Wanting Inspiration -- not just a weird little story anymore!

I really like talking about myself. I mean, it's pathological. I looooove answering questions,
and one of my favorite ones is:

Where do you get your ideas?

The bathroom. Picture me, washing my hands, humming old George Thoroughgood tunes
when all of a sudden...

.... he never lets me touch him, not there. It's the last wall between us, and we will both do
everything in our power to keep it up.

Oh, hey, Mulder's whispering in my ear and I have to hurry up and dry my hands and run run
to the computer and tell the 19 people I'm IMing that I have something more important to do
without offending them and there it is.

They always whisper in my left ear. My doctors think it's brain damage, and I have to admit, it
doesn't happen nearly as often now that I'm on those cute little brown anti-psychotics.

So, most of the time the inspiration comes from the dreams that no medication has been able to
stop. They make it pretty hard to keep a grip on reality some times, and sometimes months,
years, decades pass day by day by day until I wake up ancient, and very, very confused. Like what
happened with my favorite dreamfic: "Post-Grad."

Which is taken almost directly from a long, long dream I had that was just absolutely compelling,
I'd barely watched the show at that time, but it had to get written. Had to had to had to. Halfway
through the first story Te says:

"Spike/*Xander*? What the fuck?"

Then shakes it off and keeps writing. I still like those stories a year later, even though they feel
unbearably schmoopy. Hey, I like *other* people's schmoop, not mine! Though this is probably
just me lashing out because I long to be a true butch. I don't need no fucking happy ending you
commie pinko fag!

Ain't never gonna happen, though.

And then there's my favorite brand of inspiration: Lyrics and poetry.

Detour: The Wonder and the Glory that is Tool.

Someone once said that there are two kinds of Tool fans. The ones who like the music and dig
the surreal shows, and the ones that worship Maynard James Keenan as a Prophet, or perhaps a
lesser God.

I'm one of the latter. You may want to skip this if obsessive fan girl gush isn't your thing. Though,
come to think of it, you might want to just leave the site altogether. Hey, my house, my rules.

Tool's music is impressively varied, from deep metal pound to the deeply *personal* croon of lead
singer/lyricist MJK. Plainly, the man can sing. And you put the oddly innocent sweetness over
pounding bass and relentless percussion and you get a Te in love.

They do a lot with that basic theme, improving on variation in the progression from _Opiate_ to

The real high point, though, is the lyrics.

Way back in March/April 1998, my K-Rock station played the song "Aenema" nearly every 90
minutes. Sometimes more often. As I listened to the radio from the time I woke up until the time I
went to bed, I heard a lot of Aenema.

And I thought to myself... *yes*. This is exactly how it should be, fuck them *all* and flush the
world down the toilet. Hey, you listen to that song on repeat and see how *you* feel.

Also, I was fresh off a dazzling read of CiCi Lean's The Revelation (url, anyone?), and yes, I
*needed* to do my own version of Apocalyptic XF. So, I wrote my first songfic to the tune of
"Aenema" (Heh. Get it? Anima/Enema? Flush out the life?) and called it the prologue to "Aenima,"
dim, dead Aenima. Plague, random sex, sketches of a plot, and Scully's quilted pink oven mitt.

That story shaped much of my involvement in XF fandom, from my attempts to distance myself
from the stark seriousness of it with my Afternoon Weirdnesses, to my attempts to rewrite it
the way it should've been.

The first such attempt was the unremittingly bleak "Ever After," a completely accidental
post-colonization story. In this case, the inspiration was twofold. First: the random appearance
of a sweet-angsty Skinner/Krycek scene in my head that needed a story to be fitted in, and my
then latest musical obsession: Hole.

Glorious Hole, they of the lyrics that helped me jog right *in* to f/f but that's another story. Or
maybe another paragraph. Oh hell, but I should at least show you the song. "Malibu," off the
_Celebrity Skin_ CD. The musical style is pop, the vocals are Courtney's usual smoky husky rasp of
raw emotion. This is a woman who has, at some point, used sandpaper on a tattoo. You just
know it.

And this song... I can't even remember how many stories it wound up inspiring. Certainly a large
portion of the Love of Dead Things universe. But back to non-vamp AUs:

Ever After, to me, was what "Aenima" should've been. Screw the glibly mocking tone of things --
when I wrote that story I neither knew nor cared about the characters whose lives I was destroying.
Ever After changed that whole thing around. Every last one of them broke my heart, and I even
got to work in _Kiss of the Spider Woman_, the musical version. I know I'm a Philistine, but
Vanessa Williams *mesmerized* me.

"... and the moon grows dimmer / at the tide's low ebb / and your breath comes faster / and
you're aching to move / but you're caught in the web of the Spider Woman..."

And Ever After, in its turn, played a part in inspiring "Trust."

Well, that, James Marsters on Millenium, and a long-defunct band by the name of Mother Love
Bone. The song is the one MLB song that a large number of people might actually recognize --
the lazy, hopeless, needful "Crown of Thorns."

Actually, this song plays a role in a good percentage of my unrequited love stories. But Alex in
"Trust"... this is the love he knows. This is the love he *is*, which turns out to fuck him and
everyone else over. I don't like thinking about "Trust" very much -- the writing process left me
pretty much a wreck, but again, it said everything I wanted to say with "Aenima," and put it into
much sharper focus.

And somewhere in there, I rediscovered Jane's Addiction for myself. Another defunct band of
androgynous weirdos, how I do love them. The lead singer's voice is an occasionally ludicrously
high tenor. I'd call it soprano if it weren't so relentlessly male in its piping.

 Where do my stories come from? I can think of at least ten offhand that were inspired by the
Ritual De Lo Habitual album, frankly one of the best total records out there. I could listen over
and over...

Especially to the quirky "Of Course," which spoke to me a *lot*. The music is sort of faux-Indian
(that's India Indian), quirky and cheerful. La la! La la! La la! And on and on until most people
want to kill something. Not me, though. I fell hard for this thing.

Repeat until the little moral is spray painted on your brain. Love as consumption, the necessity
of pain for humanity... not to mention the beautifully evocative single phrases. I wouldn't be
surprised if I squeezed more stories out of this one.

So anyway, that's where my ideas come from, song wise. Expect more blather from me on this
topic, especially about Tool.

Because I'm just that kind of girl.

Maynard James Keenan
Know him.
Love him.