To start out with, I’ve made some very good progress on TLY — I’ve finished two chapters, I believe, since I last mentioned it — but as usual have nothing in particular to say about it. I’m not going to talk about Dragon this time, but I would like to note that it finally started getting Eïba’s name right. It learns!!!
Blood Contingency part 16 — Everything I could say about this part of this story would make for a tedious echo of everything I’ve said about every previous part of this story. I’ll just note that we’re getting closer and closer to disaster here, and, though I know perfectly well what’s about to happen (in fact much of it’s already written), I’m kinda holding my breath. Also, Saitou and Sano forever!!!
His Own Humanity — ZOMFG, you guys. Seriously ZOMFG. Recently plaidshirtjimkirk read all three stories in this series specifically about Hajime and Sano, and left me a whole shit-ton of amazing comments which INSPIRED THE FUCK OUT OF ME, and I have made SO MUCH PROGRESS on this series lately. Lemme tackle things one at a time here.
Sano and Kaoru’s Phone Log — As I may have mentioned, Conversation Checklist is very much in play in this collection, which makes it pretty slow going. However, this bout of inspiration has allowed me to finish up probably three of the conversations and come up with ideas for the basis of a few others. Of course it’s only 5/23 done, and in desperation I may end up cutting back from that planned 23 conversations, but still. Progress is progress!
Aoshi & Soujirou story — I actually started writing this, and have reached linear completion on part 1. No prologue in this one! Weird! Anyway, part 1 is kinda hilarious, and Soujirou-narrated parts will probably continue to be so, but it’s a sort of Pale Fire hilarious you feel like you probably shouldn’t be laughing at.
Hajime and Sano have dinner with Chou story — This story hasn’t actually reached the Conversation Checklist stall yet, but that’s right around the corner. It’s good I’ve made progress on this one not only because it’s kindof annoying having all these Through July stories sitting around partially finished, I also don’t want to even start the Chou & Kamatari story until each of their introduction stories is finished and available. And speaking of which…
Cockatiel and Armadillo — Sure is nice to have a title around here, isn’t it? I don’t recall whether I’ve mentioned, but this will be Kamatari’s HoH debut. In terms of words written, perhaps, this story didn’t have the greatest amount of progress of everything I’ve worked on lately, but it was probably the most important in that I overcame a conversational hurdle that had kept me stalled approximately forever. There’s only one scene left to this story, and, though it is more conversation, I have pretty good hopes for getting this one done after not too long. So exciting!
Nine Decades — Duo’s 50’s story has reached linear completion, which makes six out of nine. I haven’t started on the 20’s Trowa story, nor gotten ideas for any other Trowa stories, but I’m still making good progress.
After-Dinner Brandy — I really think this story will interest no one but me XD I’m trying to make sure even the stuff that’s just a recap of information we already know will at least have a new angle to it, but that doesn’t mean some of it won’t be pretty repetitive. Though at least for the stuff Trowa told Heero and Quatre near the beginning of Plastic, there will be the interest of seeing how he’s progressed personally as demonstrated by how differently he tells the story now. And in any case, what attitude the Winner parents (especially the father) take from the evening (and honestly even I don’t know yet what that will be) is an important point.
Communication Skill — I’ve started the actual writing on this one as well, and nearly reached linear completion on part 1. Once again, no prologue! Anyway, we plunge right in to the major problem (as if we haven’t already been drowning in it). I’m really looking forward to getting Hajime and Sano into a better position of emotion and understanding. Poor guys.
I think that’s it for HoH progress. What a lot of work!! How happy I am!!
Aku Soku Zan(za) — As seems to be a strengthening trend, I wrote the entirety of this part in one day, and got all the editing done (mostly) done on another. It’s the first segment in the third file, and therefore the first segment of the third post. This is exciting for no particular reason.
I’ve mentioned before how happy I am in expanding on certain embryonic concepts that were present originally and that I’m consistently astonished I didn’t develop at the time. One such is present here, and I’m honestly unwilling to admit what it is because it’s so crucial at this point in the story that I’m embarrassed to reveal its original neglect XD In any case, this part, like all previous, is much better than what it’s replaced.
A problem I believe the original had was that my focus was too narrow. I introduced a lot of important story aspects, and made something of many of them, but not nearly enough of most of them. Very understandably for me, I concentrated primarily on the Saitou & Sano romance, when the story is about so much more than that. The romance is great, of course, but I let all sorts of other things fall by the wayside. So this new version is quite a bit more satisfying.
Heretic’s Reward chapter 25 — It was unfortunate that I started working on this just when the major hand pain began, but I was right about it: I just needed to step away, get used to Dragon with easier stuff, and then come back and give this another try. The meeting was just as tricky to write as I had anticipated, but this chapter has reached linear completion. Editing may take a little longer than usual, due to the aforementioned trickiness, but I’m not hugely concerned. And once this chapter’s over with, as I have mentioned before, Sano can head back to Enca. It’ll be lovely to get him reunited with Hajime, and move on to the next significant section of the story.
A picture — You may recall that my procedure prior to this was having World of Warcraft open in one window and the story I was working on sitting atop it in another smaller window, in order to keep as much of my attention occupied as possible so as not to get distracted. This always worked extremely well, but these poor hands obviously can’t deal with the keyboard as well as they used to. A controller (e.g. for Skyrim ) seems to be OK, but PC gaming is suddenly less of an option than it was before — despite the fact the Dragon does function alongside WoW and is even able to interact with the game to a certain extent. Didn’t I say I wasn’t going to be talking about Dragon this time? Anyway, somewhat forlornly, I discontinued my WoW subscription again for now.
However, dictation absolutely requires some occupation for my hands — preferably one that doesn’t actively hurt them, which would be entirely counterproductive. I’ve encountered this need before, when I’ve been making story recordings, but that’s a little different since in those cases I have to be actively looking at what I’m reading aloud. Usually at those times I shuffle whatever tarot deck happens to be beside me on the table, and inevitably drop multiple cards on the floor on multiple occasions, the noise of which can be heard in various recordings. But when dictating — new writing, anyway, if not editing — I don’t necessarily have to be looking at the screen or the part of the screen where the transcription is taking place. And I found, somewhat to my surprise and certainly to my delight, that I can draw while I’m working on a story like this. Writing and drawing at the same time… it’s like a dream come true. I had never even envisioned that possibility.
It’s very, very slow drawing, since my primary concentration is on the words I’m thinking of… but since the art exchanges all ended and I don’t have a monthly piece forcing me to draw on a regular basis, I’ve barely engaged in this hobby at all over the last couple of years. So even slow drawing is more than no drawing, and this makes me very happy. The current picture I’m working on, which is a belated (destined to be very belated) birthday gift for plaidshirtjimkirk, isn’t even through the lineart stage yet after three weekends of working on it, but even so, as before, 1 > 0, and it’s very exciting to be drawing it all. Especially since you can probably guess what the subject of this particular picture is.
Archive stuff — The non-wrapping-text problem was becoming more and more annoying, so I switched themes. I’m not entirely happy with this new one, because it’s even narrower than before and leaves some paragraphs looking like they’re pages and pages long… and I’m not sure how I feel about the header image taking up so much of the screen right at first. However, the text-wrapping is at least working correctly now; and also, in the mobile version, you can see categories and tags on individual posts, and all the extra sidebar stuff that was not previously visible in mobile view.
Sometimes, idly, I do an overall wordcount just to see what I’ve accumulated over the years, and I did that today when I probably should have been doing something more productive.
So my Gundam Wing fics, of which there are 19, add up to 544,858 words. My Rurouni Kenshin fics, of which there are 85 — not including Gold Eyes False (because how do you even count that) or the ficlets/memes (because I’m too lazy to go dig up word counts for those), and not counting That Remarkable Optimism as an RK fic even though I probably should but I’m still lazy — add up to 602,273 words.
As you can see, RK fics outnumber GW fics by only 57,415 words but 66 stories. This imbalance is kindof hilarious. It’s because I’ve never really gotten into writing vignettes about the GW boys the way I’ve done about Saitou and Sano in the past, and Plastic, La Confrérie de la Lune Révéré, and Rose Pale are all extremely heavy hitters.
Silly and Pointlessly Difficult — I’d been contemplating this story for a couple of days, thanks to the serious haiku (unlike the ridiculous ones from Apollo not long ago) in Dreaming Spies (more on that in an eventual AEL), and I ended up, to my own surprise, writing the entire thing whilst sitting at Great Clips waiting approximately forever for my turn to get a haircut (or, rather, a touch-up to my side shave that took maybe five minutes).
There’s something compelling about the haiku format, and to me I think at least part of it is the frustrating but enticing awareness that a haiku can never be as profound and complex in English as it is in Japanese. But that doesn’t mean the format can’t be used for some level of profundity and complexity even in my native tongue.
So what, I thought, if I used an expanded haiku format (three paragraphs consisting of five, then seven, then five haiku) to write a story concerning hidden depths to a behavior and a person, and arrange the prose such that the story would appear to be the lightest fluff? Then, if a reader could fathom the formatting, they might perceive a greater depth to the piece in the hidden haiku — a format that might seem silly and pointlessly difficult on the surface, but which in reality had a specific symbolic purpose in representing the subject of the story?
Yeah, so I did that. It was fun. The sad thing is that I doubt anyone will ever see through to my abstruse symbolism. I’ve even already received the one comment I expect ever to get on the story at all. And I did think about laying it out visually so that it would be more plain that it is a string of haiku, but I liked that less than paragraphs as such. So woe is me! The world is yet to recognize my genius!
However, I am still reveling in my productivity of late. What an awesome time I’ve had recently!!