MustangSally

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Fan
Name: MustangSally
Alias(es):
Type: fan fiction writer, essayist
Fandoms: X-Files, Buffy
Communities:
Other:
URL: GeoCities site (earlier Wayback copy)GeoCities site (Wayback's copy)
AO3 URL coming soon!
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MustangSally writes essays and fanfiction in X-Files and Buffy and collaborative stories in both fandoms with RivkaT.
Mustang Sally: GeoCities site

Her fanfiction site, The Disenchanted Kingdom, was hosted on GeoCities and is part of the OTW's GeoCities Rescue Project.

Interview

In Her Words: 1997 or Before

Long story short, I was the weird kid in the back of the class who couldn't do the Math lessons and daydreamed instead. What did I daydream? I told myself stories. Star Trek, Star Wars, Wonder Woman, Battlestar Galactica, Roger Zelazny's Amber series, Dick Francis' English horse racing mysteries, Indiana Jones, Doctor Who, Dungeons and Dragons, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, you name it, I was fan girl. I had piles and piles of spiral-bound notebooks filled with stories in my illegible handwriting (Dysgraphia is often found in those who have Dyscalculia, which gives the sufferer poor handwriting, as well as an almost ridiculous inability to spell.) I wrote stories because I loved to, because it was endlessly interesting to reach the end of someone else's story and say "What happened next was . . ." It was fan fic, pure and simple. My few friends and I would write our little stories in our notebooks and draw little illustrations. The highlight of all the stories was when the heroine (Samathena, Katt, or Andromeda) got in a lip lock with the current object of my adolescent lust.

It's painful to look back on those stories, mostly because I can't read my own handwriting, and also because they were so bad. Mary Sue to the infinite degree. What can I say? I would far rather have been flying vipers with Starbuck than getting creamed in dodgeball at Milton H. Allen Elementary.

Then I took high school off to discover boys, Duran Duran, Billy Idol, the Ramones, and the Sex Pistols (in that order), as well as to write original fantasy stories, which won me awards and ultimately got me a very tasty college scholarship. In college, I dyed my hair purple and wrote a gritty, punk Sci Fi epic in loose-leaf notebooks and eventually in WordStar on a Compaq "portable" computer. The "portable" weighed 40 lbs., had a green screen six inches square and you had to load all the programs from floppy disk every time you wanted to use it. The dot-matrix printer could keep my entire dorm floor awake all night. There were six other personal computers on campus, and four of them belonged to boy comp-sci majors.

In graduate school I dyed my hair black and thought I was Bertold Brecht. I wrote plays about thwarted lust, wrote a dramaturgical guide on R.U.R. without reading it in the original Czech, and directed scenes by obscure South American playwrights that made people nervous. I had a lot of fun being as scary as possible and terribly, annoyingly serious.

Abruptly I was flung into an uncaring world and forced to find a job. I couldn't find one in theatre, and the Ph.D. programs had dried to dust due to the Gulf War and twelve years of Reagan/Bush gutting of funding for the arts. So I found a series of boring-ass clerical jobs and became a very motivated liberal Democrat! When The X-Files started (I got on board at "Squeeze") I started noodling some X-Files stories in loose-leaf binders. No big. I was also writing comic books at the time, for an outfit called Comic Zone and was actually getting paid for it. I figured that The X-Files fic was just keeping the creative juices flowing and there was fuck-all else to do. One night I was at a Borders Books and Music with a friend, drinking coffee and wishing that I could smoke, when her friends came up and we started talking about The X-Files and they mentioned that there were some sites on the Internet that had fan fiction on them. The friend I was with commented that she'd seen printed versions of the stories and that I could write much better than what was out there. Since I can't resist a challenge, in less than two weeks I got a new computer with a modem, AOL and was surfing The X-Files fic sites. That was Christmastime, 1996. I wasn't very impressed with the fic that I read. There was an overabundance of MarySue Mulder/Other and I didn't think it was fair that Scully didn't get to have a sex life. So I hatched an evil plan.

In August of 1997, Syntax and Measure was archived on Gossamer.

And that, as they say, is that. [1]

Collaboration: RivkaT and MustangSally

[MustangSally said]:

One thing, Sally is not the only one who "brings the funny". Rivka has honed some of the sharpest lines in all of our work together.

It all started one night when I was idly watching some X-Files videotapes and wondering exactly how I would feel if I were Scully - if my ova had been taken and used to create creatures without my consent. Someone once said that the X-Files was all about powerful forces using and abusing a woman's body and her reproductive rights. Hey, keep your rosaries away from my ovaries. I'll reproduce when and where I want. It's none of your business. If I were Scully, I'd be pissed. Possibly to the point of not being entirely sane. I'd have big chunks of my sanity poisoned by being violated in that way, and I'd believe that if I couldn't do what I wanted with my ova, nobody else was going to be able to.

The most toxic mother figure in Western Civilization was Medea. She murdered her own children rather than have them be declared bastards and raised as slaves by her ex-lover Jason and his new wife. So Scully became Medea. I sent an e-mail around to a few authors I knew and respected and stated that I was looking for somebody to collaborate with on a fic based on Medea. Rivka was the only one who replied. Why was I not surprised? I'd gotten wonderfully creeped out by "Shibboleth" and admired the tight way she strung her creepiness together. I also liked the cold, hard way she wrote Scully. This could work.

Oddly enough, we didn't speak on the phone until after Agnates was posted. We met even later, after reassuring each other that we were socially maladjusted middle aged men who lived in the Midwest with our mothers and had a thing about knitting while watching kiddie porn snuff movies. Well, we're none of those things, although I do, on occasion, crochet. [2]

Working with Rivka: Buffy The Vampire Slayer Collaborations

MustangSally said:

I totally resisted Buffy the Vampire Slayer for years. I'd paid money way back when to see the original movie and thought it was crap, and I wasn't about to get into a show that was as stupid as that movie. Rivka tried to sell me on it in the summer of 1998, but I was stubborn. Why should I watch some cross between Scooby Doo and 90210? I didn't like high school when I was in high school and no number of vampires was going to make it any better.

I broke down at the beginning of season 4 on the basis that they were now in college and that was somewhat more interesting than high school. Duh. Major, major, duh. I'd seen about three episodes, since that was about the same time that The X-Files was going places I didn't like, and I was itching to start writing with Rivka again. So I called her and mentioned that I'd been watching both BtVS and Angel the Series, and she said that she'd been writing a story about the vampire called Spike. I'd already developed a bit of an unhealthy interest in Spike, since I was a Billy Idol fan from way back, and I thought he was a blatant knock-off with the most amazing cheekbones I'd ever seen in my life. Keep in mind that in college I dated guys who were white suburban American punk wannabes. That was about the same time that Spike got chipped and I really felt for him – having quit smoking and started again, I knew what that burning need was like. Any smoker knows.

Frankly, I would have written anything if it meant working with Rivka again. But what she sent me was the first half-dozen pages of Heart's Filthy Lesson (which had no title) where she had sketched out the idea of the demon hunting down demons that had worked with the Nazis. So I took a crash-course in BtVS canon, got a huge box of videotapes from Rivka, read as many transcripts and fics as I could find, and I wasn't much impressed with the fic quality that I found. The show, however, blew my mind! It was funny, it was campy, the characters had smart, witty dialogue, and it wasn't quite as insipid as I thought it was going to be. All the girls were a little too young and a little too pretty for my taste, but I was willing to look past that. Besides, there was Spike, and I could totally get him. I came from the 1980's, I had dressed in almost complete black since 1984, and I was pretty sure that I could recreate an Urban London accent better than most Yanks.

The danger with writing Buffyfic is that your vocabulary goes completely to shit and you start talking and writing like a graduate of Sunnydale High.

Now, the "We Owe Bowie Money" series looks like it's spiraling out of control, which is foamy goodness in the extreme. [3]

A Fan's Comment: 1997

The only way to describe the work of this author is unique. Completely and utterly different from other things you might read. Ignore the occasional formatting or typo issues with this author, and just sit back and enjoy KickAss!Scully like you've never seen her before. I'm sure this author is a favorite amongst the Rogues - er - Kitchen Crew of our Order. Not for our younger members, most of her work is NC-17. Her "Syntax and Measure" series has Scully working on a rather seedy case without the Punk in sight. She's also written one of my favorite Mulder/Scully romance pieces "Diamonds and Rust" because, well, romance is a relative term. This story has the absolutely most brilliant post-coital utterance from our Saint in all of fanfic. [4]

References

  1. MustangSally
  2. Conjoined Twins, around 2001
  3. Buffista!, around 2001
  4. December 1997 OBSSE News, Archived version