Hiatus

I’m still really struggling with the transition off my medication. I need a break from expectations. How I feel every day is unpredictable, so the work I can do is limited my rare “good” days. I hope I find stability sooner rather than later, but everything is up in the air.

Friday Update #9

I’m still doing biweekly, dammit! I should have updated last week too, because I made progress! These last two weeks have been rather good for work. I finally decided to give the Pomodoro method a try with an app on my phone. I should have done this sooner.

Garden Update

The Dollmaster

I finally completed the revision of chapter 4 after struggling with it for months, thanks the Pomodoro app I tried. I sent out an invitation to my beta readers/RPers to read. I’ve started revising chapter 5 using the same method. Chapters 4 and 5 bring Talen’s perspective on the day before his wedding. In chapter 4, we’re introduced to his inner turmoil before his sister’s arrival. Chapter 5 brings Adra’s arrival to the estate. Chapter 6 will jump to the next day, primarily introducing Thalia and Pharen.

Vagabonds

With the success of FINALLY completing that Dollmaster chapter, I’ve decided to alternate working on TDM and Vagabonds throughout the week. After doing a deep-dive into Talen’s obsessive thoughts, I really needed to get myself out of his perspective for awhile, and since the next Dollmaster chapter continues his perspective, I have to break it up a bit. I revisited the Vagabonds manuscript for a re-read and some editing first (always good to doing some editing after an extended break).

Friday Update #8

Man, this seems to be turning into a biweekly thing. I will try to bring it back to weekly.

Garden Update

The Dollmaster

Still working on my revision, but I’m almost done with chapter 4. I did go back and edit the manuscript a bit. I want to lean into the more familiar terms like “elf” and such for readers’ sake. I might need to reevaluate my editing technique, but ugh, I don’t want to change it, just do it faster.


Happy Juneteenth! If you’re white, please find something meaningful to do to support your black neighbors. We are seeing a massive cultural shift toward justice, so if you’ve been protesting police brutality and systemic racism, don’t let up now. If you’ve been on the sidelines, step up and do something meaningful. Keep pushing, keep fighting for a better world. I have a hope that the society that will come out the other side of this period will be a better one for all of us.

Friday Update #7

I missed last week, but I’m back this week. And whew, what a week it has been in this world. I haven’t gotten much writing done, again. In part, it is the continuation of isolation. Both my focus and my partner’s focus on his work from home is wavering. The first month or so was great for a couple of introverts like us, but we’re feeling restless and need outside human contact. We’re brain-fogged, our minds are begging for a change of scenery and new stimuli. My son has also been trying a new medication and it has been severely impacting his mood while we determine an appropriate dosage. This is his last week of school and we’re trying to wrap up his coursework. Also, I’m getting really sick of sitting on the floor to work because Sung kicked me out of the office while he’s working from home (tbh, neither of us can focus on work while the other is in the room).

The other part of my lack of focus are world events, and American events. I have watched, horrified by the brutality being faced by protesters nationwide. Angered by agitators, often the police themselves, who are giving themselves excuses to escalate peaceful protests into riots. There have been protests against police brutality against black Americans for years. I was a child during the Rodney King riots, which happened a couple years after I left California. There have been protests and riots over extrajudicial executions and careless murders of black people over the last three decades. Some of these have led to small shifts in laws and regulations, but it hasn’t addressed the core of of the problem, which is cultural.

A friend of mine said something that made me think. She said, “white folks: don’t divorce yourself from whiteness because you’re not like other white folks.” It’s not uncommon to hear white liberals/progressives who are anti-racist say things like, “I hate sharing a race with other white people,” or “On behalf of white people, I’m sorry,” and other similar statements. You’re not a monster for feeling this way, but you also aren’t helping BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) or yourself. I have felt this way in the past too, and I understand that people who say these things are trying to show their care. However, trying to excise yourself from your whiteness helps no one and by believing yourself removed from it, you are turning a blind eye to the lingering effects of white supremacy that influence your life.

I am white and I am infuriated by the actions and beliefs of those who share my heritage and complexion. But I can’t just deny my whiteness because it has shaped my life, though it was something I was never aware of until I educated myself.

My immediate family was very progressive and anti-racist. My grandparents have often spoken up against racism (and homophobia). My mother carried on this mindset into my upbringing. My father wasn’t much of an impact on my life, though my mother told me that his family was ashamed of their mixed heritage (my great-grandmother was supposedly half-black and half-Seminole, though my DNA test only showed a trace of African ancestry). My stepdad came from a racist upbringing–he told me several times how his parents told him not to touch black people because their color might “rub off on them”–but he rejected their ideas and believed in being anti-racist.

The fact that my immediate family was empathetic and anti-racist was not enough. The moment I stepped outside that bubble, whether it was school, extended family, TV, or just being in public, I was influenced by white supremacy. I still passively absorbed racism from my environment and my lack of awareness. I have committed acts of microaggressions and simply been ignorant because I was isolated in a primarily white society. It’s taken years to unlearn those things and there might yet be more things for me to unpack.

For approximately 15 years, I was in a relationship with a bi-racial man–half-black, half-white. We had a son together. While he is a person who caused me a lot of trauma and that I have many personal issues with, none of that is relevant for this topic. Through him, I observed a great deal of what it was like to be black in America. He told me how he was curb-stomped by skinheads when he was just 12 years old, walking through his neighborhood. How his white friend was pulled over while he was a passenger, the cop coming to the passenger side, looking directly at him and asking him for his ID. A number of other incidents where he was harshly reminded of his “othering” in society simply for his complexion. It left him with traumatic scars. He grew up with a white mother, a white step-father, and a biracial brother, surrounded by predominantly white friends. Racism influenced his entire life.

You hear white people frequently say, “I’m not racist, I have black friends/a black partner/a mixed child.” I had probably said this, or at least thought that my relationship with my ex meant that I was excused from racism. Looking back, after years of self-work, I see how that statement is absolutely false. I still was tainted by white supremacy. I didn’t fully grasp his experience as a black man in America until after we had separated and I engaged in that self-work.

My mother confessed that she had been reluctant to accept my ex at first because he was black, though she was disappointed in her knee-jerk response and took it as a learning opportunity to better herself. My stepdad would make racist jokes in a flippant manner and my ex would just laugh along. I saw a lot of that with him. Microaggressions were shrugged off. He’d laugh off racist jokes. He made himself palatable to white people because he just did not have the energy to fight back for every little slight leveled at him. I didn’t even see this until later. Having a black boyfriend/husband did not excuse me from racism, nor does his relationship to any other white person in his life excuse any of their racism.

White people, no matter how progressive we think we might be, have a responsibility to constantly evaluate our thoughts and behavior when it comes to race. White supremacy is insidious and toxic and deeply ingrained in our society. It lives in the roots and grows outwards. To deny the influence it has on one’s self, as a white person, is to ignore the sickness. To treat it, you must confront it, uproot it, and cut it out. We all have this sickness in us and we can’t ignore it. And this is not just for each individual, because the sickness won’t be cured until we destroy the source.

I see our society on the brink of an enormous shift. I am both terrified and hopeful. Terrified for the violence, suffering, and pain that comes with change. Hopeful because at the other end of this, I can see the potential for a better world. Hold fast, stay strong, and keep fighting the good fight.


The Dollmaster

Working on Chapter 4 slowly but surely.

Vagabonds

I haven’t been working on this since I’m slogging through trying to focus on the other project, but Lianora has been on my mind a lot and I’m mulling over this interpretation of her character, as well as my earlier version of her.


Today is my birthday, but it also would have been Breonna Taylor’s 27th birthday. Breonna was murdered in her home by police who invaded her home on March 13th in Louisville KY. Without warning or announcement, police entered her home acting on a search warrant in the middle of the night. Believing that they were intruders, Breonna’s boyfriend shot in self-defense and defense of their property. The police opened fire inside the home and struck Breonna eight times. Instead of offering your well-wishes to me, I request that you do something for her family–either donating to her aunt’s fundraiser, joining a protest, or at the least, signing a petition to make certain that those responsible for her death are held to account.

Site Consolidation

A few months ago, my old Record of Lodoss War role-playing site was due for renewal, but since it’s only there for nostalgia, and it’s been years since I closed the forum, I decided to just let it expire… but then I realized that I didn’t want to just archive all those years of creativity and hard work only for myself. The original Aserra site was aserra-rpg.com, but now I’m focusing on creating those stories as novels rather than running a role-playing community. So, I registered this domain as primarily an author’s blog, but also an archival location. Until the old registrations expire, they will redirect to archival locations here.

The Eiyuu Kishi Den website is here: http://www.ekd.worldofaserra.blog/ and the forum is here: http://www.ekd.worldofaserra.blog/forum/ . The old coppermine gallery is deleted and won’t be put back up. I have no interest in updating the software and leaving it as it was made it highly vulnerable. I have the pictures saved.

I imported the blog posts from the original Aserra wordpress to this blog, though they really aren’t much. The forum is here: http://forum.worldofaserra.blog/index.php . I wouldn’t say the forum is completely closed, and we may use it in the future. I also installed a wiki, but I haven’t put any work into it yet. Also, no more gallery, for the same reason as the EKD gallery, but I will probably re-publish images on this blog at some point. There will probably be missing images on the forums but I have most important things backed up and it’s an acceptable loss.

I don’t have any solid blogging plans (or even publishing plans) right now, but at some point, this will be needed and here it is!

Projects

While this page hasn’t been updated since 2013, I’ve still been hard at work! World building has continued, characters refined, and stories written. After leaving an incredibly stagnant period of my life, I’ve been making up for lost time, establishing myself as a Functioning Adult in the Real World. I attended college, beginning at my local community college to acquire my Associate’s in Art (Transfer) Degree, and continuing at university to complete my Bachelor’s in Creative Writing. I spent years role-playing, creating characters and stories, and now it’s finally time to take this seriously. Breathing life into these concepts is what brings me joy. This is what I want to pursue. I always hoped that one day I would, and now it’s time to accept that one day has arrived.

My focus has primarily been on The Dollmaster storyline as an introductory story to the series. I’m only a few chapters into revising the original role-play, but still hammering away at it. School has kept me busy, but it’s also provided me with the skills to be a better author.

After The Dollmaster, I plan to continue with Cursebreaking and Atissran’s Tower, as well as a three-part series following Sevrina and Gale in the Forsaken Land. Other stories around the same time should also be included (Azala, Zira, and Mia must be included!) I have a loose plan to shake up the world with a new conflict between the two divine factions, with each story playing a role in progressing the overarching story.

I’ll try and make more use out of this website again as I re-organize myself. I could also use some financial support! If you have a little money to spare (even if it’s only a $1 a month) please consider contributing to my Patreon. Not only will a little money help me feel more secure, getting the positive reinforcement will help me make progress. As a reward, patrons will have access to materials that only the Aserran contributors can access otherwise.

Become a Patron!