red_satin_doll: (Default)

Click on all images below to view full-size (They don't look at all right downsized. 'tis most distressing.) All artwork by me unless otherwise noted.


Gift from my amazing friend and a jewel of this fandom [ profile] spikesredqueen for my birthday (Feb 2015, not snaggable)


"Winged Buffy" banner, a gift from the fantastically talented and generous [ profile] comlodge, (June 2013, not snaggable)

*My LJ is Hugs Central (mostly.)  Appropriate and consensual ones, of course. Safety and fun are at a premium here, so play nice with one another. Leave the weapons at the door, wipe your feet on the mat, and help yourself to some tea and homemade cookies.
by any other name 700square any other name. (June 2014)

* Buffy is my Big Damn Hero and my #1 HBIC - because she's flawed and human and real. Because she loves deeply; she falls down but still fights, she grieves and endures, again and again. Because she breaks the rules and finds another way; because of her intelligence, intuition and wit. Because in watching her I identify with my own issues and strengths, and have a renewed appreciation for my mom as well.

* Because in talking about her with other fans, in telling my story through her, in voicing my truth, I discover that I'm not alone in my challenges, faults, and grief; that I don't have to be imprisoned by secrets and shame; and in sharing this, I can bring comfort to others. And because at the end of the day, Buffy gives me hope; and sometimes that's enough to make getting out of bed in the morning worthwhile. And because she is just so freakin' adorable, y'all.



Keep Her Safe (alt 1) (March 2015)

* I love intelligent discussion of , and appreciation for , the ladies of the verse and their complex interrelationships  at the core of the 'verse: mothers, sisters, mentors, students, friends, lovers, enemies, allies. The Buffyverse without it's women would be a cold, barren place:  ("that bright optimism that becomes a great, raw wound-red in The Body" - [ profile] the_royal_anna ). They bear witness to one another, the hurt one another when they don't mean to, they love even when it's difficult and painful to do so.

* And yes, this also includes Kennedy. No vitriol. No joke.  (Tara would not approve of the hate. A lot of the complaints I've seen about her are suspicously close to those lobbed at Buffy, btw.) Entitled? Yes. Arrogant? Uh-huh - and also loyal, courageous, stubborn and gentle. She's a "queer woman of color..that is allowed to be the hero."

* The Buffy & Tara friendship/connection is one of the most underappreciated aspects of the 'verse IMO. This WILL be rectified. I don't ship Buffy/Tara, but if that's what it takes to get fandom talking about them? A fangirl's gotta do what a fangirl's gotta do. (ETA 2014: I have seen the light of the true religion: Buffy/Tara shipping. I ship those girls so freakin' hard. Now say amen, somebody.)


My OTF/P (August 2014)

*In fact, let's just say "No bashing female characters, period." There's plenty of other places to do that, if that's your thing. The show's failures in terms of the depictions of women, of female sexuality, the lack of mature female characters, the massive fail in terms of race and class? Always up for intelligent, civil discussion and examination.
* OTOH, I do reserve the right to bitch about call out their shit criticize objectively analyze and take issue with certain whiny, self-absorbed males on the series and their collective patronizing jackassery. Don't get me wrong, I can understand them, sympathize with them, and so forth. Xander trying to be a "better man" than his father? Even when he gets it wrong? I heartily approve. (I'll still call him out on his shit, though.) It's simple math: Grow up, get real or go home. Also I welcome any and every opportunity to make fun of Angel.  Particularly when penguins are involved.  As well they should be.


I Walk Alone, another beautiful gift from [ profile] comlodge based on her FFL picspam series for Round 18 of [ profile] seasonal_spuffy.

* I 'ship Buffy&Spike S7 . Love in action is the hardest, most painful and most worthwhile work we can ever do - and IMO it trumps "true love" romantic fantasies every time. (That said, I fully support the right to ship Buffy with anyone you damn well please.) But he is not my central focus here. Nor are any of the men of the 'verse, except in terms of how they serve Buffy's story.  It turns out the protagonist of the "Buffyverse" is some gal named Buffy.  Weird, huh?
red_satin_doll: (Summers Family Portrait S5 RSD)
This post will be updated frequently.  I'm including some examples when possible because a picture is worth a thousand words.

UPDATED 05 July 2016:

[ profile] colorfilter - Their big 40 pack of icon textures (download link at Facebook here) is still the one I use most often and I haven't begun to scratch the surface of the hundreds of textures within. Also check out the pack of larger 800x600 textures. You can also find the sets posted individually on their journal. I've posted a few more examples of my icons using these textures in the comment thread here.



[ profile] texturize - (Many thanks to[ profile] teragramm for rec'ing this community) One-stop shopping for anyone interested in creating and sharing textures. Be sure to read the comm's very informative "Bible" (guidelines) before posting or snagging. Most of the artists post links back to their graphics journals or to Deviant Art.

[ profile] lookslikerain at [ profile] soaked. I've used more of their textures than anyone's except [ profile] colorfilter's:

      icon for fanfic Ipseity by spuffy luvr 2015     15-20

[ profile] whitebamboo:


[ profile] jordannamorgan at [ profile] wolfbane_icons


[ profile] scoobyatemysnax at [ profile] burnedbreads - includes tutorials.  A tremendous variety of textures including soft glow, grunge, frames, abstract and geometric patterns in any one given set. I like their medium (300pixels) square textures for icons.

      25 - 30

 * [ profile] broken_places The graphics journal of [ profile] akilah92

* Evey-V at DeviantArt I like Ericka's soft, painterly, abstract textures, gradients, and text brushes:

consequences0128icon1.3e.png 31

 * [ profile] sweetiepebbles Gallery of icon textures and bases at DeviantArt
 * Yeonseb at DeviantArt Vast supply of textures and application resources
 * [ profile] spiritcoda - [ profile] creativehangout is their LJ graphics gallery, or check out their DA gallery; some exceptionally pretty textures

 * FRAMEs & BORDERs for use - Flickr image sharing group
 * Your Picture Frames - Most of the icon frames in my awards banners come from this site.
 * Victorian Frame Company - Mostly HQ photos of antique-style wood frames with carved detail, includes unusual shapes such as rounds, oblongs and hearts:

  32 - 33

SCREENCAPS for Buffyverse
[ profile] slayerstillness has a list of Screencap Resources for BtVS and AtS, including all the ones I use most frequently; if you know of
any not on the list, send the links to [ profile] starry_night. Some of my favorites from the list:

  * Pretty as a Picture complete screencaps for BtVS and AtS plus promo photos for Buf (ETA: 12/21/15 site currently defunct)

  * Bloodqueen has all seven seasons of BtVS complete, is one of my primary sources

  * Leave Me the White by [ profile] _jems_  Spuffy-centric so no S1 or S3 caps and the remaining seasons are incomplete; but some of the best quality
     caps of the series I've found. (S2 is the most complete with 14 episodes capped.) Includes Dailies for Smashed and Dead Things.
     S7 is spread out over three albums including two Miscellaneous albums.

 * Buffy in HD ON Facebook Fan analysis of the problems with Fox's recent "HD remaster", galleries of screencaps, edits, comparisons

 * Shadow of Reflection also has all seven seasons; quality if variable. The early seasons caps compare favorably with
     Bloodqueen's; the later seasons are strangely distorted.

 * WiP; S1-2 of BtVS are complete; plus one file of promo shots from S1 and the screencaps for Bargaining.
     Appears to be using a new cleaned-up source for it's caps (the so-called "high deflnition" version.) Has a lot of screenshots that
     may not exist elsewhere, but can appear slightly compressed or distorted.

  * The Chosen Two Gallery high-quality promotional and marketing images and magazine shoots of all the major and most of the
     minor characters/actors in BtVS, AtS and Firefly.

  * Kiss Them Goodbye Seasons 1 - 2 complete, partial season 3; also appears to be working off newer DVD's or Blu-ray sources but
      the images tend to be more pixilated than other sources.

  * promo-pictures on tumblr  

  * Buffy Universe and Angel DVD caps

Individual Cast Members Fansite Galleries:
   * Sarah Michelle Gellar France - What it says on the tin. One of my favorite fansite galleries for all things SMG and constantly
     updated. Photoshoot albums sometimes identify the magazine and the original photographer.
   * Glamorous SMG - online since 2003, another fairly comprehensive source.
   * Captivating SMG - relatively new (since 2013), it divides the Photoshoot section by years, which few sites do. Galleries for Sarah's other tv
     series still incomplete or empty as of this writing.

   *Marc Blucas Source
  * Michelle Trachenberg Web

For other fandoms:
  * All movie/tv caps on Leave Me The White. Extensive collection including Grease, Amelie, Dangerous Liasons, Terminator; Parks & Rec, Veronica Mars etc.
  * Genre Caps HQ screencaps for several fantasy series: Jessica Jones and other Marvel series, Doctor Who (New Who); OUAT, Outlander, etc

* The British Library offers over one million royalty-free digitized images from their vast archives going back to the 17th century.
* The Brooklyn Museum of Art happens to be one of the best art museums I've ever visited. If I had to choose between a visit here
   and the Met, go to Brooklyn. In the meantime, their online collection has a stunning array of images.
* The New York Public Library Digital Collections Thank you [ profile] petzipellepingo for the heads-up!
* The Graphics Fairy and the Background Fairy - the wonderful team at Graphics Fairy provide thousands of free large HQ images
   adapted from antique and vintage greeting cards, labels, valentines cards and assorted emphemera, DIY tutorials, craft projects,
 * morgueFile
 * StevenJamesMorris at DeviantArt

 * [ profile] good_tutorial What it says on the tin. The last post was 2013 but still plenty of useful information

red_satin_doll: (Buffy Casablanca Poster v1 poppy wreath)
1) For [ profile] slayerstillness Challenge 60 vote for your favorite icon for the third place position.

BTW, did you vote at [ profile] btvsats20in20 Round 15 yet?  Good.  Now have you signed up for Round 16 yet?

2) And by the by, did you know that [ profile] dragonyphoenix posted the artwork she commissioned from me for her excellent Anya/Snap crossover fic, The Letters (84 Charing Cross Road)?  (TTH post here.) But you will have to read the story to find it because  it's intergrated into the text. And FYI, the actual text of the artworks is entirely her concept. I just followed marching orders.

At AO3 she also included a marvelous story banner by Restfield aka [ profile] rbfvid.

3) My friend [ profile] kerkevik_2014 has been writing up a storm - a very quiet storm that snuck up on me and took me entirely by surprise.  His latest is a Buffy/Faith fic, "Casablanca" (not to be confused with [ profile] shapinglight's fic) that is poignant and mournful and like all of his work is a prose-poem unlike anyone else's.

Last year I sort of asked him to write Buffy more often (actually I may have whined about it a little, but never mind that.)  He's come through while remaining true to himself in his own beautiful way.  This story is actually part of the birthday gift for [ profile] elisi, the 22'verse that includes stories of Spike and Illyri, Riley Finn, Xander and Buffy, etc. Also worth a look - a charming, gentle Tara, Dawn fic (post The-Gift): Like Seeing Your Very Own Self Looking Back at You.

See, not every post I put up is longer than the Constitution. Some are only as long as the Gettysburg Address. "Short and sweet" is a relative thing.
red_satin_doll: (Buffy Casablanca Poster v1 poppy wreath)
A collection of "random" pieces I have loved this year - click images or go to original links to view full size:
(ETA: This was a post that was meant to go on the [ profile] buffyversetop5 and I hit the send button a couple of minutes too late. *Note to self: learn time management techniques!*)

Gift to me by the amazing spikesredqueen February 2015
1) Birthday Banner for me by [ profile] spikesredqueen (February)
SRQ knows my love of the Buffyverse ladies. This pairs beautifully with [ profile] teragramm's WInged Buffy banner, no? And well-done manips never fail to impress me (because I've seen far too many bad ones).

MORE after the cut:

2) I Walk Alone art picspam set and banners by [ profile] comlodge for [ profile] seasonal_spuffy Round 18 (May)
[ profile] comlodge took the "simple" flipbook concept and turned into something incredibly sophisticated;  then she converted merged the images at my request into a single banner for my LJ. I know of few artists (if any?) who can combine luminousity and grunge effects in a single image.

3) Look Both Ways by [ profile] boiiko - the rightful winner of the [ profile] seasonal_spuffy Round 18 Banner Poll, and the only banner for the SS banner poll I've seen done in a hand-painted style. (It was actually done on computer, but it sure fooled me.) Almost elegantlly spare, the composition is deceptively "simple" and packed with layers of complicated emotions. More, please.

4) Out of My MInd from the btvs episode poster series by no-literally on tumblr. This is an ongoing project and every one of the posters is a masterpiece of graphic design; but I chose this one to display because of the incredibly clean, simple graphic that, like the other images on this list, is deceptively complex. Look close at the text and you'll see Spike's dream of kissing Buffy, floating above Spike's head - the dream and the dreamer visualized.

5) Wrecked from the btvs episode poster series by maradyeries on tumblr. , Haunting, jaw-droppingly gorgeous work in the style of "modern-day aesthetic" gifspams popular on tumblr right now.

red_satin_doll: (Tara Purple Sensual Witch OOMM RSD)
My poster for The Relish Collection Series (aka "the Femalehusbandverse") (2015) especially "The Female Husband" made for [ profile] kerkevik_2014. This poster is an adaption of one I originally made for Ray as an unofficial banner (#8) for the [ profile] wicked_awards at his request. He asked me to make some banners for his own nominated stories and wished for something female-centric rather than the male-centric official nominee buttons. I'd been meaning to make a fic poster for that series for some time and Ray's "commission" gave me an excuse:

Teasers: therelishcollectionbannerforkerkevik2014_style2.4warm_byRSD2015_750x365.png custom made nominee button at the request of ray jerk 2015 nomineebuttonbuffywickedawards275x128_rsd2015_1.1final.png

therelishcollectionbannerforkerkevik2014_style2.4warm_byRSD2015_750x365.png 1

therelishcollectionbannerforkerkevik2014_style2.1_byRSD2015_550x268.png 1-A

Nominee button custom made for Ray Kerk for Wicked Awards 2015 2
For his nomination, he used #3 at his journal. It's not in the style of the official buttons but I liked the way it came out. I then made myself a Fuffy-themed banner that I really like but again - not in the style of the official buttons so I've decided against using it. (The beautiful textures in both courtesy of [ profile] sweet_lyri.)

custom made nominee button at the request of ray jerk 2015   buffyfaiththechosentwo_crop3.4_goldengatebridge_600x450signed.png 3 - 4

nomineebuttonfaithwickedawards275x128_rsd2015_1.2final.png nomineebuttonfaithwickedawards275x128_rsd2015_1.3final.png   nomineebuttonfaithwickedawards275x128_rsd2015_1.1final.png 5 - 7
nomineebuttonbuffywickedawards275x128_rsd2015_1.2final.png nomineebuttonbuffywickedawards275x128_rsd2015_1.3final.png nomineebuttonbuffywickedawards275x128_rsd2015_1.1final.png 8 - 10

[ profile] angelus2hot gave me permission to make these but asked asked me to match the style and size of the official Angel and Lindsey ones made by [ profile] angelstoy. (I also had in mind the style and coloring of the SPN and X-Files buttons.) She gave me permission to use these buttons - and I'm happy to share but please remember these are not official site buttons.
Images of Eliza, Amber and Sarah from The Chosen Two Gallery.

A Vague Disclaimer is No One's Friend:
~ Want? Take, have for personal use but please credit if used.
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments however are appreciated :)

Deadline for nominations for the 12th Round of the [ profile] wicked_awards is August 31st - check out the list of fiction/art nominees and music video nominees.
red_satin_doll: (Faith/Willow Bad Girls)
Since today is [ profile] spikesredqueen's actual birthday and I am actually NOT belated, for once, AND I've never made Willow/Faith * fantart, I thought I'd take a crack at something for her. Happy birthday Marie!

I've got the Power (Willow, Faith, 2015) Click for full-size image

*(whats the smushname for that pairing? Fillow? Fallow? Waith? Wiith?)
red_satin_doll: (Buffy IWRY golden glow RSD)

Thank you again to everyone who voted for my icons in Round 10 of [ profile] btvsats20in20!  My banners, a bit belatedly, with many thanks to
my wonderful betas [ profile] tempertemper and [ profile] velvetwhip for their thoughtful and generous feedback on both the banners and the icons:
Click images to see full-size:
Rd10finalRSDbannercharacters1.png   Rd10finalRSDbannercharacters2.png   Rd10finalRSDbannerthemes.png
Congratulations to winners [ profile] sweet_lyri, [ profile] tempertemper, [ profile] killing_kurare, [ profile] teragramm, [ profile] snogged and [ profile] spikesredqueen! Check out their winning icons and awards banners in the thread here.

As with the banners I made for the last round of [ profile] slayerstillness, the base image is a photograph I took of daylilies at a local bank while waiting in line at the drive-through. I originally was going to do a fancier image with light effects and literally "gild the lily", until I came to my senses and realized simple was best. I love the summertime feel of the image, and how the colors coordinate suprisingly well with so many of the icons.

It should be noted that I all but threw multiple alts of the Faith and Joyce icons in [ profile] velvetwhip's lap and she, being the superb Muse that she is, singled out the versions I submitted. Take a look (NWS warning for one tiny icon of Darla's cleavage)


I loved making the Faith and Dru icons this round - they were so much fun to make.  (Admitedly, I have a weird sense of "fun".)

1 - 7

8 -14

  15 -21



Speaking of winning icons and banners, congratulations to the winners of [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 122 "Bright and Shiny" : [ profile] teragramm, [ profile] sweet_lyri and [ profile] double_dutchess in her first go at WE correction: her first time competing in any icontest! Congratulations on the splendid icons ! And THANK YOU to everyone who voted for my icons and honored my Buffy icon with a Best Crop award! :D  Awards banners to come shortly, stay tuned!
red_satin_doll: (Summers Family Portrait S5 RSD)

Full set after the cut!

Kudos to: My extraordinary and marvelous Beta-Muse, [ profile] velvetwhip. WIthout whom this set would not exist, or at least be half as strong.
Special thanks to: [ profile] starry_night for extending the deadline for me and being so incredibly patient.

Willow/Center Crop Faith/Frame Buffy/XtremeCloseCrop Dawn/B/W+Color Joyce/Hope
Tara/Power Oz/Solid Background Angel/Lyrics Cordelia/Blue Spike/Negative Space
Giles/Text Fred/Hands Wesley/First Scene Anya/Hairporn Kendra/Beginning
Xander/Eyes Lorne/Last Scene Drusilla/Duplicate Darla/Faceless Monster/Dream

ETA: Cordy Icon Nominated Best Icon [ profile] wicked_awards 2015 - THANK YOU for the nomination!
red_satin_doll: (OMWF - Sing b/w)
To everyone who wished me Happy Birthday last week THANK YOU so very much!

(and thanks to LJ's lousy non-existent notification system I am still discovering birthday presents and wishes.)  If I've missed saying thank you please forgive me, I'm working on catching up.  I've worked more hours at work this month and been well nigh exhausted, which also explains my lack of posts.

Two gifts in particular I wanted to show off to everyone:

[ profile] spikesredqueen asked me the other day what I'd like for my birthday and my eloquent response was along the lines of "um, I don't know" - so knowing my love of the buffyverse ladies, she made me this beautiful Buffy/Faith/Willow banner! (Try making a smushname out of that.) Isn't it sexy and ethereal, elegant and scrumptious?   It makes me wish I were a fic writer because it feels like the inspiration for a post-series 'verse, a Witch and two Slayers, powerful, strong-willed women saving the world and having incredible adventures.

Speaking of sexy, ethereal and elegant:


[ profile] teragramm made this incredible addition to my Winged Buffy collection. Once again I'm awe of how skillfull the artistry is here, how delicate and how beautifully these two banners belong together.  Teragramm's choice of text very much evokes memories of Buffy throughout the seasons for me, an "ordinary" girl who is really quite extraordinary in ways she herself can't begin to see; an Everywoman who takes on the weight of the world time and again.

Artwork by their respective creators do NOT snag, steal or archive without their express permission.

red_satin_doll: (Chosen One - purple)
And this is where I pretend I'm such a mature, blase adult about such things - oh, screw that. I won third place in [ profile] otherworldlyric icontest #163!

(But also, I won? Like, SRSLY??)

Thank you to everyone who voted! And congratulations to the other winners in this challenge, [ profile] chic_c and [ profile] spikesredqueen!

I had a hard time voting this round (as per usual) because there were so many lovely things to pick from. Two of the ones I voted for are in fandoms I'm not familiar with, so I had no idea who the characters were, I just thought they were wonderful icons. And I even voted for a Spike icon - I'm as shocked as you are!  Then immediately after I hit the submit vote button I thought "Oh, no wait, but there's that other one too....Can I vote again?"

You know me. Given my druthers, I don't wanna enumerate them. I just wanna enjoy. *sigh*

Of course, a thousand THANK YOUS go to my agent, my manager, my stylist beta [ profile] wickedbish (Ryan); he specifically mentioned that Fading Away Fast icon as one of his favorites and I don't think I would have submitted it otherwise. I liked the icon very much - I loved the concept of it when I thought it up - but I wasn't entirely happy with the execution. (I wanted the effect of a more gradual fade on the colors on each word in the text.)  I knew right away that I wanted to submit #11 and #15 (below) but I wasn't sure about a third choice.

ETA: OH DEAR, I forgot to thank [ profile] comlodge for her very kind encouragments to me re: talking about the process of making these and the stories behind them; in essence, she's "given me permission" to open Pandora's box. (Thank you sweetie - I hope you don't regret it later!)

Here are my three entries, numbered according to the challenge number assignments:

1) 11) 15)

These represent two of my favorite episodes in the entire series; I made the Prophecy Girl icons first.  #15 is probably one of my favorites of all the ones I've ever made. I really wanted the double-image of Buffy in front of the mirror as well as her reflection and was really happy with what I got. And I love that the font looks like graffiti scrawled it on the glass. This time around I was consciously trying to experiment with fonts I hadn't used before.

Have I mentioned before that PG is the first masterpiece YOU MUST WATCH THIS episode of the series? (Although I will ALWAYS argue that one needs to watch the season in it's entirety as well. Especially Nightmares and Angel.) That Sarah never fails to bring me to tears when I watch it? And Tony as Giles, standing in the library utterly useless despite all his efforts and intentions, just as Buffy accuses him of being...ugh. Heartbreaking.

 #11 is a farther distance than usual for me (I tend towards close-up shots) but something about that distance visually emphasized Buffy's isolation in that moment, the lonely struggle with and against her own mind. I also loved the diagonal light and shadow lines on the wall; diagonals and asymmetrical compostions have alwayts appealed to me in art nouveau and Japanese woodcuts. The shadow offered a perfect canvas for the lettering and, again, the effect of graffiti on the wall.

Here's the remaining icons I made for that challenge, vaguely-sorta-kinda-not-exactly in the order I made them. Or something like that:

2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7)

Please. Explain to me again why Sarah NEVER won an Emmy or any major award for playing Buffy, aside from that "Performances in _______ (fill in the blank) genre programs aren't deserving of serious awards love" b.s.

  8) 9) 10) 12) 13) 14)

#10 was the other one Ryan suggested for my third choice, and I love how the "deer in headlights" effect emphasizes Buffy's struggle ("traps for your mind"). But I almost submitted #5 as my third choice. I LOVE that one, perhaps for similar reasons that I love the PG one. I used the same font, but with small caps, for a graffiti effect that came out much better than I'd expected; it looks like Buffy has childishly, desperately, scribbled the words on the wall and then dropped the crayon in frustration or resignation.  But I also almost went with #7 (or 8 or 9) because OH GOD HER EXPRESSION THAT FACE I HAVE NO WORDS FOR THIS MOMENT just total incoherence.
16) 17)

#16 - 17 OTOH are "meh" in comparison although I swear I did try my best. I do like the look of a vintage book illustration in #16; as with #11 it's a more distant shot than I often use but I think I got the mood of the moment. I actually am pleased with the way I caught Faith's expression in #17, from Touched, thanks to lots of adjustments in brightness and contrast (the source screencap is so dark). You can almost hear her panting here. I even like the detail of her fist in the lower corner, sort of a visual punctuation mark. There's something almost stupidly mechanical in this mano-a-mano confrontation between Spike and Faith in Touched, this power struggle that didn't have to happen. And I absolutely adore that entire scene and this moment especially, fighting over Buffy and about her (they're both warriors, it's what they both do best) when it is so obvious that they both care about her very deeply: "Where is she?" / "I don't know!"

Those crazy kids - god help me, I love them.

Speaking of love - I really wanted to make one with Joyce in Normal Again, but ran out of time and energy: "Your father and I have all the faith in the world in you."

Oh dear. Buffy has to go into a hallucinatory state to find the emotional comfort and support she needs in that moment - and the person who provides it is her mother. Of course it is. How can anyone watch this episode, never mind the entire series, and think that Joyce isn't the most important person in Buffy's life? Of course it's Joyce - not Giles or Hank, nor any of her friends or lovers. Not even Dawn can get through to her this time the way she did in Bargaining/After Life. Just as in season 7's Bring on the Night, the First appears to Buffy wearing Joyce's face, because no one could unsettle Buffy so deeply. It HAD to be Joyce.

LIkewise, it had to be Joyce in CWDP; Dawn fights as a warrior and magician with everything she's got, and is cut to ribbons far worse than Xander was in Grave, in order to save and protect her mother. Summers Blood is truly the blood of champions.

And whether NormalAgain!Joyce is a "bloody figment" hardly matters in this moment. Is this what the real Joyce would have said in the situation, or what Buffy would have wanted her to say? A bit of both I suspect.

Now I have a bit of a personal confession, so feel free to skip this if you're not so much into the person stuff:

I suspect that part of the reason I'm drawn to Normal Again is because when I was a teenager I was certain I was going to become mentally ill and locked away at some point in my life - is that a teenage angst thing or a "me" thing? And as an adult dealing with depression I've discovered that, yes, it is something you do battle with. Sometimes it IS a war, and you have to fight to stay alive.  And sometimes it's just a friggin' slog.  So, I identify.

I have no idea why I had this fear years before before my mother revealed a secret to me: that my father had taken his own life when I was about three years old and my brothers even younger,  not an accident as she'd always claimed. (In the interest of our protection, I know. How do you explain that to three small children?  My mother was in her early 20's when that happened; I was 3, one of my brothers 2 and the other a toddler. How do you explain that, ever?)

And it was at least another five years in addition to that before I learned that his brother had also taken his life, leaving behind a wife and two young daughters I never even knew about. My grandfather came for a rare visit after a trip from Alaska, and said my cousin had seen my picture in his wallet and asked Who was that pretty girl? My response:

"I have a cousin in Alaska?"

And another one in the midwest, as it turned out - both with spouses/partners and growing children of their own. Somehow I knew that my dad had a brother, but in the absence of information assumed he died in a war or something years ago. Like John Kennedy's older brother in the biography I'd read as a kid. Apparently that's what a child's mind will do - fill the vacuum with whatever bits they can find lying around. Perhaps not unlike the way Buffy assumes that her parents' divorce is a result of her father's disappointment in her; her brain fills the vacuum of polite silence and careful phrases that she wants to believe but can't entirely.

And here's a thought that just popped in my head: That there IS a reason why the theme of well-meaning adults hiding or keeping information from their children "for their own good" in the series resonates so deeply with me. *ponders this*

Families - you can't live with them....
red_satin_doll: (BTVS Buffy/Faith)
Thank you to the moderators at [ profile] slayerstillness for giving me my very first award for an icon in Challenge #18 "Faith Lehane" ! Kudos to all the winners in this round : [ profile] iconsoleander, [ profile] spikesredqueen and [ profile] delta_dawn_rose - but all the submissions were creative and wonderful, so please go check them out if you haven't had the chance already.

And to make it even sweeter, [ profile] comlodge made the gorgeous banners:

Mods Choice: "I love the idea of this one – very creatively done. And I love how the lighting draws your focus right to her face."

The irony is that that had nothing to do with me; the shot was already beautiful. My favorite icons of those I've made, like this one, are generally the simplest. All I had to do was carefully bump up brightness, contrast and saturation; pick the right font, and add the frame. There's the irony of course in that it's the one submission I sent in which we're actually looking at Faith in Buffy's body, so the face we see is Sarah's, not Eliza's - but it's still the character of Faith, in what may be the turning point of her entire arc.  (And is one of the most superb performances I've ever seen on television - can we take a moment to celebrate Sarah's intensity in that episode?)

Here are all five of my entries; the numbers beside them are the numbers assigned in the challenge voting (not in numerical order).

26) 13)  19)

25)     8)
As per usual for me lately, I began this batch making icons that were fun, risque. or innocuous, (#8, 25) and then moved into darker territory. If I were to do it again I'd leave off 8 & 25, although 25 amuses me.

I think #26 was the best of the five I submitted, especially in terms of lighting and composition.  Photobucket's "Covered by Your Grace" font has a somewhat "handwritten" look to it and often works well when the overall mood is one of intimacy, introspection, melancholy, sadness, etc. For the same reasons I like the "torn paper frame" of 26 & 13; it emphasizes for me a sense of things "bleeding in (or bleeding out)" of each other, of something incomplete,unstable, fissuring or merging; of things damaged but not entirely broken, and the strange beauty of imperfection.

Which is what the episodes "This Years Girl" and "Who are You" are about.

I've been fascinated by the parallels between Buffy, Faith and Buffy, Spike ever since I first saw [ profile] bradcpu's classic fan video on the subject, "Creep" (See the bottom of this post for more links.)

Ten years ago [ profile] the_royal_anna called Buffy and Spike in S6 "the most mesmerizing illustration" of the concept of "identity hiijack", but This Years Girl / Who are You essentially "foreshadow" nearly the entirety of S6 in two episodes. It's the definitive moment when Faith "hands off" her role as Buffy's primary dark mirror to Spike, so that she can move to AtS and continue her arc away from BtVS. There's the twin images of Faith and Buffy digging themselves out of their own graves, the sense of "victimization" each must overcome; mental instability and the damage that being "a killer" does to the soul; the direction of Buffy and Spike's relationship and the dark, tormented sexuality, so different from the light-hearted satirical version of Something Blue; the lie behind the dichotomies of "good/bad, dark/light" enforced by those in power (as represented by the WC).

Even the key role Tara plays in both as the outsider, as "the heart"  and "the one who sees" (literally and figuratively as a "seer" and as one who bears witness) is highlighted in both WAY and DT and deserves a separate essay of it's own.

It's also an episode that calls both backwards and forwards: to Faith's words "If you kill me, you become me - and you're not ready for that" in S3's "Enemies", and forward to Spike's "I know you felt me...when I was inside you."  When Faith steals Buffy's body she literally "gets inside" Buffy in ways even Spike can't begin to imagine. (No one else comes close except when Willow goes inside Buffy's head in The Weight of the World".)

I tried using a portion of the line from Enemies; "You become me" works beautifully when talking about Who are You; but I don't think it really comes across the way I'd intended it to visually.

1) 2) 3)  4 ) 5)  6) 7)

The sentence from Seeing Red actually works much better and is more powerful; but I used it with trepidation. I worried that using it would be too traumatic for some folks - looking up the actual dialogue on the Buffyworld transcript was hard enough for me as it was, but I got the wording wrong on my first effort, #14 below (I've watched that episode once and one time only, thank you very much.) Cutting the sentence in half, rather than using the entire line in a single icon, seemed to help "abstract" it slightly, remove it just enough from it's original context that it was easier for me to work with it here.

9) 10) 11) 12)   14)

The relationships are steeped in violence, misunderstanding, dysfunction and self-hatred - and yet, unbelievably, they manage to rise above it all and come to a state of grace with each other in Season 7. Buffy handing the Scythe to Faith in Chosen isn't as romantic, dramatic or as celebrated as her spiritual handfasting with Spike; but in the context of their history it represent a sea change in their relationship: a level of genuine forgiveness, trust and faith (pun intended) exists between them that never has before. Getting to that point was a long, hard-fought road:

15) 16)  17)

The other line of Spike's dialogue I borrowed is from "The Gift": "I made a promise to a lady."  He's talking to Doc on top of Glory's tower about his promise to Buffy to protect Dawn "until the end of the world"; I often associate that line with Buffy's own promise to Joyce in Listening to Fear. But here I applied it to another "promise", albeit unspoken: Faith's wordless response to Buffy's "Don't - be afraid to lead them" in Empty Places. I was inspired by [ profile] blackfrancine's 2010 comment on the nature Buffy and Faith's expressions of love:

I think Buffy's way of nurturing (ie of loving) is to protect. To play mama bear to the helpless cubs of Sunnydale. So of course the Slayer's primary love language is to perform acts of service. Her whole life (and death) is about service. And it makes sense that it becomes her main way of understanding and expressing love (or maybe service always IS her love language--even before she is called. I could see this being a feature that binds Slayers--that they understand love through service. Because I'd argue that this is how Faith expresses love as well). So, through her slaying duties, Buffy (and maybe all slayers) expresses her love for their fellow man. [emphasis mine]

In S3, Faith is bound to the Mayor, her surrogate father-figure, by her assignments for him. When Buffy reluctantly advises Faith to lead the Potentials, it's entirely clear to me from Faith's demeanor that she listens and accepts her (symbolic) "grandsire's" words with all due seriousness. Handing off leadership to Faith is mostly an act of necessity and seems like a small thing, but in the context of their relationship it's absolutely seismic. Faith doesn't say a word but her intention is clear in her demeanor, her silence, in the fact that she is truly listening - something the two of them stopped doing with one another years ago. She made a "promise to a lady" and it's one she'll keep to the best of her ability.

I wanted to send #16 above because it was the only icon I'd made that had a close-up of Eliza's face, but I felt that it didn't "tell the story" in this context as well as image of Faith and Buffy together on the porch (15, 19).

This award is a particular honor for me because the quality of the icons submitted to past [ profile] slayerstillness challenges, technically and aesthetically, is consistently very high and represents some of the best examples of icons as works of art currently in this fandom. The editing suite I have in Photobucket is very simple and limited so I can't do the gorgeous effects and layering I see there. I wasn't as pleased as I was with the batch I made for the last [ profile] otherworldlyric icon challenge. I focused on Buffy and Faith rather than Faith exclusively. Plus I made these so last minute I didn't have time to ask [ profile] wickedbish for his advice as a beta. I honestly didn't think I had a shot at winning anything - and you'd be surprised how that takes the edge of anticipation off!

You know the cliche that if you want something you're supposed to visualize having or achieving it first in order to "manifest it in your life"? Well sometimes there is something to be said for thinking the opposite, or trying to practice "non-attachment" one way or the other, then being completely surprised and delighted when it does happen to come your way.
(Maybe I need to look into Buddism as a practice? *ponders*)

Here's the remaining icons from that set that I didn't submit, in no particular order of anything whatsoever. As always, snag 'em if you love 'em but please give proper credit to the artist. 'tis the polite thing to do.

18) 20) 21) 22)

23) 24)27) 28)
And here are some links to some of my favorite Buffy and Faith, or Fuffy, fanfics and fanvids for your enjoyment - just the tip of the proverbial iceberg:
"Creep" by [ profile] bradcpu (downloadable zipped Xvid and WMV formats) is THE classic Buffy, Faith, Spike meta-video.
"Your Power is Rooted in Darkness" by Afterthebattle (YouTube) focuses on the Buffy & Faith parallels with Spike as a supporting player.
"We Must Be Killers" by jess9191 (YouTube) The first great fanvid of the year? It's already on my list for next January's Buffyverse Top 5.
"Who Are You, Really?: Episodic" by xxIrisHalox  (YouTube) My favorite fanvid take on "Who Are You?" pairs brilliantly with my favorite WAY fanfic:

"Who Am I? (The Warm Champagne Remix)" (DW) by [ profile] snowpuppies. (Buffy, Faith, Spike; Faith/Spike, implied Buffy/Faith) Superb, as always. Put this on your list for the next round of fanfic awards, please.
"Zen and the Art of Stake Maintenance" and "Of History" (AO3) by m_phoenix. Delicately haunting Season 7 AU and post-series Fuffy angst, respectively, both Buffy-POV. "Zen" fits canon astonishingly well; "Of History" is a masterclass in how to write in 2nd-person POV, as well as how to tackle adult sexuality and consent issues sensitively. (Thanks to [ profile] oni_9's rec on the most recent edition of the [ profile] su_herald.)

Finally, after all that angst, some fun and adventure are in order: try "The Girls In Question" fic series on AO3 by the wife-wife team of TigerDragon. The post-series installments "Reentry", "Investigations" and "Women, Fire, And Other Dangerous Things" read like a genuine "Season 8" - funny, exciting, a little angsty  - if it had been written as female-centric Fuffy, with Dawn, Willow, fascinating OC multi-ethnic Slayers, and female villains who are a VERY dark mirror of Buffy and Faith, for the ride.
red_satin_doll: (Chosen One - purple)

Round 18  has 32 fantastic icon entries devoted to the one-and-only Faith Lehane but HURRY, because the voting deadline is Monday the 24the - aka TOMORROW, kids. Full rule for voting are provided by the mods. So goest thou and vote!

*Full disclosure: I submitted some entries to this round that I did quite literally spur-of-the-moment and last-minute. I don't have an illusions about actually winning, but I really enjoyed the project anyway; it was a lot of fun.*

red_satin_doll: (Chosen One - purple)
Firstly: Thank you everyone who sent me the wonderful birthday wishes last week in the form of messages or as gifts in your journal. It really meant a lot to me, and made turning 46 a lot more fun than I'd anticipated. It was a lovely, low-key day: my sweetie took me out to the new Thai restaurant in the area we'd recently heard about; and she bought me a tin of one of my favorite teas from Harney and Sons, "Bankok" (green tea with lemongrass, ginger, vanilla and coconut flavors.) A cup of that before bed is now my nightly ritual.

If you posted birthday wishes or a gift on your journal and I have not thanked you yet, it means one thing: LJ is SCREWING UP notifications and I don't know about it. (I've gotten a grand total of one notification in the last 30 days.) I thought it was just me until I just happened to see that [ profile] velvetwhip posted a complaint about it on her LJ, just happened to find a lovely birthday message and graphic that she posted for me; and then just happened to see [ profile] comlodge make a remark about having trouble posting a gift banner (which is utterly gorgeous) she'd made for me, and I'm thinking, "What? What is this gift we speak of?" Then today I just happened to see [ profile] kikimay's birthday graphic for me with a cap of Buffy receiving her umbrella in The Prom which gives me so many feelings, as well as several other times she name-checked me, and that's not counting the times other folks like [ profile] eilowyn or [ profile] kwritten have name-checked me, etc.

Folks, I'm all for "happenstance" and "serendipity" - but not on a social networking site. Not when people are making me gifts and wishing me happy birthday, or giving me free PR by referencing my posts. I want to know about this stuff because to NOT stop by and say "THANK YOU" is just plain damn rude, IMO. That said, I know that children are starving in Africa - starving all over the world in fact - and I'm sitting her whining like a priviledged American white gal. (Which I happen to be, but nevermind.)

If [ profile] kerkevik_2014 hadn't PM'd me about a completely charming and sexy Tara/Faith drabble he wrote for me, I never would have known about it. Sweet, sexy, taking-command Tara is pure catnip to me - and being the gentle guide for a suddenly-shy and insecure Faith? OH YES PLEASE.  It's easy to forget that Tara possessed a core of strength and confidence even if we rarely saw it before S6. Remember, she is the one who pursued Willow - NOT the other way around. I was a just-out lesbian in the '90's, just before the show came on tv and I know how much courage that would have taken at that time (and probably still does.)

SO - if you've mentioned me or have made a prezzie for me, or just something you think I might like to see, please don't be shy about PM'ing me until this notification nonsense gets straightened out.

SECONDLY: [ profile] comlodge told me that the aforementioned Buffy tribute banner she made for my birthday was inspired by my recent "happy birthday Buffy" post and that in itself is the best present. If I can make someone else see Buffy and her world through my eyes even a little, not by shouting or arguing or arm-twisting, but simply by loving her and sharing what she means to me, then that makes me incredibly happy. [ profile] comlodge's banner reflects what so much of what I love about Buffy - the girl, the woman, the warrior; daughter, sister, friend and lover. Her's is an incredible journey.

Speaking of incredible journeys: [ profile] kwritten posted an insanely gorgeous Buffy, Anya, Willow, Dawn/Faith fic, "Oh, You're Here Too?" set immediately post-Chosen. Anya offers Buffy friendship and solace after the battle. Not AU. She wrote it for a prompt from [ profile] kikimay but it reflects so much about how I see Buffy in that immediate period about 1000X better than I could hope to. It's a short story but it takes the reader on a complete journey that feels novelistic, in a series of short scenes: from Buffy's trauma and dissociation, the fatigue and inability to process everything after the battle in the Hellmouth, to a place that feels "warm, (un)finished, (in)complete" as Buffy contemplates the "the unknown future" before her, in the company of beloved friends and family.
red_satin_doll: (Chosen One - purple)
A very happy and peaceful whatever-the-heck-you-celebrate to everyone on my foist.
(And if you don't celebrate anything, that's cool too.)

You know it, Faith. (If I were anymore generic I'd be reduced to "have a nice day".)
red_satin_doll: (Fuffy)
When I realized that:
1) Buffy, Faith and/or Buffy/Faith (I can go either way) was starting to take up major real estate in my brain, my fanfic and in my
    fandom conversations;
2) I can't decide from one day to the next which Summers sister I 'ship with Faith (I can go either way)
3) Buffy+Dawn+Faith+Tara = One True Family could totally be a thing in fandom;

...then it was way past time to get a new icon.

A.) Somewhere on the internet I saw an icon of Faith in Buffy's body in Who Are You, stroking Buffy's leg (now her own) in the bathtub with the text "Tell me again why Fuffy isn't canon?" ([ profile] eleusis_walks's meta on Faith and Buffy describes the "masturbatory" nature of that scene. Tell us again why Fuffy isn't canon, Mr Whedon?) ETA: Mystery solved : it's [ profile] beer_good_foamy's. Of course.

I haven't found that icon again but I came across a trove of Buffy/Faith icons on the "Fuffy fanclub"  at All of them were posted by a member named AcidBanter by the source is only given as "LiveJournal"; so I suspect that AB isn't the original artist.

My apologies therefore and if anyone here does know, please let me know so I can give proper credit.

I wanted to go with #2, "WIll fuck with your sexual orientation" or one of the funny ones with text to start, but my template shrinks the icons too much and I have this bizarre kink about legibility. It's a thing.(#3 's "subtext" is just barely legible in this template.) I may end up rotating all of these anyway, thanks to [ profile] elisi's instructions on how to do that by using the exact same keywords for the new icon as the one it replaces.

1.)  2.) 3.) 4.) 5.)

BTW, I haven't rewatched S3 in over a year btw so I'd forgotten how pretty Eliza was that season - and can anyone tell me what the what is going on in #8 below?

6.) 7.) 8.) 9.) 10.)

B.) Now this is the sad part: Because I'm limited to 15 icons, someone else had to get booted off the island. And y'all know I love my babies something fierce. *sniffle* This is where I needed to be strong and decisive. Most of my icons were DO NOT TOUCH just TRY to pry them out of my hot little hands and behold the meaning the word "fierce". That left four candidates:

I've used this one to represent: Lesbianism, friendship and/or solidarity, proof on Willow-centric journals that I don't hate Willow; and that moment is one of my favorite moments in the entire series. CHILLS UP MY SPINE every time I watch it.
BTW - the W/T "spiritual handfasting" will be echoed by B/S in Chosen, and perverted by Glory in Tough Love. Speaking of which, check out [ profile] clockwork_hart1 tribute fic to Tara's bravery and sacrifice in TL, "Shadows and Light". (Read it now and thank me later.)

Extremely useful for obvious reasons, and cute besides. Everyone needs a "huh"? or WTF? icon.

Do I really need another image from "Showtime"? Probably not. But it's useful for "fierce and determined" (as opposed to "extremely pissed off"). Buffy's the hand: when she sets out to get something done, shit gets done.
Also useful for "I have a lot of love for S7 despite the flaws";  "I actually do sorta-kinda think her wounds are a little sexy even if I'm too chicken-shit to admit it"; And of course: "Buffy is my Hero damn it! And she's the protagonist of the Buffyverse! Ergo it is my sworn duty to remind fandom of this fact every once in a while." (Believe me now and thank me later.)

Which leaves me with:

I know, sweetie, I know - it hurts me too. *sobs quietly* But it's the icon I probably use the least, and [ profile] comlodge 's original artwork will always have pride of place on my Welcome post. (Don't mind me, I'll be all righ...*curls up in fetal position and sobs loudly*)
red_satin_doll: (Chosen One - purple)
Last week we finally got the gas stove (burners etc) in the new apartment fixed and approved for use, and I made the first dinner since the house fire that I was proud of: Chicken breasts rubbed with a little balsamic vinagrette dressing from a local restaurant  (to which I'd added a little more oil and maple sysauteed in the cast iron skillet in a slick of olive oil, with chopped leeks, mushrooms, garlic etc; seasoned lightly with salt, pepper, and then just a dash of balsamic vinagrette dressing from a local restaurant (to which I'd added maple syrup) poured in at the last minute or two. Making it felt like coming home on some small level: this is ME, this is who I am. It felt familiar, and "familiar" has suddenly become very precious to me.

And yes, I do know children are starving around the world and women have to walk ten miles to get water and I've never been raped and I'm not mutilated or dead so stop whining and be grateful. No, I'm not joking, this stuff really goes through my head. Although when my landlord pulled out the "at least you have a roof over your head" line I wanted to tell him to stuff it.

So it's been little things, grasping for the familiar comforts and rhythms, while being aware somehow that the "old normal" doesn't exist anymore and never will; that a new sense of "normal" is establishing itself, while the old patterns elbow their way in.  Or perhaps it's the other way around? Whether that "new normal" is comfortable or desirable is too soon to tell. The old normal was comfortable; but was it actually desirable?

So I can still light a fire in the Weber grill with wood I've gathered myself and grill a steak or burn documents without hesitation. The fire and smoke don't bother me because I've mastered this activity and it's "under control", safe and contained.

But I'm hyper-aware of fire truck sirens in the streets, and I startled at unfamiliar noises in this new apartment, the slight ones coming perhaps from outside on the stairwell, beneath the floor or through the walls; in fact I'm not sure where they come from most times. I freeze and wait for a second until they pass. Sounds, not sights or smells, seems to be the main sense in which my recent "trauma" (let's just call it PTSD, shall we?) expresses itself. It wasn't the mattress in flames that terrified me, or the smoke filling my eyes; it was the awful sound of my sweetheart's high-pitched, hysterical scream as she tried to fight the fire. Running up the stairs I thought for an awful moment I'd find her engulfed in flames, burning to death.

No one should have to hear that sound, although many people do, and worse. I know.

But written words can have an effect as well. I had to stop reading [ profile] beer_good_foamy's recent post re: Night Vale when I read this quote from the podcasts: "The world is awful. And on fire. And beautiful." A month ago I would have loved the elegant and evocative language. Now I run away from it because I want to cry. And I am not liking this state of affairs one little bit. Not at all. But there it is. (Note to BGF if you're reading it: don't change the title of your journal on my account, ok? That is NOT what I'm saying at all.)

It is always unpredictable and never within my control. Perhaps that's what is really setting me off lately, and not the triggers themselves. That may explain why I have a hard time lately bearing my partner's moods when she arrives home. She might be exhausted, in pain, angry about work, hyper-focused on some obsession or project that must get done, throw herself into a frenzy of activity or barely be able to move. She's no different in fact than she's ever been but now it feels very heightened to me. The fact that she speaks aloud constantly, says everything she's thinking at every moment she's thinking it, or thinks and obsesses in patterns and circles, is nothing new. The fact that she wants me to "respond" to her, but automatically know when she's talking to me and when she's just thinking aloud isn't new either.  We've been together 17 years, she's always been that way.

It used to be irritating, frustrating; now it feels like nails scraping my skin to be in the same room sometimes. And other times, she leans into me and I stroke her soft hair and forget all that for a moment, until the next disagreement and we're off to the races again.

My primary solace, lately, or methods of trying to hold onto "normal" have included being here with my friends on LJ and chatting for hours while ignoring my must-do list and procrastinating like a champ; and carrying a notebook with me everywhere I go so I can write when inspiration strikes - again, always when I'm supposed to be doing something else "more important".

And lately I'm writing Buffyverse fanfic. After announcing a year ago I would NOT write fanfic because 1) my previous efforts in another fandom sucked which 2) made me decide I'm really a non-fiction writer plus 3) there are so many good writers in this fandom that I could never compete or say something really new and therefore, 4) I was going to write meta in this fandom instead of fic.

I'm writing Buffyverse fanfic. Be very afraid.... )
In other news, my sweetie and I are going to the Cape tomorrow, to Truro, MA just south of Provincetown; she's taking a painting workshop that was planned and paid for back in May. We've been to the Cape just once before on a weekend trip and loved it. ("Off-season" is the way to go on a strip of land that has only one road going in and out.)  I don't know if I'll see the harbor seals this time, but I am taking the laptop along.

And my notebook. Much cheaper than therapy, with none of the nasty side-effects of antidepressants.
red_satin_doll: (Get it Done)
Good news: The cable guys came today and hooked up our internet service; we only had two days to wait. So now we're connected again, yay! I hope to be on again more often here - I've missed being here and getting to play. I need the release more than ever.

I just sketched out a rough draft for a post-series Buffy & Faith (and/or Buffy/Faith) fic the other day; I haven't ever written fic about the two of them before allthough I've got plenty of meta notes.  (It's occured to me I should start looking for a beta, and realize for all my experience being one, I have no idea how to ask for one.)

After the housefire, the crying jag, etc I've been thinking about Buffy post-series in ways I hadn't before: What's it like to have your entire world turned upside-down? To lose your home, the things you own, silly stuff that in some ways had come to define you? (Everyone thought I was crazy because I was thrilled that my childhood stuffed koala bear survived intact.) To have to remake-redefine yourself again because the patterns of your life, based on the habits built around the things you owned, the house you lived in, are suddenly no longer there anymore?

I'm familiar with the concept of displacement because I've been moved around many times since my dad died when I was about three yrs old: Mom remarried, then later divorced (and we left the house in the middle of the night); she bought a house and then another later; I went away to college, met my sweetie, moved and moved again. But this housefire is different - we've moved to another apartment but on the same property, we're still sorting through the damaged and destroyed things, betwixt and between if you will. I've tossed out books and antique photos I loved; I can't find anything in this new apartment because it's all still in boxes and bags; I set something down and five minutes later forget where. I did "detail work" today, lining kitchen cabinets, more cleaning and scrubbing of course, trying to find places for things. I'm not a great with organizational skills.  There's no sense of familiarity or rhythms to the way we live yet.

The only thing that feels familiar is the way my sweetie and I communicate - or don't as the case may be. We argue and snipe at each other but we did that before anyway, so nothing new. She says I'm loud, I'm yelling, I'm hyper, etc; I say she's controlling and bossy and is also hyper but doesn't see it. The thing I notice now more than ever is that she says every single thing that comes into her mind. I'm not kidding - it's a constant stream-of-consciousness conversation, and I have to suss out when she's talking aloud to herself and when she's talking to me and expects a response. That's nothing new either but it's more intense now, I think.

The week has been crazy, chaotic - horrible rains on the day we were moving most of our stuff and still a ton left to go. I admit I cursed the deities I don't currently believe in, just for good measure: "Really, God? REALLY? I know you have a sense of humor and all that, and I mean this with all due respect but - Fuck you. Don't take that the wrong way or anything."

But the tarp I'd put up over the tent (all by myself, I'll have you know) withstood the rains and is still standing. *pats self on back*  So there's that at least.
red_satin_doll: (Family)
ETA: MORE PRETTY PICTURES!  I'm incorrigible. Sue me.

*** [ profile] infinitewhale has posted a short but provocative meta about Buffy's dream in "Dead Things" and her own self-identification within the dream, briefly touching on the late-season Buffy & Willow parallels, and how Tara protects both women in OAFA. Hits my (bitter)sweet spot on about nine different levels. He was worried no one would want to read it, or that he couldn't write about the subject properly as a man. To which I say - nonsense, on both counts. If this fandom has reminded me of anything, it's that our shared humanity trumps gender differences unless we allow those differences to stand in our way.  Also, meta like his allows me to talk about subjects of great interest to me, while still preserving my commitment to focus on the ladies here on my journal. (I'm sneaky that way.) ETA: [ profile] rebcake informed me this meta is f'locked. Oops. Sorry. Ask nicely to friend him and don't please embarrass me, kids (because I can manage that on my own just fine, thank you.)

*** [ profile] fray_adjacent12 was inspired by recent conversations between myself and [ profile] kikimay re: the Summers sisters and the women of the 'verse, to create a new set of female-centric icons, including the scene from "Family" that I've grabbed, lots of lovely Tara-centric icons, Dawn, Faith, Buffy in S7. [ profile] kikimay confessed that the phrase "not in blood but in bond" comes from Thor/Loki movie fandom. a track by composer Hans Zimmerman for the Sherlock Holmes movie soundtrack. (Ugh) Too late, kiddo, it belongs to OUR fandom now. The Buffyverse's chosen families rule everything.

Off-topic but I feel like saying it anyway: Amber is such a gorgeous woman, isn't she? Every time I watch her in the show I think it's too bad no one in the costume department knew what to do with the body of a goddess, damn it.  (There, I said it.)

Fray has also posted her very first poll (yay!) in the service of Buffyverse evangelism: "If you were trying to introduce someone to BtVS and only had 2-3 episodes to show them, what would you choose?" Personally, I went with option #1 - start with WTTH and proceed chronologically. Not that I'd try to influence your answer or anything.

*** Speaking of Tara, polls, and OAFA (yes, I did; weren't you paying attention?) [ profile] mcjulie posted her OAFA episode poll.  Two things to keep in mind: Tara, in all her gentle AND badass glory, and...Clem! Everybody in fandom loves Clem! Love the comics, hate the comics, early-seasons fan, late-seasons lover, what-have-you: he's the one thing in the 'verse that we can all happily agree upon. World peace is at hand. You're welcome.

*** [ profile] eilowyn is wondering if anyone would be interested in a meta she's working on re: Buffy and trauma. I say HELL YES - but that's just me. The post is f'locked btw but if you're not friends with her ask nicely, because she's worth getting to know.

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