Monthly Forecast #3 — April, 2022

April 2nd, 2022

Another month, another blog. March was certainly something. It was both a month of two halves, as well as the most chaotic portion of 2022 I have yet experienced. It certainly wasn’t a great month for writing, but it was a very important month for me that did have its highlights despite the large amount of adversity it presented me with. 

March began roughly for me. Early in the month, a close family member of mine was faced with a major hurdle that not only impacted them, but me as well. Helping them deal with that whilst also sorting out my own thoughts and emotions on the matter was very difficult. It was extremely draining emotionally and it required a large amount of both my time and energy. Simultaneously, there was a pretty serious interpersonal conflict between myself and one of my close friends, plus I had been working myself half to death for the past month or so. All of this plus general exhaustion and a nasty bit of writer’s block all combined forces to hit me with a very harsh, very uncharacteristic anxiety attack that took me out for a number of days. This was not all that long before my vacation was set to take place, so — with much urging from some of my closest friends — I made the difficult decision to take the latter half of March off from fanfiction writing.

That choice was tough for me, as some of my closest friends can attest to. Not being as productive as I’d like is a massive stressor, and I take the support of my patrons very seriously. Leaving them hanging for two weeks was both saddening and scary, but it was the right decision. I will touch on the continued support of my patrons later, because it has truly blown me away. In the meantime, I will say that my friends knew me well in this regard and led me towards the right decision. I think I would have had quite the mental spiral had I tried to push through everything that was going on and continued working myself to the bone. Massive personal thank yous are extended to both Athena and Regress. Both of them were incredible friends through this endeavour, and I don’t think I could have come to the necessary decision if not for their urging and support.

That was the first half of March. The second half was when I decided to can fanfiction writing for the month, but it was also the half during which I vacationed. That was incredible. It was the first time in my life I have travelled not for work, but for me. I’m not sure there was anything more positive I could have done for myself at that time. I have heard it said that travel is among the best forms of medicine and, last month, I learned the saying is very much true in my case. I feel fresher now than I have in several months. My mind is clearer and my moods are more consistent. Most relevant to all of you, I am very excited to get back into the swing of writing!

The good news is that I was not idle during the month’s first half. I did get two chapters written for Conjoining of Paragons, plus three chapters for Perversion of Purity.

The real downer is that nothing got written for Ashes of Chaos. I assure you this is not for a lack of trying. I wrote a number of drafts for chapter 82’s opening scenes, but none of them came out the way I wanted. These next couple of chapters are extremely important, so I want to ensure they are the best they can be and will not post them until they are. I plan to spend this next week working on Ashes of Chaos and it is my hope that at least two chapters will be written. I have learned that expecting more than two AoC (Ashes of Chaos) chapters from me in a week is unwise, but I have surprised myself in the past. 

The year is actually coming along very nicely and I am much happier with its pacing than in previous years, but it is still a very complex, very demanding narrative that requires a great amount of both time and energy. It is for this reason uploads are currently on hold for Ashes of Chaos. This is mostly down to my own mistakes last year. I ought to have let myself get more written before I began posting year 3, but I was growing restless and overestimated the speed at which I could write this story. 

That is a mistake I will not repeat going forward, but it is one that has allowed the sites and the Discord server to catch up a little bit. Both for my own sanity and for the benefit of my patrons — who I’d like to remain more than one or two chapters ahead of Discord — uploads on both Discord and FFN will be postponed until I have more of this story written. It IS NOT on hiatus by any means. I am actively working on it and patrons will get just as much of it as they have been. This change ONLY impacts readers on FFN and Discord, but it is a necessary one for now. I don’t expect this delay to be terribly long. I estimate eight weeks AT THE ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM, but am aiming for four to six. It really just depends how smoothly these next few chapters go. Just know that I am working on the story as hard as ever but that I am paranoid and obsessive, so I want to be further ahead and, by extension, more comfortable before I continue posting.

I suppose I will get the only other bit of bad news out of the way — that being that no Fabric of Fate got written this past month. I know, I know, I sound like a broken record at this point. The good news here is that I have specific scheduling plans for this story now and actually intend to write at least a chapter of it next week, plus maybe one more this month. It’s not rapid progress, by any means, but I will be happy to begin plugging along at season II. Its outline is one that greatly excites me and it will really begin laying some seeds for huge moments later on.

Now, onto some more positive news. Conjoining of Paragons is in a very exciting place right now. I only have two chapters left to write in the story’s first year, and I expect those chapters to be written next week once I get some AoC (Ashes of Chaos) done. That means that, by the halfway point of April, CoP’s (Conjoining of Paragons)  first year should be complete for patrons! I cannot begin to explain how excited I am for these final two chapters. I really don’t think there’s too much here to say, but I assure you that I have a few more aces left to play before Harry’s fourth year reaches its end.

Perversion of Purity had an eventful month as well. Not only were three chapters written, but I penned some very important moments. Discord members also got treated to a surprise chapter of the fic to make up for Ashes of Chaos’s absence. I planned to hold off on posting any PoP (Perversion of Purity) chapters until book 3 was complete, but my tentative plan is to sprinkle some of these chapters in during the weeks Ashes of Chaos would otherwise be posted. That means every two weeks for the next month or two, Discord members may get a very early look at PoP (Perversion of Purity) book 3. I may use one or two of those weeks for extra CoP (Conjoining of Paragons) chapters as well, so it will be a case of one or the other. I haven’t completely decided what those weeks will look like yet, but it is something I plan to hammer out details for in the coming days. 

As for the fic itself, I am very happy with how it’s coming along. It is by far the best-paced year I have ever written and my excitement only mounts the more of it I get finished. I hope to make some real progress on this story in the coming months because I am beyond excited to share more of this story with you all. More of this fic will be written during April’s third week, and my goal is to finish three more chapters during that time. That should take me close to the winter holidays, which is a very good spot given the year’s outline and how it’s all shaping up.

I also posted a quarterly one-shot this month titled Raging Fire! Being candid, it has performed rather poorly on FFN, which is disappointing but unsurprising. The feedback has been incredible and among the most positive I have ever received, but the analytics have been subpar. Seeing as the story is both quite dark and Ron-centric, I can’t say I’m surprised. I do hope more people consider reading this fic, as I may have something related in the works. It may or may not happen, so I won’t say too much right now, but it’s a prospect that excites me and one that I think anyone who liked this fic will enjoy if it comes to fruition. If that project does happen, I may use that as an opportunity to write a dedicated blog for this fic. I really wanted to do one, but the story came out whilst I was vacationing and I simply lacked the time. 

I was also, unfortunately, unable to finish the next quarterly one-shot in March due to my stresses and travels, but it will be complete and posted for top-tier patrons in the coming days. It will be the shortest one-shot I have written so far by a meaningful number of words, but it’s a story that nagged at me for a couple of months, so I thought I might as well write it. I am fond of the concept and am happy with how its early stages are shaping up, so I’m hoping others enjoy it as well.

I know all of you are here for the fan fictions, but personally, the biggest milestone this month for me on a writing front involved my own original novel. I have spoken several times about how I have been unable to get work on this done so far in 2022 due to all my other ongoing projects. I recently made the decision that, for one week each month, I will solely focus on this novel. I think that will yield some positive results. The amount of time I spend working on it may increase once more gets written, but I think this will suffice for the foreseeable future. I did actually get a chapter written last month, plus several more outlined and some more worldbuilding worked out. I have made some pretty radical changes to the magic system and how it will factor into the story, but my wider plot remains mostly unchanged and the narrative is much better for the recent decisions I made. 

Then there is the podcast, which really got up and going this past month. It is titled “Chaos Central” and is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, and YouTube right now. It is posted every second Monday and the first two episodes are currently available, with episode 3 set to release on April 11th. That has been a joy to finally watch get off the ground after so many months of work. I drastically underestimated just how much work it is to get these sorts of things going, but the podcast is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done, though I can, of course, take only a small minority of the credit. Not only does Athena do all the heavy lifting by editing the podcasts, but she also tends to facilitate them and has contributed more to the planning of future podcasts than I have so far. Regardless, it’s been a joy to watch that truly get its legs under it and I hope you’re all enjoying it.

  Like I mentioned during the last of these, there are channels on the Discord server dedicated to both questions you can all ask for future Q&As, as well as one for podcast suggestions. These can be as simple as small tweaks to editing and formatting, or as large as entire podcast ideas. We are very open to any bit of feedback or any suggestions that listeners might have, so feel free to let us know what you think over on the Discord server.

That’s about it for concrete updates and summaries, I’m afraid. The only other thing of note I did last month was read. I finished off what is currently written in Brandon Sanderson’s excellent Mistborn series — and eagerly await era 2’s conclusion this November in The Lost Metal — and also began reading Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time. It’s a series I have put off for years because of its unfathomable word count of 4,400,000 words. That number and the time it necessitates always turned me away, but I really wanted to get into the habit of reading again this year. I’ve talked about it a lot, and there was no better way of doing that than diving head-long into the longest, grandest work of epic fantasy there is. 

I have some nitpicks that I won’t get into here — though I speak about my reading experience often in the #entertainment channel over on the Discord server — but thus far, it has been one of my favourite series to read. The more I read, the more I find myself enjoying the series and the more things I find to gush over. It has its problems from a technical standpoint, but I can comfortably say after reading more than 1,000,000 words of the series that it is one of the best I’ve ever read. 

As for this upcoming month, there will be some kind of monthly event on the Discord server as is our custom, but no details have yet been worked out for that. We have done movie showings so far and those have gone over well, but we are very open to hosting different types of events if they interest people more. Again, feel free to suggest anything for that so long as it’s feasible and not a complete logistical nightmare. These server events are meant to bring this incredible community together, as well as to show our appreciation to each and every single one of you. You are as big a part of these events as us, so we want to do whatever the server will most enjoy. Once some ideas are gathered, expect a poll to be posted on the server to determine what exactly we go ahead with. 

And on the note of appreciation, I would like to offer a special thank you to my patrons. Not only was March the most successful month I have yet had on the platform, but it was also one where the loyalty of my supporters blew me away. As I have outlined, March was a rough month for me and it resulted in me under-delivering really for the first time. I was terrified at how this would be received, but patrons remained incredibly patient and supported me through it all. That means the absolute world to me and I cannot begin to explain how unbelievably grateful I am for every ounce of support over on that platform. It is an incredible community along with the Discord server, and I cannot wait to deliver my patrons the end of CoP’s (Conjoining of Paragons)  first year in the next two weeks, not to mention all else I have planned.

As far as this blog goes, however, this was about all I had planned. There’s nothing too groundbreaking in this, but I hope you all enjoyed reading it nevertheless. These always seem to go over surprisingly well and I enjoy writing them. One day, perhaps I’ll even find more time and more ideas and I’ll write them more often. We shall see, I suppose.

I hope you’re all enjoying the shift towards more favorable weather as much as I am. Spring has come at last and the scent of summer is in the air. I, for one, am excited for the prospect, but plan to get plenty done in the meantime. I hope you are all suitably productive as well and wish you all the best in school, work, or whatever else may occupy your time.

Stay safe and happy reading.

Cheers,

Ace

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