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Jan. 23rd, 2016

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Don't be afraid to give creators feedback


Have you ever read a story, seen a piece of art, listened to an audio performance, or watched a film, and felt something? Have you ever thought, "Maybe I should tell the creator(s) what I think..." and then decided against it?

Well, creators crave feedback. To create something, put it out in the world, and then only hear crickets is one of the most discouraging things a person can experience.

So if the creative work moved you, and you want to experience more from the people who made it, TELL them. You don't have to impress them with your wit and wisdom. Just saying something to them in response to their work is enough. If you're afraid to speak up, check out this great FAN/FIC Magazine article, Why You Shouldn't be Afraid to Post Comments. The article is written with fanfic comments in mind, but the ideas apply to all creative works.

Don't know what to say? Check out Tabetharasa's great post, Comments and Criticism - Topics to Thaw Brain Freeze, for some ideas.

You also can't use "I don't know how to contact the creator" as an excuse anymore. We live in a more connected world now, where there's usually a way to contact the creator, even if it's just posting a tweet @addressed to their official Twitter feed. Sure, it might not feel like a personal connection, and it's a public comment, and it's limited to 140 characters, but it's something. And with feedback, something is better than nothing.

So make the world a better place today: if you're moved by a work, go lift the creator's spirits by giving them feedback!

Nov. 21st, 2015

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Trust and Providence - Chapter 39

Trust and Providence Cover

Title: Trust and Providence
Author: Rachel Smith Cobleigh
Fandom: Downton Abbey
Rating: M
Pairing: Mary/Matthew, Sybil/Tom (STEAMM)
Genre: Romance, Hurt/Comfort, Drama
Length: 422,200+ words
Chapters: 39/46
Status: In progress

Story Summary: What if Mary had trusted Matthew with her secret and immediately accepted his first proposal? An alternate universe starting from episode 1x06, tightly interwoven with canon. Major Sybil/Tom, and some Edith/Anthony, Anna/Bates, Cora/Robert, and Carson/Hughes. Includes depictions of intimacy, discussions of faith and philosophy, strong language, disturbing wartime imagery, racial slurs, and character death (but Mary/Matthew and Sybil/Tom end happily!)

New Chapter Summary: Amidst various conflicts, the Crawley family goes to Duneagle to celebrate Christmas. Rose learns a valuable lesson, Matthew makes an important business decision, and Tom and Sybil finally get married!

Start at the beginning

Read the latest chapter

Nov. 18th, 2015

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Fanfiction Community Fun

If you're someone who likes to read and/or write fanfiction, and you enjoy engaging in interesting discussions about it, I highly recommend two places that are worth your time:


The FanFiction subreddit is a general, informal community of people interested in fanfiction. They welcome you posting links to fanfiction you've written or to great fanfiction you've discovered. Topics range from how-to questions by newbies to high-level discussions about tropes and trends. It seems like pretty much everything is on the table, and the people who respond usually have interesting things to say. A friendly, intelligent, growing group.


FAN/FIC Magazine is a new online magazine for all things related to fanfiction and fanfiction culture, both the stuff that is traditionally published (i.e., based on public-doman works) and the vast universe of all the free fanfiction  out there. Articles are high-quality and new ones are published on a frequent, regular basis. Access to the magazine is free, but if you believe in what they're trying to do: promote fanfiction, bring it into the mainstream, normalize it, and have intelligent discussions about it, then please donate to keep it going! All the contributors are paid for their work, and if you want to see more of this great, thought-provoking content, please chip in.

Oct. 31st, 2015

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Trust and Providence - Chapter 38

Trust and Providence Cover

Title: Trust and Providence
Author: Rachel Smith Cobleigh
Fandom: Downton Abbey
Rating: M
Pairing: Mary/Matthew, Sybil/Tom (STEAMM)
Genre: Romance, Hurt/Comfort, Drama
Length: 408,600+ words
Chapters: 38/46
Status: In progress

Story Summary: What if Mary had trusted Matthew with her secret and immediately accepted his first proposal? An alternate universe starting from Series 1 Episode 6. Major Sybil/Tom, and some Edith/Anthony, Anna/Bates, and Cora/Robert. Includes graphic depictions of intimacy, frank discussions of faith and philosophy, strong language, disturbing wartime imagery, racial slurs, and character death (but Mary/Matthew and Sybil/Tom end happily!)

New Chapter Summary: Rose gets into trouble, Anna and Bates reveal their surprise, Mary and Rosamund scheme to help Sybil and Tom keep their wedding a secret, and Matthew and Tom take their estate-assessment business to the next level.

Start at the beginning

Read the latest chapter

Oct. 11th, 2015

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Trust and Providence - Chapter 37

Trust and Providence Cover

Title: Trust and Providence
Author: Rachel Smith Cobleigh
Fandom: Downton Abbey
Rating: M
Pairing: Mary/Matthew, Sybil/Tom (STEAMM)
Genre: Romance, Hurt/Comfort, Drama
Length: 396,600+ words
Chapters: 37/46
Status: In progress

Story Summary: What if Mary had trusted Matthew with her secret and immediately accepted his first proposal? An alternate universe starting from Series 1 Episode 6. Major Sybil/Tom, and some Edith/Anthony, Anna/Bates, and Cora/Robert. Includes graphic depictions of intimacy, frank discussions of faith and philosophy, strong language, disturbing wartime imagery, racial slurs, and character death (but Mary/Matthew and Sybil/Tom end happily!)

New Chapter Summary: Mary struggles with adjusting to middle-class life, Sybil and Tom get help with their marriage plans, and a second child arrives!

Start at the beginning

Read the latest chapter

Oct. 3rd, 2015

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I entered a writing contest on Inkitt

Just taking a brief break from our regularly-scheduled Downton Abbey programming...

Photo credit: werner22brigitte, available on Pixabay

I entered my Due South novel, Fort Liard, in a writing contest on Inkitt, and I’m inviting folks to wander over there and check the story out. It’s an action-romance set in the Northwest Territories, sprinkled with quirky humor, paranormal shivers, and plenty of Mounties, and it’s set four years after the end of the TV show. Rated: T, Status: Complete. As usual, critical feedback is welcomed.

If you like the novel, please vote for it on Inkitt by clicking on the heart at the bottom of the page. Just a note: Inkitt requires you to create an account with their site in order to vote, to deter people from stuffing the ballot box.

Thanks!

...now back to all things Downton!

Sep. 18th, 2015

shiny

Trust and Providence - Chapter 36

Trust and Providence Cover

Title: Trust and Providence
Author: Rachel Smith Cobleigh
Fandom: Downton Abbey
Rating: M
Pairing: Mary/Matthew, Sybil/Tom (STEAMM)
Genre: Romance, Hurt/Comfort, Drama
Length: 383,300+ words
Chapters: 36/45
Status: In progress

Story Summary: What if Mary had trusted Matthew with her secret and immediately accepted his first proposal? An alternate universe starting from Series 1 Episode 6. Major Sybil/Tom, and some Edith/Anthony, Anna/Bates, and Cora/Robert. Includes graphic depictions of intimacy, frank discussions of faith and philosophy, strong language, disturbing wartime imagery, racial slurs, and character death (but Mary/Matthew and Sybil/Tom end happily!)

New Chapter Summary: Sybil and Tom announce their engagement, leaving the family in an uproar.

Start at the beginning

Read the latest chapter

Aug. 29th, 2015

shiny

Trust and Providence - Chapter 35

Trust and Providence Cover

Title: Trust and Providence
Author: Rachel Smith Cobleigh
Fandom: Downton Abbey
Rating: M
Pairing: Mary/Matthew, Sybil/Tom (STEAMM)
Genre: Romance, Hurt/Comfort, Drama
Length: 372,600+ words
Chapters: 35/45
Status: In progress

Story Summary: What if Mary had trusted Matthew with her secret and immediately accepted his first proposal? An alternate universe starting from Series 1 Episode 6. Major Sybil/Tom, and some Edith/Anthony, Anna/Bates, and Cora/Robert. Includes graphic depictions of intimacy, frank discussions of faith and philosophy, strong language, disturbing wartime imagery, racial slurs, and character death (but Mary/Matthew and Sybil/Tom end happily!)

New Chapter Summary: Will Sybil get into medical school? How can she do it and still marry Tom? And why is Mary rejecting Matthew's advances? Some questions are answered and new ones are posed...

Start at the beginning

Read the latest chapter

Aug. 8th, 2015

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Trust and Providence - Chapter 34

Trust and Providence Cover

Title: Trust and Providence
Author: Rachel Smith Cobleigh
Fandom: Downton Abbey
Rating: M
Pairing: Mary/Matthew, Sybil/Tom (STEAMM)
Genre: Romance, Hurt/Comfort, Drama
Length: 361,000+ words
Chapters: 34/45
Status: In progress

Summary: What if Mary had trusted Matthew with her secret and immediately accepted his first proposal? An alternate universe starting from Series 1 Episode 6. Also Sybil/Tom, and some Edith/Anthony, Anna/Bates, and Cora/Robert. Includes graphic depictions of intimacy, frank discussions of faith and philosophy, strong language, disturbing wartime imagery, racial slurs, and character death (but Mary/Matthew and Sybil/Tom end happily!)


Start at the beginning

Read the latest chapter

Jul. 21st, 2015

snowmen

Film recommendation: Austenland

I'm a Jane Austen geek, so when I hear that there's yet another Jane-Austen-themed movie out there, I must seek it out and watch it. A friend recommended Austenland, and I'm so glad she did, because I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Thus follows a far too analytical review of what is essentially a light romantic comedy...Collapse )


...and if you really enjoyed the movie but felt like it ended before the story was over, I highly recommend two pieces of Austenland fanfic, Austenland Extended and e-mails from Austenland. Both stories are hilarious and do a good job of continuing the universe and adding some cute twists, while keeping the characters thoroughly in-character. The latter fic is a clever example of a modern epistolary tale, with very well-drawn original characters, despite their being in the background.

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