edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I got my Remix Revival assignment this morning and let's just say it is exactly what I half-suspected it would be, and also HILARIOUS. Not because of the person or their fics, I hasten to add! Just... the circumstances in general.

I am now going to ignore my assignment until nearly September, because I have other things with much closer due dates that obviously take precedence. *wry*
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I intended to do revisions/fleshing out on "Intervention" today during slow periods at work, but ended up working on my next prompt meme ficlet instead. And, uh. I have a frame story now, to put around the folktale, but somehow without any obvious warning signs, I seem to have slid into A) wild AU territory and B) the most blatant id!fic I have written in... uh... years. Maybe even all the way back to Knives, which remains my gold standard for blatant and shameless display of my id all over the page. (Also I love that fic like burning. When id!fic works, it works.)

I mean, when I say id!fic I really mean 'id!fic discounting anything I write about Jadis,' because that is always id!fic, no matter how frozen it may seem in practice. But my sociopath kink is id!fic in such a radically different direction from what I am currently writing that I am not sure it really counts as the same thing at all. (Even though the female agency and the issues about religion and/or ethics are present in both, because hello, have you MET me?)

Anyway, this project is more like, hmm, a sideways cousin to my torture kink? Except not torture, but absolutely all the control aspects, and also fem!dom even though I don't know if the central relationship will ever tip into anything sexual. Mostly it's just about intensity and power and trust and control/lack of control.

...Maybe a little torture, I dunno, we'll see how it plays out. *sheepish*

Also I need to get my AU backstory in order because dammit, I need an internally consistent framework to hang this on. I don't care if the story is a thin excuse for folktales and my naked id; the worldbuilding will still make sense. Or else.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Note: I am repurposing my stock Yuletide letter here, which is why some of the sections may seem slightly off-topic for a single fandom exchange.

Hi, and thank you in advance for writing a story for me! I'm pretty easy to please -- unless you write context-free porn, I'll be thrilled just to get a response to one of my prompts. *grin* But I realize that's not terribly helpful, so here's the (very!) long version. (I am sorry for the tl;dr, but I like to talk about things I love and I figure more details are better than fewer.)

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General Information )

Okay. On to specific prompts.

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Aravis Meets Rabadash )

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Lucy/Sea Girl Femslash )

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The Telmarine Court )

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Rilian's Everyday Life While Enchanted )

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Pure Worldbuilding )

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And that is that.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
For [profile] jjunter, for the Fic DVD Commentary Meme (which is still open, fyi!)

The Guardian in Spite of Herself: Ayakawa Yukiko retired from being a ninja, and she's come to terms with that. Then the Third Hokage summons her for an assignment that will change her life. AU story, set six years pre-manga. (72,000 words)

Chapter 16: Chapter the Sixteenth, in which Naga and Suisen demonstrate how not to dance with a partner, Yukiko and Seichi discuss assassination and dead relatives, and, to the author's relief, Kakashi's interrogation skills end up irrelevant to the plot. (4,450 words)

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As reading your latest DVD commentary (chapter 11 of the Way of the Apartment Manager) led me to reread the whole series again (with pleasure!), I'd love a commentary on chapter 16 of the Guardian in Spite of Herself.

In the former fic, it's basically all from Yukiko's POV; in the latter, you've got multiple POVs you switch between, and in the latter chapters you're often switching between them 2-3 times within any given chapter. What are some of the challenges and opportunities having so many POVs and subgroups of people in various locations to keep moving simultaneously? Describing it like this sounds like it shouldn't work, but the effect as a reader is this sense of escalating tension, wondering if every group including a POV character will ultimately end up in the same location (and if yes, what will happen next).

To answer quickly: the main challenge is timing/pacing. I want to use each POV at least every other chapter, so they don't feel like they've fallen out of the story (this is slightly less urgent for Yukiko and Sasuke, since they're currently in the same place and thus appear in each other's POV sections), but I also don't want to drag the story out. That means I have to make sure stuff happens in every POV thread, because I can't just drop one of them for extended periods while someone else has exciting adventures.

This is why Iruka is not a POV character, incidentally, though my first tentative outline -- created way back when this story was three tiny scenelets and a vague idea -- did include a plot thread about him and a Yamanaka OC investigating the Uchiha massacre back in the village. I still think that could have interesting thematic resonance with the current plot threads, but he wound up spending a lot of time sitting and waiting (or reading archives) which was not conducive to maintaining momentum. So I cut him, though I still kind of want to write a sidefic about what he's up to during the main story.

Anyway, the advantage to multiple POVs is that I can show more events and therefore create a more intricate story, and also show different perspectives on the same events and issues -- because even though Sasuke and Yukiko are currently sharing a plot strand, the things they notice and care about are radically different, and their emotional arcs are likewise dissimilar. This is also useful for creating thematic resonance. The main theme of "Guardian" is the cost in lives and in other factors (political, economic, psychological, ethical, etc.) that the hidden village/ninja clan system imposes on the people of the Elemental Countries, as seen by both civilians and shinobi, so the more perspectives I can bring to bear, the more rounded the picture.

(The other advantage to multiple POVs, of course, is that it's easier to do cliffhangers. *wry*)


The Guardian in Spite of Herself - Chapter 16, with commentary )

And that is that. :)
edenfalling: golden flaming chalice in a double circle (gold chalice)
For my own reference, I want to make an electronic copy of the covenant my congregation voted to adopt at our annual meeting last month. I am dissatisfied with it in numerous ways, but it is a living document so I hope at least some of those can be changed.

(I also wish I had been able to attend some of the previous discussion meetings about the covenant, but alas, work and other things got in the way.)

Also, yes, the preamble/explanation of what a covenant even IS is part of the document. That is probably the part that annoys me the most. Dictionaries exist! And sacred promises should sound like sacred promises, not like assembly minutes. :(

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A Covenant is a set of sacred promises that Unitarian Universalists make with each other to guide and support their communities.

First Unitarian Society of Ithaca adopts this covenant to sustain our commitment to each other, affirm our connections when we struggle, and form the foundation of our respectful relationships with each other and the world.

We covenant to:

Be together in community, guided by love and respect.
Be open, friendly, and welcoming to all.
Be engaged in congregational life.

Communicate compassionately, directly, and honestly.
Listen deeply and kindly to each other.
Believe in others' best intentions.

Support and inspire each other's quest for truth and meaning
Acknowledge, respect, and value our differences.
Work to serve our community's shared goals.


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(The missing period in the final trio is copied faithfully from the original document.)

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The covenant I grew up with (and adored) is a variation of a common UU covenant, which my childhood minister introduced for communal recitation early in each service as follows:

"Knowing that neither this nor any other form of words will ever be used as a creedal test, I invite you to join me in the covenant:

"Love is the doctrine of this church,
The quest for truth is its sacrament,
And service is its prayer.
To dwell together in peace,
To seek knowledge in freedom,
To serve life in fellowship
To the end that all souls shall grow in harmony,
Thus do we covenant with each and with all."


...

I think you can see why I am dissatisfied with my own church's new covenant? It does not fill the same emotional/ritual slot AT ALL. And if you're not going to fill that slot, why call your thing a covenant? You could just as easily call it a preamble to the bylaws and put it there, where its dryness would be a much better tonal fit.

*grumps ineffectively at the universe*
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For [personal profile] wistfulmemory, for the Fic DVD Commentary Meme (which is still open, fyi!)

The Way of the Apartment Manager: Ayakawa Yukiko retired from being a ninja, and she's come to terms with that. Then the Third Hokage summons her for an assignment that will change her life. AU story, set six years pre-manga. (72,000 words)

Chapter 11: Chapter the Eleventh, in which Yukiko plots a grand renovation project, we meet Naga's mother, Asuma makes an uncredited cameo, and the third test starts with an uneven matchup. (4,100 words)

This chapter begins the third test of the chuunin exam, and contains Yukiko's tournament match with Uchiha Akaro. A genjutsu specialist fighting an Uchiha is a terrible mismatch, which of course is why I had to go there. (I probably would have gone there even if I hadn't previously used a painful chuunin exam loss against a random Uchiha as part of Yukiko's backstory reasons for retirement -- it's one of many things that convinced her she couldn't actually do anything useful as a ninja -- but since I already had that set up, obviously I needed to replay a version of that fight and let her realize she's grown strong enough (confident enough? smart enough? whatever!) to win.

(If you think it's a spoiler that Yukiko wins, you have not been paying enough attention to shonen narrative tropes. *wry*)


The Way of the Apartment Manager - Chapter 11, with commentary )

And that is pretty much that. :)
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For [tumblr.com profile] bluejayfic, for the Fic DVD Commentary Meme (which is still open, fyi!)

The Courting Dance: Marriage is a bit more complicated than quarreling and making it up again, especially for the crown prince of Archenland and an exiled Calormene Tarkheena. (21,000 words)

Chapter 7 - The Beating of Our Hearts: Running from your problems is rarely a good long-term solution, but sometimes the change in environment can be helpful -- especially now that Aravis and Cor are on the same page. (1,600 words)

As bluejayfic's ask mentioned, this chapter is the one with the wedding scene. What was I thinking, putting the wedding halfway through the story? Well, I was thinking that the plot is as much about politics and worldbuilding as it is about romance, and the wedding is a major symbol of Aravis and Cor deciding to commit to each other despite various obstacles. Also, while it resolves their interpersonal problems, it doesn't resolve their external problems at all -- in fact, it makes some of them worse. So I figured it would make a good central turning point, where we switch from Aravis and Cor being pissed off at each other to standing back-to-back against the world.

Chapter 7 - The Beating of Our Hearts, with commentary )

And that is pretty much that. :)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
For [personal profile] othercat, for the Fic DVD Commentary Meme.

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The Law of Conservation of Mangrit: It starts out ironically, of course, but by the time Dave's wearing a corset and a swanky evening dress and Terezi's in a three-piece suit, Jade wants nothing more than to get them both into bed as soon as possible. (15,300 words)

Note: This is the fic that for a very long time was known only as "untitled Jade/Dave/Terezi crossdressing porn." And by a very long time, I mean I started writing it back in August 2012. (Yes, really.) That means it's based on canon that has since been drastically altered.

I think the best way to handle that issue is to say that "The Law of Conservation of Mangrit" is a retroactive AU based on the Game Over timeline, with the assumption that the actual Game Over events didn't spin so irretrievably out of control and the players were therefore able to win without Terezi using John to retcon anything. So Davesprite and John lived through all three years of the Yellow Yard and the meteor road trip was miserable for everyone involved. As for why Terezi is blind again, I assume she burned her sight out heroically saving somebody from something -- because of narrative echoes and significant choices and stuff -- and this time even if anyone offered to heal her, she said no.

Thank you to MadameHardy and missvgc for beta reading!

Some further background information! I started writing this fic because of the following kinkmeme prompt: I'd like to see a character of your choosing present as a different gender than they identify as, because they and their partner(s) think it's hot. I'm not really looking for trans!fic here (though that's awesome!), and I don't want them being shamed over either their gender identity or their play. So, for example:

Maybe sometimes Roxy likes to put on a suit and fedora and peg Dirk until he begs her to let him come.

Maybe John thinks it's really hot for Karkat to wear falsies and lacy underthings while he fucks his nook and calls him his loving wife.

Maybe Nepeta likes to switch between presenting as male or female between sexual encounters, and Terezi loves never knowing what she's going to get in the sack.

Would love to see focus on details like how the character dresses/gets ready to present a different gender (possibly with partner helping them?) as well as how that plays out in sexy times (i.e. gendered behavior re: topping, if that'd be a thing for your characters, or how non-hermaphroditic characters make up for having only male or female genitals, etc.).


By the time I finished, nearly three years had passed and I felt I'd veered too far from the prompt to post this as a response, but that was the inspiration.


The Law of Conservation of Mangrit, with commentary )

I hope that was of some interest. :)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
For [personal profile] rosaxx50, for the Fic DVD Commentary Meme (which is still open, fyi!)

I wrote this ficlet in response to a prompt from [personal profile] sablin27: Can I use the wild card on: Uhura, Spock and Gaila chase friendly but flighty magical cards (a la Card Captor Sakura)?

This was a little tricky in that I have never read nor watched Cardcaptor Sakura (though I have read several volumes of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, because obviously one should read the weird AU remix before reading the original *headdesk*), but I have picked up enough via general fannish osmosis that I figured I could manage a short ficlet. Which I did. :)

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Cardcaptor Uhura: Nyota Uhura occasionally regrets her sense of responsibility, particularly when the magical cards she accidentally released onto Starfleet Academy campus get in the way of her classes. Fortunately (or unfortunately), Gaila and Spock make sure she never misses a crisis. (900 words)

So the title is nothing but a literal and factual description of the story concept, but I couldn't not because of the syllabic/phonetic similarities between 'Uhura' and 'Sakura'. Which is also why this is not called "Cardcaptor Nyota," even though I only call Uhura by her first name in the story text, since we are in her POV.

Cardcaptor Uhura, with commentary )

And I think that's pretty much everything!
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Snagged from various places:

Pick any story I've written, or, in the case of my longer, chaptered works, any chapter from any story I've written, and comment to this post with that selection. I will then give you the equivalent of a DVD commentary on that snippet: what I was thinking when I wrote it, why I wrote it in the first place, what's going on in the character's heads, why I chose certain words, what this moment means in the context of the rest of the fic, lots of awful puns, and anything else that you’d expect to find on a DVD commentary track.

(The phrasing is unclear as to whether we're discussing whole stories or just story sections, but hey, pick what you want! You can find all my fic via this link. The majority of those stories are also available here on AO3.)

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Cardcaptor Uhura, for [personal profile] rosaxx50

The Law of Conservation of Mangrit, for [personal profile] othercat

The Courting Dance, chapter 7, for [tumblr.com profile] bluejayfic

The Way of the Apartment Manager, chapter 11, for [personal profile] wistfulmemory

The Guardian in Spite of Herself, chapter 16, for [personal profile] jjhunter

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Elizabeth Culmer

August 2017

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