birdsofshore: (curlew)

 ****Updated August 2018: Just a note in case you're writing or drawing for me for Erised or another fest and found your way here.... this likes and dislikes list is a little out of date now, and some of it is not always relevant - for example, I'd quite enjoy reading some of the things from my 'no thanks' list for this year's Erised. I know the mods have encouraged people to stalk around people's journals to get more info about them, but it's probably safer to refer to my sign up rather than this post. If in doubt please ask any of my contact people for clarification. Sorry to be awkward and thank you so much! <3333****

Updated March 2016: Edited to give a bit of an overhaul. Also, I'm using this space to dump random fic ideas that I'm craving. I might at some point use some of these to prompt at fests, but please feel free to take them and use as inspiration if you like any of them.


The original intro:

I've noticed a few people doing this and thought it looked quite fun, as much as anything else! I hope it might be helpful in the possibility that you were writing something for me for a fest, but I am really pretty easy to please, so don't feel the need to stress at all.

YES, PLEASE, and no, thanks )

Prompt dumping ground... )
~~~

I hope this might be helpful in some way. Are there topics I've forgotten? Or is it just much too long? I might update at some point to talk about things I like in art, but it's pretty much the same as this, I suppose.
-
Please do comment if you want to say, "Yay, I'm so happy we share a love of.... " :DDD

Feel free to ask about anything that is not clear (if you don't want to spoil the surprise, you could ask [personal profile] lq_traintracks or [personal profile] capitu, who are both fairly familiar with my perversions, heh.) Or, alternatively, just don't worry, and write what you like, anyway! For each of the things I've said I dislike, I can probably think of at least one fabulous story that I've enjoyed with that thing in it. Thank you so much if you were interested enough to read this.
birdsofshore: (flapping)

Somebody at the University of Western Ontario has written an academic paper about young women who read explicit fiction online and they analysed one of my stories as an example. She presented it last year at a conference and the abstract is online and you can read it here if you like:  Reading for Alternatives: The Experiences of Young Women Who Read Sexuality-Themed Fiction Online. But I'd really love to read the whole thing! The paper sounds so interesting and talks about "how narratives of sexuality found in YA Literature have informed the sexual lives of young women readers."

I could read about that for days, but I completely admit the part that I most want to see is this:

"It includes a textual analysis of a piece of Harry Potter slash fanfiction to exemplify key differences and similarities between fanfiction and published YA Literature in regards to content, form, theme, language, and authorship."

And the footnotes reveal that this 'piece of slash' is MY FIC, HUNGRY:  "Hungry, a fanfiction short story written by birdsofshore on AO3. Set in the world of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, this canon-divergent short story spins a tale of romance between Harry Potter and his nemesis Draco Malfoy that blossoms into a sex-positive discovery of their mutual sexual attraction to one another. The term “slash” refers to texts that have been queered by depicting homoerotic relationships between characters (Duggan, 2017)."

I'M IN A FOOTNOTE!!! It's very exciting. I threw dignity to the winds and emailed the author, Davin Helkenberg, and asked if she would consider sharing the paper with me, but I didn't hear anything back yet. She may be moving house to get away from the weird stalker person, I dunno. Or possibly snowed in and busy trying to dig her way out. But if anyone knows Davin, please say HIIIIIIIII, and tell her I'm just excited to read what she wrote. It's quite possible she said my fic was crap, hah, which is why she doesn't want me to see it. I don't care, I'm still excited. I'M IN A FOOTNOTE.

birdsofshore: (Default)

Sooo... this is the second cool coincidence this week. I was chatting with a new fandom friend who lives halfway around the world from me, and she sent me a link to her website where she writes about fandom. There on the page she linked to is a photo of HP fans at Kings Cross... and there I am in the photo, wearing Slytherin robes :DDD

I also realised I had not linked to this fabulous art that the amazing [livejournal.com profile] mywitch drew as part of her 25 Days of Drawing. Every year she takes prompts for any pairing and scenario and then posts one during every day leading up to Christmas. All of the past years' work are on her LJ or on AO3, and they are well worth going through each one (especially if you like a smirking, constantly horny Snape, heh). She is amazing at drawing in many different styles but her specialities are humour and filth, so be warned, many are NSFW.

Anyway, the piece she created for my prompt is a gorgeous, boyish Harry having a very enjoyable dream. He looks so contented! And his dream is so delicious and feelsy and hot <3 Please leave her all the love here:

Dreaming in Colour  by [archiveofourown.org profile] mywitch  (NSFW, H/D)

I highly recommend having a look through her other works if you like seeing plenty of different pairings rendered with skill and humour. 

 

birdsofshore: (flapping)
 I'm so excited to claim something that I wrote, after a year of no-fic.

Title: Sex and the Art of Castle Maintenance
Author: birdsofshore
Pairing: Harry / Draco
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: ~15k
Summary:
"Come on, boys," Zabini drawled. "You're only delaying the inevitable."
Trouble always had a way of finding Harry, and eighth year was obviously going to be no exception.
Content notes: Consent issues, Eighth year, Enemies to Lovers, Forced Proximity, Mistletoe, Matchmaking, Antagonism, Smut, Antagonistic Smut

So this was written for [livejournal.com profile] 8c  / [tumblr.com profile] PukingPastilles  for [livejournal.com profile] hd_erised , which was a fantastic experience for me! Thanks so much to [personal profile] lq_traintracks who saved me from utter panics and made brilliant suggestions, [personal profile] bixgirl1 who was super-encouraging and helpful, [personal profile] who_la_hoop  who gave me the title (without having read the fic, hah), and the mods, [personal profile] gracerene , [personal profile] dicta_contrion  and [personal profile] firethesound , who not only picked a superb match for me, but were kind and patient and calm (to my face, at least) when I kept messing up and then was horribly late. You are all THE BEST. 

Thank you also to everybody who has read and left comments already. After a year of being in a bit of a lonely place with fandom, it's been such a joy to share something with everybody!

I've decided the best summary would actually be a quote from one of  [livejournal.com profile] 8c 's comments:

"I'm just... letting Malfoy suck my cock... to figure out what he's up to."

I also need to mention, again, the asdfghjksdfghjkl art I got for my gift, Heat of the Moment, by [personal profile] isinuyasha , which has made me SO HAPPY and is an utterly breath-stealing moment of romance and desire. <3

Aaaand I need to nudge you to look at the so-hot-it-should-be-illegal art which [livejournal.com profile] 8c drew to illustrate my fic, which you can see here on AO3, now with rather NSFW preview (but it is 100 times more SFW than the actual art):
Preview under the cut )And lastly a mini update about my writing )
birdsofshore: (flying)

 I haven't finished replying to comments yet but I wrote a thing for 8c / PukingPastilles and SHE HAS ILLUSTRATED IT AND I AM SO EXCITED I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MY FACE

For Sex and the Art of Castle Maintenance

It's super gloriously filthy and NSFW. Please please please go and leave her all the love. It's so beautiful and dirty and tender and amazing, aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

<3

birdsofshore: (flapping)
[community profile] hpkinkfest 

is accepting prompts and I am very much hoping to be able to write something this year. Apart from being fabulous and filthy fun, I think kinkfest is a really important event with its ethos of kink positivity, where kink-shaming and ship-shaming are not tolerated.

I may have left a few ideas on the prompting post and I am wildly excited at the thought that someone might pick one. I'm also hoping to find a prompt on there that I just can't resist, so if you haven't already, please do go and spill out your most deviant and delicious thoughts.

ALSO: another rec from [community profile] hd_erised...

this fic is eating my brain and I am at that stage where I'm torn between wanting to whoosh on and finish it., and also trying to slow down so it's not over *sob*. It's so funny and so original and SO BLOODY HOT. I'm in heaven. Please come and read it so we can flail together! I don't want to give away plot stuff but I think it's OK to say that it's an H/D fic which involves living in the Muggle world and also the world of pop music and a closeted Harry discovering what he likes, and features the best Parvati I've read, and phone sex that made my head pretty much catch fire. It's just FABULOUS.

Star Quality , currently anon, 118k, NC-17, Harry/Draco, summary: Two years after the war, and Harry’s content with his life. OK, so it’s a little annoying that he keeps winning Witch Weekly’sMost Eligible Bachelor award, and he’s really not looking forward to the unveiling of an enormous gold statue of himself, but he loves his friends, and he loves being an Auror. And if he yearns for something more, something he can barely bring himself to think about, well, he’ll probably get over it. No one’s happy all the time, are they?

But then everything changes, and Harry’s thrown into a new and dazzling world he’s not sure he can actually escape from. And as time goes on, he starts to wonder: does he actually want to?

 

OK DW just ate half my post again. Any suggestions? It seemed to happen after switching from Rich Text to HTML... everything looked fine but then when I posted, half the text, and my pretty kink picture, was gone, GRR.

birdsofshore: (flapping)
 Hello lovely people! I feel like I've been away for ages because I was trying to finish a thing, and then when I'd finished the thing, I was trying to do all the things I'd neglected while I was trying to finish the thing.

*sigh* Dreamwidth doesn't get any prettier or easier to use, does it? Never mind, here we are. I noticed a few people coming back from tumblr, and personally I am hoping to be around a bit more in 2019, but I don't really feel confident that I friended everyone over here that I was friends with on LJ. The lack of fest comms over here also makes it tricky - how do you make new friends? I dunno. Anyway, I'll make this post public and if anyone sees it and thinks that we are not friends and we should be, or they'd like to be, please do nudge me. I'll friend pretty much anyone who has an actual journal that posts fandom stuff.

ERISED RECS

I haven't read much at Erised yet but everything has been bloody wonderful! Either I was lucky, or everything there is in fact amazing. I'm going to start with MY GIFT, did you see it yet? My *hearteyes* beautiful *swoon* perfect ARTTTTTTT!

Recs for H/D art and fic )

 

That's it for today but please tell me, what have you enjoyed at Erised? I'm looking for my next blissful hit of H/D.

birdsofshore: (Default)

 I am so hopeless at posting on here, please excuse my html fails I beg you!

Fan fair chat and recs )I hope you are all well? Please drop your own favourites from fan fair in the comments as there are so many I've missed.
birdsofshore: (Default)
First of all, it always feels so ruddy awkward posting after a massive break, but I'll dispense with the shuffling around and just go for it.

Yesterday I signed up for hd_erised for another year and realised I had not acknowledged anything about the fact that some of the mod team are stepping down. Erised has been one of the absolute highlights in my fandom calendar and I can't really think about it without getting a mix of excitement, nerves, joy and amazement. The amount of work the mod team have put in each year is phenomenal and I have no idea how they manage to keep everything running so smoothly and make it the glorious experience that we love. Each time my assignment has challenged me to do things I didn't know I could do, and I know other participants have experienced the same, because the work that has been created for Erised is among the finest that we have in this fandom. Also, most years I was a monstrous pain in the arse with deadlines, and the mods always worked with me to make sure I could still submit.

I want to say a very heartfelt thank you to [personal profile] gracerene , [personal profile] capitu  and [personal profile] sassy_cissa  for their patience, care, love, dedication, kindness, and hard work which always went above and beyond, for creating something which has been like no other fest. ♥ ♥ ♥ 

 

And good luck to the incoming mod team along with grace who is sticking around for another year!
birdsofshore: (Default)

Hello! I don't know if people still have discussions on here, but I can't find any other platform where I can follow the conversation, sooo... Any advice gratefully received.♥  

I've signed up for the H/D Bang, and having finally got started with it, I'm now having a crisis that the fic I've planned is not going to reach 50k. 

The length my fics turn out is always a surprise to me. This year's erised ended up being 65k, and I had NO IDEA that was going to happen. I still don't really know how it did. Foolishly, I let this give me confidence to sign up for the Bang. After all, if I could write a 65k fic by mistake, how hard could it be to write 50k on purpose? /o\

So, I got a rough plan together and it's around 30 scenes long. No problem, I thought. My 65k erised only had 25 scenes! This was going to be easy!

Then I wrote the first scene and it's only 800 words long. FUUUUCK. What's gone wrong? No way is this going to be 50k! I looked back at some other fics. My next longest fic has 42 scenes. But it's only 41k! OMG! 

I looked at my other mid length fics.

28k = 18 scenes
28k = 19 scenes
22k = 14 scenes
32k = 19 scenes
28k = 16 scenes
34k = 18 scenes

This is reassuring. But what about the rogue '42 scene / 41 k' fic? How can I be sure this one isn't going to go fucked up like that one? 

I have so many questions. How do you estimate the length of a fic? Are you anywhere near being right when you do so? I've never even TRIED before, so I have no freaking idea.

Thank you if you can help! ♥ And I hope you are all well?

birdsofshore: (Default)

 Woman denied emotional support peacock on United flight

I am pretty sure this was Draco trying to take his Auror Peacock on a Muggle aeroplane.  There's not really any other explanation. I don't know why he was trying to do this, but I'd imagine it was a top secret mission, and that someone will write or draw a full explanation for us at some point :D

Of course if you want to brush up on the backstory, you'll need to reread [personal profile] dustmouth's exceptional Auror Peacock Extraordinaire. <3

birdsofshore: (Default)
I still have no idea how to use Dreamwidth and I forgot half the html I knew, so if I cock this up just ignore me, please! I don't think my spoiler cuts worked, or maybe they worked too well because I lost a lot of the post?? I'm so sorry if this looks awful on your feed.

Here's my erised fic. It's long and full of tropes and quite ridiculous in places, (plus! Bonus pretentious title!) But there's also rimming and sentient Grimmauld Place and plenty of fanon!Draco. \o/

Title: You open always (petal by petal)
Author: [personal profile] birdsofshore
Recipient: [personal profile] bixgirl1
Pairing(s): Harry/Draco, background Ron/Hermione
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: ~65,000
Warnings: Homophobic slurs and attitudes, internalised homophobia, derogatory attitudes to sex workers, some mentions of sadistic violence, brief thoughts of sexual activity with a sleeping partner, rough sex, brief mention of Harry with a woman (past relationship), mentions of dubious consent in connection with sex work
Content/Enticements: Post war, Rent boy!Draco, down-and-out!Draco, top!Harry, inexperienced!Harry, Grimmauld Place, house magic, house-elves, portraits, first times, antagonism, hurt/comfort, coming out, antagonism, pining, angst, UST, kissing, wanking, frotting, blow jobs, rimming, intergluteal sex, anal sex

Summary: Harry’s not the kind of person who pays for sex. He really isn’t. Until he is.
Author's Notes: [personal profile] bixgirl1 , I was equal parts delighted and intimidated to receive my assignment to write for you. Your sign up was a treasure trove of inspiration and I dearly hope you find plenty to enjoy here.
Thank you so much to my betas, [personal profile] lq_traintracks , and [personal profile] dicta_contrion , for their extraordinary patience, kindness, and skill. Any remaining mistakes are entirely down to me. Thank you also to the mods for their support and their tireless work running this beloved fest.
The title comes from e.e. cummings’ poem, somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond.

You open always (petal by petal) on AO3

I wanted to say a very heartfelt thank you to everyone who left comments on this. I appreciate it so much.

I also wanted to blether a little bit and basically post pretty pictures I found inspiring while I was writing.

birdsofshore: (flapping)
I don't think I ever posted to dreamwidth before. I hate learning new things, but here I am to wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR and stuff. I don't know if anyone will even see this, because I was away when all the shit went down about the LJ TOS and I don't think I have friended anyone on DW... maybe I can work that out, hah!

Anyway I have no idea if people still chat on here or whether you are all at tumblr or the other mystical discord thing I hear tell of, but I'm alive, and I hope you are too, and doing well, and that 2018 brings much joy and wonderful things into your lives. ♥

I don't know how to post an image! It says I need a URL? Can you upload photos on here, or not?

LOL now it says my crossposting failed. This Luddite wants to go back to bed...
birdsofshore: (sad)
It's confirmed that the LJ servers have moved to Moscow. Which explains that long outage last week...

http://rahirah.livejournal.com/695706.html

I'm finding it hard to process all the ramifications of this at the moment, so I don't have answers, but I wanted to pass on the information.
birdsofshore: (flapping)
I am awash with endorphins after the relief of rescuing my fic from the clutches of doom the google server error earlier. I want to share some happiness around!

These are the things that are making my day sparkly.
Happy things... )

Wishing you all a happy weekend.
birdsofshore: (curlew)
So, first of all, two questions and some other discussion for anyone who's seen the film:

Did you notice about Graves being SOOO interested in why Dumbledore was fond of Newt? Gosh, I didn't even think about it til I saw the film the second time knowing Graves was Grindelwald, and then it gave me shivers, how much that question obviously meant to him. I thought that was really cool and clever, and they even showed it in the trailer, and we had NO IDEA. O_O I love that.

I borrowed the script from the library specifically to check on what Grindelwald said to Newt at the end, because it was incomprehensible! Apparently it was: "Will we die, just a little?" WTF does THAT mean? I read a theory that suggested Grindelwald and Newt have ~history, and that does make sense, really, because he addresses this directly to Newt, and this line of dialogue is so inexplicable at the moment, but maybe it means something to Newt? Any ideas on this?

Then, I read the Credence/Graves scene that those of us sick enough to be into twisted grooming really enjoyed, and I think it's actually MORE homo-erotic in the script:

"GRAVES gently, almost seductively, moves his thumb across the cuts, healing them instantly. CREDENCE stares...

GRAVES seems to make a decision. He puts on an earnest, trustworthy expression as, from his pocket, he produces a chain bearing the symbol of the Deathly Hallows.

GRAVES: I want you to have this, Credence. I would trust very few with it -

GRAVES moves close, placing the chain around CREDENCE's neck as he whispers.

GRAVES: Very few.

GRAVES places his hands on either side of CREDENCE's neck, drawing him in, his speech quiet, intimate.

GRAVES: ...but you - you're different.

CREDENCE is unsure, both nervous of and attracted by GRAVE's behaviour...

GRAVES moves even closer to CREDENCE, his face inches from the boy's neck - the effect is both alluring and threatening - as he whispers.

GRAVES: Do this and you will be honoured among wizards. For ever.

GRAVES pulls CREDENCE into a hug which, with his hand on CREDENCE's neck, seems more controlling than affectionate. CREDENCE, overwhelmed by the seeming affection, closes his eyes and relaxes slightly."

OMG, and YES PLEASE. ♥


And some spoilers about the rest of the series, for people who don't mind discussing that:

NO MORE GRAVES! I am really quite mopingly unhappy about this. WOE and bugger, bugger, bugger. This info came from David Heyman in the interview here: Snitchseeker interview . And the Credence/Graves ship is doomed before it properly began *waiiiiillll*

(my son J says this is how most people feel about Sirius dying in HP and it serves me right. !!!)

CREDENCE LIVES: The script has a little description of his apparent death which shows AHA he's not gone...

As Newt follows Madam Picquery’s gaze, he sees a tendril of black matter, a small part of the Obscurus, floating down through the roof. Unnoticed by anyone else, it eventually floats up and away, trying to reconnect with its host.

And apparently A deleted scene showed him boarding a boat at the end of the film. This is great news, but I cannot be truly content without the prospect of more Graves/Credence alleyway angst.

And apparently, we can expect a fadeout of Newt, Tina, Queenie and Jacob as main characters, to be replaced by Grindelwald, Credence and Dumbledore. I thought the first film was pretty dark and depressing on the whole, and it seems the tone of the series will if anything get darker? I'm not sure how I feel about this, but if Credence is involved, it can't be all bad. :DD

And finally: still no news about the casting of Dumbledore... what do you think? Any hopes or fears?


I'd love to hear your thoughts. ♥
birdsofshore: (flapping)
I saw Fantastic Beasts again today, and WOW, more surprises - I absolutely LOVED IT.

NON-SPOILERY VERSION: I honestly think it overwhelmed me a bit on Friday - there was so much to take in, so many new characters, so many plot strands, and so many different beasts. This time I felt pretty clear in my head what was going on, after talking it through with friends and reading reviews and meta, and I could just sit back and enjoy it. I really, really enjoyed it, very much indeed. Almost everything that bothered me the first time feels resolved in my mind, I feel enthusiastic about some of the things I disliked, and I LOVEDDDD the things I liked the first time around. Specifics under the cut, with SPOILERS, so please don't read if that's a problem for you. Possible spoilers in the comments too :)

NEWT: I really got so much more from Eddie Redmayne's performance this time. I love the physical quirks he uses for Newt, and the facial expressions, the sparing eye contact, the way he hides behind his fringe, the awkward gait, and the whole way he speaks. After watching the film on Friday I felt that Newt could easily be on the autistic spectrum, and watching it for a second time with that head canon in mind, I feel pretty certain that Eddie is playing him that way, and doing a beautiful job of it. I think I had invested such a lot in the character of Newt after cosplaying him for months, and when he wasn't exactly as I had imagined, it really threw me. But I feel like I 'know' him properly now, and I'm so happy, I'm in love with him all over again. I'm so glad the 'hero' is this fabulous, quirky, earnest, apologetic, driven, focused, socially-challenged, deeply-caring character.


TINA! I really like Tina now! She clicked for me too! I can't remember the exact words, but at one point Graves says something like, "Tina. Always popping up where you're not wanted." And YES! She is! And she always will be, because she cares SO MUCH and she will never, never let injustice pass by. She will always be investigating, usually with that little frown on her face, because it's so important to her, and she's going to put the world to rights. Although I got no chemistry from the actors, I think the way the characters are written, they can work really well together (although I still think friends rather than romance would have been great).

CREDENCE OMG CREDENNNNNCEEEEEE. I just. I have- I- GUH. I could turn into an angst queen for this boy. God, he's SO COMPELLING, the character and the backstory and the way Ezra Miller plays him? My god. I'm gone. I'm trash for him. Amazing. And [livejournal.com profile] vaysh kindly pointed out the news about a deleted scene which throws light on what happens to Credence, so I feel happier about that.

GRAVES OH YES. Really, everything I said last time and more. His clothes, his physicality, his spell casting, his voice, god, his voice. I'm now more concerned than ever about what the future holds for Graves when he's not Grindelwald, because apparently heaven on earth for me is Grindelwald in Colin Farrell's body, LOL. He and Credence in that alley are an absolute twisted, angsty, fucked up JOY. I was FLAILING with fangirl glee. I would watch those scenes a hundred times. NNNGGGGHH.

THE OBSCURUS oh gosh, it's so PRETTY and CLEVER.  I'm in love with it, it really took my breath away, it's absolutely stunningly executed. I was rapt watching it, and I hardly ever like special effects or things like that, they leave me cold usually.

THE PLOT STRANDS: I stand by my comments that there is too much going on in this film and that the tone is all over the place and that the characters suffer from the amount of EVENTS and THINGS crammed into the one film. Being a person who finds it hard to follow complex plots, and gets easily overloaded with information, I really struggled when watching it the first time. But now I've had time to digest, and have seen it again, I can appreciate much more all of the things that are happening, the breadth of the story that's being told, and the fact that this is a set up for a longer arc.

I feel a real dick that it took me two goes to appreciate what was happening, except that the five people I saw it with today said they were pretty lost, too. I think the film has been highly edited down from what was orginally written, and I think it's suffered. The HP films had the same problem, but of course anyone who had read the books could follow what was happening easily.

THE BEASTS: CGI creatures are never going to be my thing, but I enjoyed them a lot more the second time around, when I didn't feel bombarded with information.

THE HUMOUR: One new criticism I had this time was that some of the humour fell flat, and I'm not sure why. It seemed to be a problem for Eddie Redmayne, which I wasn't expecting, as I've seen him play humour beautifully. Maybe it was because the humour didn't quite fit with the way he played Newt? I'm thinking of the scene where he explains to Tina that the first sign of serious effects from a Murtlap bite was "flames from the anus." Personally, I think that should have been hilarious, but the audience stayed quiet both times I saw it. Then the scene where he woos the Erumpent, complete with noises and arse-wiggling? That was also strangely awkward and only mildly funny. Again, not sure why. I did love little moments like when he said "I'm more of a Chaser," but maybe that was because it was more of an HP in-joke?

Anyway, in general, I am just delighted, that I feel whole-heartedly positive about the film and the prospect of the whole series. Thank goodness I 'needed' to see it twice (had promised a group of friends we'd see it together this weekend), because I don't think I would have chosen to go back a second time after seeing it the first. So glad I did, though.

If you've read this far, thanks for bearing with my wild mood swings about the film. I felt pretty shitty to be so critical in my last post, but I did very much want to discuss the film, so I appreciate everyone who talked it over with me, and I'd love to hear if you have any more thoughts. ♥
birdsofshore: (curlew)
Wishing you a wonderful day from start to finish, [livejournal.com profile] gracerene!

birdsofshore: (curlew)
Wow, I mean WOW. I'm completely blown away. I'm talking about the LOVE MEME at [livejournal.com profile] lokifan's journal! AAAAHHHHHH people are being so kind and ridiculously amazing and it's SO GREAT to read, I'm just obsessively reading other people's threads and feeling all happy and choked and contented and EEEEEEEEEEEE. Fandom really is the best place. And someone said I made Draco's exposed wrist when he's stirring soup hot AAAHHHH YESS I CAN DIE HAPPY. Thank you very much to everyone who has contributed to that utterly glorious meme, it's a joy, such a joy.

And then I saw Fantastic Beasts. The non-spoilery version is that I feel quite mixed about it, and liked it a lot less than I was expecting, which was a real surprise to me? But that there was a lot of good in it, too. And the spoilery version is below.

I think my main problem was that there was just too much crammed into 2 hours 13 minutes. There were such a lot of new characters and settings to introduce, and I felt like we kept racing from one to another and this felt ultimately unsatisfying. I didn't feel like we got more than a snapshot of the personalities involved, and the relationships between them were mostly sketchy at best. It also felt like two films, one with Newt being all adorable and making new friends and having hijinks with his kooky creatures, and one with Credence and Graves and Mary Lou and dark forces and angst and death chambers (what the FUCK was that? Really?). And they couldn't decide which tone they were going for, so they tried both, and it... just didn't work, for me at least.

I liked Newt a lot; Eddie Redmayne is a very loveable actor, and Newt is a beautiful character, although I would have liked more things about him explored. Why did people find him annoying? He seemed mostly charming. I love his physical awkwardness, his single-mindedness, his loner characteristics, and his self-deprecation. I also thought he was quite asexual, which was actually refeshing in a male lead? But then made for this awkward, unconvincing arc with Tina.

I didn't warm to Tina at all. Again, it was refreshing to have a female lead who wasn't overtly sexual, but I found her cold and her motives were sort of confusing and unbelievable. She seemed to spend most of the film frowning. When she and Newt had their little moment at the end, I felt... odd. There was absolutely no chemistry between them throughout the film and then when he touched her hair, it felt inappropriate and.... ugh. I didn't like it. I can't imagine shipping Newt with anyone at the moment, but I'm prepared to be proved wrong, heh. I also felt unsatisfied with his relationship with Jacob - he said near the end, "I like you. You're my friend," and it's clearly this touching moment, but I didn't FEEL that connection between them during the film, even though I wanted to.

Have to say Queenie and Jacob were adorable together. I liked Queenie far more than I thought I would. The actory played her so appealingly, she had a real charm. I read a review which said something like "never since Ron bagged Hermione has a man got a witch so out of his league", but I found her attraction to Jacob quite believable in that she clearly fell in love with his mind, ahhhhh. Personally, I find Dan Fogler attractive anyway, so pppffffftttt.

Jacob was a joy, an utter joy. Which brings me onto the part I really, REALLY hated: when Jacob got Obliviated. I was absolutely devastated by this. I loved Jacob so much. He's the film's beloved Muggle character, who is allowed to come along for the ride with the magical people, who is explicitly told "You're one of us now" (and this clearly meant a lot to him as he echoes it back to Queenie later), and he allows everyone in the audience to feel the wonder of the magical world through his reactions and awe. He's US, he's all of us in fandom. We're not wizards, but when we watch Jacob, we feel like we could be, and that we could be accepted and valued in the magical world. I found this so powerfully affecting. I thought it was a genius move, really a gift to the audience, and then-

FUCK. They Obliviated him. They could have fought it, found a way out of it - MACUSA didn't even stick around to make sure it was done, but no. He walked willingly into the rain because he thought it was the right thing to do, and he's a profoundly good guy, and they stood and watched him. FUCK. I flat out hated this. I know it was meant to pull at our heartstrings, and I was fighting tears through the whole scene, but I didn't let myself cry because I was so ANGRY. There was just no need to do it, and I felt BETRAYED, that the film makers did this on purpose, showed him the reality of the magical world and let him feel a part of it, let us share his joy and then TOOK IT AWAY. Purely to make us sniffle a bit into our popcorn.

I seriously think this was a DICK MOVE, and I'm not going to forgive them for it. I'm guessing Jacob doesn't stay Obliviated? He clearly has some memories as we see at the end - I *adored* the pastry Nifflers, so hard - and recognises something in Queenie that's more than "ooh, pretty lady in my shop." They've left it open for him to rejoin the magical world in the future. In which case why make the Obliviation scene so painful? Just to fuck with us? I hated it. Truly.

The other character I loved was Credence. God, I love the misfits and the freaks. I want all the Credence backstory and I want him in the rest of the series and I *whisper* I think I want Credence fic. Possibly with Graves pinning him up against a wall in an alleyway and-- Yep. Sorry. But they killed him? Again, wtf? I'm just.... huh? It felt cheap, again, like our sympathies were aroused for this fucked-up person, who just happened to be ANOTHER magically gifted child raised in an abusive setting by Muggles, with his magical parentage denied through fear and bigotry. So there's those parallels, which got all of my feels rampaging around for this character who was the catalyst for so much of the film's action, and a brilliantly compelling creation from Ezra Miller, and then they go, "Yeah, kill him off." AUGH?

Aaaaaand GRAVES. OMG. I wasn't expecting to have Graves feels. He kind of took me aback at the fan event when they showed us the first 10 mins, and he was standing in the rubble with his coat all billowing, and my ovaries sort of sat up and went "HHHNGH?" He was so physically excellent. I think this is the first time I've seen an actor make magic look the way I imagine it to look when done by a powerful wizard. He had complete conviction, the way he moved, all of his gestures, the way he used his wand, his whole body going with it. It looked natural and flawless and powerful and really HOT. I approve 100% and am going to use this for inspiration when I'm writing people casting spells. I've seen interviews with the other actors, Eddie, Alison and Katherine, where they each said they felt so awkward with their wands at first, like self-conscious and silly. I think they did a good job in the end, but Graves was just GRRRRRRR YES, he clearly had no such qualms about feeling silly, he WAS a wizard. I adored that. And his voice was also wonderful.

So then, the Graves reveal - AUGH again! I wanted more of Graves being sinister with Credence in alleyways! I need menacing intense Colin Farrell whispering, not bad Johnny Depp German! I have to say, I enjoyed the surprise of the reveal, even though it was a bit daft. [livejournal.com profile] who_la_hoop saw it coming from the beginning. We were laughing at Grindelwald thinking, "I know, I'll change my complete appearance EXCEPT FOR THE HAIRCUT. I have to keep the evil sexy haircut at all costs." :D

The beasts... I was worried this would be a problem for me, and, yep, it was. I'm really not into beasts. I LOVED the Niffler. It was cute and hilarious, and the scene where it's hiding in the jewellery shop window with its arm outstretched as Newt walks by is probably my favourite thing ever.



Yep, I'd watch a LOT more of the Niffler. But the others... *sigh*. There were so MANY of them, and really, Newt's suitcase was cool, but that looooong section with all of the beasts really didn't hold my attention. I find it hard to care about things that are basically CGI creations. I admit Pickett was cute, but the rest felt like, "Here's a lot of pretty magic things to amuse the children in the audience." But then it wasn't really a children's film.

And so many confusing questions. Why did Newt have to take a boat and go through Muggle customs? What happened to Portkeys and Apparating? They Apparate all over the fucking place throughout the rest of the film, and there seems no internal logic (eg "You can't Apparate in the grounds of Hogwarts") to it. Ditto Accioing things - they didn't REALLY need a teapot, did they (I was starting to see why Newt said people found him irritating, at this point) and if they did, er, how about using magic, instead of throwing a cockroach twenty feet into a TEAPOT (sorry, the teapot really got my goat).

And the death chamber? HELP? That was sick and sinister and HUHHHH? They decide to kill them, but they're going to suck out their memories and put them in a bath of magical acid first, so they can willingly go into it and be consumed very slowly (giving them time to escape)? And if there's two people this is happening to, they let the second one watch the first dying?? I can't TELL you what my face was doing during this bit. And the Lestrange teasers? Where are they going with that?

So, can anyone explain why Grindelwald wanted to find the Obscurial? I didn't get that at all. And was Ariana Dumbledore an Obscurus too? I like this new canon, but I am confused by it.

I also had mixed feelings about the clothes. Graves looked EXCELLENT. My feelings on Newt's outfit are probably clear from my obsession with it. But in general, people weren't wizardy enough. The Aurors looked shit, I'm sorry. They should look magical and amazing, and not have leather macs and bad hats.

To sum up: It feels like a nice set up for a longer story, introducing lots of new details about the magical world (and random beautiful things like: magical umbrellas! YESSS!). The plot is presumably leading up to the war, and that's all exciting and cool. But I feel like they can't decide WHICH story IS the story, and I hope the later films have more clarity about that. I hope they find a way to give the characters enough airtime for us to really get to know them. And that there are fewer beasts. Which I admit seems unlikely, given the name of the franchise.

I read a few reviews and this one says a lot of what I think, and also this one, but more elegantly. I agree with pretty much all of that first review except the griffin - I didn't give a fuck about the griffin :D

I would LOVE to hear what people think about any of this! I'm so interested in different reactions to the film! I'm going with other friends on Sunday, and I'll see how I feel after seeing it a second time.


Oh and one more thing, who_la_hoop, who is an ACTUAL REAL WIZARD, managed to get Cursed Child tickets on the Friday 40  where they release 40 of the best tickets each week for a ludicrous low price, So we're going again! On Thursday and Friday (we have to watch it on two separate days this time) and I am part stunned, part excited, and part terrified for my soul, ahahahahahaaaa. And I realise I never finished my reviews of it from last time, sigh. One day I will get to all my unfinished projects, but not today.

LOVE TO EVERYONE!  ♥

ETA: the comments are pretty spoilery, too, so please take care! 
birdsofshore: (flapping)
If you feel like the world needs more love right now, the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] lokifan is hosting a LOVE MEME at her journal. You can stop and leave some anon love, or ask for some for yourself, or both. ♥ ♥


I know lots of flisters are struggling this week and I'm sure there are many who could do with a little support. Please start a thread for yourself at the Love Meme if there isn't already one there, and let us love you all over. ♥

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