violsva: Sidney Paget illustration of Holmes and Watson, seated, with the caption "Cut out the poetry, Watson" (Holmes)
Title: All the Joys
Rating: T
Universe: ACD Sherlock Holmes
Character(s): Focused on OCs; Sherlock Holmes, John Watson
Summary: The fundamentals of a case: a young lady, a threatened inheritance, a villainous relative.
Warnings/Enticements: Femslash, Case Fic
Word Count: 9946

On AO3
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
The problem with the worst forms of prescriptivism applied to media is that they are trying to find a way to make people write media that absolutely no one will be offended or upset by.

Problem one: This is impossible. There is nothing that anyone finds appealing that someone else won’t really really dislike. And I don’t mean “be indifferent to”, I mean “be actively repulsed by”. And yes, I’m including fluffy happy fantasies of people taking care of each other: some people cannot read those without going into depressive spirals. Some people just get so bored they can’t finish them.

Problem two: No one ever loved a book just because it didn’t offend them.

No one ever loved a book just because it wasn’t terrible. It has to actually be good - by their definition of good. And that’s where Problem One comes in - as soon as a book is doing something a reader will love, it’s doing something that another reader will hate.

Some people want ass-kicking female characters who will protect their friends and conquer their enemies. Some people hate violence.

Some people want to read about gay male couples getting together and living happily ever after. Some people hate romance. Some people don’t want to read about men.

Some people love complicated deep beautiful prose and pages of exposition about a character’s inner state; some people want to get to the fucking point.

And all of this gets intensified when it comes to sex. Anything that anyone finds hot - urophilia, say, or anal play, or penises - someone else is going to find absolutely disgusting and an immediate turnoff.

The solution is insight, and self awareness. The solution is the ability to recognize that your own upset, or your own joy, is not universal.

Nothing is universal. Nothing will apply to everyone. That is the fundamental point of diversity - people are different. People want different things, and that’s good.

If you write something that makes at least one person happy, it will make someone else furious. Someone else will be bored. Someone else will be grossed out. Someone else will think it was okay but forgettable. Someone else will think it was lifesaving.

If you want to write something good, you need to be prepared to write something upsetting.
violsva: The words "towsell-mowsell on a sopha"; a reference to The Comfortable Courtesan (towsell-mowsell)
Title: The Langham
Rating: E
Universe: ACD Sherlock Holmes/BBC Sherlock crossover
Character(s): Mary Morstan, Mary Morstan
Summary: On the worst night of Mary’s life, someone appears in her hotel room.
And identity is funny being yourself is funny as you are never yourself to yourself except as you remember yourself and then of course you do not believe yourself. --Gertrude Stein
Warnings/Enticements: Femslash, Angst, Crack taken seriously, Victorian attitudes, Selfcest
Word Count: 7393

On AO3

Femslash June: for when you like Femslash February but you don't write fast enough.
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
Finished

Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont: More worldwide and modern view than I had previously, lots of help with practicals.

Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800 by Khaled El-Rouayheb: Very good as a general overview of mindsets. Also I like that he kept specifying exactly what he and his sources were talking about. Other notes here

From a High Tower by Mercedes Lackey: It's a Mercedes Lackey book. Although I feel like I keep getting poked in the ethical sensibilities by my comfort-reading right now, which is annoying.

In Progress

Cotillion by Georgette Heyer and Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho: Have actually been reading these this week.

Library

As well as Before Homosexuality, read an article on determining prehistoric TFRs from skeletal remains and ethnography.
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
Written in 24 hours for the [livejournal.com profile] come_at_once challenge on LJ:

Title: I Have No Time for Trifles
Rating: E
Universe: ACD Canon
Character(s): John Watson, Sherlock Holmes
Prompt/Summary: This wasn't on the list.
Warnings/Enticements: Slash, Watson's sense of humour
Word Count: 1481

On AO3

Written in a lot more than 24 hours and posted a month ago:

Title: Inward Trembling
Rating: E
Universe: ACD Canon
Character(s): John Watson, Mary Morstan, Sherlock Holmes
Summary: Holmes gets to watch.
Warnings/Enticements: Het, Voyeurism, Polyamory
Word Count: 1728
A.N.: Sequel to In Your Patience Possess

On AO3
violsva: Sidney Paget illustration of Holmes and Watson, seated, with the caption "Cut out the poetry, Watson" (Holmes)
Title: In Confidence
Author: Violsva
Fandom: BBC Sherlock (I don't actually like the show! I just keep writing about it. /o\)
Rating: T
Warnings/Enticements: Femslash, Het
Word Count: 4911
Summary: After Jim, Molly gets much better at telling when people have secrets.
Notes: For Pridelolly.

On AO3
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
 From this post. @sherlollymouse, your fault (also, hi! I’m Vi.)

Irene would do sex ed and advocate keeping sex work safe as well as legalizing it 

“So.” Irene slaps her palm with a riding crop. “We normally don’t talk about politics on these shows. At least, most of us don’t.”

Cut to Mycroft rolling his eyes. Mycroft may be tied to a bed at the time. Cut back.

“But there’s a very important issue I need to bring to your attention. Many of you may believe certain stereotypes about sex workers.

I am lucky. I have stability. An established position. Bargaining power. Most sex workers don’t.

“But all of us deserve safe working conditions. No matter who we are, where we’re from, or what we do.”

Fics

Jun. 2nd, 2015 05:58 pm
violsva: Sidney Paget illustration of Holmes and Watson, seated, with the caption "Cut out the poetry, Watson" (Holmes)
So my brain picked the worst possible time (March) to decide it wanted to write BBC Sherlock fic.

Title: Network
Author: Violsva
Fandom: Sherlock BBC
Rating: T
Warnings/Enticements: Angst, Mental Health Issues, Stream of Consciousness, References to Self Harm and Drug Use
Word Count: 1004
Summary: This was all so much easier before he cared about people.

On AO3.

Title: Busy
Author: Violsva
Fandom: Sherlock BBC
Rating: E
Warnings/Enticements: Cunnilingus
Word Count: 401
Summary: Taking advantage of time off.

On AO3.

Title: Little More
Author: Violsva
Fandom: Sherlock BBC
Rating: E
Warnings/Enticements: Kinky Sex
Word Count: 1133
Summary: Sally is hesitant. She knows Molly isn't.

On AO3.
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
First of all, I was cleaning up my drafts folder and it was International Fanworks Day and I've posted four drabbles: Sherlock Holmes ones on fanfiction, on Tennyson, and on interior decoration, and a Good Omens drabble on Love.

Second of all, I've been working on this fic on and off for nearly two years, and it's done. I think it's done, anyway.

Title: Witness and Testimony
Author: Violsva
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle
Rating: E
Warnings/Enticements: Case Fic, Pining, Victorian Attitudes, Demisexuality, Virgin Holmes, Sexual Content
Word Count: 11763
Summary: Men of certain dispositions should not take up residence with consulting detectives. Having done so anyway, Watson is finally forced to face the consequences. Not quite the consequences he expected, however.

On AO3.
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
Title: Trivium
Author: Violsva
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle
Rating: T
Warnings/Enticements: Threesomes
Word Count: 883
Summary: The beginnings, or, Rhetoric, Grammar, and Logic.

On AO3.
violsva: Sidney Paget illustration of Holmes and Watson, seated, with the caption "Cut out the poetry, Watson" (Holmes)
queerwatson:
trying to read a book by a straight man that discusses how holmes and watson might have been queer, more like a discussion of how ‘feminine’ watson apparently is (???) and overuse of the word homosexual

queerwatson:
also blatant misogyny around every corner
my fave!!!!!

I have actually been having Thoughts about this recently, and they may not be very coherent thoughts, but oh well.

Watson actually does a lot of things that are traditionally coded as feminine, and especially so for Victorians. He’s giving huge amounts of his time to support Holmes, both by assisting in his investigations but more importantly by writing stories and therefore publicizing Holmes and giving him clients. And this is completely in line with the Victorian wife, who might seem passive but was absolutely supposed to be supporting her husband’s work in her own, social arena. See An Ideal Husband. Agatha Christie (born 1890) writes in her autobiography about how much of a woman’s life was completely determined by her future husband’s career, and this is certainly the case for Watson. (because he chooses for it to be the case.)
And a lot of what Watson does as Holmes’ doctor looking after his welfare would be completely appropriate for a wife as well. Watson accepting Holmes’ quirks but insisting that he take care of himself and rushing to his side when he’s ill. And in fic of course there’s even more of this, and also of Watson being Holmes’ moral compass, which was absolutely a wife’s duty.

But Watson does all of this as an absolutely proper English gentleman who fulfills all the roles of a proper English gentleman as well. When Holmes says there’s no one better than Watson to be a jury (ABBE), he means that Watson is worth twelve other men. And also that he is moral and wonderful and has good judgement. And of course Watson is a doctor and a soldier and these were both heavily masculine roles.

…I should have a conclusion here, but basically, John Watson! Man who is totally comfortable taking a “feminine” role in relationships without worrying about his masculinity!

Oh wait, yes, I did have a conclusion. This is why people underestimate Watson. Because his contributions are stereotypically feminine and therefore ignored. Taking care of people and supporting them cannot possibly be important even though they are the most important. So it’s assumed that Holmes doesn’t need him or that he’s incapable because he doesn’t do flashy things. But Watson isn’t flashy, that’s the point. Except when he’s shooting things for Holmes, but I suppose those authors ignore those moments?

So - yes these are coded feminine, but obviously they aren’t inherently so, and also devaluing them sucks and is still sexist.

Also! he’s doing all this for someone who is in every other way coded as more feminine than he is! Which is neat!

Well

Feb. 14th, 2015 03:51 pm
violsva: Sidney Paget illustration of Holmes and Watson, seated, with the caption "Cut out the poetry, Watson" (Holmes)
Title: Overwhelming
Author: Violsva
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle
Rating: E. E E E.
Warnings/Enticements: Oral Sex, did I mention Explicit?, Threesomes
Word Count: 451
Summary: Holmes is trying something new. Watson offers some expert assistance.

On AO3.
violsva: Geoffrey Tennant, offering a skull (have a skull)
Tonight on midnight literary analysis, let’s talk about queerness in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

The thing you need to remember about this story is that when it was first published, no one knew how it ended. Which seems obvious, but everyone today approaches that story having been already spoiled. When you’re reading it for the first time, even if you’re 8 years old

- oh, that’s why I have such a thing for late Victorian horror. Oh. That makes sense. Thanks, Ms. McDonald. -

you’re looking for foreshadowing. You know what to expect. This can lead to the attitude my brother had when reading Dracula for a class - “Stop describing your breakfast and get to the vampires!” (He was mostly upset because he’d wanted to read Frankenstein.)

But you’re not supposed to look at it like that. You’re not supposed to know what’s going on with Jekyll. If you don’t know what’s coming, there’s suspense. The main image through the book is the fog. We get the story second hand, someone tells someone else, someone reads a document, everything is detached and not quite certain. That’s the atmosphere we start with.

It’s a mystery story.

So, you start with bachelors talking to each other. Actually, everyone is a bachelor - women show up as victims, and otherwise not at all. And you start with fine, upstanding Dr. Jekyll, who has a friend.

A friend he’s left all his property to. A friend who can get money off him at a moment’s notice. A friend he’s fond of even though he does terrible things. A friend who’s younger and smaller than him. A friend who looks normal but gives everyone the creeps. A friend who has a key to his house.

Is he blackmailing Jekyll? Is he some black sheep relative? Is he Jekyll’s illegitimate son? Or is he Jekyll’s lover? Even if it’s just blackmail, the question becomes what in Jekyll’s past is so absolutely terrible that he can’t risk the possibility of it coming out, even when he has lots of people on his side and there’s plenty of evidence against Hyde.

For the Victorians, there was a very close connection between blackmail and homosexuality. The 1885 Act criminalizing any “gross indecency between males” was known as the Blackmailer’s Charter.

Jekyll begins to live in fear. He avoids his friends. He suddenly leaves conversations. He stays in his house and doesn’t talk to his servants. And then his former close friend discovers something about him that’s so horrible that he has a breakdown and refuses to see or speak to Jekyll ever again.

Jekyll is not intended to be gay. But the hints of homosexuality - and illegitimacy, and blackmail, and various ‘nameless crimes’ - are used to draw the reader in, and it’s assumed that the reader will easily read between the lines.

it isn’t a gay allegory. It’s deliberately using the idea of homosexuality, which the reader is assumed to already know about, for its purposes.

The narrative resonated with contemporary queer men - J. A. Symonds and Gerald Manley Hopkins both commented on it.

But what it’s actually doing is playing with all kinds of forbidden sexuality to build up an atmosphere of secrecy and darkness, so it can then reveal that in fact the truth is something far worse

Probably. Of course, if Jekyll’s secret was that he was gay, the book couldn’t have been published.
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (books)
 So okay, I’m rereading the (selected) Chronicles of Narnia, because they’re calming, and came across this:

“This is the Island where Dreams come true.”

“That’s the island I’ve been looking for this long time,” said one of the sailors. “I reckon I’d find I was married to Nancy if we landed here.”

“And I’d find Tom alive again,” said another.

We can draw two conclusions from this: 1) There are gay sailors on the Dawn Treader (it’s established earlier that Lucy is the only woman) and 2) C. S. Lewis was not aware of this.

Look at the parallel structure there. “I’d have my wife,” “And I’d have my husband." You can come up with alternative explanations, sure, but this is the most logical.

Lewis did not intend this to be gay. This isn’t representation. But this is evidence for queer relationships being relatively accepted in Narnia. And we can use it as that when reading the books.

What I’m saying, basically, is that something not being intended by the author doesn’t mean it isn’t there. And just because something’s there, or even obviously there to modern/fandom eyes, doesn’t mean it was intended by the author.

And, to some degree, in fandom, that shouldn’t matterAll we have to work with is what’s actually on the page.

violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
Title: Let Me
Author: Violsva
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes
Rating: E
Warnings/Enticements: Insomnia, Slash, Internalized Homophobia, Victorian Attitudes, Awkward Sexual Situations, Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Cuddling, Explicit Sexual Content, Masturbation, handjobs, Massage, Fellatio
Word Count: 11756
Summary: Sherlock Holmes has suffered from insomnia all his life. When Watson realizes the extent of it, he searches for a way to comfort Holmes, and in the process confronts things neither of them have been saying.

On AO3.

Also, If, experimental poetic smut.
violsva: Sidney Paget illustration of Holmes and Watson, seated, with the caption "Cut out the poetry, Watson" (Holmes)
The whole thing's done now, and I have been remiss in posting about it.

Title: Just How This Would End
Author: Violsva
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes
Rating: M
Warnings/Enticements: Angst, Infidelity, Separation, Sexual Content, Victorian Attitudes, Lesbians!
Word Count: about exactly 12000 total
Summary: Having consulted Sherlock Holmes before, Violet Hunter knows what to expect when she takes a friend to him for help. She is incorrect.

On AO3.
violsva: Merida from Brave, with the text "Solve all your problems by turning your mother into a bear" (Merida bear)
 So, there’s a sort of long ongoing argument where one side says “Why is there no femslash? :(” and other people say “we just write what we want to write, and male characters are better developed and written to be more interesting” and the first people say “but isn’t fandom about reinterpreting canon and exploring things the creators don’t” and it just keeps going around and around and eventually someone says “why are you putting the burden on fanwriters when mainstream media has so much more power?”

This is solely in response to that last point.

Women have money. Historically ‘geeky’ fandoms haven’t been eager to take that money, but they’re starting to realize it exists and they might want some.

But all media still assumes that their core audience is straight white men 18-35. And they will not lose that audience if possible. And they assume that not writing about male characters will lose them.

But there’s a solution! If you write a show with no significant female characters, you can, they believe, still get women to watch it if you just make sure you have two pretty white men with lots of sexual tension. And straight white men 18-35 will still watch it, and probably deny that there’s any sexual tension at all.

The problem with saying that it’s on the creators is that we have so much evidence that if they can get away without writing lead female roles, theywill. And if they see that there is huge demand for shows with two pretty white men as the leading characters, they’re going to ignore any demand for anything else and then say that they are just giving female fans what they want.

If you object to any new female characters in a show about these two white boys, the creators of that show don’t know that you also watch Orange is the New Black. They hear “Women don’t want more female characters anyway. Actresses are sent death threats for playing love interests! Clearly there’s no point to focusing on the women in this show.”

And I’m not saying there’s an easy way to fix this. But there are reasons why we need to celebrate female characters in fandom, as much as we can. We need to say we want female characters, and show that we like female characters* or else we will be invisible in fandom, and women will be invisible in media.

The burden is on fandom because if we don’t show that we care about it, no one else will care. This sucks, but it’s what we have to deal with.

.

*Translation: that female characters will make more people watch the show, and that a lack of female characters will make existing fans say 'screw it’ and leave to watch something else, rather than also watching something else

violsva: Sidney Paget illustration of Holmes and Watson, seated, with the caption "Cut out the poetry, Watson" (Holmes)
I have something of a backlog from challenges etc. this spring, so it's going to get busier around here. *\o/*

Title: Just How This Would End
Author: Violsva
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes
Rating: M
Warnings/Enticements: Angst, Infidelity, Separation, Sexual Content, Victorian Attitudes, Lesbians!
Word Count: about 12000 total
Summary: Having consulted Sherlock Holmes before, Violet Hunter knows what to expect when she takes a friend to him for help. She is incorrect.

Chapter 1

Fragment 31

May. 3rd, 2014 06:42 pm
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
And this, which I could queue on tumblr when I wasn't feeling fragile and then went ack when I was about to repost it but look, people, I know Greek.

Sappho; translated by, um, me

That man seems equal to the gods
to me, who sits across from you
and from so close can hear your sweet
speaking

and lovely laughter, as they force
my heart to shudder in my chest.
For when I briefly look at you,
speaking is lost,

instead my tongue sticks, subtly
a fire runs under my skin,
my eyes see nothing, roaring fills
my ears,

cold sweat pours over me, trembling
grips all of me, and pale as grass
I am; I seem to be so close
to dying.

But all must be endured, since
a poor and [

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