machshefa: (The Essence of Sunset)
[personal profile] machshefa
It's been so much fun to look at the reveal list and see everybody's posts about their gifts, given and received.

First and foremost, thank you to [livejournal.com profile] ferporcel for the incredible, intricate, evocative (and perfectly titled) art that she created to accompany my story, "King of Swords." If you haven't seen it, you must run, now, and take a look. It's incredible. King of Swords was my first (and only) WIP (now complete) and feels to me like a reflection of my own exploration and growth as a writer. To have a piece of art that depicts such a crucial scene is a powerful gift for me, more than you may have even realized, Fer. Thank you.

"Chasing the Darkness Away"

*glomps Fer.

Second, I can now publicly own up to writing "The Essence of Sunset" for [livejournal.com profile] dickgloucester, who wrote one of her prompts with me in mind. Thanks to the mods for saying "yes" when I requested to be assigned to her. *smooches you all*

To say that I was blown away by the reception to the story would be a massive understatement. I can't tell you all how much it means to me to see the way that people engaged with the story. The questions you asked, the observations you made, the speculations, the conversations in comments, and your emotional reactions kept me glued to the computer and leaping regularly from my seat (hard to do both, simultaneously, y'know?). It's the greatest gift anybody can give a writer: to be such engaged and emotionally available readers. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I am incredibly fortunate to have a veritable Quidditch team (if you include reserve players... ahem) of alpha readers, beta readers and cheerleaders.  I simply could not have written something of this scope without them, and they deserve so much credit for making this story work. Each one brought a unique point of view or expertise to the process and helped me immensely as I groped my way through the world-building and character development and searched for plot. (I'm always searching for the plot. Just ask them.)

So, here goes. :)

First of all, thanks to Dicky for writing such an intriguing, brilliant prompt and for being awesome in general... I was highly motivated to write something that would be deserving of her as a recipient. *squishes her

Massive hugs to [livejournal.com profile] subvers, [livejournal.com profile] lady_rhian, and [livejournal.com profile] bluestocking79 for alpha reading/cheerleading and general "yes, this works" all the way through. You were my rudders.

Giant hugs to [livejournal.com profile] lifeasanamazon for her detailed and insightful Britpick and for gobs of encouragement at a time when I really needed some. 

Thanks to the mods and especially to [livejournal.com profile] scatteredlogic for making sure the complex coding worked on this monster of a story. *hugs

Immense thanks to [livejournal.com profile] drinkingcocoa and [livejournal.com profile] juniperus for close reading for content, consultation about the Middle Ages, illuminated lettering, and canon characterizations and millions of other details that they wouldn't let me get away with faking. 

Enormous gratitude to [livejournal.com profile] annietalbot, [livejournal.com profile] sc010f, and [livejournal.com profile] pyjamapants for helping shape the spreadsheet that allowed me to keep the universes straight and clarify the elements that shaped each one, for reading draft after draft, beta reading, close reading, listening to the moans and groans about world-building, and generally reassuring me and guiding me all along the way. You guys deserve medals. Really. Big medals.

Finally, [livejournal.com profile] juno_magic wrought her incredible magic in two massive ways for this story. First, she did the coding (which took days) that created the gradient color background that gave the story its visual punch. She also did the most in-depth editorial read that I've ever experienced. It was massive, detailed and absolutely invaluable not only for the story, but also in pushing me as a writer. I don't think there are enough words to express my gratitude to her. Juno, you humble me. 

Ladies, you all humble me. 

*standing ovation to the alpha/beta/cheerleading team

Date: 2011-12-07 09:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] melusin-79.livejournal.com
It was beyond fabulous and i guessed it was you. If dicky hadn't been the recipient, I'd have toyed between the two of you :)
Looking forward to reading it again.

Date: 2011-12-07 11:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] machshefa.livejournal.com
*smooches

Thank you! I had a feeling that at the very least, the graphic elements would give it away. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

Date: 2011-12-07 09:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lifeasanamazon.livejournal.com
'Twas an utter pleasure, dearest!

At your service and happy to be in reserve for any more gems!

Date: 2011-12-07 11:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] machshefa.livejournal.com
*hugs hugs hugs

I'll certainly take you up on that, though I can't guarantee any gems. :)

*hugs and thanks

Date: 2011-12-07 10:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] clairvoyant12.livejournal.com
It was a fantastic work of art, in words and graphics. It's easily one of my all time Exchange favorites. I thought you had created Essence of Sunset, but I wasn't one hundred percent certain; the writing style and graphics led me to believe Juno was the author.

I plan to read it again and again. :D

Date: 2011-12-07 11:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] machshefa.livejournal.com
*blushes

Thank you! My writing style is evolving with each story I write. Juno pointed out some of my writing tics and helped me tighten it up on some spots, so that might account for some of what you noticed. And, of course, Juno did the coding, so there you have it!

It makes me so happy to hear that you'll read it again and again.

*hugs

Date: 2011-12-07 10:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] juno-magic.livejournal.com
It was an honour and a pleasure to help you. You're such a brilliant, brilliant writer! And I'm beyond thrilled that your story received all the attention and praise it so richly deserves.

Date: 2011-12-07 11:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] machshefa.livejournal.com
*glomps glomps glomps

Truly, I can't thank you enough.

<3

Date: 2011-12-07 11:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shiv5468.livejournal.com
Nods, I think that Slogic did a superlative job in making sure the coding came out on that

Date: 2011-12-07 11:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] machshefa.livejournal.com
Ack! I just knew I'd forget somebody in all the thanks. You are absolutely right. Duly edited above and noted.

:)

Date: 2011-12-07 11:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pythia-delphi.livejournal.com
I haven't managed to read it yet, dearest, but I knew it was you the moment I laid eyes on it! Well, I thought it might possibly have been Juno or Somigliana as well, but no, my gut screamed that it had to be you! I can't wait to read it during my upcoming hols!

Date: 2011-12-07 11:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] machshefa.livejournal.com
Hee. The graphic elements give me away every time now. Darn it! :)

I'm eager to see what you think when you read it! I should start posting it to archives, actually. Hmm.

*hugs

Date: 2011-12-08 12:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pythia-delphi.livejournal.com
You know, it wasn't the graphics at all, although in hindsight, d'oh! It just felt like you from the few sentences I read. And the summary. :-)

Date: 2011-12-08 12:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] machshefa.livejournal.com
Huh. That's interesting. I'm hearing more and more that people find my style distinctive... It's actually kind of nice to hear that it wasn't the graphics that gave me away. :D

*smooches

Date: 2011-12-08 12:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dreamy-dragon73.livejournal.com
It's gorgeous and wonderful and one of my favourites in this year's exchange.
I guessed it was you :)

Date: 2011-12-09 02:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] machshefa.livejournal.com
*beams and blushes

You know me so well, already. :) I'm SO glad you enjoyed it so much! Thank you!

Date: 2011-12-08 03:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] m-mcgonagall-65.livejournal.com
That was a wonderful story. It was really different and opened up so many possibilities. It really excited my imagination!

And I was proud of being able to guess it was yours--and being right!

Date: 2011-12-09 02:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] machshefa.livejournal.com
Thank you!

I'm always amazed when people can identify authors by writing style. I very rarely can, myself. I'm so impressed! :)

Date: 2011-12-08 09:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tophoenix.livejournal.com
Yes, applauses to the whole dream-team!

You know that I had guessed it was you, and right for the style and the depth of emotions.
I've said it in every possible place, but I want to repeat it here: your tale is the ESSENCE of our fandom, and of everything we love of it.

(I've already re-read it four times, and I know that there will be more...)

Date: 2011-12-09 02:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] machshefa.livejournal.com
Oh, wow. Wow wow wow.

*squishes you

*iz speechless again

Thank you. :) It makes me SO happy to hear that you've reread it multiple times... that it holds up to that... yay! I'm thrilled that the story tapped into so much that you consider essential in the fandom... in the pairing. So thrilled.

<3

Re: Completely unrelated, but...

Date: 2011-12-09 02:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] machshefa.livejournal.com
RAWR.

Yes. He certainly does.

RAWR.

Ahem.

Date: 2011-12-09 01:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misstee123.livejournal.com
I favorited this story on my computer, and waited breathlessly for the reveal so I could find out who wrote it. How is it possible that I've been in fandom for as many years as I have, and read as many stories as I have, and I don't think I've read any of yours?!? *hangs head* I'm not around reading nearly as much as I used to be, but this story just reminded me how much I love the pairing when it is done well. Ah, well...seeing as I love Sherlock and love SSHG, I've got a lot to look forward to. Just had to pop in and tell you how much I enjoyed this story. I even sent a couple of emails to people who used to be active in fandom and have drifted away telling them that they HAD to read this story! Thanks so much for all your hard work. :)

Date: 2011-12-09 02:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] machshefa.livejournal.com
Hai!

I haven't been reading much, myself, so I can totally understand... I'm so happy that this story resonated so strongly for you. It was quite a journey for me, writing it, and the reader reaction was pretty intense. :) You love Sherlock, too? WOOT! :) I think I need to update my master list of stories, but all my SSHG is up at TPP (with graphics... several of my exchange stories include graphic elements) and all my Sherlock is on my LJ and on AO3 (apart from the Holmestice Exchange entry that is still anonymous until the reveal in about a month). I have one SSHG/Sherlock crossover, too... that was so fun to write. Sherlock and Severus in the room together... imagine... :)

I'm incredibly flattered that you encouraged others to read "Essence." Thank you. The experience of writing it and watching people read it has been absolutely incredible. :)

Date: 2011-12-11 10:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cabepfir.livejournal.com
I knew it was yours! Let me now publicly bow to you and to this incredible story. Thank you again for this experience.

Date: 2011-12-11 10:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] machshefa.livejournal.com
*grins

You did? *bounces

I've stopped trying to hide, but since I'm terrible at identifying authors by style, I'm always so impressed when others can! Was it the graphics or the style?

I'm SO glad you enjoyed this. I adore the sketch you did for the story. I know you said it didn't take you long to do, but it captures the energy of the moment perfectly!

*hugs you

Date: 2011-12-11 11:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cabepfir.livejournal.com
By the graphics, actually, especially by the different fonts adopted, even before I started reading it, because they reminded me your fic from last year. Unfortunately I cannot see the gradients on my Windows-served laptop, and could appreciate them only at my office's Mac (oops.)

edit: I can see the gradients from my laptop. Now. It just refused to show them to me back then, the Founders know why.

And you are so welcome! Thank you!
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