deep_dark_waters: (Vincent Price)
[personal profile] deep_dark_waters
Hello, Yuletide author! I'm Deepdarkwaters on Ao3 as well.

This is going to get a bit tl;dr so I'll do the short version first: I'm easy to please and happy to be completely surprised, as long as you don't include any of the few DNWs mentioned below. If you've got a story in mind then write it your way! If not... get a cup of tea and read on for some rambling prompts :D

General fic loves: (probably not applicable to every fandom requested, but just so you've got an overview of some of the things I enjoy reading in whatever combination) worldbuilding/exploration of the canon world; dialogue; description; competence (someone utterly absorbed in a job or a craft and doing it really well - swoon); petty arguments; a sense of wonder; smart girls and women; unreliable narrators; found families; really old comfy friendships; really old comfy friendships that accidentally/unexpectedly become more; clumsy inappropriate humour; backstories; melancholy; loonngg dragged out UST that feels like it'll never end and then ENDS GLORIOUSLY; any gender pairing if you want to write romance. I have no expectations or demands with regards to shipfic vs. gen - please write whatever makes you happiest or makes the most sense for you, because I'll honestly be equally as happy with either.

Please don't write me: sex that's not unambiguously consensual and between people aged 16 or over (possible exception: Elizabeth Parker because I'm pretty sure she's talking about being raped, but please no graphic detail); kink (not because I don't EVER like it, just because I'm not feeling it for these fandoms); anything to do with execution, especially hanging. Please avoid!

Also I realise this makes me weird, but: I have this absurd phobia about Big Things. I know it's sort of nuts, especially with one of my fandoms featuring massive tripods striding about. It's so difficult to explain exactly what's going to set me off feeling all sweaty and sick because often I don't even know myself until it's happening, so just wanted to mention it - Martian tripods are ok, but otherwise please avoid including anything like oversized statues or super high bridges just in case. It's so ridiculous and I'm sure it'll never come up in fic anyway, but I feel stupidly paranoid that the one time I don't mention it will be the time I get 1000 words of someone marvelling at the size of Christ the Redeemer. SHUDDER.

Rating: I'm happy with anything from G to NC-17, whatever works best for you, although if you want to write porn I'd prefer the "with plot" variety just because my fandoms are all quite situation-based without there being any ready-made pairings. That's not to say I'm expecting a massive plotty epic, of course - I'd be just as happy with a smaller character piece or a missing scene or anything.

Gender/pairings: In my prompts below I'm using whatever pronouns were used in the original texts or whatever I've aways imagined, but feel free to switch that around if you prefer something else. Most of them are worldbuildy type fandoms anyway so characterise however you like. (The only one I'd definitely like NOT to be changed is Elizabeth Parker because 1) she's a real person, and 2) a lot of her problems and her mode of expression seem fairly specific to being a woman of that era.)

FANDOMS (alphabetically, not order of preference):

Conscientious Objector - Edna St. Vincent Millay | Poem text
Narrator, Brother, Death

I know a good poem stands on its own as a perfect little gem but I've always wanted more of this one. There's so much possibility for storytelling here because it could take place during any war, any place, any time, on a different planet even. Not wanting to kill is a universal, timeless idea. Who is the narrator? I've always thought of them as a woman (unshakable tendency to visualise the poet whenever they say "I", oops) but depending on when you set the story it might make more sense for them not to be. I'm happy to read whatever gender you like. Who are they talking to, who is this "Brother", what are the circumstances? Is Death an actual person (or entity or whatever) to be interacted with, or a metaphor for war and wartime leaders? Is it even happening during a real historical war? It could be centuries in the future, or in some AU or fantasy world or anything you feel inspired to create. The bit that matters is the narrator's calm pride, and their determination not to cause anyone harm. Happy ending, tragic ending, ambiguous ending? I don't mind, but I'll be rooting for them the whole way <3

(My other favourites by Millay: Apostrophe to Man - which reads almost like a companion piece to this one, in a way - and Interim)

I shall die, but
that is all that I shall do for Death.
I hear him leading his horse out of the stall;
I hear the clatter on the barn-floor.
He is in haste; he has business in Cuba,
business in the Balkans, many calls to make this morning.
But I will not hold the bridle
while he clinches the girth.
And he may mount by himself:
I will not give him a leg up.



Elizabeth Parker's Sampler | Sampler at the V&A Museum and I've transcribed it here because it's difficult to read on the jpeg
Elizabeth Parker

This is shattering. If you're ever in the V&A museum please please look out for it. It's one thing reading the words, but actually seeing all those thousands of tiny crooked red crosses on the linen is like a punch in the stomach. It's sort of a visual metaphor for her desperation, it's so fascinating and so upsetting. Raphael cartoons, pft. This is the thing I'll always remember from there.

ANYWAY. There's a bit more information about Elizabeth on the V&A page and in Material Memories (link leads to the chapter on her but you have to sign up for a free trial to read it, ugh) but there's not enough. Hers is one of those stories that gets under your skin so much that you keep remembering it at random times and just really really hoping things got better for her :( Please fix it! Or if you'd rather not extrapolate a happier story for her, tell me how the sampler happened. She says she's stitching it because she can't write - does she mean that literally? Did she dictate and copy someone else's ink words with her needle and thread? If so, who's that person? What's their relationship like? Is it punishment (UGH) like schoolkids having to write lines? If it's not literal, what did she actually mean? There's that sort of breathless stream of consciousness feel to the words I cannot imagine how long this thing took. I'm fascinated by that mismatch of toiling for hours and hours on something that feels like a spontaneous cry for help, and the spelling errors throughout, and the haunting way it finishes, and how utterly horrible some religious beliefs are. It's all so vivid and completely heartbreaking. I wouldn't usually want to ask for something that bothers me this much, but... tell me everything. Fix-it fic especially appreciated, but honestly - everything. Anything.

God be merciful to me a sinner But oh how can I expect mercy who went on in sin until Dr W. remind me of my wickedness For with shame I own I returned to thee O God because I had nowhere else to go How can such repentance as mine be sincere What will become of my soul


Treeful of Starling - Hawksley Workman (Album) | Album on Spotify and incomplete Youtube playlist (missing tracks 2 and 3)
The Scientists

For an album with only nine songs on it, this somehow feels like a huge endless epic. It's a concept album telling the story of life and love from pre-civiliation to post-apocalypse to presumed re-civilisation... I realise it sounds sort of wanky written out like that, I'm annoying myself because I can't find the right words for how powerful and affecting this album is. The lyrics are so deceptively simple, almost like nursery rhymes sometimes, or like evolution told as a fairy tale or a bedtime story, but you'll find yourself with lines still going round in your head weeks later. The final song in particular, Ice Age, features the narrator imagining the scientists of the future finding the lovers from previous songs still entwined in a glacier ten thousand years after their deaths, and that song keeps on building and building up from nothing like Rock & Roll Suicide at the end of Ziggy Stardust and I CAN'T TAKE THE FEELS. It's wonderful. Also it reminds me of this news story I saw recently and got a bit unnecessary and wobbly about...

I'm requesting the scientists because I've been thinking about that idea for eight years *_* but if there's another song or idea from the album that you want to write instead then go for it! I will honestly be happy to read ANYTHING for this because the only people I know who have even heard the album are the people I've hassled until they listened to it to shut me up. If you offered this and you don't already know me, we should probably get married or something.

When societies crumble and everything's gone
And the cars are all rusted away
When there ain't no more money and there's nothing to buy
When all that we have is the day
When the world becomes silent, no planes in the air
When the voices just gather to sing
When the guns are the fence posts, the cars are the doghouse
And the telephones no longer ring
What of the night with no electrical light?
So what then?
You and the candles will be all that I need



The War of the Worlds - H. G. Wells | Wikisource (with illustrations) and Project Gutenberg
Narrator, Martians

My all time favourite book. It's terrifying. I don't think there's ever been an adaptation into any other medium that's done it justice, because everyone seems obsessed with updating it when actually the thing that gives it such incredible clout in the first place is its idyllic countryside setting and seeing all the chaos and devastation in contrast with the prim Victorian way of life shown before everything kicks off. It's not the same having modern soldiers with belts full of grenades like every other action film ever :( VICTORIAN SCI FI. Why isn't everybody all over this?

The only characters I nominated are the Narrator and the Martians, but feel free to write about any of the others if you like (I was considering the Elphinstowes and the Curate as well, they were the most interesting to me). As for prompts, I'd love to see how the world goes on after the end of the story, either for the Narrator and his wife or more generally. Do the Martians ever come back (in little hazmat suits, carrying hankies)? Or - and I'm not sure exactly how this would work but maybe you've got an idea - maybe you could tell something from the Martians' point of view? I'd love to read anything at all! The only thing I'll beg for is this: please don't "fix" the science with modern knowledge. Old sci-fi is so fascinating to me because yes they're some great stories but also because they're so firmly of their time, they're like glorious little time capsules of every stage of recent scientific discovery and imagination. I'd love to see something in keeping with Wells' era of more limited knowledge but limitless possibility.

Also - so much potential for amazing crossovers! How do Mina and Jonathan/Sherlock and Watson/grown up Alice or Jim Hawkins/Oscar Wilde(?!) fare with the Martians? If you want to write a crossover/fusion type thing I would be all over that. I'm familiar with a lot of Victorian literature, and plenty of modern stuff set around the same time, but even if I don't know your other fandom I'd still be interested in a crossover if there's something you want to write - I get sci-fi disaster fic AND a new fandom, double win :D

Until about midday the Pool of London was an astonishing scene. Steamboats and shipping of all sorts lay there, tempted by the enormous sums of money offered by fugitives, and it is said that many who swam out to these vessels were thrust off with boathooks and drowned. About one o'clock in the afternoon the thinning remnant of a cloud of the black vapour appeared between the arches of Blackfriars Bridge. At that the Pool became a scene of mad confusion, fighting, and collision, and for some time a multitude of boats and barges jammed in the northern arch of the Tower Bridge, and the sailors and lightermen had to fight savagely against the people who swarmed upon them from the riverfront. People were actually clambering down the piers of the bridge from above.

When, an hour later, a Martian appeared beyond the Clock Tower and waded down the river, nothing but wreckage floated above Limehouse.




If I've written less about your fandom than another I promise that does NOT mean I want it any less, just that I had fewer specific things to say. These are all things I really really want to read, none more than any of the others. I'm excited to see your take on whatever fandom we match on :D Have fun!
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