Hello and happy holidays! I'm Clocketpatch here and on Ao3.
I hope that you have fun with this assignment. This letter is meant for inspiration more than anything else so feel free to ignore everything but the DNWs if you already have a story idea already in mind. I would be pleased to receive gen, slash, femslash, het, poly, tentacles... In fact, as long as it’s consensual, I’m okay with pretty much anything. I am also open to sex-pollen/ aliens made them do it/ pon farr/ possessed by the Old Gods type situations. Stories of any length are cool and I am always open to experimental formats, art, IF, poetry, and fics sent by carrier pigeon....
(Okay, maybe not that last one. I have zero space for roosting pigeons.)
· Hurt/Comfort. I love it so much. Especially characters sacrificing themselves for others, and the traditional A rescues B and then cuddles formula
· Characters trying to better themselves (They can fail. Repeatedly. It's the effort I like.)
· Relationships (both romantic and gen) which are full of everyday snark and arguing, but always do their best to come through for each other and give support when the going gets rough.
· Found families
· Random swordfights
· Characters getting tied up
· Spy tropes
· Grooming/preening/hair brushing/back rubs
· Detailed descriptions of food or cooking
· Wing!fic, body-swaps, animal transformations, suddenly a girl/boy, Daemon AUs, is there a word for AUs where all the human characters are animals? Zootopia AU? Everyone's a mouse AU?
· I will be satisfied by the flimsiest of plot hand waves if it results in dinosaurs or sapient bird characters
DNW: Explicit fic for characters under 18, Noncon, Amanda/Todd, stories focusing on mental illness (brief mentions of canon illness are fine, but please don’t spend multiple paragraphs describing symptoms).
Fandoms specific prompts are listed below. Order is Pepsi Commercials, Divine Cities, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, Dinotopia.
( Fandom Specific Prompts )
Unfortunately, they only seem to be available to stream in the US and Canada. Also, there is a creepy mime. Also, I get the distinct impression I'm going to come out of watching these sounding like a character in a French tv show from the 80s. But otherwise they are very good, and hopefully helpful!
( My hc_bingo card )
Speaking of Twelve... I was wondering if there would be any interest in having an exchange or fic fest at the end of this series?
welcome to this year's letter!
LIKES | DNWs | AO3
19th Century Paleontology RPF | The Divine Cities | The Great Mouse Detective | Pepsi Nex "Momotaro" Commercials
I've been told that not everyone likes letters. If you fall into that category, please feel free to disregard everything but the DNWs. The best fic is the one you had fun writing and this is all optional rambling.
But if you're like me, (I flail like an over-turned beetle when deprived of prompts) maybe this letter will be useful and inspiring? I don't want or expect everything on it in one fic. I doubt such a fic is physically possible, but you're more than welcome to try. Physics isn't the boss of you!
(unless you attempt unassisted flight. that will probably end poorly.)
(unless you have wings. in which case I have SO many questions.)
( Everything Else is Under Here )
( Magical Trouble )
( Apocalypse )
( Arena )
( Isolation )
( Homesickness )
Fort McMurray is a northern community (commonly called Fort Mac and referred to as a city, even though its not really). There is one road (hiway 63) going in and out. It is called the gateway to the north and used as a staging ground for the oil sands. It became a boom town over the last few years, but it was going through a really big slump this winter with the oil industry tanking. People have been losing their jobs left right and centre.
On May 3rd (Tuesday) the winds turned, bringing a MASSIVE wildfire right into downtown Fort Mac prompting the immediated evacuation of the ENTIRE community. Almost 90,000 people. Again, there is only one road in and out.
Some of the people did manage to evacuate south to other cities, but others were forced to flee north and shelter in work camps. There are now literally thousands of people stranded in these camps because the road out is on fire.
People are safe. No one has died, or even been injured. It's a miracle. But Fort Mac is still on fire, and the fire is REALLY BIG and getting bigger. It has not properly rained in this province all spring. There was a bit of drizzle/mist a few weeks ago and that's it. It has been hitting 30C pretty regularly since mid-April. It is windy. Basically, this fire is not actually stoppable at the moment.
Some people evacuated south had to be evacuated AGAIN after the fire changed course and blew at them. This is scary scary scary stuff.
People ARE being really beautiful in the midst of it though. Communities are offering beds and food and free gas. A group of Syrians who resettled in Calgary a few months ago have been fundraising to buy hygiene kits for the families stranded up north. People across the country are donating. But a lot is needed, because by the time this is over no one knows what will be left of this city and how many of these people are going to have homes to go back to.
The government is matching Red Cross donations. So if you are able/willing to donated, that is probably the best venue. If you cannot, please consider sharing that donation link.
Thank you for reading.
( Spoilers for all of series 9 thus far )
Through the wonders of cosmic coincidence, shared taste, and the magical Yuletide algorithm, we've matched on something! Thank you for offering whatever that something happens to be, and also, thank you in advance for whatever you choose to write for it.
Please don't be intimidated by this overly long letter. I've been told that not everyone likes letters. If you're one of those people please feel free to disregard and follow your muse - optional details are optional after all, and the best story is the one you felt most inspired to write. However, if you're like me (I flail about like an over-turned beetle when deprived of prompts) maybe this letter will be useful and inspiring? I don't want or expect everything on it to go into one fic. Indeed, I doubt such a fic is physically possible, but you're more than welcome to try. Physics isn't the boss of you! And neither is this letter. Mostly, I'm just listing off things as they occur to me and hoping that this information will be helpful.
Thank you for being an awesome person and I hope you have lots of fun with your assignment this year. If you feel like stalking me for whatever reason I'm Clocketpatch on Ao3 as well.
- A balance of dark and light, fluff and angst, the serious and the absurd
- Hurt/Comfort is my id trope
- Snark and banter (if you want to go dialogue only, that's completely fine)
- People getting tied up
- Hugs and backrubs
- Mind control/Possession
- World building and descriptive prose (I like reading travel memoirs and other things that transport me to a different place and/or time, especially little details about scents, colours, and clothing)
- Original characters, minor characters, outsider POVs
- Found families, exile and acceptance
- Spy tropes! Espionage, gadgetry, disguises, blackmail...
- Animals or people with animal like traits: daemons, wingfic, anthropomorphic AUs, were-creatures, etc.
- Sensuous descriptions of food (or sensuous scenes involving food)
- Or just crack about naked people covered in cake
- Gen, slash, femslash, het, tentacles…
I like a lot of things.
As far as story sturcture goes: I enjoy AUs, crossovers, and fusions (though a bit of canon explanation would be appreciated if you're crossing over with something I've never requested/written about before).
Alternative prose styles (second person, poetry, lists, five times, interactive fiction, etc.) are cool. Non-linear narratives are enjoyed. So are regular, old fashioned, beginning-middle-end type stories. I like fic of all different lengths, so please be as concise or as verbous as you need to be. Write as your muse guides you and do not be restrained by structure!
- Endless grimdark nihilism (darkfic is fine, violence is fine, sad endings are fine, but please leave some hope/humour/good people in the world to off-set them)
- Explicit scenes including incest or under-age characters
- Non-con between canonical friends (sex pollen and aliens/meddlesome gods made them do it type tropes are fine)
- Scat, watersports, and related kinks
- Fics focusing on mental illness or using it as an excuse/explanation for violence
- I find phonetically written accents difficult to parse
And now for the fandom specifics...
I'm not the best at being concise. Sorry in advance for the waffling and if you need to use ctrl-f to skip around I understand. I've listed all the fandoms alphabetically in an attempt to make navigation easier.
What? Insane 2004 movie about a secret governmental agency (the D.E.B.S.) recruiting young women based off of a secret test hidden inside the SATs. Just before her graduation from the spy academy, star pupil Amy Bradshaw falls in love with her thesis subject: Super Villainess Lucy Diamond.
Who? Lucy Diamond, Amy Bradshaw
Why? It's complete crack, but it's also a sweet love story and a happy ending which avoids most of the worst tropes surrounding females couples in fandom (They both Live! Happily! Ever! After!). Also, there is spy stuff, which I'm quite keen on.
Where? Rentable on Amazon and Itunes... and youtube apparently? (I tried to find a free copy and failed)
Fic set during the week of Amy's "abduction"? Could be smut, could be Amy interviewing Lucy for her thesis, could be nothing but sweet relationship moments. I don't usually ask for pure fluff, but for these two I'd be okay with adorable cotton candy.
Fluffy domestic stuff set after the series when Lucy and Amy are a happy couple living in Barcelona? Or, if you feel like getting plotty, casefic about Amy and Lucy being recruited by another spy agency (or setting up their own agency/ Private Eye service?), or having to do spy stuff on a daily basis to defend their identities from the vindictive D.E.B.S. (or all of the above?) would be enjoyed greatly. Or some kind of rescue scenario where one is kidnapped and the other has to save them? Hurt/Comfort fic is always appreciated. Or you could just write about them going to the bar and eating tapas together after work. Mmmm… tapas…
Also... any explanation at all for why Lucy hates Australia so much.
If you want to include guest appearances by Scud, please do, since he's great!
For this specific fandom I DNW any character death or non-con
The Divine Cities Series - Robert Jackson Bennett
What? This fantasy series started in 2014 with City of Stairs, a novel about a spy named Shara, her terrifying "secretary" Sigurd, the once mighty City of Bulikov, and the mysterious Divinities who gave the city its brutal power. The second book, City of Blades is coming out in early 2016, and that is far too far away...
Who? Any (And I do mean any). This book has dozens of characters, minor and major, and all of them are intensely interesting. I want to immerse myself in this world and explore it to its edges.
Why? Because I want to immerse myself in this world and explore it to its edges! There is just so much happening in City of Stairs. It's a fantasy novel with a unique history and setting. It's a spy novel/murder mystery with gripping chase scenes, clues, and betrayals. It's a political novel, with intrigue and social commentary in equal measures. It's also a very good story in its own right with fun characters, creative writing, and a satisfying plot.
Where? Amazon, various chain stores, the library. The authour also has some beautiful concept art on his webpage.
I've requested any and I mean it. Use any character in the tag-set. Heck, use any character not in the tag-set if you aren't interested in the ones I've nominated. Use them all together. Use them individually. I don't care. I just really, really, really want fic for this fandom.
World building can happen. The universe in City of Stairs is fascinating. I want to know more of the (conflicting) histories of this place. There are so many questions! Where did the Divinities come from? Why did Saypur have none (or did it have none ? Maybe it did once and they left like Olvos did… Or they were driven away or destroyed…) I want to visit the organic city of Ahanashtani, to explore the islands of Saypur, to examine the content of the Unmentionable Warehouse (or to see how it was used to grease the wheels of life in the past), to meet some of the Divinity's stranger children. I don't care if you use someone from the tagset, someone unnominated, or an original character for this exploration. I don't even care if it's done textbook style with no real narrative or characters. This world is cool. More please?
I also have character prompts (because I have a lot of prompts for this fandom. Because there is SO MUCH I want to know and see):
Efrem and Shara's friendship while she was training him. Them chatting about Continental history over tea. I see these two as friends, mentor/student, almost adopted father/daughter, which is to say – I don't particularly want porn about them, but I do wish that I could see them having a massive, unapologetic nerd-out together.
Fic from Efrem's perspective while he conducted his final mission in Bulikov. His interactions with Mulaghesh.
Shara and Sigrud's awesome spy adventures before the events of the book. What happened that time with the darts? How about the dragon? Or all of the other mad operations they ran across the continent for ten years. That is a full decade of fic fodder. (Again, I really don't see Shara/Sigurd as a romantic pairing, and would prefer them not to be written that way. However, if you wanted to write about them having to fake a marriage/relationship for an op. that would be hilarious and awesome. Or them being bodyswapped. Bodyswap fic is always cool). I'd also love, love, love to read some of the ridiculous thinking-on-paper lists Shara wrote during this time. Or at any time.
Shara brainstorming was my favourite bit of the novel and I was sadly disappointed that it only happened once so any list!fic would be met with much glee as would anything involving one of Shara's angry cooking sessions .
An epilogue to the story would be good too. Mulaghesh on vacaction. Shara's aunt adjusting to the new political situation. What happened after Shara finally returned home? How did she deal with all of the bureaucracy back in Saypur? What was her eventual return to the Continent and Bulikov and Sigurd like? (Because I know she came back eventually, and that's a story I'd love to hear told). Fic about Vo's legacy would be beautiful. Feel free to write fix-it AUs for him and Shara. Or for Efrem. (Maybe Olvos brings them back? Fic about Olvos and Efrem would be wonderful).
Finally, if you have a hankering to write smut, weird Divinity stuff is encouraged. This book has canon gender!swap, people turning into birds, and really disturbing rocks. I'm struggling to think of a kink it couldn't facilitate. So... If you're the kind of writer who rejoices at the chance to write OC/Divinity/Tentacle Beast dub-con bondage with a side of mpreg, then rejoice merrily, because that more or less happened in the source material. Twice.
19th Century Paleontology RPF: Bone Wars!
What? Two 19th century paleontologists transform from friends to bitter rivals.
Who? Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh
Why? The story of these two men and their struggle for one-upmanship via dinosaur bones begs for fic treatment. Marsh was the rough and socially inept farmer's son. Cope, the dandy gentleman's scholar. Against all odds, they became friends. They even named fossils after each other. Then everything went sour and the pair devoted the rest of their lives to shaming each other. They wrote vicious slander. They sabotaged each other's sites. And they dug up A LOT of fossils.
According to Wikipedia: "Cope and Marsh were financially and socially ruined by their attempts to disgrace each other, but their contributions to science and the field of paleontology were massive, and provided substantial material for further work—both scientists left behind many unopened boxes of fossils after their deaths. The efforts of the two men led to over 142 new species of dinosaurs being discovered and described, though today only 32 are valid."
The reason only 32 are valid is because they would often name the same species repeatedly. For example, between the two of them they claimed Uintatherium (which, incidentally, isn't a dinosaur) as a new species twenty-two separate times never minding the fact that it had already been named and described by someone else.
Other fun highlights of the Bone Wars include:
Cope's paper, with illustrations, describing an Elasmosaurus (also not a dinosaur) as having its head attached to its butt.
And the whole brontosaurus mess.
Where? Wikipedia, Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast, many books have been published on the subject, and googling "Bone Wars" brings up a slew of results
I would love to read epistolary fic of Cope and Marsh slagging each other off, or fic about their one or more of their colleagues (Joseph Leidy maybe?) shaking their heads at Cope and Marsh's grudge match. Equally, I would be deeply amused by an AU or fusion (maybe Cope and Marsh can be anthropomorphic dinosaurs digging up humans? Or were-dinosaurs? Or them working in a dinosaur themed coffee shop trying to one-up each other doing… whatever it is people working in coffee shops do?) Or… anything, really. There is only one fic for these two on Ao3 right now and that's sad (it is a very funny fic though, and has some ridiculous associated art).
Mostly what I'm looking for here is Foe-Yay, friends-to-enemies stuff. Bad puns and dirty accusations are fine (indeed, they are ENCOURAGED), however, since Cope and Marsh were real people and explicit RPF is a personal squick,
For this specific fandom I DNW explicit fic.
Pepsi Nex Zero Momotaro Commercials
What: Pepsi has reimagined Japan's Momotaro (Peach Boy) legend with lots of CGI, explosions, and people in animal costumes.
Who: Crow, Pheasant, Dog
Why: The costumes! The explosions! The music! The interpretive dance!
Where: Episodes 0 & 1, Episode 2, Episode 3 (Total running time for all three is a little under 15 minutes. All are English subbed. They're fantastic and worth a watch even if you aren't planning to write in this fandom.)
I've requested three characters for this. You can write about them individually, together, or not at all. World building is a thing you can do.
I'm very interested in the Kingdom of Birds. Are those actual wings or just a bizarre fashion choice? Are they human? Can they fly? What is day to day life like for ordinary citizens? Do they build nests?
For the characters... Pheasant and Crow. Oh man, Pheasant and Crow. When I first watched their commercial it was without English sub-titles and my friend's running translation for it went something like:
"Here is the Kingdom of birds. Here are Pheasant and Crow. Clearly they are in the middle of getting married. Clearly they are soul mates." They clearly are. "Now Crow is filled with angst and he is going to do an interpretive dance until his inner-rage demon is released. Pheasant is sad. Pheasant must save Crow's soul with more dancing and rainbow feathers and love. But he cannot save him so instead he must make him explode. And then sadness."
As a result, my head-canon is that Pheasant and Crow are partners in a dysfunctional arranged marriage. Fic about their royal life would be cool. Or something exploring Pheasant's angst over Crow after he turns. Or why Crow is so obsessed with power? Or Pheasant somehow redeeming him? So many possibilities...
(I don't mind if you substitute your own head canon, or if you stick with the actual canon, though if you do write them as brothers I'd prefer if you didn't include explicit content.)
(Really, I enjoy head canons. Please tell me more about what you think these Bird People are doing off-screen.)
Fic about Dog! Like how he managed to find clothes and learn metal-working while being raised by wolves in the mountains?!? Or fic about his first meeting with Momotaro? Momotaro/Dog can be a thing. How does that work? Is it a dog and master relationship, or do they treat each other as equals?
Or you could do the ensemble adventures of Momotaro, Pheasant, Dog, and Monkey! I'm sure those four get up to lots of crazy hi-jinks together. Side-quests. Campfire stories. Helping strangers escape evil demon orges…
There is so much potential to explore in these commercials. Have fun!
Sapphire and Steel
What? Describing S&S is difficult. It is a dreamy and captivating and surpremely odd 1970s Science Fiction drama with very good actors and a non-existent sfx budget.
Who: Sapphire, Steel, Silver
Why? Everything is creepy and confusing and nothing makes sense. And I like it.
Where? The entire series is up on youtube. Assignment 1 is HERE. There are six in total.
If you want to get experimental with your fic format this is a great fandom for accommodating that: Rhymes, poetry, songfic, scriptfic, long monologues on the nature of Time, traditional narratives, introspection, assignment!fic... Anything, basically. I love fandoms with flexibility, and Sapphire and Steel is about as flexible as they come because so little is defined. Elements can travel to the future, the past, alternative dimensions. They can fight each other, flying pillows, or time itself.
I ship any and all permutations of Sapphire, Steel, and Silver. The bizarre balance of alien-ness and humanity with these characters intrigues me, as does the notion that their nature has been changed by their contact with humans during assignments. I enjoy fics which deal with Sapphire and Steel's partnership, and how Steel doesn't know how to quantify the strange feelings of love/protectiveness/jealousy he has for Sapphire. I enjoy his brittle strength. I love Sapphire's compassion and competence. And Silver... He jousts with Steel, flirts with Sapphire, and is part of the team, but also always an outsider. The ending of the series breaks my heart a little bit.
Prompts: Perhaps something where one or more of the Elements become humans, or are given that opportunity and how they react to that? Or something about the Transuranics and why they are the way they are? Or something where Steel has gone missing and Sapphire and Silver have to rescue him? Anything about the nature of Time would be good.
Feel free to include other characters, original!Elements, or elements from the radio plays (I haven't actually had a chance to listen to them, but their existence intrigues me).
The Thick of It
What? A BBC political drama starring Peter Capaldi as Malcom Tucker. There is a lot of swearing. A lot. If you are a big fan of the Twelfth Doctor then clicking on that link will be either traumatising or glorious. A. Lot. Of. Swearing.
Who: Malcom Tucker
Why? I'm going to be shameless and admit that I am mostly in this fandom for Malcom Tucker's rants, but beyond that the show is wickedly funny and an interesting (and often incredibly disturbing) window into the world of politics. I'm also a big fan of the pop culture references.
Where? There are a few clips on youtube that give you the general idea. The first three series are available on itunes. All of it is available for free on HULU if you happen to live in the correct region.
If you can work in politics and plot and Machiavellian scheming that would be amazing and appreciated, but if you write exactly 1000 words of Malcom Tucker rage I will be content.
That said... I also appreciate the moments in the series when Malcom is lost for words/ doesn't swear. They are very few and always significant. In the Christmas special he clears his schedule to discuss what the cleaning staff need to do their jobs. In series four he says that the job has turned him into a husk, and that he isn't certain of his beliefs anymore (granted, he does swear quite a bit while relaying that information, but it's more subdued). I would love to read anything about the conflict between Malcom the terrifying swear-y man, Malcom the master manipulator, and the maybe more-or-less decent human being he started out as/probably still is at some level.
Any other characters you want to include are fine. I don't care if you write Malcom/Jamie, Malcom/Nicole, Malcom/Julius, Malcom/Sam, or Malcom/the photocopier Jamie smashed in the semi AU tie-in movie.
Gen is also fine. Pre-and-Post series fic are both fine. AUs are fine (Student government? Zombie apocalypse? Fem!Malcom? Everyone is a cat?). Political casefic would be wonderful though is certainly not expected.
If you'd like to feed my id, fic about an angry, indisposed Malcom being fussed over would be met with glee… Or a trying-but-failing to be civil Malcom attempting to fuss over someone else… (I think I've mention the love of h/c tropes a few times? Yeah…)
If there is anyone out there who wants to write a Press Gang crossover, I think that a young Malcom being interviewed by Lynda Day would be very interesting, but I recognize that the odds of this happening are exceedingly slim and this is therefore the most optional of the optional details in this letter (no chance if I don't ask though, right?).
On the topic of cross-overs, I'd really rather not received a Doctor Who cross-over. Not because I don't love that fandom - I do - but because I think quite enough of those exist already.
Thank you again for being my writer, and for putting up with this overly-long letter.
I wish you a happy yuletide and hope that you get the fic of your dreams.
Also, have some virtual cookies. You deserve them:
Eli and Sam's Immigration fund
This fund is to pay the cost of getting the certified physicals, immunizations, and a trip all the way to Memphis to do their interviews. As well as somewhere to stay for the night, it's a five hour drive each way, and the interviews are at 9 & 10 am. They physicals are due before the interviews, and if they miss either of this things, everything they've worked this hard for, will be pointless, and they will be at risk of deportation.
What you can do:
* Donate. Even a few dollars will help.
* Check out Eli's EtsyShop for beautiful watercolour paintings.You can also comission original pet portraits at their Facebook.
* Share this post. Even if you can't donate or afford art (I understand that money is tight everywhere) perhaps someone else can? Fandom can be magic sometimes. I am really, really, really hoping this is one of those times. Please share Eli's shop and GoFundMe wherever you can.
Thank you for reading.