I visited Archive Of Our Own today and discovered to my surprise that I am dead. Apparently I died back in 2013. This came as something of a surprise to me as I was not informed of my passing. There should be memos on these things.
Obviously, I am not dead - I've simply gone through some difficult times which have resulted in a distinctive lack of updating for a very long time. Shortly after I posted my last chapter of The Marriage Stone, several family members fell ill. The first went through a very long and painful death - I spent month after month sitting with her at her death bed watching her waste away. It was hard and horrific and the last thing I wanted to do was spent my free time writing about Harry lying in a coma in the hospital wing. I couldn't write at all.
My relative died, and shortly after that a second family member went through something similar. This ordeal lasted nearly a year until he passed away as well. It took me a while to get inspired to sit back down and do any writing.
By the time I was starting to feel like maybe I could go back to my story, I saw the first of several 'the continuation of the abandoned Marriage Stone' stories pop up on the various fiction sites. I had a very visceral reaction to this (a bad one), and promptly shut down my computer and put the story out of my head. To this day every time I see a new posting it bothers me.
That is not to say I have any anger towards the people who wrote them - I don't. I haven't read any of those stories (part of that is I don't want anything to influence my own writing decisions). And please do NOT attack the people who started these stories - this is ALL fanfiction - we're borrowing other people's ideas and using them for ourselves. This is no different than me borrowing J. K Rowling's world and characters. And the fans who wrote those stories have just as much right to do it as I did when I started this story. To be honest with you, I'm a bit shocked and ashamed of my reaction. It's required me to do a lot of growing up.
Negative emails and comments also affect me. The deaths I went through put me in a very vulnerable place, and it became difficult dealing with the insanity that is the internet. I don't use Facebook, or Twitter or any of the 'social' media sites simply because I can not handle the trolls. I can have a thousand wonderful comments, and it is the single troll post that sends me into a spiral of despair. It sucks, but that's reality. It got so bad that I stopped looking at my email or the Yahoo group entirely. I stayed away for so long that my accounts on Yahoo were deleted.
I've gotten better over the last year or so - I think I'm able to handle the world again. I hope so anyway. I've also started writing again - though this work is more commercial in nature (written under a different name than this one). It's been a long journey but I'm starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
So why am I posting anything here for the first time in years? Well, simply put, I'm not dead and I thought it might be time to address my supposed demise. I was lucky that my account was still active - as I said my email account was not. I logged in, and there was my story along with the statistic that it has been read 8.6 million times. That's a lot of people. And that deserves a response and most likely an apology: I'm sorry I didn't finish what I started. Those of you who loved this story deserved better than that.
Does this mean I'm going to continue writing The Marriage Stone? I don't know. I actually do have 2 unfinished chapters that never got posted. And I did have an ending in mind when I started the story. I recently reread through the entire story (good lord it's long!) and despite having grown as a writer (I hope at least) I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. That at least made me think 'hmmm, I should probably finish this one day'.
So the best I can tell you is I'll try. I'll try my hardest.
If and when I do finish this story, I will most likely simply post it in bulk. I won't do the chapter by chapter thing - that was too much pressure. I will do my best and if I manage I will post the story in its entirety here. I can't give you a time frame. I'm currently working a full time job and two part time jobs and my time is very limited. But I will at least try.
On a good note: I not dead. I'm rather happy about that. I will focus on this little victory and push forward.
Still just Josephine Darcy