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26 July 2006 @ 11:32 pm
Discussion of  
This post begins our discussion of agilebrit's Blooming Cactus. This is a PG-13 rated story in which Jayne comforts Zoe after the BDM. The author welcomes concrit. Discussion will continue until August 6th when the next fic will be assigned.
 
 
 
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Lorraine: jayne by thegrrl2002lunabee34 on July 28th, 2006 02:50 am (UTC)
*has no Zoe icon* Eeeep
I thought that image was really wonderful as well. It really seems to fit her. And the phrase "flowering desert" resonates for me as well. She would look so pretty in the Painted Desert. *imagines it*
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Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical: big damn heroeshermionesviolin on July 31st, 2006 03:30 pm (UTC)
Re: *has no Zoe icon* Eeeep
You know, I had totally forgotten that Zoe's funeral dress was white until I read this. In some parts of Asia, (mostly China I think) white is the color of mourning. I guess I was too upset when I saw the movie to process that information.

:) I on the other hand am perpetually jarred by backstory fics that posit that dress as her wedding dress 'cause I'm like "But white is the Asian/Chinese color of mourning! That's what made that scene in the movie so extra-awesome!" (I also really disliked that shot being one of the promo shots going around before the movie, but less because I thought people would make the color-of-mourning connection and be spoiled, rather that I just think it's such a powerful shot and I hate not getting to encounter powerful shots within the narrative originally. I am usually massively spoilerphobic, but I got to see the second advance screening of the movie, so I basically escaped being spoiled.)
imaginaryimagesimaginaryimages on August 1st, 2006 11:57 am (UTC)
Re: *has no Zoe icon* Eeeep
Interesting. I didn't think anything of her dress being white, or not black. In my personal experience, at funerals, my friends and family wear whatever they have that's decent, regardless of color. I actually get jarred out of movies/stories that portray everyone in black and wearing dark suits, because in my life, people just don't do that. It always comes across as "Oh look, TV funeral." Where Zoe's dress and everyone else's attire seemed to fit so well in the story, in the 'verse.

I think this story possibly could have come from that image. I think it was the only time we saw Zoe in a dress. We are shown a beautiful and strong woman, with the wind blowing around her, enduring.
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical: big damn heroeshermionesviolin on August 1st, 2006 01:43 pm (UTC)
Re: *has no Zoe icon* Eeeep
I've been to very few funerals, so the all black in mainstream media doesn't jar me. (Plus I prefer the mass dark clothing for funerals.)

That scene was definitely the only time we see Zoe in a dress. (I'm still undecided as to whether I think she got married in a dress, but we certainly never see her in one onscreen.)
imaginaryimagesimaginaryimages on August 1st, 2006 02:36 pm (UTC)
Re: *has no Zoe icon* Eeeep
I that where the dress came from didn't matter to Whedon et al, but I think the dress was how they could show Zoe being affected by Wash's death without a big 'cry' scene. SHowing her softer side.

When Wash first died, she risked her own life with an "I don't care attitude" in the battle til Mal (or possibly Jayne - not sure, would have to rewatch) got on her case. I think by wearing the dress, she was showing her 'not hard as nails' side. A black dress may have come across as too severe, possibly. Just my take.

Regardless, I like how it was worked into The dream sequence of this fic.
Lorrainelunabee34 on August 1st, 2006 04:10 pm (UTC)
Re: *has no Zoe icon* Eeeep
Oh I agree about the funeral/dress wedding dress thing. If she got married in a dress, I'd bet it was red.
Lorraine: jayne by aliicelunabee34 on July 28th, 2006 02:49 am (UTC)
I have a couple questions to pose for the rest of the comm as they're thinking about this fic.

1. What do you think about the titular image?
2. How is characterization handled in this piece?
3. What do you think about the potential for Jayne/Zoe?

Now, my own commentary. I really enjoyed this fic. I think that foremost, it's a very insightful look into the nature of grief.

No one else had been willing to talk about Wash, at least in front of her, and so she'd been able to avoid the subject. Until now.

So many times, both in my own experience and in accounts that I've read, people are wary of mentioning the deceased to the mourners, when what many mourners want most of all is to hear about the person they've lost. Wonderful detail.

In fact, this was the first time since...it had happened that anyone had really, truly said anything. Funny that it was Jayne--but he'd naturally pick up on it, since it affected their teamwork. She swallowed and tried again.

I really enjoy Jayne's characterization here. He's portrayed as being very practical and pragmatic, unsentimental but not uncaring. In many ways, he's the Anya of Firefly for me. He's incredibly insightful and intuitive and he gets to say the things the other characters think but won't dare voice.

My only concrit concerns dialect. Dialect (and by dialect I don't really mean the funny diction Firefly uses; I mean the phonetic spelling of words) usually throws me out of a story a bit as in this instance: Yanno, though. I've seen this done frequently with Spike's character. "Wot, luv? It's 'orrible, innit?" and the suchlike.
imaginaryimagesimaginaryimages on August 1st, 2006 11:49 am (UTC)
"1. What do you think about the titular image?"

Blooming Cactus...I think is very fitting. River's definition gives us the image of Zoe as a cactus flower, not some fragile thing that can break, but something beautiful and strong. The Title, I think, is telling us that Zoe is moving past this, with Jayne's help. He's already helped her 'see' him as well as helped her move on in the mourning process. I think she really is about to bloom - go to the next level, whether it be truly coming to terms with Wash's death or the hints of seeing Jayne in a new, possibly romantic, way.

Although, I think if you look at the funeral seen, with her looking across the desert (that scene was a desert scene wasn't it? It certainly felt desolate), perhaps she had the ability in herself all along. To look past the current sadness, to not just endure it, but to come end up as something better than before.
imaginaryimagesimaginaryimages on August 1st, 2006 11:51 am (UTC)
by 'funeral seen' I obviously mean 'funeral scene' (fingers got ahead of my brain!)
Lorrainelunabee34 on August 1st, 2006 04:11 pm (UTC)
Well said. Well said.
imaginaryimagesimaginaryimages on August 1st, 2006 07:47 pm (UTC)
" but to come end up as something better than before." Except for my sentences that make no sense! LOL....Again, eyes, fingers, brain - they operate on different frequencies, especially when it's 100 degrees out...phew.


spuffydudsspuffyduds on July 31st, 2006 04:49 pm (UTC)
Back with more thoughts later, but for right now this:

Cherishes you, yes. But that's because you can beat him up.

is perfect.
imaginaryimagesimaginaryimages on August 1st, 2006 12:01 pm (UTC)
Yes it is. I'm sure that Jayne probably respects something like that more than simple beauty or intellect, or any number of things that many people find attractive. I think someone that can fight or handle themselves as well as he, or better, gets Jayne's notice.

On a side note: I loved that Jayne's confession about his friend was not about a romance gone bad, or a lost love. It was about friendship, and getting up to mischief!
Lorrainelunabee34 on August 1st, 2006 04:09 pm (UTC)
*nods*

I loved that scene as well. I could so see Jayne and his buddy getting up to no good and then kinda being apalled at the way the situation spiralled out of control. I thought that was very well written.
imaginaryimagesimaginaryimages on August 1st, 2006 07:45 pm (UTC)
I agree. I thought that it fit his personality perfectly.
Lorraine: jayne by thegrrl2002lunabee34 on August 1st, 2006 04:08 pm (UTC)
I know!
Julie Frost, SFF writeragilebrit on August 2nd, 2006 09:36 pm (UTC)
I just wanted to say that I'm watching the discussion with interest and I'm very glad that the story worked the way I intended it to. Thanks for all the wonderful feedback. :)
Lorrainelunabee34 on August 4th, 2006 01:07 am (UTC)
I'm glad you're having such a positive experience.