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This was my first year participating in Yuletide, and I received not one but TWO marvelous stories -- both Enchanted Forest Chronicles! Please go read them both at once, because they are fabulous! I will be re-reading and enjoying these for a long time to come.

Before Happily Ever After by Laurea (3088 words): Alianora learns that facing down dragons and wizards is nowhere near as hard as standing up to an overbearing aunt.

This is a wonderful story that picks up the arc of Alianora and her Stone Prince, who finally receives a name of his own! I have always loved these two, and it was an absolute delight to see their story brought to a fitting continuation -- not conclusion, because this is just the next step in their journey, and fittingly so! Alianora returns home to confront her family with the stalwart support that only someone who was once stone could provide. Alianora really shines here, bolstering her own courage with her recent experiences. The characterization and all the little worldbuilding touches are just spot on, start to finish.

In the Air by Wolfraven80 (9996 words): Cimorene and Mendanbar are making preparations for their fast-approaching wedding, but when a love potion goes awry Cimorene finds herself with an unwanted suitor. Set during the last chapter of book 2. Cimorene/Mendanbar with hints of Morwen/Telemain.

A multi-chapter fic of multifacted fabulousness, this is Cimorene at her finest -- competent, snarky, driving off unsuitable and unwanted suitors, and rescuing would-be rescuers. Dastardly wizard plots, mistaken identities, miscast spells and practical quests take place against the backdrop of the Enchanted Forest. Starring Cimorene, Mendabar, Morewen, Telemain (and some truly awful poetry written by the latter), cats, the wooden gargoyle, and a nereid who momentarily steals the show. Hilarity and intrigue abound, and again everything is pitch-perfect!

--

In other news, I wrote one story (sadly, I had no time for Madness this year). The story is my first fandom love: Star Wars. It is a mix of Original Trilogy and characters from the X-Wing novels, which are near and dear to my heart. I had a lot of fun with it, and am even contemplating future fics with the same cast of characters... it is just so fun to write Star Wars for the first time since I was a kid, really. And I still have all the reference books, so I may as well put them to use, right?

Howlrunner (7912 words) for shihadchick: 4 months after the victory at Yavin, the Rebel Alliance desperately needs a new base of operations. The fledgling Rogue Squadron is on the job, but someone else is on their trail.

Features Wedge Antilles, Wes Janson and Hobbie Klivian, with cameos by Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, along with an OC female Shistavanen who I'm rather fond of.

I did figure out, much belatedly, that I had my Howlrunners mixed up with my Headhunters, and the I-7 Howlrunner might not have actually been in production at the time this story is set, but I was kind of locked into it by that point anyway, so... oops and oh well!
syrena_of_the_lake: (Default)
Dear mystery author,

First and foremost, thank you! Please know I will be thrilled to receive your story. I'm excited to see what direction you've taken on whichever fandom strikes your fancy. I included a few prompt ideas in each of my requests, but pleade don't feel bound to them if inspiration takes you elsewhere. This will be my first year participating in Yuletide, and I hope this letter strikes a balance between giving you helpful information and the freedom to go where the story takes you.

Things I like:
- Witty banter
- Competent, complex, multi-dimensional characters 
- Friendship, found family, friends-to-lovers, 
- Plot, space duels, intrigue - I like the action!
- Thoughtful, complex, introspective - I like characters' inner lives, too!
- Gentle, compassionate storytelling - I like cozy, happy stories, too!
- Witty banter. Seriously, I love it so much.
- I ship canon pairings; gen is also great
- Drama, humor, adventure, intrigue, espionage, suspense, mystery, thriller... so many genres! I also like explorations of grief and healing, though in general I can only take so much angst. I do prefer happy endings to tragedy, but I also have a soft spot for ambiguity and bittersweet.
- A strong sense of place. The differences between places, the little things that set someplace apart or bind people together even across languages and cultures... Whether you want to delve into worldbuilding or just give me a glimpse, I'll love it.
- Language, linguistics, things lost in translation, the power of words
- I do enjoy AUs and crossovers that hold true to both the spirit and setting of the original. (I'm not a fan of coffeeshop, college AUs, etc.)


Things I don't like: 
- Dealbreaker: incest
- Gore, torture, noncon, PWP, explicit sex, explicit violence, frequent use of strong swearwords 
- Slash isn't my cup of tea, I'm afraid. I prefer het or gen.
- Character bashing; completely helpless, clueless, cruel or dark characterization of canon "good guys"
- Darkfic, unmitigated tragedy or excessive angst. I've experienced several tough losses over the past few years. If your story is sad, I'd request at least a ray of sunshine amid the clouds!

Again, this is truly meant for your information, and I hope you find it helpful. I look forward to seeing where the story takes you!

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January 2017

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