It was a crisp, November morning and Becky Boxford was on her way to the local library. Accompanying her was, as always, her faithful monkey companion, Bob.
“Thanks for coming with me, Bob,” she said happily. “There are a lot of literary fandoms nominated for yuletide this year and I want to familiarize myself with as many as possible. I hear that the Topper series by Thorne Smith are particularly excellent, so I especially want to read those two books.” Bob chirped something unintelligible and Becky nodded. “Of course we’ll go to the children’s section too! You’ll want to review your familiarity with The Lorax and the collected works of Mo Willems before December!”
Suddenly, Bob began making urgent noises and pulling on Becky’s arm. She looked down to see what was troubling him and saw him pointing towards LiveJournal Land. Beyond Bob’s finger, there was a fiercely glowing light and the faint the sound of crying.
“We’d better check this out!” Becky declared. “C’mon!”
They quickly ran towards LiveJournal until they came upon a radiant person. Every inch of this person was covered in an iridescent light, bright enough to obscure the person’s features and render him or her completely anonymous.
Holding her hand over her eyes, Becky cautiously approached the glowing person. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” the creature sobbed. “It’s just… I didn’t expect this!”
“Expect what?” Becky asked carefully. Bob interrupted with some excited squeaks, leading her to add, “And who are you?”
“I’m the Yuletide Writer of Great Awesomeness,” the luminous person informed them. “Since there are no good acronyms from that, you can call me Goat.”
Becky was confused. “Why should I call you a Goat?”
Goat sighed. “It’s an attempt to avoid oppressing those who choose to participate in the yuletide challenge but do not celebrate Christmas. By eliminating the more common symbols for December giving, such as Santa and Father Christmas, one hopes to become more inclusive.”
“But aren’t you replacing Santa with a symbol from pagan traditions, thus oppress—“
Ahem. I believe we’re getting a bit off track here. Can we get back to the story?
Becky dipped her head sheepishly. “Uh… sorry about that.” She turned back towards Goat. “So, what is the matter?”
“I just got my yuletide assignment. My recipient is a fucking maniac.”
“Fucking,” said Becky confidently. “It’s a gerund form of the verb ‘to f—‘”
That’s enough, thank you. I was just surprised by… never mind. Let’s move on.
Goat snorted, then frowned again. S/he shoved a printed email message at Becky and demanded, “I mean, what am I supposed to do with this?!?”
Becky took the paper carefully and silently skimmed it. “Hm… This sounds like a job for..” She trailed off, apparently remembering something. “A job for someone else. Someone not me.” She cleared her throat nervously and handed back the paper. “I, uh, have to, uh… leave. I need to go to the… pet store. For crickets. Yes, I need to go to the pet store for crickets. I promised to help my little brother build a fort and we’re likely to need… crickets.”
Blushing furiously, Becky and Bob dashed off , only to be replaced moments later by WordGirl and Captain Huggyface! “I understand you’re a yuletide writer in search of inspiration,” she declared portentously. “Let’s see what you’ve got there. But first, is there any way you can tone down the glowing awesomeness thing you’ve got going on there?”
“Sorry,” Goat muttered. “Can’t. I need to maintain my anonymity. Also, I’m just naturally awesome for agreeing to write for a total stranger and that’s a quality that’s difficult to turn off at will. You know how it is.”
“Gotcha,” WordGirl nodded. “I don’t suppose you’ve got any sunglasses, do you?” Goat silently handed over a pair of aviator shades and WordGirl began to read aloud.
Any 'ship free adventure that fits into the spirit of the show would delight my logophiliac soul. Including The Whammer as a sidekick to whichever villain you choose would be whamming (yeah!) but isn't critical.
“See,” wailed Goat. “It’s nonsense! What is this supposed to mean?”
“’Logophiliac’,” WordGirl said firmly. “The adjectival form of ‘logophile,’ meaning—“
A big old nerd. Like you.
“I do actually know what ‘logophile’ means,” Goat muttered.
“Meaning,” WordGirl continued with evident irritation, “a person who enjoys obscure words, particularly longer or more ostentatious ones.”
That’s what I said. A big old nerd. Like you.
“Again, I know what the word means,” Goat grumbled. “On an unrelated subject, however: who is that?”
“Oh,” WordGirl said dismissively. “He’s The Narrator.”
You can tell because I’m the one in fetching bold lettering.
“Fetching?” Goat sniggered.
WordGirl struck a heroic pose. “’Fetching,’ meaning distinctive or extremely attractive. For example—“
Goat was starting to look irritated. “I know what ‘fetching,’ means, thank you. I can also define ‘logophiliac,’ ‘delight,’ ‘sidekick,’ and all the other words in that prompt.”
Don’t let her obsessive need to define things get to you. She really can’t help it. It’s part of her charm, really.
Goat shrugged. “Sorry. What I meant was, I know what all the words in the prompt mean. What I don't know is what jedi_penguin actually wants from me.”
WordGirl reread the message and then smiled. “It sounds to me like she’d love anything that steers clear of all maritime activity.”
“Maritime activity?” Goat scratched hir head. “I don’t see where you get that fr—“
“Maritme,” WordGirl declaimed. “Of or relating to the oceans. For some reason, jedi_penguin has an aversion to ocean going crafts.”
Goat looked confused, but it was The Narrator who spoke up for both of them. I’m not really seeing where the ocean angle comes in…
“It says ‘ship-free,’” WordGirl huffed. “Seems clear to me!”
“Oh!” Goat laughed. “No, that just means she doesn’t want to see any romance of any kind in her story. I can handle that part. I just don’t know—“
Goat’s yuletide-induced angst was interrupted by the sudden appearance of a masked man with a Viking helmet and rose-colored tights. “She wants the Whammer! ‘Cause the Whammer is whamming! Yeah!”
You’re optional, Whammer. Goat doesn’t need to include you unless s/he feels like it.
The newcomer hung his head sadly. “The Whammer understands. The Whammer thanks you for this opportunity. The Whammer hopes that your future fic-writing endeavors will be totally whamming.”
Goat was getting a bit fed up. “I’m afraid that you haven’t been all that helpful, WordGirl.”
No, she hasn’t--
But that’s okay. I think the requests prove that jedi_penguin will love anything as long as you’re entertained by the writing process.
“She says that, but does she really mean it?” Goat scowled. “That’s what everyone says, but they all clearly want SOMETHING from the process.”
“The Narrator is right. jedi_penguin is incredibly easy to please.” WordGirl declared decisively. “I mean, what is the point of the story we’re in right now?”
“None at all.”
“Exactly,” WordGirl crowed. “There is no point to it whatsoever, other than the fact that it amused jedi_penguin to write it. A writer’s amusement is clearly an end in itself, as far as she’s concerned. If your story amuses you, she’s guaranteed to love it.”
“But what if I got matched on one of the other prompts?”
“The same principle applies. She loves all four canons, and loves even more the idea that someone else enjoys them. If you love the material and crack yourself up with the story, there’s no way she won’t enjoy it.”
Goat looked unconvinced. “You’re sure?”
“Absolutely.” WordGirl smiled. “There really is no need to panic over this particular assignment.
“Well, if that’s the case…” Goat smiled happily. “Word UP!”