violsva: A graffiti white maple leaf surrounding the words Toronto Maple Waffles (toronto maple waffles)
So I’ve been sketching a lot recently.

And one of the things I’ve noticed, and that I remember, is an extreme reluctance to keep going sometimes. When you’ve drawn something that looks perfect to you, you start getting worried that anything else you do is going to ruin what you have so far. This leg is perfect, what if I can’t get the body right. Or even worse, this arm is perfect except that it’s too small for the rest of the body, and it needs to be done again. Now what?

It’s a disbelief in one’s ability to replicate one’s own work. You can’t just erase it and draw another one, or flip the page and try again, because that one won’t be as good.

Ursula Vernon talks about giving yourself permission to make bad art, because that’s the only way you learn. That applies to writing as well, and I have practice with letting myself write badly. But this doesn’t apply, quite, because there’s no way you’ll ruin already-written prose. You might end up with nowhere to put it in your story, but you’re not going to make it worse. Everything is fixable after the fact. Drawing, even in pencil, feels a lot more immutable.

But the thing about drawing, which helps, is that there is no way to get better except to practice. (And reading art books and looking at other art, sure. But that doesn’t actually improve, for example, your fine motor skills.) And that half-done sketch where I eventually gave up because her shoulders looked wrong is still practice, and the one that looks perfect except that the head is way too small is still practice, and my utter and repeated failure to draw cats is still practice. And if I had kept going and erased the shoulders and redrawn them, that would just have been more practice. More practice is good.

The other thing for me, though, is that I don’t actually want to be sketching. I want to paint. But (until the bank actually does their job) I don’t have paints. I have pencils and notebooks, so dammit, I’m doing this instead. So that makes it easier to accept that it’s not going to be perfect.
violsva: Sidney Paget illustration of Holmes and Watson, seated, with the caption "Cut out the poetry, Watson" (Holmes)
Prompt #1: Bearing Up

Prompt #2: Gone From the City

Prompt #3: A Name in a Crowd

Prompt #4: One or the Other

Prompt #5: Point

Prompt #7: Alarum: Late

The above are one series, Spiderweb, connected to Go On Take Everything

Prompt #6: Amuse: Late

Prompt #9: Motley

Prompt #10: Agreement

Prompt #11: Three Hundred Years Earlier: Warning: period-typical spelling

Prompt #12: A Moment's Meeting

Prompt #14: Territories

Prompt #15: Unwelcome Social Summons

Prompt #16: Side Saddles for Ladies

Prompt #17: Logical Conclusion

[pause as I moved into a new apartment]

Prompt #24: If You Could Read Them All

Prompt #25: Traced Home: Xu-lai and Jane

Prompt #27: Inspire

Prompt #29: And In Short, chapter 1

Prompt #30: And In Short, chapter 2

Prompt #31: Transverse
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
Title: Bearing Up
Author: Violsva
Rating: G
Universe: ACD
Character(s): Mrs. Hudson, John Watson
Relationships: None
Summary: Mrs. Hudson exercises her judgement.
Content Warnings: Blood
Word Count: 252
A.N.: For Watson's Woes July Writing Prompt #1.

On AO3

Yep, I'm doing it again, and you can too!
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.

Sunday Six

May. 28th, 2017 04:49 pm
violsva: Geoffrey Tennant, offering a skull (have a skull)
Sunday Sixes is a thing I've done on Tumblr, and you know, I can put them here too. (Six sentences from a WIP.)

And yet, Mary thought as he left, she did not think she could bear to wait a full week like this.

The time passed, slowly and uncomfortingly. Mary slept little, and did little; she went out into the streets of London a few times, and found only a wild confusion of people and streets and nothing familiar or calming. If she had walked through the same streets with her father, she might have asked him what she was seeing, and exclaimed over what was new to her; she would have cared to go into the museums and galleries and historic buildings. As it was she only stared at their outsides, and could not imagine she would find any comfort within. She looked at the crowds and thought of how one might simply lose oneself, or be lost, in them, blurring into the mass of humanity somehow, until one was never seen again.
violsva: Sidney Paget illustration of Watson reading, with the caption "Winner, JWP 2016" (watson's woes)
Title: Plots of Sax
Rating: T
Universe: Biscuitverse (BBC Sherlock)
Character(s): Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, Mary Morstan
Summary: For once it’s not (entirely) autocorrect’s fault.
Warnings/Enticements: Polyamory, Non-Consensual Drug Use, Texting, Humour
Word Count: 596

On AO3
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: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
So Wits on Tap is a poetry remix challenge run by [tumblr.com profile] redscudery, and I remixed Paid Down More Penitence by PorcupineGirl into Work, Learn. I don’t know what the hell the rhyme scheme thinks it’s doing, but it is at least a sonnet.
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)
Title: There Falls Thy Light
Rating: G
Universe: Raffles - E. W. Hornung
Character(s): Bunny Manders
Summary: The feast is finished and the lamps expired.
Warnings/Enticements: Angst angst angst
Word Count: 600

On AO3
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: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
I am participating in a fandom auction to raise money for various charities, primarily in the United States. You can find more information here. Bidding begins on January 12th and ends on the 20th.

I am offering one fic under 10k words in ACD Canon Sherlock Holmes, open to any rating. (I would also be willing to write Comfortable Courtesan fic, though the fandom's so small I didn't put it on the form.) You can find examples of my writing here.

There are also literally hundreds of other fans offering fic, art, betaing, etc., and you can find more information at fandomtrumpshate.tumblr.com.

Come see!

Yuletide

Jan. 1st, 2017 01:24 pm
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
So my Yuletide gift was The Spirit of Enquiry, and it is by [personal profile] breathedout, who I already knew was amazing but this further confirms it.

[incomprehensible fangirling deleted]

I wrote Les Femmes Acharnées, which is based on this painting (that’s all you need to know, that’s the canon). It is a spy AU, you will like it.

And The Adventure of the Speaking Spectre, which is Great Mouse Detective casefic, with ghosts! Well, maybe ghosts.

Which in terms of wordcount is actually the most I've ever done for Yuletide.

And I have basically been doing nothing but reading Yuletide fic and seeing family this week, so that’s been pretty good.
violsva: Sidney Paget illustration of Watson reading, with the caption "Winner, JWP 2016" (watson's woes)
Title: Clipped Whispers
Rating: G
Universe: ACD Canon
Character(s): John Watson, Mary Morstan
Summary: "We have received the strangest telegram, John. I think it must be intended for someone else."
Warnings/Enticements: Hiatus Angst
Word Count: 508
A.N.: For WAdvent 2016.

On AO3
violsva: The words "Oh, Sandy!"; a reference to The Comfortable Courtesan (Oh Sandy)
Title: Duties Owed
Author: Violsva
Fandom: [personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan
Rating: G
Warnings/Enticements: None
Word Count: 850
Summary: A lady’s maid’s skills should not be limited to matters of fashion.

On AO3
violsva: Sidney Paget illustration of Watson reading, with the caption "Winner, JWP 2016" (watson's woes)
I have been doing pretty well this year.

Prompt #1: Water Cure

Prompt #2: Take Hold of Me: Very Cavafian

Prompt #3: Rest and a Bit of Peace: Great Mouse Detective

Prompt #4: Blood and Bile: Good Omens crossover

Prompt #5: Amicitiae Nomine Tectus

Prompt #6: Energy and Nerve Force

Prompt #7: Petitions

Prompt #8: Vroom!

Prompt #9: Experiments: Xu-lai and Jane; warning: Furbies

Prompt #10: First of May (late): BBC Sherlock

Prompt #11: Désir Bruyant: Smut, pegging

Prompt #12: Pash: Based on this picture, hello.

Prompt #13: Of their dead selves to higher things: Slightly gross

Prompt #14: Return

Prompt #15: Bleeding Hearts Around: Based on "Love Armed" by Aphra Behn

Prompt #16: Unexpected Sources (late): Agatha Christie crossover

Prompt #17: Commission

Prompt #18: The Widows: The Landlady 'verse

Prompt #19: Duties to a Client

Prompt #20: Our Cause Is Ripe: Sequel to Bleeding Hearts Around (#15 above)

Prompt #21: Bitter

Prompt #22: Hopeful: Lord Peter Wimsey crossover

Prompt #23: A Dying Fall: Warning: puns

Prompt #24: Summoning: Literary Agent Hypothesis

Prompt #25: Something in the Air: Warning: crack, sex pollen, bodyswap, tentacles, crack

Prompt #26: Earthly (late)

Prompt #27: Texting a Landline

Prompt #28: It Raineth Every Day

Prompt #29: Caught: Great Mouse Detective

Prompt #30: Woken Up

August Amnesty:

Prompt #1: Bark at a Crow

Prompt #2: Art Appreciation

Prompt #3: Respectable: Warning: classism, nastiness

Prompt #5: Reconsolidation: In the same Little Mermaid fusion as Metatarsalgia
violsva: Geoffrey Tennant, offering a skull (have a skull)
I feel like this should have all the warnings, but nothing graphic actually happens. I just went there mentally, a lot.

Blood and Bile )

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