pennswoods: (Tedious by redscharlach)

This is a topic that is very near and dear to my heart. I seriously have a thing for Sherlock’s hair. I love drawing it, enjoy reading about it, and fantasize about giving it a good yank.


But Sherlock’s hair isn’t all that consistent. I adored his Series 1 hair - it was so full and rich and curled every which way. But his Series 2 hair was a lot less fun. The curls only seemed to appear when there was a strong breeze. The rest of the time, they were carefully combed down. This is really apparent in the trial scene in TRF where Sherlock’s hair is overcombed and overstyled until it looked like his locks were merely wavy and not curly.

By Series 3, his gorgeous curls were back, even when cut rather short in TSOT. When Claire Prichard explained that she didn’t style Benedict’s hair for Series 2, this difference made sense. Whoever did his hair for Series 2 must not have been using the twist and diffuse method.

My favorite Sherlock hair had to be in HLV. The curls were full and soft and touchable and framed his beautiful face. I think my favorite hair moment was when he and John were riding the elevator up Magnussen’s tower. However, my least favorite hair moment was also in Series 3. In Many Happy Returns, Sherlock’s hair is a crispy, crunchy mess. I guess even the world’s only consulting detective has bad hair days, and that was definitely the worst I’d seen.

So tell me, what’s your favorite Sherlock hair? And what’s you’re least favorite?

[Also posted to my Tumblr]

pennswoods: (Captain Martin de Creff)
Title: Thank You for Flying MJN Air
Characters: Arthur Shappey, Douglas Richardson, Carolyn Knapp-Shappey, Martin Crieff
Rating: General
Links: Ao3 | DeviantArt | Tumblr
Notes: To the little airline that could, thanks for all the laughs.

MJNairIconThank you for flying MJN, and thanks for all the laughs... )
pennswoods: (221B Baker Street)
I posted the following question to my Tumblr a little while back in responses to some of the arguing over shipping and assumptions being made about why people ship. I'm often frustrated by the simplistic and reductive assumptions that emerge in this kind of wank and wonder where other people are coming from. I expect we all ship for a number of reasons. The prompt elicited a number of really interesting responses which can be read in the notes to the post, but I'd love to hear more. Behind the cut are my own.

Have you ever thought about why you ship what you ship? And I don’t mean just what you like about a particular pairing but also what purpose it serves in your life.

Is it due to something you are dealing with personally? Is it a way to blow off steam and have fun (and if so - why this ship and not others)? Does it feel safe for you for some reason? Is it more about community than about you? Does it reflect past experiences, regret, hopes and wishes or even examined/unexamined prejudices? Does it get at something you cannot get at in any other way?

On shipping... )
pennswoods: (221B Baker Street)

On Wednesday, our  college hosted a Science Slam competition among its 5 departments. This meant that teams of 3 researchers from each department had 3 minutes each (9 minutes total) to present their research in an accessible yet interesting way to a crowd. I was tapped to be on the team for our department (Culture, Language and Media or Kultur-språk-medier in Swedish) for some reason - probably because I'll say 'yes' to anything. I had no idea what the heck I was doing, but we actually WON!

In which I am super last minute... )
pennswoods: (221B Baker Street)
I flew to the US last week for a conference, and on my way back I managed to work in a 36 hour layover in London on Monday and Tuesday. I touched down at Heathrow around 6:30am and made it to the Walrus Youth Hostel (literally right beside Waterloo Station) by 8:30am. I had been wanting to see a play and found out Andrew Scott was performing in Birdland at the Royal Court Theatre, but that tickets for Monday performances were only available day of as of 9:00am. I got online straight away and got one of the last tickets remaining.

I did some necessary shopping, met the awesomely clever fic writer [ profile] pennypaperbrain for lunch, trundled off to Hampstead Heath for a run and hill workout (if Benedict seriously goes running there regularly, no wonder he has such a lovely bottom), cleaned up and headed off to the Royal Court Theatre.

The place was packed (see below), and after eating a quick dinner of wine and crisps ([ profile] drinkingcocoa would have encouraged me to eat something proper if she'd been with me), and buying a rather affordable copy of the program AND play (just 3 pounds), I settled in for the 2 hour performance.

I found the acting solid, but the purpose or purposeless ness of the story flummoxed me. I want to say it felt too superficial and placed greater emphasis on flashy staging (they flooded half the stage with water at a certain point, I think to reflect the sinking of Scott's character) than on a story with sufficient depth and purpose.

However, I am happy to report that Andrew Scott can DANCE!

He was playing this rock singer and when they transitioned scenes he would usually be busting a move. There was a lot more upper body than lower body action, but it was really cool to watch. He is also tiny and very fit. I want to say he seems to be 5'9" or so but very slight in some ways. His arms were more cut for this role than when he was Richard Brook. He was shirtless or nearly shirtless for a good portion of the performance and he has those dimples in his lower back. He was also wearing very tight trousers so his full form was well displayed.

But lots of power in him. When he started dancing, suddenly he was Mr. Sex. OMG!

More Squee: I did the stage door thing,  although I was really torn about it, so I was in a crowd of only about 15-20 people and got to see Andrew up close. I asked him for a photo and he said sure, but while I stepped aside to find someone to take the picture, another woman posed with him, and then suddenly he had to go and I never got the picture. I know I could have gotten one if I had acted sooner, but I held back because I just felt kind of sorry for him- for asking this of him when it was starting to rain. I sort of feel like I failed a little at being a fangirl and went home a bit disappointed in myself because I didn't even take a photo of hime while he was with other fans (I thought the flash might be annoying, and I just wanted to ask first).

The good news, however, is that the following morning, tickets for Martin Freeman in Richard III went on sale at 10am to the general public. I managed to score a pair for August 6th and am trying to rope my husband into finally coming to London. If he doesn't come, I'll need someone to join me. The tickets are in an interesting area and look like they might even be right behind the stage, so I should have a good view of Martin Freeman!
pennswoods: (221B Baker Street)
Title: The Best Man
Characters: Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, Mary Morstan
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson (unrequited), John Watson/Mary Morstan
Rating: General
Links: Ao3 | DeviantArt | Tumblr
Notes: You look sad when you think he can't see you. Inspired by this photo of Martin and Benedict as John and Sherlock and all my post series 3 Johnlock feels. Thanks to those who provided feedback on prior drafts, especially [ profile] tripperfunster and [ profile] venturous1. As you can see, I decided to go with neither ink or colored pencil, so this was a bit of an experiment in a new medium.

TheBestManShadowedIconYou look sad when you think he can't see you... )
pennswoods: (221B Baker Street)
but I really suck at keeping up with LJ. In my defense, this has been the most hectic point in the semester. I'm glad I made it through without committing homicide. And I managed to do a little fanart. Will be posting that soon, but I wanted to thank everyone for the birthday wishes. I had a great birthday despite teaching all day. My adorable students actually sang Happy Birthday to me in both English and Swedish.
pennswoods: (221B Baker Street)
Since moving to Sweden, one of the other things I find really aggravating and where cultural norms clash is in student email requests. As I mentioned in my last post on education in Sweden, educational socialization is different from that of the US. There are no titles used and there is an emphasis on democratizing education such that students are meant to have a greater say in the system. This leads, I find, to more demands of accountability from the students to the teachers which take the form of more accusatory emails than I am used to getting from students in the United States. The below is an example of one I received today from a student who was put out that she/he bought the wrong books for class and wants me to explain why I changed the reading list at the last minute. I did not - she/he was obviously looking at an outdated reading list, but the fact that she/he felt entitled to ask that I justify myself is what I find grating.


I would just like to ask why you changed the course littratture list in the last minute. Because I thogut I had bought all the books. But now i turns out that I have the book "Test your pronunciation" by Michael Vaughan-Rees and i do not have "The ins outs of English pronunciation" by Sylvén and Liss Kerstin!

I like to know why becasue it said the first book until like a week ago and I bougt all the english books to part 1. And the books are not cheap, so I really would like to know why, I could have used that money for food instead of a not needed book.

From Future Student


On bad days, when I'm feeling really stressed out, this type of email angers me. Rationally, I also know that some of what I am encountering are differences in expectations and perhaps linguistic and pragmatic norms because my students are having to compose these emails in a second language. (Though I do get a fair number in Swedish as well). This is where being able to dig deep and compose a compassionate but informative response is necessary, even when the email puts me in a bad mood. And this takes some mental space. Fortunately, I am done with teaching/observing for the day so I was able to compose the below response, which I think is sufficiently understanding and informative (and also requires the student to maybe look up a few words).

My response behind the cut... )
pennswoods: (221B Baker Street)
So I went ahead and put my MuppetLock art on a t-shirt for 221B con. My printer lost a little steam on the back, so there are a few skipped lines, but I'm happy with the rough look. It seems very fannish. Can't wait to wear it, and I sort of wonder what it would look like printed professionally.

Here's the front of the t-shirt.

And there's the back of the shirt.
pennswoods: (221B Baker Street)
Title: Can You Tell Me How To Get To Baker Street
Characters: Sherlock Holmes, John Watson
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Rating: General
Links: Ao3 | DeviantArt | Tumblr
Notes: Sherlock and John as muppets. Front and back t-shirt design inspired by Benedict Cumberbatch (Counterbatch) hanging with the Count and by another beloved pair of roommates, about whose relationship people love to talk. (They do little else.) I'm planning to turn this into a two-sided t-shirt to wear at 221B Con.

SesameStreetIconYou should put that on a t-shirt... )
pennswoods: (Sherlocked)
I just completed my first week of teaching observations where I had the chance to observe my students teaching in 7th, 8th and 9th grade classrooms (the pupils were 13, 14 and 15 respectively). Some things stood out, and I'm not sure yet if I'm seeing a trend that signifies Swedish educational norms, or if this is just a few isolated cases. Some of what I noticed were other issues that I think are more universal:

1. In my first class (9th graders), I sat next to a group of boys who misbehaved. Two were clearly bored and unmotivated, but the third was dealing with something else. He wore a hoodie that nearly covered his face and sat hunched over his iPhone, fiddling with it the whole time. He had no paper, no books, no computer. He made eye contact with no one. Never have I seen a student so closed off. The student teacher was trying to get him to do the work and got him a computer and other things, but even that didn't seem to matter. I was getting such a strong feeling from him that something was wrong, I almost wanted to cry. I spoke with the teacher afterwards. It turns out that the boy had lost both his parents in the past few months and the fact that he even bothers showing up to school is a victory of sorts. I don't think my student teacher knew this, but he handled the boy gently. However, this made me think how working with the problems of children and all the trauma they can face is another part of a teacher's job. I don't know that we prepare future teachers sufficiently for dealing with this.

2. In my second class, (7th graders), I observed that all the students had the same pencil, shared a common eraser and wrote in identical notebooks to do their in class activities. This made me think of the first class where all the students had school issued laptops for working on. At one point, a few of the students had filled up their notebooks and the teacher had to go to the supply closet to get more. This is when I realized that students weren't required to supply their own school supplies like paper and pens and pencils. It's all provided by the school/the city. I observed the same thing in today's school. This stands in such contrast to the long list of school supplies that US parents have to buy for their children at the beginning of the year and the increasing tendency in some places for parents to have to raise money to buy other supplies for under-funded schools (e.g. tissues, toilet paper).

3. None of the classes I have visited have more than 20 students in them.

4. Every school has a large kitchen and coffee room with sofas and magazines and tables and chairs for the faculty to have lunch separately from students. This is completely separate from the staffroom where teachers have desks and computers and copiers and other supplies. The break room/lunchroom is not meant to double as a workspace.

5. No uniforms. None at all. None on the teachers either. Teachers with piercings and tattoos have no problem and are not required to cover or remove these as they would in many US public schools where such body modifications are considered unprofessional and distracting. There are also US school districts and schools where teachers are not allowed to wear knee length boots with skits because they are too sexy and distracting to male students (Philadelphia), where teachers cannot wear headbands because the students are forbidden from wearing them as they can signal gang affiliation (San Antonio), where teachers can wear black or blue patent leather shoes but not red patent leather shoes because they are too sexy and distracting to male students (San Antonio).

6. Everyone is on a first name basis. Students refer to their teachers by their first name. I was introduced by my first name. There is no Ms. or Mr. anybody going on. I wonder if the students even know their teachers' last names.

7. There are people on Tumblr and in fandom who are 14 and 15, quite visibly so. Sitting among a groups of 14 and 15 year olds today made me think of these fans and see them as really, really young. I normally observe fan interaction online through my own lens. It's been 25 years since I was 15, and I really wonder just how false my memories of my 15-year-old self are. At the same time, there are 15-year-olds and 16-year-olds whose ages surprise me, and I don't know how much harm we actually do to young people by forever sequestering them with people the same age. How is a teenager ever to learn how to be an adult if they are kept away from adults (who are not their parents?) The pressure of the peer group is so merciless, and I appreciate that online fan communities are a place where teenagers and adults can mix.

8. There is no security when going into a Swedish school. I made arrangements for my students to meet me in a certain location so I can find the classroom. But I do not ever have to check in at the front desk, go through a metal detector, have my bag searched, file a background check with the police, or have to wear a badge identifying me. Some of the teachers I spoke with today shared their experiences visiting American schools (where any combination of these things is the norm) and expressed discomfort and horror at the process.
pennswoods: (Sherlocked)

Originally posted to the Three Patch Podcast Tumblr

In Episode 20 (coming March 1st) we'll hear more about a few fix-it fics that address the Elephant(s) in the Room as well as a roundtable discussion on the state of the Johnlock ship. In the meantime, here are some of my favorite recently discovered Johnlock stories, both pre- and post-series 3 as well as a few WIPs that are updating regularly and worth following:

Pre-Series 3 Fic

  • Against the Rest of the World (by silentauror) - Finished just three days before series 3 aired, this is a bittersweet post-Reichenbach reunion fic in which Sherlock fights his way back to John both literally and figuratively, forcing John to choose between him and Mary. (Explicit)

  • All We Ought To Ask (by archray) -  John as clergyman, Victorian angst, soul-searching and sexing. Inspired by an actual angsty Victorian novel that deals with similar religious themes but without the sexiness. (Explicit)

  • Fan Mail (by scullyseviltwin) -Begun pre-series 3 and completed just recently. When a fan gets out of hand and Sherlock and John bridge the final gap. Upsetting yet satisfyingly warm and sexy. (Explicit)

  • The Sexual Awakening of Sherlock Holmes & Dr. John Watson - (by suitesamba) - There will always be gorgeous Johnlock fic in this fandom. Here's another new gem, finished pre series 3.  A murder mystery weekend party forces these two to acknowledge what has been there for so long. (Mature)

Post-Series 3 Fic

  • How to Lie (by kedgeree) - Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive. My heart broke a little but not nearly as much as Sherlock's as he helps train John in the art of deceiving Mary. (Explicit)

Post-Series 3 WIPs

  • Devours, As From a Memory (by hum_hum_humbug) - Fix-it fic that examines the unrequited love and UST between John and Sherlock in a slightly altered series 3 world. (Eventually Mature)

AU WIPs that Pay no Heed to Series 3

  • No Stranger to the Cold (by objetpetita) - Fusion of Sherlock and Jane Eyre with a young and brokenhearted Dr. Watson coming to Thornfield Hall as a personal physical and tutor to the ward of the unusual and isolated Mr. Holmes. (Explicit)

  • A Study in Transfiguration (by Aristophanium) - Potterlock, in which the sortings were influenced by TPP's own Drinkingcocoa, and the boys are in pursuit of a mystery involving students in Potions in a post-Harry Potter Hogwarts. (Explicit)

  • Working on the Edges (by earlgreytea68) - Johnlock on ice. At the Olympics. I'm a huge fan of the film, The Cutting Edge, so this fic is a little slice of heaven. (Mature)

pennswoods: (Sherlocked)

The following was my response to an Ask I received on my Tumblr regarding Rowling's revelation regarding pairing Hermione and Ron...

*              *              *

I saw reference to it on Twitter yesterday and links like this one here which led to a discussion with fellow HP fans, some of whom were upset or stunned or ecstatic about this announcement. This is my own personal response to the announcement based upon my past experience in the HP fandom and my friendships with other HP fans who were very invested in or affected by this specific shipping discussion. It’s also very much related to where I find myself right now shipping Johnlock in the Sherlock fandom:

1. Why today? I wasn’t personally invested in Hermione and Ron or Hermione and Harry as I joined the fandom rather late (2005) and was never really a canon shipper (Neville/Luna was my first ship but it was Snape/Harry and Snape/Hermione that eventually became my competing OTPs). When I asked ‘why today’, this elicited a few responses:


It makes sense, as drinkingcocoa-tpp suggests, that Rowling revealed this to someone she knows and trusts. But this wasn’t a private conversation with Emma Watson. The audience was much bigger, and Rowling is not naive when it comes to media attention when she gives interviews about Harry Potter. She may have trusted Emma to handle this question with care when writing this article, but why reveal this information now?

@biblioaesthetica’s comment suggests this could be related to new Harry Potter works Rowling may be involved in and specific choices she is grappling with. We do know she’s co-producing a play taking place in the pre-Harry Potter years, so this could be possible. It’s also possible that involvement in this project is making her revisit authorial decisions on past books. In other words, she really wanted to talk about the writing process and how she has grown or how time has given her different perspectives on her writing. This is very interesting.

I personally was wondering if there was something she had been confronted with in her own life or in the lives of those around her that made her reconsider her decision to marry Hermione and Ron. Have conversations with young women (like Emma Watson) about Hermione and what she means to women that age led her to revisit this choice? I can’t really know, but I am still wondering, why this conversation needed to happen now and in this format.

2. What does this mean for Harry Potter fans? This is related to thegoldendoe's response and the response of several friends who were deeply involved in the Harry Potter fandom, particularly the shipping of Hermione with either Ron or Harry and were affected by the fallout of the shipping wars that occurred as a result.

More on shipping, Johnlock and authorial intent... )
pennswoods: (Sherlocked)
And that's all I'm going to say about that. :P

Anybody got some good Sherlock series 3 recs? Preferably of the Johnlock variety (though I would be happy to give other things a shot)? Or how about some AUs? Or any older series 1 or series 2 inspired WIPs that have suddenly started updating. I am fascinated by those.
pennswoods: (Sherlocked)

In the Three Patch Podcast’s reaction roundtable to The Sign of Three, several of us observed that although the episode was supposedly about a wedding (the one word hint we had been given by Moffat and Gatiss) we never actually saw a wedding, only a reception. However, upon revisiting the episode, it became clear that we did indeed witness a wedding, but it wasn’t John and Mary’s. It was Sherlock’s.

His Last (Marriage) Vow )

[Originally posted to Tumblr]

pennswoods: (Sherlocked)

I avidly followed all the #setlock reports and filming updates, it was exciting to finally see all these bits and pieces come together in the finished episodes. However, not all the moments fans saw filmed were used.

Interestingly, there was one particular moment of filming/photography that didn’t make it into any of the episodes or the minisode and yet adorns the inside cover of the series 3 DVD and the cover of the series 3 soundtrack.  This was the image the BBCOne Twitter used to promote the beginning of the series on December 3rd and January 1st.



I think the BBC was letting us know the central thread linking these episodes. Those of us who were drawn to the vibe of unrequited love and longing (whether platonic or romantic) on Sherlock’s part throughout the series did so for a reason. It was the intended underlying theme of the series and was foreshadowed in this promo still.

[Originally Posted to Tumblr]

pennswoods: (Sherlocked)

Below are my further thoughts on The Empty Hearse after a second viewing. (Original post on Tumblr here). This builds upon my initial reactions recorded here and is also influenced by heaps of meta I have encountered online over the past several days:

Spoilers for The Empty Hearse... )
pennswoods: (Sherlocked)
I have only seen the full episode once and am partway through my second viewing. We began recording the latest episode of the Three Patch Podcast about half an hour after the episode aired and the past two days have been taken up with editing, posting, grading and getting sick. This is  the first chance I've had to put down initial thoughts, but I wanted to do them now before I've had even more time to think things through and analyze.

Top 10 reactions behind the cut. Spoilers for The Empty Hearse... )
pennswoods: (Sherlocked)
Title: The One Person Who Mattered the Most
Characters: Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock Holmes
Rating: General
Links: Ao3 | DeviantArt | Tumblr
Notes: The only sure-fire way Sherlock could disappear for nearly two years would be with the help of the one person more clever than him. Drawn for plagueratechelonkilljoy for the Happy Birthday Mark Gatiss fan charity auction. Inspired by the various trailers for Sherlock series 3 and my take on who Sherlock thinks mattered most.

tumblr_myq9tzFcR31rvohf7o3_r1_250The one person who mattered the most… )
pennswoods: (Sherlocked)
Title: When They Were Very Young
Characters: Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, Molly Hooper, Mycroft Holmes, Jim Moriarty, Irene Adler, Greg Lestrade, Mrs. Hudson, Sally Donovan, Anderson
Rating: General
Links: Ao3 | DeviantArt | Tumblr
Notes: Because the fandom needs more KidLock. Shock blanket suggested by drinkingcocoa-tppSleeping babies inspired by Sadyna's adorable art.

VeryYoungIconWhen They Were Very Young... )


pennswoods: (Default)

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