Links: Fanfic, Skincare, & More

Workspace with computer, journal, books, coffee, and glasses.Happy Hump Day! It’s Wednesday afternoon and the rest of your day might be crawling by. That’s what Wednesday Links is for! Take a break, regroup, grab a snack. The weekend will get here eventually.

Love podcasts? Right now, there’s a Kickstarter campaign for Earios: a woman-run podcast network. Unfortunately, they haven’t announce what specific types of shows they’ll be developing. As of today, they’re less than $2000 from their goal and pledges start at $5.

Sarah sent me this awesome link from The Guardian about the popularization of fanfic. As a former fanfic writer and current fanfic reader, I really enjoyed it.

But the divide between fanfiction and original writing holds strong. It’s assumed that if people write fanfiction, it’s because they can’t produce their own. At best, it functions as training wheels, preparing a writer to commit to a real book. When they don’t – as in the famous case of Fifty Shades, which one plagiarism checker found had an 89% similarity rate with James’s original Twilight fanfiction – they are ridiculed. A real author, the logic goes, having moved on to writing their own books, doesn’t look back.

“Here’s the thing,” Naomi Novik explains over the phone from New York. She is the bestselling author of the Temeraire books, a fantasy series that adds dragons to the Napoleonic Wars, and Spinning Silver, which riffs on Rumpelstiltskin. “I don’t actually draw any line between my fanfiction work and my professional work – except that I only write the fanfiction stuff for love.”

What are your thoughts on fanfic?

Subscribed to Kindle Unlimited? Author Talia Hibbert has some recommendations to help you find some hidden gems!

Send Your Friendship logo a circle of twisted rope with a seahorse inside beneath the words Send Your FriendshipNote from Sarah:  I have a new mini-course coming soon from Organization Academy called Send Your Friendship. It’s all about using your Google Calendar to help you remember to send greeting cards and gifts to the people who are important to you.

If you love sending birthday cards but often forget the date until the last minute (*raises hand*) this course is made for you. And if you’d like to start a habit of being a consistent correspondent to your friends and family, this course is also for you.

Because it’s a mini-course, you won’t need much time to complete it, and once your calendar is set up, you’ll have everything you need (except the cards – but I’ll have tips and recommendations for that, too). The cost will be low, too – under $40.

If you’re interested in learning more, you can sign up here – and please check the box to indicate you want information about this course specifically!

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The Verge has an interesting look at the intersection of skincare and science, and how the former is inspiring women to get more into the latter:

Unlike Wong, Jude Chao of Fifty Shades of Snail doesn’t have a background in science. She went to a math and science high school, but preferred the English classes. “I slept through all my chemistry classes and my bio classes, and that’s a pretty big regret,” says Chao.

In her 30s, she began to be interested in skincare for a very common reason: she didn’t like the way her own skin looked. “I thought, ‘I’ll just figure out the one thing that works for me,’” says Chao. “But I had a lot of catch-up to do on really basic things. I never really thought before that skincare is chemistry. There are very clear rules for what works and why, and there’s a lot of research that goes into it and it’s a whole area of formulation.”

Researching products has not only taught her about chemistry concepts, but also pushed her to be more critical of the world of science and the way it’s presented. Chao reads academic papers and has learned to check if there’s a really small or skewed sample size or other problems with the study design.

It’s a long read, but as someone who is getting more and more into skincare, I’m here for it.

Historical romance author, Elizabeth Bright, is on Twitter ranking the best orgasms in romance! What do you think of the list?

Don’t forget to share what super cool things you’ve seen, read, or listened to this week! And if you have anything you think we’d like to post on a future Wednesday Links, send it my way!

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Meg says:

    I have a successful original comic series published and I still write fanfiction. I don’t plan to stop writing fanfic, even as I publish more of my original stuff. I wouldn’t have the original work if it wasn’t for the fanfic. I certainly wouldn’t have my creative partner, my best friends, nor my husband if I didn’t write fanfic. I write it for the love of the characters, and I learned how to craft a story through it.

    But there was a time I did hide those origins. I claimed I met my husband just “through my writing,” which people took to be journalism, when instead it was because he was a fan of my Lina/Gourry fic. I am all for bringing fanfic into the mainstream, because the article is correct. Fanfic goes back to the beginning of time. Look at how much Shakespeare is essentially fanfic.

  2. 2
    jimthered says:

    Here’s Joe Manganiello chatting with Stephen Colbert about their shared love of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS:

  3. 3
    Nicolette says:

    I hope I can see something like pilot or pitches for that audio drama women-run network.

    I liked that Welcome to night Vale included trailers and the first episode to Alice isn’t dead in their podcast stream.

    I got too creeped out with the story to finish the series. But I did get curious about that series so it worked as a marketing action.

  4. 4
    Amanda says:

    @Nicolette: If you like storytelling podcasts, I have a few recommendations!

    – Deadly Manners
    – Homecoming
    – LifeAfter/The Message
    – Girl In Space
    – The Black Tapes
    – The Bright Sessions

  5. 5
    Jenn says:

    That Stephen Colbert clip was one of the most adorable things I’ve ever seen. Also, jealous of that basement.

  6. 6
    Jill Q. says:

    Love fanfic. Both reading and (sometimes writing). I love how fanfic can embrace tropes like sharing a bed, fake relationships, and yet they can always feel new when you’ve never read *this* couple in that situation before. Plus, I feel like fanfic authors often write more satisfying romance than actual TV and movie writers, who are much more interested in plot twists.

    I’m not a re-reader and fanfic is my comfort reading when I’m sick or feeling really blue.

  7. 7
    Ren Benton says:

    Here’s the cat poem by Delilah Dawson that is so universal, no further cat poems need ever be written:

  8. 8
    jan says:

    “it’s a movement encouraging people to re-consider the stories we tell about alcohol, particularly in lifestyle media. We believe that beneath the “Mommy needs wine” and “Rosé All Day” memes, shirts, headlines, important conversations are beckoning. We’re here to give context and language to help people have smarter and more thoughtful conversations around alcohol and alcohol messaging. Founded by a sober woman, we are advocates for people who are examining an alcohol-free lifestyle, sober people, those in recovery, and their families. But you don’t have to be sober to engage in the work — all are welcome.”

    Not about prohibitionism, just about looking honestly about the way alcohol is marketed especially to women. And why. #tellbetterstories

  9. 9
    Nicolette says:


    What a nice surprise! I got to get back into the bright Sessions. But those other podcasts are new to me.

    Thank you very much.

  10. 10
    Maile says:

    Suleikha Snyder has a great blog post on the often problematic portrayal of biracial protagonists in histrom: ‘Born To Be White: How Biracial Historical Heroes Reinforce The Status Quo’

  11. 11
    Sel says:

    I used to think of my fanfic writing as ‘temporary’ and my fic-to-be-published writing as ‘the real deal’. These days, it’s all stories. It’s just whether I’m telling them about characters and situations that I’ve made up, or characters and situations that I’ve made up but which someone else has a copyright on…

  12. 12
    MaryK says:

    I recently read an awesome book recommended by Ilona Andrews in a blog post. She apparently likes to read through Kindle unlimited looking for gems.

    I’ve since come across claims that the book is published fanfic. I don’t know what to think about that except that I loved the book and read it twice in one week.

  13. 13
    Ren Benton says:

    BBC One presents Leading Lady Parts:

    I squawked at the “winner.”

  14. 14
    Allie says:

    @MaryK – oh my goodness, I think I’ve read that fanfic. I mean, maybe it’s a different one, and iirc even if it’s the same the author added a bunch of subplots, but the summary sounded eerily familiar and there were enough common elements that I’m pretty sure about the fandom. Somehow, I feel like I’ve accomplished something noteworthy just by recognizing it.

    Anyway, thanks for mentioning the book (and linking Ilona Andrews’ review) because now I’m going to add it to my TBR pile. I will happily pay to read this updated version.

  15. 15
    sober nonnie says:

    @Jan – Not about prohibitionism, just about looking honestly about the way alcohol is marketed especially to women.
    I found an article about something similar – a recovering alcohol talking about the omnipresence of alcohol in our culture:

    (And as a recovering alcoholic myself, I’m definitely going to check out that website, thanks!)

  16. 16
    Kathy says:

    @Ren [email protected] That was very thought provoking and I will be arguing with/agreeing with that post for awhile. Thanks to both of you.

  17. 17
    NTE says:

    I love and devour fanfic; I think the separation of fanfic from “professional” writing is a kind of elitism that shows up so often in literature, and I also thing that a major change in that way of thinking that’s going to be coming, sooner rather than later… has, in fact already begun. They’re all just stories, and some of them are AMAZING. Society can keep it’s literary snobbery out of my reading choices.

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