|fanwriter, zine publisher, fan editor, archivist, con organizer, vidder, podficcer
|Starsky & Hutch, Miami Vice, Beauty and the Beast
|Miami Vice fiction
|flamingo at DW
flamingoslim at LJ
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
Flamingo was instrumental in getting some of the very first Starsky and Hutch zine fiction posted online in 1998. From Black Bean Soup:
Come see our new archive. WE WANNA SHARE (http://www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/Set/4384/index.html). S&H fandom is alive and well on the Net! Grab your blue Adidas, jump into your favorite flashy red car and join the fun! The S&H Archive proudly presents its current feature, the classic zine, The Goliath, written and illustrated by Suzan Lovett. Suzan has graciously allowed us to post her novel on the Net, *complete with its art.* Art and text files kept separate for everyone's convenience. Visit our new site and enjoy this classic piece of fiction and incredible art. Coming attractions: We hope to soon post Suzan's other novel, The Thousandth Man and its art. WE WANNA SHARE *MORE* Our new archive needs submissions. We'd love to give out-of-print S&H stories and art a second life on the Net -- but only with permission of authors & artists. We can provide anonymity. We are also interested in new stories and parts of longer works in progress. We can scan stories and art which aren't in electronic form. We also have editors who can help proof-read and edit any story before posting. As Huggy would say, when the spirit is willing, the Archive is capable of all kindsa groovy stuff! Anyone who is interested in a slash archive should E-mail [Flamingo].
Archive Creator and Moderator
Flamingo is the creator and moderator of three Starsky & Hutch fiction archives, and is hugely responsible for getting the first fiction in that fandom online.
- The Pits Archive (1999-2007)
- Starsky & Hutch Archive, first archive (created early 2000s, relaunched in 2010, relaunched in 2023)
- Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with Flamingo (2013)
- Meet your Starsky and Hutch fic writers: Flamingo (2016)
Comments on Fandom
1999: Some Thoughts on Writing Fic -- Is It Fun?
It was posted to The Pits, a Starsky & Hutch mailing list that required membership and is now offline. It is posted here on Fanlore with Flamingo's permission.
I've been writing since I was 7, was first published in the 70's, have
pro 5 books + numerous short stories, articles, and scientific papers behind me, plus I don't wanna count up the number of words of fanfic. Writing has never been "fun" for me. Never. It has always been a driving obsession, something I have HAD to do since my earliest childhood. It has always been work. Real work. Hard work. I can remember painstakingly cutting pictures of animals out of magazines to piece together my earliest stories and getting crazy frustrated because I didn't know enough words to make the story sound right. I'm still like that. I agonize when I don't write and then I agonize when I do write and then I agonize when I have written (now there's a passive sentence for ya!). Fanfic is just as laborious as pro fic for me, only the subject is different. Is it ever fun? <thinking hard -- owwww!> No. Not fun. Fun is watching an ep with a great Starsky butt scene in it. Fun is playing with my critters. Fun is taking a drive. Fun is doing fan stuff with buddies. Fun is doing the wild thing with my honey. Writing is work. Not fun. Good work. But work.
Satisfaction? Yeah. When it's done, between covers, looking at me all finished (or abandoned as some writers say) and over with. Then I turn the pages and think, "Hey, that phrase isn't bad...this kinda works...okay, that's all right...hey, who wrote this?" But during the process... no. Not fun.Why write fanfic (especially if its no more fun than pro)? 'Cause no one will pay me to write what I can write in fandom. I still *have* to write it.
Some Thoughts on Writing Fic "For the Market"
It was posted to ThePits, a Starsky & Hutch mailing list that required membership and is now offline. It is posted here on Fanlore with Flamingo's permission.
While I defend the act of writing as art, I have trouble envisioning myself as an artist and what I write as art. Fred Astaire never considered himself an artist, he just thought he was a "working hoofer." I don't think I've ever produced anything good enough to be called art yet, and as a writer, I was trained to write for market. My single ambition as a kid was to be a published writer, and I worked single-mindedly at that goal since I was seven. And if you want to be a *published* writer you write for market. If you want to get published, there is no point in writing stories that are not going to sell. You have to figure out what the market is buying and gear your writing to that market. This does not exclude art in any way, but it is a more practical approach to it. A market likes your story, but doesn't like the ending. If you want to be a pro, you change it. Period. A story I sold to a very prestigious market recently required drastic changes to please the editor. We finagled--there were somethings I felt pretty serious about, and she respected that. She conceded on some points, I conceded on others, and we compromised. But I changed that story a hell of a lot more than I wanted to. What would have been the point of not changing it and losing the sale? And no, it's not like there was another market for this particular story, it was written for the theme of this anthology. It was the only market. And a lot of writing sales are like this. I write for market, always hoping that the next story will be accepted as is. The next story I sent to this editor, she only wanted one small change in, when I was ready for weeks of rewrites. Go figure.Okay, what has this to do with fan writing. I was in a small fandom, Miami Vice. I wrote slash stories featuring triads with women, with the two primary partners, and discovered, to my dismay that no one would read these stories. No editor would publish them. They were not what people wanted to read. Period. This is pre-net, and I did not have the ways and means of self-publishing, and I wasn't interested in it anyway. I had two choices. Drop fandom and live my fandom in my living room (which I have done)...or write to market. Which is what I did. I wrote stories with the preferred pairing in the way fans expected to see them. Some of those stories are damned good if I say so myself. But it wasn't really what I wanted to write. This issue comes up in SH enough for me to generate a zine over it. In SH do I write to market, or do I write what I please? I do both. When I am tackling a story I *know* fans aren't going to be happy about, I agonize over it. Who wants to write a story no one will read? "Helen" is my least read story, but it's my favorite. I knew it wouldn't be that popular. I agonized for weeks about the ending of Addiction because I knew it would upset a lot of people. But I wrote it anyway. Yet there are stories in both MV and SH that I've written for my eyes alone. Because I know they just won't be accepted, and can affect whether fans will read the next story. I have no interest in writing lots of stories no one will read. So, I'm writing for market. And at the same time I'm trying to expand the market's horizon. I think, with new fans coming in all the time and with new ideas on the net, that the horizon will broaden. But I know I'll always consider my audience when working on a story. We're talking 43 years of training here. Habits are hard to break.
Some Thoughts on Planning
Personally, I'm not one for planning. If you saw my house, you'd know that. ;-) I usually get the desire to write a specific story because of a visual image I've conjured up. With Crystal Blue Persuasion I had a big visual image -- Suzan Lovett's picture of the same name. When I wracked my brain to put a story around it, there were 2 images that got me started (and if you haven't read it, consider this spoiler warning), one was the image of Hutch standing over Starsky in the hospital bed after the shooting in Shoot Out, and realizing how empty his life would be without Starsky -- pretty standard kinda stuff, but it's nothing I would have done in Vice -- and an image of Starsky, undressed, kneeling on his bed and coaxing a reluctant Hutch into it. But needless to say, the Lovett art really pushed that story. (I used her art piece for inspiration in Addiction and it actually helped me pull the theme together.)
Recently, she showed me this image in a book and she said, "I want to do this image in the worst way. Can we do something with it for TE?" I grinned and said, "Oh, yeah, mama!" and put in a scene I would've never come up without having had the discussion with her. In starting TE, I had only one thing to go on -- wanting to put the guys in situation where they were virtually cut off from their usual refuges and had no one to fall back on but each other. How would they function being totally dependent only on each other under a type of stress most people could not handle? I wanted them both to end up working at the Green Parrot...and I desperately wanted to put Starsky in black leather motorcycle pants and Hutch in white leathers. Yes, friends, these are the base things that motivate me to write. So much for the noble arts.
I started the entire series, If Love Is Real based on an image I had of Starsky almost crawling up Hutch's body while Hutch was trying to cope with the scary thing Starsky was telling him. I'm currently working on the plot for a story for the lady who won it from the raffle. So far I've got a bingo parlor, toupees, angst, and the boys cavorting on Dobey's desk (suggestions garnered by the winner). I'm working on it. You think this is easy???
I get these images, just blips really, and then I have to find a way to cram them into a story. With TE, once I got started on it, I developed more images and a very strong image of the climax scene. I know almost everything that is going to happen in TE, which is kind of odd, since I usually hit a point 3/4 of the way through a long work where I simply haven't got a clue as to what comes next. This will sometimes stall things for months until I figure it out. But I've never been the kind of person who, like one of collaborators, plans out every scene in detail, writes them on index cards and tacks them up on a corkboard, moving them around till she gets everything set and *then* sits down and writes. That kind of system makes me crazy, but then my intuitive leaps of inspiration drive her bananas (as do my frantic phone calls at one in the morning, "I don't know what happens NEXT!!!").I've talked to a bunch of pros about this and they all do something different, some do excrutiating planning and others haven't got a clue as to what's going to happen when they get started. The only important thing is that you do what works for YOU.
2001: Some Thoughts on Feedback and Critique
There is absolutely nothing politically incorrect by wanting to discuss episodes here or anywhere else. Discussing fiction is what fandom was once based on, when entire zines were devoted to fan reviews of fannish writing. The concept that someone reading a published story that is posted in a public place has no right to discuss it is some bizarre concept given birth on the internet, similar to the concept that writers should grant "permission" for people to discuss their stories. If you put writing in a public place, people are going to talk about it, and not always the way you want them to.
Criticism helps writers figure out what they're doing wrong and if they never figure that out, they're never gonna get any better and we'll all be stuck with a whole lot of writers that never get any better than their first efforts. Criticism *should* be polite, specific, and honest, and the writer sure doesn't have to agree with it. But coddling writers' delicate feelings never got anyone better fiction. (I'll tell you a secret well-discussed among pro writers. No writer really wants criticism. Doesn't matter if they're fan or pro. They want pages and pages of unmitigated praise. But that's like giving sugar to a diabetic. They might want it, but in the long run, it's just going to hurt them.)
Regarding "hurting the writer's feelings" -- your concern about this reveals your basic kind nature. Decent people don't like to go out of their way to hurt anyone. But if your best friend put on dress that was totally wrong for her in style and color and made her look like Bozo the clown, would a good friend *not* tell her to spare hurting her feelings? If I look like a horse's ass in something and don't know it, I'd want my friend to find a way to tell me the truth so I could change into something better. If the writer doesn't consider criticism to be a benefit to her, that is her problem. There are writers on this list *begging* for meaningful criticism.It's not your job to worry about the writer. Fearing for the delicate psyche of the writer is what curtails discussion on most discussion lists and that's not beneficial to the fandom, to the development of better fiction, and it is certainly not beneficial to the writer herself, or other writers who might learn from the discussion itself. People that fearful of criticism really shouldn't be posting publicly. No story is universally loved for every golden word. And by its very nature, if you only post privately to the writer then you are not discussing fiction but sending an LOC to the writer (which is a very nice thing to do). However, if you want to stimulate discussion anywhere, that requires more people to respond to your comments pro and con -- that's how discussion comes about.
Some Thoughts on Style and Themes
Flamingo's work, at least in Miami Vice fandom, frequently covers themes of dubious consent and homosexuality and masculinity. She has commented that she is not personally very fond of Hurt/Comfort (though she still writes it very well):
It's like, let's get over this part, because it's just messy and nasty and my whole theory on hurt/comfort, which completely mystifies me – I do not understand why anybody thinks hurt/comfort is sexy. [laughter] Basically, I write slash so that people will fuck. If I didn't want them to fuck, I would go back to writing pros books. In my pros books nobody ever fucked, because they don't buy those kinds of things in the stuff I wrote, in science fiction. I came to slash so I could write about fucking. And when people are hurt, they don't want to fuck. They want Advil. [laughter] And that's my theory on hurt/comfort. So I find no appeal to it. I don't get it. I think it's creepy; I think it's a little bit icky [laughter]. Like, you know, the whole unnecessary bathing part.
You know, I'm an animal caretaker. I know what it's like to take care of sick things. I don't want to read about it. I just don't. I just don't see the pleasure in it. It doesn't- because my friends day, "What's wrong with you?" I just had to review "99 Miles from L.A." for Crack Van, I barely could get – I edited that story. [laughter] That story wouldn't exist if I hadn't edited the hell out of it. And I had to reread that story, after years of not looking at it, and I'd forgotten how incredibly tedious the entire first section is, where Starsky is recovering from Gunther's wounds, and Hutch has to bathe him, and Hutch has to give him his medicine, and I'm like, "I'll never get through this. [laughter] How am I supposed to rec this horrible fic where the guy just walks around like an invalid for half this story?" It was horrible. I got through it, and it's a great story, but my friend Kerry is saying to me, "There's something wrong with you. Why are you in this fandom?"
I hate the five fics, the five episodes that everybody loves. "Coffin for Starsky", "Shootout", "Bloodbath", you know, "The Fix", and there's at least another one where Starsky is dying by inches. Spare me. Spare me. Though I don't mind "Survival" at all, and "The Fix" doesn't bother me all that much, though we spend way too much time with Hutch throwing up.
Um, but, uh, no, I'm not a big fan of hurt/comfort. I said this at a panel once, that I really don't like hurt comfort, people who are hurt want Advil not sex. And somebody leaned over, Marilyn leaned over and said to me, "Have you even read 'Total Eclipse'?" So that was a bit embarrassing. But I don't consider what I wrote in "Total Eclipse" to be hurt/comfort. Nobody bled; nobody got hit by a car; nobody had a brick building fall on them. To me hurt/comfort usually involves physical hurt. Blood, guts, wounds, broken bones, limping, casts, crutches. I just find that incredibly tedious.I like psychological problems. I don't think of that as hurt/comfort, but apparently hurt/comfort fans do, and that's fine. Um, but it's, ah, to me that's conflict. You can't have a story without conflict. And conflict usually is brain conflict. You can write a story where the Torino has a flat but I think it has limited appeal. But, psychological problems. I like the guys to be in conflict with each other, but most of the fandom really doesn't. Um, but, ah, no, I could spend my whole life without another hurt/comfort story. [laughter] But people love 'em, so we're gonna have 'em. Yeah, that's my feeling about hurt/comfort. And yeah, I remember Rosemary saying, "Boy, are you in the wrong fandom!" 
Some Thoughts on Fandom
I still find these guys endlessly fascinating. And I go through entire stretches when I just don't have time to watch episodes, or vids, or anything, or read, and when SHarecon comes around I'm suddenly having to, you know, like right now, I'm stuck doing that, the Crack Van, because nobody signed up for it, and I was afraid they'd drop it. So I signed up for it even though there's only, all the fics I would have recced were already recced, so I'm not quite sure what to do. And I'm scrambling to find stuff to recommend. But, so, it's forcing me to read, which is great; it's good for me. And it's, I'm being forced to watch vids, and I'm having to make time. I've got to do a review of "The Set-Up", which I haven't watched in years, so I'm going to have to watch that a couple times. And the minute they're on a screen, the minute I'm reading really good fic about them, it's like the first day I discovered them. It never gets stale for me if I have the time to spend with them. If I don't have the time to spend with them then it's just a job. But if I can spend some time with them it makes my life better. It makes me happy. You know, I love them, and I hope I will always feel this way, because I enjoy it, even though it makes work for me. It's forced me to meet people I would never have met otherwise. I've made lifelong friends in this fandom, which I did not do in Miami Vice [laughter] and would never have done. I have met wonderful people who are very close to me, who I love very much, just because of this fandom. I think it's a good fandom for engendering relationships because that's what the fandom is about.
Comments from a Fan in 2015
So: there I was, holding it all in, losing my head a bit. Trying hard to hang on.
I went out onto the Internets in the hopes of finding distractions. My brother and I were huge Starsky & Hutch fans in our youth, and I had bought us each copies of the DVD set of the first season. We hung out after chemo and watched episodes, and it seemed to cheer him up. So, after we’d finished watching the first season, I went online to see when the second season would be released, and that led me to the “Starsky and Hutch Virtual Season,” which in turn led me to Flamingo’s Starsky & Hutch Archive, a treasure trove of SH fanfiction.
I’d never heard of fanfiction before—in fact, even fandom as a concept was alien to me—but I started reading it all. It was the perfect distraction. The boys had adventures, and many happy endings and, to my very great surprise, lots of hot sex. This startled me at first, but I’m extremely adaptable.
And then I ran into a death story. I was deep into it before I realized what it was. It’s a good thing I was alone in my apartment, because suddenly, for the first time in that dark, dark period, I started crying. Spectacularly.
Poor Starsky had lost someone closer than a brother. I could weep for him, because it was beyond horrible; at the same time, it was distant enough. It was safe. It was only a story. And then I found a nice Charlotte Frost story to soothe myself afterwards. See? There the boys are, back together and having all sorts of nice, comfortable angst and hot sex.This may sound very silly to you, but I think Flamingo’s site] saved my sanity.
- Escapade Vid Show Retrospective 1992-2001: The Starsky & Hutch vid included the song Livin' La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin.
- Discovery Channel
- Big Balls
- I'm a Believer
Zine Novels by Flamingo
Starsky & Hutch
- Along the Road of Dreams (1992)
- Wicked Games (1993)
- Phone Sex (1995)
- The Curse of the Black Opal (1996)
- Beyond the Golden Triangles (1997)
Zines Edited by Flamingo
- Dangerous Lives, Dangerous Visions (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2010)
- Dark Night of the Soul (2003)
- My Lover, My Hero (2003)
- Some Other Fantasy (2004)
- Timeless (2003, 2005)
- Hutch and Me Get It On a Whole Lot
- The Perfect Couple (with Keri T)
Zines with Content by Flamingo
- Crystal Blue Persuasion
- Back to the Beach
- Dyad Vice
- Miami Spice
- The Fix
- Indigo Boys
- Nothing to Hide
- Test of Faith
- Cross the Line
- Wild Cards
- Cabrillo Con Zine
- The Indigo Stories of Starsky and Hutch
- Boys in Blue
- Cold Pizza and Butterfly Bones
Meta by Flamingo
- The Secret to Handling Criticism (1999)
- It's not like I never read h/c stories or that I hate them all. (1999)
- Letting others use your characters and plot lines (1999)
- Advice for Slash Writers (2000)
- Convoluted Writing Thoughts (2000)
- Mary Sue: 2000 Comments by Flamingo (2000)
- ALL fanfiction violates copyright. (2000)
- ReP Mary Sue's (2000)
- SH Fandom - Restrictions? Or limits? (2000)
- So what is the difference between a gen story and a slash story? (2000)
- Do slash writers think of slash writing as risk-taking? (2000)
- The Art of Fanfic Critique: who and what it is for (2001)
- Changing Fandom Culture (2001)
- Who is Fanfiction Written For, the Reader or the Writer? (2001)
- Novel Ideas vs Short Story Ideas (2002)
- Writers vs Publishers (2002)
- Taking a concept from another fanwriter and writing your own story (2003)
- Writing Profic and Fanfic (2003)
- Mailing List Culture and Critical Discussion of Fanworks (2003)
- Changing People's Attitudes, or, How to Attract New People to Zines (2003)
- posted to The Pits on June 22, 2000, posted at Fanlore with Flamingo's permission.
- posted to The Pits on January 13, 2000, posted at Fanlore with Flamingo's permission.
- from a June 28, 2001 post to VenicePlace, posted to Fanlore with Flamingo's permission
- Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with Flamingo
- Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with Flamingo
- comment by tenshinochouwa at How We Lost Our Fanfic Virginity (205)