Because I am a writer, in a writing community, and writing is a thing I do! Have done . . . before . . .
Yeah, okay. I've been pretty devoid of free time for hobbies ever since I became a full-time zookeeper. That's partly out of my hands, with all the time I have to spend at work, plus necessary chores, plus getting a healthy amount of sleep, plus maintaining social obligations with friends and family . . . But it's also definitely partly my own weird psychology, where I feel that all hobby/free time has to be pushed back until every last chore is complete, and my absolute hatred for having to stop in the middle of a project, which makes me want to wait until I have huge, multiple-hour chunks of day before working on long projects . . . which never actually happens, after chores. If only there were some way to like, change behaviors and routines and be different. Oh well! Anyway . . .
Anyway, I definitely have stories I think about writing! Nearly daily! It's very healthy to constantly think about doing something and then never give myself time to do so, right?
"The One With All the Character Introductions"
This will pick up in the middle of “Because We Like You,” but from Mollie and Ollie's perspective instead of Vania's. They'll start adjusting to Nursery life, and finally meet all the other Nursery kids I've used in short stories for years now. Honestly, I've become more focused on my Nursery characters than on Doc and Vania any more, although I’m not done with them, either. Speaking of which . . .
“A Fistful of Hs”
Yes, I’m still doing the “HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” mission, and no one can stop me. This one’s been sitting half-finished in a GDoc for literal years, and was IMMENSE fun to write. And I still owe Laburnum the Pokémon!
“The Garden Spells Trouble”
A very weird one involving my Cafeteria characters that no one likes or cares about, but it formed in my head after reading Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells. Tangentially involves Phobos’s Catastrophe Theory series. The rough draft is complete (years ago), but it’s really going to need at least one very dramatic rewrite. Will introduce a new Flower.
a contribution to the Blackout
Still want to write one, it’s only eight years late and counting, lol. Going to introduce a new agent who is very cool, and may become Vania’s romantic interest, haven’t really decided yet.
And I think that’s it for PPC stuff; I have some ideas for original novels, and I’m definitely going to write them, but I don’t know if they’ll ever be good enough to publish. But that would be far in the future in either case. Here they are, read the synopses and despair:
“Beneath the Gaze of the Sun”
A broken sword is stolen by embalmed zombies and taken to an island of sun worshippers, heavily coded to represent white U.S. suburban excess. The currently unnamed protagonist has to figure out who sent the dead to take her father’s sword, without alerting the zealous, light-obsessed inhabitants to the presence of a dark-skinned outsider in their midst . . .
“Lane Lines: A Life on the Road”
In an alternate timeline, the United States has been reduced to a population of mindless consumers. Houses are a thing of the past; the entire countryside has been paved over with roads, and everyone lives in cars. To maximize foreign gasoline profits, families take turns behind the wheel so that the cars never stop. Beneath the roads is an electric grid, with all the driving generating power for some nefarious purpose that only the vestigial remains of the U.S. government knows and profits from. Yeah, it’s a giant, anticapitalist metaphor for the relentless grinding down of the working class in the real world, so sue me.
Untitled small town paranormal story
It’s a little rural community somewhere in Appalachia, and it’s haunted, cursed, hunted, you name a supernatural thing, this town’s got it. As infrastructure and societal norms break down in the face of the constant danger and fear, individual citizens have to band together to care for each other, or face a slow, lonely march towards death. Is there a reason for one town to be so ridden with misery? Or is it all, ultimately, just part of being alive? Cripes, I didn’t notice all the thematic parallels with Lost until I sat down to write this . . .
So uh. Yeah. You probably will see at least some of the PPC stories out before 2030. If the novels ever actually happen, hm . . . I’m thinking maybe the 2050s? It’s just so hard to slow down this car, you see, I need to keep producing energy for my benevolent overloards . . .