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December

Support Albatros
Friday, December 29, 2006 - 6:00 PM
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This is my 200th front page news post! Neat.

After a few months of quietude, I've started being active on the site again, even moreso than I think I ever have before. The reason I've been able to do this is that I've had a couch to crash on, no job, and enough savings to coast for a little while. I've been able to wake up when I want, and then do what I want - which is almost always write, and sometimes code stuff for the site. (Has anyone noticed that you can mark your place in the story now? Click one of the "* * *"'s and see! Plus, you can mark your place at the end, and it'll keep your place there even if there are several updates before you get back to the site.) I've really enjoyed being Albatros more and writing more, and I wish I could keep doing it full-time forever.

Unfortunately, I overreched my savings a little, and now I'm running up a little short. I'm applying for a job next week, and starting it up as soon as possible, but I've still got to feed myself until my first paycheck comes through. This is a fairly embarassing situation for me (and I hope my mom doesn't read the site in the next couple weeks), and I want to assure you guys that I'd never talk about this unless it was necessary.

For the first time in the history of the site, I'd like to outright ask anyone that can to make a donation. If you like the story and you've liked having updates (even if they're rewrites for now) coming more frequently and in greater volume, please scroll down to the donate button and consider making a donation. I'll be undyingly greatful.

Since I'm enjoying my time off so much, and since you guys are so great, I'll put a little something in it for you, too: while I'm interviewing for the job next week willy nilly, I am able to say things like "Due to circumstances in my life, I won't be able to start working until next week, or the week after." If I manage to raise $300 from you guys, I'll put off taking the job for another week, and keep writing full-time. $500 will put it off two more weeks.

It gets a little complicated after that, because then rent starts being due, but if you guys manage to donate $1200 (that would be crazy!), I'll put the job off until the beginning of February, and I'll promise to finish the rewrite so I can get back to posting new stuff!

I hope that you can give a little something, and I'll keep everyone up to date on how it's going. Here's the button:

If you can't make a donation... it's just after the holidays, and I know that a lot of you aren't able to move money around on the internet yet, and whatever else: I understand. If you are able to make a donation in appreciation of The Murloc is Lonely, you'll have my enormous gratitude (in that I'll be able to eat more than rice for the next two weeks)! And if the donations manage to get as high as $300, which would be crazy and awesome, I'll even be able to put off the real world and be Albatros full-time for just a little bit longer.

Thanks for what you can do, and you're all awesome.

Rewrite Post - Chapter VIII
Friday, December 29, 2006 - 5:10 PM
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I've posted Chapter VIII of the rewrite. Madoran now joins them in the mine instead of in the woods, but otherwise this chapter runs very much like its antecedent. There will be some new interesting stuff next chapter: I believe that the mystery of the Black Book is laid out in a much more intelligent way this time around, since this time around I know what the hell it is from the start. I'll have that chapter up for you in a couple days.

I've also taken one last pass (I swear!) at Chapter One, removing the big chunk of exposition which bogged it down almost immediately. I've always been particularly fond of that exposition, and the even larger chunk that takes up the first third of Chapter Two (which I am now rewriting with the same goal in mind), because they're the words I wrote when I was first figuring it all out, more than a year and a half ago. Change is good, though, and the very end of the year is a good time to thow out the old and bring in the new.

I've got some kinda important stuff to say that'll I'll be posting shortly; I hope you'll check back for it.

Rewrite Post - Chapter VII
Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - 12:50 AM
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A bit rambly here - it's late, and I've been up since presents o'clock.

I spent a good chunk of this evening (yesterday evening, now...?) writing, and it felt good. I've gotten Chapter VII - The Law in posting order, so there it is!

If you're sharp, you may notice that the link goes to murloc.php instead of xmurloc.php today - with the completion of what used to be the climax of Part One, I'm upgrading the Rewrite to the Real Deal - it's now the official version of "The Murloc is Lonely". I'll be keeping the old version around for posterity, though, so if you want to go check that out (or if you were in the middle of reading it) you can still access it at oldmurloc.php. (You can also go there to see how much more awesomer the new murloc page is. I'm pretty proud of it.)

This chapter marks the end of the intensive process of rewriting the first nine chapters of Book One. Nearly half of the forty-three pages they now take up in my file is entirely new material (Rhy and Tidus's place, the Scarlets, Horse's fury), while most of the rest has been heavily re-written (the Meeting, both Panda Pub scenes and now M's fireside chat). From here on out, the rewriting requires fewer new scenes and more retooling of old ones (Madoran's exposition-in-the-sky, Horse's dream), and should come a bit faster now. If I can keep working at this pace between now and when I get a job again (which needs to be soon, unfortunately), I should have the rewrite finished up lickety-split.

Thanks for bearing with me as I grind through this necessary and very rewarding thing I'm doing. I'm looking forward to getting back around to writing new stuff for you guys, too: yesterday, for the first time, I sat down and actually wrote out the plot for the entire rest of the story - the remaining one and a half Books, all the way to the end - and it felt good. I'm really excited to share it with you guys, and I hope you're looking forward to it too.

Merry Christmas! (barely)
Monday, December 25, 2006 - 11:58 PM
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I'm just in under the wire to wish everybody that celebrates it: I hope you... had... a merry Christmas. I sure did - the walkie-talkies I got my parents (you may remember that they are newly-christened farmers, with a farm to walk around out of shouting range) were a hit, and my dad's stollen was delicious as always.

Regrettably, peace once again did not break out in honor of the birth Jesus. Maybe next year.

I'll have a Christmas present - new rewrite chapter - up in a few minutes, so enjoy your Happy Holiday and then check back.

Rewrite Post
Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 6:20 PM
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Of all the character choices I made the first time through, the one that's bugged me more than any others is the ease with which Horse writes off the fact that Fang is essentially responsible for the destruction of Storm City. I believe the first time around, his entire reaction to Fang's declaration (regarding Widget) that you have to “break a few eggs” was,

Fair enough, I thought. Still. Poor little guy.

That's not how the Horse I know would have reacted, and I've always wanted desperately to make it better. I believe I've done so.

These two new chapters also contain a bunch of my other favorite early Murloc moments... so I give you, Beer or Death!

Rewrite Post
Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 4:35 PM
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One of the things that always bugged me about the early layout of the story was the fact that Horse spends Part One running around through Storm City on his way to the Mansion, and then spends Part Two running around through Storm City on his way to the Mansion. I've always wanted to retool that, and so here it is: the almost-completely-new Chapters Three and Four.

New Toys
Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 6:55 PM
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Whenever I run up against a problem - either in writing or in coding the site - which seems like I should know how to solve, but which I don't quite have all the tools or ideas together for yet, it turns me hard-core insomniac. I was up until seven this morning (thank god I don't have a new job yet!...) learning some new tricks, and here they are - over at my work-in-progress beta rewrite-page, you can now toggle areas of the Murloc home page (and the Table of Contents page which I know a lot of you use). Even cooler, if you wander off and then come back later, the page remembers how you had it! As always, I assume that this kind of thing is way more exciting for me to learn and code than it is to you guys to use, but I hope you get at least a little bit of, "aw neat" out of it.

Keep in mind that that page is in beta, and the layout is subject to change. I'll probably spend some time staring at the site stats to figure out how you guys use the site, and see how I can use the neat little open-close thing to make it better. If you want to discuss how you like it and how you'd like to see it used, I'd sure like to hear your thoughts!

I also spent a good chunk of time yesterday writing, and I worked past a bit of writer's block. I should have some more rewrite for you tomorrow.

Happy St. Nicholas Day!
Wednesday, December 6, 2006 - 9:00 PM
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Today is a holiday, as it turns out, on behalf of the original Santa Claus. In Germany, everyone gets their shoes stuffed with candy, and yesterday, it was suggested on the forums that an equivalent gift would be a story update. My response follows.

I haven't updated in several weeks, but I've been writing behind the scenes. For a while, I've been planning a rewrite of Book One, with a couple major changes and a whole bunch of little ones. The story finally got to a point where I needed to add a couple of scenes to the first couple of chapters, and I tweaked them, and then I kept going, and now I've got a big chunk rewritten and baby I'm goin' all the way!

(I'm also rewriting the code for the murloc.php page, adding, among other things, chapter names, and auto-generating roman numerals. One of those should excite you. The other... just me.)

I'm done revising the first two chapters for certain, and so, for St. Nicholas Day, here's the first two chapters of the rewrite. More coming soon.

Community Updates
Wednesday, December 6, 2006 - 2:55 PM
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I've been busy as hell with stuff (including moving to Boston, and repeatedly writing my face off until four in the morning...), but the Albatrosbits.com community has been bowling ahead at full speed! Some things to check out, if you aren't already:

In the World of Murloc, GMs extraordinaires Saranus and Amaunator have brough day one of the game to a close; activity at the Panda Pub is winding down and all of the characters are going to sleep. The first adventure begins in the morning - adventurers who wish to are heading off to meet a guy about a thing.

Things have gotten started, and we've ironed out some of the kinks in the ruleset. You can still hop in any time, and now's a good time - go here, fill out a character sheet and send it to one of the GMs via Private Message.

I also wanna point everyone over to the Creative Writing Forum, where update-superstar Sabredurid330 has been going crazy with his excellent story "Path of Cenarius", putting me to shame by updating four times in the last week and a little. There are several other running sagas there that are worth checking out as well.

Check back later today for another update or two.

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