Doing art claims never gets any easier

Another weekend, another round of bang moderation duties.

This weekend, Enoliel and I have been busy moderating art claims for the [community profile] spndystopiabang.

The 2018-2019 round of Dystopia marks its third year as a bang and this is mine and Enoliel's second year moderating the bang together.

But art claims has got to be one of the most nerve wrecking parts of the entire process.

My laptop set up in my Mother In-Law-To-Be's craft room.

Saturday afternoon my time, I was sat in my Mother-In-Law-To-Be's craft room, waiting to make the claims form live. But once you flip that switch that is only part of the drama as you wait for claims to come in, and you quickly work to match claims to stories, marking off stories as claimed and then sending out emails to authors and artists letting them know they're matched.

Enoliel and I took it in turns watching over things as our different time zones and weekend commitments permitted.

How did the SO's family take to me heading off to sort this out? Well, SO already knew I had this coming up, so when we arrived at his parents' place, we pointed out that I needed to be on my laptop and online by about 3:30 pm (claims we're at 4pm BST, so 11am EDT). They took the whole thing in their stride.

It took until Sunday evening (I was back home by this point) and we finally had everyone claimed--all 9 stories. This was pretty good going for this bang and while I don't mind opening things up to public claims, it's good when we have enough pre-registered artists make claims.

(Like last year, I have claimed a story and I am l looking forward to breaking out my art supplies.)

This process isn't easy, because you really want everyone to get claimed. You've got a bunch of brilliant stories where the authors have put some serious effort into them and you want them to get matched with people who want to make art for them. So you open claims up and you hope everyone gets matched as you manually watched, then organize and contact participants.

But how is doing claims not getting easier? Probably the biggest one is that the balance between artists and writers more often than not tips towards writers. It makes it difficult to recruit. You also need enough of your registered artists to claim for stories. We got there though and that's what matters.

Also, seeing the summaries for this year and having the fics checked over, showed Enoliel and I that SPN Dystopia Bang really is an 18+ bang. We had a lot of questions during author sign ups about why we'd set a minimum age for participants and while we might not have loads of dark fic in the bang (there's definitely some) the rest of the subject matter is more 18+ than Hunger Games ever was.

I have all this to look forward to again in the coming months for the [community profile] tfwbigbang :D


March, heck of a month

So yeah, been a while...

Okay, the good news is I got a new full-time job at this company I'd been freelancing for. Started this week. Three month probation period, but that's shorter than the last place I worked for, so that is something. I'm already really enjoying it there, it's a genuinely nice place to work. Like seriously: pool table, free gym, free fruit, and a bunch of other benefits.

The past week, I've started knuckling down on bang/challenge writing projects, which apparently I have a million at the moment. There's a page in my main notebook that has a table now of everything I've signed up to. Eight challenges across Supernatural and Check, Please! fandoms. A few are safe for dropping out of if I want to, but I'm aiming for shorter word counts for most of them doing mini bangs and the such like.

If I'm careful, I think I can finish a bunch of them over April for Camp NaNoWriMo, along with starting an original story I want to work on.

Plus, you know what? I am in love with the Sprinto Discord bot. I've set it up in a couple of bang Discord servers, but I set it up on a friends' server today as well, with its own channel. I just find sprints a real good way to get words down when I need to.

It's Mother's Day in the UK tomorrow (our date is tied into when Easter is happening, unlike most of the world) so unsure how much writing I'll get done Sunday... BUT I have figured out timings with my new job that I'll either have an hour for lunch, which I can use some of for writing or I can leave half hour early at the end of the day.

Yeah definitely need to carve out writing time at the moment.

Life and fandom update

Some of you may know that at the start of this month I was made redundant from my job. I'm pretty much over that now, moving onto new opportunities, etc, and just having the occasional thoughts of "FU!" about that employer.

This weekend has probably been my most productive since that all kicked off:
Yep, super productive weekend.

I am currently doing some freelance writing work for a local tech company and I have a job interview with a local university on Tuesday. Between the two, I'm hoping something permanent will come of one of them, as the tech company wants to give me an actual job, it's just the person hiring me for the freelance work (which costs them more than having me on staff) is trying to show that they need someone like me to their higher ups. The uni job would be nice, but doesn't excite me as much as the tech one.

After this coming week, I'm hoping to write some more Check, Please! Kink Bingo fics.

Anyway, sorry for the silence on my blogging locations. It's been a crap month in one huge way.


Fic: Strong Hands

Strong Hands

Fandom: Supernatural

Pairing: Sam/Dean (Wincest)

Rating: Explicit

Word Count: 2645

Summary: Sam almost drowns while on a hunt and it pushes Dean's feelings for his brother to the forefront of his thoughts.


But Dean couldn’t get to Sam fast enough as the sound of splashing icy cold water met his ears. His bobbing head flashlight showed the eddy of water that was lapping at the cave floor shore, but he couldn’t see Sam. Pulling out his silver knife, Dean jumped into the water and started for where the circles of water had originated from.

Continue reading on AO3


It's cold out

Title: It's cold out

Link: AO3

Square Filled: Poly Haus

Ships: Eric "Bitty" Bittle/Jack Zimmermann, Larissa "Lardo" Duan/Shitty Knight, Adam "Holster" Birkholtz/Justin "Ransom" Oluransi, Eric "Bitty" Bittle/Justin "Ransom" Oluransi, Adam "Holster" Birkholtz/Larissa "Lardo" Duan/Shitty Knight, Eric "Bitty" Bittle/Jack Zimmermann/Justin "Ransom" Oluransi

Rating: Mature

Major Tags: Canon Divergent, Polycule

Summary: The power's gone out. The furnace is being uncooperative and no one can remember when they last had a hot meal.

Word Count: 1124

Written for [community profile] checkpleasebingo (submitted on PF originally)


Bang season is upon us

I feel like maybe there's a couple of months in SPN fandom where things quiet down for a bit on the bangs front. It's just gift exchanges and seasonal challenges... and then the holidays are over and everything cranks up back into gear.

But I am responsible for two of those events, so I've only got myself to blame.

SPN Dystopia Bang

Author sign ups for the SPN Dystopia Bang close today (13 January). Then I've got to the usual thing where I try to find artists for the authors who will hopefully stick about. I usually expect there to be an imbalance at this stage of things, so it's no surprise to me that we're on schedule for the big author:artist ratio imbalance. My big headache is that of course Tumblr's BS is going to make this all harder.

So, if you have any artist friends who like Supernatural and Dystopia... I'd super appreciate it if you put a good word in for us.

I won't be writing for it again this year. I thought I might have an idea and did some basic outlines for a couple, but since taking part in the bang during its first year, I just haven't been able to bring together a strong enough idea. That's probably because after the first year I became a mod and it's not easy for me to think of ideas for. It's just too much for me to mod and write for it.

Team Free Will Big Bang

Details for the fourth (third time I've been running it) Team Free Will Big Bang, will be going live tomorrow (14 January). I'll admit, this bang is a little more my speed, because the constraints are ones I write within a lot.

The TFWBB is a bang I resurrected (along with [personal profile] majestic_duxk's help) back in 2017. It had run last in 2014 back then, and the mods who had done it had since moved on. I managed to get in contact with one of them and get their blessing (and my own access) for running it and taking it over. Though that did involve killing the LJ, when LJ pulled its last round of BS in 2017.

Again, I foresee issues getting artists on board, because of the Tumblr BS.

Am I writing in any bangs this year?
Maybe a few.

I'm hoping to take part in the OMG Check, Please! Reverse Bang, which is new. I'm hoping to take part in Dean/Cas Tropefest. Plus I would like to find an idea that suits the TFWBB, but I'm not holding my breath on that front. And I am hoping to take part in the Wincest Reverse Bang and maybe the Dean/Cas Reverse Bang. Finally, I hope to do something for this year's SPN Reverse Bang, but that's mainly because I love taking part in it. I am definitely taking part in the Check, Please! Kink Bingo, which I'm co-modding.

But all of the above rely on good ideas or good prompts. I also did say something about completing Out of the Black...

Last year I took part in way fewer events than any previous year. And while I am happy to run events, I'm becoming less and less sure about taking part as a creator. The deadlines and so on are seeming less of a draw.

1000+ words and counting

I went back to work on Wednesday. But I had "going back to work nerves" so of course woke up about 20 minutes before my alarm.

Laying there in bed, I tried to figure out whether I should try to doze or get up. I got up, got myself sorted out and decided that I'd used the extra time before work to have a positive experience before work.

My job isn't in my nearest town, but that town is on my route and has my fave indie coffee shop in the world. I went in early and got there at opening time, with my personal laptop in tow. I got myself a skinny chai latte with a shot of espresso, sat down with my laptop, and wrote (over 30 minutes) just over 500 words on a WIP I hadn't touched since September.

And then today I did the same thing.

It felt good to be working on this story, but also taking the time to have a positive experience before going to work. And I think taking this time for myself and doing something I enjoy before heading into the office is a way I can make things better for myself in 2019.

See, I started my job a year ago this week. It's not my first professional job, but it's a very different business culture to what I cut my teeth on. The pay's good, but the compensation hasn't been enough for the psychological upset the culture change has meant for me (I'm seeing a therapist on the regular, that's how bad it is). I'd switch jobs, if it weren't for the fact I live in a part of the UK where this level of opportunity is rare (and Brexit means I need to see how the dust settles before I can even think of going freelance again). So I'm having to find ways to cope, like therapy, exercise, and now taking some time to do something I enjoy before work.

In fact, the stress of this job has seriously hacked away my mental energy needed to write. The Christmas break helped me regain some of it.

I'm hoping that I can keep up this early morning writing, let it have a positive effect on my day. There might be some mornings I can't go to my fave coffee shop, because I need to spend some time deicing my car, but hopefully I can at least get a bit of writing in each morning. Working on fan or original projects that bring me joy.

It would be good to finish this WIP this year (Sastiel, Supernatural fic called Out of the Black). And I'm saying to you all that I am setting myself the goal of writing a little bit each day before work. Even if it's just a blog post sometimes (though I'm writing this one just before bed).

Surviving Christmas

It's day three of hanging out at my friends' place. We had Christmas together - cooked food, shared booze, shared gifts, and have watched a tonne of TV. We've been moving between The Good Place and Aggretsuko. (And in my case, having friends' cat trying to sleep on my face in the night.)

I've been writing, editing and posting a tonne of fanfic. I had two Supernatural fanfics due in the past 7 days and a Check, Please! fic too.

Me hanging out with friends and writing a load of fanfic before the end of the year is like an annual thing at this point.

Another thing that I realized this past week, is that I went past 1,000,000 posted words on AO3, which actually surprised me. I haven't been writing as much fanfic this year as I had in the past few. So I knew I was getting close, but I didn't think I would hit such a milestone this year.

Anyways, once I'm back at my own place Friday, I'll be initiating a massive tidy up/get rid of things drive and going through the Spark Joy process as much as possible before I head back to work Wednesday next week. But if I'm lucky... I might get to write some more fanfic in my downtime.