Web Crush Wednesdays: Fifty Shades of Understanding (Hopefully)

Two years after my first read-through, I realize I still have a complicated relationship with Fifty Shades of Grey. Perhaps it’s a bit embarrassing to say so, but I don’t think there’s any series of books I’ve devoted more time to than E.L. James’s train wreck of erotica, and still in no ways do I consider myself an expert on the lifestyles of Anastasia Steele and her wanna-be dom, Christian Grey. In fact, when finding the correct spelling of our heroine’s name just now, I landed on the Fifty Shades wiki, which I literally did not know existed until this moment. (Why we need a wiki for this, I have no idea.) It’s true that in some respects I appreciate the novels for making discussions of female sexuality and BDSM more accessible and acceptable to an audience, and have gotten many people to explore facets of their sexuality that otherwise would have gone unnoticed or ignored. However, this by no means excuses the series from its blatant framing of abusive relationships as part of the BDSM scene or as desirable, and it certainly doesn’t hide the fact that the misconceptions as perpetuated by Fifty Shades are, unfortunately, more likely to come up on a Google search than, say, the advice of people who know what they’re talking about.

While unwitting women and girls spend time looking for their Christian Grey and predatory men use this glamorized brand of abuse to draw in uninformed partners, many people are trying hard to expose James’s every creepy string of lies and romanticism woven between the books’ pages. While I have critiqued and sporked (see: critiquing in a humorous fashion) a fic or two in my time, Fifty Shades is a task too daunting for me to take on myself. Luckily, thanks to some very devoted folks online, I don’t have to.

Web Cursh Wednesdays Continue reading

Calling All Writers and Artists!

Ye seekers of fierce women, ye bards of kick-ass characters of the fairer persuasion, lend me your ears. Long have we searched for stories that may sate our palate and quench our insatiable need to see women take center stage, not necessarily as the love interest, but as three-dimensional characters that can hold their own against their counterparts. Women with drive. Women with desires. Women of violence, of lust, of undetermined morality. Seek no further, my peers, for I have found a treasure trove (the motherlode, so to speak) and have come to share my bounty with you lovely readers.

Today I bring you the ‘Heroine Big Bang’. Much like a kink meme, which I have previously discussed, a big bang is a collaborative effort of many writers from all walks of life; however, unlike a kink meme, a big bang doesn’t stop at writing. No sir-ee, here we have writers and artists getting together to create large-scale works of art by combining their talents. Now as the title of this specific big bang implies, all the stories and artworks are going to focus on female characters from a wide variety of fandoms!

Now, you notice I used “going to”. Future tense. You see, this big bang is in its infancy meaning that there is still time to sign up for both authors and artists alike! If you feel so inclined, I would heartily implore you to sign-up  yourself, dear readers! There can never be too many participants and hey, I would love to see whatever you guys want to put out.  Either way, I know I’m going to be keeping an eye on this.

Fanfiction Fridays: A Reason for the Season

Tis the season of giving and all through the interwebs everyone is celebrating. Secret Santas, Big Bangs, giveaways: the list as bountiful as the creativity and charity required to participate in such things. In the fanfiction circuit though, the event that best encapsulates this is the tradition of the kink meme. Although not constrained to Christmas, the premise of these writing events is very similar to that of a secret Santa. All one has to do is leave a request about any couple, any type of fic and wait for someone to fill it. It’s all done anonymously so there’s little chance for being harassed for one’s preferences—if you want to ship Sailor Moon with Artemis, go right ahead—and despite anonymity usually being a calling card for being terrible to each other, I have never seen a more accepting group of people than those on kink memes. In fact, you’re more likely to find people that share your same ships and kinks than anything.

Today I come baring a kink meme from one of my favorite video game series, Borderlands. I don’t know about you guys, but I came out of that game shipping so many things it wasn’t even funny, but it’s literally impossible to find some of those ships online especially when there are a select few that get much of the screen time, so to speak. It was really by luck that I managed to run across this godsend of a literary gathering, but I had to take the plunge. I made my request.

In waiting for my request to get filled, I was pleased to find a bunch of other prompts already having been filled, and guess what? They’re all good. There’s a really adorable one that stars Axton and Maya, two of the main playable characters, where Maya is dressed up as another playable character, Zer0, trying to play a prank on Axton only to find him drunkenly confessing his love for her to the dude he thinks is his buddy. And there’s awkward haiku in that one too, so that’s a plus.

While there are many excellent fills, there are still many more prompts that need to be taken up. This post is not only a call for you, dear readers, to go read these amazing ficlets, but also to spur you into action. If you have any interest in Borderlands (or in any series because I’m sure there’s a kink meme for just about everything under the sun), consider filling someone’s request. It’ll make the original requester’s day and there’s no doubt you’ll please many more people as well. However, as it is a kink meme I feel like I must put the warning that many of the requests and fills are NSFW. However, it is possible that there will be fluffy, gen fills/requests as well. The kink memes are truly a gift in the fanfic world that keep on giving far past the holiday season, and who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?