Autumn 2021 Update

Hey, everyone! It’s been a minute. Hope everyone is staying safe and adjusting to our new normal.

I tell myself I’m going to do these updates quarterly, and then…life. I think my last one was more than a year ago.

Fall is usually a season I associate with…allergies. How deeply unfortunate, eh? I’m not a spring allergy person. Nope, it’s always been the fall. I’m not sure if my allergy shots are doing their job, if the HEPA filters we installed last year are making a huge difference, or if it’s being in a mask all the time that’s doing it, but I’ve barely sneezed this year. (Knock on wood because I am not trying to jinx myself here!)

The other thing I associate with fall is National Novel Writing Month. Woot! We all love NaNo, right?

July wrapped up the 10th year of Rough Trade, which is really exciting; Keira’s done such a wonderful thing for writers with this long-running overlay of NaNo. The challenge environment helps keep the momentum going in what is a really difficult writing challenge. Sometimes, writing in a vacuum on a long-haul project can be really rough, so the challenge environment can be motivating for some people. (such as me!)

This upcoming RT will be the 11th RT/NaNo. It will be my 9th RT; I’d done NaNo before, but I can’t remember how often. It was more hit or miss for me before RT because I didn’t like my local NaNo chapter, and doing the slog by myself was rough.

It’s barely more than a week before NaNo/RT officially starts. Stressful and fun and our favorite time of the year. I haven’t skipped doing NaNo on Rough Trade since 2013, and this year is no different. My current plan is to do a new 9-1-1 time travel story, but, honestly, season 5 canon is pissing me off, so I need to avoid it and de-saltify or I won’t be able to get into the vibe of my NaNo project.

I’m shooting for around 100k. I’ve tried to scale back the scope of my RT projects in recent years so I have a better chance of finishing them during the challenge period, however, time travel lends itself to words (ripples!), and this idea isn’t a short one. If I’m going to throw my character back in time, I’m going to to fix shit, so expect lots of that.

I picked the 100k goal with a mind to being realistic with myself. It’s going to be a tough month, but if I can get into the story, I think it will be a lot of fun. My story is called Fearless, and you can read about it over on Rough Trade. The theme for this Rough Trade is time travel, so if that’s your jam, keep an eye on the site all month!

It’s hard to believe this January was the first 9-1-1 story that I posted because it feels like 9-1-1 has been consuming my brain for a lot longer than 2021! I thought my QB series would get me over my big need to write in this fandom. And yet… no.

This past year has been a lot more productive creatively than the prior year, despite having a major surgery in May and several other major health challenges along the way. Don’t even get me started on the two weeks+ of eye patches and eye procedures that made things a living hell for a while. That said, my eyes are so much better now, so I can’t really complain about the misery. (Actually, yes I can. Ocular bruises are miserable regardless of the good outcome. And adhesive-related blisters on the eyelids are not any kind of fun.) From a writing perspective, my eye health is obviously super important, so taking the time and expense for this was a good call for me. I think it will honestly help my RT experience this November that my eyes will be in better shape.

I’ve been pleased both with the amount I’ve written this year as well as how much I’ve been able to finish. My main goals writing wise for the year were to finish my Quantum Bang (done), finish and post Alio Modo (done), and finish and post Sentry (also done). I also slipped in some other stuff that wasn’t even on my list! I’m feeling all accomplished and shit over here, which is a really nice change from last year.

Upcoming Works

Most of my writing time will be focused on RT, which is covered above. I also have some smaller works I’m poking at between now and November, and I’ll probably post anything small that I finish during the month. Additionally, I always try to identify a pivot work in another fandom in the event I need to move to a completely different project, so that’s lined up as well. (I actually have lined up one for Teen Wolf and one for NCIS to give my moody self options.)

From an editing perspective, I’m working on wrapping up the Every Moment series. I just posted the first story in that series, These Are the Days. There are a total of four stories in the series, which is exactly how I posted it on Rough Trade, though the end of the fourth story wasn’t posted during the challenge. Seriously, I identified them on Rough Trade as episodes/short stories. Though I didn’t have the episode titles on RT.

I’ve had a lot of emails and a few comments from people asking where the rest of the story is. I’m honestly baffled since I haven’t changed the structure of the series at all, I’ve just titled the individual parts, done editing, and finished the writing on the fourth story. I also mention the three upcoming stories on the series page.

I expressed once that I was often hesitant to post a finished part of a series if I wasn’t ready to post the whole thing because of this very thing. So, I wasn’t surprised by the number of emails about how the story feels “terribly incomplete.” (Huff!) But it’s still vexing. Especially when there are some that are bordering on attempts at extortion. (“I don’t feel comfortable recommending your story to anyone if it’s not complete.” Yeah, okay, snowflake. Only someone who doesn’t know me thinks that tossing out a recommendation as a lure is going to get me to do anything.)

The thing is, one of the advantages of doing a short story or novella series is that it overall takes less time to get out than trying to do a single larger work. It also helps me feel accomplished in the process because I’m getting something finished. I love crossing things off a to-do list.

However, if I’m going to hold on to a multi-part series and finish the whole thing and then post all parts… What exactly is the point of structuring it as a series?

Anyway, I try to make sure each piece is a complete story in its own right, but if you find reading part of a series before the whole series is done to be stressful, then don’t read it. Good fucking god. This isn’t rocket science. Unloading dissatisfaction on me just slows down you getting more of the series because I’m annoyed at your poor life choices, and then I’m ranting about your poor life choices rather than continuing to edit. Show some restraint and wait if you just can’t deal with not knowing what’s coming next. Okay? Okay.

To the rest of you: thank you for your support and encouragement. I always love hearing from you. And, yes, Christopher is life, love, and everything. Unicorn goals.

Site Move

One major thing that is upcoming is moving to a new host before my hosting package renews. The host move will also allow me to reinstall a security certificate on my site. Security certificates are hugely expensive on my current host, so that’s why that had to go last year. Going from http to https doesn’t break links, but doing the reverse does, so there were lots of glitches last year, but there shouldn’t be any this time.

I’ll send an announcement about a half day or day ahead of time, and there will likely be a few hours of downtime while the migration occurs and the DNS reconciles.

After the site move, I’ll be putting the So Far series (my 2021 QB) up on my site. I’m not planning on any major posting until after the site migration.

Upcoming Challenges

Keira and I will be launching at least one and maybe two lower-key challenges, probably in early December. By lower-key, I mean less intense than Rough Trade or the Quantum Bang. Lower word counts and no rough draft/naked writing! Also, longer writing periods than Rough Trade. It should be fun. Keep an eye out on the Just Write Discord server for information. We’ll be running the challenges from the Writing & Junk site, so if you’re not subscribed to site notification, you might want to sign up (notifications will also go out on Discord, but getting notifications from W&J can’t hurt).

We’ll also be launching a new bingo soon. We usually launch bingo in August or September, but this year has been a hot mess in so many ways, so if you’re interested in whatever bingo is coming, join the server! Other members of our Discord server announce other challenges on the server as well, so if you join, you’ll be apprised of other events, challenges, and bangs, many of which are run by our members (who I consider to be the absolute best of the best 🙂 ).

We haven’t done a write-in in a hot minute, so one of those is likely coming in November to help with the mid-NaNo ennui.

Author signups for the Quantum Bang end on October 31st! There’s no penalty for dropping out before art claims. In fact, you don’t have to drop at all; if you don’t submit, you’re dropped. The only pressure is the pressure you put on yourself (or that you solicit someone else to put on you. No judgement if you need someone to Dom you through a challenge 😉 !). If you think you might want to participate, drop by and sign up for 2022!

That’s it for me until winter (assuming I manage to get something done on time). I hope you have a wonderful fall (or spring for those of you south of the equator). Get outside before it gets too cold/hot. Remember: reading is life.

-Jilly

(Wow, that got wordy. That’s what I get for not communicating for over a year!)

18 Comments:

  1. I guess I am naive, but the idea that anyone would email you (or any other author) to complain about a story or a series shocks me. I mean, really? Who does that? I have a lot of feelings and thoughts about people who would do such a thing, but I’m going to leave it at “sit your entitled ass down and get a life, ffs.” I mean, let me just add that if you know you don’t like to read a work in progress (or a series in progress), then don’t start the work or series until it is finished. You choose what you read.
    Anyway, 9-1-1 is not a show I watch, but I have really enjoyed the fic you and Keira are writing in this fandom. And time travel fic has kind of become my new jam. So, I am really looking forward to whatever you create on RT. And I am always grateful for anything you share with us. It’s a gift. I’m sorry not everyone recognizes that.
    Also, I am glad you are feeling well and having a productive year. New normal notwithstanding. Thanks for the update.

    • Thanks for the support, Marguerite. “Sit your entitled ass down” is my phrase of the day. I’m totally with you on the idea of not picking up a story in process if I’m not going to be willing to wait. I figure 90% of the weird pokes are people who are reading too fast and don’t notice the mentions of it being a series. One of these days, I’m going to roll my eyes enough to power and electric car!

      I’m glad you’re able to follow the 9-1-1 stories even though you don’t watch the show. I try to never make my works very dependent on canon knowledge, but that’s a hard thing to evaluate when you know canon. LOL

  2. I adore your 9-1-1 fics, they just fix shitty things in canon that piss me off. =D I also can’t fathom why people pressure writers about series or to get continuation on some existing fic. I mean yeah, there are few fics that I would love to get more on but I never actually say that. It pissess me off since it can put a writer off the fandom completely and then that might be more is never more.

    I like episode format for longer works or just series. It brings the kind of structure that I like. Also the anticipation for the next work is great. It just doesn’t make sense to plan a series/episodes and then post everything at once. I mean if a reader doesn’t like that format then don’t read until it’s finished, it’s nothing to do with the amazing writers out there. I have couple of fics that I’m waiting to be complete before I read them.

    • Thanks for all the the support. When it works for the story structure, episodes are a good option for me as a writer too. I try to be sure that each story has an actual end, and I’m not a big fan of cliffhangers, but I totally get it if people want to wait until the whole series is done. I agree with you that it’s nonsensical to plan a series and then wait to post it all at once. Anyway, thanks again!

  3. First of all, my sympathies on your health issues, and I hope that the surgery has sorted them all out for you. It’s no fun, as I know from experience – though I have to say that the July Rough Trade that year helped me cope with the first stage of convalescence 🙂 – and my eyes are watering in sympathy just at the thought of blisters on the eyelids.

    Congratulations on your writing productivity; I’ve definitely enjoyed the results, and I’m very much looking forward to your Rough Trade project for November. I found the project file quite interesting. I have to say that the whole time travel trope has inspired some great ideas, and I think there’s going to be a lot of great stuff to read this time round. And on the subject of Rough Trade (and Quantum Bang), I don’t think you and Keira get enough appreciation for the work you both, and your other colleagues, do to run the challenges and moderate the sites. I personally get a whole lot of pleasure from the results of your work, so thank you very much for your effort and dedication.

    Finally, good luck with the move to your new hosting site, and I hope it all goes smoothly for you.

    Happy writing.

    Aibrean

    • Thanks so much. The health is so much better by the end of this year, so it’s been a win on the whole even if it was a PITA on the way. I’ve been really pleased by the writing productivity this year, especially since I didn’t expect it in light of the other challenges.

      You know, I used to hate time travel as a trope, but now I love it, so I’m really jazzed about November. And thanks for the support about the challenges. We (and the other mods) put a lot of work in, but I know people appreciate it, even if the complainers sometimes seem like the loudest voice.

      Take care, and see you on RT!

  4. Helen Wright PH202

    Thanks for the update, Jilly. It’s always so lovely to hear from you. I’m really enjoying your 911 stories. I’ve never watched it as it’s on a paid channel in England and I’ve got a basic freeview tv set up – heck, if it was up to me I’d still be on analogue but the Government made us change, LOL. Anyway, I may not know much about the series but to me it’s a world that you and Kiera write in and that world lives in my imagination because of you.
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful writing and I will keep my fingers crossed for continued good health.
    Hugs, Hxx

    • Thanks, Helen! It’s always so great to hear from you. I think you’d enjoy at least the first four seasons, so here’s hoping that you get it for free one of these days! But, in the interim, I’m really glad the stories are comprehensible to someone who doesn’t know the show well. Hope you’re doing okay and that life is settling into whatever new rhythm we’re going to have. Hugs, -JJ

  5. Sorry that people were bugging you on the Rough Trade Every Moment. I am just glad that you write such wonderfully written world that I can get lost in for a moment in time. This last year has been so up and down that you and other writers who inspire have made it great. Thank you for writing. You make my day better.

    • This year has indeed been rough. My writing is my own escape, as is reading other people’s wonderful works. I’m glad my work provides some escapism for others. Thanks for the support.

  6. People make no sense to me, I’m just glad someone is writing things for me to read! I love your writing (even when I have no clue about the fandom), and am sorry to hear people have been a pain.

    I’m glad your health has improved, and hope things continue to go well

    • Thank you! This year has overall been good, I think, even if it’s hard to keep that in perspective, what with the ongoing plague and everything. People certainly can be a pain, but I think the vast majority of my visitors are supportive and kind, which is wonderful. Some days, however, the annoying voices drown everything else out. A day or two away from my email often helps. Thanks again for your support.

  7. Hi Jilly, lovely to catch up on your news and very glad to read that your health has improved. I have never read or heard about 9-1-1 before I started reading your fics so many thanks for introducing me to that series. I actually preferred youe fanfiction portrayals to the actual series, however! As always, many thanks for the hours of enjoyment from reading your stories and thank you for sharing. I never understand why people feel like they are entitled to make demands of any fanfiction author since you all are putting in the effort of writing and sharing your work for our enjoyment. More power to you and Keira for taking a stand about it. All the best and may the muse be strong with you.

    • Some people can be odd little ducks about making demands; I’m never quite sure why either. I’m glad you enjoyed the show, and i agree that fic is more fun. I get weirdly excited about a show that makes me want to get into fic, and often what makes me want to read or write is the flaws. 9-1-1 has great characters though, even if I’d like to give the writers a serious talking to about some of their plot choices! Thanks for the words of encouragement.

  8. I’m impressed with everything you have managed this year. (And always) It has been a shitty year and a half and I’m very impressed with eveyone that has produced and not just stayed floating. And having great fanfic to read has made things better for the rest of us.

    I’ll never get entitlement, so not really anything I can help with except say it must be frustrating and irritating and to try ignoring.

    Thanks for everything you have shared and rough trade that makes november so much better.

    • I don’t know how I’d have gotten through the last nearly 2 years without great fanfic to read. I’m really grateful I stumbled into fandom. It drives me bonkers sometimes, but there’s a lot of good too. Thanks for the support 🙂

  9. I’m sorry about the health stuff but happy it sounds like you’re in a good place now.
    911 isn’t my thing, though I have tried to get into it, but I’ve enjoyed reading the completed Sentry and Alio Modo and always try new fandoms, figuring that there was a time I hadn’t seen or read SGA and I fell in love with that :). I am loving some of the time travel fics on rough trade this month ❤️

    • Time travel is a beloved trope of mine now, too, so I’m eager to get some more of my writing done so I can indulge in what everyone else has been getting up to 🙂

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