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  • 3 weeks later...

I have been reading the first 2 stories over the past few years (life gets in the way!). The silver lining to the current lockdown business has meant I finally have the opportunity to (sadly) finish your story, and what an amazing story! Hand on heart my favourite story I've ever read. Fantasy, super powers, space, incredible characters, action, and love. AMAZBALLs!

So looking forward to this 3rd installment! Thank you for giving us this joy to read. 

xo

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9 hours ago, Xanderuk said:

I have been reading the first 2 stories over the past few years (life gets in the way!). The silver lining to the current lockdown business has meant I finally have the opportunity to (sadly) finish your story, and what an amazing story! Hand on heart my favourite story I've ever read. Fantasy, super powers, space, incredible characters, action, and love. AMAZBALLs!

So looking forward to this 3rd installment! Thank you for giving us this joy to read. 

xo

Thank you for such a wonderful compliment! I promise I will try my best to give a worthy ending to the trilogy.

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  • 8 months later...
3 hours ago, Stellar said:

Just an update on what's going on with this. Some of you might be wondering why literally nothing has happened regarding the third book in 2020. The only mention of it has been this status update back in August. So, I'd certainly forgive you for wanting to know what's going on.

Well, to put it bluntly, I'm not very happy -- for several reasons.

So, I should probably be clear about this, as it's a mixture of stuff, but ... fair warning:

Because I don't want this thread to be about my personal feelings and situation, I'm going to put it in a spoiler tag below. You can read more if you so choose. If you'd rather skip all of that and just want some basic information, I'll say that I'm going to try and actually get something written in 2021. I think I can promise that much, so that's what I'm going to stick to.

In the meanwhile, here's a light bit of Christmas parody in the Spirit of Fire vein to alleviate the mood. It's here in my newly created blog, because I didn't want to publish it as an individual story/fiction entry on the site.

Now, more serious thoughts will follow:

 

Many agree that 2020 will go down as the year from hell. Though tough to find the good within, we will endure what remains; and then upon reflection, I feel we will see the many outgrowths from challenges answered. I too have experienced the funk of the Covid confines but we are emerging as more is understood and as people are now demanding self determination.

Hang in their mate, I suspect for many your works are too complex and intimidating to freely express comments with public confidence or   without the fear of embarrassment from the many nuggets possibly  missed or not yet connected; but yet the number of followers and views still confirm a level of interest far much beyond incidental. So ironically, the blueprint complexities of your works contribute to low yield of public comments, but the appreciation and respect remains.

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  • 1 month later...
On 12/18/2020 at 10:50 AM, Stellar said:

Just an update on what's going on with this. Some of you might be wondering why literally nothing has happened regarding the third book in 2020. The only mention of it has been this status update back in August. So, I'd certainly forgive you for wanting to know what's going on.

Well, to put it bluntly, I'm not very happy -- for several reasons.

So, I should probably be clear about this, as it's a mixture of stuff, but ... fair warning:

Because I don't want this thread to be about my personal feelings and situation, I'm going to put it in a spoiler tag below. You can read more if you so choose. If you'd rather skip all of that and just want some basic information, I'll say that I'm going to try and actually get something written in 2021. I think I can promise that much, so that's what I'm going to stick to.

In the meanwhile, here's a light bit of Christmas parody in the Spirit of Fire vein to alleviate the mood. It's here in my newly created blog, because I didn't want to publish it as an individual story/fiction entry on the site.

Now, more serious thoughts will follow:

  Reveal hidden contents

Frankly, this year has been fucking horrible.

At the top of the list is the pandemic. It hasn't hit New Zealand hard compared with some countries, but like practically everywhere else on the planet, there has been an impact. We shut down international travel early and were aggressive in implementing all of the social rules to minimise the chance of it spreading. Consequently, the country has been free of community transmission since the middle of 2020, with only isolated cases from international travelers in quarantine. The downside of being so stringent in restrictions is that the majority of the country was effectively shut down for nearly six weeks. Though a government subsidy was in place for businesses, the interruption to regular trading exacerbated an overdue employee restructure that my employer -- a major retailer -- was going through. Basically, I, along with most of the people I worked with at the same location, had to compete with one another and reapply for our own jobs. Only, there were fewer roles available, less hours in total, and very little negotiation on the part of the company.

This process took months, and wasn't completed until late September, early October, so I spent the better part of half a year wondering whether I would be employed at all. Not a stress I really wanted, given the lack of suitable alternatives where I live.

Secondly, there are lingering health concerns over family. Don't particularly want to get into details, but I will say that it's to do with the potential recurrence of cancer, and heart issues. My parents are not so young anymore, so to say this hasn't been weighing on my mind this year would be a lie.

Thirdly, this book has really really not been easy to plan. I know what I want to do broadly, but there are just things I still don't have any real clue about how to proceed with, and very little has changed in months on certain plot concepts that I need to wrangle into some kind of order. I don't really know what else to say about this point than that -- it's just complicated, and for all the perfect beautiful ideas that I have that make sense, there is a matching counterpoint somewhere else that just fucking doesn't work. I hate that it's like that, and I also hate that I haven't been doing enough about it to move that process along. I haven't been working at it as much as I could have been, and it's frustrating.

But that brings me to my next, and perhaps last, point.

Motivation.

I've said before that I love what I do, and that I fully intend to see my creative projects through to the end. This remains true, and in the strictest sense, I don't need approval nor accolades to get anything done, because the love of the art is important to me. Yet, sometimes I feel like -- how can I say this diplomatically? -- people don't fucking care. Or, at the minimum, they barely show it. It's hard to say this without sounding entitled at best, or just rude at worst, but the more I've thought about it, the more irritable it makes me. A part of this feeling might be that the reader reaction to Spirit of Fire concluding felt so egregiously empty and disinterested. I got the distinct impression the book ending wasn't liked, and while I was expecting it to be a harder sell than my science-fiction, just the general lack of ... anything much ... was galling.

Don't get me wrong, there have always been a few people who have taken the time to engage with me -- and I will continue to be grateful to them -- but they are indeed few.

To go on a tangent for perspective: outside of GA, an interest I have is reading same-sex romance webcomics -- typically manga- style, though there's a variety to be found on the platforms Tapas and Webtoon. Many of the creators there are like those here on GA -- doing it for free (at least initially), some drawing pure smut, some making romance, all invariably taking their own time to draw and create the stories they're wanting to tell. Also like GA, some of these comics have big audience followings, and some don't. For quite some time, I was only a passive participant as a reader, but that began to change when I considered that I didn't want some of those creators to feel like their effort was being taken for granted, or going unnoticed -- a sentiment that I was becoming a little too wrapped up in. Particularly for the smaller artists, I made a point to say something informative, if not encouraging -- to make them think about their art and want to return to it, or continue it.

It was surprising how often the audience support was quoted as being a reason for the artist wanting to continue and not give up entirely.

I didn't want those artists to be feeling like the people they were creating their art for didn't care about what they were making.

I don't know why other people don't consider this, and make more effort.

Truly, I'm not expecting to be coddled or lauded or want people to kiss my shoes. This isn't an attempt to fish for compliments, or ... whatever. I don't want to sound like I'm diminishing those who have been kind and engaged with me, either.

But, honestly? Sometimes it does feel like I'm expected to produce something amazing to entertain the followers, but most of the readership can't even take the time leave a single comment after an entire book's worth of ridiculous effort. I've never been the most social, and I don't think I ever will be, but god knows, I've certainly tried.

So, motivation -- do I need approval, do I need interaction to keep going? Would I stop, without it?

No, but I can sincerely say that it saps my energy to feel so disconnected, and it definitely kills my motivation to put effort into doing anything.

So, yeah, 2020 has been a culmination and a combination of all of the above. Feelings and circumstance. Makes me tired just thinking about.

Hope I won't regret leaving this here later.

Now you know.

 

Your stories are excellent and most of are waiting for the final series. Don’t delay, please.

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  • 3 months later...

The story is now released, and the first chapter is available.

I look forward to hearing any and all reactions, and your opinions and insights into what is going on.

My updates may be an uneven pace, so I will make zero promises about delivery, but I will try my best.

Thank you.

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  • 1 month later...

Due to some reader confusion in the comments of the second chapter, I'm going to offer a little clarity. The uncertainty in question was centred on the specifics of how, in the early phases of Hidden Sunlight and Veil of Shadow, the five alien personalities ended up in their new host human bodies some 200 millennia after they originally died. I responded in those comments with an explanation, but it's probably worth repeating my explanation in this thread as additional extra canon.

None of what I'm going to describe is spoiler at this point, but there will be information that fills gaps, that I haven't explicitly stated before. Some of this might end up being brought up in future Lucid Truth chapters, but none of it is truly critical, and it won't be story-breaking to know it.

So, if you want to have that little bit extra, feel free to have a look in the spoiler tags below:

Spoiler
  1. The human researchers on late 21st century Lucere discover the DNA code fragments within the quantum field and realise it is a key. They separate the key into three distinct roles; administrative, protective, adaptive.
  2. Shay Andersen is imbued with the administrative sequence (although he is unaware that it is included as part of the genetic viral treatment he is undergoing for the degenerative condition he has). Going through different treatments that do not require stasis (and also without their knowledge), Synnøve Ellefsen receives the protective sequence, and Kajetán Dvoracek the adaptive sequence.
  3. All three are the optimal choices according to Dagen's farseeing, and enacting his intentions in his absence, the aqumi autonomous intelligence on Lucere uses a subtle manipulation of human systems and electronics to ensure these three are prioritised for treatment.
  4. Shay enters suspended animation, and the aqumi at Volkov binds the field into his body, activating the corresponding alien 'administrator' personality -- Sulin.
  5. At the same time, through a quantum binary pairing across space-time, the nearest aqumi node to Otsin on Dagen's Grace comes awake within the mostly inactive aqumi network. It remotely transmits Dagen's personality to Yugan, who carries a similar hereditary genetic marker, and becomes bound like Shay.
  6. Shortly after, Synnøve and Kajetán are caught up in the Sharpe pandemic and infected. They become sharpelings, but their DNA still carries the dormant activator sequences within the mutated human genes.
  7. Two centuries later, approximately fifteen years before Shay awakens from stasis, the autonomous aqumi intelligence acts again based upon Dagen's prescriptive foresight. There are two personalities matching the protective sequence within the quantum field, but only one recurring physical body that carries Synnøve's DNA. When the sharpeling generational reproduction phase happens, a tweak is made that causes an embryonic split. What would have been one new iteration becomes instead a pair of identical twins. This duplicates the protective DNA sequence and creates a second host body.
  8. Similarly, the autonomous aqumi intelligence also manipulates Kajetán's latest host (still in sharpeling form) to make her find and stay near the twins. This is purely in order to facilitate later events.
  9. At some point after this, the twins are separated and their locations diverge geographically -- again, by deliberate manipulation. One is lured to stay near Palatus in order to eventually encounter Shay, while the other two keep together and wander east, much nearer to Aspira.
  10. When Shay and his Hispanic companions encounter the sharpelings near Volkov, another autonomous aqumi manipulation occurs to separate the correct individual from the pack, so that Shay can deal with it alone -- and not be killed in the process by a dozen of them. Sulin acts through Shay at the right moment during the fight, and purifies the sharpeling. Though either of the two guardian personalities could have bound to the host body, Kirak, Sulin's mate, does so. This is yet another deliberate choice; the romantic attraction between the two humans is a common denominator of many probability branches (i.e. Shay and Mira would fall in love in most alternative versions of events), and meshing the mirror relationship of Sulin-Kirak with theirs invariably creates a much stronger and more effective duo. The emotional closeness is a powerful motivator and of critical important to their survival during the early phase of escaping Lucere.
  11. Thus, out of the five, Kirak's personality is easily the most synchronised with Mira's, as their personal interests are essentially identical. She is consequently the least intrusive and most hands-off, not needing any kind of actual possession until the second chapter of Lucid Truth, as he has been faithfully acting as she wants without needing direction.
  12. Certain other things after this, such as Yugan's dream projection to warn Shay, and Shay's healing of Mira when Le Renard stabbed him, were the result of gentle influences from Sulin and Dagen to ensure the human hosts survived, before any of the possessed individuals had conscious knowledge of how to use aqumi themselves.
  13. At the culmination of the escape from Aspira, the explosion in the sky caused by Shay purifies the second guardian host and binds Kirak's sister Kelor into Elia's body. Simultaneously, the adaptive personality Mesot is bound into Kajetán's DNA sequence, becoming Nyx.

To quote myself from my own response to those chapter comments:

On 7/16/2021 at 9:04 PM, Stellar said:

So, that is canonically what happened.

Some of this detail has been refined since I originally wrote Hidden Sunlight, but most of this matches what I originally imagined. There were always luminous ghosts hidden on Lucere, though I don't think the audience ever quite realised how much of that journey was arranged to happen just so.

Consider yourselves enlightened.

Edited by Stellar
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  • 1 year later...

Dearest Stellar -- First, let me apologize for not commenting as much as I should have, given how many times I've read and reread your stories. I realize recently how important comments and reactions are from your readers, and yet I've failed you by infrequently commenting, or just not commenting at all. I for one do not feel in any way entitled to demand your next chapter. I'm selfish in that I lose myself in the worlds you create -- as escape from a life so mundane and boringly common -- and yet I can't even put my own two cents' worth to validate what you so freely provide. I am sorry. 

Secondly, I'll wait for however long it takes for the next chapter of Lucid Truth and whatever else you have brewing on the back burners. And if Spirit Of Fire left many unsatisfied with the ending, it is only because we want more. At least I do. If I haven't said this before, then I'll happily say it here: You're one of the best unpublished writers I've come across on this site. That right there, is lucid truth

Have a wonderful evening! 😊

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3 hours ago, rewski84 said:

Dearest Stellar -- First, let me apologize for not commenting as much as I should have, given how many times I've read and reread your stories. I realize recently how important comments and reactions are from your readers, and yet I've failed you by infrequently commenting, or just not commenting at all. I for one do not feel in any way entitled to demand your next chapter. I'm selfish in that I lose myself in the worlds you create -- as escape from a life so mundane and boringly common -- and yet I can't even put my own two cents' worth to validate what you so freely provide. I am sorry. 

Secondly, I'll wait for however long it takes for the next chapter of Lucid Truth and whatever else you have brewing on the back burners. And if Spirit Of Fire left many unsatisfied with the ending, it is only because we want more. At least I do. If I haven't said this before, then I'll happily say it here: You're one of the best unpublished writers I've come across on this site. That right there, is lucid truth

Have a wonderful evening! 😊

I wish to say that it takes strength of character to put oneself out there and address what was said, because not only is any public apology difficult, but especially when most others cannot bring themselves to speak a word in either direction -- that can be a daunting thing. I appreciate that you have chosen to do so, and I must add that I also appreciate that you have previously commented on my work and involved me as an author. I notice those who seem to be making a genuine effort, and I try not to forget their honest engagement. For all of this, I should thank you.

Your compliments, also, are very kind. I don't want to come off as fishing for approval, but it can be very uplifting to hear, or read rather, that somebody holds what I do in high regard, with no demands nor conditions attached. Perhaps I am a vicarious soul in some ways, but it is personally fulfilling to know that a reader's emotional need, or intellectual curiosity -- or both -- has been satisfied because of something I created. After all, isn't that why art exists? To inspire feeling and thought in others?

As for the ending to Spirit of Fire, this may be a bit of a tangent from your response, but it's strange -- I would have been fine with people telling me they didn't like it, over just ... not saying anything at all. I might have debated the merits of the reasoning if they couldn't fairly justify a criticism, but I can respect an honestly expressed opinion, even if it's one I disagree with. I think probably the reason was the book might have felt unsatisfying because of where it stopped -- and I get that -- but you can say exactly the same about Veil of Shadow. The plots of both are absolutely unresolved by the closing paragraph of the final chapter, and events are poised to be dramatically worse -- and in both cases that is clearly and obviously by design. Whether it's the invasion of Earth or the rebirth of a god, there HAS to be more to follow -- does anyone truly think I'm just going to drop it right there and not continue? Perhaps the only difference between the two is I said outright from earlier on that Veil was the middle part of a trilogy, whereas Spirit of Fire having a sequel wasn't mentioned until (I think?) after its completion, so people may have been taken by surprise. Still, that shouldn't have mattered, because I am playing the long game with both series. Either should ultimately be read together, as halves, or thirds, of a single greater whole.

Nowhere have I stated -- or hinted -- that I'm going to leave anything unfinished. Quite the opposite, actually, because I hate when other artists do this to their audience. I just wish those who found the ending wanting considered it was never meant to be judged in a vacuum, and if they are doing that, they should reconsider investing their energy into anything at all that has multiple parts and is incomplete. That, or realise that sometimes you simply have to wait to get what you want.

Okay, tangent over with.

I will finish with: thank you for taking the time to say what you did. I sincerely value the sentiments expressed therein.

Edited by Stellar
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