Anonymous said: Excellent writing and intelligent meta!
Anonymous said: Excellent writing and intelligent meta!
Anonymous said: I follow you for your love of Sam Winchester and your awesome fanfiction.
~ sam love makes the world go ‘round ~
Thanks so much!
pocochina said: 2 and/or 7 and/or 23
2 - Is there a trope you’ve yet to try your hand at, but really want to?
Y’know, I haven’t yet written a proper casefic—something plotty, with a believable antagonist that fits smoothly into canon. While it’s true I’m a lazy bum and can’t outline stuff for shit, it’s still something I really, really want to write. Sometime in the future, maybe.
7 - Share a snippet from one of your favorite pieces of prose you’ve written and explain why you’re proud of it.
From Zir Noco Iod Gadreel:
Sam Winchester… is indescribable.
You don’t have much experience to work with, but standing there in that hospital room with his brother leaking blood and desperation, your hand over his heart—you know. This man has held Lucifer. His residual grace reaches towards you like a plant reaching for the sun, and you should recoil, you want to recoil, but—
This man held Lucifer and survived.
His insides are half-burnt and he is one mistake away from death; yet, you know these are all fixable. More than that—his mind is a strongbox, removed from his broken, bent, failing body; a strongbox made of scar tissue and unimaginable pain. You do not dare enter, but the door is well-oiled, and you walk in.
no garden. No—
—thing can truly encompass the utter desolation that you see: a world wiped clean by devastation, a—
toxic non-space where the soil glows with radiation and the sky is covered in grey stormclouds and Sam—
stands in the middle of it all like the impossible man that he is, and he—
—almost sees you.
(Post-apocalyptic, you think, is a great way to describe Sam’s soul.)
You retreat quickly; you have no intention of confronting that damaged a psyche until you have some strength of your own. You focus, instead, on Sam’s physical injuries, that are rather considerable. In this you find the reassurance of practice—you have put together entire beings before.
You are God, and you are the devil, and you begin to re-create Sam Winchester.
Shame runs through Sam like fissures deepening into ravines; he regrets (deeply, forever), and the weight of his guilt is staggering. Sam is over two hundred years old and has seen places and endured things that nobody else has in the history of his species, and the words atonement and penance have come to mean large, jagged, ugly, impossible things, that only serve to break Sam further.
They have come to mean being accepted by his brother.
Sam loves his brother fiercely, and so it means you love Dean fiercely without knowing or understanding why. Dean demands, Dean often seems to care little of your safety, Dean forgets, Dean needles, Dean hates, and Dean loves—at least he seems willing to lie for you.
You want to love Sam like you love Dean, like you once loved Earl, loved Abner; but you can’t love yourself—you know too well the weight of unending guilt and being pared down to nothing but a basic instinct to survive by centuries of torture. What you have not known so far is working towards atonement, as cruel and desolate as the journey is.
So when Dean asks, you listen, no matter how it drains both you and Sam.
After all, atonement has to start somewhere.
I’m pretty proud of this fic in general, but I like this part the best because it nailed for me the things I’d been trying to figure out regarding how Gadreel sees Sam—the way he has a fantastic vantage point for some great insight, and the kind of respect that would’ve come from having his story so closely paralleling his, and then seeing where Sam took his story.
23 - If you were to revise one of your older fics from start to finish, which would it be and why?
Gosh, I’m tempted to rewrite almost all of them—my prose was so messy back then! (Well, it still is, but it used to be really bad.) I want to go back and rewrite Built to Fall probably—I started it out with such great ambition, completely forgot that I was writing it for a Big Bang, and with my long-suffering artist sending me emails and my deadline looming closer and closer, I rounded it up and finished it in the most unimaginative way possible. The prose itself isn’t terrible, but the story flops about like a limp fish.
denugis said: Apart from how Sam's danger isn't scary to me the way Dean's is that I raised in tags, I think what pings wrong is: Sam DOESN'T generally mask it. It's not like when he's in revenge mode he pretends to love the object of his intent; Azazel and Crowley and Lilith weren't left in any doubt that they were on Sam's shit list. Beings may underestimate Sam, but they don't not know he's after them. When Sam shows compassion it's in the open, and when he's the dangerous hunter it's also in the open.
YES. Yeah, he was pretty straightforward about the need to kill Azazel/Lilith/that season’s Big Bad using whatever means necessary. If anything, it’s his ability to stick with a mission all the way through regardless of what it costs him that’s kinda scary. Has nothing on how dangerous Dean is, yes.
I think it’s true that Sam is more revenge-prone than Dean: he will focus on a goal like revenge and achieve it, and at times he will be blinkered about the cost. Dean has impulses of revenge (against Samuel, against Walt and Roy, against Dick, against Gadreel), but they don’t tend to be sustained, driving forces for him. Even the quest to get Azazel, which was intertwined with Dean’s deep familial and emotional structures, was subject to Dean’s openness to detours. So if you put yourself in a position where a Winchester is out for revenge on you, you may well be more scared of Dean because Dean’s immediate reaction is likely to be more directly emotional, but it’s true that Sam is probably the one you should really be worried about.
I think on both the Watson and Doyle level it can be puzzling that Sam is the more revenge-driven but also the one more prone to forgiveness, but I think the two are actually rather similar processes in Sam. He deals with things by abstracting them; revenge gives him an external structure to cope with hurt and loss, and he can be callous about collateral damage. And forgiveness, the way Sam does it, also gives him an external structure to cope with hurt and loss. You’ll notice that there’s always a process of analogy in Sam’s forgiveness: in the Mentalists, he acknowledges that he knows what it’s like to lie to Dean, and so he moves past Dean lying to him. In 7.1 he’s very clear that his own experience of setting out with an important goal and accidentally achieving catastrophe is what makes him able to understand Cas’s similar experience. He uses his own experiences, but he does it by going out of them and thinking of them in abstract terms, not by staying in his own subjectivity. Sam does empathy by analogy.
But I think it’s easy to expect empathy and forgiveness to come from a kind of emotional softness, whereas actually it’s another facet of the same kind of hardness that makes Sam capable of revenge. And his forgiveness also has an aspect of callousness, in that he disregards his own hurt as collateral damage. It’s the way Sam’s brain works, for good and ill and healthy and unhealthy, but I think there’s a certain tendency to think mushy emotion = good and cold thought = bad, so when people see Sam showing empathy or forgiveness they assume that that must be a good, mushy, emotional Sam and hard to reconcile with a Sam who can be hard or go too far with means-and-ends.
(As a sidenote on Dean’s impulses to vengeance and his distractibility therefrom, I was thinking yesterday about the path to the Mark of Cain. Dean first avoids confronting the damage he’s done to Sam and deflects his own share of the responsibility for the possession by setting off after Gadreel, his collaborator in the possession. Then Crowley, very easily, diverts him to Abaddon. I’d always assumed that the point of Dean’s fixation on the Abaddon goal was precisely that it was arbitrary; Abaddon was a Bad Thing, and had none of the awkward tangle of complicity Gadreel did. But I wonder if there is another factor. It’s always struck me that in general and in s9 in particular Dean is either the speaker or the audience for a lot of the most sexualized language regarding possession. And 9.2 had that chilling diptych of Sam’s possession ~because love~, including Gadreel’s noncon access to Sam’s memories and emotions and use of them in conversation with Dean, and of Abaddon’s dark and sexualized threats of possession against Dean. So maybe substituting Abaddon for Gadreel as the object of his attention also lets Dean separate out bad/violent/demonic/sexualized possessing beings from Gadreel’s noncon possession, and go after the being who threatened him with obviously evil noncon rather than the being whose noncon he facilitated? I don’t know, it’s just a chain of association, but it’s interesting that Crowley, who is manipulating Dean, is a source of sexualized reminders of Sam’s possession (sloppy seconds, I was inside your brother.) /that was a huge tangent.)
Oh, oh! Forgiveness and ruthlessness being two facets of the same thing—that’s lovely, and makes a lot of sense with Sam. A lot of fandom’s “mushy” perception of Sam seems to come from his supposed ability to empathise with people better, like with witnesses, particularly in the early seasons—but really, are we to confuse general decency with genuine empathy? And it’s a part of an age-old performance art: good cop v bad cop, nice guy v rough guy. And, well, Dean likes to say Sam’s emotional, so it probably is, right? Except Dean’s probably just projecting.
(That’s interesting. Dean seems to be very invested in his ideal family unit image, and only goes on missions which can reinforce or feed into that image. So, yes: substituting Abaddon for Gadreel as the object of his attention also lets Dean separate out bad/violent/demonic/sexualized possessing beings from Gadreel’s noncon possession, and go after the being who threatened him with obviously evil noncon rather than the being whose noncon he facilitated and also seems like a desperate attempt to reach for a narrative he’s much more comfortable with: the lone hunter against a great evil, rather than the hunter searching for the evil whom he had invited to reside in his brother for months.)