i was never very good at reading women

I feel like I’m one of the only true crime nerds who has virtually no interest in serial killers. They just aren’t very intriguing. Serial Killer had a shitty childhood. Serial Killer wet his bed. Serial Killer liked to torture small animals. Serial Killer hates women. Serial Killer likes a good power-trip.

There’s no mystery to it, it’s just gore. I’d rather read about someone disappearing into thin air, or a cryptogram that has never been solved, or a lost treasure waiting to be found. Fuck, I’d rather read about supposed alien encounters at this point than read about one more white dude with mommy issues taking his feelings out on sex workers. 

*I know this is all generalizing, but seriously - the vast majority of the “big name” serial killers fall into this generalization in some way. 

Leverage is still making me think

Some thoughts about Eliot Spencer:
–John Rogers has talked about the show as “competence porn”, and I think Eliot might be the most extreme example. If it’s a physical skill, he can master it with uncanny speed. He excels at baseball and hockey with very little training or background. I think he probably can or could play more than one musical instrument; he probably at least can play decent piano in addition to guitar. He might not be able to read music but could learn by ear as quickly as he seems to learn most things.
–Which leads to the logical conclusion that Eliot is *very* good at sex. There’s a reason he picks up women so easily, and it’s not just the half-a-wink-and-a-smile.
(–Also there seems to be a very large overlap between Eliot’s skill set and Christian Kane’s. I feel pretty sure, though, that Kane has never done wetwork.)
–My headcanon is that Eliot is very vanilla at sex. It’s more of a distinction between business and pleasure than anything else; he doesn’t use job skills during down time, and he also never picks on someone who isn’t his own size. I could, however, see him letting partners rough him up a little, depending on circumstances. Maybe.

Some thoughts about Parker and Hardison:
–If I remember correctly, we only once see Parker and Hardison kiss on the mouth that isn’t a fake-out: At the climax of “The Rundown Job”, when they’re on the subway train. We do see him kiss her on the cheek. We see lots of romantic snogging between Nate and Sophie, but we don’t get conventional romantic gestures between Parker and Hardison; we get pretzels. *g*
–More and more I feel that Parker probably has never had sex, by which I mean not just penis-in-vagina but any kind of sexual fun with a partner. I think Archie both protected her from possible experiences/assaults and honed her skills so finely that her sexuality got atrophied along with her emotions. Parker doesn’t *feel* things outside of a very narrow range; most of her character arc is slowly opening up that range, allowing emotions, emotional vulnerability, sensual pleasure back into her experience. Alec might well be her first sexual partner as well as her first romantic partner.
–Hardison is the heart. Parker is the mind. Eliot is the body.
–I am on board for agender!Parker or genderfluid!Parker. Sophie is high femme and everything she wears, even in leisure, is a carefully chosen costume. Default!Parker is thief!Parker–dark, snug-fitting, unobtrusive clothes. I don’t think she thinks of herself as a girl, really–that’s why she casually strips off her shirt in front of Eliot and Hardison in the pilot, like it doesn’t matter.

Reasons why I consider Nate/Sophie an unconventional romance:
–They’re both in their forties when we meet them; they both have relationship experience.
–They’re a middle-aged couple, but they’re the ones who have wild, spontaneous sex.
–They both have to work through some shit before making a real emotional commitment to one another (Nate’s alcoholism and workaholism; Sophie’s shifting identities).
–They start having sex before the romantic/emotional commitment is there (again, something we’re more likely to see in younger couples).
–It’s a remarkably egalitarian relationship. There’s no martyrdom on either side; this is not the sitcom marriage with the long-suffering hot wife and the undeserving schlub guy. Sophie doesn’t have to sacrifice anything to be with Nate. She’s not really even giving up the grift when she accepts Nate’s proposal of marriage; she’s already moved away from the game with her work as a director and acting coach. I can see her both acting successfully onstage from time to time (as in her Lady Macbeth) and grifting with Nate to help Sterling out occasionally. And while their specializations are different, they’re both extremely intelligent. (Well, so are Parker, Hardison, and Eliot. Underestimate Eliot’s intelligence to your peril. *g*)

3

Character doodles  for @bilboo​‘s modern royalty AU “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” It’s enormous* but worth its weight in, well, gold. If you’re bagginshield trash and haven’t read it, which rock have you been living under… Read it and you’ll never be the same again, in a good way. 

*no seriously, it knocks The Order of the Phoenix into a cocked hat

I gave Fíli and Kíli longer hair than perhaps princes ought to have but I wanted to retain something dwarvish about their appearance. Like maybe longer hair and beards are still considered traditional for men, and very long hair for women. I feel like when Thorin was younger, and as the crown was recovering from the revolution, there was a need to appear more modern and progressive so he has shorter hair. But as the boys grow up there’s more of a refocusing on tradition and what makes Erebor unique amongst its European neighbours and the longer hair comes back into fashion. Fíli comes back from university with hair like movie!Fíli and Thorin really starts to feel the Age Gap, describing his nephew as “a mishandled sheep” in spleen venting bedtime chat with Bilbo.

Fridda for me is a mix of Eowyn and Prof Trelawney. Deidre is kind of like the grandma in Anastasia and Mirjam is basically me. 

I had to do beach!Thorin, of course. How could I resist that tempting almost Mr-Darcy-esque moment where he strides out of the water… Because that’s the dream isn’t it? Every kingdom wants a handsome king. All the other European leaders must hate him for being the Hot King. 

I want to say something about the novel. 

I read Alice Munro a lot. She won the Nobel prize in literature a few years ago (not a lot of women have won it, so when a female writer does, you know it has to be good). I started reading her stories around 2004, and have re-read all of them many times. She’s incredibly perceptive, empathetic, and intelligent. Her books are kind of like Neo plays, because they make me feel and relate on a very deep level. She puts things into words that I have felt, but never consciously thought about. 

The Welcome to Night Vale novel gives me the same feeling. It’s almost hard to believe it’s written by two men, because there’s so much empathy for women, so many points where I can relate. Not just as a human being, but as a woman. 

I have to stop reading now and then to think about what is being said. It’s incredibly profound. They could have just written a bunch of random weirdness with Cecilos thrown in, and it would have been popular. 

This is high literature. This is art. It’s not a fan companion to the podcast. It’s a masterpiece. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. 

It’s not a perfect book, of course. There are some bits where the Cecil references feel clunky, like they had to throw them in. But there are no big flaws that would truly ruin the impact of the story. And every chapter has sentences or paragraphs that really speak to me.

Most books have two or three passages where you really stop to think and FEEL. Really briliant books might have a couple dozen. Munro’s books have it on every page. The WTNV novel is the first book I’ve read in years that compares to hers. (“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” is another one. Much recommended.)

I know I’m a superfan, but my literary bar is high. They’re going above and beyond what most writers do. The podcast is a thing of beauty, but this book is a miracle.