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2017-10-08 03:35 pm

Dear Yuletide Author

[Assignments went out earlier than I expected, so this isn't quite finished. Please check back in a day or two. Sorry for being flaky!!!]

[Update: Okay, it's ready now!]


First, thank you! I'm looking forward to this so much, and I hope you'll have fun writing.


As for what I like and don't like, there are very few things I would say a flat-out no to: graphic torture; prolonged graphic violence; incest; rape. What I really don't like to see is violence and cruelty normalized or justified. My attitude about explicit sex depends on the fandom, as noted in the prompts. In general, I prefer sex not to be the raison d'être of a story.  

Things I especially like:
  • backstory, for both characters and setting
  • underdogs
  • outsider perspectives
  • characters being in character
  • appealing but flawed protagonists
  • a setting that feels rich and real
  • unexpected or incongruous friendships
  • romance that goes against gender and/or sex stereotypes
  • actually, anything that goes against gender and/or sex stereotypes
  • non-sentimentalized parent-child relationships
  • people working through difficult problems together
  • respect for the original source (which can include being critical of it)
  • slice of life stories
  • endings with a sense of forward motion
  • good grammar and spelling
  • things I wouldn't think of myself (like what? I don't know!)
Most of all, I hope you write a story that you like and feel excited about.

Notes on specific prompts:

I know I put "see dear author letter for more details" on each prompt, but in fact I don't have a whole lot to add. I hope the above guidelines give you enough to work with.

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2017-10-04 04:45 pm

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Do you know this fic? If not, you have no need to read further.

People have been recommending it to me for years, so I finally downloaded and started reading it a few days ago. I was enjoying it (with certain reservations), until chapters 22-23, in which Harry does some very, very bad science. First, he claims that an hypothesis has been definitively falsified based on an uncontrolled pilot study using pretty sketchy data. Second, even if the data holds up upon further study, it actually supports the hypothesis instead of falsifying it!

And then he browbeats and lectures poor Draco for not accepting his conclusion. I never thought I'd feel sorry for Draco Malfoy....

Unfortunately, this may mean that I'm unable to continue the fic, because I have lost all trust in the author. Unless someone who has read it can tell me that Harry subsequently realizes that he is terrible at genetics?
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2017-09-26 04:21 pm

NFE Reveal

I didn't sign up for NFE this year, but I did offer to pinch hit and ended up writing a story:

Enough Rope (1912 words) by Transposable_Element
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Chronicles of Narnia - C. S. Lewis, Chronicles of Narnia - All Media Types
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Puddleglum, OFC
Additional Tags: Marsh-wiggles, Giants, Centaurs, fathers and daughters
Summary: Puddleglum and his daughter help out a neighbor.


This is one situation when I really wish I had had a little more time to work on it before it was published, because there are a few things that I would have liked to develop more, especially the father-daughter relationship. But I was already almost a day late getting it in, so I had to leave it as is. It's really my fault because I spent a lot of time dithering before even starting the fic. Fortunately I had the idea of the Giant getting stuck in the marsh already in mind to work with.
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2017-09-25 06:00 pm

I need to vent where (almost) nobody knows who I am...

Maritus's mother is driving me mad! She's a very nice lady, but she has a way of asking questions that starts to feel like an inquisition. I'm sure she thinks she's just showing an interest and drawing me out, but I don't know why she hasn't noticed that the more questions she asks, the more monosyllabic my answers become.
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2017-09-04 08:07 pm

Hamiathes Gift Exchange author reveal

Author reveal was Saturday. Here's my story, which seems to have been well-received:

Not Much Would Be Lost (3416 words) by Transposable_Element
Chapters: 5/5
Fandom: The Queen's Thief - Megan Whalen Turner
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Ornon (Queen's Thief), Laela (Queen's Thief), Nahuseresh (Queen's Thief), Attolia (Queen's Thief), Costis (Queen's Thief), Eugenides (Queen's Thief)
Additional Tags: Intrigue, Slavery, Diplomacy, Spies & Secret Agents, Ornon is ornery, Boxing & Fisticuffs, No sheep were harmed in the making of this fic
Summary: "If you fail, there is very little protection we can give you," said Attolia.

I was worried for a while that I might have to default, because even though I settled on the basic idea and wrote an outline early on, most of the writing happened very much at the last moment. I got the bones of the story up by the deadline, and then I used the next week to tinker with it, expanding it by about 1,200 words. I'm reasonably happy with it, although as usual I had trouble with the ending.

There are a lot of good stories and fan art in the exchange. Check 'em out!
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2017-08-27 10:56 am

Hamiathes Gift Exchange is live

This is a gift exchange for the Queen's Thief series. Stories are up; authors will be revealed in a week.

I got TWO wonderful stories!

Bling (605 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Queen's Thief - Megan Whalen Turner
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Aristogiton (Queen's Thief), Costis (Queen's Thief)
Additional Tags: Male Friendship
Summary: Aris lends a hand with Costis’ preparations for the journey. What else are friends for?

This story made me laugh out loud. If you've read the most recent book in the series, Thick As Thieves, you will understand why Costis has to have his ear pierced, but you don't need to know that to enjoy the story.

The Apricot Tree (836 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Queen's Thief - Megan Whalen Turner
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Sophos & Ina & Eurydice
Characters: Sophos (Queen's Thief), Ina (Queen's Thief), Eurydice (Queen's Thief)
Additional Tags: Family, Pre-Canon
Summary: One perfect moment, before everything started happening.

This is a very sweet story about Sophos and his sisters, hinting at many future events and gently highlighting Sophos's chronic self-doubt.
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2017-08-21 08:25 pm

Leafy tree pinhole eclipse image

This isn't a great pic, but I love the overlapping crescents you get when
you look at light filtered through tree leaves.


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2017-07-02 02:33 pm

Travels

Filia and Maritus gaze awe-struck at the majestic beauty of the Olympic
Mountains
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2017-07-02 01:26 pm

Hamiathes' Gift Exchange 2017 Dear Author Letter

First, thank you! I'm looking forward to this, and I hope you'll have fun writing.

As for what I like and don't like, mostly the answer is "it depends." There are very few things I would say a flat-out no to: graphic torture; prolonged graphic violence; incest; rape. But even these, if necessary for the story, character, or setting, might be okay. What I really don't like to see is deliberate cruelty normalized or justified.

My attitude about explicit sex also depends on context. In general, I prefer sex not to be the raison d'être of a story.

For this exchange, I prefer no AUs or crossovers.

Things I especially like:
  • backstory, for both characters and setting
  • underdogs
  • minor characters coming to the fore
  • outsider perspectives
  • characters being in character
  • a setting that feels rich and real
  • unexpected or incongruous friendships
  • romance that goes against gender and/or sex stereotypes
  • actually, anything that goes against gender and/or sex stereotypes
  • people working through difficult problems together
  • slice of life stories
  • endings with a sense of forward motion
  • things I wouldn't think of writing about myself (like what? I don't know!)
Most of all, I hope you write a story that you like and feel excited about.

As for me, I'm a middle-aged woman who likes to read children's fiction; I'm a scientist who likes to read about magic; I'm a physically inactive person who likes to read about adventures and derring-do. My interests are broad and a polite description of my education would be "eclectic."


Notes on specific prompts:

Laela: Anything about this character would be great: backstory, future fic, missing scene, etc. I'm curious about her relationship with Kamet; why he trusts her implicitly and why she betrays that trust in order to push him toward his freedom (as long as the answer is not "she's in love with him"). Given what we know of the character's history, this could get dark. Canon-typical violence is okay, but I prefer nothing graphic or extended.

Ina & Eurydice & Sophos: I'm thinking more of their childhood relationship here, but it could also be something later on, when they're all adults. Either fanart or fanfic would be great. If you feel like doing something light-hearted and cute, this would be the prompt to go with.

Aris: What has Aris been doing while the events of Conspiracy of Kings and Thick As Thieves are going on? In Thick As Thieves, Costis uses Aris's name as an alias; is there a story behind that? What does Aris think of Costis and this Kamet fellow? Be as shippy as you like, or make it gen. Prefer no explicit sex.
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2017-01-01 11:52 am

Happy New Year

I haven't posted in a while, and I'm behind on answering messages, for which I apologize.

I just want to wish everybody a happy new year with this wonderful video from this morning of a hummingbird nestling taking its maiden flight. The second nestling fledged less than an hour later, but the video of that one isn't as good.
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2016-09-12 07:56 pm

NFE 2016

Here's my gift. It is one of only a handful of Andrew Ketterley stories in existence! Go read it. A high and lonely destiny comes at a cost.

The High and Lonely Destiny of Andrew Ketterley (1129 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Chronicles of Narnia - C. S. Lewis
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Andrew Ketterley
Additional Tags: Epistolary, suggested Andrew Ketterley/MOC
Summary:

The work of a magician is solitary and full of sacrifice.



My own story, of course, I cannot talk about until reveal. I'm a little concerned because my recipient hasn't said anything yet. Sigh. Go, TE, go and do something else and DON'T WORRY. People like your story. Really, they do.
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2016-08-10 06:41 pm

Vikings

Having long, protracted, yet fundamentally silly argument with a friend of Maritus's about whether Vikings had horns on their helmets.

According to the archaeological record, contemporary paintings and sculpture, and contemporary descriptions, they did not.

For some reason, however, this friend keeps sending me pictures of Bronze Age petroglyphs (with horns!), 14th century German burial helmets (with horns!), and Medieval Russian armor (with horns!), as though this proves something. Arrgh.
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2016-07-25 02:49 pm

Norway Pics

 That's it for the pics. I hope it's not all too spammy, I can never quite anticipate how large the individual photos are going to be on the screen.
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2016-07-25 02:40 pm

Gudbrandstalen

A few pictures from Gudbrandstalen, the valley where much of Sigrid
Undset's novel Kristin Lavransdatter is set.
Taken from the train. )