Tag Archives: lithiumlaughter

Sometimes It Takes Two...

This entry is part 73 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

March 5, 2014

So I was able to make some progress with the collaboration—789 words of it—and I wrote a 4 line poem.

March 6, 2014

I got 916 words on "Everything is Blood" for lithiumlaughter, which maketh me happy. I pecked away at the collaboration but got nothing but 'working' back when I made an inquiry with the muse. Even "Everything is Blood" only happened due to some major lithiumlaughter inspiration and a little research help from Mercedes. So. Oh, and then I also started a fic for lithiumlaughter that I wasn't supposed to start yet. Nice. 34 words there.

Word Counts:

  • Fiction: 1655 words
  • Poetry: 4 lines | 29 words
  • Blog: 64 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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Missives on Friendship, #1

I have a friend
Whose wisdom steeps like coffee
Always fragrant with friendship
Bringing good taste out of darkness

In a world driven by friending, unfriending, virtual words, and internet socialization, sometimes I think about the circles of my life—my family, my workplace, my acquaintances, my friends. How do you know if someone is a friend when you have never met them face to face? How does friendship form between two people whose threads have never crossed?

Some time ago, though dates aren't really my thing, I fell in love with the writings of LithiumAddict on my favorite fandom website. And you know what? Fandom gave me so much, but there is only one reason I truly don't regret it: because it gave me people I truly consider friends. One day, for one reason or another, I followed enough links and little breadcrumbs across the internet from that fanfiction profile to an online journal where I found out that this favorite author of mine was also lithiumlaughter, Percy O'Leary, the storygirl. If anyone ever deserved the name, she did.

I had never really thought about what it meant to put yourself out there online because at the time, I didn't. There was this little rosebud sitting in my heart I refused to allow to blossom, and I had reasons. I will not go into how terrible this world can be to those who are different and refuse to change, who dig in their heels and stand their ground, sure on the footing of familial attachment and obstinately stick up their chin in nonconformity while still preferring to skate beneath the surface of notice. I will not go into what my world looked like at the time, but let me say that that was me. If stubbornness is a strong will and obstinacy is a strong won't, then I am that won't. So I stayed tucked away inside myself and it was safe and comfortable and if people didn't like my fiction, then they were welcome to simply not read it.

And then there was Percy. She didn't just write fiction: she wrote her challenges and struggles; she wrote about the Man upstairs with such an honest, raw conviction of His tender care even in the strange turmoil a life could be; and she did so unapologetically and without offering offense. It made me willing to open my own self up a little bit, and a little bit more, willing to put my heart into words and take a look inside my skin in something more than the vaguest of terms. Oh, I had done enough of that inside my head and my safe circle of family, but to reach out my hand to another with the very real possibility that they would slap me back—I had never done it. I had not the courage.

Perhaps courage in writing isn't having the thick skin, but simply shrugging off the blood from our wounds because we have more words to say, more songs to sing, more love to offer. I can say honestly that lithiumlaughter taught me that.

In discovering that journal of a storygirl, I found a friend. I cheered her on and prayed for her and always received a welcome to my prayers. We started talking—this and that, writing, fandom, tea and poetry, the way we like to get under a character's skin and think about what makes them tick. When I was down, she cheered me up, she prayed for me and supported me when I needed encouragement and strength.

And let us say, that is what friendship is to me. Friendship is unconditional. You don't wait until someone is doing well to be there for them. Friendship is encouragement, support, lending our strength to share in the load. Friendship is laughter together in the good times, exchanging ideas and understandings and all the things that make us better people in the long run. Friendship is honesty and openness. Friendship is knowing when you cast that line out to another person, they will catch it. Friendship is agreeing to disagree. Friendship is sharing some of the same foundation or building it together.

Perhaps you could argue in this world of friending and unfriending that friendship has been cheapened. Not mine.

I have a friend
Whose hand is always open
Always free with her encouragement
Always stronger than she believes

Happy belated birthday, m'dear.

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Theme in Fiction: How do you take it?

My characters are beverage drinkers. From Clark Gabrin with his "fine decantation of valuable stimulants and nutrients" designed to taste like an Earl Grey to the national Vardin beverage, sluscheta; to Shelley Huntington's addiction to all things coffee, tea and coffee seems to show up all over in my fiction.

Myself, I am a bit of a tea connoisseur. The family cupboard has always been stuffed to the brim with assorted teas, mostly supplemental or Celestial Seasonings, and my father's pantry contained even more exotic varieties, including coffee alternatives, such as Roma and Pero. When I opened up shop in my own pantry, I included hefty doses of tea for both healing and flavor. An introduction to a local tea room owner led me to fall in love with rooibos as well. So, when my characters began showing personality through their choice of beverage, not only did it not really take me by surprise, but it made for a delightful round table of who likes what and what that says about them.

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