The Castle Inanity Hallowhedon Pledge

So right before October began, I extended a challenge to all of the CIA to write Hallowhedon stories.  There were no specifics given except that it had to be a crossover with Chuck and a Whedonverse of the authors' choice.  Tomorrow, there will be four new stories in the fandom crossing over vampires and reavers and zombies (oh my) with our gallant crew of nerds and spies.

Now mxpw and I are upping the challenge.  First, though, a video:

And, in a limited time offer, for ANY review on ANY of the four Hallowhedon stories submitted tomorrow, mxpw and I will each go and vote for Chuck in the TV Guide cover contest.  Even if the review is an absolutely hateful bucket of libel, Chuck gets at least two votes from it.  So, in addition to going and voting a crazy amount, you can literally just type "Awesome story, Wep/Chris/Max/Frea!" in the review box (though I hope you have a little more to say than that!), and that's like submitting an extra vote!  Neat, right?

Until we get those stories posted (mine may go up at midnight tonight central time), you can always go here and vote!

- Frea and the Castle Inanity Crew


Hallowhedon Excerpt

So my original Hallowhedon story was going to be this long and thoughtful look at Ellie after she had spent time in the Dollhouse and had undergone a composite event.  It was going to be philosophical, with plenty of action, and Sarah and Ellie kicking butt side by side as our motley crew makes their way through post-apocalyptic L.A. in search of a safe haven.  I had planned to bring Ivy from Dollhouse in and make Ellie constantly have to deal with Jeffster and it was going to be romantic with Ellie and Awesome.

Turns out I'm not so good at the philosophical.  Or maybe it's the stream of conscience that was tripping me up here, but I never sat down to work on this story and now Halloween is two days away.

Time for a new idea, right?  Here's an excerpt.  I'll see if anybody can pick up on what I did:


Hallowhedon Story

So Frea has been getting on me lately to contribute more to the blog. Craziness, I know. So here I am, contributing. I thought I might post a little bit of the rough draft (remember, a rough draft is always subject to change) of my first chapter of my Hallowhedon story. Plus, y'all get to see how different a rough draft is from the finished copy, as I don't really consider this to be very polished. What do you think?

This story is more or less a sequel to my oddly popular one-shot Chuck vs. the Zombie Apocalypse. Some readers asked me to write a follow up to the story, but I never really thought much of the idea until this Hallowhedon challenge came to be. Basically, this story that has yet to receive a title (if anybody has any idea, feel free to share!) and takes place after the zombie apocalypse. Essentially. Exciting, right?

It was originally just going to be a long one-shot written in Chuck's POV, much like the first story was. But I realized as I was writing that that just wasn't working for me, so I changed the idea. It's now a multi-chapter story, with each chapter probably coming from a different POV. Why should Chuck get to have all the fun? Plus, this means I can write a chapter about Jeff saving the day. Oh, is that spoiling? Whoops.


Instant Reaction: Chuck vs the Aisle of Terror

Tweet 1: #SarahConnorBitches #Chuck406

Addendum: With Linda Hamilton being all up ins the Chuck universe now, I will probably be starting quite a few episodes from hear on out with this hashtag. I got two RTs of it this week. Let's see if we can get it to five next week. We're building a Chuck meme, people! Get on board!

Tweet 2: Freddie Krueger is Scarecrow? #Chuck406

Addendum: Now I can't get the idea of Cillian Murphy as the new Freddy Krueger out of my head. He would be decidedly less gross looking but infinitely more terrifying because of it. Seriously the doctor character was basically not-good-looking Batman Begins Scarecrow. They even did similar special effects.

Reply Tweet 1, from ladycat713: and still pretty freaking scary.

Addendum: They failed at giving him a creepy mask though. Missed opportunities.

Tweet 3: @ladycat713 Batman Begins/Freddy Krueger/Chuck crossover now plz.

Addendum: Seriously I spit out great fic ideas every week and nobody steps up to the plate. THIS STUFF IS GOLD> Where are my authors at?

Authors, please get back to me after the break.

Who is YOUR Sarah?

Well, while Frea is away, I guess I'll effort to do something to, well, draw attention to myself. Heh.

So I was bored and tooling around the interwebs (read: femslash communities) when I came upon something I thought could definitely serve to help the fanfic writers that frequent the blog. Specifically those that like to write Sarah-centric stories.

It kind of goes back to Frea's post about "The Vulnerable Female that Can Still Break You In Half," but there was this neat little flowchart I found that can kind of guide you in making sure your Sarah (or any female character, for that matter) doesn't fall into a classic stereotype. So, yeah, enjoy!

Flowchart: Know Your Female Character Stereotype

Monday Updates...Mondates, If You Will

Okay, this is going to sound strange.  I figure, it's me, so chances of what I'm about to say sounding normal are pretty much nil to start off, but either way, here goes:

In about four hours, I'm flying across the country to pick up a chainsaw.


mxpw's Scribe Theater Three Thousand

So Frea asked me to do a column on writing. I think it was partly inspired by a comment I had made in this thread: Back into the Fold. I answered a question by one of our readers about what methods they could explore to better improve their writing. In the comment, I said that one of the best ways to learn how to write is actually by reading. This is very true. It’s pretty much how I learned to write, and I think Frea would say that it has helped her greatly as well.

To that end, Frea suggested what I do for this column is to take writing done by our fellow fanfiction writers, and try to analyze and break down the strengths of their writing styles. It seemed natural to choose our Most Benevolent Overlord Frea to be my first guinea pig.

Frea has many strengths when it comes to writing (and yes, she does have weaknesses as well, all writers do). While discussing them all would take more time than I can afford to spend, I have decided to select two of those strengths for discussion. For the purpose of this particular post, I am going to look at Frea’s ability to develop her characters and effectively showcase that characterization in her writing.

Icons: Chuck vs. the Couch Lock

Chuck vs. the Cubic Z icons still to come (hopefully today, but I'm going on a very strange trip on Monday and working this weekend, so I really can make no promises at all!  Sorry!).

But here are a few from Chuck vs. the Couch Lock.  With...wait for it, waaaaait for it, Jeffster!  I KNOW!  I'm shocked, too!  They're after the break, and if you want one, you know the deal (save it and let me know).

Happy Friday!



Yet another lightning quick note to let everybody know that Part IV of Fates on the eBooks page up there at the top of the blog now includes up to chapter 41, and the guide has been updated as well!  The Complete Reference Guide to What Fates Impose on ff.net is on indefinite hiatus.

- Frea


Sneak Preview: Fates 42

Since I don't really have any huge surprises coming in the next chapter like I have for the past three, I'm going to post a couple of spoilers for 42 as I write it.  Exciting, right?  Here's the first one, just a little taste for all of you.  As you can see in the picture, there's a friendly face returning to Fates.  Time to face relationship fire, though...


What the Frak is Wep Reading? Week (I'm not even sure)

Just when I thought I was out, blah, blah, blah. So you asked for it (at least Frea did), and when you ask for it (well, when Frea asks for it), be careful what you wish for, I guess. So at long last, the column that recommends fics that you may, or may not have read returns in full force. It's time for What the Frak is Wep Reading?


mxpw vs. Frea - Chuck vs. the Couch Lock

Chuck vs. the Couch Lock
Season 4, Episode 5, Air-Date 10.18.10

When Casey's former team returns looking for him, Chuck must decide what he's willing to sacrifice in order to find his mom. Elsewhere, Morgan works up the nerve to reveal a potentially dangerous secret to Casey.

After Frea was lazy the critics mutually agreeing that a week off was best, our favorite critical and snarky duo has returned with their thoughts on season four's fifth episode, Chuck vs. the Bride Couch Lock.  One of them has declared it a favorite.  The other probably would have agreed, except it needs more SWP.  Which is which?  If you don't know already, you probably don't read the blog much... but you can continue reading after the break.

CHUCKtoberfest Video

Everybody, if you could spread this video around, let's really get the ball rolling and help out our pals at Chuck This, yeah?

As the promos say, "Spread the Nerd!"*

- Frea

* Fates Sarah: I'd like to spread the nerd...


Instant Reaction: Chuck vs the Couch Lock

Tweet 1: Doors in the desert are not suspicious at all. #Chuck405

Addendum: The only people who would use doors in the desert are terrorists or sand people. Never mind that most Tusken Raiders ARE terrorists. The only difference between a terrorist and a sand person is species and is that really something they couldn't overcome? Basically what I'm saying is that we need to get Mark Hamil into Afghanistan.

Tweet 2: Casey was part of the B-Team? #Chuck405

Addendum: I was going to say the A-Team, but come on. If you don't have Mr. T calling people sucka fools then you can't really be the A-Team, can you?

As always, more after the break.


Is everybody excited?  After the hiatus from mxpw vs. Frea, we'll have a new one of those for you hopefully tomorrow -- the lack of a review last week is my fault as I, a) did not really have anything good to say about the episode, and b) was involved in a lot of projects that unfortunately ate up a lot of time -- and there will of course be Chris's Live Tweets tonight (seriously, go to his Twitter, you DO NOT want to miss that) and he'll post them up on the blog later with addendums that always slay me.  And I will do my best to have icons from both tonight's episode and last week's up.

But in the meantime, the people over at Chuck This are pretty awesome, and they like What Fates Impose and the Adorable Psycho and Double Agent a whole bunch, so I think we're naturally predisposed to like them.  Even if we didn't, they're doing a really neat promotional campaign right now called CHUCKtoberfest and everybody should go over, check it out, see what they can do to help.   From the rumors floating around Twitter, it looks like a back nine order is in the works, but this is our show, we've fought to keep it on the air since the dawn of time, let's continue to give our support and gratitude since it's the thing that brings all of us crazy personalities together.


Back Into the Fold

So I apologize for putting on the mod hat yesterday and kind of quelling the conversation that was going on in Wep's rant thread.  I feel there is a very important distinction to be made, and we were veering very close to a line I don't want to cross at Castle Inanity.  Is that censorship?  Oh yeah.  Do I care?  Yeah, I took about ten thousand media classes in college as a Mass Comm major and if I never get into a debate about censorship again, it will be TOO SOON, so any comments left about that will probably be ignored by me.  The argumentative guy that sat behind me and just liked to cause trouble for the sole purpose that he was a chaos vampire and kind of a d-bag besides has ruined it for all of you, I think, so my apologies on that.

But anyway, the rant on CI a couple of days ago led to an interesting conversation I found on Twitter (and it wasn't even Darth Razor--okay, no, I'm not calling him that, I refuse to besmirch the honor of the Sunnydale mascot...insert your own hyena joke here), so now I'm going to do a pro and con post.

My topic: is fanfiction insulting?


Random Wep Rant

So I haven't posted an edition of my (not so) popular column, What the Frak is Wep Reading? in some time, but I come to you today not to recommend fics you should be reading, and instead bring to you a major gripe with fics I don't care if you read or not.

One thing that always annoys me in any Chuck story is a Chuck/Sarah story that places the blame for any faults the couple may have at the feet of one party. This is also true of people who criticize the show, but it's especially prevelant in fics. And who "enjoys" the lion's share of this blame usually? Well it's Sarah, of course. And that makes Wep angry.




This is epic, guys. If anyone has the time (November 7th, 1PM-9PM) and money (a whopping $200, all of which goes to charity), this is probably the biggest and best opportunity you'll ever get to meet the cast and crew of Chuck. Up close and personal.  I am pretty sure I am going to spazz my ass off. And obsess over the awesomeness of the Chuck cast (specifically Yvonne because she's my kickass actress idol).

Seriously, if anyone can make it into Los Angeles that weekend, definitely head on over to We Heart Chuck and check out the information there. And then tell me, so I can meet you in person. :D


Instant Reaction: Chuck vs the Coup d'Etat

A note about this week's Instant Reaction: If you were following me tonight on Twitter, you know that I didn't tweet all of these. Everything past Tweet 10 you wouldn't have seen. Why is that? Well, Twitter went crazy tonight and my tweets were erroring on my phone, my desktop, and my laptop. So, I had to bow out of Live-Tweeting. But you people here at Castle Inanity are good people and, as such, you deserve the full I Am Not Amused Chuck Live Tweeting experience. So what did I do? Well I just went ahead and "tweeted" everything anyway. Those tweets that you didn't see on Twitter, you get to see here, with commentary and everything. You guys are good to me, so I try to be good back. Sound good? And away we go!

Tweet 1: #Chuck404? That sounds like a DNS error. I miss #ChuckItLive

Addendum: You see what I did there? With my words? No? Well you see, a 404 error on the Internet is a type of Domain Name System error. Okay it wasn't that funny. Fine. *pouts*


For Frea's Birthday: A Taste of Hallowhedon

A/N: It's Frea O'Scanlin's frakking birthday, people! This is cause for celebration! Joyous celebration that includes dancing in the streets, throwing about of beads, and imbibing of alcoholic beverages and playing Fates drinking games (every time Sarah touches Chuck when she doesn't have to, take a shot. You will be SO DRUNK SO FAST). So, naturally, I've written the darkest piece of Chuck fic that I've ever taken a stab at. This is the first chapter of my six-part Hallowhedon fic, where I'm molding the worlds of Chuck and Firefly together to create something disturbing, but hopefully ultimately rewarding. Hope you guys like it! Take a look at chapter one after the break!


Happy (Early) Birthday, Frea!

Since Frea won't be around for the weekend, we've decided to celebrate her birthday a little early. :)


Repost- A (spy) sexy challenge

So I took this down earlier, as I didn't know if it was out of place, but Frea has assured me it was not, so once again, here it is. A challenge for all you writer types. So awhile back, Mx, the great Mikki13, and I started a Sarah-inspired smut community called Yogurt and Fun. To try to revive the community a little, I've issued a challenge based on Heather Chandler's statement in 4.03 ("Isn't spy sex the best?"), and thought I'd share a link, here. Also, take time to look around the community, and please even if you don't contribute to this challenge (which you should!), we'd love to have you contribute something else. Thanks!


4x03 - Chuck vs. the Cubic Z Icons!

Went a little icon crazy this week just for the fun of it. Grab the ones you like, leave a comment if you took one, yadda yadda yadda. You know the drill.





mxpw vs. Frea - Chuck vs. the Cubic Z

 Chuck Vs. the Cubic Z
Season 4, Episode 3, air-date October 4, 2010

Two former enemies set their sights on Chuck and Sarah when they escape from custody during a prisoner transfer. Morgan receives a surprise from Big Mike. 

Another strong Sarah episode?  What, did they read mxpw's mind over the break?  Nope, Sarah's only in short shorts for less than five minutes.  Frea and mxpw aren't here to slam you with poetry (and you should be grateful, as Frea only knows limericks about islands off the shore of Massachusetts), but they are here to provide their weekly review of Chuck, after the break!


Instant Reaction: Chuck vs. the Cubic Z

Tweet 1: Great kickoff song to this episode of #ChuckItLive.

Addendum: It was a very good choice throughout the episode. Any word on what that song is? I could look it up but I'm lazy. Either way, it made an excellent leitmotif for a rather great episode, and the first standout musical choice of Season 4. I have to say, for all of Season 3's flaws, it had some rather enduring musical moments (Frightened Rabbit's "My Backwards Walk" in Pink Slip, the Antlers' "Kettering" in Other Guy, the Gaslight Anthem's "Here's Looking At You, Kid" for the end of Tooth). I wouldn't mind some more of those cropping up in Season 4.

Hit the break for more tweets.

More eGoodies!

Psst!  Check the top of the blog right next to the Fates Guide.  You won't be disappointed, I think.

- Frea


What Fates Impose Chapter 39 Discussion Thread

 Hey, gang!  I've got a wedding reception to go to tonight and a wedding gift to buy this afternoon (wait til the last minute?  Moi?  To be fair, I forgot this wedding was happening at all...I'm very close to the bride as you can see), but I promised a thread to talk about the latest chapter of Fates.  So I'll kick things off.  Who caught the Covert Affairs reference?




An October Treat

So a couple of nights ago, I, the great Frea O'Scanlin, was in chat with the world's greatest beta, Maximus Prawns, and we were discussing a very important month.  As a lot of you may know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as well as the home of Columbus Day, Mischief Night, and the birthdays of four very important people in Frea's life: her best friend, her grandfather, her aunt...and Brandon Routh.

Important month, right?

It just got even more important.  That's right, October brings us....

What IS the Hallowhedon Challenge, you ask?  Well, my good friend, let me tell you after the break!