aadler: (Morning)

Last year I set myself to do a dozen stories — I listed them, with abbreviations for the titles — and wound up coming not even close to finishing. This year I was going to finish that out. Not doing so well on that. I’m less than two thousand words into what will be the fifth of the twelve (as listed in this post, the one that first announced my intent), and I’m stubbornly determined to finish it before I begin another. And it’s resisting me, and I’m letting other things delay me in focusing, and … Yeah. Familiar story.

I’ve also signed up for this year’s [personal profile] summer_of_giles. That’s not exactly invariant, but after my entry in 2013 I’ve skipped only 2015. (Invariant would be RemixRedux; the only year I skipped that, after beginning in 2006, was last year when it didn’t take place, though for a while it appeared that it would. Disappointing.) I already know what I intend to do for it, and it won’t be a major effort, but a small note in the eventual personality of Rupert Giles. Not one of the twelve originally posited, though, so it won’t get me any closer to my goal.

My son in China just sent me a query about how I go about planning for a story: detailed advance notes, vague outline, or just jump in and fly by the seat of my pants? I’ll have to consider how to prepare my answer in a form that will make sense … and caution him, likewise, that everyone who writes goes about it a different way, and the right way for any individual writer is the one that works for him/her.

What seems to work best for me is being on military deployment. I don’t get to do those anymore, though, so I’ll just have to find some operable substitute.

aadler: (ChainGiles)

Number of my fics where the “f”-word has appeared: 20
Number of times some form of the word was used: 37
Number of characters in my fics who have used it: 12
Greatest offender: Faith (who else?), with 24 of the total 37
–  Eleven times in one fic
–  Three times each in two fics
–  Twice in one fic
–  Once each in five fics
Second worst offender: Xander (once each in five fics)
Others: three OCs, Gunn, Joyce, Kennedy, Marcie, Nancy Doyle (twice in one fic), and an otherfandom character in a crossover

Number of fics with f-word appearance per year:

20001
20051
20061
20071
20082
20101
20111
20122
20133
20142
20152
20163

Much of my initial reticence came from the fact that — though done for my own pleasure, and published online for anyone to see — my fics were written primarily as something I could share with my kids, who even by 2000 were still early teens. Obviously, as they got older, I became less concerned with their reaction … but, you know, I’ve just never been inclined to use rough language in my writing except for the specific purpose of making a particular effect.

The world has other ideas these days. That’s them, though. I’m me.

aadler: (ChainGiles)

Last year I set myself to write an even dozen stories, as listed/described in this post. That did not work out at all; something about having deadlines choked me, and I wound up finishing only four.

My intention is to finish out that dozen this year. I’ve actually made beginnings on two of them, and have calculated that one page a day will be enough to deliver what I need over the long haul. So let’s just see how it goes this time through.

aadler: (ChainGiles)
 
This year’s Circle of Friends Remix — at [livejournal.com profile] cof_remix — is now finished. This was a thorny one, for three reasons. First, one of our intended participants vanished after signing up, and we’ve heard nothing since. Second, [livejournal.com profile] sroni (who finished her own assignment handily enough, and did a pinch-hit for [livejournal.com profile] eilandesq to tide things over) has had occasional health issues that prevented her from another pinch-hit she fully intended to do, so that the circle is, for the first time, not complete.

The third reason was me. I had serious problems.

I knew the story I wanted to tell. I knew how I wanted it to end. Getting there, however, fought me every step of the way. Even when I finally had the story finished, I wasn’t confident in it, so I sought opinions elsewhere and let it sit for a while so I could go back to it with sorta-fresh eyes … with one thing and another, I now have it posted exactly two months after the announced deadline. Need to not do any more of that.

At any rate, the listing is as follows:
    • [livejournal.com profile] eilandesq: remix of [livejournal.com profile] jedibuttercup, with “Memories of a Fallen Technopagan
    • [livejournal.com profile] jedibuttercup: remix of [livejournal.com profile] sroni, with “Some Reassembly Required
    • [livejournal.com profile] sroni: remix of [livejournal.com profile] sevendeadlyfun, with “Bittersweet Symphony
    • [livejournal.com profile] sroni: remix of [livejournal.com profile] eilandesq, with “Sharp Knife of a Short Life(‘filler’ story while [livejournal.com profile] aadler’s fic was still in process)
    • [livejournal.com profile] aadler: remix of [livejournal.com profile] eilandesq, with “There Ought to Be Clowns

I recommend that anyone who hasn’t already done so go check out these stories, and offer your appreciation to the authors.
aadler: (NightWatch)
 
While I was focused on finishing my [livejournal.com profile] summer_of_giles story, I didn’t do anything else on LJ (as a way of staying focused), including answering any of the comments people had made during the meantime or offering any details regarding current events in my life. Brief update, then:

Susan is in California now, suitably installed and bringing in enough pay to cover the cost-of-living difference and maybe a little extra. Unfortunately, before the move she made a trip to Ireland to present a paper at a conference, so that she was essentially broke by the time she got back. So, it cost me a thousand dollars to get her to Cali, and then close to another thousand to maintain her until her higher pay started arriving. Her pay dwarfs mine, always has … but I save when I can, she spends every cent she can lay her hands on, so I keep winding up having to bail her out. I haven’t expressed any of this frustration to her (no point, it isn’t going to change), but there are issues, yes.

I knew I had fallen substantially behind on my planned twelve-stories-in-2016 program, but hadn’t realized just how far behind till I took a look at where I stand. Not good. I won’t quit, because I still know I’m capable of delivering what I promised … but one of the stories is a major undertaking, and I’ll be having to do multiples before I even get that far. The last several days have been a good solid kick for me, I’m accomplishing things that had been allowed to languish for far too long; still, odds are not favorable at this point.

Also, no response so far on [livejournal.com profile] cof_remix sign-ups; even [livejournal.com profile] sroni is out of touch at the moment (in Ireland). I only just got out the actual invitations — though the post itself was an open invitation — so I can hope for some response within the next couple of weeks.

We’ll just have to see how it goes.
aadler: (Dex)

Susan was hired for the VA position she most wanted, the one in California; the position provides a massive raise — about 65% — so even with the higher cost-of-living there, she should be able to do okay. More than that, her supervisor here told her she didn’t have to provide a full month’s notice, two weeks would be enough, so we’re planning to drive there together (I’ll fly back) toward the end of this month. She’s already placed the four cats with someone else, and is trying to find a home for the oldest and largest dog (she’s taking the two smaller dogs with her).

Oh, and she had a minor accident last month — someone rear-ended her on the Interstate, and now she can’t get the hatchback on her car to close — so we’ll be trying to get the insurance company to cover repairs before she makes the California move.

So far, through April and May and now edging into June as well, it has rained every single day I’ve been off work. Our lawn really needs to be mowed, but even when it isn’t raining there’s never enough time for the grass to get really dry. Small problem, yes, but still frustrating.

I passed my DOT physical, except for the eye test, and passed that part handily after I got my eyeglasses prescription updated. I still don’t know for sure that I want to go back into driving; with Susan relocating to California, I’d be leaving our home unattended for weeks at a stretch, plus I’m not sure how it would feel to spend so much time on the road without someone to come home TO. Still, if I decide to go that route, I’ve re-qualified now, and it would only be a matter of convincing someone to hire me.

I’ve finished the second story in the twelve I announced I’d be writing this year … which, two in five months still leaves me badly behind schedule but no further behind. (For some reason “Curious Poses” resisted me for quite a while before finally allowing itself to be finished.) Even so, the response has been … well, I could say ‘uncharacteristic’. In retrospect, maybe it was a mistake to post “the Other Night I Dreamt of Knives” on Memorial Day; even the people who read it may have just been too busy with holiday stuff, but this was the first time in over ten years that I posted a new story on LJ and got no comments whatsoever. Have I become spoiled? Entirely possible. Or maybe I’ve just been posting so little lately that too many people have got out of the habit of following me. I’ll have to do something about that.

Time for bed. Morning shift tomorrow.

aadler: (Default)

Nearly 1,400 words done on TONIDoK, the second of my planned stories for this year. It should have been done in February, but I was still hung up on “Curious Poses” at the time. There was a section in TONIDoK that had to be worked out just right, but I’m past that, so I can (if necessary) do the remainder during rest breaks and lunch breaks at work. Not necessarily how it should be done, but that can serve as a decent supplement to writing at home.

Susan is still awaiting word from Seattle, meanwhile has others calling to interview her, including the top-paying post in SanFran and the lowest-cost-of-living job in Texas. She had to turn down an interview in Richmond, because they wanted face-to-face, and she could afford neither the time nor the cost to fly over just to talk to people. Still, she’s heartened at finding she’s considered a serious candidate for various positions around the country.

Looking forward to a move that lasts for several years, she’s trying to trim down the number of pets she has. At one time we had four dogs and five cats, but one of the dogs wandered off (not the first time, but this time she didn’t come back, doubtless has a new happy home by now), one of the cats was killed (maybe by a car, maybe by something else, I just happened to find the body by the highway next to our house), and Susan found a new owner for another of the cats. Yet another has also been arranged, but we’ve found she’ll have to deliver that one herself; every time I go near any of the three remaining cats — or even look at them — they split for a hiding place. Honestly, I never mistreated the animals, I just loathe them. Is that so wrong?

A couple of months ago, our heat pump (I think) went out. By then the weather in our part of the country was mild enough that we could get by with small heaters in our rooms as needed, till we could afford to address repairs. Now the weather is warming more, and apparently the AC works off the same system. Have to call somebody about that, never mind the water problem and foundation problem …

I’m still watching for any news about this year’s RemixRedux. Seriously, does anybody know?

aadler: (Pain)

I’ve posted end notes for “Curious Poses”.

Susan had a phone interview with one of the VA positions in Seattle; since then, they contacted two of her co-workers for references, but she hasn’t heard anything the last few days.

We discovered an under-the-floor water leak that may be the actual cause of our floor-warping problems, or may be aggravating the other issue I described.

Writing has not proceeded as quickly as I wished, but I think I might manage something substantial over the next few days.

VA medical appointment for me Tuesday; I need to make a list of all the medications I’m currently using, and a second list of issues and symptoms I don’t want to forget to bring up while I’m there.

Last week I went karaokeing with my youngest brother. Got to sing three times — “Thunder Road” (Springsteen), “Jack and Diane” (Mellenkamp), and “867-5309/Jenny” (Tutone). My voice is adequate without being spectacular, but I do have some talent at choosing songs I can belt out to full effect, and I got plenty of favorable response. (Except for “Jack and Diane”, everything I sang was a staple I’d previously proven effective; the new addition was a judgment call which worked out as well as I had suspected.) I used to enjoy doing karaoke, but it’s probably been over a year since the last time. Still fun.

PS: forgot to mention, I signed up for this year’s [livejournal.com profile] summer_of_giles. Also, does anyone know if RemixRedux will run late this year, or even skip a year? because I’ll have to modify my plans if they do.

aadler: (ChainGiles)

Some months ago, as part of the Fandom Snowflake Challenge, I did a cryptic list of the fics I intended to write in 2016 (here). Posting it that way was my attempt at commitment: it would be harder for me to let it slide it was there for people to see.

That was the theory, anyhow. With one thing and another, it wasn’t until this week that I posted the first fic — “Curious Poses”, the ‘CP’ on my projected fic list — which doesn’t at all accord with the one-per-month average I needed to maintain. (More positively, I’m already a few hundred words into ‘tONIDoK’, the next on that list.) Because I was genuinely serious about the commitment, however, the more tardy I was in finishing that first story, the less inclined I was to let myself indulge in anything else on LiveJournal. The result is that, except for a few comments on other folks’ posts, I let my LJ presence lapse to near-nothing for three months.

Since my last Fandom Snowflake Challenge post, then, the following things have occurred: )

Hmm.

Dec. 11th, 2015 12:16 am
aadler: (Skyline)
 
I just happened to note that nearly two-thirds of the stories I’ve written since I did my first remix, have been remixes; and further, that two-thirds of the stories I’ve done in (roughly) the past two years, have had a strong relationship component. These are trends rather than ruts … but when did I fall so solidly into those trends that they could be mistaken for ruts?
aadler: (ChainGiles)
 
This year’s Circle of Friends Remix — at [livejournal.com profile] cof_remix — is now finished (though [livejournal.com profile] sroni may tack on another story if she ever recovers it from her crashed computer). [livejournal.com profile] jedibuttercup was a new participant this year, and this was her first full-story remix (she had previously taken part in a drabbles-only remix); the results, I would say, speak for themselves.

The listing is as follows:
    • [livejournal.com profile] jedibuttercup: remix of [livejournal.com profile] dragonyphoenix, with “For They Shall Be Comforted
    • [livejournal.com profile] dragonyphoenix: remix of [livejournal.com profile] sroni, with “The Letters” [Part 1”, Part 2”, Part 3”]
    • [livejournal.com profile] sroni: remix of [livejournal.com profile] eilandesq, with “Give Me Three Steps
    • [livejournal.com profile] eilandesq: remix of [livejournal.com profile] velvetwhip, with “Regrouping
    • [livejournal.com profile] velvetwhip: remix of [livejournal.com profile] aadler, with “Déjà Without a View
    • [livejournal.com profile] aadler: remix of [livejournal.com profile] jedibuttercup, with “Tea and Oranges

Originally it was set up so each participant would be remixed by someone who had never remixed him/her before, but we had one person drop out (real-life pressures, I believe), so [livejournal.com profile] eilandesq was once again remixed by [livejournal.com profile] sroni. What the heck, they like each other.

I recommend that anyone who hasn’t already done so go check out these stories, and offer your appreciation to the authors. I thought [livejournal.com profile] velvetwhip did a nice job remixing me (there was real power and real tragedy in “Déjà Without a View”); [livejournal.com profile] jedibuttercup’s first full-scale remix was expertly crafted, and [livejournal.com profile] dragonyphoenix did a nice job under some unexpectedly trying circumstances (referenced in my LJ and hers).
aadler: (Muse)

Over the past few days, [livejournal.com profile] dragonyphoenix has made a couple of posts about complications arising from the story she was doing for [livejournal.com profile] cof_remix. Let’s start by saying a few things. First, the problems go back almost entirely to me, since she corresponded with me regarding the rules about remixing remixes, and I thought I’d covered all the necessary angles but clearly did not. Second, the original original author (author of the story the remix of which [livejournal.com profile] dragonyphoenix proposed to remix) is entirely justified in her position regarding remixes of her work: okay with permission, but permission basically restricted to remix events in which she is taking part. (I would be likewise protective of my work, there just haven’t been that many requests or inquiries.)

It does raise a question, though: is it possible to remix the remix (the derivative work) in a way that doesn’t impinge on the territory of the original?

The best remix I ever did, no question, was “Otherwise a Perfect Sky”, a reworking of [livejournal.com profile] deird1’s stark, haunting “Come Crashing Down”. I call it my best remix because it took her story and put my own cast onto it. (I’ve done other remixes based entirely on some single note or concept from the original, but in OPS I remixed the story, to great effect since it was a great starting story and I’m halfway competent myself.) If someone wanted to remix OPS, then, and [livejournal.com profile] deird1 was either unwilling to consent or just simply out of contact, how could that be done without — in the absence of her permission — plagiarizing her work?

Basics of [livejournal.com profile] deird1’s story repeated in OPS:

  • Post-apocalyptic wasteland. Okay, that’s generic enough that anyone could work with it.
  • Willow maintaining a mystical barrier that protects the refugees in the compound. Particular to the story, but also obvious enough — who else would do it? — to not be an offense if repeated.
  • Buffy killed by a demon after sending a truck convoy ahead of her while she stayed to fight. Not copyrightable, but a bit too close; better if it could be changed to deliver the same flavor and consequences without actually using the same scenario.
  • Xander’s staying to fight a vengeful Spike, and being killed by him. Yeah, that one is clearly [livejournal.com profile] deird1’s. Change it, delete it, or work around it.
  • Memory of the post-Glory portal-opening apocalypse being stopped by Anya’s killing Dawn, only to be immediately killed by Buffy. Perfectly reasonable, but still something that [livejournal.com profile] deird1 did first, an identifiable part of her story. Lose it.
  • The sky being green inside the safety zone. Not exactly a major plot point — I used it more than she did — but still identifiably hers. Has to go. Even just using a different color wouldn’t really be enough to provide the necessary distance.

Elements of OPS not present in [livejournal.com profile] deird1’s original:
  • Story from Tara’s POV, and ultimately about her.
  • The Xander/Tara pairing.
  • Tara — instead of Xander — killing Spike.
  • Fred’s suicide.
  • The discovery that Willow is the Big Bad here, and her reasons for doing what she’s done.
So, lots to work with, right? Full bang ahead, remix “Otherwise a Perfect Sky” in a way that veers far enough from [livejournal.com profile] deird1’s original that there’s no conflict.

Except …

Even in this example, there’s the same complication that [livejournal.com profile] dragonyphoenix ran into. In OPS I mentioned a character named Jacie Li, as a sidelong tribute to [livejournal.com profile] deird1 because it came from another story of hers. (I’ve done the same with other authors, including the first remix I ever did — of [livejournal.com profile] bastardsnow — and most recently of [livejournal.com profile] velvetwhip.) What if a prospective remixer didn’t know that? [livejournal.com profile] dragonyphoenix found herself faced with her remix-source including elements from several different original-source stories, which complicated the problem enormously. I suspect that she’s still trying to make it work only from unwillingness to see the writing she’d already done go to waste.

And, just as I (and she, but mostly I) had failed to foresee those first two complications, there may be yet others lurking to trap the unwary. This is uncharted territory, and the rules are still being discovered.

So, in conclusion:
  1. It is, in fact, possible in certain cases to remix a remix without sinning against the original story.
  2. An author who chooses that course of action isn’t in the wrong, even if the OA doesn’t necessarily agree.
  3. Doing this can be extremely ticklish, and except in unusual and extreme cases it would be a lot less work and less risk to just skip it and remix a story that isn’t a remix.
[livejournal.com profile] dragonyphoenix has pretty much already covered these points in her own posts. This is just me owning up to the problems I unleashed with my blithe Sure, go ahead. My feelings now are quite a bit less carefree, and can be summed up thus: It’s not easy, and snares abound, so why look for trouble? Get advance permission from the original-original author, or just find a non-remix story for your source.

It’s easier all around.

aadler: (NightWatch)
 
Since this year’s RemixRedux is getting set to start in a few days, I’m trying to power through and finish the remix I intended to do for [livejournal.com profile] cof_remix in November. Also, Susan and I intend to go to town tomorrow to watch Avengers: Age of Ultron so I can start reading some of the commentary on my flist.

Some things in the meantime:

It has been determined that my grandchild-soon-to-be in China is a girl. (And when I told a co-worker about this, he thought I meant my son was adopting a baby in China.)

[livejournal.com profile] sroni’s husband just got accepted for a training slot with yet another international company, so the two of them will be living in Rome for five months, after which he’ll have a permanent position in Dublin.

In a little over a week, I’ll be buying tickets for the time at the end of September when Susan and I fly to China to visit our new granddaughter (and the happy parents, of course, but they’ve abruptly been relegated to afterthoughts; what counts now is grandchild!).

I’m happy that Orphan Black has started a new season, sad that the Americans has ended another, and almost finished watching the final season of the Dead Zone. (Interest waned, so I’ve slowed way down in my viewing, but I won’t quit when I’m almost done.)

I’m suddenly becoming increasingly interested in the e-publishing market.

And that’s all for now.
aadler: (Wood)
 
It’s been over a year now since I posted “the Silence in the Spaces Between”. I acknowledged at the time that it was the re-telling of another story, well-known in certain quarters, and I expected the source material to be identified in days if not hours. Well, that didn’t happen (or, if it did, nobody mentioned it to me). Time, then, to put the matter to rest.

Big Reveal below the cut )

aadler: (Pain)
 
Just since the last time I made any significant post:

My daughter ([livejournal.com profile] sroni) has rejoined her new husband in Ireland, where he now has a job with a multinational company.

My son and his Chinese wife have been sending us sonograms of our soon-to-be-first grandchild. Susan asked several times if they knew the gender yet, before Mei told her that in China it’s not legal for techs to give that information to prospective parents. (Too many female-negative selective abortions.) He has applications in for a few companies that, if he could get hired with them, would allow them to live in America.

The same day [livejournal.com profile] sroni left for Ireland, I got a new job. Very entry-level, and the least I’ve worked for in a dozen years, but it’s a job and those are still a bit thin on the ground, so I’m not going to be complaining.

I haven’t quit fanfic writing, I just haven’t been doing any recently. I won’t make promises, but my intent is to get going again within the next few days.

And I’ve been working my way through the Dead Zone, the 2002-2007 series with Anthony Michael Hall. Saw a few episodes back when it was first airing, but never had the opportunity to get into it, and I find I’m enjoying the way they address the possibilities. Less than halfway through at this point, but progressing steadily.

Also, gradually losing some of the weight I began to put on the moment I ceased driving long-haul. Really needed to do that. Let’s see how far I can go.
aadler: (T&D)
 
Posting for Phase 3 of this year’s Circle of Friends Remix ([livejournal.com profile] cof_remix) was today. Newcomer [livejournal.com profile] velvetwhip was the only participant who managed to meet the Phase 3 deadline, though [livejournal.com profile] sroni and I are still working on stories we may add later. See [livejournal.com profile] velvetwhip’s submission, “Defining Moments”, and offer the feedback it deserves.
aadler: (ChainGiles)
 
In Phase 2 of this year’s Circle of Friends Remix ([livejournal.com profile] cof_remix), the participants were allowed (if they wished) to remix anyone else who had signed up this year. The results are as follows:

    • [livejournal.com profile] aadler remixed [livejournal.com profile] eilandesq, with “Rough Trade
    • [livejournal.com profile] eilandesq remixed [livejournal.com profile] sroni, with “Improvising Modesty
    • [livejournal.com profile] sroni remixed [livejournal.com profile] velvetwhip, with “Love is Only Heaven Away
    • [livejournal.com profile] dragonyphoenix remixed [livejournal.com profile] eilandesq, with “the Witness

Two remixes in two months is noteworthy output, and there are some good stories there. Phase 3 awaits; let’s see who’s masochistic enough to go for that one!
aadler: (ChainGiles)
 
I didn’t make any post here acknowledging it, but Phase 1 of this year’s Circle of Friends Remix ([livejournal.com profile] cof_remix) has been completed happily and successfully. We had two new participants, [livejournal.com profile] dragonyphoenix and [livejournal.com profile] velvetwhip, both of whom were remixing for the first time, and I believe the results were definitely to their credit.

The listing is as follows:
    • [livejournal.com profile] aadler remixed [livejournal.com profile] velvetwhip, with “Long Time Passing
    • [livejournal.com profile] velvetwhip remixed [livejournal.com profile] eilandesq, with “Comeback
    • [livejournal.com profile] eilandesq remixed [livejournal.com profile] dragonyphoenix, with “Blood and Chocolate
    • [livejournal.com profile] dragonyphoenix remixed [livejournal.com profile] aadler, with “The Man” (Part 1 and Part 2)
    • [livejournal.com profile] sroni remixed [livejournal.com profile] evil_little_dog, with “Falling From Your Grace
    • [livejournal.com profile] evil_little_dog remixed [livejournal.com profile] sroni, with “Normal Days

(There was one full round, [livejournal.com profile] aadler through [livejournal.com profile] dragonyphoenix, and then [livejournal.com profile] sroni and [livejournal.com profile] evil_little_dog remixing each other. I’d prefer to do an unbroken round — as we’ve always done in the past — but this way allowed every participant to remix, and be remixed by, someone he/she hadn’t had before.)

I urge anyone who enjoys Buffyfic to check out these stories, and express your appreciation to the authors. As to the remix done for me, I thought [livejournal.com profile] dragonyphoenix’s “The Man” was a total hoot from beginning to end.
aadler: (ChainGiles)
 
So, [livejournal.com profile] velvetwhip just posted a Ten for Ten Fic Fest recap (here) to mark her ten years as a fanfic writer. Since I’m now at the fifteen-year mark, I decided to imitate her. So:

The Recap )

aadler: (Skyline)
 
[livejournal.com profile] snickfic instituted this meme, and others are following:

“I think that many of us like talking about our and linking to our work but are embarrassed to do so without excuse, so I am making us an excuse. Behold, the Seven Days of Self-Promotion Meme, inspired by another recent meme but with more categories, all obviously customizable as you see fit. Notice that the categories are very broad, so you can talk about your art or vids or meta or whatever if you don’t write fic.

The Days:
     1. Something old
     2. Something new
     3. Something you made for someone else
     4. Something you made just for yourself
     5. Something for a major fandom/pairing/character
     6. Something for a minor fandom/pairing/character
     7.
Something you’re just really proud of )

And then other people can read your discussion and follow your links to your fanworks (and maybe comment on them?) and you can read their discussion and follow their links and comment on them, and it will all be lovely.”