Absolute Chaos Discussion Boards

Fic Talk => Writer's Circle => Updates => Topic started by: nicksgal on August 01, 2008, 03:53:04 PM

Title: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on August 01, 2008, 03:53:04 PM
So, it's been a while and I figured that a new story desrved a new thread away from the dynasty that was PBox. :)

So, welcome to my new story:

The Secrets of Beta Sigma Beta

Summary: It was the fall of 1999; the Backstreet Boys were at the top of the charts and world famous musicians. But, sometimes, it's lonely at the top. Nick Carter begins to reflect on the different paths his life could have taken and whether or not he made the right decision six years ago.

http://www.absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=9171

And there's no banner, yay!

So, give it a chance, hopefully. :) And this story has an extra special secret, so I hope everyone will make it to chapter four. :)

First chapter is up!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: mare on August 01, 2008, 05:47:18 PM
Congrats on posting it Dee!

I enjoyed the first half very muchly.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on August 01, 2008, 05:55:23 PM
Thank you. :)

I figured you would. lol It has a very BSB late nineties feel to it, I think. lol
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: RokofAges75 on August 01, 2008, 09:57:23 PM
Yay, you finally posted it!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on August 01, 2008, 10:20:29 PM
Yay! ;D
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: Rose on August 01, 2008, 10:38:33 PM
LOL yay I can finally see Dee's BAD avy!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on August 01, 2008, 10:44:21 PM
Yay. :)
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on August 08, 2008, 01:24:31 AM
Contrary to prior patterns, I updated. I'm on a weekly schedule like Mare, yay! lol

And for those of you that are on the fence about reading this story, I give you a tiny snippit of my favorite part of the chapter:

“She invited me to a party.”

“On a Monday? That’s a school night.”

“It’s a college party.”

“Like an apartment party?”

“Something with pies and carps…”

“Pie and seafood? Not my choice of a good meal, even at a college party...”

“Maybe she said ‘parks’…”

“That doesn’t make sense either, Nick.”

“What about pie cans? Like a big party where everyone makes pies from canned pie mix?”

“Like pumpkin pie?”

“Yeah, I mean, isn’t that what you’re supposed to do with jack o’ lanterns when Halloween is over? Mash the skin and bake it in a pie?”

“Oh yeah, Nick, especially the rotted ones! They’re delicious!”

“Now you’re making fun of me.”

“You use the insides of fresh pie pumpkins, Nick.”

“Like you cut open the pumpkin and there’s a pie inside?”


So, there you go! Now you know that you should go read it, because Nick rambles about pie!

There's also this line, which is a personal favorite, "Who cares if Cinderella only got until midnight? Cinderella didn’t go to a frat party." lol

Here's the link in case you forgot. ;) http://www.absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=9171

Read, read! lol
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: mare on August 08, 2008, 04:02:48 AM
Dee, did you change the name of your story or am I just an idiot? I'm probably just an idiot. LOL anyway good for you and another update. I left you a review. If it's incoherent blame my cat! lol
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on August 08, 2008, 12:19:21 PM
Well, I realized that I made a typo in the title when I posted that, so I changed that. lmao

But I did change it from "The Pledgeship of Beta Sigma Beta" when I orignially posted that excerpt back in June, if that's what you mean. lol I decided that the title I have now may be more fitting for the story. :)

And yay, another Mare review! *squees and runs to AC*
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on August 14, 2008, 11:07:42 PM
Just wanted to apologize to you all for not having a Beta Sig update. :(

Moving really takes it out of you!

But don't worry, when I'm (hopefully) ready to update next week, I'll have two updates for you. ;D
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on September 28, 2008, 12:20:49 AM
So it's like a month later, but I finally updated! ;D

Sorry about taking so long, real life took over writing time. And now I'll go read Richard III, yay! lol

If you're on the fence about reading still, here is my favorite line from the chapter: “Wow, right down to what you’re drinking on Monday nights? That’s pretty exact!” Okay, I lied about her not being anal… If Kevin and I were gay, and were born like thirty years ago and had a love child, this would be that love child.

And here's another good part:

Quote
Plans had changed and I’d ended up closer to the campus than I had originally thought I would be. I shivered as I stood on the corner of some streets in front of a restaurant, “Damn you, cold.” I stared down at my sweatshirt. I’d definitely dressed for the weather at least this once, so why was it being sucky? I’m usually not this cold and I’ll be wearing shorts in Alaska or something… assuming we actually toured in Alaska…

“This is why you get sick.”

Get out of my head already, Kevin. I let out a sneeze.

I could hear him laughing at me.

Seriously, get out of my head. If Kevin weren’t really like that, people would think I was crazy by now.

I sneezed again.

Just for that, I’m totally sneezing on you when I get home, Kevin.

So, yup, read and enjoy. :)
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on October 29, 2008, 06:29:18 PM
Just wanted to let everyone know that I updated. And before anyone gets upset about this being updated and not other things, this has been sitting on my computer for about a month now, I've just been busy.

So enjoy. :)

I won't post funny parts because that would ruin the surprise. ;)

And yes, the next like four chapters are already on my computer and completed. ;D
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on November 03, 2008, 09:21:13 PM
I've been having a bad week, so I thought updating again would cheer me up. It was pretty easy, actually, all I had to do was copy and paste. lol

Hope everyone's enjoyed the last two updates. :)
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on February 12, 2009, 12:19:27 AM
I missed being shameless. I finally updated Beta Sigma Beta. Yay.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on December 09, 2020, 11:27:10 PM
Woah, blast from the past!

So I've come back and decided to take on Wednesdays for an update day (seems like no one is using it and Wednesdays are what really started this whole thing, more on that below). So before I talk about my newest update, I wanted to talk about why I started writing again.

Fellow writers, you will understand that sometimes you are carrying on with your day and a character or plot (a Rose plot bunny, if you will) will pop up and say, "Hey."

Right around the time AJ started on DWTS and Nick first appeared on Masked Singer in a crocodile suit (I'm really glad this will never be a spoiler here), this persistent little guy (https://ibb.co/GxDQhG3) popped into my head and said, "Hey, remember that thing you knew in PBox, but no one else knew in PBox unless they were really good at extrapolating from incomplete information? Even me?" "I remember." "Let's talk about that." "What do you want to talk about? It's been a decade." "Let's write it." "I don't think anyone will read it, it's been a decade." "Who cares about reading it? Let's write it." "Nick, we're writing for free, reader engagement is currency. Also a decade." "Time-schmime, money-schmoney, let's write it." "Nick..." "Let's write it."

And this went on for about a week until he finally said, "I'm still here after a decade waiting for you tell this story. Isn't that a good enough reason to write it?" And I thought about it. "Well, okay, Nick, since you're here, let's write it. But first we have to fix some problems in PBox..." "Fine, let's go fix them... And then we write!"

So before I started fixing those problems (like I remembered how much I hated chapter 10, 11, and 12 for instance), I went back and read the whole story and in that process remembered all the love I had for the characters and their journey and the original complete story I had wanted to tell about them, even though some bits needed some TLC (like chapter 10/11/12). "Nick, you were right, we should write it." "I was right! Yay! Time to write!"

So I sat down and started writing, but it was just bits and pieces at first, parts that seemed interesting, snippets of dialogue, or notes to research later if I ended up still writing. I even drew the crudest map of Safaiananpou on my phone with my finger in Google keep (it is so bad and squiggly, calling it bad and squiggly does not do the description justice for how bad it actually is). Then Nanowrimo approached... And in a year of self improvement, I stared at it and said, "Nick, let's try to write something every day." "We're writing again! Every day!"

So on November first, I went back to the beginning and wrote and wrote and wrote and edited in those snippets where they belonged, all while my tiny cheerleader supported me. I thought, maybe I can write 50,000 words, but my only real goal was to write something down each day rather than aiming for the suggested 1,667 words (like on election night, I only wrote 5 words, but I wrote them and celebrated that). "We did it, Nick!" "Yay!" And every day, I wrote and we celebrated, whether it was a 133 word day or a 5,726 word day (that only happened once).

To be honest, Nick actually previously came tapping (with a similar conversation, just substitute "five years" where "decade" is) when the real Nick was on DWTS (there's something great about new Backstreet on TV once a week, it's like the 90s). However, while I had some motivation, I had no real ideas at the time after I wrote about ten pages of half of the then first, second, and fourth planned chapters (the content of these original chapters is still there, but quicker paced in this final version as chapters one and two), then walked away hoping my little buddy Nick knew I just didn't have it anymore.

But as you've noticed, and I mentioned, he's a persistent little guy (he always has been), and this time, Nick poked, nagged, and chewed the scenery until I wrote what was interesting ("Fill it in later," he said) while waiting on ideas for completing the blanks rather than constantly hitting a block and walking away. And in the end, I did write 50,000 new words (51,768 new words actually, it's the first time I've ever finished NaNo despite trying many times) plus the snippets I'd already written which translated into twenty-one chapters of Nick's story that he kept begging me for.

And that whole time he sat at my desk, cheering me on. Then at the end of November he said, "Look, we wrote it." "We sure did." "Now, let's see who will read it." "Alright. You and me, buddy." "Go say 'Hi' first." "You're right, we should go say hi first." And the craziest part is, now that I sat and wrote every day for an entire month, I finished dinner most days last week and thought "Now what?" And he popped in and said, "Let's keep writing today." And I did and now there's twenty-two chapters (and probably twenty-four to twenty-six soon knowing I have a big chunk of "interesting tid bits" I wrote down already that happen right around now in the story's timeline). So, today, thank a persistent Nick for insisting the rest of his story gets told, his persistent insistence is also why he didn't die the first time around (Is this a spoiler? Probably!). Here's a cheers to those characters and Rose plot bunnies that bother us until we do something about them. Onward to the next bit!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on December 09, 2020, 11:45:28 PM
Alright, part two, the story. So persistent small demon Nick insisted that you hear the rest of his story.  A summary below:

Pandora's Necklace

A demon shrouded in only shadows.

A ceaseless and persistent curse.

An evil strong enough to be coveted by the Devil.

A necklace ready to ignite.

When the box no longer exists, what binds demons and priestesses? What do they fight for? And what will they find at the end of their battles?


So that being said, welcome back to this tale. If you haven't read Pandora's Box, you will be very confused, so go read it if: this sounds at all interesting, you were intrigued about just what brought me back, or you read all the posts on this forum mentioning him and thought "I like that tiny persistent Nick, he sounds like a good seed" (he is). You can probably read it comfortably over a week or so if you want to dive right into Pandora's Necklace. If you read PBox originally, a few things are being edited and added here and there, but nothing that majorly changes the story as a whole entity, so this next arc should all make sense. I'll leave notes for you at the bottom for any chapters you may want to revisit if they had any sort of overhaul that's relevant to the current plot. I signed up for an AO3 account, at the suggestion of everyone here, and will be spending the next five weeks or so (minus a holiday week story, probably) updating/posting the edited chapters for Pbox before posting Pandora's Necklace. This week, the first ten chapters are up in their shiny and best edited form!

However! You all can read PBox now! So for loyally hosting my musings and stories for the past 14 years, I figured I should post it here while the option is available. So, please find links as follows:

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (with shiny updated chapters 1-10): http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894

Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos: http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583

Pandora's Box on AO3 (if you want to enjoy 10 chapters at a time): https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290

Treat me kindly, y'all!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: FrickingKaos on December 12, 2020, 07:42:05 AM
Oh Em gee. You have NO idea how much i squealed when I saw a story/sequel to Pandora's Box. The original is one of my very favorite stories and I am super excited to see you post again.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: RokofAges75 on December 12, 2020, 12:41:12 PM
I'm glad you're back and writing again!  Sometimes a good long break is needed to get the creative juices flowing again and discover your passion for it again.  And sometimes discipline is needed to get you going again.  I am most productive when I'm on the "force yourself to sit down and write something every day" plan.  Like you said, some days I only write 5 words, and other days I write 2,005, but hey, you never know until you try.  I'm glad it's been going well for you!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on December 12, 2020, 07:39:47 PM
Oh Em gee. You have NO idea how much i squealed when I saw a story/sequel to Pandora's Box. The original is one of my very favorite stories and I am super excited to see you post again.

Aw, Delphina! I'm excited to hear that! I didn't think it was anyone's favorite but mine, especially after this long, haha. Let me know what you think!

I enjoyed typing up that little author chat, so I'm planning on writing one for every update. So I hope you'll enjoy some nice background thoughts/behind the scenes chat on it all.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on December 12, 2020, 07:48:14 PM
I'm glad you're back and writing again!  Sometimes a good long break is needed to get the creative juices flowing again and discover your passion for it again.  And sometimes discipline is needed to get you going again.  I am most productive when I'm on the "force yourself to sit down and write something every day" plan.  Like you said, some days I only write 5 words, and other days I write 2,005, but hey, you never know until you try.  I'm glad it's been going well for you!

I'm glad I'm back too, I just wish I had come back when it was still a little busier here. I miss chatting about writing. Discipline is what I need in my life for sure, otherwise I get distracted by work or inconsequentia l things like The Office reruns. I agree, if you make a conscious effort to do anything, you'll end up with something. My main concern was that six month writer's block I'd had during the initial write because I would have a five word day and go "I hate this," and then not open it again for a week. So this time, I made sure to say, "You're busy, things are going on, and you just wanted to write something down. Good job for writing something."

Right now I'm on a strict editing schedule, so we'll see what happens, haha.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: FrickingKaos on December 13, 2020, 01:02:10 AM
Aw, Delphina! I'm excited to hear that! I didn't think it was anyone favorite but mine, especially after this long, haha. Let me know what you think!

I enjoyed typing up that little author chat, so I'm planning on writing one for every update. So I hope you'll enjoy some nice background thoughts/behind the scenes chat on it all.

I have to read the updated version with the revisions to chapters 1-10 but I read and reread this story many times over time. It's definitely on my favorites list for sure.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on December 13, 2020, 12:43:13 PM
So many warm fuzzies. I'm the emoji surrounded by hearts. But, oh man! I will do my best not to disappoint!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on December 16, 2020, 10:58:47 PM
I really enjoyed giving a little chat last week on why writing/why now/why PNecklace (doesn't quite roll off the tongue like PBox, but it's what I've always called it), so I think I'll chat about a couple things before outlining updates for the week from now on. Today I wanted to talk about two things (one for PBox and one for PNecklace): Why Introduce Howie So Early? and Song Arcs. Let's start with Howie because he's great.

In the early days of my career as a fanfic writer, I leaned hard into that old cliche that "Howie appears in chapter seven or something, finally, and then doesn't appear until the end again" because as a young writer, I didn't know what to do with him. Also, Nick existed.

So, when I started writing PBox, I had a few shaky details on the aspects of the Boys I wanted to draw their archetypes/roles/powers from (I'm a hardcore plantser, more on those two things once AJ has been introduced in the edits), but I also wanted to make a conscious effort to give Howie something important to do. I thought, well he's Sweet D. always taking care of people, so "The Good King" seemed like the perfect role for him. He gets introduced as a "voice in a carriage," but I always felt like he was out and about that day checking on his citizens and their day-to-day goings on. At least until Nick and Minako crashed into the capital screaming, "We're here to interrupt you with the plot, Howie!!!"

To be fair, I did sideline Howie for a hot second in favor of some nice moments between two other characters... Not Nick and Minako, at least not them at Howie's expense. If you've read the story, you know the two characters. If you haven't, but know enough about my Boys bonding moments leanings, then you can probably guess. And if you're just not sure at all, these next few edited chapters are those chapters, so you'll find out soon! But, at the time, I felt like sidelining Howie for a moment was justified because he's obviously very busy what with ruling a whole country, but could still pop up when a "drop everything" moment arrived for the group/plot. And he still came back to the story before I introduced AJ at all, so that's a win for Howie too. In the years of developing the story, I eventually pinpointed a plot-related reason for his absence, but you'll just have to wait and see what that is! (Team No PNecklace spoilers!)

And some fun images from last week's updates (see hardcore plantser above):

Nick at the beginning of the story (https://ibb.co/tHq7P8D)

Our gal pal, Minako (https://ibb.co/hfnFRjv)

Howie in his Kingly robes (https://ibb.co/nm9svbR)

Our buddy Nick at the start of PNecklace (https://ibb.co/ypWby82)
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on December 16, 2020, 11:06:50 PM
Now song arcs and the updates... Obviously there's some plot arcs in the story: "gotta catch 'em all" is the beginning of PBox (not a Pokemon fan, but love a relevant reference joke), the middle is "the journey to the box," and the end is "battle royal: tournament style." But I also like the emotive feeling of connecting lyrics and music within elements of the story.

You'll notice in the first chapter of PNecklace that "Incomplete" is running through the narrative (and through most of PBox as well) because it's always been a big part of the story for me. When I first started writing this story and had the initial idea, it was about three months after Never Gone was released (after the concert), because before the concert, I was full in on creating another story as a comic to give to Nick at the show -- given the timeline, you might recognize that story as the also delightfully epic, but unfinished Gobosei (which there are potential musings of new chapters from forever ago, but it's no where near as fleshed out as PNecklace in a "this will probably be completed in the next year, maybe two" sense). Anyway, first hearing "Incomplete" had struck me with the thought that "This is what it felt like to be a Backstreet Boys fan during their hiatus post-Black and Blue." Of course I'm glad they took the break for their mental and physical health, creativity, etcetera and it's not even the longest break between new music for them now, but it felt like forever back then, especially when we only had MySpace for social media or weren't constantly connected to technology. The major thoughts and feelings that I'd had during that hiatus were: the worry at seeing Justin get really successful as a solo act and bringing "the end" to 90s boybands, the worry that something you really enjoyed that was ubiquitous was suddenly quiet, and the worry that if anyone's solo stuff went really well like Justin's, would BSB be like Justin and NSYNC or would they be like the Wu Tang Clan? (It's such a stupid movie, but I love so many moments of Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping", especially that gem near the end.) As it turns out: They're the Wu Tang Clan or Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, but they're all Tom Petty. (Hahahahaha.)

I've always found something really beautiful about the lyrics for "Incomplete" and then the added visual imagery of the video with everything on fire, but then it wanes and burns out into this calm and tranquil greenery with Kevin and a piano. I loved that, the wild, elemental forces of nature blending into the calm of music. With all those background thoughts, it kind of ran rampant through the story. What makes someone feel "Incomplete"? A thing, a person, their own experiences?

I think there's something really powerful about imbuing the essence and feeling of music into written works, especially when as BSB fanfic writers, a lot of our experience with our source characters/material is song. If you're reading along with my edits, Nick at the beginning of PBox is very "Help Me"esque. He and Minako are very "Who Needs the World"ish/"I Got You"ish with each other. The end of the story is littered with "Show Me The Meaning of Being Lonely" imagery. I'm not sure if these things are spoilers? It's an old story, but maybe it's old enough that some people reading this are reading it for the first time (if you think these are spoilers, please say so and I'll be more vague). I'm sure you're curious, what song imagery or arcs are in PNecklace besides "Incomplete"? You may have noticed some "Permanent Stain" vibes in the first chapter as well, but otherwise you'll have to wait and see!


Please find updates as follows (links included):

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (with shiny updated chapters 11-20) (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Chapter Two of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (now has the first 20 chapters available if you only want to read fully updated chapters) (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: FrickingKaos on December 17, 2020, 08:23:34 AM
Loved the new chapter. I was so excited that I read it right when I woke up this morning. I love these characters.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on December 17, 2020, 07:03:37 PM
Loved the new chapter. I was so excited that I read it right when I woke up this morning. I love these characters.

I'm a vat of smiles!!!! Thanks for the love, Delphina! This installment is definitely more character arc driven than the first one, so I'm glad it's the characters you love in this case.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on December 23, 2020, 06:10:43 PM
So this last week, I updated chapters 11-20 from PBox and chapter 2 of PNecklace. I hope you all enjoyed some more fun banter between Nick and Brian, some more introspection, and some cute Nick and Minako moments in the former and having our favorite demons back in the latter, mostly.

On our friend tiny persistent Nick's urging, I started this whole adventure with some rereading again. And while I was happy with the story as a whole, I hated the first part of Nick and Minako's relationship and I couldn't figure out why that was or what exactly I wanted to fix about it (other than starting over)... I'd remembered hating the 10/11/12 stretch from my first revisit to PBox, but I thought that was more about them being bare bones storytelling surrounded by juggernaut chapters when there was more to experience in those moments. But, when I started writing the interesting tidbits and snippets in PNecklace, I thought "Ah. Here is why."

They were supposed to have this epic love story in an equally epic place: champions for each other, fierce loyalty, a willingness to burst through hell for each other, and make sacrifices for each other, among other things. And that was there a little bit, but in the beginning, they just kind of jumped into it. And in the tidbits I started writing, their relationship had that epicness to it, but also this quiet maturity. Ah, here is why. Now that I'm in my thirties, I've had many more love stories than I had when I started writing PBox. I was only a senior in high school back then! My longest term love story at that point was probably my celebrity crush on Nick, which isn't much of a love story, much less an epic one. The problem, I realized, was that it was all very high school feeling, but what else would a high schooler really know? Ah. Here is why. And then it took me almost three years to finish. Looking back at 2008 when I finally finished it, no wonder I wanted to start editing the beginning the longer I kept writing it!

Nick's a little prickly in the beginning and he lashes out a lot, but I think his character would still fall for a rescue romance, for the first person who called him kind and not a monster, once he decided it was okay to feel that way or say it out loud without worrying about protecting his feelings. And Minako admits in story that she was taken in by his embrace, and then his smile, but she is a high school senior in PBox, so I think in the beginning that it's okay for her to think "this cute boy is nice to me, I love him" before growing into a deeper love and affection over time. I know I did that a lot in high school. Over the course of the story, they do start making those sacrifices for each other and supporting each other along the way, so it wasn't all a disaster. There just needed to be a few more little building blocks in the beginning to show it had the seeds of epicness and not just jumping in for the sake of it.

In general, the story has a lot of fire forged love (and friendship), that idea that when you go through tough things together, you come out unbreakable... Or so you think. That's probably the toughest part of their relationship to each other (and their friendships), the whole plot probably lasts... Maybe a month or two of story time at most. So the whole thing is kind of exacerbated by these life or death stakes. If you might die, what should you do with the time you do have? Anyway, I hope this rewrite sits better with everyone else too, keeps that epic feeling, discards the high schoolness of the situation, and even though it still is a quick leap, feels right for them and their adventure. We'll see how next week's PNecklace update goes! We couldn't leave our favorite persistent demon out of the story for too long!

Your delightful doodles this week:

Brian with his great hat (https://ibb.co/QcSZh7k)

Brian without his accessories (https://ibb.co/QYrvP5j)

Our favorite big bro Kevin (https://ibb.co/QYJ5Tcs)

Howie in his battle outfit (https://ibb.co/ngRD1m8)

Minako at the beginning of PNecklace (https://ibb.co/n6Q97mV)
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on December 23, 2020, 06:51:49 PM
In the meantime, happy holidays to everyone! Please enjoy a short story! Hopefully it makes you laugh and say "aww" many times.

Three Cheers for Christmas Time! (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11585)

The Boys plan an early Secret Santa exchange before Brian and Kevin head back to Kentucky for the holidays. In typical fashion, Nick forgets until the gift exchange day and panic buys the first decent present he finds. Will his gift be a Christmas fail or will he find the true spirit of Christmas?


On the title, it feels like we should be getting a third BSB Christmas song some time in the next couple of years and I've always enjoyed that their only holiday songs are six years apart and called "Christmas Time" and "It's Christmas Time Again." So at this point, it makes perfect sense to me that every few years, they should make a new "Number reference plus Christmas Time somewhere in the title" song. Nick and I seem to have this same penchant for jokes like this and he helped write the second one, so I'm counting on you to fulfill this vision, Nick!

Link on AC above (just click the title), and if you enjoyed it enough that you want to leave a review on it forever, it's also on AO3: Three Cheers for Christmas Time on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/28274325)
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on December 30, 2020, 09:07:22 PM
A brand new story last week! I was involved in a few Secret Santas this holiday season and I thought BSB Secret Santa could be funny, especially if Nick just flat out forgot when it was. And then hilarity ensued. I think half of what I wrote ended up in there because it made me laugh more than me thinking it would make anyone else laugh. "Three Cheers for Christmas Time!" really highlights my favorite dynamics between the boys (I'm so sorry AJ and Howie!), I'm forever team Frick & Frack and Big Bro & Little Bro (does this have a name I'm unaware of?). I've consciously tried to have different dynamics in PBox & PNecklace as much as possible, but you'll definitely still catch leanings in there, especially when the groups split up. Frick & Frack is really nostalgic for me and their banter is just great. Plus I love that Brian can still make the dumbest jokes and Nick will die every time. It just gets me! And I melt every time for the dynamics of Nick and Kevin foiling, supporting, and loving each other. "The little one is the oldest and usually has to take care of people and the big one's the youngest and gets taken care of by people, but now in their chosen family, they're the opposite. Aww..." And then their serious vs silly dynamic, but the older I get, the more I think in the 90's that had a heavy basis in age dichotomy in addition to personality. In general, I'm a sucker for "band of brothers/chosen family/true companions," probably because of the Boys. It will get me every time, so I try to use it as much as possible in my own writing (even outside of BSB fanfic, but especially in BSB fanfic).

In this last week of 2020, I'm following my typical update schedule which has been the range between a cursory edit of my writing before posting and some overhauls of the next set of PBox chapters. Though a "cursory edit" for PNecklace is still about 600 different words. Also, this week's PBox update chunk was probably the last one with major overhauls, but as I say that, I'm currently fighting the urge to go Victor Hugo on you all and create a brand new chapter between this week's chunk and next week's chunk titled "I'd like to talk about mfin' castles for 20 pages"... and then I realized that I still just didn't do Aohouseki full justice... So go back to chapter 5 in a few weeks to watch me fully nerd out about castles, I guess... There were a lot of Renee/NSYNC focused chapters in this section, so I thought it would go better trying to edit them all at once, rather than one at a time -- like focusing on a story within a story, but I for sure kept straying from them to edit team BSB focused chapters, including trying to move on to the next 10 chapter chunk before finishing them! It got a little stressful at the end to make sure 21/22/23/25 were all squared away for today's update chunk (thank goodness it's winter break) and I definitely realized that I didn't have enough Renee/NSYNC in me to do ch. 23 full justice, so back we went to team BSB for some good times (I had a lot of fun adding that part, so I hope anyone reading along enjoys it too, it's basically a "so what do they do when they're traveling" snippet). It was nice taking a little PBox/PNecklace editing break and writing something new the past couple of weeks, though, but we're almost at the end of these massive edits, so yay!

2020 has been something else. I've become increasingly hermitish during the year. I only go two places: school and my house, though I know a lot of people don't even have two places, so I count this among my blessings. The longer this year has gone, the more I became the shrug emoji. Something bad happened? Sure, that seems like 2020. Something good happened? Good, I needed that in 2020, but what's next?

I'm very glad Nick and AJ were on TV for months. I needed that at the end of this year, it felt like going back to a simpler and more joyful time. Aside number two, I think this is why 80's Movie resonated with me so much, outside of Nick sounding great, the lyrics being great, and the music being great. Just replace "80's Movie" with "90's love song" and I 100% feel you, Nick -- though in general, I do love 80's movies more than others (#growinguppoor/#nocable) and appreciate your overall point, because he reads this obviously. I think it's that feeling of wanting to go back to not just simpler times, but childhood when it really did feel like anything was possible with a little effort and a lot of dreaming. And it can be, but it's definitely heavier on the effort side and also some other things more than just wanting or believing. I'm also glad that tiny demon Nick popped up to say "hello." It's just been a year between politics, working constantly day in and day out since March and feeling like you can't take a personal day because there's always more you can do to help the kids and their families, the stress of never knowing what will happen week to week this fall, the constant worry about what ifs in the pandemic, worry if you're doing enough in your volunteer roles/if you can do more for your community, some personal stressors about what's next for our little family... But writing and the 90's, what a nice thing to retreat into... Some place where there's other things to focus on and have a chance to get out of your head and anxieties for a little while.

On writing in particular, focusing on some literal demons and not some metaphorical demons has been a breath of fresh air in a lot of doom and gloom. I'm hoping I can keep it up in this new year because I think I always missed writing even when I wasn't doing it, but I just let the disappointment of failure get to me constantly. That's why tiny, persistent Nick and I celebrate every small thing, at least we did some writing. So I hope everyone found something to celebrate in 2020, no matter how small, writing-related or not, and will take the time to celebrate the little things in 2021. Cheers!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on December 30, 2020, 09:16:11 PM
No pictures this week, but we do have PBox and PNecklace updates!

Please find updates as follows (links included):

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894) (with shiny updated chapters 21-30, including a brand new chunk in ch. 23 "Connected", the rest are scene expansions more than new chunks)

Looking back, I probably should have mentioned chapters in the past updates that got major overhauls compared to others (ch. 10, ch. 11, and ch. 12 stick out. ch. 13 had a new Nick/Brian bit at the beginning, ch. 16 got a Brian focused bit at the end) The rest are more scene expansions, but nothing major that I can think of.

Chapter Three ("Unbroken") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290) (now has the first 30 chapters available if you only want to read fully updated chapters)

Enjoy! Always here to chat if you wanna talk PBox, PNecklace, or anything about this little fantastical world I've created.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on January 06, 2021, 11:45:18 PM
I have a novel about my novel entitled "Demon Powers and Plantsing" below. Enjoy!

This past week, AJ was reintroduced -- yay AJ! I always felt bad that he popped into the story so late, especially since I actually decided his powers and character arc first, but it's where it made sense plot-wise. It's been fun having him from the start in PNecklace and I've been slowly working out the Boys' character arcs for this installment while writing. We're still plantsting that a little bit, but the overall theme is there for each of them. Nick's was definitely the easiest, because he's spent many years bothering me about it, even back when I was still writing PBox. Most of my stories start out as vague ideas and just writing and seeing what happens (pantsing is what NaNo calls it), but once I've hit on a character plan or a world building element, like the magic system of demonic powers, then I go hard-core planner (we're talking maps, doodles, character charts, outlines, references, etcetera, as you've probably noticed). Plantsing is the middle of those two things and probably where I find myself writing most often, as I've mentioned. Pantsing is more fun, but I've found the more epic you're envisioning a story, especially if it has complicated non-real world elements (like magic), the more you have to plan and world build. Like any weird and minute detail in the world, you'd better have an answer. Go ahead, in the replies, ask me anything and if it's not likely to be a spoiler, I'll answer it. I consider this space half an update thread and half an intimate fireside chat with your gal anyway, so interact with me as much as you want.

I think I've mentioned before that PBox began as a weird dream, but I'm not sure who remembers that after this long. There was a demon carrying a girl through the dark and they picked up a box from an altar, but that weird and random demon had Nick's face. And I wonder now if this was more a case of "your brain can't make up faces and you fall asleep staring at the same five faces every day" than "you remembered this weird dream, this is a sign to write this story," but here we are. So I just started thinking and writing. How would this girl end up with these demons? Why was there a box? If Nick is a demon, then the other Boys should be demons, but why are the Boys demons? What are demons like? I planned out the first few and then puzzled through the last question as I wrote. I hadn't figured out what I was doing exactly by the time Nick was introduced (two chapters in, oh noes), but I had decided that if he was found in hiding, then maybe he didn't know his powers.

Then I carried on my merry way and decided to introduce Howie next and decided that with the society of racism elements I popped into the story, the people probably wouldn't accept a demon for a King, so Howie had to be very powerful, powerful enough to hide all the demonic things about him and seem like a person. Cool, I bought myself a little time, but then what? So around chapter 10/11, I decided I wanted to introduce Brian next (because as I mentioned last week, I love me some old school Frick & Frack goodness and I am forever trapped in nostalgia land), but actually figured out AJ's powers first. At that time, I knew I need to figure it out once and for all, sat down, and said, "Alright, if two of them have very mysterious powers in a world with this magic system, then the other three have to be really straight forward."

For AJ who's always experimenting and changing things about himself and the way he looks, the power to shapeshift seemed perfect. But that would have to be really close-range in an attack, so someone on the team needed to be more long-range oriented, but who to put in that role? Brian? Kevin? Howie after all? Nick who ran into problems with his fist? Brian was clearly poised to take the Lancer role to Nick's Hero role, what with my predisposition to Frick & Frack banter and goodness. So if Nick was prone to fist fighting and physical shows of power, then Brian needed to utilize energy power or spiritual power, which seemed like a good fit for Brian "faithful in many ways" Littrell. And at that point, I toyed with Brian being the healer of the group, but it didn't quite make him a foil to Nick in the way I wanted.

So I looked at my other three options: Nick's actually the healer (short fused Nick as a healer, hahaha), Howie "help other people" Dorough is the healer, or Kevin "pragmatic big brother" Richardson is the healer. It never crossed my mind to make Minako the healer of the group, which would probably be the typical way to lean that role in a group combat dynamic. So I tossed around my two real choices for a little while. At the time, I'd planned on all the Boys dying before Minako could try to get the box, so I thought, in a story where everyone dies at the end, what dynamics are more interesting? Especially when Nick seemed ready to go down fighting? Howie who would smile and tell him to take better care of himself? Or Kevin who would frown at him and tell him to think before he acts? Kevin for sure, especially when Minako was already fulfilling the support role for Nick. So I said, alright Kevin's the healer.

This is about the time I decided to put the box in Rubiihoppou, so they needed a way to get from place to place without legal means, and some sort of mythical gate seemed like the way to do it. But in a warring states type era, leaving a border unguarded (even a mythical, no legal means required gate border) seemed like a liability for all the countries, so it probably needed someone impartial to guard it. Ah, that's where they meet Kevin. Pondering their battle dynamics then meant that Howie needed to fulfill the strategist role if AJ and Nick were close combat and Brian and Kevin seemed more defense/long-range combat oriented. Which looking back, Howie is so savvy, so strategist was a great choice! Encouraging the group to record their songs in foreign languages every chance he gets and then his business acumen in recent years? So savvy. (I wish I could think of more examples, but I'm at a loss at the moment.)

Deciding that, Brian had to have a more straight forward defensive power, so he became a barrier warrior and a priest to lean into the spiritual aspects at that point, which all seemed like a good way to foil brash fist fighting shunned Nick. So I got to chapter fourteen, Brian's powers were introduced, and short fused Nick jumped in guns blazing, but was still standing at the end of it. Tiny, persistent Nick popped up and said, "Hey, I know you decided we would all die for the plot. I'll for sure do some crazy things, but I'm not dying. I will make it to the end alive." "There's still time, Nick." "Not dying." And this went on over the next couple of chapters as I focused on Brian a little and there was Nick, still trucking along when they got to Kevin. "Fine, Nick. I guess you're not planning on dying." "Nope." "Be honest, Kevin wouldn't get to the end and decide to die either, would he?" "Nope." "Okay, then in addition to it being defensive, I have to make his healing power bad***." So Kevin got the ability to heal and guard his little brothers while turning the power to heal into an attack (somehow, that part took a while longer still). Again, not sure if these things are spoilers in a ten year old story? Sorry if you feel cheated from this reveal. Tell me if that's the case and I'll be more cognizant about my chat topics in the future.

At that point, we got to the end of PBox and never really discussed what Nick or Howie's powers were. I'd decided on Nick's powers, his backstory, and made the decision to keep it all a mystery until the sequel around Chapter 24 when he pointed out that he had a lot of story left to tell and it would be a much more monstrous undertaking than I'd originally planned for in this portion of the story, in fact him pointing out that he had a lot more to say is what made me realize that this was more than one story. So, then I started hinting at all of what was to come at that time and if you're paying very close attention, you might figure him all out. If not, that's okay, all will be revealed soon. To be honest, I still hadn't decided Howie's exact powers by the end of PBox. But, when I sat down to start PNecklace, I looked over my list of characters with demonic powers, decided what demon powers really were, and filled in the blanks officially based on the individual character, the major plot points I already had finalized, and their group dynamics. Nick and Howie's powers are both plot points in PNecklace, as well as the powers of a few other characters, so I hope you look forward to finding them out in due time! Hopefully it's as interesting for everyone else as tiny, persistent Nick insisted it was! Maybe he's just self absorbed, haha.

Your delightful doodles for this week:
Last but not least, AJ! (https://i.ibb.co/Kmxpnrb/Pboxaj.jpg)

As you may have figured out, these little doodles are from some costume design pages (because I honestly forgot what everyone was wearing when I started writing PNecklace). Since I don't have new costumes to show you from PNecklace (yet), have some delightful Nick doodles. If you haven't yet noticed, if I take the time to doodle something for a story, it has my full investment.

In case you weren't sure, yes, anxious Nick sleeps like a tiny dragon until he starts relaxing over time (https://i.ibb.co/Kw5tPDP/Pboxnicksleeping.jpg)

I randomly doodle Nick the most because he does the funnier things in the story, this is when he's not quite sure what shoes are for (https://i.ibb.co/QH5jbt2/Pboxnickshoe.jpg)
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on January 06, 2021, 11:50:34 PM
I hope you enjoyed that novel. Onward and forward to updates!

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894) (with shiny updated chapters 31-35, more on why next week if you did not gather why from things I've said in other threads)

Chapter Four ("Back to Safaiananpou") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290) (now has the first 35 chapters available if you only want to read fully updated chapters)

Enjoy! I was serious when I said ask me anything and you'll get answers. Been waiting to talk about mundane things like why Nick doesn't wear shoes and everyone else does.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on January 13, 2021, 11:52:51 PM
This isn't what I originally planned on talking about this week, but I think it's appropriate. Ah yes, just like my updates, I have been writing these little chats ahead of time as they strike me. I even have one written down for a few months from now! But we'll talk about that later, when the time comes.

So this week, I had meant to share a post with you called "My thoughts on editing/The History of PBox Part 1," but unfortunately, of all the things I have been hoarding, PBox isn't one of them. I took the month of December off from PNecklace (except for a few things: finishing chapter 22, some interesting snippets and tidbits, editing the chapters I posted, and more of that plantsing I mentioned last week) to fully edit PBox. I've had a great time revisiting it and making it align with my ultimate vision for this story. I've gotten to add some great callbacks in later chapters as well as some foreshadowing and/or call forwards in places it wasn't before. I've also gotten to write some fun new scenes and expand on things I glossed over the first time, things that really ended up being at the heart of PNecklace. But it's also been some tedious word changes (like "could" to "can" over and over again in a paragraph), changing dialogue tags to body language, adjusting character voice here and there, and a few other world building things (that are fun, but time consuming, *cough* castles).

The first few chapters, I was able to edit in about an hour each plus a little more depending on how many new scenes they warranted and then about thirty to forty minutes of moving my edits to a separate document so I could keep track of word count per day. Starting from chapter 31 "To The Castle," each chapter was taking me two hours to edit plus the thirty to forty minutes for keeping track of word counts. Those first thirty chapters featured a lot more scenes like "Nick and Brian make jokes as they plot along" or "Minako treats the demons like individuals and they're surprised, but happy" or "we're introduced to the characters along the way." And obviously entire new scenes take some time to write, but I enjoyed most of the new scenes I wrote. I think the ones in Renee's chapters took more effort than any of the ones in BSB chapters, but it's fun to write something new.

Meanwhile, the end is a lot of battles, which are pretty quick to edit, but not quite as much as witty banter because you have to keep track of everyone's body parts along the way (e.g. whose leg was chopped, where is everyone in the room, did Nick already clench his fist, where is anyone bleeding that changes over time). It's also full of philosophical discussions on life and death, good and evil, light and dark, the meaning of existence, different forms of courage, what are demons, what binds us, true purposes, etcetera. And all those philosophical discussions need their overall tone to stay consistent throughout. Also they were originally big philosophical walls of text, sorry dear readers!

In those first thirty chapters, I also did a lot more delete and rewrite than I've been doing in these ones. So they really are just those minute edits that are important, but so time consuming. My real dream was to finish editing PBox two weeks ago so that all I had to do on the last twenty chapters was my cursory edit before posting for the next couple of weeks. But the Renee chapters took longer last week, so I didn't start anything on the castle until that Thursday. And writing wasn't the only thing I did over those days, so those 2.5-3 hours per chapter added up! At this point, it's not the 15 hours for a ten chapter chunk anymore. Now it's 25-30 hours for a ten chapter chunk, plus the additional couple of hours to comb through the whole chunk one more time before posting. That's a lot of green lines and highlights on a screen for a long time. And trying to do that for two sets of 10 chapters seemed daunting in four days, knowing I had a busy week starting last Monday.

You know I love PBox, I wouldn't be here writing its sequel if I didn't. But the editing became frustrating, and a labor of love should never be frustrating. Then I realized that no one put this editing schedule on me except me. And I only put it on me so that I would only be a few weeks behind on AO3 at everyone's suggestion to cross post. But I'm not that invested in AO3 (though I did enjoy getting a kudos). AC was always my community and if y'all want to read PBox, you've been able to do so for a decade and you can still read the complete thing even as I edit and update it. Do I think it's better as it's been updated? Of course! Do you need the updated version to understand and enjoy PNecklace? No. I mean, maybe you'll enjoy it more (I hope you do), but the characters and plot of PBox haven't changed and those are the parts you need to fully enjoy PNecklace.

So in order to keep the frustration at bay, I only posted five updated chapters last week. And this week you're also going to get five more chapters... just late. I always got told that the Brian focused chapter was confusing and once I reread it with the intent to sit down and edit, I said, "Ah yes, here are the parts that are especially confusing." So it became more of a hack and slash chapter than the other ones at the end have been. That being said, I don't have my PBox edits for today because Brian's chapter took me the past three days to rewrite. So you'll see those tomorrow at some point so that Brian's chapter can muddle for a little bit. But it's Wednesday, so y'all need a PNecklace update and a PNecklace update you shall receive.

Your delightful doodles for this week:

Howie in all his demonic glory (https://i.ibb.co/x5vw5Rz/Pboxhowiedemon.jpg) (#TeamHowie)

And our favorite annoyingly persistent buddy, Nick (https://i.ibb.co/3rbmJVY/pboxnick.jpg) (just in case you missed him in the first post when he was a mere link and not a url tag)

New PNecklace pictures next week, plus one last PBox picture... I mean for now. I doodle these characters pretty often when I'm bored.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on January 13, 2021, 11:55:38 PM
This week's updates have now been fixed to reflect the editing updates!

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894) (with shiny updated chapters 36-40, including a much needed rehaul on ch. 38 "Seer" -- there's no new scenes, but it finally got the confusion diffusion that it deserved)

Chapter Five ("The Crater") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290) (now has the first 40 chapters available if you only want to read fully updated chapters)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers. I've never mentioned anything in passing in the story that wasn't going to be important, but you might have other burning questions! How cryptic did that sound? ;) Anyone remember when the crater was mentioned in PBox?
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on January 20, 2021, 10:43:34 PM
I apologize. I've written another novel about my novel... Good thing I split it up into two parts!

So most of my last month and a half has been spent doing PBox justice via editing so it better aligns with PNecklace in overall feel and because l'd been wanting to edit it since 2007. Why? Let's hop in our DeLorean and go back to 2005! Picture it: Never Gone came out in June, you worked really hard on the comic that became Gobosei, the second day of your senior year of high school was the BSB concert and it was all the way in Loveland (and the traffic is always terrible), you skipped doing your APUSH homework for the Backstreet Boys and your mother was not pleased, who knows if Nick ever actually read your comic that you made him, your mother was bothering you about the SATs and the ACTs, you had a dream about a demon who looked like Nick, you started writing PBox... This is clearly a very personal reflection on 2005, haha. You probably only related to that first nostalgic fact: Never Gone came out in June. I've also said most of this already (minus the semi-specific snippets about my high school days).

Back in ye olden days, I was really involved in the message boards of a site called BSBBLVD and had posted my fanfics there since I started writing them (because they allowed that on a message board for some reason?).  Some time in late 2005, I started seeking out different fan sites that were requesting fanfic submissions to host the ones I thought deserved some more attention and could be really well loved. And by ones, I really just mean PBox (I didn't start converting Gobosei to novel format until after high school graduation), though I'm sure I submitted some other stuff so they would give PBox a chance. Truthfully, it's probably still out there with the first few chapters in at least a couple different places (I'm curious what ch. 1-9 really used to look like! I have a vague idea, of course, but the oldest version I have reliable access to is from 2008 when I finished the story and had already started editing the beginning.)

Then some time in early 2006, I stumbled on AC. I thought, "OMG, a website where the only thing people do is read, write, and post fanfics?! And I can manage my own stuff?! I must join this website!" So I signed up right away, super excited that "nicksgal" wasn't taken. I'd been nicksgal for six or seven years at that point, so it would have been weird to be anyone else. I'm sure y'all have always been curious, why nicksgal? As mentioned, it started from BSBBLVD where you needed a username and I'm sure that whatever cringy 90's slangy name I wanted was already taken... I can't even remember, honestly, but I probably originally wanted something like nicksqtpie or nicksbabygirl or nickssweetiepi e or nicksgrl (because no one likes vowels!)... I think I eventually settled on nicksgal because 1. It was available! (the most important reason to pick a username) and 2. Well, it seems Westerny and I'm clearly a rough and tumble wild west gal out here in Colorado, ptoo (hahaha, I am not, as you know "rough and tumble" are not adjectives to describe me at all). I probably also actually wanted to be "Nick's Gal," but you know, spaces and apostrophes in usernames... (I'm also really excited it was available on AO3. I was ready to throw down with whoever was using my pen name.)

Anyway, we're actually here talking about the history of PBox (apparently instead of editing), not usernames. I signed up for AC, read some fanfics, and then excitedly uploaded the first 19 chapters of PBox at one time. I had no concept of holding on to anything at the time. "I wrote this, I'm so excited, read it right now!" Like excitement word vomit. And then I probably took a few months where I added a few chapters a week (end of high school and such), and then at the start of the summer of 2006, I think I had a hot section where I was adding a chapter in the late twenties and early thirties every day (the update chunk from the end of December and beginning of January). Every single day. (How did I manage that?!) That's also when the chapters started being meaty and had those walls of text, so I'm even more surprised by that, honestly. Then I took some time off as college started and thought I could reasonably handle two updates a week. (How?!)

And then I went months between updates, but when I updated, I still updated two chapters in one week, because once I pushed through one chapter, I was usually very inspired to write the next one and then it would hit 1 or 2am and I would say "I can write or I can go to bed?" I usually picked bed by the third chapter (smart choice). Honestly if I had a whole month to do nothing but write, I feel like I could probably finish a whole novel in one sitting as long as I had the initial spark of inspiration. At that time, my great downfall was this message board (ch. 35ish seems like about the time this started), "OMG, a message board only for people who read and write fanfics?! We're going to be best friends! I must join!" I think I spent more time being a "supreme time waster" here than I did writing much of anything during that time except collaborations . And then the burnout became real and overwhelming.. . But we can talk about that next time! (Or, next next time as the case will be.)

I've looked over my old author notes at the beginning of the chapters and laugh every time I see a "Sorry this took so long!" I don't even know why I thought people would stop reading it if I took more than a day to get another chapter up. That excited word vomit probably. Of course, the excited word vomit has its major downsides. First, obviously, burnout. No matter how much you love something, you will eventually hit a wall or run out of ideas or stare at your two sentence notes that say "Kevin's power to heal is awesome and he wins. There's plants." or "AJ has a hard time against some sort of spirit power, but eventually wins, because he's great." and think "What?" But you're almost done at that point, so you just keep trucking on. Second, you clearly needed a break at that point, but just wouldn't let yourself have it. And since you're not able to excitedly word vomit, you focus on the burnout. Third, real life rears its ugly head. You just can't always escape into writing or anything. There's always unintended consequences. Fourth, everything probably needs some time to settle, including your excitement. Just like you don't drink your coffee right after brewing it. You're so intimately involved with your writing that you know what you meant, but no one else can be inside your brain in the same way. So there's probably plenty of things to change that you just don't notice right away since your brain is filling in the blanks for you. Fifth, you don't take the time to notice stupid spelling mistakes or awkward portions for the reasons mentioned above. You're just too close to it. I was editing one of the PBox chapters and found that I'd accidentally written "aroused" when I clearly meant "roused." I laughed for a long time because that's clearly not what I meant, but it made it hilarious. And then I cringed knowing that was just there making it very awkwardly hilarious for however many years. And then I changed that sentence completely without either word.

This derailed from my plan to talk about my thoughts on editing until the end a moment ago, but I think maybe this is a two part discussion on the history of PBox more than it's only a discussion about editing. I'll continue it in two weeks, next week I'll talk more about editing. Also I don't know if they're spam bots or actual people reading, but it has been elating to watch the little read counter go up on PNecklace and even PBox. Someone or something has clicked on PBox over 35,000 times over the past decade? 160ish for five chapters of PNecklace? Thanks! Hopefully people are enjoying them. And maybe having to wait a week for a new chapter makes it more satisfying to see the next one. Onward! This is the second to last week where I'm posting PBox edits. We almost made it! It's probably felt like an excited word vomit on AO3 posting 5-10 chapters at a time, but I figured it was fine for a story that already existed in fully published form somewhere else. That and I didn't want to put off the PNecklace excited word vomit longer than necessary, in case I decided that I wanted to post it all at once from the excitement.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on January 20, 2021, 10:55:45 PM
I forgot your weekly pictures in my last post! (Happens when I'm too busy posting a novel about my novel, I suppose.)

No PBox pictures this week, I'm going to save them for when I finish uploading the last five chapters. But, now there's new PNecklace pictures this week. Although I'm just now realizing that I never said what Howie, Brian, and AJ were wearing this week and they definitely also changed, so oops! I might have to go fix that really quickly. In case you were wondering, yes, Howie is the one dressing all of them. That's why Nick looks so dapper and stylish once he gets new clothing, haha.

Nick in his shiny gold pants (https://i.ibb.co/Y2kt2VT/Pnecklacenick2.jpg)

Minako stopped running around in her school uniform (https://i.ibb.co/rwNFy10/Pnecklaceminako2.jpg)

Kevin has a simpler aesthetic (https://i.ibb.co/wwxPBWM/Pnecklacekevin.jpg)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894) (with shiny updated chapters 41-45, and now you get to know just what Nick thinks about when he's "full demon" because you didn't get to know before!)

Chapter Six ("Alliance") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290) (now has the first 45 chapters available if you only want to read fully updated chapters. Soon, there will be all 50!)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers. Who was surprised that the crater came back and was actually important? Anyone? No? I wonder why it makes Nick catatonic?! Place your guesses below. It's lonely fireside chatting with yourself.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: FrickingKaos on January 21, 2021, 08:49:20 PM
Loved the new PNecklace chapter as usual :)

That little twist at the end with the priestesses was really great. Can’t wait for more.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on January 21, 2021, 09:09:20 PM
Yay! Thanks Tracy! PBox et al. is, unfortunately, a victim of "loads and loads of characters," so you're about to meet a bunch of them over the next few chapters. Hopefully they're all fun.

I may be over here dropping bombshells for the next couple of weeks, so there's definitely some things to look forward to. Muahahaha.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on January 27, 2021, 11:49:09 PM
Since the last five chapters of PBox are getting their edits posted today, I decided to save The History of PBox Part Two and the final planned images for next week. However, if you like PBox doodles, you're in luck! I like to doodle these characters (and/or Nick... whatever), so there's a good chance you'll see more doodles of them soon.

Fun with PBox is a lot shorter than some of my more recent novels about this novel. I wanted to show you some very old PBox pictures and settle a debate. So first, pictures, I guess?

As they exist now, the PBox demons definitely fall more into the "cute monster" category. However, in the beginning, I absolutely had plans to make them harsher and scarier looking. Unfortunately for me and my love of dark and macabre things, plucky Nick just isn't harsh or scary. So he quickly went from harsh and scary to smirking bad*** to the cute monster we know and love. And that's not to say that plucky, cute monster Nick can't be a smirking bad*** or harsh and scary, he just lives most of his life in his plucky zone.

It's something we'll talk about more as PNecklace goes on, but you've probably noticed by now that while Nick started the story off in "defrosting ice king" mode, he's not really sugar and ice (sometimes sweet, sometimes cold/icy for those of you who don't like tropes as much as I do). Rather, he's sugar and fire (sometimes sweet, sometimes hot/fiery)! But he spends most of his time in "sugar" because when he's in sugar mode, he actually gets what he wants: acceptance, friendship, love, etcetera. The things he didn't know he wanted when he started PBox, but the things it turns out that he needed to feel whole. When he's in "fire," he gets more negative reactions from those around him, but not the negative reactions he’s been conditioned to expect. Fire mode is definitely one of his coping mechanisms, but again, we can talk about that later when the time comes. The point of this little tangent was that smirking bad*** and harsh and scary both fall under fire mode. Cute monster? So much sugar.

If you’d like a visual of how the demons evolved, please see below. If memory serves me correctly, I drew most of these in Calculus my senior year of high school, because I sat in the back and my teacher loved overhead projectors.

Here’s a “harsh and scary” looking Nick. (https://i.ibb.co/z2hmRhh/Pboxnickharshscary.jpg)

This is what I would call the “smirking bad***” phase. (https://i.ibb.co/7GS7nQ2/Pboxnicksmirk.jpg)

And this is the one I can’t find the original for, but here’s about when they turned into “cute monsters.” (http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a283/nicks_gal/Drawings/DLimage19.jpg)

I found some wild things when I went searching for old PBox doodles. As you've probably learned, I'm a bit of a hoarder, so it’s actually really surprising that I can’t find the original version of the “cute monster” phase. Maybe as I keep digging, it will turn up. I'm starting to have a sneaking suspicion of where it may have wandered off to, so I'll adjust the image accordingly if I can find it. Below, please find a random assortment of PBox doodles or things I found while digging:

Nick next to a doodle of a pig (https://i.ibb.co/G3xZLB2/Pboxnickandapiggie.jpg)

A cute Nick out of markers (https://i.ibb.co/t3xMGmx/Pboxnickmarkers.jpg)

A little Nick and Minako sketch (https://i.ibb.co/HGv3kxX/Pboxnickminakosketch.jpg)

A tiny Nick face (https://i.ibb.co/nwgypt7/Pboxnickface.jpg)

A handwritten portion of ch. 23 “Connected.” (https://i.ibb.co/V2STQhq/Pboxch23.jpg) Apparently I was on a writing roll or something when this one popped up, since  I don't typically write by hand.

A handwritten portion of ch. 49 “Nozomeru.” (https://i.ibb.co/VD5ZmVr/Pboxch49.jpg) Which is even more surprising since I had many more writer’s blocks during this portion of the story.

Next, let's settle a debate! I was once told: "You open a lot of chapters talking about darkness." So I thought, what's more fun than sifting through PBox for some of our favorite thematic words!

"dark"/"darkness" appears 617 times! I’ve mentioned many times that the demon world is “bleak and dreary” and what better way to convey that than talking about darkness?

"cold" appears 111 times, especially once they get to Rubiihoppou.

"lonely" appears 36 times, which seems surprising on its own, but it only appears 13 times after the first ten chapters. Probably because someone (Nick, obviously) is no longer lonely.

"light" appears 368 times. I wonder if this number jumps in PNecklace? Is it feeling a little brighter so far?

"warm" appears 154 times.

"bright" appears 150 times.

So how many chapters do start with a discussion on darkness? Only thirteen of them! Eight of them are about death and six are about cold, so it all seems pretty normal? Three of them start talking about a sunrise, sunlight, and the light of hope, so let’s focus on the positives here! And the intro isn’t always an indicator of a chapter’s content; for instance, the fluffy wedding chapter definitely starts off talking about curses, so... :shrug:

Last bit of fun, Nick and Minako say each other's names several times throughout the story and often loudly. How many times? Nick says/thinks Minako’s name 287 times. Minako says/thinks Nick’s name 271 times.

Overall, here’s how many of the million words in this story are the Boys’ names (In general, only 10 of the chapters do not include at least one of the Boys. Gotta give the villains the spotlight sometimes, you know?):

AJ (who appears in 13 chapters, sorry AJ) has his name (or some variant) appear 312 times.
Kevin (who appears in 21 chapters) has his name appear 394 times.
Howie (who appears in 26 chapters) has his name (or some variant) appear 492 times (sorry Howie).
Brian (who appears in 24 chapters) has his name appear 662 times.
Nick (who appears in 36 chapters) has his name appear 1,992 times. Yes, his name is 1% of all the words lovingly written to convey the juggernaut that is PBox.

Hope you had fun with PBox this week!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on January 27, 2021, 11:57:57 PM
I hope you all enjoyed those ancient PBox pictures! I do have some PNecklace pictures for you, though I realized I did not draw Howie's new outfit, so oops! I started sketching it this week, but didn't finish coloring it. I will post it next week.

Brian with a shiny gold cape (https://i.ibb.co/BB4CYmF/Pnecklacebrian.jpg)

AJ with a shiny gold shirt (https://i.ibb.co/j3FhrKH/Pnecklaceaj.jpg)

I owe you all one Howie.

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894) (with shiny updated chapters 46-50, including one new bit in ch. 50 "Incomplete" which is probably what I would have written more of if I wrote it now). If you have been waiting for all the chapters to be updated to reread, now is your chance, though I won't lie to you, I was planning the tiniest cursory edit now that it's all finished (mostly hunting out errant commas that I think are in the first couple of chapters).

Chapter Seven ("Melt") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290) (now has all 50 chapters if you want to chat with me inside the story and not on this forum, though the forum is more fun!)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers. Some new characters joining team PBox in PNecklace! I wonder who else might be joining soon and how that'll go for our buddy Nick!  ;)
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on February 03, 2021, 07:45:45 PM
I apologize, I've written another novel about my novel. This may be last one for a moment.

We left off this author talk two weeks ago at the burnout. At this point, we're somewhere in early 2007 and trucking along because I finally got to write "Wishes/Disciple" after a lot of NSYNC focused chapters. "Wishes/Disciple" was the chapter I'd dreamed of writing since introducing Nick, since he and Justin battled back in Emeradotouhou, since they got to Rubiihoppou and I figured out that Nick had a lot to say about who he was and what he wanted to do. You could just tell that I was wholly invested in this chapter. It was brimming with great character interactions, fun action, foreshadowing, and mystery. When they were one chapter, there were over 6,000 excited word vomits for it (it was only called "Disciple" back then). They're still two of my favorites through all the editing.

In addition, the updated versions of ch. 11 "To Emeradotouhou" (for the "you ask, I answer" game), ch. 12 "Disappear" (for the introspection and Nick/Brian banter), ch. 17 "Something Precious" (for the Nick/Brian banter), and ch. 27 "Knot of Love" (nerding out on rites and rituals of their world in story) are up there in my favorites of PBox after the edits. I also always liked ch. 33 "Abyss." But I still feel like all those chapters will never be on the same level of excitement and love as "Wishes/Disciple." In PNecklace, I think my favorites so far are (no spoilers for why, just chapter titles, which are intriguing clues): "Fear," "Truth," "Soul," "Den of Demons," and "Memories." You'll probably figure out why when I post them and you're able to read them, but it's fun to speculate for now.

Back when I wrote "Wishes/Disciple," I wrote in order, so I waited a very long time with all that excitement to write it! Unlike now, where I would have thought about it excitedly and then just wrote the whole thing (as tiny, persistent Nick says "write what's interesting, then fill it in later."). "Back to Safaiananpou" (PNecklace's ch. 4) and "The Crater" (PNecklace's ch. 5) were actually the first two full chapters I wrote of PNecklace for this reason, I was excited about them and they spilled out. I definitely worked backward and went back to finish  "Illusory," "Kiresaseru," and "Unbroken" afterward, but it all worked out. As I'm sure you're now wondering, part of the middle and end of "Unbroken" were the first snippets of any part of PNecklace that I wrote when I started again in September. I think because I was like "Alright, Nick, let's talk about how you feel about all these shenanigans, since you've been bugging me about it for such a long time."

On that note, back to the history of PBox. I was able to chunk through "God" and "Chaos" (renamed in the edit) in a couple months and then I was stuck. So very stuck. The writer's block was overwhelming. At the beginning of the writer's block, I sat there and thought, "How can I get to the end of this story and not be able to finish it? There's six chapters left! I even have a summary: Brian dies. Howie dies. Minako gets the box because Nick and Kevin help her and then she sends everyone back to their world where they're actually the Backstreet Boys." (Is that a spoiler? Surprise twist ending! They were always the Backstreet Boys because it's actually a story about [spoiler][redacted][/spoiler]! All in good time, friends... All in good time... I know a legitimate spoiler when I try to spoil it for you.)

The fear and disappointment of maybe not being able to finish was overwhelming. Every day was an "open word/stare at the blank page/close/repeat" excursion. I thought maybe I wrote myself into a corner and that's why I was stuck. I thought, "If I'm stuck, maybe I miswrote something somewhere..." So I went back and reread. I started editing while I reread. How can I get this to be the best while I'm stuck and help get me unstuck? I cringed a lot. The beginning was just not what the end deserved. I split "The Shapeshifting Demon" into two chapters because it was massive (5,000ish words of what's now ch. 28 "The Final Demon" and ch. 29 "Demonic Heart," I renamed them in this update) and then I split "Wishes/Disciple" into two chapters for the same reason.

And, surprise, surprise, I hated myself even more. "Now there's only four chapters left including this one and I'm still stuck?!" Did 00Carter start around this time? I feel like I was working on anything else to avoid the PBox guilt. Or my grades were freakishly good that fall, maybe I buried myself in school, I can't remember. PBox got featured in July during this writer's block, which was so wonderful and appreciated, but I still didn't write anything. I think the attention made it worse, to be honest. What if people started reading it and they hated it? Will they notice that the beginning is not as good as the end? What if the end is worse than the beginning once I write it down?

Then finally in January of 2008, I updated. Looking back, I wonder if maybe my writer's block was caused by wanting Brian to live deep down, but knowing that at that point, the plot was what it was and things were inevitable. "If I avoid writing and getting you killed, Brian, then you're safe! You can stay and make jokes until the end!" I probably would have figured this out back then if I'd edited more diligently and got to ch. 12 when he was introduced. Not sure how knowing earlier would have solved that problem though. And I think I stopped editing around ch. 10 because I wasn't yet far enough from the young naivety to fix it in the way it actually needed to be fixed, but didn't know that at the time.

It took another month to write Howie's last chapter, but that seemed exponentially better than six months. I continued editing my brief beginning chapters because by then, they didn't match the juggernaut feeling of the end and I wanted it all to be cohesive. But at the same time, finally after a lot of writer's block, the last two chapters just wanted to be excited word vomited out. So I wrote them and was just too excited to get to the end, so up they went in the same week like in the beginning. And then I took a deep breath and said, "Oh wow, it's done!" Then I put it away and took another break from my personal writing because I was tired. I'd finished an epic! Our buddy tiny,  persistent Nick was like, "Hey, remember how we--" "Shhh, no more PBox. We finished." "But my--" "Shhh... We finished." I wrote another couple of chapters of Gobosei that summer, but decided I wanted to do anything except juggernaut fantasy, never posted them, and started writing Beta Sigma Beta instead while working on the same collaborations (00Carter for sure existed by early 2008, right?).

But over the course of the next year, I slowly realized that I had nothing. Even those collaborations that were always more about the friendship than the writing seemed impossible. Every day was a "open word, stare at it for a while, close" day for each thing I was supposed to work on, just like it had been for PBox. I thought "Do I have any BSB fanfic left in me? Or worse, anything creative at all?" And then I decided I needed a break, but I knew I couldn't take a break from those collaborations . So I just stopped the open/stare/close process for my own work, but I kept trying for those collaborations, probably longer than I should have and definitely way past the point where screaming "Help, I can't!" actually allowed help. At that time, I was young and always eager to please and focused on loyalty over sense (PBox Nick has some of that projected onto him and probably a little more heavily than actual Nick focuses on it, I'm sure). It all finally got to the point where the clear solution seemed to be "panic and avoid the guilt and the nothingness, consequences be darned!" As a much more mature me a decade later, I can tell you that "panic and avoid" is never the answer, but is still a solution I struggle with actively not choosing when panicking seems inevitable. I have gotten better with it over the years, though. Ultimately, I "retired" from BSB fanfic (I'm trying to be nice to myself, but "ran away" is probably more accurate phrasing). No ragrets! (Not even one letter!)

I actually had a lot of regrets, but still nothing to write or say. I tried coming back once to see what it would feel like, but panicked and left just as quickly. Sorry again to everyone that whole thing hurt. I hope everyone here knows that our friendships really were/are important to me. And if I did not properly apologize to you in the way you would like, please tell me and I will make the proper amends. Next, I threw myself into real life and even distanced myself from the Boys for a bit. "Maybe that part of my life is past," I thought. I'd always tied a lot of my enjoyment of the Boys to my enjoyment of the fandom, so it was hard to reconcile in the beginning. Especially because, as it turned out, a lot of my enjoyment of the fandom was tied up in my enjoyment of the fanfic community within the fandom. But, then In A World Like This finally came out and I was like, "I could never forget you guys, who was I kidding! You bring me too much joy." Although I've spent the past few years more involved in enjoying the music than keeping up with their personal lives in great detail. And it was kind of a lonely island for a while without all this.

Over the years where I thought about writing or opened/stared/closed (which I did sometimes with varying degrees of success), the hobbies topic came up a lot. Things like "coffee enthusiast" and "world traveler" became defining parts of my shorthand personality, but I also always said "writing." Then later, I yelled at myself privately because I didn't write anything anymore so why would I say that? (See it's "Incomplete" gnawing again, song arcs in real life!)

I don't know where to end this, since I already talked about my catalyst for writing again and that's what would come next chronologicall y in this reflection. I guess maybe it should be a thank you note? Thank you to PBox for becoming something over the years that gave me a lot of pride, helped me become a better writer to tell you better, helped me figure out my favorite parts of writing (the characters mostly, but also some nerdy world building things), and spawning some really great characters, especially our buddy tiny, persistent Nick. Thank you to tiny, persistent Nick for being annoyingly self-absorbed (I'm kidding) and never giving up on me, then bugging me until I stopped giving up on myself. Thank you to the Boys for the decades of music, inspiration, and joy. Let's have many more decades. Thank you to Absolute Chaos and Ash for creating a website where I could share what I had to say, keeping it safe while I popped away, and providing me with some great memories and friends, who I probably missed more than the writing itself. Thank you to those friends for those great memories and the support now. And, of course, thank you to the readers for enjoying my musings. Even if you never said anything or found me long after I was gone, I appreciate that you read anything I had to say. I hope it's been just as meaningful for you.

And now we've come to the end of PBox and this reflection. I hope you all enjoyed it over the years. So I guess, onward to the next part! Hopefully I have many more things to thank PNecklace for in the end.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on February 03, 2021, 08:04:52 PM
I hope you all enjoyed the second part of my long diatribe about PBox. And that's it for now! We updated a whole novel folks! Thanks for reliving it with me. I have a few pictures for you this week.

First, I owe you one PNecklace Howie (https://i.ibb.co/KyXhsRR/pnecklacehowie.jpg).

A picture actually related to the end of PBox: Minako and the aforementioned box (https://i.ibb.co/Ps24cFR/Minakoend.jpg).

And this last picture I wanted to leave you with was something I doodled when I was starting to get back into the story. As you can see, Nick's pants are the wrong color and Minako has a midi blouse on without buttons. Clearly I did not remember what their outfits really looked like after such a long time, but I had a vague idea and wanted to doodle them. That should have been my sign that maybe inspiration was going to stick.

Nick and Minako (https://i.ibb.co/CV701QR/Pboxnickandminako.jpg)

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Eight ("Bewitched") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)

Chapter One ("Illusory") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602) (If you wanted to leave feedback on the story instead of chatting here. You've been able to read this chapter here since December.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers. How's everyone enjoying Nick's blast from the past? More than Nick? Less than Nick? I wonder how it will go for him! Those of you who know me and PBox probably already know the answer... By the way, this whole one chapter to update thing goes so quickly. This only took me 30-40 minutes to do all of this... crazy!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: FrickingKaos on February 03, 2021, 08:28:09 PM
Thanks for sharing the drawings. Nick looks kind of how I pictured him to look lol. I pictured him with the floppy blonde hair and the horns sticking out.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on February 03, 2021, 09:23:18 PM
Of course! He's basically Never Gone Nick; as are all of them, except I just wanted Howie to have long hair still... So call it creative license. Though in initial drawings, I usually went with Millennium hair because that's just kind of how I picture Nick when I think of him (Nick circa 1998-1999) even though I know what he looks like now and through the years.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on February 10, 2021, 05:13:56 PM
So this is the first week when I didn’t have a plan of what to talk about! Maybe now that we’re not all enjoying PBox updates anymore, the first question should be: “How’s it going?” So how is it going? We’ve been talking about series over in 2 Writing 2 Thread and I honestly don’t have a lot of answers on the questions for PBox et al., specifically because I’m still writing it. I’ve mentioned that I didn’t know it was a series when I started (late 2005), but I did know that it was a series around the time I wrote ch. 24 “The Endless Ice of Rubiihoppou,” so halfway through the first book (some time in early 2006). And I felt like I was able to create a novel’s complete story that stood on its own and laid the foundation for a larger story that wasn’t quite finished. If anyone doesn’t think so, you should probably tell me, haha.

You can go read it in my featured story thread from July 2007 (https://absolutechaos.net/fictalk/index.php/topic,424.0.html) (so long ago), but at that point I was pretty sure it would be four stories: PBox, this current one (which was always PNecklace, even back then), the prequel type one (if it’s interesting enough; it was just called Pandora back then), and a fourth one (at the time, I liked the name Ragnarok, as it says in the thread). But as you know, I took a break from PBox et al. after finishing PBox and now it’s been many years. Around 2015ish is when PNecklace and Pandora started to exist on paper and out of my head, but only in very tiny pieces (which is still five years after I began this journey; I sound like I’m on the Bachelor).

When I originally envisioned Pandora in 2006/2007, it started out as a “let’s talk about the warring states era and all that fun background information that I have about the story and their little fantastical world.” Which I think is really interesting, but it’s got nothing to do with any of our main characters, not even Nick -- who’s kind of the thread that ties everyone together, as you’ve probably noticed. In 2015, Pandora became more of the “what’s happening to our friends from the moment the story really starts” that it is these days. It also got a name change based on where our characters were at the time in their lives and motivations; it’s not really about any Pandoras per se (though our gals in Rubiihoppou and Topazuseihou do have more to do then since that’s when they’re actively Pandora-ing), it’s about their legend. So before our main characters (and Nick specifically) care about the “Box,” they care about the “Legend,” if that makes sense. I’m still kind of on the fence about posting that one; it’s all interesting, but not as fun as enjoying our Boys together, you know? So I’ve been trying to decide if I just hang on to it or if it’s a “here’s some more fun stuff when I feel like writing it” type story. It has most of the first and second chapters and the last chapter written. Though I feel like the last chapter might be better served overall as pieces in an upcoming yet-to-be fully written chapter of PNecklace, similar to what happened with a sooner upcoming chapter of PNecklace (you’ll be jazzed when you get there, I hope). We’ll see.

I think I’ve mentioned it, but PNecklace ch. 1 was originally envisioned as ch. 1 - ch. 3. But again, not as much fun as when everyone’s back together. This was honestly probably my hang up when I started rewriting. It needed to be there, but I was dragging it out more than necessary. It’s all much better as one chapter (or at least, I think so anyway). It was exciting to see that a lot of people (or a lot of spam bots) were curious about PNecklace when it first appeared (or “a lot” by my standards, I’m pretty used to not having hoards of readers), but I lost about half of them once we got to ch. 3. That’s probably the time when they were like “They’re not the Backstreet Boys, they’re demons? WTF!” Or they hadn’t read PBox and thought, “Well, I’m not reading another 50 chapters so that this story makes sense!” haha. Thanks to everyone who stuck around; we’re embarking on a fun new adventure together.

It’s weird not getting any feedback, not that I ever got a lot, and still have no idea how many people hated me for Backstreet deaths. So without feedback, I’m trying to base enjoyment on the read counter. If someone is clicking on it, then I figure it’s going okay? I never really looked at the read counter before, but I guess it’s helpful now. The PBox one is wild. Of course the first chapter has the most hits, but the one with the second most is ch. 32 “Stone Soldier.” Why? Who knows! Of the chapters focusing more on an individual Boy, ch. 7 “The Demon King” actually has more hits than ch. 2 “The Hidden Demon,” which is also kind of wild to me. Go Howie! (I guess?) Or maybe everyone took it to heart when I suggested rereading and enjoying when Nick met the other Boys (complete with anxious shouting, growling, and fist shaking). There’s an upcoming chapter of PNecklace that I’m actually pretty nervous to post (and excited), so I might specifically mention at the end of that one, “Please tell me! Any way you can! Forum, snail mail, telepathy, whatever!” Otherwise, I’m just over here meandering because I really started writing this story for me and our friend stubborn, persistent, plucky Nick; if anyone else is enjoying it, it’s really just a bonus for me, but I appreciate anyone who is enjoying it. So thank you once again for enjoying and continuing on this journey with us.

Overall, PNecklace is going well! I feel less concerned about long writer’s blocks because y’all are on ch. 9 (or will be as of this week anyway) and I’m writing ch. 22/25. Now, if I get stuck here and don’t figure it out by May 5th or so (longer if I decide to post some PLegend for a few weeks), then we’ll have a problem! Keep sending me good vibes, basically. I’m a little stuck on ch. 22, but I wrote some more yesterday and haven’t been forcing it if I’m not feeling inspired -- no blank page guilt or anything over here. Meanwhile, I have also written some more to fill in what was already “interesting things that begged to be written down,” so ch. 24 is done and ch. 25 is taking shape (and as I mentioned, I originally thought ch. 23 was ch. 22, so that’s been done since early December along with ch. 1 - ch. 21). The next few upcoming chapters (post-ch. 24) feel like they’ll just fall into line nicely as well; I’ve been filling in even more interesting things that beg to be written from them since finishing the PBox edits. Hopefully ch. 22 isn’t what does me in and holds off an entire rest of a novel from being posted, basically! I’m sure that it’s all going to be okay; I have a good feeling about how this is going.

Oh, we also briefly discussed “noodle incidents” in 2 Writing 2 Thread and I couldn’t think of any I’d added, even though I think they’re fun. And then I realized that there’s probably at least a few things in PBox that y’all think are noodle incidents, but I know that they’re not. So, here’s a fun game (Julie doesn’t read this thread, but I’m sure she’d call me fanfic Jigsaw again for that): tell me about anything in PBox that you think is a noodle incident. When I answer, I will either say “oh, oops” or I will cackle and pet my plot bunnies. I’d be willing to bet money that you’d get more of the latter than the former.

I don’t really have an idea for next week’s author talk either, so if there’s something you’ve been dying to know about PBox or PNecklace, just ask! Of course, I will not reveal spoilers, as you know (unless they’re 10 year old spoilers from PBox -- no one has said they don’t like them). But any background information, anything about the characters, themes, settings, clothing, daily life in Safaiananpou/the other countries, whatever. Ask away. I’m always here to chat.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on February 10, 2021, 05:21:25 PM
No pictures for the time being, so this part is just links.

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Nine ("Misgivings") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)

Chapter Two ("Kiresaseru") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602) (If you wanted to leave feedback on the physical story instead of chatting here. You've been able to read this chapter here at AC since December.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers. Our blast from the past continues... Nick's matured so much since PBox; I'm proud of him! :) And now this series may finally pass the Bechdel test every now and again! (Does anyone care about that in their BSB fanfics?) This is wild; all done with updates before 4:30pm. What do I do with the rest of the day now?
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on February 10, 2021, 06:24:17 PM
Of the chapters focusing more on an individual Boy, ch. 7 “The Demon King” actually has more hits than ch. 2 “The Hidden Demon,” which is also kind of wild to me. Go Howie! (I guess?) Or maybe everyone took it to heart when I suggested rereading and enjoying when Nick met the other Boys (complete with anxious shouting, growling, and fist shaking).

I posted this and Nick's introductory chapter (ch. 2) jumped about 10 views. Someone (or something) out there wants Nick to have the most views on his introduction, obviously. lmao It's not me, I swear.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on February 17, 2021, 09:15:00 PM
This week marked the first time I’ve really felt frustrated with PNecklace. I started working on the most recent chapter I finished (ch. 22) back on January 30th. It typically takes me anywhere between one day (if I’m particularly inspired) and three days to finish a chapter. Five days would be the maximum. I decided not to push writing it to avoid the frustration, but I constantly found myself worrying about why it was so difficult. What was it about this chapter? It wasn’t even a particularly weighty one, it was just the lead up to a few other events. I’m hoping that this isn’t a repeated pattern. I remember my frustrating times with PBox and they were absolutely abysmal. I don’t know that I could handle that again and especially not this early in the writing process.

I also had a heck of a time editing this week’s chapter for the update. I can usually do that in a few hours, but it took me three days. I think I’m just really nervous about how this one comes across. I mentioned in the 2 Writing 2 Thread that there were some PBox chapters I originally worried about posting for various reasons and Beta Sigma Beta as a whole. I also mentioned there was an upcoming PNecklace chapter that I was both nervous and excited about. This week's update is that chapter. I’m hoping this long editing time is just me wanting to make this chapter the best it can be before handing it off to you all and not the new normal (again, not sure I could handle the abysmal PBox frustrating times again).

I know I normally have a lot to say, but I think this week, I just want to send PNecklace off into the world after these frustrations. So… I guess, continue to send me good vibes. I still have a semi-decent chapter hoard and will continue to add to it as I update for you all.

And now for your updates!

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Ten ("Fear") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583) (Eagle eyed fans who have paid attention to all my musings may notice that I listed "Fear" as a chapter in PNecklace that may be among my favorites. I'm sure those same people are curious to know why... Now you'll know. Maybe you'll be as excited as I am about it.)

Chapter Three ("Unbroken") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602) (If you wanted to leave feedback on the physical story instead of chatting here. You've been able to read this chapter here at AC since December.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers. And if you have opinions on this week's chapter, I'd love to hear them. I rarely fish for feedback and probably won't afterward, but... yeah, I'd love it for this one.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on February 24, 2021, 06:13:05 PM
This week, I'd love to talk about our favorite Woobie -- Destroyer of Worlds, Nick. That's hardly true, if anything, Nick is a Woobie -- Savior of Worlds (if such a thing existed, since the first trope is more of a villain trope) or, realistically, an Iron Woobie by the time PBox really gets going. However Woobie -- Destroyer of Worlds is just fun to say, that's why I thought I'd roll with it... But Iron Woobie -- Savior of Worlds is equally as fun and more accurate!

As some of you know, I'm currently toying with the process of editing the fanfic out of PBox (and it is a process, even in an AU and fantasy story). I've recruited a couple of friends to help me through the process (fresh eyes, if you will) and one of them recently commented on Nick's mood whiplash between ch. 3 and ch. 4; I could tell they were not expecting "Yeah, he's a bit of a prickly porcupine in the beginning.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on February 24, 2021, 06:19:12 PM
And now for your updates!

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Eleven ("Truth") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583) (Eagle eyed fans who have paid attention to all my musings may notice that I also listed "Truth" as a chapter in PNecklace that may be among my favorites. I'm sure those same people are curious to know why... Now you'll know. Maybe you'll be as excited as I am about it.)

Chapter Four ("Back to Safaiananpou") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602) (If you wanted to leave feedback on the physical story instead of chatting here. You've been able to read this chapter here at AC since January.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers. I'm going to keep on assuming that anyone reading is loving everything and carry on my merry way!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on March 03, 2021, 08:27:17 PM
This is a continuation from last week, I suppose, since we're deep in the "Nick Nick Nick Nick Nick Nick" portion of PNecklace. Though last week, we talked a little about Nick's character development; I guess this week is "Nick as a tiny muse."

I've said before that I usually get “spark of lightning” ideas and depth for plans while focusing on AJ, and I have no idea why that is. He's not particularly bossy or picky. He's really calm actually. Like the newest chapter I've been writing, I started from one place, got maybe a sentence and a half in, then stopped. Then wrote a conversation later in the chapter, then skipped ahead to another bit, then skipped ahead again. And then I was sitting and contemplating on Sunday afternoon when AJ said, "Hi, let's chat about [character development thing]." Oh hey, AJ! Fancy meeting you here. I think he was a little jealous of Howie getting some spotlight, to be honest.

I've been curious why the other Boys just aren't as loud, picky, obnoxious, nagging, persistent, and chatty as Nick. To be fair, he's gotten a little quieter after I engaged with his initial hellos. That makes him sound so polite. It was definitely more "*loud and long inhale* HHHHHHIIIIIIII IIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!! IIIIIIII'MMMMMMMM BAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAACCCCCKKKKK!!!!!!! AAAAAAALLLL~RRIIIIIIIIIGGGHHHTTT!!!! *dramatic exhale* Time to write!" Again, he’s very loud, persistent, and chatty. He’s pretty quiet at the moment though. Either because he knows it’s not his time to shine or he’s gotten his way and doesn’t have strong opinions about it anymore. I’m hoping that he’s trying to share the spotlight instead of focusing on gloating.

I was thinking over that article I’d posted, about the automation of character, and I wonder if that’s it. Is PBox Nick so fleshed out in my mind that he’s become this automated entity who’s headspace I can get into? I wonder if he’s deviated and grown that much from the realm of “background information Backstreet characterizati ons” that he just is an entity. Maybe that’s why he’s louder than the others. Something I’ll have to explore once I get to editing the fanfic out of Howie and Brian.

I don’t like to think of him as an automated entity though. “Good job brain” is way less fun than “We did it, buddy!” I like to think of him as the tiniest muse, cheering me on and giving me the inspiration to finish a magnum opus. And I guess, thank goodness he is loud and picky. His way has always been better than whatever I came up with initially, though he is trying to grow out of his Leeroy Jenkins antics. You’ll see what I mean.

I guess there’s a part of me that’s grateful the other Boys are a little quieter. It would be really cacophonous around here if they were as loud as Nick! But then I worry, are they relying too much on “background information Backstreet characterizati ons”? Are they less individual entities and more a collective entity? Maybe that’s why AJ finally spoke up. “If it’s not too much trouble, I’ve got some stuff to do.” It’s never any trouble, AJ! Speak up whenever! You too, Kevin, Howie, and Brian.

I’ve probably made a mistake and opened a Pandora’s Box of my own… It’s about to get really loud over here! (As always, pun intended.)
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on March 03, 2021, 08:30:34 PM
And now for your updates!

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Twelve ("Onward") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583) (There might be a pattern from PBox in what happens in this chapter, haha.)

Chapter Five ("The Crater") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602) (If you wanted to leave feedback on the physical story instead of chatting here. You've been able to read this chapter here at AC since January.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers. I'm going to keep on assuming that anyone reading is loving everything and carry on my merry way!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on March 10, 2021, 05:40:30 PM
Hello from Safaiananpou? haha I’m all over the place in this novel. I have about six scenes and most of the next chapter written from various bursts of inspiration (I’m a little over a third of the way finished with the current chapter I’m working on, for reference, and about a fifth of that was a pre-written burst of inspiration). I also have about four scenes written past the end of this novel. And the last chapter of what would be the prequel, plus bits and pieces of the first three chapters of that one. Meanwhile, I’m deep in the chunk of the first few chapters of PBox as OF. The amount of times that I’ve edited this thing, I feel like I’ll eventually be able to orally retell the entire thing verbatim from memory. Go ahead, ask me the first line of the OF version; I’ve got that on lock down. It’s been kind of weird hopping back into the beginning, but there were a few bits in the current written run of PNecklace that “called back” to a part that I’d recently felt was missing in the beginning. So I thought, "Write it and see what happens? Write it and see what happens." But then that means that the next little chunk of the beginning might need some more drastic changes, especially as we spend more time in Nick’s head and get more deeply connected to his evolving motivations and opinions. Like chapter eight seems especially harsh compared to where he’s at in that new chapter. So who knows what that first fifth of the story will end up looking like when it’s all said and done. It feels like it will be fairly different!

I mentioned this briefly in one of the Writing Threads, though I can’t remember which one, that I was thinking of posting Pandora’s Legend. I recognize that it may not be as enjoyable as a fanfic, since our Boys aren’t together during it at all; however, it does have merit as a part of the story, namely, getting to see some past things they all mention in real time and getting the full character arcs of our favorite demons. Especially Nick, since we just kind of get dropped into his “amnesiac with PTSD” persona and miss out on his time in his “scared and anxious child” and “teenage hot head” phases. Though to be fair, you do get to enjoy bits and pieces of both of those as he defrosts in the beginning, since he’s “sour outside, sad inside” before the plot really kicks off (as you know). I digress a bit, the point of this portion was really… is this of interest to anyone? Does anyone want to read about the Boys pre-Pbox? I don’t know yet if I’ll commit to writing the whole thing in one sitting (like with PNecklace or the next one) or if I even envision it as a regularly updated type thing, but if it was something I updated sometimes, would anyone be interested in seeing that? This is probably a better place to ask and reach everyone where they’re checking for my updates. Is it something you would want to see as a regularly updated novel or just whenever it feels interesting? Or not at all? This isn’t to say I wouldn’t end up still posting it if I felt like sharing it, y’all know I mostly write PBox et al. for me and Nick anyway, but I figure it’s worth asking if anyone is itching to see it. It could help me make a decision on “when” instead of “if.”

A related question, as you know, I’m doing some major rehaul type additions to the beginning of PBox that do get referenced in PNecklace. While I have no intentions of posting the entire novel for PBox as OF (for obvious reasons, in addition to the fact that on a fanfic website, you can enjoy the fanfic version instead), I recognize that there’s been value in sharing “related chapters to revisit” as I post PNecklace. And I figure, since I’ve felt the need to write these “call back chapters” that existed in the time skip, you might feel the need to read them! So if there were little added scenes or chapters like this, would anyone be interested in reading them? Kind of like a short little companion book. I can’t guarantee how many times this would happen, but I know at least once for this aforementioned chapter (it’s what would be in the middle of chapter five between the battlefield and the capital). Anyway, so that’s kind of where we are in PBox et. al right now. You’re reading about Nick growing as a character; I’m writing the turning point in the novel’s direction, re-frolicking along in the beginning, and writing interesting things wherever as inspiration strikes.

I do have one more question for my readership. I’m hoping to bounce something off of someone who has read PBox. It’s not a spoiler for anything that’s going to happen, but it would help me finalize some things in the OF version, mostly based on the major thing I had to remove from the beginning due to it no longer being a fanfic. So, if anyone is interested in being that sounding board, please let me know! I would appreciate it immensely! It’s a short question, so it would take very little out of your regular schedule.

Appreciate you all! See you in the updates! Remember, if there’s anything you want to hear me talk about, just ask! I’ll answer just about anything. I’m also slowly running out of ideas of things to share with you all each week. I might talk about clothing next week? That could be fun.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on March 10, 2021, 05:46:02 PM
And now for your updates!

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Thirteen ("Light") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)

Chapter Six ("Alliance") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602) (You've been able to read this chapter here at AC since January.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers. Last week we got some Frick & Frack, just like in Chapter 12 of PBox. It doesn't mirror it all the time, but there's definitely a couple times something gets mirrored. I wonder who the Nick & _____ might be this week...  Hmm!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on March 17, 2021, 07:46:41 PM
Happy one-ish year anniversary of the world ending? I’ve gotten back up to 15 chapters ahead in my writing, good for me! It’s taking a little longer now since I have less “interesting bits” to pull from these days, mostly because all of the “interesting bits” I’m furiously writing down are in the next part of the story and not this one! What am I going to do when I get there? Haha This next portion, I may be writing a little differently, depending on what’s more interesting, so I hope I stay ahead even when I write unconventional ly. I know I said I was going to discuss clothing, but I have nothing prepared for that, what with the vaccine, some other life things, and being fairly useless with snow days. So I think I want to discuss rereadability. What makes PBox something worth revisiting?

This is partly inspired by this week’s chapter, probably the one I reread the most from PNecklace as I work. The first scene did need some editing after I initially wrote it, but overall the second scene is virtually unchanged from when I first committed it to paper. I don’t know what the reason is. Maybe because it’s something I’ve spent a long time thinking about. One of the longest things I’ve ever spent time thinking about in all of PBox et al., actually. And this chapter only reveals part of it. Y’all are in for a real treat eventually, when we get there! It’s really hard keeping big secrets, but I’ve been trying my best.

And even having spent so much time thinking about it, and researching it, once the time to start unraveling it came, I went back to research. Of all the things I’ve spent time researching in PBox, I think this one has been the most time consuming, but it’s also most fundamental to two of the biggest questions about the entire story. Why demons/what are demons? How does this magic system work? I’ve talked a lot about world building in the various writing threads because it’s most of what I spend most of my non-writing time on. And I’ve mentioned, of course, that I’ve researched everything under the sun from martial arts to parts of weapons to climate to architecture of castles to how birds/bats/etcetera fly (if you missed the videos of ducklings hopping out of trees, you should probably go watch them because they are hilarious). And all of these things get lovingly put into PBox in ways that I hope are interesting, but not overbearing. That you can enjoy the research without it being overwhelming. I hope y’all enjoy the little pieces of research that pop up in appropriate places, and I hope that it makes something with so many fantastic elements seem believable. Though, as I’ve said many times, I realize the amount of times the Boys “basketball jump” into flight is not at all realistic; call it laziness for a quick transition. Whenever you see them getting a running start, that’s much more realistic for their size. That or climbing a tree and jumping out of it, but I don’t think I’ve ever had them do that even when it would make sense? Something to revisit in OF PBox perhaps.

Besides moments with great research and effort shining through, I guess the parts I like rereading the most are the ones where the characters shine. Whether that’s in relation to each other or themselves over the course of the story. I’m not even sure it’s Nick chapters that I’m partial to, there’s just a lot of them compared to the other Boys. Either because he’s a spotlight hog or I just let him hog the spotlight. It’s something I’m trying to work on, albeit poorly. I’ve said it many times as well, the number one reason to read this story is the characters. The plot is also pretty interesting, but the characters are the ultimate drivers of what goes on and what happens. I’ve ultimately let them take the wheel as long as they’re developing and growing. Really, Nick’s the best (or most demanding) bus driver of this story. Anyway, hope y’all enjoy this one! It’s one of my favorites.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on March 17, 2021, 07:50:07 PM
And now for your updates!

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Fourteen ("Soul") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583) (I said I really liked this one way back when, but it's probably one of my favorites overall.)

Chapter Seven ("Melt") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602) (You've been able to read this chapter here at AC since January.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers. Last week we got some Nick & Kevin! Which you should have expected if you've been reading all of my PBox background information posts. I wonder who the Nick & _____ might be this week...  Hmm!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on March 24, 2021, 06:14:47 PM
I finally got going on some PNecklace again yesterday! It's not very far yet, but I think it's what was missing before we all continued on. So good news! I've also committed to doing Camp NaNo through NaNoWriMo with the goal of finishing PNecklace next month. Wish me luck! I'll update y'all as I go along. Right now I've got twenty chapters left to write, so about 60,000 words. These epics, I tell ya! If I'd actually started this in November, I wonder if I would have written that much then too (since I got through 21ish chapters and about 51,000 words).

Meanwhile, I've been hard at work on that early new chapter of OF PBox that I'd mentioned. And it was just as fun as I was hoping. It took a while, but I enjoyed getting back into early Nick. He's a fun insecure, flinching, mood-swinging mess. But, he still has all of his determination, spunk, and Leeroy Jenkins-tendencies. Plus his sarcasm and naivety. I think it's what the beginning has been missing, so I'm happy with it. Let's see what my betas... (gammas? deltas? PBox has gone through a lot of revisions over the years) think of the addition. I'm interested to see what they think once I get to Howie, but I've already added/changed about 7,000 new words before handing it over to them. And made revisions since, so it's a process. They've only seen the first three chapters though (or chapter two through four of the version you can read). I was rereading a thread here recently about publishing and I think one of the things in it was "do you put in the work if you don't know if you'll get published?" And I suppose, you never know until it's all finished and you try. Wouldn't that be nice if you could just pitch an idea and have people decide based on that? I'll have to get better at writing summaries, haha. I told some of my friends I was writing a novel and when they asked what it was about, I just said "demons." Clearly a great summary of the whole of PBox.

Did everyone enjoy last week's chapter? I told y'all that I would be revealing big things for several weeks! I wonder what's next. Hmmm... This is has been this week's addition of "I have nothing to talk about so now I will ramble, lol." And now for your updates!

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Fifteen ("Confidence") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)

Chapter Eight ("Bewitched") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602) (You've been able to read this chapter here at AC since February.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers. Last week we got some Nick & Howie! So I'm guessing you've assumed that this week much be Nick & AJ; sorry that you're always last, AJ.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on March 31, 2021, 10:03:53 PM
No chats this week, it was very busy!

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Sixteen ("Earthquake") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)

Chapter Nine ("Misgivings") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602) (You've been able to read this chapter here at AC since February.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on April 07, 2021, 11:34:36 PM
My apologies for another week without chats! I have something interesting in the works for next week, so please look forward to it. This chapter ended up taking slightly longer to edit than I had planned as Brian begged for some humor to be added and he does not disappoint! (I hope.)

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Seventeen ("Den of Demons") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583) (You'll notice it's one I listed as a favorite and I think it only became more so after the little edit I gave it this week.)

Chapter Ten ("Fear") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602) (You've been able to read this chapter here at AC since February, but if you had wanted to comment on it back then and didn't, now's a great time to do so. I will now stop being shameless in my updates thread.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Thank you to everyone who helped get PBox to ~40,000 reads and PNecklace to ~1,000! I appreciate you all!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on April 14, 2021, 08:53:15 PM
So PBox&Co is a treasure trove of mythology, both its own and actual mythology. Most of this is just based on the fact that I love mythology and find it fascinating; in general, PBox&Co has a lot of author appeal what with “write the story you want to write” and all at play. If you enjoy PBox, you probably also enjoy mythology or enjoy the clever way it’s weaved into the story. Or maybe you don’t and you’re here for the shonen manga/anime and sentai series influences (it’s cool, that’s fun too). But there’s definitely things that are more blatant and things that are less so. That being said, I thought it might be fun to talk about some of the mythology in PBox since I’ve spent a lot of time in the writing threads talking about my love of mythology and that I’ve also been writing some heavily mythology/lore stuff here recently as we near the end of the entire tale. There’s some I can’t quite get into yet, but I think I’ll start at the beginning of PBox with something a little less blatant for now.

In the beginning of PBox, Nick says:

Quote
“Pandora… the priestess… she knows… knows my name… Maybe not… on the surface… But… but… her heart… will react to it…”

He says it’s “Nickolas,” and Minako responds with “Nick. ”This “Nick” vs “Nickolas” is here for the Backstreet Boys connection more than anything else. In a world where they’re really the Backstreet Boys, people who knew that in their heart would clearly think “Oh, we know him as ‘Nick’, not ‘Nickolas’.” As it becomes OF, this becomes a little more muddled as the difference between “Nick” vs “Nickolas” is less clear cut and more of a familiarity thing, honestly. It’s something I’m working on adjusting or giving more of a reason outside of “these are really the Backstreet Boys.” Later in the story, we see Renee not calling the emerald demons by their generally accepted names (e.g., “JC” remains “Joshua”) and it’s really to highlight the difference between accepting our favorite little demons and not accepting them. It gets more complicated when there’s not a “standard nickname” for Brian or Kevin. And this was always an aspect of the difference between the dichotomy of their interactions that I liked, so I’m trying to keep the spirit of it. In case you were curious, the line in the OF version is this instead:

Quote
“They never… responded to… my name… Pandora knows… knows my name… Not without… hearing it, but... but… her heart… is supposed to... react to it…”

Well then, knowing all of that, what’s in a name and why is knowing someone’s name so important? (Shakespeare posed a similar question to us once.) Fun fact, this isn’t Classical Mythology based like many of the other things in PBox (or Asiatic), it’s Ancient Egyptian Mythology. In general, PBox is an amalgamation of all the best and most interesting mythology out there, in your favorite gal pal’s humble opinion. So, let’s take a little stroll back to Ancient Egypt!

Basically, in the beginning of everything (supposedly), Re/Ra was the first pharaoh of all of Egypt/the whole world (because Egypt is obviously most important to Egypt, nevermind that cultures were all over and thriving at this point) and he often liked to stroll around his two kingdoms (upper and lower in elevation compared to the mouth of the Nile) and check everything out. Creation myths involving Re allege that he created everything on his own through spit or some… more fun means (except for people, who come from tears, so good for us), whether that’s water, fire, animals, deserts, other gods, whatever. And as the creator of everything, he has many names, but one that he kept secret to himself that would unlock his magic to anyone who knew it. Now Isis, a powerful goddess, magician, and healer, wanted that magic. For one of two reasons (mythology is fun): the older is that Re’s power was terrorizing the two kingdoms from the heat of the sun’s rays and she could give people respite by asking him to leave if she knew it or the slightly newer one where she needed the magic to re-create a certain missing body part for her dead husband after Set played a game of “Whoever fits in this sarcophagus wins!” “Oh no, our pharaoh Osiris is dead! And chopped into tiny pieces! And now we need a new pharaoh of all of Egypt?! Who could have possibly seen this coming?! Guess it’s me unless some more legitimate heir miraculously comes along! (Good luck procreating with your dead and dis-membered husband.)” (As I said, mythology is fun, but often snarled. How can Osiris be pharaoh when Re is pharaoh? However, this has nothing to do with PBox, it’s just extraneous background information that is also hilarious -- I’m hoping you caught my great pun.)

So Re spit one day to create something else and Isis collected it, then made a clay snake out of dirt and the spit. Re goes on his daily stroll and gets bitten by the snake. And since it was made from his magic, he can’t heal himself despite ordering the poison to leave his body (as creator of all things, you don’t need a doctor for this kind of thing). The poison makes him really feverish/sweaty and it’s difficult to speak (Huh… wasn’t there some other time someone got poisoned in PBox and couldn’t speak? Can’t recall! ;)), so he calls on the other gods/goddesses to help and they’re just as confused as he is. Then Isis comes and says she can probably do it with her magic and healing abilities, but she won’t be strong enough without knowing his true name. Not the ones everyone knows (his lesser names) or his epithets, but his real name that only he knows. He tells her, but none of the myths say what it is, so we don’t know. However, I wouldn’t put it past there being some secret mystery cult that made it integral to their worship/initiation/what have you (this is just me making up theories, this part is not fact or anything I can provide you with references for). Presumably, in addition to healing Re, Isis used the magic for one of the two reasons (depending on the age of the version) she’d wanted it originally.

So, there you go! Knowing someone’s true name gives you power over their magic, apparently. I wonder when that will come up again. Could be that it has something to do with “why Pandora?” :shrug:

I suppose this is your edition of “Dee is extremely facetious while talking to you about mythology and her magnum opus.” Hope you enjoyed it! Let me know if there’s anything specific you want to hear mythology information about or if you’re good with me talking for as long as I like about whatever.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on April 14, 2021, 08:56:18 PM
If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Eighteen ("Centered") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)

Chapter Eleven ("Truth") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602) (You've been able to read this chapter here at AC since February, but if you had wanted to comment on it back then and didn't, now's a great time to do so. I will now stop being shameless in my updates thread.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Thank you again to everyone reading! I would love to hear from some of you. :)
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on April 21, 2021, 07:37:24 PM
We’re going to keep going with Ancient Egyptian mythology this week in our talks, because I’m not quite ready to move on to Classical Mythology aspects yet.

This week, I wanted to talk about the “Eye of Re.” You probably noticed last week that I wrote “Re/Ra” the first time I mentioned his name. The reason for this is because Ancient Egyptian is only written with consonant sounds represented by hieroglyphs, so any vowel sounds are our best approximation based on current language plus comparisons to Greek and Roman written translations. The Ptolomeys were good for something! “Ra” was the transliteratio n that was used earlier, but it’s pretty commonly accepted that it’s probably actually “Re.” Other fun facts about other Ancient Egyptian gods I mentioned last week, Set used to be called “Seth,” but we’ve pretty handidly switched that one. “Isis” is actually likely to be closer to “Iset” and “Osiris” is probably closer to “Usir.” Ancient linguistics is fun. I’ve now gotten to nerd out at you about three things I find fascinating: mythology, linguistics, and history.

Alright, so the “Eye of Re” has a few different myths attached to it, but I want to discuss it in terms of some goddess legends. So any of the “daughters of Re” can take on the eye roll as a defender of Re and/or the pharaoh. The most prevalent myth about the Eye is Sekhmet’s. So Re grew old and people stopped preserving the balance and justice he had upheld them to and he grew angry and sent Sekhmet (Hathor in the form of a lion) to defend him. This defense quickly turned into a rampage and she slaughtered many people (so much so that there were new rivers in Egypt, made from blood. Yum!). Re decided this was bad (there’s no one to worship you if all your worshipers die) and he ordered her to stop. But… she really liked killing people, so she didn’t. The gods eventually dyed some beer red, so it looked like blood, she drank it all up, fell asleep for three days, and was cured! Heck of a hangover, right?

This crazy from power aspect was the inspiration for Nick trying to use his powers without knowing them. Among other things with the Eye of Re, which you know if you know your mythology, but I’m not quite ready to discuss those. It’s also a little of the blind prophet type thing from Greece, at Delphi, I think? Anyway, blind prophets are the best since anything they tell you must be true because they can’t see anything.

This week’s chat was short. Happy Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on April 21, 2021, 07:40:08 PM
If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Nineteen ("Weaknesses") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)

Chapter Twelve ("Onward") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602) (You've been able to read this chapter here at AC since March.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Thank you again to everyone reading! Please chat with me, lol.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on April 28, 2021, 08:41:35 PM
There’s two more things that stick out to me as “PBox&Co lore/mythology” that should be discussed earlier than anything else. And since we’re on a roll with Ancient Egyptian mythology, I thought this one would be fitting.

So Kevin has healing powers, but he’s originally introduced to us in the role of Gate Guardian. He weighs the hearts of women and determines whether they’re pure enough to pass through the gate. So says PBox anyway; it gets slightly more complicated in PNecklace… soon, but not yet. Though near the beginning of PNecklace, Howie does say:

Quote
“We originally gave Kevin the scale in the hopes that he would be able to find Pandora of the Sapphires and bring her to us and the country. That was its main purpose.”

The symbol of the scale was originally going to be fairly important for our dearest friends from Safaiananpou, but I’ll talk about that more next week when I have a little more time to prepare my author talk. This week’s topic though, is one I have memorized, so I can talk about it pretty quickly. This aspect of the scale was one that was in the story from my first plans, I just wasn’t sure where to put it or how to use it as I was beginning to write and didn’t really figure it out until I had chosen Kevin’s powers. And then it all kind of fell into place.

I do want to remind you of the PBox scene specifically before I talk mythology because it’s more a general explanation than a specific story. So, here’s some PBox:

Quote
“This is the crossroads between the kingdoms, the corners where they intersect. All who appear here must let their heart be judged. I felt you approach.” [The gate guardian] held the scale toward Minako. “You first maiden!”

Minako nodded, stepping forward.

“You face me without fear, Maiden? Interesting.” The gate guardian reached out his hand toward Minako’s chest. Minako opened her mouth to protest, but his hand was like silver lightning. He tore her heart from inside her chest and set it on the scale.

Nick and Brian gasped as Minako struggled to breathe and sank to her knees.

“Minako!” Nick exclaimed, rushing toward her with his arms outstretched, ready to pull her into his embrace.

The gate guardian put out his hand.“No. No one may touch her until her heart has been weighed. It may become corrupted with your heart’s contents.”

Nick held his hands toward her for a moment, then stepped back and clenched his hands into fists. He put a fist to his chest. I love you, but… can my heart of darkness corrupt you? What can I do?

The gate guardian stared intently at the scale. Minako’s heart began to glow with pure blue light. The gate guardian smiled as the scale began shining brightly and tipping. The side containing Minako’s heart rose as the empty side of the scale dropped drastically. “It has been a long time since I have weighed the heart of a priestess.” The gate guardian smiled. “Sapphire Pandora… You finally exist in this world?” He nodded and removed the heart from the scale, leaned down, and gently placed it back into Minako’s chest. A brief glow of blue light emanated from his fingertips. “Forgive me for my intrusion, Pandora. You are pure and may cross my gate…”

It’s nice that Kevin has healing powers and can just pull peoples’ hearts out all willy-nilly like that, no? I think of every myth I’ve ever mentioned, this is one you’re likely familiar with. So, here we go!

The weighing of the heart is probably one of the better known myths from Ancient Egypt, since unlike Classical Mythology, what we have preserved most of their rites and rituals are from tombs and thus funerary in nature. In route to the afterlife, the soul passes many trials from supernatural entities at several different gates (and these supernatural entities were pretty scary, one of them was called “he who dances in blood,” for instance). At the final gate (the Hall of Two Truths), the heart weighing is presented by Anubis for the judge Osiris (and sometimes other gods, it varies, but Osiris is constant, being god of the underworld and all). After the negative confession (an oath that the deceased had not committed any of the 42 sins, all based in everyday morality, rather than divine edict), the feather of Ma’at is placed on one side of the scale and then the deceased’s heart is placed on the other. Ma’at is both a goddess and the concept (and the word, all very convoluted) for “truth” or “justice,” but overall the ideal of truth, order, justice, good will, and stuff like that (I’m Howie today). So the mythology surmises that if the deceased was an upholder of these concepts, the side of the scale with their heart will rise and the side with Ma’at’s feather will fall, proving that as a good person in life (even if they weren’t necessarily perfect), they deserve a peaceful and just afterlife. You may or may not be wondering what happens if a heart is heavier (which could mean they were very bad or that they lied in the negative confession). Well, in that case, there is no afterlife, the deceased doesn’t even get to go back to one of the punishment gates. Instead, Ammit the devourer pops out of the ground and devours their heart and then they’re just... nothing. Yum. Now, Ammit is a composite beast with the head of a crocodile (but not wonderful crocodiles wearing pink boas), the mane/torso/front legs of a lion, and the back legs/tail of a hippo (the most fearsome creatures in all of Ancient Egypt, basically), so you know she’s especially scary.

This is one of my favorite myths in general, so that’s a lot of its inclusion in PBox. There are other reasons that I won’t get into quite yet, but if you are paying attention to the myths I have been sharing or keep careful track of everything I say or won’t say, then you may be on the path to discovering the biggest secrets in PBox&Co’s history and mythology. If anyone is dying to be spoiled, PM me and ask. I probably won’t say one way or the other, but I just want to know if anyone’s right or if I’ve done a good enough job giving just enough hints without making it super obvious.

See you next Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on April 28, 2021, 08:43:29 PM
If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Twenty ("Strengths") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)

Chapter Thirteen ("Light") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602) (You've been able to read this chapter here at AC since March.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Thank you again to everyone reading! Please chat with me, lol.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on May 05, 2021, 08:26:11 PM
Happy Wednesday, y’all!

So, we can’t talk about PBox without talking about some of its original inspiration. Part of it is still ongoing and shall be revealed soon...ish… or rather, eventually. The other part though, I’ve since tried to get away from, so I’m happy to share with you!

So once upon a time at the beginning of PBox, I researched some things that are still in it and was looking for some other interesting things to make it a little more unique than just a “this is inspired by x” thing and stumbled upon the Four Gods/Fours Symbols/Four Auspicious Creatures from Chinese mythology. Now I can’t remember any specific mythology about the Four Gods, and I did a cursory internet search again and couldn’t find much, but here’s the basics:

The Four Gods are represented by semi-mythic creatures: the vermillion bird, the azure dragon, the black tortoise, and the white tiger in addition to the yellow dragon. They were identified with cardinal directions (and constellations therein), colors, seasons, and elements.

Now, if you know me, you know I love my elementals, because they’re just cool, so obviously this spoke to me. Now I wanted to mix it up a bit, so nothing is an exact copy, but you’ll notice there are four warring states in PBox and all the countries are named via directions that are represented by colors and have characteristic weather. In case you forgot, our favorite little countries as mentioned in Chapter Two: Safaiananpou -- "Sapphire South," Emeradotouhou -- "Emerald East," Topazuseihou -- "Topaz West," and Rubiihoppou  -- "Ruby North."

But, you’ll notice that our favorite Boys are southern blue (because what else would our Black and Blue crooners be?), not red; then red goes to the north that should be black, and yellow goes to the east that should be white instead of the center (which is never mentioned). Azure seems blue, but generally covers that blue-green color pallet and is represented by green. You could definitely call coastal Safainanpou summery, but I’d call it more spring. Dessert Topazuseihou seems more summery than autumn, Emeradotouhou seems more autumn than spring, and frigid Rubiihoppou is pretty wintery. As for elements, the only good answer I have is that our favorite little demon Nick is pretty fiery, lol.

Initially, the constellation aspect was going to play a bigger role in the story, but I’m sure you noticed that Howie mentioned it, Kevin had the scale, and I think Brian discussed it one other time before it disappeared because… Well, I showed the beginning of PBox to a friend and they said something to the effect of “Oh, man, I think you’ll love this” and handed me a little manga from the 90s called Fushigi Yuugi. And I had two thoughts: First: Absolutely. I do love this. Second: Darnit. A story where a random girl ends up in a mysterious land and the characters have origins in the Four Gods and constellation ties? Well, crud. And there’s two groups going against each other with two more in the backstory? Double crud. Oh and three of our first introduced characters from this world are a love interest, a king, and a general in addition to these two girl rivals who are friends (there’s also a priest and a doctor introduced later). Triple crud. There are no new stories basically, lol. It’s something I’m looking at with a fine-toothed comb as I de-fanfic this story (in addition to getting rid of “priestess” and such as they’re less that per se and that helps widen the gap) since I see the similarities, but at the time, I decided it wasn’t a huge deal for a fanfic. However, I did ultimately make the decision to get away from it as much as possible while writing. So I guess all of the constellation stuff is the noodle incident in PBox and that’s why.

Hope you enjoyed this romp through mythology and PBox’s origins! See you next Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on May 05, 2021, 08:29:39 PM
If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Twenty-One ("Catharsis") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)

Chapter Fourteen ("Soul") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602) (You've been able to read this chapter here at AC since March; it's still one of my favorites, let me know if it's one of yours too.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Thank you again to everyone reading! Please chat with me, lol. It's getting lonely in here talking with myself.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on May 12, 2021, 06:32:47 PM
It’s interesting having finished Camp NaNo last month and now I’m finally posting the first chapter I wrote without any part of it written during my initial NaNoWriMo stint (except for one tiny conversation). Next week, we’ll go backwards because I thought that was going to be Chapter Twenty-Two and it was not. Plus, I have been saving an Author Talk for that one since I wrote it back in December. So this week’s chapter was a fun adventure in not quite being sure what to write… It has three scenes and took about half a month to write. It was exhausting. You can read my thoughts on all that from back in February. I was starting to panic. Should I have not taken a month and a half off to edit PBox? Should I have kept writing this in December? Should I have not written my holiday story? Is this what the future of PNecklace will be like? I say that I gave myself some slack, but I won’t lie to you and say I wasn’t at least a little anxious.

So I thought it would be fun to talk about my writing schedule and let you look into my process. Since NaNo, I’ve tried to write something every day whether that was brand new writing or editing something I’d already started. I think I’ve mentioned it in the various writing threads, but I usually keep anything I’m working on open on my laptop. Right now it’s kind of a mess because I’m not sure how to order these two arcs, so I’m writing them in separate documents and splicing them in later, plus the document where I last left off the story and wrote my cursory outline of the last fourteen chapters. I have just shy of three and a half chapters done; if anyone has great ideas for funny Nick scenes, you should probably tell me so I can move on from that “just shy.” I wish juggling made sense in the story because I laughed so hard. But I’ve also written 13,617 words so far. I should supposedly finish June 7th. We’ll see how that goes.

Keeping track of my word counts has been a fun adventure. I’ve only skipped six days since November 1st, if you can believe that! (One in December, two in January, one in February, and two in March.) Here’s a quick run down of my general writing stats:


So I guess, I’m pretty consistent? I’m really hoping to finish another chapter today or two if I’m super inspired. We’ll see how that goes. Y’all know that Wednesdays are kind of hit or miss for me on how productive I am post-updating.

Anyway, let’s talk about my process. I generally have a clear idea of where scenes should start once I ponder over them. And sometimes they flow really well, but sometimes they don’t. February was one of those don’t times, as I mentioned. Each day I stop without finishing a scene or chapter (it depends), I will always reread over it the next time I start writing and hopefully jump off from there. And I typically edit a little as I go, because I can never just leave something alone. It’s why I make myself close the documents once I’m finished writing.

A timeline if you will:


I’m sure you’ll read the second scene and wonder why it took me so long at all, lol. But, there you are. Half a month of my life spent writing. I’d say the two days per scene tends to be more typical of my output than two weeks per scene.

Wish me luck as I finish these last ten and a half chapters (plus one short scene)!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on May 12, 2021, 06:35:04 PM
If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Twenty-Two ("Feelings") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)

Chapter Fifteen ("Confidence") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602) (You've been able to read this chapter here at AC since March, but feedback is always appreciated.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Thank you again to everyone reading! See you next Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on May 19, 2021, 06:43:19 PM
Tiny persistent Nick, you're the worst! (I'm kidding, you're my absolute favorite -- though that should be abundantly clear by now.) So as you all know, I've been employing the backlog since I unretired/found my love for writing again. Everything you've been seeing and reading in PNecklace these past few months, I had written before December when I started posting it (except last week's chapter). And now, this week's chapter is finally the last one I wrote any part of during NaNoWriMo (except for maybe a tiny scene here or there, but I think we're almost through most of those ones). I started it on the very last day, to be specific.

I then completed this week's chapter when December hit and I said "Now what? Guess we keep writing, Nick?" "Yup!" It initially included parts of last week's chapter in its original plans as well, but I ended up focusing on two of the things I wanted to include more than the other two, so I pushed those other bits back. And then I actually took most of December and January off from PNecklace in order to edit PBox fully and write my holiday story, with a tiny bit of PNecklace editing and a very tiny bit of writing interesting bits. And then when I came back, I realized that last week's chapter was actually before this week's chapter when I added the first scene.

While I was editing, I was still vaguely plantsing the rest of PNecklace (I wrote a tiny snippet of the very end and a few other bits, planned some team dynamics, fleshed out the big bad, worked on our main heroes' character arcs, etcetera), and came to the conclusion that getting to that planned final end wouldn't happen in the next twenty loosely planned chapters, but the arc our demon buddies were currently on could end, so... there would likely need to be another installment. Ugh, Nick... Why do you have so much story to share? ("I'm really interesting!" "You're right, I know.")

At the beginning of this, I thought I was crazy rereading some stuff here where I said that this would originally be four stories, but no, I was right, it will be (but probably for different reasons than I thought back then, the story has definitely departed from what I thought might be the plotline back then a little bit over these past few years). However, if it creeps into five stories, so help me, Nick! We've gotta do something else! I think part of this thinking is that I would rather have all the stories be close to 50 chapters instead of letting PNecklace become unruly and "go on for as long as it takes" so it's only a sequel. But also knowing that if I figured there is more to come that I want to make sure that PNecklace feels satisfying at the end and not just "this should have been longer, but I didn't want it to be, so I chopped it in half" and now it's just contingent on the last part being finished to be satisfying. I guess the point of this author talk/update is to confirm there's more coming? Unless I finish PNecklace, give up again, and re-retire? Wish me luck? I think it’ll be fine because

And that's where I stopped when I wrote this Author Note in December. I think I really wanted to be able to tell you all that I'd finished PNecklace and had started writing "Pandora's Demons" (that's its title), but, as you know, I haven't finished PNecklace... yet. But it's close. Only about eight and half chapters left to go! I hope those of you reading have enjoyed it so far. You know I'm always here to chat.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on May 19, 2021, 06:45:32 PM
If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Twenty-Three ("Memories") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583) (I think this is one I listed as a favorite. It's me nerding out on rites and rituals again, which is always fun. You've seen a wedding. I wonder what you'll see next...)

Chapter Sixteen ("Earthquake") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602) (You've been able to read this chapter here at AC since March, but feedback is always appreciated.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Thank you again to everyone reading! See you next Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on May 26, 2021, 08:40:17 PM
Happy Wednesday!

So I wanted to talk about Five Man Bands this week and specifically Five Man Bands with fantasy tropes. So I’ve said before that I love a good Five Man Band and honestly… this is probably because of the Boys more than anything else. So your key players in five man band are as follows:




But honestly? Nick’s not your typical High Fantasy Hero. He’s not necessarily all-loving, if anything he’s a bit of a curmudgeon despite his youth. He’s more than happy to start a fist fight with whoever. He’s pretty selfish. He has his flaws in spades, as you know. And while he definitely loves his friends and would risk hell for them, he’s really not into the whole “because destiny says so” shtick. But there’s a character who is…

Howie. A sword-wielding King who loves his people, is descended from a protected demonic lineage, and considers his duty the most important thing he is. And he obviously rallies the other to heroics. A textbook High Fantasy Hero. I told you I wanted to make Howie important. (I’m a relic of my time, really. Is this that much of an issue anymore?)

Then… What’s Nick? Well, he could be The Lancer. He and Howie have a lot of opposites about them, but in a story where Howie’s the Hero, his Lancer is probably AJ. He could be The Big Guy. His first solution to most problems is “hit it?” But, Kevin’s probably still The Big Guy, or possibly The Smart Guy. We’ve already established that Nick is not The Smart Guy in PBox, but he has his moments as he grows. Brian’s probably Howie’s Smart Guy. That makes Nick The Heart -- again, a bitter, selfish, hot-headed Heart, but caring for his Five Man Band is his m.o. Truthfully, PBox is really a story where The Heart/Lancer/Big Guy is our protagonist rather than the typical Hero.

And because of this, the classics of Five Man Bands are muddled. Anyone as a Lancer to Howie is kind of wishy-washy because of the forethought that went into Nick being in The Hero role. If you ever had any doubts, Brian is Nick’s Lancer, 100%. Where do we find Nick at the beginning of the story? Questioning his faith and purpose among other things. And Brian? Assuming the role of a priest. I mentioned this in the demon powers discussion already, but Nick uses his fists to attack (and is clueless about his powers) whereas Brian uses defensive barriers and is, arguably, a master of his craft (he wavers a bit over time, but everybody has their character arc). Orphaned Nick to den of demons Brian. Hot-headed to calm. Doer to analyzer. I could go on, but I think you get the point. In a PBox world where the others are placed in The Hero role, there could be some fluidity on who serves The Lancer role for each of them, but not for Nick and, as that case stands, probably not for Brian either.

Anyway, what’s fun about Five Man Bands is their character dynamics. They’re not necessarily about any one member, but how they play off each other to form a unit. What separate units can and can’t do based on who’s missing. What happens to the team when one member is gone. I’m thinking a lot about this now as I’m ending the story and maybe you’ll see what I mean once you’re where I am, but this was stuck in my head and I wanted to discuss it.

So, now it’s your turn. Is Kevin unequivocally The Big Guy? Just what is Nick if we switch perspective and accept that Howie is the classic standard for The Hero? Are AJ’s shapeshifting powers muddling how I feel about his role? Are you still focused on me giving you a mild spoiler about Brian and not addressing it? Or are you wondering why I wanted to bring up the Backstreet Project in a discussion about PBox and not Gobosei? Always here to chat. See you next Wednesday.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on May 26, 2021, 08:43:16 PM
If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Twenty-Four ("Exchange") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)

Chapter Seventeen ("Den of Demons") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602) (You've been able to read this chapter here at AC since March and it's probably sill one of my favorites; feedback is always appreciated.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Thank you again to everyone reading! See you next Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on June 02, 2021, 10:00:55 PM
I have no Author Talk this week, because it has been a week, but I decided to start adding some more little author notes to the end of the chapters. Here's the one from AO3's update this week because it's not particularly spoilery:

When I initially posted PBox, a friend/reader said I was "cruel" for letting AJ interrupt Nick and Minako's wedding night (in Chapter Twenty-Nine: Demonic Heart), so I suppose I continue to be cruel, haha. Anything I can do to keep our hero celibate, right? I wonder if that will ever change! (She said possibly facetiously.)

Nick's dreams have played an important part in PNecklace since the beginning. Much of the story is focused on Nick figuring things out and piecing together his memories and self. Realistically, they've probably been there all along, he just buried them in an attempt to forget his pain. Trauma is difficult when you're a child, but he also figured out at some point that he didn't really want the box or any divine miracle, he just wanted anyone to accept him as is (and that's the thing he really needed despite wanting differently in the beginning). In PNecklace he grapples with wanting to be stronger; wonder what the thing he really needs is? I ask this facetiously as always -- of course I know the answer.

Thanks for reading! See you on Sunday for the first Sunday Sizzlin' Summer extra update! Anyone else have thoughts on Nick's dreams? I'd love to hear them! :)

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Twenty-Five ("Cost") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583) (I'm posting this slightly early, it will be up in the next half hour or so.)

Chapter Eighteen ("Centered") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)  (You've been able to read this on AC since April.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Thank you again to everyone reading! I'll be posting Chapter Nineteen on AO3 on Sunday, but won't be updating this thread then since you've been able to read it here on AC since April. See you next Wednesday! Feedback is always appreciated as I catch my two cross postings up to each other (or if you're loving what's currently on AC). :)
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on June 09, 2021, 09:28:47 PM
So the last little Author Chat I did, I talked about a trope I love: Five Man Bands. I was trying to think about what other tropes permeate PBox&Co and also had a little to do with what’s currently going on in PNecklace, so I guess let’s talk about wishes.

The Pandora Legend that gets discussed in the beginning of PBox is as follows (in case you don’t remember it, this is more a summary than a quote): Pandora appears to the demons who most longs for her, (“desperate” was the exact word used, which Nick took issue with, of course) then brings the demons who use pale blue light together and when they receive their powers back, they will fulfill the duties of their nation. And in return for this duty, Pandora gets wishes.

Now all of this is a little convoluted (in part from the abandoned constellation origins of this tale) and hasn’t fully been explained yet; we’ll start diving into it more as PNecklace continues, but if you’re familiar with the way myths work, then you may be able to start to piece it together despite the inherent vague vagueness of all of this. Meanwhile, let’s talk about wish tropes.

First the easy question, why three? Well, you always get three wishes. That’s really the only reason, lol.

The use of wishes in PBox really stems from two tropes that play on the inherent dichotomy of the major contrasts in the story: good versus evil, light versus darkness, hope versus despair, and so on (there are several of them, but those are the more major ones). These are: Bargain with Heaven and Deal with the Devil. Realistically, these are the same trope at their heart. Some mortal makes a deal with an all powerful being for something they want and the all powerful being gets something in return. There’s plenty of instances of mortals making deals with pantheons throughout history, but at their cores, these two really trace back to Christianity in their specifics. Bargain with Heaven is the older of the two, being present in the Bible’s text, and overall doesn’t have many ill-consequences for the mortal involved (unless they have some personal failing in their promise). Deal with the Devil, in the sense that we picture it, traces its codification back to Faust -- though it did exist before then and was really created as a subversion for Bargain with Heaven that included many more costs to the mortal involved. Interestingly enough, the subversion became way more popular and we typically see it more in media (guess everyone really does like Team Dark).

With PBox&Co being dominated by demons as major characters, you would think Deal with the Devil would be more prevalent in the story, but the wishes are presented as some sort of Bargain with Heaven. Though, as you know, the figure called “God” by Nick is hardly a god at all, so how much of the meeting with the “Emperor of the Heavens” is really bargaining with Heaven is up for debate. In fact, if you’re reading along, I encourage you to debate this. You know I always have fun things to reveal in the PBox&Co lore as time goes on.

The wishes Minako ultimately makes in the end would generally be seen as selfless, though clearly not permanent as all our characters have returned to demon land. This raises the question of if selfless wishes really open the box or make it serve its true purpose. Or, more realistically, is there a right wish to make on it? Minako and Nick spend a fair amount of time up to this point in their story discussing the power of wishes and what having that power would grant them. And in the beginning of PBox, Nick really wanted that power, hoping to receive “a light that makes miracles” in his own Bargain with Heaven. But, as fantasy often portrays, sometimes the journey is more important than the goal and along the way, Nick realizes that a light that makes miracles wasn’t necessarily the thing that would make him happy. Similarly, Minako becomes pretty adamant, especially after wishing on the box doesn’t stick, that wishing only does so much without action. So rather than a “right wish,” is there a “right action”? Everybody grapples with a lot in PBox&Co.

With all the focus on Bargain with Heaven in the end, Deal with a Devil is largely absent from the story. Many of the demons do make attempts at making them with the Pandoras (even Howie, even though he never gets far enough to “shake on it” with Minako, possibly just because she agrees without any sort of trade), but nothing’s ever fully solidified. There is one little demon constantly making promises and offering things… and that’s Nick, of course. And Minako does accept and reciprocate these things, and sometimes even initiates it. But it’s probably a fine line on whether this is any sort of Deal with the Devil; especially when Minako is offering “the deal” to Nick about as many times as he offers a deal to her. Is it inherently a Deal with the Devil if one party is a demon? But PBox&Co is a subversion by premise. As you know, the short way I describe it to people outside our fandom is “it’s about demons, but they’re the heroes.” And let’s be honest, it’s hard to make sinister deals when you’re the hero, even if you are a demon. This comes up again, but we’ll talk on that more next week when it’s probably time we went back to our mythology discussion.

Anyone else have thoughts on wishes in PBox or PNecklace? Let’s chat tropes, y’all! As always, see you next Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on June 09, 2021, 09:32:43 PM
I'm a little behind on updating my updates thread because I was starving. So, update!

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Twenty-Six ("Altair and Vega") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)

Chapter Twenty ("Strengths") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)  (You've been able to read this on AC since April. Chapter Nineteen: Weaknesses also went up last Sunday if you missed it.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Thank you again to everyone reading! I'll be posting Chapter Twenty-One on AO3 on Sunday, but won't be updating this thread then since you've been able to read it here on AC since May. See you next Wednesday! Feedback is always appreciated as I catch my two cross postings up to each other (or if you're loving what's currently on AC). :)
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on June 16, 2021, 06:33:42 PM
Somehow, I thought I could staycation, keep the streak alive, edit this week's chapter, and write an author's chat over this weekend/early this week. An impossible undertaking, clearly. So no author chat, but there are updates! That author chat I was planning makes more sense after getting a chance to read this newest chapter anyway.

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Twenty-Seven ("Glow") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)

Chapter Twenty-Two ("Feelings") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)  (You've been able to read this on AC since May. Chapter Twenty-One: Catharsis also went up last Sunday if you missed it.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Thank you again to everyone reading! I'll be posting Chapter Twenty-Three on AO3 on Sunday, but won't be updating this thread then since you've been able to read it here on AC since May. See you next Wednesday! Feedback is always appreciated as I catch my two cross postings up to each other (or if you're loving what's currently on AC). :) Let me know how my self-challenge went!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on June 23, 2021, 11:30:47 PM
Wow, it's late! But, it's still Wednesday, phew! Finished editing and updating by the skin of my teeth here.

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Twenty-Eight ("Adapt") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)

Chapter Twenty-Four ("Exchange") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)  (You've been able to read this on AC since May. Chapter Twenty-Three: Memories also went up last Sunday if you missed it.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Thank you again to everyone reading! I saw a little uptick last week, so I hope everyone enjoyed it and welcome any thoughts on how I executed my challenge or any of the other new info that was in there. I'll be posting Chapter Twenty-Five on AO3 on Sunday, but won't be updating this thread then since you've been able to read it here on AC since the beginning of this month (we're finally into the same update month! Can you believe it?!). See you next Wednesday! Feedback is always appreciated as I catch my two cross postings up to each other (or if you're loving what's currently on AC). :) Hope y'all enjoy a little different POV in this week's update. And I promise, we'll finally get back to Author Talks next week. This next one is one I've been planning and meaning to post since I first started discussing mythology.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on July 01, 2021, 12:22:57 AM
I'm slacking on my Author Talks. Next week is summer break, so I have literally zero excuses! Please forgive my busier than expected summer.

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Twenty-Nine ("Sacrifice") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)

Chapter Twenty-Six ("Altair and Vega") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)  (You've been able to read this on AC since the beginning of the month. Chapter Twenty-Five: Cost also went up last Sunday if you missed it.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Thank you again to everyone reading! See you next Wednesday! Feedback is always appreciated as I catch my two cross postings up to each other (or if you're loving what's currently on AC). :) This chapter is really the continuation for the turning point of the last third of the novel, so hopefully it gives you something to look forward to in these upcoming chapters!

On a side note, I'm skipping AO3's Sunday catch up this week due to the Fourth of July, but you can still read all those chapters here, so you aren't missing out on anything. :)
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on July 07, 2021, 06:43:26 PM
Happy Wednesday! This post has been a long time coming as it’s difficult to discuss the mythology and lore of a series where the first book is called “Pandora’s Box” without discussing… well… the Pandora’s box myth. I held off on sharing until at least after chapter twenty-seven, since “Glow” is when the ambiguity of where Pandoras get their powers becomes a little more clear and hopefully this week’s chapter sheds a little more light on the subject. (As always, I intend all my puns.)

So there’s some ambiguity in the Pandora legend on just what the jar contained (box is really a mistranslation for "pithos" -- a large jar made of clay and used to store many things from wine to human remains). The name “Pandora” can be interpreted as “all-gifted” or “all-giving” and the story goes that each of the gods bestowed a gift on Pandora (a woman made of clay), including a jar with all the evils of the world, hoping that she would bestow a punishing gift on humans in retribution for Prometheus stealing fire from the gods when she opened it. I’ll be honest with you, in general, ancient Greece was not kind to women, so the implication is that a “deceitful woman” bestowed the evils on man (you'll also notice this "created" aspect which I'm sure you can imagine Christianity ran away with to connect Eve's sin to this myth...). It’s… fun stuff… Everyone agrees that the ills of the world are in the box: plague, death, war, destruction, famine, etcetera, etcetera. And the last thing in the box is hope. The word used to describe hope would actually translate to “expectation,” so it’s more the “expectation of hope.” Here is the ambiguity. Hope is generally seen as a good thing, so why is it in a box with all these evil things? Is it evil because it remains in the box where it can’t be accessed (the absence of hope) or did it linger with the jar to preserve hope as an accessible thing? Or did it originally represent false hope (an evil)? This is unclear and without Hesiod to say for sure, it’s up to interpretation . There is some indication that Pandora’s original purpose (away from this jar myth) was some sort of earth goddess, giving all that is needed to sustain life, a bestower of gifts rather than a receiver of gifts.

So PBox. Following the “good” interpretation of the myth, one of its main themes is “there’s always hope.” Time and time again, our heroes are rewarded for hope. Even way back to the beginning, Nick constantly hopes that Pandora will come to rescue him, and she does. Minako hopes that she can save Renee and she gets to go back to PBox’s world. All our heroes hope that their sacrifices can bring them victory and it does. They all talk about their hope to see the “world of brightness” and death is impermanent (Spoiler? Nah… you had to assume by now that all five Boys are trucking along in PNecklace despite death. I promise there’s a reason). Minako and Nick hope to see each other again and they do. There’s always hope. You’ll see this again as we near the end of PNecklace (only ⅖ left to go after today), of course, because it’s a theme for the whole story. Really the theme is, like the contents of the jar: “Despite all the bad in the world, there’s always hope.” And I’ve discussed it in a couple author’s notes, but PBox’s world is dark. That’s what makes the hope and bright spots so uplifting. And this is only mirrored by the characters. Minako and Nick are both prime examples of this.

Anyway, by opening the box, Pandora’s wishes make her the “all-giving,” but in order to open it, she needs demonic power, thus making her the “all-gifted” as well. In PBox, she gets these by receiving their hearts: the containers for their demonic power. Ever notice that Kevin always touches the heart when he heals? And they make several references that they “just feel the others living” in their hearts and none of them really worry about it. You may be wondering now if demons can really die? That’s a great question and you won’t like the answer, which is… keep reading. ;) You may have also noticed that Minako has always had “the blue light,” even back in the beginning of PBox. Our story is slowly unraveling where this may have originated from. And now you may be wondering how long exactly Minako’s had demonic powers she could use. A mystery for another day as there’s plenty more coming about our titular box  and Pandora.

What do you think? Is hope a blessing despite being in a box of curses or is it just another curse? Has hope rewarded our characters in PBox&Co or has it punished them? As always, see you next Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on July 07, 2021, 06:51:25 PM
Zero excuses! Hope you enjoyed this week's Author Talk.

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Thirty ("Past") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)

Chapter Twenty-Seven ("Glow") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)  (You've been able to read this on AC for the past three weeks. Only three more weeks until I'm cross-posting the same chapter at the same time!)

I won't update this thread, but I'll be posting Chapter Twenty-Eight on AO3 on Sunday. Feedback is always appreciated as I catch my two cross postings up to each other (or if you're loving what's currently on AC). :) This is the end of the Nick-heavy chunk of the novel (for the most part at least, since he's still our main character after all).

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Thank you again to everyone reading! See you next Wednesday!

Happy 11,000th post to me! ;)
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on July 14, 2021, 08:43:42 PM
Happy Wednesday! No Author Talk this week as my food delivery arrived during update day and it is time to eat (is this too much information about my personal life? lol). But I did want to give some insight into some of the things I've been working on. As you may have gathered from other posts around the forum, PNecklace is complete, but I am sticking to my update schedule for the moment unless I get crazy ahead on other projects or something.

Otherwise, I am currently working on a short story for the 1000 Ways to Die round robin, PDemons (of course), and a fun little satire novella set around the Into the Millennium tour. So I've got a little of everything going at the moment across size and genre. I hope you enjoy all of them once they're ready to be posted!

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated on my magnum opus. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Thirty-One ("History") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)

Chapter Twenty-Nine ("Sacrifice") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)  (You've been able to read this on AC for the past two weeks. Only two more weeks until I'm cross-posting the same chapter at the same time! Chapter Twenty-Eight: Adapt also went up on Sunday if you missed it.)

I won't update this thread, but I'll be posting Chapter Thirty on AO3 on Sunday. Feedback is always appreciated as I catch my two cross postings up to each other (or if you're loving what's currently on AC). :) I hope you like having a different POV character this week.

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Thank you again to everyone reading and getting PNecklace over 5000 views! See you next Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on July 21, 2021, 09:38:21 PM
Happy Wednesday! Writing is going slow... That's all.

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated on my magnum opus. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894)

Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Thirty-Two ("Ripples") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)

Chapter Thirty-One ("History") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)  (You've been able to read this on AC since last week. Only a few days until I'm cross-posting the same chapter at the same time! Chapter Thirty: Past also went up on Sunday if you missed it.)

I won't update this thread, but I'll be posting Chapter Thirty-Two on AO3 on Sunday. Feedback is always appreciated as I catch my two cross postings up to each other (or if you're loving what's currently on AC). :) I hope you like having a different POV character this week.

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Thank you again to everyone reading and getting PNecklace over 5000 views! See you next Wednesday! I'll do my best to get an Author Talk together for next week.
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on July 28, 2021, 07:27:54 PM
It’s been a minute since I did an Author Talk (I’m running out of things to talk about off hand that aren’t related to spoilers), but I wanted to go back to tropes this week. Recently, PNecklace has spent some time discussing history and prophecies, mostly in regards to what that means for our main heroes. So this week, I wanted to discuss PBox and some prophecy tropes.

Throughout PBox&Co, there’s this vague mention of prophecies in the underlying plot and narrative. When you really think about it, the Pandora Legend is both an in-universe myth and an in-universe prophecy. It’s complicated though, since it’s implied that enough time has passed since the myth was told (or foretold as the case may actually be), that it should be seen as just a story. But since it’s been kept alive as truth, it hasn’t faded into myth as much as it falls into legend territory. And again, the line here is really blurred because it’s a story from the past talking about a thing in the future, so it’s a bit convoluted.

One of the major reasons our main heroes are off on this adventure is “because destiny said so.” Or at least, that’s what they say. Their real reasons are a bit more muddied. Howie, you could argue, is definitely in the “because destiny says so” camp, but a lot of that has more to do with duty to crown, country, and legacy than just devotion to a prophecy. Kevin’s reason is implied to be because he was saved because he possessed those destined powers. Brian’s reason, as you probably gathered recently, stems from filial piety. AJ’s is absolutely “because you were nice to me.” Minako’s reason was “the boy” from the beginning (and it grew to being dependable to the unit over time). And Nick’s has always been what he thinks he can get from following destiny (although these days it probably leans less selfish than at the start of PBox; how selfish “to be with my friends” really is  probably depends on who you ask).

But the major thing about the PBox prophecies is that they fall under “vagueness is coming” and slide to “prophecies are guides, not rules.” I mean, what does “ignite the kingdom” even mean? How does one do that? It’s difficult when the main prophecy of the bunch is clearly something meant for all the main sets of demons, but theoretically one group winning should mean that all others lose. Although technically none of the prophecies say “when x happens, y will win,” that’s just the way it’s all been interpreted over the years. What these prophecies actually mean is more muddled. (See, this is what I said about having a hard time finding things to talk about without spoilers, lol.) And there’s this lingering question of who made the prophecies if they’re not just legends and stories. Anyone have any ideas? You know that I always love taking guesses.

Some other prophecy tropes I’ve played with in the narrative are that Nick leans toward “screw destiny” many times in the story, but mainly when it comes to what he envisions for his future and getting the girl -- which that thread (pun intended) leans into “red string of fate” vibes sometimes. So can Nick really screw destiny if his destiny is all interwoven? (Those are my only two destiny/fabric puns; I swear.) I don’t know if we can really answer this until there’s a good explanation of not just “why Pandoras,” but “why this particular person is a Pandora.” And again, spoilers… But feel free to discuss!

This week was shorter. Definitely let me know if there’s anything you want me to talk about. It may give me more ideas rather than running off on my rambles. Happy Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on July 28, 2021, 07:37:44 PM
Yay, finally another Author Talk! I kept my promise from last week (mostly because this week's chapter only took me an hour or so to edit).

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. (I keep promising this errant comma update and not delivering, so this may be my next fanfic adjacent project.) Feedback is always appreciated on my magnum opus. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894) and Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links now included after the titles):

This week, I have officially updated the same chapter on all platforms, so you are now free to read wherever makes you happiest and get the same content.

This week's chapter is Chapter Thirty-Three: Plans. You can find it here on AC (Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)) and on AO3 (Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)).

I didn't update this thread, but I posted Chapter Thirty-Two on AO3 on Sunday, officially catching up the cross-posting. That was a long seven weeks! It's crazy that I started double posting back at Chapter 18 and finally got caught up on Chapter 33.

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Feedback of any kind is always appreciated (so much, that I say it twice every single week, lol). See you next Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on August 05, 2021, 12:26:22 AM
Unlike last week, I did not edit fast (and did not have as much available time to edit), so no Author Talk this week. Maybe they'll be every other week or something at this rate, lol.

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. (I keep promising this errant comma update and not delivering, so this may be my next fanfic adjacent project.) Feedback is always appreciated on my magnum opus. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894) and Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links now included after the titles):

This week's chapter is Chapter Thirty-Four: Beloved. You can find it here on AC (Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)) and on AO3 (Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)).

Enjoy! See you next Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on August 11, 2021, 10:13:14 PM
No Author Talk this week; I'm very tired... can barely keep my eyes open on this joyous Wednesday.

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. (I keep promising this errant comma update and not delivering, so this may be my next fanfic adjacent project.) Feedback is always appreciated on my magnum opus. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894) and Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links now included after the titles):

This week's chapter is Chapter Thirty-Five: Contract. You can find it here on AC (Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)) and on AO3 (Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)).

Enjoy! See you next Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on August 18, 2021, 11:35:00 PM
I made it! Somehow I finished this week's edit despite being sick during editing time. It was a long one, so I'm pretty impressed with myself.

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. (I keep promising this errant comma update and not delivering, so this may be my next fanfic adjacent project.) Feedback is always appreciated on my magnum opus. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894) and Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links now included after the titles):

This week's chapter is Chapter Thirty-Six: Tomorrow. You can find it here on AC (Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)) and on AO3 (Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)).

Enjoy! See you next Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on August 25, 2021, 09:49:27 PM
So the streak finally ended. Somehow I managed while sick, but had the worst headache Monday and couldn't look at a screen. So here's to the new streak. Hopefully I can keep it going with some 00Carter today! I can't wait for everyone to read the new episode we've been working on!

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. (I keep promising this errant comma update and not delivering, so this may be my next fanfic adjacent project.) Feedback is always appreciated on my magnum opus. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894) and Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links now included after the titles):

This week's chapter is Chapter Thirty-Seven: Honesty. You can find it here on AC (Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)) and on AO3 (Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)).

Enjoy! See you next Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on September 01, 2021, 07:41:20 PM
I'm currently on a four day streak. But, I actually worked on both PDemons and the other new story I was writing yesterday. So things may be on the up and up! Maybe 00Carter was the break I needed more than moving to my own new thing. We'll see what happens!

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. (I keep promising this errant comma update and not delivering, so this may be my next fanfic adjacent project.) Feedback is always appreciated on my magnum opus. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894) and Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links now included after the titles):

This week's chapter is Chapter Thirty-Eight: Wanting. As you know, submissions on AC are currently down, but you can read chapters one through thirty-seven here on AC (Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)) and up through the current chapter on AO3 (Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)). As soon as submissions come back here on AC, I'll upload any missing chapters.

Enjoy! See you next Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on September 08, 2021, 10:41:43 PM
Anyone else ever feel bummed when work takes away from their writing? That's where I'm at. I've also run out of ideas on great author talks. I guess I have nothing to share about PBox&Co that isn't spoilery. But I'll answer any questions anyone has! Give me ideas, basically, lol.

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. (I keep promising this errant comma update and not delivering, so this may be my next fanfic adjacent project.) Feedback is always appreciated on my magnum opus. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894) and Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links now included after the titles):

This week's chapter is Chapter Thirty-Nine: Distance. As you know, submissions on AC are currently down, but you can read chapters one through thirty-seven here on AC (Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)) and up through the current chapter on AO3 (Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)). As soon as submissions come back here on AC, I'll upload any missing chapters.

Enjoy! See you next Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on September 15, 2021, 08:30:41 PM
Work... But the good news is, I'm still writing. I've gotten yet another 00Carter scene finished. I can't wait until y'all get to enjoy the new episodes.

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. (I keep promising this errant comma update and not delivering, so this may be my next fanfic adjacent project.) Feedback is always appreciated on my magnum opus. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894) and Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links now included after the titles):

This week's chapter is Chapter Forty: Uncertainty. As you know, submissions on AC are currently down, but you can read chapters one through thirty-seven here on AC (Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)) and up through the current chapter on AO3 (Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)). As soon as submissions come back here on AC, I'll upload any missing chapters.

Enjoy! See you next Wednesday!

Edited to add: Somehow I forgot to mention that there's only ten chapters left of PNecklace! The end is in sight, y'all. (For this installment at least.)
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on September 22, 2021, 11:09:43 PM
A month into the new school year and I'm exhausted! But, PNecklace continues to update.

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. (I keep promising this errant comma update and not delivering, so this may be my next fanfic adjacent project.) Feedback is always appreciated on my magnum opus. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894) and Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links now included after the titles):

This week's chapter is Chapter Forty-One: Refuge. As you know, submissions on AC are currently down, but you can read chapters one through thirty-seven here on AC (Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)) and up through the current chapter on AO3 (Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)). As soon as submissions come back here on AC, I'll upload any missing chapters.

Enjoy! Nine chapters left! See you next Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on September 29, 2021, 11:16:36 PM
I almost didn't finish editing this week, but I did. I think I've earned a long nap.

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. (I keep promising this errant comma update and not delivering, so this may be my next fanfic adjacent project.) Feedback is always appreciated on my magnum opus. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894) and Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links now included after the titles):

This week's chapter is Chapter Forty-Two: Trust. As you know, submissions on AC are currently down, but you can read chapters one through thirty-seven here on AC (Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)) and up through the current chapter on AO3 (Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)). As soon as submissions come back here on AC, I'll upload any missing chapters.

Enjoy! Eight chapters left! See you next Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on October 06, 2021, 07:54:15 PM
I've had no ideas for Author Chats. If you're reading out there, tell me what to talk about. I always thought I would have more to say near the end of the installment, not less.

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. (I keep promising this errant comma update and not delivering, so this may be my next fanfic adjacent project.) Feedback is always appreciated on my magnum opus. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894) and Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links now included after the titles):

This week's chapter is Chapter Forty-Three: Perspective. As you know, submissions on AC are currently down, but you can read chapters one through thirty-seven here on AC (Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)) and up through the current chapter on AO3 (Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)). As soon as submissions come back here on AC, I'll upload any missing chapters.

Enjoy! Seven chapters left! See you next Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on October 13, 2021, 07:49:28 PM
I was worried I wouldn't get the mojo to edit this chapter. But yesterday for the first time in about a month, I had some real inspiration for PDemons and did some writing ahead, then today's chapter was easy to edit. So, here's hoping this PDemons streak stays!

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. (I keep promising this errant comma update and not delivering, so this may be my next fanfic adjacent project.) Feedback is always appreciated on my magnum opus. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894) and Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links now included after the titles):

This week's chapter is Chapter Forty-Four: Offer. As you know, submissions on AC are currently down, but you can read chapters one through thirty-seven here on AC (Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)) and up through the current chapter on AO3 (Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)). As soon as submissions come back here on AC, I'll upload any missing chapters.

Enjoy! Six chapters left! See you next Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on October 20, 2021, 09:11:01 PM
A week later and I'm back to writing OF PBox and 00Carter. So far this month, I'm written about 10,000 words for 00Carter (crazy, right?) and about 3300 words for OF Pbox. I don't know if it's the built in audience that comes with 00Carter or what, but I've been really proud of the writing I've put out for it recently. And OF PBox as well I suppose. NaNoWriMo is next month and I've been mulling over whether to commit to it or not. I think I'll see how writing goes this weekend and what I decide to work on. I'll keep y'all posted.

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. (I keep promising this errant comma update and not delivering, so this may be my next fanfic adjacent project.) Feedback is always appreciated on my magnum opus. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894) and Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links now included after the titles):

This week's chapter is Chapter Forty-Five: Trapped. As you know, submissions on AC are currently down, but you can read chapters one through thirty-seven here on AC (Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)) and up through the current chapter on AO3 (Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)). As soon as submissions come back here on AC, I'll upload any missing chapters.

Enjoy! Five chapters left! See you next Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on October 27, 2021, 09:48:07 PM
We're down to the wire, y'all. I ultimately decided not to do NaNoWriMo this year. I'm not feeling a strong enough pull to any one project to commit to attempting it. Which is fine, I'm still writing most every day, it's just whichever story strikes me at the moment. That or running our edits on 00Carter. We're a week ahead, so that's helpful and gives me some more wiggle room with my own writing. I did write a tiny bit more on PDemons a few days ago, so at least that's something. We'll see what happens.

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. (I keep promising this errant comma update and not delivering, so this may be my next fanfic adjacent project.) Feedback is always appreciated on my magnum opus. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894) and Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links now included after the titles):

This week's chapter is Chapter Forty-Six: Feint. As you know, submissions on AC are currently down, but you can read chapters one through thirty-seven here on AC (Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)) and up through the current chapter on AO3 (Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)). As soon as submissions come back here on AC, I'll upload any missing chapters.

Enjoy! Four chapters left! See you next Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on November 03, 2021, 10:05:57 PM
Halloween always gets me. I don't know why it's so busy. It has no business being like that. I don't have a lot to say this week. I really haven't much of anything, so... Let's focus on updates instead.

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. (I keep promising this errant comma update and not delivering, so this may be my next fanfic adjacent project.) Feedback is always appreciated on my magnum opus. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894) and Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links now included after the titles):

This week's chapter is Chapter Forty-Seven: Melee. As you know, submissions on AC are currently down, but you can read chapters one through thirty-seven here on AC (Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)) and up through the current chapter on AO3 (Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)). As soon as submissions come back here on AC, I'll upload any missing chapters.

Enjoy! Three chapters left! See you next Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on November 10, 2021, 11:47:11 PM
I'm dreaming of a time where my life gets less busy... I don't know when that will happen.

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. (I keep promising this errant comma update and not delivering, so this may be my next fanfic adjacent project.) Feedback is always appreciated on my magnum opus. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894) and Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links now included after the titles):

This week's chapter is Chapter Forty-Eight: Reflection. As you know, submissions on AC are currently down, but you can read chapters one through thirty-seven here on AC (Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)) and up through the current chapter on AO3 (Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)). As soon as submissions come back here on AC, I'll upload any missing chapters.

Enjoy! Two chapters left! See you next Wednesday!
Title: Re: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)
Post by: nicksgal on November 17, 2021, 09:52:48 PM
I edited exactly 51 words in this chapter from the initial writing. I don't know if that's a good sign... or a terrible one. It feels bizarre to be this far along in posting and not know what I'll be posting next yet. I guess 00Carter counts. I did write 79 words of PDemons this week, so maybe I'll have something soon. I think I'd like at least 10-15 chapters of my next thing, whether that's PDemons or Not Like We Predicted, before I post one of them. We'll see how it goes. Maybe being done with PNecklace officially and out of 00Carter editing will give me some oompf on my personal projects.

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. (I keep promising this errant comma update and not delivering, so this may be my next fanfic adjacent project.) Feedback is always appreciated on my magnum opus. :)

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=6894) and Pandora's Box on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/27988290)

Please find updates as follows (links now included after the titles):

This week's chapter is Chapter Forty-Nine: Confrontation. As you know, submissions on AC are currently down, but you can read chapters one through thirty-seven here on AC (Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11583)) and up through the current chapter on AO3 (Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/29188602)). As soon as submissions come back here on AC, I'll upload any missing chapters.

Enjoy! Only one chapter left! Due to the holiday, I am taking a short break from updating next week, just because I don't know that I can guarantee that the last chapter will be ready to post. So I'll see everyone back here with Chapter Fifty on December 1st. Enjoy Thanksgiving!