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Posts Tagged ‘yuletide’

A belated Yuletide post

Finishing the draft of the third Rook and Rose book and then turning right back around to dive in on revisions means I never got around to posting about Yuletide until now!

But I definitely need to post, because the prize for going above and beyond the call of duty goes to LookingForOctober. I knew before the authors were revealed that someone had written me a Howl’s Moving Castle fic, “A Wizard of Wales,” followed by a sequel fic, “A Wizard in Ingary” — but not until reveals did I discover that the same person had also written me a THIRD story, this one for the Gabriel Knight series of video games: “Fate of the Children.” Three fics from one writer! And as if that weren’t bonanza enough, someone else wrote me a Howl fic, “In Which a Thesis Is Not Written.”

It makes me feel embarrassed that I didn’t have the time or energy to write treats the way I used to, in the misty past when I had more leisure. My assignment this year was “Gammer’s Garden,” a Chrestomanci fic for a prompt that made use of the decision to allow “Worldbuilding” as a character-style tag this year. No canon characters appear in the story, but it explores the history of the Pinhoe family and their dwimmer magic, with a connection to a detail of canon I’ve always found interesting.

Hopefully next Yuletide I’ll be able to pay it all forward!

belated Yuletide post

I never did post about Yuletide, did I? I blame the chaos that was the last several months of 2019 — I’m still picking myself off the floor.

I lucked into three (!) gifts this year. The first was “the three Chrestomancis,” the prompt for which was borne out of me realizing that Cat arrived at the castle before Gabriel passed away, meaning that for a while there were three nine-lived enchanters running around at once. (Not that any of them still had nine lives by that point, but it doesn’t affect their power.) Then I received “as wine pervades water,” which features exactly the kind of wedding I’d expect Rick O’Connell and Evy Carnahan (from the 1999 Mummy movie) to have, i.e. ad hoc and done at speed to save the world from a supernatural threat. I also got the Madness treat “When a Body Meets a Body,” and it amuses me how many Mummy fics I’ve seen involve bog bodies over the last few years; I credit Sovay and her comment that I quote in my Yuletide letter. 🙂

For my own part, I dove deep into the history of D&D for “Third-Party Supplements,” a fic for The Order of the Stick. My thanks to the various people who helped me research old editions, and especially whoever it was on Twitter (too difficult to dig back that far now) that linked me to the infamous Random Harlot Table. 😀 I legit rolled dice for this story, y’all.

No Yuletide guessing game this year

For the first time since I began doing Yuletide in 2010, I wound up defaulting. In hindsight, I could have avoided that; if I’d gotten my fic written in early November, I would have been fine. But I didn’t, and enough work came dumping down on me in late November/early December that I just couldn’t squeeze it in. (Much less write a minimum of four fics, which is what I’ve done for the last eight years.) If I’d tried, I would have delivered something half-assed, and I didn’t want to do that to my recipient. So: default it was, and hopefully their pinch-hitter gave them something wonderful.

But defaulting doesn’t mean you are out of Yuletide entirely. My assigned writer came through, and so did someone else with a treat! I don’t know which is which, but both stories are for the Mummy series (the ones with Rachel Weisz and Brendan Frazer, not the newer Tom Cruise one). I don’t know which is which, but the first one posted is “In the Night” (and involves no mummies, for which the writer apologized, but I happily accept other kinds of folklore, too!), and the second one is “Perks of Being a Bembridge Scholar” (which has bog bodies!).

Because I defaulted before the default deadline, I’m not on the hook to write any kind of story as penance to the Yulegoat. I still feel guilty, though, and so after New Year’s I’m going to peruse the list of prompts and find two people to treat — one for each fic I received.

Yuletide 2017


This year I asked for and received a fic for the Mummy movie series (the ones with Rachel Weisz and Brendan Fraser, not the more recent thing with Tom Cruise). I got “Alicanto,” by someone who chose to remain anonymous even after reveals, which introduces Evy and Rick to the idea of the Chinchorro mummies of South America.

My assignment was to write for the movie Clue. I produced “But here’s what happened . . . later”, set ten years later, with the various guests of Hill House receiving new letters inviting them to dinner — and that’s about all I can say without spoilers!

I also wrote three treats, as is my wont. “Found-hope” is a follow-up to the TV series of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell; I think it also works for the novel, but it’s been long enough since I read it that I can’t swear to the continuity. “Eleven Echoes” is a look through the life of Tacroy from The Lives of Christopher Chant (with major spoilers for same). And “In Fair Verona, Where We Lay to Rest” is again a follow-up, this time for Romeo and Juliet, where the living are still haunted — quite literally — by the ghosts of those who died.

I’ve had relatively little time and brain to read the collection myself after the first day or two, so if you have things to recommend to my attention, please do link them here!

the eighth annual Yuletide Guessing Game

As has been my wont, I participated in the Yuletide fanfic exchange this year, and has been my habit, I wrote four fics for it — my assignment, and three treats. If any of you currently reading your way through the archive would care to guess at my offerings, I will give you the following clues:

  • I wrote for one book, one movie, one TV show, and one play.
  • Only one of those is a fandom I have written in before.
  • My assignment is in the 4000-5000 word range.
  • For some inexplicable reason, all three of my treats came in between 1600 and 1700 words.

Any guesses?

A belated Yuletide reveal

My cast is off; I’m still in a brace, but that’s as much to remind myself not to be stupid as for actual support. I’ll be easing back into things over the next week or two.

In celebration of my much-improved ability to type, let’s talk about what I wrote for Yuletide!

My assignment was for Mercedes Lackey’s Tarma and Kethry books, the Vows and Honor corner of the Valdemar setting. I wrote “Self-Reliance,” which attempts to recreate the case-of-the-week feel of the original book (which is partly or entirely a fix-up of the short stories Lackey had published). Kethry’s magic has been cursed to malfunction, but emergencies don’t wait while you sort that kind of thing out; she and Tarma have to go in anyway.

I’ve done at least one pinch-hit every year, and managed to uphold that streak with a fic I’d already written as a treat. Apparently I wasn’t the only one motivated to treat, because there were not one, not two, but three fics for the prompt “what if the Devil in the song ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’ was Crowley from Good Omens?” My contribution to the field was “The Devil Sauntered Vaguely Down to Georgia” (referencing Crowley’s description in the dramatis personae as “an angel who did not so much fall as saunter vaguely downward”).

Then there were two treats that stayed treats. The first is for the basically non-existent fandom of The LXD, a short webseries by the Legion of Extraordinary Dancers where dancing is basically a superpower. Because the third season ended on a cliffhanger and there never was a fourth season, my recip asked for fic resolving the fact that two of the good guys had been brainwashed into serving the villain. The result was “Breathe. Stay calm. You’re gonna be OK.” — which was an interesting exercise for me, because while I have thirteen years of dance in my background, the closest I got to the street styles that dominate the LXD was a small amount of hip-hop influencing my jazz teacher. But I like trying to put dance into prose, so this was fun to write.

My last fic was a treat for someone who has treated me in the past. They asked for fic of Zero Punctuation, Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw’s series of breathless and colorful game reviews; I promptly thought of his distaste for quick time events, and thus was born “PRESS X TO NOT DIE,” which sends an amnesiac Yahtzee through the history of video gaming, starting with Colossal Cave Adventure and going on from there. I had a lot of fun researching this one, figuring out what game genres to represent, deciding which titles to use as iconic examples of same, and then watching YouTube gameplay videos so I’d know how to describe them.

As for my own gift, I got “A Day at the Cattery,” following Miss Climpson when the Cattery of Strong Poison has grown into a large and well-established enterprise.

Yuletide is a-comin’ in

For those who are interested, the annual Yuletide fanfiction exchange is starting up again! If you already know what it’s all about, the nominations post is here. If this is unfamiliar to you, the exchange rules are here, and the more detailed eligibility rules are here. Which may very well be confusing to a newbie, so feel free to ask me questions if there’s something you need clarification on.

Short form: Yuletide is very fun, covers a broad swath of things one would not normally term “fandoms” (ranging from historical periods to works of art to blog posts to commercials), and produces a number of really excellent stories every year. I’ve been doing it since 2010, and it’s sort of a busman’s holiday for me — a chance to tell stories and have it be pure play.


Sometimes you just hit the jackpot.

I got two fics for Yuletide this year, and both of them are brilliant in different ways. The first is “a stuttered ancient alphabet in skin,” which is an Elfquest story exploring the early days after the fall of the High Ones, when the creation of the Wolfriders causes some of the pure-blooded elves to depart and seek their own way. It’s absolutely gorgeous in its exploration of the different philosophies, and the horror some of the the High Ones feel at living in a world where mortality and death are not just distant possibilities, but near-guarantees. The second fic is “The Winter Wind,” and it is nothing less than an epic retelling of Captain America: The Winter Soldier in the setting of the Sengoku Avengers fan-art set by Genesischant, which reimagines the characters as mystical samurai in early seventeenth century Japan. Watching the writer fit the various characters and beats into that setting is just fantastic.

As for my own fics, I managed to uphold tradition and write four, three of them full-length: “The Book of the Duchess, or, In the Dungeons of Her Grace” (A Knight’s Tale; Chaucer tries to tell a story, but keeps being interrupted), “A Prayer to Mother Night” (Legend; Lily’s actions in the aftermath of Darkness’ downfall), “Hush” (Ghostbusters; the origins of the library ghost), and then a little ficlet entitled A Scientific Proposal” (The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage; Babbage has a notion for how to improve their crime-fighting efforts).

It was a good way to close out 2016. And, unlike the fifth of the Memoirs, it’s stuff I can talk about and show to you now — but trust me when I say the latter is going well. 🙂

Onward into 2016!

Yuletide after-action report

I wrote four stories this year — not anywhere near a record, but the fourth Memoir has been leaving me with very few spare processing cycles.

My assignment was “Crushed Upon the Shore” for the manga Tokyo Babylon. It takes place between that and the anime/manga X/1999, and involves Subaru investigating a case that turns out to have some, uh, personal resonance. WARNING: it is not a nice story. It involves dead children and other less-than-lovely things. Because let’s face it, Seishirou is not a good person, and Subaru’s feelings toward him are more than a little messed up.

Next I took on a pinch hit, which in terms of readership has been my big success of this Yuletide: “Eldest” for the Disney film Sleeping Beauty. The request was for Maleficent backstory that is different from what you get in the Jolie movie. This is the one I think has a dead giveaway in it; I had to name some other fairy women, and after exhausting the obvious two (Titania, Mab) my brain went straight to Nicneven. Who most people have never heard of — but she plays rather a large role in the main conflict of In Ashes Lie.

The remaining two were treats. One, “It’s Betty from Apartment 2204”, was sparked by the recip making an offhand comment wondering what Dana’s neighbors make of all the snarling and such going on in her apartment in Ghostbusters. The other, “The Only Way to Be Sure”, is a brief look at what Rita Vrataski did during and after Verdun in The Edge of Tomorrow. (There are quite a lot of fics for that movie this year, most of them on the theme of “Rita Vrataski is a badass and I heart her.” This is a sentiment I could easily get behind.)

If there are fics you especially enjoyed this year, please link in the comments! I haven’t had a lot of time to read, so recommendations are extremely useful.

A belated Yuletide yay

I must have been a very good Swan this year, because I got two fics in Yuletide: my gift and a treat.

My gift is for the sort of fandom that makes even Yuletide participants say “wow, that’s tiny.” There’s a musical show called Songs for a New World, and the very first time I heard the piece titled “King of the World,” I wanted to know what that guy’s story was.

“the weight of living” is the answer I got, and it achieves that elegant trick of being something I hadn’t even considered before reading the story, that fit beautifully as soon as I saw it. My anonymous writer made the speaker a megapastor televangelist type, and my god does that make sense with the tone of the song. Thank you, Yulemouse, whoever you are!

Then there’s the treat, which is also for a fandom so tiny it essentially doesn’t exist. Sengoku Avengers is a fan-art set that reimagines the Marvel heroes as people in Sengoku-era Japan (think Oda Nobunaga, etc). As I said in my comment to the writer, they had me at the tag “onmyoujutsu.” “The Middle Way” is from the perspective of a young woman who encounters Kaibutsu (the Incredible Hulk: a yin-yang magician who has trapped a demon in his own body) — a woman who knew him before the demon changed him, and can see the man behind the monster.

I reeeeeeeeeeeeeally hope the writer does more in that fandom. This taste is awesome, and I want more. 😀


If anybody would like to play the traditional “guess what I wrote for Yuletide” game: I produced four full-length stories this year. All were in different genres; one was for a manga and three for movies. One of the four contains what I consider to be a dead giveaway that I wrote it, though admittedly it probably looks more subtle to people who aren’t me. 🙂 Any guesses?