Coming Soon to a Screen Near You

So I don't know if I'm actually going to write this, but if I do, I have ideas in mind that combine one of the few episodes of Doctor Who I've seen (sorry, Liam!), a tasteless Osama Bin Laden joke, and possibly an irrational fear of lizards.  Who exactly fears the lizards, I haven't decided yet.  Crystal and I have a deal that both of us will write a story, as the Cabal has been after me to write Adorable Psycho for months. 

But either way, I cut a short video to be funny, and I'm finally sharing it here:


A Most Hallowed and Important Day

Many things happened on this day in history, but possibly the most important one to Chuck fans is that it's Yvonne Strahovski's birthday.

Wepdiggy and mxpw have responded:

 Interludes from Double Agent

Alone on Her Day

As has Crystal:

Chuck Vs. the Spotless Mind

And even Daddy Liam Justin stopped by to say hi on the blog, a momentous occasion.

I figured I don't have the internet being down excuse like Chris, I'd better get cracking, only I'm still buried in Fates and not showing that to anybody on the blog yet.  So I found this short little scene on my hard drive, and, given that it's Yvonne's birthday and that's like a national holiday to us, I thought I would share...

Hello there

Hello, my little ferrets. This is Daddy Liam, though you can call me Justin. It's been a while since our girl Frea invited me to write for this blog, but until now, I've not had much to say. Frankly, I still don't, because I think blogs are evil and will cause the ruination of mankind. So take that, suckers.

I assume people actually read this blog, so I'll speak as though it's true. Some of you might be wondering, "Hey, Justin, what's the deal with you not writing fic anymore?" Well, truth be told, I've had little creative energy lately, and what energy I've had has been spent on my original writings. But now I'm feeling a surge of adrenaline. I might be doing some writing now. Including renewing my efforts on "Road to Innocence".


Fates 33: Just Say the Word, Trouble

I've been uncharacteristically silent on the subject of What Fates Impose recently. The truth is, I've had a bit of writer's block with this next chapter. I still have a scene and a half left to go, and everything I've written over the past few days has been a bit blah. Part of it is exhaustion--I haven't been sleeping well since everything that happened in June--part of it is that I've been writing at breakneck speeds since early February and this was probably bound to happen.

Another part of it is that I've been juggling some original fiction, Fates, and now a movie script that a friend is writing. I've got two original ideas in the works right now: a non-Chuck take on Fates as well as an actual spy novel, which, believe it or not, is actually a new thing for me. I've written romance, superheroes, fantasy, sci-fi, satire, but never espionage-type stuff, so we'll see how I do.


Abandoned Fic for Grabs

Sorry, mxpw, I know you were looking forward to seeing this one, but I've decided that I have a little too much on my plate with Fates alone, and the Adorable Psycho fic I promised Crystal I would write if she wrote hers.

So, whilst in the golden state of California, I started pounding away at a story, intensely Alternate Universe (I don't seem able to write any other kind, Wingman aside).  In this story, instead of abandoning their children, the elder Bartowskis decided to grab Chuck and Ellie and run, which meant that Chuck and Ellie had quite the unorthodox upbringing.  They're adults now, and the Bartowskis serve as a sort of A-Team group, running around the world and helping the little guy (maybe more like Leverage than A-Team), while trying to stay one step ahead of their greatest enemy, the man only known as Loki.  Chuck has split off from the rest of his family to follow a crazy lead.

Sarah Walker, whose partner idiotically got himself killed trying to blow up the Intersect, is in trouble with the CIA.  She has one chance to prove her worth to the company, and that chance is an impossible assignment: to track down the man only known as the Ghost.  Tenacity, skill, and luck have led her to an estate party in the south of Spain...

Crystal here!

I'm currently sitting in a rental car driving to the Mount St. Helens observatory and typing this on my iTouch. I've been on a family vacation for the past ten days, which included an Alaskan cruise, which meant I was pretty much disconnected from the rest of the world for about a week. It was great and all, y'know, because of the whole "escape completely" thing...until I got off the cruise, got my wi-fi back and found two updates from Fates, four chapters from a new AP story, and even an update of Double Agent. Oh, and ComicCon excitement. Seriously, I'm gone for a week and the internet bursts to life without me. You people couldn't have waited a few more days?

Haha, okay. I'm totally kidding. But I would like to take the time to formally say...hi! Crystal.elements here! You probably know me as that girl who wrote the story where Sarah loves Glee and Chuck gets PCP'd and says extremely embarrassing things, or the AP fic where Sarah goes to Disneyland and sets a Disney princess on fire via the Fantasmic night show. Or maybe you know me as the fifth member of the Cabal and the only person in that group who seems to stick out like a sore thumb. Yep. That's me. :D And now I formally thank Frea for roping me into Castle Inanity. (Thanks, Frea!) 


Why We Write #1

I think a lot.

Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. My name is Chris, and over on the Chuck fanfic forums I go by I Am Not Amused. The splendiferous Frea O'Scanlin kindly invited me over to be a part of Castle Inanity, and the fact that she has me tied up in her basement has nothing to do with the fact I accepted.

Side note: to those waiting on Chapter 11 of Chuck vs the Simple Twist of Fate I am sorry for the wait. Had some various career stuff that I had to attend to, but now I am back on track.

Looking over the blog, specifically seeing mxpw and his workshop idea, I wanted to take a different approach for my guest spots here. So, to come back to my original point:

I think a lot.

My theory

What the writers were really doing when they were supposed to be writing the dialogue for Sarah, at some point between Chuck vs. the Pink Slip and Chuck vs. the Other Guy:


Just sayin'.



Back, Rested Up, and Spoiled

So I'm still riding high on the news from Comic Con, which...this is a definite switch from last year.  Nothing said so far has actually made me connect my palm to my forehead, so good job, Chuck people.  However, until I actually sit down and watch a video on it, probably shouldn't talk about it.

Yesterday, I posted a spoiler because it was my mom's birthday.  Well, the thing is, I just can't play favorites today.  That would be unfair to post something on my mom's birthday and ignore my dad's birthday (and their anniversary.  Yes, my parents' birthdays and anniversary fall on the same weekend in July.  It makes for either easy shopping, or really expensive shopping, depending on how you look at it), so I'm posting a different type of spoiler today.

Spoiler is after the break.


Spoiler alert!

So today's a pretty important day for me.  HUUUUUGE things happening today, you know?  It's the sort of day that happens only once per year, and the ripples shock all the way through the country, I think.  I am not talking about Comic Con and the Chuck panel starting in half an hour, but the fact that it's my mother's birthday.  Not only that, but it's a big year for her.  If I tell you how old she is, however, I'll be murdered horribly before I can finish typing fifty.

So what does that mean?

Itty bitty spoiler for you guys, since I can't post from the next chapter.  I don't want you to know if Jill was successful or not yet.

:)  More after the break.


mxpw's Workshop

As some of you may know, I recently won the Skip Johnson Award for Best Beta in the Second Annual Awesome Awards, over at FF.net. Winning that award made me pretty happy. In many ways, it was a vindication of my increasinly held belief that what little talent I have in the creative world, belongs behind the camera, so to speak, and not in front of it. Being a beta, being an editer, a sounding board, seems to be where my strength lies. This is both true in the fanfic world as well as the real world, where for the last year or so, my focus has been on getting a job in the publishing world (no easy task, especially when you live on the West Coast), instead of outright becoming a published writer.

So what is the point of all this? Let me tell you: I've decided to try and play to my strengths. To that end, and in order to encourage more interaction on this blog, I want to try an experiment.


Because I'm Leaving -- Wait For It -- On A Jet Plane

Yes, folks, the Frea is once again headed west, this time to the city of Lost Wages.  I don't know what my internet connection will be like in this dusty city of sin and sentinels (you know, the eye in sky?  C'mon, that was great alliteration!), and I'll be with a large group of family, so I'm going to make a conscious effort to not be on the computer.  I've got email on my phone, so if there's a problem, toss it my way, and mxpw will have the password to my ff.net account if I don't have access to post the chapter (which is already finished and ready to go) on Friday, since I'll be back early Sunday morning.

Here are some playlists to console you while you count the hours until my return.  Megatronics has posted every song from the show, including ringtones, here.  Half of them don't work, but the ones that do are fantastic.  I regularly listen to The New Pornographers' Challengers because that song is just beautiful. One of the blog contributors, I Am Not Amused, made a playlist for the 2010 Awesome Awards that, in addition to being so freaking awesome it defies even the power of internet memes, is just a fun summer romp.


Some Changes

So without any warning whatsoever last night, I decided that while it was great to have a Frea blog, I wanted more of a community.  As a Chuck fandom, we've got great blogs like  ChuckThis  (they like me over there, so I like them, too) and the ultimate fansite ChuckTV.net, but there's not really a blog that's about fanfiction.

So I grabbed some  of my minions writing pals that have been around the block a time or few to serve as kind of a fanfiction roundup.  We'll talk about the show, our inspirations, review episodes, whine about fanfiction.net being a suckily maintained site (thanks, Wep!), post excerpts, outtakes, and talk about what we're reading now.


Oh, the suckage

So Frea invited me, too, to post to her blog. And we all know what comes with great power. No, not great responsibility, silly. What comes with great power is the ability to bitch about stuff on a much grander scale, completely misusing that power. So here we go.

Fanfiction.net sucks. There, it's been said. I don't think that's exactly a revelation to, well, anyone that tries to use that website on a regular basis.

Right now, and for the past week or so, stories, updates, and forum posts have been disappearing like attractive teenaged girls in the Caribbean. It's beyond frustrating, as I'm sure any fanfic author could tell you, to spend hours upon hours writing something, post it, and then have no one be able to read it because the stupid website is a piece of technological crap. Even our beloved Frea has, at times, fallen victim to the sucktitude of FFnet. The stories always show back up, eventually, but don't we, the masses want to see Frea's work NOW, whenever she posts? Lord knows I do. I mean, honestly, that site makes me want to do this:

Of course, I'd never do that wearing that horrible color, nor any apparel carrying the name or likeness of ClemSCUM University, but the fact remains. FFnet, this isn't good enough, and you guys that run that site suck.

Greetings from your new sort of overlord

Okay, so Frea decided tonight to randomly give me access to her blog and allow me to post. This is pretty much par for the course with her. I often feel like one of those crash test dummies you see in commercials, their necks snapping back at ridiculously high speeds, only not really, because they’re moving in slow motion. That’s what a conversation with Frea is like. I’m the dummy moving in slow motion and she’s the car. But at least I can hang out with Frank. Actually, Frank and I probably have a lot in common. We both wouldn’t mind getting beat by Sarah Walker. Especially if she did it in her workout clothes and got all sweaty while she did it.

So why am I posting? Well, besides the fact that Frea is a harsh mistress and I’m afraid she’ll break out the cat o’ nine tails if I disobey her, she gave me the great idea to do a little preview of the next chapter of Double Agent. Now, I don’t know how many of those of you who read her blog also read DA, but I’m posting my preview anyway. I know it’s no Fates, or an outtake from Fates, or a D&D-inspired rendering of the Ass Kicking at the Ass-end of Nowhere (Sarah got a great roll and got +2 to Badassery), or Frea’s grocery list, but hey, it’s something, right?

And besides, unlike Fates, where the next Ice Age will occur before Chuck and Sarah do what everyone has been waiting for them to do (if Jill, Ellie, or Casey don’t get there first), I actually know how to give the fans what they want. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. Yeah, that’s right, folks, in the next chapter of DA, Chuck and Sarah totally play patty-cake.

Outtake #6: Grandma's Attic

So, whenever we go on long car trips, my friends and family and I like to play this game called Grandma's Attic. One person starts off saying, "I went up to grandma's attic and I found...apples." And the next person follows, "I went up to grandma's attic and I found...a boomerang and apples." And it goes all the way until you get to the letter Z, reciting the answers backward each time.

If you haven't read Chapter 31 of What Fates Impose, you should read that first, then come back and read this outtake so that you know what's going on. For the purpose of this scene, just assume that Chuck and Sarah are brilliant with memorization (one has a damn near perfect memory) and recite it correctly each time--that way I don't have to type out each entry soooo many times.

But here it is, without further ado, Chuck and Sarah playing Grandma's Attic. While stuck in a car trunk. On the way to their deaths.

It takes all kinds.


Something I Noticed...

The preview for the next chapter of What Fates Impose had Sarah and Chuck stuffed in a car trunk together. I got quite a few people that hinted or alluded to a trunk scene in canon (of the characters, Chuck, Sarah, and Morgan have all been stuffed in car trunks at some point or other. Chuck has done so at least twice, once with Sarah, Sarah ditto, and Morgan ended up in a trunk in Best Friend).

I know everybody’s excited because if they were in the trunk, it must mean I'm doing my own version of Chuck Vs. the Imported Hard Salami, which means Sarah’s about to lay a big one on Chuck. I can’t really confirm or deny that (mxpw is happy to say that HE can, and that he accepts bribes), but I really don’t want people to build their hopes up and then go, “NOooOOOOoooOOOOOOOO!” when I don’t throw out an oxygenated coffin (tm Ayefah)/fake bomb and an “OMYBOBwe’regonnaDIIIIIE” make-out session next chapter. The fact is, we’ve deviated from canon. Bryce didn’t get shot, ergo no coffin. Jill doesn’t happen in canon for another year, and now Chuck and Sarah are in a car trunk because of her.


Outtake #5 - "Borrowing Trouble"

So Chapter 30 had quite a few bits and pieces cut out of the overall chapter, which meant more for the blog! Here's the second of two outtakes.

"Borrowing Trouble - Outtake #2"
Takes place after the Thanksgiving picnic on Chuck's bed

Some Icons

Just played with some light effects.

- Frea

PS - yes, they're up for grabs. And I also take requests.


Outtake #4 - "Borrowing Trouble"

Hey, all! So "Borrowing Trouble" got a lot cut from it -- at least two pages overall. And you know what happens to outtakes? They end up on the blog. I'll post this one today and hopefully remember to post the next (cuter) one tomorrow.

"Borrowing Trouble - Outtake #1"
Takes place during the Thanksgiving picnic on Chuck's bed


Catching Up On Fates

Fighting For Fates

Believe it or not, that diagram above actually makes sense outside of a D&D campaign. What is it? A very important scene in chapter 31 of What Fates Impose. Anybody care to guess what piece of geekery on the bed represents whom?

In other news, if you were impressed by the songs picked for the 2010 Awesome Awards, you can head over to I Am Not Amused's blog to listen to the whole thing, beginning to end. I may or may not have Outkast's B.O.B. playing on a loop (I used it for Bryce, and it was kind of perfect, not gonna lie). Check that link here.

And there will be another chapter of Fates tonight, maybe tomorrow morning at the latest. Since I shared a little bit, I'll share a little bit more right now.


15 (well, 17) Reasons Why Fates Will Be Late

Bad news everybody.

Chapter 30 isn't ready for air. I wish I had a really good excuse, like I got caught up in something in real life and it ate up great gobs of time, and I didn't really eat or sleep for two days because I was just so wrapped up in working on it and I completely forgot Fates existed and--wait, what? I DO have that excuse? Since when?

Oh, right, since I cut the Awesomes.

No, seriously.

I did.


'Mused Put It Best

This review exactly sums up how Chapters 29 and 30 of What Fates Impose are, in reality:

So, there's a theme park outside of Chicago called Six Flags Great America. At this particular Six Flags there is a roller coaster called Raging Bull. Of all of the coasters at Great America, it's the one with the highest drop.

Being on a roller coaster with a high first drop, of course, means that there is an almost interminably long bit where you're sitting in your car, and CLUNK, the car attaches to that long chain that CLANK CLANK CLANKs your car upwards towards your impending doom.

This chapter? This chapter was like hearing those individual clanks. Chuck grabs something from this dude? Clank. Dude comes back into the elevator? Clank. Chuck completely forgets to deliver the letter? Clank. Radio Shack? Clank. Sarah finding out? Clank.

Basically I read this chapter and kept thinking "Oh God why did I sit in the front row oh crap oh crap I'm gonna die I'm gonna fly out of this thing and splatter on the pavement oh crap oh no."

Enjoy the ride, folks!

Just random

So what does Frea do when bored?

Argue with mxpw, of course. They even get into political smear campaigns, trying to draw people to either What Fates Impose or Chuck vs. the Double Agent.

Here's a sample of what they get up to when the fanficcers are away: