random notes from your random authoress

Well. This obscenely long story has finally met its end. I want to thank everyone who left me commentary -- especially Noacat, Cherry, Ripley, Briar Eve, Amazonestar, shootinstar, Apple Pie, and whoever the Masked Reviewer is; these are the people who've been with me through the entire damn thing, or most of it - you know I read all those comments, so thanks for reading and leaving notes.

The thanks do go to everyone, even those not mentioned here; honestly, the reviews were my motivation for writing this story.

And that was both good and bad. Though I love this story, I can't say I'm particularly pleased with all of it (although, what author can)? Midway through the story I found myself merely writing, with no real goal plot- or character-wise, in the hopes of simply posting chapters and making my readers happy. Hence, the story seems to get lost at some point (or at least to me); lost in vague half-attempts at plot and conflict that aren't exactly stellar. It gets obvious that I had no real direction in mind - which, for the way I normally write, is a travesty. And I'd apologize for those who were looking for a different story; in a way, so was I, although I admit this one has a certain dinky charm to it.

Okay, it has more than that; it has Irvine, so it's gotta have charm, right?

But really. If it seems that this piece has dragged on forever and then ended suddenly ...well, it has. That's the plan [although that damn internet-less interlude was not intentional, i promise]. Sorry if it seemed rushed; one day I read things over, realized what was happening, and decided to cut it short before I rambled on forever and ever. Not like an endless Irvine story would be bad; but it wasn't what I wanted to write.

When I started this piece, my main goals were as such: first, to shed some light into Irvine's character and give him the chance that Square didn't; and second, to write some happy fluffy romantic nonsense about him and Selphie that everyone could be pleased with. I think I met both those goals; this, however, doesn't make me proud of those few certain parts that I'm, er, not proud of.

The story inadvertently turned out to be as much about Selphie as Irvine; but I found, as I continued to write, that it was impossible to separate the two. Honestly. I couldn't write just about Irvine; he needed Seff, and she needed him. That may have been what turned this story on its ear in the first place - I sure wasn't expecting that, but it made for a sweet interlude and a sweet ending.

This has to be the silliest and fluffiest thing I've ever written (and I know some parts are bang-all serious, so this should tell you something about my other stuff). In that way, I guess I wrote what I meant to. I'm glad you all enjoyed this - I've received wonderful comments about my characterization and language, and I appreciate the feedback more than I can tell you. My writing style has learned a lot from this piece, especially the first couple chapters, which I think are the shining stars of this bad boy.

Thanks again for liking this. Please stay tuned (heh) for my next installment, A Shine Like Gold, which picks up where Sincerity Cowboy left off (sort of). I'll also be tossing around some shorter pieces and maybe - if it comes together - a real, after-the-game-actual-story-happening FFVIII fanfic.

Wouldn't have written all this without you.

Especially this bugger of an author's note.