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Time to dust off the shelves here!

Yuletide writer letter below the cut:
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I suspect I have maybe three readers, but I like to keep a record of these things here.

So: November's assignment brought me the kind of prompt I love most--one that wasn't too nailed down. rosekay wanted the fic to land between These Old Shades and Devil's Cub, with some h/c for Dominic and Leonie and Avon being parents in their own inimitable style. Of course Rupert had to be in there.

Reading rosekay's fics showed a taste for kink, so I thought, what kink could I put in to try to please her, but still fit my perception of the Heyerverse? Meanwhile, I reburied myself in Horry Walpole's and George Selwyn's letters to reacquaint myself with periodspeak, along with a quick reread of Evelina, which I feel sure was one of Heyer's main Georgian influences.

I wanted enough period flavor to finesse the fact that I can't quite bring myself to employ a couple of Heyer's favorite quirks (the tendency to express characters' emotions through the twinkles or glints or glows in their eyes, and the said-bookisms that were perfectly respectable early in the 20th century, but aren't now) so I chose some of her other favorite quirks. By then it was the middle of December, so I had to write fast, subsequently about a million corrections all last week. Anyway, the result was "Scymnus Diaboli", and I have to confess I totally lifted a line directly from Horry Walpole because I thought it way too funny to be left in obscurity. I gave Dominic his reason for being thrown out of Latin (and eventually leaving Eton) for scamming his Latin teacher with Italian, adding Latinate endings. This was a trick Horry pulled on someone.

Then there were pinch hits, and though I was hip deep in other stuff, what is Yuletide without that last moment adrenaline rush? When the request for somethng about the three Bronte sisters went by a couple times, I thought, hey, why not. I have almost 72 hours!

So I spent a day revisiting Barker's biography and Anne's poetry (I knew she had to be central, as she's my favorite of the sisters) and maps of their part of England, and when I lighted on that excursion Emily and Anne took, that Emily wrote about, which happened at the same time that Charlotte and Branwell both came home disappointed in love, and Charlotte ended up nosing through Emily's stuff and discovering her poetry, well, there was the story, "The Escapists". I didn't write it so much as channel it, so I am making a mental note to go over it again when the dust settles a bit.

So I made the deadline on that one, and hey, it was Christmas Eve, with a whole day to go! So I zipped out "Twelve Views of Meliara and Vidanric"--using a format that didn't need transitions. I am sure it would read like gobbledegook to anyone who hasn't read Crown Duel or A Stranger to Command--but then, who would? If the reader knows the story (including Vidanric's POV additions at the end of the e-book version of CD) then it all makes sense.

Okay, that sets the record. Now to dive back into the fics and discover some new authors.
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It opened up yesterday, exactly when I needed some short fic reads (no time for long right now) and what do I find? A ficlet that perfectly captures Augustus and Farragut in The Tour of the Merrimack series by Meluch.

Yip!

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There is nothing like reading the perfect story. Amateur Hour, a Burn Notice story had everything I wanted: Sam Axe being Charles Finley, wisecracking even when locked in a room under death threat--Madeline getting into the action and crabbing about it non-stop--Fiona blowing things up--Michael and Jesse being cute and badass. Love, love love!

And there's something else lurking below, for whenever Yuletide Madness clears, so I still get some anticipation. Joy!

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I wrote another fic today, because the recipient has had a tough year, and because I know the fandom.

After I posted it, I went to my A03 site to gloat over my three completed fics, and saw that I now have two surprises waiting for me tomorrow--two! What riches!

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My part is done . . . assigned story turned in, though I began it late due to real life doing its real life thing.

Then I took a pinch hit that had gone past three times. Two days to write it, yow, so I madly pulled my sources down, read all night, wrote all yesterday and today, and just finished uploading. I wish I'd had more time--I suspect it's sketchy--but hey.

Now to keep an eye on the time for Yuletide Madness.

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Though this has been a tough year in a lot of ways (and a very good one in others, but the result was been a very busy year) I cannot forgo the intense pleasure of waking up on Yuletide morning to a story written just for me. So here I am again.

I am really easy to please if you give me a happy ending (the more earned the better I feel), and if you avoid things like non-com, rape, and suchlike. My fics are all up at A03 so you can see where my tastes lie, but I can tell you: I love worldbuilding, I love romance, humor, and swashbuckling. Duels with wit, but I also like pie fights and broad comedy. I love stings and complicated ruses and disguises and changes of identity. (When that can be combined with genderbending fun, I am yours forever.)

My first choice is Burn Notice. Give me a caper plot! My first thought was Sam Axe, just because he's so funny. Then I thought, Madeleine needs an adventure--too often she's just the vector for the latest client. But I also love Michael and Fiona, so . . . over to you.

My second choice is Prizoner of Zenda. I asked for this once before, and I got a terrific story . . . except that it didn't give me a happy ending. I really want a happy ending for Rupert. It has to be earned, which means this is probably a real challenge, but if that sparks something for you, yay!

My third choice is from the Vorkosiverse. I know Lois is writing more about Miles, but he can never be the Little Admiral again, and I would love to pieces a story in which Miles has to be both at the same time, as Barrayaran politics clash with . . . say, bringing down some scummy Jackson Hole lord, or some typical mad quest on the part of the Dendarii. It doesn't have to be heavy on the military action, though it would be a real plus if you can.

I also made a fourth request, in case none of these work for you--something from R.M. Melluch's Tour of the Merrimack. This one is space opera with captain against captain, wit against artillery, and a heavy dose of homoeroticism. Go wild!

And thank you!
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My story, Poignant Sting, recorded by luzula--I thought she did a terrific job.
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I'd had a bunch of Treat requests stored, but a preponderance of relatives in the hospital for dire things and others dying, plus all of us cycling through the flu, kept my treat-writing down to This one about Liselotte von der Pfalz, which I could pretty much write without having to do much research.

My assignment was in the world of Patrick O'Brian; my recipient asked for the focus to be on Diana and Sophie, specifically Sophie's extreme ambivalence about sex. I knew her change of heart happened in The Yellow Admiral so I imagined what happened.

I loved the A03 site and all its helpful connections; the one thing I sorely missed was the list of unrequited fandoms.

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The system is slow, not surprising! But I was made so happy by getting my first choice of my requests--Aramis, during nexes in his life. Very deep POV, and a tantalizing glimpse of Richelieu. Treat yourself and go read!.

Every year I love waking up on this day and finding a story just for me, and how happy this one made me.

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