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Delmar the dead little mermaid visits Lake Champlain waterfront

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Inspired by an upcoming visit to the Montreal Otakuthon Dollfest, I finally got my ass in gear and finished Delmar. She is the top half of a Leekeworld Little Mermaid. Her fat little butt + tail I commissioned from @pandorkful who made it out of wool. She also put an armature in it so that Delmar can either sit reasonably well or lie down. Either way, the tail provides a drastic improvement over the resin one that she came with. I only need to make one improvement. Because her tail is lightweight felt, she does not sit well against propped against something. I need to weight her tail to keep her upright better.

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All my dolls, 06/27/2017

All my dolls, 06/27/2017 published on 1 Comment on All my dolls, 06/27/2017

All of them, as of 06/27/2017.

Tags denoting which universe dolls belong to are as follows:

 

  • [No tag: Not assigned to any universe.]
  • Bug[s] me: my universe.
  • LHF: Love Has Fangs.
  • M3: Me and My Muses.
  • SciAdv: Julian the Scientific Adventuress.
  • Shalkaverse: Scream of the Shalka.
  • Zville. Zombieville.

Continue reading All my dolls, 06/27/2017

DW meme: @natalunasans, I did this because I love you.

DW meme: @natalunasans, I did this because I love you. published on No Comments on DW meme: @natalunasans, I did this because I love you.

Doctor you started with: Ten.

Favourite Doctor: I don’t like the Doctor.

Favourite Companion: Neck-and-neck competition between Alison Cheney and Shalka Master.

Favourite Episode: Roger Delgado. Uh, wait a minute. I mean any episode that Roger Delgado is in.

DW OTP: Shalka Doctor and Shalka Master.

Favourite line/quote: Too many amuse me, but currently at the top of my head is a line from a novel [don’t know which]: “Characteristically, the Master explained everything.”

Favourite Character that isn’t the Doctor or a companion: Roger Delgado’s MAGISTERIAL eyebrows. Queen Galleia of Atlantis [The Time Monster]. Shreela Govindia [Survival].

BrOTP: Donna/Ten [right up until nonconsensual mind-fucking].

Favorite relationship that I made up and which is neither an OTP or a BrOTP: Alison/Shalka Master.

Favourite DW fic (if you have one): Frankly, whatever I’m writing at the moment. After that, anything by @natalunasans

Favourite DW fanart/blog (if you have one): @halorvic for fanart.

If you could pick anyone to be the next Doctor, who would it be? (Why, if you feel like explaining): Any awesome actor but another straight cis white dude.

If you could pick anyone to be the next companion who would it be? (Why?): I’d like to see Pearl Mackie as Bill continue with some decent storylines that did some decent addressing of her gender, color, and sexuality. While I’m dreaming, I’d also like the current President to be impeached and forced to resign.

Favourite fan theory: The Doctor is NB. The Doctor is ND. The Doctor and/or the Master are some variety of ace. The Doctor and the Master are polar complements. [See what I did there?] Gallifreyans are so obsessed with Earth because they’re descended from Earthlings, which makes them basically humans with magnified faults. @charamei’s whole conjecture on the Gallifreyan class system.

Other fandoms: ????

Shalka dorks the Domina and the Magister in an intimate moment

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Yessssss, two of my most poseable 1:6 scale figures can actually frickin’ touch each other. I sure wish that the Triad Alpha had as much range of motion as the Pop Toys/HT/whatever body. My characters apparently need to look down a lot.

 

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Shalka dorks presenting interior decoration

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Alison and the Master talk interior design. Scintilla, the Master’s TARDIS, butts in. Set is from the Mattel She-Ra doll box. Continue reading Shalka dorks presenting interior decoration

Vermont Doll Lovers meetup, 6/17/2017

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Doll lovers from Montreal came to the BEACH PARTY themed meetup! The gang from house Rainbow Barf [Jujube, Jeff, Dorothy, and Honorine] represented my small populations. Pics on official blog.

Writing samples

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@natalunasans keeps sending me doll stuff…

@natalunasans keeps sending me doll stuff… published on No Comments on @natalunasans keeps sending me doll stuff…

Most recently I got a fabulous set of kitchen cabinets and appliances, along with two Disney Elite Star Wars 10″ figures, Jyn and Rey, as well as a 7″ Disney Star Wars Elite K2SO [not shown]. I really like the 10″ figures. Though a bit smaller than 1:6 scale, they have amazing articulation [including double-jointed limbs and ball-of-foot joints], decently tailored clothing, detailed molded plastic accessories, rooted hair that accurately replicates the styles in the movie, and headsculpts with recognizable likenesses to the actors. I weathered both Jyn and Rey’s faces and redid their eyebrows to add more character. Then I shot this pointless photostory to show off some of my @natalunasans gifts. Zombie was also from her.

 

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Scream of the Shalka fanfic manifesto, or, Alison the Amazing

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If you’re going to write Scream of the Shalka fanfic, Alison Cheney is where it’s at, folks, and here’s why:

Alison is important. Though the SotS canon writes her as a walking, talking plot device for the Doctor Learning To Care Again, Alison is central to all SotS stories because SotS is her story; it’s her story about finding equals in curiosity, partners in adventure, and a life that’s finally as thrilling as she always wanted it to be. Alison must appear in all SotS stories because they’re all her story.

Nobody fucks with Alison. Sure, the canon turns her first into a Shalka loudspeaker and then a victim of a psychic vampire, but enough is enough. It’s not that nothing bad happens to Alison; it’s just that she never gets gratuitously victimized, objectified, or turned into a MacGuffin just to move the plot forward. She’s already traumatized enough from her canonical mind-fucks; she doesn’t need any more. [Special corollary: I don’t care how far the Master gets in trying to mind-fuck her in the animation; he never uses his psychic powers on her unless she knows what she’s getting into and consents.]

Alison doesn’t have to do anything alone. As a corollary to the above statement, Alison has staunch allies watching out for her who will do everything they can to ensure her happiness and safety. In my version, that’s primarily the Master and Brad, secondarily the Doctor. They can err on the side of overprotectiveness, and they’re not always right in what they think she needs help with, but they do well overall. They keep her from harm as best they can. And, when she’s in need of care, they help her and take care of her. She knows that she can count on them, and she’s happy to have them.

Alison is badass, tender, vulnerable, and flawed, all at the same time. In fact, her greatest power is something like irresistible love, acceptance, and sense of wonder. Add to that a pointed, analytical mind and a zero tolerance for bullshit, and you’ve got someone who has no problem calling out Time Dorks on their crap. At the same time, she doesn’t just go around Shouldering The Weight Of The Universe And Taking Care Of Everyone. As someone who has lived with racism and mental invasion, she struggles to embody the image of the Strong Black Woman, even as she realizes that it’s impossible. She doubts her confidence, has trouble recognizing her own power, and has a secret wish for someone to hold her fast while she cries. Fortunately her friends/partners/allies/chosen family love her and support her, whether she’s feeling capable or overwhelmed. And yes, there is always, always, always someone to hold her fast and let her cry.

Alison is a Black British woman. Why yes, the canon completely ignores this, but her race and gender affect almost all aspects of Alison’s backstory, character, personality, even the conflicts and adventures she encounters. Her race and gender do not predetermine all these things, but must be considered as part of all these things. And even though she doesn’t appear to think about or talk about her race and gender in canon, she definitely does in fanfic because, realistically, that’s what people do when they are navigating a society where they are discriminated against and/or a minority.

Alison is awesome. The canon does everything it can to objectify the shit out of her and make her a prop in The Doctor vs. the Master: Married Edition. But there’s enough there for a wonderful character foundation, including, but not limited to, the following: having dropped out of a history degree and become a barmaid, being the only woman of color in a town apparently populated by white dudes, yelling at the Doctor, “How emotionally needy are you?!”, looking the Master in the face and taking none of his blandishments, dressing in a very casual style without makeup or pierced ears, and, unfortunately, getting mind-fucked twice canonically despite proclaiming, “I’m not your zombie!” And this is why I write SotS fanfic: to give her the stories and development she deserves.

“I am tired; I am weary / I could sleep for a thousand years / A thousand dream that would awaken me / Different colors made of tears…”

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Seeing how much of a wilted posture I could put the Master in. Continue reading “I am tired; I am weary / I could sleep for a thousand years / A thousand dream that would awaken me / Different colors made of tears…”

Run away, Clare! Run away! He wants to turn you into a doll!

Run away, Clare! Run away! He wants to turn you into a doll! published on No Comments on Run away, Clare! Run away! He wants to turn you into a doll!

He laughed, and, before they came to the door of the house, drew her aside and kissed her. “There’s more enchantment in these two lips of yours and in these two dear grey eyes than in all the books of Azzimari…”

“Ah, no,” she said. “There’s no enchantment in me, except what you’ve planted. Perhaps that’s it: you captured me that night and you’ve kept me in a cage ever since because you wanted someone to practise spells on. Is that it?”

“Do you mind if it is?”

“No,” she confessed, smiling up at him and speaking with a most innocent simplicity. “I like being your captive.”

They laughed silently at each other as he held her a little way off to look into her eyes.

“Who is Azzi–? The name you said just now?” she asked.

“Azzimari. That was the name of the Berber Kaid who bought my ancestor, Captain Trethewy, from the Sallee Rovers. He was a practitioner of the art of magic, which seeks to know the other side of nature. It seems their doctors had studied these matters, there in the Southern Atlas Mountains, before the Koran came among them. The captain translated some of Azzimari’s books and brought them back with him.”

“And you’ve learnt magic from them?”

He nodded solemnly. “From them and from experience.”

She bent her head and stroked his arms. “And you are Azzimari to me, and I’m a slave like the Captain. Dear Captain! I’m glad he brought Azzimari’s magic home for you. I wonder if he loved his master as I love mine?”

“Perhaps. But he fled from him at last. And you too will want to be free.”

She pressed close to him, winding his arms about her. “No, no. I am free, like this. You must be a stern master, and if I try to break the spell, you must double it and treble it, chain me down in the deepest dungeon in your castle, imprison me in the hollow of an oak in your enchanted wood. You must not let me go!”

“Ah, no,” he said with wondering tenderness. “Dungeons I have and hollow oaks, but not for you. One ancient ceremony of bondage is enough. If you want to be my slave, I’ll perform it: the same that Azzimari performed upon the Captain. Shall I?”

“Yes, yes,” she said in a scarcely audible voice, pressing her head against his coat.

He laughed. “Not now. It must be in the propitious conjunction of the planets. Time and place must adhere. I will do it when you come to see the puppets.”

This is the point in one of my favorite novellas where everything kind of goes off the rails in the best way possible.

Up until then, it’s been a cozy little story of Clare, a bored, stifled, and restless 19-year-old, on the edge of graduating from Paston Hall, a dull little residential school somewhere in England in the 1950s. Studying with the mom and son of the local gentry, she crams on the subjects she needs to learn so that she can sit for a scholarship at Oxford.

And yeah, she’s got a crush on Niall, who’s in his late twenties, and yeah, he says with an absolute deadpan that his ancestor learned magic and the secrets of making immortal bonzai, and yeah, he makes uncannily realistic likenesses of young women, some of whom have died.

But maybe the two of them are just bored out of their skulls and doing some sort of elaborate role play because it’s much more exciting than anything else going on in Paston.

But then Niall goes away for a few days, and, when he comes back, this happens. Clare says to herself that she’s in love with him, and, for the first time, they speak explicitly about their role play, the expectations, and where they want it to go. Magic, ownership, submission, imprisonment, punishment, and love, all previously subtextual or implied, become apparent and textual.

And so does the danger. The tone changes here, and they speak with serious depth. On her end, Clare abases herself before Niall with as much abjection as possible, trying to give herself entirely to him. On his end, Niall finally tells her the ominous consequences of the powers about which he has been making merry. Eventually she will tire of Niall-possession and Niall-mastery and search for self-possession and self-mastery.

Of course, at this point, I’m screaming, “Run away, Clare! Run the fuck away! He wants to turn you into a doll! Definitely in a figurative sense and possibly in a literal sense as well! Furthermore, this guy is the veritable quintessence of the Creepy Dom, and he’s telling you in his own words that you’re gonna regret it. Pay attention to all the fairy tales about deals with the Devil and bargains with the fairies and promises made to sneaky magicians, and don’t do it!”

And of course Clare’s not listening to me because story characters never do. They really should, but then there’d be no plot.

But what happens? Does Clare go through with this bullshit? [Spoiler alert: Yes.] Does she become Niall’s doll? [Yes.]

Does she save her own damn self in the most satisfyingly dramatic possible that one can break off such soul-sucking dysfunction without an impassioned monologue of self-righteous fury to the Creepy Dom in question? [Yes.]

Do you like stories of psychological depth and subtle horror that balance perfectly between realistic and supernatural explanations?

Do you just love it when the young, previously innocent, now more experienced heroine discovers inner strength, wises up, and kicks the older, psychologically manipulative, antagonistic dude’s ass?

Then read The Doll Maker by Sarban. By taking the naive Clare’s quest for self-determination absolutely seriously, the author imparts to the age-old trope a sensitivity and depth of character development rarely seen in such tales. That, plus the treatment of dolls, the kinky overtones, the possibility of either a realistic or a supernatural interpretation, and the clear, fluid prose, keeps me coming back to this sadly unknown gem.

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