Take pity on me, because this is the first time I've decided to not just enjoy the fruits of Yule after they're shared with the public but actually try to participate. So my letter is late and possibly weird or unhelpful. At any rate, please use what works for you and ignore things that don't. I'm only putting things here in case you want to use them, not to make your life more difficult. I'm just thrilled that you're writing a thing! A thing for ME! In conclusion, you're the best Yuletide writer ever and I love you in advance. Yes. Truly.
world-building (food, culture, weather, etiquette, scenery, clothing, history, language...)
slice-of-life or character studies (plot is optional! but I also love a plotty plot!)
both plain language and poetic language
characters with unexpected but somehow fitting skills and interests
good relationships (friends, lovers, between people of different statuses)
a partnership of equals
I don't love/please no
for these particular fandoms, any of the canon relationships being broken/subbed for other ships
I'm fine with
whatever "rating" level you feel moved to write, if you feel moved to write sexytimes
OCs to make the story move along
AUs if that's your thing
nonstandard formats (songs, poems, fragments, letters, etc.)
stories set in the past, present, or future relative to the published works
a lack of obsessive detail--look, I don't join book clubs or participate much in fandom because I'm not that fan who notices and remembers tiny details, minor characters, subtle verbal motifs, geographical trivia, and so on. Therefore, if you just want to write about two characters chatting, or if you want to make up the distance from X to Y, I won't mind at all!
Specific comments for each fandom are below.
Request 1: Elemental Logic - Laurie J. Marks
OK, to be honest, I'm still finishing Water Logic. Almost there!
Things I love about this series: the range of sexualities, the range of relationships and family structures, gender is mostly not an issue, not everyone is white, the food, the realness of the physical setting, books!!!, glyphs, ravens, weird magic, a culture that actively tries (if often fails) to not suck. Also, how people fall in love with each other's strengths and personalities, not their superficial attributes.
My OTP is Karis and Zanja, though all the other canonical relationships are great. I'd love to see Karis and Zanja together. If you do write about them, I really don't want to see them hurting each other. Sexy is fine, cute is fine, domestic is fine. Kickass is fine, too. I also love Garland--it'd be extra nifty if he showed up!
Things I love about this book: the writer doesn't play with my heart or kick me in the feels for making the mistake of caring, the elaborate worldbuilding, the food, details of clothing and knickknacks, people trying their best to do the right thing, the tangle of caring and etiquette and obligations and AHHHH. Ahem.
As I wrote in my request, I would actually enjoy almost any characters in any combination! I'm just MOST interested in: Shalëan being a piratical badass (perhaps she has a lady friend or three!), Cala and Csevet and Beshelar being awesome, Vedero studying the stars (hmm, perhaps she has a lady friend!), Maia and Csethiro being Maia and Csethiro. Or really any of them just having a normal day. It's all good as long as nothing horrible happens to anyone.
Request 3: Ascension - Jacqueline Koyanagi
Things I love about this book: Women kicking ass, family from strangers, not everyone is white, not everyone in super great physical condition, people are smart, aliens are weird, space opera!
Things I hate about this book: THERE'S NOT MORE. WHYYYY
Other characters are fine, too; though mostly I'm interested in Tev and Alana's relationship (and their being happy together!). But explore whichever direction pulls you.
2. An entire plate of roasted veg is not working for me as a dinner. What entree can I serve alongside? Special snowflake preferences: Ideal entrees would be vegetarian (dairy, eggs, and soy okay), or using sausage (TJ's and WF sales provide decent sausage), or easy-to-prepare fish. We're currently roasting some combination of Asian and traditional sweet potatoes, whole shallots, regular and Chantenay carrots, turnips and rutagabas, parsnips, and golden and red beets. Just olive oil, a bit of black pepper, and a bit of salt is what's going in. They come out nicely caramelized on the edges, though not at all wet. (I skip the parsnips and turnips.) I just don't know what to serve with them. Things like lentils and so on seem a little too carby.
Description: Now that Ira's older sister is getting married, who will take her to the bathroom after 10 p.m. and sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" outside the bathroom door in order to protect her from the beautiful, androgynous, child-eating clown? Will marrying a closeted gay man help?
(I had to read it aloud to my husband and brother-in-law.)
*tears of laughter*
(It's from 1977.)
(This is true even on things that would be to their advantage to list, like fiber, protein, and vitamins--I'm guessing there are high fees or laborious processes involved in getting those things officially re-tested by the FDA or something. :/ I don't know whether the manufacturers realize how obsessively certain Americans read food labels, particularly foodie and health nut types who shop at Asian markets; they're probably depressing their sales quite a bit this way. Enough to offset the fees that I imagine exist? I have no idea...)
I need to get more glass or metal jars. If there are some out there that come with little spoons attached, that would be ideal...I paid $1.29 for 100g of cumin, but I could have gotten 200g for $2.29 or 400g for $3.99. The price difference on the cardamom compared to Safeway is really striking, even considering that I am not cool enough to deal with the pods (yet). Anyway, we use a lot of cumin around here, so it'd be good to be able to keep more of it around.
I'm reading Monsoon Diary: A Memoir with Recipes, by Shoba Narayan, and it's both interesting (a firmly placed view of a specific part of India [outside Madras], a specific class, being a girl and a woman, etc.) and appetizing. I like Indian vegetarian food, but as with many topics, I often learn better from a narrative than from reading a list ("South Indian food often features flavors x, y, and z, but does not include a, b, and c more commonly found in the north.") It's much better to have an image of young Shoba's dad drinking coffee (not tea) or her orthodox Brahmin aunt making a fuss about an eggless cake made in a pan that had previously had a cake with eggs in it. I know memoirs are personal memories, and those are always up for debate (C.'s international students from the same used to argue about whether certain dishes were authentic, what certain symbols meant, and so on, and I've gotten in similar arguments about slang and food.) So when I was younger, I used to acquire history by sort of triangulating among the best-researched historical fiction, rather than basing what I took in on any one book.
EDIT: Narayan's book goes places many food memoirs don't--college, grad school (not culinary school), etc. I'm still reading it and it keeps changing. :)
Anyway, I recommend it, and it's one of the rare food memoirs that will be good for vegetarians. The recipes will make anyone hungry, though, so don't read it on an empty stomach!
I don't know all that much about the interstitial movement, so if you want to pop over there with links and so forth, it might be good.
She's talking about Miss Hargreaves by Frank Baker, Under Heaven or The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay, and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke.
I really thought the latter was simply fantasy, if indeed a kind of historical fantasy that mines an era we've rarely seen and written in a particular tone, and without the romantic overtones that HF sometimes has.
Anyway, the comments are rather dumb so far, including the person who thinks that a book titled The Lotus Eaters is engaging in plagiarism (I sincerely hope that person is in secondary school).
I realize that when I send unsolicited things to people, they don't have any obligation to tell me anything, even if they did like it, but I don't have a lot of good things happening to me lately and I would be really happy to hear back once in a while if people did like something. (Or if I should lay off, because sometimes I worry about that, too.) I feel like I'm not good for a whole lot lately, so if I can tell somebody about something and they like it or they find it useful or something, then hey, maybe I'm good for something after all. Not that I want to put the burden of my self-worth on you; it'd just be nice to hear back once in a while.
I've checked a couple times lately with people who were totally silent about massive [MP3 CDs/e-mails of recommendations/whatever] that I sent to find out if I'd just totally overstepped my bounds or what, only to find out that they were very pleased with what I'd sent them and were [listening to it all the time/using it on a daily basis], but they just had never said anything about it. I wasn't looking for a thank-you; the problem was that since they'd said nothing, I figured I'd missed the mark and should not send anything (or should send something different) in the future. :/
I know people are busy and overwhelmed and stressed out, too; I'm just hoping that once in a while, if possible, if I send you something you like or can use, that you tell me "Hey, I liked that" or "That was useful." That's it. It would make me ridiculously happy.
Anyway, I realize this probably sounds whiny as hell, and I don't want it to, but I can't figure out a more eloquent way of putting it.
(EDIT: And you don't need to comb your memory for old recommendations, really. Not trying to guilt-trip anyone. :))
(Not that I want any, thanks.)
(Even though some of you are adorable geek girls who do costumes...you don't go around selling yourselves that way.)
Anyway, if you have it, please go ahead and add me. Not sure what I'm going to do with it--just exploring it.
I don't have any invitation codes, though.
Also, thank heavens there's a way to turn off the wash of red--I have a very large screen, meaning I was seeing about 84 square inches of SOLID RED on my screen. PAINFUL. Huge green blob when I looked away! Professional web designers, don't do this. Put an overlay or a tiny grey stripe on massive areas of solid primary color, if you must use it--and for goodness' sake look at your designs on displays much larger and smaller than your own!
Thank god for Amazon's DRM-free instant gratification.
This is a rare album where there isn't a single song I disliked. Obviously, I liked some more than others, but yeah. I'll jus
I'm kind of amused by how Cee-Lo looks like Cobra Bubbles on the cover there.
Anyway, if there's someone more behind, I would say you should check them out if you like, uh ... Gorillaz and Duffy and the Eels and Moby and British-Invasion-era pop. Which I do.
Now I'm going to go listen to "Surprise" about six more times, but there's no good version on Youtube, so you get no link.
I had gotten the impression that it was some kind of mystery as to why people from Mexico were dying from the disease and people from the US weren't, but ... errrr ... maybe not? Egads.