danagryphon: (writing)
Well, this could be a post about my kids starting back to school tomorrow, but it's not.

It's the time of year when a bunch of fanfiction challenges start gearing up! So far, I've signed up for:





Rules & FAQ
Sign Ups: Artist | Writer | Beta


[livejournal.com profile] spn_reversebang first has art prompts created and then writers sign up to write those stories. I've done this one for the last two years, and this year they are considering allowing dual sign-ups. If that happens, I'm hoping to submit at least one art prompt as well.

[livejournal.com profile] sga_santa, a secret Santa fanfic exchange in the Stargate Atlantis fandom. This is the tenth year of the challenge and my first participating. Sadly, it will also be the last year they run it, so I'm hoping to make the most of it!

[livejournal.com profile] yuletide! Well, signups haven't started quite yet, but people are starting to brainstorm what fandoms they want to nominate for the exchange. This will be my fourth year participating, and it is one of my absolute FAVORITE fanfiction exchanges.


Photobucket

A 10,000-word big bang for small fandoms!
FAQ | Rules |Authors | Beta/Cheerleader | Affiliate


And finally, [livejournal.com profile] smallfandombang. I've participated one way or another in this one since its inception; this will be the fourth round, and I'm hoping to do both writing and art again this year.

That should keep me out of trouble for the fall and winter....

Other bangs I'm hoping to do next year are the [livejournal.com profile] deancasbigbang, the [livejournal.com profile] scifibigbang, maybe [livejournal.com profile] apocalypsebang. Sadly after this last disappointing round of [livejournal.com profile] mpregbigbang, I don't think I'll be doing art for that anymore; both times now, I've had authors who ended up blowing off their assigned posting dates, and left me hanging to provide art for stories that had no completed draft forthcoming (and in one case, never got posted at all). And someday, I still want to get the [livejournal.com profile] twd_reversebang (Walking Dead) off the ground.
danagryphon: (writing)
So I've been having a little performance issue lately (yes, I know, it happens to us all at a certain age). No, not THAT kind of performance. The writing kind. Words have really just not been flowing like I want them to (or even like they used to, which still wasn't as much as I wanted them to).

I've been trying to restrain myself with the number of big bangs and reverse bangs and story fests that I've been signing up for, because lately I seem to sign up and drop out of a bunch of them. This summer, I dropped out of the [livejournal.com profile] deancasbigbang (although I have a decent amount of that story done and do plan to finish it eventually). Last winter, I dropped out of the [livejournal.com profile] smallfandombang, and that one really hurt because I LOVE that challenge. I haven't done any stories for [livejournal.com profile] smallfandomfest in an age. I did manage to get 3 stories written for [livejournal.com profile] yuletide this year, including taking on a last minute pinch hit, and a 500 or so word treat, but that was all done at the last minute as well, and even then, I had so many more ideas for other stories that never got done (but hey, at least there they have a chance to fill more prompts before next yuletide, called the new years resolution challenge)

Anyway, so I did do two challenges, the [livejournal.com profile] spn_reversebang and [livejournal.com profile] smallfandombang. I got a fabulously dark and depressing prompt for the SPN one, and got that all squared away. For the other, I fell back on my beloved PotA and a story idea I've had brewing for a while. But it took me FOREVER to get the 8000 word minimum count (like I turned it in at 10:30 last night, right under the deadline), and the story still needs a lot of work.

And once I finish that, I need to go back and finish my PotA WIP, Human Nature, in which I left our heroes in the hands of the bad guys, literally in the middle of being tortured. (On the upside, I've actually gotten a couple of desperate sounding queries about when that will be updated again!)

Hopefully now that we are heading into spring, and out of my SAD (that's seasonal affective disorder) phase of the year, I'll find more motivation to start writing more prolifically again. It's not that the ideas aren't there... quite the opposite. I just can't find the discipline to sit down and write all the words. Even with editing the that I'm supposed to be doing for a couple of friends (sorry, [livejournal.com profile] kassidy62), I've been dropping the ball. And that just makes me feel more like a failure.

So I'll try to focus on the successes lately. I managed to actually get EVERYTHING done for Birka (big SCA event) I wanted to do, which included new garb for both me and E, calligraphy for two award scrolls, plus a private commission for an indenture scroll. And that was with Hubby springing on me a couple of weeks before that that he wanted a new outfit for competition at the Clown Institute (the weekend before Birka). I did get my SPN story done and posted on time, and it seems to be getting a fairly good reception (it's not going to be a gangbusters one, because I do kill off one of the main character). And I did get my PotA draft turned in. Time to buckle down, get that finished and spiffed up and then back to the WIP.

So many words, so little time.
danagryphon: (Yuletide)
After a quick trip to Best Buy when I found out yesterday, the LAST day of the warranty on my laptop, that the CD drive wasn't working right, I worked frantically to finish my [livejournal.com profile] yuletide assignment and squeaked it in right under the midnight deadline. It took me a while to find the right beginning, but once I had that, the story came pretty easily. It still has a lot more schmaltz in it than I'm really comfortable writing, and I'm not really happy with the ending, but I do have until the collection goes live on Christmas day to tweak it a bit. Which I will.

However, meanwhile, I took a pinch hit (yay, my first one!) for a story that I've been wanting to do for a long time. Rewatching the source material now to get the voices of the characters going in my head, but I've already got a plot zombie eating my brain, so that should go quick enough to make the midnight deadline for tonight. Then I *might* do one more treat to repurpose a story I had started and not finished last year, but which I really, really like some of the pieces of. We'll see how it goes.

Once [livejournal.com profile] yuletide is all done, then I need to get back to my [livejournal.com profile] smallfandombang PotA story. Then back to my PotA novel that's been on hiatus for a couple of months now. But hoping that the momentum of these challenges will inspire me to push through the last few chapters to get that finished more easily. It'll get finished by hook or by crook, it's just a matter of how quickly.

Meanwhile, still waiting for [livejournal.com profile] mpregbigbang to post their artist claiming list that was supposed to go up a week ago. I'm itchy to do some art as well.
danagryphon: (Smallfandomlove)
For fanart!

So, in addition to the three challenges I'm currently signed up to write stories for (in order of due dates: [livejournal.com profile] spn_reversebang, [livejournal.com profile] yuletide, [livejournal.com profile] smallfandombang), I'm also signed up to do art for [livejournal.com profile] mpregbigbang (this was my first art attempt last year, and I had a blast doing it, and it's a challenge where they are always short on artists) and plan on doing art for [livejournal.com profile] smallfandombang again (as well as writing a story). Oh, and [livejournal.com profile] smallfandomfest is starting up again, too, and with that I have the option of doing stories OR art. Woot! (Have I mentioned I LURVES me some small fandoms?)

And pretty soon, probably after the first of the year, I need to put my head together with [livejournal.com profile] severina2001 to start seriously working on the Walking Dead reverse bang comm, and get that rolling. As far as I can tell, Walking Dead has no fandom specific fic challenges at ALL. This needs to change.
danagryphon: (writing)
So back when I used to write LARPs at MIT, the group of GMs who I often worked with came up with a saying. "Motivate everyone, kill a loved one." It was a favorite pre-game plot device to create a (we felt) unshakeable motivation for a character.

And while I think if my writing could be characterized as one thing, it would be dark and sometimes depressing (okay, that's two things, but you get the idea), I haven't felt the need to pull that particular motivational tool out of my bag of tricks. In fact, when I consider killing a character, I start to feel all wormy inside (torturing, now that's a different thing entirely, and makes me all warm and fuzzy, because I'm just evil that way). When running games, I never felt that inability that some of the other GMs suffered from to kill PCs when they rightfully deserved it. So why now do I find myself getting butterflies at the thought of killing characters in my stories?

I have a growing admiration for writers (of both novels and scripts) who kill their characters. Especially the ones who do it wholesale (George, I'm looking at you). Supernatural and The Walking Dead both keep their fans on the edges of their seats by their proven willingness to kill ANYONE.

But I think the time has come for me to cross that particular line. Not that I'm going to start going on a rampage writing "death fics", but yeah, it's where the plot is going, and I'm just along for the ride.
danagryphon: (writing)
One of the OCs in the current PotA fanfic I'm working on has been in my mind's eye a woman of color (because the kick-ass actress I use for her image is). However, re-reading what I've written so far, I realized that no where in the story so far does it paint a clear picture for the reader of that. I am big on describing hair/feather (yes, feather!) color, eye color, facial expressions, etc, but I've never really specifically draw attention to my characters' skin color, other than the story I wrote that featured Gordon from Supernatural. Even then, it felt stilted, not really a natural thing to talk about his skin color. I feel like there are so many other defining characteristics that give characters depth and interest that describing their skin seems so... trivial.

So here's a question for my writer friends out there... how do you write PoC? Honestly, in most of my stories, the ethnicity of the characters is generally vague, and I think there is a tendency when reading books to picture any characters for whom their ethnicity is not specifically called out as being similar to ourselves. I grew up in a very WASP area, filled with people of German and Scottish descent. So when I read other people's books, unless they specifically write in clues, I guess I probably picture them looking like the people I grew up around.

Is it better to leave characteristics like that vague and let the reader to decide on how they want to picture the characters? Or do you draw a detailed picture of your characters, including skin color? If so, what kind of language would you use to do that? I can wax poetic about the beauty of skin of all colors, but does it really add anything to the narrative? Do you just do it directly but off-handed and describe so-and-so as "a black woman"? (African-American doesn't really apply in a world where there is neither Africa nor America. Not to mention, I've always thought geographic descriptors of skin color to be poor substitutes—I know a several African-Americans, being people who were born in Africa and now live in America—whose skin is paler than my own pasty pallor.) Or do you use more descriptive language—dusky, ebony, or I don't even know how I'd describe the skin tones of Asian or Latino or Middle-Eastern—and how do you do so in a way that might not be viewed as offensive?

I guess part of me is torn because I feel like it *shouldn't* matter, but on the other hand, the world is a wonderfully diverse place, and I want to represent that in my writing. I remember the outcry over Hunger Games when certain characters where played by black actors, and it had to be pointed out that yeah, in fact, Collins had written Rue as a black girl. But honestly, when I read the book, I missed it myself. It wasn't one of the defining characteristics I was concerned about.

To me, ethnicity is a bit like sexual orientation... unless you tell me otherwise, my default for characters is bisexual. But to the majority of the world, they are going to be white and heterosexual unless specified. (Ok, so even when they are specified as het, I might ignore that!) When you view the world through a non-normative lens, suddenly LGBT characters are everywhere, and I blink in confusion when people say they are "under represented". How do you know? How do we know Harry Potter is het and not bi? How do we know that Ron Weasley isn't a fully-transitioned FTM transgender? How do we know Gandalf isn't a flaming queen? No one said otherwise!

It's all a matter of perspective.
danagryphon: (Sun & Moon)
I'm all over the place right now with various projects. My stride on my latest PotA story got totally broken while I was trying valiantly (but failing) to finish a story for the [livejournal.com profile] deancasbigbang. Then I had to finish a story for [livejournal.com profile] spn_bigpretzel, which I *did* finish, even if it was a little late, and I'm pretty happy with it. Now I'm back on PotA: Human Nature, but the chapter is going slowly. It's a dungeon crawl through a deserted Air Force base (Kirtland AFB in New Mexico, for those following along). It's been helpful that I found a government doc all about how Kirtland was converted to a nuclear stockpile storage facility in the 80's, complete with lots of pictures of the externally visible portions of the base as well as some shots of the internal facilities. Lots of the pics have been redacted for security reasons (oh MYYY!!), but it's been really helpful to visualize what the place looks like, even if most of the time my characters are just walking down endless corridors for now.

I decided NOT to split the party from the get-go (much as it was tempting to), although there will be some splittage by the end of the chapter when Bad Things Happen. I'm hoping to have the chapter posted by tonight or tomorrow at the latest, depending on how much editing I decide it needs.

I've finished the opening scene of my PotA story I've decided on for [livejournal.com profile] smallfandombang. OMG it's a serious tease, and I'll post a snippet in a couple of weeks when the comm starts doing "Snippet Saturdays". The story itself is going to be heart-wrenching (OF COURSE!), but in a different way than I think has been done with these characters before. It's a "going home" fic, but with a couple of angsty twists. [livejournal.com profile] kassidy62 once said that if anyone could figure out a way to get the guys home, it would be me (and not just because I'm the only one writing in this fandom at the moment). Oh, if she only knew... bwahahahahahahahaha.

I've created a comm called [livejournal.com profile] twd_reversebang, because I've decided that The Walking Dead NEEDS a reverse bang. I've never run a challenge comm before, so I'm looking for co-mods/mentors/useful help of any sort. I'm looking at you, my fellow Daryl-crazy flisties! No idea of a time frame yet, as I'm sure there will need to be beaucoup pimping to generate enough interest before there is actually a call for people to start making art. But I LOVE reverse bangs ever so much more than big bangs, and as far as I've been able to find, there are no TWD specific ones. And since it's now big enough to be disqualified from all the "small fandom" stuff, it's time to branch out on its own.

Other big area of activity (as always) is SCA stuff. I'm bringing along two newbies (well, one VERY newbie; Coronation will be her first event, and one relative newbie who is kind of at loose ends since breaking up with the GF who got him into the SCA). The relative newbie interested in archery, so this weekend I'm going to help him purchase his own bow and eventually make arrows for it. He also wants to be a marshal. I'm thinking he might be good yeoman material, since my current yeoman has kinda gotten swallowed by fatherhood (which is understandable!) and theater. But nothing says I can't have multiple yeo's, especially since my personal shooting has been greatly curtailed by shoulder problems. So Saturday is making Viking garb with one newbie in the morning, then bow shopping with the other one in the afternoon. Sunday, the Shire is having a demo at a street craft fair in Worcester, so again, my weekend is rather booked up.

Speaking of Coronation, got an IM from the Princess the other night to verify that the boy would be coming with me to Coronation. And that I should make sure that he has a nice tunic to wear for court.... :D (Which of course, means more sewing. And that I should probably also have a nice new outfit...)

Oh, and I got a loom. Someone brought it to the business meeting to give away (although I am making a small donation to the Shire for it). Weaving my own trim is something I've always wanted to do, but I know nothing about it at the moment. This loom is actually big enough to do stuff about 15 inches wide, so I can do bigger things too if I want. Luckily, I have a neighbor (as well as an apprentice sister) who are pretty much experts in the field who have both offered to teach me. Because I need a new hobby.... NOT!

Add to all that trying to keep both boys current in their classes (Elder Boy is taking two online classed through a local community college, Spare Boy has just started High School), and I'm pretty well a one-armed paper hanger at the moment. Luckily, my car can wait to go into the shop for a more opportune time, since after a quick fix so I can open the driver's side door, it is totally driveable. Which reminds me, I need to call the insurance company to find out why I haven't gotten a written estimate yet....
danagryphon: (Mal Misbehave)
So it's coming into fall, and that means that several challenges are gearing up. So I've signed up for STUFF.
First, there is this:



Photobucket

A 10,000-word big bang for small fandoms!

FAQ | Rules | Authors | Beta/Cheerleader | Affiliate




I loved this big bang the first year I did it (with a PotA story), then the second year, I couldn't get my story off the ground (Space: 1999) but ended up doing art for 5 stories. This year I'm going to go back to my old standby and try to do a PotA story again.

Then there is this:





Rules & FAQ
Sign Ups: Artist | Writer | Beta



I LOVE doing reverse bangs for SPN (as a writer, not an artist). Most of the stories I have done so far for SPN have been for reverse bangs. Last year's "Meanwhile In Purgatory" for this challenge was a blast to do.

[livejournal.com profile] mpregbigbang author signups have opened. This was the first big bang I did art for, and I had a lot of fun. I don't think I'd sign up as an author, but I might do art again.

Finally [livejournal.com profile] yuletide!!!! Nominations start the middle of September. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this challenge and can't wait to do it again.

But first I have to finish my [livejournal.com profile] spn_bigpretzel story and get it posted tomorrow....
danagryphon: (CasOhWell)
It's less than 3 hours until the deadline for the [livejournal.com profile] deancasbigbang, and I'm still 4,000 words short of the minimum. Time to throw in the towel. But, I got a great start on a cool Dean/Cas (with a little Benny thrown in) Purgatory story. I'll finish it, but it's going on the back burner for now, and I'm going back to the PotA story.

I think I need to give up on big bangs. The last three I've tried to sign up to do, I've ended up dropping out of. Which means I am 1 for 4. Which would be an acceptable average in baseball, I guess. Not so much for writing.

On the other hand, I did get the cover art done for the [livejournal.com profile] scifibigbang B5 story that I signed up to do, which was also due today. My author has a posting date of 8/23, do I'm going to try to do a couple more small pieces before then.
danagryphon: (writing)
So in the last week, I've gotten both the Kindle Fire HD AND my first smartphone. One of the things that has made me resistant to getting a smart phone is that I'm easily intimidated by new technology (snort... yeah, I know. WTF is an MIT nerd doing being a technophobe??? My only excuse is 'hey, I'm a biologist.'). But since I needed to learn the Android OS for the Fire anyway, I might as well go all-in and do the phone too. Also, I got a plan on the phone that will give me a mobile hotspot, which will come in handy for the Fire on the train, and in case I need to go to my Dad's house again for an extended stay (he doesn't have internet).

Funny story, the mobile hotspot wouldn't activate properly, so I had to call Verizon. Turns out it was something on their end, with a block that had been put on the phone that shouldn't. But the tech actually complimented me that for someone who had only had their first smartphone for 2 days, I was very adept at "speaking the language". HAHAHAH.

Anyway, an added side bonus to all this steep learning is that I'm also getting more familiar with my new PC that hubby got me for Xmas, running Windows 8, which is annoyingly cleverly designed to mimic Android/app technology.

After getting very frustrated trying to transfer tons of data from my work Mac to my home PC via various clouds, I also sprang for a couple of high capacity flash drives, which will also let me store some stuff I don't access regularly (like about 15GB of eBook files and about 80GB of music and video.

The only other frustration I've run into so far is that I can't seem to get my non-Amazon ebook files (MOBI) to show up properly on the Fire. It keeps sticking them in Docs instead of Books. Although honestly, I'm not that worried about it, because I'm keeping my Kindle Touch as my primary reading tool. The e-Ink/paperwhite technology is SO much easier on the eyes than the backlit Fire screen. Oh, and I need to see if there is a way to keep E's Fire from accessing the Amazon Cloud that is unfortunately linked to both our Fires. There is no reason for him to access any of that information. I'm hoping there is a way, but I haven't had any time yet to put into investigating it.

Using the Fire for writing is impacting the way I organize files for my stories. I do find that the app I am using (OliveOffice) does sometimes screw with text, so I'm breaking big stories up into smaller files for each chapter, instead of one big long file for the entire story. And then I'm copying what I've written back over to the cloud or my PC every day or two. And when the story is done, I'll reassemble it on the PC and fix any formatting (mostly page breaks). So that is not a big inconvenience, especially since I have taken to posting longer stories a chapter at a time on the usual fanfic sites. The only other things I miss are the thesaurus and spell-check in MSWord, but 1) I can spell check when copying back to PC and 2) losing the thesaurus may not be a bad thing either, and if I really need it, can fix word choices in editing. All in all, I'm finding the writing experience pretty good, and I'm hoping it will boost my productivity.

I got this cool little shoulder bag that nicely fits both Kindles and a couple of accessories, with enough room for a couple of other commuting essentials (tissues, gum, pens, a paper calendar book). M called it a purse (which I suppose it really is), but to it's my commuting bag as far as I'm concerned (I don't carry a purse, and my wallet lives in my pocket).

Anyway, the only drawback to all this stuff is that it sucks power like a Hoover, and it all needs to be recharged pretty much every day, unlike my Kindle Touch which can go for weeks between charging. Which does mean that it won't be very useful for longer term trips without electricity (i.e. weekend camping, or a week at Pennsic or scout camp), but that may be a good thing. A person should have a forced unplugging every now and then.
danagryphon: (PotA)
I've decided to start posting the sequel to my PotA novel Common Ground (and the companion slash piece in the same universe, Don't You Remember) as a WIP here and on the usual archives. The title of the sequel is Human Nature. I'm hoping to get the first chapter up by this weekend and then a new chapter every couple of weeks. Giving myself deadlines and getting (hopefully) intermediary feedback seems to be my best strategy these days for getting longer (or any) works done.

Here's a blurb:

Human Nature continues the story started in Common Ground, as Burke and Virdon travel to Kirtland AFB in their quest to find a way to return to their own time. The journey leads them through the ruins of the city of Albuquerque, where they discover just how far into the darkness Man has fallen. New surprises and danger await them in Kirtland, which might just hold answers they didn't even know they were seeking. Will the path finally lead them home?
danagryphon: (writing)
I'm really rocking Workflowy these days to keep track of all the challenges for fanfic and fanart that I've signed up for. And I love the export feature so I can copy it into other venues. I also have another folder on it to keep track of SCA projects.

So here's what I'm up to these days:

- RareWomen Fanfic Exchange
      - [COMPLETE] REVEALED 5/4
- SPNBigPretzel Spring Fanfic Exchange
      - [COMPLETE] POSTING 5/2: ART: Survey Says
      - POSTING 5/12: ART: The Code
      - POSTING 5/14: FIC: What The World Needs Now (1k word min)
- Waywardmixes (Round 15 Theme: Heroes and Villains)
      - DUE 5/20: MIX: Ain't No Hero [Daryl Dixon]
- SmallFandomFest
      - CLOSES 7/31: I have my eye on several prompts, for either art or fic
- SPNJ2BigBang
      - ART: Claiming starts 5/4, Due 6/1, Posting starts 6/5: there are 2 Bobby-centric stories I have my eye on
- SciFiBigBang (haven't signed up yet, depends on what the story previews look like)
      - ART: Claiming starts 7/1, Due 8/15, Posting starts 8/20
- DeanCasBigBang
      - FIC: Drafts due 8/15; 10K or 20K words (upgrade by 7/15)
      - ART: Claiming starts 8/20, Due 9/28, Posting starts 10/1

I'm also considering starting a comm for a Walking Dead Big Bang (or reverse bang). Running that would be a new and interesting challenge...

Ding!

Apr. 28th, 2013 09:35 am
danagryphon: (Xena)
My [livejournal.com profile] rarewomen story is done! I'm pretty happy with it, and I think my recipient is really going to like it. The archive doesn't open until May 4, so I can't post it here until then.

Heading back home today, so hopefully the writing will pick up again soon.

I Haz A Sad

Feb. 3rd, 2013 04:34 pm
danagryphon: (Fuzzy Mama)
Unfortunately, it looks like I'm going to end up dropping out of the [livejournal.com profile] smallfandombang this round. I tried to write a story in fandom I hadn't tried before, and it's just not coming together. I've been trying since frikkin' October to get this thing out. The deadline for the rough draft was this past Thursday, when it was supposed to be 80% (a minimum of 8K words) done. I had barely 2K words down. I asked for and got an extension until tomorrow for my draft, but here I am at the almost end of the weekend, and I now have 2600 words. Yeah. It just ain't happening.

I love Space: 1999 as a TV show. I love the characters, but I just can't for the life of me get into their heads to the point where I can write them. I don't know why. I actually love the first page or so, but then it's kinda like, what do they say now?

I'm frustrated, and I've been feeling like I couldn't write anything else while I had this hanging over my head. So I'm going to put it aside, and move on to other things that I have actual burning desire to write. At least I'll still be part of the bang because I signed up to do art, and I'm going to try to get one of the Walking Dead stories (why, oh why didn't I pick that fandom for my story??).

Speaking of art, the art for the [livejournal.com profile] mpregbigbang that I signed up to do is also due Monday, and that's actually in good shape. I've done a banner and a fanmix (including a cover) for each of the three stories, and if I have time before we post, I might actually do a couple more small pieces. My learning curve in photoshop is very shallow, but I'm trying to learn one new technique for each piece I do. I did some masking, some blurring techniques to make one section of a picture stand out against a blurred background, and some overlay stuff. I'm happy with how they are all turning out, and that I keep improving each time I do something. In general, big bangs always seem to have a dearth of artists, so I'm happy to be able to help out in that way.

Other projects I need to get done this week: I am making an evening gown for a fancy ball at the Shrine next Saturday, and I have to do calligraphy on a scroll (in French) to deliver to the Queen by Thursday. For the following weekend, I have to finish a bunch of leatherworking projects for K&Q A&S champs, plus another scroll. Then before the end of the month, I will do the leatherwork commission I have for a quiver.

Yeah, I think that's about it. Sad as I am that I'm not going to get the Space: 1999 story done for the [livejournal.com profile] smallfandombang, it will really make my life a lot easier right now not to sit here and struggle with it.
danagryphon: (Slashing Ur Doodz)
So one of my goals for 2012 had been to get a piece of original fiction published. And about mid-year, I had a story idea that I had started working on. Then life kinda went to hell for a couple of months, and that story has been languishing since.

But, I did get a lot of fanfiction written, and met my goal of branching out into something besides PotA. Here's what I wrote/pubbed in 2012:

Night of the Hunter (Supernatural) 4,891 words
One Final Lesson (PotA) 18,713 words
Under Fallen Skies (Supernatural) 6,711 words
You're Only Human (Men In Black) 1,136 words
Escape From Tomorrow (PotA) 39,280 words
Meanwhile In Purgatory (Supernatural) 4,135 words
Falling (Walking Dead) 2,269 words
Don't You Remember (PotA) 12,047 words
Deus Est Machina (Quantum Leap) 1,609 words

That's a total of 90,791 words. And probably about another 10,000 words in stories that are either still in progress or on hold. In addition, I had a request for permission to translate one story into Russian, and another for a story to be quoted in someone's doctoral thesis in media studies. I did do some writing for money, but it was a freelance job writing enhanced product descriptions for a big chain website.

For 2013, my two writing goals are again to get an original story finished and pubbed, and to top 150,000 words (and hopefully a whole lot more) pubbed.

I also started doing fanart in 2012, beginning with a fanmix inspired by the series finale of House. I also signed up to do banners for two Supernatural stories. Now I've signed up to do art for three more stories for a mpreg challenge. And I'm signed up to do a story for a small fandom bang, and am hoping to sign up to do art for it as well (these things ALWAYS have fewer artists than they need).

For reference, in 2011, when I started writing again, I pubbed 133,608 words, but only about 80,000 of that hadn't been written years before as WIPs.

Have I mentioned that I'm a statistics geek?? :D
danagryphon: (Yuletide)
Finished and uploaded my [livejournal.com profile] yuletide assignment story last night. Now I've got a few days, including this weekend, to decide if I have any plot monsters urging me to write any treats before the archive opens on Christmas Day. There are several possible candidates, so my goal is to get at least one treat written (which is what I managed to get done last year, so I'd like to at least maintain that, but beating it would be even better). I'll be posting whatever I get written for this exchange here sometime after New Years Day, when the author reveal happens. Until then, it's SOOPER SEKRIT who writes what.

None of the fandoms I requested have stories loaded to the archive yet, but there is still time since the deadline is tomorrow evening. And I haven't shown up on the pinch hit list as having been defaulted on, so hopefully I will still get a lovely fic from the Yule Goat. Three out of the four fandoms I requested also got offers (PotA being the only one that didn't... color me surprised... NOT), so I'm very excited to see what I get.

Last year it was kinda funny because [livejournal.com profile] kassidy62 was convinced that I'd gotten a PotA fic for my gift because one of those showed up in the list of fandoms. Except, of course, that was the treat I had written for her. ::big evil grin::
danagryphon: (Yule Triquetra)
I finished last night watching the first season of American Horror Story off of Amazon Prime. (Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE having a Roku so I can stream free videos on my TV??)

Wow. Just wow. Hard to believe that is by the same guys who created Glee. I love the dark and twisted psychological horror of it. I've also been watching the new season Asylum on Demand (because I already record two shows at the same time on Wednesday), and it's even more intense. Just a great bit of storytelling all around.

Next up on the Roku is S2 of BBC's Sherlock. Her Laurelness showed me the first couple of eps of S1 when she had bought them on Amazon (before they came up for free with Prime), and I had heard friends raving about it for ages. It is a series that I have to watch with close attention, though, so I even went and rewatched those couple of eps when I finished up S1. May even watch it again before I start S2; it's that kind of show where you see more each time you watch it. My holiday hiatus is going to be well spent and well entertained, instead of pining for shows that won't start again until mid-Jan or early Feb.

I've been rewatching some Quantum Leap episodes to help me get into a fic I'm writing, so stay tuned for that to be posted eventually. I'm also hoping to still get a couple of treats written for [livejournal.com profile] yuletide, and then after that due date passes, start in earnest on my [livejournal.com profile] smallfandombang story.

Writing productivity has dropped off again mostly due to exhaustion. Which is probably due to anemia. Which is because I don't take my iron and other vitamins regularly. Which is because they make me nauseous. I take them at night right before I go to bed (on the theory that I'll sleep through feeling bleh) , but still wake up in the morning feeling queasy. I suppose the secret may be to take them at dinner time or something, so that I have some food in there to buffer. The other exhaustion factor may be that I need to change my pillows or pillow arrangement. I wake times these days with a sore neck, so I something is going on with how I sleep. Or may be part of the general "all my joints hurt all the time" thing I've got going. Sucks growing old, but it's better than the alternative, as they say.

The younger boy had his choral winter concert last night, and did a good job singing. Maybe we'll have some time over the holidays to sing Glee Karaoke on the Wii together.

This weekend suddenly got VERY busy. Two party invites for Saturday (one afternoon, one evening, so I can do both) plus the Shire Yule celebration on Sunday, for which I am making both a whole turkey as well as turkey croquettes. But the boy's new garb is now done except for putting buttons on it, so he may actually have it for Sunday. Which is good because it's got a BIG Yule color scheme going.
danagryphon: (Autumn)
Thanksgiving prep goes well. M and I did most of the shopping for dinner on Saturday. I got a 21 pound turkey, so we will have lots of bird, and hopefully lots of leftovers for turkey croquettes for Shire Yule. Because M doesn't eat turkey, he decided this year he just wants a burger for his protein. I offered cornish hen, chicken, ham, pork chops (the other white meat), even pheasant. But no. He wants a burger. Allrightythen.

But I am going to make him a special dessert, besides the pumpkin cheesecake I usually make. I have a recipe for a golden carrot cake, made with honey and wheat flour and a ton of butter, that gets baked in a bundt pan, so it comes out more like a coffee ring. No frosting, but it really doesn't need it. I haven't made it in years, but M loves carrot cake, so I'm hoping he will like this. OMG is it good. I used to make it for Himself, who hates all things vegetable, and even he liked it.

Other than that, it will be all the usual suspects. Turkey, stuffing (in bird but also pan), mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, baked corn, green bean casserole, red beets, cranberry relish (yes, the stuff from the can, because it *is* still the best), biscuits, and of course, gravy. I saw a recipe for a vegetarian "turduken" made with banana squash, leeks, and sweet potatoes as the mock proteins, layered with stuffing and then baked. It looks good, and if I had any vegetarians, I might seriously consider it. I feel like I should make *something* new, try one new recipe each year, but I love all the old traditional foods so much.

In other news, I've been kinda a maniac lately with the writing. My [livejournal.com profile] spn_reversebang story got posted the middle of last week, and got more hits in ONE day than my most popular PotA story has gotten in a frikkin' YEAR on AO3. And then I got a bug in my ear from last week's Walking Dead episode and wrote a 2200 word episode tag in TWO days (which is blazing fast for me) and posted it. It hasn't gotten as many hits as the SPN story, but it's gotten some nice reviews. I love writing Daryl Dixon, and think I'll probably write some longer pieces, since the show left us a convenient 7 month gap between S2 and S3 that is crying out to be filled in with backstory. Especially Daryl/Carol story, although the whole Lori/Rick dynamic looks like it got pretty squirrelly during that time, too. I love writing in that world, there's just so much to work with.

But! I'm probably next going to finish a PotA slashy story (probably not more than about R, lots of "fade to black") that's been sitting around for a while. I've kinda lost the itch on that one, but I've got over 10K words and want to get it done and posted. I know at least one lady on the PotA group expressed interest in it, so it'll get at least one read, lol.

I'm still struggling with a plot for my Space: 1999 [livejournal.com profile] smallfandomfest story, but I started writing, in hopes that as I get into it, something will come to me. And there is also [livejournal.com profile] yuletide stories to be done.  And [livejournal.com profile] smallfandomfest is doing another round of prompts (and have a bunch for Walking Dead that I might decide to fill).

I'm taking some vacation days in early December just to stay home and get some projects done (like maybe painting the living room!), because I need to use it up and I'm not planning on going anywhere at the end of the month. The rest of the week after Christmas will be totally DEAD at work, so I figure, why waste the vacation then, when I can probably work from home anyway. I am taking the 26th off, just to recover, but that's it.
danagryphon: (Celtic Gryphon)
Really, is it only Monday?


Cut for length, because I care ;) )


What, me busy?
danagryphon: (writing)
I don't drink beer. Something about it majorly disagrees with me and upsets my stomach terribly. Since beer is the only alcohol beverage I've ever found that doesn't agree with me and given that my only allergies involve plants, I've always kinda assumed I have an allergy to hops.

Anyway, the result of all this is that I am by no means an expert on beers, the variety of beers, the taste of beers, or how beer is brewed. But the main character in my latest story is. So I give you The Beer Flavor Wheel.

December 2015

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