greerwatson
24 May 2016 @ 10:21 pm
The reveal for the Renault Exchange was this weekend; and I received two gifts. That I had been assigned to write for my sister (and vice versa) was no secret. She always does guess—I say "always" since it has happened before, twice in [livejournal.com profile] rarewomen and again in [community profile] fic_corner. She is rather better at lying to me than I am to her. However, I've been posting our ITOWverse stories to AO3, which means using her log-in for her stories; and there it was in black-and-white: her sign-up and recipient.

So I wrote a story for her. And she wrote two for me.

My official gift—one can tell from the posting date—is "Bicycle": a series of vignettes, of varying lengths, involving sundry characters from The Charioteer with bicycles, in one fashion or another. Of course, petrol-rationing being in full force, it was a common mode of transportation during the war. This is not a formal "Five Things" story; but it's a similar format.

My treat is "Coach", a charming short story focusing on Hugh Treviss—a minor character from The Charioteer whose fanon existence depends on putting together the "Treviss" who coached Laurie in fencing for the school play and the "Hugh" who was Ralph's best friend at school: canon, certainly; but the references in the book are minimal, though much can be developed from them, in the way fans so adore. Here we get Hugh's impression of Ralph, with intimations of what he may or may not guess.

Flo had prompts for several of Renault's modern novels; but, as I only offered one of them, I naturally wrote to that prompt. She therefore got "A Letter from Abroad", in which Alec writes Sandy about a letter that Ralph has received from Bim, who (uncanonically, but reasonably plausibly, I hope) survived being shot down and was sent to a P.O.W. camp in Germany.

This now also has a page on my website. In a vague sort of way, the background was picked to give an impression of the sea—or the English Channel, I suppose, to be more accurate. For this, unlike the AO3 edition, I was able to separate the two pages of the letter and actually leave a space at the bottom of the first, as Alec says he did. For all its good points (not least of which is that fact that so many exchanges are run through it), AO3 has its disadvantages, too; and formatting can sometimes be a nuisance. Still, your basic prose can usually be cross-posted in a reasonably straightforward way.
 
 
 
 
greerwatson
16 March 2016 @ 11:54 pm
Dear Author, let me thank you right up front for the story you are going to write. I've put some suggestions below. However, if none of those prospects appeals, then I am certainly open to your writing me something different.

On the whole, I'd prefer a story that is more-or-less gen—though that depends, of course, on what characters are included during which period in their lives. I certainly don't want canon ignored; it's more a question of focus. Backstory, missing scene, an exploration of characters often overlooked....

I'd prefer something canon-compliant in terms of setting and characterization. However, as some of my suggestions indicate, futurefic would obviously be okay.

Read more... )
 
 
 
 
greerwatson
07 February 2015 @ 04:28 am
Dear Author, let me thank you right up front for the story you are going to write. I hope this letter will prove helpful.

I've put some suggestions below. However, if none of those prospects appeals, then I am certainly open to your writing me something different. On the whole, I'd prefer a story that is more-or-less gen—though that depends, of course, on what characters are included during which period in their lives. I certainly don't want canon ignored; it's more a question of focus. Backstory, missing scene, an exploration of characters often overlooked....

I'd prefer something canon-compliant in terms of setting and characterization. However, as some of my suggestions indicate, futurefic would obviously be okay, also some mildly divergent AUs.

Read more... )
 
 
 
 
greerwatson
27 December 2014 @ 03:31 am
This has been a curious Yuletide for me. First, I found myself writing a story without a recipient (though, in the end, I did find someone to gift it to), then I had an absurd amount of difficulty with my assignment (though I did finally manage to find the Missing Middle), and then—after successfully uploading one treat—I got hit by a tummy bug when I was working on a second. As a result, it was uploaded unpolished at 11:15 p.m. UTC on Christmas Eve, shortly before the deadline; and, when I then quickly spent an hour getting a bit more shine on it, I found when I had done that the recipient had already left a comment. (Eep.)

Leaving aside my embarrassing shortcomings....

I got three stories.

Two full length, and one in Madness. And all of them good'uns, too. May their authors be justly proud of themselves, for I am certainly delighted. Two of the stories, including my main gift, were written for Mary Renault's The Charioteer, and the third for Forever Knight.

It's clear from the upload dates that "The Thousandth Man" is my main gift. A lovely fat 6569 words, it needs all that to delve into the character of Hugh Treviss, a mere throwaway character in the book, here fleshed into a man with a new-fledged career in British India. Just when he thinks he's beginning to get the hang of the job, he is confounded when his old schoolfriend Ralph Lanyon turns up in Bombay. The author knows a hell of a lot about the country; and I have a suspicion who s/he is—though I shan't say so, of course. (Hey, I might be wrong.) The treatment of Treviss's reaction to Ralph's sudden reappearance in his life rings as true as the setting.

"Boy Blue" I'm discussing out of order, really, since full length stories ought to take precedence, and it's a mere 400 well-chosen words. However, it is not only another Charioteer story, it is also about Hugh Treviss. Well, I suppose when one takes pains to include an extremely minor character in the tag set, it is not unreasonable for a writer to conclude that one has an interest. This story is set much earlier, just after the appalling scandal that led to Ralph's expulsion. As he and Treviss were friends, it is not surprising that the latter took it badly. The result is short but sweet. (Though I doubt if their housemaster would agree.)

Last, but far from least, is "Chasing Prey", which, at 8392 words, is a monster of a treat (and was uploaded on Christmas Eve, having no doubt left its author sweating about deadlines). Many fans are terrified at the thought of being faced with a request for casefic; but clearly this is an author who knows how to handle the genre. "Chasing Prey" is long and plotty, just as I love it. There has been a series of disappearances in Toronto, ending with the discovery of the remains of one of the victims; Nick and his partner have caught the case: so far, so good. However, the autopsy makes it obvious that a vampire is to blame, which brings a whole new set of complications. Throughout, we get the feel we are seeing real policework, from chit-chat at the station between Nick and Schanke, through their examination of the crime scene, to interviews with witnesses and suspects. And, of course, there is a nicely exciting denouement.

All three stories are gratefully received and thoroughly recommended!
 
 
 
 
greerwatson
12 November 2014 @ 12:57 am
The final section of my Applefic has now been completed. It has been a long time coming.

At this point, it's almost hard to remember the puzzled despair of the summer of 2012, when—for the second year in a row—the moderators of [community profile] maryrenaultfics were mysteriously nowhere, there were sadly few posts to the community, and the usual time for the Summer Prompt came and went. The previous year, a few sharp nudges had brought them back to their duties, and the prompt had been posted, albeit belatedly. In 2012, they were nowhere to be found. As in the previous year, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek ITOWverse ficlet to try to draw them out; but to no avail.

Finally, on the 1st of September, I took it upon myself to post an Autumn prompt, "apple". It was well received by those members still round. (Indeed, it even flushed the mods from cover!) Yet, although I immediately told people that I myself had an idea, it was not until the 8th of October that I actually posted anything.

In the meantime (to prod myself on, as much as anything), I referred more than once to my "applefic"—at the time, no more than a cute shorthand for "the fic I do—honestly!—intend to write for the 'apple' prompt". By the time anything was actually ready to post, though, I had called it that so many times that, when I cast around for a title, I could come up with nothing else. In my mind, it had become "my applefic" so certainly that "Applefic" was the only possible title.
Read more... )
 
 
 
 
greerwatson
13 June 2014 @ 09:31 pm
For the [community profile] maryrenaultfics 10YO celebrations, I made two dishes: baklava in honour of the Ancients, and this dish in honour of the Moderns. It's a traditional English dish, handed down in my father's family. Unfortunately, nowadays I only make it for two, myself and my mother; and, as it is a casserole, it really makes better for at least four. So, in the recipe, I shall give approximate amounts for you to do it yourself properly, should you wish. However, the pictures are perforce of a rather scaled down version.

Here are most of the ingredients (except that I forgot to take the bacon out of the fridge):


ingredients for making a casserole of liver and bacon with dumplings

Read more... )
 
 
 
 
greerwatson
13 June 2014 @ 07:39 am
For the [community profile] maryrenaultfics 10YO celebrations, I decided to make a Greek dessert as one of my dishes for the Taste of MRF bake-off. This was to honour Renault's historical novels, which are set in ancient Greece. (To honour her modern novels, I made a traditional English dinner, shared with my mother.)

Now, when I think of Greek desserts, I think of baklava. It doesn't go quite back to the period of which Renault wrote. However, a similar sort of pastry, called γάστριν (gastrin) was apparently made in Crete in Roman times. What I've made is a sort of bastard version of this recipe. The filling is almost authentic, but I used phyllo pastry instead of bothering to mix the gastrin dough.

Here are the ingredients I used:


ingredients for baklava

Read more... )
 
 
 
 
greerwatson
01 April 2014 @ 07:37 pm
Finally (!) I have put a couple of my recent stories up on my website. Mind you, "recent" is a relative term: one of these is from Yuletide. And I have two more Yuletide stories still without webpages.  sigh

Both of these are based on Mary Renault's The Charioteer, though "The Road to Rio" is actually a crossover with Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons series. It was written for Yuletide as a present for [personal profile] naraht. The other story, "Ain’t Misbehaving", is a ficlet that I wrote for the [livejournal.com profile] maryrenaultfics LJ community's Valentine's Day Challenge back in February.

For "The Road to Rio", I decided to use a webpage design that would evoke the setting: the Lake District in the summer. So the main background is water, and the border around the text is comprised of a series of frames in leafy green or beige rock patterns. That part was easy. However, I also wanted to divide the sections with a small sailboat; and this, of course, needed to resemble the simple dinghies used by Ransome's children. More easily said than done; but I got something passable in the end. By tweaking, I even gave it a brown(ish) sail.

"Ain't Misbehaving" could, I suppose, be considered my first songfic, in as much as the challenge involved working a line from a song somewhere into the story. As I chose to write from Hazell's perspective (on the start of his "romance" with Ralph) and I had used him before once or twice, I decided to use another variant on GRSites' "misc236.jpg". This is not the most productive background graphic I've ever played with. (That would be the one that I've used, in one variant form or another, throughout all the ITOWverse stories written by myself or my sister.) I have, however, managed to create quite a wide range of backgrounds from it, nevertheless. This time, given the romantic subject (ahem!) and the fact that the story was written for a Valentine's Day challenge, I picked a deep rosy pink variant, and used similar shades in the frame for the text.
 
 
 
 
greerwatson
09 September 2013 @ 01:27 pm
This post is for coordinating Renaultverse nominations for Yuletide. The hope is to cover all the books that people are interested in requesting/offering without wasting slots by accidentally duplicating any of the characters.

(If anyone is curious, I'm putting it on my journal rather than [livejournal.com profile] maryrenaultfics since it's a closed comm. I'd like it to be possible for people who are not members to be able to read and post.)
The List )
 
 
 
 
greerwatson
02 August 2013 @ 07:07 pm
First, let me praise the charming Vachon/Urs story that Leela wrote for me in [livejournal.com profile] fkficfest. "From Chance to Choice" may start in 1897, when Urs was newly part of the Crew; but it ends in 1996, at the time of "Fever", when Urs is one of the stricken.

If you try the story (and you should), then be sure to check out the comments at the end. Both [livejournal.com profile] brightknightie and I found quite a lot to say.

Of course, there have been a pair of stories released each day this week. I fell a bit behind yesterday; but I'm now up to date with both reading them and writing wiki articles for all of them. Still, I owe a few replies to comments that people have made on my own story, "Shift", which was released from the queue on Tuesday. (On the other hand, for that story, I have now coded its webpage, all ready to post as soon as the ficathon is over.)

I am, however, feeling more than a little guilty that I still haven't got around to writing a ficlet for the Summer Challenge on [livejournal.com profile] maryrenaultfics. It should have been posted on Sunday. However, I barely got my Forever Knight story uploaded to AO3 by the deadline, and therefore spent Sunday polishing it. Or polishing the first two-thirds, anyway: the last section got another 500 words added to it, which is rather more than just putting a gloss on. Since then, of course, I've been assiduously reading and commenting and wiki-ing.

Still, I do have a little story all ready to write for the Summer Challenge. Promise. If not for last Sunday, then definitely for this one.
 
 
 
 
greerwatson
21 February 2013 @ 01:11 am
I've just added two more ficlets to my website, both based on Mary Renault's The Charioteer. The first, "Wings of Bim" is actually a drabble that my sister wrote for Brigit's Flame. However, I tweaked it a bit; and she liked the result so much that she said she considered it to be co-authored (which is rather generous, really). The other, "Faded Valentine", was written for the Valentine's Day Challenge on [livejournal.com profile] maryrenaultfics.

"Wings of Bim" may be nominally the thoughts of a character from The Charioteer; but, in truth, it could be any airman from the Battle of Britain. At any rate, I decided that I wanted a sky background. Nothing I had in my files suited. (On the whole, sky graphics don't tile well: the repeat is too obvious.) So I decided instead to use a gradient. On it, I positioned two little fighter planes, a Spitfire and a Messerschmidt, derived from photos that I got from Wikimedia Commons.

For "Faded Valentine" I initially thought I'd go with a traditional (if not trite!) red or pink hearts'n'flowers theme. However, most of the hearts I had were far too modern. Instead, therefore, I used a rather pretty white rose background that is clearly bridal—but, as the story is about Laurie's mother's memories of her romance with Michael Odell, whom she married, this isn't inappropriate.

For the fancy border, I decided to modify a gradient that I got ages ago from Syruss.com. Given the breadth of modern browsers, it's too narrow to be used as the background for a webpage; but it is still suitable for the sort of border that I put around stories, provided I specify the width of the table. Two variants are actually used, one slightly pinker than the other.

I also modified a clipart rose, which I used to decorate the title of the story. The rose was originally a rather strong (though lightish) pink; but I created a series of variants in softer shades of pink, peach, apricot, cream, and white, and then used the one that seemed most suitable to the colour scheme.
 
 
 
 
greerwatson
07 February 2013 @ 01:55 am
Well, it has been a while since I last posted, hasn't it? In the interim, I've written several stories for Yuletide, enjoyed a family Christmas (my sister having come over from England to join us for the holiday), and played in the latest Forever Knight War on FKFIC-L.

Yes, indeed. I have been busy. I'm not sure that counts as an excuse; but it is an explanation.

First off, let me say that Yuletide was as satisfying this year as last. I received a delightful story by Tolakasa, "Rondeau", in which Captain Cohen reluctantly attends the office Christmas party. Reluctantly, because her husband is there—and he has a wicked sense of humour. We never met him in canon (and only know that his initial is "D" because it's on the Missing poster in "Black Buddha" under Next of Kin). Tolakasa has invented him from scratch; and he's quite delightful. Strongly recommended!

My own assignment was to write a story for Juliandarling based on Mary Renault's The Charioteer. This proved to be such a very plump plot bunny that I started to wonder if I'd get it finished by the deadline. Indeed, since my beta (my sister, [livejournal.com profile] fawatson) declared that, if I was going to introduce packages then readers would definitely want to see them opened, I wound up adding another 2K between the upload deadline and the reveal, for a total of 12K. (Agggh!!!) As the title, "Exit Stage Left, a Wounded Warrior: The Lost Chapters of The Charioteer" suggests, the story represents itself as the next two chapters of the novel, bringing Laurie's story up to Christmas 1940.

I managed to squeeze out enough time, between duties on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, to write a few treats, as well as ficlets for [livejournal.com profile] fkcommentfic and [livejournal.com profile] maryrenaultfics. All but the last have now been HTMLed and added to my website. (The latest of my appleficlets is only No. 4, with two more parts to go; so I'm waiting until I finish the entire series.)

I figure the best thing to do is just try to get caught up. So I'm going to comment here on all these stories.

Read more... )
 
 
 
 
greerwatson
16 September 2012 @ 01:56 pm
It's that time of year again. According to this post on Yuletide Admin, nominations will officially open on 24 September. People are already starting to try to whip up interest in their favourite tiny fandoms.

Naturally, I've been thinking what I'll nominate myself. As was the case last year, we are only permitted three fandoms. Forever Knight and Mary Renault's The Charioteer are certain. For my third, I'm vacillating between Prehistoric Park and Time Team RPF. I asked for the former last year, but didn't get it. As for Time Team, I love the show, and would dearly like to read a "behind the scenes" gen story about the making of an episode (whether an actual aired episode or one that was made-up just for the story).

Well, some time before nominations close, I'll have to make that decision. For the moment, though, I'm concerned about the other problem: the rules only permit a maximum of four characters to be nominated for each fandom.

Last year, Forever Knight was nominated more than once; but there was a fair amount of overlap between the characters people asked for. That's a waste, isn't it? If, say, three people nominate the show, then we want this to mean a full dozen characters from whom to pick! Mary Renault fans have the same problem, multiplied by the fact that she wrote quite a few books, most of which count as separate fandoms.

As a result, [livejournal.com profile] queen_ypolita has started a post over on Dreamwidth so that Mary Renault fans can coordinate.

I'm thinking that I'll start a post myself for Forever Knight fans. We've a proud list of characters; and it'll be possible to come up with more interesting prompts if the nominations include as many as possible.
 
 
greerwatson
16 September 2012 @ 01:56 pm
It's that time of year again. According to this post on Yuletide Admin, nominations will officially open on 24 September. People are already starting to try to whip up interest in their favourite tiny fandoms.

Naturally, I've been thinking what I'll nominate myself. As was the case last year, we are only permitted three fandoms. Forever Knight and Mary Renault's The Charioteer are certain. For my third, I'm vacillating between Prehistoric Park and Time Team RPF. I asked for the former last year, but didn't get it. As for Time Team, I love the show, and would dearly like to read a "behind the scenes" gen story about the making of an episode (whether an actual aired episode or one that was made-up just for the story).

Well, some time before nominations close, I'll have to make that decision. For the moment, though, I'm concerned about the other problem: the rules only permit a maximum of four characters to be nominated for each fandom.

Last year, Forever Knight was nominated more than once; but there was a fair amount of overlap between the characters people asked for. That's a waste, isn't it? If, say, three people nominate the show, then we want this to mean a full dozen characters from whom to pick! Mary Renault fans have the same problem, multiplied by the fact that she wrote quite a few books, most of which count as separate fandoms.

As a result, [livejournal.com profile] queen_ypolita has started a post over on Dreamwidth so that Mary Renault fans can coordinate.

I'm thinking that I'll start a post myself for Forever Knight fans. We've a proud list of characters; and it'll be possible to come up with more interesting prompts if the nominations include as many as possible.
 
 
greerwatson
17 April 2012 @ 02:50 am
My conscience is relieved of one small burden: I've just posted a story to [livejournal.com profile] maryrenaultfics and my website, thus satisfying the Sunday Tea prompt "sap rising" which was given two weeks ago. (I'm afraid I've been so busy making icons for Forever Knight fandom that I've grossly neglected [livejournal.com profile] maryrenaultfics lately.)

Ah, well. Now all I have to do is fulfil my [livejournal.com profile] rarewomen ficathon prompt by the end of the month. (Whether I'll get inspired to add any treats is a whole other matter.)

As for my nice new story.... )
 
 
greerwatson
17 April 2012 @ 02:50 am
My conscience is relieved of one small burden: I've just posted a story to [livejournal.com profile] maryrenaultfics and my website, thus satisfying the Sunday Tea prompt "sap rising" which was given two weeks ago. (I'm afraid I've been so busy making icons for Forever Knight fandom that I've grossly neglected [livejournal.com profile] maryrenaultfics lately.)

Ah, well. Now all I have to do is fulfil my [livejournal.com profile] rarewomen ficathon prompt by the end of the month. (Whether I'll get inspired to add any treats is a whole other matter.)

As for my nice new story.... )
 
 
greerwatson
07 September 2011 @ 03:20 am
It's not at all curious that the three people who decided to take up the Summer Challenge on [livejournal.com profile] maryrenaultfics this year all accepted the challenge-within-a-challenge of applying the prompt for fic based on Renault's historical fiction ("spangled loincloth") to The Charioteer (which, being a modern novel, should have had the prompt "summer clothes") and contriving some way to associate it with Ralph Lanyon. Anyone less likely to be seen in a spangled loincloth at any time would be hard to imagine—which was, of course, the point of the challenge.

Why isn't it curious? Well, the three people were [livejournal.com profile] toujours_nigel, my sister, and myself—and how could any of us resist showing how clever we are?
Read more... )
 
 
greerwatson
07 September 2011 @ 03:20 am
It's not at all curious that the three people who decided to take up the Summer Challenge on [livejournal.com profile] maryrenaultfics this year all accepted the challenge-within-a-challenge of applying the prompt for fic based on Renault's historical fiction ("spangled loincloth") to The Charioteer (which, being a modern novel, should have had the prompt "summer clothes") and contriving some way to associate it with Ralph Lanyon. Anyone less likely to be seen in a spangled loincloth at any time would be hard to imagine—which was, of course, the point of the challenge.

Why isn't it curious? Well, the three people were [livejournal.com profile] toujours_nigel, my sister, and myself—and how could any of us resist showing how clever we are?
Read more... )
 
 
greerwatson
24 August 2011 @ 05:05 am
 
So...second post. Hmmm....

Ah!

Last month saw both Mary Renault and Forever Knight fic posted to my website.
Read more... )
 
 
greerwatson
24 August 2011 @ 05:05 am
 
So...second post. Hmmm....

Ah!

Last month saw both Mary Renault and Forever Knight fic posted to my website.
Read more... )