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PORCHWOOD: A Writer's Nook

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Hey, I love your stories! I'm kind of confused about Crane Wife. Have you already written and posted it? I've been trying to find it but can't.

Asked by Anonymous

Thanks for your note, anon, and sorry for the confusion and fruitless searches! :( This is a very good question. I tend to forget how big the Tumblr world is (I’m a small town girl by nature :D) and sometimes assume everyone knows everything about everyone on here. I’ve posted about this fic quite a bit, but unless you hung around my blog last summer, you probably don’t have a clue what’s going on.

Last June after the THG Fairy Tale Challenge that Everlarkrecs and I put together, alonglineofbread made a post angling for a Crane Wife Everlark fic. I was unfamiliar with the fairy tale (madness!) and looked it up to find that it was beautiful but entirely heartbreaking at the end, so I reblogged ALLOB’s post with images and ideas of how it could go, Mejhiren-style. (For one, Katniss is now a swan. :D) My brain was pretty fried from writing all those fairytale fics (and trying to get back to WtM!), but I really liked the premise and tried to squeeze in work on it.

Nine months and a whole lot of RL obstacles later, the fic is maybe one-third complete, and I really don’t want to post it till it’s finished (in my experience, that’s a kiss of death for WIPs, especially when I already have a huge WIP on the front burner). But I can’t help reblogging posts that remind me of the story and, now and again, sharing a quote or teaser. It will get done (or ALLOB will kill me, and be justified in it!), and sooner rather than later, I hope! As soon as Ch 12 of WtM is done, I’m loosely planning on doing a “round two” of my Fairy Tales of Panem, in which case I could finish and post my Crane Wife fic and Milk-Daughter (another unpublished one with teasers here and there - Snow White Everlark with a strong Jack/Raisa pairing), and a few miscellaneous fairytale fics that are flailing for freedom at the corners of my brain. (Cruel Sisters, Thousandfurs, and this new fox!Katniss premise that I really didn’t need but just might be adorable. :D)

If you’d like to read what I have posted of the Crane Wife fic as teasers and such, they are as follows:

Again, sorry for the confusion and thanks for your patience! I really hope to have the complete fic posted before the end of summer. Stay tuned!

Aww thank you for posting that! That gave me so many Peeta feels! :)

Asked by bonniegirrrl

You are quite welcome, friend! :D

I’m assuming you’re talking about the braiding flashback/tale about young Peeta and his grandma? These little bits of backstory/cultural detail keep coming to me and I mean to save them for other stories (like Torch, one day in the distant future ;D), but they weasel their way into WtM and add so much depth that I genuinely forget sometimes that they’re all my own additions to canon! (Granny Ashpet, the significance of honey and apples, Janek and Alys/Lyssa’s relationship, Raisa and Rooba as sisters - just to name a few!) 

Anyway, I’m really glad you’re enjoying it! The braids/hairpins story was actually not going to be told until much later in the story (perhaps at a certain couple’s toasting ;D), but there’s occasion in Ch 12 for Peeta to tell Katniss about the Mellark bridal braid traditions and later for him to tell her a story, and I thought, “Why not tell her about his own experience with the bridal braids?” It’s a neat way to sneak in the backstory of his love for her (for the sake of the audience) without Katniss having a clue and, very likely, getting jealous of his mystery sweetheart all over again. ;D

Thank you again!!

Writing Check-In: When the Moon, Ch 12

Hey kids! Today happens to be foreverdawn95’s birthday, and she thought it might be nice if a WtM teaser made its way to the dash.

(On a sidenote, you guys have NO idea how hard it is to ferret out an Everlarky excerpt from this chapter without giving things away!)

In light of a certain post that I reblogged today, I thought this might be a particularly nice tidbit to share. It’s a continuation of the bedtime story Peeta began in the previous excerpt (that he’s telling to Katniss :D), though I’m skipping past the rather crucial segment where five-year-old Peeta finally obtains the precious bridal hairpins (heh heh heh). This is what follows…

***

Now the boy was friends with the shoemaker’s children, but he didn’t want to play with them just then, and for one horrible moment he imagined that his father thought it was the shoemaker’s daughter – a round, ruddy girl with yellow hair that frizzled in the summertime – that he wished to wed. The boy protested this vehemently, hiding the pin-parcel deep in his trouser pocket so the shoemaker’s daughter wouldn’t see – for she knew the hairpin tradition as well as he and thought it entirely romantic – but the baker only chuckled and shook his head. “I know well who your bird-girl is,” he assured the boy, and there was a strange sadness in his eyes. “And if you are old enough to think of bridal hairpins, it’s time you began another task.”

He led the boy into the shop, where his uncle – the baker’s younger brother – also worked, and up to the living quarters, where the baker’s aged mother – the boy’s beloved grandmother – shared two small rooms with her bachelor son. The old woman was thin and frail with age, but her blue eyes were still bright and keen and very wise, and she guessed at once why her youngest grandson had been brought to her. Then again, the boy had chattered to his grandmother about the starlight-voiced bird-girl every morning when he delivered her sweet buns and soft honey-bread, so it had been no great riddle to solve.

“’Tis the way of our men,” she told the boy with a smile when his father had gone downstairs once more. “To fall deeply and fast, and give their hearts away in childhood. When we were eight years old, your grandfather – who was a fat, clumsy boy – pushed me into a mud puddle and covered me with kisses. I blackened his eye for it, but we were best friends within a year and sweethearts soon after. Likewise, your father loved his Lyssa in the cradle and wanted babies with her when he was little older than you are now. So to see you set on becoming a bridegroom is no great surprise, and it does my old heart good to see my sweetest grandchild in love, and with so worthy a girl besides.”

She bade the little boy sit beside her on her bed, then she took down her long silver braid and handed the boy her hairbrush. “Come now,” she said. “Brush it well. I shall teach you first to braid and then to shape the bride-coils.”

The boy’s fingers were chubby and unskilled, and like any child, he had games and friends with which his time might be better spent, but he knew well the significance of this task and set to it with the same diligence he had dedicated to the deliveries which had earned him those five precious pennies. He knew now that it was not enough simply to have the pins: he must learn to braid his sweetheart’s hair in the bridal fashion before he could think of asking her to marry him, and he worked tirelessly to learn this task. Every afternoon he stood at the schoolhouse door and watched his bird-girl till her black braids were out of sight, then he hurried to the shoe shop, arriving even before the shoemaker’s own children, and ran upstairs to wake his grandmother from her nap and practice the bridal braids with her. He made the cinnamon tea she loved and gave her the sugar cookies from his lunch, which he always saved for her, and she always gave him one back, and sips from her tea cup besides, so they could share the treat.

His grandmother’s hair was smooth and lustrous as a skein of silver thread, and as the days went by the boy combed and plaited and wound it in clumsy coils and thought of his bird-girl’s eyes. He breathed in sweet supple shoe leather that reminded him of her father’s jacket, the one he sometimes draped around her shoulders when they came by the bakery on brisk days, and sipped warm cinnamon tea that made him think of New Year’s, of kissing boughs and red plaid dresses and the scent of evergreens that clung to his girl’s braids on Sunday afternoons. One day he would weave sweetheart ribbons through those braids, he thought, but for now, it was enough to be thinking of their marriage.

***

P.S. If anyone’s confused, there is additional backstory earlier on regarding why Mellark boys learn to do the bridal braids, what those braids look like, and how they factor into a Mellark wedding ceremony. But I’m sitting on that like a broody hen. ;D

Hello! :) I am a huge fan of all your stories, and just your writing style in general. You have such a beautiful way with words!! Anyway, this Saturday is my birthday, and I was wondering if you would maybe consider posting another WTM teaser? It would be the best present ever!

Asked by foreverdawn95

Happy birthday, friend!

This note is so wonderfully sweet! Thank you for your wonderful words about my writing! <3

I’m ridiculously backlogged on my poor inbox but I think this is still the Saturday to which you were referring? I’ve had a pretty long, rough dry spell with writing of late but was finally able to peck away at WtM for a while today and will pop over to the desktop and see if I can find a little something to commemorate your special day! 

Love you, birthday girl, and (I think?) welcome to Tumblr! Come visit anytime! :D

I have a quiver made by the same artist you posted about however long ago. Mine actually happens to have a gold mockingjay pressed and painted into it. I thought it was funny that you posted about him on your blog with hunger games ff.

Asked by flipthebirdie

Oh my gosh, you have a mockingjay quiver?? That was made just for you??? *squees loudly* That’s amazing! Any chance of you posting a picture so we can all gush and shriek and cast envious looks in your direction? :D

And I tend to leap on all manner of beautiful pictures of arrows and quivers and bows. :D I really love Katniss as a huntress (and, for that matter, her father as a hunter) and am always eager to work that imagery into the collage that is my blog. I tend to write a lot of AU fics (including fairy tales), so these elegant, artistic weapons seem to fit quite well!

Thanks for your note!

fairy-wren:

Guianan Red Cotinga. Photo by Ricardo Gentil