Working Order

Communication Skill | TSBTS | Haunted House | TSBTS | Aku Soku Zan(za) | TSBTS | Castlevania one-shot | TSBTS | Of The Same Opinion Still | TSBTS | Misc. Original | TSBTS | Aku Soku Zan(za) | TSBTS | Sofia the First one-shot | TSBTS | Sano and Kaoru's Phone Log | TSBTS | Blood Contingency | Misc. one-shot | Heretic's Reward | TSBTS | The Valley | TSBTS | Aku Soku Zan(za) | TSBTS | Little Miss | TSBTS | Ladybug one-shot | TSBTS | HoH Aoshi and Soujirou | TSBTS | Castlevania fic | TSBTS | Rose Pale | TSBTS | Aku Soku Zan(za) | TSBTS | DCAU one-shot | TSBTS | Blood Contingency | TSBTS | Heretic's Reward

Working Order

Communication Skill | TSBTS | Haunted House | TSBTS | Aku Soku Zan(za) | TSBTS | Castlevania one-shot | TSBTS | Of The Same Opinion Still | TSBTS | Misc. Original | TSBTS | Aku Soku Zan(za) | TSBTS | Sofia the First one-shot | TSBTS | Sano and Kaoru's Phone Log | TSBTS | Blood Contingency | Misc. one-shot | Heretic's Reward | TSBTS | The Valley | TSBTS | Aku Soku Zan(za) | TSBTS | Little Miss | TSBTS | Ladybug one-shot | TSBTS | HoH Aoshi and Soujirou | TSBTS | Castlevania fic | TSBTS | Rose Pale | TSBTS | Aku Soku Zan(za) | TSBTS | DCAU one-shot | TSBTS | Blood Contingency | TSBTS | Heretic's Reward

Happy New Year, everyone! What a year it’s been. And I haven’t done a Productivity Log since practically 2019 XD So let’s have one!

To start out with, I’ve been sick in various fibromyalgia-related ways a lot this year. Also, my finances took a nosedive during isolation, and are still lodged firmly in the ground. Therefore, I’m trying to work seven days a week. These two circumstances have made me unable to write much. This is a blow more to my mental health than to any external person’s expectations, but I flatter myself that a few people missed my slightly more regular updates. I honestly can’t say how I’m likely to do going forward, and I’ve decided to stop using phrases like, “Hopefully now I’ll be able to get back on track.” The future is entirely a mystery! But I can set down my thoughts about some of the things I’ve worked on over the last eight months or so, and about some of the plans I have for the future, and make a respectable log out of this. First let’s take a look at what has been updated this year.

Aku Soku Zan(za) — I had to go back and reread the latest segment of this story just to remember exactly where I am XD And what a great segment it is! I love the whole deal with Saitou and Sano in the practice field in this story, because they get to know each other so much better than they have time or opportunity to do in many another fic. Here I’m especially pleased with Sano indicating he doesn’t want to commit a crime by harming an innocent man if he can possibly avoid it, and Saitou pleased with that indication. Sano’s attitude adding to the list of reasons Saitou likes him, and Saitou’s pledge of assistance adding to the list of reasons Sano likes him, I find really delightful.

And of course there were other revelations not so romantic… Sano doesn’t realize the extent to which his concern and pity for Kotono is being taken advantage of… Saitou feels confirmed in his suspicion that Sano and Tokio are sleeping together, and is dealing with it pretty well… Saitou is a horny bastard… Yes, I’m quite pleased with this latest segment, indeed!

It’s kinda funny how determinedly I avoid spoilers regarding this fic, considering it’s a rewrite of a story that was available to read on my site and sometimes elsewhere for, like, ten years XD

Blood Contingency Part 26 — I had to reread this as well to remember for sure what it was. And, damn, what a good part! I’m sitting here preening over it, because that is some quality prose and character interaction and angst there! It’s an absolute tragedy that the combination of relatively rare pairing in relatively dead fandom with serious Dead Author issues and angst and character death prevent almost everyone from reading this fic, because I’ve really outdone myself with a lot of it, this latest part included.

What I think I love best about the latter is Saitou’s thoughts about his own changing state of mind in response to the situation. It’s really interesting to have brought a character like Saitou to this pass. The whole story is a long character study on both him and Sano, and to a lesser extent Megumi, and I find it fascinating. Who would have thought that throwing my favorite aspects of vampire myth at my favorite pairing would result in such delightful turns of character? Well, I guess I would, since I decided to write the story in the first place XD

Heretic’s Reward Chapter 35 etc. — It seems like every time this story comes around on the work list, I end up splitting the intended chapter in two. It’s probably because the old script isn’t very detailed this late in the story, but it might also be because I’m anxious to convey every possible moment of Sano pining for Hajime. (In actuality, Sano spending several days pining for Hajime was not originally part of the plan. It’s such a well worn rut, though, that it’s easy to slip into.) In any case, the fic just gets longer and longer XD

I think another reason for the chapters expanding the way they have is that at least this part of the story is heavy on both information relating to the main adventure as well as internal action relating to the romance. Yes, they’re having symbolic dreams, and Sano is doin’ a psychological torment, but they’re also making plans for the big meeting and the all-important festival confrontation. So we end up with important internal monologue in the same chapter as a significant letter from Souzou, and Sano’s dreams and emotions get crowded out into a second chapter just as much as the discussion of the letter does. Can you believe I once thought I could squeeze the dreams of all five nights before the big meeting into one chapter? And, like, where did I think the crucial planning and Souzou and Tae were going to fit in there? I don’t know.

There are a few other little things that happen in this chapter that we’ll return to later. Those probably wouldn’t have fit the original plan either XD

So of course I also posted the worldbuilding information relating to the setting of this story. I only ever work on that when I’m actively working on the story, so it progresses slowly, but it does progress. I wish this fic had more readers, though, who might be interested in such things. I thrive on the interest and engagement of others, and tend to get more done when there’s an active community I and my work are a part of. More on this sentiment later.

I also posted the >25 interlude. It’s sad how, wishing as I just mentioned that the story had more readers, I’ve shot myself in the foot when it comes to interludes. I write them when I feel like and insert them where they need to be, but until I can get caught up on them, that’s always at some point far earlier in the story than the current chapter. Most people following the story are likely to read the latest chapter but not jump back to an interlude I’ve inserted ten chapters earlier.

Aaaanyway. I always have fun writing Hiko and throwing in all sorts of little phrases that demonstrate his arrogance, but his POV is exhausting after not too long. There are a few more interludes planned that will probably be from his perspective, though, so I have to be ready for that. At least Imau was around in this one, and will be around in some of the others, to shift the focus slightly off of His Glorious Self.

Remember how the interludes with Imau were originally parts of what was planned as a separate story? It was the part where Imau was at sea with Noru that I resisted writing, and that led to the planned story being converted into interludes. Not because I didn’t want to write their developing romance — no, indeed! — but because of all the nautical stuff. Even having glossed over it the way I did, it’s all pretty spurious. Why don’t they seem to have cannon? Why doesn’t Akomera have a navy? WHO KNOWS? I did make Hiko specifically ignorant of all seagoing things to help in the glossing, but, as Sting once said, a question mark hung in the canvas nonetheless.

Fate Is Found In Faeryland — Yes, I know, this was supposed to be a quick-update story as a pandemic gift, and I haven’t updated it since September. Boooo. Also in September, I did start drawing another picture for it (D&H this time), but it’s been sitting around waiting for color ever since then. October was the worst month, health-wise, so I feel I have some excuse, except that it’s now just about January and I’ve completed three other pictures since then XD

And I am working on the next chapter, I promise. It has no title yet, but it’s about Heero continuing not to understand emotionality while he assesses his companions. Little foreshadowing of Duo & Heero relationship, too. I should really get the picture of them done to post at the same time as the chapter.

This is another story that I wish had more readers. OK, it sounds weird to say that; I wish every story had more readers. But for fantasy it’s especially true. I want to nerd out with people about some of the random crap I’ve come up with for this world, but how can I do that if nobody reads it??? Whine whine whine. The usual.

Since I obviously don’t have anything real to offer about this story, how about a bonus peek at the scribbly map of Faeryland I use for reference while writing it. Made using Inkarnate, as usual.

Nine Decades — OK, why did I open the can of worms that is wishing my fantasy stories had more readers?? Ugh. So I’m pretty sure I mentioned in a much-earlier PL in some hazily distant time that I had finished writing these stories and was just waiting on leb to complete the commissions for thems, and that during that time I harassed my parents and brother into reading them. (I didn’t send Missing or It Hasn’t All Been Kids to my parents, the former because it’s entirely HOH irony that they wouldn’t get and the latter because it’s about a sex store.) I speculated at the time that if they read the stories, they would be practically the only ones that would ever do so. I was right. Since I posted it in September, the collection has 30 hits on AO3, 2 kudos, and one comment.

Because of this, I am excessively glad that my three housemates did read the stories and let me know what they thought. Because I think these stories are possibly the best I’ve ever written, and it’s heartbreaking to have no audience for them. I was somewhat astonished that family members agreed to read them and then actually did it, but they really saved my life in so doing.

I have a ton to say about these stories specifically, but I think, for once, I’m going to just write out my author’s notes in the Notes section of the post instead of writing them out here and linking to this post. This may only be because I need to move on to another topic in this post if I’m ever going to get it done today, and I just don’t have time to write all I want to about the ND stories right now.

The Hanged Man Sees the Ace of Cups Inverted and other Patreon stories — Friendly reminder that I do have a Patreon, just in case anyone had forgotten since the last time I mentioned it. My first patron, gimmekensei, received this story as a thank-you gift for being my first patron, and it’s a miracle I managed to get it finished even six months later than intended with all the fog I’ve been floundering through this year. But I did! So there!

I’m going to write author’s notes on the actual story post for this one as well, once again so I can move on to the next item on the list for this PL. Am I lazy? Yeah. Yeah.

The next item on the list for this PL is still in this box, though. See, since the time gimmekensei was my only Patron, more Patrons have come (*__*), and I’ve decided that every new Patron gets a story as a sort of signing bonus (in addition to any stories they can request because of the tier they’ve signed up for). So there are two more stories lined up to be written.

The first is a STTOS fic for plaidshirtjimkirk. It’s coming along slowly, but in this case I think that’s more because it’ll be my very first STTOS fic than because of being sick. Although being sick certainly hasn’t helped. I’ve watched a lot of the series over again as inspiration, and come up with ideas for more different stories, since I started writing this one, so that’s good.

The second is another Saitou & Sano fic for OTPsaisa, and this is the first time I’m mentioning it outside of a conversation with her. She gave me an interesting suggestion for the story, and I kinda exploded the idea into something way bigger, so I’m still wrestling it into place in summary. But it should have adventure, poignancy, humor, and Saitou & Sano either making out or at the very least confirming that they will make out eventually.

Original works — I know I’ve talked about this a little before, but I think that was before it started eating my brain. This year (Piper interjects here with, “I777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777778111”), I’ve been working on one continent on my fantasy world, and I’ve populated it so far with all sorts of countries, species, histories, types of magic, and so on. I’m already in love with this world and some of the characters I’ve come up with. I have seven-ish novels planned, and two of them are in the individual-scene-summary stage. I’m writing a warmup story for one character, and jotting down other short story ideas that can someday form a collection. It’s all very engrossing and exciting.

But this is where desiring an audience really comes into play. You might have noticed my completely failed attempts, over the last two years, to get anyone interested in MLM. Now the sequel to MLM is floundering because nobody cares about it except me. I need energy from somewhere to write these things! I need someone to get excited with me! I can talk to brother about my fantasy world, and he engages and asks questions dutifully, but he doesn’t provide the type of fangirl energy that really gets me working. I can talk to Zombie Girl about this stuff too, but it’s just not enough.

I’m usually kinda closed-off about original stuff except with my close friends (i.e. brother, Mostle, and Zombie Girl), because it’s all intended for commercial publication… but it’s not like anyone’s bought MLM, so maybe that isn’t the best policy? Lately I’ve been thinking about possibly opening up a bit and posting original content online in places (pillowfort? Patreon? here on the site?) to see if I can garner any interest. I don’t know. It’s frustrating and disheartening to have so many amazing ideas and, essentially, no one to share them with.

I guess I’ll call attention to a couple of fairly terrible pictures I’ve drawn lately of characters from this fantasy world. First we have Eltoba:

Eltoba is a 16-year-old witch that has to flee their hometown. They run all the way to Banthyn Valley, where a tale of friendship and adventure takes place. Then there’s Sarthyn:

Sarthyn is a 15-year-old grouch with subconscious magic that lives in Banthyn Valley. When Eltoba shows up to irritate them, a tale of friendship and adventure takes place.

The species of each is ithcordy, though they’re different races. Each is a thoy, a third gender assigned to anyone congenitally non-reproductive. Will they make out with each other someday? Probably. Not in this story, though. They’re both my good childs! And when they’re drawn correctly, they’re cute as can be! In personality they are also cute as can be! Surely someone wants to be interested in them?? Ask me questions about them and stuff…?

Site stuff — In an attempt to lessen my yearly bills, I moved my site to a different server. This is why there are broken links all over the place now. I’ve been working hard to fix that, and I’ve finally managed to get nearly every story into the new format — even Plastic, which took one hundred and one years to match its one hundred and one parts. This process made it possible to clean up story posts quite a bit. There aren’t nearly so many of them now, and everything is so much tighter and neater on the story front. Not everything is done yet, but since website work is one of the things I can almost always do when I’m sick, I’ve progressed far.

If you run into a broken link that hampers your browsing of the site, please let me know, and I’ll fix it. Almost all the images should be working properly, because I was able to do a search and replace on those; but for links to posts and pages I used to use shortcodes that did not translate to the site’s new location. That is very frustrating. Still, as I mentioned, site busywork is pretty easy, and maybe this will prod me to keep looking into older entries that need tagging and reformatting and such.

I thought I had more to say about site maintenance, but it turns out I don’t.

In conclusion — And that brings us to the end of this Productivity Log. Happy New Year, everyone! May the pandemic pass you by!

4 Comments

  1. OTPsaisa

    Hopefully this year will treat you better and I look forward to what’s in store. I’ve gotta re-read ASZ and BC now, and you know what, HR too just because why not. It stinks that there isn’t more activity within the fandom because you have some quality work to be read, some of my absolute favorites. Can’t wait to see what you do with my prompt but definitely take care of yourself first and foremost!

    Reply
    • kuroiyousei

      Thank you for your kind wishes! At the moment things are looking up, but you know how that goes XD I have no objections to you rereading my stuff! And thank you for the compliment on my writing ^__^ I have mixed feelings about the fandom’s level of activity… on the one hand, yeah, I wish I had more readers; but on the other, ever since Dead Author broke my heart, every newly posted piece of RK fanwork, from me or from someone else, represents a new little stab. I can’t let go of Saitou and Sano, because their relationship means so damn much to me, but the fandom in general has been kinda soured for me.

      I’ve been working on the summary for your story, the last few days especially, and I’ve gotten to the point where I have to figure out exactly what they say to each other while Sano is injured, and how that will affect Saitou’s attitude and their relationship. It’s fun, but it’s hard work to strike just the right note with the dialogue! But be assured I am working on it :D

      Thanks again!

      Reply
      • OTPsaisa

        Omg it took me until your reply to catch on to what you meant by dead author *face palm*, I saw it in the post but my brain couldn’t figure it out but YES. It’s definitely soured things but I too can’t let them go. I feel like it’s a really weird position to be in, being involved in the fandom. I do feel a little better knowing I’m not monetarily supporting Dead Author, but still… you’re right, I agree.

        Reply
        • kuroiyousei

          Every time I see a new RK story on AO3, or RK fanwork pretty well anywhere, my immediate thought is, How can you be so cavalier about this? Don’t you know what he did, what he is?? And in fact they probably know perfectly well. I wouldn’t want to see a little disclaimer in front of every single work going forward (and often the things I see are pre-revelation anyway), but in some ways, I actually would. I want a feeling of solidarity with fellow fans, want to know that new work is being posted in a spirit of, These elements are ours now; we’ve rejected Dead Author and are dealing with the tragedy by salvaging what we can.

          (Oh, yeah, and I never refer to him by name anymore. I don’t even want to see the words. Sorry if that confused you XD)

          And I can’t bear to acknowledge my now-tainted love (dun dun) in public. I put away my loads and loads of RK stuff in plastic storage bins that are currently under my bed, including all my RK clothing. For a while I was seriously considering getting a custom license plate that said ‘saisa,’ but, boy, did that dream ever die a quick and painful death.

          The same thing has been happening with J.K. Rowling lately too, and I’m so so glad I was never a part of that mess of a fandom. But it makes me uncomfortable wearing any Harry-Potter-themed gear anymore. I need to get a trans pride flag pin or button to put on every garment XD But though I’m disappointed in and disgusted with Rowling, it’s not anywhere near the level of pain Dead Author caused me. I’ve been writing about Saitou and Sano for more than half of my life. It’s weird to say, but their relationship has been the love of my life. I’m in love with the two of them (together as a couple) far more deeply than I’ve ever been in love with a living human. And maybe that’s my bad, but the news about Dead Author hit like a bad breakup with people I’d been married to for almost twenty years at that point.

          But now I’m just rambling. It’s good to have someone to ramble to, though, so thank you :)

          Reply

Leave a comment