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2017-08-01 09:29 am

Writers Make The Decisions

I've seen a lot of writers lately, on a variety of social media groups, not really owning the fact that the stories they write come from them. They will say a variety of the following:

My characters wanted to go this way, not the way I intended.

I don't know where my story is going, but the characters will decide.

etc., etc., etc...

As a writer, my stories come from me.

Every thing that happens in one of my stories, came from my brain, my life experiences, and my ability to research for information I don't know.

If a story changes direction away from my initial plan, which happens occasionally that is on me. My plots and characterization do evolve as I write, as solutions to problems or new ideas come to me during the writing process. Characterization is important and should IMHO be consistent from beginning to end, but characters should change and grow and be a bit different by the end of the story.

I have to admit, it drives me batshit (at least privately... most of the time), when a writer doesn't take ownership of their work and talent in this fashion.

Best, The Nut.
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2017-07-07 09:40 am

Writing in a New Fandom

I've had a bit of a slow start to the Rough Trade Writing Challenge this week. It was a bit unexpected that writing in a new fandom would slow down my process significantly. Having struggled a bit this week, I realized that 1) I'm writing a Stargate Atlnatis Post-Season 5 story, so I don't have the earlier part of the series to work with event wise and 2) I'm also writing an original main character, as well as secondary characters with quite a bit of world building since there's a limited amount of information on the Ancients/Alterans and in turn Sateda in canon.

The first two initial scenes took quite a bit of my allocated writing time this week to get sorted, but the rhythm and pace of the story and characterizations are smoothing themselves out. My writing speed should finally start picking up now that I have my introductory bits sorted out. As usual, there is humor in my writing (at least when it comes to John and Rodney), which seems to be almost involuntary on my part. Overall, I'm happy with the start of the piece. 

Even with my snails pace (500 words/hour if it's going well), I should still be done with the first episode of The Descendant by the due date of July 14th.
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2017-06-14 06:16 am
Entry tags:

External Motivation versus Internal Motivation

Well, I have my external events plotted out for The Descendant (Stargate Atlantis) series of episodes, so I'm happy about that. I do find the internal motivations for my characters more elusive in regards to the romantic aspects of the story. This always happens to me when I'm plotting. Sometimes, the character backgrounds I write do help in this regard, but not always. I find it particularly difficult when I'm writing in two main character's POVs, both of which have separate love interests (not each other). I've only done this in one other story, Find My Love with Danny and Sherlock. At that time I tried plotting external motivations and internal motivations separately for each of my main characters. I found that very difficult and ended up just using my main plotting document, adding what I could as I went.

These issues in writing always take a lot of time to work out and usually, I don't have all my ducks in a row before I write. It's a bit scary to me that my process is so fluid in this way. Ideas and solutions don't come all at once. I don't see the big picture at the beginning. It all comes as I write throughout the whole piece. Luckily, I always have a beginning and usually the end sorted before I write. I've only been able to plot out fully one story since I started writing fiction two years ago. It took me months to do and in the end, those elusive ideas and solutions were added to and changed as I wrote anyway. I would call myself a plotter (in general), but there's a lot of pantsing my ass off in my work as well.

I do wish I could see the whole picture before hand, especially for longer works. But, my process doesn't happen that way and I'm coming to accept that as a writer. In accepting that concept, I'm less trepidatious about writing to some extent. However, it also makes being a WIP writer a dangerous row to hoe, at least for me.

Best, The Nut.
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2017-06-11 09:06 am

Current Projects

I have a couple of projects, in two new fandoms (at least for me writing wise) in the works, both of which are a bit different than what I've done before. The first is an Alpha/Beta/Omega action adventure romance for BBC's Merlin. The story length is planned at 50K and since this will be the first time writing an A/B/O, I'll be posting it as a WIP on The Wild Hare Project. The second project is in the Stargate Atlantis fandom, in which I've been a long time reader (and lurker). I'll be participating in the July 2017 Rough Trade Writing Challenge: Battle of the Five Fandoms hosted by Keira Marcos with this project. The challenge is to write in episode format for one of the five television series listed. Each episode is suppose to be a short story 5-15K in length. Writing in an episode format will be quite different to what I’m use to. The series for The Descendant is currently being plotted as a ten episode series and I’m going to shoot for on average 10K per episode.

I'm a bit trepidatious about writing both projects, but that is the point in challenging yourself and doing something different. I love both fandoms and both bunnies bit me in the behind last year and have been on my mind ever since since.

Best, The Nut.

Merlin is hiding more than his Magic from the King of Camelot.
Title: Camouflage
Author: Chestnut NOLA
Fandom: Merlin (Canon-Era)
Relationship(s): Merlin/Arthur Pendragon
Genre: A/B/O Dynamics, Romance, Suspense, Action and Adventure
Word Count: 50K (estimated)
The Descendant

An Ancient warship finds Atlantis and the crew consists of the direct descendants of the Alterans. A small contingent that has been in hiding in Pegasus for millennia. They can no longer sustain their population and had heard rumors of the Earth colonists on Atlantis. Captain Theodorus Mauritius Pastorem is a young, but experienced leader determined to find a safe harbor for what is left of his crew. Many have already ascended, but the Descendants that are left are not done living and fighting the creation of their ancestors.

Title: The Descendant
Author: Chestnut NOLA
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Genre: Romance, suspense
Relationship(s): Theodorus Mauritius Pastorem (OMC)/Ronon Dex; John Sheppard/Rodney McKay
Warnings: Canon-level violence, explicit sex
Word Count (estimated): 100,000
Descendant: Theodorus Mauritius Pastorem [Theodore Maurice Pastor aka Theo]

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2017-05-09 10:20 am

Alpha/Beta/Omega Trope

I'm currently plotting a Merlin novella that will finally dip my trepidatious toe in the A/B/O Trope. There are many aspects of the Trope I dislike and many that I like, so I'm doing my own take on it to keep myself happy. I do anticipate that some readers might not like what I do with the Trope, but I'm going to take that risk regardless.

For me, a character's ability to have free will is important and much of the A/B/O Trope takes free will away from the character's involved. Merlin in my view is a very independent person regardless of his servitude to Arthur and his duty to Destiny, so allowing him to have a choice in the matter of sex and "mating" is an important aspect of his character, and in turn how I'll write him.

I am a bit uncomfortable with dealing with gender issues, and possibly the changes to the trope I intend will be seen as a cop out. I really don't have any control (at least I don't think I do) in regards to readers interpretation of my work. The possibility of being accused of internalized misogyny again, is a risk I think that is inherent in the A/B/O Trope and one I'm willing to take.

Sex, race, religion, gender, are all areas/themes in fiction that can be difficult for writers to portray honestly without some sort of backlash. It's a sticky wicket, but being a writer who only takes the safe road or portray's the mainstream ideal rather than take on the challenge of the new, unknown, or unfamiliar does not allow for personal growth.

Best, The Nut.
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2017-04-24 07:11 pm

The Debilitating Nature of Chronic Pain

I could never relate to people who complained of chronic or arthritis pain in my youth. I was unsympathetic, thinking they were seeking attention or making their pain seem more than what it actually was. Even having been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and dealing with the chronic pain of it all through the nineties really didn't change my idea of it. It was regularly troublesome and there were days that I was debilitated by it, until it was finally managed with medication and proper sleep. It's been managed for fourteen years with only the occasional flare. I was fine, I was doing well and having stiffness in the mornings was so commonplace it didn't even bother me anymore, once I got moving.

Fibromyalgia did not prepare me for the pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis. The muscle pain of Fibromyalgia does not compare to the pain of an RA flare (at least for me). I was diagnosed with it in the fall of 2014, brought on by environmental factors and possibly genetics. The only reason I knew what was probably occurring was because my twin sister had been diagnosed. It took her doctors three years to figure out what was wrong with her, so I was lucky in that regard.

I've been having a flare since Friday while traveling and at a professional conference. When you have pain in multiple joints (hip, knee, and toe on one side of the body, and wrist on the other side), just sitting for hours is torture, getting out of an airplane seat and shouldering your carry-on a teeth gritting experience. That flare settled down yesterday morning only to be replaced in the exact opposite joints today. It makes concentrating on anything except waiting for it to pass difficult. I'm typing one handed, which is the B-word all around. My RA flares seem to do this, they will occur in multiple joints, stay in those joints for about twenty-four to forty-eight hours, then migrate to the exact opposite joints. It's really unbelievable and scary feeling so old and gimpy, when I know I have a bit of time before I can really own the whole Little Old Lady salutation.

If you have chronic pain, I get you now and I'm sorry I never took it seriously before.

Best, The Nut.

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2017-04-13 02:56 pm
Entry tags:

Forbidden Fruit and the Ephemeral Nature of the Internet

It is disheartening to realize that some things fandom has done in the past, are no where to be found on the internet now. About ten years ago, circa 2007 there was an free online e-magazine called, Forbidden Fruit.

It's tag line was something like "fiction for women who like men, who like men" or to that affect. It was publishing original stories by fanfiction authors, some of whom I know were published at some point afterward. It was edited by a few devoted hard working fan author souls and was truly unique at that time, (at least from what I could tell immersed in my lurking phase). It was fiction, specifically admitting that women were reading and writing slash, and enjoying the hell out of it without shame.

I have been unable to find even a digital footprint of it (and as a warning, actually googling the words forbidden fruit in any form is not a good idea). *clears throat*

So, just a question to the wider world or possibly anyone who remembers this publication. If you know where it is hiding, please let me know.

Best, The Nut.
chestnutnola: (Default)
2017-04-08 05:38 pm
Entry tags:

The Great War on PBS

My grandpa served in WWI.

I asked him about his experience once, when he was about 90 years old. He was a medic working to bring the wounded in from No Man's Land, through mud, blood, and bombs. After a few minutes and one funny story about taking a bath outside in the middle of winter with ice ringed around the top of the tub. He started to tell me of an experience bringing in the wounded. After that second story, he paused, looked away and said, "Honey, I can't talk about this."

I don't think he ever told anyone about his experiences in The Great War.

Seeing the promos for the newest PBS documentary on the war got me thinking about Gramps. I was only 19 when I asked him such a serious question, not really realizing how serious a question it was for someone that experienced such horror. I always saw him as beloved Gramps, hollering with a slight Scottish Brogue, since he was always turning off his hearing aids to save the batteries (he got them free from the Veterans Hospital BTW, the old cheapskate). He was elf-like, with his big ears and nose that had continued to grow in his old age. His trousers belted just below his armpits. He was really a ridiculous, but spirited sight. My dad is looking more and more like him, just as deaf, stubborn, and ridiculous as Gramps was.

The Great War on PBS Airs April 10th. I'll be watching.

chestnutnola: (Default)
2017-04-07 08:54 am
Entry tags:

Mojo Blues

I'm currently working on my original novel, Crescent City Boogaloo that I started last November during NaNo. I got derailed on writing at that time due to RL issues between family and work, but I've been in a bit of a funk even before that time. I found my last novella, Divergence difficult to write even though it was the first story I had plotted completely prior to writing. I was happy with how it turned out, but getting in the writing mode was just difficult.

I've barely written since last summer. I'm burned out by my every day work and my father had some health issues that were stressful (he's fine now, just his usual old fart self). I had to put some planned projects on the hiatus, since I was just not prepared to work on them. Dropping out of the Criminal Minds Big Bang (as a writer) and also removing my pinch hit story for the 00Q Reverse Big Bang has stuck in my craw. Those stories weren't going anywhere and it was bothering me more than I can express.

RL stress does affect every aspect of a person's life, and I know I'm not the only one to go through a period of general procrastination, avoidance of things that need to be done, and just generally being down the the dumps. So nothing unusual about my situation at all and I know there are many people in the world who have it worse than me. I try to keep that in mind.

Normally, I don't share negativity in my fandom spaces (at least I try not to). I know writing (when I am writing) makes me really happy and that this funk of RL has to stop affecting that to this unbearable degree. I know complaining will not accomplish my goals, only getting down to business will.

So that's my plan. I'm participating in April's Camp NaNo to work on CCB. I'm only 1K in word count in after seven days. A truly under achievement showing on my part. I'm very inspired by the story I want to write and the character's I've created, so there's no reason not to get a move on with it. I'm also excited about my other planned projects for the year and would love to be able to work on all of them at the same time. Alas, with my limited free time, one project at a time is all I can do, otherwise I'd be writing and still not getting anything done!

Okay, so complaints done, personal pep talk done, now on to the show.

Best, The Nut.
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2017-04-06 09:36 am

WIPs and Wild Hare

I really do enjoy getting comments on my stories, as most writers do. In the past I have posted WIPs on AO3, which has helped to keep me on schedule. However, there are things some readers do when commenting on WIPs that can derail me and my writing process.

Readers who don't like my stories or interpret my stories in a way I did not intend, irritate or perhaps anger me (such as in the case of accusing me of internalized misogyny), but they do not completely cause a crash into a writing wall to occur.

There are two types of reader comments that do interrupt my writing mojo to the point that it takes quite a bit of effort on my part to ignore it and continue.

1) When a reader speculates on my plot and guesses where the story is going to go or what the climax is going to be.  2) When a reader tries, through their comments no matter how seemingly positive, to drive my story in a direction they want it to go rather than where I intend. These type of comments make me either, 1) want to completely re-plot my story right smack dab in the middle of the piece or, 2) stop writing on it for the foreseeable future.

So, I've made the decision not to post WIPs on AO3 anymore. I still want to have WIPs posted to help keep me on schedule, but AO3 is not the place to do it, at least for me. Neither is my own website, since I prefer to post only finished works there.

There is a new project in town that is for writers called, The Wild Hare Project. Hosted by Keira Marcos and created by her and Jilly James. Wild Hare is a new space for writers to post their works. A collective for those uncomfortable with posting elsewhere or uncomfortable with reader critique intruding on their writing process. Readers are welcome to stop by, read and comment, but the site is moderated to prevent certain types of commenting that could hinder a writer's ability to work.

I'll be posting any first draft WIPs on the site. I appreciate it as a safe space to explore tropes, fandoms, or pairings, I haven't dipped my toe in yet. I'll only post finished stories on my website and AO3 from now on.

If you are a new writer or a writer uncomfortable with posting your work in other spaces, you should check out The Wild Hare Project.
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2017-04-05 08:34 pm
Entry tags:

Moving My Journal

I'm in the process of moving my journal over to dreamwidth. I've been on livejournal since 2005, but really didn't start using it (except for lurking) until 2015. Not to sure about the new TOS via the Russian Federation, as well as their unfriendliness to the LGBTQ community. I'm a slash fanfiction writer and believe in equality and respect for any community of peoples. So a move seemed the best option.

You can find me on dreamwidth here and of course on my website.
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2017-04-05 09:53 am


I’m contemplating using my short ficlet, Legacy, as a jumping off point for an A/B/O Merlin (Canon Era) Novella. I’ve never written A/B/O Dynamics, and do find many things about the trope problematic. Mainly, the elements of rape (non-consent and forced seduction is rape IMO), and to a lesser extent descriptive heat preparation or copious amounts of semen (and that’s putting it delicately *clears throat*).

I’ll have to do some world building to avoid the aspects of the trope I inherently don’t like.

Set Season Four Post – The Darkest Hour

Initial Premise:

A visiting noble shows a sexual interest in Merlin. Merlin is not only hiding the fact he’s a Warlock, he’s also hiding the fact he’s an Omega Male. Omega Males were thought to be extinct. Merlin uses a tincture to suppress his scent and pass for a normal man.
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2017-02-08 05:08 am


“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” Albert Camus

A short ficlet for the prompt: Rebellion

To read the story head over here!
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2017-01-24 05:59 pm

2017 Planned Projects

I’m a planner, always have been (which is annoying some of the time), with set goals for most things in life. In regards to writing, I had to look over my crazed (continuously breeding) plot bunny file and sort out what I’ll be working on this year. I knew I had to be realistic and write what stories can actually be done with my limited free-time. Real life derailed my plans in the fall, so writing goals had to be set aside for the last three months. It’s made me a bit irritable, I always feel good and positive when I’m working on writing projects, so knew I needed to decide what stories I absolutely have to do this year.

So here it is, the plan (hopefully realistic) in order:

Title: Can I Kiss You Now?
Fandom: James Bond (Craig Movies)
Relationship(s): James Bond/Q
Genre: Romance, Humor
Warnings: Explicit (perhaps)
Word Count: 10,000-15,000 (estimated)

2016-2017 00Q Reverse Big Bang Challenge
Art by Myztic Myan Moon

Summary Pending Posting! (Shhhh it’s a secret until Saturday).

Title: Crescent City Boogaloo
Author: L.J. MacTavish
Fandom: Original Fiction
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Gay Fiction
Length: 80,000

Two years after the death of his long-time partner, NOPD Detective Oscar “Oz” Chadwick has no interest in romance or finding love again, no interest at all in opening his heart to another. Only his job, friends, and his saucy bit of good’s sister keep him focused to carry on despite his grief.

His job as a homicide detective for the New Orleans Police Department is always a good distraction, and Oz is on the hunt for a ritualistic serial killer causing chaos during the Carnival season.

With the FBI horning in on his case, his Police Commander riding him like Seabiscuit to solve it, and a one-night stand haunting him, in the form of FBI Special Agent, Jacques Verret. Oz must catch a killer stalking The Big Easy, all the while avoiding any additional romantic entanglements. You can read the first chapter here.

Title: Hunted
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Relationship(s): Spencer Reid/Aaron Hotchner
Genre: Suspense, angst, romance
Warnings: Canon-level Violence, Explicit sex
Word Count: 20,000-25,000

Criminal Minds Bang 2017 Challenge

The BAU is on the hunt for thirteen serial killers after a coordinated mass prison break. Little do they know one of the thirteen is after one of their own.

Title: The Descendant
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Relationship (s): Ansgarus Mauritius Pastorem/Ronon Dex; John Sheppard/Rodney McKay; OMCs OMFs
Genre: Romantic suspense and adventure
Warnings: Canon-level violence, explicit sex
Word Count: 100,000 (estimated)

July 2017: Battle of the Five Fandoms on Rough Trade

An Ancient warship finds Atlantis and the crew consists of direct descendants. A small contingent that has been in hiding for millennia. They can no longer sustain their population without inbreeding and had heard rumors of the Earth colonists on Atlantis. The captain is a young man, a descendant of Janus, brilliant and beautiful. Many of the crew have already ascended, but the Descendants that are left are not done living and fighting the creation of their ancestors.

Title: Obsessed
Fandom: Merlin (TV)
Relationship(s): Merlin/Arthur Pendragon
Genre: Romantic suspense
Warnings: Canon-level violence, explicit sex
Word Count: 20,000-25,000

A visiting noble shows a sexual interest in Merlin.

Title: Perfect Illusion
Fandom: James Bond (Skyfall, SPECTRE)
Relationship(s): James Bond/Q
Genre: Romantic suspense
Warnings: Canon-level violence, explicit sex
Word Count: 60,000 (estimated)

Inspired by London Spy

James Bond meets a young man sitting on a bench by the Thames. They eventually become lovers though Edwin (aka future Q) doesn’t know James is MI6. Edwin is a librarian and underground hacker. James goes missing and Edwin works to find him with the help of his hacker friends and perhaps a burly former Royal Marine neighbor, save him.

In between the larger projects, I hope to get some more shorts completed in the fandom’s of James Bond (Craig Movies), London Spy, Merlin (TV), Sherlock (BBC), Star Trek (AOS), and Stargate Atlantis.

Best, The Nut.

chestnutnola: (Default)
2016-12-31 07:37 pm

Christmas with Q

James Bond didn’t know how it happened, but somehow he’d gotten beguiled into assisting the Quartermaster with preparations for Christmas (or the one where Q doesn’t want James Bond to be alone for the holidays).

To read the story, head over here!
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2016-12-21 04:49 am

Come In From The Cold

My art contribution for the 2016 [ profile] ksadvent calendar.
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2016-11-18 05:21 am

Crescent City Boogaloo (Excerpt)

The skim of his clothes was a secretive sound in the blue tinted gloom of the pre-dawn hour, a lament that throbbed under his skin. Oz mused that the feeling was fitting as he tried not to wake the figure deeply asleep in the sex-rumpled bed. The form moved restlessly at the rasp of shoelaces, stilling Oz in the chair he was sitting in for a moment. The man quieted and Oz finished dressing before standing to thread his arms through his long woolen coat.

The clink of his glasses being lifted from the bedside table caused the man to roll over onto his stomach, the sheets slipping down to expose the tops of his buttocks. He was still, thankfully slumbering on, as Oz stood motionless next to the bed, looking his fill. Oz’s body ached from the pleasure he’d indulged in throughout the night. His skin hunger and physical needs finally assuaged after so long a drought of chosen celibacy. He lingered for a long moment more; admiring the masculine beauty of the stranger he’d given his body to. Shaking himself, he moved away as disquiet sliced through his gut, remembering the tears that had burned in the corner of his eyes in the midst of sex. Read More

This excerpt is a first draft of chapter one of my original novel, Crescent City Boogaloo started during 2016’s National Novel Writing Month.
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2016-10-20 08:42 am

The Nest

There was no Q at the front of the room working with a running commentary, often droll, on everything relevant and irrelevant to whatever he was doing at that particular moment.

A ficlet for the prompt: Cave

To read the story, head over here!

chestnutnola: (Default)
2016-10-13 06:54 pm

Crescent City Boogaloo

Two years after the death of his long-time partner, NOPD Detective Oscar “Oz” Chadwick has no interest in romance or finding love again, no interest at all in opening his heart to another. Only his job, friends, and his saucy bit of good’s sister keep him focused to carry on despite his grief.

His job as a homicide detective for the New Orleans Police Department is always a good distraction, and Oz is on the hunt for a ritualistic serial killer causing chaos during the Carnival season.

With the FBI horning in on his case, his Police Commander riding him like Seabiscuit to solve it, and a one-night stand haunting him, in the form of FBI Special Agent, Jacques Verret. Oz must catch a killer stalking The Big Easy, all the while avoiding any additional romantic entanglements.

Title: Crescent City Boogaloo

Author: L.J. MacTavish
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Gay Fiction
Length: 80K

Crescent City Boogaloo is my original fiction project for November 2016’s National Novel Writing Month.

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2016-10-11 07:47 pm


It was his own fault, he was the masochist who’d fallen in love with the worst possible person in existence and he couldn’t even find it in himself to be angry about it.

Irresistible is my latest attempt at a PWP (Porn Without Plot); however, here is still a hint of a plot, but only a hint!