Hi! DON'T PANIC. Yes. That's the only message I have to give that isn't readily apparently in my signup itself. I know my requests are pretty single-minded, and may not match what you consider your skill set to be -- but I have faith in you, and I value your Yuletide experience! Write something you enjoy and can believe in and is authentic to you, and I truly believe that is what will give me the best reading experience. Emotional truth: pretty much what I value the most in stories. Also nuance. Know this, and you're set!
...aaaand I just lost the draft of the rest of this letter. Sigh. To be honest with you, I'm not too broken up about it; I've written a *lot* of cover letters this year, and after a while all letters describing oneself to strangers start to feel the same. Here's what I'm gonna do: I'm going to link you to my previous Yuletide letters
2009 (maybe just read this one; it's the most thematically relevant)
2007 (contains talk about Princess Tutu, which is sort of orthagonally relevant cuz it's an anime based on Swan Lake and also my favorite show of all time)
and add just a couple notes and links to my requests as necessary
SWAN LAKE - ODETTE, ODILE
I said: Swan Lake is an incredibly formative archetypal story for me, and I think it has had a large influence in my love of shadow double femslash pairings -- recently and more obviously, Olivia/Altlivia (Fringe), Nina/Lily (Black Swan), Rue/Ahiru (Princess Tutu) -- and perhaps even helps explain my affinity for a couple of my first OTPs, Buffy/Faith and Xena/Callisto. But all of these stories are of course their own, and have their own hiccups that prevent me from feeling like Odette and Odile's story has been told the way I wish it would be.
What I want at the most basic level is the Odette/Odile story that sees both women all the way through. I know there must be a way that they can meet that isn't a hallucination or a disaster or proof of Odile's absolute evil and Odette's purity. I know there must be a version of the story where they love each other -- they ARE each other -- and their rivalry isn't just about Siegfried or because Rothbart is pitting them against each other. If the men serve your story, by all means include them, but mostly I just want the respectful and equal Odette/Odile reckoning and romance that so many of the stories above hint at, but have never quite delivered on.
Feel free to go as wildly AU/crossovertastic as you wish, or not! There's a whole wealth of these stories, not to mention interpretations of the ballet itself, and as long as the heart remains, I'll be happy with any trappings.
I should add: My first introduction to Swan Lake was the (pretty awful) 1981 anime, which is funny because my reintroduction to it as an adult was another anime, Princess Tutu, which draws from Swan Lake, the Nutcracker, and many other ballets and fairy tales in its layered and original narrative. I absolutely recommend Tutu -- it's pretty short, on western DVD and there's an excellent fansub you can torrent from isohunt -- but that's extra credit. The ballet alone is such fertile ground for narratives -- there are at least three standard endings regularly staged by various companies! My favorite is Odette and Siegfried drowning themselves and reuniting in the
kingdom republic of heaven all bathed in golden light; there's something very compelling about "mutually assured Swan Lake destruction," as I call it. But all the same, it is a bummer that they have to die to be together, and while I don't want to spoil Black Swan for you if you haven't seen it, it illustrates several of the bummers that haunt this story and interpretations thereof (and is such a bummer for me, because I had pinned all my Odette/Odile hopes on it for over a year before it came out).
DEXTER - DEBRA MORGAN, CIRA MANZON
I said: Deb's gingery friendship with rookie detective Cira Manzon in S5 was sooo incredibly exciting to me, for a lot of reasons, and I am still raw about the fact that this vibrant character and relationship full of potential was so rudely dropped and forgotten about. My fondest wish is for a story that reunites Deb and Cira on the force, either because Cira sought her out and is actively trying to win back her friendship, or because a case required it. And I want them to have that rivalry/partnership/friendship/
I should add: Here's my old Dexter tag , which will give you some context about my Dexter feelings, but not all. The short story is that Dexter's first season is, to me, utterly perfect and redemptive of past narrative betrayals; but as the series has gone on, new betrayals have been committed in my eyes. (Short list: Maria vs. Esme, Lila vs. Angel, forgetting Rudy/Brian, forgetting Doakes, forgetting Cira, forgetting why Quinn is around except to annoy me, everything to do with Angel's and Maria's romantic storylines.) So I have a lot of bitterness about it in general, but as concerns this request in specific: I am Quite Invested in media portrayals of Latinas, as well as, obviously, female relationships. And since LaGuerta has been written so inconsistently since her one true characterization in S1 and Deb had never had a real female friend and the show had never had a single queer character, I had SO MANY HOPES for Deb+Cira, all of which were cruelly dashed when she was disappeared and Deb's own Santa Muerte case along with her. What gives ;___;
Plus, Deb is basically my queen, and I just want her to be happy and reach her full amazing potential.
If you haven't seen Dexter, Cira only appears in the first 9 or so episodes of Dexter S5. But to understand Deb and LaGuerta you must also see at least S1, and probably also S2 (warning: fuckery ahead).
EMMA - EMMA WOODHOUSE
I said: I want a story about Emma being queer. (LESBIANS! the yuletide request, now playing in an email near you. WELCOME TO BEING MY AUTHOR, YES WE HAVE NO HET SHIPS TODAY.) There's a line very early in the book that straight up says that Mrs. Weston was basically trained for marriage in her relationship with Emma, and I think it can also easily be inferred from a) Emma's utter disinterest in matrimony for herself and deluded ideals about heterosexual romance and b) Emma's obsession with Harriet (one may also say with Jane Fairfax) that she is not the straightest stick in the forest. If you'd like to actually explore any of these f/f ships with conscious feelings or overt sexiness, that'd be great; I'd also be just as happy with her not quite knowing what it is that makes her different. I just think anything about being a queer woman in Regency England would be fascinating. Yay historical detail!
If you choose to set the fic during her marriage to Knightley, I'd prefer that it not be an unhappy marriage -- I do think they love each other, either because Emma is bisexual and it's the real deal, or because even if she is gay they are genuinely very fond each other.
I should add: I... haven't actually finished reading the book, as of this letter. BUT I WILL. (I have seen Clueless several dozen times, and should you choose to drop "totally butt crazy in love" in the midst of your fic's careful Austenian language, I will understand.) I love Austen's writing for its incredible satire (Arrested Development is basically just a modern day P&P AU, I swear) and Emma in particular is hilarious to me since the heroine herself and all her incredibly boring interests are the joke, but I totally don't expect you to pull off or even attempt a perfect Regency voice if you don't feel like that's in your wheelhouse -- modern language is fine! This is a very open-ended request and I'm just curious to see where you take it.
TWIN PEAKS - DIANE
I said: DIANE IS A LESBIAN!!!!! Just kidding. Honestly it's very difficult for me to choose who to ask for -- I'm dying to know who Diane is and what she thinks of Cooper's tapes and what kind of relationship they have and what kind of weird Lynchian shit she gets up to all the time, but I just picked her because I had to pick somebody. My favorite TP character is actually Albert Rosenfield, and I would love an Albert story just as much as a Diane one. Or toegther! Maybe an FBI story about Diane, Albert, AND Coop? The unlikely but altogether swoon-worthy courtship of Albert and Harry Truman, with Coop as Truman's bff-wingman (this time I'm not kidding)? I'm really just fond of everyone in law enforcement on this show, right down to Lucy, but more than that I'm fond of this strange town and the spooky idiosyncrasies that rule it, so nearly anyone could show up and I'd be happy. Please, no Audrey/Cooper or any of the dudes who go around ruining women's lives (
Mike, Leo, Ed).
I should add: First, that I am clearly terrible at generic male names. The dudes I actually meant were Bobby (and Bobby's friend Mike), Leo, and Hank. MIKE the reformed evil spirit inhabiting a one-armed shoe salesman with a great voice is more than welcome in your fic (and so is BOB. He wears a smile, everybody run.)
Second, I haven't watched all of Twin Peaks -- I've watched through the episode where Coop solves the murder and BOB gets away. However, if you want to add any of the mythology from later episodes or Fire Walk With Me, feel free! I will probably watch some more soon, and even if I don't, I'm still up for backstory!
Third, how do I love Twin Peaks? Let me count the ways. For its humor and oddity, surreal and innocent. For its shadow double triplet victims, Laura, Ronette, and Maddy (and maybe Coop's earlier victim). Its ideals, global and Tibetan and American. Its sentient logs, senile waiters, noir-wrapped women, guys who love food, secret lives and public unflappability. Maybe Diane is best friends with Albert and they write to each other while he's dating Truman! OH MAN. Haha, okay, I think you get the point: Twin Peaks is special, and now you know at least a little of why I think so.
and I'm going to send you over to my tumblr, where I've collated some Swan Lake, Dexter, and Twin Peaks-related items (I don't have anything for Emma! but I think my request speaks for itself? I love Sarah Waters's historical lesbian fiction, does that help?) for you under "yulegoat." If you still haven't clicked, it's here! Besides pictures, there are some words (both in the posts and the tags, on the right side in pink) and hopefully no matter what kind of information-absorber you are, you'll get something out of this method.
And if you're totally weirded out by my methods or Tumblr goes down for the next month (entirely possible, alas), still do not panic, because you cannot go wrong if you just write your story and have fun. That is what I want the most. Cheesy but trufax.
love and gratitude,