sholio: webcomic word balloon (Kismet-Frank threat)
Phew. I've finished a bunch of archive updating for my webcomic Kismet. The site that used to host my backup archive (where all the short comics were) went down a couple of years ago, and I'm just now getting all of those back up on my website. I also got the website perma-archive updated to mirror the Tumblr site where it regularly updates. (It was almost 100 pages behind. Oops.)

It is very weird to go back to hand-coding HTML in a text editor after getting used to updating pages like a grown-up in a Wordpress/social media interface. I never have gotten the Kismet site into any sort of content manager. On the other hand, I've been maintaining the site for so long -- since about 1999, through a number of style changes, but still with a fundamentally similar underlying site scheme -- that the updating goes pretty quick once I get back into the swing of remembering which bits of code to modify on each comic page and which folders to upload into.

So, in short, if you have wanted to check out my webcomic, or didn't even know I had one, now is a good time because everything is FINALLY back online! Kismet is a space opera comic that, at the present time, consists of two books (one of which is complete; the other is currently updating) and a number of short side comics.

Book 1: Hunter's Moon (2002-2006)

Advantage to starting here: This is the recommended starting point; it was the beginning for me, and therefore, you can jump in and start reading without missing any context.
Disadvantage: The art and storytelling are both pretty rough in the beginning. The second book is also a lot more diverse, with a cast that's largely female/PoC.

Book 2: Sun-Cutter (2009-present)
Archive and current updates can also be found at

Advantage to starting here: The art is much better. It's also largely separate from the Hunter's Moon storyline, featuring a different set of characters, and doesn't start to tie back into the events of HM until about 70 or 80 pages in, so it can be read as its own thing if you prefer. The female characters get to shine a lot more, and there are fewer of what I might charitably refer to as "dubious writing choices."
Disadvantage: It does eventually spoil a bunch of things about Hunter's Moon. Also, some things will probably make more sense if you've read HM first.

The Short Comics

Advantage to starting here: You can get some samples without having to commit to a 300-page graphic novel. They don't go past the beginning of Hunter's Moon, so you won't be spoiled for anything in the main comic storyline if you read them.
Disadvantage: The art styles of the short comics are all over the map and not typical of the main comic's style at all. They're also fairly disjointed and jump around through 90 years of timeline. They're meant to supplement the main storyline rather than replacing it.

Just ask me if you have any questions!
sholio: webcomic word balloon (Kismet-Frank threat)
Hi, new people following me from the DW friending meme! And people who have followed/friended me in the last couple of years in general. For one reason and another, it's taken me this long to write an intro post, and I don't think I ever did one the last time I did a friending meme at all.

So - hi! I'm [personal profile] sholio/[ profile] sholio, or Layla. I live in Alaska, and I'm a graphic designer, artist, and writer. I used to mainly do freelance graphic design, but over the last couple of years I've transitioned to writing for a living, and I do that full-time now. I write het paranormal romance as Lauren Esker (also on Facebook and on Amazon). I've written a few M/M books in the past as Layla M. Wier (that pen name is basically retired at this point, though), and I'm planning on launching a new pen name this summer for fantasy and sci-fi that's not really romance as such, but tends to feature LGBTQ+ characters and pairings. I haven't settled on that name yet. I also write ultra-commercial erotica-laced het romance as part of a group pen name, which I'm not naming because we're trying to preserve the polite fiction that we are a single person (a la the way kids' series like Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden are written by a number of writers working under the same name) but I'm happy to tell people what it is if you ask in a PM or on a non-public post. I just don't want to give it out in public.

Feel free to PM me or email me at laureneskerwriter at gmail if you would like to try any of my books. I'm happy to hand them out to flist people for free. :D Lauren's website also has a couple of free stories, with more to come.

I used to be active in the small press comics scene, and I've been doing a weekly sci-fi webcomic called Kismet since 2002 (give or take a few years' hiatus in the middle there). It's all online for free. The first book, Hunter's Moon, is archived at my website and the current book, Sun-Cutter, updates every Monday and is about 160 pages so far. (It's on Tumblr, so you can follow it there, but the nav buttons don't work on mobile. There is a partial archive at my website, along with some short side comics. These are only partly archived because my other archive site went down and I haven't gotten around to finishing getting them up at my site yet. I really should do that ....) Anyway, the Kismet comic also has a Patreon where I post sketchbook pages, development art, glimpses of upcoming stuff and so forth, and a Tumblr sideblog for similar content and page announcements, [ profile] kismetcity, which I really need to do more with.

(Kismet is what the icon on this post is from.)

So that's the pro stuff! But you're probably here for the fan stuff! My fanfic is all on AO3, except for most of the Stargate stuff from 2006-2008, which can be found on my old website and will be on AO3 ... uh ... eventually? On Tumblr, I'm [ profile] laylainalaska/[ profile] sholiofic - the first is for reblogs and gifs and general chatting with people; the second is for fic and fic announcements, where I also periodically solicit prompts for whatever fandoms I'm in at the moment. I tend to be a fannish serial monogamist - although right now, unusually for me, I seem to have two main ones, Agent Carter and The Flash (and the DC universe shows in general), and I'm still kinda dipping in and out of White Collar and a few other side fandoms. I mod [ profile] collarcorner (White Collar gen prompt community) and also run SSR Confidential, an Agent Carter fanworks exchange that will have its signups in March.

So basically what you're going to get around here is a lot of fan squee about whatever I'm into at the moment (Flash and Legends of Tomorrow come back on Tuesday, eeeeee!!), fic, and intermittent chatter about writing/comics/my life/etc. Due to current events, there may also be more politics around here than there used to be, but I'll put it behind a cut.

And that's me! It's really great seeing so much renewed activity around here, and I'm going to try to be more active on DW/LJ in 2017. (HOW IS IT 2017 ALREADY, WHAT.) I'm looking forward to chatting with you all, whether you're just stopping in or have been here for years. :D
sholio: Peggy Carter smiling (Avengers-Peggy smile)
I was not expecting to be able to launch so soon! The info on the Kickstarter website said there can be delays of up to three business days for review, so I was expecting to launch on Friday or Monday. But it was approved right away, and so, my very first Kickstarter is now live. It's for a print version of my Kismet: Hunter's Moon webcomic. All the info you need to know is right there at the Kickstarter link.

Please don't feel like you need to back it just because you know me; I do not mind in the slightest if you don't! However, if you would like a graphic novel (a ludicrously thick graphic novel; it's going to be 360 pages) of my long-running space opera webcomic, there you go! I'm only running the Kickstarter for two weeks, so it will close on July 6 at about 3 p.m. Alaska time. This is not your only chance to get a print copy; the book will eventually be available for sale. It is, however, the only chance to get some of the special bundles and deals. Also, Patreon backers get a free upgrade of one donation level to any of the print-book levels.

And if you want to try before you buy, you can read all of Hunter's Moon online for free.
sholio: webcomic word balloon (Kismet-Frank threat)

And Kismet updates are now uploaded and scheduled through the end of the month. Sun-Cutter has been giving me a chance to do more interesting backgrounds and exteriors than the first book, since let's face it, Kismet is an interesting place (for me anyway), but it's also an underground city on a world that is basically Mars with no atmosphere, which doesn't give me a lot of opportunity to do scenery. (Though I do hope to get out and explore Kismet's planet a bit more in future books. This book has a more galactic scope, though, and is a lot less focused on Kismet itself.)

I can't believe I've been doing this webcomic since 2002. Not continually, I admit, but I've done around 600 pages counting the side comics, and it's coming up on its 15th anniversary next year! (Which is also its 25th anniversary if you count from the time I started writing it in 1992.)

But right now I think I will write more Agent Carter promptfics. The ones I wrote last night have a masterlist here. I'm not currently taking more prompts 'til I finish writing the ones I have, but I really appreciate all the inspiring prompts; they're great! ♥
sholio: webcomic word balloon (Kismet-Frank threat)
I realized a couple of days ago that if I want to have Sun-Cutter books at Senshi-Con (which I really do!), I need to get the files laid out and sent to CreateSpace approximately ... last week. Oops. So I have been frantically scrambling to get the pages formatted, the cover done, and the book laid out.

Also, now that I understand how to use MailChimp and have started using it for my Lauren stuff, I FINALLY did something I've been thinking about doing for ages and created an email list for my comics stuff. At this point I'm thinking I'll probably send about 3-5 emails a year -- updates on things like new books, Kickstarters, convention appearances, etc. This will be ONLY for my comics stuff, not for any of my other projects.

If you are interested, you can sign up for it here:

(Although, frankly, if you follow my LJ/DW, you'll probably get all that information anyway.)
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
Reminder that my webcomic has a new home on Tumblr:

This is the new place to follow it. The comic will still update on Mondays as usual.

Also, one thing I'm doing on the new archive (that I've meant to do for ages) is adding text transcripts under the comic, for people using screenreaders or who otherwise can't easily read the text in the comic. It will take me awhile to go back and transcribe the whole archive, but I'm hoping to have it done in the next month or two.

Never having done this before, I want to be sure and make it as easy to read as possible. Do any of you following me use screenreaders, or are you familiar with their requirements? If so, and if you don't mind, could you please go to a recent page of the comic - say, this one:

And let me know if this is going to work okay. I'm doing it script-style with descriptions of the actions, as necessary, in brackets.

I would hate to do the whole archive and then have to reformat it if it turns out it doesn't work! I've seen people do it this way for accessibility before, so I think it'll probably be all right, but I wanted to ask, if anyone knows.
sholio: webcomic word balloon (Kismet-Frank threat)
The Sun-Cutter archive is moving to Tumblr! I found a Tumblr theme I really like for it (Simple Webcomic Theme) and I have been desperately, desperately needing to do SOMETHING with the comic so I can auto-update rather than hand-coding everything. The existing site will stay where it is, and I'll be uploading pages to the old archive in batches, probably every month or two -- that way I will always have a locally hosted archive, much as I've done with Hunter's Moon and will be doing with my other comics now that Webcomicsnation has, it appears, died. But having Sun-Cutter updating somewhere other than my own site will give me a lot more flexibility and, crucially, be a whole lot less work for me on the back end.

Sun-Cutter's new home is here:

I'm still setting things up, but I have the entire existing archive migrated over, and I expect to be ready to start updating in the new location this weekend.

The biggest downside to Tumblr is that, if you aren't logged into a Tumblr account, you will get a (fortunately small and discreet) nag screen wanting you to sign up. I hate that, but it appears that once you close the nag box, it remembers not to open it again (at least on a per-individual-page basis) and I decided the downside was worth the benefits, compared to Wordpress, which was the other leading contender. I still have Disqus comments enabled (from the front page, you need to click "comments" at the bottom to get to them), and the general look of the site is similar, so other than updating bookmarks, you shouldn't notice much interruption of service.

Let me know if you find anything broken, though. :D

The other thing I'm still trying to figure out is the best update time. I've been updating late on Sunday night or sometime on Monday morning/early afternoon, but since I'm hand-coding it, it's really just a matter of when I'm online and can find time and/or willpower to do it. Now that I'm scheduling updates, I have to figure out when to schedule it for! Right now I've got it set up for 8 a.m. AK time on Monday (that's noon Eastern time, and evening in Europe, which seemed to me like the closest I could come to covering all my updating bases). Dunno if anyone has thoughts on that. It matters more on Tumblr than elsewhere, since it's so ephemeral a medium that update time makes an actual difference.
sholio: webcomic word balloon (Kismet-Frank threat)
Patreon people, if you haven't already, stop by my activity feed - there is a question for you there! I'm working on that outdoor-market crowd scene, the one I was brainstorming background-character ideas for a little while back, and [ profile] allanh had the AMAZING idea of sneakily working Patreon backers' names into the business names. And so I shall. :D So you need to tell me if you have a preference - if you'd rather have your name on a flower shop or a gun store, for example! (Or if you'd rather be included as, say, a busker in the background, or a guy riding a unicycle - I can do that too.)

If you read Kismet and the idea of being immortalized in the comic sounds like fun, but you aren't a Patreon backer ... well, there is an easy fix for that! It's $1/month minimum, and you can cancel at any time. I'm doing this for all the backers, not the ones at certain levels, though you do get extra stuff at the higher levels.

... Speaking of which, the May rewards package for the $5+ backers has been uploaded. This month is all from the sketchbook: character designs and so forth. I've also gone back and made the first couple of rewards packages for last year free to everybody, so you can see what kind of stuff I put in these - here are October and November of last year. I'm not going to be doing this every time, but I figured free samples are nice, so you can see what you're getting, right?

Obligatory mention that the comic is free, will always be free, and I don't care at all if people read it without paying - please do! :) The Patreon is just if you want extra stuff and feel like kicking some dollars to me.

You can also look upon the Patreon as supporting me in all my creative endeavors, not just the comic. Officially, it's the comic. Unofficially, if you want to kick in a buck a month because you like my fanfic and wanna buy me a mocha, who's gonna know? :D
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
I'm trying to figure out what the news media would be like in Kismet (my webcomic).

The problem with stuff like this is that Kismet is space opera, not strictly sci-fi; it's not meant to be a plausible extrapolation to what things would actually be like 800 years in the future (which would probably be, let's face it, incomprehensible to us now). It's for fun. But at the same time, I don't want it to be too blindingly contemporary-feeling. So really it's not so much "what would it be like" as "what can I get away with, in the way of reporters and newspapers, that wouldn't feel too anachronistic".

Here's what I know:
  • Kismet, like most cities in its era, has a city computer that runs the city’s infrastructure. Kismet, being a small city and a rather anarchic one, is a lot less networked than on a planet like, say, Zahali, but there’s still a central AI that has “eyes” and “ears” throughout the city. Most people have uplink devices to the computer and use them in similar ways to cell phones – for communication, to check in with their personal data storage/email/whatever, and so forth.
  • Therefore, everyone in the city is data-collecting all the time, in a passive kind of way.
  • Given current trends, future news media is probably going to look more like Twitter/blogs than like the centrally organized newsmedia we have now.

And there I've kind of stalled out. I want reporters, and newspapers, and things of that nature, but I'm not sure to what extent I can get away with them. Would there be centralized news media at all? Would people run blogs, or curate the existing data into some kind of newsfeed, or what? Hmmmmm.
sholio: webcomic word balloon (Kismet-Frank threat)
I went to bed at a reasonable hour, like a responsible adult, and then woke up -sproing- at 2 a.m., as usually happens when I try to be responsible that way.

On the other hand, the aurora was having a gorgeous display, so I went out in the yard and watched that for awhile, enjoying the novel sensation of watching the aurora without freezing to death while doing it. We rarely get really striking auroras this late in the year -- it's already not quite getting dark at night, so the aurora glimmering above a bright horizon was really interesting and novel. Plus, at one point I saw an owl fly across it, which in all my years of aurora-watching is totally a new one for me.

And now I'm wide awake, since my body thinks I had a nice refreshing nap. So I decided screw being an adult, I'm awake anyway and I don't have to be up early in the morning, may as well have a beer.

I went ahead and updated Sun-Cutter since I'm awake anyway. This particular update is a meet-cute between two characters whose first meeting I've had in mind for close to 15 years, but I never did it as a side story because I never really had a plot for the rest of it. Eventually I realized it would work fine as a flashback, since most of the rest of their story is in flashbacks anyway. And I got to play with a limited color palette for this, which is fun. (Next week, things go off the rails, as usual.)

I think I should probably spend the upcoming week doing mostly Kismet. My comfortable page buffer has been nibbled away to a little over a month, and summers are always very busy for me, so I'd like to get all the pages done through early fall in the next few weeks.

I also want to start doing more Kismet stuff on Tumblr, but I'm completely drawing a blank on, like ... what to do? Because most of Kismet these days is either working on pages, or it's mental plot noodling that exists entirely in my head. There used to be a time when I wrote a ton of Kismet snippets outside the main continuity, and sketched a bunch (well, I still do that, but it's mostly working out costume designs for upcoming characters and other spoilery stuff), and made gifs and cartoons and so forth. I feel like I should start playing with it more again. I'm having trouble even figuring out where to start with that, though.

Maybe if I set a goal of starting on May 1 (that's a nice day for starting a new venture - Beltane!) and posting one new Kismet thing per day on Tumblr. That might work. And it'll give me some time to work on stuff. I kinda just want to get the word out about the comic a little bit more, because it has a loyal audience, but a very small audience, and I think there are probably more people out there who'd like it if they knew about it! But there is just so much of it, about 500 pages so far. And that's a significant chunk of comic if you are just checking out something new. I think maybe it's easier to entice a new audience for a webcomic if it's brand new and there isn't much of a time commitment. (On the other hand ... Exhibit A: Homestuck.)

In genuinely unrelated news, I really, really wish the AO3 had a blacklist function. It would make certain fandoms 1000% more fun.
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
• Webcomic: Today's Kismet update is the last page of Part One. SPACESHIP LEAVING PORT! Also, this is the first time I've drawn Alex as a hologram ... because he is too lazy (or, more likely, preoccupied) to walk from room to room on a spaceship in which the living area is literally like 40 feet long. Now on to Part Two, and back to Kismet itself! On a side note, I've gotten really lax about mentioning Kismet updates on Tumblr/Facebook/etc (SOMETHING I PLAN TO FIX) but I am very reliable about updating the RSS feed. You can follow [syndicated profile] suncutter_feed (DW) or [ profile] suncutter_feed (LJ), if these are useful for you. :)

• Posted at my other blog: today's walk in the sunshine with a cat (also on tumblr). Also, incidentally, posted on Facebook and my "woops, there's a blog here isn't there?" website blog. This juggling of multiple social media is exhausting sometimes; I think one of the main reasons I miss when everyone was doing everything on LJ is because it was less WORK. XD

• I wrote a short Saga fic after reading books 1-4, and finally got around to posting it on AO3: Day by Day, set after the 3rd book/issue #18, in which Gwendolyn and Sophie work some things out.

• Probably burying the lede somewhat, I also wrote a White Collar fic tonight for [community profile] fan_flashworks' "Unidentified Object" challenge: Box of Awesome, set post-series, mostly focused on mini-Neal but also has the main three. Gen.
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
You guys, my Patreon is closing on its first stretch goal! \o/ Granted, it's a very low stretch goal ($50/month), but I'm still completely thrilled; this is so much farther than I thought I'd get so soon. Thank you so much to the people who are supporting me. You make me feel like I can make this comic-making thing financially viable. ♥ (And even if I don't get to the first stretch goal -- where the bonus is unlocking a side comic -- I'm going to try to do some side stories anyway. I have a ton of scripts just laying around; I need to start working on them ...)

I am also going to start doing more with my Tumblr(s). Last night I did a top-to-bottom reorganization of my Kismet folder (which hasn't really been cleaned out, well, ever; there's so much old stuff in there) -- this was what prompted this tweet, though as far as I can tell, I didn't make any terrible mistakes. *g* But it reminded me how much creative play I used to engage in; there's so much Kismet-related poetry, cartoons, worldbuilding side stuff, playful crossovers with TV shows and manga ... basically I just want to start doing more with it that's not strictly related to the pages I'm working on, and putting a lot more of it out there.

I'm frustrated by how inefficient I've been lately. I just don't seem to be managing to do a whole lot. I waffle around between different projects, do a little here, a little there, but don't end up with a whole lot to show for it. I can't figure out where the time goes, or why I'm doing so little with it. Ten years ago, I was doing a lot more than this ON TOP of working a lot more! nnnaaaargh.

On the other hand, things which I have learned today: in Tolkien's early drafts, Aragorn was originally a hobbit, nicknamed Trotter because of his wooden shoes and the clopping sound they made. I may never stop giggling at this. (Also, Frodo was originally named Bingo Bolger-Baggins, which I think I did know already. Thank god for rewrites ...)
sholio: webcomic word balloon (Kismet-Frank threat)
Hey all - I am working on a big splash-page crowd scene for an upcoming scene in Kismet, which is going to be followed by a series of pages taking place in the same area, a large indoor marketplace that is Kismet's main shopping district. I'm running out of ideas for different sorts of people and various sight gags to have in the background. I asked my sister for some ideas, and she had some good ones (a person with a hat-top garden on their head; someone selling things out of a trench coat). But since I'm going to need to repeatedly come up with different people to appear in the background, more ideas are definitely better. Mostly it'll just be run-of-the-mill random bystanders, but I want a fair amount of weird to go along with the standard marketplace kinds of things.

Kismet is a future dome-city, and while there's no organized government, so theoretically anything goes, the marketplace itself is run by a sort of mafia-like organization (the Galleria Merchant's Association) that tends to police it fairly strictly and with extreme prejudice for anything that would discourage business; therefore you won't have a whole lot of, say, panhandling, streaking, etc.

Actually for starters, I'm working on just coming up with what you might see in the crowd in a normal marketplace/street fair/mall, like:
- mimes and living statues
- people on unicycles
- people with visible disabilities
- small children
- street artists
- people texting or using phones
- buskers

Stuff which is possible in a Kismetlike space opera setting:
- people with physical modifications (horns/wings/animal heads/etc)
- people carrying large guns
- people with very strange pets (like, I have a person walking a dinosaur on a leash)
- etc ...?

(Kismet leans heavily towards the moderately-anachronistic space opera end of the sci-fi spectrum, as opposed to being serious sci-fi, so the overall feel I'm going for here is not really a serious science fiction look at a future street fair, so much as "street fair with various weirdness and assorted futuristic sight gags in the background". Also, there are no sapient aliens, though domestic alien creatures are possible.)
sholio: webcomic word balloon (Kismet-Frank threat)
Today I have an interview at my realname journal with Melissa Jensen, aka [ profile] kriadydragon, on her middle-grade fantasy novel The Toymaker, in which a young girl in search of her parents and an eccentric inventor on a quest for his family's legacy embark on a journey across their world. Melissa's clever, inventive worldbuilding is one of the things I like most about her fanfic, and it carries over into her original fiction too. Click on the link to find out more! Thank you for letting me interview you, [ profile] kriadydragon. :)

Meanwhile, it's Monday so that means a new Kismet page. I now have RSS feeds for the comic on both LJ ([ profile] suncutter_feed) and DW ([syndicated profile] suncutter_feed). They've both been running for a couple of weeks and seem to work great. I'm just putting up the links on the RSS, not the whole page, so it won't spam your reading page terribly.

This photo I posted on Twitter this morning indicates my feelings on current weather trends. (Funny story there. The dragonfly thermometer in the photo has actually been sitting in the garage for ages; I didn't really want to put it outside in the winter because it only goes down to -40 and I was afraid it would break if it got colder than that. But it's been a very warm winter, so I put it outside about a week ago and LOOK WHAT HAPPENED.)
sholio: Cocoa in red cup with cinnamon stick (Christmas cocoa)
Rather than writing Fandom Stocking fills, I've ended up writing snippets of Kismet, most of which I can't post anywhere because they're spoilery for future events. As one does.

However, one thing I was trying to figure out launched me into a timeline quandary, so I figured I'd talk it out in an LJ post and see if that helps.

At the start of Sun-Cutter, one of my protagonists, Fulki, is recovering from a severe career and personal trauma that happened a few years ago when the original Sun-Cutter project blew up in her face (somewhat literally). A close friend of hers almost died, and she ended up blacklisted in her field. She and her family might have moved to another planet (I'm still kicking around where they were living at the time, but they were probably living somewhere different than where they're living now). Anyway, her life blew up badly and she had to deal with a lot of sudden, negative media attention.

The thing I'm struggling with is that Fulki's kids, who have been seen in canon so I don't have a whole lot of wiggle room on their ages, would have been born right around the time that all of this happened. Her kids are probably in the general vicinity of 4 and 6, or 5 and 7 (they appear on this page). And I was thinking that the original Sun-Cutter disaster was about 5 years ago.

What I'm having a little trouble with, is figuring out why Fulki and Jae-Ha (her wife) would have had kids with all of this going on. It's rather inflexibly canonical that the kids were planned (they pretty much had to have been, since Fulki and Jae-Ha are both female and the kids are biologically theirs). I can move around the dates of the Sun-Cutter disaster somewhat, but I really don't want it to have been less than about 4 years ago, or more than 5-6, and I'm coming up to a part of the comic when I'm going to need to nail it down for certain. Either way, with the kids being the ages they are and with an obvious 2- or 3-year age spread between them, at least one of them would've been born right around this time and probably just a bit afterwards.

"They'd already had the second child started when the whole Sun-Cutter disaster happened" is probably the answer I'm leaning toward most heavily right now, but even then, Fulki would've been a total workaholic on the Sun-Cutter project for the previous year or two, so the timing STILL seems sub-optimal. Complicating matters is the fact that neither Fulki nor Jae-Ha are the kind of person who are likely to jump into something without thinking it over a lot beforehand. They're both thoughtful and methodical, and I guess I can't quite get my head into the why of what would make them plan a family while Fulki's career is taking off (and then imploding) and Jae-Ha is basically moving around to stay close to where Fulki works.

ETA: I very much appreciate the input -- I think I have their character trajectory mapped out now, so thank you! The ideas were very helpful; sometimes you need an outside perspective to see the obvious. :) (Not that you can't still comment if you have ideas; if I don't use it for these people, it may shed some light on other characters' stories elsewhere in the universe.)
sholio: (Kismet-Colette-ew)
Much website updating, most of it behind the scenes, dinking about with CSS and such. Why oh why did I hardcode all my font sizes?! I guess in 2008 that made sense to me.

Anyway, among other things, I have redone the top menus on my webcomic pages to hopefully make them cleaner and easier to use. :) Go see! I also now have an about page (Orion's suggestion!), which will probably undergo a good deal of modification in upcoming weeks as I think of new things to add and find new ways of breaking my buggy CSS. Anyway, if you are wondering what Kismet is all about, have a look. :)

I technically have a forum now but I'm not linking it from the main pages quite yet; however, it's live and open for business. Mostly I wanted a place for posting old art and such, and consolidating discussion all in one place. I'd originally planned to do that sort of thing on the Kismet tumblr but it feels too public for some of the old development art, and Tumblr sucks for discussion, so ... yeah.
sholio: webcomic word balloon (Kismet-Frank threat)
Thank you so much to everyone for your answers to the book question! :) I may not get around to answering everyone individually, but I REALLY appreciate all the answers - it's very useful, and I'm also really interested in the wide variety of answers, though the common theme throughout a lot of them is that word-of-mouth (from friends, family, social media, etc) is probably THE big way that people find new books. (I also think I need to learn how to use Goodreads....)

Anyway, I'm way behind on comments as always, so I wanted to say that just in case I don't get around to answering everyone individually.

In other news, I updated Kismet early tonight (Red Wolf of Tertia, yessssss; it's such a lovely feeling to get to parts of the storyline that I've been sitting on for YEARS) and I've been dinking around with the header links, trying to make them more user-friendly. The fundamental problem, I guess, is that I have a ton of stuff to link to, and I'm not sure how much of it is useful enough to be worth cluttering up the header with. (I know I don't need separate links to the LJ and the DW since they crosspost, but which is more useful? Why is this hard?)

I still don't have automatic-updating capabilities and probably won't until I break down and teach myself to write CGI scripts, but by now I've gotten the comic-updating protocol down to a matter of minutes, including updating all the places around the website where it needs to update, and updating the RSS feed. (Orion claims people don't use RSS feeds anymore. I am, for the time being, ignoring him.)

Also, I posted some pictures of solstice fireworks over on my realname blog. THE DAYS ARE GETTING LONGER NOW. WE MAY SURVIVE. \o/ Relatedly, check out this nifty graphic I found on Facebook that shows how many hours of daylight various places around Alaska get on the solstice. It's a neat way of looking at how incredibly big Alaska is, and how much difference a few degrees of latitude makes when you're this close to the Arctic Circle.

Oh, and guys, just LOOK at my h/c bingo card. :D I only have 8 squares to go for a blackout! I've never gotten that close before! I don't know if I can manage to write all of them by Jan. 3, though, which is when Round 5 closes. Is it tacky to write Yuletide treats that I plan to claim for h/c bingo squares? Does anyone ever do that?

ETA: ALSO I'M PROBABLY GOING TO KILL THE CAT SOON. Just fyi. (It's gotten colder so he can't go outside, and he will. not. stop. getting into things.)
sholio: Hand outlines on a cave wall (Cave painting-Hands)
Not precisely part of the DVD commentary meme, but I was asked about Elaine (from Kismet) and her timeline in the comments to this Kismet page, so I got to ramble about the difference between the Elaine short stories vs. her appearances in the comic.

I think one thing that's been really interesting (and surprising) to me since I started up the webcomic again is how MUCH Kismet is lurking in my brain. I haven't actively worked on it since 2009, but it's pretty much all still there, in detail up to and including everyone's birthdates and the dates of important events (though some of it I have to work backward from the current date to remember) and, of course, an absolute shitload of detail on characterization, the current political situation, etc. The point, I guess, is that so far I haven't actually had to look up anything -- I've occasionally had my memory jogged on random bits of canon as I've been going through the old stuff (and I do have to look back at the Hunter's Moon pages to remember some of the minor visual details of the comic, like where the patches on Fleetwood's jacket are located), but it's really fascinating to me because it's all been buried in my brain so long and now that it's resurfacing, I don't feel as if I've lost any of it.

... as opposed to the often short-term way that I load information for fanfic when I'm in a fandom. I think this is maybe one of the key aspects of how my brain deals differently with my original worlds versus fan worlds, because while I'm actively reading/writing in a fandom, I have a tremendous amount of canon information front-loaded -- it is definitely all there, all the characterization stuff and the backstory and everything. But it starts to slip and get overwritten once I leave the fandom. I noticed towards the end of my time in SGA fandom, particularly, that I was failing at some of the canon details in the last couple of fics that I wrote for it. (Someone pointed out a detail in the comments to one of my very last SGA fics that made me realize I'd forgotten Rodney's lemon allergy. Um. Yeah.) I think I could still write for my old fandoms, but in most cases it'd be a struggle and I'd have to re-familiarize myself with canon first.

But the original worlds -- even the (absolutely ridiculous) fantasy-romance novel I wrote when I was a teenager is still all there, and without even looking at it, I bet I could sit down right now and write a conversation between any two of those characters that's still totally in character and has all their backstory intact, even though it's been 20 years since I wrote them or even thought about them. They still live in here.

Random link of the day: here is a nifty-looking comics anthology that is taking submissions on the theme of exploration, colonization and contact, if you are into that sort of thing!


Aug. 31st, 2014 11:24 pm
sholio: Berries in the sun (Autumn-berries in sunlight)
Okay guys - it's here! My webcomic Kismet is updating on Mondays (NEW PAGE NEW PAGE! \o/) and my Patreon fundraiser page is live. While I'm sure I will talk about it occasionally, in the normal course of "what I'm up to these days" posts, I don't plan to make a habit of spamming you about it. Webcomic updates will be announced over on ye olde realname journal [personal profile] layla/[ profile] laylalawlor (as well as on [ profile] kismetcity). Otherwise, carry on!
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
When I (re)launch Kismet, I'm also going to launch a funding page on, which is basically a crowdfunding platform that allows people to pledge/pay a certain small amount that's either due monthly or per work funded; mine would be monthly.

I want to make it clear that I do NOT expect people to pay to read the comic, or feel guilty if they can't/don't want to. Kismet will always be online for free. Actually, one of the things I'm struggling with, as I set up my funding donation levels, is rewarding people for paying me while not setting up a tiered hierarchy of readers, with an inner circle of paying readers and an outer circle of free ones. I don't want that! I want everyone to be able to enjoy the comic while also paying if, and ONLY if, they can afford it and want to, and not feel like they're missing out on some sort of inner circle of preferred readers if they can't or don't want to pay.

I'd love some input on setting up my funding levels, though.

Right now I have it set up like this:

Cutting the rest of it because there's no need to clog everyone's reading list )



sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)

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