Author has written 23 stories for Phantom of the Opera, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Wuthering Heights, Kingdom of Heaven, Nightmare Before Christmas, Misc. Movies, Batman Begins/Dark Knight, Legend, and Beauty and the Beast.
I AM NOW ON TWITTER! It's not a personal Twitter, exactly; it's specifically for my readers who want short, sweet updates on how the fics-in-progress are coming, along with future ideas floating around (it'd be nice to bounce those off on you guys and see what you think - Twitter seems like a good medium for that). My username is little_sultana. (Click on the Homepage link above for direct results.) You have to be approved to follow my tweets (which means you have to have a Twitter account), so send me a message along with your follow request telling me that you're from FFNet, so that I know it's okay to approve you. (I'd make my tweets public so that anybody can see them without having to have an account, but I've already had too many random weirdos just follow my tweets out of nowhere, for no reason, and that made me uncomfortable.)
[Update on the Twitter situation: As of 6/13/12, I actually haven't gone on Twitter for a preeeeetty long time; I haven't really checked much lately to see if anyone has tried to follow me. I just don't really think there was as much (if any) interest as I initially expected, so I kind of fizzled out of updating it. Thinking about making it public to generate more interest, but I don't know. It's all up to you, my dears. :) I'd love to do it on a regular basis, if you'd like to see it.
About me: People call me Heather. I like to read interesting, cerebral fare (or, at the very least, thought-provoking). I recently turned TWENTY-FIVE. And you know, while turning twenty-four last year made me feel impossibly old (there were actually specific reasons for that - see the paragraph below), I feel quite young now. I feel like my whole life is ahead of me. So many possibilities, so many options and outcomes. I'm excited for what the future holds!
I've been experiencing some personal issues during the past year/year-and-a-half - I'm currently in the midst of a separation and about to be divorced, after being married for over five years. Long story there - let's just say it was a less-than-ideal situation from the very beginning that got progressively worse with time; I finally stopped making excuses for certain unacceptable behavior and realized that I had to get myself and my children out. The repercussions haven't been easy, but all things considered, I'm in a far, far better position now than I was before. I've also done a lot of soul-searching and realized that the religion I've been following my whole life just isn't right for me. Needless to say, all of this (the separation, the theological reexamination, the new life situation) has been incredibly life-altering and has shaken me to my core.
My beautiful little girls are the bright spots in my life - one precocious, grinning bundle of cuteness who (unbelievably) is almost two, and one wonderfully silly 4-year-old who is far too smart for her (or rather, my) own good. Caring for my rambunctious kiddos while trying to get back on my feet, making sense of my life, AND pursuing an A.S. in graphic arts (which I've been doing since January 2011, online - this requires a lot of self-discipline, to say the least) has, shall we say, put a bit of a damper on my writing now and then. But I've been feeling pretty creative lately - I have no doubt that there will be a lot of fruitful writing going on shortly.
I realize there have been a lot of long gaps between updates on Shadows and I've gone through several drafts for some chapters, some of which resonated but went half-finished, others which were finished but didn't seem to fit, etc. It's a rough process, given that I have so little time to fine-tune my writing while so much else is going on in my life. Writing is difficult even at the best of times, and this is not always the best of times, although things are getting better!
I'm a longtime member of the DBCA, which was started by genius Queen Adibug aka Silvermasque...and if you don't know who on earth the Dramatic Black Cloak Addicts are, or are simply intrigued by the name, go to Silvermasque's profile and click on the homepage link.
MasqueradingThroughLife, or Masque, or Masquie, or Jordie for that matter, is pretty much my age-discrepant twin-from-another-family. Whom I have never actually met in person. Whom I miss horribly, and wish her all the best in her life's pursuits.
I created an LJ some time ago--click here to access it. It's public, for the most part, so you won't have to be a friend to see most of the entries, although I certainly welcome friends and comments. Along with day-to-day ramblings, I occasionally post important information about my fanfiction--upcoming projects, works in progress, etc., in far more detail than on my profile here. I also have some "old stuff" that used to be here on my profile, but was removed because I thought it was taking too much unnecessary space, or was just outdated.
Some of you might have noticed that I frequently refer to my readers as a whole as "dear ones" when speaking to them in my author's notes; I owe this entirely to Anne Rice, who addresses her readers/fans in the same manner whenever she writes an update on her website. I always liked the affectionate way it came across, and I definitely loved the sense it gave that she genuinely cares about her fans as people, rather than seeing them as faceless, unimportant ciphers (unlike, say, Andrew Lloyd Webber).
The Latest News:
With regards to Shadows, my OLC phic-in-progress - and my highest writing priority, as of now - I'm still working on the next update! Lots of marvelous ideas for upcoming plots are floating around in my brain. I have an inkling that it's going to get a bit darker in a few chapters (but not too dark, don't worry).
I also have a VERY dark, delicious idea for an extremely AU phic set in Persia, Kay/Leroux blend. It's in the nebulous stages as of yet. I'll keep you posted, my dears.
The Opera Wench has been complete for quite a while, after nearly reaching its fifth birthday - hurrah! Work isn't entirely finished on it, however - I'm (VERY) gradually going through an intense revisionary process for many of the older chapters (because a few of them, quite frankly, embarrass me. A lot).
Succumbed, my rather erotic 2004 film retelling, still needs a lot of serious bugs worked out before I dare to post a single chapter. There's also an alternate Kayverse phic I've been working on for a while entitled Emilie, which I'm fairly excited about but need to go over with a fine-toothed comb before allowing it to see the light of day (again, call me a perfectionist, but I'm really just trying to make it more realistic and identifiable than it was in its first-draft form).
I love: My silly L's (the girls, Lilly and Lexie), all things Vanessa Carlton, going to modern art museums, making music flow from my fingertips and the keys of my piano, writing poetry, and taking black-and-white photographs just because they’re nostalgically elegant.
My two absolute favorite writers on this site would have to be stefanie bean and milegre. Each continually comes up with astonishingly original ideas; and even the ideas that have already been done by others always have at least one creative and original twist added into the mix. Neither of them get nearly enough credit for this; it never ceases to appall me how it can possibly be that astonishingly horrid and boringly predictable fics written by woefully inexperienced writers can get thousands upon thousands of rave reviews, yet the astoundingly well-written fics written by writers such as the two I mentioned typically garner nearly no reviews or praise whatsoever except from their already loyal (and sometimes surprisingly small) fanbase. Apparently there's no end to people who crave the same boring fare over and over again; anything new and original seems to scare off most readers under sixteen.
I heartily dislike: OOC (obscenely-out-of-character) writing in a serious fic (when used humorously - as in parody - it's quite entertaining, however); non-canon slash (except in rare circumstances); when writers think fanon is canon (and woe to anyone who dares to disagree with them); writers who think every well-meant constructive criticism is a flame; etc. Also not a huge fan of anachronistic language, situations, or objects in a non-parodic fic. Anachronistic/anachronism = anything out of place in a certain period setting - like, let's just say, Romans wearing jeans. Or, for that matter, Raoul de Chagny saying "Wow."
Also - "alright" is a pretty large pet peeve.
No. Just no. It's spelled "all right," my dears. ALWAYS. NO EXCEPTIONS. "Alright" might just get you Punjabbed by the Phantom Grammar Ninjas.
And while we're at it, a word on OOC Raouls - Over the years, I have developed quite a soft spot for Raoul, even though Erik appeals to my more sensual nature. More than that, I think the character of Raoul is an inherently decent and intelligent fellow. I am not fond of unnecessary Raoul-bashing, except of course in humorous/parodic or very well-explained fics. And the only thing I despise more than an inexplicably drunken, wife-beating Raoul is a cheerfully stupid and airheaded (or narcissistic) Raoul. At least the former might actually be believably explained somehow by, say, a downward spiral into alcoholism or some such thing, maybe revealing a darker side of his character if written well. But there is pretty much no excuse on God's green earth for the annoyingly idiotic and stubborn naivete some writers like to give him in the interest of making him undesirable to Christine; sorry, but that's just a little too over-the-top for me. Very rarely do I ever enjoy a fic where he's written in such a way. (Ex: "But Little Lotte, how could you not wish to be my wife? You must be delirious from exhaustion to be having second thoughts. Come, eat some chocolates and kiss me and I promise to forget you ever even hinted at such an unthinkable thing, my duck.") Come on, seriously - Raoul may be an idealist, but he's certainly no obnoxiously half-witted fool - nor does he worship himself. You may think you're being "nice" to Raoul by giving him a bubble-gummy, egocentric personality and no brain instead of getting creative with much darker traits, but the truth is, that nonsense is still Raoul-bashing - just a different (and quite frankly, a FAR more irritating and unrealistic) sort.
Another pet peeve of mine is the common mix-up of the words "lay" and "lie." The distinction can be confusing, but it is not impossible to memorize.
Lay: to set down, to put down. Infinitive: to lay. Ex: I want to lay my books on the table. Present tense: lay/lays. Ex: I will lay myself down now/He lays me down gently. Past tense: laid. Ex: He laid me down gently. Perfect tense: have/has laid. Ex: I have laid the paper on your desk/She has laid the spoon on the counter. Gerund: laying. Ex: I am laying this book on the table.
INCORRECT USAGES of the word lay/laid: Will you lay with me?/He lay me down gently/I laid with him/We are laying together/I have laid in bed for hours. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! Here's why:
Lie: to recline; also to engage in sexual intercourse. Infinitive: to lie. Ex: I want to lie down. Present tense: lie/lies. Ex: I will lie with you/She lies in bed, sleeping. Past tense (this is where it gets confusing): lay. Ex: He lay with me. Perfect tense: have/has lain. Ex: I have lain in bed all day. Gerund: lying. Ex: We are lying in bed together.
(Of course, if by "lie" we mean "to tell a falsehood," then the present tense is "lie/lies," the past tense is "lied," and the perfect tense is "have/has lied." But that's not what we're talking about here.)
Rule of thumb: "Lay" is only a present tense verb when it refers to a direct object (i.e. a book - She lays the book upon the table/I lay the book upon the table). When the word "lay" refers to the subject (i.e. he/she/I, etc.) it is always used as the past tense of the verb "to lie" (She lay down; he lay with me). However, it is possible to make the subject into a direct object. Hence "I will lay myself down now" is correct (direct object form), as is "I will lie down now." (subject form.) The incorrect versions of those sentences would be "I will lie myself down now" and "I will lay down now." More to the point, consider the context. If you're talking about putting or setting something down, then follow the rules of the verb "to lay." If you're talking about reclining or having sex, then follow the rules of the verb "to lie."
Make sense? If not, I wouldn't worry too much, honestly. This sort of thing can take years for some people (coughevenyourstrulycough) to get down pat.
Multichaptered Works In Progress:
Shadows--Phantom of the Opera. Takes place after the end of the musical, and involves Christine making the decision to return to Erik (whose name she still doesn't know, incidentally, until they come face-to-face again). The main reason for this choice is her morbid fascination with him; she is both irresistibly attracted and utterly repelled by him, and can't seem to make up her mind which takes more precedence. Her original intent in seeking him out is simply to make amends, but her decision takes a much different turn than she expected.
The Opera Wench-- A Leroux-based fic involving Erik and my brainchild Tora. My very first multi-chaptered Phantom of the Opera attempt, close to my heart, but rather nostalgically embarrassing in certain bits. (This is still listed under works in progress here because I haven't finished the revisions yet, although it's listed as "complete" on the site, because it is technically complete.)
Too Many Questions--A collection of my random, mostly very old Phantom of the Opera parodies on favorite songs. Some are more mature than others, seeing as how back in '05, I was still in my early stages of Phan status and not too well-versed in how to coherently express my devotion--and I still referred to Raoul as a fop, of all things (gods of fandom forgive me). The most recent chapter is entitled "Long-Legged Fiddle-Playing Man," something that I had a tremendous amount of fun with. I'll probably never push the Complete button on this one, simply because I never know when another dumb little song-parody will invade my head and not let go until I post it on the site.
Ask Erik--Based on various versions of the Phantom of the Opera, starting with Leroux. Inspired by the two brilliant "advice column"-type works of cyberwulf, Ask William and Dear Denethor. Erik responds to various questions sent in to his "advice column", with no small amount of sarcasm and rampant parodic devices. Someday I'll get around to posting more chapters.
We're Going To Have A Wedding--My long-planned Nightmare Before Christmas piece. It will probably end up being about five to six chapters long, but I've been wrong before. It could be even longer. As stated in the Author's Note in the first chapter, I'm writing this at my leisure (and by-the-by, I'm a bit stuck on the second chapter, so it could take a while). It's mostly just a darkly fun side-write. Couldn't think of a suitable blend of categories for it--"Humor" might make people think it's some sort of fluffy almost-parody (which it isn't, it's simply tongue-in-cheek), while "Drama" might make people think it's too serious, and mixing the two seemed a bit odd, so I just stuck it in "General". Blah. Do let me know if you can think of a more proper label.
Close Encounters of the Self-Insertion Kind-- Phantom of the Opera. Written on a dare from MTL, filled with DBCA in-jokes and poking fun at self, but it's just hard to find inspiration for it anymore, since it was begun when I was very single and not yet in college, and therefore the self-insertion character of me is from a completely different era of my life. Ergo, in order to keep writing it, I'd have to keep the old me in-character, writing about myself as though I were STILL single and not yet in college. Which is quite hard, because it's like writing about a different person and pretending it's still me. I've thought seriously about deleting it, but I'm rather fond of some of its aspects, so I'll probably keep it on the site just for nostalgic purposes.
Oneshots (oldest to newest):
Passion Rules The World's End-- Phantom of the Opera, 2004 film. One day while watching the Point of No Return scene, I was lightning-struck with inspiration and raced to my computer, typing frantically. Simply a few detailed emotions and events, nothing more. Read if you enjoy slight angst.
The Cruelest Fate-- My only Phantom AU to date, besides Blackened. Can't describe it much better here than in the summary, really... Introspective angst, as per my usual.
The Masquerade-- Phantom of the Opera. One of those late-night inspiration deals when I couldn't sleep, so I decided to write a poem about Gerik's emotions during his appearance, dressed as Red Death.
Awakening-- My only Lord of the Rings work to date (since I don't dare to try my hand at anything multi-chaptered--my knowledge of Tolkien's world, while respectable enough, is nowhere near as vast or as detailed as I would like it to be). Written for the DBCA Woven Into Song Challenge, and, for reasons unknown to me, won first place, for which I am happy, but confused.
In My Dark-- Oneshot, Phantom of the Opera, 2004 film. This is no longer going to ever be expanded into a full-length Erik/Giry story, although I may eventually write a story along those lines that references loosely back to this as a kind of prologue.
Oh, What Is Love?-- My first and likely only Harry Potter piece, written for the DBCA Reality Bites Contest an age and a half ago, and won third place. Set in a slightly AU Order of the Phoenix (book) environment, for those who might be wondering. An unlikely pairing, written for the express purpose of shocking the hockeysticks out of you and procuring many a hearty laugh.
The Lip O'erhanging the Abyss-- Based upon heavy suggestions from Wuthering Heights, my favorite classic novel besides Jane Eyre. An interlude between Cathy and Heathcliff on the moor. One of those bursts of canon-induced inspiration again, also carrying scant, bareboned hints from the 1992 film starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche--but so scant, in fact, that I avoided mentioning it in the summary or author's note because I didn't think such supremely subtle undertones were prevalent or obvious enough in the piece to garner mentioning--after all, 99.99 percent of the inspiration came from canon, not from the film. I included that random bit of information here, however, because as you can see from some of the below explanations, I rather like providing extra tidbits of trivia about my works outside the works themselves on occasion.
The Eyes-- Phantom of the Opera. Written for the Mort Rouge contest, didn't win an award of any kind, but I rather like it anyway, though the fact that such graphic morbidity came from my head caught me off guard. At the risk of giving it away, the ending was inspired by a sort of subconscious cross between The Lovely Bones and a brilliant idea from The Grasshopper's phic Confessions of A Mary Sue, although in Confessions, it inspires a sort of morbid hilarity. Like a few of my older fics, this one is due for a serious makeover. (This was written back when I still had absolutely no problem just switching between POVs without a line break, like a hamster on a sugar-high.)
Blackened-- My attempt at a Phantomish bit of fanpoetry. It turned out rather wonderfully, as my poems go, but the quality is nowhere near that of a particularly amazing poem by Gondolier in my Favorites, entitled The Nacken's Song.
Similitude-- My first Kingdom of Heaven piece, an attempt to climb inside Sibylla's complex and nearly dichotomic skin, to see what she sees. The reference to beard-plucking, which no one will probably understand except students of medievalism, is my hearkening back to a deliciously fascinating historical tidbit that I learned my senior year in high school. In Spanish IV, whilst reading excerpts from El Cid, we learned that during that time period, to pluck a man's beard in public was one of the worst insults that could be paid. I should probably include that rather pertinent fact in the author's note, but I think I'll just leave it here so that fans can stumble upon it sometime whilst perusing my profile and feel about the same as someone who finds an "Easter egg" (hidden extra, if you will) on a DVD.
Dying Sacrament-- Phantom of the Opera. E/C, mostly. Written for the DBCA Smutfest Challenge. Based upon the assumption in Kay's novel that when Christine went back to see Erik for the last time before he died, they had a bit of a tryst, if you will. More sensual than smutty, really.
Tell Me Truly-- Phantom of the Opera. First place in the DBCA Pet Peeve Challenge, which I gave birth to when inspired by Soignante's forum about phanfictional pet peeves. Basically the point was to write a parodic phic incorporating into its structure such supreme annoyances as frequent character name misspellings, fanonical inaccuracies, anachronisms, Mary Sues, and Raoul-bashing, just to name a few. I had a devilishly good time writing it, let me tell you...ah, such catharsis resulted. Perhaps you should write one too. Or for a good laugh just go check out the C2 of twisted humor while you wait (the pen-name is in bold just so's you don't get confused), which purposefully boasts some of the worst phanfictions ever written.
Fail Me Fondly--The sequel to Tell Me Truly, written when I was fed up (or should I say, phed up) with some more phanfictional pet peeves and just downright bored, so it's not quite as cohesive or well-thought-out, though it was still fun, and, I hope, funny. I'm mightily tempted to write an even worse third one sometime, just to make it a trilogy. :)
Insupportable--The Ten Commandments. You know, that corny epic 1950s film about the Biblical figure of Moses, starring Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner? The one networks like to show on TV around Easter for some reason? Yeah. That one. This fic involves Ramses' and Nefretiri's (as they're portrayed in the film) sexual relationship, something that is alluded to constantly in the film but not exactly spelled out for obvious reasons (1950s family-friendliness, anyone?), and always sort of held a kind of perverse fascination for me nonetheless--here are two people forced into marriage (in the film) by royal convention who really can't stand each other emotionally, but are quite obviously sexually attracted to each other (although Ramses' sexual attraction is obvious and Nefretiri's much more veiled). It just always struck me as a delightfully twisted dynamic.
(The funny thing is, in real life, the actual historical figures enjoyed a very mutually respectful, tender, loving relationship - something I only found out very recently by browsing Wikipedia. I suppose Cecil B. DeMille thought that wouldn't make for much drama when he directed TTC - and he was probably right, but it irks me how full the film is of itself - it always did, even before I found out about the numerous blatant historical inaccuracies.)
Shadow over Gotham--Dark Knight. Sort of an AU prequel, in which an old girlfriend of the Joker's from the days before he took on the persona runs into him entirely by coincidence, having thought him dead for a decade. It could probably use some revision, as I'm not entirely sure I captured Heath!Joker's personality in its entirety, though I'm more or less satisfied with his speech patterns.
The Dream--Legend. This movie is something of an '80s fantasy cult classic (and incidentally, the theatrical version bites - it's not even worth watching. The director's cut is incredible - even the music is entirely different, and far more cerebral. The theatrical version is a choppy, second-rate film, with mediocre, in-all-the-wrong-places electronic music by some obscure '80s band called Tangerine Dream. The director's cut is actually a marvelous, coherent film, with beautiful, haunting, and most importantly, entirely appropriate music by the composer Jerry Goldsmith). At any rate, this oneshot explores the dynamic of secret longings, and how at times they can bring back our worst memories. I'd hesitate to call this a Lilly/Darkness fic outright - but it does carry a definite miasma of such--or perhaps more appropriately, a foreboding, if you will.
Vignettes: Rescue--Beauty and the Beast (the Disney version). This is intended to be the first in a series (we'll see how creative I get). The Vignettes are basically meant to explore certain scenes a bit more deeply, as well as flesh out in-between events that are never shown or only implied. This particular Vignette deals with the Beast coming to Belle's rescue after she flees from the castle and is pursued by the wolves. I don't know yet if all the Vignettes are going to be from his point of view or not - more than likely at least one or two will be from hers, although I enjoy delving into the Beast's character much more better, as Jack Sparrow would say.
Ideas in Progress: Check the LJ for more detailed info about these.
If you can't stand those "If you... , put this in your profile" things, put this in your profile. :)
And finally, a word to my loyal, darling readers:
One-word/one-sentence reviews. Ex: "omg continue please!" or "great can't wait for more."
These are cool in their own way; they let me know that you're reading and taking a genuine interest, and best of all, that you're enjoying my story, but please, for the love of God, if you have time, take it. Let me know what specifically you liked, and how you possibly think I can improve. If you don't think there's any way I can improve, then think of something else to say. Quote your favorite line from the chapter, or cite your favorite point in character development, etc., etc.
If all you can seriously offer is a very short review, whether from time constraints or a temporary loss for words/brain short-out (which I totally understand from personal experience), that's fine. I don't have a problem with it, especially if you're just dropping in to let me know that you're still around. But if you have the time, really try to write me a constructive, helpful, fleshed-out or substantial review, if you can, at least two to three sentences.
I'd really appreciate it. It helps me so much as a writer to see well-thought-out comments, and you'll probably feel better in the long run (again, this is from personal experience) knowing that you had something really substantial to offer in the way of a review.
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