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([staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance Dec. 3rd, 2016 11:02 pm)
The site slowdown tonight (Saturday night) is due to database load -- Saturday nights are one of our busiest times and we're still going to need to do some performance tweaks to our new setup over the next few days as we run into load issues. (Some problems only show up once all y'all start banging on the site!) We've made a few changes now that will improve things for some people, and will do a more permanent fix later on tonight or tomorrow morning once the traffic dies down, since doing it now would just increase database load.

Site performance may continue to be rocky on and off for the next few days until we get everything tuned the way it needs to be tuned -- thank you for your patience!
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([personal profile] dhampyresa Dec. 3rd, 2016 10:11 pm)
READING

What did you finish reading

2015

Magnus Chase and the Sword of Asgard, by Rick Riordan: It's been ages since I read this, given that I read it when it came out, way back in October 2015. Anyway, I enjoyed it a lot. Sam was my favourite and I remember being pretty down with the Loki characterisation. (And now I can go buy the sequel.)

The Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan: I read this in early 2015! I am so bad at this reading Wednesday thing lately, wow. (But now I've officially talked about everything I readin 2015. Woohoo!) I also enjoyed this, but the worldbuilding didn't work quite as well for me here as it did in the other series(es) of Riordan's I've read. Also, I did not expect as much Isis/Seth shipping fodder as I got (it's my crackship of Egyptian mythos).


Tbh my fellings about both of the above are that they're pretty much exactly what one would expect of "Rick Riordan Does Norse Myths" and "Rick Riordan Does Egyptian Myths" respectively, so for people who like that sort of thing, it is the sort of thing that they like. /is a person who likes that sort of thing, is a case in point


2016

Everything below the cut is stuff I read at various points this year and didn't talk about already. I'm going to try my best to get through the whole list before the end of the year, but if you want to hear about anything in priority, don't hesitate to ask. With the exception of The Grass King's Concubine, they're all comics.

List )


What are you reading now

Have made no progress on:
Contes et récits de l'histoire de Carthage by Jean Defrasne
Paris fais nous peur: 100 lieux du crime, de l'étrange et de l'irrationnel, by Claudine Hourcadette et Marc Lemonier
Warhorses by Yusef Komunyakaa
La Controverse de Valladolid by Jean-Claude Carrière

However! I have been re-reading Les Quatre de Baker Street in preparation of buying volume 7 soon (thoughts forthcoming) and I have missed these kids (+ cat) so much! There are so many great moments, but I think my favourite(s) is Charlie being the one to see through Holmes' disguise(s). At least in the first 3, which is as far as I've gotten this re-read so far. Volume 5 has my favourite panel, in which Billy and Charlie as scrambling out the window in a desperate move and run into Tom, who is just casually entering through the window. AS YOU DO.


Sophonisbe, by Pierre Corneille: CORNEILLE WROTE A PLAY ON THE SECOND PUNIC WAR AND NOBODY TOLD ME?! Anyway, I listened to the production on the France Culture website and daaaaaaaaaaamn that is one hella good play. In places I had to refer to the text on Wikisource, because I'm not great at voices. (All translations below by me.)

The play follows the broad lines of history. Before the play, Sophonisba (daughter of a General of Carthage) was going to marry Massinissa (Numidian king) and they were in love with each other. Unfortunately, Massinissa allied himself with the Romans, which lead Sophonisba to follow her head over her heart and marry Syphax, a Numidian king allied with Carthage, instead. The amount of choice she had in making this decision is something she doesn't always think of as the same. Within the play Sophonisba encourages Syphax to fight Laelius' army, allied with MAssinissa. Syphax loses, Massinissa and Sophonisba sort-of maybe get married and things degenerate.

I guess you could say it's a play about how far people are willing to go/what they're ready to sacrifice for love, power or pride.

This play gave me an even better appreciation of Sophonisbe and quite frankly everybody in it is a flawed and complex human being, but her most of all. *adopts characterisation wholesale*

I was surprisingly fond of Laelius. He starts off a lot harsher than I usually think of him, but then it becomes obvious that he's trying to be 'bad cop' (to Scipio's presumed 'good cop') and at one point he stops that and starts trying to make everyone happy, or failing that, making sure they stay alive.

Neither Hannibal nor Scipio appear in the play, but their presence is felt. Scipio's especially.

I liked that there seemed to be a fundamental cultural misunderstanding between the Romans and the Carthaginians/Numidians. The latter take it as read that Syphax' capture makes his marriage to Sophonisba null and void while the Romans are like "Married's married, what the hell?".

(Also, I ended up shipping Laelius/Massinissa and Massinissa/Scipio -- Sophonisba literally tells him "Vous aimez Lélius, vous aimez Scipion" / "You love Laelius, you love Scipio" OKAY -- and Scipio/Sophonisba -- idk, there's this whole thing about getting Scipio to marry Sophonisba himself to keep her safe and what if.)

The entire thing's in verse and there are more rhymes with Carthage than I expected! My favourite is "suffrage". But I also really love "En un mot, j’ai reçu du ciel pour mon partage / L’aversion de Rome et l’amour de Carthage." ("In one word I have received as my lot from above / From Rome dilike and from Carthage love") because oh, Sophonisba.

I was very pleasantly surprised by the amount of SICK BURNS in this play. Seriously, it is fucking savage by moments. At the end of Act 1, for example, Sophonisba has this to say to Syphax: "Je vous répondrais bien qu’après votre trépas / Ce que je deviendrai ne vous regarde pas" ("I would tell you that after your demise / What happens to me is for you to surmise"). Damn girl, find you some chill.

The line that's been stuck in my head since I listened to the play is from Laelius (to Massinissa), though. "Ce n’est qu’à leurs pareils à suivre leurs exemples ; / Et vous ferez comme eux quand vous aurez des temples". Laelius is referring to the gods with "leurs" so it translate more or less to "Only their equals can follow the gods' examples / You might do the same if you had temples". (NOBODY HAS ANY CHILL.)


I also listened to Neil Gaiman's How the Marquis Got His Coat Back, a short-ish Neverwhere sequel. It was okay. The plot twists/reveals could be seen from space, though.


I also listened to a bunch of podcasts but idk if these fit here or in the Watcing Monday posts or somewhere else or what.


What are you reading next

To-read list )


elisi: (Clara (FACE))
([personal profile] elisi Dec. 3rd, 2016 08:17 pm)
1. Moar Trevor Noah. Seriously, I think America is incredible lucky to have him, he's exactly the right person to deal with Trump.



2. Well this is depressing as hell.

The Guardian: EU citizens in Britain post Brexit vote: ‘I feel betrayed, not at home, sad’
People who have lived, worked and made families in the UK tell us their struggles with paperwork following the Brexit vote

3. And finally, something to make you laugh:

Buzzfeed: 100 Tweets That Made British People Piss Themselves In 2016
So shines a good tweet in a weary world.
(Warning: There is some sort of auto-play thing, so turn your sound off.)
onyxlynx: Festive pennants in blue & purple with word "Birthday" centered. (Birthday)
([personal profile] onyxlynx Dec. 3rd, 2016 09:29 am)
 to [personal profile] catsittingstill , [personal profile] kightp , and [personal profile] kittenbiscuits !  Maximally joyous day!
Tags:
raincitygirl: (Furiosa Redemption)
([personal profile] raincitygirl Dec. 3rd, 2016 08:48 am)
People who live in London or know London fairly well, which suburb would you say is more ethnically diverse: Clapham or Fulham? I do have a reason for asking, but it's a rather complicated one to explain, so I figured I'd just ask the question.

How is everybody on this unusually bright Saturday morning? Well, it's bright in Vancouver, at any rate.
So yesterday was a day. Work was a thing that happened. And kept happening. It probably warrants a long locked post for venting, but meh. Suffice it to say I was not impressed with other people's inability to understand that their inability to finalize some documents meant extra hours of work and a trip to FedEx/Kinkos for me. But it got done and is out of my hands now, and I'm sure I was not able to keep all of my displeasure under wraps so we'll see what happens going forward.

Anyway! Television!

Steven Universe: Three Gems and a Baby
This was adorably charming until it was really sad. But it also showed how much the Crystal Gems have grown as people, and that's lovely. Also, help me out - was there a second episode? Or just a stinger with Steven and Connie? My recording cut off with them spoiler ) Was there more after that?

Pitch: Scratched
spoilers )

Legends of Tomorrow: Invasion!
spoilers )

Will I go back to watching LoT now? Probably not, but I'm glad we got this crossover and I can't wait for the musical one between Flash and Supergirl later on.

***
tanaqui: Illumiinated letter T (Default)
([personal profile] tanaqui posting in [community profile] thisfinecrew Dec. 3rd, 2016 01:51 pm)
Army Corps: Don't shut down Standing Rock
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is threatening to shut down Oceti Sakowin, the largest encampment of water protectors and allied protestors opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Late last week the Corps issued notice to Dave Archambault II, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe chairman, that on December 5th they’ll close public access to the land where the encampment is set up, and threatened “prosecution under federal, state, or local laws” of those who remain.


You can use this form from the ACLU to send a message to the Corps demanding that they back off from their plan to shut down Oceti Sakowin.

You can also donate to groups supporting the #NoDAPL struggle in various ways at this page: http://sacredstonecamp.org/donate/
gehayi: (Default)
([personal profile] gehayi Dec. 3rd, 2016 07:21 am)
I got an opt-in card from [community profile] genprompt_bingo. I picked the prompt lists Science Fiction and Fantasy, Crack, Extending Canon and Meta, and AU & Crossovers. (If I'm going to be completely fair, I suppose that the Wild Card should come from one of those lists, which is why I'm mentioning it.)

Anyway, here is the card:

Crack: Elves, Pixies, and other Magical Helpers or Irritations Supernatural Elements Shapeshifting When I'm 64: Future Hey, it's that guy: Minor characters
Detective AU Mutation / Transformation Fusion with another fandom Crack Sentient Weaponry
Virtual Reality Film Noir Wild Card The way we were: Pre-canon Horribly Misunderstood Villain
Crack Treated Seriously That Moment (incident / chapter / episode) in detail You're only young twice: Age Regression Character transformed into an animal Contemporary AU
Sufficiently Advanced Technology Original characters Alternative Professions Crossover: TV shows and movies World Ends in First Paragraph


I hope I get a lot of this done. I'd really love to have a blackout.
wychwood: G'Kar looking naughty (but nice) (B5 - G'Kar naughty)
([personal profile] wychwood Dec. 3rd, 2016 11:08 am)
I kept feeling like I wanted to read some Charlotte Yonge, but I knew what would happen if I did, because one minute I'm thinking "oh, just The Daisy Chain and then something else, I can stop at any time!" and the next I've read seventeen Charlotte Yonge novels in two weeks and it's all gone wrong again. I opened The Daisy Chain anyway, and oh gosh look what happened.

133-139. Assorted Charlotte Yonges ) Charlotte Yonge is the Yongeist author ever and I remain entirely in two minds about her writing.

Fortunately at this point I managed to take some references in The Two Sides of the Shield to Robinson Crusoe and divert myself off the Yonge train.


140. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe ) Bits of this are still fun, but as an adult reader I kept getting distracted by horrifying seventeenth-century attitudes and the overt religiosity!


141. Swiss Family Robinson - Johann David Wyss ) This is a lot more lecture-y than Robinson Crusoe, but sometimes that tips over into cute. I liked this book a lot more when I was twelve, though.


142. Safely You Deliver - Graydon Saunders ) A fun story, lots of very satisfying fantasy of agency, with genuinely nice people. I do like this series a lot.


143. Quite a Good Time To Be Born - David Lodge ) I find Lodge generally very readable, and this is no exception - and it's an intriguing window on a particular era which is close enough for a lot of things to look familiar, while being extremely alien in many ways, almost a kind of social history as well as a memoir.


144. and 147. The Interior Life - Dorothy J Heydt ) Possibly the most enjoyable book I've ever read which is mostly about housekeeping. This is marvellous, and it's free, and I hope all of you pick it up and give it a go, because I loved it.


145. Home - Marilynne Robinson ) Basically I want to put this entire genre on anti-depressants until someone has an actual feeling.


146. Rituals - Roz Kaveney ) Entertaining but not overwhelmingly so.
settiai: (D&D -- settiai)
»

D&D

([personal profile] settiai Dec. 3rd, 2016 03:30 am)
Well, that was interesting. (A lot of fun! But, well, interesting. In a "does that count as a tpk or not?" kind of way.)

Our DM has lost her voice, so we were going to cancel our Friday D&D game at the last minute. One of the other players (our rogue) volunteered to throw together a oneshot, though, less than two hours before the normal start time. We all readily agreed to that idea and went to come up with new characters. Well, mostly. More on that in a minute.

I stuck with playing a cleric, since I didn't want to have to learn a completely new class for a oneshot (and, while I like playing a rogue on Tuesdays, tonight's game was with Level 2 characters and rogues... aren't that great at that level). Instead of one of the usual races, though, I went with a tabaxi now that they're a playable 5e race. And I went with Trickery Domain instead of Knowledge Domain, which was actually a hell of a lot of fun.

As I said before, our halfling rogue was the DM. Our gnome barbarian played a dragonborn warlock for this game (specifically "Augustus Hailfire from Draconia", a blue dragonborn - and those of you who watch Critical Role would probably recognize the voice and mannerisms :-P). Our elf wizard was a dwarf paladin. And our half-elf bard... well, he was actually the exact same half-elf bard that he always plays, just as a 9-year-old rather than a 20something. No, really.

To give you an idea as to how the game went, let me post a few tweets that I made last night:
The cleric's dead, two people have jumped down a hole, and the paladin's holding a giant spider by a fang. This D&D oneshot is going well.

The paladin has now managed to yank the fang off of the spider and is using it as an improvised dagger. Or, at least, he's trying.

And now the paladin is riding on top of the spider's body, Dr. Strangelove-style, as they fall towards a giant underground lake. As you do.

The cleric's dead, the warlock's unconscious, the paladin's at 1HP, the random myconid we saved is at 1HP, and the bard's almost drowning.

They're trying to decide which NPC to follow: the dwarf who wants to go to the surface or the myconid that wants to go deeper underground.

Apparently they're following the myconid, with the unconscious dragonborn being dragged behind them because nobody can heal him.

So... the cleric (who died first) was the only character that didn't let the myconid into her head.

All of the others trusted it. And the oneshot ended with the surviving characters being brainwashed into becoming part of the hivemind.

So, yes, the game clearly went well. :-P

(Seriously, though, it was a lot of fun! And very, very, very impressive for something that was thrown together in less than an hour.)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
([personal profile] edenfalling Dec. 2nd, 2016 10:58 pm)
1. Took (and passed) the exam for Tuesday's Not the IRS continuing education course, go me!

2. Brought old newspapers home from the rental office to use in a project I am doing that will become Mom's Christmas present (or maybe her birthday present; we'll see how labor-intensive it winds up being).

more items under the cut )

12. Wrote thirteen Three Sentence Ficathon fills. (Okay, technically two of those were on Tuesday, but whatever, I only mentioned one of them in my last 'stuff done' post so I am using this post to make an accurate count of my productivity thus far for the entire ficathon.)
lynnenne: (Default)
([personal profile] lynnenne posting in [community profile] thisfinecrew Dec. 2nd, 2016 11:06 pm)
 Buses are leaving from cities all across the United States, and even a few from Canada.

Map here
.
For reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture, I was reading through some of my old journal entries and I came across the following comment of mine, which I am going to quote here in slightly truncated and edited form:

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Yeah, that weird cultural sex-is-worse-than-violence skew is one of my main reasons for considering ratings pointless. The other is that those ratings are aimed at an audiovisual medium, and are therefore maladapted for a textual medium. Like, if I show you a clip of a person shooting someone else point blank in the head, that's pretty gory and upsetting and should presumably get a relatively high rating. But I can write something like this:

-----

"So be a good girl, and drop the gun." Joe smirked again, like he had every option closed off and she had no choice except to play along.

Leah shot him, point blank, and threw up her arms to ward off the backspatter of blood and other things. Then she hurled herself into the cover of the overturned minivan and hoped Fatima would have time to run before Joe's goons inevitably killed her.


-----

and move blithely along giving you no further details, and while that's not a nice scene, it's not so graphic that I feel a need to slap a huge warning on the fic as a whole if that's the worst thing that happens. Ditto sex: showing our heroines from the previous snippet getting hot and heavy onscreen is a lot different from saying:

-----

Leah and Fatima fell onto the sheets, fingers slipping on buttons and zippers in their haste to pull off each other's clothes and press skin to skin in desperate confirmation that they were still alive.

"Oh god," Leah panted into Fatima's shoulder, between sloppy, open-mouthed kisses against the crook of her neck, "I thought I'd lost you, I thought--"

"I know," Fatima said. "I know. But you didn't," and her hand finally slipped under the waistband of Leah's jeans and pressed up against the damp cotton of Leah's panties.

Leah sobbed with relief and did her best to reciprocate the favor.


-----

and then cutting the scene and jumping to next morning. You know? Like, that little snippet is not something parents would necessarily want preteen kids reading, but it's hardly what I'd call graphic, not to mention that it's really easy to skim past text in a way one can't replicate with audiovisual media.

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I suddenly have an intense need to read the rest of the story that connects those two excerpts. Alas, it does not currently exist and probably won't ever exist unless I write it. Perhaps in 2017...
aralias: (shelves in the closet!)
([personal profile] aralias Dec. 2nd, 2016 10:44 pm)
in my new life in croydon, which of the following is true?

a) the cinema is less than 5 minutes walk away
b) we actually have a television
c) we have apple tv
d) all of the above

answer - d) all of the above! truly a great time to be alive... if you like watching things. i used to think apple tv was probably a bit of a waste of money, and perhaps it is, but it was a gift to erin's sister from someone else, so pretty near free to me. the fact that it easily mirrors either your iphone or your macbook (assuming, of course, that by the time you buy apple tv you are that sort of terrible yuppie)(i didn't buy apple tv, but the rest is true), is a major selling point in itself. anything you can watch or play on the computer is now playable bigger and louder - as someone who has primarily streamed stuff on a laptop until now... often barely able to hear what's being said... this is vv good.

here are some movies that i watched recently using these modern conveniences. i have seen others in the past month (finding dory, trainwreck, the last holiday, the second half of 'straight outta compton', etc), but assume i have nothing to say about them.

fantastic beasts and where to find them
it's harry potter! but it's not...

the highs of 2016's HP play are greater than the highs of 2016's film, unfortunately, although the film does have fewer lows. it's just a bit bland. although it's not actually an adaptation of the book 'fantastic beasts', bizarrely it does sort of feel that way, with most of the run-time dedicated to wacky animals doing weird things while eddie redmayne (entertainingly unable to make eye-contact, and rather attractive too) runs after them. it's as though someone asked 'how do you make a film out of a textbook?'

character wise it's a bit slight generally - redmayne creates his character fairly well by being awkward, and of course - by being british amongst a lot of americans (and colin farrell pretending to be an american). queenie is quite fun, and everyone else is sort of a non-entity.

which means the film has neither strong plot, nor strong characters. bit of a disappointment, really, though overall it's pleasant, if forgettable.

spoilers )

bridge of spies
i really like mark rylance, and i watched this largely because he was in it and everyone said he was very good in this oscar-winning role. in fact - he's been better. he pretty much just plays it diffident and northern. i guess americans don't know what this is like. fortunately, the movie is actually about tom hanks - who is a lawyer who gets co-opted into first defending a soviet spy (rylance) and then negotitating with soviets/germans for the release of a UK prisoner. he starts off mean and quickly undergoes a redemption that sees him struggling against adversity to rescue additional prisoners, and trying to look after rylance. this is my jam! spielberg knows how i like it. unlikely hero saves lots of people he has no business to save, and/or people saying 'if you want X, you have to go through me'. these are bullet-proof kinks.

so, i enjoyed this movie.

the BFG
this also had mark rylance in it, obviously, and that was also why i watched this movie. again - diffident and northern, but a more interesting version of it - and it's very important that he's very likeable in this role, which he is. big sad eyes. this movie's casting genius (apart from finding a child who can act) though is penelope wilton (harriet jones, prime minister) as the queen. i love penelope wilton, and i wasn't aware she was in it, although i obviously know the story of the BFG and i was trying to work out as the movie closed in on the queen section which older british actress it would be. and it was penelope wilton! apart from her being generally awesome, this is a great bit of casting because you truly do believe that she would do what was right, and tackle the terrible children-eating giants to save the country, ordering generals to drink frobscottle, and adopting a young orphan. she is very kind, and also very badass. vv good.

also - the stuff with sophie and the BFG taking their leave of each other is very moving (because spielberg - he knows. he knows how to make you feel things).

i enjoyed this movie too.

in bruges
a movie that has been on my 'to watch' list for a while, on account of it being funny and also dark. erin described the 10 minutes that she watched before going to sleep (it was that good, huh?) as making her uncomfortable in the same way that 'kiss kiss bang bang' makes her uncomfortable. i LOVE 'kiss kiss bang bang', it is literally one of my favourite films of all time. 'in bruges' isn't as good, or doesn't work as well for me perhaps, let's say, because it isn't sure whether it's a drama or a comedy (whereas KKBB knows its a comedy) and because it's a bit afraid of being likeable, whereas KKBB has an apologetically happy ending because it likes the characters and wants them to be happy 'in bruges' ... doesn't. any of it.

what it does have is the concept of gangsters really liking medieval architecture (or not in farrel's case), which is endlessly amusing to me, and saying really awkward things to peter dinkledge. really enjoyed all three of the central performances (farrell, gleeson, and fiennes - all three in harry potter movies now), and i also really enjoyed the whole build up to the ending. everything came together really nicely, and i like that sort of planning.

i also like the kind of dialogue that sounds like really it's from a play - and obviously loads of people have rightly identified that this is what this sounds like. PLUS... bruges looks really pretty. i WOULD like to visit it.

overall - definitely recommend this movie too. although i recommend KKBB more.
edenfalling: stained-glass butterfly in a purple frame (butterfly)
([personal profile] edenfalling Dec. 2nd, 2016 04:35 pm)
Landlord Dude arrived at 10am, looked at the light, said words to the general effect of 'yeah, that's about what I expected,' opened the fixture with great struggle (it is not quite properly aligned, somehow), extracted one bulb for comparison shopping purposes, drove off to the local specialty lighting store (yes, there is such a thing), came back and installed the newly purchased replacement bulbs, and closed up the fixture with more struggle.

Meanwhile I raked four bags of leaves from the back yard and driveway, which he duly loaded into his truck and took home to mulch his garden.

Success all around, I'd say. :)
As always, here is the link to the current ficathon. Come make and fill prompts! The more people who play, the more fun for everyone (and the more chance you'll find fandoms that interest you). :D

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5. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Any, any, siren song, written 11/30/16

madly, deeply (150 words)

Foggy wonders, sometimes, if he was born with wax in his metaphorical ears, something that keeps him from hearing the siren songs that rule his best friends' lives: justice, vengeance, unvarnished truth, a million other shades of poison. He doesn't feel it's a flaw -- anyone who claims to welcome the disasters and heartache that Matt and Karen's respective obsessions lead them into is both crazy and lying -- but now and then he looks at his normal ambitions and modestly comfortable life and wonders if he's missing some kind of high (personal, social, whatever) along with the obvious lows, because his friends have made it abundantly clear that some vital spark in their hearts will wither and die unless they're free to dive headfirst into the treacherous waters they love.

He just wishes he could teach them to find joy on the steady shore (in safety, with him) instead.

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6. ) For [livejournal.com profile] deceivepolyps: great (misfire prompt), written 11/30/16

on the internet, nobody can do your emotional labor for you (200 words)

"Jaaaaaade," Dave drawled as he leaned against the back of the sofa, draping his arms over Jade's shoulders and resting his chin on her head, "I demand clarification of your response to my dinner invitation extravaganza; what do you mean by just writing 'great' without any context; don't you know you're not supposed to leave your words naked; they need punctuation and emojis to create the illusion of tone save me from having to do hard emotional interpretation labor; I'm no good at emotional labor, Jade, have pity."

"Nobody's good at emotional labor when they start out, but I learned how to interpret your writing without punctuation and emojis," Jade said cheerfully, a faint green light beginning to limn her form in warning of imminent teleportation; "Suck it up and deal, mister, or Karkat and I will go on our own private dinner date extravaganza while you loll around in abject despair over your inability to take words at face value."

"Great," Dave said into the minor rush of air that accompanied her departure, "real smooth, genius; you oughta borrow Jane's fedora for that move," and resigned himself to Karkat's inevitable laughter when Jade pulled the story out over dessert.

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7. ) For [livejournal.com profile] recessivejean: The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Cimorene (& anyone), unnecessarily complicated walk in the woods, written 11/30/16

a real magic (225 words)

"Mendanbar, I don't mean to interrupt, but the forest does know I'm only a member of the royal family by marriage, and therefore unable to handle big problems by waving my hands and wishing very hard, right?"

Mendanbar glanced briefly up from the accounts he was reviewing (under orders from Cimorene, which he had protested mostly for show; he was perfectly well aware they were important, and anyway reviewing accounts someone else had drawn up was much less frustrating than trying to create them himself), smiled, returned to his papers... and then looked back properly at the train of princesses, knights, talking animals, and various other complications that had somehow found his wife on what was meant to be a short walk to see the spiral dance of levitating boulders that an artistically inclined witch had spelled into place two hundred years ago, and had then followed her back to the castle (incidentally tramping mud all through the corridors; Willin was going to pitch a fit).

"I think the forest may be throwing problems at you because it knows you have the common sense to solve them instead of waving your hands and wishing them away," Mendanbar said, wryly, as he rose to help sort out the inevitable chaos, "but I'll have a word with the sword tomorrow and we'll see if that helps."

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8. ) For [livejournal.com profile] celeste9: MCU, Clint/Natasha/Laura, whatever works, written 11/30/16

just as long as we're together (225 words)

"I am so sorry, Nat," Laura said as she stared at the charred ruins of the turkey; "I wanted to give you a perfect introduction to American holiday traditions, but apparently I should have spent more time bugging my mom in the kitchen than bugging my dad in the garage when I was a kid, since apparently cooking is not nearly as close to engineering as baking is."

Clint dropped a cheer-up kiss on her forehead and heaved the useless, smoking avian corpse into the sink; "The pie's still fine," he said, "and there's always takeout Chinese, which is actually more traditional in my family than any fancy home-cooked meal."

Natasha's kiss landed on Laura's nose, then slid teasingly down just to the corner of her mouth before Nat pulled back with a smile and said, "I've eaten turkey -- my trainers were very thorough about cultural details -- and while I appreciate the effort, I have to say I'd prefer egg rolls."

Laura sighed and let her husband and lover pull her toward the basket of takeout menus that sat in mocking splendor at the end of her kitchen counter; probably this disaster had always been inevitable, and if nothing else she'd have a funny story to tell someday (in carefully redacted form), but in the meantime, she had an argument over appropriate spice levels to mediate.

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Note: Yes, I know that one is four sentences. Shush.

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9. ) For [livejournal.com profile] mermaids_feet: Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton/Any, Bachelor AU, written 12/1/16

would smell as sweet (125 words)

"I'm not supposed to warn you, Alex, but I care too much to make you be gracious extemporaneously," Angelica murmured into Alexander's ear, the wild curls of her hair disguising the movement of her lips from the ever-present cameras; "I'm going to give John Church my last rose tonight instead of you -- and don't try to change my mind, because I have something so much better in store for you."

For once wordless, Alexander could only hope she correctly interpreted the code of his eyelashes as he blinked away his disappointment and confusion.

He shouldn't have worried; they were in sync as always, though equally as always, Angelica managed to surprise him when she said, between another series of kisses, "Let me tell you about my sister Eliza."

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Note: The Bachelorette is functionally the same idea, right...? :)

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10. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Any, any, sunlight and shadow, written 12/2/16

under a bushel (125 words)

Eliza would say she's spent her life in shadows, effortless outshined by first Angelica and then Alexander as they stride forth in the strength of their convictions. They try to convince her otherwise, tell her again and again that she's the sun itself that brings light into their worlds and lets them flourish unafraid, but the sun, she thinks, should be bold and free and effortlessly visible in the world, not happily veiled and distracted by the curtains and concerns of her domestic life.

When they die, first Alexander and then Angelica, Eliza clothes herself in black, but instead of dousing her light she throws open all her windows and doors and begins to shine for the world as she always shone in their eyes.

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Eventually I will get these up on AO3.
.

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