Dear Yuletide writer
Despite the prompts that I wrote in my sign up or that I give here, I'm a big believer in optional details are optional. My first yuletide, eight or nine years ago, I followed a prompt that just wasn't for me, and what emerged was the worst story I ever wrote. I keep it around as an abject lesson to myself: 1) don't write anything that goes against my sense of the characters; and 2) stress to any and all future writers that they should never write something for me if they're just not feeling it. If you believe a story, I'm certain that you can sell it to me.
As for general likes and dislikes, I'm pretty easy. I have a slight preference for gen and het, but am usually willing to be sold on slash or femslash if there's a compelling or interesting couple. Mixed threesomes are always welcome if they work within the story. I love G-rated and NC-17 fics equally, as well as everything in between. I'm squicked by marijuana and other drugs, underaged sex, and anything non-consensual. Actually, kinks in general don't sound that appealing on Christmas morning and I'd prefer that you pass them by if your story allows you to do so.
Exiles and Galactic Milieu
I want a story about Severin. Tempted by Victor as a boy and the only Remillard to participate in Kieran O’Connor’s offensive metaconcert, his childhood experiences are different from the rest of the Dynasty. Moreover, he is the only Remillard to divorce, and not just once but three times. He seems to have joined the Rebellion more as a way to piss off his older brothers than from the same convictions that Adrien held. To me, he's the most underutilized character in the books; I know you can fix that!
I suspect that if you signed up for this fandom, this is not the character you expected to get. I hope you're not freaked out. If you are, take a deep breathe and don't worry. If you skim the the Milieu books, you'll find that Sevvy's passages are few and far between, but they are some of my favorite parts of all of May's books. The trick-or-treating scene, Sevvy fighting with his older brothers at the Chateau, Severin helping Rogi with his, erm, little problem after Diamond starts messing with his brain, his taunting of the Dynasty after he joins the Rebellion... I love all of these scenes. I would be delighted if you were to enlarge or extrapolate any of them into a full story because I truly believe that it would be amazing.
If you're inclined to include other characters, I have a HUMONGOUS soft spot for Rogi. I think he's adorable, but he does tend to play favorites and I think that Severin is one of them. Lucille also seems to be especially fond of Severin. When she wanted to abort baby Jack, Severin was the only one in whom she confided, so clearly she thinks he's more reliable than the rest of the Dynasty. What do Lucille and Rogi see in Severin that his brothers and sisters all miss? I know you can tell me!
If it's at all helpful to you, I wrote in this fandom last year, so you can get a feeling for how I view this universe. Follow the "milieu" tag on this entry.
The Sarah Jane Adventures
Clyde! Love Clyde! Show me MOAR Clyde, especially if he's being heroic or saving the day in some way.
Okay, I know that's not a terribly specific prompt, but that's the best I can do with my level of enthusiasm for this character. *wry grin* I love that Clyde is brave and curious and intuitive and incredibly loyal. On the flip side, he is also inclined to play the fool as a defense mechanism, and that's interesting to me too. His greatest fear is not that he might be stupid, but that others might think that he is ("Nightmare Man"), so I think that he plays the fool in order to control when and where people laugh at him.
Here's my head canon of Clyde, which you are completely free to ignore if it doesn't match your vision. I see Clyde as being mostly straight, but also in love with Luke. I believe stories where that love is kept on a brotherly level and I also believe stories where they're sappy, because the intensity of Clyde's feeling for Luke could lead anywhere. I also think that he's in love with Sarah Jane, though he knows that it's hopeless. While I do have a fondness for age differentials in stories, I could never 'ship Clyde/Sarah Jane because there's no way that SJ would ever go for a friend of her son's. She's inherently decent and this scenario is a bit creepy on Sarah Jane's side; a one-sided crush on Clyde's side, however, always makes me happy. There is also some terrific chemistry with Rani and some less terrific but still existent chemistry with Maria. Basically, I'm open to absolutely any 'ship that you enjoy, so write what you like. With that said, I would kind of prefer for the story to be more gen in feel regardless of what 'ship you have in the background, because I'm hoping the focus will be on Clyde rather than on a couple. As long as you keep Clyde front and center, I really don't see how you can go wrong, no matter what direction you choose to go.
Again, you might find it helpful to read a Sarah Jane Adventure story that I wrote several years ago. Follow the SJA tag to this entry.
Xander’s last thought before dying and his first thought upon resurrection were both of Sparrow. Does he realize this? And if so, how does this change him?
Okay, I admit it: I really do want a 'shippy story here. I'm perfectly happy with UST, but I do want 'shippiness to be in there somewhere. If you choose to follow the prompt, your story will obviously be set it anywhere in "Revelations," or post series, but I would be equally happy with a story set earlier provided there is some UST in there somewhere. Maybe neither Xander nor Sparrow recognize the tension in their relationship, but it's there and I will dance with joy if you can bring it out.
What I love about Xander is that so much of his self-image is tied in with him being a complete and utter bastard. He sees himself as being utterly selfish and self-absorbed... and he LIKES himself like that. And yet, his first and last thoughts are of someone else, which completely goes against everything that he imagines to be true about himself. Xander is willfully blind to his better qualities because he only loves his faults; this is fascinating to me.
As for Sparrow, she's just as deeply in denial. She puts up a constant front of cynicism in order to hide a deep core of hopefulness. Behind all her sarcastic banter, she sees the goodness in Xander, even while never missing a single one of his faults. She isn't as hard as she wants to be, but it is only Xander who can touch her vulnerabilities.
These two damaged people are ruined for anyone else, but I think they make sense together. :)
Windrose Chronicles - Barbara Hambly
I'd love an alternate take on that scene from Cedric's house when Antryg and Joanna almost acknowledged the sexual tension between them. I'd be equally happy with a rewrite of that particular scene, the awkward fallout afterwards, or a longer vision of how the fight against Suraklin would have been affected if Antryg had made a different choice that night.
I adore Barbara Hambly, love this series, LOVE these characters, and LOVELOVELOVE this couple. Joanna is so uncomfortable in her own skin that she makes me wince in sympathy. Antyrg is goofy as hell, suffering from equal parts of PSTD and ADD. Yet they're both so much MORE when they're together. Yeah, that kinda fits in with my tastes...
I think the pacing of their romance is perfect, but I'm still curious to know what would have been the outcome if either Antryg or Joanna had made a move that night in Cedric's house. Given Joanna's low self-confidence at that point, I'm sure it would have been awkward as hell and even worse in the morning. Could they have found a happy ending after that? Also, Antryg doesn't entirely trust Joanna at that point; how would throwing sex (or perhaps just an aborted kiss) into the equation have played out? Moreover, whether or not Antryg is truly responsible for Joanna, the fact that he FEELS responsible throws in some uncomfortable power dynamics, and that probably would have changed everything between them.
I have a fondness for awkward-terrible sex scenes, so I'd love it if you wrote that, but I'm well aware that this is a kink shared by VERY few people in fandom, so I'm not at all expecting that. Any AU scene afterwards, large or small, morning-after or months later, would be awesome. I really do think that this scene at Cedric's house was a turning point, and I've always wanted to know what would have happened if they'd taken it. If this prompt just doesn't zing you, however, I'm not at all wed to it. I'd love any fic that highlights Joanna's awkwardness, Antryg's goofiness, and their combined awesomeness. This is a pair that is definitely more than the sum of its parts, and I'd love to see you shine a light on that.
So, what happens on Monday? Note, you can use any of the teachers, but I specified Rosenberg because I think he's adorable and don't want to see him left out. It's quite all right to focus on anyone else if s/he zings you more than my favorite math teacher.
I know this is a movie that most have forgotten, so perhaps a bit of back-story. I loved this movie when I was a teenager and the soundtrack (alas! Never released on CD. *weeps*) was my favorite album for months. I thought it was alternately hilarious and touching, but it never struck me as realistic. I went to high school in Honolulu, and my experiences were nothing like those in the movie. A kid with a gun seemed especially foreign to me in the 80's, probably because it's much easier to control guns on an island.
Fast-forward to the present: I now live on the south side of Chicago and have two kids in a high school that's scarily similar to the one from this movie. I think that being in a cold environment, where you can't go outside everyday for lunch, makes the students but especially the teachers half-crazy. And living in this area, I find it much easier to believe in a teen with a gun.
Last September, there was a massive teachers' strike in Chicago. I marched with teachers and got to know quite a lot of them as people, and it occurred to me that not a few of them would fit into this movie fairly well. (If you're interested in my thoughts on that strike, you can read them here.) Urged on by nostalgia, I ordered "Teachers" from amazon and it arrived a day or two after yuletide nominations closed. After watching it again, I knew I had to request it this year! Moreover, with state legislatures trying more and more to control curriculum in the classroom, "Teachers" feels far more relevant now than it did the year that it came out. So many people trying to tell teachers what is going on in their schools, and none of them willing to walk naked down the hallway.
I love the absurdity and futility of JFK High School. It's ridiculous, and all the teachers know that it's ridiculous, and yet they keep coming in every day in the hopes of making a difference. Perhaps they do it BECAUSE it's ridiculous; as Rosenberg said, "It's never boring on a Monday."
If you're feeling ambitious, I'm curious what these teachers and this school would look like in 2013. What would the teachers be doing today, having to prep their students for stupid tests that benefit no one besides Pearsons and Rupert Murdoch? How would they react to the demonization of unions, even as they're underpaid and overworked? How about all the inexperienced Teach for America kids coming in and the proliferation of charter schools? Any current social ill in education that you'd like to look at through the eyes of the jaded teachers of JFK High would be awesome.
In the end, Santa, the one thing that will make me happiest is if YOU have fun writing for me. If you twist your view of canon to match mine, you won't have fun writing and that usually shows in the final story. Please, write something that you enjoy and you can feel proud of, and I can just about guarantee that I will adore it. Whatever else you do, don't stress out on my account!
On a side note, I don't use my personal journal at all any more. There's no reason for you to wade through my journal because there will be nothing for you to find for the last several years. (Don't worry. There was no wank and you haven't been assigned a drama queen. I just realized that I needed to pay more attention to my personal life than my on-line one, and the only way I could do that was go cold turkey from my way too incredibly nice f'list. If I had only filled my f'list with mean people, I could have kept it up and ignored everyone. Sadly, fandom is filled with far too many wonderful people, and I have a somewhat addictive personality...) The only current things you'll find on me are recent fanfics, and those are all here in my fanfic journal. I apologize if you were looking forward to the stalking...