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Thank you for creating Purimgifts for me! Please enjoy your labors: these are just suggestions!

Preferences

I Don't Like:

  • Characters acting OOC, especially if the purpose is to force them into a relationship (doubly bad if that relationship is romantic or sexual)
  • By-the-numbers, every-action-described explicit sex. Note that actual sex is fine ( I love me some sexy stories) — just don't like it when the descriptions turn into a set of exact stage directions.
  • Mpreg, rape, forced sex (including sex pollen and fuck-or-die)
  • Sickly-sweet, cutesy romantic stuff (most romance-focused fiction/shoujo manga leave me cold: anything in the "tee-hee-hee, is he looking at me?" category counts)
  • Extensive use of epithets, or epithets that don't match the character POV (no one should think of his or her long-time lover as "the green-eyed man," for example): these will throw me right out of a story
  • Humiliation or betrayal (without a damn good plot reason) of a character by a friend or lover

I Like:

  • Friendships - although I am a romantic person, not every relationship must be romantic (I do like the trope of friends becoming lovers, however)
  • Strong characterization (including character-appropriate dialog: no earthy, uneducated characters using $50 words)
  • Wry and even dark humor in the course of a more serious story
  • Positive emotional payoffs that are well-earned
  • Passions that are strong without being mushy/fluffy
  • Moments of realization — satori
  • And I like any of the following "cool bits":
    • hurt-comfort
    • being cozy indoors when it's rainy or snowing
    • senses of smell and touch and memories attached to them
    • impulsive acts of valor (especially on behalf of the weak or an underdog)
    • someone's profile silhouetted against the light
    • opposites attracting
    • water running over pebbles or stones
    • romantic partners or bestfriends who are both competent
    • old-fashioned sections of town with narrow streets and alleyways and odd shops
    • kissing the inside of the elbow or the base of the throat
    • brushing long hair or riffling fingers through short hair
    • finding in a fight that one's ally feels like a protective wall
    • drops of water clinging to hair and/or skin
    • an autumn leaf or item of clothing as the only bit of color in a bleak landscape
    • food descriptions: "food porn"
    • whispered admissions of love or forgiveness

I'm quite content with both straight and gay relationships. I do tend to ship the canon relationships, unless it's a character who has had no clear relationships shown in the story. I'm not comfortable with sexual relationships shown in children under the age of, say, 14 or so, and even then it's better in context (teens with other teens or in a societal setting where girls expect to marry by 16-18 anyway).

The Works and the Characters

Saga:

Most of the women in this series are fantastic. I like Alana (although she can be a bit of a ditz), Klara (so awesome! And finally a character old enough that I could actually cosplay her!), Izabel, Gwendolyn, Sophie, The Brand, and even little Hazel. (And Lying Cat. The Brand seems to think LC is female, and that's good enough for me.) OK, The Stalk, too, but I'm not as fond of her. The missing scene where Sophie is made Gwendolyn's page would be top of my list. And one of my favorite scenes is where Sophie is snuggled up with Lying Cat and starts saying negative things about herself on the basis of her horrible past, and LC says "Lying." So anything you can think of about one or more of those characters and my likes (above) would be great.

For that matter, Marko and his father could be considered persecuted under some circumstances, and I love both of them a lot.

Discworld:

Warning: I don't like any of the recent books or the "Industrial Revolution" books (Moving Pictures Going Postal, Making Money etc. Sorry. :-( (In fact, I think A Hat Full of Sky [2004] may be the last Discworld that I ever reread for pleasure. I think Thud was OK, but I haven't bothered to go back and read it, either.)

On the other hand, I adore all the women of Monstrous Regiment, Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, Tiffany Aching (but I haven't read the most recent one of those ... because recent), Angua, Susan Sto Helit, Magrat, and Cheery Littlebottom.

Gentlemen of the Road - Michael Chabon:

I've had one one wonderful Purimgift with Amram and Zelikman, but IMO, there's never enough of these two. An adventure, a poignant interlude, a little slash ... all good.

Megillat Ester | Book of Esther:

I know numerous books for young readers have focused on Esther's point of view during the events of the Megillah (I used to volunteer in the synagogue library while my daughter was a student in religious school), but your take would be great. Or perhaps seeing Esther through the eyes of one of the other women in the king's harem? Or what about Esther's mother? How did she see all these events? For that matter, what's Mordecai's take on all this?

Tanakh:

Something that gets me inside the head of some of the women of the Torah ... your choice, but I would prefer a happy or at least optimistic story. You could even pick some unnamed daughter of the Israelites (although you should feel free to give her a name ... I love names!) and tell some great event from her viewpoint. What about the midwives who saved Moses: what's their story, before or after their small slice of scripture? What about Deborah's mother: how did she feel about the events for which her daughter became famous? How did Leah and Rachel deal with their complex family life after marriage? How about the point of view of some young Israelite women as the Israelites set out on the Exodus from Egypt (perhaps she becomes a servant or student of Miriam)? Or how about fix-it fic for Dinah: does she eventually come to terms with what happened to her?

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