Wednesday, June 13, 2018

I don't think I can do this anymore

In many ways stopping posting here is the stupidest thing I could do.  That construction, however, assumes that it's a matter of choice.  I don't think it is.  I don't think I can go on.

Before anyone jumps to all the wrong conclusions:
1) I remind you that I opened up by saying that I was talking about posting here.  If say, I'm giving up, and I think I am, you need not worry for my physical safety.
2) This is the sort of thing where stopping doesn't prevent one from starting again.  Unless blogger gets very angry with me, Stealing Commas will still be here in a week or a month or a year.

When I first tried to write this post I found that I was crying too much to see the words I was typing, and my ragged sobbing breathing was shaking me so much I couldn't hit the right keys anyway.

Every time I've tried to write something about why I don't think I can do this anymore, that threatens to start again.

-

You know how money is always such a stressful and emotional thing for me?  That doesn't have that problem.  The realization just made me laugh.  Thinking about how I'm financially fucked is actually calming right now.  It's cold and clinical and emotionally distant and it doesn't hurt.

What was over a thousand dollars behind is now less than half that ($476.32), but most of the improvement is a result of money that I should be saving for the next major non-monthly bill, so it's one of those things where even if I had every penny needed to pay my bills right this second, I'd still be having problems in perpetuity because I'd be using money meant for the next bill to pay this one.

And you know what: I don't fucking care.  I'm screwed, there's no hope in sight.  Doesn't bother me in the least.

And ideally speaking I'd really want $1351.69 before July 1st (this includes the four hundred and seventy whatever above) which normally would have me all stressed out because deadlines, and if they're not met then deals become retroactively worse and --

I give no shits.

-

So, yesterday I was trying to write a post, and stuff happened, and it went in bad directions, and I stayed up like five hours later than I generally should when I'm one of those people where an hour or two can really fuck me up, and it was about a lot things and I have no idea if I;m making workds right now because I;m holding my eeyes closed to keep myself from crying.

For reasons I wanted to look into what was happening around when I brougje my anckle.  Reslearch and fact checking for the post, basically.

It was a horrible tiume in so many ways.  Trump had just been inaacuyrated, my sister;s children had been taken away, she was dforced from her home, everything wasl failling apart, J had money problems then too.  My computer broke.

i qas so fucking positive about myself and my life..  In the first fifteen days of february I wrote two articles, multiple fiction fragments, a thing about a hypothetical art project I'll never do but it makde me feel good to think about it, and other stuff as well.  (A couple of non-fiction narratives that were utter shit, a meta post that was full of hopr, so on.)

I;d also dome alote of the prep work needed to clean my house,, which I'd been planning on douing for years, and I had so many plans about what I was going to do in the uear to come which, rather unsually for me, were simultaniously realistic and completely within my mental and physical capacity at the time.

then, when I was moving the first bit of stuff grom the room where I;d sorted int a stack of said stuff into the pace where it actually belonged, I slipped on the top step of the basement stairs.  I swear I hit every fucking step on the way down.

When I came to a stop on the basement floor, the pain was absolutely indescriablabe.

Everything changed after that.

It wasn't just that my ankle broke in three places.  It wasn't just being off my hormones for fucking months screwing with my mood, it wasn't just how all of the prepert work I;d done for cleaning instead turned into things that made the mess so much worse when I had to shove everything aside to make paths big enough for crutching around.

It wasn't just how my living space got smaller and smaller as I was unable to do things as simple as pick something up and put it back where it went.

it was that all of that energy and positivity and ability to actually get fucking shit done god damned died.

And I never really realized it, but it's been a year and almost four months now, and I still haven;lt recovered.

Haven't recovered, and don't seem likely to.  Evertthing just gets worse.

So I think I;m just giving the fuck up.  My plan for the rest of today is to grab a bite to eat, go to my bedm curl up, try not to cry, drape some random article of clothing over my eues, shirts and skirts work well, as a makeshift blindfold so the sun bering out wonlt hinder me, and try to fall asleep.  Let darkness take me, make the waking world go fuck off somewhere on itls oen and not god damned bother me.

My plan for tomorrow and after is to survive.  I've always been good a that.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Still here, an introduction to fork theory, and all of the stuff that's hindering my ability to do the things I want to be doing.

My internet was indeed turned back on.  That's good and such and I thought I should let you all know.

Yesterday I got a bunch of food, which is also good because eating is important and I haven't been doing the best job of it given the limited options that I had on hand.

The whole plan to try to get back into writing by starting with really easy stuff hasn't really begun.

At this point fork theory might be a good thing to talk about.

Before I do that, obligatory "Just because I agree with one thing . . ." note:
I have read "The Spoon Theory" and "The Forks Model of Disability" and, so far as I know, nothing else written by the creators of the theory/model/metaphor/things.  My use of their theories should not be taken as an endorsement of their other views, which I don't actually know anyway.


Spoon theory, a model by metaphor of disability and chronic illness, is pretty widely known and widely applicable.  The reason it's called that, for those who don't know the origin story, is that the person who first described it initially did so using actual physical spoons as tactile representations.

The spoons represent the ability to do stuff.  Do a thing, spend a spoon.

They're finite.  When you run out spoons you can't verb anymore.  You're spent.

If one is out of spoons they can't do stuff, if a low-spoon individual doesn't ration spoons carefully they end up fucked over.

Spoon theory has the spoons replenish themselves, usually over time.  So, for example, one might talk about waking up with some number of spoons each day.

The creator of spoon theory, Christine Miserandino, wrote:
I think [spoon theory] isn’t just good for understanding Lupus, but anyone dealing with any disability or illness.
which has proven true and is why it's so widespread and well known.

However, given the wide range of disabilities and illnesses, there are invariably things where modifications could make it better for understanding the specific case in question.

Thus fork theory was born.  (Fork theory was named to compliment spoon theory, and did not involve the use of physical forks as tactile representations at its time of conception.)


Fork theory is for describing situations in which "the ability to do stuff" can be actively replenished.

Much of the time the forks of fork theory are treated just like the spoons of spoon theory in that you need to spend utensils to do stuff, which leaves you with that many fewer utensils and that much less ability to do stuff.

The difference is while spoons are always like that, for example:
Doing X will take three spoons, and then I won't have those three spoons to use on other things.
forks will sometimes work differently, for example:
Doing X will take three forks, but give me five back, so I'll actually be able to do more stuff if I spend the three forks now.
(Worth noting that the two ideas are not mutually exclusive.  A lot of different things go into being able to do things, and it's possible for some act spoon-like while others act fork-like.)

A really good example of a fork-gaining activity is eating when you're low on calories.  If you're not getting enough calories that will both leave you with low energy and fuck with your head, both of which make it harder to do things.  Unlike low energy due to chronic illness, though, there's an extremely straightforward solution: eat.

Given that you probably didn't set out to be undernourished, there's probably complications involved, but if you are somehow able to expend some portion of your limited ability to eat such that you're no longer wanting for calories, you will get back more than you put in.

The spoon theory doesn't really have a way to describe that sort of situation, because that's not the kind of thing it was created to describe.  (Unlike being low on calories, lupus has no cure.)

Anyway, important points from fork theory:

(Let's stick with the "three in / five out" example.)

First off, that requires you to have three to put in.  If you've only got two then the thing that you know would make things better for you and allow you to do more stuff is outside of your ability to do and instead of being beneficial to you in that moment it's more being one of the tortures of Tantalus: exactly what you need, so close you can almost taste it, yet forever out of reach.

Second, it's not always a clear and deterministic as that.  Three in five out seems like and obvious deal to take (we'll get to why that's not true later) but when it is instead, "eh, maybe you'll get five back and end up with two more than you started, or maybe you'll get none and thus have three fewer than when you started," things get more complex.

Then there's the fact that even if the five out is definitely assured, you can't always see that or, if you can see it, you don't always believe it.

In discussions about depression one thing that's come from a lot of people is something that I've come to call the horizon effect (only the barest connection to the AI shortcoming of the same name.)  I don't think I made up the term, I think I adopted or adapted it from someone else.

Anyway, it comes from a visual metaphor.  There are some things you can see, and there are other things that are too far away and thus over the horizon.  A lot of people with depression, myself included, find some things that are close and present enough to influence the decision making of healthy people are hidden over the horizon and out of sight out of mind for us.

So you might see the cost of something (you have to give up three) while the benefit (you'll get five back) is over your personal horizon.  Or you might be well aware of the benefit intellectually, but unable to feel it emotionally.  So what you know "pay three, get five; net gain of two" is canceled out by what you feel "lose these precious three, then . . . all is sadness and loss forever."

And you end up acting on what you're feeling instead of what you know, and thus lose the opportunity to gain some forks.

I do believe we're at the fourth point now, so here goes:

People often prioritize what's important, what's urgent, or both.  Notice that no part of that includes "What will give them enough forks to make it through."

Say you've got four forks and you need to do urgent thing that takes three forks and important thing that takes two forks.

You start with urgent because, you know, it's urgent.  That takes three of your four forks.  You try to do important thing but since you only have one fork left and it needs two, you're screwed.

On the other hand, if you're paying attention to your forks you can do our three in \ five out thing.  You spend three of your four and then get five, making six. (4 – 3 + 5 = 6)  Do urgent thing and you've got three forks left.  (6 – 3 = 3)  Do important thing and you've finished your the stuff that needed to be done and have one fork left over.  (3 – 2 = 1)  Woo!, you win all the things.

Which is to say, the fork model encourages you to prioritize self care.

Finally, thing five: the fork model can be used to describe things that never fill up on their own and thus always require work to get a useful number of.


Really quick oversimplified recap of all that:

Spoons and forks both represent the ability to do things.  Depending on the situation this can be energy or willpower or motivation or . . . anything really.  In order to do things you need to spend spoons or forks.

When you run out, you've lost the ability to do shit.

You start with a given certain amount of spoons and that's all the spoons you'll have to work with until the replenish on their own (which then becomes your new start.)

Forks are things that may or may not self-replenish, but can be actively gained by doing certain things provided you have enough forks to do those things.

Knives are . . . not yet used in any theories I know of.

~ The short SHORT version ~

Or, really short:
  • you start with a set number of spoons and that only goes down as you use them
  • if you have enough forks you can invest them in things that will/may get you more forks

Ok, so now it's time to talk about why I put a massive section on fork theory in the middle of a post that's mostly just here to say that I still have internet and am, unfortunately, not producing stuff.

I know of so fucking many ways that I could gain forks, but I don't seem to have enough forks to do any of them, and it's really god damned frustrating.

Um . . . maybe that's not accurate.  That's how it feels.  I definitely know of some ways I could get more forks but never seem to be able muster the forks to make use of any of those ways.


There's also just stuff that needs to be done that, while I'm able to do it (no spoon or fork problems), takes time.  A pretty big backlog of stuff built up while I was being blah.  The fact that I'm still blah doesn't change that.


And, as I've probably noted somewhere, my depression has been out in force of late.

I could probably write a whole post on that, but I'm not sure it would be of a form that would be worth reading.


Also, money.  I so fucked things up there.

I was so focused on trying to pay down high interest debt while simultaneously not adding to it that I left myself in a situation where I have a bunch of credit but what I really fucking need is cash.

That's not all there was too it, my food money going into limbo played a big role, but if I had been thinking things through properly that could have been completely mitigated.  It was only because I was so focused on one thing and one thing only that it was able to make things as bad as it did.

Oh, and the next non-monthly bill has come around.  I'm now over a thousand dollars behind in getting bills paid.  (Here's a paypal link if you want throw money in my direction.)

Anyway, that all leads to stress, and stress make it hard to write, and thus it goes along with the depression and the lack of forks to explain why I'm not getting much of anything posted to Stealing Commas.


There were probably other things too, but I've spent most of the day trying to make this post and I also had a primary to vote in in the middle of this.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

And then chris the cynic forgot to pay her internet bill

So, as you may recall, I had a problem previously where my internet service was cancelled and I wasn't told it was canceled, and I did all of this crap to try to get it back, only to finally find out it had been cancelled, and then need to set up a new account, and finally need to wait several times longer than they said it would take for a completely unnecessary part to arrive because they refused to turn the service on until Fed Ex (or was it UPS?  Definitely not the postal service) said it they were delivering the part that day.

Anyway, that all happened.

One result of this is that I now have a completely different internet billing cycle I need to get used to.  Combine that fact with recent financial problems*, and you get a bill falling through the cracks.

Which may or may not be why I came home to find that I have no internet.  Paying 

Never mind, it specifically says that the payment I just made will result in service being reinstated, so that's good.

Anyway, what I was going to write was something along the lines of the fact that paying the past due amount was an important step even if the interruption in service was completely unrelated.  (Unlike last time, when it turned out that not paying, ever, would have worked out just as well.)

It says it should take no more than an hour.

We'll see.  These are, after all, the people who told me that, even in the worst of all possible worlds, it would take at the absolute most two days for the . . . completely unnecessary part to arrive.  It wasn't even close to two days.  That wouldn't be so much of a problem except for the fact that they refused to turn my service on until the day of completely unnecessary part's arrival.

So, if I'm gone for a bit, it probably has something to do with all of this.

This post was brought to you by Dunkin' Donuts free wi-fi.


* which I'm still pissed off at myself about because it's like the one time in all of history (well, my history at any rate) that a money problem this big was completely avoidable.  This shouldn't have happened.  If I'd been paying more attention I should have been able to easily avoid it in any of several different ways.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

The shape of things to come (one hopes)

So, everyone who reads this probably knows most of how things currently are, though I still haven't written up a post on the bad news I got on the 16th of last month (which left my emotions in shambles and I don't expect to fully recover from any time soon.)

I'm stressed out, I'm behind on bills by a huge amount (though, I believe, still under a thousand dollars), my depression is coming out to play way too much, and I'm not writing.

That last bit is a really huge deal for me.  Being a storyteller is a part of who I am and when I can't do that it's like part of me is missing.  It's frustrating but that's such a small part of it.  I'm . . . listless, languishing without direction or purpose.  It's like I'm not . . . anything.  I can't put it into words, really.  Which is kind of fucked up given I'm a writer.

And I've been stuck in these fucking doldrums for ages.

So, I have the barest outline of something that might possibly be part of a plan.


Basically, I'm going to try setting everything to easy mode, making full use of cheat codes, and hoping that success will lead to more success, good feelings, getting back into the flow, and such, with the result that at some point I'll be able to function at the higher difficulty levels again

I'm going to go back to my internet roots, sort of, and just do the sort of rewrites and whatnot that no reasonable person would ever publish outside of the comment section.  And then I'm going to publish them here.

I got my start taking scenes from Left Behind and later Twilight, because I was following Fred Clark's decon of the first and Ana Mardoll's decon of the second.  I'm not doing either of those things right now.  (For different reasons: I've fallen out of reading Fred , though I really ought to start again; Ana isn't doing her Twilight decon anymore.)

Things like Skewed Slightly to the Left and Edith and Ben, respectively, are definitely not easy mode things.  Easy mode isn't crafting a coherent narrative of a high quality in opposition to an existing incoherent narrative of low quality, it's more, "Well I would have done this, this, and this differently, which results in this, which is honestly without redeeming characteristics of any kind, but it is at least different from what we all started with."

Easy mode is somewhere between cutting and pasting and adaptation.  A bit more than editing, vaguely related to paraphrasing (they're second cousins) and . . . it's the opposite of being about skill or craft.  (Or originality.)

But, in theory, it's really fucking easy and so should allow words to flow again, and once that starts the hope is that I can then switch back over to the other stuff.


So, as the title of this post suggests, I have some idea of what path this might lead us down.

As noted, I'm not following a decon of Twilight or Left Behind right now.  Nor anything else.

Unfortunately for anyone who is following me, at the moment I've mostly been reading a very specific subgenre of Equestria Girls fanfiction.  Which means that immediate results will probably be alternate versions of fan conceptions of hugely overblown high school angst centered on a unicorn in human form.

Sorry.

For reasons that I don't really understand when my depression flares up I tend to fixate on cartoon fanfiction.  Fighting the fixation would take effort that I already don't have and threaten make the "Start writing again" plan fail before it even got started.

That said, . . . one last section:


If the goal is to use really easy stuff to help me get to a place where I can do the normal stuff (and perhaps even the hard stuff), and it is, then the plan should eventually include things no longer being governed by a given fixation, which it does.

Returning to wholly original stories is probably the last step simply because there's absolutely no scaffold to hold me up there, before that, though, if things go well there ought to be a point where I'm not stuck on this one narrow topic.  Of course I plan to return to things like Twilight and Left Behind and Narnia, but I was also thinking that maybe I should branch out into new areas.

The Horse and His Boy (the Narnia book Ana just finished her decon of) was heavily inspired by One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights) which is basically an anthology.  A bunch of short stories that can be grabbed for free online because of numerous public domain English translation.  That's sort of the perfect thing for someone who's trying to find her voice again by retelling existing stories in her own accent.

It occurs to me that that أَلْف لَيْلَة وَلَيْلَة is hardly the only collection of short fiction that's easily available for free online (nor does short fiction need to be in collections), and so perhaps people might possibly have recommendations for things I might do rewrites of when I've left the "just going with the flow of the current fixation" stage.

If so, please do share these recommendations, though I make no promises about anything.  It's by no means sure that this plan, such as it is a plan, will actually work.  How things go three or four stages down the line is equally unclear.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Aspirant on why he can beat Dee [and various non-story notes] (super-people)

[This was originally posted to my Patreon as an early access thing for the $5 tier.  It wasn't meant to be 1 year, 3 months, and 24 days early, but I've been kind of crap about moving stuff here, especially the things I intended to polish before posting here.]
[Aspirant and Dee previously appeared in Evil has standards, which happens to be the story of how this particular villian and hero (respectively) ended up on good terms with each other.]

"What is it?" Aspirant asked.

"Nothing," Dee said.

"Ok, that idea that all villains are socially inept is totally untrue," Aspirant said.  "I can read people just fine, thank you very much." He paused.  "Mind you there's a sizable contingent who think that makes me weird, so there may be a kernel of distorted truth behind the idea.

"Anyway, I can tell something is wrong," Aspirant said.

"I lost again," Dee said.

"As well you should have," Aspirant said.  "I'm older, wiser, bigger, and stronger.

"Strength we can work on, I've no doubt that by the time you're my age the wisdom gap will have long since closed, getting older will happen whether you want it to or not, so the only thing that's a real concern is 'bigger'.

"I think you're growth spurted out, kid," Aspirant said, "so unlike the other things you'll never be my equal on that one.  It just means you need to have a fighting style that takes into account some opponents having a longer reach.

"You're already fast, and that's good.  It'll help you quickly move through the area where I can hit you but you can't hit me, thus leaving less time your size puts you at a disadvantage."

Dee nodded, though she didn't seem to really believe it.

"Think about it like how you got hits in on the regular henchpeople.  Not only did most of them have a longer reach than you empty handed, they were using staves that increased their reach even more.  It's never been a problem for you there.

"Also, it's not like you lose every time.  Far from it.  So, are you ready for more practice?"

Dee nodded again, this time it seemed completely serious.


I need to figure out who Dee's villains will be, because she'll be staying on friendly terms with Doctor Galvah's lair (plus if she routinely fought them she'd run into Kelley more than preferable) but she will also be sticking with the hero lifestyle.

This does not present a conflict of interest because she's not trying to thwart Doctor Galvah, and any other villains she does thwart are effectively the Doctor's competition.

I really like the idea of a hero (part of the reason Aspirant is training Dee is so she can step out of the sidekick role without being overwhelmed) who is friends with a group of villains, spends significant time hanging out in their lair, gets mentored by them, and never wavers from being a hero.

It helps that Galvah wants to take over the world for essentially altruistic reasons.  Dee disagrees that that's the correct way to go about enacting sweeping policy changes, but she doesn't disagree with the policy changes themselves.

Some policy changes proposed when Galvah rules the world:

No one goes hungry, college is free for everyone, healthcare, including dental, is free for everyone, everyone receives a food card that refills with money on a monthly basis (the money is 10% more than what is determined to be necessary to eat well for that month), housing for all, unless they don't want it [some people are homeless by choice], protection to all regardless of race / religion / gender (including non-cis gender identity) / sexuality / ethnicity / nationality (nations will still exist as local governments, elected of course) / language / accent / fetish / so forth.

More stuff like that.  Basically raising the floor from "rock bottom" to "A decent standard of living, if nothing spectacular, and then giving individuals access to what they need to leave that status if they so desire


Added since Patreon:

I've actually thought up a couple more events for the relationship between Aspirant and Dee.

Given how much of my super-person stuff so far has involved romantic relationships or the possibility thereof it seems strangely necessary to point out that the relationship between them is purely a friendship one (friendship which has a bit of Aspirant as mentor figure mixed in.)

Neither would even consider viewing the other romantically, and if anyone brought it up to one, the possibility would be quickly dismissed.

Anyway, other events.  Both involve Aspirant giving equipment to Dee.

Aspirant fights with his hands and the magic he can call up to encase them, but he does actually have an Enochian-magic infused staff like the henchpeople.  It's been sitting in the back of a closet gathering dust for years, but it's there and it works.

At some point in her hero career, Dee is going to have difficulties of a sort that cause Aspirant to conclude Dee would be helped a great deal if she adopted some kind of weapon  (not necessarily as a primary thing, but always brought along in case the situation called for it.)

When he attempts to describe what kind of weapon would best fill this role and complement Dee's style, he's going to make it as far as, "Something like--" before getting the idea and running off to dig his old magic staff out of whatever closet it's been collecting dust in.

The other thing is actually planned in advance and is more of a gift from the whole lair that Aspirant happened to be the one to present.  It's a pair of shoes.

When walls are available Dee makes use of them in her fighting & running away style.  What she can do, however, was limited by the less than stellar grip provided by the outsoles of her old shoes.  While the gift-shoes in question will have spectacular grip, they'll come with the warning "They're not parkour shoes.  If you assume they're parkour shoes you'll get hurt.  Maybe break something."

The specific way they differ is in the arches, which are made of hard composite material that is as low friction as possible.  Their purpose is to allow Dee to grind/slide on edges, pipes, or rails and thus increase her movement possibilities.  (To do this she needs to be facing perpendicular to the thing being grinded on, otherwise the non-arch parts would touch and their stellar grip would cause Dee's feet to stop while the rest of her kept going.)

If Dee ever gives to any of the people in the lair it won't be stuff they can use to further "take over the world" plots.  Not thwarting Dr. Galvah doesn't go against being a hero because no hero thwarts every single person with a "take over the world" plot.*  Helping said plots, however, would.  The villainous side doesn't have that problem because in her hero-life Dee is taking on and taking down their competition.

~

* Dee is simply prioritizing the thwarting of villains who aren't her friends and hanging out with friends in her non-hero downtime.

Also, even if she hadn't made connections with those at the lair, Dee would still prioritize many other villains over Dr. Galvah given that she now knows that Galvah's intended ends are, you know, cuddly.  Dee disagrees with the means, and plenty of non-Galvah villains have roughly equivalent means in mind while their intended ends are a good deal less appealing.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Stuff and things and such (a meta post)

§
Thing the first:

I've finally actually gone with Ana's idea of posting Edith and Ben to my Patreon so that it will have content.  As I'm doing that I've been updating (spelling, punctuation, formatting, stuff) the Stealing Commas versions of the relevant posts as well.  As such these posts have, in theory, been brought into line with the current formatting standard for the blog* and checked for errors:
  • Ben's Intro -- Ben's equivalent of Bella's preface
    • posted October 7th, 2011
  • And so it begins -- From the very beginning to leaving for Forks
    • posted January 22nd, 2013
  • Summers by the Sea -- Why Ben hasn't been in Forks for three years
    • posted October 30th, 2011
I encourage anyone to and everyone to take a look.  If you have anything to say about the substance, please comment on the actual story's page.  If you catch some kind of error (spelling, grammar, formatting, attacking space monkeys) I'd prefer that be pointed out in the comments to this post, though it isn't required.

That out of the way,

Five years and four months later and I still haven't merged "Summers by the Sea" into "And so it begins".  For the post on Patreon I just cut and pasted "Summers by the Sea" in, but there's a reason I haven't done that here with a footnote saying that the three paragraphs in question were originally part of an earlier thing called "Summers by the Sea"

Keeping them separate, with a link saying "this other bit goes in this gap" is a way to know that I haven't done the editing for consistency of tone and whatnot that comes with merging two things, written years apart, into one.

I completely forgot that I hadn't done that work, but seeing today that "And so it begins" has that link in the middle of it made me remember.  So it's going to stay that way until I do that work.

§
Thing the second:

I really do want to write something new, but I'm having real troubles with composing anything, and it's entirely possible that when I do manage to write something it won't be the sort of thing anyone has ever come here in hopes of reading.

Moving stuff from Patreon has me thinking about my super-people 'verse a bunch.  I'm going to throw that into "Thing the third:".

I've been thinking a lot about math lately.

I've recently been considering writing about changes I would make to the world given the power to do so, probably divided into two series, one would be "When I rule the world" where I would go on about the things that excite everyone such as the tax code and social welfare programs, the other would be "When I am corporate overlord" which would be more about things implemented within the context of a business.

I have so fucking many works in progress.  Derivative and original.  I want to get back to all of them.

And yet . . .

And yet for all of this crap I could be writing, I'm having so much trouble committing actual words to any of it.  And that sucks

§
Thing the third:

Some super-person universe things:

I left off Corv's team with a story in progress, I made the prologue to a story of the de-petrification of the character Ge, and never got around to writing any regular parts of it.  (At first it's Des' story as she returns to her team and attempts to translate what she witnessed in the prologue into actually freeing Ge, once Ge is de-petrified it becomes both of their stories.)

There are also various things that are more isolated moments than story that I have in mind.  Like when Labdiela is worried because Heaven never offered courses on "How not to have your angelic strength break frail fragile humans during sex" and, after getting referred to her by Page, ends up talking to Des about such matters.  (Which lets me touch on anti-sex-demon bigotry in the Fractured Plain region of Hell.

And most of the heroes I've written in that universe are part of a particular subset of hero-teams that probably doesn't even encompass a majority.  Pent, who has appeared only in one work, which was so fragmentary the only thing anyone actually got out of it was that Seegserd served tea,, is the only A-lister I've written.

((Though those like Des' team have a different definition of A-list which would place Corv and her team on it.))

Charles would have been an A-lister, would have been the A-lister, but he predates any and all such lists.

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Thing the fourth:

I am almost entirely sure there was supposed to be something here because I seem to recall planning on having three things back before I knew I'd write enough about the super 'verse to split it off into its own thing instead of being a part of "Thing the second".

No idea what it would have been though.

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* I am so tempted to go on a crusade to change the short form of "weblog" from the last four letters (blog) to the first four letters (webl) which would be pronounced "web-L or "webel" and thus not sound like someone trying to onomatopoeia a pre-vomit heave.

Yes, I do know that such a crusade would convince precisely zero people and thus serve no purpose, but "blog" just has this nasty sound that makes me think of the unpleasantness of acid reflux.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Character bio: The knights Errant and Erratic

[Originally posted at Patreon where it was one of my first posts of any kind.]
[They haven't been in much of anything, though their teammate Page was featured drinking coffee here.  (Note to Luke Cage fans: actually drinking actual coffee.)]

Identical twins with no tragic backstory, the two are nigh inseparable.  When they stumbled into the super-life in their teens they found that they took to it naturally.  The fact they'd both been taking karate classes for a decade helped, so did the fact they'd been taking ballet classes for even longer.

By this time teen teams were well established, and so they were placed with three other locals of about the same age, supplied with resources to reduce the likelihood of serious injury, and given guidance when required.

One of their members, who was quickly elected leader, had already chosen his hero-name of  “Paladin ”.  Errant and Erratic looked for names that would match, and when Erratic learned that “Knight Erratic” was an actual term (meaning the same thing as “Knight Errant”) their names were decided.

The other two members of the team, Squire and Page, followed suit in choosing knightly names.  What began as a teen team has remained even after they aged into adulthood.  They defend their city and have no global aspirations.

Errant tends to be more conventional and more likely to stick to set rules and procedures, however he also lets his sister lead.  She proudly chose the name “Erratic” for herself.

Errant defaults to an unemotional serious, Erratic to laid back fun, but both have the problem that slights they'd ignore when directed at themselves will set them off when directed at someone they care about.

The most extreme example of this is if someone claims that Errant is not a “real” man due to his biology.  Errant will take the insult without comment.  Erratic will be enraged.  Often a quiet but extremely dangerous rage.  It should be noted that Errant doesn't think Erratic is over-reacting.  If the situation were reversed he'd feel the exact same way.

Squire can generally talk Erratic down, and --even if she doesn't-- Paladin is the leader.  He tends to be extremely lackluster in ordering Erratic to show restraint in such situations, but he does order it none the less.

Errant is straight guy.

Erratic is an omni-flirtatious asexual aromantic woman.

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I, uh, haven't figured out their race or ethnicity yet.