dun

Yuletide 2020

Dear Yuletide 2020 Author,

Thank you very much for getting near-randomly selected to be my writer! I am very excited. (I love Yuletide, it's wonderful.)

I've written a lot in my requests. Please don't be intimidated, or think that you have to follow every (or even any) suggestion that I gave; it's just I've had short prompts in the past and it was so bad, so I make a point of trying not to do that to other people. I would appreciate it if you keep my DNWs in mind, though.

Speaking of! Do Not Wants:
Non-consensual sex; sex or sexy relationships between people with a severe power imbalance like students and teachers or prison guards and inmates; mundane AUs; RPF, with a noted exception for FAQ: The "Snake Fight" Portion of Your Thesis Defense; porn with no context; romantic pairings that don't explain at least in passing how and why the relationship happened, unless the pairing is canon; a tragic ending (bittersweet is fine, and so is character death).

Do Wants:
Competent people, adventures, loyalty, animal companions, puzzles and riddles, romance, mysteries, humor, character studies, crossovers - you can crossover any of the fandoms I've listed for Yuletide this year or past years or anything I've ever written for (especially Buffy), found families, best friends forever, music.

Miscellaneous:
I'm not requiring you to use every character I've tagged, although unless I say otherwise in the prompt I'd like for you to use at least one.

If whatever we matched on doesn't work for you for whatever reason, I have also included FAQ: The "Snake Fight" Portion of Your Thesis Defense, which is very short so you should be able to pick that fandom up without much effort. It's here: https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/faq-the-snake-fight-portion-of-your-thesis-defense.

You can also look at previous Yuletide requests I made - they should be under the tag "yuletide letter" and see if one of those suits you better.

If nothing I've said or suggested works for you, please don't stress; whatever you write will probably work for me because I love the fandoms I asked for. If whatever we matched on doesn't work for you anymore for whatever reason, and if none of my other prompts suit you, please feel free to look at my previous Yuletide requests, located directly below this letter in my live journal. If you want to check out works I've written or loved enough to bookmark, my ao3 SlowMercury has both, and I've got some older works over at Twisting the Hellmouth.

And I really hope that you have fun writing this. Good luck and merry Yule!


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Eris

Yuletide 2019

Dear Yuletide Writer,

Thanks for choosing to write for one of the stories I love! I am, as always, delighted and excited for Yuletide. I have received some lovely gifts, and I am fairly easy to please. That said, I do have some Things I Would Like and some things I Do Not Want:

Do Not Want:
Non-consensual sex; sex or sexy relationships between people with a severe power imbalance like students and teachers or prison guards and inmates; RPF, with an exception for people who have been dead so long that no one alive would have ever personally met them, or actors who have played a version of themselves -- like Neil Patrick Harris in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, or Adam West; porn with no context; romantic pairings that don't explain at least in passing how and why the relationship happened, unless the pairing is canon.

Do Want:
I love all sorts of fics, and I will be happy to get many different sorts of stories. Here's a non-exhaustive list of things I like. Feel free to pick and choose if anything strikes your fancy: casefic; humor; character pieces; stories about what happened next or what happened to side characters; stories about friendships and relationships and family, whether it be found families or blood; action stories, adventures and mysteries; crossovers - you can use any fandom I've ever nominated or written for; and happy endings, or at worst bittersweet. (I don't particularly want to be depressed over a story someone gifted to me at the holidays!)

Other random things I like in stories include: shapeshifters, liars, history, ninja, geology, meteorology, people who swear, people who laugh, gardens, mad science, fairy tales and other oral traditions, times when The Butler Did It, road trips, fugitives, pirates, truth potions, medical professionals sent to the past starting cultural revolutions, alligators, the theater, magic which is fantastic and unknowable, magic which follows internally coherent rules, death traps, people on opposite sides of a conflict becoming friends anyway, the power of rock and roll, religious and/or sexual and/or ethnic diversity, people being stunningly competent in their chosen fields, epic quests, ninja pirates, community building, slapstick, heists, octopuses, people working hard to earn their happy endings, puns and riddles.

If nothing I've said or suggested works for you, please don't stress. I want you to keep my DNWs in mind, but whatever you do want to write will probably work for me. If whatever we matched on doesn't work for you anymore for whatever reason, and if none of my other prompts suit you, please feel free to look at my previous Yuletide requests, located directly below this letter in my live journal. I try to ask for at least one movie a year, which is a shorter time commitment to learn a new canon for a Yuletide writer who needs a new prompt. If you want to check out works I've written or loved enough to bookmark, my ao3 SlowMercury has both, and I've got some older works over at Twisting the Hellmouth.


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Looking back at the prompts I gave, I'm realizing I, uh, really ranted a lot. You definitely don't have to listen to it if you don't want to or if it doesn't make sense to you, but I figured more is better for sparking ideas. Sorry if it's a bit overwhelming.

Anyway, thank you and good luck!
dun

Yuletide 2018!

Dear Yuletide Writer,

Thank you for writing for me! I am delighted that it's this time of year again already; the year somehow went very quickly.

Do Not Want:
I am fairly easy to please and will probably like whatever you give me, so do not worry! In terms of what I Do Not Want, I don't have a large list. Please do not give me: non-consensual sex; sex or sexy relationships between people with a severe power imbalance like students and teachers or prison guards and inmates; RPF, with an exception for people who have been dead so long that no one alive would have ever personally met them; just a sex scene with no context or explanation; or non-canon pairings that don't explain at least in passing how and why the relationship happened.

Things I Do Want:
Here are some things I enjoy, but do not feel obligated to do all of them. You probably can't do all of them even if you tried, actually. So, I like: casefic; humor; character pieces; stories about what happened next or what happened to side characters; stories about friendships and relationships and family, whether it be found families or blood; action stories, adventures and mysteries; and happy endings. I'm not going to ask for happy endings for everything this year, though - some of the fandoms I requested don't really lend themselves to it, or else they lean towards "life goes on" endings rather than victorious/happy ones. When one of the most cheerful fandoms you've asked for is A Night in the Lonesome October - a story with plenty of murder and eldritch abominations all over the place - you know getting a completely happy ending might be too much to ask for. (But if you're writing for the Johnny Maxwell trilogy, please try for happy anyway...)

Finally, if none of these ideas float your boat, don't feel obligated! Please do keep my dislikes in mind, but other than that go as wild as you want. Alternatively, if you've looked at what I'm asking for and just can't - like, you thought you could write for Pan's Labyrinth but have suddenly discovered a burning hatred in your heart for fauns of all types and now you cannot face the idea of writing for this fandom anymore - please do feel free to fill a Yuletide request from previous years. They're right below this entry on my livejournal.

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Thanks, and have a Happy Yuletide!
rope

Yuletide 2017 Letter

Dear Yule Writer,



I've participated in Yuletide a few times before and I'm always delighted when it happens. I'm not the most organized about it, nor am I the most timely (I hope you're taking your sweet time before checking out this letter, for example, because I was expecting to have much more time before it'd get read by anyone), but I'm always happy that Yuletide's here.

If none of my suggestions work for you, please just write whatever you like although I'd prefer if you'd keep my dislikes in mind. If nothing works, please feel free to check out my previous Yuletide requests, which are directly the three top entries in my livejournal.

I like genfic, and casefic, and humor, and adventures. Alternate universes, what-if stories and crossovers are fun, too, and I like character studies and relationship studies and glimpses into people's thought processes. Romance is cool too. I like any kind of pairing (het, femslash, slash, poly, whatever), as long as it's based on more than just the physical, but please don't just give me pornography. I also dislike reading romantic relationships between people with one person in a position of authority and other person not in a position to say no. More generally, please no dubious consent stories. Finally, please don't write me a completely unhappy ending, although bittersweet's fine.

If you're curious, you can see my writing at A03 as SlowMercury, at Twisting the Hellmouth although I haven't written much there recently, and on this livejournal as well.

Thank you and I hope you have a lovely Yuletide!

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dun

Yuletide Letter 2016

Dear Yuletide Writer,

This is my second year participating in Yuletide. I had a great time last time and I got a lovely story, so I'm really excited for this year too! If you're curious about what I've done, I'm over at A03 at SlowMercury, and at Twisting the Hellmouth at SlowMercury. There are stories on this livejournal, too.

I'm sorry! I was slow at posting my sign-up request info so only some of them got filled in before the deadline, but it is all here if you matched me on one of the sections I didn't properly finish. I'm really sorry!

Things I want:
I probably love gen fics best, but it's also okay if you want to write well thought out romance of any type. I'm good with het, femslash, slash and polyamory. I like humor, character pieces, stories focusing on friendships or on friends who are lovers, action adventures, mysteries, case fic, and earning your happy ending.

Things I don't want:
I'd rather not have an unhappy ending, although bittersweet is fine - I'd prefer not a complete downer, though. I don't like non-canon pairings when they're thrown together without any reasonable explanation nor do I like non-con. Incest and power differentials in relationships such as student/teacher also squick me.

If for whatever reason you don't want to write any of the prompts, don't worry! Go ahead and write whatever, although I'd prefer if you kept my dislikes in mind. If you get really stuck, feel free to look at/write for last year's prompt - there's at least one movie on there, so it's a small time commitment.

Thanks so much, and have a merry Yuletide!

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rope

Yuletide Letter 2015

Dear Yuletide Writer,

I am so excited to actually participate in Yuletide this year! Usually I forget until just before everyone starts to panic about their story being due and end up as a beta, but this year I'm all in. (My name's the same at A03, SlowMercury.)

Things I want:
I probably love gen fics best, but it's also okay if you want to write well thought out romance of any type. I'm good with het, femslash, slash and polyamory. I like character pieces, stories focusing on friendships or on friends who are lovers, action adventures, mysteries, case fic, earning your happy ending, and humor.

I'm also good with crossovers (particularly Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Diane Duane's Young Wizards), and with alternate universes like daemons, steampunk, and noir. I'm not very fond of coffee shop or high school AUs, though. Don't feel obligated to do these, I just wanted to mention this in case nothing else sparked interest with you.

Things I don't want:
I'd rather not have an unhappy ending, although bittersweet is fine - I don't want a complete downer, though. I don't like non-canon pairings when they're thrown together without any reasonable explanation nor do I like non-con. Incest and power differentials in relationships such as student/teacher equals squick me.

You don't have to follow every suggestion I made here or in the prompts, and you probably couldn't if you wanted to. You don't even have to follow any of the suggestions or prompts if you don't want, although I'd appreciate your keeping my dislikes in mind. I'm sure I'll enjoy whatever you write, and I'm looking forward to it. :)

I hope this helps for writing. Good luck!

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rope

Yuletide 2013, Beta

So ever since I became aware of it, way back whenever, I've pretty much thought Yuletide was the coolest thing since ever.* And I thought, Well, you too could do Yuletide! But then I never did, because... what if I volunteered for a tiny fandom and got matched for it and then suddenly realized I hated that fandom after all, and then I wrote a bad story and thereby ruined someone's Chrismakawanzaukah Solstice forever?

And then yesterday or so, I thought, "Well, self, you've once again missed the official deadline, possibly once again accidentally-on-purpose. But! You can still participate, aside from treats and madness! You can beta fics! You're not bad at spelling, and you're one of those people who annoyed all her friends back in middle school by correcting their grammar, and you love English and helping people, and you like to fix things,** and you're good at explaining plot holes! This could be your moment to shine!"

So! I have volunteered to beta for Yuletide this year. I have looked over the list of fandoms, and I have discovered that I claimed familiarity with some fandoms which currently have no other beta readers listed! This means that if you want to write a fic for, say the Matthew Swift Series, I could be your only option for beta reading***! Mwahahaha!

Perhaps someone will even ask me to do it.




* Possible slight exaggeration. (But not really. People writing stories for each other in an exchange for all the fandom sources that get ignored or sidelined most of the time? Fantastic!)

** Not actually true. My idea of what to do after a light bulb burns out is to leave it until I get tired of walking into furniture in the dark. Is this laziness? I don't know; it could just be that I'm also happy in the dark. Although I'm less happy when there's furniture in the way.

***Unless, of course, you're willing to ask someone who's not on the official beta reader list for that fandom.
hate

Noooooo! Why, fanfiction.net, why?!?

So, there seems to be a lot of hatred for fanfiction.net out there on the internet. I've never really shared that hatred for one good reason*: if you're not logged in, fanfiction.net lets you claim to be anyone at all when you leave reviews. This means that whenever I felt like it, I could say I was "Clobberin' Moll," "Farfignewgin the Far Traveled," "Dead Presidents," "In-Law At Large" or "Mealz on Wheelz" as the fancy struck me.

I know, I know -- people can't respond to your reviews if you're not signed in, especially if you habitually lie about your pseudonym. However, I don't leave many reviews that aren't gushing [because why bother to comment on a story you didn't really like?], and if I ever do leave a negative one I always sign in so the author can respond, so it's not like anyone got hurt, or at least no one got more hurt than they would if I had stayed anonymous. And if I left several reviews for one author, I'd usually use the same pseudonym so they could tell the multiple reviews were from the same person (or at least I would if I remembered and I felt like it).

This bizarre habit has provided me with hours of good, clean fun. (This is maybe an exaggeration. It's been an hour and a half of fun, tops. Honest.) Anyway, it allowed me to custom tailor my pseudonyms appropriately to whatever I happened to be reading or feeling.

And now fanfiction.net has disabled the feature. Now anonymous reviewers are all creatively called "Guest."

I hope this is a temporary bug or something, and that soon I will again be free to call myself "Skylark the Secondhanded" while writing deep, insightful replies to people's deep, insightful stories about James Bond meeting the Little Mermaid IN SPACE!.

I am hoping, but I am not going to hold my breath.

EDIT: So I was totally wrong! The anonymous pseudonyms came back, and my life is once again a bowl of puppies and kittens playing in sunshine. REJOICE!

*Actually, two good reasons: the other reason is that I practically never post anything there, so whenever they change the formatting or delete PG stories for fear of offending G rated sensibilities or whatever, I am completely unbothered because I've got almost nothing there to disturb.
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hate

argh, and Discussion Writing Femgen This Year

So, I have once again been on the late side for Femgenficathon. And by "on the late side," I mean "actually missed all the deadlines." All of them. I was late to sign up, and I was 24 hours and 3 minutes late to post (even after the extension). Clearly I am a marvel of organization.

I got a pretty good prompt and then couldn't settle on a fandom. I wrote scraps of stories in at least three different fandoms, but none of them fit quite right. I really, really wanted to write an Avatar: The Last Airbender fic on Azula and Ty Lee with cameo by Mai, but then I couldn't figure out how the actual plot would work. Actually, though, I think someone else might have written this one--I haven't read many of the Femgen fics yet this year, but I think I did see that one.

I ended up turning, in desperation, to a fic I started I don't even know how many years ago and never finished. It's been sitting on my hard drive since, like, 2007 or so. Naively, I thought that it was a paragraph or two away from completion. Instead, it took another 15 hundred words. I'm glad I finally finished it, but in some ways it wasn't a great fit for femgen. The character is about a mother (and this ficathon was designed to get away from women forced into traditional roles), it's told from the point of view of one of her (OC) kids, and it's got a whole lot of men running around for a fic that's supposed to be about women. I actually changed the sex of one the character's kids so that there'd be more women. In the scheme of things, it actually made next to no difference, which surprised me a bit--I changed some pronouns and that was about the size of it.

Also, it's once again an obscure fandom (Black Cat), has a bunch of Original Characters and OC interactions, and for a bonus it's a long fic (the longest I've posted on the internet, I think). At least it's in the past tense this time.

I also am starting to worry like maybe my femgen fics are too similar to each other. I seem to be hitting the "family is awesome / you don't have to actually understand people to love them," and "live your life in your own style" themes pretty hard. And if it's not that, then I'm writing about people who are not quite sane but are working their way back to stability. But I like these themes, which I guess is why I keep using them.

(That's the other reason I backed off the Azula fic--I've done a lot of "sanity" stuff for femgen. The other other reason I didn't write "Azula in the Spirit World: Nightmare on Fire Street" was that I couldn't figure out how to make that story have a happy ending, or at least an ending where Azula isn't waiting in the wings for Firelord Zuko to falter so she could swoop in, massacre everyone, take over the Fire Kingdom and then do a really bad job running it because she's still completely nuts.)
dun

late for femgen, as is apparently usual for me

Title: My Mother, Kyoko
Author: slowmercury
Fandom: Black Cat mangaverse
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: None
Prompt: 91) To have a good enemy, choose a friend; he knows where to strike. -- Diane de Poitiers (1499-1566), French courtier and favorite mistress of Henri II of France. — Prompt unused
Summary: Kyoko is a good mother, if an unconventional one. She gets the important things right.
Notes: You shouldn't need much familiarity with the Black Cat universe to understand this story; all you really need to know is that "Sweeper" is another name for "bounty hunter," the Apostles of the Stars were a very small organization of superpowered terrorists, and that Chronos is the shadowy world government, who enforce their ideals of peace with an elite cadre of 13 assassins.


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