September 23, 2023

Update Link: Watch Me Burn – Part 50

Happy Saturday! It’s cold and rainy here in NJ as we get the scraps of the tropical storm that was annoying North Carolina yesterday (or last night, I think). Going into the last week of September, I’m pleasantly surprised by not tired I am. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not a bucket of energy, lol, but my last district had me feeling June tired within a few weeks and it was like dragging myself across the finish line every Friday.  I miss my chaos demons in the 7th grade, my 6th graders losing their minds because dix-neuf sounds like “deez nuts” (19 in French), but I’m enjoying the older grades as well.

I’m also pretty happy by the progress I’ve made in FMT since school started. I wasn’t expecting to really do much of anything, but to manage three chapters during the work week? Pretty great. When baseball ends, I’ll have even more time. (But let’s hope for a deep October postseason run for my Phillies!)

Fun GH Trivia note: I was looking through my old CD sleeves for a Backstreet Boy foreign important single (my 90s girls know what I’m saying), and I found my Scott Clifton CDs!! I forgot about these, lol. He played Dillon in 2003-07 and had a brief career as an indie artist. He sold a trio of CDs through his website and I snapped every single one up because your girl is the OG stan. I watched Bold for like 3 weeks this summer, and it took me like six episodes to hate Liam because, well, it’s SCOTT. Anyway, I am now binging on these old gems 🙂

I’ll see you guys on Tuesday for the next update of Signs of Life. We’re starting to get into the middle part of the story where I added most of the new material, and there’s some really good Liason stuff coming up in the wake of the PCPD search warrant debacle that I can’t wait for you guys to read!

September 21, 2023

Update Link: Signs of Life, Chapter 15

Hope everyone is having a good week! I’m feeling good considering it’s Wednesday, and I’ve already written two chapters of FMT. I don’t know if anyone remembers last September when I promised Flash Fiction updates and editing on Counting Stars and basically did NOTHING the entire month, lol. I don’t know if it’s just easier with a 2 minute commute, not running lunch duty EVERY day, or the shorter classes, or maybe just the switch in district — I just feel like I have things mostly under control. Which is…not my normal September, lol. Let’s hope this holds! I know I can’t write tomorrow — Back to School Night for me, but I feel good about Friday.

See you on Saturday for Flash Fiction!

September 19, 2023

Update Link: Signs of Life – Chapter 14

I hope everyone’s week got off to a good start. We had a bit of a rainy, bleak Monday and I caught an eye infection to complement all my other health problems (at last count, it was herniated discs in the neck, TMJ, pulsatile tinnitus, tendonitis of the rotator cuff, and bursitis in my left foot), and now my tooth hurts. But that last one is on me — I was supposed to have my wisdom teeth out last summer — but it was scheduled for the day before Lauren’s memorial, so I had to cancel. I figured I’d do it in the summer, and then I lost my insurance. So…we’re figuring it out, lol.

Anyway, forget my health problems, let’s talk about the good stuff 🙂

Crimson Glass turns 21 today! I opened my fanfiction archive on September 19, 2002, and for once I sort of remembered it! Not in time to do anything about it, but I did remember it! I can’t believe all these years later I’m still writing fanfiction for this couple and this ridiculous soap opera. It’s been a crazy journey.  I thought I’d take a walk down memory lane and talk about my writing journey, highlighting writing from different stages of my career to remind myself where I started, and how far I’ve gone.

In the Beginning, 2002-03

I remember sitting in the cafeteria at Camden County College as an 18-year-old kid completely in over their head outside of high school, and failing miserably because I couldn’t quite manage my classes or assignments. I probably should have studied, but I wrote fanfiction instead.  Sometimes I go back and read that early stuff and I cringe, but mostly, I look at it as part of the learning process.  If you’re interested in some of that early stuff, check out some links below:

  • The Sisters: The second story, Sweet Revenge, actually contains the earliest writing. I had a story, Deserving, that I rewrote into this series. I never liked this series, and I always wanted to go back to rewrite the summer of 2002.  Bittersweet comes close, but I really still want to rewrite the OG Luis Alcazar story.
  • Surviving the Past: Probably my best of the early stuff. It’s overwritten in a lot of areas, and not a great effort at a hybrid AU/AH, but I always think of it fondly.
  • When You’re Done: One of my earliest Flash Fictions! The Canvas launched this genre for me, and I think it’s crazy to go back and look at how far I’ve come in writing for 60 minutes.

Figuring It Out, 2003-04

My first foray into college didn’t last very long. I failed out during the spring semester. I really didn’t have the maturity or academic skills to handle college, so I took some time off and went to work in 2004. I kept writing, but I didn’t often finish stories. I was always starting them and losing interest a few chapters in. But I was starting to get a little bit better at writing, I think, and the stories I finished were decent enough.

  • Take Me By The Hand: Probably my best writing of this period, written in May 2003. Like a lot of things from this era, it’s underdeveloped in some areas and overwritten in others, but I’m still really happy with it and can reread it without (much) wincing.
  • I Shall Believe: Probably my most popular story from this era, written in the fall of 2003. There’s a lot I like about this story — I played with pairings I’ve never written again: Lorenzo/Carly, Brian/Courtney, Lucas/Sage (prior to his coming out). Ironically, I think Liason is probably the pairing that I’m not happy with, but I found my rhythm somewhere along the way.
  • She’ll Be Gone: A short story about Faith Roscoe. It got picked up by a GH blog who was searching for Faith’s husband’s first name (I named him Mickey and just kept it forever lol). They said some nice things and I got new readers. I wish I’d saved it!

Returning From My First Writing Break, 2005-2007

I got my job in May 2004, and couldn’t watch GH any more except on Soapnet which I was terrible about. I dipped in and out, but mostly out because 2004 wasn’t a great year for GH, and 2005 didn’t get better. I did write the first version of Mad World (in the Fiction Graveyard now) but mostly stayed on the boards. Then I got a DVR in August 2005 and came back for what ended up being GH’s last golden age with Manny Ruiz, Patrick Drake, Liason’s return, the Zaccharas, Kate Howard, ah, such a good time! And my favorite period of writing because I really think I came back a stronger writer.

  • Sanctuary: The second, and better, of my two Scrubs fic. 2006 gave me so many story ideas, and it was a really fun time writing for both couples. Until I got banned at the Scrubs board for defending Liz too, uh, much. (Profanity was involved, if I recall right). I never wrote another Scrubs focused fic, but you know Patrick is never far from my heart.
  • The Witness: An absolutely bonkers story that was a lot of fun to write. If I wrote it now, it’d be 50 chapters, lol.
  • Daughters: I began this in December 2005, and it’s the only story that I brought back in 2014 and didn’t just rewrite. I made some light edits, then finished the story. One of my favorite AUs.

Going Back To College And Nearly Quitting GH

After the biotoxin story, I was starting to lose interest in GH again. They’d broken up Liason, and I felt like we were heading back to LL2 and JaSam which I was annoyed about because I just felt like there wasn’t story left to tell. Then Claire Coffee (Nadine) left, and Megan Ward was taken off contract (OG Kate). What finally made me dip out for good was Nikolas grabbing Liz and kissing her to prove a point to Rebecca. I just wasn’t at all interested. Plus, I was back in school. I went back to Camden County in the fall of 2008 and turned around my academic life, becoming an honors student. I graduated with my associates in 2009, and transferred to Rutgers-Camden where I stayed until 2013. I didn’t write at all during this period, and after Jake was killed off, I actually felt like I’d never come back. CG went briefly offline when I let the original domain expire, but I tossed it back up on a different site.

And then something strange happened in 2012. I started watching GH again. Because, ha, Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati were at GH now, and I’d liked their run at OLTL. The irony. I started watching again with the poisoned water crisis. Ron’s writing has its issues, but he mostly made me happy, and I was back in again. But I wasn’t writing yet. That came later. I was too busy with college, friends, family (the siblings started reproducing! Olivia in 2010, Isla in 2012, Nolan (my sister) & Mackenzie (my brother) in 2014!)

Then I moved to London, and I wasn’t with my family anymore, and only had my two best friends. I thought…I’m still watching GH (torrenting back then because Hulu wasn’t available in the UK and didn’t carry GH at that point).

So…now we come to the next chapter.

Writing Again — Sometimes (2014-2018)

When I first started writing again, of course, I started by looking at stories I’d left unfinished and with the exception of Daughters, I decided to start fresh. I rewrote two stories, and started two more longer stories.

  • Shadows: I rewrote this story (the OG is in the Fiction Graveyard) and it really gave me the courage to think that I could actually do this again. It was a shorter novella, but I was happy with it.
  • A Few Words Too Many: An angsty mess and a rewrite of Poisonous Dreams (also in Fiction Graveyard), it was my first novel and I wrote it in a month. There are definitely pieces I’d rework, and I’d add more of Jason’s POV earlier on, but I honestly love it.
  • The Best Thing: I say it all the time, but this one of the best stories I ever wrote it, and until Mad World, it’s my best Sonny story. I really pushed myself to be better writing both Jason and Sonny, and it taught me a lot about both of their characters — and Carly’s.

Full Circle (2018-Present)

Until 2018, I was still writing the way I had back in the old days. Writing a few chapters and posting them. I was doing more prep work and planning before I wrote to ensure I’d finish stories, but I wrote and posted The Best Thing over a period of two years! And Bittersweet — I posted 8 chapters, stopped, posting a bunch more, then stopped — it was that story that told me that I had to change my approach because I stopped to do a massive rewrite of a major story point.

Since Mad World Book 1, I complete everything I write before posting — and I do extensive rewrites and edits. I’d say my novels are slower to go up — but they end up being much better, and sometimes even longer. Plus, with the addition of Flash Fiction, I think we do okay here.

I’m proud of everything I’ve written over these last five years, but I’ll highlight my favorites.

  • Mad World: It goes without saying that this is my favorite work, my most ambitious (at least until FMT is done). Four books that began with a narrow focus on the Jason/Elizabeth/Sonny/Carly piece of the world and end up extensively rewriting most of the show. Sometimes I can’t believe I actually did it.
  • Death Becomes Her: The first of a trilogy of murder mysteries I wrote for GHWhoDunIt (Death By Moonlight & Karma being the others). These were so much fun to write and plot, even though I definitely went overboard.
  • Fool Me Twice: Another insane ambitious project. Book 2 has been a struggle to write, but as I push towards the end of my first round of rewriting, I’m really proud of what I’ve written so far and what I’m trying to accomplish. I might miss the mark, but I’m glad I’m trying.
  • Flash Fiction: Everything I’ve written on this page since 2020 when I relaunched this project. In three years, I’ve written SO MUCH and it’s been an absolute blast!

The Future

I don’t know how much longer we’ll have General Hospital in our lives, airing every week day. I want to believe it’s forever because it’s always been there, in the background, always there when I needed something to fill my time. I don’t think we’ll ever see our couple back together the way we deserve, and we certainly never got the story Steve & Becky deserved either. I hope, in some small way, I’ve filled the gap and brought a smile to your face for the last 21 years.

I hope to continue writing my mix of novels and flash fiction, though I’d love to mix in more short stories. (I’m just terrible at being concise! Everything I write ends up being 50 chapters!) If you’ve been with me since the beginning or just found me this year, I love and appreciate everyone.

Take care of yourself and everyone you love. We never have the time we expect or deserve, and you’ll never go wrong telling people what they mean to you in the moment.

See you on Thursday!

September 17, 2023

Update Link: Maybe This Time – Part 1

I woke up to the heartbreaking news that Billy Miller had passed away. Billy played Drew on GH, but of course, he was also an alumnus of Y&R and AMC, and it was just some really sad news to see first thing. I loved Billy so much, and I always had hopes he’d come back, and we might still get to Drew really developed into a full character. He was such a joy to watch in every scene. One of the reasons I was really moved to write FMT was the wish to see more from Drew and his life the way we never got on the show because I’d wanted to see Billy shine the way he did that first year as Jake Doe. Thinking of him, and all those who loved him today.

Before I could really face diving back into FMT today, I just wanted to cheer myself up with just a bit of a fluff, and I thought we could all use the pick me up today.  It’s something I’d been playing with since I finished Scars last year — just doing quick little flash fiction writes of scenes from that universe now that Jason and Elizabeth have twins and how they’d deal with it. I figure if you guys want to read more, you can tell me what scenes you’d like to read, and I’ll toss a quick 20-30 minute writing session at them.

Today, I wrote for 30 minutes. I hope you like it. Take care of yourself and make sure to tell the people you love what they mean to you. We never have all the time we expect or deserve.

September 16, 2023

Updated: Watch Me Burn – Part 49

Hope everyone had a good week! I went to urgent care on Thursday, and the doctor thinks it’s tendonitis of the rotator cuff which is probably best case scenario if there’s something actually wrong. He wants me to try to limit use for a week, ice, and then see how it feels. If it’s better, continue; if not, make an appointment with an orthopedic doctor. I swear, my luck is shit.

Anyway — I didn’t quite make my 25 minute sprints every day, but I did manage to edit three more chapters. I got lucky and ran into a group of chapters where I could actually use material from my first draft which helped boost my mood. I made some storyline tweaks that mean I have to rework some of my existing scenes heavier than planned, but I can use lots of pieces.

Work is, uh, well, I’m settling in. I’m teaching the preliminary unit which I’ve worked with a thousand times since it’s my sixth grade unit tweaked and elevated. I was able to use a lot of my instructional materials and just clean them up and add more speaking opportunities. I’m not really wild about my department chair because she’s never taught French before, and it’s like — she can’t imagine there’s another perspective or teaching style. You can’t teach Spanish and French using the exact same style — kids have different exposure levels to these languages, and they’re more comfortable with Spanish because they hear it more in the world. I’ve been doing this just as long as she has in a different school. She’s going out on maternity leave for most of the year next month, so I’m just going to keep my head down, teach the way I know works, and let the results speak for themselves. Anyway.

September 14, 2023

Update Link: Signs of Life – Chapter 13

Hope everyone is having a good week! I managed to edit two chapters of Fool Me Twice on Monday, but haven’t finished another yet. I did something to my shoulder back in late August when I cleaned out my classroom. I had to catalog 200 old Spanish textbook, and I moved them into piles — I probably should have done it over a few days, but I was angry, so I did it in one day. I was a little sore everywhere afterwards, so I figured whatever. But three weeks later — I still can’t really lift my left arm above my shoulder, and I’m left-handed, so I’m constantly moving it. I did a video call with a doctor today who thinks it might be the rotator cuff which sounds terrible. I’m going to urgent care tomorrow — they can write me a script for an x-ray so I can find out. I’m so irritated, lol.

Anyway, don’t know what’s going to happen with that. Let’s hope it’s nothing.

See you on Saturday for another Flash Fiction update!

September 12, 2023

Update Link: Signs of Life – Chapter 12

Hope everyone’s week got off to a good start. My Monday definitely did. I made a list of what needed to be done at work, and then…it actually got done at work. Wild. I think something that’s really helping so far is that I don’t have a duty like last year. My department at the last district was stuck with the lunch duty schedule — we ran the cafeteria, lunch detention, and dealt with bathroom duty. Absolutely the most miserable of schedules and always exhausting. I have seven classes this year, but I’d rather have that than run another cafeteria.

I didn’t even do any work when I got home today — do you know how rare that is for me??? I mean, I could have but I didn’t feel like I needed to. Won’t always be like this, but definitely hoping it’s the start of good stuff.

I wrote over the weekend — finished a chapter and I’m actually hoping to finish off two more chapters of FMT tonight. The next two chapters were mostly edited scenes so I only had to do some light work and write three scenes. I have two more to do, which I’m about to do now! (I write these posts the night before.)

I’m really excited to get into the next group of chapters for Signs of Life. If you guys remember — I had a plan for this series back in the day, and then I wrote the scene where Alexis suggested a marriage of convenience, and the story went crazy after that. I added A LOT of a material after we get through the wedding chapters.

See you on Thursday!

September 9, 2023

Update Link: Watch Me Burn – Part 48

First Saturday of the year, and I am exhausted. I have seven classes, and just over 110 students a day. Which right now feels insane because I used to have 50-60 kids to meet on the first day in just three classes. I mostly know all the kids now after four days, but it was a lot. I know I’m going to feel the difference in a month or two when I don’t have to start over with new kids two or three times, but it’s a bit overwhelming right now. And this week was particularly rough because the projector didn’t work for two days, and my two curriculum supervisors couldn’t get on the same page about which program I was going to use and my second subject, Freshman Seminar, was treated like the previous teachers as a throwaway class where things were just…figured out on the fly — I’m tired, lol.

All of that has been figured out, and I’m going to be working this weekend and during the work day next week to get myself into a good routine and prepped. But it was definitely an interesting challenge.

Anyway, as expected, I did not write at all and by Thursday, I dragged myself home and actually took a nap. But Friday — I made an excellent choice. I decided my French classes would just be media related — listening/watching French media and having kids react. Which really lets me take a breath and reset. And then my Seminar class is going to be Current Events. Basically, I’m going to find a way to make Friday as low key as possible, so I can go into the weekend without that extra level of exhaustion, and I feel the difference already.

But this week we’ll start slowly working writing back into the evening schedule! I’ll keep you in the loop when I update Signs of Life.

See you on Tuesday!

September 7, 2023

Update Link: Signs of Life – Chapter 11

Hope you’re all having a good week! It’s Wednesday night, and I’ve completed my first two days. Not exactly sure how I feel, to be honest. My projector hasn’t worked which has limited my instruction — my French program relies on, you know, French audio and visuals. And even though I thought we’d agreed on a program for me to use with my class this year, my instructional supervisor is changing it AGAIN after I’ve started teaching, so I had to prep for a meeting tomorrow where I kindly tell her that she selected a Spanish program that’s comprehensive (but still has its defects because its assessments aren’t actually aligned with NJ standards), and its companion French program is, uh, trash.  The Spanish program has 27 units which sustains a middle school program and four years of high school. The French program has 9 units which is…one year. So how do I say “You’re an idiot” without saying it? That’s what you get when you buy curriculum from TeachersPayTeachers without researching it.  Still working on the diplomatic approach. I’ll let you know how that works out.

Anyway, the projector is supposed to be fixed, and I’m pretty sure my supervisor doesn’t actually know anything about French, so I’ll just do what I want and hope they appreciate it later. (Or that she agrees with me tomorrow). Anyway, hope you enjoy this update!

See you on Saturday for the next Flash Fiction update!

September 5, 2023

Update Link: Signs of Life – Chapter 10

By the time you’re reading this, I may or may not be surviving my first day teaching high school French. Cross your fingers for me. I’ll let you know when I check in during the next chapter on Thursday.

This chapter is new, but I think I posted it as a previous chapter sometime last month, but it was not in the original flash fiction. So enjoy and let me know what you think!