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So I wrote a book

I know I haven't posted much -- Well, that's an understatement. After the last time I posted, way back in July, about five days after, my aunt passed away. At some point, I might want to vent about the way it's changed my life for the worse, but I've been holing up with this grief for so long now that I just want to focus on what's good in my life right now.

I feel like I spent all summer doing the bare minimum as far as singing. I made my gigs and I also finally recorded a new CD because it was about time (let me know if you're interested and I can send), but I barely went busking in Laguna at all. That would have been a great way to drum up more parties and weddings and, obviously, tips. But I just couldn't face the world. So I just kept working on various aspects of this book because it seemed easier to face a computer screen than my fellow humans.

Besides that, I'll post that process here in case any of you want to jump in

I did everything myself because I wanted to invest time and as little money as possible. I went through one failed cover and one (I hope) successful cover. Besides friends help looking it over and giving me edit notes (thanks to bkwurm1, legendarytobes, and lilbreck as well as my sister), I used 3 beta readers on fiverr, which was really handy because you pay based on words and can pay extra to get notes back sooner. Each was super helpful. And I revised after everyone's feedback, ending up with my final draft being draft 6 with most of the changes to chapter 1-2.

Then I got a 40-day free trial of scrivener (it's a non-consecutive trial, so it only counts days you use it) and did my own formatting. It was a bit of a headache, but I now have a template I can use for future books if I write more. I do plan to draft one more during NaNoWriMo while I see how this does. But I don't want to invest too much time if this doesn't pan out.

Between all that, I went through stock images, which is very tedious, trying to find one that matched my tone. I ended up buying from Canstockphoto. Shutterstock had a better search engine, but they want you to buy packages and Canstock let's you purchase one-time. I went for the standard license because, if I sell more than anticipated, I'll be happy to go buy more rights.

I wanted to convey this would be sexy, but not too porny, and fun. This is the image I ended up with:

As you seem I toned down her makeup and changed her hair color, made his jaw and eyebrows more manly, added some cartoon and lighting effects, then the text with effects to make it either glowy or shadowy. I learned a lot and I feel like the next will be easier.

All in all, between stock images and beta, I spent $48.00 on this process and it took about five months from first draft to publishing. Here it is:

Maybe It's Magic

If you'd like to read it and review it on Goodreads or Amazon, I can send you a free ARC. Not looking for blind praise, obviously, I trust all of you to give honest critiques and ratings if you feel so moved. Let me know and I can send you a pdf or epub file.

I went back and forth on pricing, knowing .99 would seell better, but I have bought lots of dollar kindles that were absolute shit and didn't want to be associated with that. And if I was going to price it at 1.99, I'd only get 35%. I finally decided 2.99 was fair for a novella and that I can always do sales and promos and freebies. It's also on Kindle Unlimited, so people that subscribe can read it free.

I removed the fic from all the places it was and left a note in place for people to email me if they originally read the fic and want a copy. I can just send them a pdf of it or something on the down-low. But this wasn't a super popular fic, so I doubt that many people will even come across it.

Now for the hard part - promotion and marketing. I started a gmail, mailing list, Twitter, blogger, and facebook under my new name, Abby Wheeler. If any of you get friended or followed by this girl, it's me. Feel free to follow back, but no pressure. I'm also on goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36444576-maybe-it-s-magic

My plan is to make hopefully funny, self-deprecating blogger posts on this process and share each on twitter and facebook, boosting them on facebook for a dollar each. In the meantime, also send out to people/vlogs offering ARCs for honest reviews. When I've finished the blogger posts, I'll make a facebook ad for my book and spend a little, maybe 5 bucks a week, on it. There are also some resonable promo people on fiverr and I'll look into them as I go.

I don't want to spend more than 100 on this until it has made some back, so I will be frugal and choosy.

So I hope, if any of you are thinking of getting into writing for realz, this is helpful.

Anyway, that's where I am and what I've been doing with myself. I hope you all are well. :)

Just checking in, mostly about writing things b/c I don't want to think about the other things...

So I know I haven't been around lately. I'd say it was because LJ is like a ghost town compared to the heydays (which it is), but that's no excuse because I have a Twitter and Facebook and they barely see any action either.

That's not completely true. I have been playing with Facebook's live feature to stream myself singing when I have public gigs (feel free to find and friend me) and that has been sort of fun, to the extent that anything is fun these days. Things have gone steeply downhill with Aunt Eileen to the point where I've wasted days, even weeks collectively, grieving for her when she's still there, but unavailable in every way that counts. I miss her mind. I might talk about it at some point and all that's happened, but not right now.

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Anyway, I'm hoping that publishing this short will make feel good enough to finish some damned fic. That's the hope. So far, just being able to work on something that might benefit me in a real way (I know, I know, not for sure, but the possibility is there) is making me feel more inspired.

Off to finish Restless Nights (then the other three, all in good time).

Just a dark place

I remember sharing with firebunny during my last visit to PA, I think, that I thought humanity would die out through not reproducing, what with the Zika virus.

I still think it's possible that this virus is not something to overcome, but is really the earth's way of rejecting us as a species. Mosquito season might be over where I live (for now), but it's just starting in other places. Maybe the virus will mutate so that it doesn't just infect pregnant women, but any woman who will ever get pregnant and viable births will end in our lifetime. Sure, we could have test tube kids, but they won't be equipped with all the stuff they're exposed to in the womb and will probably die from their first cold or something awful like that.

I think I remember this because  it's  where I was before the shit hit the family fan, where my mind was in the fall. It's a dark thought and, at that time, one of the worst things I could think of -- possibly because I get bitten by mosquitos more than the average person. The election was also adding to the apocalyptic feel, as if the idea of red state/blue state civil war was on the horizon. Vague, end-of-world thoughts. Nothing I really thought would happen, even if it was plausible.

In a terribly selfish way, I wish I was still worrying about those bigger problems than the more personal ones I have now. It's been really hard, dealing with Aunt Eileen right now, trying to be there for her and feeling like I'm never doing it right. I keep trying to put myself in her place and try to be what she needs and it always feels like I'm fucking up. It doesn't help that she is hard to read right now because moods can turn within a conversation and I find myself bombarding her with information when she wants to escape or being escapist when she wants to focus on the cancer.

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Just so I'm not all about the doom and gloom...
I was so caught up being sick, then busy, then miserable, that I forgot to keep up with posting more. And I don't, at this moment, want to talk about the cancer stuff, so how about other things?

firebunny, legendarytobes, and I did meet in Philly. We ate, then we drank, then we ate again. I have this thing right now where I'm searching for some kind of mythically delicious dry cider. I didn't find it, but we did have a very good (if terribly overpriced) zucchini pancake at The Continental. I have been looking at recipes since, trying to see if I dare try to replicate it. I've had mixed success with that kind of thing, mostly on the failure side.

We hung out in FB's office between things where she shared her brilliant meme, which everyone should do/share because it encompasses all fandom experiences ever!

I also made them fear for their very lives by driving them a couple times because SEPTA was on strike. I hate driving unfamiliar cars and I especially hate driving in the city. I wish I could have just taken the train, damn that strike! I mean, I'm all for people being fairly compensated and the right to strike, but can't it have happened just one week later when I was gone?

Besides that, my vacation was (like all my vacations), nothing like a vacation. I ran around, trying to see everyone like crazy and I barely slept, then I got back and, despite wearing a mask on my flights, still got sick for a good two weeks where I could barely sing and spent the week after unable to smell or taste.

December is busy. It seems like I have a gig every day. Because I do. Lots of house parties, company parties, sometimes two per day. My only clear day off for the entire remainder of December, is Monday. I'm trying to vocally rest, but with everything that's happening in the family, it feels too hard not to pick up the phone. On the bright side, being so busy, I don't feel bad about that one restaurant dropping me... yet.

I still don't know if they'll have me back in the new year, so I guess I might start worrying then. But I've busked in Laguna a few times and made enough to make up for the loss, so maybe this will be a good thing, freeing time so I can do something interesting on the nights they had me. Take a class. Start that youtube channel I keep saying I have all these ideas for. Finish my damned fic for real. I don't know.

I wrote what I thought was a fairly funny takedown of the modern romance novel (also the Historical, Supernatural, New Adult, and Every Thing). It's inly funny because of the covers I linked to, but you can read it if you want:


Aunt Eileen and I have had several conversations since my last entry cursing fate. I am no closer to being okay with this. But I'm trying to live with this and still work and go about life. I just focus on helping where I can and being there for her and letting myself cry when I need it. This sucks, but it's not going away. I only hope, like with Uncle Mike's cancer, she gets a treatment that makes things manageable.

On a sort of related note, I have a mouse in my house that scratches late at night and sometimes during the day. I keep saying I'll buy glue traps and I keep forgetting. I wonder if I'm putting up with this mouse and his creepy noises like a penance, like I shouldn't kill this poor creature for wanting to be out of the cold. Can't I put up with a little scratching at night considering what others in my family have to deal with?

I know. I'm a weirdo.

I'm just going to dump some emotions
My Aunt Eileen has lung cancer and the timeline they are giving her so far is not good. I am having a lot of trouble dealing with this for many reasons.

First, she's never been a smoker or a drinker or anything unhealthy. She is someone who is more likely to eat something because it's good for her than because it tastes good, much like my Uncle Mike, who is also very unfairly struck with cancer despite making nothing but good choices as concerns his health. I hate this and I hate the idea that someone can do everything right and still be fucked by genetics or environment or whatever the hell is happening in my family.

Second, when I say this is my aunt, it's not like this is someone I talk to once a year or just see at family reunions. I know I moved to California, but before that and after that I have always had a semi-codependent relationship with a lot of my aunts simply because they stepped in, at various times between them, to do the things a mother would have done if we had a mother. But Aunt Eileen has been special, particularly in my adult life. She is one of two -- of my dad's six sisters -- who I feel I can talk to about anything at all. We don't agree on everything, but we have one of those relationships where we can disagree, can argue our points of view, find the space where we can either agree or agree to disagree, and still walk away loving and respecting the other. It's such a rare thing to find, an older relative who is able to accept you as an adult with valid opinions, especially in my family. She is in my life to a deep extent. We talk every other day, at least. If she were gone, my life would be deeply affected and I can't handle it.

Third, I'm a smoker. I cut down, I quit, I start again. If anyone deserves to get cancer, it's me. Then again, I'm sure I will. If a nonsmoker can get lung cancer, then I'm due. We probably have genetic markers. Uncle Joe got it and we always attributed it to him working in an airplane plant and having smoked for a good 15 years. But maybe we all will get it and it's just a question of when.He just hastened his chances with lifestyle choices and a dangerous job. He was diagnosed at my age and gone six years later. I'll probably go the same way. The fucked up part is that I can't put them down even though I know they are poison. I'm smoking one now, convinced they make me feel "better."

Then again, I feel guilty for thinking about myself because she is dealing with her mortality and I feel selfish for thinking about what my life will lack or worrying about my chances of survival when she is just 62 and leaving three boys behind, two of which are still teenaged.

Her concerns are greater than mine and I have no idea what to do for her or whether anything I can do will help in any way.

My Aunt Mimi (who is destroyed because Eileen is her closest sister and actual best friend) and I (and my sister, to a point) are the only ones who know the full extent of this right now and I hate that I can't talk this out with anyone else in my family. Then again, if I were to count on anyone to help me sort through emotions, it would be Aunt Eileen.

Dad never has dealt well with emotions. He just wants some way to fix the leak. Uncle Mike is sp practical as to be nearly robotic. None of the other brothers are emotionally evolved enough to talk about emotions. Aunt Mimi and Aunt Cathy are so fragile that I feel afraid to burden them with my emotions and feel I have to be strong for them, actually. Aunt Monica is gone (and she had her issues anyway, being an angry tea-partier). Aunt Colette has gone so deep into alcohol related psychosis that she will never come back. And Aunt Gigi hasn't been talking to anyone for years becuase she told them all to "fuck off" and will never get over that they didn't chase after her and beg forgiveness. She has thrown away all her relationships because she can't say sorry.

Seriously, Aunt Eileen would be the person I would run to if this were happening to anyone but her.

My sister has actually been okay. We have had issues in the past and I am still having trouble negotiating the separation of my relationship withehr with my relationship with her son (who is not speaking to her and, though I see why it happened initially, I don't see why he hasn't let up). Rambling aside, Nikki is being better than expected about letting me sound off when I feel like life is pointless now -- which is basically how I feel.

I mean, I felt this way when Renee passed. But there had been things that Renee had done that led her to that end. Aunt Eileen has done nothing to bring this on in any way and she is still getting fucked over.

I'm starting to lose my faith, not just in a Catholic way, but in anything. In any idea that this universe has any order, any plan, any spiritual life. Because what would be the point of this? Maybe there isn't any. It's just all random and we die and that's it. I always held tight to the idea that, whether my faith was right or not, there was something, some hope that we aren't just snuffed out and that we go on, that we meet again. I don't know if I can believe that now. This would be easier to take if I could.

Stepping back and thinking of how this came to be
marikology challenged me to write every day for Nano. I know I'm eleven days in, but I've been on vacay, so it's been hard to keep consistent with anything. It was just a wonderful idea, picking election season as my vacation time! Honestly, there wasn't much alternative since that was just where my gig-light weeks fell, but it was a terrible realisation that didn't hit me till I bought the plane ticket.

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It's that time of year again!
I know, I know. I never post here anymore. I keep swearing to do better then end up being my usual wildly inconsistent self. If it helps, I've been archiving and even updating fic again after my long hiatus. I'm working on it between other projects and will, hopefully, have one finished soon before moving onto the next.

Anyway, I'm going to be in Philly from October 28th to November 10th! And I really love getting to have that time to meet up with my east coast friends in the city. How about it, firebunny, phillydragonldy, kitmerlot1213 and legendarytobes ?

Anyone want to make a day of it? I have certain days booked with family things, but let me know what your schedules look like and maybe we can plan something. :)

Balance and writing
So remember how I keep saying I'm going to finish my fics, then I don't? I hope that's going to stop over this summer. I've decided to try to find some balance and scale back on certain things to make time for things I should be enjoying. For some time, writing has been less than enjoyable for me. I like it once I get in there, but I put it off over and over and the idea of fic has had me shying away. Let's not even talk about the romance novel plots that are always bouncing around in my brain. It's not even real writer's block. It's just fear of wasting time with no results. I just have to tell myself that, when I settle in, something always comes together and stop being such a ninny.

I have this tendency to over-promise and under-deliver, so I'm just going to say that two hours of my day, starting when Game of Thrones is over, will be devoted to fic. Whether that's reading it to stay engaged, writing it, or archiving it. I started this a few months back before wedding season made me crazy and it was a good start. I archived my one-shots, did a shortie for Sunken Ships and reminded myself that I can write, you know, once I settle into it. I just need more time to dust my fics off and get into the universe.

I'm just going to scale back on how often I write for Legendary Women (from weekly to monthly) because I have other LW projects and the magazine I'm writing for and it's just a bit much, in the end. I take on too much and then I never end up meeting the obligations as well as I'd like. I think this will improve the quality of my work and give me time for fic.

To make things easier, I'm going to start with finishing the fics in order of how close they are to completion. I know that means some people will still have been waiting way too long for an update. But it'll be less time to completion of each if I can concentrate on them solo up to the finish.

I do feel awful about these last 2-3 years. Between work picking up like crazy, especially this last year (I've got a wedding per week since I started singing at the flower market), Uncle Mike's diagnosis (he's doing okay, back on hormone therapy after fighting it way longer than he should), family drama from the usual suspects, and things picking up at LW, I've left people hanging for way to long. I know they've very likely moved onto other fandoms and probably won't come back to see the finish. But I still have to finish what I started.

After that, me and those other romance plots will have a talk.

As for my last post, sorry about the ramble. I was just working through some stuff and it helps to write it out without worrying about who reads it (I trust you guys fully). Fic should be like that and I'm going to try to use it as the escape it should be.

Opening myself up to Tori and to accepting that Renee is gone... finally

Even though Tori Amos has been kind of a touchstone for me since I was an awkward teen, I've been pretty much unable to listen to Tori since Renee left us because all it does is remind me of Renee and how Tori's music was something we shared and loved together. But I'm trying to open myself up to Tori again and, in listening, I came across a song. I remember putting it on her memorial CD knowing it was about death and loss, thinking Renee might like it, but I was in that PTSD state then, still not processing it.

My apologies. This is a long post.

There have been many hard deaths in this family, but nothing has been so hard to deal with as losing Renee. I think, in many ways, I've always pushed it away as something temporary, something I never have to think about till I'm faced with it. And I live far away, so I don't have to be faced with it, so I can keep pushing it away, like...

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SUCH GREAT HEIGHTS (Secret Chlark gift exchange 2014)

Just testing to see if this is embeddable, since youtube blocked it on me.

Sad Puppies continue to whine.
Interesting bit of beef between George R.R. Martin and John C. Wright relating to Puppygate:


legendarytobes, you might find this interesting.

Team GRRM, especially since Wright has a history of awful author behavior:


I am, in all modesty, a skilled author, one of the finest writing today.


*sigh* Definitely on my never-read list. I prefer writers who don't have to tell you how great they are. They show you!

First World Fic Problems
Recently, I've been acquainting myself with Archive of our Own and, as I must not be the only person to have this issue, be sure to skip over of you've heard this before...

So here I am, archiving my fic, little by little, on Ao3, rereading as I go --- in an effort to remind myself that I have written fic in the past and could maybe/possibly/probably do it again and even (*gasp*) finish my current WIPs (Yes, I know they've been sitting there for some time now. I don't know how people put up with me. My only excuse is my crippling lack of free time... and confidence,)

Anyway, during this process, I like to check out other tags, fandoms, etc,,, see what tickles my fancy. But in order to find that thing that tickles my fancy, I have to wade through a sea of things that don't.

I mean, is there a way to exclude a fandom from a search? Because, for crying out loud!

Some authors tag their fic with so much crap that it's no wonder I come across their fic for [INSERT FANDOM FOR SHOW THAT IS TOO TEENAGED FOR ME NOWADAYS] on everything I search.
Tags: ,

The only way is bribery
So I have a plan for the remainder of spring. I want to get fit and, knowing I'm not much of a self-starter, I've decided to bribe myself with a marriage of entertainment and torture.

About two years ago, I got super busy with work and decided, in order to free up more of my time and be productive, I'd stop watching almost all the TV shows I was stuffing into my hours and save them for later. If I needed to watch something, I'd watch short content on youtube (like Mental Floss and other infotainment channels) as those were the kind of things I could put on while doing something useful while. I started listening to NPR programs while cleaning or driving and, in a lot of ways, I think it's made me more of a productive girl, maybe even a deeper thinker, full of the general sprit of get-shit-done. But it's also made me a bit less imaginitive. Like when I try to write on my long-suffering fics, I come up blank.


I mean, I can do reviews and analysis or edit together vids, things with structure and a clear process or order, but the creative juices aren't flowing as far as anything fictional and my confidence is a little low.

So I've decided to let TV back into my life, but with a catch: I can only watch it on the treadmill. I was going to buy a cheap or used one myself, but I don't have much space and I still haven't finished my floors, though I did buy vinyl planks, so I'm ready, once I repair the concrete.

Anyway, Uncle Mike and I have decided to go in on one together to be kept at his house It won't be as good as having one in my place, but he's just three miles away, which is like nothing with our roads, so I'm hoping the lure of TV will help get me going on a daily basis.

And I have a whole list of shows saved for it. I just don't know what first. I'm thinking Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (I have friends bugging me) or season 2 of Fargo (I loved the first) or finally finishing Mad Men or, come to think of it, I never watched the final season of Six Feet Under back in the day, but I'd maybe have to rewatch just to get back into it. Then there's The Walking Dead. I last left off with Andrea dead after the Governor business. I barely know how if it's 2 or 3 seasons that I'm behind.

I don't know if this will get my fic juices flowing, but at the very least, getting some exercise in is never a bad thing.

If you're inclined, let me know which of the shows above should take priority or if you think something else entirely would lend itself to treadmill time. I personally think Walking Dead might get the most burn out of me, with all the DANGER. But you never know. 

Blah, blah, I-live-cakes...
I keep abondoning LJ and then returning, but I've now added it to my productivity app, so it's for realz now (Habitica. Join it. I don't do the RPG aspect, but I love the interface and the fact that I gain/lose gold and silver based on whether I achieve the things I put on my list... and dressing up my character and giving her pets. <3)

So what has happened sine my last posting? I don't know if it's lots or very little.

Work has continued to be very steady, which I should be grateful for, considering my field. But here's the thing about fields of work that are considered artsy/creative/playtime/obviously not real work: they are still work and they still (even if they are not your typical eight-hour work day), consume time in prep, travel, learning new songs and the business end of sending invoices,confirmations, casual lunch meetings to see the venue which actually means me driving an hour there and back, long phone calls planning wedding music... I mean, it's still work. I've been working 6 days a week, sometimes 7.

I love the end result and the singing part is fun as hell, especially when you get a good audience, but because I do my own booking and the businessy ends, I have to be the asshole who calls when I haven't been paid in a month or more, feeling like a debt collector when I'd rather it all be jazzy showtune fun forevor and who cares about money when we can dance!

I feel like I shouldn't be allowed to complain, but sometimes I can't help it. The worst part is that I get constant validation through applause and people coming up to tell me they like it. And I would love to just take that and run with it. But then I get people who feel very free (like too free) to talk to me about my weight ("I hope she can sing, because she ain't nothing to look at" or, my favorite, "I really enjoyed your program, but you neded to stop eating. It's too hard to look at you."). And I get why, on some level. It's actually their problem and not mine. They have been conditioned to believe a woman in the public eye (even the very small public eye I occupy as I'm never going to be Diana Krall or even Jane Monheit) needs to be classically or at least commercially attractive.

Girls like me should not be showing our faces and should be hiding our voices until we're more presentable to them. You know, that's bullshit. And I know it and I try not to let it get to me. But it echoes in my mind. I know I'm not hideous or anything, but it stays with me, way more than the complimentary comments and I wish I could be the kind of person for whom it's the other way around.

I know there is room for improvement, but I also have to walk out the door, as I am right now, put on some sequins and liquid eye-liner, and sing flirty showtunes without feeling too self-conscious to do it. Sometimes I have to just imagine Dawn French...

dawn french cracking updawn french puddle jump

I think of her and how, though she has the same body type I do, yet she is well-loved and appears confident (though I know she feels similar pressures and insecurities through interviews). She has to get out there and do what she does despite knowing she would like a few (maybe more than a few) things to change. It's not going to happen tomorrow.

Anyway, besides all that, I am reasonably happy. I threw Uncle Mike yet another French Dinner party for his birthday (I made some fancy-ass quiches and a very nice soup and exotic salad. No leftovers, so I think it went well. Me and French cooking are getting along famously. Ask in the comments and I will provide recipes). He is going back on the hormone therapy despite his initial protests that he wouldn't and he seems to be dealing better with it the second time around. I just hope it lowers his PSA, but we won't know till June, which is torture.

We are going to be buying a treadmill together this week to be kept at his house (my place is too small) and I am saving so many shows for when I am walking/running.

I am getting back into DIY fun with the weather warming. I bought vinyl plank flooring that claims to look like wood, I can't wait to repair my concrete (which I have been dealing with since the summer) and lay it down.

As of now, there are three people in my family that I no longer speak to. I hate that it has come to this, but there are times when people are so difficult that you have no choice. Maybe I'll go into it at some point, but not now.

I am learning all kinds of new skills with Legendary Women. We have started a podcast and are about to put our first official episode up once I've finished editing it and making us all sound like pro V.O. artists.

I started some voice-over work for a web comic (a wonderful VO of a fantasy/western called Plume where I play an antagonistic spinster aunt. You can see the whole thing starting here or hear me here and here so far. I'll be coming back for later episodes.)

I have been learning new things as far as video editing, also for LW, and will be putting up a few things soon.

Game of Thrones is coming back next week and I am honor-bound to recap it.

I wrote a short fic for Smallville Sunken Ships, which you can see here if you want to. It's a one-shot and rated below R, which is rare for me.

I am trying to gear myself up to finish my unfinished fics. I know, if this were job, I would have been fired from it long ago. I've just been busy between work and family stuff that I have very little brainspace to dedicate to it. I do have it on my list and am working up to it. You know, I have that app now, so it's obviously (hopefully) a done deal.

X-Files fandom revisited
So this is just one for the weird and wacky. As many of you know I have a thing for fandom wank, alas no longer in this mortal coil (along with journalfen on the whole. And if anyone can tell me where the good wank is being reported without wank_report, please do. I miss it so much). Anyway, I like when fandom takes unexpected, popcorny turns into DRAMA. I can even say I've been dramatic in fandom (though not in a level that is fandom wank worthy. Yet). Anyway, fandom....

With X-files being back and my recapping the old and new, I've been looking up old fics I used to enjoy because... research and reasons (reasons that are mostly smutfics. Are you happy now?). In my (still unsuccessful) quest to find one in particular, I came across the blog of one of the BNF writers. Not mentioning names, but I always remembered this one as she and another lady author collaborated and fell in reallifelove and came to live together. It was an interesting development, to say the least, but I always wondered if there was some sort of sockpuppetry involved and if they weren't maybe both the same person.

They are not and I know that because one is very publicly stalking the other with unrequited fervor using twitter and storify and her blog. Also, this person thinks she is the messiah of a religion that combines Jesus, end times, astrology, and marijuana. Apparently, her partner left when the messiah stuff got too heavy. It's like the Victoria Bitter/Andy Blake saga without the fraud and theft and cosplay.

It just makes me sad.

On a selfish level, now I can't read her fics without being distracted by this person seriously thinking she is a 25% human vessel for God.

I hope she gets help.

[insert some variation on "I live"]
So I've been giving fandom, fic, and all other not-strictly-necessary to life things a pass this year while I've dealt with family drama, work, and other work. I've just been busy and a bit too overwhelmed for all of it.

But I'm going to try to make it a point, starting in February, now that I've got a few things off my plate, to make some time to write fic, read fic, and just be on livejournal in general. I mean, I keep up on facebook for my family and friends back east and maintain some presence on tumblr and twitter, but I don't find much enjoyment in it the way I did with lj in its heyday. Of course, I know it's not heyday time, but I still like this place and I need to make time for things I like.

So here's what's been going on...

My extended and immediate family continues to be dramatic and taxing. Maybe I'll post about it at some point. Right now, I just want to not think about it.

I definitely want to apologize for the way I've put a pin in fic for so long. This is the year when I will complete all my fics. I made a chart and everything. I keep thinking I'll have time and then I never do. But the time is coming. Just as soon as I get all my X-files recap backlog done, I'll have way more time for fic.

On that note, I've been rewatching and recapping each season of X-files since the summer. If gif heavy, comprehensive, and overly shippy recaps are something you are into, you can find everything so far linked here:


If you're someone who would like to get into the new miniseries, but are struggling with the idea of watching all that came before, I worked up what has become a fairly popular cheat sheet here:


The wonderful l_vera01 has been with me on this painful and wonderful journey and I cannot thank her enough. :)

Been writing for a county magazine, Delaware County to be exact. It's all puff and stuff on entertainment and it's hard to shut off my critical brain, but it's nice to be paid, so cool.

I'm going to work on keeping up with you all here. :)

In October, I got to meet up with firebunny, legendarytobes, and met the lovely phillydragonldy for the first time when I was in PA last October. There was much laughter and Firebunny and I competed mightily for the affection of a cute, Welsh waiter at The Dandelion.

I'm now singing at four restaurants and four senior homes. Bills are paid and gigs are just the gravy and savings. Things are steady. Can't ask for more than that.

I did some DIY stuff this summer, painting my walls and redecorating. I took up the carpets and it's really helped with allergies, though my cement floor is kind of ugly. I'm going to work on repairing, painting and staining it this spring.

I got a Sodastream for Christmas. We are in love.

Smallville Sunken Ships 2!!!! Feb 1- March 6
Originally posted by phillydragonldy at Smallville Sunken Ships 2!!!! Feb 1- March 6
Hi All!!

We are back with Smallville Sunken Ships 2 - Winter Edition!!  The rules will work mostly the same as the last event and will run from Feb 1- March 6.  When we are closer to the date I'll put up full event rules.

So publicize the heck out of this and start thinking up some sweet prompts!

If you want a reminder of the rules from the last event see this post.

Feel free to share this post and the poster below!!

I liiiiiiivvvvvvve!
So. It's been a while and there are lots and lots of reasons for that. But first, I have important business!

I will be in Philly, outside travel days/jetlag allowance, from October 5th to October 16th. So how about it, Philly friends? Who wants to plan a brunch/lunch/dinner/karaoke/any damned thing meeting? I can likely drive or take the train in to Philly. I'd love to see your pretty faces!

Outside the 10th (where my aunts have booked me for a game night), I have a pretty open schedule. :)

lbd done

Outside of that, hi! I feel like I've barely posted since the whole Aunt Monica thing went down and I think it's just because all I'd be doing is whining about my family's various dramatic escapades and my vain attempts to have relationships with difficult people and I just didn't want to have to explain it. So I won't. Maybe at some point, if I need to vent, but not now.

I'm good besides that. Work is busy. I now have four restaurants and four senior homes. Outside of party gigs, I'm working steadily. I spend most of my time prepping for them or writing. The writing is not fic, sadly.

I don't know what it is, but every time I sit down to write on any of the stories, I can't make my mind settle enough to do it. It makes me feel guilty because I know I've over-promised and under-delievered and I WILL finish each and every one. I just need time and a clear head. It seems to take weeks, in fits and starts, to get any progress. I'm just having trouble fitting it into my day.

Reviews and recaps seem to come easier to me than anything that involves plotting these days. I don't know.

I got hired by a county magazine that a friend works for. She showed them some of my stuff for Legendary Women and they hired me for light entertainment coverage on a freelance basis. So there's that. The pay isn't spectacular, but it's nice to be paid to write.

I have been pretty consistent with Legendary Women stuff. I recapped all of Parks and Rec through the winter until it ended, then Game of Thrones when it aired, then a pretty awesome film festival over the summer, and now I'm covering ALL THE X-FILES in a mad rush to catch up before the miniseries gives me Mulder and Scully again. If you're curious about any of that, it's all here:


As for X-files, I'm posting every Friday and trying to do half-a-season a week. It's definitely interesting, since I've only rewatched certain episodes in the years since the end, so a lot of this feels almost new, but it's a lot to watch and recap. I wish I'd started back in July when the rest of the world did.

I did videos for both Secret Chlark and Secret Chlex because I'm definitely not going to write any fic until the WIPs I have are complete. I still have to read and comment on all the other works in both of those exchanges. I'm just so behind. I figure I'll just try to get caught up, a little each day, and see where I am by November.

Oh, yeah. I'm doing Nanowrimo this year after resolving to do it every other year, then never following through. I have no idea how this is going to go. But I hope getting something original out of myself, starting and completing in a month, whether it's any good or not, will give me some mental tools to help me take a step back and complete my fic.

We'll see. Wish me luck.

Now I'm off to catch up on all your doings, at least as far as the flist feed will let me go back. :)

I Live. For Real This Time
So I've been avoiding LJ like crazy because life has got me so behind on everything that I barely know where to start.

I definitely wanted to get a fic update in before I dared show my face in these parts. Now that I've finally done that (hopefully with more to follow very quickly - Tobes and I are making deals to keep each other on track).

When I last left off, I was on what was supposed to be a vacation and turned into a funeral and a mess. I never did get to meet up with any of my lj friends.

ron big hershey walking

It was a terrible "vacation." I spent the entire time rushing to see family (with the very morbid idea that we can all die very suddenly after Aunt Monica surprised us by not seeing us all in our graves like I'd always predicted). Then I was scanning in pictures, both from Aunt Monica and from my dad's water-damaged collection. Then I was on the phone constantly with drama.

I won't go into it just yet. Suffice it to say there was an insane amount of drama with another aunt who made sure to make this entire process as much about her as humanly possible while crushing everyone else with her words. Yeah. There's more to it than that. I'm not speaking to her and that's not something I take lightly and I may want to vent at some point, but not right now.

One weird thing I've noticed that I do since the family deaths started coming in 2006 is that I'm obsessed with saving voicemails in case people die so I can hear their voice. I know it's morbid, but I can't stop myself. I even back them up to email if they're particularly pleasant because I know I might want it later.

The one thing that was oddly nice was the weather. It was cold and snowy, but I barely felt it and even regretted taking up space with a coat. Maybe it's just because the cold in PA was different than the cold here. We usually get our cold off the ocean and it comes with fog and damp. Outside the snow, it's a nice dry cold in PA and I found it all very brisk and refreshing and barely wore more than a light sweater. My stepmum was very annoyed that I was walking around like I was "at a garden party" most of the time. Just couldn't help it.

Anyway, once I got home, things really picked up with work. I now have four restaurants I sing at and four senior homes. Besides parties on the side, they've kept me very busy. I've only been to Laguna for busking once since the new year and that was only because I signed up for a music festival. I do want to try to squeeze in Laguna once a week when things settle down. Generally, that part of my life is going well and I feel financially secure this year in ways I never did in previous years. So yay for that.

I also upped my involvement with Legendary Women, trying to be consistent with recaps and content every week. I think, now that I have that and work under control, I just have to add in fic finishing and, hopefully, starting on only writing original content in November with Nanowrimo. That's where I am!

I'll be back (along with another fic update) by next week and will catch up with all your entries (as far as I can reach back) and with all the secret Chlex stories in the meantime. :)

So behind!!!!

A Day Late (Chapter Five) --- finally

Title: A Day Late
Pairing: Chlark (some Chlollie and Clois)
POV: Chloe, Clark
Rating: R-NC-17
Warnings: angst, unfaithfulness, did I say angst?
Spoilers: Going from the finale (but without the flash-forward), roughly six months after.
Short summary: Chloe and Clark work on a mission, reminisce about the past, and get a little too close. Fall-out happens…
Banners and art by: Bkwurm1. More art to come as it goes.
Prompt from: phantom_queen
Chloe comes back to town, and Clark realizes that Chlollie have the kind of relationship he always wanted (partners who love, support and understand each other). I'd love to see Clark jealous over Chollie. There are a few things I don't want to see
1) Ollie can't cheat on Chloe
2) Chloe can't not love Ollie, or love Ollie but have always loved Clark more
3) Chloe can't automatically drop Olllie b/c Clark finally decides he's in love with her. She can't have always just been waiting for Clark to wake up.

I stewed and stewed on what kind of story to write with those parameters and this is what I’ve come up with.

Some of the themes and discussion in this fic might end up similar to How We Got Here, but with a different take on things. It's just hard to not end up discussing the great Chlark disconnect of season 9 and part of season 8. But I'll try to keep things as fresh as possible.

Chapter One

Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five (new)

Sneak peek:

Clark pulled her in, laughing. He really did miss her, even right down to this, the way her head fit just under his chin and the way she’d bury her head in his chest… except she wasn’t doing that. She was just standing there, rather stiff, pulling away.

Just a pimp:

A friend of mine (Miss trinityr ) is working on a fix-it, canon compliant Lexana fic and wants to share, so in case any of you like crossing over into Lexana territory, here's where it starts: