(no subject)

Tuesday, 26 February 2019 18:48
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
I have Pilates in fifteen minutes and I know that it's important and good for me and all that, but I am fighting a desire to play hookie anyway. Because today, this week, and all the way up starting from last Thursday was... a lot? Shit happened on Thursday and I'm not sure I'm ready to write about it because I still feel like the dumbest person who ever lived. And my brain's most rational response is to huddle under a fluffy blanket, eating mac and cheese and watching Netflix.

(no subject)

Friday, 8 February 2019 11:00
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
I reset my Patreon account because if I can't help myself I can at least help others.
lea_hazel: Arthritis: It does the body bad (Health: Arthritis)
I wanted to write tonight, to see if I could squeeze a few hundred more words into the last month of the year, to make the word counts look a little prettier. Not sure that's in the cards, though. I'm pretty worn out. Last night a back pain kept me up, and it took a while before I remembered that, uh, I can take something for that. It cost me some rest. And tomorrow I have to make up some time at work. I may get home too exhausted to write then, too.

I will definitely be too tired to celebrate, so I've preemptively given up on that, too.

And navigating the rain and cold is drawing off some of my excess energy, too. The rain is good for us, but it still makes my life just a bit more of a pain in the ass.

I will try to do an end of year post tomorrow, at the very least. I also have some Verity stories scattered that need to be pieced together. And then the next day is YT author reveals and I'll probably do a post about that. Even though I have not read much of the YT archive this year. Yet? Hopefully yet.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
I'm entering an adjustment period of unknown length with the new job. I am too tired to write, all the time. I had some hopes for the weekend but other priorities intruded. All I got around to is rereading some WIP stuff and posting a draft on the AO3.

Keeping up with chores and self-care is also work. And of course at the end of the day I only have about two hours of leisure time to myself in the evening, and by then I'm usually too exhausted for anything more challenging than TV.

I need to wash my hair, though.

(no subject)

Wednesday, 1 August 2018 18:31
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
It's my 34th birthday later this month and starting it out by having a zero writing day is Not a good omen.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
Writing is half reason, half ritual. There's an element of magical thinking to it, and also an element of self-reinforced habits. You make your own recipe for a muse, more or less. Some of the advice for beating writer's block is so bland, or so arbitrary, you feel like you might as well...

Well, you might as well take advice from a video game.

In The Sims 4, individual sims are ruled by their mood. The canonical mood for creative work (which includes playing instruments, writing, painting and cooking) is "Inspired". Inspiration don't come easy -- except in TS4, where it literally does. True, true, it comes a lot easier if you have lots of money, or if you've already had success in one of the creative careers. But even at the lower levels, there is always something your sim can do to get in a creative mood.

How to beat writer's/artist's block, TS4 style:


  • Take a "thoughtful shower" -- the easiest way, available to all but the poorest sims. Grants four hours of blissfully enmused creativity.

  • Drink green tea (my flesh and blood self prefers ginger, because it's caffeine free). >/li>
  • Interact with a reward you got from progressing in your creative career (lovingly strokes the paperback copy of the anthology I was published in).

  • Cloud or star gazing (it was cloudy yesterday, dammit, why didn't I take advantage).

  • Playing with molding clay (this is actually a good idea, I gotta get me something like that).

  • Drinking coffee, but only if done at a cafe (can confirm, I just had a moccha latte).

  • Completing a piece of art/writing, but only if you're at a low skill level (presented without comment).

  • Mentoring from a sim with a higher skill level (...).

  • A special creaitvity-boosting mixed juice drink called the "Prose and Pop". I'm gonna have a lot of fun trying to invent a recipe for that one.

  • Just fucken' be born naturally creative or something. Don't even.



Ah, fuck it. I'm gonna go drink my ginger tea and eat my black licorice and hope for the best.

Life Update

Wednesday, 24 January 2018 13:23
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
Health update: I tried talking to my psych about the lower dosage of Wellbutrin not working. CN for too many MI details )

Today I finally started digging into the Capricious pronouns issue. I read two stories, both of which are pretty fabulous.

With the rest of my day, I'm going to try and push myself to submit some stories to some markets, even if I feel pretty sure that they're not a perfect fit, or they're not very good, or they're sure to be rejected. Rejections actually are kind of uplifting to me. I may have over-internalized that glib line about wallpapering your living room with them.

"The Magician" and "Tomb of the Unknown Soldier" remain unfinished. The "time traveling gay fairies" story remains a complete and utter mess.

Everything is not okay. Everything is not okay but we're alive and we keep moving forward.
lea_hazel: Angry General Elodie (Feel: RAEG)
Talking about writing, worldbuilding and names in public makes me want to break everything.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
So there I was, reading a (really excellent) article analyzing Hanako Games' Magical Diary. This game is a blatant and unapologetic piece of interactive Harry Potter fiction, where the player character goes to a school of magic despite coming from a totally human family. I played it a number of times a few years ago and haven't really touched it since.

Anyway, there I was. It got me thinking about game ideas that I had and discarded, whether at the idea phase or after starting work on them. It also got me thinking about ~problematic romances (a word which has itself, somewhat ironically, become problematic). On the whole I prefer romances that are structured from the get-go to be egalitarian, eye-level and on equal footing. Sometimes, though, something sneaks into my writing that I suspect lurks in the back of my mind, wallowing in the residue of every book, movie and game I've ever consumed.

Cut because way too long and ultra-specific )
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
So, in my life as a fanfic writer (which lbh is the best part of it always and forever) I have had two (very bisexual) unfinished longfics that I considered filing the serial numbers off of. As an exercise in long-form writing, the thing I spend my life angsting about, it wasn't a bad idea per se. One of these, I have more or less let go of the idea of. I don't really have enough passion in me to write a novella's worth of bisexual vampire urban fantasy in some "vague North American city" setting, let alone constructing from scratch the kind of secondary setting that plot would require.

The second, I have more complicated feelings about. Because the crux of that second story is an emotional arc involving a series of relationships and shifting allegiances between three very different people. My emotional investment in these three characters and their need to resolve around each other hasn't flatlined, even if it's not as strong as it was two or three years ago. And I'm still pretty mad about the worldbuilding things in the canon for that fic that I was using the fic to try and address. But time has passed and my storytelling voice has grown and evolved and changed, I did NaNo for 2016 and started developing a story of NaNo 2017 that I have high hopes for.

One of the things that I have high hopes for w/r/t this story (henceforth TAOS) is that, as I only just realized, it takes a subplot from this abandoned fanfic, guts it, reconstructs it, and basically wears its skin. And wears it much better, I should add, while also incorporating some elements from two of my favorite stories, the kind that I've been obsessed with referencing or retelling since, uh, time. TAOS basically makes the "bones" plot of the fic redundant, and undermines a lot of my reason for wanting to file off and rewrite it.

What TAOS doesn't have, though, is that complex emotional dynamic that I was so attached to, that I still want to revisit in some way, shape or form. And no, I cannot inject this dynamic into the story, either, as its structure is completely wrong and its core cast can't be wrapped around the ideas central to the character conflict in the other. Individual elements, maybe I could. Like, I could add an antagonistic, resentment to respect relationship that starts sexual and evolves into a romance. Probably. I could add a poly relationship, probably, pretty easily. But not the whole thing, not the complete structure that was the pivot of the emotional arc of the original fic. Not without it being awkward as fuck and undermining the narrative integrity of the plot and characters.

Now I'm stuck wondering whether I should just mourn that whole story and move on. Or leave well enough alone, allow it to stay dormant in the back of my mind, until my mind can find a suitable home for it, which may be years from now or never. Or force the issue, try to deconstruct the core plot elements that made that dynamic possible and use them as bones to build a new story more or less from scratch, without the social/political component that compelled me to write it to begin with.

Writing is hard.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
There are so many things that I should do and it's a hassle to try and sort through them all and extract the critical ones from the ones that can wait. And every time I try to do so I get more and more tired and dispirited, until I can't help but think about how I can just give up. I've legitimately thought about giving up writing altogether and anyone who knows me knows that's the last thing that I actually want. I'm just at my wits' end and I don't know how long it's going to take me to reset my brain to a setting where it can actually function. Reading books, writing reviews, editing stories, continuing ongoing projects... it all seems beyond me right now.

Not looking for advice. I've been here before. There's literally nothing you can tell me that I haven't already heard.

At least my new bed should be arriving sometime later today.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
Writing has always been a central part of my life and even my identity, even when I didn't practice it regularly. It's been a background goal for me to become a writer even though all the other ambitions that I've had and discarded. Eventually I had to make a hard decision and I decided to pursue writing as a profession and career, not a hobby. I still have a day job, obviously. And I still hobby write (fanfiction, and other things). But the goal is to write professionally.

Writing is a frequently frustrating occupation. It's hard work, and it's work that's often undervalued, sometimes even as it's in demand. As most fanfic writers have noticed. Still I've had some amazing writerly moments in my life, outside of the aspiration to go pro and alongside some bitter disappointments (in myself and in others). I wanted to write a lot about those, since one of them happened just recently and since I could always use a morale boost to my creativity.

Read more... )

*glances up* What the fuck am I even talking about, who can even tell.

(actual playlist I was listening to when I was writing this.)
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: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
And not just because it's supposed to be the book I want to see in the world. And not just because I can't help but think that it's my responsibility to make that book happen, for other people.

The set-up goes something like this: Read more... )
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
This is a terrifying thing to admit, thirty thousand words into a story.

I had started with a couple of rough character sketches and some tentative worldbuilding, and decided I would figure out the plot as I went along. Meanwhile I was nurturing the secondary protagonist's identity crisis, which was supposed to be the secondary, supporting, plot thread. Guess what happened next.

Now I am more than halfway through a story that is not adventure, not intrigue, not mystery, and not even a proper romance. The closest thing to redeeming value in the plot as it stands, is that it could possibly be literary fiction -- if the characters weren't anthro bats.

Like, I'm not even talking "how do I market this". More like, "what the fuck did I just write".

So I stick to the short term, and realize that the next thing that needs to happen is a character mailing a letter to their mother.

Saturday Mornings

Saturday, 23 May 2015 11:40
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
I made a very firm rule yesterday that I am not allowed to spend all of today -- all of the holiday weekend -- waffling on Tumblr and playing games and watching TV and generally wasting time. By the end of the month I'm (probably) going to be unemployed, and I have writing commitments that I'd just as soon rather not put off to the last possible moment (like I normally do). And I want to write, I swear I do!

...It's just so hard to get started doing anything. Especially when I don't even want to put on pants.

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?"
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
I took up some sort of weird work commitment that accounts for a few hours a month. Nothing resembling a paycheck but I am relieved at the very least at having productive occupation. The kind that I know I can stick to/see through, since I'm getting pretty tired of being mad at myself for spending too much time online (or playing games) and not enough time studying/working/writing. I hope this works out and helps keep me sharp for when I get a full-time job, and maybe even spruces up my resume. Meanwhile I have an interview/exam for a real position on Sunday morning. The holidays are fucking with my sense of time.

I have discovered myself to be too tired, or anxious, or bored to do much Icon this year. It's just... abominably crowded, and full of kids, and smells powerfully of stale sweat. /o\

My current fic assignment is behind schedule and I'm nervous as hell. There's a creeping feeling growing in the back of my mind that I might miss the deadline, which is something I have never done. Nearly happened with this year's [community profile] purimgifts, but at the end I got the last one in. Defaulting, and at such a late point, is really an awful feeling. I just-- ugh, I just have to man the hell up and write it, even if it doesn't come out as good as I hoped.

I know there's a Tumblr Savior-like app that works on AO3. How about Delicious? Is there anything that will allow me to somehow reverse filter links to prompts/fills? IDK. "Not" filtering is kind of complicated.

(no subject)

Saturday, 28 June 2014 20:34
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
Whenever I get back from Jerusalem I am somehow just too mentally exhausted to do anything. Even if I'd spent all my chore time daydreaming about writing, and thinking up plot twists as I was trying to fall asleep, once I get in front of my own keyboard my mind just... blanks.
lea_hazel: Pride flag (Politics: GLBTQ)
If you're into remaining unspoiled for big bangs, don't read behind the cut. Or I could screen this for my access list, that's also an option.

Dragon Age Big Bang )

Word Meters are so not overdone. )

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lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
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