A Writer's Journey

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.

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March 12, 2018

Oops, I Did It Again

I know with how off topic I’ve been lately, you might be worried that this is an ode to Britney Spears’ hit song from the late 90s. Don’t worry, it’s not.

No, no, I have another reason to invoke her song title. Because I have done something again.

I put The Christmas Wish on the backburner and so technically stalled it. Again.

deep sigh

Once again, it’s because of my other fanfiction. I’m still trying to wrap up my Valentine’s Day story (it’s coming. I can feel it nearing the end) but I’m also about to head into the prompt party. So that’s going to take a lot of my time because there’s another button on the line.

I want that button.

Sorry. These buttons are serious business in our fandom.

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February 20, 2018

How I Celebrated Valentine’s Day

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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I know I didn’t post something for Valentine’s Day. You’d think with my main focus being on romance, I would’ve marked the holiday dedicated to it. I did…just not on this blog.

Once again, I participated in Love From OQ. What is that, you ask? Well, it probably won’t surprise you to know that it’s part of my participation with the Outlaw Queen fandom. It’s pretty much a Secret Santa but with a Valentine’s Day spin. We all signed up and someone assigned us Valentine’s. We then made contact anonymously to find out what kind of gifts they wanted and then got to work.

I was assigned someone who I actually had in a Secret Santa I participated in and was eager to write again. Though she requested angst and I was a bit wracked on an angsty idea. (I probably would’ve handled a fluffy idea a lot easier). It took me more time than I would’ve liked to figure out an idea and I went through a few before finally figuring one out.

Of course, it was eight days before Valentine’s Day when I managed to do that.

So naturally I was slightly panicked. I had only eight days to write everything and get it up. The heat was on.

What did I do? I pretty much put everything on hold and just focused on that story. And I did some research on my phone while I was at work, looking up lymphoma and its treatments to craft my story. Then I spent my nights just writing and writing, trying to get the story out.

It’s a big story, though, bigger than I anticipated and I’m still trying to get it all out. However, I did manage to get the first 10,000 words up in time for Valentine’s Day, so go me! My goal is to finish it before February is over and I think I can do it.

I just need to focus and write my ass off.

Wish me luck!

February 5, 2018

2018: Chapter 1

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 1:00 am
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Have you ever seen those inspirational pictures where they refer to the days as pages and the year as a book of your life? Well, I have. It made me think—if each day is a page, that means each month would be a chapter. So I’ve decided to do a round up of each “chapter” of my 2018.

Let’s check out how January or “Chapter 1” went for me!

It started out pretty well though very, very cold as most of the country was gripped by a cold front. My aunt and I flew home from Virginia and I prepared to head back to work for the New Year. The first work week of January, though, was shorter than usual since a snow storm blew in on Thursday and my office was closed both that day and Friday.

A few days after that, my parents flew down to Florida to go to Walt Disney World (without me) and I had the house to myself. Unfortunately, I threw off my sleep schedule, using falling asleep for a few hours when I got home and then being up for most of the night. I managed to right myself that weekend though.

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November 10, 2017

Starting Over (NaNoWriMo Edition)

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 1:00 am
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Yes, I decided to scrap the project I was working on and start all over on a new one.

Why?

I just wasn’t feeling my original project. To be honest, I had been waffling for most of the month so far. And keep in mind, we’re barely ten days in. But I couldn’t come up with a better idea so I decided to power through it.

Then came Tuesday. I was trying to find something to watch and saw that Hallmark Channel was airing A Princess for Christmas. I had seen it a couple days earlier but it was the only good thing, so I watched it again. And a couple days ago, I caught “Crown for Christmas,” another Hallmark Christmas movie.

It hit me hard. I was going to do “Crown for Christmas” but with an Outlaw Queen twist. Robin would be the hotel worker who meets the queen of a small European nation (Regina) and is then recruited to help care for her son—just as a tutor rather than a governess. Or whatever the male version would be.

So I’m doing that now. And it’s definitely going better than my original idea. Always goes to show that sometimes it pays to take risks.

Wish me luck!

October 23, 2017

NaNoWriMo 2017: It’s Coming!

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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Holy crap, October is almost over! The end of the year always seems to fly by, doesn’t it? Not the dreary winter months of January, February and March but the fun months—Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas! (Come on, that’s what we really think when we hear October, November and December if you’re American).

It also means that NaNoWriMo is around the corner. Once again, I will be participating. And once again, I will be using it to write my Outlaw Queen Christmas fic.

So, what is it about? Glad you asked!

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August 14, 2017

Taking on a Life of Its Own

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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A couple weekends ago, I decided to take part in a fun thing I saw on tumblr—asking people for a ship and a prompt. Then I would write three sentences (more like three paragraphs) based on that prompt. Seemed like a good way to pass the time.

With the exception of one Regal Believer prompt, most of them were for Outlaw Queen.

One of the first ones I got was for Regina as a soldier returning home from the front and reuniting with her husband and child. Everyone loved it. So much so, they kept sending me more prompts. I’m still getting a bunch almost daily.

So, yes, it’s now taking on a life of its own. I’ve had to give it its own name—Soldier Verse.

Right now, it’s still just a bunch of drabbles. However, I’ve decided to turn it into a proper fanfiction once I’m done with my Dancing With the Stars AU, Better When I’m Dancing. I don’t have a title for it yet, but I have some time to think of one. I’m only a little over halfway done with Better When I’m Dancing, but I hope to get the Soldier Verse fic up before the end of the year.

Just goes to show that you never know what’s going to catch on and grow bigger than you intended.

August 7, 2017

Jump Starting the Big Project

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 2:00 am
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It’s August! I know it’s not the usual time for fresh starts, but I’m making one.

As you can tell from the title, it has to do with my “Big Project.” For those who are new, I’ll give some background on the “Big Project.” And why it’s called that rather than with a proper title. The “Big Project” is a fanfic that I’m preparing to self-publish as a novel. I’m not yet ready to reveal which one it is so I use the codename instead. Last year, around this time, I had decided to devote a half hour every day to working on it and it proved quite fruitful.

So what happened? Well, for starters, the holidays happened. I focused on NaNoWriMo, my submission for the Outlaw Queen Advent Calendar and my gift for my Once Upon a Time Secret Santa. Then I got a cold for New Year’s. (No, seriously, the ball dropped and then my nose clogged up. It was torture!) By the time I got over that, my grandmother passed. So January was pretty much shot.

I thought I would start over in February, but then I decided to participate in a Valentine’s Day exchange and had a few other projects to finish. So I kept pushing the Big Project back more and more. Especially once my hours got shifted at work and I no longer had the same amount of time at night like I used to. So I was focusing more on my other fanfictions.

Which brings me to a conundrum. I know if I want to focus on the “Big Project,” one of my fanfics will have to get sidelined. And I don’t really want to do that. They are mostly popular and I like to keep to my posting schedules. However, I know one of them is going to have to suffer. I guess I just have to choose which one.

This is going to be hard.

*Insert long sigh here*

July 31, 2017

This is a Blog About Writing, Right?

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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Yes, it is.

I know in some ways it hasn’t really seemed like one since I’ve been writing about more personal things. Namely, travel. But I promise this isn’t turning into a travel blog.

So, let’s talk about writing. How’s that?

We’ll start with the Big Project. It’s stalled and it’s my fault, I know that. I haven’t made the time for it like I used to and I need to remedy that. So starting in August, I’m going back to working a half hour each day on it.

There’s not much movement still on original works. As I’ve said, when I’m inspired to write fanfictions, it usually takes all my energy. Right now, I don’t mind that. So, we’ll discuss my fanfics!

Well, we’ll discuss one—“The Dark Legacy.” It’s the sequel to another one of my stories, “The Prince of Darkness,” which rewrote the end of the Season 4 finale. Instead of Emma taken on the darkness, Robin did and became the new Dark One. The story then followed him and Regina as they tried to free him from the darkness before it completely devoured him.

In “The Prince of Darkness,” I decided to keep Zelena’s baby with Robin and I also introduced an Outlaw Queen pregnancy. These two girls are important for “The Dark Legacy” as it involves a mysterious figure trying to kidnap them and ultimately succeeding. The figure takes them to the Underworld so their parents have to go rescue them, encountering dangers along the way.

So why I am discussing it? Because sixteen—almost seventeen—chapters in, I decided to put it on hiatus and do some major rewrites.

Why did I make this decision? How? Good questions. I’m happy to answer them.

To be honest, I hadn’t been happy with the story for a long time. I wondered at various points if I was best to consider a major rewrite but decided to keep chugging forward. Yet it seemed to me that I was just repeating myself and my characters were going in circles.

Which brings us to two Saturdays ago. I took a shower and was thinking that I was almost done with Chapter 17 of “The Dark Legacy.” I was thinking about the story going forward and I once again wondering if I was just writing in circles while repeating myself.

Then I was also thinking about all the characters I have in play. And there were a lot. So many, I worried I had actually forgotten one and accidentally written her out.

Oops.

It was then that I decided it was time to put the story on a hiatus and to reread the posted pieces to see where I wanted to start the rewrites from. I figured it would be when the girls are in the hospital and how they get to the Underworld so that I didn’t keep coming up with several stupid reasons why they were always a few steps behind the girls. 

As I was rereading, though, I realized that I was just not happy with the story in general. Everything felt too rushed to me and more like I was telling and not showing enough. That I wasn’t diving as deep as I could’ve. It became clear to me that I needed to completely rewrite it. So that’s what I’m going to do.

What is this complete rewrite going to entail? A lot of things, I hope. I hope to eliminate the circles, tighten up the plot, deepen conflicts, strengthen character development and focus a lot more on Outlaw Queen.

Hopefully, I can pull this off and improve the story. My readers definitely deserve it. And I know I have it in me.

Wish me luck!

December 5, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016 is Done

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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Another November has come and gone. It’s like I blink and they’re over.

So how was this NaNoWriMo?

I finished at 38, 773 words.

Pretty damn good. Even with a few bumps in the road for me. Namely my great-aunt’s wake and then having to really focus on my entry for the OQ Advent calendar.

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