Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Fear of Commitment

Last week was kind of chaotic. One of my co-workers went on vacation, so I ended up working nine days straight. I also realized, as I mentioned last week, that the chapter for Friday needed an almost complete rewrite. Actually, all of the closing chapters do. There's a lot more depth and complexity that needed to be added into this conclusion. Part of me likes it, because it adds more to the story overall. Another part of me wishes it just remained a simple “Do I like Marinette for who she is, or just because she's Ladybug?”

The chapters would be all set if it stayed that simple.

I still have to find a way to work in Adrien's feeling of inadequecy as both a friend and as a superhero. I think I've sort of worked out the “Marinette deserves to know” bits, but I probably need to lay more foundation. I have the added layer now of Plagg and Tikki's relationship. AND I have the “Why do I like Marinette” question to solve.

In three more chapters.

THREE MORE!

Guys, that means July 6th should be my last update of “Peeping Tomcat”! That will be it! I will have finally completed one of my multi-chapter stories; excluding the two-part “I Caught You A Star.”

This is so big for me. I've written a couple of stories that have gone on for multiple chapters. One of my first fanfics, “What Is Truly Meant To Be,” has multiple chapters. I posted the first couple chapters of “Please, Let Me Explain” in an attempt to push the project forward. I shared some of my failed NaNo attempts. I tried to convert X-Future into the multi-chapter story “X-Future: The Second Generation Begins.”

Each project, while I still have vague illusions of completing them, have been otherwise abandoned. PT though? I actually completed the first draft for it. I'm most of my way through my manuscript. I just have 3 weeks to go, and all the encouragement to complete it.

I'M GOING TO DO IT! I'm going to actually complete a multi-chapter project! Are you excited? Because I'm about to burst over here. I don't even know what will be going on that first week of July. It's going to be nuts!
Hacker Girl Facebook sticker
by Birdman, Inc
I'm going to have to work on edits for MY LAST CHAPTER that first week. I'll also have to start working on my Camp NaNo project of writing the first draft of “One and the Same.” AND there's Independence Day on the 4th, so I'll probably be doing some sort of hang-out. Then on July 6th there will be the bitter-sweetness of completing my first novel.

It will be weird to not have anything new to post – presumably – on July 13th. I might have to do another Cat Noir-centric one-shot for Friday the Thirteenth.

I dunno. I'm thinking way ahead of the game. I need to focus on the task at hand: editing THIS WEEK'S update. Go from there.

In the meantime, don't forget to read this past Friday's update for “Peeping Tomcat.”
FanFiction         ArchiveOfOurOwn         DeviantArt

I was still kind of nervous about the chapter. I had so many loose ends to start tying up, and while I knew that, it didn't quite register until I saw the reviewers commenting about them. I had to make sure those loose ends were in neat little bows by the end of this thing, or I fear my readers will feel cheated.

I also wasn't sure if I should have kept in Plagg's kitchen destruction. It felt like it derailed the chapter, but at the same time, I felt it showed a lot of character. There was a great deal of back and forth before I decided to keep it in, but even when I pushed “submit” on the websites I was nervous that I didn't make the right move. As I discussed with Jowy's Pixie this past week, there are so many directions this story could still go, and I'm trying my hardest to find the most satisfying path.

It's mildly terrifying. Especially with how much love I've been getting thus far. The last thing I'd want to do is disappoint my readers. I don't want to be one of those authors who had a fantastic first two acts, but trip during the third act; ruining the experience of the whole thing.

Kind of like one of Hubby's friends from high school. He was OBSESSED with the Matrix movies, but was so disappointed in the third installment he didn't even want to watch the first two anymore. When I was in middle school I was one of the few kids I knew who actually HATED the Goosebumps stories by R.L. Stein. For me, most of them seemed to have that World Reset button at the end. That “it was all just a dream” mentality where nothing that happens in the book ever has lasting significance. Everything goes back to the status quo. I felt so cheated after reading about five of those books and having them end like that.

Oddly enough, maybe because they were geared towards a more mature audience that could handle a more permanent world change, R.L. Stein's Fear Street series was my go-to. Much more Junior Stephen King feel.

While I know I'm not going to have that “World Reset”/Status Quo Remains Unchanged ending, I still don't want that kind of disappoint from my readers. I want them satisfied with how I conclude everything.

Maybe that's why I have never completed a story before. It's easy for me to come up with the inciting incident as my spark of inspiration, and from there I can throw tons of curveballs at a character to add drama. But cleaning up the mess? And trusting that I did it well enough to satisfy my readers? Meeeh?
Hacker Girl Facebook Sticker
by Birdman, Inc
Maybe that's why I'm such trash at writing sex scenes. Same deal: I can write the inciting incident – where the characters connect physically – and I can write all the build-up and foreplay. Writing the “conclusion” however? Meeeeh?

Goes hand-in-hand with my inability to write in my dozens of fancier notebooks. They remain blank on my bookshelf; waiting for that story that NEEDS to be put in that specific notebook. I never seem to find THAT story though. It's a fear of commitment. Of permanence. Once I start writing in that notebook, that's it. No going back. I can't change my mind without crossing things out, or tearing pages out, or having two different stories in the same notebook. If I screw it up, I would have ruined the notebook. So nothing is written in them.

Ending my stories? Going “this is it; all other possibilities are now closed” is just as nerve wrecking to me.

Ironically, while this fear of commitment crosses over into just about all of my creatives - drawings, world building, scrapbooking, crochet projects, painting minis, even coloring in coloring books instead of photocopied pages, etc - I have absolutely no fear of it when it comes to relationships.... So, yay? Hence having the husband....

Luckily, I have been getting excellent encouragement throughout this story, and it really helps me stick to my guns on how I did conclude it, and how I want to tweak it for the official publication.
FFN: 780 views, 2 faves, 1 follower, and 4* reviews
AO3: 188 views, 4 kudos, 1 bookmark, and 3 reviews
DA: 14 views, 1 fave, but still not a single comment

Total Results: 982 views, 7 faves, 2 followers, and 7* reviews

(*There are 5 reviews listed on FFN, but one is actually a two-part by a guest reviewer who hit "submit" too soon)

Tumblr Notes: 5 likes

FFN reviews:
  1. Good read on Plagg's attitude towards reveals there. While Plagg did give the 'don't tell anyone' speech, he did seem almost encouraging of Chat sneaking a peek of detransforming Ladybug. So it does seem that he makes an exception for other Miraculous wielders - that, or he's sick of the love square and at least part of him wants a reveal so it's over and done with.
 (Bits about the Plagg/Tikki relationship cut for space.)
  2. Awwww plagg!!!!
  3. Plagg seemed to help a little, but Adrien does seem stubborn about himself. I wonder if Mari is going to confess being a stalker as well. Will hearing Chat Noir confess about how guilty he feels guilt her into feeling guilty about stalking Adrien, and that will help calm him down? Adrien feels he's the only creeper in the relationship, and maybe finding out Mari does it too will help. Or maybe Mari's romantic logic will kick in, and she'll feel flattered her crush fell for her twice...Mari can be unpredictable. (Abridged Version)
  4. "Why would she keep on a peeping tomcat as a partner?" whoo title drop :D
  5. I absolutely love the idea of Plagg and Tikki being siblings! And I feel so bad for Adrien's predicament. I can feel the anxiety that boy seems to radiate. I love it!
(another of my periodic repeat reviewers: comics-give-me-life)
  6. Looking forward to the next chapter. Though I honestly think a part of Marinette has known about Chat Noir spying on her for a while... (Bits about the Plagg/Tikki relationship cut for space.)
  7. Long guest review (the one that was accidentally split in 2) listed below.
Look at that 24hr turn out! I'm now getting close to 1000 views within the first 24hrs after posting! It's going to be a shame that I'll have to disappear for a couple of months to write my next story, and possibly start from scratch, reader wise, once I do. I'd much rather ride the coattails of this story and have that high view count from the get-go, but I'll have to have faith that I'll get there again. That I'm now more well known in the fandom, and at least a large portion of them will come back once I post OatS.

Also, I'm not sure how to feel about the reviews. This is probably one of the largest 24hr responses I've received. The trick here, though, is that at the end of the chapter, in my Author's Notes, I asked my readers what they thought about my interpretation of Plagg and Tikki's relationship. Most of the “reviews” were readers answering my question. All of them agreed with how I set the kwamis' relationship up, so... yay.

As for that two-part review on FFN?
GUEST: I find it odd that a romantic relationship between the two kwami is assumed when it is always bought up that the wielders of those two miraculous aren't always lovers whenever this lore is used.
        It's the having it both ways situation. Like how Adrien loves Ladybug. He knows he loves her meaning he knows what those feelings are, can identity them, yet is constantly written not realizing he feels that way for Marinette. And while he technically does feel that way about her, it's only because he doesn't know she is Ladybug that he doesn't know he has feelings for her, not because he was homeschooled. No, really, **** off with that presumption about those who were homeschooled, guys. I'm offended for them with the characterization often given from these fics. To him, they are two different people so think of it as Marinette isn't Ladybug, and you will see how ridiculous it is. If he knows he loves one girl, that he knows if he has feelings for another girl as well. Making it otherwise is trying to have it both ways. Schrödinger's self awareness.
        For me, I don't think of it as the miraculous influencing any romantic feelings. I see it more as the two of them being chosen based on compatibility, and not compatibility being influenced by the miraculous. I doubt that in all of Paris, that only two children offered an old man help. I would say aura came into play and that they were the best fit that Master Fu found.
        Now, back to Schrödinger's awareness. I am aware you have Adrien "not aware of feelings" for Marinette to an extent, but from what I got in your story, they really only developed over that week he was watching her, and realized them almost immediately, so you're good. [sic]
I'll be honest. I wasn't really sure how to respond to this review, so I was a bit glad that it was a guest poster, which means I literally could not respond to it. I think I get what the poster was trying to say, in which I will like to give this rebuttal:

It is possible that his feelings for Marinette aren't the same as they are for Ladybug. Love does feel different depending on how deep into it you are and/or what you are in love with. Prior to my husband, I had three boyfriends, four crushes, three flirt-buddies, and went on a few dates with one guy. My feelings for each of these men were different. If I was with my husband at the same time as any of the above, the feelings I have/had for him would feel similar in some aspects, but also vastly different in others. If I knew I was in love with Hubby, and felt something intense but still "less" for one of those crushes, I might not have realized it was "love" as well. I might have read it the way Adrien does in the show - and therefore in most fanfics - as an intense friendship.

Heck, Hubby even informed me, when we first started dating, that I didn't realize that I was flirting with guys and/or they were flirting back with me. I come from a very physical family, so I hug everyone. I give cheek kisses to everyone. I hold everyone's hand. I play with everyone's hair. I lean in close. I snuggle next to people when we're in confined spaces. I give massages, scratch backs, keep steady eye contact while conversing, and steal food or sips of drinks.

Basically, I had to learn about personal bubbles once I became an adult....

So, in truth, for guys I had crushes on - including my now-husband - it kept me a while to realize I wasn't just being my normal intrusive extroverted self. I was flirting. And there were times where I only stopped to evaluate and realize my crush once someone pointed it out:
 - "Were you flirting with him?"
 - "Pffft. No. We're just really... good... fri- WOAH!"

I mean, that's how I figured out I liked my first boyfriend... when I was also about 14....

My point being, that I TOTALLY understand Adrien's stupid, infuriating denseness when it comes to his own crush. How he feels about Marinette is probably worlds different to how he feels about Ladybug. If he knows that intense feeling is "love" then he might think the more subtle crush isn't love; just intense friendship.

But anyway, that reviewer - who may or may not have been critiquing me? - aside, I also got much more love throughout the week.
FFN: 1157 views, 4 faves, 5 followers, and 7* reviews!
AO3: 299 views, 6 kudos, 1 bookmark, and 3 reviews
DA: 18 views, 2 faves, but still not a single comment

Total Results: 1474 views, 12 faves, 6 followers, and 10* reviews

(*There are 5 reviews listed on FFN, but one is actually a two-part by a guest reviewer who hit "submit" too soon; see above)

Tumblr Notes: 11 total; 9 likes and 2 reblogs

FFN reviews:
  1. I really liked this chapter. Also I can't believe its already been 12 chapters.
(Cassy1994's review)
  2. I just want to point out that fashion design is kind of like game design. If you’re a novice you wouldn’t just show someone your designs right off unless you’re being serious about this and could be up for an interview. Any artist would have 3 types of portfolios and maybe a website with her designs water marked so no one could steal them. I’m only aware of this because my husband is a game designer.
(review for chapter 7?)
  3. See below for another Jowy's Pixie review
One of the Tumblr reblogs was Skyeribbon again, but the second reblog was someone who had found the announcement via Skye's blog. So, thank you, Skyeribbon for the share to help promote my story! It worked! This is the first time my promotion was reblogged from someone else's Tumblr. I'm super excited by this milestone!
Hacker Girl Facebook sticker
by Birdman, Inc
I still don't know what I magically did last week to get 52 notes in one week; less than. I'm pretty sure I had 52 notes by the time I updated this blog last week. While it's not nearly as exciting to be back to less than even 15 notes, having a reblog off of someone else's Tumblr is nice compensation.

This week is also the leader with the most reviews/comments in one week. Granted, that could be because of the question I posed at the end of my Author's Notes, but still....

There was also the first new Miraculous Ladybug episode in a month this weekend. That may have helped spike my view-count. Week 6 still holds the record though, with 1666 views between the three sites.

But speaking of the reviews, this was Jowy's this week:
Jowy's Pixie: Oh poor Adrien. The boy can't seem to catch a break from an onslaught of emotions. You really perfectly captured his inner turmoil in this chapter and it was such a pleasure to read. I can see this being a legitimate reaction Adrien might have in the actual show if he was to accidentally find out Ladybug's true identity. I'm so excited to see what Adrien is going to do next. Is he going to admit to Marinette that he knows? Is Marinette somehow going to find out? There's so many possibilities with this plot line you've created. That's what makes me love this story so much. Normally, I'm pretty good at figuring out where things are going to go, but with this story, there's so many possibilities that I can't decide. And that's good. I always end up spoiling stories for myself because I can guess where things are going so there's usually no exciting surprises for me. But with this story, I'm in the dark and I love it!
        Plagg's moments were hilarious to read in this chapter. You managed to capture his personality spot on which is awesome because Plagg is one of my favourite characters. I completely agree with your little analysis of the relationship between Tikki and Plagg. It makes total sense that you would make them have a more sibling like bond. That's usually what I imagine for them as well. Especially after seeing their interaction in Dark Owl. There didn't seem to be any romantic insinuations there. Though I do completely understand why people would ship them. Them being a couple would make sense, but obviously that's not the direction the show seems to be taking.
        This chapter was a pleasure to read, but then again, so are all your chapters. I always look forward to your updates to see what's going to happen to poor Adrien next. I must say, something I forgot to previously mention, it's nice to see a story from solely Adrien's point of view. That's quite rare from what I've seen. Usually it's either just Marinette or a mix of both. I like that you've decided to go with just Adrien though. It shakes things up a bit and makes things interesting. Congratulations on another well written chapter. I can't wait to find out what happens next. Good luck writing!
It is rare to find a story solely through Adrien's POV. Too many people are tempted to include Marinette's in some manner. But I just couldn't tell this story any other way, as I discussed last week. I just hope OatS will prove to be as refreshing to read with its dual POV between Adrien and Marinette.

First priority: Finish "Peeping Tomcat" and THEN worry about the POV in OatS.

Switching gears here, I managed to finish up “The Burning Maze” this week. Which leaves me with about half a month to get a head start on my next book.
I have to admit that with each book humbling Apollo a little more and more, I'm starting to actually like the guy. I guess that's the point, but it also shouldn't take three books to win sympathy for your protagonist and narrator. I mean, I like the Arrow of Dodona more than Apollo most of the time. Anyway, the book was intense, and I'm curious as to how much more it's going to get in the last two books. There's also a couple of "grab your tissues" moments that left me dumbfounded. So that's good. I still think I'm going to miss getting another Magnus Chase book in October when we get a second Trials of Apollo novel instead. That series was too good to only be three books long.

As for my 50,000+ word fanfic category? You can find "Won't Tell a Soul" on AO3. It's a Miraculous Ladybug fanfic focusing mostly on the supporting character Nino. The POV does jump to Adrien or Marinette on occasion, but it's mostly a Nino-centric story. It's pretty cool and had a lot of great moments. I just feel like it needed one more proofread to polish it up. Getting through grammar mistakes took some getting used to. It's not TERRIBLE, but it's enough to want that one last proofread.

Anyway, the story is intriguing and just keeps piling it on, which is great. I even used some of the story to help inspire me for Adrien's reactions to things in "Peeping Tomcat." It's great where inspiration comes from.

I'm now at seven out of twelve books read. However, aside from the next Trial of Apollo book coming out in October, the only planned book I have left to read is “Atlas Shrugged.” I don't know if I should attempt tackling that book again while also doing Camp NaNo, and all the social get-togethers I have planned in July. And I certainly won't be able to finish it in 11 days!

So I'm debating between three options. First is to just take a break from reading. Spend that time writing instead; reading my first draft and fixing it. Second option is to go through my at-home library or hit up the public library and snag a quick-read book. Something I can read in the next 11 days or so. Final option is finding another lengthy fanfic to read. Should be easy, my “to read” list is fairly lengthy on just AO3 alone. I mean, I have already been reading a bunch of short fics, one-shots, and lengthy projects one chapter update at a time, so maybe I could keep doing that?

I've started reading the following fics this year; a small chapter at a time while they slowly update:
  • 101 Things To Do With Your Son; a collaborative story edited and thought of by Anne Camp aka Obi-quiet; currently up to 23,750 words
  • Under Lock and Key; a collaborative between co-author/illustrator Eden Daphne and main fic author Maerynn, who sadly passed away in a car crash earlier this year; currently up to 23,646 words; Eden is editing Mae's last draft in order to make sure the story gets completed
  • When Duty and Desire Meet; a collaborative between MidnightStarlightWrites and co-author/illustrator Eden Daphne; currently up to 39,185 words
  • Mr. Lucky and the Cat by HariWrites; currently up to 38,126 words
  • And the Name for Your Order is? by Baneismydragon; currently up to 7894 words
Add in the assortment of 4000-words-or-fewer short fics and one-shots that I've also read, and I think I'm getting a healthy amount of reading in. Not in a more conventional sense, but it's still a lot more reading than the average American adult gets in.

OH! And speaking of reading fanfics, Cyhyr posted something recently. It's a bit racy and definitely contains mature content, but it's short at only about 4000 words.

Yes. For me 4000 words is short. Leave me alone.

It's in the Final Fantasy XV fandom, so I was a bit lost as to who the characters are and how they SHOULD act. It probably would have been more enjoyable if I did know that, but that's the pitfall of all fanfic: it's more entertaining for those who know the source material. Even so, it was an enjoyable read if you are alright with the mature scenarios she wrote about; namely, prostitution.

So, if you have about 15minutes, and want to give her stuff a try, please do:

Alright, this blog is a beast and I need to use my free time to work on my PT chapters. Until next week!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Coming Full Circle

This was it! This was the week when I finally came full-circle with "Peeping Tomcat." Last July I decided to figure out what the big deal was with "Miraculous Ladybug," and fell in love with the goofy, cheesy cartoon. August I listened to "Why We Lose" on repeat while trying to figure out a writing prompt during the Writers' Huddle Summer Writing Challenge. I couldn't think of a story for the prompt I had, but listening to the song so much gave me this image of Cat Noir watching Marinette dance in her room. My first ever Miraculous fanfic idea.

I ran with it. It ended with an unexpected reveal, and I craved more. I added to it, polished it up a bit, and posted it on Fanfiction.net in September. I knew it had potential for so much more story, and decided that's exactly what was going to happen, so I named it Peeping Tomcat - Teaser.

Fun side note, out of the 4 people who reviewed the teaser, only one has come back to comment and/or fave the full story, and that one person only did so over on AO3. Also, out of the 19 people who faved the teaser, only 4 have faved the full story. I'm not sure if the others just don't like the full story as much, or if they simply haven't found it yet?

Anyway, fast forward to November, where NaNo had a superhero theme, and so I decided it was time to write the full "Peeping Tomcat" story. After a break in December, I got started on edits. It is June, and I'm still sort of editing as I go, but I'm getting close to finishing this story. Four more intended chapters left.

But the big one was chapter 11: Truth, posted this past Friday. The chapter that started it all. The first ever ML fanfic plot bunny that hopped into my head while listening to "Why We Lose" and trying to write another story entirely.

FanFiction         ArchiveOfOurOwn         DeviantArt

Since this past Friday's update was such a huge deal for me, I was antsy and couldn't wait for my 24hr stats check-in like I normally do. At 8:30pm I hopped onto each site to see how well "Truth" was doing.
FFN: 263 views, and a review from cassy1994, which I'll post below in the 24hr stats
AO3: 194 views, 6 kudos, and 1 new bookmark
DA: 10 views

Total Results: 467 views, 6 kudos, 1 bookmark, and 1 review

Tumblr Notes: 22 total - 18 likes, 2 reblogs, and 1 comment that I replied to 
I have to admit that I was surprised to only have the one review, and that no one new had faved my story on FFN. To be fair, though, for all I knew, a healthy portion of the 263 views consisted of the 150 people who had already favorited the story. They couldn't fave it a second time.

For me though, the real kicker was the number of notes I received over on Tumblr. For some comparison, here is the breakdown of the other four weeks I've promoted "Peeping Tomcat."
  • First time I promoted PT was after I published the 7th chapter. As of today, there are still only 16 notes on it. I never thought to track how many of those were from the first 24hrs. All 16 notes are people liking it. No reblogs.
  • The next week, for chapter 8, there are only 2 notes, even now; weeks later. One was a like from someone named theresatheseus, who had also liked the previous week's promotion. The other note was Cyhyr reblogging to help me promote it.
  • The promotional post for chapter 9 claims it has 3 notes on it, but as of right now the only one listed is theresatheseus liking yet another promotion of "Peeping Tomcat."
  • Last week's promotion of chapter 10 again only had theresatheseus liking it.
With past stats like that, I was used to being a little-known/no-name on Tumblr still. I was going to keep promoting to try to snag whatever views I could, but I wasn't expecting much. Not yet, anyway.

So I was dumbfounded and excited to see 22 notes within 12 hours of me posting on Tumblr. I know in the grand scheme of things this is still barely even peanuts, but it felt like my post was exploding. Especially when neither of the reblogs, nor the comment, nor any of the likes, were Cy or ChibiSunnie. All 22 notes were people who - as far as I know - don't personally know me.

For me, that's huge! And it got bigger during the remaining 12hrs before my 24hr check-in. I had jumped up to 46 total notes.
  • 38 likes
  • 3 reblogs
  • 1 conversation between me and a fan, making up 5 comments
Can I just focus for a minute on the 38 likes for the post? I mean, THIRTY-EIGHT LIKES! I didn't even realize I had that many fans on Tumblr. That means at least 38 people have either already read "Peeping Tomcat" and liked it enough to enjoy my promotion for it, or they liked the summary I shared on Tumblr enough to want to give the story a try.

Oh yeah, and you should focus on the "at LEAST" part of that statement! There were people like Cy and Chibi who hadn't liked/reblogged yet, and others who may have liked the post IRL, but never actually clicked on the little heart to "like" something on Tumblr.

Even if it IS peanuts, having at LEAST 38 people like my story is amazing to me. Especially when I came off weeks where only theresatheseus had shown me love. Also, fun side note: theresatheseus was the second person to have liked the most recent post.

Two of the 3 reblogs that occurred in the first 24hrs were by completely different people than who liked the story promo, which brings me up to 40 people who are presumably fans. Either that, or potential fans who had just discovered PT via my weekly promo.

As for the conversation between me and the fan? Their name is skyeribbon, and the conversation, which added 5 new notes to the post, went like this:
skyeribbon said: “WOOHOO”
Me: “Oh my goodness! I don’t think you understand how much a six-letter word made me want to cry. I’m so glad you were excited too. :D <3 Thank you."
skyeribbon: “Psh please this is LITERALLY my favorite marichat fanfiction, i was actually thinking of making fan art of it and if WOOHOO gets you excited im about to get you a full color spread child ur bae"
skyeribbon: “HOW WAS I NOT FOLLOWING YOU FOLLOWED UP BABY”
Me: “You are so sweet. <3 LOVE!!!"
I have absolutely no clue what changed between last week and this one. I don't know if I promoted better this go, or if I just stumbled into the perfect timing for my post to be seen by more people, or if I've become active enough in the fandom to be noticed and watched more.

Whatever it was, it got me stoked and amazed me so much that I felt the need to write up a Thank You post for all the love I felt.

How well did I do with my other 24hr stats?
FFN: 501 views, 3 followers, and 3 reviews
AO3: 284 views, 9 kudos, 1 bookmark, and 1 comment
DA: 20 views (13 of which are for the new chapter), 1 fave (of the new chapter)

Total Results: 805 views, 10 faves, 4 followers, and 4 reviews

Tumblr Notes: 46 total - 38 likes, 3 reblogs, 5 comments (me and Skye)

Reviews:
  1. He still has to tell her, but it got complicated now! Ooh exciting!
(Another cassy1994 review)
  2. Now Adrien is really gonna be a mess at school lmao!
  3. The would-be confession has become a Ladybug reveal! Good deal, and please keep posting.
  4. Love Adrien overthinking his feelings and wondering if he is just attracted to Ladybug. Although it is pretty obvious that he genuinely has feelings for Marinette, even without the Miraculous connection. It was just easier to fall for Ladybug because she was confident around him, and their battles helped them bond. Adrien's probably trying to find a way to sabotage or guilt himself for finding out. Especially since he knows Ladybug didn't want him to know. I also loved Plagg's reaction to seeing Tikki. Damn, Marinette is going to have to give him big hugs. That boy is good at guilting himself.
(This is a massively abridged version)
The one review I got over on AO3 went on for quite a few paragraphs. I tried to abridge even the abridged version of the review, but what I have above is about as compact as I could make it. If you're interested in the full review, feel free to check out my comments on AO3.

So, I almost doubled my FFN views, even with the second half of the day taking up mostly overnight hours. I also got a few new followers and a couple more comments. Over on AO3, I had about half as many people read during the overnight, but I did get a few more kudos and a comment. My DA readership literally doubled, and I got a fave on the latest chapter.

The love kept spreading. As of right now, my stats are as follows.
FFN: 923 views, 2 faves, 7 followers, and 4 reviews
AO3: 394 views, 14 kudos, 4 bookmarks, and 4 reviews
DA: 35 views, and 2 faves

Total Results: 1352 views, 18 faves, 11 followers, and 8 reviews

Tumblr Notes: 
51 total - 42 likes, 4 reblogs (1 was my TY post), 5 comments 

Abridged Versions of the Reviews:
  1. THIS IS AWESOME! Your grammar is very good. Your writing is riveting. Your story flows excellently. You've kept everyone very canon. Nice reveal, also Plagg's reaction was brilliant. Thank you for sharing.
  2. This story is fantastic! I echo the other commenter's thoughts on your skills as a writer. The reader can feel what the characters do, and the plot is thought-out. I'm not a fan of 1st person, but this is totally enjoyable. It had to be told in 1st person. I'm quite in awe of your writing ability!
  3. [paragraph expressing excitement over the chapter and the reveal.] I get the sense in this story that Plagg has feelings for Tikki. The way he reacted to her was interesting. Another awesome chapter. Reading this is always a pleasure because of how accurately you portray everyone. The plot is interesting. I'm curious to see how Chat Noir reacts, and how Marinette is going to find out. I'm so excited to see what happens next! Keep up the amazing work!
(Jowy's Pixie's latest review)
  4. A constructive criticism; my first one for the story. See below
Again, if you want to take the time to fully read the reviews, you can by going to the AO3 and FFN links. You can then click on "Comments" for AO3 or "Reviews" on FFN.

As for my first constructive criticism:
Fan_Craze44: Personally, I really like the story but I think the scene descriptions are a little too long, to the point that they detract from the plot or just make it a little tedious to read. Also, I understood where you were coming from with the Chloe clones as it fit with the akuma's agenda and you're not necessarily trying to stick to canon, but it just seems a little unrealiatic since all the characters retained their personalities in the Reflekta episode after being turned. I hope this doesn't make you think that I am a hater because I really DO enjoy this story. I happen to be in yrbk and we do a lot of constructive criticism.
The Chloe Clones critique is easy enough to explain: different akumas have different powers. While Reflecta's power was to simply change the physical looks of a person, Mimicker's powers were able to affect both physical and psychological. Kind of like how Pharaoh was able to make mummies, Dark Blade was able to make knights, and Simon Says was able to make people do whatever he wanted. I just had the citizens become Chloe instead of mindless knights or mummies. I can appreciate that this seems like a stretch for some, and it may be, but for my own reasoning, it does seem like a natural extension to powers we've already seen. It seems canonical enough. Even if it isn't; it's fanfiction.

For the scene descriptions: I did fear that would be the case. I purposely wrote out things like Chat Noir transforming with much more detail than any fan could need. I did this for two reasons.

In the past, I have enjoyed someone's writing so much that I attempted to read everything they wrote, even if I wasn't in the fandom. It was a bit difficult to read a fandom I wasn't a part of, because a lot of things went over my head, but I enjoyed the stories regardless. On the off chance I have similar readers from outside the ML fandom, I wanted to make sure I had enough description so that you didn't NEED to be a Miraculous Ladybug fan to enjoy my story.

The second reason is similar, and also because of past experience. I have read stories long after I stopped actively watching/reading/playing the source material, and I've had to pause what I was reading in order to look up references. I had been out of the fandom for so long I had forgotten what a character looked like, what episode/book/game something referred to, or how a particular character would act. It broke me out of the story. So, in case someone comes across my story after being out of the ML fandom for a while, I wanted enough description to remind them while keeping them inside the story.

I can understand why such long descriptions may seem unneeded and/or tedious to any actively in the fandom though. I also reassured Fan_Craze44 that I don't think a reviewer is a hater if they legitimately have a constructive criticism. They had explained what they didn't like, and why. That's not hate, that's just informing an author what needs improving upon.

But let's get back to the other reviews. They were all incredibly long and detailed this go. Generally I get a sentence or two showcasing appreciation for my writing and/or commenting about a particular element of the chapter. Having so many multi-paragraph reviews was fun to read through. Really perked me up at just the right times. I also really appreciated that this apparently was the week of "Let her know her grammar and characterization are on point."

I was shocked that almost all of the reviews this go had some sort of mention of my overall writing skill, instead of the typical "the characters act canonically, and the story is interesting." Did my overall writing improve since last week?????

Another big theme for this week is the demand that Adrien DOES NEED TO TELL MARINETTE that he's been spying. While I get it, it is incredibly intrusive and shouldn't be glamorized because it may mean more victimizing of women, at the same time.... um.... what about Marinette? If my readers demand so adamantly that Adrien needs to let Marinette know that he's been spying on her for A WEEK, then maybe Marinette should let Adrien know that she has basically been stalking him SINCE THEY MET. She has a copy of his complete schedule - not just his school schedule - and even memorized it. Her bedroom is practically wallpapered with pictures of Adrien, a fact that will bite her in the episode coming out this weekend. She swiped his phone for a day. She spied on a "date" between him and Lila before using her Ladybug persona to break it up. She used her Lucky Charm power to stop Adrien slow dancing with Chloe. True, he probably loved the excuse to stop dancing with Chloe, but still.... Marinette even recruited her friends to help her manipulate/manufacture a situation which would coerce Adrien to go on a date with her.

I mean, that is all mad creepy. Is it about par with a 14yr old girl's crush? Yeah. I was about Marinette-level when I was that young.... not quite THAT obsessed, but close. But even if it is kind of par for the course, it is still SUPER intrusive. Way more than Adrien sitting quietly outside to watch her while she's doing homework, dancing in her room, or playing a video game. He even tried to go out of his way to make sure he wouldn't be at her room when she'd be dressing, and he avoided the skylight so he wouldn't be tempted to watch her sleep.

Soooooo, classic double standard that seems to come up frequently in this fandom. It's okay if Mari does something, but not our little Sunshine Boy Cinnamon Roll, even if anything involving Chat Noir is considered "sin." On the flip side, if Mari's heart gets broken people seem to have less sympathy than they do if Adrien's heart is broken. There are a LOT of double standards in this fandom, but that's for a post on my Tumblr blog; not here.

BACK TO REVIEWS!

I received a second one stating that they don't normally enjoy 1st person stories, but are enjoying mine. And they even think the story wouldn't work if it wasn't in 1st. Which is the exact reason I used that POV in the first place.

I don't know why there is so much hate for 1st person stories, but I appreciate that people seem to think I'm doing it "correctly." I just hope I didn't lose potential readers simply because they saw it was in 1st person and nope'd the heck out.

That fear is actually one of the reasons why I'm leaning towards "One and the Same" being in alternating 3rd person limited - switching back and forth between Marinette and Adrien. Cy is afraid that a switch from 1st person POV to 3rd within the same series would be too jarring. And now that she'd mentioned that, I guess I have to agree. I do know that I can't just stay in Adrien's POV though - which would be the most logical transition from one book to the next - because OatS is very much Marinette's story this time. On the flipside, I can't stay exclusively in Marinette's POV, because Adrien's attempt to figure out if Mari likes both halves of him may not play out well without his POV involved.

Cyhyr suggested alternating 1st person, which is how Rick Riordan wrote the Kane Chronicles. It is probably the best bet. I can have it be Mari's story with some of Adrien's insight, but I don't have such a jarring switch by going from 1st to 3rd. I'll have to see how well the alternating 1st works when I write the first draft next month.

DEAR LORD! NEXT MONTH! I really need to get back to working on that outline so I'm ready. Plus, I will still have a chapter or two to edit while starting off Camp. It will be a BUSY July, and I may have to make it my own personal "summer writing challenge" to finish the first draft by August end.

Speaking of editing chapters, this upcoming one needed an almost complete rework. I didn't delve nearly as deep into Adrien's psyche during my NaNo attempt at this story, so the post-reveal chapter was mostly "do I like Mari for Mari or do I like her because she's Ladybug." Now I have to add in the added complexity of "great, now if I confess to Marinette I'm also confessing to Ladybug; how is that going to go?" I also need to touch base on the "I don't deserve to be a superhero" angst. Jumbled among all of that, I need to address Plagg's relationship with Tikki now that he knows where Ladybug's kwami is.

I don't have any days off this week, due to a coworker being on vacation, so I should stop slacking off here. If I have time to write this long blog post, than I have time to work on the next chapter.

Catch you fans on Friday, and I'll see everyone here next Tuesday!

In the meantime, you can check out my latest Tumblr exclusive short.


Finally, a quick shout-out to Cyhyr for reblogging and promoting this story. I really do have awesome, supportive friends!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Feeling the Love

Being a new member of Tumblr means I pretty much can't scroll down my dash without getting a reminder that June is Pride Month!

So, if this applies to you, then you be proud of who you are! If you broke firmly out of the closet, be loud and don't back down. There is nothing wrong with you.

If you are still closeted, maybe use this month to find the support you need to bust out and show the world who you really are. You don't need the stress of hiding and always wondering if someone else will out you. Come out on your terms.

Finally, if you're closeted, and prefer to stay that way, know that you're not weak, nor are you fighting against progress for equal rights. If anything, not being "out, proud, and loud" is MORE equal than anyone else. If I don't have to go around posting everywhere and telling everyone "I'm a cis-female who likes males" then why do you have to go around quantifying yourself? So, just chill in that closet if it makes you feel better. You can still be proud in there.

Also...


And now back to our regularly scheduled program.

I was in a bit of a funk over the weekend, which meant I pretty much read the entire time, instead of writing. Thankfully, a couple of days of moping, reading, snuggling the hubby, and sleeping - coupled with some really awesome reviews on "Peeping Tomcat" - helped perk me up. Although, it did leave me a bit behind on my editing.

Not that it really matters. First of all, I have the chapter at about 90% where I want it to be anyway. Secondly, apparently I'm a lazy bum that waits until the last second regardless.

Yeah, the latest chapter of PT was very much like the akuma attack in the previous one: working on the prep-work all week, but didn't start actually WRITING until Thursday. I even purposely neglected writing Wednesday by spending the whole evening playing Mario Odyssey with Hubby. We hadn't played a video game in a while; we needed a date night.

Waiting until Thursday - partially because I lost track of what day of the week I was on - meant another chapter where I wrote until I fell asleep at my laptop, woke up to go to bed, and then got up at like 6am Friday morning to get the finishing touches done. At least this week I had Friday off, so I could crash again once the story was up.

The major snafu this time was that Hubby needed a ride into work, and I needed to get some maintenance done on my car. My mechanic is basically in the same shopping plaza as Hubby's work, so I figured I'd drop him off, then the car.

Thing is, Hubby needed to be at work by 8am, and I really needed that extra half-hour until my normal 8:30am updating time in order to finish last-minute edits. I figured I could take my laptop with me, drop Hubby off, go into the store to use their wifi to finish updates and publish, and then drop the car off.

Which would have worked perfectly, and mostly did, if it weren't for the fact that the wifi randomly had Archive Of Our Own blocked. I could get onto FanFiction and DeviantArt easily enough to update the story there, but AO3 was just straight up blocked for some strange reason.

So I updated on FFN and DA before dropping off the car. I'd have to update on AO3 once I got home.

Thing is, the mechanic has a bit of a pathetic waiting area, no free wifi to connect to, and tends to get overwhelmed with the number of cars he has to get through, so he never knows how long anything is going to take.

In truth? He never touched my car on Friday. I had to grab it to do Friday evening runs - including going to a D&D session - and then drop it back off so he would have it first thing Saturday morning. Thankfully, Hubby was off Saturday, and I can walk to work.

The other issue was in regards to where the mechanic is in relation to my house. While Omnibladestrike agreed to follow us to the mechanic from our D&D session, so he could then bring us home after we dropped the car off, I didn't have anyone during the day who could follow me around.

So, after dropping the car off in the morning, I walked the mile home. Meaning it was a little after 9am before I had internet access again and could post the latest chapter of PT on AO3. And then I had to walk a mile back Friday evening to pick up my car for my evening errand runs.

I then had to walk back to the mechanic one last time on Saturday, while firmly in my funk, in order to pick the car up after work. FUN!

At least I got some exercise in, right? Gave me time to ponder the rest of the story and what I need to do to finish it up before getting to work on the sequel. Something I'll talk about more in a minute, but first, how about I share the latest chapter of "Peeping Tomcat" with you guys?

FanFiction         ArchiveOfOurOwn         DeviantArt

My original draft of the story had the latest chapter as the closing portion of the akuma attack chapter. However, Terravenger was running a bit long, and where I stopped just seemed fitting.

I was wondering if I should then inflate this 10th chapter to the normal 3000-word minimum the rest of my story has had thus far, but it didn't feel right. I didn't want to add fluff just for the sake of word counts. I mean, I re-hit my NaNo goal as it is. This chapter didn't even have 2000 words, and I am now up to 50,696 words overall. With five more chapters to go until I'm done. At LEAST five more; I might have to expand again depending on how the edits go.

So, to not add words just for the sake of adding words, I left this "baby" chapter. I had hoped those who had waited a week for an update and were used to a good 20-minute read would be alright with the short update and another week-long wait.

Based on the 24-hr stats, I did pretty decently with the "baby" chapter.
FFN: 617 views, 1 follower, and 3 reviews
AO3: 203 views, 7 kudos, 2 bookmarks, and 1 new review
DA: 18 views

Total Results: 838 views, 7 faves, 3 followers, and 4 reviews

Tumblr Notes: 1 like....

Reviews:
  1. "Non-existent crush my left foot."
  2. "Aw he gave her a hug... but poor Adrian! Also if he only knew how much Marinette actually watched him..."
(another Cassy1994 comment)
  3. "I love this fic so much right now! I tore thru all 10 chapters in about a day. ❤️❤️❤️ Can’t wait to see what happens next!"
  4.
See below for Jowy's review
Before getting to Jowy's review, I'd like to note that the one above with the hearts in it was on AO3, where I posted late, and that comment was posted at about 4:30 that same day. So "in about a day" was actually a span of 7-some hours, give or take, depending on when they found my story and/or if "about" a day meant they found it before the 1st and only just finished it at 4:30 on Friday.

Anyway, Jowy's review was as lovely as ever:
Jowy's Pixie: Awwww, poor Adrien. I just wanted to leap into the story and give him a huge hug. His mind is playing tricks on him, it wasn't his fault that he didn't make it to the akuma as things started heating up, but I can imagine as a superhero, he would feel responsible for not 'being there on time' and all that jazz. It must be extremely difficult for him. I can understand why he might feel inadequate compared to Ladybug and feel like he isn't needed and just gets in way, but it's still completely untrue. I just hope that he realises his worth soon.
          It was a really touching moment when Ladybug dashed over to comfort him. They were so in character for that entire scene and it was amazing to read. Also, it was quite funny to read Chat Noir noticing the similarities between Ladybug and Marinette, especially with the freckles. I was screaming at him, "come on, Chat, you're smart, work it out!" I just hope Ladybug can help snap Chat Noir out of this feeling of inadequacy if he can't snap out of it by himself.
          This chapter was awesome to read and I enjoyed every word. I can't believe there's only five chapters left now; that makes me sad. But still, I look forward to seeing how this story is going to end. I'm so excited for your next update! Keep up the great work!
Jowy's really knows how to motivate a gal. The encouragement didn't end there. On Sunday I received two more reviews, but let's see how the week looks thus far.
FFN: 1068 views, 2 faves, 6 followers, and 5 reviews
AO3: 279 views, 11 kudos, 3 bookmarks, and 2 reviews
DA: 21 views and one new fave

Total Results: 1368 views, 14 faves, 9 followers, and 7 reviews

Tumblr Notes: Still only that 1 like...

FFN reviews:
  1. "uffff I feel so anguished while reading this, great fic, really good"
  2. "Ohhhh so much pain!"


  - See below for the longer AO3 review
I have to say that the AO3 review was another one of those gushy comments that makes my heart swell up!
FlamboyantTurtledove: Okay wow...just wow...
          I AM COMPLETELY WITHOUT A DOUBT IN LOVE WITH THIS FIC AAAHHHHH
          No but seriously I can't stress how much I love it so far! Everything is just as it is on the show!! I love getting to listen in on Adrien’s inner thoughts. It’s rare that we get to see things from his perspective but you captured his personality perfectly! Alya once again playing match maker with Nino supporting her and her antics was executed flawlessly and omg Marinette’s rambling ugh I love her rambling in this so much it’s like I’m watching the actual show! Lastly I loved the Akuma scene it was so well done! their banter was absolutely spot on (no pun intended). I can’t wait to see where this goes! Have a great day!
They commented on the 6th chapter, so I'm not sure if they finished reading all 10, but still... EEEEEEEEEEE
Maki Natsuo from Love Lab
by Ruri Miyahara
Because I'm not already fired up enough to FINALLY get to the chapter that started it all. Yup! That's right. That "writing practice" I did during last year's Writers' Huddle summer writing challenge? The one that became the teaser chapter that I put up last fall? Yeah. FINALLY getting to posting that chapter this Friday!

I have some tweaking to do still now that I've thrown way more existential crisis and inner turmoil at Adrien. Namely, I realized that I solved the "do I chose Marinette or stick with Ladybug" crisis in my current draft, but I didn't touch:
 - Adrien's sense of inadequacy as Chat Noir
 - Adrien hiding from Marinette that he's been spying on her
 - Adrien's offer to show Marinette's portfolio to his father

Soooo I should probably work on tying those lose ends up too.... Not all in the next chapter, obviously, but I need to set it up for the following chapters. It will be tricky to work them in somehow, but all of my chapters from here on out are struggling to hit my average 3000 word count anyway, so I have room to grow.

Then again, I've been getting probably the most love on this "baby" chapter, so maybe I DO write too-long chapters.

Do readers like quick 2000-words-or-fewer chapters that they can breeze through? Do they prefer nice, larger 4000-word chapters after waiting a week, so it feels "worth" the wait? Does the word count not matter and everyone is just in love with the low-point anguish?

It really doesn't matter what the answers are, because I'm going to write how the story needs me to write, but it would be interesting to know.

Also, fun side note, my average weekly review count is about four or five, with two of them being my repeat readers cassy1994 and Jowy's Pixie. The only time I surpassed five reviews for the week was when I had nine that first week. I'm already up to seven reviews for the week. We'll see how much more love I get between now and the next chapter going up on Friday.

OH! Speaking of love. The fanfic that Omni's been working on to help him rework his writing muscles is up. We finished the edits on Sunday, so if you see any typos you can blame me as his beta-reader....

It's within the Touhou Project fandom, but I was intrigued even without knowing much about the games. Go give the man some love.


Now, I don't know if he's going to read that at group tonight, but I know for certain that I have no clue what I'm going to read. My chapters are super long, and so I take up so much time if I read off my chapters. Besides, the chapters I'd read to keep the group up-to-date have all been published already, so their comments would be a bit moot. I have already read the upcoming chapter to them before posting it back in September, so even though I've edited it, have I done so enough to bother re-reading? Especially since it was apparently so impactful the first time that one of the members gets confused that everything else I've read since then have been precursors to that chapter. She just keeps focusing on what I read in September.

So... win?

Also, no one seems all that invested in hearing fanfiction if they aren't in the fandom. As evidenced by one of our newest members reading off his Star Trek fanfiction. He got pretty much the same reaction as me: "um... yup.... that was good..."

I tried branching out a bit by reading off "Stranger in a White Dress" last time, but everyone picked up pretty quickly that it was a Miraculous Ladybug fanfic even though a) I didn't tell them it was, and b) neither Ladybug nor Cat Noir showed up anywhere in the story. In fact, the story takes place years before either are born.

So, do I just say "screw it" and read off the two other shorts I wrote for Tumblr? Or maybe the one writing practice I did during a writing date with Omni about a month ago?

Oh, and speaking of my other Tumblr exclusive shorts, pretty much since I've published it, "Kisses" has been my number one liked/commented on/reblogged post.

That is, until a couple of days ago.

Disney Channel created an original movie a few months back called "Z-O-M-B-I-E-S." It's a cute movie where, through technology I won't get into here, zombies are capable of living like normal humans, and so they are doing a trial integration run: the neighborhood zombie teens going to the human high school. Zed the zombie football player and Addison the human cheerleader have a sort of star-crossed love while zombies struggle to become accepted. Mixed within all this chaos is the football coach, who is probably my favorite character in the whole movie.

The lines this guy has are all gold, and the actor's delivery is beautiful. The whole thing just reeks with Millennial Life Struggles, and it is beautiful. Here's just a taste in probably the best scene this man has:
I loved this guy's lines so much I pretty much transcribed all of them into a Tumblr post. It has taken on a life of its own since then. The DCOM fanbase is rabid and spreads anything within the fandom just about as quickly as a zombie outbreak. So not only are people liking and sharing my post off my Tumblr, but they are reblogging off of someone else's reblog of someone else's reblog of my post. It's up to 48 notes - a combination of likes, reblogs, and comments - since I posted on May 26th. Comparatively, I posted "Kisses" on May 17th, and it also has 48 notes.

I guess I have to up my game and come out with a new exclusive short to dethrown my ZOMBIES post. I'll add it to the list of Writing To-Dos.

Speaking of... I signed up for July's Camp NaNoWriMo. I'm going to use it to really lock down the sequel to "Peeping Tomcat" so it could be ready for release by end of August/beginning of September.

In truth, I really wanted to have a seamless flow from PT to OatS. Posting the conclusion of "Peeping Tomcat" on July 6th, and then the first chapter of "One and the Same" on July 13th. Huh, another Friday the 13th....

Anyway...

I haven't even started writing the sequel though. Getting PT ready to publish has taken more time and effort than I originally thought. Besides, having six months anticipation since I posted the teaser for PT seemed to have really gotten hype up, so maybe having to wait a couple of months for the sequel will do the story good. Build up anticipation.

Point being, I'm going to try to use Camp NaNo to really get myself teed up for that sequel. July is probably more chaotic than November though. Between Independence Day, summer get-togethers, my birthday, and my nephew's birthday, I'm going to be on socializing overload in July. Especially since a cousin who lives on the other side of the country, and I've literally only seen about 3x my whole life, is coming out to visit his East Coast family. So my week vacation will pretty much consist of me driving to Pennsylvania, spending time with the cuz and his fam, celebrating my birthday with my mom and sister, whom I haven't seen in person since January, visiting my PA bestie and my godson, both of whom I haven't seen in close to a year, driving home, visiting our nephew for his birthday, and doing any socializing my friends here at home want to do for my birthday. Not to mention that two of my friends have their wedding anniversary at the end of the month, and another two of my friends have their daughter's birthday, although I don't know how involved in those celebrations I'll be....

There will be chaos, but I'm going to try to use Camp as a reason to hide in the corner and write at least for an hour or two each day.
Ending lines of the editing project Bright Wolf.
A lot of production students have to go through
editing this trash. XD
Well, speaking of writing chaos, I need to get to work on finishing up this week's chapter, as well as figure out what to read at group tonight. We were also asked to bring in our favorite writing quote, and I think I'm going with this one:

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Queen of Angst Returns

Happy belated Memorial Day if you are American.... which seems weird to say... "Happy" Memorial Day, when the point is to reflect upon and remember military members who have died in service....

Um... well.... either way....

The week has been a bit chaotic thanks to Memorial Day. Sadly, it has sort of become synonymous with "Great Sales and/or Barbecue Weekend." So we were SLAMMED at work. Leaving me with roughly... 45min all week to write.

Although, who else has time to write during their normal 9-to-5? So I guess I shouldn't be grumbling. Still, it left me with a lot fewer hours to work with than I was hoping for, and I wasn't exactly using them well.

I know I already mentioned this last week, but I wanted to introduce the next akuma in chapter 8 of "Peeping Tomcat." So I spent a lot of last week working on him. I mean, A LOT of time....

As I also mentioned, I was then trying to use what I came up with to write a "behind the scenes" short, much like what I did for Mimicker to help me sort things out. Problem being that I was spending too much time writing that, and not enough writing the next chapter of "Peeping Tomcat."

Normally, slacking off isn't that bad. I mean, it's still bad. It still takes me a lot of time to edit each chapter, but that's all I'm doing: editing. I had to actually WRITE this chapter this time, as well as have time to edit it so it's at the same level as the other chapters. It wouldn't be fair to my readers if they got a sub-par chapter because I slacked off.

I had also unofficially started posting shorts on my Tumblr every three days, and Wednesday would be the next day to post something. Things were getting crazy.

So I ended up giving up the shorts. Yes, it was great seeing the love of my stories getting likes and reblogs on Tumblr, but I had a priority: my main story. What was the point of getting likes, reblogs, traffic, any of that stuff, if I had no story to promote? I had to focus on that.

I spent a lot of Wednesday getting the nuts and bolts of the story sorted out, and then Thursday trying to finish it. I didn't do too well, because I was also exhausted from work, and we kept having impromptu guests. I love guests. I love people. I'm an extrovert. But even I got to a point where I want to say "Gaaah! Get out of my house! I need to write!"

In fact, I think I DID say that at one point. Thankfully, Hubby simply went on a Pokemon Go walk, so it all worked out. There are multiple ways to support the artist in your life, peeps.

Anyway, on Thursday I stayed up until about 1am before my eyes fogged over. That was my white flag. I had to go to sleep, and since I couldn't really see my computer screen anyway, it seemed as good a time as any.

Getting back up around 6am, I rushed through the last few hours of writing, editing, and posting my latest chapter. All while also taking Hubby into work before having to get ready for work myself.

I was exhausted, but I had done it. I wasn't even late! My 8:30am chapter update schedule stayed in tact. Although, my promoting of it didn't. I just ran out of time to do my normal promotional circuit - my personal FB page, the fanfic FB group, Twitter, and now Tumblr - and still get to work on time. So I had to wait until my lunch break at 1:15pm to promote my story.

Speaking of, have you had a chance to read the latest chapter yet? If not, don't forget that there are three convenient sites you can read it on.

FanFiction         ArchiveOfOurOwn         DeviantArt

Despite the struggles, I think I did fairly alright for myself.
FFN: 672 views, 1 faves, 2 followers, and 2 reviews
AO3: 196 views and 5 kudos
DA: 10 views

Total Results: 878 views, 6 faves, 2 followers, and 2 reviews

Tumblr Notes: 2 likes for my promotional post

The comments:
  1. Man this was an epic fight scene in my head! :o I can see Chat just leaping onto Marinette's balcony later on that day since he is so distraught and to check on her, while she tries to find out what's wrong with him.
So glad you updated btw ~

  2. So much angst!
I'm actually pretty impressed that I received the amount of views I did within the first 24hrs. Mainly because of that delay in promoting. That may have skewed the stats a bit, and I'll probably wonder for a while still what my stats would have looked like if I got to promoting on time. Oh well...

Those comments made the struggle worth it. I mean... "epic fight"? Me? I wrote a fight scene that someone thought was "epic"? Also, that "so glad you updated" made me smile.

I'm glad too, reader.
Hacker Girl Facebook sticker
by Birdman, Inc.
That second comment also made me laugh. I mean, I AM the Queen of Angst. Haha. I'm hoping the angst was at least appreciated. I'm assuming so based on the simple-sentence review. Even if it wasn't, I'm going to pretend.


So, someone in the fanfiction FB group asked if she should expect more or fewer views this weekend. On the one hand, most Americans had a three-day weekend, which meant more free-time to do things like read fanfiction. On the other hand, Americans could be slammed at work - like I was - or be otherwise busy with things such as family trips and/or barbecues to fill that three-day weekend.

Another member responded that most people have other things they do on the weekend to take advantage of having days off, and so views are always slow over those few days. Said member also stated that was why he never posted over a weekend. Most views come in on weekdays.

I always saw the opposite. Maybe it's because my story gets buried by other new stories and updates by Monday, but my view count seems to drop to a crawl after the weekend. The stats thus far for the week, post the initial 24hrs, seems to follow that trend:
FFN: 1096 views, 4 faves, 8 followers, and 4 reviews
AO3: 295 views and 13 kudos
DA: 12 views and 1 fave

Total Results: 1403 views, 18 faves, 8 followers, and 4 reviews

Tumblr Notes: I got a third like....

One of the two new comments
(see below for Jowy's):
  1. The poor kitty needs to talk to his lady"s" quick before he gets injured.
     (Another lovely comment from cassy1994)
In other words, here are the stats from 8:30am Saturday until now:
FFN: 424 views, 3 faves, 6 followers, and 2 new reviews
AO3: 99 views and 8 kudos
DA: 2 views and the new fave

Total Results: 525 views, 12 faves, 6 followers, and 2 reviews

Tumblr Notes: 1 new like
According to my email notifications from FFN, 106 of those views, 2 of those follows, 1 of those faves, and cassy's review, were all from yesterday and earlier today. The rest were from the weekend. While I can't track the views on AO3 the same way I can on FFN, I can at least say that half of those new kudos came from either yesterday or this morning. I have no way of tracking DA without physically doing so myself.

So.... like I said.... my stories peter off once the weekend ends. I don't know if it's because new stories flood the sites on Monday, and mine gets buried, or if different fandoms have different reading trends, or if that one fanfic group member just has no clue what he's talking about. But I think I have enough proof to keep up my Friday updates, even once I'm done with "Peeping Tomcat."

Anway, going back to touch upon Jowy's Pixie's review. I'm beginning to love seeing the names cassy1994 and Jowy's Pixie in my email notifications.
Jowy's Pixie: Wow, up until 8:30 in the morning? I hope you're okay! Please get some sleep and don't worry about us! o_O
         Also, CALLED IT! I knew he'd probably end up being akumatized! I totally get what you mean about trying to think of akumas though. It's such hard work and I have no idea how Astruc and his team manage to do it either. I'm always tearing my hair out trying to think of something. But you nailed it pretty well, the motivations were very believable and understandable with a decent build up.
         Poor Chat Noir throughout that entire battle, so distracted by thoughts of Marinette. Oh dear oh dear, the poor boy really is whipped and he has no idea. I just want to leap into this story and give him a good shake, he's so clueless. I felt so sorry for him at the end of the chapter, thinking he was nothing more but a sidekick and didn't deserve to be by Ladybug's side. I have a feeling he might turn to Marinette for comfort over that. I just hope that Ladybug/Marinette can reassure him that that's not the case at all.
         Once again, this chapter was a very enjoyable read. I'm really looking forward to the next chapter to see what happens. As always, this was very well written and I really love the detail that you go into, describing the world around them and the thoughts and emotions that Chat/Adrien is experiencing. Keep up the fantastic work!
I guess in my sleepy daze Friday morning I didn't express myself properly. I did reassure Jowy's that I didn't pull an all-nighter. While it wasn't top-notch self-care, since it was barely 5hrs of sleep, I do make sure to not push myself too much. Besides, once in a blue moon should be fine, right?

I did appreciate the sentiment of "don't worry about us! o_O" though. With all the rabid fans out there always whining "when are you going to update?" it is nice to know that there are still decent fans out there as well, who know you need to focus on you first and this hobby second.

And of COURSE I do keep this hobby second.... totally.... absolutely....
Koko Facebook sticker
by Hanasake Pictures Inc
Which is why I also went back and finished that side-story about Michel's transformation into Terravenger.

"I am Terravenger"
On FanFiction         On Archive Of Our Own           On DeviantArt

I wanted to have this up on Friday as well as a sort of "bonus chapter" but I couldn't get far enough into it to have it ready to publish. I tried again Saturday, and got a good chunk done, but I also didn't have much spare time. Sunday I had to drop Hubby off at work super early in the morning, so I had about four hours to myself.

So THAT was when I got the story nearly done. I was about three paragraphs away from finishing when I realized that I had to be at work in about 20min, and I still hadn't gotten dressed or fixed my hair!

Yup. TOOOOOOTALLY a hobby that doesn't take priority in my life. I have my priorities straight....

When I got home from work I was so hangry and exhausted I just gobbled down dinner and passed out while Hubby and Omnibladestrike went on a Pokemon Go raid. When the guys got back we hung out, and Omni talked about how he expanded a bit on his fanfic. That was the extent of our "writing date" though since I was still dazed.

It wasn't until after he left at about 10pm that I went back to write the closing paragraphs of "I am Terravenger" and edited it.

It went live right around midnight, and then I crashed after promoting it.

Not even 24hrs later, I already got a comment on both my FFN and AO3 postings. They both made me chuckle. Warning, they both contain a spoiler.

On FFN: "Of course that's what happened. Dammit, Roger."

On AO3: "I'd been wondering just what had caused Michel to akumatise (even though it was obvious he would). Wasn't expecting it to be Roger's hair-trigger fine-writing fingers, though. I guess he HAS been building up a tally in Season 2, though..."
Know what I love the most about that AO3 review? The fact that the person had "been wondering" about Michel's akumatizing. That means Draxynnic is a reader of "Peeping Tomcat." Yay. Also, they posted at 12:38am on Monday morning... which means they pretty much saw, read, and commented on the story right after I posted it. Double cool.
Hacker Boy Facebook sticker
by Birdman, Inc
Anyway, add "I am Terravenger" to the three shorts I posted up on Tumblr, and I think I hit my goal of writing outside my main WIPs each month.

OH! And I did write a fifteen-minute practice piece during one of my "writing dates" with Omni a couple of weeks back. I never did go back to edit and publish that. I'll have to see if I can find time...

Speaking of, I ran out of time last week, so I didn't get to let you guys know this. While out watching the second Deadpool movie, Hubby found Pop Vinyls of me and Ronoxym. So naturally I had to buy them.


Looks just like us. 😉
Another thing I didn't have a chance to talk about - which semi relates to Ron since we went to watch "Ready Player One" together with our spouses - is how I'm doing with my reading challenge.

Let's see, shall we?
Sadly, I have to update this list. I'm so used to Riordan writing a five-part series I didn't even notice that he wasn't going to continue with Magnus Chase. Makes sense, it ended nicely. I guess I just wasn't ready to let go, considering I was liking that series more than the Apollo one. It's probably my love of snarky first-person protagonists....

Anyway, seems Magnus Chase was only a three-part series, much like the Kane Chronicles. However, no longer needing to tag-team stories but having mastered the art of releasing a "spring" and "fall" book, I'll have the fourth story in the Apollo series in... October, probably, based on past release patterns.

As far as how I've been doing with the books I actually have on this list? Well, I'm almost half-way through "The Burning Maze." I FEEL like I'm behind since "Ready Player One" took about six weeks or so to re-read, but thankfully I was already ahead. As long as I finish "The Burning Maze" before the end of June I'm still good.

Speaking of taking over a month to re-read "Ready Player One," the reason was because I was going at it with a very critical eye. I started off just seeing what was different between the movie and novel, but it devolved into something more as I really paid attention to the actual structure of the story.

Let's start with the movie adaptation, though, because ho-lee-smokes was a lot changed for the movie.

I mean, I knew it would be changed slightly, but with Ernest Cline writing both the novel and the screenplay, I was hoping for a much more faithful adaptation. Even when I was watching the movie I thought "wow... this... is different." Ron and I even had a playful but heated debate about it.

I have to say though, much like with "Coraline," I think I prefer the movie version. True, there are things that were better in the book... um.... mostly the character development of all the side characters. Pretty much none of that made it to the movie, and that sucks majorly.

On the flipside, the movie gave Art3mis more involvement and badassery? She basically took the reins for some of Wade's storyline; spreading it out and sharing the wealth a bit. Same with Wade's computer/programming genius shifting to Aech in order to fill out that character a bit more. Even out the value and necessity of the members of the High Five instead of skewing everything towards Wade.

Which brings me to why I think I preferred the movie, while I still love the novel.

On the first read, there were glaring flaws, mostly dealing with time continuity. Anyone who read my blog two years ago might remember me raging about it. I also talked about some plot and character missed opportunities I wished Cline had taken. All-in-all, though, I thought the novel deserved an 8.5 out of 10.

Upon the second read, however, especially with the notes I was taking....
God, I'm such a nerd....
...well... I think I'm giving RPO a 7.5 out of 10 now. It just became so obvious that this was his first novel. The story is still exciting. I still love it. The 80s nerd culture is fantastic. I still laughed. It was still a page-turner. I will probably re-read this book a few more times. So don't get me wrong on any of that. I still highly recommend it, and it's still a great romp.

All that said, I have to say I'm a bit disappointed in the novel's storytelling techniques, especially now that I saw more of the potential showcased in the movie. It was like Cline went through the screenplay of his novel and realized "shoot! I need to rework this." In other words? The novel was a great first draft, but there needed to be a lot of reworking to get a truly excellent story, and all that improving ended up changing a LOT of the plot.

Yes, there is a heart-wrenching bit that was ignored by the movie, and some social commentary as well. The book will always be better than the movie because of that. Same with side-character development, as I already said. The thing the movie does better though, is that WADE gets development. HE has real trials.

Wade in the book? Well, he basically has the classic case of character plot armor. He's the one telling the story, so you KNOW nothing happens to him, but other stories - such as the Percy Jackson or Magnus Chase stories - have the same first-person flaw, and yet you still worry about their safety. You still wonder HOW they will get out of the problem.

Wade, though? Any sort of danger he's in is written in a sentence or two before moving on:
As my ship blasted its way skyward, I began to take heavy fire from several directions. But I was lucky. My ship was fast, and my shields were top-of-the-line, so they managed to hold up long enough for me to reach orbit. But they failed a few seconds later, and the Vonnegut's hull suffered an alarming amount of damage in the handful of seconds it took me to make the jump to light speed.

It was a close call. The bastards almost got me.

-pg 232
Did they, Wade? Did they?

I bet you didn't feel worried at all for him, did you? You didn't have the TIME to. He got away too quickly, and any danger he was in was summed up in a sentence or two. Plus, you'd be surprised how many times the phrase "I was lucky" or some variation of it is used throughout this story. This kid should have been playing the lottery while searching for Halliday's Easter Egg. He may not have needed to be a gunter after all, with the luck he has. Plus, did Wade really DO anything to get out of danger, or prevent himself from being injured? I mean, aside from throwing a lot of money into precautionary items?

The book was basically "look how awesome this kid is, but he's going to be totes low-key about it. #humblebrag" with a plot of "oh look! A puzzle to figure out!" There's a little bit of a race element as well, but the villain gets the lead with fourteen chapters left to go, and the "end game" takes up the entire third act - about 11 chapters - and roughly a week within the confines of the story.

AGAIN, "READY PLAYER ONE" IS A HIGHLY ENJOYABLE BOOK. PLEASE DO NOT LET ME CONVINCE YOU OTHERWISE. GO READ IT. TRUST ME.

But it is still obvious it is the freshman work of an author. Same goes for my re-reading of the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. It's a good read, but once you take a more critical eye to it, the flaws are pretty obvious.

To be fair, though. They are still published, professional authors. Whereas I am not. Also, Paolini wrote Eragon while he was still in high school soooooooo.....

And my characters kind of have "plot armor" as well. I just can't seem to ever injure them. The best I have is the angst.... which is probably why I am the queen.

My characters won't so much as break a nail, but they'll get so twisted up in a social/romantic web that - hopefully - the reader is still concerned and wonders how the protagonist is going to get out of the mess.

Speaking of, I think it's time for me to put Adrien through a deeper level of existential crisis. Catch you all next week.