rachelmanija: (Autumn: small leaves)
( Sep. 28th, 2016 08:25 pm)
Dear Yuletide writer,

Thank you for writing for me! I am very non-fussy about Yuletide and love the fandoms I requested, so please don't stress too much about making me happy. Write me something in a fandom I love, and I will be happy. If you click on my Yuletide tag you will find past letters with lots of detail on what I like in general.

Two little FYIs: I started writing my letter at home, then left before I could finish it. I am currently away from home and can't write as much, so less tl;dr isn't indication of which I want most, just due to circumstances. The other is for any friends who might be trawling this letter for treat prompts. I still love anything I requested for any Yuletide in history, so if you don't know any of these fandoms, feel free to pick up anything from past letters that's in the Yuletide tag set.

Read more... )
rachelmanija: (Autumn: small leaves)
( Dec. 31st, 2015 05:42 pm)
I defaulted on Yuletide due to illness, which was hugely depressing for me, but got somewhat better after that and ended up writing three treats! So between that and my FOUR wonderful gifts, I had a happy Yuletide after all.

Where Nightmares Live is based on a famously traumatizing novel by Stephen King, Pet Sematary. It's not only quite scary in terms of horror tropes, but is an extremely visceral evocation of a number of real-life nightmare scenarios. King was inspired to write it when he barely managed to save his toddler son from being hit by a speeding truck, and then was haunted by thoughts like, "What if I'd been a second too slow? What would I feel if my son died? Is anything worse than losing your child?"

The essay in which he explains that and other real-life inspirations for the book is in the beginning of the Kindle version, and can be read for free by clicking on "Look Inside." It's a powerful essay that was particularly intense for me to read recently, because it's about what happens when you're the kind of writer who naturally integrates autobiography into your fiction, as King is and I am as well, and you're going through an extraordinarily dark time or at least have something extraordinarily dark on your mind. You write from your heart, as you always do, but what you come up with may not be what anyone wants to read. Stephen King nearly shelved Pet Sematary because he thought it was too disturbing to release, but his wife Tabatha persuaded him that it was too good to hide away and made him send it to his editor.

Pet Sematary is a book that lots of people seem to read once and then wish they hadn't. This has nothing to do with its artistic quality, which is quite high. It sears itself into your brain and leaves you deeply unsettled in a way that few horror novels do. I have read it exactly twice, once when I was about fourteen and once this year, and found that I recalled it extremely well despite the nearly thirty-year gap between readings. I re-read it after seeing the prompts for it, which were excellent prompts and for a book which asks the question that was on my mind at the time, which is "Is there anything worse than death?"

The prompts, by Raedbard and Maharetr, asked what happens to Ellie Creed, the protagonist's daughter, who is a child when the book ends. All the disturbing stuff in the book is also in my story, which is extremely spoilery for the book. Content warning for literally everything upsetting that involves death and dying.

Read more... )

The Story of the Doe Who Hid Her Kittens is my third Watership Down story. It's a story-within-a-story, a tale told in secret by a doe in Efrafa. I don't think the story works if you haven't read the book. The prompt was by Astrokath, who wrote my single favorite Yuletide letter. We share a number of fandoms and she had great prompts for all of them. I would have written for all her prompts if I'd had time.

Read more... )

To Heal A World was written for Vonda N. McIntyre's Dreamsnake, for Eisoj5, who has requested this fandom multiple times. Every year I want to write it for her, and every year I keep not having a chance. I was so happy to finally write it this year.

It's a fandom I've requested myself (and received lovely stories in, including one this year!) It's one of my favorite sf novels, a post-apocalyptic picaresque about Snake, a healer who keeps genetically engineered snakes for their healing venom. The book is about doing good in a troubled world. I think all you need to know to read my story (which is quite short) is that in the course of the book, Snake adopts an abused child, Melissa. Both the story I wrote and the story I received are about what happens to Melissa after the book ends. My story has a spoiler for something that happens about a third of the way into the book, and I'm not sure if it makes sense if you haven't read the book.

"What does it take to heal a world?" was one of the prompts, and that question is very much at the heart of the book. The novel implies that Melissa apprentices herself to Snake more because she idolizes her than because she has a calling to be a healer, and that she will probably end up doing something else, though perhaps something related. I thought about how one might heal a world without literally being a doctor. I also wanted to have snakes feature prominently, because Eisoj5 mentioned having pet snakes. My solution is probably not that scientifically likely, but hopefully emotionally satisfying.
I had to default on Yuletide for the first time in eight years, for obvious reasons. I was really depressed about it. Yuletide is my favorite winter holiday. Also, defaulting felt very symbolic of the long list of things that are loved or normal that I now cannot do because I'm too sick. (That list was so long for a while that it made more sense to say that I had a list of things that I could do.)

After my recent one-week post-antibiotic reprieve from illness, I am now quickly getting worse again. This is exactly what happened the last time I took antibiotics, so… a clue for a treatment! Sadly I still have no clue whatsoever as to which antibiotic might last longer than one week. (I can't stay on those antibiotics permanently. They make me extremely sick until I stop taking them. Then they make me feel pretty good. For one week.)

[NO ADVICE UNLESS YOU ARE A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. Or had a devastating mystery illness that was clearly treatable with antibiotics but no one had any idea which antibiotics. If you fit into either category and wish to chime in, feel free to email or PM me.]

However, I have not yet hit the point of being in so much pain that it is impossible to do anything at all (and am crossing my fingers that I have at least five more days in that state.) So I started writing a Yuletide Treat. It is nearly done and after I get back from seeing today's doctor (I have seen a minimum of one doctor per week for the last month or so) I should be able to finish it today. This has got to be some sort of triumph of the human spirit.

Also, despite defaulting, I appear to have two gifts. I shook them a bit and I think I know what one of them is (and it's something that excites me a LOT) but I have no idea about the other (and am excited to find out).
Because why not.

Also because yesterday was even more spectacularly horrible than usual for completely unrelated reasons, involving a really bad thing that happened at work which I can't discuss because confidentiality, followed by four hours in the ER with my cat culminating in the vet coming in and saying, "Well… it could be a little scratch that got infected… or IT COULD BE CANCER." (I don't think it's cancer.)

Beneath the cut, I am going to put a bunch of prompts for stories, fanfic or original, in case anyone wants to pick one up and cheer me up.

I like hurt-comfort, worldbuilding, adventure, action, heroism, self-sacrifice, hard choices, camaraderie, luscious descriptions of food and landscape, loyalty kink, trauma and recovery, military settings, bands of brothers (or sisters, or brothers and sisters) and a strong sense of place. I'm fine with original characters. I enjoy gen, het, femmeslash, and slash, and I enjoy relationships of any variety, from friendships to epic romance to hot sex. I prefer happy or bittersweet endings to doom and despair.

I could write epics on what I like about hurt-comfort, but I think the key is tenderness. So many individual elements that I like - characters helping each other to walk or eat or bathe, stroking hair, cuddling, etc - come down to that. I also like the opportunities for glorious melodrama, such as desperate stumbles through the woods in search of aid, bedside vigils, delirious confessions of long-held secrets, stoicism, soldiering on with a task until total collapse (possibly while concealing an injury), etc.

Things I find hot: fantasy prostitution where it's consensual and totally a fantasy of being able to simply point your finger and get the exact sexual experience or partner you want, like the Kushiel books or that hot short story Ellen Kushner wrote in "Sirens." Strong men and their muscles, especially if they're stocky/wiry but not tall. Strong, lean, boyish or butch women and their muscles. Voluptuous Venus of Willendorf women. Slim petite women with wings. Collarbones. Breasts. Hands. Long, graceful feet. Jeremy Renner's arms. Eyes of any color, from ordinary to ridiculously exotic. Long flappy leather coats. Elaborate clothing with ribbons and complicated ties. Masquerade balls. Carnival masks. Venice and fantasy cities with canals. Passionate sex up against the wall. Corsets. Half-clothed sex. People really getting into each others' bodies. Writing on bodies.

Quiet men with still waters running deep, like Le Guin's Ged. Wizards, artists, craftspeople, medics, soldiers and warriors, chefs, musicians, DJs, dancers, acrobats, pilots, martial artists, physical and psychotherapists. Really determined people. Happy people, especially when they have not had easy lives. People with scars or disabilities, mental or physical. Found families. Friendship. Misfits finding a home. People who love their jobs, especially if they're not very glamorous. Telepathic animals. Rats. People with beautiful wings. Myth and folklore. Nicknames, formalized or not. Shapeshifters. PTSD. Hard-earned happy endings. Loyalty against all odds. Lovers on opposite sides of a war. Conflicts of honor.

Settings where everything is lush and beautiful. Settings where everything is trying to eat you. (Or both!) Deserts. Lush forests. Big bustling cities, Hostage or imprisonment scenarios. Desperate last stands. Clever escapes. Con artists. DRAGONS. Portals. Wish-fulfillment that's earned. Mist. Mountains. Journeys, into the known or the unknown. Ships or portals that will take you somewhere, who knows where, or make you vanish forever. Space explorers. Space Marines. Trapped in an evil lab. Psychic kids (or adults.) People with powers who aren't costumed superheroes. Boarding schools. Boot camp. Riding anything. Dragon hatching, cub bonding - anything where people bond with animals, that is my favorite thing ever.

Read more... )
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
( Jan. 3rd, 2015 10:13 am)
Sholio asked me about my first Yuletide. I have no idea how I heard about it or what made me decide to try it out. All I remember is that it did not go well. I offered too many fandoms and offered to write any characters in them. This is a classic beginner’s mistake. I got an assignment for two characters who don’t actually meet in canon, with no details and no letter. I banged my head against the wall for a while, then defaulted.

To get back in for next year, I wrote The Story of Marli-Hrair and the Black Rabbit of Inle for Watership Down as a New Year’s Resolution. It’s still one of my favorite stories. (You probably don’t need to know canon, other than that they’re rabbits.)

The next Yuletide – my second signing up, but my first actually participating – was a huge improvement. I was less free with my offers, and got a wonderful, inspiring letter. I wrote The Taste of Honey for Sandman, which is probably my very favorite of my own fanfic stories, if I had to pick just one. You don’t need to know canon, other than that Dream and Death are siblings who rule over dreams and death.

I also snagged a pinch hit, Blood and Ink for Lloyd Alexander’s Westmark. You do need to know canon for this one. And I wrote a treat, The Rose of Naamah for Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Dart. You don’t need to know canon, but don’t read unless you’re cool with major sexual masochism involving consensual pain infliction. Way back in this era, authors couldn’t edit stories once they were posted, so I had email Elyn Ross, the mod, a frantic note asking her to insert a line in which the heroine takes off her panties. She very kindly inserted it.

That was 2007, and I’ve been doing Yuletide ever since. It has transformed Christmas from a rather dull holiday to one of my favorites. I like the challenge, the inevitable wank, the stories I get written for me, the treasury of others' stories to read, the community, the inspiration, and the opportunity to give presents to friends or acquaintances or strangers.
rachelmanija: (Naruto: Super-energized!)
( Dec. 31st, 2014 05:57 pm)
This Yuletide four people requested the Werewolf Marines series, which I wrote under the pen name of Lia Silver. So I thought it would be nice to treat them. As it happens, I also matched on it. (I offered something like 20 fandoms, so this was still a bit coincidental.)

If you have not read the books but are thinking of reading one of the stories, read Diamond in a Coal Mine It’s set immediately after the end of Prisoner and so is somewhat spoilery, but not a book-destroying way. All you need to know is that DJ is a werewolf Marine, Echo is a genetically engineered assassin, and they’re both being forced to work for a nefarious secret government agency. I don’t think the other two stories will be meaningful if you haven’t already read the books.

My Yuletide assignment was the second time I’ve matched with a friend. This time was somebraveapollo. She asked for a story about DJ the werewolf Marine (who is also literally a DJ) and Echo the genetically engineered assassin, set during or after Prisoner. This was a bit challenging, as all their significant interactions in Prisoner occur on-page, and Partner begins three days after the end of Prisoner, so there’s not a big time frame to work within.

I then had to figure out a story that contained hurt-comfort (which somebraveapollo likes), a plot (I find plotless vignettes difficult to write), which could fit into a short story length, which takes place right after Prisoner,, but wouldn’t contradict anything in Partner. Sherwood helpfully provided the general premise of “Diamond in a Coal Mine.” I added hand jobs and kneeling.

rmc28 and slashmarks made basically identical requests for interaction between the clone sisters Charlie and Echo, so I wrote one story, Blank Pages for both of them. I hope it wasn’t too annoying to write in extensive references to an unrequested canon, Little Women. I did try to make it comprehensible even if you’d never read the books or seen the movies. The biggest challenge, given their fairly tragic canon background, was not making it too gloomy. Hopefully I managed hopeful.

In First Hunt I took up opalmatrix’s suggestion of detailing the hunt which is mentioned but not shown at the end of Laura’s Wolf. She is also a friend, so I wrote in some things I know she likes: found family, domestic coziness, ensemble cast, and huddling for warmth. All of which are also present in Laura’s Wolf; no wonder she liked it. ;)

By the way, before the letters appeared, I had figured that with four requests, someone would request DJ/Roy. I had been totally willing to write it and even had an idea, but no one requested. Oh, well.

Finally, I read the Werewolf Marines story I did not write, slashmarks's Sparks, with great delight. It’s also about Charlie and Echo. The only reason I didn’t comment on it was that it would have made it obvious that I wrote the others.
rachelmanija: (Default)
( Oct. 31st, 2014 10:24 am)
Yuletide assignments have gone out! Without revealing your fandom, how do you feel about yours?

I am very excited about writing for my fandom! But if you are participating in Yuletide and have not yet written a "Dear Yuletide Writer" letter, please write a letter and link it in the link post below. You don't have to get into tons of detail, but a little about what you like about the fandom and maybe a few areas you'd be interested in seeing explored in a story would be nice. Also, if you requested two characters who have an ambiguous relationship in canon, it would be great to know whether you see them as lovers, friends, friends with unresolved sexual tension, etc.

Here's a link to my Dear Yuletide writer letter. Here's a link to the page where you can link to your letters.
rachelmanija: (Autumn: small leaves)
( Oct. 11th, 2014 03:49 pm)
Dear Yuletide letter below cut. Please do not read if you do not want to read about fanfic.

Read more... )
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
( Jan. 1st, 2014 02:57 pm)
I wrote three stories this year, in Scott Lynch’s “Gentleman Bastards” series, C. L. Moore’s Northwest Smith, and Stephen King’s The Stand.

My assignment was in the fandom I had most hoped to be matched on, Scott Lynch’s “Gentleman Bastards,” which I’d recently re-read. It’s about con men in fantasyland, full of lovely worldbuilding details and dialogue straight out of The Sopranos. The gang consists of Locke Lamora, the brains of the outfit with a penchant for over-complicated melodrama; Jean Tannen, previously a soft merchant’s son, who discovers a gift for fighting; and Calo and Galdo Sanza, sidekick twins.

My recipient, Labellementeuse, requested the time period where they’re all teenagers under the mostly-benevolent mentorship of Father Chains, a real priest masquerading as a fake one. She also requested Jean’s POV, a focus on the Locke-Jean relationship, and to see what Jean sees in Locke. I thought that was a great prompt: not too detailed, not too vague.

I wrote The Goddess of Suffering Scam. No canon knowledge needed beyond what I just told you, and it’s not spoilery for the books. The self-flagellating apparatus was Sherwood Smith’s suggestion, and in my opinion it completely makes the story.

Northwest Smith is lush, vivid space opera from the 1930s, featuring Northwest Smith, a tall Earthman with colorless eyes whose stoic exterior conceals some interesting psychological vulnerabilities, and his partner, Yarol the Venusian, a cheerfully amoral young man who looks like an angel and is constantly rescuing Smith from soul-sucking space vampires.

Last year I requested it, and got an amazing story, Ithaka, or, the Moons of Jupiter from Quillori. This year she requested it herself. Her letter was so charming that it ought to be read in full. (One note here about slash - I know Smith/Yarol is a popular reading, if anything can be said to be popular in such a tiny, almost non-existent fandom. And it's not as though I have any objection in theory - Smith does spend an awful lot of time noticing how gorgeous Venusians are in general and Yarol in particular - but I have a hard time reading Smith as anything other than straight, or perhaps not straight exactly - I can imagine him having friendly, casual sex with Yarol on a regular basis - but we spend enough time in his viewpoint that it really does seem to me his type, or what he genuinely believes is his type, is women (women, or possibly eldritch abominations and dark gods - with whom, frankly, he appears to have more success). )

Quillori wanted a story starring Yarol and focusing on worldbuilding, saying that often her favorite part of the story was when they were wandering around alien worlds and the plot hadn’t actually started yet. I thought that was a wonderful prompt, and wrote Strangler’s Veil. No canon knowledge needed beyond what I just told you.

Finally, [personal profile] kore and I co-wrote West, for Stephen King’s The Stand.

The novel is post-apocalyptic, a huge, sprawling, vivid narrative with a memorable ensemble cast. Toward the end, four of the characters— all men— go on a quest to save the world. Maidenjedi’s prompt was, “What if the women went instead?”

Cut for length and spoilers for both our story and The Stand. If you’re thinking of reading our story, please do so before reading the author notes. If you haven’t read The Stand, I don’t think our story will be comprehensible.

Read more... )
And I even like it, which has not been the case every year.

[Poll #1949071]
Cut for those who don't care about Yuletide. Regarding the polar bear question, that should read "The polar bear from Lost." Apparently putting in quotes erased the word Lost.

Read more... )
rachelmanija: (Default)
( Sep. 8th, 2013 11:52 am)
'Tis the time to start contemplating your Yuletide randoms! See schedule at the bottom of the post.

I'm not sure how many nominations we'll get, as some of the rules still seem in flux. But here's what I'm preliminarily thinking of. Click on author's names to see my posts on the originals.

Top Chef Masters. Invent a fun challenge or do a reunion or set the whole thing on Pern or Perelandra; I would just like to read luscious descriptions of food plus amusing interaction featuring one or more of my favorite chefs. If I can nominate four, I'd nominate Susan Feniger, Anita Lo, Susur Lee, and Sang Yoon. (I now am desperate to go to Sang Yoon's Lukshon; has anyone been to it?)

The Rifter, by Ginn Hale. God only knows if anyone doing Yuletide would have actually read this, but I would enjoy a story featuring John, Kyle, Rousma, and/or Pesha. If you don't remember the latter, she was the teenage lesbian teleporter. I liked her and would have enjoyed an entire book about her teleporting around and awkwardly flirting with girls.

Flight of the Heron, by D. K. Broster. I really liked Keith and Ewen and would like to see them interacting more, with angst and hurt-comfort. And possibly swordfighting. Obviously, the structure of the book would make this challenging. (They are fated to meet exactly five times, and we see all five meetings.) I think it would have to either be a post-novel AU (like, Ewen hauls Keith on to the boat, and there is angst and hurt-comfort. And possibly swordfighting) or, as cyphomandra suggested, a space AU. ;)

Pern. There can never be enough Mirrim-and-Menolly fic.

What are you all contemplating?

Nominations: September 16th to September 23rd
Cleanup and Public Eligibility Review: September 23rd to October 7th
Signups: October 7th to October 14th
Assignments: around October 21st
Assignments Due: December 22nd
Collection Opens: December 25th
Author Reveals: January 1st
rachelmanija: (Naruto: Super-energized!)
( Jan. 1st, 2013 10:30 am)
I wrote three stories this year. Given all the other stuff that was going on, I’m amazed that I could even manage one.

If you want to read the stories before you read my notes, they are Queen of Berries (J. R. R. Tolkien’s “Smith of Wootton Major”), The Derelict (C. L. Moore’s Northwest Smith), and Kushiel’s Fall (Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel novels). They’re all more or less “don’t need to know canon.”

My assignment was Queen of Berries, for Tolkien’s little-known novella, “Smith of Wootton Major.” It’s a perfect little story about an English village on the outskirts of Faery, their unusual tradition of the Twenty-Four Feast, and a boy named Smith who gets the ability to travel into Faery. He marries Nell, who knows about his journeys but cannot accompany him. My challenge here was writing anything that could even begin to live up to the original. Eeek!

My recipient, Amyfortuna, suggested a number of possible paths for my story to take. Of those, the ones I picked up were “more about Smith in Faery,” “more about Nell and Smith’s marriage,” and “something from Nell’s POV.” This suggested to me a story with dual POVs, Nell in Wootton Major and Smith in Faery; that in turn suggested a story about how there are major parts of their lives which they don’t and can’t share, and how they do their best to share them anyway. Since English foods and festivals are such a crucial part of the original, I invented a tradition to play a key role in mine.

You probably don’t need to have read Tolkien’s story to read mine… but you should read Tolkien’s story. FYI, the first comment to my story includes a major spoiler for the original.

This is my second Yuletide story to garner comments about craving pudding after reading.

I also wrote a Treat for one of my own request fandoms. Someone else had also requested Northwest Smith and there was nothing in the archive for it by the 23rd, so I hastily wrote a story. To my surprise and delight, apparently someone else had the same thought, because a Northwest Smith fic appeared on Christmas Eve for me!

C. L. Moore’s Northwest Smith stories are classic pulp sf from the 1930s, of the lush, romantic, space opera variety. She was notable for taking emotion, psychology, and sexuality as real forces that drove her stories; the best ones turn on some distinctly bittersweet revelation of character. Smith is a hardbitten space gunslinger who is constantly running into aliens who exploit his psychological vulnerabilities; Yarol the Venusian, his partner, is sweet and charming and amoral, and spends a lot of time dragging a reluctant Smith away from alien succubuses and ineffable visions of beauty that fry men’s minds.

You don’t need to know the originals to read The Derelict, and it’s not spoilery. My recipient really liked the Moore story “Shambleau,” so I gave “The Derelict” a similar emotional arc, though in a quite different setting. I threw in two of my favorite pulp sf tropes, the spooky derelict spaceship (complete with note of DOOM clutched in a dead man’s hand) and the idea that hyperspace is ineffably wonderful/ineffably horrifying/addictive/drives you insane/kills you/all of the above. The end sequence was inspired by Odysseus and the sirens, though Yarol’s solution is slightly more drastic than Odysseus’. The other NW Smith writer was also inspired by the Odyssey, oddly enough. Possibly so was Moore, and that transmitted to both of us.

My third story was Kushiel’s Fall, for Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel series. Irascible clothing designer meets silver-tongued disabled diplomat; banter, clothing porn, and emotional healing ensues. You don’t need to know the fandom to read my story. (Just so you know: there’s no BDSM. Sorry.)

In canon, beauty and physical perfection are a cultural obsession, and prostitution (the Night Court) is both a business and a sacred calling. Favrielle, an adept of the Night Court, was kicked out when her face was scarred in a mysterious accident which was widely rumored to have been no such thing. She later became a successful clothing designer, but remained understandably bitter.

My recipient said she was rooting for Favrielle to find some kind of emotional healing, she wanted to know what was up with that supposed accident, and she loved reading descriptions of Favrielle’s gorgeous designs. I read that prompt, thought that Favrielle needed to meet someone else with scars of their own, and the idea of the costume she ends up designing for her client popped into my head. The rest of the story practically wrote itself.

It is definitely the creature from Rachel’s id, even without any actual sex. I assume this is how Swan Tower guessed that it was mine – congratulations, you were correct! My original character, Julien de Somerville, was particularly fun to write. I was amused by how many commenters were particularly taken with his costume. Maybe someone will do fan art for it. ;)

Spoiler for “Kushiel’s Fall.”

Read more... )

I didn’t realize this till all three stories were posted, but in a bizarre coincidence, of my three stories, two have a protagonist named Smith and the third involves a smith!
rachelmanija: (Naruto: Super-energized!)
( Dec. 23rd, 2012 12:15 pm)
Not that I encourage present-shaking, but if you go here, you can see what fandoms have already been written and posted for Yuletide. And if you click on specific fandoms, and then click on the "characters" side bar, you can see what characters are in them, if the writers tagged the characters.

Speaking of which, though there's no rule barring crossovers with Yuletide-ineligible fandoms (and a good thing too, or I would not have been able to send Anthony Bourdain to Narnia), I am boggled at the number of times Clint Barton (Hawkeye) has unexpectedly popped up in character lists for Yuletide stories, often in company with Phil Coulson.

Though assigned stories are long since due, Treats can still be uploaded to the archive until it closes at some time on Christmas Eve. I spent yesterday writing a Treat, and am quite pleased with it. Almost all the writing I've done this year has been professional in some way, so it has been lovely to get a chance to write for the sheer joy of it.

If you want to write a Treat, all requests are viewable here. You can sort by fandom, but not search; it's a bit cumbersome. I am still hoping someone will write Modesty Blaise. (Not me. Cockney defeats me.)

Cut to avoid spoiling what fandoms have already been written. Great anticipation below cut.

Read more... )
Click if you care about Yuletide.

Read more... )
rachelmanija: (Default)
( Nov. 2nd, 2012 05:38 pm)
Without revealing your recipient or fandom, tell me how you feel about your assignment!

I am very excited about mine, though a bit intimidated by the source material, which will be very hard to live up to. Also, there is no way in hell this one is going to inspire me to write something insanely structurally complex. This Yuletide, there will be no "two interwoven stories of exactly 17 scenes each" or "thirteen duels and an orgy."
It's my favorite time of the year, and not sleet nor snow nor out-of-season heat nor grad school nor traineeship angst nor book contract can prevent me!

I already know all about this: Fandom nominations are open.

What is Yuletide and why should I care?: Yuletide is the annual fanfic gift exchange for very small fandoms. It is notable for a large number of participants, a generally high quality of stories, and an atmosphere of communal glee broken by occasional scattered wankstorms.

If you participate, you offer certain fandoms in which you feel confident that you can write a story, and make requests for stories which you would like someone else to write for you. For example, "I'd be willing to write a story set in the world of Njal's Saga, the Mahabharata, Cyteen, Max Headroom, Venetia, "Me and Julio Down at the Schoolyard," or Mushishi. I would like to receive a story in any one of the following fandoms: Enid Blyton's St. Clare's series, featuring Bill and Clarissa. Femmeslash would be great, but friendship would be fine too. Vienna Teng's "My Medea." Any story inspired by the song." Etc. You can offer multiple fandoms, but can request only four.

You will then be matched with someone who requested a fandom and characters you offered to write, and vice versa. You know who you're writing for, but not who's writing for you. You write your stories, without revealing to anyone but your betas what you're writing or who you're writing for. On December 25, the stories are unveiled with authors' names removed. Everyone happily reads and recommends. On January 1, the names magically appear. Everyone congratulates each other on their stories.

Last year's Yuletide I wrote a story with 2 parallel stories of 17 scenes (plus prologue and epilogue) each, for Steve Brust's Dragaera, plus several treat stories. The year before that, I sent gonzo food writer Anthony Bourdain to Narnia. No Reservations: Narnia.

This year, I am requesting C. L. Moore's Northwest Smith, Vonda N. McIntyre's Dreamsnake, and George R. R. Martin's "Thousand Worlds" (his early space opera stories.) For my last request, I am hesitating between my perennial request for Diane Duane's "Tale of Five" ("Door" series) and Patricia Wrede's Lyra (a story about the Sisterhood of the Stars from Caught in Crystal).

Who's playing this year, and what are you requesting? Who's thinking of trying it for the first time?


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