Saturday, December 31, 2016

Good-bye, 2016!

Well...there goes another year. The world is what it is. As for my writing progress, ha ha ha ha ha.

Obviously, I didn't manage to complete NaNoWriMo this year. I didn't even really start! I got so far as opening a new file and writing maybe a hundred words or so before I got distracted. It was supposed to be the second half of a previous NaNo project, but I failed to find any meaningful outlines or notes of where the story was meant to go, and nothing I thought up in the meantime felt very promising. So yeah.

I did get obsessed with "Once Upon a Time" (the ABC TV show) after binge-watching all five seasons over the summer. I finally got around to the show once "Fables" (the graphic novel series) was done, because I had all that "fairy tale characters in the modern world" head-space freed up. So yeah. I never could resist a crazy scheming wizard character. (I played a wizard character in my D&D game! A dwarf, even. Come to think of it, my alias "Taisch" originally came from a crazy mage character I had, a World of Darkness Nephandus.) And crazy sinister wizards are especially awesome when played by Robert Carlyle. And when they start out as the kindest character in the show, then somehow end up as the evil mastermind. As far as manipulative bastards go, Rumplestiltskin could definitely give the Seventh Doctor a run for his money.

Well, so, that wouldn't be so bad if I didn't like the first couple of seasons so much, and then dislike the later seasons more and more. In the normal way of things, I'd have quit watching the show (it's not Doctor Who, I don't have to watch it, LOL), but I ALREADY BOUGHT THE DAMN DVD SETS! Grrr. So there was nothing for it but to write nearly fifty thousand words of fanfiction to express my discontent. Too bad it wasn't all in November, or I could easily have made the NaNo goal. Ah well!

I'll probably get back to the Doctor Who one in January. If I can get my supposed plot untangled. There's a bit of a muddle right now, but I imagine it's time for the part where the Doctor gets captured and the villains exposit at him and then he escapes. Maybe? We'll see.

What I learned in 2016: Sweet tamarinds! Are packed up in boxes and available in ordinary American supermarkets! I had no idea. I hadn't ever seen them before in the local supermarket until last week. I didn't even know what they were at first. I mean, I've come across the word before, and knew it was some fruit thing, but I had to google after I got home with the box. Apparently these were grown in Thailand. And come from some mutant variety that are all sweet. They reminded me of the random brown seed pods that grow on... some kind of plants... around here when I'm not paying any attention to them. So yeah. Sweet tamarinds. The outer shells were thin and brittle, easily peeled off. Then inside, take off the stringy brown bits and eat the sweet pulpy stuff and spit out the seeds. Huh. The flavor was familiar, but I'd never had it in this form before. No one else in the family liked them, though.

So there you go. *waves a sweet tamarind pod at 2016*

See you in 2017!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Why? Why did I start writing another damned Doctor Who fanfiction?

It's the middle of August, and I'm still writing Doctor Who fanfiction. It's kinda addictive. Bah, humbug. So I finished the Lost Girl crossover I was writing before, started and then failed to complete an entry for the Big Finish short story competition, finished an entry for a forum challenge on, and started the Doctor Who/Kencyrath crossover/alternate universe I was threatening. Also, Cookie Clicker, because I kept annoying my kids by claiming I was going to do a Doctor Who/Cookie Clicker crossover, because as far as I can tell, no one's done it before. So there. (I don't think anyone's done DW/Kencyrath before, either, but anyway...)

Oddly enough, the beginning is all grimdark. Well, the Kencyrath books are grimdark in places, and I'm basing parts of the Doctor's childhood on the Big Finish audio "Master", which is also very grimdark. So yeah. All I can say is, it made sense at the time. Also, the Gallifreyans are terrible parents/guardians for their children. Apparently. But Gallifreyan children are more intelligent, more resilient, and have better regenerative capabilities than humans. (Same is more or less true of Kencyrs!) Still pretty miserable, though.

I'm having a major point of divergence with how the Gallifreyans handled the "Fall" versus the Kencyrath. I'm casting Rassilon as Gerridon, and instead of being reviled, he ended up as the founding father of modern Gallifreyan civilization. Mwah ha ha ha ha! And I'm making up some of my own Shanir traits and powers. But clearly the Pythia was a super-powerful Shanir maledight! A potential Tyr-ridan, by my reckoning. As for the rest, the Doctor is clearly Jame, the Master is Tori, and the Doctor's cousin Innocet is Kindrie. River Song is Bane (not Brax, as one might expect.) Clearly! The priesthood is different on Gallifrey, though. We have the Sisterhood of Karn, the monks and hermits that are hinted at, the Weeping Sisterhood (that I made up, and retconned the Visionary and the Woman in White/Innocet as being members), and probably others. I'm not doing the three (four?) races thing, though. Maybe the Time Lords are like the Highborn, but there's no association with being Shanir. The closest to the Arrin-ken might be the Sisterhood of Karn.

Anyway, it's all kind of a fun thought experiment for me. I'm easily amused. Let's see how it all turns out...

Linky: Gallifreyan Tyr-ridan on Ao3

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The end is nigh (I hope)

...of the Doctor Who fanfiction I'm currently writing, that is. Gah. It's MAY. I've been writing this stupid thing for five months. It's at about 76K words posted so far. There should only be a few more chapters to go, but it's such a slog. I really want to have this done by the end of May, so I can think about submitting something for the Big Finish short story competition. I am completely unable to work on more than one story at a time.

So this post-as-I-go experiment continues. I think it does help in keeping me moving forward, because I want to put up a new chapter each week. It's a pity that it's the story I wanted to read, but not necessarily any other people. It's never going to be popular. Oh well! It's fun for me to write, but it's still...a...slog. I hope I don't end up hating it. I already hate all the characters a bit. Grrr. Way to destroy my love of the show, you idiot.

My kids are probably sick of me muttering "must...finish...chapter!" and telling them about my plot (such as it is.) My son just gives me advice like "Make Rassilon more like Donald Trump!" Ha ha. Yeah. Well, I told him about how Rassilon took over with his promise to "Make Gallifrey great again!" and was disintegrating anyone who spoke up against him. And how he was the ultimate paranoid xenophobic Time Lord megalomaniac. Ha ha ha ha ha.

The sad thing is that my version of the Master/Missy ended up being nicer than Gwendolyn Chant in the end. (Dang, that Gwendolyn was such a sociopath!) (The comparison came up in my head because Missy was using the Doctor in much the same way Gwendolyn was using Cat/Eric Chant in "Charmed Life". Nine-lived enchanters are probably some kind of Time Lords!) In my defense, Missy did say she wanted her friend back. (Who else would put up with her, anyway?) (One thing Moffat did right: he didn't make Missy the Rani! That would have been awful. Missy wasn't anything like the Rani.)

Anyway. The end... must... reach... the end...

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I should do more revision...

I managed to "edit" my fruit trees last month, so I should be able to do it to my novels. But I felt bad enough lopping off all those tree branches, and I didn't even have to grow them myself. Chopping away all those words that I spent so much effort writing in the first place? *cries* Oh well, gotta be done.

And then there's those head-desking moments where I read through my story and realize that the thing that was OMG!!!!111!!! Can't do that ever! NO! at the end of one chapter turned into "Sure, let's do it, that's brilliant" at the beginning of the next chapter. GAH! What was I thinking? Maybe there was some technobabble distinction (which didn't quite make it to the page) between Bad Thing and Good Thing, but still... *kicks self repeatedly*. So there's another reason it was a bad idea to post my fanfiction chapter by chapter as I write it.

One continuity error I just barely managed to catch, in the last round of editing in the web browser before I hit the "post" button. I had to hastily rewrite a few paragraphs to fix it. But at least I fixed it. *whew* Then there were the stupid typos (repeated words, character name mix-ups) that got through the spell-check and through all my rounds of editing that I didn't notice until weeks after it's been posted. Grrrr.

So yeah. I'll try to do better next time. (Isn't that what I say about the kites, too? Kite festival coming up soon! Must... make... kites...)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Still... not... done...

So it's the middle of March and I'm still hacking away at the Doctor Who novel thingy I started writing in January. It takes me longer than NaNo, since I'm editing and posting as I go. I'm experimenting with the serialized novel thing. It's interesting so far, but it's worrying that I might just write myself into a corner. Bah. And what if I change my mind about things halfway through? And it's hard to remember my bits of foreshadowing by the time I actually get around to writing the things that were foreshadowed. I guess in real life, authors go back and revise, which is why Jin Yong's 2nd editions are better than his first! The 3rd editions I'm not so sure about, LOL.

Anyway, I did ask myself the question, "What was Susan (the Doctor's granddaughter) doing during the Last Great Time War?" 12K or so words later, I have my answer. A depressing answer, but hey, at least now I know (as far as my headcanon is concerned.) I also decided on who the mysterious Visionary and Woman in White from the "End of Time" TV episodes were, so yay for me. And it's still part of my Zagreus (the Big Finish audio) sequel, despite the horrified reaction when I mentioned it on a Doctor Who forum. Also, as an obsessive fan, I went and made up stuff about what the "Cruciform" was, exactly (and ended up making the Doctor a Christ figure all over again --- d'oh!) and what happened to Romana and why couldn't they just blow up Skaro back in the beginning of time, etc.

So that was a bit of a sidetrack. But still relevant, since the "present-day" Susan is an important part of the main plotline. Main plotline. I should get back to that. *mumble mumble* Mmm... but will still have one more flashback chapter. And then there's the bits of Bo and Lauren from the "Lost Girl" side of things that I intend to write at some point.

Yeah. Looks like I'll still be working on this thing in April.

Fun, though. At least I am still enjoying writing this. Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

I'll be even happier if/when I finish. *crosses fingers*

Monday, February 8, 2016

Happy Year of the Monkey!

Which makes three "happy" posts in a row. It must mean something.

Actually, I'm at that stage (at around 30K words) where I hate my work-in-progress (the Doctor Who thingy I'm currently writing) and just want it to be over so I can go think about the other story I am suddenly interested in (the NaNo from a few years back that had way too many characters and a confusing plot).

Too many characters, but not a single one of them was a monkey! (I had a rabbit, a phoenix, a toad, a snake, a dog, a crow, and who knows what else, just no monkey.) And they kept wanting to fight each other. I vaguely remember getting fed up with that story because the characters were so violent all the time. But now after rereading it, I kinda want to know how it all turns out. So...probably needs another 75K words or so. Heaven knows how many more stupid unrealistic fight scenes I'd have to write. Argh. It was the whole wuxia mixed with Chinese folklore thing I had going at the time.

After taking a break, I've gotten back into the genre, what with having another try at reading the PDF of Jin Yong's "Demi-gods and Semi-devils" I have on my Kindle. The main problem is that it's in Chinese. Traditional Chinese (after I'd finally got used to simplified Chinese.) It's disheartening to turn on my Kindle and be faced with a page of half-gibberish (because my Chinese is so terrible that I only know about half the words and sort of know the meanings of another quarter of the words but don't know how they are pronounced) and slowly slowly get through a chapter. I promised myself I'd watch (one of) the TV adaptations of the novel once I finished reading it. That was...what...five years ago!? (I did read the Six-fingered Zither Demon novel in the meantime, if only to prove to myself how ridiculously unfaithful the TV adaptation was. But that's unfair. It was based on the movie adaptation, not on the novel. Still.)

Anyway...monkey monkey monkey. I was watching some TV adaptation of "Journey to the West", but as usual, I got bored before the journey part of the story even started. Bah! At least this time I got as far as the Tang monk setting off and almost reaching the mountain where the monkey is imprisoned... Well. I should watch it to the end once in my life. But this is why I actually prefer movie adaptations of the story. They can focus on easily digestible chunks of the long long long long long episodic novel. Mostly the movies assume everyone's basically familiar with the story, so they can just skip to the interesting bits, while the TV adaptations seem to drag endlessly through the origin and early life of the monkey (and accumulation of names/titles up to Great Sage Equal to Heaven etc). Of course I could just skip those episodes, but then I feel I'm cheating.

Anyway...must...finish...Doctor Who...novel... (because yeah yeah yeah, I kinda want to know how that one turns out, too, because before I get to actual typing it's all "oh, well, they do something, and somehow end up there, and then it's all bad, but then they get back and fix things, the Doctor does stuff, then sumpin' sumpin' sumpin' and we have a happy ending (except sad because so-and-so is all dead dead dead or a ghost or stuck in the 5-star afterlife hotel) and people fly off in their TARDISes hooray! We breathe a sigh of relief and vow never to do that again."

Quality control? Making sense? Revision? What's that? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Happy 2016!

And it's the last day of January already. Whee!

I suppose it's better than most Januaries, since I did get about 25K words written this month. On the other hand, they are not words in my NaNo novel (any of them, come to that.) It's 25K words of a Doctor Who fanfiction I got obsessed with writing. I watched Eric Roberts playing Hades (evil evil Hades) in "Lost Girl" this fall, and I couldn't help thinking he was obviously the Master, except without the silly "Time Lord" robes he was wearing in the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie. Hades had one of those complicated and silly plans to take over the world typical of the Master. He was messing with everyone's heads and indulging in a bit of random murder, just like the Master. So of course it had to be him!

And then I was annoyed with the Doctor Who season finale in 2015 ("Hell Bent"). And the whole thing with Clara having about half a dozen departure fake-outs. She's leaving! Nope, she's staying. She's leaving! Just one last adventure... oh wait, she's staying again. She's leaving, definitely definitely leaving this time. Oh wait, she's back for the Christmas special. Ok, she's gotta be leaving this time, right? Ha ha, fooled you! Oh noes!!!!! Clara is DEAD!!! Truly, permanently, no takesies-backsies dead dead dead and... oh. The Doctor just saved her again. Not only that, he solved the "fragile human" thing by making her practically immortal (and we all know how well that turned out with Ashildr, the most boring immortal ever (I exaggerate)).

He shouldn't have done that, because supposedly time will break and it will be Bad. No, wait, everything's fine. La la la, two immortal women flying off in a diner in space (hey, wasn't that Sapphire and Steel, except that had a male/female pair?). And why is Clara half of this "Hybrid" when a) that isn't what a hybrid is and b) he went through exactly the same thing before with Charlotte Pollard. I would call Clara a "catalyst". It makes more sense for the "Hybrid" just to be the Doctor (but not necessarily for the half-human bit.) (And he did admit it in the end. Another retcon, but the show is full of them.) And the Doctor STILL can't cope with his loss other than by giving himself amnesia. Yeah, that's a great lesson for us all. *headdesks*

So, clearly, CLEARLY I had to combine those two ideas to write my "fix-it" (ha) while incidentally indulging in my Doctor/Master shippy fantasies and figuring out what happened to Susan (the Doctor's granddaughter) in the Time War. (And running a compare/contrast on how the Doctor and the Master treat their families, and a compare/contrast between Bo/Lauren and Doctor/Master. Something like that.) (And while being amused that the TV show was basically recycling a bunch of Big Finish plots, which were in turn possibly recycling a bunch of VNA/EDA plots, etc.) Obviously. I had to do it. *smiles and nods*

Yeah, no, it probably makes no sense to anyone else. Ah well. Hopefully I can finish it off in February, and then I can stop thinking about it. (I can already see the sequel in my mind, another crazy crossover: Doctor Who x Chronicles of the Kencyrath: "Gallifreyan Tyr-ridan". No, really, it explains eeeeeeeeeverything. Um. You may think I'm kidding, but I'm not. I'm going to write that. Seriously. My apologies in advance to P.C. Hodgell.)

Meanwhile, I'm posting it as I go to AO3 (the "Archive of Our Own" fanfiction site). Maybe that was a bad idea, because that just makes me worry about people reading it, and then thinking that I ought to try to make sure the novel is not too confusing to people who are not me. And then actually hoping people will read it. Bah.

Still, for me, the nice thing about fanfiction is that my threshold to sit down and start typing is way lower than it is for my original fiction. I don't even need to bribe or threaten myself. Next chapter, here we go!