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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:35 am 
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Just a little seasonal silliness for you all, with apologies to O'Henry. :D

The Gift of the Guild-Magi

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Last edited by OrcishLibrarian on Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:46 pm 
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A nice recontextualization of a classic tale. I like the way Ravnica is realized here; it feels very real. Jem was not as truly outrageous as I had originally assumed she would be...

Anyway, thanks for the Solstice carol. It's been a very long time since I've read the original.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:47 pm 
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Thanks so much for reading, Raven! I'm glad that you enjoyed it!


A nice recontextualization of a classic tale. I like the way Ravnica is realized here; it feels very real.

Well, thank you!

The pun in the title was the impetus for the whole effort, because, once it occurred to me, I couldn't resist. But I was pleasantly surprised at how well it felt like the bones of the story then transposed onto Ravnica. Della feels unexpectedly plausible to me in this environment; she and her ironic misfortune seem to fit pretty neatly into the sort of Ravnican underclass.

The ending is the one bit I'm not super happy with; I felt like I couldn't quite get the story to land. The sort of coda at the end of the original story about the magi and their presents kept throwing me, for whatever reason -- I just couldn't figure out how to translate that into the MTG universe, and so, in the end, I basically punted, and came to a much more abrupt stop. I think it almost works, if you squint and don't ask too many questions, but I think the last part of the story doesn't read nearly as well as the first part, which is kind of a big problem for a piece which is primarily famous for its ending twist. But I had more fun with the beginning than the end, and it probably shows.


Jem was not as truly outrageous as I had originally assumed she would be...

Ugh... I *knew* that name was a bad name, for precisely this reason! :face: But I just couldn't come up with any other analog for "Jim" which I liked better, and I kind of just threw my hands up at the end.

"Della," for whatever reason, still felt OK to me, here, and I wanted to keep it. But "Jim" did not, and I failed to come up with a good substitute.


Anyway, thanks for the Solstice carol. It's been a very long time since I've read the original.

It had been a long time for me, too, and, going back and re-reading it, I was surprised at how much I loved some of the language. The opening paragraph, in particular, I think is just beautifully written, and so I lifted almost 80 percent of it, and used it to start the story here. The specificity of Della's one dollar and eighty-seven cents -- only that much, no matter how many times she counts it -- makes her feel immediately and powerfully real, and that's what makes the story work, just as much as the famous twist at the end. And then I also cribbed a line of Jim's for the ending, with a bit of a rewrite to give it to Della instead. It felt nice to bookend the story that way, with references to the original.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:27 pm 
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read like the first half

wait it's that story, right?
watches and the hair thing
meh

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:12 am 
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Quite a depressing read... good, sure, but still. I'm also afraid I missed the reference?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:25 pm 
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Thanks for reading, Huey! It is always appreciated!

I'm also afraid I missed the reference?

This reference probably doesn't travel well outside the U.S.; "The Gift of the Magi" is a famous(-ish) short story by O. Henry, an American writer (real name: William Sydney Porter) who -- fun fact! -- first started publishing under his most famous pseudonym while serving a five-year prison sentence for embezzlement.

Anyway, since "The Gift of the Magi" is short, and is in the public domain, here's the original text:

"The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry

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