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I’ve just returned from the 2010 WriterCon UK event at Coventry. It was immensely enjoyable and gentlemen (and women) in England now a-bed should think themselves accursed they were not there. Well worth the 9-hour journey each way. Anyone, from any fandom, who enjoys good company and has a sense of humour should definitely consider attending next year’s event – which will be held in the same place.

I was, appropriately, one of the speakers. I had given presentations at two of the previous three [livejournal.com profile] writerconuk events but, because I was working from very sketchy notes and improvising as I went along, I didn’t manage to reproduce them in post form afterwards. This time I was better prepared, with a detailed script, and so I present a transcript here for everyone to read (also posted, with a slightly different preamble, at the [livejournal.com profile] writerconuk community).

Writing Original Characters readers don’t hate )

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I'm not sure whether to be pleased or to be annoyed about the current spate of discussions of the Mary Sue issue on LJ.

I will be doing a talk at this year's WriterCon UK on the subject of 'Writing Original Characters readers don't hate'. Some of the recent posts have included points that may be of use to me; on the other hand if the issue is too widely discussed it may make my planned talk superfluous.

So far no-one has come up with anything that duplicates the core principle that I will be putting forward but it can only be a matter of time.
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The good: yesterday I discovered Fever Beats by Thea Gilmore. Only six years after it was released but better late than never.

The bad: I read (courtesy of a good Friend, no way would I pay for it) Buffy Season 8 issue 13. As usual it filled me with an intense hatred of Buffy. This does make it rather difficult for me to get on with writing Buffy-centric stories. It didn’t even contain any useful plot hooks for Giant!Dawn crackfic. Really the whole thing was crackfic, or even badfic, and it’s very hard to parody utter drivel.

The ugly: In order to cure my Buffy-hatred I went to Just Rewards and read some classic Spuffy fics. Unfortunately I’d had a reading spree recently in which I’d re-read all of Enigmatic Blue’s, Barb’s, Tales of Spike’s and a few other favourite authors' stories; I had to fall back on some fics by writers who are rather less skillful. I kept being jerked out of the mood by sloppy word usage. ‘Loose’ for ‘lose’, ‘loathe’ for ‘loath’ and vice versa, and one I had never seen before and which totally cracked me up; ‘in loo of’ for ‘in lieu of’. One perennial error inspired me to write the following drabble set at the end of ‘Not Fade Away’...

The Last Hurrah of the Golden... Handshake? )

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Happy Birthday to [livejournal.com profile] rustybitch

Belated Happy Birthdays to [livejournal.com profile] spiralleds, [livejournal.com profile] killerweasel (without whom I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the comics about Buffy-C in the World With Scottish Wolves), [livejournal.com profile] spikeslovebite, and to [livejournal.com profile] dragon_prince.

During my last nights off work I was working simultaneously on the conclusion of ‘Life, Resumed’, the next chapter of ‘Came the Thunder’, and the next chapter of ‘Tabula Avatar’. As a result I didn’t finish anything, other than the ‘Olaf’ crossover ficlet, but I should be able to complete at least one of the above during my next five nights off work. I had hoped to do some writing during the mornings of these shift days but the nights have been so busy that I haven’t had the energy.

On my last night off I needed to look something up from a previous chapter of ‘Tabula Avatar’. I became sidetracked and ended up re-reading a substantial part of the story. As usual I spotted errors that had slipped past unnoticed at the time of first posting; for instance this one, from the party’s first battle against Bodhi & company;

‘A gray humanoid finger lunged at Buffy.’

Obviously that should read ‘figure’. I corrected it, here on LJ, at TtH, and on my website. It just shows that no-one is immune to the curse of the emancipated wolves.

I also made some corrections to those past chapters. It occurred to me that I had never made it clear that the rather erratic functioning of the vampire invite rule in the ‘Tabula Avatar’ universe is intentional and not simply because I was forgetting about it. I’ve inserted some passages, at appropriate points, that show that Spike has noticed the inconsistency too. He has no way, at this time, of knowing the reason behind it (he’s in a computer game, where the central character’s party can always gain access to any building if to do so is necessary to the plot, and the metaphysical laws behind the invite rule are being overridden by the game mechanics) and so I’m not giving that explanation in-story as yet.

I also inserted a passage to clarify the reasons behind Nalia joining the party for occasional missions; this was something requested by a reader, who pointed out that I’d brought her in without explanation, but I can’t remember who and I can’t find the original comment or review. Thanks to that unknown person.

And thanks to the unknown person who has nominated ‘The Hour of the Troll’ in the ‘Best Crossover: Book’ category at the Sunnydale Memorial Fanfiction Awards.
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Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] globalfruitbat and to [livejournal.com profile] darkestarx

I hate ‘Rhyming Review Day’ at ‘Twisting the Hellmouth’. Getting a bad review is so much worse when someone has gone to the trouble of writing it as an epic poem with 9 verses detailing the shortcomings of my portrayal of each of the characters.
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Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] melancthe


Belated happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] higlearn

I have been vaguely thinking about doing a poll asking what people thought was the all-time best Buffyverse fanfic. Perhaps ‘The Last Tin Soldier’ by [livejournal.com profile] liz_marcs? [livejournal.com profile] shadowscast’s ‘Fragments’ series, or her ‘Sock Puppet’? [livejournal.com profile] rahirah’s ‘Necessary Evils’? The short story ‘I, Bot’ that used to be hosted on Valerie X’s site (but which, alas, seems to have disappeared from the Net now and so I can’t name the author)? I gave up the idea of a poll because I’m not even sure that I could make up my own mind. Feel free to make suggestions anyway (and if anyone knows where ‘I, Bot’ is these days I’d be delighted).

I was also tempted to do a poll for Worst Ever Fic but I decided that it was a Bad Idea. Too much potential for upsetting people and starting fights. Oddly enough the story that I was thinking of nominating would have been my number one contender for Best Ever right up until the last page; but the ending was so utterly dire that it turned apparent brilliance into dross worse than the most dreadful Mary-Sue tale ever inflicted upon dwellers in the Pit of Voles by an educationally-challenged fourteen-year-old. And no, I’m not going to reveal what it is.

In what little time I have for writing on work days I'm busy with another little Olaf ficlet. Just 1,000 words, and my first ever 'Discworld' crossover. 763 words done so far. None of which, alas, will make a good last line. It isn't what is behind the cut; that's some minor bitching about the comics.

Minor spoilers for Buffy Season 8 Issue 12 )

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The results of my Original Character poll are fairly conclusive; Sorkatani wins, with as many votes as all of the others put together. I’m rather surprised that Anna only received one vote; okay, she’s a ruthless killer who has been indoctrinated since childhood with the idea that it is her duty to shove a sharpened bicycle spoke through Dawn’s heart, but she’s a good girl really.

Viconia is, of course, not an Original Character of mine; she was created by the writers at Bioware.

During this set of nights off work various real-life issues, involving moving furniture and painting walls, have cut into my writing time and energy, but I might have something to post tomorrow; a surprise continuation of a fic that I haven’t touched for months.

Belated Happy Birthday to [livejournal.com profile] rhionnach; Happy Birthday to [livejournal.com profile] digopheliadug and [livejournal.com profile] adriana_is


Recently [livejournal.com profile] agilebrit mentioned that she had begun work on a story about time travel to the Garden of Eden. I immediately dashed off a drabble on the subject and posted it in her Comments. I have now decided to share it with the rest of you. 100 words, PG.

Escape From Eden )

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Belated happy birthdays to [livejournal.com profile] empresspatti, [livejournal.com profile] daibhid_c, [livejournal.com profile] constance_b and [livejournal.com profile] audela.

I hate, loathe, and despise 'Masterchef' with a deep and abiding passion. Just saying.

Here is a poll, just for my own amusement, about the female original characters who I have featured in my stories.

[Poll #1141617]
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Tonight I went along to the Co-op to get some milk (and I couldn’t resist getting some of their chocolate caramel shortbread, but that is another story) and my route took me past a bookshop. It used to be a good bookshop but it changed hands and the current owners seem to see it as their mission to fill it with as much junk and as few saleable books as possible. One of the books on display in the window is The Night of the Triffids by Simon Clark.

To quote a review on Amazon.co.uk, it is ‘the authorised 50th-anniversary sequel to The Day of the Triffids (1951) by John Wyndham, that classic SF nightmare which gave our language the word "triffid".’

There are a large number of such ‘authorised sequels’ in existence. Gone with the Wind sequels Scarlett and Rhett Butler's People, Peter Pan in Scarlet, The Dragon Lensman, the James Bond continuations by James Gardner and others, and many more.

There are a lot of follow-ups to Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories written by other authors. First came L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter’s stories that were based on uncompleted drafts of stories by Howard himself, then they wrote original material, and then everyone else seemed to get in on the act. Examples include Robert Jordan’s abominable Chronicles of Conan, all the Roy Thomas Conan graphic novels that were his creations rather than re-tellings of the Robert E. Howard originals, Harry Turtledove’s new Conan of Venarium, and Conan and the Grim Grey God by Sean A. Moore which is notable because the only review on Amazon.co.uk is the author’s own (beginning My favorite of the Conan novels I've written thus far - I rather doubt that anyone else will describe it as their favourite anything!).

They’re fanfic. Some are reasonable, many are crap, but they’re all fanfic; unless the contracted author didn’t really like the original material and is writing solely for the money, which usually produces extremely flat and tedious results.

Fanfic, then, to the Establishment, is something that is of universally poor quality and to be derided – unless they are making money out of it!

I noticed something else odd today. There are no Conan crossovers at all on 'Twisting the Hellmouth'. I wonder why?
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Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] samson28


I have just deleted my Greatest Journal. I'm fed up with getting comment spam and it's not like I ever use it these days. Although I am seriously less than thrilled about the sale of LiveJournal to a Russian oligarch it would be Insane Journal that I flee to if it comes down to it. I might not be using Insane Journal much but then I'm not spending anything like as much time on LiveJournal as I used to either.

One of the main reasons is that I've finally managed to get BGTutu working. It's a program that allows you to play the original Baldur's Gate game with the Baldur's Gate 2 engine. Vastly improved screen resolution, dual wielding, extra character classes; it adds a lot to the original game and I'm replaying it from the beginning. The only problem with BGTutu is a habit that it has of crashing on entry to, or exit from, Beregost; and corrupting the saves in the area where the crash happened. I was halfway through the game when I made the mistake of bringing all my saves up to date in Beregost and they all ended up corrupted. I had to start again from the beginning. This time I'm running multiple saves, only one of which is ever a Beregost save, and hopefully I won't end up in the same position again.

I am writing as well, of course; I'm most of the way through the next 'Tabula Avatar' chapter and I'm just about to write a certain long-awaited scene. I plan to finish off 'Life, Resumed' as a Xmas present to those who followed it; I do have a problem in that my beta Curious Wombat said that my planned ending was silly and made no sense, thereby derailing the whole project, and I haven't thought up any alternative yet. Hopefully something will come to me as I write. An alternative would be continuing 'Sunnydale Passions'. I stalled on that because the next chapter was supposed to pivot on a biological quirk of the kangaroo; except that I was going from memory and when I checked up on the facts I found that the quirk in question applies only to wallabies. I have an idea as to how I can get around it, by having a character make the same mistake that I made and then Skippy setting him right, but any loss of writing momentum always causes long delays in my writing. I haven't been able to think of anything at all as a Xmas short this year. Although I did have a thought about a BtVS/Robbie the Reindeer crossover...
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Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] merfilly and belated happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] sistercuervo


Yay! Lewis is on pole! It's a pity that the wrong person won the Ladies' tennis, but one can't have everything.

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours listening to Turkish pop music! I also went to the dentists and, frankly, the dental visit was the more pleasant of the two experiences. My musical masochism was research for Access All Areas. It is, however, highly unlikely that any of it will actually crop up in the story. I also spent ages working out what music Anna liked when she was fifteen (Alizée, if anyone is interested). Again, the chance of making use of that knowledge within the story is minimal.

I do this sort of thing all the time. Layer upon layer of detail. And then I don’t use it because the plot would be buried. Is it worth it? I have no idea. I tend to work on the principle that it’s better to have something, and not need it, than to need something and not have it. And the end results seem to be satisfactory.

I’ve been dotting around between stories in the past couple of days. A thousand words of ‘Tabula Avatar’, a thousand of ‘Dojo Hard’, and a thousand of ‘Access All Areas’. I have no idea which will appear as a complete chapter first.

Is the entire line-up for the Live 8 concert utter crap or am I just being very unlucky in when I choose to switch over to that channel?

Buffyworld.com is gone! Crap! That's going to make things more difficult for me in the future.
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Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] qkellie


For your information - and that of a lot of other people who will probably be interested - I can tell you when I will be returning to 'Life, Resumed'. I intend to concentrate purely on 'Tabula Avatar' for another 3 chapters, taking that story up to a specific point which I decided long ago would make a good place for a break, and then I will conclude 'Life, Resumed'. At my present rate of progress it will take me 17 days to write the TA chapters (allowing for doing almost no writing during my nights at work). So expect 'Life, Resumed' in approximately 3 weeks.

After that I will finish 'Dojo Hard' and, at long last, return to 'Savage Beauty'.
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Chapter Thirteen of Access All Areas, the Spike/Dawn story that I am co-writing with [livejournal.com profile] curiouswombat, is now up on her journal.

I posted Chapter 47 of Tabula Avatar yesterday; Sunday afternoon UK time was probably a fairly silly time to post it and it wouldn’t be surprising if some prospective readers missed it.

I’m looking for a fic ETA: question answered by [livejournal.com profile] mbangel10.

And I’m looking for icons. I have made several icons for use in Tabula Avatar that portray the BG2 characters, and one of Spike, but I’d like ones showing the other BtVS characters. My icon creation and manipping skills are mediocre and, although I have tried to create suitable icons myself, I haven’t been able to come up with anything acceptable yet. I’m looking for Xander in armour (ideally red and black scales but normal steel plate would do) with a two-handed sword, Buffy with a sword, Dawn in black leather, Giles with a guitar, and so on; but against backgrounds that are medieval or at least generic outdoors with no modern buildings, lights, or cars. I know that some people actually enjoy doing such things – I don’t, I only do it to achieve an end result – and I’m hoping that someone might do it for me. The only reward I offer is to have some minor Tabula Avatar character named after you. Probably someone who meets a hideous death at the fangs of Bodhi. That fate is in store for some central characters in the near future so you’ll be in good company.
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More teeth trouble. The tooth that had partially snapped off, and which has been root filled and which the dentist was intending to crown, has now snapped all the way off. I’m having a lot of problems biting now.

I now have two back-up journals; an Insane Journal to add to the Greatest Journal that I created back at the time of the last mass exodus. I’m not wild about the Insane Journal interface but the management seem friendly. I’ve just posted a re-written version of my 2004 Harmony-centric fic Pyromania at both those Journals.

I’ve had several Award nominations recently – so many, in fact, that I can’t keep track of them. The latest is ‘Savage Beauty’ at the Shades of Grey Awards. [livejournal.com profile] curiouswombat has been nagging me to finish it anyway and this nomination is another push towards that. I certainly will get on with it in the relatively near future, but for the moment ‘Tabula Avatar’ is my top priority. I’m only two or three chapters away from the shattering revelation to which I’ve been looking forward for months. Or perhaps ‘looking forward’ is the wrong phrase; I don’t enjoy inflicting pain on the characters and there is a great deal of pain and suffering to come.

But at least they (at least the survivors) will still have all their own teeth.
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Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] jedibuttercup, Queen of Crossovers


Late in my time-zone, but in time in hers, and that’s the important thing.

And Happy Birthday to ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’. Not that it’s ten years today for me; we didn’t have satellite TV then and I didn’t see it until it was first shown on the BBC about a year later. I was hooked right from ‘Welcome to the Hellmouth’ (well, until Molly arrived in ‘Bring on the Night’, but we shall speak of her no more).

This seems to be an appropriate time to do the ‘Five Favourite Fics’ meme. I’ve been writing fanfic, one way or another, all my life; unread by anyone other than family until the Internet gave me a way of making my stories available to a wider audience. A lot of people seem to like them. It was very hard to whittle this list down to 5. There was no room for ‘Merry Sport’, or ‘Noggin and the Vampire’, both of which I love; but this is my personal top 5 of my stories.

1) The Cloak of Mist. An original fic rather than a true fanfic, but set within the parameters laid down by the Buffyverse. Set in the Isle of Man in the year 1014 AD. In the aftermath of the slaughter at the Battle of Clontarf, with the islanders mourning their dead and anxious for the missing, a newly-called Slayer must face a horde of undead Vikings to free the island from a dreadful curse. It’s based on authentic Manx history and folklore and, in Bahey Dhone, I feel that I have managed to create a truly memorable original heroine.

2) Days of No Trust. Also original fiction, and with an even more tenuous connection to the Buffyverse, but continuing the tradition of a strong female central character. Set in the ‘Reiver’ era, that century and a half of lawless bloodshed that ravaged my people’s homeland, it’s a historical romance with lots of violence and a little magic. Summary: The Borders between England and Scotland in the year 1580. Every girl dreams of a handsome hero to save her from the villains, they say, but there's never such a hero around when you need one and Anne Collingwood's hopes must rest on a disfigured murderer with a death wish. And on her little bit of magic. It's not much, against seventeen ruthless killers, but it's all she has.

3) Lonely on the Mountain. My entry for [livejournal.com profile] ludditerobot’s Scatterlings and Orphanages “Africander” ficathon. Xander in Malawi, the land where I was brought up, pitted against an unusual and lethal vampire.

4) The Lonely Goatherd. [livejournal.com profile] rahirah was discussing her preference for fics that are not all-human AUs, and she said I don't like Spike as a Lithuanian goatherder. I resolved to write a story in which Spike was a Lithuanian goatherder and to make her like it. It’s canon-compatible – or was before the Season 8 comic revelations, anyway – and not an all-human AU at all. Featuring Vi, my favourite of the Potentials, and Evaldas the Goat.

5) Tabula Avatar. I haven’t included any other WIPs in this list but, at 200,000 words already, this is too big to ignore. ‘Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn’ was the first fandom in which I dared to put my writings on-line. When I hit upon a way of combining it with the Buffyverse I couldn’t resist. Putting Spike together with Viconia, the multiverse’s undisputed queen of snark, was just too big a temptation; and the results have turned out to be just as much fun as I anticipated. Although not necessarily for the characters.
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Belated Happy Birthday to [livejournal.com profile] drakeazathoth


My good intentions have come to naught; instead of pressing on with my writing I have still been playing with ‘Neverwinter Nights 2’. No longer just playing the game, but creating a playable adventure using the in-game toolset. It’s hard work but at least as rewarding as writing fics.

I’m afraid it’s still taking first place in my priorities. I can hear voices calling to me from my WIPS: Spike, Viconia, Giles, & Jaheira from ‘Tabula Avatar’; Hercule & Xena from ‘Murder At The Acropolis’; Spike/William from ‘Life, Resumed’; Chopstick, Buffy, Shogun Giles, Dalton, Ampata, & the Dread Pirate Wesley from ‘Dojo Hard’; the Angel Investigations team & the A-Team from ‘It’s A Nice Place to Visit’; and Xander & Ghost!Spike from ‘The Lost Patrol’. And, for that matter, Ethan, The Ferret, the General, & Anna from ‘Access All Areas’. Before long the voices will become too loud to ignore, and I have two weeks off work, and so I expect to make substantial progress on at least two of the fics. But not yet.

At the moment the loudest voices are coming from Khelgar Ironfist, Neeshka, the Captain of Crossroad Keep, and my own newly-created NPCs and monsters from ‘Neverwinter Nights 2’. And so I’m returning to Faerûn now, not even pausing to read the new chapters from [livejournal.com profile] rahirah, [livejournal.com profile] shadowscast, [livejournal.com profile] spikendru, [livejournal.com profile] enigmatic_blue, and others that I know are out there unread. I haven’t even read the conclusion of [livejournal.com profile] ffutures’ BtVS/Wallace & Gromit story! I’m keeping up with ‘Questionable Content’ and that’s about all. Manxnet losing connection to LiveJournal over the weekend again didn’t exactly help.

Of course I might be spurred into reading/writing action a little sooner if a few more people read and responded to the most recent chapter of Access All Areas, the Spike/Dawn ten years after ‘Chosen’ story that I’m co-writing with [livejournal.com profile] curiouswombat (he says in a crude attempt at blackmail. But then, my ancestors invented blackmail).
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Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] denny_dc


and

Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] shadowscast


My holiday is over and I go back to work tonight. 5 nights on, and then an odd pattern of 5 nights off, 6 nights on, 5 nights off, 4 nights on, rinse, repeat, for 2 months. No more opportunities to spend a whole fortnight writing furiously.

I didn’t achieve everything that I wanted to achieve. ‘Dojo Hard’ isn’t quite finished. Close, though, as there are only one or two chapters to go. The Poirot/Xena crossover ‘Murder at the Acropolis’ is a short piece and will be finished very soon. I didn’t get anything done on ‘Tabula Avatar’ and I had no chance to resume ‘Life, Resumed’. I vaguely thought about doing a Xmas fic this year, as I have the last two years, but I decided that I simply don’t have time. Instead I will go through ‘And Glory Shone Around’ soon, to see if there is anything that needs to be tidied up, and then repost it at [livejournal.com profile] seven_seasons.

During this period of intensive writing I looked back at some neglected earlier projects and made some decisions. I think that I now have to acknowledge that some of them will never be finished. ‘Shellshocked’ is the primary example. It simply doesn’t work as well as I had expected and I can’t summon up enough enthusiasm for it in actuality as I did in the concept stages. Another is the long dormant BuffyBot fic ‘I was made for loving you baby’. I regret having brought back Buffy; I should have written it as a Buffyless S6 fic concentrating entirely upon Violent Elizabeth Bott. ‘Love Potion #9’ might not make the cut either; I have just read a story by Ameeya that covers very much the same ground and I’m not sure that there is room for my story as well.

I don’t know if I’ll ever do Book 2 of ‘Pandora’s Boxer’. When I started the intended trilogy it was a new and exciting concept but by now everyone and his dog has done it. Also much of Book 2 was going to involve inflicting pain, physical and emotional, on Harmony and I really don’t like doing that even when the plot requires it.

The jury is still out on ‘Life in Shadow’. I still like the idea but I covered the Initiative arc of Season 4 so thoroughly in ‘Pandora’s Boxer’ that I’m worried about repeating myself.

‘Savage Beauty’ is stalled because the balance of plot and funny had begun to tilt too much towards plot (a problem that has also cropped up with ‘Dojo Hard’). I will pick it up again, and I’ll get back to ‘Sunnydale Passions’ too, once I get out of the black gloom that has afflicted me lately. I haven’t been in the mood for pure silly light-hearted fun for the past few months, due to medical problems etc, but I am feeling much better now and maybe my sense of humour will return too.

‘Tabula Avatar’ will most definitely continue. It is the story with which I have the greatest emotional involvement. ‘Life, Resumed’ is another definite. So, too, is the ‘Lonely on the Mountain’ sequel ‘The Lost Patrol’ of which I have only posted one short chapter so far and everybody has probably forgotten about. Those are the three stories that will dominate my serious writing over the next few months.

If the fandom survives that long, of course. The Buffyverse fandom seems to have suffered a dramatic fall-off lately, probably due to NaNoWriMo, and to the 3-month absence from the Net of [livejournal.com profile] makd. Hopefully it will recover to some extent now that those two adverse factors are over. If it doesn’t, then I’ll have to move to original fiction and occasional one-offs in obscure fandoms.
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Happy birthdays to [livejournal.com profile] woman_of_ and [livejournal.com profile] petzipellepingo


I’ve had some lovely public reviews for Murder at the Acropolis at ‘Twisting the Hellmouth’ as well as here. A couple of them reference that nasty little ‘review’ of my Xander drabble, which prodded me into getting around to writing this story, thus:

You know, as contemptible as the comment that started you writing this work was, I find myself grateful to the idiot that wrote it. This is amazingly good.

and

Unfortunately, if this is the result we are going to have to encourage others to give you more un-called for shite reviews.

I thought of dedicating the story to the troll but I can’t bring myself to do it. But the reviews give me a nice warm glow and I think the troll is well and truly splatted by the Great Big Billy Goat Gruff of Unintended Consequences.
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Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends


and Happy Birthday to [livejournal.com profile] priscellie


I received some extremely venomous feedback recently. I posted this drabble at 'Twisting the Hellmouth' and someone reviewed it thus:
I have to say this is story was complete dribble, and resembles the work of a 5 year old with too much time on their hands. In the words of Jay Pinkerton, reading this is quite literally "like going to the bathroom after a six-burrito lunch, and the toilet paper is YOUR EYES."

Surely that level of vitriolic condemnation is entirely inappropriate for a drabble? Even were it the worst drabble ever written (and I had quite a few favourable comments and so it can't have been that bad, can it?) how bad can 100 words be?

The TtH account is newly created and this is the only review it has posted. Strange. I wondered if it might be a sock puppet specifically for the purposes of a personal attack on me, but the TtH mods say that no other users from that IP address have ever posted there. And I'm not aware of having any Internet enemies.

Anyway, I'm not going to let it upset me. I'll press on with 'Dojo Hard', which is within sight of the end after my burst of 3 chapters in 4 days, and hopefully I'll get it finished this week.

And on to a more pleasant Sock Puppet. The incredible [livejournal.com profile] shadowscast recently posted a story by that name at [livejournal.com profile] fall_for_sx and it is utterly wonderful. Even if (like me) you're not a Slash reader this is well worth reading. Simply superb. Sock Puppet. Praise her with great praise.
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Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] jaxinny and to [livejournal.com profile] lilacdream7


Today has been something of an ordeal. I’ve been on an incredibly restricted diet, and have had to take some medicine with effects that are usually regarded as extremely undesirable, because my gastro-intestinal tract has to be totally empty for the internal examination tomorrow. I’ve been keeping my mind off the gnawing hunger by working hard on ‘Tabula Avatar’.

ETA: This post contained Chapter 36 last night but I've taken it down again now. I was in too much of a hurry to get it done and I didn't make it clear that several days pass between the first scenes and the last. I'm rewriting now and it will go up again shortly with new scenes inserted to account for the passage of time. Sorry.

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