Poll on Patreon. I (almost) always teaser my art posts over on Patreon. This time, I’m having a hard time picking which illustration to post next. You can ALL help me decide since I’ve made the poll public. So go on over and vote!
I Choose You! Every once in a while, I mention here on the blog that I play Pokemon GO. (Daily. Devotedly. Obsessively.) Yes, I’m taking part in the Kanto event (2/20). Nearly all of my in-game friends are readers, which I think is quite spiffy. I love sending gifts & stickers & raid invites, so if you share my little hobby, you’re welcome to send me your friend code. My email is always.forthright at gmail dot com.
I Choose You | art by FoxOfTwilight
Question and Answer. I received a (probably unintentionally) loaded question in comments on my most recent chapter of Lord Mettlebright’s Man. It really kicked my brain into overdrive, and by the time I finished answering, I figured I’d bring it out of comments & make a blog post of it. If only because there’s a teaser tucked in there. So with all due respect, I’m reposting the question & my answer here:
So, when are you going to write an LGBTQ character that’s a normal person? Not in love with a married man, or these two who are basically siblings.
My goodness. What a loaded question. I’ve given it a ponder.
- Define “normal.” Do you mean a human without reaver powers who fits somewhere within the LGBTQ+ spectrum? Because … that’s Jacques. And I am most definitely writing him.
- Jacques is not “in love with a married man.” Argent was his first love, a boyhood crush that began long before Tsumiko was on the scene. And that devotion has been changing shape. I wouldn’t say Jacques has been “in love” for a while now. Patience.
- Cat and Canary aren’t “basically siblings.” They’re childhood friends, unrelated by blood. And feline culture doesn’t conform to … much of anything. I’m sure we’ll brush up against it more in future books & stories. But it’s safe to say you shouldn’t try to interpret Amaranthine behavior by human standards. Leads to all kinds of trouble.
- This is largely an aside, but … I am having a hard time coming up with ANY “normal person” in the Saga & Songs, regardless of their orientation. The series is usually stashed in the “paranormal romance” and “urban fantasy” categories, and my characters tend to be exceptional … or at least exceptions. ::twinkle::
- Provided you’ll consider a Kith-kin as a “normal person,” Kip’s heart belongs to another male. And Melissa Armstrong has two mothers. A pair of kick-ass battlers who are a Big Deal in the new lineup of reaver-exclusive extreme sports in America. You may recall that the enclave where they’re from is in California. Oh, heyyy, isn’t that where Bk5 is set?
- While I may know the sexual orientation of my cast (in much the same way I know their eye color and taste in shoes), I don’t think that orientation alone defines a person. But it shapes their choices, and that’s where things get interesting. At least for me.
As the Saga continues, I can’t promise you much in the way of “normal,” but there are interesting choices ahead. For everyone. Including Jacques.
Looking Ahead. I’m not sure pantsers can have resolutions. Too many rules. Too much structure. I do have a vague idea of what I want to accomplish this year, and I’ll be making the rest up as I go along. Gotta stay flexible. Gotta be nimble. Gotta take life one day at a time! ::twinkle::
With that in mind, stick a whopping “if life cooperates” in front of all of these:
- I’ll publish the next Songs of the Amaranthine title. (That one’s easy to list since it’s already available for pre-order.) Captured on Film will release on March 4, 2021.
- I’ll also publish the next title in the Amaranthine Saga. Nope, I don’t have a firm release date for this one. Circumstances beyond my control (jury duty) set me back nearly two months, but I’m back to my regularly scheduled life starting Monday. So… guess we’ll see! Fumiko and the Finicky Nestmate will release sometime in 2021!
- Lord Mettlebright’s Man will resume its twice-weekly pace for updates. Jacques gets Mondays & Thursdays whenever I’m not pressured by looming deadlines.
- In 2020, I gained 100 patrons over on my Patreon account (wow). That puts us a quarter of the way to my Community Goal of 400 (and the debut of a serial called Kimiko and the Cycle of Moons). For 2021, I’d love to see another 100 join the ranks & nudge us closer to the Miyabe sisters & the mayhem at Kikusawa Shrine after the events of Kimiko and the Accidental Proposal! (It’s gonna be so much fun!)
- ART! I’ll be commissioning MOAR art throughout the coming year. Fox and I have been working pretty steadily on bringing you new pieces. And I have, hmm … four pieces from other artists that are pending. I do love to splurge on story art.
- Ko-fi is going to become a thing this year. I’ve come up with a couple of ways to put my new account to use. We’ll test one of them in February, when I make my Quarterly Art Card for spring available (just this once) to followers who can’t commit to Patreon … but are willing to buy me a ko-fi. I’ll be revealing that art card on Valentine’s Day for a March mailing. ::coughTSUGENTcough::
- I’ll also be utilizing Ko-fi as a hub for some fandom shenanigans. Some of you may have been around for the old drabble/drawble nights that were part of the Sess/Kag fandom on Dokuga. I’ll be reviving this tradition & adapting it to my purposes. Expect interactive day-long events once a month, during which I use your prompts to add new chapters to Vassal … and to Unexpected. ::eyebrow waggle:: (This is me, committing to the time it will take to finish what I’ve started.)
- Audio Books! The quarantines have thrown so many peoples’ schedules for a loop, and that includes Tantor Audio. All their production was delayed in 2020, and I’ve been patiently waiting my turn on Travis Baldree’s docket. Good News! Governed by Whimsy: The Anthology AND Mikoto and the Reaver Village are scheduled to release in August 2021. ::confetti toss::
- I’ve joined the annual Goodreads Reading Challenge with the same goal I had for 2020. Planning to read/reread 200 manga this year. At this rate, I’ll also need to add another bookshelf to my living room. The manga collection keeps growing!
- Tuesday Totes. We took a break for the holidays, but we should be back this week with a weekly fandom cover reveal & related store links. The Twinkle Press storefront (on Threadless & TeePublic) offers tote bags, masks, gaiters, note cards, journals, and so forth. Throughout the year, we’ll work our way through more of my fandom backlist (which is surprisingly large) to add to the pretty, pretty offerings.
- If all goes according to plan, you can also look forward to a couple of cover reveals in 2021. Because I’ll unveil my plans for Bk6 when I release Bk5. And while it’s not on my writing schedule yet, I do know what I’m writing for Songs #7. Maybe I’ll get to it before the year plays out. Hope so.
Here’s to new things & continuing things & quiet days & steady habits & home.
Happy New Year!
Level 40. Those of you who play Pokemon GO! know what a big deal it is to hit Level 40 in the game. It became a bigger deal when it was announced (last month) that trainers who achieve this milestone before December 31 will get “legacy” status, commensurate bragging rights, extra goodies, and a cool hat. With enough raid invites (and maybe some new friends), I could potentially hit the XP goal and level up … today!
If you play Pokemon GO! and would like to be in-game friends, email your friends code: always.forthright @ gmail dot com. And if you catch wind of a raid in your area, drop me an invite. ::twinkle::
Signed Copies Available. If you’re looking for items to add to your shopping list or wish list, may I suggest signed copies of a fantasy series that I all but admitted to writing? (Okay, I did admit to it, but in my usual oblique manner.) More about Galleries of Stone trilogy on this post >>
Rating: all ages
Pages: 400~ each
Illustrations: full-color spot illustrations
Price: $25 apiece (includes shipping in US)
Also available digitally, everywhere books are sold.
So, So Smug. That moment when you realize you have the PERFECT name for a new pokemon. ::twinkle::
How did I miss the special even that started last night and only runs until 6pm today (local time)?!? Walk with your Farfetch’d and make 10 excellent throws in order to evolve him into Sir Fetch’d! Also, Ponyta (Galaran) unicorns are in the raids today! ::wants one::
Not many of my friends are walking with Farfetched, so I’m spreading the word. Wanna friend me on Pokemon GO? Email me your friends code at always.forthright @ gmail.com
Fourteen Years. This year, I have good reasons to celebrate September 22. Here, I can even provide a list:
- It’s the Autumn Equinox, and I adore Fall. Historically, it’s been one of my most creative seasons. (Many of my fanfics began, ended, or were updated on this milestone day throughout the years.)
- It’s release day for Mikoto and the Reaver Village (Amaranthine Saga, #4), which you can pre-order (digital edition) on Amazon and/or pre-order your signed copy from me.
- If all goes according to plan, I’ll be posting an IY x Amaranthine Saga crossover. That’s right folks. Argent meets Sesshoumaru. ::twinkle::
- A larger project has been underway all summer. As we near my “fanniversary,” I’ll be posting quotes from some of my fics. Like this one:
More to come!
Take Two. After chatting with support, I believe we’ve discovered a way to prevent a full post from arriving in your inboxes. While not completely ideal, I’m told that Word Press developers are finessing everything so in the future, I can once more determine exactly where the cut appears. Improvements on the way! Better things ahead! More to look forward to! (Yes, I’m padding like a NaNoWriMo-er on November 29, but I have no idea how far into a post the cut will auto-interrupt, so I’m giving it plenty of space.)
And we’ll introduce the cut here. Chanting html incantation…::TWINKLE::
Don’t mind me. Just trying to figure out WordPress’s lovely new imposition on my usual routine. They revamped some stuff. Gotta get this rigamarole down! Especially the part where you have to click through to my blog in order to read a chapter. (Basic business practice, you understand.)Continue reading
#PokemonGOFest2020 took up most of my weekend, and in the nicest way. I had fun, which was my only real goal. I’ve never experienced the like, and I’m glad I decided to splurge on a ticket.
- I finished 3 audio books while I played. ::twinkle::
- Although it was a bit of a scramble, it was nice, nice, nice to be able to invite reader friends (or be invited by them) to participate in raids. I now have So Much rare candy. Must distribute strategically. ::plots::
- My longtime Pokemon buddy (Lucario) earned his “Best Buddy” badge yesterday, so I nicknamed him Sempai. He’s had to step back so I can walk with some of my new (shiny) Go Fest acquisitions, but his place at my side is assured.
- Did I mention shinies? I caught at least a dozen. (Not sure on the exact count, but the thrill will never get old.)
- Most notable, I somehow managed to catch what I’ve long considered the holy grail of shiny Pokemon, a golden Magicarp. ::swoon:: I actually named her Grail.
Screencapped a few for y’all. I’d share more, but they’re off defending gyms at the moment. And do you REALLY want me to bore you with a slide show?
Do you name your pokemon? When I single out strong ones to train up, I generally give them names at that time. For example, the shiny Growlithe/Arcanine was immediately dubbed Kinpatsu (Japanese for blond). And Marimo (Sanji’s nickname for Zoro in One Piece) was a no-brainer for my shiny Tangela.
As always, if you also play Pokemon GO and you want to friend me, email me your friend code @ always.forthright at gmail dot com.
… and now, back to writing.
Whisper of the Heart. I’ve been rewatching (for the gazillionth time) Whisper of the Heart, one of Hayao Miyazaki’s films from Studio Ghibli. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s lovely. Libraries and antiques and musicians and artisans. The young lady in the lead (a bookworm after my own heart) has a way with words and decides to try her hand at writing.
Just hit this scene, which describes my summer in a single line of dialogue:
I can’t decide if I feel called out … or seen. ::twinkle::
Let’s Be Friends. It worked so well the last time I asked that I’m going to do it again. Because one of the first challenges issued by Professor Willow this morning (for the new missions leading up to GOfest) was … make a new friend. Anybody else need a friend? ::twinkle::
Email me – always.forthright at gmail dot com – with your friends code!
Little Things. While working on today’s chapter, I’m treating myself to the LAST of my stash of kuro goma daifuku. This one looks rather well on a little plate I picked up at a Japanese variety store, which in turn looks rather well with the pajama pants I’m currently wearing. ::twinkle::
For the uninitiated, “kuro” is black, and “goma” is sesame. They’re my personal favorite of the many varieties of daifuku, which are anko (red bean paste) filled mochi rolled in black sesame seeds. If your grocery store carries international foods, check the freezer section. They come in several varieties, including shiro goma (you can work that out, right?), green tea, and sakura.
I don’t usually post a lot of personal snapshots here on the blog. They’ve become one of those things I use Patreon for, so if you like these kinds of peeks into my habits, collections, and whims, consider becoming a patron. Glimmer tier starts at just $1/month. forthright on Patreon >>