minutia_r: (Default)
Dear Jukebox DJ,

Hi there! May I compliment you on either your excellent taste in music or your willingness to try something new and write fic about it, or both? In any case, I’m really looking forward to reading what you come up with.

(I've only requested fic for my main gift, but I would be thrilled to receive either fic or art treats! Podfic is not really my thing, so if you're thinking, "I would like to make a nice thing for Minutia, I wonder what she'd like?" the answer is probably not "Podfic"--but if you're thinking "I have been seized with inspiration by one of these prompts, I must do a podfic for it, it is my artistic vision, but wouldn't it be weird to gift podfic to someone who just said she doesn't like podfic?" then the answer is that I will be very flattered and listen to it and probably like it.)

I don’t expect you to treat every line of the song/frame of the video (nb: I am requesting a couple of music videos for the first time this year. I’m trying to edit my letter accordingly so that a) the language is inclusive of videos and b) anything general I have to say makes sense as applies to videos, but if I mess up, sorry!) as canon the way you might for a book or TV show. If you want to do a close reading of the text, that’s cool! If some phrase or image or mood from the song or video suggests a story to you, then run with that and don’t worry too much about contradicting or fitting the rest of the canon in around it--and especially don’t worry about the prompts in this letter, which are really just there to give you ideas in case you’re stuck.

However, I do have a few Do Not Wants:

DNW (general):

-Long fic. Anything more than about 5000 words or so and I start getting anxious about reading and commenting in a timely fashion while still giving the story the attention it deserves, so I’d just rather you didn’t.
-Purely introspective stories with no action or character interaction
-Choose-Your-Own-Adventure/interactive/game-style fic
-Body image issues. I don’t mind brief mentions if it’s canon, but please don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on a character hating their body.
-It-was-only-a-dream type endings

DNW (smut):

-Sounding
-Infantilization
-That thing where one or more of the people involved doesn’t know what sex is or realize they’re having it
-Religion kink--like, naughty nuns and priests and what have you
-One partner calling out another’s name during orgasm

General likes: I really like all kinds of fic, from silly fluff, action and adventures and to smut (all gender combinations and as many characters as you can keep track of body parts of welcome) and hurt/comfort. Feel free to take it darker, too: violence, character death, betrayal, consent issues sexual and otherwise, bad things happening to characters I like AND characters I like doing bad things. I’m open to different POVs and tenses, and unusual fic formats like poetry and epistolary/documentary fic.

A brief and really not exhaustive list of story elements I especially like: Comfort after a nightmare, self-sacrifice, loyalty and trust issues, platonic bed-sharing, hugs, language geekery, communication issues, breakups (either the kind where the original relationship is eventually patched up, or where the people involved manage to forge a different but still mutually satisfactory type of relationship afterward, or where nothing is okay again and everything hurts), ethical dilemmas, food porn and food preparation, parenting/childcare, elections, and exploration of canon-appropriate religious themes.

For this exchange in particular: I like stories with speculative elements best. I’m a big fan of the power of science fiction and fantasy to concretize metaphors, so if you’re listening to the song and wondering, “Is this line meant literally or figuratively? Figuratively, right?” you will make me very happy by going for the literal interpretation. Similarly, for the videos, I'd prefer if the weird stuff happening in them was actually happening, rather than being a metaphor for someone's feelings or whatever.

I don't expect the character in the story who corresponds to the narrator of the song (if there is one) to have the same gender as the vocalist. Go with what you think would make a more interesting story, not with what the singer’s voice sounds like. (Except Oleander, I would rather you kept that one f/f if you write it.)

Okay, on to the specific prompts!

Take Flight - Lindsey Stirling (Music Video)
link

What's the significance of the blue flower, and how does it make its way to the protagonist at the beginning? Is it a message (possibly from her future self)? Can you tell me anything about her research? It looks like she might be designing something, but we never actually see her building anything. The Escher-like sequence seems like it might support a time-travel reading, where she's chasing her future self through a surreal landscape and never quite catching up. Or is it her clone or her evil twin? Anything about the different worlds she travels through would also be great.

The Shrine/An Argument - Fleet Foxes (Music Video)
link | lyrics

What this looks like to me is that the ungulate is the sole survivor of a massacre, and they are on a quest to avenge their people, and the wolf and humanoids and serpent-creatures are their enemies. I'd love to see the whole background of that fleshed out, especially the ungulate’s relationship with the creature whose severed head they lick at the beginning--were they lovers or parent and child or comrades or rivals or what? The whole bit after the serpent pulls the ungulate down into the water is ambiguous and full of possibilities, too. Is it a vision the ungulate sees while drowning, and what does it mean? Who is the humanoid who emerges from the ungulate’s body after it’s ripped apart--another representation/form of the ungulate’s personality, or a separate person altogether? I am intrigued by the idea that, whoever they are, they're the one telling the story. Does the way it ends mean triumph or failure for the ungulate, or some combination of both?

Fistful of Rain - Warren Zevon (Song)
link | lyrics

Apparently the protagonist of this song is coming into conflict with an enemy who has powers over the flow of time and nature of reality--what with being able to turn diamonds back into coal and all--and maybe their entire life is a fiction manufactured by this enemy? But their mind is fighting back against it although they don’t totally understand what’s going on? And the only way they have of fighting back is a metaphor for embracing the transient nature of reality?

Oleander - Sarah Harmer (Song)
link | lyrics

Is the narrator of this song singing to a woman, or to a houseplant? If you just look at the words, it might be a houseplant--but it's a houseplant she's got weirdly intense feelings towards. I like to think that this is the story of a human woman and her nature-spirit ex-girlfriend who she would like to get back together with. I like the sense that the narrator has realized and learned from the mistakes that she made the first time around, and I would be interested in either a happy or bittersweet ending.

Long Steel Grass (Noche Espagnola) - Edith Sitwell and William Walton (Song)
link | lyrics

So according to the link with the lyrics above, Edith Sitwell said this was about a couple of cats having a love affair, which I guess is as good interpretation as any other. There is definitely some kind of courtship as battle or battle as courtship going on here, on a weird and epic scale which brings to mind space opera or the faerie court. I’m particularly (though not exclusively) interested in the white soldiers--what does a grunt’s-eye view of this conflict and/or reproductive process look like?

Great White Bear - Dear Reader (Song)
link | lyrics

I really love the opening lines of this song, with the contrast between the mythic idea of hiding in the belly of a great white bear, and the very physical, even disgusting details of it. It seems to me that the continuation of the song is explaining how he got into this desperate situation. The obvious interpretation is that he and she are romantically involved, and her father disapproves to the point that he’s trying to kill them--in which case, my question would be, why? And what sort of power does he have to be able to pursue them so relentlessly and seemingly with impunity? But I would also be super interested in alternate interpretations of the fix they’re in, the terrible sin, and what exactly they’re trying to escape from. (As well as, as usual, alternate gender interpretations of the characters.) How about what happens afterwards? Does his ploy work, and where does he go from there? Is she dead, and/or is there some chance for them to be reunited?

The End is the Beginning - Two Steps From Hell (Song)
link | lyrics

I really like the weird and epic feel of this song, the sense of the vast scale of the worldbuilding and the tragedy. It might be a story of an attempt at colonizing a new planet that went wrong, the ensuing conflict, and the return to space of the survivors? On the other hand, the dancing dead remind me of the Cherokee myth of the deluge, with its own cataclysmic themes.

Howlin' Bones - Hannah Aldridge (Song)
link | lyrics

I like to think that the narrator of this song is an actual malevolent supernatural entity--maybe even the capital-D Devil?--or a necromancer, and that the interlocutor thinks he's gotten the better of her in some bargain, but is about to discover how mistaken he is. I really enjoy the Weird West feel of it, and the contrast between the intimate scale of the events (with the repeated references to "this town") and the possibly cosmic powers of the narrator.

Rich in Love - Colin Linden (Song)
link | lyrics

This seems like a song about a mortal/standard human in a relationship with a fairy? Or other supernatural creature? Who has to go on a dream quest to his lover from some sort of supernatural malady. I really like the mythological and fairy-tale resonances of it--it brings to mind stories like Orpheus and Eurydice and the Twelve Dancing Princessess. I'm curious about the nature of the trouble that the lover is having, what the mortal finds in the dream world, and how it ends for them--in tragedy, in a break-up, in a successful (and perhaps mutual) rescue?

If for some reason you want to stalk me , I am dead easy to stalk; I'm minutia_r (or occasionally minutia-r) all over the internet: here, AO3, tumblr, deviantart, ff.net, 8tracks, and probably one or two other places I don't recall off-hand.

Thank you! You are awesome, I am really looking forward to seeing what you make for me, and I hope you get great stories and/or art out of this exchange, too!
minutia_r: (Default)
Dear Jukebox DJ,

Hi there! May I compliment you on either your excellent taste in music or your willingness to try something new and write fic about it, or both? In any case, I’m really looking forward to reading what you come up with.

(I've only requested fic for my main gift, but I would be thrilled to receive art treats as well! Podfic is not really my thing, so if you're thinking, "I would like to make a nice thing for Minutia, I wonder what she'd like?" the answer is probably not "Podfic"--but if you're thinking "I have been seized with inspiration by one of these prompts, I must do a podfic for it, it is my artistic vision, but wouldn't it be weird to gift podfic to someone who just said she doesn't like podfic?" then the answer is that I will be very flattered and listen to it and probably like it.)

Trumpet and the drum/And the martial cornet come )
minutia_r: (Default)


Now it can be revealed: the story I wrote for Jukebox is The Tale of Celaeno and Celbalrai, based on Emily Jane White's Sleeping Dead (see above).

It's got highfalutin' language, sufficiently advanced technology or sufficiently systematic magic, and a sort of fairy-tale feel, so if you like that sort of thing, you might like it?
minutia_r: (Default)
I didn't get post-apocalyptic fic for jukebox this year! I got dystopian fic instead. That's very different.

Anyway, those of you who like cheerfully monstrous protagonists versus monstrous faceless government entities should definitely read my gift, based on Leonard Cohen's "The Future:"

And Now The Wheels Of Heaven Stop

Those of you who prefer things where everything and everyone isn't terrible probably shouldn't read it, but you're missing out, because it's really good.
minutia_r: (Default)
Dear DJ:

Hi there! May I compliment you on either your excellent taste in music or your willingness to try something new and write fic about it, or both? (Yeah, I have just gone ahead and requested fic and only fic for everything. I really want to know the stories behind these songs!) In any case, I’m really looking forward to reading what you come up with.

I returned for your voice and your precious melody )

I hope you find something that inspires you in this letter, but if these songs take you in a completely different direction, I’d be thrilled to read that too. Thank you, happy writing, and I hope you get a lovely story as well!
minutia_r: (Default)
I got post-apocalyptic fic again for jukebox! El Staplador wrote me The Last Child comes to the Green Valley for The Green Valley by Puscifer, a new-to-me song that is delightfully evocative and rife with story possibilities. The story describes the journey of a young man who's grown up in a world devastated by radiation and disease, to a place that he's heard spoken of as a refuge. It's very effective at portraying the whittling-away of the protagonist's choices, while at the same time showing how life finds its way through the cracks. The ending is nicely ambiguous and fits the mood of the song really well. And like most of the jukebox fics you don't have to know canon to appreciate it, although I do recommend you listen to the song because as previously mentioned, delightful.

And I wrote Magpie's Wings (based on Tom Waits' Kentucky Avenue) for Deepdarkwaters--whom I have to thank once again for nominating and requesting the song, which was also new to me, and brilliant so you should go listen. (I should also thank everyone else who participated in jukebox and did not offer the song, 'cause I only listened to it and offered it at the last minute when I was looking for requests that didn't have any offers.)

Anyway! The story is about two boys growing up in the 1960's in California, and their friendship, and a spell they cast which goes wrong and then eventually goes right. Once again, you don't need to know canon or enjoy the works of Tom Waits in order to read the story.
minutia_r: (Default)
Dear Jukebox writer:

Hi there! May I compliment you on either your excellent taste in music or your willingness to try something new and write fic about it, or both? In any case, I’m really looking forward to reading what you come up with.

Rambing 'round your city, rambling 'round your town )

I hope you find something that inspires you in this letter, but if these songs take you in a completely different direction, I’d be thrilled to read that too. Thank you, happy writing, and I hope you get a lovely story as well!

PS if you are reading this and are not aware of jukebox, the details are here and signups are open for one more day. It is a fun and different exchange and you guys should do it with me.
minutia_r: (Default)
For jukebox fest, I wrote Look Beyond for merfilly. It's based on Hazard by Richard Marx (the link is to the music video on youtube).
minutia_r: (Default)
And holy crap, I got three stories. You should read them!

The One Who Stays for Richard Shindell's "You stay Here"

A thoughtful look at the heroism or lack thereof involved in being the one to keep the home fires burning in a post-apocalyptic world.

Got a Medal of Freedom (from Self-control) for They Might Be Giants' "Road Movie to Berlin"

Road Movies. Bourbon. Likeable fuck-ups making poor life choices (some of which involve kissing). Many references to other TMBG songs.

Send Me On for the Rumjacks' "Bar the Door Casey"

A chilling yet hopeful drabble about laying ghosts.

Also, heroic mod [personal profile] morbane made a playlist of most of the songs that had stories written for them, which is definitely worth a listen.
minutia_r: (Default)
Dear Jukebox writer:

Hi there! May I compliment you on either your excellent taste in music or your willingness to try something new and write fic about it, or both? In any case, I’m really looking forward to reading what you come up with.

cut for several hundred words of burbling about songs )

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