ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
My dreams are so weird. But I love when I have one that could actually be a story. I should make a list of all the dreams I've had that I've turned into stories.

Today's involved The Real Ghostbusters. There was a bizarre situation where Egon seemed to have acquired some kind of amnesia; he thought he was one of his ancestors. And he didn't seem to be possessed. So the others, including Janine, were all worried and beside themselves and trying to figure out how to get him to remember. They took him to this ... building ... thing, and along the way they encountered Baby Face and Tony having some kind of disagreement.

Also super bizarre? The name of Egon's supposed ancestor was the name of an actor in a show I've been watching. Okay then. I guess I had the show more on the brain than I thought.

Definitely confused about Baby Face and Tony popping up in the dream, especially since I haven't done anything with them for about six years and probably never will again. I never intended for it to look like I was trying to make excuses for Baby Face's horrible canon behavior when I created a backstory for him, but I guess it did. And since there is no excuse for that sort of behavior, I'm not very comfortable even writing for him anymore. It's not like he could ever be one of my villain redemption projects; I don't think he ever could be redeemed. And I have issues with making unredeemable antagonists the protagonists in stories.

I always worried about stories that might make it look like I was trying to excuse abominable behavior. I wanted to write an It's a Wonderful Life-themed fic with Sephiroth in the Jimmy Stewart role, but I realized I would very likely have to give up on it, because while it's true that Sephiroth's insane actions in Nibelheim and beyond actually helped mold characters like Cloud into the heroes they became, I was extremely concerned about inadvertently making it look like I was trying to say that that made Sephiroth's actions alright. And so the story never got written beyond an ending scene blurb I posted once.

Ditto with a story I wanted to write that would have been an AU from the ending of The Sudden Plague episode of WWW. It would have involved Coley kidnapping Anna Kirby as a hostage as he and the gang fled, while Jim and Arte tracked them into the wilderness. I wrote a couple of blurbs for it and still kind of like the idea of writing it, but I worry to do so because I don't want it to look like I'm saying Coley and the gang's actions were okay just because they weren't exactly what Anna thought they were. Nor do I want it to look like it's okay that they kidnapped her. Over the course of the venture, she would come to realize that Coley wasn't the absolute monster she painted him as and that her father was actually responsible for the very worst things, and while that's canon, it is still very delicate to walk that line and not make it look like I'm excusing Coley. He does let her go at the end and then goes on the run without her, but still. I certainly don't want to write anything that looks like I'm hinting at Stockholm Syndrome either, because that's just sad and sick and messed-up. I still want to write this one if I can figure out a way around these problems, but so far I haven't been able to do so.

So ... yeah. I haven't done anything with Baby Face for years because of those problems, and it's pretty unlikely that I'll ever really have the heart to do anything with him again. At least, not in the same capacity as some of the stories, especially the ones that are ten years old.

Maybe he popped up in my dream because of what I was saying about my Chita character the other day and how I'd come to actually kind of like her and think that maybe there was a chance for her to be at least partially redeemed, and how what she'd done wasn't as bad as what Snakes did in canon, etc. Eh, who knows. It doesn't really matter anyway.
ladybug_archive: (snakes)
... not to avoid something that everyone and their dog hates.

Over and over, I find that if I avoid something because of negative reviews, I almost always end up loving it. It happened with season 3 of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., with season 9 of Perry Mason, with TMNT 1987, with Equestria Girls, and with many other things. I also in general love things everyone hates, regardless of whether I initially avoided it myself or not. The Batman series is a good example of that. I enjoyed it from the start, compared to everyone who tears their hair out over it.

I finally got around to buying/seeing Ghostbusters 2, mainly because of the two cartoon episodes it comes with. One of them is a favorite. (The other was WTH territory and I sincerely hope that it isn't typical of the later seasons.) Honestly, I ... ended up loving the movie much more than the original. I think there were only four instances of swearing and a couple of naughty comments, compared to swearing practically every two minutes in the original (or it felt like it, anyway). It was creepy but wacky, had many more character-developing scenes, and Winston had a lot of good screentime. It felt much more like the series, and that may have been the point. They probably knew a lot of kids would be watching it because the series was running right then. Also, the plot point I really wasn't crazy about before I saw it, them being discredited and having gone their separate ways at the beginning, ended up in practice feeling a lot like TMNT, especially Ray and Winston at that birthday party. LOL. So I actually ended up not being too bothered by that after all. I can see myself rewatching this movie and enjoying it, whereas I'm honestly not sure I would rewatch the first movie, at least not in full. I have rewatched my favorite scenes from it.

I can't remember if I mentioned, but Build-a-Bear had a 30% off deal the weekend before this one and I was able to get Michelangelo with that. We were finally going to be in the area and I couldn't pass up a chance to get that much off of him. Then I discovered that the big Slimer plush was on clearance at a Wal-Mart other than ours. I couldn't get him then, but the other day I was able to go back and get one. Our Wal-Mart still isn't clearancing them. It was awesome to get him for $7 instead of $15!

It felt so good to get my [livejournal.com profile] 31_days challenge done last week. Some pieces I really enjoyed writing, but others were puzzling, and it was definitely frustrating to have to worry about the day's piece each day when I really wanted to be writing my Turtles fic. But I kept on because I wanted to do the challenge too; it was a story I'd wanted to tell for some time. I still think I'll also write the original Snakes and Chita story I was going to tell, though, which was a third-person narrative oneshot involving one of the last times Snakes put up with looking all over town for Chita when she deliberately ran out to make him find her after an argument. I have a very distinctive image of the opening lines of that fic and they have never gone away, so I need to write it.

I tried to basically keep to the prior versions of the Snakes and Chita tale that Snakes related in two earlier fics. When I realized I had some details wrong in a couple of pieces, I went back and redid those parts. For a couple of other parts, however, I decided that I wanted to tell it slightly differently and that would either make more sense or be closer to what I wanted, so on a couple of points I deliberately made it different from the earlier accounts. Like, I didn't have Snakes and Chita go gambling all night long the first night they met. I mean, they'd been beat up in the first casino when Snakes tried to defend her. It seemed much more likely that they'd go try to take care of their battle wounds. And then at the end, I changed the point where Snakes lost track of Chita's trail in 1910. I wanted Chita to turn up again, but not decades older. I drew inspiration from both a role-play where I'd used her and from the fact that she was always intended to be characterized as sort of a flapper wannabe, and had Snakes lose track of her trail in the 1870s. She found a portal to the 1920s, where she fit in and was happily staying for the most part. (I will speculate that the portal was another result of Dr. Faustina's experiments.) But then she returned to the 1870s once, heard that Snakes was alive, and found the portal to the present-day to see him again. They were able to converse and have some closure at last.

Chita was very interesting to characterize in that last piece. Unlike other versions of her, including the role-play version, this Chita actually did mature a little bit. She wasn't as superficial, was willing to touch the scar that she had always avoided before, and felt badly for how her past cruelty had negatively impacted Snakes. But she wasn't ready to settle down and she recognized it; she had finally opted to stay single. She wants parties and material objects and yet she knows they're not what truly bring happiness. Still, she can't make herself not want them. I drew some inspiration from my own feelings regarding her love of material things and not feeling ready to settle down.

She was never meant to really be a likeable character, so I am amused that I kind of got fond of her and developed her a little. Even some of her superficialty is endearing to me. But since she has plenty of negative characteristics, I would totally understand anyone not liking her. What she did to Snakes was horrible. Not that it was worse than things Snakes did canonically, of course, and so there is definitely the possibility of redeeming her. That was kind of where I was going with the final piece.

I would never have her and Snakes get together again, but they parted on civil terms, and this past night I ended up drawing a cute picture meant to take place around that point where Snakes is standing watching her dance as she whips her boa around him. I sketched the whole thing out very quickly and I quite love it. I might ink it before I scan it, though.

Apparently I had Snakes on the brain after that themeset, because yesterday I had a weird dream involving him. It seemed to take place in the Old West, before The Poisonous Posey episode, even though some things ended up not making sense. Dr. Loveless was there too, and Snakes seemed to be working for/with him and there was some explosion planned for Jim West. Snakes seemed all into that, the little weasel (despite the fact that he seemed to not know Jim in the episode, so there's where it doesn't make sense). Then the tables were turned when Jim escaped and Dr. Loveless chained Snakes to a bomb that was set to go off in a couple of minutes. He was begging and pleading to be set free, and finally someone did. His characterization felt very similar to what's seen in the actual episode: pretty much a pathetic coward who likes to set bombs as ways out of his problems and ends up digging his own grave by doing so.

I never at all intended to become intrigued by him with that characterization, and yet it happened when I was fleshing out his character out of necessity in The Night of the Deadly Codename. And of course, that also led to Christopher rightfully taking his place as one of the darlings when I studied the episode more. I wonder if there's any chance at all that I could have seen that episode when I was very young. Mom insists that Dad used to watch WWW in reruns, so I wonder if there's any chance I saw it back then. That would be hilarious. And it would mean I did encounter Christopher years ago, just like all the other darlings. I want to say I have a vague memory of watching that episode in bits and pieces when I was a kid, but I'm probably just inventing something in my mind because I want so badly for there to be a time when I saw Christopher years ago. Still, wouldn't it be interesting? Snakes is one of my favorite characters to flesh out and develop, and if I actually saw him many years ago and just don't remember it now, that would be rather intriguing.

I also started thinking again about maybe making a Snakes plushie. I'd have to learn some basic embroidery so I could make the scar raised up, but that would be an interesting challenge. Now that the weather's cooled down, I feel like working on my other projects too. Maybe I can finish Barry's clothes at last and also make Mike's jacket!

I just love autumn so much. As always, I celebrate meteorological seasons and not calendar seasons, so for me Fall started on Thursday. It was a beautiful cloudy day too, perfect for the first day of Fall. When the sweltering heat of summer fades, my sewing creativity seems to wake up again. I am excited for what this autumn will bring and hope that it will be happy and enjoyable.

I think I'm almost done with the Turtles fic. I have the climax largely written, or all written, unless I add more to it. Then I just need the epilogue stuff. The story will definitely end where I decided it should. And I may or may not continue it in oneshots or other multi-chapters. We'll have to see. One thing I do know is that while I'm totally cool with watching the series in all its formulaic glory, I don't think I could make myself write stories that are all so formulaic like the series' nonsense, with Shredder's crazy plans failing, etc. I think I could only do a handful before it wouldn't feel believable to me any more. It's easy to watch nonsense; not so easy to create it yourself time and time again.

I kind of have a vague idea of the alien computer still being around after all and discovering that Baxter is finally human again. That would be kind of cute. And it would be interesting to see how Baxter would react to the computer while sane, and whether the computer would want to help him like before. That might be one of my oneshots. And if I do continue things, Baxter and Barney need to have a proper conversation again. Maybe Baxter can finally tell him that Krang was trying to murder him when the cross-fusion happened.

One problem I discovered while writing is trying to keep Barney from feeling too much like a Kylo Ren trope of wanting to go to the dark side/not caring if he has to kill a family member to do so. I fleshed out some of his scenes in chapters before I put them up and had him monologue and have doubts and wonder if he's just acting tough to impress Shredder when he appears as though it doesn't bother him, what he might have to do. I don't really want Barney to be sympathetic, exactly, because really, how much sympathy can you have for someone who willingly joins a megalomaniac while sane because he wants power and recognition? But when he's only in one episode and we just don't know much about him, I don't think it would be fair to paint him as irredeemably evil just to contrast him with Baxter being redeemable because of wanting to be honest at first and then having gone nuts. (Seriously, compare him in season 1 with the season 2 opener. He is sane in season 1 and just wants to invent something that would be helpful to the city's population. He really doesn't know what Shredder's up to. He thinks the guy just really hates rats in the city. He doesn't know Shredder is marketing the Mousers in order to murder someone, nor that Shredder is stamping Baxter's name on them so he'll take the blame. And Shredder is going to kill him just because he saw Shredder and could say that Shredder offered to market the Mousers and was using an old house as a hideout. By season 2, after he's been framed for attempted murder, blamed for the damage the Mousers caused, and thrown in the insane asylum for talking about the Turtles, Baxter is cackling madly about giant talking Turtles and is clearly insane. It is very sad, actually.)

So anyway, this story already inadvertently inverts pretty much all the angles of the other Baxter fix-it fic. I also hope to invert the Kylo Ren trope when it actually comes time for Barney to follow through on his vow to kill Baxter if he interferes. I really like how I've written the climax.

Then I drew Leonardo for the first time since my childhood, and this time he actually looks pretty good! I think I'll be able to draw those Turtles pictures for my "opening" clips that I wanted.

And I always meant to muse on this thought: Coming back to things I like that everyone hates, I actually liked when there was a girl who was part of The A-Team. She seemed to be a reporter if I recall correctly, so I kind of equated the situation as April O'Neil and the Turtles. Heh. The girl seemed to fit just fine into the A-Team's plans and it was nice to have someone around that I could more easily relate to.

Along those lines, I also tried comparing members of The A-Team to the Turtles, but that didn't go so well. Naturally I got B.A. and Raphael, but then I kind of stalled on drawing any other logical parallels. I guess Murdock could be equated with Michelangelo, since they're both the most out there members of their teams. But Hannibal and Leonardo and Face and Donatello don't seem to make very good parallels. And I keep wanting to equate Murdock with Donatello because of their mechanical know-how. So ... heh.
ladybug_archive: (snakes)
So of course, in addition to the Turtles fic, I'm doing that month-long [livejournal.com profile] 31_days challenge with Snakes and Chita, like I mentioned. Some are short, while some are long.

On days when I really wanted to work on the Turtles fic more, I was often frustrated to have to pause to write something else too. Yet I had really wanted to do those pieces and still did, so stopping wasn't a viable option. Now, as I find myself getting a little stuck on chapter 8, my attention is wavering and going back to being more interested in the themeset, so I'm even more glad I didn't stop.

I hope I will be able to get the rest of the Turtles fic to come out, though. I think the climax will probably start next chapter; it's mostly a matter of getting past the rest of chapter 8. I think I'm getting a little frustrated by lack of interest, as I have to admit I thought something for the Turtles category might actually bring some people in from the category to have a look. I got two Favorites/Follows early in, but nothing for a while. That was better than nothing at all, even though I'd hoped for reviews, so not having that either is kind of doubly discouraging. And of course, I'm happy that Harry and Crystal and Ladyamberjo have been interested in it. I just wonder why it is that it seems like no matter what category I write for these days, 99% of the time no one comes in from the category to read and review. I think the only times it's happened semi-lately is with Maverick and The Saint and The Persuaders!, aside from times when I've posted in the U.N.C.L.E. comm and one or more people have said something. FF.net seems to be in a sorry state these days. And I still barely get any comments at AO3, too. A couple of people left Kudos on the Turtles fic, though, which was also nice.

I didn't want to re-watch any Turtles episodes until I was done with the ones I hadn't seen before, but I think maybe I should re-watch one or two of the human Baxter episodes and see if that will jumpstart my inspiration again.

Anyway, back to the Snakes fics. I ended up getting kind of fond of the Chita character while I was writing the pieces. Naturally I would, since I was trying to show her good side up until Snakes learned the truth about her. They actually had some cute scenes sometimes. But because the audience was supposed to be as in the dark as he was (i.e., there weren't any hints about how terrible she really was, save for vague comments Snakes made directly to the readers in the narration), it came off as not feeling that believable when I got to that piece. I'm still feeling frustrated about that too and wonder if when I get everything done, I'll need to try to work on that one a little more. I wonder whether I should have had that piece at the point I did, and yet I felt I had to because the prompt for that day was perfect and none of the others fit quite as well.

Chita is a strange mixture. She's one part cliche/stereotypical gold-digger/airhead/hater of everything creepy-crawly and gross, one part devious woman who isn't really an airhead deep down, and one part whatever goodness is left in her. She did have fun times with Snakes and she did like him, even though she was never in love with him. And she never wanted to hurt him or for him to find out what she was doing behind his back. But that doesn't excuse what she did and she was certainly a horrible person to be married to.

It feels nice to write stuff for Snakes. I love fleshing out his character so much. I'm anxious to pick up the Ginger and Lou pieces again too. I'm hoping to do that come September, when this challenge ends.
ladybug_archive: (duke_fallen)
I'm working on my first of the [livejournal.com profile] 31_days pieces. I'm hoping to keep them all short, a page or two, so that they won't be all I'll write for the month. I think they'll be told in first-person POV, as though Snakes is telling it all to someone, maybe Chita herself. Maybe the last prompt will show that he's been writing a letter all this time, not with the intention to actually send it to her, but just so he can get the whole story written down as part of his own closure. We'll see.

I was thinking that another writing project I've often longed to do is an adaptation of the Sonic 3 & Knuckles combined games. I love them so much, and oddly enough, I think I've only ever read one adaptation of Sonic 3 by a fan. That took place in the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog verse. It wasn't a bad read, but I'd like to put my own spin on it and have it take place more in the game verse. Problem is, for me a story like that relies heavily on the descriptions of the amazing surroundings and a fic could get pretty bogged down by excess descriptions. But it always bugged me that the Archie Comics never really took advantage of the awesome zones to write their game adaptations. They mainly just did silly stuff like Sonic sees this box and realizes it leads to several zones Eggman has set up for him to complete, so he goes through it and there's maybe one page of that before he comes out the other end. It's so lame. They ought to have whole chapters devoted to the amazing scenery and adventures in each zone! Plus, I never pictured the zones to be in a box. I figured they were actual areas of the part of the world Sonic happened to be in that Eggman had just booby-trapped during his takeover.

I don't know when I'd ever get around to writing something like that, though. I'm really bad at writing Sonic fics, as I have repeatedly discovered. I used to write lots of Fang/Nack ones, but they were mostly shameless hurt/comfort or occasionally, utter crack. Actually writing big long multi-chapters with plot and purpose keeps seriously failing. Maybe a Sonic 3 & Knuckles one would work better for me since it was during that era that I fell in love with the franchise. I should at least give it a try and see what would happen. The encounters with Knuckles would be the best parts to write, but he only pops up every now and then to play tricks on Sonic and Tails since he believes they're the ones trying to steal the Master Emerald and ruining the Floating Island. I don't want the rest of the fic to basically be, "Oh hey, look at this cool Loop-de-Loop." "Here's a platform with more rings!" "Here's ... yikes, a break-away platform! We're falling!" I guess that's probably why Archie decided not to really explore the zones, but I'm sure there's a way to do it without it looking seriously lame or like script directions.

It's always interesting to see how Knuckles is portrayed in different things. The first time I ever encountered him was in his first Archie Comics appearance and they basically gave him a tough New York accent. I always pictured him like that until probably when I saw the English dubbed version of that bizarre thing called Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie. He doesn't seem to have any accent at all in that, but he also sounds rather bland. (I love his hat, though.) Then came Sonic X, and while I loved hearing Yami Yugi's voice coming out of Knuckles' mouth, that really did make him sound pretty old. Sonic Underground gave him a voice more fitting for his age, but he sounded a lot gentler than I really pictured him to act, at least at the beginning. (Of course, contrast that with his creepiest behavior ever, intending to feed intruders to his pet dinosaur. WTH.) I think I've heard some of his non-Sonic X-era video game voices too, and I've also heard Sonic X in Japanese, but offhand I don't recall what I think of those voices. And Sonic Boom ... no, I am not going to go there. It just trivializes everybody and makes Knuckles a brawny idiot with no brains. No thank you. Part of the appeal of the character is that he's a little guy but he's tough. And he does have intelligence, even if he is kind of naive sometimes. He's been alone most of his life, with no interactions with much of anyone. It would be strange if he could get along with people immediately after that.

(Sonic X and also the more recent games seem to have made him more gullible than he used to be, I think. Sonic Boom took it many notches beyond that. I remember in season 3 of Sonic X, when Cosmo encountered Knuckles believing one of Eggman's tales and everyone else is yawning like it's business as usual, Cosmo says that Knuckles likes to believe in the good of people. That sounds cute and all until you really stop to think about the context of the situation. Um.... So he likes to believe that Eggman has some good in him and isn't lying, but at the same time he hates Sonic so much that he jumps at the chance to believe something bad about him. Um yeah. Really logical deduction, Cosmo. And really cringe-worthy behavior, Knuckles. Sonic and Knuckles are rivals, sure, but I think in the earlier games and media Knuckles only believed Eggman twice: in the Sonic 3/Sonic and Knuckles saga (which is really one whole storyline and not two separate things) and Triple Trouble, which sometimes isn't even seen as part of the main storyline since it was for a portable system and not the Sega Genesis. I think when they argued at other times in the comics, it was because of their differing points-of-view and not because Knuckles kept believing Sonic was actually the bad guy. That's one thing the comics did right, if so; I have many grievances with them on other matters. Game-wise, I think maybe there were one or two later games where Knuckles thinks Sonic is a bad guy again, but that was probably more for the nostalgic factor of his first appearance and not meant to be taken that seriously. I don't think those games, the Sonic Advance ones, are considered part of the main timeline either.)

If I ever were to write my Sonic 3 & Knuckles fic, I think I might return to my roots by giving Knuckles a Brooklyn accent. I always insist on the games taking place on Earth anyway, instead of some other planet called Mobius or whatever. (And none of that comic nonsense about Mobius being a post-apocalyptic Earth millennia in the future. No thank you!) Later games do seem to make it clear that it's Earth anyway, especially Sonic Adventure 2.

LOL.

Jul. 28th, 2016 08:50 pm
ladybug_archive: (snakes)
So there's an article linked on the front page about the creators of Sherlock trying again to stress that their Sherlock and Watson are not a couple. They stressed that their Sherlock isn't gay or straight. (Personally, I think almost all incarnations of Holmes are probably asexual.) They're totally cool with fans writing whatever they want in fanfiction, which is pretty awesome, but they just want to make it clear that in canon, it is not their intention whatsoever to have the characters hook up with each other. That is pretty much how I tend to feel when it comes to my own fic verses: I don't care if slash fans want to imagine things going the way they want to, just as long as they realize it wasn't my intention to write the characters as couples. A lot of my stuff probably looks like a slash lover's paradise, LOL. But that stems from the fact that ultimately, aside from any sexual things going on, slash lovers and platonic enthusiasts often want pretty much the same kinds of squeeable things.

Anyway, I was just amused to see that article there. It reminded me of a lot of my YGO adventures and encounters with slash fans. And it also kind of made me think of my Ginger and Lou fics, which probably look more slashy than anything else I've written yet are actually probably the least slashy in actuality. LOL. There's the same set-up there as there seems to be on Sherlock, with Ginger completely asexual and aromantic and Lou straight. The whole point behind the Ginger and Lou stories is to explore the idea of platonic soulmates and what if two people can have a completely platonic relationship that is every bit as fulfilling and enduring as a true romantic relationship and never, ever goes on to anything besides platonic. And I'm feeling squeeful just thinking about it, heh. I have the same kinds of warm fuzzies and thrills and excitement over a good platonic relationship as slash fans (or any romance fans, really) have over romantic relationships.

Speaking of romantic relationships, though, I finally decided on my own what I might do about that [livejournal.com profile] 31_days themeset. I may try writing it for Snakes and the Chita character he was involved with in my backstory. Now, normally I do not create OCs to hook them up with canon characters. I think the only times I ever do that is if the relationship has ended for one reason or other and therefore there is no OC hanging around and horning in on canon character time in the present-day. The idea for these two was based largely on the song Fliptop Twister by Rockapella, just reversing the end idea that it was the guy who was unfaithful and making it the girl instead, since Snakes is usually a protagonist character in my stories and I didn't want him being the unfaithful one. It also wouldn't have agreed with how his character developed, since I have it that he longed for someone to genuinely love him. Anyway, I've always meant to tell their story more fully, and maybe the themeset would make it an easier thing to write. I'll have to see what happens.

Also, there's apparently another new Six Million Dollar Man comic arc being put out by Dynamite. I'm wondering whether to even bother with it. I didn't really like their previous one because it was so dark in many ways and not what I wanted to see from a Six Mil story. It sounds like this one continues in the same vein. And it's a plotline that I don't even like, where Steve ends up finding out information that makes him distrust the OSI agency and he runs off to try to find more answers. Meanwhile, the OSI thinks Steve is a traitor and is out to get him. One of them wants to shoot him on sight to keep the secrets of bionic technology safe. I assume that is either an OC for the story or Oliver Spencer; I can't imagine it would be Oscar. But Oliver was in a coma at the end of the last arc, and in it because he did something heroic, so I would be kind of irritated if they made him an out-and-out antagonist in this arc.

It actually sounds rather OOC for Steve. If he got super mad at the OSI (again), he would likely go to Oscar and Rudy, bully them by throwing them around and threatening to do worse, and demand to know the truth. That's pretty much what happened in The Return of the Bionic Woman episodes. I'd hate to think that he now doesn't trust them after so many years together. But he has some bizarre voice in his head that could be partially responsible for his weird behavior in this new arc, and if that's the case, that could be an interesting angle to explore. But overall I'm not very impressed by the sound of things. And I'm wondering if they'll try to hook this arc up with the events of the first reunion movie, which had it that Steve quit the OSI and Oscar has to go to him for help again several years later. Honestly, it would seem really stupid and lame to me for Dynamite to go to all the trouble of bringing the series back in comic form only to have Steve permanently leave the OSI in its second arc, so I really hope they aren't going to try to connect their comics with the reunion movies. I hope that the voice Steve is hearing will be a large part of what's wrong here and things will end with Steve back at the OSI. But considering the information that upset Steve so much (that apparently they tried to give other people bionics in the past and it went wrong and they died), I don't know if there will be any way around this hurdle for him.

For now I think I'll keep monitoring what's happening in the issues as much as I can, but not make a move to buy any yet. I still need #5 of the previous arc, too.
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: (schrank)
So I learned that the Charlie's Angels in Vegas episode I was complaining about was actually the first appearance of Dan Tanna anywhere. Apparently it was a mini-promotion for Vega$, which started the week after. I wonder if they would have made it a crossover episode if Vega$ had already been going, as I figured it was.

I also discovered that Tony Curtis played Dan's boss, on the rare occasions when he'd appear in a story. I must see this.

Also, MeTV put Kojak back on and I've been eating it up. Kojak himself is just as awesome and adorable as ever, and seriously, how did I overlook the squeeableness of Crocker and Stavros? They're partnered quite often, at least in the later episodes, and there is some wonderful friendshippiness in such scenes. In my absolute favorite episode, Once More From Birdland, there's even some hurt/comfort when Crocker gets hit by a car while chasing a suspect and Stavros comes running, calling to him so worried and panicky. Gah. They are adorable, seriously.

And, unlike my feelings when watching the series before and feeling like I'd never want to go to New York with the picture they painted of it, this time I seem to be seeing it in a new light. I see the good more than the bad and I do like the thought of visiting sometime.

I've also been watching a lot of The Fugitive lately. I still stand by my opinion that it's a better show than Route 66. Both are deep and good and have excellent acting, but Route 66 was written for kids (well, teens) and The Fugitive was written for adults. Naturally the perspectives would be different and I prefer the deeper view on The Fugitive. On Route 66, it's like they're always getting surprised by what's happening and what people are doing and sometimes you see their naivete and inability to understand the older people they come in contact with. On The Fugitive, he's very serious and jaded, already quite experienced in life, and doesn't often get surprised. Of course, I still love my kids' shows when I want a little escapism from the adult world. But in this case, I'd rather have the adult show.

Both shows also have depressing episodes, naturally. I was mad with The Fugitive for some time because I got the last disc of season 2 and didn't especially like any of the episodes on it. It was only recently that I cooled enough to try it again, and then I discovered to my delight that most episodes are like the better episodes I'd seen before.

I also, for some weird reason, decided to look up information on that new Bugs Bunny show Wabbit a couple of weeks ago. I really don't care at all for the violence in Looney Tunes cartoons; I don't find it funny and it makes my skin crawl imagining stuff like that really happening. But I'll always carry a fondness for some of the characters themselves, so I try to keep abreast of what's happening with them. I have to say, while I am thrilled that Wile E. Coyote is a main character in Wabbit, I am absolutely baffled by the idea of naming a show Wabbit and yet not including Elmer Fudd somewhere in it. It just seems rather like sacrilege.

I also mused that while Wile E. and Elmer were always my favorite characters, I must have really liked Foghorn Leghorn somewhere along the way. I remember as a kid walking around singing Camptown Races and actually considering trying to imitate Foghorn's speech pattern. Thank goodness I didn't go through with that. Oh brother.

And I actually started writing that Wild Wild West fic. I re-watched the Mannix episode with Robert Conrad the other day and then the rest of the plot finally fell into place. Robert's character is a real crumb in the episode, a testament to Robert's acting abilities, and I got the idea of him and Jim West meeting and talking. Then I thought of having that as part of the Count Manzeppi fic and finally I had a plot thread that would make one of the canon main characters a main character in the story. So I commenced writing. We'll see how well it goes. I like the first chapter.
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
And so after a month we come full-circle. I went to F.Y.E. at the end of January looking for some type of James Bond figure in Roger's image. That wasn't the only reason I was there, and I would have likely gone anyway even if it hadn't been a reason at all, but I was still very upset when I got sick after that excursion and got everybody else in the house sick. I can't prove it came from there, but it must have been either there or Wal-Mart, since I got sick before anybody else and therefore most likely did not pick it up at my aunt's. It had to be a place where I was the only one going around and coming into contact with people. But it was highly aggravating and upsetting that it happened, especially when the shopping was fruitless.

I was upset for weeks feeling like I should have gone to Build-a-Bear instead and got the other doll I wanted. Then I probably wouldn't have got sick/got everybody sick. And I was frustrated that I didn't get to go last week because of the lingering cough problems. Now, however, I'm grateful I didn't make it. Hopefully I'll get another chance for the doll, but meanwhile ...

I finally found a figure online for a decent price. Not one of the 12-inch figures, sadly, but about half that size. I spent days debating whether to get it and trying to see if it really looked enough like Roger to make a purchase worth it. There were four people watching it besides me; it was a Buy It Now listing. I felt a little bad to suddenly pull it out from underneath them, but any of them could have bought it at any time if they had felt so inclined, and apparently they didn't by the time I made up my mind, so no regrets. These figures usually seem to go for much more than I got mine for, so I'm doubly thrilled.

I did immediately feel guilty to purchase something James Bond, since neither Dad nor Mom like that franchise (and I'd be all over it if it wasn't for the bed times; I loved Moonraker except for what amounted to two minutes or less of bed times/implications of bed times ... and I still kind of want to see more films, too ...), but of course it was more for the actor than the character, and my idea was that it could be whatever character I wanted it to be at any given time. I stayed in that more excited mindset and didn't feel any more guilt.

Ohmygoshsquee, it shipped Monday and came this past day! And, as I determined before taking the plunge and purchasing, it does look sufficiently like Roger to be worth it! And it's so nice with fabric clothing.... I adore fabric clothing! It shows real thought and attention went into the crafting, instead of just putting molded clothes on. (Not that some molded clothing can't be amazingly detailed too, of course. But it upsets me that fabric clothing is not really a thing like it used to be.) The card is also very nice, with many pictures of Roger all over it. I have it sitting next to the card from my Oscar Goldman figure so I can see the pictures. The figures themselves are on my desk.

So I have what I set out to find a month ago and I am very pleased.

I've also been reading that Saint book I got with my last Amazon order. I've got to say, I like this one way more than that short story collection I tried a couple of years ago. Even though that was written after this novel, I like Simon's characterization in the novel far more. It's one of the books written around the WWII era, The Saint Sees It Through, and Simon is serious like his television counterpart. I haven't seen one aggravating, dirty-minded crack in here like there was in the short story collection. I also haven't seen any instances of Simon taking the law into his hands more than I find comfortable (no burying bodies in gardens to keep the people involved from going to jail, oy vey). I may want to try some other books from this time period. And if I like them too, I will be highly amused, as of course the WWII era books are largely hated among the book purists. They usually prefer their Saint much more playful and mischievous and naughty, as he is in the earlier books. I prefer him more like the character in the TV show. Which of course immediately makes me a bizarre wild card in the fandom, as I am almost everywhere. Can't break with tradition, after all.

I'm also writing a sci-fi Maverick fic, as of course the fic where Snakes reveals himself to be alive has to include some sci-fi elements. And with encouragement, I'm continuing it to show Snakes taking Beau through the portal to visit the present-day. It's mostly a character study, though, as both Snakes and Beau have issues to work through at this point. It probably won't be more than a two-shot, but who knows.

I am vaguely considering that maybe Beau could be visiting in the Count Manzeppi fic I wanted to write, and that might give me a little more motivation to go ahead with it, but I'm not sure. I was just burned so seriously with The Deadly Codename that I'm honestly afraid to start a new WWW fic. I don't want to be involved in any more drama in that fandom. Beau around would just be one more thing for that person to complain about, should he decide to complain again. I might actually have more luck writing that fic for the Maverick fandom instead. **headdesk.**

In any case, there is the problem that by playing so much in Snakes' past, it kind of turned a few things in my original timeline for him on their heads, as I knew would happen if I kept playing. But I really liked the things I was coming up with and didn't want to let them go. Now I do have to wonder how to re-align things again, since Snakes wasn't supposed to have any friends before going to the present-day and now with the Maverick branch of the timeline he has Beau. I'm trying to rationalize it by him saying that Pinto broke him so much over three years of torture that he wasn't sure Beau really would still care and want to be his friend, since they didn't even really know each other that well. But I'm not sure that's a good enough fix.

There's also the issue that in Airship it's a plot point that Snakes hasn't been back to the past before and goes back only to find Jim and Arte. After I brought in the idea of Snakes and Beau, I knew Snakes wouldn't want to leave Beau hanging, so in the Maverick timeline, the first time he goes back is to find Beau and let him know he's okay. I don't know whether to leave things as they are, apparently two similar but different timelines, to try to reconnect them by explanations from Snakes, or to reconnect them by tweaking some things in the older stories.

Another idea I had was that maybe the time re-set Duke caused in the YGO branch of the timeline screwed a few things up that he hadn't intended on, including Snakes and Beau, and that perhaps when it's said that Snakes didn't have anyone, that's because he doesn't remember Beau with the time re-set. That gets fixed at the end of the story, so if there was any trouble, Snakes remembers the truth now. But that gets sticky too, as it would mean that the original WWW time-travel fics were written with the time re-set in mind and they're Snakes' incorrect memories of how things happened.

Confusion, thy name is time-travel. Confusion, thy name is also retcon.

I've gotta say, I have to sympathize with George Lucas in a situation like this. When you start playing in the past, you find new ways of telling things that you like better than the original way. And then naturally you want to tweak the originals to fit the new ideas. But that's an unpopular thing to do. And I still don't agree with him booting out the original actors for Boba Fett and Anakin Skywalker in the original trilogy DVDs. But still, I can understand why it happened.

What am I gonna do?

Aheh....

Feb. 1st, 2016 02:02 am
ladybug_archive: (snakes)
The last time I was asleep, I spent most of it dreaming about Roger Moore's James Bond. Which ... sounds highly embarrassing out of context, since it sounds like I'm swooning over the character.

The truth is just that I've had the character on the brain for the last couple of days. We had a family thing up at the gorgeous place of one of my paternal aunt's and then I got to go to the big F.Y.E. afterwards. They were clearancing certain stuff and I'm afraid I spent over an hour going through everything.

But first things first. My aunt's house. Gah, I loved it! Cute entryway room, giant living room and dining room, a kitchen with counter space, a hallway with a bathroom for each bedroom and an awesome alcove in the hall for DVDs and collector's dolls to be displayed.... My aunt apparently collects them; they're also all over her room, along with other fascinating old things like old vinyl records. (I know vinyl is popular again, but I'm pretty sure the records I saw were from when it was popular before.) I was in love with the house and the way she styled it. I felt a little like I was in an antique shop. I didn't go in the basement, but I imagine it was pretty amazing too.

Then the big F.Y.E. It's always so nice to go there. I'm there maybe once or twice a year, if I'm lucky; usually I can only go to the small F.Y.E. in a mall closer to home. There's always so many fascinating pop culture collectibles. I'll admit my main purpose in going was on the off-chance that maybe I could find a figure based on Roger Moore's James Bond or some other such memorabilia. No luck there, but I did see all of the movies, naturally. I got scared away from the first one due to the pictures on the case and wasn't sure what to make of any of the others. I decided to take [livejournal.com profile] 1bigbeatlesfan up on her offer of the Moonraker DVD. Reading the summaries again, as I previously did some time ago, it sounded like it might be the one I'd be the most comfortable with and a good one to start with. Then my brother has the last three of Roger's James Bond movies among the video collection he let us have, but the problem with that is that our only working VCR is in the living room, where there's a high chance of being interrupted while watching....

I also wanted to see if I could find either The King's Thief or Gold of the Seven Saints. No luck there, although I was told they actually do carry the latter and were just out. It'd probably be pretty expensive there anyway, though. And then I sort of hoped maybe a few Ivanhoe episodes had been released to DVD. No apparent luck there, either. I wish Columbia would release that. And Circus Boy, if they've never put that on DVD. I'm still missing a few episodes from Antenna TV's run, and I'm not sure which ones.

Regarding Gold of the Seven Saints, it has one of those rather irritating plots where they're trying to keep the gold but of course lose it in the end. But on the upside, there's tons of friendship squee and hurt/comfort, according to the summary. Roger's character is hurt and some of the plot is taken up with getting him to a doctor. Then later, the bad guys kidnap and torture him and his friend has to save him. Gah! And it sounds like they're always loyal to each other and don't betray each other for the gold, which is a breath of fresh air in movies like that.

(Then I heard Roger sing again, on The Persuaders!, and it was pretty awesome. Squeeee.)

I was also thinking about an amusing James Bond-related moment, although I think this was based on Daniel Craig's Bond rather than Roger's. There's this silly, nutty sketch comedy show called Studio C. Mom doesn't like it and I haven't seen enough to judge, but one time the TV was on to the channel and we came home from getting groceries and I was taking care of them while watching the show and there was this hilarious James Bond parody where he comes to get the new gadgets for his case. I don't even remember now what most of them were, except I remember the girl tried to give him this bizarre gun that would only fire if he wasn't stressed. And he was in disbelief and exclaiming, "My life is filled with stress! People are shooting at me every day!" ROTFLOL. I wonder if I could find that on YouTube....

EDIT: Found it! ROTFLOL.



And switching gears to talk about a character played by my other favorite British-born actor.... I finally got unstuck on the Maverick story where Bret tells of how he and Snakes met. I finished that, wrote the one where he meets Snakes in a saloon, and then started my fic idea of Beau meeting Jack Vandergelt. Snakes features into that one too. It will be another multi-chapter and I look forward to seeing how it will come out. I'm thrilled to have finally been able to pick up my Maverick stories again! I also want to write the one where the Mavericks react to Snakes' death, gah. That is going to be a bittersweet and sad one. And then I naturally won't be able to refrain from writing the story where Snakes comes back through the portal after his revival to find Beau and tell him he's okay. I'm just wondering how to handle that one without getting into the sci-fi elements of being brought back from the dead by a mad scientist, since I'm not sure the Maverick fans would react too well to that strangeness. Maybe Snakes can just say he's alive and let Beau see that he's alive and not get into the details. We'll have to see.
ladybug_archive: (snakes)
So the other day I decided to try the first episode of The Persuaders! to see how it all began. I had assumed both characters were probably equally distasteful of each other, but while Danny definitely disliked Brett, Brett actually didn't seem to dislike Danny, merely to find him an annoyance. And Brett was actually the one who seemed to behave the most jerkish of the two, which I was a little disappointed by. Of course, Danny was being a little pushy about the bartender including two olives in Brett's drink instead of one, but he seemed to honestly be trying to be friendly and share the version of the drink he liked, even though Brett had previously irritated him. (On the other hand, it's possible Danny really was trying to be cheeky.) And then it's Danny who actually wants to fight about it when Brett absolutely doesn't want the drink that way, ROTFLOL. So Danny is definitely being immature even though Brett is being a bit of a jerk. And then Brett is being immature too when he agrees to the fight even though he really hadn't wanted one.

What's interesting, however, is that even while they're fighting and immediately afterward, they're not hating each other; they're starting right in with the banter that they developed through the rest of the series. You can immediately see that there's something awesome here, and by the end of the first episode they seem to be on the path to genuinely liking each other. I love how the episode ends with a callback to earlier, when Brett gets in the elevator and the doors shut before Danny can get in. At the end, it happens again, only then Brett opens the doors and tells him to come on in, he isn't going to leave Danny standing out there. Squeeee. I can think of other shows that would have just had Brett keep Danny out of the elevator again and leave it on that obnoxious note, so to end in a squeeable way thrilled me indeed.

I think I've seen three full episodes now and pieces of a couple of others. (Then Adobe Flash finked out and made it impossible to go on. But it and other things are updated now and Flash has been working a lot better since then.) I've seen more than enough to know that I must own this show, so maybe I won't watch any more and just focus on trying to get the DVD set as soon as possible. This series is just overflowing with friendship squee! The other episode I saw had the bad guys kidnap Brett and hypnotize him to obey their commands, and poor Brett instead thinks there's a double of him doing these things because he just doesn't remember. At one point he attacks Danny and they have a huge fight in an alley. Danny shows up the next morning angry, haunted, and hurt, saying Brett tried to kill him. Brett honestly doesn't remember and insists it was the double. Finally Danny figures out what's going on and has to rush to stop Brett from killing a businessman the bad guys are trying to knock off. I am so in love with this show.

I've also been having a conversation with a friend that has included some talk of the All Dogs Go to Heaven franchise. I have to admit, while in the past I was all over the TV series, I haven't been as enthusiastic about it for years. I am still amused by the detective/spy parodies, but even with them, there's really no comparison with the depth of the first film.

This is basically what I've been thinking lately:

Charlie Barkin in the first film is wow, quite a dark character, actually: a wild crook and a gambler who becomes obsessed with the idea of taking revenge on Carface after Carface tries to murder him. He's boistrous, loud, and loves to live a riotous life. But he still has a heart deep down, even if he is loathe to admit it. Frankly, he reminds me of the way I've fleshed out the Snakes Tolliver character.

Charlie Barkin in all other parts of the franchise has been lightened to varying degrees to make him more kid-friendly. It's like the writers of the second movie and the TV series kind of are aware of the basic parts of Charlie's personality, but they don't put them together quite right and thus, don't create the same character. On the one hand, I can kind of see how first movie Charlie might get bored of Heaven eventually, and yet, it's disappointing to think about because he was supposed to be okay with being there by the end of movie 1 (and it seemed like he was going to liven up Heaven in very interesting ways). Now, perhaps his attempts to do so kind of epically failed and he grew bored, but I really don't think that was Don Bluth's intention with the character and it made me kind of sad. (That said, I did love that he got a second chance at life at the end of the second film.)

The TV series is basically standard cartoon fare and mostly has the kind of plots that you can find in many other sources, even a Freaky Friday episode. Which, when you think about it, makes very little sense. Charlie and Itchy lived together in an OLD CAR for who knows how long and they apparently didn't have any problems. But when they have a whole apartment to move around in, suddenly they can't abide each other's living habits and Anabelle has to switch them to teach them a lesson? I suppose one could argue that having a much bigger space made them spread out a lot more and be more "in your face" with their habits, but it's definitely started to make me scratch my head in confusion.

I also have a very hard time imagining first movie Charlie doing something dumb like creating copies of himself to take care of various things he needs to do that day. He's definitely always looking for a quick solution, but somehow I can't imagine him thinking that would be a good one. Again, it's basically standard cartoon fare and could happen with pretty much any Saturday morning characters if they were presented with the way to do it. I doubt first movie Charlie wants to be a detective either, or that many other TV series events quite align with the first movie.

Of course, the TV series is really a continuation of the second movie, which was made by different people and naturally wouldn't capture the feel of the first movie. One interesting thing, however, is that I believe Itchy and Killer carry the same personalities throughout the franchise, or at least, are usually much closer to their first movie selves than the other characters. (There's still Itchy's illogical behavior in the Freaky Friday episode.) I always said Itchy and Killer were the only characters that absolutely could not be replaced by other voice actors, and of course, now Dom DeLuise and Charles Nelson Reilly are both dead. Not that I think there will ever be any other attempts to revive the franchise, really.... The Christmas movie was a pretty good place to leave things off and I'm pretty sure that it will remain that way.

Now, I also realize that people who didn't come in on the first movie may not have the same problems with characterization that I do. Maybe even some who did wouldn't have such problems. I used to not. I don't remember exactly when it was, but one time I was watching the TV series and thinking "... This is really silly." And I never have felt the same about the series since. As I said, to me, even the episodes I still like are pretty much standard cartoon fare compared to movie 1. That doesn't mean they can't just be enjoyed on their own merits. They should be, really. That's pretty much the only way I can enjoy them now. When I try to think of them relative to movie 1, I hit a brick wall. I know they're supposed to be the same characters from movie 1, and yet, they're not. If I think too hard about the differences and try to reconcile them, I won't get anywhere and will just drive myself nuts.

(A whole other can of worms is the differences between Vic Tayback's menacing Mob boss Carface and Ernest Borgnine's softer, more humorous portrayal. Even Ernest's Carface's freak-outs are usually funny rather than downright scary.)

As a closing thought, back to Snakes. The thought of trying to write Snakes differently so he'd be more kid-friendly kind of makes me go "...". I just don't think it could be done without dismantling or dumbing down his character. It's rather a scary thought. Although at the same time, part of me is darkly, dementedly amused by it.
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.

...

Oct. 18th, 2015 03:17 am
ladybug_archive: (ginger_lou)
Every time I think about the fact that I need to sit down and write an entry, I think, "But I have so many other things I need to do that need doing more!" And then things drag on and on until everything I need to write about has piled up so much I wonder how to ever get it done at all. That's why I barely write in my offline journal, which isn't a good thing.

Basically, birthday shopping trip ended up happening the day before, due to a $12 off coupon that expired on Saturday, and then Dad insisted we had to go to a place he wanted to go to or he wouldn't go at all, and they weren't open on Saturday. We didn't end up making it there anyway, and luckily he didn't really mean what he said and he let us go just for a fun birthday time.

I didn't end up getting the doll two-pack, as I couldn't find it for less than full price and I ended up having other things I wanted to make sure I had money for. But I'm still longing to get that. Gazed at it longingly in K-Mart last week. Maybe soon. I also still really want the Applejack archery doll. I just adore her; she's so autumny! And ever since I realized how much I really am like Applejack, I've felt much more of a kinship with her and like her a lot more (although she was already on the rise of my favorites before that).

I got DJ at Build-a-Bear, after an exceptionally long struggle over whether to get her or the cat/tiger I like. I could have got both, actually, with the 2 for $35 sale and the coupon both, but I had other places to go and didn't really want to spend all my available money in one locale. I also noted that the Halloween bat plushie has extremely soft fur, and even though I didn't think I'd want a bat plushie, I really kind of liked that bat and I wonder if I might want to get it sometime this month. I still have my birthday coupon, which couldn't be combined with the $12 off coupon. It's good through the month.

I saw some cat plushies at Toys R Us I absolutely adored, especially a Maine Coon! It's been years since I've seen cat plushies other than tabbies or whites. It was too expensive; $20 for a size that would have cost maybe $12 years ago, but it is an FAO Schwartz plushie, so very high quality. I might have to get it sometime. It was gray and had green eyes, so I'd kind of like it to represent Jane the Silver Persian.

I also had a Jo-Ann's coupon, so I decided I'd go there and look for plushies that might work for Sean and Barry. I only found one that I thought might work, so I got that for Sean and then got some material at Wal-Mart. I immediately began crafting the next day. Unfortunately, I had the wrong yarn color, so I had to wait until Monday to work with that, but I did get the ears and the brown part of the hair done. I just had to use my leftover muslin for the ears (and I think I might still be able to get one more pair out of the piece!) and leftover mohair from the Hamilton plush. I wish it was longer and curlier, but it's okay at least for now. I also started the blue shirt.

I puzzled for ages on how to attach the yarn and worried that I'd have to seal it with an open flame. Then someone at the craft comm presented a solution so simple I could hardly believe I hadn't thought of it: take a piece of yarn twice as long, twist it, and sew it down on the loop. That also saves time, as two braids get attached at once!

On Monday I searched and searched and couldn't find yarn in exactly the right color, but I found something that I hoped was close enough. I also got black fabric for the pants then. I wanted a light pink for the tie, but couldn't find any in the right material. Later I found a strip of light pink in exactly the right color that I had at home from my Rouge costume. I'd forgotten I'd bought that! I decided hot pink worked better for her and didn't use the light pink. I thought it would never get used. But it was exactly the length I needed for the tie! I was thrilled.

I also wanted Sharpie to make the face. I had to borrow a friend's brown Sharpie before, to make Lou, but I felt I should have my own, especially since I keep wanting to make these every now and then and I will be making at least one more (Barry). And I didn't really want to wait several days until I could maybe get my friend's again. Plus I needed a new black marker anyway. It frustrates me that I can only get brown in a set, but when I found a set for only $4 something after think it cost $6 something or even $8 something, I was over the moon enough that I picked that up too. I like making the face right away, as that brings the plushie to life for me.

I wanted elastic for suspenders, but I could never find any in the right color. The elastic was patterned, what the heck. No solid colors! Then I thought of bias tape, but I was low on funds and wasn't sure I wanted to pay for that. I thought maybe I could use leftover black cotton from the pants. It would take longer, since I'd have to do more sewing to use that, but I decided it would be worth it to save a little money.

Long story short, everything came together. The face shape wasn't quite right, as I knew it wouldn't be, but I really tried my best. The things I am most proud of are the yarn, the suspenders, and the fedora hat. I wasn't going to make one of those, especially when I couldn't find a decent tutorial, but then Wal-Mart had felt in exactly the right color and I thought maybe I'd give it a go and try to make it from common sense. And honestly, that worked! It looks really good. The only thing I haven't been able to do is dent it like a proper fedora. Still considering ways to do that.

I'll try to get pictures soon, but I'm not sure when I'll be able to, as we don't have a working digital camera and we rarely develop film. And my Twilight costume is not working out (can't find the right wig anywhere and now I'm broke after buying the third Equestria Girls movie, but that's okay; I'd rather have something I'll enjoy many times than something I'll likely only wear a couple of times), so I'll probably have to do something ghetto. I am determined to be a Twilight, but instead of Pony Twilight turned human, I'll probably have to be Pony Twilight as Pony. I have a purple sports suit I can wear, and maybe I can make construction paper ears and bangs/fringe. I'll still paint her symbol on my cheek. But the costume will be so simple, I don't know if I'll want pictures of it. Maybe I'll just use it for the girls' party next week and try to do something different on Halloween.

Anyway, maybe I can take Sean to the party and have one of the other leaders take a couple of pictures of him with her phone. If I don't do that (and maybe I'd rather not, since I don't know what kind of treatment he might get from the well-meaning but hyper girls), then I'll have to find a chance to get some film and take pictures the old-fashioned way. Gah, it makes me cringe that it costs $10 to develop one roll of film these days....

Let's see.... Other projects.... I'm planning the party and I'm trying to think of fun, harmless Halloween songs for it. (I am heartbroken that I likely can't use my favorite Halloween song, Zombie Jamboree, unless I use Kevin's version and I don't care for his version with the zombies falling apart humor in the bridge. I like Sean's versions much better, but a song that goes "I don't give a damn" at a church party for 8-11 year-olds ... yeaaah, not a good idea.) So I listened to Halloween songs on YouTube the other night. When I played Ghostbusters, I got this image of making a music video with pictures from my Ginger and Lou comic and other pictures I could draw that would have them fighting the supernatural. LOL. Of course, no one would even care about that other than me, and I'd probably get a lot of thumbs-down and "WTH is this" if I posted it on YouTube, but the idea really amuses me. Ginger and Lou end up as ghostbusters in my stories very often, sometimes because I'm writing creepy Halloween fics and sometimes because the prompts take me in that direction and sometimes because it just plain amuses me.

I'm looking for a wig for the Barry doll and am annoyed that I'm getting lots of listings for wigs in fancy styles. I can't find one simple brown wig with hair long enough to pull back into a ponytail. (I want the season 1 look; I love that thick ponytail!) There must be one somewhere; I'll keep looking. This trouble definitely makes me amazed that I found exactly the right wig for Ginger, and so easily.

Also wondering if I'll be able to find green fabric for his shirt. I think sometimes he wore light blue, but since I opted to give Sean blue and asked for Haruka Kou to make Scott with a blue shirt, I'd rather not have Barry wear blue too. But I'm worried that I'll only be able to find forest green and that is totally the wrong color. Maybe I'll have to review the colors Barry wore in only season 1 and pick one of those. I really wanted green, though, like the dark green he wore in the full-length Zombie Jamboree performance and in some of the other season 1 and beyond episodes.

Crystal and I have been having fun breathing new life into our steady RP ever since Crystal's enthusiasm started us on a second Carmen renaissance, and we just did a powerful and poignant arc based on The Hardy Boys episode Sole Survivor. Part of me really wants to make a fic version of it. The other part isn't sure I'd be comfortable with that. But I'm going to attempt it and see if I like what starts coming out. Naturally, as with all my fic versions of RPs, some things would be changed. I'd try to patch up a couple of small plotholes, for one thing. And I really want Snakes to be involved, since he was key in the RP, but since his association with the guys is different in the fics, his involvement would be different too. I'm already planning how to work him in.

I also need to finish A Change in My Life, I know. I have chapter 9 started. And I'm almost done with the Perry fic! Just the epilogue to go, squeeee. Then I'm slightly considering a story in three or four parts with Della and Sergeant Brice and maybe Andy puzzling over the mystery I sent them and the others on three years ago in a disturbing place called the Twilight House, based on recurring houses from my dreams. I always meant to return to that storyline, but didn't have the chance. If I could do it at Halloweentime, it would be perfect.
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
So the Pony episode this past day was really good; I think it was another of the best ones this season. But for me, that was just an appetizer before the entree, the Equestria Girls movie!

I was worried that someone might not put it up tonight, so I decided to try to get in on a live stream, even though those have never worked for me. I tried one on The Brony Network after being unable to find a YouTube one, but the connection just didn't hold. I went back to YouTube and figured I'd watch the first ten minutes clip that's been up, and instead I found a live stream that wasn't in my previous search for some reason. By that time the movie was already on, but I was able to get in on a good chunk of it. The stream kept cutting out and I'd have to start over, but I got to see many of the best parts. And then someone did put it up, so I've been able to see it in full now!

Eeeee, I'm so excited for the DVD release on the 13th.... I wish it would be in time for my birthday, but I'm glad the wait isn't too much longer.

Honestly, I seriously adored the movie. Mild spoilers )

Also, I always get excited because it's so uncanny how Sunset Shimmer runs these accidental parallels with the way I developed Snakes' character. They're both antagonists who ended up being shown true friendship and wanting to turn their lives around and are trying to figure out what friendship is about. And now one of my RP versions of Snakes is starting to try to pay forward the good he's been taught. It's very interesting how RPs can grow and develop and things like that can happen without it being planned on at all. I have no idea how that will turn out, but it's just kind of neat to explore that side of Snakes no matter what comes of it.

I just wish I had a place to really share my enthusiasm with other movie fans. The LJ comm is so dead. And the Pony forum I'm on is so often critical of both the TV series and the movies. Sometimes not without cause, but they also nitpick a lot instead of being able to enjoy the good. I have certain complaints of my own, especially with the series, but I still love it in spite of its flaws. Its missteps haven't reached Once Upon a Time levels of bad; hopefully that will never happen.

Ah well. Overall, such a really satisfying evening and a perfect early birthday present. I'm ecstatic.

Hmm....

Sep. 20th, 2015 03:48 am
ladybug_archive: (snakes)
Counting down the last couple of weeks until my birthday. Belle is still unopened and by this point I definitely plan to keep her for my birthday. Anticipation is highly mounting and it's fun. The last couple of weeks kind of fly by.

Not to mention, next Saturday is the new Equestria Girls movie. I've been waiting so long for that! I wondered how I'd ever stand waiting the last couple of months. Then the new Carmen renaissance happened and it wasn't miserable waiting at all. I'm so psyched that it airs a week before my birthday. I hope I'll get to see it that night. Since I don't get the channel, I have to rely on YouTube to see Pony stuff.

And the Pony episode this past day was AWESOME. Rarity solved a mystery and it was a detective/noir parody and the detecting scenes were in B&W and Rarity had a fedora and trenchcoat and narrated like it was an old detective show ... ! I am ecstatic. I may have to re-watch this one very soon. I sooo want Rarity as a detective to be a thing. She seems like such an unlikely candidate for a detective, but she was awesome! And she used her knowledge and love of fashion to solve the mystery! Now I want to dress both my Rarity plushies in fedoras and trenchcoats. And I want an icon of Rarity like that, although I don't know where I'd put it. But seriously, so much awesome! That's one of the few episodes without Twilight that I really like. Of course, Rarity is one of my other main favorites.

I was going to make a dream post a couple of days ago and wasn't able to get to it. It has been so hectic this week. I wonder if now I can remember enough details of the dreams to even write down.

I remember my dream redesigned Snakes and gave him longer hair, about like Scott in season 2. It doesn't suit him at all, but it did look very nice in the dream and I woke up kind of wanting to try illustrating it.

There was something weird going on where we were at a mall, I think, and Snakes was with a girlfriend. It wasn't the Chita character I created, but someone else. She wasn't so nice either and she'd done something to make criminals angry. They slipped something into her food and apparently into Snakes' as well, and both of them collapsed unconscious. I think Snakes found out she was a creep first.

Later on there was a dream where we went to a recurring locale that hasn't turned up for a while: a very weird place with aquariums where the fish are huge and can jump out of the aquariums and swim through the air and be held for a little bit. I've been there maybe three or four times in my dreams, so it doesn't recur as much as some other places. It was kind of nice to see it again. So many cute fishies!

The last time I was asleep I had another Once dream. They have definitely been coming with increasing frequency over the past month. I don't know if that's solely because of Belle or if it's also because I sort of wonder if I'll actually be interested in trying the new season. The stuff I've heard about it could make it really good, but I've been burned so much over the last season and a half that I don't know that I dare believe it will be decent. The dream seemed to be about me having watched the first half of the season and being frustrated when the mid-season finale ended with things being left up in the air and the villain biding his time and waiting to do whatever he was going to do, which put Rumpel and Belle in a spot.

Yay.

Aug. 17th, 2015 05:41 am
ladybug_archive: (snakes)
Finished and posted the story with Snakes and the Dying Informant. I also drew accompanying fanart. Clicking on it usually makes it bigger. This isn't a bad size, though.

Snakes and the Dying Informant

I really love how Snakes turned out. I'm not sure if I'm a little rusty with the Dying Informant or not.
ladybug_archive: (ecks_wye)
So I got the ficlet written and posted. It felt strange signing into the [livejournal.com profile] ladybug_tales account again, but it was nice. I altered the information in the intro post, Stickied it, and put up the ficlet. Overall, I felt pretty comfortable with the experiment and will definitely be trying some more.

At this point I'm not sure in what direction the fics are going to go, though, because while I plan to finish the hanging ones and maybe write a new haunted house one, what I seem to be the most fascinated in focusing on right now is the Dying Informant character. I'm pondering on how to write him as knowledgeable and mature, yet unlucky enough to have so many problems and maybe just a little over-dramatic. Maybe I'm so intrigued because he definitely is a fictional character and therefore I feel like I have a bit more license to develop him, but the line between real and fictional seems very blurred when it comes to the Musicnet agents as a group (even though I know it's there, especially after the backstory reveal in season 3). I'm toying with the thought of a short introspective piece of him pondering on his work and his misfortunes, as well as a fic where he meets Snakes. (The others would be around in the latter fic, too.) That should definitely be interesting, considering that in the RP with Crystal, Snakes has latched on to the ACME crew and works at ACME teaching agents the fine points of gambling in case they have to go undercover and appear to know that information. In the RP, Snakes is more awkward and insecure and unsure of himself, because he's with a group of close friends and feels like he's a student, learning from them about friendship. In the fics, Snakes is learning about friendship too, but he usually seems a little more prickly, cynical, and worn-out. He's an interesting series of contrasts.

I also had a dream that I only remember vaguely, but part of it involved Ecks and Wye. They were at some sort of private university/school, I think, held in a refurbished mansion, and they were talking with some scientist. At one point they exchanged a silent look, picking up on information without speaking. They seemed to be thinking about the case as well as being thoughtful of each other's needs. I need to start that next U.N.C.L.E. fic....

Then I'm tinkering with the Steve Drumm noir parody and I'm not sure what to make of it. I was hoping I was wrapping it up, but now I'm not sure it should finish at this point. I'm wondering if I should do the noir twist of the fake ending and have Steve and Brice suddenly realize that the truth of the case is upsidedown and backwards. Hmmm. Decisions, decisions....
ladybug_archive: (scofield)
Tweaked the lyrics of Fliptop Twister to fit Snakes in the Old West days. In doing so, I also discovered how the relationship ended. The girl really sounds like a femme fatale in part of the song, so I altered the last part to have her continuing to cheat on Snakes and he finally gets fed-up and breaks it off, even though he knows he'll be alone again.

The full, tweaked lyrics and musings are here: https://sites.google.com/site/w3andperry/songs-for-the-characters/fliptop-twister
ladybug_archive: (snakes)
... It just occurred to me that I forgot to post that Misguided Missile ficlet to [livejournal.com profile] 31_days on the 31st. **headdesk.** I was pretty occupied with worrying about getting out to get stuff for Dad's birthday, as well as trying to help him fit the side mirror back on the car, so it makes sense that I'd forget. (It's been attached with duct tape for months and he finally decided to take that particular day to fix it back on properly.) I'll need to look the fic over and see if I can add anything more to it that could be inspired by another prompt. If not, I'll probably post it here or something, just to have it up somewhere. I wouldn't be posting it on FF.net, most likely, since the only players are oneshot episodic characters.

I think I'll plan to try to get that noir fic with Steve Drumm done in time for Richard Anderson's birthday on Saturday. We'll see how well that works out....

Also, I got out the From N.Y. album and have been skipping around playing some of the tracks while I've been reading emails and such. I remembered something I'd forgot: that I thought the song Fliptop Twister could describe Snakes and perhaps some failed affair he had back in the Old West days. In my headcanon, the only girls he could attract the attention of in the circles he ran with back then were interested in his money and his gambling luck, so he went with that and put on a boisterous facade, trying to get whatever enjoyment from it that he could, since he figured there was nothing else for him. Maybe I'll finally get around to writing something with that song as inspiration. Of course, since I am very disinterested by pairing OCs with canon characters in general, and even moreso if the story would be long, it would probably be either Snakes monologuing in his mind or telling someone about it, instead of actually showing everything that happened. And, unlike the male character in the song, it wouldn't be in Snakes' nature to roam and check out other girls during the time the affair was on, since if he was trying to make something work with someone he would put his all into it. Since the song doesn't cover the end of that dysfunctional relationship, I'd have to think whether the girl or Snakes ends things and why.
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
I ended up falling so hard in love with using the Twilight icon that I decided that perhaps after ten-ish years, it was time to alter the default userpic. On the one hand, I hesitated to, because I love the Faye Valentine icon and it's absolutely gorgeous. On the other, I no longer feel like I need to hide behind Faye's identity and of course, I haven't felt like I needed to for some time; the original reason I adopted her name as an alias was because I was trying to hide from certain people I didn't care to talk to and I didn't think I would ever be discovered using the name of a character as unlike me as Faye is. Over time it stuck, even after I didn't need to hide anymore. I'll probably leave my email accounts set to Faye's name, but for this journal right now, I kind of feel like I want to be me, and Twilight Sparkle is a much better representation of who I am.

Crystal had a very good idea that I could use the Faye icon on FF.net. However, trying that had led to my discovery that I can't use square icons there anymore (if I ever could at all). So part of the picture is cut off. Ugh. I will probably have to make a specific icon for FF.net that conforms to the size they want. Meanwhile, I still want to use the Faye icon somewhere, so I will probably either leave it here for now (just not as the default) or else use it on Dreamwidth (where I think I already have it uploaded). I always wanted the Dreamwidth journal to be a separate place from here, but then I ended up getting freaked out worrying Livejournal might crash and I should have stuff backed up, so a little over a year ago I copied all my entries at that time to Dreamwidth. I'm torn between wishing I hadn't done that and being glad that stuff is backed up somewhere. Maybe I'll have to create a second Dreamwidth to be the separate thing I wanted. I remember I started out posting lots of fun Perry Mason-related content there.

I had some strange and lovely dreams. One was a role-play type dream where I was "playing" Jim West, and I and Arte were investigating a weird house. It seemed to be haunted, and we went into the basement and found it was being used as a garbage dump. Lovely. Then some bad guy was there and we got into a shootout with him. I believe the house was fairly modern (there were soda cans everywhere in the basement), so the setting must have been in my time-travel verse, where Jim and Arte can come visit the present-day when they want to. Maybe I'll write it up into a story.

Then I had a dream that culminated in Simon Oakland meeting my dad and being told about me and agreeing to come meet me! We shared a hug and he agreed to talk with me over lunch. It was awesommmme. And in the dream, it felt so real. That was definitely one I didn't like having to emerge from. In the dream, he wasn't dead and it was all okay. He looked about like he did in the 1970s. And from articles Crystal and I have found, he was such a humble and down-to-earth person that I totally believe he would have been happy to share lunch with a fan.
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
I'm not sure whether to keep this icon or not. It's adorable and squeeable and so cute, but it stands out so colorfully from every other icon I'm using, even the other color ones. (There, in fact, I'm showing my Twilight side of liking things to be in order.) Still, I've wanted a Pony icon for a long time, and even though sometimes I feel like I'm a doormat like Fluttershy, in the end I really think I'm more like Twilight Sparkle (with some Applejack mixed in; once I got both of them on a Pony personality test). And regardless of which one I'm most like, I simply love Twilight the very most.

I finished the U.N.C.L.E. fic and printed it. As usually happens, it turned out a little different from my initial idea. I had planned to have a silly subplot where Napoleon and Illya start spying on Ecks and Wye to try to figure out how they get along under the same roof when Napoleon and Illya have trouble doing the same thing. I eliminated that and pretty much focused the story completely around the mystery. I'm still amused by the idea, though, so maybe I'll write it sometime as a random stand-alone piece.

I'm not sure if in the end it moves too fast; I was thinking to myself how it's like the manga version of Sailor Moon in that it stays strictly to the plot and doesn't have fillery detours, except an occasional character-developing conversation. I think the Sailor Moon manga moves too fast; I prefer for there to be some filler, as it's both a nice diversion from the heavy stuff and it serves character-building purposes. But I was hesitant to do filler in the fic, knowing that a lot of people don't care for that. And it never seemed like there was a good place to insert it, either.

Towards the end of the story, I got the idea that Napoleon and Illya should meet David McCallum's meek and mild Perry Mason character. By the time I wrote the epilogue, I had decided to make that the next fic and also to have it continue from the one I was finishing, with them on the trail of a missing enemy spy from Ecks and Wye's organization. I'm going to call it The Fifty Millionth Frenchman Affair, in tribute to the Perry Mason episode, and also signaling for those in the know that it's going to bring in that character.

It's interesting writing in a way that leaves the time period completely vague. I managed to get through the story without encountering one issue where I'd have to reveal the truth, which is unusual. It will be even more interesting seeing if I can pull it off in the next story, since they'll be in Los Angeles and therefore probably crossing over with all of my L.A. shows. I'll probably drop a couple of small mentions to the WWW fic Deadly Codename, since Napoleon, Illya, and Mr. Waverly were in that and trying to stop THRUSH from destroying the world, along with WWW, Cannon, and The Fugitive characters.

And there's a challenge running soon to write fics showing Napoleon and Illya's first meetings. I'm toying with the idea of participating, probably just to the extent of showing a short, first conversation fic. That is probably going to be the most interesting experiment of all, trying to write that and show distrust between them and somehow not reveal that it's the approximate present-day (several years ago). I've even been doing some research of Russia in the 1990s to start crafting my own backstory for Illya in my timeline. Even though it's highly unlikely that I will actually write that backstory into the story, I think crafting it in private will still help me figure out how to write him in a first meeting piece with Napoleon.

As to why hiding the time period is even a thing, the explanation is fairly simple. Most people prefer U.N.C.L.E. to be a period piece, even though the episodes are really timeless and rarely ever show an indication that it's meant to be a period piece. There's not even consternation over a Russian being around in a law enforcement position; it's just accepted everywhere, by most all the characters they encounter. So to me, it only takes place in the 1960s because it was made then and was taking place in the present-day of its time. And I think it fits seamlessly into the present-day of this time. But since most people want it to be a period piece, I try to compromise by not revealing any time period at all. That way, everyone can picture it as they want and everyone's happy.

I do reveal it's the present-day in the Ecks and Wye solo pieces, though, since I figure I'm the only one who'd be reading those. Ecks seems to like the (1970s?) band Queen, as Wye mentions him listening to them once, Mr. Zed has a DVD collection as well as his actual vintage film collection, and Ecks uses a rock song as his ringtone (probably a Queen song, although I didn't specify that). It's also mentioned that he hacked into U.N.C.L.E.'s computers, whereas in the stories with Napoleon and Illya I just say he reprogrammed the computers and don't mention how.

... There was a slight place in the mystery story I just did where the time period was accidentally alluded to, now that I think of it. When Illya's communicator pen goes off in chapter 2, no one around him seems that confused. The reason is because they figure it's a cellphone going off, but I didn't mention that in the story. It wasn't a deliberate thing, but once Illya's pen went off, I realized that how the characters behaved about it would definitely indicate time period.

Another fic plan involves a Mannix story where Roger Bard shows up wanting Lew Wickersham's help because he's got some important documents and all kinds of people are after him. If I write that, Napoleon and Illya would be among the pursuers, as well as Ecks and Wye (and other characters from Roger's Mannix episode). It's based on a role-play I've been doing.

I also need to finish the two Mannix stories I've got going, the one showing how Joe and Lew first met and one where they're trapped in a town without pity. The latter is the shorter one, but I'm having trouble getting inspiration for it beyond some of the horrors Lew goes through. If I launch into those now, though, it's probably too soon and the story won't feel natural. That's how I ended up stalling on that one in the first place. After re-reading both, I have more inspiration for the other one, yet I really wish I could work on the town one since it's the shorter one.

Then there's two Mannix oneshots, an old idea and a new one. The old one involves Joe going to Lew's office around season 8, getting a drink from the decanter (as he really does multiple times in season 1), and flopping on Lew's couch for a tired rant. He's so sick of so many friends turning out to be crooks. Seriously, sooo many episodes have that plot twist. I think Joe really would be getting sick of it by season 8. And he wants to reassure himself that Lew is still the same honest, upright person he remembers.

The new one would be Joe, Peggy, and Lew in a weird, creepy house, because there can never be too many weird, creepy house fics. I love figuring out how to make each house different from all the others.

I still want to do my idea of Della Street meeting Peggy, too. They could have an awesome friendship.

I also have some less distinctive plunnies that I nevertheless might like to do sometime, like another Sunset Shimmer fic, maybe with backstory for her from her time as a Pony, because I don't entirely agree with the comic's portrayal of her and I want to show my version. The comic had her portrayed as really nasty all the way along as a Pony, but to me that doesn't align with the movies. In the first movie, Celestia says she only became nasty when things didn't happen for her as soon as she wanted. And she's such a sweetheart in the second movie that I feel she must have been sweet as a Pony too, until her impatience got the better of her. I also kind of like an idea I saw in a fan-made video where she was bullied as a Pony. It could definitely help explain why she turns to bullying when she first arrives in the human world. She doesn't want to be anything less than the best, and by this point she thinks being cold and cruel is the only way to be the best. She doesn't change her mind on that until Twilight and the human counterparts of her Pony friends are able to defeat her when magic is activated by the power of Twilight's friends trying to protect Twilight.

I picture the fic opening with a nightmare, maybe with bullying going on, and then it zeroes in and shows that Sunset is being bullied by her bad self. Sunset awakens in horror. It would take place between the two movies and show how she's dealing with her actions and how she's trying to turn back to being good again after being so bad. Throughout the fic, there would be little flashbacks to her time in Equestria.

Writing about it, I'm getting really excited for it again. Maybe I'll start writing it soon and see how it starts coming out. I had wanted to finish the U.N.C.L.E. fic before I started it, and now I have, so maybe I should test it out before I start the next U.N.C.L.E. fic (even though I'm excited for that, too).

Another idea would be very surreal and have Sunset talking to Snakes, even though I generally have the show as fiction in my main verse and it's something Snakes knows about. I just have this urge to see what would happen if he and Sunset conversed, considering all the canon parallels of Sunset with my fanon version of Snakes. It's really interesting how that happened entirely by accident.

I also found someone on the Pony forum who likes The Batman, so I'm getting plunnied again for my idea where The Batman's Riddler meets The Animated Series Riddler. I looked over my notes for the story and hope to test that out soon.

So many stories, so little time.

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