lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
About six years ago, I spent six or seven months writing an "epic" multi-chapter fanfic anonymously on an LJ prompt meme. I was sunk so deep into it. I was obsessed with it. I was madly in love with it.

I never finished it.

I was writing other stories in the same fandom at the time, the fandom that ate my life (another recurring story for me). I got caught up in other things so that thinking about updating the story had me unbelievably anxious. I spent a long time after (what turned out to be) my final update scheming and guilting myself about how I would eventually finish it. Some time after I ghosted on the fandom altogether, I spent a fair amount of time telling myself that I would clean up what existed of it and post it to my AO3 with a final note saying I was out of the fandom and it would never be complete.

Today yesterday I was going through some outlining guides for writers and trying to take notes about how my different stories fit into the mold or don't. Part of my ongoing attempt to create some sort of writing style for myself that I can apply reliably to writing long-form. I was going to note this fic for its planned resolution (which I never reached, but still had an outline for), and I realized I had completely forgotten its name. For a while I had kept the document I was writing it in on-hand, and in my Dropbox, but my desktop of the time died and the doc is now buried somewhere in my backup drive.

I did finally locate it and add that note. And that fic is still to this day one of my most successful attempts at longfic. Which is rather tragic I suppose. Since then I've ghosted on at least two more major fandoms. And I have made peace with my tendency to leave stories unfinished, although I still try hard not to let it happen.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
When I was a teenager, my dream was to write a novel.

In the army, my dream was to write and publish a novel.

In my early twenties, I was convinced that it was just a matter of time before I wrote a publishable novel.

...I am terrible at writing novels.

Over the past fifteen or so years, I have been writing short fiction of various lengths and descriptions. I flatter myself that I have become quite good at it. I can look back at something I wrote two or three years ago and be largely pleased with it. Farther back than that, things get a little hazier. But no matter what else I've done, I've always struggled with writing longer form works of fiction.

Writing a novel is so easy and automatic an idea, that it took many years and many failed attempts before I considered the idea of not trying to write one. Most of my successful and satisfying works have been short fiction, and when I write in chaptered form I often feel like I'm floundering. Part of the impetus behind the Collar of the Damned project was to try and develop my short original fiction as part of a shared universe.

Then again, writing well-structured short fiction isn't easy, either. Looking back at the past few years of my writing, I feel like I have improved my pacing and structure a lot. Most often, when a story went past a certain length, I would structure it out of snippets clearly divided by sharp scene transitions. It made them read like chained vignettes. More recent stories are better paced and more cohesive in their structure.

Here are some hard numbers, primarily for my own reference: Read more... )
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
25 day streak on 750words.com. I've been using it for almost a year and I've found it to be an immensely useful tool, both creatively and therapeutically. This month I've signed up, yet again, for the one-month challenge -- aspiring to write three pages (or 750 words) every single day in June. My previous attempts at this challenge have been very unsuccessful, but I hold higher hopes this time. Not only because I'm more than halfway through and so far it's been almost easy, but also because for the first time in a while, I'm writing full-time. Ostensibly.

Sunday through Tuesday, I did no writing at all (other than the aforementioned three daily pages). It's my third week being unemployed/self-employed, and my motivation seems to have ebbed more than a little. It didn't help that I was inexplicably sleepy on Sunday and Monday. I spent a lot of time dozing off, half-awake rereading old fanfic, playing hidden object games, drooling over the Steam summer sale and catching up on Sense8 (a truly ridiculous show).

Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon sprawled on my bed, tearing through Naomi Novik's Uprooted like it's my job. I got the sampler booklet at last year's Dragon*Con when I went to see her talk on transitioning from being a fanfic writer to being (also) a pro writer. And proceeded to chicken out of trying to speak to her in person. Lousy move, given that even then I was making plans in the general direction in which I am now more specifically stepping. Of course, if I was aiming to write a novel, my path ahead would be a little bit clearer.

Looking at my June goals, I'm not doing too poorly for being halfway through the month. I completed my [community profile] jukebox_fest assignment, Hail the Hunter, best described as "Florence and the Machine's Girl with One Eye with bonus megalomaniacal dragons", and wrote a whole bunch of Skyrim fanfic. I made good progress on a Collar of the Damned meta essay that's been in the works for about a billion years. I've been blogging steadily.

A little past the halfway mark, June seems to be treating me well.

Blogging

Thursday, 4 June 2015 11:37
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
I had excellent intentions for this morning and then ended up spending several straight hours reading blogs.

I completed my [community profile] jukebox_fest story and I don't know if I'll ever be happy with it. I feel like it needs to be torn to shreds by an editor and pieced back together over a month. My impulsive writing habits are starting to get me down and I want to spend part of this month working specifically on that.

Monday morning I made a big spreadsheet with writing goals for June. The spreadsheet has a category for blogging, with two specific meta subjects that I want to get around to. One of them is about The 100, which I have been overdue to write about since I glommed the whole series in amok.

Even though my mind is constantly churning with ideas and reactions to things, I feel like I actually bring up almost none of that. I want to change that, but I'm not certain where to start. My own fanfic? Characters that I find myself writing over and over again? How long it's been since I've even remotely kept up with contemporary SFF?

One of the items on my agenda is making a list of recent books to read and (possibly) review.

A Game

Wednesday, 1 April 2015 22:12
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
Let's play a game called, "How far back in my AO3 can I go before I hit a story that utterly appalls me?"

Purim!!

Friday, 6 March 2015 16:29
lea_hazel: Kermit: OMG YAY *flail* (Feel: OMGYAY)
Celebrating the holiday by marathoning the fourth season of Once Upon a Time. And [community profile] purimgifts of course. I got a wonderful Root/Shaw gift which delights me to no end. I'm actually pretty pleased with the gifts I wrote, too, even though I wrote them under enormous stress and a massive time crunch. Work being super intense didn't help.

When I get home, I'll probably sink into writing angstless, stress-free smutlets.

Day Log

Saturday, 21 February 2015 19:20
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
Today I spent a lot of time reading in bed, replied to some comments on fic, posted/crossposted some fic, wiped down part of the kitchen counter, swept the living room floor, and wrote my words.

I also watched the first episode(s) of The Librarians, which a friend billed to me as "American Dr. Who, except with less of the stuff you hate (and I love)." That seems mostly accurate. Noah Wyle is aggressively channeling Matt Smith, which I'm okay with. Eccentric white dudes still take front and center, and they have that male-genius-female-caretaker act going on. But then again, they name it explicitly way at the start, which is interesting to me.

One of the fics I posted is one that I wrote over months and angsted over a lot. Also, it will probably be my last Dragon Age fic, at least for a while. Maybe a long while. The fandom cycle continues, but at least the disenchantment didn't culminate in a total disappearing act. In better fandom news, [community profile] purimgifts is going pretty well, if not as prompt and early as I'd've liked.

Some of that dust from sweeping got down my throat. Just means I need to sweep more diligently and not allow it to build up like that.

Out and About

Friday, 9 January 2015 09:49
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
I really don't want to get dressed and go out of doors. That seems to be a recurring theme in my life, right now.

I especially don't want it since I realized that I can't wear sneakers and I'd have to lace myself into a pair of boots to withstand the weather. I'd much rather lounge in my pajamas and sweatshirt, waffle on Tumblr, generally let time disappear from under me and stay in the warm, dry house. But checks need to be deposited (I actually was meant to have done this at least a week ago) and I have almost no fruit in the house, and no vegetables at all. So I will finish my morning routine, hopefully before ten, and get off my ass.

Later I will write. Tomorrow I'd like to look at some ongoing works that have been in progress too long and progress one of them a bit, but today I think is a day for disposable twenty minute fic bits. Sort of like the difference between an honest relationship and a flirtation.

There's a lot that I could talk about, but I won't. Not right now. I should write about Yuletide, at the very least. My fic was so wonderfully received, I want to gush about it properly (to someone other than myself).
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
I posted my Yuletide draft. I'm not really pleased with its progress, and I feel like I will probably want to keep staring at it and angsting and maybe putting in some tweaks until just about exactly the reveal deadline. But I am also at the point where I can start to feel anticipation for my upcoming gift. The receiving part is, oddly, the most major flaw in my conduct as an exchange participant. I'm a terrible recipient because I stress so much over my gift and tend to finish it last minute. I end up not enjoying the gift archives nearly as much as I ought to.

But never mind that, it is a holiday (albeit a fake one) and a weekend and I'm going to a party soon. I might even get all dressed up or something. It's cold out, but it's not meant to be raining, and it's not like I'm going by bus or anything.
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
All of my writing energy seems to be going towards my daily pages, and when I get it there never seems to be anything that I feel the need to share with the rest of the world. Obviously, if I were writing full-time this would have to change. Then again, I'd also have some structured subjects to talk about.

Reading: I was reading The Summer Prince but I took a short break and lost my momentum. The quality of prose is good and it's stocked with all sorts of good, shiny little ideas, but they can't obscure the fact that the premise of the book is human sacrifice. It's a hard sell, and I'm not sold. Then I started reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and I was pretty enthralled for a while, but Helen's diary is a hard read and I took a break and didn't pick it up again yet I promise nothing. Now I'm reading Late Eclipses (one of the Toby Daye books) and pretty well tearing through it. I read a lot on the weekend, which was nice.

I am also reading ungodly amounts of Skyrim fanfic (how the hell did video game fandom even happen to me?). And I tried digging into the [community profile] femslashex archives from this year but haven't even made a dent.

Writing: Yuletide was going well, and then it stalled. I'm nervous. My piece is coherent, but it's under a thousand words and I fear it's inevitably to be seen as incomplete. How to go about completing it to standard is something I need to stew on. Most of my other fanfic is stalled, but I did make a breakthrough last week with something I've been stuck on for a while. Relationship-type dialogue, and a more complex sort than what I have dealt with mostly up to now. My Collar of the Damned stuff is also stalled. I try not to dwell too hard on how many open WIPs I have. It is depressing.

Of course, the reason for all of this is my current fixation with Skyrim fanfic, of which I have been producing a fairly respectable amount. Anatomy of a fandom infatuation. I actually think about that subject a lot, now.

Routine

Friday, 11 July 2014 00:25
lea_hazel: A frowning white theater mask (Feel: Sad Face :()
I mean, I guess I'm anxious? How do I separate the anxiety about the booms from anxiety about my job, or the agoraphobia, or the roaches that I still freak out over all the time? But yeah, I guess I am anxious.

Tomorrow I get to play The Friday Morning Game, a terrible game which I always seem to lose at.

I'm choosing to view all my unfinished stories as a wealth of creativity to entertain myself with during idle moments, as opposed to a pile of uncompleted tasks. Because fanfic is a leisure activity.
lea_hazel: Wonder Woman (Genre: Comics)
It's reading Friday, because I was too tired to post anything earlier this week.

I may have forgotten to mention that I started reading Captive Prince. I finished the second volume this week, reading at breakneck speed whenever I wasn't at work or too tired to focus. Now I'm taking a break to read the fourth (final?) Rain Wilds book from Robin Hobb. This series is much patchier and more uneven than anything else I've read by her.

But dragons, right? The main relationship arc in the book is clearly between keeper and dragon, and it's fantastic and fascinating to me. Unlike the human male ~love interests~ which are as terrible as that set of words implies. I dreamed some sort of weird dragon keeper meta last night (or early this morning) but sadly didn't think to fix the details in my mind.

This makes me want to write a dragon A/U, but one that's totally different in the emotional dynamics than what I had been contemplating so far.
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
It's been ages since I wrote for DW and I want to write a post. The problem is a lot has happened and also nothing has happened at all, so I'm drawing a blank on what to write.

I do work. I think I am going to do well at this job, although maybe it's soon to tell. And I fuck up at looking for an apartment, because that's the type of adulting I mess up and then get anxious about, which causes me to mess up more. And I have decided not to think about discrete mathematics until I have a little more time on my hands and a little space to breathe.

I've been exploiting my tablet and my Kobo app to glom books. I'd like to read three books a month this year, that's my stated goal. So I have given myself permission to read the books I'm reading, instead of getting stuck on "reading" books I never pick up (sorry, China Mieville).

Right now I'm reading the third October Daye book. Despite the background presence of an "adversarial" manly lust-interest who ticks me off by virtue of existing, I find I quite like it. Something about the atmosphere or the texture of the book satisfies some deeply-held need I've had for urban fantasy, in a way that's usually been thwarted before.

I'd like to write but when I get home I'm too tired for even low-rent porn.

*Yawn*

Saturday, 15 March 2014 18:12
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
Waking up at six and getting home at eight-ish is wearing on me. My family keeps telling me not to rush finding a new place to rent, but I doubt I can keep this up for a month or more. I mean. Of course I can keep it up, I just think the cost in terms of lost sleep and especially waking downtime will affect my performance and reflect poorly on me.

Meanwhile today my plans to work on my DABB story were derailed by a sudden inexplicable two hour nap (while playing Night Vale) in the background. Deadline's at the end of this week and I'm 90% sure that what I'll end up with won't qualify as a first draft. I'd like to keep working on it regardless, but for that I'd need people prompting me to continue. Much as I love fanfic and enjoy writing it, I have a limited capacity to push myself to write without encouragement, and now that most of my hours are occupied, that won't be enough.

Still. I'd really like to finish it, if only so that there can be one more bisexual vampire BDSM A/U femslash fanfic out there.

Progress

Saturday, 1 March 2014 21:09
lea_hazel: Angry General Elodie (Genre: Games)


3588 / 10000 words. 36% done!

I broke through the barrier that blocked me for a week. I should be just up to the good parts. I'd intended to have a complete first draft by the end of February, but at least I'm moving forward.

Listicle

Wednesday, 12 February 2014 16:53
lea_hazel: Kermit: OMG YAY *flail* (Feel: OMGYAY)
  • I have not yet heard back from the Major Company I interviewed for last week. 
  • But I have another interview next week. 
  • Contrary to my usual procrastination, I have already started my [community profile] purimgifts assignment. I'm pretty pleased with the idea I came up with. 
  • There's some sort of literary event tonight that I'm thinking of going to, maybe even drag a friend along. I haven't seen my friends socially near enough lately. 
  • Maybe I'll have a party. 
  • Money issues more or less resolved. Still wish I could count on having a paycheck in March. 
  • I'm juggling WIP and challenge participation and it's going... all right? 
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
Choice of Romance games are brain-eating, but not as badly as I feared. I stayed up late playing them more than once, but I'm not completely out of control.

Today I didn't watch any videos, but I've been reading the intro to logic booklet that's in my study kit.

And writing. Writing accidental kmeme sequels. Why so many simultaneous projects, self? Don't you know better by now?
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
IDK what happened to this month week. Well, I know what happened to yesterday. A family chore popped up at an inopportune time, and served to remind me of several personal medical chores that I fucked up. I know there was at least one day when I did surprisingly much writing with surprising ease. With the semester only a month away, I've motivated myself to watch more MIT lectures. My mother's call yesterday interrupted the third one.

My weekend listlessness seems to have arrived early.

[livejournal.com profile] rarewomen is happening and I believe I may want to participate in some way. I think I'll exploit this as an opportunity to (try and) generate more Cinders fanfic, and perhaps I'll include some more obscure fandoms? Or Veronica Mars, that's always good. More Lilly Kane is always good. And Runaways qualifies, of course.

2013 in Books

Wednesday, 1 January 2014 10:12
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
Instead of a tedious summation of my misadventures in academia and unemployment, I'm doing a Very Special 2013 Wrapup Reading Wednesday. Yay!

Last night (slightly after the new civil year ringed in) I finished Megan Turner's The Thief, the first book in the Attolia series, of which I heard many good things. I'm fairly certain I first heard of these books through oyceter and/or meganbmoore, but the name Attolia crops up pretty often in my circles. My friend Hez apparently hated it, though. Shrug.

That makes the books I've read since summer almost all lead-ins to another book. I want to continue all of them! It's hard to put them in order, but if I were: Hobb's Blood of Dragons (which I expect to be disappointed by, but I have a problem), Carey's Naamah's Curse (...I have several problems), Turner's The Queen of Attolia and Carriger's Changeless.

Other books I read in 2013 include: Gavin de Becker's The Gift of Fear, strongly recommended by the inimitable Captain Awkward, and a rereading of A Room of One's Own.

Books I am still in the middle of: Jorge Luis Borges' Ficciones on my brother's recommendation, Dorothy L. Sayers' Who's Body because the ebook was free, and a book on Babylonian mythology that I bought at the university bookshop on a whim. Naturally I have been picking them up and putting them back down as the mood strikes me. And, nominally, I've been in the middle of China Mieville's Perdido Street Station since sometime in 2012.

In 2014 I want to read more books cover to cover, and keep better track of them, possibly even blog about them more. I want to finish Mieville before I start on my other Kobo purchases, or on the other, free, ebooks I have. I want to be caught up on Saga and Animal Man, even if I can't maintain an interest in any other comics. And I want to read lots of fanfic, but that's a separate post that I think I'll make tomorrow.

Happy Wednesday.

Week Wrapup

Friday, 8 November 2013 15:17
lea_hazel: I am surrounded by tiny red hearts (Feel: Love)
One of the happy bi-products of angsting about your gift in a fic exchange is that when you finally remember that you're not just writing a gift but also receiving one, it's a very pleasant surprise! [community profile] femslashex deadline is tomorrow/tonight (unsure of timezones). I got my fic in and it's pretty good, although it remains to be seen how well it matches my recipient's wishes. But I am also getting a story which will be one of my favorite things! This is terribly exciting.

Participating in FEX made me weirdly self-conscious as a femslasher. I still need to dig through those feelings and try to figure out what they mean. Probably some sort of queer impostor syndrome.

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lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
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