Dear [community profile] yuletide Author,

Nov. 14th, 2008 02:58 pm
alixtii: Kara Zor-El stands over a fallen Kara Zor-L. Cropped so that Powergirl's chest and Supergirl's midriff are in frame. (Supergirl)
[personal profile] alixtii
(N.B.: Portions of this letter have been lifted from last year's letter.)

Thank you for signing up to write a story for me! You're one of 7 people (one of whom was me) who offered to write for Tom Sawyer, one of 9 people (one of whom was me) who offered to write for The Secret Garden musicalverse, one of 9 people (one of whom was me) who offered to write for Heinlein's multiverse, and/or one of 9 people (one of whom was me) who offered to write for Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?, and I love you for that alone.

If you check out my userinfo, you'll find a 'thon policy which implores that you be true first and foremost to the prompt and your muse, and to consider whether I'd like a story as, at most, a secondary concern. I stand by that, but I also recognize there is a sense that a [ profile] yuletide story is explicitly a gift in a way which most 'thon fics aren't, so feel free to surf through this journal to get a feel for me, and here's a little bit more, if you are interested, to help you understand how I relate to the specific texts and characters in the fandoms I've requested and what I might like.

I'm drawn to what I call will-to-poweriness, the adolescent fantasy, the desire to exceed oneself that also draws me to things like superhero comics (one of my fandoms is, indeed, X-Men) and fantasy shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which is my main fandom). My especial kink is children and teenagers who prove themselves to be the equals (or betters) to adults because they are just that awesome. All of this comes through in my requests, I think, although not quite so much as in years past. There is a clear will-to-poweriness in Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?, most of all in Carmen herself, of course, beyond good and evil, doing whatever she wants whenever she wants because she can, stealing things for no good reason except as an expression of her superiority, the former ACME agent engaged in a perpetual game of cat and mouse. But also, on one level, in Zach and Ivy, the young (!!) ACME agents who pursue her, and on another level, in Player, just as much a teenager, radically empowered within the world of the game she plays and manipulates, Carmen's eternal antagonist.

Likewise, Laz and Lor always get the better of their elders. Mary Lennox is one of my paradigm cases of a radically autonomous female child. And what is the appeal of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn if not as part of just this type of fantasy?

This, actually, is where my interest in incest comes from: with these radically autonomized figures no real problematization of consent is possible, an argument I make more fully in this post from 2006. But don't feel like you have to write incest if you've matched up with me on Heinlein or Twain; I'd much prefer experiencing the characters as you see them behaving in-character as you see them than twisted out of shape to force them into bed with each other. The most important thing is to preserve the canon dynamics--I have my trusty 'cest goggles for everything else. Although if you throw me a bone in making it subtexty, that's wonderful too.

Although, really, Laz/Lor is pretty much canon, no? But there is a way in (my corners of, I don't know whence you hail) fandom that we use sex as a metaphor for emotional intimacy, so that twincest becomes the deepest, strongest type of interpersonal communion imaginable--and this is the dynamic I'm looking for with Tom/Mary and Laz/Lor and even Mary/Neville, the way their strongest bond is to each other, and if you feel most comfortable providing that bond in a non-sexual way that's still absolutely wonderful.

In Where on Earth I'm fascinated by the way that the relationship between the Player and Carmen so easily reads as slashy, and by the level of investment they've each placed in their antagonism. I'm interested in finding out more about the way in which Player relates to what is essentially a character in a video game, and the way in which Carmen, as a liminal entity, relates to the Player. And I'm interested, although significantly less so than I am in character issues, in how the whole edifice works on a meta-level: not only does Carmen herself recognize Player's existence in the framing scenes, but so do Zach, Ivy, and the Chief within the game/cartoon itself.

Nota Bene: Player was deliberately androgyne in the series--she is, on some level, Everyman--and was played by both male and female actors in the course of its run, but Player has always been female in my head, even before I myself had a sexuality as such. And one of the things I'm looking for is the shift from general to specific, away from Player as Everyman to Player as one specific young woman playing a video game with her own life story in need of telling.

My favorite character in Tom Sawyer has always been Becky Thatcher, and I've always been incredibly invested in Tom's wooing of her, identifying with him in his lust. (Okay, I'm projecting; the canonical Tom's desires may well have been more innocent. But pre-teens turn into teens, nyet?) I'm also interested in Mary, Tom's cousin and adopted sister. I'd love to see these characters fleshed out in a way which was fun, sexy, and sweet.

A lot of people interested in this fandom may well be interested in Tom/Huck. That's not where my interests lie, but I don't have a problem with it: if you want to write an m/m/f threesome, go ahead. Just please don't let the m/m relationship eclipse the m/f and f/f relationships; we get enough of that in canon.

With The Secret Garden, I'm mostly interested in how the Mary and Dr. Craven go from the adversarial relationship we last see them in to the one they will have to inhabit after the end of the play. I think one plausible direction is a slow-burning romance, but there are certainly others and however you want to show the two of them interacting is up to you. Although, again, in the absence of text subtext is always welcome.

I have less to say about Heinlein. I love the books (my favorite book ever is Time Enough for Love), love all the characters but Laz and Lor most of all, and would cherish the chance to get to spend some more time with them.

Thank you again for writing a story for me. Be true to your own muse, and I'm sure I'll love the result!

Yours in La Mancha,

Episkopos Reverend Alixtii O'Krul V, TRL
Church of St. Jesu the Heretic, Discordian

(no subject)

Date: 2008-11-14 08:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Nice to read your writing again! Where ya been?


Date: 2012-12-23 03:25 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
@Skud: You can't propagate fedoerm by trying to deny a community the fedoerm to set its own culture. Change is directional, often it's easier to change for the worse than to change for the better. On top of that, the definition better is highly subjective.You make a lot of very, very good points. There is a huge untapped pool of potential contributors who are repelled by the traditional culture of OSS projects, and therefore an opportunity for community leaders who can establish different types of cultures to significantly grow the OSS pond.I think you weaken your arguments by framing them in terms of criticism of what's established rather than simply as an opportunity to create something new. You pick a fight where there doesn't need to be one, and in my opinion hurt your own cause in the process. You get people like me saying things like I wouldn't want to be part of that and community leaders saying we have a strict meritocracy, and therefore cannot be sexist because gender is not a form of merit. These reactions cast an undeserved negative air on projects that have the all the values you advocate, while simply calling attention to the success of those projects and the way the culture contributes would most likely produce a positive reaction from the other communities.

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