[community profile] yuletide letter!

Oct. 1st, 2016 10:19 pm
deep_dark_waters: (Default)
[personal profile] deep_dark_waters
Hello! I'm Deepdarkwaters on Ao3 and Tumblr and ambrotypes on Twitter for any recip-stalking needs.

Short version: I'm easy to please and happy to be completely surprised, as long as you don't include the couple of DNWs mentioned below. If you've got something in mind already then do it your way! These are just suggestions - I will honestly love anything about these people. Any rating, any gender pairing if you want to do romance/smut (and if you do, my yes list from the last Smut Swap tagset is here if that's helpful, and my Yuleporn comment is here).

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; petty arguments; unreliable narrators; misunderstandings; 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; awkward imperfect sex where everyone's still having the best time ever; fight scenes; huge scale destruction; that creeping sense of dread horror rather than torture porn horror; ridiculous things played completely straight for comedy purposes; kissing.

Please no: noncon or anything to do with hanging.

19th Century CE Danish Literature RPF
Hans Christian Andersen

MY AWKWARD LOVE, Andersen. He's a desperate wretched mess. I love him. I'll flail for nine straight hours about my feelings for him if anyone's willing to listen, but I'll spare you most of it here. Short version: I wish he'd lived in a kinder time that allowed him to be happier, but I'm glad he had at least a few little chances at happiness even though they didn't last. Please write me anything you've got in you to write for him, I will love it. Anything about the autobiographical nature of a lot of his stories. Anything about his dirty diary full of black crosses and his difficult feelings regarding sex. Anything you want.

ODAO extra characters I wanted to nominate but couldn't figure out how to corral into a single sensible fandom name, if any of these relationships appeal:

Harald Scharff: handsome principal ballet dancer with the Royal Danish Theatre. From his Wikipedia page:

In his diary entry for 2 January 1862, Andersen noted that Scharff "bounded up to me; threw himself round my neck and kissed me!" In other entries for January 1862, he described Scharff as "deeply devoted… very intimate… ardent and loving". In February, the poet observed that Scharff was "intimate and communicative" and in March he noted "a visit from Scharff... exchanged with him all the little secrets of the heart; I long for him daily." Later in March he wrote, "Scharff very loving... I gave him my picture." Scharff gave a silver toothbrush engraved with his name and the date to Andersen on his 57th birthday. In the winter of 1861–62, the two men entered a full-blown love affair that brought Andersen "joy, some kind of sexual fulfillment and a temporary end to loneliness." He was not discreet in his conduct with Scharff, and displayed his feelings much too openly. Onlookers regarded the relationship as improper and ridiculous. In his diary for March 1862, Andersen referred to this time in his life as his "erotic period".

Big age difference, affectionate lovers, and a handsome ballet dancer. It is everything I love. Andersen's story The Snowman is supposedly about his pining for Scharff.

Jenny Lind: opera singer Andersen became infatuated with and proposed to. From Wikipedia:

One of his stories, "The Nightingale", was written as an expression of his passion for Jenny Lind and became the inspiration for her nickname, the "Swedish Nightingale". Andersen was often shy around women and had extreme difficulty in proposing to Lind. When Lind was boarding a train to go to an opera concert, Andersen gave Lind a letter of proposal. Her feelings towards him were not the same; she saw him as a brother, writing to him in 1844: "farewell ... God bless and protect my brother is the sincere wish of his affectionate sister, Jenny".

Charles Dickens: Andersen was a big fan of Dickens (after their first meeting he wrote in his diary "I was so happy to see and speak to England's now living writer, whom I love the most") and they became friends, but then OOPS disaster a decade later when Dickens invited Andersen to stay at his home for a short while and Andersen just kind of missed/ignored all the hints that he should leave for five endless weeks. When he finally went home, Dickens totally ghosted him and poor old Andersen couldn't understand why his letters weren't being answered any more. This is my favourite account of that outstayed welcome, but it would be great to see something slightly less flippant. Bonus points for showing Dickens getting really aggravated by it all, because I don't like Dickens :P

DNW: Andersen-bashing of any kind. I know he was often peculiar and annoying and didn't really have a brilliant understanding of when people were done with him getting in their way, but that's really not what I'd like to read about unless it's done with a bit of compassion. (Subjective, I knooow - anon commenting is allowed on my DW if you've got any questions.)

Ballet Shoes - Noel Streatfeild
Pauline Fossil, Petrova Fossil, Posy Fossil

The book focused pretty closely on their lives growing up in London, so I'm mostly interested in the futures hinted for them right at the end of the story (and the bits we get later in Curtain Up and The Painted Garden if you've read those). I'd love to see something about these three sisters who grew up so close going off into the world separately to tackle these extremely different, difficult, fascinating careers (Hollywood actress, pilot, ballerina). Things must have been so different for them all in 1930s/1940s California, London, and Czechoslovakia (then California) with the effects of the war. I'd love to see how Pauline or Posy get on with being so far away from home, or how Petrova feels about being the one left behind to live with a man she doesn't know. Who are the people they make friends with? Is there an older actress/pilot/dancer looking out for the new girl, and that turns to friendship or more? Or somebody working a different part of the same industry - Pauline making friends with a screenwriter or the girl her age who runs errands for the director on set? Petrova's flight instructor, or another mechanic at the aerodrome? Manoff's costume designer who spends all the rehearsals sketching Posy and planning beautiful things for her to wear on stage after the company flees to America, or Manoff himself and how he gets on with his new ingenue? Focus on only one of the sisters (whoever you like best - I'd love to read about any of them), or two or all three, whatever you prefer. For Pauline especially a RPS crossover could really work if you're into that idea... I imagined Pauline/Katharine Hepburn while writing this prompt for a previous exchange and almost gave myself a nosebleed. (Prefer no explicit sex for any characters under 16, but teen romance is more than ok.)

Ballets Russes RPF
Any characters: Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Diaghilev, Vaslav Nijinsky

I don't even know where to begin. I would love to read ANYTHING ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING about any of these guys in whatever combination and setting you want.

Something about the Paris riot? The conductor of the premiere, Pierre Monteux, was told by one of his double-bass players that “many a gentleman’s shiny top hat or soft fedora was ignominiously pulled down by an opponent over his eyes and ears, and canes were brandished like menacing implements of combat all over the theatre” is just the best and most beautiful report of a riot imaginable. This whole thing is a bit ridiculous and a lot fascinating and weirdly thrilling. Why don't we get riots over ballet and classical music any more? (Note: I know the stories about that night are all exaggerated to hell, but I don't care - go as ott or as realistic as you like. Legend and truth are both as good as each other sometimes.)

Or something more focused on the music and dance with Stravinsky and/or Nijinsky, and the sort of symbiosis of creator/performer needed to make all these glorious things possible. Or the physical difficulties of ballet... I would happily read a 1000 word intricately detailed description of a single leap or turn if that's what you wanted to write. Or something about the changing state of politics and society and fashions at the time they were all working. Diaghilev's background, like his love of music and how he wasn't good enough to make a career of it - how much lingering frustration was there about all that? How did it affect the work he ended up doing later in the theatre, or his relationship with brilliant Stravinsky? Diaghilev and Nijinsky were lovers, how did that come about? They didn't stay happy, but were they happy for a while? Or was their relationship purely physical?

DNW: focus on Nijinsky's deteriorating mental health, if you're writing about him. Of course don't avoid the topic completely if you want to include it, just please don't have that as the main focus and please nothing about his time in asylums. (Recommend The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky, but it's incredibly upsetting and difficult to read.)

Dracula - Bram Stoker
Dracula, Weird Sisters

As bloody and violent and explicit as you like. Killing and feeding? Go for it! Demonic mind games? YES. Backstory about the sisters' relationship with Dracula and/or who they were while they were alive? PLEASE! How do they all interact when it's just the sisters and Dracula without Jonathan there? I love them in all the film adaptations too but they're always a bit generic soft-porn instead of horror: what I really like with Stoker type vampires is when they're beautiful and bewitching but also properly terrifying on a deep, inhuman, uncanny valley type level. I'm not really sure what I'm asking for but I'm excited to see anything you want to create for them!

DNW: Please no non-con sex (obviously non-con murder is fine though...) and nothing to do with hanging. Strangulation/choking/whatever is ok, it's very specifically hanging that I have a problem with.

Killers Kill; Dead Men Die - Annie Leibovitz
The Aristocrat (Helen Mirren), The Maiden Aunt (Judi Dench)

SO HAPPY to see this nominated! I love this entire photoshoot but this is my favourite, I'm obsessed. I've got it framed and standing on my kitchen dresser like they're family members or something. Everything about it is perfect: they're both so beautiful, and there's so much of the characters' personalities somehow coming through in this single image that I sort of feel like I've watched a whole film about them already. (I would sell my soul for this film - HOLLYWOOD, GET ON IT.)

Caption for the picture:

"THE GETAWAY. INT./EXT. MULHOLLAND DRIVE - NIGHT Cue swirling, maddening violins. Tilda Lydeker (Helen Mirren), aunt to Laura [Kirsten Dunst] and Rebecca [Naomi Watts] Lydeker, paramour to three-fourths of Beverly Hills circa 1929, and the brains behind the city's third-largest citrus fortune, must drive, and she must drive fast. She knows just how lemonade is made in this town, and she knows Oscar [Bruce Willis] learned the tricks of her trade all too well, and she knows how it all went sour. Oscar may have been just some low-life private dick, and he may have been too free with his fists, but sometimes a woman needs a man who's man enough to remind her that she's a woman--that is, if she's woman enough to take it. And Tilda could take it. Oh, how she could take it. She took it, and she took it, and she took it again. And then once more for laughs.
Along for the ride is Tilda's older half-sister, Alma (Judi Dench), issue of their father's youthful dalliance--or was it something more sinister?--with the beautiful daughter of migrant citrus pickers. They say Alma's "slow," but, like her half-sister, when it comes to trouble she's awfully swift on the pickup."

Sooo there's a lot I like and a lot I don't about this backstory, feel free to ignore it entirely if you want! ("Sometimes a woman needs a man who's man enough" HONESTLY.) Stylistically though, this is the sort of pulpy noir I would looove to read for them. Something a bit ridiculous and overwrought and cliched with snappy or innuendo-laden noir dialogue. Bonus points for a screeching car chase and fistfights/gunfights with whoever's after them. Also ODAO but I definitely ship them whether you make them sisters or not.

DNW: if you're writing romance or smut, please don't age them down and write something set decades ago. I really want to read them exactly as they are in the picture.

Symbolist Poets RPF
Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Verlaine

WHERE DO I START. These human disasters are my favourite melodrama of all time. They were both terrible people in just about every way possible (except their genius with words) and I know 100% that I'd despise them if I knew them personally, but I can't get enough of reading about them. They're endlessly fascinating to me. I'll let this article in the Independent explain why:

Arthur Rimbaud first met Paul Verlaine in 1871. Rimbaud was 17, Verlaine 27. Both were brilliant, volatile and utterly committed to the quest for the new, in art and life. Rimbaud was a young poet in search of a patron. Verlaine was a young poet in search of distraction - not least from his miserable marriage to Mathilde, whom he regularly hit. Verlaine's brother-in-law described Rimbaud as "a vile, vicious, disgusting, smutty little schoolboy", but Verlaine found him an "exquisite creature". He didn't seem to mind that Rimbaud rarely washed, left turds under one friend's pillow, and put sulphuric acid in the drink of another; not to mention that he hacked at his wrists with a penknife and stabbed him in the thigh. But by then, he was in love. The two of them ran off to Brussels and then London.

[. . .]

At other times, their drinking was less productive. They fought like cats, sometimes with knives rolled in towels. "As soon as mutilation had been achieved," according to Rimbaud's biographer Graham Robb,"they put the knives away and went to the pub."

Their relationship ended with a slap in the face with a wet fish. When Verlaine came home one day with a fish and a bottle of oil, Rimbaud sniggered. Furious at being mocked, Verlaine whacked him with the fish, then stormed off to Brussels and threatened suicide. After pawning his lover's clothes, Rimbaud followed him and, in a Brussels hotel, they had their final row. With the gun he'd planned to kill himself with, Verlaine shot Rimbaud in the arm. He was jailed for two years.

AWFUL. I'm obsessed. Please write me something infuriating. Knife fights or screaming arguments or violent fucking involving both. I absolutely believe they were in love (it's not a very good translation, but look at Rimbaud's letter begging Verlaine to come back when he left) and that they had plenty of happy, fun times (have you seen the Arsehole Sonnet they wrote together basically to troll a guy who'd written poems to all the other parts of his lady love's body except that one??), but it's the yelling kicking biting stabbing sort of love I'm dying to see for them more than anything.
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