kristin: (the wire: carver's path)
[personal profile] kristin
Dearest darlingest adorable author,

First off, thank you so much for writing for me. I am sure I will love whatever you create. Optional details are optional, so feel free to ignore all of this blather as I would rather have you enjoy writing a fic than worrying about trying to please me. (Also, yes, bits of this were c/p'ed from last year's letter, of which some was copied from the year before that, and even some stuff from the year before that.)

Here is some non-fandom specific stuff that might help you:

  • I tend to throw out a lot of prompts in my requests. Not only are they all optional, but there is no need to try to cram all of the prompts into one, and there are none I would like to see more than the others.

  • I am OK with character death and in-fic violence and I love apocafic. If you run out of other ideas, kill (almost) everybody in the world off and I will love it.

  • Racial diversity = awesome. Racism, not so much. However, I do prefer realism over sugar-coated, so if you want your fic to deal realistically with it I would not object.

  • I prefer gen to het/slash/femslash and would not like to receive porn for Yuletide.

  • I like: plot, ensembles, banter, found families, fully realized characters and settings, adventures, interesting narrative voices and people who bring the funny.

  • I dislike: character bashing, romance-centric fic, infidelity, kidfic, ignoring the women and characters of color, introspective character pieces, incest, schmoop and pwp.

  • IRC I can often be found in the #yuletide chatroom. I use the nickname kristin (or sometimes hippo-kristin), so you can avoid or stalk as you please.

This year most of my requests involve baseball and people who play or just love the game. Now, you might be wondering where the Wire fits into this baseball theme. Well, it doesn't. It is simply my forevergirl fandom. But before you fret, I assure you most sincerely that I would love fic in any of these fandoms equally.

Also, if you requested one of these fandoms and are fretting because you liked the literature/mythology/mustache aspect more than the baseball bits and are despairing because you don't actually know much about baseball and are wondering how long it would take you to understand the infield fly rule, just stop. Breathe. I am not a baseball expert and certainly don't expect you to be. You can sidestep writing about any games if you don't feel comfortable writing about the action.

If you know multiple fandoms, feel free to cross them over. Henry Skrimshander being scouted by Ringfinger? Or maybe his rights are traded to the Mets? What about that Keith Hernandez glove that shows up in Summerland? Or maybe the Mets broadcast team has to call a game in Summerland? The Wire might be tricky to include unless you go the AU route. (Stringer got out of the game by playing the game? He does have a bit of a pitcher's build.)

Obviously, however, a crossover would just be gravy. I would be just as delighted by a fic that didn't have one. (Also, if you do want to include a crossover with a fandom I didn't request, I would prefer it to be Yuletide-eligible as I do believe strongly in small fandoms only for this exchange. The Natural maybe? Or Sports Night might work.)

The Art of Fielding
(Henry Skrimshander)

Request - Futurefic, please. The ending was wonderfully open, but I’ll admit my headcanon has Henry making the show, and I would love to see some of that. How does he handle being on a team that has never met Mike Schwartz? And how would they react to him? What if eventually he had to find a non-baseball hobby? How does he deal with the press? Or maybe you want to pretend to be the press and write a feature piece on Henry?

If you prefer a non-question prompt, you could try doing something related to this quote from the book within the book: “3. There are three stages: Thoughtless being. Thought. Return to Thoughtless Being. 33. Do not confuse the first and third stages. Thoughtless being is attained by everyone, the return to thoughtless being by a very few.”

Really what I want to see is Henry away from Westish and having to interact with the outside world. And if that outside world happened to be the MLB or even AAA ball, that would be awesome. Please note that I strongly prefer gen for this fandom.

About the Fandom - The Art of Fielding is a novel about literature and baseball and the aftermath of perfection. The book follows the consequences of an errant throw of a baseball on five varied individuals, from Henry, the brilliant shortstop, to Pella, the daughter of the college president.

While if is a book about a baseball player, the book is not a “baseball book”, in that it is more about Melville (as in Herman) than Mantle (as in Mickey). But really, I read it as a book about people and their passions; about finding them and losing them and struggling with them and looking for them.

It features one prominent (as well as several minor) characters of color, as well as canonical gay relationships. And while it is a rather dude-centric book, Pella is worth the price of admission.

It is definitely lit fic rather than genre, so if that is not your thing, then avoid.

About the Request - I went into the book expecting to fall for the minor characters. (It is basically my M.O.) Instead, I fell headfirst for Henry Skrimshander. Maybe it is because I always love the shortstop. (♥ Ruben Tejada, and oh how I loved Jose Reyes before he became a fish.)

I love his drive not to win, but to make the perfect play. (Man, if you want another prompt, how about Henry being on the wrong side of a perfect game?) I love that he never quite fits in anywhere. Even on the team he stands out due to his talent. (What happens when he meets and plays with people in the majors who are as good or better than he is? That are as driven?)

I do read Henry as basically asexual, or maybe baseball sexual. I was shocked when (spoilery event) happened not because of who, but that it happened at all. I do adore the other characters too! My second favorite is actually Izzy. (I was serious about the shortstop thing.) If you really don’t want to do future fic, I would love to read about Izzy and Henry interacting on the field, practicing, getting better.

Availability - The Art of Fielding is a relatively recent (2011) book. It is really mainstream and can be found in most bookstores. There are also ebooks available. While it isn’t a short book (my copy comes in at 512 pages), it is an easily attainable option if you matched on one of the other fandoms and have run into a brick wall.

Mets Broadcaster RPF
(Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez, Gary Cohen)

Request - Just to be very clear up front, please do not write about these fine gentlemen boning. I am also not very interested in their real personal lives. I just love watching them call Mets games. I love the way they banter and grouse about players these days and randomly digress into discussing anything under the sun.

I would love fic that had them taking their show on the road, so to speak. Would they banter while fighting off a zombie horde? (I think yes, but feel free to expand on that thought.) Or how about being dragooned into announcing [obscure sport of your choice] and making things up as they went along? Or how about a meeting of the baseball announcers’ book club? (Not, sadly, an actual thing.)

Or you could write me fix-it fic for that most tragic of events which made every Mets fan avert their eyes and cringe in horror: the day Keith shaved his mustache. Maybe he is visited by the ghosts of mustaches past to show him the error of his ways? Or maybe him shaving caused some catastrophic event and him growing a new one was the only way to save the world? I don’t know, just fix it.

About the Fandom - The New York Mets are a professional baseball team (even if they don’t play like it sometimes). Their games are broadcasted on SNY (mostly. the occasional game shows up on other channels) by a broadcast team that has won more awards recently than the team.

The play-by-play is done by Gary Cohen, while two awesome former players, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez, provide analysis. (There are also assorted supporting characters, like Kevin Burkhardt the awkward field reporter.)

About the Request - The past two years I have watched a percentage of Mets games higher than their win rate. But while sometimes the games were hard to watch, they were always fun, due in part to the fact that our broadcast team is amazing. (The other part is due to the fact that baseball is awesome. Better mediocre baseball than none at all.)

I love their competence, their love of the game and their affection for each other. I love that they amuse each other and sometimes start giggling together on the air. I love their digressions and their lack of knowledge about pop culture outside of the sports realm.

Availability - MLB is rather, um, fervent, about their protection of their copyright on baseball clips. That makes them difficult to find. However, SNY does rerun games throughout the winter.

Summerland - Michael Chabon
(Jennifer T. Rideout, Ringfinger Brown, Rodrigo Buendía)

Request - First off, don’t feel like you have to include all three of my requested characters. I love them all equally, so a futurefic about Jennifer T. doesn't need to shoehorn in Rodrigo etc. Speaking of Jennifer T. futurefic, it would be delightful. Does she keep playing ball? What are her opinions on being nudged towards softball instead? Or what about if she managed to make the majors (in some awesome future where women played in the MLB)?

Or, I would love fic about what really happened when Rodrigo fled Cuba. How was it impacted by the fact that Ringfinger had told him he was going to be a hero? What happened at Rodrigo and Ringfinger’s first meeting? Or how about Ringfinger playing in the Negro Leagues and scouting its heroes? Maybe he takes a team to the Summerland? (For more about the league:

About the Fandom - Summerland is a young adult book by Michael Chabon. The book attempts to combine mythology and baseball with mixed results. It follows the hero’s journey of Ethan Field (the worst player on his little league team) as he tries to save the Summerland (a mystical world where baseball is not just a passions but a way of life) and his inventor father.

It features interesting world-building and wonderful touches of baseball mythology. (And I was a sucker for all of the Mets references I found). The cast of characters range from the very human Ethan to a tiny giant to a changeling any many more fantastical characters.

About the Request - I love these three characters. I love Jennifer T.'s strength and talent and the way her family has shaped her without breaking her and the way she just lives baseball. I love Rodrigo for the what-ifs in his story. For the fact that he should of been/might have been/was a hero and how that effected him in the real world. I love that he is so burned out by life and yet still loves the game. And Ringfinger Brown, oh, I love wanderers. I love that he has been doing this for eons. I love that he detoured (or was it really a detour or something more?) to become a pitcher in the Negro leagues without a ring finger.

While you can obviously include some of the other characters from the book if you so choose, I am not very interested in them, especially the Felds.

Also, as you might have gathered from my other requests, I adore the game of baseball. And one of the reasons I love these characters is that they love the game. I am also a sucker baseball as a supernatural force (Field of Dreams was one of the most formative movies of my youth in terms of things I love) so if you want to delve into some of the world-building I would not object. I prefer gen and like the baseball aspect of the book much more than the mythology bits.

Availability - Summerland is decently easy to find at most major book retailers and I am pretty sure there is an ebook addition, so if you are looking for an alternative to the fandom you actually matched on, it is about 500 pages and a pretty quick read.

The Wire
(Avon Barksdale, Stringer Bell)

Request - I would love any fic for this fandom. Feel free to ignore all my prompts and write whatever you want. If you want some ideas, though, I have plenty. How did Stringer and Avon get to their positions at the beginning of the series? What does a Barksdale family dinner look like? (And what about Stringer’s family? We know a lot about Avon’s.) Or how about an AU where one of them got out of the game?

Also, I know this is a ridiculously specific and hard prompt probably of interest only to me, but if you did want to write me the AU where Stringer became a baseball player and Avon followed his canon trajectory while they still remain codependent, and the messiness that would ensue, I would certainly not object.

About the Fandom - The Wire is an HBO drama about Baltimore that ran for 5 seasons. It is deeply realistic, with a wide range of characters. While it is often billed as a procedural, it is so much more. Each season focused on a different aspect of Baltimore: the cops and dealers in the projects, the docks, politics, schools and newspapers. And it was utterly brilliant.

It is like a great novel put on screen, with layers and histories building up. Each season adds more depth to the city and the characters in it. It is well acted, directed and written. All the pieces work together at a high level to create something wonderful. The cast is fucking gorgeous, too. Idris Elba alone is hotter than the sun. Every bit of this universe is so fully realized. Everything has consequences The impacts of each decision ripple out throughout the city and community. There are not characters existing in isolation, or plot-lines that exist only for sweeps. Everything matters, because everything works together. As a result, things change and grow.

There are many fully realized queer characters for whom that is one part of them, not their complete characterization. Same thing, only with characters of color. In fact, there are fully realized queer characters of color!

I recommend this pimping post if you are considering starting this canon.

About my request - I love this show and just want more fic for it. I love these characters. I love the bleakness. I love that the good guys don’t always win, and when they do win it doesn’t mean that things improve. I love that everything has consequences. Basically ♥ my show.

For the past couple years I have been requesting Wire fic that features “canon pairings or gen unless you want to write the epic (love) story of Avon and Stringer”. This year, after receiving some amazing gorgeous Wire fic, I decided to place the emphasis on the second part of that sentence.

Yes, I do ship them. And yes, I would love fic about their relationship, though it does not have to be romantic, and I really really do not require porn (in fact, I do shy away from the latter). Also, I know I said above that I don't like romance-centric fic, but this is an exception. (Though if you do go the romance route, these guys would probably not make flowery declarations of love, use pet names etc.)

I love their codependency (B&B enterprises!) I love how their skill sets balance out each other and their temperaments do too. I love that after the events of season 1 they keep growing in different directions and yet how they can never disentangle from one another. I love the heartbreak of their canon endings, so unless you go full blown AU, please don’t try to fix that. I would rather have a fic in this fandom stay grounded in the show’s reality and break my heart than go for a false happily ever after.

My favorite characters I didn’t request include Bodie, Carver, Bubbles, Shardene and Bunny, while I am least interested in the season 5 characters, McNulty or Carcetti.

Availability - The Wire ran on HBO for five seasons (being HBO, the most eps any season had was 13). It is available on DVD or can be found through other avenues which are slightly less legal such as torrents.

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