As for the ones I wrote, I managed to do everything short of leave my name and e-mail at the top of the file this year, but at least this one of my stories, I am confident no one in the whole damn world could have guessed was by me (except now thefourthvine tells me she figured out three of four, so maybe I am wrong, but I maintain that she has inhuman powers of divination):
Awakening (2,394 words) for purkledragon
Fandom: Arcana (manhwa by So-Young Lee)
I decided this year that I was going to be more judicious in my offers, because what I really wanted was to write in a fandom I had never written in before. And then at the last second I apparently had a brain-spasm and threw Battle Of The Planets onto my list, even though I, uh, have posted four stories in that fandom. (Look, I've written in A LOT of fandoms, okay? I can forget some now and then. *facepalm*)
And naturally that's what I got matched on, so I went damn! and then decided to instead go for Arcana, despite the fact that I had basically never read any manga, because it was forlorn and red all the way through the signup phase, and purkledragon very plaintively said "anything!" in her request, and I thought what the hell and tracked it down. It's actually a pain in the ass to find on amazon because for some reason the volumes don't all come up on "Arcana Tokyopop", so for your convenience, here they are linked: vol 1, vol 2, vol 3, vol 4, vol 5. It's very very pretty, and so I decided to spiffy up the story with some pictures, so if you check out the story you can also see my l337 photoshop skillz on display along with the substantially greater art skillz of, well, the actual artist.
Then, speaking of thefourthvine's inhuman powers of diviniation, I shamelessly took advantage of being in chat with elynross at the time to snatch this pinch hit as soon as it came in over the transom:
Nice Work If You Can Get It (10,033 words) for thefourthvine
Fandom: Isaac Asimov - Robots (Powell/Donovan)
The backstory here is that last year I did one of those "guess my story and I will write you one!" things, and thefourthvine GUESSED. Based on punctuation. So after I finished boggling, I asked her what she wanted, and she said Powell/Donovan! I am a big fan of Asimov, and I had all the stories and I kept meaning to write it, but I have, uh, been just a little bit distracted this year, and it kept going to the back burner, and then her pinch hit went by with the Powell/Donovan request, and I leaped upon it.
But clearly I was going in with little hope of concealing my identity, and then I corrected that to no hope by leaving in my "= End =" thingy -- I have Word macros that convert my files into HTML/archive format, and they automatically add that on, and I forgot all about it until I greedily ran over to the story to see the comments after archive opening and saw it sitting there, kind of like a big neon sign.
Uh, well, at least writing the story was heaps and heaps of fun. Asimov is pretty much interested in plot and concept and science way more than in character description or backstory, and after rereading all the stories, my character background notes on canonical details given looked kind of like this:
Powell: brown mustache, robotics genius, calm and methodical
Donovan: red hair, excitable, body/mechanical engineer, sidekicky
So I basically gave myself license to invent them over and play, which I think he wouldn't have minded, since Powell and Donovan were themselves modeled on characters of John Campbell's which Asimov "admired extravagantly." I actually borrowed a bit of flavor from one of Isaac Asimov's own author bios for Powell -- he used to use one with a cute bit saying "he was born in Russia, to his great surprise," which gave me the idea of Powell making the "mistake" of being born in a place without an space program. *g*
Ante Bellum (1,165 words) for pollitt
Fandom: King Arthur (2004)
This was kind of a headbonk. I made all the local yuletiders I knew of come over for a pinch-hit/stocking stuffer party (and, I mean, some people might have thought this was just an excuse to get together and eat pizza, but NO, I sat everyone down in different corners and pushed laptops and notebooks on them and then I made anyone who didn't already have a pinch hit choose a stocking stuffer to do from the giftless participants list and sit quietly and write. (As cesperanza said, my idea of a party!)
Except the giftless participants list code determines the list strictly from the archive -- no story in archive, no story; and I didn't think about it enough and only belatedly realized that it therefore included people whose stories had been deleted for fixing and hadn't been re-uploaded right away. And because Murphy is cruel, that is one of the ones I picked, so I failed to actually do anything productive to address my zomg-70-giftless-people-left panic.
Also I have never actually seen this movie so basically this story is Arthurian Legend Arthur/Lancelot with a thin veneer of details cribbed from lyra_sena and geekturnedvamp and Wikipedia. um. I went straight for porn?
And then at last there was the final story, where half the comments were all, "I totally know who this is," and okay, yes, FINE.
Duende (15,195 words) for ionescribens
Fandom: Patrick OBrian - Master and Commander
So at the aforementioned pinch-hit party, lyra_sena took Ione's request and wrote the lovely Intermezzo, a stocking stuffer long enough that it knocked Ione off the giftless list once it was posted during Yuletide Madness, because (warning, techtalk) the length counting isn't that precise in the giftless list -- it goes by the size in KB, and dropped off anyone with a story of 5 K size or larger, which gets stories in the 800-1100 word range. But Ione also had an assigned pinch hitter, so we didn't worry about it, and then it started to get late on Sunday and everyone else had a full-length story, and then we started to worry, and then with about fifteen minutes to the deadline, the pinch hitter finally told us it wasn't going to happen.
We all went argh! and basically everyone in channel sort of stared at me pointedly, like I had ever written Patrick O'Brian stories or something, and first I flailed, because I was sitting in a dark room in my mom's house on Xmas eve trying to type quietly as I coded on my laptop (not fun) and then I said faintly, well, I have this unfinished story, but it's not really for the request, and more importantly I don't know how to end it -- and then I looked at the request ("a moment of happiness for Stephen") and said, oh, hey, and started furiously banging away, and I finished and pretty much flung it on the server at fifteen minutes past midnight, without a more recent beta than the super-helpful one damned_colonial did on it for me like three years ago, and we were done.
This is not in fact a fusion with anything other than the vast general group of fannish cliche, it's just an AU out of my wanting to play with bonding and fantasy elements. Thanks to the magic of MS Word statistics and probably to no one's great shock, I can inform you all it was started on January 8, 2004, about ten days before I sat down to write a different fantasy AU story and suddenly went, you know what, this isn't so much fanfic anymore, and these aren't Jack and Stephen, ("this is not my beautiful house") and off I went to frolic with dragons. *g*
And that was my yuletide. Thank you to everyone so so much for the lovely comments -- both on the stories and on the challenge itself, which was more fun for me personally this year than any other, largely because the basic systems are set up well enough that I could spend coding time making widgets and bells that weren't going to be life-or-death-of-the-challenge instead of just frantically trying to make everything work, and mostly because elynross is a goddess and ran the thing while I got to sit around in a sandbox going "whee!" and flinging toys around.
Next up, figuring out why the stories of the day post hasn't gone yet, and then 2006 year in review. Happy new year all!