The Future of Babylon - Intrspective piece for Kashtiliash, one of the main "downtime" characters in the series, and his interactions with Nantucket. For me, this pair is one of the best parts of the series, so I was glad to make this Yuletide wish come true with a New Year's Resolution (not as under the wire as last year's was!)
First Step - Drabble for the same fandom, one of the starts that didn't quite work out. And now I've made the recipient want second-gen fic, so I might have to get back to my drawing board.
Currently working on my assignment and treats for Trick or Treak Exchange (and I see I already have a gift for that) and then it's time for YULETIDE!
First off, thank you for agreeing to do this! I love getting (and giving) stories, and this is my sixth Yuletide. I hope the assignment doesn't give you TOO many fits.
Warning: I am one of the long letter-writers. Optional details are optional, but I tend to be one of the people who always wants MORE information, so I provide plenty. Also, in case this isn't enough, previous letters can be found under the "dear yuletide writer" tag. Also of interest may be my "recs" tag.
( More Than You Probably Needed to Know )
This meant that after I did errands, and read a little bit, I got to sleep for a whole seven hours before dragging my lazy carcass out of bed and going for a run with my roommate.
There is something in my right upper thigh that is pulling now, so the rest of the night should be fun. But we ran, which is good.
Errands involved getting initial money put in the Savings Deposit Program, a nifty little deal for deployed people that lets earn 10% interest a year on up to $10K. And the money can stay in for 90 days after you return, so if you cram the cash in quickly, you can actually get the whole deal. I also had to visit our post office and mail some paperwork. Of course, all this involves roaming the base on foot, so I was pretty happy to come home and go to sleep.
Other things that are good: YULETIDE IS COMING! Nominations will open 16 September. Looking at the rules from the new mods (elynross is not doing it this year, sadness) I think the things I like to request will all be good. Nancy Drew is edging close to the line on the AO3 limit, but should be good this year. So maybe this will be the year I get lucky and get the Nancy Drew story I ask for.
There are some changes in the whole nomination process, and it looks like the number of nominations we can put in may not be 3 - they were looking at 4, but are trying to avoid the list getting to be huge, which I can understand. That means it's time to spend some time reading my "things I've asked for in the past" list as well as the post on Yuletide where people are talking up fandoms and going through that whole thing. It has 760 comments now, however, so it will not happen before I go to work this evening. Which, sadly, is in about 30 minutes.
School is back in session - not sure how much I am going to enjoy it after some of the reading we are doing, but I think it's good to stretch my horizons.
So, for any lovers of Yuletide who are not on yuletide_admin, they are working on the nomination code, and it should be up soon (translation: start thinking of what fandoms you want to nominate) so the wonderful Yuletide mods can get the list of fandoms together, and we can all sign up.
And then the fun begins.
astolat also reminds us that without the Organization for Transitive Works/Archive of Our Own (OTW / AO3), Yuletide would probably be nothing but a fond memory. You can donate to the OTW here.
Now that we're all revealed, I can take credit for my five stories (3 Yuletide, 2 Madness) ! Even better, I can start responding to comments, which makes me happy.
Part I - My initial assignment - Staying Even, a fanfic for the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew TV show. The show is pretty campy but entertaining (how can you not love episodes like the one where they meet Dracula (played by Lorne Greene) but differs from the books' continuity, which is what I normally write. Also, there's still chemistry between Nancy and Frank Hardy, but it's more along the lines of "either they fall madly in love or kill each other" chemistry. The request was for a little case-solving where Nancy gets to NOT be a damsel in distress. It seems to have worked, although it has waaaay less comments than hits. (Gift for philote_auctor )
Part II - My pinch hit - Dreams of Hope, a fanfic for the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon (DDC). I was looking at this one with interest when doing some letter-stalking, and then managed to grab it for a pinch hit. It's for a pairing not usually done in fanfic, and I think it works out pretty well. (I think it also made me a confirmed Eric/Sheila fan) It's mostly sweet and fluffy, with some deeper notes. (Gift for herongale )
Part III - A treat (better known as, This Is Your Brain When You Mainline Canon) - The Quality of Mercy, another DDC fanfic. It plays off one of the best known episodes of the series, The Dragons' Graveyard, in which the kids try to take a pretty unprecedented step in 80s cartoons - permanently do away with the enemy. (Gift for Senji (not on LJ)
Part IV - Madness Ficlet One - Thoughts on Going Home, a Masters of the Universe ficlet. It assumes a future when Adora is free to return to Eternia, and that all may not be well. (Gift for Pervyficgirl (not on LJ)
Part V - Madness Ficlet Two - Choices, a DDC ficlet that was sort of a remnant from canon-mainlining. It deals with the (unaired) final episode in which the kids get the choice to go home, focused on Eric. (Gift for astolat )
1. Sense and Sense (Sense and Sensibility)
What if Col Brandon and Elinor ended up together? This one does that in a way that's smooth and organic with source material. And come on, Hugh Grant or Alan Rickman? I know which one I pick...
2. Fairy Tales (Anne of Green Gables)
Two of Anne's former students find each other. This one has an approach that works beautifully - a love poem about a princess with a thousand names and the poet who loves her.
1. Clever (BSC)
Fabulous look inside the head of Charlie Thomas, when it comes to Janine Kishi… explicit for teenage male thoughts, but not actions.
2. Danse Solitaire (Cotiillion)
A drabble inside Jack’s head post-Cotillion.
3. The Absence of Pain (Vorkosigan Saga)
Padma and Aral interact after Escobar. It’s good, and made me miss Padma again…Sorry, no quotes!
1. Bright Things (Little Mermaid) - More on the prompt about how Eric and Ariel need to adjust.
"Take a deep breath," he says, and when she does, they both dive, meeting under the water and rotating lazily around each other as long as they can. Her skin is warm against his, and he wonders what it would be like if they could sleep like this, her hair floating around him in a halo.
2. Revenge! A Comedy - (Sleeping Beauty) - OMG, this is hilarious! Go read it.
"True love's kiss?" she asks, clearly not happy with the prospect of me being her true love. Which is completely fine with me, considering I don't stir my cauldron that way either.
3. Little Brown Bird - (GWTW) Rhett's thoughts about Melanie and her quiet strength. Very nicely done.
He'd been about to applaud when he saw Melanie put her own ring in. Her face was stricken, devoid of all color, and she stood watching the basket make its rounds as if she wished she could dive back into it and pull her ring out.
4. Three Mornings (Frequency) - If you liked the movie, here's some interesting introspection.
But he’s a cop, and that’s the one thing that hasn’t changed, in all of the lifetimes John’s lived. Reassured as he’ll ever be, John hangs up with his parents, puts his car into gear, and drives off to the solid reality of the station.
5. Doubled Rooks (GI Joe Cartoon) - Calling all cartoon Joe fans - go read this one! First, it's a Yuletide gift for our very own amykay73 (one of my faithful betas) and second, it's freaking hilarious! Lady Jaye and Flint are fantastic, and the Baroness is her evil, slinky self.
"Wow." Flint stood at her shoulder, blinking at their reflection as she adjusted the wig. "You look like --"
"Say it, and I will punch you. I have opera gloves, so I can bruise up my knuckles and attend the gala with no one the wiser."
Leaving it off for the night due to frequency of 502 errors...
1. Come to grips with a sky that is gaping - (American Girls) This is Kit/Ruthie fanfic with a side of impending sad and awesome use of canon.
Kit hears, Please read this letter because I don’t know how to deal with this by myself.
2. Camelot to Camlann - I'm not really an Arthurian fan, but this was well done. I'll let the author's note speak for itself.
I have basically taken Arthurian myth's Celtic and post-Roman roots and bashed them against the romances until they're all weeping. So this doesn't pertain to any particular version, and anachronisms abound. I hope you like it.
3. The $64 Question - (Clue) If you felt cheated by Mr. Green at the end of the movie not being gay, you'll enjoy this one. Also, if you like exploring "It could have happened like this...", read this!
"I told someone I was coming home to sleep with my wife," Green said when he broke the kiss.
4. Real Princesses - Princess Crackfic! It's pretty entertaining.
Rapunzel and Briar Rose get along as well as ever; they talk about mothers and witches and victim complexes. Rapunzel uses everyone for therapy. She tried this on Cendrillon but didn't get very far; Cendrillon feels that this is the job of the excellent psychiatrist Rapunzel's mother-in-law hired to help Rapunzel settle in.
5. Triton's Cove - (Little Mermaid - Disney) This is a good introspection fic for Eric, about the consequences of his marriage for him and for Ariel. It's a good read.
He asked her once, what kept her up at night, if she had dreams that haunted her, if she was unhappy in their home. She told him that she missed the weight of the sea.
6. Pretty as a Doll - A re-envisioning of Snow White with designs... It's hilarious!
Snow took off her shoes and headed out as quickly as she could, in case he decided he wanted more reward than an innocent kiss to his cheek. Unmarried pregnant princesses never prospered.
7. Home Cooking - (Princess and the Frog) Tiana helps Lottie cook, with some home truths for seasoning...
A few months after he died, she made the mistake of trying out his extra special red beans and rice recipe on her own. Until she tasted the results, she didn’t know was that what she really wanted was her daddy back in the kitchen, cooking up a storm, and there wasn’t a recipe for that particular meal.
8. A Dance in Iron Shoes - (Fairy Tale) This is a DARK envisioning of Snow White (with a touch of Sleeping Beauty) in which the question is, What happens when the princess needs to be rescued FROM the prince? It's an interesting read.
Now the prince could barely read, and hated and mistrusted books besides, so he did his best to forget that the library existed. The princess had noticed this even before the wedding and marveled at it, for it seemed to her that a well-stocked library was much like a well-stocked armory.
9. Work in Progress - Ariel and Eric find Happy Ever After does not come preassembled...
Politcs and etiquette make her tired as she sits through three hour lectures every day; only the dancing lesson at the end gives Ariel a reason to smile. Eric usually shows up to twirl her around the room, his eyes warm with delight at her joy as she begins to understand how to move her legs.
More to come!
There's some pretty awesome stuff out there. These stories are what's made me happy today.
1. Elizabeth's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Dates - (Baby-Sitters' Club)This is first because it's MY Yuletide gift. I wanted someone's take on the adults of the Baby-Sitters' Club series, especially Elizabeth Thomas. The story is funny and touching together, a series of vignettes about bad dates that seemed promising. There's one part that should definitely get some heart-squeeze if you're a fan of the series. I was very excited to wake up and find it - and to find that it was the one of my three prompts that I MOST wanted to see. My Yuletide author is awesome!
When he smiled down at her and tucked her arm into his like he was starring in a Gregory Peck movie and she was Audrey Hepburn, he was truly handsome.
2. Shadows of the Past - (Dungeons and Dragons Cartoon - DDC) This story isn't just impressive because someone managed to write a 26K+ Yuletide story (although that is a pretty impressive feat) but because it's so perfect in tone. It plays off everything in the series, weaving canon, imagination, and extrapolation into an intricate fabric that's just... WOW. They ride on Tiamat! A whole bunch of characters are in it, and everyone's in character! The writer puts depth and romance into everything, including the decision for them to go home. This is one of those stories that you read and then wish you could have written.
Presto’s hands tangled themselves in her hair, and he pulled her upwards towards his mouth to kiss her again, holding her like the most precious thing in the world. She bent to whisper something in his ear, and Eric was pretty sure it wasn’t “You’re standing on my dress” this time.
3. A Game Of You - (Westing Game) Turtle Wexler and Theo Theodorakis and their relationship in letters and books. This one is funny and feel good. Go read it.
She had briefly considered talking to her mother, but the mere thought of asking Grace Windsor Wexler for advice on dating and love caused Turtle to start twitching.
4. Your Voice Like A Trembling Sound - (Anne of Green Gables) Yuletide is pretty much the only time I read Anne of Green Gables fanfic, but it's always well-done. This one is Ken and Rilla Ford, dealing with the aftermath of WWI and being married. It makes you want to cry a little, but it has an end of optimism and romance that lets you know everything will work out.
Rilla closed her eyes so that she wouldn't have to watch him fear her. It was insupportable, it was impossible to listen to him one more moment, and she summoned up inside herself the way her father's voice had sounded when he was trying to be very stern. She thought of Ken in his uniform, his name--her name now--pinned to the khaki.
5. Doll Story (or, How Felicity Merriman Found Love) - I won't spoil the hook on this one, but suffice to say, it's hilarious and well-done. There's no quote because it would give away how they did it.
6. Violet - (Addams Family) Wednesday makes a new friend, whether she wants to or not. It's got a pre-femslashy vibe but could be read as not-slashy as well. Gomez and Morticia are also spot-on.
How could her mother ever understand, being so adored by everyone that she's never known the brutal itch of paranoia, the deep suspicion that her acquaintances might harbor an ulterior motive for their supposed friendship?
7. The Intrepid Vincent - (The Unknown Ajax) The Darracotts are back! There's a delightfully tongue in cheek author's note, and everyone is spot-on in character. The Heyeresque feeling is wonderful.
After a moment of silence Vincent remarked. “Hugo you've never been one to sugar coat. Am I a selfish, worthless, care for no one?”
“Well, I would'na myself call you useless.”
She hugged them again, Nancy and Bess, the friends from childhood that would always have a place in her heart, even if childhood was long gone, and time had slipped away.
9. The Maze of Solitude - (DDC) Basically, this is a story where Eric gets to be right. It gets kind of meta, and is very entertaining, especially for those of us who have a soft spot in our hearts for the Cavalier. It's really good.
"Nope, but they are still going around in circles." Presto plopped down on the bench. "I don't think the maze will let a group through."
I'm off to read more! These 9 were the ones that the AO3 would let me bookmark without the dreaded 502.
Elizabeth's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Dates (1463 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Baby-Sitters Club - Ann M. Martin
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Elizabeth Thomas Brewer, Watson Brewer, Kristy Thomas
Kristy's mom hasn't had the greatest luck when it comes to dates.
Anon author, if you're reading here, thank you again!
That spreadsheet featuring for finding "Dear Yuletide" letters is going to be fun. Probably too much fun.
Signups close on Friday, so there's still time to get in on the fun. If you like surprises on December 25th, believe that giving can be more fun than recieving, and have soft spots for fandoms that don't get as much love as the big ones, then come out and play! (betray802 , I am looking at YOU.)
I managed to finish off both the chapter (so it's off with my beta) and the Nora Roberts book (much squeeing and rereading). Now I'm working on the next chapter and successfully avoiding my history reading.
So now it's time to work on the next chapter and do a little photo organizing...
Time to start thinking about my Dear Yuletide letter...
ETA: Of course now there's all kinds of discussion about how they're going to look at what's on AO3 and eligibility by numbers and everyone's wondering if their fandom will make the cutoff. It looks like if Nancy Drew (book) is eligible this year it might be its last year of availability... which honestly, might be fair. As sad as that makes me, I think the fandom's presence might be big enough.
However, some of the other stuff I nominated should be safe, and it's only a week until they close the list and start culling... Maybe I should stop obsessing and just work on what I have in progress.
I am going to put off uploading all my stuff until after Yuletide starts. For one, I have promised myself I will finish Double Jeopardy before I upload a bunch of fic.
So now that we're no longer anonymous (and you can believe, I've been checking that only slightly less often then we clicked Is It Yuletide Yet? while waiting for the stories to be posted), I can show off my own shiny stories and respond to my comments.
1. Undercover Troubles (Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys) - This was my assigned story, and I went through about five tries before I hit on a plot that worked, inspired by one of my works-in-progress. (It's not connected to my ongoing series.) The pair of newly single detectives have to pretend to be dating while on a case, and of course they get into some trouble...
2. Giving Hostages to Fortune (Vorkosigan Saga) - This was my pinch hit, and it owes a lot to commodorified and coalboy for their assistance in giving in it a beta read. A LOT. Gregor and Laisa Vorbarra welcome their son to his world.
3. Free to Be Myself (He-Man/She-Ra) - This was a last minute pinch-hit, and it gives a look inside Prince Adam's head on the subject of being himself, and the problems of being He-Man.
Go forth and read !
My own gifts were written by concertigrossi (responsible for A Glimpse of the Future) and maudlinrose (responsible for On The Road to London as well as the Venetia story The Walled Garden). A public thanks again!
This will be the Yuletide Recs Roundup Post.
With these four posts (the first 3 are linked to this one), I present 36 recs from 22 fandoms. Bujold's Vorkosigan series, Anne of Green Gables, and Georgette Heyer are tied for first place, and make up a third of my recs. I've also been commenting like a madwoman.
Yuletide Recs #1 : Features recs for the following fandoms - Vorkosigan Saga, Murder She Wrote, Voltron, Nancy Drew (snarky), and Heyer's A Civil Contract.
The Heyer fic is one of my Yuletide gifts. I've also seen a person comment while recommending The Rules of Barrayaran Sex that they weren't familiar with the fandom, but now want to be because of Cordelia and Aral. I suggested Cordelia's Honor and I hope they enjoy it.
Yuletide Recs #2: Features recs for the following fandoms - a full-length piece for Anne of Green Gables, and Yuletide Madness fics for Vorkosigan Saga, Heyer's Venetia, Heyer's A Civil Contract, Anne of Green Gables and Honor Harrington. The ACC short is also a gift for me.
The full-length Anne piece should not be missed, dealing with events in Anne's House of Dreams after little Joyce is born and dies.
Yuletide Recs #3: Features recs for the following fandoms - Anne of Green Gables, MASH, Clue, Peter Wimsey, Discworld, Serrano Legacy by Moon, Chalion, Nero Wolfe, and Disney's Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.
The last few Yuletide recs - I plowed through the archive and hit the fandoms I'm interested in :
1. Rebekah, Diary of a Young Woman on the Trail (Oregon Trail) - Come on, children of the 80s, we all know we loved Oregon Trail day ! This is pretty good, hits fun things from the game while weaving a story around it.
I was sort of surprised, but shouldn't be, considering I wrote some fanfic when I was in middle school about The Scoop, which is based on a collaborative short story with authors to include Christie and Sayers. Pity I didn't save it. I have actually read the book The Scoop as well now, and might have to do some fanfic on that, instead.
2. And Then We Shot The Ox (Oregon Trail) - This is about people traveling the Trail in reverse, in more ways than one. All I can really say besides "Read it!" is that it feels like someone read all of the Dies The Fire books by SM Stirling, then went on an Oregon Trail marathon.
3. Schroedinger's Steel (Adventures of Robin Hood, 1938) - Very good, introspective and interesting. Plus, how can you not like that title?
4. Experiments (Amelia Peabody) - Ramses, David, and Nefret do a little exploring. Not too much,,,
5. Stacey's Seriously Bad Decision (Baby-Sitters' Club) - I originally skipped over this, but it actually is pretty good. Not explicit, but deals sensibly with characters dealing with issues about sexuality, relationships, and themselves. The tone is also very well done.
6. Old Times (Baby-Sitters' Club) - This is a reunion and where-are-they-now story, told through Claudia's eyes. It was nicely done without going overboard, and a little twist.
7. After Hours (Classic Disney) - This is an interesting little "pretend the cartoon characters are people" story. Short but entertaining.
8. Our Red Sea (Hardy Boys) - There is off-screen character death and dysfunctional Hardys, neither of which usually does much for me. But this one worked.
9. In Fashion (Gone With The Wind) - Imagine Scarlett's life being broken down into her dresses - think of the iconic dresses from the movie - the green dress to the barbecue, the green dress made of draperies, the black widow's weeds she dances in, the red dress for the guilty woman - and read this story.
10. One Sweet, Two Sour (Heyer's The Foundling) - Sort of a prequel scene between Gilly and Captain Ware. Nicely done.
11. Enough Time (Time Traveler's Wife) - I just read the book earlier this year, and I was pretty impressed. Sad, but impressed. This fic could definitely fit in with the book, and evokes the same feelings in me.
Now back to waiting for the reveal....