Such being the case, as I have nothing better to do, this entry may be long. Also: more opportunity to work on fanfic, though doing so on the lower ground floor (I'm secretarying today - or trying to, in any event) is even more paranoia-making than upstairs. Still, it's better than twiddling my thumbs.
Thankfully, I have my CRB paperwork to sort out today at 2.30, after which I am fully intending on going home - it's a half-hour walk there and back again, so by the time I get back here it'll probably be around 3.15 anyway, and if the network doesn't come back up I'll be sitting here doig nothing for another two hours, and I can do that at home, thanks. :P (Except I've had to ask Paul to email on my behalf to double-check it's still happening, as I can't access my emails.)
Yesterday I got quite a few words done - finishing the "Wrestler's Tomb" and "Jack in the Box" sections of the "X Times" story - which is provisionally "19 imes..." as it looks like it's going to cover all the episodes. The "Jack in the Box" bit is my take on the Deleted Scene. It's canon because I say it is. :P
I already have some thoughts about "The Reconstituted Corpse" (next week's instalment of the Watchathon) so I might try and get a few words down on that part of the story today, so they don't fall out of my head.
Also, yesterday lunchtime (or thereabouts) I started on a snow-themed story, thanks to the weather being suitably inspiring. The tags being set in summer 1999 (though the placement of "Omega Man" right at the end of June means I may have to set the Angstfic in September, rather than August as initially planned - not too much bother, the weather is sometimes still sweltering in September!) means I had no choice but to set it in my post-ALTAF universe. :) (Or, well, I could have done a one-off, but my brain is firmly in Tag Mode and it feels weird writing anything else.)
I like the post-ALTAF universe. It's how I wish things had ended - quite probably how things should have ended, if certain events had not conspired against it. ALTAF as a story will be fairly epic, in terms of how it approaches the characters - dealing with their past as the future rapidly becomes a reality - and by the end of it, there's no more room for any doubt. All my post-ALTAF stories (one of which isn't finished, but demanded an outlet nonetheless) are set eightish years later - and thus I have free reign to write shamelessly fluffy fluff.
The snow-themed fic last night was no exception to that rule. :D Though, in fairness, I have no idea where it came from. I suspect it's a reaction to the bleakness of the Tags. My favourite of that project is the "Three Gamblers" one, because it's a little bit of calm before the storm - all the mess of "Crooked Lane" is dealt with, the events of the episode are over and serenity is restored, and there's this little moment of Everything Will Be Fine. Except it's not fine, because by the end of it we know about America, and Maddy's inevitable disappearance.
The Tag Project was in no way an attempt to "fix" how things ended - at least, not for a very long time. I wanted the challenge of keeping those stories to canon as best as I could - admittedly bending them slightly to my whims along the way, but nonetheless remaining truthful to what I'd already observed in the episodes. I wanted a proper explanation for Jonathan's bitterness in "The Grinning Man" that wasn't just Renwick projecting his own feelings onto the character (Mary Sue much?) I wanted that Conversation in the Pub in "The Judas Tree" to have some kind of bloody context, rather than being inexplicable. The Tag Project is a culmination of all those things, the edges of the jigsaw puzzle, and the Doomfic will be the middle. There is a much bigger picture here which we're simply not seeing.
So, yes - the Tags are bleak. The worst of them is "Crooked Lane", and not just because of the way the episode was written. There are too many issues to wade through, and as much as I enjoy a challenge, and I think the finished story will be really satisfying, it's a total bastard to write. I fully intended to work on it last night, but the snowfic was more appealing. My soul was craving fluff - pure, unadulterated loveliness - and the very best vehicle for that is Jonathan and Maddy, nine years on, enjoying parenthood and living happily in the windmill.
Oddly enough, this is one of the only pairings where I've never felt the need to marry them off. It's just never occurred to me, in the 12+ years of writing the pairing. (Side note: that long, really? Wow. "Satan's Chimney" was clearly my downfall.) In my head, even after ALTAF they never do - they just kind of fall into domesticated happiness without it.
To quote my Tumblr: if these two are not infinitely shippable, there's something askew in the universe. <3
The other thing I was going to talk about was the timing of this period of fandom flail.
Normally, these days, my writing habits are increasingly sporadic - arid deserts followed by one-month flurries of insane productivity. Back when I was doing the Fandom for February Meme (February 2011), the squee was enough to keep me buoyant for about three weeks, and enough to get me through the day - and then work started grinding me down and fandom stuff became too much like hard work. Too much energy expenditure.
So, the timing of this particularly long bout of flail is really interesting - it arrived mere days after I'd had my successful interview for the new job. Since then, I have also rarely updated LJ with work-related moaning/stress/rage - for the most part because I no longer care enough about this job to bother, but also because it doesn't matter any more. There is finally space in my brain for other, more important things. (I mean, technically, in the grand scheme of things, fandom flail is NOT important - but it's more important than petty work issues, and much more preferable.)
Also: my migraines have calmed down significantly. Or, well, they're not lasting three days any more and they're not every weekend. I had a migraine for both my minute-taking test and my interview (both of which were bastards - the first was mild but brain-eating, the second was full-on pounding head and nausea), but frankly I'm taking that as a good sign - being stressed about a potential job situation is entirely more reasonable than acquiring a migraine over, for example, a miniscule typing issue.
Also also: finally, my sleeping seems to have fallen back into a semi-regular pattern WITHOUT the fandom flail suffering, which is a relief in both respects. At the very least, midnight is better than one or two in the morning. :P
Okay, I shall post this and attempt to kill the next couple of hours somehow. If the network isn't back tomorrow I don't know what I'm going to do - we can't even photocopy or scan because you have to log into the MFD's in order to do so, and they're also dead!!