sholio: Peter from White Collar, in a suit, smiling (WhiteCollar-Peter smiling)
This month's round at [livejournal.com profile] collarcorner (White Collar gen prompt community) is the return of the lightning round, i.e. short prompts and short fills (though of course fills can also be long; art and other non-fic fills are entirely welcome). This was popular last year, so it's back for a second year! We are also coming up on our 50th round, so there's a discussion post for how to celebrate. At this point it looks like a fic exchange is the main idea that's been suggested.

There is also an important poll I just put up: A question about the future of the community. I'm asking for input on whether the comm should stay on LJ, move to DW, or mirror between the two. If you don't have an LJ account, you can leave your opinion in the comments.

One thing I'd be interested in finding out is whether the community might pick up new members on DW, to offset the members it's sure to lose if it moves. Right now the community is active enough to keep going (actually, it's very impressively active for a never-terribly-large gen community in a small fandom for a show that went off the air two years ago; White Collar fandom seems to have a lot of staying power) but it can't afford to lose very many people and still be large enough to support itself, and it seems likely we'll lose people no matter what we do, so I'm trying to think of ways to offset that.
sholio: Peter from White Collar, in a suit, smiling (WhiteCollar-Peter smiling)
So this is either the best discovery ever (for writing purposes) or absolutely terrible. I'm not sure.

In one of the White Collar Werewolf Peter AU stories, it is mentioned that Elizabeth keeps ketamine on hand to sedate him in case he gets out of hand as a werewolf. (His idea, not hers. SHE doesn't think he'd ever do anything. He feels better if she has some way of stopping him in case of werewolf attack.)

I mentioned ketamine because I'd looked up veterinary tranquilizers and needed a fast-acting one. Unfortunately for Peter, it appears that I missed a few side effects. There was a post today at ScriptMedic (a resource Tumblr for writing medical stuff) that talks about ketamine, and apparently, um, well:

In low doses, ketamine can relieve pain. It can also make people feel very “stoned”.
In medium doses, it can cause hallucinations. This is what the drug using community refers to as “falling down the K-hole,” and ketamine is indeed known for its illicit uses.


So now imagine a HALLUCINATING WEREWOLF.

But it actually gets EVEN WORSE:

If the patient develops distress shortly after an initial dose, the patient is not fully dissociated and the best maneuver is usually to give more ketamine. [...]

In high doses, ketamine works as an anesthetic, specifically a dissociative anesthetic. It shuts the brain off from outside stimulus completely. Basically what ketamine does is it shuts the brain off from outside stimuli. That means that even though someone’s eyes are open (and possibly twitching, medically referred to as nystagmus) their brain isn’t processing information from them.

Think of it like this: with most anesthetics, the brain is temporarily turned off. With ketamine, the brain isn’t turned off – it’s just disconnected from the outside world.

However, if someone is unprepared for it, those hallucinations can seem like a nightmare. And there is a portion of patients who get ketamine and, as it starts to wear off, they start screaming uncontrollably. This is called an “emergence reaction,” as they emerge from anesthesia and slip into the K-hole.

Someone who has been sedated/anosthetized with ketamine, especially if it’s against their will (used as a “knockout drug”), will likely have very negative hallucinations. To an outsider they’ll be lying on the floor, eyes open and blinking, unable to move or react to anything. It’s a great moment for a horror scene, or a horrific element to an action plot, especially if they have an emergence reaction and come back to reality screaming.


HALLUCINATING, DISSOCIATING, SCREAMING WEREWOLF. Thanks, Google.
sholio: (WhiteCollar-Hard Sell Peter Neal)
The Fall Fest at [livejournal.com profile] collarcorner (patterned after Fandom Stocking) is done and all the gifts are revealed! You can check it out at the LJ community or the AO3 community (note: the AO3 collection doesn't have everything; most of the shorter ficlets, art, etc are at the LJ community posts only).

I wrote the following gifts:

Sweet Escape - Elizabeth takes over Neal's bakery after his "death."

Wings So Bright - Neal wingfic, also for my h/c bingo "wings" square. Neal's favorite memory from his early childhood was going flying with his mother; he didn't yet know that no one else could see her wings.

Happy Paws - Having found out that the FBI agent chasing him has a puppy, Neal can't resist trying to make friends with it.

Three Restaurants - Three times Sara and Peter had lunch or dinner together, from pre- to post-series.

Harvest Moon - Alex character study.

Untitled Peter & Neal ficlet for the prompt "near miss."


And I also have some great stuff in my treat basket - art, fics, a fic cover and more!
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
I'm running a White Collar fall fest over at [livejournal.com profile] collarcorner, basically doing it Fandom Stocking style. People have "treat baskets" and ficcers/writers/etc put treats in them -- screened, to be revealed on Nov. 14. I think I'll leave the treat basket request post open until Halloween, and then close it. So you can still get a basket if you want to! And fill requests! We could really use more people filling requests (although, at this point, everyone has at least one thing in their basket). You don't have to have a basket to fill requests, or vice versa. There's a community for posting anything longer or more complex than a brief commentfic.

Also, it's a gen comm, so all requests and treats must be gen.

... in other news, we now have snow, and I'm sleepy and I don't want to write anything. Blergh.

Miscellany

Mar. 4th, 2016 08:18 pm
sholio: Text: "Age shall not weary her, nor custom stale her infinite squee" (Infinite Squee)
This month's theme at [livejournal.com profile] collarcorner is Stranded. If you're still into White Collar, go leave some prompts and help us find new and interesting ways to strand Peter and Neal, et al. :D

Also, this week is prompt amnesty at [community profile] starwarsflashmeme - all posted prompts are available for writing. This will continue for another week; the amnesty period ends on March 12.

And back to Agent Carter: I posted some thoughts on Thompson and Sousa on Tumblr (spoilery for season two). I'm feeling lazy about cross-posting, but feel free to leave comments here if you have thoughts, since Tumblr is what it is. Also, my Miracle & Wonder fanvid is now posted on tumblr if you are interested in liking or reblogging.

(It is weird having this many fandoms going at once. Agent Carter is definitely where my mind is right now, but for so many years I really would only have those fan feelings for one thing at a time; I would pick up a new fandom and put the old one down. These days, I seem to have stopped putting them down. Help!)

Now back to inking Kismet pages ...
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
... but you wouldn't know it if you're reading this on LJ, because apparently flock icons have now disappeared from some(?) older Livejournal styles, including mine. I suppose this is not so huge on the Livejournal Inconvenience Scale, but ... really, LJ?! I think I might end up switching to the default style, anyway. Years spent on Tumblr and other mobile-friendly sites has gotten me used to the Big Friendly Button school of web design and made it less eyebleeding for me, and while I had trouble with it in the browser on my old computer, it runs fine on the new one. Also, I didn't realize 'til I started checking LJ on a phone how difficult the old styles are to navigate on mobile. Change and progress, progress and change ...

(ETA: Switched site styles; flock icons now showing up again. I needed to change up my style anyway.)

For you Vorkosigan readers, the e-ARC of Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen is out! You can buy it for $15, or read the first four chapters online for free. I know some people are avoiding it because of certain aspects of the storyline, which is fine, but if you want to read it, thar it be! (GUESS WHAT'S LOADED UP ON MY KINDLE RIGHT NOW. :D)

And finally, here is a neat meta post I ran across on Tumblr on the symbolism of the wine bottle in the first and last episodes of White Collar. Thoughts? (May be construed as slightly Kate-unfriendly, though I didn't find it particularly so -- more that it's a snapshot of where Neal was at a certain point in his life, rather than a criticism of Kate or her relationship with Neal -- but depending on how one's shipper-tastes run, that aspect might be offputting to some.)
sholio: Peter from White Collar looking up (WhiteCollar-Peter look up)
This month's commentfic prompt round is up at [livejournal.com profile] collarcorner: No theme this month; anything goes. I am planning to be a bit more involved this month, and try to write a few things! So I want some nice prompts to write! HINT HINT. :D I'm also allowing one repeat prompt per person this month, if you have a nice one from a past round that no one has picked up yet.

(Also, I DID get my Due South DVDs from my mom, so there may be rewatching in my future!)
sholio: Peter from White Collar, in a suit, smiling (WhiteCollar-Peter smiling)
I am dealing with my incipient departure and total lack of packing like a GROWNUP ... by faffing around on the Internet and thinking about werewolves.

Remember the White Collar werewolf Peter AU? I have about 14K of an unfinished story in that 'verse, and one of the reasons why it's unfinished is because it ended up covering about 4-6 months of story time ... which made me realize that there is probably no point in actual canon where it could fit.

Or, I should say, the problem is that I started writing this AU with no real idea where it diverged from show canon, and up to this point I've been able to get away with it because the events in the various stories could happen at just about any point after season one, but for this one I actually need to have some idea of how differently things play out in werewolf world.

And it matters WHEN all of this started happening because certain events in the series (such as the estrangement between Peter and Neal over the U-boat treasure and Keller kidnapping Elizabeth, or Neal running off to Cape Verde) probably went down rather differently if they took place pre-werewolf-reveal or afterwards.

So, those of you who have an interest in this 'verse, what are your thoughts? I suppose my biggest question mark is whether I should set the first installment in the series during season two, or after season three, because it really doesn't seem to be DURING season three. Advantage to season two: this gives me a whole lot more anklet time to play with, and the possibility of writing a werewolfverse take on Elizabeth's kidnapping. Advantage to setting it afterwards, though, is that the timeline overall would stick closer to the canon timeline, so there would be less divergence to deal with.

Once I figure out that fundamental point, I can proceed to plot out how things would've gone differently, but first I need to get that nailed down.

TALK TO ME ABOUT WEREWOLVES. :D
sholio: Peter from White Collar, with gun (WhiteCollar-Peter with gun)
... during my recent anchorite periods of not socializing on the Internet ...

.... is how remarkably, hilariously bitter I still am about the way White Collar ended.

Spoilers for the end of the series; also cut so you don't have to listen to me whining about this anymore )
sholio: Made by <lj user=foxglove_icons> (Tea)
Being as nonspoilery as possible, I'll just say outside the cut that the tone of this one is different from the tone of my last post about the finale, and leave it at that ...

Major spoilers for the White Collar series finale )
sholio: Made by <lj user=foxglove_icons> (Tea)
And so White Collar is officially over. Last episode. No more.

I figured that, since a couple people on my flist have mentioned they were on the fence about watching the last season and wanted to know what I thought of the finale, I'd give you a nonspoilery reaction under a cut, and then do the spoilery, more in-depth discussion under another cut. So, emotional reaction with no direct spoilers under the first cut, then all the spoilers under the second one.

The non-spoilery emotional reaction )

The spoilery reaction )
sholio: Peter and Elizabeth from White Collar (WhiteCollar-Peter El hug)
This question from Leesa Perrie is spoilery for season six of White Collar, so I'll put the whole thing under a cut.

General WC season six spoilers; nothing for future episodes )
sholio: Peter and Neal from White Collar - Neal's hand on Peter's shoulder (WhiteCollar-Neal hand on Peter's shoulde)
This poll is SUPER SPOILERY for the aired episodes of season six (no future spoilers), so it's under a cut!

Pointless season six White Collar poll )
sholio: Peter and Elizabeth from White Collar kissing (WhiteCollar-Peter El kiss)
I just reblogged a thing on Tumblr (SPOILER ALERT: contains a spoiler for 6x03 - pretty minor if you've seen 6x01, very spoilery otherwise). This launched me down a chain of rambling White Collar musings which eventually ended in the thought that when the Burkes arrange some kind of relationship-related getaway/date night/etc. on the show, it's often Peter's idea.

And then I thought, wow, it's kind of always Peter's idea, isn't it?

In fanfic, people usually have Elizabeth being the one who's socially clued in -- the one who invites people over, the one who comes up with romantic getaways, etc, while Peter is just kind of a stereotypical guy about the whole thing, and expresses his feelings for his loved ones mainly by trying to protect them. Which is by no means wholly without basis in the show, especially the part where Peter and Neal couldn't be more terrible at communicating with each other if they tried. But looking back over previous seasons and Peter's behavior when it comes to taking care of people he cares about, he's actually kind of a huge sentimental soft touch (and not exclusively with Elizabeth, either).

Spoilers for all five seasons )
sholio: Peter from White Collar smiling (WhiteCollar-Peter)
Just recently I posted a fairly extensive Peter Burke meta post to Tumblr, in response to someone else's post. [livejournal.com profile] aragarna suggested I should repost it here, which is a good idea. :D (I had actually kinda meant to do that while I was writing it, but then got distracted and forgot.)

The original post by markcampbells is Why Peter Burke’s Endgame Was Never Going to be Section Chief (extensive season five spoilers). You should definitely read it -- lots of good insight into Peter's decision-making process and how he likely felt about the ASAC job! I was particularly intrigued by this:

Peter was offered ASAC without even being told beforehand he was in consideration, and with no option to turn it or the pending promotion to Section Chief down. This is a job he specifically said in 4x15 he didn’t want, but he wasn’t really given a choice in it in 5x01. The Section Chief offer was legitimately thrust upon him with that DC brochure in the folder. It was impressed upon him it would be career suicide to say no. I have to fault the writers on one thing—the complete lack of an explanation of what happened to Calloway or if Hughes was ever reoffered the job after his ousting was just stupid—but on the other hand, Peter being the ASAC immediately following Hughes’ ousting and Calloway’s abusing the position made sense. He hates corruption more than anything and probably just wanted to fix what was broken.

I had never really thought about the suddenness of the timing and the fact that it hit him at a time when he really wasn't in a position to make an informed, considered decision. (I also think, and thought at the time, that a craving for stability is a big part of why he took the job; it must have seemed to him that it would be a less risky position than being a field agent, and I think El said later in the season that she'd expected it would be more 9-to-5 without the late nights and physical risks. Peter must have thought so too.)

Anyway, I went on to say:

Cut for length, season five spoilers, and to spare the non-White Collar people my natterings )

... Thoughts?
sholio: Elizabeth from White Collar, smiling (WhiteCollar-Elizabeth smiling)
This season is over and there may or may not be a season six (*snif*) ...

... but [livejournal.com profile] collarcorner is still around! I know regulars to my journal already know about it, but there are also a few new people coming around lately, so: [livejournal.com profile] collarcorner is a gen prompt community, with new posts every month. Here is the current month's post, where prompts for fic, vid, art, etc. are welcome. I've just been added as one of the co-mods over there, and I'm going to try to be more active over there in the upcoming year (and do my best to bring some of you over there with me, too!).

You do not need an LJ account to participate at [livejournal.com profile] collarcorner. Anonymous comment posting is open, and fills can be posted at AO3, ff.net, as comments (anon or otherwise), or anywhere else. Also, you do not need to fill in order to prompt. Most of the current prompts are related to the current season, but they don't have to be! If you have been craving a particular trope or plotline, feel free to go leave a prompt, and maybe someone will fill it for you! The only requirement is that it needs to be gen (background canon pairings okay - see the rules).

Another comm where I'd love to see more activity is [livejournal.com profile] whitecollar_rec. I'm going to try to start posting recs over there regularly -- so if you aren't watching it, now would be a good time to join! :) Also, most people tend to rec new fics (which is always great, of course!) but recs for older fics/vids/art/etc would also be lovely. There are so many fics from past seasons that have quietly faded into obscurity, but are still very enjoyable to read. If there is nothing recent that makes you jump up and down to rec it, you are encouraged to go through your bookmarks and favorites to find an old beloved fic to rec!

And finally, I kinda got busy and neglected the Diana Squeefest. (Bad [personal profile] sholio.) I will try to do a roundup of fills soon. The fest is not closed, so if you'd like to post some prompts or fill some of the existing prompts, go for it!

Smart show!

Feb. 2nd, 2014 10:20 pm
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
One of the reasons why I like White Collar is because it usually plays fair on the cons. Like with murder mysteries, one of my criteria for a good con/heist story is that all the clues are there on the screen, even if the viewer's eye is cleverly misdirected away from them so that you don't notice them except in retrospect.

Spoilers for 5x13 )
sholio: Elizabeth from White Collar, smiling (WhiteCollar-Elizabeth smiling)
Actually, there was one thing I mentioned in the previous post that I wanted to pull out in a post of its own, which is how respectfully White Collar (usually) handles its female characters.

It's not fantastic across the board; there's a rather spectacularly gratuitous 'fridging, and the usual casting issues with the vast majority of its female characters being young, thin, conventionally beautiful white women. And, of course, the main characters are two guys, so the show is never going to be about the women -- that's just not the show it is.

But I've realized a few things about the show, namely that in five years there has never once been:

- A rape or rape threat
- A threatened woman who does not actively participate in her own rescue
- A sexualized or partly naked female corpse

(Actually I don't think we've ever seen a dead woman on the show; there have been a couple of female characters murdered off-camera, but all the actual corpses we've seen were male, I think ...)

And I'm not just talking about main characters, but single-episode bit characters as well. Never a helpless damsel in distress, a rape victim, or even so much as a rape threat in five years. Which might quite possibly make White Collar unique among crime dramas.

The thing is, it's not like you can't build a good story around any of those elements. I also love Justified and Orphan Black, which are both dark and violent as hell. But violence against women, and women as rescue objects, is so endemic to TV, especially to the crime/action genre, that it's like background noise -- it gets to the point where you don't notice it anymore. It's just there. I think White Collar is kind of spoiling me for that, honestly. I started watching a few different crime shows at about the same time a couple of years ago (Rizzoli & Isles, The Closer, I forget the other ones ...) and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM included among their first 2 or 3 episodes a serial rapist or serial killer of women. I don't think these topics should be off limits, but they're in danger of being something perhaps even worse: disposable window dressing.

I especially like the "no damsels in distress" thing on White Collar. It's so consistent throughout all the seasons that it HAS to be a writers-room guideline. Some female crime or kidnap victims on the show participate subtly in their own rescues -- finding clever ways to send messages, for example, or following directions given to them -- while others rescue themselves before their would-be rescuers even show up, but they don't just sit there.

There's also the fact that the show has a very wide variety of different female characters, all of whom pursue very different lives, with none of them being presented as any less "right" or her choices any less valid than the others: nurturing, housewifely Elizabeth; tough cop and lesbian single mom Diana; opinionated, career-driven Sara; enigmatic Kate; unapologetically amoral and mercenary Alex.

There are a few things I wish White Collar did differently with its female characters (like occasionally having them talk to each other, for example). But I never, ever feel like the show is poking me in the eye. I feel like the writers actually care about not poking me in the eye. And I wish that wasn't as rare as it is.

Random side note: [personal profile] veleda_k has some good meta on several of the individual female characters on the show: on Sara, on Kate, and on Elizabeth (specifically regarding criticism of Elizabeth being poorly written). All of the above links contains spoilers.
sholio: Neal from White Collar, hand on hat (WhiteCollar-Neal hat)
The only question I didn't get to in the December posting meme (I think) was [livejournal.com profile] aragarna, who asked, What's special about White Collar?

... which is not entirely an easy question to answer. I don't know why, exactly, I've latched onto this show so hard. There are better shows out there; there are certainly shows whose plots make more sense. To some extent it's the same indescribable something that makes a person either fall in love with a book, or give up halfway through -- some stories and some characters you just like, and some you don't.

The closest I can come to pinning down the appeal of White Collar to me is that it gives me relationship drama without the relationships being mostly romance-focused.

I love relationship drama. I eat it up with a spoon. People fighting and angsting over their fights and making up; people learning and growing and evolving their relationships over time; people discovering a fondness for someone they never looked at twice, or having longtime relationships blow up in their face. Basically I just like relationship drama a lot. :D

But problem #1 is, I'm not especially fond of romance -- or I guess I should say, I'm not fond of the romance story, the one that's told in the vast majority of romance-focused media. (Boy meets girl; boy and girl fight; boy and girl struggle with their feelings for 60 episodes or so; boy and girl cave and admit they are Now Officially Together; the end.) There are MANY MANY other romantic stories that can be told, and I like many of them, but The Official Romance Story is boring to me, and even more, I hate the way that romance has a tendency to take over the other relationships on the show, either by sidelining them completely or by converting them into romances as well, because Romance Is The Most Important Thing and it's the story most writers want to tell.

(Which isn't bad, necessarily. It's just not for me.)

And problem #2 is that I tend to get bored and annoyed when relationship drama is the entire focus of the show. I want relationship drama ON A SPACESHIP or people having relationship drama WHILE FIGHTING CRIME!

And the thing about White Collar is that it's relationship-drama-focused in exactly the same way as most romances -- in the sense that it's all about the relationship between these two people, it's always going to be about them, and no matter how many times they break up, there is probably going to be a happy ending, after serving up bucketloads of angst first -- but it's not a boy-meets-girl romance.

And let me tell you, as someone who seeks out those kinds of stories ... that's RARE! It's not like there isn't some of it around, but mostly you get a bait-and-switch, in which the first few episodes serve up a variety of interesting, non-traditionally-romantic relationships, but ultimately it ends up being about the romance after all, and everything else tends to get shuffled out of the spotlight, ends badly, or never really gets followed up on. (LOST, Fringe, I'm looking at you.) Or else you have a lot of shows in which the central relationship(s) are more or less static (see: most buddy cop shows -- and frequently that is served up with a side order of misogyny and/or homophobia).

But at the same time, White Collar isn't myopically focused on the central relationship; it's an ensemble, and the ensemble get lots of screen time, and lots of storylines and relationship focus too. There are some romances -- which I mostly enjoy -- and there's also a fascinating constellation of very different relationships, most of which get at least some screen time on a regular basis, all of which is taking place against a backdrop of action-focused FBI/con artist heist hijinks.

So basically: White Collar gives me LOADS of relationship drama, in a show that is also charming and adorable and generally pretty respectful with the treatment of its female characters. It's not going to win any awards and it's not ~great art~, but it's charming and sweet and funny and well put together, and probably heading for a happy ending after serving up enough angst along the way to keep the sweetness from being too cloying. It's static enough that I don't expect any major shakeups (killing off half the cast, say) but it's changeable enough that things do evolve over time and the characters have ended up in a fairly different place than they started out.

Basically this show has absolutely nailed my ideal-TV-comfort-food formula.
sholio: Neal from White Collar looking down (WhiteCollar-Neal sidelight)
Because of [livejournal.com profile] kanarek13 posting screencaps, I've now watched all the Bryce Larkin episodes of Chuck (plus a few other episodes for context, and the Evil Tim Dekay one for obvious reasons). And ... BRYCE. He's adorable!

Cut for rather vague spoilers for Bryce's arc )

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