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I was going to wait til I had a new chapter ready to post, but this weekend two community members finished up some projects that I was fortunate enough to help with, and I wanted to pitch their great work.
FIMFiction Interviews: Cold in Gardez
Nekonyancer has done interviews with several other authors on this site, including Eakin, Pascoite and Horizon, so I was pretty thrilled when he asked me -- waaay back before I deployed -- if I would like a turn. Obviously it had to wait until I returned from Afghanistan, but we managed to reconnect and the result was this interview. Here's a table of contents:
1:00 - What kind of stuff did you write before you joined the fandom?
2:05 - What particular works opened your eyes to what the fandom is capable of?
4:07 - How do you go about developing your writing skill?
5:37 - What books in particular would you recommend for learning how to write better?
6:47 - How does experimentation play into improving your writing skill?
8:47 - Which of your old stories are you especially proud of?
9:55 - Don't you like your comedies?
10:49 - How do you nail those character personalities so well?
13:17 - Do you have an OC?
13:40 - Where'd you get the ideas for your worldbuilding regarding the pegasi?
17:14 - Where do you get your inspiration in general?
18:27 - Sample of The Glass Blower original writing style
19:35 - What did your reviewers say about that attempt at Victorian, purple writing?
21:17 - In Victorian literature, characters talk too poetically. Their dialogue never feels real. Do you see that as a flaw in the style?
22:29 - Was "The First Light of Dawn" your first time ever writing a long story?
23:10 - How did you find the experience of writing a long story for the first time?
24:02 - What kind of problems did you face that you don't have to deal with when writing short stories?
25:47 - Seems like the writing for "The Wind Thief" went smoothly.
27:02 - Did everything become easier as you wrote your second novel?
27:31 - It's been two years since you posted the first chapter of Salvation, and it's still not done...
29:31 - When you started your project of expanding Salvation, how long did you see it becoming?
30:10 - On using editors to chop your writing down to size.
32:11 - Was Salvation your first time writing something so structurally loose?
34:05 - Was it difficult to write something that focused so heavily on characters instead of action?
35:00 - Will we be seeing more stuff in the vein of Salvation?
35:32 - Will we ever get the sequel to "The First Light of Dawn"?
36:23 - What about the sequel to "The Wind Thief"?
37:32 - Is there anything you want to say to your fans?
Give it a listen!
Second, one of the fandom's best voice actors, Illya Leonov, saw that I updated Lost Cities with two new chapters, and he went ahead and updated his dramatic readings to include them. I'm proud to present them here:
Lost Cities: The Ice and What it Holds
Lost Cities: The Driftwood Emperor
So, work was a bit of a pain this week. Fortunately that's over with, and I get get back to my most enjoyable pastime -- writing! As noted earlier, I'm working on finishing Forever Summer, the next chapter of Salvation, and a new adventure story. And, yes, The Wind Thief sequel is in there somewhere too.
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When you first get back to America after a long time spent elsewhere, everything feels a bit surreal.
You walk through the mall, recognizing everything. You don't stand there, gaping at the shelves like you've never seen them; you aren't overwhelmed by the choices or surplus. You remember, somewhere in the back of your mind, that this is normal. This is what life was always like before you left. The strange, indescribable feeling hiding just behind your eyes, that none of this is real, is like a veil upon your thoughts, shrouding them, but even through it you still see. Seven months was not enough time to forget what walking through a department store is like, or how it should feel.
While you were gone you made a list of all the things you wanted to do, to see and to buy when you got back. You may have kept a word document on your desktop with all these things, or just emailed them to your personal account so you would have them ready when you got home. The list was like a talisman back when you were in country and the days seemed endless. If you had time, you could open it up and imagine each one come to life, or dream of something new to add. The mere imagination of them helped banish the tedium of deployed life.
But now you walk through the department store, and you can't remember half the list. You found one item, a favorite drink or snack, and you carry it with you through the store as you try to remember the rest, as you try to remember what was so important that you had to come home. You turn down the next aisle, scanning the shelves, wondering if this is where you will find it, though you cannot recall what it is. You turn the corner and look, and turn the corner and look, and again and again.
At some point, as with all the previous deployments, you'll realize that it wasn't the list or the stores or your favorite drink that brought you home. It was your friends, and they never really left you. They were just harder to talk to while you were gone.
I'll be getting home tomorrow, and as such this will be my last 'deployed' blog post. Thank you to everyone who wrote or watched or even just read something I made over the past seven months. You guys are great, and there's rarely a day that goes by that I don't think about how lucky I am to be part of this fandom.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming.
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I'm typing this on my Samsung Galaxy, so forgive my brevity and typos. It's the first time I've turned this phone on in seven months, and I'm having to learn hour to use it all over again.
We landed earlier this morning in Qatar after a six hour flight in a C-130, which is about the least comfortable aircraft ever designed. Also, I get air sick easily, so today has been a particularly uncomfortable experience. I've been awake for 36 hours now.
But, of course, it's worth it. When it's time to come home from a deployment you just accept that there will be discomfort, but the alternative is never leaving Afghanistan. For some reason I've never understood, the flight home is always worse than the flight there. But the reward at the end will be better.
In a few hours, I'll be getting on a 15-hour flight back to the states. I'll hate it, and it's possible I'll be sick many times before we land, but I still can't wait.
Talk to you guys again in a day or so. If you see me in a bar, first round's on me.
Edit: I guess I can link a story to this post. Go read Forever Summer!