ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
So I've run across Robert Stack twice this week: first, when Mom suddenly took a notion she wanted to see Written on the Wind, and then this past night when we found a nice suspense film to watch, Murder on Flight 502. I realized in the first film that "... Oh my gosh, Robert Stack really is swoon-worthy, isn't he? ... And he has been ever since my days of watching The Untouchables." Apparently I had a crush on him then, but I never realized it until this week. Now I feel like going and buying some half-season sets.

After looking up information on him and finding out that he was married to the same woman all through the years, the crush only grew stronger. Few things are as attractive to me as that. And few things tick me off as much as infidelity in a marriage. I realized that out of everyone who is firmly in my top tier of "darlings", every one of them either didn't cheat on his wife or I don't know one way or another if they did. Known cheaters just don't make the top tier (or they drop out of it if they were there).

Another actor-related thing that happened this week was that I had a dream where I was watching something where one of the characters was played by Leonard Stone. Naturally, I woke up wanting to look him up, which I did. I like him because he's one of those character actors who can play anything from weaselly cowards to upright policemen and it's always believable. He was also married to the same woman all through the years, and he died in 2011, which I found surreal for some reason. I think it always feels a little surreal to me when someone from the classic TV era was alive all through this time and then died only a short time before I started discovering/re-discovering them. I feel the same about Milton Selzer, who died in 2006.

Of course, speaking of actor deaths, I can't not mention Robert Vaughn's passing. That was a sad surprise to me, especially since I hadn't known he was ill. I had an U.N.C.L.E. dream last week that I wanted to write a fic of, and after Robert's death, I tweaked some things about the planned dream-fic and turned it into a Robert/Napoleon tribute of sorts.

I was also sad about Leonard Cohen's death. I still love and adore his song Hallelujah. I must admit I don't know any of the other things he wrote, but I've been thinking I should look into them. If they're anywhere as good/powerful as Hallelujah, I'm sure I'd love them too.

This has been a big week for fics. I think I posted three fics, two of which were entirely written this week. I think I now have 500 posted fics at FF.net. I have many more fics that I haven't posted there, however, so that isn't the definitive number of what I've written by far. The fics have been flowing, which is thrilling to me since that doesn't always happen. I now have four posted fics in my Turtles timeline and have rearranged the next "episodes" in the list again. I'm doing the Twin Beaks-inspired one next, and have already started it. I'm hoping to have it finished by Thanksgiving, since Thanksgiving is a subplot in it. We'll see what happens.

My Turtles site is live now, by the way. https://sites.google.com/site/exittheflytmnt1987/ I'm still adding things to it, and it seems like I rearrange the episode list every time I finish a fic.

I also finally started making my Baxter plushie. Aside from a horrible fight with the coated wire I'm using for his glasses, it's been an uneventful and fun time so far. Making the shirt is always a horror to me, however, and that's what's next. Ugh, I wish I could just make the sleeves attached to the rest of the shirt to begin with.

And I fell in love with a purple teddy bear at Smith's this past week. I don't usually fall so hard for plushies that aren't either specific licensed characters or cats or fish, but I just really liked this one. (It may have been partially the influence of seeing many beautiful purple products on QVC, which I've meant to write an entry about for weeks. I am kind of nuts about QVC and I love it more than HSN, which I feel a little guilty about since HSN came first. But QVC feels so much more homey.) I seriously considered getting it, but didn't feel I should right then. I'd be willing to wait and ask for it for Christmas, but I worry they might not have any by then, as I've often watched stock fly out of Smith's long before a holiday comes. I'm thinking maybe I should get it this week, if the copy that looked the best is still there.

It reminds me of years ago when I fell in love with a white Christmas teddy bear at Smith's. I remember it seems like it was really late when we went to get the groceries the week when I had the money that I could get it (which was $2.99). I think it was 11 at night, oh gosh. We must have been up really late doing groceries that night. I was so excited to be able to get that bear. They had white and brown styles and it was the white one I really wanted. He became one of the sons in my polar bear family, which consists of two big white Christmas bears, him, and a little Valentine's bear.
ladybug_archive: (ecks_wye)
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a very short blurb about Bryn Watson thinking on Mr. Wye following The Odd Man Affair. I've meant to post it here but hadn't yet. I'm going to do it now, and following it will be a silly oneshot I wrote sometime back where Ecks and Wye fight Siegfried and Shtarker of KAOS, LOL. I posted that on Tumblr in the past, but someone here showed interest in seeing it, so I'm putting it up here now too.


Requiem for an Enemy Agent )


Clash of the Spies )
ladybug_archive: (scofield)
I haven't spent much time posting lately. I've been so busy writing things that for the most part, if I want to say something that I might ordinarily say here, I say it one-on-one to someone instead.

I've been working on the next Turtles fic, which is a light-hearted oneshot. I found it difficult to go from a more serious tone in the multi-chapter to a lighter tone in the succeeding fic and not have it look strange or mismatched, but after I fleshed some things out it looked better and flowed better with the multi-chapter. One problem with lighter ones is that it's harder for character introspection and development, so it's a challenge finding ways to work that in. I really want the stories to be like seasons 3/4, although they will definitely dip into season 7-ish territory sometimes.

I've been tinkering with a website to talk about my Turtles verse, the proposed "episode" ideas, and other things. I wrote a long essay on why I think 1987 Baxter should be able to be redeemed and I'm quite pleased with it. The site isn't live yet, although I've given a couple of people the link to examine assorted things on it.

I finally started that fic I wanted to do detailing Illya being haunted by Mr. Ecks. So far I have two vignettes done and at least two or three others planned. I don't want the story to wear out its welcome, but with a character-developing series of vignettes, it could technically go on and on. I shouldn't have it get too long, though, or it might be harder to align it with later fics in the timeline.

I've also got the WWW fic going again. I'm going back and forth among all of these fics and also hope to work more on Ginger and Lou fics and that Real Ghostbusters fic. (And that Equestria Girls idea I still haven't started.) It's definitely nice to be able to flip from one fandom to another, writing-wise.

I saw some pieces of the new Equestria Girls movie. Honestly, I love Sunset Shimmer more with each film. She and Twilight are definitely the best things about them. From what I saw, though, my fears about this film feeling like Winx Club were not far-fetched. I want to see this film in whole, and I'll probably buy it, but I don't think I'll re-watch it much. I do not like that it looks like Spoiler )

Had a wonderful birthday! I was very touched by all the warm wishes through here and Facebook and other places. Got some lovely gifts, with some belated ones still on the way. And the shopping spree went swimmingly, better than it has a lot of times. I found some things I wanted and some surprises and it was delightful to have money to get them. Somehow I managed to collect a pretty good amount of money for the shopping spree just in the month of September. Usually I start saving in the summer months, but that didn't happen too much this year because of surprise sales and clearances.

I had intended to get a Fashion Style Pony, but while I love them dearly, I still can't seem to justify paying $15 for one of them when it comes right down to it. Sigh. I want a sale. Meanwhile, I found Indigo Zap on clearance for $4.98. Yessss! I am sad that apparently I missed other things clearancing at Toys R Us, but at least I grabbed something before they were all gone.

I also found volume 7 of The Real Ghostbusters for $9.99. The standard price is $14.99, so I wasn't passing that up. I didn't think I'd find it at Toys R Us, but it was an idle hope, and then there it was. I got it mainly for the Egon's Ghost episode, and thankfully, this time I was not disappointed! It was sooo good. So intense and so much friendship squee! Unfortunately, another episode I'd wanted, Slimer, Is That You? turned up in the re-dubbed version with Dave Coulier as Peter and Kath Soucie as Janine. I love Kath's work, but not as Janine. And Dave Coulier was absolutely teeth-grinding. The Time-Life version has the original voice actors for that episode, so now I have one more reason to try to get hold of some of those older DVD sets. It was a really fun episode and I want to hear it with Lorenzo Music and Laura Summer.

At Target, I found season 1 of TMNT 1987, which thrilled me. Wal-Mart doesn't have it anymore and Amazon upped the price, but Target was only charging a few cents more than Wal-Mart had had it. Now I have all the human Baxter episodes. I've watched his season 1 episode twice on YouTube in the past. When comparing it with season 2, it is pretty heartbreaking to see how much he cracked.

Also at Target, I discovered that Tracey West is still active in the kids' anime scene and she has written a YGO anime guide. I have no idea why they put that out this year, unless it's to prepare newcomers for the movie. But it was great! I longed for something like that when the show was airing. Oh, there were some things kind of like that, but I didn't like them as much as I liked this one. And it covered all seasons and characters. I probably shouldn't have, since it was just basic information that a diehard fan would already know, but I couldn't resist and it had to come home with me. I feel like a kid again, going through it.

I bought season 4 of TMNT 1987 at Wal-Mart. I also wanted volume 2 of Miraculous Ladybug, but they apparently sold out after finally getting some in. Sigh. I should have bought it at Target. But oh well; I'm sure there will be other chances for it.

(Oh! Oh! Speaking of Ladybug, I saw a doll giftset at Toys R us with her and Cat Noir! Squeeee. Naturally it was $30, so I am hoping for a Christmas sale. I must have it.)

Between my purchases and gifts, I now have all 1987 Turtles seasons except 9 and 10! I'm less interested in them, since they're darker and someone else takes center stage as the villain, but I'll probably try to get them sometime for completeness' sake.

I made one other purchase that night: another plushie base at Jo-Ann's. As much as I hate sewing, I absolutely love being able to create the characters I want in a couple of weeks instead of commissioning someone for a lot more money and waiting several months for the product. Now I just need to decide whether I'm going to use this plushie base to make Snakes, 1987 Baxter, or a Richard character (probably Steve Drumm). I want to make all of them, so it's mostly a matter of which one first. I kind of lean towards Baxter. It would be a fun challenge working out the hair and the glasses. It's making the clothes that drives me up the wall for any plushie. I shouldn't start any new one until I've finished Barry's shirt and made Mike's jacket, but uggh, I keep dreading working in silk with Barry's shirt. And I hate sewing in sleeves in general. Definitely the most maddening part.

I have an Amazon gift card and I'm having my usual debate on what to buy/when to use it. I could get $25 worth of books, as there are some I want, and then maybe get one other thing to go with them. Or I could bite the bullet and do a splurge and add $29 in cash to my $20 gift card. Ultimately, I'd rather wait until I can get another gift card, but by that time, some of the stuff will have probably changed prices. Uggggh. I hate so much that Amazon changed the rules for free shipping. $49 for free shipping is just outrageous! The only other way to get it (without getting Prime) is $25 worth of books and anything else ships free with them.

Then I have my usual dilemma of what to be for Halloween. Every possibility seems to fall through. I wanted to try being a Ghostbuster, but I can't fit into Mom's (non-Ghostbuster) jumpsuit and I'm not crazy about the idea of spending a lot of money on an official costume. Even if I wanted to try that, I can't find any women's costumes (which is weird, considering the new movie had women Ghostbusters) and the men's ones only turn up in sizes too big. I've also considered either a Turtle or April O'Neil. For April, I'd base her mostly on Megan Fox's April because of the hair, and then she has the classic yellow of the 1987 cartoon April. I have yellow tops, but no yellow trousers. Sigh. For a Turtle, green clothes would be good. I do have green pants, and I could probably dig up some kind of green top. Then I could buy a Turtle shell at Dollar Tree and a blue mask/headband thing and whee. A cheap ghetto thing, but good enough for a church Halloween party.

I've also considered trying to dress up in Ghostbuster Abby's casual clothes, since I probably could find stuff around here that looks somewhat like what she wore. Abby wasn't at all my favorite in the movie, although I warmed up to her before the film was over. But she is the one I could pass myself off as the easiest.

Today I even had the thought of wearing my long green coat, my fedora, and my sunglasses, and saying I'm a random spy/secret agent/whatever. Heh.

Most likely, I'll go with ghetto Turtle. But Dollar Tree was out of blue headband things this past night. Sigh. Hopefully they'll restock.
ladybug_archive: (ecks_wye)
Crystal is doing the 30-Day U.N.C.L.E. meme on Tumblr. I wanted to do it too, but as usual, I'd rather answer everything and post as an LJ quiz. So, here it is.

Day 01 – Favorite season - Probably 3, honestly, because that's when things first started getting really hurt/comforty as more of an expected thing and not an occasional thing. Combining that with a good laugh honestly works great for me. Most episodes are not as horrible as many people would have one believe.
Day 02 – Least favorite season - I usually say 2, because of all the seasons, it seemed the most like it didn't know where it wanted to go: comedy or drama. It seemed ... lackluster compared to the seriousness of season 1 or the hilarity of season 3 or the darkness of season 4. There are some season 2 episodes I like, of course, but overall I find it the least appealing season.
Day 03 – Favorite episode - The Suburbia Affair. Season 3 at its most classic, with Napoleon and Illya trying and failing to be domestic roommates. I don't think I've laughed so hard at any other episode.
Day 04 – Least favorite episode - The Colossal Affair. Season 3 at its worst. Although people will say that season 3 always made a mockery of peril and death, this is really just about the only episode where I felt it was done. Illya in the concrete was one of the most WTH moments in the entire series, topped only by Illya trying to stop a giant stink bomb and suffering for it. Just ... WTH. This is the episode I'd want to chuck out of my headcanon.
Day 05 – Favorite movie/two-parter - The Prince of Darkness Affair, because four times the H.M. Wynant content! And he gets the girl! How could I not love it?
Day 06 – Least favorite movie/two-parter - I think the few episodes I still haven't seen are all two-parters, and the reasons I haven't seen them are because of various iffy things in each one. I still plan to see them; I just haven't got around to it yet, especially since I only have them on tape and can therefore only watch them in the living room. Offhand, I think experimenting on cats in The Bridge of Lions Affair troubles me the most, but I am informed that the effects are temporary, so that's good to know. I am also troubled by Janet Leigh's character taking sexual pleasure from people's misery in The Concrete Overcoat Affair, but at least I hear that wasn't quite so expressly stated in the TV version.... However, ignoring the ones I haven't seen and focusing on what I have seen, that would be The Alexander the Greater Affair. The Big Bad is gross, his plan makes zero sense, and Napoleon and Illya are virtually useless in the climax. It was one of the lamest things I have ever seen, and the fact that it went on for two episodes made it even worse.
Day 07 – Favorite member of UNCLE - That's actually hard for me to answer, as I've usually maintained that Mr. Waverly is my favorite. But I've finally come to terms with the fact that Napoleon is my favorite field agent, so now I'm torn between which character to say.
Day 08 – Least favorite member of UNCLE - Any traitorous agent.
Day 09 – Favorite villain - Mr. Ecks in The Odd Man Affair. He's only onscreen for a few minutes, but he and his partner Mr. Wye managed to be thoroughly fascinating to me for many reasons, all of which I've detailed on my U.N.C.L.E. website (which is here, if anyone hasn't seen it and is curious: https://sites.google.com/site/uncleandlondon/home).
Day 10 – Least favorite villain - Probably the guy who unleashed the stink bomb in The Colossal Affair. WTH.
Day 11 – Favorite innocent - Most likely Shari Lewis's character in The Off-Broadway Affair.
Day 12 – Least favorite innocent - I'm tempted to say any character played by Jill Ireland, but I actually liked her character in season 1. Her snappy exchanges with Illya were just great. So I don't think I could give that answer, even though I don't like Jill Ireland as a person. Most episodes I haven't seen for a very long time, and offhand I just can't think of an Innocent I disliked more than any other.
Day 13 – Favorite recycled set/prop/location - The New York street.
Day 14 – Favorite quote - I couldn't give the exact quote, but probably Illya's insistence on Napoleon's innocence in The Summit Five Affair.
Day 15 – Favorite fight scene/action sequence - Bryn Watson and Illya against Mr. Wye in The Odd Man Affair.
Day 16 – Episode you’ve most recently watched - The Secret Sceptre Affair, I think.
Day 17 – Episode you’ve rewatched the most - The Odd Man Affair.
Day 18 – First episode remember seeing - The very first one.
Day 19 – Saddest moment - Illya brainwashed into attacking Napoleon in The THRUSH Roulette Affair. (And the fact that the whole sequence was so badly handled....)
Day 20 – Funniest moment - The attempts to be domestic in The Suburbia Affair.
Day 21 – Most intense moment - Any scene where it looks like their goose is really cooked. (Honestly, I can't seem to pick just one scene as "most" intense above all....)
Day 22 – Defining character moment - Napoleon Solo - Where he doesn't fall for the THRUSH plot or give in to the girl even while under the effects of an amnesia pill in The Nowhere Affair.
Day 23 – Defining character moment - Illya Kuryakin - When he absolutely insists on Napoleon's loyalty and honesty in The Summit Five Affair. That episode, and that scene, finally made me believe in their friendship after being very skeptical for a long time.
Day 24 – Defining character moment - Alexander Waverly - When he shows kindness and concern for Napoleon and Illya in peril in multiple episodes. Also when he shows he's still got what it takes to be an U.N.C.L.E. agent in The Deep Six Affair.
Day 25 – Something you wish you could go back and change - That The Colossal Affair exists. Or at least, that it was so terrible. Maybe with a few scene adjustments, it would at least be tolerable.
Day 26 – An episode you wish you could have been in - I would like to have had Carol Lynley's role in The Prince of Darkness Affair. So much interaction with H.M.! Lucky, lucky girl.
Day 27 – An ‘OMG did that just happen?’ moment - I suppose this means something that happened in a split-second, but I just can't think of one offhand. So I have Illya deadpanning his way through a performance in The Off-Broadway Affair.
Day 28 – Episode you use to introduce people to the show - The Summit Five Affair. Intensity and friendship/partnership squee.
Day 29 – Favorite cast member - Robert Vaughn.
Day 30 – Anything UNCLE related - I wish there were figures/dolls from the show that actually look like Napoleon and Illya. The 1960s dolls look pretty bad, which was not unusual for celebrity dolls in that era. I wish some retro company would make U.N.C.L.E. figures/dolls today.

Why?

Jul. 30th, 2016 10:12 pm
ladybug_archive: (ecks_wye)
So I participated in an U.N.C.L.E. poll that was an exercise for people to come up with story plots. I may be able to get my Napoleon h/c, if I decide I can really put the story together from my answers. We'll have to see what happens. I jotted down a few ideas and I'll probably give it a try.

One question would be whether to write it totally chronologically or whether I should jump into the action at some point and then brief the readers on what happened to get them to that point. I'm considering starting it on the flight to their mission, instead of showing the briefing first. I might flashback to the briefing, though. Or I could open it even farther ahead, after an abduction occurs and the other is trying to go about with the rescue, and have some level of flashbacks.

I of course am planning that Ecks and Wye will turn up on the mission, having been hired by a mysterious client to solve it. But the only hurt/comfort victim will probably be Napoleon. Well, I imagine there may be some level of Illya h/c too, since it wouldn't be easy to abduct him without harming him first.

It's frustrating when I really kind of want to write U.N.C.L.E. fics but I just can't seem to make them come. The last time I tried to write an U.N.C.L.E. fic and insert hurt/comfort, it was like pulling teeth. It would naturally be so much simpler if I actually, fully crushed on either Napoleon or Illya (or one of the actors). I like h/c best when I'm crushing on one or both of the characters involved. It's just almost impossible for me to write it otherwise. I have the same problem in the WWW fandom. A mild crush, like I have on both Robert Vaughn and Robert Conrad, still brings the desire for some h/c, but doesn't make it easy to write. I do like to write mission fics for U.N.C.L.E., but I need to have a strong desire to write it like I did with The Peaceful Meadows Affair. And overall, I really prefer writing character studies instead of adventure. The main reason why The Peaceful Meadows Affair worked for me was because I loved the conflict between Napoleon and Illya and Ecks and Wye. It clicked and it was so much fun to write. And people loved the plot. There hasn't been a great deal of interest in anything U.N.C.L.E.-related I've done since then. There probably would be if I could write fics along the lines that everyone else does, but I can't do that. I have to write what makes me the happiest. I still wonder and wish I could recapture whatever it was that made people love The Peaceful Meadows Affair, since I loved it too.

I watched a bit more of the Turtles DVDs. Even though 1987 Raph isn't angry/sullen a lot and he doesn't have a rivalry with Leo, there is a lot about him that mirrors the other versions of the character. He's sarcastic, often seems to want to charge into fights, and does seem to think Leo is a bit too optimistic. He's a cynic and sometimes cocky. And he is the most likely to get mad of the group.

And I pondered a bit on why I decided to get the season 2 set since it had several episodes with tropes I don't like. One reason was because it was one of the cheapest options and I needed something cheap to fill the last bit of the gift card. Another was because I wanted to see some of the other episodes. A third is because one does have to have a certain tolerance for mutations to watch any Turtles series at all, so that is slightly easier to tolerate than something like shrinking (ugh). That said, I decided to pass on the episode where April ends up mutated for now. I figured it would be easier watching it happen to Baxter Stockman than April.

It really is terrible seeing all the horrible things happen to Baxter in the various series, though. Of course, the 2003 series seems the absolute worst. The first time or two, it was a "Yikes" moment but felt realistic. The loss of an eye and then a limb. Not cool, Shredder is horrible. After that, it quickly started descending into utter outlandishness and it soon became clear to me that the creators were not taking it seriously. Dismantling him to the point that he's a brain, an eyeball and a spine, floating in fluid? Seriously, that is just utterly sick. In all his states, though, he acts so arrogant and like he's pleased to still have survived. There is an unaired episode held back because they felt it was too disturbing where he goes absolutely bonkers, decides April is responsible for all of his troubles, and tries to kill her. It ends where they think he's been killed, but he somehow still isn't. And he's really upset that he wasn't finally able to be put to rest. Even though he was always an out-and-out villain in the 2003 series, he certainly wasn't the worst villain out there and having such horrifying things happening to him makes it seem like they're saying he is the very worst and deserves all of this crap more than even someone like Shredder does.

Of course, the fly-monster from the 1987 series was not a good fate either. And since the problem was actually being cross-mutated with a fly, over the course of the episodes he loses more and more of his mind each time he's shown, becoming more like a fly and less like a human. The final episode with him, I read, has him try to steal a ray that will finally turn him human again, but it seems he still fails and is unable to use it before it's taken away from him. And in this series, from what I read, he actually started out as a fairly nice person who wanted to create an honest invention. Then he saw the Turtles, got thrown in an asylum for talking about them, and his mental state started to deteriorate from that. He certainly did some bad things when he worked for Shredder, but the fly fate still seems undeserved. And his mind deteriorates so bad after that that he can't even remember why he wanted revenge on the Turtles. One wonders if being free of the fly would give him his mind back or if he would still be in an irreversibly damaged state.

A lot of people felt sorry for him in the 1987 version. Sometimes, even if I don't particularly like a character, I want to give them a better fate if I feel like they got a bum rap. I'm tempted to attempt writing a fic where he finally is able to become human again. I'm guessing it would be a hard road back to complete sanity after that experience, though. Part of me wonders if this version of the character might ally with the Turtles, especially if perhaps they helped him to reverse the transformation. I'll admit I like those types of storylines. But even if I toy with them in my mind, it doesn't mean I'll actually write them. I do know that I would have him finally be able to regain his mind altogether, or at least, as much of it as he had before the fly mess happened.

Ah, if only there was more time to write in the day....

Curious.

Jul. 30th, 2016 04:47 am
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
I was sure I never watched the Real Ghostbusters cartoon growing up, because 99% of the time I wasn't interested in people cartoons and preferred animal cartoons instead. But there was that exception with Peter Pan and the Pirates (and oh, Beetlejuice too; that's ... technically a people show), and oy, the more I watch the Real Ghostbusters now, the more the opening and ending both look familiar. It's possible on the one hand that I saw the opening on YouTube when I was just fooling around, but that wouldn't explain the ending. I know I must have seen the show coming and going; perhaps it came right before something I was trying to catch. The big question, whether I actually watched the show itself, I honestly can't answer. It ended the year I turned five and the memories are patchy at best. I'm sure enjoying it now, though. It's just perfect for me: friendship stuff and ghosties and creepy situations.... I don't suppose Mom would remember if I watched it if I asked her. Couldn't hurt to try, though. It would be kind of cool if I actually did watch it and liked it and that's why I was given the pinball game. But on the other hand, Dad sometimes just picked up stuff if it was a cartoon, whether I watched it or not. LOL. Like, I have some toy walkie-talkies from the short-lived Fish Police, which I definitely never watched. But since he's not into supernatural creepy stuff and usually doesn't like my interest in it, it's kind of surprising either way about him getting the Ghostbusters pinball game. Still, he sometimes indulged my love of Turtles stuff even though he didn't really like that. So hmm. A puzzle.

Egon was pretty much immediately my favorite watching it now and that hasn't changed. Not surprising, since he seems to be the most logically-minded of the group and I almost always go for that type in shows. My first (recent) episode was the Boogieman one and I really loved Winston in it too. He was also adorable in another episode, when he was excited about a blueberry fudge cake (yuuuum) and Slimer ate the whole flippin' thing. **headdesk.** Winston was such a good sport about it and it was very endearing. I like the whole group, though. Slimer is still cute, but it is exasperating that he keeps eating everything and not leaving any for anyone else, even when he promises to. Oy, in life he must have been like Sergei on WWW, always wanting to eat. But I love when he manages to do something to help.

I'm going to get to see the new Ghostbusters movie in a week. I went to see my movie-going friend this past day and she gave me a cool mini-poster for the film. At home, I was still tired and took a nap and I had a weirdo dream about watching the film because of looking at the poster. Naturally, in the dream the movie wasn't anywhere as exciting as it probably will actually be. Earlier, I was reading one of my Batman fics, the one where The Riddler comes back alive after they thought he was dead, and I had a dream about that too. It was one of those kind of "run/evade/don't be seen" dreams and he was trying not to let someone in particular know that he was alive. He had to go through a series of ten mazes without being spotted by them. Naturally, he was eventually seen and the chase was on.

On Tuesday I went out to see if I could find the Donatello plush locally for a good price. I couldn't find any at the Wal-Marts we visited, which wasn't surprising. But I finally found the Lyra Pony plush! I've been looking for her for a year and a half, so I didn't want to leave without her. I decided on the best one and brought her home with me. I also got Sweetie Drops. She appeared at our Wal-Mart recently, but I didn't have the money to get her and I'd kind of hoped to find a better one of her. Two were understuffed and a third had a slightly crinkled nose. And I wasn't sure I wanted to get her at all if I didn't know I could get Lyra too, since they're best friends. But once I got Lyra, I immediately wanted to get Sweetie Drops too. Wal-Mart still had one of her and oddly enough, it was the one I felt was the best of the three. I don't know why she wasn't snapped up but the other two were. But that was good for me!

I finally broke down and decided to do the Amazon Prime trial, since they at last got some more Donnies in and I really couldn't afford to add $29 cash to the $25 gift card to get free shipping right now. The two-day shipping certainly was lovely! I got some Turtles DVDs (two season 3 sets and the season 2 one) and Donnie and they showed up this past day. But Donnie is a bit understuffed compared to Leo, which is really frustrating since what I like about these plushies is that they're not understuffed, and gah, it looks like maybe part of his left arm is loose and I'll need to go over it with stitches to make sure it's secure. I already found a small hole near his wrist and had to sew that up. That sort of thing is why I hate buying plushies sight unseen, sigh. But overall he's great and it looks so good to see another splash of Turtle mask color. Now to get Mikey and complete the team.

Also, I went back over my Six Million Dollar Man entries and saw that the previous Dynamite comic arc left a whole slew of loose ends. That makes this new arc even more maddening, because I don't think it's in the same continuity. It doesn't sound like it addressed even one of those loose ends. WTH. They had a bunch of unresolved stuff there and the series really couldn't continue based on that arc without addressing most of it. They should have focused on those things for their second arc instead of starting something completely unrelated. That definitely makes me even less enthusiastic about trying this new arc, sigh.

I am totally in a hurt/comfort mood too, and have been for the past few days. But instead of wanting to write hurt/comfort, I seem to want to watch and read it, and about a random assortment of subjects. I wanted to see some Dying Informant segments (which I finally got around to now). I wanted some Turtles h/c and delighted in re-watching one of my favorite episodes of the 2003 series, Tales of Leo. I also delighted in more Leo h/c in one of the 1987 episodes I watched today. I wanted Riddler h/c and re-read some stuff in my fics. I watched most of my music videos and want to re-read some of my Princess Tutu stuff and get a helping of Autor h/c. I crave Napoleon h/c too, and that I might actually write. I'll have to see; I really don't think I'm much good at U.N.C.L.E. hurt/comfort. At any rate, it doesn't come easily for me when I try to write it, unless it's about Ecks and Wye.
ladybug_archive: (persuaders)
So I finally admitted in the U.N.C.L.E. comm that I don’t see Napoleon as a chronic bed-hopper even though he certainly loves a pretty face and is a serial dater. What I didn’t say was that if I really thought he was a bed-hopper like James Bond, I doubt I would be attracted to him or find him appealing at all. Part of the reason why Napoleon appeals to me is because I’ve always had the impression that he’s a more moral person than James Bond. I don’t like James Bond because he’s a chronic bed-hopper. I do like Roger Moore, and yet when it comes to Bond, there’s just an automatic turn-off. No attraction.

(Years ago, when I was experimenting with walking more on the wild side, probably because I liked how impressed someone seemed to be when I did it, I had a character who was kind of a bed-hopper and that continued even after he became seriously involved with one particular person. That was gross. We never wrote out any bedroom scenes or anything like that, but it was always known what he was doing. I couldn't do that now, especially the continuing with playing the field even after starting a serious relationship. I would be totally uncomfortable, especially if the character was very important to the story as he was in those role-plays. I would also be uncomfortable with the character having a big role since he was a big-time crime boss and very unrepentant. If I ever get my novel off the ground, he will either have a very reduced role, not be a bed-hopper, or possibly both.)

Speaking of Roger Moore, though, it’s interesting how I can be totally obsessed with him for a while and then it fades and while I still like the characters, there doesn’t seem to be much, if any, crushing. That’s happened more than once. I wonder if that means he’s more on the fringes of my darlings instead of smack-dab with them. With all the rest, there is constant crushing on the characters when I see them even if there isn’t a constant, serious obsession with them/the actors.

I think a lot of why it faded this time was because of Simon Templar, actually. I like the character, but I am one of the few who prefers the color episodes to the B&Ws. There were a lot of B&W episodes I hadn’t seen before and then they finally released the DVD sets of those seasons and I snapped them up. In the B&W episodes, Simon seems rather sexist sometimes. And I know that was likely largely a product of the times and has to be looked at in that way, but Simon by his very nature is an anachronistic person. I think that even in the present-day, Simon would probably have some sexist ideas and feel that women are silly worrying things that need to keep out of the men’s worlds and stick to their own place. The book Simon is a lot more that way, I think, but the TV version has some of it too. I hadn’t seen some of the worst offending episodes of that sort before and when I did, they were kind of a turn-off. The most sickening episode of all was the more humorous Luella. Everyone was unlikable there, from Simon to his friend to his friend's wife. I think those views aren't expressed as much in the color episodes. Or maybe possibly Simon matured beyond such views. I should have been watching the color episodes on MeTV once they came around to them again. I keep longing for a new DVD release of all the color episodes, but I’m not sure they’re going to release separately from the boxset. I'd better watch my scant few color episodes again; maybe that will cool things a bit and I'll like Simon more again.

I still love Beau Maverick and was thrilled to see a couple of his episodes I’ve never seen before when Cozi showed them. The Town That Wasn’t There was sooo good and establishes why Beau is my favorite Maverick. It starts out seeming that he’s being a selfish prick, but throughout the episode he grows to honestly be fond of the people he’s with and sincerely wants to help them. He even turns down $10,000 when accepting it would have hurt one of those people. He then comments to himself something like that his uncle would send him back to England if he knew.

(Honestly, I really don’t like Beau’s uncle. He treats Beau like crap and most of the sayings he gives sound really selfish. And yet when he actually appeared on-screen, he acted more like Bret and the others in that he seemed to try to help people, so I ended up torn on what to think of him. Although it also seemed like he mostly helped because he liked giving the finger to the bad guys rather than because he wanted to help the people who were being hurt. When I write about him in stories I try to be kind, since even when I don't like certain characters I try to examine them from all angles within the contexts of the stories unless they're meant to be out-and-out villains and don't need to be examined more closely. Part of me seriously wants him to just flat-out not care about Beau since he treats him so rotten, but I always try to instead stress that he's just worried about Beau doing something that will get him hurt or killed. Although the $10,000 thing makes me question that idea.)

I think Lord Sinclair may be my favorite Roger character. Part of me would like to say that my Roger Bond figure is Lord Sinclair, as I think he’s the one I want the figure to be the most, but I feel I can’t since I don’t have a Tony Curtis figure to be Danny. Sacrilege! If I had a Tony Curtis figure that’s around 6 inches, my Roger figure would totally be Lord Sinclair. I don’t suppose there is such a thing as a Tony Curtis figure? Sigh.
ladybug_archive: (ecks_wye)
So today is [livejournal.com profile] rose_of_pollux's birthday. Happy Birthday! She was hoping for an U.N.C.L.E. fic with friendshippy h/c goodness. This is what came out. It probably makes no flippin' sense, so I won't be surprised if people are confused. It also feels like it needs more, but I've really got to get this up, so maybe if I think of anything more, I can add it later.


Fic )

Hmm....

May. 16th, 2016 10:02 pm
ladybug_archive: (ecks_wye)
You know, even though I know now that The Fifty-Millionth Frenchman Affair is a good story, part of me still isn’t satisfied. Part of me still wants to also tell the story more fully that’s going on in flashback snippets, where Illya is being visited by the wandering spirit of Mr. Ecks during the time Ecks is teetering very badly between life and death. I wrote a oneshot story some time back showing the first such visit and it was actually pretty well-received. Maybe that was only a one-time thing and furthering the idea would be mostly ignored, especially since the Frenchman Affair has been largely ignored, but on the other hand, maybe expanding on the very short flashback snippets in their own story would be liked. My plan was that Illya and Ecks would share a lot of the deep conversations that were part of what made the original oneshot story well-liked.

In any case, I think that since that’s something I’ve wanted very badly to do, I should give it a whirl and just see what would happen. Character studies are generally my most favorite type of thing to write, rather than action and adventure. And I have to admit, those mini-flashbacks are probably my favorite parts of the Frenchman chapters. Popping them in their own story, as I wanted from the beginning, and expanding on them would likely be delightful to me.

... Lovely.

May. 8th, 2016 05:11 pm
ladybug_archive: (ginger_lou)
So I've been thinking a lot about Mike Trevino lately, as evidenced partially by the long post I did on Tumblr this past week. He's figured a lot into some of my recent Ginger and Lou pieces. It's been very interesting developing Mike and Ginger's interaction throughout the past three years and actually getting them to a place where they actually like each other and are comfortable being around each other. They don't confide in each other and probably never will, but Ginger finally apologized to Mike for the shooting (whereas previously he had only apologized to Lou).

I've thought off and on for years that I should probably make a Mike plushie to go with my Ginger and Lou plushies, but sewing is such a pain that I've always put it off. I decided I should really do it, so I used a coupon on Friday to get another pre-stuffed doll at Jo-Ann's for half-off and am planning to start work on the plushie this week, since I have materials for ears, hair, and pants already here. I'm already trying to start by finding a good picture of 1970's Joe E. Tata that I can use as a guide in making the expression, which I practice many times on paper before actually applying to the plushie.

On that, I'm running into some trouble, as it seems like most of his 1970's characters don't have much to smile about. I can't use a more recent picture as a guide. And the only 1970's shots I've got of him, save one, are side views. I'm going to need to get out everything I have with him guest-starring and study it for possible shots. If I don't draw the expression from an actual picture of the person, it never looks as accurate.

I finally solved my Amazon problem by waiting for another gift card that was just about ready to come and then using all of that plus a little cash to get the complete Cannon boxset. I waffled a bit on whether to really do that, since I'd end up having to pay a little more cash than before and I'd been hesitant to add that much cash. But the price was right and Cannon is a show we love in general and not just when darlings guest-star, so it seemed like a very wise investment. I don't have a lot of episodes recorded compared to how many there actually were, and I don't know if the ones I have might be cut. Some of them look like they might be. Crystal encouraged me to get the boxset and last Saturday I finally did, with no regrets. It came yesterday and Mom was thrilled. We watched a couple of episodes, including Don Knight's and the second one with Joe E. Tata.

Joe had a pretty big part, unlike a lot of the times when I see him. He appeared to work for an old man who did a lot of crooked things but had never been caught at it. I say "appeared" because he really seemed to be so much more than just an assistant. They'd been together for years; Cannon mentioned a drug operation that both Joe's character and the old man were involved in eight years ago. He spoke as though they were more like equals or partners in the operation, although I admit that could have just been my interpretation. But there was much more as evidence; it seemed like they lived in the same house, either that or Joe's character Higgins was just over there all the time. And when the nutcase in the episode sets a bomb in the old man's car and he's seriously hurt, Higgins is extremely distraught. He goes to the hospital and is there for hours waiting to hear if he'll be alright. Of course, an assistant or other employee could be that devoted to their boss, but all in all, I got the vibe that maybe even if he technically was an assistant, the relationship was more like a surrogate son and father or extremely close friends. We actually never learn the old man's final fate, but I like to think that he did pull through since Higgins would be so sad if he didn't.

In thinking about it in the hours since, I determined that there are two basic criteria that need to be met, in general, if I'm going to be intrigued by antagonist characters to the point of wanting to write about them. #1, For them to show some indication of caring about someone, and/or #2, That there is some indication that redemption is possible.

Of the two, #2 is the more important reason for me. That could manifest in several ways, including reason #1, or by them doing something decent, or even just by the idea that they will be going to prison and maybe they can be rehabilitated. In this case, while #1 is definitely present, there didn't seem to be any indication that either Higgins or the old man would be or could be interested in changing the way they handled life, so despite being curious and interested in their interaction, I seriously doubt I would write about them.

In the past I somehow got so intrigued by Gin and Vodka that I ended up being willing to write about them performing their jobs as assassins, although the stories were more about them as characters than about what they were doing. But I am still appalled that I did that. That just isn't me. More recently, when writing about Ecks and Wye, I did have to touch on their canonical jobs a bit, but mostly the stories were about them running for their lives after canonically betraying the organization and trying to start over and go straight. I still had to write Wye as having some darker views than I am generally comfortable with writing, but I tried not to touch on that as much and I did have him finally determine, at least, that the organization with which he had been affiliated did do things worse than most governments.

Sometimes I don't intend to get intrigued by a character and I end up doing it anyway because of what I'm writing about them to flesh them out. That was what happened with both Sephiroths (especially KH Sephiroth) and Snakes Tolliver. It also happened with Baby Face Morales. I had honestly originally intended that he would be the dark foil and counterpart to Micky and nothing more. I wrote The Return of Baby Face Morales with that idea in mind and I did not have the character show any redeeming qualities at all, that I recall. But then when I wrote the sequel and had to have Baby Face work with the good guys and later when I wanted him and Tony to patch things up, I got myself intrigued by the idea of him being more of an anti-hero and also developing his interaction with Tony. That was how and why I ended up changing how I wrote for him and started diving into his past and trying to flesh out possibilities of what could have made him such an angry and dark person. Some of it probably went into sob story territory and I might not follow that exact backstory now. I seriously doubt that I'd write about him at all anymore, really, both since his and Tony's story is probably as a standstill and since he really is a dark character and not one I'm that comfortable writing for anymore. If I were to do anything with those characters again, it would probably be to finish that hanging story about them and the Monkees held captive by mad scientists, and/or to keep writing that crossover with Kolchak. Tony Ferano would be the main character in the latter. I toyed a little bit in my last burst of Monkees stories about Tony and whatever goodness he still has in him. If I were to write about him again, I might further that angle and have him finally break away from Baby Face and try to get his life back in some semblance of order again. Even though I'm probably not comfortable writing for Baby Face, I have to admit that I do still love Tony. Jimmy Murphy's portrayal of him was classic.

Of course, Ginger is really quite a dark character too, so it's possible that in the future I will also not want to write about him anymore, either. But in his case, there was that actual chemistry I sensed between him and Lou (which could have been chemistry between the actors) and that is really what set the whole intrigue off. The fact of that chemistry combined with their interaction in general just fascinated me for some reason and led to me being unable to stop writing about them. And in their case, they really are trying to go straight after their stint in prison (something Baby Face would likely never do), so it's not uncomfortable writing about them. So I really hope that I will never feel differently about that, especially now that I've learned some more information that might possibly put a different spin on the elephant in the room of the shooting. I went into that in detail on Tumblr. http://lucky-ladybugs-lovelies.tumblr.com. Of course, as I say there, I will never be fully satisfied on that, but this is the best I can do to handle it. And in my timeline, as I mentioned, Ginger finally has apologized for that.

Bottom line is, I usually really don't want to like or get intrigued by certain characters, but sometimes I do because of those criteria.

Occasionally, I suppose, I can also get fascinated by a character for one other reason: if it feels like they got a bum deal in canon. Dutch Ingram would fall in that category, because the idea that he committed a murder was just shoehorned in, said by Ken Swofford's highly questionable character, and there was no proof it was true. I still don't believe it is, and that is the basis of my Rockford fic featuring him. But if it weren't for feeling like he wasn't the murderer, I doubt I'd write about him. He isn't really the type of character I like either. I don't think just the fact of Christopher playing him would have made me want to write about him, since I don't want to write about every character played by a darling.

And I need to decide what to do about another Amazon gift card I got. There's no chance of any other one coming soon, so with their changed policies I'm thinking maybe I should get a few books with this one. I considered that recent set of Kolchak short stories, which I want to get since I know the author of one of the stories, but I keep hesitating on getting it since I don't know if any of the stories deal with Tony (Vincenzo now and not Ferano, heh) and his and Kolchak's intriguing relationship. I know that in general, the prose stories do not. That collection of 43 short stories I have only has one where Tony really gets to shine, so in a set of 14 stories, there's not much chance Tony will have good screentime. The comics are better than the prose at giving Tony stuff to do, but I don't know if there are any graphic novels out that give him a lot of "screentime" since there are also some comics where he doesn't appear much. If I knew of any I don't have with good Tony content, I would jump to get them.

Other possibilities are Miles Edgeworth manga or Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books or some combination of several things. There are also a couple of new Pony/Equestria Girls books I want, an artbook for the series and a new Equestria Girls novel that will be out a week from ... Monday, I think. I almost always ponder for ages on what to spend gift cards on, since it's a treat I only have several times a year and I want to make sure I get what I really want and what will be meaningful for years to come. Hopefully I'll come to a decision this week.
ladybug_archive: (ecks_wye)
So while I was going through stuff tagging it recently, I stumbled on that entry where I was comparing Napoleon and Illya's interaction to Jim and Arte's. That was before I'd seen The Summit Five Affair, so I didn't even really believe there was a friendship between Napoleon and Illya and in any case, if there was, I preferred Jim and Arte's insult-free friendship. It was interesting to read that again. And even though now I have come to believe in Napoleon and Illya's friendship, the comparison still made some observational points that are relevant regardless. I've been thinking about it ever since.

It was amusing about Napoleon and Illya, really. The whole fandom pretty much celebrates their friendship, and then there was this one person who insisted she didn't see their relationship that way at all and felt they were only partners, and then there was me in the middle. I wanted to believe in the friendship, but I wasn't feeling it, and I wondered if she was right. I was thrilled when I watched The Summit Five Affair and finally saw clear and present friendshippiness. Yet in spite of that, and in spite of the fact that I enjoy reading other people's friendship fics with them now and then, I personally don't seem to be that interested in writing about friendshippy, hurt/comforty situations with them. For that matter, I don't really seem to be that interested in writing that sort of thing with Jim and Arte, either.

It could be the fact that I don't actually crush on any of them very seriously. (I do have mild crushes, to varying degrees.) Generally, I reserve hurt/comfort scenarios for characters I'm actually crushing on very seriously. On the other hand, it could be that plus the fact that for both shows, my favorite things about them are the plots and mysteries rather than the friendships. (And some of the guest-stars....) And that may sound strange coming from someone who can get so intrigued by friendships that she'll even tinker with characters she normally wouldn't go near, but considering that mysteries and detective shows were always my first love, it makes sense. I mean, seriously, I was four years old and I knew I just had to watch Carmen Sandiego because it was about detectives in these awesome fedora hats and catching crooks and that just sounded so epically awesome. I'm still puzzling over how I already knew I wanted that type of show. I certainly hadn't been exposed to it before; Mom felt I was way too young for that sort of thing. Then the same thing happened when we got this thingie in the mail telling about upcoming shows and I learned about Darkwing Duck. I was like "... A crime-fighting duck?! I MUST WATCH!"

So yeah. Pretty much if it was a crime show, I wanted it. That was my original motivation for getting into The Andy Griffith Show too. (Well, that and Barney sounded hilarious.) Then I started learning all I could about classic TV and found out about U.N.C.L.E. and WWW and all those great things and I wanted them. But it took years before I actually had access to them. And I was all over the James Bond film Moonraker when I saw it (aside from the bed times). Spy stuff ... yay!

But back to Napoleon and Illya. Their specific friendship type is not being very open about their caring. As Crystal pointed out, the best way to see their caring in most episodes is through their facial expressions. It's a very visual thing. That, of course, doesn't translate to stories (unless they're illustrated). But that could be part of my disinterest in writing friendshippy fics about them too, since in lieu of seeing the caring via pictures, it would have to come out some other way. I don't want things to get too mushy/goopy since that would be OOC for them, but sometimes even them discussing deep things at all can result in them seeming too open/OOC. With them, I usually prefer to keep things pretty much as they are in the show, and hence, my stories usually seem to focus on their adventures instead of being hurt/comforty (aside from one creepy fic). I do like having them discuss deep subjects at times, which they do in The Peaceful Meadows Affair, but it doesn't really feel like I'm having them be so open.

Then we have characters like Brett and Danny, who also have that insult humor I don't like but can also do a 180-degree turn and be very open about their caring like it's the most natural thing in the world to show it (which it should be, but it's understandable/professional/better if secret agents like Napoleon and Illya don't follow that idea). I'm hoping to write more fics with them, but I am wondering if I'll be able/comfortable getting the insult banter into things. I haven't really needed to yet, and come to think of it, I've left that out of the U.N.C.L.E. fics too. The thing I adore about Brett and Danny is their openness and I find that easier and more relatable to write than friends who are holding themselves more at arm's length.

When I really think about it, Brett and Danny may very well be an exception to the usual, as it seems like the friendships I usually enjoy writing about the very most ... are often ones I've developed almost or entirely on my own, rather than being fully in canon. With the exceptions of the canonical friendships of Sephiroth and Zack (as shown in Crisis Core), Joe Mannix and Lew Wickersham, and now Brett and Danny, it seems like most of my main friendships have only really been developed into friendships by me. The familial relationships I've loved to write about are canon, but the friendships ... either hardly ever are or else there's only the slightest smidgen of it shown in canon and the smidgen is enough to intrigue me and make me want more. Even with Seph and Zack, there isn't a whole lot showing them together in canon, although as I recall, someone does specifically identify them as friends in-game.

Usually I characterize working partners as friends, regardless of whether they're actually depicted as such in canon. Other examples would be Gin and Vodka, the bikers, Schrank and Krupke, Ginger and Lou, and Ecks and Wye (although the evidence for the latter being friends seems pretty strong to me, given Wye's actual flipping out after finding Ecks stabbed).

With the bikers, Raph seemed protective of Valon in canon, but Valon and Alister couldn't seem to get along. And usually aside from that, they didn't interact together. But it became a fanon thing to have them be friends anyway, with several people adopting the idea of them deciding to start over together after the Doom arc, since they'd already been through so much together and they were really all each other had.

With Ginger and Lou, you have to look pretty closely to see what's going on there, but there is definitely some kind of chemistry between either the actors, the characters or both. I think that essay I wrote pretty well examines every possibility and shows that it is possible that they could be friends. I develop the idea by saying that they became closer and more open while in prison, thus opening the door for their interaction as I've depicted it. Of course, one could certainly use the argument I made with Napoleon and Illya and throw it back at me, saying I shouldn't portray these two being open either. I've worried about that. But one thing is, we've only seen how Ginger and Lou canonically interact during a high-stress situation. With Napoleon and Illya, we've also seen how they behave during downtime. So with Ginger and Lou, I figure there might be some leeway since we don't know how they behave during normal times. I try to make their interaction as fitting the characters shown in canon even though at the same time I'm trying to develop it a bit beyond that. (I guess I also figure no one would care if I soften Ginger a bit, really, since I doubt anyone really became intrigued by him and Lou in canon like I did. I kind of worry what David Chase, the writer of that episode, might think, though. Yes, that David Chase....) Of course, that's what a lot of the U.N.C.L.E. writers do as well, often with excellent results.

Then there's Autor and Ahiru, who were certainly not friends in the series proper. But Autor seemed friendly in that little follow-up play some of the voice actors did, and given Ahiru's gregarious personality, I have a hard time believing that she wouldn't eventually come to see the good in Autor and accept him as a friend. So that seemed to have good potential even though it wasn't expressly canon and that became another of my favorite friendships to work with.

Then we have Duke and David. There's no indication of who David is to Duke in canon (aside from the dub note that he's the store manager), but since Duke confided in David about his plans, at least partially, and David teases Duke without consequence, I would say it's pretty likely that they're friends.

And of course, things like Ray Norman and Coley Rodman, Snakes Tolliver and Beau Maverick, and Snakes and Duke, are most certainly not canon by the slightest stretch of the imagination. Those characters are not on the same show in canon, nor are Ray and Coley or Snakes and Duke canonically in the same time. It's interesting how things like that can just develop in fics or role-plays and end up feeling so right.

Perhaps I usually prefer focusing on things like that because I feel that either canon or the other fans are handling the main friendships just fine and I'd rather do something different and explore other angles. I know that's how I tend to feel about Rumbelle, even though I still enjoy writing my vignette series now and then. That's more in protest of the way Once has gone downhill, though, instead of a desire to actually write Rumbelle. I like to write them talking, which the show should have done more of, but I am pretty useless when it comes to romantic stuff. In general I find romantic/kissing scenes tedious, boring, and almost impossible to write, and I don't want to let down the fans who want to see lots of that, so I still hesitate to post my vignettes on FF.net. (That, and the fact that I don't update that story very frequently....)
ladybug_archive: (ecks_wye)
So I've had the weirdest urge to watch The Alaskans, something I thought I'd never have the chance to do. It's never been released on DVD and isn't aired on television. Lately I've particularly been bemoaning the fact that I'll never see it. I figured it was nothing spectacular, but I still kind of wanted to see it at least once. Then I found four episodes today and watched one of them then and another right now. Unfortunately, the Simon Oakland episode isn't among them, but I look forward to seeing them all anyway. I've heard the series was notorious for simply recycling other shows' scripts (typical, Warner Brothers, looking for ways to be cheap and greedy and cut corners). The first one I saw was an alright episode, but I don't know if it was a recycled plot or not. The second one definitely was one of the recycled plots (you can always tell because they list the writer as W. Hermanos, heh), but I've never seen the show that originally used it and I loved it. Roger's character was the only one of the main cast in it, so I got to see plenty of him.

I was confused about exactly what the main characters do, as I had originally had the impression they dabbled in a lot of get-rich-quick schemes. Then reading up on the show earlier today, I ended up thinking it sounded more like they were crooks. Actually watching the episodes, it kind of looks like my first impression was closer to the truth. Silky Harris is always coming up with some sort of money-making scheme, but it doesn't seem like he wants to hurt anyone, nor is he a criminal. And he seems to honestly believe his plans will work. He reminds me a little bit of the Maverick boys in his dislike of real work, albeit the Mavericks prefer to quietly gamble rather than to make exhibitions of themselves. In the second episode I saw, where he was on his own, he reminded me tremendously of Beau. (He even got accused of murder, like poor Beau always did. **headdesk.**)

Also, Maverick is now airing weekdays on Cozi again. Yesss! And The Virginian is back as well. They're both starting over, so I'm going to guess it's something new they decided to do for the new year. I'll have to keep close watch and get the other ones I wanted of those shows.

And here is a blurbfic I've been writing based on that latest Ecks and Wye dream I mentioned. It's clearly part of something bigger, but I don't know if I will ever write the rest of the story. This is mostly conversational, character developmental, and shameless hurt/comfort. Napoleon and Illya are in it a lot, but I don't know if I'll post it anywhere other than here, since it's just a homeless scene.


When plans go wrong )

Dreams....

Dec. 27th, 2015 07:15 am
ladybug_archive: (schrank_krupke)
More strange dreams. In reality I've been worrying about fixing up the stray/outdoor kitty's sleeping space under our deck so that she has something warmer. (We did that this past night. I hope it's been good enough....) So I end up dreaming about that, more or less. And the kitty and I converse. We have some pretty epic conversation like best buds/sisters and hang out having adventures through the day and then go around to the front of the house, which now looks like the old house. But I'm pretty sure the kitty in the dream is supposed to be this kitty and not the kitty we tended to at the old house. They look eerily similar, oddly enough. But this kitty is a lot more timid and a homebody, while the other kitty had attitude and liked to roam. We felt so sad when the first kitty died and it was so empty, and then I think it was only several months later when this kitty came into our lives, like she was being brought to help us heal. And because we needed tabbies in our lives.

My dreams are so weird, though, seriously. And there's recurring locales and situations. And the house often seems to either be the old house or a mishmash of both or even a house that's completely one we've never lived in. But I kind of love my dreams, for the most part. I love and look forward to sleeping, both because sleeping is wonderful when it's needed and because I love seeing what my dreams have in store for me this time. Sometimes I kind of wish technology had advanced to the point that I could visit my dream worlds whenever I choose. Oh, I suppose there's some sort of mind over matter that might more or less cause that to happen, but I don't have enough drive to figure out how to manipulate it. There's plenty of more important things to put mind over matter to use in, rather than frivolous things like this. But still, I do love my dreams and look forward to when I have particular kinds.

And Crystal saw the U.N.C.L.E. movie and we ended up discussing it and the TV series a bit. In the course of that, we got on the subject of Napoleon's serial flirting and interest in women versus Illya's general disinterest in the whole matter. Crystal mused on wondering whether anyone has ever examined the idea of Illya possibly being asexual. I don't think they have and doubt that they'd be interested in such an examination. But then I couldn't get the idea out of my mind and ended up writing a conversational blurb with Napoleon and Illya that touches on the possibility. (Illya never really confirms or denies it. Typical Illya.) I'm not quite sure what to do with it, however, since I'm not sure I want to post it on FF.net or in any other fan community. Not only does it touch on that possibly touchy subject matter, it also implies that Napoleon isn't jumping in bed with all the girls he flirts with and it ends up dipping into Illya's backstory enough that a present-day time period is revealed. If I post it anywhere, I'm considering maybe just posting it directly on my website.

Trains....

Dec. 21st, 2015 10:43 pm
ladybug_archive: (ecks_wye)
So I had a dream where one part of it involved Ecks and Wye trying to trip up some bad guys. Ecks pretended to be stabbed (he was wearing heavy protection under his coat or something and got fixed up with blood so it would look authentic) and Wye pretended to flip out on the one "responsible." I believe the idea was that when the bad guys were occupied with Wye, Ecks would spring into action and join the battle and catch the bad guys off-guard. But something went wrong and Wye ended up hurt and missing. Ecks was panicking and trying to figure out how to find him. I don't think the dream ever did reach a solution. It seems like most dreams don't. Man, I have such weird ones. And when they're like that, I wanna write fics of them.

And ... help, I think I might be getting interested/intrigued again by the Thomas franchise.... When I was at Toys R Us earlier this month, I saw an entire blue aisle devoted to the franchise, but I didn't pause to examine it; I never have. I grew up on Shining Time Station and loved it, but didn't have any exposure to the franchise beyond that. I felt like it just wouldn't feel right to me to not have Shining Time Station characters around. However, I was curious as to what the franchise was like beyond that and how it was still going strong, so the other day I finally took time to look it up and read about it. I'm curious enough now that I'd like to see what some of the new episodes are like. I'm wondering about the female engine they've introduced; I hope she's awesome!

I always like to watch the Shining Time Station Christmas special each year, even moreso now that I know Lloyd Bridges plays the Santa character. I did that the other day, lapped it up, kind of want to watch it again, and maybe look at some other old episodes. I remember one time as a kid, I got on a kick where I watched the Christmas special every night for a while. That's one thing I still have my VHS copy of, recorded on TV the last year I remember them rebroadcasting the special (1994). I have happy memories of watching it with Mom while recording it and how that was one of the last times I was small enough to fit in the big chair with her.

I remember when they came out with that Thomas movie in 2000. I was curious, and somewhat surprised, but didn't make any effort to look up more information on it. I figured it was strictly train-world-only, and I liked both worlds. Now I've learned the movie brought in Shining Time Station elements, particularly Stacy and Mr. Conductor. Tasha and Billy Twofeathers, too (albeit played by different people, as is Mr. Conductor again). I must see that movie now. The train-world adventures sound pretty intense, too. The movie is generally disliked, and maybe I wouldn't like it either, but I'd like to give it a chance.

Also, I don't know whether to laugh or be very, very disturbed by the thought of Susan Roman voicing James. Susan was one of the original Sailor Moon dub voice actresses. I want to say she was Jupiter, but she might have been Mars. Either way, she was really good, one of the best in that cast, but I'm not sure what to think of her playing the male engine who was, as I remember him, rather conceited/boastful and kind of a jerk sometimes. It's a source of aggravation among fans that she played him; they felt she made him sound too young and feminine. I'll withhold judgment until I hear it for myself.

And I knew nothing of the details of this Ant-Man thing until I was reading that part of the climax is fought on a toy Thomas. Um, LOL. Also, apparently the toy Thomas grows huge at one point. **snarks.** But shrinking to the size of an ant, whether that's the character's superpower in general or whether it was just something weird done solely for the climatic battle ... I think I'll pass, thanks.
ladybug_archive: (ecks_wye)
... But I suppose I'd better just take the plunge and post it.

https://sites.google.com/site/uncleandlondon/home

My Man From U.N.C.L.E. site, detailing the ins and outs of my fic verse and why things are the way they are in it. I don't know that anyone other than me will get a kick out of it at all, but here it is. Really, I think I do a good job with Napoleon and Illya's characterizations and their interactions, but this is the first time I'm going live with the details of my verse and my backstories for them in it and I am worried that those elements won't go over so well. I'm kind of proud of them really, though. It was fun trying to think out what their pasts could be like if the show was set in the present-day (which still seems plausible to me since most episodes were not dated).

Time period aside, I hope that there aren't any other bumps. I was thinking that Napoleon's and Illya's backstories were pretty up in the air, which is why everyone seems to have different ones (albeit they often have some similar elements). But I made one mistake in the past by not being aware of one little detail about U.N.C.L.E. operations that I really don't think was ever featured in an episode despite being in the series bible, so I hope there aren't other, similar errors. I kind of consider the episodes themselves to be the only 100% canon, even though of course behind-the-scenes intentions are important too. I really am interested in the series bible and just wish it wasn't only available in a huge PDF file. PDFs don't tend to get along well with this little laptop. But sometimes they work not too poorly, so maybe I'd better just take the plunge on that, too, and see if it will work.

I also just finished a piece where Ecks and Wye clash with Siegfried and Shtarker from Get Smart, LOL. I've linked it on the site; it's on Tumblr. I'm not quite sure what to do with it on LJ, since Napoleon and Illya are not in it and it wasn't inspired by a prompt comm. That would leave posting it here or on the fic journal, but since I'd doubt anyone would be interested anyway without Napoleon and Illya, I don't know whether to bother.

The piece is generally humorous, but also touches a bit on something I've been thinking about since the idea was first introduced to me, that Ecks and Wye's organization (or at least, other, similar ones in U.N.C.L.E. verse) is worse than THRUSH. I ... kind of think I disagree. THRUSH does things similar to KAOS, which is repeatedly, canonically described as a terrorist organization. My guess is that they are both similar and just as bad, if not worse, than the unnamed extremist organization Ecks and Wye worked for. I realize that THRUSH and KAOS are shown doing larger-than-life things, which makes it really hard to always take them seriously, but when you really stop to think about how horrifying and frightening their schemes would be if they were really possible, I just can't swallow that Ecks and Wye's organization is worse than them (particularly when we don't know many of the details of what they're doing, other than trying to take over countries and using, well, larger-than-life spy objects, same as the other bad organizations in spy series).

Hmm.

Nov. 29th, 2015 01:57 am
ladybug_archive: (coley_lafe)
Season 5 Pony finale was today. I don't think I've been so nervous about a finale since season 3. In the end, I was rather underwhelmed with it as a season finale, although there were definitely things I liked (especially the first alternate timeline and seeing Zecora in the second one). I'm glad that the terrible things I was imagining didn't happen. And I hope we're not really going to be without new Pony content for a whole year. Maybe the next Equestria Girls movie will come in the summer or something.

I am apparently going through Roger Moore withdrawal; had a dream about one of his characters this past week. I think it was Simon Templar. I've seen most of the episodes of The Saint and I fell out of the habit of checking MeTV's videos when they went back to the color episodes, which I've seen the most of. If they even still have the videos, they've probably started over by now and I should be checking to see the few B&W episodes I've missed. I wish they hadn't changed how the videos work, though. They've never been quite right since the last time MeTV tinkered with them. They used to play almost perfectly, and then MeTV had to go and do something to make them take more memory. Ugh. Which makes me all the less enthusiastic about checking.

I also wish Cozi hadn't cut the Maverick airings to twice on Sunday. Then it takes forever to go a round! There were still some Beau episodes I wanted to have recorded. I can't buy season 4 right now; still too expensive. And I know Cozi's episodes are cut, too. Sigh.

I'll probably try to bring back that Simon Templar icon again soon. I referenced him in my newest U.N.C.L.E. chapter.

It's funny, but it seems like with almost every classic TV series that I try to move to the present-day, I try to not reveal in the stories that it's the present and just know that I'm thinking it in my mind. But then something invariably happens in the plot of a story that forces me to acknowledge the time period.

Case in point: my newest U.N.C.L.E. chapter. Illya tries to contact Napoleon and can't get through, so Ecks tries to get in touch with Wye. They use cellphones in the stories that only feature them, so here I basically described a Smartphone but called it a communication device, heh. But I'm sure anyone reading it realized I was describing a cellphone. But since I called it something else, I figure they can imagine it as some other kind of spy gear if they want. Now we'll see how long I can go without positively identifying something in this U.N.C.L.E. story or another one as being in the present-day without question.

On that note, I think my U.N.C.L.E. website is almost ready. I've been writing the present-day backstories for Napoleon and Illya in my verse and it was a ton of fun, even if I never do bring said present-day backstories into the actual fics. I would likely enjoy doing that sometime, though, if I thought the readers would like it even though it isn't what they're used to/prefer. I know I could write it just for myself, but if I'm including Napoleon and Illya in a fic, I kind of like to share it with the fanbase. With the ones that I figure no one will read anyway, like the Ecks and Wye-only pieces, I get a lot more bold about the time period. Although I still only do things with it when the plot calls for it.
ladybug_archive: (yamiM_artichoke)
So Amazon has been crashing on me for the last couple of days. I thought it was my browser being frustrating. I'm almost ready for another gift card shopping spree, so Amazon crashing is not acceptable. I finally ran CCleaner again, which I don't do as much as I should because it exasperates me that it won't delete all the junk it finds and instead only gets rid of about half of it. But it's good to see that the program still works; Tumblr is running well enough again that for the time being, I can post without losing my mind.

Amazon, however, is still crashing. In desperation I typed "Amazon freezes Firefox" in the search bar and learned this upsetting news: https://www.404techsupport.com/2015/08/amazon-crashes-firefox-safari/

This has been going on since August. Why the HECK doesn't Amazon fix this?! Firefox and Safari users make up a large part of their customer base!

At least there's a link there to an Amazon Light version that works for me, so hopefully I'll be able to do my shopping spree without havoc when my second gift card arrives. But unless this problem is fixed, I won't be able to click on any Amazon email links. Aurgh....

And I decided to make that U.N.C.L.E. website. It's not ready to open yet, but I got a good chunk of it done and I'm pleased with it. I'm also pleased with my follow-up to The Peaceful Meadows Affair and hope that after having been quiet for the past several days, it won't be overwhelming when I post the next chapter soon.

It feels good to be confident again. I guess I needed to not post for a few days for my own peace of mind, as I was getting so worried I was being a pest to keep posting a fic thing each day. I started struggling with whether I should remove the posted chapter and split the subplot into a separate thing. (Problem is, I don't think I'd have enough content without it. That's why I hadn't started the follow-up before; not enough plot to work with.) Part of me wants to write the flashback scenes in the subplot as several oneshots (or as added vignettes to The Mist of Yesterday), since of course the flashbacks in the chapters are only brief snippets and not the full scenes. Maybe I will do that, but I also want to have this subplot in the story for a reason. So hopefully I can balance the subplot with the main mystery and people will be interested in how I handle it.

MeTV is showing The Concrete Overcoat Affair this weekend. I'm excited; I haven't seen that one yet and I'm anxious for the friendship squee. I'll watch both parts together, as I don't like the torture of seeing one part and waiting for the next one. Maybe seeing it will plunnie me. I hope.

Hmm.

Nov. 5th, 2015 06:14 am
ladybug_archive: (snakes)
... I just realized I have four icons featuring characters by Christopher Cary. I thought I had three. But I have the Ecks and Wye icon, the Ginger and Lou icon, the Captain Scofield icon, and this Snakes Tolliver icon.

Well, what can I say. I adore Christopher, squeee.

I actually got warmed up enough and plunnied enough that I started writing the follow-up to The Peaceful Meadows Affair from this past summer. I'm really excited to finally get that story off the ground (and hopefully have enough material to carry it through to completion now), but I'm worried I've been too active lately and people probably won't want to read a multi-chapter venture I've written. Eh, maybe I'm just worried for nothing because of things that happened in another fandom, but because of what happened there, I feel like I always have to walk on eggshells everywhere else when it comes to oneshot characters. Sigh. So if I seem jittery/worried, that's why. I just don't want to overstay my welcome.... The Peaceful Meadows Affair was quite popular, but I worry I won't be able to capture that same popularity again, especially several months later. I usually write a little spurt of U.N.C.L.E. stuff and then fade back into the shadows for a while, but now the plunnies keep coming. And keep involving those oneshot characters, oh dear. The reviewers have been really sweet and interested and their comments mean a lot to me. So hopefully there will continue to be interest.

I wonder if I should make a website for my U.N.C.L.E. fic verse or if I don't have enough for that yet. I have websites for my Perry Mason and WWW fic verses. Of course, those are just for me to play in; I don't hold out any illusions that anyone else would want to read all the intricacies of my fic verses and why I did this or that with particular characters. (Of course, if I were proven wrong, I would feel rather squeeful about it.) Mainly I just have an urge to write up some detailed profiles for Ecks and Wye and a website seems like a better place to stick them than a journal. Actually, heh, a long time ago I wrote up some detailed profiles for Ginger and Lou and I've ... never posted them anywhere. Oops. But I've used them to guide me in writing for them in the fics. I think some things in their profiles need to be switched, though. Like I wrote that Ginger is more the obsessive-compulsive one, but in actuality I think it ended up being Lou. Hmm.

November is making me very nostalgic this year. It was November, I think, when I saw Carmen episodes on television for the last time. Of course, I'm puzzling how that could quite be, since I saw the latter episodes and I thought those aired in December. It could be I'm mixing up months, but I do know distinctly that I was watching a little here and there around Thanksgiving. I watched one and then discovered Wishbone. Maybe I watched both in November and December.

And I still can't believe how hard it is to find a simple brown shoulder-length doll wig. There is a really nice one on eBay now, but it's $22 and I ... really hoped I wouldn't have to pay that much for a doll wig in this size (13-14).... Gulp.... And since I like to do the hair as one of the first things, I kind of don't even like to start making the Barry plush without knowing I have a wig on hand.... But I'd probably better start anyway.
ladybug_archive: (ecks_wye)
Some of this has been touched on in other entries, but I think I've gone more in-depth here. When I get started, I can really get on a roll. I love to talk about things I've determined about episodic oneshot characters, whether anyone is interested in listening or not....

Well, the U.N.C.L.E. plunnies won't shut up lately, which may or may not be a good thing since they seem to always involve characters from The Odd Man Affair episode. Of course, I never post on U.N.C.L.E. comms or on FF.net with the stuff I write that features only them and not the main characters too, except once last week, and that was only because I was answering a challenge to write about a character from another episode and I decided to have him encounter those two. It worked in context, since the main characters had not met him before the episode and therefore couldn't be in it since it was a prequel fic. (Well, actually, I guess they could have been in it and just not actually crossed paths with the guy, but anyway.) And I only felt bold enough to do it after a very active poster wrote a ficlet solely about the challenge character and random THRUSHies, with no main characters in sight.

But regardless, even with the main characters around, I imagine some people aren't particularly crazy about stories popping up with those episodic characters around. Some episodic characters are popular, but not them. They intrigue me for the previous reasons specified (Ecks is played by one of the darlings and Wye showed definite indications that Ecks meant the world to him) and I can't seem to stop writing about them, same as with Ginger and Lou or Snakes. I'm rather used to writing about characters that people don't generally like or pay attention to, but I imagine it makes me look like I have a few screws loose here and there when I can't seem to stop including them. Or at the very least, that I'm obsessive/have a one-track mind. But that's probably true enough; when I find characters that intrigue me, I can't let go and the plunnies all tend to include them.

Another thing that fascinates me is that on some level, I see Ecks and Wye as sort of the dark counterparts to Napoleon and Illya. I'm not sure any episode gave us characters deliberately intended to be counterparts to them, nor am I sure that any others turned up who could be accidental counterparts. I believe Ecks and Wye were the closest we ever came to that.

Illya and Ecks, amusingly, do have physical similarities of hair and eye colors and general body structure. I know that's not easy to tell under that coat, but take it from someone who is such a complete Christopher Cary nut that she tries to see everything available he's been in. Ecks is very slender, lithe, and nimble, like Illya. Illya and Ecks are also the quiet, deadly ones, the ones that stalk their prey with weaponry and then strike in the shadows.

At first glance, Napoleon and Wye don't have much in common on any level, although in my verse I do have Ginger telling Lou on one occasion that Wye was rather a ladies' man during secondary school. (Ginger and Wye grew up in the same neighborhood and were acquaintances.) One canon similarity would be that Wye is presumably the senior agent. Perhaps biggest of all, they're both the smooth-talkers.

The main way the characters are counterparts, however, would be in their interaction and how they perform together. Ecks and Wye, though only seen briefly throughout the episode, are clearly partners and seem to be completely at ease with each other. They enjoy working together and have everything coordinated. They complement each other perfectly in their entrance scene with Zed. Later, Ecks stands by in the park while Wye is giving his coded speech, ready and waiting to handle any trouble that crops up. Although he appears to be reading something, he is highly alert and spots Albert Sully immediately.

Napoleon and Illya's friendship is pretty much legendary in the fandom and celebrated by the fans everywhere. It is explored in canon ventures such as The Summit Five Affair (the episode that made me fully believe in their friendship) and The Concrete Overcoat Affair and also, of course, in the many hilarious bantering exchanges throughout all four seasons. We don't know what would happen if one of them was dead or appeared to be so (although the fans certainly like to explore that). I imagine the other would try diligently to carry on with their work. If the downed agent was downed because of a deliberate attack, however, there might be some level of desire for revenge. Certainly there would be the desire to bring the attacker to justice.

With Ecks and Wye, we do know what would happen if one of them is downed. Specifically, if it's Ecks. Wye will flip out. He seemed stable (albeit sadistic) during all previous scenes. But once he finds Ecks stabbed in the park, logic crumbles. He chases Napoleon, Illya, and their companions all the way to a bus, where he actually draws his gun and is going to either threaten or fire on them right there in full view of all passengers. That is ... really not a good idea. They'll all be witnesses. Since I doubt he planned to kill the whole busload, it seems clear that he just isn't thinking. Something made him tip off the deep end. Hmm, I wonder what that could have been.

Later, he shows his instability even further, when he encounters Bryn Watson on the stairs. He backs her down the stairs, taunting her, vowing to get back at her for knocking him off the bus and for ruining his show in the park. Now, it's possible he's just a complete nut who loves the spotlight so much that when he said that, he literally meant that having his day in the spotlight cut short was what upset him so much. On the other hand, what "ruined" his show was the disturbance Napoleon and Illya created with Ecks after Illya stabbed him. Bryn had nothing to do with it. And when Wye comes up to Ecks, at first he thinks Ecks is alright. He asks who those people were. When Ecks doesn't reply, Wye is immediately concerned. He asks if Ecks is feeling poorly and reaches to lay a hand on Ecks' shoulder, perhaps to gently push him back so Wye can see him better or perhaps even as a comforting gesture. There is no mention of his show being cut short and no anger towards Ecks about that at all. Wye appears to be puzzled at first, then honestly concerned when he realizes something is wrong. When Ecks falls off the bench and lays on the ground, Wye just stares at him for a long moment (looking rather sad, I think). Then he flips and goes after the escaping party.

So, back to Bryn on the stairs. It would seem, taking all things into consideration, that Wye is so upset about Ecks that he's going to go after anyone he can if they were even the slightest bit connected with things. In Bryn's case, she was with Napoleon and Illya (and of course, she committed the unpardonable sin of knocking Wye off the bus). Wye knows Napoleon and Illya are the ones responsible for what happened. (Or rather, Illya is.) He knows Bryn didn't stab Ecks. But she's there and Napoleon and Illya aren't. And he's just so far deranged by this point that he'll gladly go after her just to get at someone who was involved even in a minor way with what happened to his partner. He doesn't specifically say anything to her about Ecks, perhaps because he doesn't want to reveal to the enemy what his real reason is for the assault and that he cares about someone so deeply that their injury/death sent him off the trolley like this. But it seems fairly obvious to me that it did.

Considering how at ease they are around each other and how they genuinely seem to like being together, I believe we can infer that Ecks cares deeply about Wye in return. It isn't just a one-sided thing. And so we have another parallel with Napoleon and Illya, of Ecks and Wye being friends as well as partners. (Although of course one hopes that neither Napoleon nor Illya would flip out in a disturbing manner such as Wye did if the other was seriously injured/killed.)

In my verse, I have them opting to live together after they run for their lives from the remnants of their organization. When they encounter Napoleon and Illya during The Peaceful Meadows Affair, they express great amusement at how Napoleon and Illya could not seem to share a house in The Suburban Affair. Completely opposite to them on that matter, Ecks and Wye seem to be much more coordinated and at ease with living together. Of course, this can't be taken as canon, but it's just an amusing contrast I decided to throw in there when I was fleshing out their personalities.

They have a complex relationship with elements of mentor/student, working partners, best friends, perhaps even brothers. Wye is very protective of Ecks, sometimes behaving like an older brother or even a father (although the age gap between them doesn't exceed 15 years). He is very fond of Ecks and thinks of him as a kid, even though at the same time he knows Ecks is a highly capable adult. Ecks in return likes Wye's protectiveness, since it isn't a stifling protectiveness and allows him room to be himself. Sometimes, if injured, Ecks will rely heavily on Wye and lean or slump against him without either of them finding it odd or awkward. While I prefer to keep things platonic and find that the most intriguing to explore, I imagine that slash fans could potentially have a heyday. My writings have often looked slashy to people because of the close bonds between the characters, sort of a platonic soulmate type thing.

In one of my recent stories, I include a short scene of Ecks waking up in the hospital after an unwanted astral projection. I had a distinct image of him raising a hand to his head while one of those pulse oximeters is clasped on one finger. However, I ended up not posting the part of the sentence describing the device, since that would be a dead giveaway that it's the present-day and I figured people wouldn't like that. Generally I only reveal it's the present-day in the stories I do that only feature Ecks and Wye, since I figure no one will be reading those (or if they do, they won't mind).

Actually, I don't know, maybe it wouldn't be a big deal (it shouldn't be) since the series itself rarely dates itself and the adventures could pretty much easily happen in any modern era. I still say that if they had really meant for it take place in the 1960s (instead of being a show that could take place in any modern era), they would have put a lot of Cold War stuff in and had people suspicious of a Russian working for U.N.C.L.E. It's treated instead as quite normal for him to be there. No one gives him a second glance regarding his country of origin. I feel it's only the 1960s because that was the present-day when they made it, and that therefore, it is perfectly acceptable to play with the time period. But since the fans largely seem to prefer it to really be the 1960s and have complex backstories that support that idea, I kind of don't like to upset the apple cart by not aligning with that, especially since I'm already rather a wild card. So I just try to never specify a time period at all, as the series usually didn't, and just know that in my mind, it is the present-day.

Although two or three years ago, I wrote a couple of pieces and specified them as present-day and that worked out alright, so perhaps I should just do it now, same as I do for Perry Mason and other series. I generally only reference time period in any story if it's actually needed for a plot point.

(Ironically, the episode with Ecks and Wye is one of the few times the show did date itself. But since I read lots of Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books, which updated the times to whatever was the current era without aging the characters or discounting adventures from other eras as not having happened, I'm pretty adaptable to working around that problem.)

In my expanded verse, Wye is rather afraid of any animal that could attack him. Ecks, on the other hand, has a rapport with dogs and likes cats too. Wye sometimes thinks of Ecks as being very catlike, mysterious and aloof with the ability to attack without warning and the tendency to lie around the house in almost catlike positions.

Ecks is a technology expert and is capable of hacking into U.N.C.L.E.'s computer mainframe, which he did during the time he was stalking Illya. Both he and Wye have Smartphones; Ecks' ringtone is a rock song, perhaps Queen.

In the [livejournal.com profile] 31_days set I did with Ecks and Wye, I have one creepy piece where they're haunted by a ghost that bothers those who died and came back to life. They have to accept what happened to them in order to not be overcome by her. I may decide to retcon that particular adventure out of my main timeline, simply so that I can have Ecks continuing to deal with his upset and shaken feelings over repeatedly astral-projecting while ill. Perhaps it will be a subplot in The Fifty Millionth Frenchman Affair.

Harry2 gave an intriguing suggestion of other conversations between Illya and astral-Ecks. I thought about it and decided maybe that would work if each thinks they're dreaming. As long as they never fully accept that it's real, maybe I could figure out at least a couple more conversations for them to have during that time without it disrupting my timeline.
ladybug_archive: (rockapella)
Made a few new icons the other day, when I realized The Disappearing Declaration was a season 1 episode with high enough quality that the icons would probably be good. This is my favorite, although I wish I could have gotten Barry in there a little better. But this one still does better than my last attempt, I think, to get them all in fairly equally. And Sean still gets highlighted as lead singer. Awesome.

Yesterday I finally got to go in to use the birthday coupon at Build-a-Bear and I bought the bat plushie. I didn't have enough money to get the cat right then, and anyway, after Halloween the bat will be gone but the cat will still be there. And the bat is so cute! Probably the cutest bat plushie ever made. I had the oddest urge to name her Milly, and yes, it had to be with a Y. So that is what her birth certificate says.

For some weird reason, earlier in the month I was muddledly thinking that bats were rodents and naturally I didn't want any rodent plushie after this summer's disaster. (Note that I still love Mickey Mouse and any other cartoon rodents I previously liked, however. In general, they behave more like people than rodents. Heh.) I'm assuming the misconception is because Batman is sometimes called a rodent by the villains in the 1960s show. But so I Googled "Are bats rodents" and went "... Well, duh, what's the matter with me" at the information that they are not and that was the first step to feeling okay about a bat plushie. Anyway, too, I've cosplayed Rouge the Bat three times and I love Batman, so a bat plushie rather makes sense for me, doesn't it?

Also, at Build-a-Bear I was thrilled to see the online exclusives Zecora and Shining Armor! I didn't have enough money to get one of them, and anyway, I had my heart set on the bat, but I hope I'll have the chance to get them both now that I don't have to buy them online! I was so excited to see them there!

I also had a coupon for half off something at Jo-Ann's, so we went there and I found that the doll I'd put away in the back in hopes of buying it when I wasn't broke was still there, so I bought it. It will become Barry. I just hope I can find a decent doll wig. It's bizarre that I can't find a simple brown shoulder-length doll wig.

Then I've been contacted by a sweet girl who really loves my Detective Conan fics and especially my Gin/Sherry stuff. She was hoping I could finish Snow White Queen. I doubt I ever will, which I told her, but I told her how I planned for it to end and I let her see an unfinished chapter I'd apparently started years ago, and she was happy with those things.

When I was trying to help her, I ended up re-reading what I have of that fic and pondering on things regarding it and how it happened. The whole idea of Gin/Sherry is twisted to begin with, and then I was trying to figure out how to turn that twisted mess into something that could be happy for both of them. That happened mainly because when I was scoffing at the idea that the pairing could ever be anything but twisted, someone (Claude, I believe) talked to me about different possibilities that could make it end up happy. And I was curious and interested and decided to take up the challenge, so I started writing various things with them, liked it, and eventually started work on Snow White Queen.

I have to admit, I do think it's written fairly well, but it's very strange seeing me try to take the twisted canon information and make something positive out of it. I suppose maybe it's possible, especially considering those characters' backgrounds (both canon and what I invented to flesh out their pasts), but I am still pretty skeptical that it could work realistically.

It's interesting that what started as an experiment became something I genuinely loved and was enthused about. I think I always struggled a bit, though, and I think that's why the story trailed off. I just wasn't sure how to get them from Point A to Point C. Point B baffled me. That didn't stop me from writing stuff after they get to Point C, but I really needed to show how it happened and that problem stopped me in my tracks.

I used to write a lot of darker stuff that handled twisted situations, twisted characters, etc. etc. It wasn't just Detective Conan, but some of the psychological horror fics I did for YGO and maybe other categories. I think a lot of the reason why I did it was because I was encouraged and I really liked the praise I was getting. It was fun to impress people and have them feel like I was smart and deep. But I don't know, I don't feel like writing twisted things was really me. Or maybe it was me then. Eventually I got tired and worn-out and didn't want to play in many of those fields anymore. Maybe I stopped wanting to impress people so much. I still want them to like what I write, but that's not as much of my drive as it used to be.

I'm still tired. Mostly now I just want to write fun things or hurt/comfort. That doesn't mean I don't like deep subjects or exploring how characters' minds tick; that's still a lot of how my stories run. But I don't think I'm really into dealing with twisted stuff like figuring out how to make a positive relationship when the canon is Gin being possessive and sadistic towards Sherry (and of course, Sherry hating him). Somehow in the "after Point C" stories I actually did manage to get them to a more normal place where Gin wasn't sadistic and Sherry wasn't hateful and Gin's possessiveness was softened a bit into more protectiveness. And I know it probably all sounds terrible and like a bad fanfic from what I'm describing. It actually isn't as bad in actual fact; it's certainly not like Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey or something that tries to make it look like the bad stuff is okay. And it's not hearts and rainbows and suddenly everybody is good, wheeee. It's more the characters being able to gradually get past the bad things and grow and mature into better people. But I'm skeptical it could ever really happen in a situation like theirs and I don't think it's a place I want to explore again.

Some of the characters I write for are still somewhat twisted, though, like Ginger. And it certainly took a lot of pondering and struggling to try to figure out how to make it make sense that Lou could both care about Mike and forgive Ginger for shooting him. I think my essay approached the problem from all possible angles the episode hinted at and presented every possible answer. The difference with those characters is that, more unlike Gin and Vodka (or Baby Face and his gang), I do have them try to go straight. They're still antiheroes/unconventional heroes and don't like to get involved in trouble if they can at all avoid it, and Ginger can be dark and vengeful, but mostly what I write about them is cute slice-of-life, conversational fics, and mysteries and hurt/comfort.

And then there's Ecks and Wye, who are in the same sort of situation as Gin and Vodka from Detective Conan regarding employment. (I do, however, try to soften it a bit with the implied idea that Ecks and Wye are in it for the spying part and go after other spies and don't have much, if anything, to do with going after innocent civilians. I also tried to make Ecks a little sympathetic with the idea that he grew up in the organization and couldn't get out, same as I did with Gin, actually....) I honestly probably wouldn't even be interested in them if not for two factors: Ecks is played by darling Christopher Cary and Wye absolutely flipped after finding Ecks stabbed, indicating they were very close. I was immediately intrigued. Actually, the idea of interaction between Gin and Vodka is how I got interested in writing for them, too. But I did keep them with the Black Org and carrying out missions, at least until I developed that Snow White Queen timeline where they and Sherry escape to make a new life elsewhere. With Ecks and Wye's situation, were they to survive their episode, they would very likely have to run for their lives to avoid being killed as traitors to the extremist organization. Which is how I approached that. I wouldn't exactly say they're going straight now, but they are trying to avoid getting in trouble with the law.

The Riddler is in the same situation. I didn't really want to have him completely straight, and he's certainly an unconventional hero in that he's most interested in matching wits with his opponents rather than bringing crooks to justice, but if they're so heinous that even The Riddler is upset by them, then he will go after them for the purpose of bringing them to justice. Of course, since he probably always will be at least a little twisted, his justice would include making them play through one of his complex, booby-trapped mazes. But they would survive; I actually question whether any of the traps set by The Batman's Riddler would kill or if it was only a tease. (Yes, maybe even the bombs were set up in a way that wouldn't have killed Gorman. Possibly. I debate over that because The Riddler wanted Gorman to really experience failure, so maybe he would want to keep Gorman alive to experience it for a good, long while. On the other hand, maybe he wanted Gorman's last thoughts of be of his failure and then the bombs would kill. I just don't know. But anyway....) He seems like the type who might tease, especially considering his first appearance on the show. Batman: The Animated Series' Riddler sets traps to kill, but he is a completely different character.

And then there's Snakes, oh boy. With him, though, he really is trying to go straight. But he's selfish and cowardly and in most verses, is struggling to learn about friendship. I have so much fun developing him everywhere.

I dunno; thinking on things in these lights, I definitely still do a lot with criminal-type characters (even though sometimes I just want more true-blue heroes, like the ACME characters). And even though, yes, I do like reforming them when possible, I always try to keep their personalities intact, especially if they're wild cards. I think the reason why I'm more burned-out on Detective Conan stuff is Gin's specific personality, the absolute twisted mess of the Gin/Sherry pairing, and the fact of not particularly being into writing about enemy assassins at work in their organization. Well, and the fact that I was never comfortable with the series' basic premise. It took me ages to feel like trying it at all, and after playing in the waters for a while, I don't think I'll go back. That doesn't mean I won't, though. I sometimes end up doing a lot of things I hadn't planned on doing again.

Like writing Carmen fics, heh. But I do love the semi-fictional Rockapella and I just couldn't stay away. Once Crystal's enthusiasm started us both on a second renaissance, it didn't take long and we both started writing fics again. And we haven't shied away from hurt/comfort, either, heh. And not just with the Dying Informant character, either. However, I do think the stories are a little more mild this time around, anyway, even mine.

Sometimes it's fun writing about more true-blue hero characters rather than antiheroes/unconventional heroes. They aren't just blandly good guys; they have a lot of personality and they struggle with things too. Not all deep things have to involve dark and twisted characters and situations.

I guess it all depends on my mood. But even though I did kind of like looking at that old Detective Conan fic, and feel a little sad it will probably never be finished, I still doubt that it ever will be.

That said, my romantic side does still like the idea of the "After Point C" stories where Gin/Sherry are a thing. And I still love the things that others made for me regarding the pairing.

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