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Yuletide reveal time!
yuletide, writing, letter, fandom
This year I wrote for seven people, which is more than I've managed at any previous Yuletide. My stories were...

It Could Be You in Discworld fandom for nullus_anxietas

Not Everybody's From Boston in 1776 fandom for lost_constant

I'm An Artefact Of The Nominations Process in Kaboom Anthropomorfic fandom for elynross

Different People in Matilda fandom for Verical

Alternate Ending in Historical RPF fandom for voksen

Please, Please, Please in Commercials fandom for everywherestars

Sorry, Wrong Window in Famous British Messageboards fandom for Makioka

It Could Be You

This request left me a wide open playing field so far as plot and characters went, but mentioned in the letter that my recipient hadn't really felt the need to explore any Discworld fanfic before now because the canon was so large and well-written already.

It's true that PTerry has a very distinctive writing style that's bloody hard to match. (I had a crack at it last year and the results were pretty uneven.) However, I'd read a Sherlock Holmes fic called Sub-Rosa recently and thought that instead of trying to copy Pterry's style of narration it might be fun if I told the story through a series of in-universe documents.

It's always been my personal head-canon that when Moist gets the Taxmaster job it's going to involve him instituting a lottery. Then of course, being Moist, he'd have to play both ends against the middle, so I spent a lot of time on Wikipedia researching lottery scams. I came across the story of Stefan Klincewicz, the guy who scammed the Irish lottery in the eighties.

Once I had a real-life case to model it on, completing the fic was mostly just a case of trying to scan my drawings in the office photocopier without getting caught.

I'm not a fan-artist at all so I'm not sure what the proper ettiquette is for crediting sources. The Gooseberry is modelled off a picture of a steampunk iPhone case, the logo on Moist's contract is taken from a picture of an enamel badge, Creaser is taken from a guidebook on how to draw caricatures, the Golem conversation is a layering of talcum powder and a blackboard in an Enochian alphabet font, the picture of the draw is modelled on footage from the drawing of the British National Lottery with Ridcully's pose and outfit being copied from Paul Kidby's The Art Of Discworld, the cheque is a Photoshopped Wells-Fargo cheque and the poses for Moist and Adora-Belle in the final pic were taken from a wedding photography site.

It is sort of hilarious to me that as somebody who hated Maths and Art at school and who is deeply insecure about her facility with numbers or a pencil, I ended up writing a fic that demanded drawings and an understanding of statistics.

Shout-outs go to velvetmouse for helping me research lotteries, trovia and HolliMichele for casting a critical eye over the fanfic and kurushi for doing both.

Thanks to proteinscollide, tigerbright and dropsofviolet for the recs.

Not Everybody's from Boston

I wrote this 1776 ficlet last Yuletide, then realised that everybody had requested John/Abigail or John/Thomas and I didn't have anybody I could give it to.

This year lost_constant had put in a 1776 request that allowed for Tom/Martha, so I turned the scrappy, half-written ficlet into a shorter, more tightly-written drabble and sent it her way.

Thanks to elfwreck, moontyger and calenlily for the recs.

I'm An Artefact Of The Nominations Process

If you don't follow Yuletide as religiously as I do, I should probably explain that the existence of 'Kaboom Anthropomorfic' in the list of fandoms is sort of a mistake and sort of a joke. Let's call it a moke. Basically, somebody wanted fanfic about a movie called Kaboom, but wasn't specific enough on their nomination form. When the mods couldn't get clarification, they just added every Kaboom they could think of to the list of acceptable fandoms and characters.

I am a sucker for silliness and meta, so I decided to write for the moke. The other half of the equation was the Allstate Insurance Commercials, which I saw on vacation in the states at around the same time that the list of fandoms was being confirmed. Combine the two and kaboom, you get a drabble for Elyn.

Thanks to echoinautumn for the rec.

Different People

Matilda The Musical came out partway through Yuletide 2010 and made me fall in love with this children's book all over again. I didn't have time to review canon last year, but I saved Verical's letter as my favourite Matilda prompt and decided that I'd fill it in 2011.

Verical turned out not to be doing Yuletide this year, but I gifted her the story anyway because her letter was great and our takes on the characters matched so well.

The quotes in italics are songs from from the musical, which everybody should go and see. Srsly. It is amazeballs.

Alternate Ending

Um.. so if you volunteered to beta this as a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure fic and found yourself abandoned midway through the story, I'm sorry! Basically, the more I wrote, the more I realised that it was all about how Kit's personality and choices drive him inevitably closer to that tavern in Deptford. Once I realised that I wanted to write about a narrowing set of choices instead of branching ones, I ditched the CYOA idea entirely and wrote it as a straight fic.

In the best tradition of Elizabethan writing, this fic borrows extensively from my peers (mostly the amazing, but currently inactive Gay Atheist Spy community) and pillages some of my own earlier writing (if you were wondering why there's so much dialogue and so little description, it's because large chunks of this used to be a stageplay.)

My favourite description of this fic was alchemine's: "Marlowe is That Guy everyone knows - the one who's self-destructive and infuriating and a pain in the neck, but somehow you still keep giving him a ride home when he's drunk and letting him sleep it off on your sofa."

I should have put that in the summary.

With thanks to healingmirth for the beta and to sageness, carbonel and alchemine for the recs.

Please, Please, Please

At the Oxford #Yuletide meetup, I told Stars that I'd considered offering this fandom and decided I couldn't write it. Of course this was an elaborate double bluff, since I'd been dying to write something about this commercial ever since she linked it in chat.

I started a version of this story way back when we were still in nominations. It was set on the day his sister was born and had Lewis (who was called Luke at that point because I hadn't decided on the awesome Joan Lewis pun yet) being looked after by a distant aunt while his parents were at the hospital. He learns that there's magic in his family tree off on a side-branch somewhere and becomes obsessed with demonstrating some sort of magical talent before his eleventh birthday, so that an owl will arrive inviting him to Hogwarts.

Luke suddenly realises that her top teeth aren't real. He shivers and Great Great Aunt Zadie thinks it is because he is cold.

"Yes, a nice hot drink. That's the ticket. I'll make tea for us both."

She turns and walks in the direction of the kitchen. Luke trails after her wondering what keeps the teeth attached to the roof of her mouth. When Mrs Foster attached paper chains to the roof of the classroom, she had to use a staple gun. Could you staple teeth?

Luke has watched plenty of grown ups making tea, but hasn't seen anybody who makes it like Great Great Aunt Zadie. For a start she has to get the kettle out of a cupboard and read from a little booklet before plugging it in, filling it with water and turning it on. Before now, Luke has never been in a house where the kettle wasn't already on the kitchen counter and ready to be used.

When the kettle has boiled, Great Great Auntie Zadie fills her teapot. She doesn't use teabags like Mummy and Daddy. She has a box with all the middles of the teabags loose in it. She scoops some tea into the pot with a spoon, then she goes to the fridge to get some milk. The little light doesn't come on when she opens the door. Luke wonders if the fridge is broken. He is about to tell Great Great Aunt Zadie, when something makes him stop and instead he waits until her back is turned then reaches up and touches the milk bottle on the counter with his fingertips. It's perfectly cold.

Luke starts to get frightened. Mummy and Daddy are in the hospital with Bump and have left him with this strange old lady with stapled teeth and a fridge that works without electricity and an electric kettle she needs an instruction book to use. Luke very carefully licks his thumb, rubs it on the wall and then sticks it in his mouth. The house doesn't taste of gingerbread, but how can he be sure?

I got a decent amount of this written, but the fic felt really unsatisfying. I'd pretty much resigned myself to leaving it in the WIPs folder, then on Boxing Day I had a brainwave. I changed the order around in my head so that the crossover became a twist ending and the narrative started matching the source in terms of making the reader wait alongside Lewis. Once I'd worked that out, I deleted everything I'd already written. (Including the title, which was originally going to be Gift Of The Animagi. I love a terrible pun, me.)

I started from scratch and wrote the whole story in the hour before Madness closed and didn't even have time to read it over, before I had to slide it into the closing collection like I was Indiana Jones or something. (Indie's Hat in this metaphor is Makioka who was doing a 100mph SPaG beta.)

I think I got the emotional tone right, but I wish I'd had longer to fiddle with the "clues". Although it amuses me no end that people in the comments picked up on the Gruffalo and the cousins' Christmas tree and never mentioned Lewis's fantasy about catching the golden snitch a little yellow ball in front of a cheering crowd which is the one I'd been convinced was too obvious and would ruin the story.

Thanks to sotto_voice, moontyger, gehayi and abluestocking for the recs.

Sorry, Wrong Window

This one was me being a bit naughty.

See, Makioka only requested Famous British Messageboards because I encouraged her, so I felt bad when both collections had opened and it turned out nobody had written any. Then on Boxing Day afternoon after Madness had closed I noticed something...

18:50 <@AD> Guys, are you supposed to still be able to add fics to the main collection?
18:50 <@AD> Because you totally can.
18:50 <@Makioka> really?
18:50 <@kittydesade> Oh crap.
18:50 <@Trialia> oh, my. um. no, you're not supposed to be able to.
18:50 <@Makioka> this is tempting information to have
18:50 <@Trialia> And Elyn's gone to sleep.

Four lines of hastily scribbled fanfic later...

19:12 <@Makioka> AD I LOVE IT.
19:13 <@Makioka> It made me lol so hard
19:13 <@Makioka> ooops
19:13 <@Makioka> I mean anonymous giver, it made me lol so hard

Least anonymous gift EVER.

The gifts I received were a Bagthorpes fanfic with pitch-perfect narration and added zombies from mayhap for my main gift and in the Yuletide Madness collection I got a poem from velvetmouse and a snarky monologue from kontrapunkto, both pandering gloriously to my obsessive need for ridiculous meta about the denizens of YuleChat.

So that was my Yuletide. I had bags of fun. How was yours?


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