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Vespair

Anarchy.

I write for the ones without a voice.

Yoshiyuki Ly
Yoshiyuki
yoshiyuki_ly
Writing.
Video games.
Music.
Fanfiction.

Don't ignore the:
Social realism + romance.
Intensity.
LGBT, minorities, and women as fully-realized characters.
Power plays that push mental and emotional limits.
Armor over vulnerabilities. Strip that armor to get to the soft, devoted core.



Anathema
Historical fantasy romance. Self-published. It's available now. Book summary:

Prepared to die for her country, Solaire Copeland is drafted to the Drakengard knighthood at twenty-two years old, and vows to stop running away from the one she loves. Guarding over her dark secrets in shame, she nevertheless takes a leap of faith and entrusts herself to her intelligent equal in Stella Azrith, an alluring, measured, and methodical young woman of magic. Solaire elevates her love for Stella in romantic showmanship and subservience, even as the two of them struggle to understand one another through their temperamental differences. Anathema is a historical fantasy romance that tells the tale of Solaire and Stella's courtly relationship in their youth, as they grow into their characters--Archangel Vespair and Mistress Fury--from The Scorpion's Empress, Venus and Lysander, and Black Waltz as a prequel to the existing trilogy.

Desperate to keep Solaire at home, Stella conspires to prevent her from getting sent off to fight in an unjust war for their country, the Monomyth of Astora. In her scheming at the highest levels of government, she forms an unstable alliance with Fey Murasaki, the wicked and wily ambassador from Astora's closest foreign ally. Stella and Fey's influence across the land slithers in darkness while Solaire's knightly powers shine to alarming levels in the light, causing them to become targets--for both good and ill--of the nation's most powerful leaders. Through intensifying mortal perils, Solaire's love for Stella deepens to maddening levels, restrained only by her distinct sense that her free will erodes more each time she kneels in fulfilling servitude.

Independent streaks contradict religiosity in service of loving a woman with a will so strong--Solaire bears both the light and the dark or enlightened empathy and burning hatred, with her secrets fueling her rise as the strongest knight of an age.

Anathema - ebook cover

buy here on Amazon

--

Black Waltz
Contemporary fantasy romance. Self-published. It's available now. Book summary:

As a Black Waltz--a magical ballet dancer--Stella Azrith appears to all as a composed, no-nonsense sorceress of notable talent. Yet she is deeply dependent on her muse for far more than most artists, complicating her relationships. Nyte Lysander is a suave, emotional cellist who once struggled in her obsession to stay in Stella's world. She and Stella find one another again after a tumultuous breakup, needing the other for reasons warped beyond the norm. Black Waltz is a sprawling urban fantasy romance set 350 years after The Scorpion's Empress and 100 years after Venus and Lysander, concluding the trilogy. Can be read as a standalone.

Searching for acceptance, Stella and Nyte learn to understand each other anew, strained only by disagreements past and unspoken. Nyte's living situation in the crime-ridden district of Maleficus in the city of Eden pushes her and Stella to pursue better artistic opportunities elsewhere. As they toy with the idea of exploring a power play relationship, they learn about a greater evil that threatens the Azrith and Lysander family. The true enemy twists on its head through whirling rainstorms, driving Stella and Nyte to prove who and what they stand for.

There can be no waltz for three.

Black Waltz ebook

buy here on Amazon

--

Venus and Lysander
Historical-fantasy-romance. Solstice Publishing picked this one up. It's available now. Book summary:

Living as a nobleman and a woman, Valerie of Lysander is sick of waiting for the world to change. The discrimination she suffers as an outcast builds into resentment. Once Val takes matters into her own hands, the whole Empire of Tynan feels her brand of justice. The Emperor's adviser, Lucrezia of Azrith, wants more of Val's ruthlessness
for revenge against the unjust, and for her own desires. Venus and Lysander is an intricate romance set in the fictional Victorian city of Eden, 250 years after the events in The Scorpion's Empress.

Lucrezia is Lady Chancellor for the Emperor and a sorceress-in-hiding. She is forced to conceal her identity from the religious public for fear of death. As she learns to trust in Val's chivalry and affections for her, they both fall for the softer sides behind their similar bulletproof personas. Lucrezia receives a mysterious warning about a sadistic enemy threatening the Azrith and Lysander families. Once they discover their nemesis' true motive, Val and Lucrezia's tyrannous devotion for one another is all they can count on to survive.



buy here on Amazon

Finalist in the 30th Annual Lambda Literary Awards - Lesbian romance
2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention


--

The Scorpion's Empress
Erotic romance plus a bit of fantasy. Also under Solstice Publishing. It's available now. Book summary:

After years of serving a corrupt government, Ser Videl, an idealistic paladin, learns that her younger sister is tangled in a dark scheme against Raj Mangala, the compassionate yet troubled Empress of the city's oppressed lowtown; the two women meet and are deeply drawn to one another, finding a shared sanctuary in their violently-divided city. The Scorpion's Empress is intimately written through the eyes of both twenty-seven year old women.

Videl's loving devotion is just what Raj craves, but Raj is wary of letting her guard down while protecting her throne. Determined to prove her worth, Videl chases after Raj and works to unravel the mystery of the plots against the Empress. Raj wants Videl to serve her emotional and sexual needs, and the two explore a meaningful relationship of dominance and submission that delves fully into their deepest wants. When the conspiracy against Raj comes to a head, Videl's loyalties are tested when she is forced to choose between her past and her Empress.

The Scorpion's Empress

buy here on Amazon
Goodreads // Solstice Publishing

Winner in the 29th Annual Lambda Literary Awards - Lesbian romance
Finalist in the 2016 Independent Author Network Awards - LGBT
Winner in the 2016 New England Book Awards - LGBT
Honorable Mention in the 2016 Rainbow Awards - Lesbian erotic romance

--

Online Stories
Find most of my romance works here. The joy of sharing.

In-Depth Story Notes
Find my personal commentary and additional notes for certain stories here.

Twitter

Contact Me + Navigation
-Email me at yoshiyuki.ly17@gmail.com with questions, comments or book-related requests.
-Follow the tag links on the right hand side if you're looking for anything specific.
-Click the cuts below to read what's underneath.

Book publishing dates/progress

1. The Scorpion's Empress (erotic romance with some D/s) - June 1, 2016
2. Venus and Lysander (historical-fantasy-romance) - January 31, 2017

3. Black Waltz (urban fantasy romance with some BDSM) - September 25, 2018
4. Anathema (historical-fantasy-romance with some D/s) - May 1, 2019
5. Chauvinistic Coquette (contemporary romance with some fantasy) - editing final draft - publishing date: August 17, 2020
6. Anathema II: The Scorpion's Empress (erotic romance, dark fantasy, BDSM) - next WIP - publishing date: 2021

These are all set in different eras of my fictional Anathema universe: the world, Tellus, with Nyx Vevina as God of the Anathema religion; she is the morally ambiguous shadow to her more spirited twin sister, Venus, who is revered as the standard of beauty, femininty and acceptance. My main characters all challenge the status quo in these societies in ways that are relevant to the real world.

Call me YoshiCollapse )

Current video game(s)Collapse )

Final Fantasy VIII Remastered out on September 3.
Vespair
yoshiyuki_ly
I'm dropping every other game to play this right away. Already have it preordered. It's a good thing I quit Final Fantasy XIV ahead of time, since I would have basically not logged on at all to play this game instead. I'm excited to go after the platinum trophy by revisiting all of the old secrets and tricks I've known about for 20 years now.

I remember the store I bought the original in when I was 9 or 10 years old or so. Seeing that cover behind the glass and how realistic the characters were, I thought it was amazing -- ahead of its time. My mother didn't know what the T rating meant, so she bought it for me anyway. It's been my favorite mainline FF game ever since.

Do I even need to mention how stunning Edea is? All of her special sequences are pure beauty in mysticism. That first one with Quistis, as well, when she enters the infirmary and finds Squall, and she just sighs with a soft smile, and then the original PS1 disc works its ass off to steadily fade to black: unforgettable.

More than anything, the romantic themes in the story had a big influence on me. They're real, larger-than-life, and more meaningful than the usual petty drama.

Squall's quote in particular to Rinoa is a cornerstone:

"No matter what happens, even if you become the world's enemy, I'll be your knight."

I used to pretend that I had found something like that with others. I would convince myself that I had, just to stay with them. But then I would do and say things that proved the exact opposite. It seemed as if I never felt what I believed for anyone who was right in front of me, and I didn't know why. I eventually learned what the problem was -- that I hadn't yet seen the person's true face, even though their instability with me had usually brought it out. I wouldn't have seen it if things between us had been all right. I had always felt that that was a problem, because I need to see someone for who they are, completely, without censorship or them holding back. Otherwise, what's the point?

Final Fantasy VIII doesn't necessarily get this deep. It doesn't need to. The story is about seventeen and eighteen-year-olds in the military saving the world: there's bound to be some weirdness and immaturity at points. But the point is that it was the beginning and the foundation of how I see and write about romance.

If you want to know what I mean, then I suggest you play the game for yourself. It'll be out on PS4, Steam, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.



edit:

AND Yakuza 3 Remastered is out today? Yakuza 4 and Yakuza 5 will be bundled with it for physical release in February. This is too much. I can't.

Yakuza 3 with a proper localization and all of the cut content from the original US version will be here?

I get to spend time with Kiryu and Haruka again. They really made this series for me.

All of my gaming plans are now canceled for this.

Goodbye.


optional for me means liability.
Vespair
yoshiyuki_ly
Juggling "normal" work and video games in between editing Chauvinistic Coquette and writing Anathema II is doable. But I decided that I don't need to waste the extra energy on things that are "extra" and not worth it in the end. So I cut back on some things.

Even though I love my character in FFXIV, I canceled my subscription today once again. I had even cleared three out of the four current Savage raids during week one on my dark knight. I just found that, even though I moved through things at a good pace, I had to invest too much time to reach those goals. I really haven't even bothered with the fourth fight. It's not difficult at all. It's just the time investment, of throwing myself at a wall for hours on end to finally clear something: that isn't productive anymore, as if it ever was in the first place. The game was only ever meant to be a distraction for me.

I tried writing while waiting for raid groups to fill up. Then I'd get into a rhythm, the group would fill up, and I'd lose all desire to actually raid. I can't do that anymore. I have to put my manuscripts first.

In reality, if I ever had to choose between Final Fantasy XI and XIV, I would pick XI every time, despite the game being nearly 20 years old. I'm fine with logging in to FFXI in between playing other video games here and there. Even though there's not much to do now that my bard is fully maxed/mastered with all REMA weapons/instruments, I still enjoy being in the world. Final Fantasy XI is home to me, and it always will be. I'm keeping my subscription until the day that the servers shut down.

I hate the global chat, though, and I've since had to filter it completely. There are a good amount of reasonable people on my server. But the trolls and the other people with their toxic, nihilistic political views almost ruined the game for me. My blacklist is already full. Filters, filters.

--

In other news, Anathema II is going well. It's also going much differently than the first book did. With the first book, I more or less had control over the process. I didn't always know how things would go, but I had a stronger sense of belonging there. It's really the opposite here.

Aside from touching on existing canon topics/events, I have no control over this book. I know the major story beats to build up to, as I always do, and as I have always functioned as a writer. Beyond that, I'm letting myself go along for the ride. In recent years, I have only done this with Chauvinistic Coquette before. I didn't anticipate that one of these Anathema volumes would give me the same feeling, of being adrift, of this loss of control. It's even worse this time, I think, because of the contrast from the first book.

Accepting this fluidity, I feel that the chapters so far are highly subject to change. I didn't go back to change much of anything in the first book: everything was mostly set in stone once I wrote the first draft. The first chapter so far is beautiful, emotional. The second chapter so far is chaotic, emotional. Chaos and emotion again for the third, and beautiful emotion again for the fourth. There is order in the chaos, though, in that the chapters are obviously organized and readable. I suppose it's more about me letting go and allowing my intuition to write the story, instead of "me" doing it.

Going along with this process has opened me up to a lot of unwanted emotions, even outside of the story. I don't like feeling this way: feeling at all, even if it's anger and disgust with people who don't matter. But when I was numb and empty, I couldn't access the emotions I needed to write properly. So this is the residue.

It's all right to feel this way. I enjoy writing for myself, not caring whether or not other people read my work. I enjoy not caring -- except for this one thing. The one thing that no one can take away from me or compare to. Caring about anything or anyone else seems like a waste of energy, hence me cutting out these other activities out of my life.

I will always have this, and I will always have my home in FFXI. Optional for me means liability.

officially started on Anathema II - dark erotic romance, fantasy, D/s.
Lulu
yoshiyuki_ly
It's time.

I had a few different ideas for how I would start the first chapter. All of them came back to the same location, even if different events happened in these different scenarios. I decided to go with my original idea, if only tweaked a bit.

For everything else, I had the big ideas cemented in place. The larger-than-life emotions, the extravagance, the explosiveness. That was easy.

The hardest part -- and I didn't figure this out until this week -- was the rest of it.

I thought that I would take care of the rest on the way. It would figure itself out. I wouldn't need to spend any significant time fleshing these things out, or so I convinced myself. That wasn't exactly true, though. I don't need to micromanage and come up with every single thing. No, that's not what I mean. I simply needed a general idea for what these things will become.

I had no idea before. I had a giant gap that I expected to fill itself by magic.



I had no such magic. So I hesitated to start writing until last night, once I really knew what this was about.

Listening to the song in this video on repeat, I wrote the first couple of pages with a real ease I haven't felt in a long time, if ever.

I finished watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix, last night. I had honestly forgotten about it, and didn't really care to watch this final season, since season six was so terrible. But for the sake of finishing a show that I've been with for so many years, I went ahead and watched the final season. I appreciate that the writers kept a better balance between the dramedy and the social commentary...especially since a lot of it is relevant to what's going on today. Overall, everything was better than season six, even though I had forgotten my investment in most of the characters.

What resonated with me was the ordinary. The mundane. The things, the little experiences we have with people, in friendships/relationships. The time.

I had forgotten what it means to spend time with someone.

When I realized this, I was upset -- I still am -- but everything for this manuscript fell into place. That's what matters, and yet:

I started watching this show because of Alex and Piper, because their fucked up relationship reminded me of my own at the time. I don't have much in common with Piper. It's Alex that kept reminding me of my ex from back then: her edge, her intelligence, her reasons for her distance and her need to be in control, all of it. Her constant push-and-pull with Piper was what I kept coming back to. Back then, I needed answers for why I had a similar emotional roller coaster of a relationship, and always had. Back then, I thought that watching these two would help me figure things out. Back then, I thought that I could keep lying to myself and have what I didn't need.

Those annoyances and pains and inconveniences, big and small, that Alex and Piper deal with. The imperfections of being with another person. The romance of someone else's uncertain company that you want to believe is certain.

I mention these things in the first Anathema as I float right above them.

My characters can't grow properly unless I come back down to earth for them and write this, the right way, no matter how much it hurts.

It hurts now because of how real it feels, because I'm not above those things anymore.

This, in turn, ended up darkening the romance and erotica atmosphere that I had intended for. I had planned on erotic romance with a dark edge. I had not planned for a full-on, deep dive into these raw fucking emotions, pun intended. I hadn't planned on this because I thought I was done with it. I thought that I had left it behind -- and I had, with other people, yes. I let those things go. I had moved on from the past, yet I felt empty without those feelings. But now they're back, with Stella and Solaire, and I don't know how to handle it. All I can do is write it out, coherently, with style and with meaning.

So now, for me, this second Anathema is twice as real, thrice as painful, and four times more frightening than the first book.

If this is going to be my best work, then I can't and won't settle for anything less. 

Toni Morrison.
Vespair
yoshiyuki_ly
I don't have many idols or people I look up to.

But I will always remember her work and how much it opened my eyes, painfully so.

I write with the clarity I have today because of how much she enlightened me with her work when I was much younger.

It hurt a lot, including one adapted film in particular that scarred me, traumatized me when I was way too young to understand.

The pain helped me grow, and helped shaped my values today, and so I wouldn't take it back, not for anything--

Of unyielding principle. 

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers
Vespair
yoshiyuki_ly
ffxiv_06282019_115506_433

I played Shadowbringers through early access, and finished the main story close to the official launch date on July 2.

After sitting on my thoughts for a while, I feel that the story is quite good. However, I'm annoyed at the way everything falls flat on its face via tropes during the final push, including the finale. Everything was great for the most part up until that happened. The character relationships between the Scions and our main character were great, though. I'm glad that Y'shota, my favorite Scion, finally got something of a character arc. Yet because of the tropes, my view on the story ended up souring as a result. I just don't care anymore.

The journey was excellent, despite a few lulls here and there. The ending did nothing for me. Shadowbringers is still the strongest beginning to an expansion yet. I doubt it will top the high that Stormblood gave me in patch 4.3, Under the Moonlight, with Yotsuyu, despite me not really caring for how the writers handled her up to that point. I doubt anything will ever top that for me.

ffxiv_06262019_145115_319

But, that doesn't take away how I feel about the expansion's music and atmosphere, with my favorite being a place that technically no longer exists, now that I've made it past this part of the story.

This is NOT my character/footage, just a video I found on YouTube.



The hopelessness and unease in this song is a fine reflection of how I feel. There's a bit of hope at the end, until it loops back around to the first part. It's not depressing, though. It's quite graceful, measured and otherwordly in how bleak it sounds. I'm upset that the song is now replaced with something that manages to sound both generic and forced in how "happy" it is in comparison, after resolving the conflict in this location.

I wouldn't say that I feel hopeless, either. It's more that my perspective on things shifted massively over the past few years, to the point where interpersonal things that once seemed so important, are now pointless to me. Outside of interpersonal issues, I certainly have more room to care, like with what's going on in my country lately. My own personal, individual, isolated concerns are only my own as well. Beyond that, I place more value in the unknown, in what's to come, of all that is so much more transcendent than these worldly concerns that now mean nothing -- all of that feels like this song that plays during the Everlasting Light atmosphere in Kholusia.

About my character:

ffxiv_06282019_051706_055

I changed to Viera right away.

I'm happy I did, because I love my character now. She's gorgeous. The bunny ears soften her a bit as an interesting metaphor for how sensitive I can be, personally. The hard and distant personality rounds it all out to perfection. She reminds me of how feminine I could have been, the flavor and the edge and the aloofness, if I didn't have this dysphoria to deal with.

I got to 80 as my old main job, astrologian, first. It made me so angry because I realize how little patience I have for healing in this game. Having to carry bad tanks through dungeons pissed me off to no end. I'm tired of being a babysitter for people who don't care to help themselves. I'm a mentor, so I accept my obligation to help people -- but there's nothing I can do with players who have no desire whatsoever to improve. I may be good at healing, but I found that I stuck with the job as a "might as well" type of thing, only because of how comfortable I am with the role.

I honestly had a crisis trying to work through this. It took me a while to make up my mind on what to do next.

ffxiv_06282019_115629_197

Eventually, I settled on becoming a tank full-time.

Specifically, a dark knight, with warrior as a backup.

I've always had tanks as a secondary or tertiary role at best. I never prioritized them because I hated certain mechanics that revolved around tanking, mostly the expectation to have tank stance off at all times, or else our DPS suffered. Now that tank stances no longer force a DPS penalty, and everything we do generates enmity, I love tanking so much.

I can focus on myself when needed, helping the healer to not have to heal me as much. I can protect the party as necessary, but ultimately not have to worry about anything beyond general tanking details for myself. I don't have to babysit the whole party anymore on top of doing my own job.

Dark knight is perfect for me. I love the aesthetic, the high DPS, the feeling, the class identity, the fantasy of it all. Wearing FFXII Fran's heels and an odachi sword is really fucking hot to me. It doesn't get old, and it's helped me fall back in love with the game again.

The final tank role quest and the level 80 dark knight quest really spoke to me on a personal level. In the last screenshot below, it feels like the writer spoke to me directly.

I won't ever forget it.

ffxiv_07082019_171835_065
ffxiv_07082019_171917_930
ffxiv_07092019_142955_027
ffxiv_07092019_143225_722

Kamala Harris 2020.
Fran
yoshiyuki_ly
She needs to be about it tonight for night two of the Democratic debates.

Watch her speak. Watch her town halls. Watch her at the debates. Watch her Senate hearings. That fire, that shine is what stands out to me most about her. She's qualified as hell and she knows what the fuck she's talking about. No-nonsense.

Even though I don't live in California anymore, I still consider Kamala to be my senator.

I'm concerned and frustrated with her polling numbers as of now. Honestly. I hate the media circus surrounding this whole thing. I hate the pervasive tactical framing methods that dominate the news cycle. I despise how the more serious, pragmatic candidates like Kamala aren't seen as ~relatable~ and ~memable~ enough, so people tend to sleep on them. I'm sick of these other weak ass candidates getting more traction than she is.

I don't normally talk about politics here, but this doesn't mean I'm not plugged in politically. I read the news as soon as I wake up every single day. This shit is important. It is. I've decided that instead of complaining about it, I will be more productive elsewhere.

Whether Kamala wins the nomination or not, it's important to me that you know where I stand. I'll vote for the eventual Democratic nominee, whoever it is. But I will be much happier to vote for my almost-senator.
Tags:

Anathema II, Chauvinistic Coquette
Vespair
yoshiyuki_ly
Anathema II

I tried writing a first draft of the first chapter, and saw that, indeed, not enough time has passed between finishing the first book and starting this next one. It sounded exactly the same, like the next chapter from the first book. That's not what I want. So I'm exploring other sources of motivation while forcing myself not to write. But really, it feels like I'm about to lose my mind. It's all I can do to focus on other things or plan out the plot and emotional buildups instead. The problem is that I already know how the plot will go and which emotional notes to hit. I'm only planning the nuances in theory when normally, I would figure these details out as I go.

I feel overprepared and behind schedule. Yet if I start now, it will be half-baked. I'm currently resisting my constant impulse to just write already.

Chauvinistic Coquette

I honestly considered rewriting this. The format bothered me for the longest: alternating between the past and present for a handful of chapters at a time. However, I realized that it fits with how chaotic the plot is. I don't mean chaotic in terms of unorganized and messy. I mean, actual chaos and drama and an emotional roller coaster. It's not a simple, straightforward read, like how conservative (this word is developing an unsettling modern connotation) the first Anathema is in comparison. Venus and Astrid "think" that they have a healthy relationship, but this is not at all the case, especially if you read in between the lines. So I will leave the format as-is.

You may have noticed that I don't discuss this book as much, despite my solid plans to publish CC next summer. I think it's because it's more personal for me than I like to let on. You may also notice that I'm not elaborating on what I mean in this post. I've talked enough about it in other posts, even indirectly.

Anyway, I will go back and make a final edit to this manuscript one I finish a few chapters of Anathema II, simply for some peace of mind. I don't want to edit this book while I have no progress with Anathema II, because then I'll end up feeling unproductive.

E3 2019.
Vespair
yoshiyuki_ly
Aside from Square-Enix's conference, this year's E3 was just...whatever. I only watched a few other conferences out of respect for gaming in general.

Xbox
-Vaguely interested in Cyberpunk 2077. I'll wait for reviews before getting it (on PS4/PC).
-Interested in Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot (on PS4/PC) because DBZ was a big part of my childhood.
-Paying attention to the next Xbox to see what it's about, but no plans on buying it.

Who even cares about Xbox exclusives. Even if I wanted to play them, I could buy the PC versions instead. So what's the point of having the console?

After all of that, I went back to playing Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne on my PS2.

Bethesda
-Genuinely entertained to have seen Ikumi Nakamura introduce her new game, Ghostwire: Tokyo. She helped create some of my favorite games, like Bayonetta and Okami. I don't even care for horror games, but I'll give this one a try.

Tuned out after that.

Ubisoft
-Might try Watch Dogs: Legion for the stealth. Playing as the old lady assassin looked hilarious, but I'll wait for reviews here, too.

Stopped caring after this point.

Square-Enix
-Final Fantasy VII: Remake looks great! I'm hopeful about SE not fucking this up, which is a big turnaround from how I felt before. I've only heard about the first part expanding on Midgar...for two whole disks? No clue. I need to hear more info about this.
-Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers -- sick ass launch trailer with a focus on the story. I'm jumping into early access at the end of the month for sure.
-FINAL FANTASY VIII REMASTER! I had a feeling we'd see this. The original game came out 20 years ago. I still remember buying it in the store when I was a kid.

I would love to see a proper PS4/Steam/etc. remaster of Final Fantasy Tactics next, with the original translation. Not the War of the Lions one.

Nintendo
-Animal Crossing looks cute. Not getting it, though.
-Smiled at seeing The Witcher 3 Complete Edition coming to the Switch. Not buying this, either. Played enough of the original already.
-So where were Shin Megami Tensei V and Bayonetta 3? These are the ONLY two games I want for this system.

Ugh.

Next year should be better with the new console reveals from Sony and Microsoft. Before that, the game releases in the first half of 2020 reminds me a bit of everything that came out in the first half of 2017. Should be a good year overall.

forcing myself to take a break from novel writing.
Lulu
yoshiyuki_ly
Taking a break feels counter-productive. I'm always thinking about my stories anyway. I never get to unplug from them.

But that's not really the point in taking a break. I have to reset my voice from Anathema to find a new, appropriate voice for Anathema II. If I were to continue writing now, both books would sound exactly the same. I don't want that to happen. And this brings me to my latest dilemma:

There's a LOT that happens between Vespair and co. leading up to The Scorpion's Empress. Really, the original TSE is a drop in the ocean compared to what Vespair goes through. So the events you're familiar with will probably not take up that much of the word count. That's the only way that I can make everything fit in the book without making it too long (over 250,000 words). That's fine. That's okay.

I plan on writing Anathema II as dark erotic romance. There isn't supposed to be as much room for the plot as there is in the first book. It's not PWP, certainly, but I want the outside politics and drama to take a backseat. The first book was all about building up to the scenes I have in mind for book two, so I don't want to squander this momentum. It will be even more character-focused, if possible. I just need to make up my mind on the opening chapter, since that's what will set the tone for the rest of the story.

Writing sex is a lot more difficult for me. People have complimented my scenes, sure. They tell me that I make the writing process look easy. I dread it, honestly. But you aren't supposed to know that once you read the final product.

So, to prepare and research for Anathema II, I tried playing other video games. I picked up Assassin's Creed III Remastered. Going back to ye olde days of STEALTH in AC games was fun for a while. However, I quickly realized that this would be yet another one of those games where I learn what not to do from its story. I love Connor as a protagonist, but his flimsy motivations bore me. Wasted potential.

I don't have anything else to pull from for inspiration. The whole point of my work is that I'm writing what I don't see, what I want to see.

I suppose I'll just stick with the usual: hanging around for Final Fantasy XIV's next expansion. I fully expect it to be more of the same. Tempering my expectations will help me to not be disappointed. I am happy that they split the data centers a bit more. Before, there was always a slim, slim chance I would run into someone I didn't want to be bothered with. Now, the people I want to avoid in this game are all on other data centers. If not for that, I probably wouldn't have started playing again.

Persona 5 The Royal...ugh. I'll probably get it when it releases in English next year. I'm not importing the Japanese version like I did last time. I'm still waiting for more information on Shin Megami Tensei V for the Switch. I expect I'll be waiting for a long time.

Oh yeah, the last thing -- we finally got a new trailer for the Final Fantasy VII Remake. When that FFVII sound effect played at the beginning of the stream, and then they cut to Monster Hunter, I laughed. I'm vaguely interested in hearing more about what's going on with this. I have no idea how they'll keep the comic mischief from the original with these fancy new graphics. A lot of what made certain scenes so hilarious was how silly the graphics were, sometimes leaving a lot up to the imagination because of the lack of finer visual details. I don't care about the rest, as I'm sure it will be decent enough.

Anyway, I won't have much else to say here for a while. The rest of this process -- finding my next voice, preparing to start book two, and editing CC -- is private and personal. I don't need to whinge on here about it. Aside from freelance work, this is all that I'm focused on. I'll make a new post when there's actually something to update you about.

--

edit -

When in doubt, return to Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. I should have done this sooner. I'm replaying the game now on my PS2 while waiting for more FFXIV information during the media tour later this month.

Crisis averted. I have a clear vision now. I'll start working on Anathema II in the coming days. 

Anathema is out.
Vespair
yoshiyuki_ly
Buy it if you want. Or don't.

It's really only for me, for my sake. If other people enjoy it, that's cool. It's not a goal of mine.

My only goal in publishing my books, on the surface, is to have them in print. I don't care about selling a bunch of copies.

There are more goals, more reasons. There's always more with me. The rest is for me to keep to myself.

--

I quit my "normal" job and retreated back to freelance writing as a way to pay bills and collect/save money. Turns out I don't do well with too much structure and order. I need controlled chaos and predictable unpredictability in my life. I'd gotten so used to free-falling for the past decade. Having such a predictable routine was too easy.

It also depressed me in ways that are difficult to explain. Something about it kept reminding me that I'm more of an observer in society than an actual person living in it, experiencing it. Things that seemed so important at the time to everyone else meant little in my eyes. Even issues that should have mattered -- they felt ephemeral, fleeting. No one was in on the "joke" except for me. The joke being that the here and now is far less important than whatever else is out there. But that was my way of staying above most situations and absolving myself of emotional attachments. Despite being able to feel everyone around me, reading them without a word, I had to stay detached. I can't turn off this weird empath shit I have all the time. I can make the decision to not let it influence me.

I would rather keep drifting in my own way while staying afloat, if that makes sense. I don't want anything getting in my way, like debris in my path.

I want to write. I want to play video games. I want to keep making money.

That's it.

--

So now, I'm forcing myself to take a break from my novels. Chauvinistic Coquette is technically next. But Anathema II is going to take me much longer to write than the first volume. Not necessarily because it will have more words/pages. I will try to aim for about the same length if possible. It's more that this one will span a longer period of time than the first book. Right now I don't see a path where I can fit everything within the constraints for Amazon's self-publishing limits with the page count. I'm just going to have to write what feels right and worry about the structure later.

I have a lot to show with this next book. I'm not sure how I'm going to show any of it.

I'll make a separate post some other time to discuss where I'm at with this.

Anathema is up for pre-order - officially out May 1.
Noctis
yoshiyuki_ly
Everything's going according to schedule.

The print edition will be up once I receive the proof copy in the mail and look it over. Once I make sure it looks the way I want it to, I'll approve it.


I had to make a lot of sacrifices to reach this point. Even since I started editing in early February, it's been quite a ride.

I'm excited that the book is finally on its way. This cover is everything.

After May 1, I'm going to take a break from writing for at least a few months. I need to recharge and get back to Chauvinistic Coquette while finding my voice and tone for Anathema II. I have PLENTY of video games to learn from and draw from in the meantime.

Final Fantasy XI is on the backburner because it's the same thing over and over again, and I'm bored now that I have my REMA bard. I went back to Final Fantasy XIV during the free login campaign and decided to stick around for the new expansion. I would like to find some takeaways from the upcoming story.

I almost regretted logging on because of...something.

I'm over it now. I had fun playing through the FFXV event, hanging out with Noctis and listening to the glorious soundtrack again. I'm happy with my new outfit that uses Noct's jacket. I already had enough points saved up to buy the Regalia car mount, which is cool to use. For now, I'm chilling out and farming Yotsuyu's Triple Triad card from an imperial NPC. Seems to be pretty rare but I'm going to keep at it for obvious reasons.

The very first instance the duty finder put me in when I got back was Tsukuyomi's primal fight, so...

I'll be back on May 1 with an official launch post for the book. 

soon.
Vespair
yoshiyuki_ly
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