Category Archives: Akumu Love Panic!

December 2013 Update

I’m calling this the “December Update” but it probably won’t be the only one I do this month. In it, I talk mostly about the recent Eikasia update, as well as my career goals after graduation, and the lil’ old fact that my birthday is tomorrow. ūüėČ

Fun Fact: After finishing the video, I got a call from my “Graduation Liason” (who was also my Financial Advisor once upon a time) and was informed that my graduation date was the same day that my baby son is estimated to be due! Another weird thing? My son’s due date is a day after my hubby’s birthday. So graduation, baby due, and husband’s birthday… The stars are aligned!!

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Thoughts on Akumu Love Panic Ch. 13.4 (and the story in general)

Exported from Twitter by Storify.com:
  1. In the new #AkumuLovePanic update (which is finished at 2k words) we finally learn about Carlin’s past.
  2. The attention Carlin has received in this 2nd story arc doesn’t surprise me so much, as it just leaves me humbled #akumulovepanic
  3. I talk about this later, but what I mean is: Carlin’s backstory dominated this update, and I was embarrassed I hadn’t factored that into my outline. Chapter 13 was supposed to be done in 3-4 updates. Now it’s looking to be done in 4-6!
  4. In the 1st story arc for #AkumuLovePanic the story focused mostly on the plot, so the pacing was quicker. This was good and bad.
  5. Good in that the story was very focused and event-driven. Bad in that characters like Carlin are largely left unexplained. #akumulovepanic
  6. And Carlin was such a bewildering character too! I tried to keep her from getting too frustrating in my first round of edits #akumulovepanic
  1. If you thought Carlin was abrasive and confusing in the first story arc, you should’ve seen the rough¬†drafts. In those, less about her was explained, and her actions really came across as someone who was crazy for the sake of being crazy. It’s maybe for this reason that I arranged for Amaya and Carlin to be stuck together in close quarters for an undetermined amount of time.
  2. But I think in my next edits, I’ll have to tone her down even more. Kiyomi and Usagi hardly get much attention too. #AkumuLovePanic
  1. That’s one of my lasting regrets from the first ALP story arc. While we at least get SOME details about Carlin and Haruko, we get virtually nothing about Kiyomi and Usagi. I’d originally intended for Usagi to be a much more prominent character, by way of her being with Amaya all the time for Equestrian Club. Her presence was supposed to be a gateway for Kiyomi, but the story ended up going a different way, resulting in neither of them having much explained in terms of who they really were or where they came from beyond surface details.
  2. Hindsight is 20/20. I would like the 1st arc to find that good balance for character and plot. #AkumuLovePanic
  3. Honestly, I prefer character-driven stories, and so maybe that’s why I’m enjoying the 2nd arc more. #akumulovepanic
  4. I really think the 2nd arc is much more character-driven. It’s true this may feel uneven or even at the expense¬†of plot, but I feel less anxious about this somehow. Everyone is getting more attention: We finally get to see more of who Haruko is and where she lives, we see more of the awkward relationship between Amaya and her father, just recently¬†we’re starting to get more details about Kento, for the first time we had a glimpse as to what Amaya’s mother is like, and of course we’re getting more about Amaya’s past. The only ones who haven’t been benefiting from this as much are Kiyomi, Usagi, and Oyama. We’re even going to be learning more about Hideaki and his mother¬†Kishi¬†in a few updates.
  5. I know the attention has mostly been on Carlin, and when I edit the story, maybe I’ll find a way to spread that out a bit #akumulovepanic
  6. In the next few updates I was actually hoping to shift some focus onto Kiyomi and Usagi (finally), and of course, Haruko #AkumuLovePanic
  7. Carlin’s attention has mostly been a situational accident (her hiding in Amaya’s room) #akumulovepanic
  8. This is what I mentioned earlier–arranging for Amaya and Carlin to be forced to deal with one another on a more intimate level.¬†¬†I wanted the readers to understand Carlin, and recognize that Amaya’s view of her was skewed and lacking in information. Amaya isn’t a reliable narrator, and she even acknowledges this fact in-story. However, in order for the story’s perception of Carlin to change, I had to change Amaya’s view of her–thus the extreme situation.
  9. Some of you may have noticed her dialect has “lightened up.” This was purposeful. #AkumuLovePanic
  10. I’m talking about Carlin here.
  11. I was reading some older chapters and decided I HATED how her dialogue read. #AkumuLovePanic
  12. It sounded cartoony to me. Then I remembered some advice a teacher gave me a while ago #akumulovepanic
  13. “When giving a character a dialect, you need only suggest its existence for the reader–” #AkumuLovePanic
  14. “Once a form of speech has been established, the reader will recreate it in their head without need for constant prompting” #AkumuLovePanic
  15. One of the best advice I’ve ever received for my writing. I only wish I’d received it before¬†starting to write¬†ALP!
  16. So I started dialing back the contractions and instead focused on using the occasional slang and cadence of an Irishman #AkumuLovePanic
  17. I think it reads better. But this won’t be put in retroactively for a while now. I have other things that take precedent #AkumuLovePanic
  18. Senior year of college, editing Eikasia’s first market e-book, etc…
  19. Yeaaah…this new update took me by surprise. As I said, Carlin’s back story has humbled me. #AkumuLovePanic
  20. I didn’t realize how much attention it really deserved until I started typing it #AkumuLovePanic
  21. It was a nice reminder to respect my characters’ stories, a courtesy I’m eager to extend to Kiyomi and Usagi now! #akumulovepanic
  22. I realize that not all prominent characters need to have a complicated back story detailed to the reader to feel fully rounded. But like Eikasia, Akumu Love Panic has established a theme that time has a rippling effect, and the acts of yesterday affect the realities of today. In ALP this is especially true for Amaya, who struggles with her past of sexual abuse and the subsequent assault it ended in. It has shaped her greatly, and her past experiences are factored into many of her major decisions. With Carlin and Haruko, it is strongly suggested that their pasts have also greatly influenced who they are today. All that said, I feel it would be unfair to my characters to be blithe about their back story.
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Trigger Warnings for Writing

I’m not sure how I got onto this topic today. I was literally supposed to just sit down and read my assigned pages for class this week, when some link or tweet or¬†whatever caught my eye, and it got me thinking on trigger warnings for books. Namely that I don’t see them! Now while I am not a victim of abuse or trauma, I can say without a doubt that I truly appreciate content warnings from films and shows. If they say: “This presentation contains graphic sexual abuse and violence. Viewer discretion is advised.” I will listen! I don’t like getting blindsided with the sight of a man or woman getting raped, abused, or tortured. I¬†like knowing when these things may happen so that I can decide for¬†myself if I can stand watching them. But the courtesy of trigger warnings is less important for me, and more important for those who have actually suffered such experiences, or perhaps knows someone who has.

Even subtle warnings seem to be absent in most books. For instance, my copy of The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett fails to mention that one main character gets raped, and another is forced to watch–not to mention all the incest. Was Mr. Brett expecting his readers to just take for granted that a dark fantasy book would feature such things? And there are plenty of books on the market these days that pull the same thing. What gets me is that movies and television shows are expected to warn viewers beforehand due to censorship ratings, but because books aren’t held to that standard they just don’t do it. I’m not saying books should be rated, but I find it a little disappointing that so many fail to think of those readers who re-experience their traumas again because of someone’s writing.

Of course, there are arguments for and against trigger warnings. I really liked the write up by¬†Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, who provides a reasonable argument as to why she–a PTSD sufferer–disagreed with trigger warnings. It was a dilemma I found myself facing when putting trigger warnings on Eikasia and Akumu Love Panic. What “triggers” should I even mention? Was I going to have to put a trigger tag on every post containing a potential scene, sentence, or¬†phrase that could set someone off? And we’re talking about¬†years worth of writing here, so the task felt overwhelming… But as Coslett states, triggers are everywhere and can come from the least expected things. I realize that not everyone who has suffered a particular trauma or negative experience may be triggered in the obvious ways. For all I know, one of my in-story jokes could set someone off. Another write-up by Ann O’Malley argues that people should at least have the choice¬†to deal with such things, because the old phrase “don’t like it, don’t read it” doesn’t work if someone isn’t aware it’s even there. Cosslett touches on this a little bit too.

So here’s what I decided to do: for Eikasia and Akumu Love Panic, I will¬†not be tagging potential triggers in posts or hiding them in spoiler links.* On the front page (aka the “New Readers” page) for both sites, the header for trigger warnings will be highlighted in red (with a red instruction under “ratings” to scroll down to see it) and in that list will be a general breakdown of potential trigger warnings for each story arc for both series. In these lists, I try to cover some of the more common triggers, including one or two less common ones that I think are worth noting (like child death). Given the size of both Eikasia and Akumu Love Panic, combing the stories for triggers would be unfeasible. The best I can do is highlight those that are most likely to trigger someone, and let the stories run their natural course.

The point here isn’t to coddle people or to shove an agenda into people’s faces. I agree with Cosslett that the tendency to tag everything (from blog articles to tweets) with potential trigger warnings is a bit much.¬†But everyone deals with trauma differently, and for those who seek solace in stories like mine, I think it is important to at least give the person a heads up about what they may encounter. People immerse themselves into stories, and sometimes that level of empathy can really impact a person strongly. I’d hate to send someone over the edge just because I failed to take the short time to offer a warning!

*For those Eikasia readers wondering why I’m not putting spoiler links on posts with possible triggers when I do that for graphic sex scenes, here’s why: Eikasia began as a story that didn’t feature graphic sex. I had asserted in the past that I wasn’t interested in writing sex scenes, but this later changed. In order to keep from alienating those readers who did not want to read sex scenes and came to expect their exclusion from the series, I put spoiler links. So the difference with trigger warnings and sex scenes is that I had always intended to write about certain controversial issues in Eikasia, whereas I hadn’t with sex scenes. I hinted at things like self-harm, rape, and torture early on, setting them up as a constant in the setting, and therefore something to be encountered at one point or another. Conversely, Akumu Love Panic does not have spoiler links for its sex scenes because it was established that the story would be featuring such things from the get go. I hope that is clear.

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Akumu Love Panic Chapter 13.2 Available

I UPDATED THE THING GUYS.

In this update: Amaya awakes from her strange dream journey, only to find that Kento has gone missing…

I know it’s been weeks since I last updated Akumu Love Panic and I’m sorry about that. As I stated in the comments for ALP 13.1 and also in my YouTube video, my priorities have shifted and so ALP will probably be seeing less frequent updates. I’ll try to update as much as I can, but with full-time school, an uneven work schedule, Eikasia, Kliff’s Edge, and my pregnancy, things may not happen like I want them to. I mean, I managed to update ALP today, but yesterday I missed the third update in a row for Eikasia. Nuts! But this will happen. The one thing that should be remembered, however, is that I will¬†always come back to my work. Just keep letting me know you guys are there. Thank you to those commenters on ALP, and those who contacted me through Facebook. If I got radio silence, the likelihood of my returning to the story¬†drops dramatically. I need to know I have an audience, even if it’s a small one.

Again, thanks for your patience guys, and I hope you like the new update. The Eikasia update WILL BE UP THIS WEEKEND. Even if that means a shorter update than usual!

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State of the Author – July 2nd 2013

Late in going up here, but an update on what’s new with me and the Eikasia project!

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Instant Message from I.M. #9

So let’s do an inventory on where I am so far, hmmm? I’m off my meds and happier for it, I’m back home in Georgia with my awesome husband, I’m really behind on updates for Eikasia and ALP!, aaaand I’m sick with a sinus infection.

Oh, did I mention I’m runner up for my school’s first annual comic anthology? I love how everything balances out. ūüėČ

Posted from WordPress for Android

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I got some ‘splainin to do…

Video is wonky for some damn reason. First few seconds glitch, then starts up. Youtube chewed it up. I’ll do a new one and post it, but for the most part I hope you guys get the gist of what I’m trying to say:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChfXeo8GXHc&w=640&h=480%5D
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It’s going to be late…

…But the Eikasia and Akumu Love Panic! updates WILL come, okay guys? Just a bit late. I had work all day today, then tomorrow I fly to California to be with family after a year and a half away from home.
Just wanted to give a heads up!

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Updates Updates Updates!

It’s up and ready, though a bit short, for reasons stated in my recent post. Next week I fly to California, but I’ll still be updating (as well as doing school). With work out of the picture and just fun times with the fam and friends, I’m hoping my creative muse and the powers that be will be more generous with me. >_>
As it stands, I’ve decided to update ALP! with what I’ve got as well. It’s about the same length of my Eikasia update, and has a bit of a cliffhanger, but I hope to end it within the week. I can’t come up with enough excuses. All I can say is that I finally made a small step forward!

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No seriously…

I’m totally TRYING to work on Eikasia (and thereby ALP!), its just that I got hit with some withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawals from what? Rest assured, I’m not a coke addict. But I do, unfortunately, take regular medication. So when I took that stupid 8 hour “nap” last night, I skipped my scheduled dose of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills, and my dosage isn’t exactly mild. Actually my dosage is kinda…heavy. I’m not sedated or something, but going from 275 mg of “the stuff” to 0 mg of “the stuff” results in lots of¬†stuff kicking my ass. So at the moment, my body is like, “DUDE YOU SUCK,” and I’m just like…

OMFG, I’M ACTUALLY TRYING TO WRITE FOR ONCE, WHY IS THIS HAPPENING!?

P.S. I’ll send you special Eikasia goodies if you can guess the joke film reference I’m trying to make above.

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