Author has written 14 stories for Avatar: Last Airbender, and Inuyasha.
Sorry. I used to think I was succinct, but now I am convinced I'm a bit of a blatherer. Escape while you can, gentle reader...
To date, my writings have followed "Avatar, the Last Air Bender" for the most part. I also dabble in "Inuyasha" - I haven't written anything else.. To aid those who really don't give a damn about me but want a bit more info regarding what I've written than appears in the summaries, go directly to "Pimpage".
I started contributing to fanfic as one element of a baby-boomer dealing with a mid-life crisis. I used to watch - and enjoy - lots of children's televison (I'm a Mom - which is a great excuse for watching lots of children's television. Alas, my kid doesn't watch it any more). I'm a fairly private person. Reading this you could reasonably find me a bit of a bore, actually. And you'd be right.
Back in '07 I jumped out of my (lucrative and therefore successful?) managerial rut into law school (money going out instead of coming in, an obviously untenable and insane situation). It took me a few years after graduating to pass the California bar, and now I'm frantically searching for work after being SO LONG without an income. I haven't had time to keep contributing on any but the most sporadic of bases.
Hell of a way to resolve the mid-life crisis... (school was fun, pity I can't justify seeking yet another degree).
Before they changed things, it seemed my profile page had been hit over 35,000 times. I haven't figured out if they track this kinda thing anymore. Well, it was quite gratifying to see my profile had been hit so often, since it seemed to reflect a general interest in the stories I'd written. Odd, but, well yes, gratifying. Wonder what FF.net does instead... to compensate for such tracking?
I don't comment much on other fanfic writers, except explicitly on their stories. Still, it should probably be said that I do support a venue for posting works in progress. I don't block reviews of any form to my own works, largely because I still somehow figure there is something to be learned from the most negative of critiques. I also assume I'm old enough to swallow whatever anyone throws me. Truth is, negativity hurts. When I look at it rationally, I gotta admit, isn't that the point? So you absorb, cogitate upon, and review. And the next time, you've adjusted, yes? I don't apologize for writing critical reviews, but I do hope I've never written anything purely to be harsh. Critique is to be learned from.
Again, what's the point otherwise? I hate negative reviews, but I have to admit I have learned the most from failures. So despite my advanced age, feel free to kick me for what you perceive as failures in my writing. I am, happily I think, wise enough to be able to know when to dismiss irrelevancies. But may I never be too old to learn how to write a new truth!
On the other hand, I have no regrets saying that poor grammar and spelling make a lot of fanfic positively unreadable, as far as I am concerned. Throw in inappropriate word use - people who do not actually understand the vocabulary they attempt to use - Pwah! I am sent running from far too many postings. I used to think these were postings by foreign language writers - then I figured out they were posted by lazy English writer/speakers. I don't bother reviewing on that basis alone anymore because - back when I did - I was accused of "flaming" and "nitpicking". Fine. Their loss. Let them argue with potential editors... assuming they ever get that far. More power to them, I myself spent more than a decade editing technical writing - my ego is safe!
But then, I can't help myself. I still point out errors in grammar, spelling, and word use to writers I think are generally doing a good job, out of the spirit of coaching, I guess. Not that anyone thanks me for it. But I just can't stand to see potentially good writers make stupid mistakes!
That all said, I do pay close attention to the critique that comes my way, particularly when it comes to pacing or exposition - some admitted weakpoints. I do think it's a pity when people don't taken advantage of constructive criticism on a public forum. Writing is a wonderful, creative process. But I gotta admit that, in the words of the old aphorism, if you can't take the heat, stay out of kitchen. Don't post if all you're looking for is congratulations - who learns from that?
Okay, off my high horse!
Like most folks, I'm a review whore. In payment, I do make a point of responding to comments in at least the depth that is written my way. Thanks much! I try to return the compliment when I like something. Value for value!
Since I write purely for fun - and not really to develop my skills (gave up on that long ago, although I suppose a bit of self-improvement ethic slips in), my stories focus less on plot than on character exposition/development. Hey, when you get to be my age plot is, at best, interesting and generally inconsequential. Character, on the other hand, is everything! Mind you, I will concede that plot does much to inform/respond to character, so it can't be ignored.
Since the canon tends to be short on these aspects; it presents a rich field to mine, yielding many perhaps surprising directions for stories to flow. And that is where I find the fun.
Look to my "faves". I'm chintzy there, so there is no need for me to elaborate. If I like it, it's worth reading, from my perspective. On the other hand, I don't fave authors if I don't think everything they write is worth looking at. Mind you, I really don't expect many of you to follow my perspective.
Me - Me - Me -Me- Me- I!
Okay, at this point, fair warning, I am going to pimp myself: It's been so long since I've written anything, I don't know how you got here. In any case, at this point all of my stuff could use promotion.
Avatar the Last Air-bender Stories:
"Sabotage" is an early "Avatar" work (just post first-season) and obviously terribly outdated (not to mention, of course, wholly AU). It is the first fanfic I wrote, if not the first posted. I think it is an amusing read and fairly well-plotted overall. It provides perspectives of Iroh, Katara, Bumi, and of course, Sokka. Zuko has a nice role in which he attempts to rise to meet his father's expectations without soiling his own principles. (Seriously, if you've liked anything else I've written, you'll probably like this! Even though it is obsolete...). Despite the relative dearth of reviews, every chapter has been hit well over 500 times - I firmly believe if it wasn't fun/interesting to read people would abandon it! Needless to say, I learned a lot from writing it.
"Prison Conversations" is, I think, my best fairly extended story. (It probably helps that it is complete) It is, I think, quite well paced for an essentially plotless 'thriller'! I often wondered about its pacing as I was writing it, but I always thought it had rather lovely character development (even if I do say so myself), some intrigue (c'mon - if you've read it don't you find Ling-Ling more than a little bit interesting?). I always thought I was careful to keep my indulgencies into minor philosophical commentary from being overly heavy-handed, but that's a reader's judgment to make. "
Prison Conversation" was and still remains my overall favorite of my own stories.
"Lucky" is my favorite one-shot (Longish, I suppose, but drabbles and poems fail a bit, I think, in the "four corners" aspect of story-telling that "Lucky" actually manages to achieve). Yes, it features Sokka (nearly all of my "Avatar" stories feature him!). I like it because I put extra effort into the structure of the piece. It is not just a story but an attempt at art (doesn't that sound high-falutin'. What I mean to say is that I think it tells a good story as much because of the way it is structured as for the story itself. And I like that! And there are some rather nice uses and play of language in it that stretch beyond pure story-telling). Of course, as of "Boiling Rock" it was wholly obsolete.
(Current) "Passages" has a quite devoted readership and I appreciate every one. It is "Prison Conversations'" sequel, but it seems to have engendered an independent following, based on its hit count and reviews. I expanded this story to include the rest of the "good guys" in the "Avatar" cast, including Toph I confess though, it is less a labor of love than one of determination. So while it takes me literally years to update between chapters I swear I will, someday, finish the damned thing! As a sequel to PC, it is also canonically obsolete. So many readers have 'alerted' and 'faved' me on this that I suspect if I don't finish it I will be among the first 'net homicide' victims!
(Current) "Cog in the Machine" started out as a pure raunchy lark aimed at poorly written Sokka capture fics (which perhaps unintentionally parody badly written Katara capture fics). I meant to quickly put paid to that particular fantasy with a sleazy porn-based escapade in four or five chapters. But the damned characters interfered, and I'm still struggling with getting Sokka the hell away from the Dangerous Ladies! As a result, "Cog's" following is probably as great as "Passages", if not quite as prolific in reviews. Likewise, my ambitions for it have grown, despite my own worst attempts. So it too will drag upon the confluence of my muse and ready time. Oddly enough, I had managed to keep this within canon even as of summer 2008, as long as you stretch your brain a bit as to possible later perceptions of each of the characters by each other! If the 'Passages' fans don't get me, 'Cog' fans will! It's all moot with the end of the series.
(Current) "Crossing the Line" has the smallest fandom for any of my multi-chapter fics. Not surprising. It is a mere reprise of Sokka and my OC from "Prison Conversations", Ling-Ling. While folks have generally expressed admiration for her creation as a not-Sue I suspect they are not particularly comfortable with confronting her again. Well, neither is Sokka. After all, when last they'd met she had come through on her promise to help him and Zuko escape prison. But there still remained the shadows of her apparent interest in Sokka. Given the reality that she is something of a sick (in the head) Fire Nation bitch, Sokka is well-justified in feeling uncomfortable. Still, without her both he and Zuko would probably be dead. Thank you for those few readers this story still engenders.
"Temporary Road" I'd never written song-fic before, and when I was first exposed to it, my response was a resounding "ICK"! It struck me as a lazy-ass, plagerism-plagued form in which to write. I actually wrote TR (yes, basing it upon the lyrics of an established piece of music) before I knew about song-fic, and I cringe when admitting the genre it falls within. That said, I like to believe my ignorance (and literary standards?) made me apply unusal rigor towards it to make it worth reading. On this, you'll really have to trust me. Not sure I would under similar circumstances, which probably explains its abysmal reader statistics. Frankly, its only real appeal is the whole Sokka/Azula pairing and that incipient hotdom. Actually, I think it returns rather well on that, if you concede that some sexual appeal for the general public leaks in from BDSM (Granted, not an easy concession, nor one that I would necessarily recommend. The fact remains, under those terms, it is definitely THERE). TR provides a somewhat unusual take on that pairing that showed my assessment of its likely future. That such assessment agreed with canon is history now. Yep. Certainly AU. And I have to give a plug for the poetry of the original music. SERIOUSLY! Even if you don't like the fic, look up the music!
"Not Every Boy's Dream". Ah heck. This is hilarious, even if I do say so myself. My first attempt at humor and by far the most successful. I leave it at that. (Hmm. S'pose some relatively liberal sense of sexual humor is required to appreciate it, and thus I suppose a warning here. Yes, this is an explicitly sexually suggestive story, sort of). And yes, AU. But, shit! You should read it anyway just for the laugh! As of 2011, folks still hit me on it, so I know that my humor lives...
"Geography Lessons" is a very uneven but overall fairly successful response to a prompt on a live_journal "Avatar" community challenge (back in 2006?). Oddly enough, it won the challenge on just the first five prompts, and in gratitude I finished each of the other prompts. Without question the first prompt is the most amusing. The last chapter provides a nice summing-up of my take on the whole challenge. Of course, each chapter was meant to stand on its own, and each succeeds or fails on that basis. I have my own favorites - as already noted. I certainly don't expect everyone to agree with me. Hmm. Wholly AU as of about mid-Season 2. Another survivor of the series demise, I still get hits now and then.
"A Sweet Release" was, to me, a natural followup to Avatar Season 2's "Cave of the Two Lovers", and dealt with a possible extrapolation to Sokka's exposure to musicians and supernatural beings that appreciated music (just a one-shot). The concept never actually got wings and that's okay by me. While it is not a prequal to, it was written in conjunction with and definitely informed - along with "Sabotage" - my "Prison Conversations" story and, therefore, its followup. "A Sweet Release" is easier to assimilate in terms of the basic premise than "Sabotage" as far as the canon story goes. Looking back, I still see no reason why "Sweet Release" couldn't have been incorporated into the canon anymore than "Sokka's Master" subsequently seemed to incorporate ideas from my other fics. (Of course, it should also be said that I merely managed to extrapolate various aspect of Sokka's character into what the creators would naturally incorporate therein). Yep. Another AU.
"Reasons", my Avatar drabble collection, is too broad to encapuslate here. While it may be boring in toto, one at a time they ain't bad... And I haven't added to this in a very, very long time. There are a couple of pretty poems therein... Yeah, this is all prettty Avatar/Sokka-centric and optimistic. We all know that Sokka is NOT an optimist!
(Current) So I started "Facing Karma" fic for the Inuyasha fandom. It focuses on Miroku, looking at his past to try to explain his present without falling too heavily on cliche, I hope. I'm keeping the chapters short and (again I hope) sweet to keep my muse from sizzling out on me. It's another one of those situations where the character kinda bit me in the butt and I had to do something about it. What can I say... I go for handsome, clever young men who are obviously generally misunderstood for only their comedic value. (Quite possible to fit in canon even as of current manga 4/08).
(Current) "Elegy on a Shoe:" While I had written the original complete story essentially in one night after reading something idiotic, my characters ignored me - as usual - and revolted. "Elegy" became the story 'de jure': half the fun has been translating the characters into a modern world, which means a much more complete and complex development, ad hominum. And I have to admit, shoe-horning the characters at least somewhat into my friends' and cohorts' daily lives has been an adventure that has given me, at least on occasion, fits of giggles. Which reminds me, should one of them see themselves into writing me into a story... well, I simply must forgive (and almost certainly, cringe)!
(Current) "Whatever You Do". Yet another of these "inspired" pieces based on what I percieve as someone else's bullshit that needs putting right. I see that my "Inu" writings focus on mystery/adventures. Again, the focus is on Miroku - what can I say? I find intelligent, capable men to be attractive lead characters! It sure doesn't hurt when they are handsome and sexy! As an "older writer," I got no beef with sex for sex's sake, which also means I understand its potential for informing souls (as it should!). I honestly think Miroku is an excellent medium for that particular message, aside from the reality that I think he's smexy!
While mostly I think I've moved past fanfic, I do want to finish my current stories. And so, however long it takes, I will. As for those of you who've read them, THANK YOU! And those of you waiting for me to update, THANK YOU AGAIN! if it weren't for you and your support...
Pop media quotes I've enjoyed:
"I'm a paranoid schizophrenic. I am my own entourage." - America's Sweethearts
"You've just got to get past this bottomless betrayal..." - Failure to Launch. (And I only just recently identified this as originating from "FIREFLY"! Oh god, what a WONDERFUL series!)
So, those of you hoping I'll be writing more, all I can say is - don't hold your breath!
And for those of you who enjoyed the characterization of "Ling-Ling" in my "Prison Conversations" story, what I think is a really well-written spin-off was written (with my prior consent) at the following link: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3123327/1/ My buddy "Smill" took a few liberties with her history that I feel were well warranted, and fleshed out Ling-Ling beautifully. The writing is tight, evocative, and epitomizes the one-shot. Although she promised more, I confess I've rather given up on it. She did, however, inspire me to explore Ling-Ling a bit on my own, hense the "Crossing the Line" story.
And if you've gotten this far, odds are you should be doing something else - probably homework! That said, aren't you sweet for paying so much attention to me! Coo! Thanks a lot, now mind you, go back to your real business!!
One would really think that a graduate from an Ivy League institution, with an MBA and, now more recently, a JD, would have much better things to do with her time. Well, of course that is true -- but, frankly, I can think of only a few things - which are not acceptably mentioned on this venue - that are truly more fun!