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For Yuletide I got insanely lucky: I received two stories in the main collection and a gift in Madness as well.

The two stories in the main collection are both Velgarth stories, about Tarma and Kethry. All I really wanted in this fandom was Tarma and Kethry being awesome, and I got this twice. I got Tarma and Kethry being awesome in a quieter moment, and Tarma and Kethry on a case.

a lingering season (2015 words) by inlovewithnight
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Valdemar Series - Mercedes Lackey
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Tarma shena Tale'sedrin, Kethry (Valdemar)
Additional Tags: Horses, Partnership
Summary:

In their mercenary days, Tarma and Kethry take a job watching over a herd wintering in the mountains, waiting for spring foaling.



Self-Reliance (2545 words) by russian_blue
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Valdemar Series - Mercedes Lackey, Vows and Honor - Mercedes Lackey
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Tarma shena Tale'sedrin, Kethry (Valdemar), Warrl
Additional Tags: Case Fic, allusion to offstage child harm, magic going wrong, Misses Clause Challenge
Summary:

After a creature in the Pelagirs curses Kethry's magic, she and Tarma have to take a great risk to rescue three kidnapped children.



For Madness I got a Sense8 double-drabble, focusing on Sun. GO SUN. This is even more awesome after watching the Christmas special.

Righting a Wrong (200 words) by Sarren
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Sense8 (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Nomi Marks, Sun Bak, Soo-Jin (Sense8)
Summary:

Nomi helps Sun help her friend.



I wrote in Alliance-Union for Yuletide this year.

Judgment Call (1638 words) by sprocket
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Alliance-Union - C. J. Cherryh
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Allison Reilly, Sandor Kreja
Summary:

What's worked for eight years might need some review.



I'm happy with the narrative voice, and I had fun putting in bits of canon, but the actual story I think sounds like everything else I've ever tried to write. Getting the story to gel was surprisingly tough, and I kept tweaking until pretty much the last moment. One of my 2017 goals has to be to push harder to write more fic, and put more variety in it.
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It is a truth sometimes acknowledged that, if I plan to write N for a challenge, it's far more probable I will hit the closing line and discover I have written Z', Gimel, or possibly Phi.
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Dear Yuletide writer,

First, thank you! I'll be happy to see new fic for any of these fandoms, about pretty much anything that is not explicitly invoked in my do not wants. These fandoms all speak to something I love. ODAO, character requests should be considered "OR" not "AND".

Stuff I Like: people working together to overcome obstacles, snark and snappy dialogue, banter, darkfic, place as character, postapocalyptic, N Times Characters Did A Thing. Worldbuiling. I have a bulletproof love of competence, including competence at being villainous, and characters finding connections and trusting each other. Add "in bed" to any of this for great shippy times. If crossovers and fusions are your things, bless you, writer. Crossovers and fusions are a joy to me.

Do Not Wants: PWP, bloodplay, coffeeshop AU, high school/college AU, explicit descriptions of sexual assault, cross-generation (May-December) ships, cheating and/or infidelity, violence much more intense than canon-typical levels.

Shippiness is okay, and background pairings, whether F/F, F/M, M/M, are all excellent options. OT3 is one of my favorite solutions to love triangles.

That's it, that's the letter. Everything else is fandom-specific prompting. If you have an idea, go forth, write. If you're looking for ideas, read on.

Parable Series, Octavia Butler )

Sense8 )

Steerswoman Series - Rosemary Kirstein )

Valdemar Series - Mercedes Lackey )
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I defaulted on Yuletide. I... don't feel great about that.

But I still received a gift. The Flower of Tisarwat is (Imperial Radch, gen, 1461 words) is Tisarwat in the aftermath of Anaander Mianaai's meddling, with poetry as a coping device. Go, read it!

I've also seen the new Star Wars movie. Twice. There is literally nothing I could say that has not already been said.

Because... history has its eyes on you. )

Writing

Oct. 31st, 2015 10:20 pm
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Happy Halloween, and All Soul's Day!

[community profile] trickortreatex (300 words): done! Which is good, because the archive is open.

[community profile] yuletide (1,000 words): Hi there, assignment! You and I will be going places.

Anyone up for some kind of November pseudo-Nanowrimo writing challenge? I'm jonesing for a finish-a-thon, or some kind of low bar "fingers to keyboard" peer pressure deal.
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Dear Yuletide writer,

We like the same rare fandoms, clearly only good can come of our match-up. And by "good" I may mean interstellar siege warfare, or the terrible things people do when they've lost everything, or ways of making a new home in another world entirely. I love all these fandoms, so don't feel like prompt length has anything to do with desirability. The character requests are the characters I am most excited about getting fic for, and I would suggest, even encourage, additional characters if that's where your story takes you. And if your story includes just some of these characters, that's fine too.

What do I like? N things, place as character, fork in the road AUs, hugs, comfort sex. Misunderstandings and their resolutions. Worldbuilding! Stories that play on the worldbuilding, using some quirk of the major McGuffins or themes for Reasons. Competence, whether it's at scholarship, or diplomacy, or shooting things. Consequences, good or bad. If you're moved to write a crossover, go for it. Anon comments are enabled if you want to ask about a hypothetical crossover, or any other question.

Gen or shippy fic are both up my alley. OT3 is one of my favorite solutions to love triangles. The pan-fandom ship I will go down with is Favorite Characters/Happiness. (The road to Character/Happiness may be fraught. I eat that up with a spoon.) Rape, bloodplay, and infidelity are major turn-offs.

Other do not wants: epistolary fic, coffeeshop / modern day AUs, explicit descriptions of sexual assault, violence that's more intense than canon-typical levels.

Alliance-Union - C. J. Cherryh: Damon Konstantin, Elene Quen, Joshua Talley )

Fall of Ile-Rien - Martha Wells: Tremaine Valiarde )

Imperial Radch Series - Ann Leckie: Seivarden Vendaai, Sphene, Tisarwat, Zeiat )

But most of all, dear writer, have fun! I don't get to read a lot of fic in any of these fandoms, so I really will be happy if you just write that one story you've wanted to get out, however serious or silly, and haven't gotten around to. Happy yuletide!

P. S. So matching snuck up on me and I made some tweaks on 10/30. HTH, writer.

Yuletide

Dec. 31st, 2014 09:43 pm
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For [community profile] yuletide, I received a charming Mirabile story, "No Rest for the Wicked". It's Annie and Leo and enforced downtime, which goes about as you'd expect. It's got a wonderful lighthearted flavor that reminds me very much of the original short stories. If you have any familiarity with the original canon, and like Annie and Leo at all, I'd strongly encourage checking this out.

I wrote "Golden Valleys in the Diamond Deserts" a Company fic about Lewis and Joseph after the Silence. Writing something that even remotely evoked the Company novel style was like sweating blood, but the recip left a nice note, so I'm calling it a draw. If in the future I offer a fandom with six novels of canon review, plus short stories, and also a style emulation challenge, I will be jumping on canon review much earlier.

Other holiday plans postponed a lot of my Yuletide intentions. I'm looking forward to catching up over the New Year holiday.
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[community profile] fringe_exchange: I got a Fringe/Pacific Rim crossover, "Cortexiphan Alpha was the name of the Jaeger once" which sweetly and precisely fitted my request for Olivia, Etta, and a Jaeger.

[community profile] yuletide (1,000 words): the time has come to open Written? Kitten! and a vein. There's a notable lack of prompt-appropriate stories in me this month, but I'm going to try to pull one off regardless.

In that vein, I'm trying to not to be seduced by the possibilities of titling a Fringe/YW crossover "Fear Death by Water". (Two words: Reiden Lake.) Nothing like a deadline to make anything else look like a great idea.
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[community profile] fringe_exchange (650 words): if this is what writing shameless idfic feels like, I understand why people love to do it. The character voices and themes aren't quite as polished as I'd like, but I still have the long weekend to poke at it.

[community profile] yuletide (1,000 words): is it too early to cry bears? I think not.
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[profile] trickortreatx: waiting on reveals!

[community profile] fringe_exchange (750 words): 1440 words, some even in sequential order. Three steps forward, two steps back, a step over here, a step over there...

[community profile] yuletide (1,000 words): assignments are out! I have an idea for mine, though there will be a moment where people go, Oh it's you. Hopefully disguised in the noise of the canon's Oh it's you issues.
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Dear Yuletide Writer,

We like the same rare fandoms, clearly only good can come of our match-up. And by "good" I may mean interstellar siege warfare, or geeks doing their geeky thing, or creative reconstruction of murder scenes, or maybe some very quirky biology. I will be thrilled to receive pretty much anything that is not explicitly invoked in my do not wants. ETA 11/01: All character requests are intended as "or", not "and".

If you're into gen, rock on. Gen is buddies. If you're in a porny mood, go for it! Add "in bed" to most of the below to get me hot and bothered. But please keep the knives and blood out of the sex: I am not a big fan of mixing pain and orgasms. Likewise, not so much with the BDSM.

A lot of these prompts came out pretty light-hearted. If you are moved to write something about people being messy and human and not that nice, I'm looking forward to reading it.

Fandom cliches that have made me happy include kidfic, friendships, N Things, genderflip, darkfic, sedoretu, superpowers, cuddling, backstory, timestamp, apocalyptic... go for it. If you're familiar with more than one of these fandoms, I'm fine with crossovers or fusions for any of these. Treat the canon with love and affection (if not always great reverence), and have fun.

Alliance-Union - C. J. Cherryh: Damon Konstantin, Elene Quen, Joshua Talley, Signy Mallory
Why hello there, fandom of my heart. While I adore Cyteen, I'm in a mood for the Merchanter's Alliance and Earth Company characters this year. I wouldn't mind a post-War pre-Cyteen story, if you want to just revel in the snippy politics of the Merchanter's Alliance, Union, and Sol. Either internal - imagine Quen and Mallory politicking! - or external. Can you imagine what Alliance would say if Ari said, the military let you have something that wasn't theirs to give, and Reseune wants it back, OMG what have you done with Talley, he's our azi? It might be of those rare occasions that Damon Konstantin and Signy Mallory are on the same oh heck no page.

I want to know what happened post-War that Damon didn't take up his father's post and Elene did. I would not mind Norway backstory at all. I would be absolutely okay with 5 double-drabbles strewn across canon from Heavy Time through Finity's End and on. I will make an exception to "pining is boring" for late Downbelow Station Damon/Elene to the slightly ironic tune of "They Can't Take That Away From Me". Because, of course, a key plot point in DbS is that memory wipes are totally on the table.

(If you are into threesomes, Damon/Josh/Elene is the utterly uncanonical OT3 of my heart. I have this vision of Damon on the "wait, we have to talk about this..." wavelength with two spacers giving him the, "or we could have really hot sex, which would be less intimate and meaningful and way more fun than the way we talked around post-War politics while we killed that bottle of Downer wine" side-eye.)

Cryptonomicon: Amy Shaftoe, Avi Halaby, Charlene, Randall Waterhouse
If it's wrong to want the Charlene POV remix of this novel, I do not want to be right. Charlene gets fairly short shrift as The Ex, she might have some enlightening reflections about hanging out with Randy's crowd for the duration of her relationship, and her secret romance stash. In some way, Charlene's remixing aca-lit crowd reads as One Of Us, I'd love to see five double-drabbles of Charlene and Randy's relationship through the lens of her experiences, or five double-drabbles about her life outside Randy, or a mix. Grad school to tenure track Charlene would be awesome!

I also would love Amy Shaftoe in her own words. As a part Filipinia raised in the Shaftoe clan who bailed on life in the United States to hang out with her dad in the Philipines, what's her feelings about, oh, family, or having an excellent profession like diving and treasure hunting and being as much of a geek as Randy or Avi in her own way. 1,000 words of characters pontificating on the subject matter of your heart in that deadpan "let's connect fiddly minutia to things that could possibly explode" Neal Stephenson style would also be welcome.

Elementary: Joan Watson, Marcus Bell, Ms. Hudson
As I shake the [profile] trickortreatx presents, I am almost embarrassed to ask for more of this. However, I also keep finding awesome snarky gifsets on tumblr which remind me why I love this fandom. I love the snark, I love the improbable cases, I love the Joan-Sherlock relationship. The show does interesting work fleshing out the people around Holmes, but a lot of their interaction still revolves around him. Joan and Marcus have to put up with a lot from Holmes, and maybe deserve some time hanging out without him... but with a case. Perhaps it involves the woefully underused Ms. Hudson? The S2/S3 hiatus? Or there's hanging out at the brownstone with these three characters. Or if you want to meet word count with triple-drabble-ish fashion about things these character do off the clock, as it were, go for it.

Mirabile: Annie Jason Masmajean, Leonev Opener Denness, Susan (Mirabile)
I adore this world. It's cute and fluffy and warm and affectionate! I love that Annie is a happy middle-aged-ish professional woman with a passion. I love the general affection canon has for the kids as they learn and grow. While I would deeply appreciate a casefic incorporating biological twists (ha. ha.) uncovered since these stories were written, I would also be fine with Annie and Leo sipping mint juleps and necking, or more than necking. I love the recognition that childraising is a job, and watching Susan and her cohort growing up, and Annie and Leo's sickeningly cute courtship. The man got her a kangaroo rex, wasn't that great? I wonder what he would get her for the Mirabilian Christmas or Christmas-ish winter gift=giving.

If we matched elsewhere and you're getting stuck, Mirabile is a quick read, which should be available from a local library or through inter-library loan.
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[community profile] trickortreatex (300 words): first draft completed. Hooray for low word count exchanges! I'm excited to think this might get done early. I'm not thinking too hard about pinching or treating (in the traditional sense of exchange treats) until the primary story is posted.

[community profile] fringe_exchange (750 words): 100 words! Noodling with more words! The story idea is in line with my recip's likes (I hope).

On the sidelines, there are three really compelling plot bunnies that are going to wait their turn.

[community profile] yuletide (1,000 words): the tagset is up!. Can it be signups now? In a new twist, there's fandoms I am even more excited about offering than about requesting, a first for me.
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Based on the very scientific "would I hit that like a wrecking ball?" where "hit" means "write or read with excessive joy".

Alliance-Union (Signy Mallory, Damon Konstantin, Elene Quen, Joshua Talley): I know, such a surprise.

Cryptonomicon (Amy Shaftoe, Randall Waterhouse, Charlene, Avi Halaby): If it's wrong to want the Charlene POV remix of this novel, I do not want to be right. I also find I would be okay with Amy Shaftoe in her own words.

The Perilous Gard (Alicia Sutton, Kate Sutton, Christopher Heron, The Lady): I had that much fun writing it last year.

I, er, nominated one fandom, updated the unofficial spreadsheet and then swapped it out after I closed my edit tab. Sorry, yuletiders.



For the holidays, I'm planning to sign up for (or have signed up for) [profile] trickortreatx, [community profile] fringe_exchange, and Yuletide. It's a slight oversubscription, but hopefully the timing will work out.
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Thank you for offering to write fic in my rare fandom. I am thrilled to my toes about this. Optional details are optional! [personal profile] seekingferret said last year, "I just want a story that celebrates what's cool about these fandoms and digs into the gaps and questions what isn't cool... it's the intellectual engagement with the source material that I'm seeking." That is how I feel about these fandoms. And this engagement may be expressed through the medium of crackfic.

If you're into gen, rock on. Gen is buddies. If you're in a porny mood, go for it! Add "in bed" to most of the below to get me hot and bothered. But please keep the knives and blood out of the sex: I am not a big fan of mixing pain and orgasms. Likewise, not so much with the BDSM.

Fandom cliches that have made me happy include kidfic, friendships, N Things, genderflip, darkfic, sedoretu, superpowers, cuddling, backstory, timestamp, apocalyptic... go for it. Treat the canon with love and affection (if not always great reverence), and have fun.

100 Books that SHOULD be written (Any):
I love that this is basically a series of transformative works about life. What a great chance to write 1,000 words about the title that strikes your fancy, or how the book came to be, or what inspired the graphic artist(s) in that universe to make that cover (bonus: alternate history and/or alternate future history), the impact of one (or more) of these 100 (fictional) books on an OC's life (bonus: crossovers), whatever floats your boat. This is a great chance to talk about something you love deeply. (There is a cover for a Dahl novel! For Dawkins! For Tesla and art and the Dalai Lama and Canadian politics. Writer, geek out about gaming the Academy Awards or Morris dancing or emacs vs vm or apocafic - hi, Cormac McCarthy - write what you love.)

If we matched on another fandom which has left you scratching your head, this is a great fallback option. Or if you think this would cross over with another requested fandom, go for it!

Matthew Swift (Penny Ngwenya, Dr Seah, Oda, Nabeela Hirj):
Writer, I asked for four awesome women, and now that I look at the request I am a little puzzled as to how to wedge that much awesome into 1,000 words. Please consider character requests optional.

So my 100% bulletproof narrative thing, which will get me to read almost anything: place as character. The nearly-as-bulletproof thing is messy identity concepts. So, gentle Yuletide Writer, here we are, you and I, with London as character, and We are Swift, and I am the angels. Bullet. Proof.

I love those aspects of the novels. Others I find less cool. If you want to fix this weird pattern where many of the incredibly awesome women keep dying, please do. If you want to have a round of "Oda blows things up, maybe with identity angst" go for it. I beg for the blue electric angels to be involved with the explosions. Or a round of Penny blowing things up? I would be all about The Adventures of Penny Ngwenya, Urban Sorceress. The Penny and Nabeela section of The Minority Council was my favorite part of the novel. How did Dr. Seah wind up a magical medical go-to resource? What does she do when she's not patching up Swift? Or if you love your city, I'm sure a younger Swift visited it. Write a love story about the city of your heart, with magic in the sewers and libraries and crackling in the streetlights, and I will love it forever.

If you want to pull in characters from the Magicals Anonymous novels, go for it! The more the merrier.

Mortal City (Dar Williams) (Any):
I love the progression from isolation to a sense of connection with everyone in the city. I love the word-poem. I love the idea this could spawn a character study, and/or a cuddly vignette, and/or super-futuristic Delaneyesque 25th Century city with genderqueer characters, and/or magical realism. I would love to know how the narrator wound up in this city, or what she and her dinner guest did the next morning, whether she stayed in the city or left or dated this guy and why.

Stargate Universe (Vanessa James, Tamara Johansen, Lisa Park):
I stopped watching SGU halfway into S1, and some time after its cancellation was encouraged to give it another shot. At which point I discovered some of the things I found intensely problematic had been dialed down or were heavy-handed setup for long-term character development. And some completely random items were added - Park/Greer, d'awwww - that I liked. I liked characters forming bonds and fixing the ship - a lot - and the explorations of people's connections in times of uncertainty. But the show - how to say this? - does not always do all that well spreading the narrative wealth across its characters. Women tend to be reactive to things that happen to them - pregnancies, alien kidnappings, random blindness - rather than getting stories that promote agency.

So I'd love stories that connect these characters. Stories where knowing medicine and physics and how to shoot a gun really well or keep your head in are at least as important as who your boyfriend is.

This is a great fandom for sex-positive!Park smut or "fix the McGuffin" (where McGuffin = topic close to the writer's heart) stories. Or TJ + James "sister officers" friendship. Or Park and James connecting on, well, anything. Do they have backstory? Maybe they were in the same SG survival course! Maybe they miss their families! Maybe they both knit! Canon is a bit thin on the ground about what choices brought these characters to Icarus and Destiny, feel free to fill that in.

Valdemar (Stephen): I would love post-Vanyel Stephen and the political machinations he likely gets into to fulfill that thing at the end of "Magic's Price". If that doesn't strike your fancy, (a) OPTIONAL DETAILS ARE OPTIONAL, (b) I love all things Tarma and Kethry, (c) I also love all things Savil, including knocking sense into her mopey favorite nephew's head, or hanging out with Vanyel's new (and nearly only) friend.

Please have fun with this prompt and write what you love most about these novels.

I loved Valdemar in my teens. Now I love it for comfort reading, but it has many issues rooted in failing to consider second-order worldbuilding effects, as well as late '80s LGBT failing to translate well 25 (!) years later. Feel free to explore those aspects. Also feel free to write five double-drabbles about Stephen getting into trouble as a Bardic trainee. Or that time Tarma and Kethry communed with some far Northern spirits (because everyone else has made a cameo appearance in the Forest of Sorrows, why not these ladies as well?).

If these prompts work for you, great! If not, write from the heart. Thank you for gracing my fannish life with anything at all in these fandoms.
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