Day 46 of Quarantine

Sunnier day, if still fairly cold. Copley was much more himself. So much that he DEMANDED we take an extra walk and WOULD NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER. It annoyed me because it was cold out and getting dark and I was willing to play with him but no, no, he wanted a walk. And then we got outside and I was watching him prance in front of me with his silly tail held high and he was so clearly happy that I felt awful I hadn't wanted to go on the walk lol. 

I sat myself down and got through a bunch of grading, which meant I had time later to read some of my book, which I have been reading for 46 days now lol. My mother and I also finished watching "Little Fires Everywhere," which I strenuously disliked. PLEASE GO TO EARLGREYTEA68.DREAMWIDTH.ORG TO COMMENT ON THIS ENTRY. ANONYMOUS COMMENTS SHOULD BE ALLOWED IF YOU DON'T HAVE A DW ACCOUNT. https://earlgreytea68.dreamwidth.org/549871.html?mode=reply https://earlgreytea68.dreamwidth.org/549871.html

Quarantine Meme!

 1. Are you an Essential Worker? No. I am still working but remotely. 

2. How many drinks have you had since the quarantine started?  I gave up wine for Lent, but also I'm with my parents' for quarantine and I drink less at their house just generally. I did have a glass of wine on Easter to celebrate, and last night I opened a bottle of wine and delivered red plastic cups of wine to my sisters' houses across the street and we demolished the wine together remotely. 

3. If you have kids... Are they driving you nuts?  No kids. My sisters have them and I think they've gone past nuts to normal now. Luckily this hemisphere is coming up on better weather, and we're lucky enough to have yard space, so I think getting them outside will help a lot. 

4. What new hobby have you taken up during this? My job takes three times longer to do remotely than in-person, so there is zero time for any hobbies. 

5. How many grocery runs have you done?  It had been about a month but I ran to the store today. It was honestly so refreshing to be able to shop instead of crossing your fingers and hoping delivery will bring you things. I got everything I was shopping for, which never happens with delivery. The store was pretty empty and everyone was wearing a mask and kept their distance, and I showered and changed my clothes as soon as I got back, so hopefully it'll turn out okay. Of course, I won't know for two weeks...

6. What are you spending your stimulus check on? Not applicable. 

7. Do you have any special occasions that you will miss during this quarantine? My youngest niece is turning one next week. I have two more nieces with birthdays the week after that one. So all of those will be different. We're still going to bake my youngest niece a big cake, and try to make a fuss as much as we can. Also, I'm turning 40 in June. I was supposed to go on a big celebratory trip to Italy, which obviously isn't happening. 

8. Are you keeping your housework done? Yes. 

9. What movie have you watched during this quarantine? Frozen II and Onward. Using that Disney+ subscription we have for all the kiddos who can't come over the house anymore. 

10. What are you streaming with?  Mainly Netflix with a little bit of Hulu. We have cable, too.

11. 9 months from now is there any chance of you having a baby? Nope. 

12. What's your go-to quarantine meal? I've loaded up on hummus. 

13. Is this whole situation making you paranoid? Yes. I freak out every time I leave the house. It all seems like an unnecessary risk. And at the same time, over a month into this, we've reached the point where stuff has to happen. The dog needs a haircut desperately, and this isn't going to end for such a long time, I just *have* to get his hair cut, he can't wait a year or two years or however long this is going to be. I'm freaked out about it, but...yeah. 

14. Has your internet gone out on you during This time? Oh, dear, knock on wood!!

15 What month do you predict this all ends? What does "ends" mean? Idk, I'm hoping by next summer we can celebrate the kids' birthdays again like normal, but who knows. 

16. First thing you’re gonna do when you get off quarantine? Cuddle my niblings. 

17. Where do you wish you were right now? I am really relieved I'm home during all of this. 

18. What free-from-quarantine activity are you missing the most? I really miss going out to a nice dinner and a good cocktail. 

19. Have you run out of toilet paper and hand sanitizer? No.

20. Do you have enough food to last a month?  No. It turns out we are truly terrible at estimating how much food we will eat when we cut out going out to eat. We can barely make it the two weeks between grocery deliveries. 

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(no subject)

 There was a discussion recently about posting WIPs and here at the beginning of posting another fic I thought this might be a perfect time to provide my theory of WIP posting: 

The truth is, despite the fact that I almost always post in ongoing chapters, I am almost never writing the fic at the same time as the posting. I’m usually at least very far along, with the end in sight, before I start posting. Most of the time, I’m entirely done with the fic. I still post in chapter chunks for two reasons: 

(1) The comments are really useful in helping me figure out if I’m hitting the emotional beats I want to hit. Posting slowly instead of all at once allows me to edit in real time if the readers are reacting in a way I didn’t anticipate, and I realize that I need to temper the way a character is reacting, or explain a story point a little more. 

(2) It buys me time to write the next story. 

#2 is very important. While the fic is being posted, I’ve bought myself many weeks of writing time to get a head start on the next one. And this is the best kind of writing time. I often see people debating the merits of posting a WIP, weighing the motivational value of the ongoing comments against the pressure of writing to meet some kind of posting schedule – and the subsequent guilt if you don’t make it. Doing it the way I’ve described gives you all the benefits of the motivating comments coming in, while relieving you from any pressure or guilt. You don’t develop that resentment for your current fic, where you know if you take a few days (or weeks) off from writing it, people will be waiting for it and you have to sit and get it done like it’s work and that makes it not fun, etc., etc. I find that doing it this way keeps writing fun for me. 

So, sometimes I get asked how I can finish one fic and start posting the next one right away, and the answer is: It’s because I wrote the next one while the last one was posting. I very, very seldom write as I’m posting (HGTV-verse is the extremely notable extension). And it doesn’t always line up nicely that I’ve finished the next fic in the perfect amount of time, but usually I’ve got a good start underway. 

Anyway, that’s my recommendation, if you’re wondering. It’s worked for me for, like, ten years now lol. The biggest trick is having to make yourself wait to share the thing you’re working on right now, but I really do find that getting to share the last thing you wrote alleviates that temptation, and it’s actually really exciting to go back and experience that older fic as it’s being posted for everyone else. 

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Happy Endings

 A few people recently, in talking about RPF, have espoused the opinion that nothing breaks your heart like RPF, that, inevitably, the band breaks up, the athletes get traded, the actors move on to the next project. And I was like, "Well, yeah, but all OTPs break your heart in canon." And it struck me that...maybe I'm weird hahaha. Maybe other people have had more satisfying fictional OTP experiences than I have. I am not saying that no fictional OTPs have satisfying HEAs, but I am saying that I have never been fannish about a fictional OTP that had a satisfying HEA: 
  • Josh/Donna from "The West Wing": Okay, yes, they end up together and that's great but it was hardly satisfying, given how it happened, suddenly and abruptly, as the series was winding up, after years of contrivances to keep them apart for no good reason other than that steadfast belief that you can't let a couple get together before the show is ending. 
  • Dan/Casey from "Sports Night": That show ends with a last-minute save of the show but the entire finale is all about them separating from each other (and that shift in focus to Rebecca that nobody really cares about lololol). 
  • Doctor/Rose from "Doctor Who": I think they thought they were giving me a satisfying HEA by flinging a clone onto the planet with Rose but "Journey's End" has always enraged me, like, it always feels like RTD was like, "Hey, people want to see David Tennant and Billie Piper make out" instead of "People want to see the Doctor and Rose Tyler make out," which is...not what I got to see because instead I got to see her make out with some weird character who looked like the Doctor who'd unexpectedly shown up (contriiiiiivance! can be shouted like "tooooooe piiiiiiiick!" with most of my shows). I remember a friend of mine, after JE, saying, "I've just got to let the fic writers convince me that the clone Doctor really was the Doctor, and then I'll feel better," and well, like, no, that means the fic writers have to fix the unsatisfying ending the actual canon creator gave you. 
  • John/Sherlock from "Sherlock": Like. Do I need to talk about this. Lol.
  • Then I moved on to Inception in an effort to have zero canon at all, like, I DECIDED I'D HAD ENOUGH OF CANON CREATORS. Which is fine, that worked out well for me, but in no universe do Arthur and Eames have a satisfying canon HEA because they barely even exist in canon. 

Anyway, the truth is, I do not trust canon creators at all. In my experiences charted above, they have never once proven them capable of landing a satisfying happy ending, and often, even worse, they have proven themselves actively working against it, manipulating the facts of their fictional world to thwart happiness. They get to control every aspect of the world, and they use that control to make their characters unhappy. It's possibly no surprise this is my jaded view of fictional OTPs. My first OTP was Jo/Laurie from Little Women, maybe the ultimate example of a fictional OTP ripped apart by an unkind creator. 

I know all of this is just my view. People are allowed to disagree. Some people found Journey's End very satisfying. Some people think Jo/Laurie would have been a disaster (they're probably right, but I wish I'd been more convinced of that in canon). But anyway, it's not true that I think RPF breaks your heart more than any other kind of shipping. I think all kinds of shipping ultimately break your heart. You've put yourself in the hands of people with their own storytelling goals and desires that don't necessarily align with yours. This is why it was so glorious to show up in Inception-land and feel fairly confident that Christopher Nolan wasn't going to want to show up and do something awful to these characters. They were safe. 

I would feel totally differently if I were living through the hiatus but so far, I kind of trust Pete Wentz and Patrick Stump not to get stranded in separate dimensions, or have one of their wives try to shoot the other one and then Idk somehow make it all that person's fault, or whatever the hell happened there. I don't think that stuff will happen, because they're real people who want to be happy, not fictional creators with the opposite goal for their characters. So, in that respect, maybe you can trust some kinds of RPF even more. 

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A Review of the Unauthorized Fall Out Boy Biography Inevitably Colored by Shippiness Oops

But Really Mainly Colored by My Love for Pete Wentz (don't try to tell me how long my titles can be, dreamwidth) --by Fall Out Boy (ha, meta joke)

I honestly do not know what has happened to my life but here's a five-thousand-word thing lol
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Dracula musings

i was taught to write by three problematic people: Aaron Sorkin, J.K. Rowling, and Steven Moffat. i didnt know at the time i was absorbing their lessons anything about them but their dialogue. Also I was much younger and Harry potter was still in progress and anyway this is all to say that I did watch Dracula because I like the way Moffat writes dialogue.

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I owe replies to so many comments. I'm trying to get better about posting on here and now I'm going to get better about taking part in the conversation, too! PLEASE GO TO EARLGREYTEA68.DREAMWIDTH.ORG TO COMMENT ON THIS ENTRY. ANONYMOUS COMMENTS SHOULD BE ALLOWED IF YOU DON'T HAVE A DW ACCOUNT. https://earlgreytea68.dreamwidth.org/543451.html?mode=reply https://earlgreytea68.dreamwidth.org/543451.html

(no subject)

 I have a radical proposition for you, and that is: Writing should be fun!

That doesn’t mean it’s always fun, of course. It doesn’t mean it’s always easy. It doesn’t mean it requires zero effort or stubbornness or determination. But it does mean that, more often than not, writing should make you happy.

It’s just that it’s easy on social media to watch the memes circulate about how awful writing is, about how a writer would rather do anything other than write, about how it’s a painful process, like pulling teeth or carving your own heart out. And it can be. It definitely can be. And if that’s what you’re looking for from writing, then that’s fine. 

But writing also be…fun! Not every day of your writing life has to be a day when you resent the action, when you would do anything to avoid it. These writing memes focusing on the negatives might lead you to believe that it’s always horrible and everyone who does it hates it all the time. Don’t let them fool you. That isn’t an inevitability. Writing can be like anything else you decide to have a relationship with: It can make you happier more often than not, and it can make your life overall happier to have it in it.

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2019 Writing Round-Up

 What's your total 2019 wordcount?


How many fics have you written this year? For how many fandoms?

13  Fall Out Boy fics, 2 inception fics, 2 original stories, 1 Sherlock fic

Longest fic you've written this year? And shortest?

Swan Song (Part 3) (128105)

case open, case shut (but you could pay to close it like a casket) (baby boy can't lift his headache head) (isn't it tragic?) (1197)

Most popular fic this year? (By hit count, bookmark count, your pick.) How does it compare to the previous years?

I like kudos count: Ivory Tower with 524. That is well below last year but that's because I posted Dream Bigger last year (3011 kudos)

Most memorable comment you've gotten this year?

I honestly love and cherish every comment I receive but I have a special weakness for ones that come in on old docs, it's just sweet to see them still being loved. And I love-love-love when people say they're not in the fandom but still love the fic. 

Any favorites among the fics you've written? 

My favorite fic is always the one I'm in the middle of working on.

What's your first fic of 2019 and last fic of 2019?

First: C6

Last: as we're drifting off to sleep, all those dirty thoughts of me (they were never yours to keep)

A scene, dialogue, or/and line you've particularly enjoyed writing?

I loved getting to finally finish the Swan Song arc I'd envisioned, oh, hundreds of thousands of words earlier. I loved deconstructing Harry Potter in the Hogwarts AU I've always wanted to write. And I really loved everything about Devil!Patrick and his fierce determination to find his way to happiness, finally working out the right ending for him made me so happy. 

Most enjoyable fandom to write for this year?

Every Fandom I write in, I know there is at least one person in it who is so happy to find that fic, so they're all enjoyable. I especially love when people follow me into original stuff, though. The Swandom has been such a delight this year, special shout-out to them!

Written any crossover?

Inception / Fall Out Boy and Sherlock / Fall Out Boy

Written any rarepair?

Nah. Unless you count my original stuff. 

A fic that's particularly important to you?

Swan Song (Part 3). It's always lovely when people like your characters but especially nice when they read your original stuff. Plus that was such a long and meandering fic to write but it felt like it ended up exactly how it needed to be.  

Anything you've learned about writing this year?

Trust your characters and yourself. Be true to the voice in your head. Your story knows what it's doing and will get you there. 

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Advent Drabble 22 - Starshine

Requested by [personal profile] kaffyr .

Rose had by this time grown used to the light of all sorts of stars. On Earth, of course, the only star to shine was the sun. But out in the wide world of the universe, all sorts of stars shone in all sorts of ways. Her children grew up speaking not of sunshine but starshine.

Old habits died hard, thought. So when Rose accidentally remarked that it was sunny outside, her children laughed at her.

“Starry!” Fortuna exclaimed. “It’s starry out!”

“That’s not the sun,” Brem corrected his mum. “It’s Arcturus!”

“It’s Arcturus-y out!” Athena added.

And Rose smiled.

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