thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Keep Hoping Machine Running ([personal profile] thefourthvine) wrote2015-10-18 02:07 pm

Yuletide 2015 Dear Author Letter

Dear Writer Person,

We matched! So first know that I am extremely fond of you already, because clearly you are a person of taste and discernment, loving one of these small fandoms as much as I do.

I am, as always, going to provide you with all the details, because that's what I hope to get from my recipient. But if details aren't your thing, please tap out of this letter now. Just know that I really, really cannot handle child or animal harm or death, and I love you for volunteering for one of my tiny fandoms. See you on the 25th!

Or, if you want to know more, read on.

Me

I love so many things, Yuletide author. Here is a small sample:
  • Happy endings. (Um, I mean of the everyone lives happily ever after kind. Although I am also a big fan of orgasms, not gonna lie.)
  • Humor.
  • Stories that earn their payoff.
  • Slow build romances and slow build sex scenes.
  • Action and adventure.
  • Snappy dialogue.
  • Classic fan fiction tropes, whether played straight or inverted. (Soulbonds! Werewolves! Bodyswap! Arranged marriages! Amnesia! And so on.)
  • Robots, spaceships, aliens, space opera, military science fiction.
  • Urban fantasy, magical politics, dryads in backwards Dodgers caps, parking spells, secret libraries full of Starbucks-sipping, iPod-wearing magical theory students.
  • People who have problems with feelings.
I also have some DNWs:
  • Animal and child harm or death. These are my only deal-breaker squicks; I can't handle them at all.
  • Embarrassment and humiliation.
  • Rape.
  • The abuse of women.
  • Infidelity.
  • Zombies or cannibalism.
  • Grimdarkness.
  • Pairings with big power imbalances -- teacher/student, doctor/patient, huge age gaps, etc -- or a male/female power imbalance with the woman on the less powerful end.
I am thefourthvine everywhere -- on AO3, DW, LJ, Twitter, and Tumblr. I'm easy to find.

So that's the general stuff. Let's talk fandoms.

Historical Farm (UK TV), Ruth Goodman, Peter Ginn, Alex Langlands

Request: Oh man there are so many things I'd be delighted to read in this fandom! Basically, if there's Ruth being super competent and awesome and whichever pair of guys you choose being -- you know how they are, sort of hapless but enthusiastic and really trying hard -- I will be all over it. But if you want more detailed prompts, I have many!

How about putting some fantasy in the historical farm series? I'd love something akin to an episode from an alternate universe farm series, like the Post-Magical-Uprising Farm or the Pre-Aetherian Period Farm, or maybe something about how the introduction of airships, taming of dragons, or discovery of the eighth principal of alchemy changed farming in 1899. Ruth demonstrating how to store dragon eggs! Tom and Peter arguing over how to build a basic airship transport basket! Alex attempting to follow an old spell for breeding cockatrices!

Or what about science fiction? I'd be thrilled with a future farm, or a farm on the moon, or an asteroid, or a spaceship. Ruth meticulously reconstructing zero-g recipes from early colonists! Alex geeking out about bees bred for asteroid farms! Peter attempting to rebuild a feed synthesizer that was actually used on an early moon farm!

Or maybe a crossover? If you know Connie Willis's Oxford time travel universe -- well, I think Ruth would be the most careful, detailed, helpful prepper of new historians ever, with many detailed resource pamphlets entitled things like "Useful Undergarments, 1344 -1960." Or hearing about any character's actual time travel would also be delightful.


I found this show this year and watched all the canon, which is unheard of for me. But it's just so amazing! So compelling! I could not stop watching. I love pretty much everything about this show, but I think it's mostly carried by the presenters -- by their sincere enthusiasm and geekery for the past, balanced with their intensely realistic understanding of it.

I love Ruth because she clearly loves the people of the past without romanticizing them, and because she's so fucking competent. I love watching her master old cooking equipment and make old recipes without either a "tee-hee, people ate such gross stuff!" or a "the Glorious Wisdom of the Past" tone. I love seeing her grimly haul herself out of bed in the dark to get the range going, or her sort of "I have no idea how I'm going to manage this, but I'm for sure going to manage it" attitude when she sees their new home at the start of a series.

I love the guys -- and I do not care which two you pick; I requested Peter and Alex because they've been in more series, but, as I said, feel free to do Peter and Tom instead -- because they are sort of the bumbling adolescent Labrador Retrievers of the farm. I love watching them get better at farming and stock-keeping over time, and develop their interests (like Alex's slightly weird love of chickens), and I also love watching them try hard and totally screw up, which shows just how difficult this shit really is.

And I love this view of the past, where we get a chance to see what it was like -- not through a rose-tinted lens, or focusing on the life lived by the luckiest 1%, but just. The ordinary lives of ordinary people, like us, but in a different time and place.

In this one, I'm good with any pairing, any rating, or gen, totally up to you. And, as my prompts probably indicate, I'm pretty flexible. Basically, if there's a story that you want to write in this fandom, write that story. I just want to read more about my beloved historical farmers, doing their thing.

(DNW note: this is a farming series. Obviously, a lot of animal death occurs, because it's a farm. If you could keep it off the page as much possible, I would greatly appreciate it, but if you've got them eating their own sheep/asteroid cows/whatever, or some tension about if an animal is going to make it (and it does), that's fine.)

To pick up this series, click on one of these links and then just keep on. Be riveted by the magic of historical farming!
Edwardian Farm, episode 1.
Tudor Monastery Farm, episode 1.
Wartime Farm, episode 1.
Victorian Farm, episode 1.
Bonus:
Tales from the Green Valley playlist. (This is the pilot and fun, but it's older and not like the others.
Secrets of the Castle, episode 1. (Not a farm, but still fun. Unfortunately, the one I watched is no longer up, and this upload isn't great quality. Sorry!)

Retired Basketball Player RPF - Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Larry Bird

Request: I -- genuinely think Magic Johnson and Larry Bird might have soulbonded at the NCAA Championship in 1979. They certainly went from zero to intense, eternal focus pretty damn quickly. So what I want to know is - what happened? Where did it go from there? How does that work, when you're playing against each other, when at least one of you doesn't even LIKE the other, when you're such incredibly different human beings?

If you go with the actual soulbond, there are lots of interesting possibilities here - Larry fighting the bond, the way it affected them and their game, how it drove them to play. Or there's Magic's HIV diagnosis and how they dealt with that. Or there's the question of dealing with marriage (to other people) and being soulbonded. Or you could talk about how they finally accepted the soulbond and what it's like now, being comfortable with it and each other, years after the fighting and the struggle finally ended. Just, anything.

And if you take the non-soulbond route (which is of course fine; this definitely doesn't have to be a literal soulbond), just what IS going on? They have SOME kind of bond, that much is clear, and I'd love to hear what it's like: forever friendship, repeating reincarnation as people obsessed with each other, multiverse-spanning romance, whatever. I just want more about this intense *thing* they have going.

I'm good with gen, slash, and poly. Just please no straight-up infidelity. There's always gen, or AUs, or setting the sex before the marriage, or spousal knowledge and consent (my favorite!), or spousal involvement. Or something else you come up with! LET THE MAGIC (hee!) OF BIRD AND JOHNSON GUIDE YOU, basically.


Okay, I am a trifle concerned that my request makes me sound like a delusional tinhat. No! No! I am merely reporting the truth, which is that Magic Johnson and Larry Bird appear to have a real-life soulbond!

...That didn't help my case. But I have solid evidence. The documentary A Courtship of Rivals (YouTube link to full documentary in HD, but you only need to watch the first ten minutes to see the literal discussion of the soulbond) could not be clearer. These guys are bonded in some way. And I just find that fascinating. You could not have two more different guys (unless, like, one of them was a Vulcan - SHUSH NO WRONG FANDOM). You could not have a more intense rivalry. And yet it's abundantly clear they have a ton of respect for each other, a ton of very genuine love for each other, and they know each other so well - every appearance I've ever seen them in has just been so great for that. We have Magic, dude who loves people, hugs, and fame, and Larry, dude whose basic motto is "go away and leave me alone," and they love each other, and that is the greatest thing to me.

Basically, I adore these guys. And I am riveted by their great and weird relationship. Anything you write about them navigating that relationship while being their extremely awesome selves will be wonderful.

And if you're up for pairing fic, I would love that, any rating.

To pick this fandom up, watch that documentary. Marvel at its dedication to pushing the soulbond storyline!

Schusev State Museum of Architecture Discover the Full Story ad campaign, Any

Request: Worldbuilding! Please please worldbuilding. I want to know what the underground parts of the building(s) (any of the three or all, I don't care) are for. Who lives in them, uses them, works in them? What kind of performances go on in that part of the Bolshoi? What degrees can you earn in that part of the University? Is the bottom part of the Cathedral still for religious purposes? The same religious purposes, or…something else?

I am intrigued by the way the extensions are clearly parts of, but different from, the above-ground parts, and also by the fact that they're so much bigger than the tops -- they're like building icebergs! -- which suggests that whatever they're doing in the bottom parts, a lot more people are involved than in the top parts. Is there a whole alternate civilization down there, or are the bottom parts of the buildings also for surface people, just different ones? Is it like this all over the world, or just under Russia, or just under Moscow?

Basically, I'm hoping for answers, theories, ideas, strange delusions…whatever you've got for these buildings.


Okay, first: I definitely want this fandom just as much as the other two! But there's going to be less information here because they're, you know, three pictures, so we've got a lot less to talk about.

I saw these and immediately went, "Whoa. Yuletide fandom." There's something about them that implies there's a lot going on here that we don't know, and I want to know. I want to know who uses these buildings and what they do there. I want to discover the full story!

It might be fun to do some sort of document-based fic for this -- letters home from a student in the university, or diary entries written by a dancer, whatever. Or interactive fiction! I'm open to whatever you want to write.

Crossover note: welcome on this one, but in no way required. Like, if you've got an idea from the drawings alone, go for it! But if you're thinking in terms of a crossover, feel equally free. I am very familiar with Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman, and Fallen London (the game), which are both secret-underground-world fandoms, so I suspect they might come readily to mind. But no need to limit yourself! If you want to cross this over with any given fandom, go for it. It's fine by me if I don't know it as long as I can pick it up from context, but if you'd rather be sure I do know it, my sidebar lists fandoms I've recommended, or of course you can always ask the mods to ask me, or if you feel awkward about that you can consult [personal profile] norah for "does she know x?" (She's good at keeping secrets, knows me very well, and can text my wife if necessary. Her email: miss.ella.norah@gmail.com.)

To pick this up, look how pretty!
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)

[personal profile] staranise 2015-10-19 12:27 am (UTC)(link)
Oh gosh, I'm so glad I read this because Tudor Monastery Farm is MY CRACK. BRB off to mainline.

[personal profile] alexbayleaf 2015-10-19 08:33 am (UTC)(link)
Oh boy, historical farm is the best! I actually love Green Valley best of all tbh but that's partly because I was already a Stuart Peachey fan (I had several pamphlets of his including a very informative one about salads 1580-1660, what, shut up) and I also loved Chloe as the animal expert, so having those two as well was a bonus for me. And Alex and Peter being young and fresh faced and, like, being kinda SURPRISED that ploughing takes so long, vs now where my Personal Historical Farm Drinking Game starts: "episode 1, plough problems, DRINK." Also, can we just spare a moment for the wonder of that wartime all-carrot Christmas dinner? Best.

Btw if you are up for recs I highly recommend all historical documentaries by Dr Lucy Worsley. She likes playing dress ups and is a huge nerd and I fangirl her lots. Start with her series on the history of rooms (bathroom, kitchen, etc), which is on YouTube, and I think is the most Ruth Goodmanesque of them. Also IIRC [personal profile] oursin shows up at some point in one of the doccos but it might not be in that series, I forget.
Edited (Removed uncharitable comment about folklorist dude!) 2015-10-19 08:41 (UTC)
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)

[personal profile] sophia_sol 2015-10-19 02:49 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you for introducing me to the wonders of Historical Farm! I watched two episodes of Edwardian Farm last night and it's so charming and I want to watch EVERYTHING now.
ellen_fremedon: overlapping pages from Beowulf manuscript, one with a large rubric, on a maroon ground (Default)

[personal profile] ellen_fremedon 2015-10-19 04:54 pm (UTC)(link)
...so clearly I'm going to need to watch Historical Farm. *adds it to the list*
isweedan: White jittering text "art is the weapon" on red field (Default)

[personal profile] isweedan 2015-10-20 01:11 am (UTC)(link)
HISTORICAL FARM. SHOW OF MY HEART. I'm so pleased it's one of your Yuletide Fandoms.

I am also WAY IMPRESSED that you have streaming links for like, everything!
kathmandu: Close-up of pussywillow catkins. (Default)

Historical salads, you say

[personal profile] kathmandu 2015-10-20 11:02 am (UTC)(link)
Are those pamphlets linkable at all?