touchofstrange: (Merthur animated)
[personal profile] touchofstrange
Dear Yuletide Writer/Yulegoat/Santa,


Hello! Welcome to my oft-recycled, slightly repackaged, and probably far-too-wordy letter! (Apologies in advance for the wordiness...)

First and foremost, I know it's cliché, but I'm just thrilled that you'll be writing for one of my chosen fandoms. That in itself is fabulous, and I'm appreciative and excited and I certainly hope your assignment is something that you enjoy!

If it helps you at all - I'm on tumblr as touchofstrange and have anon turned on. I'm on AO3 as skitz_phenom (DV-Skitz) and I have an LJ, that hasn't been updated in about 5 years, also as skitz_phenom - if you're someone who really likes to get to know your recipient. :)

Now, I know that there are many different ways that writers like to work, and while I'm not particularly picky about anything (well, except perhaps with characters) and I pretty much welcome whatever interpretation and direction you choose to go in, I'm also more than happy to provide some general thoughts, feelings, and preferences for you to build off of as well.

I'll start off with more of a general description of my likes and dislikes in fandom and fic, and then I'll move on to more specifics for each of my selections. Please be assured though, that I'm open to almost anything - so this information is by no means 'absolute'. I want you to have fun writing this; I wouldn't want it to be a chore. So please do whatever is most comfortable for you. If, upon reading the fandom/characters you were matched on, an idea sparked in your mind: run with it! You don’t even have to keep reading! (Although I wouldn't mind if you did just skim the 'do not want' portion *grin*).

General ‘Stuff I like’:

• I am a total sucker for some of the really 'tropey' kinds of scenarios so please don't be afraid of using them (or lampshading/subverting them). Here are a few that are awesome:

o Soulbonding
o Forced closeness (trapped together)
o Magic gone awry

o Crashed on a desert island

o Pretend couple/marriage of convenience

• I love friendships, found-family and romance. Slow-build, first-time is one of my absolute favorite relationship tropes.

• And, considering that sometimes those situations can result in strong emotions, I'm obviously not afraid of angst, but I also enjoy action/adventure, plotty case-fic, and humor.
• Hurt/comfort is dandy as well, and considering a couple of my fandoms, violence could be expected. I'll admit it though: I'm a sucker for a happy ending.
• Crossovers might be okay, but I'd have to know the other fandom (although, feel free to crossover ANY of Tanya Huff's works/universes). I can definitely provide a list of other fandoms I'm into if you'd like!
• Length of story doesn’t matter to me – but I’m not afraid of long fic.
• If you do run into questions/concerns - please don't hesitate to have a mod ask me (or send me an anon ask on tumblr)!

The ‘Stuff I like Ratings/Sex-wise’:

• I’m entirely open when it comes to Gen, Het, Slash, Femslash, Threesomes/Moresomes (it's always fun to include a fandom where 'moresomes' are a possibility) as they suit the fandom.
• I'll enjoy everything from G-rated gen all the way up to hardcore NC-17.
• Porn is great. I love porn. But it’s definitely not a must. (I’m including some PWP type prompts – but again – I’m 100% on board with gen!)
• If things get do porny - plain ol' vanilla sex is great, but I enjoy kinky stuff as well. A couple of things I’m particularly fond of:

o A character face-forward against a wall/door/bulkhead being sexed-up from behind.
o Love frottage, rimming and fingering in any/all gender combinations.
o Pegging is lots of fun.
o Dual penetration.
o Where it could be applicable to the fandom, I’m not opposed to xeno or tentacles…

The ‘What I’m Not So Fond of’:

So that being said, there are a few other things that aren’t really my cup of tea:

• I’d prefer if you’d avoid the more extreme kinks (watesports, scat, vore, bestiality, age-play, daddy-kink, infantilism, etc...).
• Please no animal cruelty!
• I pretty much love all the characters I’ve requested so please no character bashing.
• I’m as much a fan of the universes I’m requesting as the characters, so I’d prefer not to see much in the way of non-canon AU  (i.e coffee shop, tattoo parlor, etc...).
• I do like my POV to stay similar to the source material.
• I don’t mind if you go darkside, but I appreciate avoiding killing anyone off (permanently – temporary death for plot purposes is A-Okay).
• Partner betrayal makes me uncomfortable, as does incest (unless it’s canon) and humiliation.
• Sorry to say I’m not fond of issue-fic, A/B/O type verse or always-a-girl/boy (temporary genderswap is totally fine though) or D/s lifestyle 24/7.
• Lastly, I’d prefer to avoid noncon and steer away dubcon.
• All this with the caveat that I do expect some of this to be applicable in the canons I’ve selected - e.g. Tony Foster's past could easily edge into noncon territory, and consent with regard to the di’Tayan could easily be dubious.

All righty, I realize all of that is pretty general - if it's enough to get you started, great! But if you'd like more fandom-specific thoughts, keep on reading! I’ll also provide a bit more about what I love about each fandom, some general things I’d be interested in, as well as a couple of specific prompts (which are complete suggestions! Like I said, if you've got an idea already, go for it!)

Blood/Smoke Series - Tanya Huff (Tony Foster, Lee Nicholas)

From my Sign-up Details: "I'm pretty open on this request. I adore this series and all the characters in it!  I'm focusing on Lee and Tony this year, but I love the whole urban fantasy aspect and all the supporting cast of characters. So pretty much anything with Lee & Tony and any and all other characters/scenarios would be brilliant.  Getting a bit more specific, I'd love something Lee-centric. Whether that's exploring his thoughts during the events of the books, or looking at his and Tony's relationship after, or even just some wacky CB Productions hijinks from his POV."

The reason I love this fandom:
Oh geez, where to start? The characters first and foremost. Tanya Huff has a way of writing characters that makes me fall in love with them. Tony and Lee are two of those characters. I love that Tony is an openly gay protagonist and that Lee’s sexuality isn’t just hand-waved away to make room for sexy-fun-times. I also love the urban fantasy aspect of these books, where magic and vampires and demons are a really real thing, and people surrounding Tony are freaked out about all the weird supernatural shit going on, until they’re just not anymore.

Basically, I love these books, so I'm going to enjoy whatever you write. I adore Lee and wish we'd gotten more of him throughout (as I imagine Tony does as well!). I love fun case-fic type of stories. And all kinds of supernatural shenanigans. Magic-gone-awry could be great here. I also enjoy slice-of-life character pieces and just some Lee being awesome (and perhaps not the damsel-in-distress this time)! At the same time, I’ve always been struck by some of the references to Tony's past (the Scout troop leader for instance, those scars on Tony’s chest) and wonder what Lee would make of it. I love that he and Lee got together in the end, but I started to wonder what might happen if some of Tony's past snuck up on him and how Lee might deal with that. He & Lee have gotten pretty used to crazy/supernatural/magical things happening, so how might they deal with something that's mundane, but equally difficult?

Specific Prompts:

• Lee gets an offer to do a small indy film that takes him to a remote island. When things start getting weird he wants to handle it on his own and doesn’t want to have to call Tony in to rescue him.

• How does Lee finally find out the truth about Henry? Does Tony let it slip? Is it on a case? Does he walk in on Henry and CB? And does it change anything about his relationship with Tony?

• When someone from Tony’s past recognizes him, he tries to get to Tony through Lee and threatens to expose some of Tony’s secrets and/or his previous occupation. As I mentioned in my prompt, Tony's got some pretty wicked scars, that probably have a lot of history to them.

• Just what other kind of spells are hiding out on Ara's computer? Tony finds a hidden directory on the laptop that catches his eye, but the magic he finds is well-beyond anything he's ready to mess around with. Lee has to be the one to get Tony out of the situation he's found himself in. (Could be total PWP here - tentacles... anything crazy like that is welcome).

• PWP: Tell me about Lee and Tony’s first time… in lots of Technicolor detail!

Valor Series - Tanya Huff (Any)

From my Sign-up Details: "I simply adore these books. I’ve read all the books multiple times - including the newest - so any setting/time-frame that fits with the characters requested would be great; but I particularly love the idea of Torin's new team working for the Wardens being kick-ass and going on awesome ex-space marine adventures. But post-series isn’t a must; I'd pretty much love anything to do with any of these folks or even the different alien species/societies. Fun action/adventure, mystery, intrigue, 'day in the life', smutty di'Taykan fun... it's all good. I'm also extremely partial to Ressk/Werst and their relationship. FYI my sign-up details may contain spoilers for the latest book!"

The reason I love this fandom: I feel a bit ‘broken record here’ but it’s definitely Huff’s characters that drew me into the Valor books in the first place, and they’re the reason I reread them so often. I love the sprawling space-opera aspect of these books and the various alien species we’ve been introduced to and the even the politics of the war with the Primacy and the issues of the Elder races. There are lots of tropes in these books, but I love that so often they’re subverted/averted/lampshaded. Oh, and the Taykan… cuz how can you not adore a race of sexually indiscriminate space elves with matching pastel hair and eyes…

It bears repeating that I adore everything about these books. Please absolutely feel free to include other characters (alas, I could only nominate 4). I love Space Marines and the team/found-family vibe of Torin’s crew. I'll be honest: Ressk/Werst is my Valor OTP, made even more-so based on the last book (bonded!!! *flaily dolphin-noises*). So basically if you write something with the two of them involved, I'll adore it. Plus, Binti is so kick-ass and we know so little about her! And Torin is about as badass as they come, and she's got plenty of her own struggles to deal with. The same with Craig - kinda got that scoundrel with a heart of gold thing goin' on.  I've also grown to love fucked-up woobie Alamber and while he's got some growing up to do he's really become a part of the family (how adorable is the idea of him cuddling up at night with Torin and Craig, or Ressk and Werst?)  So, whether they're fighting pirates, or running into new and weird aliens, or stranded in space in the Promise and forced to live in each other’s pockets (and have wild orgies)... just have fun with 'em!

Specific Prompts:

• The crew of the Promise has been hard at work doing jobs for the Warden's and need a break. But even their down-time on a space station that’s touted as the ‘happiest place in space’ is plagued by the same kinds of shenanigans that always seem to follow Torin around.

• Ressk and Werst return to the Krai homeworld to complete some kind of ceremony (what does 'bonding' entail for the Krai??) and get to invite their closest friends. Learning a bit more about each of their roles in society (Werst being disbelieving that he's lucky enough to have been bonded to someone from Ressk's kind of upper-crust background is insanely adorable!!) it seems their bonding might raise a few nostril-ridges back home!

• Binti competes in some intergalactic games and while she’s focusing on trying to win the sharpshooting events, the rest of the team are behind-the-scenes trying to prevent something bad from happening.

• Torin's right: they need another Taykan on board! Tell me about who that is, and how things change with Alamber with finally having another of his species on board. Alamber's got issues out the wazoo (how could you not want to hug the poor guy after his little 'experiment' with the Thun) and maybe it takes another mixed-up di'Taykan to help him work through them.

• PWP: Orgy aboard the Promise! Di’Taykan pheromone fun and games where everyone wants to play. Mix & Match! Binti and Torin get some quality lady-time, while Ressk and Werst engage in some weird Krai antics that involve all those opposable digits, and Craig finally puts poor Alamber out of his misery. (Seriously, any and all combos - threesome, foursome, moresome... new alien species with tentacles?!! - Go for it!)

Wizard of the Grove - Tanya Huff  - (Crystal, Death)

From my Sign-up Details: If you've offered this fandom, I'm already thrilled! These books hold a special place in my heart as they were my introduction to the works of Tanya Huff (who, as I'm sure you can tell from my sign-up, is my absolute fav!). I know that Crystal is a bit too perfect and suffers slightly from first character-itis, but even so there's a humanity to her that subverts the whole 'all powerful wizard' thing. And Huff's Death is probably my favorite version of Death that I've ever read. I adore pining!Death. Honestly, anything in this universe would be wonderful, though a focus on the relationship between Death and Crystal would be fantastic.

The reason I love this fandom: These books are definitely early Tanya Huff, but everything that makes her writing wonderful is there.  She creates characters that are relatable and human, even if they're all-powerful wizards or the personification of death itself. Death pining after Crystal and not quite understanding his own feelings, is my favorite thing, and the idea of a Death that wears the faces of the dead is just fascinating!  Plus, these books are a great example of Huff creating secondary characters (Crystal's parents, Jago and Raulin, the other Dukes, Doan, Sokoji, the other elder races) that are as fascinating as the main characters. I feel like this series could've expanded even further with any of them. I do think the ends of both books wrap up a little quickly (and in the case of the 2nd, a bit... muddled) but the characters make it all worth while.

Specific Prompts:

• While the 2nd book ends kind of definitively with Crystal and Death sort of... well, it's rather hard to describe. I think that there are a plethora of possibilities if they were to 'come back'. Crystal still has quite a bit of post-Kraydak clean-up she could be doing, and Death, of course, won't leave her side.

• There were still other Wizard Towers to be dealt with.  Perhaps some mortals, or members of the Elder races end up triggering something catastrophic at one of them, and it forces Crystal to come back from 'wherever' to save the world once again.

• Tell me more about Death! He's the Mother's youngest son, and he's been witness to everything the world has known. He's got to have observed some interesting things with mortals over the years! Is Crystal the first Mortal he's ever had feelings for? What is it about Crystal that drew his attention, when he's obviously observed wizards before.

• Again, perhaps going a bit AU from the end of the books, what happens when Crystal goes back to see her parents with Death in tow? How will Tayer and Mikhail and her siblings react when Crystal introduces the Mother's youngest as her paramour.

• PWP: Crystal and Death - whether in the physical or metaphysical world - tell me about their first time! Crystal has known physical relationships and had sex, but it's all new to death! What would that be like when Crystal is all-powerful, and Death can be anyone who has crossed  into his realm. 

Black Sails  - (Captain Flint, Billy Bones)

From my Sign-up Details: "I enjoy the entire show, and pretty much all the characters but, Billy is absolutely my favorite.  Mostly because I love the fact that he's become a sort of moral-compass for the pirates. He doesn't let his personal feelings get in the way of doing what's right for his brothers, no matter what that entails. Second to Billy is Flint. I had a love/hate relationship with Flint, but then came the reveal about Thomas and the idea that everything he does - no matter how deplorable - is for Thomas... well, what's not to love about that? His passion is scary and he's still a bastard, but I can't help loving his character now. I also wish we'd gotten much more Thomas. I admit that I'm extremely into Flint and Billy's relationship and could definitely see it becoming more than it is.  So while I'd love something shippy - that's definitely not a requirement. Gen or friendship or even the existing kind of adversarial support thing they've got going on right now, is great! The only reason I didn't also select Thomas as a character is that, I really want Billy to be a bit part of this (shippy or not) and something set in the past with Flint/Thomas might make including Billy a challenge..."

The reason I love this fandom: Full disclosure: I started watching this show because of Tom Hopper and just fell hard for Billy and the show itself.  It's harsh and gritty and sometimes a bit gratuitous, but I'm totally drawn in by the characters and the story.  Billy is everything I love in a character, and kind of knowing what the future has in store for him makes him even more intriguing to me!  As I commented in my sign-up, I've had a love/hate relationship with Flint, but looking back on even his worst actions after learning about Thomas... sort of makes them, not necessarily acceptable or even forgivable, but I guess just understandable. That kind of love and devotion is pretty overwhelming. And, I so badly wish we'd been given a bit more of Thomas and Flint.  Much as I love Flint/Thomas backstory, I love Flint and Billy's relationship and I do ship them pretty hard.  If Flint/Billy isn't your thing, just focusing their relationship as crew and how it affects the current politics of what's going on, is totally fine.

Despite going on and on about Billy and Flint, I do very much enjoy the rest of the show and the characters though!  So by all means, please include any of them!!  There are other side pairings/relationships I like (both shippy and non-shippy) - Vane & Eleanor, Rackham and Anne and Max, Miranda, Abigail Ashe... The only character I'm not overly fond of (though, he mostly just gets on my nerves) is Silver.  Don't feel like he has to be excluded (obviously he's a big part of the story overall), I'd just prefer not to focus on him, or have him be included in any relationships. Overall, I'd be happy with a story focusing on either Flint or Billy, or with Flint/Billy relationship - but Flint/Thomas is also great, as long as Billy plays a big part (it's a bit cliche, but 'Thomas lives' is totally welcome!)

Specific Prompts:

• Flint is obviously very familiar with Billy's backstory; tell me about their first encounter, how he rescued Billy,and how Billy ended up sharing so much of his past with Flint.

• Billy, doing business for Flint and scoping out potential places to hide the Urca gold (when he 're-acquires it'), encounters a well-spoken gentleman living in seclusion on a nearby Island. He and Billy strike up a friendship. Eventually, Billy brings Flint to meet him - to secure a deal - and Flint is shocked to find that it's Thomas.

• Billy somehow finds out about Thomas and the reasons behind Flint's behavior. He becomes something of a confessional for Flint, and the two grow closer as Billy - understanding Flint's motivations - continues to support Flint's goals for Nassau.

• Some time after the events of the series, Flint enlists Billy's help in hiding the Urca gold. The two end up shipwrecked together on a tropical island. Slow-build, first-time would be awesome here!

• PWP: Flint's pretty terrifying when he's angry, but Billy is just big and strong... a confrontation between the two, where Flint is out for blood, takes a decidedly different turn when Billy fends off Flint, but doesn't make any effort to hurt him back.

Well, I hope that helps - and sorry for babbling so much! I already know I'll be happy with whatever you do! I just want you to not let it stress you, and I hope you have fun with it. I absolutely can't wait to see what you come up with!

Happy Yuletide!!



October 2017


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