Late, of course. Which is my middle name these days, but I don't have to like it.

So, the last time I tried this I didn't make it past day 3. I doubt I'll manage this year, either, but hey, my New Year's Resolutions are as follows -

WRITE MORE. POST MORE. EAT LESS SUGAR. (About four or five years ago, when my life started going to hell in a handbasket, my eating habits went to hell with everything else, and sweet things have become my reward for getting through the day.)

Minor resolutions: Vacuum Your Damn Room. Exercise More, Your Body Will Thank You in Another 10 Years.

So! Here we go. Two days' worth of Snowflake meme-ing, then I get to read some fic. I started [ profile] hoggywartyxmas a few days ago (or some such - time is meaningless of late). Then Something tapped me on the shoulder and gave me a handbasket, and do you know what was in it? Go on, guess. I dare you.

Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner

Day 1

Post a rec for at least three fanworks you've created. It can be your favorite fanworks, or fanworks you feel no one ever saw, or fanworks you say would define you as a creator*.

You know, this one hasn't got any less embarrassing with time. I've posted so few fanworks, how can I keep talking about them? Fie on my writer's block.

1. The White Road My most popular fic, and probably the thing I'll be remembered for in my corner of fandom. I'm still pleased that I had the audacity to write a Snape/Harry fic from Lily's POV, because it taught me to love Lily. I'm also still happy that I played around with structure, even if it is a bit disjointed. I'd never tried anything like that before, and it was a serious challenge. And I still cherish that scene in the marsh reeds. And the moment when Snape holds his own hand. And Snape with his books.

Random bit of trivia: it never seriously occurred to me how incredibly squicky some readers might find the concept of a mother watching her son have sex. I guess I took the "voyeurism from the afterlife" idea, with its remoteness and hint of omniscience, a bit too much in stride.

2. The Blood of Stars, which is a work-in-progress and therefore not an ideal candidate for reccing. But this is, or will someday be, the angsty melodramatic romance fic of my heart, a thing I would once have scorned to write. It's likely that Snape and Harry are out of character here, very fanficcy and emotionally overwrought. And yet I'm determined to finish it because there's something personally compelling about it, scenes and moments I love and have spent way too much time designing. And it contains my favorite of all the endings I've ever written. (Yes, the end of the fic is finished. It's the frickin' MIDDLE that waits for me to have a decent life again, a life that contains writing.)

3. Well, now. From a WiP that's partly posted to a WiP that's not posted at all! Yes, this gets better and better. But I've recently rekindled my interest in the long version of a fic I wrote years ago for [ profile] snapecase, entitled "The Lost World" and inspired by the urge to mix fairy tale magic and morality into the Potterverse. I had many more ideas for it than I could squeeze into the word count limit, and a different end than I gave the fest version. The longer Lost World is a rather strange customer, overindulgent and convoluted, and as of this reckoning, it steals from Tam Lin, Goblin Market, Beauty and the Beast, Psyche and Cupid, and throws in a bit of the serpent in the garden as well. I suspect it's not a likeable story, and perhaps that's one reason I stalled out. But it's back on the table now, even if I've only managed to revise a few scenes. We'll see. I want to get this out in fannish space if only because I've wasted lavished so many hours and words on it.

*fanworks you say would define you as a creator

I'd say the only thing that defines me as a creator is that I have a fixation on Snape. Otherwise, how would you answer that?
We'll take it as read that I don't post much during periods of insomnia, but as I'm hoping to re-introduce the concept of sleep into my life this week…

In your own space, promote three communities, challenges, blogs, pages, Twitters, Tumblrs or platforms and explain why you love them.

Hmm, how to whittle down? I suppose I'll have to be satisfied with singling out one all-purpose shipping community, one fest, and one reccing com.

Let's begin with [ profile] snape_potter, dedicated to the pairing that brought me into fandom and Potterdom in the first place, the OTP I'm most passionate about. The site is run by the tireless and devoted mods [ profile] accioslash and [ profile] torino10154; they help keep the enthusiasm for Snape/Harry alive and provide the structure and incentive for fans to write more stories and produce more art. The com hosts several fests per year (for example, it just wrapped up the Secret Snarry Swap, which showcased a fantastic total of 64 entries), encourages posting and linking of Snape/Harry-related work, and occasionally opens up discussions and friending memes. It has been a lifeline to me within the larger fandom, and I'd be lost without it.

There have been and continue to be so many wonderful fests that the competition for choice is fierce, but at this point the one I look forward to with the greatest excitement and affection is probably [ profile] hp_beholder, originally founded by [personal profile] bethbethbeth and currently under [personal profile] delphi's expert stewardship. It's a gift exchange that challenges participants to explore the unconventionally attractive, often-overlooked characters populating HP. From the most unpromising material, the fest has spun a reputation for artistry, subtlety, excellent character studies, surprisingly persuasive pairings, and entries that run the gamut from raunchy and hilarious to sharp-witted and heartbreaking. It doesn't hurt, of course, that Snape is a recurring guest on the premises. If you were looking to convert an unbeliever to the protean talents within fandom, you could do worse than to drop them off the deep end into the backlog of our wonderful Beholder.

Since I'm mourning the imminent closure of [ profile] crack_van, I've decided to do a shout-out to its sister com, [ profile] crack_broom, which specializes in monthly recs for a wide variety of HP fanworks. I say "fanworks," although the community skews heavily toward fic (but then, so do I). Regardless, I love reading the tributes paid to various authors and artists, vidders and (recently) podficcers. I also love writing recs, and I've taken several turns on the 'broom for the sheer pleasure of serenading readers with my opinions. Every month a volunteer crew of reccers spotlights stories and art to share with the larger fanbase, urging the curious to take a chance. There are regularly featured ships - such as Snape/Harry - and looser categories for femslash, next gen, and rarepairs. I always enjoy hearing people talk about what they love and why, and [ profile] crack_broom is an ongoing forum created for the purpose of sharing that love. (Btw, they're in dire need of more reccers for the opening months of 2014!)

Day Three: Post a rec for at least three fanworks that you did not create )

In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you have created. It can be your favorite fanworks that you've created, or fanworks you feel no one ever saw, or fanworks you say would define you as a creator.

So I'm already behind! How is this possible? I say it's due to spending fourteen hours counting a store full of books and subsequently melting into the bathtub in a trance of post-tedium paralysis. Now I'm about to burrow into bed - I'd very much like to dig a hole and hibernate for the next 24 hours because dear God, there's yet more counting to do - but first I should start the year out right.

I've produced so few fan works that it makes me slightly uncomfortable to rec them; I'm better at reccing other people's stuff. I wish I had a somewhat wider field to choose from - why aren't I more prolific? - but in the spirit of breaking my writer's block, I pledge to finish a fic or two this year. In the meantime, here are my choices:

When the Rose and the Fire Are One, Snape/Harry, NC-17, ~81,600 words. It's not my best or my most popular, and it's probably more interesting to me than to most readers because it so clearly broadcasts what preoccupied me at the time. The fic is full of restless, infatuated energy poured into posing questions about loss and punishment and guilt in the context of the Potter world. I made Harry act out in anger, but I was frustrated with the role "love" had played in the series, so I mucked about with that as well. Plus, you know, imagery up the wazoo. And I was determined to figure out how to make Snape sexy if it killed me. Or, more likely, him. Anyway, this was my first attempt to get a handle on what fascinated me about this pairing. The summary, for once, really does tell you all you need to know.

In Infinite Remorse of Soul, Dumbledore/Snape, with a bit of Snape/Harry clouding the background, NC-17, ~10,700 words. I sometimes think I'm even more opinionated about Dumbledore than I am about Snape, and if you put the two together, I apparently enter a magnetic zone of moral ambiguity in which everyone behaves badly, and Dumbledore thinks floridly and in old-fashioned paradigms of sin and poetic justice. I had fun creating an interior landscape for him and even more fun stripping Snape back to his canon intensity and letting him destabilize everything in his orbit. Let's face it, any story where an author writes things like Albus spares a moment to note that Severus' fixation on Harry has acquired an element of dusty indecency, redolent of decomposing velvet, is clearly a story in which the author is wallowing in self-indulgence as happily as a pig in mud. I fumbled the ending, alas, but I still get a kick out of the surrealism of their afterlife showdown.

My third self-rec is a podfic, because I simply can't keep hawking the same old stories over and over, so instead here's something I enjoyed doing even though I'm not very good at it. It was a bit nervewracking to tackle voice recording on a completely amateur level and then offer it up for public consumption, but it reminded me of the benefits of trying new things purely for a lark. Actually, I'll rec both podfics I recorded, as I don't see myself ever repeating the experience, and this will suffice as a farewell wave. One is a reading of Covenant, a Snape/Harry wartime fic by [ profile] auctasinistra, and the other is Truth Beyond, a story about Minerva McGonagall and Rita Skeeter and the power inherent in self-control, beautifully written by [ profile] kellychambliss. Links to both lovely fics can be found in the header info.


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