Transcript: Track 2: Mutual Pining

Episode 2 posted October 2, 2020
Links to all fics mentioned can be found on the main episode post.

Transcript by Kaede.

Jump to:

[Intro music]

Ellen: Hi everyone, welcome to episode two of the Mixtape Book Club podcast. I’m Ellen.

MalMuses: And I’m Mal.

Ellen: In this episode we’re going to be talking about Pining in Destiel fics. And we’re very pleased to welcome our first guest to the podcast, Mittens.

Mittens: Hello! Thank you for having me.

Ellen: You’re very, very welcome. So before we start actually talking about our topic today, could you do like a little intro of who you are and like, what you like to do in the fandom for everyone?

Mittens: Okay, well, I’m Mittens. Well, everybody in the fandom calls me Mittens because my screen name is mittensmorgul on Tumblr and Twitter and everywhere. So, except AO3, which is Mittenwraith. But, I write fic, [00:01:00] meta, and I’m always here for the show.

Ellen: Yeah, well, speaking of the show, we should probably start by saying this, that today we’re recording this on September 10th, 11th for me in Australia, and today is the final day of shooting, like, Season 15.

Mittens: Yeah.

Ellen: So the fandom is having a bit of an implode generally, on the tweets. How are you guys feeling about that? We’ll just briefly mention it before we actually get into fic stuff.

Mittens: I’ve just been following it all day. It’s like the opposite of doomscrolling for once, just going through Twitter and just seeing all the “Thank you Supernatural” tweets and it’s like a fandom group hug today, and it’s just, it’s hard and sad, but it’s, yeah, it’s so sweet. And I just,

Ellen: It’s so nice to be actually having some positive,

Mittens: Yes!

Ellen: kind of things in the fandom. Like, the last few weeks have been a bit of a mess, but today has been [00:02:00] so good for everyone just thanking each other, the show and the cast and everybody. 

Mittens: Yeah, it’s been,

MalMuses: I’m gonna personally claim this vibe that we have today and try and just carry it forward because,

Mittens: Yes.

MalMuses: The way I’m looking at it, when the show’s done airing, we’ve got nothing left to argue about, right?

Mittens: Exactly.

Ellen: That’s right, it’s all canon.

MalMuses: But, who needs canon, okay?

Mittens: Yeah.

Ellen: Well, exactly. I mean, that’s, that’s the whole point of this is that, now we, we can move forward and enjoy the fanworks that we are creating and that other people have created. So yeah, we don’t, we don’t need to talk about what happened in the show or what’s going to happen. Let’s go, let’s move on to some Pining.

MalMuses: Okay, Dean and Cas, when it comes to Dean and Cas, I still think, and I’ve said this before on various social media platforms, and I will go into it again. I still think that Dean and Cas, whether [00:03:00] fully canon, what we see on the screen, people’s interpretations of canon, whether it’s fic or anything, Pining is still their number one trope, no matter how you look at it.

Mittens: Mm-hmm.

MalMuses: But that’s, that’s my view of things. Like it’s almost impossible to write Destiel unless you’re talking about maybe just like a little kind of porny one-shot kind of deal, it’s really difficult to write Destiel without Pining.

Mittens: Yeah.

Ellen: Yep. Absolutely. I mean, it’s gone on for so long now, like, you know, it’s been 12 years since Castiel arrived. And basically, the whole way through, they’ve just been making those eyes at each other, and… what do you think, Mittens?

Mittens: I, yeah, the whole, from even back in Season six, you know, “much of the time, I’d rather be here.” Stuff like that, that’s just like, this has been part of the narrative, that Cas would rather be there, and then anywhere else, except, you know, duty keeps tearing them apart, or, you know, various apocalypses, and, you know, or, trying to, trying [00:04:00] to protect each other by trying to fix the problem alone rather than asking for help from each other because they’re protecting the other and it’s just like, God, already, please, just, Ahhh!, you know.

Ellen: Yeah, I mean, even if you don’t read it as, as a romantic kind of relationship, even if you want to say that they’re just friends, they still,

Mittens: Yes!

Ellen: want, like, they’re worried about each other all the time,

Mittens: Mm-hmm,

Ellen: and I think that even, like, apart from the worrying, the actual miscommunication is the thing that drives Pining really, isn’t it? Like, they don’t tell each other what, how they’re feeling a lot of the time.

Mittens: It’s all, it’s all like a very, it’s like they’re living their lives as a ongoing gift of the Magi, like, they’ll, oh, you know, even like last season, Cas thinks Jack is what Dean, will make Dean happy, like saving, being able to save Jack. And he just, without even a thought, he trades his own life for Jack’s.

Ellen: Yeah,

Mittens: And it’s just like, [00:05:00] oh my god, you moron, you’re also a part of his happiness. You know, ugggh, just talk to each other.

MalMuses: That, that noise right there, that noise is the Pining noise. [laughter]

Mittens: Yes.

MalMuses: Because at some point during every Pining fic or discussion of Pining, someone will have to make that noise. [ Laughs ]

Mittens: Yup.

Ellen: And I think, and, a lot of the time it’s probably Sam. [ Laughs ] What are you doing?? Just, anyway, that’s a whole other episode that we want to talk about, Sam, like, knowing, and yeah. We’ll have to get into that some other time.

Revenge of the Subtext

Okay, so the fics that we chose, we’ve chosen two fics to read for this week’s episode. And I guess we’ll start with Mittens’s fic obviously. Now, this is an older fic for you. It was back In, um,

Mittens: 2015.

Ellen: 2015 for Dean/Cas Big Bang. DCBB. We’ve had both, [00:06:00] we accidentally actually chose two Explicit fics. Like, I think, at the start we were like, Okay, maybe we’ll try and do some that are Explicit and some not.

But, I think, like, we just read, so many Explicit ones at the moment, we’re just going to end up doing Explicit ones anyway. But never mind. So, Revenge of the Subtext. I will read the, the, the summary, I guess. Yeah, let’s do that.

Mittens: Okay.

Ellen: And then we’ll talk about what happens.

Mittens: I’ll stick my fingers in my ears like that.

Ellen: No, I’ll read your words back at you.

Mittens: [ Laughs ]

Ellen: Things are finally settling back down to normal since Cas gave up his grace to cure Dean of the Mark. Well, as normal as their lives are allowed to get. Sam relentlessly finds new cases to work, one right after the other. But Dean thinks they need a break to let Cas have some purely human fun for once.

It’s true they’ve had a difficult time readjusting to humanity at first, but Dean thinks Cas deserves to do more than ride around in the backseat and follow them on monster hunts. Then again, [00:07:00] Dean’s a little bit scared to ask exactly what Cas would want, just in case it doesn’t include spending quite so much time with him. And with Sam, of course.

Sam’s been tracking a series of odd occurrences in Laramie, Wyoming for the last few weeks that looks just enough like a case to finally convince Dean they should go check it out. Whether they like it or not, the goddess responsible for the weirdness in Laramie takes an immediate interest in the three less than perfectly happy hunters who’ve stumbled into her town.

That’s actually a really, a really awesome summary.

Mittens: Thank you! I didn’t even remember what I had written for it, it was so long ago. 

Ellen: Well, it’s, it’s long and so it gives you like a really good idea of what’s coming in the story.

Mittens: But it doesn’t, it gives you no idea what’s happening in the story.

MalMuses: Yeah,

Ellen: At the same time, it gives you no idea.

MalMuses: Yeah, it doesn’t spoil anything, but it does give you a good idea of what you’re about to sink your teeth into.

Mittens: Yeah.

MalMuses: First, it would be quite interesting to find out where the idea for this fic came from.

Mittens: [00:08:00] A single text post on Tumblr, um, I, I opened it so I could read it. But someone I kind of like knew was like a friend of a friend posted: If Jared and Jensen ever went to prank their fans, ever want to prank their fans, and truly freak everyone out, that all they’d have to do is burst into a con, dirty and bloody, and just stay in character. That’s it.

Ellen: [ Laughs ]

Mittens: And my, I stared at that post, it’s a whole post, I stared at it and the whole story just came to me. Cause I had just, I had just heard about the DCBB being a thing for the first time, like, five minutes before I read this post and I was just, or that signups were happening, and I just I was like, Oh God, I want to think of something to sign up with.

And then I just, wheel started turning and I was like, Okay, what if they did [00:09:00] go to a con like French Mistake style? Like what? What would happen? You know? So it became the story and I started typing at the original author of this post, Shelly. And she loved the idea so much that she’s like, “Can I beta read for you?”

And so, we were, she helped, she was my beta reader for years after that, so. And we actually, when I had finished writing this, and before it had posted, the two of us were both at the same Supernatural Convention. So we couldn’t, we couldn’t tell anybody what the story was about yet, but we could, enjoy the experience for ourselves and I was like, I don’t think neither of us think we would have survived the con without being able to talk to each other about it [ Laughs ] because we couldn’t tell anyone else. So, but yeah, no, that was really great. 

Ellen: Yeah, I guess we should say at this point, in case people haven’t read it, they’re a bit confused that [00:10:00] they, they do, it is a bit French Mistake this fic, Dean and Cas get sent to the ‘verse where their actors come from, and in return Jensen and Misha are sent back to the Supernatural ‘verse. So it’s, it’s like also like a little bit of real person fiction in there as well. I guess the important part that I skipped talking about in the summary was the fact that Cas gave up his grace to cure Dean of the Mark. So it’s actually like a, a canon, you know, divergent as well. So, it’s like you’ve actually got a different ending to Season 10, which I think is brilliant because you know, what the hell’s up with all that Amara stuff anyway. 

Mittens: Or, or, you know, and this, this also, I was about halfway through writing it when 10E21 aired and Charlie … and I, I, I, I just died inside. I was like, how can I keep writing this story? I [00:11:00] know! I will rage write Charlie into, and Felicia, into an essential place in this story. And so,

Ellen: I absolutely love that.

Mittens: Yeah. This is my Season 10 fix-it fic.

Ellen: Yeah, we did a brilliant job, I wish it had happened like that.

Mittens: Same!

MalMuses: Yeah. Can we just accept this as canon?

Ellen: Right?

Mittens: I, I, I would, I, I said originally when I first posted this, that this is my canon and I don’t care what happens. And then I saw Season 11 and it’s, it was like my favorite season for a few years until 14. And then I’m like, yeah, I don’t know, I kind of like Season 11. [ Laughs ] So, you know, I’ll take it, but this, this helps me with Season 10 anyways.

Ellen: So I guess, going into the fic, obviously Dean and Cas are pining for each other a lot, but that really sort of ramps up in when they get into the [00:12:00] alternate universe. Because, I don’t know if this is a spoiler to say, that Jensen and Misha are actually married in the fic.

Mittens: Yes. In that, in that universe they are. Yeah.

MalMuses: I think it’s early, early enough on in the fic that it’s probably reasonable to reveal.

Mittens: Yeah, it’s five years. If somebody hasn’t read it in five years then, you know. They’re also not really like, in it, the fic? It’s just mentioned. You know, like, ‘cause. Yeah. Cause they’re, they’re in the other universe, so they’re not. Which is actually,

MalMuses: You do have an optional sequel.

Mittens: I do! What everything that happened to Sam during this.

Ellen: Oh man, I haven’t read that part yet, but I’m really looking forward to it because I’d love to hear what happens with that, yeah.

Mittens: Yeah.

MalMuses: I think it’s quite fascinating how you can play with these characters because they are essentially the French Mistake AU versions of themselves, rather than it being, sort of true RPF in the sense of, you have that whole real world issue to deal with.

Mittens: Uh-huh.

MalMuses: This is [00:13:00] something where you could be a lot more playful with it, like for example, Danneel does not exist in this universe because she did not yet exist in Supernatural.

Mittens: But also, I’ve said, you know, this is like the French Mistake, but not quite because, you know, Misha is dead in the French Mistake AU. So it’s not that, but then Supernatural did me the honor of validating the multiverse and making this a canon similar to that. So, you know, when, when all alternate universes are valid, this is valid. 

Ellen: That’s so awesome.

MalMuses: One of the greatest gifts that the writers ever gave us in the show.

Mittens: Oh yeah.

Ellen: All of our worlds are real somewhere. I love it.

MalMuses: Mittens, what, what was your favorite scene in this book? Because I know what mine is, so I’m curious as to yours and if it was also one of the easiest to write because you like it, or if those two things have no relation for you.

Mittens: Well, [00:14:00] when, when I, when I first, when you first said that, I’m like, Oh, it’s obvious. It’s the scene where they’re watching the videotape of Cas saving Dean. In the alternate universe, they’re watching the videotape,

Ellen: Oh yeah, that was wonderful, I loved it.

Mittens: And that was not easy to write at all. That’s like, two times in my entire life I have made myself cry while writing something and that’s one of them. So that was definitely not easy to write because I basically sobbed the whole time I was typing it.

MalMuses: Aww.

Mittens: And then but I don’t, the more I think about it, I’m not, one of my favorite scenes to write that was fun to write, was Cas waking up in the hotel room, wrapped around Dean, not, not, he was thinking it was his pillow and he’s like crawling around on the floor like trying to find his clothes and like can’t figure out what’s going on and he’s like freaking out and he’s like, you know, he just, it was, I loved writing that. That was hilarious and so much fun.

Ellen: Yes, [00:15:00] that was great. At this, when I got to that point in the story, actually, I should tell you, I was, I’d actually, I’d read the first chapter and then I’d kind of put it down for a day or two. And when I came back to it, I’d forgotten that there was like a, a real world element to it. So when I got to that bit, I was like, Oh, what the hell? What’s going on here?

Mittens: [ Laughs ]

Ellen: But yeah, that was an awesome surprise to like, forget about it.

MalMuses: My favorite scene in that fic, in the entire thing, I have to say, is probably some of the Explicit parts later. And usually,

Mittens: Oh gosh! Oh no!

MalMuses: I don’t, I don’t usually ever say that about fic, because don’t get me wrong, I enjoy those scenes as much as anyone else, but I’m usually more drawn to, like, the emotional parts of the fic, usually. But that one is a particular favorite because I love imperfection in Explicit scenes. 

Mittens: That’s definitely imperfection.

MalMuses: Yes.

Mittens: I mean, there’s like, there’s like, it’s, it’s almost like [00:16:00] slapstick comedy happening during it. It’s like, Oh my God, I can’t believe I wrote this.

MalMuses: We won’t spoil it. We won’t spoil it for everyone listening. But the fic does contain my favorite fictional inanimate cockblock ever. So if you want to find out what that is, you really have to read this one. [ Laughs ]

Ellen: Sex is like a funny thing anyway, in general, I find.

Mittens: Yeah.

Ellen: It’s like, to actually write it into a story where things actually go wrong and, you know, limbs get in the wrong places and, you know, someone interrupts … Sam, not looking at you, that’s just, it feels a bit more realistic to me. It’s not like straight porn.

MalMuses: Yeah. I mean, sex is sexy, but sex is also pretty funny. Like, we’re all just flailing around. So, you know.

Ellen: Okay, so Mittens, when you are writing a story, do you plot it or like, are you a plotter or a pantser? Like, do you just, do you plot your stories out [00:17:00] or do you actually just make it up as they come?

Mittens: Well, I have, I have notes, which sometimes just consist of a sentence, like my notes for Revenge of the Subtext were that post, that Tumblr post. That was all I had when I started writing. And sometimes I have like a half a page of like, this happens, this happens, and that happens, and then this is how, and I always know how they’re going to end. Everybody’s going to be happy, you know, whatever. That’s the obvious bit. But it’s like, how do I get there?

And that, that’s never plotted in advance, but I’ve, I’ve tried to explain what happens to other people. And some people think I’m just nuts. And some people are like, Oh, I get it. I get it. But it’s like, my brain plays a little movie, and I transcribe it as it happens. That’s all.

Ellen: Yep.

Mittens: I don’t know how it happens or where the movie comes from or what, but that’s what I feel like I’m doing most of the time.

Ellen: Awesome.

Mittens: There’s only one fic I have ever written like a [00:18:00] true outline for, and that was Around the World in 24 Days because of the nature of the story being a competition. With … Oh, and I wrote notes for Cakepocalypse too because it was also like a, I had to write notes on who the contestants were in each episode and what the, what, what they made in each episode of the contest. But like, Around the World in 24 Days,

MalMuses: That fic made me so hungry.

Mittens: I know! I gained like 12 pounds when I was writing that story, because I kept buying cake. It was bad. Oh, God. But,

Ellen: That was a great story.

Mittens: Yeah, and Around the World in 24 Days, I had to plot because it was the Amazing Race, so I had to plot all these, like, international travel and locations and like, challenges for them to meet and clues for them to find, and I figured there was no way I could sit down and write that story, I have, like, 5, 000 word outline for that story, and it’s a 100,000 word story, so, um, there’s quite a lot of outlining, but I plotted [00:19:00] everything on that from, you know, who the side characters were, like the cameraman, and the, and the, like who was, who was in which position at the end of every leg, and who got eliminated, and what their prizes were. I mean it was just, 

Ellen: It’s very detailed.

Mittens: But it wasn’t like, it wasn’t exactly like, plotting out the details of a drama, but it was more like, an itinerary that I had to follow. So, I, but other than that, No, I don’t, I don’t plot things out.

Ellen: Yeah, I think that when you get into a fic that’s got complicated elements like that, you kind of really need to take down the details, don’t you?

Mittens: Yeah!

Ellen: Just to keep things straight in your own mind as you go through.

Mittens: I had to keep a running chart when I was writing the six-way body swap fic, but, because I had to remember who was in who and where in the bunker they were at the time, because, like, if I started having the wrong person in the wrong body talking to the, you know, it would have been a mess.

So I, I just kept a chart of who was in whose body and where [00:20:00] they were in every moment as I was writing and just changed the details as it, as they swapped bodies again.

Ellen: Wow.

Mittens: But that, that wasn’t even like an outline. That was literally just a chart. [ Laughs ]

MalMuses: That’s really interesting to me, because I’m the person who does the work and then gets rid of it. Like, I will intricately plot out every single thing I want to happen in a fic, and then end up kind of throwing it out the window when I start writing. [ Laughs ] So, like a scene will do what it needs to do, and it’ll, a little bit like you said in the movie, it’ll kind of be playing out in my head as I write. And sometimes I realize that what I’ve planned out is not what the movie in my head is doing.

Ellen: Those characters, they just like to do their own thing, don’t they?

Mittens: Yeah. So, yeah. And I’ve, I’ve, I’ve discovered like, when I first started writing, like long before I ever wrote fic when I was just writing, you know, urban fantasy novels, I, I, I, somebody advised me that you should absolutely write a detailed outline and I’m like, Okay.

So I started writing a detailed [00:21:00] outline, but by the time I got to the end of Chapter One, I realized I had not written a detailed outline,

Ellen: You’ve written Chapter One.

Mittens: I’d written Chapter One! I I figured there’s no point for me to try and outline it ’cause I just end up making it so detailed that it’s actually a chapter. So, it’s, it’s just an exercise in frustration for me trying to write a bullet point outline or something.

MalMuses: Don’t fight yourself and don’t fight the story probably.

Molting Expectations

So our second pining fic that we will be discussing today is Molting Expectations by Tricia, tricia_16 on AO3. So let’s start with the summary for this one.

After having trouble coping with a traumatic incident on the job, Dean takes his little brother’s advice and leaves everything behind to go and stay at the old family cabin in Colorado. Nobody’s been there for years, so it needs some major work, but it’s secluded, and it turns out to be exactly what Dean needs in order to start to feel at peace again.

Now in the mountains with nothing but nature to amuse himself with, he takes up birdwatching and plans a hike into the mountain range across from his cabin in search of a golden eagle. [00:22:00] High up in the mountains, he discovers human footprints. Thinking someone is in danger, he follows them into a cave and quickly becomes familiar with a form of wildlife he could never have imagined, winged people who call themselves Angels.

So, this was put out in 2018, and it’s a hefty 163,000 words. And again, it is another Explicit fic.

Ellen: It sure is. Yes.

MalMuses: This one. This one is very explicit. [ Laughs ]

Ellen: I mean, it’s, it’s a longer, a longer fic, but, but it does what, like, this is what Tricia is really great at in her, in all of her stories, is getting the, the smut and the fluff in there.

This is like 163 words of fluffy smut. It’s, it’s lovely in that, like they meet … So, okay, let’s go back to the actual premise. Cas is an Angel, obviously, with wings that exist in this plane. The Society of Angels lives up in the [00:23:00] mountains, and meets Dean, and basically, they get together fairly quickly in the scheme of the fic, and they just have a great time together. Yeah.

Mittens: [ Laughs ]

MalMuses: I think the two fics that we’re reading today are actually interesting to put together and look at as a whole because it kind of covers two different things that Pining can mean to different people. Because we have Revenge of the Subtext where they’re pining for quite a bit of the fic before there’s any kind of big getting together moment.

Mittens: And it’s canon, so it takes all that pining from years of canon and throws it at you.

MalMuses: Yeah, it takes, so that’s a very interesting point. It takes, a lot more time, I sometimes feel like, in Canon fics to get to that point, whereas if you’re in an AU, you kind of, you can have a clean slate if you want to, going into it.

Mittens: Mm-hmm.

MalMuses: Whereas this fic, Molting Expectations, although they get together reasonably soon in [00:24:00] the, in the length of the fic, it’s quite close to the beginning where that happens, but there’s more of a long-distance relationship, we don’t think we’re going to be able to be together, kind of pining aspect to this one.

Ellen: Yeah. And they don’t, they avoid discussing it with each other, I think, for a while as well. So it’s got that extra kind of non-communication that adds to the pining aspect.

Mittens: The assumption that it’s casual or, or like, a one time thing or, you know, an isolated.

MalMuses: It has an end date.

Mittens: Yeah. And that it’s not. Emotional. [ Laughs ]

MalMuses: It’s always emotional with these two!

Ellen: This fic is very emotional and I love the, the details in this as well, like not just with their actual emotional responses to each other, but also the, you know, the cabin that they’re staying in and like the way that Cas’s wings react to different emotional kind of, things that happen and you know, the feathers and [00:25:00] all of this, so there’s little details in there that, like this is quite a character driven fic like, there’s not, there’s not a lot of plot that goes on but, but the actual details of the characters are really gorgeous. I loved it.

MalMuses: Yeah, I think at some point we will have to do an episode specifically on Wing fic just because it’s something that’s, it’s quite unique to the Supernatural fandom that we have so much of it, and this is actually obviously a very good example of that, even though it’s not canon, it still works as a very good example of Wing fic.

Ellen: I wish we get to see Cas’s wings a bit more in the actual show.

MalMuses: Oh, all I wanted, I had one wish for Season 15, and that was for us to get a Cas, like, you know, the Jack wingshot that we got of him protecting Mary, that was quite nice. [ Laughs ]

Mittens: We might get it.

Ellen: Well, never say never.

Mittens: Seven more episodes.

MalMuses: Who knows?

Do you have a specific scene that stands out in [00:26:00] your mind, Ellen, from this fic?

Ellen: Oh man, a lot of the, my favourite scenes in this one were towards the end, so I can’t really, I don’t really want to spoil it, but you know, all the way through they’ve got this thing where, where Cas says that they bond for life and they’re, they’re not, neither of them are really sure if the other one would ever want them as a bond mate, you know. But as you can probably work out what will happen at the end, obviously. They can end up bonded. But the way that that kind of unfolds is like my favourite scene, I think. It’s really beautiful and it kind of, when it all came out, I was sitting there going Ngggg!

Mittens: You’re making the pining noise!

Ellen: Yeah, I don’t want to give anything else away about it because it’s so lovely. But, yeah, go read it. How about you, Mal?

MalMuses: Uh, I actually liked, quite a lot of the early scenes kind of the world building parts, essentially, where Dean is just learning about Cas, and who he is, and how he works, and how he lives, and it’s obviously that [00:27:00] the reader is learning as well, but it’s really nice that the way the fic is set up, we get to do that with Dean, so it never feels like any kind of info dump at any point.

Ellen: Yeah.

MalMuses: So I think that the world building was really successful in this fic, and I’m a really plotty person with fic, I love fics that draw me in the plot. So initially, when I read this one, I thought, okay, I’ll probably like this because I like Tricia’s fics, but I wasn’t sure if it was going to be kind of one of my top ones at first, just because I do like that plotty aspect a lot.

But, even though this was really character driven, because of all that world building and the way it was set up, doing that with Dean, this ended up being one of my favourites. Because even though it’s lacking the element that personally is one of my favourite things, so she did that so well, she even got me on board.

Other Recommendations

Ellen: It reminded me a little bit of, of Angel’s Wild. You’ve, you’ve been, I know you’ve been reading that recently, Mal.

MalMuses: I have been, yeah. I dug back into that.

Ellen: I love that fic. It’s like one of the first AU [00:28:00] fics that I ever read. Like, why not jump in the deep end with both feet? But it’s the way that, that Cas lives and, you know, the way that he sort of survives on his own and whatever was really, it reminded me of that. So now, I might have to go into a reread of that too at some point.

MalMuses: So that was one of your first AUs?

Ellen: Yeah. Yeah, I’m not sure what, how that came about because, you know, a lot of people start off with canon, you know, and someone suggested reading this one and I went, oh yeah, whatever. And then I just loved it. It was amazing.

MalMuses: I think my very first Supernatural fic of any kind was actually binging the entirety of Redemption Road. Yeah, that was the very first thing,

Ellen: Oh my God.

Mittens: Wow.

MalMuses: That I read. So apparently I just dived into half a million words rather than trying anything shorter. [ Laughs ]

Ellen: I think Angel’s Wild is like over 200k, right?

Mittens: Yeah.

MalMuses: Yes.

Mittens: Something like 240.

Ellen: Yeah. But Redemption Road is like on another level [00:29:00] of kind, it’s like Down to Agincourt kind of level of longness. Length. Longness? that’s not a word. [ Laughs ]

Mittens: Either way, I confess that I have only read certain chapters of Redemption Road, I’ve never read the whole thing, but, but,

MalMuses: There are certainly chapters that I go back and reread.

Mittens: Yeah.

MalMuses: Just obviously my, my favorite ones, but it does, I think benefit from the context of,

Mittens: Yeah. Oh, I mean, I knew the whole story going in and I’d been like spoiled on what the story was. So, but it was still, it’s still.

MalMuses: Do you remember what your first Destiel fic was?

Mittens: Me? Golly, I don’t, I don’t even remember. I remember one of the first I read, though, I believe was Angel’s Wild, and then another one was Angelhawke by almaasi. And then, and then I read like a lot of, before that I read a lot of canon fic, but those the first AU fic.

Ellen: I mean, a lot of these ones are great to talk about in the context of [00:30:00] Pining anyway, because they heavily involve, because they’re so long for starters.

Mittens: Mm-hmm.

Ellen: They have to involve Pining as one of their main tags, I guess. But like, we’ve got like a bunch of other fics that we’ve written down as extra Pining fics that we love. One of our, our good friends, MandalaRose, recently, like, must have been like, late last year, she published her big fic Stay With Me, Sweetheart, which is an AU with Cas being a teacher and he’s in a car accident and he takes a fairly long road to recovery. But Dean is a firefighter who helps to rescue him from the wreck of his car.

And that has some of the most beautiful Pining in it that I have ever read, I think. She does a fantastic job of just making them like, it’s one of those fics where you just want to scream at them after a while, you’re just like, come on! You both obviously are really into [00:31:00] this. Like, come on. And they’ve both got problems that they can’t overcome. Whatever. But yeah, I love it. If you haven’t read Stay With Me, Sweetheart, I recommend that one.

MalMuses: Another pining fic, a shorter one this time, because pining doesn’t always have to be. You know, 500,000 words in one go, there are a lot of authors that very successfully do it in a lot less. One of my favorites is Checked Out by Whelvenwings. I really enjoy that fic, it’s also an interesting way of looking at how characters who, how asexual spectrum characters can fit into Pining fics.

Mittens: I’ve read all of her things, so I’m sure I’ve read it.

MalMuses: In this one, Cas works at a library, the Heaven’s Gate Library, and Dean is a local writer.

Mittens: Yes! I love it.

MalMuses: And it’s very much a case of, he’s convinced that he’s not going to like this person, and clearly, as the fic goes on, that changes.

Mittens: They liked each [00:32:00] other very, very much.

Ellen: Our fandom is so predictable sometimes.

Mittens: Isn’t it great?

MalMuses: It’s comforting though, right?

Mittens: Yeah!

Ellen: Yeah, definitely. That’s why we read it, because we know what’s coming. I mean, that’s something that you don’t get with books, like books that you get from the library or whatever. You don’t really know what’s going to happen. Is it going to be happy? I mean, if it’s a Romance, it’s always going to have a happy ending.

Mittens: And it’s like, do you know if you’re even going to like these characters? Or are they just going to be like meh, they’re characters, you know, but you go into fic already being in love with the characters and already being in love with the idea of them pining for each other like because, you’ve watched the show and that’s why you’ve sought out fanfic, you know, in the first place, is to see this and so the fact that it’s so easy to find and it’s everywhere. It’s just wonderful.

Ellen: Actually, you know what? I was, I was fascinated, with like, this is a few months ago now when [00:33:00] TrenchcoatBaby and I were posting our big fic last year, and we had a reader who kept commenting, and they had never seen the show before, and they just got into it because of, they’d been reading fic, so I think they were a fan of hers and she was reading through all our fic, and I was like, how, how have you done this? Like, I don’t understand. They were going to start watching the show, and sending us like live kind of tweeting of what they thought of the actual show.

Mittens: Oh wow!

Ellen: It was amazing. I just couldn’t believe it at the time.

Mittens: Yeah. I know another author that that’s happened to, I don’t know if you’ve ever read Painted Angels by WinnJennster?

Ellen: Oh, yes. I love that.

Mittens: Okay. Well, she’s one of my best friends on the planet, and but, she got a similar message, you know, from someone who had just, had the story recommended to her, had never heard of Supernatural. Read the entire ‘verse of Painted Angels and all the sequels and [00:34:00] everything, and wrote this long, beautiful, heartfelt letter about how this was the most touching story she’d ever read. And like, it’s like,

Ellen: Ohh, how wonderful!

Mittens: I can’t even imagine someone who has no connection to the show jumping in and feeling that connected to the characters through fanfic, where the assumption for most readers going in, is that you already know and love these characters and to feel that from the power that, that fans put into our stories. It’s just, it’s amazing. So I love it.

MalMuses: Definitely says something about the talent of the authors that we have in this fandom, that even somebody without that context, because I think a lot of us do put those little lines and little Easter eggs and little things in there that you would have to be a fan to get a lot of the time.

Even in AUs, I think we’re, you know, the fandom’s quite famed for it. Even our AUs have those famous lines and those little hints here and there that tie them directly back to canon. So the fact that, even not [00:35:00] understanding any of that, somebody could go in and enjoy something like that, I think is really just a testament to how amazing some of the authors that we have in this fandom actually are. We’re pretty spoiled, all things considered.

Ellen: Yeah, we are. We really are.

Mittens: Well, we have great source material to work from. Because these characters are great. [ Laughs ]

Ellen: That’s absolutely right.

MalMuses: So another more recent and truly excellent example of Pining and also an example of post-canon fic, which is one of my favorite kind of a curtain fic sort of deal almost, is a fic by andimeantittosting called Kelp, I Need Somebody, and anyone who knows me knows I’m a sucker for terrible humor and puns.

Mittens: Yes!

MalMuses: So, I would have been drawn in just by the title of this one. It’s a fic that starts off in the week after Michael was defeated, so it’s a rewrite of how that happened. And then, they, they go off with a case, and I’m not gonna [00:36:00] spoil anything else after that, but it’s, it’s very piney in multiple ways. It was actually written for the Dean/Cas Pinefest, who, who Mittens here helps mod along with Cass. So would you like to tell us a little bit more about that Bang, Mittens, and how it came to be?

Mittens: Oh, the Bang? I don’t know how it came to be because I, I,

MalMuses: How did you end up there?

Mittens: How did I end up there? During the first year I had signed up to write for it and I was already friends with Cass and, she needed some help, like, monitoring stuff and asked me if I’d help just because I already knew Cass, so. I was like, sure, sure, I’ll help, you know. And so I just kind of became the secretary.

But Cass, it’s Cass’s baby, and it’s, you know, she does most of the behind the scenes work, but, you know, I’m just here to help. Help file things and keep track of things, make sure everybody’s having a good time and is, [00:37:00] you know, not confused by it.

Ellen: Well, it’s one of the most well run Bangs that I’ve been a part of, so thank you.

Mittens: Oh, thank you!

MalMuses: Well, It’s a personal favorite for both myself and Ellen, I think.

Mittens: We try to make it [ unclear ].

MalMuses: Also, a tiny Easter egg here, it’s how I met Ellen.

Mittens: Aww!

Ellen: Yes, that’s right, it is, quite a few years ago now.

Mittens: Considering we’re all about the emotional suffering and the Pining and the pain, we wanted to make it as pleasant an experience as possible for everyone who participates. [ Laughs ]

And we’re a relatively small Bang, I mean, we’re not like DCBB with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of participants, but, you know, we’re, we’re thrilled with everybody who participates and we’re like a little family now, I think, because we have a lot of the same authors and artists who join every year, but we’re just, we’re here for the Pining.

Ellen: Oh, and there’s some brilliant fics that have actually come out of it over the years, I have to say, like, it, every time the the, the sort of fics get [00:38:00] published each, it’s sort of around February, March time?

Mittens: Yeah, we usually try and publish sometime around Valentine’s. Start publishing around Valentine’s. But we got pushed back a little bit this year because of the world, in general.

Ellen: Yeah, yeah, just.

Mittens: Yeah.

Ellen: Yeah, it’s like the second Destiel Christmas, you know, like the first one we usually say is when the DCDB fics start coming out and then Pinefest is like the next round of Destiel Christmas.

Mittens: Destiel Easter.

MalMuses: With pine trees.

Discussion about bangs

Ellen: I mean, I guess we should probably, like, if people who are listening and they’ve never been in a Bang before and they’re not sure what it involves, maybe we could go over a little bit about that.

Mittens: Sure.

Ellen: So, like, the whole point of a Bang is to encourage authors and artists to create content for a ship. Like, they have Bangs in all different fandoms. Bangs of different sizes, too. Like, sometimes you can have, like, a mini bang where you just [00:39:00] write, like, 2,000 words. And ones like Pinefest where you guys ask for, like, 20,000.

Mittens: Mm hmm.

Ellen: Or less. I think, like,

Mittens: We’re 20,000, yeah. Oh, I was gonna say, there’s also the reverse bang where authors write based on the artist, the artist draws art.

Ellen: Yeah, so the artist, the artists go first. Yeah, they create a piece of art and then, the, it’s claimed by an author who then writes a story about it.

Mittens: Yeah, I realized I should have waited to say that until after you mentioned the art part.

Ellen: That’s cool. That’s cool. I’ll flip it around and do it the other way now. So then, so in, in Pinefest, for example, and other Bangs, such as DCBB, and We should also mention at some point that when this episode goes to air, you can correct me if I’m wrong here, Mal, but the Media Big Bang will also be open for authors to sign up at that point?

MalMuses: Yes, they will. It will be opening up on the 12th, so as we’re [00:40:00] recording this in like two days time.

Ellen: Oh my God. Wow.

MalMuses: And we usually, we usually try and coordinate with Pinefest because we don’t want anything to clash, there are lots of authors in this fandom that enjoy those things. So, we, we usually try to kind of stagger ourselves, so we’re posting a little after Pinefest does. So you can have a good dose of Pining and then get some, some media,

Ellen: Before you get your movies on.

MalMuses: [ unclear ] kind of fics. Yeah.

Ellen: So, yeah, I guess the, the, the authors sign up first and start writing or get their ideas and then after a little while they publish their summary, and then artists will claim, you know, big flurry of activity, all the artists will try to claim the fic that they want to create art for, which is usually one of the most stressful parts of being involved in a Bang.

Mittens: Yes!

MalMuses: Also exciting though. I think, the longer you do it, the more it becomes an exciting thing rather than a stressful thing.

Mittens: Yes.

MalMuses: Or maybe that’s just me. Maybe I’m just immune now. [00:41:00]

Ellen: Yeah. Well, it’s, it’s stressful when you first start out. You’re right. But then after a while you’re like, okay, it’s fine, if I’m the last person claimed, no big deal. [ Laughs ] But yeah, you can be like, different Bangs sort of approach that in different ways. And So I guess the point is that in the end, everybody does get claimed, so all of the fics that are published for a Bang will have art, and, and then like a couple of months later, a bunch of fics get published. It’s fantastic.

And obviously, like people drop out along the way and if they can’t make the deadlines, I mean, I think that’s, if you’re going to be a part of a Bang, I think it’s important to sort of consider whether, you know, writing to, or creating art to a deadline is for you. Like, I think a lot of people get really turned off by that. I mean, it motivates me to write, like, more if there’s a deadline approaching.

Mittens: [ Laughs ]

MalMuses: Yeah, but there’s a point where there can be too many deadlines, but for me, I’m very much a light a fire under my ass kind of [00:42:00] person. So.

Mittens: Whenever I’ve participated in Bangs, going back to that original DCBB, I set, I set, I always set a personal draft deadline for like three weeks before the actual deadline because that way I’m like, well, that way I’ll have time to revise it a little bit and like edit it or just put it down and walk away from it, so I’m not stressing about submission for the final deadline. And so, so that’s how I’ve always approached it and it does light fire under me and, but I know other people see the deadline and just stress and freeze and can’t. So, you know, it’s, whatever it is.

Ellen: Yeah. I often find that I’m always like, you’ll hear me complaining about the fact that I have a deadline, I’ve got like three fics to write and blah, blah, blah. But if I don’t have that I, I don’t have the motivation to actually sit there and bang it out, you know?

Mittens: Mm-hmm.

Ellen: So I find that helps me. But anyway, there, there are Bangs on all [00:43:00] different topics as well, like we just mentioned the Media Big Bang, which Mal is a mod for, which involves media, obviously movies and books and like random other things that involve media.

MalMuses: Yep. Anything that can inspire any kind of media at all.

Ellen: And oh my God, there are some fantastic stories that have come out of that, the last couple of rounds of that. I’ve just been part of and, and, Mal’s been involved too, the Regency Big Bang that, like, which was an SPN one, so it involved other ships apart from Destiel as well. So that, they’ve just finished posting as, as of when this episode will come out. So if you like Regency period dramas go and check out those stories, cause they’re fantastic stories.

Mittens: There’s the Harlequin. I know there’s the Harlequin.

MalMuses: Yeah, that’s a very interesting one, actually. Because of the way it’s set up is slightly different,

Mittens: Yes.

MalMuses: to other Bangs in that you actually claim a prompt to write from. 

Mittens: Mm-hmm. And it’s a Harlequin,

MalMuses: [ Unclear ] not this year, but the year [00:44:00] before, I didn’t have time this year, unfortunately. But yeah, it was a really interesting way to write. Some people, I think, write really well from prompts, whereas other people prefer to just have it come entirely from their own, their own brain.

Ellen: Yep.

MalMuses: Okay. So it was a challenge for me, but a really good one. I think it’s, it’s good to do something a little different now and again.

Mittens: Yeah.

Ellen: Yeah. One of the fics that the, the Bangs that ran last year, I think the signups have already closed for that now, but the Perfect Pair Bang was another one that was a little different in the setup.

And there are some other ones this year that have popped up that are similar actually. Is that it was like a, it was like a speed dating thing where you signed up as an author or an artist, and then you did, we did a, a series of chats anonymously with it. Like I, I chatted anonymously with like five or six different artists over like a week, like each day I spoke to a different person and we like compared [00:45:00] ideas and talked about what we might like to write and art for and all that kind of thing.

And then at the end of that whole process, they matched, like we put in who we’d like to. to be matched with. And then, so I got matched up with Threshie, who’s like an amazing artist, and I was so happy that we got to work together, but so then we worked on the fic and the art, like, together through the whole process, and, and you know, posted back in earlier in the year, so that was a really different experience in terms of the way that that Bang was run.

MalMuses: Oh, that’s really interesting. I feel like I’d be a disaster at that one. I’m not a speed dating person. I’m a babbling idiot. So I’m going to,

Ellen: Like I don’t think I could ever do speed dating for real. [ Laughs ] But, but this was really good fun because everyone was there to like, you know, make stories and so it was like, a lot of fun. I think that they’ve already closed their applications for this year, but it will be, I’m sure it’ll run again in some form soon. So.

MalMuses: Yes. Because, just [00:46:00] because, the show is ending, fanfic is nowhere near ending.

Ellen: Exactly. And we’ve also got the, there’s like, ones like FlipFest where tropes are, well, you know, well, how do you, I can’t, my word’s not working right now.

Mittens: Hah!

Ellen: How do you describe FlipFest?

Ellen: Yeah.

Mittens: You, you take, you take the trope,

MalMuses: You use the trope from the show and flip it upside down.

Mittens: Reverse it.

MalMuses: Do what it says on the box, flip it over.

Mittens: Mm-hmm.

Ellen: So like Dean is an angel, Cas is a hunter, that kind of thing, but people take it to the really interesting kind of combinations of flipping.

Mittens: Yeah, like Cas is a mechanic who drives a 67 Impala and Dean is, you know, you know, the straight laced accountant type, you know. Everything. Everything gets flipped.

MalMuses: I think, I think Mittens just almost exactly described my flip fest fic from two years ago.

Mittens: That’s probably where I got the idea from then. I probably read it, so.

MalMuses: Yeah, [00:47:00] that’s, it’s, it’s an interesting challenge to do because we’re so attached to these characters the way they are and we have them kind of set in our heads in a certain way, I think. So it’s a fun challenge to be able to flip those tropes while still making them recognizable and feel like themselves.

Mittens: Yes. And that’s, that’s a real challenge for, you know. Like, I’ve been too scared to try to do that one, like, I don’t know if I could do that. But, you know, there’s different degrees of flippage that you can engage in, so.

Ellen: I feel like as, in, in fanfic especially, we don’t do a lot of the character development as such. Like, our characters come to us fully formed. And we’re just putting them in new situations, I guess with something like FlipFest you’re, well, you don’t, I mean, there doesn’t have to be a flipping of a character.

Mittens: Yeah.

Ellen: You can flip anything in the story, but, but it’s a good exercise every now and again, probably for us as, as writers to try to write the characters in a slightly different [00:48:00] way.

Mittens: Yeah.

Ellen: Just to kind of keep those character wheels turning.

Mittens: It’s like, it’s like the one level up from writing an AU, because in an AU, you’re starting with the character, and they have to feel like they’re the same person they are in canon, except you have to justify why they are that way in an alternate universe where angels don’t exist, and where monster hunters don’t exist. And, and so, to me, that’s, that’s an interesting challenge anyways, because, well, why would Dean behave this way if he hadn’t had the messed up childhood he had?

Like, why would Cas be acting so weird and distant and, like, detached from humanity, like, if he wasn’t an angel, like, like a totally different species of being. And like, what would, what about their characters in this version of their story would justify them being who they are? And that to me is like one of the most fun things about writing AUs. And I [00:49:00] know that’s not what we’re supposed to be talking about, but eh, that’s what we’re talking about.

MalMuses: Yeah, it is. I actually really agree with that. And like you said, FlipFest is almost a step further on that.

Mittens: Yeah, yeah.

MalMuses: Because you still want to have those characters there so that they are still them, but you’ve got the additional challenge of maybe some ways that make it easy to relate to those characters. Like if you want to make Dean, you give him his angst and his daddy issues and his Impala, and you’re halfway there.

Mittens: Yeah.

MalMuses: Whereas if you flip some of those things, you might not have that to root yourself in, so I actually think you have to do, obviously, more character development work when you’re writing like that. I know there’s a whole list of, of, kind of, smaller niche Bangs, so basically anything that you enjoy, any trope or setting, there’s probably going to be something out there for you.

Mittens: Well, there is a trope fest, so that, you know, celebrates all of your favorite tropes.

MalMuses: That’s true.

Mittens: [ Laughs ]

Ellen: I mean, if you, if you want to, there’ll be something [00:50:00] out there, like the beauty of fanfic, I guess. If you can think it, they’ll be fic of it.

MalMuses: Pretty much. And there’s a whole list. I think there’s a list on, correct me if I’m wrong, I think there’s a list on Fanlore, of a lot of the biggest Bangs, or it may be on one of the wikis, I will have to find the list. And we can make sure that it’s linked somewhere,

Ellen: Yeah, I can link it.

MalMuses: But yeah, there is a list of Bangs relevant to the Supernatural fandom. It doesn’t have everything but if there’s a Bang that’s of, say, a reasonable size and has run maybe more than once, a couple of times, I think it does tend to be updated quite well on that list, so. Well, I think it’s reasonable to say, yeah, if anybody, if anybody wants to try a Bang, PineFest is out there ready for signups.

Mittens: Yes, we are.

MalMuses: They’re a friendly bunch.

Mittens: Yes. We try.

MalMuses: A lot of them do have some form of communication. Discord servers are the most common where you can meet other authors, you can have a kind of private safe [00:51:00] space to talk about the story that you’re writing for that particular Bang within the rules of whatever that particular Bang might be.

Mittens: Finding beta readers.

MalMuses: And it can actually be, yeah, it can be a really good way to motivate yourself to write, maybe, if you’re somebody who finds writing to be more of an isolating experience, which I know some people do. Because, I mean, essentially we sit here and stare at our screens and talk to ourselves and it’s nice to know there are a lot of other people doing that simultaneously.

Ellen: So I guess the sign ups for authors for PineFest are going until Halloween, right?

Mittens: Yes, Halloween is the last day for author sign ups. Artist sign ups will continue through January. Through, when claims are gonna open.

Ellen: Cool, and do we have a date that sign ups are ending for Media Big Bang handy?

MalMuses: We do. Yeah, we are actually trialing an entirely different format for MBB this year. So it might be a little awkward to [00:52:00] segue into from PineFest as we’re going to be essentially running on a whole different setup.

Mittens: Oh!

MalMuses: But, so, our author signups will actually close on October 9th, um, and it’s going to be a slightly different way of doing things as art will be posting throughout the process as a teaser for the fic.

Ellen: Ohh.

MalMuses: So it won’t all post at once. Obviously everything will be embedded in the fic and there’ll still be a master post when it posts at the end. But art will be able to be posted at several predestined points throughout the process.

Ellen: Oh, wow. That’s interesting.

MalMuses: It’s just slightly different. Sometimes you’ve got to try something a little different. So we got a lot of feedback from, artists kind of reached out to see what we could do to get them more involved earlier in the process.

Ellen: Yeah.

MalMuses: So we will see how it goes. [ Laughs ]

Ellen: So cool. Oh, I can’t wait. Okay. Anything else you want to talk about with relation to Bangs?

Mittens: Well, there’s [00:53:00] everything from just, you know, your traditional writers write and artists art. And the reverse with where artists art and then writers write based on the art. And then there’s also collaborations between writers and artists. But there’s also just monthly writing challenges on some of the Discord servers. If you specifically are interested in writing Destiel, there’s, there’s Discord servers that run monthly challenges, there’s Tum, you know, and they run them on Tumblr too.

There’s tons of, there’s Bingo, there’s people who publish… post Bingo cards where you have to like, you know, make Bingo with the tropes that are included on the card and, you know, everything for every level of writer or artist who wants to participate in something in fandom, there’s something for you. And I love that about this fandom is that there’s something for anybody who wants to participate.

MalMuses: Yeah, I’ve been in this fandom for several years now, I’ve lost count, but a few years now and I still [00:54:00] find like I find something new every year. 

Ellen: And there’s so many ways for us to be involved too. Like if you want to, if you want to, you know, meet other writers or artists or whatever, there’s plenty of ways to do that.

MalMuses: And for readers, too, because even if they don’t write, there are still opportunities out there to alpha or beta help with fics to, you know, reach out to authors and, you know, offer that help. They may not need it, but there are many, particularly kind of newer writers out there who would probably, you know, very much appreciate new writing friends and, and readers.

Mittens: Mm-hmm.

MalMuses: I think there are a lot of ways in the, I think with, I can’t remember which Bang it is, but there are quite a few that have specific roles within their servers for people who want to sign up just for that kind of thing. Like they may not be writing or they may not be arting within the Bang itself, but they can still sign up to do those other kinds of support.

Mittens: Beta readers, editors even like, [00:55:00] “can I bounce ideas off you because you’re somebody who’s been in the fandom longer and knows more about this than I do”, or “I don’t live in the US and I’m writing a story set there. Can you help me with details to make this feel realistic?” You know, I’ve done that for authors too, like, cause you know, I, I live obviously in the US. Listen to me compared to you two. [ Laughs ] It’s like,

MalMuses: Well, it’s, it’s kind of the opposite of a, a Brit fic’cer for the people who have been in fandoms like Harry Potter, for example. Back in the day, there was, quite the demand for Brit picking at fics back in the day for that.

Mittens: Mm-hmm.

MalMuses: So it’s, it’s just the American version of that.

Mittens: Yep. We pick out your torches and put in flashlights.

Ellen: Yeah. I need, I need someone to do that too. That’s what my beta readers do, pull out the torches and the lifts and the S’s instead of Z’s.

Mittens: I’m not, I’m not even [00:56:00] really like most, most of the people I know who, who I’ve done that for don’t want, don’t, don’t care if I change the language. They don’t, they’re not there for the language. They just want the authenticity of the feel of what they’re saying. Like, would a character ever say, Oh, I’m just running up to my flat. Not in the, not in the US, they would never say that! And it just sounds, yeah. I automatically hear certain phrases in a British accent and it’s like, oh, okay, that went weird. [ Laughs ] And,

Ellen: Yes.

Mittens: And so like, you know, that, that sort of thing, there’s, that’s a fun thing.

MalMuses: Yeah. That kind of thing is really useful to me, ’cause even though I have now lived in the US for, I can’t remember how long I’ve been here, that’s how long it’s been. Quite, quite a while. I still have beta readers going through my fic. And, and it’s, it’s pretty rare now. Because obviously I’m here on a day to day basis. So I generally know kind of how things work and how things sound. But every now and again I will just get a comment from one of them that’s literally like, Mal, fuck off back to [00:57:00] England. And I’m just like, damn it! Did it again! [ Laughs ]

Ellen: It’s hard. It’s hard to get into that voice if you’re not used to it.

Mittens: Mm-hmm. Well, I mean, it’s, it’s not even like it’s a lot of stuff or it’s like constant, but it’s just like every once in a while you run across a phrase and all of a sudden the character sounds like he’s in a Monty Python episode and it’s just like, why, why is he talking like that?

MalMuses: Now there’s a crossover we need for Media Big Bang, okay?

Mittens: Yes! Okay, I’m so, where do I sign up for the Media Big Bang? [ Laughs ] I will totally sign up.

MalMuses: I’m expecting it now, Mittens. I’m expecting it.

Mittens: I will totally sign up.

Ellen: Please do. Oh, you’re so good at writing those, those cracky kind of hilarious stories, so that would be perfect.

Mittens: Team Free Will and the Meaning of Life.

Ellen: Yes! Yes! Do the Holy Grail.

Mittens: Okay. I could do that.

MalMuses: Oh, all those religious themes. There’d be so much to play off there.

Mittens: True. Oh my God, and I can have God as [00:58:00] God.

MalMuses: Yes.

Ellen: Yes! [ Laughs ]

Mittens: Okay. I haven’t even finished. Oh, I haven’t even started a PineFest fic, now I’ve already signed up for something else. I will, I will write it regardless of if it makes it into the, into the thing or not.

Ellen: Excellent, we’ve inspired somebody. Our job here is done.

MalMuses: I feel that this is what happens when any people who write things get together. At some point, there will be some kind of, some kind of prompt that comes out of it, usually.

Ellen: Yep. Maybe we should start doing that each time. We’ll just come up with some random prompt and go, Okay, everyone, off you go.

Mittens: Now see, now I still have to write Meaning of Life too because I’m going through the whole thing and I’m like, Why have they been put through all this, all these years? And it’s like, goes through each phase of life from birth to death and I’m just like, yes, I have to write this.

I have to write this with Team Free Will. I have [00:59:00] to do it now.

MalMuses: Yeah, you could get really meta with that.

Mittens: The salmon mousse. It was the salmon mousse. That’s why they all died. Okay. Nevermind. Okay. I’m back. I’m back now.

Ellen: I can’t wait.

Mittens: [ Laughs ]

Ellen: All right. Are we, are we done with, with talking about Bangs now?

MalMuses: Yes. And the many tangents that we went off on during that discussion.

Ellen: Why not? Alright. Well, we have to say thank you very much for coming to talk to us, Mittens. 

Mittens: Oh, it was my pleasure. Thank you.

Ellen: We wish you all the best with all the PineFest things and however many Bangs you decide to write in the next few months.

Mittens: Apparently at least one other.

Ellen: Anyway, I’ll put all of the information about the Bangs that we talked about and also the fics that we discussed earlier on our website. You can find it all at, so if you’re interested in joining up for a Bang you can, you can find the details there.

MalMuses: So if you would like to read Revenge of the Subtext [01:00:00] by the lovely Mittens, we certainly recommend it. It’s 80k worth of excellent fic. The link will be included for that one. And the same with Tricia’s Molting Expectations. You’ll be able to find a link to that one. And let us know on social media if you enjoy either of those stories. And of course, let the authors know as well.

Mittens: Always let the authors know if you loved it.

Ellen: Please leave comments. Another thing that we should mention during this episode is that we are going to be running a giveaway in the next week or so after this episode goes to air. Check out the post on the website. I think, I believe at the moment, at least we are going to be giving away a piece of art from Liz Lee from her Etsy page.

So go and take a look at all her beautiful artworks. But you can enter on our website. It’s usually, it’s going to involve something like following us on our different platforms and, we’ve got, you can now follow us on, on Twitter and on Tumblr and on Instagram and, oh my God, we’ve got so many different [01:01:00] social media things going on at the moment, but please contact us. Let us know what you, you think of how the Podcast is going so far. Any suggestions you’ve got of ways that we could improve things for you guys. We’d love to hear about it. So that’s all we’ve got to talk about this week.

MalMuses: Thank you for listening everybody and remember that the story isn’t over until we say it is.

Ellen: Bye!

Mittens: Bye!