skygiants: Bunny-suit Kenji from 20th Century Boys saying 'this is the defender of justice who's gonna save the world from danger' (love and peace are on hold)
Dear Yuletide author,

Thank you so much for signing up to write a gift for me! I have been doing Yuletide for some large number of years now and I have been delighted with my gifts for every single one; if you write something that makes you happy, I guarantee I will be delighted with it also.

I am always interested in women interacting with each other, ensemble stories, sibling dynamics, and the kind of romance where two flawed and peculiar people figure out how their flaws and peculiarities fit together. I am pretty much always down for crossovers and I'm potentially intrigued by canon-divergence AUs, but the kind of AU that transplants characters wholesale into a completely different story tends to be more hit-or-miss for me; the settings and specific circumstances are a lot of what interests me about these canons.

I don't mind canon-consistent dark themes if it makes sense for the story, but I tend not to be into graphic and gratuitous violence. I'm cool with sexual content, but I'd rather that wasn't the whole point of the fic.

Requests: 20th Century Boys, Crossroads series, Friends at the Table, Dragon of the Lost Sea series )
skygiants: Susan from The Bletchley Circle looking out a window (i crack the codes)
Yuletide reveals! I had two fics in the archive this year:

Statistical Methods in Risk Assessment, The Bletchley Circle

This was my assigned fic -- the excellent prompt was to write a fic focused on Jean, the oldest of the Bletchley Circle women, femslash optional but encouraged -- and I fell neck-deep into the research hole on it. I have a post coming about the several WWII-era history books that I read over the past few months while figuring what I actually wanted to write about, but most of what actually went into the story ended up coming out of what I learned about the Special Operations Executive branch, the only arm of the British government that sent women behind the lines as spies. And IT'S ALL FASCINATING, so thank you for such an amazing prompt, [personal profile] xylaria! (Also, it finally gave me the push to actually watch season 2 of The Bletchley Circle, which I'd been meaning to do for literally years.)

Or, What You Will, Singin' in the Rain

I would very much have liked to fall neck-deep down the research hole on this one also -- [personal profile] emma_in_dream's excellent request was for Singin' in the Rain fic that incorporated historical of Golden Age Hollywood -- except I grabbed it as a pinch-hit on December 18th and I did not have time! So I did what I could with background knowledge, Wikipedia, and enthusiasm, plus a recent hallucinogenic Busby Berkeley musical experience. Don't ask me where the fake Twelfth Night movie musical part came from because I really do not know; it just sort of arrived fully-formed and would not leave.

Thank you to [personal profile] genarti, [personal profile] saramily, [profile] gramary1971, and [personal profile] innerbrat for amazing beta work, and to [personal profile] genarti especially for pointing out how to use Malvolio to foreshadow the oncoming banhammer of the Motion Picture Production Code.

(Also, thank you again for my amazing Healer fic, [personal profile] china_shop!)
skygiants: (wife of bath)
And speaking of Yuletide, I won again? HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN. I swear I only had one gift when I checked this morning (I wasn't actually present-shaking, it's just the easiest way for me to get back in to do edits) and now I have three? ALL DELIGHTFUL???

Just in Spring

In the back of her mind, she’d kept an inventory of every picture, every absurd figurine, just in case she be called upon to explain its absence. By jettisoning everything, she’d cast it out of her mind and into oblivion. And now, she thought, this house was truly hers, as it should have been all along.

This is seven thousand words of slow, careful Gaslight recovery fic and it is gorgeous and goes places I did not think to expect.

citizens of the same country

Jung Hoo’s jaw drops. “I can’t,” he says, after a moment. “I don’t know anything about journalism or politics. I don’t even watch the news.”

“Well.” Moon Ho leans across the desk, his eyes bright with challenge. “Maybe it’s time you started. If you want to clean a wound of its infection, you need to learn some first aid.”

This short postcanon Healer fic feels like a slice of the show, from the pitch-perfect voices to the focus on journalistic integrity and using truth to fight power! which I'm not going to lie feels very important right now!!

The Dame's Only Doing It For That Doll

She was always dressed impeccably, her man’s suit tailored perfectly. She felt like the closest thing you could get to Marlene Dietrich or Katherine Hepburn. She would sit in the common room playing solitaire while Sgt. Sarah sat next to her reading the Bible, just as they had every night for at least twenty years.

skygiants: Koizumi Kyoko from Twentieth Century Boys making her signature SHOCKED AND HORRIFIED face (wtf is this)
Dear Yuletide author,

Thank you so much for signing up to write a gift for me -- I'm so excited to see what you come up with! I have been doing Yuletide for some large number of years now and I have been delighted with my gifts for every single one; if you write something that makes you happy, I guarantee I will be delighted with it also.

As you can probably guess from my letter, stuff that I like includes (but is not limited to) women having character development, women interacting with each other, ensemble stories, sibling dynamics, found families and friendships, and the kind of romance where two flawed and peculiar people figure out how their flaws and peculiarities fit together. I tend to love characters for their weaknesses as much as their strengths, and I love watching weird, complicated, human people grow into better and stronger and healthier people while still being recognizably the same weird, complicated, human people they always were. I am pretty much always down for crossovers! AUs are more hit-or-miss for me, though I can definitely be sold on them as long as the characters are still recognizably themselves.

I would prefer not to see any characters bashed, especially female characters. I don't mind canon-consistent dark themes if it makes sense for the story, but I tend not to be into graphic and gratuitous violence, and a sense of hope is specifically pretty important to me for a lot of the canons I'm requesting this year. I'm cool with sexual content, but I'd rather that wasn't the whole point of the fic.

And now for the requests! )
skygiants: Kraehe from Princess Tutu embracing Mytho with one hand and holding her other out to a flock of ravens (uses of enchantment)
I've read maybe four fics in the Yuletide archive so far that weren't gifted to me -- my own gifts were so amazing and plentiful (THANKS FOR A PERFECT FIC, [personal profile] fahye, YOU DELIGHTFUL RIDICULOUS HUMAN) and then things have been so busy since that I have not had the time! I am very much looking forward to working through everything in a slow and leisurely fashion over the next year. :D

As for what I wrote:

The Raptor, Ladyhawke

I hadn't thought about this delightfully ridiculous 80's film in years -- I actually matched with my recipient on Casablanca -- but when I saw she was asking for prequel fic with, like, actual logistics ... and historical context .... I COULD NOT RESIST. How would you cope if one day you're a fairly ordinary medieval lady and the next day you're spending half your time as an angry bird?

Due to the fact that I am in no way a medieval scholar, this is a fic that was even more of a collaborative effort than usual. I am enormously grateful to actual medieval scholars [personal profile] rymenhild and [personal profile] izilen for brainstorming historical plausibility with me, [personal profile] izilen again for going through and catching all my accidental anachronisms, and [personal profile] genarti and [personal profile] newredshoes for betaing!

Ecdysis, The Lie Tree

Faith, Paul, and ill-advised adventures in Victorian photography!

I'd sort of forgotten that [personal profile] gogollescent made almost exactly the same Lie Tree request I did until it went out on the pinch-hit list, after which I was like "well, probably no one else is going to write Lie Tree fic so I may as well give it a go" ... OH, HOW WONDERFULLY WRONG I WAS. In addition to the adorable Lie Tree fic I myself received, you should also read Gogol's other gift, The Transformation, which features a Faith of a pitch-perfect terrifying fierceness that I can only dream of capturing. I am proud of the Victorian photography details, though. This was a very research-heavy Yuletide year!
skygiants: Natsu from 7 Seeds, looking determined, surrounded by fireflies (survive in this world)
You may recall that yesterday I was shrieking about my Yuletide fics, including how lucky I was to receive a 7 Seeds fic that was hilarious, perfect, and fourteen thousand words long!

Then I received an apologetic note from my author explaining that they had forgotten to load the second chapter before the deadline.

My 7 Seeds Yuletide lesbians fic is in fact actually THIRTY-THREE THOUSAND words long, now featuring an even richer and more thoughtful emotional arc, more screentime for my other favorite characters, and basically everything I love about stories in which people attempt to build a community out of a traumatized box of scraps. I cannot fathom how I got this lucky. At this rate I'm expecting a pony to show up on my doorstep tomorrow morning.

(Also my further Christmas adventures have included dinner & screwball comedy with [personal profile] newredshoes and [personal profile] oliviacirce and the unparalleled entertainment of watching my mother attempt to explain the plot of the original Star Wars trilogy to an entirely uninitiated cousin. "So the movie starts out with a kid named Luke Skywalker ... and you think he and Leia are going to be the romantic leads, but then! it turns out!")
skygiants: ran and nijiko from 7 Seeds, looking faintly judgy (dubious lesbians)
My day started out with a cat throwing up in my bedroom at 4 AM (three hours after I went to bed), after which I fled the house to catch a 7:30 AM bus to New York, which promptly broke down half an hour out. It's fine though! We've got another bus and also I can't really be annoyed at anything because a.) once I finally get to New York I have a great day of Jewish Christmas planned with cousins and friends and Chinese food and possibly screwball comedy and b.) I AM STILL BUSY SCREAMING INTERNALLY ABOUT HOW MUCH I WON YULETIDE THIS YEAR, like?? I've had some amazing Yuletide years in the past, but this is ABOVE AND BEYOND.

I got all the stuff I was convinced I was least likely to get --

A Moment of Utter Stillness, happy-ending postcanon fic for Frances Hardinge's The Lie Tree, one of my favorite books to come out this year? Featuring Further Adventures of Paul and Faith, two of my best beloved terrible children in a long roster of terrible fictional children I have loved:

Faith imagined herself sinking deeper into the mud, entombed there forever, the eons slowly turning her to stone – a fossil waiting to be discovered by another little girl from the future, a girl with an alien face, but inquisitive, multi-faceted eyes, a fly-person looking back across the ages, to a distant time when mammals ruled the earth.

Ah, scientific creepiness and a death-wish. CLASSIC FAITH. <3 ...uh, but really most of the fic is a super hopeful happy ending for them and I'm so delighted that someone wrote it for me!

So this was wonderful and unlikely enough, BUT ALSO I got:

win me, win me, an ye will, an amazing?? PITCH-PERFECT???? crossover!!!! between Miss Marjoribanks, the greatest obscure Victorian social engineering competence porn novel possibly ever written, and Zen Cho's Sorcerer to the Crown, one of my OTHER favorite books to come out this year, in which Lucilla Marjoribanks is called upon to defeat a lady of the fairies in single! combat! TO THE SOCIAL DEATH! (and possibly also the death death) (but a lady prefers not to discuss such things explicitly)

"I am afraid that we find ourselves in a very awkward position," Lucilla told the Lady sadly. She had a horror of social awkwardness above all things. "Asking you to withdraw your influence from Marchbank was my intention also."

Every single one of you should read this; no knowledge of either canon is really necesary for enjoyment beyond a general awareness of the tropes of Victorian literature and/or fairy stories, and I spent basically every other sentence screaming in awe, hilarity, or both. Finally, Lucilla Marjoribanks has a sphere worthy of her prodigious talents! (I do have a suspicion about who might have written this; we'll see if I am right. Either way, whoever it is, they are clearly as much of a genius as Lucilla Marjoribanks herself.)

BUT ALSO ALSO -- as if this were not already a bounty far beyond what I could have dreamed! -- I got:

the year we built the windows, a NOVELLA-LENGTH 7 SEEDS LESBIAN ARCHITECT/ENGINEER CHARACTER STUDY AND ROMANCE?!?! This is at least the fifth time I've asked for 7 Seeds fic in an exchange without ever receiving it, and this has now become a lesson to me in the value of persistence; now and only now do I understand that the universe has just been saving up until now, when it has presented me with EVERYTHING I COULD HAVE POSSIBLY WANTED. The characterization and relationships are beautiful -- not just Ran/Nijiko, but Ran and Hana, Ran and Botan, Ran and Team Autumn, Nijiko and Team Summer A, Ran and the echoes of the past civilization, all of them get their due -- and it has everything I love in canon, all the themes of failure, and second chances, and slow, indefinable growth.


Nijiko frowned through her ridiculous prison-bar bangs. "How did you know it randomizes water pressure?"

"I heard Ayu-san say so," Ran lied, because it was less soul-crushing than conceding she might have asked Akane to note the volume of water in a bath bucket, before-and-after, and dragged out some undergrad calculus to ascertain whether the Summer A girls had actually done womankind the service of getting massaging showerhead action out of a glorified flute.

Picking a part to quote was incredibly difficult because did I mention there's fourteen thousand brilliant words of it?? God. THIS YULETIDE. I almost don't want to go read the rest of the archive! I need more time to just wallow in the luxury of my gifts like a dragon with a fic hoard.
skygiants: Natsu from 7 Seeds, looking determined, surrounded by fireflies (survive in this world)
Dear Yuletide author,

Thank you so much for agreeing to write one of these tiny fandoms for me! I am so enormously excited for whatever you come up with. Please don't stress out too much about any optional details below -- write something that makes you happy, and it's pretty certain to make me happy too!

As you can probably guess from my letter, stuff that I like includes (but is not limited to) women having character development, women interacting with each other, ensemble stories, sibling dynamics, found families and friendships, and the kind of romance where two flawed and peculiar people figure out how their flaws and peculiarities fit together. I tend to love characters for their weaknesses as much as their strengths, and I love watching messed-up people grow into better and stronger and healthier people while still being recognizably the same messed-up people they always were. I am ALWAYS, for the record, really down for crossovers, and also definitely cool with canon AUs, though I prefer the kind that start out recognizably in the canon as it exists and then take an unusual turn (as opposed to, for ex., high school AUs.)

I would prefer not to see any characters bashed, especially female characters. I'm happy to read stories that are dark or creepy, especially if it fits with the tone of the original canon (looking at you, Frances Hardinge! ... and 7 Seeds, for that matter) but I tend not to be into graphic and gratuitous violence. I don't mind sexual content, but I'd rather that wasn't the whole point of the fic.

And now for the specific requests! )
skygiants: Natsu from 7 Seeds, looking determined, surrounded by fireflies (survive in this world)
It's time for Yuletide reveals? It's time for Yuletide reveals! I wrote three fics this year, one assigned and two pinch-hits:

A Course to the Ocean, Ivanhoe

This was my assigned fic, which I struggled with a bit initially as it rapidly became clear that I should have thought a little harder about offering a dense text that I had only read once, and not in several years. My recipient asked for friendship between Brian de Bois-Guilbert and Maurice De Bracy; after rereading the book I saw some fun loose ends in the text of Ivanhoe to pull on that would allow me to put together a "Brian lives!" AU, and went from there. (It remains a challenge for me to write any kind of Ivanhoe fic that doesn't have Rebecca in it, but to be honest Rebecca is probably happier being out of it.)

As a sidenote, this was my second year in a row attempting to pastiche a Victorian author attempting to pastiche the medieval era. Sorry, Sir Walter Scott; I could not bring myself to go the full forsooth.

Germination, 7 Seeds

Pinch-hit number one! I actually had already bookmarked my recipient's amazingrequest for futurefic about Natsu, the world's most social anxiety-ridden post-apocalyptic heroine; when I saw it come up on the list I leaped upon it with the speed of a dozen giant feathered dinosaurs, because I LOVE NATSU and the slow process of watching her grow into herself is one of my very favorite things about 7 Seeds. It turns out writing futurefic for open canons is kind of nervewracking, especially when you are trying to juggle a cast of forty people, and also have decided to do several thematic conversations between people who have never actually met yet in canon, because ... it seemed like a good idea at the time? I also did not expect initially to be writing about extinct natural contraceptives. Or Hawaiian generation ships. Or evil dinosaur chickens. But this is what 7 Seeds does to your worldbuilding, basically. I also accidentally wrote myself into shipping Natsu/Semimaru, though Natsu/self-esteem is still my ultimate 7 Seeds OTP. I did sadly fail in my effort to get any one of the characters to describe the imaginary future town where Ran and Nijiko have set up shop as "the land of lesbian infrastructure," but that is what it will always be called IN MY HEART.

Impulse Control, Hexwood

Pinch-hit #2! And what a terrible title, wow. If I'd had another week, I would have attempted to write the EPIC POSTCANON HEXWOOD SPACE OPERA of my dreams, but with the 7 Seeds fic rapidly ballooning I only had time for this relatively short slice-of-ruling-the-space-empire life instead. Mostly I came out of this experience a.) happy that I had the excuse to reread Hexwood and poke a little at some of the MILLION sparky loose ends left at the end of canon and b.) deeply resentful that there isn't more Hexwood fic in existence. Come on, the book ends with our heroine forming a universe-ruling coalition with her ex-brainwashed ex-assassin boyfriend, their accidentally adopted son Merlin, and Merlin's two nephews, one of whom is our heroine's annoying fake little brother and the other one of whom is King Arthur. IT'S THE WORLD'S WEIRDEST SITCOM.
skygiants: an enthusiastic puppy glomps the head of Tamaki from Ouran (eat your head (with love!))
I got my Yuletide fic! It is a TWELVE THOUSAND WORD long Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun fic about the GSNK drama club putting on Hamlet, which is such a shining glory of a premise that I would already feel blessed even if it did not feel exactly like an episode of the show, WHICH IT DOES.

With Pen and Prop

“Then you may like Hamlet! It also has tragic love!” Kashima proclaimed happily. “And a lot of people die!”

(I don't think I've talked previously here about Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun? I probably should make a post on it at some point; it's an anime that came out earlier this year that feels pretty much exactly Ouran High School Host Club filtered through an extra layer of JOKES ABOUT THE WRITING PROCESS, so naturally I love it.)

It looks like I also have a Yuletide treat as-yet unrevealed so more glory probably awaits! In the meantime: December meme, [personal profile] coyotegoth's request for the 20th, one movie I think everyone should see and why.

This is even harder than a book I think everyone should read, because IN ADDITION to finding it difficult to say 'everyone should' in general, I also don't tend to have anywhere near the same level of strong feelings about movies that I do about books. They're just too short! I experience them for a span of two hours, and then that's it and I go about my life. Unless I end up seeing a movie multiple times for whatever reason, it's rare for a film to make an enormously huge impact on me.

(I know. I'm a film archivist. I know. To be fair, these days I tend to do a lot more work with television and video.)

So ... I'm going to leave aside 'should,' because I don't really believe in the 'should, but there is one movie that I will do my own personal level best to force almost anybody who comes into contact with me to see who hasn't seen it already, 'should' or not. Original Broadway Cast Into the Woods! BECAUSE IT'S BEAUTIFUL, BIZARRE PERFECTION. I can only see this habit of mine increasing in the many days, weeks and years to come after ... whatever this movie is that came out tonight. (I am seeing it on Friday, en masse, with my family. If you happen to hear Extremely Loud Opinions About The Into the Woods Movie being shouted from somewhere to the northeast, it is probable that they came from us.)
skygiants: Natsu from 7 Seeds, looking determined, surrounded by fireflies (survive in this world)
Dear Yuletide author,

First of all, thank you so, so much for signing up to write for one of these awesome fandoms! I'm going to be incredibly happy whatever you do, so please don't stress out too much about any optional-details-are-optional below. If you have fun writing, that will make it the best present for me. :D

General stuff that I like includes women having relationships with each other -- romantic, friendship, mentorship, really intense and personal enemies, it's all good! -- plus in general ensemble stories, sibling dynamics, found families and friendships, and people growing as people. I SUPER LOVE flawed people being flawed, and ridiculous people being ridiculous. (This definitely doesn't mean I only want comedy stories -- I am pretty much up for anything, tonally -- but I do think that humans are always a little bit ridiculous, and ... most of my requests are for canons that are full of ridiculous people, so.) I am also, for the record, SO DOWN for crossovers, always and forever, if you happen to be inspired to write one.

I would prefer not to see any characters bashed, especially female characters, and although I'm happy to run with creepy or dark explorations of fictional universes if that's what you want to do, I'm generally not a fan of the gratuitously graphic.

And now for the specific requests! )

Thank you so much, mystery author! And again, whatever you write, I will be SO EXCITED BY IT. I'm super excited already! You can tell by the fact that I can't put down my allcaps!
skygiants: Sheska from Fullmetal Alchemist with her head on a pile of books (ded from book)
This year marks a milestone for me. In all my seven years of participating in Yuletide, NEVER ONCE have I actually made my way through everything I wanted to read in the archive before the year was at least halfway done, NOR have I actually managed to take any notes about stuff to rec ....



I'm pausing graciously here for admiration and applause.

(For the record, I read Yuletide -- this year at least -- alphabetically from the front and back at once, so As then Zs then Bs then Ys and so on; for the last month I have languished locked in L. BUT NOW I'M FREE.)

And, resultantly, I have some recs!

THIS IS A REALLY CRUELLY NARROWED-DOWN LIST, there was a lot of stuff that I enjoyed, but only by diligent weeding have I gotten it down to .... 59, I think. )

Wow, feels like it took me almost as long to write this rec post as it did to actually get through Yuletide. NO WONDER I NEVER DID THIS BEFORE. How do those of you who regularly post Yuletide recs manage to do it in so little time! I'M IN AWE.
skygiants: Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle with Calcifer hovering over her hands (a life less ordinary)
REVEALS DAY. [personal profile] mme_hardy and [personal profile] ambyr, thank you again for my amazing Yuletide gifts! I'm so pleased and flabbergasted, I'd no idea!

For myself, I meant to write much more for Yuletide this year than I did, but I did manage two stories:

The Loyal Heart, Robert Louis Stevenson's The Black Arrow

So my recipient very properly requested Dick/Joanna/Alicia fic, and I said "haha, yes, of course, WHAT A GREAT PROMPT, Alicia spends the entire book hitting on both of them and I ship it one hundred percent!" and then I said, "HOW THE HECK DO YOU WRITE AN OT3, THE EMOTIONAL GEOMETRY IS SO MUCH MORE COMPLICATED!" and also "how the heck am I going to copy Robert Louis Stevenson's fake medieval prose without drowning in a pile of forsooths!"

Really this fic needs a lot more of Alicia seducing Joanna and Dick than it's got right now, and I tried, I really did, but I COULD NOT get any more explicit than a wink and a nod while working within Stevenson's prose style! That said, once I put my inner prose editor in a box I had a ton of fun writing these giant medieval dorks.

In Which Lettie Makes Demands, Diana Wynne Jones' Howl's Moving Castle

Man, after doing my best to pastiche Robert Louis Stevenson pastiching the Middle Ages, pastiching DWJ felt like a walk in the park. But really what happened is I saw the prompt for a Howl's Moving Castle fic from Lettie's point of view in the letters post, and then I had the realization that Lettie thinks Howl/Sophie is GROSS, and then I had the realization that the fact that Lettie found Howl/Sophie incredibly gross was HILARIOUS TO ME, and I knew that I was going to write this fic.

I actually now have a lot of thoughts and and feelings about all the Hatter sisters and their dynamics, and about Lettie as a self-centered but well-meaning seventeen-year-old trying to sort herself out, and Wizard Suliman as a dude from modern Wales trying to fit himself into Ingary culture and also figure out all these feelings he's got left over from being a mixed-up scarecrow, because presumably THAT was a pretty traumatic experience. All of which went into this fic, although some of it got buried way below the surface in favor of a joke. But the only thing I'm really sorry about is that I didn't have time to add a middle section with Martha as I wanted to do. HATTER SISTERS FOREVER.
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (Default)
I woke up this morning after three or four hours of sleep, dazedly packed my bag, and then even more dazedly went to check the Yuletide archive.

Guys! When I saw that I'd gone out to the pinch-hit list last-minute, I was feeling guilty because I was convinced I was going to be the awful and difficult-to-match person who would hold up Yuletide for everyone else. Instead I got not one, BUT TWO stories, and BOTH OF THEM AMAZING:

Finding Aid, "The Provenance Game"

Amateurs would tell you “Oh, it’s just bits of paper.” Archivists knew better. The critical difference between an archive and a pile of documents was that in an archive, you knew where things were.

GUYS. SOMEONE WROTE ME ARCHIVES PORN. (In the metaphorical sense.) I mean, "The Provenance Game" as a short story is archives porn in and of itself, which is one of the things that makes it so delightful, but this is EVEN MORESO. I'm so delighted! And political archives intrigue, to boot. >:D I'm about 90% sure that whoever wrote this is an archivist themselves -- the reference to authority controls is what convinces me -- and if not, congrats, mystery author, you did an AMAZING job of faking it.

The Queen's Award, The Summer Prince

It's music of a sort, rough and wild but music all the same. The true anthem of our city, though almost no one has heard it, being sung here in the isolated reaches of Tier Ten.

AND THEN I GOT FEELINGS AND ART AND FEELINGS ABOUT CITIES PORN. (Um, and a little actual femslash porn as well.) Someone wrote me the June/Bebel postcanon fic I have been craving, and it's everything I could have asked for. Perfectionist ladies! Artistic partnerships! Finding the balance between politics and art! IT'S SO GREAT, everyone should read it.

WHAT A GOOD YULETIDE. I'm about to go to the movies with the family for the traditional Jewish Christmas ritual so I won't get to dive into the archive properly until later, but I'm super excited to do so!

I also, for the record, received one present from my dad for Christmas -- despite the fact that we don't ACTUALLY CELEBRATE it, he decided to get gifts for us all ANYWAY and surprise us. Which is unfair and we shouted him down vociferously! Then I opened my gift.

Okay, that's fair actually, I guess.
skygiants: the aunts from Pushing Daisies reading and sipping wine on a couch (wine and books)
Dear Yuletide Author,

Thank you so much for being wonderful! I am so full of joy that you're going to create something for me. My main request is, whatever you're doing, please have fun! If you enjoy yourself writing, THAT WILL MAKE IT THE BEST PRESENT. :D

My requests this year are super lady-heavy, so it probably will not surprise you to hear that I love female characters, female friendships, and women who are strong and complex and nuanced in different kinds of ways. Other things I love: ensemble-fic; sibling dynamics; found families; cross-dressing and gender-play; flawed characters working to overcome their flaws; complicated world-building; people having human, mundane reactions to extraordinary events; comedy, poignancy, and stories that mix the two. As a sidenote, I also love crossovers like burning, so if you happen to get inspired by an amazing crossover idea, I totally encourage you to go with it.

I would prefer not to see character-bashing (especially towards female-characters), and although I'm happy to run with creepy or dark explorations of the universes, I'm generally not a fan of anything gratuitous.

Specific requests! )
skygiants: Enjolras from Les Mis shouting revolution-tastically (la resistance lives on)
Some things that make a post:

1. For anyone who was curious about the conclusion to the saga of Summer and the Pig-Dragon Boyfriend of Doom, [personal profile] rachelmanija has generously and hilariously read and reviewed the sequel. THIS IS A SERVICE TO US ALL, or at least to me, since now I don't have to read it.

2. I can't believe it has taken me this long to discover that the apparently thriving French tradition of musical rock operas about various historical events includes theatrical MUSIC VIDEOS.

For the record: research into this musical, titled 1789: Les Amants de la Bastille, reveals that the little girl is Charlotte Corday, the angsty rock singer is Camille Desmoulins, and the lady who looks like Marie Antoinette is Marie Antoinette. The frenziedly breakdancing Bastille prisoner is an OC who I think leads the revolution. Presumably because of his breakdancing skills.

There are a bunch of other amazing music videos from the production (my other favorite is Je veux le monde, in which a girl group of militant musket-wielding Lovely Ladies sing about the Fronde, but Pour la peine features some amazing stripping-and-table-dancing and a sad chorus singing about the rights of man.)

Then of course there is Mozart: l'Opera Rock. I have only watched one of these videos yet, but all you need to know that it is called L'ASSASSYMPHONIE and features Salieri being tormented by ballerinas, corsets, and a dude in a Mozart wig with an electric guitar.

France: you have clearly stepped up your game. America! WHY DO WE NOT DO THIS. Why is Phantom of the Opera not being promoted on YouTube by music videos of the Christine banging an electric guitar while Raoul and the Phantom breakdance in the background?! I am now retroactively disappointed in every Broadway show I have ever seen.

3. Yuletide! After much deliberation (and plea-bargaining with [personal profile] genarti to nominate stuff I didn't have space for), I think I have decided on my nominations:

7 Seeds (but which characters???)
20th Century Boys (KANNA AND KOIZUMI KYOKO and maybe Setsuko)
The Summer Prince (June and Bebel!)
Goddess of Fire (this is the epic pottery kdrama I am currently watching, I hope nominating it will get me to finish it before Yuletide! Anyway I want lady pottery mafia boss fic.)
skygiants: Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle with Calcifer hovering over her hands (a life less ordinary)
Yuletide reveals time!

My assigned fic was The Young Chants, a Chrestomanci story about Christopher Chant and his expanding family.

I have been very surprised and pleased with the reception this fic has gotten! My recipient asked for fluffy family fic; I don't think she was expecting A FLUFFY CHRESTOMANCI FAMILY EPIC, and to be fair I was not expecting to write one either, but once I started, as often happens, I couldn't stop. I don't think anyone guessed me as the writer for this, which makes a nice change from last year when I was hilariously called out in the very first comment. Secrecy IS possible!

I also wrote The Rule of Cool, a Gravity Falls treat for [personal profile] sotto_voce, with shout-outs to Community and a few other things.

I've always wanted to write a Yuletide treat for Lexie, because she writes SO MUCH every year and I feel like she deserves a million treats in response! So finally a prompt of hers came along that I actually had inspiration for, and I jumped on it. I did it at the last minute in like three hours so it is not, er, the most nuanced thing I have ever written, but . . . it has ladyfriendship and velociraptors, so that's something?

Lexie maaaay have guessed me on this one, I'm not sure! Let me know, Lexie, I was cracking up when your comment came through.

Many thanks to all my betas, including [personal profile] innerbrat, [ profile] izilen, [profile] wickedtrue, [personal profile] genarti, [personal profile] saramily, [personal profile] shati, and [ profile] arushindoll. YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME.

I'm still working my way through the archive, veeeeery slowly. Someday there will be a recs post. SOMEDAY. But I'm determined to do it, because I want to rec everything I betaed, which was ALL AMAZING.

(PS: Thank you so much for my wonderful gifts, Ione and Alona! I don't know where you are on LJ/DW, but if you're reading this, HI, YOU'RE BOTH AMAZING! Come say hello, let's be friends!)
skygiants: Mosca Mye, from the cover of Fly Trap (the fly in the butter)

. . . uh, and Merry Christmas to those who celebrate! Have fun with your holiday, I'm going to be over here with my giant pile of glorious Yuletide to wade through. *____*

I got two stories this year and they are both PERFECTION.

The Marriage Masquerade, The Talisman Ring

Ludovic waved a hand. “I want nothing—the reek from that devilish carpet is sobering enough.”

Sir Tristram exerted a super-human effort, and refrained from pointing out that this ruinously expensive carpet had been an excellent example of its kind before he and his Bedlamite wife had entered the room uninvited.

Ludovic and Eugenie are having some marital problems, so obviously it's up to Tristram and Sarah to sort them out, as usual. This fic is hilarious and perfectly in-character all around, but the greatest thing about it is that it is Talisman Ring fic WITH CROSSDRESSING, like, man, guys, somebody clearly knows exactly what I want in my fiction. WELL DONE, MYSTERY AUTHOR.

Civilized Indecency, Fly By Night

“We must do something about these disruptive tendencies of yours, Mosca. Oh, yes, they’re endearing on a certain level, but that hardly balances the inconvenience, not to mention mortal peril, your revolutionary little heart brings upon us with stunning regularity. Can we, just this once, drop it?”

Mosca encounters a corrupt legal system, proceeds to drag Clent into attempting to turn it on its head, as is her wont, and finds out things are immensely more complicated and troubling than she thought - so basically this fic like someone wrote me a new Mosca Mye novel in two thousand words AND IS PERFECTION, everyone go read it immediately! Oh Mosca, my very favorite angry little girl.

There might be actual recs later as I dive into the rest of the archive, but for right now I just have to do a special shout-out to the greatest mystery (for me) of Yuletide so far: Step by step on the flowers placed before you, a Capital Scandal/Sungkyunkwan Scandal CROSSOVER FIC about YONG HA AND CHA SONG JOO HANGING OUT oh my god beautiful brilliance (beautiful heartbreaking brilliance)

This was a gift for [personal profile] shati, who for the record I sat down and forced to watch both Capital Scandal and Sungkyunkwan Scandal this summer. So when she saw the tags we had this conversation:

BECCA: No! It wasn't me! Was it you?
SHATI: It's a gift for me, so I'm pretty sure no! Are you sure it wasn't you?
BECCA: Not unless I wrote it in my sleep!
SHATI: . . .
BECCA: . . . Debi . . .?

But it doesn't read particularly like [personal profile] innerbrat, or [personal profile] viviolo or [personal profile] dharmavati either, who would be my first range of usual suspects. If I'm wrong: CONGRATS GUYS, you totally fooled me, and also, YOU'RE AMAZING. If it's someone else I know: DITTO. If it's a stranger: HI, YOU'RE A GENIUS, LET'S BE FRIENDS.
skygiants: Drosselmeyer's old pages from Princess Tutu, with text 'rocks fall, everyone dies, the end' (endings are heartless)
I only have one scene left to do on this year's Yuletide, which I guess means it's my turn to procrastinate by doing that Meme of Yuletides Past!

Five years and fourteen ramblings under the cut! )

And that brings us to this year! Status: not bears, exactly. Maybe teddy bears? I'M SO CLOSE (and yet so far.)
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (teach me to hear mermaids)
Today I'm going to steal an idea from [personal profile] innerbrat, who has been building an extensive playlist for her Yuletide fic, and then had the bright notion to post a portion of it to tantalize everyone who doesn't know what she's writing.

So I immediately decided that I wanted to do this too, even though my Yuletide fic is really really hard to find a good soundtrack for, guys, like, it should not be so challenging but it totally is!

Nonetheless I have now spent enough time looking that I have built up a respectable playlist, and here are five songs from it under the cut )

YOUR TURN. Other Yuletiders, you should all totally do this. Here or in a post of your own, either way, but I want the chance to be tantalized and make guesses that will inevitably turn out to be wrong! (You are also free to make guesses about mine but they will almost certainly be wrong also.)

Or if you're working on a non-Yuletide fic, you should totally share a playlist for that. (But you don't have to be mysterious about it, if you don't want.)


skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (Default)

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