This is a real post

The others you’ve been seeing lately? Are not. I don’t know how that’s happening, but am working on trying to get it resolved.

No, I haven’t been writing lately, but that doesn’t mean I want anyone subscribed here to be getting spammed, either.

Edited to add: okay, seewhathahappenwas… there was a “post by email” feature enabled (I honestly can’t recall if I enabled it but never used it (likely) or if someone was able to remotely do that (not likely)), and that was how those posts were showing up. It’s been disabled, so you shouldn’t get spammed here anymore. *crosses fingers*

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sophie.myst

Hi — I am still alive, and I am still trying to bust through the Berlin Wall of writer’s block… But somehow, a link was posted here that was not safe/real/etc. I’m so sorry if anyone was tricked by it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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Writing, outlines, and ramblings

Back when I first started writing fanfic, it was because I’d been reading fanfic, and both the reading and writing of it were a sort of escape from what my life was at the time. I was unemployed, my marriage was going down the tubes, and I was generally pretty miserable.

When I changed all of that back in 2011, suddenly I was happy, single, and it wasn’t long before I was employed. Which was fantastic on a whole lot of levels… just not the writing one. I had nothing to escape from. Now when I read, it’s for the pleasure of it, not for comfort and a desperate need to be taken elsewhere for a while. And for the longest time, I wanted to get back into writing, but it almost felt like I’d forgotten how.

Recently, a few different factors all kind of mooshed into an amorphous thing which made writing feel less like an I want to do this and more like an I need to do this. Not because I’m unhappy or depressed, but just because I’ve got all of these stories in me that really do want to be told. Or sometimes it’s just characters that want to come out and play. (Being a writer does require at least a little bit of madness, or so I’ve been told.)

So I did some re-reading to get back into the swing of things. I wrote that chapter for A Smarter Sookie, and I was so tickled with the way it turned out. But then very soon afterward, something occurred to me — a path not previously explored — and I took a mental jog down that path. As of this morning, I have outlined the first 6-7 chapters of The King’s Queen. There is so damn much going on here, I don’t know how many chapters this one is going to be. At least ten. Probably not more than fifteen. Maybe No telling, at this point in time.

I also want to run this outline by one of my best friends and pre-readers, just to make sure none of you want to kill me after reading it. She’s already read the first chapter, poor thing. 

I feel could do this post in two columns: good news & bad news. Good in that I’m outlining stuff and have ideas of where things are going. Bad in that with this series, I don’t start publishing a single chapter until the entire thing is written in full, but then I can post a single chapter every day for 10+ days. But then the good part of that is you know, once you start reading, that you won’t be dangling off the edge of any cliffs for an unknown period of time.

Another good thing is that I’ve remembered some of my old writing tricks. Freeform is fun, butI really do work best with an outline. I started outlining things with Don’t Find Me, and I still think that was one of my best pieces. (Yes, DFM has been pulled from all sites; the original concept behind it was never intended to be used in fanfic, and will be rewritten as part of an original series I’m also working on. The outline for that original story is also about half-done, but it requires a prereq story or two. I do things all kinds of back-asswards, sometimes.)

For me, outlines are not statements of “this happens, then this happens, then this happens.” I mean, that is kind of how it winds up, but that’s not how it starts. It starts as a series of questions. That’s how most of my stories start: questions that only raise more questions.

What if Sookie were taken in by Queen Sophie-Anne after her parents died? Well, that could be interesting, but how would that even come about? How would her life be different? Start with the big questions, break it down into smaller questions. Ask the stupidest questions, sometimes. How would she survive when she smelled so tasty? Okay, so found a solution for that, but what are the side effects? And what other purposes might that solution serve?

The fun about writing a series, I’ve found, is that you can leave yourself hints and breadcrumbs. Sometimes they’re things that no one else will pick up on. Part of the trick to this is having an entire backstory written (or at least, kept firmly in mind) when you’re writing something. I went back and reread The Queen’s Telepath, and halfway through, I’d found a whole slew of things where I almost shouted “I CAN DO SOMETHING WITH THAT!”

Which can really be an awkward sort of situation when you’re sitting at the back of a city bus.

I’ve also discovered a way to trick the muses. This is kind of huge for me.

You know how you always seem to get your best ideas when you’re trying to sleep? You’re in bed, and suddenly, AWESOME IDEA! And you think holy fucknuggets, this is so awesome, I can’t possibly forget it. And in the morning? Gone.

It’s summer. Which, for me, means I barely sleep. I wake up somewhere between 4:30 and 5:30am. Without the alarm. And not on purpose. Because my body is evil? I dunno why. Even during the week I don’t need to get up for work until about 6am. So I’ll get up, go pee, then get back into bed and let my mind wander as if I’m trying to sleep. I know I won’t be able to go to sleep. But that’s when the ideas come. When an idea hits, I unlock my phone and tap it out into Notes. Then close the phone and my eyes, and go back for more. Like diving for pearls. This Saturday I got more outlined in thirty minutes by doing that than I did in three hours the night before, sitting in front of my computer.

This morning I did that for about an hour and managed to answer some of the trickier questions that had been pestering me about this plot line. I don’t remember them right now. But it’s okay, because it’s already been scribbled down. Now I can open my TKQ Scrivener file, to go the outline, and start answering questions I’d written for myself, and write down more questions to be answered later.

In any case. I just wanted you to know that I didn’t just show up, write a chapter, and then disappear again. Writing is happening. Well, the writing process, in any case.

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This is what kind of bitch my muses are

I’m rocking some kind of cold that tightens my chest, clogs my nose at night, and fogs my brain. I’ve lost track of how many times I spaced out today. Hell, I’m just glad I remembered where I live. Because it’s just that bad.

I got Korean food for lunch, partly because it’s awesome comfort food for me, but also because I get it as spicy as they make it (which, granted, isn’t that spicy) because spicy is medicinal. Or something. I’m just making this shit up as I go. As I always say, if kimchi won’t cure what ails you, then you probably should see an actual doctor and not rely quite so heavily on home remedies. Even if they are fucking tasty.

Anyway.

As I was eating my lunch, I decided I’d reread a bit of A Smarter Sookie, mostly to refamiliarize myself with the characters as much as possible. Also: I’m greedy and I just kind of love my Eric, okay?

I was reading a little bit after their first date, when something hit me like a ton of bricks:

How do we KNOW what really happened with [spoiler]? All we have is the word of the human authorities, who are not to be trusted in such matters, and could not be expected to even know.

Well.

Shit. Holy shit, specifically.

But here’s the problem: it doesn’t fit with A Smarter Sookie.

I said fuggit, and let my mind run with it. Because who knows, right? And run it did. I scribbled down ideas as fast as they came to me, barely keeping up. 

What I came up with is either a new story altogether, or it’s the plot twist for the sequel to The King’s Telepath. (Hence the [spoiler] bits above.) Or the DayQuil-induced haze might clear and have me find that it was totally a shit idea all along. 

Here’s what all this means: I have no idea what I’ll be working on tonight, but I will be working on SOMEthing. When my brain lets me. No guarantees about when it will get posted, but… well, apparently I’m just as much a teasing bitch as my muses can be. Mwahahah.

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Holy shit I wasn’t kidding! Chapter 47! of A Smarter Sookie!

Okay, so any of you who’ve really been following this story know that it’s been *mumble* months… okay, years since I’ve written anything for it. After the book series officially ended, I felt fairly motivated to work on this story again. Also because writing is yay (and you can see how eloquent I am, right there). Where I left things, well, I had some idea that I’d left it in a relatively non-cliffhangery sort of place but had NO idea where I was going next with things. I have recently re-read the entire thing, took some notes, rough-drafted an outline. I know where things are going next, have some ideas of things I can develop. That being said… I’m rusty. Like whoa. So please forgive me, and thank you for being so patient with me over the months years.

Also, be warned that this has not been beta-read. If there are mistakes, please feel free to let me know, but be gentle… it’s been a while.

So without further ado: Chapter 47 (which I haven’t named yet).

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I might could maybe perhaps be doing things

Holy shit, people are still reading my fanfic site?

Apparently at least some of you folks are, bless your hearts. I haven’t forgotten about you. Or this place. Or these stories. Or the characters. I still think of them regularly, with a guilty pang of when the hell am I going to start writing again. I haven’t responded to each individual query along those lines because I can only say “my life went to hell but then came back better than before but I still have no idea who I am anymore” before it stops making sense. If it ever made sense in the first place.

I still haven’t gotten my writing hands back since I moved back to Chicago. I’ve been worldbuilding an original series, trying to figure out who the hell lives in it, but I’ll be damned if I can start actually working on it. It just hasn’t been happening, and it’s goofy. I’m goofy. I’ve been working on this world for at least 5 years in some form or another.

In any case. A week or three ago I somehow stumbled across An Archive Of Our Own, which looks like a potentially valid alternative to FFnet, which is way the hell overdue. Today I uploaded two stories over there to see what kind of attention and reception they get.

And while I was at it? I uploaded some of my one-shots here.

These have previously only existed on FFnet, and you know what? I’ll probably leave everything up there, but when I start writing well again (pleaseohpleaseohpleaseletthatbesoon), I’ll likely only be posting things here, with notifications of such momentous events on Twitter & Tumblr.

Yes, I do have Thoughts on the way the SVM series was recently wrapped up. I don’t think I’ll be posting any long diatribes about it because, honestly? I stopped reading a few books ago. Because it seemed clear to me that, while the author may have sincerely wanted Sookie to have a shot at happiness, Ms Harris and I have very different ideas about what is required for a person to be happy. That really sums it up nicely. Some people might really and truly be perfectly happy with marriage and babies, but I am not one of those people. So there you have it. My thoughts on the SVM ending, all wrapped up in one neat and tidy paragraph. End of story.

And that, my friends, is why we have fanfic.

On a not-entirely-unrelated-note: while I thought I was maybe done with the Smarter Sookie story (it was my first fanfic, is laden with mistakes and tropes and goofy bits), I am thinking I might use that as a jump-off point for getting back into writing. I’ll warn you, though: I’m probably going beta-free and just posting stuff as I write it. It’s like a fanfic version of a snuggly old teddy bear: it’s worn around the edges and I’ve had to sew the eyes back on at least once, so it’s kind of embarrassing to look at sometimes, but the history of it makes me love it more than some of my other, possibly more attractive teddy bears. I mean stories. Yeah, stories.

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On love and abuse

I’m going to keep this short and sweet, because otherwise it’ll be long and really fucking pissed off.

When I was a kid, because of the abuse I survived at the hands of my mother, I grew up thinking that abuse was love.

And then I went through 12+ years of therapy.

Guess what? I don’t think abuse is love anymore. Because equating those two things is the sign of someone who has dangerously fucked up ideas, ideals, and boundaries.

And that’s just not a place that mentally or emotionally healthy people go.

I’m not talking about BDSM. I’m talking about rape, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and mental abuse. Situations where one person is being caused lasting physical, mental, or emotional damage.

I can’t really — and won’t — speak about the other social stuff coming up around the sides of this, because honestly, I think it’s a distraction. It’s easier to be upset about he-said-she-said than it is to be upset about “holy fuckballs, our fandom has some people in it who have seriously fucked up ideas.”

There you have it, kidlets. Short, sweet, and to the fucking point. Done. Moving on.

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