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dear jukebox 2015
Dear Jukebox Operator,

Thanks so much for writing one of my songs! I really love all these songs, as well as have questions about them, and I'm sure I'll love whatever you write!

I have some suggestions below, but really, feel free to do whatever idea these songs give you. I picked these songs because they seem to have a lot of stories hidden in them, and if you find a story that's totally different from the ones I see offhand (and have thus provided vague prompts for), then I would be so thrilled to see that additional interpretation of the song.

Chanson de Melisande (Youtube, lyrics) - This is just a spooky song. Why are the daughters blind? Why are they locked up? Why are they expecting a prince, and why doesn't he come? What happens once the light goes out? This could be either dark and tragic or have an ending where they somehow manage to escape. Or both!

Ordinary Town - Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer (Youtube, lyrics) - "Go home, go home" the mayor cried when jesus came to city hall, 'cause /This is an ordinary town, and the prophet stands alone/ This is an ordinary town and we crucify our own... I am curious about the story where Jesus comes to town and the Mayor tells him to go away because they are busy crucifying their own, thank you very much, he's just going to have to get crucified somewhere else... but really anything about this song would be very neat, don't feel like you have to be restricted to that!

They Can't Take That Away from Me - George Gershwin and Ira Gerswin (Song): Youtube, lyrics. Okay, this is the one where I actually want something specific: the dark sci-fi AU where memory wipes are on the table. If you signed up hoping to do a more conventional take, well… convince me! :) (I don't remember anything about Crazy for You, so don't worry about that canon at all.)

Der Zwerg - Franz Schubert: Youtube, lyrics. Another one I fell in love with during last year's Jukebox! What's going on? I suppose a love triangle would be the most "straightforward" explanation, but it just seems like there might be a more interesting story there, especially given the complicated and sometimes contradictory-seeming actions of the characters. (Especially given that the queen can... hear the stars prophesy to her? What?)

The Hymn of Acxiom - Vienna Teng: Youtube, lyrics. I really think this song is so interesting -- okay, especially because I think the voice-combining is neat, but it also goes well with the song content. I feel that we have a very great need to be accepted for what we are and to be known, and that's the promise of religion -- and of data science for shopping. And though in principle I don't like that various retailers know so much about me, in practice I seem to delight in giving them information and cookies and so on. It would be interesting to have a fic that looked at that tension in some way. (Crossovers are great in general; this one seems like it might lend itself very well if you are into that. Basilio as either the victim or master of the voices? The dwarf driven mad by the culture of conspicuous consumption? BRING IT ON.)

In quegli anni - Mozart/Da Ponte: Youtube, lyrics. Basilio's aria from Le Nozze di Figaro has always both delighted and baffled me. The story of how Don Basilio learned that "with a skin of an ass one may escape shame, danger, dishonor, and death" has really nothing to do with what's going on at the time (maybe thematically, sure, but not emotionally or narratively -- watching the opera one feels like the action just stops for Basilio to tell his story, then starts again). It's a metaphorical story, right? If so, what was the real story behind it? What was the shame and dishonor that Basilio escaped? How did Dame Common Sense give him the skin of the ass? Or: if you take it to be a literal story, how did that even happen? (Did Basilio somehow wander into the corner of a fairy tale, as a supporting character? If so, what happened when he met the main characters?) Of course, I do NOT expect you to know anything about Nozze. Since Basilio is reminiscing about when he was a young man of quite different personality, you certainly need not know anything about his current personality. For that matter, feel free to name the main character something besides Basilio if you prefer. And set it in spaaaace, or random SF/fantasy milieu, or a contemporary setting, or whatever, of course!

General: Things I love (I don't expect these by any means, this is just a random sampling of Things I Like): I love worldbuilding fic and plotty fic because I have a hard time writing it myself, but by the same token I know it is hard to write and I certainly don't expect it. I love character-driven fic that thinks hard about the ramifications of characters' choices. I love for there to be some sort of character arc or characters (and/or the reader) coming to a greater understanding of something or someone during a fic. I love and adore friendship/partnerships, especially platonic ones, of all gender-variety (although in these songs I don't know that it's a thing for any of them). I love it when all the characters are understandable rather than straight-out villainous or malicious, or where expectations of malice are subverted. I am more a fan of gen than anything else, but I'm open to both het and slash.

Things I don't like: gratuitous violence; I'm not a huge fan of anything above PG-13 and will probably skim over anything really explicit unless something about the explicitness itself plays into character or plot development, in which case all bets are off :) Darkfic is fine for any of these, as is any kind of AU (fantasy, SF, corporate, academia, cyberpunk ...?)

Seriously, if you wanted to write a story that was just inspired by the imagery in these songs, I would be so up with that. I want you to take one (or more!) of these songs and make something fascinating out of them, however you feel is the best way to do that, so don't let anything I've written here stop you from doing what YOU want to do with any of these songs! And thank you!

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