Tag Archives: 365 Challenge

Finding My Year Through the Scribbling

So 2013, goodnight, goodbye
You were lovely and bright
You were terrible, my!

I loved you, I hated you
I scribbled the mess of you
Oh, 2013! Goodnight, goodbye!

End of the year post and all that demands a lot more out of me than I'm willing to give. The analytical brain was left in bed this morning and is still sleeping peacefully against my pillow. The rest of me, creative but lazily, has been puttering about today, wishing to join the analytical brain in pleasant dreams and instead working my tail off and getting little in the way of writing done. Which is a nice way of saying, expect a ramble. I'm rambly when I'm sleepy.

A Long Look Back

This was a busy year, full of good things and bad. On a personal level, I got a job, went permanent, had a falling out with someone once precious to me, lost my great-uncle, and have had ups and downs in my relationship with my sister. Nevertheless, I also had the sweetest Christmas season I can remember, starting with a Thanksgiving I actually enjoyed before all the cleanup was done.

This was the year I did the 365 Challenge and wrote original fiction as prolifically as when I dove back into fandom and whipped out 300K words of posted fanfic alone. I met a new storyworld and had so many delightful prompts and questions, I never could keep up with them all, but it produced "Dowse and Bleed" and I expect several forthcoming novelettes, novels, and collections. Additionally, I met a storyworld everybody who's read it has loved and know that it will do well if I can get it fleshed out in book format.

This was the year I did Nano—again—and failed. Again. Ah, well. :deep sigh:

This was the year I started a collaborative novel that stands more than a chance of succeeding and reaching those wonderful words, THE END. Also, I now own Scrivener. Quadruple awesome.

This was the year I moved out from sharing a room with my sister to having my own (godsend), my family blessed me with my own Samsung tablet (horrible distraction!), and the year I pulled together some actual songs to give as gifts using Finale (super fun).

This was the year I finally worked up the nerve to participate in Yuletide. If I hadn't veteraned in I Need My Fics, it never would have happened. It was wonderful, really wonderful. I loved my fics.

On the bookish front, I got my own copy of Jane Eyre now (yay!), The Left Hand of Darkness (I've been wanting to read this for forever), and Allegiant (see previous post for more on that). At some point, I might mull out how I feel about Le Guin's book, but in case I don't, let me just say it was amazing how the narrative had so many angles. The story disguises itself as Genly's story and in a very small, small way it is, but it's really Estraven's story, and the depth it takes us into the culture is amazing. I'm so glad I finally got to read this classic. Thanks, Yuletide bookswap!

Looking Forward

And next year? Next year, I'd like to write and publish, finish the Lena/Wesley book, finish fleshing out the heavier Kingdoms and Thorn and Vardin works that keep lying around, finish lithiumlaughter's fanfics "Everything is Blood" and "Body Heat," finish this collaboration with thecatisacritic, and maybe write some Divergent fanfic. I have that I must wait so long for the movie. :le sigh:

So thanks, last year, for being as big and complex and wonderful and challenging as you were and here's hoping the next year is big and wonderful for all of you. Happy New Year!

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Scribbling Away in a Better Frame of Mind, October 23

This entry is part 22 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

Before writing, I did a survey of the usual suspects: The Passive Voice, Dean Wesley Smith, Starwalker by Melanie Edmonds (still amazing fiction), and Strange Horizons' Wednesday review and the short story for this week—which was... tough, but good.

Started off with the crossover. I'm feeling a little better late morning (we will not discuss the early morning), so I'm going to dive into a couple stories I put on hold to percolate.

So I got one ficlet out and got a start on the other. Nothing big yet though. Then while waiting for naproxen to kick in, I made the "mistake" of reading City of Glass again. It's surprisingly good and tempting to try to do it for Nano again. Ah, well. We'll see.

Back working on the collaboration piece and just couldn't get far with this being such a huge chore night. Frustrating to get a good start and not have time to continue, but that's life.


  • Fiction: 1354 words - Month to Date: 28,870 words
  • Blog: 234 words - Month to Date: 8,803 words
  • Nonfiction: 0 words - Month to Date: 314 words

365 Challenge

I'm counting the various parts of the AU round robin thecatisacritic started. It just makes sense.

  • 235/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn/Fracture and Recall Crossover: Cleaning – 440 words
  • 236/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Shattered by Night – 772 words


  • Butterfly Division: Amnes – 142 words; Total: 359 words
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Winter Tidings of the Scribbler, October 21

This entry is part 20 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

Dear muse,

Please get with it. November is coming and my dance card is now full.


the scribbler

Feels like winter is here at last, and it's time to get this mind gearing up for November beyond percolating possibilities. Time more to get some serious writing back into gear, especially seeing as I've got plenty besides to do this season.

So checking out the exchange front, I'm thinking through this [unnamed] prompt again and can't even hit it sideways. I already wrote that story, so hm. I guess it's just winging it on the fandom. :grumbles under breath: I had hoped for something to go on. Oh, well. Let's just see what we can come up with.

Well, I was going to fic that, but instead I fanficced my own and thecatisacritic's world again. Seriously, is it okay to post fanfic of this kind of stuff on AO3? I know the original creator and we're working together, but it's seriously AU fanfic.

Back to exchange... Didn't get anywhere on that. Then I spent some serious time hunting up fics to collaborate on, got back wonderful comments on "Dowse and Bleed" which may take it to novella-length, and typed up board meeting minutes. Also, got a 418 word start on a poem. Don't like it all yet, but it's a start.

Beta'd a piece. Hit a few more pages on my proofread. I'll try and pull something together after computer hours, but no promises.


  • Fiction: 2291 words - Month to Date: 25,330 words
  • Blog: 279 words - Month to Date: 8,337 words

365 Challenge

  • 230–231/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn/Fracture and Recall Crossover: And So It Goes… – 1873 words


  • Kingdoms and Thorn poem: The World Backed Down – 418 words
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Reading and Writing, October 19

This entry is part 18 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

So yesterday's post got left at work by accident. Will post it Monday and update the weekend posts to reflect accurate numbers. In the meantime, not doing good not reading before writing.

Yuletide assignments went out and all the pinch hits went during Sabbath. Nice. :shrugs: Oh, well.

And it's back to the crossover. And you know what? That's good enough for tonight. It's late. I'm tired and cranky, and boy, do I have a jam-packed day tomorrow. I've got a board meeting and shopping and board research and yuletide and Denny/Laurie reading and rugs to wash and a kitchen to take care of. Ah well.


  • Fiction: 513 words - Month to Date: 22,799 words
  • Blog: 122 words - Month to Date: 7,895 words

365 Challenge

  • 228/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn/Fracture & Recall Crossover: The Right Question – 513 words
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Reading and Writing, October 18

This entry is part 17 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

So I did an incredibly poor job of reading nada before writing. Alas! I'm beginning to feel a little fraudulent, but I wonder if I'm just tired. I'm on a cleanse and the weather's changing and I'm working on another longer piece that's plot-driven, a sure recipe for forcing myself to slow down. It's intensely not my strong point. Plot-driven, that is.

But I did get something written today. A crossovery bit of fanfic. There goes 415 words.

Thinking out loud here: I think the problem is that while I got off to a good foot on this Justus story, it was unintentional and I'm having a hard time working it with canon and I hadn't the clue where I was starting, let alone where I was headed. I think I'm going to scrap and redraft. This is a very scary thought.

I could always stop, drop, and write about kittens. I've got two clans, the grammatical and the errata. And then there's Popcorn. It gets messy.


  • Fiction: 415 words - Month to Date: 22,286 words
  • Blog: 193 words - Month to Date: 7,773 words

365 Challenge

  • 227/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn/Fracture & Recall Crossover: It's a Start Anyway – 415 words
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Writing Only, October 16

This entry is part 15 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

So it's time to start writing again. Going with the random prompt technique, as it seems to wrok so well for me. This time, we're going to write about the work Red Wolf does. It didn't take as long as I thought to pull out "Rearranging Assets," though it was far too clinical a piece for my tastes. :shrugs: I'll have to do better at storyizing the rest of them on this topic. For now, I skipped to a different prompt: the hug for Anna from her husband about her parents. That piece went well and quickly.

Then, I moved to the idea of Shift stopping by Justus' workplace. Behold, the sprawl! Nevertheless, in my first session before break was up, I got 875 words in one and a half scenes and I'm watching the team come together, which is exactly what I needed to see.

Coming back to this on my next break, let's see what we can do. :skimming work already done: Gets a handful of words done before break over.

Evening time now. Couldn't get settled down to work again, so calling it for the night at 938 words.


  • Fiction: 1727 words - Month to Date: 21,030 words
  • Blog: 220 words - Month to Date: 6,950 words

365 Challenge

  • 224/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Rearranging Assets – 387 words
  • 225/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Would That It Were – 402 words
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Reading and Writing, October 8

This entry is part 8 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

Yuletide is here! But I'm still not ready to sign up. There are too many great things to offer and/or request, so I'm mulling.

On the Writing

So we open today with prompts for a friend and a couple of ficlets. Before assessment. (I never do that.) Got three ficlets out of the way before taking some time out to update index pages for Kingdoms and Thorn. I did not update the chronology, so it's still extremely sketchy. None of these are comprehensive.

Went back to writing and hopefully wrapped the last of the worst of the angst. I really don't like mucking around in the origin fics too much. I originally wasn't going to write them at all, but there it is. Watcher and getting their exceptions. I can tell I held back in the way I wrote it, but I don't really care about that.

:le sigh:

Not sure if I'm going to write this evening or not.


  • Total Fiction: 2965 words - Month to Date: 13,368 words
  • Total Blog: 158 words - Month to Date: 3,997 words

365 Challenge

  • 204/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Waiting for Blood – 682 words
  • 205/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Embrace of Freedom – 178 words
  • 206/365 – Seven Days Ficlet: Learning to Tango – 152 words
  • 207–208/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: An Ounce of Protection – 1953 words
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Reading and Writing, October 7

This entry is part 7 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

So I had a late night last night that terminated with the end of my deep virus scan at 3 o'clock this morning. To say I'm feeling only minimally inspired is putting it mildly. On one hand, I think the story from inferno, also known as "Dowse and Bleed" is finally done. I sent it back off to my beta late, late last night and she graciously consented to give it another gander. Thank you, Lord, for an awesome beta.

On Betas

And on that, in_the_blue is a contributing author to two anthologies, including Dragonthology. You can check out her website as Gwynne Jackson on Wordpress.

I have been fascinated in a probably-too-involved sort of way at Elle Casey's blog post about action in story and… betas. She considers being a stranger to be a requirement because friends hold back. It's human nature. I consider being a stranger to be a great way for me not to know your reading style and my beta (love you!) does not hold back on me and I don't hold back on her, and that MATTERS.

I'm not afraid of getting hurt by my editor. I'm a writer; my fears are significantly more predictable: that my story sucks, that it doesn't make sense, that I'll never finish something worthwhile, etc., etc. I'd rather my beta tell me nicely to go back to the drawing board than have a reader tell me I should have quit while I was ahead. But let's face it: it's the real world. I'm gonna get a healthy dose of both.

And on that, thank you also lithiumlaughter for being the queen of all things poetry and for all your help as a new-to-my-fiction reader of the anthology. Between the two of my betas, I think I might be able to salvage what I'd hoped for from that mess. (I say 'mess' with all due affection).

In case you hadn't noticed, I get rather rambly when I'm tired, and I'm tired, so this is rambly, but I felt it strong enough to want it off my chest before trying to pull together anything fictive. I don't thank my betas half enough and I still haven't finished that Niko + Collie fanfic, though it keeps accusing me when I flip through it in my WIP file. It's just there's this little original fiction addiction I seem to be going through right now… Right. Yeah. I'm a mess at staying disciplined with these things.

On Reading

So brief reviews of what I've been reading lately.

The Transfer

"The Transfer" is a short story by Veronica Roth about Tobias Eaton transferring from his birth faction, Abnegation, to the one that would hurt his father the most, Dauntless, where he earned a new name on his first day. We see his father/son relationship and I don't care how old this sort of material is, I was already invested in the character and the sculpture and the details and the characterization made this one hit me hard. We see the terrible ambivalence Tobias has toward his world, unable to find where he fits because there is only one thing he knows and it's the most terrible part of all. We see Tori and Amar and the fearscape. In short, I loved this and intend on picking up the next three shorts as soon as they're released.

With Fate Conspire

I recently reread With Fate Conspire by Marie Brennan. It's the fourth and final book of the Onyx Court series, historical fiction deeply interwoven with a fictional faery London that is terrible, realistic, and wonderfully fascinating all at once. I own this book because I made the winning Livejournal icon for it for the author and so got an advanced review copy: white cover, specs on the outside, and all. If anyone was wondering, I want the entire series in their proper covers. I nominated this book for Yuletide, even though it was a brand new fandom on AO3. That is my intro to say how much I love this book. Now, to the details.

There are really three stories going on here. Though the third one doesn't take prominence until the end, the echoes of it are felt throughout. Echoes? What am I saying? The earthquakes of it are rending the fabric of the world around our two protagonists, whose primary foci are quite personal. London is shot through with iron and the underground trains are being run right through the Onyx Hall. Faery London is in its death throes and while fighting desperately to hold on, see little or no way to save the Hall or their presence in London.

In the middle of this, Eliza is an Irish woman who as a girl befriended a skriker, a faery creature, then was betrayed when he stole away her friend and love, Owen. She is on a hunt through London to find the faeries that are bombing the railroads and make them give Owen back. The other protagonist is the skriker she once befriended who is caught up in his own desperate fight for survival, bound to a cruel master who breaks people for the sake of breaking them, and who may hold the only key to saving the Hall.

I love deep worldbuilding, sprawling stories, juxtaposed timelines, technical details. If you don't, this book isn't for you. If you do, this book delivers. I keep reading it and rereading it because it's the fascinating interplay of faery and human, Irish and Fenians, the church and the Special Police, science and magic, survival and sacrifice, the personal and the epic. I love this book.

Spots the Space Marine

Another book I just reread—again. Written by M.C.A. Hogarth, it's one of those awesome serials that was snippeted and scened (in chronological order) all the way through a sprawling epic with an intimate, personal look at an ensemble cast. Warning: this book is not served well by the ebook format. I could. not. read it until I got a print copy through the Kickstarter project. After I got the hefty book in my hot little hands (yes, it gets heavy), I fell wholely in love.

You have Spots, properly Magda Guitart, who just got shipped in from a part-time desk job in the Marine reserves joining a squad that's still reeling from the loss of many of their people. Then, there's Claws who takes her under wing and in turn comes under her wing as they make acquaintances and then friends with the resident alien "Fiddler," Samuel-Colt, a weapons-engineer, music-expressive bug with a huge sense of humor. Turns out, this depot off in the middle of the nowhere is in a hotbed of a crab warzone and their relationship with the Fiddler is their only way to survive as the battles get hotter and more devastating.

And Spots dances. In body armor. With a singing, cutting-edged shield. I cannot begin to do this book enough justice. Read it.


If I were a good girl, I'd tell you more about thecatisacritic's work right now, but I'll save that for when I have more energy to do it justice. So my comments were less than awesome, but they exist. And I love the new story.

In related news, ran across a wonderful resource dealing with the legal status of fandom and self-regulation within the community. I am a firm believer in fandom (duh) and treat my original fiction as a canon with some self-generated fanfic and a community approach.

Wasn't I supposed to be writing…?

Yeah. That. :coughs: Okay, pick a prompt I guess and fire away. Let's just run with the theme of chairs and laps and hugs for a bit, okay?

Paused to yak comfortably to thecatisacritic over her ficlets and mine. And Shift.

I might go to bed when I get home, which would mean no more scribbling.


  • Total Fiction: 799 words - Month to Date: 10,403 words
  • Total Blog: 1314 words - Month to Date: 3439 words

365 Challenge

  • 202/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Little Girl Reminders – 542 words
  • 203/365 – Seven Days Ficlet: The Joys of Motherhood – 257 words
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Fluff, Relationships, and Traditions

This entry is part 52 of 52 in the series 365 Challenge

So characters have habits, ways they interact with certain people and situations, things they do and like to do, stories and histories together. I've known a lot of my characters' for a long time but getting them all into fic is interesting, particularly for the ones I don't know that for.

I've got about five novelettes I want to turn out plus a short story, created out of the 5 Things Meme and then the whole Pieter/Ashen dynamic that originally played in my head before I even wrote that first Ashen drabble (and it is awesome to me, but got sidelined drastically with a deluge of other prompts), but, but, but...

I'm on day 265 of my challenge and story count 157 and I'm still plying angles and there's all those little things above that I'm itching to nibble at. Want to help a girl out?

Particularly of interest to me are things like where does Wesley work (not sure actually), and then relationship things that I haven't gotten to like how Justus always recognizes Shift regardless of her current form or demeanor, friendships, sibling relationships, Ilsa and her husband, etc.

Calling for prompts, as promised:

  1. character(s) and/or canon/fandom
  2. random word, quote, or other prompt

Oh, and I'll try to keep it short and fluffy or sweet. Try is the operative word. :grins:

Continue reading

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Closing Out the Fluff Fest...

So I adored the process of writing a little more than 40 fluffy, sweet, or humorous drabbles, but I've answered pretty much every prompt that fit the bill and it's time to dig into another full-length story. I'm really leaning toward Vardin, but I'm going to be good and hit my five-things fics first I think.

In other news, I really hate creating anthologies, I discovered. Not because it's not important when you write short work, but because you have to first pick stuff that hangs together some way (even when the whole point is to clear out the backlist that doesn't), and then you have to organize it so it works in the order read, and then you have to make sure everything stands alone, even the pieces you only threw in to bridge things thematically but would normally stick with their own world.

Their own world is an issue unique to sprawling worldbuilders, I fear. It goes like this: as usual, I know so much about my world that in an effort to not core dump way more than necessary or complicate my story more than necessary, I stick to the bare minimum to comprehend the story. Let me assure you, this. does. not. work.

:glumly yours:

the scribbler

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