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Okay, back from vacation - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Okay, back from vacation
I went on a two-week vacation home to western New York. I rode the Maid of the Mist (haven't done that since little-kid-dom, and it was a blast), and visited family, and went to my favorite place in the world, Letchworth State Park. I got to talk to two friends who are still in the area. And I got sad because the reason only two people are still around, I think, is that the economy is even more tanked there than it used to be. Buffalo's perking up (well, actually, I kind of think "gentrifying" may be closer to the mark in some ways), but Niagara Falls, NY is dire, and my hometown... I went down Main Street and it was... did I already use "dire"? They're trying, God knows, but you can only have so many supporting businesses in town when there's not a big industry left to support. I picked up a copy of the local paper, where I did my first pro writing (paid by the inch, when I was in high school), and I saw the refurbished park, and how someone restored the old Victorian I used to live in when it was split into apartments. (Hint on bad economy: A six bedroom, three bath house on a quarter acre of land with a swimming pool across the street from a park is valued under six figures. Oh, and a BLOCK OF BUILDINGS auctioned off for $350.)

On a more positive note, I visited out around Palmyra, too, and saw three missionaries acting like total teenagers, having a rolling race down Hill Cumorah.

I can't seem to get writing again, so I may have to just issue apologies, wipe the slate clean, and start in another fandom. I'm kind of running out of stuff to say on THG. (No, I haven't started hating it or anything -- I still love all my fandoms -- I've just been finding it a chore not to repeat myself lately.) I'm thinking about PJO. I got half a book mapped out of Jason's pre-HOO adventures, just for kicks.
15 comments or Leave a comment
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 15th, 2016 01:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh good, because I was worrying

I can also recommend the work of Terry Pratchett, more humour, less angst, but the fan fic is slowly starting to build since his death. And I know that you haven't read any of it! I recommend starting with the Witches series, the death series or the Guards series, rather then starting with Colour of Magic.

akilika From: akilika Date: August 15th, 2016 03:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Have hope! There's a solar cell plant going in Buffalo, and that sort of thing could perk up the surrounding areas. (They've been working on a nanotech factory in Utica, and the effect on where I live--commuting distance, which I get the impression NF is to Buff--has been good.)

(It was *ridiculously* depressing when I first moved here--I thought just because I was used to DC, but no, there were more empty commercial properties than businesses by about two-to-one, never mind industries. Later fell to three-to-one or thereabouts. It's getting better, though.)

On a related note! Bill--he does distressed residential properties--says that a defunct three-story downtown block is a liability. Lead paint, asbestos, no elevators (makes it undesirable)... essentially, he says, someone was robbed.
One of our business contacts actually bought a local landmark for $1 once, so we're a little familiar with the game.

(Also, we'd been looking at buying a building like that--three stories, defunct, downtown--once... basically, it was at a price where buying it to sell the copper, then defaulting on the taxes, may have made sense. We're REALLY glad we didn't--the next year, it was used as a hiding place by a mass-shooter. (Did I mention this was in a tiny-town suburb?) The year after that, it started dropping bits to the sidewalk below, causing the sidewalk in front of it (you know, middle of Main St, across the street from the library) to be fenced off for three years. Last year, one of its walls collapsed across an active alleyway, doing severe damage to the adjacent building, so the town knocked it down for safety. The town has an ongoing request to the state for a grant to remove the pile of rubble... but in the meantime, there's a plywood wall (nicely painted by the local school, I think) to hide the view. Poorly.)

(It *is* getting better, though. The shops are coming back. Slowly, but they are.)

Edited at 2016-08-15 03:13 am (UTC)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 15th, 2016 06:05 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad to hear about the solar cell factory -- I think batteries in general to store non-fossil energy are a future-tech with real manufacturing job possibilities. (I heard from a couple of people about despair in the southern tier over the fracking ban... yeah, there are environmental concerns... but we have oil in our shale and no jobs! With the wind farms cropping up on the plateaus, alt-energy might be a good field out there.

I know the buildings were put up because they were a liability, but unfortunately, whoever got snookered into the deal has left them there, boarded up and looking like death. They're Civil War era buildings, and not really nice ones. I can't imagine anything going into their space, though, unless the town picks up.
shiiki From: shiiki Date: August 15th, 2016 01:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Welcome back! I'm sorry the vacation brought up sad thoughts about the state of the economy.

I will miss your THG writing, but glad that you're not stopping ultimately. Though if you're going to start in PJO, I shall have to start actually reading the series just so I can follow your stuff!
mirandabeth From: mirandabeth Date: August 16th, 2016 04:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Me too! I tried the first book, but it didn't hold my attention very well.
reannanshaw From: reannanshaw Date: August 16th, 2016 02:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I haven't read Percy Jackson yet, but I've been meaning to. I'm sure you'd rock it.

Frankly, I'm impressed that you've written as much as you have on HG, considering it was only three not-terribly-long books.

Oh, but maybe pick a happier fandom next time? Maybe something not predicated on major characters dying right and left?

Speaking of book series, have you read the Pillars of Reality series by Jack Campbell. They're completely amazing. The two mains and their relationship are just perfect and wonderful. You'd probably like it.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 16th, 2016 11:13 am (UTC) (Link)
A pity that things have reached a point of becoming a chore, but it's understandable as well and impressive that you kept as decent enough stamina as it is. Fortunately you've filled up enough info with your one-shots that even if TBE isn't continued, we're not left wondering what happened but instead can inference the spaces on our own (hmm... fancanoning a fancanon...).
Haven't read Percy Jackson either, but know enough that I'll probably get a kick out of whatever you churn out; will definitely be a change in tone.

Wouldn't be surprised if you're dystopia'd-out, but have you took a gander at the Red Rising series?

Bigger pity about what you've observed.
Besides the visible state of things, it goes without saying that said state rarely gives rise to anything pleasant.
Hopefully something may cone around to help things out. Though it would probably be best for the inhabitant to not hope for the original industry to be the source of that help (similar to your comment about the fracking ban and similar concerns about the shutdown of the coal industries; then again "adapt and move on" isn't exactly sympathetic rhetoric).

golden_d From: golden_d Date: August 16th, 2016 11:41 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll be sad to see you stop writing THG, but it's totally understandable <3 if you do end up stopping, do you think you'll update AO3 with the revised version of The Narrow Path?

Edited at 2016-08-16 11:42 am (UTC)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 16th, 2016 02:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I actually did! I just never did an epilogue on it (well, a second epilogue), so I never brought it back to the top of the list at A03.
nevrafire From: nevrafire Date: August 16th, 2016 01:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
your trip to New York sounds so nice.

I think whatever fandom you pick on next will result in amazing fanfic, but i do hope you do percy jackson, because that little HP/PJO crossover you did was so good and I would love to see what else you can come up.

unrelated potter question- are you going to put 'the clues in the cauldron' in AO3?)

Edited at 2016-08-16 01:31 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 16th, 2016 11:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I would be terribly sorry not to read any more of your new HG stories but understand. If there's no motivation and it isn't fun, then its not worth it. Hope you find something else to write, maybe original. You're such a great writer and there's always a need for good books.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 17th, 2016 12:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think that PJO fic sounds like an excellent idea! I've read a few bits and pieces, but nothing that's really grabbed me. You really caught the "voice" of the series in that short piece you did before, and there's so much potential for exploration of New Rome. I confess I never took to the Romans as strongly as the Greeks, but I did really like some of the characters (the Reyna/Nico road trip sections of Blood of Olympus were an unexpected delight), and I'm pretty sure you'll manage to get me more invested in the place!

I wish I had something wise or insightful to say about the economic situation, but alas I don't.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 18th, 2016 12:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll also miss (getting new installments of) your Hunger Games stories. Thanks for writing them! And now it sounds like I need to go read some Percy Jackson... Honestly, I think whatever fandom you choose to write in will rock. I liked your Star Wars stuff, enjoyed the HP stuff (and think that the Teddy series should have become adopted canon rather than that play), and really loved how you gave us a glimpse of a more complex and plausible world around THG. Best of luck with the new adventures, and if you ever get the hankering for some more THG one-shots (or anything), you have a willing audience.
reannanshaw From: reannanshaw Date: August 18th, 2016 01:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll ditto that last sentiment only for HP stuff.

Oh, hey, other suggestion: you could do some crossovers. Maybe if you start mixing around the worlds you've already written in, you'd get some new inspiration.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 19th, 2016 06:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

HG stories

I'm sorry to hear that you're hitting writer's block on the HUNGER GAMES universe (it happened to me on another series). But before you give up, I think that you should post your "challenge" stories on Fanfiction. They're much better than most of what I find on the site, and maybe the reviews there will give you encouragement.

I've read a couple of Percy Jackson books. I was interested because I did a big research project on Greek mythology back in college. However, the target audience seems to be younger than Hunger Games' or Harry Potter's. ( Not that that's a bad thing; it'll just be different).
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