Fandom Anniversary

Sixteen Years. As many of you know, I learned the ropes of writing fiction in fandom. I’ve always left my old stories, even the ones that make me cringe, posted. It’s sort of like … proof of where I came from, how I developed, what I achieved. But it’s also because I love those stories. I’m proud of them.

Forthright’s Doku-sona (from the Dokuga website)
Gift!art by FoxOfTwilight (kinda how we met!)

This week, I received a flurry of emails from folks because fanfiction.net, the only site where all of my stories are posted, is teetering on the verge of extinction. Abandoned by its administration, the dinosaur may soon vanish, taking everything with it. And my long-time readers, the ones who go back to regularly reread my fanfics, don’t want to lose their favorite stories.

It’s a shame. I’ve often joked over the years that fanfic writers are paid in reviews. Oh, there’s a stats page, too. My numbers are crazy. If you do searches for the most-reviewed and most-favorited stories in the InuYasha fandom, I have 6 titles in the top 20.

  • forthright is on the favorites list of 6,700~ members
  • my accumulated stories add up to over a million (1,230,000+) words
  • my most popular story, Unspoiled, is on the favorites list of 10,785 members
  • my most reviewed story, Lord Charming, has 24 million reads and has just shy of 20,000 reviews (uh, that’s spread over 800 chapters, for context)

Assorted gift!art | ARTISTS: lila-me, rikayu-chan, j_lianne, janey-jane
Oodles more art on dA: Forthright Fanclub & Unspoiled Fanclub

I’m so grateful that some of my long-time readers followed me here … and trust my storytelling enough to have picked up the Amaranthine Saga. In a very real way, I wrote the series to tickle my fandom friends. A “-miko” for every main character, familiar plot set-ups (an enslaved butler, two janitors with a big secret, a hoarder and a home organizer, an accidental engagement involving a comb, and even a marooned wolf on an island with a resort), and borrowed settings (apple orchard, college campus, Founder’s Coffee Shop, and even Stately House). And Hisoka-sensei, of course (he’s an OC from Unspoiled). Early on, I used to say that I plotted the entire Saga because he deserved a story of his own.

I’ve been asked (again and again) to post my fics to AO3 (An Archive Of Our Own), which is where all the cool kids hang out these days. I did claim a profile, which is “forthrightly” since someone audaciously snagged my penname ahead of me. Here’s a link. If the worst occurs, I’ll migrate my stories to AO3. Nothing of importance will be lost.

“Miroku” | Commissioned Art by PurpleRebecca

I mean it when I say … thank you for supporting my stories wherever you find them. And happy anniversary to me! ::confetti toss::

Lord, it’s gone quiet.

Lord Mettlebright’s Man. There have been a handful of private asides, but It’s been unusually quiet in comments lately, and I’m curious why.

Tongue in Cheek. You don’t actually have to comment for me to keep going. I know lots of you love Jacques and care about his outcomes. This is mostly me popping up to ask my own aside. “Hey, are you okay, over there?” If life’s been crazy where you are, please know that I care & hope my stories can somehow keep you company. :: hug ::

GO! Fest

Gotta Catch ‘Em All. Taking a little break from writing today in order to play. Yep, I’m into Pokemon GO! If you are, too, and you need a friend, message me. My email is always.forthright at gmail dot com. Always happy to play with reading friends. ::glomp::

“I Choose You!” | chibi by FoxOfTwilight

Need a Friend

Pokemon GO! From time to time, I mention that I play … usually when a challenge insists that I make a new friend. Sure, I know I could just nab some rando from the interwebz, but I enjoy playing with reading friends. So … who’s game? ALSO, if you’re already a friend & still need a friend, nudge me anyhow. Another member of my household also plays. In fact, we often raid together. ::eyebrow waggle::

email me your friends code > always.forthright at gmail dot com

Not on Purpose

Lulling. I swear, I don’t do this on purpose, but every time I let a fanfic lull (in this case, Mood Stripes hasn’t updated on the fanfiction site in a couple of weeks), readers over there hunt down my website. I can only assume they’re checking to make sure I’m still alive. ::twinkle::

  • I am alive! Thank you for caring so much about my stories!
  • I currently have a book (10/22) & a short story (11/4) publishing back-to-back, and that’s made things busy.
  • Lord Mettlebright’s Man has been updating daily. It’s an October tradition, and I will never apologize for prioritizing Jacques.
  • On top of that, October is one of my most creative months. I’ve been cranking out new chapters (of my next book) nearly every day, but it’s all original stuff. Not fanfiction. I mean … it pays better? Gotta earn my keep.
  • Mood Stripes will resume both here & on the fanfiction site SOON(ish). Thank you for always being patient with me. (And be grateful I’m foregoing NaNoWriMo this year, or you’d be waiting until December!)
  • I haven’t forgotten that this Saturday is the 4th Saturday in October. I’m working up an Unexpected chapter to post on the 30th. We’ll see if Vassal also gets an update. Not sure yet!

So many stories! I’m good at juggling. Hey, I even find it fun. But sometimes I need to focus on one thing or another for a little while. This is one of those times. Again, I’m glad you’re eagerly looking forward to more. That’s a fine compliment! ::glomp::

October Things

Busy, Busy Month. Tomorrow is the 1st of October, and I’m kind of reeling over how much FUN STUFF will be packed into the coming month. Let’s do a quick run-down to sync our calendars. ::twinkle::

Fumiko and the Finicky Nestmate (ebook) is currently available for pre-order in ALL the online venues. Those of you who buy the digital edition will boost my First Week numbers, which pleases the algorithms. Thanks for that! But I still have the most fun getting signed books (with all those personal touches & swag) into your hands. As per tradition, I’ll open up pre-orders for Fumiko on OCTOBER 1. (Yep, that’s tomorrow.) Details about those on the Signed Books page >>

. . .

October kicks off Inktober, and that means a month of Jacques Smythe. Lord Mettlebright’s Man will honor its beginnings by updating every day during October, using this year’s prompt table. Look forward to it!

. . .

Some of you have coaxed by other stories I’ve written, and I’m grateful that so many of you have picked up the Galleries of Stone trilogy, which I published under another penname. Unless there’s a change in the schedule (such things do keep us on our toes), Travis Baldree will begin narrating Bk1: Meadowsweet in October, and you can listen in. He streams his recording sessions live, and it’s so much fun to watch him work. I’ll be there, probably too giddy to be sensible.

Tide You Over

Fall Releases. New stories are scheduled for release in both October and November, which may seem a long way off. If so, I’m suggesting you tide yourself over with other titles currently in stock. I have copies of the Galleries of Stone trilogy on the shelf. Its a trilogy I mentioned on this post >>

This is a fantasy series, complete in three volumes. (Although there’s a second trilogy in the works.) The story involves a magical master sculptor and living statues … and Tupper. Naturally, it’s also available digitally. These print editions have full-color illustrations, and if you order them from me, they’ll be stamped & signed (and include swag). If you’re interested, email me at always.forthright at gmail dot com.

$25 each, includes shipping in the US

Lulling

So close. When I near the end of a manuscript, it’s all I can see. So I’m going to let Mood Stripes & Lord Mettlebright’s Man lull for a couple of weeks. Thank you for your patience.

You might be asking yourself:

  • What about your May fandom event on Ko-fi? Will you update Unexpected? Yep. But because of how the calendar stacked up this month, we’ll convene on the 5th Saturday: May 29, 2021.
  • Will Bard & Barbarian update next week on Patreon? Nope. I’m giving myself a week off (since I did already post one chapter for May).
  • Whyyy? I need more Jacques in my life! Well, good. Because I’ll post a chapter-a-day of LMM for the month of June again this year.
  • When will Fumiko and the Finnicky Nestmate release? I don’t like to set a firm release date until my manuscript is off to the editors. However … I will confide that Bk5 picks up in October after everyone returns home from their summer stay at Wardenclave in Bk4. So I’m leaning toward a fall release.

More fun stuff to come. I’ll keep you posted.