dorinda: a tall ship with all sails set (sailing ship)
2017-06-30 08:09 am

Night on Fic Mountain reveal: "The Fever of the World" (Master & Commander)

The authors & artists for Night On Fic Mountain have been revealed! And here is mine, a shocking revelation I am sure:

The Fever of the World (8487 words) by Dorinda
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), Master and Commander - All Media Types
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Jack Aubrey & Stephen Maturin
Characters: Jack Aubrey, Stephen Maturin
Additional Tags: Hurt/Comfort, Prison, Delirium, Worry, suspiciously intense gen
Summary:

And everywhere the fire, lighting sky and sea, dappling across the small bobbing faces lifted to the heavens.

He had seen Stephen swimming, hadn't he. He had known Stephen would remember how to float, the way Jack had taught him. Feeling sure, he had floundered past, to get about saving as many as he could. After all, he had seen Stephen swimming.

Hadn't he?



I was assigned [personal profile] lynndyre and waved my hands gleefully in the air; we share a lot of common interests in the Master & Commander universe for sure. \o\ /o/ \o\

She asked for Jack & Stephen and mentioned "suspiciously intense gen" among her likes, so that's the note I tried to hit. It's about worry and need and fever dreams and tender hands-on medical care and Stephen having a plan. And I borrowed Captain Christy-Pallière from the books, because I love him so and why not. :D

I also killed an offscreen OC or two who I actually feel kind of bad about. Nothing to them really, but I'm still like, aw.

And now that I don't have to wriggle about trying not to reveal my own story, let me say that I recommend everything in NofM 2017's Master & Commander tag. There's the examination of canon events through the lens of a full-on soul bond, there's high adventure with giant enslaved sea serpents, there's an underplayed moment in time in which Stephen willingly sacrifices great things for Jack, and to top it all off there's this!:

A Slothful Interlude (0 words) by lynndyre
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Master and Commander - All Media Types
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Jack Aubrey & Stephen Maturin
Characters: Jack Aubrey, Stephen Maturin, A sloth
Additional Tags: Friendship, Napping, Art, Ink
Summary:

Stephen finds Jack sleeping.



AUGH SO ADORABLE. So warm and relaxed, with perfect little touches of detail. Recommended for a nice bit of visual therapy.
dorinda: Fat Pony appears in a blaze of light! (Fat_Pony)
2017-06-22 05:26 pm

Fic Mountain gifts, triple!

Duuuudes the Night On Fic Mountain 2017 collection is open, and I got THREE PRESENTS. \o/ Almost Human, AND Rejseholdet, AND a Jack & Stephen treat! Check this out:

...oh wait, huh, weird. I only just now noticed that two of these pieces have no "Share" button at the top. But it shows up on the third one. So the 'share' function can be disabled? I've never seen that option. What's that about, I wonder?

Anyway, no biggie, I shall share the first two the old fashioned way, uphill both ways in the snow:

First, a really lovely romantic piece of John/Dorian art called "Halfway Till Bliss". I adore the differing expressions, and the subtleties of their faces, and Dorian's eyelashes, and John's hair. And KISSIN. <3

https://archiveofourown.org/works/11205894

Then, a wonderfully grounded and real-feeling Rejseholdet story, "The (Irregular) Right Direction": it's set ten years post-canon, with Fischer permanently settled in EU law-enforcement bureaucracy, but with something unsettled and restless humming deep within him. Hmmmm, I wonder what he's still missing? :D

https://archiveofourown.org/works/11209839

And finally, a touching and nuanced Master & Commander (and/or O'Brian books) Jack & Stephen story, "Why Darwin Discovered Evolution", which has a Share button, thusly:

Why Darwin Discovered Evolution (1113 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Jack Aubrey & Stephen Maturin
Characters: Jack Aubrey, Stephen Maturin
Additional Tags: London, Evolution, Moths, Night On Fic Mountain 2017, Night on Fic Mountain 2017 Treat
Summary:

1815: Napoleon surrenders, and is exiled to St Helena. The British Navy, after seventeen years of war, retires ships, crews and captains. John Barrow, Second Secretary to the Admiralty, begins a programme of exploration which will last until 1845 and will include, in 1835, Charles Darwin's five year voyage of discovery in the Beagle.

In England, Jack Aubrey languishes on the Captains’ List, and Stephen Maturin chases moths.



Oh, Stephen. He loves Jack SO MUCH. ♥____♥ (And vice-versa, of course. Sigh!)
dorinda: Hands reach for two identical glasses, which are labeled "half empty" and "half full". (halfemptyhalffull)
2017-06-14 11:13 am

I've got nerves, that jingle jangle jingle

zomg work is eating my face you guys. Our normal summer spike is 1) early, and 2) more like two shoesful of cleats. Plus this Saturday will be my second working Saturday in a row and involve a (happily very rare) 2-hour-each-way commute.

On the one hand, so awesome that lots of people are coming and using the things and producing research and whatnot--that's what we're for. On the other hand (har har), I've started having some trouble with my cubital tunnel--the nerve that goes through the elbow and can have trouble if you have to keep your elbows tightly bent all the time, like say when doing a lot of close work at a film inspection bench. Ouch.

Also, I had heard that someone donated a piano to my co-op and they were going to put it in a 'piano room' somewhere in one of the high rise buildings, for lessons or whatnot. How nice, I thought vaguely, I wonder where the piano room will be.

WELL LAST NIGHT I SURE FOUND OUT.

Turns out the piano room is what used to be a bike room, directly beneath my bedroom, and with no insulation (which is why my floors can be painfully cold to the feet in winter as all the heat sucks out through the floor). So at about 1am my floor and bed were suddenly playing me VERY LOUD AND EXUBERANT PIANO MUSIC.

I staggered down and knocked on the locked door, and it was opened by a young blond man who stank of liquor. We discussed how his "creative moment" (his words) unfortunately had to stop because I really had to sleep. To his credit, even when (presumably) literally stinking drunk, his piano playing was really very good, and also he apologized and stopped and I eventually fell back asleep.

So, you know. Lots going on around here.

To end on a bright and less wtf moment: I got my Night On Fic Mountain story done! I made [personal profile] marycrawford come up with the summary, which I recommend--stuck on a summary? MAKE MARY DO IT. It's tagged and titled and posted! So I am happy.

And I have an idea for another story hot on the griddle, which I would love to start chomping on, as soon as work lets up a little bit on my face and my nerves let up a little bit on my arms. Can one use Siri as a speech-to-text writing tool I wonder?
dorinda: Someone writing at a desk while wearing a large helmet with an oxygen tube attached (a device called "The Isolator"). (isolator)
2017-04-17 07:11 pm

Fic Mountain assignments are out!

While at work, I took a peek into my email and HEY LOOK MY ASSIGNMENT. Wooooooo! \o/

Assignment Day feels second-only in excitement to Collection-Opening Day. The past couple days have been like an extended Christmas Eve... "Did Santa bring me an assignment yet? How about now?" That feeling of tenterhooks and possibility.

Now I have my assignment, which I can't tell you about or else I'd have to kill you, and I am excited and nervous in the best way. So I better get brainstorming.

Oh, and, the first batch of pinch-hits are out--if you felt like strolling through them, they're here:

https://nightonficmountain.dreamwidth.org/25610.html
dorinda: In "Brideshead Revisited" (1981), Sebastian and Charles, arms around each other, look out to sea. (Brideshead_sea)
2017-04-06 09:36 am

Night on Fic Mountain: dear author or artist

Dear author or artist,

Thank you so much for making something for me! Above all, I'd like you to have fun and create something you enjoy, so any other blatherings here are purely optional for reals. Just in case they might help. If you already have an idea, go for it!

Some of my general preferences:

First times. Happy or at least hopeful endings (that doesn't rule out bittersweet or melancholy tones, and needn't be fluffy...just no unalloyed sadness/darkness/loss please.).

I requested slash relationships, though for me that doesn't automatically require explicit sex. I mean, sex is great if the story or artwork calls for it. But don't feel hemmed in; it's entirely up to you. For me, slash is first about the depth of connection and intimacy between the characters, however it's expressed. I am, I admit, a sucker for tenderness. Especially coming from a repressed character for whom tenderness itself is an admission of vulnerability.

Some of the tropes and approaches I enjoy: words that camouflage deeper/unspoken meanings, protectiveness, worry, extreme competence (with honest weakness), hurt/comfort, chosen families, uncovering a secret, partners against the world, nurturing via food/drink/warmth. (Also, in stories I must admit I like past tense, unless there's a reason for present tense.)

Don't be afraid of classic frameworks if you like 'em! I mentioned hurt/comfort, but I also won't turn up my nose at Having To Share A Bed, Huddling for Warmth, Pretend Couple, Undercover as Rentboy, situations where one suffers or sacrifices for the other, rescues, stranded somewhere (idyllic or non-), etc.

A few thoughts by fandom, alphabetically:

Almost Human )

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) )

Rejseholdet | Unit One )

The Sting (1973) )


dorinda: Someone writing at a desk while wearing a large helmet with an oxygen tube attached (a device called "The Isolator"). (isolator)
2017-03-29 09:28 am

Fic mountain nominations

Just a followup, Fic Mountain-wise. I ended up nominating:

* Almost Human, John/Dorian

* Rejseholdet, Fischer/La Cour

* The Sting, Henry/Johnny (and also Kid Twist in the character set)

And I added Nero Wolfe to the Nero Wolfe character set.

I feel so lucky re: Almost Human! The rule is that in order to qualify, a fandom has to have fewer than 500 stories (complete, in English, 1000 words or over). And when I ran a filter on Almost Human, its total came to 497. Yikes! That was a close one.

So I nominated it immediately. Once approved it gets to stay in, even if 4 more stories roll in in the meantime, and it has been approved. Whew! \o/
dorinda: Someone writing at a desk while wearing a large helmet with an oxygen tube attached (a device called "The Isolator"). (isolator)
2017-03-18 04:39 pm

More nights on Fic Mountain

I have at last clawed my way out from beneath months of extra work at my job. Sheesh. It was really too much for a while there, and now I am pretty much in disarray. My apartment is a shambles, I haven't had a haircut for far too long, I'm behind on everything, blah blah.

But! I do get today to myself, to think about restful things like stories and writing and whatnot. \o/

On that topic, I noticed that nominations are open for Night On Fic Mountain, until the end of March.

Here's the tagset so far. I can see two things in there I could offer to write (one definite, one tentative), but you need to offer at least 5. So I'd need to nominate three more things. Hmmmmmm, it'll take some thought.

Master & Commander is already in there, to my delight; I'd love to write that some more. I also notice someone has nominated a 2006 movie that [personal profile] klia showed me back in the day, "The Guardian", a slashy movie about Coast Guard rescue swimmers (older grizzled traumatized officer trains troubled young hothead, they butt heads, then they impress each other, until they become super bonded protective pair--you know how those military-slash movies go. :D ). I've never thought about writing it till now, but I'm considering whether I might be brave enough to offer it.

Someone nominated Nero Wolfe, but only Archie/Saul. (Nothing against Archie/Saul of course, I adore Saul, but I don't know if I'd have any ideas for writing it.) Someone nominated Elfquest, but I don't think I could write any of the characters they included; I don't know them well, and don't have any ideas.

I wonder what else I might nominate? And can I think of things that other participants might want to read and/or offer? There are many times I wish I could read minds, and this is one of them.
dorinda: A color drawing of Henry and Johnny from "The Sting" (Henry_Johnny_art)
2016-07-05 10:00 am

Night on Fic Mountain Reveal: "The Steel-Wire Tightrope" (The Sting)

Authors and artists have been revealed for this year's Night On Fic Mountain exchange (welll, they were revealed a little while back, but then the weekend got away from me and hmm mutter mumble). Here was my contribution:

The Steel-Wire Tightrope (6609 words) by Dorinda
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Sting (1973)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Henry Gondorff/Johnny Hooker
Characters: Henry Gondorff, Johnny Hooker
Additional Tags: Con Artists, 1930s, Rescue, Angst, Misunderstandings, Nonverbal Communication, Drugged Sex, Broccoli Test
Summary:

Henry's in trouble. But when Johnny finds him, that's when their trouble really starts.



Awww yisssss, I got to write The Sting again! \o/ \o/ \o/ I rewatched the movie once during the writing process, and then I rewatched it last week with some friends, just because. I've seen it so many times, and show no signs of burning out or getting tired of it. I love the characters, and the milieu, and how amenable it all is to fannish extrapolation. Robert Redford glows like a sun god and runs like a deer, Paul Newman's eyes gleam a piercing clear sapphire, they both have arms and shoulders to make me weep in the best way, and Johnny and Henry come to care about each other SO MUCH you guys. So much. Not to mention that Henry is an Olympic-class secret worrier. ♥_____♥

Course, in this story, Johnny gets to do most of the worrying for a change. Just for a nice switcheroo. But this is my second story in which I was reminded that AO3 does not have a plain old "Drugged" tag! I mean, wat? "Drugged Sex", sure. But not just "Drugged". Which seems SO WEIRD, given the venerable age of the trope, you know--'oh no my partner got knocked out and doped and now I must rescue him', which was canon all the time at least back in the day, and which lends itself so well to tender h/c, and then perhaps sex that is not itself Drugged Sex, because everyone is now sobered up. So I used the Drugged Sex tag, even though that is not precisely how it goes (it sort of is at first, and then it isn't, and I think the story explains itself best).

Is there a way to propose they set up a canonical Drugged tag? I am ashamed to admit that my knowledge of the inner (or, in fact, outer) workings of the AO3 tag system is not the best.

Anyway, I'm excited to have had a chance to write these guys again! I fell into a weird throughline blockage during the writing process, but mary crawford and klia got me out of there and fixed it up, and I am really happy about it.
dorinda: John Kennex and Dorian with their heads very close, both looking down, very serious. (john_dorian_amber)
2016-06-22 09:49 am

Fic Mountain presents, plural! Almost Human, Aubrey/Maturin!

I am on vacation (a long-awaited and hard-earned vacation, in my opinion), and am finally unwinding from recent stresses. It feels luxurious and cherry-on-top to ALSO now get MULTIPLE gifts from this year's Night on Fic Mountain small-fandom fic and art exchange!!

New this year, you could ask and offer art as well as fic if you wanted, so in my requests I checked the art box as well as the fic box. And I got three pictures and one story, every single one of them an utter delight!:

Protect (0 words) by Anonymous Edited to add: the artist has been revealed as MissHammer
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Almost Human
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Relationships: Dorian/John Kennex (implied)
Characters: Dorian (Almost Human), John Kennex
Additional Tags: Hurt/Comfort, Digital Art, Angst
Summary:

Dorian is doing everything he can to keep John warm and his blood from spill out, while they wait to be found.

~~~~~~~
A beautiful angsty hurt/comfort image, with protective-Dorian who you can tell is experiencing a flood of emotion, with injured-John held so tenderly in his arms. SNIFF! But the author was kind enough to reassure me in an author's note that they will be rescued. \o/


Dubious Angel of My Better Nature (0 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Aubrey-Maturin Series - Patrick O'Brian
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Jack Aubrey/Stephen Maturin
Characters: Jack Aubrey, Stephen Maturin
Additional Tags: Art, Pencil
Summary:

Stephen and Jack

~~~~~~~
A sketch of Stephen Maturin, with Jack silhouetted in the background. Such lovely detail, all of which combines in a very Stephen-like tone and pose, and I swear that Jack is CHARACTERIZED by the simplest touches in a little silhouette.


And then two Aubrey-Maturin Star Trek AUs, one art and one story:

(Edited to add: turns out all of the below are by lynndyre)

U.S.S. Surprise (0 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Master and Commander - All Media Types
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Jack Aubrey/Stephen Maturin
Characters: Jack Aubrey, Stephen Maturin
Additional Tags: Art, Ink, Alternate Universe - Space, Star Trek AU
Summary:

Stephen brings home alien animals~

~~~~~~~
Science-officer-naturalist Stephen is cradling a little alien creature that obviously loves him but is dubious about starship-captain-Jack who wants to pet it, which is SO accurate to the books, and so adorable!!


In Good Company (925 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Master and Commander - All Media Types
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Jack Aubrey/Stephen Maturin
Characters: Jack Aubrey, Stephen Maturin
Additional Tags: Hurt/Comfort, Imprisonment, Friendship, Alternate Universe - Space, Star Trek AU
Summary:

Stephen and Jack, and an evening in an alien jail.

~~~~~~~
Wounded starship captain Jack, and Vulcan-hybrid Stephen, stranded in a cell on an alien world, looking after each other. So many little touches perfectly translated into the Star Trek setting, such well-characterized interaction and hurt/comfort, SO satisfying, om nom nom nom.

Pardon me while I wallow about in my embarrassment of riches! *flings handfuls of Fic Mountain around like confetti*
dorinda: Someone writing at a desk while wearing a large helmet with an oxygen tube attached (a device called "The Isolator"). (isolator)
2016-04-15 11:58 am

Night on Fic Mountain: dear author or artist!

Dear author or artist,

Thank you so much for making something for me! Above all, I'd like you to have fun and create something you enjoy, so any other blatherings here are purely optional for reals. Just in case they might help. If you already have an idea, go for it!

Some of my general preferences:

"First time" stories. Happy or at least hopeful endings (that doesn't rule out bittersweet or melancholy tones, and needn't be fluffy...just no unalloyed sadness/darkness/loss please.).

I requested slash relationships, though for me that doesn't automatically require explicit sex. I mean, sex is great if the story or artwork calls for it. But don't feel hemmed in; it's entirely up to you. For me, slash is first about the depth of connection and intimacy between the characters, however it's expressed. I am, I admit, a sucker for tenderness. Could be from an already-openly-tender character , or a repressed character for whom tenderness itself is an admission of vulnerability.

Some of the tropes and approaches I enjoy: words that camouflage deeper/unspoken meanings, protectiveness, worry, extreme competence (with honest weakness), hurt/comfort, chosen families, uncovering a secret, partners against the world, nurturing via food/drink/warmth. (Also, in stories I must admit I like past tense, unless there's a reason for present tense.)

Don't be afraid of classic frameworks if you like 'em! I mentioned hurt/comfort, but I also won't turn up my nose at Having To Share A Bed, Huddling for Warmth, Pretend Couple, Undercover as Rentboy, situations where one suffers or sacrifices for the other, rescues, stranded somewhere (idyllic or non-), etc.

A few thoughts by fandom, alphabetically:

Almost Human )

Aubrey-Maturin Series - Patrick O'Brian )

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) )

The Sting (1973) )


dorinda: Someone writing at a desk while wearing a large helmet with an oxygen tube attached (a device called "The Isolator"). (isolator)
2016-03-31 08:13 pm

Mountain, mountain, who's got the mountain

I'm considering participating in [community profile] nightonficmountain again this year. I definitely enjoyed it last year! And it would help keep me writing, which is a goal of mine.

Nominations close tomorrow, though I'm not sure what time or time zone, so if I want to nominate anything I figure it had better be tonight. Here's the current tagset.

I saw that someone has nominated Almost Human, and I'm shocked and delighted that it's still small enough to fit. At first I was like, No Way Must Be A Mistake, but then I went to AO3 and filtered by 1) marked complete, and 2) size, and was surprised (and, I admit, dispirited) by how very many of the 'stories' in there are wee tiny things that don't even approach a thousand words.

You have to offer five different fandoms, though! And while there are certainly enough things to ask for, I'm not entirely confident that there are five different things I feel able to write. I'll offer Almost Human John/Dorian for sure, but what else?

Don't mind me, I'll be over here gently prodding my id with a stick, seeing what I can stir up.
dorinda: Skywise and Cutter, bare to the waist, and with an arm around each other, look out at the viewer. (Cutter_Skywise_bare)
2015-06-29 09:33 am

Night on Fic Mountain reveal: "Beyond Moons and Sun and Star" (Cutter/Skywise)

The authors for this year's Night on Fic Mountain have been revealed, and the story I wrote was perhaps one of my most obvious contributions to an anonymous fest yet!:

Beyond Moons and Sun and Star (13788 words) by Dorinda
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Elfquest
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Cutter/Skywise, Foxfur/Skywise, Cutter/Leetah/Skywise
Characters: Cutter (Elfquest), Skywise (Elfquest), Foxfur (Elfquest), Rain (Elfquest), Bearclaw (Elfquest), Joyleaf (Elfquest), Pike (Elfquest), Leetah (Elfquest), Redlance (Elfquest), Strongbow (Elfquest), Treestump (Elfquest)
Additional Tags: Soul Bond, Soulmates, Canon Related, Missing Scene, Angst, Rescue, Trauma, Cuddling & Snuggling, Telepathy, Elves
Summary:

Skywise knows Cutter's soul name--he has always known it. But he may not always have wanted to.




I suspect [personal profile] kerithwyn knew it was me maybe fourteen seconds in. Possibly because we'd had such a good time at Escapade, sitting down for a good chewy talk about Elfquest. I'd always wanted to write EQ sometime, but talking with 'rith definitely helped push me over the edge.

And of course Cutter/Skywise in particular has always been an interest of mine. I mean, they're kings of the hurt/comfort and have a canonical soulbond, what's not to like? [personal profile] marycrawford and I entertained each other during the writing process by sending links to various pages from the comics with, like, RESCUES and HUGGING and RESCUES WITH HUGGING, and CARETAKING and WORRYING and SOULTOUCHING, and man you just never run out of material.

I hadn't turned the transformative lens onto Elfquest before, but it felt great--I got to disregard the late-in-the-day/apparently-official version of Cutter and Skywise's bond the comics came up with, which I feel has tons of holes storywise and characterizationwise and culturewise, and substitute another option. Is this what the phrase sorry-not-sorry is for? :D

For those of you who haven't read it, all of Elfquest except for the current series "Final Quest" is readable online for free; my story note has a few relevant links, but it's also easy to start at the beginning and go straight through.
dorinda: John Kennex and Dorian with their heads very close, both looking down, very serious. (john_dorian_amber)
2015-06-21 06:11 pm

Night on Fic Mountain gift for me: "Life Hack", Almost Human!

The Night on Fic Mountain collection for this year has gone live, and here's what I got!

Life Hack (8206 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Almost Human
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Dorian/John Kennex
Characters: Rudy Lom, Original Characters
Additional Tags: Angst, Artificial Intelligence, Hallucinations, Robot/Human Relationships, Trust Issues, Hurt/Comfort, s1e11 "Disrupt"
Summary:

When Dorian begins to malfunction, John relents on letting him come home, in order to keep an eye on him and hide it from the Department.



Om nom nom, nice sizeable story with juicy worldbuilding. This picks up on the show's hanging mystery of the human memory fragments uncovered in the depths of Dorian's mind, and uses it to explore Dorian and his worries about his future and his place in the world. Sigh! It's such a shame we lost that show so soon, but I think fans really do it a good turn.
dorinda: Someone writing at a desk while wearing a large helmet with an oxygen tube attached (a device called "The Isolator"). (isolator)
2015-04-10 12:11 pm

Night on Fic Mountain: dear author!

Dear author,

Thank you so much for writing for me! Above all, I'd like you to have fun and write something you enjoy, so any other blatherings here are purely optional for reals. Just in case they might help. If you already have an idea, go for it!

Some of my general preferences:

Happy or at least hopeful endings (that doesn't rule out bittersweet or melancholy tones, and needn't be fluffy...I guess I'm just not in the headspace for unalloyed sad or dark endings at the moment.).

Slash, though for me that doesn't require mandatory sex. I mean, sex is great if the story you're telling calls for it. But don't feel hemmed in; it's entirely up to you. For me, slash is first about the depth of connection and intimacy between the characters, however it's expressed. I am, I admit, a sucker for tenderness. Could be from an already-openly-tender character (oh, hi, Redlance), or a repressed character for whom tenderness itself is an admission of vulnerability (hey there, Kennex).

Some of the tropes and approaches I enjoy: words that camouflage deeper/unspoken meanings, protectiveness, worry, extreme competence (with honest weakness), hurt/comfort, chosen families, uncovering a secret, partners against the world, nurturing via food/drink/warmth. (Also, I must admit I like past tense, unless there's a reason for present tense.)

Don't be afraid of classic frameworks if you like 'em! I mentioned hurt/comfort, but I also won't turn up my nose at Having To Share A Bed, Huddling for Warmth, Pretend Couple, Undercover as Rentboy, situations where one suffers or sacrifices for the other, rescues, stranded somewhere (idyllic or non-), etc.


A few thoughts by fandom, alphabetically:

Almost Human:
Dorian, John Kennex

I love an android character who is not, for once, striving to be "more human" as some longed-for condition. Dorian is his own being, machine and emotion, wires and soul, and he has his own concerns. John instead is the one who does more changing, learning to mesh with and open up to Dorian, and getting through his previous trauma (which still must feel relatively recent for him, given his coma, even though the rest of the world has remorselessly moved on).

More casework could be nice, seeing them on the job in the sort of cases we didn't get a chance to see on TV. Maybe even the less dramatic, more daily-cop-life sorts of things that don't become Major Incidents (although, granted, they're not beat cops, but even detectives must have routine days and weeks, even in The Bladerunnerish Future). Dorian wanted so badly to be a cop, and still (I expect?) sees it with fresh eyes. Public service! <3 Does that help John, in his traumatized, almost-burned-out place, maybe come a little more back to why he loved the job in the first place?

But a case isn't necessary, either—I'd just as much like to see them in their off time. Does Dorian get off time other than required charging? Or when John's off, does Dorian basically do a second shift? How else might John be learning to integrate Dorian into his life—or, how might Dorian be developing his own life, whether or not he is technically supposed to? Dorian can be a worrier, especially about his own potential instability. I like his vulnerabilities, and I like thinking about how John—who can be so emotionally repressed—ends up being Dorian's major emotional support on this issue. And of course, questions of intimacy, sexuality, and the meshing of flesh and machine (not just John and Dorian, but John's prosthesis) are always great!

Other characters are welcome, especially Maldonado, who is definitely my next favorite. I just didn't ask for her specifically because I wasn't really in the mood for a Maldonado-only character study, which would be possible under "or" matching.


Elfquest
Cutter, Nightfall, Redlance, Skywise

I'm not fully up to date on the Final Quest storyline, so don't feel the need to be cutting-edge or anything. Also, no need to include all four characters at once (of course not, this is "or" matching :) ), though if you want to, feel free. And other characters are welcome; I really enjoy the way that they're enmeshed in their tribe, with all of the interdependence and interrelationships.

I really value EQ's complete and unquestioned pansexuality, which I'd really like to see as a bedrock assumption in a story. Even more than in canon, in fact (I mean, that is canon, but it's also a comic being published in the mainstream US during a certain period, so it also has its moments of downplaying or not letting the omnidirectional eroticism just be, you know?). And the same thing goes for physicality and sensuality in general, sexual or not. Especially since these are all Wolfriders, with that extra level of animal to them.

I've always been interested in the Cutter/Skywise same-sex Recognition. Like Kerithwyn, I'm curious about whether and how this might have happened before. And I'd enjoy seeing more of how it has played out in their lives, or affected them, even to the smallest, day-to-day level. Recognition is such a powerful, primal force—and in their case, it obviously went past the first thunderclap to grow into a lifelong, lifemate-level of devotion and knowing. How was it, for that to develop? How did the rest of the tribe see it? Do they (and probably mostly Pike, as the story-keeper) remember other tales like it?

Or, the Cutter/Nightfall/Redlance trio, when Skywise and Leetah and the cubs were torn away for so very long. I like the sense we've gotten about Cutter and Nightfall as youthful playmate-lovemates who grew to the strongest of devoted comrades, but I don't have as clear a sense of the Cutter/Redlance side of the group, though of course it's there. I'd like to see that brought out. I especially love Redlance's tenderness, nurturing, hope, and unashamed softness—the way he and Nightfall, in canon, are gendered as she being the sword, the spear, the arrow, while he is the flower, the tree, the vine. How might Redlance's nature have helped Cutter? Maybe even saving him from madness in the wake of such loss (of his Recognized loves-- the other parts of his soul--and also of the Now)?


Robot Series - Isaac Asimov
Elijah Baley, R. Daneel Olivaw

Another android/human pair, which is a thing I really enjoy. Baley comes out of such an anti-robot culture, and is a grown man, set in his ways and (he thinks) in his ideology. And yet by their third novel he obviously and canonically loves Daneel, in ways his home culture would never understand or countenance. He may as well have heart-eyes whenever he looks at him. How does that change and growth and cultural rebellion feel to Baley? Disorienting? Liberating? Maybe even a touch distressing?

Daneel, for his part, is a step ahead of Baley in a lot of ways. He introduces Baley to the very idea of a sentient being who is different, and remains gladly and productively different, not a poor imitation of a human. I'm always struck by Daneel's explanations of how he does have feelings, but refuses to paint them as simulations of human feelings. They are different processes, and he never glosses over that, but in the end he emphasizes that they have the same meanings to him.

But I also like that Baley's not just some dope being towed through life by a plaster saint. Baley has skills that complement Daneel's, especially as he learns to open up to Daneel and possibility, and let go of the repression and single-cultural-context holding him back. Daneel values him as a person, not a pet.

In the third novel, Baley comes to a sharp focus on and awareness of the physical, sensual, embodied, sexual nature of Daneel's murdered twin (…and, I mean, when he's examining the body, and he parts Jander's buttocks? Baley is having some New Thoughts.). I think that puts us in the perfect post-novel place for that to proceed to its next logical conclusion—bringing that awareness back to Daneel, and the very real potential for their love to have a physical dimension. Another dramatic leap between the man Baley was and the man he is now. Plus, Daneel's take on the whole issue! Daneel's subjectivity in general, which is very interesting. And how might the First Law play into it? (Parallels with Jander and Gladia are perfectly fine, though I didn't ask for those characters because I'd rather have the focus be on Lije/Daneel.)


The Sting (1973)
Henry Gondorff, Johnny Hooker

Henry and Johnny are mentor and mentored, but also equal partners by the end of the movie, each one bringing something valuable to the game. I love either or both of those dynamics, so feel free to suit yourself--I enjoy Henry teaching and Johnny learning, but also Johnny opening Henry's eyes or otherwise keeping him on his toes.

Another con, big or small, could be lots of fun (or them playing parts to help out someone else's con), but don't feel like you have to. I'm sure a lot of their life together happens between cons (and heck, you can't work all the time), whether it's prepping for something, ducking away from danger (from the law or the underworld), Johnny learning a new skill, or Henry learning a little something himself.

Lately I've been thinking about the ins and outs of love and protectiveness, in their particular field. They're undeniably risk-junkies—not in it for the money, obviously, the money is just a tool that lets them put on these big, risky, freedom-and-even-life-endangering shows. But they've also connected very deeply, and in the movie already we see Henry trying to hedge his bets by giving Johnny a secret bodyguard.

So how might this develop, the addiction to this work combined with the increasing love and protectiveness? The job can be dangerous, and they're increasingly attached to and worried about each other's safety, possibly more than they ever worried about their own before they met. Does it throw a wrench into the works, and how do they get past that? Does it intensify their relationship?

Other characters are welcome--I love the world of other con men and women that they live in, that feeling of a grifter society--or it could just be Henry and Johnny, shoulder to shoulder and on their own.
dorinda: Someone writing at a desk while wearing a large helmet with an oxygen tube attached (a device called "The Isolator"). (isolator)
2015-03-30 09:41 pm

Night on Fic Mountain!

Welp, [personal profile] kerithwyn just made it look too tempting, so I've nominated a few fandoms for the small fandom fic exchange [community profile] nightonficmountain (on LJ it's [livejournal.com profile] ficmountain). Nominations close tomorrow (March 31), and signups begin April 1 and close April 15. (Here's the current tag set.)

I nominated The Sting (1973), Trapeze (1956), and Sinbad (TV). There are some other very tempting items already in there--Spy Game, for instance. And Elfquest, and Isaac Asimov's robot series, and Almost Human. And MASH, and the Tale Of The Five book series, and the Less-Than-Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal. Etcetera. I'm sure there'll be four things I'd like to ask for in there, and five to offer.

The writing period does overlap with a trip I have planned. But on the other hand, that trip is to visit like-minded friends, and I'm sure they won't mind if I'm still writing while I'm there, or maybe picking their brains, or making big sad need-a-beta eyes. O______O

Look at how sad they are. Makes you wanna beta for them, doesn't it? DOESN'T IIIIT.