the arch of the eyebrows gives it away

life, journaling, and Rufus

Hi, everybody!

I should start by saying that I won't be crossposting to lj after this post; why bother when I have this lovely dw account doing all the heavy lifting anyway?

How are you guys? I haven't talked much online for some time. Some of that is just life getting in the way - health issues and being unemployed again. I got laid off at the end of March and have been fairly depressed about being on the job market again. I know I should keep my chin up, but job-hunting is genuinely the worst thing I personally have ever had to do.

I haven't really been writing very much either. My whole team got laid off, and we were super busy up to the last minute, and I've sort of collapsed in exhaustion after that. I've been watching a lot of TV and reading a lot of books. The extent of my focus has been to track down and (re)watch as much as I can of my darling Rufus Sewell, who has been in my dreamboat hall of fame since Cold Comfort Farm. First it was Victoria, which reignited that fire in the first place, and then it was CCF, Zen, Middlemarch, and The Taming of the Shrew. He is absolutely lovely in all of those. I've kind of started taking notes to write in some of these fandoms, so that my WiP folder has stuff for Middlemarch, Cold Comfort Farm, and Victoria, as well as the long-gestating Steve+/Bucky story in which Steve has been in love with Bucky from the beginning, and Bucky has never thought of Steve that way (original, I know). I really do want to write all of these stories, so don't let me make any excuses!

And then today I felt pretty damn depressed, and I cheered myself up by making a vid for one of my favorite shows - Zen. It's a BBC production from 2011, three ninety-minute episodes with Rufus as a detective in Rome, looking absolutely splendid. Aurelio Zen is such a fantastic character; he's sneaky and funny and gorgeous and romantic and intelligent and plodding and wary all at once. Here's the vid:

Aurelio Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy from Innie Darling on Vimeo.



So that's what's up with me. Come chat if you're feeling up to it!

This same entry also appears on Dreamwidth, at http://innie-darling.dreamwidth.org/462177.html.
roman holiday: things are escalating

leading men

Hi, everybody!

I know I owe a million things to a million people, but let's put all of that aside just for a moment, shall we? Let's talk about some (unconventional) leading men instead.

First, like everyone who enjoys smart, interesting, adorable TV shows that are female-centric and have a primarily non-white cast, I'm watching Jane the Virgin. And this week's episode made some very big moves - so please only Collapse ) if you've already seen it. You can bet I'll be rehashing some of these queries around Yuletide.

Second, who else is watching/has watched Victoria on PBS/ITV? I DVR'd the early episodes simply because I used to teach Victorian literature and am fairly incapable of passing up anything to do with that particular era, and got the pleasantest shock I'd had in a long time to see my darling Rufus Sewell, dashing and lovely as ever, playing Lord Melbourne, the young queen's first and favorite Prime Minister. Man, he has aged well - his face is still as interesting and haunted as ever, which really suits his character's backstory (he's always been turned on by, and loved by, brilliant women - the one he married wrecked him utterly). Still, I couldn't help feeling like I'd seen him do this type of thing before, and it finally hit me that this must be very much like what he was like - nimbly finding that balance between the paternal and the romantic - when he originated the role of Septimus in one of my all-time favorite plays, Tom Stoppard's Arcadia. How I wish I could have seen that production (or at least some recording of it)! Septimus and Thomasina grow up to be Lord Melbourne and Queen Victoria - the parallel's not exact, but it's pretty close. (He's on stage in London right now, and I wish he'd come back to New York.)

Third, I saw Dear Evan Hansen again last night, and I came to the conclusion that the creators of this show might have written something perfect that only works in these particular circumstances, by which I mean with this leading man: Ben Platt (yes, Benji from the Pitch Perfect movies). He is extraordinarily talented. His acting was non-stop; there was not a single moment in which he checked out of all of the anxieties and horrors his character faces, and he had all of the gestures and coping mechanisms down. That probably sounds exhausting to watch, but it wasn't - it just felt real. (Though I'll admit that I was tense the whole way through and had to prevent myself from saying, "oh, honey" more than once.) And he has an astonishingly lovely singing voice that really suits the style of the songs. If you are in New York and/or visiting this year, make every effort to see this show.

This same entry also appears on Dreamwidth, at http://innie-darling.dreamwidth.org/461671.html.
shaking heart and lisping mouth, out of step, volcanic and sincere, mmmm jack

2016 theater (Lupita Nyong'o felt me up)

Hi, everybody!

I am beyond late with my posts about all of the theater I saw in 2016, and earnestly resolve to do better moving forward.

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In movie/book news, I've seen Riz Ahmed in so many things, but it took seeing images of him on a friend's tumblr to realize why I'd "recognized" him before - he's my dream-casting for Cardenio Richey (one of my two favorite characters from Sarah Monette's Doctrine of Labyrinths series). Who's with me?

How have you all been?

This same entry also appears on Dreamwidth, at http://innie-darling.dreamwidth.org/461450.html.
bright-eyed, adorable isn't even the word, holy cats, a little cutie pie

And Whether Pigs Have Wings [1 of 2] (Selfie: Charmonique+Henry, Henry/Eliza)

And, finally, here's the last fic I posted for this year's Yuletide, though the first I started writing, because I started it more than two years ago. (I went back and checked, and it looks like I started it around Thanksgiving 2014, a few weeks after the show was stupidly canceled, and one day after my other story in this fandom - The Perfectionist - was posted. I kept working on it sporadically and thought maybe I could get it done to post for my birthday, but since Yuletide assignments came out a week before my birthday, all of my ficcing energy went toward my assignment - this was the first year since I started this journal eleven years ago that I didn't have a story to post on my birthday.) I already knew and liked Ghostcat not just from her own extraordinary fics but also from her stellar work betaing a co-authored fic I worked on, and her letter asked for anything having to do with Selfie; she clearly missed the show like I did, and I knew from her kind comment on "The Perfectionist" that we liked the same things about the show. I asked blithers, who'd been such a champ in helping me with "The Perfectionist" to work her beta magic again, and she made me think a lot about the shape of the story and how to edit it judiciously; it's so much better than it was before. I had about 10K before I picked it back up for Yuletide, at which point I cut around 5K and various plotlines and then went from there. The title is from Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky" and was meant to get across that sense of "when pigs fly" that Henry has when he thinks about getting an amazing and devoted girlfriend (silly Henry - you're played by JOHN CHO!).

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As always, I'd love to hear what you think.

This same entry also appears on Dreamwidth, at http://innie-darling.dreamwidth.org/460926.html.
i'll have what he's having, all the world's a stage, the power of imagination

The Optics of These Eyes Behold Felicity (Captive Prince: Damen/Laurent)

While I was procrastinating on writing my longest Yuletide fic, I ended up writing a very short little ficlet in the fandom for C. S. Pacat's Captive Prince. I only started the series after the third book was published in the US earlier this year, and when I finished I thought that it was not a fandom I could imagine writing in, though I did want to try writing something fluffy and funny in which Laurent has to get glasses and is his usual charming self about it. Surprisingly, no one made that specific request, so I was free to write it as a ficlet and choose a recipient on my own. I picked dsudis out of all the people who requested Damen/Laurent Captive Prince fic because I like her writing a lot and also very much appreciate her AO3 icon. I got this done in about ninety minutes and then bookwyrm (from the beta list) did a great last-minute beta for me. I was surprised by the response this one got (particularly since it was a handwavy AU because I couldn't quite remember where all the characters finished the trilogy), but I guess the fandom appreciates fluff. The title is from Sir Thomas Browne's lovely Religio Medici, which was the only thing I could think of with the word "optics," and which I seem not to have used before (though I could have sworn I'd used RM in a fannish context previously).

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As always, I'd love to hear what you think.

This same entry also appears on Dreamwidth, at http://innie-darling.dreamwidth.org/460563.html.
sari, heavy-lidded

Sail Upon the Land (Six of Crows: Nina+Inej, Inej/Kaz)

I wanted to surprise musesfool with a fic, and since I only picked up Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom because of her, that seemed like the right fandom to write in. I creeped on vic's journal and found that ryfkah was a frequent commenter on all things relating to the SoC series and so I asked her to beta for me, and she proved to be wonderfully insightful. Except for how needlessly young all the characters are (while acting like they're in their thirties at least), I don't have a single significant complaint about these books - they're a great read and you'll enjoy them a lot. The title is from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, which I was looking at because I remembered the bit where Titania is reminiscing about her pregnant handmaiden, whose belly has swollen like a sail catching the wind, and that image of a ship's full sails was important to the last section of this story and also to situate Inej properly. (A fun fact that is fun only to me: three of the five stories I wrote this year for Yuletide, including this one, feature waffles, specifically friends strengthening their bonds over waffles. I love waffles - maybe I should be on the Satellite of Love.)

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As always, I'd love to hear what you think.

This same entry also appears on Dreamwidth, at http://innie-darling.dreamwidth.org/460311.html.
lusty, mf you mf, good enough to eat, stays on task

Eating a Peach (Push: Nick/Cassie, explicit)

The next story I wrote was in the Push fandom, and I recruited the person who got me into that fandom - that dirty, dirty enabler musesfool - to beta for me. The recipient, caphairdadbeard, seemed to want what I want from Push fic, namely Nick and Cassie sexing each other up when Cassie's just a bit older. I figured I could write that, and I have to say, I really like how this piece turned out - Nick feels authentically crazed and turned on by her and Cassie just keeps moving forward. Vic helped a lot by making me reconsider the ending and then misjudged how absolutely shameless I am when she jokingly suggested a title having to do with eating peaches (it makes sense within the context of the story, but if you need a spoiler for a story that's less than two thousand words, check out the icon).

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As always, I'd love to hear what you think.

This same entry also appears on Dreamwidth, at http://innie-darling.dreamwidth.org/460036.html.
i'm a janeite, women's work, shapely sentences, a room of one's own

Fork That Clown Nook (The Good Place, Eleanor + Chidi)

Hi, everybody!

It's been a pretty great New Year's weekend thus far - highlights include finishing reading the Yuletide collections, watching two classic eps of The X-Files ("her name is Bambi?"), catching the "Whacking Day" ep of The Simpsons, and spending a lot of time in the kitchen. I've cooked a big batch of black-eyed peas, made up a recipe for peanut-butter/banana/oatmeal loaf, and shelled four pomegranates. And the lazy day continues tomorrow! Whoo-hoo!

So, now that reveals have happened, let's talk a little about Yuletide. As I said, I wrote five stories, but before we get there, let's take a look at the astonishingly good story that ChibiSquirt wrote for me: Not the Worst Story I Know [Sarah Monette's Doctrine of Labyrinths]. It's Mehitabel, set when she's Stephen's consort, asked to play Porphyria Levant on stage, and so of course she starts thinking about the obligation d'âme. And that triggers her to think about Mildmay and what she thought of him then and what she thinks of him now that it's over between them, and just trust me, the story is SO smart and SO good and sounds just like Tabby.

I only hope that my recipient natacup82 felt half as pleased with what I wrote for my main assignment. It was for The Good Place, a show that has - in the space of only nine episodes so far! - continuously reinvented itself and moved every moving piece and some I thought would be fixed. If you haven't yet seen the show, you're missing out (though I'll admit that the first ep, which does a lot of table-setting, was a bit of a slog). I got lucky in that the show went to some very interesting places and resolved some questions while raising others, and then in early November announced that it was on hiatus until early January (it comes back this week!), so I had plenty of time to get my bearings and start to write. I wanted to try to hit the balance between being bad and getting better that Eleanor is negotiating plus uncertainty about what she wants her relationship with Chidi to be and what it even is right now. I had a lot of fun writing it. My girl htbthomas did a great beta on this (and I got to return the favor when she picked up a pinch-hit in the same fandom).

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As always, I'd love to hear what you think.

This same entry also appears on Dreamwidth, at http://innie-darling.dreamwidth.org/459905.html.