Plot? What Plot? (Fanfiction Specific Genres)

I started this collection with one of my very favourite fanfiction-specific genres to write. (Hurt/Comfort.) I’m continuing it with one that I rarely write – not necessarily because I don’t like it, but honestly because once I begin I tend to fail in the execution.

PWP is a pretty simple concept – it stands for Plot? What Plot? and is basically used to signify this story was written for the smut it contains. (I sometimes see the acronym broken down as Porn Without Plot as well.) A PWP story is one that was written, generally, with no other goal than to show two (or more) characters having sex. (Possibly incorporating various kinks.)

Where I generally fail is not at writing smut, but at writing smut with no plot or background story. I don’t really mind – personally I find stories with plot/background included far more interesting than straight-up PWPs the majority of the time – but that’s typically how it works for me. I don’t really try to write PWP stories any more. When I did it was typically in my ‘you should write what everyone expects’ phase. (Oh, the bumpy road of being a baby writer. A journey I’ve talked about a little here.) Continue reading

Advertisements

Managing Anxiety – When Doing Everything Right Still Isn’t Enough

As you may know – I’m not too terribly close-mouthed about it, at least in some respects – I have a list- well, a tangled knot of . . . emotional problems, or mental illnesses or disorders or what the hell ever the ‘correct’ term is. ‘Glitches’, as Captain Robert Brown said last week.

Chronic depression, several flavours of anxiety disorder (probably social anxiety is the one that rears its head the most, though they’re messily interlocked), a handful of other things. I mostly have a handle on them, these days. Mostly without pharmaceutical assistance. That doesn’t mean that they’re not a problem, that I’m ‘cured’, or that I don’t have bad days. It means . . . I know some ways to manage myself and my problems and stay functioning. I have an excellent, though small, group of people who are awesome and supportive to whom I can say ‘I am facing this everyday task and I want to cry thinking about it’ or ‘the thought of going to this necessary event makes me feel like I’m about to throw up’ and they understand, even if not from the inside. They encourage and comfort and never say things like ‘there’s no reason to be upset’ or ‘nothing bad will happen just calm down’. (I understand the people who offer these are trying to help; it doesn’t.)

Recently I got a rather unpleasant reminder that ‘I have figured out how to handle my problems’ doesn’t mean ‘I can negate the ill-effects of my problems’. Continue reading

Easy (and Rich) Beef Soup

aka Throw-It-Together Beef Soup

I created this recipe – by which I mean I literally threw it together mostly as I went along, starting about an hour and a half ago. I’m writing up this post while I sit here devouring a bowl of the deliciousness.

I had a hunk of beef (london broil) in my fridge which was originally meant for other things, then as of yesterday when I realised I wasn’t up to cooking it (I’ve somehow injured my shoulder; basic things are a bit tricky right now) for the freezer. It never made it there, I realised this morning, so I improvised dinner out of it.

This is a ‘liquidy’ style soup, which tend not to be my favourite (partly because the broth is often thin or flavourless) but this one is wonderful, with a nice rich liquid that isn’t too much. It was also, aside from chopping everything for it, really easy to throw it together.

It’s proving a good meal to round off the end of a rather stressful day. The end of the ‘doing’ stressful, anyway – I’m currently waiting for a storm to hit and hoping it isn’t too bad of one.

Continue reading

Introduction to the Music Shuffle Challenge

Photo credit epicfireworks; permissions: CC BY 2.0.

March has been incredibly busy for me – partly because of a writing project I undertake every March (which I’m going to talk about here) and largely because of much more boring and horrible nonsense (which I shan’t mention again).

March is Music Shuffle Month for me – a challenge I established for myself in 2010.

Music Shuffles are one of my favourite writing challenges in and of themselves, actually! They’re great for people like me who enjoy writing to prompts, but also like being able to go off and follow however the idea branched with no idea how it related to a prompt. Of course, I also love music (and having a large music collection makes this challenge even more fun and/or unpredictable).

I don’t, however, run the challenge the way I originally found it. I tried that once and decided some of the rules needed to be shifted a little to make it more workable for me. So here are the rules as I use them!

Continue reading

Apple Spice Scones

Even if you don’t generally like scones, you may like these – or so I am informed by several people who tried them with varying levels of wariness.

The recipe is pretty thoroughly of my own creation, though its inspiration did once upon a time come from one I found online. I stumbled across it and decided to make these ‘apple scones’ and take them along to a movie night with friends. Only I wound up twisting and altering the recipe far more than I usually do the first time I make something. Baker’s intuition . . . and I was playing, honestly. I do love to bake!

One friend at that movie night was dubious, and the other actively knew she had never liked scones. Both bravely tried these anyway. Two scones made it home with me for breakfast the next morning. The one who did not like scones is one main reason why this recipe stuck around my kitchen and was further played with and finessed into its current form – and if I go too long without baking them, occasionally I get puppy eyes.

These scones are moist and sweet (but not too sweet) and spicy, but not overpoweringly so (unless you decide to double or triple the spices, which the recipe can stand up to just fine). You may like them with butter, but I never serve them with it, they are moist and flavourful enough on their own.

Continue reading

Museum Heist – (Story for a Flashfiction Challenge)

Once again sharing a flashfiction story written for a challenge some time back – this one was the first I wrote for one of Chuck Wendig‘s weekly flashfiction challenges, back in March of 2013. (The challenge was Super-Ultra-Mega Game Of Aspects.)

There was a limit of 2,000 words, which I met precisely, and five challenge parametres to be selected from at random, which are noted below the story.

Summary: What happens when a werewolf and a vampire break into a museum to steal a priceless artefact?

WARNING: This story contains explicit sexual content and somewhat graphic, if brief, violence.

Continue reading

Romance as a Genre (Original Fiction vs. Fanfiction)

I was drawn into a discussion about reading (and writing) genres recently, and it made me think (of course). The line my thoughts wandered off to the most strongly, however, was romance – it’s never been a genre that captivated my attention for long, personally.

(If I am reading a novel that is pure romance, I tend to get bored. Or sometimes the characters just aggravate me. Or I just . . . can’t get caught by the story.)

When I read novels with a romance element, they often need something else happening to keep my attention – that’s a personal thing, not a slight on the genre – so when I do, I tend to read paranormal romance, or mysteries a romantic subplot, etc. The romance can be a heavy part of the plot, but I have to have something else unfolding to tangle out as well. This is almost certainly due to the most common executions of novels in the genre, rather than an artefact of the genre itself.

I am also very, very sensitive to fremdschämen (even/especially on the behalf of fictional characters) and embarrassing or silly situations seem to be something of a staple of the romance genre, unfortunately. If I read a confrontation that makes me want to hide my face and shove the book under a pillow, I may be discouraged from enjoying the story.

All those things might make one think – not unreasonably – that romance doesn’t feature very prominently in my own writing. That assumption would be drastically incorrect – there is almost always at least some thread of love or romance. Sometimes it is close friends, siblings, etc. not always a romantic love, but those kinds of personal interactions draw me as being incredibly interesting (some of the most intense of human emotion and expression bloom from the centre of love).

Continue reading