Kaesa Aurelia (kaesa) wrote,
Kaesa Aurelia


Hey! Thanks for writing for me! This is a super long letter, for which I apologize, but I basically took the likes/dislikes section off my last Yuletide letter and adjusted it, and that in turn was taken from a previous exchange letter, etc., so I've built up a lot of words knowledge of what works/doesn't work for me. Skip the likes if your eyes are glazing over; just avoid my dislikes and create something based on the song/video, and I'll be happy.



Most of what I read and write is gen, but I will also happily read any kind of ships you may come up with (het, slash, femslash, OT3s, something entirely else...) so use any pairings you like! My favorite kinds of pairing dynamics include foeyay/nemesis ships, friendly rival ships, and ships where two intense people work together or compete to be badass/create things/solve problems/do science. Also, please feel free to change up the genders of the characters in these songs if you'd like! I'm fine with an angry female gardener for "Sun Song," or a man plagued by fairytale creatures for "Tell Me a Story," or whatever.

I am big on humor, especially witty dialogue, and adventure stories, particularly ones that sound cracky when summarized but make perfect sense in context. Wordplay, riddles, and stupid puns are also great.

I really, really love trickster characters and underestimated characters who are discovered to be badass (or who discover themselves to be badass) in the course of the story. I love well-written moral ambiguity, but I also love straight-up good and honorable hero/ines. (And stories that somehow manage to have both in them are wonderful.) I love self-sacrifice, too! I love it when it's noble and when it's atonement or redemption, or even when it's just kind of hilariously overdramatic. (Caveat: I'm not really into lengthy scenes where Character A is going to do some self-sacrificing thing and Character B who cares about them is like BUT YOU CAN'T! I feel like a better demonstration of Character B's love would be working desperately to find a different solution.)

I also love all sorts of demonstrations of loyalty, especially ones that are weird or make no sense to someone outside the relationship, and I love this in the context of ships, but also in the context of found family or friends or even just people who are going through/have been through an ordeal together but may not get along well.

I'm pretty easy to please when it comes to settings, but my favorite two types of setting are IN SPAAAACE (generation ships, space opera, space colonies, whatever) and historical-inspired fantasy (especially 19th and 20th century settings). In worldbuildy stuff, I especially like a focus on science or magic or politics, and how these things influence the characters.

If you would like to create something dark, things I enjoy include: heartbreak and betrayal, mind control, psychological torture, creepy people (mostly women) manipulating the less-powerful (mostly men) into sexual situations, evil selves, political situations spiraling slowly and horribly out of control, body horror, creeping subtle wrongness, and eldritch horrors from beyond space. Cannibalism is okay but it doesn't interest me all on its own. I'd prefer horror involving that to be more psychological than visceral.

Please don't feel you need to work every single thing about my prompts into what you create! The prompts are just guidelines; if you have a fantastic idea that veers far, far away from my original prompt, OMG DO IT, I love surprises.

I have no particular preferences regarding first/second/third person or past/present tense. Hell, use future tense if it works for you. Use your own style! I am happy with spare to-the-point prose or lush descriptions; just do what you think works best.

Again, use your own style -- cartoony, realistic, whatever! I have a particular fondness for traditional art, and also for super colorful stuff, but that doesn't mean I dislike digital art or monochromatic color schemes. I also like surreal weird scenes that maybe create more questions than they answer, which is, after all, what a lot of these songs are.

Pretty much everything that applies to fic applies to podfic, with the addition of: don't worry about having the "wrong" accent or voice or whatever. If you're great at doing accents/voices that's cool, go ahead and do them, but just using your natural voice/accent is totally fine.


I prefer not to receive a Happy Warm Family Gathering story about how Family is all-important, although if you want to do something like that with a darker edge, be my guest! If you'd like to focus on a particular familial relationship, that's fine -- I'd just rather get fic about how that particular relationship is great, and not with any sort of message about how family is always full of safe and supportive people and you can always rely on them. On the other hand, happy warm family gathering stories about found family? Are wonderful.

Please no graphic violent rape, underage sex, physical torture, or cross-generational or non-consensual incest on the page. I'm totally fine with these things happening in the fic as plot points, but I would prefer if you skip the graphic descriptions and focus on the emotional fallout instead of the actual events.

Give the Devil Back His Heart - The Barr Brothers (Song)
Music | Lyrics
Fanart, Fanfic, or Podfic

The thing about this song that I love is that it sounds so fiercely alive and it keeps moving. What kind of roadtrip folktale is happening here? Is this the actual devil we're talking about or some kind of monster? Is it a Koschei the Deathless/horcrux kind of situation or something more complicated? I'm particularly intrigued by the stuff aluded to in the chorus -- the bones, the puppet show, the dog, the emperors? And what's with the importance of sleeping? I'd love something mixing modernity and folk-magic here. (Incidentally, the lyrics reference Psalm 121 which also intrigues me. I'd prefer the story not to be All About Religion mostly because it'd go way over my head, but incorporating a little of that would be neat.)

I'm Impressed - They Might Be Giants (Music Video)
Video | Lyrics
Fanfic or Podfic

There's a cheerful anger about this song that I enjoy, and it goes so well with the cartoony but really fucked-up video! I'd be interested in something about any aspect of this story -- how did the robot dictator come to power? Why the gladiatorial games? (Is the dictator insane, or is it a crowd-pleasing thing, or a little bit of both?) Tell me about the conspiracy to murder them, and whether the ensuing regime will be any better than the first dictator's regime? How did this world come to be populated entirely with robots?

Memories - Within Temptation (Song)
Music | Lyrics
Fanfic or Podfic

So I'm a sucker for this kind of tragically-separated-from-a-loved-one thing. The lyrics definitely imply something very weird is going on -- parallel universes? Time travel? Different planets? How were they separated? How is the singer trying to find her way back? Will they find each other? (Seriously, I'm okay with a happy, sad, or bittersweet ending here.) I nominated the song, not the video, but I do really dig the music video if you want to use that as inspiration. If you don't, don't worry!

Pillars and Pyre - Christopher Smith (Song)
Music | Lyrics
Fanart, Fanfic, or Podfic

Who or what is this song about? The "you" could be a trained animal (a bird?), a person in a cult, some kind of shapeshifter, maybe? Who knows? Anyway, they're stuck in a situation where they're not good enough at whatever they're supposed to be doing, they're losing/have lost/maybe never really developed a sense of self, their master is overly demanding and calls them weak, etc. Are they strong in some other way? Are the flames at the end death, or could they possibly be an escape or a rebirth? There aren't a whole lot of concrete details here, but personally I am a fan of weirdness, so the weirder the better. Skeevy mind-control shippy stuff is 100% okay with me, but if you go that route I'd prefer a happy ending where the main character escapes.

Sun Song - The Mountain Goats (Song)
Music | Lyrics
Fanfic or Podfic

I just want to know about this angry gardener! I mean, I know this song is not really meant to be read literally but I just want to know about the angry gardener and what kind of annoying person he is dealing with and why does this annoying person keep jumping in with useless gardening tips? Are they gardening rivals? Exes? Former friends? Some other thing? I'm happy to read about some kind of fantasy garden or a garden IN SPAAAACE but something in a realistic modern setting or a historical era would also be fine. Just. Give me an angry gardener. Or botanist. Or something. Please. (If you're stuck for inspiration, I sometimes imagine the annoying person is the truly unhinged narrator of "The Garden Song," although don't feel you need to work that in.)

Tardigrade Song - Cosmo Sheldrake (Song)
Music | Lyrics
Fanart, Fanfic, and Podfic

So tardigrades are one of my favorite invertebrates! Pretty much everything the song says about them is true; they live in water and can undergo cryptobiosis -- basically suspended animation that prevents them from being harmed by extreme heat/cold/dessication/vacuum/radiation -- for years! (Also I think they're very cute, although I suppose that's a matter of opinion.) As for the actual song... the narrator doesn't sound like a very happy person. Is the narrator some kind of were-tardigrade? (...sentences I never thought I'd write.) Maybe he's genetically engineered or somehow altered? Is he going to stay home and drink like he says at the end, or is he going to get out and do stuff like he keeps saying he will? Is there some actual reason he'd like to undergo cryptobiosis -- like, some kind of apocalypse? Or maybe he's on a space ship or... something?

Tell Me a Story - Krista Detor (Song)
Fanart, Fanfic, and Podfic

Since the lyrics to this one don't appear to be online, I've typed them up; they're at the end of the prompt.

As with many of the others, this song has an easy metaphorical interpretation but I'd prefer it if you took it literally. Why on earth are all these fairy tale/legendary beings troubling the singer? Are they just appearing right as she's having trouble with this relationship, or have they been with her forever? In this world, does everyone know they're real, or is it just her that they hang around with? (Is that maybe one of the reasons the relationship is failing?) Were they always this disappointing? I have to admit I'm weirdly intrigued by the potential ship of Angel of Darkness/singer's SO's mother, so if you wanted to do something mostly about that I would not object, but if the narrator's just making that spiteful claim and really the mom and the Angel of Darkness just play cards together on Thursday nights and it's not a big deal, I'm fine with that too.

Knocked the Sandman off my eyelids,
Threw him out my bedroom window.
Tooth fairy on my dresser
Stole money from my drawer.

And Santa Claus up in my chimney
Ate the cookies that you made me.
Cupid put away his bow
And won't be back here anymore.

Tell me a story, and make it pretty.
Tell me another story,
Boy, tell me you love me.
Tell me.

Leprechaun took all my gold,
I didn't find him fast enough.
Rainbow came and went
And I was left only with ...rain.

Easter Bunny hopped into a hole
And took his basket with him,
And the Good Witch of the North said
"Every home is pretty much the same."

Tell me a story, and make it pretty.
Tell me another story,
Boy, tell me you love me.
Tell me.

And I'm overcome by sounds of drowning,
Man on a ghost ship, on a rough sea,
Overcome by how you don't look at me
When you say what you say to me.

Boogeyman still in my closet
Dancing with a vampire.
Monster underneath my bed
Is tangled in the phone wire,

And the Angel of Darkness
Is drinking with your mother,
Drinking brandy from a demitasse
And smiling like a lover.

Tell me a story, and make it pretty.
Tell me another story,
Boy, tell me you love me.

Tell me a story, and this time make it pretty.
Tell me another story,
Boy, tell me you love me.
Tell me.

The World's Address - They Might Be Giants (Song)
Music | Lyrics
Fanart, Fanfic, or Podfic

So first off, I love how distressed and BETRAYED the singer is to have his whole worldview upended like this! Also, omfg the pun kills me, it is so dumb. Please tell me what the actual fuck is going on here! What exactly is the world's address/how is the world a dress? How did the singer find out? How does the scientific community react to this, if at all? There's a particular person he's addressing -- who are they? A romantic partner? A research partner? Both? The sillier and weirder the better.

You're reading this either on my Livejournal or my Dreamwidth.

My AO3 name is Kaesa, and I have a lot of bookmarked recs there if you're curious about what kind of fic I like.

Here is my Tumblr. It's mostly Undertale right now.
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