violsva: Sidney Paget illustration of Holmes and Watson, seated, with the caption "Cut out the poetry, Watson" (Holmes)
Title: Like Racing an Engine
Rating: E
Universe: Sherlock Holmes
Character(s): Sherlock Holmes, John Watson
Summary: Holmes gets bored on a long train ride.
Warnings/Enticements: Train Sex, Semi-Public Sex, Smoking, Orgasm Denial, Dirty Talk, Fellatio, Mild D/s
Word Count: 3751

A.N.: For [personal profile] breathedout for the 2017 Fandom Trumps Hate auction, in exchange for a donation to the ACLU. Beta-read by the amazing oulfis.

On AO3
violsva: The words "Oh, Sandy!"; a reference to The Comfortable Courtesan (Oh Sandy)
Title: The Burning Castle
Rating: T
Universe: [personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan
Character(s): Madame C-, Mr MacD-
Summary: For reasons we shall leave unspecified, Mr. MacD- and Lady B- are pretending to be both married and middle class at an extremely unpleasant house party.
Warnings/Enticements: Platonic Bed Sharing, Gothick Novels
Word Count: 775

A.N.: For song_of_staying for Yuletide NYR, who mentioned "platonic bedsharing, in a delightful nobody-knows-what-we're-doing-under-the-covers and-we're-discussing-gothic-horror kind of way" in their letter.

I hoped that at some point this scene would grow a plot, but it never did, and now that we're getting a similar situation in canon (!!) I thought I might as well post it.

On AO3
violsva: Sidney Paget illustration of Holmes and Watson, seated, with the caption "Cut out the poetry, Watson" (Holmes)
It is July, and therefore it is time for ficlets of misery. I'll put up a masterpost in a bit; other than that I'm not sure I'll blog all of them individually.

Title: Water Cure
Author: Violsva
Rating: G
Universe: ACD
Character(s): John Watson, Sherlock Holmes
Relationships: Watson/Mary
Summary: Mary Watson encourages her husband to join Holmes in Europe. There's nothing he can do in England, at the moment.
Content Warnings: Angst
Word Count: 490
A.N.: For Watson's Woes July Writing Prompt #1: 'Tis But a Scratch

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.”

violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (books)
Putting this on Dreamwidth as well as Tumblr:

So I’ve been thinking about soulmate AUs. The kind where your soulmate’s name is written on your skin. How would that start? When would that start?

Not with the beginning of writing. For centuries, in China, in Sumer, in Egypt, in Mesoamerica, writing was used for accounting or religion, and nothing else. Most people would never be able write their names or recognize them if they were written. Only royalty, gods, and perhaps some property owners would.

Individual scribes might have had signatures. For that matter, for all we know individual Paleolithic artists might have had signatures. But most people wouldn’t. What would happen the first time someone was born with an unknown symbol on their hand?

Probably it would be an isolated mystery. Remember, in most of these scenarios there’s no actual guarantee that you’ll ever meet your soulmate (although most people seem to end up with one from the same general area. Which is statistically unlikely). No one would know what it meant. Maybe people with symbols would be seen as special, or divine, or demonic.

And then it might start happening more often - or stop happening, if writing stopped being used (like in Greece after 1200 BCE). But most of the time still no one would know what the symbol meant. And most people wouldn’t have symbols, because most people’s soulmates wouldn’t know how to write.

(Sometimes I think the theory is that people would have a thumbprint instead of a soulmate mark? But this would be basically useless for matching purposes - you would have no idea where to start. So from that point of view the first people with actual names would just have them instead of the thumbprints that everyone else had and didn’t know the meaning of.

Incidentally, using thumbprints for recognition isn’t universal in non-literate societies either. European society didn’t realize that fingerprints were unique until the late 19th century. In a lot of places, they weren’t used until people were already using signatures, and needed an option for illiterate people. Also, while they are an identifying mark, they really have no relation at all to your name. For most of human existence, having a physical marker of your identity really wasn’t that important.)

Only somewhere with at least moderately widespread literacy would someone be able to look at a mark and go “Oh, that’s my friend Imhotep’s name. What a coincidence!” And only somewhere with widespread literacy would Imhotep’s soulmate also be able to write their name. Most early languages were logographic, and in cuneiform names specifically were almost always logographic, so you wouldn’t even be able to sound it out.

Phoenician (starting 1050 BCE) was the first widespread writing system, and was simple enough and common enough that sailors could write in it. It was also the first phoenetic script which would allow you to easily approximate the pronounciation of the writing on your skin.

But still, most people wouldn’t have symbols. Most people would never meet anyone with their name on their skin.

This would be a problem in AUs where you never feel sexual attraction to anyone who isn’t your soulmate. Imagine religion and culture in a world where almost everyone is functionally asexual.

How long would it take, until someone realized that if people’s names matched up, they had some kind of bond? How long would it take before this was a generally accepted theory?

Also, how long before this was seen as at all important, given that most people with the status to know how to read would also have arranged marriages?

But once it was generally accepted, suddenly literacy would become a lot more important. People would demand to learn how to write. (Some people would learn that their soulmate’s name wasn’t in the local writing system. What happens then?) People would want to give their children more unique names (ancient Rome had about thirty given names for men total, and they named their daughters “first Julia” and “second Julia.”)

Anyway, around ancient Rome or so, when there would not only be a lot of literate people but also a lot of people able to recognize foreign alphabets, suddenly there would be a huge drive for 1) more literacy and 2) better long distance communication, so you could find the Caius or Ξανθίππη or שָׂרָה who had your name on their skin. And as this idea became more and more widespread, so would this desire. The same thing would be happening in China and Ethiopia and India.

This would revolutionize world history. There would be strong motivations both for exploration and for making peace with foreign cultures. Everyone in Rome with a Jewish soulmate would want to make sure they wouldn’t be killed before they could meet them. Everyone with a soulmate in a strange language would want to know at least what language it was.

Come to think of it, these are also all good reasons for why people wouldn’t believe in soulmates. Your soulmate can’t be one of the hated barbarians, so that symbol doesn’t mean anything!

And that’s leaving out the fact that lots of people still wouldn’t have a soulmate who could write, and completely ignoring the existence of polyamory.

So getting to a modern society with everyone just knowing that that was your soulmate’s name would involve a really complicated history, probably nothing at all like ours. And there would be huge pressure to ignore the existence of soulmates at all.

No conclusions here, just taking an illogical premise way too logically.
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
Mary Wortley Montagu

At length, by so much importunity press’d,
Take, C——, at once, the inside of my breast;
This stupid indiff’rence so often you blame,
Is not owing to nature, to fear, or to shame:
I am not as cold as a virgin in lead,
Nor is Sunday’s sermon so strong in my head:
I know but too well how time flies along,
That we live but few years, and yet fewer are young.

But I hate to be cheated, and never will buy
Long years of repentance for moments of joy,
Oh! was there a man (but where shall I find
Good sense and good nature so equally join’d?)
Would value his pleasure, contribute to mine;
Not meanly would boast, nor would lewdly design;
Not over severe, yet not stupidly vain,
For I would have the power, tho’ not give the pain.

No pedant, yet learned; no rake-helly gay,
Or laughing, because he has nothing to say;
To all my whole sex obliging and free,
Yet never be fond of any but me;
In public preserve the decorum that’s just,
And shew in his eyes he is true to his trust;
Then rarely approach, and respectfully bow,
But not fulsomely pert, nor yet foppishly low.

But when the long hours of public are past,
And we meet with champagne and a chicken at last,
May ev’ry fond pleasure that moment endear;
Be banish’d afar both discretion and fear!
Forgetting or scorning the airs of the crowd,
He may cease to be formal, and I to be proud.
Till lost in the joy, we confess that we live,
And he may be rude, and yet I may forgive.

And that my delight may be solidly fix’d,
Let the friend and the lover be handsomely mix’d;
In whose tender bosom my soul may confide,
Whose kindness can soothe me, whose counsel can guide.
From such a dear lover as here I describe,
No danger should fright me, no millions should bribe;
But till this astonishing creature I know,
As I long have liv’d chaste, I will keep myself so.

I never will share with the wanton coquette,
Or be caught by a vain affectation of wit.
The toasters and songsters may try all their art,
But never shall enter the pass of my heart.
I loath the lewd rake, the dress’d fopling despise:
Before such pursuers the nice virgin flies:
And as Ovid has sweetly in parable told,
We harden like trees, and like rivers grow cold.
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
A. E. Housman

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
"Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free."
But I was one-and-twenty,
No use to talk to me.

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard him say again,
"The heart out of the bosom
Was never given in vain;
'Tis paid with sighs a plenty
And sold for endless rue."
And I am two-and-twenty
And oh, 'tis true, 'tis true.

Emotions!

Sep. 15th, 2013 01:17 am
violsva: Mulan squinting at a bowl of food (morning mulan)
I have discovered a way to make everyone on omegle disconnect in seconds without mentioning anything offensive.

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