ficnotes: lestrade/watson twofer

I recently discovered that one of my friends and fellow fic readers really 'ships the (relatively rare) John Watson/G. Lestrade pairing in the Sherlock fandom. So I thought to kick off my return to ficnotes post post-thesis vacation, I'd share two sweet additions to this particular tradition within the overwhelming amount of content out there providing us with all the Sherlock slash we could possibly want.

I'm serious. If you find a gap, people, someone somewhere has thought of it ... and if they haven't I encourage you to go off and fill it yourself!

look, lestrade thinks you should.
screencap from 'study in pink' (1:1) by telestrkoza
Anyway. Here are this week's selections.

First up, from the understated and reliably brilliant Miss Lucy Jane, a sweet and sexy one-shot (well, so far) about how Lestrade and Watson finally connect not only as pals but as something more.
Title: Those Boys with the Earthly Eyes
Author: Miss Lucy Jane
Pairing: John Watson/Lestrade
Author Rating: R
Author Summary: "Greg Lestrade kisses with his eyes open."
Length: 1 part, 1700 words
Available At: MissLucyJane.com.
And as a teaser:
He didn’t know why it seemed like the right thing to do, but it did, and he didn’t know why John closed his eyes and turned his face into the cupped palm instead of laughing and stepping back, which was what Greg expected. He felt the prickle from John’s evening beard and even the brush of his eyelashes as he sighed, and from there it was the simplest thing in the world to slide his hand to the back of John’s skull and step closer, press against that solid body and drop a kiss on John’s hair.

When John tipped up his head his eyes were still closed, so Greg kept his open. Someone had to watch this, remember it.
The second comes from author Elfbert, and is unabashedly a PWP. Who among us hasn't had the experience of being somewhere for professional development and just wishing we could be at home with our lover/partner/fuck buddy instead?
Title: Congress
Author: Elfbert
Pairing: John Watson/Lestrade
Author Rating: Explicit
Author Summary: "John is stuck at a medical conference. He's missing Lestrade... (Prompt from the [Sherlock] kinkmeme)."
Length: 1 part, 2,562 words
Available At: AO3.
And as a teaser:

He swallowed the last of his pint, pocketed his phone, his fingers ghosting over the plastic key card in his pocket, just to be sure. The lift seemed to take forever as it took him up through the building, finally depositing him on his floor. He walked along the silent, deserted, corridor finally stopping outside his room, moving to slip the card into the lock.

He jumped as hands slid around his waist and someone pressed against him from behind. There was a familiar scent, and a second later rough stubble scratched against his neck, lips brushing against his ear. "Suggest you get yourself in that room and into bed right now," Lestrade's familiar husky voice said.

"What are you…How did you…how did you know my room number?" John couldn't stop smiling, and tried to turn around, to see his lover.

"Amazing what a warrant card will get you," Lestrade answered, not allowing John to do anything but walk forward, the door closing behind them with a firm click.

"That's…" John let out a breath as hands roamed down his stomach and began working to undo his trousers. "That's…not legal, surely," he managed.

"No." Lestrade slid his hand inside John's trousers...
Can't believe it's the first of June tomorrow! Hope y'all are looking forward to a summer full of beach reading, fanfic included.


memorial day monday [photo post]

Hi all! I missed my planned Friday photo post because I was felled with a migraine (vomiting and all) and Hanna didn't have my login information, so there could be no cross-post. And then we were traveling over the last few days. So here's a belated photo post for the holiday weekend.

We drove back to Boston via Vermont Rt. 9 to Brattleboro, Vermont, to visit their lovely co-op. On the way over, we stopped at the top of Hogback Mountain and for the first time since Hanna's been taking me up there we weren't actually fogged in and I could see at least part of the famous "100 mile view." Hanna tried out the new panorama setting on our digital camera.

Here are the results.

For a little more on what we're doing today, post-unpacking, check out the post I just put up on Lyn's Friends Feast. And look forward to a special two-for-one fic post scheduled to post tomorrow.

Stay cool, everyone, and enjoy your week.


rainy thursday [photo post]

It's rainy in Michigan, but earlier in the week, during a quintessential bright, clear summer day (we spent part of it in the hammock), Hanna snapped these gorgeous sun-drenched photographs.

lemonjello's (Holland, Mich.),
the coffee shop where my sister worked in college

I'm not frowning, just squinting in the sun. Also, I look like my mom!
Brewery with bicycles (we bought some to take home)
Detailing from the facade of the building that once housed my bank
Marbles in the sun
Marbles in jars
Hand puppet
Loom in the window


wednesday in the woods [photo post]

Cross-posted at ...fly over me, evil angel....

As promised, photos from the Saugatuck Dunes. Photos by Hanna; selection and commentary by Anna.

On Sunday morning we went hiking with my (Anna's) parents

One of the major things I miss in the city is lack of access to the woods
Woodland violets
I also miss Michigan sand dunes
And the lake (I am hot & sweaty in this picture)
Root washed up on the shoreline
I wish there was a way for us to live & work in Boston
and still spend time here every weekend...


tuesday on twelfth street [photo post]

Welcome to part two of vacation photo posts, brought to you by Anna (text and composition) and Hanna (photographs). Cross-posted at the feminist librarian.

Toby takes a cat nap on the windowseat

Hanna's personal favorite: sunlight through the
French doors
Dinner preparations
Basil tomato pasta = yum!

The (uncharacteristically tidy!) dining room table
Up to the second floor (bedtime!)
Stay tuned for tomorrow's photos from our hike at the Saugatuck Dunes State Park.


monday in michigan [photo post]

Cross-posted at ...fly over me, evil angel....
Hanna and I are in West Michigan (Holland, to be precise) this week, visiting with my parents and various other childhood acquaintances. I haven't been back here since October 2009. Hanna hasn't been here ever. I'm showing her the stuff I remember, discovering with her the new stuff that's happened since I've been away, and we're enjoying not having to go to work for the week. We're watching Season Two of Life on Mars and catching up on the leisure reading.

As I write this, Hanna is sitting next to me at the dining room table reading a history of coffeehouse culture in Europe, 1600-1720. I've been learning all the ways in which the responsible coffee user was supposed to ingest his/her drug of choice at the time (an hour before and after ingesting food, at as hot a temperature as could be tolerated) and all of the wondrous effects it was supposed to bestow.

Anyway. Here are some pictures from our Saturday walkabout. On Tuesday I'll be bringing you photographs of domestic life at the Cook household and on Wednesday photographs from the Saugatuck Dunes State Park, where we went hiking on Sunday.

Later in the week, there may be more photos ... or there might be a Friday Fun video. We'll see what the vacation brings!

All the photos were taken by Hanna.

On Saturday morning we went to the local farmer's market

It was nice, after two days in the car, to be out walking.
Miquel Fuentes, age 11, on his cello.
The turtle in the cello case is named PeeWee.
This was an addition to main street since my last visit.
We purposefully missed Tulip Time but the flowers are still blooming.
Sailboat on Lake Macatawa (latter-day Swallows & Amazons)
Stay tuned for Part Two (Hanna's lovely photographs of the interior of my parents' home) tomorrow.


happy birthday joseph!

Today is my friend Joseph's birthday and I just want to wish him many happy returns of the day. We've known each other for almost fifteen years now, and even though we've rarely even lived in the same state -- at times not even the same country or continent -- there were stretches of time when we were close to the most important person in the other's life. It's priceless having friends like that, and I'm grateful every day to count you among them, J.
Rabbits are a threat to gardens everywhere
 and must be contained.
Joseph is working toward his PhD in horticulture at Michigan State and currently blogs over at Greensparrow Gardens, where he showcases his kick-ass flower photography, his gardening cartoons and (see above) his always-present sense of humor.

Looking forward to seeing you next week buddy!

vacation reading

Today, Hanna and I are setting out on a road trip to visit my parents in Michigan. We're driving because Hanna's ears have painful trouble with flying. Which means we'll be on the road for two days there and two days back, and we're staying about  a week in between.*

I'm gonna give myself the option of Not Blogging While On Vacation, so things might be lighter than normal around here until after Memorial Day. I already have a ficnote in mind for the Tuesday after the long weekend, so you can have that to look forward to.

I've been planning this vacation for a few months now which, by my way of planning, involves stockpiling books in a major way. Here are the titles I'm packing in the suitcase and hope to make time to read while we're gone.

Best Sex Writing 2010 edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel. None of the libraries around here had a copy and I finally had to resort to buying my own ... not that I'm sorry. The 2009 anthology rocked. I used a gift certificate from my friend Minerva to Trident Booksellers to buy this one and I'm really looking forward to checking out the roster of essays by Diana Joseph ("The Girl Who Only Sometimes Said No"), Brian Alexander ("Sex Surrogates Put Personal Touch On Therapy") and Betty Dodson ("Sexual Outlaws"), Violet Blue ("The Future of Sex Ed") and many more.

Feel Bad Education: And Other Contrarian Essays On Schooling by Alfie Kohn. Education and parenting activist Alfie Kohn is definitely one of my "auto read" authors, ever since I devoured his Punished By Rewards as a teenager (yes, I was that nerdy). This latest I ordered with a Christmas gift card from my uncle and aunt and I've been keeping it as a treat for after my thesis was finished.


releasing books into the wild

Through the great apartment clear-out of 2011, Hanna and I built a rather substantial stack of books -- mostly titles we'd acquired used on the $1 book carts in Boston, or have duplicates of from graduate courses, etc. -- that we no longer felt the need to own. Previously when this has happened, we've donated them to Goodwill or the local library book sale or sold them on at one of the myriad used bookshops (all good options!) However, this time around, we've decided to try releasing them into the wild via the online book sharing project BookCrossings.

Here is one of the books we're going to "release into the wild" in upcoming days.

This was a fun memoir by comedian Hillary Carlip that Hanna bought me for $1 last spring to read while I was on my research trip in Oregon. It was great airplane reading. Now we've given it a "BCID" code number and written instructions in the front cover for whomever finds the book (once we've left it somewhere) to go to the website and enter the code, logging where the book was found and then, hopefully, where the discoverer eventually releases it.  One of the most charming features of the site that I've discovered so far is the side-bar widgets that highlight books recently "released" and "caught" around the world.

Since this is a brand-new experiment for us, I don't have a lot more fun facts to add ... but after we've released our first batch of 21 books in locations here in Massachusetts, in Vermont, New York, Ontario, and Michigan, and they've been out running about for a few weeks I'll let you know what sorts of adventures they've been having. Stay tuned for the sequel!


ficnotes: heart in the whole

So here's the post that Blogger lost, re-created in its entirety thanks to Google Reader (and I thought I was being anal for scraping the RSS feeds of my own blogs...) ...
via questionsleftunanswered
So I was surprised a couple of weeks ago, looking over the ficnotes I'd written, to discover that I haven't highlighted the delightful, delicious "Heart in the Whole" by Verityburns yet.  I linked to it in my massive round-up of favorite fics over at Harpyness but at that point it was still a work-in-progress. Guess I just forgot to highlight it as a finished (and glorious!) thing.

Title: Heart in the Whole
Author: Verityburns
Pairing: John Watson/Sherlock Holmes
Author Rating: NC-17
Author Summary: Events after "The Great Game" leave Sherlock dependent on his best friend and colleague. But John has a secret of his own... Hurt/Comfort / Romance / Little bit of an actual plot!
Length: 20 chapters
Available At: Verityburns' LiveJournal. You can also access all of her fics and associated fan art through the index page.
UPDATE: The day after I posted this, Verity has released an audio version and "deleted" scene.

It's not really giving anything away to say that this fic begins with a Sherlock who has suffered some severe injuries following the explosion at the pool (immediately following the cliffhanger ending of "The Great Game" episode in season one). Sherlock and John are not, at the beginning of this fic, a couple, although John is mooning over Sherlock in quite a severe sort of way. Home from the hospital, Sherlock is crabby and physically damaged and, most crucially, temporarily (possibly even permanently) blind due to his injuries.

What ensues is a saga that's a scant one third mystery (tracking down Moriarty) and unabashedly two parts romance. John and Sherlock negotiate the new terms of their friendship, and the gradual recognition that they want something more intimately physical than either of them expected. This fic earns bonus points for the way it handles Sherlock's exploration of sensual and sexual touch with John, in this particular rendering something that he is not entirely sure he wants (or if so, on what terms).


blogger went phut!

So I had a fic post that went up yesterday and then disappeared because all of blogger disappeared. Now blogger is back, but the fic post is not (yet? we'll see).

Friday the 13th: Not just fiction anymore.

If it doesn't come back, I'll try to recreate it. Thanks for hanging in there!


I thought I was going to have a post for you today ...

... but I can see that isn't going to happen. I successfully executed my thesis presentation at yesterday's graduate student colloquium and as of today am a free woman (though still most certainly taken). And my brain is suffering from non-permanent brain death. So I'm taking Hanna up on her kind offer to let me plunder her Friday video posts for some stuff. Oh, and while I'm at it I'll plug a few of her own recent posts:

1. Happy Arbogast Day! | 2011-05-09 (on the character she would have saved from "Them!")
2. Rage Dump | 2011-05-07 (on reactions to Bin Laden's death)
3. Short Thought: Reason to Put a Book Down | 2011-04-11 (on sloppy thinking and factual errors)
4. Sitting Still | 2011-03-25 (on meditation practice)

And now for the fan vid. Enjoy!

Check back here Thursday for a new ficnote (I had one picked out and everything!)


harpy fortnight: post-thesis edition

Hi folks! It's time again for the round-up of Harpy links. I'm prepping my colloquium presentation for Monday, organizing my bookshelves (finally!) and the piles of paper on my desk, and cuddling my sick girlfriend while we watch crap science fiction movies (Tremors 2 anyone?) together ... so I'm not going to make the links list all that fancy. Please forgive!

The beginning of this past week saw a flurry of activity from the Harpies, including two posts from me:
  • While buying medicine at CVS for aforementioned sick girlfriend, I happened to notice a royal wedding-related headline that seemed a bit ... incomplete
  • I had the pleasure of reading Jill's now-(in)famous Filling the Gap post on Monday and cross-linked it here and over at Harpyness. While the Harpy link has less than a dozen comments (versus Feministe's 452 and counting), still worth checking it out if you've been following the conversation across the blogosphere to any extent.
  • On Monday, I posted a web video from Susie Bright discussing her stint as an editor for On Our Backs, the lesbian erotica magazine. 
And the week before that saw another three posts:
  •  A post about teens and sexting that turned into a thread that was half about teens texting and half about Sherlock slash ... and to round things of, the person whose interview I was critiquing stopped by to speak up. If you want to see how all these things came about, do stop on by to check out the comments! 
  • I posted the trailer for a new documentary from American Experience about Stonewall
  • And way back when, in the midst of thesis revising, a web video of a baby penguin being tickled. I made no claims for a substantive feminist critique on that one.
The other Harpies have been busy as well, writing about Canadian politics, the royal wedding, friendship etiquette, reproductive rights, and other tasty and timely topics. Head on over to Harpyness to check them out.

Hope all of you are having a good weekend and best wishes to ya as you head out into the week.


from the neighborhood: validation thursday

cross-posted from ...fly over me, evil angel... where I wrote this post for Hanna this morning.

So for some reason, this seems to have been the week from hell for a lot of folks. Here in our household, Hanna has the flu, which is why I've volunteered to break radio silence with a photo post so you don't think she's been, you know, abducted by Mulder's alien friends. Or something.


Anyway. Here are some pictures by Hanna from our walk last weekend along the Charles River Esplanade. May 1st, through some strange coincidence, happened to be one of the first truly gorgeous spring/summer days here in Boston -- and we took photos to prove it!

Even the sailboats were enjoying the weather
Joggers and walkers were out in spades; and leaves
are finally starting to fill out along bare branches.
About halfway along the walk, we found that someone
had been busy with chalk writing encouragements on the pavement.
Encouragements like this -- charming in their artlessness.
(And to be honest, moving as well -- that someone took the time.)
This was my favorite. The text reads:
"<-- DUCK. Don't be afraid to fail (even at drawing)"
This was Hanna's favorite. The text reads:
"Just keep swimming!" (and a picture of a fish)
All of which reminded me of T.J Thyne's little gem of a film, which really should be broadcast on a weekly (daily? hourly?) basis across all forms of media worldwide. Possibly then there wouldn't be so many people doing stupid things which make us sad. It's 16:24 and I swear it's worth it. Make time in your day. You'll thank us.

We hope to see you again next week for our regularly scheduled programming.


ficnotes: sensual ace

Last Saturday, Hanna, Minerva and I were talking about how difficult it is (the novels of Laurie King withstanding) to picture Sherlock Holmes as straight.

by berlynn_whol
M and H, who have far more by way of Holmes fan credibility than I do, maintain that Sherlock really only works as a character when depicted (in modern terms) somewhere long the homosexual-asexual axis. And even I know that, whether we're talking Arthur Conan Doyle canon or the most recent Sherlock television series, the relationship at the center of the Holmes universe is Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. So whether we're talking about homosocial friendship, homoerotic male friendship, homoromatic asexual sensuality, or whatever-the-hell we want to call it ... it's Holmes/Watson all the way.

Within the Sherlock Holmes fiction-writing fandom there's quite a bit of imaginative speculation over how a John/Sherlock relationship might look if Sherlock were asexual and John were, well, anything from straight but prioritizing his friendship with Sherlock to bi to fluid to gay (rarely asexual himself).  Today I'm bringing you one such imagining: a story in which Sherlock might be sexually uninterested in John, but sensually starving for his attention.

Title: Sensual Ace
Author: cagedwriter61
Pairing: John Watson/Sherlock Holmes
Author Rating: PG-13
Author Summary: "In which John finds out the real reason Sherlock does cocaine and agrees to become a substitute."
Length: 1 part, 2,403 words
Available At: LiveJournal.
Whether you find "asexy" Sherlock believable, or prefer to imagine that the physical contact in this story will eventually lead to more directly sexual things, I personally think this is a contribution to the body of fan-created literature that is one part heart-breaking, one part heart-warming, with a wee bit of humor thrown in for good measure.


required reading: jill @ feministe on "call-out culture"

Cross-posted @ The Pursuit of Harpyness.

I'm sending y'all on over to Feministe to read a post that Jill published this morning on the dynamics of "calling out" the "big feminist blogs" for being less-than-perfect on the issues you care about.
[In some ways,] online feminism is worse for wear. Part of that is what Florence is talking about above — blogs, and especially the “big blogs,” are perceived as institutions rather than collectives of people writing about something they’re interested in when they have time, in order to facilitate a conversation among like-minded people. With the perception of institutionalization comes expectations — that a blog will not only cover about what you think it should cover, but will also cover it in the way you think is most appropriate, using the words you think are the best. Which isn’t totally unfair, but which segues from potentially productive into poisonous when the method of conveying those expectations is Calling Out.

I’m as guilty as anyone else when it comes to partaking in feminist Call-Out Culture. Calling Out, I think, is part of any activist’s growing pains. We all want to do right. We all feel like we’re doing more right than some other people who we perceive as having more power (or influence or airtime) than we have. We all want to be a good _____: feminist, ally, woman, activist. Part of that, if you love an idea (and I think most of us do love the idea of feminism, even if we don’t always love how it plays out in real life), is saying something when you see someone else Doing It Wrong. There should be space for that. We should keep each other in check; we should all want to be better.

But in the feminist blogosphere, “calling out” has increasingly turned into cannibalism. It’s increasingly turned into a stand-in for actual activism. We have increasingly focused on shutting down voices rather than raising each other up. Pointing at the gap has replaced doing the hard, often thankless work of filling it.
I mean it: go read the whole thing.

thoughts on the death of a man

Hanna and I woke up this morning to near-ceaseless NPR coverage of Osama Bin Laden's death during an American military raid on his compund in Pakistan. I have a lot of ill-formed thoughts here, and reading through the blog posts that have gone up over night on the topic is making me rather sick to my stomach so this is not destined to be the most cogent of blog posts. But with all of the media speculation about what this means for the "war on terror" and with the coverage of celebrations of death that seem to be taking place across the United States, I feel compelled to point out

a human being died last night.

Yes, he was a sick and twisted person who was responsible (directly and indirectly) for the suffering of thousands upon thousands of other people.

Kind of like we, as a nation, are responsible for the suffering of thousands upon thousands of people due to the two wars we started ten years ago in retribution for the suffering we held this man responsible for.

And now here we are celebrating death in the streets.

I'm just not comfortable with that.

The first thing my mind presented to me this morning when I heard the news was a memory of hearing, ten years ago this coming October, that the United States had begun bombing Afghanistan in retaliation for 9/11. I was huddled around a campfire on a beach in Oregon among a group of folks with whom, for the past month, I'd been reading about the horrific things human beings do to one another in wartime.

It's hard to imagine bombing or invasion is the way to solve the pain of loss or to drive away the fear of vulnerability when the first thing that comes to mind is the seige of Sarajevo or the violence of South African apartheid or the war of attrition that is (to this day) taking place between Israel and Palestine.

It's equally hard for me to imagine that assassinating Osama Bin Laden will bring any sort of political or personal resolution to the violence of the past decade (and beyond).

A human being died last night.

The world that he (and we) created remains. There is still suffering, there is still inequality, there is still anger ... there will still be violence.

Adding to that violence will not make us safe.

And the purposeful killing any human being should never lead to dancing in the streets.

UPDATE: My friend eskenosen @ kai ho logos sarx egeneto has put it much more eloquently than I ever could:
I mourn with those who still mourn, after 10 years, the absence of their friends, coworkers, and family members. I understand those who celebrate the death of bin Laden as long-awaited justice.

But I also grieve for our nation, that instead of crying out to God in our shock and horror, we cried for bombs, for guns, for shock and awe. That a human has died, and people sing in the streets.


from the neighborhood: spring cleaning!

This being the first weekend post-thesis, I had the urge to clean. All that stuff that had been accumulating over the course of the winter months that we said to one another "we'll take care of that when ..." suddenly felt like too much and just had to go.

Even though this is a tiny apartment, we're going to have to tackle this in stages. Stage one was our closets, which basically double as our only form of storage apart from under the bed. In addition to cleaning, we also wanted to do the great changeover of winter-to-summer clothes and linens, putting away the flannel sheets and wool sweaters until next autumn.

Here's what we ended up gathering together for Goodwill.

At least most of it came from Goodwill in the 1st place?
And (yay!) here's what our spectacularly organized closets looked like when we were through:

TARDIS cross-stitch courtesy of Diana
You can see floor!!
 The cat was spectacularly unimpressed and thought we should be playing with her instead.

Unimpressed cat is unimpressed

We agree with Gerry that playing string is more fun
than spring cleaning any day!
Up next weekend: book organization and the kitchen cupboards!