I can't even adequately explain why this is so delightful to me. It's just. Green is Philip Rivers's comfort color, okay?
I have been given to understand that the NFL Pro Bowl is for losers which is why I will definitely be watching. Honestly, a game with no real stakes sounds kind of soothing.
What I had in mind was injuries, trades, and playoff losses, though. Not this: Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura dies in Dominican Republic vehicle crash at age 25. It's the saddest fucking thing.
(And I discovered that Melissa Etheridge is on Twitter, and mostly tweets about Chiefs football and jigsaw puzzles. It's kind of adorable.)
Well, today on Good Morning Football she followed through and played a little song called "Alex Smith, I Love You."
I fucking hate this trade. It doesn't make emotional sense or baseball sense. It does cut payroll, though, which is the only thing David Glass cares about this offseason, apparently. I mean, sure, you're replacing a guy who was insanely affordable for his production with a giant box of question marks, but at least they're cheap question marks! Piece by piece we're replacing our team identity with pieces of castoff trash. It's a good thing David Glass can't actually sell the 2015 championship or I'm sure that would be gone too.
(How did I end up in another sports RPF fandom where there isn't enough fic and most of it is for a team that I won't read? The Patriots, in this case.)
This Won't Hurt (15506 words) by ionthesparrow
Fandom: National Football League RPF, Sports RPF
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Alex Smith/Dustin Colquitt
Characters: Alex Smith, Dustin Colquitt, Eric Berry, Jamaal Charles
Additional Tags: Kansas City Chiefs
The average NFL QB stands 6’3” and weighs about 225. The average quarterback career runs about 6 years, depending on who you believe, and allowing for the variance generated by guys like Blanda and Favre, and all the cup-of-coffee players littering the other side of the bell curve. All that makes it seem Alex is sitting pretty square in the middle of things, average in all senses of the word.
But Alex has always been exceptional.
Utterly gorgeous story of how Alex Smith found a home in Kansas City in 2013.
Take, Eat (3440 words) by ionthesparrow
Fandom: National Football League RPF, Sports RPF
Relationships: Brett Favre/Aaron Rodgers
Characters: Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre
Additional Tags: Sex Is Not The Enemy
Brett always gets to say where. Brett always gets to say when.
Deliciously messed-up, scorchingly hot.
Say to Them (2604 words) by mayhap
Fandom: Ea-nasir Tablet RPF
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Ea-Nasir, Nanni, Original Characters
Additional Tags: Correspondence, Legal Documents, 5 Things
Five undiscovered texts pertaining to the life of Ea-Nasir.
You may have heard of the Ea-Nasir tablet, which went a bit viral on reddit, tumblr, etc, a while back. It's instantly relatable: the ur-customer service complaint, if you will.
At one point while I was working on this story I joked that I was living the classic stress dream wherein you realize that you have a final research paper due in a class that you have never attended. That was basically how I ended up approaching it—as I was looking up stuff about the world of Ea-Nasir, I kept coming across great stuff that I wanted to work into my story somehow, which in turn led me to look up other things, and so on. Pretty early on I settled on doing a 5 Things fic, with five different scribes and five different texts, with Ea-Nasir's direct response to Nanni's tablet at the center, and at the last minute I went through and annotated a bunch of things for the edification and enjoyment of my readers.
Incidentally, coercedbynutmeg, the entrepôt where Ea-Nasir acquired the copper that Nanni wrote him an angry letter about was none other than Bahrain.
A House For Me (12120 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: The Woman in the Wall - Patrice Kindl
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Anna Newland/F | Francis Albright
Additional Tags: Post-Canon, Growing Up, Chicago (City), romance between stepsiblings
How Anna Newland made herself at home in Chicago.
And this delightful treat about my favorite baseball players:
Life On Line (1082 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Baseball RPF
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Lorenzo Cain & Salvador Pérez
Characters: Lorenzo Cain, Salvador Pérez
Salvy visits Lolo in the off-season. Lorenzo wishes he'd stop calling him that.
I just realized, reading both stories together, that the common thread running through all three of my requests was people being pushed outside of their comfort zones in various ways.
Edit: Replaced link to video with HD version. Thanks, NFLVideoConverterBot!
I am so excited that we matched on one of these fandoms and I can’t wait to read whatever you write this Yuletide!
I enjoy a wide variety of stories, all year round but especially at Yuletide. I like short, punchy stories and longer, plottier stories, explicitly porny and/or kinky stories and coy stories that are all about the teasing and the implications, stories with some kind of meta angle to them and stories that engage with the source material 100% on its own level, stories with unusual pairings and stories that are strictly canon pairings only, if applicable.
Lorenzo Cain, Salvador Pérez
I love the close relationships among all the various Royals players, but the single most entertaining one for me would have to be the ongoing bromantic comedy starring Salvy and his beloved hermanito Lolo, now showing at an Instagram near you. I definitely ship it, but I would also adore a story about them as teammates. I love all the horseplay, the giggling, the amazing locker room music choices. I love the way Salvy gets hearts in his eyes and LoCain struggles to maintain a straight face as he tries to fend off the camera.
I also just love baseball and everything about it, so any and all baseball-specific stuff in a story would totally thrill me. I really enjoy RPF that incorporates various real life references along with the stuff that didn’t happen and is totally fictional and would prefer not to receive the sort AU where they are something other than baseball players.
The Professor - Charlotte Brontë
William Crimsworth, Frances Evans Henri, Hunsden Yorke Hunsden
I am fascinated the role that Hunsden Yorke Hunsden plays in this story, which is one of the things that makes it so different from Villette. From the beginning he alternates between needling William and performing these extremely thoughtful favors for him, although it's not always easy for him to get under William's skin since William perversely enjoys some of his bluntness. He brings out such an interesting side of Frances when he meets her, too -- I love that promptly she gets into three arguments with him in a row, and the third time she doesn't even believe in the argument she's making; she just wants to fight with him!
I'm particularly interested in a story set when William and Frances are living in England and Hunsden is their neighbor. I love how he has apparently latched onto their family in lieu of starting their own, especially the way he seems to practically be a coparent to Victor. I would love more about their daily life as it's sketched all too briefly in that last chapter, or a story about something that happens as Victor gets older and goes to school, as William worries about.
I would also love threesome fic! William would be almost hopelessly scandalized by the prospect, I think, and probably Frances too, but then with the dynamic both she and Hunsden have with William where they love to tease him I can imagine it working out somehow. I do love stories where characters fumble their way into unusual relationships or sexual practices without quite knowing what they're doing or having the usual vocabulary to talk about it, which is sort of what I would picture. But I also absolutely love them the way they already are together, so it is totally up to you.
The Woman in the Wall - Patrice Kindl
Anna Newland, Francis Albright
I'm especially interested in futurefic exploring how Anna interacts with the outside world, set any time after the events of the book. I love her highly distinctive perspective and her willingness to explore unfamiliar and intimidating things but also judge them. I'd be curious to see her navigating any or all of: a new home, the city of Chicago, the late 90s internet, and of course her new blended family. I don't have a strong preference for whether you get or keep Anna and Francis together, but I do find it fascinating that the first person Anna gets to know who is outside of her immediate family, which is such a huge step for her, ends up being brought into her immediate family after all, and how, if at all, she would explain the complexities of that relationship to outsiders.
Most of all I just love this very peculiar book, with its very implausible premise worked out in such extensive detail, and I'm interested in whatever story it should happen to inspire you to write.
I am mayhap on AO3 and mayhap on DW crossposted to mayhap on LJ for stalking purposes. Happy Yuletide!
[With Thomas Becket the King] seems to have had one of the most important relationships of his life. Sodomy was a Norman vice, and Becket beautiful as well as strong, but there need have been no physical relationship. Indeed, it is most unlikely. But he did have a most intense emotional relationship with Becket, and I have no doubt that he submitted sincerely to the rods… Consider this fat, grey-eyed, bloodshot, strangely attractive sportsman kneeling to be whipped before the tomb of that beautiful person whom he had personally known to be a saint long before he was canonised, who he had persecuted all his life ("hell knows no fury like a woman scorned") and whom he had driven to revolt because he loved him and could not for that reason permit him to live his own life. Henry is a very real person.
(quoted in T. H. White's The Once and Future King by Elisabeth Brewer)
Well, I've mostly been watching the Olympics, except for when I've been watching the Olympics and a baseball game at the same time. (That's pretty disorienting, especially when the announcers start talking about gymnasts warming up in the bullpen.)
But I did reread "The Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang—just the novella, not the whole short story collection—after I saw the trailer for Arrival during the Olympics and was very confused by the idea of a movie being made out of that story as I remembered it, although I wasn't entirely sure how well I remembered it.
On reread, the trailer definitely has them changing a bunch of stuff about the setup for no immediately apparent reason that isn't necessarily important either way, but makes me wonder even more how on earth they've attempted to represent the important part of the story, which the trailer doesn't even really hint at. Which, I mean, it shouldn't; that would be horribly spoilery. But I'm so curious! How did they even end up making a movie out of something so seemingly unfilmable? I'm so curious now!
I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Thanks to the long time between the play opening and the script being published, it was the first time I consumed a Harry Potter book (-like object) without it being a scrupulously-unspoiled experience. I did start out avoiding the spoilers, but it ended up being untenable.
( spoilers )
I read The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It, a really entertaining collection of oral history. Deservedly a classic.
I read But Didn't We have Fun?: An Informal History of Baseball's Pioneer Era, 1843-1870, which covers even earlier days than The Glory of Their Times. I was personally looking for more about gameplay and how it changed during that time period, which this book touches lightly on but focuses more on changes in attitudes towards playing baseball at all, and also the shift from local amateur teams to recruiting professional teams, which is also very interesting.
I read Full of Briars, an novelette in the October Daye series but with Quentin as the POV character, and i don't know why. I mean I do know why, because I still keep up with the series and I like Quentin, but then I feel like Seanan McGuire's writing really only works for me with a POV character who fits within this very circumscribed range that is her sweet spot and this…does not fall within that range. At all. Also the whole encounter with Quentin's parents just fell unbelievably flat. I dunno, this made me actively less excited for the next actual Toby book, which is not great.
I read Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagues of Baseball, which follows a pretty good number of minor league players and managers (plus an umpire and a groundskeeper) through a minor-league season.
I read Whatever Life Throws at You, a young adult/new adult romance novel (I'm not entirely sure what the difference is, which I believe makes me an old adult) about how the daughter of the Kansas City Royals' new pitching coach falls in love with their new hotshot rookie pitcher. My expectations were low; I was mostly curious and expecting to be mildly entertained by how it depicted, or more likely failed to depict, the town where I live. It delivered roughly what I expected, occasional moments of semi-accuracy amidst a lot of blandness.
What transfixed me, though, was the author's complete and utter lack of understanding of how a major league pitching staff functions. I suffered through all the boring, poorly-written romance bits just to see what insane pitching changes they were going to make next. At one point, the hotshot rookie pitcher/love interest pitched at least three innings every day for four days in a row. They appear to use starting pitchers in relief constantly, but I think this is just a misunderstanding about what the terms "ace" and "number five pitcher" actually mean, because elsewhere there is a reference to a "number five mid-relief pitcher, which is…not a thing.
Then there's this gem from the deciding game of the ALCS against the Yankees:
The other starter was coming off four days in a row of pitching and Brody was fresher and more ready, so his name got pulled from the roster.
That's not how this works. That's not how any of this works.
I think my favorite part, though, is where Brody is throwing a perfect game in the World Series—because of course he is—and he's already been named Rookie of the Year—because of course he has, even though that doesn't even happen until the World Series is over—and apparently he's been relying either entirely or almost entirely on a mid-nineties fastball, with his slider and curveball being described as "newer pitches" that he's still "trying." What? No. No way has he even been starting without commanding, at a bare minimum, two pitches that he can mix effectively, much less is throwing a perfect game, much less is he throwing a perfect game in the World Series. Especially since his arm fell off from overuse months ago.
I read The Girl in the Spider's Web, the continuation of the Millennium books, because I was just mildly curious enough (mostly about shippy stuff, TBH) even though I didn't think it looked very good. It, in fact, wasn't very good, and didn't really do anything I liked with the shippy stuff either. ( Cut more to spare you from boredom than from spoilers. ) So, meh.
Also, I'm sorry, Lisbeth was the world's biggest Apple fangirl. You can't just have her go switching platforms all abruptly like that. And there was nowhere near enough quoting the specs of actual computers. I expect this from my Millennium books!
I read The View from the Cheap Seats, Neil Gaiman's collection of selected nonfiction. A lot of the bits I'd already read, but they're still much handier to have collected in one place, and I had missed out on gems like this aside from an introduction to Bone:
The first time I read Moby-Dick, as a boy of ten, I read it for the exciting bits (and finished it convinced that it would make a terrific comic; then again, I recall, at about the same age, finishing King Solomon’s Mines utterly certain that it would make a brilliant musical. I must, in retrospect, have been an odd child)
I read The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O'Neil's America by Joe Posnanski, whom you may know as the guy who wrote that blog entry about taking his 14-year-old daughter to see Hamilton. (That was a piece of fandom cross-pollination that I was not expecting.) It's a really lovely book, both really personal and intensely focused on its subject.
I read Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan Maguire's novella about a boarding school for kids who have returned from portal fantasies, because I liked the idea so much that even though most of the non-spoilery reactions I'd seen were pretty neutral on the execution, I thought it couldn't be all that bad, and anyway, it was short. ( I definitely did not expect to hate it as much as I did. )