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It is flipping done. 52K words, two years of my life, too many sinus infections, and gods know how many hours of research, revisions and nitpicky edits later…

FANFIC: The Coronation of the High Hierophant

Pairing: Fifth Doctor & Nyssa (mostly platonic except That One Demi chapter)
Rating: Teen and up
Word Count: 51K or 52K depending on archive
Context: Big Finish audios but as usual I provide enough context you don't need 'em

“Those people are gravely mistaken who imagine that all this is mere ceremony.” —Louis XIV, Le Roi-Soleil

Story: On a human colony where Baroque France and classical Rome are so far in Earth’s legendary past that both are mined for “wisdom of the ancients,” the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa are swept into a fantastic world of pageantry, allegory, advanced gravitational engineering, dance and court intrigue.

The Doctor believes Nyssa has found true love. Nyssa believes she has found someone who needs their help. After the Doctor leaves Nyssa to her new life, she’s forced to embrace the masquerade far more deeply than she had intended. Will the Doctor defy the Web of Time to extricate her from the jaws of history?

Tags: trope subversion · graysexuality · queer characters · trans characters
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 Once upon a time, Big Finish tantalised us with this conversation in 1001 Nights:

Nyssa: You’re quite sure this outfit isn’t a little too showy? ...Oh.
Doctor: Nothing’s too showy for the Grand Coronation of the High Hierophant of the Five Revealed Truths. ...Oh.
N: We’re not at the Celestial Basilica, are we?
D: Apparently not.
[chitchat, cries for help]
D: Did you hear that?
N: Doctor. The Coronation of the High Hierophant, remember? Perfumed rain, falling from clouds sewn with powdered diamonds… you wouldn’t want to miss that.
D: I’ve had the invitation for the past 300 years, Nyssa. I can wait a little longer… come on!

Wait what? Go back! I want to visit the Celestial Basilica!

Sadly, they never did, leaving to me to wonder what it was like. I wrote a few scraps, but all I had was a poetic image of the setting. I needed a story to match the grandeur. 

A year later, I listened to Big Finish The Church and the Crown featuring Queen Anne of Austria. As so often, a DW historical inspired me to look up the period and learn stuff I didn't know before. I found a surprisingly readable dissertation about Anne. It had an appendix describing the development of ballet as an offshoot of French court etiquette. Turns out her son, Louis XIV, had won popular acclaim by dancing ballet as frickin' Apollo, and that's why he's called the Sun King.

Look at this video around 2.15 or so. I mean. LOOK. 

Invented dialogue, but the scene is pretty much historically accurate.

So what? 

So, Nyssa is a trained dancer. She'd probably like that sort of thing. And I needed a suitably grandiose archetype on which to base my just-about-to-be-crowned Hierophant.

Corollary: why is it that science fiction always imagines futuristic design as minimalist? Why can't some advanced civilization suffer an attack of questionable taste and go for Baroque? 

Before I knew it, I'd decked out Nyssa in something suspiciously Zuhair Murad, and I won't tell you what poor Five's wearing. Now I was getting somewhere. I had dancers. I had a stage. I just needed a libretto.

It took another several months for the story arc to gel, but boy howdy, do I have a plot. I know right down to the sentence where readers are going to start posting "FIRST OF ALL HOW DARE YOU." The hardest part will be holding back the chapters until I've choreographed the whole thing.

*snaps fingers* Write yourself, story. I command you.

Ah well. *frantic typing*

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I really have been shying away from this blog for a while, but I'm determined to get back to what I really wanted to do with it.

So, a few miscellaneous matters.

First, a celebration! My VHSWhovian Doctor Who Reviews blog is up to 78 reviews and counting. It's my permanent home for all my Big Finish reviews, where I'll be sharing progress in my great Big Finish Listen-o-thon, listening to all the Main Ranges and many of the spin-offs in release order as I try to make up for 15 years of missing out.

The most useful part of that website is the interactive, sortable table of Big Finish audios. Sort in order of my rating, the Doctor's timeline, companion, release date, release number, or knock yourself out finding all the audios with "Shadow" in the title. I've linked to the reviews I've written so far, but the rating from 1-10 will give you a quick way to look for good audios to try. (Keep in mind the first 50 of the main range are $3 downloads.)

Second, I'll be at (Re)Generation Who con in March, so I can finally get Peter Davison's autograph on the "Team Nerd" commission and amuse Colin Baker with my Evelyn Smythe cosplay, and Long Island 4 Who Con in November, which usually includes Paul McGann, and this year Sophie, Sylvester, and Loiuse Jameson will be there. I had a ball at LI 3, so it looks like I'm going to act like someone half my age and start attending cons now and again.

Third, I didn't post about it here, but I participated in Inktober last November, trying fountain pen for the first time in 20 years. Results:

View the individual portraits in my DeviantArt Gallery, although I need to re-upload those I got autographed at LI 3. I'll be doing new ones for (Re)Generations: Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant, Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury, and then if I have time I'll do the other guests (except I'm saving Sophie until November, since I know she'll be there. I hope I'll be able to draw a better Louise by that time as well). 

Fourth, I've joined a fic community, Get Your Words Out, so expect another novella on the level of Master's Thesis by the end of this year. I hope. Another Fifth Doctor and Nyssa adventure, this one a side adventure sometime after 1001 Nights, which mentioned that they were trying to reach the Coronation of the High Hierophant. I decided to write that missing story. It's got a killer concept, and the research and planning stages are fairly far along. ('m treating it as a dress rehearsal for original fiction (not that I mean to repurpose it, just that I'm practicing the skills needed for a commercially successful book). 

I hesitate to mention this in the same post with things I'm proud of, but for what it's worth, I just posted an R-rated "guilty pleasure" Nyssa/Five ficlet on AO3. It has no merit; it's just a fluffy bit of smut as a gift for some old friends. Enjoy.

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 I've got my Dr. Smythe costume, I've made up 75 little packets of fair trade cocoa JUST IN CASE, and I know at least one person going who talked me into coming in the first place (thank you hon!). Will I be seeing any more of you?

Long Island Who on Tumblr | website (still waiting for them to post the schedule)
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So, thanks to Tumblr's announcement that it'll be doing something weird to comments and replies, and thanks to my innate distrust of Tumblr (I want my content on a site staffed by fans), I've finally gotten off my duff and used [ profile] meeedeee /[personal profile] morgandawn's instructions to set up an IFTTT account that automates Cross-posting from Dreamwidth to Tumblr.

You can go the other way, but that requires using gmail as an intermediary, which I prefer not to do.

I already had a Who fandom Dreamwidth blog. Following meedee's instructions, I used recipe #1, Send all Dreamwidth Posts to Tumblr (there's also one for sending only posts with a certain tag to Tumblr).  I've altered the basic recipe slightly. For the Body, I put:

x-posted to <a href="{{EntryUrl}}">My Dreamwidth Journal</a> | <a href="{{EntryUrl}}?mode=reply&style=mine">Please comment there</a>

I also set it to save as Draft rather than posting immediately.

Here's a screencap:

Note that the IFTTT website checks every 15 events to see if there's any tasks it needs to do, so cross-posts will take a little while to hit  Tumblr. The reason why I'm doing it this way is that it lets me double-check that everything looks right before it posts on Tumblr, and it lets me add images to the Tumblr post, which I can then add to the Dreamwidth post by copying their URLs.

Index File

Dec. 17th, 2014 07:52 pm
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My Sarah Sutton Saga: A Fan's Journey

All My Fanfic | Art/Photomanips | Big Finish Reviews
Index of Free Doctor Who Audios on Spotify

My Best Doctor Who Fanfiction:

Master's Thesis (42K words)
Five, Nyssa, Tegan, Turlough
This Bird Has Flown (6K words) Five/Nyssa slow burn
High Hierophant (51K words) Five/Nyssa mostly platonic

(All stories above are complete)

July 2017

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