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Mar. 29th, 2015

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[sticky post] Answer for question 4298.

For the writers out there -- have you ever had a story in your head for a while (sometimes years) but just can't get going on it? What are your tips for dealing with this type of writer's block?
I've had a story in my head from the time I was 12 and just starting out to now, when I'm in my early 20s.
There might not be a great way to deal with this; just... when you are struck with inspiration and (this is the important part) have the words, write. Doesn't matter what the quality is, write. Make a word dump.
I fight with words and blocks a lot, but I will write as much as I can (until a "chapter" is finished, regardless of where that chapter fits in the grand scheme of the story) and put it either here, on Tumblr, or just in my Google Drive until I can come back to it and finish it.

Apr. 19th, 2016

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(no subject)

Let's play a game.

You have a very dear friend. A sibling, perhaps, or a child. You love them very much, but there is something about them that infuriates you.
They only do a little bit of the stuff that you think they should, and spend the rest of the time don't know what appears to be nothing. You've asked them before to do what you need them to, and sometimes they do it and sometimes they don't.
Sometimes you yell at them. You don't mean to, but you are tired of them not doing what they're asked to.
Sometimes they yell back, empty excuses about not having enough energy for everything they already have (you know that's false, they only have a part time job and what you've asked of them). Usually they don't. Usually they take care of what you asked them to.
Maybe you notice, maybe you don't. It takes a little longer each time. Each time, they say less and less.
The single time you mock them for their excuse, they stop. They don't do what you asked, and they don't come near you again.
They leave within a week.

When next you hear from them, they are happy. They are in a good place, they have a better job, and they keep on top of their (noticeably larger) bills.
You're inclined to think that they were lying about not having enough energy.

Then, you hear.
They're in the hospital in observation, or they've been diagnosed with something, an illness you've always joked about, except now it's something that nearly killed them.

Or, you hear through the grapevine that they are struggling, that they've got more than they can chew, they're drowning in debt or medical bills and you can't recall them ever asking for help, even though you've said countless times you would help them however you could.

They refuse you.

They refuse to speak to you. To even look at you.

They murmur, and you barely hear but they have the audacity to say that you are part of their problem.

Then you go back and look.

All the times they said they couldn't. All the times they tried to tell you and you told them to shrug it off, to think themselves into a better place.
All the times you scoffed at them, yelled at them, mocked them.
Now they have a medical diagnosis to back them.
And you realize, or you refuse to, that you directly affected the severity of their condition.

Every time you told them the should just choose to be better, you were telling them they weren't trying hard enough.
Every time you scoffed at them, you told them they weren't sick enough.
Every time you mocked them, you were telling them that their reasons weren't serious enough.

Every time, you told them that they weren't enough.

You taught them not to trust their perception. That everyone went through it and clearly they weren't trying hard enough to be normal if they were still suffering after a certain age.

You taught them that their suffering wasn't enough.

You taught them not to know anything but suffering, to treat good days with caution and bad ones with tired familiarity.

You made it so those close to them had to force them to go to a doctor. Or, you made it so that they needed dozens of people to validate them before they could consider going on their own terms.

And they see through you now.
They see you for the miserable, abusive shitstain you really are.
And they decide that they don't need that in their life.
And they therefore remove you from it.

Apr. 3rd, 2016

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(no subject)

Wren had been giving grief to her partner all day; he had the audacity to tease her, to wind her up, and not follow through, then by the gods he'd know what the consequences were.

She got him good the first time; he had quite the nice behind, and he startled beautifully when it was grabbed unexpectedly. The collision of his head with the underside of the table was a nice touch, too, though she felt a little remorse when he turned around with the kicked puppy expression.

He'd had sensitive ears for a long time; she'd known about that since the first night they'd had to share a tent for the sake of warmth. A hug from behind, and a smile as answer for why she'd taken advantage of his prone position (he'd been trying to find something he'd dropped at breakfast).

"Fair is fair, love… and I owe you big time…"

Whispered words and grazing teeth along the cartilage of his ear made him emit what could only be described as a whimper; she planeshifted just as he turned, and caught a glimpse of eyes flecked with gold.


She caught him once more just before dinner; a kiss pressed between his shoulders (against bare skin and beneath the soft muslin of his tunic) and another ghosted against his cheek-

He snapped around, catching her before she could slip away again, and pressed a kiss against her lips. His free hand (which felt massive against her skin) cupped one cheek as the one holding her wrist released it to pull her close, so close she thought she could feel the tone of his body beneath the loose fabrics he wore, so close she could feel something else pressing against her and winding her up once again-

And he was gone. And she was very, very cold all of a sudden and very, very aware of the fact that half of the Hunters (everyone who was still in Infinus, in fact) were watching, some cheering and others clapping.

A whisper pressed its ghostly breath to her ear, as the echo of golden-ringed blue eyes glowed in her peripheral vision.

"We end this little banter tonight, love."

A shiver worked its way down her spine; she knew exactly how their little back-and-forth was going to end.

Dec. 27th, 2015

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Arcann's Folly | Chapter 1 : Flight

Kara had been all of eleven when they fled from Port Nowhere to Zakuul; her father had the idea that, perhaps with the war and the uprisings, the Emperor would be occupied. And so he was.
Until he wasn't.
--------
Corso was fast on his feet, Kara tucked over his shoulder and the Old World streets racing past as he ducked down one alleyway only to backtrack up another. He knew the Knights wouldn't fall for the trick after the first time, but perhaps the first time was all he needed to escape to the sewers and out into the wild lands. In the back of his mind, he retraced the plan that the Chiss girl, Quill, had laid out.
The idea of rendering his own daughter as a sleeper-agent in Arcann's court sickened him, and Cinnia had beaten him in decrying the notion. Yet... there was sense in Quill's idea. She and her team would be on Zakuul as backup for Kara, and Kara herself had a cybernetic earpiece and receiver that she did not yet know about. Kara had had her memory blocked off by one of the two Jedi Commanders, a Twi'lek girl with grey eyes and great sorrow on her face; the child could not know, must not remember that her mother was one of the famed Outlanders.
The smell of raw sewage snapped him out of his thoughts, reminding him to trace the path and outmaneuver the droids using stealth and gunfire as needed. The tiny stealth mechanism he used was Mandelorian make, the first and last gift he'd received from one Akaavi Spar before she vanished from the known galaxy.
As he stood at the sewer's mouth, he wondered if it had been a mistake to use the small device, creeping through the shadows instead of carving a swift and violent path through the droidsKara stood one step behind him, both of them facing the Emperor's sister and her group of breathless Knights. Arcann himself stood off in the shadows, silently professing the need to remove this man who had been a constant thorn in his side.
"Well, that was a merry chase. Playtime's over, though." Vaylin laughed cruelly. She stepped forward, lighting her saber, even as Corso drew and lifted his pistol to shoot her down.
"Vaylin."
Corso felt a twinge of fear at the tone in Arcann's voice.
"I want the girl alive."
"Like hell!" Corso cried, taking a shot at the emperor himself. He had to make it seem real-
Oh. So that was what a blaster to the face and a lightsaber through the gut felt like. Kara's piteous cry struck him to his core as gravity took him in her cruel grasp.
----------
"DADDY!!" Kara cried, feeling an armored hand grab her by the arm as her father's eyes went wide, then glassy. She watched as the angry woman yanked her saber out of Corso's body, leaving seared flesh in its wake. His body went limp, falling backwards out of the sewer mouth to the river far below. The woman, Vaylin, had a grimace on her face as she turned to look at Kara; the child shrunk back, fear blooming in her chest. She knew her eyes were black as coal, she knew that her mama would want her to try and hide the shifting colors of her eyes, but she was much too scared to care. Vaylin reached for her, face stuck in that impassive grimace, as the Emperor watched blankly from the shadows.
"NO!!!" Kara screamed, putting all of her will into it. Vaylin was flung backwards, and the hand that had been on her arm was torn off. Kara knew she couldn't make the jump from the sewers yet, so she ran. She ran back into the terrible golden city of Zakuul with the dazed knights and an impassive red-flecked blue eye chasing her.

Nov. 9th, 2015

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NaNoWriMo 2015 | Soul Secret | Secret

Becca murmured the Wyrd, unintentionally at first; when it resonated with her soul, she whispered it again. And again. And again, until the static in her bones hissed and she felt something in her snap.
You presume much, little mortal. You take what is not yours without asking.
"I take what was promised to me in return for my part of the deal. I was promised this."
The entity laughed, a deep chuckle.
You were promised that which none but I may offer. You took that which was not yours, with permission that was not mine.
Something bent down in front of her, and she felt the impression of great reptillian eyes roll over her.
Why, little girl. Why are you so desperate for this word of power that you deal with those who are too shallow to understand what they were offering?
"They promised that the Wyrd would save my home, my friends and family, from the Old ones. At this point I'm growing desperate, it won't be long before their tendrils attach to every peing I've ever cared about. And... without mortals, what will grant the immortals power? What keeps the Old ones from using their mind slaves to wage war and force the courts to their knees?"
A great snort; what felt like the point of a large sword rested heavily against her chest.
You have good cause, and your heart is pure and honest. But I cannot let one of the greatest treasures of my hoard be taken on someone else's word. This blessing will cost you dearly, but in exchange your city will be safe. You must give up one sixteenth of your soul.
Becca felt something cold settle in her belly. "And if I say no?"
The blessing is taken, child. You have no choice.
---
Everything ached; she had fallen unconscious with the Dragon's words echoing in her, through her. Now, it felt as though something was missing. Something hurt and was gone and it was as though someone had ripped one of her finglernails off but they were all intact.

Nov. 8th, 2015

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NaNoWriMo 2015 | Soul Secret | mourning

The funeral for Mikhael Johannes De'Vinne was on a Thursday. It was quiet, not a lot of people. Mike hadn't had any close family, maybe an odd cousin or two, but no-one he'd been close to. His parents had died three years earlier.
Every single person there had been at the temple; even Becca, though she had only been there in spirit and via camera, attended. She seemed perhaps the grimmest of all, perhaps it was guilt over sending them to the temple in the first place, or perhaps she regretted not acting in time to save him.
Overall, Mike found that attending his own funeral was a grim, sad experience. Until Jason took the stand, he was wishing he had taken that angel up on xir offer. Then the guy he'd fondly called "Mexirish" stood up.
"You all know why we're here. Mickey was..." Jason visibly choked, shook his head, and continued. "Mickey was a good guy. He was funny. He was diligent. He was one of us."
"He deserves better than to leave us in sadness. There will be time for mourning, grief, what have you, once this war is done. but... he wouldn't want us to cry. hw'd want us to remember what his life was, how much fun his life was. So... let's celebrate Mikhael De'Vinne for the friend he was. For the friend he will always be."
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NaNoWriMo 2015 | Soul Secret | Losses

"No, no, no! Guys, get the hell out of there!" Wren screamed, seeing dark murky tendrils lash out, seeking a hold on any of the srambling humans.
/Trying, Wren! Not that easy, you know- MIKE!/
Becca glanced at Mikael's video feed, and felt her heart stop.The abomination was huge, and it had him upstide-down; his headset was dangling, she coul,d tell. she glanced back to JAson's feed, and saw exactly what she'd hope shwe ouildnt.
The eldritch lifted one of its terrible, jagged claws, and ran the journalist through. She heard him scream in anguish, then fall terribly silent. The abomination sropped him, seemingly thiniing him dead, and turned to the next interesting person: Brittany.
The preppy girl froze, but her camera was visibly shaking. Becca swallowed, fighting her tears.
"Brit? Dont. move. listen to me. eldritch cannot see something that does not move. they rely on their prey to run, to flee, to be caught. if you stay still, it cannot see you to hurt you."
/You just told us to run!/ Brtittany protested, a screaming whisper.
"I told you to get out of there. when it focuses on one person, the others can escape. I'm not asking you to sacrifice yourself. I'm asking you to treust me."
'You're sure?/ she whispered, sounding like a small child. Becca saw Jason dart forward and grab Mikael's terribly still form from where he'd fallen. She swallowed, whispering a prayer to whatvver deity would hear.
"I promise."

The abomination got close to Brittany, bending down and staring at her with black, hollow eyes. Becca heard the girl whimper ever so softly, and murmered something, what she didn't know. she felt insanity tugging at the edges of her mind, trying to make something fray.
"Brit, close your eyes. close your eyes, just listen to me. You're goiung to be ok. you are goiing to get through this and you are going to go home and drink a cup of cocoa and hug your boyfriend and your dig and everythign is going to be fine."
A shout from the other end of the room; Mason was waving frantically at the monster, drawing its attention fgrom the human it could not see. It turned, ad the manchild went as still as a hunter. Becca watched Brittany hurridy escaped, darting out the temple door. Now, she decoded,. now was the time to act. She shispered a Wyrd, feeling its power course in her bones; such Wyrds were not for humans, but this one was hers. She whispered it, feeling its power againm, and heard Jason ask her something. She drew the Wyrd up into herself, then willed it into the place she saw with Jason's perspective, with Brittany's perspective, with Mason's perspective. She willed the Wyrd into spoken existence, willed into action its purpose.
"Jason. Get the others out. Now. That place is about to not exist." Becca warned in a deadpan. She heard some mutter of confirmation.checked the cameras and saw every one o them (even mikael's staticky one,) was beyond the wall. With a shrill burst of static in her veins, in her blood and bone and soul, hte magic released and the world twisted for a split second.
within a microsecond, there was naught but the grassy plain that had been before the temple was built. Becca felt their body sag, felt themselves disconnecting as their body stood and walked away. They heard concerned calls from the computer, but all their body wanted to do was collapse. There were no words in their tongue, now.

Nov. 6th, 2015

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NaNoWriMo 2015 | Soul Secret | Royal

ahe knew there was an unswelcome entit in her home before she registered what it was.
"Excuse me, but i don't know that i invited anyone else into my home just no-
You didn't have to, young human."
The queen of she summer court was not one whom you jusrt cast out of your home willy-nillyu. you treated her with respect. you offered her tea, and she left when she damn well pleased.
"Milady, forgive me. I didn't realize you had come to pay me a visit; i'm more used to visitors knocking on ym door. generally only demons or entities who are unwelcome pop up in the middle of my livingroom." becca stuttered, bowing her head in respect of the monarch. Titana chuckled, casting a regal eye about the room.
"You have people who do not See in your home. We can only expect you tobe protective of them." She said airily. "We have come on a different matter; our knight tells us you fight the Old Darkness. This is distressing to us, child. You have done much to restore our power and the ower of our court, as well as that of our winter counterparts. While you did not act alone, we feel as though we must protect our.... assests. We would ask you to leave the work to othersa more suited to the task, perhaps We would even demand it."
Becca swallowed, torn between saying what she thought and maintaining some kind of peace. She made herself speak, recaling how hard it was to overcome what she had been through with her father before.
"That would be well and good, if they believed me when i told them the Old ones were a threadt. However, they merely laughed and called me a child for beliveeng such nigmhares." she said, feeling an old, sadly familiar tremor in her chest.
"Then make them see. make them look at what you have wrought in order to protect that simple vision. We demand you do so for your own sake."
"I cannot. There is no means for me to access their tower, save through your castle. And you forbade me to ever enter again, when I accidetnally stumbled into it in my rovings across the fields. Unless you tourself escort me, I will not enter your castle for fear of the guards." She was playing a dangerous game; were she to speak to the true queen (and she doubted highly that this was truly Titana) this way, she might get herself cursed into dust motes.
The fairy shifted uncomfortably. Becca decided to try her luck again.
"On a separate note, I really am surprised you just popped into my livingroom like this. Last time any of your court entered, they came masquerading as a house inspector or a postman or something highly mundane, for the sake of not drawing attention. to come here in your full power and form makes me quite a target, considering you just said you wish me to cease making myself a target of the old terrors." Jason gave her a terrified expression from the other room, confirming her suspricion.
"Merely tell them we sent you. We are sure they will listen."
"I am not, though. Perhaps... come join me in the kitchen? My quills are there, perhaps they will believe a written note from your highness, as mortals are lying, thieving folk." Becca stood, gesturing towards the room which Jason had vanished from. Titana got an uncomfortable look on her face.
"Can you not bring them here?"
"I don't have any hard surfaces for you to bear down on, besides I would like to make tea for all of us as well and I want to show you the variety I have so I nnow what to make for you."

They stood in awkward silence for a moment. Becca got a sharp look in her eye.
"You can't move, can you?"
"That is none of your concern!" Titana snapped. "You are being highly disrespectful!"
"Actually, I'm being preservationist. You're standing at the exact center of my demon-and-nasties trap, where any other nightmare would be caught. You refuse to move from it, or you can't, but it has no effect on even comparatively weak fae as demostrated by the young messenger who came with the Tower's decisdion that what I have found is irrelevent as pertaining to their study. So, if you will excuse me, I am going to go make tea."
 She stood and hustled over into th kitchen, grabbing her salt-mix from the cabinet as she passed it. She made a symbol on the floor with it, calling the Summer Queen's name thrice and making her request.
"Forgive me for disturmbig your Magesty, but Your Magesty has an impersonator who has gotten themselvces trapped in one of my wards. I would request your Magesty's presence in dealing with this imposter, as I am certain your Magesty has certain protocalls in place for such occurances." Becca sang softly. The room filled with warmth, until it was almost unbearable, and a screech came from the livingroom. Titana, in all her splendor and beauty, stood in the kitchen with a scowl ujpon her face.
"Someone impersonated me to visit a hearth witch? and got caught in some mortal contraption of magic? Why did you not call upon my knight, I'm sure he owes you a favor or two by now."
"Forgive me, your Magesty. It is a clever disguise, and I thought you would wish to deal with the impersonator directly. Perhaps then you might understand why I feared for myself."

Nov. 5th, 2015

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NaNoWriMo 2015 | Soul Seeker | Protection

(infection: 10min sprint)

Becca could tell that the things were infectiong people actively; she saw nothing but shadows and shifting places that shouldn't be so fluid.
"Calio, can you hear me?" She asked. Calio responded with a hum, and the camera panned around the area.
"Sister, are you seeing all the nasty that I'm seeing?"
"probably. the glass makes it easy to keep track of what's around, in both senses. are you ok?"
"well enough, all things considered. kinda wanna take a flamethrower to some of the oose, though."
"you and me both. but we need to save that as a last resort, only if the rest of the world starts burning.":
"I'm gonna guess you have Jason on the other line? you're still sweet on him right?"
"He's asleep, actally. just you and me. it's kinda hard to keep focused on two video feeds at once, as well. "
"then we have a chance to talk. look, becca, i think that you might be going about this in the wrong way. you're trying to do as little out in the open as possible, trying to go around the corners and at the seams. you need to be bold, brash even, to get the attention of the pthers who are willing to help. Jay didn't see it, I did. you're less of you than you were, you've been sacrificing to get us as far as we've gotten. you can't do this alone. you aren't atlas."
"I'm not going to ask other people to..." Becca trailed off, falling silent.
"To...? C'mon, Bec. You don't get to hold back, not from me. we're sisters, trmember? you can trust me."
"you'll worry. you'll get distracted by worry. i-"
"Rebecca morris. i'm your sister, it's my job to worry about you. now tell me."
"Calio..." Becca trailed off, feeling the recoil from having the stubborn canadian scold her. "...can this wait until you're home, at least?"
"I'm walking back to my condo now."
"tell me when you get there. I'm gonna try and convince myself to go through with talking about it."
"Considering i will fly out there and drag it out of you if i have to?"
"Yes, considering that."
--- (post sprint) ---
"Becca? I'm here. Now what is going on?"
"...you know how my place actively repels agressive entities and such?"
"Yeah."
"And how no matter what you or Jay get into, said not-good entities cannot touch you without you saying that it's ok?"
"I wsa wondering about that."
"...I'm down three sixteenths of my soul."
silence. becca felt fear surghe in her veins, felt the old instinct to run away and hide in her room for a while surge up again (hse hadn't had that one since she moved to ireland. she'd hoped she would never feel it again.)
"You. What. Becca for the love of cheetos please tell me i heard you wrong just now."
"Depends. waht did ytou hear??" becca didn't have the right tone for it to be snark, but she could deadpan pretty well.
"You've used pieces of your soul for protective spells?!"
"It was the only way." Becca praced herself for the shouting.
she didn't expect the calm.
"How do I give you back the piece that you used for me?"
Becca paused, thinkiugn hard for a moment. she'd not considered that before, when she'd put the spells in place.
"I don't know. I can research, see if there's anything said about it."
"Who and or what all are you protecting?"
"You and my city. A friend from highschool, someone who doesn't believe in souls, used a quarter of his to retroactively protect everyone who hailed from the Appalachians. It took an eighth of mine to protect Dublin, plus a sixteenth to protect you."

Nov. 4th, 2015

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NaNoWriMo 2015 | Soul Seeker | flight

Jay settled in his seat, watching as the airport fell away and as his stomach settled from taking off. His ghostly friend was seated next to him and the bookw as in his lap. He yawned, wiggling to settle in his seat a bit better, and pulled out his phone and earbuds.

he saw letters flashing on the litte touch keyboard.

lemme open up a memo, dude. he murmured, opening up his notepad app.

i am confused. why are you and your friend trying to stop the old ones when they were only delayed before

because. i like this world, so does she. we don't want it to end. sure it;s messed upm that aasylum was the perfect example, but still there are a lot of places worth saving.

you do not believe tha tany of this is real

i don't kow what do believe. i do know that there's a lot out there i can't explain/ becca does know

you call her wrwn in your communications with her

her name is rebecca. wren was a joke from where she took the nickname raven. it stuck, now that's my name for her when i talk to her. kind of like a pet name.

you are her betrothed, then

no. no, i can't.... we aren't like that. i love her, she loves me, but... she wants to be free. i don't like it, but... i don't want to lose her completely by trying to cage her. i don't fully understand her, i mean she came out as asexual and.... genderflux, i thin the term aws? bakc in june, probably just after she moved.

i do not understand. why did she move to such a dar qwat plauce?

she felt it was the right thing to do. proably a good thing, too. there's some not great stuff going on in the US.

there was nothing byt water below, now. at least, when the clouds gave way. Jason pndered the water, what secrets could be held in the dark depths. he understood why she'd gone to ireland, knowing what he did about her practice. there was a lot of draw to those who had magifckal roots in celtic lands.

"you;re thingking og her/

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