The Spike, and Why I Stalk Her
I met the Spike when she sent me feedback for my first solo piece of fanfic -- the dim, dead Aenima. I recall her being impressed with the more perverse elements, and being incredibly encouraging. This was back in April '98.
Time passed, I wrote more, Spike loved on me whenever I stepped out of formula M/K -- not as easy as it looks -- and actually wrote the things I wanted to. That I *needed* to. She was there, a constant, but I didn't really start to *know* her until I had the opportunity to beta the marvelous "John."
It took me forever -- it was the hottest thing I had *ever* read. I was kegeling too hard to be anything resembling a good editrix, but she forgave me.
And I began to stalk her.
"John" wasn't just brilliantly written, or excellently characterized, or heartbreaking, or hot. It was all of these things, and imbued with what I would come to think of as the terribly unoriginal "Spikeness." The essential element of *her*, boiling through every piece of fiction.
But, Te -- isn't it *intrusive* to have the author's stamp so clearly on everything?
I don't recall giving you permission to speak, worm.
No, seriously, it can be horribly intrusive. Your average clumsy hack practically waves out from the page at you screaming "look at me! I turned that phrase, aren't I clever?"
The Spike is not the average hack.
The Spike brings the characters to life, speech and sex and laughter and heated breath and disturbances in the emotional Force. It's all there. Because she put it there.
Sometimes I picture her plucking a character from the ether. Say, Ethan Rayne.
She smiles at him, beams at him really, for isn't he a charming bastard?
Yes, yes he is.
And then she reaches into herself, tears out a massive chunk of her soul, and gives it to Ethan to eat. And he does, and he becomes strong, two dimensional to three, larger than life and twice as disturbing.
Does he become the Spike? No, the Spike becomes a part of him, not guiding or controlling, simply allowing him to *be* in that brief time before The End.
An excellent example of this is "Divine Possession."
A perfect Valentine of a story.
Betrayal, rage, deception, need, and, flowing through it all that impure perfect river of love, connecting the protagonists into something unseen, but terribly inevitable.
This is what warm nights should be.
This is where it all leads, after the credits roll.
The Spikeness is all over her work, of course, though I admit I'm partial to her Buffy stories. Personally, I don1t think that should mean anything in particular, as I am a pathetic Buffy fangirl, and have no will of my own.
A concept explored breathtakingly in "Bad For You."
This is a story that I consider to be canon in terms of my Post-Grad series. In all the schmoopiness, sex, and banter of my Post-Grad stories, the facts of the case can easily get lost.
Number one, Xander is suicidal, number two, Spike is a vampire, and number three: this is not necessarily conducive to a healthy relationship.
The Spike lays it all out in lush detail, a vast mural hanging in the sparest of galleries. Lays it all out and makes it *work*. A touch of leather, the catch of breath, and the will to be.
And, of course, sex. Jesus God, *no* one writes sex like the Spike. No one.
Which brings me to "LLF0", which the Spike and I wrote together.
-- Detour --
Co-authoring, at its worst can be a mindless struggle for control, as the writers in question squabble about abuse to their favorites, who gets to write the really cool scenes, whose name should be first.
Co-authoring, at its Spikely best, is a marriage of the minds, not a shared brain so much as a willing cohabitation of the spirit. At its base is a trust so deep the writers may find themselves wondering if they1re cheating on their real-life lovers. The stories bloom like obscenely complex jungle flowers, swell into fruit too ripe to consume by anything but the earth around the tree itself.
In other words, sex. Plain, literary sex, in which you give your writer-lover the everything she wants, because it1s what *you* want and what the story needs. Relentless, endless sex because your words spark her words spark your words and her words *are* your words and your words transcend themselves to be Your words, hers and yours, and the next thing you know it1s 3 a.m. and the Skinnercock is a god in and of itself and you're learning how to type with one hand and --
In truth, nearly every piece of fiction I've written since LLF0 has been, in some way, for Spike. For her approval, sure, but most of all for her temptation. I am *addicted* to writing with her, to creating worlds with her and peopling them with our doomed beloveds.
A part of me wants every story to tempt the Spike into writing the 'whole thing' with me, the novel that lurks in potentiality around every one of my shorts. (I can dream, can't I?)
But LLF0 wasn1t calculated on my part. It just *happened*, triggered by a throwaway line in Anna's brilliant, lingering original about Jeffrey Spender. And we thought, what sort of Spender could be the *partner* -- her word, not ours -- of her marvelously frightening Skinner and Krycek for a full year?
And the story happened, and happened, and continued to happen until our fingers were sore and the real world poked and prodded us and other stories lured us and oh, it was over. But you can read it now, and perhaps find the exact place where I figured out that the Spike's writing was, to me, absolutely vital to make life more than mere survival.
Or you can just join the fellas for a cheerfully dark and violent sex romp through a twisted Trek mirror.
Either way, I think it's worth a read. And so is every other damned thing on her stark, easy-to-load site. Guaranteed to disturb, frighten as it turns you on. Weep and huddle into yourself. Laugh and look over your shoulder. Go ahead.
Give her a look -- but just remember: She's Mine.
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