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unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe

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Words: 516 today, slightly over 500 the other day.
Total: 18269
Tyop: none
Darling: "Natrian promised me he would have [your bedroom] decorated, but he has the aesthetic sense of a scholar, which is to say none whatsoever. He seemed to think books sufficed for ornament." Lisrae did not entirely disagree with this opinion.
Mean things: Class issues. Feeling like a petty jerk because you were one.
Reason for stopping: way too much worldbuilding work to do. I think tomorrow is going to be a day for the longhand notebook; I really have to figure some of this stuff out.
Things my characters haven't told me: all the things. Gah. Most notably how research works.
Other writing-related work: sent my bio into the journalism school and changed my twitter bio to reflect that I am going to journalism school. (Hey, did I mention I start my MJ in September?) This more than anything caused massive freakout.
Books in progress: I read? When this story has eaten my brain?
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Words: 287
Total: 17218
Reason for stopping: beachball of doom. Also this was like pulling teeth. Adorable is not my strong point.
Tyop: gathering dada
Darling: n/a
Mean things: Intimidating adults catching you being immature. Conversely, overly exuberant children.
Nice things: beds that are excellent for jumping up and down. Teachers who respect your right to self-determination.
Things my characters haven't told me: all the stuff on the previous lists plus the difference between casual and semiformal dress.
Books in progress: Iain M. Banks, Use of Weapons
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Words: ~1100ish (I was all over the file and don't feel like going to the trouble of doing an accurate count.)
Total: 16930.
Reason for stopping: social time with almost-sister.
Tyop: n/a
Darling:  The kiss was sweet and yielding, a gentle invitation instead of a challenge, and Thesarien could read it as easily as he could Natrian’s face: Yes, it said. I love you as you are, all of you, even the parts that make you despair. Take me if that is your wish, and be the man you are; I am yours in this as in all things. Nothing could have infuriated Thesarien more.
Mean things: Your spouse calling you out on your bullshit in the way that only the person closest to you can. Internalized homophobia.
Nice things: Moving into a new place and finding out someone has considerately filled your bookshelf for you. Best. Day. Ever.
Things my characters haven't told me: how everyone manages to take half a year off at this stage of their lives. The composition of the Mavirae household. How Baby's First Magic Lesson works. How Thesarien escaped Weyren. Whether I need to know how Thesarien escaped Weyren.
Books in progress: Iain M. Banks, Use of Weapons.
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So since this is supposed to be my summer of taking writing seriously, I thought I'd start doing progress reports here as a way to keep myself honest. This is the novella that I used to call "Defender of the House," but really I can't think of it as anything other than "Lisrae Has Two Daddies." It's about families of choice coming together through tragedy, and no one will ever want to read it, but I like it. It has snarky historians and prickly poets, anyway, so that's a win.

Words: 394.
Total: 15798 (good lord)
Reason for stopping: bed.
Tyop: n/a
Darling: none. Fear not, though, these are some pretty sarcastic characters, so there should usually be some entertaining quips in this section.
Mean things: Telepathy. Knowing your life is no longer your own, and not knowing just yet what that means.
Things my characters haven't told me: how everyone manages to take half a year off at this stage of their lives. The composition of the Mavirae household. How Baby's First Magic Lesson works.
Books in progress: Iain M. Banks, Use of Weapons.
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With 40 minutes to spare. I really like it, which probably means it's terrible.
Current Mood:
jubilant jubilant
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Okay. So, I am home for the holidays, and for some reason I have more work to do than ever. No idea why this is, but I thought I'd post my to-do list, just for public accountability. (Seriously, how do I have this much to do? This was supposed to be my year off.)

Lots of changes in my life, most of which I am too tired to chronicle here. Long story short, I am back in ottawa, and look to be staying there permanently, or at least in the long term. I have spent the semester floundering around, trying to figure out what's next. I think I've managed. More on that later.

So, by Jan 8th

Writing, fiction
-Yuletide fic (current threat level: Bears!!!)
-Christmas present novelettes "Defender of the House and "Ornament of the Worlds," (Andorel Phai backstory)

School:
-Outstanding paper, 10 pages
-last of the grant paperwork
-TA job application
-Research for supervisor
-Grad school application and assembly of portfolio, time permitting

Writing, non-fiction
-book review, on spec
-Contracted interviews for blog (3)
-at least 1 pitch and/or WWC blog post

Doesn't seem like a lot when I've written it out here, but I will have to spend every day of the holiday at my computer. Oh well. At least I like what I'm doing?

Have some metrics:

"Defender of the House"

Words today: 1711
Words total: 4398
Tyop du jour: nothing interesting
Darling du jour, completely context free: She had about a hundred [questions], from What’s a Worldcharter? and How do you start a weather regulation system? to Will you hurt me very often?
Mean things: The privileges and pitfalls of rank. One's parents disagreeing with one's life choices. One's teacher refusing to answer one's perfectly reasonable questions. Institutionalized slavery. Being unable to see what is right in front of one's face. Having responsibility for the first time.
Nice things: Sometimes you draw a lucky card in the institutionalized slavery lottery. Having a teacher who likes smartasses.
Sustenance: bacon
Current Location:
the living room
Current Mood:
tired tired
Current Music:
Johnny Cash--Solitary Man
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Hello, Yuletide Writer

(warning: long letter is long)

Thank you so much for writing in one of these really tiny fandoms! I'm sure I will love anything you write, and if you have something planned out, please feel free to ignore my ramblings. One thing I'd like to say from the outset, though, is that I've had a really tough year, and I'd really appreciate something with a happy or hopeful ending. Usually I am Princess Angsty McAngstMuffin of Angstland, and please feel free to have as much angst as you like in the story itself, but yeah, really bad year. I would love to have something that leaves me with the feeling that all the struggle is worth it in the end.

That said, here's some things I like in general, mostly copied from last year's letter:

Well-crafted dialogue
Witty banter
Hurt/comfort (though as a trauma survivor and friend of trauma survivors, I am VERY PICKY about this. I need at least an attempt at realism to feel okay about it.)
AUs of any type, whether it's the 'one small decision changes everything' type, or, well, Rachel Maddow and Ezra Kliuen as space pirates (for which see below)
Happy endings that are well-earned
Porn with plot
Plot with porn
Angst
Historical accuracy
BDSM themes/anything to do with power exchange or shifting power dynamics--especially shifting power dynamics, actually. If you have a character that is the Domliest Dom that ever Dommed *and the narrative never examines this* I will probably roll my eyes a lot
Character studies
Stories that pass the Bechdel test
Worldbuilding
Humour

Things I don't like in general
Endings that are irredeemably bleak
Gender-swapping
Mpreg
Using trauma as an impetus for a character to get together with her one Twu Wuv
Gratuitous rape
Overly fluffy things. I like my romances to have an edge
Damage to eyes
Damage to tongues
Disabled characters that exist in any way to Inspire! others.
Erasure of bisexuality/other sexual identities
Cross-species relationships (no Elizabeth/Dragon sex, I beg of you.)
Middle Ages-bashing

Now onto my specific requests:

Captive Prince--Freece (Laurent/Damen)
My Prompt: I would love either Laurent's POV on anything that has happened in the story so far, or some sort of Captive Prince AU--the relationship between the main characters is so intense that I'd love to see how it translates into another setting. But really all I want for yuletide is Laurent. Lots and lots of Laurent.

Basically either Laurent POV or Laurent-centric is what I'd like here. Laurent is such a fascinating character and I'd love to know what goes on inside his head. As far as whether Laurent Knows or not, my personal position is that he does and has all along, especially after the end of Part II. But if you think otherwise, feel free to explore how that might look. As far as AUs go, I'd love to see what might have happened if both Auguste and Damen had survived. But if you want to go completely crackfic and write, like, a Laurent/Damen high school AU or something that's fine too.

For those of you who don't know, Captive Prince is a web serial and available to read completely free online. It is about Damen, Prince and heir to the throne of Akielos, who gets sold into slavery by his evil half brother. He ends up the slave of Prince Laurent of Rabat, a magnificent bastard and incredibly well-drawn abuse survivor. Hijinks ensue. The first chapter is here: http://freece.livejournal.com/35519.html.

Closing Time: Leonard Cohen song
My Prompt: The Gates of Love they budged an inch/I can't say much has happened since..." Look, if you had the balls to offer this song, you probably already have an awesome idea, so just go with that. I'd love to see this in an SFnal or post-apocalyptic setting. Just tell me what is going on here!

Not much to say other than that. The important thing with this one is to have fun with it and let your imagination run wild! The music video is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-0lV5qs1Qw

Pundit RPF (US) (Rachel Maddow and Ezra Klein)
My Prompt: I would love to see these two in a completely platonic mentor-student relationship where each thinks the other is just fabulous. PLEASE DO NOT MAKE RACHEL STRAIGHT I MEAN IT. If you were to bring in Lawrence being wonderfully bitchy, that would also be awesome. AUs are also totally awesome here. Rachel and Ezra in space! Rachel and Ezra kidnapped by pirates! Rachel and Ezra Regency AU! Rachel and Ezra in poisontaster's Keptverse or something like it---Ezra is pretty enough to be a body-slave, and they would totally both get involved in the abolitionist movement! Rachel and Ezra as Jedi! The possibilities are endless. But if you want to play it straight (heh), that's fine too, as long as there is no icky sex between them.

This is my first time requesting RPF and I'm kind of nervous about it. I focused on AUs in the prompt because I have no idea how the election is going to go, and if it goes the bad way, I don't know how you'd write an uplifting fic. This is not to say real life isn't welcome, it's just I don't know where you would go with it. (For those of you who want an idea of my politics beyond the fact that I watch MSNBC enough to be fannish about it, I'm Canadian and Romney fills me with such horror and distaste he makes me long for the simpler days of Bush the Lesser. At least I felt like Bush believed what he said some of the time.) If you do go RL, if Lawrence O'Donnell could actually get in a fistfight with Tagg Romney, that would be awesome beyond description. (Can you tell I wish Lawrence were on the nominated characters list?)

If you don't know what I mean by 'poisontaster's Keptverse,' well. The main fic is A Kept Boy, a Supernatural slavefic AU, and if you liked Captive Prince, you'll probably like it. It is not a happy slavefic world--it exists in more of the grim future I imagine if, well, Romney gets elected and hands everything over to the plutocrats, and then that trend doesn't stop. (The divergent point in history is fairly clearly the Great Depression, and the consequences of that aren't pretty.) You don't need any knowledge of Supernatural to read it--I don't have any. The masterpost is here: http://poisontaster.livejournal.com/417962.html#cutid1. Trigger warnings: chld sexual abuse, mentions of rape, violence, suicide, and forced starvation, drug use, Tom Cruise, the 1%.)

I mention this story in part because it's the only RPS verse I've ever liked, and also because it's a springboard for me to talk about sexuality. As I said above, I really don't want straight!Rachel. And yet, I have no problem reading JDM/Jensen Ackles, even though I'm fairly sure neither are gay in RL. As well, if you wanted to write Ezra/Chris Hayes slash, say, as part of the larger story, I would read the shit out of that, cause who wouldn't? But I'm really uncomfortable with the idea of erasing the sexuality of an openly lesbian woman. I'm not sure why, but there it is. As well, I think fandom needs more fics about friends, and it's pretty clear to me that these two are. (please don't feel you have to go with anything power-dynamicy here, I just offer it as an example of something I've liked, plus the idea of Rachel and Ezra as revolutionaries makes me smile.) I woud just mainly love to see anything at all where they are supportive and encouraging of each other, and recognize the other's great intellectual gifts.

Rachel Maddow is the anchor of the Rachel Maddow Show, which has the primetime spot on MSNBC. Their website is http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/. Ezra Klein is an MSNBC contributor and the main writer of the Washington Post blog Wonkbook: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/. They may be followed on Twitter @maddow and @ezraklein.

The Paper Bag Princess--Robert Munsch. (Princess Elizabeth and the Dragon)
My Prompt: have always, always wanted the fic where Elizabeth goes back to the dragon and they have adventures. If you write it for me, I will love you forever.

Tread carefully with this one, it's my childhood, and one of the books that most shaped my character as an adult. It made me a feminist. I love Princess Elizabeth and the Dragon, and I'd love to see what happens if they meet in the future. Should contain copious amounts of Elizabeth being awesome. Have fun with it.

Thank you so much, dear Yuletide writer! I can't wait to see what you create.
Tags:
* * *
-finish final paper
-finish short story
-finish housing documentation
-book flight home
-translation work

Things I don't need to do:
-three Vorkosigan fanfics, one of which is a fanfic of a fanfic

Guess which files are open on my computer right now?

* * *
So, the new novel spawned words on the old novel. Maybe working on two projects at once is the way to go. When I get stuck on or bored with one, I can move to the other.

That Book About Lairelle


Words today: 767
Words total: Oh, I have no idea anymore, the thing is spread out across too many files.
Reason for stopping: I can't find a way into this difficult conversation.

Tyop du jour: to berak the fall
Darling du jour:

Only...she really did have to relieve herself. There was no way, no matter what had happened to her, that she was going to let herself wet the bed like some newly-Repudiated, Fever-ridden cripple. She would just have to find a cleansing room and get in and out before anyone noticed her. Lairelle got up on her elbow and tried to move herself into a sitting position, but a deep, throbbing pain just below her stomach stopped her, and she fell back onto the pillow.

All right. This was going to be a problem.

Mean things: Having to go pee while being unable to move. Total disorientation. Muscle atrophy. Trauma. Stab wounds. Making an idiot of oneself.
The glamour!: Liz hawkwing_lb and I had a long discussion about stab wounds today, which led to some truly horrifying research on disembowelment. I don't even want to link to it here, but if you feel like being horrified and possibly losing your lunch? Google Abigail Taylor. (NSFW. Or life. Or sanity.)
Things needing names: all the servants
Other stuff done today: Returned library books. Registered for summer Latin class. Made sure I was getting the last bit of my scholarship. A bit of reading. Doesn't seem like much, but all of it was anxiety-inducing.

Current Mood:
tired tired
* * *
Well. Looks like I just grew a new novel. It came to me in a dream (literally.)

Untitled YA Debtors' Prison/Reality TV Thing

Words today: 1146
Words total: 1146
Reason for Stopping: food needed, and homework

Tyop: out exercise yard
Darling:[The guard]  told me his name once too. It's Nikos. I don't even let myself think it most of the time, let alone call him by it like he asked. If anyone ever found out he'd get fired, and then...well. He's only working here to pay off his own debt, and if he loses this job, I might see him again, but only when I watch the chain gangs march out from across the yard.
Mean things: Being in prison since the day she was born, with no hope to ever get out. Asshole guards. Unexplained summons to the Warden's office. The guy she likes is completely inappropriate. Gang rivalry.
Inside jokes: the warden is an alumnus of both UofT and Carleton.
Things needing names: A production company. Protagonist's family members. Rival gang members. The prison.


Well. That was fun.
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