I got 4 madness stories. WHAT??? Also, I wrote one, plus 2 stories for the main exchange and received an amazing gift. So...
What I received
I received a wonderful Temeraire/Narnia cross by the superlative wingedflight21 An Unusual Dragon Situation Returning to Cambridge after a voyage across the Eastern Sea leads Eustace to realize that he is not the same boy who fell through the painting. He has grown in unexpected ways. It's wonderful. I'd spotted the fact that there was a Temeraire cross in the collection and was hoping it was for me and it WAS. As always, Winged's Eustace voice is pitch perfect.
Madness was an embarrassment of riches. edenfalling wrote A boat, beneath a sunny sky, a glorious slice of Aravis and Lasaraleen having a small adventure and brilliant bit of characterization
edenfalling ALSO wrote a wonderful and insightful Polly and Digory story, about the war to come in response to the prompt by several people, How the Skeleton Aches
The wonderful adaese wrote the wry and poignant
A correspondence between Bibi Tarkheena, wife to Kidrash Tarkaan, lord of Calavar Province, and her aunt Latana, High Priestess of Zardeena, being a selection from the Calavar archives, presented here for the edification and instruction of young ladies.
Which explains the whole of Aravis' situation from the point of view of the not-so-evil stepmother.
And I received The Little Sea by Transposable-Element which is a wonderful bit of Calormen pantheon and worldbuilding.
Thanks so much to the generous people who wrote these wonderful, wonderful works! GO! Read and Review!
I had huge problems writing, at first. I've been incredibly busy with work writing and I've felt that Narnia, its fandom fen, and I are in the middle of an especially messy and painful divorce. I've really wanted to just chuck it all and go to ground so it was really, really hard to write, at first. Eventually, I forced myself, word by word and finally came out with three stories.
And what I wrote
I did two stories for the main exchange, one of which was blindingly obvious and one of which was definitely not.
That we may hear the whispers of the gods, for bedlamsbard (a very intimidating person to write for, let me tell you!) Anyone who has read some of my musings on the Calormene Trickster god would have recognized this story. It was a real mess in early drafts and was truly saved by freudiancascade. Aravis isn't an easy character for me for some reason. I really enjoyed Lasaraleen and Hwin in this story. I'd also wanted to do a much bigger story, hinted at here, of Cor's abduction (again) and Aravis riding off to rescue him. Also hinted at, but not something I could develop, is that Aravis and Cor have issues, both individually and as a couple, and that Cor's time as slave definitely left its mark. Freudiancascade asked me during one round of review if I really intended to imply that Cor and Aravis were probably queer -- and I said yep, that was intentional. I really wanted to play with gender issues and how complicated that was by their personal histories and Archenland politics, but I just couldn't pull it off without it coming out incredibly sexist, so I tossed a lot of that. The abduction was simply too big a story for the NFE -- this already clocked in at 10K, so I stripped out a lot and tried to focus in on Aravis becoming comfortable in her own skin. I ended up blundering into sexy times even in one draft. Egads.
The second story, a pinch hit, surely a surprise, As Waves Make Towards The Pebbl'd Shore for our NFE mod and all around only good things should happen to her ever, snacky . Peter/Caspian is one of Snacky's OTP's and she deserved a story written just for her for all her amazing work as mod and everything else. So I wrote Peter/Caspian slash!
A comment or two asked what was going on with the buzzing in Susan's purse. That, as it turns out, is explained in my madnness story, Susan and Peggy Go Shooting (Again)which is a continuation of my Avengers MCU cross from the NFE 2 years ago. I'm not sure if this is quite what the lovely aurilly had in mind but I had a lot of fun with it, particularly writing Peggy Carter, Howard Stark, and Col. Chester Phillips.