Congrats! You wrote Words in November! 

Congrats everyone who did any writing whatsoever in November!

I'm so incredibly proud of you.

The Nanowrimo 50k is as arbitrary as the 10k steps / day, it's just a number taken out of thin air.

You have to do things according to yourself and your own ability.

If you over-extended yourself, try to give yoruself the kindness of some rest, and maybe still keep up the habit with a few words here and there, to not take a complete break (unless that's exactly what you need, your body will tell you.)

I'm afraid to finish writing my book (long thoughts) 

Just realized I'm actually scared to finish . I've been working on it for about three years now. I took brief breaks off to write two other shorter books, and I've written a lot of short stories and partial manuscripts in the intervening time, but mostly ATTBTM has consumed me these last three years and I am SCARED to STOP.

I see a clear route to the end, which is a recent development. I've always known how it's going to end, but actually getting there was murky. I had so much to figure out before that could happen. Now I've got almost everything figured out, besides the little details that will come together as I do the actual writing, and...I am scared.

For one thing: What if I reach the end and I'm like, this is it? That's what I did all this work for? What if it's this big anticlimax of a book, and it turns out the whole thing for me was the experience, but the final product isn't impactful upon my life in any way? (Find no traditional publisher, self-publish, find no readers, book fades into my past)

But also, once it's done, I have to start writing other books again. I have to actually look at my standing urban fantasy universe and either commit to returning or...commit to NOT. I have to start marketing books again. I have to treat this like a JOB again.

I also don't really want to leave this universe. It's beautiful and there's still so much more in it that I haven't gotten my fill of writing/mentally living inside. :(

OTOH, what if I finish the book and I feel amazing for having committed to this uniquely MASSIVE project, and people like it? And I do publish it and readers end up enjoying it? What if I find a small but loyal audience that gives my life sustained meaning again, like I did with the Descentverse?

There's no decision to be made here. I'm gonna finish the book. The itch to keep working is going to FAR overrule the itch to turn stagnant so I don't have to change my exact current situation. I might even finish the book soonish, though I'm still looking at another 50,000 words of material maybe. I don't have to worry about this, regardless. Not yet.

sensual bit from my queer fantasy book 

It amused Mishun that Esor was so impatient during their lovemaking. Mishun was quick to pull Esor into privacy so they might enjoy one another, but once privacy was gained, Mishun seemed in no hurry to progress their lovemaking toward a climax, and Esor’s eagerness only made him slower. Purposefully, he would search Esor’s body with his hands as if the first time, murmuring husky questions, seeking permission, and uttering the dirtiest promises Esor could imagine. And Esor had become capable of imagining quite a few dirty things.
An unhurried hand drove Esor to madness, and this made Mishun chuckle in that particular way which only made Esor madder. No matter how Esor strained for satisfaction, Mishun would deny it, casually, as if it simply never occurred to him that Esor might be arching his back and begging for release because he actually wanted it.
Eventually Mishun did supply release. Several, if time permitted, and unselfishly, if Esor permitted. But Esor was just as eager to make Mishun unravel and he wouldn’t be distracted until he got exactly what he wanted.

Long rambling thoughts on finishing NaNoWriMo 

I hit my goal of finishing Part 2 of , my partner Mabel's and my epic queer switchblade-and-sorcery novel that we first began drafting in 2016, for , and it feels really good.

It wasn't easy getting into the home stretch, and once I did I was dead to my body and the world for a few days. Finished it Sunday, and two days later I think I'm still recovering. 😅 And part of me's raring to go on finishing Part 3, which is already outlined and partly written, but that may mostly have to wait till after the holidays. We'll see.

Part 2 is now available to download on our Patreon at any contribution level (link below). Part 1 is free to read/download on Mabel's and my website (link also below), and chapters of Part 2 will continue to be posted there every Monday and Friday till we've finished Part 3, at which point we'll release all three parts for free on our site and in ebook format, and for print-on-demand at cost or as close as we can get it.

Thank you, everyone, for your encouragement! Sharing this journey with the Fediverse has been incredibly motivating and energizing. Congrats to those of you who've hit your goals, best of luck to those of you still wrapping up, and, to those who won't make it this time around for whatever reason, there's nothing stopping you from getting there in your own perfect timing. ✨

Those Who Create and Destroy on our website:

Our Patreon, where you can now download Part 2:

Just a reminder not to self-reject your own work by opting not to submit to that big place because you think the work isn’t good enough.

If you’ve done your revisions, gone as far as you can take it, and are moving commas around, send it to the cool pub. Take a risk. Give your work a chance. You may be surprised. 🌈

#submissions #amwriting #writers

brainstorming a bit about my fantasy book's use of animal metaphors 

It took me 250,000 words to get characters openly discussing the actual thesis of my romantic fantasy book, , which is that the eternal growth mindset of capitalist empire is going to kill everything. But they say it in a fancy fantasy way. "eternally feasting wolves" etc etc

I'm using wolves as a metaphor for evil. I always have mixed feelings about this.

In history and myth, wolves are regarded as BAD. Humans are DEEPLY scared of wolves. I'm using a lot of North American mammal analogues in this series, and wolves would fit well.

But actual wolves are no threat and don't deserve the bad rap.

It is more consistent with my values to represent wolves subversively: that is to say, acknowledge the myth of wolves as evil, but engage with and deconstruct the idea. Not just to avoid reduce myth perpetuation, but as a metaphor for acceptance of other things that scare humans irrationally. Humans are easily scared by disfigurement, for instance; that's a reason we often see disfigurement as a visual shorthand for villains in movies even though it is absolutely meaningless in terms of real-life personality.

I do have long-term plans for the deconstruction of the myth in this series, but even with an ultimate word count around 300,000 for the current project, I'm not actually getting to that point in the story in THIS book. Like, deconstructing the evil wolf metaphor is sequel material.

(a sequel, oh my god)

Regardless. I've been trying to think of this book as a standalone as much as possible to be sure I'm very clear in my messages without needing context from future books. It could be a long time, if I ever write another. I want to make sure I'm saying what I mean, precisely.

I may need something besides wolves. I'll keep noodling.

hosted by @crtaxon


Ilare glimpsed something like a massive bird in the sky, awkwardly flapping its wings. It was larger than Ilare, though not by much. It fought against the storm to gain altitude and vanished around a higher branch.

«Take me with you,» she sang into the storm. Her arms yearned for the wind. It tore at her hair and gown, pulling her knees against the low sill. Dolikën Bay churned black. It watched her. It called to her.

Did I write a post on Medium about how "Medium Should Pay All Authors"?

Yes, yes, I did.

All authors on Medium deserve the chance to earn compensation for their writing, no matter how many followers they have.

#writing #writingcommunity #author #sciencefiction #sff #fantasy #freelancewriting

Hey writers, today is a good day to BACK UP YOUR WORK, and not just on cloud services. Save it to your computer. Put a copy on your thumb drive. Put another copy on a diskette. Place the diskette in an envelope with a Faraday cage. Mail it to the bunker. Pray it's never found.

This is your daily reminder to backup backup backup backup. #AmWriting

Today's hosted by @crtaxon -

out of , my wip :)

The lord owned the kirēak mines: pits dug deeply enough to siphon Chaos-tainted waters, from which the metallic sludge of kirēak was refined. It was an essential ingredient in alchemy. The navy also needed kirēak on every swoop under Maiur Admiral control. And thus it was the only export of value in Śelasdur, making House Anrire the plushest of them all. Crystalline minerals were displayed on sung shelves, caught within the grip of wood urged to cage stone, and the husks of monstrous insects hunted by miners adorned their walls.

I burned out on writing back in 2017 really hard, but I had been almost back to normal levels of productivity in 2019 when 2020 kicked me in the teeth. I am still trying to get back to even my sub-par burnout levels of productivity. My health isn't cooperating.

Feeling frustrated is fair, and I'm going to sit in it for a lil while, but it is what it is and I'm going to roll with this.

Show thread

I haven't written in a few days because of health issues and the holidays. I wish I could write tonight, but alas, I am running on fumes and not optimistic. Even the idea of drawing right now isn't too appealing!

I left my hero and his villain husband at the equivalent of a kiss-and-curtains-close-to-intermezzo moment, so it's a good spot to be paused, but I was so fiery about pushing forward just a couple days ago before health junk 😭

Hi friends! Please make sure to remember to export and back up your work to a different hard drive or cloud storage than the one you're already using. Don't leave this stuff to the technology goblins, we all know how unreliable they can sometimes be!

#WritingCommunity #WritersCafe #Scribbledons #MastoWriters

excerpt from the middlish bit of my gothic fantasy book 

Ilare walked alone through the convent’s halls on a quiet day, enjoying the reflection of sun off the snow as it splashed over the walls. She was lost in thought with her hands folded over her stomach, pondering whether she had yet begun to grow, and thought nothing of the soft sound of boot soles behind her until there was an arm around her neck and a blade pressed against her cheek.

“Kordela?” squeaked Ilare. She smelled familiar, leathery, and her grip did not hurt.

“Take the knife,” said Kordela.
Its handle was made of bone, the blade long and single-edged. Ilare weighed it in her hand. She had only held her first knife in the kitchens of the convent weeks earlier. A knife for fighting was entirely unfamiliar. It was lighter than a cleaver, conforming to her hand.

When Ilare turned to ask Kordela what was happening, she found the kerotera holding another knife.

Kordela attacked, slashing at Ilare’s face.

Ilare leaped away with a shout, lifting the dagger too slowly to deflect.

“I don’t think I like this game,” said Ilare, hand pressed to contain her pounding heart.

“I choose to dismantle my assumptions about the best way to protect you, reckless little bird,” said Kordela. “Caging you will do no good, so you must be given the weapons you need to see that you are never hurt again. Lift the knife. Watch how I hold mine.”

Ilare followed suit, mirroring her guard.

“My stance,” said Kordela. “Look.”

Ilare looked, and she learned.


Over the course of chilly weeks, hiding away in the corridor amid the snow-bowed branches of the trees, Kordela showed Ilare how to wield a knife safely. She demonstrated how to conceal the blade until it was needed. Kordela urged Ilare to kill quickly, without hesitation, “Because you are small and will never win a proper fight.”

Ilare thought that sounded like a challenge. “You are small too.”

“I am small and have studied fighting for centuries, hours each Light. You are a sickly, silly child with weak feet and slow reflexes who can barely climb a tree without a helping hand.”

The insults inspired Ilare to attack Kordela again, but the kerotera easily deflected them. She deflected them again, and again, and Ilare nonetheless continued to attempt to draw blood using her new knife whenever it seemed Kordela wasn’t paying attention.

Barely a Light passed where Ilare didn’t spring out from some corner with the knife. Often, when Kordela checked in on Ilare during morning chores, Ilare took that as an opportunity to attempt a stabbing. Even mealtimes were not safe.
Never once did Ilare succeed in injuring her kerotera, but she got close once or twice, and in the process, Ilare became comfortable trying to stab other Àlvar.

“One of the best skills I could give you,” said Kordela.

Ilare lay in her bed, the knife suspended between her forefingers, bone hilt and sharpened point lightly pressing into her skin. She twirled it before her eyes. “Can you teach me to take the knife into my dreams?”

Kordela smoothed the hair back from her forehead and kissed her. “No, but someday, life will give you new nightmares, and these old ones will be forgotten.”

That comforted Ilare, though not quite as much as sleeping with the knife under her pillow, fingers coiled tightly around curved and engraved bone.

Excerpt from my gothic fantasy book 

When Samej first met Ilare and taken the Oath, she had been truly a child, no taller than his waist, with her baby-fine hair twisted into high braids and little white spots running down the nape of her blonde-furred neck. He found her hair fascinating. It had not been long since he left the Monastery of Light, and the adherents were hairless, scraping their skin bare with blackstone during morning and evening prayers. A young lady of a Great House was not groomed so tidily.

The hair on her skin was near-invisible except in light. When she stepped under the radiance of Namä’s Eye, fawnlike patterns displayed in those hairs, haloing her with the impression of the beasts who preceded them. A fine example of a Levusàlvar. She was soft as peaches. She laughed too loudly, ran too quickly, and vanished effortlessly into Ralen’s trees when her nursemaid turned away.

A child.

And in that condition, Ilare had taken Samej’s Oath. She had stuck her tongue between her teeth while she signed her name upon his contract. Magistrate Amalwë watched over it with fond approval, his hand resting upon his only daughter’s shoulder.

“You are a growing doe, little Ila—a treasure to be protected,” Amalwë said. “Samej will be only the first of your keroterase.”

There had been many over the following years as Ilare’s neck and limbs lengthened, her body growing into the oversized ears of a young Levusàlvar. She became shapely and a dozen more keroterase came. Yet Samej had remained closest, watchful, determined to preserve the flower that budded under his gaze.


No ceremony surrounded the transfer of Samej’s Oath to Esor an Amen. Samej’s new ward had not signed any contract; only Corvin had signed, using his authority in governance of Noldòrian. The textual agreement of the contract was sparse. Far more notably, Lord Mayor Corvindë had threatened Samej with death if any harm befell Esor. “Fail to protect your charge again and I will seek to mete out a punishment worse than death, if I can manage it,” said Corvindë, “and I daresay that I can.”

Samej never doubted him.

Thanks to someone on another instance, I have discovered this really cool (and free, it's name your price) writing tool for those who are neurodivergent like me, or otherwise need stimulation while they write (or say, a break from social media notifications):

Basically, it's good for typing something in an environment that is less distracting (you can have it full screen), you can have an animated background if you want to (like ocean waves), and you can set it to make typewriter noises (unfortunately missing the end line chime 😔 ) or other noises. And you get heart emojis and such while you make progress (you can set a target amount of words) .

It doesn't support Markup in the sense of changing things to be markup, but it keeps the underlines and asterisks so you can import it into something that DOES.

I didn't want to plug it until I tried it, but I wrote this blogpost, sorry for plugging myself lol ( ) in it, and I had to do minor cleanup (mainly about line breaks) but I'm thrilled. I don't normally make progress writing that fast.

And to be clear: the creator plans to make a sequel version with more features (like for example the typewriter chime) so if a feature you need isn't in there, it *could* be in the future.

and or Writers, you may want to try this.

A dark fantasy poem from my book (tw for violence) 

Down the blood pours slowly streaming

Much akin to foulest dreaming, yet seen by waking eyes,

A sole survivor hides in fear of fleeing

While still his hunter, reeling, carves her shaking thighs

Once this Death was called Grandfather

His lap safety for another life when she was small

Now the woodsman fells young trees

Before the fruit can spill the seeds

and long before the fall

Life stood strong just hours before

Children played upon the floor as ladies fondly sewed

Plans were made and songs were sung

From throats he wrung to free the blood that flowed

A single son was left to speak

Of wolf-spirits who seek to eat the cooling thresh

And an asi’ bestowing charms

Unto a killer’s arms in thanks for kindred flesh

This Death was called to slaughter

The antler blade much hotter and demanding all

So the woodsman fells all trees

Before the fruit can spill the seeds

to serve his hungry maw

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