Author Archives: TiffanyCrystal

Secret Project!

Navigation links are where they’re supposed to be, the pages have all been updated, the only thing left to do is get the layout sorted out – which I’m sure is going to be a headache and a half – which means…

Secret Project!

When I was a kid, I used to get into my parents’ book collection, and one of the more interesting items in their personal library was the ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books. I don’t think they make those anymore – I haven’t seen any, anyway, and these days, having it in an actual book format seems so limited. We have the internet, peoples, and it is vast. Why not make a full-on web-serial where the reader chooses what happens next?

And this was born.

Now, I am still working out the details. I have a few ideas of where to start; my first thought was to start it in my Zombie world, but I’m not opposed to starting a new world, either. No matter what option I go with, I need to work out a way to keep the storyline straight so I don’t end up with conflicting plot points, depending on what selection a person makes further down the line. It is a massive undertaking, and I want to do it right. 

I probably won’t be giving you much, in terms of updates, on this project until the beginning of April, at the earliest. We have way too much going on at work and – being completely honest here, there’s a huge update to The Sims 4 coming out mid-March and I’m already planning on taking vacation time just so I can binge-play it (I would say not to judge me, but I don’t even care. The update has been a long time coming, so judge me all you like). There is also the layout work that is probably going to destroy what little bit is left of my soul. And editing. Oh, the editing. That’s going to be fun *sarcasm*. 

So there you have it. Big project in the works and lots of little projects to keep it company. I’ll keep you all updated the best I can. 

If you all have any suggestions on what you’d see for a ‘choose your own adventure’ option, drop it below, send it on twitter, or, heck, click on the ‘contact me’ link. No promises that your idea will make it to the selection, but I’m very much open to suggestions 🙂

Not yet!

This week was supposed to be when I announced the “super secret” project, but it’s taking longer than expected to get it all ironed out. Hey lookit me though, not just jumping into something only half-baked! Progress! Growth! Who’d’a’thunkit. 

I am hard at work on it though. Gathering ideas, information, thinking of how I’m going to be able to implement it without messing up the blog or making the Ao3 Mod-Gods mad at me…for something that should be fairly straightforward, this is turning into a tangled nightmare. I am very excited to share it when it’s ready though. 

No title because no brain.

So much to do, so little time to do it. I’ve been working on the site on my regular work days, trying to treat this as just another part of the job. I think it’s been working out pretty well. It gives me time to do what I love during the work week and my days off. On that note, however…

I’m almost done with the big revamps. The novels page is taking longer than expected because there’s just so much to it – individual pages for each work, chapter previews, etc. – but I’m expecting to done with it by the end of this work week. After that, it’ll be cleaning up the other pages and working on the layout, itself. I think I’ll probably work on writing while I’m working on the layout. It’ll give me something to focus on when I’m losing my patience with the stupid wordpress builder. Now, all I have to do is finish figuring out the rest of the details on my “super secret” writing project…and figure out how to mention it on Ao3 without them being all “ugh” about it.

Block head.

So I just want to take a moment to grumble about WordPress’ site builder nonsense. I mean, could they possibly make it any less user-friendly? The blocks are an improvement, I guess, but they could definitely do with some refinement. Also, moving around pages should not be this difficult. There are plugins that would make things easier, but they all require you to have a business account, and I am nowhere near established enough to be taking on that kinda investment. 

WordPress grumbling aside, I should have some writing project news next week. Some details are ironed out, but not all. It’s a big undertaking, so I want to make sure I have all of my ducks in a row. Getting everything moved around isn’t done, but I focused on fixing navigation this week. On that note, I think I have all of the broken links and whatnots taken care of, but if you come across any I missed, please let me know. 

In the clear, back to work.

So, according to the thyroid doctor, I’m in the clear for now. He doesn’t want to see me again for a year. I still have a whole host of other doctor appointments to get out of the way – my energy levels are low – but it’s good to have one less worry on the mind.

Site renovations are taking longer than expected because I simply cannot make up my mind about how I want it organized. I definitely understand why some people wait until they can afford to hand off the website stuff to people who get paid to do it, but I am also self-aware enough to know that I am too much of a control freak to do that, even if I could. It’s an issue. I’m working on it. In the meantime…

All vignettes have been moved to their own page. Same with the ridiculous amount of microfiction I churned out when I was more active on Twitter and the flashfiction that was scattered willy-nilly around the blog. Novels are next, but they’re going to take a lot of work and even more patience. Until they’re done, the link for them has been taken down. I’m hoping to have them back up before my next “weekend.” 

I’m looking forward to finishing this up so I can move on to the layout and then get back to writing. There are so many interesting writing prompts going around right now…

NaNo snippet

Hard at work on the site stuff now. Haven’t been to the doctor yet, but figured I’d share a snippet from my NaNo project. Enjoy 🙂

She watched him go, sunlight bathing his dark skin and turning his black hair blue wherever it touched, then made her way to the center of the clearing, where a small spring bubbled up from the earth, surrounded by wildflowers. Dropping to her knees next to it, she submerged her hands in the cold water, sucking in a breath as the ice-cold water met her hot skin. Shifting her body back so she was leaned over her knees in a low bow, she let her head come to rest on the ground and focused on her breathing. With every exhale, she could feel the anger and frustration flow from her body, down through her hands and into the water.

She lost track of time as she stayed in that position, grounding all of the negative energy she had let build up too far, but eventually, she became aware that the water was now warm, and she was no longer alone by the spring. Keeping her hands in the water, she turned her head so it was no longer her forehead, but her cheek, resting on the ground. 

Alex had re-entered the clearing and was standing guard over her prostrate form, eyes constantly skimming the skies and treeline.

On a whim, she reached for her lanai and sank her consciousness into the earth. The flowers around her lit up in her mind and the wind brushing through the treetops tickled against her skin. Underneath it all, she felt him.

Watch your step!

Only a few updates to the site so far. There are a lot of broken links and missing stories, I know. I’m working on it. I did warn you all that the site’s a mess. On the plus side though, I have the (probable) name of the next book in The Survivor Chronicles figured out, and I might have a project coming out later in the year. It’s going to depend on a lot though.

For the TL;DR crowd: dealing with another possible cancer scare (yay!), and possibly more writing coming much sooner than expected.

For the full story crowd:

Seriously, if I hear the word “cancer” or “oncology” directed at me one more time

For those of you who have followed along with the blog at all, you know I had a tumor removed behind my eye back in 2017 (which reminds me, I need to set up an appointment to follow up on that…yay, more eye puns!). Well, for the past several years, my family and I have suspected that my thyroid doesn’t work right. I finally got around to seeing a doctor for it, and she sent me over to a specialist. As it turns out, I have “lesions” on my thyroid (I think they’re basically tumors?). Whether or not they’re cancerous, we don’t know. I have a pretty severe reaction to needles coming near me, so I haven’t been able to sit through a biopsy on them. Instead, we’re taking the “wait and see” approach, because – normally – if the lesions are malignant, they grow fast enough to see within a couple of months. If the lesions have shown any signs of growth in this next visit, we’ll have to assume that it’s malignant, and they may just vote to take the whole thing out. I was supposed to find out the week before Christmas, but my roommate came down Covid, and then I was down with that and bronchitis (I am so glad I’m triple-vaxxed). We finally kicked it, but now I’m dealing with a sinus infection, so everything is a bit slow going.

On top of that, I was dealing with fluid on my lungs. Or, actually, fluid on just one of my lungs. We’re not entirely sure why. The most common cause for it – according to google – is congestive heart failure. I have no other symptoms of CHF, however, and – again, according to google – CHF usually involves a “pleural effusion” (the fancy word for ‘fluid on the lungs’) on both lungs, or the right lung. Mine showed up on the left, so I should be in the clear on that, but the next most common cause? Cancer. The other causes range from a simple infection to pneumonia or a blood clot in the lung.

The good news is, the effusion is cleared up, so that’s one big issue down. The thyroid appointment has been rescheduled for next week, so hopefully I’ll have good news to share next time around. In the meantime, I’ve had to buy a heating pad cause the muscles from my neck to my hips are jacked up from all the coughing I’ve been doing. 

I can’t tell you the name of the upcoming zombie book, because I want to make sure all of my “I”s are dotted and “T”s crossed, and the project I’m thinking of taking on is still in baby steps of planning, but I’ll be sharing more as I get closer to something concrete.

Construction area ahead.

Dropping in to give you all a quick heads up on what I’m working on this week. I figure, first thing to do is take out the trash. I’m going through, deleting posts that are no longer needed, and changing some of the posts to pages. Just, you know house cleaning. It’ll be good for the site in the long run, but in the meantime, this is your warning that you may run into a few broken links. Please be patient while I get it all sorted out and rearranged. 🙂

Honestly, most of the posts this month are probably going to be updates on what’s going on with the site. Some people have a house to renovate, I have a website. This thing is a mess, and it’s past due for a good deep clean. 

For those of you wondering, the stories that I have posted aren’t being taken down. They’re just being moved to make it easier to locate them. When I do move on to writing, it’s probably going to be editing. I’ve already mentioned that “Don’t Feed the Trolls” will be getting a massive overhaul, but “Say ‘No!’ to Zombies” will also be getting a lookover. There shouldn’t be any big changes to “SNtZ” – mostly toning the language down to appeal to a broader audience (don’t worry, Shelly will still have her potty mouth – it’s just going to be a bit more refined in the way she uses it) – so I’ll probably work on that in between renovations. Since “Don’t Feed the Trolls” needs much more attention, it will probably hold off until much later in the year. 

To tide you over, I am opening myself to any questions you all might have. Whether it’s about the characters, the story, or something else entirely. Hit me with all the burning questions 🙂 (or the not-so-burning ones. Either/or!)

See ya later, Shel. (And goodbye, 2022.)

This is going to be a bit of a long post.

TL;DR: “Don’t Feed the Trolls” is finished; Ao3 is a pain in my butt; and I’m going to try to be more active in 2023.

Now for the long version.

  1. “Don’t Feed the Trolls”
     As I said, “Don’t Feed the Trolls” is done. It ends on a cliffhanger, but writing on it now feels like dragging it out. It needs some heavy revision, and I don’t plan for the finished version to look anything like what is currently vomited all over Ao3, so I most likely will not be taking it down from where it’s posted there.

    I would explain all that in the author’s note there, but Ao3 literally won’t let me. They flagged my account for having a link to buy “Say ‘No!’ to Zombies”, and even after I removed the links, they still “hid” the work just for talking about it being in the query stage. Apparently, you’re only allowed to post stories on Ao3 if you have no plans on trying to make it as an actual published author. It’s stupid and very stifling, but whatever. It’s the rules of the site, and I have to abide by them, no matter how stupid I find them, personally, as long as I’m posting there.

    (If you came here from the latest chapter of “Don’t Feed the Trolls”, this is what I meant about not being able to keep you all updated on what’s going on with the books.)

  2. Ao3 is a pain in my butt.
    See above. I mean, I get, kinda, not allowing links to buy the books. I still think it’s stupid, because if I sell books because I have an audience through Ao3, doesn’t it make sense that I would want to fund Ao3, and donate money to keep it going? After all, their success helps fuel my success, but that’s fine.

    Instead, I get to direct you all here, where I can give you proper updates, since Ao3 won’t let me do that, either (:

  3. 2023.
    I have basically been…not even half-assing, maybe a quarter-assing? this whole “I’m a writer” thing for the past several years. 2023 needs to be a year of change for that. I’m going to be spending time writing and/or working on getting this site actually functional, instead of just something that sits there and looks somewhat pretty. A lot of what that looks like, for now, is cleaning. Getting rid of old pages and posts that serve little to no purpose, reminding myself of what little HTML and coding I remember, and learning how the WordPress site editor works. It’s been a mess so far and it’s past time I buckled down and figured it out.

Personally, I’m quite excited about the changes I have planned. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but I kept flaking. Now, I know why I flaked so much, and I’m learning how to work around it. It’s still a bit of trial and error, but that’s better than just errors.

So, here’s to 2023, and maybe finally getting my act together – at least somewhat.

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