The State of the Writer: 2/21/21

<–The State of the Writer: 2/7/21         The State of the Writer: 3/7/21–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 1

Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Status: Preparation
Setting up notes in Scrivener & Working on Chapter 1 Outline

A Supreme Ruler needs a supreme steed.  He doesn’t QUITE breathe fire, but his origins are very suspect per the first time I wrote about him in The Serpent’s Tale.  I wound up finding the name “Angaros” in The Book of Angels, a volume I bought years ago that I still use for a reference every now and then (I literally have it next to me right now because as you all know my memory is shit, and I couldn’t quite remember exactly what Angaros meant).  It translates into “courier” from Persian, and I thought, “Well that’s a great name for a dark angel’s horse.  Why the hell not?”  There’s another term “Angiras,” which I thought said “Ankiras” until today so that’s a 13+ year mistake (oops), but…I like the subtle difference between Angaros and Ankiras and plan to use the latter for the name of the titular character’s hawk.  Angiras is from ancient Sanskrit and means “divine spirit,” and I like that for a bird.  The Holy Ghost is often represented as a dove so there you go.

So yeah, I’ve been figuring out where animal characters fit into this, and I finished up my General Issues and Questions checklist, which I’m really happy about.  The more observant of you will notice I added “Working on Chapter 1 Outline” to my Progress section.  I’m getting very close to being able to (re)start this thing, but there are still a few details I need to hash out.  I have to lay a lot of the world-building groundwork there through character dialogue, and I think it’ll work out nicely since it’s a conversation between BFFs, but there are still things I need to clarify in my own head.  It’s such a catch-22.  There are things I need to figure out, but certain things will become clear/clearer when I start writing, but I need to have an idea of where I’m going before I even start.  It’s the most asinine road trip ever o.O

Project: Story Audio Recording
Title: Northern Lights
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction
Length: Novel
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Status: Editing
Progress: Adding pictures for slideshow

I spent hours before I finally settled on this picture, and I may not even fucking use it #lolsob.  It’s for the line “The dark of the slums only existed to radiate Mako: pitiless, cold, gleaming like poisoned fire,” and I love how creepy and alien his eyes look right here.  The incongruence between a beautiful angel face and those eldritch eyes is just *chef’s kiss*  but they’re not really doing the “gleaming like poisoned fire” thing, and I don’t have the image editing skills to change that.  I know there are people who can, but I am not one of them.  There are definitely other pictures I have that would fit the bill, but while they have the “gleaming” aesthetic, I’m not as fond of how Seph looks *sigh*

I am so close to being done with this part of the project.  I might have three more pictures to find and then I get to contact all of the artists for permission.  I’m looking for the artwork first and noting the source before I figure out the best way to do just that.  This is probably not going to be posted anywhere publicly, and I’m sure some of you are asking, “But TSN why then do???”  Look, I work on things in steps.  I have an idea.  I figure out how to implement that idea.  Then I figure out the bureaucratic hoops I have to jump through later.  Posting this on YouTube would be dangerous since there’s copywritten music in it, and this is on top of the art thing because I’m not going to be a thief about that (more on that below), but obviously I want people to see it.  I might see if I can post it somewhere you need a key/password to access, but then readily give that out to anyone who wants to view. I believe you can do that through Patreon, but it’s not something I’m going to charge for for obvious reasons.  It’s fanfiction so not an original work.  It has artwork that’s not mine and I’m not going to profit off of someone else’s labor in that way either (I’m not a capitalist *shudder*); that’s even more wrong than the fanfiction thing, and also it’s not about making money.  This is a labor of love and to make something I myself would want to see.  Audio-wise I could probably post it on AO3 with no issue, but because it contains images that complicates things a bit *shrug*

Project: Story Audio Recording
Title: The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction
Length: Novel
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Status: Recording
Progress: Finished first recordings of Chapter 1

I did the makeup recording this past week, and I’m now in the process of editing/splicing them together.  This is already going so much faster than Northern Lights ever did because I have that experience under my belt.  I haven’t had as much time to work on it because I’m really itching to finish the first chapter of NL, but because I went through a lot of my growing pains and made my mistakes with that, this one should go a bit smoother.  It’ll also be much easier to do since it’s going to be an audio concentration.  I haven’t heard back from my friend, but I know she only checks Deviant Art randomly, so hopefully she’ll see my message soon.  If not I think I can find some ambient videos and figure out how to incorporate them.  I should really learn DaVinci Resolve and this project might give me a reason to do so.

In Progress

  • The Books of 2020 – Holy shit, I actually forgot about this lol.  I was so busy these past two weeks.  I’ll have to get back to it because I’m almost finished, and I still want to make a GOTY 2020 post.
  • Game Reviews: Final Fantasy VI – I didn’t think I would have anything to say about Relm, but once I started writing I surprised myself.  There are some characters I need to come back to, but I think I’m in the home stretch with that at least.  I still need to do an overarching “this is what the narrative is trying to say” section.
  • Book Reviews: Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent – I finished the non-spoiler review, but I feel like this one needs an in depth analysis.  It makes some excellent if depressing points about the false dichotomy of nature vs. nurture, as well as reinforcing the sad truth of how it can be impossible to function properly with a rotten foundation.

I didn’t include this in the Finished Projects section because it technically was more of an “altered” project, but there was a distinctive omission from The Broken Rose: Chapter 13.  I guess it’s story time.  I was going to make this its own post, and I still might so it’s not just a footnote on my SOTW update. 

There is an artist whose works I’ve used as reference, inspiration, chapter covers, and audio recording images amongh other things.  I believe I initially found her on Pixiv (when I did find her, more on that in a bit…), and they have a link to her Twitter, which I was overjoyed to discover and see.  I immediately followed her and started retweeting her work.  It barely needs to be said, but she does a lot of Aeriseph artwork, and it’s all really beautiful.  I still have one as the background on my Kindle. 

So as you know I use an image on each project when I do these updates, and she really isn’t that active on Pixiv (in the process of updating her page per the profile) so I was using Twitter to source.  I usually click the link to make sure it’s going to right place, and that’s how one day I realized I was blocked.  Now sometimes people will do a mass block for one reason or another and “innocent” folks can get caught up in the mix.  That’s one possibility.  Another is she saw my Twitter bio or what I tweet/retweet and didn’t like my politics, which is *shrug*  I’m not going to change that, so it is what it is.  Another and more embarrassing/shameful possibility is she saw some of my earlier uses of her artwork where I wasn’t great at sourcing and decided to block me from having access to it through the Twitter channel, especially since I had a pretty popular image being retweeted that I know know was by her where I didn’t have the source.  I wound up updating it with that information, but it’s not like that will follow the image around if someone doesn’t take the time to include it in their retweet, so I wound up just deleting the tweet all together.  My paranoid ass went through all the possibilities, but in the end, even though there’s no way I can definitively know, I’m like 90% sure it’s due to me having that unsourced image.  You can’t DM people on Twitter if they’ve blocked you, and she has a “Don’t contact me” now on her Pixiv bio, but something else there made me feel a bit better.  She remained okay with art reposts so long as you credit, so I was like “Okay, cool, I can still use this for my chapter covers and projects because I’m pretty good at finding sources, and now I know who this art belongs to so I’ll make sure I source it.”  All the while I kept periodically checking Twitter to see if maybe she’d made a mistake in blocking me and/or would unblock me, but that never happened.  I’d also check Pixiv to check her profile on that as well and ensure it still said “Can share work as long as you repost.”

One day that was no longer the case.  She’d updated her Pixiv page to say “No reposting,” and I was like “Shit.”  There’s a good chance I’m not the only person who didn’t source and/or stole her art, and she probably got sick of it, because that kind of stuff happens to artist online all the time.  I borrowed my husband’s phone to see if she’d said anything on her Twitter, but there wasn’t anything like that.  I could feel the paranoia starting again, but I knew I had to remove all the instances where I’d used her art, and I hope I have.  So if you’re going through some of my old posts, you’ll see some broken links because I just deleted everything I could find by her from my image library.  Artists are allowed to decide who has access to their work and how they want it or don’t want it shared.  I am really bummed out that one, I committed this faux pas, and two, I can’t use this artwork anymore, but at the end of the day it’s the creator’s decision.  I’m not going to give the artist’s Twitter handle because it’s not really important, plus, not like I have a huge following, but when things like this happen, people will sometimes go after the person in question, not that I think any of you would do that, but there’s honestly no reason why I need to give her name.  I know it’s still on my site, and if you do manage to figure out who I’m talking about (I’m trying to be vague enough so you can’t), please don’t be that person.

I can’t say I’m not bummed out, because as I became more internet savvy I, of course, searched for sources for my images, but as I said before at the end of the day artists are allowed to limit or cease access to their work for anyone for any reason and change how they want their art distributed.  Maybe she’ll decide she’s okay with reposting with sources at some point in the future, but until that happens, I have to respect the wishes. 

Now this brings up more questions because I do have some of her work in my Northern Lights audio recording including the blurb I posted two years ago.  Since I’m already wary about putting it anywhere publicly, which means it may literally only be shared/seen by friends, I don’t know whether or not I should remove the images.  Should I take down the blurb video?  I have her artwork with the credit on that post?  Is it okay to leave because at the time she had stated her work was fine to repost with credit, which I gave.  I’ve seen a lot of arguments how you should be able to use anything as long as you source or even just say that it’s not yours, and I vehemently disagree for reasons stated above, but I do feel a bit lost about what I should do with both the blurb and what I might potentially post, so any suggestions are more than welcome.

Have you ever had a situation like this?  What did you do?

<–The State of the Writer: 2/7/21         The State of the Writer: 3/7/21–>

6 thoughts on “The State of the Writer: 2/21/21

  1. Pingback: The State of the Writer: 2/7/21 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  2. I’m always excited to see your original novel posts! It sounds like you’re setting up a lot of good groundwork (though I know many things don’t become clear until the drafting process starts in earnest, which is something I struggle with in my own writing, creative or technical).

    I’m sorry to hear about the art situation. :/ I think you’re doing the right thing by respecting the artist’s wishes/copyright, but you’ve definitely gone above and beyond in your respect of the artist, so if she intentionally blocked you, that seems ridiculous to me tbh. I know fandom wars get weird on twitter, so it’s possible you were following or liked something from someone she didn’t like and you got caught up in a mass block. Sigh. Regardless, there are other wonderful artists out there who might want the exposure this artist doesn’t seem to. There’s probably something going on behind the scenes that’s made her react so strongly to people using her art that isn’t at all your fault.


    • Okay, so this is like half of what I just emailed you, so if you see this before the email, read the email instead lol.

      The art situation is…really weird, and I’m just like so awkward about it lol. It’s the not knowing that really gets to me to be honest. Half of me thinks it’s a mass block error and the other half of me thinks it has to do with that tweet of mine that was her work uncredited. I know it is a MAJOR problem. Like one of the people I follow on tumblr was talking about how he didn’t get a literal job because his art was posted somewhere and the company pretty much said there was no way of determining if it was really his so they didn’t hire him, so I absolutely get it. I do really try to find the artist, but it’s difficult especially if the original was either taken down or it was reposted without credit so often that the creator is just lost. It’s why artists will now use watermarks, which are really useful when I’m trying to find the source.

      I also respect it’s a very different beast from fanfiction writing just by nature of the beast, though I have heard of fanfiction material being stolen, too, which is ugh. I always try to credit people if I get an idea from them like with The Broken Rose. I know I put on AO3 that I took a lot of inspiration from an author named Up_sideand_down who wrote “The Smell of Lilies,” and another one “Slumbering Mountains” by mihoyonagi, which is my favorite Aeriseph piece to date (this actually reminds me I want to review fanfics on my blog lol. I have notes for this, but like everything else I need to get around to it :p). With art I feel it’s easier to see that it was reposted without permission and/or stolen whereas with fanfiction it would be harder to prove, and because fanfiction is looked down on (ugh and giant sigh), that makes it ever harder. I’m also unsure what protections you’d even have. Like I wouldn’t particularly care if someone else wrote a story like Northern Lights. To date I’ve never seen one like that before where he goes looking for his real mother, and that’s literally why I wrote it.


  3. Pingback: The State of the Writer: 3/7/21 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

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