Look, I found a photo of Ireny!
(from Food for Thought by Joost Elffers et al.)

Look, I found a photo of Ireny!

(from Food for Thought by Joost Elffers et al.)

wants vs. needs

It’s interesting that as you become an adult you learn to distinguish the things you want from the things you need.

For example, tonight, what I *want* to do is make a nice meal with rice and fresh veggies and herbs for dinner, and eat it and feel good, and then finish one of my knitting projects.

What I *need* is to eat a bowl of Lucky Charms and then fall over asleep while watching Avatar: The Last Airbender and reading fanfic about raccoons with guns.

Sorry, I’m going to make the adult choice. Need wins out every time.


Friend has the sad???!!??!!!!!


I’m coming friend I’ll save you from the sad!!


I am here now you’re going to be okay!!!


You are so beautiful and i love you!!!



esteliel replied to your post:okay, assholes
I can’t even imagine fandom without her. She told me about chat, she made me want to write a thousand things, and I feel like I owe at least 50% of all the fun I’ve had in fandom to her :(

Same. This is a huge loss both for all her friends and for fandom. 

I hope she’s cuddling up with her dog, eating some sort of pickled food and enjoying free samples.

I’ve made more real friends and had more fun since les mis fandom than in ten years in fandom before that, and nearly all of it traces back one way or another to one person. ): dammit fandom stop being horrible to good people again.


Read Barbara Hambly’s Those Who Hunt the Night, the first in her vampire series, last night, and one thing I love about Hambly (besides her amazing characters and awesome ladies — LYDIAAAA, ROSEEEE), is how even in moments of awfulness, she still manages to do something unexpected that makes you laugh despite the situation. 

Like, you have a scene where the hero is captured and being threatened with being turned into a vampire, his wife is in danger, there’s no conceivable way out, and then you get this moment with the villain that you just have to laugh at. 

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all of this

everything about these books is good, but … oh man, so when you get far enough in the series, I have this fanwank/conspiracy theory about Ysidro and vampires and white academia, remind me to share it with you.

I’m probably going to regret this, but….


I’d like to go ahead and address one piece of misinformation posted by branch as part of the massive “omg don’t use chatty tags” post that’s been going around. I’m posting this separately because it’s not really about branch but about broad misconceptions about the tagging system on the AO3.

First, let’s establish some things:

  1. Unlike tags on Tumblr, tags on AO3 can have different states. I’ll be talking specifically about canonicals and unfilterables in this post, with a toe-dip into metatags.
  2. Canonicals = tags that have been marked by wranglers as being useful for filtering, so they appear in the filters and auto-complete.
  3. Unfilterables = tags that have been moved into a fandom, so they’ve been checked by a wrangler, but haven’t been connected to any other tags or marked canonical. Most freeforms are unfilterable.
  4. Metatags = canonical tags that have other canonical tags nested under them, so the results from those other tags show when you filter for the metatag.
  5. I am not a coder (abbreviated from here on as “IANAC”).

Why does this matter? Well, because the code that tends to strain the archive is the filtering code. Works disappearing? From the filters. Reindexing strain from bookmarks? Reindexing is done on the filters. Filters pulled for months in 2012? Needed upgrading to deal with the sudden influx of people and works that year. (Disclaimer: oversimplified, IANAC)

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on the topic of the latest celebrity bucket challenge to hit tumblr
voksen: who'd melt Zemenar when they could melt Antorell anyway
Cinaed: haha
Cinaed: I know, right?
voksen: at least Zemenar tried to be a proper wizard
melannen: yeah but I'd much rather see Zemenar in wet robes though, lbr
voksen: hahaha
voksen: for all of two seconds
Cinaed: ...of course my brain instantly tries to go for an au or crossover with Les Mis
melannen: plus he's actually got money to donate if he's smart enough to turn it down, unlike Antorell
Cinaed: but imagine Valjean as a magician who also keeps getting mistaken as a wizard
melannen: if you write Enjolras into EFC somehow I will love you forever
Cinaed: of course Enjolras would be SO IRATE over the dragons having a monarchy, haha, and over everyone having monarchies
melannen: ...and over always being mistaken for a princess in need of rescuing
melannen: he might be semi-okay with the dragon monarchy though
melannen: it's not a republic
melannen: but at least it's vaguely a meritocracy
Cinaed: that's true, though he'd want to know HOW the stone chooses the king
melannen: ...dragon Enjolras campaigning to drop the stupid rock and go with votes instead
melannen: King Kazul just looks him up and down and says "well, you're welcome to drop it when it's *your* turn to carry the stupid thing"
melannen: "...if it decides to let you"
melannen: "which I wouldn't take any bets on, myself"
Cinaed: haha, yes
voksen: dragon Bossuet accidentally becoming king
Cinaed: oh my god, haha
melannen: ...dragon Bossuet deliberately becoming queen
voksen: giant dragon wank over whether one can be both at the same time
melannen: yes!
melannen: maybe I'll ask for Queen of the Dragons fic for yuletide again
melannen: even though I'll never get it
Chattiness in the AO3 tags



In wrangletangle's post about chatty AO3 tags„ there was a linked AO3 admin post from samjohnssonvt with data about tags (from Oct 2012).  Guess what I like to do with data?  If you guessed “make brightly colored graphs”, you are right. :)

Sam J’s data shows for a sample of fandoms how many of the “additional tags” (the ones that aren’t one of the special Fandom/Character/Relationship/Category/Warning/Rating tags) were canonical — that is, how many had been wrangled by AO3 wranglers — for a number of fandoms as of Oct 2012.  ”Canonical” doesn’t necessarily mean “non-chatty” — as wrangletangle points out above, fricking awesome popular chatty tags like “Up all night to get Bucky” and “Everyone Is Poly Because Avengers” can eventually get canonized.  But this does give a sense of the proportion of tags that authors use that are rare or one-offs (many of the non-canonical tags will fall in those categories).

Here’s the relative numbers of canon vs. non- for a number of the fandoms that Sam J listed (all the ones with > 1K fanworks) — you can see that it varies a lot by fandom:


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You are the best. :DDD

So, things that can affect these numbers!

  1. These are canonicals in red, not synonyms. So if users in the fandom tend to make many tags for the same idea, rather than using the canonical, then the blue:red ratio will go up.
  2. Relatedly, if the wranglers start canonizing late in the process (due to, say, a fandom exploding in May of 2012 and not having enough bodies on hand to keep up with more than just characters and relationships….), there will tend to be more syns per canonical, and the same thing will happen.
  3. The number of characters in the fandom and variety of work and style types can affect tagging, as character-related tags will be extremely diverse in type and number. Ditto if there are a wide variety of popular pairings. (I honestly expected Homestuck’s ratio to be even more dramatic for that reason.)
  4. How quickly tags are canonized in the fandom may affect the numbers, because users may grab the canonicals. But I think it’s more likely that fandom tagging conventions will affect them. ETA: By which I mean, if the fandom convention is to use canonicals, more people will do that, whereas if the fandom convention is to create one’s own tags, more people will do that. It’s partly a fannish culture, as you said.
  5. Whether the fandom keeps shared/generic canonized tags in the fandom or not has a big impact. If the fandom keeps, say, several hundred tags for single-name common characters or common concepts, those will bump the canonical numbers, whereas fandoms like One Direction kick out all of these tags, meaning they show as a very low ratio even though their wranglers are canonizing freeforms daily.
  6. Probably other things I’ve missed. Other wranglers could probably point out more reasons.

It’s actually a lot easier to pull the synonym data now than it was in 2012, so since I can never resist the call of GRAPHs, I went and made similar ones with today’s data for the same fandoms.

Here’s the one with canonicity of tags. Quick overview of the three tag types I’m graphing here: “Canonical” are the tags that appear in the dropdowns and sidebar filters. “Synonym” are tags that aren’t canonical but are close enough in meaning to canonical tags that they are combined with them - things like misspellings, plural vs. singular, or, yes, actual synonyms. “Combined Unfilterable” are tags that the wranglers have decided not to link to any canonical (it combines the internal categories of “tags that may be canonical someday” and “tags that will never ever ever be canonical” but that makes no difference to users, and tags move between those two categories a lot, so I’ve combined them in the graph.) “Chatty” tags can be in any of the three categories, but most of them do spend at least some time as unfilterables.


The first thing you’ll note is that there’s almost ten times as many total tags in the most popular fandoms as there were in 2012. (If you’re wondering why the filters get stressed, it really is sheer number of works and users, not number of any particular kind of tag.) I used the current equivalent fandom name for the 2012 names, also; some of these have been recombined or renamed since. You can also see just how much is done with making synonyms of canon tags  - most of the large fandoms have five times as many synonyms as canonicals, some of them more.

@wrangletangle did a good job of covering some of the things that might affect the differences in proportions showing here; I have a few more to add:

7. For pre-AO3 fandoms (on this list, I’d include Buffy, HP, and Naruto), a significant number of works may have been imported from other archives or websites, either via Open Doors or manually by users; most other archives don’t have any user-entered freeform tags, and most users haven’t gone back to old works and added a bunch of new tags, so that drops the numbers a lot even if new works in those  fandoms are very chatty.

8. Some of these fandoms are part of larger fandom structures (MCU and Sherlock, I’m looking at you) and the way the unfilterable tags are divided up between the subfandoms in the larger structure may give misleading numbers. Since the fandom an unfilterable tag is in has no effect on the user experience, each wrangling team divides them up differently.

9. When it comes to the “chatty” tags that sparked off this discussion, the vast majority of them wouldn’t show up on these charts anyway - most “chatty” tags don’t have anything fandom-specific in them, and those tags get sent to “No Fandom” (and adding No Fandom to the graphs would make even MCU’s numbers too small to see in comparison.) Some fandoms are disproportionately likely to keep “chatty” tags in their fandom, either because of wranglers’ preference, or because of fandom - for example, an SF fandom with a lot of worldbuilding, like Homestuck, is more likely to have something fandom-specific show up in a freeform than a modern AU fandom like Sherlock, so I suspect that skews the data if you try to extract overall chattiness from these numbers.

…and I may do another post later with more numbers and charts but this is long enough for a tumblr reply that I can’t put a readmore in, I think. ^_^

artificialities replied to your post: So I recently did some reading about W…

And now I’m picturing a fic in which they just drop into stuff that’s 3/4 impenetrable slang whenever they don’t want the people around them to understand. (Except I bet you could justify the Allspeech translating if you wanted.)

I am 100% sure that once Steve gets Bucky back it’s going to be all obscure 1920s-1940s pop culture references, all the time. Also they’re going to eventually get wise enough to start using things that Jarvis can’t even translate, like catchphrases from minor newspaper comics that haven’t been digitized or flash-in-the-pan pop songs with no surviving recordings. And, yes, SO MUCH impenetrable slang, whenever they don’t want people to understand, or whenever they just want to be annoying - I bet you could actually have quite a lot of really deep, emotional conversation about the psychological effects of combat using long-forgotten GI slang - that’s part of what GI slang was made for - and the SHIELD psychs are lost.

So I recently did some reading about WWII in the Arctic in hopes it would give me useful stuff about Capsicle (sadly, it didn’t, although the story about the guy who was so bored on the Greenland station that he taught himself falconry out of a book really wants to be relevant somehow). I even got the main primary source on ILL, a volume called “War Below Zero” that was published before the war ended and is a collection of semi-first-person-accounts, in the hopes that it would also help me with authentic WWII language in my writing.

So the first couple of pieces in the book were published in magazines, co-written by the base commander and some reporters, and they were interesting and sounded a lot like other early-20th-century popular writing I’ve read. And then I got to the next-to-last section, “Flight East”, which purports to be “written by the pilot of one of the [P-]38’s [in the Lost Squadron], Lieutenant Harry L. Smith, known to his comrades as ‘Snuffy’ Smith (all Southerners named Smith in the Air Forces are invariably known as ‘Snuffy’, or sometimes, if they had a good running start, as ‘Chicken Haid’ Smith)”, and, folks. I am never attempting to write authentic WWII GI slang ever again.

I made copies of that section before I returned the book because it was so… amazing; I haven’t gotten around to typing up the whole thing, but here are some random representative paragraphs, for flavor:

The Labrador base is a hellhole with slimy chuck, knotty beds, and an enemy squadron of 109s disguised as mosquitos. Guy who’s stationed here insists the mosquitos have so much of his blood in them that they sent him a card on Father’s day. Allah, take me home! What the coke, though? Letcha beard grow, ya teeth turn yellow, and live today ‘cause we ain’t made to last forever. Some of those lads on the other side of the world would give more’n I’ve got to be right here where these old flying boots are now… And so to the sack.
Egg and I were hanging around our crates giving ‘em the last touch after running the engines on morning pre-flight when wing-daing! … Spider hits his Bucket, winds her up and starts billowing forth— damme, looks as if we’re taking off. Seven hundred miles of cold drink ahead, and nothing but a blast of pop to say ‘Let’s go’ … I hit the seat, alert style, wind old Sugar up and blast out on the strip — the Egg Crates are Snafu’d as usual so we have plenty of time to get set for the gun. Two 17’s, two peashooters, and now — me. Whoa, Josephine! Pulled ‘er off at 95 and got a partial stall…
The flight turns left and follows the coast northward. Sugar, you blasted beautiful bucket, you can quit running any time now, because I’ll set your tin hide most any place along that shore and be a live cookie.
Caphonia Cafranz! It’s only 2 a.m… we’ve had no sleep for the last 18 hours.. but the weather is good. Green flight’s finally joined us, so Hitler, here we come. Eight days is a long time in this monotony of eat and sleep, so le’s give ‘er the kiss-off. Poor Buck! some knucklehead let his ship roll off the strip, and the tail was torn up. More of this monotony; ‘tis rough!
And here’s the last paragraph, after the rescue:
We finally got aboard the cutter after six hours of waiting for it to break its way to us through the ice. Once I said the coast of Greenland was the sweetest thing I ever saw. That’s retracted. It was the steak those Navy boys gave us aboard the cutter. That was true love, Spider said. Brother, you can say that again.

I’m pretty sure the slang was punched up in this at least a *little* for publication (possibly to make up for the relative lack of obscenity and blasphemy, although there are plenty of ‘damme’s and ‘hell’s left in.) I still kinda want to see somebody write up Steve Rogers’s final post-mission briefing in this style, though, it would be amazing. Anyway here is some more Authentic Colorful Period Language to punch up your Cap and Bucky characterization with, courtesy of Lt. “Snuffy” Smith:

* Sugar, this ain’t true love (used constantly)
* Stand by ypsiporrah!
* Swee’pea, that’s enough of that.
* Cousin, it looks as if this is IT
* Chickadee (To address the audience. Also “babe”, “baby”, “sweetheart”, “chum”, “brother”.)
* Caphronia Caphranz!
* so le’s give ‘er the kiss-off
* before long, zingo!
* the only place you could set a poker chip on
* I’m colder than an Alp dog’s nose
* it’ll put us home with Momma!
* Haw! Funny as Hell!
* Susie-Q, it’s true!
* Holy Joe!
* Hot jive!

…I kinda regret ever finding this, because now any fic that doesn’t write WWII Cap and Bucky talking in 3/4 impenetrable slang is just pale and limp in comparison.