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I got a question about the Memory Maker, so I thought I'd post a little addendum to this entry on Disney World tips

We did get the Memory Maker. It's expensive, but we were four families, so we split it four ways. Everyone was linked to me through the app, so every time they scanned one of their magicbands for a picture, it went to my Memory Maker. I was nervous this would work, but it honestly worked like a charm. 

Disney charges you $16.95 for a single download of one of their official photographs, so if you think you might want a dozen of those photos, then the Memory Maker is well worth the money. If your kids are going to do a lot of character meetings, I think it's totally worth it. All the character photos are included in Memory Maker. So are all of the ride photos, like Splash Mountain reaction shots, etc. In order to truly get your money's worth, make sure you stop every time you see one of Disney's official photographers and make them take your photo. All those photos will be included in your Memory Maker fee. 

We definitely got our money's worth, not just because the kids did a lot of character meetings but because I told everyone to stop every time they saw a photographer, so we have a ton of really nice group photos in perfect locations throughout the parks. I asked someone to take a photo of all of us just once on this entire trip. The photo came out terrible. Lucky for us we have a profusion of wonderful group photos of all of us, none of us left out to be the photographer, none of us having to bother someone walking by to take a terrible photo of us. They're quality professional photographs of all of us as a family, no selfie angle involved, and we're honestly so pleased to have all of them.  PLEASE GO TO EARLGREYTEA68.DREAMWIDTH.ORG TO COMMENT ON THIS ENTRY. ANONYMOUS COMMENTS SHOULD BE ALLOWED IF YOU DON'T HAVE A DW ACCOUNT. https://earlgreytea68.dreamwidth.org/534538.html?mode=reply https://earlgreytea68.dreamwidth.org/534538.html
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We spent the last few days at Disney World: my parents, me, my sisters, their husbands, their kids (8, 4, 4, and 2), and one of my sister’s mother-in-law with her husband and 17-year-old son. We had a blast, especially the kiddos, who were the point of the trip. We really wanted them to get to see Disney while they were still mostly young enough to believe in magic, and it was a delight. I know a lot of people resist going to Disney when their kids are too young to remember it, and I totally get why. My family did our first Disney trip when I was 12 and my youngest sister was 5, and she was always demanding to go back because she didn’t really remember it. But the two-year-old had the BEST time out of all of us. She was just amazed and delighted by everything. She could not believe we took her to this place. She was awed by every character and princess she met. I can imagine it was a huge and overwhelming world that she was introduced to on this trip, but she loved it, and I loved that she loved it. It was so great to see it through her eyes. The other kids loved it, too, of course, but we just kept saying that it was a shame the youngest wouldn’t remember the trip, because she loved it SO much.

ANYWAY. I HAVE DISNEY ADVICE. IF ANYONE IS INTERESTED.

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 Total number of completed stories: 17

Total word count:  427,711 (????? that seems like it can't possibly be right, but that's what my stats page says -- oh, wait, Dream Bigger finished at the end of January last year, maybe it's counting all of Dream Bigger?)

Fandoms written in: British actor RPF, Fall Out Boy, Inception, Original Works, Sports Night

Looking back, did you write more fic than you thought you would this year, less, or about what you’d expected? I think I wrote more. I also wrote two novels this year for a publication contract, so in my head I had way less time to write fic stuff. But I am also one of those people who usually emerges from a period of constrained and focused writing into a huge flurry of different writing, so I guess it would make some sense that I managed to get a lot of fic squeezed into the time I had. Most of the fic I posted was short; the rest of my free time this year was devoted to "Swan Song" spinning out of control.

What’s your own favorite story of the year? I always love everything I write, but "Swan Song" has its teeth in my heart. I have wanted to write a band story for years and years (I actually started and abandoned a completely different band story about supernatural creatures forming a band together many years ago), and this iteration of it has been fun in all the ways I imagined it would be. Matt and Patrick are dreamy characters who seized the narrative and did all the work for me and it's just been a delight. Even if it's gone on for tens of thousands of words beyond my initial estimate for the story. 

Did you take any writing risks this year?  I wrote in a couple of new fandoms I'd never written in before. "Shipped" was actually my first time writing in a Sorkin fandom, despite my presence in them for years, and I spent months mulling the idea of the fic over in my head until I felt that I could hear their voices well enough to give it a try. I also leaped in and wrote a couple of bandom fics, which I think might be my first RPF fics? Even though, as with Sorkin, I am a long-time devoted RPF reader. I have in the past found RPF fandoms tricky to join, so I've been relieved that everyone so far has been really nice. 

Do you have any fanfic or profic goals for the new year? I would like to finish "Swan Song," which, honestly, maybe this is famous last words but I don't anticipate being problematic. I have a huge chunk already finished and I think that FINALLY there is not much more left to accomplish. I have a novel to edit and then as soon as that's done, "Swan Song" is the focus until it's done. (I refused to let myself work on "Swan Song" for the past couple of months because I was supposed to be a Good and Dedicated and Productive Author when it came to my pro stuff, and so instead I ended up cultivating an entirely new fandom and writing a ton of much shorter fics in the past few months because I AM THE BEST AT PROCRASTINATION.) Once "Swan Song" is done, I really would like to finish the Jadenvale and Euphonia trilogy, which has languished too long. And then...Idk. I have a list of possible writing prompts much longer than I will ever get around to writing. Probably I'll just wait to see which one starts talking in my head. They can be unpredictable. 

Most popular story of the year? "Dream Bigger" by every metric :-)

 

Story of mine most under-appreciated by the universe, in my opinion: I never think any of my stories are unappreciated but I'm actually really proud of The ribbon on my wrist says, "Do not open until Christmas." I feel like it's a little bit of a departure from the stuff I usually write, with a plot and everything, and I was really pleased with how the plot came together. I even had to do world-building and I do sometimes world-build but I think of myself as being lazy about it. It's also a fic where it takes many thousands of words for the OTP to meet and I felt like I had to manage people's expectations about who the OTP would be more than I usually do. And it was really the most extended period of time I spent in Pete's head (the other two bandom fics are really Patrick's POV), and I felt really happy that I stuck with him and got a feel for him. I was just really pleased with how that whole story came together and I know a lot of people don't read RPF so it didn't get read as much as my other stuff but I feel like it's possibly one of the best plots I've ever come up with. 

Most fun story to write: Harry Styles and the OTP. I sent off a draft of the novel I'd been working on for months and immediately wrote this in a frantic thirty-minute burst of giddiness, and I was so overstimulated by all the writing that I couldn't stop laughing at how hilarious I was finding myself. I really never make myself laugh when I'm writing; this is the only fic I can remember laughing at as I was typing it out, and that was just so great. 

Most unintentionally telling story: "Swan Song" is really everything I love to write about just indulged to the point of infinity, basically. That essential Mattrick story, of the two people who know each other better than anyone on the planet and can conquer the world together by loving each other just as they are, is my favorite thing to write (it's HGTV-verse in band form basically), and I just spoiled the hell out of myself all year just writing every over-the-top trope I could include in it. Social Butterfly / Favorite FTW :-) 

Biggest disappointment: I really wanted to finish "Swan Song" this year. I'm not really disappointed I didn't, because I wrote as furiously as I was able and also the bit of delay has let me add a layer of depth to it that I think it would have lacked had I just dashed it out, but it would have been nice not to leave all of you waiting for so long. 

Biggest surprise: Matt walking into "Swan Song" and stealing the show for the next 100,000 words an year's worth of writing. I didn't expect him and I'm so glad he showed up; he's been an utter delight to get to know.   

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HOW IS IT ALREADY THIS TIME OF YEAR AGAIN???Collapse ) PLEASE GO TO EARLGREYTEA68.DREAMWIDTH.ORG TO COMMENT ON THIS ENTRY. ANONYMOUS COMMENTS SHOULD BE ALLOWED IF YOU DON'T HAVE A DW ACCOUNT. https://earlgreytea68.dreamwidth.org/533941.html?mode=reply https://earlgreytea68.dreamwidth.org/533941.html
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Requested by [personal profile] kaffyr

When it came to TARDISes, the kids had learned early, gentleness helped. A soft touch, a careful pat. TARDISes were, when you came right down to it, sensitive, easily offended. The kids whinged at their dad that he needed to be less combative.

“She’s taken me exactly where she wants to go our entire acquaintance,” the Doctor sniffed. “It’s just a very long disagreement we’re having.”

“She’s always taken you where you need to go,” Rose countered easily.

When their TARDISes disregarded all attempts to be directed, the kids always remembered this: gentleness, and knowing where you needed to go.
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Requested by [personal profile] acciochocolate

“But,” Brem insists, “we must put them in the post.”

“TARDISes don’t need post,” the Doctor responds, indignant. “The very idea of Time Lords having to send parcels from a post office when you’ve got an entire TARDIS—”

“Santa doesn’t accept TARDIS mail,” Brem says stubbornly. “Santa is human.”

The Doctor snorts. “Santa gets around the entire planet in one night. He’s definitely not human.”

Brem says, “Mum always put letters to Santa in the post. We should do it Mum’s way.”

The Doctor looks across at Rose and smiles. “Wellllllll. You’ve got me there. Can’t argue with that.”
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Requested by anonymous.

“The thing is,” Sherlock informs Oliver, “cooking is nothing but chemistry.” Sherlock pauses and regards the kitchen. “We just have to be very careful to keep the arsenic away from the other ingredients.”

Oliver nods in grave agreement.

John comes home to find them leaning over hot oil. “What are you doing?” he asks, alarmed.

“Calculating the smoking point of oil so that we can make latkes,” Sherlock replies.

“No,” John says, grabbing Oliver away from the oil.

Sherlock pouts extravagantly. “I put the arsenic away.”

“Okay,” John says. “I’m declaring this kitchen permanently off-limits.”

“He overreacts,” Sherlock tells Oliver.

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Requested by [personal profile] alafaye

John thinks sometimes of how much of his life he lived without a home. He never felt truly at home at his parents’ house. His uni days were a blur of hopping from flat to flat. His military days were worse, flitting between emergencies. Sometimes John thought home was a helicopter, or just the duffel bag of belongings he dragged around with him.

Now John has a flat with a man who plays violin at all hours when he isn’t attracting the criminal element to join him for tea. It’s now how he imagined home would be, but it’s perfect.
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Requested by daisyfairy1

“Why do you have ribbon?” Sherlock asks suspiciously.

John sighs. “Look,” he says. “I’m going to wrap some presents. Even though you’re going to insist you know what every present is so my wrapping is a waste of time, still, I’m going to do it. Because it’s Christmas.”

“You’re going to wrap presents with the ribbon?” says Sherlock, sounding surprised.

“Yes,” John says slowly. “A bit of ribbon can look nice on a gift.”

“Oh,” says Sherlock, “I thought you were planning on strangling someone. It would make a festive murder weapon here in the Christmas season.”

John doesn’t disagree.

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Requested by [personal profile] auntiesuze .

“It needs Christmas lights,” Harrison announces.

“You think everything needs Christmas lights. The school shuttle buses.”

“Yes.”

“My shoelaces.”

“Yes.”

“You complained that your coffee mug at Kishi’s didn’t have Christmas lights tied ‘round the handle.”

“I mean,” huffs Harrison, “it’s the least to expect from Kishi’s.”

“Indeed,” Drew agrees wryly.

Harrison says, “Anyway. Your ugly Christmas sweater definitely needs lights.”

“It’s a Christmas jumper,” Drew corrects. “And I plan never to wear it.”

“Because you’re too sexy when you say ‘Christmas jumper’ so I always have to take it off of you?”

“That’s a good reason, too,” says Drew.
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