Sun, Dec. 19th, 2004

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Sun, Dec. 19th, 2004 12:10 am
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So I volunteered to help out with a rat adoption fair. I felt rather awkward going, seeing as how there is a rat adoption community, and I didn't know anyone. Plus, they had lots of volunteers, and I felt rather useless. But I ended up getting to play with some really cute rats for two hours, so what's not to like about that? There was this one cute boy rat about the same age as my rats, hooded, except the stripe down his back was so thick and black that he looked like he just had two white patches on the side. So cute and squishy! I wanted to bring him home very, very much but knew 1) the boy might not be too happy coming home to that and 2) I'm leaving for Taiwan in a few days and that's definitely not enough time to get the rats all used to each other. I hope he finds a good home.

The day would have been much better, except I had to wake up at 9 for the rat fair, and I had stayed up till 3 the night before reading X-Men movie fanfic. Gah. I don't know how I got into it! I don't even care that much about the movies! I think I was looking for good Syd/Weiss fic -- it's another fandom I don't really care about, but I read some really cute ones, and well, I like Weiss, and I like Sydney as long as Vaughn isn't around. I think I would like Alias about ten times better if Vaughn and the subsequent doomed love affair of doom were excised.

I blame this Syd/Weiss thing on Yahtzee's Soap Opera, which has a great Weiss voice (have I mentioned that I like Weiss? He's so nice and normal). I also like RJ Anderson's What You Never Knew You Wanted, which is angsty and mind-twisty, as well as Celli Lane's The Thousand and Second Time. I like Syd/Weiss in fic because it's the anti-angst and because it makes Sydney so much more likeable than when she's pining after Vaughn. Plus, it's got that thing where they start out as friends and gradually go somewhere else.

And then somehow I managed to stumble onto Logan/Rogue from XMM. This is probably because I read Jenn's For Now series and Katherine's remix For Now (The Fuck Waiting Remix). Jenn's is about Rogue growing up and learning to not be afraid, and Katherine's has Logan's POV. I think the thing that got me the most was that while the story starts out as young girl pining over older man, it quickly becomes something about growing older, about fear and control, and of course, love. I keep thinking about [ profile] rachelmanija's post on conflict and compatability in romances -- I love these two pieces of fic so much because they are on subjects that I wish more romances would tackle. There is a very believable internal conflict that gets in the way of Logan and Rogue falling in love and acting on it, which is extremely refreshing in light of the romance genre because it focuses not on external conflict to separate the two or even huge personality differences, which often ends up with a romance conclusion that I don't quite wholly believe in. It's more on accepting yourself and learning to accept love as well, about the frightening nature of being in love and not knowing what to do with it.

I also like how Logan is patient enough to wait for Rogue to accept herself first. I think too many romance heroes use sex as a weapon against the heroines, forcing them to a decision they're not yet ready to make by the strength of physical desire, which is why those scenes of forced seduction read so wrong and squicky to me now. I get all that stuff about women being afraid to make the first move and thus the attractiveness of the forced seduction scene, but I'm so sick of reading them! The most annoying bit is that there aren't very many alternatives to the forced seduction scenario in romances. It feels like I have to wade through twenty books just to get to one with a nice hero who is willing to be patient, to let the heroine figure herself out first. The world always seems to stop when a romance hero needs to figure himself out via falling in love and finding his sensitive side, but I feel like too many heroines are rushed through their own path and never really figure out their wants and needs. And this seems to be rather contrary, given that romance is primarily a female genre focused on female wish-granting.

Another thing I like about the fic is that when we finally do get to the kissing and sex stuff (it's a bit of a fade to black, but you know), it makes sense. It's the destination that the story has been travelling toward, it's not gratuitous, it makes psychological sense, gah, that plus Rogue's problem of not being able to touch is so nicely integrated into the theme of the story. Sometimes, this is why I read fic instead of romance novels.

I feel a little guilty about my increasing irascibleness re: romance novels. I like the genre. I'm not ashamed of liking the genre. I just wish more books in the genre would tackle all the neat psychological issues and gender bits and whatnot that seem to be such a perfect fit for the genre, except they don't, and it drives me nuts. I wish more people writing in the genre took risks and pushed the envelope because I think romance is a great way to explore all this interesting stuff, and instead it's relegated to the back bin of "girly stuff" and no one takes it seriously.

While I'm at it, I would also like a pony.


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