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First, the fic meme:



The Year In Fic

It's been a big year. A big big year. This is actually sort of troubling now that I look at it. And it doesn't include ficlets. Hmm.

2011 Fanfic

Ugly Betty


All 12 stories and 150,000 words in my Ugly Betty Virtual Season Five. The fact that I haven't finished this is criminal. But I still have the outline (which I had sent to myself as backup about three days before the laptop was lost in the mugging), so all can yet be set right.

So far the series goes like this:

1) "Anchored," which provides a different ending to "The Past Presents The Future," and a non-Daniel reason why Betty might wind up staying in NYC after all.

2) "Betty Strikes Back," in which our heroine decides she's had enough of her recent run of bad luck and refuses to take it any longer! And Daniel is still trying to figure out how to handle this brand-new crush of his, while Marc and Wilhelmina both encounter old flames ...

3) "The Homecoming Game," where Betty's life has become a very complicated balancing act between her professional goals, her father's problems and Daniel's sudden desire to buy a new apartment -- one that, for some reason, he insists she approve of.

4) "Lucky Star," set around a charity ball featuring the famous Star of Kashmir, a ruby fabled to grant your heart's desire, and how its magic works on Wilhelmina, Claire and especially Betty and Daniel --

5) "Down to Earth," in which practical concerns about jobs and money threaten to bring Betty and Daniel's incipient romance crashing down almost before it gets started, and Marc is eager to catch Cliff's attention before a crisis with Amanda changes everything.

6) "Fireworks," in which we find out whether Betty can say goodbye to MODE without saying goodbye to Daniel.

7) "The Unusual Suspects," -- someone's trying to kill Daniel Meade! But who, and why?

8) "Blood and Roses," where The Would-Be Killer is revealed and winds up chasing Daniel ... and Betty, and tons of our other heroes too ... through MODE, after hours. Who's down?

9) "You Must Remember This," where Betty has amnesia about the last four years and thinks it's still her first week working for that TOTAL JERK Daniel Meade, who had forgotten what an assface he was and is completely humiliated by the reminders.

10) "A Tale of Two Daniels," where Betty's family is kicking up a lot of drama, but not nearly as much as the Meades, now that some other guy has showed up claiming to be the real Daniel.

11) "Show Me," in which Daniel's trying desperately to find out who he really is, but Betty turns out to have known all along.

12) "My One And Only," where the real Daniel Meade finally stands up.

And there are nine more episodes! I WILL write them. It must be done.

That was all before June. Also before June: My brief, intense and wholly enjoyable re-immersion in early 1990s soaps, which resulted in these --

Guiding Light

13) "Barcelona," set after the series finale during Holly's travels with Ed -- and the ways Roger seems to be following along, even after his death.

14) "The Shape Around My Silhouette," set during Holly and Roger's ill-fated reunion. It's such a bad idea, and yet the ways it works and the ways it doesn't both pull Holly in even closer.

Also this happened:

Harry Potter

15) "Never Is A Promise," epilogue-compliant, a story of what Harry and Hermione might have had, and what they do have instead.

And of course along came Professor X and Magneto, a 'ship of mine from way back, to insist that I am not quite done with slash just yet, to my great surprise.

XMFC

16) "Drowning Men," aka the first huge id explosion of thoughts about how sincerely screwed-up Erik could be after his childhood and how that might play into his romantic/sexual relationship with Charles.

17) "Dead Man's Paradise," the one set in the secret mutant prison that has enforced gladiatorial games and control collars and Erik and Charles falling in love through a mesh-wire fence.

18) "The Winter of Banked Fires," the first Big Whompin' Epic fic I've done in a long time, set after X3 and during XMFC and every time in between. The synopsis from the AO3: Charles Xavier has returned from the dead -- but is lost within his own mind. Rogue has cast aside her own power and doesn't know where she fits in the world any longer. The production of synthetic Cure means mutantkind itself is newly at risk. And Magneto, turned human against his will, is in despair until the day he feels a familiar consciousness tugging at his own --

19) "Undone", in which Charles Xavier travels back in time from the end of his life to the events of XMFC and tries to change everything.

20) "Enigma," in which Erik Lehnsherr travels back in time from the end of his life to his childhood and tries to change everything.

21) "The Attempt," where Charles is straight -- no, really -- and yet tries to make a romance with Erik work.

22) "The Hidden Heart," in which we learn that the only thing capable of getting Charles and Erik back together again five years after their divorce is a Die Hard pastiche.


Not linked here are my Fringe Secret Santa fic (when do we get to reveal those?) and what I wrote for Yuletide. Also the ficlets.

I wrote a lot this year.


Musings & Meme-age

Favorite story this year: "The Winter of Banked Fires," which is just a story of my heart.

Best story this year: Probably also "The Winter of Banked Fires," though of course I keep thinking of things I'd change, or add. I could write that story forever in my head. For me that's just How It Ends.

Story most under-appreciated, in my opinion: I don't feel like I have any complaints here. I wish there were more active readers for Roger and Holly, but given that this is taken from daytime TV aired in the early 1990s, I'm thrilled there are any.

Most fun story: "You Must Remember This," with Betty once again tromping about MODE's offices in mismatched prints and golf socks, and Daniel realizing in horror that she's picking the cabbage out of his cole slaw.

Sexiest story: "Dead Man's Paradise" is trashy in my favorite ways. I also really like the Rogue/Logan in "The Winter of Banked Fires."

Hardest to write: "The Winter of Banked Fires," by a mile. I've mostly gotten to a place where I'm happy for my fic to reflect my id, weirdness and all, but in that one, I wanted to try and FIX IT without ignoring any of the problems, and X-canons are not a help in that regard to put it lightly, but the effort was hugely enjoyable.

What pairing/genre/fandom did you write that you would never have predicted in January 2011? Although I felt like I was done with slash, ironically I'd never have felt I was done with Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr; they've been hugely fascinating to me for about a decade now. So really the winners here must be "Guiding Light," with Roger and Holly. They were always fascinating to watch together, but they were not a favorite pairing for me when their stories first aired. (As a small child, I had seen much of Roger's super-villainous period and he'd scared the CRAP out of me, which is probably why. Remember that time he was dressed as a clown and stalked someone through a house of mirrors while disco played on the speakers? How that should have been hilarious and instead is giving me the creeps just thinking about it THIRTY YEARS LATER? Oh, poor Michael Zaslow, you were so good.) Didn't see that coming, for sure.

Did you take any writing risks this year? I don't know that "risky" is really the right word, but I think "The Attempt" plays against reader expectations.

Do you have any goals for the New Year? I mean to finish the UB season five, but other than that -- let's just see what happens.

**

Otherwise this year: I went to Spain. I went to Colombia. I bought a house. I moved cross-country. I got mugged. I spent some time in NYC. I finished one book and, while not quite finishing another, expect to get gone by Jan. 3 or so. I bought my mother a chihuahua. Big drama! Next year will hold its own adventures, but I suppose I am hoping for something a bit quieter. At least after I get back from three weeks in Australia.

Now, the joy of Yuletide! My fabulous Yulegoat wrote a "Revenge" story, "The Stony Path," which asks us just how Amanda/Emily began down the road of becoming STONE COLD BADASS, provides some cool fannish answers and quotes the great masters of the art of vengeance, such as Machiavelli and the Corleones. Some others I've read and enjoyed:

Holiday: "The Fifth Avenue Anti-Stuffed-Shirt and Flying Trapeze Club Goes To France." So witty and sharp and sparkling, as much a glass of champagne as the original film itself. The author manages to flesh out Susan Potter's backstory a bit without ever feeling as though we've lost our focus on Linda and Johnny's madcap romance.

Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier: "Two Unsent Letters and a Portrait," which absolutely nails the writing style for the book, and recaptures the narrator's endless imagination, melancholy and insecurity.

X-23: "Untitled," which works better as a title for a story about Laura's non-feelings about Christmas than you'd think. I like how Logan is subtly both hoping and dreading a stronger reaction from her, and how unsure and yet analytical she remains throughout.

M*A*S*H: Between You, Me and the Stove," which captures both the genuinely difficult situations Father Mulcahy has to deal with and the sharp humor of the show.

Tangled: "10 Glimpses of Rapunzel's New Life As Told By Eugene," a story that manages to introduce some real complications she'd face after her long confinement while still remaining true to the voice of the movie ... in other words, by being adorable.

AND

"A Disney Prince Consort", which shows us Rapunzel taking over and Eugene helping her the whole way. I love what a great dad he is here, while still being wholly Eugene.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: "Ask," which is AT LONG LAST a Miles/Julian story!

Michael Fassbender With Pugs: "Owned." A pug tries Tumblr! I really liked the pug characterization here.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond: "They That Go Down To The Sea In Ships." Is Kit/Nat not everyone's ur-ship? I mean, down deep? Loved this take on them.

Mystery Science Theater 3000: "Best Brains," in which Mike, Joel and the Bots have to face down the zombie apocalypse. Hilarious.

Jane Austen's Fight Club: "Jane Eyre Has A Posse." Other 19th-century heroines get in on the action. My God, the nicknames alone in this one are priceless.

**

Festivities beckon tonight, though I'm actually not feeling terrific -- not sick, just really tired. But it's a low key party, they claimed, so we shall see what we shall see. Should get some work done first. Happy New Year to all!
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