You guys, it took me a YEAR to write this story, and I finally finished it for Fandom 5K (with lots of help from fleurlb's inspiring prompts!) This definitely goes on the list of hardest stories I've ever written, but I think (hope) it is also one of the best.
Title: Any Scar You Give Me (I Will Endure It) Rating: Teen Characters/Pairings: Leia/Han, Ben Solo, Luke Skywalker, Poe Dameron Summary: Leia and Han had escaped from Imperial assaults, been captured by Jabba the Hutt, blown up the shield generator on Endor, and helped to found the New Republic. After all that, raising a child together couldn’t be that hard, right? World Count: 15K
Title:Fast, Thorough, and Sharp as a Tack Rating: Teen Pairings: Leia/Han Summary: Leia knows how to fire a blaster, survive an interrogation, and escape from the Death Star, but she's still missing a few essential survival skills -- like how to apologize, how to accept help from a friend, and okay, she might not know how to wash her own clothes or cook a real dinner. Word Count: 3,000
Friends, is there any show that can make me as happy as the Great British Bakeoff? Because I just consumed all the seasons that are available in the United States, and I'm at a serious loss. It was just so perfect! And so different from American reality shows, where everyone is typecast, people have to quit their jobs and squish in a house together, and it's all about the prize money. All the contestants are such ordinary people, like teachers from Leeds or firefighters from whatever-shire. The hosts make ridiculous requests like "bake 17 identical profiteroles from enriched wheat dough and join them together with royal icing in the shape of your hometown." And everyone does it! And they are all so adorable and British and modest! How kind of you to say my obscure Latvian pastry is a masterpiece, but really, I hardly know anything about baking and I'm right chuffed the judges loved it. Are all British reality shows this cute, or is this one just special?
The ResistBot uses your name and zip code to identify your Congress people. Then it turns your texts into nicely-formatted faxes and sends them in. I just used it this morning to tell my Senators that you can't be pro-life while also saying that insurance companies don't have to provide maternity care.
I'd been struggling with my activism a bit. Everything I read said that phone calls are super important, but my workday is well underway by the time my Senators' offices open, and teachers don't really get phone breaks in the middle of the day. But just because you can't do the optimal thing doesn't mean you shouldn't do anything, so the ResistBot is a good compromise for me.
Underground Airlines by Ben Winters What if slavery still existed in 2017? This is the premise for a chilling alternative history novel. Imagine that the Civil War never happened. Instead, Congress ratified the Crittenden Amendments, which promised that the South could keep slavery forever. Now, Persons Bound to Labor toil in factories, mines, and plantations in the Hard Four, the Southern states that continue to allow slavery. The main character is a “soul catcher,” a black man who maintains his freedom by hunting escaped slaves in the North. He believes he’s a good man making a living in a hard world, until one strange case forces him to face his past and reimagine his future. The author creates a hauntingly plausible world in which he imagines both the tiniest details of industrialized slavery and the larger implications for US foreign policy. Yet what really makes the book shine is the distinctive voice of the narrator, a hardboiled noir detective who can’t quite stop yearning for a better life.
When I got to the end of the book, I discovered that the author is white, and I’m not quite sure what to do with that fact. On the one hand, the narrator’s POV viscerally showcases racial privilege by forcing us to recognize that many of the abuses in this fictional slave state exist in our real world today. On the other hand, why is yet another white dude getting rich selling the story of slavery?
The Book of Esther by Emily Barton Hundreds of years ago, a Jewish warrior kingdom called Khazaria existed in the modern-day Caucasus region. Emily Barton takes this as a jumping off point for her alternate history novel. What if the Khazar Kingdom still existed at the time of Hitler’s rise to power? What kind of military technology would they have, and how would they meet the threat? The main character, Esther, is the daughter of an important government official, and she yearns to fight. There’s just one problem: she’s a woman, and Orthodox Judaism places strict limitations on what she’s allowed to do. As a world-building exercise, this novel earns five stars. The fusion of medieval and modern Jewish customs is fascinating. The language, the religion, and culture were so vivid I dreamed about them. Unfortunately, a truly compelling novel also needs other things. Like a plot. Once the sparkle of the worldbuilding wears off, reading the book gets to be kind of a slog, and the cliffhanger ending doesn’t really resolve anything.
Thank you so much for writing for me! If we matched on these requests, I know we have a lot in common already, and I'm really very easy to please. I've written a pretty detailed letter because I find such things helpful when I'm writing. If you don't, then please pick and choose what interests you and disregard the rest (so long as you respect the DNW's). Prompts are 100% optional and can be combined, altered, or borrowed for other pairings as you wish!
I adore friendship fics because I think friendships are just as fascinating and complex as romantic relationships, so rest assured that I love my gen requests just as much as my shippy ones. For ship fic, I'm flexible. I love getting together stories, established relationships, and stories where people who just happen to be a couple go on a mission together. Feel free to include as much or as little explicit sex as you like. My tastes are pretty vanilla, so nothing kinkier than a little fun with handcuffs, please.
About those genre tags - please use them however is convenient for you! I like everything I picked, but my enjoyment of the story does not depend on whether it perfectly matches one of the genre tags.