I was looking at torch's whoa meme the other day--ten fan-fiction stories that made her go whoa. She wrote this, like, away from the computer. Using her brain without recourse to battery packs or auxiliary databases. I find that amazing. I can't imagine remembering ten stories off the top of my head. Or if I did remember any, they wouldn't necessarily be whoa stories, or even favorites. They'd just be stories that reached some fannish critical mass to become lodged in my brain.
Okay, I can maybe think of one, "Love is Blind" by Avalon, a tingle-making Spuffy story that captures one of my favorite Spikes, a vampire who overcomes his own nature to serve as a slayer's champion.
Instead of being usefully fannish, I went looking at my Amazon Wish List just now, and thought I'd list ten not entirely random things from that. Which is...perhaps not very interesting, as--being on my Wish List--they're mostly stuff I haven't actually read or listened to yet. But who cares. I want to kill some time here, damn it.
1. Daisy Summerfield's Style: Okay, this is an exception. I read this book when I was very young, and was searching to see if my memory of the title was accurate. I'm not actually wishing hard for this, as it's out of print and used copies are surprisingly overpriced. This was a story about a girl who was, I think, on her way to college, and she sees this art student, a free-spirit type. The girl wants to step out of her own life, so she switches labels on their suitcases and, er, goes to art school in the student's place. As I type this, I'm wondering how the hell she pulled that one off, but never mind. I don't why this book stayed with me, but it must have had resonance--the only real detail I remember is a description of carving soapstone. Even now the sensuality of that seems almost erotic. But then, so much of art is sensual. I love art rooms and everything about them. The smell of turpentine and fixative, paint daubs hardening on tables, the dusty hang of chalk and pastels in the air, charcoal grit on your fingers, rough drawing paper, watercolors splashing from the brush, oil paint squeezed out like brilliant slugs. It's all good.
2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Once More, with Feeling: I have three copies of this, so yeah. Wanting another is pretty sad. But the cover art is so pretty!
3. Why We Buy: This looked interesting. Quote from the review: "In an effort to determine why people buy, Paco Underhill and his detailed-oriented band of retail researchers have camped out in stores over the course of 20 years, dedicating their lives to the "science of shopping." Armed with an array of video equipment, store maps, and customer-profile sheets, Underhill and his consulting firm, Envirosell, have observed over 900 aspects of interaction between shopper and store...."
4. You're an Animal, Viskovitz!: This looked wack. Go check it out--read the description, and then click to read a tiny excerpt.
5. The Queen is Dead: A Story of Jarheads, Eggheads, Serial Killers and Bad Sex: It's the purchase of things like this which make my personalized recommendations very interesting. I don't even know what the fuck it's about. But how can you go wrong with a title like that? (After that on my list is It's a Queer World: Deviant Adventures in Pop Culture.)
6. Reading the Vampire Slayer: An Unofficial Critical Companion to Buffy and Angel: Enough said.
7. The Nanny Diaries: I'm a woman of certain age and disposition to whom the marketing bobs direct genre novels of humorous single-gal angst. Sad, isn't it?
8. I Bificus by Bif Naked: One of many, many CDs where I know and like one song by the artist but am not sure I'll like the rest, even from the song samples. So I try to find a copy in a used CD store and fail, and the CD ends up sitting on my Wish List forever, because I'm not going to shell out even a measly $5-$7 for a used copy until I'm more convinced it's a sure thing.
9. Bone in the Throat: I thought Bourdain's memoir Kitchen Confidential was a hoot, but have never been sure if I want to try his fiction. Also never think to try and find a browse copy in a bricks-and-mortar bookstore.
10. A Year at the Movies: One Man's Filmgoing Odyssey: By Kevin Murphy, of MST3K fame. The guy did nothing but go to the movies. For a year. Bastard. Well, okay, he set out to see a movie a day for a year, which is perhaps something slightly different. But still. I want to be the kind of person who can pitch this to a book company, get an advance, and then loll back in a darkened theater day after day, watching pop cultural trash. Of course, I'm just imagining a scenario now--he probably operated on a far less cushy spec. And would I get sick of movies after a year? It'd probably begin to feel like a job. And that'd just be sad. But I'd like someone to pay me to do nothing but read fan-fiction for a year, and then crit it for publication. Now that would be cool.