morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
EDIT: I just realised I linked this letter in my Yuletide sign-up instead of my actual letter. Actual letter is presently locked. Really sorry, writer! Please check my 'dear writer' tag in the next 24 hours.

Thank you for reading, writer or potential writer!

(This is my letter for the Crossovering exchange.)

Letter )
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
1. I signed up to the WIP Big Bang challenge (2nd year, new mods). This challenge is for writers who have Big Bang-length fics half-written and want extra encouragement to complete them. I signed up with my Rarewomen 2014 Black Jewels fic. On the one hand, that means I won't be posting a continuation to it until July; on the other hand, I wasn't getting much done on it on my own. The community encouragement will help. This was one of the challenges I 'budgeted' for this year.

2. Sign-ups are open for the Night on Fic Mountain challenge, a smaller Yuletide set around the opposite solstice. I am not signing up for that myself, but I am helping with a bit of admin. There are presently 42 sign-ups and I think the tag set has a lot of intriguing options in it.

3. Jukebox sign-ups are open! Jukebox is MY challenge. I'm pretty excited about the prompts I'm seeing, about the number of sign-ups, about the range of songs... Everything!

4. Got a bit done on my Once Upon Fic story today. The night is young. I have a plot in mind, but it's one of those stories where I re-write the start over and over again.

5. I got some glorious gifts for Bad Bang 4. It was a lot of fun. I think I found the right balance to strike in my comments - sort of over-earnestly encouraging, with a little bit of wank now and then. I wanted to join in the game this time, but I didn't want to be Indignant About Things.

6. I am behind on beta'ing. However, I did just finish a long-ish beta job.

7. I did not manage to post a NYR fic in March. Darn. I probably won't manage one for April either, what with various exchanges. However, most of the exchanges I've promised myself are happening in the middle of the year. Maybe I'll catch up to my one-per-month goal.
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
The Once Upon a Fic exchange still has sign-ups open for a couple more days (here it is on DW, LJ, and AO3).

Dear writer, if you already have an idea for one of the fandoms I've requested, GO FOR IT. I've listed some prompts, but do not abide by them if you don't want to. Please do abide by my Do-Not-Wants: I would like you to avoid graphic harm to hands and stories about people being strongly affected by or addicted to intoxicants & similar drugs. I would also appreciate it if you didn't put any amnesia in a story that doesn't have it in the source.

Alternate universes of all kinds are welcome.

Tsarevitch Ivan and the Fire Bird and the Gray Wolf (Fairy Tale)
Characters: Any

One of the things I am most interested in, for this story, is the weird chain of favours. So Ivan shows up at a new Tsardom, tries to steal something, gets caught... and then the Tsar says to him, "Ivan. Dude. You're a prince. You could have just asked. But I'll forgive you if you go steal this other thing." WTH? What kind of morality is this? It just doesn't add up to me. Does each Tsar just hate the next one in the chain? It also didn't seem right to me that Ivan gets everything/one at the end, even if he put forth the effort to go... steal it.

So: I'd love it if you played with that. I'd love it if you told a part of this story from anyone else's perspective, because in its current form, this is a crazy over-the-top example of protagonist-centred morality, and I want to know what the story looks like if you're not Ivan. I'm interested in the princess's perspective (she definitely does not have to end up with Ivan!) and why the wolf is so patient and cunning. What does he get out of this? Ivan? :P

I'd also love to know more about the magnificent Firebird. Is it one of a kind? If not, where are the others?

As for AUs, I feel that a mafia or noir AU would go great here. All of these shady deals!

The Necklace of Princess Fiorimonde - Mary de Morgan
Characters: Any

I have lots of questions! So, how did Princess Fiorimonde turn to the black arts? What other terrible things did she do? (Horror welcome.) And how did she think she'd get away with vanishing all those suitors? Was Yolande really the only one who suspected?

Also: what was it like to be a bead on a string for however many years? When the princes and kings were transformed back, how did they feel? (Stockholmed?) What did they do? They were gone from their kingdoms for years and years - what happened to their kingdoms? Going home would have to be pretty awkward. One story idea I'd be interested in is: a random band of Fiorimonde's suitors, homeless but regal, travelling around doing good (or other) deeds and trying to rediscover their place in the world.

I love that Fiorimonde is both princess and witch, so if you want to write a story from her perspective or justifying her actions, that would be fine. I also like it that it's the faithful servants who get a happy ever after - not their masters and mistresses. More about Yolande and Gervaise would be neat too. Has Gervaise had to get his master out of many scraps before?

Or: THAT NECKLACE. Put it in another story! Tell me more about what happened to it later! Make it the magical mcguffin a hundred years later & a thousand leagues away! (I like beads and the descriptions of the beads were lovely.) Or maybe Yolande and Gervaise aren't quite so done with the necklace as they thought they were...

The Emperor's New Clothes
Characters: Any

One thing that strikes me about this story is that each of these wise ministers, and even the emperor, believed the weavers over themselves. Instead of looking at the loom and thinking, "This is a load of bull," they each thought, "I am unworthy." So maybe they were a bunch of idiots, but I have a lot of compassion for them, and so might anyone who's ever experienced imposter syndrome.

So what was it really like to work in the highest levels of that empire? Were they all incompetent (the Emperor, being more fond of clothing than of ruling, is surely implied to be) or did things sort of muddle along? And what did they all do and say to each other after the procession? This is a story about shame, but I'd love some kind of redemptive arc. And possibly revenge on the weavers.

Very welcome here: a crack AU about addressing problems with organisational culture.

Or, to step even further away from the story: this is a fairy tale with no magic. Why not add some? What if this empire is ruled over by a line of magicians, and you only get to be emperor if you're able to spin perfect illusions, so that a Royal Test is to go out in the streets completely naked and convince everyone you're wearing a beautiful royal gown? Or maybe the parading emperor is an imposter, and gets set up to fail by the real emperor who's cleverer than they thought.

Or: go kinky. Some kind of (consensual, preferably) exhibitionism would also be amazing.

Characters: Any

Here, I'm interested in two main ideas. The first is fractured families. What did Rapunzel's parents think, after giving her up? (Does Rapunzel have siblings out there?) Did the enchantress think of Rapunzel as truly her daughter? Or explore how the prince and Rapunzel felt when they met up again. Maybe it was wonderful, for the prince, to discover he had children, but it must have been a shock, too. (And what about the prince's family, while he was wandering the wilderness? Did they assume he was just off on princely quests, or did they miss him?)

The second is a series of what-ifs. So Rapunzel has extraordinary gifts. She has amazing hair, an amazing voice, and tears that can heal. What if all of those qualities were imparted by the rampion? What if the enchantress took Rapunzel away from her parents not because she just wanted to steal a baby, but because Rapunzel was going to need special care in childhood due to the effects of that rampion? Rapunzel: Superhero Origin Story?

In case you think I'm just ripping off Tangled, um, let's just say I have an unpublished Pokémon WIP sitting in my documents in which a baby is fed a Bulbasaur seed and the local Pokémon professor takes her into custody & raises her, and this girl has two Bulbasaur-style prehensile vines as well as hair... This WIP is over a decade old and will never come to anything but a few lines in my documents folder, except, apparently, when I use it to inform fairy-tale prompts.
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
We got home yesterday afternoon. Our flights were pleasantly uneventful, and I got some sleep on the LAX-SYD flight. I have at least two holiday posts I mean to make, but before then, there is fic to write, and even more importantly, fic to acknowledge.

The Crossovering collection (new this year) and the Fic Corner collection (in its second year) both went live recently, and I received a splendid selection of gifts.

I was a late pinch hit for Crossovering, and to my delight, three people wrote me all the possible pair combinations of Push (2009), Dollhouse (TV), and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (TV).

a plan without planning (1480 words) by theladyscribe
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (TV), Marvel Cinematic Universe, Push (2009)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Leo Fitz, Cassie Holmes, Nick Gant, Jemma Simmons
Additional Tags: Crossover, Shady Government Organizations, Some Humor
Summary: Leo meets Cassie in a quiet bar just outside of Washington, DC. Jemma's gone to use the ladies' room, and he's drinking his pint, minding his own business, when this girl with purple hair sits down next to him and says, "Come here often?"

Theladyscribe's fic is a fine set of shenanigans with a lot of fun references to other comics universes, especially the X-Men. There are also some tantalising hints for further developments after the end of the story.

Let's Call It a Job Interview (2081 words) by Teaotter
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (TV), Dollhouse
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Phil Coulson, Melinda May, Topher Brink
Additional Tags: Minor Violence, Coercion, Consent Issues, Mind Control, canon level slavery issues, Dubious Morality, Unreliable Narrator, canon level possession issues
Summary: Topher just wants to get back to work.

In TeaOtter's fic, poor Topher is bouncing around like a pinball on a somewhat-enforced vacation. Well, "poor" - Topher is always an interesting character to sympathise with, and his negative personality traits are apparent here. It's a lot of fun watching May and Coulson team up to handle him.

To Boldly Go (444 words) by misura
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Dollhouse, Push (2009)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Cassie Holmes, Topher Brink
Additional Tags: crossovering treat
Summary: The great escape.

In misura's story, Cassie and Topher are an even wackier team. I love how Cassie convinces Topher to come along and I can only imagine how cracky it would be for them to actually work together.

For Fic Corner, my assigned author wrote me a full fic AND a treat in the same fandom, Margaret Mahy's The Pirates' Mixed-Up Voyage.

If Wishes Were Fishes (1645 words) by storm_queen
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Pirates' Mixed-Up Voyage - Margaret Mahy
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Lionel Wafer, Toothpick, Brace-and-Bit, Winkle, Toad
Summary: "Though they had plenty to eat they did not seem to be getting very rich and, after all, a week seems a long time when you are yearning to make your fortune at once."

The pirates' adventure began even before they set foot on Island Nine Hundred and Ninety-Nine.

This story uses a sarcastic, sea-lawyer of a talking fish to fill in the gap between the casting off of the Sinful Sausage and the pirates' first encounters with Packy and the jigsaw pieces and all.

After Hours (687 words) by storm_queen
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Pirates' Mixed-Up Voyage - Margaret Mahy
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Thomas Sump, Hermione Hatchett
Additional Tags: Burglary
Summary: Employees of Silkweed's Academy are expected to commit the occasional after-hours act of villainy.

This treat is especially delightful and captures Hatchett and Sump's voices perfectly. I would recommend it even if you don't know the canon.

I have also been writing things, but I have (somewhat arbitrarily) resolved not to promote them until I finish that Rarewomen fic from May. May.
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
1. The Purimgifts collection opened last week, and as well as other stories on female, Jewish, or evil vizier characters, it held two ficlets written for me, in the fandom of Arrested Development.

Arrested Megillah, in two parts, is about how Tobias's Season Four ambitions get… somehow… even wilder and wackier when he decides that the best way to get a show on the road is to (implausibly) incorporate Jewish tradition. Kitty Sanchez Makes Her Mov(i)e is a satisfying inner monologue on how Kitty might have placed herself at the centre of several Season Four plots for the purpose of revenge. Both fics demonstrate that quality so universal to Arrested Development characters, which is that their flashes of self-awareness only serve to get them further into trouble. (Said trouble is often glorious.)

I defaulted on this exchange the weekend before stories were due; for me, it had been the second weekend of wrestling with an overly-ambitious story. If I take part in Purimgifts again, it will have to be with canons I'm much more confident in. My silent thanks to the pinch hitter, and apologies to my recipient. I've shelved the story idea for now, but it would be nice to finish it at leisure and post it as a treat.

2. [personal profile] chestnut_filly has recorded a podfic of my story "(in case I don't see you) good afternoon, good evening, and good night". (The story, originally written as a treat for [ profile] ladyofthelog, is in Robin McKinley's Sunshine universe; it's a short description of Yolande's perspective on the events of the novel.) I am thrilled and honoured to hear a spoken version of something I've written.

3. One day last year, I was on the bus coming back from the vege market and, as you do, I idly scrolled through the 'Browse - Works' page on AO3 to see what had just been posted. This led me to [ profile] lorata's Hunger Games fic. Lorata specializes in District Two worldbuilding and backstory, and since I love worldbuilding and perspectives on other Districts, I was hooked straight away. The especially handy thing about commenting on Lorata's stuff is that I keep saying, "now, I wonder about X thing happening in the background," and she says, "hmmmm," (or "you are a terrible enabler") and writes it.

Thus, it is only fair that I connect her with new readers. As well as Hunger Games, [ profile] lorata has written for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers comics, Temeraire, Much Ado About Nothing, Kamen Rider W (Double), Jewish Scripture & Legend/Christian Bible (Old Testament), Macdonald Hall - Gordon Korman, and Portal.

For Hunger Games, I recommend you start with Fixed to a Star, although it's not the only possible inroad. [ profile] lorataprose, which other starting points do you recommend?
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
Hi, author/artist! Have fun. That's the main thing.

If you'd like a little more direction, here are some fandom notes.

Dollhouse - I like everyone except Echo. Maybe focus on a woman who is not Echo? (Caroline's fair game - I find her fascinating.) Moral issues, tropey Engagement, whatever catches your fancy. I would like an awful lot of stuff!

Arrested Development - There are canonical Jewish…. storylines. (As far as I can tell from The Internet, the producer never quite confirmed whether George Oscar Bluth Sr. is drawing on Jewish heritage when he goes through his Caged Wisdom period. But I think it's quite fair if you want to run with that.) I love all the characters as glorious screw-ups; maybe stay away from Tobias and Buster at their most dysfunctional (what am I saying, all of Buster's settings are dysfunctional), but otherwise you're good. As a super amazing bonus, if you want to write me Kitty/Maeby slash, I will be tickled pink. I know it's a weird pairing, but it caught my imagination from the parts of canon where they were both in the film industry.

Elemental Masters - Mercedes Lackey - My favourite books in this series are The Fire Rose, Phoenix and Ashes, The Gates of Sleep, and The Serpent's Shadow, in approximately that order. Maybe a/some woma/en from one of these settings? I'd also love original character snippets, if you like writing such. Fairy tales and alchemy and history and yeah!

The Innkeeper's Song - Peter S. Beagle - The book that Beagle himself is most fond of. I particularly like Lal - swordswoman and storyteller, what a wonderful combination - but anything you think works for this challenge. Hey, it's a pretty big fantasy world, maybe at one point Lal confronted an evil vizier?

Sorry: I forgot to mention that I will be in transit, and then at a conference, around the actual dates of Purim. I promise I will be excited to see my gifts, but my response may be delayed by up to a week.
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
Shipswap, a fanfic exchange for pairings, is open for signups until some point on February 10. Here is the tag set of nominated pairings. I'm not doing shipswap - I always have trouble coming up with pairings I'd like to either read or write - but I wrote a pinch hit last year, and sirvalkyrie seems to run it pretty well.

Purimgifts, a ficlet-and-multimedia exchange organized around Purim, is also closing signups on February 10. I am signed up for this one, but wibbling about it. Cons: art is required, and I suck at art; I'm trying to write other stuff around the same time; I'll be flying to a conference in Perth right after the challenge deadline. Pros: I asked for art tips and got a lot of encouragement, and the challenge atmosphere in general is very friendly - I am still talking regularly to my giver & one of my recipients from last year. (Hello, you!)

Rarewomen, a fanfic exchange for female-identifying characters who don't already have a huge amount of fic written for them, is just finishing nominations and, after a week of tag set tidying, will be open for signups. I've nominated a few things and am looking forward to this exchange.

The Invisible Ficathon, a fanfic exchange for canons that exist only in allusion, is open for signups until February 11. I'm not taking part, but I commend those who do for their daring and sense of fun. This is the first year of this challenge, and the idea is to write fanfic of those nonexistent canons. So, fanfic of a TV show that exists in a fictional world, fanfic of Chaucer's unwritten tales, etc.

I have also signed up for the WIP Big Bang, because I am terrible at writing things that are not directly required to fulfill a challenge, and not only do I love the way I want to re-write Sucker Punch (2011), I also know that no one will ever ask for it. I am tempted to sign up twice, with another story. That is a terrible idea.
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
Here's some things I'm doing at the moment:

Two baby birds flying from a nesting box. Text: Get It Done 2013

A Motivation-a-Thon: sign up (by the end of July) to finish That Project You Need Some Extra Motivation For. (Especially Whedon projects, but anything goes.) I've declared I'm going to write a lot of fic, mostly NYR stuff.


A Kids' and YA Book Fic Exchange

I have already nominated some picks! Nominations close July 21.

And finally, I'm launching Jukebox, my own exchange: a fanfic fest based on song requests. Ask for songs and get a story. ^!^
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
I am taking a break from an exchange fic that is refusing to write itself.
Instead: some notes-to-self about things I want to organise.

First, a song-based fic exchange, to be run between July and September.

Music and lyrics and fanfic, oh my )

Second: a offline social club for the purpose of reading things aloud.

Storytellers' Club )

(Please excuse formatting difficulties that remain. This is my first attempt at crossposting between DW and LJ.)


morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)

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