Changing horses mid-stream in NaNoWriMo

What started as an original super-powered rescue squad is now a Thunderbirds fanfiction including a super-powered rescue squad. I’m not giving the Tracy boys super powers; that’s been done, if not alwasys done well. The squad won’t be all girls as romantic foils to the boys; that’s also been done and not well. This will be a mixed gender squad positioning themselves as a rival to IR–with nefarious purposes lurking in the background.  Here’s hoping I can write the whole thing (or nearly so) in 50K!

Warm fuzzies

I received an email today from a reader who lives in Australia. She wanted to thank me for writing The White Winds and for being an influence on her own writing. She said…

…although you had no idea you were doing it, even just reading your stuff taught me the importance of making sure all your facts are right, that you spelling and editing is good, and that it doesn’t matter how long it takes you writing something as long as you stick to it and you’re somewhat proud of it at the end.

Her letter gave me the warm fuzzies. I’ve not felt too confident recently and her letter just gave me a needed boost. She also made me realize I have to finish a few things on my fan fiction list as well as edit what I’ve finished before I put it up on my new site.

Just wanted to share. I’m formulating a reply.

Busy building

Yep. I am busy building a new website. My old archive is falling to bits, mostly because I have only a passing acquaintance with HTML and none whatsoever with CSS. It pains me, in a way, to do this.  I felt my original site had some rather interesting features; for example, quite a few people commented favorably on my Library page with its shelves and books. However, the guestbook script I downloaded to act as a reviews board was no longer supported (indeed, no longer exists!) and was buggier than an ant hill. It filled with spam–though the spam catcher was really good a quarantining it and deleting it. The whole site is built on tables within tables within tables. It’s just too unwieldy. So, I’m going for a WordPress build on my own domain. I need something that looks sleek and will function as my author’s site as well as my fan fiction archive.

So far, so good. There is some tweaking still to be done but I’m learning as I go. My daughter, at least, has more than a passing acquaintance with CSS. (She’ll tell you she’s no expert but she’s better than I am!) I have already exported this blog and imported it there; eventually I’ll be posting there exclusively, I think.

I also like the fact that WordPress.org had the WP Copy Protect plug in, as well as JetPack, which is used here. There is entirely too much plagiarism on the Web these days. I’ve seen people copypasting stories they don’t own from Fictionpress and selling them on Amazon.com. There’s the whole issue with the food bloggers who are having their recipes and photos snagged and used in like-farming sites all over Facebook. The issue is part of the reason I’ve been leery of posting my novel online anywhere. But with the Copy Protect, I can do that safely. (Plus, I can put it behind a password for extra security while it’s being betaread.)

I’ll put up a link when I’m ready.

Stretching disbelief

Okay, y’all, explain this to me. Downton Abbey is an English period drama right? Set around 1920? Then why, oh why did someone cross it over with Thunderbirds, set over a century later? Why?? Who in blazes thought that would work?? SMH.

Well, I skimmed it over. Seems like Scott is just smushed in there to “save” Mary — mostly by being a packhorse and helping her cover up the fact that some man died in her room. Jeff is shoehorned in as a reason for Scott to be at Downton. There’s a brief mention of Lady Penelope and the Island, but really, is this a Thunderbirds cross-over? I don’t think so.

The tricky thing about writing cross-overs is making them plausible while keeping each universe true to itself. For example, someone has written a Doctor Who/Thunderbirds cross-over which manages to do that. Doctor Who is a very flexible universe which can stand being woven together with other fandoms. There could be a case made for movie-verse Thunderbirds and something modern day, such as Supernatural. One writer has done a lovely job melding TV-verse Thunderbirds with the anime Battle of the Planets. Of course, it’s fairly simple to cross Thunderbirds over with some of the other Gerry Anderson properties. Most of them are supposed to be set around the same time. But if you have to create an OC (such as a “long-lost Tracy sister”) in order to make the fandoms cross, you’ve done it poorly, IMO. It ends up being implausible, and stretches a reader’s willingness to suspend disbelief beyond its limits.

Yes, people have the right to write what they want. Yes, I’m ranting like a persnickety old geezer who wants the kids off her lawn. But I just can’t fathom how this Downton Abbey story could be called a cross-over with Thunderbirds when, if you change the names of the Tracys, you have some generic Americans visiting the manor for some unspecified reason.

A little fangasm!

Within just a day, I’ve had the pleasure of hauling out my Thunderbirds knowledge (with all the attendant books and other paraphernalia) to help a couple of fellow fanfic writers and personal friends. It was certainly fun, especially all the stuff about Alan Tracy’s educational background. Add to this my posting the first chapter of one of my short stories (Burning Muses) at AO3 and uploading a new post to my RP, and I’m full of Thunderbirds at the moment. It’s given me quite a hunger for fic and for writing or editing what I already have up. I edited the first chapter of Burning Muses, making it tighter. In many respects it was like my edit of the little scene I wrote a few days ago. The changes I made brought forth Brains’s voice and made him less … poetic. (Because if Brains is anything, it is NOT poetic.)

Then, there was the chatter at the dinner table. We went from Gosford Park to Downton Abbey (which we have not seen) to Acorn (which streams Downton Abbey), and then to Netflix – where movies are more plenteous in DVD than in streaming. This led to BBC America (and how we could get it on cable), to other premium cable services, to Game of Thrones and whether or not the TV series matched the novels. That particular thought brought out movies that didn’t match their source material – Boy #2 brought up the Percy Jackson movie (The Lightning Thief). This brought the whole shebang back to … Thunderbirds! The Girl’s comment: “I knew there was another kids movie like that! ” Hubby brought up that Frakes had said in an post-film interview that he directed the movie that the producers wanted, even though he knew the fans would be “annoyed by it” (Hubby’s words, not Frakes’s.) I promptly chimed in. “Annoyed? Annoyed?” Which, of course, is far too mild a term to describe the old guard’s intense hatred of the film.

Maybe if he’d stayed closer to the source material, we’d have had another Thunderbirds movie. After all,  there will be another Percy Jackson film, coming out this year.

Some fandoms get all the luck…

AO3

My friend lillehafrue sent me an invite to An Archive of Our Own (aka AO3) and I accepted. (Thanks, lille!) Posted a couple of small one shots, neither of them in my primary fandom.

Since I’ve posted at eFiction sites, the interface wasn’t as daunting as it would be for those who haven’t and I have some knowledge of HTML coding, which helps. The “warnings” business was more than a little confusing. I ended up deleting my first one shot because I couldn’t figure out a way to edit the “Author chose not to use archive warnings” in favor of “No archive warnings apply” (because they didn’t). So it still has some bugs to be user-friendly. (For all it’s complexity, eFiction is easier.)

Some of the Thunderbirds writers I know are there. Most aren’t, the elites in particular. There are only a handful of Thunderbirds stories, which means that ff.net is still the biggest archive. If I use it for my Thunderbirds work, I’m going to take my time putting it all up. (Can’t import from ff.net anyway; ff.net has blocked that.) At least no one is going to be using my penname there.