taabe: Tipsy sylph with a cat on her shoulder (Default)
[personal profile] taabe
Three days without travel — three days to read and clean house and knead bread and not have to be anywhere or think anything unless I choose to? Heaven. This is always the part of the year when I start to crash and don't really have time to yet. The busy season eases just a hair, I start watching the leaves and wondering how much of a fall we're going to have, and the leaves get that light-edged, faintly golden sense of dryness. I got to have lunch with Sanj today, and there are red peppers in my farm share. Life is good. Kass brought up a set of questions recently, and in the spirit of having time to think ...

1. What is your favorite holiday?

I love many holidays, but the real answer is Christmas, for many reasons — and the biggest and simplest is that Christmas is the one time of year when my family is all together. Up to the last few years, through all our moves and going to school and leaving and going back, Christmas was the one guaranteed time. In the last two years, my sister and her partner ahave not been able to make it, because medical residents don't always have a choice about free time, but the soul of the holiday is still there.

The stories behind it have always felt the same way to me. Christmas is about a young couple traveling to the town where his family lives, about the birth of their first child, about a father and mother and a maker and his begotten son and his love for his making ... and God so loved the world ... Whether or not you think of them as holy, or as literal truth, the stories around Christmas can have all inds of depth to them.

Christmas is a storytelling holiday in my family. We give clues with each gift, and each person will try to guess what each one is, and then we'll get the stories behind the gift — we found this at the craft shop in Maine, the day we met the owner's four-month-old puppy and she told us about the bonfires she's been having with local artists, and the woman who made this learned her pottery in Japan. So I get to hear family stories from the last year.

Christmas is also the holiday I prepare most for. We make a lot of gifts, and I like gifts that feel thought about. Picalilli and aple sauce, photo albums, stories, crafts. But most of all Christmas is wood fires and cocoa and board games and the scent of pine and music — and magic. It has never lost the feeling of elation and amazement and time out of the ordinary. 

2. What snack/food from your country do you think everyone should taste?

Maple cream or maple butter on corn bread. Fresh strawberries. Cranberry sauce. You know what I'd like to taste, though? Hickory nut cream — I've read the peoples of the Atlantic coast used it the way people who raise cattle used cream, as something rich and thick and sweet. 

3. What TV show do you absolutely 100% want to own the DVD box set of (or already own and would save from a burning building)?
A tough question, because I don't have a television, and I don't really like watching television alone. It's fun with friends, but on my own I'll read and write and listen to stories while I knead bread. The miniseries BBC Pride and Prejudice? NPR's media show?

4. What is the most difficult season to live through, where you live?

I love every season in New England for different reasons. I can sympathize with Kass's frustrations about late winter ... but for different reasons I would say right now, because in my current work rhythm it's the tiredest part of the year. It's beautiful though. Breath-stoppingly beautiful. A late winter storm can be too, or a blustery kite day in March, or the first tips of skunk cabbage in the ice.

5. What 50k+ word fic would you rec under the category “you don’t need to know the canon for this”?

Not sure of the length, but Sanj's Mercutio fic comes to mind ... also Elen Fremedon's sequel to Twelfth Night ...

6. How might a character from your current fandom and a character/actor from a previous fandom realistically meet IRL?

Cecil from Night Vale travels with a journalistic exchange program to India, to Kahani, where Haroun (of the Sea of Stories) is getting his graduate degree at the University and working with local newspapers and bloggers. 

7. Same fandoms; how do you imagine characters from these fandoms might meet in fic, crack AUs included?

Start as above. Haroun is concerned with the growing power of silence, Kattam-shud, censorship in his ome city. Cecil, who knows something about media in hostile conditions, wants to help. He works with Haroun to create tools to protect the writers and publish their writing safely. When a miscalculation puts Haroun and other writers in danger, and Haroun sets out to keep them safe, Cecil tries to protect them with all the tools at his disposal ... and a flying mechanical hoopoe and some 21st-century Processes 2 Complicated 2 Explain ...  

8. What small detail from your life would you like to see incorporated in fic someday (or already have)?

Somethng about New England maybe, about a place I love ... a wooden row boat? Eider ducklings washing over the rocks at the mouth of the bay, that I've already brought into the story with Kylikki and the Finnish creation stories ...

9. What was the first fic you ever posted online? If you don’t write, first fic you read online?

Hermione Granger and Penelope Clearwater talking over what it's like to be petrified and what the boggart really turned into when they saw him ... and yes, they did more than talk. I think that story needs more books in it, though. They both think that way.

10. Have you ever interacted with a character/actor/creator from one of your fandoms? (Elaborate if you want)

No, partly because many of my fandoms were written centuries ago, but I would absolutely love to hear Salman Rushdie read his work if I got the chance. 

11. What’s your favorite trope in fics?

The moment or movement when a character who has been frightened, hurt, shaken, unbalanced, finds confidence, when they have to face the fear or come clean or take on the responsibility — when they turn around and straighten their shoulders and launch. Also, relatedly, moments of real friendship. I recently heard on NPR that vulnerability has within it a genuine attempt at connection. Maybe that describes it. 
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taabe: Tipsy sylph with a cat on her shoulder (Default)
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