ask the readers

I had a huge long post all made up, and then lj ATE it. Grr.

Tell me what to write once I'm done all my papers (because I need to remind myself that yes, this too shall pass).

'Verse: The SGA AU with all the magic and stuff.
The one where: John escapes turning into a bug only to start sprouting feathers.
Currently at: 642 words.
Tricky bits: Figuring out how the magic works.
A piece I don't mind sharing:
“Good morning, Fredericks,” John says, slouching over the back of a chair so he can get a better look at the computer screens. Everything looks normal—not that he would know. Most of it looks like gibberish. “Everything quiet?”

“Well, there was a Wraith attack about a half hour ago, but Sergeant Jones and I managed to fend them off without too much trouble. Right, sergeant?” Jones just snorts in response, eyes still resolutely fixed on the gate, and Fredericks makes a face at John as if to say ‘see what I have to work with?’

“So nothing to worry about.” The chair squeaks when John straightens, loud against the pre-dawn hush. “If we’re invaded by tribbles at six, make sure to give me a shout.”

“Will do, sir.”

Inebriate of Air
'Verse: The SGA AU with all the magic and stuff
The one where: They find an abandoned floating city that isn't so abandoned after all.
Currently at: 3,666 words.
Tricky bits: Aren't really any. Just need to sit down and write the thing.
A piece I don't mind sharing:
They come out above a purple plain, under a cloudless pale blue sky. If not for the color of the grass, it could be a prairie from back on Earth, and John half-expects to see bison. There aren’t any, but every now and then John glimpses a patch of grass moving against the steady winds, evidence of some smaller animal’s passage.

Rodney starts getting antsy when where’s still no power signals after twenty minutes of flying, but John just says, “Keep your shirt on, McKay,” and asks the jumper to go faster, because he thinks he sees something on the horizon, a tiny freckle against the blank sky.

The jumper accelerates so smoothly that it takes a minute for Rodney to notice how fast they’re going, and when he does, he goes more than a little green, clutching at his seat like it’s the only trustworthy thing in this world. John’s too intent on this goal to actually notice Rodney’s discomfort. Later, he’ll remember it and try to make up for it without actually apologizing, but for now his one thought is to reach his destination.

And then the city’s there, filling the horizon, blocking out the sun, and it’s exactly what John’s been dreaming of night after night.

“A flying city,” Teyla says, and when John glances over, her eyes are wide and full of wonder. “Even knowing of Atlantis—” She shakes her head. “I did not think such a thing possible.”

A Theory of Parallels
'Verse: SGA (AU)
The one where: John and Rodney are roommates in college. And John's family are all still alive.
Currently at: 1,928 words.
Tricky bits: No. Plot. At all.
A piece I don't mind sharing:
And then Rodney has the surreal experience of watching his new roommate spend the next two hours cleaning the room. He tries at first to ignore John, burying his face in the mattress and pretending that he is in fact a mummy, because while it would suck to have his brain removed through his nose, at least he wouldn’t have to put up with idiots anymore. But John keeps poking him and asking questions like “Is it okay if I throw away this half eaten sandwich?” and “Are these smiley-face boxers yours?” and “Do you have a hammer so I can put the shelves back in the bookcase?”

So in the end Rodney gives in and starts ordering John around, because obviously the guy is an idiot who needs to be told what to do—although he has an annoying habit of talking back and being sarcastic.

Eventually the floor is visible again, bed and bookcase and desks reassembled, Rodney’s clothes stuffed back in the dresser where they belong (“What, you aren’t going to fold them?” “Fold them yourself—I’m not a maid service.”), and everything more or less where it was before the shitty ex-roommate decided to trash the place. John’s collapsed on the other bed, seemingly oblivious of how unhygienic the bare mattress has to be, and Rodney should probably thank him for cleaning up what was someone else’s mess.

But he can’t quite bring himself to say the words, because he’s still a little angry about the whole ‘new roommate’ thing.

Death of a Unicorn
'Verse: One with magic and shotguns and stuff.
The one where: The unicorn gets shot for eating the marigolds, the body disappears in the middle of the night, and the game warden needs to get a new uniform.
Currently at: 2,328 words.
Tricky bits: Aren't really any. Just need to sit down and write the thing.
A piece I don't mind sharing:
“I’m going to guess there’s supposed to be something there.” Doug was definitely invading her personal space—chin against the back of her head so that she could feel the vibration of his voice at the base of her skull—but she couldn’t really bring herself to care at the moment.

“Well, yeah,” she said, and hoped her voice didn’t sound as shaky as she thought it did.

“I don’t supposed there’s any chance you didn’t actually kill it?” But he asked the question like he already knew what the answer would be, and it wasn’t one he liked.

“Oh, it was dead all right. I shot it in the head to make sure.” And had done it without a second’s squeamishness. Now, though, her knees were wobbly enough that she had to sit down on the stairs again, same place as she’d sat the previous night. There was an awful lot of blood on the grass, even if it was all dried now.

“That’s what I thought.”

Turn the Light Off When You Go
'Verse: SG-1/SGA
The one where: Things go very wrong in Atlantis, and Daniel shows up on Jack's doorstep with a nearly catatonic John in tow.
Currently at: 1,545 words.
Tricky bits: All the Jack-Daniel dialogue.
A piece I don't mind sharing:
As soon as the bathroom door shuts behind Sheppard, Daniel puts down his pencil and looks over at Jack. “Well, what do you think?”

“What do I think about what?” Jack mutes the TV so they don’t have to yell at each other over the roar of rabid hockey fans. Daniel makes a face at him, like he thinks Jack’s being intentionally obtuse. Which he is, a little, but hey—Daniel should know better by now than to leave Jack an opening like that.

“About John. Is he . . . I don’t know, liable to slit his wrists in the tub or something?”

“Daniel, you do realize he can probably hear us, don’t you?” There hasn’t been any noise from the bathroom besides the click of Sheppard locking the door behind himself, and with the TV muted the apartment’s hushed. “Anyway, I don’t have a tub.”


“Daniel.” There’s comfort in the old call and response, proof that Daniel’s alive and that Jack’s not the one who’s lost everything, everybody. They glare at each other for a little, though by this point it’s mostly for show, until finally Daniel sighs and looks away. Jack tries not to take that as a victory, because it really isn’t.

Which story should I focus on?

Inebriate of Air
A Theory of Parallels
Death of a Unicorn
Turn the Light Off When You Go
some other story you forgot to mention

Feel free to give secondary choices in the comments.
Well, they'll all get written at some point (barring major disasters, of course). This is just so I can see what people are most interested in.

You can let me know the others in a comment, if you want.
Well, both stories will get written at some point--this poll is mostly so I can figure out the order in which to tackle them.

Also, hello! I don't think I've seen you around here before.
I'd say 'no need to be shy', but that would be hypocritical, since I tend to be just as silent on other peoples' journals.

*waves back*

Glad to meet you.
I voted for "Inebriate" because -- flying city! Yay! And the snippet you posted is so evocative. I nearly exploded from glee when Atlantis finally flew on the show. I'm sure any of them would be good, though, although "Turn the Lights Off" sounds like it would take my heart and stomp it into a sticky little paste on the floor, and my heart's not really in the mood for stomping at the moment. *g*
Yeah, "Turn the Lights Off" is definitely not a happy story. But it's dealing with the aftermath of being stomped on rather than the actual stomping, so...maybe it won't be as bad as you're anticipating? (Or maybe it will be--my stories have a way of ending differently than I expect them to.)
LOL ... actually, honestly? With me, the aftermath stories are worse than actual deathfic, for sheer heart-stomping. Deathfic ... there's something kind of romanticized about the way most of them are done. It's the aftermath stories, the "putting the pieces together" stories, that really get to me, because they show the grief and the loneliness and the way that the missing people leave a hole. They're more believable and some of them are just spectacularly good -- but they wrench me in a way that doesn't happen simply through watching a favorite character die.

Which obviously doesn't mean I think you shouldn't write it, of course! Some of the very best fanfics out there are "aftermath of disaster" stories. But they trample my heart with jackboots every time ...
"Turn the Lights Off"--no, wait, "Theory of Parallels." Or...no, no, definitely, "Lights"---except, maybe...I can't choose just one!:(
*can't help but be amused*

Shall I take that as a vote for "Turn the Lights Off", with "Theory of Parallels" as a close second?

If it helps, they're both definitely getting written (they'll probably get written at the same time, actually, since "Parallels" requires almost no research), so it's really just a matter of which one gets done first.
Yes, but I'm greedy! And I worry that other people's sequel fics will end up like mine--partially finished and stuck in a folder somewhere. Although that may have more to do with the fact that I have the work ethic of a slug than anything else...;) In short, don't make me pick!
Then I'll chalk you up as half a vote for each. ^_^

Frankly, with the way my brain grinds away at these things, regardless of whether or not I want it to, there's not much likeliness of them mouldering away, half-finished.
I want more of the SGA-with-magic AU! So either Tailfeathers or Inebriate of Air.
Good to know! It's always nice to hear I'm not the only person fond of that AU. As I've been reassuring people, all of these will get written within the next six months or so.

Also, Hi! Don't think I've seen you around here before.
Hi! I've wandered through a couple of times to read fic - did I completely fail to comment on any of it? Bad me.

I love winged!John and the whole idea of the AU, with magic being commonplace and worked into daily life. Good to hear that more of it will be forthcoming.