level 25 + Fandom Resolutions 2014

A happy birthday to me and a happy belated New Year to the rest of you! Sorry for the delay in the usual resolutions post; had some ironing out to do with respect to said resolutions. Let’s get a few other updates get out of the way first:

First of all, I’ve decided that I’m going to discontinue the 718 project, a.k.a. that one-shot-per-evolution-line project that most of you probably forgot was a thing. The fics themselves will remain up, of course, and I’ll continue writing individual one-shots as time and inspiration permits (I do have a few ideas bouncing around currently that would’ve been for 718 and are still perfectly good on their own, for example), but there’s a sense of obligation that comes with calling this a “project” and I’d rather not have it hanging over my head any longer. It’s been neglected for long enough and my attention is better spent on other goals.

718 mini, on the other hand, I fully intend to keep up with. I should also point out that I’m going to change its name (again) to 721 mini to reflect the actual number of existing Pokémon as of Gen VI. That was my intent when I first announced the switch from 649 to 718, but at the time I thought I’d hold out a little longer just in case there were a significant number of people who remained blissfully unspoiled. I apologize if you were one of the few folks who hadn’t yet heard that there are three hidden event Pokémon in X and Y and I’ve just ruined that for you. If you still don’t know what those three Pokémon actually are, however, rest assured that I won’t be writing about them yet and you can continue to hold out until the official reveal. Not that I could write fics for them seeing as we know so little worth writing about, but still. No further spoilers here!

(The Fanfiction page has been updated to reflect these changes. If I screwed up any links or anything, let me know.)

I’m trying to get that “write 100+ words every day” thing back up and running again, and so of course that means that the newly-christened 721 mini has a bunch of updates for you! (Well, maybe not “of course” given my track record, but I’ve been pretty good about it so far! Not every day of writing has gone toward this project, nor are all of them currently presentable, but there’s still a fair bit here!) New drabbles are up for Rapidash, Grimer, Electrode, Cubone, Marowak, Togetic, Swinub, Shedinja, Bagon, Glameow, Purugly, Rotom, Swoobat, Maractus, Yamask, Escavalier, Alomomola, Accelgor, Braixen, Frogadier, Fletchling, Aegislash and Klefki. Whew!

That’s the updates sorted, then. Now for the fun part: the annual self-deprecating whining and valiant but likely vain efforts to have less to whine about by the end of this year!

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A quiet birthday

Six years, man. Six years I’ve been poking away, slowly and not very steadily, at this silly little corner of the internet. I wish I could say I had an appropriate gift to commemorate the occasion, but all I’ve had the time to do recently is a backend thing that probably isn’t all that interesting for the rest of you. I made a few tweaks to the site so that fanfics are now considered their own type of post—they’re a bit easier for me to sort through on my end, they don’t get mixed in with the stream of regular posts anymore, at least unless I explicitly decide to make them show up again (if you scroll through the home page updates you’ll notice all the actual fanfic/drabble posts aren’t listed), they have a  better URL structure (/fanfics/fanfic-name rather than /year/month/fanfic-name) and in the future I’ll be able to change the layout of fanfic pages to something a little more custom with minimal fuss—show a different set of tag/category/recent post links, for example, or increase the line length so it’s not so narrow. Look, I know it’s thrilling but you need to at least try to contain your excitement. Don’t need you exploding all over my new fanfic setup.

…then again, six isn’t generally as big a deal as five, so maybe the low-key “gift” is not as unfortunate as it could’ve been. Ah, well. Now back to the struggle to get at least one more new bit of writing done before the year is out so there’s actually something to put in this newfangled categorization!

(And do let me know if you notice any problems while browsing through the fics! As with everything nice I try to do for AO I hit a bunch of snags while trying to set this up, and while I’m pretty sure I’ve taken care of all of them there’s always a chance that something is still fouled up. I do know that the links in the previous posts announcing fic updates are broken because I didn’t adjust them to the new URLs out of laziness, but if anything else is wrong, tell me and I’ll try to fix it!)

Server move complete + 718 mini + new artwork

If you’re seeing this post, the server move is complete! Welcome! There were a few hiccups here and there but I’m pretty sure everything’s settled. Thanks for your patience while I packed everything up and moved to my new internets home.

Now that the gallery is no longer messed up I am finally able to update the Fanart page with some pictures of Swanna, Mega Mewtwo Y and Goomy, so if you didn’t already see those on my Tumblr you can check them out here. I also added two new drabbles for Fennekin and Espurr, and as you can guess based on their debut and the title of this update that means that 649 mini (and, by extension, the poor, neglected 649) have finally had their names changed. From now until whenever Gen VII mozies on in and messes everything up again, these projects will be known as 718 and 718 mini.

Now to attend to a few other things, relax a little and then commence panicking about what I’m going to do for AO’s sixth birthday in a little over a week. Ciao!

Server move… again

Hey everyone! Nothing new to report on the content front just yet, but I am going to be changing hosts for what is hopefully the last time in a good while. This host works just fine for what I’m currently doing, but the new host will give me more space and make it easier to… experiment with certain other projects I’ve been wanting to try out.

As such, there’s the usual chance that things will be down later this week (Thursday-Friday-ish) as domains propagate and files move and all that fancy stuff. Hopefully everything will go smoothly, but if not, you can try checking my Tumblr and see if I’ve made any progress updates there. Sorry for the inconvenience, and see you all on the other side! Probably with a few new pictures, too, now that the gallery seems to be unborkened at long, long last.

649 mini + more ficbits + the Big Project, whoops

A double apology, first off, because not only has Altered Origin been sitting dormant since April but I somehow failed to mention that the too-often-teased “Big Project” is finally done. And has been for over three months. Uuuuuggggh.

But yes: after nearly two years of hard work, stalling, hard work, complications, stalling and last-minute panic, Pokémon Turquoise is finally open. In a nutshell, it’s a forum-based RP in which you can explore the New Logora region from the Phoenixdex and catch all of its fancy fakemon and stuff. It’s pretty casual (no paragraph requirements or anything) and easy to pick up, and there’s going to be some expansion into additional new regions in the near future, so do come give it a look if that sounds like it’d be up your alley! (I’ll also add Turquoise to the Network dropdown in the menu as soon as I can figure out why that’s acting up now.)

After five+ months of silence I only have three additional 649 mini stories, but they’re finally uploaded: see Ivysaur’s here, and Tangela and Gyarados’s here. In brighter news, I did make a teensy bit of headway on some possible fanfic ideas a few weeks ago; you can see some excerpts from those in the post immediately preceding this one. How much further I’ll get with those, especially the first one, remains to be seen, but in the meantime they’re not half bad (if I do say so myself) and they’re a little meatier than all those dinky drabbles.

Part of the reason things have been so quiet is that I finally landed an actual job, and on top of the full-time hours it has a lengthy commute that doesn’t leave me quite as much free time as I’d anticipated. I fully intend for AO to remain open and sharing some kind of content for as long as possible, however, so I’ll do my best to make do with the free time I have and get around to fixing some of the site’s issues and, hopefully, getting back on track with something resembling regular updates.

Ficbits the Sixth: Potential Pokémon Projects

*gasp* Writing? Writing pieces that are greater than 100 words in length, even? Witchcraft!

Against all odds I did manage to write a few scenes and snippets of some potential/very early WIP fanfics, and because they’re (hopefully) not too bad I thought I’d put them up here. Knock some of the dust off the site, as it were. I’ve settled for calling them both “ficbits” for now even though one of them is an entire scene unto itself (and will probably be relabeled a one-shot should I decide against going all the way with the full story).

The first excerpt (the full scene) is from a possible shortish chapterfic tentatively titled The Best at Second-Best, which is looking like some kind of journeyfic-esque character study of Blue/the FRLG rival. The second is from a one-shot of currently unknown length that is going to be called something like Storm the Tower. I actually don’t want to talk much about the latter for reasons, but I like this part and figured I’d post it anyway.

Of course, the simple fact that I’ve even mentioned my fic projects in a publicly visible space has probably just jinxed them square into the “nope never gonna go anywhere” pile, but ah, well. At least it’s something. Writing practice is writing practice, and I’ll take what I can get.

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*incoherent frustrated grumbling*

…dammit.

I don’t have any excuses, aside from that if it’s any consolation the Big Project is tantalizingly close to being done. Actually keeping up with any writing or any progress on anything else at all has been like pulling teeth, although I did at least write six more 649 mini stories in February: Ariados, Pineco, Swellow, Sealeo, Shelmet and Genesect. (Man that is a lot of bugs. Huh.) I was hoping to post them in the usual batch of ~ten, but since it’s been well over a month since I wrote those and the other four are nowhere to be found… yeah.

Also, as a sidenote, there still appear to be some issues, mostly on my end, with the fanart gallery (+ the other stuff that uses the same interface like the sparkly lists and the free renders page). It’s gotten to the point where I think I might need to change how I’m handling it entirely; I hope not because that’s a lot of rearranging and reuploading and rewriting descriptions to do, but it may end up that way. I really need to focus on the final stretch of the Big Project for now, but once I can finally put all this grand opening nonsense behind me I’ll hopefully have more time to troubleshoot (and to write, of course). Once the troubleshooting is done I have at least two more pictures to upload to the gallery, too.

In the meantime, if you are continually frustrated by the lack of new things to read, my old affiliate 6th Floor is back under a new name—Lavender Town—and is going strong again, so you can drop by there and check out some creepypastas while you wait for me to not be totally inadequate.

649 mini updates + 649, maybe?

Fourteen new 649 mini drabbles today, almost all actually done something resembling on time, haha. There’re some updates to previous posts for Charmeleon, Caterpie, Pikachu, Kadabra and Liepard, and then new posts containing Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan, Furret, Wobbuffet, Skarmory, Tyrogue, Hitmontop, Sableye and Meditite. Whew! Hopefully this is only the first of many decent-sized updates to the thing. The new posts are currently missing tags because something seems to be wrong with the site’s backend, so I’ll have to fix that as soon as I know what’s going on there. (EDIT: Tag problem resolved now, though I did notice a separate problem with the fanart gallery in that its lightbox effect has stopped working. I’ve switched to a different lightbox temporarily so that the image captions are still visible.)

While I’m here, I’ll also say that I’m working on a full-size one-shot for 649 proper. The general idea is that it’ll be done by my birthday, partially so it can serve as my gift to myself and partially because I’d like it out of the way so I can start something else a little bigger on that day. I am doing a bit of work now and I do still have to hustle on the Big Project, but it shouldn’t be a terribly long story and I’m hoping I can pull it off. (Ideally with enough time left over to actually sit on it for a few days and proofread it properly so that the illogical shenaniganry that was My Oshawott Never Smiles doesn’t happen again.)

…guess I’m gonna have to rename these projects soonish, aren’t I? Damn you, Gen VI, damn you and the excruciating extra renaming effort you have heaped upon me. :P Hurry up and leak the full pokédex size so I can get that over and done with already.

649 mini updates + Fandom Resolutions 2013

Happy new year, everybody!

Got a few new drabbles for 649 mini, first off. Not as many as I’d have liked—so far I haven’t been very good with my “write every day” commitment, oops—but there are still six more to look at. I’ve added two for Charmander and Beedrill here, one for Absol here, and then new ones for Shellder, Riolu and Sawsbuck as well. Enjoy!

And, of course, it’s silly fandom resolution time again! Last year was… kind of hilariously bad! In the interest of not wanting to be as ashamed of myself come this time 2014, I’m going to keep things a little simpler this go-around. As such, I resolve to…

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My website is this many! *holds up five fingers*

EDIT2: There we go! Everything seems to be working now. The styleswitcher is located in the footer for the time being, as I said—I’ll find a more prominent position for it later—at the end of the menu and you now have both the Giratina style and a new Blaziken style to choose from. (Okay, not that new; it does borrow a little bit from a much older style from waaaaay back when.)

As always, let me know if something seems broken or mismatched. These styles will both look and behave their best in most modern browsers, though they should at least be functional in older ones. In particular I know there was an issue with Internet Explorer 7 and 8; I’m almost 100% sure I fixed it, but if I didn’t (and if you really, really, honestly can’t use any other better browser at all) then let me know how it’s broken and I’ll see what I can do about it.

EDIT: So I thought I’d fixed the layout and styleswitcher issues and so went ahead and set up the new layouts… only for the styleswitcher to stop working all over again. (The links are currently at the bottom of the page until I can figure out a better place to put them, although at the moment they don’t do anything.) It’s late now, though, so for the time being I’m just going to have to leave the site as it is. Enjoy the new (and long, long overdue considering the site’s name) Giratina layout for now, and I’ll see about fixing the styleswitcher at a reasonable hour so you can use the new version of the Blaziken layout instead if you want. Ugh.

It’s that time of year again, when AO’s birthday comes immediately after NaNo or some other similarly large endeavor and I have to scramble to scrape together something presentable for the occasion! I wasn’t able to scrape together quite as much as I would’ve liked—namely, I was at least hoping I’d be able to finish the webcomic rec list—but while this does feel a tad underwhelming for a fifth birthday I do have a few presents and announcements! More than last year, anyway, and a lot more than the first two years where I forgot AO’s birthday was a thing!

First, if I may direct your attention to the three posts immediately beneath this one, you’ll see evidence of a new little side project of mine. I call it 649 mini, as it’s sort of like 649 in that I’m writing something for every Pokémon except for the part where I mean every Pokémon instead of just every evolution line. It is also strictly for drabbles rather than the potentially-longer one-shots that are supposed to be 649′s focus. In general I need to get into the habit of writing more often, ideally daily and even when it’s not November, so I thought 100-ish words a day would be a nice way to start easing into it. And what better way to give myself motivation then to have most of those sets of 100 words be drabbles about the pokemans? (The self-imposed requirement is 100 words, not specifically “a Pokémon drabble”, so things that are not Pokémon and things that are not drabbles but parts of longer works will be written occasionally.) I’m not going to make a separate update every single time I have a new story, because that could turn into 649 updates nearly daily and that will clog the site up like whoa, but I will make a new post whenever I’ve collected a decent number (say, ten to fourteen or so). Also to prevent clogging like whoa I’ll be grouping them into thirteen posts of 50 drabbles each; whenever I add new ones, I’ll make an update pointing to the specific posts I’ve edited them into.

Yes, I realize that the Lillipup and Salamence drabbles were already posted earlier, but they’re perfectly good fics that fit the theme and it’s always nice to recycle! And hey, at least three-fifths of the stories I posted today were completely new!

Not as major, but I also made a few updates to some of the “sitely” boilerplateish pages. Some of them were a hair outdated, and I wanted to clarify a few things with respect to what the majority of the site’s content tends to be (broken promises). There are still a few other things that need touching up, like the affiliation requirements, but that can wait for a bit.

The big thing I really wanted to have ready for today was two new layouts and the re-return of a styleswitcher with which one might choose between them. The layouts are technically done, but unfortunately a combination of styleswitcher drama and some other issues means that I’m not going to have them up by the end of the day (which is in 30 minutes anyway). Soon, though!

This is not directly related to AO or its birthday, but I won NaNo again, albeit just barely and after several setbacks. I ended up working on both the Golden Sun one-shot collection thing and a Pokémon chapterfic I’ve been bouncing around lately. As usual, neither is in any state to be viewed by anyone who doesn’t want the horrible awfulness to inflict physical pain upon their person, but I’ll be working on making them decent. The Pokémon fic, semi-tentatively titled A Tale of Arilterra (the originality, it burns), is also something of a… worldbuilding project, if you will, so there might be additional non-fanfic-related content that goes with it in the future. We’ll see!

This is also not directly related to AO or its birthday, but rather than take a bit of time to relax after the rollercoaster that is NaNo I’m plunging right into a different month-long project—”ArtMo”, an artwork-a-day-in-December challenge that I’m following along with on my Tumblr. You’re welcome to check in over there if you want to see what I spew out; most of it will probably not be completely polished artwork as I’m using ArtMo as an excuse to practice, but there may be some things like new Phoenixdex concepts and even, if we’re lucky, some previewish stuff relating to A Tale of Arilterra! Oooh, nifty! I am currently technically behind thanks to the aforementioned birthday scrambling, but I’ll see about getting the pictures for days 2 and 3 up before I hit the hay. Gotta try a few more things with the layouts first. :/

Dang, man… five whole years. Sure doesn’t feel like it, heh. (Maybe it would feel a little more “like it” if I had updated more frequently.)

New layouts will be uploaded as soon as they stop being meaniefaces and actually work! Until then, enjoy, and happy fifth birthday, Altered Origin!