amalnahurriyeh: Sherlock: Sherlock Holmes, reading and looking surprised. (sherlock reading)
( Jan. 1st, 2013 10:22 pm)
Being as it is Yuletide reveal time, here's my story:

Five Times Maia Duvall Was Actually Glad To Have Been On The Away Mission (2743 words) by amalnahurriyeh
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Redshirts - John Scalzi
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Maia Duvall/Anatoly Kerensky
Characters: Maia Duvall, Andrew Dahl, Hester, Anatoly Kerensky, OFC

Because sometimes it's funny, and sometimes it's beautiful, and sometimes it's not.

It does technically contain spoilers for the book, but if you aren't planning on reading the book it can be read as a stand-alone. I like all of the Redshirts fic on the archive, actually.

And thanks again to [ profile] BowlerHatGirl for my delicious present.


Today was spent, in part, watching the Mummers Parade, because I'm a Philadelphian and I was in Philadelphia, and that's what you do. In any case, while watching it, I was struck by a crackfic bunny, which I posted on Tumblr: essentially, that Mycroft Holmes's distaste for "legwork" comes from that terrible period of time when he was assigned to infiltrate a wench brigade because members of it were involved in idk terrorism or something. But he is a young and quite junior analyst, and has to go where he is told, even if it involves having to drink frankly unpalatable beer and hang out with individuals who believe that English still has a viable plural second person pronoun. ("Youse" is not something he can bring himself to utter, no matter if it strains his membership in the community.) At some point into this tortuous experience Sherlock (then in university, because timelines) shows up to make fun of him, just in time to see the parade, which ends with Mycroft having to beat up the international criminals while wearing his braids and all. When he gets back to England, Sherlock buys him a nice new umbrella for a belated Christmas gift. Mycroft resents this mightily, but takes to bringing it with him everywhere.


*this plotbunny brought to you by Leigh's Mycroft feels (which rub off after a while)
Well, "major fandoms" for Yuletide, that is. Scandal and Revenge are two of my most-fun watching experiences on a weekly basis, so I was very happy to see an abundance of fic for them both on Yuletide. What the shows have in common is that they're soapy and women-centric. However, while Revenge is a lousy piece of television that is solid id-TV, Scandal is actually richly nuanced and complex, if melodramatic and unsubtle. Scandal is also nice for having a cast that's racially diverse, full of interesting female characters with both strengths and failings, as well as a really interesting and complex portrayal of a gay couple (I will save my Cyrus And James Feels monologue for later, but it will be glorious). I enjoy watching both of them, but Scandal is actually a good show.

(And I made an icon! See? Incidentally, this show has not enough bright scenes. Hmph.)

Anyway, here are the recs.

Scandal: 4 fics, Olivia and Mellie centric... )

While I like all of these fics, I was a little...something about the fact that almost all the stories written for Revenge this year were about Nolan. Now, I like Nolan. I really like Nolan; he's probably my favorite character. But this is a show where the majority of the characters are women, and where the narrative centers around women's actions. (And some of those actions have to do with their relationships with men, but the women are actors, primarily.) And here all the fic focuses on the dude? I don't know. That said, I do adore Nolan, and I love these fics.

(Can I take this moment to point out that my gift was all about the female characters. And that you should totes read it, because it has been insufficiently kudoed/commented upon? Mmmm-hmm.)

two Revenge fics )

I doubt I'll do another one of these, because I've gone through "my fandoms," though I haven't really dug all the way into Madness yet. But at least I got them up before reveal!
It's Yuletide, everybody! Hooray! I think which story I wrote is painfully obvious if you stumble over it, but I don't know if any of you know the canon, so, maybe you won't discover it.

In any case, I received a fabulous story:

Padded Rooms and Stiletto Heels (1006 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Revenge (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Victoria Grayson, Emily Thorne

It’s a trade she’s more than willing to make.

It's a brilliant bit of backstory for Victoria, and does exactly what I want a Victoria story to do: deal in an upfront and direct way with the immorality of many of her actions, while keeping her human. At her most interesting moments, Victoria recognizes how wrong she is, but consciously chooses to continue on the same path, because she prefers this route to others. This is a story where she stands in the face of her own wrongdoing, looks it in the eye, and then keeps going.

I haven't finished reading in some of the "larger" fandoms (SCANDAL FIIIIIIIIC), but here are my recs so far:

first batch of recs )
amalnahurriyeh: Sherlock: Sherlock Holmes, "thinking." (sherlock couch)
( Dec. 11th, 2012 11:31 am)
I have spent the past two days HIDING from an email in my inbox. Even leaving my inbox open, with the little "Inbox (1) - [meatspace name@...]" tab sitting there at the top of the page, taunting me. It was interview question responses for work. I don't know WHY it was making me anxious to think about reading it, but lordy, it was.

I just opened it. The responses are fine. My interviewee made a request about how I use the data that is kind of a bummer (leads to no immediate CV line for me), but is totally within hir rights, and the long term potential for the data is still there. See, self? Nothing to be scared of!

Sigh. Oh, brains.


I honestly don't know if my Yuletide story is done. There's one scene from the outline not completed. I have no idea what goes in that scene. (Well, I know what goes in it *structurally.* I have no idea what the content is.) I can't tell if it's necessary. Sigh. I hate this stage of writing.


SCENE: Amal is sitting in the TV room, charging her phone and poking it.

Leigh enters from the living room, shuffling in wearing the bathrobe she is wearing around the house because it's cold, and which she has started referring to as her "dressing gown" because she thinks it sounds more civilized to wear a dressing gown around the house. (It is the bathrobe from this picture. It is not a dressing gown.)

Leigh: How come you didn't tell me we were moving into the den?
Amal: I said, "Oh, I have to go charge my phone," stood up, picked up my phone and computer, and left the room. Ten minutes ago.
Leigh: Really? I thought you were just going to the bathroom.
Amal: *narrows her eyes* I was in Dublin yesterday.
Leigh: Shut up.


Isk wrote a recipe today.

A Surprise Cake Funny

One Killed Cow
Two Eggs
One Live Chicken
A Person
A Piece of Paper
One Killed Chicken

Directions: EAT IT.

My boy. I'm so...proud?
amalnahurriyeh: XF: Mulder, looking down and laughing (mulder laugh)
( Dec. 10th, 2012 06:08 pm)
Hooray! I have written enough Yuletide that I will not default! (It's not *done,* but it's both long enough and story-arc-finished enough that I could turn it in without poor conscience.)

I'm vaguely thinking of writing a treat or two, to karmically repay the universe for a) the three fics I got my first year and b) defaulting last year. We'll see how it goes.

Now would be a good time to let me know if you're familiar with any of the canons I nominated and would have time to beta, say, over the weekend. You know. Just in case.

How are y'all doing with Yuletide and other end-of-year exchanges? Now I just have to get started on my Fringe story. At least a) I'm caught up on canon and b) I have until Dec 27...
amalnahurriyeh: XF: Scully from the episode Pusher. (scully pusher)
( Oct. 25th, 2012 04:45 pm)
Major downside to getting your wife an AO3 account:

getting to the end of your yuletide signup and getting a message that reads, "Thanks, [ profile] leigh_nahurriyeh! Your Yuletide Signup has been processed!"

Ffff. Now I need to type all that again...

I wrote a whole letter and it got eated my the internet. I hate my life.

You have my notes from the sign-up, so here are just some additional stuff:

Last year's letter. Many parts still apply.
A Meta on Marvel 1602, which talks more about my feels about gender and race in it, and why I want you to do something transformative with them.
My Dana Scully Tag and a meta with a big chunk about her in case you want to write League of Extraordinary Gentlepersons. (The canon for that is very short, if you get stuck writing something else.)

I think that's it! Thank you! <3
Redshirts - John Scalzi: Andrew Dahl, Maia Duvall, Jenkins, Lt. Kerensky

Anno Dracula Series - Kim Newman: Geneviève Dieudonné, Charles Beauregard, John Seward, Inspector Lestrade

Marvel 1602 - Rojhaz, Jean Grey, Virginia Dare, Natasha Romanoff (Marvel 1602)

I'm pretty impressed with myself that I nominated three different print fandoms. However, if someone has a free slot and wants to do me a solid, I still want The Backyardigans nominated. Both Tasha and Uniqua, please.

You've got until tomorrow night to do nominations. Get thee hence.

(Now I just have to not default...)
Dear Yuletide Author--

Hello! You are fabulous! I can't wait to read whatever you choose to write for me! Below the cuts, I've put some general thoughts for things I like about fic, and some specific thoughts about what I like about the canons I've requested, including links to relevant stuff I've written elsewhere. But, really, whatever you want to write is totally exciting!

general thoughts )

fandoms: Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy, Dollhouse, Revenge, and Critical Theory RPF )
And it is with no little fanfare that I identify myself as the author of Many Forms of Resistance, in what was termed the "Sociology RPF" fandom. It is a story about C. Wright Mills and Michel Foucault taking a cross-country motorcycle trip, while fighting zombies. There is some philosophy, and there is some shooting zombies with guns that, one of my commenters assures me, are totally inappropriate for the purpose.

So, basically a standard fic for me, y/n?


I have barely touched the fic written for Yuletide. I've read maybe two of the Fringe fics, only a handful of the Janelle Monae ones, nothing in Dollhouse that wasn't my gift. I'm hoping to work through them slowly. However, given that it's proper to rec, below are my rec lists so far. Rather than organizing them by fandom, I'm organizing them into two categories: serious fic, and crack!fic.

Amazingly enough, all of the Lady Gaga video fic I'm reccing is on the serious fic list.

SRS BSNS YULETIDE: Dar Williams, Lady Gaga, Janelle Monae's Metropolis, Fringe, Warehouse 13, Hip-Hop RPF, Nikita )

CRACKITY CRACK CRACK: Cooks Illustrated, Panda Cheese Commercial, John Hodgman, Sharktopus, Anthony Bourdain, Old Spice Guy, Hark! A Vagrant, Hawaii 5-O )

And, now, back to my damn writing. If you're one of my X-Files fannish friends, head on over to [ profile] xf_santa and check out all the great fic and vids being posted. They definitely have not been getting the love they deserve, and some of them are really super.

What I wanted to say before Yuletide reveals go live is: I want to know if anybody guessed which story I wrote. I will say that I have Evidence that at least three of you (who were not my beta) have read it, but I really want to know if I was made. (Part of the reason is that I feel like I wrote the most obvious story in the history of obvious stories. I didn't have a paper bag over my head. A pair of pantyhose at best. Nude pantyhose. With the receipt with my credit card number on it stuck to them.)

If you think you know which story I wrote (and are not my beta, not that she would ever be that disreputable), comment to that effect (but without revealing what story it is)--and then tell me if you were right at reveal tomorrow (I'll post the link and title then). And you drabble/flashfic in the 'verse of the story? Is that an adequate prize?

Now, back to grading my incredibly shitty final papers. Sorry to those on Twitter for the epic amount of complaining. It's just sad, because I had smart kids this semester. Apparently no one ever taught them to write. My roommate suggests its the NCLB hangover, and I think he's probably right, but still: paragraphs, people. They matter. Learn what a dependent clause is, and then never give me one instead of a sentence again. Look words up before you use them. Proofread.

Happy New Year!
amalnahurriyeh: Dana Scully in a man's white dress shirt, looking annoyed and super hot. (scully hot)
( Dec. 27th, 2010 09:51 am)
The Nahurriyeh household is covered with holiday detritus. All around the living room, my son's arranged his new toys in piles: there the plastic guitar, there his extremely large pile of small plastic animals, there the box for Mommy's new slow-cooker, with an eye-hole cut so it can be a robot costume. The Christmas tree, in all its fiberoptic glory, is whirring away on the table, at the kiddo's request. The remains of Christmas dinner (which I posted about here if you want to see what we ate) are sitting in the fridge, waiting to be microwaved back to life.

Isk keeps asking where Santa Claus is, and announcing that it's Christmas, as if he can conjure it back just through desire.

Meanwhile, we are a little snowed in. The east coast got hit with a blizzard, decent amounts of snow but, around here at least, 70+ mph winds. My wife said the news called it a hurricane with snow last night, and had a picture of it with an eye and everything. Here is a picture of the view from my couch, out my French doors to the porch:

From banners and graphics

Despite the frightful weather, this has been a lovely Christmas, not least because it was my first doing Yuletide. I received one story in regular Yuletide, and two more in Yuletide Madness. All three are great, if very different. More excitingly, they are in three different fandoms, which is part of the beauty of Yuletide: one can like everything all at once.

  • Things Unknown and Longed for Still is a story about Sierra/Priya, my favorite Doll from Dollhouse. Without dodging precisely how awful her story is (Priya is the one Doll who is trafficked into the Dollhouse and made into a Doll without her consent, and the one who experiences it as the greatest violation of her autonomy, and is also most obviously subjected to sexual violence during the show), it's a moving portrait of who she was before she was a Doll, and who she became after, especially how her relationship with Victor/Anthony grew, fell apart, and built back up during the ten year gap in canon. Lots of points for the use of "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings," which does lots of good intertextual things.
  • Wondaland Interludes is a set of two little character vignettes in the world of Janelle Monae's Metropolis. The moment of Cindi Mayweather meeting Anthony Greendown, the lover for whom she will eventually lead the android uprising, is really lovely for the way it plays with the relationship between programming and personality, and the sense of what difference means to an android. The portrait of 6ix Savage is more sketchy, but I love the idea that he's got a history with Wondaland, and that he knew something was up with Cindi from the beginning, because who wouldn't?
  • Nightmare: A Response is fic for Dar Williams's song Iowa. After a song about repression and the difficulty of love, the song ends with the narrator running to her lover, singing "I woke up from a nightmare that I could not stand to see/You were a-wandering out on the hills of Iowa and you were not thinking of me." This fic is a response to this line, from the perspective of the lover. It's just gorgeous, and just a reading against the grain of the song, and yet fits perfectly within it. Amazing that 200 words can do something that cool, but, then again, the song's only 290.

I am in the middle of compiling a recs list, but the one that everyone, no matter what, should read is Goodnight Room, which is Goodnight Moon apocafic. How good is it? Good enough that I brought it up on my computer and made my family read it during Christmas dinner. My brother called it "Goodnight Room, only 2001: A Space Odyssey."

Now, back to snowday activities with the family. I think I'll make soup.
amalnahurriyeh: XF: Plastic Flamingo from Acadia, with text "bring it on." (flamingo)
( Dec. 2nd, 2010 11:51 pm)
I want to talk, in a rambling fashion, about the writing of AUs. In particular, the type of AU where you pick up characters--fictional or historical or whatever--who were never actually in the same room, and put them in a scenario together, which neither ever experienced, or would have experienced.

One of the funniest comments I got on my Fringe/Caseyverse crossover was that I'd messed up the timelines of the two universes--during Season 1 of Fringe, Sadie wouldn't be born yet. Given that I was trying to write crack, well, OK, I did not particularly care. But it did somehow disturb my order of the universe; I had broken the laws of time. (That's a regular feature of the Caseyverse, though.)

Which brings me to this thing I'm writing now, for a, um, unnamed late-December fannish event. (Whose culture of secrecy I have yet to properly understand.) The story I'm writing contains two individuals who were never in the same country at the same time, as far as I can tell. They're pretty perfectly matched as a pairing for the story, and the prompt I'm using is, well, literally the best prompt I have ever written for, and I wrote this, so I'm clearly happy.

But I'm not clear on the mechanics of how I'm supposed to get these characters into the necessary scenario. More to the point, I'm not clear on whether this is something I'm supposed to give a shit about. I mean, the important point is that they're in [place] on [means of conveyance] using [mechanical object] to [verb] [noun]. As long as I write that--and the conversation after they [verb] [noun] from [mechanical conveyance] wherein they talk about [thing they have in common] and possibly [verb]--I'm pretty much golden.

But I want to know. What were they both doing in [origin point] before the whole [noun] situation began? In what way did they end up together during the journey towards [destination]? Why [destination], apart from the fact that one of them lived there at one point? Given that they are not of the same generation in their respective canons, what age are they both? And does this take place in person A's timeframe, person B's timeframe, or in [timeframe I prefer, during which neither of them are actually alive]? If I go with [preferred timeframe], how are they different? More important, how is the world different for them not having existed and [verbed], given that their [verbing] seems to me a very important thing? Granted, not necessarily from the point of view of [verbing] [noun], given that [noun] don't really [verb]. But from my point of view, who loves them for what they actually did? I don't know what a world without them doing it, when they did it, would even look like.

Maybe I should let go. [Verbing] [nouns] with [mechanical object] is not a thing that requires a whole lot of good backstory. It's just what it is. And I don't necessarily have to write a great deal; just enough to tell this story adequately. If the story is about [verbing] [nouns] with [mechanical object], and the comedy comes from the fact that it's these people doing it, well then, just have them [verb] the damn [nouns]. Easy-peasy.

But Scully should have been pregnant in The Old X Designation, and these two people never met. They probably never even heard of each other. (Wait, *runs to wikipedia*--yes, the dates fail to align nearly perfectly.)

So, dear audience: how much should I care about this? Some? None? Entirely? Do you think this sort of worldbuilding shows through in a snippet universe like this?

Also, is it considered within [exchange] rules to recruit someone to illustrate your fic? Because, I gotta say, X and Y on [means of conveyance] using [mechanical object] to [verb] [noun] is the default icon I have always wanted.
amalnahurriyeh: Olivia Dunham in AU-1940s suit and fedora, from the Fringe Episode Brown Betty. (olivia)
( Nov. 15th, 2010 11:40 pm)
Dear Yuletide Author:

Hello! So, I am a Yuletide virgin, and vaguely nervous about this entire endeavor. However, I am extremely excited to be receiving something, and especially enthusiastic about my four fandoms. SO EXCITED. I ACTUALLY DON'T HAVE WORDS, THAT'S HOW EXCITED!

General Likes, Dislikes, Please-Don'ts, Etc. )

OK! So, let's get on to the fandoms...

The Arch Android, Iowa, Dollhouse, Fringe )

If you have any questions for me, you can post them here as anonymous comments, and I'll unscreen them and respond. I'll also respond to emails if you like, and have a dummy email address or something to use. If you decide you want to write for either Janelle Monae or Iowa, but don't have the music, you can commend anonymously and I'll upload it for you somewhere.

Um! I think that is it! This is really exciting, and I can't wait to see what you write!

See you soon, and Happy New Year!



amalnahurriyeh: XF: Plastic Flamingo from Acadia, with text "bring it on." (Default)
Amal Nahurriyeh


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