Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Month: January 2015

A Knowledgeable Author’s Writing Advice

I receive newsletters from a certain popular author who teaches writing skills to other writers. She answers questions about writing from people in some of these newsletters. This is rather intermittent, I suppose because she doesn’t receive such questions with any frequency or regularity. Today, I got one of those emails, and at the top she states this:

This problem boils down to “I’m having trouble with my current Work In Progress (WIP) so I’m working on something else on the side.”

I know lots of writers who do this. Some work on outlining new projects while writing on one. Some write on other projects when another isn’t going. Still other writers work on editing a different project at the same time. Some do all three on various projects at once.

This knowledgeable author’s first response is: 1) Shiny Object Syndrome is the writer’s worst enemy. This, I have a method of dealing with. I’m pretty good at corralling my ideas and holding them off. Basically, when a new idea pops up, I tell it to get in line. If it doesn’t shut up, I do a little background work on it—worldbuild if necessary, do a character list, write out plot points, maybe outline a scene or two. Something. Then I tell the idea to get back in line, and, sometimes right away, other times after I’ve done more background work on it, it does listen.

Knowledgeable Author next says: 2) Stories work best when you give them your love. And I do this to the best of my ability, whenever I’m able to focus on a project to any extent. There’s just one problem I have with being able to do this consistently. My bipolar controls my creative mind. I’ve explained this before, how my writing desire and capability fluctuates, sometimes wildly. I can be quite happily working on one of my Chraesti projects one day, then the next day be sick of all those WIPs but overjoyed to work on something on Aphori. And, as I’ve explained before, if I try to force my creative mind to work on something, I end up pushing myself into depression as well. So I follow this rule to the best of my ability when I am able to write, but must ultimately go with the flow when it comes to what my creative mind provides me, even if it provides me nothing at all to work with.

3) Current Project gets your first words. This is Knowledgeable Author’s last emphasized statement, and I happen to agree wholeheartedly with it. This is how I operate when my creative mind wants to work on two different projects, particularly when I want to write fresh words on both. Main WIP gets the attention first, then I work on the other project. However, for me, if I get stuck on the main project, focusing on that sticking point to figure out a way past it only aggravates and depresses me, so I must focus on something else to give my subconscious a chance to chew on the problem. Because, the more I focus on that issue, and the more aggravated and depressed I get over it, the harder it is for me to figure out a solution. This does not mean I do not spend any time at all consciously considering the issue, it just means that I’m trusting my creative mind to provide the answer I need at some point. Allowing myself to be distracted with another project enables me to be patient with the vagaries dictated by my bipolar and the fact my creative mind may not have fully worked out a problem before I reached the point of plotting or writing it.

While I do agree in general with Knowledgeable Author’s advice, I think they’re not taking into account that all writers are different. Granted, for most writers, particularly beginning writers, it may be a case that moving on to another particular project when stuck on the first may create a bunch of incomplete and partial stories which are never returned to. But, by the same token, some writers need time away from one project—and a switch to something sometimes completely different from that WIP—in order to make progress on it. I don’t think I’d know so many writers who are working on multiple projects at once if Knowledgeable Author’s advice worked for everyone. Sometimes, things just don’t go as planned, no matter how much one wishes they would—that’s something I had a painful and difficult time learning, and I haven’t forgotten that lesson.

Oncology Appt. #3

This entry is part 39 of 44 in the series Breast Cancer Posts

On 16 Jan 15, I had my third check in with my Oncologist. It began like pretty much all the others have since beginning hormone suppressant therapy last April. I lingered in bed until I absolutely had to get out, then I went to the VA, had a meal, and then picked up my Leuprolide injection before going to see my Oncologist. As happened in previous check-ins, a resident saw me first. I have no idea what his name is now, mostly because what Dr. Colonna and I discussed following his initial visit with me blasted pretty much everything out of my head, and his name was apparently blasted out for good.

Well, the visit progressed as usual. Dr. Colonna came to talk with me, and since it had been about six months, she did another breast exam. She also had the resident perform one, and he was extremely thorough. While he performed his exam, she explained what to look for, commented that eventually breast density may be listed as an indicator to propensity for cancer, since denser breasts tend to get cancer more often, and basically went over things for the resident to remember in later exams. I don’t mind this at all. I like hearing what she tells them, because it’s just as informative for me as it is for them, even if she repeats things—after six or so months, I kind of need to hear it all again anyway. LOL

After she gave me a briefer exam, they let me put my top clothes back on and Dr. Colonna and I discussed my treatment. This time, she was able to explain that there’s research backing up her prescriptions of Anastrozole and Leuprolide with me, as opposed to something like Tamoxifen. Basically, it’s advised to prescribe these medications based on the “scariness” of the cancer—whether it was hormone receptive and spread to lymph nodes. Since my cancer had done both things, Dr. Colonna essentially pulled out what might be termed as “the Big Guns” with regards to my hormone suppressant therapy. The medications I’m on are much better at suppressing hormones than Tamoxifen is.

After that, Dr. Colonna went on to explain that she’d been considering what further treatments she could give for my cancer. According to her, she has concerns about the possibility of a recurrence of cancer, so she suggested she could see about having me meet with Dr. Rose at the Women’s Clinic to see about having a partial or full hysterectomy done. She suggested this now because she was testing how well I’d do on hormone suppressant therapy, and I’m apparently doing well (no emotional breakdowns, no craziness) before she considered offering a hysterectomy. Needless to say, I was excited to hear this, though my Oncologist made it clear she was willing to arrange this primarily as part of my cancer treatment only. I of course agreed to this.

Then, surprising me even more, my Oncologist suggested she has concerns about my breasts—even with the hysterectomy. Apparently, there is some possibility I may develop cancer again, even if there aren’t any hormones fueling the disease. Dr. Colonna discussed the fact she’d be happy to see about arranging for me to have a double-mastectomy—by Dr. Savarise, who did my lumpectomy—if I agreed to it. Of course, I was all for this, and not just because I’m trans and want rid of my breasts for that reason alone. One of my biggest fears is a relapse of the cancer, no matter what we do to prevent it, and having a double-mast would ease my fears a great deal.

After that appointment, I practically floated home. The following week, the Women’s Clinic called to make my appointment with Dr. Rose; I’m to see her on the second of March.

*Note: I may not post to this blog on Tues and Fri of the first week of February (1-7) as I have been summoned to Jury duty and may have to go in at some point that week; I won’t know if I’m going in until the evening of the weekday before. If I am able to post, Yay! If not, I’ll be back to it the following week. Unless I’m required to attend a trial as a juror; if that happens, I’ll make an announcement to that effect and guesstimate a time frame my blog will be on hiatus.

UF Earth and Elindu

I have a bunch of Urban Fantasy ideas. No, it’s not the typical type I’ve seen on bookshelves in stores. My MCs in this UF world are of course some variety of LGBT. They’re not all detectives—in fact, I have only two of those, a brother-sister team whose stories I can’t get off the ground. Most of my UF stories are less mysteries than they are dramas, and, in many cases, mystery doesn’t even have a role in the ideas I have at all. Aside from my UF races, most of them could be standard mainstream stories, with a thriller or two thrown in.

I can’t get these stories off the ground, in part because of the research requirement. My inherent personality is lazy, and the thought of doing research is a turn-off, though I do it willingly enough in the course of writing some stories. But that’s in the course of. Designating a specific amount of time to focus on research alone makes me edgy, so I never do it. I will admit, however, I do tend to get into my research once I start, and sometimes go back to it if it’s compelling enough, after I’m done writing. If I can make it fun for myself, I do it a lot more happily.

And I’d love to write these stories. They’re fun. Plus, they tie into Elindu, where my Nano14, Masks, is set. Developing my UF ideas to the point where they’re at now enabled me to figure out a great deal about Elindu, and vice-versa. These worlds are irrevocably connected in my mind, my UF Earth and Elindu, and I’d really like to show the two different ends of the connection—how magic has developed on our world, and how technology has developed on Elindu outside of the warded area where Masks is set.

Elindu is a science-fantasy world. A more dramatically alt-Earth planet than the UF Earth I’ve developed is. One of the things I need to research for Elindu is early Earth continental forms. And one of the things I need to research for my UF Earth is locations of other places similar to the Bermuda Triangle—basically, locales here on earth where mysterious disappearances and other unexplainable things have occurred. I’ve only recently gotten a good idea what to do for my early Earth continent research, but I’m still clueless for how to go about figuring out how to search for Bermuda Triangle-like locales.

I’m continuing to develop both worlds, however. I do know my UF Earth’s organized and regulated travel procedures get all shot to hell with regards to how the fantasy races travel, particularly my version of elves. I’ve developed my own breed of vampires for both worlds—and I’ve given them their own country on Elindu while trapping the majority of the UF Earthbound vampires under the control of the Catholic Church (a common fallacy is that my version of vampires choose vampirism and are thus redeemable into mundane humans again, but they’re not, and the methods the Church uses to control them actually drive them into a mental state where they’re beyond reason or control). I’m developing a variety of mage-types for both worlds and tweaking the magical system to fit both. Also, I’m developing my own were-races.

Passage back and forth is possible, but not encouraged by those in the know. Mostly, passage is from UF Earth to Elindu and not the other way around, though it does happen accidentally. I do know my nonhuman races on Earth spent a great deal of Earth’s history trying to hide their presence for the most part, though there are some inconsistencies in how certain communities came out or developed in tandem with mundane communities (French elves!). And I know that magic—on both worlds—can be completely eradicated by killing the right people—but one must know who they are, where they live, and how to get past the wards (and loyal communities of magical entities) who protect them.

I have stories spanning the 20th-21st centuries on UF Earth, and stories scattered across hundreds of years on Elindu. New “inpsirations” of entities appear on both worlds whenever they’re successful, and technology on UF Earth and outside the gods’ wards on Elindu is highly developed. Within the wards that protect Elindu’s magical creatures, tech is somewhat suppressed and develops at a slower pace, even when “modern” stuff from UF Earth finds its way to Elindu’s warded area. All of UF Earth’s Pagan deities are all real—though I haven’t done much of that research yet, either.

There’s still quite a bit I must develop on both worlds. Things I need to tweak, too. It’s slow going, especially when I have so many other worlds and projects I want to get done. I actually probably shouldn’t be surprised it’s taking me so long to do much with my UF Earth/Elindu worlds, even with the research I have difficulty doing.

PT Visit #3

Today, I had my third PT appointment. No, this isn’t the most exciting thing to happen to me recently, but I’m keeping the other thing under wraps until I see how far it progresses, but rest assured that other thing was something good. So was this Physical Therapy appointment.

Right up front, I admitted to Scott that I hadn’t been doing the exercises he assigned me in December regularly—and why. My sleeping’s been screwed up due to a prolonged manic phase. Now, I didn’t realize until yesterday what was feeding into my sleeplessness. That was when I checked the My Healthy Vet site to order some meds. Now, about two weeks ago, I checked the site to make sure meds I’d thought I’d ordered at the beginning of the month were on their way, and the pharmacy section offers delivery tracking. When I saw the red buttons on my medication orders, and those orders were for the meds I currently need refills of, I thought this was an indication that the medications were on their way.

Two weeks ago.

Yesterday, I checked the site again to see why I hadn’t gotten a delivery of medications last week when I finally realized they should have come in long before now. This time I actually clicked the Tracking button—and discovered the buttons are there from December’s shipment of medications. One of these medications I’d thought I’d ordered is my daytime 40mg of Geodon. I’ve now been without this medication for about a week and a half. Now, my manic phase began about two weeks ago, but it’s been given a bit of a boost due to my lack of my daytime psych med. This is why I haven’t been sleeping.

And, yes, I’ve made sure I ordered all the meds I need, including the 40mg Geodon capsules. LOL

Honestly, I’m glad it was only the 40mg of my Geodon that’s missing from my my daily meds. I can skate by without it, though the timing could have been better this time.

Anyway, I explained this situation to Scott, and he didn’t chew me out. I fully expected to get a stern reprimand about keeping up with my medications better. The thing is, when I’m in manic phases, I don’t sleep as much or as well as I need to, and that effects my arm right now. For the past couple weeks, I’ve had about three or four sleepless nights, and they all adversely effected my arm to the point where, more than one day after those sleepless nights, I was thrown back to doing the exercises the emergency room doc I saw back in November showed me. Seriously. I could move my arm only a limited amount side-to-side, or back-and-forth while standing bent over for a number of days the past few weeks. And, just when I’d get enough mobility to do the exercises Scott assigned me in December, I’d have another night where I didn’t get tired (and thus didn’t go to bed), or where I went to bed but couldn’t sleep—and those threw my arm back into a limited range of movement.

I assured Scott I’d ordered my medication yesterday, which pleased him. I like the fact that he didn’t let himself get distracted with reprimands and admonishments, even though I deserved them. He just outlined a number of new exercises for me. He did as he’d done before, and tested my range of movement, then stretched the affected muscle a bit himself. After ensuring I had all the equipment I needed—he gave me another elastic band and told me to use a can of soup as a weight for one of my exercises—he printed up the instructions for them and sent me on my way with a request I see him in three weeks. I did tell him I may have jury duty, and he told me to reschedule my appointment if I get called, joking that I won’t be arrested for missing a PT appointment.

I may post the exercises he gave me next week.

Working On My 2YN15

I’m in a weird creative place right now. I want to call it a downswing, but I’ve been too creatively productive (on the Other Genre) with wordage to be able to claim such. Also, I’ve been working ahead on my 2yn15 project, which is fantasy; in part because of my possible jury duty next month but also because I’m having fun and wanting to work on it.

Currently, I’m stuck on exercise 9. In week 9, we’re supposed to figure out what would bribe our character to stop pursuing their goal. I have this figured out for Khamu (whose goal is to reunite with Shi’u), but I’m having difficulty figuring out what would bribe Shi’u. As I see it, things are going to gradually be taken away from him over time. And no, I can’t make it something like “be reunited with Khamu” because Khamu is the one keeping them separated—there’s something operating on his end of the separation which he feels he can’t break free of. Shi’u’s primary goal is to reconcile the Palace with the Temple, and Khamu is actually only a small part of what’s preventing this happening, so using him to bribe Shi’u probably wouldn’t work very well. Not only would Shi’u not be inclined to back down on his stance, but Khamu actually agrees with him and would stand with him and not do anything to convince Shi’u otherwise.

So, I’ve got a nice little corner for myself.

In addition to working ahead on the 2yn15 course, I’ve been conlanging to name my characters. This is a somewhat functional conlang, because I’m creating names like Einpaokhis-Nrn-Thmousisal. I decided that since I’m lifting a fair amount of the background for Mukhamutara from Ancient Egypt, I’d go the extra mile to create names that approximate names from Ancient Egypt as well. To create this language, I went to a names site that happened to have a list of Ancient Egyptian names and picked out the various letters and letter combinations which went into Ancient Egyptian names. I came up with a little over 100 such letters and combinations and use them as a sort of alphabet to create the names.

Of course, some of the names sound mixed up or from other cultures, but I am using a base “alphabet” for them, so at least things will be somewhat uniform. What I do to create a name is formulate a name in English (She-Was-Born-With-Sorrows), then I create the different words, which sometimes requires conjugation: She-Was-Born became Einpaokhis = einp (past tense: was) + aokh (born) + is (she). Once I have the rest of the name (in this case, Nrn-Thmousisal = With-Sorrows), I ensure all the name components are entered in a master dictionary, then add the full name to a master glossary for the translation before writing the Mukhamutaran version in place of the English version on the Character List and choosing a nickname for the character (in this case, Thmousisali). After deciding that Mukhamutarans habitually add the base gender suffix (i = female; u = male; o = neuter/indeterminate) to the nickname, I take a little time figuring out which word from the name sounds best with the base gender suffix. It is, in Mukhamutara, seen kind of as a diminutive as well, like -let or -kin in English.

Yes, it’s a bit involved, but I’m enjoying this. Most of the time, my name creation doesn’t involve meanings of the names, so I’m having fun with this.

Possible Jury Duty

About two or three years ago, I was contacted by the County Court system with regards to possibly serving on a jury. At that time, this required me to call the Court in question on specific days to find out if I was going to have to go in on the following weekday. I forget where, specifically I was told I may end up serving jury duty, but it I do recall it would have involved a bit of travel via public transit, so I got the courthouse’s address and planned my itinerary in case I should be summoned.

In the end, I wasn’t summoned. I was vaguely disappointed, because even though I don’t think I’d make a very good juror, I did kind of want to go for research purposes. The stipend they offered wouldn’t have been unwelcome, either.

Earlier this month, I received a letter and day-glow form to fill out for possible jury duty next month. In the letter, they made it clear that only if I’d served within the past twenty-four months could I be released from duty completely this time. Not that I was much inclined to try and get out of it. As before, it would be a good opportunity to do some real-life research.

The form, a particularly garish color somewhere between pink and orange, was easy to fill out. They had the wrong address on the letter, so I made sure to put my current address in the form, then, on the other side, where there were two check boxes with either a verification of the address the form had been mailed to or a statement that the resident no longer lived there, I checked the latter and made a note that I’d included my proper address on the other side of the form. It apparently takes a little while for the County Court system to catch up to voter registration address changes—which I did back in October so I could vote in the midterm election.

I filled out the form according to instructions. On it, they had a space where appointments could be listed, as a way to request permission to be excused on that particular day. Even though I’d be quite willing to change the appointment I listed, I put it in anyway because I wanted to inform them I have psych issues and there was no other place to do so on the form. No, not as a way to wiggle out of possibly serving, but simply to inform them I have the psych issues; I don’t know if that would have any bearing on being summoned, but I expect it to lead to questions of my current mental stability if I am summoned, and that’s what I want. I don’t want anyone agreeing to my placement on their jury without this knowledge, as it is an aspect of myself which will define some of my personal views on certain cases on whose jury I may be asked to serve.

According to the letter, I could be asked to serve at a Court either right near where I now live . . . or way across town somewhere that’ll require public transit. I don’t think I need to say which one I hope to be summoned to if I am called. LOL In either case, I now have the addresses to both Courts, as well as phone numbers to them; the local Court’s info was provided in the letter, and I called that to get the ‘cross-town Court’s info. Closer to Feb, I’ll get an itinerary from the Utah Transit Authority’s site and may make a trip out to the ‘cross-town Court just to make sure I know where it is.

Admitting Defeat

Last May, in my post Random Vs. Predictable, I waxed rather poetic on the challenge of writing books with predictable pov changes. That was all shot to hell in December. I began a new story that would not obey this stricture I had set for Vrythea’s (then Hatu Napor’s) stories.

For starters, it has a whopping four (maybe even FIVE) points of view. That’s at least twice as many as I usually like to work with, but all of my pov characters have important parts to play in the story, and they won’t all always be in the same place. Even when they are in the same place, they won’t all be doing the same thing, or even at the same precise location.

The plot is also slightly more complicated, at least in the beginning of the book/series. Degrees of Subtlety and Fairy-Touched are both much more straightforward, plotwise, than what I’ve got going in For Want of Impossible Things. In FWOIT, I’ll have pov characters wandering all over the landscape to accomplish the story.

Also, of the possible five, four of these characters have a lot of growing and changing to do. One is arrogant and hidebound; one needs to come into his own power; another needs to grow up out of being a spoiled brat; and the fourth needs to learn the value of true friendship and how it can give him courage to do what he’d never contemplate on his own. They all need to learn to trust not only each other, but also themselves.

I haven’t embarked on any stories this complicated in a long, long time. Quite frankly, I think I needed FWOIT to teach me an important lesson on working with the story, instead of trying to force it into some preconceived pattern. With that in mind, I intend to look at what I have of DoS and FT to see what, if anything, I’ve neglected to include in what I have of their narratives and their outlines. I think part of the reason why I’ve been stalled on those stories so long is because I’ve refused, point-blank, to see how loosening up about pov switches may help me progress on those stories.

So, with the new year, I have a new mindset, one I hope will give me the ability to once again progress on all of Vrythea’s stories.

On Mental Illness and Being Honest About It.

Mental illness carries with it a number of challenges, especially when the sufferer is young. When I was a teen, I had incredible social anxiety, exacerbated by beliefs that I was unworthy of friendship, I was ugly, and that nobody really cared about me. That nobody could care about me. I believed I was inherently unlovable and undeserving of being loved.

My mother was at a total loss as to what to do with me—until she saw an article in the newspaper about a local Star Trek club. Now, I’d been a fan of Star Trek: the Next Generation since I discovered it in 1989. I adored that show, and I’d been writing fanfic based on it pretty much since beginning ninth grade. So, Mom did what she thought was best and dropped me off at the library for one of their monthly meetings one Saturday afternoon. I briefly considered hanging out in the main section of the library for the duration of the Star Trek meeting, but ultimately decided to at least check things out, in part because I didn’t want to have to lie to Mom about having gone.

The little library’s main meeting room was already set up for the meeting, with a long table with chairs facing the room at the front, and rows of chairs facing that setup in the rest of the room. Two more long tables stood at the right, already bearing snacks and 2-liters of sodas and cups. A few of the regular club members were present, but I didn’t approach them. I sidled into a chair in the middle of the last row set up and huddled there. I can’t remember if it was Dawn or Milo or someone else, but one of those already present came over and introduced themselves, asked my name, and pointed everybody else out with their names when I admitted I didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of talking to anyone.

I spent the entire meeting in that chair, and scurried out without partaking of any of the snacks when it was over, though everyone else stayed to socialize. I’d had enough, I felt stressed, and I wanted to go back to my bedroom at home and hide with my writing. Mom picked me up. On the way home, she asked me how things went, and I told her a little of what had gone on, then, to my own surprise (and probably hers, too), I admitted I wanted to go to the next meeting.

I gradually grew comfortable enough to chat with everyone after the meetings, but my first Christmas party with them, at one member’s home, proved to be a little too much. In the middle of our Secret Santa gift exchange, I retreated to an empty, dark bedroom to spend some time alone. I needed to recover from what was for me intensive socialization. It was either Kim or Dawn who followed me to ask what was wrong, and I, in my innocence, was completely honest with her when I replied. I explained I needed a break from the social activity because it was starting to stress me out, and I was getting edgy enough to start snapping at people for no reason, and I didn’t want to do that, so I needed some time to recover. She nodded and told me to take all the time I needed, that she’d tell everyone else what was going on and that I wasn’t upset or hurt or anything, then left.

I didn’t know it then—I wasn’t as self-aware and mindful as I am now—but I taught myself a valuable lesson. I learned that day it was important for me to be honest about my mental health with my friends. I didn’t realize it, but by telling Kim/Dawn why I’d retreated into isolation as I had, I’d given my friends a precious opportunity to be supportive and caring.

I realize now how big a thing that is. Up to that point, I’d fiercely guarded my mental health status, even after my inpatient visit to a local hospital’s mental ward. I didn’t tell anyone except my therapist and psych doc about my mental status. I didn’t realize, even when I told Kim/Dawn how I was doing mentally during that Christmas party, how imperative it was to be honest about my mental health.

That’s something I’ve learned over time, this honesty about my mental health. As friendships fluctuate, grow more distant and close again as they are wont to do with me, I’ve learned the value of being completely honest with my friends how I feel at any given time. If I’m upset or depressed, I tell them with complete honesty and as tactfully as I am able. This may be over the phone, or in an email, and is frequently done with them in person. I need to keep giving my friends the opportunity to understand me, particularly when I feel upset with, or angry at, or jealous of them for some reason. I’ve found that when I give my friends the opportunity to address my mental illness and its effects on me, my friendship with them strengthens.

This, I believe, is why I’m now able to pick up a friendship previously dropped or “forgotten” over the course of time when things get busy for myself or one of my friends. Not only am I honest with them about myself, but my honesty allows them to feel comfortable being honest with me, and confident I won’t get upset with them for life getting in between us. That’s what I mean about strengthening the friendship. It doesn’t matter how many months or even years fall between us from one conversation to another; what does matter is that we’re able to pick up where we left off because we both are honest with each other about what got in the way.

But I have to give my friends the opportunity to be honest, and compassionate, and caring. If I don’t do that, they won’t know I’ll welcome them back no matter what’s separated us.

Two-Year Novel 2015

This will be the third year in a row I’ve started the Two-Year Novel Course developed by Lazette Gifford. The first year she offered it on the new Forward Motion site, I got cancer, and that kind of blew keeping up with the course out of the water for me. It was all I could do to keep up with writing regularly.

Last year, I started it again for 2014; that time, a late-summer move and the resulting insanity interrupted my progress. I did try to catch up, but by the time I got to the sections where writing was to happen, I couldn’t get Xedepria’s story to move. At all. And I really wanted to write it for November. In the end, I decided to work on the one project that was moving, and I had fun with it, but getting the first Autocrat book going is still out of the question. I’ve read my stuff set on Chraest, gone through stories and plot cards and the 2yn exercises for Xedepria’s story, but nothing set there is going right now, and I’ve even actually passed out of the mood where I even want to look at stuff set on that world. It’ll come back; I just have to be patient and remember that pushing myself to work on projects I have no interest in whatsoever in working on Does Not Go Well for me. Even if I want to bury myself in those stories.

About two weeks ago, I thought I wouldn’t be doing the 2yn course this year. I had no ideas for new worlds, and didn’t really want any. No ideas for stories for new characters, and didn’t really want any. And I was at a total loss as for ideas to use for a magical system (besides one based on plagues I can’t seem to pin anywhere at all, no matter where I try), and didn’t really want any.

Then, Jennifer Amriss returned from an unannounced hiatus from Forward Motion and I cornered her in IM to discuss with her the fact that my creative mind had for the past several weeks been presenting me with a magical concept she uses in her God Jars books. We borrow off of each other, and don’t mind it, but I wanted her input because I was simply not seeing the angle my creative mind wanted me to take with it. If I remember right, I over the course of that conversation opened an old, old wip I wouldn’t have had access to without a program called Open Freely which opens a basic editor for obsolete files.

And that conversation and the old manuscript of a defunct story which went nowhere gave me the seeds I needed for my 2yn15 project, Whispers on the Wind.

Those seeds were:

1) Basic magical system. And I mean very basic. Just what two of the three types of mages were called and nothing at all on the third type.

2) Notions about the deific pantheon. And those were extremely vague.

3) The shadow of a new character, who Jennifer Amriss gave me the initial name, Shivanni (iirc), for. All I knew about him was that he was one particular type of mage.

4) And the fact two of the three types of mages regularly bond.

In the week or so since those first conceptions, I’ve developed my primary Main Character, Shi’u, started a constructed language file to name All The Things, developed a society based loosely on Ancient Egypt, and filled in some of the holes in the magical system. I’ve been hard at work on this project in part because it’s the only thing my mind wants to focus on. The rest? It’s simply been a great deal of fun working up these things.

I’m hoping this year I can keep up with the 2yn course. I’m not going to save WOTW for writing specifically during Nano, and may actually set it aside for the duration of that month. This is the world I’ve transferred the name Hatu Napor to, and it’s got a long way to go, though I already have the inklings of ideas for other stories set here.

So wish me luck. I want this one to go.

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