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Dear Once Upon a Fic Writer (work in progress)
SSar's Beast
morbane
This is most of my letter for the Once Upon Fic exchange! ([community profile] once_upon_fic). Sign-ups close 11:59pm CST Wed 20 February.

Dear writer, as ever, I am very excited for this exchange! Thank you for considering my prompts.

General fairy tale ideas
For stories written for fairy tales, I welcome:
-A sense of awe or the numinous, or uncanny things. I love seeing characters take in the sheer consciousness-expanding weirdness of magic. I love it when the presence of magic adds to the sense of atmosphere.
-(in contrast, I also welcome) Characters whose familiarity with magic affects their perspective on the world. It's fun to explore characters who take prosaically for granted things that would amaze us.
-Stories that play around with characters' genders or sexualities. Trans, ace, nonbinary, etc, characters all welcome. (Please also see DNWs.)
-A romantic story reinterpreted as non-romantic - or a non-romantic story reinterpreted as romantic.
-Stories that loosely blend elements of more than one fairy tale to create a new story. As long as at least one story I've requested plays a prominent part, you're welcome to draw ideas from stories I didn't request this year. (Please also see DNWs.)
-Stories that focus on or give backstories to magical artefacts and architecture and landscapes. I love glass mountains and golden bridles and enchanted knives.
-Setting AUs! Mundane, in space, in a particular country or time, centred on a particular industry or career - go wild! I really enjoy seeing how the shape of a fairy tale comes through in a very different context. Exception: please no mundane AUs for Heer Halewijn.
-Canon divergence AUs.


General likes
I love competence, loyalty, and trust. I like uplifting and hopeful messages, and protagonists who champion them. I also like genuinely terrible characters and tragic arcs, and villains with strong motivations and critiques of the protagonists' goals. Characters are welcome in any shade of grey. I like seeing characters screw up and then learn (or not) from their mistakes. I love original characters, outsider character perspectives, and worldbuilding. I love magical realism, dramatic weather, trains, telepathy, and dragons. I like getting a strong sense of time or place. For porn, I love xeno, voyeurism, dubcon, noncon, telepathy, praise kink, and awkward-but-not-emotionally-disastrous sex; intense oh-god-I-can't-believe-it's-so-good sex; gentle and loving sex. I love emotional intimacy whether or not it comes with physical intimacy. I love mentors and protegé(e) relationships, and relationships between characters who are juggling multiple identities. I love seeing the relationship between two characters at one point in time, and then seeing it again when the relationship is very different. I'm just as interested in break-ups as get-togethers. I like Big Damn Hero moments, and also days in the life, or stories about people who are just trying to make it by in a weird world. I love it when authors and artists incorporate something about which they have enthusiasm or specialized knowledge, however mundane or obscure that thing is. You're welcome to write in past or present tense, and in first, second, or third person. Epistolary and found-media formats are welcome.


Do-Not-Wants:
Harm to hands, amnesia, substance abuse; crack; narrators breaking the fourth wall; issuefic where the story and characters are the vehicle for a modern social issue that does not come up in canon.

To be clearer (hopefully!) about crack & narrators breaking the fourth wall: although I've seen this done well, I'm really picky about the execution, so please avoid stories in which the narrator knows all fairy tales and is commenting on them from a point of elevated knowledge. I'm fine with a narrator - especially an unreliable narrator! - who is also a character, and who has a specific, personal reason for telling a story. Crack taken seriously is welcome, but instead of pure crack, I'd prefer humour that is grounded in the events of stories and the characters' natural reactions to those events, or humour that preserves a sense of depth, wonder, and strangeness.

To be clearer (hopefully!) about issuefic: I'm happy to get conflict and resolution around issues like gender equality, or the horror of war, or capitalism, or religious tolerance, where it suits the characters or fairy tale. However, please also give the characters goals and struggles that relate to other things. If you're writing a story about a social issue like these, I'd prefer the protagonists have flaws, and the opportunity to grow and change, rather than being perfect mouthpieces for morality (or being lectured by other perfect mouthpieces for morality).

If my DNWs are unclear, sorry, and please feel free to ask for clarification through my co-mod, Rosencrantz.


The BearCollapse )

The Colony of CatsCollapse )

East of the Sun and West of the MoonCollapse )

The Groac'h of the Isle of LokCollapse )

Heer HalewijnCollapse )

Kemp OwyneCollapse )

The Lute PlayerCollapse )

The Princess and the PeaCollapse )

RumpelstiltzkinCollapse )

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Exchange promos: Worldbuilding Ex and Once Upon a Fic
SSar's Beast
morbane
To those on my f-list who like multifandom fic and art exchanges, I want to belatedly promote the Worldbuilding Exchange - [community profile] worldbuildingex. One for gen fans more than shippers - although shippy stuff does get written, creators and recipients match on single-character tags and on tags that deal with some aspect of worldbuilding. For example, in Harry Potter, some of the nominated topics are, "Non-UK Wizarding Education", "Quidditch", "The Founders Attempting to Establish Hogwarts", and "Therapy In The Wizarding World". It's also alternate-formats-friendly - you can ask for, and offer, in-universe meta as a specific type of fic, and there's a challenge in the comm where people can indicate their interest in IF and vids.

As someone who loves worldbuilding, I am all over this. Last year I didn't sign up, but ended up taking on a pinch hit anyway. This year I am bowing to the inevitable! Though I am scrambling to finish my sign-up prompts...


Rosencrantz and I have also started up the Once Upon Fic exchange again - [community profile] once_upon_fic. This is an exchange for fairy tales, tall tales, myths, urban legends, etc. Sources must be in the public domain & available online. As well as enjoying this because it's my exchange (well, Rosencrantz is the main mod, but I have been part of it from the beginning), I am particularly fond of it because I'm more often pleased with what I write it in that I am in most other exchanges. And I like exchanges where you can read all the collection if you so choose. (Last year I couldn't read the stories about Sedna because aaaaugh hand squick, but that's an exception.)

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AO3 collections moderation queue "bug"
SSar's Beast
morbane
This is a conversation I'm having with AO3's AD&T, through Support; I'm posting it here because the outcome may be of interest to other AO3 gift exchange moderators. tl;dr: there is a thing, relatively minor, that I don't want AO3 to do, and I am attempting to further argue the case.

Obviously, this post has an agenda. I am hoping other moderators will also say, to AO3, please don't do the thing. There is a difference between "Morbane gets a bugbear; these are the wishes of one user" and "Multiple users have demonstrated the utility of a function in several different use cases" - not that I expect AO3 to ignore the wishes of one user, but I expect them to prioritise the latter more. But, if other moderators mind less, that is also useful to know.

Background: works in the moderation queue of an AO3 collectionCollapse )



Correspondence with Support to dateCollapse )


As I did not indicate any urgency to those follow-up questions, I have not yet heard back.

My chief issue is: this is a useful, reliable thing that works to help moderators do a thing they want to do. I'm sure it's possible to abuse it, but given it's worked this way for years and coders did not know that, I feel that reports of its abuse must have been rare to nonexistent.

And their fix does not make it impossible for me, or another moderator, to abuse it - it merely makes it hard, at the same time as making other things hard. If it's a power that can be abused and they want to do something about it, why leave me with that power? After their fix, I could still go mad with power and go back and hide a single work in each of Yuletide 2010, 2011, 2012, etc, etc. The poor author and recipient might not notice for months or years, and then be very dismayed when they did. If that's the kind of abuse they mean (and abuse it would surely be!), then the fix would in no way remove my ability to do it.

Thoughts and suggestions very welcome - including if you disagree with me! And if you're a moderator who also would like AO3 not to "fix" this "bug", please tell them so.

ETA: further correspondence and thoughtsCollapse )

NOTE: In replies others have received, CJ suggests grouping multiple comments to this issue in single documents/emails to aid Support in processing comments on this issue. The original support ticket I was assigned is ## 206703 ##. If you send a new comment to AO3 about this, I suggest quoting that ticket in your subject line.

Reply, post-pondering
My third reply. It's long.Collapse )

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Tags:

start in the way that you want to go on / tear down the fence that you sit upon
SSar's Beast
morbane
Yuletide is over, the New Year is here, and I'm sitting in the empty restaurant of my motel in Citrus County, Florida. I'm here to visit family, on the same turn-on-a-dime schedule as last year.

Life
Last year was 'just' a visit; this year, we are moving my grandmother out of her apartment and into an assisted living facility. The main part of that is going well. My grandmother, at nearly 92, is an extremely positive person, lucid and competent except for her short-term memory, and by the time Mum arrived she had really decided for herself that this change was necessary. I am so so glad that this is so.

The trip over was quite reasonable, since I'd booked it earlier than I did the last year. We spent January 1st cleaning up from our New Year's party (remind me to find and add a picture of the ball pit), then I left Wellington in the early afternoon of the 2nd, spent a couple of hours with my Dad in Auckland, gave him a gourmet selection of all our NYE party leftovers, including duck ragu (sp?), potato curry, and apricot-almond pastries, flew 13 hours to Houston, managed to hop on an earlier 2-hour flight to Tampa than the one I'd booked, had a nice dinner at the airport, then got a shuttle to my hotel at 9pm on the 2nd. That was delightfully fuss-less. A 13-hour flight isn't that bad when there are only short flights and stopovers on either side of it.

When I arrived my mother was the most stressed out I've ever seen her in my life - day one was awful - and procrastinating on the move. A few gentle hints from my aunt at just the right time helped un-stick her, and now my grandmother is moved in. "Oh!" she exclaimed, walking into the room we'd unpacked for her, with her quilt on the bed and her clothes in the closet and her radio plugged in on the table and her favourite throw on the new chair she and Mum had picked out together. "When did you have time to do all this? It looks so homelike already!" I know that is a memory my mother will treasure.

I got a couple of gifts for friends at a local pottery studio, but other touristy stuff is up in the air. If I'm here again next year - I hope so, I hope Grandma is still doing well - I will try to be more strategic about meeting fandom people.


Fandom
I think on balance Yuletide went well. Ask me again in a few months when the parts that didn't go well aren't raw! But internally, I think the team worked well - I am hopefully getting better at the communication and prioritisation things I need to get better at. I think, from the outside, the Yuletide machine looks smooth and competent. Mostly. I think we do what we promise to do and what people expect us to do. Lots of people wrote and received a heck of a lot of amazing, amazing fic, and I am still enjoying mine and browsing through it all.

I am still in dialogue with AO3 coders (AD&T) and Support about a challenges thing that I consider to be desired behaviour and they consider to be a bug that invites abuse - more on that later. I think other moderators might have opinions.

Fic exchanges coming up for me: Chocolate Box (art, fic, multifandom, small minimums); WorldbuildingEx (art, fic, meta, multifandom, worldbuilding theme); Once Upon a Fic (fairy tale/myth/etc fic).

Last for now: I'm daydreaming of a specific fic idea for Jupiter Ascending that I don't think I can write myself, and it's too specific for exchanges, but gosh it would be fun... I really, really want to imagine Jupiter interviewing various lawyers and economists and black market geniuses to create a crack team out of Earth talent that can take on galactic bureaucracy. Kind of a heist feel to it, with the sense of "we need THIS skill set and THIS skill set to achieve THIS thing" but without actually being a heist. Scenes of them actually achieving things would be even better. (If anyone knows of anything like that, recs are welcome.)

This entry is also posted at https://morbane.dreamwidth.org/41437.html. There are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment either here or there.

Dear Yuletide Writer 2018
SSar's Beast
morbane
Hi, and thanks for your interest in my letter, whether you're considering writing for me or just curious about my prompts!

This year for Yuletide, I've asked for:


Crossovers or fusions between these fandoms, or between one of these fandoms and another rare fandom I know, are welcome.

On AO3 my username is Morbane.


Do-Not-Wants: harm to hands, addiction and substance abuse, amnesia.

I would prefer not to receive interactive fiction. My ideal gift length is between 200 and 20,000 words; if you're thinking of writing a drabble for me, then the thought is appreciated, but someone else might enjoy your effort more - drabbles are hit-or-miss for me.

General likes


I love original characters, outsider character perspectives, and worldbuilding. I love competence and loyalty. I like uplifting and hopeful messages, and protagonists who champion them. I also like genuinely terrible characters and tragic arcs, and villains with strong motivations and critiques of the protagonists' goals. Characters are welcome in any shade of grey. I like seeing characters screw up and then learn (or not) from their mistakes. I love magical realism, dramatic weather, trains, telepathy, and dragons. I like getting a strong sense of time or place. For porn, I love xeno, voyeurism, dubcon, noncon, telepathy, praise kink, and awkward-but-not-emotionally-disastrous sex; intense oh-god-I-can't-believe-it's-so-good sex; gentle and loving sex. I love emotional intimacy whether or not it comes with physical intimacy. I love mentors and protegé(e) relationships, and relationships between characters who are juggling multiple identities. I love seeing the relationship between two characters at one point in time, and then seeing it again when the relationship is very different. I'm just as interested in break-ups as get-togethers. I like Big Damn Hero moments, and also days in the life, or stories about people who are just trying to make it by in a weird world. I love it when authors incorporate something about which they have enthusiasm or specialized knowledge, however mundane or weird that thing is.

You're welcome to write in past or present tense, and in first, second, or third person. Epistolary and found-media formats are welcome.


Drive Angry (2011)Collapse )



The Shadow (1994)Collapse )


Simoun (Anime)Collapse )


Solitaire - Kelley EskridgeCollapse )


Soon I Will Be Invincible - Austin GrossmanCollapse )


Sucker Punch (2011)Collapse )

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Kua tuhi aha au? Ka tuhi aha au?
SSar's Beast
morbane
(What have I written? What will I write?)

Which is not to say that my te reo Māori (Māori language) has increased in leaps and bounds, because it hasn't. At least, this year, I felt as though I could participate in Māori language week, and really noticed it happening around me.

This is not a well organised journal entry. Writing them is an atrophied skill. Please bear with me.


I have written a lot of fic this year (for me), and very little else. I have written some good comments on fic, but very few comments on people's lives and thoughts. I miss various people. Time to go find them/you again. It hasn't been a very reflective year, but as I look at it, it's been a year of forting up and retreating. Perhaps it's been a selfish year.

Some things that have made me happy: bright Venus in unusually clear winter skies; making progress on the mortgage; last Embers weekend. I'm just home from another weekend of cooking for LARPers. I return with a cold, but also with some very nice comments. It's always nice to hear someone with intersecting food restrictions (in this case, pre-diabetes and no red meat) gush, "I can't believe how much of what you've cooked I can eat!" And this time, it wasn't until Sunday afternoon, after pack-down and clean-up, that 20thcenturyvole and I found ourselves slipping into tired, punch-drunk, giggly mode. Usually that happens midway through Saturday afternoon.

I read four or five Scarlet Pimpernel books earlier this year, because on a whim just before fandom5k sign-ups closed, I decided that a prompted crossover would be fun to attempt. And it was! It really was. For the second year in a row, fandom5k was a nail-biting race to the finish line and also helped me produce something I was really proud of. For a hat trick next year, I just want to finish something and get it beta'd in good time.

Other media "recently" consumed: The Good Place (something I solidly love - we are definitely keeping up to date); Murderbot Diaries (very fluffy and light, but consistent); the new Doctor Who episode 1 (not.... sure.... it'll woo me back, but I was so terribly soured on it before, and now my expectations are probably too high); Wellington Paranormal (if you liked What We Do in the Shadows, I recommend this with utmost confidence); Spinning Silver (enjoyed the worldbuilding, stayed up late at night to finish it, have quibbles as well as delight); Avengers: Infinity War ("okay, now I am up to date with the MCU, ticked that box"); and Star Stealing Prince, an indie game that I tried and failed to play under NightsMistress's nose. That part was at least amusing.

NM: so here's a fic to beta, it has time travel shenanigans and an unreliable narrator
Me: I need to keep track of what the protagonist is supposed to know, but I can't figure out whether asking about a point of confusion will conflict with what NM knows about what I know - help

So I failed in the quest of Surprise My Friend With an Epic Fic about a Canon She Doesn't Even Know I've Consumed, but at least I enjoyed the game.

I recently attended Get/Together, a small but tenacious local con in which 30-40 fans, mostly women, give presentations, do a pub quiz, break the ice with fannish pictionary, eat pizza, and chat. I'd only really poked my head in during my previous two attendances. This time I was there nearly the whole weekend. It was fun. It felt, not precisely relaxing - I needed quite a bit of alone time afterwards - but relaxed; I could see where I fitted in to it.

It's Yuletide again - sign-ups are open. Well, for me, it's been Yuletide for over two months already, but mid-October is really a more sensible time to be thinking about Yuletide. Probably.

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Dear Overcrosser 2018
SSar's Beast
morbane
This is my letter for the [community profile] crossovering | Crossovering fic and art exchange for crossover works. We're coming to the end of sign ups - if you love crossovers, go check it out! This is one of my favourite exchanges for the year.


Dear my author, and anyone else who's curious,

This letter is intended to complement my prompts for specific crossovers and fusions. Those prompts can be found on the middle of this page.

General likes


For crossovers and fusions specifically: My favourite things are stories that take note of both canons' worldbuilding and underlying rules and remix them together. I love original characters and outsider viewpoints in crossover fic, and I love stories that create a world that bridges two canons rather than representing one or the other fully faithfully. After that, I most enjoy fusions, and stories that either imply that the two canons always took place in the same world, or use canon-plausible portals/travel.

More generally: I love competence and loyalty. I like uplifting and hopeful messages, and protagonists who champion them. I also like antagonists with strong motivations and critiques of the protagonists' goals. Characters are welcome in any shade of grey. People screwing up and then learning from their mistakes is also welcome. I love magical realism, dramatic weather, trains, telepathy, dragons. For porn, I love dubcon, noncon, telepathy, touch starvation, praise kink, and awkward-but-not-emotionally-disastrous sex. I love mentors and protegé(e)s, and identity porn. (In the context of this exchange, identity porn where a character was always from another universe and has been hiding it for a while might be fun!) I love Big Damn Hero moments, and people who are just trying to make it by in a weird world. I love it when authors incorporate something about which they have a lot of specialized knowledge.

Please don't feel constrained by either my AO3 prompts or my fandom notes. I like a lot of things, and I look forward to receiving something I didn't expect as much as I look forward to you fulfilling my specific prompts.

General dislikes


DNWs: Amnesia; substance abuse, addition, really self-destructive behaviour based on substance abuse; graphic harm to hands.
Exceptions: amnesia is fine in canons where it's already present, such as The Good Place, Interstella 5555, and Dollhouse, if you use it in a similar way to how it's used in canon. I don't want to be surprised by it popping up in a new way that doesn't follow from existing worldbuilding, and I don't want to see it involved with romantic tropes. I hope that leaves you plenty of room to work!


Specific canons

Canons below cutCollapse )

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Dear DJ 2018
SSar's Beast
morbane
Dear potential writers/artists/recorders - sorry for the delay! I look forward to any gifts. Thanks for reading.

General Likes

Prompts for All Moments Leading to This - Lucid 3 (Song)
Prompts for The Chain - Fleetwood Mac (Song)
Prompts for Glorious Dawn ft. Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking - John Boswell (Song)
Prompts for Gold Dust Woman - Fleetwood Mac (Song)
Prompts for Instinct - Crowded House (Song)
Prompts for Kemp Owyne (Traditional Song)
Prompts for Outlook for Thursday - DD Smash (Music Video)
Prompts for Stranger Song - Leonard Cohen (Song)
Prompts for Yellow Flicker Beat - Lorde (Song)
Prompts for Der Zwerg | The Dwarf - Franz Schubert (Song)




General Likes


Do-Not-Wants: amnesia, graphic harm to hands, substance abuse/addiction.

Likes:
I love original characters and worldbuilding - and this exchange is wonderful for those. You are welcome to write/draw/record work about any combinations of genders.

Fanfic
I like uplifting and hopeful messages, and protagonists who champion them. I also like genuinely terrible characters and tragic arcs, and villains with strong motivations and critiques of the protagonists' goals. Characters are welcome in any shade of grey. I particularly like seeing competence and loyalty.

I love mentors and protegé(e) relationships, and relationships between characters who are juggling multiple identities. I love seeing the relationship between two characters at one point in time, and then seeing it again when the relationship is very different. I'm just as interested in break-ups as get-togethers. I like Big Damn Hero moments, and also days in the life, or stories about people who are just trying to make it by in a weird world. I really like the trope whereby everyone's the protagonist of their own story, even if they may not appear to be at the centre of the most exciting or meaningful events that are happening.

I love emotional intimacy whether or not it comes with physical intimacy. For porn, I love xeno, voyeurism, dubcon, noncon, telepathy, praise kink, and awkward-but-not-emotionally-disastrous sex; intense oh-god-I-can't-believe-it's-so-good sex; gentle and loving sex.

I love it when authors incorporate something about which they have specialized knowledge, however mundane that thing is.

I love magical realism, dramatic weather, trains, telepathy, and dragons. I like puns and absurdity and banter.

You're welcome to write in past or present tense, and in first, second, or third person. Epistolary and found-media formats are welcome.

Fanart
I really love highly stylised designs in art - geometric patterns, decorative patterns, fancy borders and framings. I like skylines and a sense of distance. I love being able to get a sense of weather from a scene. I love costume details, or character studies done through faces or poses.

I like jewel tones and earth tones and grays best of all. I am less keen on Lisa Frank-esque bright rainbow palettes.

My fic likes also apply here, where relevant (ie for porn preferences and character dynamics).

I don't ask for art as often as I ask for fic, and I am also not an artist. So I apologise if these aren't very helpful notes, and I hope the individual prompts are more helpful.

Podfic
I'm sorry, I really don't know how to prompt for podfic. I'm excited to possibly receive it for Glorious Dawn or Outlook for Thursday, but I must trust to your judgement and skill in deciding what to make and how.


All Moments Leading to This - Lucid 3 (Song)Collapse )

The Chain - Fleetwood Mac (Song)Collapse )

Glorious Dawn ft. Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking - John Boswell (Song)Collapse )

Gold Dust Woman - Fleetwood Mac (Song)Collapse )

Instinct - Crowded House (Song)Collapse )

Kemp Owyne (Traditional Song)Collapse )

Outlook for Thursday - DD Smash (Music Video)Collapse )

Stranger Song - Leonard Cohen (Song)Collapse )

Yellow Flicker Beat - Lorde (Song)Collapse )

Der Zwerg | The Dwarf - Franz Schubert (Song)Collapse )

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Konei, konā, korā
SSar's Beast
morbane
Hello again! I hope to post regularly again. Unsurprisingly for me, it's wanting to promote fandom events that has finally tipped the balance.

Life
Last year ended well for me. I had a good Yuletide - each year has its unique stresses, but I think this one was less stressful than some (and I didn't spend most of December sick, unlike in 2016). There are always parts of Yuletide I wish I did better - losing my temper at a person, or making the wrong call in handling interpersonal drama, always sticks in my head - but I hope most of the duck-paddling is not visible in the smooth surface progress.

The ending of last year also ran very precisely to schedule. We threw a huge New Year's party, including a ball pit - remind me to put up a photo.

( I set the time of the event at 7pm when setting it up, then reflected that now we had an outdoor activity, I should move it forward to 6pm. Those of you who have heard of Dashcon: I hope you applaud the inclusion of an extra hour in the ball pit.)

Guests had gone and we had done preliminary cleaning by 2am. We spent the entirety of January 1st cleaning, of course, including the six person-hours required to disassemble the ball pit. And then I got up at 4am on January 2nd to fly to Florida to spend ten days with family. For me, January 2nd lasted 37 hours.

My grandmother is in reasonably good health and spirits, but her short term memory is distinctly failing. My mother (who lives in NZ, not Florida) is doing her best to be long-distance support, and her annual visits with my grandmother are very chore-focused - setting up reminder systems, doing a lot of check-up appointments, fixing things around my grandmother's apartment. Effective but stressful. My aunt is a half-hour's drive away from my grandmother; my mother and my aunt work together in some things, but I am not sure if the arrangement is quite ideal for either.

My grandmother was pretty happy to see me, anyway, and my mother was also glad I was along, and I am thinking of doing the same thing next year (with the same precision of timing). And I got Mum to come to a tree-top adventure course with me, so that was a couple of hours she wasn't worrying about Grandma. (I had a great time, but also fell, past a steel cable, so that I had a really impressive scrape-and-bruise for the following two weeks.)

The other part of the precise timing was that I landed back in Wellington on the afternoon of Friday 12th January, and it was two good friends' wedding the next day at 1pm. The big miracle of the trip was that I had zero jetlag coming back. I have no idea how I managed that.

The post title is in honour of a work initiative: our senior management team decided to sponsor te reo Māori lessons, during work time, for anyone who wanted them. The Māori people are the pre-European settlers of New Zealand and "the history of te reo suppression and promotion in NZ" is a bit long for this post, but as you can imagine it's had ups and downs. I, a white person in NZ, have spent many years thinking "I should learn te reo Māori," and I am beyond grateful that something external has pushed me to do it. I'm having a great time. "Konei, konā, korā", btw, is probably not an actual sentence - it's what our lesson consisted of last week - saying that things are here or there or over there. But I am amusing myself by thinking that I can now sing a line from a Beatles song in te reo.

Fandom
Jukebox is running! MY BELOVED EXCHANGE. Just over a day to nominate songs and music videos that can then be explored in podfic, art, and fic gifts and requests.

I'm also about to sign up to [community profile] bravenewbork, which is a small and cracky exchange where you offer and request canons based on osmosis. Don't know a canon? All the better. Sign ups are closing very soon! [personal profile] seekingferret, I nominated The Grounding of Group 6, just in case. :P

And I'm going to edit in some more things I'm taking part in! But right now I really want to run off and take part in a Pokémon Go raid.

ETA
Right, Piloswine and Jynx raids defeated. [personal profile] elanya, I think you'd like the March Pokémon Go loading screen image.

Other fandom things
Fandom 5k, a multifandom gift exchange for fic of 5k or longer, has sign-ups open through April 7. I'm signing up even though it runs in parallel with Jukebox, because I was really proud - in the end - of the story I wrote for that last year.

The Worldbuilding Exchange revealed its works last week. I wrote a pinch hit! I guess, if you like, I could offer a beta job if you can guess which one I wrote, but reveals are in the next 24 hours so you may not have time. I have been flat out all week approving Jukebox nominations in the time I allot for fandom, but now that it's a public holiday and I am off work, I will read and comment on some more things. Join me!

Night on Fic Mountain is currently open for nominations. This is a rare fandoms exchange, kind of like a Yuletide at the other side of the year, but with art as well.

I'm also doing SmutSwap, so I currently have open writing assignments for [community profile] smutswap and [community profile] once_upon_fic.

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Dear Yuletide Writer 2017
SSar's Beast
morbane
Hi, and thanks for your interest in my letter, whether you're considering writing for me or just curious about my prompts!

This year for Yuletide, I've asked for:
  • Drive Angry, a 2011 standalone supernatural/action B-movie;

  • Pegasus, a YA fantasy novel that is the first book, but probably the only book, in an incomplete trilogy by Robin McKinley;

  • The Shadow, a 1994 superhero movie based on a radio drama + pulp novels (I only know the movie);

  • Simoun, a 26-episode fantasy/war anime from 2006;

  • Soon I Will Be Invincible, a standalone light sci-fi/superhero novel by Austin Grossman;

  • and Sucker Punch, a 2011 standalone fantasy(?)/action movie.


Crossovers or fusions between these fandoms, or between one of these fandoms and another rare fandom I know, are welcome.

On AO3 my username is Morbane.


Do-Not-Wants: harm to hands, addiction and substance abuse, amnesia.

General likes


I love original characters, outsider character perspectives, and worldbuilding. I love competence and loyalty. I like uplifting and hopeful messages, and protagonists who champion them. I also like genuinely terrible characters and tragic arcs, and villains with strong motivations and critiques of the protagonists' goals. Characters are welcome in any shade of grey. I like seeing characters screw up and then learn (or not) from their mistakes. I love magical realism, dramatic weather, trains, telepathy, and dragons. I like getting a strong sense of time or place. For porn, I love xeno, voyeurism, dubcon, noncon, telepathy, praise kink, and awkward-but-not-emotionally-disastrous sex; intense oh-god-I-can't-believe-it's-so-good sex; gentle and loving sex. I love emotional intimacy whether or not it comes with physical intimacy. I love mentors and protegé(e) relationships, and relationships between characters who are juggling multiple identities. I love seeing the relationship between two characters at one point in time, and then seeing it again when the relationship is very different. I'm just as interested in break-ups as get-togethers. I like Big Damn Hero moments, and also days in the life, or stories about people who are just trying to make it by in a weird world. I love it when authors incorporate something about which they have specialized knowledge, however mundane that thing is.

You're welcome to write in past or present tense, and in first, second, or third person. Epistolary and found-media formats are welcome.


Drive Angry (2011)Collapse )



Pegasus - Robin McKinleyCollapse )


The Shadow (1994)Collapse )


Simoun (Anime)Collapse )


Soon I Will Be Invincible - Austin GrossmanCollapse )


Sucker Punch (2011)Collapse )

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A fandom handful
SSar's Beast
morbane
1. I'm co-modding the Alternate Universe Exchange and starting to worry about a pinch hit that's been lingering, with fandoms Prince of Tennis, Tiger & Bunny, and Attack on Titan. Only 3 weeks remain in the writing period. Which leaves me tossing up whether to try to consume enough canon to take that pinch hit. It is a perennial mod problem. Just because I can consume a canon and turn out some competent prose doesn't mean it's a good idea, compared to - hopefully - another fan with pre-existing enthusiasm for the canon, + an interest in the prompt, coming along. But that fan may not exist, get wind of the pinch hit, or have time available.

I have consumed canons for pinch hits before, several times. I do try to make "am I actually likely to enjoy this canon" a deciding factor. But time is tight and I'd really rather the decision were taken away from me. (Obviously, I will not update this post to say whether it is or isn't...)

(Besides, there may be further pinch hits as the deadline approaches, and there aren't many of the requests that I could tackle.)


2. After seeing someone talk about an unfilled need on AO3, I asked Flamebyrd to make a userscript. The Mark for Later userscript affects your AO3 experience by adding a "Mark for Later" button to the summary of every work. This means that you can add works to your "read later" list without clicking on them and adding a hit count. Script is here. It also allows you to quickly move items between your main History and your To Read Later history. I anticipate this being very useful for people who have the problem of opening a million things in tabs and never getting to them. Also, testing was fun. Thanks, Flamebyrd!


3. Yuletide is only a month away, AAAAAAAHH!!, but meanwhile, the Fandom Growth Exchange is in sign-ups. This is an exchange for very small fandoms and pairings. Minimum wordcount is 2k.


4. I am doing Fandom Giftbox and submitted a comment to the Fic Positivity Meme, which I mention mostly to aid accountability; I need to go leave comments & snippets.

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Tags:

Cross My Heart: Dear Crossovering Creator 2017
SSar's Beast
morbane
This is my letter for the [community profile] crossovering | Crossovering fic and art exchange for crossover works. Sadly, sign-ups have closed and this letter is VERY late, but I encourage anyone who's interested to check out the prompts.

Dear my creator / interested readers:

This letter is intended to complement my prompts for specific crossovers and fusions. Those prompts can be found here: middle of this page.

General likes


For crossovers and fusions specifically: Art can be any style of combining canons, but for stories, my favourite things are stories that take note of both canons' worldbuilding and underlying rules and combine them. I love original characters and outsider viewpoints in crossover fic, and I love stories that create a world that bridges two canons rather than representing one or the other fully faithfully. After that, I most enjoy fusions, and stories that either utilize canon-plausible portals/travel, or imply that the two canons always took place in the same world.

More generally: I love competence and loyalty. I like uplifting and hopeful messages, and protagonists who champion them, and also villains with strong motivations and critiques of the protagonists' goals. Characters are welcome in any shade of grey. People screwing up and then learning from their mistakes is also welcome. I love magical realism, dramatic weather, trains, telepathy, dragons. For porn, I love dubcon, noncon, telepathy, praise kink, and awkward-but-not-emotionally-disastrous sex. I love mentors and protegé(e)s, and identity porn. I love Big Damn Hero moments, and people who are just trying to make it by in a weird world. I love it when authors and artists incorporate something about which they have a lot of specialized knowledge.

Art likes
I really love highly stylised art - geometric patterns, decorative patterns, fancy borders and framings. I like skylines and a sense of distance. I love costume details, or character studies done through faces or poses. However, I don't consider myself particularly visually literate / good at figuring out ambiguous images, so if you're deciding between something very simple, and something very complicated and ambitious, I think I'd prefer the former if it would ensure I can easily interpret what you have created. I like jewel tones and earth tones and grays. I am less keen on neons and Lisa Frank rainbow palettes and pastels, unless contrasted with black/grays/muddier tones.

Please don't feel constrained by either my AO3 prompts or my fandom notes. I like a lot of things, and I look forward to receiving something I didn't expect as much as I look forward to you fulfilling my specific prompts.

General dislikes


DNWs: Amnesia, esp. tropey amnesia; substance abuse, addition, really self-destructive behaviour based on substance abuse; graphic harm to hands.
Exceptions: canon-style amnesia is OK for The Good Place and Dollhouse.


Specific canons

Canons below cutCollapse )

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I'm still here, it's getting late
SSar's Beast
morbane
So, hi.

It's winter; the fire's on; the headphones I just accidentally gave a bath to are hung at a strategic distance from it, across the fire-screen, which is an irrelevant piece of furniture because the fire is gas. (It comes in handy when drying clothes, however.)

Offline, I've been settling into my new house. Our longtime friend AC moved in as a flatmate in February, and in April, another old friend, AR, moved back from Scotland and came to live with us for two months while looking for his own place.

The house has been good to us. There was one miserable and expensive week when we checked out some suddenly-blocked drains and the plumbers, while dealing with that (in a temporary fashion - the tree roots that caused the problem have yet to be worked around), alerted us to a gas leak caused by corroded pipes and then arranged for those pipes to be replaced. No hot water for five days while I was in bed with a cold and the tradesmen had to dig a trench through the reinforced concrete that forms the support for the house's front extension. In other house maintenance respects, I am yet to kick into high gear. We need a large pair of curtains downstairs to keep the heat from flowing out and away at the large French doors, and I have not enjoyed my dealings with the curtain consultants thus far. But I love having a spare room. I love being able to offer guests space with a real bed. I love having two ovens. I love the giant converted garage and the view over the valley to the western hills. I love having a bay tree and a lemon tree. I love having a house on street level. Before this, I moved out of my last street-level house in January 2006.

AC is a fantastic fit as a flatmate. She and I share the idea that although other kinds of social interaction are worthwhile, the most pleasant is to be in the same space as someone else, each with a computer, very occasionally remarking on interesting and amusing things that pass our screens. Also, she is a fandom writer and artist. Also, she and Joel have somewhat compatible tastes in games and TV. I have had really good luck in flatmates over my years in Wellington, but in my last major shared flat, my flatmates were the kind of people who are pure introverts when they get home. I respected that, but this is my ideal.

I'm already missing AR a little. Four people in the house was really nice too. AR flatted with me and Joel in 2007-2009, and then flatted with AC and two other friends in 2015, and then he went off to Scotland, and then ten months later he returned. It is a nice way to be tangled together. He's coming around for dinner and boardgames tomorrow night. I hope he brings Codenames. He introduced AC & me to the game last week and I really, really liked it: simple mechanics + word-association problem-solving & teamwork.

There are, of course, also politics going around me and other offline updates, but perhaps another time when I'm not trying to dust this journal off after months of silence. (Joel, btw, is currently in Las Vegas, in the 'holiday' part of a North American business trip.)


Online, I've been struggling to catch up after Yuletide. Here's what's caught my interest:

  • Night on Fic Mountain went live a few days ago, at a solstice. This is a fic and art fandom exchange for rare fandoms - basically, mini-Yuletide on the far side of the year. I used to co-mod it, but nowadays dhampyresa does all the work and only calls on me occasionally. *waves pompoms* I did write a pinch hit, and enjoyed several pieces of art and fiction. Have a look.

  • Alternate Universe Exchange is a new project from Rosencrantz, whom I also team up with when Once Upon Fic comes around (see below). This is a fandom exchange (fic-only) for alternate universe ideas - whether they're of the "but what if Bob didn't die" or the "everyone works in a coffee shop" variety. Tag approving is.... interesting. If you think you might want to nominate, get in quick.

  • Speaking of Once Upon a Fic, that went live in May, and I still have stories to comment on. This is a challenge for interpretations of fairy tales and similar canons, and I love it so much. I was really disappointed in myself that I did not complete a work this year, and I would like one day to make it up to my recipient. Meanwhile, however, the works that were created are brilliant. bleodswean, I think you in particular would appreciate Children of wild, legends round our neck, must shatter, a 30,000-word celebration of the stories of Baba Yaga and Koschei and Vasilisa and Ivan(s).

  • The other exchange that I delight in the most is Jukebox, which went live earlier this month (again, I'm still browsing and commenting). I love seeing all the different directions in which people take song lyrics and music videos. Again, I recommend the works. They are fantastic. I am, of course, biased. Even so.

  • After Yuletide, I made two poor fandom decisions, the first of which was to sign up to Worldbuilding Ex despite already feeling burned out & having a tonne of Yuletide admin to catch up on. I can't entirely blame myself because this is a concept I get really excited about, and I had a blast discussing ideas with the mod, and there were amazing works and I got amazing gifts.... It's just that it was unwise for me at that time. I hope next year I manage to be in a better shape after Yuletide.

  • The second poor fandom decision was to take on a pinch hit for Fandom5k, a fic exchange for all fandoms and works of 5k+. I mean, I can sincerely say that it was a fun prompt and I felt I was on my recipient's wavelength, that it offered me the challenge of something I rarely do (write for a TV canon), and that it was satisfying to know I could confidently sketch out a plot that would be long and dense enough and then bring it to fruition. But it was also bad timing and I stressed myself out for a continuous month over the thing.

  • Now I look at my AO3 assignments page and there are NO OPEN ASSIGNMENTS and it is beautiful. Beautiful.

  • ... and while I will not finish a NYR before Crossovering starts, I can at least work on one, and so I will begin to feel on top of things. (Crossovering is awesome! Come play with me! Get your fandom crossovers here! Ahem.)




And in my silence, the song I keep coming back to is Crowded House's How Will You Go, because on their album Woodface, this track ends in over a minute of silence and then a sudden refrain... I'm still here, of course. Looking it up just now, I see it is labelled a bonus track, which makes sense yet never occurred to me before now. I just thought it was .... all the same track. With silence in the middle.



[personal profile] seekingferret, thanks again for the playlist - I really liked "Mah Yedidus" and I grinned to hear it, and the rest comes in shades of appreciative interest. More later.

I also have some gifts from all these exchanges I've taken part in lately. I shall post later about my recent gifts.

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Dear DJ
SSar's Beast
morbane
I feel a little sheepish that I didn't get this up earlier, to also serve as an advertisement to anyone who might be interested - but I think anyone in my flist/circle on either LJ or DW probably already knows about Jukebox! Anyway. So this is my letter for the Jukebox 2017 fanworks exchange. Jukebox is my precious pet project, so I am inclined to look on anything I get as a gift through a rosy haze of joy and pride, BUT my gifts tend to be fantastic anyway. Win/win. Dear person who is reading these prompts - thank you for reading, and I hope you find them interesting without being restrictive.

Note: I'm going to come back and add links and tidy up the formatting a bit, but the prompt information will not change.

DearCollapse )

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Once Upon a Fic: Dear Author Letter
SSar's Beast
morbane
Dear author or passerby, thank you for your interest in my prompts.

General likes: I love retellings that enter into the world of the story and explore the characters' motivations and mindsets, or the machinery of the magic: why did Elisa have to weave shirts out of nettle, or how did Chrysaor feel about his heritage? I'd equally be happy with a very loose retelling of any of these stories: add or subtract characters, or transpose them in space, time, or genre. I'm happy with a multitude of prose styles (or poetry if you wish!) including second person and 'found' media scraps. You're also welcome to mix in elements from more than one story I'm requesting now, or from stories I have requested or written in the past.

Do-Not Wants: Please don't include any harm to hands, any substance abuse / addictions / addiction-related behaviour, or any amnesia.

By story:
The Lute Player, East of the Sun, West of the Moon, The Bear, Kemp Owyne, Jorinde and Joringel, The Fairy of the Dawn, Medusa, The Wild SwansCollapse )

I hope there is something in this that inspires you.

Thank you again!

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Recent Gifts
SSar's Beast
morbane
I have been remiss in posting about recent fanfiction gifts. I received a superlatively generous range, in quantity and quality both, across Crossovering, Coronation Ceremony, and Yuletide.

Fandoms: Pokémon Go, Jorinde and Joringel (Fairy Tale), The Goblin Emperor - Katherine Addison, Beauty and the Beast (Fairy Tale), Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika | Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Chronicles of Narnia - C. S. Lewis, Labyrinth (1986).

Yuletide, a large exchange for "rare" fandoms (under a certain threshold of fic quantity), has been a bright point in the last quarter of my last seven years. I received:

Fraxinella (3481 words) by ForsythiaRising
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Jorinde and Joringel (Fairy Tale), Fairy Tales & Related Fandoms, Der Wacholderbaum | The Juniper Tree (Fairy Tale)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Jorinde/Joringel
Characters: Jorinde, Joringel, sorceress - Character
Additional Tags: Fairy Tale Retellings, I would not say the violence is graphic but it is definitely there, honestly this is darker than planned, The Juniper Tree is barely referenced for like 20 seconds, really obscure fairy tales for 600, Flowers, Fire, do not read if fire freaks you out
Summary: The sorceress keeps her magic on the hearth, under a big, iron cauldron where its red glow can mix in with the always-dying embers.
---
Days of a nightingale & dreams of her lover

Jorinde and Joringel is a story that is both tidy and weird, satisfying and confusing. A maiden is captured by a sorceress and her lover must free her. ForsythiaRising chose to blur the lines between maiden, mother, and crone; the initial sorceress is not sympathetic, yet she is relatable. There are utterly gorgeous turns of phrase in this story, especially if you like gardens.

Candy (6344 words) by winter hill
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Pokemon GO
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Blanche & Candela & Spark (Pokemon), Spark & Eevee
Characters: Blanche (Pokemon), Candela (Pokemon), Spark (Pokemon), Professor Willow (Pokemon), Eievui | Eevee, Eeveelutions
Additional Tags:
Pokemon candy, Journey, Comfort, buddy pokemon, Yuletide Treat
Summary: When Eevee is transferred to the Professor, she is certain that she’s about to be chopped up for candy. Instead, she might just have found her forever home.

Pokémon Go, the mobile platform game launched in July 2016, was everything I dreamed of - except for the game mechanic that implied players traded sentient creatures for parts. Directly. I was really not okay with that. winterhill wrote me a charming story, dense with hope and trust, that made it all okay and, as per my request, focused on the vast scope of the Pokémon world. winterhill was not even signed up to Yuletide, so I feel especially honoured to have been the benefactor of their treating efforts.

Like a House on Fire (4022 words) by Masu_Trout
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Pokemon GO
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Blanche & Candela & Spark (Pokemon), Candela & Dr. Willow | Professor Willow
Characters: Candela (Pokemon), Blanche (Pokemon), Spark (Pokemon), Professor Willow (Pokemon), Hitokage | Charmander
Additional Tags: Government Experimentation, Pokémon in the Real World
Summary: Apparently, pokémon are real. Candela knows this because one of them just burned her house down.

I also asked for a story about Pokémon Go suddenly colliding with the real world, and Masu_Trout delivered with a great action-adventure story about Candela - student-turned-Pokémon trainer. This is a funny, fast-paced, clever work. Masu_Trout was also not signed up to Yuletide and treated only. Again, I'm honoured.


Crossovering is an exchange I have taken part with great enthusiasm in since it started; this most recent round was its 3rd year. I received:

Beauty and the Incubator (4517 words) by VampirePaladin
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika | Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Beauty and the Beast - All Media Types
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Original Female Character/Original Incubator Character
Characters: Original Female Character(s), Original Incubator Character
Additional Tags: Fairy Tale Elements, Crossovers & Fandom Fusions, Alien/Human Relationships, Pre-Canon
Summary: How Beauty and the Beast may have happened in the Madoka Magica world.

I watched Madoka over the last year and it stunned me. Wishes and all their consequences. Hope and heart and courage and darkness. This was a lovely story - it used a fairy tale structure very cleverly to offer up a happy ending that builds slowly and surely. I was a pinch hit in this exchange and my friend VampirePaladin took on my assignment very late - thank you. ♥

the stars move for no one (1066 words) by templemarker
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Labyrinth (1986), Chronicles of Narnia - All Media Types
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Jadis | The White Witch, Jareth (Labyrinth)

I also asked for Narnia & the Labyrinth, and this extrapolates from the breathtaking ruin of Charn to create the Labyrinth out of someone who didn't quite die. I am particularly happy that my writer zeroed in on Jadis & Charn because I find that very evocative. And I really like this origin for Jareth that is half-humble, half archetype.

(Nor was this the only story in the collection that crossed over Narnia and Labyrinth.)


Coronation Ceremony was an exchange run by [personal profile] extrapenguin for the fantasy novel The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison. ExtraPenguin experimented with matching options and I had a blast with their results. I received:

Appropriation Bills, Compulsory Purchases, and Hope (1663 words) by bigsunglasses
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Goblin Emperor - Katherine Addison
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Csethiro Ceredin/Maia Drazhar
Characters: Maia Drazhar, Csethiro Ceredin
Additional Tags: The Wisdom Bridge, Worldbuilding, Post-Canon
Summary: Bridging the Istandaärtha was not merely a marvel of engineering and a feat of politics. It was a financial nightmare.

My author graciously combined two requests I made separately - fic involving the Wisdom Bridge, and fic involving Maia and Csethiro supporting each other. Maia's doubts are so poignant and plausible and I love, love, love seeing the details of bureaucracy in my fantasy. Also, a few weeks later at work I had to proofread an appropriations bill and having this fic in mind made me smile a lot while doing so.

Csoru character design (0 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Goblin Emperor - Katherine Addison
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Csoru Drazharan
Additional Tags: Fanart, Digital Art, character design
Summary: Color design sheet--full figure and a couple of faces.

Csoru is not remotely a protagonist in The Goblin Emperor, but she is definitely a character, and the artist captured her emotional range gloriously - including some really wonderful, lush costume designs. Again, a treat from someone who wasn't signed up. Thank you!

Letters and Flight (640 words) by shadow_lover
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Goblin Emperor - Katherine Addison
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Csoru Drazharan, Csethiro Ceredin (Off-Screen), Varenechibel IV (Off-Screen), Maia Drazhar (Off-Screen)
Additional Tags: Character Study, Letters, Pre-Canon
Summary: She likes to imagine her words flying like birds of prey through the heart of the Untheileneise Court.

And here was another really satisfying angle on Csoru, making her sympathetic if not praiseworthy and showing how she finds satisfactions - sometimes petty, sometimes small, and sometimes all that it is possible for a person in her situation to reach for. My friend shadow_lover was quietly writing this for me at the same time as we were discussing our actual assignments for the exchange. Sneaky and delightful.



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A memorable November so far
SSar's Beast
morbane
So the 7.5 magnitude earthquake prompted me to post (I'm all right; almost everyone's all right), but I'd been vaguely thinking about posting a rundown of the last two weeks anyway. It's a nice mix of fandom and other events, and I should post more.

Mon 31 Oct
-Got home from work, finished one fanfic for TrickorTreat, edited another. I was tapped to co-mod this exchange briefly because of offline problems the real moderator was having. I was very glad that PumpkinKingMod's difficulties allowed them to open the exchange.

Tues 1 Nov
-Yuletide madness reveal, yay! Got to work, mostly worked, set a few Yuletide things up.
-Got tapped by the editing team to help them with their work. Yay.
-Set up Madness (coordinated mods' effort)
-Learned before sleeping that because of rushing a previous task, part of what I'd done to set up Madness was wrong and needed time and effort to fix. First major Yuletide screwup of year or so it felt to me. Damn.
-Slept. Woke. Slept. Etc. Emailed a YT volunteer at 5am about a thing. Slept. Woke.

Wed 2 Nov
-Got up around 6:30am to fix things. Mostly successful. Off to work.
-Did scary banking things at lunch for house purposes.
-Concentrated on the editing job for most of the day... or tried to. We were short-staffed, so I had to take on urgent parts of our ordinary work. Convinced myself I was nearly done at about 4pm. Went home at 8pm, happy, buzzing. I love that kind of work and I love the high of concentrating on a text task.

Thurs 3 Nov
-Work!
-Pre-settlement inspection on house, at lunchtime. Real estate agent picked Joel and me up and drove us over. She's going to be our neighbour so I guess she had extra incentive to be friendly, plus she just seems like a nice person.
-House was good, but missing one of its chattels - a refrigerator.
-Work!
-Picked up my conference registration pack, had dinner with Joel, saw Dr. Strange. Impressions: Smooth and desperately concise plot, beautiful visuals, low on stakes & emotional affect. Now want more sentient cloaks everywhere. Loved the final confrontation but wish it hadn't been so compressed.

Fri 4 Nov
-Conference! Conference conference. [Okay, I'm being silly, and actually it was quite interesting! It was "Clarity", a conference that's part of a movement to write law and other important texts in plain language, and while that principle might not seem to support a weekend of talks, the minutiae of implementation sure did. Also, 1/3 of my office attended, because we write law, and it was a surreal experience to attend a conference so genuinely relevant to what I do.]
-My property lawyer: "so your loan hasn't come through though the documentation was sent Tuesday; I've called the banks three times"
-Me: !!!
-Lawyer: "don't panic, this is normal"
-Me: well okay but also !!!
-Conference
-Settlement (lawyer confirmed at 3:41pm that the mortgage funds had come through. Deadline for settlement would have been 5pm. Ughhhh.)
-The acquisition of NEW HOUSE KEYS; man, that was a weird, stressful anticlimax, BUT KEYS
-Go home and chat with internet services provider agent instead of going to see house

Sat 5 Nov
-Conference! Conference conference.
-accidental dehydration because conference was in aggressively air-conditioned hotel
-reorganization of social plans; me crying again because sudden dehydration and exhaustion and wishing for an actual ceremonial acquisition of house; recovery
-new plan: carry some things to house, look at house, then walk further up the road to the hilltop and the lookout, watch fireworks, this was very nice

Sun 6 Nov
-Secondary job work
-Went and picked out some whiteware
-Packing! (With friend m's help.)

Mon 7 Nov
-Get up early, set up power & gas connections at new house
-Work!
-More secondary work.

Tues 8 Nov
-Packing!
-Work! (Evening shift)

Wed 9 Nov
-Moving of boxes with Mel's help
-2-hour interview at new house about energy saving measures. This was an initiative set up by Wellington City Council, partnering with a company that sells a lot of related products, but it's free for ratepayers. I found it informative. The representative almost didn't stop talking for the full length of time, and when not talking to me he was muttering to himself. (Calculations. No filler.)
-Fridge was re-delivered.
-Washer and dryer were not successfully delivered, oh well.
-Work (Evening shift)
-Farewell to two colleagues, including a team member
-Watching U.S. election in gradual amazement

Thurs 10 Nov
-Packing!
-Panicking a little about progress. Called and requested annual leave.
-Torrential rain. Moved some more things with Mel's help.
-Washer and dryer delivered.
-Packing!

Fri 11 Nov
-Moving day! Frantic action. Movers arrived approx 11am.
-Most things moved. Our last dregs of packing, including food, left at flat.

Sat 12 Nov
-Unpacking.

Sun 13 Nov
-Unpacking. Packing at old place, getting last dregs.
-Finished beta-ing a fic at old place, sent it off - as old flat had internet, new house not so much.
-Last boxes and items moved to new place with Paul's help.
-TV night (West World) with m, Paul, Alex. Grazing on the takeout options at Northland shops.

Mon 14 Nov
-7.5 earthquake struck at 12:02am. See here for full information.
-I woke up and went back to sleep. Joel, more sensitive to aftershocks, got up at 2am and checked things.
-Woke up in the morning to damage up and down country, work not yet safe to go in.
-2 deaths. Some injuries. Much damage.
-Spent most of day distracted, watching news reports, feeling aftershocks.
-Caught up with Sam in Kelburn.
-First meals cooked in new house!

Tues 15 Nov
-Still can't go in to work
-Unpacking
-Internet set up!
-Truly torrential rain hit, like, 2/3 average Nov month rainfall in one day
-Wellington main roads flooded
-Spent most of day distracted, watching news reports, feeling aftershocks.
-Working on second Yuletide beta. Trying to figure out assignment.
-Also pondering how to anchor myself politically - in both deed and thought.
-Late notice: can apparently go into work tomorrow.

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all we got didn't cost us everything
SSar's Beast
morbane
Usually, in the shower, I get writing ideas. Today it clicked that in one week we transfer a LOT of money and sign the deeds of settlement on OUR HOUSE. It, huh, does not feel real. It has, ironically, a 'life for rent' sense, in that if someone told me tomorrow, "oh, there was a problem, you haven't actually bought a house," my first reaction would be closer to, "Oh, okay," than !!!!!??.

I want to send the vendors, a mother and daughter, a densely-written card. We haven't spoken to them; have only communicated very little through agents. I'm stuck on I hope you don't miss this place too much and We will love it so much, I love it already and I wish you well wherever you're going. All very... high level. Gushy. I want to find my way towards something specific enough to be believably personal.

Other things: Work is fine. One of the most knowledgeable members of my team is leaving, moving countries. I really like him and will miss him. As a consequence, my boss sent around the job ad she's about to put up. It was weird to see a very similar ad to the one I answered from the opposite side. Hard to put into words how much I'd had to guess at interpreting it then.

Yuletide is EVERYTHING ELSE. There's a pop-psych text/saying - I forget how it goes - about the large scheduled events in your life, like work hours or picking your kids up from school or doing this thing every week - being like large rocks you put in a jar, and it looks full but - then there's large gravel-ish bits of things that are more or less scheduled and more or less necessary, and you shake them in around the rocks - then there are smaller pebbly things you fit in around all these necessary things - and then you fill your life up with the tinier things, sand - and - you keep filling it up with smaller particles, even though on paper/in your head it's already full. Right now for me Yuletide is water. In and around everything thing else in my life, in and around every other thought.

I'm the kind of person who hits the snooze button a lot when their alarm goes off. When I go to sleep thinking about Yuletide, I don't wake up and hit the snooze button. I just roll over and catch up on my phone on Yuletide things.

Yuletide, water, is also like a strong current. I dip into it and I'm pulled far away from a conversation, to a different place in a day. I love it. I love being swept up in it.

After I post this, I'm going to
-wash some mushrooms and then braise them, as the first step in making marinated mushrooms, as a contribution to a lunch at a friend's home tomorrow
-work on a Yuletide task (making up fake other-fandom questions to send to someone whose author has a question that's specific to the fandom they matched on)
-try to re-book transferring our internet connection from the current house to the next
-work on a fic for a different fanwork exchange, Trick or Treat.

Other things I want to post about: recent exchange gifts & works; mnf-ness.

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Dear Yuletide Writer 2016
SSar's Beast
morbane
Thank you for reading, whether you are matched to me or just curious! I'm very sorry this is so late this year. I hope you find useful inspiration below.

I am Morbane on AO3.


General preferencesCollapse )


Fandoms: Jorinde and Joringel -- Pokémon Go -- The Shadow (1994) -- Simoun -- Soon I Will Be Invincible -- Sucker Punch (2011)Collapse )

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Important Things, in Questionable Order
SSar's Beast
morbane
1. Yuletide! This yearly writing exchange for small, obscure, or ephemeral fandoms is in full swing. I help run it. If you like writing to other people's prompts, and to deadlines, and finding out that someone else is interested in YOUR cherished fictional universe would make your year, come play in Yuletide.

Here's a post with lots of links.

I have been remiss in promoting this, because nominations are nearly over (8 hours and change remaining.) A lot of people participate in Yuletide without submitting suggestions for the pool of available canons (books, movies, musicals, TV commercials, blog posts, plays, comics, anime, etc) - but if the inclusion or exclusion of your favourite thing will determine whether or not you want to participate, better submit a nomination at the tag set now.


2. As of two days ago, we have secured a house. I like this house. This house has an upstairs and a downstairs, and mature trees, and a gate out to a little city park. It has a room that is perfectly suited to movie nights. It is close to a set of shops, and to the city, and to bus routes. If you ask me, I will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about this house.


3. l am so happy about Pokémon Go. So happy. There is more to say there too, but it has given me immense joy.

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