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Yuletide Letter 2010

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Nov. 18th, 2010 | 10:34 pm
posted by: msmcknittington in loathlylady

Dear Yuletide author,

Thank you so much for signing up for Yuletide this year! It's a big commitment during the holiday season, especially if you're still in school as the semester ends. So thank you for making the time and brain commitment to bring small fandom joy to someone you don't even know.

Just a quick note on my dislikes before I dive into what I love about my fandoms: I really dislike rape/dub con/non con and incest in the things I read. I know that these are important issues that people can deal with respectfully and meaningfully in their fiction, but I have difficulty approaching these in fictional works in a way that doesn't leave me upset, so I would appreciate it if what you wrote didn't include these topics.

I'd also appreciate it if what you wrote wasn't smut. I feel weird asking a stranger to write porn for me -- like I've let someone borrow my underwear. Mature issues and language are fine, just not explicit sex scenes.

Fairy Tales

Two years ago I requested fairy tales, and I was so incredibly delighted with what I received that I couldn't resist requesting it again.

I didn't specify any exact stories, because what I would really like is meta fic, where the characters from various stories are all present in the same "universe". I guess I mean something like Shrek or the Thursday Next books by Jasper Fforde, but not fic for those things. Like maybe there's an evil witches convention where they get together to share trade secrets or something, or Snow White's step-mom and the Big Bad Wolf hang out and throw darts at a picture of the woodsman, or Baba Yaga ends up being Sleeping Beauty's good fairy godmother. I tried going through the list of fairy tales nominated, but I couldn't really choose any four over the others. It's pretty much open season here as to what fairy tales you select, so do your worst.

If you'd rather not write something meta-y like that, then I'd love to have a story about a female fairy tale character finding freedom and empowerment and not just being a "princess". You can write about smart women in a fairy tale setting, you can make a female villain sympathetic, you can write a modern story using the narrative structure from a fairy tale -- I am so flexible on this topic.

I'm most familiar with the stories out of the Brothers Grimm (so Western European fairy tales, essentially). If you decide to write something you think I might not have read, just mention it in the author's note and I'll look it up. Or! Feel free to contact me through proxy or whatever either on LJ or Dreamwidth (I'm msmcknittington there, too) or on AO3 (where I'm loathlylady). I'm not sure if the Yuletide mods are contacting people for assigned writers or not this year, but I'm totally OK with you asking me questions, whether or not you use a proxy or not. I frequently read the endings of books before I actually reach them, so don't even worry about spoilers for what you're writing.

If you're enthusiastic about what you're writing and it shows in what you've written, then I will enjoy it. That goes for everything I've nominated, so have fun writing and I will have fun reading.

RPF - 16th-17th century

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

I requested this last year and nobody wrote it. I'm going to keep requesting it until it happens, because I am still entertained by the notion of everything below and my attempts to write it myself have fizzled. The first request is totally crackfic, and I am OK with that. I love crackfic. I am also OK with a more serious piece focusing on the subtleties of prejudice against Catholics in 17th-century England, and if you want to make up a point-of-view character who meditates on Nell Gwynn and Louise de Kérouaille, go ahead! And if that character were middle class or non-noble, that would be super awesome. If you told it from the point of view of Samuel Pepys that would be super, super, super awesome. If you told it from Pepys's viewpoint and it was in journal entries, I would be just beside myself with joy.

My big request for this is something that came out of Yuletide chat year before last, 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!


Characters: Eskarina Smith, Mustrum Ridcully, William de Worde, Gytha "Nanny" Ogg

My favorite parts of the Discworld series are the Witches, the City Watch, and the people at The Ankh-Morpork Times (especially William de Worde and Sacharissa Cripslock). Also Mustrum Ridcully -- good job, that man.

This next paragraph contains SPOILERS for I Shall Wear Midnight, so proceed with caution.

So, there's a big hole in the life of Eskarina Smith. Like, Granny Aching took her into Ankh-Morpork, she was accepted into Unseen University, where she discovered all this amazing time-travel/multi-dimensional stuff, and then she had a son. I put that in italics, because wizards aren't supposed to have children, but they do discover things that defy logic fairly regularly. So! If you could fill in any of the interim between her appearance in Equal Rites and I Shall Wear Midnight that would be AMAZING.

Moving on, I find Mustrum Ridcully endlessly amusing. He appears incredibly stupid and clueless, but I think he understands a whole lot more than he lets on. He probably comes by the obnoxiousness honestly, though! So if you want to write hijinks from his youth (courtship with Granny Weatherwax! y/y/y?) or something else, go ahead. Mustrum Ridcully being funny and difficult is a must, though.

As for William de Worde, I also really love those 1930s screwball comedies where the journalists have adventures while being witty smart-asses, so if you could produce something about William and Sacharissa and the City Watch that is sort of like His Girl Friday that would be DELIGHTFUL. However, that thing where the girl reporters stop working when they get married? The would not be delightful, so if you want William and Sacharissa to get hitched, I'd prefer it if Sacharissa didn't turn into A Wife And That's It.

And for Nanny Ogg, if she is just Nanny Ogg having adventures and maybe finding an opportunity to sing and eat cocktail onions, that would be enough. Oh, yes, would that be enough.

Literary RPF

People selected: George Sand

George Sand is one of my literary heroes, for a whole lot of reasons. I think my admiration of her can be summed up with this quote:

I had worked all day, and by the evening had produced ten lines and drunk a bottle of brandy. She, on the other hand, had polished off a litre of milk and written half a volume. -- Alfred de Musset

And she dressed in men's clothes to go where she could not go dressed as a woman, and she divorced her husband and did not remarry, and she mixed together rather revolutionary thought with this sort of stalwart practicality. Like dressing in men's clothes meant she had access to parts of the city she wouldn't otherwise have, but she also did it because the clothes were less expensive and more comfortable than women's clothes. So, I want fic about George Sand being hard at work, but also having adventures across Europe and being horribly controversial. Shocking French society while drinking wholesome beverages.

If you want to bring in Alfred de Musset, that's fine, but I'd prefer the emphasis was on George Sand.

So, I had requested the George Sand thing, but then I realized I wasn't as excited about it as I was the other requests or having something written for Gosford Park. That means I revised my requests. I'll just copy/paste what I said about Gosford Park here:

Gosford Park

Characters: Mary MacCeachran, Elsie

Not all the characters are listed here, though I do remember nominating them last year, so I'm going to be incredibly sneaky and make some suggestions dealing with characters who aren't listed here. Of course, optional details are optional!

For Mary and Elsie, parallel storylines following their lives after leaving service would be AWESOME. Like Elsie's rise to stardom (or mediocrity!) in Hollywood, what Mary does after ol' Constance kicks off this mortal coil, what they do during the war and after it. Does Mary see Robert Parks again? What sort of movie roles does Elsie get? It's OK if it gets dark, but I would appreciate it if that darkness doesn't involve rape/dub con or incest.

Now for the shifty stuff with the inexplicably missing characters!

Mrs. Wilson and Mrs. Croft. They are sisters. I would like scenes from their childhood to the time of the movie or beyond examining their relationship to each other as sisters. Definitely with a scene occurring while they were working at the factory that Sir William owned, since that's such a contentious part of their relationship.

Inspector Thomson and Constable Dexter! If you could write a light-hearted mystery story where Inspector Thomson is a bumbling idiot and Constable Dexter is a secret detective genius that would be great! Really light-hearted and silly -- who stole the cheese from the rectory larder? Clearly not the mice! If it were Christmas-themed that would also be really cool.

Thank you again, dear writer! I hope that all this has given you some ideas. Good luck, happy writing, don't forget to have fun!

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Comments {4}

re: Fairy Tales

from: anonymous
date: Nov. 19th, 2010 08:53 pm (UTC)

You should read/watch 10th Kingdom if you haven't already!

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Re: Fairy Tales

from: msmcknittington
date: Nov. 19th, 2010 09:09 pm (UTC)

I've written fic for it! Check out the main entries page here. :D

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(no subject)

from: anonymous
date: Dec. 23rd, 2010 08:28 am (UTC)

How do you feel about femslash?

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(no subject)

from: msmcknittington
date: Dec. 23rd, 2010 07:15 pm (UTC)

I'm fine with femslash, as long as it's done respectfully. I'm not really big on explicit sex scenes in most things I read, though, just to let you know.

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