A Writer's Journey

August 13, 2018

Lightning Strikes!

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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I love talking about my writing. This may come as a surprise since I seem to talk about everything BUT that on this blog, but it’s true. And it struck me that I do have a blog about writing, so I should talk about it more. I think I’ve just been hesitant because most of my energy has been on fanfiction rather than original works but writing is writing, right?

Okay, so our story starts last year around this time. One of my followers sent me a prompt on tumblr, asking for a Once Upon a Time AU where Regina and Robin’s daughter broke the curse and then Regina had to deal with everything. I tweaked it a bit and started writing. I had tried to keep it a one-shot but it just ballooned before I realized it was going to be a multichapter story.

The basic plot was that Regina didn’t cast the Dark Curse but Zelena did to ruin her life. So she’s been separated from her husband (Robin) and their daughter, living a lonely life in Storybrooke where she has no friends, no love life and is stuck in a dead end job. All of that changes when a young girl named Diana finds her and claims she is Regina’s daughter. She produces the storybook as proof and as Regina reads, she finds herself believing more and more as well as finding the confidence to change her life.

I didn’t really work on it as often as I should’ve, usually shoving it to the back when I got busy. But I decided to work on it more regularly this year and that’s one of the reasons we got to this point.



August 8, 2018

2018: Chapter 7

Filed under: off topic,Uncategorized — mackenziew @ 11:00 am
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I know, I know. I just did June…but that’s because I was very late with June’s entry. Now I’m back on time for July’s!

The month started with a mass to say goodbye to one of our priests, who had been assigned to another parish. Despite it being the 4th of July holiday, it was standing room only in our near 600 person occupancy church. That’s quite the turnout! And everyone wanted to say goodbye. His receiving line was longer than any I’ve seen at weddings.

We then all jumped in the pool because of a heat wave that made it unbearably hot. And the pool was nice and cool. It certainly was a nice way to end the weekend.

The Fourth of July was a Wednesday, which made it a bit awkward. It felt weird to only go for two days, have a day off and then go back in. I think the fact that most other holidays involve three day weekends has spoiled me. We still had a lot of fun with a barbecue with friends and a dip in the pool.


August 2, 2018

Q&A on Patreon

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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I had my first Q&A session on Patreon this past weekend. Unfortunately, no one asked any questions despite it being opened to the public. So I found some questions to ask myself.

Read my Q&A here

While you’re there, consider supporting my Patreon. Just $5 a month will allow you to submit a question and read my answer!

July 23, 2018

2018: Chapter 6

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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How is the year half over?


Okay, let’s review how my June went. Because it feels like I blinked and it was over, so I would like to remember what happened as well.

It started with my parents in California, so I had the house to myself. And what did I do? Mess up my sleep schedule! Well, I also went bowling as well. Then I messed up my sleep schedule. I also drove my aunt around that first Saturday before we went to a Mets game the next day.

(They lost).


July 9, 2018

Become My Patron?

I live!

I know it’s been a few weeks but it seemed like I never had enough time to sit down and write a blog post. Especially as I tried to get all my blog posts about Paris done. (I’m still working on them and they’ll all come out in the same week).

For now, though, I thought we would go back to what I want this blog to focus on—my writing!

As I mentioned earlier this year, I’ve decided to turn one of my fanfics into a published original novel—The Christmas Wish. It’s a whimsical holiday romance about two single parents who find their lives turned upside down when their sons ask Santa to make them brothers for Christmas. As they navigate the changes in their lives, both come to have a better understanding of love, family and the magic of Christmas.


June 18, 2018

2018: Chapter 5

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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It’s June already? Wow, that came fast. As this month begins, let’s look back at the last month—or chapter—of my life!

May started with me doing some last minute packing for Paris. I got all the important things done at work and left it in a good place for my boss to handle while I was to be away. And then it was onto vacation!

I’ll cover everything that happened to me in Paris in a series of blog posts I am currently writing. So stay tuned for those!


May 18, 2018

Once Upon a Time: A Tribute

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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As I noted in my Chapter II post, it was announced back in February that Once Upon a Time would be ending with Season 7.

Today is the series finale. It’s officially ending. I don’t know if it’s going to really hit me right away or if it’s still going to be delayed, perhaps until July when there are no new set pictures and there is no Comic Con panel. Or September when there’s no premiere to look forward to. I don’t know but I know it will come.

Of course, I’ll probably cry at random times during the weekend. I did so when they killed Robin and I cried the day after the Season 6 finale because that was its own goodbye to the series as well. All of that tells me that it’s going to be another May of tears over Once Upon a Time and it’ll be even more bittersweet that it’ll be the last one.

So since today is the series finale, I want to pay tribute to this show. Because it changed my life in so many ways and I need to say goodbye to it properly.

season 5 cast


May 14, 2018

Confessions of a Fandom “Old”

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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I have been fangirling for a long time, probably since childhood though I didn’t realize it. However, I mark my official start in the world of fandom at the age of 13 when my friend Eowyn (yes, her real name) introduced me to fanfiction and fan art for our favorite animes—Sailor Moon, Ronin Warriors and Gundam Wing.

So, yes, I’ve been participating in fandom for almost two decades. I’ve bounced around different fandoms, from the three I mentioned above to Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings to, of course, Once Upon a Time (specifically Outlaw Queen).

I’ve come to grips that I am now a fandom old. That I’ve been around fandom so long, I’ve kinda seen it all and am not very surprised when shenanigans happen. It just seems to be the same song, different fandom.

Yet sometimes, I can still be surprised and shocked at how low a fandom can sink. As much as I love the Once Upon a Time fandom and know it is filled with amazing, beautiful and kind people, there still can be a very ugly side to the fandom as well. And I know it’s not unique in the changing world of fandom.


May 7, 2018

2018: Chapter 4

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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So, I’m in Paris right now. But this is definitely an easy post to get up and out while I’m overseas finally living out teenage me’s dream.

It’s time to review how April went. And it went by fast.

April started with my 32nd birthday, which was also Easter. It was a great day and thankfully the weather was really nice—there is nothing worse than a cold Easter! My cousin came over to celebrate with us and later some friends came over for cake. I finished the night with the live production of Jesus Christ Superstar and considered it a successful birthday.

The next day, I read about the dysfunction at Channel Awesome and the maltreatment of the producers there. I wrote about it in this blog post.

That week was the last week of filming for Once Upon a Time. All eyes were on Vancouver as people tried to figure out who else would be filming, what exactly were they filming and how would the cast handle the last day? We all sent messages to them—especially Lana Parrilla (Regina)—on their last day and got teary as they posted a goodbye from the set. Other cast members, including Sean Maguire (Robin Hood), sent them supportive messages as well.

Around that time, some fandom fuckery was afoot. I know I usually try not to curse on this blog but that’s the only way I can describe it. I won’t go into too many details but it seems a small subset of fans in a particular ship were upset that one of the actresses didn’t acknowledge their win in a poll but commented on how well another ship her character was part of was doing in another poll. So they started a concerted effort to make sure that other ship—my ship—didn’t win. And it was a really obvious effort that all other ships knew we weren’t being paranoid. The site running the poll was contacted and obviously realized something was up. After looking into it, they removed the votes cast by bots and our ship went back to first place.

I believe we won that poll.

There was some other good news for Outlaw Queen fans…or goodish news. Lana gave an interview to TV Guide ahead of the episode she directed and they published some things she said about the Outlaw Queen scene in a separate article before publishing the interview regarding her directorial debut. Lana said that it’s everything we could hope for and that it’s a testament to their relationship.

We’re really all still trying not to get our hopes up too much.

Lana’s episode aired and was amazing. She deserved all the praise she got for it and I’m just sorry that the president chose to announce we were bombing Syria before it was over.

The following week was a busy one for me at work. My manager and I arranged for a trainer to come out from YUSA in Chicago to deliver a training on diversity and inclusion. So we were busy with all the last minute details as I still had to give a New Hire Orientation on Wednesday. The next day, we were in constant communication with trainer as rain in our area kept delaying his flight to New Jersey. He finally made it and I picked him up for a brief meeting with some staff members ahead of Friday’s training. I was then part of the small group that got to have dinner with him. Friday was an early day as I got to the branch to help set up for training. It went well and when I got home, I took what I think was a well deserved nap.

That weekend was OUAT Chicago, which featured Sean Maguire in place of Colin O’Donoghue. He threw some shade at the writers but caused a storm on Twitter when some comments he made were taken out of context by some. They crossed the line when they started to tweet vile things at his wife and he rightly called them out. Lana made a comment the next day that seemed to indicate she knew exactly what had happened and continued to be very supportive and friendly with Sean. He continued to raise the hopes we were starting to have after Lana’s article by saying he felt the Outlaw Queen scene would give fans closure, saying it was his favorite to film with Lana and that it was very easy to slip back into their groove as Outlaw Queen.

This scene better be everything they promise or we’ll all be heartbroken yet again.

Once OUAT Chicago ended, Paris started to get real to me. I got emails about my flight and my hotel. People were talking about it and I asked my dad to take down a suitcase for me so I could start packing.

My dad then went to Ireland with my aunt and uncle while my mother and I went to a charity spaghetti dinner. I won a few raffle baskets and had a good time before coming home to watch Once Upon a Time. There’s only a few weeks left and then it will be over for good.

The weekend was spent getting ready for Paris, though my cousin came out to celebrate my aunt’s birthday.

So that was Chapter 4 of my year. Pretty eventful if I do so say so, but I doubt it’ll top Chapter 5.

April 30, 2018

Paris: It’s Here!

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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I leave for Paris this week—in only about three days! I’m writing this in advance because I’m probably going to be running around with last minute packing, last minute shopping and getting everything ready at work for me to be gone for over a week.

I have tried to write some posts ahead of time so that I don’t miss too much time. I also promise to write up a full account of my time in Paris, even if I have to turn it into a mini-series like I did when I documented my time in Kansas City for the YMCA’s General Assembly.

If you want to follow along with my trip, feel free to follow me on Instagram (@musicalangel12) or Snapchat (@musicalangel12). You can also follow me on Twitter (@AEBrim), though I don’t know how much I’ll be tweeting.

So I’ll see everyone when I get back!

Au revoir!

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