The story is not finished yet, but…

I posted the first chapter!

It’s not betaread yet, so if you see any problems–whether they’re grammar, spelling, or possible canon errors–let me know. I’m really, really excited about it! I’m sure I won’t get any responses at my site, but I might at Tumblr or Facebook. Also, if anyone is interested in betareading (that’s proofreading/editing for those outside the fanfiction community) I’d be incredibly grateful. I haven’t sent this to my usual beta because I’m not sure how well-versed she is in DC Comics or the Arrowverse Flash.

I plan to let this sit here for a few days to see what response I get. Then I’ll post it at and AO3.

With great ado, I now present “The interview”, the first chapter of Not All Dead.

Finally finished the third chapter

I have been so behind on blogging and writing. Partially because I don’t have the deadline of NaNoWriMo hanging over my head but also because there’s been a lot of personal upheaval in my life–from my mom’s kidney failure to my dad’s current hospital stay to my recent fractured leg due to another nasty fall.

However, I’m determined to get this Flash fic done and off to a betareader before the end of the month. Why? The first session of Camp NaNoWriMo is coming up in April and I want to try it for a change.

I don’t usually find the April session very profitable for me.  In the past, I’ve had kids in school who needed ferrying around. This year, absolutely no one is in school and I’m laid up with this fracture for the next several weeks (the orthopedist may have something more to say about that tomorrow), so I should have lots of time to write, right? The problem is motivation–and having a project to work on. I could go back and finish some of my Thunderbirds works-in-progress, though it’s hard to pick up the threads of a story that’s been dormant for years. I could finish off one of my original stories. Or I could strain the brain and come up with something new–maybe out-and-out superheroes. I guess I’ll see what piques my interest when the time comes.

Tomorrow, onto chapter 4 (and final).

Fall is here, or is it?

That’s what I keep asking myself every time I go outside. Yes, the calendar says, “Autumn!” My outdoor thermometer says, “Summer!”

One good thing about autumn is National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo). Jo, my co-Municipal Liaison (read regional volunteer), and I will be making plans and setting dates for the various write-ins and parties that go with “30 Days of Literary Abandon!” This year we have four branches of the Greenville County Library System offering our members space to write as well as plot-planning events before NaNoWriMo even starts. Last year it was three branches; next year, who knows? I’m certainly looking forward to November, even if I don’t have an idea for a new novel. Yet.

However, that gives me just a smidge over a month to get some of my older writing finished. I’ve already sent a chapter of Moonstrike! off to my betareader, and I found a partial chapter from Overtures lurking in my works-in-progress file. To help me with the latter story, I may start editing the first novel in my “Friends of the Family” story arc and post it along with posting more chapters of The White Winds. (Chapter 15 went up tonight; I’ll slap it up at Archive of Our Own in a few days.)

All of this would be easier if our house was in some vague semblance of order from a number of projects (including a full bathroom remodel) and if I hadn’t broken a rib from my second fall in as many weeks. My doctor said no driving while it heals and my kids are talking about Mom-proofing the house. My poor husband is really feeling the pressure, I’m afraid.

More later as I work on edits and wait for the temperatures to fall. I really do love autumn; I just need it to stop feeling like summer!

It’s here!

My mother-in-law’s book has arrived, a full week and a half ahead of schedule! I think it looks great and I’m so excited, almost as excited as if I’d written it myself! Now I have even more impetus to write my own book! The 14-point type is really readable, even for those with vision issues. The cover is pretty simple, black and white with a light gray background. (I found the picture at and I give credit to the photographer on my acknowledgements page.) I’m really pleased with the quality of the printing! What looks like a smudge on that one page is actually the shadow of a wire.

Soooo excited to send it off to her!


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Yes, I am a winner!

Is the story finished? Do I ever finish a story during NaNo? Nope. Never. Not this time either.

However, should I finish writing, editing, revising, and betareading this one, it’ll show up here at Tikatu’s Corner first. It’s a Thunderbirds fanfic entitled: Guardian Angels, Inc.

I really wish I knew CSS!

Or actually thought before I acted.

First, my primary menu disappeared again. I have no idea why; I’m working in a child theme and all but just like the last time, it went poof! I’ve had to rebuild the verdammt thing all over again! Maybe styling it would help? Might have to try that.

Then I stupidly did a bulk action of delete spam to some comments that a non-functioning Askimet dumped in with the real comments. So now I have only two comments which I’d imported over from my site. I’m probably going to nuke those, too. Hopefully I’ll start getting comments here–if I ever get this site fully operational!

Waiting on one more beta for the newest chapter of Burning Muses. I’ve been told to make it more lyric, like a dance, but this is Scott Tracy’s voice and, like his father, he’s not given to flowery sentiment. Still, I’ll think about it. This will be the first place I post it!

I’m writing!

Started a new chapter in Burning Muses, this time about the muse, Terpsichore.  It’s been percolating for a while but tonight I managed to get it together in a file. I’m sitting on it overnight before tweaking it and sending it off for beta.

Maybe this will jump start my writing again. I hope so; it’s been a long, dry patch with no real inspiration.

On track

Probably should have posted this yesterday, but … oh well, I’ll edit and put it up today!

First, I’m right on track for word count. Hallelujah! Wednesday, I felt generally run down, ill, and grumpy, to the extent that we ordered comfort food (pizza) instead of what I’d planned for dinner (hot dogs) and I didn’t write a word. I was a full day ahead on word count at that point, so taking the day off didn’t hurt a bit. I’ve been getting out of the house in the afternoon, which helps immensely with my writing productivity. Today, I’m going to haul butt out when the D&D starts later on. I may try to do this every day until the end of Camp. It’s good to not have the chaos of housecleaning, laundry, critters, et al weighing on me.

When this is finished, I want to put it somewhere that my friends can see it and comment as part of the betaing process, but where it would be private and not necessarily considered “first publish”. Fictionpress is absolutely out; I’ve been hanging out at  the fpwatchers group on livejournal and seeing how many stories are plagiarized from there, even published online for cash at Amazon. Besides, that would be considered a first publishing situation. I could put it on my own site and distribute private links to my friends, but how to let them comment? The guestbook I’ve tried to use as a “review board” is FUBAR and no longer supported. I’ve tried Google docs before. Some of my friends had a hard time accessing it. Has anyone done anything with Disqus? How difficult would that be to add to a website and is it flexible enough to use as a review board?

I’m also thinking about consolidating my web presence. Right now I have several blogs; this one, another WordPress blog (for family tidings), my faithful livejournal, a Blogger (for religious issues), a sparkling new tumblr, and of course, Twitter and Facebook. The Facebook is personal, using my real name. The Twitter uses my online handle as does this, the livejournal, and the tumblr. I could easily add a WP blog to my site; that’s one of the apps my web provider offers. I’m trying to decide which way to jump so I can be poised for when I actually need/want to do self-promotion.

So, any ideas? My website needs some serious overhaul in any case!

Oh, and this blog is under an alternate spelling of my online handle, “Tikatu”. Just sayin’.

Crossposted from livejournal and tumblr.

Well, I figured out what was wrong with the little ficlet…

I’ve been writing a ficlet for Thunderbirds based on the stories “Operation Crash Dive” and “The Impostors”. After watching “Crash Dive” I started to wonder: what if Captain Hansen thought International Rescue had really stolen those secret aircraft plans. He knows Scott’s name, first and last – a security issue that has really, really irked me, btw – and he has the names of Gordon, Alan, and Virgil, too. He could easily figure out the rest of the family because of Jeff’s notoriety, John’s writing career, and Gordon’s accident. Would he use this information to help the search for International Rescue or not?

So, that’s the plot of this little ficlet (which will become a chapter in my Missing Scenes Anthology, even though it’s not technically a missing scene). The problem was: I hated my first draft. I’ve been working this evening (Saturday into Sunday) on fixing it and I finally figured out what it really needed – Hansen’s voice. Everything I wrote was too formal for him. Yeah, he’s an airline pilot and all, but his whole demeanor is far less refined than the pilots I’ve seen. He doesn’t seem as polished.* So, I’m rewriting to bring the whole piece more into the vernacular and as I do, I like it more.

Still not at all comfortable with using a lot of vulgarity or profanity, so I’m not going to.  Hopefully I can get the idea across without having Hansen drop f-bombs in his thoughts. Now to see if ThatGirlSix can beta for me. If not, a quick once over by lillehafrue will suffice.

*Yes, I know they’re marionettes, but damn if those voice actors didn’t bring them to life!

Thin skins, foul mouths, and big heads

Consider this a rant.
For every polite, talented, eager to learn teenaged writer, there are at least three who have thin skins, foul mouths, and big heads. TracyLOVER is a fine example of this latter category. She finally got back to Hobbeth (I wondered what took her so long) after that worthy took her to task for her flaming me on The White Winds. From the account I got, the letter was foul mouthed, and told Hobbeth to shove off (in far less polite terms). This after Hobbeth, a seasoned and experienced writer with a lot of skill (especially in the mechanics of writing), took it upon herself to try and guide this child to better her writing.
The child seems to have skin as thin as an onion’s, and a head as big as Alaska, because she obviously thinks her writing needs no help. The report I got from Claudette (who also got flamed by this infant) is that TracyLOVER considers writing to be a fun and diverting pastime, not to be taken seriously. Rather like… oh… collecting dryer lint… though I’m sure there are some people out there who might consider such an activity to be an all-consuming passion.
Writing not to be taken seriously? Talk to Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, or any other author published beyond the web. They’ll tell you how serious writing can be. It has made them some serious money.
Writing not to be taken seriously? Talk to every single teacher of any language across the world who is trying to drum the rudiments of grammar and composition into the hard heads of their students. They’ll tell you how they always despair of actually succeeding at their job, but what a genuine thrill it is to find someone who not only “gets it” but uses it to create a masterpiece.
Writing not to be taken seriously? Talk to any journalist who reports on a breaking story, or writes a feature article, or an op-ed piece. The written word is the repository of much of our understanding of the world around us, having supplanted the oral tradition throughout most of the globe. Without clear, concise writing, we cannot get a clear, concise picture of what is happening to us, to our neighbors, to our loved ones near and far.
Writing not be taken seriously? Ask any scientist who is trying to describe his or her latest discovery to his or her peers. Ask any doctor who goes through your medical notes in an effort to understand exactly how you got that odd growth on your skin. Ask any organization trying to secure grant funding for their works. They’ll tell you how important it is to be precise, how one ill-chosen word can bring a whole new meaning to the science at hand, how the monies needed can be granted or denied on the strength of how a request is written.
Writing not to be taken seriously? Ask any teenaged boy sweating over a letter to a girl he likes, knowing that if he says things one way, she’ll turn up her nose at him in disgust, and if he says them another way, she’ll laugh him to scorn.
Writing not to be taken seriously? I don’t think so. Writing is serious business. And those who would dare to write and create with words their own worlds (or even play in other people’s worlds, as is the case in fan fiction) had better practice and be willing to learn from those who have gone before them and have that much more knowledge and skill.
Writing is a serious business. It’s time some of these teenagers learned that lesson.