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Chemotherapy, Farscape and yotz

Well, pathology report came back and showed no lymph nodes have been compromised and that they got the tumor out cleanly. Nasty thing--very aggressive. So the doctor has determined that a series of chemotherapy is warranted and off I go to the oncologist on Tuesday to begin the next phase of my journey.

I have been having weird thoughts about all this. My mother is nuts--very very needy and fighting with my hubby over who hurts the most over my situation. Meanwhile I sit here feeling that I don't deserve all this attention--I don't feel sick and can't get my mind around the future--just stuck in the present and worrying about supporting everyone else emotionally while I fall apart inside slowly from the stress of it all. D is great support--tells me constantly that my mother is unhinged in her constant pleas to let her help and feeling sorry for herself and combative towards D since he is helping and she can't (I can't seem to get it through her head not to jump 20 steps ahead of me and demand my emotions when I don't know what is happening or what to think about all this yotz). Luckily my sister and I convinced her to go back to Mexico for two weeks while I wait for the next step. Since she has left I have spoken to a wonderful woman who helped me see that I need to protect my self from these stresses and to understand my mother's neediness. I still need to hurt her eventually because I need to grow up.

So I wait for Tuesday and ponder how to survive the emotional rollercoaster.



I re-read Kernelcrash's amazing story Child of the Night-Director's Cut and got to thinking about the wide gulf that separates two camps of Farscape fan fic-- call them the "Literary Mavins" and the "Story Tellers" and fence-sitter that I am, I can understand the split. Yet, it pains me that there is this rift. Great literature is experimental, such as John Dos Passos or Updike or Ulysses and difficult to read and makes you think with every word. There is a place for this type of writing and it is inherently elitist. Then there are the story tellers, the Cliffard Simak's, Zenna Hendersons, Judith Tarrs who are read like comfort food--they lead a reader in with simple, straight ahead stories filled with vivid characters and deep characterizations that I can visualize deeply and FEEL. There is a place for both types of literature. The Sparkys are a popularity contest as much as a recognition of merit. As such, I am not surprised that the difficult stories, the Black Ghosts and Fialka's and Cofax' experiments are bypassed over the straight ahead stories like Crash's Cholak's Demon or Reefrunner's trilogy. Because readers recognize superior of both types--the stories and the literature and the voted on the best of both.

There should be no animosity and bad feelings over the imbalance between stories and literature in the Sparkys--comfort will win over working to understand a story every time. It is surely even amazing that some of the difficult stories won and deservedly so.

Now about the argument about "Happy ending" stories vs. ambiguous or bad endings--I do fall strongly on the side of being REAL and TRUE to the characters. Bad!John or Evil!John or Braca/John relations, and so forth aren't real to me. John Crichton is a very complex character with a rich and evolved history that entails violence to his world and himself, yet he retains a kernel of honor and greatness within himself that makes Farscape special. I can't see that killed. So I guess I am a wimp and Kansan at heart.

I love the folks on both the Dark Fic school and the Fluffy Bunnys school and it saddens me that there is this competition here. Let's not let it split the Scapers, okay?

Comments

hey, you....

first, gotta give ya a half dozen hugs. ((((((ixchup)))))) And a basket full of positive vibes.

The only small bit of wisdom I can share is that the hardest job of all is raising your parents. And part of that is sometimes hurting them as boundaries are established. It's part of the process, and it's necessary, so don't feel guilty for doing what you need to do.

I really liked your commentary about literature vs. storytelling. I tend to like stories that have elements of both; I love good, thick, chewy prose woven into a dynamic plot. And I'm a fan of experimental writing, even while I have to say that the nature of experiments include failures as well as successes. That's the flip side of trying something new, and writers have to realize that before walking the edge.

Part of writing is anticipating the audience's reaction, and making a conscious decision about what line to tread. Do I want to appeal to the greatest number of readers? Do I want to choose the line that best serves the story (IMHO) and try to serve the reader's needs at the same time? Is what I'm proposing so far out that many readers will not want to work their way through it? Is the level of prose set too high for the casual reader?

If the writer doesn't consider these things, consciously or not, then, no matter how great the idea is, the fic may not be read and/or appreciated. As a beta reader, I've often told writers that they might want to think about archiving their work on sites in addition to Kansas that may be more receptive of their work, if it's not in the popular middle ground of fic. It doesn't lessen the work in and of itself if it finds a smaller audience. It may simply be more appreciated elsewhere.

As for a split between Dark Brigade and Fluffy Bunnies...

There are those who like guacamole and those who like onion dip. Some folks enjoy both. Some folks like one or the other exclusively.

It's a big board, a big fandom. It shouldn't, IMHO, cause a split, because it's simply about preferences. I read both, I beta both, and god only knows which camp my stuff really belongs in. I think it's got elements of both, and I'm perfectly happy with that.

As for the Sparkys, I only know how I voted. I voted for craft. Some votes went to bunnies, some votes went to dark writers, and some went to the guy or gal out from left field with a hell of a good story. I hope most people did that as well.

And now I'll quit hijacking your thread and go play in my own sandbox. *g* You made me think today, ix, and that's the highest compliment I can give you.

Re: hey, you....

Oh Scaper, thanks for the hugs and support. Yeah, bringing up parents is difficult--my mother means well but is extremely egocentric--has been for the 22 years of my marriage and since my father passed away 9 years ago she has demanded a lot from me that is really mine to give to my husband--my emotional support, physcial support, and presence. The breast cancer has lessened my ability to be able to deal with supporting her and myself and my family's needs. And, yes I guess I have to let her know that her feeling sorry for herself for my cancer does me no good--and hurt her feelings in the process.

As far as Scaper stories go--I agree with you 100 percent in terms of the Sparkys and how the voting went--that I voted for craft as well and gave my votes to a wide variety of stories--including those that were uncomfortable for me to read but made me think--those were the best. I also voted for stories that were new and diffierent or had some sort of glimmer of something that made them special even if they were not the author's best work.

The dark fic and bunny fic split will continue and I read a little of everything as long as I feel it is true to my vision of Farscape (which may not be other folk's vision). I admire your work muchly and can read your heart in these stories of yours. As I have said in the past, you are a great teacher and it shows in your writing.

Thanks again and I am up for the chemo and will be fore the rest of the dren. I'll just read my way through this.
Double Luck!

All I can say about the two literary camps is that I would be heartbroken if either one dried up.

seva

Re:

I'm maybe reading more emotion into folks remarks about the same people winning the Sparkys in many categories. I too wanted to see different and more variety of stories nominated. My point is that the majority of people want comfort in their fiction. It is a very unique and limited group who is willing to try the more difficult fiction that is not so easy to swallow or comprehend. Since the Sparkys are a popularity contest--naturally the majority will win--it is what makes it more amazing that Fialka's story and others of her ilk were even nominated, and won.

I guess I was also looking at the fact that my story won a second place and felt it undeserving based on its competition in the angst category. Yet was imensely flattered at its recognition. It was my first story and I had much help from Kazbaby on it. I learned a lot.

So, I agree with your assessment and I too like to think when I read--whether it is intellectual thought or emotional thought--I read fan fic judiciously. I enjoy your work a lot because you have the heart and the intellect in balance. And in the end, good writing will win out. I have hope.

thanks for the support as well. I'm scared but feel very hopeful about the outcome of the chemotherapy.
Very nice to hear from you again!
I know that you are relieved to have that portion of your "journey"
over with. I send all the hope I can that you are soon able to put the chemo
behind you as well.

As for your writing comments, I see where you are coming from.
These contests are ,by their very nature, popularity contests.
As such, the more mainstream the story the more "popular" it is.

Now I am always on the hunt for stories that surprise me.
I find that the darker and more unconventional ones do that much more often.
Having said that, I still can find something to like it the mainstream stories.
Maybe one has great dialogue, or a imaginative enviroment , for example.

I just hope that many writers can remain invested in Farscape. I think that the huge variation in tone that the series has lends itself to all sorts of possible tales.
I will ALWAYS want more and I hope there will be many writers to give it to me.

Good luck with it all Ixchup. You've handled this most difficult of illnesses with courage and bravery. My heart goes out to you and your family. Good luck on Tuesday, babe.
Hugs, first of all dear. I find myself at a loss for anything productive or particularly helpful to say, but please know my thoughts are with you and I wish you the best of luck, and if possible the best of health and happiness and peace in dealing with all of this.

The writing thing is something that exists in all communities of writer's I think:) And I'm not sure it's bad as long as it doesn't lead to outright hostility. Hopefully, it's a challenge to all writer's to strive to do their best in their element:) Storytelling and craft are equally valuable, and when they come together it's the very definition of good writing:) I think, as far as the awards go, I'm thrilled for all of the winners. The recognized stories where ones with heart, with skill, with emotion and often beautiful prose, and if anything, it's the wish that more people would value craft and work and effort, that putting the same kind of work into reading the story as we do watching the show was a given. It's not a negation of the art of storytelling, or the ability to plot things out with a graceful hand and tell long, lovely stories. IT's a desire to have people appreciate risk, and challenge and something that's a little more work, but which offers such an amazing result:)

Re:

Thea, I agree with you whole-heartedly. I think reading your very cogent analysis of the Sparkys started me ruminating (dangerous thing for me to do). I am not trying to be judgemental when describing the two camps as Literary Mavins and Storytellers--the Literary fic tells amazing stories and the Stories sometimes are quite imaginative and experiemental. I was just pondering the wheres and whyfores of Farscape fan fic writing that generates such emotional heat between the experimenter's readers and the story-teller readers (the so-called dark-fict and fluffy bunny fic). Being the fence-sitter that I am--I see value in both approraches and just enjoy learning to write from both communities.

Thea, your work is amazingm and deserves a readership that appreciates craft and beauty. As I have said before, since the Sparkys are a popularity contest --the medium wins always and the edges get short shrift (sadly). It is truly amazing that any of the challenging fic gets nominated and wins at all. I'm glad that there are people who are willing to take a chance and read the risky stuff and grow from that effort.

Thanks for your mental support. I'll be fine.

Re:

I think you've done a beautiful job of just putting the thoughts out there, and not laying judgement on either side, just considering the questions:) And I tend to be an equal fence sitter (because for me, ultimately, the enjoyment of fic comes done to the telling of the tale. I don't enjoy something dark and experimental unless it's well done, and give me fluff with heart and skill and I'm just as happy. It comes down to good writing. And that's where I draw the line:)

And thank you for the praise. It's made me blush like a fiend, and congratulations on your own success with the awards, and really for having the courage to try a new thing - to write fiction, challenge yourself and your concepts of what you thought you could do:) IT's been exciting to see the progress and the process:)