graycardinal: Alexis Castle, thoughtful (Alexis (thoughtful))
ETA2: Finally, time and keyboard access at one and the same moment.  Let's get this show on the road:

By normal standards, this letter is going to look very odd; I'm giving the usual sections out of their usual order owing to the circumstances of this year's exchange, my very late signup, and the fact that I'm getting this posted late as well.

First, since the odds are about 99% in favor of one particular match, let's cover that:

Austin/Murry-O'Keefe families (L'Engle) • Adam, Polly, Zachary, Kali, Canon Tallis

As this character grouping may indicate, I am very fond of Arm of the Starfish -- I think I actually read that one before encountering A Wrinkle in Time.  I have remained fond of that corner of L'Engle's universe ever since -- in particular, I regret not seeing more light thrillers in the vein of Starfish and Young Unicorns -- and have long wished in particular for more of several of those characters than she chose to give us.  Kali's story in particular has long seemed unfinished to me, and I'd have liked to see more of Canon Tallis, even as I recognize that he often works better as a mentor and backup player than he might as an actual protagonist.  We did, of course, get a bit of Adam's later career -- and though L'Engle (and I) are content to pair him romantically with Vicki Austin, I can't help thinking that it would be fun to see how his interactions with Polly evolve as both of them grow into maturity.  And then there's Zachary, perhaps one of L'Engle's most complicated characters.  I have requested -- and written -- Zachary before, as I really like to think his redemption in An Acceptable Time may finally stick.  But there are a lot of ways that could go, and I wouldn't mind seeing a further speculation in that direction (particularly involving Canon Tallis, whom I don't think he actually meets in canon, or Adam, who strikes me as the hardest to convince of Zachary's genuine 'reform', such as it may be). 

The foregoing does not say much about Polly and Kali -- except that that's actually telling, because Starfish makes it clear that the two girls will certainly be thrown together while Kali is being treated on Gaea, and nothing in any of Polly's later memoirs says a single word about what came of that.  Which is fascinating, and in some ways hints that the treatment did not go as well as I would like to think it did.

At any rate, a story about any one of these characters will make me a very happy camper, and putting just about any combination of them together is likely to cause long bursts of delighted squee when the exchange goes live.  The one thing I'll note here is that for all that I believe the best of Zachary after An Acceptable Time, I think L'Engle makes it clear that he and Polly are not a workable romantic pairing (and that both of them know it).

 ###

General Likes & Dislikes

Pluses for me include strong characterization, well-written dialogue, wit/banter/snark, clever use of canon, well-developed AUs, UST (heavy on both the U and the T), and more. I'm neutral when it comes to matters of gen, slash, and the like -- if the pairing is well-developed, I'll read with an open mind. I'm not into noncon, incest, or adult/child kinks, but have few other outright squicks as long as the relationship is age- and canon-appropriate; OTOH, I mostly don't read fanfic for sexual content -- and only one or two of these requests include characters I'd anticipate seeing paired romantically.

I will note in particular that I am a sucker for the clever and well-executed crossover -- not because I expect one (Optional Details Being Optional, and such things being well beyond the call of either duty or necessity), but because in one or two of these cases, the potential amusement/entertainment value would be particularly high if your writerly imagination should happen to wander in that direction.

Where I have listed several (or "any") characters for a given fandom, I will be pleased and satisfied with a story focused on whichever particular character on whom we've actually matched. At the same time, neither a single-character request nor a list should be taken to exclude a character or characters you think it's important to include in your story.

 ####

Now let's get to the rest of the specific requests, in case anyone is contemplating treats:

Young Wizards (Duane) • Harry Callahan, Irina Mladen, Nelaid ke Seriv, Robert Millman

This is a really oddball character list; what I find in the wake of Games Wizards Play, though, is that I'm more and more intrigued by the interaction between wizardly life and traditional family life, and the effects it has on wizards and non-wizards alike.  Thus I am interested in how Dairine's and Roshaun's fathers interact with one another (as we finally start to see in this latest book), how Irina's job as Planetary complicates and complements her life as a mother, and how Mr. Millman as a non-wizard helps keep things glued together for everyone involved.  (I've seen a couple of very good Millman stories, but I don't think I've yet seen one that tosses Irina into his orbit; likewise, I am particularly curious about how Irina and Harry might interact given some time with one another -- although I emphasize that I do not want to unduly tamper with Irina's home life, to the degree that we know about it.)

Diana Winthrop series ("Chambers")
Planet Builders series ("Tallis")

These are two of my ongoing micro- to nano-fandoms in the teen/YA category -- well-nigh unmatchable in the present context, and both long OP and relatively hard to find.  If you happen to be in the small group of folks who read either series, you know why I like these -- strong plotting, engaging ensemble casts, and genre-savvy in the way-above-average category. 

The Winthrop books are a teen-sleuth series (six slim paperbacks from the mid-'80s) set mostly in New York and New England, with "Kate Chambers" being a pen name for versatile writer Norma Johnston -- a fact I didn't learn till much later.  The individual mysteries are dedicated to (and often plotted in the style of) various classic and then-famous mystery authors, and the characterizations are much more nuanced than is usual for this category.

The "Planet Builders" books were a 10-book paperback series (also from the '80s) involving a large teen cast on a colony world with ongoing mysteries involving psi powers, mysterious native aliens, and light interplanetary intrigue.  "Robyn Tallis" was a combine with authors including Sherwood Smith, Bruce Coville, Mary Frances Zambreno, and collaborators Debra Doyle & James Macdonald.  The overall tone was akin to classic Andre Norton space opera with modern sensibilities and a touch of Tom Swift (not unlike A. C. Crispin's Starbridge series), and character-driven humor was skillfully integrated to keep the tone fairly light.  Also, while the teens are the stars, there are well-characterized grownups in the mix as well -- an unusual touch for this genre.

 ####

And that, as they say, is a wrap!

graycardinal: NW Coast Orca (Orca)
And this was my Fic Corner story.  This one surprised me a little, not so much in terms of where it went but of how it got there.  As it turned out, the story I wrote more or less answered one of my own requests as well as my recipient's.

Ten Grinches Plus Two
Fandom: Austin / Murry-O'Keefe Families - Madeleine L'Engle
Written For: katayla
Characters: Zachary Gray, Kali Cutter, Canon Tallis
Words: ~4000
Warnings: none
Rating: Teen (for intimacy, albeit non-sexual)

Notes: This story takes place during the summer following the events of An Acceptable Time, which I *think* should put both these characters in their early twenties. Like L’Engle herself, I have avoided tying the world in which these characters live to any specific date, although – also like L’Engle – I have silently adapted the level of background technology to align with slightly better-than-current versions of what’s commonly in use today.

Summary:
“Not much use, is it? I mean, what kind of a lighthouse doesn’t have somewhere to leap dramatically off of and end it all?”

The young woman – probably, Zachary thought, about his own age – looked at him sharply. “That wasn’t--"

He wagged a finger at her. “It isn’t now, maybe. But you were thinking about it before you got here. I’ve been there.”
graycardinal: Shadow on asphalt (Default)
And for Fic Corner, I have a really remarkable crossover piece featuring my favorite Tom Swift universe very neatly integrated with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (including a lot of highly entertaining cameos) and featuring an answer to the question Madeleine L'Engle fans have been asking about Charles Wallace for simply ages.

Sandra Swift, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
by hhertzof

Fandoms: Tom Swift IV, MCU, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, Austin/Murry-O'Keefe families - Madeleine L'Engle
Characters/Pairings: (F/M) Sandra Swift, Charles Wallace Murry, Tom Swift, Rick Cantwell
Rating: G
Warnings: none
Words: ~ 1500

Summary:

Sandra's path after high school isn't one she expected.


graycardinal: Rufus (from Kim Possible) (Rufus)
First, and always most important: thank you. This exchange, more than most, is about fandoms long-loved and of long standing, and I really appreciate the chance to see a story in whichever of them the two of us happen to share.  I know one of my favorite parts of this process is the chance to make someone's day with a new story in a really rare fandom, and I suspect I'm not alone in this. So thank you (as Linus Van Pelt said once) from the bottom of my socks, because the bottom of my heart isn't deep enough.

Now, then: first, you want to know what I like.

Pluses for me include strong characterization, well-written dialogue, wit/banter/snark, clever use of canon, well-developed AUs, UST (heavy on both the U and the T), and more. I'm neutral when it comes to matters of gen, slash, and the like -- if the pairing is well-developed, I'll read with an open mind. I'm not into noncon, incest, or adult/child kinks, but have few other outright squicks as long as the relationship is age- and canon-appropriate; OTOH, I mostly don't read fanfic for sexual content -- and especially in the context of the present set of requests, romance is not necessarily a primary element in my love for the fandom. (Exceptions will be noted below.)

I will note in particular that I am a sucker for the clever and well-executed crossover -- not because I expect one (Optional Details Being Optional, and such things being well beyond the call of either duty or necessity), but because in one or two of these cases, the potential amusement and/or entertainment value would be particularly high if your writerly imagination should happen to wander in that direction.

Austin/Murry-O'Keefe Families - Madeleine L'Engle • Kali Cutter

This one is my narrow-beam character focus prompt.  I'd welcome either background/back-story (predating The Arm of the Starfish) or a post-AotS story in which Kali comes to terms with the outcome of that book. In the case of a post-canon piece, I'd be especially glad to see her interact with other relevant canon characters -- any or all of Adam, Polly, Meg, even Vicky could be appropriate depending on the specific plot or scenario. Or what might happen if post-AotS Kali somehow connected with Zachary Gray?  Now there's a complicated thought, with potentially interesting consequences.

Diana Winthrop series - Kate Chambers
• (any character)

This is my nano-fandom; as far as I can tell, maybe eleven people besides me read these books back in the day.  If you were one of these very few, I hope you remember these teen sleuth adventures as fondly as I do, for the genre-aware plots and the lively and interesting extended cast.  What I'm hoping for here is simply "more" -- give me casefic or a character moment for Diana and Brad, give me back story for Lydian or build forward on what canon gives us of the relationship between Lydian, Diana's father, and Diana...any of these, with or without romantic elements, will find me a very happy camper.

Oz - L. Frank Baum • (any character)

I deliberately picked my favorite second-tier characters when I nominated the Oz books, and I would be delighted with a story about any or all of this group. There's a lot of room for storytelling with all of these -- back story, solo adventures, character vignettes -- and I don't want to unduly restrict you, save perhaps to note that I find Ruggedo markedly more interesting once he's been kicked out of the Nome Kingdom. One other note: as you may already be aware, I wrote a Trot-and-Glinda tale of my own for Yuletide some years back. If you're drawn to these characters, you should feel absolutely free either to build on that material or to ignore it entirely and go in your own direction.

I am mostly not looking for romance here, but wouldn't be opposed to a pairing for any of Polychrome, Glinda or Trot (not necessarily with each other -- maybe Wizard/Glinda or Button-Bright/Trot) -- but preferably not Glinda/Trot, as that pushes my age-appropriateness buttons.

Tom Swift Series IV - Victor Appleton • (any character)

I've been reading  teen-sleuth books since I was six or so (and we won't mention how long ago that was), including a few of the classic Tom Swift (Jr.) adventures (Tom Swift and his Flying Lab, or ....Spectromarine Selector, or ....Paracyclic Phase Inverter -- okay, I made that last one up, but you know what I'm talking about).  Fun, but they haven't aged very well.  And I pretty much ignored the short-lived third series of Tom Swift stories, set mostly in outer space.  But when the fourth series came along (starting with The Black Dragon), I noticed, because it so happened that at the time I was reading SF novels by the likes of Diane Duane and Debra Doyle/James Macdonald -- and Doyle & Macdonald, it turned out, had been recruited to write a couple of the new generation of Tom Swift novels.  I was instantly hooked.  The books had the spirit of the earlier series (and did a good job of nodding toward prior continuity), but the setting was very much up to date, the SF elements were handled well, and above all, the characters came across as smart without being square.

While I will squee at pretty much any new adventure focusing on any of Tom, Sandra, and/or Rick, I will be especially pleased if Sandra gets a chance to take the spotlight.  Also -- though this is way out into Optional Details Are Optional territory -- I'd love to see Tom Swift crossed with nearly anything; I think this incarnation would blend nicely into a whole lot of the modern-era fandoms I follow.
graycardinal: Shadow on asphalt (Default)
And here's my contribution, a longer story following on from Bruce Coville's A.I. Gang trilogy. I had a lot of fun writing this one; it's an especially nifty canon, and I had a chance to stretch my muse a bit.  Also I got a really happy and extensive comment from my recipient; as I told her in the reply, if it's possible to get a sunburn from basking in reflected squee, I am potentially in serious trouble.

Matters of Death and Life
Fandom: The A. I. Gang (Bruce Coville)
Rating: G
Length: ~7900 words
Characters: Roger Phillips, Rachel Phillips, Dr. Anthony Phillips, Wendy Wendell III, Dr. Stanley Remov, Dr. Bai' Ling, Dr. Leonard Weiskopf
 

Lately Rachel’s thoughts had begun turning toward her mother. There were things she just couldn’t talk about with her father or Roger, and there wasn’t any adult woman in her life she felt comfortable treating as a confidante. She had, however, been able to articulate the problem to her twin – and had then mentally kicked herself for not seeing the answer he’d offered.


 
graycardinal: Shadow on asphalt (Default)
Double pleasure this time around; I have a story and a treat, both from L. J. Smith's Night World  series.

Feel the earth move and then • by [personal profile] flamebyrd 
Fandom: Night World (L. J. Smith)
Rating: G
Length: ~1100 words
Characters:
Raksha Keller, Galen Drache (Galen/Raksha)
Warnings: none
Tags: AU, first meetings, spies & secret agents

Agent Raksha Keller has been assigned a new partner. She is not impressed.

This is mildly AU, treating the Night World as spy/intrigue fare with a first meeting between Our Heroes that hits all the right notes.  Fun yet nuanced, and quite well executed.

Vacation • by [personal profile] flamebyrd 
Fandom: Night World (L. J. Smith)
Rating: G
Length: ~650 words
Characters:
Aradia, Maggie Neely, Delos, Raksha Keller
Warnings: none
Tags: team bonding, late night conversations, quiet moments

Aradia is not used to down-time.

 
And this is a shorter piece, a thoughtful and perceptive character snapshot of Aradia -- a secondary but important character who turns up in the last couple of Night World books.

I'm very happy with both stories, and especially grateful to have both an "official" story and a treat from the same talented writer.  That's beyond the call of duty for sure, and very much appreciated.
graycardinal: Alexis Castle, thoughtful (Alexis (thoughtful))
deep breath]

Whoof.  All right, out from under prior deadline, caught up on sleep, several weeks out from next deadline.  Time to actually write a Dear Writer letter...

First, and always most important: thank you. This exchange, more than most, is about fandoms long-loved and of long standing, and I really appreciate the chance to see a story in whichever of them the two of us happen to share.  I know one of my favorite parts of this process is the chance to make someone's day with a new story in a really rare fandom, and I suspect I'm not alone in this. So thank you (as Linus Van Pelt said once) from the bottom of my socks, because the bottom of my heart isn't deep enough.

Now, then: first, you want to know what I like. 

And here's a cut, because this will run longish.... )
graycardinal: Shadow on asphalt (Default)
If you've clicked over looking for a Dear Scribbler letter for this year's Fic Corner exchange: keep an eye on this space and check back. I'm working on it, but am about to be offline for most of the day.  (While you're here, my "dear Santa" tag has letters from various prior exchanges from last year's FC all the way back through several years of Yuletides, and there is a degree of overlap in some of the requests....)
graycardinal: Shadow on asphalt (Default)
A new challenge/exchange story.

Title: Three Places Kim Merrill Lived, & One Where She Lived Happily Ever After
Fandom: Mairelon the Magician - Patricia Wrede
Characters: Richard Merrill, Kim Merrill, Lady Wendall
Word Count: ca. 1400
Rating: PG
Genre: M/F (Richard/Kim)
Warnings: none
Spoilers: Portions occur following The Magician's Ward; assumes general knowledge of both books, but the only major plot spoiler is that for Kim's and Mairelon's relationship arc.

Summary:  “One doesn’t hold onto a family fortune,” Mairelon explained, “by keeping an enormous household running if no one but the staff is actually living there.”

Author's Notes: For mairelon, as part of the Exchange at Fic Corner.
graycardinal: Anya from "Anastasia"; "What was that title again?" (title)
New exchange, new terminology -- but the Letter is still ever and always the Letter.

And here it is....As always, the first order of business is the heartfelt Thank You. I am definitely a picker of obscure fandoms (in some of these cases, really obscure), and anyone with the knowledge and/or enthusiasm who's willing and able to write in any of these canons deserves all the thanks and virtual cookies I can supply. (Real cookies may also be negotiable in certain circumstances....)

Now, then. You want to know what I like. So: )

On to the fandoms:
Austin & Murry-O'Keefe Families • Madeleine L'Engle )

Chronicles of Narnia • C. S. Lewis )

The Ice Ghosts Mystery • Jane Louise Curry )

Planet Builders • Robyn Tallis )

Young Wizards • Diane Duane )

Charter

This is a fanfic journal. I'm interested in a wide variety of fandoms as well as in meta- and theoretical discussions; see my interests list for specific fandom categories. Comments, critiques, recs, reviews, and the like are always welcome.
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