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The Crossroads are: OPEN!
Welcome to Stories From The Crossroads. This is a monthly crowdfunded project in which people are free to offer prompts of any sort and I will create short works of fiction off of them.
There will be an optional theme and a link to a bingo generator created by magistrate which you may also use to generate prompts.
The theme of the month: Language and writing, BDSM and erotica.
The bingo generator can be found: here
How does prompting work exactly?
You leave me a character, scene, idea, or anything else you'd like me to try and write and I will create a 100 to 300 word prompt response based off of your prompt.
You may leave as many prompts as you'd like and as many aspects to one prompt as you'd care to. So, for example, if you go to the bingo generator and find a line that you want to see turned into one piece of fiction, you can leave me all the prompts within the line and I will create off of that.
What if I want more?
If you donate at least $8 I will write, at minimum, 500 words more to the story. If you donate $10 the minimum will be upped to 1,000 words.
You are free to sponsor any of the prompts, whether you were the one to submit them or not.
Signal boosting would be awesome and I will pick one story to release in full if at least 5 people signal boost this prompt call.
Alternately, if one or more people joins my Patreon page no matter how much they offer, I will release two stories in full.
I invited all... three... people I know socially to pumpkin carving tomorrow afternoon, and then my roomies proposed more pumpkin carving tomorrow night. This is good because if no one shows up (no one having gotten back to me about it) I will still get to be social and carve pumpkins instead of being a tragical sad panda.
Also today I found a gorgeous cat scratcher for sale for $20, and it came in such a lovely thick double-walled cardboard box that I carved doors and windows out of the box and made it into a cat castle. It needs to be painted and outfitted with cushions, but the cat is already intrigued.
This was my third SHarecon. For the first two, I lived in NYC and took the train down to the DC area. This time, I flew. You might be wondering if it's really worth it to fly across the country for a Starsky & Hutch con. It is. SHarecon is a really awesome con at which I always have a fantastic time. (Yes, I do write con reports for reasons other than kvetching.) It's a tiny con, warm and friendly, and very interested in "New Recruits". I can truthfully say that the existence of this con is 100% responsible for keeping me paying attention to Starsky & Hutch, however vague that attention may sometimes be.
This year was also a blast because of the unexpected (to me anyway) presence of dorinda, przed, and Deb Walsh. I had just been bitching about the lack of findable I Spy vids online, so running into przed right after that was amusing. We had a nice chat about the hosting woes of vidders. Deb I hadn't seen in ages, not since Media West, a con I went to several years ago and haven't managed to make it back to because it is irritatingly located and I am broke. Of course, I failed to interview her yet again. Oops. I blame it on SHarecon just being so much fun that I never have time to drag people away from the festivities. Deb is fascinating to talk to because, like a lot of people at SHarecon, she's an oldschool zine fandom person, but, unlike most of them, she used to only be into gen. The history of gen zines is a gaping hole in my interview pattern.
( Dance party and vids )
( LJ *does* have a clear successor, and that successor is Tumblr. )
Dear Santa: You are a rock star and I am wildly unlikely to be unhappy with your story. Things I like: adventures, inventive use of tropes, female characters getting cool stuff to do, pining (especially pining that is resolved happily), outsider perspectives, fish-out-of-water hijinks, found families, mistaken identities, secret identities, interesting worldbuilding. I am not fond of power imbalances, significant age differences, or noncon.
( requests! )
Past Yuletide letters: 2013, 2012, 2011
Ben Bova. The Craft of Writing Science Fiction That Sells. ©1994 but reads somewhat older in philosophy, probably due to its apparently being based on an older book ©1975 and 1981.
I read this book years ago and remembered liking it, but not details; happily, it has not been visited by the Suck Fairy, even though I have some points of disagreement with Bova. Bova is specifically concerned with hard science fiction of the type you would find in Analog, which he once edited, and in the more-or-less Campbellian tradition , which he sums up thus:
...at the core of every good [hard] science fiction story is the very fundamental faith that we can use our own intelligence to understand the universe and solve our problems. (8)
Now obviously this doesn't describe all the kinds of sf there are, but this is in fact a strand of sf. I like that Bova is up front about this, and throughout the book it's generally clear what his stance is. To take another example, he doesn't think highly of people who write tie-ins because he feels that not making up your own characters is a cheat, a stance I disagree with violently (I like fanfic, okay?), but he states his opinion clearly so you can navigate it as you will.
 I'm being approximate; I have some vague familiarity with the history of sf as a genre, but for anything specific I'd have to look stuff up.
The other thing about Bova is that he is most concerned with conveying craft, which is the teachable part of writing, as opposed to art. The areas he covers are character, background (setting/worldbuilding), conflict, plot, the specific problems posed by the novel, marketing (quite dated), and a catch-all chapter for ideas, style, and inspiration. He includes the complete text of four of his own stories and dissects them for the reader's benefit. I admit I couldn't stay awake for the first one, but I liked the other three as Analog-style stories of an older type, and found the analyses illuminating. The checklists at the end of each chapter are also helpful.
A note: Bova favors clear, plain style, which works well for this type of fiction and, apparently, this type of how-to book. I found his prose enjoyable.
Finally, my favorite anecdote from the book, on work habits:
In the late 1970s I helped arrange a science fiction cruise sponsored by the Cunard Line. Cunard asked me to invite half a dozen science fiction writers to give lectures during one of their cruises to the West Indies. We received free passage on the cruise liner in return for a few hours of lecturing.
We were quartered in six adjacent cabins. There we were, six of us with our spouses or significant others, with nothing to do for a whole week except give an occasional lecture and enjoy the cruise.
Not quite. If you had tiptoed down the passageway outside our cabins any morning, you would have heard the tap-tap-tap of portable typewriters pecking away. Except for Isaac Asimov's cabin; Isaac was writing in longhand. (164)
I know now that Isaac Asimov treated women badly, which I hadn't for years and years; but the anecdote's punchline is worth something nevertheless.
daidoji_gisei, I think you'd like the craft-orientation of this book, and I suspect it would be very easy to interpolate past all the stuff that is specifically oriented toward hard sf. (I mean, when you get right down to it, fantasy requires research too, even if you're not specifically researching science that way Bova exhorts the would-be hard sf writer to.) I got this out of my public library.
- recent viewing
Hellsing Ultimate (complete) ( spoilers )
- Sword Art Online II "King of the Giants." ( spoilers )
I keep changing my Yuletide offers (my requests haven't changed). I'm watching to see if one last fandom turns up, and I might offer that depending on if a letter turns up, otherwise I'm not going to chance getting assigned something with difficult-for-me requests. I'm currently at six offers. /o\ I can't wait until assignments go out so I can start reviewing source! I know, I know, matching takes time. But still! ♥
Diet Dr. Pepper. The taste for out of the ordinary bodies.
1985 ad for Dr. Pepper, coinciding with Godzilla 1985. I believe the kaiju is called “Newzilla”. Really. The only kaiju with a bow!
I would never skip another commercial for the rest of my life, if they were all made like this one.
If you live outside the US you can still purchase the new PostSecret book from any of the following countries. Just use the link below.
Attached is a note I found while flipping through the most recent Postsecret book at the local bookstore. If you can’t read it, it says:
“Whatever you are going through, there is someone out there feeling exactly like you are right now. You are not alone. There is hope.”
I thought it was just amazing that someone took the time to write it down and leave it in the book. I wanted to keep it and purchase the book, but then I thought that someone might need to see it other than me. I hope that someone buys it and sees it and it makes them feel better. Maybe it could even save someone!
Topics guaranteed to get fifty thousand notes, based on a survey of my posting history:
- Social anxiety
- Men in high heels
Men in high heels feeling anxious about meeting bees guaranteed to take tumblr by storm.
If anyone reading this is an artist, I will pay you $100 to draw a picture of men in high heels feeling anxious about bees.
Have you guys seriously not heard about Eddie Izzard?
Oh my god this is so perfect
Thank you so much for writing a story for me! I've tried to put plenty of information for each fandom, but if you would like to write something completely different please feel free! I am also happy for you to include as many or as few of the nominated characters as you wish. If you're not sure about anything, or want to do a crossover with another fandom and need to check if I know it, just ask my partner st_aurafina.
Things I enjoy: stories about female characters, plot, character interaction, gen fic or any of femslash/het/slash, exploring a canon world. I also like OCs as a way to expand the canon universe, so if that's a direction you want to go, that would be great too. AUs are fine – both in the sense of a deviation from canon and a completely different world – as long as they're not mundane AUs. (Modern AUs are fine, as long as they're not mundane modern AUs – superpowered coffee shops or high school on a Zeppelin would be just fine!)
Things I don't enjoy: non-con or rape, non-canon character deaths (canon deaths are fair game), adult/teen or adult/child sexual interaction, zombies, apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic AUs, mundane AUs.
( Baker Street )
( Daredevil (comics) )
( Emma Frost (comic) )
( The Queen's Thief - Megan Whalen Turner )
( Storm )
The Tribe - Ambelin Kwaymullina
(SPOILERS for books one and two – please don't read unless you've read the books, because there are story-destroying spoilers here! If this interests you and you'd like to read the books, head over to The Firstwood to check them out!)
( The Tribe - Ambelin Kwaymullina MAJOR SPOILERS )