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SURPRISE! The app edition of M. Pants Chooseomatic book Zombocalypse Now is live in the Google Play store! Added features include music, achievements, and 13 new illustrations!!! Woohoohooooooooo!
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Sweet Disorder is reviewed at Publisher's Weekly. WOOOOOOOO! Check it out if you like Regency Romance or History or Snappy Writing and/or Lively Characters!!!
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Aloha, kids!

This year, I was the ghost behind two Yule stories:

a land of ice and snow, a little holiday fluff for Nimona. The best line is not mine, but directly lifted from last year's holiday special! If you have somehow never heard of Nimona, it is clever and funny and beautiful to look at - read it all instantly! Happy Holidays, volta_arovet!

Incunabula is a crossover of Lord Peter (Sayers)+ Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel (Clarke). I fear the footnotes perhaps got a little out of hand. I will say that I have never been so intimidated by a Yule request! Baby's first Yuletide + classical education + globe-trotting + mad skills = meep! I hope I did cantsleeptemplarswillgetme proud.

While browsing the stacks, I came across some true delights, many of which I'm sure you've seen elsewhere - I've hardly had time to scratch the surface of Yuletide this year!:

Hello Operator, Give Me Number Nine. Susie Derkins plays Calvinball with death. It's got that Yuletide magic: a story you'd never have imagined, but familiar and right, just the same.

Of Buttons and Bayonettes: A Small History of the Great War. Lord Peter (Sayers). Peter and Bunter in the trenches. This story is an absolute jewel; head and shoulders above mine in every way: the horrors of war, the loyalty of good men, bittersweet but lovely as to make tears stand in your eyes.

Damask Roses. Code Name Verity. Jesus, this fandom keeps punching me in the heart. But Maddie keeps flying.

Brooklyn Nine Nine brought the girl on girl this year, and these are the standouts: It's Ladies Night (And the Feeling's Right) superfun casefic with great Amy/Rosa chemistry and a distinct lack of tutus has sterling Amy and the sass of the show right down - ditto for Based on the Evidence - I can see Amy's dismissive/pouty little face during the car scene where Rosa reminds everyone she has a boyfriend. Ha!

A little bit of Betty from Dead Like Me: Leap Before You Look - nice to see a glimpse of blink-and-you'll-miss-her bubbly Betty.

This Scandal story *kills* it: it's got the banter and the subtle power plays in every conversation Cyrus and Olivia have. This is Only a Test.

Delete Selected Email? This is, so far, my hands down Yule favorite not written specifically for me this year. Oh my god. Based on Mallory Ortberg's blogpost "The Rage of Jonathan Franzen", so read that first to prime yourself, and then continue to weep tears of laughter as you soak in the follow-up. Believe me, this is an instant fandom that will bring you great joy.
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This is an image of my sweeping victory of the office Halloween party. Bask in the golden glow of my TRIUMPH!

Frida Kahlo, not pictured

This is an image of my sleep puffy face! In costume. Also, I learned that I can only braid my hair on the LEFT side of my head, as my hands were all "how does braid work?" on the right side, so that side was kind of fuzzy. You will be happy to know that Wikipedia reports that in addition to being a famed Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo had a rainbow of passionate love affairs, including Josephine Baker and Leon Trotsky. Fancy!

THIS is a link to Amazon, where you might purchase a collection of stories that feature ROMANCE, BOMBS and ZOMBIES. Because why not? It so happens that I wrote a story in it with M. Pants. You could be reading that story this very moment!

In other news, I have signed on again for Nano this year, because I love to fail. My Yuletide story will be on hiatus until 12/1... or WILL IT? I have a lot of re-reading to do so that I can put the finishing touches on things. ::hugs Yuletide::

As I don't visit Livejournal and Dreamjournal as much as I used to, you could hang around with me on twitter or tumblr if you've a mind to, because I am also kormantic there.

See you around, kitty cats! And happy belated Halloween/Day of the Dead/All Souls! xo
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Dear Yuletide Santa,

I already love everything about my story, because you will work hard to make me something for me and me alone. You are made of magic beans! Although I am also fond of stories so beautiful and sad that I have to rest my head and cry, I would prefer a hopeful, cheery story that leaves everyone in a cozy moment.

My yuletide leanings tend to be gen, but this year I’ve got a yen for some Raven Boys. Suggestive rather than explicit would be preferred, but go with your gut. And if you ARE feeling gen-y, backstory on the half-aunts ahoy!

If Maggie Stiefvater isn’t in your wheelhouse, perhaps a trip to Pawnee, Indiana would better suit you? That town is made of hugs and puppy parties, man. I would be excited out of my mind for anything from Leslie and the gang, but if you could focus on Donna and Tom friendship, that would be the bee’s knees.

If you’re feeling gritty this holiday season, maybe Tana French and her Dublin Murder Squad is your cuppa. Dig up an old case, or put them on the scent of a new one – I’m oddly fond of Scorcher, but Frank is always exhilarating, and Cassie has her own past and Lexie’s to revisit...

I enjoyed The Wolverine possibly more than it deserved, but Yukio is worth anyone’s time, and Yukio hanging out and fighting crime with Logan would be a blast.

If you want a fixer-upper, 49 Days jogged to the left just at the end, and I bawled my freakin’ eyes out. KISS IT BETTER, PLEASE.

Slings and Arrows is still a darling of my heart, and whenever I’m home sick I watch it again. Although I have suggested Parks and Rec/Drunk History, I imagine that Slings and Arrows/Drunk History would also be a worthy topic. Or, again, the cast of Slings and Arrows in a jaeger. Because. Come on. THE SPEECHES. The teams! Geoffrey and Darren? Anna and Richard? (Or better still, Anna and Nehum!) Kate and Jack? Ellen and Sloan? And Oliver tormenting Geoffrey in the drift! Ah ha ha ha ha!!

For a summary of my actual requests, see below:

Parks and Recreation

I love comedy and friendship and I would love to see Tom and Donna tearing it up in any location, but possibly:
In New York for Fashion Week
On a private jet going to some exotic locale
On a yacht!, motherfucker
... in a jaeger? SO DRIFT COMPATIBLE (WHAT IS THEIR JAEGER CALLED - also Leslie and Ann being drift compatible, to poor Ben's consternation and their jaeger is called Best Team Friendship Unicorn FOREVER - but it's totally Ben and Chris on Team Good Cop/Bad Cop, April and Andy as Sonic Death Mule… *ahem* obvs your suggestions would be paramount.)

Crossover of Parks and Recreation with Drunk History? SO MANY POSSIBILITIES

Raven Cycle - Maggie Stiefvater

Book Two opened the doors WIDE. Also, Kavinsky has Ronan's number. Also, 'Just the way you like it, fast and anonymous.' I mean. Dang.

Also Noah? Can Ronan dream him alive again? Can Ronon/Adam dream him alive again? Maybe there could be. Ghost Sex/Threesomes? Um. yes. Adam's 18 and technically, Noah's in his mid-twenties!
Ronan/Adam: both with ridiculous power, both angry and so broken, always fighting and making up off camera. After Kavinsky, and Adam and Blue are no longer a possibility, who moves first?

ANYTHING about any/all the half-aunts! How they met, roomed together, flashbacks to Puppy and/or all the women of the house and their pasts, romantic and otherwise.

Dublin Murder Squad Series - Tana French

I would like to see more of anyone from the French books, in any setting you would like. I'd like to see more of Scorcher, post-Broken Harbour, but I'm a bit intrigued by the idea of Cassie haunting 'Lexie's' life - visiting her other hides and being mistaken for Lexie again and again by the people she knew. Maybe telling them Lexie was dead, penance for her ghost, maybe just... slipping back into one of Lexie's other lives and starting fresh.

The Wolverine (2013)

Yukio and Logan fighting crime: Noir AU? Jaeger Pilots? Yukio setting Logan up on dates with women in their 40s? Yukio and Logan driving an ambulance? Yukio and Logan being pals and doing junk.

All Yukio All The Time; I anticipate this one would be heavier on People I Have Prophesied Death For angle. Try to make it hopeful somehow, if at all possible

49 Days

OMG just fixxxxxxxx thisssssss holy rhinestoned Elvis, where did my pastel Hits of the Adult Contemporary 80s romcom go? Bring Shin Ji Hyun back from the dead and make some people happy! Those last episode twists need to be combed back into a shiny ponytail. (Also: SCHEDULER IS SO DREAMY I LUFF HEEM.)

Slings & Arrows

Basically, I love Anna and Geoffrey as pals. Anything you like, along with anyone else in the cast (hee hee hee ELLEN). Early days hangouts or Post-series with bonus Nehum/Anna if you've got it in your pocket. Would also adore Darren Nichols anything (the corduroy jacket with PUFFED SLEEVES, 'dress it up in sequins and make it sing', oh, DARREN ::swoon::)

Happy Yuletide Writing, kids! (I'm going to be writing something ambitious this year, by crackey!)
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Hello fandom,

Today is the 20th anniversary of the first episode of The X-Files. Without Mulder's dubious charms and Scully's... Sculliness, I may never have found fandom, and never have met you. (Maybe I still haven't met you, but I have made a lot of real live pals through the magic of fandom, and XF led me there first, so. We can totally still meet! There's time!)

I love you guys!

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M. Pants did a pack of graphic design for Broken Eye Books - they're offering five stellar new books in the next year!

He's also a backer reward for The Choosatron: Interactive Fiction Arcade Machine! Kids will be able to download new original chooseomatic adventures when it goes live, along with the short story stylings of kids like Bill Corbett from MST3K!

It's kind of super groovy, all told.
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I repeat: McSwain!/Ethan Nelson/Mallory Klohn/inapickle is having a birthday TODAY!

She has had many names in fandom, but she's always been a guaranteed source of pulse-racing fanfic that makes you laugh out loud, with blogs and ljs brimming with sarcastic wit and incisive commentary. She is currently haunting twitter as Berva Driedger @bigberva if you were looking for her.

Her stories can be found on AO3 under malloryklohn, and she's done hilarious/brilliant work in fandom, starting back in the day with the X-Files and the legendary Denny's Cycle. She's written fantastic stuff in a bucket of fandoms, including The Sentinel, QAFUK, Due South and SGA.

She's currently reading in Supernatural fandom, and loves Castiel/Dean above all things, if you have any recs for her.

There's no time like the present to show her some love!

Some suggestions include:

a) Contribute something to her FanLore page.
b) Make a rec list of stories you think she might dig!
c) Write her a detailed comment or two on some of your favorite stories by her!

Woo, it's McSwain's birthday!
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I have been thinking about tracking down a copy of Don't Care High - oh, here's a new thing, by the way - I have been listening to Mindy Kaling's book, and I've been marathoning Mindy Project, so the voice in my head as I type this is Mindy's, which is strange, but also awesome. Anyway, Don't Care High by Gordon Korman sports an unintentionally super gay cover. I assume it's unintentional, but either way, it is magnificent. This book is supposed to be about an overachieving good kid who can't handle spicy food and can't understand why his school is full of kids who aren't worried about things like grades or school spirit. But to sell that sentiment, the cover features a studly twenty-two-year-old sprawled across an empty teacher's desk who looks moments from stripping off his sweater .

Oh, YA from the 80s, I love you so hard.

If you've never read it, it's got the classic Korman formula: two best friends, one a bookish, obedient sweetheart (Paul), the other a diabolical mastermind hellbent on making his mark in the world (Sheldon). Also, the book features Feldstein, The Locker Baron, who trades prime real estate for exotic snacks. I'm pretty sure that Paul has a crush on a girl at some point, but I honestly don't remember. I do recall thinking the book was hilarious, though.

Have any of you read it? Is Feldstein still awesome? Man, has anyone got leads to any fic?
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Look what M. Pants made me!!

Tiny Quest, starring Princess Sassafras!

The actual print book is 3x3 and ADORABLE TO THE MAX.
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Queen's Thief - Megan Whalen Turner
In which Costis needs to learn to stop lowering his point in third, Phresine tells a story, and Eugenides steals the very stars from the sky.

I hope that Sour_Idealist is safe and well, and that s/he enjoyed my story half as much as I enjoyed writing it. I've been positively itching to write a myth in the tradition of Turner's pantheon, and I liked it enormously when it was finished. I'm not sure the framing sequence was in the proper tone - maybe it went a bit maudlin on me, but hey! Their relationship? HELLA COMPLICATED. So.

Restoration and Rectification
Dublin Murder Squad Series - Tana French
Cassie knows something about labyrinths in the dark.

This was my pinch hit, written on the sly on The Man's dime so I could post it by the first deadline. I threw in nods to Ariadne and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell?

I think the kid who wrote let's collect our memories like diamonds in the dark wrote the story most of us had been hoping for, since Cassie/Ryan is the bread and butter of that fandom, and s/he had a gorgeous way with the tone and imagery we expect from French, so if you haven't read that, skip to it!

As for me, blueteak had some really interesting prompts, but I sort of skirted most of them without ever really getting to anything she'd specifically asked for. (g) Part of this was the fact that I'd read Broken Harbour so recently, and part of it was that I had gotten so fond of Scorcher, so I tried to have Frank mentor Scorcher via Cassie. S/he seemed pleased, and that's what you hope for!

I hope everyone got just what they wanted this year - I have acres of fic open and waiting for me to dive in. Woo, 2013 and knee deep in fanfic! That bodes well for the rest of this year!

Happy New Year, kids!
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The Duke's Daughters (or: Overture, King Lear)
Princess Tutu
Once upon a time there was a king who had three daughters. Which of the daughters really deserved his kingdom?

An excellent and atmospheric echo of the show, both its aesthetic and its themes. As ever, Duck's sweet nature and good heart save the day, inspiring a puppet to pull against her strings.

three drops of blood
Fairy Tales & Related Fandoms
slash of blood against snow and who would wish for a child
"red as blood"—pretty words,
but the daughter suffers.
--Lightsey Darst, "[Snow White]"

The Queen has her tale. The Court has another.

Bittersweet, strange and fascinating. Another feminist take on Snow White with an intriguing twist on the Evil Stepmother.

Keep Your Head Down
Michael Bublé Being Stalked By A Velociraptor (Tumblr)
Scenes from Michael Bublé's Crazy Love tour.

I don't know if anyone needs more reason to read this than the fandom existing at all. But Terry Gross kinds of steals the show.

For I Have Put Away Childish Things
Prometheus (2012)
"That's the real bitch of being alive."/ "You get to choose what you do with it."

While I have insisted in this very journal that Prometheus was both Spectacular and Spectacularly bad, Fassbender was amazing and this is an exceptional meditation on what it means to be human, and the people who make us who we are, both literally and figuratively.

Best Marks Go to Cheaters and Memorizers
Mad Men
Peggy, Ken, and how they got that pact they have in season 5.

Yuletide is made of these singular, glorious, small moments. This story does exactly what fanfic should: it uses the characters to turn a light on in a dark corner, and lets us catch the glimpse of them we missed.
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The Distant Hum of Engines
Lord Peter Wimsey - Dorothy L. Sayers
Saint-George discovers that there's more war work for him than just fighting; and that sometimes, you do get a second chance.

Saint-George is home from the war. Very in the spirit and tone of the books, and even though I had no real idea who Hilary Thorpe was (from The Nine Tailors apparently?) I liked her.

Adventure Time
We bring you only the choicest of DRAMABOMBS

LSP, girl reporter. This adorable goofiness was a treat especially for me!

10 Things I Hate About You (1999), Bring It On (2000)
Kat's looking forward to a calm second year at Sarah Lawrence. Her new roommate makes that less than easy.

Kat is sort of out and defs proud and Missy is fucking epic. One of those stories that you'd never have come up with on your own, but once you see it, you know to the marrow of your bones that it makes every kind of sense. Kat is kind of hilariously earnest about politics and intensely focused on school. Missy comes along to shake things up. This also contains a heaping helping of sweltering hotness, so there's that to ice the excellent cake.

Thirteen Views of a Labyrinth
Greek and Roman Mythology
They are not so very different, Ariadne and Pasiphaë, Icarus and Daedalus, Ariadne and Icarus.

Gorgeous and sharp as feathered quills in the heart. A triumphant retelling of the Minotaur myth, Ariadne a princess with agency making her choices, and Icarus - no reckless boy is he.
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starting out on a journey
Last Unicorn - Peter S. Beagle
Shmendrick the Magician makes amends.

As delicate and practical and joyous as the book could be. A story as incandescent, perfect and rare as a unicorn. I worry that this will be overlooked because the author somehow placed her notes in the summary section and the title's not much to go on, but sincerely, this is a classic.

Slings & Arrows
Geoffrey and Jack's friendship over the years.

A story with enveloping charm, as rich as the show itself, and as kind. I can't say I ever had any thoughts about Jack and Geoffrey remaining in contact in any way, but this sort of "kid brother makes good and calls his big bro for advice" is pitch perfect, with thoughtful details right down to the removable thrust. Just fucking DAZZLING stuff, long and immersive with glorious voices. Read it this very moment!


Dec. 28th, 2012 09:20 am
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Seriously, I'm reading the randomly generated ones in any fandoms I even recognize, and I haven't found a clunker yet. YULETIDE, how can you be made of so much win, and better every year???
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remember this when you are queen
Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
Snow White took the throne. But there are many ways of being a woman with power, and it takes more time to be recognized as a true ruler.

This fixed every single problem I had with the movie - and actually doesn't need the movie at all to work as a brilliantly realized feminist take on what it is to be a queen (and a role model!) and to use the tools available to you in every way you can. It gave me fucking ::chills!::

Time in a Klein Bottle Back to the Future (Movies)
Just as Marty was ready to head out the door, he stopped, thinking about that day five years ago. They had tripped through the future and the past, and he couldn't help but remember everything that could have-- no, everything that really did go wrong. He tore off a page of printer paper and scribbled a note to Jennifer. He left it on his desk, but with any luck, he'd be back before anyone knew he was gone. Unless something went wrong, of course, and then he wouldn't be back at all.

A rather charming little gen piece about sciency bro-times in 1945. For the record, when I read this it had 88 hits. (g)

A Perfect Sonnet
My So-Called Life
Five inopportune moments, plus one that's worth waiting for.

Thoughtful, hopeful, bittersweet and kind-hearted, just like the show.

A Touch of Frost
Black Books
In which Black Books gets festive, everyone gets drunk, and Manny gets Snowman's Nipple.

A perfect Black Books Christmas for anyone who was hoping for a karate sabre-wielding octopus
this year.

I'll Break My Staff, I'll Drown My Book
The Changeover - Margaret Mahy
Twelve years later it's Jacko's turn. Laura and Sorensen have carved out a nice little life for themselves, and baby brother Jacko's having nightmares that are true dreams. But Jacko wants no part of what Laura became.

Mahy died this year, but Yuletide holds a breath of her still in this very fine story.
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Hark! A Vagrant
"A pair of immoveable combatants, locked in an eternal struggle.” He puffed his pipe. “That’s what one o’ them newspapers called us,” he added, complacently.

Delightful Nemesis backstory for Kate Beaton's Pirates at Hark a Vagrant. It's got glorious lines, eminently credible swash and buckle, and a very sweet romance at the heart of it.

Maybe It Means Nothing (But I'm Afraid to Move)
Margaret vs. Pauline (song)
It's just fate, Margaret tells herself. Just the way it'll always be.

A haunting little story about two girls:
One left her sweater sittin' on the train/
The other lost three fingers at the cannery

Up and Over We Go (5308 words)
Parks and Recreation
The first time he sees Leslie's house, Ben suddenly understands that they're going to have to make a regular choice about where to spend their time: the frat house from hell where his roommates have a bizarre set of rules and no sense of appropriate behavior, or the hoarder house from hell where he's genuinely afraid of being crushed by a falling stack of Tiger Beat and Economist back issues.

A rather adorable Ben-lives-with-April-and-Andy story.

talk to your friends, talk to my friends
Parks and Recreation
Ben needs some good, solid advice from a rational human being. Too bad he's in Pawnee.

An even MORE adorable Ben pre-Halloween Surprise story.

A Black Christmas Carol
Black Books
In which not a single ghost appears.

Bernard refuses all manner of Christmas Spirit(s). Ridiculous and fun.

smoke alarm went off at 9
Hark! A Vagrant
“Ladies, Gentlemen, and other attendees of this year's Annual Be All That You Can Be Summit, we deeply regret to inform you that apparently a bomb has been found on the premise."

Kate Beaton's be-shoulder padded 1980s Business Woman attends a very odd business conference with characteristic efficiency.

Bigger Than You Think
xkcd 1110 (Click and Drag), Le città invisibili | Invisible Cities - Italo Calvino
An interactive story of exploration.

A clever tale of adventure told in a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure text style, and a worthy homage to a truly brilliant comic with wondrous and bewildering scope.

If We Sleep Together Would You Be My Friend Forever
Mindy Project
“What about me?” Mindy asks, annoyed. “Do you know how often in a person's life the whole sharing a room thing comes up? And I'm about to throw away this prime hook-up scenario with you? How is that even fair?”

Fantastic sharing-a-room story with killer Mindy lines: "Are you Twilighting me?"

If We Don't Make It We'll Fake It
Mindy Project
They can pretend to be friends. It can't possibly be that hard. Right?

Some surprisingly sweet/hot makeout action and fun bantery "fake relationship"!

I Wear You Like a Leaf Crown
Downton Abbey
She sees him in every soldier under their roof, and day after day she fights her own war, silently and alone.

Another page from the war, with Mary on the emotional front, with her smooth face and her inner turmoil - very nicely done.

The Ugly Sister, or, How Edith Learned Not to Believe in Fairy Tales
Downton Abbey
When they were little their mother used to read them fairy tales. As she grew older, though, Edith began to notice a pattern. The eldest children inherited the best of everything, while it was always the youngest child who was the bravest and most beautiful. Never the middle child. The middle child was always only the ugly sister.

Oh, how I love Yuletide - so many stories about women! A fine Edith here, with a crisply satisfying last line.
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let's collect our memories like diamonds in the dark
Dublin Murder Squad Series - Tana French, In the Woods - Tana French
It was inevitable, really, that they were going to meet again.

Pages from the book, I know it. What a scouring but strangely satisfying interlude - because there can never really be an ending for these two. Gorgeously done.

Three Kisses Bunter received - and one he gave right willingly
Lord Peter Wimsey - Dorothy L. Sayers
Bunter is a popular gentleman.

Lovely Bunter backstory with exquisite style and perfect tone.

The Affair of the Blanched Bibliomane
Lord Peter Wimsey - Dorothy L. Sayers
The auction room was crowded with the royalty of the book world, but no-one present claimed any knowledge of Mr. D. Bredon. His sale had appeared out of nowhere, a lightning strike to the bibliophilic heart of London. Most attendees there were eager to buy, all were ready to gossip, and a few were there because they found the timing nothing short of suspicious.

Elegant book mystery with top notch style! I feel as though this story will also establish a Miss da Costa Green fandom? Because she sounds like quite the firecracker.

You Make Me Feel Like Bobby Brown in the Early 90's
Parks and Recreation
Even though it’s snowing, Jean-Ralphio’s got on a ridiculous v-neck beneath a blazer and as she watches, a flurry of snow lights on a curly q of chest hair, melts and disappears into his skin.

It takes almost that long for Donna to realize she’s staring.

Donna/Jean-Ralphio? Donna/Jean-Ralphio! And it WORKS. A yuletide story from 2011.

new business idea: sushi shaped like mustaches
Parks and Recreation
Tom takes waking up in Ron's body much better than Ron takes waking up in Tom's (woman-smelling silk sheet encased) body.

Also from last year, but BODYSWAP and fun as heck.

The Last Magic
Dark Is Rising Sequence - Susan Cooper
Jane grows up.

Superb Jane story, evocative and fragile as memory.

In the Dark Hours of the Morning
Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wein
What might have happened at the Moon Squadron Aerodrome, and what certainly happened after.
A missing passage from Verity's account. Spoilers for all of Code Name Verity.

Heart-twisting and lovely.

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