beatrice_otter: Yuletide (Yuletide)
DON'T PANIC.

This is a very long letter with lots of stuff, but please don't let that intimidate you. I'm actually fairly easy to please; I am very rarely disappointed with a ficathon story. I write long and detailed Dear Author letters because I find such things helpful when I'm writing for other people; if you are like me, here you go! If your style is different and a detailed letter makes you feel hemmed-in, feel free to do what works for you.

The most important thing for me in a fic is that the characters are well-written and recognizably themselves. Even when I don't like a character, I don't go in for character-bashing. If nothing else, if the rest of this letter is too much or my kinks just don't fit yours, just concentrate on writing a good story with everyone in character and good spelling and grammar and I will almost certainly love what you come up with.

One thing: I do have an embarrassment squick, which makes humor kind of hit-or-miss sometimes. The kind of humor where someone does something embarrassing and the audience is laughing at them makes me uncomfortable because I identify too much with the person getting laughed at, so instead of being funny it is squicky. On the other hand, the kind of humor where the audience is laughing with the characters I really enjoy.

General likes/dislikes )

Rivers of London )

Hobson's Choice (1954) )

My Fair Lady (1964) )

Random Harvest )

Wonder Woman (2017) )
Metropolis: the Chase Suite - Janelle Monae )

beatrice_otter: Yuletide (Yuletide)
I know that only about 1/3 of all participants use the nomination coordinating spreadsheet, but that is making things very hard for me.  Because I would assume that Rivers of London, which has been a perennial Yuletide fandom for years, would be nominated?  Because it always is?  BUT IT IS NOT ON THE SPREADSHEET?!?  And if someone else will be nominating it, I would like to use my slots for other fandoms that pretty much won't be nominated by anyone else, BUT WHAT IF THIS IS THE YEAR FANDOM FAILS ME?!?  I wasn't in RoL fandom last year!

Here are some of the other fandoms I am considering nominating, and I need to make a decision like, NOW.

Random Harvest (1942)--classic, classic melodrama starring the ineffable Greer Garson.  Tropetastic.

Archandroid - Janelle Monae--another one that others often nom, and there hasn't been new canon for a while, but always reliable for some great worldbuilding fic.

Kitty Foyle (1940)--Ginger Rogers showing why she is an AWESOME actress.  I want the fic that covers the original ending, the one that the studio and the censors made them change: she keeps the baby and raises him out of wedlock.

Hobson's Choice (1954)--I want more of Maggie and Will!  So much more.


Here are the fandoms I would request fic in if someone else nommed them, but wouldn't take up a nomination slot for:
Lord Peter Wimsey - Dorothy Sayers--classic cozy mysteries, and I love Peter and Harriet and Bunter all together.
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - Heinlein
My Fair Lady
Batman Beyond

And, again, Batman Beyond is pretty likely to be nommed, and so is Peter Wimsey, but NEITHER IS ON THE SPREADSHEET OMG.

I just need to figure out a) whether I can take the risk of RoL not being nominated, and b) if so whether to drop Kitty Foyle or Hobson's Choice.  (If I nom RoL, Kitty and Hobson are both gone.)

Looking at that list, I am REALLY into classic movies this year.  I guess.

ETA: There is a second spreadsheet of noms, and Rivers of London is on it.  Peter, Thomas, Varvara, Seawoll, Lesley, Stephanopoulos, and Sahra are the characters.  I have accordingly nominated Random Harvest, the Archandroid, and Hobson's Choice.
beatrice_otter: I always have been what I chose (Choice)

Title: Hand in Glove
Fandom: Mars Help Wanted posters (2009)
Written by: [personal profile] beatrice_otter 
Word count: 3554
Written for: [personal profile] lady_ragnell in [community profile] yuletide 2016
Summary: This, Javier Navarro thought in disgust as he stared up at the tower he was supposed to fix, was not exactly the heroic and exciting thing he had imagined when he’d seen the NASA recruiting posters and, on a whim, submitted an application.

At AO3


Heroic recruiting poster of a space-suited technician fixing a satellite dish on Mars

 

This, Javier Navarro thought in disgust as he stared up at the tower he was supposed to fix, was not exactly the heroic and exciting thing he had imagined when he’d seen the NASA recruiting posters and, on a whim, submitted an application. )

 

beatrice_otter: Ginger Rogers--Dancing! (Dancing!)
Title: The Music of the Spheres
Fandom: Fantasia (1940)
Author: [personal profile] beatrice_otter 
Rating: Gen
Length: 1662 words
Betaed By: [personal profile] yeomanrand 
Written for: [archiveofourown.org profile] dussek in [community profile] yuletide 2016
Summary: This is the music that underscores all.

At AO3


It begins with a bassoon. )
beatrice_otter: Sarah Connor--made for me, not shareable (Sarah Connor)
I have been away from my laptop for almost a month now, and didn't want to try posting fic from a tablet, which is why I haven't posted my Yuletide fic here on my DW yet.

Title:
On the Nature of Miracles
Fandom: Chalion Saga
Author: [personal profile] beatrice_otter 
Rating: Gen
Length: 1504 words
Betaed By: [personal profile] filkferengi and Markus Baur
Written for: [personal profile] keerawa in [community profile] yuletide 2016
Summary: Even the Mother's miracles of healing have limits.

At AO3


But why can't you? )
beatrice_otter: Yuletide (Yuletide)
Title: Hand In Glove
Fandom: NASA Mars Mission posters
Word Count: 3554
Summary: This, Javier Navarro thought in disgust as he stared up at the tower he was supposed to fix, was not exactly the heroic and exciting thing he had imagined when he’d seen the NASA recruiting posters and, on a whim, submitted an application.
Read more... )

Title: From Castle to Palace
Fandom: Beauty and the Beast/French History RPF
Word Count: 17,602
Summary: The curse is broken. Belle and her Beast would be happy to just live quietly together in the curse-free castle. Unfortunately, the rest of France has other ideas …
Read more... )

Title: The Music of the Spheres
Fandom: Fantasia (1940)
Word Count: 1662
Summary: This is the music that underscores all.
Read more... ) had such a great prompt.  It's really meta, and it takes three of the pieces--The Rite of Spring (the Evolution one), The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and Night on Bald Mountain--and examines the relationship between the music and the story.  I really like it, although it is the least popular of all my [livejournal.com profile] yuletide fics.

Title: On the Nature of Miracles
Fandom: Chalionverse/World of the Five Gods
Word Count: 1475
Summary: Even the Mother's miracles of healing have limits

Meta about the fic )

beatrice_otter: Yuletide (Yuletide)
I received a Cat Pictures Please fic.  Catnip: You're Welcome, which is a sweet story.  I also wrote four stories this year: my assignment, a pinch-hit, and two treats.  See if you can guess which ones they are!

Here are my recs:

84 fics in a variety of fandoms )
beatrice_otter: Woman in age-of-sail uniform (Lieutenant Bennet)
This year, for Yuletide, there were a couple of post-series stories (now that the series is complete) in which Tharkay and Lawrence get together as a couple.  And I found, reading them, that after the last book I don't ship them anymore.

It's not that I don't think they'd work very well together, and it's certainly not that I don't think they have chemistry.  But after being disappointed when they both swore off getting married, I felt I had to figure out why.  After some rumination, I discarded the idea that reading so many Regency romances has primed me to be disappointed if there's no marriage (because if that were the case, it wouldn't be only popping up now).  Here's what I came up with.

1) Temeraire.  If Lawrence never marries, given his deep attention to the Proper Way of Doing Things, he probably won't ever have kids.  And I know that Temeraire, given his work for the emancipation of dragons, doesn't need another captain, in the way British dragons to this point have been passed down in the family, but I still don't want him to be lonely, you know?  There's this half-formed picture in my head of Temeraire surrounded by Lawrence's children and grandchildren, still hoarding them as "his" people, and having that family support even after Lawrence is dead and gone.

2) Tharkay.  Tharkay now has an estate.  Tharkay has now been wedged into the xenophobic snobbery of the British aristocracy, and it will do them good!  If Tharkay never marries and dies without heir, the estate goes to some collateral branch or reverts to the crown, and everybody can then heave a sigh of relief that it's back in the hands of Good White British Men, just like it was supposed to be and Tharkay can get quietly forgotten.  If, however, Tharkay marries and has kids ... then the British aristocracy has to deal with the reality of him for generations to come.  And I think that would be good for them.  (Hard as hell on the kids, but good for society as a whole, and I have never been of the opinion that "the world is cruel" is a particularly good reason not to have kids if you would otherwise want them.)

3) CROSSOVER POTENTIAL.  They are now in the tail end of the regency!  Think of all the Regency romances you could cross them with!  Would Georgiana Darcy be a suitable wife for either of them?  How about Mary Crawford?  And, of course, you could cross them over without romance, but where's the fun in that?

Which leaves me with two options for satisfying my yen for post-canon Temeraire fic.  Either they are together but married to highly accommodating wives, or they are not together and "just" very close friends.
beatrice_otter: Cameron Mitchell, bored with a stack of files (Schoolwork)
It's that time of year again.  As some of us are frantically writing Yuletide stories, there comes the challenge of finding betas for obscure fandoms that we don't normally write in and so don't have a beta for.  There are several ways of finding betas, but one of them is to ask a hippo in the Yuletide chat to find someone for you.  (Hippos are matchmakers to help people find betas without compromising their anonymity as authors.  Here's an instruction manual and explanation, if you're interested in joining chat or learning more.)  And usually, they can!  But sometimes even the hippos in chat fall short.  There are currently several beta requests, a couple that have been open for a couple of days, so I thought I would try to publicize them.  If you can help with one of them, you can either go into chat yourself and talk to the Hippo there (if they're online), track them down some other way, or ask me and I'll hook you up.  The hippo will then send you the contact information.


Hippo: prinzenhasserin
Fandom: Dangan Ronpa 3, 10k words

Hippo: prinzenhasserin
Fandom: Trails of Cold Steel, 13k words

Hippo: kinetikatrue
Fandom: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (TV) 27k words (gore warning)

beatrice_otter: Delenn--We are Starstuff (Starstuff)
As I was going through the Yuletide signups looking for treats to write (no, my main story isn't done yet, this is a form of cat vacuuming*), I realized that the fandom I had noticed with excitement on the signup sheet was not, in fact, what I thought it was.  I thought "Official NASA Journey To Mars Posters (2009)" were the same posters as the Space Tourism Posters NASA put out this year.  But, in fact, they are not.  There are two sets of cool retro posters!  My day is brightened!  But it's a good thing I noticed this before picking a prompt and starting to write.

*Cat vacuuming is a term thought up by my favorite writer, Lois McMaster Bujold, of that stage of writing where one is desperate to do anything to avoid sitting down at the computer and actually putting words down.  After one has cleaned the whole house top to bottom, done all the yardwork, made dinner and cleaned the kitchen, run all one's errands, organized the garage, and has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING LEFT to do besides write, one is very tempted to shrug and say something along the lines of, "well, I haven't vacuumed the cat yet," and try that instead.

beatrice_otter: Yuletide (Yuletide)
That was quick!  Matching must have gone really quickly this year.

Anyway, while it's not the BEST yuletide assignment I've ever gotten, it's pretty close.  We only match on one fandom, but that one has some great prompts that I think I can have fun with.

Which also means that when the early rounds of pinch hits go up, I can snag any that look interesting without going "no, not until your actual assignment is done," because the chances of me having problems finishing my assignment (and thus needing exclusive focus on it) are pretty small.

Fun, fun!
beatrice_otter: Yuletide (Yuletide)
I had to keep reminding myself, when signing up just now, that an important question is not just "can I write this character?" but "can I write this character the way the fandom as a whole views them, and as they are most likely to be requested?"

Because that's not always the case.  Prime example: Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen.  Fandom tends to have a lot more sympathy for the Crawfords and think that Fanny and Edmund are boring and overly-priggish and everyone would have been better off/happier/more interesting if they'd married the Crawford siblings instead of each other.

I disagree on all counts.  I think they're very interesting as written, and may be a bit naive but have a good deal better understanding of the social mores of their day and why they mattered than most readers today, and that neither of them could have been happily married to their respective Crawford, long-term.

Would I happily write a Yuletide story with my interpretation?  Would I love to participate in a ficathon with others who share my views?  Yeah.  But I would be very hard-pressed to write a happy Edmund/Mary or Fanny/Henry fic.  Chances of that being what my recipient wanted: high.

So I don't sign up for Mansfield Park.

beatrice_otter: Yuletide (Yuletide)
DON'T PANIC.

This is a very long letter with lots of stuff, but DO NOT PANIC.  I'm actually fairly easy to please; I am very rarely disappointed with a ficathon story.  I write long and detailed Dear Author letters because I find such things helpful when I'm writing for other people; if you are like me, here you go!  If your style is different and a detailed letter makes you feel hemmed-in, feel free to do what works for you.

The most important thing for me in a fic is that the characters are well-written and recognizably themselves.  Even when I don't like a character, I don't go in for character-bashing.  If nothing else, if the rest of this letter is too much or my kinks just don't fit yours, just concentrate on writing a good story with everyone in character and good spelling and grammar and I will almost certainly love what you come up with.

One thing: I do have an embarrassment squick, which makes humor kind of hit-or-miss sometimes.  The kind of humor where someone does something embarrassing and the audience is laughing at them makes me uncomfortable because I identify too much with the person getting laughed at, so instead of being funny it is squicky.  On the other hand, the kind of humor where the audience is laughing with the characters I really enjoy.

If you want to make me the happiest recipient ever, here are some other things to keep in mind (not all of which will apply to all fandoms):General Preferences )

Cat Pictures Please - Naomi Kritzer )

Random Harvest (1942) )

Metropolis: The Chase Suite - Janelle Monae )
Caprica (TV) )

beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
I'm pretty sure I offered to nominate a Star Trek novel for someone.  Vulcan's Glory, I think?  But I can't remember for sure.
beatrice_otter: Cover of Janelle Monae's Archandroid album (Archandroid)
There is a short story by Naomi Kritzer called "Cat Pictures Please" that is ABSOLUTELY HYSTERICAL.  And it's really short, but the worldbuilding is AWESOME.  It's about an AI who ... well, I can't tell you because that would spoil it, but you really need to go read it right away.  (It got the Hugo for Best Short Story this year, and boy did it deserve it.)

I read it like three times in a row and then promptly sat down thinking up plot bunnies.  Hee.  There is SO MUCH room for exploration.  I want to know What Happens Next, and What the Humans Think about all this, and what other stuff the AI has been up to, and just EVERYTHING.

There is not enough CAPSLOCK to express my squee and joy.

Please go read it and squee with me over it!

beatrice_otter: Yuletide (Yuletide)
They're going to be opening up nominations for [community profile] yuletide fandoms, and I have no idea what to nominate.  There is no fandom that I passionately want a story in that I can only get through [community profile] yuletide.

Partly this is because of my great good fortune last year.  I have, since I first started participating in [livejournal.com profile] yuletide a decade ago, requested Donovan's Reef every year.  And last year, [archiveofourown.org profile] Damkianna heard my prayers and wrote me an excellent fic, we floated there along with the clouds.  It is an excellent fic, and I love it.  But it does sort of leave me at lost ends.  I could ask for it again, of course (if one fic in a fandom is good, two would be better), but that seems sort of ungrateful.  And it is lovely!  But Donovan's Reef--nominating it, requesting it, knowing that I wouldn't get a fic for it but living in hope anyway--was the one unchanging aspect of [livejournal.com profile] yuletide for me for a decade.  Everything else changed, but not that.

Partly this is because I'm sort of between fandoms at the moment.  I mean, I'm still reading a lot of fanfic, but I don't have any canon that I've consumed recently that has really gripped me with the need to know more, big or small.  I'm drifting away from MCU; haven't gone to see one of their movies since Age of Ultron.  (Which was why I couldn't participate in [community profile] marvel_poc--I didn't know enough recent canon, and you can't say "oh, yeah, I'll write Nick Fury, but only as relates to the first Avengers movie and Cap: Winter Soldier!"  I loved the new Ghostbusters, but I don't have any fic bunnies for it; it seemed complete to me as it was.  And the latest Star Trek was by far the best of the three (so far) reboots, but mostly spurred me to pull out my half-finished sequel to The Desert Between, rather than read or write something based on the latest movie.  I love Supergirl, but little of the fic really seems to appeal to me; TFA, ditto.  I feel restless, fannishly; I've always been polyfannish, with more than one fandom I'm participating in at any one time, but usually at least one (if not more) of them really grip me, taking pride of place.  And that then forms the scaffold around which all else rotates.  And now there isn't one.

As for YT-appropriate fandoms, I've read and watched some over the year, but none have grabbed me and said you have to request this next year.  My list of Yuletide prompts (I keep a list of possible Yuletide fandoms and prompts, because otherwise I'd never remember what I intended to ask for) hasn't changed since last year.  And, you know, most of them are old staples, moderately large (for YT) fandoms where I would be genuinely happy to get a fic, but don't have a really pressing need for it.  I like having a balance--a couple of prompts that REALLY GET ME GOING (one of them the Donovan's Reef prompt that I knew wouldn't get written, but hoped for anyway), and then some from more common fandoms that I'd be happy to get.  So I wouldn't be impossible to match, and I'd be happy no matter what, and had a chance of getting something REALLY AWESOME OMG.  And this year ... the old staples that I'd be happy to get are all I really have, but nothing I'll be secretly hoping for more than any others.

It's kind of a let-down.

beatrice_otter: Jedi fighting against a blue background (blue Jedi)
I AM SO HAPPY.  I got two great fics, one Star Wars fic (with a great Mara Jade), and a Donovan's Reef treat.  I have been nomming and requesting Donovan's Reef for YEARS, and I have FINALLY GOTTEN IT and it is an AWESOME fic!

we floated there along with the clouds.  The trip to the canyons of Hakeakaloha for a Christmas tree had made for easily the strangest day Amelia had spent on the island. (Or: between the Christmas tree scene and Miss Lafleur's performance, Amelia invites Lelani to go swimming.)  The author REALLY gets both characters, it's awesome.  (You do need to know something of the movie to understand the fic.  Basically: Amelia is a Boston shipping firm CEO whose Dad has been off in the South Pacific for her entire life and who just inherited enough stock to give him control of the family business.  She goes to dig up dirt and cheat him out of his stock, he's off traveling, and so his friends pretend that his half-Polynesian children belong to John Wayne until the real Dad gets back and can explain things.  So here, Lelani knows that Amelia's her older half-sister and that she and her siblings are being kept out of the way because they're not white, but Amelia only sees a cute and mysterious island girl.)

Massassai Dreams.  During the events of "I, Jedi" (11ABY) after Mara's first departure from the Jedi Praxeum on Yavin IV - Mara Jade reflects on her training at the Jedi Academy and overcoming her history as an Agent of the Darkside.  The author really understands Mara, and I liked the way she was written here.  And the glimpses we got of Mara's past were also interesting.

I feel sorry for the author who was assigned to me, because they wrote a wonderful fic about one of my favorite characters in any media--I deeply love Mara Jade when she is written well (as she is here), and in any other year that fic would be the highlight.  But I've been waiting for Donovan's Reef for YEARS.

Also, I wrote FOUR Yuletide fics this year.  Can anyone guess what they are?
beatrice_otter: Guard your honor, let your reputation fall where it will, and outlive the bastards. (Honor)
I have a half-a-dozen WIPs that I could be working on.

Failing that, I could be working on my [community profile] yuletide fic.

What did I write 1000 words of tonight? A new Vorkosigan fic, the prequel to The Offer, my fic about what if Aral's unnamed sister had survived instead of Aral.

I mean, I'm enjoying it, and if I can keep up the momentum I can finish and post it in a couple of days (assuming it doesn't grow legs and get a lot bigger than I expect), which the WIPs would all be slower gratification. But still, it's not reducing my WIP list.

Here's the first bit:

It was the wrong knife. )
Yuletide wittering )
beatrice_otter: Yuletide (Yuletide)
DON'T PANIC.

This is a very long letter with lots of stuff, but DO NOT PANIC.  I'm actually fairly easy to please; I am very rarely disappointed with a ficathon story.  I write long and detailed Dear Author letters because I find such things helpful when I'm writing for other people; if you are like me, here you go!  If your style is different and a detailed letter makes you feel hemmed-in, feel free to do what works for you.

The most important thing for me in a fic is that the characters are well-written and recognizably themselves.  Even when I don't like a character, I don't go in for character-bashing.  If nothing else, if the rest of this letter is too much or my kinks just don't fit yours, just concentrate on writing a good story with everyone in character and good spelling and grammar and I will almost certainly love what you come up with.

One thing: I do have an embarrassment squick, which makes humor kind of hit-or-miss sometimes.  The kind of humor where someone does something embarrassing and the audience is laughing at them makes me uncomfortable because I identify too much with the person getting laughed at, so instead of being funny it is squicky.  On the other hand, the kind of humor where the audience is laughing with the characters I really enjoy.

If you want to make me the happiest recipient ever, here are some other things to keep in mind (not all of which will apply to all fandoms):General Preferences )

Donovan's Reef )

Caprica )

Metropolis: The Chase Suite )

Bride & Prejudice )

Thrawn Trilogy )

beatrice_otter: Cover of Janelle Monae's Archandroid album (Janelle Monae)
Yuletide Noms are open!  Here's the instructions.  They close on October 3rd.  You get three fandoms and four characters per fandom.  (Eligibility rules)(Evidence post for borderline fandoms)  You'll get to request fic in four fandoms, though, so you might want to do some horse trading with people so that you get everything you want nominated.  Here's the post to let people know what you've already nominated, and here's the spreadsheet based on it to help people keep track.  Here's the Fandom Promotion Post to get other people excited about your fandom.  (Here's the DW version)

I am nominating Donovan's Reef, A 1963 action-romcom about the evils of racism )

Metropolis: The Chase Suite--Janelle Monae

Look, I have NO IDEA why this isn't bigger.  A richly SFnal and gorgeously lyrical exploration of race and resistence )


Caprica
Are you alive? )

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beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
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