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I have a new userpic! I know you're all probably wondering how I came to this radical and potentially life-changing decision. The answer? Andrej Pejic. Andrej Pejic, Andrej Pejic, Andrej Pejic. He's the flaxen-haired uber-androgyn Serbian model my gay brain has wet dreams about. I have no doubt that he escaped from the underground lab of some sadistic scientist who spliced the genes of David Bowie, Bjorn Andresen, and Lee Jun Ki in order to create the perfect bishounen (hm, plot bunny?).
Ramblings about gender aesthetic. )
*A sharp reader alerted me to the fact that the original picture was actually of a female model who appeared in the same shoot as Andrej -- oops! I replaced it with one of the boy himself.
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The Grand Reunion Chapter that I've written and rewritten, oh, about a hundred billion times. Hope you enjoy. *bites nails*


 

CHAPTER 7

 

 


 

 

In the dream Luca flies like a bird over the mountains. )
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This was supposed to be the beginning of Chapter Seven, but it turns out it was the end of Chapter Six all along. (Pleasedon'tkillme.)


CHAPTER 6
(Part Two)

It was not easy to find a cab in Paradiso at ten o’clock the morning after Bacchanal. )



 
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If this chapter seems familiar to old readers...it is. This is the only chapter I saved from the first version. Mostly because of sex. Yes, this is a bit of a cheat. Sorry! The next brand spankin' new chapter will be posted soon. Until then, hope you enjoy.


CHAPTER 6

Robert was drunk. )
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CHAPTER 5

“What did you do!” )




A/N: This would have been posted an hour ago, but LiveJournal decided that it would be fun to get rid of all my formatting. I had to go through adding line breaks after every paragraph so that I didn't end up with the dreaded wall of text. Sigh.

Update MIA

Feb. 15th, 2011 02:09 pm
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It feels incredibly presumptuous to say "you all must be wondering where the next chapter of TGB is", but I thought I'd tender an explanation anyway. Although I wrote Chapter Four before Chapter Three, upon rereading it I realized that it needed to be completely rewritten. As I've said before, Luca's voice is very difficult for me, and I'm still struggling to get into his head. That said, I'm almost done with the revision, and Chapter 4 should be posted either tomorrow or Thursday. Sorry for the delay. Chapters Five and Six are already finished and edited, so updates should be posted on a more regular schedule from hereon out.

How was everyone's Valentine's Day? I spent it working on a massive project for work, then going back to my apartment and crashing at the unspeakably early hour of eight o'clock. 
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Normsplaining: When someone with a culturally normative sexual preference or orientation attempts to explain to someone with a nonstandard sexuality what said sexuality "really means". 
see also: mansplaining, whitesplaining

(Inspired by this post over at askthekinksters, where [livejournal.com profile] mediamancer sets me straight about the true meaning of sadism.)


Have you ever been normsplained to? Ever had a psychologist tell you that your kink is a result of child abuse you didn't experience, or a friend inform you with absolute conviction that you're only gay because you're a feminist and that means you hate men? Please, feel free to share!
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Since I assume my readership has some overlap with the queer/kinky community, I thought this discussion going down at askthekinksters about responsible sadism might be of interest. Steer carefully around the Gorean, he has a butthurt. 
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 I'm co-authoring a Harry Potter kinkfic with the ever-lovely [livejournal.com profile] slashpervert . D/s, spanking, voyeurism, misuse of the Marauder's Map and seriously inappropriate student/teacher relations follow. 

Stalking Malfoy's Arse, or Midnight Machinations

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I've had a crap day, so I'm posting this a week ahead of schedule in order that I may feel productive. Cheers!




CHAPTER 4

 

 

The inn was one of those Paradiso after-fuck establishments, cheap beds and cheaper booze. )

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My name is Augusta, and I am an incredibly flakey individual. In an attempt to become a Responsible Adult Type Person I am exerting myself enormously in order to develop some degree of forethought and accountability, because I'm twenty years old now, damnit, which is, to quote my own character, practically thirty, which is practically dead.

In an effort to behave like a Responsible Adult Type Person, I've actually written at least three chapters ahead of what I've been posting. My life is prone to chaos and minor disaster, so at least this way if something comes up which prevents me from writing the lovely people who read my story won't start shaking pitchforks in my general direction. The next chapter I'm going to begin working on (that's Chapter 8) is the Grand Reunion Scene, which is giving me a bad case of the butterflies--and for good reason, since it's a fairly pivotal emotional crescendo for all involved.

I tell you this not only because, as any Responsible Adult Type Person will tell you, declaring a resolution results in greater dedication to that goal, but also because I've left my readers hanging in a major way before, and I want to reassure you that even if I get polio, or my apartment floods, or my cat dies, I will get myself to my laptop, battling my way through many inches of freezing water and dragging my paralysed legs behind me, all while weeping for my deceased familiar, and post the damn Grand Reunion Scene already.

Pinky swear.
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In which mythology is explained and sex happens.


CHAPTER 3

 

 

I’m going to tell you about Ganymene and Melchior. )


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Realizing that, no, it is not RIGHT nor NORMAL for chapters to go on for upwards of 35 pages, I've split the remainder of Chapter 2 into a whole new entity. So this is what's left of Chapter 2 -- about 2000 words. Not really enough to merit a whole second part, but such is the way of life and LJ formatting. Enjoy!
 

 

Chapter 2 Part II )


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The second chapter is running way too long (20 Word pages and counting), so I've decided to split it in two in order to save my readers an undue amount of scrolling. Unbeta'd; I've been over and over and over it myself. Tell me if you catch anything. As always, Luca's voice gives me trouble, so forgive me if it's hard going. We're still getting to know each other, he and I.





CHAPTER II

The God and the Satyr

Every boy-brothel in Paradiso had an altar for the whore god. )
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So the first chapter of the NEW and IMPROVED and SHINY "Golden Bird" is ready to be beta'd. Any brave volunteers?

Also, I am doing NaNoWriMo. Given that I already have 10,000 written, I am somewhat cheating. Shh.

http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/701017


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So I suck.

No, really. I suck. I promised a revised reposting of TGB so long ago that most of my estwhile readers have probably completely forgotten this fic ever existed---or became convinced that I had myself completely forgotten this fic ever existed. Not so! As evidence for my defense I point to the fifteen drafts of the first thirty pages currently lurking on my hard-drive. Adding up all of these aborted drafts, I've written almost 500 pages of TGB since disappearing from the LJverse. Unfortunately, it was 500 pages of bad.

Well, not bad exactly. Just…wrong. 500 pages of wrong.

Basically, the last two years of writing and rewriting TGB has been like trying to navigate Los Angeles with a map drawn by a five year old whose spatial reasoning capabilities had been destroyed in a tragic lawnmower accident. I had some idea of the basic landmarks, but no idea where they were or how they fit together. I was constantly having to put my metaphorical author-car in reverse, or slam on the metaphorical gas pedal, or hit my head repeatedly against the metaphorical dashboard.

There were a lot of problems I had to resolve with the plot. I made a few fairly drastic changes: removing the magic (which I now realize I put in not because it was important and crucial for the world, but because I’m a fantasy writer and my automatic instinct is to put magic in everything), rehauling Luca’s backstory, nixing Azarael and another character who was going to be fairly major, changing Asher’s plot arc, to name a few. I’ve also struggled with being a new writer. TGB is the first real novel I’ve ever worked on (the story about the half-elf genderqueer assassin princess I wrote when I was fourteen does not count), and I made the mistake of posting the first draft online. Where it was really well received! And people said a lot of nice things! But which also lashed me to a schedule of feverishly writing so that I could post a chapter a week. Which meant that a lot of important things, like pacing and character development, were overlooked (it’s telling, for instance, that in the first ten chapters we don’t move more than a day forward in time). And which meant I got really burned out really fast.
 

So this hiatus, while necessary and beneficial, has been a lot longer than I had anticipated. I don’t want to say that I’ve grown a lot as a writer, because that sounds like the kind of douchey, self-congratulatory thing that self-styled Artists trot out when they’re Discussing their Writing Process, but it’s certainly true that I’ve learned a lot about writing, and know how to do things with language now that I didn’t two years ago. I’ve had time to map out this story, this world, in detail: to understand where I’m going and what I want to do along the way. I’ve gotten to know my characters, most crucially Luca, who in being my complete and total opposite in every possible way was not a little difficult to write. I realized that I was putting this character who was not at all like me in situations where he reacted as I would react instead of as himself. Robert was always easier for me because, being brash and forthright and loyal and drunk and lost and stupid in many, many ways—being, in sum, a little (a very little)—like myself, I can understand him.  

Luca is trickier. He’s quiet and submissive and clever and serious and spends most of his time in his head because it’s the only safe place. I had to write many, many sketches of Luca, most of which will probably never make it into the story proper, before I got how he ticked. Probably my biggest success in the struggle to write those crucial first thirty pages was finally understanding Luca. 

So where am I now, two years later? In many ways, where I started. And in many ways, light years away from where I started. After all this time, I finally have thirty solid pages I’m proud of, thirty pages reimagined and rewritten multiple times—one chapter from Robert’s perspective, and one from Luca’s. I’m planning on finishing Part One of the story before I begin posting again. I’d like to say this will happen before Christmas, but with college and dealing with recurrent bouts of severe depression, and taking into account my track record when it comes to deadlines, I don’t know whether or not that will happen.  

What I can promise is that when I do begin posting again, the story will be tighter, the writing better, the characters more fleshed out, the world better realized, and the author far more mature and confident in herself and in her work. And that’s the best I can do. 

In the interim, I’m hoping to go back to being active on LJ, reading and commenting on fan and original fiction as well as writing my own. 

So, yeah. That’s where I’ve been, that’s where I am, that’s where I’m planning on going. I’m posting this in order to let those of you who are miraculously still interested in this story know that I haven’t abandoned it or you, and to thank you all for your patience. I don’t deserve it. 

Much love, 

Augusta. 

 

P.S. As for those of you who volunteered to be betas ages ago, your help would be very much appreciated if you’re still interested! I’ll send Part One along as soon it gets finished.


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I'm officially declaring "The Golden Bird" closed for maintenance.


Reading back on what I've written, it's become clear that major revisions are needed, especially in the area of backstory and character development. This is the first major work of fiction I've ever written, and I feel I've made a lot of rather amateurish mistakes. I also think that I've suffered from not having a beta to tell me what works and what doesn't.

So, the plan is to add a prologue, remove/change/add/expand upon several characters (NOT Robert or Luca), and generally prune and polish where prunes and polish are needed. I don't know how long this will take, but I'm estimating 1-3 months. brianwillis44 has magnanimously offered to beta, and I'm wondering whether any other kind souls would be interested in giving the rewrite a once-over after I've finished. If so, please PM me.

THE PLOT WILL NOT CHANGE. I will also be leaving up the chapters I've already posted, at least until I finish the rewrite. I will still be active on livejournal and posting other works of [smutty] fiction.

Thanks to everyone who's read and enjoyed this story. I hope you'll like it even better once the rough edges have been smoothed out.

 

Um. Also? Please don't kill me.

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Whoever said that poetry can't be sexy obviously never read Ginsberg. Two words, ladies and gentlemen: HOT. DAMN.
Please Master )
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