Happy New Year, everyone! Here are my two Yuletide tales:

Like the Fellow Says (7425 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Americans (TV 2013)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Philip Jennings & Charles Duluth
Characters: Philip Jennings, Charles Duluth, Elizabeth Jennings
Additional Tags: Unresolved Emotional Tension, Backstory, Character Study, Non-Linear Narrative
Summary:

He knew damn well that without these meetings with Philip, handing over information, trading sarcasm, his life now would be meaningless. He'd known that for a while. But what he hadn't known before was what Philip got out of it. Asset and handler: Charles and Philip through the years.

Some background rambling )

Saving Mrs. Fleming (10542 words) by Selena
Chapters: 7/7
Fandom: Mary Renault RPF, 20th Century CE RPF, Alfred Hitchcock RPF
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Mary Renault/Julie Mullard, Alfred Hitchcock/Alma Reville, Mary Renault & Clementine Challans, Mary Renault & Alfred Hitchcock, Mary Renault & Alma Reville
Characters: Mary Renault - Character, Alfred Hitchcock, Alma Reville, Julie Mullard, Sidney Bernstein, Clementine Challans
Additional Tags: Mommy Issues, Character Study, Dark Comedy, Mother-Daughter Relationship
Summary:

In 1947, Mary Renault's novel Return to Night won the MGM award. The director charged with filming it: Alfred Hitchcock. Where her book ended, their story began...



Aka the story I’ve been threatening to write for a while, and which Naraht kindly requested. It all started when Naraht hosted a discussion of Mary Renault’s novel Return to Night, and almost simultaneously the movie Saving Mr. Banks, aka the Disney take on Mary Poppins creator P.L. Travers clashing wit Walt Disney over his intended film version of her book, was released in Germany. In the discussion, someone brought up that Return to Night (today practically unknown compared with Renault’s other novels) had won the MGM award and so presumably at some point must have been intended as a basis for a film version. This made me wonder who the director would have been, and more specifically, which director would have been guaranteed to have the most entertaining clash of personalities with Mary Renault. And somehow, my mind produced Alfred Hitchcock.

The idea, cracky as it sounded, absolutely refused to let me go, especially when I started to brush up a bit on both Hitchcock’s and Renault’s lives. Not only were they both creative, interesting people with issues galore and very different attitudes towards creation, but they came each equipped with mother issues, and in Hitchcock’s case, with a partner who was just as interesting but would have been bound to clash with Mary Renault as well. (Sidenote: Julie Mullard, Mary’s partner, was an interesting person as well, but didn’t work with her on her books, and it was the life time collaboration that made the Hitchcock marriage so intriguing to me. So Julie gets a less prominent part than Alma in my story.) At first, I wanted to write an AU in which the film got made, but eventually decided with go with a more “missing interlude” approach.

There was the question of the setting. I gave up my original idea of letting Mary Renault go to Hollywood pretty soon, because once I had read Sweetman’s biography of her, I couldn’t imagine her spending money on such a trip, or the studio paying it for her. Fortunately, Hitchcock actually was in England for part of 1947, the year Renault’s novel won the MGM award (and the year before she left England and moved to South Africa) because of his last movie for David Selznick, The Paradine Case. (Otoh 1947 meant Naraht’s dream casting for Return to Night’s heroine, Hilary Mansell, would have been very unlikely, because Deborah Kerr was still too young then. This was her
Black Narcissus era.)

Once I had determined the year and place, the Renault meets Hitchcock(s) ball started rolling. With such vivid characters, the story practically wrote itself. I hoped the result would work both for people who were somewhat familiar with them, and for people who’d never read a single Renault novel or seen a single Hitchcock film. It’s certainly one of the Yuletide stories I enjoyed most writing.
..in reverse order.

Call the Midwife: don't have much to say other than it was lovely as usual. I'm a bit torn on Avril doing something spoilery ) This was the first episode where we see old Jenny, whose voiceover was the narrative voice throughout and apparantly is here to stay, but I'm not sure whether the framing scenes with Vanessa Redgrave had any other point than to ressure us of this, given that young Jenny has left the show and it is now later seasons Blake's 7. :) Not that it wasn't nice to see her, of course. As to the rest of the gang, everyone was as endearing as always. Cynthia doing something spoilery ) This is still my comfort show, and the way it treats not just one but a myriad of choices women make as valid is a great part of why.

Now, as to Yuletide. I'm trying not to let the usual Yuletide angst get to me (i.e. repeating the "self, the recipient and a few others liked your stories on the first day, you can't expect more with small-even-for-Yuletide fandoms and no one having recced them elsewhere so far" mantra). Here are a few more stories I loved reading:

Euripides: Bacchae

Agave in Illyria: Half poetry, half prose, gorgeously creepy and cruel in its take on two sisters who went through some of the most gruesome fates Greek myths have in store.


Benjamin January Mysteries:

Escargots: casefic! With Rose as the leading detective, co-starring Olympe and Augustus Mayerling. Set while Ben is off in Washington, and immensely enjoyable to read.

Where there's a will: lovely missing scene about Chloe and Dominique making the transition to the friends we see them be in the last few novels.


The Musketeers:

Knife to a musket fight: in which Porthos gives Constance more self defense lessons. Fantastic friendship story, and the last line packs a punch.


Hilary Mantel: A place of greater safety:

Our wars will be our own: because if Camille, Lucille and Danton didn't have a threesome, they ought to have had.

Pride:

Step into Christmas (the admission is free): Steph spends Christmas with Gethin and Jonathan mid movie; the story has the great characterisation and warmth the film did, and is lovely to read.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles:

Start with the first ten: in which John Henry becomes. John Henry, Savannah, Catherine Weaver and James Ellison were the other family in SCC, and I'm always thrilled to discover fic dealing with that. This one manages to come up with a John Henry perspective which feels plausibly A.I., and specifically an A.I. which developes as radically as John Henry does. I loved it.

Watership Down:

The Mercy of Frith: The story of Blackavar, one of the most intriguing minor characters in the novel. Intense and marvellously written.

The Wire:

Whereever you go, there you are: Randy and Carver, years post show. Heartbreaking, yet also hopeful.
selenak: (Breaking Bad by Wicked Signs)
( Dec. 26th, 2014 10:40 am)
Just a first bunch, I still have so much more to read.


Breaking Bad:

These lifeless things: Skyler post show, looking back, trying to find a forward, with an emphasis on the Skyler and Marie relationship: as devastatingly intense as the show itself.

Dune: (Or rather, the tv version)

In the first days: Irulan and the twins. I've always had a soft spot for Irulan, one character I thought the tv version did do better by than the books, and here we see how the twins, and what happens with Leto in God Emperor of Dune, affect her.

Galaxy Quest:

Galaxy Gals : in which Gwen and Leilari give an interview, and it's not about their uniforms. As with all the Gwen centric GQ fanfiction posted in Yuletides past and present, this is great, and I love the look we get at how Leilari adapts to Earth. (And the art of lying acting.)

Historical Fiction:

Come the good peasant to cheer: AU. Edward the Black Prince--now Edward IV of England--has been king for four years. Now the peasants have rebelled, the Black Prince wants to declare war on them all, and his stubborn, determined queen, Joan of Kent, is desperately trying to prevent utter disaster. Great AU, and extremely entertaining historical fiction.

Hallowmas, or Shortest of Days: Richard II.'s second queen, Isabelle, was a child (something Shakespeare's play ignores); here she meets the ghost of her predecessor, Anne of Bohemia, and the result is amazingly endearing.


Penny Dreadful:

Aside from the stories I received, which I already recced:

Teranga: Sembene! This is the backstory of Sembene which the show hasn't given us (yet). Fantastic world building, and it's awe-inspiringly good.

A breath to notice: the unfolding Ethan and Vanessa friendship. Which I guess will become a romance in season 2, because I recognize set up when I see it, but in the meantime, I can enjoy them as platonic friends as in this story.


Twin Peaks:

Through the woods and far away: in which Audrey Horne rescues Agent Cooper from the Black Lodge. This is so my headcanon now.


West Side Story:

If it's sewing, she sews: Maria puts her life together, stitch by stitch. I love stories about grief and yet moving on, I tell you, and this is a fine one, taking full advantage of the fact that Maria, unlike her predecessor Juliet, doesn't die.
selenak: (Malcolm and Vanessa)
( Dec. 25th, 2014 01:30 pm)
The Yuletide archive is open , and I got two wonderful gifts, both Penny Dreadful, and giving me the Christmas the show only teased us with in dialogue, plus wonderful Vanessa and Malcolm characterisations:

Light in the Darkness (1018 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Penny Dreadful (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Vanessa Ives/Sir Malcolm Murray, Vanessa Ives & Sir Malcolm Murray
Characters: Vanessa Ives, Sir Malcolm Murray
Additional Tags: Found Families, Strange Families, Christmas
Summary:

Christmas, as it is, is theirs.




Some Shape of Beauty (1385 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Penny Dreadful (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Vanessa Ives, Sir Malcolm Murray
Additional Tags: post-season one
Summary:

Ever since she was a little girl, Vanessa has always found Malcolm at the heart of a maze.



No prizes for guessing the two stories I've written this year, because they're both screamingly obvious, but I'm enormously pleased both recipients liked them. Now excuse me while I go off exploring the rest of the archive!
selenak: (Bamberg - Kathyh)
( Dec. 23rd, 2014 02:08 pm)
The tree is standing and decorated, the APs are in dire need to relax, the cats are eyeing the tree speculatively, last minute issues keep coming up: in short: I'm back in Bamberg for Christmas. :)

This will not make for much online presence in the next few days, though I hope to post my nativity scenes photos like every year, and of course am so looking forward to Yuletide. Among many alluring prospects: 13 new Penny Dreadful stories to read!

Meanwhile, the radio version of Good Omens is up and about even for non Brits like yours truly to listen to, thank you, BBC. It's as delightful a hoot I hoped for so far.

Also entertaining: Paul Cornell about Doctor Who fandom , which of course includes the writers. I agree with many of his points, but on the less serious side, I get a kick out of him mentioning his internalized Russell T. Davies as editor, as in this paragraph:


This emotional conservatism, expressed in smaller, less ethically important ways, is a trait I recognise in myself, something I have to fight against to keep myself going. I think several creators of Doctor Who over the decades have instinctively realised that that particular fan gene is in opposition to creativity, and have therefore set their faces against it, sometimes too much. There are also those who’ve gone too far the other way. To be a good writer, you have to smash things up. To make great Doctor Who, especially, you have to destroy something someone values with every step. Those footsteps of destruction will, in a few years, be cast in bronze and put on a plinth for the next great story to destroy. Doctor Who lives because of that process boiling away in its cells. (Metaphors all over the place, fix it in the next draft please, love, internal Russell.)
selenak: (Thorin by Meathiel)
( Dec. 18th, 2014 06:53 pm)
Finished the Yuletide treat as well and sent it off to be beta'd. Phew. I wasn't sure whether I'd manage to finish the story in time this year, and I really wanted to because it's been churning in me for a good long while, and the recipient is a treasure.


Also, post Battle of the Five Armies hurt/comfort fics, because of course yours truly is in the market for them. Just to be on the very safe side, I shall employ a spoiler cut, decades old book or not.

Spoilery recs await )
...as Sydney Bristow used to ask during the one and a half first seasons of Alias. The Yuletide assignment were sent, and I'm pleased with mine; mind you, something that happened to me last year with a completely different fandom and a completely different recipient also happened this year, which cracks me up (it's nothing bad). But I already have ideas for the fandom and request in question, so I'm pretty sure I can do something decent with it.

Meanwhile, I'm eyeing at least one treat, unless rl collapses on me.
selenak: (Default)
( Oct. 20th, 2014 07:15 am)
Dear Yuletide Writer,

I'm happy and grateful you're going to write a story for me. We must share at least one fandom, and I hope you'll have fun writing in it. The ideas in my requests are just that: ideas. If you feel inspired by another direction of story altogether, go for it, as long as it features the characters I requested.


General likes and dislikes: pretty ordinary. I don't like character bashing. (Or the bashing of a relationship in favour of another, but that hardly applies with my requests.) Not to be confused with whitewashing; some of the characters I asked so have canonically done some pretty apalling things, and you don't have to pretend they didn't, or that it was all someone else's fault, just because I love them. As long as they come across as three dimensional people with flaws and strengths, I'll be content.

Quiet character exploration or plotty tale, gen or slash/het/any combination thereof, humor or dark fic, canon or AU, it's all good, though unless you're one of those awesomely talented people who can write characterisation via sex, I'd prefer a story that's more than a PWP.
Now, as to individual requests:


The Americans )



Penny Dreadful )





15th Century RPF )

Bates Motel )

Armadale )
selenak: (Malcolm and Vanessa)
( Sep. 23rd, 2014 07:53 am)
Alas, I won't be able to watch The Good Wife or Manhattan for another week (don't spoil me!), but I can get a hold of the Sleepy Hollow season opener; watch this space. Meanwhile, the weather is splendid, meaning the Aged Parents & self spend most of this week outdoors, and thus there isn't much internet for me. But there is some.

Since the Yuletide nominations are open now, Penny Dreadful fans, shouldn't we coordinate our efforts to get as many characters as possible nominated? (However, I'll have to drop my Vikings intentions since this year you can nominate three fandoms, no more. I definitely want Penny Dreadful and The Americans, which leaves me with just one slot for one of my cracky historical RPF ideas.

Also: it's always a pleasure when a poster you appreciate discovers an old show of yours for the first time. [personal profile] local_max is watching Twin Peaks, and has been writing Twin Peaks meta already. The owls are not what they seem!

Lastly: for some reason, I can't copy a link to The Guardian anymore on this iPad since the latest update, so, without links: you may or may not have heard about the current kerfuffle that unfolded when Hilary Mantel's short story The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher and an interview accompagnying it in which she mentioned having carried it with her for thirty years got published. Now on the one hand, as Lisa Appignanesi points out in one of the commenting articles I can't link, either, given that assassination plots against public figures who did in fact not get assassinated have a long tradition in fiction, both of the written, tv and movie kind (she mentions The Day of the Jackal for Charles de Gaulle, and Nicholas Baker's 2004 take on the assassination of George W. Bush, which didn't get him called "sick and deranged" or in need of a therapist or a visit by the coppers). But on the other, the interview with Mantel that went with the publication of the story contained something I objected to as well, and it wasn't the idea of killing off Margaret T. in fiction. (Or for that matter, anyone in fiction. I mean, were it a public figure I actually care about, like, say, Patrick Stewart, I certainly wouldn't read it, but I wouldn't call the pitchforks, either.) No, it's Mantel something I also recall Antonia Fraser saying once, and several others when commenting on Thatcher: calling her a "psychological transvestite" (or, to give the context: The idea that women must imitate men to succeed is anti-feminist. She was not of woman born. She was a psychological transvestite. (Mantel) or "honorary male" (Fraser, who also called Elizabeth Tudor this when comparing her to Mary Stuart), in other words, a woman who isn't really a woman, not entitled to be treated as a woman. Which, just: no. "Woman" isn't a title you can deserve or can be discarded of.

Speculating, I would guess where this comes from: if you're a woman seeing yourself as a feminist, and loathe a female politician, you're unconformtably aware that there is an eons old misogynistic tradition there of vilifiying any woman in power. On the other hand, this politician truly does do and say things you can't stomach, and which you'd have no problem attacking were they voiced and done by a male politician. So your psychological and emotional out is to declare that this woman doesn't deserve any type of female solidarity because she's not truly a woman. I get the mechanism of that, but that doesn't make it less objectionable for me, because, to repeat: nobody gets to decide who is or isn't a woman. Margaret Thatcher did a great many things which left lasting damage to British society. She also was beyond any doubt a woman. (And let's not even get into the use of "transvestite" as a negative.) And it should be possible to hold forth on why her policies were objectionable without feeling the urge to strip her of her gender.
selenak: (James Boswell)
( Sep. 19th, 2014 12:10 pm)
So the United Kingdom remains united, Gordon Brown is the hero of the day and the rest of us can a bit envious about the fact so many people actually went to vote. (Because 85% is fantastic! Last time I voted in something, early this year, only 50% or so showed up which was truly depressing.) Hats off to you, Scots, for being truly invested in exercising your democratic rights.

One of my favourite dead Scots, James Boswell, would have probably have voted pro-Union, unless of course the vote took place on a day where he had a bad experience in the theatre of the crowd booing fellow Scotsmen. I was delighted to hear that there will be a a film about his defense of Mary Bryant, because a fictionalised version of that episode in his life has been an old Yuletide request of mine. I never had the chance to watch the play the film will be based upon, Boswell for the Defense, and the tv two parter about Mary Bryant, while great, only mentions Boswell in dialogue and doesn't let him show up in person. However, I'm not sure about the actor they cast as Boswell. I mean: does my icon look like Steve Coogan to you? (It's Boswell as sketched by Sir Joshua Reynolds.) (Then again: lots of actors played people they didn't resemble physically and were so good no one cared, the primary example being Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote.) So not only do I have the film to look foward to in 2015, but a better chance for fanfiction in the following Yuletide because let's face it, watching the movie will be easier for people than reading biographies.

Tomorrow, I'll be off to Southern Tyrolia for a week with the APs. I'll have an internet connection, but only the chance to watch those tv episodes they put up at iTunes the day after (the trusty Ipad can't be tricked even by TunnelBear), which is bad timing because next week a whole lot tv shows start their new season, not to mention the ongoing Doctor Who and Manhattan. Well, we'll see what I can get. Mostly I hope for good weather, because after this rainy summer we need it, and Southern Tyrolia is gorgeous to hike through.
...along with everyone else, though mind you, I still owe three stories to three people and WILL write them, but my muse has deserted me this summer; Darth Real Life has frightened her off for a while.

Anyway: Yuletide, since one can nominate fandoms and characters on September 22nd. There are a few new canons I've been aquainted with since last year which could qualify: The Americans (has the advantage that there's no character I wouldn't want to read it or write about), Penny Dreadful (ditto, though of course I'll request Vanessa and Malcolm), Vikings (will ask for Siggy and Laguertha, must ponder whom to offer). (Though with the last I have the problem of not having watched the second season yet, which makes for spoiler-wariness. Maybe I can rectify this before Yuletide, though.) I will definitely nominate and offer Bates Motel again.

I also have two somewhat cracky historical RPF ideas which nonetheless I'd love someone to write if I shan't write them myself: Margaret Beaufort meets Rodrigo Borgia aka Pope Alexander VI is the older of the two. Could be the historical characters in the writer's interpretation, could be The Borgias version of Rodrigo meeting The White Queen's Margaret, that would be utterly up to the writer. (The White Queen was an - considering the source, expected - let down by and large, but Amanda Hale as Margaret Beaufort was fabulous.

The other cracky RPF idea is Saving Mrs. Fleming (concept and title obviously inspired by Saving Mr. Banks, this year's Disney take on P.L Travers and their very own Walt), wherein Mary Renault, mostly known these days for her Greek history novels plus the early WWII set The Charioteer, goes to Hollywood where MGM has optioned her early (just pre WWII set) novel Return of Night (MGM actually did give her some sort of prize for it, but the rest is fiction) and clashes with fellow Brit Alfred Hitchcock who, following his success with Rebecca, is asked to transform another novel into a hit movie. Alas, Hitch and his wife Alma are busy rewriting the Renaultian tale into a sly murder mystery/satire. Renault/Hitchcock clashes about everything ensue, until they discover their mutual mother issues give them at least one thing in common and bond. Haven't decided yet whether in this AU the film would actually get made, though.

...I don't think anyone would read up on Renault and Hitchcock for my sake, so it's probably a case of "offer to write" rather than "request", but it's one of those pesky silly ideas you can't get out of your head.

Back to Yuletide ideas: I would like to nominate Sansom's Shardlake novels as a fandom. Now they have a lot of readers, but would they volunteer to write? Book fandoms can be intimidating. There is, of course, huge crossover potential to 16th century RPF in general and Hilary Mantel's Cromwell novels in particular, especially if I were to ask for Matthew Shardlake's pre-Dissolution career and relationship with Cromwell, or the same for Barack pre-Dark Fire. Though I would also love to read a story about Tamasin between novels "Revelation" and "Heartstone", working in a queen's household again and having to decide whether or not to take Jack back...
The shared theme of my two Yuletide stories, one Breaking Bad and one The Godfather, being: siblings. (And crime, I suppose.) (And hot chocolate.)

This year something happened to me which never did before: I was matched with a recipient who requested something very similar to one of my own requests, and then I got exactly the story same type of story as a gift that I myself was writing as a result. Since it was one about Marie and Skyler and the aftermath of Certain Spoilery Events, I was all for it. My own recipient was [personal profile] nicole_anell, whose Battlestar Galactica meta I love, and so I was rather desperately hoping she'd like the result, which used a lot of the headcanon I have about the childhood and adolesence of the Lambert sisters as well:

Blood Ties (7070 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Breaking Bad
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Marie Schrader & Skyler White, Hank Schrader/Marie Schrader, Skyler White/Walter White
Characters: Marie Schrader, Skyler White, Hank Schrader, Walter White Jr., Walter White
Additional Tags: Character Study, Grief/Mourning, Family Dynamics, Siblings
Summary:

Is spoilery for season 5. )




[personal profile] chaila guessed this was my story, and thus is entitled to a drabble on the subject of her choice if she wants one.


My other story, which I wrote as a treat, is set in the granddaddy of all Crime-And-The-Dysfunctional-Family fandoms, The Godfather. I've always wanted to explore Connie, and her relationships with her brothers, particularly Michael, but also Connie and her mother, and the Godfather saga, which is as male-centric a narrative as they come, from a female pov. Now I know the book and the movies pretty well, but when I refreshed my canon knowledge, I still was startled to realise that I had plain forgotten Fredo was married in the second film (let alone what his wife was called - Deanna), and had trouble remembering the name of Sonny's wife (Sandra). Also, Vito Corleone's wife is referred to so often as "Mama Corleone", "the Don's wife" etc. that it took some time to hunt down her first name as well (Carmella). Which in itself tells you something about female characters not Kay or Connie in The Godfather. Anyway, the scene at Fredo's funeral between Connie, Sandra and Deanna ended up as one of my favourite things to write, and I could finally create something with the thoughts I had about how her parents' reaction to what Connie's marriage turned out to be formed her. As for Connie and Michael, who, as the third movie shows, end up having spent most of their lives together which was certainly not what either of them expected - well, read for yourselves:

Fuit Quondam (4869 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Godfather (1972 1974 1990)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Connie Corleone Rizzi & Michael Corleone, Connie Corleone Rizzi & Santino "Sonny" Corleone, Connie Corleone Rizzi & Vito Corleone, Connie Corleone Rizzi/Carlo Rizzi, Kay Adams/Michael Corleone, Connie Corleone Rizzi & Frederico "Fredo" Corleone, Connie Corleone Rizzi & Carmella Corleone
Characters: Connie Corleone Rizzi, Michael Corleone, Carmella Corleone, Santino "Sonny" Corleone, Vito Corleone, Sandra Corleone, Deanna Corleone, Kay Adams, Carlo Rizzi, Tom Hagen, Frederico "Fredo" Corleone
Additional Tags: Character Study, Siblings, Mother-Daughter Relationship
Summary:

Being a Corleone is supposed to be different when you're a woman. Connie and her brothers through the years.

selenak: (Skyler by next_to_normal)
( Dec. 28th, 2013 06:55 am)
More Yuletide. Incidentally, I haven't had the chance to watch either of the Christmas specials I want to watch yet - Doctor Who and Call The Midwife, that is - and might not get the chance until after New Year. Being with the family is tricky that way. But it does offer the occasional time to read! And thus, without further ado:

Recs for Breaking Bad, Dexter, Galaxy Quest, The Last Unicorn, Psycho, Robot Series by Isaac Asimov, Sarah Jane Adventures and Watership Down )
selenak: (Alex (Being Human)  - Arctic Flower)
( Dec. 27th, 2013 05:19 am)
Part of the Yuletide experience is also the fretting about one's own stories. I was fretting A LOT until literally an hour ago when I got the lovely feedback from my main recipient which assured me she liked my Yuletide story. (Given she's someone I highly respect in another fandom than the one we were matched, I was mightily relieved.) With that burden off my chest, I can proceed to the reccing stage. :) A first bunch of recs, to be followed by many more, under the cut.

Recs for Being Human, Elementary, Broadchurch, Emma, Coriolanus, Historical RPF, A Place of Greater Safety, Orphan Black )
selenak: (Marie and Skyler by Imaginary_Lives)
( Dec. 25th, 2013 01:06 pm)
For some reason, I thought the archive would open tomorrow this year, so it was a lovely surprise to find it ready to rock already: Yuletide 2013! This year, I wrote two stories - my assignment and a treat - in two utterly different fandoms, yet as it turns out with a shared theme. I think they're both very recognizably me, but then I think that every year.:) If you're not my two beta readers for the two different stories and can guess which one is mine, I'll write you a drabble (well, more than a 100 words, most likely) on your subject of choice, if I'm familiar with the fandom and it's not one of my all time squicks, of course.:)

My present is this great Breaking Bad story:

Unbreaking (4384 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Breaking Bad
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Hank Schrader/Marie Schrader, Marie Schrader & Skyler White
Characters: Marie Schrader, Skyler White, Walter White Jr., Holly White
Additional Tags: Sister-Sister Relationship, Grief/Mourning, Character Study, Dysfunctional Family, Season/Series 05, Post-Canon
Summary:

Is spoilery for the last season )

.




It's the Marie story I wished for, and I love it. As for all the other stories now available to read, it will take me a while, due to Christmas business (thank you mails to write, visiting family members to entertain), which I imagine will be the case for a lot of us. Still: YULETIDE!
selenak: (Nina by Kathyh)
( Oct. 19th, 2013 05:13 pm)
Got my Yuletide assignment, which is fine (I already know what I'll write, love the fandom, and my recipient is someone whom I've admired from a distance), but reminded me I need to finish my Whovian remix since I'm off to a conference in Berlin next week. Right now, I'm at the Aged Parents' which is also why I have to delay my tv reviews; my mother took one look at my coughing, sniffling self and pronounced me only fit for bed and lots of hot tea. Being 44 is not a convincing counter argument, especially since I do feel a bit under the weather right now.

If anyone is wondering, I did start to watch Once upon a time: Wonderland and so far it seems to be delightfully daft, plus it has my favourite male werewolf, Tom McNair aka Michael Socha, in a prominent role, which is a plus. Not instant must see tv, but so far, so good, we'll see. Haven't gotten around to SHIELD yet, or Sleepy Hollow, or any of the other new kids because Darth Real Life. Sorry for any not replied to comments, it's not you, it's my cold and the need to finish various writing tasks.
selenak: (Default)
( Oct. 8th, 2013 06:17 am)
Dear Yuletide Writer,

Thank you so much for writing me a present! We share at least one fandom, and I'm looking forward to finding out what that shared interest inspires in you.

General likes and dislikes )

Breaking Bad )

18th & 19th Century RPF )

Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Album) - The Beatles )

Bates Motel (2013) )

14th Century RPF )

The Welsh Princes Trilogy - Sharon Kay Penman )
selenak: (Alice by Letmypidgeonsgo)
( Sep. 17th, 2013 04:27 pm)
Day II of No Breaking Bad, Woe distraction was achieved by nominating Yuletide fandoms and - characters, which you should also do since nominating doesn't oblige anyone to actually write in those fandoms, and by getting my Doctor Who Remix assignment.

...which turned out to be an author who had written precisely the required amount of fanfic, and no more. (Five stories.) All shippery, which isn't that much of a problem as it happens to be one of the few things I ship as well. (Though on a less fluffy note, but that's not a problem, either; that relationship just lends itself to crack fic, and to treat it as grimdark all the time would be just as wrong.) What IS a problem is that the first story I clicked was a Torchwood crossover, set after Children of Earth, so, being the big CoE fan I am, I started my exploration with this story. Alas, this meant an immediate inner argument. Starting with the basics, but okay, handwaving the basic premise and saying this does happen: then it's still apparant she hasn't actually watched Children of Earth and just knows one particular thing that happens in it (the one that got the main ships's folllowers upset). So I found myself arguing "but Jack wouldn't..." and "no way" and "if... then he'd rather..." etc. Now, at a quick glance none of the other stories - which are amusing unobjectionable fluff for the DW ship - made me argue. But fiction that gets a strong reaction from me, even a negative one, is just more inspiring, and still arguing in my head, I did get inspired.

Which leads me to a question. I abhor bashing. Of characters, of relationships, and, well, of other stories, too. Plus that's one of the things the ficathon frowns on. But my idea would basically turn the premise of the original story on its head and completely rearrange the emotional priorities of one of the two main characters. Would this come across as bashing or would it simply be seen as creatively remixing?
selenak: (Beatles by Alexis3)
( Sep. 10th, 2013 06:19 pm)
I've started to watch Hatufim, the Israeli series which inspired Homeland, am three episodes in, and so far, it's as good as advertised, with because there is no Carrie and no "is she crazy or is he a terrorist?" first season story arc the focus being instead on how the released hostages (Brody's role given to two guys, one of whom has the bratty daughter named Dana and the other has the significant other who found another love while he was gone) and their families cope. Which is really well done. However. One thing that's increasingly hard to watch is how Noorid (I hope that's the right spelling) gets slut shamed by everyone - not the show, I hasten to add, which relates it from her pov and has her as a sympathetic character - for daring to fall in love again during the 17 years which in the Israeli version her husband was gone. In Homeland, you get one episode in which Jessica realises she's been very unfair to Thomas' wife in the past because she remarried, and now that she herself fell in love again is painfully aware of the irony. In Hatufim, the shaming of Noorid happens in the present storyline. I have no idea how realistic or not it is - I mean, I can believe that the girlfriend/fiance/wife of an imprisoned soldier who'd been build up in to a sympathy figure would get some media backlash if she stops waiting for him and has a new relationship - but Noorid practically can't go out of the house without running into people calling her whore and betrayer of the nation. It's really disturbing.

***

In Yuletide news, I hit upon another crazy idea and decided to nominate the Beatles' Seargent Pepper's Lonely Heartsclub Band album as a fandom, with Billy Shears, Lovely Rita, Lucy, the girlf from She's Leaving Home and Sgt. Pepper as possible characters. A few years ago, before I dared to write Yuletide, someone nominated Revolver and got plenty of stories, so there is precedence. Also, this nomination spreadsheet offers a handy overview of what everyone else thinks of nominating, and I've spotted a few possibilities where I could offer - I'd definitely like to tackle Connie Corleone from The Godfather, because I thought while Coppola's film version and Talia Shire's performance (Coppola casting his own sister as Connie is an interesting subtext) improved somewhat on Mario Puzo's horribly sexist writing of her, there is still a lot of fleshing out and exploration possible, especially given the gap between II and III and Connie basically becoming Michael's consigliere in between. Sharon Penman's Welsh trilogy also offers intriguing possibilities (what were Davydd ap Gruffyd's years as a hostage at the English court like, for starters?). And someone else kindly offered to nominate Bates Motel so I can get another historical fandom in. It's all proceeding very promisingly indeed.
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