Monday, January 3, 2011

Slash Guest Author Rec - Conversed

Hey all y’all.

I’m a relatively new writer. I found the Twilight series in January of 2010, and started churning out my own version in the spring.  I know what it’s like to get off to a slow start, but I was lucky, people rec’d my stuff on blogs like this one, so I’m delighted to have the chance to pay my good luck forward to another new writer.

I'm not a slash snob -- I like a lemon as much as the next person -- but what I really, really like are clever stories and thoughtful characterizations that pull me in.  When it comes down to it, lots of people can write dick'n'ass action, but not too many people can combine it with a storyline that makes you wonder if the threads of the plot will pull together tightly, or unravel completely. 

 Everything Is Broken by Blakeney is one of those rare tightly characterized stories that make me wonder -- and worry a little -- how the plot will eventually play out.

I'm also not snobby about strictly sticking to canon when reading slash – let’s face it, none of these men dick each other in the original books -- but there's something reassuringly familiar about catching glimpses of canon in a slash fic.  

Blakeney casts Jasper as a returning war veteran, scarred on the outside:

"My eyes traced over his sleeping form. I studied the new scars that littered his back"

as well as on the inside:

"Instead of talking we had sex every night. It was rough and passionate at first before he would sink into me and make love as if it were the last time he would ever get to. It was chaotic and intense and he was in so much pain that he couldn't see what he was doing. He didn't trust himself to be alone with Elle and sadly I had not even really noticed until tonight."

Within the first few paragraphs, Blakeney describes a ten year, happy partnership between doctor-Edward and soldier-Jasper.  The author’s brevity of description helps you to accept the truth behind her statements.  This is not a wordy fic:  It’s sparse, spare and completely to the point.  So, the devastation of the family on Jasper’s return is starkly rendered.  It’s uncomfortable, uncompromising, and probably very familiar reading for a lot of the Forces personnel and their spouses who read in this fandom.

Jasper's final deployment coincided with their much wanted baby daughter, Giselle, joining the family.  He returns from deployment, months later, to a ready-made family where although life looked familiar, nothing was the actually the same at all:

“I walked into our house three days later and right into our biggest fight ever. I came home from work to find the house completely dark and the living room furniture rearranged, "You didn't like the way it was before," I asked teasingly as I made out his figure in the shadows.”

"You changed everything around while I was gone," he accused.

"Well I had to make room for some of the baby's things."

"How could you just act like I was never even here?" 

What follows is a sometimes harrowing, and from my perspective as a professional in the family services field, extremely accurate description of living with someone suffering from emotional trauma.  It’s a tough, gritty read but it’s executed in a style that suits the content perfectly.
This story describes, sometimes violently, how severe stress has impact on more than just those at the centre of the storm.  Whilst Jasper is the war veteran, Edward is the hero of this piece:

"Edward," he pleaded over and over again, "I'm so sorry babe. I'm so fuckin' sorry." His fists were pounding on the door and I had never felt more trapped in my life”

I do love a good DoctorWard, but struggling yet self-aware new-daddy DoctorWard is so full of win he steals the show,

There were others who I didn't really know just talking and eating. I wondered how many of these people were hiding secrets themselves.

Had any of them had a conversation that morning about ending their relationship? Had they stitched up the arm of their lover?

"You're my brother and I know something is wrong. How long has it been since you've slept?"


Frankly, Edward is simply gorgeous, which is no surprise.  But this Edward is gorgeously human:

“I glanced down at Jasper and Elle and closed my eyes. If Jasper had come back physically broken it would have been hard but I would have known how to fight it. But when his demons were in his own head there was no wound for me to stitch closed.”

This story is eight chapters in, and I have no idea how it is going to play out.  

I love that.

I love that the author has taken a difficult subject, wrapped it in a thin layer of canon and then pushed the characters almost beyond breaking point.  It’s a story that is difficult to read at points, but absolutely, completely and utterly worth it.


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