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i like your moxie, sassafras!

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Yuletide Letter (how is this so exciting?!?)
me in springfield
Hi there, Author/Pinch-hitter/Treat-writer/Excellent person!

Let me say first off - thanks! I think you're nifty to write something in a tiny fandom we share! Above all, if you have a good time writing the story, that will shine through, and I guarantee that I'll enjoy it too.

I'm fairly catholic in my tastes; I read all of the following: gen, het, slash, humor, horror, angst, character-driven pieces, plotty pieces, AUs, canon-compliant fics, and more. I swoon for humor. I adore quietly sorrowful stories. And I quite enjoy romance and smut. I don't really enjoy unremittingly dark fic, and I don't want anything with a terribly unhappy ending, infidelity, dub-con, non-con, humiliation, power-play, or polyamory, please. I'm also not really a fan of holiday-themed stories, particularly since I don't celebrate any holiday occurring on the same timeline as Yuletide.

(I tend to do a lot of clickety-clicking once I have my assignment, but in case you'd rather just have a couple of straightforward links, here is my master fic list (stories are listed in the order in which I wrote them within each fandom) and here I am on AO3 under the name innie. I don't have a tumblr or twitter - I'm just on lj, dw, and AO3.)

Now on to the details, since I think I'm more likely to get a story that hits all of my buttons if I tell you what my buttons are for these fandoms. Listed alphabetically, because I really would be deliriously happy with a fic for any of these requests!

Doctrine of Labyrinths - Sarah Monette: Mildmay Foxe
Mildmay is one of the characters of my heart, and what I really want is for him to be happy. I think his only real friend is Cardenio (but what a friend - they are just wonderful together), but I'd love to read about any of his relationships (with Felix, with Mehitabel, with Kolkhis, with Ginevra, with Thamuris) as long as he gets at least a moment of joy somewhere in there.

I simply love that he's a storyteller and that he's so clearly intelligent and empathetic even if he's undereducated and gruff; his interactions with the Kalliphorne and the servants and kept-thieves are fantastic. His language is phenomenal - both what he thinks and what he actually speaks. Please, if you write for this request, keep that wonderful, flexible language.

I love that he's so unsparing of himself, even though he's so easily hurt - for all that he's a storyteller, he gets that real life differs from the stories. Seriously, I can't think of anything about him that I don't love.

I've only got the first two books in this four-book series in electronic form, but you're welcome to them. I wasn't as pleased with the fourth book as with the first three, so I'd especially like a Mildmay story set before the exile.

Eight Cousins series - Louisa May Alcott: Phebe Moore, Archie Campbell
I don't know why it took me so long to realize that I could request fic to make my love for this little two-book series (available on Project Gutenberg) complete. I adore these two books and the handling of Charlie (when I first read Rose in Bloom as a child I was delightfully surprised that Rose said no) and that Rose found Mac.

But I always wanted more Phebe, that bright and lovely girl. Her romance with Archie is the best part of the book for me, though it's just sketched rather than fully drawn. We see Archie falling in love with her and her reactions to his feelings, but we don't get to see her falling in love with him on her own - and that's what I'd love to see in your fic. What makes her look at Archie, or think of romance at all when she's got a career upon which to embark? What does she think about her past (especially as contrasted with Dulce's jailbird father) and what it would mean to have children? What will marrying into the clan do to her friendship with Rose? How does her closeness with Mac (the other "great one" and the other one who helped her save Dr. Alec's life) affect her? What has she seen in Europe that she brings back home with her? I just want more Phebe, and would love to see her take center stage.

The Good Wife: Alicia Florrick, Will Gardner
I don't post very often, but I do have a tag for this show that you might find useful. This is the post I was thinking of most when I decided to request this show and these characters. I want to see Will's side of things, how he felt when Alicia - married, with kids and a disgraced husband - suddenly popped back up in his life and he willingly made room for her. How Will decided she was worth leaving his firm for. (I'd very much prefer a story about Will in his L/G years rather than a "pining for Alicia while they're at Georgetown" scenario - present-tense Will is just fascinating to me.)

But there are other aspects to Will that I'm curious about too! I love his relationship with Diane, that absolute BFFs chemistry they had; I like how he and Kalinda are more than pals but maybe not all the way friends; I want to know more about his sisters and how they know about his "sweet voice"; I'm curious about what he thought of Owen suddenly entering his life. It does, for me, all come back to Will and Alicia in the end, and I miss having Will on the show.

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: Jack Robinson, Phryne Fisher
My favorite discovery this year! This show is just delicious - there's not a single character that I don't love. But oh, it's Jack (that voice! that jaw! those eyes! those thighs!) and Phryne (that badassery! that humor! that willfulness!) for me. I've picked just those two because I'd be happy to read anything about them - whether you write them as friends, professional partners, lovers, or whatever - in any context, with any of the other characters (though I'd be particularly interested in some sort of Jack-and-Bert or Jack-and-Mac storyline).

A casefic would be wonderful, but I'd be just as happy with a story of the two of them taking a stroll. I'm invested in the emotional lives of these characters, and am a firm believer in Rosie's goodness and Phryne's right to sleep with whomever she chooses, which makes things tricky, as I don't want polyamory, which is often pitched as the easy answer to love triangles in general and on this show in particular.

Season 3 just started filming, and I have the first two seasons and can . . . make them available to you if needed.

Mordant's Need - Stephen R. Donaldson: Castellan Lebbick
I'm going to quote myself about the appeal of this two-book series (here's a link to a pdf of the whole thing) - I adore how complicated the plot is, and how justified all of those complications turn out to be. I love Terisa and Geraden and Myste and Adept Havelock, but my favorite is clearly Castellan Lebbick. There's something so moving about his struggles to understand and adapt and serve even when he's given no incentive or reward or understanding; Terisa's summation of his "distress" (in Chapter 31) always hits me really hard.

So what I want is the Castellan's thoughts and/or actions, from any point in his life. We know he was married and loved his wife deeply. We know he carried scars from that marriage. We know he rose up to become the keeper of the king's castle. We know that he's friends with Artagel. By the time we meet him, he's flailing and trying so hard to master his impossible situation. As with Mildmay, I really want the Castellan to have (at least) one moment of happiness somewhere in the shitshow that is his life. It might be easiest to get there if his wife is still in the picture, but of course it's up to you.

The World's End: Oliver Chamberlain, Peter Page, Andrew Knightley
If you're a stranger to me, you might not know about my intense Martin Freeman addiction. I'd been expecting to love this movie because it featured the lovely MF and was part of the Cornetto Trilogy, and I did, but I hadn't expected it to be so elegiac even in the midst of being very funny.

I saw this post recently and it made me appreciate the level of thought that went into the characterizations and relationships even more. I really do feel like the story could make at least one season's worth of a very good TV show, given the richness of the relationships.

What I'd like is more backstory for this group of friends - particularly Oliver and Peter, from their perspectives. What did they get out of their friendship with each other and with the other boys: Andrew, Steven, and Gary? Did Peter feel that he was used for his wealth? Did Oliver feel that he was used as a gateway to his sister? What it did mean for them to find each other, to be part of Gary's crew? Or did they think of it as Andy's gang, as he was the big athlete? Or were they happy to be themselves? How did all of that lead up to their endings as shown in the film?

Thank you so much! I know I will adore whatever you write for me - happy writing!

All the best,

This same entry also appears on Dreamwidth, at http://innie-darling.dreamwidth.org/446181.html.

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I don't know if it's a done thing for non-yuletiders to comment on these sort of posts so I'll understand if you delete or screen this comment, but, just- Mordant's Need and The World's End? Dude! If I hadn't already friended you years ago, I'd friend you again. \o/

I'm so jazzed when someone I like likes something that I like, so I know just what you mean! (You don't have to answer this, but - are you purposely a non-yuletider? Do you want to play? If you're overwhelmed by the scale of it or just want to chat with someone about it, please feel free to poke me - I've done it for several years now and always had a blast.) Also, if you're a fan of Mordant's Need, you might really enjoy Doctrine of Labyrinths.

In college I convinced my first year English instructor to let me write an an essay on the Mordant's Need books, something like 'Mirror symbolism and perceptions of personal reality' or something like that. It was a load of pure tripe of course but it was fun.

As to Yuletide, right now RL is sucking up 90% of my time and seems bent on driving me insane, so I'm trying not to make any fandom commitments I'm uncertain of being able to keep. I still owe two auction fics and feel exceedingly crappy about not having those done yet, not to mention the loads of other WIPs I have, posted and not. Yuletide seems like a great challenge, and I will probably sign up one of these years, but RL is sucking too much right now for me to be reasonably sure I won't disappoint someone. :-/

I'll add Doctrine of Labyrinths to my 'watch for' list, thanks!

Boo, I'm so sorry that real life is crazy-making right now, and I hope that things get simpler and better for you soon! I must say, that paper sounds like it would have been so much fun to write!

I was also pretty psyched when Rose said no to Charlie. Like, whoa! That's allowed? Charlie is like a nineteenth century Flynn Rider! Heroines are never allowed to say no to the persistent, charming, feckless suitor! Never mind that Charlie in particular would be pretty rotten partner material.

I think it's the part where he's all "YOU CAN LOVE ME INTO MORAL RIGHTEOUSNESS" that wrecked him for me. That is not Rose's responsibility, Charlie! And I could just see him blaming her when he inevitably slips off the wagon, too, and Rose would feel at least a little responsible, even if in her head she knew it wasn't her fault.

I kind of think Charlie died because Alcott was afraid she couldn't make the breakup stick if he stayed around. But still, I loved the fact that Rose got to turn him down.

Okay, so, this is most likely WAY too much information, but.

I had an uncle (he died last year) who was the baby of my mom's large family (ninth child, eight of whom survived childhood, eleven years between him and the next oldest). He was the only one raised with money (when my mom, their sixth, was born, my grandparents were living in a flat comprising one bedroom and a kitchen), and he had every advantage - very bright, very good-looking, very charismatic. He got addicted to heroin at about 16 or so, and never kicked the habit. He pulled a lot of the crap Charlie tries - calling all of his siblings and making grand promises about how he wanted to get clean, how he just needed a little help and encouragement, how only they could pull him out of his hole, how they owed it to him to drop everything and help him out. I saw how all of those calls (we were in the US, he was in India, so at least he couldn't pull this shit on her in person like he did with some of their other sisters) affected my mom, and so I was SO READY to just hate Charlie. And then, magically, I didn't have to, because the narrative quite clearly said that Charlie was not Rose's problem or responsibility, even if she did love him and I felt SO vindicated. I always thought Charlie died because that's the only real outcome I could envision for my uncle - though I recognize that wine and heroin are not at the same level - but your point about sticking to the breakup is a really interesting one. I think it's true, too, that there's nowhere for Charlie to go when he's been rejected as a suitor - LMA can't have him around, being all, "Rose, hey, Rose, hey, remember when you thought I was awesome? Let's do that again! It doesn't matter that you love Mac now. I'm still the Prince!" That would just be terrible.

Yes! Yes! It's so vindicating! I pretty much punched the air when the narrative made it clear that no matter how much Rose adored Charlie, she was NOT NOT NOT responsible for him or his choices. YES!

"Rose, hey, Rose, hey, remember when you thought I was awesome? Let's do that again! It doesn't matter that you love Mac now. I'm still the Prince!"

Haha OH GOD and you know that is exactly what he would do. He would show up at the family Christmas parties where all the cousins get together and get drunk and drunkenly sing Christmas carols at Rose with an immensely soulful look in his eyes to let her know that actually he was singing about THEIR LOVE, and the entire family would sit there drenched in embarrassment being like "Whyyyyyyyyy."

He would probably show up on Mac and Rose's doorstep and do the same thing, too. They would lay him up on a couch and take off his shoes and fend off his sloppy affectionate weepy drunkenness, and then go sit in their room and discuss The Problem of Charlie in hushed and sorrowful voices.

...actually I might read that. But it would have made a distinctly discordant note in the end of the book.

an immensely soulful look in his eyes This just made me laugh so hard.

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