Glamourous Rags


My love affair with the works of Joss Whedon started when I saw the original Buffy movie. From the first episode I saw, I was totally hooked - as I say in the introduction to Reading the Vampire Slayer "I never fell in love with a television programme before'.

I had never wanted to read or write fanfic before either, but I decided I ought to check out all of the on-line Buffy fandom and I discovered that there was a lot of material out there that I actively admired. After a bit, I decided that I felt guiltier about not contributing to the culture than I did about elbowing my way into it with the odd bit of published fiction and a reputation as a critic in my background. Every so often, fanfic ideas came to me and when they did, I wrote the stories and posted them - just like anyone.

It seems likely, since I have gone back to writing the big fantasy novel, and people are liking the new material, that 'Dawn in Rome' may actually be my fond farewell to fan fiction for quite a time.

And so, farewell, unwritten or unfinished to e.g. Harmony and Eve as moderately evil girls on the road; Darla and Cordelia as ill-matched angel buddy cops; Giles and Lilah (one of which there is actually quite a lot); the LA catastrophe benefit concert. Farewell to the Cordy/Willow sequel to Faith by Nights, which was going to include Willow teasing Cordy about her behaviour in Disharmony, and Cordy fessing up that she had a past, and Willow suddenly getting it and saying 'Omigod. You. Slept. With. Faith.'

And after all, once I have finished 'Adore and Serve', maybe all these ideas will still be fresh in my head. Because I suspect the fandom will still be producing good stories to respond to.

This was meant to be nothing more than a fragment which was going to lead into some long saga or other. But it stopped where it stopped, and I posted it, thinking of it as a fragment, and then a number of people told me that it was fine as it was, that it gave them the ending they needed. It doesn't seem like that to me, but maybe one day all the post Not Fade Away/Chosen fic I've been writing will cohere into a massive single text and this will be the thing they all hook onto.
This is, I suppose, an example of the work that someone finds for idle hands. I was sitting around not writing, and suddenly I thought 'Willow screws Darla on Buffy's grave', which is a thought, and not a story. The story came from working out how and why and making it psychologically plausible - and that is why I love writing slashfic. Just to prove that music has no especial relevance to what you write - this was written to Glenn Gould playing Bach on the piano and to some quite boopy jazz. (That was meant to say boppy, but boopy is better.)
Bed Of Bones
This was the first fanfic I actually finished - I'd been reading a lot of stuff about early humans - Marek Kohn's As We Know It and Stringer and the usual serious fossil boys, and also re- reading Bruce Chatwin's brilliantly unreliable The Songlines - and it all fitted in to what we saw at the end of Season Four more or less perfectly.
Some people would have preferred it not to relate quite as directly to Buffy and Faith, but it seemed right to me that the First Slayer be obsessed with the incomprehensible Slayers of the Last Days...
Bed Time
This is my first fic in a long while - blame the novel I am blocked on and the books I am blocked on. Thanks to Te and Jen who encouraged me on this, and will burn in Hell with me for it - what better company could there be?
Lilah cares, or is a carer, or something like that.
Caught In The Teeth
Now here's an oddity. I actually wrote something that is more or less hetfic, just because I have been so impressed with everything Jen has done with Wesley and Lilah and wanted to join in.
Dawn In Rome
It seems likely, since I have gone back to writing the big fantasy novel, and people are liking the new material, that 'Dawn in Rome' may actually be my fond farewell to fan fiction for quite a time. Like a lot of my stories, it is built around a slightly odd pairing, which in this case was me setting myself the challenge of writing the Dawn/Kennedy pairing and making them both sympathetic. I wanted to stick Celeste from Six Feet Under in as well, because of the sex with self possibilities, and I really wanted to write Ilona, a character who has not had her due. And somehow Riley and Michael Moore and Andrew and some entirely imaginary gangsters all got into the brew, as well as a couple of Buffy moments which are closer than I have ever come to writing her properly.
Decent Interval
Thirty years in the future, Cordelia and Lilah meet and have coffee
I was just feeling middle-aged and felt like making two of my favourite women feel the same. The divine Marianne Faithfull's 'Strange Weather', the one with Hal Willner producing and 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams'; Holly Cole's Tom Waits cover album, especially 'Invitation to the Blues'; Patricia Barber's 'Split' from when she played the piano as well as singing, especially 'Early Autumn' and 'Greys'. I just love neurotic women jazz singers.
Five Lovers Cordelia Chase Never Had
I had really thought, after 'Faith By Nights', that I would never commit to a biggish WIP ever again. But things came together.
I was not especially happy with the Cordelia of late Angel S3 - it seemed to me that you could do a sort of Saint Cordy that still had the edge and the snark.
Then Te was in London and showing me bits of an AU cycle in which Xander and Giles go to LA to keep an eye on Angel at the end of Buffy Season Three. And I bounced up and down and said 'That means Cordy has to save the world in Sunnydale. Can I have Cordy, pretty please?'
And Te said I could, but should think about taking Wesley as well, which will probably never happen, but who can say?
And the resulting five sections took me many months of wandering inspiration, but at least help maintain my reputation as someone who does pairings no-one else hardly would touch with someone else's bargepole.
This is the result of speculation about what Dawn, the Series would be like and may or may not be part of a sequence, as with so much of what I write, alas! Various really unpleasant people are visited in Hell; vague mercy is shown to one of them. It is also a dream story, not that that's any excuse.
More Cordelia - this time with Darla and Dru being sinister at her. I wanted to write about telepathy and the way sexual attraction gets past everything and this seemed to me the best way to do it.
This is the story I started as a get-well present for Selena in that brief period when we thought there was a possibility she would get well. And, as we know, she didn't. It was the first of my stories that she never got to read and I dedicate it to her memory. She always said I could write Willow if I really set my mind to it, and the present I never got to present to her from Heather and the others was a photo of Amy Acker as Illyria.
So if it is a bit dark, not really surprising...
Not An Earring
It was Faithtastic's birthday, and I offered her a fic, any pairing, as a present. She said 'Joyce, of course, and - oh - Jenny'; it was one of those occasions when the whole story, more or less from beginning to end, appeared in my mind without any prompting or hesitation, and so I just wrote it down...
I was talking to Cat and Kate about a series of Summer fics I might or might not write, and said to each of them that I really did not know what to do with Connor and Justine. And then, quite suddenly, I knew very precisely what I was going to do, even down to many of the actual sentences; and Kate gave me quite a lot more of it, as we sat over cappucinos in the excellent Pasticceria Capucetto, my favourite Soho hangout. Music - Gabriel's Yared's score for 'A Map of the Human Heart' , which I had entirely forgotten I owned and am now playing obsessionally. My thanks to Te and Selene and Shutters for beta-ing. And if you don't quite get the last sentence - it does mean what you half-think it does.
Strong Enough
Lilah has an office romance.
In The Funny Papers
The Burdens Of Slayerhood
Kate devised the Dead Letters Home challenge and these three were my responses to it. Katie Vieceli had asked me to write something a bit more like Bed of Bones, and somehow Adam seemed a voice that worked that way; I had always wanted to write my take on Allan Finch, because the assumption that he was planning to join the good guys has always struck me as jumping to wrong conclusions; and sooner or later everyone has to write something about Buffy, because after all the show is about her.
Girl One
I was travelling home from a funeral and was brooding about darkfic and how cheerful it all was, really. I wanted to write an alternate Buffyverse that was almost entirely without hope because even the good were corrupted by the choices they had to make. There may be some more stories set in this universe, and some actual explanation of what is going on in the background - but for the moment all you need to know is that this is a world in which Buffy Summers is the sex-slave of Lilah Morgan...
Girl Two
I was not originally sure whether I wanted to go to this particular dark place again, but I found myself there the other week and was already working on 'Girl2' when the news came in from New York. With everyone telling us how we have to be tough and ruthless, it seemed appropriate to get on with work on a story about where being hard and ruthless takes you, to what Yeats called making 'a stone of the heart.'
Faith By Nights
The Bad Part Of Town
Fighting Like A Girl
Woo!Hoo! And Then Uh!Uh!
When I Was Bad
City Of Women
From the first episode of 'Buffy' I fell somewhat in love with the divine Ms. Chase; long before she revealed her inner pain in 'Out of Mind, Out of Sight', I knew that there was a suffering human person behind the mask of arrogant beauty and that one day she would be a hero too. I once shared a flat with a Cordelia - and I used, come to that, to date a Faith. So it was only logical that I write about them both, and that the relationship between them all go very very badly...After all, this is Season Three and we do know what lies in store for them both.
The whole thing is finally done - and an awful lot of it really wasn't planned from the beginning. Sometimes, the things that look terribly set up in advance really are just improvisation.
Bad Education & Harry Potter
Five Disillusions
This was the product of an afternoon spent watching the third Potter film and Almodovar's Bad Education, not the most obvious material for a crossover. Actually, to be precise, not so much a crossover as a blending, a sort of fever dream of both movies combined with my own issues about gender and sexuality and Catholicism.
The Banger Sisters
Burning Down The House
Vinnie remembers. This is sort of slash as act of critical comment. Jen and Kate bear no responsibility, but they read bits of it as I wrote it and as we talked about what was good and bad about the film.
The Lord Of The Rings
Oddly, I had never quite got round to writing any fanfic that was not Buffy or Angel related before, and then Kate posted her excellent 'Beauty' as an answer to Dale's Ring challenge. And I thought - alternate Dark Lords/Ladies, what an excellent idea!!I was talking to Heather at the time, so she was the recipient of vast messaging whoops when I suddenly thought of this. It is one of the stories I am proudest of in a way, because most of it came to me absolutely pure and whole in a way that has hardly happened for ages. On the other hand, I did not know about the Oliphaunt until I got there, which is my favourite i.e. sickest bit.

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