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[sticky post] Dear Yuletide Author

Dear yuletide author,

Thank you so much for writing for me! Luckily, I am remarkably easy to please. Unluckily, I'm still fairly new to this (this is my second yuletide), so I'm still not quite sure I'm doing this right. Hopefully I am! Please feel free to disregard anything but squicks/no thank yous if I'm not. I'm into darkfic, so there aren't too many DNWs.

I'll disclose that I have trouble giving prompts because usually if I have a specific prompt in mind, it tends to be something I want to write. I will try to do so because I know they're often appreciated, but please don't feel locked in to them. Also, you do not have to use every character I've chosen. Feel free to focus on one, add in others not mentioned (by me or in tags at all), even throw in new/OC folks, whatever.


[Spoiler cut for potential trigger content]

  • Rape/noncon (I'm a-okay with dubcon &/or harsh, consensual BDSM scenes)

  • Mpreg

  • Genderswap

  • Abuse (again, I'm a big fan of consensual BDSM, though not degradation/humiliation/medical play)

  • Cannibalism

  • Biological incest ('chosen family'-type relationships exploring/turning into something more are fine)

  • Weddings

  • Coffee shop/high school AUs

  • 2nd person POV (unless it's Choose Your Own Adventure, and omg, I should totally see if that qualifies next year)

  • Cliffhangers

General likes &/or loves

  • I pretty much like most* darker tropes not listed above. Violence, addiction, apocalypse/dystopia (LOVE those), mindfucks, etc. are all fine.
    *I say 'most' only in case I find a surprising squick I'm yet unaware of, which is educational for me and nothing for you to worry about if it's not on my DNW list.

  • BDSM/kink

  • Happy as well as horrible/tragic/OMGWTF endings

  • Gen, het, slash, ethical polyamory

  • Magic/supernatural

  • Porn! I do prefer mine as an addition to plot, but there's always room for porn

  • Crossovers/fusions (it helps if it's a fandom I'm familiar with – my AO3 lists some of them)

  • Crackfic

Thanks for reading, and for considering writing a story for me!

-Fandom info listed under cut-

Kushiel"s Legacy, Being Human (US), GalavantCollapse )

End of Event Survey

Which hour was most daunting for you? Probably 11pm (central). I get up at 4:30, so I finally collapsed for a few hours sleep when I could no longer concentrate on words.

Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? These might be pretty hard reads, but I enjoyed Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family and Night. Both were short enough to finish.

Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season? No, everything seems pretty fun. Maybe get the start time out to folks sooner. The FAQ mentioned years ago, and I didn't find it until just a few days before (via seeking out the FB event).

What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? I enjoyed a lot of the mini-challenges, and voting on favorite genres was fun. I was sorry to have missed most of those!

How many books did you read? Four, working on my fifth. They were pretty short though, chosen that way purposefully.

What were the names of the books you read?
Punch Lines: Humerus Art by George Wachob
Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt
Ariel, by Sylvia Plath
Night, by Elie Wiesel

Which book did you enjoy most? Ariel

Which did you enjoy least? Punch Lines

How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? For sure! I'm pretty happy as a reader for right now. I'd like to maybe host mini-challenges in the future, but read-a-thons are a bit difficult for me yet with a wee-ish one.

Night, by Elie Wiesel

Night, by Elie Wiesel, is the 'book in translation' selection for my 2016 (Blended) Reading Challenge.


Brilliant & poignant.

Even after sitting here a bit, considering, there's really nothing else I can say.
1. What are you reading right now? I'm between books atm, but I'm about to read Night

2. How many books have you read so far? Three. And we're only half way! Granted, they were mostly pretty small, but I'm still astounded.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, if I can get to it.

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Oh, many. I remember that I love them and deal with whatever as swiftly as possible. And I mention "read-a-thon" many times if necessary.

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? I guess just that I haven't had many chatters/commenters here or on twitter this year. We're all busy reading though. :)

Ariel, by Sylvia Plath

I am totally counting Ariel, by Sylvia Plath, as my 'Main character has mental illness' selection for my 2016 (Blended) Reading Challenge.


Five stars, though I toyed with the idea of four since Plath has a rather blasé attitude in her use of race/ethnicity as metaphors (or something) that makes me pretty uncomfortable. And some of these are uncomfortable.

Still, Plath has a way with words that just astounds me. She plays with their sound and spelling in such unexpected but perfect ways, and every poem is so raw and personal. This is a spectacular example. I particularly liked 'The Hanging Man' and the closing of the whole book in 'Words' – among a great many others. If you like poetry, or if you just like to play with words, I'd definitely recommend it.
Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family , by Amy Ellis Nutt, is my 'book by or about a person who identifies as transgender' choice for my 2016 (Blended) Reading Challenge. I'll also go ahead and count it as my "book set in high school" that I never read for the 50 book challenge (I know only a brief part of it was, but I'm not really into YA or hs books...)

Becoming Nicole

This should be required reading, imo. This was both well-written and well-researched, clearly explaining scientifically, medically, as well as personally, what 'transgender' really is...as well as how common non-binary gender/genetics is. If everyone could read this, we'd have a good deal less ignorance in the world and hopefully less hate.

As you might guess from the topic, I have to give my obligatory content warning. It was pretty hard for me, even as a cis-person, to read about Nicole's bullying. Maybe I shouldn't have chosen this for read-a-thon, because I probably should have stepped away for a bit after that part. It truly is heartbreaking, but I do think cis people need to be aware of what transgender people deal with on a daily basis. It also did a great – but not preachy – job of showing how it's so much more than “playing dress up” or “a bathroom is a stupid fight to pick”, etc. People just don't know. But if they read this, they could not walk away saying the same thing.

I give it four stars instead of five only because of some editorial decisions. The book does seem to hop through time a bit, which can be confusing, especially since the author refers to our title character as “he” and “Wyatt” until 'his' family finally got on board and allowed her to be who she really is. I get that stylistic decision, but bouncing back and forth later in the novel is, judging by some reviews, confusing for some and potentially insulting to others. Also, and possibly due to the back-and-forth (or just referring to future stuff before we get there), the pacing seemed off in places.

But it's a great, informative book with a compelling main character/subject, and I'm honored that such a private and sometimes difficult story was shared with us. Oh – and Nicole and her brother both write poetry, some of which is included. Jonas's in particular is fantastic! Loved it.
Punch Lines: "Humerus" Art , by George Wachob, is my 'under 100 pages' choice for my 2016 (Blended) Reading Challenge.

Punch Lines

I received a complimentary copy through Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review.

I so wanted to love this book. I'm a cornball through and through. Nothing makes me happier than a fantastic pun.

As you can see from my one star review, I just don't feel this book qualifies. They were “groan-worthy” as promised, but not in a groan-so-good kinda way.

Most of these made no sense, or I would have given at least one more star for effort. Or perhaps if the illustrations had been better (very clip-arty). Many of these made no sense even with the answer key, and far too many were a stretch to fit rather than an actual pun -- either the answer or the picture chosen to represent it. The ones I did get were the obvious ones. And, as mentioned, I'm really into puns.

I'll give this to my pun-loving daughter and see if she feels differently, but I was, sadly, underwhelmed.

Edited to add: My 13 yo loved it, so it was a winner there.


Dewey's 24 hr Read-a-thon starts at 7 am (Central). This will be my fourth read-a-thon. I really love these!

As usual, I will be posting any reviews both here and on my Goodreads account. I'm a speculative fiction lover, and I'm always looking for like-reading friends on GR!

Pre-Event Meme:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

The Grateful Stead, SE Missouri, USA

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

I'm currently low on snacks, so I probably have to say a margarita.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

My story gets told in various ways: a romance, a dirty joke, a war, a vacancy.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

This year, I will be utilizing my crockpot. Or maybe delegate dinner responsibilities to the kids.

NaNo Update & NaNo Goodies

Guess I'll start with goodies, since everyone likes those best.

I am Municipal Liaison for the Missouri: Elsewhere region, which is spread particularly far and wide. Many people can't make it to write-ins, so I'm trying to do some things for all participants in my region.

To that end, I've created a Google folder with some online goodies. There are some good resources, including character sheets, plotting help, and my very first attempt at making a NaNo calendar (which I'm fairly happy with). Check it out and see if anything appeals to you:

Great Googley Moogley!

I've also made some online write-ins in addition to my usual Monday eve/Friday am write-ins. I will be hosting Wednesday morning write-ins through November – and they are themed character days! Feel free to join us in chatzy if this is something that interests you. I'm excited about it. The dates are as follows:

10/2 – Come as your Main Character
10/9 – Come as a Supporting Character
10/16 – Come as your Antagonist
10/23 – Come as your Favorite Character
10/30 – Online TGIO party/come as One of the Previous Characters, Now Changed by the events of your novel

I'm doing a lot of online NaNoWriMo events, and my friends/writing buddies are welcome to join in on any of them. If that's something you're interested in, feel free to subscribe to/check out the Missouri: Elsewhere region. I, of course, am particularly stoked about the whole space theme and am sending out space-themed emails as well, so you could totally watch me revel in my happy squee zone this year.

And, last but certainly not least, I have finally decided YES on time travel! Maybe it's too much, but I'd be sad without it. I plan to use it sparingly unless I get picked up for a trilogy or something. I'm still working out the logistics, and now I have to almost completely rewrite one of my chapters, but I'm hoping to get all that done before November.

I've made a helpful character bio and 'cast' my role, as I like to do. Sort of. We first meet said character at age 11, but we see/will eventually see her at various ages...and in various orders. I envision her as being very similar (in many more ways than looks) to Gina Torres. I need an 11-ish and maybe very young adult 'play by', if anyone has suggestions.

Other than these revisions I'm wrapping up, I am so ready this year!
Dewey's 24 Hr. Read-a-Thon is now a regular thing for me. They're held in April and October. This will be my third in a row and my fourth all together. I love it! Please consider joining me this Saturday, October 22.

Once again, I'm trying to knock out some of my reading challenge (probably both 2016 and my 50 Book Challenge from last year). I always pick more books than I can read, but I like to have options and read depending on my mood. Shorter books are better, because you can get through them quickly and feel accomplished.

My choices for this round are:

Punch Lines: “Humerus Art”, by George D. Wachob. I won this through Goodreads giveaways, and this will be my book under 100 pgs.

Night, by Elie Wiesel. This will be my book in translation – and RIP, Mr. Wiesel.

Ariel, by Sylvia Plath is my contemporary collection of poetry – I won this book from a mini-challenge hosted by Nisaba Be Praised last read-a-thon! I've read a few poems, but I saved the full (short) book for this read-a-thon.

The Woman in the Shaman's Body: Reclaiming the Feminine in Religion and Medicine, by Barbara Tedlock, PH.D. will be the nonfiction book about feminism or dealing with feminist themes. I'm excited about this one! I should think it qualifies as a feminist theme, right?

And if they come through my library ebooks (I'm next in line for both), I will also have:

Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family, by Amy Ellis Nutt as a book about a person who is transgender


I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, which I cannot wait to read. This will be the book set in the Middle East.

And if I get in the mood for it, I've been saving “reread a childhood favorite” for a time when I'm feeling it, and I think I'm getting there. My childhood favorite, The Clan of the Cave Bear is a pretty long book, so not really great for read-a-thon, but I may work on it a bit between books.


Ahavah Ehyeh

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