I wrote a thing..

The other day I wrote a piece of fanfiction for the first time in a few years. It’s kind of a big deal because I used to think I would never go back to writing fanfiction again. I started writing fanfiction when I was about 12 and am wrapping around to my 21st birthday in a few months here.

Don’t get me wrong, I grew a lot as a writer (like, a LOT) by writing fanfiction, and I am grateful for all the feedback that I gained through that time. But I think that as a whole, there’s kind of an unhealthy environment in the FF community that celebrates pain. If you consider the genre of hurt/comfort, it’s quite dehumanizing and throws the spotlight on the trauma instead of the recovery required.

I wrote ‘Until I Burst’ as a kind of second-look at the very real issue of human trafficking, to bring into focus the humanity of the people behind it. There is a line between fiction and reality, and while we can’t all fight crime and kick down doors, we all can champion victim’s rights and support the recovery effort.

I’m not a fan of the hurt. I am a fan of the comfort.

And I will devote my life to the celebration of freedom and bringing victims out of darkness and into the light, both in a physical and spiritual sense.

So the link is below to the story I wrote. It’s set in the Numb3rs genre, between season 2 and season 3 (because that’s where I’m at in the series so far- haven’t seen past that point). I’m very happy so far with seeing page views and knowing that there are people in France and Germany and India who are reading this. I had some fun playing with the third-person limited perspective of a fairly intoxicated intellectual. So far it’s a one-shot, but if I get really inspired I might write either the other character’s perspective, or the actual case behind it. Let me know what you think!

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/9303167/1/Until-I-Burst

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Fall of Kings: The Baton Rises

(Just a quick one this morning, but the next scene is some 3000 words long, so I don’t feel as bad as I ought to about this. We’re picking up speed here… I was really happy about the feedback that I got on the last section. Thanks again for joining me on this journey! Word Count: 54,522)

Edmond strutted down the hall towards his meeting with the coronation organizer, a certain jovial spring in his step that only occurred when he was getting his way. His mane of poker straight jet-black hair hung down past the center of his back in gentle layers, swinging in time to his steps.

His mind was occupied by violin strings, champagne bubbles, and the skirts of exotic women. For that reason, the man in the corner needed to clear his throat rather pointedly before grabbing Edmond’s shoulder and pulling him aside.

“What in the-” He cried in surprise before a hand clapped itself firmly over his mouth, reducing the sound to a startled mumble.

“Hush, your Majesty. Not here.” A low voice whispered, leading him into a side chamber off the main corridor.

This room was bathed in shadows, and a shadowy figure drew close to the room’s one light source – an exterior lancet that allowed a narrow slit of light to slice the room in half. Even in the half-light, Edmond was able to recognize the thick, curly salt-and-pepper locks of Archduke Xiu from the North Eastern shores. During his father’s reign, Xiu had lived in the capitol and advised the king on many matters, but since that time he’d returned to his home province to handle the growing threat of piracy.

His blue-gray eyes flickered with intensity as he took in the fragile snowflakes that drifted from gathering stormclouds with cautious purpose and covered the mountains outside the window. Castle Fortinbras dwelt in perpetual winter, residing at the northernmost point of the Northern lands.

The Archduke opened his mouth several times as if to speak, but no words came out. He was unintentionally doing a rather fine impression of a dying fish, sans the whole ‘flopping about’ aspect.

“Archduke Xiu, while I’d love to stay and play kidnappee, I am tardy for a meeting with the coronation organizer. So if you happen to be chewing on some words, I suggest you spit them out.” Edmond drawled, folding his arms over his chest.

“I have a message for you, sire.” Archduke Xiu finally managed.

“So I gathered,” Edmond replied dryly.

Continue reading

Fall of Kings: The Timeskip

(I think that about a month is long enough putting off this update. I can’t put into words all the argh that I have over the first section, but I quite like the second, so I figured that putting them both together would ease the transition. Yes, I know that this is a pretty passive narrative chunk. I want to break it into portions to tell this time better, but I haven’t quite been struck by inspiration recently to fix it. So I’m just going to jump over it for now and come back to it later on. Thanks for bearing with me!)

Time passed. As the King’s closest adviser, the Grand Duke assumed the role of steward while Edmond was growing up. With the help of his oldest allies, they began to implement changes that they’d long desired to make during the reign of King Richard.

And all the while, Edmond grew.

Trying to save face for the kingdom, Tatsuo hid the boy prince away. His companions were children of other nobles who lived and worked in the nearby capitol of Castleguard. As soon as those children realized that their fathers treated Edmond different, a strange rift formed in their friendships. Overt maltreatment would have been unthinkable, yet gradually the children picked up on their parents’ critical attitudes and subtly began to ostracize him.

Edmond found solace with the children of the maids and servants. The older ones held him with some degree of awe and were not much fun to play with (it’s difficult to play a proper round of Dragon’s Hoard when none dare to challenge the dragon). The youngest ones had not yet learned that they were different from him and adored any sort of companionship.

His boyhood was a melding of bargaining for the respect of his peers, appeasing his those older than him, and basking in the attention of those younger. Thus Edmond grew, out of sight and mind of the nobility – that is, until he entered adolescence, ceased attempting to please his elders and began to forge his own path.

The Grand Duke had a minor heart attack when he realized that the time was soon approaching when his grip on the throne would be forcibly removed when the dreaded common heir came of age. At that point, he and his associates began to observe the young prince a bit more closely. Continue reading

Fall of Kings: Arc 1: The Beginning

Okay. Confession time. I’ve been delaying posting the beginning because I’m a little embarrassed. This first Arc is really quite rough, as (obviously) it was the very first part I wrote for Fall of Kings. In the hundred and twenty pages or so since that time, the story has evolved and changed and I keep going back and editing and tweaking the first sections, but there is still so much to add in and I keep having random plot bunnies appear and lead me down winding trails… I know I want to add in scenes to replace some of the lengthy narrative progression. Arc 1 is complete and Arc 2 is mostly complete, with some patchwork holes and some overhauling. Arc 3 ventures into much murkier territory and Arc 4 does not exist at the moment. What you’ve seen thusfar is Arc 5 territory, venturing into the sixth and final Arc. And there you have it. I do want to update and get going on the beginning, though, because there are definitely some fun parts that I quite enjoyed, and posting parts motivates me to continue working on the rest of it. Comments appreciated but not necessito. My spam filter keeps me pretty busy anyways ;] Total Word Count (not affected by my revisions, sadly): 54,653. Cue the THX theame.

No one was quite certain what provoked it. Only that once the classist rage had been awoken, it was a sleeping dragon that would rampage throughout the Northern Kingdom with a vengeance, wreaking havoc and overturning whole villages, whole kingdoms.

His advisers told King Richard to remarry, to have another child – one that proved more fitting to rule. One that was more regal than the pale, sickly infant with a smattering of jet black hair and icy blue eyes. The babe had barely survived his journey into the world – which was more than any could say for his mother, the concubine.

Looking back, no one wanted to claim that they were the first to urge the King to divorce the Queen and take the concubine who would produce such a child. But the King was running out of time – he needed an heir, and he was quickly falling prey to a wasting disease acquired in the southern provinces.

Amongst the nobles, fear-mongering and rumors flitted about like butterflies in spring – stating that the child, born half-royal and half-commoner, would bring the downfall of the monarchy and civilization as they knew it.

They were right.

One of the few things that the king had done for his son was to name him. Edmond Amadeus Holloway. Born during a thunderstorm, fighting to survive the same complicated birth that took his mother’s life, his existence would be marked by similar storms.

Advisers and nobles of every rank encouraged King Richard to remarry. He might have honestly been considering taking their advice to heart. However, before he could take action he succumbed to his disease.

As the pallbearers carried the casket to the ship at the Royal Pier that would bear their departed leader into the Beyond, Tatsuo, the Grand Duke and the king’s chief adviser, sighed grimly. The realization settled in that however sickly and unwanted the common heir was, they were stuck with him.

From his vantage point at the end of the northernmost pier of Castle Fortinbras, Tatsuo had a perfect view of the ship as it was tugged eagerly along by the frigid winds and into the Frozen Sea. Flames from the ship’s forecastle steadily spread across the fuel-soaked deck and consumed the mast. Yet still the ship sailed on, observed by mourners gathered at windows and balconies across the castle. Flaming pieces of wood and sail fell in graceful arcs to the freezing waters below – a beacon in the early morning light.

And all who watched its solemn journey knew that everything was about to change. Continue reading

Hoperise

(Note: Well, this is the end of this mini-arc connecting events from the previous chunk to the final arc. This last arc would be pretty much my favourite as it brings all the characters from their far-flung origins together for the final events… but for any of that to make sense, you would need the beginning. So time to rewind and make some sense of all this. Thanks for your patience and without further adieu, the end of an arc. Total Word Count: 54,603)

“Edmond! I didn’t expect to see you up here.” Jocelyn’s voice was mild; pleasant enough, but subdued by the early hour – or perhaps something weightier than that. She scanned him quickly, taking in the seemingly innocuous way his hand rested on the hilt of his dagger. “I hope I didn’t startle you.”

He smiled thinly. “Not at all. There’s just too many blasted people trying to kill me these days. Please, forgive my inhospitality. Would you care to join me?” Edmond asked, making a sweeping gesture to the bench beside him.

Nodding, the young woman made her way up the stairs. Her olive skirts brushed the stone and soft slippers padded gently across the tower and sat on the stone. She tugged her gray scarf tight against her shoulders in the predawn chill, and Edmond had a vision of a jade ball gown and the taste of licorice. Her deep emerald hair was shorter now, falling almost to her shoulders in loose, heavy curls.

Perhaps it was only him, but even though Jocelyn was in exile, wrapped in common clothing and with her hair ruffled from sleep, she still was stunning as the last time they’d met.

“How did you sleep?” She asked, a tone of concern in the casual statement.

Wiping the rheum from his eyes and rolling his shoulders back into alignment, joints grumbling in protest, Edmond said with some degree of surprise, “Apparently, well!”

Jocelyn made an abortive movement, as though to draw closer to his side, and then thought better of it. She frowned, pert lips pursing in thought. “You didn’t sleep out here, did you?”

Edmond chuckled. “That wasn’t my intention, but that was the outcome, yes. ” He rubbed his neck with a grimace. “I suppose I’m more used to falling asleep in the wind and rain than indoors, swathed in feathers.” Continue reading

Apro-post: Midnight Musings

Note: Well, surprisingly this is drawing close to the end of this arc. I have been writing my NaNovel in arcs instead of chapters, and after November ended I took a tremendous leap forwards plot-wise and started writing scenes that I thought would be fun/interesting. Of course, the Big Reveal was among them (though there is some assorted random cuteness/culture/battles and shenanigans). But this is coming close to the end of the longest chain I have of uninterrupted writing before all I have is notes before the would-be-epilogue. I think that what I might do is, when I come to the natural end of the content I have now, start from the beginning. That might also help make much of this make more sense, as I did start posting content from about 3/4 of the way through the novel’s plotline. Sound good? Hurrah! Well, there’s still just a bit more to go here.  For now, enjoy!

Rubbing the lingering ache from his knee, he slipped into the bed prepared for him and sighed, closing his eyes and settling down for a long-awaited rest.

And waited.

And he waited some more.

Minutes slipped by and Edmond lay there, heart pounding with adrenaline. He had pushed himself in crisis mode for so long that it was difficult to unwind even now, when he knew that there was nothing he could do for the moment to affect the situation.

Edmond let out a groan of frustration and draped an arm over his forehead, trying to block out all distant light sources. He intentionally deepened and evened the breaths he took, attempting to slow the pounding of his heart. But even after several minutes of controlled breathing, Edmond felt his heart racing. Lingering doubts and concerns whispered frantically in the corners of his mind, refusing to be soothed or silenced.

Ages passed as Edmond lay on the bed, suspended in a state of wakefulness but craving sleep so deeply that he abjectly refused to move. The monks had provided him the finest feather mattress that they possessed, but the softness was unusual to a back accustomed to wooden berths and swinging hammocks.

Even in his fortress in the Wild, even in the home of Fraenir, he had always provided himself a hard bed. Something within him resisted the opulent living of his youth and would not permit him to relax in such surroundings. His disgust at the wrongness of the way he had lived and the way he had treated others had attached itself to the trappings of the lifestyle. It was enough to turn his stomach even now. He never wanted to go back to being that same person, not when he knew the price of his comfort. Continue reading

A Very Tika Interlude

The deed was done.

His identity, unveiled.

For the first time in years, he had been completely open with the very people for whose benefit he labored. There was something liberating in the notion of working alongside the counter-revolutionaries as opposed to behind their backs with the best intentions, but little perspective on what they considered to be their true needs.

This way felt more honest. At the same time, he was making himself incredibly vulnerable to a group of people that, admittedly, he barely knew. It was terrifying and exhilarating and heartwarming all at the same moment…

But right now, Edmond reflected as he tousled his hair dry with a gradually dampening cloth, he didn’t need exhilaration. He needed rest. After scrubbing away what felt like several layers of skin in, he was at long last ready for sleep.

If only his body would grant that to him.

It felt as though he had been driving himself for years, not days, and his heart pounded as though preparing for another marathon ride, another battle, another intense encounter.

Tossing the cloth onto the side table to dry, Edmond closed his eyes and pulled in a long breath. He exhaled slowly through pursed lips, trying to will his pulse to calm.

At that exact moment, the door to his chamber burst inwards and slammed against the wall, making a terrific racket as a blonde blur hurtled its way toward Edmond, hollering something incoherent.

His greatsword lay in its sheath leaning against the bed stand, his slender saber and dagger hanging on his belt on the side table. But before he had time to reach any of these, a lithe form collided with his stomach and wrapped fierce arms about his waist. The impact drove the breath from his chest and it was another moment before he comprehended that the form was, in actuality, a very familiar little blonde girl who was currently shrieking his name. Continue reading