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Dear Yuletide Writer 2019
SSar's Beast
morbane
Hello! I'm Morbane on AO3. Thank you for reading!

This year's fandoms:
-Hive Mind (Amber, Claire - either)
-Sucker Punch (Rocket, Sweet Pea)
-The Chain - Fleetwood Mac
-The Lute Player - Fairy Tale (Queen)
-Swan Lake - ballet (Odile, Odette)
-Healer and Seer Series - Hanley (Torina, Dahmis, Landen)

Do-Not-Wants: harm to hands, addiction and substance abuse, amnesia*.
Additional DNW, for Lute Player: narrative support for religious conversion as a justification for war.
Additional DNW, for Healer and Seer: infidelity.
*Amnesia is OK generally for Healer and Seer, and is OK to be mentioned for Hive Mind if part of a background plot involving personality resets.

I would prefer not to receive interactive fiction. My ideal gift length for this challenge is between 200 and 20,000 words. (Drabbles can be hit-or-miss for me, so someone else might appreciate your effort more; if your story needs to be longer then 20,000 then go forth intrepid writer and follow your muse, but all else being equal, l like reading a lot of different things on the first day the collection opens.)

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 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.

Hive Mind Series - Janet EdwardsCollapse )

Sucker Punch (2011) Collapse )

The Chain - Fleetwood Mac (Song)Collapse )

The Lute Player (Fairy Tale) Collapse )

Лебединое озеро - Чайковски | Swan Lake - Tchaikovsky Collapse )

Healer and Seer Series - Victoria HanleyCollapse )

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Tags:

shortpost
SSar's Beast
morbane
Non-Yuletide things:
-I went to some of get/together again; it was lovely and relaxed. (30 fans, one weekend, fannish pictionary and presentations and AO3 quizzes.) I felt like I didn't interact all that much but it also felt nice not to have to. And amusing to be in a crowd where one's small-talk question, "Have you read anything good lately?" is met with, "Well, I've been on an MCU kick..." Did get some book recs too, thanks especially to sixthlight.

-I have read Gideon the Ninth and also the second Alpennia book, The Mystic Marriage. Both were fun, though I had quibbles with both. For Gideon the Ninth, I'm not really a murder mystery fan, even though I very much appreciated the setting and the protagonist's snarky commentary. So I just wanted to know things like 'why can't the Emperor come to Canaan House?' that the book was not interested in telling me. Oh well. I liked it enough to find out if the world is widened in book 2.

-I went to a friend's circus performance. The Circus Hub school in Newtown has quarterly-ish showcases and they're always a really good night. I love the pole and trapeze acts; unexpectedly, this time, the act I loved most was a hula hoop act. There was just this beautiful moment where the performer's hoop and body followed a perfect arc that their previous movements had set up and that my eye was expecting and it felt exactly right. Really satisfying. Since it had a Hallowe'en theme, and to evoke IT, they'd rigged up a cloud of red balloons to drop on the audience at the end.... and the cloud did drop.... as a single mass. Laughter and groans. My friend laughed afterwards. "We practised and practised that... and had to gather up the balloons again every time..."

-There's an interdepartmental Māori language meet up next week. I'm excited and so nervous. The gap between what I know and conversational level is so wide! But I don't want to pass up a practice opportunity.


Yuletide things
-It's the navel-gazing part of the year where I emerge from tagmodding (the sorting of the tags that participants can request and offer in the current round of the challenge) and wonder if it's all brilliant and fun, or the most kafkaesque gatekeeping exercise in existence. A little bit of both. I think the team worked really well this year, but the interface demands some truly elaborate procedures, and some frustrating bugs have emerged in the sign-ups phase. (On... Wednesday? I think? I spent all of my lunch hour and over two hours in the evening fixing a problem, and that was actually one of the nicer stretches because I was so excited that the problem could be fixed. It also required work from others.) I also reflect that between throwing myself into Yuletide, recovering afterwards, and not being much of a poster/chatter anyway... most of my interactions with people in my beloved hobby are as an authority figure. Further, in so many interactions, I'm asking people to do things differently, or telling them no. But there isn't a solution for that right now. There's only a solution in other parts of the year when I can really take off the mod hat and put work into friendships in a way that is separate from this. For now I need to put that thought aside... and enjoy the fun parts that our hard work has earned us, and do my best to facilitate others' fun!

And the good parts are good! So, yeah, haha, come do Yuletide. ;P Get swept up in a gorgeous, creative, crowd, write something that challenges you and that someone is longing to read, and get a rare gift of your own. Sign-ups close roughly Sunday.

Yuletide exchange promotional image using an image of children on a sled in the snow. Text says Yuletide - A rare fandoms gift exchange. Nominations 2-11 Oct. Sign-ups 27 Oct - 4 Nov. Works due 18 Dec.

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this is my brain on Yuletide
SSar's Beast
morbane
It's the last day of Yuletide nominations today - there are 8 hours and change to go, as the deadline is 9am UTC. Midnight UTC has passed on the 11th.

Yuletide exchange promotional image using a seaside postcard. Text says Yuletide - Dip your toes into a rare fandom. Nominations 2-11 October. Sign-ups 27 October - 4 November. Works due 18 December.
^ROSENCRANTZ MADE IMAGES AND I LOVE THEM.

My head is running on a Yuletide program, eating up more and more memory, at all times. I love it but it's intense.

I had a goal to save up comments on Yuletide fics - from all years, just refreshing the all-collections dashboard page - until I had 100 of them, and then post them all in one go. Fun milestone and the reward of people's happy responses. I got to 81 and decided that was good enough, especially if I wanted to also remind people of Yuletide, in time for nominations. So I posted them two nights ago. I might make it an annual tradition.


Other things: the Spring weather is enormously changeable but I'm loving the daylight savings switch. It's also local body elections and I need to drop my papers off at the not!library TONIGHT. (The restoration of the closed central library is one of the key election issues.) Joel left this morning at 5am for a business trip, which perfectly overlaps the Yuletide tag sorting period. That is good, because during this period, I do respond when someone talks to me, it's just that there's a lag. "Hey, do you mind if I close the curtains?" [thirty seconds pass] "Oh, sure."

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a peg for a big tent?
SSar's Beast
morbane
I'm stalled on finding a role within WorldCon because I just don't know what the inside workings of a con look like. Can anyone suggest what I might try? Here, here's the Divisions page. Tech would be too steep a learning curve; I can write things and edit things and keep spreadsheets and email and call people as long as emailing and calling people doesn't feel like asking for too much - I don't like cold-calling people where I don't think they have anything to gain from my call. But all of that is so broad! The people I know who are already involved are doing Events things, and I don't think I have skills to lend to managing a stage.

I tried a book I'd seen requested in exchanges: Daughter of Mystery, by Heather Rose Jones. I loved the magic worldbuilding, where magic was woven into roughly Catholic theology and explained as the miracles of the saints, but wanted a stronger sense of both of the two protagonists' characters, and more build-up for the romance (it's f/f). Also, a major plot point seemed to require long bearing of the idiot ball. Still, it kept me up late when in Auckland visiting parents.

The Yuletide fic exchange is nearly here! We had a tonne of meetings today and they went very well. Yesterday I thought I was a fool for scheduling an online meeting at 7am on the morning after the time zone shift stole an hour; right now I am mentally exhausted, but congratulating myself on silver linings. It will be easy to go to sleep tonight an hour earlier than what my body clock is used to. And shared tagmod/mod enthusiasm is very encouraging.

I really wish I could go to sleep now, but it's 6pm and I nap poorly. Attempting a beta job instead.

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Te Mutunga o Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (End of Māori Language Week)
SSar's Beast
morbane
I've had two breakthrough moments this year in learning Māori. They weren't marked by fluency, really. Instead, each was marked by a revelation that I could use the structures and vocabulary and knowledge I already had to do something I wanted to do, that I had come up with independently of the exercises in our workbooks. It's such a joyful transition in any skill, when performance becomes use.

The first time, we'd been revising Māori numbers in class, and an online friend (thank you that friend | kia ora e hoa) mentioned improving their skills in long multiplication, and I realised I only needed a couple more verbs in order to do an example alongside my friend, writing out the steps in full in te reo. My friend supplied a 3-digit and a 4-digit number to multiply together. I gulped. I don't do multi-digit multiplication all that often in a normal week. It took me forty minutes and a lot of scrolling in chat to complete that one equation - no symbols or numerals, of course! It felt fantastic.

The second time was a few weeks ago. We learned a simple set of prepositions - above, below, behind, etc - ages ago, and were revising them then. Suddenly I realised I could make a very simple puzzle out of statements of objects' relative positions. And even better, I knew how to phrase the instructions. That might not seem like much, but we have been sticking to very simple structures in class, and I find it much easier to expand my vocabulary independently when learning a new language than I do my grammar.

I created the puzzle, tested it on my classmates/workmates, and then promised to create a more complex puzzle for the monthly office newsletter.

If you're interested, the puzzle is below! I think it's actually possible to solve without knowing te reo - all the main vocabulary is supplied. Though it may be a little tedious! Let me know if you give it a go and I'll send you a link to the answer.

Porowhita Puzzle for Māori Language MonthCollapse )


You may notice that most of the instructional text for this one is in English. The first version of the puzzle was basically step 2: here is a list of statements like 'white is above yellow', put them together. When you know that white is above yellow, you also know that yellow is not on the top line and white is not on the bottom line. And if you know that blue is to the left of white, and that green is above blue, then you almost have the entire placement of all of those four items, with merely some uncertainty as to whether green is in the top leftmost corner or yellow is in the bottom rightmost corner. Etc. But it wasn't supposed to be too hard, because it was about testing one's knowledge of colour and position vocabulary. The second version is designed to lean even more on language practice than on puzzle-solving, since the first part of the puzzle is pure language practice.

Anyway, this was fun, and it's nice to see myself making progress in self-motivation as well as fluency.

Tell me of your own progress with skills and languages, e ngā hoa (friends) (I think) (e hoa is friend but is that how you make it plural in the vocative? a question for next class)!

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and it seems to me I live my life like a candle burning at both ends
SSar's Beast
morbane
(I loved Rocketman, btw)

I keep imagining the smart, collected post I'll make, touching on many things that are easy to respond to and engage with, showing how I've improved as a person. It's not going to happen. Instead here's a post like what you get when you open a cupboard stuffed full of papers and they all flow out.

Fandom5K
This fandom writing exchange was important for me, as it has been each year it's run. This time I had my friend @eglantiere as a recipient, and oh, I panicked. Writing was a saga with a million false starts, and the story I eventually posted was conceived of halfway between deadline and reveals, and most of its wordcount emerged in midnight hours. I'm not happy with that but I'm happy with the idea.

In fairness, most things since then have been written by their deadlines. But I haven't signed up to anything since fandom5k ended. @Crossovering would have tempted me, but it doesn't seem to be running. The multifandom flash[speed] exchange with song prompts is SERIOUSLY tempting me, but I keep getting stuck on how to prompt. It's happening This Week, if anyone's interested.

WorldCon
WorldCon is happening in my city next year.

My. City.

I am tremendously excited about this. I've been vaguely aware of WorldCon for a while. I've tried some large cons and they've been a mixed bag. But WorldCon has such a huge overlap with my fannish friends, and... it's my city. Also, because Wellington is small, I have connections to a lot of the WorldCon 2020 organisers. (Which isn't saying much, because by necessity they know a lot of people. It just makes it feel more personal to me.)

And so WorldCon 2019 is happening right now in Dublin, and our WorldCon 2020 promotional accounts have been posting 'the weather a year in advance' updates on social media, with beautiful views over the harbour... This is such a beautiful city. I love it so much. I love the idea of people coming here and seeing it and connecting with others here.

I am so hoping I get to meet people and enthuse with people about all kinds of topics. I am so hoping people enjoy their visit here. I hope the whole thing goes well.

I bought a supporting membership, obviously, but keep dithering on volunteering. Can I actually commit? I attended a meeting about nine months ago, when we first won the bid, but haven't got any further, because the last thing I want is to dive in and then surface, spluttering. The last thing I want to do is flake out.

The other thing is the reading. I read for work; I read for fun; I read critically; but I read so, so narrowly. One of my biggest hobby activities is beta-reading/editing other people's work, reading carefully and earnestly and writing up where I see the gap between what they've said and what they're trying to say. But books, no; my published reading has stagnated horribly in recent years. So the obligatory Hugo reading worries me a lot even while I see it as an opportunity to lean back into mainstream reading.


Also part of me wonders what the heck I'm doing thinking of major WorldCon volunteering when I haven't sorted out my fandom commitments enough to give me space to keep the house properly clean and also do something actually truly community-oriented, like volunteering with the Red Cross.

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Tags:

Dear DJ
SSar's Beast
morbane
This is my letter for the Jukebox fanworks exchange. Thanks for reading!

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 like reading about characters doing constructive tasks together, for example to relax or to solve problems. 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.

Art likes
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 seeing characters in doorways or on stairways. I especially like like jewel tones and earth tones, and muted colours alongside greys. Though neons and rainbows can also be fun! I love art in the style of stained glass, or Art Deco. Playing cards can be fun. Mocked-up documents (handwritten letters, personnel files with pictures) can be fun. Please ignore these notes if they don't give you helpful ideas - as I'm not a visual artist, I have no idea what I'd find helpful as prompts.

Prompts by medium
FanficFanart
All Moments Leading to This - Lucid 3 (Song)All Moments Leading to This - Lucid 3 (Song)
Brother - Kodaline (Song)Falcon in the Dive (The Scarlet Pimpernel) - Wildhorn/Knighton (Song)
The Chain - Fleetwood Mac (Song)Spectrum - Florence + the Machine (Song)
Falcon in the Dive (The Scarlet Pimpernel) - Wildhorn/Knighton (Song)
Gold Dust Woman - Fleetwood Mac (Song)Podfic
My Trigger - Miike Snow (Music Video)All Moments Leading to This - Lucid 3 (Song)
Serenade - Steve Miller Band (Song)
Sons & Daughters - The Decemberists (Song)
Spectrum - Florence + the Machine (Song)


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

Brother - Kodaline (Song)Collapse )

The Chain - Fleetwood Mac (Song)Collapse )

Falcon in the Dive (The Scarlet Pimpernel) - Wildhorn/Knighton (Song)Collapse )

Gold Dust Woman - Fleetwood Mac (Song)Collapse )

My Trigger - Miike Snow (Music Video)Collapse )

Serenade - Steve Miller Band (Song)Collapse )

Sons & Daughters - The Decemberists (Song)Collapse )

Spectrum - Florence + the Machine (Song)Collapse )

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Where the chips fall: two national preoccupations of the day
SSar's Beast
morbane
1. The Finance and Expenditure Committee began hearings today on the Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Bill, which can be read in full here. Written submissions from the public are still welcome until 6pm tonight. I've been following Stuff's live updates, which are very interesting.

2. A Spinoff columnist ranked all chip flavours in NZ, and her hilarious follow-up report, "I Told New Zealand What Chips to Eat and New Zealand Told Me to Fuck Off" speaks for itself.

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Terrorism close to home
SSar's Beast
morbane
NZ terror attack; I'm safe but upsetCollapse )

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Dear Once Upon a Fic Writer
SSar's Beast
morbane
This is my letter for the Once Upon Fic exchange! ([community profile] once_upon_fic).

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 )

RumpelstiltskinCollapse )

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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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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.)

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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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