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we are all familiar with starting a novel and getting maybe like 9 or 10 chapters in and then something happens to delay you from writing the rest of the story and it just doesn't get updated. maybe for weeks or months, or like me, even years on end. and you get your loyal readers asking to please update every few months because it has been literal years since something was updated.
this was me.
years ago i first joined the fanfiction community and i posted my literal worst piece of writing to ever exist. "oh i'm sure it wasn't that bad," no no sis, it was literally that bad. towards the end, the quality obviously improved because i had had a steady year of constantly writing and reading and obviously school helped a lot so it wasn't a total trainwreck on fire by the end. but the beginning was atrocious.
once i finished that fanfic novel, i was super excited to finally be able to start something new. and so i did, that was how a minor setback came to be born. i got about 7 chapters in and then life happened, i wrote a bunch of one-shots, i started, quite literally, like 30 other stories that never made it past the first chapter for all of the stated reasons and it just kind of got left behind. don't get me wrong, i have every intention of finishing this story, that's the one thing i've promised myself, every single fic that i've started is going to be finished even if it takes my entire lifetime to do so.
so yeah, it got left behind. all i ended up having time for was the occasional one-shot, or short story and really nothing else. at least i didn't make time for it.
and yeah, the people who had read a minor setback and enjoyed it and stuck around were suffering. i got quite a few reviews going along the lines of "for the love of god please update i'm dying." also, i kind of left the last chapter on a cliffhanger so ....
anyways, it has been around 8 years, no exaggeration since that story has seen an update. and now i am happy to announce that after almost a decade of nothing, A NEW CHAPTER IS COMING SOON !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THAT'S RIGHT Y'ALL, TODAY I FINISHED THE NEXT CHAPTER OF MY FIC AND AFTER IT HAS BEEN EDITED IT'S FINALLY GOING TO BE POSTED. THE DROUGHT HAS FINALLY ENDED.
i'm just super excited because it's been literally so long and i finally managed to finish the next chapter and i can finally get a move on with this story. and to be honest, it only happened because i've made a list of which stories i'm going to be updating in which order and i've stuck to it otherwise i'm fairly certain chapter 8 would not exist today.
i don't know when chapter 9 will be finished but i can at least say with certainty that it won't take 8 years. maybe 6 months-1 year but definitely not 8. i've planned out the story up until around chapter 15 so i'm good until then but this also means that i need to get a move on and keep planning so i don't hit some kind of road block and run out of ideas and end up in a 10 year drought all over again.
so yah i'm pretty freakin excited. congrats to me.
this topic has nothing to do with writing, which as anyone has probably noticed, is the general theme for almost all of these blog posts. but anyway, today i want to talk about, or i guess complain, about what i have dubbed i love cold weather culture.
now i have nothing against cold weather i enjoy a nice rainy day and i enjoy winter (all -30 to -40 degrees celsius for 8 to 10 months of it) so i have nothing against cold weather. but do you ever find that whenever summer comes around and you're talking to someone and they bring up how hot it is and you inevitably get sucked into a discussion on which season is better summer, or winter?
or is that just me?
(i'm going to be working in celsius here y'all)
but yes i get sucked into these discussions all the time, why you ask? because i love hot weather and i live in canada where it normally doesn't get that hot even in the summer. this preference causes a lot of discourse. see i have a friend who thinks that 22 degrees (that's 71.6 for you farenheit folks) is stiflingly hot. i am of the opinion that until it reaches like 35 degrees it's not that hot, mostly because i don't break a sweat until it reaches that temperature. and we got into this big argument over whether or not 22 degrees is hot and i still maintain that it's not. and this conversation came about because we were planning on going as a group after we all graduated with our degrees on like a trip around europe, one of those stops being greece and italy. and i told her i was like if you think 22 degrees is unbearably hot, you're going to die in these countries because the minimum during the summer is like 35-40 degrees (assuming i can trust my relatives living there).
anyways that conversation devolved into her trying to explain why 34 degrees in canada is different from 34 degrees in italy which i get in the sense that italy is closer to the equator so it would be even WORSE there than in the north. but to this day i still don't understand the logic behind 22 degrees in canada is hot and 34 in italy is not hot because that was essentially what she was getting at.
and from there we got into the conversation of is summer better than winter. now i like summer better, so it comes as no surprise that i said i thought warm weather was better, my friend has gone her whole life living with cold weather, it's what she's used to so obviously she was going to pick cold weather. and i would've been fine with this except for the fact that she tried to convince me to change my answer to cold weather, and it's not just her, i find this happens with a lot of people whenever i say i like summer.
i get fed a lot of logic like if it's cold you can just put on more layers to be warm or you can move your body to generate heat etc etc. and that when it's hot you can only remove so many layers of clothing before you're left in just your skin and then you have to endure.
and that's great and all but the thing is:
i don't give two shits.
like don't get me wrong the logic is sound but i don't care. i just enjoy hot weather. like i don't need an essay defending your position i just enjoy hot weather. the first few years of my life were spent living in a hot country, and then i came to canada and now i'm stuck wearing like 2 layers of everything for 80% of the year. don't get me wrong i can tolerate the cold, like as soon as it hits like -20 after it being balls cold for weeks on end, i also strip some layers off and claim that spring has come but IT'S STILL C O L D.
my problem with layering is that i'm not cold in my torso area, i can layer up there all i want i have like 40 baggy sweaters and a puffy parka. as such, i am not cold in my torso area. it is my legs that are freezing. now i can layer up my legs too, but i can only wear about 1 extra pair of leggings underneath and then that's it. my jeans don't exactly allow room for more than 1 pair. proper winter boots don't really come any higher than my knees. "but why don't you wear snowpants," well i have nowhere to put them. i have my laptop, a textbook, all my notebooks, my pencil case, a calculator, and lab equipment in my backpack. i can't fit lunch in there, i can barely fit my scarf, my toque, and my mittens. there's just nowhere for snowpants to go.
I AM DESTINED TO FREEZE.
and on top of that i have poor circulation in the winter, like my nails turn purple. and on top of the poor circulation the weather is forcing my body to draw even more heat from limbs to keep the important bits warm. i am forever cold, i always have to wear my scarf even inside buildings on campus or my freaking parka because i'm always cold.
okay so yes i love hot weather. i love being uncomfortably warm, i love being sweaty just from sitting around because it's so hot. i don't even mind when the sun's been on me long enough to give me a sun burn. I LOVE IT OKAY. and imma just say it i love going to the beach and i can't go to the beach when it's cold, or out to a lake when it's cold. and the clothes are so much cuter too, i love clothes and fashion i get so hyped up about it. seeing the new summer patterns every where gets me so excited i spend all of my time on pinterest.
and just something about the combination of pretty clothes, and beautiful weather and scenery, and looking good makes me feel good. and it's not that winter means i'm constantly feeling bad about myself because i have my winter aesthetic, but feeling good about myself is not exactly what comes to mind when i have numb toes, wet socks, numb legs, and my glasses fog up every time i exhale into my scarf when it's wrapped around my nose or whenever i enter a building.
tl;dr let me enjoy my hot weather in P E A C E thank you for listening to my TedTalk.
i've been a big fan of libba bray for some time now. i remember reading her gemma doyle trilogy and absolutely falling in love with it. and the absolutely wild ride that was beauty queens. going bovine was a pretty interesting book but not my favourite.
i was really excited when i heard about the diviners series because for once i actually read the summary and it sounded like just the type of thing that i was interested in. i read it once when it came out and i've been meaning to read it again but i never got it around to it because life happened and then the second and third book in the series came out and well ... those books have just been gathering dust in my drawers as well. i finished my second read through of it last night and i honestly forgot how much i loved this book.
if you're into the supernatural and things that go bump in the night i think you'll like this book. a common complaint i hear is that people don't like the main character evie which i can understand but honestly, she doesn't bother me that much.
the basic gist of the story is that evie is a diviner, she can read peoples past by touching objects that they own, now this isn't a spoiler because it's literally mentioned in like the first few pages of the book, it basically sets up the rest of the story. so she leaves ohio and goes to new york to live with her uncle who runs a museum for the occult and supernatural. a minor detail i forgot to mention is that this is set in the 1920s which i think really added to the story personally but that's just me.
so she goes to live with her uncle and then these murders begin happening by someone called the pentacle killer and basically he kills his victims and takes a part of their body because he needs it for a ritual. not to give too much away but there's basically a cult called the Brethren (which are in fact a real thing but somehow i don't think the modern day group is up to the same stuff that the people in the book are) and this guy trying to raise the beast to purge the world of sin yadi yadi yada. you get the idea. and evie uses her power to help solve the case.
there's also quite a few other characters involved, each who have their own special powers going on and who come from different walks of life.
the writing is really great, it really sucks you into the story and it fits with the setting and the plot ya know. like you ever read a story and the plot itself is great the writing style and the tone just don't fit what is going on? this wasn't a problem in this story. the murders themselves were so creepy and gruesome. the characters were great, they all had a lot of depth and believability to them. i know the use of 1920s sland was a problem with some people but i personally enjoyed it, i thought it added to the story. i don't know if flappers actually used slang in each and every single sentence because i wasn't alive then and all but i mean it fit so i was like okay.
it's a pretty big book, like 600 pages, and the print itself is fairly small so you K N O W that you're getting your bang for your buck. so all in all i definitely recommend and if you do decide to read it please let me know if you enjoyed it i'd love to discuss it with someone.
in the meantime, i'm going to be reading its sequel, lair of dreams, which i'm really excited about and catching up on season 3 of outlander (which i F I N A L L Y found online).
everyday i tell myself that i'm going to make more of an effort to be more present and active on the forums and like interact with people. and everyday i am fully aware that i'm lying to myself. what ends up happening is that i'm usually present for like a week, maybe 2 if i'm really making an effort, and then i just drop off the face of the planet. or at least the interwebs.
and it's frustrating.
in the brief period that i am on the forums, i become familiar with peoples usernames and their stories and what they have going on to a certain degree. figuring out who has come from other websites etc etc. and then i disappear. sometimes school starts, sometimes something happens and i completely forget about the forums, so that by the time it does occur to me to check back in, school has started, and i no longer have time. it's a vicious cycle. and to be very honest, if i'm not checking on the forums, usually all fanfiction production pretty much comes to a halt. the only time that anything actually gets written for any story is if i'm surrounded by other people who are also working on their story and it puts me into the Writing Mood™.
but anyway back to my main point. i disappear off of the forums until the following year where i tell myself around exam season that during the summer i'm going to be more present and interact with everyone more. and then of course i never do. and when i finally do come on the forums and see what is up, there's a whole buttload of new people and everyone has already become acquainted with each other and knows each other and there's a bunch of inside jokes and i'm just over here like
and all i know is that that could've been me if i ever bothered to show up on the forums or posted in any topics or provided during the house cup activities. and then i take time and become reacquainted with who is who ... and then i disappear again.
rinse and repeat.
while i'm at it does anyone ever have this struggle where they're really introverted but at the same time they enjoy talking to people and hanging out but they're also too lazy to respond to messages so they just kind of ignore them until you actually end up forgetting.
on a side note completely unrelated to this is that i recently finished reading Obsidio which is the last book in the illuminae files trilogy and i don't know if anyone else has read it but if you're looking for something to read this is a really good series to read. it has so many plot twists and it constantly keeps you on edge, not to mention there's a really diverse cast of characters and it also takes place in space.
so today i made the executive decision to let my friend beta read my fanfiction.
now, i'm sure all of you have experienced this at some point, but it's like an unspoken rule that you just never tell anyone that you know in real life that you write fanfiction, and you especially don't tell them where to find it or let them read it. i have broken that rule.
you see, after, i don't even know, something like, six or seven, maybe more, years i finally have decided to begin working on this work in progress that i started when i was like 15 or something. it was the second novel that i had ever worked on. and this fic had had a beta reader on another site but because i haven't updated in so long, and i'm especially bad at responding to people who i don't interact with every day, and a bunch of other factors, we haven't really contacted each other. it's safe to assume that she's probably not working on the fic with me, for reasons other than i just fell out of touch (maybe she's not writing fanfiction anymore, maybe she forgot about me, who knows really) but the first 5 or 6 chapters have been beta read and it feels somehow wrong to not have the rest of the story beta read as well.
and this friend, i love her to death, i trust her with everything, i'm not afraid of being made fun of or anything like that, but it's still weird. because no one has read my fanfiction before, at least no one i know. and even though i know that i'm not going to be made fun of for writing this stuff, it still gives that little bit of anxiety, because what if.
i don't even think it's the content that i'm writing that gives me some anxiety anymore, it's just having people actually read my work. i love getting critique on how to improve and all, but nobody wants to be told that they're terrible and they suck, especially not by someone that they know.
this honestly sounds like a big mess, i don't really know how to properly express what i'm feeling at this moment, and going back this reads like an unorganized mess. but tl;dr, it's a new experience and feeling allowing someone i know to actually read my work.
So, the title is pretty self-explanatory but let me tell you about what exactly happened. As a side note, this is perhaps the only time in my life when I have received hate mail on tumblr in my entire time of being on there, which has been quite a few years. It's a little disappointing tbh because I find anonymous hate to be so entertaining.
"What happened?" I hear you ask.
Well, I was on tumblr, scrolling through my dash a few years ago, and I follow the Harry Potter tag, and I guess the site brought up some post they thought would be interesting and I guess it just so happened that this time, it was a post defending Severus Snape.
Or maybe I was just feeling really confrontational (extremely likely) that one day and I saw something that just set me off.
So I pulled up a text post, and wrote something aggressively negative about Severus Snape, and posted it. To paraphrase Lizzie Bennet, "This is my video blog."
Did I forget to mention that I tagged it? Because I did, oh boy did I tag it. And then I didn't even think anything of it, I didn't think anybody was going to bother reading it and sending me anon hate for it. But I was very wrong. I don't think I've ever been that wrong before in my life. Because when I woke up the next day and opened up tumblr, there were several ... strongly worded messages left for me. I don't think anyone told me to die, but there was a lot of name calling and questioning of my intelligence and my tastes etc. etc. you get the idea.
I also don't think there were any death threats.
I responded to all of them of course because ignoring someone is rude, and I responded in the same tone of voice that I got the message in, and I refrained from swearing for so long, you have absolutely no idea. I emphasize this because in real life I am somebody who swears ... a lot. I just feel like it allows me to express myself and my feelings very clearly.
But I digress.
I knew, that the minute I started swearing some bleeper was gonna come along and say that my entire argument was moot just because I dropped some f bombs, which lo and behold is exactly what happened when I did start dropping swears. Because apparently it was perfectly okay to have someone swearing at me but God forbid that I swear right back. And I know, maybe you're thinking why couldn't you just have been a little more patient but damn it, I had been dealing with that garbage for an entire day.
AN ENTIRE DAY. I WAS OUT OF PATIENCE LIKE WHO HAS TIME TO SEND LITERAL PARAGRAPHS ON ANON VIA TUMBLR. I HAD NO MORE PATIENCE.
There was a lot of back and forth with this one anon and in the end we kind of came to an understanding and stopped internet screaming at each other, I acknowledged that I shouldn't have tagged my negative opinion of Snape under the Snape tag and they apologized for pretty much everything else.
And what inspired me to suddenly talk about this out of the blue?
I was on FFnet and I was scrolling through my published stories and my eye landed on my Bad Blood oneshot that I have posted pretty much everywhere except tumblr because we're not doing that again. And I just got to thinking about what happened when I posted Bad Blood on FFnet, the response was very different from AO3 or HPFF or HPFT and much more aggressive. To summarize half of the reviews that I got on it was one giant paragraph of did you even read the books?, you completely misinterpreted his character, you don't understand Snape, you're just trying to push your agenda on the rest of us, you made some of this stuff up (which was half true but that is also the point of fanfiction, but also half not true because some of the stuff I'm pretty sure I pulled from the books but it's been a while so I could be wrong).
I'm probably missing one theme but I'm not going back again to look at those reviews again. Once was enough.
The most disappointing thing was that people left them under usernames that were not signed in which was such a shame because I couldn't even respond to them. But also, thank God, because I couldn't respond to them.
And like to a certain extent I understand the level of aggression that came my way but also, like ... it's not okay to attack someone's entire existence because they think your favourite character was a terrible person (and I'm making a powerpoint to prove this because I have nothing else to do with my time).
Like don't get me wrong, I recognize and appreciate that Snape is a complex and brilliantly written character ... but from the bottom of my heart, I really mean it when I say that I hate him as a human being.
So basically what I wanted to finish off with, the Harry Potter fandom is very passionate about the topic of Severus Snape and I don't think that's ever going to change (and I don't think I would want it to, it provides for some excellent discussion and entertainment) , and also if you ever wanna get attention on tumblr, saying something negative about him and tagging it will pretty much do it for ya.
(maybe i will post that one-shot on my fic tumblr and see what happens as a kind of experiment ... we'll see).
If you're wondering what hell weeks are let me simply for you: midterms.
Yes, midterms are upon me.
And do you know what is terrible at midterms coming up? THEY LITERALLY NEVER END.
I'm not even joking, it's literally just like week after week of midterms all the way until December when I have my final for the classes. And I know it sounds like it doesn't make much sense because you have the midterm and then you should be free. Theoretically speaking, yes. But when your profs all decide to have like two or three midterms and you have four courses total in the semester, you end up with like 15 midterms all spanned out throughout the semester. This means that I'm in a constant state of anxiety about my impending doom.
Or like, dead inside. Depends on the weather.
And do you know what I end up doing instead of studying? I end up on HPFT, or reading fanfiction, and every once in a while, writing fanfiction of my own instead of reviewing my notes or catching up on my readings or doing practice questions.
My first exam is on Tuesday so have me in your prayers y'all (or send me a sacrifice either works) because if I keep up on this road of distraction I'm gonna need it.
My promise every year is that during the summer I'm going to finish or at least severely update any of the WIPs that I have lying around in order to give anyone who bothers reading them some sort of relief. And so far, I have kept that promise, until this year. Last year I finished my little short story on Victoire Weasley being bitter and angry about anything and everything, and this year I was supposed to finish my short stories on the antics of muggle obsessed Lily Potter.
Key point being supposed to. Because I'm still not done...
I mean I'm halfway there, like I've spent the past two days posting chapter 5 to various fanfiction sites and the archives here are the only ones left, but still I'm not done. And the task is even more daunting now because chapter 5? Yeah, it's approximately 7000 words long (or 8000 words long if you go by ffnet). And chapter 5 is only part 1 of the topic I was covering because I really bit off more than I could chew and I never back down from a challenge so we'll see what happens. Which means chapter 6 is probably going to be like 10K words long (sorry validators).
Also, shameless plug but please do go check out chapter 5 of the Shenanigans of Lily Potter I had a lot of fun writing it and I was personally entertained by it when I went back to edit.
But, back to my point.
I may not finish this little short story collection until summer of next year unfortunately, why, you ask? BECAUSE THE SCHOOL YEAR STARTED AND I'M DYING.
Look, I love being a psychology major a lot, I love my courses, I've never in my life been so pumped for a 9 am class okay, I love it. But, there are too many goddamn exams in these courses and too many papers in a formatting that I'm not familiar with. I spent literally all of last year learning how to do CSE referencing for my science courses and now suddenly I have to do APA referencing (which has like ridiculously specific guidelines I might add). And do you know who has taught me APA referencing. NO ONE.
I'm constantly having to run back and forth across campus, yelling at random strangers to get out of my way -and I mean this literally, I'm not exaggerating, I did this just today in fact- trying to keep up with my readings, and trying to remember what my neuroscience prof says after I've left the class. Look, I love that class, and my prof, to bits, it's interesting, and my prof is wild, he brought in a human brain and a few others and he's bringing a skull and a spinal cord or column in on Monday so I'm like super pumped, but I can never recall any of the information that he spoke of after I've left the class which is problematic because I have a quiz coming up on what we did.
My stats course terrifies me because statistics is the only math that doesn't stick in my brain. I can do any other type of math thrown my way but not stats, my brain just does not compute (stats and perms and combs but that's a rage for another time) and I'm terrified because I don't want to fail that class but also excited because the prof is basically just me in the future. My abnormal psychology course is honestly so lit and so is the history of psychology, reading my textbook is honestly a wild ride, also my prof is a huge Harry Potter fan so I feel like he and I will be friends on like a deep level.
In other news, I also recently made a resume which I will be sending out in the hopes of being hired because I'm very interested in money, I'm applying for research assistant positions in a few labs and hopefully they will overlook my abysmal grades last year and take me on anyways! Also, I got a laptop which I am writing this from which is exciting because I've never had a laptop and I also now have no reason to ever leave my room.
But this means that I'm going to have less time to read and fanfiction and leave reviews, which means that work on my WIP A Minor Setback is going to have to wait another year as well and I feel so terrible about it because it's literally been abandoned for like 5 years because I just stopped writing it one day for whatever reason.
So yeah, back to school season has started, I've been buying and selling textbooks all week, I have tuition to pay, and I'm waitlisted for my organic chemistry class please send help and pray for me.