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31 January 2009 @ 04:19 pm
Extras to Order  
To prove that I can still play memes :-) I hereby repeat one most recently seen with havocthecat: "Comment with a story I've written, and I will tell you something about the story that didn't make it onto the page."  Which is to say, of course, that while extras and cut scenes are uncanonical, sometimes they're fun, and you may have one if you like. ;-)  My online FK fiction is here (if you've got the zine stuff, or the non-FK stuff, it's fair game, too).
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Psychotic Writing Muses: Unutterable visionshearts_blood on February 1st, 2009 01:06 am (UTC)
Oooh, tell me something about "Firewort," please. :)
Amy R.: Torontobrightknightie on February 1st, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC)
"Firewort"?
Thank you for asking!

Hmmm. "Firewort"? I can't tell whether that is a very clever recognition that all my Fleur stories come out of the same pool, or whether you've compounded "Fireweed" (1998) and "Starwort" (2008). :-)

Both are titled after flowers and both star Fleur, of course, and that was on purpose. That both titles are compound words with the same number of syllables and the second syllable beginning with "w" is complete coincidence! In real life, fireweed has pink flowers and thrives in the wake of fires, construction, anything that disrupts the land (so that's the story set after "Ashes to Ashes"). Starwort is an old, old name for flowers in the aster family, also called "Michaelmas Daisies" (so that's the name for the story with a "star" prompt set around Michaelmas).

Two other people kindly requested "Starwort" (my replies here and here), so I will try to give you an extra from "Fireweed" instead. I cringe a little, looking at it now, a decade later. Goodness, I hope I'm a little less cheesy and verbose by now! :-)

So, pop-up fic tidbits:


  • In "Be My Valentine," Fleur calls Nick "my dearest brother" with the superlative (and Nick also uses the superlative with their mother) but when I asked for a French translation of that to use throughout "Fireweed," I was told that the phase is grammatically impossible in French. I got, "Mon cher. Mon frere." Which is fine, but -- she said it in canon, for goodness sake! ~grumbling at canon's many stumbles~

  • In skimming "Fireweed," I saw that I have Lacroix begin telling Fleur about Divia just before a chapter break in both "Fireweed" and "Starwort." Apparently, I have a need for him to tell her, but no need to stick around for the telling. :-)

  • Golly, I still love the twist in which Lacroix becomes human. Hah! Take that! ;-)

  • I killed off Feliks Twist here as well as in "In the Light of Day," I see. I really own him a story of his own to make up for all the random, off-screen, guest-star suffering I put him through.
Psychotic Writing Muses: Jacked in.hearts_blood on February 1st, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC)
Re: "Firewort"?
Clearly, this is what happens when I attempt to be intelligible at 8 in the morning. :P I meant "Fireweed," of course... I asked for that one because it's still one of the few decent Faithfuls stories I've been able to find. *pets the tiny 'ship* Although I was aware, when you posted "Starwort," that both stories were named for plants of some kind.

Poor stumbling canon... See, this is what happens when the US tries to be cosmopolitan. And Feliks and his moustaches clearly deserve better at your hands! Shame!

Thanks for the tidbits!
Amy R.: Guest Starbrightknightie on February 1st, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
Re: "Firewort"?
>"I asked for that one because it's still one of the few decent Faithfuls stories I've been able to find. *pets the tiny 'ship*"

Thank you for the compliment! And yes, it's such a tiny group that wants something from that relationship, leaving even fewer who try to build it in stories. Years and years ago, I got to read two half-finished Faithful stories whose authors later left the fandom without posting them... had they posted back then, I believe they would have established the genre more widely.

>"And Feliks and his moustaches clearly deserve better at your hands! Shame!"

I've had a "how Feliks met Nick" story in mind for a few years now, but haven't found the time to tackle it (also, all the ficathon prompts I've gotten have been for female characters, which is great, but doesn't get me any nearer Feliks). I need to organize my life better, so my stress-heavy and excessive-hours job doesn't sap my will to live prevent me from writing fiction.

I've got a Faithful novel I've been planning on and off since 1996 -- and the plan has gotten much better since 1996, honest. ;-) Anyway, oh Ye Good Spirits of fannish production, if you let me win the lottery I promise to begin work on said novel immediately after giving notice at my job... ;-)
Psychotic Writing Muses: Unutterable visionshearts_blood on February 1st, 2009 11:27 pm (UTC)
Re: "Firewort"?
Some of my favorite personal achievements were based on BMV, such as my attempt to novelize the flashback sequences, and a few songfics. I dearly wish there was more based on LaCroix/Fleur. *yearns*

But I certainly understand how work and life can sap all will and personality... although having previously worked for a state lottery, I suggest you begin praying for something more realistic, such as a distant, hitherto unknown and obscenely wealthy relative dying and leaving you a vast fortune. Trust me, the odds will be much more in your favor. ;)
Amy R.: Ursbrightknightie on February 1st, 2009 11:56 pm (UTC)
Re: "Firewort"?
I am aware that the odds of my occasional $1 donations to my state's desperately underfunded public schools hitting the jackpot are 1 in approximately 42,000,000 -- which is to say, I'm more likely to become an astronaut. I sincerely regret mentioning it to you.
Psychotic Writing Muses: And then I kissed her...hearts_blood on February 2nd, 2009 12:09 am (UTC)
Re: "Firewort"?
If I said something to offend you, I sincerely apologize. *offers chocolate vampire-shaped cookies* I really didn't mean to... I think you'd make a wonderful astronaut.

Edited at 2009-02-02 12:17 am (UTC)
Amy R.: Tracybrightknightie on February 2nd, 2009 05:54 am (UTC)
Re: "Firewort"?
Please forgive me for being prickly and impenetrable, all wrapped up in a ball of annoying. It was just RL where it didn't belong. I'm sorry.

Good cookies. ;-)
Psychotic Writing Muses: Curl up with mehearts_blood on February 2nd, 2009 11:38 am (UTC)
Re: "Firewort"?
Cookies make everything better. :) And french fries.
dj_clawsondj_clawson on February 2nd, 2009 01:26 am (UTC)
Re: "Firewort"?
I've had a "how Feliks met Nick" story in mind for a few years now, but haven't found the time to tackle it (also, all the ficathon prompts I've gotten have been for female characters, which is great, but doesn't get me any nearer Feliks)

Well, Feliks is kinda girly if that helps. Seriously, write a Feliks story. Please?
Amy R.: Guest Starbrightknightie on February 2nd, 2009 06:05 am (UTC)
Re: "Firewort"?
>"Well, Feliks is kinda girly if that helps. Seriously, write a Feliks story. Please?"

I think even his brocade dressing gown won't get him into the "celebrating female characters" events people have been holding. ;-) But I would very much like to write the story, and thanks for asking! If I don't end up playing in femme_fic this round, I will seriously consider giving Feliks my hobby time for the duration.
dj_clawsondj_clawson on February 2nd, 2009 06:38 am (UTC)
Re: "Firewort"?
Boo femme fic! Yay Feliks! C'mon, there's like one story on Feliks, and I wrote it.

Seriously though, if there is another one with him as a major character (other than the one where you kill him off), let me know, because I want to read it.
Amy R.: Torontobrightknightie on February 2nd, 2009 07:10 am (UTC)
Re: "Firewort"?
>"Seriously though, if there is another one with him as a major character..."

Off the top of my head, there is Elisabeth's "Red Dreams, which was written specifically for the "Center Stage" Challenge event, featuring minor characters.

And there is another, but I can't quite recall whose -- Kathy's, maybe? This Feliks story is one installment in a year's cycle of holidays; his is set in summertime, I think, but I can't recall which holiday he got. Canada Day? Arbor Day? I will let you know if it comes to me. You might want to ask on forkni-l, though; the list as a whole is still marvelous for placing half-remembered stories! And they may know of more Feliks stories than just the two that come to my mind.
dj_clawsondj_clawson on February 2nd, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC)
Re: "Firewort"?
Wow, I missed this fic. Or if I did find it somewhere at some time, I must have skimmed it and assumed it was about LaCroix, as he usually does the whole "giving out flowers to girls" thing.

Was anyone else done in this "center stage" challenge? I see a Miklos story in your archive there.
Amy R.: Guest Starbrightknightie on February 8th, 2009 06:55 pm (UTC)
Re: "Firewort"?
>"Was anyone else done in this "center stage" challenge?"

Oh, yes! I was a newbie at the time and the event started months before I got on fkfic-l, but I believe people wrote stories for most of the recurring (e.g. Miklos) and should-recur (e.g. Feliks) minor characters. Now that it's called to mind, I'm inspired to hunt down the one written for Grace Balthazar, Natalie's coworker. I can't remember the author or the title just now, but I remember elements of Grace's life outside the morgue... it may be the only story I've ever seen from Grace's perspective. I'd like to rediscover it!

I'll get around to checking recent forkni-l digests one of these days, and if you haven't happened to have already asked the list about the "Center Stage Challenge" stories, I will ask them. Someone will remember.

>"I see a Miklos story in your archive there."

Elisabeth wrote both the Miklos and Feliks "Center Stage" stories, and she kindly gave me permission to archive them when I wanted to recommend them, because they're not up anywhere else. Possibly I should just ask her personally if she remembers the Grace story, or any of the others...
dj_clawsondj_clawson on February 8th, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC)
Re: "Firewort"?
You don't have to go looking for the Grace story. I'm not that enthused about that character, her primary concern in fanfic being "the person who gets Sidney when Natalie gets turned."
Amy R.: Ursbrightknightie on February 8th, 2009 08:56 pm (UTC)
Grace
>"You don't have to go looking for the Grace story. I'm not that enthused about that character..."

Thank you for letting me off the hook. :-) But I want to reread that story myself, so I will still put it on my list of lost stories to find. I remember it fondly for building a full life for Grace outside what we see on screen, and yet staying appropriately connected to canon.
One Whose Honesty is Stronger Than Her Fear: natalieamilyn on February 1st, 2009 01:19 am (UTC)
I have decided to make an entirely selfish request: "A Delicate Balance"...especially selfish since you already wrote it for me in the first place.

Have I MENTIONED lately that you gave me The Story I needed to read? Seriously. THE story. I am so much less edgy about Natalie, thinking about her, wishing for stories...I no longer have this NEED for another story that deals with stuff that I didn't get answered...this story really was exactly what I needed and I am tremendously grateful.
Amy R.: Natalie Againbrightknightie on February 1st, 2009 05:10 am (UTC)
Deleted Scenes from "A Delicate Balance"
You're very kind! And yes, you mentioned your generous enthusiasm for "A Delicate Balance" filling canon holes when you kindly gave permission to feature your "Slippery" as January's recommendation. :-) But, you know, no objections to hearing it again! ;-)

(We chatted a bit about "A Delicate Balance" when it first went up, both on LJ and email. So if I end up repeating myself here and not offering a truly new "extra," please let me know, and I will find another.)

Originally, I intended "A Delicate Balance" to have a more complex forensic mystery, but all in all, I think it's just as well that got pared down. However, there were two other intended scenes in the outline, one of which was never written at all and the other of which was written, but was cut on the strong advice of beta readers. The story structure would have called for them both or neither, present and flashback, so when one went down, both did.

The planned scene that was never written would have fit between the night of the barbecue at Sara's and the night they resolve the case. It would have been what Natalie instead briefly recaps: Nick throwing up the cake, people mistakenly supposing it's Grace's potato salad at fault, Natalie blaming the heat wave, driving Nick home, taking care of him as he's sick, further re-thinking her approach to his condition, and seeing clearly for the first time the need for palliative care, not just an ultimate cure.

The matching flashback scene would have been Sara's call to Natalie, saying that she intends to hold the birthday barbecue as a memorial. The story as posted instead has the two of them cover that in two lines of dialogue. Now, this one did get written and shown to beta readers, who nigh-unanimously advised cutting it, so I did. But unusually for me, it's still in the original DOC, a kind of appendix.

Pop-up extra: The first scene written was the final scene, Janette's scene.
One Whose Honesty is Stronger Than Her Fear: natalieamilyn on February 1st, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Deleted Scenes from "A Delicate Balance"
It's totally fine for things to be repeated.

I don't think you'd told me about the scene where Nat drives Nick home, though.

I love the "extras" on things. And it's fascinating to see what was written in what order. I also love that Sharon is a master cake decorator! :-)
Amy R.: Nataliebrightknightie on February 1st, 2009 07:36 am (UTC)
Another pop-up extra (and this one, I'm more confident never came up in our emails): In "A Delicate Balance," Sharon, Natalie's cousin, is an accomplished cake decorator -- kind of like Ace of Cakes, but much more boring. :-)
(Deleted comment)
Amy R.: Readsbrightknightie on February 1st, 2009 04:48 am (UTC)
Subtext in "Starwort"
In "Starwort," the characters Agnes and Clara, Fleur's chief ladies-in-waiting, are a couple. I don't know whether any reader has seen it that way; I know it can be read either way with perfect clarity and textual support.

When I received your prompt in the ficathon, I looked over your LJ profile to discover what you liked, so I could do my best to make the story something you would enjoy. I saw that you liked f/f, so I tried to build that into the story. But my attempts to research lesbian relationships in Europe in the thirteenth century came up empty. I couldn't do anything concrete without historical research to build on! And of course the characters of Agnes and Clara are tangential to Fleur's own story, and "Starwort" is told strictly from Fleur and Lacroix's perspectives, so between those considerations, the relationship stayed subtext. But that's what I tried, for what it's worth.
(Deleted comment)
Havochavocthecat on February 1st, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Subtext in "Starwort"
*snicker* I totally read it that way. :) Glad I was right.
Amy R.: Historybrightknightie on February 1st, 2009 08:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Subtext in "Starwort"
Thank you for letting me know! I'm so glad and relieved that it did work well enough for you to perceive it. (I felt at such a loss when I couldn't research it.)
Havochavocthecat on February 1st, 2009 02:10 am (UTC)
Starwort! It's the most recent I've read.
Amy R.: Fleur & Lacroixbrightknightie on February 1st, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
3 Tidbits from "Starwort"
Thank you for asking! As I've told falcon_horus about my intention for Fleur's ladies-in-waiting for her "Starwort" request, I will try to give you something different:


  • Fleur's hawk Aspasia in "Starwort" first appeared in passing in my "Fireweed." The name is that of Pericles's mistress in ancient history, and that Fleur even knows those names was hoped to be one of the things that intrigue Lacroix and reinforce her scholarship.

  • Seizing the netsman's clapstick and nets imperils his survival. In "Starwort," Fleur notes that her husband could have the netsman who stole the peregrine eyeasses blinded for his crime (which is historically true, and also hopefully recalls when Lacroix mentions blinding a sculptor in AMPH), but she instead seizes his catch and his netting tools as his fine and sends him on his way. Agnes, Fleur's chief attendant, tells the man to thank Fleur for her mercy. One of my respected beta-readers thought Fleur was being much more merciful than she really was, and was horrified when I pointed out that those tools would be all the man had, that Fleur has stripped away his livelihood. It seemed like too much historical minutia to belabor in the story, and I didn't want anyone to misinterpret it (because she is not being cruel by her culture's standards), but that's why this scene comes just before Lacroix seeing "ruthless Fleur," his image of her as a vampire, in the blood of a servant he murders.

  • I imagine that the "Starwort" timeline rejoins canon when Marie, Fleur's oldest child, is betrothed to a foreign nobleman, who journeys to Artois with an entourage, and brings in his train someone with a virulently contagious disease that kills most of Fleur's family and dependents. (Her husband Geoffrey is off on Crusade, and very likely dead.) She sends Andre to a nearby monastery as soon as she realizes what's happening, and writes the letter Nick mentions in "Fallen Idol" (and pays exorbitantly to get it to him). She does not write their oldest brother, the Duke of Brabant, because she doesn't quite trust him to have her son's interests at heart with an opportunity to absorb Artois before him. She wants Nick to act as Andre's protector.