tried to eat the safe banana (thefourthvine) wrote,
tried to eat the safe banana

Yuletide Letter

Dear Kind and Courageous Writer-Person,

I tried really hard to be sane with my prompts this year. I got them beta-read! I got them reviewed! I rewrote them four times, even though that required resubmitting the whole form each time, so you know my effort was sincere. (Also, this sincerity was responsible for something I call offer-creep; each time, more offers migrated to "any." Bravery through slothfulness!)

If I still came off as crazy, okay, fine. You caught me. I am. But this should in no way negatively affect your Yuletide experience. Truly, I will do my best to be a model Yuletide recipient.

I should warn you, though, that the crazy is probably going to flow freely in this letter. I can't supress it all the time. But it will be subdivided for your convenience, and that has to count for something.

Since you clicked on the cut, perhaps you would like some details? I have them! In extreme and kind of scary quantity.


So. You've seen my prompts. You may be wondering about me right now; I would not be at all surprised. If so, my Infrequently Asked Questions post will tell you much, much more than you ever wanted to know. If you make it all the way through that, you will never wonder anything about me ever again. Ever. You may also find yourself weeping, you know not why, but there's nothing I can do about that except be sorry. Sorry! (I find Puffs Plus to be an excellent brand of tissues, ideal for all your information-glut-related weeping needs.)

Fan Fiction and Me: OTP

You may be wondering about my fan fiction preferences. Well, first - this is mainly a recs journal, so if you're seriously curious, look around. If it's recommended here, I loved it.

But that might take more time than you have, so let me offer a summary for the busy Yuletide author on the go. I love:
  • Happy endings
  • Humor
  • Good grammar and spelling
  • Dialog
  • Plot
  • Character
  • Perspective
  • Smut
  • ...Many, many other things
My squicks include:
  • Animal harm (This is my absolute deal-breaker squick; I cannot cope with it at all. Animal death is obviously even more of a problem.)
  • Child harm or death
  • Rape
  • Incest (This really should not be an issue with any of my requests, but, hey, I figure warning is always good.)
  • Chan
  • Embarrassment

My Yuletide Fandoms

You may also be wondering about the fandoms I requested. (I would be surprised if you weren't, frankly.) Permit me to tell you a little bit (okay, maybe a lot) about why I love them, and why I requested them.

Appetite (for Lightin' Dynamite) (song)

I know full well you didn't sign up for this one, because no one did. (WOE.) Nonetheless, I kept it in. And I'm offering it for download (here), in case you feel like listening to it. I figure, hey, maybe you wish you hadn't signed up for the fandom you got matched to me on. Maybe you would prefer to write something else. Well, here's a really easy canon to learn. It's like four minutes long. So if you're considering jumping ships, this is a nice one. There are, you know, deckchairs and things.

I love this - hmmm, can you really call one song a fandom? I guess in Yuletide you can - fandom because the character descriptions are so clear. (And characters are what draw me to a fandom, after all.) Every time I hear the song, I recognize the people it describes. And then I want to know more - how they came to be who they are, where they are, why. I'm really hoping for some science fiction type world building in response to this prompt (should you for some reason choose to write it), with maybe some relationship stuff, but I'd be happy with anything about these characters. Particularly Ava.

Note: I sort of strongly suggested up above that I want, you know, light and happy stories for Yuletide. That is generally true. However, this song is about people who (probably metaphorically, although if you can come up with a literal interpretation of this, go crazy) light dynamite and then let it blow up in their hands; I have no illusions that any story about them will be super perky and filled with sparkles and cake. I love these people in part because they're willfully, determinedly doomed. So if you write this one, go where it takes you. I will rejoice regardless.

Jess[i]e's Girl (song)

For me to explain why I requested this, I need to tell you about a tradition in our household. See, my Best Beloved grew up with many older siblings who between them spanned, like, eighteen generations and five continents in terms of musical tastes. I grew up with one older sister who had (and still has) very specific taste. Also, I didn't pay much attention to, well, anything popular, growing up. This means there are some gaps in my knowledge of popular music.

As a result, Best Beloved and I regularly have a conversation wherein I reveal ignorance of some song (latest example: House of the Rising Sun, which I still have not heard, except a really peculiar Zydeco cover of it that Best Beloved says is unacceptable in terms of bring me up to speed) or band (example that Best Beloved still cannot stop bringing up: Led Zeppelin) that is apparently a foundation of Western civilization. Best Beloved expresses shock, disbelief, and dismay, and wonders out loud how this tragedy came to be, and then we sort through our iPods and CD collections to see if my lack can be remedied. If necessary, Best Beloved will sing the song in question. (She refused to sing House of the Rising Sun, though. Dadgummit.)

So, quite some time ago, we had this conversation:

Me: ...Jessie's Girl?
BB: Oh, don't even tell me you don't know that one.
Me: I really think I don't.
BB, singing: "I wish that I had Jessie's Girl/Where can I find a woman like that?"
Me: Not familiar.
BB, warily testing the depths of my ignorance: Rick Springfield?
Me: Well, here's what I know about Rick Springfield. When I was little, my sister had a friend - Michelle, I think her name was - who was so obsessed with Rick Springfield that she wrote his name on her bedroom wall in foot-high letters. In black paint. I went to her house with my sister once and I was really riveted by that.
BB, briefly distracted: Your sister had a friend who was obsessed with Rick Springfield?
Me: Yes.
BB: Wow.
[There is a pause as we both reflect on the follies of youth.]
BB, shaking it off: Okay, you really need to hear this song.
[Jessie's Girl is uncovered and played.]
Me, listening carefully: Oh, suuuuuuure, you want Jessie's girl. Is that why Jessie is the only one who gets an actual name? Is that why you can't stop thinking about him having sex? Riiiiiight.
BB: Yeah. See, this is why I said you should hear it.
Me, still listening: Oh my god, the narrator wants Jessie so much.
BB: Well, that was my thinking.

And thus a Yuletide fandom was born. This explains why I misspelled the name of the fandom and the only named character during nominations (um, sorry); I had never seen the song written down, and it never occurred to me that Jessie might use the girl's spelling of his name. (In all honesty, I still think he didn't. I suspect the narrator of shenanigans.) I'm definitely hoping for a happy ending here; teenage angst seems inevitable whether you choose to go the threesome or the twosome route, but, um, please don't rip my heart out. Or the narrator's. If you can help it.

For this fandom, I offer you TWO song downloads: Jessie's Girl, of course, and Apple Candy, which I think really gets at inherently homoerotic nature of that kind of love triangle.

P.G. Wodehouse - The Gold Bat

When I was 10, I discovered P.G. Wodehouse. I actually responded to his works totally fannishly, even if I didn't know that's what I was doing. I obsessively sought out everything he'd written, scouring used bookstores on two continents for the really obscure editions. I quoted his works endlessly, to the vast annoyance of everyone I knew. I was never without a Wodehouse book, either in my hand or hidden somewhere on my person (seriously, I had to be frisked before we left the house on some occasions). And I developed very sincere opinions on each one of his books, most of his short stories, and all his universes.

I love Bertie and Jeeves. I love the Earl of Emsworth. But I'm pretty satisfied with those universes as Wodehouse left them. However, I yearn for fan fiction in the school stories world; there's so much room there! So much to explore! And I love the tone of the school stories, the feel of them; when he wrote them, Wodehouse was already working towards his strange, idealized version of British life, but in my (uninformed) opinion, he hadn't quite achieved total disconnect yet. But his writing and dialog were already totally characteristic, and zany, and fun.

So, basically, I'm hoping here for a story that sounds just like the canon - brisk and frothy and light and banter-y - either gen or slash, as you prefer. O'Hara and Moriarty are probably my favorite characters, but I also have an embarrassing amount of love for Trevor. So, you know, feel free to go anywhere with any of those three; I'd love to see them aged up, I'd love to see them at Oxford, I'd love to see more stories set at school, I'd love to see them at home, I'd love to see them having big gay love. I'm easy! Okay, I'm asking for something that sounds just like Wodehouse, so maybe easy isn't the right word. But I'm definitely flexible.

And here's an online version of the book: The Gold Bat at Project Gutenberg.

RPF - Charles Baudelaire

There's a reason why I put this request fourth: it's certifiable. Or maybe I am. But still. I love Charles Baudelaire so much, and I love the world he describes in his poetry even more, and I would love to see a story about him, especially if it's set in the world his poetry describes. (And, by the way - she wasn't in the character list, but if you want to include Jeanne Duval, by all means DO.) If you want to throw in a crossover, well, Angelus from the Jossverse seems obvious to me; in the Angel episode She he makes it clear he knew Baudelaire, and frankly that explains so much. But do whatever! The choice is yours!

The delightful and wise norah (note: also an excellent resource for TFV-related questions and complaints, not that I am suggesting you email her long woeful screeds about my inherent evil or anything) advised me to mention favorite translations here, but in fact I have no single favorite translation; 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: 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, again - I said in the general notes that I pretty much wanted happy endings and lighter stories. 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.) I will read with gratitude and wonder, and I will fully appreciate it, because Baudelaire's story is totally a lush, insane tragedy.


Thank you so much for doing this - for being a part of Yuletide, for signing up for one of my crazy fandoms, for being awesome. I love you already. And even if you don't hear from me right away on archive opening day - sometimes I can't get there immediately, although believe me I try - rest assured: I will love what you write. Because you wrote it for me. You are the best.

Tags: [miscellaneous], yuletide
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