Yuletide 2017 Exchange Letter

Dear Writer!

I apologize in advance for the massive letter I am about to inflict on you. You are a saint if you just read the stuff relevant to the fandom we matched on!

I hope these notes are helpful. Feel free to just focus on the fandom we matched on and the DNWs. Please don’t feel overwhelmed by my usual wall o’ text. The challenge notes and additional prompts are designed to be useful in context and should be easily skippable using the Table of Contents on the post.

I was not expecting to be so excited about Yuletide this year, but I’m in love with every single one of these fandoms, and I am so grateful you’ll be creating something for me. Hope you have a wonderful Yuletide!

General squicks, triggers, and loves by category.

General:

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I like deep characterization and backstory, family, deep platonic bonds, worldbuilding, chosen family, digging into a character’s mental/emotional space, asexual romance, romance, established relationships, developing trust, character studies, identity exploration, character competence, fluff, angst, and situational humor. Also happen to love dance, exceptional sword-wielding, tea, cats, music, and geeking out on technology and science or language (I adore language and words!) whenever appropriate (and sometimes when it isn’t).

Please don’t write graphic violence or gore, graphic description of open wounds or sickness-related yuck. I’m fine with knowing they’re happening, just g-rated descriptions please. Also please no betrayal/infidelity (except where canonical), tragedy/deathfic (mentions of canonical deaths fine), horror, character or ideology bashing, smut without any buildup or characterization first, on-screen uncensored profanity, embarrassment, or body-related humor. I also have no problem with assassination but do have a problem with murder. I know. Fine line.

Style/Structure:

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I like lengths from drabble to epic. I like poetry, N+1 fics, mixed media, interactive fiction, traditional narrative, footnotes, and multi-language fics with translations, including binary or canon-specific stuff. I’m open to every person and tense.

Please don’t make readerfic, scripts, teleplays, podfics, or audio-dependent formats. Audio on the side like a fanmix is fine.

Tropes:

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I like superhumans, living weapons, competence, soulmates, soulmarks (not names), soulbonds, secret relationship, sharing a bed, domestic fic, holiday fic, arranged marriage, fake marriage, friends to lovers, rivals to lovers, AIs, accidental relationships, time travel with consequences, fantasy AUs, missing sense especially deafness or blindness, animal transformations/shapeshifter, brainwashing, amnesia. I like well thought out crossovers and the occasional fusion, canon-divergent AUs more than total AUs.

I don’t mind coffee shop AU, school AU, reincarnation, historical AU.

Please don’t write alternate gender norms, vampires, mind control, zombie, supernatural, daemons, post-apocalyptic, instalove.

Kinks:

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I like bondage, breathplay, sensory deprivation, bloodplay, weapons play, delayed orgasm, some D/s, situational power dynamics type dub-con, phone sex, wall sex, girl on top, very very quiet sex, using powers during sex, consensual somnophilia, voyeurism.

I’ll read but am not a fan of pain play, oral, cock rings/cages, or dirty talk  (like: where one partner is telling the other what to do or one partner talking the other through sex like in this fic or this fic, don’t like: stock porn phrases, e.g. “I’m so wet for you”, “I want your big cock inside me”, etc. or lavish descriptions of body parts and clothes).

Please don’t write scat, water sports, bodily fluids other than blood (am fine knowing there’s fluids in sex, just don’t want to read any graphic descriptions at all), lifestyle D/s, ageplay, mpreg, consent play, incest, underage, a/b/o, straight up dub-con, the endearment “babe” or “baby” if not canonical.

 


Fandoms

 

Short Story: (spoilers!) To Kiss the Granite Choir – Michael Anthony Ashley

 

Canon and Where to Find It

Beneath Ceaseless Skies. So I have a favorite fantasy short story pub for a reason. All three of these stories have awesome worldbuilding with fascinating underlying concepts that may or may not have unintended consequences that the characters don’t understand and bring down on their own heads or do and exploit masterfully.

In To Kiss the Granite Choir, the main character falls head over heels for a woman Cantiléna of the Baremescre, a people who call sword-fighting singing and who grow their hymns / swords from their bodies. And despite the story being framed around their wedding, it doesn’t take over the whole story. And it’s messy and complicated and he’s a stubborn, willful personality who isn’t stopped for a minute by the fact that he’s no good at singing at all compared to the people he’s landed in and his mouth lands him in so much trouble and so does his finally understanding what his companion was trying to tell him from the beginning. There’s a lot of not telling people things but it never feels stupid, just real and messy and emotional and Cantiléna’s brother is funny and the whole story is just wonderful. Except the end. It’s horrible in a good way and leaves a wide open door for some fanfic.

Characters: Eroico of the Baremescre, Cantiléna of the Baremescre, Imre Usaym Balgas

My request was for Any.

I kind of adore all the hidden cultural connotations, the brotherly/friendly relationship between Imre and Eroico, but especially the huge cultural misunderstandings and obvious growing relationship with Cantiléna. I would love Cantiléna’s point of view, more Eroico being adorable, or (I would love you FOREVER) fix-it where Imre doesn’t completely transform and lose so much in the process. Goodness, I’d take worldbuilding meta for this story, I love it so much.

I love the idea of the Baremescre and their songs and I love the fact that Cantiléna falling for Imre seems to have a lot of social implications she’s conflicted about dealing with. I’d love to know what she was thinking when she first started falling for him, which seemed to be his impassioned words at their first encounter when he stole her song and you’d think she would have been upset about it enough to not be attracted. And I cannot tell you how much I’d love to know what was going through her and Eroico’s head as he was translating.

I can’t help but think the brother and sister are close and Eroico clearly loved the idea of Imre as a brother in law. Did he and Cantiléna talk all the time? Was that why he liked Imre so well?

And did I mention I’d adore fix-it where Imre didn’t misunderstand and go too far with the transformation and Ariosa didn’t die? I’d love, love, love seeing him and Cantiléna on equal footing and in a marriage at last where they could live as married. If that’s not something that interests you, I’d settle for canonical and it would be interesting to see how they worked out the power dynamics of him needing caretaking, him being better at song, and the pain of how to work out being married in their circumstances. Oh, Imre. :shakes head sadly:


 

Short Story: (spoilers!) Scry – Anne Ivy

 

Canon and Where to Find It

Beneath Ceaseless Skies. So I have a favorite fantasy short story pub for a reason. All three of these stories have awesome worldbuilding with fascinating underlying concepts that may or may not have unintended consequences that the characters don’t understand and bring down on their own heads or do and exploit masterfully.

And then there’s Scry with enemy lovers who don’t ever really talk through their emotions and relationship and he keeps fighting her family afterward and she knew she was going to be disfigured and simply let it happen anyway so she could use her power with more strength and I was shocked at how invested I was in both of them by the end of the story and I loved the way he treated her and looked at her for all his terrible promise. Just so good.

Characters: Eyre Isri Esthe, Karnon Dae

My request was for Any.

Gah. I don’t even know where to start with these two. I’d love to see more into Karnon Dae’s head (something I almost never say about the guy, but seriously), or see some of their whole happy life together in, well, kinda post-canon, or really, anything. I have the hardest time thinking of prompts for this story but I just love it to pieces and desperately wanted more.


 

Short Story: And Her Eyes Sewn Shut with Unicorn Hair — Rosamund Hodge

 

Canon and Where to Find It

Beneath Ceaseless Skies. So I have a favorite fantasy short story pub for a reason. All three of these stories have awesome worldbuilding with fascinating underlying concepts that may or may not have unintended consequences that the characters don’t understand and bring down on their own heads or do and exploit masterfully.

And then there’s the heartbreaking wonderful And Her Eyes Sewn Shut with Unicorn Hair with betrayals and worldbuilding reveals and deadly unicorns who kill most people simply because it’s their nature and the bargains the characters make for power to save their loved ones and the sister relationship that always makes me cry and the main pairing that’s complicated in its own right considering how it starts off and the whole story is so much more rewarding than it has a right to be, seeing as it probably needed to be fleshed out so it had more room to breathe. But it’s good anyway and has some room for ficcing.

Characters: Idrask, Marie, Zéphine

My request was for Any.

Post-canon sister relationship, post-canon romantic relationship, pre-canon worldbuilding with how all this started in the first place with the unicorns and the bargain, or pre-canon sister relationship. I’d love to see that missing scene of wedded and bedded between Idrask and Zéphine or see their marriage that drove him to make another bargain or see the fallout/aftermath and how things changed after everything that happened. Really, I’d be so happy with anything here.


 

TV: Dance Academy

 

Canon and Where to Find It

Three seasons available on Hulu. Relationship appears in the third season.

This was my surprise canon. I dipped into it because of a fanvid basically and stayed initially for the dance. Then I fell hard for the characters. There’s an almost soapy teen show premise and execution but it takes the characters seriously, and they grow and change and struggle and all the drama feels true to the characters, and there’s actual grief and disillusionment and those brief moments of transcendence. I was surprised at how good this show is. It’s up there with Leverage now on my comfort watching list.

Characters: Wes Cooper, Abigail Armstrong

My request was for both of them.

I never thought I’d fall so hard for Abigail, and Wes won me over in one episode and I love the two of them so much. He knew her well enough to send her bubble wrap, and they were just so sweet together.

I’d really love to see more Wes/Abigail whether that’s post-canon or in between seasons when she was out in Barcelona and they fell for each other initially, especially considering Ethan won’t talk about it either. They looked so happy together and I’d love to see how the meet went over in the first place and how he swept her off her feet or vice versa. There were lovely little hints about their history in their conversations.

Or first time fic. Or romantic fluff. Or not first time fic, like reunion or established relationship sex. I’d love to see them happy. Abigail deserves all the happiness. I love that they get to work together too. So post-canon fic and them at the company would be awesome with choreographer + dancer competence. I’m a sucker for both competence and good dance scenes, and they’re both workaholics.

If you’ve seen the movie, just don’t break them up please!

 

 


Challenges

I am totally up for receiving gifts for:

 

Misses Clause (women)

 

Women I’ve requested are:

Cantiléna of the Baremescre

A fiery, sword-fighting daughter of the Maestro (or head of the Baremescre basically). She has lots of personality and some great scenes in the story that hint at what’s going on in her head. I would love to see more of what’s going on in her head. That scene where she’s watching Imre at the beginning while Eroico’s translating, her comments on the graveyard, and the scene where she leaves Imre because she’s too strong for him are particular moments I wished I could have seen from her perspective. And anything with the singing. I love competent sword-fighting, and seeing her perspective on it or how she grew up with it or when she grew her hymn would all be fascinating.

Eyre Isri Esthe

Basically a queen who is abandoned by her family and goes to work for their enemies as a scryer. She has so much awesome backstory and personality and power and a compelling lack of fear. She embraces the ugly parts of her destiny and is willing to promise herself to what could have been a terrible end, in order to better control her own present and wield power where she may. I would love to see more about her before or after the main story timeline.

Spoilers! Marie

A princess who loves the unicorns as she was raised to, with a pure heart, mostly. She lives in a world where purity of heart is measured in sole devotion to the unicorns and their beauty and communion, and she breaks that devotion she was raised to for love of her sister. I absolutely love that her personality, her individuality wasn’t tied to a romance at all but to love of her sister, who never even tried to get close to her in return. By the end of the story, I really wasn’t sure if I loved the main romance as much as I loved the story of these sisters. I would love to see more of their growing up years or their relationship after Marie’s been given to the unicorns, or even after Zéphine dies and Marie remains with the unicorns forever. I’ll wallow in the angst and tragedy for this storyline. Marie can remember now and yet, she still cared more for her sister, and I just want more of who she is.

Zéphine

I love her rebellious heart and her cleverness in how she used her marriage to her advantage to give it up and that Idrask loved her heart and gave it back to her. I just love who she is and how underneath all her pain and resentments, she cares so much about the right things, and her bargain with the unicorns. I’d love to see her ruling. I’d love to see her relationships. I’d love to see her dancing (without dying during or afterward though). I love this woman.

Abigail Armstrong

I’m not sure when I fell in love with this character so hard, but I loved her best of all by the time the third season ended. I love how much she feels, I love her strength, her sheer competence, her snark and honesty and her attitude, her being the criminal mastermind with Christian as her minion, her relationship with her friends, the hurt hidden behind the way she told Kat she hadn’t done the breaking up between them. I love how she pushes down her emotions so she won’t break and how passionate she is when she lets them out. I’d love to see so much more of her, listen to her particular brand of sass and see her dance and see how she bridges and connects to people, even though she doesn’t need them and usually shuts them out. I love her so much.


 

Wrapping Paper (art)

 

General Likes:

I love so many art styles: line art, pen and ink, pencil drawings, colored pencils, paint, watercolor, digital art, etc. I’d say my favorite things in art tend to be the awe-inspiring realistic with vibrant colors and sharp or soft edges, line art / ink / pencil theme pieces that pick up visual symbols of the characters, and cute stylized fluff pieces with romance or humor in mind. I also adore illustrative art that captures a scene or moment of fic or canon. I would absolutely love landscapes or still lifes of any of the scenery or environments or architecture, etc. of any of my fantasy canons.

General DNW:

Please don’t draw any of my general, trope, or kink-related DNWs. Also, emaciated character styling, really red noses.

Prompts:

I’d love to see art of the dancing or “singing” in any of the appropriate canons. I love dance imagery and Marie with the unicorns or even Zéphine or Abigail dancing (or even dancing for Wes) would put me over the moon. I’d love to see art of any of the characters making the bargains with unicorn or the bull. Swords and sword fighting strikes me the same way as dance when well done, and I’d love to see Cantiléna or Imre or Eroico in the midst of a song. For Esthe, I’d love art of her scrying in particular. But I’d also truly love any little moment from canon that strikes your fancy or fluffy AU art focused on any of the canon relationships, romantic or otherwise, or something more symbolic and thematic or showing some of the world of the story, even without showing the characters themselves.


 

Interactive Fiction

 

General Likes

I’ve recently become more interested in interactive fiction and especially love it for science fiction/fantasy, where there are worldbuilding reveals or different character interactions and dialogue or completely different outcomes lurking behind each choice. I like both plot-driven story pieces and pure discovery ones where it’s just a puzzle to figure out the answer to a question. All of these fandoms left me with questions of the best kind.

I like it when the same story could come with a good or a bad outcome or several ambiguous ones. I’m actually a huge fan of happily ever after fluff, hurts so good intense angst/tragedy, and also realistically a mixed bag that nevertheless is satisfying for one or more of the characters. You can mix and match potential endings or go all one way or the other in tone.

I would love to see what you come up with if you want to do something for any of these fandoms. Mostly, I’m intrigued by all the directions some of them can go and think they would fit the form well. There are a lot of pivotal moments are decisions that seem to happen off-screen in these stories, hints of might-have-beens and what-ifs, different kinds of paths that could occur post-canon, all potentially intriguing to explore.

I’m on a Windows computer and am open to all tenses and persons.

Some Actual Prompts – SPOILERS

Please don’t feel limited to these prompts. They’re just ideas.

To Kiss the Granite Choir
  • What if Imre’s friend succeeded in turning him with that stone earlier in the story? Having it forced on him could have different consequences depending on what he did with it.
  • What if Imre actually figured out what his friend was trying to tell him before one died and the other went full-on petrified? How would he figure it out? Would it change how everything played out?
  • What if Eroico was shamelessly matchmaking in the background and annoying Cantiléna to no end? What would she do about it?
  • I’d love to see any kind of path showing Cantiléna’s side of things. Did other people know she was attracted to Imre? Did she consider that a good or a bad thing? Did she talk with anyone about it? What kinds of things was she doing separate from him?
  • I’d love to see a post-canon path through Imre and Cantiléna making their marriage work, whether AU or canon-compliant. This is a place where I see various potential outcomes between better and worse.
  • I’d love to see a precanon or worldbuilding path of how the Baremescre came to be the way they are. I’m sure there were different reasons that humans would either acquire hymns or possibly something not human acquired humanity. Could there be different paths that lead to the world of the story, different potential outcomes for their people?
Scry
  • What if Esthe had actually not been abandoned and scried against Karnon Dae, then he recruited her instead of the anubis?
  • What if Karnon Dae saw her coming or knew about her before he conquered her house? What kinds of things would he change or not change or do to make that happen (or not happen)?
  • What if she did bring the acid on herself? What if she didn’t? Did someone else try to make her scry that or would she have definitely known?
  • What if scrying doesn’t shape reality? (I’d be hard put to figure out how that worked with the scryers killing each other thing.)
  • I’d love to see any kind of path through the post-canon relationship before Karnon Dae had to leave her.
  • What kind of world is Karnon Dae trying to build her country into? What kinds of things did Esthe scry about it precanon? Was she able to keep her relationship with her family afterward, considering she didn’t care at all about their station?
And Her Eyes Sewn Shut with Unicorn Hair
  • What if Marie’s dance had actually worked? Would they have been able to repel the enemy?
  • What if Marie had known that Zéphine didn’t see unicorns when she was still a child? Would it have changed anything? Would they have been able to become close without it involving death?
  • What if Idrask’s little brother had survived? What if Marie had?
  • What if Idrask hadn’t been able to bring back Zéphine’s heart? What if she ruled as the next great unicorn queen with her own bargain with the unicorns? Would she have been a good queen? Would her marriage have survived? Would it actually have changed the legacy of the original bargain with the unicorns since she was doing the things from the old bargain despite the new one being in place?
  • Alternatively, I’d love to see a path through the original bargains with either the Bull or the Unicorns. Those stories fascinated me. What happened with those women? What choices did they make along the way to their legends? How else might things have turned out?

 

Yuletide Madness Drabble Invitational (100 words)

 

I adore drabbles. Like, I seriously love them. Some prompts appropriate for short fills. These are again just ideas. If you have more, please feel free! I wish I could think of more myself right now.

  • little scenes of banter or teasing between characters, e.g.
    • I love that end scene with Wes and Abby when they’re working together, just love whenever they tease each other
    • I feel like eventually Karnon and Esthe could have some of this, because he’s willing to wait until after the war to have everything he wants and I feel like it was the war for everything to be so deadly serious
    • Idrask and Zéphine are delightful when they’re disagreeing and the whole “you promised” exchange is one of my favorites. Would love to see any more of their funner dialogs. Maybe they disagree about parenting or schedules or something later on that doesn’t have the weight of the world riding on it.
  • seeing in the head of a non-POV character at a critical moment in canon, e.g.
    • Marie when she danced or when her sister brought back her memories
    • Idrask when he made a bargain for Zéphine or when he was trying to save his brother
    • Cantiléna when she first met Imre or in the graveyard or when he asked for her hand or that whole aborted sex scene
    • Karnon Dae’s perspective when someone’s looking in on him or when he realized he was attracted to Esthe or in either of their heads when they fell in love for all intents and purposes or when Esthe came down and he’d tried to keep her from scrying it by keeping her brother there or during her ex-husband’s execution
  • a pre-canon or post-canon moment for a character that lets us into their head a little more, e.g.
    • maybe Cantiléna growing up, growing her hymn, training in sword-fighting, going to hear her mother’s song post-canon
    • Marie growing up and wanting to make her sister happy or what made her happy or the first time she saw a unicorn or post-canon with what she feels and thinks as she rides with the unicorns forever before or after her sister dies
    • Marie and Zéphine learning how to dance (I’m in love with training scenes/montages in general, the acquisition of competence)
    • Abigail dancing or training or dancing and working at the Company, working at the Company with Wes
  • fluff moments in post-canon married or domestic life
    • do Wes and Abigail ever go get tapas? what’s their home life like when they’re working together post-canon, especially as they’re canonically workaholics? do they ever stay together after hours working late?
    • Idrask and Zéphine deserve warm, fluffy moments, mornings lazing in bed sometimes, teasing and maybe the occasional pillow fight or an heir, seeing as it’s an important duty of royalty, so new baby fluffiness would make me happy too
    • anything fluffy you can think of for post-canon Cantiléna/Imre, my brain is not providing prompts but I’d love to see them happy
  • smut is always appropriate, Yuleporn prompts below
  • a moment of understanding between the characters, I love when there’s this silent empathy or quiet connection over anything whether they use words or not
  • a worldbuilding revelation or something about the precanon stuff that goes into how this world came about, e.g.
    • the original bargains with the unicorns or the bull
    • Imre’s lineage becoming human
    • how the Baremescre came about
    • where the warnings about the anubis came from in Esthe’s world

I’m very easy to please with these. I love drabbles.


 

Yuleporn

 

See my general likes and dislikes for kinks. I’d be wide open to smutty fic for any of my pairings here:

Abigail/Wes

I would love first times, whether that was in Barcelona or happens in season 3 or post-canon. For established relationship, I’d love romantic stuff when they see each other after a work-related absence or on a date or more of that practical lust thing she at least sometimes does, if her initial relationship with Sammy was any indication. Would also love to see some great kissing. This is also probably my only pairing where phone sex is an appropriate prompt. Would love.

Karnon Dae/Esthe

He’s particularly experienced, she’s not young and is not that inexperienced herself. With them, I’d love to actually get that feeling from the story. I also like the exhibitionist element they both got off on.

Idrask/Zéphine

They were a more traditional couple, newlyweds. I’d love a missing scene of the sex in the story or post-canon smut when they’re settled in. I’d love to see their personalities coming through or learning each other or some tension from how they met/got together. Oh, and I’d love to see how his giving up his sight affects everything. I love seeing the different kinds of intimacy are involved when different senses are out of the picture.

Imre/Cantiléna

So much tension! Them not finishing having sex in the story was still hotter than a lot of fully consummated sex scenes. I’d love just about anything for these two that preserves their personalities and the logistics they go through to make it work with their never quite level physiology.


 

Crossovering

 

I would love Abigail/Wes from Dance Academy fused into any of the fantasy canon scenarios/roles above. She’s an amazing dancer and so committed. I’d love to see her in a unicorn princess/queen scenario or as the royal wife left behind for the conqueror to find (though Wes makes a much better Idrask type than a Karnon Dae type, it still sounds fun) or the whole singing/sword-fighting/refugee scenario of the Baremescre and Imre with their personalities instead. I’d love anything like that.

Alternatively, if you can think of an interesting way to actually cross over any of these canons, I’d certainly be interested in reading it. The worldbuilding is so different for all of them, I’m very curious indeed.

Maybe interesting crossover potential in wherever Karnon Dae was going that humans could not come? or maybe some kind of Narnia (wood between the worlds, portals, etc.) or Neverending Story (with the way the scryers work, it just makes me think of how wishing creates there) type of scenario. Or some characters from a canon I know that would be appropriate, e.g. Princess Bride, encounter the Baremescre? If any of this inspires you, feel free to go wild.

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