Saturday, 30 December 2017

End of Year Fandom Meme 2017

End of Year Fandom Meme

I did this meme last year and really enjoyed it. So, here's to another 12 months of fandom! :)

Which TV shows did you start watching in 2016? 

I don't think I watched that many new (to me) shows this year. I re-watched some stuff, watched the latest developments from others, but new shows were kind of thin on the ground...

Almost Human, Ladykillers (1970s), Public Eye, Real Crime.

I might have watched more if retro crime shows were easier to get hold of!

Which TV shows did you mean to get into but didn't in 2016? Why? 

No new shows but there are lots I wanted to catch up with but didn't find chance - e.g. Endeavour, Grantchester, Hinterland, Midsomer Murders, etc. Fingers crossed for 2018!

Which TV show impressed you least in 2016? 

Legends of Tomorrow. It's awful yet Anthony continues to inflict it on us.

Your favourite TV show of the year? 

Public Eye. This originally aired on ITV between 1965 and 1975, but I caught all the remaining episodes - the early seasons fell victim to ABC Television's wiping policy - on YouTube. It follows private enquiry agent Frank Marker (Alfred Burke) as he solves mysteries. Sort of. Because the thing about Public Eye is that most episodes lack any real kind of resolution, just the way these things play out in real life. It's so at odds with the expectations of modern TV that it feels jarring and almost futuristic!

Public Eye

Your favourite film you watched this year?

I saw Wreck-It Ralph for the first time and really enjoyed it. Coco made me cry too.

Your main fandom of the year? 

Gotham. Again. It's not even that it's a particularly great show - I'm just too invested to give up on it!


Your favourite book read this year? 

Nothing is really jumping out to me, to be honest. I've read a lot of true crime but there was no real 'stand out' for me this year.

Favourite male character of the year?

We've been watching Poirot from the beginning throughout December and he's such a brilliant character. My favourite moment so far has been Hastings sulking that Poirot had forgotten his promise to accompany him to the Victory Ball:

"Well, unfortunately I have to re-arrange my stamps in order of size."

We've all been there! Haha.


Favourite female character of the year? 

Marianna has become obsessed with pink, sparkles and princesses this year. I don't even want to think about how many times I've had to sit through Cinderella! Thankfully she has also fallen for the charm of Moana which I've seen 50+ times and have yet to grow sick of. The soundtrack is great and it's so refreshing to have a Disney heroine who isn't even thinking about romance.


Your biggest fan anticipations for the coming year? 

I'm so out of the loop, I don't even know what's due out in 2018!

Your favourite album or song to listen to this year?

It pains me to admit that I've the artist I've listened to most this year has probably been Ed Sheeran...

The fandom you haven't tried yet, but want to? 

I want to try writing fic for the new Beauty and the Beast film. What can I say? Gaston and his ego were inspiring!

Your biggest squee moment of the year? 


Your best new fandom discovery of the year?

Almost Human. It's about robot cops solving crime in the future which, you know, isn't exactly an original concept but the spin they put on it is awesome. It was originally aired in the US in 2014 and, of course, was cancelled after just one series. There is a ton of fanwork for it though, and I'm now wrangling the fandom on AO3 and planning to offer it in a few exchanges this year. :)

Almost Human

Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?

I finally got around to watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens... it sucked. It sucked so bad. I haven't seen The Last Jedi yet but let's just say that I'm not holding my breath that it will be any better.

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Fandom - my life as a fan

Friday, 29 December 2017

Fandom Snowflake Challenge 2018

A/N: The Snowflake Challenge is an annual fandom event, run over on Dreamwidth. In fandom circles 'speshul snowflake' is something of a derogatory term. The challenge basically seeks to reclaim the term, and turn it into something positive by encouraging people to celebrate their own involvement in fandom.

Fandom Snowflake Challenge

(Note: although the challenge runs from January 1st - 15th, it's super low pressure and you can go back and finish it any time you like.)

Day #1: Talk about why you're participating in Snowflake and, if you’ve participated in the past, how the challenge has affected you. What drew you to it? What did you take away from it? What do you hope to accomplish this year?

Taking part in the Snowflake Challenge is kind of a tradition for me -  I've taken part regularly and still have the posts from 20132016, and 2017. I like looking back over the fannish year and checking out the comm to see what everyone else has been up to. In years when I was only peripherally involved in fandom, it helped me still feel part of wider community. This year I'm more active and I'm hoping to find some cool new fandoms to check out and, possibly, a new challenge or two to take part in.

Day #2: Share a favorite memory about fandom: the first time you got into fandom, the last time a fanwork touched your heart, crazy times with fellow fans (whether on-line or off-line), a lovely comment you’ve received or have left for someone.

This year will mark my 20th year in online fandom - so there are plenty of memories to choose from! There have been fics that have made me sob like a baby, and fics that have had me snorting out loud with laughter on the bus. Late night sessions squeeing on group chat, and snail mail pen pals who shared snippets of fic along with real life updates. What fandom has always done, either one on one through fandom friends, or via the wider fannish community, is picked me up when I was feeling down.

It's always been there for a bit of escapism to dip and out of, or as proof that no matter how toxic pockets of fandom become, there are still huge swathes of it which is just about fans creating things for other fans to consume to keep the love of their fandom alive. It's that community element that has always drawn me to fandom. You're not just writing a fic and shoving it away in a drawer - you're getting the chance to interact with other fans through it.

So my single favourite memory is in the same vein. I think I wrote about it for Fanfic Writers Week too, but it really does have a special place in my heart: back when I was writing mostly teen fandoms I received a really long email from someone who said my fic had given them the courage to come out to their parents. To know that my writing had had that kind of impact on someone was really special.

Day #3: Post recs for at least three fanworks that you did not create.

Reccing my 2017 Yuletide fics because they are amazing!!

 Are We In Love Yet?
(The Aliens, Lewis/Dominic, c. 2400 words - by Misura)

The Aliens, if you’ve not heard of it, was a short lived (but brilliant!) Channel 4 comedy drama set in an alternate Britain where aliens crash landed into the Irish Sea in the 1980s. Humans, being what they are, soon rounded these ‘Morks’ up and forced them to live in a walled ghetto called Troy. Lewis is a border guard at the checkpoint who finds out he’s half Mork, and Dominic is a Mork cleaner who is painfully in love with Lewis. In the fic Dominic finally - finally - gets what he wants. …But not before some laugh out loud funny dialogue, and the The Alien League trying to force them to have sex on camera for the purposes of pro-pa-gan-da!

The Aliens

(Whitechapel, Chandler/Kent, c. 6200 words - by thedevilchicken)

This fic is just awesome from start to finish. Kent moves into a new flat his workmates dub Amityville because so many people have died in it. He knows he should leave before the inevitable happens, but the problem is that the thing is willing to give before it starts taking away… I love how atmospheric and creepy this is - right down to Kent’s inability to choose sanity over Chandler - and how it fits in with the tone of the show.


this is your bed to lay in 
(Southland, Cooper/Sherman, c. 12,800 words - by Ponderosa)

I fell so hard for this ship, right from the very first episode. Ben was so eager to please, and John was always so ready to call him out on his bullshit. But, then, John ended up in rehab and Ben ended up becoming a total tosser… This fic is like the ultimate fix-it fic for their relationship. Ben goes to John after Sammy kicks his ass, ends up crashing on John’s sofa for months while he tries to figure out where his life went so wrong and what he’s going to do about it, and finally gathers enough self-awareness to work out that what he really wants is sitting right in front of him. It’s just so well done, so believable - and it has a happy ending! :D


Day #4: In your own space, create a fannish wishlist. No limits on size or type of fanwork; just tell us what you’d like to see. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so. And if you grant a wish, do the same thing!

My one wish for fandom as a whole is more live and let live. Call out posts for 'problematic' content that actually boils down to 'I don't like this ship / the way you ship it' cannot come to an end too soon.

Day #5: Recommend a fannish or creative resource.

I'll recommend one of both; on the fannish side of things check out fandomcalendar on Dreamwidth to keep up to date with fests, exchanges, and other fandom happenings. My rec for a creative resource is Canva, it's an awesome graphic design tool I use all the time for blogging. Check out my Images 101 post for a whole range of places to find copyright free images to use with it.

Day #6: “I create for myself. I don’t need to have people to read/see/listen/appreciate it.” --said no Fan Creator ever. Okay, maybe the first part. But, I know of NO ONE who puts their work out there for the world to see and doesn’t want to have any feedback on it. So, leave feedback for a fanwork. Or multiple fanworks. It can be as simple as 'I liked this' to a detailed list of all the things you loved about the fanwork. The key is to leave some sort of feedback.

Done and dusted. The 'death of comment culture' debate has always raged in fandom, and is at a particular peak at the moment. I'm lucky in that I've always received a steady stream of feedback but I do think that's largely down to a 'you get what you put in' attitude. If you're known as somebody who comments on other people's work in the fandom, who responds to comments and enjoys receiving them, etc, then you tend to reap what you sow.

Fandom Snowflake Challenge Banner

Day #7: In your own space, create a love meme for yourself. Let people tell you how amazing and awesome and loveable you really are.

I, er, yeah. I'm pretty swell, I guess!

Day #8: In your own space, share a favourite piece of original canon (a TV episode, a song, a favourite interview, a book, a scene from a movie, etc) and explain why you love it so much.

Find me talking about my favourite Red Dwarf episodes over HERE. :)

Day #9: In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you have created. It can be your favourite fanworks that you've created, or fanworks you feel no one ever saw, or fanworks you say would define you as a creator.

Where I Want To Be. (Tucker's Luck - Alan/Creamy - T - c. 8,000 words)
Coming of Age fic for an obscure ship in an equally obscure fandom. That's my kind of thing!

Friends With Benefits. (Breakfast Club - Bender/Brian - T - 1,800 words)
Typical exchange fandom offering.

Come Alive. (Downton Abbey - Thomas Barrow/OMC - T - c. 12,000 words)
Always with the gothic horror elements. Always.

Day #10: In your own space, share your love for a trope, cliché, kink, motif, or theme. (Or a few!) Tell us what makes it work for you, and why it appeals to you so much. Talk about what you like to see in fanworks featuring that theme most. Feel free to include recs and examples!


Day #11: Share a book/song/movie/tv show/fanwork/etc that changed your life.


Day #12: In your own space, create a fanwork. Make a podfic, an icon, a sketch, a meta, or a rec list. Arts and crafts. Cross stitch. Draft an essay about a particular medium. Put together a picspam or a fanmix. Write a review of book you love, a ship manifesto, a you-should-be-listening-to-this-band essay. Create something.


Day #13: In your own space, set some goals for the coming year. They can be fannish or not, public or private.

Check out my New Years' Resolutions for 2018. :)

New Years Resolutions 2018

Day #14: In your own space, create your own challenge. Whatever your challenge is, and have fun with it! 

I expect a few people will mention this, but transformative works statements are always good. akamine_chan wrote a good meta post on what they are and why they're good HERE, but essentially it just means clarifying your position on other people making fanworks based on your own. Here's mine:

falsteloj transformative works statement

At times I've thought of codifying this more rigorously - using the creative commons licensing policy language, for instance - but really it just seems like making things unnecessarily complicated. I think this way is clear and gets across that I am genuinely happy for people to do what they like when transforming my fanworks.

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Fandom - my life as a fan

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Multifandom Events and Exchanges 2018

Multifandom Events and Exchanges

(A/N: This is an updated version of the original post I made for 2017.)

Mostly for my own reference, here is the big ass list of multifandom events and exchanges likely to run in 2018. Most are based on Dreamwidth or Livejournal, the former fandom bases of choice, though some have an increasingly large presence on Tumblr. These are listed in roughly chronological order, in terms of posting dates, and I've tried to split the months up with sections on other fandom things to check out like Big Bangs and Bingo communities.

When it comes to the exchanges, etiquette is pretty standard across all of these. If you don't want to sign up yourself, most welcome additional treats - you can go through the requests and the 'Dear Author' letters (if the exchange has them), find something you feel like writing, and just gift it to the relevant recipient. Low pressure and you know that you're making somebody's day. :)

Fandom Snowflake Challenge
What: 'The Snowflake Challenge is about reminding ourselves why we choose to be part of fannish communities, and embracing what being part of that community means to us, and celebrating who we are. It’s about celebrating our specialness and our talents and what it is that makes each one of us amazing. ... Every day for the first 15 days of January, we're going to post a fannish challenge. It could be something as simple as reccing fanworks to talking about what you love about fandom.'
When: January 1st - 15th, though you can come back and complete at any time.
Where: (d) snowflake_challenge.

Fandom Snowflake Challenge

Chocolate Box
What: 'Chocolate Box is an annual gift exchange for all fandoms, focusing on ships and gen combos. Participants must create either a story of at least 300 words, or a nice sketch that is not on lined paper. In return, they will receive a story of at least 300 words, or a nice sketch not on lined paper.'
When: Sign-ups in January, posting in February.
Where: (d) chocolateboxcomm.

Half a Moon
What: 'Half a Moon is a fourteen day challenge celebrating female characters in fandom. Fanfiction, vids, recs, art, picspam, icons, meta, fanmixes, and outside links to content fitting the theme of this community are all welcome--the only rule is that the primary focus must be on a female character or characters.'
When: February 1st - 14th.
Where: (l) halfamoon.

International Fanworks Day (IFD)
What: Established in 2015, this is the day to celebrate your fannish endeavours!
When: February 15th
Where: The OTW usually leads the call - read more HERE.

Older Not Dead
What: Fanwork challenge for pairings where characters are over 40. This year's prompt theme is the five senses.
When: Prompting until January 28th, then posting all through February.
Where: (l) older_not_dead.

Femslash February
What: Create fanworks celebrating femslash - read more at Fanlore.
When: February.
Where: Tumblr. Use the hashtag #femslash february.


You get a Bingo card of prompts which you use to create fanworks and work towards a full house. Find links to defunct comms at Fanlore, or check out some still active Bingo communities:

 - All Bingo.
 - Crossover Bingo.
 - Gen Prompt Bingo.
 - Hurt / Comfort Bingo.
 - Kinky Bingo.
 - Ladies Bingo.
 - Podfic Bingo.
 - Tic Tac Woe - Apocalypse Bingo.
 - Trope Bingo.

Age Gap Exchange
What: Multifandom exchange for relationships with age gaps. (1,000 words)
When: Sign-ups in January, posting in March.
Where: (d) agegapexchange.

What: Het pairing exchange. 'Minimum word count is 500. No maximum. Requests and offers will contain a minimum of 3 fandoms and a maximum of 6, with 1 to 3 relationships in each fandom.'
When: Sign-ups in January, posting in late Feb/early March.
Where: (d) hetswap.

Purim Gifts
What: 'The Purim Treat-a-Thon is an anonymous multifandom fic and graphics gift exchange that takes place over three days of Purim, focusing on characters who are women and / or Jewish (or persecuted by evil viziers!)'
When: Sign-ups in January, posting in March.
Where: (d) purimgifts, (l) purimgifts, and (t) purimgifts.

A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words
What: Write a fic of at least 1,000 words based on a picture prompt.
When: Sign-ups in January, posting in March.
Where: (l) picfor1000.

Big Bang

Write a longer story - typically at least 20,000 words - for the fandom of your choice. For more info check out the Big Bang Index community on Dreamwidth, or these active bangs:

 - Bandom Big Bang.
 - Extreme Big Bang.
 - Harlequin (romance) Big Bang. (5,000 words minimum.)
 - Heroine Big Bang.
 - Het Big Bang. (10,000 + little bang, 25,000 + big bang.)
 - Iddy Iddy Bang Bang. (5,000 words minimum.)
 - Podfic Big Bang. (10,000 words minimum.)
 - Small Fandom Bang. (10,000 words minimum.)
 - WIP (Work in Progress) Big Bang.

World Building Exchange
What: Exchange for 'exploration of how a fictional world works beyond the information presented in canon'.
When: Nominations and signups in January, posting and reveals in April.
Where: (d) worldbuildingex and (t) worldbuildingexchange.

Smut Swap
What: Exchange for explicit fanworks - minimum word count 1,000 or clean line drawing. Full FAQ HERE.
When: Sign-ups in February, posting in April.
Where: (d) smutswap.

Smut Swap

Spring Fest
What: Multifandom prompt fest.
When: Prompting in March, claiming and posting in April.
Where: (d) springfest.

Art Fever
What: Multifandom fanart exchange.
When: Nominations and sign-ups in February, posting and reveals in April.
Where: (d) artfeverfest, (l) artfeverfest, (t) artfeverfest.

Art Fever


A big part of fannish culture on Livejournal and Dreamwidth revolved around the icons you used. They were featured next to every post and comment you made, and your primary icon often became indelibly associated with your fannish identity. As fandom migrated they became less important, but there are still a few active communities dedicated to them, like:

 - Fandom Icons.
 - Icons.

Fandom 5k
What: This is a multi-fandom gift exchange for fic with a 5,000-word minimum.
When: Sign-ups in February, posting in late April/early May.
Where: (d) fandom5k.

Obscure and British Comment Fest
What: what it says on the tin!
When: May.
Where: HERE, over at lost_spook's journal.

Once Upon a Fic Exchange
What: A fairy-tale centric story exchange focused on fairy-tales, tall tales and myths. (1,000 word minimum.)
When: Nominations and signups in February, posting and reveals in May.
Where: (d) once_upon_fic.

Once Upon a Fic Exchange

Soul Exchange
What: Multifandom fic and art exchange for works relating to soulmates and soulbonds.
When: Sign-ups in April, posting in May.
Where: (d) soulexchange.

Space Swap
What: Multimedia exchange for space fandoms of all sorts, including television series, movies, and books. The only criterion for a fandom to be eligible is that it somehow be related to SPACE. (1,000 word minimum.)
When: Sign-ups in February, posting in April.
Where: (d) space_swap and (l) space_swap.

Space Swap

Small Fandom Fest
What: 'Welcome to Small Fandoms Fest, a multi-fandom Fest community where even the smallest fandom is welcome. Actually, the smaller, the better. Minimum length/size requirements - fanfic: 1000 words, icons: 8-10, other fanart: 1 large or 2-3 smaller pieces.'
When: Fests run twice a year, May-July and November-January.
Where: (l) smallfandomfest and (d) smallfandomfest.
Subsidary comms include (l) smallfandom_nb for announcements, (l) smallfandomrecs, and (l) smallfandomflsh for regular flash fiction challenges.

Fanfic 100

Once all the rage, these huge prompt table communities are now mostly long dead. I was so proud to complete my own fanfic100 table back in 2010! They also come in mini versions if 100 sounds too daunting. Those with recent activity include:

 - 100_women.
 - fanfic100.
 - serendipity_claims.

Jukebox Exchange
What: 'A challenge festival for fanfic writers. It is based on a theme of songs and music videos, and it uses a gift exchange structure, like Yuletide and many others. When you sign up, you will prompt several possible stories using songs for inspiration, and you will commit to writing a story for a recipient who will be assigned to you.'
When: Sign-ups in late March, posting in June.
Where: (d) jukebox_fest and (l) jukebox_fest.

Jukebox Exchange

Fandom Giftbox
What: Summer fanworks gifting fest based on fandom_stocking - sign up with your preferences and get a giftbox full of little treats and well wishes.
When: June.
Where: (d) fandomgiftbox.

Unconventional Courtship
What: 'Unconventional Courtship' is a panfandom fic fest where you write and post a 1000w+ fic based on a M&B/Harlequin plot.
When: Posting in June.
Where: (d) unconventionalcourtship.

All In The Family
What: Multifandom fic, art and vid exchange focused on the relationships between family members.
When: Nominations and sign-ups in March, posting and reveals in June.
Where: (d) familyex.

Night on Fic Mountain
What: Night On Fic Mountain is an annual fic and art exchange for small, rare, and inactive fandoms. Participants sign up to write a story of at least 1,000 words or create art in a fandom someone else has requested. In return, they receive a story of at least 1,000 words or art in a fandom they have requested.
When: Nominations in late March, signups in early April, posting and reveals in June.
Where: (d) nightonficmountain.

Every Woman Exchange
What: Exchange for female characters. (500 words minimum.)
When: Nominations and signups in May, posting in June.
Where: (d) everywoman.

Fandom Secrets and Discussion

Sometimes you just want to anonymously share your twisted confessions, or just your innate pettiness. Why not type it over a picture and submit it to (d) fandomsecrets? This used to be a really busy fandom centre but these days there are only seven or so secrets a day.

These days the main multifandom discussion hub is FFA - fail_fandomanon. It's hosted on Dreamwidth but as all comments are anonymous, you don't need an account to take part.

Not Ready for Prime Time
What: Annual exchange for medium sized fandoms. (1,000 words minimum.)
When: Nominations and signups in April, posting and reveals in July.
Where: (d) not_primetime, (d) npt_admin, and (t) notprimetime.

Not Prime Time

Multifandom Drabble Exchange
What: Exchange for stories of exactly 100 words.
When: June.
Where: (d) multifandomdrabble.

What: A fic (1,000 words minimum) and art exchange for erotic noncon.
When: Nominations and signups in May, posting and reveals in July.
Where: (d) nonconathon.

Remix Revival
What: 'Ever read a story and think, wow, what a fascinating story, but if I had written it, I would have... Well, now here's your chance to do just that. Rewrite someone else's story. Take the work of another person and wrap it up in your vision and style, just like a remixer does to songs.'
When: Sign-ups in July, posting in September.
Where: (l) remixrevival, and (t) remixrevival.

Rare Male Slash Exchange
What: Art and fic (1000 word minimum) for rare male slash pairings.
When: Sign-ups in May, posting and reveals in August.
Where: (d) raremaleslashex.

Rare Pair Exchange
What: 'This fest is to celebrate rare relationships (romantic and/or sexual) in ALL fandoms. Canon or non-canon relationships are welcome. They may be slash, het, femslash, or any combination of the aforementioned. For the purpose of this fest, a rare pair will be defined as a relationship that has less than 250 COMPLETED works of 1000 words or greater in a single archive.'
When: Nominations and signups are in June, posting in August.
Where: (l) rarepairfest, (l) rarepairsupport.

Treat Yo Self
What: An exchange where you are your own recipient! You get matched to a cheerleader who encourages you to finish your story.
When: Sign-ups in May/June, posting in July.
Where: (d) treatyoselfcomm.

Kink Memes

Kink Memes are places where story ideas are prompted, picked up, and stories posted - all typically anonymously. The idea started out for 'kink' and smut, but these days the prompts will tend to cover all kinds of genres. For more about kink memes and their history, check out the Fanlore page.

Most kink memes are fandom specific. Fanlore maintains a list of kink memes, and there is also the memekink journal on Dreamwidth which serves as a directory for all kink memes based on the site. Other relevant communities include:

 - For The Love of Kink.
 - Kink Memes.
 - Kink Meme Promo.
 - Small Fandom Kink Meme.

Bring Back The Porn
What: Explicit fanworks to stick two fingers up to internet censorship.
When: September 1st.
Where: bbtp_challenge on InsaneJournal.

You Can Do That In Fanfiction
What: Exchange for fic based on children and YA television shows. (1,000 word minimum.)
When: Nominations and signups in June, posting and reveals in September.
Where: (d) youcandothatinfanfiction.

What: An exchange for gen fiction - i.e. romantic and/or sexual relationships should not be the main focus of the work. (1,000 word minimum.)
When: Nominations and signups in July, posting and reveals in September.
Where: (d) genex and (t) gen-ex.

Press Start
What: Annual multimedia exchange for computer and video game fandoms. (1,000 word minimum.)
When: Sign-ups in July, posting in September.
Where: (d) press_start_comm.

Captive Audience
What: Multifandom kink fic exchange focused around Stockholm and Lima Syndrome. (1,000 word minimum.)
When: Sign-ups in July, posting in September.
Where: (d) captiveaudience.

Captive Audience

AU Exchange
What: 'It's an exchange focused on doing alternate universes, canon divergences, and what ifs of existing canons.' (1,000 word minimum.)
When: Nominations and signups in July, posting in September.
Where: (d) auexchange.

Flash Fiction

If you don't have time for a full blown epic, flash fiction is the way to go. In fandom circles the usual terminology is drabble (100 words), double drabble (200 words), and ficlet (anything under 1,000 words or so). Here are a few prompting and / or challenge communities to help inspire you:

 - Comment Fic.
 - Fan Flashworks. (For related discussion check out (d) ffw_social.)
 - Fandom Weekly.
 - Femslash Ficlets.
 - FFFC - Froday Flash Fiction Challenge.
 - Fic Promptly.
 - Picture_Prompt_Fun.
 - Six Word Stories.
 - Small Fandom Flash.

What: 'Crossovering is a multi-fandom crossover exchange. It’s your opportunity to request crossovers between your favorite fandoms and to write them too!' (1,000 word minimum.)
When: Nominations and signups in July, posting and reveals in October.
Where: (d) crossovering.

Fandom Growth
What: Multi-fandom exchange for fandoms, relationships and characters that have ten or fewer completed fics on AO3. (2,000 word minimum.)
When: Sign-ups in August, posting in October.
Where: (d) fandomgrowthexchange and (t) fandomgrowthexchange.

What: Fannish exchange for incest pairings. (500 word minimum.)
When: Nominations and sign-ups in August, posting and reveals in October.
Where: (d) relationshipping.

Femslash Exchange
What: 'For the purpose of this fest, femslash is defined as fic or art containing a relationship between two or more characters who identify in canon as either female or genderqueer.' (1,000 word minimum.)
When: Nominations and signups in August, posting and reveals in late October / early November.
Where: (d) femslashex and (t) femslashex.

The Darkest Night
What: Fannish exchange celebrating dark themes. (500 word minimum.)
When: Sign-ups in August, posting in October.
Where: (d) darkestnightex.

Darkest Night Exchange

Trick or Treat
What: A low stress exchange based on Halloween and Trick or Treating.
When: Signups in September, posting in October.
Where: (d) trickortreatex and (l) trickortreatex.

Regular Challenges

Monthly or quarterly multifandom challenges...

 - 1 Million Words.
 - Monthly Super Go!
 - One Dead Plot Bunny.
 - Rounds of Kink.
 - Season of Kink.
 - Twelve Months of Writing.

Holly Poly
What: Exchange for polyamorous relationships.
When: Sign ups in late October/early November; Posting in January.
Where: (d) holly_poly.

Fandom Stocking
What: 'Inspired by, and expanding on, the yuletide tradition of treats, participants can submit wishlists with their preferences, etc, and, in the early days of December, individual posts will be made with each wishlist. To those, people can leave screened comments with fic or icons or even just personal messages. Whatever works. (You aren't obligated to do so if you submit a wishlist, but it is nice to return the favor!)'
When: Sign-ups in early December, filling until reveals which usually take place c. mid-January.
Where: (d) fandom_stocking.

Bandom Holidays
What: Multi-format fanwork bandom holiday exchange.
When: Signups in October, posting in December.
Where: (d) bandom_holidays.

Make the Yuletide Gay
What: Exchange for popslash.
When: Signups in October, posting in December.
Where: (d) mtyg_discuss, (l) mtyg_discuss, (t) mtyg_discuss, and the official website.

What: The biggest multifandom exchange of the year! 'Yuletide is an annual fic exchange for rare and obscure fandoms. Participants sign up to write a story of at least 1,000 words in a fandom someone else has requested, using the selected characters from that fandom. In return, they receive a story of at least 1,000 words in a fandom they have requested, featuring requested characters.'
When: The provisional schedule for 2017 is as follows; nominations - Sept 14-23, sign-ups - Oct 10-18, Assignments - Oct 19-21, default deadline - Dec 11, assignment deadline - Dec 18.
Where: (l) yuletide and (d) yuletide. Subsidary comms include (l) yuletide_admin, (l) yuletide_recs, (t) unofficialyuletide, and (d) yuletide_coal.

Poetry Fiction
What: 'Each year, there will be a featured poet, and on January 1st, participants will be given a stanza or poetry fragment from the work of the featured poet as a prompt. Participants will have 31 days to write at least 1,000 words.'
When: Sign-ups in December, writing in January, posting at the beginning of February.
Where: (d) poetry_fiction.

For news about fandom specific events and exchanges, check out (d) fandomcalendar.

If you know of any multifandom things which should be on this list, please let me know and I'll add it in! :)

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Wednesday, 27 December 2017

End of Year Writing Meme 2017

End of Year Writing Meme 2017

Here's the lowdown on what I wrote in 2017...

☆ Total number of completed stories: c. 190

☆ Total word count: c. 510,000

☆ Looking back, did you write more fic than you thought you would this year, less, or about what you'd predicted? 

More. So very much more. In 2016 I wrote c. 125,000 words so this year was a huge increase.

☆ What pairing/genre/fandom did you write that you would never have predicted in January?

Almost Human. Mostly because I didn't even know it existed in January!

☆ What's your own favourite story of the year? Not necessarily the most popular, but the one that makes you happiest?

WWII Gordlock AU set on the British home front. It doesn't get more self indulgent than that.

☆ Did you take any writing risks this year? What did you learn from them?

I signed up for lots of exchanges this year and, for the most part, it was really good fun. I suppose I learned how much I really enjoy the idea of fandom as a community, and the discussion and (mostly) goodwill that accompanies exchange fandom.

☆ From my past year of writing, what was....

 A. My best story of this year:

     Something Gordlock, no doubt. Other than that I really like the Life on Mars drabbles I wrote this year.

 B. My most popular story of this year: 

     If I exclude Gotham stuff - mostly because a lot of it is bundled together in one shot collections - it's Friends with Benefits, a Breakfast Club story exploring relationship between Brain and Bender. The temptation to write a happy ending was so strong, especially as it was an exchange fic, but I held out and the story is so much better for it.

 C. Story of mine most under-appreciated by the universe, in my opinion:

     My Yuletide story - Mr Nice Guy (Toy Story). My perception was that it was a fairly 'Big for Yuletide' fandom, but instead it's been very quiet...

 D. Most fun story to write: 

     Everything I wrote for Smut Swap. :)

 E. Most difficult story to write:

     For Justice - an original superhero sidekick/supervillain story I wrote for the Fandom5K exchange. It made me realise that if an idea pops into my head I don't mind treating with origific, but having to come up with 5,000 words of it for an assignment was like getting blood from a stone. Never again!

 F. Most Unintentionally Telling Story:

     Sucker For Love - Original Work - 'it wasn't easy finding love as a human in a world full of sentient tentacle monsters.' What it says about me, I don't know, but it certainly says something. xD

☆ Do you have any fanfic or profic goals for the new year?

Just carry on with what I've been doing really. My word count goal for the year is 100,000 which is very doable but still high enough that it will average out to a few fics a month. (I think this year's total was the result of lots of stress writing. 2018 should be much less stressful, so less need for the coping mechanism!) I want to do a few exchanges in 2018 but maybe not as many as last year. I was beginning to feel seriously burned out by the time we got to ToT.

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Monday, 18 December 2017

Policing in Miniature

Policing in Miniature

After seeing some of the awesome new Metropolitan Police Service 1/6 scale figures on the market I got to wondering what other police figures, vehicles, accessories, etc, were available in the world of miniature. It turns out it very much depends on where you want your miniature police officer to be from. For the UK it's fairly slim pickings, but there are so many options for the USA I had to split the posts up by police department!

Hopefully these will serve as reference guides for anybody looking to kitbash their perfect petite officer, or are simply interested in seeing what kind of merchandise is available.

British Police in 1/6 Scale.

 Canadian Police in 1/6 Scale.

American Police in 1/6 Scale:

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Saturday, 16 December 2017

30 Days of Fanfiction Writing

30 Days of Fanfic Writing

1. How did you first get into writing fanfic, and what was the first fandom you wrote for? What do you think it was about fandom that pulled you in?

Basically from the time I discovered fanfic - aged about 10, almost as soon as we got home internet - I wanted to write my own. I really liked the idea of exploring a setting / ship / character I already loved, and it quickly became clear that the genre conventions suited me down to the ground.

2. Name the fandoms you've written in, how much you've written in them, and if you still write in them.

Oh, man, we'd be here all day! My main fandom at the moment is Gotham - I've written almost 700,000 words of fic for it so far! - but in the past I've written for Downton Abbey, Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Life on Mars, Young Dracula, etc, etc. Check out my answers to the shipping ask challenge for more on the fandoms I've been involved in.

Shipping Ask Challenge

3. Have you ever deleted one of your published fics?

Yes. I've taken fics down from one site to move to another, while others I've just deleted completely. Sometimes it's a knee jerk to a bad review, sometimes it's because nobody ever reviewed and I was already uncertain about it, so I figured nobody was going to miss that subpar writing.

4. What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever come across? And the worst?

The best advice I ever read was to pare your story right back to the bare minimum. If you can learn to tell it in as few words as possible and still get across the key plot points and emotional keynotes, you're better placed to decide what you want to include and exclude in your regular writing. I think the worst is anything which claims 'always do this' or 'never do that'. Fic writing is about creativity, not following a prescriptive style guide!

5. Do you write your story from start to finish, or do you write scenes out of order?

It really depends, to be honest. Sometimes I'll have a couple of scenes laid out vividly in my head and want to get them down on paper (word doc...), but often I'll just write it through from start to finish.

6. Do you use any writing tools, like worksheets or outlines?

Nope. I collect these things, and idly think about using them for worldbuilding or fleshing out minor characters, but I never actually get around to filling them out.

7. Do you write OCs? If so, what do you do to make certain they're not Mary Sues? If not, explain your thoughts on OCs.

Yes. If you write regularly I think you will soon find you need to create an original character or two, even if it's just a woman at the shop counter, or a bloke who pushes past your character to get somewhere. If you're writing an OC as a main character you just need to remember that nobody's perfect, and everybody does things for a reason. It might not be a good reason, but so long as it's believable you're golden.

8. Share one of your writing strengths.

People tell me it's characterisation which is awfully nice of them!

9. Share one of your writing weaknesses.

Writing longer pieces. I like things to be done and dusted, and I rarely if ever post WIPs (works in progress). It's a real achievement for me to write something longer than c. 15k.

10. Have you ever gone outside your comfort zone and tried writing a pairing you liked but found you couldn't write, or a pairing you didn't like but found you could?

Yep, usually for a fic exchanges. Something which you think will be easy because you like the pairing ends up being like getting blood from a stone, while a pairing you hate just flows onto the page.

11. Do you prefer certain genres of fic when you're writing? Which kind do you tend to write most?

Romance, romance, romance. Seriously, I'm not really interested in any other genre when it comes to fanfiction. I wrote more about the kind of fic I like to write in the Fanfiction Author Meme.

Fanfiction Author Meme

12. Have you ever attempted an 'adaptation' fic of a favourite book or movie, but set in a different fandom?

Possibly... I did a Red Dwarf Dirty Dancing AU once. That was fun!

13. Do you prefer canon or fanon when you write? Has writing fanfic for a fandom changed the way you see some or even all of the source material?

I generally like to stick close to canon, although that doesn't mean I'm not willing to play with the interpretation of canon material. E.g. a character's backstory might be vague which gives you free reign to extrapolate where their motivation is coming from, or you can speculate about what was happening off page - it's never stated that X wasn't happening, so it can still be canon compliant.

Sometimes this approach really does change the source material. It can give me new appreciation for how the story was initially told, and which blanks were left for the audience to fill in, or a new angle on what was happening at such and such point in canon can change my opinion on it, etc.

14. Ratings - how high are you comfortable with going? Have you ever written higher? If you're comfortable with E, have you ever been shocked that the story you're writing is G rated instead?

I'm fine with any rating, whatever feels right to tell that particular story. Sometimes it can be surprising to realise a fic is actually very tame when it's dealing with elements associated with higher ratings - sex, violence, etc - but you don't always need to go into explicit detail for a fic to work well.

15. What do you feel it is most important to warn for, and what's the strangest thing you've ever warned for in a fic?

I'm not really one for comprehensive trigger warnings. I mark the vast majority of my fics CNTW (Choose Not To Warn) and rely on readers to make their own minds up about proceeding. I do generally warn in the story heading for character death, [attempted] suicide, and rape, but it depends how the story is treating the issue. (E.g. If the big reveal is 'they were dead all along', I'm not going to be slapping 'TW: Major Character Death' in the summary.)

16. Summaries - do you love them or hate them? If you use them, how do you come up with them?

I don't feel that strongly about them, to be honest. If a fic contained my OTP, I'd probably read it no matter what it was about. My own summaries only tend to be a sentence or two; if I wrote the fic as a request, I'll probably just use the original prompt as the summary.

17. Titles - are they the bane of your existence or the easiest part of the fic? Also, if you write chaptered fic, do you give each chapter a title?

The bane of my existence! I like to post fics in oneshot collections as much as possible to completely bypass the titling process.

18. Where do you get most of your inspiration (aka 'fic bunnies') from?

Anywhere and everywhere. There are plot ideas all around us.

19. When you have an idea do you start writing straight away, or do you jot it down for later use?

It depends if I have time to write. As I usually don't I file it away in my head for later reference.

20. Do you ever get inspiration from other fanworks in your fandom? Or maybe somebody's created something based on your work?

Of course! If I'm writing in a fandom I'm almost certainly reading in it, and in that scenario you're bound to pick up ideas on everything from plot to characterisation. Occasionally I've straight up written a fic based on somebody else's, usually a fandom friend's where the offer was open, but typically it's a more subtle situation where pieces of fanon get exchanged.

On the opposite side of things, I love reading / seeing fanworks based on my stuff. It's so wild to think that somebody was moved enough by something I created to go ahead and create their own work. I have a really wide-reaching transformative works policy (aka 'blanket statement') because I'm not particularly precious about my fic, which I think acts as extra encouragement too.

Falsteloj Transformative Works Statement

21. Have you ever written a sequel to a fic you wrote?

All the time. Occasionally it's just because I really want to revisit that story, but usually it's because somebody requested a follow-up and I had no objections to writing more.

22. Have your ever participated in a fest or big bang? If so, write about your favourite (or least favourite!) experiences.

Frequently. I've realised over the years though that I'm unlikely to actually finish a fic to a deadline unless it's for an exchange. The knowledge that the fic is a gift for someone else is motivating enough to actually get it done and posted.

23. Where do you post your fic? Do you cross-post?

Exclusively to AO3 these days. I used to post primarily at my LiveJournal and cross-post stuff to FFN ( but it really feels like most of the readership for Western media fandom is already at AO3 these days. I do have a Wattpad account which has one story I cross-posted as an experiment - it's been read about 4 times.

24. Do you get your fic beta read? Why / why not?

No. I don't really see the point - I'm capable of SPAG checking my own work, and I'm not interested in having somebody else's input on the actual way I choose to tell my story. Some people enjoy that sense of collaboration with an editor, I know, and find it beneficial. I just... don't.

25. Do you listen to music while you write? Do you make playlists to get into a certain mood to write your fic? Do you need noise in general, or do you prefer complete silence?

I like to write to music, it makes it so much easier to set the tone of the story. I've made a couple of fanmixes in the past, but it's not something I make a habit of.

Spread the Love playlist - music to write romance to

26. What is the oddest (or most entertaining) thing you've had to research for a fic?

I've researched all kinds of weird stuff over the years. My primary fandom at the moment is American so I'm constantly googling really mundane stuff to check that my story is going to make sense. For instance, I wanted to write that a character had toothache so took some paracetamol... but it turned out that the USA doesn't call it that. The character had to take acetaminophen instead.

27. Where is your favourite place to write? Do you prefer to type or write by hand?

In my office, with the door closed and my headphones on. These circumstances almost never occur so I make do with what I can get. I definitely prefer to type too, it's much easier to chop and change lines around.

28. Have you ever collaborated with someone else on a fic?

No. I've talked over the development of a fic - mine and theirs - with fandom friends before, but I've never actually collaborated. I'm kind of a lone wolf when it comes to writing, it's why I never really got into RP or anything like that.

29. How many fic ideas are you nurturing right now? Care to share one of them?

Too many, as usual. I'm mostly writing to requests at the moment, so it all depends on what kind of asks people leave me over on Tumblr.

30. Do you have a favourite fic you've written? What makes it your favourite?

I talked about my favourite fics in detail during the Fic Writer's Week challenge.

Fic Writers Week 2017

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Friday, 15 December 2017

Dear Santa

Letter to Santa

Marianna wrote her first letter to Father Christmas today. Well, she dictated and then decorated it, and I helped her write her name at the bottom. I'm not sure what unicorn stars are, but the rest is already bought and wrapped - mostly by my mum, suggesting that Nanny Wendy is not good at keeping secrets! ;)

When I prompted Marianna to give a reason for why she was a 'good girl' she came straight out with the being brave line. The thing you have to understand about Marianna is that she is terrified of mascots. While the other kids are having the time of their life meeting Paw Patrol characters or Minnie Mouse, Marianna is shrieking and screaming. We went to Pontypool Christmas Cavalcade on November 25th and there were mascots everywhere. Marianna was so scared she was sick down herself.

We went on stage after the parade to help switch on the Christmas lights so there was only Santa and Mrs Claus up there to worry about. Until all the mascots - Pikachu and all the others - started lining up down in front of the stage. I asked her to try and wave to them all like a brave girl, which she did. She's brought it up every day since, wanting reassurance that Paw Patrol and his friends aren't going to come to our house...

On a happier note, we also met Santa who was able to give her exactly what she asked him for: a bar of chocolate!

A post shared by Jessica Powell (@plastigffantastig) on

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Christmas 1991

Wendy Powell, Rhys Powell - Christmas 1991 Ralph Powell, Rhys Powell - Christmas 1991

Ralph Powell, Wendy Powell, Rhys Powell, Jessica Powell, Betty Powell - Christmas 1991 Wendy Powell, Rhys Powell, Jessica Powell, Betty Powell - Christmas 1991

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Photos of Christmas Past

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Christmas 1993

Amanda, Amber, Ben, Betty - Christmas 1993

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Photos of Christmas Past

Monday, 4 December 2017

Christmas 1982

Kevin Powell - December 1982

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Photos of Christmas Past

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Christmas 1997

Rhys, Amber, Jess, Ben - Christmas 1997

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Photos of Christmas Past

Friday, 1 December 2017

Photos of Christmas Past

Photos of Christmas Past

Christmas photographs from the vaults!


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Family History

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