New Project for November– ALWAYS CLOUDY

So National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is coming up soon, and I have been trying to figure out what I want to write about this year. 

For those of you who haven’t yet heard of it, NaNoWriMo ( Nah-No-Re-Mo shortened to Nano) is a month-long writing challenge, where you write 1667 words every day. 

Why does that sound so very simple and yet weirdly specific?

Because the actual goal is to reach 50,000 words by the end of the month, and to do that your goal is to write at least 1667 words every day during the month of November. 

That’s right, from the bum-end of Halloween to the beginning of socially-acceptable Christmas Music, the challenge is to write a novel. You’ve been planning, in general, to write a novel for some time, and this is a chance to kick into gear, with events in your area with fellow writers if you’re interested, and it’s entirely free. People who reach the 50k goal even get a free printed copy of their very own novel, and discounts for otherwise pricey writing software. 

It’s neat. 

My sister Lexy (link to her blog) has participated with me, and this year we’ve convinced our dear Mother to join the fun.

I’ve participated for roughly 5 years now, and recently succeeded in reaching 50k this summer, in Camp Nano, and have succeeded in 3 of those 5 years… but it’s always a question of what I want to work on. 

Sometimes I’ll work on fanfiction, because I like writing fanfiction, and it’s good to stay in practice. Because fanfiction is writing practice, pretty much. What I post is pretty darn popular, too, so as I post I get a lot of feedback. And that’s nice. Link to my stuff.

But I also do work on my own original stuff… I’ve got a couple of stories ongoing, but I work on them pretty consistently during the year, so when I decide not to write fanfiction in November, I like to start on a whole new story. 

Stretch my literary wings, crease my spine and flap my pages free from previously thought up rules and universes. 

And then I thought up Always Cloudy

I’m going to write a blog-story, from the pov of my main character Sunny. He can control clouds–well, only the one, and it only sort of does what he wants, but it’s not like he can tell anyone about it, so… blogging. Nice and anonymous. 

If you’re interested either click the link above for Sunny’s About Me page, or go to>    cumulonimblog.wordpress.com    <for updates starting November.

Thanks be to Lexy for that gem of a blog name 🙂

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Stress Direction and the Time I Have To Do Things

So I haven’t posted anything here very recently–hell, last thing I posted was a picture of a goat (which I swear is more impressive than it sounds) I drew for one of my sister’s stories.

I don’t think I have quite the steady readership here, but I do write elsewhere (fanfiction, mostly, on Archive Of Our Own, and Fanfiction.net), and I do actually have regular visitors to many of my stories.

Hell, in a world of usernames mostly made or kept from your tweens or drunken haha-this-is-obviously-the-best-idea‘s, I recognize a rather astonishing amount of usernames and profile pictures that aren’t actually of people. (Hahaha, yes, so sayeth Doodled93 with a Halloween costumed selfie to the one side and a picture of my dog on the other. But my username is an adaption of a childhood nickname and the creative use of my birth year, so.)

But the thing is, I have a pretty steady readership in my fanfiction plunges, people I’m surprised to see reviewing/commenting on one story or another because they’re usually commenting on other fandoms I’ve written in, and usually it’s pretty nice. The thing I like about Ao3 (archive of our own, for those not in the know) is how friendly everyone is, and while part of that, I think, is because you have to join a usually quick waiting list to even get an account (whereas there are many dud ffn.net accounts), but also because people looking into fanfiction are generally pretty nice.

Actually care about what you post, the quality you crank out, and people will respond.

I think the most negative comments I get nowadays is from people reviewing for the first time a story I wrote nearly, gosh, 8 years ago now(02/14), and it’s mostly about the overuse of some punctuation.

But the negative comments I get aren’t the annoying ones, not really, and I think I’ve mentioned this before, but berating and shouting at me for not having updated one story in a while gets me stressed and annoyed and a bit spiteful. 

It’s the stressed part of that mix that I’m going to be focusing on today, but you should really pay attention to the fact that when I get annoyed I get spiteful.

If you’ve read anything of mine before this, of the non-fiction side of things, you’ll know that I’ve had a lot to say about stress. I’ve written about stressful situations, I’ve written about what stress is really like for me, I’ve even just tagged posts as ‘stress’ or ‘stressful’ simply because writing about it gets my anxiety up.

I don’t deal with stress well.

I think I’ve gotten better, in that instead of bottling it up I let it out in bursts to Lexy and internet and real life friends in short bursts, but I still have the avoid-it instinct…

Do you see why it is doubly unwise to yell at me and snark about when I’ll likely update?

Because I’m NOT a writer that can work within a certain deadline, I am simply one that can work within parameters. Hmm, should this story be 10k/chapter, or maybe 5k, or should this be every 7 pages, or… hmm. When should I be updating this, because otherwise the chapter will either go on forever or else never get worked on due to its open-ended-ness.

When I was in a bad way after Ottawa-related failings, I was stressed and unhappy and trying my best to avoid real life and all that comes with that, and so I got quite a bit of writing done.

Because when you’re avoiding real life, fiction is where it’s at.

Or just the internet in general.

I read and wrote a hell of a lot, and was unemployed so I had all the time I could possibly want and/or need, and basically turned all my attention towards plot, character development, 10k long chapters, and taking breaks in-between to finish whole seasons of TV shows. As uncomfortable as it may seem to you, I wallowed in unemployment and a feeling of failure but was 80% oblivious to it because 80% of my day was turned towards fictional drama, and a large part of the remaining 20% was eating and sleeping in.

Now, however, I’m in a bit of a better place, and I have a job.

Full-time even, and for a while I had TWO jobs, at least until current job was like “What would it take for you to quit working other job and come here full-time?”

Kudos to past put-on-the-spot me, because I responded with ‘benefits’, because that seemed more likely than ‘more than minimum wage’.

And now while I have stressy bits of work (working in the produce section of an organic foods store means there’s ALWAYS SOMETHING TO BE DONE, and also manager issues but whatever), I am working full-time.

I can no longer utilize my best writing time (between 10pm and 2am) because I either have work to get to at 7am, or I’ve returned from an exhausting shift that ended at 9:30pm.

So no, my writing is not happening at quite the same pace as it was last year, or even over the summer, but you know what?

Stress is usually the thing that gets me writing, because it is an escape.

Sometimes more than reading, because I am quite literally feeling like I’m in my characters head.

When I haven’t written in a long while, or am blanking on what–or how–to write in a particular story I have yet to update for a while, I experience a bit of anxiety, because I do want to write. I enjoy it. But I stress myself out in a minimal way when I haven’t updated something in a while, because I’m disappointing myself. Not in a ‘you could do better’ kind of way, but more like making plans, looking forward to it, and then finding out that either you or the person(s) you were going to hang out with and do that thing with can’t make it.

Oh, ok. Next time then. 

But when I get passive aggressive remarks and pressure from people who, while it’s flattering that they’re enjoying what I’ve written that much, don’t give a f*** what else I’m doing or how much pressure they and their unknowing compadre’s are putting on me, who would very likely feel a bit of camaraderie with the others if they knew (Hah, the author will have to update sooner than expected if we’re ALL shouting at the same time), well.

Stressed.

Annoyed.

Spiteful.

Let’s work our way up, shall we?

Spite, a desire to hurt, annoy, or offend someone.

Leads up to Annoy, irritate (someone); make (someone) a little angry.

And though it’s not in there, anger is part of this too.

I don’t like being angry, I don’t like the way it makes me feel, I don’t like experiencing that boiling in my gut, and I especially don’t like how hard it is to keep it focused on the intended recipient/aggressor. It’s like the difference between being a little peeved and being actually angry is like using two different types of weapons. Being peeved is like your emotions are turned into a laser, easy to point it at the thing that’s causing it.

Being angry is like having that laser pointer turned into some kind of gun that lets out a poisonous miasma. It’s scary, there’s kickback that can injure you, and as soon as it’s out, it’s up in the air. It could affect anyone. Could hurt anyone.

And you know what? If you let me get to know you for 48 hours, within that 48 hours I will have figured out what sort of thing I would have to say to you to actually hurt your feelings, the way that shouldn’t hurt because it’s a relative stranger saying it to you, but hits deep anyways. But I don’t say it. Ever. Because if hearing that it’s that easy to figure out how to hurt a stranger verbally puts you off from ever wanting to interact or even meet me, then maybe it’ll change your mind to hear that I don’t say any of it because I find it very easy to empathize, and I’m selfish enough to not want the emotional backlash of hurting your feelings.

But being actually angry makes that wall in my head of ‘no, you do not say this ever’ seem more like a line, and hey, isn’t it closer than I thought it was, and I bet I could walk right over it, easy as pie.

And that is stressful.

Stress, a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances, makes me want to escape. I don’t like being angry because I don’t like confrontation, and I don’t like actually feeling stressed out because I don’t like feeling like I need to escape.

And I really don’t like feeling like I need to escape from my escape.

There are a few situations that I get into that translate into me not being able to write coherently/well.

Alcohol. I will never be that writer who sits down to write with a bottle of wine (i don’t drink wine but that’s besides the point), or with a beer, and a masterpiece will never have its rough draft written in a drunken haze.

Exhaustion. I can write best when it’s late into the night, but I’m pretty antisocial, and interacting with people is exhausting. This is why I don’t really write well after work, because 1) I’m tired, and 2) writing how character a interacts with characters b-z around them is working socialization muscles that do not have the capabilities for this sort of work. I get steadily more anxiety ridden when I have to talk for a prolonged amount of time, and that makes me stressed, and makes me want to escape, and it’s hard to interact socially and also escape at the same time.

And I kind of just mentioned it within ‘exhaustion’, but Stress.

Because if you missed it,

It is hard to interact with anything when all you want to do is escape.

So yeah, this is 1700 words of unhappiness at how some strangers on the internet are making something I enjoy, something I like escaping to, into something I feel like I need to escape from.

Why Asking When Something’s Going to be Updated Isn’t Helpful

Just what it says on the tin.

Or, on the blog as it so happens…

One of the things I find… if not irritating, then at least disappointing, is when people comment on my ongoing stories and they don’t actually have anything to say.

And no, I’m not talking about the people who leave one worded things, like “Nice!” or any other bit of smallish feedback, because that’s actual feedback.

It’s when any of this happens that I get frustrated.

“Update!”

“Plz update!”

“When are you going to update?”

and even the occasional

“Have you forgotten about this story?”

No. No I haven’t.

I just haven’t had the chance, the inspiration, or the right mindset to write for this fandom, to write in this ‘verse, to write this particular fic.

And no, I don’t know when I”m going to update.

Some authors can do the scheduled update thing–and kudos to them.

But unless I have most of a chapter written out, the most I can give you is a rough estimation–and if I know that, I’ll mention it at the end of the last chapter I posted.

So why I appreciate the thought behind it, the implied “I like your story so much I’d like you to continue!”, there isn’t much I can say to that.

(and I do like talking, responding, to reviewers, so if I have ever not responded, either I’m late in replying, or I have nothing to say to your not-really-a-comment-on-my-story review.)

Again, I like the thought behind it, but it’s not really necessary to, oh, I dunno, remind me to continue the story.

If you want to say something about the story, you’re welcome to it… just please keep in mind that in most cases adding an “UPDATE!” at the end isn’t cute.

If you really feel the need, maybe try less of a demand and more of a “I hope you get a chance to update this soon,” or “Hope you get inspired!” or something positive and supportive. It may take a little bit longer to type out, but hey, you’re already taking time out to comment, so…. why not?

I dunno, I hope this doesn’t seem rant-ish, but it does get disappointing, for multiple reasons, when I see that I’ve gotten a new review, or a new comment, or any sort of feedback, and it’s one line demanding more… especially when I’ve just updated the story.

Honestly, if it’s really too much to write…

I’m going to put it out there that I’d even prefer a smiley face, or any sort of emoticon over an update demand.

Because even if you give me a

:\

or a

😐

or even a

:#

it’ll give me more feedback than “UPDATE!”, and won’t bring to mind a faceless being shouting at me, demanding for more.

I don’t get paid for this (oh, but what a world it would be if I were), and you aren’t my boss. Please stop shouting at me to get work done.

 

 

Anyone But Rosa

So, I wanted to do a continuation of THIS story I did, where the prompt was to use the sentence “Rossamund was a boy with a girl’s name”… and then I did.

Simple enough, I think.

This is set far into the future, beyond its prequels middle school setting, and I hope you enjoy 🙂

PREVIOUS

…_-~-~-~-~-~-~-_…

Anyone but Rosa 

“Hey Tuesday!”

He turned, smiling, and accepted the pat on the back as Rudy slid past him to the bus. His rucksack was full to bursting, same as Jackie’s, and he shared a look with Monroe. He and Monroe had packed the suggested amount of clothing for the trip, had packed the weather-specific pieces in the fairly full suitcase the four of them were sharing… and they were likely the only ones who would be able to travel comfortably on their hitch-hike around Scandinavia.

“Ross, why do you still let him call you that? Why do you still go by that nickname?”

He shrugged, and helped the driver get their suitcase into the storage compartment, handing over his backpack and then Monroe’s.

“That’s the thing about nicknames… they tend to stick.” Sadly. Tragically.

He’d gotten used to it.

“Mundy, get in the bus already! I’m not sitting next to tuna breath over here!”

He’d also gotten used to Jackie. She had a unique way of addressing people, in that she never used their actual names.

He did end up sitting next to her on the bus, and so got the honor of listening to her snore for most of the ride.

He sighed, and looked over her head out the window.

He thought it would likely be confusing for any friends they met along the way… because what would they call him? He had so many names to choose from.

His parents called him Rossamund, as that was the name they put on his birth certificate; from that Jackie called him Mundy, and through that nickname his classmates (including Rudy) stated calling him Tuesday, and later in college he was known primarily, as Monroe called him, Ross.

He was a man of many names…

But, Rossamund, Ross, Mundy, or Monday, at least he was consistent in his personality.

Jackie, once she’d moved on from her identity of the Tomboy of the class, had jumped from protest to protest, each cause greater than the last, with the latest being the injustice of feminazi’s trying to say tampons were Anti-Feminist.

She was currently very against feminazi’s giving feminists a bad name.

Rudy had shed his quiet-boy skin from middle school and had reveled in how genetics had favored him, finding sports more challenging and more extreme to throw himself into… it occasionally meant he also found various things to throw himself off of, the higher the better, and this trip was his way of trying to find himself.

He wanted to be able to throw himself entirely into his occupation, and to do that he had to settle on one thing.

He could only hope that finding himself didn’t turn into Rudy getting the rest of them lost.

He wasn’t terribly worried though, as Monroe had everything in their trip planned out, maps and back up maps on hand and in backpack and in pocket…

From what he’d gleaned, Monroe had been a bit of a bully as a child—a fact, he supposed, that would likely explain why he was so sensitive to his various nicknames. Now he was the very definition of a gentle giant, but once upon a time he’d likely have been one of the boys to make fun of him for having a girl’s name.

He’d met Monroe in college, sharing a room and then an apartment with each other… Monroe didn’t understand how he could introduce himself as Rossamund, offer the option to call him Ross, and be entirely fine with a manic girl crashing into their dorm calling him Mundy, and another guy shouting out for him, for ‘Tuesday’, across campus.

“Look, if they’re bothering you,” he’d once started, concerned and protective and likely thinking back to his own days of bullying, but he’d waved him off.

“I have a strange name, for a boy, and there are worse things to be called.”

He always remembered that. There were worse things to be called.

When signing things, he always signed his full name. He signed Rossamund, because at the root of it, that was who he was.He didn’t think he’d changed all that much

Ross was from Rosaamund.

Mundy was from Rossamund.

And, strange as it was, Tuesday was from Rossamund as well.

Okay, it was from Rossamund after taking a side trip through the mind of a dozen thirteen year olds, but the origin was there all the same.

Now, he looked out at the passing landscape, down to the blur of faces alongside the road, and wondered what other nicknames he would get here.

He was looking forward to it, actually, what different people with different languages would do with his name… because as ‘bad’ as any of them could end up being, there was always something worse.

Because Rossamund could be Ross, or Mundy, or even Tuesday, but he would never, ever again allow himself to be Rosa.

…_-~-~-~-~-~-~-_…

So, hope you enjoyed that, and look forward to more fiction 🙂

I’m looking forward to the next prompt 🙂

Inexplicably Sad.

I don’t know why, but after I post a new chapter to a story, or even after posting a short story like I did before this post…

I feel kind of bad. 

Not in a moral or physical way, but sort of emotionally bereft? I dunno. 

I just spent ages and ages working on this thing, and there, I just posted it… 

Now what?

I just posted a new chapter for my story Too Tired To Wink, which I actually don’t feel like linking to, you can find it on Archiveofourown.org if you feel the need, and for this story I decided that I would post a chapter only once the word count has reached 10k…. this way I have a set limit, and since the limit is so large, I get a couple of things out of it. 

1) I don’t feel like a shit person for making people wait so long for an update and gave them 3 pages of nothing

2) Though I do anyway, in 10k a lot of plot happens and I have to keep thinking about what will need to happen for this or that to happen, so I have a chance to put reasonable foreshadow in

3) I don’t go through any of that waffling of if something’s done or not. When I’m reaching or have surpassed 10k, I find a place to stop. It’s like reaching that point of night where you’re like “Well, this book doesn’t actually have chapters….” and you just figure out the best stop to hold off at. 

But though it’s good to finish a chapter–good to finish a story–there’s still some weird blankness after posting. 

I feel like having a break from writing, and I want to hear feedback, and… and I really don’t feel like doing much else. 

So, in the wake of T3W’s third chapter, I’m writing this. 

Just feeling a bit morose. Inexplicably sad. 

:\

Any Day of The Week

So hey all 🙂

Super excited about this, because you know how I went and wrote a fic for From My Write Side? This thing here?

Yeah, I won the prompt! I got to choose the next one! Sam asked that I find a first line from a book.

And I chose…

My prompt!!!

My prompt!!!

Enjoy!

Any Day of the Week

Drawn by me :)

Drawn by me 🙂

The thing about trying to choose your own nickname is that it never turns out the way you expect.

Not when you’ve got a group of dedicated thirteen year olds on hand.

When he’d changed schools he’d thought that perhaps he’d go by Ross—in fact, he’d gone to his teacher before hand and had told her that he’d prefer to be called that.

Because that was a suitably masculine rendition of his name.

But instead, his name got called out and yes, he got teased…

And gained a nickname just about immediately.

It was just from his new friend Jackie, who said she actually liked his name, and though it was only her who called him it while the rest of his classmates gained perverse delight in calling him by his full name, he thought it was pretty cool.

Because… well.

Rossamund was a boy with a girl’s name.

He didn’t know what his parents were thinking when they were naming him, though there was a strong possibility that it went along the lines of ‘we wanted a girl,’ but there it was.

There he was.

With a girl’s name.

Being called Mundy wasn’t all that bad, really, especially compared to the Rosa he’d gone by at his old school… it wasn’t great, and made him think of cartoon characters, but it wasn’t bad.

He still introduced himself as Ross, still got introduced by Jackie as Mundy, and still got called Rossamund by the rest of his classmates, and for a while it was good.

Until, of course his real nickname was decided on.

Because someone finally said Jackie’s nickname, and thought it was funny.

“Mundy… Mundy? Hah! Like Monday?”

“Mundy, Monday… yeah! It’s like Monday with a western accent!”

“Mundy, Tuesdy, Wensdy, Fraaaahdy, Sayturdy, hahaha, Sundy, hahahahaha…”

So, of course, his nickname had to be born from this masterful bit of wordplay.

It had to come from this in-depth thought process.

It just had to work out like so.

Because obviously, when Rossamund became Mundy, which sounded like Monday, it obviously meant that the best nickname for him would be…

Tuesday.

—-

Hope you enjoyed 🙂 And this propmt is due by July 23rd, so you have time to write your own… *cough* you should do it *cough*

😀

I’m looking forward to the next!

EDIT: Now with a sequel. Click HERE to see how Rossamund turned out as an adult 🙂

I don’t know why, but it’s AWESOME.

It’s not that the thing is awesome, more that the thing is going to happen.

My Torchwood fanfiction ‘And I Wake Up‘  (which has now reached 50k!) has a somewhat steady readership, and you can probably find it in the comments, but someone asked me if they could make it into a podfic.

A podfic, if you’re wondering and don’t want to click the link I’ve so generously offered you, is an audiobook. Generally pronounced “Pod Fick” (Pod like the pod people, or three peas in a pod, and Fick like You’re putting on a British accent and trying to say ‘thick’, or fick like the beginning of fickle or like Fiction which is where the shortening comes from), it’s the meme-ish version of what you’d be able to get from a library.

It’s a weird thing, but I say this as someone who genuinely enjoys reading words on a page, multiple pages for an even better experience, and the idea of someone being like “Well, I really liked the beginning, but can’t I just lie back and listen to it being read to me instead?”…

Well it’s a strange one.

I don’t know why they want to do it, but it’s flattering as hell.

It’d be like getting fan art, and even if it isn’t particularly great, the vain peacock that you try to hide behind modesty perks its head up and preens.

Ooh, compliments for me? Why thank you, I'll take that with a grandios dash of YES I'm amazing :D

Ooh, compliments for me? Why thank you, I’ll take that with a grandios dash of YES I’m amazing 😀

Also, yes I like Batman. I AM BATMAN.

So I don’t know how this’ll work out, It might end up being crap, all my spelling mistakes might come out in words, but you know what?

I’m going to listen to that.

I’m going to download it, and listen to someone else read out my story.

I’m also going to be linking to it when even one PART of it is done, and you know what? SO MANY MORE PEOPLE WILL HAVE ‘READ’ MY STORY AFTER THIS GETS OUT.

I don’t care if the person narrating has the most out-of-my-mind odd voice, this stuff will be on my iTunes, hell, IT’S GONNA BE ON MY PHONE.

I’m going to ruin all sense of anonymity and post this stuff on facebook.

Because YES I’m a vain peacock, and, speaking from experience, the people who say that being this excited over something as small as this, I know the feeling.

Don’t be jealous 😀 I know you want to be as happy as I am right now because I haven’t been this weirdly happy since…

Well, I think since I was so determined to believe that Santa was real. (Or maybe since Lexy made the post about it I’m linking you all to, read it and her blog because she’s amazing), or maybe when it was my turn to be the Easter Bunny (Bulk Barn didn’t know what hit it).

Thing is, I’m genuinely happy, and I don’t even know entirely what I’m happy about.

I’m just enjoying the feeling.

Whether you read my stories or not, if you’ll be listening to my story or not, someone liked my (Now 50, 000 word long) story enough that they wanted to express it outside of a review, and it’s fantastic.

I’m happy 🙂

fabpinkshoes

And, if my blurb about being happy about a podfic didn’t brighten your day, here’s the story behind this last picture:

Yesterday my mom posted a picture on Facebook of my 5 year old brother Sam wearing a pair of shoes he picked out for his first day of preschool.

She explained to him in the store that they were really made for girls. Sam then told her that he didn’t care and that “ninjas can wear pink shoes too.”

Sam went to preschool and got several compliments on his new shoes. Not one kid said anything negative toward him about it.

However, my mom received about 20 comments on the photo from various family members saying how “wrong” it is and how “things like this will affect him socially” and, put most eloquently by my great aunt, “that shit will turn him gay.”*

My mom then deleted the photo and told Sam that he can wear whatever he wants to preschool, that it’s his decision. If he wants to wear pink shoes, he can wear pink shoes.

Sam then explained to her that he didn’t like them because they were pink, he liked them because they were “made out of zebras” and zebras are his favorite animal 🙂

What does it say about society when a group of adults could stand to take a lesson in humanity from a class of preschoolers?

This was from a facebook post that’s made its way through the internet, and HERE is a more in-depth bit of info on it 🙂