azriona: (Default)
 I was going to write a very comprehensible post about Ramadan, but I have a headache caused by lack of caffeine because I switched from coffee to tea this morning and thus am not much in the mood to try a craft one at the moment. But there's a dozen things I want to post about, so here we are, with yet another list of things.

1. The switch from coffee to tea is mostly because I ran out of coffee, and since the boys and I are leaving for the entire summer, I'm not particularly interested in replacing it just yet. Also, I have tons and tons of very good and delicious tea leaves in my pantry and I need to drink them. My brain does not agree with this plan, which is ironic since my brain is what suggested this plan in the first place. If I wanted, I could take a very short walk over to the compound center and get an iced coffee from the restaurant there (which is not closed for Ramadan and has good iced coffee for about $3), but it's the principle of the thing.

Not that principle means much when your head aches.

2. It is Andrew's last week of first grade. They're not required to wear uniform this week, but Andrew wore his anyway today because he wanted to wear it. It's not like it's a big deal - I'm sure there will be other kids wearing a uniform, because there always are. And his uniform isn't super uniform-y - it's a red polo shirt with the school crest and a pair of dark-colored shorts. Half the kids in the compound don't even take them off after school because they're pretty comfy. But I bet Andrew's told at least ten times before lunch that he didn't have to wear a uniform today.

Honestly, I think half the reason he wore it is because I made the belated discovery last night that all of his play shorts are too small in the waist by about 2-3 inches per pair, which is just... horrible. But he didn't say anything and he hardly ever wears them anyway (see: comfy school clothes) and it was only when he was trying to put on a pair yesterday that really were obnoxiously small that I thought to look. The really stupid thing is that he has tons of clothes in his closet that are bigger sizes because I was smart and bought up a few sizes before packout. So I've gone ahead and switched them all out but I'm not sure Andrew got the message.

Anyway, he's doing super well with school, he's caught up on reading and I think he's better at math than he's letting on. The school has two teachers in mind for him for next year, they just don't know who's staying and who's going. I think he's ready for 2nd grade. 

(For those wondering when Andrew got old enough to be a second grader - I am right there with you.)

3. Charlie's speech therapy is going well. He's beginning to mimic more often, and he's adding words to his vocabulary. Not every day, but at least he's adding. I think we're going to pull this kid into verbalization, him kicking and screaming the whole way. He's also decided against potty training for the time being. We take off his diaper, he points to the potty and yells. We put him down to go to the potty - and he looks at us, grins like a maniac, and then runs for the stairs, laughing the entire way with his little butt peeking out from the hem of his shirt. Even when we sit him down on the potty, he's up like a shot and off running. Which is really disappointing because he was doing so well. If we can get him potty trained by September, he can go into the big-kid class at kindy (ages 2-1/2 and up). Otherwise he's stuck with the middle class (1-1/2 through 2-1/2). 

4. Pen's sixth book came out about two weeks ago. I've done a couple of different things with marketing it; I'm not entirely sure how well any of them have worked. One of the things I did was to start it off priced at 99 cents as a promotional thing for people on my newsletter. I ended up getting some really good sales... until I upped the price as planned to $1.99 about a week before release, and then sales took a sharp downward turn. They went up briefly when it was released... but I never cracked the first page of ranked books on the Gay & Lesbian bestsellers list on Amazon (though I came close), and cracking that first page really helps sales rankings, because then you tend to stay there for a while. 

Another thing I did was to hire an ARC service. Amazon has this thing where if your book has more than 50 reviews, it's more likely to pop up in searches and also-purchased-by and the like. The reviews don't even have to be good, they just have to be there. There's a couple of ARC services out there where you pay a set amount and they'll get your ARC into the hands of readers who want it. The reviewers aren't paid, and this particular service claims an extremely high return rate because they check that their reviewers really are reviewing their ARCs. (Which is one of the reasons they probably earn the money they're paid, this is a whole lot of tracking on their part.) 

Anyway, between the ARCs I handed out personally and this service, the new book has more than 50 reviews. The vast majority are positive; the negative ones are of the "but why don't they shift into wolves and don't you know men can't really get pregnant?" variety which I can easily ignore. 

5. I've also started posting the mega-long second season fic for Yuri on Ice. It's still a WIP, which was a conscious decision... I'm not sure I'd do this again, honestly. It's an interesting process, and I'm glad I started posting when I did, but.... I wish I'd spent more time finishing and polishing it before putting it up. Partially because:
In which I am petty. So very, very petty. )

7. ... I was going to have a #7, but my head still hurts and I've got about an hour before Charlie wakes up from his nap, so I'm going to go lie down for a bit. 

azriona: (cat in a box)
I blocked myself from getting onto Tumblr until tomorrow morning, mostly because I could feel myself being dragged back into the pro/anti-Mary fight all over again, and since that particular battle nearly pushed me into leaving the fandom two years ago, I'm pretty wary about going back there.

Also, I spent a good chunk of last night's writing time on it already, and I'd really rather not procrastinate any longer from working on the stories that need writing.

Which is why I'm writing an LJ entry instead.

Writing Things )

The Children )

Anyway, that's all I can think of, and I'm exhausted, and I'm going to bed where I will curl up with my current book and read until I fall asleep or when Charlie remembers that he doens't like to sleep through the night.  Usually these things occur simoultaneously.  Which might be why I'm exhausted.

p.s. oh, yes, the Sherlock special was awesome and I loved it tons and it might be my favorite of ALL the episodes, I haven't decided.  and someday, when Charlie is in kindergarten, I will write a review of it.  
azriona: (Mr Morton)
I think I write about half a dozen LJ entries over the course of a day.  That is, I write them in my head, but I’m entirely unable to get them down on either paper or laptop at the time, and should I manage to eke out a few minutes – I’ve generally forgotten what it was I wanted to write.

Mostly, they consist of observations on the adorableness of Charlie’s feet, how awesome an older brother Andrew is, and how he can simultaneously drive me up the wall and then bring out some extremely adult observation, running commentary on whatever it is I happen to be reading at the time, general horror at the pit the house has become, since it’s really hard to sweep and mop and dust and whatnot when there’s a baby attached to you.

(The Baby Bjorn and Moby wrap can only go so far – and Charlie’s not altogether fond of either for long-term sleeping.  Actually, he’s not fond of anything except my arms or his swing, and even then it’s a chancy thing.  I’m still in shock that he slept for an hour and a half in his own crib last week.  I have not been able to recreate the experience, unfortunately.)

I am really, really ready for Charlie to have a decent afternoon nap.  He’ll probably manage to work it out by the time Andrew goes back to morning preschool (which will be over the summer).

The one good thing about all the holding is that it’s giving me a lot of time to read on my Kindle.  I am whipping my way through books and fanfics, to the point where I asked for recs on Tumblr a few days ago, and was given a whole bunch of reading material, both fanfic and original fic, which is all sorts of happy.  I downloaded the lot (or nearly the lot – all the fanfic I hadn’t already read, and samples of all the original stuff from Amazon, except for one or two things that were only a few dollars).

I haven’t started on any of it, though, because I decided to start reading EGT’s Next Big Thing instead… and after about three days of sneaking in a page or two here and there, I’m nearly done.  (I’m up to the NY Times article, which is about where she left off when I downloaded it, though there may be more by now.)  It’s a great deal of fun and is resulting in two main reactions from me:

1. Twitter sounds like an awful lot of fun, which is such a bad reaction considering I barely have time for the social media I’m already on, I totally do not need to add another.  Even if Tumblr has become – dare I say – boring recently.  (And I say boring because I generally keep a wank-free dash, and apparently Tumblr has gone so wanky, there’s nothing on the wank-free to see, either.)

2. I need recipes for cake batter things.  I went looking, and found recipes for cake batter fudge and cake batter pops and cake batter cookies and all that stuff, and I’m not even all that much a fan of cake batter.  But I also found this recipe for a chocolate terrine with orange sauce, and I have the feeling it would end up being very similar to cake batter in texture.  (A terrine generally refers to a meat dish that has the texture of pate.  This is a dessert item, however, so figure the chocolate has the texture of pate – or maybe an uber thick frosting.  Yum.  If I make it, though, I might do a different flavored sauce because chocolate and orange is not my favorite combination.)

Anyway, I’m nearly caught up, which means I can start reading all the lovely recs people have given me.  (So many recs.  So little time.)

(In case you’re wondering – the list of recs includes a bunch of Sherlock fics, a Bagginshield AU, a couple oldie-but-goodie HP fics, and, because my flist knows me, some original fiction m/m erotica, which is apparently a THING.  I should compile all of it into a list, honestly, most of it is stuff I haven’t heard of before.  But if anyone wants to see the responses, here’s the Tumblr post in question.  There were also a couple of asks/submissions that weren’t included in there.)

That said… I expect that I’ll probably run through them fairly quick.  So I’ll pose the question here as well:

Rec me something to read.  Fanfic, original fic, non-fic, I am good with anything and everything, as long as I can download it as a mobi file.  (Free is fabulous, paid is okay too though I’m partial to things I can sample first.  I will absolutely pay money for something that I am reasonably sure I will enjoy.)  Self-recs happily accepted; now is not the time for shyness.  The only requirement is that it not put me to sleep at 2am when I’m trying to rock the baby back to sleep, because I would end up dropping my Kindle.  Also the baby.
azriona: (Mr Morton)
Charlie )
Andrew )
Baking and Time Management (HAHAHAHA) )
Which is all to say: very little writing or even editing getting done over here.  I’m hoping that changes, as things settle down and once Charlie’s nap schedule becomes a little more standard.  That might take a bit.  On the plus side… there’s a chaptered Heart ‘Verse story that I’m going to start posting in June, and the Medieval Omegaverse could be ready to go whenever I want; I’m just not sure when I want.

We shall not speak of the Alphaverse.  Mostly because I want to bang my head against hard objects when I think about it.  I’m very slowly working my way through a history of women in America, which is interesting, if nothing else, but it’s making me reconsider the world I’ve set up, and wondering if there isn’t a way to temper it a little bit, and then if I want to temper it a little bit from the utter bleakness of that sort of reality, and I just don’t know.  It’s a mess.  It’s such a mess I can’t even articulate why it’s a mess, and Andrew’s getting out of gymnastics in about two minutes so I probably won’t have time to try, not if I want to try to post this while the wifi is still working here.

I think I’m overthinking it. Maybe not working on it a while will help with that?  Or make it worse.  It’s one or the other.
azriona: (Mr Morton)
I wrote something!

I mean... I wrote something!

Okay, let me try rephrasing that into something that actually sounds more noteworthy.


(Yeah, that didn't work, did it?)

I took Andrew to gymnastics this morning while Mom and Bill stayed home with Charlie, and I took my laptop, because I've got this remix fic that I'm supposed to be working on. (And in my defense, I figured I would write it before Charlie was born, and then Charlie showed up 2 weeks early and derailed a whole bunch of plans.  He is adorable, but he is a plan-wrecker.)

Anyway, we're supposed to start posting them next week, and here I have NOTHING, and I started thinking about it last night while Charlie refused to go to sleep until 1am, and then I started writing it while Andrew was in gymnastics, and I wrote 1,487 words.

Which is 1,487 more words than I have written all month.

So... you know... yay.

No idea if the recipient will like it - no idea if anyone else will like it - no idea if it even meets the conditions of a proper remix as I'm sort of changing... well, not quite everything, but pretty darn close.  (I am switching from one Sherlock fandom to another, which is allowable, but in doing so, you really do end up changing a whole bunch of other things besides, so I'm just going with it under the theory that I never follow directions anyway.)

The point is...

azriona: (cat in a box)
Voting is open at [ profile] reading221b for Round 3. It's a super close race at the moment in the AU category, with three fics tied at first place, and another three fics tied at second (fourth?) - including Mise in the scrum.  The Heart in Him is in the running for Omegaverse, and winning, of all things, though that's a close race as well.  I am being very good and not looking at who is voting for what, not because I don't want to know (I really, really want to know) but mostly because it doesn't matter, and I don't want to see if people I know and like are voting for fics not written by me.

Anyway, voting is open, I'm not going to know if you love me or don't love me, so go vote.  If both Mise and Heart win, I will likely fall off my chair in shock.  (I had my money on another fic entirely in the AU race.  Which still might win, though.)

In other news, I woke up yesterday with a powerful hankering for Bagginshield - which makes no sense whatsoever because I haven't even seen the third movie, so I am still living happily in a world where Certain Characters Don't Die and Everyone Lives Happily Ever After.  I found a delightful story on AO3 (The Good Earth, by The Feels Whale, which has the most awesome way of getting mpreg babies without the mpreg ever), but I need moooooooore.  And I've discovered that while I love a good Sherlock AU where Sherlock and John are in another occupation/time/location/universe, I'm not so fond of the same for Hobbits and Dwarves, because I spent most of the story wondering if they're still Hobbits and Dwarves or if they're humans with Hobbit and Dwarf names, which is really distracting.  Apparently, I am strictly canon-divergent when it comes to my LotR fanfic - who knew?  Anyway, suggestions for fics appreciated, thank you!

(I don't think I'll start writing Bagginshield anytime soon, though.  For one thing, I know squat about the Tolkien-verse, and Tolkien fans strike me as only slightly more scary than Holmesians when it comes to canon accuracy.)

Writing Update )

Right, things to do before Andrew wakes up and does not go to school.  *sigh*  DAMN YOU, MOTHER NATURE AND SCHOOL DISTRICT ADMINISTRATORS, DAMN YOU ALL STRAIGHT TO HELL.
azriona: (cat in a box)
Andrew and night-training )

In other news, Bill and I are finally catching up on Doctor Who.  We have watched all the way through "Listen", and so far, I really like Twelve.  He is dark in a deliciously alien way - far more alien than any other Doctor, Bill thinks, but neither of us are well-versed enough in Classic Who doctors to say for certain.  (From what I saw of One, he was fairly alien as well, if not actually dark.)  Robots of Sherwood was hysterical.  The one where they went into the Dalek was... weird.  And I would have liked Listen very much if it wasn't for the whole "Clara is the Impossible Girl who Pops up in the Doctor's life CONSTANTLY.  Again.  Always.  As a Convenient Deux ex Machina."

(Bill's laying odds that Danny Pink becomes a companion.  I would approve, I like Danny Pink.)

(Also, I keep seeing Rose references, but that might be just me.  And I could swear we saw that woman in heaven before, but I can't place her and I refuse to look it up.)

Beyond that... it's just striving to make it through the week and finding things for Andrew to do.  It's sunny but omgcold outside, which Andrew couldn't care less about but I freeze the second I think about going outside.  (Cleo keeps wanting to go out and then changes her mind: "OMG ARE YOU INSANE LET ME BACK IN NOW Right it's too warm in here can I go back out?")  The editing on Alpha 1 is done; Alpha 2 is a hot mess.  No, seriously, it totally is, I swear there's one scene where I claim it's June and then three pages later, it's suddenly October, and it's like I changed my mind practically in the middle of the sentence.  All those people who swear by outlines are laughing at me, I can tell.
azriona: (cat in a box)
So, tomorrow I start editing the Alphaverse.


Anyway, here's the plan, because if I write this down, then I am accountable:

1. Read through Alphaverse, Book 1.  Theorectially, it has gone through several drafts and is in good shape.

2. Read through Alphaverse, Book 2.  This is going to take a while, because Book 2 was my Nano novel.  Usually, I keep single stories all in one big massive file (though there are exceptions; by the time I was done, Mise was in three files b/c it took so long to load).  But for Nano, I usually keep each day's writing in its own seperate file, only compiling them all together at the end when it's time to validate.  I did validate Alpha 2, of course, but...I also didnt' exactly write the story in chronological order, and I seem to recall that at one point I got seriously off topic, and I don't remember how, so I have to go back to the source to figure out what I was doing.  And that's the part that will take a while, is trying to muddle through all those seperate files.

3. Beat Alpha 2 into something resembling reasonable shape.  And I have no idea how I'm going to do this, since I don't remember what was going on in Alpha 2 in the first place.  Which is probably bad, since I wrote it only two months ago.  I'm sure I'll remember the minute I read it - but right now, not a clue.  I have to admit, I'm seriously curious, I remember having a ball once I broke through the block - but I really need to read Book 1 first.

As far as Nano goes, I'm sitting just above 10K, which is a bit above where I'm supposed to be, so I have a little wiggle room.  And I suspect there will be a lot of rewriting once I hit Alpha 2, so I'll make up for it there. No worries.

Sunday Six

Jan. 11th, 2015 05:54 pm
azriona: (Mr Morton)
Thought I'd cross-post to LJ, as well.  There's a thing on Tumblr called the Sunday Six - you basically post six sentences from your WIP on Sundays.

And I do have a WIP, and it's not the editing projects.  I wanted to do something quick and fun between the Medieval Omegaverse and the Alphaverse, so I went trolling on the Kink Meme, and found a fantastic little prompt for a soulmate AU with a twist.  I've never done a soulmate AU (though I did start one), so I figured I'd give it a try, and it's turning out to be loads of fun.

(The twist is that soulmate names aren't permanent - they can change over time.  The deal is that John and Sherlock's soulmate names never change.  Because well.... it's John and Sherlock. Duh.

Sunday Six )
azriona: (Mr Morton)
So after two weeks, or seven hours of editing, depending on how you're keeping the time, the historical-type edits on the Medieval Omegaverse are done and it's now winging its way to various members of the Usual Suspects.  I think it's a stronger story now.  I'm not entirely convinced it's a more historically accurate story - I mean, we are dealing with a story in which jus primae noctis is an actual thing and not a fairy tale, not to mention the proponderance of men who can get pregnant, but whatever.  There are fewer books and more terrible roads, and that's what counts.

I can say the seven hours of editing with reasonable accuracy, because part of my thing this year for [ profile] getyourwordsout is that I want to do more editing - or at least, focus a lot on editing this year.  Part of what I loved about tracking my words last year was learning exactly how productive I can be, even when I think I'm not being productive (because I ended last year thinking I hadn't been productive at all).  So I'm going to do the same thing with editing, and see exactly how much time I've spent on it.  I don't think I would have guessed I'd spend seven hours editing and rewriting massive chunks of the Medieval Omegaverse.... but the spreadsheet does not lie.  Granted, a lot of it was in ten- and twenty-minute increments, but there's a couple of hour-long chunks there, too, and those were actually the most productive of all - though that's mostly because I knew I had a lot of time, so I saved the hardest parts for those periods.

(And there were some seriously tricky edits to be done in the M.O.  I basically rewrote an original character and changed up someone else's motivations and created a whole new twist for you guys to not see coming.)

But I'm really pleased with it now, so we'll see what the Usual Suspects think.

In the meantime... the next on the massive edit hit parade is the Alphaverse, which is going to take even more time than the M.O.  Mostly because it's longer - I think, all told, it's over 100K, broken into two books.  I'm sort of dreading it.  Then again,  I was also dreading those edits on the M.O. --- and those turned out really well.

(There is apparently an Omegaverse panel at Sherlock Seattle this weekend.  I am so supremely jealous of everyone who is going to be in that room, you have no idea.  I'm not even sure who's going to be in there, except I both hate and desperately want to be all of them.)

The downside of focusing on editing is that my actual word count for 2015 is terrible.  No, seriously - I have seven hours of editing...and 2,212 words to my name.  That's....not good, when my goal is 250K for the year, and I should be just over 6K.  And I'm about to jump headfirst into editing the Alphaverse - and the thing about editing, it doesn't tend to produce a lot of words - sometimes, quite the opposite.  (Hmm.  I wonder if that's gonna mess up the spreadsheet....)

(I created a spreadsheet, incidentally, to track the editing and word count at the same time.  It's super basic but I rather like it.  Also, creating it was an excellent form of procrastination.  If anyone would like to see/borrow/steal it for their own time-tracking uses, I'm happy to figure out how exactly to load it in such a manner that you can.)

So...we'll see.  In the meantime, I think I'm going to pick up [ profile] sherlock60 again - it was fun, and I never actually did get through the complete canon.  They're starting Round 4 on 18 January, this time going in order of publication.  I'll probably skip the first three weeks (which will focus on the first two books), and then pick it up with Scandal in Bohemia - only because I don't have time to get through the longer books right now, mostly because I'm trying to read the biography of Alan Turing, and it's massive.  Also filled with mathematics, and I'm attempting to not skip all the mathematical parts.  Not all the time, anyway.  Sometimes I do.

(The biography is because Bill and I saw The Imitation Game on New Year's Eve, and I have lots of thoughts about it, but I kind of want to finish the bio first so I can sound reasonably intelligent about them.  In short: excellent movie, all the acting was surburb, the costumes were delightful, but the only thing right in a historical context was that Alan Turing was at Bletchley Park.  And I'm perfectly aware of the irony of me complaining about historical accuracy when I have just written a story in which medieval arses are self-lubricating.)

Anyway, here is The Plan:

1. Start the massive edits on The Alphaverse.  *gulp*
2. Watch Andrew graduate from high school
3. Finish the massive edits on the Alphaverse.
4. Eventually, write another chapter or two for Fiddle.
5. Heart4.
6. Someday, finish that Mystrade mystery beginning story that really deserves attention.  Poor story.
azriona: (cat in a box)
So I've been doing [ profile] getyourwordsout this year, and it's been an interesting experience.  I'm not usually hung up on word count - well, I try not to be.  Mostly I use word counts as a motivational tool, not a hard-and-fast objective.  (This is probably why I am so bad at writing 100-word drabbles.  Though it does make trying to craft a 221b a little more challenging, which is fun.)

Anyway, I pledged to write 250K in 2014.  I actually hit that back in August.  So I figured I'd aim for 300K.  And then I wrote 40K of Medieval Omegavere in September, and still had Nano to go.  Okay.  So I figured 350K for a goal, and then set about writing those Advent Calendar Drabbles.

I am just over 600 words shy of having written 400,000 words this year.  I think I kind of oveshot my original goal here.

thinky thoughts about word counts )

So I'm going to pledge 250K again this year.  Yes, it's a low-ball, considering, but I have two very good reasons for doing it:

1. We're still looking to adopt, and if there's a newborn in the house, my productivity is going to be shot to hell.

2. I have two large projects that desperately need editing - concentrated editing that takes up a lot of time, and editing's important, but it doesn't kick up a huge word count usually.  (It'd be interesting to do an hour-count, to see how many hours I spend writing/editing... but I think that might make me sad, so we're not going to do that.)

So.....who's with me?  Come on!  It's fun!  It's easy!  You get a really cool spreadsheet to use in tracking your words and projects, and it does graphs and pie charts and all sorts of fun stuff!

GetYourWordsOut: Year Seven!
Pledges & Requirements |
azriona: (Mr Morton)
Advent Calendar Wrap-up:

(Link to the series.)

27 prompts, 25 fics, 39,162 words.

3 – 100 word drabbles
5 – 221 word 221b (one was a double)
7 – fics over 1,000 words

19 – stand-alones
6 – continuations of series (Fiddle, Hearts, Dangerous Games, Power Play, Socks & Malteasers, Mise)
4 – crossovers: Sherlock/HP, Sherlock with Skylar Dorset’s Otherworld series, a DW/HP/Sherlock three-way, and a DW/Star Wars crossover.

Self-analization? Or however you spell it. It might not actually start with the word "anal". )
azriona: (Sherlock Blue Profiles)
Title: Christmas, 1941
Fandom: Sherlock BBC (Dangerous Games ‘Verse)
Characters/Relationships: Sherlock Holmes, Molly Hooper, John Watson/Mary Morstan, Greg/Mycroft
Warning: None
Rating: PG

Summary: Sherlock Holmes doesn’t intend to go back to London for Christmas.  Sometimes, the best thing to happen is a change of plans.

A/N: The seventh installment of the 2014 Advent Calendar Drabbles.  Today’s prompt is from [ profile] kizzia, who requested Christmas in the Dangerous Games ‘Verse.  She specifically wanted the first Christmas after Mycroft’s rescue from Occupied England, on their way to rescue Sherlock.  But I haven’t figured out how that rescue would go down, and thus, she gets a look backwards.  She also requested Johnlock – but Dangerous Games isn’t Johnlock.  I admit the pairing that does appear took me a bit by surprise, though.

If you haven’t read the ‘Verse, all you need to know to enjoy this is that Dangerous Games is a WW2 Mystrade AU in which Hitler won the war.  Thanks go to [ profile] mildred_bobbin for the early look to make sure I was on track.

Read the story at AO3.

Read the Extended Author's Notes under the Cut )
azriona: (cat in a box)
First and foremost:

My original short story, Glass and Mirrors, was published in an anthology last month.  The Kindle-version of the anthology is on sale until Wednesday for the low low price of absolutely nothing.  This offer is good for both US and UK customers.  There’s a bunch of good stories in the anthology besides mine.  You have nothing to lose except storage space on your Kindle. 



Okay, business done.


I am about ten days ahead on the Advent Calendar Drabbles - which is pretty good, I like to be a week ahead, and I'm really going to need the wiggle room because my parents are coming to town next week.  Which is awesome, because yay free babysitting, but will still probably end up eating in my writing time so yay for being ahead of the game.  So far, I've written stories that continue four different series (Fiddle, Hearts, Power Play, and Dangerous Games), and written in all three of my current and previous fandoms, so I'm feeling pretty good right now.  I've also done the typical, "Yes, that's a lovely prompt, I'm going to ignore it now" that I usually do.  I don't know why anyone bothers to prompt me, honestly, I never pay attention.

At the moment, though, I'm trying to decide what to do with tomorrow's story, and specifically whether or not I should post an extended author's note with it.  I don't usually like extended author's notes.  They tend to end up being all preachy and holier-than-thou and full of self-importance.  And...I admit, I wrote one for tomorrow's story, and now I'm reading back on it and... yup, it's all preachy and holier-than-thou and full of self-importance, and seeing as how I hate that sort of thing, I'm pretty sure it would be hypocritical to post it.

(Also, I'm not entirely sure it's necessary.  Then...I'd be posting it seperately, here on LJ, so it would really be up to the reader if they wanted to read it or not, since they'd have to link to it from AO3.  And some people might actually want to know all the thinky thoughts that went into tomorrow's story.  (There are a lot of thinky thoughts; let's put it this way, Bill did research for me for tomorrow's story. Bill. Research.  I mean, he's the king of weird research, but usually he just tells me where to look, he doesn't actually do it himself.)  Then again, they're probably all incorrect thinky thoughts because I'm not actually a historical researcher, I just pretend to be one for the sake of writing fic that is only mildly historically accurate.  See Example A, the Medieval Omegaverse, where books are plentiful and men get pregnant*.)

*This is meant to be a joke.  I know men cannot actually get pregnant.

Anyway, I have something like eight more Advent Calendar Drabbles to write... and then I have to figure out the next plan of attack, which is definitely going to be editing of some type.  I am 95% certain it'll be the Medieval Omegaverse, if for no other reason than the fact that it's shorter, though I think it'll require the most work.  But if I can get that in a workable shape, I get shove it to the next stage of beta, and then maybe start posting before Series 4 airs.  That would be nice.

(Really nice would be to write something that isn't Omegaverse.  Which is fun, yes, but.... I've written very little Omegaverse during the Drables, and I have to say, it's so nice not to have to deal with pheromones and estruses and frenzies.  Oh, flist, I am so flippin' glad we live in the normal world.  You have no idea.  Unless you also read/write a lot of Omegaverse, in which case, you probably do.)

I have an idea, though, for another original story, but I'm afraid it would be a bit longer than a short story, and apart from the tiny little germ of a concept, I don't know much else about it.  Though I think it could be funny.  If I ever have time to think about it some more, let alone write about it.


To do list, because if it is here, i am accountable )
azriona: (Mr Morton)
In honor of the fact that today I hit 50K for this year's Nano... I bring to you this year's Advent Calendar Drabble Request Post.

Prompt me a drabble. One to two words, name your fandom/pairing or suffer author's choice. If you're here, you know my main fandoms (Sherlock, Doctor Who, Harry Potter; if there's something you know/think I watch and want me to give it a go, by all means, we can discuss). Keep in mind that I have a habit of taking short prompts and turning them into chapter-length fics, so I don't promise they'll stick at 100 (or 221b) words. Feel free to specify a specific series I've written if you like.

(Incidentally, most of last year's drabbles far exceeded 100 words, and only a few stuck at 221. One was interactive, one was an art project, one helped me break writer's block on Fiddle, and two years ago, the resulting fic was so long it had to be posted on consecutive days.)

(Basically, I never follow directions. This explains a great deal about my 5-year-old, actually.)

If you're on Tumblr, please indicate your name over there so I can tag you when I post the story.

Requests will be taken until all slots are filled; drabbles will be posted daily between Dec 1 and Dec 25.  Only one request per person. As of Thursday noon, there are 8 prompts left.

All gone - more or less.  Thanks!
azriona: (Mr Morton)
(I have birthday video of Andrew, but I forgot to upload it to YouTube, so I'm going to do that now and if it's ready before I go to bed, I shall post it here, and if not, I shall do it in the morning.)


48,008 - so close, yet so far away.

Nano Nano Blah Blah Blah )

In other news:

You can now buy the anthology in which my story appears in book form:

In the US

In the UK

Just in time for Christmas.  Yay!

So, assuming I hit my 50K tomorrow (which is a likely assumption; I still have lots to say about young Sherlock and those missing years, and I think I know how to use it in Alpha2 anyway), the next items on the game plan are to write up my thoughts on the anthology and the short story and such, and also to post the Advent Calendar Drabble request post, because I do actually enjoy doing that and it'll give me something to focus on that's hopefully fun and frivolous and not as weighty and angsty as anything else I'm working on.  (Alphaverse = angsty.  Medieval Omegaverse = angsty, mostly on my part b/c the story requires a shit-ton of work at the moment.  Heart4 = fluffy puppies.  J/K, it's the Heart 'Verse, it's angst-on-a-stick, I literally cannot write a story in that Verse that is not in some way angsty.)

I had no idea I was the queen of angst.  I'm not sure how that happened.  If any of those Advent Calendar Drabbles turn angsty, you should all penalize me a chapter of Fiddle or something.

(Which is also angsty, and therefore probably the not the best of consequences.)
azriona: (Mr Morton)

25,320 words - halfway there!

After having a terrible writing weekend – in which I wrote nothing on Saturday, and excruciatingly little on Sunday – I kicked butt today and wrote nearly 5K.  I’m not going to claim they were all good words…but better, they were plot-driven.  In that I actually sat down and thought really hard about the background to the Alphaverse, and what makes it tick, and then I sat down again and actually plotted out the points of the story.

In which I blather a bit about the writing process )
Tl:dr –

Good news: I have a plan for the Alphaverse Part Two.

Bad news: It involves a major overhaul what’s currently written as well as some extensive reworking for Part One.



In other news, I’ve blocked Tumblr for the next two days so I can actually be able to sit and work on this, instead of being sidetracked by Tumblr.  If it goes well, I might end up blocking Tumblr the rest of the month.  I figure I can still access it on my phone – but it’s not like I’m writing on my phone, anyway.  It’s the time on the computer that is killing me, not the time on my phone.  The only time I access it on my phone anyway is when I’m taking brief Mommy breaks while Andrew is in the potty or playing with trains at the bookstore.

Lastly: at some point, I do intend to write up Andrew’s IEP, and thoughts on the published short story.  I have thoughts about both things, and I want to share them before I forget them.
azriona: (Mr Morton)
Does anyone have any advice on how to find a beta?  Preferably one who does not mind getting 58K worth of fic dumped in his/her inbox in one go?

Okay, fine, I'll get into some specifics here )

(This is nothing against my current lineup of betas, who are all lovely and much loved.  It's just that they're all busy and occupied and do not need 58K of fic dumped in their inboxes at the moment, or they have already said they don't want to read this particular story type.  I don't even want to ask some of them, because I know they're busy with upcoming events and debuts and whatnot, and I don't want them to feel guilty about having lives of their own.)

I think I'm good now - thank you!  
azriona: (cat in a box)
First and foremost, as I just had a worried call from my father-in-law: Andrew is fine.  He had a fever, it was gone by morning, he was jumping all over the place and so I packed him a lunch and sent him to school, and all was well.  We have no idea what caused the fever, but it was clearly short-lived.

Moving on.

Today has been an odd day.  Andrew has been in turns an absolute angel and the devil incarnate.  He woke up this morning wanting to sit and trace his name over and over, and completely huggy and happy and cheerful, and then progressed to sitting on his best friend’s face while the Mommies were on the other side of the gym doing Zumba.

I really have no idea.

But I can think of three truly awesome things that happened today, even if I don’t have a clue how to react to them:

1. I got to lead my first Zumba routine today. So a few weeks ago, the Zumba instructor introduced a new dance, this time to Imagine Dragon’s Top of the World, which I happen to love.  Except the dance was….not really dancey.  It was a lot of standing around and waiting to make the next move, none of which were really bouncy moves, and every time we did it, I would be in the middle of the room shaking my head and going, “No NO NO NO NO.”  So finally, about a week ago, I went up to her (I am way vocal about songs I like and do not like, I am totally THAT PERSON), and asked if she minded if I tried to choreograph something different.  To which she very graciously say, “Go for it.”

So I did.  And today, she let me present it to the class, and everyone liked it – or at least they were nice enough to not be me and say they didn’t like it, and so we’re going to do it again, and it is now MY SONG.  Which is cool…except now the Zumba instructor has given me homework, and I have to come up with a Zumba dance to the Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back,” because she saw Guardians of the Galaxy and it’s a good song.  There’s a weird salsa version online, and I’m going to see if I can’t backtrack that to the original Jackson Five version, because say what you will, Michael Jackson makes for excellent dancing music.

(We currently have Thriller in the rotation, because Halloween.)

2. Someone wants to pay me for baked goods. I like to bake, we all know this.  And I would rather not gain five thousand pounds (see above post re: Zumba), so I sent a majority of what I bake in with Bill to share with his co-workers.  Well, on particularly baking-heavy weeks, he filters the baked items out to other offices.  (I’m pretty sure there’s ulterior work-related motives in who gets them, but I don’t care as long as someone else is eating them.)

Anyway, there’s this one office that got cookies a few weeks ago, and Bill mentioned how I take requests.  (This is true; I love a challenge.)  So they asked for banana cake.  I made one, sent it in, and got a lovely thank-you note in return.  And also a request for pumpkin bread.

I made the pumpkin bread last night (there are pictures on Tumblr, it was way yummy warm with butter), and Bill took a loaf in this morning.  (In my defense, the recipe made two loaves, so I got some too.)

At noon, I got a phone call from one of the ladies in the office to thank me for the bread, which was apparently already gone.

And also another request, for more pumpkin bread, and also ginger molasses cookies.  (Those of you who were at Gridlock, those were the “Mrs Hudson cookies.”)  Except this time, she wants it for herself, and she wants them Monday, and she wants to pay me.

I….have no idea what to say to that.  I’ve always said that I’d make a terrible businesswoman because I don’t actually want you to pay for my stuff, I just want you to eat it.  And I’m finding that this is true – I really don’t want her to pay me for it, I’m just happy to make them.  But I also have the feeling that this might be a slippery slope, and if I don’t charge her something, I’m going to be her personal baker for the next two years, which I also don’t particularly want to do.

(Not to mention, I’m doing a lot of baking in the next week or so – I have to make the rum coconut cake for an event on Saturday, and I promised to make a cake for the community club next Thursday, and two of Bill’s coworkers have birthdays in the next few weeks and they have already put in requests for tiramisu and gelato.)

So…I kind of feel like I should charge at least something, but…I feel terrible doing it.  I’m not actually running a business, nor do I want to.  And I think there’s rules about living on government property and running your own business – but then, there’s people here who do it via those catalog-Tupperware-type parties, so it’s not this is new ground for anyone.

And then there’s the issue of how much I should charge, anyway.  What’s a loaf of pumpkin bread run at the grocery store, $3?  Maybe $6 at the farmer’s market?   And how many cookies would I have to provide? By the pound or by the dozen?  (One batch is usually around three dozen.)  So..another $5?  Or call it ten and be done with it?

(Or I had the thought to refuse payment on sheer principle and tell her to donate whatever she felt appropriate to the nearest food bank.  I am tempted…but that still doesn’t alleviate the fact that she might start taking advantage of my oven.)

So….tl:dr….awesome that someone actually wants to pay me for baked goods, because that is awesome, but…oh my lord, this is a can of worms I didn’t anticipate.

3. I figured out the Medieval Omegaverse porn issuesAnd I did it with the oldest trick in the book…well, second oldest, the oldest is probably a fade to black.  No, I just switched up POVs.  Previously, I was writing from John’s POV, and now it’s from Sherlock’s, and it’s much better.  Okay, I still haven’t gotten to the porn, and John is back to fully clothed again, but I wrote over 3,000 words today and they were the easiest words I’ve written all week, whereas the previous 2,000 were like drawing blood from a stone.

Anyway, Andrew has Bird Camp in the morning at the animal museum, so I will either hang at the Starbucks near the museum with my laptop and write porn, or I will check out the estate sales that are reported to be in that vicinity, because I do love me an estate sale, and I haven’t been to one in ages.  (And they’re best experienced without bouncy boys following you and wanting to touch things.)
azriona: (cat in a box)
I do most of my writing in the wee hours of the morning, before anyone else is awake.  (Well, the cat's usually awake and already prowling her territory against insurgent deer at that hour, but everyone else is asleep.)  I'll wake up, Cleo will hop up on the bed and lay next to me for a cuddle and a scratch, and purr her head off.  And I'll think about whatever scene is next on the list, and basically block it out in my head, figure out how characters would react and what they would say and where they would go and when they would do whatever needs doing.  I'll think about what I want to happen and how to get to the next part of the story.

And once I've done this, cemented the stages in my head, and Cleo's had her fill of scratches and I can tell that Bill's starting to wake because Cleo has the most ridiculously loud purr any cat has ever possessed, I'll get out of the bed and go downstairs and let her out and turn on the computer and pee and then sit down and write, and I don't do anything else until I'm done.

That's on a good morning.  If there's a morning where I sleep late, or Andrew wakes up early, or Cleo doesn't want to cuddle, or or or's a bit harder to get the writing done.  I've had a couple of bad mornings this week - well, not bad mornings exactly, they were perfectly fine mornings in the grand scheme of things, but in terms of blocking out my scenes, they haven't been exactly productive.  And the scene I have to write now - the scene I've been trying to write for the last few days, has been tricky.

Much ado about the Medieval Omegaverse, if you aren't all tired of hearing about that by now )

In other writing-related with the new school year begins another year for the community activities here.  The person who was heading the Writers Group is no longer here, which is actually not such a terrible thing, because she never actually did anything with the Writers Group except have an evening where she offered to let us all ask her questions about how she published her books.  Which is useful and all, I'm sure, but...not quite what I envision from a Writer's Group, you know?

Anyway, I reached out to the other person who wanted to do it last year, to see if she maybe wants to try again.  I'm tempted to try it anyway, if for no other reason that I'm feeling kind of inspired/energized after actually having a short story accepted (if not yet published).  Not that I have much to share at this point (I flatly refuse to submit fanfic to anything organized like that), but maybe being around other people writing original stuff will inspire me.  Clearly, I need the kick in the pants to write original stuff at all.

So we'll see where that goes. If it goes.  I'm a bit nervous about it, I'll be honest.  Partially because while I'm not ashamed of writing fanfic...I kind of don't want to admit it to the people here, most of whom are very, very, very conservative in both the religious and political sense, and if they went looking for what I write, would absolutely not like what they find.  Which is why I don't mention it to anyone.  Call it cowardly or whatever; it's just not something I bring up these days.

But what else do I say, if I'm in a writer's group.  "Hi, I'm Sharon, I have one short story that was accepted in a literary journal that hasn't been published yet and....that's it."  Well...I guess that is exactly what I say, but ever since the new batch of people have come in, Bill's been coming home and telling me all about how this new person has written two or three books and that person has written a screenplay and there's always been this perception in the Foreign Service about how every other person wants to write a book someday (and most of them are), and it's a bit intimidating.  Especially since the other perception is that we spouses don't do much except have garden parties and complain about our housekeeping.

(Also true, I have to admit, but that's only when some of us aren't writing smutty fanfiction.)

My point being that I'm pretty sure that when told "Oh, Bill's wife wants to write a book," and they know I stay at home and take care of Andrew all day, they're not really going to take me seriously.

(But then, none of them are doing anything to start a group, so thhhhbbbbttt:::: )

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