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Yuletide Reveal

I wrote six stories for Yuletide this year - three stories over 1000 words and three treats under.

The Trouble with Breakfast (Provost's Dog - Tamora Pierce)
Nocturnal Admissions (Kushiel's Legacy - Jacqueline Carey)
Our Lady of the Harbor (Suzanne - Leonard Cohen Song)

paladins like dandelions, growing wild in the fields (Deed of Paksenarrion - Elizabeth Moon)
A Soldier's Death (Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold)
My Lupe (Rotkäppchen | Little Red Riding Hood | Fairy Tale)


The Trouble with Breakfast (1608 words) by faviconkeerawa
Fandom: Provost's Dog - Tamora Pierce, Tortall - Tamora Pierce
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Beka Cooper/Rosto the Piper
Characters: Beka Cooper, Rosto the Piper
Summary:

A Dog and a Rat
sat on the floor,
arguing over pasty pie.

A purple-eyed Cat
laughed at them both.
He knew the real reason why.


This was my actual assignment. Katayla wanted a story about how these two characters got together, or why they never did. My brain jumped on the second option. Which makes me wonder - since this is essentially the anti-ship fic, should it be marked as het? Or gen? Does UST a pairing make? I'm not sure. I like the way that both characters come from essentially the same background but have come to completely different conclusions about the world, and because of that, they can't be together. Also, it's possible that the summary may be my favorite part of this fic.




Nocturnal Admissions (1296 words) by faviconkeerawa
Fandom: Kushiel's Legacy - Jacqueline Carey
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Phedre no Delaunay/Joscelin Verreuil
Characters: Joscelin Verreuil, Imriel de la Courcel
Summary:

Joscelin could never forget what he had seen in Daršanga. But he had put it aside and might go weeks without thinking of it.


I picked freneticfloetry's prompt up as a pinch-hit. And when I say 'picked', I mean that I volunteered for it when I saw the email, but never got a reply. Still, she'd pinch-hit for me last year, and I was entranced by the sheer perversity of writing gen 'Kushiel's Legacy' fic, so I wrote it anyway.

She requested a piece showcasing the (non-sexual) relationship between Imriel and Joscelin. Father and son, communicating by beating the crap out of each other. Training fic with an underlying issue. When I pictured that training scene in my mind, it was night-time and Imriel was freaking out about something. My quest to find out what was bothering Imriel led to this fic.

To me, Joscelin has played many roles in his life. He's been the Perfect Companion, a slave, a Mendicant, a consort, anathema, a brigand, a Habiru rebel leader and prophet, a lover, a father. From the outside he appears to slip flawlessly into each role. And not one of them has ever fit him. Not a one has ever felt true.

As for Imriel, gah, that boy is a mess. He feels all of a rape victim's shame, in a culture that has no place for shame. And then his own sexual desires, to dominate, to hurt, brand him a monster in his own mind.

This story got quite a few hits, and even some recs, which I was surprised about. It's an uncomfortable story, as befits the topic.




Our Lady of the Harbor (2000 words) by faviconkeerawa
Fandom: Suzanne - Leonard Cohen (Song)
Rating: Mature
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Suzanne (Leonard Cohen song)/Original Female Character
Characters: Original Female Character, Original Male Character of Color, Suzanne (Leonard Cohen song)
Summary:

I met Suzanne one cold spring morning on an Alaskan beach, where a river spilled into the sea.


Let me tell you, first of all, that I LOVE this story. I really, really do. And even if you've never heard of Suzanne, you might like it too. Go read it, then come back for my spoiler-ish author's notes here.

I picked this one up off the pinch-hit list on December 22. And, once again, I mean that I shot off an email declaring I wanted to write it, and got no reply. Still, I wouldn't let that stop me from writing! I had never heard the song before reading the prompt, but once I read emei's Yuletide letter, I just HAD to write for it. She wanted a narrator who wasn't a straight white male! And loved the sea! And believed that love does not necessarily equal monogamy! And linked me to an interview with the woman who was the inspiration for the Leonard Cohen song!

I wrote my first draft, about a girl who meets up with this bohemian artist type, and it was almost working, but something wasn't right. I read it out loud to myself, and was struck by the way that Suzanne took the narrator's Army jacket, in the first scene, and I never mentioned her giving it back. That stirred a vague memeory, in the back of my head, of shape-changing selkies who were trapped in human form when their skins were stolen from them.

Then this story snapped into focus for me. Suzanne wasn't drawing Heather with black raven wings, she was drawing her as a selkie. I strengthened all of the references to the sea, and went back and re-wrote everything with a slightly different slant. Because I was telling two stories here. One, Heather's coming of age story about falling in love with this bohemian artist, and the way it frees her from her Dad's expectation of who and what she can be. And two, Suzanne's story, about a selkie who finds love on an Alaskan beach one cold spring morning. I even found two betas, one for each story, and asked Luzula some leading questions to make sure that she was betaing Suzanne's, while Stevie was betaing Heather's. I'm sneaky like that. God, I love this story!




Now for the Yuletide Madness Treats!

paladins like dandelions, growing wild in the fields (100 words) by faviconkeerawa
Fandom: Deed of Paksenarrion - Elizabeth Moon
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Paksenarrion, Original Female Character
Summary:

Paksenarrion probably shouldn't have attacked the slaver caravan alone.


I'd been thinking, in the back of my mind, that I'd like to write a treat for Luzula. She was requesting fandoms that we had in common, and after she came through for me with that last-minute beta, I wanted to give her a gift. She mentioned that she would love to read about Paks in a mentor relationship with another, yougner female paladin, and I remembered the Kuakganir saying something about how once the gods had chosen their own paladins, and now it was all controlled, regimented by their clergy and orders and knights. What if the gods looked at Paksennarrion and decided, 'Hey, that worked out well. I think we should go back to picking our own paladins again!' Plus - the Windsteed. How awesome a god is Saben's red horse? The world needs more Windsteed fic!

Also, I hadn't written a drabble in a while, and it's a wonderful way of disciplining yourself as a writer, making every word count.




A Soldier's Death (434 words) by faviconkeerawa
Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: Major Character Death
Characters: Miles Naismith Vorkosigan, Piotr Pierre Vorkosigan
Summary:

Most men accepted their own death, after the fact, with a certain tranquility; Miles seemed determined to argue his way out of it.


Ah, Miles. The Vorkosigan Saga is one of those series I go back to reread, year after year. Hey, can anybody explain to me how or why this was suddenly made re-eligible for Yuletide? It wasn't, then it was, and there was something about a garden... Not that I'm complaining! Just intrigued.

Zdenka wanted a story about the relationship between Miles and his grandfather. She mentioned, in her Yuletide letter, that it could even take place after Piotr's death. I'm sure she was envisioning Miles ranting at Granda's grave. But I was a Due South writer. Just because your (grand)father's dead doesn't mean he can't invite you to his office for a little chat! In fact, what about that one time that MILES was dead?

Go on, check it out, you know you want to.




My Lupe (786 words) by faviconkeerawa
Fandom: Fairy Tales & Related Fandoms, Rotkäppchen | Little Red Riding Hood (Fairy Tale)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Original Female Character/Original Female Character, Big Bad Wolf/Little Red Riding Hood
Characters: Original Female Character of Colour, Original Characters, Wolf (Fairy Tales), Big Bad Wolf, Little Red Riding Hood, Grandmother (Little Red Riding Hood)
Summary:

The brothers got it wrong.
Grandma was the Wolf, all along.


Now this one ... this one's interesting. I wanted to write a treat for one of the heroes who had written pinch-hits even though they weren't originally signed up for Yuletide, and so weren't guaranteed any stories at all. I'd been staring at one of the pinch-hitters Boondocks prompt for quite a while, really wanting to write it, but I didn't think I could do it justice. Also, I'd just finished my revisions for 'Out Lady of the Harbor', and that femme-slash was still roaring around in my head. Then I came across Cherith's Little Red Riding Hood prompt, and read her Yuletide letter.

Suddenly I saw this big, proud, black woman looking down at Red, saying “Nothing small about me, little girl. Big hips, big lips, big tits, and a big booty. All the better for pinning a woman down and making her scream – that’s what my girlfriend always said.”

She was Red's Grandma (kind of), AND she was the Wolf. And, wow, that was a little uncomfortable, but I wrote it anyway. The reception to this one's been luke-warm, and I can see why, between the not-really underage, not-actually incest and the language that some readers are probably not so familar with. But I'm quite pleased with how it came out. I went back and forth on whether to include a line of the original fairy tale before each section echoing it, but decided against it, in the end. I like the summary, too.

Whew, so that was my Yuletide! Feel free to comment here or at AO3, discuss, argue with me, gimme some con-crit, whatever you all are in the mood for!

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
luzula
Jan. 2nd, 2012 05:04 pm (UTC)
Ha, I thought it was you! And wow, you were prolific at Yuletide this year.

I've seen people combine grandma + wolf before, but then it was by making her a werewolf. This was a pretty cool way of doing it, too!
keerawa
Jan. 3rd, 2012 12:11 am (UTC)
Yeah, you caught me. I did write a lot. My poor partner was moping around, saying, "Are you done writing yet?"

'My Lupe' isnt a comfortable story, but I think it's pretty good, thanks!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )