a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: T-Shirt Tuesday Tales: My Guilty Reading Pleasure...

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

T-Shirt Tuesday Tales: My Guilty Reading Pleasure...

SUMMARY: ... pronounced "obsession".
Posted on Tumblr April 19, 2021. Written primarily for others in the world of fan fiction and particularly fans of these specific books...

Ack! I missed my Captive Prince anniversary date (3/16/20). 

Title: My Captive Prince   (and AO3 and Tumblr and reading and writing and fanfic and......)  History  (roughly reconstructed): The long version

  • [Read about the t-shirt somewhere below...]

Reading background before CP:

  • My whole life: Reading reading reading. Owning thousands of books, a large part sci fi/fantasy. Two bookcases full of books yet unread. Subscription to Asimov’s magazine, my favorite. And more.
  • fiction with “real” sex: had read a few gratuitous not well-written paperbacks, when bored back in the ‘70s. Never wanted to read more.
  • fan fiction: had read only a few amateur things, not well-written, I think Star Trek, in the mid-’80s [yes, on paper]. Never wanted to read more.
  • Encountered OTP and “slash” terms maybe 2010, read a couple--shrug. “Just more fan fiction.” Never wanted to read more.
  • Romance fiction: Might have read 3 or 4 dozen over the years. Most I didn’t like or even gave up in the  middle because of not good writing or plotting.

Writing background:

Started pursuing fiction writing in mid-’80s, attended conferences and lectures and a year in a weekly critiquing class at a local JC, and started a writers’ group [in person, yes] and participated for years with my own things. Sent out story after story to markets--lots of rejections, but then started getting higher and higher awards in the Writers of the Future competition and some *nice personalized* rejections from editors. 

Drove to Idaho from CA for a week-long writing workshop in1995.  In 1998, spent 6 weeks in Seattle at Clarion West.  I sold a couple of short stories and a poem to paying markets (pro and semipro). Then I discovered dog agility in 1996 and somehow that led to the end of  my writing pursuits, to which I had devoted most of my attention for 15 years. Doh. But, still: Books. Fiction. Writing.

Footnote: Also started this blog to be about my dogs in dog agility. Pffft.

(Now I've done no agility since 2014. Nor writing since 1998...  but wait for it...)

Early March, 2020: Finding images. Pandemic!  While using Google image search for something like “captive prince chains”--Don’t ask--amazed and surprised how many images came up.  Kept searching and searching for days--so many cool images! Including the Japanese cover for this book. Which hit all the right buttons for me


March 16, 2020: Ordered the book Eventually it became clear, aha! the book is titled Captive Prince. Jackpot! Because I...was searching for captive princes... don’t ask. I read the synopsis, looked possible, and ordered only the first and only as an e-book. Because--what if it’s as badly written as 50 Shades of Gray? Or worse?

March 16/17, 2020: Reading reading reading can't stop! OMG it matched so so so many things in my own internal fictional world!  and a bonus: amazing UST from the beginning, too. That I never knew that I even needed to have in fiction. OK, then.

Footnote: My internal fictional world: Hrm. might or might not ever discuss.

March 18, 2020: Ordered the next 2 ebooks as fast as my fingers could fly.

March 19, 2020: Fourth book! Desperate for more Captive Prince or other works by the author. ...Desperate barely begins to describe it. And then I found The Summer Palace and Other Stories. fourth book in the group. Ordered as an ebook. Read that, too.

March 20, 2020: Images like crazy. OMG searching again. Started collecting links to many many many of the online fan art, now that I knew what was going on. And so much of it excellent ... (but this was just fan stuff; how could it be excellent? do artists do this sort of thing just for fun?)...

And started reading the series again. And again. And again. And again and again and....  [link, brief mention at the beginning] then, reading things I started finding on Tumblr, and then...

April 22, 2020: Joined AO3. Because a link to this came up in Tumblr and it caught me; I wanted to read more. Fanfiction?! Writing quite good--storytelling, too [not the same thing]. How could that be? Do good writers do this sort of thing just for fun? This one, a modern AU (alternative universe) playing out the same three novels, yet keeping true to the original characters and story arc.

Footnote: Not sure whether readers would enjoy these fictions 
nearly as much if they haven't already read the CP originals. However, whatever.

April 23, 2020: Tumblr and Twitter. I’ve had accounts for years, but have barely done anything in either--mostly just following links. On this day, I sent an online junkie friend a request for help in how to find people and things in both places because I was struggling and craving more art and more fiction and it had become clear that the world veritably teems with Captive Prince artifacts.

Footnote: Friend is not a drug junkie. She's an online junkie of sorts.

Most of Spring and Summer 2020: Reading more and more fanfic AND learning SO much about fanfic and about the vocabulary for that and for M/M fiction and for sex-related things and how to use and navigate AO3...so much to learn.

Footnote: The m/m fiction essay was written by a friend who is also quite a successful author. No self-publishing here that I'm aware of. A smart woman; always has been. I found it, as a writer, to be interesting on its own subject (who's qualified to write what).

May 4, 2020: My first Tumblr comment.  Have been reading CaPri fanfic voraciously for a few weeks, and finding more in Tumblr. No interest in commenting; I just wanted to read and stay anonymous. Might have clicked Kudos. Or not. But on this date, I posted my first comment to someone's post. Somewhat reluctantly, because I wasn’t interested in discourse. But the fiction was so good. My 2nd comment on something wasn’t until July 2. After that, commented regularly.

May 7, 2020: Clothing! Found Forest Elf Fancies artist! And asked for this custom t-shirt from his existing Vere and Akielos designs.  (Never have I had t-shirts for characters from specific fiction among the 250-ish that I remember ever having in my greedy little hands.)

 May 18: Arrived!  Yowza! I am all in now.  ...As if full immersion, week after week, of nothing but Damen of Akielos and Laurent of Vere didn't already have me all in.

Yes, it's a selfie of me in a mirror,
reflected in a mirror again.

July 16, 2020: AO3 bookmarking. On this date, I created my first AO3 bookmark--a bunch, actually, probably of things I’d read. Erk, I'm falling unwillingly/willingly into another universe and community. Resented it a bit, but still--wanted to be able to re-find the stories.

On Tumblr, unknown 2020 date: "Follow"ed my first person. Wasn’t ever going to do more than a few, because: I already have FaceBook, thank you very much. 

Footnote: As of April 19, 2021, I’m following 37 people, almost all of whom post frequently related to CaPri.

Unknown 2020 date: started reblogging tumblr posts from others. Fiction, images, links, comments, quotes, observations, all about Captive Prince. Partially to share, partially to keep my favorites in my Tumblr feed for easier retrieval.
Footnote: As of April 20 '21, I have reblogged over 200 items-- so, not quite as quick-retrieval as I had envisioned way back then.
The rest of 2020: Reading reading reading AO3 and Tumblr related to CapRi. My other reading life slammed to a halt back in March. How is there such good writing so many times in fan fiction? How is there so much good sex? Forget about all those hundreds of unread books I already own--
Around January 1, 2021: Tumbler participation. Gulp. First added a comment to a discussion on Tumblr. Don't want the discourse! Leave me alone!
Around January 14, 2021: First posted an original thing (a short observation) on Tumblr. Started posting like this more often. Maybe weekly on average? OMG started plotting Captive Prince stories in my head! I’m too busy for this sort of thing! Don’t give in! Feb 12, 2021: Apparently I gave in. Posted my first original short fiction on Tumblr. Although it's written as a prequel to another writer's short fic. Have done two more since.  Plus, observations (like this one), discourse...  
Am I ...  writing? ... fiction? What could possibly be next?

The Akielon Lion. Banner of the ancient-Greek-like Akielos, home of the Okton (sport of kings)
 and of Damianos (Damen), crown prince.
(Should be gold on red, but since t-shirts are only one color...) 

The gold starburst on blue of the Crown Prince of 14th-century-France-ish Vere, Laurent,
who makes an ally at castle Chastillon,
home of the finest hunting for "sanglier,
a northern breed that was larger, with longer tusks on the male."

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