MeiLin's blog

Get on the Good Foot

  • Posted on: 16 May 2008
  • By: MeiLin

In so many ways I started this whole story thing on the wrong foot. And by "started," I mean almost at birth.

I've been thinking about what happened to Always Aroused Girl, a blogger who writes anonymously about her sex life, parenting and whatever else is on her mind. Her blog is entertaining and informative and quite frank. Her fundamentalist parents, who had been told not to go borrowing trouble and search for her work, did anyway, found it (or more likely, were tipped off by someone malicious) and confronted her recently in a really painful, horrible way.

I am luckier in that my parents aren't fundamentalists. But my mom is very sex-phobic, especially when it comes to me. My sexual nature came out at an early age, and she has been pretty freaked out by me ever since, even though I wasn't a high school slut or anything. (I would have been if I could have gotten over the deep sense of shame I carried around. I would have been much happier, I think, if I'd at least gotten to kiss someone a little. Nope. I was 18 before I even got that. I think maybe I held hands a couple times.)

And here's my problem: I tried to write fiction for 40 years, but I knew where my fiction would always arise from: My libido. It always starts from psycho-sexual stuff, even if there's no sex in the piece; it's always there, and easily spotted. (I couldn't even create a D&D dungeon without things getting a little...odd.) I would read what I wrote and think, "I can't let my mom see this." And for 40 years, I've been waiting for either my essential creative drive to change, which isn't going to happen, or my mom to die, so I could write. I really, really hated sitting here waiting for her to die so I could write. I mean, jeebus, what a creepy, sad thing to do. I love my mom. I love my mom to bits. She's a supportive, great mom. She just can't handle some aspects of who I am, and I accept that now.

And then, I had a life-changing event and almost died. I realized that my plan, waiting for mom to go first, might not work. I could precede her. And my stories would go untold, even to myself. That wasn't creepy and sad, it was just sad.

So I started writing late last year. And just as I had feared, all this sex stuff came pouring out. At first I thought, well, I must be an erotica writer. So I went and hung out with the erotica writers and quickly realized I'm not an erotica writer.

But the sex thing--the idea that my writing and any worth it might have completely revolved around sex--it stuck to me, or rather, I clung to it. I'm not sure why. Perhaps I'd held it all in for so long that I just couldn't see past it. Perhaps I was afraid no one would read it unless there was promised smut.

In any event, here I am. I've done a lot of the marketing of this site around the sexual aspects of the story. I'm beginning to think I'm doing it a disservice and that I'm not taking my own work seriously enough. I can tell you, I really do take it seriously; my friends and family can tell you I'm a crashing bore right now, this is all I think about. But somehow, when it comes to talking about what I'm doing, I feel a need to denigrate it. It's "just" a genre story. It's "just" a soap opera. It's "just" smut. And it's showing in the marketing.

I think I need to get off the wrong foot and get on the good foot. Ideas and thoughts appreciated.

I've been doing this since 1994...

  • Posted on: 15 May 2008
  • By: MeiLin

...and I still forget to make backups. I upgraded the theme and broke the world. aagh. So it's sorta put back together, but doesn't look 100%. That's okay because I don't care for the theme anyway. I'm just waiting for--why hasn't my graphic artist friend sent me the files?! wailllll!

I'm working on chapter 41. You guys get an extra chapter on Saturday for meeting the membership marketing target. Coulda been two, but hey. I'm done nagging. Wink We're close to another marketing target, though; we're six reviews away from the Pages Unbound target. Don't spam PU, give a fair review. And by fair, I totally mean give me high points and tell the world how great the story is. Wink Just don't do a two-sentence review.

New poll and various shtuff

  • Posted on: 14 May 2008
  • By: MeiLin

Please give a Historical welcome to klio from SPQR Blues! She's member #106. Smile

Sir gave me a pound box of my favorite bonbons as a late birthday present, so I'm sitting here snarfing chockies instead of what I should be doing, which is anything but. But they put me in a happy mood, so hey! it's all good.

There's a new poll up--check the right sidebar and tell us (anonymously) what your orientation is. You can still answer the old poll on how you found us any time, just click on the older polls link.

Chapter 40 is on track for midnight tonight, I hope. Cross fingers, send inspirational thoughts, etc.

100 users! woohoo!

  • Posted on: 13 May 2008
  • By: MeiLin

Way-hay! We made it to 100 users! That means a bonus chapter this week if we meet the marketing target, or just a Saturday chapter if we don't. Our 100th member is someguy. Say hi to someguy, everyone! The target resets to 200 users tomorrow. As for the other marketing targets, we're six away from the review count target, dozens away from the link count and the bookmark count.

Chapter 39 is in the scheduler and goes live in about ten minutes. I'm pooped. Next chapter we'll be back to Warin and Emmae, I'm pretty sure, and I don't know what else. We're heading into uncharted waters, and I'm floating on the currents.

Comment + donations = love.

Working on character pages and chapter 39

  • Posted on: 12 May 2008
  • By: MeiLin

I think we're on for midnight tonight for chapter 39, in which there are a great number of tears, arguments and confessions.

In moments of non-inspiration I'm working on the character section a little. I've added terms for all the characters so that you can go to all of the chapters with, say, the Traveler Queen in them, but I have to go through and edit each chapter to tag them correctly and I'm only up to chapter 7 as of this writing. Once that's done, I'll probably be reworking the characters page into a section.

Happy Mother's Day!

  • Posted on: 11 May 2008
  • By: MeiLin

I would say I'm going to kick back and enjoy myself with a good book today, but if I do that I'll just have twice as much to do tomorrow. Mother's work is never done, tra-la.

I'm working on chapter 39 and getting Temmin out of his current mess (or is it Ellika's mess?), and pondering viruslife's story question about Alvo. There is also more to tell you about Warin and Emmae; their story isn't done yet, though it's coming to its end. And then, into the future, is the next story arc, "The Queen Who Ruled By Herself," which will have more Sedra in it and, I think, the proper introduction of Ibbit into our main storyline.

The problem is, I don't have a single word of the story-in-story written, unlike "Two Kingdoms," which was the genesis of this entire project. Ah well. It wants to be next, and so it shall be.

A 2-chapter weekend

  • Posted on: 10 May 2008
  • By: MeiLin

Someone just gave me a second huge donation and we're at exactly $100. I may give back the second chunk of cash because, really, too much. Either way, though, in honor of a generous spirit, I'm giving you guys your second chapter this weekend and next week's donation target will be lower. I was aiming for 10% of the audience to give $1; next week I'll aim for 7.5% of the audience, or $75.

So: Chapter tonight right about the time I finish writing this, and chapter tomorrow night at midnight as well. Enjoy.

ETA: Viruslife was the donor, and I've flipped over all her cards---she gets to pick a character and ask a question. Viruslife, come on down!

Chapter 37 in the scheduler, 38 well under way

  • Posted on: 9 May 2008
  • By: MeiLin

Skirmishes between Temmin and Ellika, and Warin and Hildin, and twin cliffhangers. Because I'm evil that way. :evil: Chapter 38 is about half-done and on target for Tuesday.

The dollar target resets at midnight and remains $100. We didn't meet it this week for the second time ever, and not coincidentally, they were both weeks with marketing targets met. I was a bit ambitious, I admit, but then, you guys got a lot of story in the last two weeks, including two bonus stories earned by community members. Looking at giving trends and our stats, $100 seemed achievable, what can I say. We'll start the week at $33.

Thus, this chapter is your bonus chapter for meeting the now-ended Twitter target. Yay, you! There are more marketing targets yet to do, and they don't cost you one thin dime. Those of you who do things like buy PW ads for the History, tell people about the History on your livejournal or on an email list--and then let me know somehow--get x-points toward your very own bonus story.

See you at midnight, or tomorrow, whatever! Smile

Saturday chapter under way

  • Posted on: 9 May 2008
  • By: MeiLin

Yeah, I know, you guys aren't going to make the target this week. But you earned a chapter with a marketing target, so I'll burn that one for Saturday. Sad, really; you could've gotten four chapters this week. But it's all good. Smile

This chapter is the big battle between Warin and Hildin, the one you've all been waiting for, and I'm totally angsting to make sure I get it right for you. It's a fight scene, and while y'all liked the last one, I always angst over fight scenes. I just have to keep focusing on the emotions, not the mechanics.

It may be an extra long one. Or I may have to divide it in two. We'll see.

ETA: 37 is in polishing. I split it in two, it was getting reaaalllllly long. And boy are you guys gonna be mad you didn't get the extra chapter. :evil:

Chapter 36 is live, 37 on track for Saturday

  • Posted on: 8 May 2008
  • By: MeiLin

You guys have an extra chapter from the Twitter marketing target, and it's a good thing because the contributions love has been few and far between this week. But it's a shame to burn that on a Saturday chapter when you could have four chapters this week instead of three. Up to you guys, I'm good either way, and I won't be saying another word about it.

Thursday update: Damn, those mojo bags work

  • Posted on: 8 May 2008
  • By: MeiLin

Stymied, broke out the mojo bag and my communications oils from TAL, boom, the words started flowing again.* Chapter 36 is in polishing. We're back with Warin and Emmae, building toward the big confrontation with Hildin. Which, of course, I'm not looking forward to because it's a fucking fight scene! I'm much better with fighting fuck scenes. heh.

A sidenote: I gave Song Coyote 10 x-points and TGC 20 x-points for birfday presentage. Because I can.

*(For those who care, my mojo bag is a Hand of Hermes, and my main TAL oils are Hand of Hermes and Hymn to Pan for this story. I am a true believer in TAL. I keep my mojo bag over my heart or, ehm, in my overly abundant cleavage when I write.)

Birthday presents!

  • Posted on: 7 May 2008
  • By: MeiLin

Aw! Thank you, Song Coyote and TGC, for birthday presents! An Iron & Wine CD for me to drive my family nuts with (I play them over and over, but I usually wear headphones) and Yet Another Gaiman. Not that I'm complaining Biggrin

Thank you, guys! You're so sweet!

Chapter 35 is live

  • Posted on: 7 May 2008
  • By: MeiLin

Donations + comments = love

Especially today. What a day. I'm absolutely beat, I think I'm coming down with a cold, I wouldn't have gotten a single birthday present yesterday but for TGC's book, and then there was the argument this morning with Project Wonderful. I still haven't gotten back my advertisers--except the zombies. Thank heavens for the zombies. There's something I never thought I'd say.

And chapter 35 has a fight scene in it. I hate writing fight scenes. phooey.

Whine whine, complain complain.

In better news, we pick back up with Warin and Emmae in 36 and that one's partially written. I'm hoping for midnight tomorrow night as is my usual habit. fingers crossed, eh?

dragging and marketing target reached

  • Posted on: 6 May 2008
  • By: MeiLin

I spent the morning dealing with Project Wonderful, which decided to drop my ad boxes. After a polite conversation, they were re-instated, but I ended up expending what little energy I had today on it. It means all the paid ads that were on the site went *poof* and it may be some time before I get them all back. Translation: Now would be a good time to chip in a buck if you haven't before.

We've reached a marketing target: There are now 25 people following me on Twitter, so you guys get an extra chapter as promised. That marketing target is now completed and won't be re-upped.

If I managed to finish 35 today, it'll be late. I'm just beat after all that. I mean, it was a minor thing in the scheme of things, but still really angst-producing. When they canceled my ad boxes, I completely lost my ad budget. What I earn via PW goes right back to it in ads for the site. Very disconcerting. Luckily a chunk of 36 is already written.

Chapter 34 is live, and the Wheel of the Tremontine Year

  • Posted on: 4 May 2008
  • By: MeiLin
Chapter 34 is up and we leave the Temple for now. And thank Gods for that, even I am smutted out. :jawdrop: Seriously, I was running out of descriptors of all kinds. I need to recharge my awesome smut-writing powrz. We will be back there on Neya's Day for the annual Spectacle, which is two weeks in main story time (though we may see the twins again sooner). That leads us to the wheel of the year, which corresponds to our own solstices, equinoxes and cross-quarter days (for the fellow Pagans out there). Right now, we've just begun the 29th day of Spring's Beginning, which has a more elegant-sounding name in Tremontine, but you'll have to make do with what Your Translator can provide. :) The first of Spring's Beginning is Pagg's Day (Spring Equinox). The first of Spring's End is Neya's Day. To give you an idea of how much time has elapsed, our story began in chapter 1 on the 8th of Spring's Beginning. The number of days in each "month" (which isn't the proper name, I don't have the right word yet) is variable, depending on when the Solstices and Equinoxes fall; the calendar is decided by Eddin's Temple. I'll put something up in the Appendices with the whole calendar soon-ish. I still have the Crayon's Jenks story to write. Speaking of extra chapters, we are two Twitterers away from meeting a marketing target, and thus earning an extra chapter. This will be the last extra chapter for that marketing target; it will be going away after #25. As always, peoples, comments and donations are lurve.


  • Posted on: 4 May 2008
  • By: MeiLin

I tried to finish the chapter, guys, but I'm just beat, absolutely beat. I am more than 2/3rds of the way through, but I'll need to give it a polish and I'm about to faceplant in the keyboard. I'll see you tomorrow, when 34 will definitely go live. As a make-good, I'll try to get TGC's Jenks story out sooner rather than later.

Yikes! You did it!

  • Posted on: 3 May 2008
  • By: MeiLin

You did it with a little over an hour and $9 to spare! The target for next week will stay at $100. Someone was carping--mildly, but still carping--that the target has been moving up too fast. Well, there's a lot more of you guys out there than there were even a couple of weeks ago. Last week's target was $50, and you contributed enough that we were almost halfway to $100 before we even reset the target. Effectively, I was asking for just a few dollars more this week than last--less than ten, to be exact. But it's going to stay at $100 until you guys wildly overshoot it, which is what happened last week.

So anyway, I gotta get writing. I'm about a page into it; I really didn't expect you to make it, and haven't been cracking on as I usually do. Watch for it tomorrow.

Friday update: No Saturday chapter?

  • Posted on: 2 May 2008
  • By: MeiLin

It's a big chunk of change still to go for the Saturday chapter target--$44 by midnight. And this is NOT a call for two certain someones who shall go unnamed but know who they are to drop a wad of cash on me! One particular someone may have his money returned if he does it because he's giving me too much. (Pacing, dear, pacing!)

No, it's time for the rest of you to pony up a buck. If you want a Saturday story, that is. If not, that's fine; I've got a stack of books I want to read. If there is a Saturday story, it won't be until late in the day tomorrow. But the target deadline is still tonight.

Are we EVER going to get out of the Temple?!

  • Posted on: 1 May 2008
  • By: MeiLin

I'm beginning to wonder myself. I really want to wrap up this little debauch and get back to the rest of the story, but there's so much going on in this segment to tell you! I just can't cut it short. I think 34 will wrap things up. I hope. I thought 32 would wrap things up, and I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

In any event, when we return to the Keep we'll find the rest of the story waiting for us and I promise to give you a big chunk of Warin and Emmae soonest. In the words of Mr Pepys, "And so to bed."

Wednesday morning update: Donations, cliffhangers, and a new store

  • Posted on: 30 April 2008
  • By: MeiLin

OK, you guys, make with the donations or I'll give you a cliffhanger tonight that will make you make with the donations. You think Allis taking her shirt off was bad? :evil: Now watch, no one will donate a cent and I'll have to think of something really mean to finish up tonight's chapter. I'm about a third of the way through, so I've got space. Don't push me. Just sayin'. Wink

And speaking of money, Sir and I found the conversation in the current chapter's comments fairly interesting. We decided to pursue an affiliate marketing relationship with Extreme Restraints, which, despite the name, is a general sexual supplies shop, not just a bondage shop. Their product line is very strong, and their customer service is good. So now, for all your sex supply needs from condoms on up, you can shop at the Lovers' Temple. If you buy anything, we get a spiff. Remember, you gotta be of age to go there.

Don't forget to introduce yourself in the new forum!

Help me pick an excerpt

  • Posted on: 29 April 2008
  • By: MeiLin

I'm feeling chatty when I should be writing.

Over in the 'new prologue' thread we were talking about the scifi/fantasy habit of putting a page-long or so excerpt from the middle of the book at the very beginning, as a teaser to pull people in. If you were to pick an excerpt from anywhere in the story so far, what segment would you pull?

Our conversations

  • Posted on: 29 April 2008
  • By: MeiLin

OK, Historians--oh, btw, I've decided you guys are Historians--OK, Historians, a question for you. Do we need a forum, or do you want to keep the conversations in the comments and on the blog? A forum is the work of a moment. mad teck skillz, i has dem.

Tuesday morning update: Live chapter, Twitter, x-points, etc.

  • Posted on: 29 April 2008
  • By: MeiLin

Down the list:

  • Chapter 32 is live. Chapter 33 is underway and should be ready for midnight Wed/Thurs, Pagg willin' and the creek don't rise.
  • You guys are only five Twitter followers and/or six Pages Unbound reviews away from an extra chapter. Don't spam PU, and be sure to check out the many other fine serials as long as you're there.
  • Scarth and Sarianna got x-points for twitter-following. If you do one of the marketing targets tell me in the comments for that target and you will get an x-point.
  • Poll! Check the right sidebar or go here to tell us how you found the story.

And finally...all you US folks, did you get a tax refund, or are you making plans for that economic stimulus tax rebate we're getting soon? If the "History" has given you any stimulus, return the favor--take some of that moolah and donate! Biggrin

Ooh, one thing, I lied: We have a new advertiser, Copperheart, an Etsy store with GORGEOUS stuff. If you know me and are contemplating presents for my upcoming birthday, you could do worse. No necklaces, please. The rest of you, go buy stuff and say thanks for advertising. Smile

Check-in: Extra points awarded, targets neared, chapter almost done

  • Posted on: 28 April 2008
  • By: MeiLin

Chapter 32 is on track for midnight. We will be returning to Emmae, Warin and Hildin I think in chapter 34 or possibly 33, we'll see where the story takes us. As we've discovered, I don't always know. Smile

We are now up to 70 registered users; 30 more and you get an extra update. Cool thing is I recognize a lot of the new names--welcome to my various listfriends and Thrillahs. Now that the points system is in place, you guys will earn extra points for the marketing targets too if you're registered. Link to the site, for instance, and get five points. They're awarded by hand, so patience with me.

Speaking of which, SongCoyote got awarded 10 points for the filk s/he wrote (sorry SC, not clear on your gender), and Katie got another10 for taking out ads. Katie's now at the top of the leaderboard (not counting me) at 42 and is mere points away from scoring the first bonus-by-request; when you get 50 points, you get to pick any character in the story (existing characters ONLY) and ask a question. Then I'll write a little bonus story, 300-1000 words-ish depending. I promise I will always answer the question. I just might not answer it the way you want me to. :evil: I'm excited about doing that, so Katie, take out another ad or something. Biggrin

Extra points!

  • Posted on: 27 April 2008
  • By: MeiLin

I gave Katie and TGC extra points for great justice. Katie bought us an ad on Something Positive (hi, SP visitors!) and more people than usual are checking us out for the first time. TGC gets extra points for donating too much money last week. TGC, geez, man, budget! Smile


Get an exclusive free ebook from the world of the Intimate History! Exclusive content, contests, new releases and more.