Fall 2020

It’s been a hard year (for everyone) and I’ve had this weird relationship with my writing that I’ve struggled with throughout Rough Trade events.

I feel deeply unproductive due to my messy approach to the RT events. It’s not true — I’ve written upwards of 400k this year though most of it was for the QB. I’m still very much looking forward to sharing that project with you guys. There’s a certain kind of freedom with the Quantum Bang that I’ve been exploring. I feel like both works I’ve produced for it (Unleash Your Demons & The Absence of War) are far and above my best fan fic works to date.

The fix-it theme resonates me with, of course. I mean one of the main reasons I really embraced fandom was the idea of fixing canon of the various fandoms I like to suit myself.

The one thing I’ve struggled with most this year is literally the desire to write. I am capable of it (I mean 400k speaks to that) but there have been times when the stress has been so much that I literally had no interest in writing. For someone who has been writing for 34 years, that’s a little disconcerting. I’ve never had a stress response exactly like this before.

Of course, there have been times in the past when I didn’t write–went for weeks without writing–due to illness or time constraints, or lack of inspiration but this current mindset is weird and difficult for me.

I’m in a very good place craft-wise and with my writing process. I should be the most productive I can be physically and yet I’m not.

I have a few projects to post on the site (my April RT, and last year’s QB for a start) and I’ll probably do that before the end of the year. I want to do a few tweaks to the Absence of War before I post which means updating the posts on the QB first. It’s just a few cosmetic issues so nothing plot changing or whatever.

I do have this cycle in my writing where I retreat in my WIP folder. When I was younger, I used to think I was searching for inspiration but lately, I’ve come to realize that the practice has become a reminder of my ability to create. I have over 100 works in progress because I’ve never, ever forced myself to work on a single thing.

I know writers who essentially punish themselves with a single work in progress–and they write on that one project or they write on nothing. Some are merely wired that way, but there are those who absolutely refuse to give themselves a single bit of freedom on the creativity front. Perhaps because they learned they’ll never finish anything if they do or merely because they fear that is the case. Maybe, they read some article once that told them that having more than one WIP is bad craft. I think I read that once but I immediately dismissed it as stupid.

Anyways, this year is almost over! I can’t say the stress is going to disappear in a few weeks because there are situations going on around us with long-term consequences. Still, I hope 2021 is a better year.

Also! I’d like to thank the Harry Potter Fanfiction Club Discord server for voting Harry Potter & the Soulmate Bond as the best Best Harmony story of the year! I really appreciate it and I’m sorry I missed the chat ceremony because I have the memory skills of an exhausted snidget and put the wrong date on my calendar! There is a link to the discord server below. So please feel free to check it out. It’s a very friendly and inclusive server. I felt comfortable from the very start.

Discord

Crossroads Discord Server – my personal server – fandom and social channels

Just Write – writing/work server, sprints, and wip games abound.

Harry Potter Fanfic Club — Harry Potter discord server, most pairings welcome (no underage allowed).

The Podcast

The podcast is now fully syndicated as far as I can tell. If I’m not hitting a major service/app you prefer feel free to comment here and let me know. I’ll certainly try to get my RSS feed fed into it. You can use the podcast player on my site as well without impacting my bandwidth at all so no worries on that front.

DONATIONS IN SUPPORT OF ROUGH TRADE THE WILD HARE PROJECT ARE ALWAYS WELCOME AND APPRECIATED.
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Keira Marcos

In my spare time, I write fanfiction and lead a cult of cock worshippers on the Internet. It's not the usual kind of hobby for a 40ish "domestic engineer" but we live in a modern world and I like fucking with people's expectations.

32 Comments:

  1. Hey Keira…
    Missing your writing a lot this year.. I have been rereading all your previous works.. eagerly waiting for a new Harry Potter fanfic from you.. you are the best and lots of love for you..
    stay safe and well

  2. That must be so disconcerting, I think our brains just cannot really grasp the scale of the pandemic and so we get flashes of it interspersed with protective mechanisms to help us keep going.
    Earlier in the year I found myself unable to read any longer fics and I also shied away from serious topics, but more recently I have been embracing the escape of losing myself in those things. I have been through a lot of the stories on this site, comforted by the familiar, sometimes picking up bits I had forgotten, while also caught in the delicious humour, intricate characters and amazing world building.
    So thank you for all that you share and I hope you begin feel better about your writing soon.

  3. As I write this, I’ve got three of your fics (Tangled Destinies, Harry Potter and the Soulmate Bond, and Sentinels of Atlantis) open in tabs, to dip into as I need. I reread your writing all the time — you’re absolutely one of my favorite authors and one of the first authors I turn to when I’m stressed.

    I hope you can take it easy on yourself! I know we’re all sick of the word “unprecedented”, but it applies here. None of us have had to deal with a pandemic before. It’s affected lots of us in unexpected ways, one of which is productivity. I believe your ease in writing will come back, but in the meantime, we’ll wait and reread. 400k in one year is nothing to shake a stick at!!!

  4. Heather Bransgrove

    I’m sorry that 2020 has been such a shit show for you. I know many people have not had a good year, myself included. I wish for you a Merry Christmas and hope that 2021 is kinder. Thank you for the amazing fic you have posted.

  5. As you’ve said this last year has been weird and stressful. Goog to know that you’re still writing even if not in the ways you want or expect. Here’s to hoping that 2021 will be a better year – this morning on the news they’re now hopeful we’ll be seeing stadiums full of fans. A huge leap back towards whatever passes for normal. Yay for all of us.

  6. Hi Keira. This was and still is a difficult year. I agree with your take on WIP, I do the same with some of my projects (not writing thou). Some of your fics are my comfort reading and I really thank you for them. My favorite fandom is SGA. Big hugs and best wishes for you, I hope for a better 2021!

  7. Hi Keira, good to hear you are well, was concerned when you went a but quiet on RT. I am having the same problem with motivation for work instead of writing. I think it may have something to do with the fact that the entire world has turned upside down and life as we have known it has changed irrevocably due to this pandemic. Being locked down and living in fear of this unseen but pernicious virus has done a number on our collective psyches. Hope next year will be better for all of us. Have enjoyed your RT entries and look forward to reading more stories as and when the inspiration comes back to you. If not, your current stable of work and Jill’s keeps me going in difficult times. Best wishes.

  8. You said that you feel your best fanfic writing has been the work you did this year for QB. I would like to just say that I discovered your stories when I read the Tangled Destinies series and to me your writing has always been awesome. I love reading fix-it stories and The Absence of War has been wonderful to read. Thank you for sharing all your works . I love reading and re-reading your stories.

  9. I certainly hear you on this being a stressful year! I’m one of those people who can’t have too many WIPS floating around or it starts to make me feel guilty instead of making me feel good, though it does make me happy to read over bits of WIPs in my secret folder and remember the spark of creative thought that got it there. I always respect the attention you give to the craft of writing and how much you are willing to share of your process with others. It has been fun seeing the way your interests and writing has evolved over the years. I’ve been a fan of yours since the early SGA stuff. You have certainly influenced my writing ideas and thought process over the years, so thank you. You got me writing Sentinel crossovers and Harry/Hermione when I was always a Draco/Hermione fan in the past. I wish you all of the best and hope you can take care of your mental health. If nothing else, enjoy all of the delicious holiday foods and spritely music available at this time of year. Cheers!

  10. I understand how you’ve been feeling. I’ve even struggled with *reading* new works. I’ve been re-reading old favorites a lot. I think I’ve read virtually everything on your site this year! We’ll get through this. And while I’m not sure what life will look like on the other side, I believe it will be better and that we will get back to feeling like ourselves. <3

    • I’ve been avoiding new works for my own safety to be honest. I just can’t handle being blindsided right now.

      • While not conscious, I think that’s part of why I’m struggling with it too. I can’t watch new TV right now either. Things that would have been mildly upsetting before, are devastating now. My emotions are too fragile.

  11. I think you only need to look at this site to know you can complete and write plenty of complete and non complete work and both serve a purpose to me tbh. Regardless of how hopeless things feel lately, fanfiction has always been a sort of therapy for me. So take the time to appreciate what you have done and what you surely will do again because obviously your brain is way to big to bot contain more work. And maybe take confort in the community you have here and on all your sites who also have gems for you to read. 🙂

  12. Hi I truly love your work and am rereading your stories. This is getting me through Covid. Thanks for everyone of them.

  13. Well where does one start? Thank you seems too simple but thanks. I’m not a prolific writer by any means and this year certainly seems to have piled on more shit than ever. I sat at my computer twice this year for RT with forced excitement and purpose and nothing happened the mind rebelled and said no you don’t want to write this, write this instead, and ended up writing nothing. I’ve always shied away from having multiple snippets and WIP just sitting in a folder. So leave them to sit in my head instead till the fade out and die. You are right “the” writing is the most important and creative thing not how long or short it is. Again a forced expectation we place on ourselves or myself. Well that’s what I got. Thanks for your no bullshit attitude and sharing what you do with so many. Here’s to a better year ahead.

  14. Oops congrats on your award. Love the Soulmates Bond and am currently in the middle of The Absence Of War, again. Your writing is a wonderful retreat from reality and so much needed. You and Elizabeth Peters which I have you to thank for, ahh Peabody.

      • A friend introduced me to Elizabeth Peters almost fifteen years ago now and she’s been my favourite author ever since. I’ve been re-listening to the Peabody series on audiobook while I work for the last week or so (I’m on the Hippopotamus Pool now) and they’re helping a lot. I’ve been finding a lot of other stuff either too stimulating or not enough to hold my interest (I can blow hours flitting from one thing to the other right now) but Peabody always seems to do the trick, or at least enough so that I can get some stuff done. I’m having a really hard time focusing on one thing right now. Can either of you pick a favourite? I think I’ve got in narrowed down, by the briefest of margins, to three: The Hippopotamus Pool, The Ape Who Guards the Balance, and He Shall Thunder in the Sky, with the others close on their heels.

        • He Shall Thunder in the Sky is definitely my favorite then The Ape That Guards the Balance (because that was the first one I read).

          • The first one I read was the Deeds of the Disturber, which was pretty ridiculous but it was so fun I had to find out how they met, and read more about Ramses, so I tracked them down to read in order. I’d say that He Shall Thunder in the Sky is her best written book- it’s got absolutely everything thing in it, an amazing plot, romance, mystery, adventure, and Amelia driving the motorcar. However I’m also a sucker for Sethos, and his scenes in the Ape Who Guards the Balance are some of my favourites in the entire series, especially the suffrage rally in the beginning. Not that I ship him and Amelia, it’s Peabody/Emerson all the way, but he’s just so much fun to read, and the way he drives Emerson wild is extremely entertaining. One of my favourite things to do when I re-read the books is to try and pinpoint when she decided to make Sethos Emerson’s half-brother. It fit into the book series so seamlessly. As for the Hippopotamus Pool- it makes the list of “favourites” because Ramses, Nefret, and David as children are incredibly fun and charming to read, and it’s the only book we get a lot of all three of them like that. It’s also got the coolest (if made up) Egyptological find in the entire series, and I love Amelia coming to Rameses’ rescue at the end- she is indeed the bomb! I know I’ve been retreating into a lot of old favourites, fanfiction and published works, to decrease stress right now. I hope things get better for all of us in 2021 too- thank-you for being one of the authors where it’s a pleasure instead of an anxiety to read new works by!

  15. “Fix-it fics” are a balm to my soul, particularly during times I feel so powerless. I love your approach to them. Congratulations on continuing to be recognized for what is certainly one of MY favorite fanfics, and I hope you have a peaceful remainder of the year.

  16. I’m at a point where everything is sort of…blah. I pretty much only want to play games or read (often reread) HP canon divergence AU fanfiction (other fics sometimes, but that’s definitely my main theme at the moment). I’ve been parceling out the Quantum Bang stories since June — reading them slowly — because they’re definitely hitting that need right now. It’s an interesting place to be. But yeah, writing has definitely taken a backseat this year.

  17. Hi Keira

    Really glad to hear from you! Take all the time you need to write, many of us will be here when you are ready to start posting again. Meanwhile, I’m off to reread a few of your series because they, and you, deserve all the praise in the world!

    Good luck in the new year!

  18. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve struggled so much with writing this year. It’s been a rough one, and sometimes it’s hard to block out all the noise and focus on the writing. I think it’s good to be able to give yourself permission to write whatever, whenever and not force yourself to write what you think you ‘should’. I’ve tried to always follow that advice in my own writing. Like you, my WIP folder is bursting, but I do visit from time to time and will occasionally pull one out to finish. It’s like putting on a favorite, nearly threadbare sweater–so comforting and familiar.

    Here’s to 2021 being a better year for all of us. Things won’t magically get better the moment the clock turns to the new year, but there’s hope to be had in that shiny new date: January 1. 2021. I plan to hold on to that hope, and I hope you can as well.

    May you have a safe and joyful holiday season. Good luck in the new year!

  19. This year has been a struggle. While I’ve been fortunate enough to have kept my employment and not personally been sick, it has still been anxiety inducing. Re-reading your fics (completed or not) has been a great comfort. Take care of yourself and hopefully next year will be better!

  20. “Of the year” Is that discord server new or did they just discover SB, because you’d have a stack of trophies for it. Or for Courting.

  21. I re-read your SGA stories at least once a month. I love the way you write your worlds. You’re a great writer.

    This was a really lousy year. Here’s to better times in 2021.

  22. First of all, congratulations on your award, it is well deserved.

    I’m sorry to hear that you’ve struggled with your writing, apart from selfish reasons of reading it, I can only imagine how hard it must be to not find the comfort you are used to find in it. I’m glad to see though that your (at least sort of) okay. I wish you all the best and that the upcoming year is a better one – in any way you want and need it to be.

  23. I know that you said that you were avoiding reading new stuff, but when you are able to again I recommend Pagan Twylight on fan fiction or her website. She is an amazing writer and I love how she portrays the Tok’ra and Taur’i (?) alliance. And how she writes Sam and Jolinar.

  24. First of all, congratulations on the award, which is absolutely well-deserved. I’ve just (in the last ten minutes) finished rereading it for probably the sixth or seventh time, and enjoyed it at least as much as the first time. It was such a joy to settle into my commute every Friday knowing that the next chapter was waiting for me (though I can hardly believe it’s seven years since you started it.)

    And rereading reignited my irritation with those ‘fans’ whose sense of entitlement has put you off writing more Harry/Hermione. If your decision to take a break was based on lack of time/ interest/ inspiration, that’s one thing, but that you were essentially forced to do so to protect yourself is wrong. The karma curse Harry put on Ron in Soulmate Bond is what they deserve. 🙂

    And I absolutely ADORE The Absence of War. I decided on my second reading that it’s my all-time favourite HP story, and definitely one of your top three stories in any fandom for me. I’ve been rereading a lot this year, and most of it’s been fanfiction, with you topping the list because I know that, even with stories I’ve reread several times, something else will stand out each time.

    I haven’t written much myself (though I have signed up for QB – what was I thinking?!), but I do get the frustration of things not going how you want them to when you sit down to write. Here’s hoping 2021 will be better, and what you *have* written has been a great pleasure to read.

    Thank you for sharing your work, both as a general thing and specifically this year’s work, and best wishes for a successful writing time in 2021.

  25. I just needed to take a moment to say you are one of the greatest blessing I’ve had this year. Rereading your fiction has kept me emotionally balanced. It’s been a welcome friend when I’ve been in very dark places. Thank you, Keira. Thank you!

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