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Sunday, February 21st, 2016
9:06 am - For my reference
Delayed Due dates

Things I have submitted original stories to
James White Award at the end of January (Had Things Gone Differently -
Did not make the long list.)
Daily Science Fiction on 2/19 (Wings/Dame Nyx -
Rejected 3/4)
Beyond Ourselves - March 1 (Maria and Moesha) (I am so lame - there is a page where I can check it's status - I check it like a dozen times a day. - Rejected 5/13)

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Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017
10:11 pm - BTF/NYR fic
I wrote this as a part of the btfchallenge. It is also a yuletide nyr fic.  It is based on a short film that is 100% worth the 15 minutes it takes to watch it.  This is a hard sci fi story.  No magic. No technoloigy indistinguishable from magic.  Just a good, old fashioned Orion Drive.

The Crew
(4883 words) by spiderfire
Fandom: C: 299792 Kilometers Per Second (Short Film)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Lt. Commander Malleck, Operator Tam, Operator Hale, Lt. Kai, Porter, The Captain
Additional Tags: Backstory, POV Multiple
Summary:

In the days before the Kestros IV left System Sol forever, final preparations are made.

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Wednesday, April 19th, 2017
9:48 pm - compost
Me, about an hour before I started sifting compost today - Honey, have you seen the pitchfork?

DW: It's probably in the shed out back.

Me: It's not. I looked.

So, I went onward and did the compost without the ptich fork. I am about a foot down into the pile when, what should I find?  the Pitchfork!  (And also a tablespoon, a paring knife and a screwdriver.)

Thank you compost for yeilding up my treasures! :) 

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Sunday, March 19th, 2017
11:33 am - NaNo draft done!
Three and a half months after the end of NaNo, I have now finished the first draft of my Nano Novel!!!!

It is clocking it at 81,160 words.

Next steps
1) Take a break, write some fan fic.  (btfchallenge & jukebox_fest and maybe write some gratuitous Bucky because it has been a while.)
2) print the beast out. Figure out where I need
  - more character work (there is a whole host of secondary characters that I found I needed as I was writing this thing)
  - more worldbuilding work
3) Plan a re-write
  -Right now the thing is 80k with no chapter breaks.  Look at where natural breaks occur.  Look at where I can outright delete stupid stuff. Look at what I need that doesn't exist yet.
  - re-write the whole thing, this time working scene by scene, chapter by chapter

Here is the last scene:


There was a knock and she looked up. Madison was standing in the door to her room, wearing the dark red-orange uniform of a crew member of dispatch and control.  Like Skylar she had no dots on her collar.  “Ready?” Madison asked.

Skylar shook her head, “No,” she said, but she tossed the tablet aside and stood up anyway.  The drop was slightly less than it had been on the planet and she constantly felt like she was about to lift off.

“Let’s go,” Madison said.

“I’m sorry you had to wait so long to get your dot,” Skylar said.  “You should have made crew weeks ago.”

Madison shrugged.  “Operator and scout always go together,” Madison said.   “Unless…” Madison didn’t say it, but they both knew that sometimes the young scouts died before taking their oath.  “I’m just glad you are here to stand with me,” Madison said.  “I am glad I waited.”

“Me too,” Skylar said.  “Me too.”

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Monday, February 6th, 2017
8:36 pm - Struggling
I am having a tough time with writing these days.  I am nearly 6K behind for being on pace for my year goal.  But I wrote some today, so that is good.  I just want to finish the first draft of Spero.

Does anyone else wake up and check the news each morning, wondering if we got into a war or if something else horrid happened over night? 

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Sunday, January 1st, 2017
9:24 pm - Yuletide 2016
It was a good yuletide!

I got a story about Syndey from the Pretender - my favorite grey hat from that world of one shining bright light, and a whole lot of dark.

Renewal of Values (2121 words) by Marie_L
Fandom: The Pretender (TV)
Relationships: Jarod & Sydney
Additional Tags: Pre-Canon, Canon Compliant, The Centre (the Pretender), Emotional Manipulation
Summary:

Sydney must decide how far to let the Centre go with Jarod. Again.


****

And I wrote two stories - a pinch hit in the Tripods universe - the first time I have ever actually nabbed a pinch hit as opposed to treating people who got sent out on the PH list.  The request was for more of Will's POV.

Backpack (2708 words) by spiderfire
Fandom: The Tripods - John Christopher
Characters: Will Parker (The Tripods), Beanpole (The Tripods), Henry (The Tripods), Original Characters
Additional Tags: Canon-Typical Violence, Missing Scene, Vagrants, Original Character Death(s), Canon Compliant
Summary:

Some encounters Will, Henry and Beanpole had on their way to the White Mountains.

*****

And my main story was a real treat for me.  I matched on Werewolf: the Apocolypse - which meant I got to write what largely was original fic set in the werewolf world. SO AWESOME.  The request was for kinfolk.

Duty to tribe (6627 words) by spiderfire
Fandom: Werewolf: The Apocalypse
Characters: Original Male Character(s), Original Characters, Original Male Character(s) of Color, Original Werewolf Character(s), original kinfolk characters, Original Child Character(s)
Additional Tags: Past Violence, off screen dubcon, Family, Duty, black furies, Kinfolk
Summary:

Eric Jensen is the proprietor of a trendy cafe, raising his three kids as a single dad, and trying to have relationship with his boyfriend, Aaron. He is also kinfolk to the Black Furies. I'll give you one guess as to what is the hardest part of his life.

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Saturday, December 31st, 2016
10:55 pm - 2016 writing round up
2016 was a different sort of writing year for me.  I posted just 10 fanfics this year for a total of 36K of words, but I wrote nearly 200k - which is a lot for me. Most of it was in original works - the novel project I am working on and a variety of short stories that I have submitted various places (and had rejected - oh well).

Thanks to getyourwordsout, I have tracked both my words and my writing days this year and I have some cool graphs.  The first one shows my YTD wordcount in blue and my goal (150K) in red.  The month where the blue line takes off is thanks to NaNo! I wrote a total of 193,214 words!



My second graph shows the number of days I wrote in green. The purple like is the 1-1 line.  I wrote SOMETHING for a total of 262 days in 2016 or about 71% of the days I wrote.  Go me. :)



And finally, this year's wordle. Since I posted so little, this was made using all of my writing for this year. Skylar is the main character in the novel, Madison, Morgan/MRGN, Avery and Quin are other characters in that project. Maria and Moesha are vampire hunters and the main characters in another story I wrote.  Words I clearly overuse: back, one, around, looked, time, like, going, get, just, like...


Writing Goals for 2017:
1) Finish the first draft of the novel (about 10K to go!)
2) Do a second draft of the novel. (This will require revising and adding to my character sketches and worldbuilding docs, as well as a complete rewrite)
3) Participate in (at least) jukebox_fest,not_primetime and yuletide.
4) Do something in each of the MCU and Les Mis fandoms. (Exchanges? Finish WIP? Something new? TBD)
5) Write a NYR fic for a microfandom where the main character is this awesome hero/villian sociopath.
6) Submit some stories.  Maybe revise Maria and Moesha (the vampire hunters) and try again on that story, somewhere else.  Maybe some flash fiction.  

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Wednesday, November 30th, 2016
4:39 pm - NaNo - Made it!
I am now 2/3 of the way through my story, roughly, but:



Here is a wordle of the story so far:



And here are the words that got me there.



<The yellow is a deposit of raw trisiunium nitrate,  the blue is chlorimate. They can be reacted to make fuel.>

“How does that help?” Skylar asked, as a vague memory of the chemistry she had had to study as a second year cadet, stirred in her mind.

<The engines can be run backwards,> MRGN reminded her.

Skylar blinked, pushing over to look at the map.  “I can use the burn chamber as a reaction chamber,” Skylar said, remembering the process.  “We can make our own fuel.”

MRGN zoomed in on a region of the map.  There was a blotch of blue overlapping with a blotch of yellow to make a region of green.  <There is a place where both minerals can be found.>

“We can make our own fuel,” Skylar said.  “We can go home.”

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Thursday, November 24th, 2016
9:48 pm - NaNo - 40K! 80% done!

Today, I hit 40K! 10K to go.  I can do it!

The rough draft won't be done, but that's okay.

***

The walk over to Common three took a while.  The main corridor got increasingly crowded as they walked, filled with colorfully dressed people, mostly in casual clothes, not uniforms.  There were groups gathered together talking, there were musicians on the street performing. There were two Dohi who did a tumbling thing together that was kind of incredible to watch. There was a group of Rendann singing a bawdy song. Skylar didn’t recognize any of the lyrics, but she knew the tune, and she knew that it involved verses where each one was more improbable than the last.  There was an undercurrent of hilarity, of panic beneath it all. At one point, Madison suggested that they swing over to a side corridor so they could get there faster, but Skylar refused. Adventure begins at home, she reminded herself, twisting the bracelet around her wrist.  She needed to see home. To soak it in.

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Friday, November 18th, 2016
8:59 pm - NaNo update - 30K!!!!!!
When I started NaNo - I thought a goal of 1K a day was pretty ambitous (considering up until that point, thanks to getyourwordsout I had been averaging about 400 words a day).  However, I am exactly on pace to win NaNo - averaging 1.6-1.7 words a day so far this month.

At 30K I also hit the end of the first disaster section of the story. Skylar, my main character, went out on a mission, that mission went badly awry.  Here are a few (very rough) words from when she is saved from certain death.

****

The next time Skylar woke up, she was warm.  She was in a bed.  Well, sort of. She was laying down, with webbing stretched across her, giving her a sense of the bed pressing against her, but her arms were floating by her sides.  She opened her eyes.  It was bright. She closed her eyes again and tried to remember what happened.  She and Morgan had run out of fuel, run out of air. She had been so, so cold. She had thought she was going to die.
A familiar voice said, “Hey, are you waking up, Sky?”

She opened her eyes again. The glare was no so bad this time.  A figure in light green hovered by her side.  She blinked her eyes and Quin came into focus.

“Hey,” he said with a smile.

It slowly began to dawn on Skylar that she was alive.  “What happened?” she asked, her voice coming out in a croak. Her lips were very chapped and cracked.

Quin picked up a bulb of water and brought it over to her, holding the straw up to her lips. “Here,” he said.

She took a sip and the cool water tasted so good.  She she tried to grip the bulb in her hands, but her fingers were shaking so badly they slipped off. “You are still weak,” Quin said.

With a wet tongue she licked her lips.  They stung.  “What happened,” she asked again.

“You are on the Caron,” Quin said.  “We picked up your beacon and found you adrift.”

“It worked?” Skylar said.

“The beacon worked,” Quin agreed.  “After control lost contact with you six days ago, we were sent out to look for you.  Caron is on scout support, and we found you about a lightyear short of Spero, and about half a lightyear behind where you should have been.”

“Six days?” Skylar said.  Oh, god.  Madison must be beside herself. And her parents.

“Six days,” Quin confirmed.

“Navigation was out,” Skylar said.

“Yeah.  The entire communications array was torn off its mountings and dangling from the hull by a few wires.  How did you do that?”

“Collided with a comet, coming out of supra light.”

Quin shook his head. “You got lucky,” Quin said.

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Saturday, November 12th, 2016
8:45 pm - Nano update - 40% done!
I hit 20K today! At this point, this story officially has become the longest thing

I have written.  Unlike my last attempt at a longer story, where I had to pretty much drag every single word from my head with a fish hook, this story is going well. In fact, I am 20K in, and the actual story is just about to begin, in term
s of the hero's journey
.
The MC is about to answer the call to adventure. Until this point, everything has been set up - explaining the
world, the supporting characters, etc.  I am psyched to get her into her space ship tomorrow. :)

A few things that has become abundantly clear to me is
1) The story will be longer than 50K when I am done - winning NaNo, will only get me half way through my outline, I think.

(And then I look at that sentence and thing: What alien has kidnapped Avon - she is conteplating a 100k story!  Who knew that was even possible?)

2) The revision process on this story will be substantially different than anything else I have ever written.  It is going to need a complete and total rewrite.  I am not quite sure what that will look like, but my shorter stuff I write and polish. This is going to need a lot more work before it is time to polish.

Here is a snippet from today:

Mike walked into the common room and Vray leaned back and called him over. “Mike!” he shouted. “Are you this kid’s trainer?”


Mike looked at Skylar, took a deep breath and looked back at Vray. “What did she do now?”

Skylar frowned at Mike.  Vray said, “She says she doesn’t know how to dice.  How did you let her get away with that?”

Mike looked at Skylar.  He knew damn well she played.  She had once beat him out of a whole box of fresh berries that he’d picked at his family’s garden.  He met her eyes, a smile in his eyes, before he turned back to Vray. He shook his head.  “She’s a tough case,” he said. “She’s a natural with the ship, but not so good with people.  I tried to teach her back when she was new, but she just couldn’t keep track.”

It was all Skylar could do to keep a straight face.  Mike had pretty much described the opposite person than she was. She had struggled mightily to master the ship interface. Being still and focused for long times was incredibly hard for her.

“Well,” said the first pilot. “We should remedy that.  Come here, kid.”  He scooted his stool over to make room for another.  “We’ll take it easy on you.”


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Sunday, November 6th, 2016
8:45 pm - NaNo - 20% done!
I hit 11K today! Although some of that I copied and pasted from my character sketches that I wrote before november so I am only going to claim 10K  or so.

Here, have a few words from the the end of the openning sequence.

*****


Avery and Quin walked side by side through the throng, with Madison and Skylar following.  “How is Avery doing?” Skylar asked.

Madison shrugged. “Tracy is a shit,” she said.  “He had a huge fight with Avery last night.”  These days, Avery had dinner with Madison’s family, nearly every day.  “Avery was mortified afterwards.”

“Oh,” Skylar said.  Tracy was a few years older than Madison and he clearly had gotten all the looks in the family.  Avery had been looking up to him for years and recently that mentorship had turned into open adoration that made Tracy uncomfortable.  “What a terrible day it must have been for him.”

“Yeah,” Madison agreed.  “Look.”

Quin and Avery were walking close enough that their shoulders touched. “Do you think?” Skylar asked.

Madison shook her head with a trace of a smile.  “I have no idea.”

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Saturday, November 5th, 2016
7:24 am - Homophones. Shoot me now.
It's too early in November for this. I just typed the following

"we aren't aloud to ..."

And I found myself staring at those words for several minutes before I figured out what was wrong.

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Thursday, November 3rd, 2016
9:27 pm - Nano - 10% there!
First off, a huge thank you to all you lovely people who are cheering me on! Yay. :)

Here's a snippet of a few hundred words at the 5K mark. Minimal editing has been done.

What I have learned so far: It is really, really hard to write about people moving about in zero g. You can't walk. You can't sit. Well, not really. You don't fall. When an explosion rocks your spaceship, stuff doesn't fall out of the places where it was stored - it just sort of slowly floats out.

Fortunately, the next chunk of story is, as my favorite sci fi writer DKM says, in drop.

***

The people in the room arranged themselves in a rough sphere around the projector, floating so they all got a good view. After a few seconds, the tube of light vanished and there was Spero, suspended in space. The tenders were on station. The trainees were going through their exercises, but fast. Skylar looked at the timestamp and saw that the time was advancing at two or three times the normal rate. Then she saw MRGN come into view.

“That’s me,” she said, as she made her spiraling tour of the space around Spero.

“What were you doing?” Jasper asked.

“Sightseeing,” Ally said.

“The bow deflector looked funny,” Skylar said. “MRGN wanted to…” but her voice faded out as she thought about the bow deflector.

The trainees disappeared into the Spero. MRGN docked. The tenders moved about.

And then there was a brilliant flash and the recording stopped.

“What happened?” several people said at once.

“Wait,” Fran said. She darted back out of the room and the image reset a few seconds before the explosion. The scene moved forward in slow motion. This time, they caught it. One of the tenders working on one of the ring exploded and crashed into the ring. A huge gash was torn out of the ring, with debris flying everywhere. The image goes dark again.

“Oh my god,” someone says in the silence.

“How did that happen?”

“Fran, replay it again, at half the speed you just showed us,” Jasper said.

“Sure,” she said.

They watch it a third time, and this time right before the collision, Jasper says, “There. See it!”

“See what?”

“Right before the explosion. There is a rock, a meteor that comes through the deflector. It hit the tender.”

“The deflector is down?”

“What is happening now?”

“The damage can’t be too bad, or there’d be wobble in the rotation, precesssion we could feel.”

“How can you say that? There was…” Ambo gestured helplessly at the hologram which was frozen on the last frame, showing debris flying away in all directions.

“We don’t know how bad it is,” Jasper said quietly. “It might have just been…” but he fell silent when everyone turned to look at him.

“Oh gods,” Ambo said.

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Monday, October 31st, 2016
10:34 pm - Nano here I come!
I'm doing nano this year!! I'd love any encouragement anyone wants to lob my way. :)

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Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016
11:42 am
Shoot me now. My daughters googled me and found me on that oh so useful site: ratemyteachers.com

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Wednesday, July 20th, 2016
9:06 am - Anyone want to give me some feedback?
I am working on a novel.  I think most of you know that because I talked about World Building June over on tumblr before.  The novel is nominally a present for my kids, but I suspect they will graduate college before it is done. Anyway.

I am struggling with the outline.  I am not trying for anything innovative - basic hero's journey/three act structure is my goal.  I am trying to use the snowflake method of outlining and I would love some feedback.

Here is the one sentence summary: A young scout searches for a home for her people.

The next step is to write a paragraph summary.  Five sentences.  First sentence is the setting, then three disasters and the conclusion.  In terms of the three act structure, the first disaster is the end of the first act, the second is the midpoint of the second act, the third is the end of the second act and the conclusion is the third act.  I have two ideas.

Idea #1:The G.Is.S. Spero is a vast generation ship that has been traveling between the stars for thousands of years.  (1)Systems can only be repaired so many times, and the hull breech was both tragic and inevitable.  (2) Desperate to repair the ship, scouts are sent on dangerous missions which result in injuries and deaths.  (3) Defying orders, Skylar takes risks and gets injured, looking for a home.  (C) With help from her friends, she gets back out there and finds a planet.

However, it occured to me after I wrote this, that my main character, Skylar the scout, does not really have much agency until Disaster #3 and maybe that is too late.  So then I thought, what if I move the hull breech tragedy into the backstory?

Idea #2:
The G.Is.S. Spero is a slowly failing, vast generation ship that has been traveling between the stars for thousands of years. (1) Desperate to repair the ship, scouts are sent on a dangerous, risky mission which result in injuries and deaths.  (2) Skylar, realizing the ship needs to be scrapped not repaired, pushes the range of her scout ship resulting in her having insufficient resources to get back. (3) Trying to repair the ship, Skylar crashes on a planet.  (C) Once she gets back in space, her scanner picks up the planet of their dreams.

This moves Skylar's agency forward to disaster #2 and it more closely aligns with the hero's journey model.  However, it reduces the role of the supporting cast substantially because for the majority of Act 2 and 3, Skylar will be off on her own with only "radio" contact back home.

Does anyone have any thoughts?

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Thursday, June 9th, 2016
9:56 pm - Jukebox - Another fic update
Jukebox revealed!  That means I can tell you all about the story I wrote.  It was a very hard story for me to write, in part because the song it is based on makes a minimal amount of sense.  Anyway, here it is.

Scared (5561 words) by spiderfire
Fandom: Scared - The Tragically Hip
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Additional Tags: Jukebox Fanworks Exchange, Apologies to Supernatural, Apologies to C.S. Lewis and The Screwtape Letters, Apologies to Dante, Moral Lessons, I hope this makes at least as much sense as the song, which is a pretty low bar
Summary:

Albert Gutmann had no idea what he was getting into when he decided to try to barter for Joe Belial's soul.

I also got two amazing gifts!!!  (A treat! I got a treat!)

No Fairytale Endings Here (1403 words) by sweetcarolanne
Fandom: Don't Stand So Close to Me - The Police (Song)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Underage
Characters: Original Female Character(s), Original Male Character(s)
Additional Tags: Implied Childhood Sexual Abuse, Creepy, Disturbing Themes, Angst, Schoolgirls, Fantasy, Regret, Gossip, Lies, Crushes, Swearing, Teacher-Student Relationship, Implied/Referenced Rape/Non-con, No Sex
Summary:

It wasn't supposed to be like this... her romantic fantasies about her handsome young teacher had all gone wrong, and she didn't want this anymore.



Be and Be not Afraid (1587 words) by karrenia_rune
Fandom: 100 Years-Five for Fighting(song)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Characters: Original Characters
Additional Tags: Gift Exchange, Inspired by Music, Fic or Treat Meme
Summary:

As an adult with two kids of her own a young woman named Sally comes back to her roots in Brooklyn, New York to interview her paternal grandmother and learns a great deal more about herself and her family than she ever expected.

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Monday, June 6th, 2016
9:29 pm - Writing update!
1) My Les Mis bang fic got posted!

The year is 1976 (9210 words) by spiderfire, Chrissy24601
Chapters: 16/16
Fandom: Les Misérables - All Media Types
Relationships: Javert & Jean Valjean
Characters: Jean Valjean, Javert (Les Misérables), Fantine (Les Misérables)
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Historical, Montreuil-sur-Mer, Alternate Universe - 1970s, Canon-Typical Violence, Period-Typical Sexism, Les Mis Across History, Big Bang Challenge, POV Multiple, Many Many OCs, race bent characters, Male Character of Color, Female Character of Color, chromatic big bang
Series: Part 2 of Les Mis / Civil rights
Summary:

The year is 1976 and Madeleine has been in Montrey-by-the-Sea for four years. One day, a man accidentally drives his car into the front of a popular pizza place.

Check out the beatiful art Chrissy did! This was a bit of an adventure in multiple POV storytelling. I tried something different than before, with the perspective hopping from one person to another.  I'd love thoughts and feedback!

2) I am doing World Building June over on Tumblr.  I am working on a world I call Spero, for now. It is an original science fiction world that I am hoping to tell a YA novel-length story for my kids in.  The setting is in a generation ship, 100 generations after they left their home planet.

I started writing them a story last summer, having done none of the world building work, just discovering as I went along.  Unsurprisingly, I got stuck.  So I tried again earlier this year. I found some good ideas, but I got stuck again. When I finish this, I am going to formally write up my main characters and then try again.  :) Anyway, here is what I have so far
Day 1: Introduction
Day 2: Geography
Day 3: People and Races
Day 4: Cultures
Day 5: History
Day 6: Civilization and architecture

3) I also write some ridiculous CA:CW physics meta.

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Friday, May 13th, 2016
9:41 pm - Another rejection letter!


So, I am trying to decide - do I submit this story somewhere else - or do I post it?  I might try one more submission and then just post it. We'll see.

I realized I never posted my April writing summary.  April was kind of a disaster word-count wise, but I did make some reasonable story progress.  I finished a draft of my les mis bb and I wrote a (very short) story for the Be The First challenge.  I did not manage anything for MCU, but I still havent seen The Thing so maybe I will. We'll see.

I am currently tearing my hair out as I work on my jukebox fic.  The song makes no sense.

Worldbuilding June is coming up over on tumblr, so I am going to try and dig into Spero again and flesh out the world.  The kids will be at Girl Scout Camp the week of July 17, so I am going to try and have another installment of the story ready for then.

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