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Dear Yuletide Goat 2009

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Nov. 12th, 2009 | 07:46 pm
posted by: msmcknittington in loathlylady

I'm so sorry for the delay on this, Dear Yuletide Author! NaNoWriMo is kicking my butt this year.

Dearest Yuletide Author,

I would just like to say, before I get to the meat of this letter, that I am so, so grateful that you signed up for this. Whatever you write I will be delighted with -- optional details are optional, etc. Thank you so much for signing up! No pressure!

About Me

Please see last year's letter for the long version of this.

I read across a wide variety of subjects, but I tend to stick to historical fiction and fantasy and novels written in the 19th century. I prefer character-driven rather than plot-driven stories, and I am a sucker for a good romance. I have a heart made of gooey nougat, quite frankly. However! I do enjoy balanced worldviews, where everything is not sunshine and lollipops and the characters are not just balls of adorable fluff.

I really do not like stories about rape and incest. Those are two huge turn-offs for me. Nor do I like alpha-males/"punishing kisses". Consent is sexy.

I also adore characters that act in character. Canon is sexy, too.

About My Fandoms

Sarah Monette - The Doctrine of Labyrinths

Characters I selected: Cardenio Richey, Mehitabel Parr

I will confess here that I LOVE fic about secondary characters. Cardenio and Mehitabel are probably my two favorite secondary characters in the series. I don't see them as a couple -- I just can't see that working or even as likely -- so don't try to give them happysexytiems or anything.

Mehitabel is such a strong female character, and she delights me with her strength. She's flawed and she's aware of her flaws and she knows she's not always a nice person. And she's neither a virgin or a whore! Whoa! She's a protagonist and she doesn't fit that big, fat, really common, really irritating trope? Be still my heart.

ETA: Apparently I spaced on including why I like Cardenio. He's just so quiet and sweet and not the sort of person you expect to end up dragging dead bodies from a river. So I'd love to read more about the cade-skiffs and why Cardenio is one.

I would really prefer not to get a story about Mildmay or Felix, especially not if it were about them having a sexual relationship. They are brothers, Mildmay is straight and really uncomfortable with the idea, and those things put together make it so I would be very uncool with that.

Teresa Medeiros - Shadows and Lace

Characters I selected: Marlys of Caerleon, Rowena Fordyce, Sir Blaine

Up front: This is a REALLY BAD romance novel. It's just kind of all over the place, and the hero and heroine are really uninspiring. They pretty much have no chemistry. But Marlys! The hero's sister. Marlys is DELIGHTFUL. She dresses up in armor and jumps out of trees to tackle her brother. Armor! Trees! Tackling! She takes no guff from anybody. She is pretty much the most crack-fed character I have ever encountered in a medieval romance, and I love her for it. She also has some pretty deeply seated mental problems and probably murdered her stepmother, but we can't all be perfect. Right?

I want fic about Marlys. She rides away at the end of the book, to parts unknown. I'd like to see her adventures after she rides off. Does she become a mercenary in disguise as a man? Does she turn into a highwayman? A nun? (OK, that one's not likely.) Whatever she does, it will be kickass.

Or! She has more sexual tension with the heroine, Rowena, than the hero does. It is really pretty strange. I wouldn't mind a fic about a love triangle between Marlys, Rowena, and Sir Blaine. I really don't like slash, but Rowena and the hero (whom I can't stand so I can't remember his name) have zero chemistry, and the hero is also a big ol' asshole. Although, Marlys is also sort of an asshole, so . . . well, it is what it is.

Actually, I wouldn't mind fic just about Sir Blaine. He basically runs his household in a really dissipated, orgiastic way, which is very what the what now? Like, his castle is not just a castle -- it's a sex castle. But WHY? WHY IS IT A SEX CASTLE? It makes no sense! Why? Character study on Sir Blaine, please.

RPF - 16th-17th century

Persons I selected: Charles II, Catherine of Braganza, Nell Gwynne

My big request for this is something that came out of Yuletide chat last year, and it is still endlessly amusing to me. I would like to see Marc Antony (yes, the dude who slept with Cleopatra) and Charles II to have a "who is more sexy contest?" ¿Quién es más macho? ¿Quién es más suave? They are two of the most infamous lovers in history -- if you want to throw Casanova in there, feel free. It's OK if the portrayals are not historically accurate -- have fun! I mean, it's going to involve time travel, so there's no point to clinging too closely to history. Funny! Light! Humorous!

Barring Charles II/Marc Antony crack!fic, I would love to see a fictionalization of this scene, taken from the Wikipedia entry for Catherine of Braganza:

Catherine became pregnant and miscarried at least twice, and during a severe illness in 1663, she thought, for a time, she had given birth. Charles comforted her by telling her she had indeed given birth to two sons and a daughter. Her position was a difficult one, as Charles continued to have children by his many mistresses, but insisted she be treated with respect, and sided with her over his mistresses when he felt she was not receiving the respect she was due.

I cannot even begin to imagine how difficult her position was, or how difficult her relationship with Charles was. It would be a dramatic moment for sure, and I am not averse to angst.

Barring either of those, I would love to see Nell Gwynne being sassy. I am enchanted with her wit, especially this well known episode:

Nell is especially remembered for one particularly apt witticism, which was recounted in the memoirs of the Comte de Gramont, remembering the events of 1681:

Nell Gwynn was one day passing through the streets of Oxford, in her coach, when the mob mistaking her for her rival, the Duchess of Portsmouth, commenced hooting and loading her with every opprobrious epithet. Putting her head out of the coach window, "Good people", she said, smiling, "you are mistaken; I am the Protestant whore."

This appeal to British bigotry made her immensely popular. The Catholic whore was still the Frenchwoman Louise de Kérouaille, who had been created Duchess of Portsmouth in 1673.

So fic about Nell Gwynne being witty? More than welcome!

North and South UK (book or tv)

Characters I selected: Bessy Higgins, Henry Lennox, Margaret Hale

I love North & South because rather than being about nobility or people with more money than they know what to do with, it's about the middle and lower classes, and the characters are so beautifully nuanced. Add in the truly delightful romance between John and Margaret, and it is sure to please me.

I think what I'd like most of all from this is to see what would have happened if Margaret said yes to Henry's proposal of marriage. Would they have been happy? Would Margaret have found herself like she did when her family moved north? Would Henry have recognized her strengths and intelligence or would she have remained a pretty girl to him always?

Alternatively, I'd like to see things from Henry Lennox's point of view, or at least see Henry happy. Henry's got a bit of a stick up his butt, really -- he's a little cold. But I think he has a genuinely good heart. It's just that he hasn't found his way to it yet. So! I would like to see what happens to Henry after the novel/miniseries ends. If it takes original characters, so be it.

As for Bessy Higgins, oh, I don't know. I just like Bessy. She and Margaret do have a lot in common. I think I'd like to see alternate endings for Bessy's life as she lays dying. (That sounds really morbid, doesn't it?) Like little vignettes of what her life could have been: Bessy from a family with money so she wouldn't have had to have worked in the factory, Bessy as a farm girl (crossover with Thomas Hardy's Wessex? Ooh, that'd be cool!), Bessy as a wife, Bessy as a shopkeeper. Just Bessy in endless variations of what she was not. It could be interesting!

In closing, thanks again Yuletide writer! You are awesomesauce, truly. Good luck! Anything that you write will make me happy.

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