April 17th, 2004

Jeff_Annie_Remedial Chaos Theory


I have Strep. Lovely.


We may fool ourselves that we're top of the food chain, but the bacterium have it all over us. Ungrateful bastards. We provide them with "food," a warm place to "live," and protection from meaner bacterium and what do we get as a thanks? Illness.

Clearly these dudes have not evolved enough to know a good deal when they see it.

I'd been feeling a little out of it for two weeks (insert yelling from physician's assistant for letting it go on too long before actually calling a doctor), but had put it down to allergies, overtiredness, or simple overextension of my energy.

On the good front, my shiny new job has made me a pharmaceutical geek. For those that don't know, I'm actually a "medical writer" who deals with this stuff on a daily basis, which means I know more about drugs (including antibiotics) than I ever really wanted to know. So, since I'm knowledge-having about medication (insert me whining that it could be a virus and physician's assistant calmly pointing out that given the amount of water I drink and the vitamins I take, if it was an actual virus, I'd be better now), medical professionals tend to take you more seriously when you come in with a vague diagnosis that boils down to, "I feel like crap. Help me."

Plus medical people get a sense of humor (not a virus, which means the little bastards are throwing a party in my body. ha-ha. very funny.) because they figure you know the real score. Plus you actually get sympathy because they figure you're really sick and not wasting their time (insert comment, "you look pretty awful." gee. thanks.).

So, medication. I must really be sick because I'm feeling a little better than yesterday already after taking a magic pill.
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Jeff_Annie_Remedial Chaos Theory

New Living History...

First off, I want to give props to Lori Bush, who is sadly not on LJ. She's actually a fanfic writer who writes some sweet Buffy-Xander stories that put me in mind of Nora Roberts. Waaaaay back when I first started posting Living History on the test list (in *gulp* early August), she came up to Boston on a business trip and we got to meet.

I was still seething about "Chosen," my Buffy-lurve was not exactly at an all-time high (something which broke my heart because I lived S1-S5 Buffy), and I was generally letting the rampant Buffy-hate in fandom get to me.

Anyway, we were talking about characterization in general, especially how different characters are expressed in fanon vs canon. (Side note: why is it when fanfic writers get together in real life, we talk about plotting and characterization and bounce plot points off each other?) 

Lori had come up with an interesting fanwank on Buffy's inconsistent behavior in S7 (as opposed to inconsistent writing): stress.

Buffy was stressed to the breaking point because she'd "bought into" the myth that the Slayer stands alone and felt that she was alone. Worse, Giles waltzes back into her life and throws everything on her slender shoulders. Given the year she'd had previously (pulled out of heaven, nasty relationship, financial troubles, friend being murdered, friend going evil, and worse, and apocalypse where she was nothing more than a distraction while Xander had to carry the load)  it's no wonder why she was snapping under the stress.

Works for me.

Anyway, the end result of that conversation was a subtle change in my attitude about Buffy. That resulted in Buffy getting a much bigger role (rather than being a shadow-y figure in the background) and, as it turns out, she's kinda crucial in the battle scenes ahead. She even gets her own "C" plot. In a lot of ways, writing Buffy for Living History (a task I dreaded because I feared I wouldn't be able to capture her character) has helped me get in touch with the reasons why I liked Buffy way back in the day.

So here's to you Lori, even if you're not reading this. I just wanted to give props where they are due.

Another interesting side-note from when I ran this on my test list: Someone commented that using Buffy as the POV in this part was an "interesting choice," given how distant she is from the action and how little she knows about the cross currents between various characters. The interesting choice basically boiled down to me trying to challenge myself. Could I write something where the speaker has no clue what's happening, but the readers get it 100 percent?

That's what made this section so hard to write and so much fun in the end. It also gave me an excuse to create my own nifty little Buffy Living History icon.


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