December 5th, 2003


the different noise is banal

When I turn quiet, people friend me. There's a koan somewhere in there.

zvi_likes_tv asks: "So, I'm curious. Does anyone else have a story they can't let go? What's your template, what's the script that underlies everything? Or, if you don't have a story you keep telling, maybe there's a story you keep reading. Is there something that underlies all of your favorite fairytales and novels and television shows and fanfics?"

latxcvi, putting it a slightly different way: "What's the story you tell/believe in most strongly? Does that story influence the pairings - be they slash or het - you read most often? Or is the story you tell/most believe in different from the story you most like to read and if so, what do you think accounts for the divergence?"

I've wittered on before about the types of stories I'm inclined toward and tried more than once to boil what I like down to a template. But thinking about it from a folklore angle, I realized my story is Cinderella or, psychologically, the Cinderella Complex. Cinderfella, though--it's always slashy. So, call him Ash. The kindly prince rescues sad, abused Ash from the ashes, takes care of him happily ever after. It's sometimes a slave story--Cinderella was treated like a slave herself, debased, mocked, set to menial work. In the fairy tale, she's also grieving for her mother's death. "Ash" is usually just as fucked up, for different reasons. Broken, wounded.

The theme drove my first written story--an unfinished Trek piece where Spock got separated from the ship and wound up in some Thunderdome-style fight pit, drugged to a feral state, and was rescued and enslaved by a charming Klingon. In X-Files it turned up in my Krycek/Skinner stuff, along with Little Lost Fox, Fatherland, The Hustler. In Sentinel, Blair is Ash; Jim gives him a home and is the Sentinel Prince of Blair's dreams. The theme was pretty well submerged in my Sentinel stories though, I think; except for First of the Month and The Woods. In The Woods the theme is more broadly hurt/comfort, but that's still what the fairy tale is about. A rescue from pain into comfort. Stargate, as always, fits no pattern. In BtvS, it's an oblique theme in Sidelines, and then explodes messily and thoroughly in Subtleties, a story that closely matches about ninety percent of my unwritten fantasies in every fandom I've ever had.

My written stuff differs from my fantasies because I don't indulge myself as often as I could. If I did, I'd write nothing but slave stories all the time, or really boring stories where Xander buys a house and shops for furniture and brings Spike home, and they get a cat, and Spike cooks and Xander goes to work every day and Spike and Xander go to the neighbors' cocktail party and Spike and Xander watch TV and fuck on the couch. I can fantasize for endless, mind-numbing days at a time with no plot whatsoever, just moment after moment of sex and intimacy, but also of consumer porn that reveals my deep longing for hardwood floors and leather couches and, in simplest terms, money and leisure. I am completely in thrall to the Cinderella Complex. In my head, anyway.

On a sort of related note, koimistress recently wrote a post mentioning Virginia Postrel's The Substance of Style, which I probably should get a copy of, because that's the motto--style is substance!--I tend to bumpersticker on any subject that passes by.

In other news, I'd like it to snow, but Seattle is snowless. I chipped a tooth the other night. While I was sleeping. It's unfathomable. I should just hammer the whole mouth out and get dentures. I was on a writing rush, and then suddenly turned hormonal. Tonight I am slightly zombie. But I do have cake. I feel out of step with fandom right now. None of these thoughts are connected, by the way. But they don't deserve their own paragraphs. Also--no segue! no segue! no segue!--a coworker reminded me today of Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About, one of the funniest sites ever. Apparently he's gotten a book deal; the book is on Amazon. So many people seem to be doing that these days. Why am I such an underachiever? Why are my teeth splintering and exploding like shrapnel in my head? Where's my Prince Charming? Princess? Patron of Indeterminate Gender? What's wrong with me?

The cake and the whiskey will reveal the answers to these questions and many more, coming up next.