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(no subject) [Jan. 13th, 2017|12:27 pm]


(Very sorry to be missing the in-person experience this year. Everyone who's in Cambridge, have fun!)

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(no subject) [Jan. 11th, 2017|08:29 am]

Dear Purimgifts Author,

I write the same letter for Purimgifts every year. Purim is a time of topsy turviness, of sudden reversals. What I want most out of this exchange is to be surprised. Thank you for writing for me!


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(no subject) [Jan. 8th, 2017|08:32 pm]

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

It's Edith Wharton, of course it's fantastic.

Everyone in the book is terrible, and Wharton's marvelously honed condescension shows how little respect she has for most of the characters in the book, but she nonetheless manages to conjure empathy for their position: New York high society is constructed on a certain kind of order and its members are trained from childhood to be committed to making the hard choices required to uphold that order. The techniques they've established are so robust that even the dullest members of society understand their role in holding up the edifice.

What really struck me is her portrait of Newland Archer, who has enough intelligence and has had enough exposure to the arts and to other forms of society that he knows how toxic the rules of New York high society are, but he nonetheless can't escape its straitjacket, because of his own faults. Because he can't see May or Ellen or Janey as people rather than as women, because he likes it when society compliments him and dislikes it when society insults him, because he finds the order of New York society attractive in spite of himself.

You spend most of the book groaning at Newland Archer's fatuousness, and you strongly suspect he's never going to overcome it. But you also resent him a little in the small places when he does half-heartedly resist. Ellen knows full well that there's no version of Archer who will ever actually be emotionally available to her. She knows that whenever he teases her with the hope of rejecting New York's rules, it is just a tease. She has seen 'the Gorgon' and it has opened her eyes, to borrow Wharton's marvelous metaphor. Still, in spite of this, Wharton recognizes that Archer is by many standards a good person. He is a good father, an always appropriate husband, a loyal friend. Sometimes he is even able to stand, however briefly, against society.

I also really enjoyed Wharton's descriptions of the opera and of its place in New York society. The modern Met is a very different kind of institution, especially the way I experience it, but I liked how Wharton engaged with it, with the repeated performances of Gounod's Faust with Christine Nilsson as the diva, holding new meaning each time it's experienced, even if many of the attending were barely paying attention. "Archer turned to the stage, where, in the familiar setting of giant roses and pen-wiper pansies, the same large blonde victim was succumbing to the same small brown seducer."

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(no subject) [Jan. 6th, 2017|10:19 am]
Rogue One

I haven't posted because I haven't really had much to say. I enjoyed it, but ranked it somewhere in the middle where it comes to Star Wars movies. I might go ANH/TESB/TFA/R1/TPM/ROTJ/ROTS/AOTC, with a considerable jump between TESB and TFA, and considerable uncertainty in the ranking of TFA/R1/TPM/ROTJ.

Rogue One had a great set of characters, a fun story that generally kept moving well, but its commitment to not being a Saga movie threw me out of it periodically. The lack of title crawl, the ending, the color palette, the sometimes boring locations... They were going for a much more mundane version of the Star Wars universe, and they succeeded. And in some senses that's a really cool thing. I like [personal profile] ghost_lingering's post about how ambiguous the 'right choices' were and [personal profile] skygiants's post about how central the nitty gritty details of archiving was to the plot. But it's also... not the reason I fell in love with A New Hope. Star Wars is a universe where there is a Dark Side and a Light Side and those things are kept cosmically in balance by a unifying Force. In that sense the Star Wars movies are generally profoundly conservative, in the best sense of the term. The Force is a presence in this film, but a more uncertain one- the film captures a moment when the Force is out of balance, and balance will not be restored until the end of the film this one is a prequel to, so I think there is a sense of structural incompleteness. I have not yet had a chance to watch Rogue One and A New Hope back to back, and I'm looking forward to seeing how that transition works.

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(no subject) [Jan. 5th, 2017|05:05 pm]
The past week has been an odd combination of frantically busy and unbusy.

I had no New Year's plans whatsoever. I went to Shabbos dinner at my aunt and uncle's and went to Shacharis davening, but otherwise had no in person human contact all the long weekend. I finished my Festivid on Sunday, worked on the other vid a bunch on Monday, did some reading, and slept a bunch. I've been kinda sick lately- nothing in particular, just a variety of mild cold symptoms that have refused to either get worse or get better, but I've been trying to sleep better to help my body out. It hasn't really been working- one of my symptoms has been waking up in the middle of the night, wheefun. I also made a big batch of meatballs on Monday- still eating them today. My one screwup was that I got so relaxed and separated from the rest of the world that I forgot I had actually scheduled to be at a D&D game Monday evening. I feel bad about that, but it was nice to spend that time disconnected from the world.

Tuesday, as mentioned, I went to Nabucco at the Met.

Wednesday I had a first date with someone my mother's best friend set me up with. It actually went really well, I definitely want to see her again. Our senses of humor meshed pretty quickly and we were cracking jokes about my grandfather's fictitious mafia connections by the time we reached the restaurant. She's smart and engaging, but seems laid back. We forgot to check when the restaurant she'd suggested closed, and got there as the kitchen was closing, but we were able to adjust and come up with a new date plan instantly and without any conflict or disruption, which to me is a really good sign that this is someone I can work with. She's a sports fan and we share all the same teams, though she's more into the Rangers than I am. ("I'm missing the Rangers game for this date," she said, "You should feel honored.") We spent a good ten minutes swapping stories about Yankee games we've been to. All in all, a good time.

At the same time, I have been chatting on facebook with someone SawYouAtSinai suggested. She also seems nice, and she's fannish- we discovered we're both members of a facebook group for Orthodox fandom people called Frum Fandom. So I can be open about that part of my life with her, and not worry about how she'll respond when I mention that on occasion I write slash, which is a good thing. On the other hand, because she's fannish my weird fannish issues raise up at unexpected moments. Her favorite MCU character is Loki and I actually had to remind myself that that's not actually a reason not to date someone.

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(no subject) [Jan. 4th, 2017|09:12 am]

Nabucco by Verdi at the Met

Special night, utterly special night. James Levine back conducting (as Music Director Emeritus), Placido Domingo as Nabucco (in recent years he's made a transition from the tenor repertory to less demanding baritone roles, and that's the only version of Domingo I've been able to see, but in spite of his diminished vocal capability and diminished athleticism, he still has It Factor and emotional range that's unlike almost everyone else you see on that stage.)

I wasn't previously familiar with the opera or its plot, except that of course I'm well familiar with the Biblical narrative of Nebuchadnezzar's siege of Jerusalem, upon which Nabucco is sometimes loosely and sometimes tightly based. It was a pretty glorious show, though. Verdi's usually pretty reliable that way.

The lovers (starcrossed Babylonian princess Fenena and Israelite prince Ismaele) were pretty perfunctory, though Verdi's music was well-suited. The highlight of the narrative was the rise and fall of Nabucco's other daughter, the ruthlessly ambitious Abigaille, who actually sings things like "Your wedding bed will be your tomb" to her sister, and "I will ascend to the throne on a path of blood" in reference to her father. It was disturbingly sexy. She sings a duet with Domingo as they cross paths (her ascent, his fall) that is so complex, so emotionally resonant, so striking that it was THE highlight of the opera, even though Nabucco is an opera people go to to see the chorus "Va, Pensiero".

"Va, Pensiero" was pretty great, though. A gentle chorus of Israelite longing for return to their native land, loosely paraphrased from the Biblical psalm Al Naharot Bavel, it was adopted by the Italian nationalist movement as an anthem (though historians apparently disagree about whether this adoption took place during the Risorgimento or retrospectively after the unification of Italy). I have zero Italian patriotism but plenty of Zionism, and it worked just fine in its native guise as a Zionist anthem. Actually, the weirdest thing about Nabucco was how non-anti-semitic it was. I'm really... not used to seeing that in opera.

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(no subject) [Jan. 3rd, 2017|09:24 am]

My Vids for 2016

Ex Libris (Storylords)
Joker (Battlestar Galactica)
Circles (Ma'Agalim) (West Wing)
Blonde Redhead (Fringe)
Getting Ready to Get Down (Moses und Aron)

I'm pretty fond of them all. Part of me wants to say "Joker", even though it is a total shitvid, because I executes its single idea perfectly, and as a person more inclined to the glorious failure, I admire its precision. But I think "Getting Ready to Get Down" is the best combination of effort and result and art. I think it's the vid I made this year that does the most things and I'm really proud of it. And it's a fandom really dear to my heart that I'm glad I got to celebrate.

Least Favorite
"Blonde Redhead"... I wish that vid were so much more than it is, I wish I could have really finished it rather than just dumped it out to the world part-finished, but really I just hit the end of the road with that timeline.

Most Successful
Dunno, I don't think any of my vids this year were particularly successful in terms of getting attention. I guess by default "Circles" had the biggest audience since it played for the whole Vividcon crowd. That was a really awesome experience, in general, for the first time seeing people at a con respond to my vid as it aired.

Most Underappreciated by the Universe
"Ex Libris". For some reason, not a lot of people are into 1980s Wisconsin educational TV shows. For that matter, I am not really one of them, but I'm proud of the vid anyway for making clever use of the source material and actually telling an effective story.

Most Fun to Make
"Joker". So many giggles as I put that together.

Hardest Vid to Make
"Getting Ready to Get Down". I needed to figure out a whole new vidding vocabulary somewhere halfway between a live action vid and a comics vid, in order to deal with how static the source material is. I think a lot of the choices I made work.

The Things I Learned This Year
How to deal with lots and lots of technical nonsense, as I endured a lot of encoding issues. Vidding is the worst hobby. Other than that, I mostly have been trying to teach myself how to cut faster, with some occasional moderate success.

Planning for Next Year

Well, I have made a festivid, and maybe I will try to make a treat. Probably not- the next few weeks shaping up to be crazy.

Mostly, though, I have been working on a massively multifandom vid that has been filling me with joy for the past couple months. And I will be continuing to work on it for a few months more, but it's started coming together and that makes me very happy.

I should also mention the Neoconservative Tony Stark vid and the Big Bang Theory/Heather Dale vid I mentioned in last year's "Planning for Next Year" section as things that sometime in the future I would still like to make.

Apparently I made five vids in 2015, and five in 2016, so it'd be nice to make five in 2017.

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Yuletide Reveals!!!! [Dec. 31st, 2016|07:39 pm]

Reveals! Okay, reveals for Yuletide. Let's do the easy one first:

Mechaye Hametim (1393 words) by seekingferret
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Yentl (1983)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Avigdor/Yentl Mendel | Anshel Mendel/Hadass Vishkower
Characters: Avigdor (Yentl), Yentl Mendel | Anshel Mendel, Hadass Vishkower
Additional Tags: Yeshivish

Come, the letter says. Come.

This is easy to talk about. I watched the movie Sunday morning, then Sunday afternoon a pinch hit came up. I grabbed it instantly. Then it was due Wednesday night, and I had D&D on Monday, so I basically had two nights to write it. But it only took me one! I wrote the whole story Tuesday night, then edited it and consulted with Lanna as my yeshivish consultant and posted it on Wednesday. It was kind of just that easy, the timing worked out ridiculously perfectly.

Yentl is a mostly great but sometimes frustrating movie and the recip requested an engagement with the problems in the way Hadass is treated, so I obliged. I tried to toe a careful line on the yeshivish and the Talmud references- making them specific enough to ground the story in reality, but not overly specific in a way that made the story inaccessible.

The line in Berakhot 58b that gives the story its title is one of my favorite random bits of Gemara, because I am super uncertain if it's a joke or not. The Rabbis are arguing whether one says Shecheyanu, the blessing thanking God for keeping us alive and bringing us to a new joyful occasion, when one sees a friend after a long absence. Rabbi Joshua says you do, but only if the long absence is fairly short, on the order of months. If the absence is longer, he says, you thank God for bringing back the dead. That has to be a joke, right? That's not a serious blessing, it almost feels like a bracha l'vatala, a blessing made in vain, since God has not actually brought back the dead. But in the case of this story, because Yentl is an identity that has been carefully erased and then just as carefully brought back, in a sense the rekindling of her friendship with Avigdor and Hadass is a raising of the dead.

I think the other thing my story is about is Barbra Streisand's vision of America. I'm told that in Singer's original story, Yentl does not go to America, but just moves on to a different yeshiva town to try again as Anshel. But in Streisand's adaptation, Yentl goes off to America, to a land where maybe she has a chance to be both a woman and Torah scholar. And I push a little further, and suggest that maybe America is a place where Hadass can love both a woman and a man, a place of new opportunities and new rules. A different kind of raising of the dead. [Weirdly, I sent Yentl to Philadelphia instead of New York, betraying the perpetual New York fetishism trope of my fic. I'm not sure why I did that; Perhaps it's just that it let me have her working at JPS, perhaps it's because I was due to visit my Great-Uncle, who fled Brooklyn for the Main Line, the following week.]

My other story, though... It seems hard to know how to talk about it. The amazingly insightful comment I got from my recip made it clear to me just how unconsciously personal this story was. Brakebills has always reminded me of my alma mater, and everyone I know who's read the book and who went to a top tier tech school has agreed with me that Brakebills South in particular is engineering school in a nutshell. More than anything else, I think this story is a reflection on my college self, as I stare at my ten year reunion coming up in a handful of months.

Fast Times at Brakebills South (5376 words) by Seekingferret
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Magicians - Lev Grossman
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Plum Purchas, Professor Mayakovsky

"Did you win your year?"

"I sure did," she said. "By a mile."

I may have told this story before: When I was a sophomore, we had a course on prototyping techniques. It was only worth half the credits that our calculus and physics classes were worth, but within a few weeks the weekly projects were eating fifteen or twenty hours a week, time we desperately needed to study for other classes. We complained to the instructors, who told us "Look, you don't really need to spend twenty hours a week on these projects. As long as you spend a couple hours a week, turn something in, you're going to get an A in this class just for showing up. But if you keep up working the way you have been, you won't regret it." We kept working twenty hours a week for the rest of the semester, and yes, to this day I don't regret it. I learned a lot of valuable engineering techniques and principles in that class. But stepping back from it, if that's possible, by looking at Brakebills South as the analogue... it kind of seems not okay. Like, okay, you got a bunch of workaholic engineers to work harder with nebulous promises of future benefits. Good for you! It's exactly what Mayakovsky does and it works with brutal effectiveness on Quentin and Alice and it burns out Josh and Janet and Eliot, and in my story with Plum it does something a lot more ambiguous.

Plum is interesting to me because I saw a lot of people not make it through Cooper- bad grades, irresponsible behavior, mental health issues, etc... But as the number of students dwindled, the number of dropouts dwindled, too. My class lost about a third of its members by senior year, but nobody who made it to senior year failed to graduate on time. For Plum to get kicked out of Brakebills as a fifth year is astonishing to me. The kind of people who make it through the ringer at Brakebills, who survive Mayakovsky, do not just suddenly screw up in the kind of way that gets you expelled. Especially because by the time you reach fifth year you have connections and relationships with the faculty and staff that ought to make them much more tolerant of you. My senior year we literally broke into an abandoned building on campus and stole a file cabinet and a table-saw and walked it across campus to our lab, while the security guards waved at us.

So I had to figure out how to write a version of Plum who lived on the edge, who was talented and disciplined enough to survive four and a half years at Brakebills, but who could have relationships with faculty frayed enough that one mistake could get her thrown out. Expulsion looms over my fic, I think, this endpoint that seems both inevitable and impossible given Plum's trajectory. For Plum, college is a place to explore and push boundaries, and that's the sort of thing that works until it doesn't. Plum doesn't realize, or is incapable of acting on the fact that, she's flying without much of a net. My recip commented on how I wrote Plum as 'brittle', and I think that's exactly it: Plum is hard, but hard metals are brittle.

But Plum is also a survivor, someone capable of picking up the pieces after a wrecking failure. Basically Plum is super awesome and I love her so much and it was great writing a story that, er, plumbed her depths. What this story sets up is the way that Plum reconstitutes herself after finally crashing and burning for real in The Magicians Land. How she ends up a Queen in Fillory after all is said and done. Of course, I don't mention Fillory at all in this story because I can't stand Fillory. I feel like this story let me testify to the parts of the Magicians series I love while carefully straining out all the parts I can't stand. I am very pleased with the final result.

This entry was originally posted at http://seekingferret.dreamwidth.org/208911.html. Please comment there using OpenID. There are comment count unavailable comments.

(no subject) [Dec. 29th, 2016|08:59 am]

[personal profile] brainwane asked for me to talk about "The extent to which various grocery stores and restaurants do or do not cater to your food restrictions."

So I should stipulate that I do not have any food allergies, and so in this context 'food restrictions' means "The extent to which I keep kosher". And for the clarity of those who don't know much about the laws of kashrut, that this is not quite the same as just saying "I keep kosher." There are many different ways to keep kosher. There are a few reasons for this:

1)The modern food system is complicated.
2)Jews like making things complicated.
3)Not all Jews agree on the specific details of the laws of kashrut.
4)Not all Jews trust all other Jews, or all other people in general.
5)Some Jews take extra precautions in their eating practices that are not strictly required by Jewish law, in order to be extra certain that they don't accidentally violate the laws of kashrut.

These things are interconnected. In a sense, kashrut is pretty simple and straightforward. There aren't really that many main concepts. I think I can cover pretty much all of them in a few lines:

1)Only certain animals and parts of animals can be eaten, and those animals must be killed and processed according to certain ritual procedures.
2)Anything grown in the earth can be eaten, but if it was grown in Israel certain percentages must be committed to Temple use and cannot be eaten.
3)Unkosher foods ritually contaminate the vessels they are contained in under certain conditions.
4)Dairy and meat cannot be mixed.

There, that is all of kashrut while standing on one foot. As I said, in a sense it's pretty straightforward. But the modern food system is complicated. If you're just buying vegetables straight out of the ground, there's no question of what's in it: Dirt and insects and pesticides and vegetable matter, and that's it. You clean off the dirt and insects and pesticides and you make sure there weren't any tithes involved and you're fine to eat. But so much of the food we eat is processed, and there are so many ingredients involved and so many different kinds of cooking vessels involved. To determine whether unkosher animal byproducts have been introduced could be a difficult challenge.

Could, I say! Doesn't have to. Theoretically, there's a principle in kashrut called bitul, which is a little technically involved but says that if a nonkosher ingredient is less than a sixtieth of the total volume of a food mixture, it's nullified by the vast bulk of kosher food. Some people take this approach to the kashrut of processed goods- if there isn't something obviously unkosher on the ingredients list, they'll eat it and assume if there was anything unkosher it's nullified by bitul. Orthodox Judaism in the post-war era, generally speaking, does not take this understanding of bitul, though. Their sense is that bitul requires that the unkosher ingredient be added by accident, and so in the case of industrial processes with each ingredient carefully added, nothing can be nullified. As a result, a huge and complicated industry has grown up of kosher certification. Ingredient lists are scrutinized, industrial processes are supervised by trained workers, and in theory if there is kosher certification on a food item it means that somebody with Rabbinical training is keeping an eye on the whole process to make sure the food is legitimately kosher according to Orthodox standards.

But which certifications a given Orthodox Jew holds by comes down to items 2, 3, 4, and 5 on my list. Some Jews won't eat food certified by certain certification organizations because those organizations observe a less stringent interpretation of certain kashrut rules. Some Jews won't eat food certified by certain certification organizations even though they observe the same kashrut rules, because they don't trust the certification organization to be honest and thorough. As a result, there are hundreds of different certification authorities and if you really want to dig into it, you have to educate yourself on the differences between them. To make matters more confusing, outside of New York State there are virtually no secular legal structures imposed on the labeling of kosher products, so anyone can stamp a K on food and declare it kosher without any supervision. (The community tries to pass warnings along when this happens, but transmission is not always perfect)

Personally, my general approach is to say that for my purposes, the purpose of kashrut certification is to keep the food providers honest. As long as someone is willing to sign their name to assert that the food has been supervised according to Jewish law, I will eat it. I mostly don't even bother keeping track of the various kashrut organizations, except in a general way, as I feel that the presence of a certification stamp is sufficient. The only exception is of a few certification authorities that I know will cause problems if I serve their food to other Orthodox Jews: Virtually no Orthodox Jews will eat Hebrew National food, because it is not glatt, an added stringency in the examination of slaughtered animals to find defects, and because some of them don't trust the Rabbi doing the certification. I have no problem with eating Hebrew National food myself, but I don't buy it because it would be inconvenient when hosting others.

Now, to return to [personal profile] brainwane's question, virtually nobody running a grocery store knows any of this, so it's pretty much on the Jewish consumer to know the meaning of labels and how to handle purchasing accordingly. And that's fine, that's just how it is. Reading the language of kosher certification symbols is something Jewish children are taught very young, because young kids need to have it explained to them many times why they can't just eat anything off the shelf.

The bigger issue when it comes to grocery stores is stock availability. I have it fairly easy in Central Jersey, with its large Jewish population. Several major supermarkets in towns with particularly large Jewish populations have, in the past decade, built out larger kosher sections. Shop Rite calls its special kosher section in some of its stores "The Kosher Experience". There are also dedicated kosher grocery stores- I'm lucky enough right now to live in walking distance to one. But even the supermarkets in my area that don't particularly cater to Jews at least tend to have a small kosher aisle. It's actually jarring when I'm on vacation to go grocery shopping and realize that's not the norm everywhere, and to find a greater fraction of even the not-specifically-marketing-to-kosher-people brands do not have any certification. But even in Central Jersey, I often have to do a cycle of several supermarkets to find all the kosher products I want. I don't think that's a particularly Jewish phenomenon, though- most people I know have that weird item they like that they only stock at the slightly further/more expensive grocery store, necessitating a rotation of grocery store visits.

Feelings about things like the Kosher Experience are a little mixed in the community. On the one hand, it brings supermarket convenience to us, and supermarket pricing. On the other hand, this works against local smaller Jewish businesses like kosher butchers- There basically aren't any around anymore. So, you know, globalization as usual. I'm generally pretty pro-globalization, but it's undeniable that it has costs. Something like three quarters of kosher meat for the country was produced at a facility in Iowa, and when that facility was shut down for labor violations and tax fraud, it was a massive disruption in the availability of kosher meat.

Also, slowly taking the place of local kosher butchers and specialized kosher food stores is the Internet. I haven't really much taken advantage of this, but I know people who order meat from online kosher meat providers that specialize in odd cuts or types of meat that don't make the cut at the new supermarket kosher sections. It is definitely a thing and I'm sure will become more of a thing over time.

[personal profile] brainwane, was that anything like the answer you were expecting?

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(no subject) [Dec. 25th, 2016|10:26 am]

I got two absolutely incredible gifts for Yuletide this year.

The Saga of Hearthruler Whitebeard and Snowsgrace Dreamfinder (4622 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion... - Sandia Labs, 1850s London Cholera Epidemic RPF
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: John Snow (1850s London Cholera Epidemic), Reverend Henry Whitehead (1850s London Cholera Epidemic)
Additional Tags: epidemiology, Post-Apocalypse, Alternate Universe - Future, radiation poisoning, form:saga

Snow and Whitehead bring back miasma theory, and not before time.

This is the crossover to end all crossovers: Post-apocalyptic future versions of 19th century cholera researchers Henry Whitehead and John Snow team up to determine why people are dying in the radioactive waste storage facility left behind by a fallen US. In an incredibly brilliant inversion, they are this time arguing in favor of miasma theory against an orthodoxy who believes the disease is waterborne. SO. MUCH. SCIENCE. NERDERY. <3

Lost and Found (7628 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: A Void - Gilbert Adair
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Anton Vowl
Additional Tags: Lipogram, Writing with Constraints, Allusions to Ghost Soup, Story within a Story, Fic within a Fic, fanfic about fanfic, Gift Giving, Post-Canon Fix-It, tagging is fun, unofficial bonus gift

Anton Vowl is living and conscious and, in fact, signing up for an infamous gift swap! What could possibly go wrong?

And this story is even more spectacular, if that's possible. It's fic for a fandom almost nobody's read, but the plot's not really that important, as it wasn't all that important to the original novel. A Void is a translation of a French novel written without the letter e; the translation also does not use the letter e. And this fanfic is 7,000 words of hilarious metafic about Yuletide that also observes the constraint. It's a bravura performance that needs to be seen to be believed- the best parts are when Anton Vowl, the protagonist, attempts to write Ghost Soup fanfic- Ghost Soup being a fictional fandom that serves as an in-joke and common narrative example in Yuletide fandom.

Both these stories deserve more readers and more feedback, so please check them out. No canon knowledge required, I've given you all the context you should need.

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