edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Today is Yuletide reveal day! Here are the stories I wrote this year:

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1 ) Happily Ever After Requires Negotiation: Elections are coming around again, and the Neo-Radicals want Sophie and Dorcas to make a public gesture in support of their ideals. Sophie, meanwhile, is more interested in whether Dorcas likes her, and Dorcas will never pass up a chance to make a bargain. Sophie/Dorcas. (2,125 words, written for [archiveofourown.org profile] theblueescapist)

For the past several Yuletides, I have offered to write for Kenneth Lillington's An Ash-Blonde Witch. I kept getting matched on other fandoms instead, but this year, I got to revisit an obscure (and out of print) childhood pleasure. It is a classic Yuletide-style fandom, in that I think I may have just written its first extant piece of fanfiction.

I will briefly summarize the book, since I'm quite sure most of you haven't read it. Sophie Oakroyd accompanies her father to study the tiny country of Urstwile, which is so isolated (and carefully preserved that way by the outside world) that it's stuck back in ye olde generic European medieval/renaissance era. A local farmer (Simon) falls in love with her, while the daughter of a local tax collector (Prudence) falls in love with him, and meanwhile Sophie is mistaken for a witch because she can use applied psychology and also some psychic powers (which apparently are common in the 21st century). This attracts the attention of Dorcas, a real local witch, and a comedy of errors plays out from there, which has drastic and unexpected effects on the world beyond Urstwile.

Also there is some delightfully ridiculous poetry.

The Blue Escapist asked for a story about what happens to Dorcas after the book. I ended up writing a story focused more on Sophie, but since they are friends, housemates, and business partners by the end -- and since The Blue Escapist said femslash was fine -- Dorcas is still very present and important. She just isn't the POV character.

This is a sillier story than I often write, but I was working from a deliberately absurd canon, so that was intentional. Hopefully the jokes work!

I would like to thank [livejournal.com profile] cat_i_th_adage for beta-reading on short notice -- the story is better for her advice. :-)

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2 ) The Starlady and Her Shadow: A Folktale of Avaric: This is a tale told on the plains of Avaric, in the dark before the dawn when Oceanus wanes and only stars shine faint in deepest heaven. For though the stars see all, they keep their silence and carry no rumors to the jealous Powers of the world. (1,125 words, written for [archiveofourown.org profile] Aishuu)

I told [livejournal.com profile] aishuu I was going to write her a Darkangel Trilogy treat this Yuletide, and then I wrote it. Occasionally I manage to follow through on my commitments in a timely fashion!

This fic is a combined response to two of her suggestions. The major one, which set the format of my fic, is about storytelling:

I'm fascinated by the creation of myth and legend, and the lines between truth and propaganda. I'd love an outsider piece about how Aeriel and Irrylath's story is passed down through the ages (since Aeriel was a singer, it would be interesting to see this worked in). Aeriel had some really bad rumors about her in the third book, so it could be interesting to see her image rehabilitated or further altered. Since Ravenna is gone, Aeriel should take that place in the culture, but it might not work out that way. Aeriel is going to be around for a long, long time, so she may eventually not even be able to recognize what happened in the stories that are told.

And then this one decided what KIND of folktale I created:

I am fond of Sabr, and while I don't ship Irrylath/Sabr, I would like to see her as an outsider perspective on Irrylath, Aeriel or Irrylath/Aeriel. I would like to see her as a character in her own right, but as part of Irrylath and Aeriel's world.

Basically I selected a handful of canon elements and rearranged them until they told a story that recognizably describes the same general arc of events as what "really happened," but which starts by casting Aeriel as a villain and gets sketchier from there, at least from a historical accuracy perspective. As a standalone folktale, it's perfectly coherent -- or at least I devoutly hope it is. The problem is as much in what it leaves out as in how it twists and spins the people and events it describes.

I love imagining the way stories get mangled down the generations. That happens even if people aren't actively trying to emphasize and deemphasize certain aspects, but once you toss propaganda into the mix... heh. That's fun. *evil grin*

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My conclusion, based on this year and the year we visited Vicky in Spain, is that extensive holiday travel is not conducive to writing Yuletide treats. I only got this one done because I was fiercely determined to do so, and because it uses a style/voice/format that I have practiced a lot. (If you don't know that I like fairy-tales, you have not been following me very long.) I think this may be my least productive Yuletide ever, going by wordcount. But hey, I got my assignment in on time and wrote the treat I said I'd write, and I think both stories convey what they're meant to, in an entertaining fashion.

I will take my successes where I can. *wry*
edenfalling: colored line-art drawing of a three-scoop ice cream sundae (ice cream sundae)
This year I finally got the Lucifer fic that I have been requesting since practically forever!

Transcendence: Elaine is tying up some loose ends after taking over the Universe. And one of those ends is an angel. A really angry one. (2,300 words)

It is a wonderful story about ethics and free will and the weirdness of becoming God, and an explanation for why Gabriel isn't in the main plot of the comic despite being created at the same time as Lucifer and Michael, and apparently being in charge of the Host back during the construction of the Silver City. Go read it and heap praises upon my mystery author!

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I wrote two stories this year: my assignment in the main archive and a treat for Yuletide Madness. I will be surprised if anybody guesses my assignment, but the treat is probably pretty obvious... at least for my recipient, whom I told in advance that I was going to write it. *wry*

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I suppose to make this count as a December Talking Meme post, I should say something deep and meaningful. But I can't think of anything, really. I love Yuletide. I first participated in 2008, back on the old archive, and I have done it every year since then. There is something magical about receiving stories in tiny fandoms of my heart, and I love knowing that I am producing similar magic for other people. For me, all the controversies over rules and changes, archive glitches, and mod responses or lack thereof pale in the face of that joy.

Yuletide is a touch of beauty in the darkest time of the year. ♥

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December Talking Meme: All Days

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[Tumblr crosspost]
edenfalling: colored line-art drawing of a three-scoop ice cream sundae (ice cream sundae)
Ha, victory! I knew once I actually sat down to write the damn fic, it would come fairly quickly, and I was right -- I wrote the whole thing in under twelve hours. The POV ended up switched to the other main character, and the plot arc took some unexpected minor swerves, but this is about 85% the story I intended to write, and that's a better outline-to-story accuracy rate than I usually get.

I need to get it edited, of course, but the main point is that there is something to edit.

(On that note, does anyone want to beta a short fic about what happened to a couple people after the end of their canon story? The book in question is obscure, but I can provide a canon synopsis and what I mostly need to know is if I adequately signaled a few things within my fic, and that requires no canon knowledge whatsoever.)
edenfalling: golden flaming chalice in a double circle (gold chalice)
1. I ended up buying two things at the service auction despite my best intentions. *sigh* Well, one of them is a birthday gift to myself, and the other is a seat at what should be a very good dinner, and it's all to support the church, so... whatever!

The live auction ended around 9pm, and I was doing various clean-up things until 9:45pm. Bundling tablecloths, putting all unsold items from the silent auction onto two tables for people to hopefully buy on Sunday (and rearranging unsold artwork on various easels behind those tables), putting sold-but-unclaimed items on yet another table for eventual pickup, gathering bid sheets and handing them to the church secretary for scrap paper, folding tables and moving them into the closet or upstairs to the arch room or downstairs to the basement, moving small cafe-style tables over to the side and positioning chairs around them for coffee hour in the morning, etc., etc. I end up doing a bunch of heavy lifting in these circumstances, mostly because I physically can and am therefore willing.

I also acquired nine slices of roast pork -- leftovers from the dinner that preceded the auction -- which will make for some nice meals this coming week. I'll just have to remember to buy and cook some accompanying vegetables.

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2. This afternoon UPS delivered my out-of-print canon material for Yuletide. Yay! I reread the first chapter, which is as entertainingly ridiculous as I remembered, and I am renewed in my conviction that my recipient's prompt is exactly what I myself would have wanted if I'd been the one to request this canon, and in fact is a story I might have written completely unprompted and of my own volition if I'd owned the canon before today.

To be honest, I am almost suspicious of how perfect this situation is. But hey, I guess things have to work out sometimes, right? :-)

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3. I applied for a small consultancy project today, which may or may not pan out depending on whether the organization in question has funding for the position I was tentatively offered. This is the downside of networking -- on the one hand, you learn about chances you'd never otherwise be aware of, but because they're not official job postings, there's a lot more uncertainty involved. I do hope it pulls together, though -- I mean, A) I could use the money, and B) it would look good on my resume.
edenfalling: colored line-art drawing of a three-scoop ice cream sundae (ice cream sundae)
Yuletide assignments went out this morning, and I matched on... a source that is going to take a little work to get my hands on. Because it's out of print, there are no copies in the entire Tompkins County library system, and the only copy I personally know of is in my old hometown library down in New Jersey, which is not exactly helpful.

Therefore, to the internet and used book market sites! *rubs hands, cackles evilly*

I definitely need to acquire the book, because I haven't read it in going on fifteen years and you could drive a whole convoy of trucks through the holes in my memory of the plot and characters. (Though I do remember one particular passage word-perfect, which I know because I recited it to my mom over the telephone this evening, just to prove I could. It's funny the things that stick with you.) But my giftee's request is totally up my alley both in general terms and with respect to what I remember liking about the book, so hey. Yuletide here we come!

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In completely unrelated news, I gave blood yesterday, I am filling in as a substitute teacher at church this Sunday, and I am totally going to vote in the midterm elections on Tuesday. I feel all socially productive and stuff. :-)

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And now back to my final mini-ficlet request. (Which, hey, I'm willing to keep playing if anyone else wants to give me a prompt!)
edenfalling: colored line-art drawing of a three-scoop ice cream sundae (ice cream sundae)
Dear Yuletide Writer,

Hi, and thank you in advance for writing a story for me! I'm pretty easy to please -- unless you write a context-free sex scene, I'll be thrilled just to get a fic in one of the fandoms I asked for. *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 fandoms.

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The Dispossessed )

Lucifer )

The Lions of Al-Rassan )

Black Jewels )

And that is that. :-)

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

October 2017

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