Haven’t been on much. Two friends are in critical care with COVID and my uncle passed away due to it last week. Several friends are out of work and with mounting bills, medical issues and no relief in sight, especially in Florida where the unemployment system is… unoptimal.
My place of work laid off more than 500 people in IT and support and more in operations. Critical people, senior devs, code writers who knew the legacy systems. This is going to lag things at work and pile more mess on me and my bosses. Schedule is even more chaotic and I am the on-call this week.
Not exactly happy with the home-schooling options presented by my nieces’ school, went through a social studies section claiming the cause of WWI was ‘economic anxieties’ and a Common Core math section that actually said 6 x 6 x 6 x 6 and 12 * 12 are the same. So now I have to go over that.
Anyway… I have gotten another few pages done on the next chapter of TWCD and may put out a tech guide. Not sure. Haven’t been on Discord lately so please obey admins or there will be more punishment for Susan handed out.
So far, I am not sick and neither is my mom or nieces. Given the asthma both nieces have, my smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure and mom’s issues, none of us will be going out in public for anything. I have no problems with re-openings; there are no good options for the people out of work who are going to be evicted without income.
That being said… God gave you common sense for a reason and I certainly won’t be interacting with anyone who thinks a bar crawl is a good idea at this time.
The coronavirus shares several frightening characteristics with a theoretical flu variant call the Wheeze I came up with for the backstory of PV Earth, a virus that killed tens of millions of people and was one of the key factors in shattering world civilization into the mess that became the Days of Iron. As several other factors in my work have also come to pass, I begin to grow worried.
That being said, I am a paranoiac and disaster prepper anyway, so this outbreak hasn’t affected me much IRL. I already have high quality filters for my air, lots of toilet paper, MRE’s, canned goods, and the like. And I had a stack of N95 masks and surgical gloves after the SARS outbreak that are still here. I am able to work from home and my company is deeply involved in shipping medical supplies and food. Given the importance we have I am unlikely to lose my job.
I haven’t gotten much writing done, mainly because I’m having some blocks on the next main chapter, but also because my work schedule is chaotic. Our company lost our disaster response team so I’m part of a rotating on-call 24/7 response group. Yesterday, I worked from 5 AM to 2 PM, got 3 hours sleep, worked from 5 PM to 9 PM, got three hours sleep, and then again from 9 to almost 6 AM today. This erratic pattern doesn’t allow for good introspection.
I do have some updates, however. Thanks to the efforts of the Patreon donators, we have new art of Shepard — specifically, her attire at her wedding and a close up of the Star of Terra.
Right now, the current plan for the fic is as follows:
Side Piece work — tech guide on battle suits, finish refurbishing the Order of Battle Document, and rework a few things in the Biotic Encyclopedia
Finish next main chapter of TWCD
Put out chapter of Lions
Put out chapter of Alliance News Network interviews — Anderson
Beyond that… I dunno. This virus is a scary thing, but so is what it is doing to society, to economy, and to the lives of the poor and without resources. My work at my company is literally saving lives so for the moment I am more focused on that. On the other hand, with everyone shut in and isolating, I know a distraction is valuable, and I have certainly not forgotten any of you.
Feel free to email (email@example.com), PM in FFN, DM on Discord or comment here if you need to discuss anything, need advice or want to ask a question. Please stay safe. Please self-isolate and don’t take stupid chances, this thing is containable if we just all act intelligently.
I am satisfied with this 26k chapter. Have a wonderful new year and let’s hope 2020 is better than 2019. MAJOR thanks to the Editing Gang for pulling together and getting this one out the door, and with the suggestions that made the re-write work.
Redid the next chapter after the Editing Gang shot down draft one, and its with them now. I do not have a good ETA on when they’ll be done with it, but since in theory some parts have already been fixed the goal is to get it out the door before New Year’s Day.
Today starting at 11 AM is the final throes of the Death March, as we are predicted to have to ship and scan over two hundred thousand phones. Assuming I am not obliterated by this last torrent of hate, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas (or apropos holiday) and look forward to a new year.
I’d like to take a moment to recognize some people:
Nimiraj, of course, who keeps me sane. Several of her suggestions involving Shepard and Liara have been invaluable.
The Elder One, who continues to do background work in uploads, edits, and corrections to my train-wrecks, even while managing his own creative writing and other issues.
Both VadderDarth and TheNamelessWele in the Discord chat for work on artistic elements, emoji, and ideas.
Jim and Sevoris for the official design of Shepard’s and Aethtya’s warp swords:
The usual triumvirate of Comma, Jacob and Metaladdict for advice, ideas and support. All of them have gone through some shit IRL and yet continue to help, assist other members, and basically be bros. Extra props to Comma for doing all the moderation of the Discord chat, which as of today has 134 members, many of whom are completely insane.
Quentin, Bish09, and Burnsidhe for critical changes and ideas that I used in shaping the fic this year. Each of these has been extremely useful and evocative — and made me think on other things, down the line that have shifted the story line.
Seras, Nagato, and Kaikono for being supportive.
Everyone who participated in reviews, comments, well wishes, DM’s on Discord, PM’s on FF.net and emails — thank you. I don’t write for reviews, I don’t write for ego, and I don’t write to be praised. I write for the simple reason that I want to make people be able to lose themselves from the real world for a while, and to remind you that just because things are dark doesn’t mean they always will be.
Thank you for reading my work. Thank you for giving me a focus. Thank you for being yourselves.
The Author’s Note I left at the top of the last chapter bears repeating.
Often I am asked why evil flourishes.
is merely the lack of empathy and the belief that love and hope are
empty words. There are those who embrace the darkness within, who
honestly believe that mercy is weakness and that to love one another is
impossible – due to politics, or to conflict between our species, or
that it is merely naïve.
for all the power of evil – death, darkness, greed, cruelty, and lies –
you will find these are transitory, and lead to the undoing of those who
espouse them. Death is simply a part of life. To fear it is to miss the
point of living as fully and as joyfully as one can in their span.
Pain, greed, and cruelty are opportunities, a chance to show that mercy,
love, and kindness are real. Lies are merely the tyranny of evil beings
over those who would bring them down if they knew the truth, and will
always falter in time.
of these evils can match the laughter of a child. They cannot match the
beauty of the moon-rise, or the glory of the sun. No material wealth is
as potent or fulfilling as the warmth of a lover’s embrace in passion.
No greedy and cruel leader can steal from you the ability to show love
and to share hope.
‘It is only
in those who have given up the fight that evil wins. And as long as I
draw breath and live, I will never bow to its demands, nor fear its
-Matriarch Uressa T’Shora, ‘On Light Reflected,’ a commentary of her actions at the end of the First Contact War/Relay 314 Incident
So, the good news: the new chapter is with the Editing Gang and should be out by next weekend (unless a rewrite is needed.)
Bad news: As it stands, it ends on a cliffhanger.
I need to write the Shepard-Liara scene, but I want to do it the right way, since it is going to be a critical thing. And as I may have pointed out before I am not a female so I want advice and feedback on how to proceed before I do so.
The semi-good news is I will try to have that chapter done before Christmas. We’ll see.
The next chapter is at 16k of FLUFF and AWESOME and the Editing Gang is arguing fiercely at how much of a simply useless hack writer I am, so it may be a few more days before they finish tearing it apart and making something better from it.
You’ve probably already noticed the chapter updated on the 30th of August. Another chapter (currently at 15k) is with the Editing Gang now in heavy edits, and the chapter after that (3k) is being worked on.
Xabiar (of the X-COM Files) is working on a new document, and so is Jacob, to finish out his outstanding work on the Volus. I’ve also finally got the outline done on the next Tech Guide chapter — and wonder of wonders, maybe even an update to Lions.