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29 November 2005 @ 05:18 pm
[Meme] 10 things I assume you know about me  
I found this one via isiscolo and minisinoo.

Y'know, this is harder than it sounds, because assumptions are, by definition, things that I don't actually think about. *ponders*

1. I am a Unitarian Universalist. (Please note my default flaming chalice icon. No, not that kind of 'flaming.' *sigh*) I'm not going to try explaining my religion here -- it would take too long, and defining UUism is notoriously tricky; it's also likely to make other UUs jump in and question, clarify, or otherwise mess around with said definition -- but I should probably mention a few points. I'm not Christian, but I know a fair bit about Christianity. I know random stuff about a lot of religions, actually, and I've cobbled together bits and pieces into something that works for me. In terms of my actual beliefs, I'm probably something of an agnostic pantheist with vague leanings toward a goddess-tradition and a thing for the symbolic lighting of candles, and also with a firm belief in sin and redemption and stuff like that. (Yes, those things can fit together.) But my spiritual beliefs aren't all that important to me; I'm more interested in values and actions, and maybe philosophies. I stay UU because of the community and the shared values, and because I think it's important that there be a religious community like Unitarian Universalism.

Being a UU -- and more specifically, being a born-and-raised UU -- informs a lot of my interests and probably a lot of the themes that crop up in my writing.

Don't worry. That's the longest one of these. :-)

2. I read fanfiction in a lot of fandoms. For many (if not most) of those, I have never read/watched/played the source material, nor do I have any interest in ever reading/watching/playing the source material.

3. I write fanfiction for Harry Potter and Naruto. I like them for pretty much the same reason: JKR and Kishimoto have created vast worlds (with kludgy bits that make no sense, yes, I know) that are just crying out to have something done with them. They've created systems of 'magic' and I have an incurable tendency to try to make sense out of things like that. I like their characters. And -- don't jump on me for this -- the source material simply isn't that special. JKR is a competent writer with a true gift for whimsy, but her books are seriously clunky in places. Kishimoto ignores a fair amount of the implications of his world and storyline, and his dialogue is often extremely stupid. (I know some of that is genre convention. I don't care.) I don't have any sense that their worlds are sacrosanct, the way I do for stories that really hit me in the gut, make me think, and touch my heart/soul/whatever.

(I do occasionally write in other fandoms, but that's not a continuing thing.)

4. I write original fiction. I have been doing that since I was in grade school, and before that I would go off by myself and make up epic sagas, some of which became bedtime stories for my sister. Writing (and storytelling) is what I do and who I am.

5. I suffer from periodic clinical depression. I have medication and I don't talk about it a lot, but it is something that's often lurking at the back of my mind. I sometimes self-edit to keep it out of my conversation. I'm pretty sure the depression also informs a lot of my writing.

6. I am 23 -- college age -- but I'm not a student, nor am I a college graduate. I dropped out, partially due to the depression and partially because the structure of college is a very bad fit with my personality at this point in my life. I've been working off and on for a few years now, with one year off to try college again -- it didn't work out.

7. Liz both is and isn't my real name. Elizabeth Culmer is the middle part of my legal name. If you look hard enough, I think you can find my first and last names in a couple early journal entries, but I don't use them online. I've been using Elizabeth Culmer as a penname since I was about 10 and decided I wanted one for when I became a famous writer. (I had big dreams then. *pats former self on the head*)

8. I worship spelling, grammar, and the proper mechanics of the English language. This is less apparent in my livejournal than in my stories -- I treat livejournal entries as dialogue, which has less stringent rules than narration -- but I still try for perfect spelling. However, I'm a terrible editor, since I'm also a control freak and I have to fight myself so I don't completely rewrite other people's stories. (This is why I'm not a beta-reader.)

9. I am notoriously bad with deadlines. I'm better when it's in a work situation, but you should almost always tack at least a day onto any estimate I give you of the time it will take me to finish something. (This is the other reason I'm not a beta-reader.)

10. I like Ginny Weasley. I like Draco Malfoy. I like Uchiha Sasuke. I like Haruno Sakura. I like Severus Snape. I like Ron Weasley. I like Hatake Kakashi. Etc. I will not stop writing characters because you don't like them. I will not bash characters because you don't like them. I am trying to write about human beings, and human beings are never one-sided.

Deal. :-)

Bonus 11. I don't have any OTPs, because I don't believe in True Love. In fact, I find the concept of One True Love rather scary -- I prefer to believe that I have a chance at happiness with many people, or by myself should I so choose. In any case, I read a lot of pairings, both het and slash, and a lot of gen as well. I like some better than others, but then, I like some characters better than others as well. I write a number of different pairings and threesomes, sometimes within the same story.

I'm a little leery of breaking up established canon relationships, especially ones that seem functional, but I'm not opposed to it. The closest I come to an OTP/OT3 is Naruto/Sasuke/Sakura, and even there I will quite happily read about them with other people, so long as their emotional ties to each other are acknowledged. (It helps that I'm almost certain this relationship will not happen in canon.) All I really ask, no matter how far-out the romantic/sexual relationship, is that the characters remain more or less in-character, and the author sell the story to me.

ETA, 3/30/06: Okay, and since I've started reading YuYu Hakusho, I have to say that Yusuke/Keiko comes damn close to being an OTP as well. You can break them up, but you'd better have damn good reasons, and you'll have to work a LOT harder to sell that story to me than you would if you kept them together.
 
 
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Alone in this crowded roomannearchy on November 30th, 2005 02:22 am (UTC)
Interesting stuff. I already knew number 1 :D I'm sorry about #5. Been there, managed somehow to get through that. Long, long ago. *pets you*
Elizabeth Culmer, only a *little* bit crazy...edenfalling on November 30th, 2005 03:11 am (UTC)
Unitarian Jihad will prevail!

*snickers*
Alone in this crowded roomannearchy on November 30th, 2005 03:31 am (UTC)
Unitarian Jihad is the biggest oxymoron around. Moreso even than military intelligence :))
acechan on November 30th, 2005 03:17 am (UTC)
Interesting. I did know, or at least assume, most of that, but then I'd guess that's part of the point of this meme.

Re #3--While neither may be a spectacular writer, I'd give Kishimoto a significant edge on Rowling for at least trying to make all his characters three-dimensional, even if his world-building is rather spectacularly haphazard. But then, that's because I consider character development to be the primary concern in a story, which is a matter of personal taste.
Elizabeth Culmer, only a *little* bit crazy...: red floweredenfalling on December 1st, 2005 04:06 am (UTC)
Hmm. I don't know that I'd place character above plot, really -- to me, they have to work together. Same goes for the setting and the theme. If any one element is severely out of whack, it tends to spoil the others for me.
stab594stab594 on November 30th, 2005 09:34 am (UTC)
You know, I think that #2 is something quite common in fanfic readers, I know about a dozen or so who its true for. I think this is primarily true because it is often easier to see characters you don't have ideas about thrown together, than characters you feel strongly about.
Elizabeth Culmer, only a *little* bit crazy...: red floweredenfalling on December 1st, 2005 04:04 am (UTC)
Well, and then there's the fact that in some cases, I'm not particularly interested in the genre of the source material. And I'm not a very visually oriented person (so there go the TV shows), nor do I play any computer/video games. I tend to stumble into new fandoms via writers I already like and trust, and then I like to see how other people ring changes on the source material, and experiment with stylistic things that I don't have to pay money for. (It's also fun to see how much I can work out of the source story without ever directly experiencing it. I may not like reading mysteries, but this puzzle-piece hunting is probably something I picked up from reading a lot of sf and fantasy, and learning to slowly piece together the worlds in which those stories are set.)
arkeus on November 30th, 2005 05:49 pm (UTC)
hum...
interesting :-)
Big former dreams, uh? well, you are a good enough writer. the only thing i dislike in your writing is your redemption tendencies, but i may get that way when i am older so i am not one to talk :/
liking Malfoy junior uh? snort :p
well, glad to have a few more information on you. oh, and sorry about #5, i have my own mental problems and i have a few friends htat way too so...
Elizabeth Culmer, only a *little* bit crazy...edenfalling on December 1st, 2005 04:00 am (UTC)
Re: hum...
Perhaps I should clarify: I like a lot of characters as characters, not as people. That is, I find them interesting and fun/challenging to write about, but I would undoubtedly dislike them in real life.

(Snape especially. I've taught homeschool and religious education, and I don't care what sort of horrors you might have in your background, what you may or may not be doing as a spy, or how hard you have it trying to maintain discipline over certain people: teachers are not supposed to act like that. You do not terrorize your students. You do not humiliate your students. You do not grind them into the dirt. It is unprofessional, unethical, and just flat-out wrong. Period. Part of my fascination with Snape is because he's about as a bad a teacher as he could possibly be.)