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The White Lily
17 January 2017 @ 12:38 am
I don't even know what to say, but I'll try.  Spoilers Ahoy for Sherlock S04E03.

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The White Lily
01 January 2017 @ 04:30 pm
So, this would be me finally getting around to crossposting my writeup of the amazing birthday present vampirekitty made me from the flashwork community onto my own journal.  Yes, I know, it took me until next year and everything--but now, I'm getting all set up with a couple of eyeballs I've been saving for the Season 4 Sherlock premiere, and it seemed... an appropriate moment.  :)

Still stoked about how amazing these look, and what a lucky lucky girl I am to know such an awesome person as vampirekitty!  :D

Presenting... Surprisingly Okay:
Surprisingly Okay!Collapse )
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The White Lily
28 December 2016 @ 11:10 pm
It seems like a new season of Sherlock has nearly sneaked up on me!

I've been thinking for a while, how cool it would be, now that I'm active in at least the fanfic side of fandom and clearly capable of churning out flashworks, how cool it would be to actually take advantage of the new-season rush and write a fic-a-day challenge or similar during January.  I'd love to create a whole lot of new content, and it'd be fun to contribute to the early speculations of what everything means.  And I got a whole lot of new followers while I was doing JWP solely for spending so long near the top of the 'recent additions' pile--I would imagine the result might be simlar while there's new content being actively paid out that people want to start exploring.

I'm thinking about it, anyway. I don't know if it would work, or if I could spin stuff out while I'm still reeling from being hit with it.

And I don't know how the new season will strike me.  I'm a bit concerned, to be honest, because one of the things I like best about Sherlock is how much of the angst and character development lives under the surface.  How the craziness and the fun and the physical and intellectual action of the cases almost drowns out those fleeting glimpses of deep soul underneath the masks and in between the cracks in the relationships, leaving the fans freeze-framing and spinning crazy theories to prove it was real, and gasping for more.  The S4 trailers... do not look like that.  Which is somewhat of the nature of a TV show as it goes along.  The network of interelationships between every character becomes more complicated, the deep dark secrets become deeper and darker, and the whumps need to be whumpier to register.  Still.  I'm hoping--very much hoping--that they've cherry-picked the trailers for a particular effect, and that the Sherlock I love is still in there.

I should trust the Moffat.  And, I should remember to approach it in the best way I've discovered to approach any new instalment of canon in my current favourite fandom: as another layer of fanfiction--which does not have to provide me with the perfect canon anymore, because I already have that (hint: they had me at Reichenbach).  They can't take that away from me just by outdating it--that's the best thing about fanfiction.  If I want, it can always be 2011.  Season 4 will not automatically be better than every fanfic idea I've ever read, nor will it even be better--to me--than many of the ideas I've written.  But what Season 4 will provide is a whole new set of fresh, alternate ideas to explore about the characters, stories and ideas from the best freaking author in fandom, stories that I'm allows to play with too, if I want!  Yes.  In that light, I am very much looking forward to Season 4.

And we can just see how the writing idea goes.  I'd like to produce some new content as it goes, let's just leave it at that.

In the meantime, it is the last week of December, and Hubby's got the week between Christmas and New Year off.  It's the only time of year it ever happens.  We don't go away: the end of the year is the time to take a load off, relax, blob around at home, eat pizza and fish fingers, let the kids watch as much TV as they like, and let the house get messy.  Last year I had a whiplash injury and spent the whole time laid up in bed while Hubby raced around like a frantic chicken trying to keep the kids out of my hair and ended up less rested than he'd started, which was... not ideal.  This year, it's absolutely perfectly blobby for both of us.

And I've been getting wonderfully into some writing.  Mustn't forget to post Hubby's song for the flashwork amnesty before the end of December--but mostly I've realised I should be getting onto crossposting some of the fics I've been hoarding before S4 puts them Officially Out Of Canon.

Throughout this year I've been doing flashworks, and a lot of them.  It's been awesome, for keeping my hand in and keeping my head out of my rear end.  Publish or perish, as they call it in academia.  And a lot of them have been pretty short--I've been increasingly managing to make them pretty short, which is good for my sanity--but a few have taken my inspiration and run with it and ended up a little longer.  (The Wrong Kind of Snow, I'm looking at you.)  I've fallen into a pattern, which I've liked, of tidying the fics up before crossposting one when I get a spare Saturday morning.  Which is lovely, and I've been enjoying, for the little fics, but a couple of the longer fics (The Wrong Kind of Snow, I'm looking at you!) have sent me into panic attacks at the idea of going back to edit them, so I've left them to simmer in their own juices until I'm ready.

And this week, I've been ready.  I was brave enough to open up The Wrong Kind of Snow, among others, and do a readthrough and realise it's really not as bad as I remembered.  Too big a concept for the time limit, is the only problem.  When I edit it, it'll probably double or treble in length.  That's fine.  It's got some great content, and the bits that I thought dragged weren't nearly as draggy as I thought.  (Which is good because when I edit it, those bits in particular will probably expand tenfold.)  There's things it's missing, narrative absences and character motivations that haven't been set up.  But it's a solid framework.  Thumbs up me, I'll be back there, and I'm looking forward to it.

Mostly what I've been working on this week is Good for the Soul (as I titled it on fan_flashworks) or (as I accidentally copied it according to my working title on AO3) Five ways to confess to your flatmate.  I'm still not sure if I should go to the trouble of changing the title, for a few reasons.  First, because as it turns out it's got seven, maybe eight chapters?  The next one due to post has absolutely zero confession content in it.  Which, I could smush into the next chapter and post them together, but the story is screaming CHAPTER BREAK at me and sometimes you just plain have to listen to a story when it says that.  Perhaps I could subtitle it as an interlude.  Okay that at least works, and further excuses the slight shift in tone for that section.

I also kind of like the idea that it's a spiritual successor to Five ways to look after your flatmate (although I haven't set up a series), and look, a few weeks ago, it kind of was.  But then everyone got so excited when I posted the first chapter, and I kind of freaked out at the thought that what I had mightn't be satisfying, or... no, less than that.  Just that I knew it could be more satisfying, and I could just tidy up a few obvious things and make it a bit better.

Famous last words for The White Lily.

So I thought, why don't I fill this case out a bit better, flesh out the OCs, pay out my clues a bit more carefully rather than dumping them all in the second to last paragraph, stop treating this as a silly cracky thing and give it some substance.  And I did.  Oh, I did.

Except all the oomph I found is angsty oomph.  (Colour me surprised.)  And now my fic has schizophrenia.  Instead of light silly loveably-oblivious-narrator stuff going on--or alongside it--the case has gritty true-life issues and Macbeth references, and I have absolutely NO idea to bundle up the ending in a neat little go-away-now-case-because-it's-time-for-John-and-Sherlock-to-snog bundle.

See, here's what I'd kind of forgotten in my zeal to make the case worthwhile: investing John in some of the characters was a great way to bring some life to them and set out the dramatis personae of the case... but the previous resolution kind of hinged on John (and the reader) being substantially emotionally UNinvested in the case.  It was a side-note, and it worked that way.  But now it's more than that, and unless I change the way this thing works somehow, this case is going to rip John's (and the reader's) heart out--and a happy-silly ending simply doesn't work anymore.  Something's gotta give.  This story ain't big enough for the both of them.

The next chapter due to be posted--the one with no confession content in it--is the point of no return.  It's entirely new content, and it's good.  Or at least I like it.  But then I've got a bit of a sour-tooth.  *grins*  I want to make this story work somehow, without having to lose any of this new substance I've given the characters and new material I've given the story.  And also without losing the lightness.  And--thanks to some of the disconnected rambling here that's still here, and some that's since been deleted--I think I've worked out how to do it, in a way I'm pleased with.  A way that will even have a happy ending.  *fist pump*

Thanks for listening to my incoherence, folks, as always it's been a pleasure.
 
 
The White Lily
26 December 2016 @ 10:35 am
I've made it to the other end!  All the crazy Christmas creative projects and gatherings and frantic packing kids in the car to take them to visit family every day and staying up late every night for parades and to see christmas lights or for family gatherings and then staying up even later after I'd got them in bed to work on food or digitally mastering audio, and setting off the fire alarms at 2am on Christmas morning by cleaning the oven.

I'm alive.

I was awesome.

I even managed to have a pretty relaxing Christmas Day all told despite the lack of sleep.  Hubby loved his song (although I'm still going to tweak a line or two before I upload it).  Visiting family are gone.  I had 9 hours sleep last night.  Hubby's taken the kids out to the coffee shop, and I'm blissfully alone for the morning.

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(In the photo at the table, I (in the purple shirt) and my three children, my mum, and my four sisters are sitting closest to the camera.  The rest are two of my brothers-in-law, my nine nieces and four nephews, and one nephew's girlfriend.  Oh, and Hubby's in there too hidden away at the middle-back.  He's the strikingly handsome one in the white shirt sitting at the left of the second photo.)

Always a pleasure to drink white wine in the sun with these fine people.

Now, I'm going to sit down with a cup of tea and do some writing.  :)
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The White Lily
15 December 2016 @ 04:42 pm

Am a headless chicken at the moment. Too many projects, as is usual for me at this time of year.

1) Writing (well, re-lyricing) and recording a song for a Christmas present for Hubby.  (No soppy stuff, he wouldn't like that anyway.)  Stay tuned, I'll post it for the fan flashworks amnesty at the end of the month, it's gonna be awesome.  :D  But of course this means that I'm fiddling around with:
    a) writing lyrics (I've got three out of four verses written, a couple of concepts/lines for a fourth, and there's a few dodgy lines throughout that could do with improvement--but I'm so distractable by process-orientated stuff that I'm having difficulty focussing past the smorgasboard of distractions available),
    b) learning my way around the software and post-production filters I'll need to get the sound right and blending in with my backing track (Audacity, which I've used before many years ago, third party high-pass, de-essing, compression, autotune and reverb filters, which I haven't; it's a song for programming to, so I want to do my best to make something that'll sound all right in with the rest of his playlist),
    c) pulling together and learning my way around the hardware and setup I need for recording (an at least forty year old microphone from the cupboard which I hope will work better than my phone microphone solely because it will have a decent size diaphragm (although the phone mic I've been testing on sounds pretty decent for the style already, so I can fall back if it's no better (ETA: Hubby asleep, the old school mic is working and I think it does sound like it's got a rounder tone even if I don't want to try singing too loudly with the house asleep, and look I'm still not writing)), pop-filter made from a coat-hanger and a stocking, account created for Unspecified Purposes on Hubby's computer (which has an audio card with an actual microphone jack, what a blast from the past)),
    d) finding time with no one in the house to actually record it (Saturday morning, I've got a couple of hours and I'll need to get everything recorded in the one session, which I KNOW will be aggravating because I don't know what the hell I'm doing with a microphone, so the chances of recording anything clean are almost nil and I'll only really find the dodgy parts in post-production when it'll be difficult to do more takes--also I really really need to have my lyrics finalised and given some time to cook before then),
    e) explaining to my four year old what the word "bitch" means after he's heard me singing along with the original song one too many times in the car, and
    f) repeatedly thwacking on the head the idea that, given I will be an enthusiastic participant in two Kinect dance parties in the next week with my large tribe of awesome dance-loving nieces and nephews while they are all in town, and I have access to the dance game that covers the song I'm covering, and wouldn't it would be super super awesome to go all out and make a music video to go with it (What the hell, brain?  It's hard enough overcoming the self-consciousness to sing all out without thinking about actually dancing!  Plan: first, write lyrics!  Then, do other jobs!  Then and only then, if there's time, think about taking over the world with DANCE!!!)
So, yeah.  I always promise myself I'm not going to get obsessed with some kind of creative endeavour for a gift for someone this year.  And I ALWAYS go back on my promise.  Always.  Sigh.

2) Not getting too caught up in the above project (ha!) because the prompt at fan_flashworks this week is "Naked", for which the very very obvious fill means another chapter in the Were-John verse (he loses his clothes when he transforms, thus the nakedness), which I soooo want to write.  But I always find sequels are sooooo much harder than pulling something out of the air, so who knows if I'll need to pinch-hit for myself.

3) Also Psycho!Jim is on my mind, of which I want to write more of but is getting too big for its britches.  Much like the protagonist.  *forcibly removes Jim from brain with crowbar*  And The Wrong Kind Of Snow is still living in my brain wanting to be cleaned up and cross-posted, but now is NOT the time.

4) I'm also cleaning up and crossposting "Five ways to confess to your flatmate".  After the first chapter, everyone seems so excited about where it's going that I've been driven into a kind of anxious despair that where it's going isn't good enough, and I don't want to disappoint so I've got in a vicious editing loop that I have not the time to break myself out of.  *puts aside for now, people will have to wait for the next chapter*

5) I have a whole stack of wonderful new comments on Living Conditions, which I still think is the best thing I've ever written, and I always want to get right into the meat of replying to, but it is an all-consuming universe when I go there, so I'm just going to leave that until the new year.

6) Christmas.  Apparently I have children?  And all sorts of responsibilities for thinking of/buying/wrapping presents for other people as well?  *headdesk*  I think I'm only missing one christmas present, assuming everything I've ordered online on the last possible posting day arrives, plus a visit to the cheap shop to get stocking fillers.  Late night shopping tonight; maybe I can do it then and it will be off the stack.

7) Speaking of which, Christmas holidays.  All the kids (who I love very dearly) in my face, all the time.  Aaaaaghh!

8) We've got some christmas craft projects.  Decorations, and presents.  At some point in the next week, I'll have to make time to do that with the kids.

9) All four of my sisters and all of their families are in town at the same time for the first time since before I had children.  Obviously I want to see as much as I can of them.  I'm hosting two lots of Christmas parties, one of which will have 27 people, the one on Christmas day only 21.  I have to feed people.  And keep the house clean.  And organise enough tables for everyone to sit down together, which hasn't happened since we grew too big for that, but I am keen to do.  Our pool is safe to swim in (it's 35 degrees out at Christmas in Brisbane), but the water is still a little hazy--only to be expected because we had to replace the filter earlier this year, and they don't clarify the water as well until they're properly dirty--but I'm babying it in the hopes that it will start properly sparkling before everyone comes around, and that is So.  Much.  Work.

Right, so that's my brain dump.  I always laugh when people wish me "peace" at this time of year. No time to lose, stuff to be done.  In the last thirty-six hours, according to my fitbit, I've done 34,000 steps and got 4 hours and 3 minutes sleep.  See you on the other side.  Or not.  Because I may well be unconscious.

 
 
 
The White Lily
01 November 2016 @ 10:23 pm

So, this year's NaNoWriMo's going to be a little different to the other years.  (For the record, I've attempted three times: won in 2006 and 2007 and bowed out for health reasons 2008.)

Read more...Collapse )

For some reason, I've been writing the opening scene, which is not at all my style to start with, but it's the most vivid thing in my mind.  One of my characters is living in a treehouse, skulling vodka and trying not to acknowledge that the other has climbed up 60 feet and is banging on the trapdoor trying to be let in.

There's words coming.  1,149 of them today, which is a start.  And at least some of them are the right ones.  NaNo 2016... let's see where this one goes.

 
 
The White Lily
02 October 2016 @ 10:27 pm
Oh Em Eff Gee.  Does my muse not see the title of this document I'm working on for the Honey flashwork?!  "Short and sweet" it says.  Short.  And.  Sweet.

And so of course it's completely diverged from the drabble I'd originally envisaged where Sherlock has a mildly metaphorical dream about being a bee trapped outside the hive in the cold and back in Baker Street John pulls a blanket over him, and it dived *straight* for grief and mourning and angst and there is no freaking blanket in sight.  At least there's no Reichenbach.  Yet.

And it's refusing to end, so I'm going to have to keep writing until something vaguely resolvey happens.

---

Perhaps it's not surprising that my writing's off track, because I'm having... issues at the moment.  Mental health ones.

I should have known it was getting out of hand after what was happening with The Wrong Kind of Snow.  I'm having what I might call an episode, and it's been quite bad for the past few days.  It's getting to the point where the nameless dread just overwhelms me until I feel like I'm choking.  Where the procrastination gets so bad that I can't achieve anything at all until the very last minute or into overtime.  Where I can't stop what I'm doing and go to bed because somewhere in the whole falling-asleep process there would have to be a non-zero period of time where my mind would have to stop focussing on something and sit at its own mercy, so I stay up all night reading fanfic and not enjoying any of it because I feel too awful for even that to blot it out--to blot me out--but I can't stop because if I do then it'll all come rushing back all at once and that will be so much worse.  Where when a bad thought comes--and they come often--I confuse the kids by shouting or having a mini-fit at myself with my attempt to drown it out of my head before I can feel it.  Where I don't even know what I'm so desperately mortally afraid of because it's too terrifying for me to think.  Where I stop actually feeling like a real person so much as a robot inside a puppet body.  Where I sit next to my kids on the couch and read them a story and I can't feel them touching me and I can't feel any empathy with them and I can't do anything other that wish I that didn't exist.

Yeah.  Last few days it's got pretty bad.  To be clear, I'd never harm myself (or my kids).  I'm not that particular kind of unwell.  When I get like this I'm just... paralysed.  And empty.  I blot myself out mentally, any way I can.  And I still appear completely functional from the outside even when everything's gone white on the inside.

I know what the solution is, because I've been through therapy for this before.  The time when I went convinced I was going to have to be medicated for OCD, but the solution was simpler than that.  I don't need medication, I just need to be brave enough to let the monsters out into my head and look straight at them.  To let them do their worst, and put them in perspective so I can see that it's only the brain chemistry feedback loop that's winding them up to seem so bad.  And then start practicing mindfulness again, because as much as I hate doing it, it works.  But it's hard to get to a state where you can face being mindful when it physically hurts to consider stopping what you're doing long enough to let a genuine emotion cross your mind.  And it's hard to make myself do it when I know the solution's so simple that I could do it any day.  Perhaps even tomorrow.

It's not even the things themselves that I'm worrying about, it's the chemical state I've worked myself up into by being too frightened to let myself worry about things for fear of discovering my worries are right.

Futureproof has such awful power over me.  Awful, awful power.  But it's just a book.  In it and all the other decisions that I'm trying to make that have brought me to this, they're just decisions.  Not about anything that matters.  Not about anything I can get wrong.

Opportunity cost versus the opportunity at hand.  Those are the worst kind for me.

There's a pair of gorgeous Siamese kittens that I've found.  We've been looking for a while for some that suit us.  In personality and colour and gender and location and the environment they've been raised, these are simply perfect.  They're both blue point, which are definitely among my top three colour preferences (being tabby point, lilac point, and blue point).  Blue's possibly my favourite, my favourite colour is that edge where a soft seagull grey fades into white, which pretty much describes a blue point siamese down to a tee.  (But then again, stripey tabby point is so striking, and we've already had a blue point.  There was a lilac tabby who we almost got, but... reasons, which I'm still a bit devastated about.)  Possibly it's even nicer that they're both the same colour.  (Although, high speed cat chases, and not being able to tell who is who at a distance.  Although... two identical kittens curled up asleep together.)  Seriously, brain, why are you worrying about this?

Colour doesn't matter, because personality personality personality, and personality these two will have in spades because they've been raised by a family with small children and regular handling, they sleep in a six-year-old's bedroom, they're a bonded pair of only two in the litter, and they're not the least bit skitttish at chaos.  (Although who knows with cats, are we doing the right thing going for a pair of girls?  Last time with a boy and a girl turned out disastrous, and they grew up to hate each other.  Like, really hate.  Two girls are meant to be more trouble than mixed pairs--but I never want a cat that expresses itself by spraying ever again.  And Siamese really do best with a partner, even in a high-stimulation household like ours.)

They'll be ready to go home on my birthday.  My actual birthday, despite not looking for them for that particular purpose.  Clearly, they're meant to be ours.  This should be a happy thing, because we want them, because the kids will be over the moon to have their begging finally pay off.  But I can't enjoy the excitement because I can't stop turning it over in my mind.  And what's worse, I know it won't stop when we get them home.  Choices suck because they literally never settle in my mind.  I'll always look at these two and think... we could have got different cats.  Maybe we should have got different cats.  Maybe different cats would have been better.  Or maybe they wouldn't.  And maybe I should have called them by different names.  Because naming them, that's going to be a whole nother kettle of worms.  Which so doesn't matter because in the past our cats have always ended up being actually addressed by a pair of easy-identify monikers such as boy-cat and girl-cat or white-cat and grey-cat.  (Only these two will be almost freaking identical.  Thin-cat and thinner-cat?  Lighter-cat and darker-cat?  Who knows what they'll end up with.)  We've got three pairs of proper names, the kind that actually go on collars, as frontrunners, and I just can't face the idea of choosing despite how very little it matters.

Because there's something fundamentally wrong with me that I can't even look at our children and call them by their names without thinking "I could have called you something else, maybe I should have called you something else, is it really really too late to change your name, I mean I like your name, but I'm not sure I liked it more than some of the other options, but now it's too late isn't it, I can't change your name, I just wish I knew whether it was the right decision."

Writing, at the moment, is like making that choice on every single word.  Like walking through a world where every choice screams its potential to get it *wrong* at me.  It's hard.  And it's not fun writing like this.

Fuck anxiety.  Seriously, fuck it.  What right does it think it has to intrude on my ability to love my kids like that, and with my ability to do the things I love?  To make me feel like a passenger in my own body?

Only the right I give it.

So yeah.  I'm going to have to stop being such a wibbling wimp, face my shit, and put mindfulness back on my daily habits list.  *sigh*

---

I've sort of been writing this in parallel with my flashwork, which is now finished and posted.  I was hoping that finishing a sweet little flashwork might help settle my mind, but despite making a very conscious effort to restart and go in a different direction and writing the start of literally twenty different takes on the prompt, still the only place I got to was angst.  But it's good angst.  Apparently I was carrying around more feels about the end of our last cat four years ago than I realised.  I was the one who took him to be put down when his heart failure progressed, and I held him while he died.  Possibly that's one of the things that the prospect of new kittens has been bringing up for me.  But I wrote it and--as happens for me--after people started reading it, I started feeling it, properly.  And maybe that's better for me than writing something happy.

And then, this evening, I made myself take an hour-long bath with no reading material and no urgent tasks or plot point obsessing, and I let the thoughts come.  And they were yuck.  And it felt awful.  But they were just thoughts, and when I let them come they really didn't make the anxiety worse.  Because it really isn't about them, it's about me, the way I work myself up to be more terrified of what I might think than I would be of the thought itself.  And even if I don't feel much better yet, I thought the thoughts and I'm still here, and that has to prove something.
 
 
The White Lily
25 September 2016 @ 01:58 pm
Yay, I have solved a major plot problem.

This is better, this is perfect, this makes sense of everything, both narratively and structurally, and this stupid scene that hasn't been working for me?  Poof!  It's awesome now!  AND I've got worldbuildy threads to pick up later for a couple of other bare scenes I know are coming up.  Things that make me build this world up more are veeery very good.

Of course, it means some rewriting but not actually that much, just tweaking a couple of mediocre scenes one chapter back in ways that should actually make them better, and maybe sliding a little more worldbuiding in earlier on my next pass.  The research I had to do to get to this point also meant I got to spend last night's approximately biannual date night debating awesome sci-fi concepts with Hubby, which was great fun since we're both massive geeks and... well, the way we get when we're talking about this kind of stuff?  Well, there are many, many reasons he's the love of my life, but this is definitely one of them.  :)

High five, Brain.
 
 
The White Lily
21 September 2016 @ 09:54 pm
I spent a few minutes this evening updating my word count spreadsheet, which had recently fallen by the wayside, and I'm very glad I did.

At a total of 6K words, posting The Wrong Kind of Snow has put me over two somewhat related milestones.  I'm now up to 104,823 words of fiction I've written this year, which is, like woah.

When people started talking about Get Your Words Out goals at the beginning of the year, I looked at the targets and I laughed and laughed.  And then I cried.  Even the 75K disability goal, if I counted anxiety and stress migraines and toddlers, seemed completely out of reach.  But hey, look at me!  Over 100K, it's September, and I'm still planning to do NaNoWriMo... I could have signed up for the 150K goal after all!

Possibly more importantly to me, I'm up to 101,916 words I've actually finished and posted this year.  (Yes, I started the year with about 12K words already written on things I've since posted, but that's possibly even harder for me than writing new stuff to post.)

Go.  Me.

I think I'm particularly proud of the ratio, because my real goal when I started the year--and the eventual reason I decided not to sign up for GYWO because writing more words was not actually what I wanted to focus on--was to stop half-writing things, stop hoarding and chewing on them forever, to finish writing them and to get them the fuck out of my head.  Because it's pretty damned crowded in here, what with the plot bunnies and the brain weasels and trying to remember my kids' names and all.

Discovering that I've passed such a massive milestone in both at exactly the same time makes me pretty bloody pleased. And I've been making progress on long term writing projects which are not postable as yet, so I'm totally chuffed.  If I can finish off Futureproof, keep up the flashworks, AND do NaNoWriMo, which is still my at least moderately realistic goal, the two might even finish the year not too far apart--but with words I've let go in the lead.  Now that's a goal to strive for.

So, now I'm finished the latest flashwork, it's time to put my nose back into Futureproof.  There are seriously only five scenes left that I am deeply unhappy with and/or are absent because I was deeply unhappy with them and in posession of a delete key.  Five.  A couple of them are big scenes, all are central to a dodgy point in some plot thread that runs through the whole story, but still. Five.

Move it, Lily.  Even if all you do is paste wallpaper over them and whistle loudly enough that nobody notices.
 
 
The White Lily
19 September 2016 @ 11:47 pm
I'm trying to take a quick break from Futureproof to work on the second in my Transport series, tentatively titled "The Wrong Kind of Snow", in which an asexual Sherlock takes the next step in a sexual relationship with John.  It's a series that's close to my heart, because reasons, and it's frustrating me that it keeps diving off in a direction I don't want.

It's not supposed to be a talky fic.  I don't want vast long relationship negotiations that fix things, because (1) it's not in character and (2) it doesn't fit with the source material I'm transforming.  But I do very much want to convey the complexity and the nontraditional joy of the relationship. It's the same tug of war between narrative causality and truth that I had to put up with while writing Carpooling, the first fic in the series.  Only now I've got a third player in the tug of war which is the 'feeling' that's been laid down by the first story.

In my source, the way the relationship progresses between someone who doesn't really understand that they're asexual and someone who's assuming everything is normal, there's a lot of miscommunication.  And some messiness, and confusion and shame and accidental button pressing and all those things, and there's some dysfunctional unsatisfying sexual encounters, but also an increasing propertion that might seem dysfunctional but are satisfying on all sides in their various ways.  And there's some communication which lights things up, but not much because everyone's just guessing what the answers might be.  Mostly, it's two people struggling along in the dark, trying to understand themselves and each other, making each other's lives better in all sorts of myriad ways, because they want to and they can.

Aces can and do have satisfying sexual relationships, because they experience what's called secondary sexual desire.  They can desire to have sex with someone for a reason other than their own sexual pleasure.  And that?  Is totally okay.  But I guess I'm finding it hard to convey the okayness of that.  I guess that's why I started writing the story, because that's the okayness of that is the story I wanted to tell.

The first story is pretty firmly show-not-tell, very close POV, and it's left a little ambiguous.  There's very few lines of dialogue, and I like it that way.  And Sherlock is a faintly unreliable narrator, disconnected enough from his own experience that no one including him is quite certain what he feels, which I love.

This story's not like that.  It's getting looooong, particularly for a 'quick' flashwork before I get back to what I'm supposed to be working on.  It's over 5K words so far of the stuff I'm fairly certain I'm keeping, which is... a lot of writing in a fairly short time, for me.  Which is good.  And annoying.  For some reason, despite what I set out to write, in this story my keyboard wants them to talk talk talk talk talk.  And John's doing a lot of being patient and understanding and mildly horrified, and Sherlock's alternating between petulant sulking and making frustratedly awkward romantic declarations.  Except when he's being passive.

I'm tearing out my hair.  I've written the same conversation at least four different ways, and there's a lot of great lines and great interactions to cherry-pick, but I'm not sure I want any of them in the story.  Because... the whole point was the not talking.  This is going to fall out differently to my source, because you know what?  The people involved are different to the characters in this story.  And that's okay too.

Now I think about it, I've had this very same happen before, when I was writing Ring Truly.  The problem there wasn't about the story not being true enough, but I guess I had similarly fixed ideas about forcing characters to follow a storyline that didn't come easily, forcing them to be happy when the ideas felt a bit angsty.  All Lex and Clark wanted to do was talk it out, which while it immediately fixed all the problems, did not work for their characters or the story.  The solution then was to kill Lois, which sent them straight back into a deep and not-talky connection, and to ruthlessly kill all the explainy OOC dialogue.  No Lois here to kill, although it occurs to me I've disappeared Mary by unspecified hurtful means, I could lean further into that..

The OOC dialogue has to go.  And I have to find a way to do it all through body language and experiencial incidents.  Sherlock needs some fire.  So does John.  And apparently I have to find a way to let myself write happy sex scenes.  Me.  Writing sex where no one's crying on the inside.  /o\  I don't think I'll ever be able to write sexy sex.  But I guess if I'm ever going to be able to write at least happyish sex, it'll be this story.  I've got most of two scenes, I don't know how they play for other people, but they're fine for me.  I think I need a third, too, but okay.

You know the other thing I need to do?  Stop obsessing about what's wrong with this story, and just write it.  Even if it's wrong.  Leave the dialogue.  Fill in the gaps, tidy it up, get it done.  Not perfect; out the door.  Enough with the pointless, euphemistic excuses for why it's not right.  Do the thing.

Yeah, yeah, I already knew that.