Section One: Novels: WHY ARE THERE MULTIPLE ENTRIES HERE, DAMMIT?
Many of you know that I've got one fully written but unpublished novel up under lock and filter already: Running In Her Veins, which is a classic gothic horror story (please do not confuse classic gothic and goth) about a kidnapped girl whose kidnappers claim to be protecting her from her biological father -- the head of an order of immortal demon-bound assassins.
( A Stain Upon His HandsCollapse )
I'm really bad at summaries, and that one doesn't sound half as interesting to me as the work itself does, but at the moment I can't find better words. There's blood magic, unresolved sexual tension, and morally ambiguous immortals having shirtless swordfights, okay? One chapter is up and posted under lock and filter, viewable by request. (All of these are viewable by request unless I note otherwise -- let me know if you're interested, and I'll add you to the filter and show you where to find it.
( The Hellion PrinceCollapse )
Then there's the newest project: ( The Knight of the StarCollapse )
( Mutilation of the HermaiCollapse )
( TumulusCollapse )
Projects on the Back Burner
Too numerous to get into. I'll get into it anyway, but not in this post.
ETA: Gotten into here and here.
Request 1: Persona 3
I'd like to see what happened in between Persona 3 FES & Persona 4 Arena, with a special emphasis on the ladies of SEES. If you chose a FeMC route, Shinjiro, too.
I’m especially invested in/curious about Mitsuru, Fuuka, & Aigis; but the story could focus on as many or as few of them as you like. Chihiro would be a nice bonus!
Request 2: Otoyomegatari | The Bride's Stories
Either 1) Shippy fluff with Amira & Karluk, preferably set somewhere after their current troubles have been resolved; or 2) How Smith wins his bride back? If there are additional Great Game shenanigans, that's a plus.
In case you’re not familiar with it, the Great Game is detailed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_G
Request 3: Scott Pilgrim (Comics)
All I want from life is a where-are-they-now 80s-movie-ending coda, showing as many of the cast as possible a few years later.
Ramona, Knives, Kim, & Wallace are the characters I’m most interested in, but I do love the whole cast, so I’m not very picky.
Request 4: Gentleman Bastard Sequence - Scott Lynch
Pre-TLOLL, anytime from age 7-21, Nazca & Locke (and the Gentleman bastards, optionally) getting into trouble together.
What it says on the tin. I like caper stories and I adored what little we saw of Nazca & Locke’s friendship. I’ve read Republic of Thieves, so feel free to draw from there as well.
Overall, I guess I’m not really picky this year. I prefer dialogue and action to vignettes and introspection; I like to see the details of the world around the characters, and I have a great love of banter and shenanigans and capers, which I think nearly any of these requests could lend themselves to. Ideally I want a fluffy story, mostly gen unless it’s Bride’s Stories but with plenty of shipping welcome as long as it isn’t the focus, and an ensemble cast of active characters pursuing their goals in creative ways.
Thank you so much for writing for me.
This entry was originally posted at http://matt-doyle.dreamwidth.org/833474.h
Revising Running In Her Veins continues apace. I'm still stuck at the 75% mark in Hellion Prince. I've had a few other novelistic impulses in the last few days, like The B Team, my garage-band superhero notion; and I'm having all kinds of feels about Steve Brust's suggestions on playing with structure.
So far this year, I've written 30,000 words, which isn't terrible, but it's about 25% of where I wanted to be. Maybe i'll try to pick up a NaNoWriMo project this year.
That's all I've got at the moment. Hopefully, I'll have more to say soon.
This entry was originally posted at http://matt-doyle.dreamwidth.org/833064.h
You didn't know I had a YouTube channel? Well, that would be because I started it earlier this year and, er, forgot to mention it. Honestly, I think it's worth watching just for the expansion and contraction of my facial hair from video to video, but there are also frequent cameos from my cat, readings from novels, and a song I wrote. Oh, and my impression of Kaworu from Neon Genesis Evangelion participating in a rap battle.
It's pretty clear between the meandering subjects and the terrible production values that I don't really know what I'm doing on YouTube, yet, but I'll probably continue to noodle around there until I do. After all, it can't be worse than my first 12 livejournal posts....
This entry was originally posted at http://matt-doyle.dreamwidth.org/832953.h
And all along, I've wanted to go back for a higher degree. I just haven't seen a practical way to achieve that goal.
Well. One of my local universities has both a master's program and a doctoral program in literature. I can't pick and choose between schools the way I'd like to - doing that pushes my goal of a higher degree unseeably further into the future. But I can pursue a master's degree in 2014 or 2015 right here, and get started. It's not an ideal path, but it's an achievable one. Tuition is reimbursed for TAs and the stipend they tack on on top of that would make grad school frankly the most lucrative career choice I've ever considered.
There is, of course, a catch. In my last undergraduate semester, I was unable to take out the loans I needed to cover all of my tuition. That means that at the present moment, I still owe $4600 directly to my alma mater, so they won't release transcripts to me, which means I can't apply. At current irregular rates of income it would be between five or ten years before I could save enough to pay my current bills and still pay that down.
So I'm asking for help. My debt to my college, GRE costs, application fees, and miscellaneous student activity fees at my school of choice total at $6035, and I'm trying to raise that money through... well, through asking friends, family, and kind-hearted strangers to offer me money. In the last ten days I've already moved a staggering 10% of my way to that goal, more than I'd ever hoped... enough to bring me at least a year closer to that dream, but not enough yet to get me there by 2014 or 2015.
So I'm asking all of you, too. Here is my gofundme page. If you can spare even ten or twenty dollars, you'll be giving me a gift I will never forget. I feel audacious and ashamed even to ask for this, but as far as I can tell, I've exhausted other viable options (the head of financial aid at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and I had a long talk about it -- she's a great lady, very professional and very funny, and she returns her phone calls promptly, but even she didn't have any constructive suggestions for me -- and her office was hardly the first place I've called).
Why should you donate to me? Well, maybe you shouldn't. But I'm passionate about literature and the study of it. I've (almost) always done quite well at school. If you help me, I won't disappoint your expectations. I will live my life and pursue my career fiercely and gratefully. When an opportunity comes to help someone the way so many people have already helped me, I will take it (actually, that's true whether or not you give me a dime. I'm already committed to the notion of crowdfunding education as a viable supplemental thing, better than more loans by a longshot). I've also promised that, by request, I'll write short fiction for any and all donors at 5 cents a word. Donate $10 and you get a couple drabbles. $50 and you get 1,000 words, and so on. You can commission me as specifically as you'd like and I'll do my best to deliver.
I can't really offer a lot of incentives other than that. Pictures of my cat, maybe. My undying goodwill.
I've got a dream. I'll get to it on my own, someday.
I'd like your help so that I can get there sooner.
ETA: My writing is over here if anyone’s wondering how worthwhile commissioning me might be!
This entry was originally posted at http://matt-doyle.dreamwidth.org/832759.h
Mostly, after three days of constantly humming it, I want recommendations of other tunes by deep-voiced bluesmen that will drive it out of my head.
(Yes, I know it's categorized as country and not blues, but as genres go, I prefer blues. Indulge me?)
This entry was originally posted at http://matt-doyle.dreamwidth.org/832326.h
No profound essays today, but I'm still here, still intending to stick around.and keep posting. My profound thoughts today are all centered around the notion that two Italian kids with no money seemed to be able to compile as much data on the Soviet space program as the entire apparatus of NASA did. I'm a touch skeptical, given the source, but it's an interesting tale.
Second, have the unexpected delight of the Red Army Choir singing 'Sixteen Tons'. I've been doing some reading lately on Russia & the USA's political relationship, currently and historically, and so I find this especially substance-rich. How much common ground is there between what the song means to me and what it means to them? How vast is the distance in perspective between the unshared grounds?
This entry was originally posted at http://matt-doyle.dreamwidth.org/832034.h
First of all I want to emphasize that the panel discussions were good at Fourth Street. I think someone described the experience as a postgraduate seminar for literary fantasy nerds, and that's not wrong. They were enthusiastic, opinionated, well-informed, receptive to the audience, never once bent on self-promotion and in fact very shy to draw on their own works by way of example... they guided discussion and questions by the audience rather than dictating to us or lecturing us.
It was f***ing brilliant.
And as I also noted, they were exceptionally gracious and did not mind being corrected. For which I am thankful, because if it were otherwise, I would never have had the nerve to sass the august assembly.
The particular panel was a discussion of the journey in fantasy, with an emphasis on the aftermath, and what the heroes bring home with them, and how that is significant to the worldbuilding and development.
In passing, Lord of the Rings was mentioned, and dismissed as a series in which 'what you bring home with you' was not significant.
At which point my hand shot up and I began compiling notes. The audience was very active, so waiting my turn took the better part of half an hour. The discussion had moved on, and I almost let it go.
But, dammit, they were wrong. I have poked numerous holes in Tolkien's masterwork on this blog before, but the man worked with deliberation and finesse and this was something he knew about, and something he illustrated beautifully. So, by the time I was called on, what i had was less a correction and more of a manifesto.
Bilbo brought home the Ring, for starters. I mean, seriously. He brought home enough gold and silver to have a measurable effect on the economy of Hobbiton, but he was a parsimonious investor (it lasted him more than sixty years) and he was rich already, so let's pass by that. He brought home a mithril coat, a significant enough cultural artifact that it was put in a museum.
Gandalf, world traveler, brought fireworks to the Shire. He seemed to be their only source. He was also a primary factor in the export of pipe-weed to other nations. He reportedly took with him many young and adventurous hobbits, and while we do not see their impact on the world outside of the monumental developments they're instrumental in in Lord of the Rings, well, it's still something. But Gandalf's return journeys aren't primarily what we're concerned with, but rather, the return of others from journeys he instigated or facilitated. It is worth noting, however, that he brought Saruman's attention to the Shire, so Saruman being "brought home" is the result of a journey's aftermath, and critically shaped the society and economy of the place.
Frodo brought home a severe case of PTSD, resulting in his inability to remain in the Shire, ending a dynasty of Bagginses.
Sam brought home a number of invasive elven species of flora which, we are told, flourished in the area.
Merry and Pippin brought home a new respect for militarization from Gondor and Rohan, which was instrumental in ousting Saruman's regime, and whose effects clearly lasted, as we're told in the appendices. Hobbits becoming invested in their own border defense is a big deal. I believe we're also told that their heirs kept the Ent-draught tallness their parents acquired? So that's a legacy of sorts too, a congenital conditions whose effects would be visible through generations.
Aragorn brought home to Gondor a lasting elven alliance & intermarriage, restored Numenorean traditions and knowledge and style of rule, replanted the Tree... he revolutionized the nation because of the things he brought from his lifetime of journeying.
Legolas & Gimli brought home a renewed interest in peace, understanding, and cultural exchange between their peoples. Aglarond & Lorien, friendly nations in proximity to one another, were surely greatly affected by this one friendship that resulted from the aftermath of a journey.
In short, everything we see after the fall of Mordor falls under the heading of "what they bring home with them," and the cavalier dismissal of Lord of the Rings as a source of material for discussion was a grave oversight.
... I got a lot of laughs with the "invasive elven species of flora" line especially, although really, I wasn't joking. This provoked a later discussion, post-panel, of whether or not magical beneficial plants could be considered invasive species, but I don't recall the details, although Megan might.
Your thoughts, my friends?
This entry was originally posted at http://matt-doyle.dreamwidth.org/831636.h