mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 I was trying to gen up the enthusiasm to write a Dear Yulegoat letter, and I realized I'm just too tired.  The well has been dry, past dry, sucking water down into it, for awhile, and 2017 just keeps dragging on, each day worse than the last one way or another.  (We've had three separate Urgent Care visits in the last two months, plus two medical crises for my parents.)

In an abstract way, I'm pleased for the fandoms I've nominated, but rationally, I can't  see myself writing anything in the next three months.  I can't even muster the energy to write the letter.   It doesn't feel like a relief to drop out (or not drop in); it just feels like a thing, another bullet falling in the tower.

Better luck next year.

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Les Trois Mousquetaires | The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas (a.k.a. books only)
Richelieu
D'Artagnan
Milady de Winter
(open slot)

Golden Age of Piracy RPF
Anne Bonny
Mary Read
(open slot)
(open slot)

Greatcoats Series - Sebastien de Castell
Falcio val Mond
Brasti Goodbow
Kest
Valiana

This year, for me, it's swashbuckling all the way! I will do a pimp post later; let me know if you have people you want in the open slots.

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Dear Yulegoat,
Thank you for writing!  I hope you have fun.

First and foremost, I think that wonderful things happen when people write the fic they always wanted to see but never got.  I'm going to give suggestions and a few prompts, but if you think of something else that excites you, or that you've always wanted to write, please do!  I want to see your idfic, your superegofic, the thing you love writing.  Slash, femslash, het, poly, and gen are all great. 
 
I have the following squicks: bathroom stuff, omorashi, forced feeding, prolonged embarrassment, emotional abuse, sex with kids under 15, vore, explicitly described torture.  Avoid those, and I'll be happy.
 
Things I love to see: Victorian-style melodrama, masked balls, duels, repartee, detailed descriptions of food and of etiquette, swashbuckling, arranged marriage, historical AUs, enemies becoming lovers, dubcon.

Jean-Léon Gérôme, Duel after the Masquerade.   Just .... holy shit.  This is my id-painting.   The use of color is wonderful, the composition is wonderful ... who am I kidding.  It's a duel.   After a masquerade. ♥

There's only one possible set of prompts:  What happened?   How did this people get to this situation?  What happened next? If you'd rather reset this on a spaceship, underwater, in the 1920s, ... feel free.  Just keep the duel, in the snow. After the masquerade. 

18th Century Pirate RPF -  Anne Bonney, Mary Read.

Anne Bonney and Mary Read were too big for any fiction to contain them.  They were pirates.  They may well have been lovers.  They fought together, were captured together, and died apart.   They were the only two people who fought fiercely when their ship was taken.   Bonney commented to her lover, Calico Jack Rackham, "Had you fought like a man, you need not have been hang'd like a dog."   Both women "pleaded their bellies" (claimed to be pregnant) to postpone being hanged.  Mary Read died in prison of puerperal fever, and nobody knows what happened to Anne Bonney.

Note that I am *not* asking for the characters from Black Sails, and I'd prefer you not include canon from that show.
 
Knock yourself out.   Tell any story about those two ladies that sets your hair on fire.  Include as many other historical pirates as float your boat -- or none, if that's what you prefer.

Stalky and Co - Beetle, Stalky Corkran, M'Turk
 
I love these books so much I cannot be rational about them.   There is one single story about them as adults, which is M'Turk relating his id-fic about Stalky.  (It supposedly happened, but M'Turk does embellish when he finds it appropriate.)     Kipling said austerely that the headmasters stalked the bedrooms to ward off "beastliness", but it's well-established that the core three were supervised precisely as much as they found appropriate.
 
I will delightedly accept anything you want to write about these characters.  I will, however, nod knowingly at Stalky and M'Turk's possible adult relations, and I do mean adult.   If you prefer to write them as horny adolescents, please make them 16 or older.  And gen is fine, too! 

I note parenthetically that the title has an ampersand, damn it.
 
I hope you have a joyous Yuletide, have fun writing,  and that the gift you yourself receive is wonderful.
 
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
The Miscellaneous category is my jam.

Clue | Cluedo (Board Game) (3) ↑

Miss Scarlet (Clue - Board Game) Mrs. Peacock (Clue - Board Game) Mrs. White (Clue - Board Game)

Elizabeth Parker's Sampler

(for details on the sampler, click the More Information tab)

Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion... - Sandia Labs (4) ↑

Cindy (Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion... - Sandia Labs) Steve (Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion... - Sandia Labs) Jo (Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion... - Sandia Labs) Linda (Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion... - Sandia Labs)

Golden Age 1001 Nights Illustrations (4) ↑
'Tis little good to chase the deeds of magic - Thomas Mackenzie (Golden Age Illustrations) A lady's lover - Kay Nielson (Golden Age 1001 Nights Illustrations) The Story of Baba Abdallah - Virginia Sterrett (Golden Age 1001 Nights Illustrations) Youth on Horseback - Anton Pieck (Golden Age 1001 Nights Illustrations)

ICD-10 | International Classification of Diseases v10 (Anthropomorphic) (3) ↑

V91.07 – Burn due to water skis on fire (ICD-10) V95.43 – Spacecraft collision injuring occupant (ICD-10) Y92.241 – Injury at library (ICD-10)

It's going to be a good year out on the fringes.    I haven't looked through the mainstream categories yet, except:

In Theater, we've got Angels in America, Diary of a Provincial Lady (there's a play?), Doctor Faustus, Don Carlos, Faust, An Ideal Husband, Iolanthe, Road Show (Sondheim, never made it to Broadway for good reason), Twelfth Night, and Eugene Onegin.


mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 Noms are 9 Sep - 16 Sep.

Am thinking about my noms.   I have some things I'm toying with.
  • Duel after the Masquerade. (definite)  I mean, holy shit.  My favorite story painting ever.
  • Wanderer Above The Sea of Fog.   I am amused to note that autocomplete caught "romantic man on cliff".  The problem is that all the action would be in the request: there isn't a plot, there's just a person.
  • "Locksley Hall" from the woman's point of view.
  • Anne Bonney/Mary Read femslash.
More thinking to come.

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
My giftee asked for Singin' In The Rain with a bit of old Hollywood, Cosmo/Don/Kathy.

I wrote Ain't Misbehavin'.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 This isn't by any means an exhaustive run-down.  You may notice that all the fandoms are early in the alphabet.  Anyway:

"Blue Light Special" http://archiveofourown.org/works/5440775 -- for the TMBG song "Birdhouse in your Soul". Indescribably charming, and reminds me a bit of early Ray Bradbury.

"An Unexpected Evening" http://archiveofourown.org/works/5477219 -- one anonymous New York Public Library request turned into a poignant vignette.

"To Dream of Happiness" http://archiveofourown.org/works/5442893 -- a look at the aftermath of "Rilla of Ingleside".   Excellent Montgomery voice.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
I got two absolutely spectacular Yuletide presents. Both of them are based on the poem "The Highwayman", and they're completely different takes and transformations. I love both of them like rising bread.

The Bootlegger is a retake on the story set during Prohibition and written in verse: not just verse, but the meter and rhyme scheme of the original. The plot's been switched around to make Bess, the preacher's daughter, much more of an active force in the plot than Bess, the landlord's daughter, ever was. It's a different tragedy, and it's native to the new time period.

He braked as he neared the business, brought his car to the side of the road.
He leapt to the back of the breezer, and then brought out his load.
He whistled his way through the storefront, and made his way down to the bar,
Where the preacher’s bob-haired daughter,
  Bess, the preacher’s daughter,
Daubed her slender wrists with the scent of Shalimar.
*Damn*.

Though Hell Should Bar The Way is much, much bleaker. It's from the point of view of Tim, the ostler, but it's much weirder -- in the best sense of the word -- than a simple retelling. The reworking reminds me of the classic ghost stories of the late 19th century.   The narrator's voice is amazing, as is the slow growth of dread.

They’ve gone and made me into the villain of the tale. Depend on it, years from now, all they will remember when they think on me (if they think on me) is Tim, the half-mad ostler, standing in the way of true love. They’ll not remember that less than five years ago they knew me as Timothy, finest judge of horseflesh in three shires. They’ll not remember that less than five years ago I sat beside them in the taverns, sharing stories of beautiful women and the unlucky bastards they ensnared.

She did this to me, mind. Bess the landlord’s daughter, and that blasted love-knot in her black hair.
 
What I love about both my stories is that they're truly transformative: the authors took one great thing and made two very different great things from it. Each is a new story, referring to the old but not a mere translation, and with great craftsmanship. I'm very lucky this year.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
... something I never have. I decided not to strive for the perfect Yuletide signup, in which I offered everything in the tagset that I could probably write, while obsessively reading all the letters in interesting fandoms to see if I should pick one of those up.

Nope. This year, I'm requesting three fandoms and offering six. I love all nine of them, bless their precious little hearts, and I am not going to obsessively hunt for more, or for unloved fandoms. This is my entry, and barring a truly horrendous letter for the tiny fandoms I'm offering, I'm done.

Imperfection: I am embracing it.

P.S. All my requests have at least one offer, wheeee!
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Dear Yuletide Writer,

Thank you. I'm excited to find out what you decide to write.

I like adventure and romance. I love the trappings of the turn-of-the-century historical novel: masquerades, swordfights, balls, people disguised as one another, fans, dance cards, poisoned books.... you get the idea. I also love the tropes of pulp fantasy novels: kidnappings, tommy guns, secret societies, poisons unknown to science, chloroformed handkerchiefs ... although they're tricky to do in the modern era. I love reading social history, and tiny worldbuilding hints make me squee. I am perfectly happy with the usual fandom dub-con conventions like sex pollen, forced marriage, heat, and so on, as long as they're founded on "we always secretly wanted each other anyway". Full-on rape is Right Out. I love humor and wit (not always the same thing). Character death is fine, porn is fine, gen is fine. My hard squicks are embarrassment humor, detailed descriptions of gore, and excreta; I'm skeptical about A/B/O. Other than that, I'll read just about anything once.

I like being surprised at Yuletide. I'll have more fun if you write that fic you've been dying to write but never allowed yourself. Go wild. Surprise yourself. Surprise me. Do something you love doing (with the few exceptions noted above), and we'll both be happy. As ever, optional details are optional.

This year's requests:

Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman "And he lay in his blood on the highway, with a bunch of lace at his throat." Hellooooo, my id. This is one of the great "and then they all died beautifully" myths. It's fun to read out loud. It's fun to imagine yourself into at 13. It's fun to hear sung; there's a superb rendition by Loreena McKennitt.

You could write fix-it fic. You could move the whole thing into an AU: Prohibition, wings, spaceships, cephalopods. You could write Bess's trysts with the Highwayman before the whole thing dissolved into blood, lace, and regret. You could -- and I mean this -- write a much better idea that has just occurred to you.

Agatha Christie, The Secret Adversary, Tuppence (Prudence) Cowley Beresford, Thomas Beresford, Mr Carter, Jane Finn, Marguerite Vandemeyer, Julius Hersheimer. Tuppence and Tommy in their Bright Young Thing era. Christie didn't write a lot about the young Tuppence and Tommy; the short-story collection was a series of parodies of little-remembered writers. Then there's The Secret Adversary, where Tuppence and Tommy infiltrate the absolutely perfect Organization of Sinister People With Sinister Goals. I want more of those years of their lives. I love Secret Organizations (do you love Chesterton's The Man Who Would Be Thursday? Like that.) If you feel like writing secret plans hidden behind velvet curtains, oh, please, do.

What could you write? Casefic, if that's your bag. Kidnappings of either of them. Cocktail parties where they banter for their lives. Crossovers with the request below. Or anything else that draws on your love for this canon, and brings out what you think of as its essential self. I think the fads, frenzies, and fears of the inter-war period are essential to the young Tuppence and Tommy, so if you go AU, please pick a universe that is equally tense. Please draw from the book version, not any of the TV adaptations.

Emily Post, Etiquette: Mrs Richard Worldly, Mrs Robert Gilding junior (Lucy), Mrs Oldname, Mr Clubwin Doe, Mrs James Town (Caroline Robinson Town)

The pre-WWII Emily Posts describe a world that was already vanishing at the time of the first edition. Consider:

"If [the chauffeur] drives in the country in winter in an open car he should have a coonskin coat and cap. Should a footman sit beside the chauffeur (unusual in this day) he wears a uniform to match the chauffeur." "'Petting' is not a practise in Best Society." And, my absolute favorite etiquette example of all time, "At dinner once, Mrs. Toplofty, finding herself next to a man she quite openly despised, said to him with apparent placidity, "I shall not talk to you—because I don't care to. But for the sake of my hostess I shall say my multiplication tables. Twice one are two, twice two are four——" and she continued on through the tables, making him alternate them with her. As soon as she politely could she turned again to her other companion."

Emily Post was an aspirational book; although Emily herself lived in the society she described, most of her readers -- the book was a bestseller -- could never hope to sit down to a 14-course Service à la Russe dinner. They could dream, though.

Mrs. Post did something that, to my knowledge, was a first. She wrote a cast of characters who appeared over and over in the etiquette vignettes. When somebody introduces herself, "Mrs. Worldly, looking rather freezingly, politely says "Yes" and waits." Mr Clubwin Doe is a young man-about-town. Mr and Mrs Kindhart, although wealthy, are always kind to people who are unfamiliar with high-society ways, and prefer to rough it at their parties and their woodland cabin. The characters I listed above, plus others, wind in and out of the book living their high-society or social-climbing lives. "A "brilliant opera night," which one often hears spoken of (meaning merely that all the boxes are occupied, and that the ladies are more elaborately dressed than usual) is generally a night when a leader of fashion such as Mrs. Worldly, Mrs. Gilding, or Mrs. Toplofty, is giving a ball; and most of the holders of the parterre boxes are in ball dresses, with an unusual display of jewels." "Mr. Doe takes his guests to the theater in taxis. The Normans, if only the Lovejoys are dining with them, go in Mrs. Norman's little town car, but if there are to be six or eight, the ladies go in her car and the gentlemen follow in a taxi. (Unless Mrs. Worldly or Mrs. Gilding are in the party and order their cars back.)" "Mrs. Oldname might perhaps, in order to assist conversation for an interesting but reticent person, tell a lady just before going in to dinner, "Mr. Traveler who is sitting next to you at the table, has just come back from two years alone with the cannibals." This is not to exploit her "Traveled Lion" but to give his neighbor a starting point for conversation at table."

Tell me a story about those people! What is Mrs Oldname's Dark Secret? Was Bobo (Robert Gilding junior) having an affair with Mr Clubwin Doe? Did Mrs Oldname's daughter elope with the chauffeur? Perhaps you would prefer to chronicle one of Mrs [social climbing]'s dreadful dinner parties. Stuff in as much period detail as you want. Feel free to incorporate lurid tropes, turning the chaste and correct world of Post into something better suited to Gorey. Feel free to add characters from any pre-WWII edition, and to set the fic any time in that period. (The first edition was published during Prohibition and was quite grumpy about it, too.)

Feel free to do strange AUs -- I can imagine a werefish Emily Post being hilarious. Please preserve the 1920s/1930s flavor of Emily Post, wherever you choose to set the fic. I enjoy the surviving Victorianisms, the prudishness about the appearance of sex, and the overall bygone-era flavor. If you want to do a space AU or similar, go ahead and refer to customs that are old-fashioned by that era's standards.

Have fun! If you love any of these canons as much as I do, you really can't go wrong. I tend to write very short prompts because I am genuinely enthusiastic about receiving an idea that never occurred to me. If these prompts are too short or sketchy for you, ping the mods and I'll flesh them out.

I'm MadameHardy on AO3 and MadameHardy on Tumblr.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
In (e: 1993), Sandia Labs called in a team of experts to consult on (excerpt) how to mark (e: entire PDF) a nuclear waste dump so that the markings would still be meaningful 10,000 years hence. " The panel of experts was divided into two teams. This is the report of the A Team; a multidisciplinary group with an anthropologist (who is at home with different, but contemporary, cultures), an astronomer (who searches for extra-terrestrial intelligence), an archaeologist (who is at home with cultures that differ in both time and space from our own), an environmental designer (who studies how people perceive and react to a landscape and the buildings within them), a linguist (who studies how languages change with time), and a materials scientist (who knows the options available to us for implementing our marking system concepts)." I've known about this document for a few years, but using it as a springboard never occurred to me. I don't know if any of the options were ever implemented.

This place is not a place of honor.

No highly esteemed deed is commemorated here.

Nothing valued is here.

This place is a message and part of a system of messages.

Pay attention to it!

Sending this message was important to us.

We considered ourselves to be a powerful culture.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Now to write the letter.

✔ Etiquette - Emily Post (1922)

✔ Mrs Richard Worldly
✔ Mrs Robert Gilding Jr. | Lucy
✔ Mr Clubwin Doe
✔ Mrs James Town | Caroline Robinson Town

✔ The Highwayman - Alfred Noyes

✔ Bess (The Highwayman)
✔ The Highwayman (The Highwayman)
✔ The Landord (The Highwayman)
✔ A Redcoat Trooper (The Highwayman)

✔ The Secret Adversary - Agatha Christie

✔ Tuppence Beresford (The Secret Adversary)
✔ Tommy Beresford (The Secret Adversary)
✔ Jane Finn
✔ Marguerite Vandemeyer


mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
I've had so many of my dream fics written that this year I'm starting with a clean slate.

Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman. "And he lay in his blood on the highway, with a bunch of lace at his throat." Hellooooo, my id.

Shakespeare, Loves Labours Lost. Some chunk of Loves Labours Wonne, nominating as chars Princess, Navarre, Berowne, Rosaline, Katherine, Dumaine. (I could be easily convinced to sub Maria and Longeville for the last pair.)

Jilly Cooper, Riders universe. (Does it have a formal name? e: Rutshire Chronicles) Still working out which chars to ask for; suggestions welcome.

Susanna Clark, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell universe. Lady Pole, Arabella Strange, Mrs Field, Cassandra Parbringer, Miss Tobias. (The last three are the Ladies of Grace Adieu.)

Agatha Christie, The Secret Adversary, Tuppence (Prudence) Cowley Beresford, Thomas Beresford, Mr Carter, Jane Finn, Marguerite Vandemeyer, Julius Hersheimer. Tuppence and Tommy in their Bright Young Thing era.

Emily Post, Etiquette, 1940 or earlier edition: Mrs Richard Worldly, Mrs Robert Gilding junior (Lucy), Mrs Oldname, Mr Clubwin Doe, Mrs James Town (Caroline Robinson Town) "If [the chauffeur] drives in the country in winter in an open car he should have a coonskin coat and cap. Should a footman sit beside the chauffeur (unusual in this day) he wears a uniform to match the chauffeur." " 'Petting' is not a practise in Best Society."

Edit: Thanks to executrix, Robert "Bobo" Gilding.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
I wound up writing one treat and one last-minute pinch hit.

The treat was pallida ora semper fame, for Naraht, based on Mary Renault's Return to Night. It began as a Five Things... fic but morphed into an unholy mash-up of  Renault, mantisfuck consentworld, and TED talks. I owe a great debt of thanks to spock, whose enthusiastic collaboration made the TED talk much, much worse, and to Llwyden for coming up with the Old English for "woman-insect" ("wyfbítel", if you're wondering.)

The pinch-hit was Out of the Dead Land, for Person, based on the video game Dangan Ronpa.  Dangan Ronpa, for those of you who don't know it, is an extremely cracky Japanese mystery game, originally for the Playstation Vita, which was never translated for the U.S. market.  Then orenronen, at SomethingAwful, did an absolutely magnificent English-language Let's Play, and suddenly -- thanks to their excellent and idiomatic translation -- it became a fandom.  Within a year, the original developers committed to a translation and a port.    Anyway, Dangan Ronpa is a game in which a bunch of teenagers are locked into a high school, they can escape only by killing another player and getting away with the murder.   This fic explores one of the bad endings, and contains spoilers for some of the previous murders.

Thank you to my wonderful authors, and may 2015 be full of good things to read and to eat!
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
I signed up for Yuletide 2014; by December it became clear that I was out of brain and out of spoons and needed to default. My gifter defaulted, too, and that, properly, should have been the end of gifts for me.

Instead, I got three unassigned gifts (treats) out of the blue, and all of them were funny, my fic weakness, and delightful. Here they are in reverse chronological order:

Missed by a Nose, Peter Capaldi's Eyebrows RPF
Thanks to a startling series of events, I created, nominated, and requested this fandom. In return, I received this awesome fic in which the elements of Peter Capaldi's face flirt and squabble with one another.

Sure enough, Nose saw Righty nuzzled comfortably on Capaldi’s brow, giving just an absolutely perfect view of Left, perfectly arched. Nose took a few moments to take in Lefty’s beautiful form, how the tip curled just the tiny bit at the end. It reminded Nose of Mustache, who had been so long gone since Peter had taken on the mantle of the Doctor. Before, Nose could sidle up to that swishy magnificence, but now it was the time of the Eyebrows and the so-called bigger and better things.
 
For three years I've been requesting Rupert-centered  fic (and gotten many other delicious fills); this year delivered in spades. Both of my authors caught precisely the tone and content of the Zenda novels, and both were witty to boot.

Some Additional Tales of My Dealings With Rupert Hentzau Rupert/Rudolf slash.
The narrative voice is perfectly Zendan, capturing Rudolf's pomposity and faux-modest self-praise. The events are jigsaw-fitted into the marquetry of the existing story.

"May it make us better acquainted indeed, O King! And may God grant me another regal smile then, for it is surely enough to turn a man's blood hot; I swear that alike as you may be, the other King was never so pretty!"

I staggered back, cursing the fair Rassendyll complexion, which meant that now my skin went all too well together with my hair. Sapt and Fritz must not have heard what the man said, for they acted only as if he had insulted me, which of course, in a way, he had. But I was not about to tell them in what way! Instead I scowled in his direction, forcing my blush to become one of anger, as he strolled away after throwing a rather devastating smile in my direction.
 
Rupert Hentzau Pays A Call Rupert/Antoinette de Mauban
A drabble! And the sort of drabble for which the form exists: every word used effectively, a complete plot arc in a tiny space. I described in my comment as "A violet-scented bonbon just for me.", and so it is. I won't quote here, because quoting a drabble makes as much sense as scooping the middle out of a bonbon.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 Dear Yuletide Writer,
 
Thank you.  I'm excited to find out what you decide to write.
 
I like adventure and romance.  I love the trappings of the turn-of-the-century historical novel:  masquerades, swordfights, balls, people disguised as one another, fans, dance cards, poisoned books.... you get the idea.  I also love the tropes of pulp fantasy novels, although they're tricky to do in the modern era.  I love reading social history, and tiny worldbuilding hints make me squee.   I am perfectly happy with the usual fandom dub-con conventions like sex pollen, forced marriage, heat, and so on, as long as they're founded on  "we always secretly wanted each other anyway".    I love humor and wit (not always the same thing). Character death is fine, porn is fine, gen is fine.    My hard squicks are embarrassment humor, detailed descriptions of gore, and excreta.  Other than that, I'll read just about anything once.    
 
Overall, I think Yuletide is a time for surprises.  Surprise yourself.  Surprise me.  Do something you enjoy doing (with the few exceptions noted above), and we'll both be happy.    As ever, optional details are optional.
 
Here are the fandoms I'm requesting this year. 
 
Zenda Novels - Anthony Hope [Hawkins]
Rupert of Hentzau
 
I request this every year; it hits all my favorite romantic historical tropes, because it created many of them.
 
Ah, Rupert of Hentzau. Dashing, handsome, competent, witty, and stuck with the Worst Boss Ever. Seriously, Black Michael couldn't plot his way into overthrowing a paper bag. (Why imprison King Rudolf? Why not just kill him? Rupert would have.) I am well aware that Rupert is Not A Nice Guy; he isn't just the hero's foil, but he is ruthless and threatens to commit rape on at least one occasion. However, let's face it, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. diving through a window is one of the great moments in film.
 
Some ideas that may or may not work for you: Rupert/Rassendyll -- you never know where a corps-a-corps might lead; Antoinette de Mauban -- who is not a wimp -- going up against Rupert earlier in the plot and winning; Colonel Sapt confronting and then cashiering a young Rupert earlier in their careers. Do not feel constrained: these are plot bunnies and I bet yours are better. Feel free to use the entire "Prisoner of Zenda" pseudo-canon: the books, as well as any movie based on the Zenda plot including The Great Race. if you've read Rupert of Hentzau, go for it, but don't feel obliged to seek it out for this challenge. Bring in any supporting characters that work for you, but please make the fic Rupert-licious.

The Prisoner of Zenda (Gutenberg)
Rupert of Hentzau (Gutenberg)
 
Rupert! Hardy! Always! 
 
The Hour (BBC series)
Randall Brown, Lix Storm
 
Oh, my poor, tragic, doomed lovers.   Anna Chancellor and Peter Capaldi convey a tragic past with flicks of their eyes, stiffened spines, and one unbearably romantic handclasp.   They're definitely the C plot of Season 2, but they're my favorites nonetheless.  Randall with his gnomic speech and his physical stillness, Lix with her sweeping gestures, her Scotch, her tailored trousers, and her exuberant metaphors.   Both of them intensely private, but once, in a land far away, those privacies touched.   Their dialogue together is a wonder,  with most of the communication implied, not explicit.
 
I will love whatever you have to say about Randall and Lix.  Backstory in Spain, futures in ... wherever, more detail about their interactions in Season 2.   The one thing I would prefer to avoid is fix-it fic for the baby: that baby, and its fate, are the keystone of the in-show relationship.   In any case, I don't see Lix being a contented mother; she's wedded to her career.
 
Peter Capaldi's Eyebrows Anthropomorfic
Peter Capaldi's Left Eyebrow, Peter Capaldi's Right Eyebrow
 
Peter Capaldi's eyebrows have always been a noticeable feature of his face. Mr. Capaldi's eyebrows show up in reviews fairly frequently; the current Doctor Who scripts frequently make fun of them.     He has a very mobile face, and unlike certain Time Lords we could mention (coughSmithcough) his eyebrows are a dominant feature.    
 
But what do the eyebrows themselves think of all this?   Do they secretly believe that their best role was in The Devil's Whore?  Or Chandler & Co?  Or that beer commercial?   Does the left eyebrow resent that the right eyebrow usually gets the Rembrandt lighting?  (or vice versa).   Are the eyebrows secretly in love, and hoping for parts where Capaldi scowls so hard that they actually, fleetingly touch? Do the eyebrows long for a day when they hatch into their adult form, whatever that may be, and fly away together?  Or maybe there's a serious plot in there.  (Very maybe, frankly.  I'll be pleasantly shocked if you manage it.)
 
What I want most for this request is for both of us to have fun.  I trust you.  Go wild.  
 
A very happy Yuletide to you.
 
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Explanation on Dreamwidth. On Livejournal.  Eligibility rules.


I haven't decided on mine.    This year there's an extra wrinkle: you can't see nomination tags until they close,  so the only way to say "Oh, good, somebody else has nominated Peter Capaldi's Left Eyebrow, Omegaverse, Alopecia AU" is to hope that person updates the spreadsheet.

Disclaimer:  I do not want Peter Capaldi's left eyebrow.  Or the right one.  Or slash about the pair of them.


mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
I wrote three stories this year, one assignment and two pinch-hits.

For aoife_hime, who requested The Perilous Gard and Fire and Hemlock (separately), Now, Here, Now, Always, a crossover in which Kate and Polly meet. I owe a great debt to the last-minute beta swan_tower, who pointed out that it would be nice if the two of them had some sort of emotional arc...

For [personal profile] skygiants (LJ bookelfe), who requested Freya Marske's excellent epub short story "The Provenance Game", Finding Aid, in which a significant character from the story has a prequel adventure of her own. I owe an equally great debt to the even laster-minute beta kurushi, who library-picked the archive in-jokes and suggested some more.

For sumeria, who requested Michelle Sagara's Chronicles of Elantra, Deliver by Hand, an incident in Kaylin's life. I really regret this having been a pinch hit; if I'd had more time, I think I could have put in a plot. miaou's last-minute beta was enormously helpful.

And that's the lot! The best thing that happened to me (as a writer) this Yuletide was being reminded that I can write, that I can do it even when under the weather, and that I do well under pressure. The two pinch-hits were written in under 24 hours start-to-finish, and writing them was a thoroughly joyful experience.

The best thing that happened to me as an editor was that all my betas were extravagantly happy with the work I did; it was nice to feel I was giving something back to the greater Yuletide community, and nice to know that I had a skill.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
I can definitely do that. We matched on one fandom, which I think I'll probably pick, but there are two other fandoms I'm familiar with in the request. The requester's letter is quite sane and sensible and easy to respect, while giving lots of latitude. Off we go, then!
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 
[edited 12/20/2013 because apparently this isn't linked directly from my Yuletide request.  ]

[Edited 10/11/2013 because I had misunderstood which DESIGN FOR LIVING was nominated.  I'm in a high fever, so apologies if incoherent.]

 This is an effervescently nice thing for you to do.  I hope you have fun; I look forward to seeing what lurks in your devious mind.

I wish I could say I'm  a woman of simple tastes, but in fact I'm a woman of rococo tastes.   I like wildly overwritten language (Swinburne, if you can carry it off in brief patches, but who can?)  I like European social history from (roughly) the 1500s on, although I'm happy to be educated.   I love reading Trollope, Dickens (when I ignore my Woman Issues), Ankaret Wells, the Gondalverse, Browning, Christie, Susanna Clarke, biographies, Anthony Hope Hawkins (Zenda), juicy tell-alls about private life (Procopius), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.   Lately I'm mostly watching British historical crime dramas, because they're emotionally safe and soothing.  In the past I have been gung-ho for Buffy, MAD MEN, SHERLOCK, FIREFLY (after it finally got its feet under it), THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW, FRANK'S PLACE, THE PERSUADERS, TOPSY TURVY, DOCTOR WHO (3, 4, 8, 9, 11 for preference), BUCKAROO BANZAI, BLAKE's 7, FARSCAPE (oh God, Farscape), and a lot of other stuff.   

I'm not sure how you boil that into a principle; my best guess is "wit and adventure".  

What I love: witty dialogue; vividly-described surroundings, not just sight but sound and smell.  Doomed lovers; doomed fighters; people who keep on keepin' on even though they know they must ultimately fail. I love swordfights
, masked balls, love-hate sex -- although gen is great, too -- melodrama, clothing and decor neep (Tell me about your chaise longue, baby), descriptions of food, kidnappings. I like the edge cases of non-con; bring on the sex pollen or the "must do it to save the universe" if you like it, too.  Actual plots.   That scene in the library where everybody figures out what the hell was happening all along.   Crossovers from one medium to another.  If you read all this and say "I know the perfect way to handle it in limericks/a one-act play/Flash animation", go for it!

What I don't like: people thinking at length how clever they are, unless this results in a pratfall.  Rape.  Condescension.    Moral lessons.  Standalone vignettes in which a character thinks about one or more of the other characters, but takes no action. Slash is just peachy, as are all the other sexual variations.   No urine, excrement, or vomit.

Overall, though, I think Yuletide is a time for surprises.  Surprise yourself.  Surprise me.  Do something you enjoy doing (with the few exceptions noted above), and we'll both be happy.


THE BLETCHLEY CIRCLE.  
This show not only passes the Bechdel Test, it IS the Bechdel test.  Four intelligent and competent women, who have important relationships with one another, SOLVE CRIME.   I just want more of that.  If you feel up to a casefic, that would be lovely; if not, just give me some scenes where they talk together, where they solve problems together.    Do not want: stand-alone vignettes with any of them agonizing about their fate in life.   In the course of the series each of them learns to value herself, and I don't want to see that lost.   (However, events before the series are great; I'd love to see them in Huts 8.6, or 3.

NINE COACHES WAITING - MARY STEWART.

Linda Martin wants to live in a Gothick romance.   To get there, she lies to everybody she meets and forces all her acquaintances into their appointed roles.    Then she discovers that life lived in a tragedy can be horrible.   In her efforts to scramble offstage, Linda breaks her beloved's heart.   [Block that metaphor.  Please.]

Then what happens?   That, dear, reader, is up to you.   Does everybody wind up glaring at one another from fauteuils for the next sixty years?  Does the Demon King win it all?  Or, miraculously, does Raoul manage to scrape a little happiness from the ashes of Manderley?  (yes, I'm well aware that's a different novel, but they're both deconstructing the same conceit.)



NIMONA (webcomic) gingerhaze.com/nimona

A Webcomic about science, magic, derring-do, and a girl who changes into a shark.   Nimona has a wonderful cartoony style with a great line.  It also has three major characters (Ballister Blackheart, Ambrosius Goldenloin, and Nimona) with complex and changing relationships to one another.   I'd like to see more of any (or all) of those relationships.   Ballister and Ambrosius at school.   Ballister and Nimona arguing.   Ballister, Ambrosius, and Nimona have the world's most awkward Academy Awards party.  Ambrosius trying, again, to keep Nimona from committing mayhem.   I don't expect you to create art, but if you want to, feel free!

Anthony Hope Hawkins, Zenda novels, Rupert of Hentzau
Well, here's the one you see from me every year.
Ah, Rupert of Hentzau. Dashing, handsome, competent, witty, and stuck with the Worst Boss Ever. Seriously, Black Michael couldn't plot his way into overthrowing a paper bag. (Why imprison King Rudolf? Why not just kill him? Rupert would have.) I am well aware that Rupert is Not A Nice Guy; he isn't just the hero's foil, but he is ruthless and threatens to commit rape on at least one occassion. However, let's face it, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. diving through a window is one of the great moments in film.
 
Some ideas that may or may not work for you: Rupert/Rassendyll -- you never know where a corps-a-corps might lead; Antoinette de Mauban -- who is not a wimp -- going up against Rupert earlier in the plot and winning; Colonel Sapt confronting and then cashiering a young Rupert earlier in their careers. Do not feel constrained: these are plot bunnies and I bet yours are better. Feel free to use the entire "Prisoner of Zenda" pseudo-canon: book, as well as any movie based on the Zenda plot including The Great Race. if you've read Rupert of Hentzau, go for it, but don't feel obliged to seek it out for this challenge. Bring in any supporting characters that work for you, but please make the fic Rupert-licious. (Link to Rupert of Hentzau, but I'm serious, don't feel obliged.) 
 
I like Sapt because he is the Crusty Old Mentor stereotype writ large and I like him harrrumphing through his mustache. To be totally honest, though, he's there because I had to put in two characters, and if he is a total walk-on that is fine with me. (Turns out you don't have to give two characters. I still like the Colonel, but he is way optional.)  Rupert! Hardy! Always! 


 Please write the story you think is funny and/or adventurous.  Please have fun.   I will, too.

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