I’m sorry it took this long, but the reasons for doing so are listed out in the chapter.
We’ll see if I can do another by Christmas.
(Typing this from my phone, so… here’s hoping I don’t break the entire site.)
Unless you are just starting reading my stories (hoo boy), you will have noticed the last main story update was in June.
There’s been a lot going on — the entire series is now also available on AO3, and since I have an archive of everything I will be creating a mass-edition PDF with the entire span of my works. (SoonTM).
But the updates stopped because I am doing something, in the words of my Discord readers, as “completely insane”
To wit, I am running a series of roleplaying scenarios based in the PVME, around the 1-year mark after Shepard’s death. The characters in these will be showing up in the main chapters, as will various bits of backstory.
Some of this is already in Bird of Hermes. BOH2: The Monster with a Hundred Heads, will cover a mess involving yet another secretive organization, the Hecatoncheires, a group devoted to trying to figure out all the messes going on behind the scenes as part of a three-way power battle between anomalous control organizations.
The Xabiar files on the Traverse and Terminus also play a HUGE role as both the Broker Fight and the end game occur there. Once all the support pieces are in place (remember, I hate plot holes) then the next couple of chapters won’t take that long.
I have some other stuff to keep y’all happy, though: more military files from DH and the last half of Bird of Hermes, plus this year’s Writecon efforts and maaaaybe a Lion’s chapter for Christmas. We’ll see.
The yearly Death March is arriving November 28th, but since we already tackled the Apple 14 mess maybe it won’t be so bad. We’ll see.
Hope you all enjoy it.
Right now, the next chapter is with the Editing Gang and I am finally working on several other pieces.
Hopefully, out this weekend. We’ll see. It is not as long as other chapters, but I think it’s interesting enough for the length.
Haven’t done much with the site recently… times have been somewhat straining, both financially and emotionally. I’ve never had a good update schedule but I’m aware one update a year isn’t a good look.
Depending on how things go over the next year, I could push out things faster or struggle with writer’s block and other issues until November.
Thank all of you for patience and understanding.
So, if you are following my work, you know I didn’t get a lot accomplished in 2021. Aside from COVID, there’s reasons for that.
We got a few things done;
- Richard Manswell file
- First parts of the Omega Doc
- The ‘early human history’ document is done.
- TWCD two chapters
- Updates to Memories, Order of Battle, and Bird of Hermes
- Writecon 2021 completed
- Wave 2 RP completed (at last)
But I didn’t get a lot of writing done for, as I said, several reasons. The biggest of which was the split of the company I work for, which resulted in a literally months-long Death March that (no kidding) ended up with over 20 people dead of COVID, 4 of heart attacks, 40 or so quitting, and a lot of overtime
I think from July to December I never had a full eight hours sleep except on Sundays, and that my average work week went from 40-42 hours to 68-74 hours. And in December and early January that was higher.
Things are FINALLY starting to calm down, so 2022 should see a lot more productive work done than 2021. I am about a third done with the next chapter, but i have to expand on what the Editing Gang has suggested so the chapter will be split in two. That will come out in February, as I have a week off then.
In a few more weeks I will do both the “reviews of the 2021 Writecon” and my usual “Thanks to” piece. I am mostly resting today as the death marches are finally over and we go back to normal hours and rotations.
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. I got a lot of Christmas Cards from you (the Lethath one was the best) and I might make a mailing list in the Discord for people to exchange cards with each other for Birthdays and things like that.
Please be safe. Please be kind. Please be aware of the needs of others. And please read the fics of Xabiar, Aberron, TheElderOne, PallanMinerva, and the others I have recommended.
Sometime last year, I made an offhand comment in the chat:
I always try and buy a series of Christmas Cards. I make an attempt to buy two sets, usually — one religious themed, for those who I know are Christian, and non-religious, for those who I’m not sure, or who are not, or who are atheist/agnostic. I avoid tacky shit like Kwanza or Hannukah cards — I don’t know enough about those holidays, and I would think they would simply appreciate it more if I wished them enjoyment of their own holidays.
I try to include something in the cards — usually a gift card and some words. This tends to run me anywhere from $350 to $500 a year. When I was doing well, financially, it was higher. I do this pretty much every year.
And, as I said in that offhand comment, almost no one bothers to reciprocate. In 2019 the only ‘card’ I got was a pro-forma effort from the dentist’s office saying I could enjoy Christmas sweets more if I went and had my teeth cleaned.
I’m diabetic. <vigilwince.jpg>
So, it was… more touching and impacting than I may have written about or said when Wele organized a simply massive effort to provide me with a themed Christmas card that was signed by nearly everyone.
I printed that thing out on high quality stock and sat down with a glass of Crown and read every message on it.
I read Monopolyman saying we never talked much but how he enjoyed my work, and realized I had not done a chat with him. I read Duzzpartner’s quotes of how what I had written had affected him, TEO’s touching words, my son’s melodramatic but heartfelt appreciation.
Keyes. Pittaro. Onyx. Precaricat. Vundar. Corshy1. Vandiver. (Also Vandiver). Mooloo, Connor and Seras. Xabiar. Quethorian. Darkarus. LukeP.
And more. Many, many more.
I do not take my … little, odd community for granted or lightly. I tend to beat myself up for not writing more, then I write a few thousand words and they are trash and they are thrown away. I figure I’ve written and discarded fifty thousand words since late September. I’ve got more than one thing people have written I haven’t posted yet because they worked HARD on it, and I want into include it, and make it a part of things because they deserve more than than having it posted as filler.
I write all this to say that each and every one of you is appreciated. And when I post that block of text PM…I mean it.
This is the project I call NoNeglectNovember, where I try to reach out to everyone on the server in a random order of DMing and checking in. How are you doing? How can I help? Is there anything you need to talk about? If you do not feel like responding you can just say “Fine”. Thank you.
I’m not doing this to feel better about myself. Some of you have done well, and some of you are barely hanging on, and at least a few of you have situations where I have to seriously remind myself that killing ignorant parents and abusive partners will not help in the long run.
But all of you are important, and all of you matter. All of you deserve the time and effort to be listened to, to be encouraged, to be told that you are not alone.
I often lecture Comma about the value of loyalty. Kindness, empathy, caring, awareness, all of these are good things. But all too often they don’t get paid back. You send out Christmas cards and get a thanks…and that is all.
Loyalty is something that lets you know your sacrifice, your effort, your … reaching out is reciprocated and appreciated. It meant a lot to me last year to get that, and in a long life filled with ups, downs, triumph, heartbreak, losses and a slow spiral into a gray twilight of defeat and not good enough and not strong enough… it was a small spark of light.
Thank you all.
Unless you live under a rock, you will know by now that
- Apple is launching the new iPhone
- I work in a business that deals with returns and reverse logistics
- Verizon and Comcast have trade-in plans
- Everyone wants a new iPhone
This translates into a massive spike of incoming returns to where I work, GXO. By ‘massive’ I mean dozens of 18-wheeler trailers with 20-25 pallets of phones.
Millions of phones.
While we normally have ‘peak’ in late November in prep for Christmas, this year we are kicking off our intense work period very early — the Death March, as it is called, known for 14 hour work days, very short SLA turnaround, and madness.
As such I expect that my time and effort on working on the fic may suffer. I am just now recovering from my back messing up and hopefully this won’t set it off again.
The next chapter of TWCD is about half done. I have several docs by DarkHorse that I can put up as well as a large amount of Bird of Hermes stuff I may get out, but I don’t expect a chapter coming out in September at all.
(Sorry, no new chapter yet)
In the event that you are new to reading my works (or an old hand but do not feel like trying to read through four years of Discord ramblings), there’s a lot of ‘side’ information that doesn’t really make it cleanly into the fic or the side stories or documentation stories.
A Discord member, Nemo (He Who Gets No Credit) recently put together a small document covering all the other side documents attempting to bring sanity, or at least organization, to this six-alarm dumpster fire.
Additionally, user viridae (asks Concerning Things and gives Concerning Speculation) has put together some in-depth guides on Commissars, the Department of Abnormalities, and Alliance R&D that gathers materials scattered across several books, the forums, the discord, and the PV Roleplay into one source. They can be found in the reference works menu.
Finally, Maddie (LP’s Heraldess of Chaos and Damnation) has recently finished up preliminary work on a guide to eezo, the first of several hyperfucked materials in the PV and the most cursed. If you aren’t into extremely dodgy math and logic so tortured you could have it star in a BDSM movie, you might not get much out of it, but if you do get at least some higher math it is worth
getting a headache a read.
I recommend reading this to the Ur-Quan song
BE NOT AFRAID
Went ahead and pulled the trigger early.
As with a lot of TWCD, there’s some significant alterations from canon. I don’t do this just to do a ‘fix fic’ type of thing, but to address serious structural issues in the games that have long bothered me.
Shepard’s return being so low-key and unimportant in the game was one thing but how she was dealt with by the Council truly boggled the mind. Anderson’s reactions (and Udina’s) were also … off. Wrong.
I don’t usually criticize Bioware on actions they took in making the game work that induce plot holes — some things are by nature of gameplay unavoidable. But it felt lazy to treat her return as a button press and a meme about shops on the Citadel.
We’ll see if I made this any better. As for the next chapter, we’ll have to see if work is as calm next week as it was this week.
Between the combination of Father’s Day and Juneteenth I probably won’t get any writing done this weekend, or RP. But I am always open to questions, either here, on my Discord, or on FF.net via private message.