fayanora: Steph Chloe Dartagnan (Steph Chloe Dartagnan)
Chapter 30 of The Many Faces of Har---er, Adira Potter is published!

Chapter Summary: The Yule Ball is announced, and the collective prepares for it.

Archive Of Our Own version

FanFiction dot net version

Big Closet version

Start at Chapter One: "Feeling Sic" = AO3, FF.net, BC
fayanora: Steph book (Steph book)
Chapter 27 of The Many Faces of Har---er, Adira Potter is published!

Chapter Summary: Chandra struggles with school, but then Al finally resurfaces. It's just the two of them for now. Even with Al back, though, Chandra still struggles with his magic, which doesn't work like other people's magic.

Archive Of Our Own version

FanFiction dot net version

Big Closet version

Start at Chapter One: "Feeling Sic" = AO3, FF.net, BC
fayanora: Steph Chloe Dartagnan (Steph Chloe Dartagnan)
Chapter 26 of The Many Faces of Har---er, Adira Potter is published!

Summary: Alastair Potter passed out just as every name in the Potter collective thus far came out of the Goblet of Fire... save for one name. Chandra Rahasyamay, previously only seen in the Potter collective's dreams, has come out at last. Everyone else in the collective has mysteriously vanished, leaving Chandra on his own with an incomplete amnesia. In this chapter he struggles in school, and everyone else struggles to comprehend his odd manner of speaking. Will he be able to figure his magic out before the First Task?

Archive Of Our Own version

FanFiction dot net version

Big Closet version

Start at Chapter One: "Feeling Sic" = AO3, FF.net, BC
fayanora: Elle reading (Elle reading)
Who wants to beta read a fantasy horror story about some kindly vampires* fighting a creature that would give even nasty vampires nightmares? It's called "Family Dispute" because I'm fond of funny titles for my horror stories, and the nasty creature in this one is distantly related to vampires.** (The two species share a common ancestor, that common ancestor being a terrifying flying monster called a Vampyri.) There are also Rakshasa in it, because Rakshasa and vampires in that world tend to live together, the vamps eating the blood and the Rakshasa eating the meat. Takes place in the Lyria 'verse. Bonus: the vampires are Black.

So, any volunteers?

* = They eat only animal blood, not human blood.

** = Other horror stories of mine include "Deviled Eggs," and "Nine-Tenths of the Law."
fayanora: Sammi Hanratty classy (Sammi Hanratty classy)
I made this comment about my Lyria story on a friend's LJ, and felt it was good enough to repeat here:

I'm not writing a simple story. The Lyria/Playground of the Gods story is a complex mix of high fantasy, science fiction, and horror with comedic elements and urban fantasy elements (but no elements of romance stories, even though there are relationships/romances between some characters). Also, I plan for there to be the occasional completely unrealistic and absurd thing happening, inspired by the kind of unrealistic and absurd stuff that happens in reality, because sometimes reality has everything from WTF Moments in the middle of a serious time, like the Christmas Truce in WWI, to Deus Ex Machina stuff like a whole fleet of enemy ships wiped out by a freak wind. Because that's just how I do things; I don't do simple genre tales, they're boring. Life is complex, and fiction should strive to equal life's complexity.

~ ~ ~

Also adding here one other thing: Sometimes random shitty stuff happens to the good guys, like that freak wind gets *their* fleet of ships instead. And other times, the good guys are incompetent. Sometimes, the leader of the good guys is not really suited to the situation zie finds zirself in, and this is true of the Lyria series: the leader of the good guys is Kell, God of Innocence and Innocents. He is not suited to lead people against an enemy force, and He knows it. But He got saddled with the job and can't pawn it off on anyone else. So of course Lyria decides to do her own thing, only just barely cooperating with Kell since she knows He is aware of His shortcomings.
fayanora: Dakota & Elle by LJ user dancingwithme (Dakota & Elle)
I love it when I'm just as excited to be writing a chapter as I would be to be reading it, trying to keep up with the ideas, to type fast enough to get them down. It's exhilarating when the story is so engaging that writing becomes more important even than Netflix, or Tumblr, and almost more important than food!

At least, with my writing style, which is basically "1. Think of the essentials of what you want to happen in the story/chapter. 2. Set up the initial conditions. 3. Let your characters loose, nudging them back in line on occasion as needed."
fayanora: Elle Fanning by LJ user bitemeee (Elle Fanning)
So apparently, according to a Facebook post, Massachusetts wants to make learning cursive mandatory in all schools. I disagree. Quite apart from the fact that learning handwriting at all in this day and age is learning a practically-obsolete skill, there's the fact that cursive writing is just stupid.

They tried teaching me cursive growing up. I did learn it, but gave it up as soon as I could. I haven't written cursive in over 15 years, apart from my signature. Cursive is one of those things I never understood the point of. Cursive writing has always hurt my hands far more than print writing does (and print writing hurts my hand a lot), cursive is at least 10 times slower than print writing, and cursive is practically impossible to read. I can barely read my own cursive, let alone anyone else's. Why cursive was even invented in the first place is beyond my comprehension, let alone why it was ever taught to children. What's the point of it? The only thing I use cursive for is my signature, which doesn't have to be legible.

Also a further note about its illegibility: even well-written cursive is difficult for me to read. In print writing, the letters usually look distinctive enough to easily tell them apart, but in cursive it's all just a bunch of squiggly lines. These lines all look basically the same to me; the differences are so slight that it takes me three times longer to decipher well-written cursive than it does to decipher messy print writing.

Some may say "But... history! Old letters and documents in cursive!" So? Why torture children with that nonsense? Leave deciphering old letters to historians. Let people teach themselves cursive deciphering if they want to become historians, and teach kids to do a cursive signature, but beyond that it's just a torturous, pointless waste of time.
fayanora: Djao'Kain (Djao'Kain)
Well, the last few days have been quite productive for me. I did a bunch of drawing Tuesday while Amy was spending the night at a friend's house. Still, though I worked on it for several hours, I didn't finish the coloring for even one of the three figures in the drawing. But I got all the lines done and some of the coloring that day before my butt fell asleep. Then I finished the coloring for two of the figures today. And got some writing done earlier tonight, as well.

What I've been drawing this time is a modification of a drawing I did maybe a year or so ago. The original picture - of Ahndahn sitting in a meditation pose, next to a pregnant Shao'Kehn - is on my wall, drawn on paper. I took a photo of it ages ago, and recently traced it so I could colorize it. But before I did, I edited it to add Nahtahdjaiz between the two of them. The two figures I've finished are Nahtahdjaiz and Shao'Kehn. Still trying to decide on the color scheme for Ahndahn. According to the Noiionayya, She's supposed to have bone white skin and chalk-white hair, but I might go with more human coloring instead. (Human "white" with blond hair.)

Nahtahdjaiz's hair is cool in this one. I decided to make Her hair match Her eyes, so Her hair is a riot of bright colors - blues and purples and greens. It's amazing, especially with the highlights and other details I added to it. Also, I gave Her stripes again, but I did a lot better on the stripes this time than I did the last time. I'm quite proud of it so far.

I've been contemplating adding Nwoikis and/or Grahbahn to the image, it wouldn't be too hard now I've figured out what to do. Then it could be a family portrait like the one I started months ago and never finished because I didn't like it. But I don't know for sure yet.

Oh gods, I just looked at that one again, the "family portrait" one I gave up on. It's horrible! I can't believe I kept it. It's bad even by my old standards, but especially bad now with my current skills.

One last thing: I also finished cleaning up that new version of the old Kusahnjiijahn picture, where I've given Her better colorizing. Here it is:

Under the cut for size )
fayanora: Hermione not amused (Hermione not amused)
I was reading "Maelstrom" by Peter Watts the other day, and there was this scene where Lenie Clarke, one of the main characters and an incest survivor, is on the run and stops at this cabin where a man and his daughter are staying. She stays for several days.

Now, we the readers got introduced to the man and the daughter before Lenie showed up. He is a good man whose wife has recently died in an earthquake. Even though there are two beds in the cabin, he and his daughter sometimes double up because he just wants to hold her to reassure himself that she, at least, is still there. He cries quietly to himself some nights. There is absolutely nothing untoward going on between the two of them.

However, Lenie severely misreads the situation as one where the man is molesting his daughter. She asks extremely vague and leading questions of the girl that elicit easily-misinterpreted answers from the confused girl, and barely gives any thought to the possibility that maybe everything is perfectly innocent. She is just *certain* that he's molesting his daughter despite having no evidence, and eventually attacks him in a misguided effort to protect the girl. (Both he and his daughter are okay, and Lenie runs away.)

This all took place over several chapters, and the whole time I was reading Lenie's side of things, I was so filled with rage on the family's behalf that when she attacked him... if the book had been a paperback I owned, instead of my Nook, and had I been reading at a time when others were not asleep, I would have thrown the book against the wall as hard as I could. I was THAT angry at the character, and the author for letting it happen.

As I was cooling down, I reflected that nothing like that would ever happen in anything I wrote. If my characters ever tried it, I would erase what was written and start over again, like "NO. NO NO NO NO NO! You will NOT be doing stupid shit like that!" If a character of mine is going to hurt innocent people, it will be because they're evil and enjoy that kind of thing, but NOT out of well-intentioned misinterpretations of the facts. That is one of the few things that I have almost no tolerance of in reading, and no tolerance at all for it happening in my own writing.

I don't really like Lenie Clarke much anymore. Sure, the GA tried to kill her and wouldn't explain why, despite the fact they had an excellent reason to do so. I would have killed her, too, in the same situation. But I would have told her and the others why, first. Sure, they may not have believed it if they'd been told, and acted as they did anyway, but it's better to try and fail than it is to not even try. And now Lenie is taking her anger towards the GA out on the whole world!

Anyway, is there anything you've seen in other books, or real life, that you would be as vehemently opposed to having in your own writing?


Sep. 20th, 2013 08:33 pm
fayanora: pensive (pensive)
After weeks (maybe months) of doing hardly any writing at all (again, damned depression!), I finally managed to finish the Lyria story "Hind Quarters." One more piece of the Lyria novel is done! And it added some new stuff to the story that I hadn't planned, but which made perfect sense and probably would have gotten added eventually.

And all it took was a walk last night in the cool night air (giving me time to think about the story), the fact that last night's headache was completely gone today, the fact I had nowhere to go, and the shower I took because of the heat. Oh, and the temperature going down with the sunset.

That thing, of going out for a walk, I think I'll try to do that once a week from now on. Either Tuesdays or Saturdays, I think. I keep forgetting how important such walks are to my creativity until I do them.


I also got started on another couple sections of the story, too. One of them focuses on Meriel, Lyria's daughter.
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
I ran into a furry porn picture earlier on Tumblr of Anubis and Bast having sex. Bast had these huge human-like tits. So I reblogged it and added this comment:

One thing that really bugs me about furry art is they keep giving the women human breasts. Cats don't have breasts like that, their nipples (6 of them) are on their abdomen, not their chests.

Which is why, for the furred species I have in my main fantasy universe1 (along with humans, elves, etc), I've got their anatomy done a bit more realistically. The Hyena people and the Setekkians (who look like Sutekh/Set) and others, it's hard for humans to tell the two sexes apart because their women don't have human-like breasts. And because of this, the Hyena people and the Setekkians can all go topless if they want, it wouldn't even need to be censored if put on TV.2 And Hyena people are even harder to tell apart since, well, as hyena people, their women have pseudo-penises that look just like the male penises.

And then the Greks, and other humanoid dragon species, don't even have mammary glands or nipples at all, because they aren't mammals.

1 = The Lyria storyverse.

2 = Though how much you wanna bet that if their children went topless, that would get censored? Even though, as I said, neither sex has nipples on their chest.
fayanora: Phoebe in Wonderland by LJ user bitemeee (Phoebe in Wonderland)
The idea of Author Bingo is to fill out a blank Bingo card with the kinds of themes, events, and even mistakes that are common in your writing. So here's mine:

Cut for size )
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
So today I started a story which explain's Lyria's past. And among other things, it makes it VERY clear that she's asexual, and always has been. Or, as she prefers to call it, "unsexual."

On a side note, a Tumblr post recently made me wonder what Hogwart's house Lyria would be in. I can't decide if she'd be in Ravenclaw or Slytherin. As a child, though, I would guess Ravenclaw. As an adult, Slytherin probably. But I don't know.


Jul. 7th, 2013 06:00 pm
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
I wanted to go to Saturday market yesterday, but was up way too late. I was afraid it would happen again last night as well, and I was kinda right, but I did get 6 hours of sleep before getting up. So I had some breakfast, and went to Saturday Market (which is also open on Sundays) to get a parasol. Brooke met up with me there, and we looked around some other places too. I got a spare charge cord for my Nook and another charger, after the weirdness that was my previous attempt to charge it from battery death.

The parasol is polyester and a kind of pinkish purple, and was only five cents shy of $8. And the cord/charger was only $10, which was only a couple bucks more than I paid for just the data cord at Freddy's.

After Saturday Market, Brooke took me to Burger King. She had a coupon where if she bought something, she'd get a free Whopper. I contributed a little money to get a drink and fries. They called it a large drink, but... Jesus masturbating Christ on a unicycle, the modern "large" is fucking enormous! I commented to the cashier that when I was a kid, a large drink was maybe 16 ounces, and that the monster cup they gave me and called a large would have been considered a Jumbo or larger when I was a kid. Cashier did not respond to this.

So then when we were done eating there, we walked to Sandy and then went our separate ways, as she went on the 12 and I went to go catch the 75. I am now at Starbuck's with Lilla. I finally went out on a limb and bought one of their reusable cups, which gets me 10 cents off every drink purchase if I let them put the drink in the reusable cup.

Last night, when I was again up later than I would have liked, I was at least doing something constructive: writing. Another story with Serret Antashik, the (female) general of Lyria's army. This is the second story she's become the star of, and both have been about unusual swords. She's a master swordswoman. In the first story, the title of which escapes me at the moment, she fights a master elven swordsman/swordsmith for the right to buy from him. She ends up buying a cursed sword called Belfrek, known to kill anyone who tries to draw it. And comes to an understanding with it.

Now in "Hind Quarters," she is after a sword made from the bones and blood of a Hind, so she can kill gods if she needs to.

Damn it, the first Serret story is on my home computer. I thought I'd copied it to my laptop, but I guess I hadn't.
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
I was just on Words With Friends, and saw the word BANES right by ONE, so I tried BANESTONE. It didn't take, but now I have "banestone" or "bane stone" in my head and getting some really interesting fantasy type ideas around that word. So inspiration can come from the most unusual places. :-)
fayanora: Fay doll icon by me, original pic by Lady Dark (Fay Doll still)

I have never understood this kind of BS armor. The female warriors in my fantasy writing have proper armor that covers everything, even the head and face. (Except the eyes.) Lyria's soldiers all have essentially identical-looking armor, and it's impossible to tell the males from the females when they're in full armor.

Lyria herself does not appear to wear armor, but does in fact wear mithril (living silver with the strength of adamantium) armor under her clothes. Kialu Laiu, a female Faery warrior character, also wears mithril armor. Mithril can shapeshift at the mental command of its wearer, so their whole bodies can become protected if need be. Lyria also wears a magical belt that provides an invisible personal force shield. Her daughter, Meriel, also wears a force-shield belt. (Though she is too young to be a warrior.)

The way mithril moves, one could wear only mithril armor and it would be both sexy and protect everything. Which Lyria, as an asexual, wouldn't like, which is why she wears the armor under her clothes. Kialu is a Fae, so she likes elegance, and she doesn't think of "mithril only" as being elegant enough for her taste.

And why adamantium for Lyria's soldiers, and not mithril? Because adamantium is easier to make, and cheaper. Mithril is so hard to make that Lyria, as the only human taught how to make it, can get the equivalent of half a million dollars for a bit of mithril the size of a baseball.

EDIT: People have made some good points, and one of them is that "mithril" was an Elven word in Tolkein's stuff. So I've decided to go with a bastardization of Czech, and call the living metal "zivotnikov." I've also decided that zivotnikov will be sentient, know its owners, and refuse to cooperate with thieves. The value is also different. I don't know how much, but a good point was made that a baseball's size of metal isn't much.
fayanora: pensive (pensive)
So I was reading this list of 20 things characters should do more often and decided to comment on it a bit.

1. Forget things, for no reason.

Good idea!

2. Pee

Just last night, I had a character take a restroom break while the action was going. (Not major action, but still.)

4. Worry about the economy.

This is possible in the Lyria universe. I may do that.

11. Meet an orc who actually isn’t an asshole.

I don't have orcs in the Lyria universe yet, but I like the general idea.
fayanora: Memetically (Memetically)
Oh, I didn't expect to get far in my writing last night, but I did. I had a hard time getting started. I must have been trying to get started on writing since about an hour after getting up, but didn't really get going until around 10 or 11 PM. Which is when I got on a roll! The prologue to Silence Speaking was maybe 5 pages when I started, and by 6 AM last night, it was 19 pages long. But that's the prologue out of the way.

Seriously, last night, once I got going I found it hard to know where or how to stop. But I'm satisfied with how it went. I was also concerned about prattling on, but countless rereads of Harry Potter have been teaching me how to squish things down. It used to be I could write 19 pages of one conversation, now the prologue covers a period of time about a month long.

Now that the prologue is done, I can move on to the part of the novel I've been looking forward to writing for weeks. True, I could have done that anyway, but I knew if I skipped the prologue for later, it could take me months to go back to it, and there might be important information in the prologue I'd need for later parts of the book. And how right I was, too!
fayanora: Djao'Kain (Djao'Kain)
While writing in "Extended Vacation," I finally figured out why it took the people of Traipah roughly nine or ten thousand years to go back to being space-faring, while holding onto their technology the whole time: religion and fear. For all the advanced and enlightened nature of Yahgahn and other religions, there was still this pervasive "the gods have not forgiven us for almost killing the planet" idea. And every time the people of Traipah started to feel like maybe they'd been forgiven, something would happen that would be interpreted as the gods still being angry at them; events like Kiin Kohn Kaas's murderous rampage, natural disasters, or whatnot.

This actually makes a lot of sense, given many facts about the people of Traipah:
      1. They are *very* spiritual.
      2. They are more social in their own way than humans are.
      3. The Ah'Koi Bahnis, at least, have a cultural and possibly species inclination towards conservatism in the truest sense (I have long suspected the Ah'Koi Bahnis to be at least somewhat autistic compared to humans. Their neurotypicals would not be neurotypical for humans).
      4. The average Traipahni lifespan is somewhere around 200 years. Which means 10,000 years is roughly 50 generations. (Maybe not exactly, but the point is that their generations are longer than ours.)

I also know why Vaish was such a bunch of arseholes in the second novel, and still; Traipah was going through another "maybe we've been forgiven" buildup, a stronger than usual one, that had not reached Vaish by the time the humans and Xazians made first contact.

Some other oddities are being solved, too; like why there was no TV or other visual amongst the radio waves being picked up by Captain Solcan's ship.

Going back to the AKB being autistic compared to humans... well, here are the facts:

1. It is pretty much universal among the AKB that ideas are sacred, and burning books is a crime at least as bad as murder. Destroying a library is a sure way to get the AKB *really* pissed off at you.

2. The AKB do enjoy physical activities like sports, but their sports tend to have an intellectual aspect; their games are rarely as straightforward and simple as "throw a stick the farthest" or "score more goals than the other team." I haven't explored this as much as I should.

3. The AKB would consider it absurd to pay more for any aspect of sports than for academics. In Western civilization, school sports programs flourish while art and band and drama classes get funding cuts or get cut out altogether. You'd never see that in a Traipahni school. If anything, sports would be cut before band or art.

4. Free health care and free education have been a part of Traipahni civilization even thousands of years *before* the Reformation.

5. They just think differently than humans do. The people of Traipah do not fall into the common scifi sin of being humans that look funny. Their minds really just do not work the same way. I'm constantly running into things they do that work fine for them, and just would not work for humans. Their economic system, for one. I just don't think humans could pull off an economic system like theirs, where nobody starves or is homeless, unless the technology made such a thing inevitable. And even then, the crime rate is basically zero on Traipah, at least among the native sophonts; even with everyone having everything they need, humans would still commit crimes, I think; rape, assault, bullying, etc. Whereas hurting thy fellow sophont is so completely unthinkable to a Traipahni person that being attacked and nearly killed by a human basically scarred Nokwahl for life because humans look so much like Ah'Koi Bahnis.

6. Traipahni schools focus primarily on values and critical thinking. They teach their kids *how* to think, NOT *what* to think.

7. Creativity is one of the most valued things on Traipah. Art, music, writing, and other creative endeavors are big business on Traipah, and always have been. You're far more likely to see Traipahni people watching a play than a football game or the like. Their attitude is that the mind is what makes a sophont a sophont, and so the mind is to be honed, cultivated, and enriched so you can leave behind a legacy that enriches the whole culture. Sports is just a way of keeping the body fit; fun, but it has roughly the same place in their culture as walking on treadmills has in ours.

Something else occurs to me... I once read an account of what a world where autistics and Aspies were the norm might look like. The problem I now see with that account is that I think at least some of the "symptoms" of being on the autism spectrum may result more from having to cope with the neurotypicals than from the autism itself. If the autism spectrum were really the norm, the world would look vastly different. Smaller class sizes, for one, to cut down on overloads (since it is becoming increasingly clear that aspies and auties are MORE sensitive to the emotions of others, not less).

Further, the school system would naturally evolve around the differing needs of this different typicality. The rigid structure of the Western school system really doesn't do anyone any favors, but it is at least a lot closer to what neurotypicals need than to what auties/aspies need. A school system for AKB would naturally evolve to suit itself to children who don't need incentive to learn; and the kind of structure they'd need would be different. It would be more flexible, less rigid. Learning facts would be easy for them, leaving "critical thinking" and "values" as naturally obvious areas to teach. Human NTs tend to respond well to "these are the rules, you will abide by them," but Traipahni NT children would need to be taught values and the reasons for them, rather than rules, because rules that make no sense, or which have not been explained, are the rules most broken by Traipahni children as is true of aspie/autie children on Earth.

(Note that when I say "values," I mean "universal values" like "don't bully people, don't kill people," etc. A lot of the Statements of Faith of the Yahgahn is made up of universal Traipahni values.)

So yeah, the entire society would of course look different from ours! Hell, there's even a possible secular explanation why the Yahgahn built underground cities. Because while I can't speak for others on the spectrum, I can speak for the people of Traipah. They live on a planet that is very warm. They prefer the shade, where it is cooler. The pre-Reformation cities were not meeting the needs of the people, or were meeting them in expensive ways. It's a lot easier to keep a subterranean chamber cool than an aboveground building. So being environmentally conscious sorts, the early Yahgahn church decided to build underground cities because they were cheaper and easier on the environment to keep cool. Yahgahn became so popular in just a generation or two that there were hundreds of these cities around the world when The Reformation struck. They were protected from the chaos, and they were compassionate, so they saved as many people as they could. But though the spiritual explanation is that they had forewarning of the Reformation, the secular explanation is basically "dumb luck."

When autism becomes the norm for a society, that society evolves to favor it. Take any neurotypical human being and put them on Traipah, and THEY would be the ones maladapted to society. THEY would be the weird ones, the maladapted, the "diseased."

Oh, in other "Extended Vacation" story news, there are scenes in the story with Duenicallo cubs and Shaokennah pups, and those scenes are just so damned adorable!!! :-D Especially the Shaokennah pups!
fayanora: Fay doll icon by me, original pic by Lady Dark (Fay Doll still)
I'm writing my third Nokwahl novel, and I have a character in the prologue who is living in Africa. It is 3231 AD, and in that future, Africa is a developed continent free from the kind of strife that currently plagues it, because all of Earth is under one government and, well, it's over 1000 years in the future. I'm trying to figure out what region to have the city she lives in, and trying to figure out if I should use an existing city (or more accurately, a rebuilt city like New Chicago in the US region, which used to be Chicago) or a new name for a city. So I'm looking for suggestions for regions (countries or whatnot) and cities. Or names for cities. I could just pick one myself, but I want to see what others think.

Oh, if it helps, the character's name is Sarinda Okoni.


fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
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