vib - rokko schniefz

(no subject)

And honest to god, when I saw those pics this morning, my heart clenched up and my stomach plummeted. And then I burst into ugly tears. (not an exxageration) Because for the first time in a million years, she actually *looks* like Ziva, not just Cote standing in the same spot, impersonating Ziva.

I mostly ignored the five frames of her "return" so far, because my trust in those writers is forever shaken and I was sure they would just do that to have her turn out to be one of Gibbs' guilt hallucinations. Or if she was real, they'd just bring her back to kill her off. (Yeah, Elder Scrolls Online burned me good on that front...) But those two shots, somehow... they made it all real, and it all came rushing back. It's like I hadn't even realized how insanely huge the hole is that particular character has left in my life.

I've been adrift since 2013.

I have *missed* her so fucking much.
ncis - tony/ziva - right there

Changes, changes...

Apparently PhotoBucket changed their plans and now you have to purchase a premium membership to link to external sites. Which ain't gonna happen for me, so most of my old NCIS reviews will look like crap now and have no screenshots. Apologies for that. I wish I were still invested enough to go back and upload them all to LJ and change the links but... yeah. Probably not gonna happen.

Also, I finally killed the account I used for storing a few things, like the mp3s for the soundtrack-enhanced version of "Time, Fleeting" or the PDF-formatted version of "Flavor". More apologies, but that renewal would have been more money I don't have.

Otherwise - still writing. Still photoshopping. Working at a wonderfully nerdy web hosting company now, doing just the day job I always wanted. Doesn't compare to staying home writing all day, but it's literally the next best thing, so I'm good.

I kinda miss the immersiveness of fandom, but I found an awesome writer circle on Facebook, so these gals are a welcome substitute. Still miss my two favorite beta buddies, who went silent and stopped talking to me for reasons unknown. Will probably still miss them ten years from now. But life goes on, and it is what it is. (Which sounded more gloomy than I intended, I think.)
ncis - tony/ziva - right there

(no subject)

Still alive. Still writing, though it's not fanfic... and nope, sadly I won't pimp my published stuff here for a long while, because as much as I'd love to drag over my Tony/Ziva readers to my original fantasy world, there are enough misguided people in this fandom that would take great glee in posting negative reviews just to ruin the fun (and income) for me.

At one point, I will most likely pull "Flavor of the Wind" from the net and rework it into an orginal novel, and I guess at that time it'll become apparent what my pen name is, but until then I'll try to build up a readership the old-fashioned way - hard work and offering stories that hopefully make readers come back for more. We'll see how that works out.

I guess what I meant to say is, if you want a copy of the original "Flavor", download it while you can. I recommend the AO3 version which can be downloaded easily into various formats. (I think the pdf I had up at one point is no longer on the server.)
ncis - tony/ziva - right there

(no subject)

There's really nothing like getting detoured from your high fantasy epic trilogy by a werewolf erotica fantasy setting. *glances at 3,700 words cranked out in one day*
augen auf!

(no subject)

Yep, still alive - though not in fandom terms. A month ago I deleted my fannish Twitter and Tumblr accounts, and yeah, I was "done with everything" before and always came back. This time, though, I haven't really regretted pressing the button once. I still have a handful of contacts I treasure, but aside from them I spend my time writing like a maniac these days... an original fantasy trilogy.

So, yeah. I cleaned up my LJ a bit, then took a giant broom to my friendslist and kicked a lot of folks off that have either been inactive for years or I can't remember what we used to talk about (or both). Apologies if anyone feels offended by this. Feel free to refresh my memory of why I liked you.

That said - I'm not sure I'll actually start posting here again. We'll see. I think the more challenging task would be to find active groups and people here to interact with...
ncis - tony/ziva - right there

The Great Fandom Myth about a lack of “strong female characters”

Hi. I'm Sammy. Some (few) of you may know me from back in the day when I dabbled in male/male fandoms and I was kinda hopelessly crushing on the Sentinel boys and Benton Fraser and RayK. It was a fun time... mostly. Because the male/male fandom is a wonderful and creative and supportive place, and they get a lot of shit done, as a fandom collective, for other fans, creatively. (Just look at the AO3, if you're shaking your head now and wonder what I'm talking about.)

Aside from that, though, it can be a brutal place as well... as soon as any character or actor is involved who doesn't have a dick. The major part of male/male fandom sports an astonishing tendency towards misogyny in its purest, spiteful, vindictive form. Female characters, often enough, are ignored in stories at best, at worst they're bashed, killed or written as traitorous backstabbers and jealous, aggressive bitches.

I saw a lot of that during my slash years in the respective fandoms. Back then I had a few discussions about it, but large chunks of it I ignored - partly because I, too, bought into the idiot statement you hear from a lot of slashers: "There just aren't any strong female characters around!"

And then my world flipped around on its axis, when I happened to fall for a certain Israeli badass and found in her what I apparently had been looking for a long long time. And while my love for Ziva David blossomed into the best thing that ever happened to me... I found that accidentally I had stumbled into one of those fandoms where the slash side and the het side clash brutally (even though the het side is mostly unaware of the whys they get attacked by random people for loving a girl character and shipping her with the guy the slash side wants to hog jealously for their male ship).

Here I was, head over heels in love with one of the strongest and most realistically flawed and broken characters I have ever met... and the same names I remembered from my old fandom days as good and supportive and creative people, I suddenly saw tossing pitchforks and yelling, "That bitch needs to be put down!"

And you know what, I'm royally tired of this shit. I don't buy into this idiot excuse myth anymore, the one that says "there are no strong female characters around to identify with, so I identify more with the guys". Because that disregards every single one of the incredible women out there. It disregards Aeryn Sun, Buffy Summers, Lisa Plenske, Ziva David, Ellen Ripley, Susan Ivanova, Hermione Granger, Olivia Benson, Cara Mason, Deanna Troi, Dana Scully, Jennifer Hart... and a gazillion others. And while some of them may be argued about and some may feel interesting to some and not to others, saying “not strong enough” about all of them is appalling.

It's a bullshit excuse. The only reason you don't see "any strong female characters"? Is because you refuse to look.

Strong doesn't mean she's able to shoot two weapons while somersaulting over the bad guy's goons. Strong doesn't mean bench-pressing cars. Strong doesn't mean dominant. Strong doesn't mean flawless. Strong doesn't mean hair so perfect it never gets rustled. Strong doesn't mean perfect looks.

None of these things make a character strong (and that goes for both male and female characters, coincidentally!) What does make them strong is flaws, and lacking, and not being perfect... but still striving to keep going. It's not the uncrackable shell that makes you strong. It's the cracks.

And so, to my great surprise, I found last night that while for some time I, too, had bought into the great fandom myth that there just aren't any good female characters around... there are. And they’re actually what I love to write. It wasn’t just Ziva David.

While I sat there and plotted my brains out and pummeled the outline of an epic fantasy trilogy into shape, I suddenly noticed that I actually have a hard time fitting any male characters into the plot. Out of the ten characters with the most "screen time" so far, three are male - and out of these, only one is the good guy. They're... just not that interesting.

I love all of my girls already, even though I'm still plotting and haven't actually written a single scene yet. Because they're all realistic female characters (and I do believe that's the word that should actually be used when people talk about "strong" characters) and they're all fascinating in their own way. I even love the assholes, like the one who purposely bred to ensure her daughter is gifted with the strongest possible line of magic needed - and then birthed a daughter who is completely deaf to it. I have the daughter who sets out to find her own tune at all cost and then ends up taking on the burden of outcast because that is what her world really needs. I have the bi girl who asks her lover's brother to father a child for them because he's as close to her sister's blood as possible, and then, while she's pregnant, her lover dies and never gets to see their child. I have the fat teenage goat herdess who got told her whole life that she's useless - except she isn't. And there's the little orphan girl that somehow manages the brightest, happiest laugh of them all, even though she cries for her mother's embrace every single night.

No strong female characters? Bullshit. One more time, please, just for emphasis: BULL.SHIT.

To every female who keeps repeating that bullshit mantra: you're spreading the lie to every fellow female out there that they won't find anything, so they shouldn't even bother looking. You are discounting every single character someone might see as "strong" or "inspirational". And you are telling girls that they should better look at the guys right away and write about them, because with them you can at least identify. They're “more believable”, and hey, by the way, het is just for teenagers anyway.

It's bullshit. YOU are actively spreading misogynist bullshit. And you are telling your own daughters to stop looking for strong girls to look up to, better be like the guys.

And now please excuse me while I indulge in some background reading and dig into this awesome book I had in the mail today. There's strength to be written.

ncis - tony/ziva - right there

"Fate's Design" - Tony, Ziva & Tali and what really happened during PPF & FF

disclaimer: So not mine. Just borrowed them for play. Put them back unharmed, but a lot happier.

summary: In which Sammy takes the hot mess that was "Past, Present, Future" and "Family First" and gives you the missing scenes so it all makes sense again. Because clearly, you weren't shown the whole story.

notes & warnings: Many thanks to my tearful beta fairy Sev, for her invaluable help with all things baby- and pregnancy-related, and for letting me bounce plot elements at her until I found the sense in them. And to Mumsy, for her thoughts about Disney movies and for lending me a story that hit me right where it hurts. You were right. It *is* a very Ziva thing to do.
Also, tissues. You need them.

word count: 8,700

comments & feedback: Very much appreciated.

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ncis - tony/ziva - right there

"Aliyah" - Tony, on a plane home

disclaimer: So not mine. Just borrowed them for play. Put them back unharmed.

notes: It's been a while. I know. I'm still around, though, and these two are still in my head. I suspect they will never leave.

This very vivid image of what I want Tony's last scene on NCIS to be couldn't be brushed away, so it had to get out. No, I still haven't watched any episodes since the end of season ten, and I never will. (Personally, I suspect over the years I will dismiss everything that happened after "Good Cop Bad Cop" as non-canon, too.) The snippet still works, and it wanted to be told. Blame Tony.

word count: 1,800

comments & feedback: Very much appreciated.

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ncis - tony/ziva - right there

(no subject)


T.S. Eliot wrote those lines, which are probably the most-quoted lines of any 20th-century poet writing in English, 90 years ago. Especially today - exactly two years after Cote de Pablo's exit from NCIS was officially announced - many of you might feel a very similar kind of bleak outlook. It has gotten so quiet on the Bring Back Cote front, after all, and all the outraged activism of the early days seems to have trickled out of people.

Yes, we confess - it's hard for us to keep going, too. It takes a lot of stamina, manpower, and willpower, and sometimes it also takes money we can't bring up on our own. So yes, we have gotten quiet. And, much like all of you, we have run out of ideas a little, on what to do and whom to target. We yelled at CBS and the executives. We yelled at Gary Glasberg. We yelled even louder at Mark Harmon. We yelled and screamed until we were hoarse, but did they hear us?

You're right when you replied no: it didn't seem like they listened to anything we said. Instead, every official post sounded (and continues to sound) like it was tailored specifically to make Cote's fans feel bad and insignificant and like ungrateful children who don't value the great thing they've been given "instead". And yes, we understand your frustration. We share it. We feel the same. Much like you guys out there, we found it harder and harder to keep fighting while everyone pretends we don't exist, and so we gradually turned to mostly loving and supporting Cote instead. That part, at least, always came naturally.

But you know what? That's exactly what the ones responsible for the situation want: they have been holding on and sitting tight in the hopes that we, the nuisance, would eventually lose hope and just go away and shut up and leave them alone to do what they want.

Let's not. Let's go out with a bang instead.

And here's the one last message we need to drive home: Cote WANTS to come back.

People still involved with producing the show like to repeat over and over how she "walked away", "left", "walked out on them", "dropped everything" and whatever phrasing fits their claim that our girl is done with the show. Cote, on the other hand, has by now stated several times that "under the right circumstances", a return of Ziva David could definitely be explored. Twice she even went as far as saying, "the ball's in their [CBS's] court". Which translates directly to, "make me an offer!" Add to that the latest rumors that CBS is getting frustrated with Mark Harmon's way of handling the show and the loss in ratings... we'd say this is the right time to roar at the mighty empire once more.

So what do we want you to do?

It's easy. We want you to run away with Cote's own words... and since "the ball is in their court"... let's actually put it there: send them balls, with your messages written on them. Ping pong balls. Tennis balls. Golf balls. Heck, send them old basketballs you no longer need, we don't care. Just do anything you can think of to get the point across that we and the show still need Cote to come back - and that she's willing to do just that.

Now, the balls are just an easy idea for you. You can write lengthy letters to get the point across, too. Or, if you don't feel eloquent, put a brief note on a postcard. (We'll try to supply some ball-themed ones over the next few days for you to print out, but of course you can also look at your local stores for cards that fit the theme in the meantime!) Just do something. Get off your butts one more time. Roar at them.

For this round, we feel that our best chance lies with making Nina Tassler aware of what's going on, for two reasons: not only is she very aware of how passionate and involved the NCIS fan base is with the show (which she clearly stated during the 200th episode party), she is also actively working on making the world of television a little less male-dominated:

So point out to Ms. Tassler that the fan base no longer considers NCIS a "beloved show". Tell her that Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and the comments section of literally every online article published about the show over the past year consist mostly of complaints about the show's quality and the overwhelming demand to have Ziva back. Explain how much Ziva means to you as a role model and how dearly you need her back. Make it clear that you feel like the die-hard course to ignore everything Cote and Ziva ever did for the show is destroying their franchise. Mention the dropping ratings and the demo, if you want.

But whatever you do - please join us in this fight, one more time. We need your voices, and we need them to be heard. We need you to roar and not whimper.

This is the address you will need:

Ms. Nina Tassler
President, CBS Entertainment
7800 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036-2112

Above all, though, please think carefully about your words. Don't insult and don't use harsh language, please. We want them to listen, after all.
fuck it - key

Stop shaming people for liking Ziva David and Cote de Pablo.

I’m tired of the attacks and the nasty names and the false accusations. I’m tired of people claiming we ruin the fandom when all we do is love and support a character and her actress. I’m tired of people jumping at us wherever we go and dare to say we love her and we’d like her back. After ten years no one would ever tell the Kate fans to “get the fuck over it”, so FOR FUCK’S SAKE, stop telling it to the Ziva fans. Won’t happen anyway.

Most of all, though, I’m tired for being blamed and shamed universally for “the state of the fandom”. Ever since I set foot into this farce of a “happy fandom family” five years ago, the Tiva/Ziva fans were the ones who got blamed for everything. We got told to shut up, to not “shove our crazy addiction in the faces of the normal fans”, we got told that we are crazy, that our morals are skewed, that we posted our perverted opinions where they clearly weren’t wanted. When we stuck to “the places where we were welcome”, we were followed and stalked and then later on ridiculed in the same public places we weren’t allowed to post on.

Looking back, the only thing that changed since then is the direction of the bullying. We still aren’t allowed to love Ziva or Tiva or Cote openly - when we say as much, we get told to “keep it out of the tags” or “stop ruining it for everyone else”. (Funny side note: in all these years, no one ever gave the slightest fuck if they ruined it for us.) Wherever you go„ whatever blog or article you look at, “oh god, it’s them again!” is still the first thing you read. Just the source of the attacks against us has changed and broadened.

By now, it has become “politically incorrect” to love the one character that brought the show its highest ratings in ten fucking years. It’s “wrong” to feel offended when her former co-workers firmly put all blame in Cote’s corner, when they bitch about her and tell us to shut up about her. It’s “childish” to be offended when Perrette openly calls her a rich princess who hates her fans. It’s “idiotic” to feel hurt when you hear Mark Harmon talk about her character as something “it’s useless being stuck on”, as if she was the one thing that kept them tied to the ground and kept them from flying.

No. It’s none of these things. We have every right to love Cote. We have every right to love Ziva. We have every right to miss Ziva on the show and to want her back, and we have every right to tell everyone involved in the show that it no longer holds the same quality it used to have. IT IS OUR RIGHT AS CONSUMERS, to like and dislike as we please.

And speaking of which, it is also our right to believe that Cote was wronged in this whole process. Because guess what, the way the remaining crew hacks away at her (with the one noticeable exception of Michael Weatherly) is NOT professional. You wanna believe Harmon is the perfect daddy figure who always takes care of his “family”? Hey, that’s fine, I’m not gonna take that away from you. But in the same instant, it is completely OUR right to believe he isn’t. And it doesn’t matter which view of events is actually true - fact is, the remaining cast and crew are NOT acting like professionals.

I don’t care how butthurt they were after Cote decided not to sign the contract offered. I don’t give a fuck about how annoyed they are with the neverending questions about her and if Ziva returns. I couldn’t give a lesser fuck about the poor, poor writers who had to rewrite everything last-minute (because Glasberg didn’t have a contingency plan). What they are doing (and have been doing for a full year now) Is. Not. Professional. They shame a good woman they worked with for eight years, simply for saying “no, I don’t want to renew under these conditions” - something that is a completely normal occurrence in the modern world of employment. (Because guess what, IT’S YOUR RIGHT TO REFUSE A CONTRACT OFFERED.) They shame and blame someone they claimed to love for eight years while she, on the other hand, remains the true professional and never said a single bad word about any of them. They, on the other hand, completely negate everything she did for the show and contributed to it. They rewrite their own characters and their own history and make everything the show ever gave us in terms of “family values” and “looking out for your own” a farce that leaves a nasty taste in our mouths whenever we look at old episodes. They wanna be professional? Then they should have shut the fuck up, swallowed the butthurt, and treated the storyline in a professional and truly “organic” manner right from the start.

Stop pointing the finger of blame on Cote and her fans. We are not the reason for this. We didn’t put the show to shambles. We just want our girl, and we want to love her, and we want her back on the show, even if it’s just so Ziva can get an actual proper closure to her storyline. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s our right to love her. It’s our right to openly talk about her and to tag it with “NCIS” because GUESS WHAT, that’s the show this is about. It’s also our right to support her and to ask that she is treated fairly - and I don’t care how many of you minions out there want to spin it otherwise, a whole group of people publicly ganging up on her and dropping at every opportunity that “they’re done with her” while she chooses specifically not to address any of this in public… that is NOT fair. It’s not professional. It’s childish and demeaning and it’s reaching the point of slapping the whole audience in the face.

And you know what, if you want to give me a rant now about how evil I am and Cote, too, and how she singlehandedly ruined a good show - don’t even fucking bother. I’ll just block the fuck out of you, and then I’ll continue to love my girl and support the fuck out of her. Because she deserves the support, and she deserves the love, and no, I don’t give a flying fuck about your enjoyment of the show because YOU out there - yes, you, the one who’s about to type up a nice little harassment speech right now - because you clearly don’t waste a single thought on my enjoyment of the show.

Up yours, I say. You want to be the better person? Then be a good example and stop bullying the Ziva fans. If we annoy you so much, just do what we do with the hate bots most of the time: ignore us. Block the people who annoy you. Blacklist the relevant tags. Or better yet, stay out of them altogether. (That’s helpful advice that was thrown into my face dozens of times, so I feel justified to throw it right back atcha now.) Because we ain’t shutting up. We love Ziva. We love Cote. We’ll still love them in one, five, or ten years from now. And that is perfectly fine and politically correct and if you disagree, that’s also perfectly fine, but keep it THE FUCK out of my face and stop harassing us.

(originally posted on Tumblr... which I probably won't visit for a while now...)