Hope you all enjoy it.
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.
Took a lot longer than it should have, mostly due to work and family events. I am working on the next chapter now, but I was working on this on in February, so…
Happy 2021 to everyone who reads my stuff.
2020 was not, as I’ve said elsewhere, the best of years. However, in terms of the fic we did get at least a little accomplished:
- First, four chapters of TWCD were completed. That’s very slow, but then again it was about 110,000 words. I had writers block in how to proceed with the story, and since I shifted direction things are now easier to write.
- New STG Reports (Vigil Pt 2, P., Rachel Florez, Richard Williams, Yonis Chu) and an additional few chapters to the STG Handbook
- The new Bird of Hermes series was launched
- The 2020 PV WriteCon was completed and was a smashing success
- Xabiar’s completed Citadel document, expanding hugely on the timeline, politics, and capacities of the setting
- The launch and development of the PV RPG System and the RP games, which has gone wonderfully so far
There’s also some non-fic related things we’ve done:
- The creation of a PV Minecraft Server
- The creation of a place for people to discuss problems and issues in Personal-space on our Discord
- A staggering 199 members on the Discord
- A series of music videos and two world-building videos
- The production of the Uressa T’Shora art and progress on the Shepard Wedding Scene.
- Expansion of Patreon integration, benefits, and merch
I’d like to take the time to thank some people:
Pallan Minerva/Comma: as always expected from him, Comma continued to provide guidance, moderation, leadership, fic feedback, advice, and contributions to the fic. He did this WHILE both going to college full time (and graduating) in the midst of this COVID bullshit, and while managing his own server community and writing his amazing Fate Stay/Night fic story which has surpassed my own in popularity. Comma is his own harshest critic but he’s accomplished more in a single year than some people do in a decade.
Nimiraj : as always, provides strength and comfort. Her insight into the Sara/Liara rebonding section was critical (as with all the relationship pieces) as well as listening to all my self-pitying bullshit and keeping me cheered up is sometimes the only reason I keep going.
Xabiar: Despite the literally titanic efforts on his own fiction (nine chapters of his main fic, twelve chapters of TITANOMACH, twenty seven chapters of the XCOM Files and God only knows what else), the man managed to somehow take the scattered, disorganized and in some cases self-contradicting lore bits I had to create the Citadel Files, nearly 200k words of lore, expansion, and new ideas and characters — in under a freaking year. Very much appreciated, especially on top of running his own community.
Wele: Not only a driving force in working on art for the PV, Wele has been a key player in the success of the Personal Space in the discord chat. Her creation of the asari Sigils and her work on the Wedding Scene hasn’t slowed down her other efforts, on top of all the issues she has. You are appreciated very much.
The Elder One: I can never thank TEO enough for all he does in the background that no one even sees, from fixing up stupid typos and finding plot holes to keeping an eye on the chat. Again, this is on top of working on all his own projects and dealing with the COVID mess.
EnigmaticOne and Mooloor: These two took strong and energetic leads on the RPG Project, taking the insanely stupid and useless half-ass ruleset I gave them and turning it into a finely tuned product that helped produce what I feel was outstanding gameplay. They have continued to refine and expand the rules and at this point deserve a lot more credit for the Fic-RP’s success than I do. EnigmaticOne also went above and beyond the call of duty to collate and edit the RP logs into a format to be turned into stories.
B.W.: B.W.’s entry into the PV WriteCon was incredibly good, some of the best writing any of us have ever seen! Their work in discussing some aspects of where I’m going with the fic and other contributions have also been of seriously important help!
Jacob: Last but not least, Jacob — despite some personal issues — came back strong in 2020 to throw down both edits to the files he’d already done and an incredible piece on Richard Manswell. Jacob remains one of the few people I trust to handle my lore and build on it without oversight and I am deeply humbled by his contributions.
A few others deserve thanks as well:
Sevoris for managing the SIENCE with his usual deft tough
Bish09 for handling, organizing and managing the Gaming Discord
Kep for some very interesting and useful art that has given me ideas.
Krieg for returning to the chat in a far more productive fashion!
Mrosera for keeping the Warframe Clan organized and expanding it greatly!
DaSkyBurner for taking on the challenge of being our Minecraft Server Admin, out of his own pocket I might add
EternalConcern for adding many much needed (and becursed) emotes
SodiumEnriched/Fperson1 for being the original IsLurk and showing everyone how to go from lurker to key member.
JimHero, Eggnogui, DevilNero, Kinnix, Nolan, Neprau, Samael, and Seras for being Bro-Tier
Spicy for being the true and undisputed Lord of Cursed
Of course, I appreciate each and every person who reads, comments, reviews, or shows up in chat.
What does 2021 hold? Ideally, things will improve. COVID vaccines and perhaps a return of more conventional normalcy would help a great deal. As for the fic…
The Editing Gang has indicated — and repeatedly — that this shit is beginning to drag. I will endeavor to wrap things up in a way that does not take too long, but this is where people start dying and actually staying dead.
As for my personal condition… still have knee, back and wrist issues. Due to some medical complications, my finances are shit, and work remains hectic. Purportedly sometime this year we are moving to a new platform, so I expect a great deal of trouble with that since we are adding many new clients. The 2021 Death March is likely to be hellish.
However, I’m still alive, still in good health, and still trolling. I hope you all had a happy holiday season and have a wonderful new year, and that things get better, and not…
Well, you know, not like the Days of Iron. <voncern.jpg>
Work has been absolutely hellish for the past few months, but we do have some progress being made.
First, I did another worldbuildy video thing, which is slightly less incoherent than the last one.
Second, I added some files. Xabiar’s Citadel series is done, as well as a couple of updates to Bird of Hermes and the Rachel Florez STG file.
Right now the next chapter of TWCD is in with the EG after an extensive rewrite, and it should be out by this weekend or maybe before.
My Patrons decided that the next LP video should be about worldbuilding.
The first in a series of videos on the topic, this one is rambly and vague.
I appreciate all comments, questions, and insults. 😀
Due to a happy coincidence of timing, I got the next TWCD chapter published as well as Xabiar’s new Citadel Files : Military out the door today.
We are having a PV-RPG session today from 2 PM to 6 PM CST, which will result in that being put into an online chapter along with Bright’s next happy discoveries.
I’m also in the process of getting bids and estimates for the next set of artwork, as well as waiting for my Patreons to determine what oneshots they want to see. Later on this month we’ll start to see more of the stories from the Fanfic WriteCon showing up as well.
So, before I talk about the fan-fic stuff, the ‘real news’:
- Thus far, my immediate family is health and safe. Fort Worth is continuing to climb in COVID-19 cases, but I am still working from home.
- There have also been protests in Fort Worth and Dallas, but rioting so far has not impacted me and is limited to more public venues.
- XPO (my employer) has not had to layoff any more people so my job should be secure. Finances are still shit but stable.
- I’ve had a couple of friends get COVID (one died) and several family members in California and Virginia are in jail due to protesting.
Other than the above, things haven’t been so hot. Ankle and knee are slowly getting worse and I can’t do any therapy with the curfew and COVID lock-downs, so I have to manage with ice packs and grit.
I got one chapter of TWCD out, as well as an entirely new work, the Bird of Hermes. Set in between ATTWN and TWCD, Bird of Hermes is a sci-fi horror tale of the System’s Alliance exploration and evacuation of a pre-Inusannon colony world code named Rho-19. It ties in with a planned RPG segment I will be doing with some of my Discord participants, and will end in a series of reports on pre-Inusannon races to further out the backstory.
I’ve also updated Xabiar’s magnificent Citadel document he writes for me, so make sure to check all of that out.
Also, for those of you who are just finding out about my writing, I finally got around to creating a document to map out the best and recommended reading order for all of this stuff. Check out A (barely) annotated guide to the PremiseVerse:
Finally (and most hilariously) I finally decided to take a stab at recording an actual video. I warn you now that this is a low-quality web-cam and in my ignorance I forgot the mic pickup was right next to the A/C vent so the sound quality is absolute garbage.
However, it is a video message that is, according to the people who’ve watched it, worth listening to, so in the immortal words of our Queen Senzawa, ‘here we fucking go’:
I hope everyone is staying safe. You’ll forgive me if I don’t include some kind of pithy statement about the protests and the death of George Floyd, but as you can see from the video I’m tired of almost everything right now, and there’s nothing you can put on the net that will fix what is wrong with the world right now.
However, I will say this. The problem isn’t the ‘police’ or the ‘government’ or ‘hoodlums’. The problem isn’t solved by laws, or by guns, or by protests. The problem is fucking humans not giving a shit about each other, and lots of people are guilty of that regardless of skin color or profession.
Until humans all learn to love one another — white or black, Hispanic or Latinx, American or Chinese, CIS or trans, gay/les/bi or straight, rich or poor — we will all continue by ruled by hate.
Be safe. You are cherished. You are appreciated. You are trolled.