about me
about me





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[1] me - [2] name - [3] this site - [4] slash - [5] abbreviations - [6] pet peeves - [7] friends - [8] thanks


(1) who is allaire mikháil?

pseudonym: allaire mikháil
real name: not important and definitely less unique
gender: female
age: mid-thirties
sign of the zodiac: Aries
e-mail: allaire@gmx.at
occupation: gainful employment for the same administration for going on 20 years now (urgh, getting old)
marital status: single
family: parents, two brothers, two sister-in-laws, three nieces, various distant relatives. Two cats.
residence: a city in Southern Germany that urgently needs more slashers, stat!
nationality: German
favorite pasttime: Reading fan fiction, most especially slash. Surfing the 'net. Watching tv-series in the original language. Hanging out with friends. Running down all and sundry. Listening to music. Cuddling cuddly pets. Hunting down my muses. Refusing to even look at my inbox. Theatening to do bodily harm to stupid people. Gaming. Reading sci-fi and fantasy novels. Cursing at my computer. Not necessarily in this order. Further details on my hobbies can be found on the miscellaneous page.
For the incessantly curious, you can even find a picture of me here.

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(2) where does your name come from?

No, it is neither Franco-Canadian nor Russian. It is due to the second roleplaying character I ever developped. Allaire Mikháil is a scout in the MERPTM roleplaying game (which we, by the way, played long before Peter Jackson's trilogy was filmed) and has a lot of characteristics I'd like to have in real life. She's tough, capable and displays an innate sense of honor and a willingness to help those in need. "Allaire" comes from a fantasy novel I forgot title and author of (she was the princess who was impersonated by another woman), "Mikháil" refers to my then love for Tom Clancy's books, most especially 'The Hunt for Red October', and my attempts to learn Russian (which I soon gave up, I'm sorry to say). And it simply sounded... right... when combined with the first name. So I chose it. That's all there is. And yes, I love it, and I react to it as fast as to my real name. That's telling, isn't it?

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(3) why "storyteller's campsite"?

Why do I have a homepage at all? Because upon discovering slash, I surfed a lot on the web, and wanted -- I don't know. Leave my footprints in the virtual sand, I guess. So I taught myself HTML with the help of a good friend's husband and started programming one. The first attempt was quite pathetic, I'm afraid, and is better forgotten. The second one (let's refer to it as storyteller's campsite version 1.0) was better; it brought across my love for gaming with its fantasy setting (parchment background, campfire etc.) but soon looked amateur in comparison to other websites. I hope version 2.0 is better; I tried to keep an even balance between appealing design and functionality even for people with a slow internet connection. I've already used more javascript than I'm truly comfortable with.
For anyone nostalgically interested, this is what v 1.0 of storyteller's campsite looked like:

storyteller's campsite v 1.0

Why the title? Because it reminds me of a collection of stories by Elsa Sophia von Kamphoevener, called "At the nightfires of the caravan seraglio". Despite being European, an adventuresome girl travelled through Anatolia in the middle of the last century, disguised as a young man, and collected the stories of the culture of the old Turkish nomads that had so far only been passed on orally, and never to foreigners, let alone women. She became the apprentice of various storytellers and wrote down their cultural treasures for posterity. Our arts teacher used to read her stories to us during class, and I fell in love with the prose and the endless space for thoughts they provided.

Why does it mainly consist of recommendations? Because frankly, I'm not that much of an author. At least not as much as I would like. I lack time, tenacity and inspiration. Yes, I do write, and I'm proud of every story I've ever finished and posted (and before you ask, yes, I have various ideas that never got further than being ideas, and others I started to write down, but unfortunately got stuck in the middle of). So a page only for my own fiction would be a bit of overkill. Hence the recommendations page. On it, I try to provide a big enough collection of fandoms to offer something for anyone. Besides, I have this common problem: have you ever read a book that you were fascinated with? I'm sure you know how it is -- you've just finished it, and now you can't refrain from telling everyone about it, trying to get them to read it, too. Well, it's the same thing here. I want to 'convert' others. *smile*

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(4) what is this "slash" you're talking about?

I hope you came here via the main page, http://allaire.skeeter63.org/, where you had to confirm you knew what slash was and were ok with it. Still, I often click 'ok' without reading everything I'm consenting to, so I guess I'd better explain it, just to stay on the safe side: slash is the depiction of a loving and/or sexual relationship between two persons of the same gender. There is m/m (male/male) and f/f (females/female) slash, but the latter is not something you are going to encounter here. The slash shown here is purely of the m/m persuasion. Please beware: slash can range from harmless fluff (with its highlight being a chaste kiss) to outright pornography (including sex scenes depicted in detail), can be a part of a stable relationship or a semi- or non-consensual tryst with an unwilling partner. Reader discretion is advised. The legal standpoint on slash (as well as on fan fiction as a whole) is vague at best, and bringing it to public attention is unwise. So please heed the warnings and read nothing you are uncomfortable with. And, for the love of God, don't read it at all if it is illegal for you to access it wherever you are due to age restrictions. If you are underage, stay away.
If you'd like to know my reasons for writing and reading slash, you might want to check out my essay on that topic.

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(5) you mention different nuances of m/m slash. what are they?

The following lexicon of abbreviations should be helpful to you:

ratings warnings
G general; no age limit angst fanfic in which a character's emotional pain is a central plot element
PG parental guidance is advised B/D bondage & discipline
R restricted; sexual content and/or violence, please do not read when underage BDSM a roleplay or lifestyle choice that involves the fields of bondage & discipline, dominance & submission, and sadism & masochism
NC-17 non-consensual content; today more often that not used to rate any story with detailed (consensual or non-consensual) sexual content chan slash in which one or two of the participants are underage but pubescent, i.e. older teenagers
death this story is a death story, aka: one of the main characters dies
other common abbreviations D/s dominance & submission
AU alternate universe H/C hurt/comfort; stories that deal with the hurt and its aftermath
beta to edit a fanfic story het heterosexual content
gen general fiction without sex MPreg male pregnancy
LOC letter of comment (= feedback via e-mail) non-con contains non-consensual sex
Mary Sue, Harry Stu detested self-depictions of the author who generally know all, are incredibly capable, beautiful and who the hero of the story inadvertedly falls for OOC out of character
OFC, OMC original female, original male character invented by the author PWP acronym for 'Plot, What Plot?', aka: a sex story
OTP a reader/writer's preference for a 'one true pairing' RPS 'real people slash' (i.e. actors, singers etc.), the opposite of FPS (= fictious people slash)
shoonen'ai anime-/manga-related; refers to Japanese girls' comics feat. stories of 'boy love' shotacon slash in which one or two of the participants are underage and prepubescent or just beginning puberty
TPTB 'the powers that be', i.e. the persons/company behind a movie/series and the holder of the copyright UST unresolved sexual tension (or: just heated looks between two characters who are not yet in a sexual relationship)
yaoi anime-/manga-related; a Japanese acronym for female-oriented works featuring idealized homosexual male relationships WiP work-in-progress; unfinished fiction that may or may not get finished one day
x-over fanfic using characters/scenarios from two or more different shows

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(6) what are your pet peeves? the things you loathe above all others?

In general? War. Hard-nosed falcons. Thick-headed politicians. Right-wing extremists. Homophobes. Racists. Writers without an ounce of skill who consider a spellchecker (or even better: beta reader) to be below them. People who can't press out a "Good morning". Others who can't keep their voices/music/noise down in the middle of the night. The German Railways. Sometimes the German Mail. Lots of e-mails in my inbox. My computer when it's trying to be a primadonna. My VCR when it displays but a scrambled green-black picture. Sometimes work. Mondays. Mornings after nights in which I got less than six hours of sleep. Days with temperatures below zero degree Celsius or above 26 degrees Celsius. Car trouble. Days I don't have work to do at work. The parking space situation at the office. The gas prices. An empty fridge. Shopping at Walmart.

In myself? My inherent laziness and inabiltity to get anything done. My lack of self-control that keeps me from finishing things, or even starting things I consider 'work' (encompassing, but not limited to site updates and reading/answering e-mails). My unwillingness to exert myself (I drive to work while I could easily walk). The sieve I have as brains which meticulously records all the tiny little plot twists of a slash story, but can't seem to keep track of my friends' private lives. The fact that I can't bother to care as much about what happens in the world as one should, these days. My lack of faith and optimism. Of patience. My pig-headedness and perfectionism. My inability to pry myself away from my computer. My equally irritating tendency to stay glued to the screen until it's the middle of the night so that the resulting amount of sleep is barely adequate at best.

In fan fiction? Sure, there is an almost endless number of things that rub me the wrong way. I guess I'd better limit myself to the things I consider the worst (in no particular order):

1.    Missing pairing information. There are lots of OTP fans out of there; I count myself among them. My primary selection criterion is the pairing, so I might miss out on a wonderful story simply because the author didn't include this vital point in its headers. A shame.
2.    Insufficient warnings. When I stumble into a story I normally would have never read, just because the author didn't deem it necessary to warn me of its content beforehand, I will most likely never touch a story by that particular writer again. Ever.
3.    Bad grammar. Nothing turns me off more than an accumulation of grammatical errors a foreign exchange student in second grade wouldn't commit. Use a spellchecker, then a beta reader, or please, for the love of God, don't post anything. Believe me, the world will be better off.
4.    Bad style. No, I don't want to read a m/m Harlequin novel. A plot is not always vital, but I need to recognize the persons I'm supposed to read about. I want the writing to be in-character for the protagonists, I don't want to be buried under clichés, sap, morbid depression or other mental illnesses whose effects the author wants to share with his/her readers.
5.    Mary Sue / Harry Stu. Please spare me. OFCs and OMCs (and lately, also canon characters) who are so ethereally beautiful and emminently capable (not to mention armed to the teeth) that everyone just loves them. And they always save the day, of course. Gaargh.
6.    Bad choice of certain expressions. Like, e.g., "soon-to-be-lover". Or laughable metaphors for certain parts of the male anatomy. In short, everything hopelessly over-the-top. Keep it simple, keep it understated, and it'll have all the more power.
7.    Unhappy endings. I know I can't force authors to adhere to my own kind of story ideal. Still, I can't help but be emotionally affected by a long, beautifully written story that, after several 100 KB, ends in separation or death. Despite me knowing that sometimes a story just can't logically go into another direction, this always depresses me.
8.    Stockholm Syndrome. Non-consensual sex and rape are things I can only accept when they are not the focal point of a story. So why should I read a story about nothing but? A story in which my heroes turn into unrecognizable, pathetic victims who don't act like themselves anymore? Unexplainable. The real world has enough of it without us adding to it in fiction.
9.    Endless bemoaning of lack of self-worth. One of the characters feeling imminently unworthy of his oh-so-perfect lover who deserves so much more is unsettling. Are those issues the writer has suppressed so far? Please see you therapist and don't make me deal with it by proxy.
10.    Abused as a child. Yeah, it happens in real life -- unfortunately. Still, why does every insecurity a character shows have to be linked to an incident in his childhood? It can't explain away or excuse said character's further actions in the present, or at least it shouldn't.
11.    A rapist's wet dream. Criminals are evil, evil men are ugly, and ugly men don't get any. Right. Still, why can a villain be presented with 20 women and our hero, and pick our hero as his rape victim? Bloodly likely, isn't it?
12.    Irreversible Damage. No, I don't want to read about a character suffering an illness, getting hurt, losing part of his mental capacity, whatever -- when it's permanent. H/C can be delightful, but there's a limit. As soon as the damage inflicted can't be healed, I'm so out of there.
13.    Partner Betrayal. Again, what's the point? I like to see love triumph over anything else, overcome all obstacles. When you can't trust your partner, who else can you trust? Some things can't, shouldn't be forgiven. Not if you want to keep your sense of self-worth.
14.    Domestic Discipline. What the heck for?! Sure, we'll go to the supermarket, and you can pick out the brush I'm going to spank you with, naughty boy, you! And no, it's not sexual. It's just that I can't trust you to make your own decisions, so I 'discipline' you whenever you dare to march to a different drummer than the one I deem correct. Sure.
15.    Chicks-with-Dicks. This syndrome ranges from Sally-Homemaker to weepy, whiny 'little boy'. The characters behave like 14-year-old girls and are pretty much unrecognizable. Makes me shudder.
16.    Male Pregnancy. The ultimate feminisation of a male character. Normally goes hand-in-hand with the "Chicks-with-Dicks" syndrome. Also usually sappy to the extreme. Very, very seldomly well-written, and a big turn-off for me.
17.    Lack of equality. Most often encountered in the bedroom: only one of the two guys bottoms all the time. Huh? Why not write het then? I can't imagine that to be an equal, happy relationship.
18.    Bad sex scenes. Ranges from multiple orgasms to the same-old preparation method (one finger, two fingers, three fingers...), to endless stamina. Oh, and penetrative sex on the first date! No matter the other just realized he's attracted to his male partner.
19.    Threesomes. In my opinion, three's a crowd, that is, one guy / girl too many in bed. Don't try to tell me that such a relationship has a future; it'll be always two who are closer to each other than the third, and therefore this person will feel left out, alone. So in the end, it'll all turn sour.
20.    Bitch-yfying of female canon characters. Not all former girlfriends, ex-wives, love interests etc. are The Bitch From HellTM. They may have left our hero, but that doesn't make them automatically evil, abusive, cold-hearted or insane. Which goes hand-in-hand with...
21.    Devaluation of past loves. Often enough, one or both main characters used to be married, and happily at that. To make it less of an obstacle in the course of "true love", often enough you encounter the justification "Oh well, I really only like cock, and my marriage was one of convenience; I barely tolerated her.". Which is bullshit, because, hello, canon? Deal with it.
22.    Unbelievably tolerant environment. The boss, colleagues, friends, family members who are instantly overjoyed upon learning that our heroes are gay... don't exist. Sure, we wish they did, but they don't. So deal with it instead of sugar-coating it.
23.    Character A being built up as the hero to the detriment of Character B. Many series revolve around one/several characters, among them Character A, while Character B is a recurring guest-star/sidekick. Deal with it. Don't diss Character A just because Character B is oh so unappreciated/pretty/cool/interesting. Writing Character A as a stupid ass and Character B as the best thing since sliced bread doesn't make for an equal relationship.
24.    Elves. A nightmare become reality. Who ever invented it should be shot. This compulsion to write AUs in which one of the guys is an Elf is just -- scary. Deeply scary.
25.    Hair. Don't get me started. Anyone who uses sugar-coated denomers to describe it is severely anime-/manga-challenged. It's the stuff on one's head, ok? Nothing more, nothing less. It can be pleasurable to the touch, but it's not the epitome of sexiness.
26.    Cooking. Why this trend to describe in excruciating detail how m/m couples cook? Yes, they do. We all do. They also go to the toilet, but no one describes that. I wonder why.
27.    Gay Pride Parades. Yes, they are an admirable display of people's identification with their sexuality, and strength to stand up to it. Still, I can imagine only few characters who'd march in one without making themselves into laughing stock. Reality check, please.
28.    "I've never watched [...] before!" The scariest words in an author's notes to a story. Writing solely based on fanon might even work out ok, but I'd rather advise against it. Please wait until you've seen at least a couple of episodes.
29.    Feedback blackmail. I absolutely detest authors who have to resort to this sort of thing. Everyone should write for him-/herself, of course with the potential readers in mind, but still, it's not something a writer should have to be pressured into. Otherwise it shows in the story.
30.    Nightmarish HTML-Coding. Fifty cookies, twenty pop-up windows, flashing neon lettering, a story that's unreadable if you didn't download the background because text and background font color are the same, more HTML-code than text, the like... scare off readers. Trust me on that.

Hmmpf. That was me limiting myself to the most annoying ones. Sure. Did I mention under my faults listed above that I can't be brief? No? Well, I should have.

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(7) who are your friends? where can they be found?

Most of my real-life friends are not online, or at least don't move within the same circles, that is, they are not slash fans. Also, not all of them speak enough English to actually read what I write, so I'd rather not link to their websites here. But thankfully, I've found a lot of friends online who are interested in watching English series & movies, and reading/writing slash and fan fiction as much as I am, and many of them have made the transition from e-mail buddies to real-life friends. The main reason for this development can be placed safely at ljgwendolen's door. She is the listmom of the German slash mailing list [Querstrich] @ Yahoo! groups, and that list has been instrumental in bringing me in contact with other slash fans in Germany.

Apart from Gwen, there are ljmareen, ljxkatjafx, ljmamoru22 (she of **The Cell**), ljmabiana and ljmoonilicious. More recently, Katja created the [Slash-Stammtisch] @ Yahoo! groups that was instrumental in bringing us in contact with ljesda, lji_am_schizo and ljten_chan, while Escapade 2004 is to blame for us meeting ljtemve. I also love to talk to ljsua_lay (she of Rimau's Slash Archive), although due to my inherent laziness, she hasn't heard as much from me as she deserves. As for my other friends, you can find most of them via my livejournal.

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(8) whom do you want to thank?

Kandace for coming to my aid when Dencity closed my account, and for providing space on her server for this site
Rebekka's husband for helping me out in the beginning and explaining what HTML does/doesn't do, and thereby getting me started
Rebekka for staying my close friend from the beginning ever since we met in that bus to France
Lómelin for sometimes being as identical to me as a twin
Eotara for making me fall in love with the series "Highlander". And by doing that, leading me onto the path that would later bring me to slash.
mareen for causing at least half of my fandom addictions, and making Friday evening a time to look forward to
my brother for being as curiously tolerant/intolerant as he is, and for showing me how beautiful Christian music can be. Also for introducing me, however unintentionally, to Star Trek, gaming and English novels.
Jess for being my first online friend, and edging me on in getting my first fan fiction written and posted
my family for providing a safe haven from all the stress of real life; the weekends at home leave me feeling re-charged and balanced. Also for teaching me from an early age how addictive reading can be.
Frank for so clearly bringing across what is beautiful in gaming, and making my introduction to MERPTM a time upon which I still look back in nostalgia
my gaming friends for endless hours of escaping reality together, and for learning how to live your imagination
my beta-readers for taking the time and effort to make my stories post-able, and being honest, but nice about it

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