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13 November 2010 @ 10:18 am
Yuletide: Dear Sweet Author of Mine  
Dear Author of Wonderfulness,

We matched! Which probably means that your friends will view you with narrowed, suspicious eyes forevermore, because my requests this year - as we both know - were perhaps not designed to illicit general cries of "Why didn't I think of that?" However, I sincerely believe and hope that they will be fun to write. I know they'll be fun to read. And I hope the fun will make up for any sarcastic comments your betas make about people who should think before they offer to write things.

I am, as always, going to provide you with all the details, because that's what I always hope to get. But if that's not you, just know that I really, really cannot handle child or animal harm or death.

Either way, I love you madly. We will meet again on the 25th! May the force be with you.

Me (Abridged)

If you're curious about what I like in fan fiction, feel free to have a look around my DW or LJ. I do a lot of recommending, and if it's recommended here, I loved it. Also, I can't shut up - well, ever, about anything, but most especially about the works I love. So there will be plenty of revealing and possibly even exposing verbiage for you to wade through, if that's your chosen method of Yuletide procrastination. (I know it's something I do every year. I was heartbroken the year I got assigned someone with a totally locked LJ, because how was I supposed to waste time?)

But if you are a better, less procrastinate-y person then I am, here's a cheat sheet.

I love:
  • Happy endings.
  • Humor.
  • Snappy dialog.
  • Plot.
  • Point of view.
  • Sex people have to work for, through relationship-building or world-saving or whatever.
  • Many, many other things.
My major squicks are:
  • Animal and child harm or death. These are my absolute deal-breaker squicks; I can't deal with them at all.
  • Embarrassment and humiliation.
  • Misogyny and abuse of women within the plot or narrative. (I say that because one of the characters I requested could be expected to be a misogynist, and I'm fine with that, but I am distressed when the narrative or plot goes there, too.)
  • Incest. (This really should not be an issue with any of my requests, but, hey, I figure warning is always good.)
  • Sex involving children (by which I mean people under 13ish) in any way, which really goes under child harm, but, again, warning is always good.
If you are looking for more information on what I want, or if you want to check a specific point or whatever, feel free to consult [dreamwidth.org profile] best_beloved or [dreamwidth.org profile] norah. They know me. They really, really know me.

My Yuletide Fandoms

I'm including the text of the request (in italics, up front), by the way, since that seems to be the new fannish norm. (I try to keep up with the times. Or at least not be behind them by more than a generation or two.)

Son of a Preacher Man (Song)

I'm thinking here specifically of the Cam Clarke cover, where both the narrator and Billy Ray are guys, so obviously I'm hoping for slash (but het is fine, too, if that's where you need to go). I love the dynamic - the way the sweet and sexy teenage love thing interacts with the obviously religious lives of the pairing. So I guess I'm looking for a sex-positive, religious teenage love story, of the kind that doesn't end with anyone dying or in a conversion camp somewhere or anything. (If you're going for slash, I'm especially interested in the intersection of "highly religious" and "gay.") And although in the song they are clearly Christian, I don't care what religion you make them in the story. If you know, say, Orthodox or Hasidic Judaism better, feel free to make him the Son of a Rabbi (or Rebbe) Man.

So, first, here is the cover I mentioned up there.

Second. Way back in June (aren't you glad I keep Yuletide request notes?), [dreamwidth.org profile] fanofall posted about this song. She was matching major pairing characters to people in this song, and I sketched out some due Southiness (which you can read there if you want), and I realized two things:
  1. I could never write this, because you need to know more about religion than I do.
  2. I really, really wanted to read a story based on this song.
That, dear writer, is where you might come in. (And, for the record - I'm not hoping you'll write dS or anything. No crossovers necessary!)

Cook's Illustrated

I love these cookbooks because they are so obviously written by the mad scientists of the cooking world. I love how every recipe narrative veers from brilliant inspiration ("...and then we thought of clarified butter!") to dismay ("...but the lettuce proved to be greasy and heavy") to, eventually, success. I'm interested in either an explication of that process - a day (or week, or whatever) in the life of a Cook's Illustrated cook - or an elaboration of the mad scientist theme, where they are, you know, real mad scientists. (And if you go that route and want to throw in mad scientists from other fandoms, I will be so happy. Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker! Dr. Frankenstein! Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde! Dr. Blofeld! Dr. Evil! Etc.! All baking a cake or whatever! Please make them fictional mad scientists, though, because real mad scientists tend to do horrible things that do not lend themselves to a light and funny story about cooking.) P.S.: I'm a vegetarian, so if you could stick to non-meat-intensive cooking, that would be wonderful.

These cookbooks are that rare beast - ones I both read for pleasure and cook from. (Usually I'm reading for pleasure cookbooks authored in a time where people sincerely believed that every food was better in a Jell-O mold. Or from a time when at least the author believed that every food was better ground up in a mortar and pestle, forced through a sieve, and flavored with mace. Obviously I do not cook these things, on account of I still have my sanity and, also, I wish to keep the love of the people I cook for.) The reason I love reading the cookbooks is that they are clearly written by the MythBusters of the cooking world. These people would not hesitate to explode fifteen ovens in pursuit of their perfect pancake, is what I'm saying. I admire that. They're certainly willing to make five hundred batches of cookies, each one with a tiny variation, just to see if maybe they can better the Tollhouse cookie.

So I would like more. More science of cooking! More intense and detailed attempts to perfect a recipe! More brilliance and despair and success! If you want to do a day in the life, feel free to make up a character. If you want to go the mad scientist route I suggested, go crazy with that - any fictional characters you choose. Hell, if you want to make them the actual MythBusters, I am also fine with that. And if you have another idea, by all means seize the day (or the Yuletide). Whatever you write will bring me joy.

Fight! Kikkoman

Crazy ancient flash thingy is crazy. But awesome. And I want to know more about Kikkoman. What is the world like, where the living embodiments of sauces go around fighting crime? Who are his archenemies and allies in the fight for tastiness and justice? Is there a League of Supersauces or is he a lone wolf? What exactly are his powers? What is his origin story? I guess I'm hoping for world-building and superheroism. About sauces.

For reference purposes, here is Fight! Kikkoman. (If you matched on something else and have no idea what I'm talking about, it will take you maybe two or three minutes to watch. I encourage you to. It's a part of our webbish history!)

Soooo. Obviously, this is a work of mad brilliance. And I just - I've wondered about this thing so many times, and I want to know more. What was it like on the Planet of Soy? Did he come here as a baby or as an adult? Does everyone on the Planet of Soy have his powers, or do they also have Tofu and Edamame and so on? (Power of Tasty Squishiness for the first one, I'm guessing. Power of addictive snacking for the second.) There are so many unanswered questions. Feel free to answer any or all of them.

Two notes: I don't speak Japanese at all. And, also, if you're going down a sex road, you may want to steer clear of the explicit rating, because - okay, look. I just can't even picture it without imagining kissing those fishy lips, and then I have to put a cold cloth on my head for a while. But this could totally be a failure of my imagination. If you know how a guy with a fish for a head has sex, feel free to write it, and the more power to you.

Arts and Sciences RPF - Charles Baudelaire

I'd love to see a story in which the things Baudelaire describes in his poetry are real - where he's surrounded by vampires and demons and tormented by things other people can't see. If you want to go to a crossover place, Angelus/Baudelaire would be lovely, but truly, any Baudelaire story would be extremely welcome. (Baudelaire/Duval would also be insanely awesome.) Realistic setting and place is important to me. I guess you could say my ideal here is: Paris! But with demons!

There's a reason why I always put this request fourth: it's certifiable. (You may argue that all my requests are, and I - I guess I couldn't disagree, there. Yuletide does something to me.) Or maybe I am. But still. I love Charles Baudelaire so much, and I find the world he describes in his poetry so fascinating, and I would love to see a story about him, especially if it's set in the world his poetry describes.

I have no single favorite translation of his works; I think most of the translators rocked some of the poems and totally failed on others, so I kind of pick and choose. However, in case you're unaware of it, there is an awesome resource for Baudelaire's poetry online: fleursdumal.org. You can find translations of all the poems here, and there's at least one good one for almost all of them. I whole-heartedly recommend it.

(Oh, and I should note: I don't speak French. I know, I know, I'm totally pathetic, reading Baudelaire in translation. I own it. My point is - a realistic, period Paris background is desirable; I've done enough reading about Baudelaire that I would love that. But realistic language would be kind of a problem, since, you know, I couldn't read it.)

And, well - in general I love lighter, happier stories with happy endings. I crave the happy! Except here. Baudelaire's story is not happy, and neither is his ending, and I would in no way want you to change that. Go to town - go for creepy, go for tragic, go for crazy. Whatever you feel works. (Just, I know with Baudelaire it's tempting, but if you could try hard not to hurt animals or children, that would be awesome. Feel free to abuse Baudelaire all you want, of course.) I will read with gratitude and wonder, and I will fully appreciate it, because Baudelaire's story is totally a lush, insane tragedy.

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
Lu (Not Your Average Retelling)elucreh on November 13th, 2010 06:40 pm (UTC)
Just let me say: I am so proud to be a regular reader of your journal right now.
tried to eat the safe banana: Yuletide Woot!thefourthvine on November 13th, 2010 07:06 pm (UTC)
I am glad there are still people willing to admit to that AFTER reading this request list! (Every year, I've procrastinated on posting my Dear Author letter because of my ongoing fear of looking like a lunatic in public. This year, though, I figured I had better get right on that so that I could maybe recruit people who wanted to write these fandoms.)
(no subject) - elucreh on November 13th, 2010 07:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dormouse_in_tea on November 14th, 2010 02:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
upon video review, a do-oversociofemme on November 13th, 2010 06:43 pm (UTC)
This is really what Yuletide was meant to be. Also, I snagged the Cam Clarke cover, despite not being signed up for Yuletide this year, and it's really fantastic. ♥
tried to eat the safe banana: Yuletide Woot!thefourthvine on November 13th, 2010 07:07 pm (UTC)
Isn't it AMAZING? Oh my god, I want a story based on that SO MUCH. (But then, I also want all the other stories, too, just as much. Oh, Yuletide. How I love you.)
misspamela: Cooking - raptureiconsmisspamela on November 13th, 2010 06:44 pm (UTC)
I 100% love that you asked for Cook's Illustrated for Yuletide and now I kind of wish I offered it. If you don't get it, I'll totally write it for you!
tried to eat the safe banana: Yuletide Woot!thefourthvine on November 13th, 2010 07:08 pm (UTC)
OMG YAY! I am so glad someone else sees the glory and the wonder that is cook's Illustrated fan fiction.

...You could start writing it now. In all your copious free time. *doe eyes of hopefulness*
(no subject) - kensieg on November 13th, 2010 08:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - misspamela on November 13th, 2010 09:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on November 14th, 2010 01:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dormouse_in_tea on November 14th, 2010 02:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
Olna Jenndormouse_in_tea on November 13th, 2010 07:01 pm (UTC)
For the record.

dormouse_in_tea: *reads entry*

dormouse_in_tea: Cooks. . . Illustrated?

dormouse_in_tea: *contemplates*

dormouse_in_tea: GOD I LOVE YULETIDE :D :D :D :D
tried to eat the safe banana: Yuletide Woot!thefourthvine on November 13th, 2010 07:10 pm (UTC)
When I told what I was nominating for Yuletide this year, there was this long, long pause. And then she said, "Well, you'll certainly be getting an...interesting story this year." That is Norah-speak for "Do I tell her she's lost it? Or do I wait for BB to do that? Yeah, I think it's more BB's duty than mine."

So apparently my goal is: every Yuletide weirder than the last. That's normal, right?
(no subject) - dormouse_in_tea on November 13th, 2010 07:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jrprongs on November 14th, 2010 02:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dormouse_in_tea on November 14th, 2010 02:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
cathalin: pinto quinto fixing pines tiecathalin on November 13th, 2010 07:02 pm (UTC)
Omg, I want to write the son of a preacher man thing. Or better yet, read it. *waits*

What cool requests!
tried to eat the safe banana: Yuletide Woot!thefourthvine on November 13th, 2010 07:10 pm (UTC)
OMG WRITE IT. DOOOOOOOOOOO. There can never be too many Son of a Preacher Man stories!
(no subject) - cathalin on November 13th, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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tried to eat the safe banana: Yuletide Woot!thefourthvine on November 13th, 2010 10:41 pm (UTC)
This is why I love Yuletide: it is the time of year when people celebrate your insane small fandoms, instead of saying, "No one is ever going to write that. Or read it."

I cannot wait to read my story! This year, I have assembled a suite of requests such that I want each one as much as I possibly can. So no matter what I open on Yuletide Day, I will be supremely happy.
like the boy who cried wolf, but with lesbianssequinedfairy on November 13th, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC)
i'm not sure what this says about you OR me, but your requests just gave me the courage to request all of the four weird things i wanted, and not feel obligated to put a safety fandom that i don't really want.

so, thank you? maybe? i guess? THANK YOU.
tried to eat the safe banana: Yuletide Woot!thefourthvine on November 13th, 2010 10:47 pm (UTC)
Definitely you should thank me. Yuletide is about owning your weirdness, not pretending you're less weird than you are. And the thing about safety fandoms is - you stand a very good chance of getting them. If you're a pinch hit, the likelihood goes up even more. So never put in a fandom you don't truly want. Think of it this way: Yuletiders are awesome about volunteering for things. (And, also, elyn will email you if you're truly unmatchable. You can worry about a safety fandom then. *g*)
(no subject) - dormouse_in_tea on November 14th, 2010 02:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
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tried to eat the safe banana: Yuletide Woot!thefourthvine on November 13th, 2010 10:49 pm (UTC)
Don't hold your breath on Baudelaire - I've been requesting that for many, many Yuletides. There have never been any takers, and I understand why - it's a hell of an assignment.

But! For the past couple of years, I've attempting to salt the mines a bit by explaining to people why Baudelaire is totally awesome and why they definitely want to read up on him. Maybe one of them took the bait and is even now agreeing to write him!
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: Yuletide Woot!thefourthvine on November 13th, 2010 10:50 pm (UTC)
It's an awesome cover. (And I'd ask you to consider giving money to the artist, but I can't figure out a way to do that myself. That album is so out of print it's amazing.)
(no subject) - malnpudl on November 13th, 2010 11:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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tried to eat the safe banana: Yuletide Woot!thefourthvine on November 13th, 2010 10:52 pm (UTC)
I have never seen the Van Gogh episode of Doctor Who, but it sounds awesome, although maybe kind of hard on Van Gogh. Which Doctor is it?

And, yay! I am so glad someone else shares my vision on this one. It's - out there, I know, but SO RIGHT. I know it! I feel it! Just, I'm having a hard time selling Yuletiders on this one.
(Deleted comment)
Sometimes You Get Marshmallows: cheerleadingflorahart on November 13th, 2010 07:55 pm (UTC)

*downloads song*

(also, thank you for using box.net that lets me hear it first :D)
tried to eat the safe banana: Yuletide Woot!thefourthvine on November 13th, 2010 11:03 pm (UTC)
Yay! The cover is awesome and should be more widely known. (And I love Box.net because it lets the music stay there forever, so I can be sure I won't have a broken link if my author gets matched on a different fandom, decides she can't write it, and returns to take a plunge at Son of a Preacher Man. Also, I like the interface. I am always happy when people put stuff at Box.net, and I never even use the preview function!)
What the Monkey?svilleficrecs on November 13th, 2010 07:55 pm (UTC)
Now I want a *movie* based on that song.

And the fact that one of your fandoms is Cooks Illustrated just, I can't even.
tried to eat the safe banana: Yuletide Woot!thefourthvine on November 13th, 2010 11:04 pm (UTC)
OMG YES. A movie based on that song would be awesome! (I love it when romance moves slowly, like it can in a movie. I don't think my writer will have time for that, though.)

Cook's Illustrated is an AWESOME fandom. Everyone should love it!
Lacey McBainlaceymcbain on November 13th, 2010 08:04 pm (UTC)
I don't know what some of these are, and yet, I really, really want to find out. You're made of awesome. I feel like somehow I haven't fully entered into the spirit of Yuletide yet - I'm going to have to try harder to ask for weird things in future.
tried to eat the safe banana: Yuletide Woot!thefourthvine on November 13th, 2010 11:10 pm (UTC)
But you should get to know all of them! They are all awesome. The song is available for download and OMG DOWNLOAD IT. Trust me on this: it will appeal to every slasher's heart. And Fight! Kikkoman is only a few minutes long. Now would be a good time to watch it. It features a muscled man with a fish head fighting crime and crimes against the palate!

As for Cook's Illustrated - if you don't have one of their new cookbooks, I can only suggest checking out one of the New Best Recipe books from your library, or maybe just buying it, because these are wonderful cookbooks. Aside from the tale of woe and eventual triumph that precedes every recipe, there's also the fact that these are extensively beta-tested recipes. And they assume that you can be your own person with respect to spicing and so on: they just tell you how to make the best roasted potatoes or blueberry muffins or migas that you possibly can.

And Charles Baudelaire - well, I assume you know his poetry, right? If not, though, I will prepare an extremely enthusiastic introduction, with biographical notes.
(no subject) - laceymcbain on November 14th, 2010 02:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on November 13th, 2010 11:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dormouse_in_tea on November 14th, 2010 02:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
The Moonlight Sonatamoonlight69 on November 13th, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
I really REALLY hope someone writes you Cooks Illustrated now. I want to read that like burning.
tried to eat the safe banana: Yuletide Woot!thefourthvine on November 13th, 2010 11:12 pm (UTC)
I know! All four of these would be SO AWESOME. I want to read ALL of them like burnign!
lightning rod for criticism: community: shirleyannakovsky on November 13th, 2010 08:54 pm (UTC)
We matched! Which probably means that your friends will view you with narrowed, suspicious eyes forevermore, because my requests this year - as we both know - were perhaps not designed to illicit general cries of "Why didn't I think of that?"

Ahahahahaha, I love you so much right now I can't even describe it. By which I mean OMG ME TOO. Looking like a weirdo's what yuletide's all about, r-right?

Also these are all super awesome requests, though I am a little disappointed you didn't ask for Justin Timberlake/Julia Child.
tried to eat the safe banana: Yuletide Woot!thefourthvine on November 13th, 2010 11:17 pm (UTC)
Yuletide is all about being weird out loud and in public, for sure. It's telling everyone, "Why YES I want necrophilia fan fiction about a beloved children's series! Also, I happen to want fan fiction where Lady Gaga tops Justin Beiber! And furthermore, you know that 1956 B-movie about the snakes? You don't? WELL I WANT SNAKESLASH, THANK YOU."

Soooo. I notice you have not posted your letter yet. What did you request? I am agog to know! I like to have company in my freak zone!

And I wanted to request Justin Timberlake/Julia Child, but I don't think the rules let me. It'd be a crossover, am I right? And also I think Justin Timberlake is too big a fandom for Yuletide. *sadface* (I wanted to email the mods about it, but frankly they seem busy enough without me telling them my tale of cross-generational cook-singer love woe. Just as well, really; I would have had to tell the world that I really envision Julia as, shall we say, a rather dominant partner in that particular relationship. But then, I think that's partly why Justin loves her so much.)