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EDITED: It's been brought to my attention that the "short versions" of my prompts were not actually short at all; it's probably too late to do this, but I edited my letter again. :(  I'm going to put the original short versions in a link so that they aren't inaccessible. Next year, I will be better prepared and less bad at this, I hope.   

Dear Yuletide Author, 

First of all, thank you! Yuletide is the best thing ever and you are its crowning glory. I'm going to talk a little about my preferences because I'm supposed to, but you should definitely feel no pressure to stick to them. I like most things once I get to know them.  Please do ignore the wall of text below the cut unless you really like walls of text. I'm sorry if this warning has come to you too late).

The prompts:

1. Emily of New Moon series: 
Anything about Emily’s writing career, or Emily and Teddy actually communicating, or romances between Dean / Laura, Laura / Allan Burnley, or Dean / Anyone But Emily. Slash is ok, femslash better, and career-driven loneliness best of all.

Emily of New Moon | Emily Climbs | Emily's Quest   


2. Anne of Green Gables series:

Anything where Diana saves the day, anything in which Katherine Brooke lives her life to the fullest, any friendship story, happy or sad. Requested characters not actually required. Romance is ok, too.

Anne of Green Gables | Anne of Avonlea | Anne of the Island Anne of Windy Poplars | Anne's House of Dreams | Anne of Ingleside | Rainbow Valley | Rilla of Ingleside 

3. Wednesday Morning, 3 AM

If looking at all those books gave you a headache, here is a two-minute song to lift that burden off your shoulders. Who is this narrator, and can they be trusted to tell us the truth about what's going on? How did we get here? What's going to happen next?




Here are my exceptions to the "write anything you like" rule:

No incest, please! I just. . . I just don't want any. No romanticized /eroticized non-con or lovingly detailed violence of any kind; these elements can be / sometimes already are present in the stor(ies), but I don't want a play-by-play. Content warnings will be immensely appreciated if any kind of sexual coercion does show up. Thanks in advance.

Happy stories are fine! Sad, grim, complicated and/ or angry stories are also fine, with above caveats. I don't have any strong rating or pairing preferences; whatever works for the story you want to tell.

Also, period details make me jump up and down with glee. I love them all. 

Lots of rambling below the cut:



General L.M. Montgomery stuff:

Dragging the outside world (local, domestic or foreign political movements, religious un-orthodoxy, literature and the arts, popular culture, whatever) into Magic Island Memoryland is guaranteed to delight. Don't forget those North Shore hotels are full of Americans. And you know what Americans are full of, right? HEATHEN NOTIONS.

I love L. M. Montgomery with the fire of galaxies, but I don't love her snobbery re: good and bad families, or the casual racism that bobs up every 50-100 pages like a deeply unfortunate Halloween mask tied to a buoy. So anything that partially redeems, e.g. the Pye family from blanket dismissal, or that treats First Nations, Francophone, Irish, or other non-Anglo-Canadian residents of PEI with the same complexity granted to Team Sir Walter Scott and the Union Jack Brigade would be a welcome addition to my headcanon, even in passing.  

 Emily stuff:

Speaking of the above, though, remember that Japanese prince from Emily's Quest? I bet if he were real, he would have a name and some personality traits! Just saying.

So when I went to select characters for my signup, I noticed that Dean Priest and Laura Murray were both available. This spells romance in my dictionary. Want to see if you can make it work? If not, that's ok! 

I also sort of think Dean Priest and Evelyn Blake should run off to Europe together and build an enjoyable working relationship entirely out of sarcasm and self-loathing, but that is clearly Just Me.  

I'm a perennial fan of Laura Murray / Allan Burnley despite having no canon support beyond a single line. I love Ilse Burnley forever and always, even (especially) when she is being horrible. Poor Ilse. I'd like to see her have a happy life if possible, with or without Perry, but I worry about her. 

I ship Emily / Writing above all else and any happy ending for Emily should make allowances for that. (Sad endings for Emily can feel free to trample it into the ground). 

Seriously, though, I love this book and all its characters, so anything you write for  this prompt will be appreciated.

 
Anne stuff:

I chose Katherine Brooke and Diana Barry because I like them and they were on the list, and I thought a story with both of them might be good -- but would be perfectly happy with other characters as well. 

I have a complicated relationship with Anne Shirley-Blythe and her many foils, and the presentation of Katharine's unhappiness as linked with her "mannishness" sets all my defensive empathy bells a-clanging. I actually really like the Katharine arc and its resolution, but I get tired of Montgomery's eternal impatience with "dowds" and would like to see some exploration of the choices Katharine makes prior to Green Gables and its transformative moonlight -- or after, for that matter. 

There's also some meta-interest for me -- Montgomery seems to have based Katharine Brooke at least in part on a younger schoolteacher fan who developed an intense, stalker-ish crush on her in the 1920s. In real life, the relationship dragged on for years, with Isobel (coincidentally also the name of the sarcastic schoolteacher who inspired Emily's Miss Brownell) inviting Maud to stay the night, and Maud at one point inviting her friend Nora over specifically to help her ignore / make fun of Isobel in her presence in an attempt to discourage her from coming back, instead of just telling her not to come back, and nothing ever comes of it but a lot of extremely anxious journal entries about lesbianism. In Anne of Windy Poplars, by contrast, Anne's friendship and the healing power of Green Gables lead Katherine to change her life for the better. Is this a prompt? Not really, just some information that may or may not be useful.

I'm kind of interested in the lives of single "career girls" in the late 19th / early 20th century, so I'd like anything dealing with either of Katherine's careers, with or without an Anne tie-in.    

I always related pretty strongly to Diana and felt sad when her parents refuse to let her take the Queens exam, separating her from Anne and the new Queen's College cohort. Does she ever resent anything? What does she really think of Anne / the war / anything else? I'd also be happy to see an Anne / Diana friendship story in which they have a "real talk" about anything -- Anne opens up about her past, Diana about her relationship with her family, either one of them about what they hope for / fear they've lost / whatever. Any age. 

Or! an alternate history in which Diana goes to Redmond / otherwise gets an education without the support of her parents. When I first chose characters, I thought maybe Diana and Katherine Brooke could be friends. MAYBE THIS IS HOW.  

And actually, a Diana / Ilse crossover meeting would THRILL ME TO THE BONE. They are so different, and yet, maybe not so different? (no actually they are pretty different) 

I have a whole incredibly-boring-to-everyone-but-me rant about the Anne of Green Gables timeline getting impossibly warped by Rainbow Valley and Rilla, so if you want to incorporate some kind of magical realism deal about how the 1890s lasted for 25 years, I would be super excited. But this is very, very far from necessary.

In fact, none of this is necessary; just write a story about some characters from any of the Anne books and I'll be happy. Write something you want to write, and I'll want to read it! That is a cliche but it's also true. 


For Wednesday Morning, 3 AM

I don't have cascades of opinion to deploy with this song the way I do with the other two prompts, but that doesn't mean I won't be just as excited to get a story from it. This is one of many Simon and Garfunkel songs in which angelic vocals and poetic diction team up with juvenile delinquency to create a perfect pocket-sized mid-twentieth-century myth.   

I like the literary / dramatic / Biblical framing the crime gets from our narrator, and the sensual contrast between indoor warmth and the winter outside. Both suggest an idiosyncratic character -- without really giving us any details --  and emphasize the "unrealness" of the situation. So what happens? Who are these people? What was so important (or not) about that twenty-five dollars?  

As noted above, I like period pieces a lot, but this doesn't need to be set in '64. The departure can be successful or unsuccessful; the girl can wake up or not. The narrator doesn't even have to be telling the truth about why they're leaving. 






Thanks again! I can't wait to read it, whatever it is! 

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
justice_turtle
Nov. 2nd, 2012 12:23 am (UTC)
'I have a whole incredibly-boring-to-everyone-but-me rant about the Anne of Green Gables timeline getting impossibly warped by Rainbow Valley and Rilla, so if you want to incorporate some kind of magical realism deal about how the 1890s lasted for 25 years, I would be super excited. But this is very, very far from necessary.'

Uhhhh... hi! I'm just poking around the Yuletide letters spreadsheet here, and I would be really fascinated to hear your rant! If you wanted to deliver it. :-)

(I am so un-chronologically inclined I never even NOTICED that before, but - yeah. I am fascinated to hear the details now I've realized that, oh yeah, THIS HAPPENED! ;P)
evelyn_b
Nov. 2nd, 2012 07:25 am (UTC)
Good heavens, why would I possibly want to tell you ALL ABOUT MY OBSESSIONS?

:)

I guess it was overly dramatic of me to characterize it as a "rant," though. It's not something that makes me mad. It's just a tricky fact about the Anne series due to the way it was written.

The problem is, it’s not really possible to make a timeline that includes both Anne of Green Gables and Rilla of Ingleside except by divorcing it from RL history, which neither of those books is interested in doing. Rilla is adamantly about the same war that all its readers remember from just a few years ago. AoGG doesn’t insist on its time period in the same way, but it is unusually attentive to fashion and the physical details of daily life. Puffed sleeves and muted colors are “in,” the PEI rail system is fully functional, and the White Sands Hotel is lit with electric lights. If we guess on the early side and make Matthew a victim of the Panic of 1893, there still isn’t time for Anne to teach at the Avonlea school, disappoint Gil all through Redmond, teach at S’side for three years, marry Gil, and have five children who are all teenagers or older when the war begins.

In Existing Canon, Joyce is born about ten years after Matthew’s death. So if Matthew dies in 1893, Jem is born in 1904 and is ten years old when the Archduke is shot. Even if you declare Windy Poplars non-canonical, marry Gil and Anne at the end of AoI, skip Joyce, and make Jem one of those suspiciously large four-month babies, he'll *still* have to wait till nearly the end of the war before he's old enough to enlist.

If you actually try to work out a timeline going backward from 1914, you end up with an Anne ten years older than L.M.M., showing up at a non-existent train station in the middle of the woods.

It’s not actually a serious problem for the books, or even a problem at all. There was no plan to write a “war story” in 1908, when Anne was published, because the war hadn’t happened yet. Anne takes place within roughly a decade of "the present," and Rilla takes place in the very recent past. That Rilla Blythe can’t plausibly be Anne Shirley’s daughter if you think about it too hard doesn’t actually disrupt the experience of reading the books. They work just fine as they are.

The only point at which the timeline becomes a problem is when you start to think about adapting all of the books together (or the most popular ones, which still leaves you stuck with Green Gables and Rilla) – or if you want to write fanfiction and have a natural inclination toward tumbling down research rabbit-holes. That's when you end up wandering through the Long Nineties on a mobius strip of brown silk ribbon. And by "you," I guess I mean "me."

So even though I’m not a huge fan of Kevin Sullivan’s TV Annes, I understand why the third one was this completely canon-detached WWI dramafest. If you used internal clues to make a good guess at the time setting of the first book, and then picked up the story from there, Anne and Gil would run smack into 1914 after not too much longer.

The usual solutions that I’ve seen -- when it comes up at all -- are either to avoid pre-war dates or else to push Anne backward in time to accommodate the hard deadline of 1914; I’d like to see fic that tackles the timeline problem head-on, with time-travel shenanigans or alt history or magic or just the bewildered acknowledgement of certain persistent inaccuracies in the memories of the Blythe family. Because I’m a nerd, I guess.

I hope that wasn't completely nonsensical? If it was, I'll fix it in the morning.



Edited at 2012-11-02 07:26 am (UTC)
valancystar
Oct. 23rd, 2013 07:49 am (UTC)
You know, I had vaguely noticed how the history doesn't work out but I hadn't thought about it in detail. Now you're making me want to write steampunk AoGG with time machines. Or something like that.

Yeah, just reading back to your old entries and noticing that you're one of the people whose prompts I wanted to reply to last year, too, only I ended up not doing any treats because I was exhausted and sick. Also, you seem awesome. Maybe I should friend you?
evelyn_b
Oct. 23rd, 2013 01:58 pm (UTC)
Do it! I mean, write steampunk Time Machine Anne -- and friend me, if you want. People who have Feelings About L. M. Montgomery are my people. I'm usually super dormant when it's not Yuletide, though.

I got a great surprise story last year from justice_turtle about the time issue. And also, your icon is beautiful! Where does it come from?
valancystar
Oct. 25th, 2013 05:38 am (UTC)
I'll have to give that one a try! Though maybe I'll reread the entire series first, to hope that a throwaway line will inspire an explanation as to how it works. It's never a bad idea to reread Montgomery, after all. I'll also have to read that story you got. :-)

And that's okay about dormant, it seems most of my entries in the past months - to the extent there have been any - have been about work angst and being tired. I think the alternative would be for them to be about cute musical actors... But Yuletide is coming and maybe even NaNoWriMo, so that will provide some variety.

This icon, hmm, I think it's from icons_by_jenn. Most of mine are either from her or from auctrix_icons. Some I made myself, in which case it shows, because I'm not very good with Photoshop. :-P
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