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In the flow of writing
SSar's Beast
Lately I have been: writing, beta-ing, house-hunting, working, socialising a little. I had a big fancy birthday party. It went how I hoped it would go, but left me even more keenly aware of all the people I need to speak to properly. House hunting is weird: it doesn't take up a lot of obvious time, because the market is terrible and The Housing Crisis is a recurrent national headline, but it takes up a lot of mental space.

I signed up for Rosencrantz's Once Upon a Fic fanfic exchange, which has recently ended. I got an exuberant and funny gift based on a nursery rhyme:

The Cake is a Lie (1726 words) by dreamiflame
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Lion and the Unicorn (Nursery Rhymes & Songs)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Unicorn (The Lion and the Unicorn), Lion (The Lion and the Unicorn)
Additional Tags: Drunkenness, Crack Treated Seriously, Heraldic Devices
Summary: And other complaints of mistreated heraldic devices.

The Lion and the Unicorn have a standing appointment... but the Unicorn isn't quite as enthusiastic about it as the Lion is.

The rest of Once Upon a Fic 2016's stories are here. There are some really good stories! They are based on American tall tales, Greek mythology, Grimm, Perrault, urban legends, the Epic of Gilgamesh, and much more.

What I wrote:
Dragon Kisses (4704 words) by Morbane
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Kemp Owyne (Traditional Ballad), English and Scottish Popular Ballads - Francis James Child
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Additional Tags: Dragons, Fairy Tale Curses, some instances of reckless self-disregard, Action/Adventure, Constructive Criticism Welcome
Summary: Finding the person who can turn Isobel back, from dragon to girl, is only the beginning.

Sorry about the summary. I should probably refine it. It's accurate but cheesy. But it also sells the story short. It's action/adventure and romance, and the romance is between a brave princess and a fair maiden who is temporarily a dragon.

This story really really REALLY wanted to be a novel. I planned the story, started researching it, realised how big the story was getting, whined to anyone who would listen, and went to my back-up alternative plan. Then I gave up on that in dissatisfaction and decided to write the "short" version of the story that was trying to be the novel.

I would still like to write that novel! It joins the glum pile of story ideas that are exchange remnants - plots that I fell in love with, then had to acknowledge as too ambitious to tackle in the months given for an exchange. I have so, so many.

That was the only exchange I signed up for, but in the meantime I wrote three pinch hits.

Hourglasses and Hubris (5000 words) by Morbane
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Kylo Ren/Luke Skywalker
Characters: Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Snoke (Star Wars), Kylo Ren
Additional Tags: Dark, Alternate Universe - Harry Potter Setting, Murder, Minor Character Death, Magic-Users, Alternate Universe - Hogwarts, Unrequited Love, Unresolved Sexual Tension, Horror, Uncle/Nephew Incest, Manipulative Relationship, Constructive Criticism Welcome, Horcruxes
Summary: Young Ben Solo's feelings - and the magic that they sometimes set off - cause him only problems. Unfortunately, as he learns to control his feelings and harness their power, so do others.

My recipient wanted Kylo/Luke fic and also suggested a Hogwarts AU. It was a lot of fun. As with the story above, it was only at the very last minute that I figured out how to tell the story I wanted to tell in a suitably condensed form. (There are some scrapped bits involving Rey and Finn. BB8 would make the cutest owl. A boobok owl.</i>) It isn't as Kylo/Luke-ish as I wanted it to be, the ending is a bit rushed, and the 'manipulative relationship' tag relates to Kylo and Snoke. Possibly I should look at the tags again to ensure that people know what they're getting when they click on it. I liked my integrations, though.

I also wrote a pinch hit for Smut Swap.

you've almost convinced me I'm real (6335 words) by Morbane
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Interstella 5555
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Octave/Record Studio Guy with Glasses
Characters: Octave (Interstella 5555), Record Studio Guy with Glasses
Additional Tags: Brainwashing, Xeno, Awkward Sexual Situations, Awkward Sex, Pining, Extremely Dubious Consent, Misunderstandings, Happy Ending, Alien/Human Relationships, sort of For Science!, Constructive Criticism Welcome
Summary: Octave doesn't remember his encounter with Tristan - because it wasn't him at the time. And Tristan isn't likely to forget.

I'm not good at porn, but for SmutSwap, participants matched on tags that described specific tropes or sex acts. That helped: brainwashing and awkward sex were specific things the recipient requested. Awkward sex is a lot easier for me to write than most other types. It was a pleasure to revisit this movie/music video.

Then I wrote a pinch hit for Ship Swap.

Invitation (1631 words) by Morbane
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Shoujo Kakumei Utena | Revolutionary Girl Utena
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Kaoru Kozue/Kaoru Miki
Characters: Kaoru Kozue, Kaoru Miki, Himemiya Anthy
Additional Tags: Sibling Incest, double standards, Mistaken Identity, Emotional Manipulation, Denial, Obsession, Pre-Canon, Present Tense, Constructive Criticism Welcome
Summary: When Miki joins the Student Council, the cracks begin to show in his relationship with Kozue.

Despite the word count, this one was probably the hardest. The story is perhaps a little lighter on content than I would prefer for an exchange gift; writing Utena feels like walking on ice. Some part of canon I've forgotten or that I've misinterpreted will crack under me. I was aware of this pinch hit for a very long time before claiming it, because I didn't think I could write Miki/Kozue. Now, of course, I have another story idea in my head for them, more elegant than this one, but we'll see if it gets written.

(Thanks for beta-ing, kurushi! Thanks for cheering me on and humouring me, NightsMistress, Rosencrantz, dhampyresa, Kaesa, thedevilchicken, Isis, especially!)

I currently have open: my Jukebox assignment, and then three other assignments to complete by mid-late June. The next two weekends will be interesting! I took Friday 3 June off. I had better be writing that day - but not writing Jukebox.

ETA: I forgot to mention that the Works in Progress Big Bang challenge is at the stage of artist claims. This challenge has a wide range of fandoms and artists/fanmixers/other media creators will be very, VERY welcome; perhaps there's something that appeals to you.

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