edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Remix reveal day! I wrote two stories this year: They Have To Take You In (A Sheepish Story) for [archiveofourown.org profile] Gramarye and Follow the Story (One Queen, Bearing Gifts) for [personal profile] rthstewart. I'm going to talk about each in a separate post.

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Follow the Story (One Queen, Bearing Gifts): 1,825 words, June 2015. On Ramandu's island, Lucy and the Star's daughter speak of stories, choices, and new beginnings.

Remixed from Follow the Star, by [archiveofourown.org profile] rthstewart.

I told [personal profile] rthstewart that I'd write her a Madness fic, and then I did. :-)

This remix is a little unusual in that the main change was to its canon. In other words, I took a story that was written for the Disney film version of VDT and stuck it into book!verse. This required a fair bit of conceptual mangling, given how different the plots of the book and movie apparently are! (Full disclosure: I have never actually seen that movie.) I had to change the topic of the entire first half of the conversation, but I hope I kept the general sense of two girls talking about their futures and reaffirming each other's hope and faith.

The story is also an excuse to patch two minor continuity holes in VDT. First, what became of the sailors who accompanied the sleeping lords to Ramandu's island? Second, what is the origin of Ramandu's daughter, and what is she, metaphysically speaking, since she doesn't give off light like non-disgraced Stars all seem to do? I feel that my answer to the second question renders my authorship blindingly obvious, considering it's a variation of my origin story for the siren in Into Something Rich and Strange -- or more accurately, the siren's origin is a variation of this theory, because I came up with this one first. It just took me two years to find a story where I could use it. Victory! \o/

Rth's story also includes some dialogue about Lucy's name and its meaning, which struck me as a perfect segue into the odd namelessness of the other main character, who is only ever identified by her relationships with men: Ramandu's daughter, Caspian's wife, Rilian's mother. You can judge for yourself whether my attempt to address that situation worked.

This fic is also a little frustrating for me in that it's not an obvious AU, and yet it doesn't quite fit into my Lost Chronicles of Narnia timeline -- because of that name issue, ironically enough. In my main continuity, the Star's daughter already has her own name, which is Tarazeth. So I think this will remain a might-have-been, much though I like the idea of Lucy getting to have an on-page conversation with another female character aside from Susan.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Remix reveal day! I wrote two stories this year: They Have To Take You In (A Sheepish Story) for [archiveofourown.org profile] Gramarye and Follow the Story (One Queen, Bearing Gifts) for [personal profile] rthstewart. I'm going to talk about each in a separate post.

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They Have To Take You In (A Sheepish Story): 1,700 words, June 2015. After the events of The Dark Is Rising, the Black Rider calls the White Rider for help. This is only amusing for one of them.

Remixed from Strategic Sheep Purposes, by [archiveofourown.org profile] Gramarye.

Toward the end of the remix signup period, I took a look at the signup summary page to see if there were any requested fandoms (aka, fandoms in which people had already written stuff) that could use more offers to ease the matching process. Most of the unloved fandoms were things I either don't know at all, know only vaguely through internet osmosis, and/or have no interest in writing, but there was one request for Susan Cooper's Dark Is Rising sequence. Which is not a fandom I have ever felt impelled to write in of my own accord, but is certainly one I love and know fairly well, and for which I'm more than willing to write responses to other people's Yuletide or Three Sentence Ficathon prompts.

So I said hey, why not... and of course that's where I was matched. *wry*

It was also where I was pretty much stuck writing, because all of Gramarye's other fandoms fall into my "don't know" and/or "don't care" categories. Which is how it goes, sometimes! The world would be a very boring place if we all loved exactly the same things.

Anyway, I read through Gramarye's DIR works, rapidly concluded that I had no business trying to write about Welsh politics in the 1980s and 1990s, and decided to elaborate on one of the many drabbles instead. Then the trick was choosing which drabble. I copypasted several of them to a brainstorming file and spent the next three and a half weeks looking at them occasionally and sort of vaguely weighing options in the back of my mind.

Strategic Sheep Purposes is, oddly enough, the first drabble that really caught my imagination and the one I tentatively settled on as my target when I first read through Gramarye's archive. My usual fic exchange pattern calls for my first idea to get unceremoniously trampled by a later, more insistent plot bunny, but while I do still have half a notion to poke at the Jane-centric plot bunnies inspired by two of Gramarye's other drabbles, in the event I could not resist the sheep jokes, nor the chance to explain to my own satisfaction a question that began to bother me when I reread all five books in rapid succession: namely, what did the White Rider think of the Black Rider's dramatics in the first two books of the sequence, given that she apparently stayed well out of those disasters? (And in fact may have persuaded him to do likewise for a while thereafter, given the low level of the antagonist in Greenwitch.)

Also, the idea of two ageless personifications of darkness and evil acting as bickering siblings tickles the hell out of me. This may be a flaw in my character. *grin*

I feel that this was probably an obvious story to anyone who's read my other DIR work, considering my established interest in the White Rider and the way she balances her two lives/selves, but we love what we love and there's not much use pretending otherwise.

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And now I'm just going to blather about the DIR sequence in general, because I have been sitting on these random observations for over a week now!

When I decided to refresh my familiarity with the series, it turned out to be cheaper to buy a complete box set than to simply fill in the missing books in my collection. This is weird and silly! Also, in theory I should only have needed to buy TWO missing books, but my copy of The Dark Is Rising was eaten by book gremlins lo these dozen years ago and I kept forgetting to replace it, so in practice I had three titles to purchase. I never actually owned Over Sea, Under Stone or Greenwitch until now. The first omission never bothered me, but I do dearly love Greenwitch and am glad to have had an excuse to fill that hole in my personal library.

On another side note, reading all five books in fairly rapid succession makes their time discrepancies screamingly obvious. In-universe, the sequence plays out over a period of not quite two years: the Drews find the grail in late summer of Year One, Will joins the Signs over the Christmas season that links Year One and Year Two, Jane gets the translation key from the Greenwitch around Easter of Year Two, Will and Bran claim and use the harp around Halloween of Year Two, and the final battle happens shortly after summer solstice in Year Three. Which is all well and good.

EXCEPT!

In the first book, copyright 1965, the Drews use pre-decimal currency, meaning the book must be set pre-1971. By the second book, copyright 1973, there's a specific mention of a Mrs. Horniman "coolly disregarding changes in the currency" and handing out silver sixpences to the caroling Stanton children, which sets it firmly post-decimalization. And then by the fifth book, copyright 1977, Bran casually refers to Snowdonia as the "only place that didn't die of the drought, back in nineteen seventy-six," which means they are in 1977 at the very earliest, and quite possibly a few years further on given the phrasing. We've somehow stretched two years of events over at least seven years of real time. Even for the Old Ones, that's flatly impossible.

So when do the events of the sequence take place? I think the best way to rationalize them is to handwave the pre-decimal currency in book one as an artefact of Early Installment Weirdness -- after all, that book was written as a standalone, and has some other oddities like Mr. Hastings (aka the Black Rider, one of the greatest Lords of the Dark) not being able to use a spell to breathe underwater, though Will can pull that trick easily in book three and he's far from the most powerful of the Old Ones -- and work backwards from book five, on the assumption that it's set somewhere between 1977 and 1980. But not much later than that, or you'd start running into Margaret Thatcher's fights with the unions, and I think that would've altered Mr. Stanton's dialogue in the opening section of book five.

...

Okay, I'm done babbling now. *wry*
edenfalling: colored line-art drawing of a three-scoop ice cream sundae (ice cream sundae)
The Remix Madness archive is open as of yesterday. Go! Read! And specifically, read the two ficlets that wonderful people wrote based on some of my own work.

First we have Truth and Nothing But Truth (In Song and Story remix): [ETA: by [archiveofourown.org profile] marmota_b] Edmund wants to establish newspapers, but he keeps running into problems. Do newspapers print the truth? A missing scene from "In Song and Story" by Elizabeth Culmer. (350 words)

This is based on In Song and Story, which is, unsurprisingly, about Edmund's attempt to establish a Narnian newspaper, which he hopes will quash the tradition of conveying news through not-always-terribly-accurate (and often embarrassing) narrative songs. Here he runs into yet more incomprehension of exactly what a newspaper is, and also a pertinent caution raised by Peridan.

And second, we have Slide Into A Choice (The Illusionary Perfection Remix): [ETA: by [archiveofourown.org profile] Estirose] Eve has a choice, and she will make it. Eve/fem!Serpent. (325 words)

This is based on Thelema, a three-sentence ficlet I wrote for [livejournal.com profile] lizzie_marie_23 back in 2011, in response to the prompt: girl!Serpent/Eve, it's Madam and Eve and they don't need Adam. The remix focuses less on the garden and more on the relationship between Eve and the Serpent, and decompresses the scenario to give Eve time to consider her choice. And she chooses only for herself, because no one should decide anyone else's life for them.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Hey everyone! Remix Redux 12 is live, and I would like to make you aware of my gift!

Skies of Summer (Dare to Hope Remix): [ETA: by [archiveofourown.org profile] katilara] Ariadne seems to have an innate talent for building in dreams, but Arthur knows there are other virtues she'll need to be truly successful. (2,600 words)

This is based on Skies of Summer, a Cotton Candy Bingo fill I wrote last year. It's an Ariadne & Arthur friendship fic, and also a little exploration into the practicalities of building a convincing and stable dreamworld. The remix shifts into Arthur's POV to show that he's studying Ariadne as much as she's studying him, and also details the picnic dream that I skipped over in my own fic.

Go read it; it's lovely! ♥♥♥
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
After procrastinating for half of forever, I wrote and posted my remix today. I played around with using one or two different source ficlets -- to the point where I now have two nebulous "kinda maybe gonna write that someday" plot bunnies gamboling in the back of my brain, argh -- but in the end I went with my original idea. This is actually quite unusual for me and exchanges!

There's still a week before the collection goes live, and I'd like to have someone check my remix over for general "does it work as a story?" and "does it connect enough to the original fic?" purposes. Hmm. And also probably some real-world fact-checking of a type that I suspect several people on my flist are qualified to do. It's a short fic, and I can give more details via email or private message if you're interested.

Do not worry about not knowing my mystery canon of mysteriousness. I don't really need canon fact-checking. That part I can do perfectly well myself. *grin*

So um. Please help?

(And hey, I'm totally willing to look over anybody else's remix if you want another set of eyes! I'm not always in a great place for the kind of mental effort required for editing, but this week feels like a good one in that direction and I'm not half-bad at editing if I do say so myself.)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Assignments for Remix Redux 12 went out on Sunday, and... I actually got assigned to the person I half-suspected I'd be assigned to, given that I specifically changed my offers (what I'm willing to write) based on some requests (what people had already written) that were sadly unmatched. And I think I am pretty much stuck with that one matching fandom, since I am either completely unfamiliar with my remixee's other fandoms, or know them only through vague internet osmosis. (Well, and there's a couple Yuletide things, but it's really hard to remix stories that already seem perfect and complete in themselves, you know?)

Fortunately I do like the matching fandom, and I've already marked out a few possible stories to play with after a quick read-through of my remixee's archive. Now I get to ignore the whole business for at least two weeks, because I am the Queen of Procrastination! :-)

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edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Elizabeth Culmer

June 2017

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