0-gate artistic landscape

Welcome to My Journal

This journal is focused on Stargate SG-1, but includes other SF and writing-related subjects.  There are also a few personal entries, which are the only ones that are friends-locked.  

To find my fan fiction, you can use the fanfic tag.  I haven't written a lot of fanfic, but I have completed a full-length novel and a short story.

Many thanks to all the Stargate artists on LJ.  I love icons!  And I love using icons to illustrate/symbolize my stories.

Thanks to moonshayde   for the main image in my header, and to txduck   for the Sam/Jack icon.  The clumsy attempt to combine them is entirely mine.
Team with Patch

Liberating Males Nominated Again

My SG-1 novel, Liberating Males, has once again been nominated for a Stargate Fan Fiction Award.  Yay!  It's nice to know people are still getting pleasure from it.  I do get occasional new reviews on it, even though it was completed in 2007.

It's especially nice to know the story has been noticed considering I'm not anywhere near as prolific a fan fic writer as some people.  I've actually only completed two works:  Liberating Males (though that's over 100,000 words), and one short story, The Loving Cup.

I'm no longer writing fan fiction, but I have to thank the Stargate fan community for getting my creative juices flowing, because I'm now trying to write an original science fiction novel.  I'm just in the first draft stage, and who knows where it will go, but I'm learning a lot from my critique partners, and I learned a lot from writing fan fiction, too.  For one thing, I learned I have it in me to complete a novel!

I placed Liberating Males in the following category:  SG-1 Fan Fiction > Ship > Jack/Sam > Large Works.
  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished
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Daniel with Text

The Story in the Words

In my writer's critique group, someone complained about a phrase I had used by saying,  "It threw me right out of the story."  And I immediately understood what she meant.

Poor writing causes you to become too aware of the specific words on the page, due to those words being badly chosen, awkwardly strung together, or not appropriate to the context.   You are starkly reminded that the words are what's real, while the experiences they describe exist only in your head.

I don't know about you, but for me, getting thrown out of the story is too common even when I'm reading professionally published fiction rather than fan fiction.  Some of the fan fiction I've read is better than some of the published stuff (as I'm sure we've all noticed).

My fiction reading consists almost entirely of science fiction and fantasy, but because SF&F encompasses so many different kinds of stories, the writing styles and quality I encounter run the gamut.  In my quest to improve as a writer, I've been asking myself about the impact on me as a reader of the relationship between words and story in different sub-genres of SF&F.

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Team with Patch

Finally Saw Continuum!

And that's a good reason to finally post an entry to my journal, which I haven't touched in months.  The only posts I've been doing lately are on David Cook boards (my new obsession).

I've been going through a terrible dry spell as far as writing goes.  I haven't written any fiction for even longer than I've gone without posting in this journal, and it's not because I lack ideas, it's just because I lack the motivation to try to form them into words.  It just seems too hard.  I've talked about this in my writer's group.  It's like I've built up the goal of expressing myself at a good enough level (good enough in my own eyes) into such a huge mountain that the thought of trying to climb it makes me feel tired before I've even started.

Anyway, about Continuum.  I've been looking forward to this movie for a long time.  The reason I didn't get it earlier is because I was waiting to build up enough points on either my Borders or Amazon credit cards to be able to get it for free.  But yesterday I was in Best Buy and saw it and decided, the heck with it, I want it now!  I'll spend my free money on something else!

So, here's my review.
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Happy Birthday, ladyireth!

Hope it's a great one!

I've started making a habit of including icons in birthday posts, since I collect so many, but in your case that would be silly.  So here a couple of yummy Jack images that I hope will contribute to a good mood!

  • Current Mood
    cheerful cheerful
Team with Patch

Stargate vs. Stargate Fan Fiction: What Genre?

Stargate SG-1 is a science fiction show.  We know that because it's on the Sci-Fi channel.  (Ha Ha)

Srsly, unlike a lot of other things on Sci-Fi, Stargate is true science fiction.  It may be geared to deliver action/adventure, but the "speculative fiction" elements are more than window dressing.  They are vital to the show's essence, and that's what puts Stargate squarely within the SF genre.

The label "SF" covers a lot of ground, though.  What kind of science fiction is Stargate?

I see a strong tinge of space opera, what with the Good Guys and Bad Guys duking it out to decide the Ultimate Fate of the Galaxy, and the cosmic-canvas themes involving the Ancients* and other Elder Races.  There are shades of military SF, too, since the protagonists are soldiers (or scientists who have joined the war effort).   But, overall, I'd say Stargate falls under the general heading of "soft" SF.  It does use concepts from the hard sciences -- such as the Stargate wormhole itself -- but the speculative/imaginative core of the series lies in the areas of psychology and sociology; philosophy and morals; mythology and religion. The Gateverse really lends itself to exploring those aspects of the human experience, not only because it contains a myriad of human worlds derived from different cultural roots, and involves aliens pretending to be gods, but because it provides characters who are complex, flawed, and recognizably human -- even while also being the sort of larger-than-life heroes you'd expect to find in an SF adventure.

Another defining characteristic of Stargate is the humor, especially the self-referential variety (yes, we're inside an SF adventure show, and isn't it fun?).  And there's a bit of romance here and there.  The fictional genre varies somewhat from one episode to another.

So, Stargate the TV show is SF action/adventure, with a generous dollop of humor and a pinch of romance.   But what about Stargate fan fiction?  Is it mostly the same genre as the show, or mostly not?

A lot of the fan fiction I read has a heavy romance element, which is hardly surprising since I'm into ship.   But some ship stories are still basically the same genre as the show, just with more emphasis on the romance.  That's true of my own fan fiction.  However, many ship stories seem to be straight romance, with no "speculative fiction" aspect at all.  The SF elements are in the story only because they're an established part of the Stargate universe.  Sometimes even that is missing, because the story is set on Earth, and deals with the characters in an ordinary "real world" setting.

I've wondered what that says about why fans are drawn to Stargate.  Are a lot of fans into the show only because they love the characters, and get a kick out of putting them into romantic fantasies?  Are the thinky SF elements incidental to them?

My impression is that most Stargate fan fiction isn't science fiction, but I'm not the best person to judge.  The truth is, I've only dipped my toes in the fan fic ocean.  Most of my reading time is still devoted to regular books, and I've read hardly any gen fan fiction at all.

I'd be interested to hear from some of you who know Stargate fan fiction better than I do.  What do you think about this?


* One of my pet peeves is the name "Ancients" for the race that built the Stargates.  I mean:  "Ancient ruins."  And it's not as if it takes genius to do better.  What was wrong with "Gatebuilders?"
  • Current Mood
    relaxed relaxed
Team with Patch

The Gray Doofus Strikes Again

Mystic broke another glass.  I've had this cat for about a year, and so far he's broken two glasses, a ceramic coaster, the decorative lamp my sister gave me, and a pottery souvenir I got in Curacao.  Come on!  Cats are supposed to be graceful!

Ok, so he's not.  He's also not the sharpest feline on the planet.  It took him two days to figure out how to use the cat door, and when I'm in the shower, he paws on the shower door like he wants to be let in.  And no, he does not enjoy getting wet.  But that clingy desire to be near me is what sets him apart from the rest of cat kind.  No aloof dignity for him!  Every day, when I get home from work, I hear plaintive meows coming from the other side of the door.  And he takes stuffed animals down off the shelves because he likes to play with them.  And sometimes, when I go to wash my face, I find this:

Guess I can live with a little breakage.
Daniel with Text

Another Writing Meme

Snagged from holdouttrout  

Why fic? Why not original stories? 

Because my obsession with Stargate SG-1 is what got me to write any fiction at all.

I used to write stories when I was a girl, and wanted to be a writer when I grew up.  And I sort of am -- only I'm a technical writer.  Writing fan fiction has rekindled my dream of becoming an SF author.  I've gotten involved in a writer's association, and a local critique group, and I've been reading books about the craft of writing and the ins and outs of getting published.  But I still have a long way to go.  Like, actually writing an original story.  I have a couple of half-formed ideas, but my Stargate ideas are so much better developed, yet I've been neglecting them, too!

Do you, as a fanfic writer, write for feedback?

No.  I started writing fiction again because I had ideas and images churning in my head that I needed to get out.  It's peculiarly satisfying to transform wispy inner visions into solid lines of symbols that can stare back at me from the computer screen.

Do you post fanfic for feedback?

I can say no to that, because when I started posting fan fic I had little experience with the online community.  I am a very introverted person, so attracting attention from mysterious someones out on the World Wide Web made me a little nervous.  Especially since my story contained sexual themes.  I remember feeling anxious about preserving my anonymity lest some perv out there in Internet Land start stalking me.

But then I cast that first story, that little capsule of self, into the great ocean of cyberspace, and messages in bottles came floating magically back to me from all around the world.  So now, I am a feedback Cookie Monster.  COOKIE!   COOKIE!   (Even if the feedback is critical, it's still a COOKIE!)

Do you expect reviews?

Yes.  Just because I've always received some, I guess.  Though I don't have any expectation of receiving any particular number.

Why else would you post fic?

To share it, of course.  Though I write primarily for myself, I also write for my Imaginary Reader, who is standing at my shoulder as I tap the keys.  For me, writing is a realization of self, but also an act of communication.

I think that's what makes fan fiction so seductive.  Not only do you get to play with your favorite characters, and exercise your imagination, and expand your expressive horizons, but you get instant gratification on the communication front.  There's an easily accessible pool of people that already shares your obsession.  Just post the story, and Imaginary Reader is transformed into Real Reader.

Even if people don't review, just seeing those read counts tick up says you communicated -- and the way the numbers trail off down the chapter list gives you a clue how well.  (That's one bad thing about LJ -- no counter.)  Then there are the readers that review -- and blow your mind with all the angles and insights that Imaginary Reader missed.


  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative
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Team with Patch

Ark of Meh

Finally saw Ark of Truth, for $3.99 on iControl, and was glad I didn't pay more.

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I'm still looking forward to Continuum, though.  That's always been the movie I really wanted to see.  And GateWorld just posted a rave review of it.  Hope it proves justified!