matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Constantine)
A while back, I'd written a fake/fic trailer for a possible "Constantine" fanfic, called "The Changing of the Guard", inspired by such random things as the passing of Pope John Paul II and the autocephalic "branches" of the Catholic Church (translation: oddball groups who have had such a disagreement with the Pope that they decide to take matters into their own hands and elect one of their own as a bogus Pope; there's at least three or four that I know of, including a French priest and a group of wack-job Traditionalists in Pennsylvania who "consecrated" a nineteen year old seminarian as their "Pope". Normally, I'm open-minded about how people choose to live their faith, but if they're going to start pulling things like this, I have to start drawing the line on their credibility.), but I later shelved the project for various reasons. I'd started thinking about it again recently, most notably because I'd re-read some of my "Constantine" fics and I thought about picking this one back up again. Well, this morning, I found I'd gotten a glowing review for "The Smoke of Satan in Your House" and the person who posted it asked me if I was ever going to post that one. Well, I took this as a sign to start working on it again, though this means having to dig up the notes for it, including the draft of the first chapter (which seems to have gone AWOl.

To say nothing of finding some way to chase the darn shinigami out of my head: the shadow-caster and the snarky empath actually listen when I push them back, but that puppy-dog one with the sweet tooth (and his Stalker with a Crush the crooked energy vampire) persists on staying in my head and being bloody cute about it.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Constantine)
::Sigh:: Got through about half of the dumb paperwork for the SSI madness before I started getting too stressed out by it. I know, how can paperwork be stressful? Well, when it's paperwork that my financial security depends on and it has to do with Extremely Personal Information to the point of TMI at times, it can make you feel like a bug under a microscope. I'm just worried that no matter how much information I give them, it won't be enough, and frankly, there is a large part of me that wants to simply sit down and write a long, angry, rant-heavy letter telling the SSI bureaucrats what I really think of how they're running this, and how much so-called "normal" people drive me crazy. Yeah, you heard this all before on that entry which I practically erased because it got too angsty...

On to more pleasant things, like the strange dreams I had last night. I can't quite make out why I had the first one, but I fully understand where the second one came from.

Dream #1: Riding the bus with strange characters )

Dream #2: MxO dream )
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Constantine)
Looks like the Christmas tree comes into the house tomorrow night after my mom cleans the living room, and I ended up *not* getting the odds and ends shopping done today. So... I wrapped what presents I had ready to wrap and I worked on the Christmas fic. I have the ending written out, I just have to write the beginning and the middle, but I've been playing the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's albums in the background, which certainly helps the inspiration when it starts to run thin.

Also I've been reading Michael D. O'Brien's Sophia House, a lovely, contemplative novel about a Polish bookseller who shelters a young Hasidic Jewish man during the darkest hours of WWII... but there's so much more to this story than just that. I love O'Brien's novels: so intricately crafted, so thoughtful, so peaceful, like the icons that he paints. He takes his time telling a story, and his books are always a relief from the breakneck pace of most modern novels. And they're so well-written, they're impossible to put down: you tend to lose yourself in the dialogue between the characters.

And John has been in and out of my headspace, or at least in and out of my awareness: he's been dropping hints about a story he wants me to share, dealing with a dybbuk, a demon he locked down in the son of a Jewish friend of his some time ago. He couldn't pull the demon out, as sometimes happens if the spirit is too entrenched in a person, but he managed to get it to stop trying to harm the young man it was possessing. I may not get to this story for a while yet, not till after Christmas.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Constantine)
I just finished reading "The Darkness Did Not" (Which I think should be titled "The Darkness Did Not Comprehend", since the current title just kinda leaves you hanging. As in "the darkness did not... do what?!"). I liked it, but parts of it had me wanting to punt the book across the room, namely, some of the unnecessary preaching about how suicides do not deserve to have Requiem Masses said for them or be buried in consecrated ground; and also some really maddening preaching about baptism of desire. I could be dead wrong, but I believe that if a person really, really wants to be with God and asks Him to let them into heaven at the moment of death -- whether they're baptised or not -- then He will take them in. We're all His children, and what truly loving father turns his child away from his home, for whatever reason? I don't think that *everyone* goes to heaven, since everyone has the ability to choose not to, if they cling to their sins and selfishness and refuse to let go. But I don't believe that the gate to heaven is quite so narrow as some people make it out to be.

That said... I loved the final confrontation between the priest aided by his cohorts, the Knights Tumblar (a group of chivalric Catholic laymen; why can't I find guys like them?!), and the vampire: spooky and funny at the same time; it could have been a little tighter if the writing had been less urplish, but it still worked. My other carp is that the book was a bit short on strong female characters (some of the few female characters seemed a little stereotyped, but that's just me), but I'm not going to go crazy about that, lest I sound like one of those fanbrats who write Tenth Member of the Fellowship of the Ring-fics or who give the Winchester Brothers a sister.

Which brings me to the wacky thought that's been pricking at my brain: I started out by playing the "Hm, if I was gonna make a movie of this, who would play what character?" game, but since I couldn't come up with anything beyond fantasy-casting a young Lambert Wilson as Pierre Bontemps (one of the Knights Tumblar and a guy I would love to marry, if I ever found him or someone like him), I started throwing other ideas around... Which lead me to the looney thought: "What would happen if Father Jean Baptist crossed paths with a certain snarky, chain-smoking demon hunter?" It's not impossible: they both deal with things that go bump in the night, they both live in Los Angeles, they're both Catholic, though one's a Traditionalist Catholic cop-turned-priest, and the other is a Walker Percy-esque "bad Catholic" who has a better idea of what's going on than a lot of so-called "good Catholics". I ran it past Constantine, who at first was adverse to the idea, but then he admitted he's had some run-ins with anNOYing Traditionalist Catholics of the sort I call "Traddies", or which he calls just plain "Trads". I've been tossing around a few ideas and sketches, but I don't have anything definate yet, and probably won't, but it's a neat little thought exercise.

Speaking of fanfics, I think Flood is getting his revenge against me for a certain AU fic I started quiddling with: Last night I had this wierd dream about being pregnant and not knowing who the father is (very unlikely to happen) and not even knowing how I ended up that way in the first place. Yes, his snarkiness is going about in my headspace with an utterly evil smirk on his handsome face.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Constantine)
Title: Making it Worse
Day/Theme: September 7: Herr doktor
Series: "Constantine"
Character/Pairing: Arguably OCs
Rating: PG-13 (disturbing elements, language)

Note: Set pre-movie. This fic features Constantine's parents, for whom I've sort-of borrowed the names of the "Hellblazer"-verse version's parents, though I've changed certain details (Thomas is a little more respectable, while Mary-Anne, or Anne-Mary here, is still alive. I regard the Constantine of the movie as an AU version or the American cousin of the comic-book version of the character, which affords me a certain amount of wiggle room in writing up the back story. Apologies to Jamie Delano.). And any odd spellings in dialogue are a result of the speaker's accent.

Making it Worse )
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Constantine)
All this talk about the bigscreen, live-action movie version of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" inspired me to dig out my "Chronicles of Narnia" books today. So I've been reading "Prince Caspian", in between running research on sedevacantist groups who've "consecrated" their own "pope" (read: anti-pope. They just haven't tried to renact the Great Western Schism. Yet. I'd like to see they TRY and take on God's Rotweiller...). This is gonna be a plot-point in "Changing of the Guard". So far one of the best articles has been this one from Catholic Answers's "This Rock" magazine: http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2000/0003fea1.asp. One line in it irks me a little, since it's a teeny bit condescending toward traditionalists like myself, but I could just be acting a little sensitive. Other than that, it's really informative, shocking and even a little laugh-worthy. Yah gotta laugh at some of these folks' antics, they're so inane. (Yes, I know they're acting disobediant; I'm not laughing at their disobedience: I'm laughing at their stupidity. You don't think God laughs at some of our craziness? It's probably one of the things that keeps Him from getting mad enough to tear the whole damn universe down and start off from scratch.) They overlooked one that I'd heard about: a woman in Pennsylvania "consecrating" her seminarian son as "Pope Michael II" (I think).

I've been poking at writing parts of "Guard" as well: The German cardinal is increasingly becoming a thinly disguised version of the former Cardinal Ratzinger; I've had an unconfirmed report that he was an exorcist when he was younger, but I've yet to confirm that (anyone know anything about it?). If he was, this would help me build up the character a little: I've defaulted "Hermann Cardinal Donnermuth" as having been a former exorcist, which makes him an interesting foil to the demon-hunter. The best part I banged out today was a conversation between Constantine and a slightly hesitant, put-upon young seminarian: It's a great study in contrasts between the kid's idealistic, adolescent piety and Constantine's rough-cut spiritual realism.

Speaking of Constantine, happy forty-first birthday, Keanu! Okay, so maybe as far as acting goes, he's no Lawrence Olivier, but he's fun to watch. And can you really hate a guy who donated money to improve the hospital where his half-sister was treated for luekemia, and who takes his mom to the awards shows he's supposed to appear at, *and* who's humble enough to admit he's "cute, but not very bright", to quote the Oracle in the first "Matrix" movie? That and he's mastered something which a lot of Hollywood actors fail to do: It's called Staying Out of the Media Spotlight. (I'm looking at YOU, Tom, Brad, and Jude...)

Two of my current favorite Keanu pics )
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Default)
I'm taking a break from this tomorrow, since I can't come up with anything that fits "Gilgamesh". I had a hard enough time with this one today... I won't say I'm drying up for ideas -- I *do* have two or three ideas for "Hatred is Holy" (Monday the 29th's theme), after all -- but work and my sinus troubles have been getting to me lately.

Title: Out from the Shadows
Day/Theme: August 27: Wait for me whenever darkness falls
Series: "Constantine"
Character/Pairing: John/Angela (Just friends, and a few thoughts of what could have been...)
Rating: PG

Note: Takes place at the very end of the movie

Wait for me whenever darkness falls )
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Constantine)
Title: Into the Valley of Death
Day/Theme: August 26: Souls are like armed battalions
Series: Constantine
Character/Pairing: Chas - Constantine (friendship/master - apprentice)
Rating: PG

Note: Takes place during the movie, as Chas and John enter Ravenscar... And the lines from the poem toward the very end of this fic are a little nod to Neil Gaiman's "The Books of Magic".

Into the Valley of Death )
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Constantine)
I walked into the Salvation Army Thrift Shop in Wilmington and practically put my hand on The Jacket. Yes, *the* jacket I need for my Constantine costume. I tried it on right then and there, and dang if it didn't catch the demon hunter's attention (after he'd been quiet since he and I shouted each other out last night when I was going through my "self-pitying shit mode" -- his words, not mine). Now all I need is the tie and the black-strapped wristwatch and to rig up the stencil for the arm tattoos. And oh yes, the cigarette lighter: I may just get a plain Zippo-type lighter and stick a St. Benedict medal to the side of it. I'm tempted to see if I can't find the right sort of make-up for the scars, but that might be pushing it, in terms of authenticity... Either way, Boskone is gonna be fun: it's a simple matter of donning the costume and letting one of my houseguests ride shotgun in my headspace for the rest of the day. Be just my dumb luck to bump into someone costuming as the Hellblazer: that might make for an interesting (read: painful) encounter. ::Glares at the dumb comic-book purists::

I *tried* to find the tie, but luck was against me: I may have to buy that brand new, which will set me back $25 US at Sears. I spent the better part of ten minutes digging through through a bin full of ties; the only black one I managed to scare up had the sun, moon and stars embroidered on it in gold thread. To quote one of my houseguests, "What the hell is this? Harry Potter?"
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Constantine)
Today's challenge was a tough one: I couldn't come up with a blessed thing except... well, read for yourself. ;8^D

Title: Spooks in the Basement
Day/Theme: August 21: Who would take us to be women?
Series: "Constantine"
Character/Pairing: John - Chas (Friendship, master-apprentice)
Rating: PG-13 (language)

Spooks in the Basement )
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Constantine)
Finished cranking these out a moment ago. I was going to do one based on the current story arc in "Hellblazer", but I couldn't get the idea to come out on paper. Ah well...

Watch out for the second one: it's kinda graphic and it might offend some people, though it's really more about the relationship and the two personages than the carnal friction (that's the word for it...).

Title: Doppelganger
Day/Theme: August 17: I am inside someone who hates me
Series: "Constantine"
Character/Pairing: Balthazar-Constantine (Rivalry - get yer heads out of the gutter! Yeesh...)
Rating: PG-13 (reference to a suicide attempt)

Possible spoilers within...

Doppelganger  )



Title: Submission
Day/Theme: August 17: I am inside someone who hates me
Series: "The Matrix"
Character/Pairing: Merovingian/Flood (from the MxO)
Rating: NC-17 (male-male sexual contact, arguably somewhat non-con)

Submission )
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Constantine)
As promised, the final chapter of this fic...

+J.M.J.+

The Smoke of Satan in Your House

by "Matrix Refugee"

Rating: PG-13 (Language)

Warnings: Nothing aside from Constantine's mouthiness...

Chapters: Prologue: The Scent of Evil,
Chapter One: Contractors and Commissions
Chapter Two: Under the Floorboards,
Chapter Three: Creeping Around the Basement
Chapter Four: Nipping out for Supplies
Chapter Five: Eviction Notice
Chapter Six: Cleaning House

Epilogue: Locking Up )
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Default)
Finally got this damn thing typed up... Hopefully I'll have the last chapter up by the end of the weekend; that's gonna have some "DVD Extras" in it, as it were.

+J.M.J.+

The Smoke of Satan in Your House

by "Matrix Refugee"

Rating: R (Violence, including violence against a cleric, general freakishness)

Warnings: None other than what's been mentioned above

EDITED TO ADD (Thanks for pointing that out, [livejournal.com profile] cerulianphoenix)!:

Chapters: Prologue: The Scent of Evil,
Chapter One: Contractors and Commissions
Chapter Two: Under the Floorboards,
Chapter Three: Creeping Around the Basement
Chapter Four: Nipping out for Supplies
Chapter Five: Eviction Notice


Chapter Six: Cleaning House )
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Default)
I'm making good for taking so bloody long to update the last time: I hope to get the next chapter out by next week and the last chapter the week after that.

+J.M.J.+

The Smoke of Satan in Your House

by "Matrix Refugee"

Rating: PG-13 (spiritually mature themes, language)

Warnings: None for this chapter, aside from references to demonic activity, and Constantine's usual cussing.

Chapter Five: Eviction Notice )
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Default)
I'm almost finished with Chapter Five of "The Smoke of Satan..." which should be hitting this LJ some time tomorrow night. It's only a short chapter, but the damn thing came out in fragments, so I've been trying to knock it into some semblence of coherance as I type it, which has slowed down the process.

That and I've borrowed the Demon-Hunter's Holy Shotgun and used it to hunt down some Sues in the fandom. I've already trussed one up over on the Place Where Badfics Are Sporked; the other one will be on display tomorrow night.

Hijinks among the Houseguests )
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Hellblazer)
Deja-vu for last year... I'm pretty sure it was the last Saturday in July when out of the blue, I got a call from work that I didn't have to come in since they'd overscheduled or something. Well, it happened again today.

I used my time wisely: did a little housework. Watched "All Creatures Great and Small" on one of the local PBS stations (one of the stars of that series, Peter Davison, was the first actor I ever fangurled, this when I was the tender age of twelve). Started typing the next (very short) chapter of "The Smoke of Satan..." which I hope to finish typing/post tomorrow. And I drafted the whole first chapter of "The Changing of the Guard". Not to let out very many spoilers, but you'll see more of Chas in this fic, plus Mefistofel makes a brief appearance, as do Constantine's older sister Sharon and her daughter Helena, known as "Lenni". I'm riffing like -- heh! -- hell from the canon background details Jamie Delano created for "Hellblazer", but there's marked differences: Movie-verse!Constantine's family is a little better off and rather less dysfunctional (hey, the poor kid could see demons from the time he was really young: I didn't want to be *that* mean to him), but I kept most of the structural parameters. This should make it funny if I ever write the fic I've been threatening to, where the two versions of John Constantine collide...

Cut for 'Hellblazer'-related rantage )
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Constantine)
Just been watching the "how they did that" documentary clips on the second disk of the extended edition of "Constantine": I was right about the emblem of St. Benedict being present -- Check out any close shots of the demon hunter's lighter...

What, y' think I'm gonna let any spoilers slip through? )

Of course, this has me wondering if I should include two chimeraic scenes I had planned to write for "The Smoke of Satan...", but which I never wrote out, for whatever reason. One featured some of the hoity-toityer members of Sankt Maria's Parish almost ganging up on Constantine when they find out he's prowling around their nice clean little church, and he of course tells it like it is: their nice little church is sitting on top of a hellmouth. It's very Francois Mauriac or Flannery O'Connor-esque sort of scene, where the respectable folk wind up acting -- half unwittingly -- as demonic as some real demons (I sometimes wonder what Mauriac or O'Connor would think of either incarnation of John Constantine). The other featured Natalie sort of venting to Constantine about how upset and annoyed and scared she is with all the stuff that's happening to her parish; he listens to her in "Yeah, yeah, I hear yah, I hear yah [Internal: Stop whining...]" sort of way. I'd like to restore these scenes, but I think I'll probably just release them as "Deleted Scenes", attached to the end of the fic, in a seperate chapter of their own.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Constantine)
At long last, I finally got this typed... Enjoy!

+J.M.J.+

The Smoke of Satan in Your House

by "Matrix Refugee"

Rating: R (Demon slash: Original Demonic Character/Balthazar)

Warnings: References to demonic activity, the above-mentioned demon slash, Constantine's usual cussing, and a sickening moment when Constantine's health starts to take a turn for the worse, which I modelled after "Hellblazer #41: The Beginning of the End", found in the compilation "Dangerous Habits".

Chapter Four: Nipping out for Supplies )

EDITED TO ADD: Missing "Literary Easter Egg"
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Constantine)
*pant, pant, pant, pant...*

I already took one bath today, and I feel like I need another already.

I had some unexpected banking business to take care of -- transferring money to the checking/debit account, otherwise I might have lost my 'Net access for want of a payment; I haven't been able to put anything into that account recently -- so I nicked out this morning to take care of that. Plus, I managed to get my "Constantine" DVD; I haven't watched it yet: I had to work this afternoon, and I've gotten pretty wrapped up reading HP 6:

Chapter of HP 6 I'm on: Just started Chapter Twenty. Some spoilers... )

Extremely quiet at work: You'd think that everyone would be coming in to do their shopping and enjoy the nice refrigerationair-conditioning. Nope, hardly anyone in the store. I mostly put away overstock and straightened out aisles.

You know the Houseparty is feeling the heat when... )

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