Ha ha ha ha ha, remember how last time I made one of these logs, I was like, Oh, I’ll have so much more time to work on stuff going forward! Ha ha ha ha ha ha.
OK, so. I’ve gotten into what feels like a pretty good routine doing courier work. I can make decent amounts of money.
Fanfiction Working Order
Of The Same Opinion Still | Nine Decades | Aku Soku Zan(za) | Sano and Kaoru’s Phone Log | Heretic’s Reward | Aku Soku Zan(za) | HoH Aoshi and Soujirou | Castlevania fic | Aku Soku Zan(za) | Blood Contingency | Communication Skill | Aku Soku Zan(za)
It’s less than before, though, so I’m working long (if fairly enjoyable) hours in order to pay my bills. And I only take two days off, unlike before when I always had three. So, in fact, I have less time to get shit done around here. Ah, life.
(I also took off way too much time in December because I had relatives visiting for most of the month. I neeeeed monnnnneyyyyy.)
I bought a voice recorder, and have been experimenting with using it for new writing. It does pretty well, with one big exception: if I’m working off a specific summary, I need to do it side-by-side in order to refer to the summary line-by-line. This applies to ASZz, too, and rewriting old story segments. So in order to record new content of such stories as I drive, I basically have to memorize the summary/old writing. Which I usually only do to the extent of a few lines, which may translate to a few paragraphs of new writing XD I’ll figure it out, though.
Meanwhile, my logs on the site just feel entirely abandoned. So on to more specific notes for recent stuff!
Supergirl, She-Ra, and Raphael Save the Day and NQF 2019 — Mom gave me the prompt on Halloween, and then it took me nearly the entire month of November to complete that one story. November was the real beginning of and getting used to my new work, so I’m not entirely surprised it turned out that way. Also, it kinda feels like I’ve lost touch with the 1k-2k-word format. Ah, well. I enjoyed writing this story, but I haven’t reread it since I posted it, so I’m not sure if it’s actually any good XD And of course nobody else has read it besides my mom. Original stuff’s like that.
So then NQF 2019 crashed and failed. When I started it a few years ago, I knew it would eventually, because I have no audience left. I got three prompts this year, and all of them were from people I harassed specifically about it. I’m still working on the second story, and it’s January. I think that second story will be pretty awesome, and I’m also looking forward to the third one someday. But the tradition may not survive. I mean, I’ll probably try again this year, but I expect it will be a smaller turnout even than last year (and that’s assuming I get the second and third entries finished before this November).
I’m keeping January’s MSP closed because I’d like to catch up, both on NQF and the existing MSP I’ve been languidly working on for eight months. My brother was kind enough to give me a prompt for a future month, though, and that’s exciting. Or will be if I ever get to it.
Castlevania fic — This is going to be a really fun story. Y’all just wait for the description of the succubus. Its working title is Girl Talk, and my working titles often stick just from force of habit, but we’ll see. It’s about my girl Sypha and my gorgeous OT3. AAaahhhh, I love them so much *__*
Aku Soku Zan(za) (the most recent two segments) — In the original version of this story, Katsu and Tokio were very much a side-pairing until the second part, where I left them sleeping non-sexually together when I stopped to rewrite the entire thing. Now they’re only kindof a side-pairing XD But at least Katsu now has these POV segments; never mind that I’ve inserted them primarily where adjacent chapters ended and began with the same POV in the original. Anyway, it was nice, in this bit, to show that Katsu already admires Tokio and has had his way of thinking and his business choices affected by her — not to mention is, therefore, taking actions that may awaken reciprocal feelings in her. Seriously, when she reads that first issue of his… more relationship development, yo! I think it’s very sweet, so I’m happy to be going in this more interesting direction with them this time.
Then the most recent segment is nearly identical to the original. I did some more planning ahead while I rewrote it in better language than before, and was reminded how important this scene is in the long run. I’d completely forgotten certain emotional connections that start in this scene and resurface later in a big, touching way. So that was fun.
Blood Contingency part 25 — You know, I still can’t believe my hard-hitting and emotionally nuanced description of Megumi’s death has never wrung a single comment out of anyone. Geez, man, that scene made me cry. But that was part 24, so moving on. Part 25 had some important moments in it too, and, though nobody’s commented on that either, the story’s hit count on AO3 doubled after I posted it. So I can assume somebody’s interested.
So before starting in on part 25, I nipped into part 7 and added a few paragraphs. A lot of research went into the very little I inserted (and most of it didn’t get used, which always seems to be the case when I research for historic bits of a story), but it accomplished two very important things (or maybe three, depending on how you’re counting): it connected with what Sano and Joe talk about in part 25 and established that Joe is actually getting better at remembering Sano with each life he lives; and it rendered part 7 less Poe-damned pointless. I’ve always been annoyed at part 7, feeling it was largely meaningless filler, but now it serves so much better a purpose.
Part 25 didn’t just convey the interesting but ultimately rather fluffy information that Joe has been different genders and possibly different orientations and definitely in different relationships over the years; it also reiterated his desire to understand Sano’s current frame of mind and, if he can, help him avoid becoming the monster he fears — and, as Joe himself remarks, progressed them to hugging. They’re slowly drifting back together; what will Joe do about Renee??
I started this story around 2006, and it’s gone through some metamorphosis since. What I continually marvel at is how well some of my early ideas played into some of my later, far more complex and interesting ideas about where this thing was going. Originally, I had intended for Renee to exist purely for shock value when we found out she was Saitou’s descendant, and then to be thrown away and probably never mentioned again. (I was far closer to the straight-characters-in-the-way-of-the-primary-pairing-are-totally-expendable camp back in those days.) Of course eventually I realized that anyone, and especially someone steadfast in his principles, would have a much more complex reaction to finding out he was dating his own descendant than, Uh-oh, better dump her ass; and that Renee’s very existence helped to showcase some aspects of the situation while simultaneously complicating all of them. So, yes, she’s still a MacGuffin; just now at least she’s not fridged or the next best thing.
That was also back before I’d decided to make Meg a badass romantic asexual like myself. Early on, I had a vague idea of Megumi falling in love with Katsu and, of course, losing him to tragedy just like Sano lost Saitou. Like, see? Megumi isn’t tracking down her lover through his subsequent lifetimes; what is wrong with you, Sano? Or something; not really sure where I was going with that, just that I decided against it largely because I didn’t want to torment Megumi more. Sano and Saitou? Sure. But not my Meg. And I think that’s enough about that story for now.
After-Dinner Brandy — Boy, was it ever nice to finally get this story finished. Recording this one in the car worked really well, because the plan was so basic: Trowa tells his tale, Bernard reacts to it. I chose to tell it from Bernard’s POV because Catharine believes Trowa sooner and is a lot more empathetic toward him, so her reactions would have been far less interesting. She still gets to threaten him at the end :D
So I got a strong and rather annoying Batman’s Origin Story feeling from this piece as I was writing it. Even non-Batman fans will know what I mean. The whole plastic curse, and the suffering both Duo and Trowa went through because of it, is absolutely integral to their current characters. It can’t be dismissed, as it shaped who they are today. Yet it was the very first scene in the very first story (in realtime) in the series, and remains the very first scene chronologically. Hajime picked up on it in Confy, Duo summarized it in That Remarkable Optimism, and here… Trowa goes through it all again. And, yes, he fills in gaps with details we’ve never heard before, but I have to admit I’m getting a little tired of “Trowa turned Duo into a doll, and the curse wasn’t broken for 87 years” — and maybe my readers are too. So I hope this will be the last time it’s discussed rather than just touched upon.
(Though did I mention Nine Decades is coming soon? ~_~)
And I did have fun getting all those details down. A lot of them were already part of Trowa’s bio in my series notes, but those, of course, aren’t public. I also enjoyed comparing this story to the story he told in March and seeing how much he’s grown — especially in light of his recent (in series chronology) resolution to be more proactive and assertive. Trowa and Quatre, bizarrely after the Confy events, are the only HOH couple I’ve left in a pretty good place. And that brings me to the next HOH story I worked on…
Communication Skill part 3 — So of course the problem in the relationship between Hajime and Sano is not that Hajime is asexual, but that Hajime is uncommunicative. But in this part, when things kinda blow up, Sano puts his finger right on the wrong point. It was difficult to write Sano getting so unreasonably angry in this context, because he’s so wrong, and in his anger he’s saying all the wrong things, and of course Hajime remains uncommunicative, so they can’t get things straightened out. That’s the purpose of the whole story, but this painful part where they argue (or Sano argues) and get everything rolling was more or less heartbreaking. In fact the entire fic may be difficult to write, since it’s not like they’re going to resolve the problem for a bazillion parts :/ Still, it’s good to have this part at linear completion in any case.
New story I shouldn’t be working on yet — Oops, I did it again. I started a fic. I don’t have the time. Well, at least it’s in the planning stage and I’m not actually writing it yet. But it seized all my attention for at least a week, and I’m still working on the detailed scene summaries at least once a day.
It’s the massive blossoming of a small, incomplete idea I had about Heero and Duo years and years ago — an absolutely absurd idea that made me laugh every time I read it but that I hesitated to develop into a full story because it seemed likely to require detailed sex, and gross. But I started thinking about it again recently and playing with the idea of getting other characters in there for an over-the-top fantasy romp with a lot of sexual references but no actual detailed sex. And by ‘other characters’ I don’t mean ‘other GW characters besides the ones in the original plan,’ but ‘other characters from wherever I please, starting, of course, with RK and extending as far as Tsukino Usagi and Michael Jackson and my very own self.’ And from that came a beautiful mess that I’m far more interested in than I should be.
Its working title is Faery Forest, but that definitely will change as soon as I can think of something tongue-in-cheek and relevant and interesting. The working summary is: What do two dwarves (one going through sexual maturation and the other seemingly without a personality), a liberated human dairymaid, and an orc with a talking sword have in common? They’ve all, more or less, been Cursed by the queens of Faeryland. Can they break their Curses and retrieve what was lost? Are they in for valuable lessons about friendship and magic? Will they all get married in the end? Find out in this totally serious and intended-to-be-taken-very-seriously epic fantasy adventure!
Although it’s intended to be silly, and the plot definitely has some ridiculous aspects to it, I’m not actually good at coming up with ridiculous plots. So a lot of it is a very serious story just trimmed with stupidity. Like, the romances? They’re my usual thing. And I’m doing that AU thing I always do — daydreaming about what the characters that won’t appear in the story are, race-wise and professionally, and how they might interact with my heroes later — before I’ve even got all the scenes summarized. So, you know? This may end up being an awful story. It’s certainly very self-indulgent. But I’m caught up with it right now anyway. So there.
Site stuff — I’ve mentioned before that site stuff is easy to work on when I’m not mentally up to anything more creative. So lately, at times when I’ve been sick or in pain (like today, when I believe I’m suffering ruptured ovarian cyst(s) again and it hurts too horribly to walk), I’ve been touching up and redoing things around here. Of course that’s resulted in some things (like certain stories’ navigation) getting broken, but I’m still working on it. I dissected the unwieldy Visual Art page, so now that stuff’s a lot more viewable, and you can even comment on it if you’re so inclined! Then I found that, somehow, the line of code I was using to prevent sidebars from showing site-wide had disappeared, and I can’t figure out what it was. This doesn’t affect posts so much, except for older personal entries, but it definitely affects lists of posts. So I fixed the different categories of fiction so that, instead of returning a list based on category, the stories are deliberately listed on their own pages. I think it looks pretty nice.
I also experimented a bit with a new story layout, but I couldn’t get it to work right. I may come back to that later. I’ve long been searching for the most convenient way to have a story’s contents, information (such as tags), author’s notes, and comments easily accessible to the reader without having too many posts (a huge pain in the ass, but better for commenting on specific parts of the story) or too few (more difficult to organize neatly, but easier for navigation and updates). It was only a little later than this time last year that I converted all the story posts to the new tabbed style, and that was about when all comments on my website stopped; I received 7 comments anywhere on the site in 2019, and none of them were on stories — the point being that I have no idea whether the tabbed style is convenient or whether I should keep working at a new layout. I like the tabs myself, but they don’t translate to mobile devices as well as I would like. You’d think a website dedicated primarily to text wouldn’t have me scratching my head this much!
So wish me luck with my current level of pain, wish me luck on actually working tomorrow and making some money (or just give me money), wish me luck on fixing those stupid navigations, and wish me luck catching up with prompt-based stories. Right now I’m going to work on some faery story scene summaries and then probably go play Skyrim. Or maybe take a very hot bath and watch Sofia the First.