[Fandoms are Jossverse RPF, Savage Love RPF, Baby-Sitters Club - Ann M Martin, and Princess Diaries - Meg Cabot. The rest is behind a cut because it is so ridiculously long I don't even.]
I'm assuming you're here because you like to read Dear Author letters, or because you'd like to write a story that attempts to perfectly cater to my bizarre tastes, or because you read my requests and can't figure out what on earth I mean by something, or because you're freaking out over the particular request we matched on and are frantically downloading lovecasts as we speak (or, alternately, reading Kristy's Great Idea) and trying to figure out whether I a) have any taste at all and b) what that taste might be.
Well, that's easy. A) not really and b) um, I like fictional teenage girls, I like humor, I like sex, and sometimes I like these things all together.
So: I am delightfully quirky! It's a thing. My brain kind of works at right angles to the universe sometimes. I think of the spirit of Yuletide as something like the logic-pushing reductio ad absurdum of fandom: what if we took the rules and tropes and ideas that we have about big massive fandoms like Stargate: Atlantis or Supernatural RPF and applied them to... everything? Podcasts, webcomics, new media, celebrities from every era, fanfic itself? What if we temporarily suspended reality and everything became a potential fandom?
What if we suspended the rules of reality? What if we could visit the universe next door where Charlotte was male-assigned at birth, where Tina became a practicing Muslim, where the cast of Angel all had wings, where the Savage Lovecast came to you live-live-live(recorded) every week from an underground bunker built by the TSARY to hide from the zombie hordes (and keep the advice coming)?
I love fandom. I really, really love fandom. I love the rules-breaking mind-bending anything goes possibilities of fandom that are always at play even when you're writing canon-compliant, straightforward slice-of-life gen, which is also something I adore, because I love these sourcetexts, all four of them, like they are CAKE and like I am a person who enjoys cake.
Three things about me personally I want to state upfront because they will perhaps let you know where I'm coming from: 1) I'm a lesbian and 2) I'm a Christian, and 3) I'm mentally ill. So in lieu of a laundry-list I-don't-care-for-isms speech (I don't want racism in my fic, pls), I want to say this: I acknowledge that lots of the characters I'm requesting have strange, weird, wrong-headed ideas about sexuality and race and disability, and I don't want you to color over that, per se, but when thinking about who's going to be reading it, remember that I'm going to be reading it, and if Dan Savage is anti-Christian (um, yeah, he kind of is) and tends to conflate all Christians everywhere (note: I'm not one of the gay-hating ones), and doesn't get called on that, that's going to be in the Christmas present I read when I come home from church. And if Mia Thermopolis believes that lesbian sex isn't real sex because there's no vagina-around-penis action, well, that's probably in character because lots of teens (and adults) have limited views of what "sex" is (vagina-around-penis only, everything else is... something else), but remember that there's at least one lesbian going to be reading that fic who's not a virgin by her own definitions and would like to know that someone else out there acknowledges her sexual experiences as being, as it were, sex. And if Charlotte starts self-harming and she gets diagnosed with Borderline and her doctors think she's untreatable and can never be in a happy relationship, well, that's my tribe you're talking about there. Be sensitive, be educated, or maybe write about something else (mermaids. mermaids are cool. or scrapbooking. sporty girls being sporty. tiaras. celebrities' weirded-out-but-respectful responses relationships with their fans. I love ALL THE THINGS.)
Next up, some definitions so you know where I'm coming from when I use certain words in my requests:
Smarm is when (two+) characters (of any genders) do... romantic-looking-seeming touching type things (like snuggling together, sleeping in the same bed, calling each other pet names) without actually being in a romantic relationship. This year I am very pro-smarm.
Femslash Fic about sexual or romantic relationships between girls or women. This year and always I am very pro-femslash.
Boyslash Fic about sexual or romantic relationships between boys or men. I'm pro-boyslash generally but not always personally, and I've specified places where boyslash would be lovely, but except in the case of Joss/Alexis, I'd rather it not be the focus of the fic.
Het Fic about sexual or romantic relationships between at least one male person and at least one female person. This year and always, I'm pro-het in certain situations -- like when there's also a lot of boy- and girl- slash going on, and het pairings are just part of that milieu.
AU: Alternate Universe. Either the kind where a canon event changes (Stacey decides to live with her dad when her parents divorce), or the cracked-out kind (The Albert Einstein High School for Boys [made coeducational circa 1975], is transformed into the Albert Einstein Space Station for Earthlings [made intergalactic circa 2875]). I am pro-AU.
Canon I'm using in two interrelated senses: 1) the collection of texts that form the source and 2) the things that are true in the universe established by those texts. Quickly, canon for my four fandoms:
1) Princess Diaries - Meg Cabot: All the books by Meg Cabot with the word "princess" in the title. I've read most of the main series, but not the supplemental books.
2) Baby-Sitters Club - Ann M Martin: All the books in the BSC main continuity. All the Super Specials. All the Mysteries and Super Mysteries. The Portrait Collection. The readers' request books. I consider California Diaries a divergent timeline, but I'm fully familiar with that series and you can follow it if you'd like (if it becomes relevant to Dawn and Charlotte's epistlatory exchange about racial politics, or if Charlotte moves to California and meets Stephie Roberts and they have amazing adventures producing high-concept artwork about interpersonal relationships, or whatever)
3) Savage Love RPF - While the Savage Love empire includes 2 decades of columns, all Dan's books, his blog, various interviews and live appearances, etc. in addition to the podcast, I'm requesting a fic that focuses on podcast-specific characters, so that's what I'm thinking of as canon for this request.
4) Jossverse RPF - So, I once wrote a Joss/Alexis story where Alexis and Alyson had a baby before they'd actually had one. My point is, while there is canon for this (IMDb, pictures, live appearances, Joss occasionally showing up drugged-out on Whedonesque, DVD commentaries, Jane Espenson's blog when she was writing it, etc.) I probably won't be familiar with obscure canon details (or even really major canon details like the non-existence of children), so if you watch an interview or listen to a commentary or even stare at this picture for a few minutes, I'd consider you good to go to write the most amazing Joss&Alexis or Joss/Alexis fic ever. (okay, you should probably hear Joss talk at least once, to get a feel for how much on crack he always is, but really, he talks like the characters on the shows, so if you've seen any of the shows, that'll probably tell you (more than you need to know) about Joss's speech patterns. And inner life. And sexual kinks.
OK! More tl;dr (stands for too long;didn't read and means that if you're my assigned author and were thinking you'd reread some novels this Yuletide, not read a brand new one in the form of my Dear Author letter, you can back away now) about pairings:
In general, I prefer background pairings to be het or femslash, because I generally prefer a balanced or female-heavy cast, but there are a couple of canonically gay men in some of these ensembles (Jossverse RPF oh hai Sean ♥, Savage Love, duh), and I don't object to boyslash on principle or anything, I just like ladies (oh, how I like ladies). I have no problem with pairings in large ensembles, and if you'd like to keep the canon, mostly het pairings in Princess Diaries or Jossverse RPF, that would be fine. I'd prefer a mostly het-free BSC, I'm afraid, and I'm interested in the BSC for the girls, not the canon boys, for the most part (I mean, I love Richard Spier and Jamie Newton and Norman Hill and yes, Byron Pike, but I like a healthy dose of girls as well). Extra-canonical pairings are totally okay in all my fandoms, and I don't have any squicks about age-difference or power differential or incest. I love threesomes/OT3s and moresomes/OT+s as well.
Here is some stuff I'm especially into this year:
+Regency AU. In the sense of Julia Quinn London Season Mammas and Misses Rakes and Rogues and Governesses and fantasy-romanceland-AU, not in the sense of actual Regency England, probably.
+Social media fic: Twitter, Facebook, LJ, podcasting (um, hello, Savage Lovecast) -- as a general extension of interesting structures and formats for fic. Not only youth can be tech-savvy: I would love tech-savvy baby-sitters, princesses, and thespians! There's pretty much canon that Joss is not tech-(as in internet)-savvy... which doesn't mean that fic about misuse of social media wouldn't be amazing.
+Related to the above, but less high-tech versions of mixed media/alternative structure. The BSC books have the excerpts from the Notebook. Princess Diaries isn't just written in the form of a diary-notebook-journal, it's got the lists that Mia and Lilly make and the notes that she passes with her friends and her frigging algebra homework. And of course, any RPF canon is a huge cross-referential conglomerate of images, audio, video, and text.
+Dialogue. I love the feeling I get from reading some RPF that I'm eavesdropping on a conversation laden with years of subtext and inside jokes -- kind of the way real life conversations between old marrieds work. The feeling that I can't quite follow what's going on in a conversation because I haven't been privy to all the backstory -- that feeling makes me feel like there is all this backstory, like there's a texture to the fic beyond what's actually going on in it. Also, banter and snark are pretty bullet-proof-adored.
+Kink_bingo. Not just in the sense that I'd welcome hardcore kink, but the idea of people figuring out what they're into and owning that and finding community around it, whether "it" is
ONWARDS and UPWARDS! Specific fandoms, I did request some, and you thought my requests were a novel!
Requested Character: Charlotte Johanssen
Optional details are optional:
I would love a fic that features Charlotte in any way! It could be femslash pairing her with Stacey, or Claudia, or Stacey AND Claudia, or with Becca, or Haley, or Vanessa, or any other female character, canonical, crossover, or original. OR it could involve Charlotte being a bit of a matchmaker and pairing up some of the older girls (Stacey/Claudia, Mary Anne/Kristy, Mary Anne/Dawn, Jessi/Mallory, or some other combination), or just observing their relationship. Perhaps baby-sitters come out to Charlotte; perhaps Charlotte comes out to baby-sitters; perhaps both happen at once! OR it could involve an older Charlotte becoming a baby-sitter herself and mentoring some of the younger Stoneybrook kids (with queer issues, or with other things, like introversion or school or parents or disability or anything else that's of interest to you). OR a Charlotte of any age dealing with shyness, loneliness, and figuring out who she is. OR it could involve a larger Stoneybrook event (talent show? Pride parade? zombie apocalypse?) and Charlotte's perspective among many others. OR anything else. Any rating is fine, with Charlotte at any age. I'm cool with a Charlotte who's a lesbian, bisexual, and/or asexual, and/or trans, but please don't make her straight.
Straight-up, Stacey/Charlotte is a lifelong OTP for me, and I dig the age difference aspect of it. But if that is Not Your Thing, that is totally okay. I hope it's clear from my request and everything else I've said that I'd be okay with any kind of fic about Charlotte that isn't "Charlotte falls in love with a boy, full stop." Suggested pairings are just suggestions, and should not be seen as binding.
Three-point characterization of Charlotte: Shy. Smart. Loves Stacey.
I am pretty vigilant about tagging BSC related babbling, and have been pretty prolific in said babbling since I started rereading the series in college.
My fic: indexed here.
Requested characters: Tina Hakim Baba, Mia Thermopolis
Optional details are optional:
I would love any fic featuring Mia and Tina! I would love cuddly friendship fic involving them doing high school girly things (sleepovers! playing with makeup! watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer! talking about boys!) I would love femslash that is awkward teenage romance in the spirit of the books, which are full of awkward teenage romance. I would love an established relationship fic where they do teenage couple things like go the movies, double date, go to prom, have awkward misunderstandings, or make out. My favorite thing about Tina is that she reads the end of her romance novels first, so if you wanted to play with that in some sort of narrative structural way, that would be neat! I do ship Mia/Michael (as does Tina!), so if you choose to write friendship fic it's fine if you reference that, but I'd prefer the focus to be on the girls' friendship. Any rating is fine, but I'd like Mia's canonical concerns about sex addressed if you choose to go that route (unless it is very-very-future-fic)
I haven't babbled very much about this fandom, which doesn't mean I love it any less. I've read the earlier books bunches of times (up to say, Princess in Pink), so if you need to (re)read to write me fic, I'd suggest reading the first couple of books until a plotbunny bites, and then feel free to stop if necessary for time reasons or bored-with-books reasons or any other reasons! Anyhow. Early books. Lovely.
Three point characterization for Tina: Romantic. Bookworm. Loyal.
Three point characterization for Mia: Awkward. Firm in her convictions. ADORABLE
Tag, which has been used exclusively for this Yuletide season: books: princess diaries
Requested characters: Joss Whedon, Alexis Denisof
Optional details are optional:
I really love Joss Whedon and would adore any fic about him and his beloved family of cast(s) and crew(s) from everything from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Midsummer Night's Dream [eta: yeah, I know. Much Ado. Facepalm] . I particularly ship him with Alexis Denisof, hence the request, and I would be quite happy with any of the following kinds of fics: a) bantery, friendshippy fic where Joss and Alexis are ridiculous and tease each other and enjoy each other's company, b) smarm, where Joss and Alexis aren't in a relationship but do coupley, cuddly stuff like cuddle or call each other pet names or drop everything to make movies starring/directed by each other instead of going on vacation with their wives OH WAIT and/or c) relationship fic where they are in a romantic and/or sexual relationship, whether that's sweet or angsty or just really hardcore hot.
THAT SAID I would be happy with threesomes if you want to bring a girl in (Aly is an obvious choice, but Kai would be interesting, or Summer, or Amy, or someone else.)
THAT SAID I would also enjoy ensemble fic with these characters at the center. Anything set during the filming of Buffy, or Angel, or Firefly, or
MidsummerMuch Ado (I haven't seen all of Dollhouse so I'm a little worried about spoilers there), or during the Shakespeare jam sessions that didn't get filmed, with drinking games and snuggly heaps of thespians and banter and the art and craft of acting, and of writing, and of directing, with side pairings or canonical pairings or random cracky pairings.
OR I would love any kind of AU -- Regency romance, cyberpunk, fic where they're actually living in the world of Firefly, fic where they're actually Ents -- again, featuring just Joss and Alexis or any subset of the big whirling pool of thespians and cast and crew that you would like to bring along. Any rating is fine, and kinks are invited.
All the leeway, you can haz it? My love for this pairing is mostly focused around that picture I posted above, so, yeah, it's less about an extensive knowledge of canon than about boys cuddling.
Three point characterization for Joss: Brilliant. Arrogant. Insecure.
Three point characterization for Alexis: ---
(I don't even have consistent fanon for Alexis. idek.)
I post about this a lot, using a variety of inconsistently implemented tags: jossverse rpf, joss/alexis, joss whedon, and metaverse
My fic: indexed here.
Requested character(s): Tech-Savvy At-Risk Youth
Optional details are optional:
I would love any fic about the Tech-Savvy At-Risk Youth (hereinafter TSARY)! I have a long list of possible directions you could take this, elaborated on in my Dear Author letter, but in short: you can use the semi-canonical version of their identities (Asian Jewess, African-American straight guy, lobster with a Jamaican accent [which you can interpret as a wildcard or literally, if that's what lifts your luggage]) or any joyous collection of 3-5 TSARY with a variety of sexes, genders, sexualities, races, religions, dis/abilities,, etcetc. Things you could do with the TSARY: TSARY screen calls. TSARY play BINGO or some variety of drinking game with the calls (the dolphin sex question is an auto-win.) TSARY argue with each other and/or Dan about some of the issues that come up over and over (queer infighting, Dan's occasional jerkfaceishness about bisexuals, lesbians, trans folks, fat folks, Christians... if you've ever been annoyed at something Dan's said, put your argument into one of the TSARY's mouths!) TSARY go to Burning Man. TSARY deal with leading a ~double life~ if their friends don't know about their highly enviable job. TSARY screen calls from people they know!
OR an AU: TSARY are steam-tech-savvy; TSARY in the robotverse are meat-savvy, TSARY are wheel-and-fire-savvy, TSARY in Regency London work to deliver highly scandalous advice newsletter to the ton, TSARY have to do insta-repairs on their vehicle to prevent signal-stoppage IN SPACE...
I can't imagine you could write this as lower than Fan Rating Teen/PG-13; obviously higher ratings are fine. I sort of envision Fan Rating Explicit gen (with the focus not so much on the TSARY's love and sex lives), but if you'd like to write more traditional het/femslash/boyslash/multi/other (where those slashes are "and/or") that would be delightful too. The only thing I'd rather not have is any appearance by or mention of Terry or the kid beyond the kind of very oblique mentions they get in podcast canon. Other than that, please, go wild, have as much fun as you can with this.
First off, if you're totally unsure about what this is: Dan Savage writes a sex-advice column called Savage Love. The Savage Lovecast is the ounce-a-week-out-loud version. The Tech-Savvy At-Risk Youth make it happen. Episodes can be streamed or downloaded at the Stranger's website.
And believe it or not, I can talk EVEN MORE about ideas I have for this fandom.
So. Savage Love RPF, specifically Tech-Savvy At-Risk Youth. Here is a partial list of plotbunnies that you can take, leave, slaughter to make a fur coat, insert into an inappropriate orifice...
+Tech-savvy at-risk youth have intelligent scathing argument with Dan (or with each other!) about one of the many issues that color the 'casts. If you've read or listened to Dan for any length of time, there is proably a point at which you're in violent disagreement with him. We definitely get to hear some of that on the air ("the 'B' in LGBT is rarely silent..."), but I'd love to hear your coherent argument in the mouth of a tech-savvy at-risk youth re: bisexuals. Or transgender issues. Or fatphobia. Or asexuals (check out podcast 145 for a plotbunny about *that*!). Or, my personal hot-button, Christians (and how some of us are actually not queer-baiting sex-negative [insert ableist word here], and in fact some of us ARE QUEER OURSELVES, and maybe it's not entirely our fault that the media presents Christians in a certain light? Or, in fact, the mentally ill community, cos that's one that I don't think has even been touched (perhaps wisely, because it would not be good for my mental health to think about Dan defending his use of the word "crazy.") So. Issuefic of the issuey-est variety. Go.
+Tech-savvy at-risk youth play what amount to drinking games with calls. (Of course youth are never sloshed while on the job, would be totally unprofessional, even though Dan does it). I imagine a lot of BINGO involving frequently received questions re: dolphins, etc. There's the ever fun game of guessing what advice Dan will give, or predicting which calls/responses will receive the largest amount of feedback, there is the running pool on who is the angriest, lesbians or bisexuals, there's the game of trying to get Dan to give you an on-air shout-out, there's the ever-running game of herding Dan, there's the youth vs. Dan game of youth trying to make Dan crack up laughing so segments need to be re-recorded...
+I really would love any AU, translating the idea of the Savage Lovecast into... something else. Magnitude and Direction by aris_writing has a reference to a certain Savage Love column in the BDSMverse, which is a pretty awesome idea. Others: in the robot universe, what do meat-savvy at-risk youth know? In Regency England, how is this scandelous sex advice column distributed?
+The little Savage Love fic I've seen takes the obvious route of having characters from other fandoms write in to Savage Love; just throwing it out there that this kind of crossover with any of the other fandoms I've requested would be terrific, if you're up for that.
+Another kind of Savage Love RPF that seems obvious is fic about some of the folks who write/call in. There are definitely stories in there that would be fun -- so if you want to run with that (TSARY screening mythical follow-up calls; TSARY facing ethical dilemmas when they hear calls about situations that sound really abusive, or perhaps just really hot ["... I'm a 20-something living in Seattle and I'm primarily attracted to tech-savvy at-risk youth..."]; TSARY writing pr0n about the calls they hear and posting it in the internets (circles of meta, the brain explodes. Maybe YOU are a canonical TSARY! Maybe I am.
+I know a lot of these are kind of high concept, because the TSARY are more of a concept than actual characters, but here, have some more character driven bunnies:
+TSARY at Burning Man, doing Burning Man stuff.
+TSARY living a double life (like superheroes*!) since there's this whole mystiqu around the TSARY being ~mysterious~ and ~anonymous~
*okay, I meant that as a metaphor, but TSARY are literal superheroes, okay, that would be okay too.
+Related to that, perhaps screening calls from people in the TSARY's lives... maybe ones about the TSARY themselves. ("So I have this friend who's a lobster with a Jamaican accent, and I'm ~totally~ hot for hir. What do I do, Dan?")
Three point characterization for TSARY: Tech-savvy. At-risk. Young. *rimshot!*
Tag, also mostly used this Yuletide season: Dan Savage.
I don't want to imply by the fact that this is so epic that I would be less happy with any of the other fandoms: I would be totally happy with any of them, whether I've babbled about them for years or discovered them yesterday.
So that is the end of my requested fandoms! I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, Ari, I hardly know you at all! Where can I learn more?
Tags: dear author: i am delightfully bizarre and yuletide!
Or if you have a question about whether I might enjoy something, hermionesviolin is my best friend and frequent partner in crime and has previously filled this function perfectly (Q: Biblefic OT3 hippie AU, yay or nay? A: YAY!)
In conclusion, THANK YOU for writing a story for me. I know I will love it.