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So instead of buckling down to prepare materials for the Purgatory retreat, my brain decided to spin an angsty crackfic scenario that I am patently unable to write because it would involve way too much plotting, and my winter high is starting to wear off. It is much, much too late in the season to lay the foundation for a fic in which some Vorling heir pulls a blackmail stunt on Alys to get her help with a border dispute and thinks he can do it with impunity because, as Simon guesses, he has somehow found out about Aral and the Escobar thing and plans to use it to drive a wedge between Aral and Gregor and Aral and Miles, and foment a civil disturbance in which he comes out on top. And then, after some desperate cogitations and as much planning as he can manage with Alys without telling her The Secret, Simon decides to fake his suicide in a lightflyer crash, and then sneaks back into Vorbarr Sultana, disguises himself as a poor babushka, and begs for tidbits at the Galenis' back door for several days until they get exasperated and finally take a second look ("Damn it, sir. Are you nuts?"), and wind up hiding him in their cellar. Meanwhile Gregor gets a visit from Alys in which she reveals that she's been blackmailed, and an hour later gets a visit from Miles in which he relates that his suspicions after reading the ImpSec report are that lightflyer + buggered stunner cartridge = Simon going on a fishing expedition, and shouldn't we be planning a manhunt instead of a state funeral? Gregor suggests letting Simon fish undisturbed, and sends Miles to Komarr to meet his parents on their way and guard Aral's flank. Then he hears from Laisa that Delia has twice begged off going with her mother to visit Lady Alys, and neatly corners her the next day at a luncheon to tell her that it's such a pity one can't talk to the dead, but he does have a few tidbits of information for her. Delia duly informs Simon of Gregor's message, and then carries one back, without ever having to admit that she knows Simon is alive, because Gregor and Simon are both so elliptical like that and Delia is more than capable of playing along. And then other mumblety mumble stuff happens and there's a showdown in a dark house in which Alys and Simon are both after the villain and meet in the silent shadows and she avoids shooting him with her plasma arc, and her wordless reaction to absorbing his living self is to hit him in the face and then hug him fiercely, and then they catch the villain together and they and Gregor are all very ruthless somehow, and the day is saved, and what the plan is for dealing with the Secret I have noooo idea.

So thanks, brain. I really appreciate the crack.

And now back to the Dante and the sticky flags, before I hie me to bed.
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Well, if I'm going to post here at all I may as well do the Year in Fic meme that's going around.

Fic wot I wrote in 2011

Oxford History Department
Whited Out (crossover with Narnia)
Plus a stalled WIP doubleheader longfic, because Kivrin/Dunworthy suddenly looked a lot more plausible after All Clear...if I can ever figure out how to write a Willis-like plot.

White Collar
Ten-Story Interlude
Queequeg and Ishmael Road Trip in New Jersey
A Corner on the Limbo Market
Little Ransoms
The Case of the Non-Floral Present
Meet Me Tuesday
Begging for Lightning

Vorkosigan Saga
Five Fast-Penta Interrogations from the Works of William Shakespeare (crossover with...wait for it...Shakespeare)

That's about 50,500 words total.

Looking back, did you write more fic than you thought you would this year, less, or about what you'd predicted?

Well, hell, I added two fandoms, so I not only wrote more fic than I expected, I wrote fic for characters I didn't even know in 2010. Fifty thousand words is not very much compared to my output in years previous, but considering that I started the year saying I was retired, it's rather...a lot.

What pairing/genre/fandom did you write that you would never have predicted in January?

In January I think I had a sneaking suspicion I would not be able to resist writing White Collar fic forever. Then [personal profile] hedda62 made me finally read Bujold, and, er, thirty thousand words later.... But none of my fics this year went far outside my usual MO, which is: missing-scene fic, parody, and short comedy, for the most part. Fortunately I managed to avoid epic this year, thanks be to God.

What's your favorite story of the year? Not the most popular, but the one that makes you happiest?

Oh, I'm pretty happy with "Anamnesis." But before that, I was pretty happy with "Queequeg and Ishmael."

Did you take any writing risks this year? What did you learn from them?

Actually, I think I throttled back on risk this year. I didn't post anything that I didn't have a sense of control over, and I didn't post any WIPs. Delayed gratification is not my strong suit, but if that's a risk, holding off posting "Anamnesis" till it was finished paid off, I think.

From my past year of writing, what was your...
Best story

"Anamnesis" was the best. Of the shortfics, I think "The Case of the Non-Floral Present" was the most elegant.

Story Most Underappreciated by the Universe

Well, I'm sorry "Grip" didn't get more attention at the time of its posting; it was my first effort in the WC-verse. But White Collar fandom and Vorkosiverse fandom are way more responsive to my fics than Buffy fandom was, so the appreciation I have gotten for my fics this year rather felt like an embarrassment of riches. Or maybe *eyeroll* it's writing arcane OC-riddled epics that's the problem. Maybe I should write one of those for the Vorkosiverse fandom, in the name of scientific inquiry.

Most fun

I giggled helplessly while writing "Queequeg and Ishmael," but "Begging for Lightning" is basically a tag-fic written on IM with [personal profile] kivrin and is supremely silly, so I'll pick that one.

Most disappointing

Well, I'm a bit disappointed that I couldn't get my plotting act together for the OHD doubleheader.

Most sexy

Gosh, I don't know. I wrote nearly all gen this year. It'd have to be "Anamnesis" by default.

Story With a Single Sexy Moment

I'm pretty proud of that thing with the pearl hairpins in "Anamnesis," I have to say. What most people don't know is that I borrowed that idea from the universe of my regency fantasy epic romance which will never see the light of day because it is, in a word, juvenilia, invented when I was fourteen. That's...er, a long time ago now. Erk. Anyway, it works even better for Simon and Alys than it did for my original characters, so I am pleased. Recycling from the slush drawer: it's a Good Thing. And kinda hot, if I say it myself.

Hardest to Write

I wrote nothing that was difficult to squeeze out, this year. Thanks be to God! After "Florentine Politics" I needed the break from a) plots that proliferate b) scenes that refuse to germinate and c) characters who refuse to cooperate. When the OHD longfics stopped presenting solutions to their own problems, I left them severely alone, thus preserving my sanity. "Anamnesis" involved some logistical challenges, but nothing insurmountable.

"Holy crap, that's wrong, even for you" story

See above re: not taking risks. Also, I tend to be fairly morally conventional as a rule. People seem to read my fic anyway. :)

Most Unintentionally Telling


Do you have any fanfic or profic goals for the New Year?

It might be nice to actually tackle one of my original projects, but I fear this is not going to be the year. Maybe I'll revisit the OHD-fic and see if I can get a better handle on it. And since Simon Illyan appears to have eaten my brain (so to speak), there may be more longfic with him in my future. I don't know. Let's see what happens.

And now...I'd better learn how to make a Dreamwidth cut-tag. Next post, I promise.


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