smallhobbit: (Lestrade trio)
I was discussing this theme on Twitter with [personal profile] loz  and said I had sufficient thoughts that I would write a blog post.  And then promptly didn't - in part because that was the day I then went to see Titus Andronicus, which isn't condusive to such thoughts.  But now it's come up again as the Trope for the Day on [community profile] ushobwri  and [personal profile] brumeier  has asked for our thoughts.  So no escape.

It's not a trope I'm that keen on, partly because two of the fandoms I belong to seem desperate to make it happen.  Yes, one is Sherlock (principally the BBC version) and also Lewis.  If that's the way you like things that's fine, I'm not saying it's wrong at all, just that it doesn't appeal to me.  I have come across too many fics where the writer has contrived to bring the two together and suddenly it's wonderful.  There are times when remaining as friends would be perfectly acceptable.

So where does that leave me, and my most written pairings?  Which isn't to say I don't write other pairings for gift fics or for friends, but here I'm concentrating on my favourites.

My first fandom was Life on Mars - the UK version.  And the classic Sam/Gene.  They snark, they argue, they get to know each other better, and the relationship begins.  Now it may be my age, or my outlook, but I don't see that the relationship has to immediately include sex, but this is more than just friends.

Onto BBC's Sherlock.  I don't see Sherlock/John.  John/Greg yes - they see each other in a professional context and realise they want to get to know each other better.  For me it's fairly quick.  I'm currently not writing this pairing.  Sherlock/Stanley Hopkins - again a professional interest moves on to something deeper quite quickly - of course, this is Hopkins of the Met River Police, entirely my own creation based on ACD's Hopkins.

ACD Sherlock Holmes - Nothing will ever take Mary Morstan/John Watson away from me.  This post-hiatus Holmes/Watson is one of my few real friends to lovers, but as the relationship is described only in the Sussex Retirement 'verse it all happened in the past, so doesn't really count as a trope.  Watson reflects on the relationship in the first in the series A Quiet Retirement.

So to Lewis.  I liked Laura Hobson/Robbie Lewis, until the series seemed to spoil it for me.  In Oxford Tales I have Lewis and Hathaway working together and then moving in together, but there's never any description of how it happens.

Two of my other fandoms are both rare pairs.  Adam Carter/Lucas North in Spooks - there's a spark between them from early on, it takes time to catch light because Lucas is mentally scarred, but it's more slow burn than friends to lovers (some might say I'm being pedantic, but they both know what's happening).  And Guy/Much in Robin Hood (BBC) - in my world there's an instant attraction, and since I'm the only one who writes it, I can claim it's the only interpretation ;)

So no, as a trope friends to lovers doesn't particularly appeal.  Friday's Trope of the Day on [community profile] ushobwri  is Established Relationships and I shall be sharing my thoughts there ;)
smallhobbit: (Holmes Watson train)
Last week, when I was burbling on about needing topics to write about, [personal profile] nagi_schwarz  asked when did I start getting into ACD Holmes, reading, writing or both.  To give it a proper answer clearly needed a post of its own.

I don't remember when I first read some of the Holmes stories, no doubt some time back in my dim and distant youth.  Sherlock Holmes is part of our culture.  I can use Holmes' references in my 'talks in the sermon slot' without it seeming strange.  I can remember watching many of the Granada Holmes programmes - which inevitably get repeated on a semi-regular basis.  And yes, I can normally identify the case within a minute when the television gets switched on partway through an episode.

I can, however, pinpoint when I first wrote ACD Holmes, being August 2011.  I had gone to the first London Sherlock (BBC) picnic and one of those present, Amy, told me about [community profile] sherlock60  so I reread the story and wrote my first 60.  That was towards the beginning of Round 1.  For Round 2 I wrote The Ocelot Tales - each 60 being 'written' by an animal involved in the story, or plausibly within the story.  The Ocelot had made his first appearance in The Veiled Lodger in Round 1.  Mouselet, and her love of Inspector Stanley Hopkins, turned up in Round 2.  [personal profile] scfrankles  took over for Round 3, with my assistance, and I wrote a variety of 60s, often picking up on the cases Watson mentions at the beginning but never gives any details.  Round 4 I wrote articles for The Marylebone Monthly Illustrated, edited by the Ocelot, sub-editor the Sloth.  And now we are drawing to the end of Round 5, for which I've written The Private Journal of Dr Watson, which is being serialised in the MMI.  At the end of this round [personal profile] scfrankles  and I will hand the reins over to [personal profile] alafaye  and take a back seat.

In the meantime we also set up [community profile] holmes_minor  as a ACD Holmes community for ficlets of no more than 500 words, plus other fun activities.  This will be continuing with its monthly prompt, a monthly activity, and Frankles has assured me Mrs Hudson will be bringing her poetry corner over there.

Plus, whilst this has been going on, I have written various other fics in the Holmesian canon.  I've got 113 listed on AO3!  Some have been humour, for example the series At The Drop of A Deerstalker, Tales from the Broom Cupboard, and Ferret Tales (part of The Ocelot Collection).  I still enjoy writing casefics, as well as Sussex Retirement, which is a rather more gentle look at Holmes and Watson in retirement.  And I'm pleased with A Study in Recuperation, which is set in 1918 and brings Watson to work in a recuperation home for wounded officers, where he meets two of his former companions.

In summary, nearly six years ago I wrote 60 words, which have led onto very many more, and not just words, but friends as well.

And lastly, because the MMI has many contributors, including Inky Quill, may I recommend his June entry, as transcribed by Okapi.
smallhobbit: (dragon)
First up, I'm not all that taken with Dreamwidth, so I'm back posting directly here.  But because I still don't want to lose anything, I'm copying and pasting on DW.  It's a bit of a pain, but easier than trying to host pictures elsewhere, and with most friends on LJ it's easier to include their LJ names here.  (But for those of you reading on DW, I'm still happy to respond to comments here!)

***

Secondly, why are people so unreasonable?  The boss has cut back on staff at work, so we now have W in the retail shop and myself and C, who deals with corporate accounts, in an office next door - we've moved downstairs which makes it easier.  W has been off sick for two days, so C and I have been covering for him.

One man brought his granddaughter's iPhone in to have the screen replaced, because her horse had trodden on it.  That was yesterday.  We explained W was ill and it couldn't be mended that day.  The man reappeared today, wanting to know how soon it would be done, because she needed her business contacts which were on her phone, and looking at me as if it was my responsibility to sort it out.  If Your horse treads on Your phone it is hardly my problem.

Also, yesterday someone phoned up asking to speak to W and I took a message and said he would phone once he was back.  The man phoned again today.  I explained W was still sick.  "Why hasn't he phoned me?"  Um, because he's sick and hasn't been in?

***

Anyway Happy Valentine's Day to one and all.  It is a time for cards, flowers, chocolates and fluffy fics.  I cannot give you tangible gifts, but have some fluffy fics:
The Hobbit: Nothing Like A Roman God
The Hobbit: Not Really A Bad Hair Day
Spooks (Lucas): Everyone Needs A Hug
ACD Holmes (Broom Cupboard verse): Valentine's Day
smallhobbit: (ocelot)
[livejournal.com profile] scfrankles has become a good friend over our time at [livejournal.com profile] sherlock60 and [livejournal.com profile] holmes_minor as well as being one of my long-suffering betas.  Her prompt of "a wild goose chase" as a crossover between Mouselet and the Gang and Tigger Holmes, presented me with the challenge of two worlds colliding.  Nevertheless, the Ocelot was up to the challenge.

Tigger Holmes and the Case of the Wild Goose Chase
smallhobbit: (Holmes Watson pipe)
My second ficlet is for [livejournal.com profile] alafaye who requested "ACD canon -- Holmes/Watson, a Christmas evening together after Holmes returns".  This is Holmes & Watson, rather than Holmes/Watson, because Watson still mourns Mary.  What will happen in the future, who can tell.  Slightly melancholy, but the title should indicate promise for the future.

Christmas Hope
smallhobbit: (dragon)
This time on [livejournal.com profile] fan_flashworks I earned a badge I'm really pleased about:

which means I've written in total 15 different forms of poetry.
I'm especially pleased because my final form was a sonnet, which I thought I'd never write: Thus Honour Calls

And I now have no excuse not to write this autumn, with the following on the list:Plus, of course, regular drabbles and ficlets for [livejournal.com profile] sherlock60 , [livejournal.com profile] holmes_minor and [livejournal.com profile] fan_flashworks

Now, if only I didn't have to go to work ;)
smallhobbit: (Edel Lion)
Over the last few months I've taken part in a few exchanges, and received some excellent fics, so I'm now sharing them with you:

The first was for Night on a Fic Mountain: Dinner with the Morgans by ArgyllePirateWD, a Forever fic which hit all my favourites: Henry & Abe, Henry remembering the past, Abe wanting to celebrate Henry's birthday (a childhood tale), Jo being lovely, Lucas being geeky.  It was particularly appreciated, because it was written as a pinch hit.

The second was for Not Prime Time: England is England Yet by lynndyre, an ACD Holmes fic set in the hiatus.  It takes Watson in all his sorrow (post Mary's death) and gently leads him on.  I enjoyed the way the characters were portrayed.

And the last one was not for an exchange, but written for me by [livejournal.com profile] okapi1895 It's part of her Cheers series, Pimm's Cup, which, although the series is rated E, this one is G.  It's BBC Sherlock, panders to my competency kink, and features Sherlock encountering Stanley Hopkins' from my River Police 'verse.  Not Stanley himself, but his desk, from which Sherlock makes a number of deductions, including a desire to get to know this particular inspector rather better.  It's absolutely lovely!
smallhobbit: (ferret)
Once again I've been participating in [livejournal.com profile] watsons_woes July Writing Prompts, writing for the prompts I fancy.

I'll be updating the list until the challenge finishes.

The list ... )
smallhobbit: (John Thornton)
About a month ago [livejournal.com profile] solosundance posted this meme (which she acquired from [livejournal.com profile] saintvic) it seemed fun, so let's see how we go!

The meme:
1. Go to this website: www.random.org/lists/
2. Pick 15 characters from any fandom or whatever you’re into, type them in, then get your randomized list and match to the entries below.
3. Tag five or more people - or, you know, have a go if you fancy it
4. Have fun!

The meme )
smallhobbit: (Butterfly)
This month I shall be writing the final fic in my Sussex Retirement cycle.  What began as a series of fics to fulfil prompts in [livejournal.com profile] older_not_dead expanded to take in a few of the monthly prompts from [livejournal.com profile] watsons_woes and then took further flight as I brought in some more indirect characters from the 'verse.  The last chapter of April's fic, Easter Visitors, wove together Inspector Stanley Hopkins and his family, with Seth, the gardener, and his.

The more observant of you will notice there are already 12 fics, in what should presumably only to an 11 fic series so far.  This is because there was an additional entry for Christmas.  I shall certainly be leaving the 'verse 'open' for further occasional fics - I'm too fond of the village and the characters I've created to want to leave forever.

However, this will be the final fic in the 12 month cycle and thus the point of this post.  I know there are a few loyal readers of this 'verse - I don't expect many - Holmes and Watson are retired and have slowed down and this is written as the retirement they deserve; life in Baker Street may be described as forever 1895, here is forever 1908ish, with no sound of the future drums of war.  But, if you have been reading, is there anything you would like to see in this final fic?  The only constraints are that it fits the tenor of the series and is set during May.

I can guarantee there will be at least one more fic later in the year.  There are so many honey prompts which I am keen to use, but we, like Holmes, will have to wait for the right time for honey.

As an aside, I have not forgotten either the Lucas/Adam fic I am writing, or Watson 1918.  A week or so ago I began to feel overwhelmed by the amount of writing I had on.  There are regular challenges, plus I'm signed up for three exchanges during the next couple of months.  So I decided to take a step back from the two fics which have no deadline and concentrate on those that do.  None of the exchanges have a minimum wordage of more than 1,500 words, which I know won't be a problem, but it all felt too stressful.  And since writing is fun (!) it made sense to remove the perceived pressure.  Neither have been abandoned, and if all else fails, one of them will benefit from [livejournal.com profile] mini_wrimo in November.
smallhobbit: (Cat)
23.  Holmes_Minor.  SCFrankles and I have been discussing running a new ACD Holmes comm since before Christmas and now [livejournal.com profile] holmes_minor is almost ready to go live.  Frankles has done the work and I have helpfully made suggestions.  And as of tomorrow there will be a new LJ comm for fanfic and poetry for works of 500 words and less, for all the characters in the ACD Sherlock Holmes ‘verse.


24.  Cake. How can I possibly have got this far through without mentioning cake?  Victoria Sponge, chocolate cake, Swiss roll, fruit cake, walnut and coffee cake, Battenburg, cherry cake, lemon drizzle cake, carrot cake.  To name but a few.


25.  Deutschen Welle. I’ve found a new course for learning basic German.  Very interactive and visual, so ideal for my learning style.  Harry gefangen in der Zeit. http://www.dw.com/de/deutsch-lernen/harry/s-13219


26.  Conducting loud music. Verdi’s Dies Irae, Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, the end of Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.  The last one while sitting in a traffic queue – although possibly the arm action was a little too obvious, but at least the police car which had been behind me had turned off by that point.


27.  The Welsh Rugby Team. World Cup or Six Nations, I’m happily cheering them on.  I’m not even Welsh, but where we are Wales feels closer and friendlier than London.


28.  The smell of clean sheets dried in the fresh air. I’d have them every day if I had enough bed linen, staff to do the washing, and rather better weather than we have here.


29.  Decent cider. Proper draught stuff, not this funny strange berry stuff which comes in bottles.  One of the advantages of living in the West Country.

Watson 1918

Feb. 4th, 2016 04:42 pm
smallhobbit: (Holmes Watson train)
I don't normally post fanfic to my LJ, preferring to link to AO3.  However in this case I'd value some comments.  Of course, I could post to AO3, but I don't like posting WIPs, unless I'm confident of the remaining chapters and don't plan on changing anything.

This begins in the late spring of 1918 - as yet I don't know how far I will take it.  The military/medical processes may well not be entirely accurate, but this is ACD Watson, and therefore, like his creator, I shall claim some licence.  And as I said, any comments will be appreciated (possibly ignored, but definitely appreciated).


It was in the late spring of 1918 )
smallhobbit: (Holmes Watson 221B)
I'm always happy to make new friends on Live Journal and [livejournal.com profile] okapi1895 joined the madness erudition which is [livejournal.com profile] sherlock60 which gave me the chance to get to know her.

Her request was "ACD, any pairing or not, slippers".

Demonstration Using Slippers
smallhobbit: (Mrs Hudson)
Today's ficlet is for my great friend and ally [livejournal.com profile] scfrankles who asked for "ACD Holmes; Broom Cupboard verse: Mrs. Hudson is locked in the broom cupboard"

Letter to Mrs Turner
smallhobbit: (Reichenbach)
This is for [livejournal.com profile] laurose8 who requested "For ACD Holmes: would your muselet - sorry, muse - find a pre-canon Christmas for Holmes interesting? I admit I first thought of Mycroft and Sherlock as kids; but if you'd rather go with Holmes as a student or starting as a detective, that's fine, too."

I liked the idea of having the Holmes' brothers enjoying a childhood Christmas, but struggled with the angle.  In the end I decided to write it as part of my "Sussex Retirement" series and insert Holmes' memories into the Christmas Day which Holmes and Watson spent with Seth and his family.  I hope this is okay.

Christmas Memories
smallhobbit: (Cat)
And much to the relief of all and sundry I am drawing to a close.

28: Have you ever collaborated with anyone else, whether writing together, or having an artist work on a piece about your fic?

I was about to say I've never collaborated with anyone, but technically that's not true, although neither was a deliberate case of collaboration.  The first was with [livejournal.com profile] debriswoman and The Giant Rat of Sumatra and the second with [livejournal.com profile] scfrankles and Watson's Diary .

I've written three Big Bangs so far and each has been illustrated, although I was definitely spoilt, having [livejournal.com profile] togsos as my first illustrator.


29: What is your current project or projects?

I'm still working on my latest Big Bang, which is progressing slowly but generally in the right direction.  I'm entertaining myself writing the next story in my ACD Sussex Retirement series: Now Winter's Here.  Of course, [livejournal.com profile] sherlock60 and [livejournal.com profile] fan_flashworks are ongoing.  And then there's The Twelve Days of Christmas ficlets - there are some slots still available, so if you want a ficlet please comment here.


30: Do you have a favorite fic you've written? What makes it your favorite? And don't forget to give us a link

It varies, because I am fond of many of them.  Who You Gonna Call? which I wrote in 2012, and which continues to receive kudos, is a Greg Lestrade/John Watson fic and my second highest kudo-ed fic.  I like it because it's classic hurt/comfort and the pairing worked so well for me.  (Strangely Five times Thorin made Bilbo swear under his breath and once when he swore loudly is my most highly kudo-ed fic - which shows what happens when I write a popular pairing in a popular fandom).

Of my recent fics, it has to be Nunc Dimittis which is ACD Holmes.  Although I also have a soft spot for two drabbles: The Segway, starring Toad from The Wind in the Willows and The Final Journey which is Stak Trek, original series.
smallhobbit: (Cat)
21: Sequels: Have you ever written a sequel to a fic you wrote, and if so, why, and if not, how do you feel about sequels?

I have.  Legacy was followed by Sick Leave because I liked the set up and wanted to write more of it.  Last year's [livejournal.com profile] smallfandombang story A Difference of Opinion is being followed by this year's story, in that it's set about six months afterwards.  And I suppose some of my series, "The Unexpected Family", "Co-operation" and "Sussex Retirement" are all in some ways sequeals.

Why do I do it?  I like writing in the particular 'verses I've created and feel there are further avenues to be explored.  I think this is particularly true for "Sussex Retirement" where, having created Holmes and Watson's cottage, gardener (and family) and housekeeper, I want to stay in their world.


22: Have you ever participated in a fest or a Big Bang? If so, write about your favorite experience in relation to one. If not, are there any you've thought about doing? And if not, why not?

Um, yes.  This will be my third year of Small Fandom Big Bang (all Lewis fics) and I also wrote for [livejournal.com profile] lifein1973 when they held one.  Over the last few years I've participated in a number of fests, both Sherlock Holmes and Lewis as well as Life on Mars.  My favourite fest had to be [livejournal.com profile] acd_holmesfest which I had great fun in both writing and receiving.

I've taken a step back from participating in exchange fests at the moment.  I've had experiences where what I've written hasn't been what my recipient wanted and equally I've received something which has made me wonder whether the writer has any idea of the sort of thing I like.  This year I have written a pinch hit for [livejournal.com profile] holmestice but here I knew who I would be writing for and at least this way they'll get something.  I also beta-ed/Britpicked four of the stories (it was busy last weekend!)


23: When you post where do you post to? Just your journal? Just an archive? Your own personal site?

My main choice for posting is AO3[livejournal.com profile] fan_flashworks are posted to their site first, as per their rules and then when the challenge is finished to AO3.  [livejournal.com profile] sherlock60 is again posted to their site, and copied to AO3, this year as additional chapters of Entries in the Marylebone Monthly Illustrated[livejournal.com profile] comment_fic entries are posted directly as comments, sometimes I will post to AO3 separately later.  And [livejournal.com profile] watsons_woes may be posted directly to the community or to AO3 depending on whether it's a rapid prompt response or something I've worked on.
smallhobbit: (Cat)
9: Pairings: For each of the fandoms from day two, what are your three favorite pairings to write?

Right, here we go:

Sherlock (BBC): Sherlock Holmes/Stanley Hopkins; John Watson/Greg Lestrade; Sherlock Holmes/Greg Lestrade (Unexpected Family 'verse)

Sherlock Holmes (ACD): Holmes/Watson (Sussex retirement 'verse); Watson/Lestrade; Holmes/Hopkins (Broom cupboard 'verse)

Lewis: Lewis/Hathaway also Lewis/Hobson

Spooks: Lucas North/Adam Carter plus Lucas North/Sherlock Holmes

Robin Hood: Guy of Gisborne/Much

The Hobbit: Thorin/Bilbo

Person of Interest: Finch/Reese

I think it's interesting that for both Sherlock Holmes canons a number of my pairings are specific to certain 'verses.  Also, despite apparently majoring in rare pairs, there are a few fandoms where I like the main pairing.

And while we're about it:

10: Pairings: Have you ever gone outside your comfort zone and written a pairing you liked, but found you couldn't write, or a pairing you didn't like, and found you could?

I think I write all the pairings I like.  There may be pairings I read but don't write, but I wouldn't say I couldn't write, just that I have no wish to.  I sometimes write Sherlock/John (BBC) as gifts for people, so I know I can write them, even if I don't ship them.  And then I've written a pinch-hit for Holmestice ...
smallhobbit: (Cat)
8: Do you write OCs? And if so, what do you do to make certain they're not Mary Sues, and if not, explain your thoughts on OCs.

Well yes, but to a certain extent, don't we all?  Unless you're writing in a closed world then there must be additional characters who play a part in the story.  Most of my case fics require a dead body (or two ...) who quite often have relatives or friends.  And then there's the perpetrator.  All of whom have to come from somewhere and really can't be the same as before, or we end up with the old joke "Shoot at will", "Will's getting very tired of being shot at."

These characters may have only a small part in the story and yet to an extent need to have some development, even if it's only "why he was killed" and "what made him a killer".  There are other characters who are important for a story and I suppose I show only what is necessary for that particular story.  In the Lucas/Adam story I'm currently writing Lucas has two members of staff working with him, Jason and Gary, who I suppose could be deemed partially Mary Sues, in that they are good at their jobs and are there to help Lucas.  On the other hand I show little else about them, they are no doubt complex characters (as we all are) but that has no bearing on the story.

I have one major OC, DI John Garrett, who appears in a number of my Lewis stories.  I wanted a second competent inspector in Oxford CID (yes, competency is a kink of mine) and so brought in (literally, he had recently arrived from Manchester the first time he appeared) someone suitable.  Again though, he is only developed as far as necessary for the plot.

My major OCs are ACD Holmes characters brought into BBC Sherlock fics: Victor Trevor and Stanley Hopkins.  Both are written because there are things I wish to explore in that 'verse where the canon characters don't provide sufficient scope.

One of the tropes I dislike most is that of the senior officer not being sympathetic to the junior officer/independent detective (or similar) and said junior having to achieve everything by working around them.  I prefer my seniors to be understanding of the intentions of the juniors, they may be restrictive in order to prevent further illegalities or through budget liabilities, but not downright obstructive.  They may also have good ideas of their own.  So I will create them if necessary.  And they won't need to have a terrible home life to compensate either.  This may be a Mary Sue, or it may just reflect what most of us are like; not brilliant at everything, not awful at everything, but somewhere in the middle.

And of course I couldn't finish a blog post on OCs without mentioning both The Ocelot and Mouselet.  Both of whom seem to have acquired lives of their own.
smallhobbit: (Cat)
3. For each of the fandoms from day 2, what were your favourite characters to write?

Okay, well, let's be a little selective.  Here goes:

Sherlock (BBC): Sherlock, John, Lestrade, Victor Trevor, Stanley Hopkins
Sherlock Holmes (ACD): Holmes, Watson, Lestrade, Mrs Hudson, Hopkins, oh and Mouselet and the Ocelot
Lewis: Robbie Lewis, James Hathaway, I'm also fond of DI John Garrett my OC
Spooks: Lucas North (no surprise there then!)
Robin Hood: Guy of Gisborne, Much
Life on Mars: Sam and Gene, but also Phyllis and Annie
The Hobbit: Thorin, Bilbo
Forever: Henry Morgan, Abe Morgan
Person of Interest: Finch, Reese and Bear
The Rake's Progress: Tom Rakewell, Nick Shadow
North & South: John Thornton
Almost Human: Kennex, Dorian
Winnie-the-Pooh: Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit, Tigger, Eeyore

And while we're talking about favourite characters, can I put in a plug for [livejournal.com profile] older_not_dead which is currently looking for prompts for Proptathon 22 "Elements", because it's those prompts I am using for Sussex Retirement my ACD Holmes/Watson retirement series.

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