Back then, madlori suggested that I try writing fanfiction. I considered the idea but dismissed it, because I was thinking that I had become more of a nonfiction writer, that fiction wasn't really my thing anymore. Certainly I have a lot more experience with the former, given that almost all my writing since high school has been in the form of papers.
But something there must have taken root. One of my hobbies while I was unemployed last year was playing video games. Mostly story-based role-playing games, mostly in the Final Fantasy series. And some of the characters from one of them took root in my brain and wouldn't go away. For a month, I composed a "what happened next scenario" in my head. It eventually became clear that it wasn't going to go away until I wrote it down. So I did. And then spent a couple of months expanding and polishing it. And then finally got up the guts to post it on the Internet. Where it caught a couple of positive reviews -- nothing overwhelming, just enough to keep my confidence up. The day I got the first one, I was so blown away. I wrote something, and someone else read and enjoyed it. I can't even really describe how cool that was.
Anyway, that story idea lead to another, and I found myself writing a long piece. Like, possibly a novel length work, which is still in progress. But that's not even the most interesting thing.
As I was writing fanfic, I also started reading more of it. I came across a work in progress about some of the characters I often work with. It was an excellent story that really drew me in, so I left a thoughtful review. Well, the author was so pleased by my review that she made a point of letting me know how much she appreciated it. Then she read one of my stories and left me an equally thoughtful and glowing review. We began reading each others' LJs (I have a separate one for my writing activities - kjswritinglog) and swapping reviews and advice.
A couple of weeks later, she mentioned on her LJ that the piece that I had reviewed was becoming something of a collaborative work. This particular story was a re-telling of some game backstory from one character's point of view. Two other authors had taken this as a challenge to fill in the details from the POV of two other characters. There's a fourth character who is a part of this story, and she asked if anyone was interested in writing her piece of the tale. Since this character is my favorite, the one whose POV from which I often write, I couldn't say no. So now I'm involved in a collaboration with three other authors, and it's been an amazing experience. I've never done anything quite like it; it's somewhere between writing and an RPG. It's only been a few weeks and it's already well over half-finished; I'll be sorry to see it end. Of course, then I'll have my other story to get back to, and I'm sure other ideas and possibly even collaborations will follow.
So this is what I've been doing with my spare time lately, and sometimes with time that I don't really have to spare! I doubt that any of you reading this would get much out of my writing since I don't think you know anything about the fandom, but I provide the links above (to my first work and the writing LJ; you can get to everything else from both places) just in case. But it was starting to feel weird to have something becoming such a major part of my life and not tell my friends about it. So here it is.