keep one blog interesting, let alone two. But I do feel like separating my fannish content stream from my more real-life stream is a good pragmatic decision; in how I conceptualize my own life, they represent different spheres of interest.

(I toyed briefly with the idea of separating my original fiction/professional writing into a third stream, but then I noticed that I never posted in it at all, so to [personal profile] magistrate it went.)

Being someone who grew up as a writer in fannish spaces and is now also trying to get somewhere in the big, bad world of original fiction, I think a lot about how skills and paradigms do and don't translate. The different genre structures and conventions, the different skills each type of writing emphasizes or strengthens. (I notice that in my original writing, characterization is something people continually call out as one of my weakest skills. Which is still kind of a mindscrew for me, because in fanfic, a lot of people seem to enjoy my characterization. Then, with fanfic, I have something pre-existing to riff off; one of the consequences of growing into writing through fanfiction seems to be that I have less experience in how to establish and differentiate character in my own work.)

Anyway. Given the amount of time I spend musing about fannish vs. original spaces, I kinda have to raise an eyebrow at myself for needing to discover (and rediscover, and remind myself of, again and again) the fact that the criteria for success for fanfic and original stories are often wildly different.

I think it's something of the same way in which the criteria for success for a TED talk and an awesome discussion in a group of friends is different.

In original fiction, I have to spend a lot of time thinking about arcs and structure and pacing, and how the plot and the story inform each other, and how themes are deployed, and how to create a polished and technically competent work. And, I mean, don't get me wrong, those things are great to pay attention to in fanfiction, but I find that fanfic rises or falls on something more like, broadly oversimplified, its ability to be an efficient delivery mechanism for squee.

I think the fanfics I'm personally most proud of manage to hit both notes; they extend and expand beloved aspects of canon, but they also work as well-structured, polished and tuned-up technical works. But I also find myself, a lot of times, flailing over posting something because its pacing is a mess, the structure is lopsided, there's that one horribly awkward phrasing at the beginning that I can't think of a good way to get rid off, the theme is a contortionist, and the arc thinks about arcing and then veers sideways into a wall, and I have this horrible urge to apologize to everyone for punting it out into the world, and then no one seems to care. Which is reassuring, at times, and then at other times it's just a boatload of cognitive dissonance and the vague suspicion that everyone's just being nice because... some... nefarious purpose of their own? I think a lot of writers share this anxiety. I think this anxiety enjoys the fact that it doesn't have to make sense.

I used to produce a lot more fiction. I mean, that was something like a decade ago, when I was bouncing all around my million FFVIII fics, but I remember being significantly more prolific than I am right now. I think a major factor in my slowdown is the fact that I started turning my attention to craft, and really struggling a lot with the places where I could see something wrong but I didn't know how to fix it.

(Or where there wasn't a plausible way to fix it. If I go back through my braintics scraps collection, for example, there's a ton of stuff which flat-out does not work on a logical level, but which amused me enough to put scenes down. There's also stuff where the tone is too wildly self-indulgent for my sense of propriety, or where it's clearly just me working out my beef with a certain character, or where I looked at it and just went "Nope, not going to write that, because I'm not going to typecast myself as that author who only writes stories where horrible things happen to Sam Carter and the boys go D: and then the whole rest of the fic is only there to showcase how tough and embattled Sam is." (Yes, I have enough of those braintics to make it its own genre. I'm not proud. I also regret nothing.))

This is, of course, not entirely a bad thing: it lets me continually improve my writing, even if I'm not aware of the improvements as they're happening. (But I can go back and look at works from a few years ago – works that represented the best I could do at those times – and see immediately how I could improve them, and that's a humbling and kinda nifty feeling.) But it is, I think, something I also need to become more aware of. Because the other great thing about fanfiction is that it provides a space for me to play around with ways of telling stories in this fantastically open and engaging and forgiving environment, and that's also a fantastic resource for growth. Letting my internal editor set up roadblocks there isn't actually helping me.

(Besides, you people don't mind if I completely shed my dignity now and again, right? Maybe I'll clean up the ridiculous angstcrack scene where Neal is vaguely suicidal circa As You Were and discovers that Peter has an invisible dragon living in his house. Or the wtfery of the braintic where Sam Carter's consciousness gets transposed across a universal boundary and put into a partially-uplifted mountain lion who's a working animal with the USAF. I once heard the Pern books described as "tapping into the 'I want a PONY!' instinct, except for people who liked fantasy." You can probably tell which kind of kid I was.)
magibrain: Hope you like eels. It's EEL SEASON out there. (It's EEL SEASON.)
So, searching around in my drafts folder, trying to find something to jump-start my brain out of a dry spell, I came across a file titled creepsteriffic.rtf that I don't remember creating. There is no summary in this file. I have left no notes to myself. I don't know where I was going with it. What it does contain is the header template form, and the following text:

I'd probably go with 'wrong', personally. But then, I am duly chastised. )

...

...

...other things in my drafts folder – my SG-1 drafts folder, mind, not some random drafts folder I might store formatting data in: a file called temp.rtf which consists of 2391 words of Lorem Ipsum, closed with the line "And as it turned out, THEY WERE ALL BEES!!"
magibrain: A radiation symbol. It appears to be a little bit on fire. (Default)
Title: U is for Unheimlich
Author: magistrate ([personal profile] magibrain)
Rating: T.
Genre: Character study, ghost story
Beta: Walked away.
Continuity: Canon-compliant.
Prerequisities: Doesn't really relate to any specific episode.
Summary: It's all ghost stories, sir.
Disclaimer: Stories told to certain audiences may have unanticipated results. Hear that, MGM? The opinions expressed herein are the properties of the characters and not of R. L. Stine. The door is open. Questions, comments and creepypasta can be left in replies or directed to magistrata(at)gmail(dot)com. Thank you for reading!

Author's Notes: This is 9,000 words. I don't know why it's 9,000 words. All I know is that I started out writing this the day I got the prompt, and yet somehow I still found myself finishing in a desperate throw-words-at-the-page rush at 2 AM the day it was due. WHY.

I'm sorry if this is absolutely incoherent.




Not exactly a ghost story. )

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magibrain: A radiation symbol. It appears to be a little bit on fire. (Default)
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