I had an ultra weird experience some time back, where i was crawling through the older entries of a fictionpress livejournal community, and found a reference to myself in the comments, with someone noting that I wrote thoughtful poetry and didn't deserve this one troll review i got. It was a weird feeling, because the comment was from aaaaaages ago, and the poetry in question has long since been deleted. it made me wonder if maybe deleting it was a mistake. okay and now can i make a dorky confession? i googled myself a couple months back and found a blog that highlighted one of my stories and called me a reliable updater. not only did that feel weird, but it also made me feel sad and guilty, because I feel like I've let everyone down by never updating.
I apologize for deleting a large number of my stories and poems. As I grow up, I grow more cynical of my own efforts to write or entertain, and so the stuff that really embarrasses me gets deleted. If you were in the middle of reading one of my longer completed works, I can possibly hook you up with the remainder of the story. Yes, this means My Darling Talia, as its the only story I actually thought to save. My poems and other stories are pretty much gone forever. Just now, this minute, I googled another one of my stories and found someone looking for it. Yes, I am the author of Apple, Ring, and Candle. It was confusing and terrible, so I deleted it, but yes, I also regret doing so, because while the plot and pacing and characterizations were amateur, some of the scenes in the tree and towards the end of the story were what I consider my best writing, in terms of atmosphere, to date. And I guess, in retrospect, it was a strange and pretty story, and if I had cut out the romance bits, it could have been made into something quite nice. I guess you only think of these things after the fact :/
One of the wonderful things about this website was that I was able to connect with other young writers and readers. Before I began writing, I was definitely a fan of several authors on this site... throughout my online writing "career", I actually ended up befriending a large number of them. To my terror and delight, the authors I loved ended up sending me thoughtful critiques or favorite-ing my stories and what not, and that's such an awesome feeling, even when someone is like "wow your writing is bullshit and this is why...", because you can grow from that. I was incredibly impressed that established writers I looked up to took the time to help me with my own writing, and that some of them were even fans of me. Writing here was an amazing experience. To people just starting out here, I want to encourage you and tell you that you can go far here. If it feels like no one is reading, then make friends and join reading and reviewing circles. Get to know people. It'll happen. And don't live for reviews or for awards or fame, because in the long run they matter the least. Enjoy what you read, learn something new, and meet new people, because that will be what you keep.
A special thank you should go to readers like Katya and others who really read my work and enjoyed it, whether you reviewed on anon or with your account or didn't review at all. you guys are amazing, and I thank you. my primary goal when writing was to entertain people. sometimes, when I didn't get reviews, I became disheartened, although with the improved stats counters, I can now see that there are people who have read through each chapter of my longer stories, and knowing that makes me feel like its worth it to write, that someone out there wants to know what happens next and is invested in my world and my characters.
The stories I've left up are the ones I have hopes for in terms of salvaging, so NO, I have not abandoned any of them. I can't shake the feeling that LibGirl isn't terribly well thought out or paced, so I might scrap the whole thing and rewrite, which is what I do with each new chapter I write anyway (must be frustrating for readers, sorry!!!), but this time I will try to condense it into one chapter, long or short. As for Saving Castle Perilous, I keep thinking this story will be a piece of cake, but I will need to reread it and do quite a bit of research before I can fall back into the proper tone required for the narration, and before I can figure out where I'm going to take the story.
For the time being, I no longer accept requests to read and review stories, or to act as a beta editor. I will review things when the fancy strikes me, and there's no harm in you messaging me about your story, but please keep in mind that my real life is way bigger than my online life, and that sometimes I am not good at keeping up with FP.
I apologize for this long and sort of sentimental note.