Quick Update on Lacrimosa Chapter 6 (and maybe 7…)

I know I’ve already passed my self-setted deadline for chapter 6, and if anyone is following my site (OvO!) I must say, “Thank you and I’m sorry!”  It’s been extremely hectic this month of September.  A large project at work that was handled by someone else was suddenly dropped onto me and my co-worker’s lap because she left, and unfortunately the original project manager was terrible at her job.  Which meant there were a lot of little pieces that I had to piece together with my co-workers.  Then we went out and trained 5 days in a row a full-day training, and I was 50% on the full-day.  I’m still recovering from such an exhausting task, and I still have 2 presentations this week before I can finally take a breather.  In any case, chapter 6 is complete, and Espaa had edited it, but I simply didn’t have a chance to put in the edits and re-read and clean it up.  I might be able to update next week if I’m not too exhausted, otherwise I might have to wait until October….

Also, I didn’t even BEGIN chapter 7 yet.  I’m not sure if I can update in time for October, or it might be pushed to November.  Depending on how well my mind would be writing chapter 7, and it’s a more complex chapter so I might want to spend some time with it.  In any case, my apologies for not updating yet, and thank you to all that are reviewing and watching my site. Please give me a little bit more time and I promise I’ll update soon!  ^___^

Consolidating the blog

I kept getting notification from my web hosting’s automatic script installation thing that I need to update my WordPress and other instances. Getting curious, I looked at my installation, only to find that I actually have an Illuminatia blog. Which is very like, “… huh?” since I’m using WordPress as my site CMS now. Then I realized that I had, at one point, using plain HTML design for my site (with table design, too, how horrid,) which makes sense with a blog instance. This site has been through so much (and so little) because I never found a good direction to the site, the poor thing had been tear apart, put together, and abandoned for too many times. I’m just glad that the site is in good shape now, and even though there are still a lot of sections I want to work on (and have no time), at least it’s clean and place holders are in place. So I’ve imported the posts from the abandoned blog instance, and will probably clean up with a feature image or something to make it more consistent with the rest.

Graceland, anyone? [yaoi rant]

Every summer I’m always thrilled to be watching a lot of new seasons or new shows, and this summer, USA has a brand new show called Graceland.  Different than its usual light-hearted, “mini-missions in every episode and every season has one gigantic mission” style (i.e. Burn Notice, Necessary Roughness, etc.), Graceland is more focused on the larger missions and not so many random mini-missions, which tie the story plot quite well together.  The dark tone in the story surrounding drugs, murder, conspiracy, only made the show more appealing to drama-junkie like me.

HOWEVER! (And no, this is NOT a TV show review post!)  If you have been following the show like me, you’d know that the story involve Mike Warren, a freshly graduated FBI agent, training with Paul Briggs, a seasoned and sketchy yet super intelligent FBI agent.  I had the inkling since the first episode with the tension (and of course there would be tension, why wouldn’t there?!) between Mike and Briggs.  It’s all good and makes the drama nice… until the last couple of episodes, where I seriously sit up and go…

Really, there has GOT to be some Briggs x Mike fans out there!!! C’mon!!! lol

The sexual tension between those two seriously hightened during the episode where Mike got knifed by Jangles, and the whole part of Mike’s CO fearing how he has fallen under the “seductive spell of Briggs”.  I know it’s just very nice dialogue, but my yaoi otaku mind just kept going to possibilities of Mike developing feelings for Briggs.  What surprised me even more is that this is the very first time I’m having a yaoi otaku moment for a TV show!  I usually shy away from real people things, sticking to video game and anime/manga, but I really want some Briggs/Mike ficcie now!!!! (No, that don’t mean I”ll write it, heh…)

Anyone has any suggestions on Briggs/Mike ficcie?  Or, if you’ve seen the show, do you feel the same or am I just crazy? LOL

Lacrimosa – Fifth Movement

Chapter 5 is out~! And super excited!  My first hetero lemon scene… woot! lol And it was quite interesting when, in the middle of re-reading chapter 1-4 (so I can keep the continuity of the story) and editing chapter 5 that I found I have an “as” problem (get it? get it? Aww, fine…)  I think this might have stem from my English-learning days, so I really made sure I avoided using too many “as”.  And I also tried to make the language a bit concise, which, by my standards, means 2 sentences were shaved off… ^^;;;;;;

It’s been super busy this month!  I’ve been sooo exhausted after coming home that it was difficult to write, but I managed.  It also helped that I’m a bit ahead of the game, so posting several days early makes me feel good. ^^  We have a couple of large projects implementing next month, so this month have been trying to put everything together.  It’s challenging, but I’m having a lot of fun.  We also moved and my cube is spacious and comfortable, so going to work is fun everyday.  You know what they say – do what you love, and before my previous job I didn’t know how how true that was, but now I know and it’s absolutely fantastic. >w<

What’s kind of funny this month was that during lunch one day I decided to walk to the strip mall near work to get Jamba Juice and walk back, trying liquid-fasting for a day since mom and I had Korean BBQ the night before, and voila, the FF13-2/Dissidia fic idea is born!  And while it’s just a rough sketch in my head now, it was quite solid sketch so I know I’m definitely writing it after Lacrimosa is done.  I guess that puts another meaning on how exercise is good for you… LOL!  The story won’t be as complex as Lacrimosa (at least not in its current stage); it’ll be more straightforward storytelling.  That is, until my muses decided to run amok and completely change the direction (just like they did for this fic lol), so don’t hold me to that. ^_~  There are also a couple of one-shot spin-offs of Lacri that’s twirling in my head, so that would be an interesting side quest for me as well.

Note about Lacrimosa

One of the reviewers on Fanfiction.net has pointed out something that I feel warrants a little bit of ink on the website.  Long story short, she feels that it is unfathomable that Serah can behave the way she did in my story, and that the fic is sloping down to a Serah-bashing fic.  This is what she wrote in her review for chapter 4:

I’m saying this as one writer to another, since I can tell that you’re mature enough about writing to handle this information. As an author, you reserve rights to write about any subject that crosses your mind, and by all means, please do. But I also think that as an author sharing their work with the general public, you have to consider what your audience wants to see and what they don’t. You made it very clear in your opening that you have a negative opinion of Serah as a character. That’s fine. There’s characters that I can’t stand too- that Chocobo lady in FFXIII-2 that sells you stuff, for starters 😛

I’ll say up front that I ship Snow/Light under proper circumstances (otherwise, I wouldn’t be here, right? :D) and that I’m not Serah’s biggest fan, since she’s kind of minor and not as interesting as others. But the whole time I’ve been reading this, it’s been bothering me that this story is descending more and more into a hatefic and/or a “die-for-my-ship” fic. I was holding on after the last chapter with the hope that the pink-haired girl responsible for Lightning’s “situation” was going to be Lumina, the new evil!Serah from Lightning Returns, or at least a random pink-haired someone that was more likely to be behind a plot like that. But clearly that wasn’t the case.

You’re allowed to take certain liberties with characters when you write fanfiction, and for the sake of this pairing you have to meddle a bit in existing relationships…but for the life of me, I simply cannot comprehend a world where Serah hates her sibling so much that she would wish rape on her. Maybe the two of us got different impressions about her from playing the FFXIII series, but the way I see it, it’s just not in her at all. It’s pretty much the extreme, polar-opposite of the Serah we see searching for and helping “onee-chan” for all of FFXIII-2, isn’t it? I could understand loneliness and maybe even pent-up frustration and jealousy, sure, but outright hatred? Of a young woman who practically raised you, fed you, put a roof over your head, and sacrificed her own happiness, without ever asking to be repaid? Nope. I don’t see it, and it’s impossible for me to suspend that disbelief when I’m reading this. And I don’t think I’m the only one that feels this way, but I know from experience that reviewers are surprisingly quiet about things they don’t like in fanfiction. So I wanted to say it just for that sake of it being said.

While I do think her comments were made prematurely, given the fact that the story has not been complete yet, I can see where she’s coming from.  I also believe that if one person feels strongly enough to write a review about it, there is at least 20-40 other readers have thought about it.  Therefore, I decided to share my response to her here:

That being said, I do want to address your comment regarding my interpretation of Serah. I do understand your frustration and disbelief of why Serah is behaving that way – in fact, that is exactly what I want my readers to feel as they go on this journey with Lightning and Snow. I can understand why you feel this fic is going into a Serah-bashing fic; I probably gave the wrong impression by prefacing it in my first chapter when I mentioned that I didn’t care for Serah as a character. However, let me assure you that there is a reason I am portraying Serah the way I am, and it is not for bashing purposes. For plot line purposes, I don’t want to reveal my reasoning behind my Serah interpretation, so I hope you understand. In addition, as each chapter begins with the warning, this fic does NOT take FFXIII-2 into consideration whatsoever at all, and considering Serah has probably 10 minutes out of an 80-hour game, she actually is open for interpretation if you do not think about her at all from FFXIII-2. There is an inkling of my theory on the evil!Serah already in chapter 2, and will have more in chapter 5, but I’m trying to be subtle until I reveal it later in the story.

While I do hope that you can continue on the journey with me and let me know how you feel once everything is revealed, I understand if you wish to say goodbye to this fic. Again, thank you for your candid comments that brought some things to my attention, and I appreciate your constructive criticism wholeheartedly.

I decided to put the exchange on here so it’s out in the open (especially since I couldn’t openly respond on FF.net, heh).  I know my skills as a writer isn’t as sharp as I’d like to be, where the weaving of different clues can be done elegantly and properly, but I am using this fic to try to hone my skills.  This is also the first time I’m trying to achieve such depth and continuity in the story that I have not previously attempted.  In a way, I feel somehow accomplished for this reviewer to feel so baffled by the evil!Serah, since that meant I did my job.  I simply hope that when all is said and done and the story comes to an end, my readers can feel that I did a somewhat decent job on trying to accomplish what I wanted to.  We’ll certainly see about that. 😉

Thanks for letting me rant! ^_^

Lacrimosa – Fourth Movement

Finally, an update on Lacrimosa! Whee!!  Espaa’s computer finally returned, but it took her nearly a week to edit this ficcie.  It also didn’t help that the length is equivalent to a chapter and a half at 14k words, which shocked me to no end.  The file was so big that I had to cut it into two for Deviant Art or it wouldn’t let me post… LOL!  But it’s up, and chapter 5 is under beta right now, but I think I will stick to the monthly update schedule since chapter 6’s muse bunny is nowhere to be seen.  I have a feeling that Snow took pity on poor Lightning from all the drama and took her away on vacation without letting me know… But hopefully this weekend I can at least have an outline done for the chapter to begin writing next week.

Work has been getting better, thankfully.  Got a great news that this co-worker I really don’t like because of her work ethics and quality is leaving, and my boss recognize my hard work.  We are also moving and I am already in love with my new cubicle, as long my boss doesn’t change her mind before we move… heh.  I will have an actual wall to hang art work, which would be super nice. >w<  It will also mean more privacy and bigger working space for me to abuse, so I am definitely looking forward to the move, heehee.

As SE releases more Lightning Returns clips and art, it’s making my muse bunnies jump like crazy.  It’s so hard to resist think of snippets (which Espaa has been encouraging me to write it down… not helping!) different scenarios based on what was released, especially when tension rise between Snow and Light.  I am secretly hoping that SE will see how Light and Snow are meant to be together and make that happen in FF13-3, but somehow I doubt that.  It’s kinda disappointing that Hope went back to his 14-year-old self again, though.  And that Miq’ote dress that Light wears?! ZOMGWTFBBQLOL!!!!!  Can’t wait for the game. *giggles*

Have been taking a break for the past two weeks from writing, but now that chapter 4 is up and running, I think my internal laziness has been sated and I can get back to writing some more.  I need to start jotting down ideas for some one-shots for Lacrimosa…. There are so many things that I can think of, but I’m trying to weed them out and tame myself.  The fact that I have somewhat of a beginning idea for a FFXIII/Dissidia: 012 cross-over (somewhat… can that even be called cross-over when the whole GAME is a freaking cross-over?!) fic interfering with this fic… Not helping! Not helping!  And I wanna try AU with Snow and Light… GAH!!  LOL  Just hope that I can sort out all the crazy ideas in my head and write them down to see if it’ll get anywhere…. Heh.

Woes of beta computer

Just a quick update… My dear beta Espaa emailed and said that she ordered a laptop, which would arrive on the 9th, hopefully. In the time waiting for chapter 4 revision, I’m almost done with chapter 5. While I doubt for a double-release this month, there is hope for July release for chapter 4. Thank you for all those that came to check on the website for the updates (yes, I am that bored that I check page hits on my Google Analytics…. heh), now if only I can get comments on my blog… Huzzah!! Lol

Lacrimosa Ch. 4 update

Just a quick update… no, the chapter’s not uploaded yet, but it’s done. It’s in the hands of my trusted beta Espaa, but her computer’s having problem now (actually, I think it’s dead…) so the edit would take longer. Let us all pray that her computer can be revived soon! And I hope I can meet the June update deadline I set for myself. I’ll keep writing, though! Light and Snow would kill me if I stop now, hehe.

Gaga-ing over FF13-3

Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns has finally released some information, specifically on Snow. It’s exploding because of the information is just TOO funny, and gets my fic-writer brain all wired up. lol Supposedly (much to my delight) Snow was trapped in the Coliseum (and before anyone says “Well duh!”, hush, ’cause I haven’t finished FF13-2 yet!) for the 500 years, and eventually, SOMEHOW, become the mayor of “City of Pleasure” or something. OMG can there be anything MORE wrong (and fun) about that city’s name and Snow being the mayor of?! lol!

Then, of course, they have a picture of him, who now looks absolutely devilish and ravishing. His hair is longer and messier, and he has this glint and grin that’s combining all of his good features with Caius’, which now makes him one of the HOTTEST character for a long time coming. And let’s not forget that he is wielding one of the LARGEST weapon I’ve seen…. *ahem* Large feet, large weapon… Is SE trying to say something? lol!!!!

Well, good job, SE, because now I’m completely excited and simply cannot wait for the game to be released. And unlike FF13-2, which I waited until nearly a year after its release to buy it, I just might shell out the top dollar (MIGHT being the key word) for this game. I simply couldn’t wait to see how SE would develop the story between Lightning and Snow, especially (according to the very minor spoiler I read online) that Serah is gone. Well, I hope she STAYS gone, because if SE really have Snow and Lightning get together I could just die happily. Metaphorically speaking, of course. *giggles insanely*