Have been mailed! Last postcards of this year. I got a new book of postcards from the MCNY; hope you guys like them!
Have been mailed! Last postcards of this year. I got a new book of postcards from the MCNY; hope you guys like them!
Working on: Make-out sessions
Word for this chapter: 636
I can totally finish this thing tonight. Congrats to those who have already won!
I can't believe how different my word counts are:
NaNo - 37144
Google Docs - 38118
Written? Kitten! - 38527
I call shenanigans!
Working on: Getting the boys back to school.
Word for this chapter: 283
The plot's gone hay-wire. I'm trying to figure out how much plot this 50k needs to encompass. In my imaginary world of make-believe awesome, this book is part of a series... Just never planned how long this series was going to be. I need to figure out where the story is going to be at 50k so I can sort out the pacing.
Catching up on NaNo this weekend. November's been a busy month - lots of school work and other responsibilities - and now I have to contend with both Skyrim and Skyward Sword. Video games! I ask you!
This draft is awful. Maybe a smidge better than last years, but still eye-bleedingly bad. Most of the cast is nameless (I've got Name, Namer, Dickface, Name, Nambles, Name, and Name-Name), half the word count is from directionless conversation ("What do you want to do today?" "I don't know - What do you want to do?"), and I've jumped forward in time so many times that I completely lost when the story is taking place. And also while I might be able to hit the 50k, the story won't be anywhere near done. So all in all, a relatively successful NaNo! I wish I were one of those people who are able to develop perfect manuscripts, who plot everything in their heads and then merely have to let their fingers walk over the keyboard to get it all down. My method of writing is to vomit up letters and hope that words come out of the mess.
I'm not sure if I'll have time to finish it this year, but I'll be trying NaNo again. I'm Jaeness over there. Going with fantasy, yet again. This idea's been bubbling around in the stew of my brain for the past two years, and I'm excited to try to get it down on paper.
In preparation, and also because I'm a terrible procrastinator, I'm editing my 09 NaNo SQ. I've chopped it to pieces, exorcised the entire middle 10 chapters, and axed a bunch of characters. I hope the editing makes the plot more streamlined and not less interesting. Last year's attempt is a lost cause. It just wasn't meant to be 50,000 words. A long story maybe, or a novella but a novel it ain't. And someday I'll finish draft 3 of my 08 NaNo... Someday.
WriteWay has a free one month trial, so I'm going to see if the bells and whistles can help me better organize my thoughts.
Veld kicked the blanket off in his sleep and Charade grumbled as she pulled it back up from the floor, wrapping it around her shoulders before pressing against Veld's back. She could feel a headache thorbbing behind her eyes - too much wine with dinner - and buried herself deeper in the nest of pillows and sheets, blocking out the sunlight that was making its way gamely through the room's shadows.
When she got up she stumbled through a pile of their clothes, wadded up in clumps where they're thrown them off the night before. She kicked one of Veld's boots off her skirt and dusted it off before yanking it over her legs.
"Oi, where you off to?"
Veld propped himself on one elbow. His eyes were as red as his hair, which was standing up like he'd been struck by lightning, and Charade wondered again why she bothered with him at all. Mornings were for regretting the night before, she thought as she adjusted the skirt around her hips. Maker she needed a drink.
"Winger wants us all back. Someone's been taking out the gang; we need to re-group." She found her shirt under her boot and pulled it free, flapping it clean. Cleaner, at least, she thought as her nose crinkled at the smell. Dust motes floated in air for a moment, and Charade thought of the snow she'd used to play in as a child, when they'd lived in Orlais. But then she shook her head and slipped into her shirt. Didn't do any good to reminisce.
"Come back to bed. Winger won't miss you." Veld stretched his long arms above his head and flexed his sleek muscles, a display she suspected was more for his benefit than hers. Still... Charade grabbed her boots as she walked back to the bed, then sat on the edge. Veld's hands were warm on her back and she let him slide them up her spine, move to her breasts. When he started kneading like he was making bread though, Charade bent down, dislodging his hands, and stuffed her feet into her boots.
He snorted and rolled further away, dragging the blankets with him. Hay poked out from the seems of the mattress ant it scratched under Charade's knees as she worked on the boots laces and buckles. When she was done she stood over Veld, tracing the shape of his lean body under the covers, resting on the bulge between his legs. And then she leaned over him, jamming her hand down on his chest as she grabbed her bow and quiver from the other side of the bed. He yelped a curse that she ignored.
"Business before pleasure," she said with a shrug as she walked to the door. Not that being in the Invisible Sisters was much of a job. But not that being in bed with Veld was all that great. One day she'd do better. She owed her mother that much.
Rivers Til I Reach You
f!Hawke, on the run from Kirkwall, follows her lover Anders to Denerim, where he has partially begged, partially tricked Queen Cousland into protecting them. Out of the bargain, the Queen-Commander gets their help as she travels across Ferelden, chasing reports of Orlesian involvement in her own country's collapsing Chantry. Also: babies.
I've been severely neglecting my DA Big Bang fic. I got some substantial writing done on the train yesterday and just now did a word count: one-third of the way through. Not bad, but I'd hoped to have it done before NaNo started. ...Yeah, that's probably not going to happen. Slight consolation that the rest of the DA:BB community is procrastinating just as much as me.
She stayed their wedding night - of course she did, what kinda bride would go runnin' off when the hall was still filled with guests? - but it didn't take long for her to stop smilin' at him and start spendin' all her hours in her lab. Laboratory like she was some sort of topsider mage or somethin', with her inventions to keep her company. Course it wasn't just her tools keepin' her occupied. Heh, though maybe she and Hespith used a few of those tools...
Everyone said she's done with him, but that didn't mean that Oghren was done with her. When she stopped comin' to bed at all, not even when it was his birthday or their blighted anniversary, he found himself a bottle instead of another wife and drank and drank and drank until it got easier to convince himself that all was all right in their house and that she'd come crawlin' back, beggin' and moanin' for him again.
They weren't dreams, since dwarves didn't mess with the Fade like surfacers, but sometimes he'd get in one of these dazes from all the beer and the echoes in their empty home that his sword made scraping against the stone sounded like her voice sayin' his name.
The marriage wasn't a farce, not exactly, not from the beginning. Oghren's charm was like a whetstone, rough and grinding, but it made her sharper, and she left their "battles" with grins and flushes, and sometimes beard-burns on her chest that itched under her armor.
The invention - Ancestor's take it, it was perfect and was worthy of a Paragon's title - filled a void that once had been filled by Oghren. He was always there getting in the way, upsetting her notes and knocking over experiments. When she lay in bed her head whirred with new ideas, new trials to start, and her hands twitched like they were moving for her tools, even when they ached for rest. She snapped and him, shoved him out of the way before her burnt down her bench, the whole blighted house. He whined when she didn't want to stop for a blighted dinner, threatened when she wouldn't leave for some blighted Proving. It got easier to just ignore him, and Branka got good enough that his presence didn't interrupt her studies, not even when he started to plead.
When she read about the Anvil, there was a click in her like a lever being pulled into place. Hespith stayed with her in the Shaperate, holding up candles for her to read the ancient tomes, bringing ink for her to finish her notes, rubbing her shoulders when Branka cracked them hard enough to dislocate them. And she listened. And she learned. And, unlike Oghren, Hespith believed.
It was no question, then, what Branka chose to take with her into the Deep Roads and what Branka left behind.
Bhelen Aeducan/Jowan - Save the one last dance
There is no other place in Ferelden for him to hide, so Jowan slides through the gates of Orzammar into the depths of the dwarven city to plead with the king for protection from the unyielding templar force chasing his blood. When he gets an audience, Bhelen is more amused than awed, but with a wave of his hand he grants Jowan a room in the palace and a job that surely even he can handle: entertainment. But there is also the idea that the king's enemies will be impressed by a maleficar included in court, and Jowan, gaunt and pale and taller than everyone else, is certainly strange enough to inspire concern among the nobles.
At come party, some event to celebrate Bhelen killing someone or other for something or other, Jowan stands by the throne and tries to look menacing. Bhelen grins up at him, then clamps his hand around Jowan's wrist to yank him down to eye level. "Wojech Ivo swears that you cast some sort of spell on him to lose the proving."
Jowan tries to find the warrior in the sea of dwarven faces, but the beards blend together. Bhelen grunts and his grip loosens but doesn't drop. "Spread fear, if it's easier than working magic. But I want to see what you're really capable of."
"Whenever you wish, Highness."
Bhelen stands - not that it makes any difference, it's not like he's any taller on his feet - and reaches for a cup to raise for a toast. The crowd silences immediately and turns toward him, waiting for his blessing like congregation at the chantry. Afterward when the music starts once more, Bhelen has Jowan brought to him again. "Stay until the end," he orders. "At the last dance I'll find you again and you'll tell me what you've learned. Don't mingle, but watch who you can. Maybe you can see more from your perspective."
Jowan murmurs that he will, of course he will, but Bhelen's attention is already elsewhere. He adds absently as Jowan is waved away, "You'll be spending the night with me, of course. So don't grow to attached to anyone."
Later, as dawn breaks outside, Jowan comes to Bhelen with his cache of secrets and spells and they walk in companionable silence to the royal chambers. He is surprised when Bhelen has the guards strip him - for the king's safety, they explain as their swords rip through his robes. He is surprised, but not much. Conversation progresses as normal, as if all Bhelen's discussions are done in the nude, until the guards are dismissed and Bhelen commands, not unkindly, for Jowan come to him. Even on his knees, Jowan is too tall, so Bhelen orders him to lie prostrate on the bed. By the time the guards return to announce that court will soon be in session, Jowan has solidified his place at Bhelen's side.
Avernus/Ser Thrask - Stand Up
The Knight-Commander had overstepped her bounds again, sending Thrask to Ferelden to investigate a maleficar. She had said the mage was too close to the Free Marches, too dangerous to be ignored, too powerful for the weaker Fereldan templars to handle. She had done it to get rid of him, he suspected. Thrask had accepted for his own reasons, surviving the sail across the Waking Sea and the march through the mountains by prayer and stubbornness.
Getting past the traders who'd made camp at the decaying castle had been difficult, his armor and joints creaking in the freezing wind. He'd found the mage, as tainted at Meredith had promised, but too smart, too human to be a true abomination. Avernus talked, Avernus reasoned, Thrask was tired, Thrask was cold. He drew his sword and cleansed the magic miasma from the room, but Avernus in Warden colors instead of a robe continued wielding his quill, ignoring the staff collecting dust in the shadows and Thrask's arm aching under the weight of his shield shivering in his armor.
That night Avernus lit candles and tossed Thrask a bottle that was more vinegar than wine. The mage didn't sleep but lay beside the templar with a wheezing laugh. In the morning, Thrask woke up and stood up alone, then walked past the surprised traders and back down to where a ship waited to take him home.
Cailan Theirin/Finn - no one else to turn to
"I don't know," Finn said as he pulled another robe from the cabinet. "I think this is a bad idea. And by bad, I mean terrible."
"Stop worrying. No, this one doesn't fit either." Cailan yanked the robe down his arms and tossed it into the rapidly growing pile on Finn's bed. "Maker's breath, you mages are almost pathetically puny. I don't see why the templars are so afraid of you."
Finn glared over his shoulder, but Cailan's smile softened the insult. Finn sniffed disdainfully; the man had no right to make unkind remarks when he needed Finn's help to impersonate a mage to play a trick on the visiting, unforgiving Mother Perpetua. He was also stripped down to his smalls, which should have made him feel at least a smidgen ridiculous.
Not that he looked ridiculous. In fact, he looked rather marvelous.
Mistaking Finn's silence for a sulk, Cailan clamped his massive hand on Finn's shoulder (possibly breaking a bone or to there; maybe he really was puny). "Come on, old boy. I didn't mean to offend. You're the only one I could turn to. Imagine if I'd asked your enchanter Wynne? Or that one who looks like he's swallowed a lemon... Torrin."
"Try this one," Finn mumbled as he flung another robe over Cailan's thick arm. The hand on his shoulder squeezed gently and Finn could feel the warmth of it through the thick velvet of his own robe.
Have been mailed! I need to re-stock, I'm beginning to finally run low. Really like this months', especially the little Digimon drabble.
fannish5: Name five characters whose religious beliefs are important to them.
Dragon Age only!
1) Leliana - Her beliefs in the Maker diverge from those expounded by the Chantry, but her faith is strong enough to support her through the criticism she receives, as well as to encourage her to leave the safety of the cloistered life to join the Warden on his/her march toward death.
2) Sebastian - The man defines himself by his position in the Chantry. All of his decisions are filtered through his interpretation of the Maker. He lives and kills by it.
3) Anders - Oooh, Anders. Fandom's full of discussion about Anders' faith and his view of Andraste. He compares himself and his mission - not unjustly, I think - to the Divine's bride and her exalted genocide.
4) Merrill - The Dalish's religion is as shattered as their culture. Merrill keeps the old ways as alive as she's able, a bittersweet task that causes her to lose as much, if not more, than what she was trying to save.
5) The Qunari - I read somewhere that the Qun is sort of like militaristic Confucianism, which is fascinating. Sten, in the first game, bored me to tears, but the Arishok and his unyielding dependence on the Qun was creepily awesome. It's not that his beliefs are important, they are the absolute definitions of the entire world.
They were almost the same age - or at least looked almost the same age, since no one could get the Anders boy to divulge any of his personal information - so even though the apprentices and the recruits were instructed to remain in their separate quarters of the tower, he ran into him on occasion, both drawn to the few activities and places in the Circle that promised some modicum of fun.
Cullen was in the kitchen the first time, standing over a platter of cooling rolls and feeling the weight of guilt on his shoulders even though he hadn't even touched one yet. There was a snort at his side and before Cullen could grab the wooden sword strapped to his back, the Anders boy had his hands all over the bread, stuffing the rolls into pockets and pouches.
"They're for dinner," Cullen said in an astonished sort of voice that was too high to be impressive. "You can't do that."
"Course I can!" The Anders boy shoved another one down his boot, of all places. "I'm hungry now. Dinner's not for ages."
"If the cooks catch you-"
"They won't, not if you don't tell."
Cullen knew that he should. There were a whole lot of shoulds that he'd been memorizing. Duty was a list of shoulds and honor was a list of should nots. But for some reason, he couldn't think of any of them. The Anders boy's initial look of wariness was replaced with amusement as he waited for Cullen's delayed response, until finally he took of a bite of the last roll and said through a mouthful, "Bread magic is almost as bad as blood magic, you know. Ooh arrgg I'm turning into a pastry abomination."
"That's not funny," Cullen began but then the Anders boy shoved the roll into Cullen's hand and spun on his heel fast as a rogue.
"Arrgg," he said cheerfully, waving over his shoulder.
The roll was still warm enough to be appetizing, even with the bite mark and missing chunk. Cullen frowned at it, at the empty platter, and the door that Anders boy had already slid through. When voices from the back of the kitchen grew louder, Cullen backed away from the table and hurried out the way he'd came. It'd be silly to put it back and wasteful to throw it away, so he stuffed it in his mouth as he jumped down the stairs. He hadn't stolen it - that had been the Anders boy - so he didn't have to feel guilty.
It was possible that mages weren't all bad. But they weren't all good either.
Anders: So you were a templar?
Alistair: Not really; I never took the vows.
Anders: It's not just the vows that make a templar.
Alistair: Skipped out on the lyrium addiction, too.
Anders: Mages don't have that advantage. We can never simply walk away.
Alistair: Would you, if you were able?
Alistair: Were you at the Tower when... you know. Abominations and demons and grrr.
Anders: Uldred's rebellion, you mean? Yes, I was. To a degree - I was in solitary confinement.
Alistair: That was lucky.
Anders: Was it? Seemed more like cruelty to me.
Cousland: You love her/him. Hawke.
Anders: I do. Why?
Cousland: I'm glad for you. And proud.
Anders: Thanks, Mother.
Hawke: Traveling with the King and Queen of Ferelden. Varric will never believe me.
Alistair: I don't believe it, half the time.
Anders: I don't know if that's endearing or horrifying.
Anders: Alistair isn't what I expected, for a templar or for a king.
Cousland: Choose your next words carefully, Anders.
Anders: I meant that in a good way!
Anders: He's sort of adorable, isn't he?
Hawke: You aren't a Warden anymore - Why do are you doing this?
Alistair: For the fresh air?
Hawke: I can't imagine you prefer sleeping on the ground in the rain, eating burnt frogs, picking bugs out of your hair.
Alistair: It isn't easy...
Hawke: You can say that again.
Alistair: ...But Ferelden doesn't need me to do what is easy. It needs me to do what is right.
Have been mailed! I really need to get my lazy ass to a post office to buy more international stamps. But I have all these Forever stamps and the post office is the seventh circle of hell. Ayup.
Carver does not want to hear about it, for Andraste's sake, but that doesn't mean that Tristan doesn't want to talk about it, and when his brother wants to talk, that means that Carver has to hear. Plugging his ears, ordering him to shut his blighted mouth, making an escape out the back door while his brother is distracted, Carver's tried everything to conquer his brother's determination. But at the end of the day, Tristan is older and bigger and Mother likes him best, which means that at two in the morning when Tristan wants to speculate about the blighted Fereldan Warden apostate's love life, Carver's pulled into the conversation as an unwilling participate.
His brother hangs over the edge of their bunk bed like he's twelve and not twice that. "He couldn't have been much older than fifteen, if I'm doing my math right. Seven escapes, one year with the Wardens."
Carver opens his mouth to say that all apostates know how to do is lie, but his brother keeps forging on.
"Seven attempts, Carver. Seven. Maker knows why they didn't just make him tranquil. He should have come to Lothering."
Carver wants to say that the apostate should have drowned himself and saved them all a lot of trouble, and if his brother doesn't mind, it's practically dawn and he'd like to get some sleep before they're yanked back out into the streets for their daily scramble for coin, but his brother's discussion is only meant for one voice.
"Judging by all that grey, Thekla had to be at least forty. You don't think Anders has some sort of older man fetish, do you? Unresolved father issues? How do you think I'd look with a beard?"
Carver doesn't even try to think of a reply to that query. Instead he kicks the underside of his brother's bed so hard that Tristan nearly topples out of it.
Title: Take Away the Lonely Days
Fandom: Dragon Age 2
Author's note: Oh god Anders why won't you love me. Title comes from "Cats and Dogs" by the amazing band Head and the Heart.
She woke up in phases, the red cloudy world clearing slowly and that awful banging in her head like a ogre in a a room full of bells gradually quieting. "Andraste's flaming tits," she swore as she struggled up into a sitting, leaning, tilting position. She touched her head gingerly then frowned at the flakes of dried blood on her fingers.
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The Commander blew out a lazy breath of smoke and stubbed the cigarette into an already over-flowing tray. "All right boys, you know the deal. We're in, we're out, and nobody's the wiser." She tilted back her hat and observed the gang with a cool gaze. "Anders and Nate, you're with me. Sigrun, I want you at the back - Anyone tries to get in, you let 'em know we don't take kindly to interruptions."