Food of Love (10,007 words, 6293 hits, 17 bookmarks, 66 kudos), a pre-canon, post-Hogwarts R/S getting-together story that features domesticity, cooking, and Sirius overdoing gift-giving. It remains, to date, the happiest HP story I have written, and very possibly the only happy one I have ever completed. It also has a gem of a liveblog done by lilliburlero.
Noone Here to Save (511 words, 2796 hits, 14 bookmarks, 135 kudos), a Captain America AU in which Bucky Barnes does not tumble to his death, and he and Steve Rogers get together.
Now, both of these are old stories, Food written in late 2013 and the other a year before that, but I guess the moral is that writing happy fluff in bigger fandoms is the way to go? I don't much care about popularity, which is just as well since I'm unlikely to achieve it, but that's... interesting.
One Mahabharat story, Nathbati, is among the top four for hits (2133), which is surprising, but again it was an Yuletide story, it's an old story (YT 2011) and there has been an influx of new Mahabharat fans due to the horrendous Star Plus show.
In interests of transparency, I ought also to mention that four Renault stories happily clear the 1000 mark for hits, which given the size of the fandom is very nice indeed. And of course the lead on comment threads goes to conditions best suited of all to unreserve, which I shall bygods prod both myself and filia_noctis into finishing. *g*
I don't know much about the ancient Greeks in this regard. I do know that under Solon's laws, if the father died without leaving other direct heirs, the daughter (married or not) would be given in marriage to a distant relative on her father's side, and the property would go to any sons of this union. And there's something to do with only daughters, as well, who have to carry on their father's line--there's a bit of it in Antigone's lament in Antigone that refers back to this. And Clytemnestra in Euripides' Electra says something to the effect that her father's had not lent her to her husband to bear him children he would kill, all of which indicates that the girl belongs to her father more than her husband. hoom.
In the later Western traditions, of course, you have queens being known by the places they came from, Catharine of Aragon, for instance, or Eleanor of Aquitaine. Or again you might have Anna Boleyn, or, to talk of a non-aristocratic example, you have Joan of Arc. But since she never married, I don't suppose that's relevant. (Then again, you have women so awesome that their sons choose to be remembered by them rather than by their fathers: e.g. Henry II, who called himself Henry Fitzempress, to honour his mother.)
Modern Hindu women usually take their husband's last name, of course, though many such are now choosing not to. But in the essentials, they never shed their own identity, as far as the religious rites of Hinduism are concerned. My mother, who was a Mitra before she married, and usually either calls herself a Biswas or hyphenates her name now, is still of the Viswamitra gotra and the kshatriya varna. My father is a different gotra and a lower varna, as, consequently, I am as well, but even had that not been the case, my mother could not have switched over. It can't be done, any more than a Julia could become a Cornelia. And that's... really fascinating, in its own way. For all the talk of submitting to your husband and taking up his name, the Hindu woman keeps her own clan and caste. Of course, people tend not to refer to either clan or caste very much or very openly these days; I wonder how many people remember.
The above brought to you by my impending Sociolinguistics mid-term.
The lgbtfest is a huge deal for me, always. I came into fandom at thirteen, though at the time I only read, and wrote stories in my diary to show my friends. My first proper fic was Sirius/Lily, but that didn't last, it became Sirius/Remus, then Sirius/James in huge, drawn-out rp with my classmates, crouched on a bed one vacation, talking, talking, making them the masks we could don to sort out our own problems. My ex was one of the people I played with, and we were Padfoot and Prongs before we were actually a couple, and even during, and even now it's easier to think of Padfoot than to think of G. It isn't that I transferred my life to the characters, not that, never that, my life is too boring and I like story-weaving far too much. But it helped, certainly, especially since I was so sure that Sirius was queer, and not even really trying to pass, but passing simply because he wasn't obviously gay: he wasn't effeminate, he didn't swish.
It was a big deal, the way Willow was this amazing person to me, because she was a geek, and she read, and she was a witch, and she had a girlfriend. It was a big fuckling deal, because seven, eight, ten years ago, when I was groping towards a knowledge of myself, there were no role-models, there were no Bollywood movies that included queer characters, not even just for a laugh, and I wasn't old enough to read queer literature, not yet, not then. I bought and read the Iliad when I was twelve years old, and that was another of my fallbacks. My kid sister's growing up in a culture that's grown, if not tolerant of, at least with the idea of homosexuality, and I am happy that she has, that she can name, if pushed, so many 'real' people who are queer, where I had books with oblique references. If you can't fix it, to quote Ennis del Mar, you gotta bear it, and I've borne it silently, all this while, though there’s something wrong with Caliban. Is it her shape? Is it her size?
I'd always thought I wanted to be the hero, and rescue the princess, but my queer rolemodels are Hephaistion and Patroklos, and my female rolemodels are Clytemnestra and Pramila and Draupadi and Medea. I love strong women, but I've not really read much or any lesbian lit, which is sad, and my fault, sure, but I'm a slasher, and pretty boys go well with pretty boys, and writing women together would be cutting too close to the bone. My lgbtfest story this year was going to be a Padma Patil story, but ended up being about Blaise Zabini, who I love, certainly, but who's male and black and British, and writing whom does not involve cutting pieces out of my self, which writing Padma apparently does.
But all of this sounds too drear, and that's stupid, really, because the lgbtfest always fills me with this low-level joy, because this is about me, and people like me, and people unlike me who I can still connect with and think of an analogue to, and though I know 'real' people who are queer, for me the best people are people in books and films, still and always, and my friend Zephyrus will never fill me with the same glee that Ralph Ross Lanyon or Izzie&Ruth or even Bunny or Clive will, simply by the very fact of existing, of being in print, and reel, and on my computer and on the silver-screen. I've been reading A Song of Ice and Fire, and I was angry, at first, that Renly/Loras was being brushed under the carpet where Jaime/Cersei was not, but then I realised that Ned/Catelyn was being as easily (dis)regarded, and nobody was paying much attention to the gay couple because it was normal, and then I was practically jumping around, I was so happy.
And that's what the lgbtfest happiness is, that someone wrote queer characters, (or didn't write queer characters) and fen care enough about them to craft stories for them that are real, and hard-hitting, and wonderful, and despairing, and reduce me to tears and hysterics and unreasoned laughter. Thank you.
When Akhillos and Priam weep together and eat together, they aren't sharing anything save a sense of desolation, one's a father who's lost the son he most depended on, the other will never be someone his father can depend on. He doesn't come to life, not really, he just, i don't know, lets go of his rage, finally. He knows he will die, but he's known that anyway, it's how he'll die that's driven him. And now the dead call to him, and, god, Patroklos asking for his funeral is another of the scenes that breaks me, because he's ready to go, all he he wants is to have his ashes mingled with Akhillos' and Akhillos can't let go. He can't even let go after the games, and that whole ceremony is supposed to make him loose his hold on the dead--he gives Patroklos all his hair, dies metaphorically on his pyre, and still can't let go. Patroklos is what keeps him human, because he isn't really, goddess mother and near invincibility and all. In a way (kill me now, before I descend into sap) Patroklos is to him what Hector is to Andromache, his only real connection to society, at least once he withdraws from battle. Patroklos brings him news, Patroklos hears him talk, he gets angry when Patroklos runs late on errands, etc. Patroklos is his human self, greatest of the Myrmidons (save him), the man who is to go to Pthia and be a comfort to their fathers and help raise his son--because Akhillos, of course, will die. And so Patroklos must live.
Patroklos dying cuts him off from human contact entirely--his friends cannot console him, his wife (and I love how Briseis mourns Patroklos, and the idea that he consoled and comforted her during her captivity just brings forth the gentleness in Patroklos, the man who weeps for death while dealing death) is distraught--as it draws him closer to the human fate of mortality. Godlike Akhillos becomes beastly, but he's, well, he's given himself over to death by now, hasn't he? He has a few aims, yeah--he wants to kill Hector, and to hold Patroklos' games--but it isn't that he's expecting to go home. Which, of course, is what makes the scene with Priam so achingly beautiful.
I have been reading meta about genderswap fiction. and I'd like to read about a Sirius who has never not been a girl. But I dunno that I'd like her, or (if I wrote her) be able to keep her separate from Bellatrix or (my version of) Walburga. Anyway.
Name: Cara Astra Black. (Cara is a star in the Orion constellaion, Astra just means star)
Date of Birth: 09.04.1960
Parents: Orion Black. Waburga Black.
Siblings(s): Regulus Arcturus Black.
Height: 5ft 9inches (I think of Sirius as 6ft 1inch, so this is close enough)
the resemblance shouldn't be too hard to grok.
I picked Sirius because, apart from the fact that he's my favourite character, hands-down, it's not a story that gender seems to affect, at least much, y'know? But it would, of course, simply because Cara's a girl, and girls are brought up differently. It also changes certain things ( at least as-seen-from-the-outside) into straight-forward love stories, which they aren't if it's Sirius, even if/when I slash him.
He very nearly did, one must assume, which begs the question of why. I'm a rabid Hephaistion fan-girl, but I'd like to present one very well-known fact for general consideration, instead of foaming at the mouth about how very perfect Hephaistion is (He is.).
Alexander called him Alexander, too; he let him choose the King of Sidon; he repeatedly divided his army and put half of it under Hephaistion; he publicly shared letters with him... I could go on. Alexander's affection for Hephaistion is well-known, it has been variously interpreted. But the fact I'm talking about, here, which is why the user-pic is apt, is the amount that was spent on Hephaistion's funeral was equal to or greater than the amount Darius wanted to ransom his family for-- 100,000 talents, which, so Wikipedia tells me, comes to 150,000,000 pounds.
I rest my case.
my beloved friend is dead, I will mourn
as long as I breathe, I will sob for him
like a woman who has lost her only child.
--Gilgamesh, (India: Replika Press Pvt. Ltd., 2006), trans. Stephen Mitchell, Pg. 152.
I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant hast thou been unto me. Thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.
--The Bible, 2 Samuel, 1:26, http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?
Tis true, Olympus hath done me all that grace:
But what joy have I of it all, when thus thrusts in the place
Loss of my whole self, in my friend?
--Homer, The Iliad, (Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions Limited, 2003), Pg. 300, ll. 71-73)
(This isn't half as impressive *sigh*)
'Truly,' answered Sir Lancelot, 'I trust I do not displease God, but when I remember her beauty, and her nobleness, and that of the King, and when I saw his corpse and her corpse lie together, my heart would not bear up my body. '
--King Arthur: Tales of the Round Table, Edited by Andrew Lang, 1902, http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/trt/