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 91 
 on: June 13, 2021, 06:29:50 PM 
Started by nicksgal - Last post by RokofAges75
Glad to hear the last chapter of History is going well!

I had a good afternoon writing session.  I wrote for about three and a half hours and got 1,747 words written.  My Nick chapter is over 6,500 words now LOL.  I still have one more (short?) scene planned for it, but we'll see.

My average daily word count on Nano is now 666... LOL.  I hope this isn't a bad omen of me not making my goal. Wink

 92 
 on: June 13, 2021, 06:16:56 PM 
Started by mare - Last post by RokofAges75
Not really a discussion with all of us, just individual tweets.  I love it - the song, the video, all of the above!  But I'm also disappointed I can't buy it on Amazon Music yet.  I don't do iTunes.

 93 
 on: June 13, 2021, 02:32:09 PM 
Started by nicksgal - Last post by FrickingKaos
Yeah I haven't really talked about Take Me Home a whole lot, it's been on pause for about a year or so. I'd like to finish it eventually cause it's a really good story, at least I think so anyway. It's an AU and Science fiction. I don't want to give a whole lot away but the premise is Nick wakes up one day with no memories and is told he's been through something, and as the story goes on he gets bits and pieces. He and Brian are the main characters. This one does have aliens in it sort of, but it's not like that idea I mentioned before on the other thread. I'm glad my ideas are intriguing because I find them interesting too.


I usually don't look for writing prompts, but I found myself go ogling it the other night to see if anything jumped out at me. I have been watching a bunch of stuff to see if I am inspired as well. The final chapter of History is taking my main focus right now, and it's going pretty well. I might have an update done by Wednesday, at least that's what I am shooting for.

 94 
 on: June 13, 2021, 01:56:56 PM 
Started by nicksgal - Last post by RokofAges75
Or that he gets cancer and loses a limb. Or that there is an entire round robin dedicated to featuring tales of his death. He's really better off with only his vague interpretation, lol.

You're right! He would have had to stumble on multiples to say confidently "We hook up" instead of "I once found one story where we hook up." OMG, the tags alone! We're definitely better off in our "summaries and genre tags" camp if that were the case.

LOL Yeah, jeez... reading all that would probably make him some paranoid hypochondriac!  He already said in his book that he is a little bit of a hypochondriac (aren't we all?), so yeah... stay far, far away from the fanfics, Nick!

LMAO That's a good point; Kevin would have had to have come across multiple stories where he and Nick hook up to say that.  I think after Frick/Frack, Kevin/Nick is probably the second most popular pairing.  Speaking of Frick/Frack, I would pay the most money to watch Brian's face as he reads those tags... hahaha!!!


Yes, I also admire the creativity of writers who have many succinct ideas! I feel like all of mine are always too big! Although, I guess writing a short story is like writing one tiny piece of a long story without knowing what the rest of the long story is. However, I feel like I always get that idea for a tiny piece and my brain automatically goes to "what's the bigger story surrounding this tiny piece?" instead of "I should write this tiny piece."

Same!  I always feel the need to tell the whole story instead of just showing a slice of it.  I read a one-shot the other day that was just Nick sitting by Brian's hospital bed, reflecting on their relationship as he waited for him to wake up.  It was a nice piece of angst, but of course I would like to read the moments leading up to that one and know what happens next.  But I guess that works well when you have an idea for one vivid scene and want to write it without messing around with the build-up or follow-up.


(I looked it up.) I'm a little disappointed it wasn't about actual penguins, but it does sound good and right up your alley. Smiley I notice that we've been slowly cultivating a list of "movies we discuss and should watch," lol.

I also thought it was going to be about a penguin, but it's about a magpie named Penguin!  It's still very cute, and they used real magpies in the movie!  They had a whole list of their names in the credits.  It was definitely right up my alley, but sometimes I am disappointed by movies like that because they turn out to be cheesy.  I watched one last week that was also right up my alley, 2 Hearts, and it was cheesy.  This one was touching, but well done and not too cheesy.  I loved it!


I don't mind the random things, those are the same as the "include this line" prompts in my mind. It's just often the combination of "include these things" that makes it hard for me. August seems tough for you to have to abruptly switch from 2am fanfic mode to 10pm back-to-school mode. If you don't have major burnout this year, maybe it will be easier to keep writing despite having to adjust. Smiley Is it typically easier if you already have a project going? That is a good challenge! Perhaps I will tackle that if my WADD goes for a while or that could be a fun July project to write several one shots based on old challenges. Although I'm not sure how to calculate word count for that.

Same, I try not to let an idea derail me unless I know exactly what will happen from start to finish. That's why snail has taken a while, the middle is kind of wibbly wobbly.

I was inspired by your epithets, lol.

Yeah, it's definitely easier to stay in the writing groove to some extent if I already have a project going.  The last two years haven't been as bad because I was very into A Heart That Isn't Mine in 2019 and Bethlehem last year.  I expect to still be writing MBK when I go back to school, so that will help.  Otherwise it's easy to just focus on school and stop writing from August until Christmas break, and then I spend half my break trying to get back into writing.  I'll probably take a break from setting Nano goals after July though, so I don't have that added pressure in August.

That's a good idea for a July goal.  I wish you could leave it open-ended and just see how many words or short stories you can write, but I guess you have to give it an arbitrary number to make it a goal.  Some of the challenges have a word count limit, so maybe you could pick out a few you want to try and base it on that.

Hm, what if you wrote a short story using only epithets and no character names?  See if readers can figure out who's who LOL.

 95 
 on: June 13, 2021, 01:32:56 PM 
Started by nicksgal - Last post by RokofAges75
Glad you're making some progress on it and at least you don't need to worry anymore about if it feels long enough to be a chapter yet. Is it going well today too? It's interesting that you were worried about it not having enough to match the Kevin chapter and now they're both equally lengthy. Apparently, Nick had some things to say too! lol

Nick is home from tour now, so he has more to say and do that I actually want to write! LOL

I was proud of myself last night (technically this morning) because even though I had already written earlier in the day, I got back on the computer after finishing my movie at 1 a.m. and went back to writing.  I officially made it to sunrise for the first time this summer.  Went to bed at 5 something and slept till noon.  I haven't written a word of fanfic yet since I woke up because I popped over here first, but I left off in the middle of a scene, so I should have no problem adding more to it later.


It is... not going as well as I wanted? I was really tired on Friday since I ended up having to sub in one our classrooms, so I didn't get much written like I was hoping and ended up deleting what I wrote when I started writing yesterday. We haven't left for our little staycation yet, but my plan was to stare at my computer yesterday until my eyes bled and write as much as I could before then. But, one of my friends is about to move for grad school and is finishing closing on his condo, so he wanted to have a little pub crawl for one of his last weekends in town (he's probably not moving for another month or so, but he'll be living with family and getting into town will be slightly less convenient/involve more driving). We've been friends for almost a decade, so obviously I couldn't deny him his pub crawl for writing, lol. One of our other friends was busy when he wanted to start, so he pushed it back a couple hours, so I thought "okay, while I try to do some laundry at our other friend's house, I can get some solid writing done." (Can't wait until our washer and dryer are installed later this week!) But of course, I finally got into the groove when the last load was done and just had to abandon writing to go. I did get almost 1,000 words written, but had to keep going back and getting back into it every time I stopped for laundry. I think I would have been super productive if I had been able to keep to my original plan of staring at the computer all day, lol. So, we'll see how this morning goes! But I wanted to make sure I checked in/didn't get too far behind on our writing discussions. Smiley

Aww, I hear your frustration.  As much as we love our friends, it's annoying when social obligations pull you away from your writing, especially when you were just getting in the groove!  I hope you're left alone today and can get more writing done before your staycation starts!

My bestie is teaching summer school this month, so she has been busier than usual, which is fine with me.  I have plans with her and a few other friends Wednesday night, but have had the past week mostly to myself, other than a few ball games and lunch with my mom and grandma.

 96 
 on: June 13, 2021, 01:23:06 PM 
Started by nicksgal - Last post by RokofAges75
I don't think anyone loves parts I love as much as I do, haha.

I feel this way sometimes too, but I guess that's a good thing!  It's nice to be at a place where you can look back at your own work and enjoy and appreciate it without cringing or wishing it could be better.  That's not to say it couldn't be better; I know I'm not perfect.  But these days, I'm generally happy with everything I write that gets to the point of posting, even if no one else reads it.


I think in fanfic, it can be intimidating to leave reviews when you don't look at it with the mindset of "just about anything I say will bring some joy to the person writing it." Which is easy for other writers because I'm sure we all think, "I know I would be happy to hear any of this, so they will be too." Although, I think that can be a bit of a double-edged sword as well, because we probably all have varying degrees of what we would be "happy to hear." I think that's where concrit falls, like I know I would want to hear the point where someone lost interest in whatever I was writing, for instance, in case I could go back to look at it and say "oh, yes, this is very boring; I will adjust," but that's probably not a universal opinion (and people don't usually say things like that anyway, they just stop reading, lol).

Very true!  I've had friends and readers tell me that they used to feel very nervous giving feedback.  They didn't know what to say besides "Great story!" or how to put their thoughts into words.  While there are probably some writers who don't care about comments that just say "Great story!" I think most of us would rather hear that than nothing at all.  Obviously more detailed comments are preferable, but I'm just happy knowing someone read and liked my story, even if that's all they say.  But I guess it's probably easier to craft detailed feedback when you're a writer yourself.

That's also true about what kind of feedback we're all hoping for.  Some writers really want concrit, and others are not ready for it.  I think that comes with experience and maturity.  I don't leave concrit unless I'm asked directly or it's to a good friend who I know won't get offended by it.  And of course I always sandwich it between compliments.

One of the best things we did here when the forum was more active was the summer reading challenge.  It ran a few years in a row before it fizzled out due to lack of participation.  People would sign up to read a story they hadn't read and give feedback, and in return, someone would read one of their stories and give feedback.  Concrit was allowed and expected; we all know that going in, so it was easier to give and receive it.


As for other comments, I wonder if it's the degree of removal that's intimidating. Like someone could love Harry Potter, go online, and gush about it with other Harry Potter fans, but even if they dmed JK Rowling, the chances she would reply, or even see it, could vary. But that same Harry Potter fan could go online, read a Harry Potter fanfic and love it, comment and the author would not only see it right away, but also probably get notified that the comment is there and be able to respond. Which we all love, but there's definitely a difference between discussing something you love with other fans versus a creator. Like, I'd talk to you all about my joy and history with the Boys forever, but if I ever get to tell them, I would be really anxious about it the whole time leading up to that moment. And it's one thing to be anxious in line at some sort of meet and greet where you could leave, but you've already paid for it and you're already there, versus being on the other side of a computer screen reading a story where if the anxiousness gets overwhelming, you can just click away and you're still on your computer/phone wherever you were before (and it was free to begin with).

I could definitely see that too.  In the early days of fanfic, I remember assuming the "popular" fanfic authors got so much feedback, they wouldn't even see or have time to reply to my emails, so I didn't bother.  Once I finally had a "popular" story myself, I realized that wasn't the case.  At my peak, I would get maybe ten pieces of feedback per chapter on average?  Certainly nothing unmanageable.  I happily read, replied to, and saved every one.  Obviously it's different if you're JK Rowling LOL.  But even successful published authors appreciate hearing from readers.  I once tweeted a picture of my collection of Lurlene McDaniel novels with a comment about how much they influenced my writing, and I tagged her, and she actually replied to me!  I was over the moon.  (I just went to look up this tweet and saw that her Twitter account is suspended... whoops! LOL  She is one of those Bible belt Trumpsters... so disappointing, but not entirely surprising. Sad)  Anyway, I never would have even thought to try contacting her directly.  I don't usually tweet or tag the Boys either.  I have met them quite a few times by now, and I still get nervous and never know what to say to them LOL.  So I get the intimidation factor.


There's also those stories with lots of comments where once you get there, you think "do I really have anything to add that isn't already here?" Yes, I like to read other peoples' comments on stories as well. Does anyone else do this? lol For fanfics, I know that even a "this was awesome" is appreciated, but I think about it kind of like discussions for class. I often wouldn't say things then because I had nothing to add other than "I agree." So I assume some readers might feel the same way about our stories, even if they loved it.

This is my 10 cents about comments, lol.

I read other comments that are already there, but I don't typically go back and look at comments on other people's stories after the fact.  The only time I do is if it's for a chapter with a really shocking or pivotal moment; then I do like to see how everyone else reacted.

That's another good point about people not wanting to comment if they feel they have nothing new to say.  But again, I would prefer five comments from different people that say exactly the same thing or "I agree" to just one.  Agree away!

I do like the kudos feature on AO3 because it's an easy way to acknowledge that read and enjoyed a story without actually having to say anything.  You can even do it without an account.  As someone would would rather just like/react on Facebook than actually leave a comment, I get the appeal of that.

 97 
 on: June 13, 2021, 01:05:16 PM 
Started by nicksgal - Last post by nicksgal
I also wish I had more ideas for short stories!  It does feel good to be able to finish a story quickly, check that complete box, and add another work under your name.  I've always been more of a novel writer though.  I enjoy the short stories I've written, but I don't have the same connection to them as my novels, and I feel that way as a reader, too.  I started writing fanfic because of a short story that I wished was longer, so I took a similar premise and turned into a novel myself.  I know there are writers who are the opposite; they write mostly one-shots and short stories and wish they could write novels.  I've seen their threads on Reddit.  It definitely requires commitment to write longfics, but I admire the creativity of writers who can come up with ideas for all these different short stories!

I think a lot of people start that way, finding something they wanted to continue, but that was it. Yes, I also admire the creativity of writers who have many succinct ideas! I feel like all of mine are always too big! Although, I guess writing a short story is like writing one tiny piece of a long story without knowing what the rest of the long story is. However, I feel like I always get that idea for a tiny piece and my brain automatically goes to "what's the bigger story surrounding this tiny piece?" instead of "I should write this tiny piece."


I almost watched The Butterfly Effect last night after talking about it because I haven't seen it in years!  But I opted for a movie I hadn't seen instead, which was a good choice.  Penguin Bloom on Netflix... so good!!  But I may still have to watch The Butterfly Effect at some point this summer.

(I looked it up.) I'm a little disappointed it wasn't about actual penguins, but it does sound good and right up your alley. Smiley I notice that we've been slowly cultivating a list of "movies we discuss and should watch," lol.


I'm the same way with prompts and challenges.  I did a handful of the challenges here and enjoyed the ones I did, but I struggle with word count limits and challenges that make you include all these random things.  There were also a couple of challenges where I planned to participate and even had an idea, but never got around to writing it.  I feel like those ones usually happened in August.  I always start August in fanfic mode and then abruptly switch to back-to-school mode and stop writing.  But anyway, a good challenge would be to go back to the old challenge threads, find one you never did or want to try again, and do it!

It's definitely nice when you can use your work in progress to complete a challenge.  That's another reason I've shied away from one-shot challenges; I don't want them to derail me from whatever novel I'm working on.  I tend to write more short stories when I'm between novels.

I like your idea of a fanfic stereotype with a twist!

I don't mind the random things, those are the same as the "include this line" prompts in my mind. It's just often the combination of "include these things" that makes it hard for me. August seems tough for you to have to abruptly switch from 2am fanfic mode to 10pm back-to-school mode. If you don't have major burnout this year, maybe it will be easier to keep writing despite having to adjust. Smiley Is it typically easier if you already have a project going? That is a good challenge! Perhaps I will tackle that if my WADD goes for a while or that could be a fun July project to write several one shots based on old challenges. Although I'm not sure how to calculate word count for that.

Same, I try not to let an idea derail me unless I know exactly what will happen from start to finish. That's why snail has taken a while, the middle is kind of wibbly wobbly.

I was inspired by your epithets, lol.

 98 
 on: June 13, 2021, 12:51:54 PM 
Started by nicksgal - Last post by nicksgal
The story starts with an announcement of the Boys abruptly canceling their tour the night before it was about to begin, but they won't say why, so of course I knew something was up.  I already had cancer on the brain because I had just started Curtain Call, so that's where my brain went first.  Sure enough, that's what it turned out to be.

Oh yeah, abrupt without explanation would ping my "something bigger is up" radar as well and it makes sense that if cancer was on your mind from your own story, that cancer is where your brain would go.


Yep, that is very true.  The details are what make them different.  We did a challenge like that once, where everyone was to write a story with the same premise - the Boys' bus breaking down - to see how different they all turned out.  Here's the thread for it: http://absolutechaos.net/fictalk/index.php/topic,2146.0.html  I must have been too wrapped up in Curtain Call to participate in this one.

I have looked at that thread, but didn't get a chance to read any of the entries yet. I think "bus breaks down" is a good premise to use because lots of things can lead to a bus breaking down and lots of things can happen after a bus breaks down, which we've already discussed. I'm pretty sure that's what you said, "I am very busy, but here's some ideas," lol.


Yeah, poor Nick would be in for a rude awakening if he went in thinking fanfics were just "gossip" and realized he was being portrayed as a demon with a tragic backstory who gets stabbed a lot LOL.  That is probably what he meant by "gossip," made up stories.

I am also curious how far Kevin got into the slash story (or stories?) and which one he read.  Too funny!  I hope they're unaware of AO3 LOL.  Though I would love to see the looks on their faces reading those tags alone.

Or that he gets cancer and loses a limb. Or that there is an entire round robin dedicated to featuring tales of his death. He's really better off with only his vague interpretation, lol.

You're right! He would have had to stumble on multiples to say confidently "We hook up" instead of "I once found one story where we hook up." OMG, the tags alone! We're definitely better off in our "summaries and genre tags" camp if that were the case.


Hey, do whatever you need to do to keep the streak alive!  If you're adding or changing words, that's still writing and can be counted.

Tourists in your hometown... that'll be fun!  Enjoy your staycation!

The streak still lives. Don't worry!

Thanks! It'll be interesting. Smiley


I wrote Unsuspecting Sunday first, but already had the idea for SAMS.  The whole thing started as a personal challenge to see if I could write a slash and take it seriously, so I started with a short story that could stand alone, with the idea that if it went well, I could extend it to a longer story.  

Yep, that's all I'm doing at this point - mulling.

That makes sense. If you couldn't sustain it for the short story, then you would know that it might not be the right time to tackle the larger idea. I'm glad it did go well so that you were able to tackle your whole novel and broaden your horizons. Smiley

 99 
 on: June 13, 2021, 12:44:30 PM 
Started by nicksgal - Last post by RokofAges75
I see your unfinished one shot and that's most of why my immediate post-PNecklace plan is to finish death by snail, so I can say "look, another thing done." I wish I had ideas for more shorter stories, it must feel really nice to write 10k or less of several things and then get to say "all done" so many times. Though I say this, and I wonder if the authors who are prolific with short stories look at the novels and think the opposite. Feel free to answer this too, Julie, but I think we already discussed it at one point?

I also wish I had more ideas for short stories!  It does feel good to be able to finish a story quickly, check that complete box, and add another work under your name.  I've always been more of a novel writer though.  I enjoy the short stories I've written, but I don't have the same connection to them as my novels, and I feel that way as a reader, too.  I started writing fanfic because of a short story that I wished was longer, so I took a similar premise and turned into a novel myself.  I know there are writers who are the opposite; they write mostly one-shots and short stories and wish they could write novels.  I've seen their threads on Reddit.  It definitely requires commitment to write longfics, but I admire the creativity of writers who can come up with ideas for all these different short stories!


I also love The Butterfly Effect, that idea that really small things can make a huge impact.

I almost watched The Butterfly Effect last night after talking about it because I haven't seen it in years!  But I opted for a movie I hadn't seen instead, which was a good choice.  Penguin Bloom on Netflix... so good!!  But I may still have to watch The Butterfly Effect at some point this summer.


I am terrible at looking at a prompt and using it for an idea, that's why I never did the challenges here -- I couldn't think of anything that would have a whole plot (or snippet of a plot) in the allotted time! I could probably do it with more time and less limitations, but... I definitely shied away from them due to lack of inspiration. Though this was also during the peak of my "stare at blank page" days, so maybe I would be able to do it now if I poked into old threads.

I much prefer the "challenges" they do in the Camp NaNo inspiration emails that can fit into any story rather than trying to think of a new short story. Like the "use a trope you hate from your genre" one that we talked about or those "fit this line into your narrative" type ones. I find those easier to tackle. Could be a fun challenge for all of us at some point. I'm thinking something like "include an old fanfic stereotype, but give it a twist."

I'm the same way with prompts and challenges.  I did a handful of the challenges here and enjoyed the ones I did, but I struggle with word count limits and challenges that make you include all these random things.  There were also a couple of challenges where I planned to participate and even had an idea, but never got around to writing it.  I feel like those ones usually happened in August.  I always start August in fanfic mode and then abruptly switch to back-to-school mode and stop writing.  But anyway, a good challenge would be to go back to the old challenge threads, find one you never did or want to try again, and do it!

It's definitely nice when you can use your work in progress to complete a challenge.  That's another reason I've shied away from one-shot challenges; I don't want them to derail me from whatever novel I'm working on.  I tend to write more short stories when I'm between novels.

I like your idea of a fanfic stereotype with a twist!

 100 
 on: June 13, 2021, 12:27:03 PM 
Started by nicksgal - Last post by RokofAges75
It's good that they were pretty different, it gives readers who enjoy medical drama two different takes on the same subject matter. lol! I love that you have cancer story radar. I'm sure by now you could look at any medical drama and say "I know exactly where this is going." Although, if the cancer was a late reveal, what vibe/theme pinged you the most?

The story starts with an announcement of the Boys abruptly canceling their tour the night before it was about to begin, but they won't say why, so of course I knew something was up.  I already had cancer on the brain because I had just started Curtain Call, so that's where my brain went first.  Sure enough, that's what it turned out to be.


I love your little ping radar and how it alerts you to things you'll enjoy. How often does that happen?

Not as often as I wish!


I think if you boil any media down to a sentence, it's really easy for works to start sounding similar. It's just the line where the details come in that determines how similar. Something like "Young male protagonist gets thrust into a world of magic where he's always belonged" could fit both Harry Potter and Star Wars, but obviously they're both very different in the details (and realistically, it could be 100 other media properties, I just can't think of another one right now). Whereas something like... "A group of friends navigate their twenties and relationships in NYC" is a little more specific, so it narrows it down a bit more... but that's still the basic premise of Friends and How I Met Your Mother.

Yep, that is very true.  The details are what make them different.  We did a challenge like that once, where everyone was to write a story with the same premise - the Boys' bus breaking down - to see how different they all turned out.  Here's the thread for it: http://absolutechaos.net/fictalk/index.php/topic,2146.0.html  I must have been too wrapped up in Curtain Call to participate in this one.


I think I said way back when that I would let Nick read PBox. I lied. I would let Nick read PBox once it didn't feature a Nick running around with a Howie, Brian, Kevin, and AJ if he stumbled on it himself, lol. I just couldn't live with his face once he realized that he has a horrid backstory and gets stabbed a lot, lol.

LOL! Hang on, I can parse together Nick speak from my years of adoration... He thinks that fanfic plays up stereotypes and "fanon" (widely held fan opinions of canon) often reflects things that aren't true, but could be grounds for character defamation lawsuits. What a nuanced opinion, Nick, lol. I'm kidding, his "What, really?!?" shows that he only has a basic understanding of "fans write stories about us and stories aren't always true." (I think that's realistically more what he means by gossip "Stories, like gossip, aren't always true. Since fanfics are stories, they are equivalent to gossip.") But now I'm dying to know how far Kevin got in reading that slash fanfic, lol! I suppose I'm not surprised that they aren't fans of our little hobby, especially if they think it's full of gossip and sex with each other that they're not into.

Yeah, poor Nick would be in for a rude awakening if he went in thinking fanfics were just "gossip" and realized he was being portrayed as a demon with a tragic backstory who gets stabbed a lot LOL.  That is probably what he meant by "gossip," made up stories.

I am also curious how far Kevin got into the slash story (or stories?) and which one he read.  Too funny!  I hope they're unaware of AO3 LOL.  Though I would love to see the looks on their faces reading those tags alone.


I need to stop being so wordy. Or stop including my editing words in my word count. But realistically, some days, that's all I write, so if I didn't include the editing, the streak would not be alive. We're not sure how to be tourists in our hometown, so it should be interesting, lol! Exactly. That's all I need at this point.

Hey, do whatever you need to do to keep the streak alive!  If you're adding or changing words, that's still writing and can be counted.

Tourists in your hometown... that'll be fun!  Enjoy your staycation!


Did you write SAMS first or Unsuspecting Sunday first? Oh right, I guess I did know that you had the Pandaskunk series. Not sure why I asked, lol! We talked about it a while ago, but sequels are hard, especially if it wasn't a thing where the sequel was planned from the beginning. I totally get the hesitation, in general. Always good to mull it around in your mind until the time to finish MBK comes. Smiley

I wrote Unsuspecting Sunday first, but already had the idea for SAMS.  The whole thing started as a personal challenge to see if I could write a slash and take it seriously, so I started with a short story that could stand alone, with the idea that if it went well, I could extend it to a longer story.  

Yep, that's all I'm doing at this point - mulling.

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