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.

Earthsea - Ursula K. LeGuin

Characters: Ged, Tenar, Vetch, Penthe.

The first two books of this series are two of my favorite fantasies of all time. I like the others to varying degrees, but those are my favorites. The characters I requested are meant as a "I would be happy with any of them" prompt, NOT as a "you must include them all" prompt.

If you want to write about Ged or Tenar, I would love an adventure or a day in the life when they're younger (before Tehanu), or a canon AU in which they don't part after The Tombs of Atuan, or Ged goes back to her or Tenar comes to him, or they return to Atuan for some unfinished business. I like them either romantically or as friends; I had mixed feelings about a lot of the retconnish backstory in Tehanu, though I did like their relationship, so you don't need to stick to Tehanu canon for worldbuilding. I love their interactions but would also be happy with a solo story. I love Ogion too if you want to include him, and I love the dragons as they were portrayed in the earlier books, and the snippets of herblore and wildlife lore and legends.

If you write about Penthe, I am of course curious what happened to her after the Tombs fell. She was such a bright, memorable character evoked in a very few scenes, and I shared Tenar's hope that she'd be happy somewhere else. Also, if you ship her and Tenar, again, I would be good with that and also with friendship. Do they ever meet again? Penthe was chosen as a priestess - does that mean that she has her own magical potential?

If you write about Vetch, I loved him and his relationship with Ged. (I know I sound like a broken record on this, but again, any interpretation of the relationship is fine with me.) I'd love to see him meeting Tenar, or adventuring with Ged, or a day in the life on his own or with his family. She wasn't in the tag set, but I have an inordinate love of his little sister Yarrow and her pet harrekki. Vetch and Ged both had a way with animals - did either or both of them ever adopt (or be adopted by) another Earthsea creature? I really loved Ged's otak.

I loved the atmosphere and prose and characters of the earlier books, so if you write me something that evokes that, I will be very happy.

Stephen King

I have two King prompts, so I thought I'd say a bit about what I like about him. Feel free to skip down if it's too tl;dr. However, if you're also a King fan, I assume you are totally fine with tl;dr, so I figured I'd go into appropriately unnecessary detail.

If the idea of a crossover appeals, I have some crossover prompts. If it doesn't appeal or you only like (or have only read) the one book, or just have a perfect idea that would be ruined with a crossover, don't do it! I mention it not because it's what I most want for Yuletide, but because it's a very King thing so it's a possibility.

Why I love all these fandoms and King in general.

I love his characters. He can sketch in someone in a few paragraphs, like the chapter in the extended edition of The Stand about the people who died after surviving Captain Trips, and make them seem real enough to care about. He creates incredibly real-feeling people, and often really likable people. He's one of the best writers I can think of at creating good people who are trying to do the right thing, and also make them feel real and interesting and not like self-righteous cardboard cut-outs. I also love his characters who are flawed and do bad things but aren't quite villains, or aren't only villains, like Harold and Nadine and Jenny Engstrom from The Stand.

The way he writes characters interacting with each other is great too. A lot of his books are ensemble stories - the travelers coming together in The Stand, the women's home in Rose Madder, the ka-tet in The Dark Tower, the boys slogging down the road in The Long Walk. It's really hard to write big ensemble casts where everyone feels real and they all have different relationships with each other, but he pulls it off beautifully. I also really like his friendships, and non-romantic relationships. His romantic relationships are good too, but that's a more common area to explore in fiction. I love that he goes to the less-explored places, like the father-daughter relationship in Firestarter, Susannah and Roland in The Dark Tower, and all the life-changing friendships, like Red and Andy in "Shawshank Redemption" or Nick and Tom Cullen and (talk about sketched-in but memorable, at least to me) Jenny Engstrom and Dayna Jurgens in The Stand.

I like the way he writes about trauma and recovery, and living with disability. It's not necessarily real-life realistic, but it feels psychologically and metaphorically right. I'm thinking of things like grief in The Stand and Lisey's Story, pain in Duma Key, and the way nearly all the characters are disabled in some way or at some point in The Dark Tower. He doesn't forget about it and it can be a huge difficulty or point of unhappiness, but it also doesn't define the characters or prevent them from being badass and doing what they have to do. And sometimes it's not a bad thing at all, like Susannah or Tom Cullen's mental issues, but just who they are. Sometimes the aspects of yourself that cause the most problems are also at the heart of what makes you you.

And I love his dialogue and settings. He writes about a relatively small slice of America, but it's an incredibly vivid America. Pop culture references are something lots of writers do terribly, but King's are always perfect. And when he makes up words or ways of speaking, which is also very hard to do well, they're nearly always dead-on, like the private language of Scott and Lisey's marriage, or the one-degree-removed-from-us speech of Mid-World.

Oh, and I really like hurt-comfort. In fact King is probably partly responsible for this with the whole section of The Stand with Stu and Kojak. The Drawing of the Three is basically h/c, amazing action scenes, and character interaction and development in equal parts. That is probably my ideal story. So if you like h/c too, go for it. If it's not your thing, don't worry about it because obviously there's lots else that I also like.

What I don't like:

Please no super-gross descriptions, like detailed descriptions of pimples or vomit or stuff like that. Every goddamn book of his has at least one section I have to skim because it's so gross. I don't mind mentions that someone threw up or that they saw a decaying corpse. Creepy imagery is fine. What I don't want is stuff like the multiple books of King's where he goes on for paragraphs or even pages about pimples. WHY. (I know why. "If you can terrify, terrify. If you can't terrify, horrify. If you can't horrify, go for the gross-out." ButI am 100% fine with not being grossed-out.)

This "don't like" isn't for the canon, it's for your Yuletide story for me. This is a bit of a fine line, but while scary, bittersweet, melancholy, or even heartbreaking moments (or a general mood) are fine - obviously, none of these are fluffy canons - please don't go too grimdark. I have specific notes on what I mean by that for the different canons, but it generally comes down to not killing my favorite characters if they didn't die in canon, or if they do die, don't make their deaths be in vain. If there's hurt, I'd like comfort too. If there's tragedy, I'd also like some hope or redemption. Like, the main deaths in The Stand are all fine with me because the characters all died on their own terms, heroically or at least (Trashcan Man!) fittingly. I have a huge fondness for heroic last stands, so that sort of thing is fine.

Stephen King - The Stand

Characters: Any

I love this book and all the characters in it. When I looked over the character list I couldn't decide who I liked best or most wanted to read about, so I ended up going with "any." I love the leads and the minor characters, and I would be happy with a day in the life or an untold adventure or some sort of canon AU. What if Nick had been just in time to prevent the bomb instead of just too late? What if different characters ended up in Boulder or in Vegas? I really liked how it wasn't a clear split between good and evil, with apparently basically decent people like Angie Hirschfeld ending up in Vegas and some real jerks in Boulder. What made people choose as they did? What if choice or chance led them another way? What if some of the people who meant to flee Vegas, like Jenny Engstrom, did so earlier and escaped or met up with the travelers on the road?

ONLY as a "if it would help," I nominated Jenny, Dayna, Nick, and either Nadine or Stu or Larry, I forget. However, once I saw the tagset I realized that I'd actually be happy with anyone, so go with whoever you like. Characters I especially like who aren't in the tagset are Harold (for varying meanings of "like," I guess) and Tom Cullen so obviously I love everyone in the post-flu bar.

ETA: Forgot to mention shipping. I'm a multishipper so I like the canon relationships and also anything you could come up with. I personally like Dayna/Jenny if you happen to write them, but would also be good with friendship or other femslash relationships or anything, really. Like I said, I am easy to please in this fandom and if you have a favorite ship feel free to sell me on it. My only do not wants are incest or adult/child, not that either of those really come up in this canon.

A completely optional option would be to include a crossover with any of the King books that I've read and love. If that appeals, my favorites are Dark Tower, Firestarter, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, The Shining/Doctor Sleep) and Lisey's Story. Pet Sematary isn't a very favorite book per se, but I really like the characters so that would also be a good one if you want to do a crossover. Ditto Carrie, Duma Key, Rose Madder, and Misery.

Finally, while scary, bittersweet, melancholy, or even hearbreaking moments (or a general mood) are fine - it's obviously not a fluffy canon - please don't do anything worse to the characters than happens in canon. (Except for Flagg. ;) ) If there's hurt, I'd like comfort too. If there's tragedy, I'd also like some hope.

I have a set of posts on King tagged by author name.

Stephen King - Dark Tower series.

Characters: Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake

This has huge spoilers for the series, so don't read if you don't want to be spoiled.

I really love the ka-tet and want to read more about them. A lot of my favorite parts of the book are the ka-tet interacting and showing new facets of their characters or old facets in new lights, whether it's a life or death situation like the riddle game with Blaine the train or just a beautiful and unexpected moment, like Roland dancing the commala or Susannah throwing an Oriza for the first time. Given the ending, there's a couple ways you could go with the concept of "More ka-tet pls," and I'd be happy with any of them.

One is to set something during the series, an untold adventure along the way or just a day in the life. Maybe they explore more of the other worlds, like the Nozz-A-La New York or the Captain Trips apocalypse that was next door to The Stand. Maybe they fight off some more monsters or mutants or menacing machines. Maybe they walk into some Western archetype situation other than "The Magnificent Seven," like a showdown or a duel or "there's a new sheriff in town" or a gold rush or "lost in the desert without water." And/or you could do some hurt-comfort, which I am always a fan of and which has plenty of canon possibilities.

Another possibility is to go with the idea that the ka-tet will come together again after the end of the series, and write something about how that might play out. If you do that, please don't feel that you have to write an epic accounting for everything. You could do that and still do a "day in the life" or "untold adventure" story that's just post-series by context.

Or you could do an AU of the ending. What if the entire ka-tet made it to the Tower? What if something else was at the top? Etc.

With any of those, a completely optional option would be to include a crossover with any of the King books that I've read and love. If that appeals, my favorites are The Stand, Firestarter, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, The Shining/Doctor Sleep) and Lisey's Story. Pet Sematary isn't a very favorite book per se, but I really like the characters so that would also be a good one if you want to do a crossover. Ditto Carrie, Duma Key, Rose Madder (I mean Rose and the women, not Norman!) and Misery. I also loved the Wizard in Glass characters from Roland's past. So, again, if you wanted to work them in somehow, feel free, but that's also totally optional. (

I love the books for their characters and language and emotion, for the balance of epic and allegory with little human moments, for the camaraderie and vivid setting, for the great action set-pieces and hurt-comfort. I like that King never forgets about Roland and Susannah's disabilities.

I had to hastily skim some gross parts, so please don't do detailed descriptions of gross bodily substances. (Like, please no lavish descriptions of giant pimples or the like.) I was not that into Mordred but part of that was that he seemed one-note, so I'd be more interested if he was more than just a pathetic villain who was locked into his role or the crossover characters, but part of that was that I had not read the books they came from so I didn't have pre-existing fondness. I was not big on the pregnancy storyline, and I liked the metafictional aspect better when it was more subtle than literally meeting Stephen King.

Finally, while scary, bittersweet, melancholy, or even hearbreaking moments (or a general mood) are fine - it's obviously not a fluffy canon - I'm requesting it because I love the ka-tet, so please don't do anything too horrible to them. Like, don't leave Susannah alone in todash space forever. If there's hurt, I'd like comfort too. If there's tragedy, I'd also like some hope.

I have a set of posts on the books tagged by author name.
musesfool: (it's good to be the queen)

From: [personal profile] musesfool

I have an Earthsea request I am probably not going to use this year, but yours sounds an awful lot like it, so I am going to hope you get that as either your main gift or a treat.
musesfool: toph (come with me if you want to live)

From: [personal profile] musesfool

I nominated her. I would love to see her adventures after the Tombs were collapsed. Surely she got away? And went onto madcap shenanigans? *g*

I received some lovely Earthsea fic one year and stopped requesting it after that, but I had a hankering for again this time around.
whatisthegood: (Default)

From: [personal profile] whatisthegood


Hey. I will see what I can do about writing a fan-fic for you for Yuletide. It's the least I can do, given how much you share with us. I read almost everything you write, but I am so tired most of the time that I reply not at all. You recently did the best explication of the Dark Tower ending that I have ever seen, though most of my reply would have been simply "Yes."

I have not written fiction in a while. The last time I tried doing fan-fiction was in law school, as shown from . I've done other creations since, and I write daily, but not shared universes. I am most drawn to hurt/comfort, and I still read Buffyverse pieces and sometimes Mortal Instruments/Cassandra Clare's settings.

For guidance, I have this post:
This collection: Private Passion: Tales of Domination and Submission by Mona Midnight. I thought one of the pseudonyms in there is yours, but can't remember which.

Me: My own "devastating mystery illness" (to quote you) caused (as far as I am concerned) by massive antibiotics several years ago. Much money spent, results strange but inconclusive as to causes. Sometimes I am better, sometimes I am worse. Mostly I am on Facebook these days as "Mack Knopf," not on Dreamwidth, but my best friend Kareila codes and works for Dreamwidth. I should go buy an account right now... Looking through your fandoms to see what sparks a story idea. More soon.


Huh. I still like this story of mine:
Postapocalyptic, not technically a romance, contains the last meeting of two heroes and what happens next. "The world is bleeding. At least, that's what Jean Grey thought as she walked through the ruins of the machines under the open sky."

Telepaths, desperate last stands, femmeslash, UST... How about Kitty Pryde/Illyana Rasputin (Magick)? -- time travel, apocalypse, resolved sexual tension...
Edited Date: 2016-10-02 05:43 am (UTC)
whatisthegood: (MackCat)

From: [personal profile] whatisthegood

Tregaron -- That is why I thought! Esp. since "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."

In the back of my head, there is a character from a book somewhere named Tragare... Maybe it's a Martha Wells character? (Still thinking.) That X-Men story in six parts (finished) is 15,000 words. When my students at the community college complained about a 400-word essay, I stare at them and "You could sneeze and come out with a 400-word post on Facebook... Think less, type more." :)

From mine, I recommend "Learning the Rules" is an 1,100 word character piece on Willow from the Buffyverse. I basically see myself as Willow anyway, so that was an easy ficlet. "Why does the mirror move like me?" is psychological horror about Angel/Angelus. Point of view is the point of the story, so no disclosures. It needs some work and was frustratingly hard to pull out.

I don't know of any Kitty/Illyana fiction, so I will write one for you! I remember finding the miniseries in high school at a little convention in Birmingham and buying immediately. I still reread that from time to time, and I've followed the character throughout the years from writer to writers. My reading of Kitty Pryde and The Diary of Anne Frank about the same year are now inextricably intertwined...

At the time of Inferno (the first one), my thoughts were, "You thought a demon sorceress was dead because you took a baby out of some discarded armor? Just how gullible are you?" (new opening line, maybe.)

whatisthegood: (Lawyer1)

From: [personal profile] whatisthegood

I did not get Kitty/Illyana done for your stocking

Because mystery ills? After (say) yet another course of super antibiotics that do one thing but leave you unable to eat yet again? After a pattern of events years ago very similar to your own? Okay yeah.

But you and Jen (Kareila, coder/creator on Dreamwidth, best friend) are the reason I *have* a Dreamwidth account. Otherwise I would just remain over on Facebook, where I read and post.

And I am still reading A Cup of Smoke.

Can I still send you a (very short) story about Magik and Shadowcat, esp. considering we are not done with the 12 Days of Christmas, if one is old school?
whatisthegood: (scott and jean)

From: [personal profile] whatisthegood

Re: I did not get Kitty/Illyana done for your stocking

Dear Rachel,

This is still Mack (mackatlaw). My best friend offline, Jen (Kareila on Dreamwidth, coder for here), just gave me a rename token. So please let me keep reading! I am still a stranger, but the same stranger. :)

Kareila also reads follows, and I advised her that your account of waiting in line for Hamilton tickets was long but hilarious, and to go read! On the other recent entry: I am very glad. My own mystery "illness" has made progress... I was right; wrong diagnosis originally. More later if I can type as good a tale as you did.

I still intend to write a Kitty/Illyana ficlet for you. I will try to do a scene tonight; I am very rusty. Did you ever look at my (small, ancient) fan fiction archive? You can see what I did with the X-Men there once upon a time. Jean Grey is the Phoenix. And of course, there is no Phoenix entity. Jean is dissociative...

A disclaimer by way of Kareila's comment to me: "Dark and disturbing is your kink, not mine. I can sometimes enjoy one (dark and comforting, light-hearted and disturbing) but rarely both."

Oh, the new user name?

Socrates used to go around asking this question a lot: What is the good? What does it mean to live a good life? Got him into a lot of trouble. I will tell you how far back me, him, and his question go next time I post (elementary school). I guess it started me on the path of philosophy: life and how to live it.

Later, Mack

From: [identity profile]

I've never been involved with Yuletide, but reading your Earthsea section makes me want to reread that series and then fic. I loved the second book so much I read it twice at the time.

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