edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Remix reveal day! I wrote Turn the Page (Don't Fear the Ending) for [personal profile] gramarye.

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Turn the Page (Don't Fear the Ending): Sometimes, when a storyteller tries to wring every last drop of Stories out of themself before ever coming to an ending, the storyteller is not the only one squeezed dry. (1,500 words, remixed from The Monster at the End of This Book, by [archiveofourown.org profile] Gramarye)

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So, funny story: in 2015, I adjusted my "willing to write" choices near the end of the Remix Redux signup period so as to match fandoms that currently had no offers. And because of that, I got matched to Gramarye. I did the same thing this time, for the same fandom (Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising sequence), and had a feeling this might end up generating the same match.

I was right. *wry*

I wanted to try doing something different this time, though, so while I dug up the couple drabbles I'd marked as potential remixes (but not wound up using) the last time around, I also poked through the rest of Gramarye's archive to see if we had any other fandoms in common. The answer, mostly, is no... except for a couple one-offs. And one of those was "The Monster at the End of This Book," a gorgeous Yuletide fic for Salman Rushdie's Haroun and the Sea of Stories.

My remix does not have anything to do with Gramarye's story on a plot level. Instead, what I ended up doing was taking a couple of key lines and writing something completely different based around those themes: the power of storytelling, the importance of endings, and how those are both vital and dangerous channels of power and control.

I also continued what has become a bit of an accidental pattern that might be described as "taking your story and making it about women," which I swear to god is not intended in any way as criticism of the stories I keep doing it to. I just have some issues that keep expressing themselves through this particular outlet. *hands* And also Rushdie's treatment of Soraya Khalifa has always annoyed me -- it is a slightly flat/sour note in an otherwise wonderful gem of a book -- so I wanted to give her control of her own story and see what happened.

Random trivia note: I gave Soraya the maiden name of Khan both because it's a Muslim-associated name rather than a Hindu one (to go with the Khalifas' general theme), and because khans arguably outrank caliphs, or at the very least are temporally equal. So that is symbolically important and was absolutely on purpose. :)
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*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
This morning I 'and then'ed my way through more of the space battle -- the Enterprise has just arrived in-system!

I have also been working on the first of the mini-ficlet prompt meme fills, which... uh... has gotten slightly out of hand and also seems to bear less and less relation to the bingo square part of the prompt, whoops. But I persevere!

...

In other news, I signed up for the Narnia Fic Exchange ([community profile] narniaexchange) and you should too!

I am also seriously considering signing up for Remix Revival ([community profile] remixrevival), which is running this year as a fill-in for the tragically defunct Remix Redux. I mean, on the one hand, REMIX!!! On the other, oh god time management... *dithers*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
My list of writing projects, now that I'm done with Ladystuck Remix and WIP Big Bang:

1. Narnia Fic Exchange, due 8/31. I still haven't picked a prompt, let alone started writing. (This is what happens when all the options sound brilliant!) I will try to have something selected and outlined by Sunday. I may also be beta-reading for some other people.

2. Three Cotton Candy Bingo mini-ficlet prompt meme requests. (Tumblr mirror.) I'm stuck on the first one because I think it wants to be porn, and, well, me and porn? Not the greatest of friends. Also the terms of the prompt -- 'using the Sharingan after Sasuke came back' -- require me to deal with late Naruto canon, and I don't really want to put in the work to figure out a better resolution to Team 7's various emotional arcs. Nrgh. (I'd avoid the issue by setting it in the Tides AU, but I suspect I'd get hung up trying to make detailed plot outlines for the two sequels I never wrote.) On the other hand, if I'm writing straight-up porn, I don't really need to explain anything, right? The term PWP exists for a reason...

(FYI, you can still go make requests for the remaining three Cotton Candy prompts, either via a comment on Dreamwidth or via my Tumblr askbox. I will probably take several weeks to write the fic, but I won't forget.)

3. I have no idea if Remix Redux is actually happening this year. The mods made a preliminary announcement, and then... *crickets chirp*

4. Yuletide nominations will open in a few weeks. I should probably start thinking about that.

...Actually, let me hash that out right now. I will always make requests for The Dispossessed and The Lions of Al-Rassan if they're available, but do I care enough to use my nominations on them? The former, at least, seems to often get taken care of by other people, but I know the latter has vanished sometimes when I haven't nominated it myself. *ponders options* I think other people will probably take care of the Black Jewels series, and even nominate Karla because she's well-liked. (I still want my Karla-has-a-happy-lesbian-sex-life fic, dammit.) I want Syllva and Eryka to be character options for the Darkangel trilogy, so I'd better nominate them because I don't think anyone else will. I also think I might go for that Saga of the Skolian Empire prompt as well this year, so I'd better make sure Rocalisa is on the character list.

So if we still get three noms per person, it looks like I will be asking for Al-Rassan, the Darkangel triology, and the Skolians. Okay. Good. Now I can stop thinking about that. Back to my list of writing projects!

5. I got a Daredevil Bingo card. I am going to ignore it until at least mid-September. (You can claim specific prompts, though! Here is the information post (yes, it's the same post as my current Cotton Candy Bingo request meme) and you can leave me a prompt request via Dreamwidth comment or via Tumblr askbox. Just, you know, don't expect fast results.)

6. I should really finish the five remaining parts of "The Transient and the Eternal" now that I'm crossposting the extant component fics to AO3.

7. No, I have not forgotten about "Guardian." I never forget about any of my WIPs, even if I've ignored them for years. Trust me on this. :)
edenfalling: colored line-art drawing of a three-scoop ice cream sundae (ice cream sundae)
The Ladystuck Remix collection is open! Sixty-two remixed female-centric Homestuck fanworks, plus two more in the Treats collection.

Main collection / Treats collection

And what did I get, you may ask? I got this:

The Time-Traveler's Kismesis: Counterthesis (The Troll Out Of Time Remix): Meetings between the Demoness and her kismesis, the Dolorosa, who refuses to give up hope in a world the Demoness knows is doomed. (1,863 words, by a currently anonymous writer)

This takes my short, fragmentary work The Time-Traveler's Kismesis: Counterthesis and not only flips the POV to show Damara's view of that meeting, it extends both forward and backward in time to encompass the whole story of their relationship and is framed by two excellently deployed quotations from Alternian romantic poetry. ;) It is gorgeous and bleak and hopeful all at once, and I love it to pieces, and you should go read it right now and tell the author they're brilliant! ♥
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Okay. Current writing project summary:

1. WIP Big Bang. My posting date is August 15. I should probably have all my chapters done at least a week before that, for editing purposes. I am currently stuck (yet again) halfway through ch. 11 because I suddenly realized I need to explain a bunch of political process stuff, which should have been introduced a lot sooner for proper flow and foreshadowing purposes. I have the terrible feeling I need to go back and make edits to previously posted chapters so the necessary setup for my ending is in place. (This is doubly annoying since I already did make edits on ch. 1 a couple years back. *sigh*)

2. Ladystuck Remix. Due July 25. I looked through my remixee's archive, picked a few likely stories, and then stalled out. This is my most immediately pressing project and I should try to get an outline and a decent stab at a rough draft done by Sunday night.

3. Narnia Fic Exchange. I made my requests and offer today, though I may tweak them somewhat before the signup period closes. Assignments go out around July 29 and stories are due August 31. I don't need to worry about this for a month.

4. Remix Redux. There is no schedule yet and signups probably won't open until next week at the earliest. Again, I don't need to worry for a while.

5. Daredevil Bingo. [personal profile] significantowl wants to set one up. I want to participate! No hard details exist yet.

6. I am not allowed to sign up as a Palestuck pinch hitter. I do not have the time. (Other people should, though!)

7. "Guardian" ch. 17. Yeah, I'll... uh... get back to you on that sometime? *headdesk*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Things done recently:

1. Got around to seeing Captain America: Civil War on Wednesday. That was not really a Cap movie; that was an Avengers movie... which is not inherently a bad thing (I like big team movies), but is annoying because Steve should not get upstaged by Tony in his own damn movie. Also holy shit the writers have no idea how international diplomacy and treaties work, do they? The logistics on that broke my suspension of disbelief so badly that I spent the rest of the story with a little section of my mind just spinning its wheels trying to think of some way to handwave that mess that made even a token 5% gesture at real-world logic.

(I am still working on that, btw.)

But it was fun, and I'm glad I saw it on the big screen.

2. Drove to NJ on Friday, after which I spent the evening hanging out with Susan -- by which I mean we ordered a pizza and talked about nothing in particular for a few hours, and then my parents and aunt arrived home from their trip and all five of us talked about nothing in particular for another hour and a half. Sometimes it's nice to just be around someone without pressure to be Doing A Thing, you know?

3. Went over to Susan's on Sunday afternoon, where we watched Deadpool (we had both missed it in theaters, which is much more explicable in my case) and agreed that it was pretty much exactly what we'd wanted out of a Deadpool movie. I would definitely be interested in a sequel. :)

4. Washed a lot of laundry.

5. Not written any fiction since Thursday evening. Traveling is a little disruptive that way. *shrug*

6. Signed up for Ladystuck Remix, because I love remix challenges and I love Ladystuck, and while two great things do not always and necessarily taste great together, in this case, I am pretty sure they will. :)

7. Despite not actually writing, I did make a firmer outline for the rest of "The Courting Dance," which became possible once I finally figured out how to approach Peridan's POV chapter. (In summary, I'd been starting in entirely the wrong place and being too narrative instead of focusing on his own preoccupations.) Previously my 'outline' could be summarized as, "And then politics, return to Archenland, Great Council session, maybe another wedding, the end. Remember [redacted argument point] and [redacted physical prop]." Which is not wrong, but is not terribly useful either. Now I know whose POV I'll be in for each chapter, and have at least a one-sentence summary of what should be happening. I have also decided not to actually write the second, northern-style wedding, because while the fact that Aravis and Cor agree to put on that show is important, the show itself is irrelevant to the story I am telling.
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.

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Elizabeth Culmer

October 2017

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