hmpf: (best angst ever)
Farscape. John-centric. Vignette/ficlet (ca. 1000 words). Angst (naturally).

Dead Man's Jacket

Let me know if there are any language/style issues - I made some changes after I ran it past my wonderful beta beccatoria, so there *may* be problems that were introduced due to my meddling with it after the betaing.
hmpf: (ears of love)
I've decided I need to post this before I edit it to death. Concrit, up to and including full betaing, is very welcome - this is *far* from perfect. It's basically a really early example of my writing, about eleven years old. I edited the shit out of it, and I do mean that literally. (ETA: This doesn't mean that it's good now, though. Just... less shit.)

In case some of the memories in here feel familiar: yes, all my Methos fics, but in particular this one here, Endure, and 68 Wives, are set in the same universe. And there is, theoretically, a story that ties them all together, more or less, if I ever get around to picking that one up again. (That unfinished story was literally my very first fic, and is therefore not even in active development anymore, as my writing has changed so much since 1999 that I'd need to rewrite it completely if I were to pick it up again. So that probably won't happen.)

Title: Epilogue
Author: Hmpf MacSlow
Fandom: Highlander
Characters: Methos, OC
Summary: A Quickening, seen from both sides.
Notes: A Lyric Wheel story from 2001, much revised.
Read more... )
hmpf: (yay animated)
Title: The MAD Doctrine
Author: Hmpf MacSlow
Rating: General audiences or teen and up
Word Count: ca. 6,500 words
Notes: Stellar beta, as usual, by the very awesome [personal profile] beccatoria. Much useful discussion, throughout the years of this fic's gestation, was had with [personal profile] space_oddity_75. Official Bowie consultant: [profile] jazzymegster. Other musical advice: [profile] lozenger8. Footnote formatting advice: [personal profile] mikes_grrl. Also, thanks to anyone else who endured my ramblings about this story in the past five years.
Soundtrack and lyrics: Here. (Link fixed.)
Summary: Back to the future. . . the long way 'round.

This will be posted to lifein1973 as well, in a moment.

The MAD Doctrine )

So....

Mar. 19th, 2011 03:37 am
hmpf: (ears of love)
I've been bad. I've gone and read some fic. HL, Methos, my eternal number one fic reading fandom, the one I always keep coming back to.

And... there was some really nice characterisation there and all. And yet... suddenly, a bit of romance creeps in, and takes me right out of it, and I can't get back into the story, afterwards.

Why am I so bloody allergic to romance? It's not even like it would be out of character for Methos (unlike Sam and Gene, whom I really can't see having candlelight dinners and giving each other flowers)! Methos' entire relationship with Alexa is straight out of a romance novel. And I've written some bad romantic angst for him myself, in my very first fic, way back... Yet I can't read that kind of thing.

*sigh*

I also notice that I - hypocritically - tend to avoid fics featuring OFCs, and to some degree even OMCs. Hypocritically, because I've written both - in particular, I've written an OFC who's only a hair's breadth away from being a Mary Sue (maybe even is a Mary Sue) - and in a Horsemen fic, no less! I really should give some of those fics a chance.
hmpf: (ears of love)
I've uploaded a few more of my fics to my AO3 account. I really need to find a way to put Endure on there, too - just not sure how to format it for the archive, as formatting is such a big part of that story...
hmpf: (cop porn)
Note: Improbably, this is a sequel to Simple Things 1: Rise and Shine, posted something like eight or nine years ago. For the longest part of that time about half of this 'fic' lay in my virtual drawer, until - sometime this year - I decided to finally finish it. It's hardly worthy of the name fic - it's merely a little vignette-thingy. It was intended as an exercise in writing a Moya crew scene with a focus on dialogue. So, don't expect awesomeness.

Thanks: to my beta, beccatoria, formerly known as Scapekid, who - here as in so many other fics - saved me from the Dread Cheesy Ending.


Simple Things 2: The Breakfast of Losers


"Hand me the cornflakes, will you?"

Read more... )
hmpf: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] mikes_grrl has craftily destroyed my peace of mind, so I did something obsessive to get my zen-like calm back, and finally uploaded my odd piece of Appearances-based method writing to my website.

I also added a short teaser for the Farscape fic I'm currently writing to the Farscape fic page (scroll down, it's the one titled 'Dead Man's Jacket'), and fixed an Americanism and an embarrassing typo in Names.
hmpf: (angsty)
Title: The Last Lost Generation
Author: Hmpf MacSlow
Rating: White Cortina
Pairing: Sam/Gene
Word Count: ca. 1,300 words
Summary: An article from the paper known to readers of [livejournal.com profile] mikes_grrl's Undercover universe as 'Larry's newspaper.'

Apologies and thanks: Apologies, and massive kudos for the stories that 'caused' this to [livejournal.com profile] mikes_grrl. Thanks also to my beta [livejournal.com profile] beccatoria, who didn't actually get to do much beta'ing on this, for confirming to me that this was bad in exactly the ways I intended. *g*

A note on method: I kind of want to type this on a carbon copy sheet, on a heavy old typewriter, but I don't even own a typewriter anymore. So typing it in Courier New will have to do. This is method writing, kids!

A note on style and content: To put yourself in the appropriate frame of mind for this fic, imagine that you are reading a 1970s activist newspaper - a small affair, with bad typography, and a very small circulation. The majority of the contributions are written by people with a deep personal involvement, and not much practice writing for an audience. I was aiming for a heartfelt, awkwardly pathetic tone - the tone of a deeply involved novice writer who is good enough with words to write for certain effects instinctively, but doesn't have the experience to know when to rein it in a bit. He also lacks critical distance in other areas - not all of them to do with lack of writing experience. Last, but definitely not least, he is deeply conflicted. He is doing his best to accommodate a perspective not entirely his own, which results in an argument at least partly made in bad faith, and therefore made poorly. I'm sure young activists will shoot it full of holes in the October and November editions. ;-)



"The Last Lost Generation"

by: Anonymous
in: The Manchester Gay, September 1975



There are many good reasons for coming out.

Coming out means becoming visible, and we must become visible. We cannot make demands for equal rights from out of the proverbial closet. We must stop going out of our way to make it easy for people to ignore us, or they will never see us as a legitimate part of society.

We must be visible so that people will understand that we are not a different species. We must show them that we have lives that resembles theirs in almost every respect except for one, trivial detail. We must show them that we are their colleagues, their friends, their family.

We must become visible, also, so that gay people everywhere will understand that they are not alone. We must become visible so that they, when their friends and family abandon them, can find support with us. We must become visible so that there can be a community that goes beyond the furtive, and ultimately fruitless solidarity of the underground.

Any sort of social change requires a critical mass of people working for it. Coming out adds to the mass of people working for this one: the change - the many changes, big and small - that will eventually make being gay no longer a sin, no longer a mental disorder, no longer a social aberration, but simply another way of being normal.

There are many good reasons against coming out.

Unlike the reasons for coming out, which are high-minded, political, perhaps even heroic, the reasons against coming out do not sound very impressive. They are personal, and small - some might say: small-minded. They are the reasons of the timid and conservative everywhere. Most importantly, they are the reasons of the old.

They deserve to be heard.

Here is the essential fact to keep in mind about social change, in this context: societies change slowly. Any kind of significant change will take years - at best. If it takes decades that is still pretty good. Truly big changes may take centuries.

Now, I will be the first to admit that we are probably not looking at a struggle to span centuries here, at least not before we achieve some basic rights and acceptance. We are not quite halfway there yet, perhaps, but we have moved a good bit in the last ten or twenty years. Those of us who are in their twenties now may well be able to walk down a street holding hands - exchange kisses in public, even - by the time they are thirty-five.

I am looking forward to that time. I am looking forward to kissing my partner in public then. I will be fifty-five or perhaps sixty, and he will be sixty or sixty-five, and there will probably be plenty of prudes and bigots left in the world to wrinkle their noses at us in disgust. But a good many of them will be wrinkling their noses because they are seeing two old blokes kissing, and not because they are seeing two old blokes kissing.

I am counting the days and the hours and the minutes for that world, that time, to arrive.

And there is little, very little indeed that I can do to help make it a reality.

For those of us over the age of forty or so, what lies in the balance when we consider throwing our lot in with the cause in any public way, is not only everything that we stand to lose - although that is plenty. It is also - and this is crucial - everything that we cannot hope to regain, in the years we have left of our professional lives. Lose everything you have at twenty, and you will probably have time to make up for it - time enough to build a new life, and perhaps gain parts of the old life back. Do the same at forty-five, though - and you are likely to be looking at long-term unemployment, and quite possibly at an old age spent in poverty. Society will change for the better, but it will not change fast enough to give us a second chance.

I understand how small-minded this sounds. And it is only the material side of the matter. There is, of course, far more to this issue, so let us put a bit more of a face to it.

The man I love was born in 1930, give or take a few years. Like almost everyone who is gay today, except for the very youngest generation, he grew up in a world that called the way he loved illegal. He grew up with endless secrecy and guilt. He learned to talk, and think, of homosexuals with the derision that is expected of any full-blooded male. He still thinks of himself as a pervert who deserves to hide forever in the dark.

He learned to believe that for the likes of him - of us - love is impossible. For the longest part of his life it could have got him sent to prison.

He was a bright and ambitious young man, so he adapted as best he could. He put everything he had and everything he was into his job, and he became very, very good at it.

The service he renders society by doing that job, and doing it so exceptionally well, is invaluable. For this, he is rewarded with a certain social standing. To a man who learnt to despise himself so thoroughly, it must have been a miracle: to find that there was something he could do that he could truly be proud of. He clung to that pride and filled all the holes in his life with it.

I cannot imagine what he would do, what he would be, without his work. Risking it - losing it - is a sacrifice that nobody, not even I, can ask him to make. No matter that hiding away one entire half of his life from everyone he works with and nearly everyone he calls friend is hurting him in ways he probably is not even aware of. No matter that it is hurting me, either. In a very real way, the movement that is now making tentative, yet ever more determined steps towards a better life for us all, has come too late for him.

Thinking about this makes me furious. It makes me want to shout from the roofs that I love him, and that there is nothing whatsoever wrong with that, and that the world needs to bloody get over it. It makes me want to join CHE, to come out in some ridiculously scandalous and public manner, to put a rainbow flag in every window of the house.

None of this I can do.

I cannot fight for his rights in his stead. I cannot even fight for mine. Anything I could do would implicate him. Too many people know of our association, although they do not know its true nature. They would put two and two together very soon, and he would lose everything.

So, the one thing I can do for him is to keep up our sad subterfuge. The role he has been playing all his life is second nature to him. It is less natural to me, but I am learning. To our friends and colleagues, we will never be anything but two friends who enjoy talking about work and the footie over a beer at the pub.

Our real life, meanwhile, is lived behind locked doors and drawn curtains We hide in the dark, under layers and layers of lies. We speak in code, constantly looking over our shoulders, like so many generations before us.

Yet outside our locked doors the world is changing. We hear the rumble. We feel the tremors. We watch.

Afraid, ashamed, and secretly hopeful, we are the last lost generation.
hmpf: (ears of love)
Two and a half years ago I had the bright idea of revising some of my oldest stories that I liked in principle, but not in execution. I asked fabulous Highlander fic writer [livejournal.com profile] amonitrate for help, which she provided. I got about halfway through revising the stupidly titled Sometimes We Believe, got stuck, and promptly sort of forgot about it.

Well, today I felt like *finishing* something for a change, and since nothing else I'm working on is close to finishing at the moment, I decided to give the old story another try. And I think this is about as good as I can make it, or rather, it is as good as I can be *bothered* to make it, now. I don't want to invest any more time and energy in this; I have too many other writing projects that I care more about.

This was my second story (as in: second story, ever). It was written for a Highlander Lyric Wheel in August 2000, I think. Any traces of the Lyric Wheel song have been removed, however. I should probably run this version by [livejournal.com profile] amonitrate or some other native speaker again, but to be honest, I just want it off my to do list, and also, I feel it would be a bit ridiculous to bother [livejournal.com profile] amonitrate with it again, after two and a half years. So, instead of sending it to anyone in particular, I put my hope in the collective constructive crit forces of my flist. (Not that I'm not aware of a lot of the problems already; some of them are structural and I'm completely stumped as to how to fix them. Anyway, if you have suggestions...)

Well, here we go:

Title: Sometimes We Believe
Fandom: Highlander
Characters: Methos, Kronos, Silas, Caspian, OC
Rating: R-17
Summary: Some jobs require a certain amount of fanatism.
Thanks to: [livejournal.com profile] exorcizo_te, who was this story's first beta, many a year ago. [livejournal.com profile] amonitrate, who was its second beta, somewhat more recently, though still a few years ago. Heh.
Note: Is the Watchers' plan stupid in the extreme? Yes. You got a better one? *g*

This way to the Bronze Age )
hmpf: (stay)
I'm doing that 'posting somewhat prematurely' thing again, because I'm still waiting for [livejournal.com profile] icudoc to give his final okay on my use of medical vocabularly in this (and also, I'm still marginally unhappy with some details of the poem section), but I'm frustrated with uni stuff right now and finishing a fic and *getting it out there* seemed like a good cure for that frustration. So:

Title: How to Love a Madman
Fandom: Life on Mars
Characters: Sam, Annie
Genre/type: mildly angsty shippy gen. YAFE (Yet Another Formal Experiment).
Length: 652 words
Spoilers: none
Thanks to: [livejournal.com profile] beccatoria, for an intense beta. [livejournal.com profile] icudoc, for medical vocabulary.
Dedicated to: [livejournal.com profile] space_oddity_75, with love and gratefulness.
Link: How to Love a Madman

This will be crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] lifein1973 in a couple of days, but I want to sleep on it and reread it a couple of times before I do that.

(Wheeeee! An opportunity to use my 'stay' icon without feeling dirty! *g*)
hmpf: (ears of love)
Okay. This is *slightly* premature, which in Hmpf!speak means it's 'only' been in betaing and revising stage for *gasp* a year! Clearly, that is *much* too short for such a long fic. */sarcasm*

Well, actually, I *am* posting a bit prematurely, because one last issue isn't quite taken care of yet. But, you know... only one of my two betas thought it was an issue in the first place, and while I tend to agree that it is, there is also the possibility that we both just need to... relax a bit or whatever, so... here's me giving in to my impatient side for once!

Anyway, if you read this, remember there's one sentence in there that I'm not entirely happy with, and that may change a bit yet. For what it's worth.

So, here goes. First *really* new HL fic by me since 2002 (I think), and first fic finished since April/May 2007, too.

Title: 68 Wives
Author: Hmpf MacSlow
Betas: [livejournal.com profile] amonitrate, [livejournal.com profile] beccatoria
Fandom: Highlander
Characters: Methos, OFCs
Wordcount: 1333
Warnings: None, really. Mild references to sex and violence, nothing particularly explicit.
Link: http://www.allabouthmpf.com/68wives.htm

Leave feedback here.

*

How to Love a Madman will probably take a couple more days. It's mostly finished, really (I think now), but I still need a medical beta for some details.
hmpf: (angsty)
The bomb on Manchester never falls.

New York, Moscow, London, Leningrad - 15 million dead shock the world into unprecedented, unlikely sanity. Leaders meet, treaties are signed in a place picturesque and idyllic, far from the fallout. Pictures of men shaking hands in the newspaper, straining to smile.

It takes weeks after the official end of the hostilities for the people to start trickling back into the city. Sam and Gene and the others are among the first, along with other, dedicated members of the police. Somebody has to uphold the order, make the place safe.

They aren't needed. In the weeks of the return, as the city fills up slowly, people walk the streets as if in a dream, talk to each other in hushed voices, touch each other gently, disbelievingly. Many, trying on their lives like old shoes found in the attic, find they no longer fit.

***

Writing this took me one hour. It's from "Back to the Future (the Long Way 'Round)"
hmpf: (angsty)
In less than an hour and a half!

It's kinda crap, but hey, writing is writing, and writing is good. Even if it's crap. And spontaneous outbreaks of fic are particularly good.

It's LoM (unsurprisingly), and it doesn't look like fic. It looks kind of like a poem. Partly. Again. WTF is it with me and LoM and spontaneous eruptions of poetry!fic?

It also contains some standing around on roofs. That seems to be a staple of all my LoM fic lately.

Oh, and also, it's Sam/Annie-shippy, something I haven't really done before. Yay for new challenges!

It was initially meant for [livejournal.com profile] space_oddity_75, who's recently had a rough time, but as per usual, it turned depressing pretty soon, so I'm not sure it's the right thing to give away to someone who isn't feeling good in the first place. Also, as I already stated, at the moment it's still kind of crap. And kind of abstract. And kind of just-plain-weird. And possibly somewhat AU in its interpretation of the relationship, I dunno. And possibly really, really, really bad.

But I'm still thrilled.

Oh hell, here's an excerpt. I may hate this tomorrow, but who cares.

***

excerpt )

***

Gah. I can already see bits that are crap. See? This is why I don't do fast fic.
hmpf: (rainbows)
... hier lang.

Ungebetat und in Eile formatiert; um Korrekturen und Anmerkungen wird gebeten. Wenn Euch was auffällt.

Warnung: allerheftigste Spoiler für das Ende von Life On Mars.
hmpf: (rainbows)
Title: Names
Fandom: Highlander
Characters: Methos, OC
Rating: general audience
Word count: 3450
Summary: Methos enjoys being Adam Pierson; Flavius is alarmed by how much he enjoys being Karl-Heinz Müller.
Link: Names

Title: Starving on the Jump Down
Fandom: Life On Mars
Characters: Sam, Ruth, Maya
Rating: errr, somewhere between PG13 and NC17? I dunno.
Warning: spoilers for 2.08
Word count: 369
Summary: three seconds of joy, and the aftermath
Link: Starving on the Jump Down
hmpf: (rainbows)
Some more words removed, one line relocated, one linebreak added. I *think* this is the final version, but I'm going to wait at least until tomorrow or so before I post it to any community or board (again).

I need to build a Life On Mars fic page for my website, because there's more where this came from... And possibly a general LOM section, too, because I have a few rants I could put there... *eg*

***

Still untitled, still spoilerish 2.08 Life On Mars poem-ficlet this way. )
hmpf: (rainbows)
I said it would go in the drawer now, but, I dunno. Just needed to do something less frustrating than checking footnotes on Slovakian archaeology for a quarter of an hour or so, so I took the machete to my poem-fic-thingie. This is the result:

LOM 2.08 spoilers, as before )



(There should be a special word for that uneasy feeling you get when you read your own writing and a bit of it just sort of sticks out and nags at you because it doesn't quite work yet.)

(Edited to remove some more words.)

(Edited for yet another minor change.)
hmpf: (stay)
Since this has been public from the moment of its birth, I've decided to make the next step public, too. So, here it is: Sam bitter!fic, after the first round of rewriting. Will probably only be of interest to people who are interested in the MacSlow writing process. ;-)

In some cases there may be Verschlimmbesserungen. (Now there's a word for the 'German is better than English is better than German' page...)

And this thing still has no title except for the oblique joke, stolen from Max Goldt, of vague spoilers commence here )

Yeah? Nay? Ms. I'm-never-wrong? ;-)

(I think I may have accidentally removed some of the 'flying' sensation from it with this step, because I think that was largely created by some of the padding I removed. Which, if true, leaves me with an interesting dilemma...)


ETA: And here's version number three, with new padding:

LOM spoilers ahead! )

And I think this is the point where I decide that this needs a month in a drawer.
hmpf: (stay)
To celebrate this rare, nay, completely singular occurrence, here's the result, right away - unbeta'd, unpolished, un-whatevered. Usually I don't release fics into the wild before they've been rewritten at least ten times, then put in a drawer for at least a month, then beta'd, then revised a couple of times, then beta'd again, then put back into the drawer for another fortnight... you get the picture. But then, usually I don't write fics in three hours, either. Of course, the fact that this took only three hours probably shows, and I'll be mortally embarrassed tomorrow, but, you know... what the hell. This is the first time in my life I've finished a first draft in less than *weeks* (and weeks is *good*, even); have to mark the occasion somehow.

ETA: This was very much a first draft. A second draft can be found here. Third draft here. Fourth (and best, so far) draft here. This fic is very much a Work in Progress. I don't usually do this in public, but I felt I needed to get *some* version of this fic out there, and so I decided, subsequently, to get *all* of them out there. I suggest you always pick the latest version, but then, people liked the first version, too, so that can't have been too bad... *g*

ETA 2: Final version here: http://hmpf.livejournal.com/166515.html#cutid1"


Fandom is Life On Mars (what else would it be at the moment?), characters are Sam, Ruth, Maya (sort of), and it's gory, melodramatic and generally unpleasant. Spoilers for 2.08, obviously.

Oh yeah, and you probably know that I'm not a native speaker, and since this hasn't been beta'd, there may be weirdness...


fic here )

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