Literally, there's enough light and warmth to get the early bulbs going weeks ahead of schedule. FIguratively, there are stories that bring hope to my craggy black heart (no, I'm not telling you where I put it).
Fanfiction is not a box of chocolates. It seems as if there are a set of fashionable tropes within which people write, and many fics within a fandom (and sometimes even across fandoms) feel almost cookie cutter. (Not that I'm entirely complaining, as you'll read; cookies can be quite nice.) And yet, and yet, there are moments where something in fanfiction manages to enrich and inform as well as entertain.
I love Colin Firth. Dark hair, long legs; it's a thing for me, though he's very likely dyeing that hair by now. Beside the point. One of the fandoms I've been visiting recently is that of an action movie he was in a couple years ago. The primary pairing in the fandom is a homosexual one (which I still don't agree with on the basis of the movie's storyline - granted, he's hot, but how do you fall in love with someone who's in a coma half the time and gone much of the rest?), and whether you're into that or not, I've found some fanfiction that's actually pretty magnificent. (Not just good grammar and spelling, but coherent storylines with rich sensory detail and emotional depth. Even when they're not getting it on.)
We interrupt this narrative for an answer to the earlier question: Sandra Bullock. Who, come to think of it, also has dark hair and long legs. We now return to our regularly-ish scheduled ramble.
One such piece of fiction was inspired by an old epistolary called Daddy-Long-Legs. (Epistolary: a story told through letters.) It was tagged as an AU (Alternate Universe); the fan author basically rewrote the old story with the modern characters and situations that were both relevant to the movie and similar to the original printed version. I enjoyed it, and enjoyed even more the link to the original Daddy-Long-Legs. Granted, you read through that and you ram head first into details that remind you that the epistolary author's world isn't your own; but details aside, I was struck with how much a character from a 100-plus-year-old story sounded like a modern teenaged girl.
It reminded me of my reaction to Sherlock when it came out. I adored the first episode (still do) because it reflected so much of Doyle's original story, written - what, 130-ish years ago now? But a while later, I realized that no matter how much I love the new stuff... Harry Watson had a scratched-up watch because he was drunken careless with the winding key; Harry Watson had a scratched-up phone because she was drunken careless with the charger. John Watson was an army doctor sent home with a war wound received in Afghanistan; John Watson is an army doctor... you get the idea. Now let me finish one of my earlier sentences - no matter how much I love the new stuff, it reminds me painfully that there's not a thing different about people except the tech they use - the same stupid crap in a shiny new package. Seriously, when the modern writers don't have to fake a war to match a 130-ish-year-old story, I'm putting it mildly when I say humans are in trouble.
And how much fiction out there has a character named Harry in it?
Daddy-Long-Legs (and its AU) reminded me of Sherlock because that long-ago writer spoke (I can't say write; this thing has a voice!) of classmates and clothes and cute boys in a flittery, fun sort of manner little different to something you might see on social media (seriously, read it and tell me you don't expect an LOL someplace /=I ); the underlying issues, of being a fish out of water, of worrying about a questionable background, of attaining a knowledge of self, sound like (are written in a voice like) something out of high-school films based on Shakespeare (I miss Heath Ledger). These stories speak, in shockingly similar language, of the same joys and concerns and stupid crap you get up to while you're figuring out stupid crap in your youth (get off my lawn); and just to reiterate, the original is more than a century old.
I ramble, yes, but I hope to have tied everything together to this point: humans, like their stories, have their tropes. They have these familiar, if not always comfortable, sort of formulae with which to organize their behavior. And while they're certainly not all good, maybe, just maybe, it's wrong of me to think they're all bad. ""It's the one touch of nature that makes the whole world kin."" (That's not original.)
Don't worry, the sunshine will only last until the news comes on.