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31 December 2005 @ 11:57 pm
Yuletide Wrap-Up  
I forgot to do this last year. Well, actually, it never occurred to me to do it; usually all my fan fiction is strictly quarantined on the Other Journal. But! What I write under this name should go under this name, and so should the things I receive from my intrepid Yuletide Santas, who deserve more love than I alone can give them.

-What I Got-

Last year, I got Closeted, by Milkshake Butterfly, aka milkshake_b. (And until I got this story, I thought the M was for Madame. The things you learn at Yuletide.) The fandom is Nero Wolfe, and Milkshake Butterfly bravely and ably tackled the pairing that is a legend pretty much just in my mind, Archie Goodwin/Saul Panzer. You should all go tell her what a wonderful writer she is. (Yuletide authors generally do not mind getting comments well after the fact.)

This year, I got The Case of the Detective Who Might Not Have Been Dying But Was in Serious, Life-Threatening Danger, Believe Me, by Carolyn, aka 3pipeproblem, who apparently noticed my fondness for outsize, amusing titles. The fandom is the little-known but very funny 1998 movie Zero Effect. You can't read the story until you've seen the movie, but this should present no hardship for anyone; just see the damn movie already. Seriously, if you've got a Netflix queue, put this movie in it or I will know the reason why. There will be pop quizzes, people. And once you've seen the movie you can a) tell me how wonderful it was and b) read this story and tell Carolyn how wonderful it is. Everyone wins!

-What I Wrote-

See, now, sometimes I wonder why I do Yuletide. (Usually the wondering is most intense around about December 15th, when I'm staring at a story that is a hopeless mess and a deadline that is close enough to me to be my blood brother. Panic is the magic ingredient in the Yuletide process. Somehow, the story gets written. It's the annual Yuletide Miracle.) But then I consider what I've written in my two years of participation, and I think it's safe to say that a) I would never have considered writing either of these stories without Yuletide and b) they, um. Really demonstrate the diversity of the challenge. I think I should be nominated for the coveted "Most Disparate Yuletide Stories Written in Two Successive Years" prize.

Last year, I wrote A Traditional Yorkshire Christmas for Artemesia, aka artyartie. All Creatures Great and Small, gen. Artemesia asked for "mischief and animals," and I wrote - well, that. My Labrador Cassie was the primary inspiration for the story (The things that happen in this? Cassie has done every damn one of them.), and this was beta-read by the indomitable laurashapiro. Take home lesson for Yuletide year one: I am not a natural for the heart-warming first-person voice, but love of dogs conquers all.

This year, I wrote Mr. and Mrs. Smith Go to New Hampshire for Sammy, aka littlesammy. Mr. and Mrs. Smith, John Smith/Jane Smith. Sammy asked for "hot het porn." When I saw that, I made a little helpless squeaking noise, because I can't write porn. But I did it anyway, with the help of Best Beloved (alpha reading), maygra (catering), qe2 and norah (beta reading), and the Emergency Moral Support Crew (Best Beloved, fanofall, norah, maygra, qe2, and umbo), and you know? It was fun. Although I still have serious problems keeping track of everyone's pants. (MMWD and Q went above and beyond by tracking down every last pair, let me tell you; they are now pants experts to the point that they could probably find anyone's pants. Lost your pants? Give 'em a call!) Take home lesson of Yuletide year two: it takes a village to write porn. It's all very heart-warming, like a Christmas special. Only, you know, pornier.
Tags: [semific]
VauDeVilles: Bad Influencevaudevilles on December 31st, 2005 11:58 pm (UTC)
Your story?

Gah. Guh. Wub...

I am made monosyllabic by the hotness.

I thought your recs were the best thing. Now they have a rival. Hooray for the porn village!
jeddy83 on January 1st, 2006 01:13 am (UTC)
I hadn't seen A Traditional Yorkshire Christmas before, but it is just delightful. The All Creatures Great and Small books were some of my favourites when I was young, and your story reads just like an excerpt.
exceptinsectsexceptinsects on January 1st, 2006 02:14 am (UTC)
OMG Closeted was for you??? I god damn love that story. Seriously, it is my favorite Nero Wolfe story ever, including the ones by Rex Stout.
I always forget to look at the recipients because I never know who they are, but that AND the Zero Effect story? You are the shiniest, happiest girl in all Fandom, I tell you what.

Also I read and loved the Mr and Mrs Smith story, I'm not a big reader of het but that is one fandom where I embrace it with a big wet kiss.
Corinnacorinna_5 on January 1st, 2006 09:11 am (UTC)
I love Zero Effect -- it is the most fantastic, cracked-out Holmes homage, plus, PLUS my introduction to "Into My Arms," probably the best theological love song ever written. I will have to check this story out!
Hel Viragohelvirago on January 2nd, 2006 07:12 pm (UTC)
Yes! Also, me too with the "Into My Arms" introduction. Such a fantastic movie (plus I just really like Bill Pullman).
my real name is Dick Whitman: score!3pipeproblem on January 1st, 2006 10:19 am (UTC)

I may have stalked you justalittle in the course of preparing for yuletide, and it was absolutely wonderful because you have such excellent taste.
I Wanna Dress You Up In My Snarkadjectivegirl on January 1st, 2006 12:59 pm (UTC)
You wrote that fic? May I just say, ABUH. And go to Doug Liman and show him it. Make sweeping arm gestures.
Jay: innocent Shep by skrobertsdaeuiel on January 1st, 2006 04:46 pm (UTC)
Wait, wait. YOU wrote Mr. and Mrs. Smith Go to New Hampshire? I loved that! It was hot and funny and absolutely brilliant.

Take home lesson of Yuletide year two: it takes a village to write porn.

Cooperation is good for everyone. :)
Milkshake Butterfly: plotbunnies breedmilkshake_b on January 7th, 2006 07:16 pm (UTC)
I thought the M was for Madame.

That happens a lot. It was one of those things that you don't consider at the time that seem unfortunately obvious once someone points them out, and now it's too late to change it, in a lot of respects--not that I've got anything to change it to, anyway. (My full handle is too long, and mb is being sat upon by someone who has never really used it and lists "i love shoppin" as their only interest. And while I only use few of the things normally, my reaction to that can only be summed up with a certain emoticon: >:|)

the pairing that is a legend pretty much just in my mind, Archie Goodwin/Saul Panzer.

I've got another plotbunny for the pairing, too, actually. Back when I first got your request, I'd originally thought of doing three short stories and packaging them together as one submission called Triptych, but that idea ran into a couple of problems. One was that Nero Wolfe is so totally different from my standard fandom fare that I had to spend a whole lot of time before writing rereading, and another was that I was trying to write in Stout's language and style, which ended up leaving me so exhausted by the end of Closeted that with as little time as I had left, doing the other two was probably out of the question. (It's possible I should have tried; a couple later experiences have suggested to me that I actually might do my very best writing under a nastily sharp deadline.)

The idea for the middle story, Cordial, hasn't really lingered in a pressing way, though I still remember it and wouldn't really mind writing it. (Popping open my original file for this stuff, I see I only got as far as one paragraph for it, which consisted of only two sentences. I think the general weakness of the story was part of what limited me to just Closeted, because while it wasn't a bad idea I didn't really have much of a hold on it.) But every time I go in for a reread of the series, the idea for the last story ends up coming back and gnawing on me, not in the least because it focuses on an element I felt extremely let down by when I finished reading my way through most of the original Stouts and picked up the first Goldsborough book. (I've reread most of the original series several times; I didn't even finish the Goldsborough ones.)

All of which is a really long-winded and rambly--I've been rereading Richard Adams, I blame it on him--way of saying that you might get another Saul/Archie story out of this yet. Especially since I just discovered my local library system has the A&E series DVDs--getting my hands on The Golden Spiders helped me write Closeted immensely, because of Timothy Hutton's fabulous delivery of Archie's lines. (I was less wild about the rest of the cast--not unhappy, just kind of neutral--but thought he was perfect.)

I think I also may have accidentally gotten a few other people interested in the pairing, like gryphonrhi (who was good enough to beta the story for me without even knowing the canon, bless her, and spent so much time giggling that she went off to find the books herself).

You should all go tell her what a wonderful writer she is.

*beam* Thank you!

Yuletide authors generally do not mind getting comments well after the fact.

Do any authors? Last Spring/Summer I got a piece of feedback for a story I'd written in 2001 and spend fifteen minutes staring at it in a kind of delighted shock. (Especially considering the last time I looked at the story myself I spent fifteen minutes gnashing my teeth over what my writing quality was then. Updating it to reflect such niceties as my growing awareness of the semicolon is on my list of things to do.)

The fandom is [...] Zero Effect.

After reading it I promptly pimped it to several of my nearest and dearest, who swore they were going to netflix queue it themselves. (And I've been craving a rewatch, too.) I should probably pimp it to my whole flist; I have a sneaking suspicion that a number of the Holmesian fans who have gotten hooked on House would really love it.
C. A. LeSabrecalesabre on February 7th, 2007 02:18 pm (UTC)
I just discovered "Closeted" a few days ago. What an amazing, wonderful story! You captured the narrative style and the characters perfectly. I know that it will probably be a while before you have time to write one of the other Saul/Archie stories you have inklings of, but I would be thrilled when you do.
Isilyaisilya on January 14th, 2006 09:52 pm (UTC)
Hey! Just dropping in to say how much I enjoyed Mr and Mrs Smith Go To New Hampshire. It was hot, and smart and power-struggly and fabulously paced and plotted. A great read.