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General things

Hello Yuletide writer! Thank you for writing for me, and I hope you have lots of fun, and that no bears head your way.


My AO3 name: [archiveofourown.org profile] leaflitter

Additional background: my 2011 DYW letter, my narrative kinks.

An incomplete list of things I love: people who have tough relationships who make them work anyway, as you will see from some of my requests! I like any of world-building, plotty stories and character pieces, so you have a few doors to choose from I hope. In terms of relationships, I'm happy with stories from gen through to explicit.

Things I'd prefer your fic avoid: non-consensual sex, adult/teen or adult/child romantic or sexual relationships, on-screen torture. I'd prefer you avoid crossovers with canons I don't know. I've spent too much time in/near hospitals this year to enjoy a fic that revolves around illness as a plot point (characters being ill or disabled: all good, I just don't want it to solely drive the plot).

Hainish Cycle — Ursula Le Guin

Background: this is a series of speculative fiction novels. They don't share characters or even worlds much, so for my request you could get by with reading the novella "Forgiveness Day", which is in Four Ways to Forgiveness, and some Wikipedia etc background on the series.

My request:

Post-canon Solly and Teyeo fic, be it on Werel, or when she is sent to Yeowe, Terra or Hain later in her career. I am especially interested in the time dynamic in this universe: Solly has travelled across space several times and seen bits of 1000 years of history personally, and lived through revolutions. Teyeo has not, and does not have a cultural background that led him to anticipate any such life, until he marries and travels with her. How does she do it? How does he do it? Conversely, how do they draw on their commonalities, as people who have seen their societies upended?
The time dilation dynamics are one of my favourite parts of the Hainish Cycle, and they're often underexplored, with a few exceptions. ("Fisherman of the Inland Sea", for example, goes into it, as does "Winter's King".) Space travellers like Solly outlive their entire family by a few generations, and wake after their trip to find hundreds of years of new history have happened at their destination. It's a dynamic I'm endlessly interested in exploring.

I definitely don't need worldbuilding to be happy with a "Forgiveness Day" fic, but if you wanted to do some, then the fact that Teyeo will learn the fate of Werel, and could even talk to them in real-time via ansible, several hundred years after the Four Ways novellas, is a good opportunity.

I also love that in some of her recent Hainish works (Four Ways to Forgiveness, and The Telling, which is about a different world and doesn't impact this request), Le Guin is dealing with massive cultural disruption in a culture that has only recently encountered the Ekumen. Teyeo is one of the few Four Ways characters who didn't especially want to see a revolution on Werel, so that aspect is interesting too. So is the question of how or whether his prejudices about extraverted behaviour, overt sexual displays, or even interpersonal intimacies, change following his marriage and travels.

One note: I'd rather that the fic stuck with the (short!) description of their post-canon life that Le Guin gives.

Looking for Alibrandi — Melina Marchetta

Background: this is an early 1990s Australian YA novel. It's the story of Josephine Alibrandi, an Italian-Australian seventeen year old dealing with her final year of high school and two generations of family history revelations all at once.

My request:

Post-canon Josie and Ivy fic. I think this is one of the major unresolved relationships of the novel: they're warily allied at the end of the novel, but we know basically nothing about Ivy's inner life and whether it is compatible with an ongoing relationship with Josie. All we know is that John Barton thought that Josie and Ivy were alike.

I would be thrilled with either femslash or gen. It could be set in their time at university or as recently as 2012 if you like (they'd be in their late 30s now), or anywhere in between.

A selection of Ivy things I think weren't explored in the novel which you could use if you like:
- why she is a "confused being?" (John Barton's description to Josie)
- her Catholicism: is it rote, is it deeply held, other?
- her politics: her family by the sounds moves in Liberal (conservative!) circles. Is that true of her too?
- she isn't actually shown as having particularly close girl/women friends: it sounds like she relies on her family's social status for a circle. Is she lonely?
There are a few things I love about this book. Partly it's its Australian-ness. Partly it's the optimistic view of family and friendships: that they can be really tough and full of pain and long-felt hurt, but that it's possible to move to a better place (usually, because you find out the truth). But Josie and Ivy are only just getting there at the end of the novel, and mostly it's because John Barton talked to Josie about Ivy's insecurities. (I suppose there's a prompt of sorts there: what did he tell Ivy, about Josie?) In repairing her relationships with the older generation throughout the novel, Josie finds that she's grown apart somewhat from her friends and Jacob feels he's grown apart from her. There's not a similar move YET towards closer and also more adult relationships with her age peers.

Looper (2012)

Background: this is a recent release sci-fi thriller, featuring 2040s assassins of a kind contracted with an entity in the 2070s who sends its prisoners back in time to be excecuted.

My request:

Pre- or post-movie gen fic about Sara and Cid's mother-son relationship. Either point of view (or third person, etc) is fine.

Some things you could explore if you want a specific hook:
- any conflict Sara has between caring for Cid and forgiving him for her sister's death
- Sara's own TK powers and their relationship to Cid's
- what was up with her smoking an imaginary cigarette?
- Sara is, presumably, scared of him at times.
- more of Cid's feelings about a formerly neglectful mother who he distrusts, and who hides from him inside a safe when he gets angry (however good her reasons!)

I'm all good with the canon levels of grit and violence, but I don't want Sara/Cid incest (even implied) or 100% unrelenting stark tragedy.
I had fun with this movie. I'm a sucker for complex mother-child relationships. And telepathic/telekinetic powers! And time travel! So really this movie was pretty much my crack this year and it's got a lot of holes to shoot fic through.

You might look at my narrative kinks and think "But Leaf Litter, you said 'no ambivalent motherhood'. What is your problem? Argh." Well, let's call that one off for this request. Mostly the ambivalent motherhood I don't like is reading tons about modern-day wealthy women who are ambivalent about motherhood. I will happily read it for Sara. Ignore my past narrow-mindedness!

Playing Beatie Bow — Ruth Park

Background: this is a early 1980s Australian YA novel. It's another time-travel canon: a then-contemporary 14 year old Sydney girl finds herself in the 1870s, intertwined with the fortunes of the Tallisker and Bow families, thanks to an old family prophecy.

My request:

1980s or later era fic about what happens next. In particular, the Gift in Natalie Crown and any other girls in her generation.

Some ideas: how is the Gift is expressed and understood in a family that is (apparently) more-or-less cut off from its Orkney cultural heritage by this time? What is it like having it in a society where it would seem even more like mental illness than it did in the 1870s? What's it like for Abigail, having seen it before, to see it again? Or is Robert Bow wrong in thinking that Natalie has the Gift?

I didn't request Beatie as a character in this to give you a choice about whether to use further time travel/communication across time, but that doesn't mean that I loathe her or anything. Feel free to include the 1870s era characters if it suits your plot.
Per my Looper request also, I'm a sucker for time travel, and for narrative loops like the recurrence of the Gift. And it's another novel with a strong sense of place. Yay! I always wished Ruth Park would write a sequel, but she never did.


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