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Dear Yuletide Author, from thelittlestbird:

Thank you! I'm already happy and flattered that you would take the time to write a gift for me.

All of my previous posts about Yuletide are public under my Yuletide tag, so you can see what kinds of stories I've received, written, and liked in the past.


Things I Love
Gen. Strong friendship. Found family. Romance. Bechdel-passing. Smart people getting to show their intelligence; competent people getting to do what they're best at. Stories that replicate the tone and style of the original. Stories about people making discoveries about themselves: discovering their inner strength, discovering that they're in love, discovering the strength of their friendship. Plot. Well-researched history. Dialogue. Casefic.

And, most of all, I love crossovers! If you find inspiration for a crossover, it would be the best Yuletide present. It can be a crossover between two of the fandoms I've requested, or with an outside one.

So, the Sleepy Hollow crew investigates the Being Human werewolves; or Benjamin January and Co. meet up with some of Abbie Mills' ancestors to look into a supernatural mystery. The Librarians discover Hogwarts, or investigate one of the portals from Every Heart a Doorway. (Oh, I so want to see Cassandra interacting with everyone at the school!); or one of the portals leads to Scirland. Josh from Being Human goes on Masterchef or The Great British Bake Off. Or, something of your own inspiration!

Absolute Do Not Want
Explicit sex or violence. Rape, non-con, dubcon. Incest. Humiliation. (Seriously, I can't even watch The Office because humiliation makes me cringe so hard.) Sexual relationships between adults and teens. Violence against children, child abuse, or other children-in-peril. Physical or psychological torture. Misogyny, homophobia, and other bigotry. And please, no 'they act like they hate each other but that's actually because they're in love,' unless that's already been established in canon. I want "no" to mean "no."

Would Rather Not Have
The Five Things structure. Angst. Death. Plotless character studies. AUs. Non-canonical pairings that I haven't specified in my request.

My Requests
Benjamin January . Rose Vitrac January, Dominique Janvier Vieillard, Hannibal Sefton, Olympe Corbier

What I love about this series:
The New Orleans setting: its social complexity, racial diversity, music, history. The emotional authenticity of everyone's strengths and weaknesses. The way it respects the characters' pasts. The complications of friendship and family. The way each mystery is so deeply embedded in the fabric of its society.

I also respect how the series doesn't look away from the legacy of slavery, racism, and trauma, both in the characters' lives and in the wider world. I absolutely understand that some of those elements need to be in this story if it's going to do justice to the original and the historical reality. However, I would strongly prefer a story that is not about racism, slavery, or trauma.

About the characters specifically: I love Dominique's emotional intelligence, unabashed femininity, perceptiveness, and skillful navigation of New Orleans' racial divisions and her own place within them. I love Rose's intellect, gentleness, pragmatism, and the little flashes of daring and bravery that are getting more frequent as time goes on. (The cross-dressing is especially excellent.) I love Hannibal's loyalty, haplessness, accidental charisma, stealth competence, and fast-talking. I love Olympe's confidence and resolve, and the way her magic is always depicted with just enough plausible deniability either way - maybe it's real, maybe it's not.

My first choice is a story in which Rose and Dominique team up to solve a case. Maybe it's while Benjamin is away; maybe it's a case that he can't investigate on his own: just as he takes on cases that other people can't (or won't) investigate, maybe Rose and Dominique have taken on one that Benjamin can't or won't. How do Rose and Dominique work together? What are their detective methods like?

If you want to throw some other characters in there, I'd love to have Olympe join Rose and Dominique's detective league. And Hannibal is always fun - they'll totally need to rescue him, won't they? But mostly, I'd just love something about Rose and Dominique interacting on their own terms.


Lynburn Legacy. Holly Prescott
What I Love About This Series: The witty dialogue - so so much of the witty dialogue! The depiction of strong supportive friendships among girls. The way it doesn't let the characters off the hook when they screw up - it takes hard work to repair broken relationships; and even when people forgive, they don't forget. That it's about saving the world through storytelling, that it's about figuring out how to go on after you discover that your family is deeply flawed, that friendship can be deeper than family.

What I love about Holly: She embodies and defies tropes. She's the ordinary person who suddenly discovers that she's a sorcerer, but she's not a Chosen One; she's just a teenager with a really complicated relationship to her family, her society, and and herself. She's the Pretty Blonde One but she's not a damsel in distress. She's complicated and funny and compassionate and brave and vulnerable and human, and that's wonderful.

I'd love to see more about her conflict with her family, and more exploration of her divided loyalties. What happens to her family after the end of the series? Does she ever reconcile with them? How does she deal with her new powers? Does she ever find a source? Who would it be, and how would they interact?

I love the Holly/Angela romance - I really respect that the book acknowledges the challenges to their relationship and leaves them happy, but maybe not perfect. How would they find happiness in the future? What could help them heal their wounds and grow closer together?


Memoirs of Lady Trent, Natalie, Isabella
What I Love About This Series: Its meticulous worldbuilding - the way each culture almost maps onto something in the real world, but not quite; the way the majority religion in Scirland is based on Judaism; the way that dragons are so deeply woven into the popular imagination. I love that it grapples so intensely with the idea of femininity: what it means to be a woman in a restrictive society; and especially how Isabella and Natalie navigate their society as women who don't fit society's expectations of femininity.

I'd be happy with a story about either Natalie or Isabella.

First choice: something Natalie-centric, set during Voyage of the Basilisk. What is she doing back in Scirland? What is she studying? How is she working on her own career and/or helping advance Isabella's? Or, maybe a story set earlier in her life, before she meets Isabella. What was she like as a child or young teen? How did she get interested in science and engineering?

I'm also always happy with anything to do with Isabella herself: a missing scene from one of the books, or a story about her exploring some new place.

Or, if you'd rather not focus on one character in particular, I'd love a story that expands our view of the world, showing us something new about society, geography, dragons. Maybe something set in Scirland's medieval or early-modern past? How did dragons figure into Scirland's founding myths?


Being Human, Nora, Brynn, Sally, Josh
What I Love About This Show: Found family. Domesticity. The way it always centered around, well, what it meant to be human: eating, loving, making connections.

My requests for this one kind of go in two different directions, either Nora/Brynn or Josh/Sally. So, please don't feel that you need to get them all in if it isn't working.

First choice: Nora/Brynn. I always shipped Nora/Brynn! For me, the most interesting time for Nora's character was when she realized that she really liked being a werewolf, and had to struggle with what that meant. Was she still a good person? Was she still herself? A lot of those struggles and questions were tied up with her relationship with Brynn, because Brynn embraced, encouraged, and accepted Nora's wolf side. I never really believed that Nora killed Brynn - when Nora returned and said that Brynn was dead, I thought that Nora was either mistaken, or lying about Brynn's death for some reason (maybe to protect her?) and kept expecting Brynn to show up again. So I'd like to see a story exploring Nora's conflicted feelings about her wolf nature and her love for Brynn. It could be about what they did when they were offscreen together, and/or what happened to make Nora either believe that Brynn was dead or pretend that she was, and/or what would happen if Brynn came back several years later.

Second choice: Domestic life in the house, especially focusing on Josh and Sally. I loved the little domestic moments of roommate-hood: Josh cooking, Aidan organizing, Sally hovering. I especially liked the show's running theme of cooking/eating as it relates to humanity: things like Josh's need to cook even though he's the only one who eats, and Aidan's glee in food when he was briefly human. Maybe something fluffy like Josh cooking for Chanukah at the house? I always mildly shipped Josh/Sally, so that would make me extra happy.


The Librarians, Cassandra
What I Love About This Show: Whimsy. Literary references. Puzzle-piece plots. Genre awareness. Teamwork. Competence (so much competence!). Found family.

My favorite episodes are "And the Fables of Doom," "And the Cost of Education," and "And the Point of Salvation." They all hit the right balance of whimsy and sincerity, they play with genre awareness, and they let the characters grow emotionally.

I'd be super happy with an ensemble story, but if you'd rather focus only on one person, I'd love it to be Cassandra. What I Love About Cassandra: I love her brilliance, her humor, her off-centered-ness, her vulnerability. I love that they allowed her to fail and to work her way back into everyone's trust. I love the relationship she has with Jenkins - that quiet trust and support is wonderful to watch.

For a story - as I said above, crossing this over with Every Heart A Doorway would make me so incredibly happy! Or, if you're not familiar with Every Heart A Doorway, something more generally about investigating a portal to a well-established fantasy world like Narnia or Wonderland. Or, maybe there are some stray Shakespeare bits left around that the team needs to clean up. Or maybe another myth has become real. I wonder, for instance, what would they do with Robin Hood - he may actually have been a real person, so what happens when there are competing versions of a story: the historical and the mythical?

Or, to take it in another direction: what would tempt Cassandra to fall again, and how would the team pull her back? Or, how would she pull herself back, knowing that she has the rest of the team to back her up this time.

I would also really love to see Cassandra with a girlfriend. I don't necessarily ship her with Eve, but if you'd like to go in that direction, go for it!


Every Heart A Doorway

What I Love About This Book: I just finished reading it, so it was very hard not to write "Everything! I love EVERYTHING!" So this is going to be a little less specific than the other requests :)

But I do love everything about this book! I love the worldbuilding - it all makes so much sense, and all of the other worlds feel vivid and true. I love the inclusive group of characters that inhabits it: people of all genders and sexualities. I love the way that, just under the surface, it's about growing up: feeling that you don't fit in, finding your true inner self, navigating the world when you've been marginalized, learning how to trust after you've been hurt, finding that group of people that you can connect to more easily than anyone else.

I really would be happy with a story about any character. Kade is my favorite, so I'd be happiest with something centering him. Something in the future, maybe, when he's grown up and using his experience to help others. Or, what if he found another portal meant for him, or went through someone else's portal with them.

But, honestly, I just want to live in this world a little longer.
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