Thursday, January 18, 2018

Dinner at the Superhero Cafe

I finished yet another story on Wednesday, Jan 17th -- this is the one I called The Dream Ends.  I have serious doubts about the quality of some of the stories I've written this week, but I think this one probably works.  At this point, in order to completely finish everything I intend to put into Book 9:  My Gun Is Sharp, I simply need to complete the story Enigma, and write The Tremor of the Earth, and also come up with a story that actually has the title My Gun Is Sharp.  I'm not even sure if the latter is absolutely necessary, but eh.

This was also story number 299.  My numbering system is a bit wonky because I have a few stories numbered that have never been finished, and I've also "inserted" some stories into Book 1, which gives me a story 00 and a story 05a and 05b.  But roughly speaking I'm at 300 stories now.

I've been reading a manga called The Flying Witch.  It's kind of a low-key, slice-of-life story with no major plots going on -- just the tale of a young girl learning to become a witch, and her interactions with friends and cousins and strange creatures.  It kind of reminds me of Yotsuba! in the way it tells little stories of little consequence, but which are still very enjoyable to read.  There's an anime out too, I only discovered this past week.

Last night I read a story that involved a visit to a witch's cafe restaurant.  The building looked like an old, abandoned temple until you performed a proper prayer ritual before entering, which broke the spell and revealed a nice, modern cafe.  The waitress was a ghost whom no one could see (messages from the ghost would appear as written notes laid on the table), until the witch cast a spell that revealed the ghost to everyone.

They had a good lunch and talked to the witch who ran the place.  There were some misunderstandings, and the ghost was shy and put on a mask for a while after she realized they could see her.  Nothing important happened, but it was a charming little story anyway.  ^_^

So I got to thinking, could I tell such a story set in my Grandpa Anarchy universe?  I had just the day before reread part of The Ring of Hanubatum, and in that it's established that the Society of Intergalactic Space Babes has a space station Terra orbiting earth, and that they also have set up a steampunk-style space station above the fantasy land of Amethyst, and that you can travel from earth to Terra Station to the Amethyst station and then to Amethyst relatively easily and quickly.  One of my most recent stories took place station Terra as well.

First idea:  What if there were a gateway in the New York headquarters of the League of Two-Fisted Justice that led directly to the space station?  I could write an interesting story about how the league's secretary routinely travels to the fantasy world of Amethyst, just to grab lunch.

Come to think of it, one of the characters in Amethyst is Tony the Fry Cook from New Jersey, who has a magical skillet that produces whatever food you want instantly -- at least, diner-style food.  Maybe he's married in Amethyst and runs a diner, and his wife bakes wonderful cakes and pastries?

I'm still working on the details of this largely plotless story idea, and so I don't know if it will work or if there will be some kind of joke or way to wrap it up at the end.  But my mind went from that idea to others.

Second idea:  Grandpa Anarchy has an interstellar gateway in his basement, his "Anarchy Cave".  I haven't used it too much but I've already established that one place it can connect to is Happy Jack's bar in the interdimensional city of Intersect, where they also have a gateway.  So far I've treated it as something only used in emergencies or on other important occasions -- for example in My Sister the Computer when F8Wasp and Amelia Bloodraven used it to travel to Intersect, with no plans to return for maybe years.  But what's to stop Grandpa Anarchy from popping over to his friend's bar for lunch?

Third idea:  In two very old stories, The Chef that Time Forgot and Historically Accurate, I established that Marianna Kidd is a time-travelling chef who runs a place called the Slice of Time Bar and Grill, which uses ingredients exclusively from past periods of history.  It's exclusive, membership is by invite only -- but I never actually established where this restaurant is, nor used it much after those stories from Book 3 (stories 71 and 80 out of 300 that I've written -- these are from sometime in 2013 I believe).

Fourth idea:  Dark Dr. Dark teleports around the globe and has bases for himself and for the League of Two-Fisted Justice scattered around the world.  Where does he pop off to for lunch?  Possibly his private monastery retreat in Nepal?

I don't really know where I'm going with these ideas, but right now I'm hoping to write 3-4 stories just about people popping out for lunch in unusual places.  ^_^

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Finished a Few Stories

Monday was January 15th, and I had yet to complete a story in 2018.  I'd been working (in theory) on Transformation Story and also intending to go back and fix Enigma, which I have listed as a finished story but I had looked at it and discovered that it wasn't quite done.

Enigma and Transformation Story were part of a series of stories focusing on Black Dahlia and a few other characters, including the Gentleman Brawler and Kid Enigma.  I had wanted to write a story about what happened to the Gentleman Brawler after the events in my Secret Crisis Wars story.  At the end of that, he's alive again but nobody else knows, and he's disguised in some way -- the godlike creature known as the Reality Bender gives him a new look.  But I'd never revealed anything beyond that.  I plotted a story that might or might not also include Kid Enigma, and for now that story is called Tremors of the Earth.

Likewise, at the end of Secret Crisis Wars Kid Enigma is given the ability to change people's genders, but is himself trapped as a rather feminine hermaphrodite, unable to use her abilities on herself.  I wanted to tell a story about what happened next -- she had plans to make some money with her ability, just as Black Dahlia had done, but as I worked on the idea, I decided they might instead team up and pool their abilities.  That story is of course Enigma.

At some earlier point that story was also what I intended with Transformation Story, which is why it was called that.  But that story turned into an introduction to demonic lawyer Mal's niece.  And that's the story that I've been trying to finish for weeks.

On Monday... I actually finished it.  I re-titled it Miss Devastation, which makes a lot more sense given the events of the story.

In the meantime I'd also written another story called Unique which involved Black Dahlia and started out as a kind of aside to one of these other stories.  Plus I decided to write a kind of prequel to Enigma which is mostly an idea at the moment.  It's called The Dream Ends.

So in what I think is chronological order, that's:

Tremors of the Earth
The Dream Ends
Miss Devastation

That's my little quintet of Black Dahlia/Miss Enigma/Gentleman Brawler stories.  Enigma needs to be finished and Tremors of the Earth and The Dream Ends are mostly unwritten at present, but at least I finished one of them this week.  ^_^  Also, for some reason I seem to be completing them in reverse chronological order.

Then, since that wasn't enough, I wrote a second story Monday.  I was reading stories available to post in my blog, and one of them called Gadda Da Vida involved a sidekick that I wanted to write more about.  The story sort of suggests that this sidekick might join the Society of Intergalactic Space Babes, but ends before I follow up on that idea.  I had wanted to write a sequel dealing with that.

So I did.  I plotted and finished Eve the Explorer on Monday, making it two stories in one day.

I sort of thought that I might even work on a third story Monday, but I went home and did little about it.  But Tuesday I plotted another sequel story that would allow me to insert a little of the Cisgender Sleuth's background.  I have a tendency to create sidekicks without much thought, and then after the fact come up with their backgrounds, which often requires me to write a separate story so that I can explain said background.  This is what caused me to write As High As the Falcon, for example -- I wanted to explain who HighSis was and how she got her powers.

By the time I was done Tuesday evening, I had a new story that, as usual, went off in a different direction from where I started.  However, it's a complete story, my third in two days.  I called this one Beautifully Engineered.  Part of it required me to reread bits of The Ring of Hanubatum, and now I want to reread the whole thing and fix it up.  It's a long story and I remember it had some problems.

But I'm happy to have written three new stories, and I'm happy that all of them were things I was already working on or had planned to do some time ago.  ^_^

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

December Story Month Wrap-Up, and New Year's Goals

I was intending to do a wrap up of my December Story Month.  It's already 10 days into the new year and I somehow let that plan completely slip by.  In any case, my plans to work on a new story every day of the month and/or write about a thousand words a day fell by the wayside, just like my plans for NaNoWriMo in November did.

In the end I accomplished in December about what I normally manage to accomplish:  I finished six stories with varying degrees of success:  Enigma, Silence Is Golden, Fund My Catgirl, The Christmas Gorilla, Unique, and Experience Pays.  Two of those desperately need a rewrite.  The last one I managed to complete in time to post it for Christmas week -- my plan is always to post a Christmas story by Christmas, and this year the first one I wrote had some problems.

My goal for January is pretty much like my goals for December and November:  I want to finish the story I'm calling Transformation Story for now, and I want to go back and work on some of my Kid Anarchy Companion stories that I was working on this fall (and really, ideas I've been working on since last year).  I haven't made any new big proclamations about how much I'm going to write in January, and to be honest it's 10 days in and I've done very little writing at all.

What I wrote this year, to the best of my knowledge:

Book 8 Stories (High Tech Fisticuffs):

Gate Into Danger (story 243)
Beside Myself
Ghost and Miss Bloodraven
Murderbot 150
My Sister the Computer
If You're In Berlin
Tell Me A Story
Raw Justice
The Ring of Hanubatum
Fist to the Face
New League of Two-Fisted Justice
Ghost Cop

Book 9 Stories (My Gun Is Sharp):

Secret Millicent
Dreamquest of Unknown Anarchy
Down the Drain
By Any Other Name
Mummy Dearest
Brain Salad
Second Law My Metal Ass
Lingua Franca Fractura
Grimdark Wonderland
Dues Ex Machina
My Clone Sleeps Alone
Feeling Wordy
Games People Play
Another Time Another Place
There Goes the Neighborhood
Splitting Hares
Clown With the Golden Mask
The Summoning
Monumental Error
Gods and Punks
Time Trip
Motivational Poser
Market Crash
Hurricane Punch
As High As the Falcon
Gadda Da Vida
Return of the Holy Terror
Black Friday
Silence Is Golden
Fund My Catgirl
The Christmas Gorilla
Experience Pays (story 295)

That's 54 stories written in 2017, so that's a good amount in my book.  That also makes 38 stories in what I'm calling Book 9, so after due consideration I've decided that Book 9 is mostly complete, except for three or four possible stories:

My Gun Is Sharp.  This is the title of the book, so I feel like there ought to be a story with that title as well.  But maybe not.
The Devil and Miss Elsie.  This story is related to Secret Millicent and also to the Ring of Hanubatum from the previous Book 8.  I need to finish it.
Transformation Story.  This is closely related to Enigma, Unique, and to another incomplete story that I want to finish, The Tremors of the Earth.
The Tremors of the Earth.  A Gentleman Brawler story related to Enigma, Unique, and Transformation Story.

I've created three new book files:
Book 10 - The Companions.  This would be a proposed book dealing entirely with Kid Anarchy and all of his companions, and the publication of a book about them.
Book 11 - Fist to the Face.  This is a proposed book for more random, unrelated stories that I will write in the coming year, similar to what I did for Books 8 and 9.
Book 12 - Magical Girl Death Match.  I wrote up a treatment for a novel-length story.  I don't know that I'll write it, but Now it's officially a book, just like Book 7 is my other novel-length story that I haven't finished.

I did not go back and finish any stories in older books that I can remember.  I still have a few stories I'm supposed to finish from previous books.

My goals for last year were:

So for 2017 my goals are going to be simple:  1.  Keep Writing a Grandpa Anarchy story a week so that I can keep publishing on my story blog,  2.  Try to finish at least one of my original fantasy stories, and 3.  Try to publish my book, as well as prepare books 2 and 3.  But that will also required 4.  Rewrite World of Hero.  Again.

Although I only accomplished goal #1, managing to publish a new story to my blog nearly every week has been a big accomplishment in my book.  At some point (in August I think) I stopped printing an extra "Classic Anarchy" story on the first Thursday of the new month, and I've been pretty lazy about publishing a new story right on Monday -- sometimes it's Tuesday or Wednesday, or even late Friday.  But I only skipped a week once -- after a year of doing this, I figured missing on a single week was allowed.  ^_^

Going forward, my goals for 2018 would be similar, but I also want to make completing those Book 9 stories a goal, and working on the Companion stories, and maybe also working on the Magical Girl Death Match novel, possibly for spring Camp NaNo.

That's it for goals for the year.  ^_^