Playing around…

I was tired of the old theme and decided to change it up a bit. I hope you like it!

Also haven’t been writing much, either. We’ve had a death in the family, illnesses, and accidents, including one involving me and our now-totaled truck. (I miss it!) The new SUV is okay; it’ll hold the whole family for a trip north when necessary. My plan is to try Camp NaNoWriMo again to get me writing anything. On alternating days, I’m working out at the hospital system’s health club which helps with my attitude. Maybe working with Camp will help me with my authorial attitude. We’ll see.

Finally, chapter four!

In an effort to return to regular writing, I finally reread and tweaked the fourth chapter of Not All Dead and posted it at Archive of Our Own, Fanfiction.net, and here. It means the story is complete at last. I found it a real struggle to finish as I wasn’t sure I’d gone the right way with the chapter but after rereading it, I was actually pleased with what I’d come up with. So, with a touch or two of work, I got it into a form I liked even more and called it done. Having Ralph Dibny as part of The Flash cast this year didn’t help either; though the character is very different (and Sue doesn’t exist yet), Ralph as the Elongated Man is canon. Maybe this story could be considered alternate universe or alternate reality. In any case, I hope you enjoy it!

In my final author’s note, I mention the term “jossed”. That was coined by Joss Whedon fans and denotes a storyline that’s hinted at in canon–giving fanfic writers and fan artists steady inspiration–but takes a left-hand turn which invalidates all that fan speculation.

From TV Tropes (a site that can become a very, very deep rabbit hole and time vacuum):

A fan gets Jossed when the elaborate Epileptic Trees or Fanfic that they’ve lovingly built upon canonical elements is abruptly disproved by further canon or Word of God. Named after Joss WhedonBuffy the Vampire Slayer was notorious for this. Fans would come up with detailed and elaborate theories or plots during summer hiatuses, most of which got completely thrown out within three episodes of the new season.

I have to admit, this little discussion and the multi-verse theory used in the show has given me a touch of inspiration… time to tuck that idea into my plot bunny hutch!

A bit of site housekeeping news.

After a bit of finagling, I’ve managed to make my domain name, tikatu.com, redirect here without, well, the redirect. So, no more starting out on my old homepage; this WordPress build is now the official homepage for my domain. If you have my site bookmarked, you might want to update that.

Still working on my fanfic when I have the time and energy. I’m on Chapter 3, still, and need a bit more dialogue before I move on to Chapter 4. I don’t think the finished story will be 10K words but you never know with me.

A little incentive…

Well, in my last installment, I talked about the book of short stories my mother-in-law had written and how I’d edited and had them printed up in an amazing quality book for her. (It really is amazing! Thanks, Blurb!) She was ever so happy about it and encouraged me to do the same for one of my own stories.

So, yesterday I got a letter in the mail from my father-in-law. Inside was a generous check and a cryptic line, “For services rendered”. Now, I hadn’t done what I did for money; I was all about the book being a labor of love. I didn’t know if my MIL knew what my FIL had done so when she called later, I mentioned it. Turns out she did and they want the money to go towards printing my own book.

To that end, I’ll be working on one of my older NaNo novels. Camp NaNoWriMo starts this week and I want to use that time to rewrite the story where needed. Someone said rewriting a draft from scratch is a really good way to iron out the bumps, so I may try it and see where it goes. I plan on posting excerpts along the way and I hope anyone interested in leaving feedback will register either here, with WordPress.com, or with Disqus. (If you already have a WordPress.com or Disqus account, I believe you can post replies to my site already.)

Now that this is up, I have even more incentive to get ‘er done!

I’m past the halfway point

Roughly 600 words to get to 30k, which is right on schedule. I had a bit of an epiphany about the characters in my story: this is not only a fictional world that my main character is visiting, it’s the mirror-verse of that world. So, the person she thinks is on the side of the angels–because that’s the way he’s portrayed in books–really isn’t. I’ve got to figure out why the Door gets stuck in this universe: I guess the overthrow of the bad guy is the reason.

Right now, I’m using a well-known character (Sherlock Holmes, if you want to know) as the locus for this mirror-universe. I just don’t know if I should continue with him or not. I’m kind of uncomfortable making this good guy so bad. Thinking it over makes me wonder if I should make up a character along those lines and leave Holmes in Baker Street. I mean, he is in the public domain, though I’m not sure what the Conan Doyle estate would think of my idea (especially knowing how badly I want to corrupt Watson in this mirror universe!).

If any of my readers have ideas, my comments do take Disqus. Or you could poke me on Tumblr or Facebook, as this will cross-post to both of those social media services. I’d like to know what you think!

In other news, I need to see my doctor about the possible recurrence of my neuropathic arthropathy. If it’s true, I’ll be seeing a lot of orthopedists and will spend some serious time in air casts and braces. It will give me plenty of time to write.

Adding this to my word count!

Yes, a new theme.

I’m trying out this new theme as it seems 2014 (even with the added child theme) is used a LOT around the Web. There’s a lot I like about this one: it’s already optimized for various devices, the menus and widgets are hidden until they’re needed, and the custom header has that sort of muted overlay.

On the other hand, I don’t like the fact that all the headers seem to be uppercase, despite my specifying “Capitalized” on the theme settings. I don’t know if they’ve picked up the typefaces I specified, either, at least, not on the homepage. I find the all uppercase kind of overpowering; it’s like I’m shouting all the time. I also don’t know how to go about making changes as it’s written in SASS, a totally new coding language for me.

In any case, feedback from any of my readers would be very welcome, so let me know what y’all think! Thanks!

Well, the shortcut still has a few bugs in it…

At least, I think it might. Someone was trying to access chapter 12 of The White Winds and couldn’t. Kept coming up with “unknown page”. Doing that too many times throttled their IP, too.

Not sure just why, but chapter 11 and 12 had rendered the HTML markup for the <> symbols in the posted page instead of the symbols themselves. I’ve gone in and tweaked those two chapters and tested the links to make sure they’re functioning properly. I’ll take a quick run through the other chapters to see if there’s some kind of error in the WP build itself. Hopefully not!

Sorry about that!

Edited to add: All is well. If you can’t get to a chapter you know should be there by way of the previous/next chapter links, try getting there via the novel’s landing page. There should be a current link to any live chapter.

One step back

Well, not me taking one step back but fanfiction.net. They added new formatting tools to the user profiles and forum posting windows–including a “source code” button, but removed that one function from the actual document manager. (On the doc manager it was labeled “HTML”.) Do they really think we’re going to want the HTML versions of our forum posts? What were we going to do, post them at live journal? At WordPress? Facebook? Twitter? I can see the possibilities for the profiles; a user could conceivably make their profile standard across boards and archives they frequent. But not the forum posts.

Unfortunately for me, that “source code/HTML” function in the doc manager was one I used a lot.  It made posting my stories in other places (including here) so much easier! I’m not saying that posting here is now totally impossible; I’ve found a HTML converter which works from my Dropbox account. Converting ten files at a time doesn’t take very long. Neither does cleaning up the superfluous code when I use my free HTML editor (from CoffeeCup software–consider this a plug for them). The editor allows for find/replace through all open files, a time-saver to be sure.

Still, the HTML generator at fanfiction.net was easier still. Just export a chapter, toggle the generator, select all, copy, paste into an open Notebook file, and then save. Even with the neat features of my HTML editor, stripping the coding down to the bare formatting essentials still takes time I could use doing other things–like proofing said chapters for undetected SPaG issues. (That’s spelling, punctuation, and grammar, for the uninitiated).

Yeah, I realize Xing and company probably don’t want to facilitate an author’s move to another archive, nor do they have any obligation to offer such a function to the disaffected  (or to those who just want to spread their stories around, like I do).  But they have bigger issues to deal with if they want to keep their unsatisfied clientele–such as deleting plagiarized or copyright infringing stories. Better they focus on those than tweaking a relatively minor section of the entire site.  (I wouldn’t mind them reinstating the source code function for the document manager, either. In for a penny, in for a pound, as it were.)

50060

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.

Putting meat on the bones

Edits and additions from this post.  I put some meat on those bare bones but I still don’t know if Lady Penelope lives or dies! The prompt is again in blue. Feedback is very welcome.

“As one of the hundreds of people who have tried to kill you at one time or another, I can attest to your tenacious refusal to die, milady.” Continue reading “Putting meat on the bones”