Ghost Chapter 27 is now live!

It’s way too tempting for me to make a “Year of the Ochs” joke considering that this weekend marks the start of the Lunar New Year festivities. That said, my publishing of Chapter 27 of Ghost couldn’t have been timed more perfectly, since I’m also on a three-day weekend for Presidents’ Day.

(Minor game spoilers below.)

Remire Village just seems to get the rawest of deals in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. First, there’s the tutorial mission where Kostas’ bandit gang attacks Byleth and the three lords in the middle of the night. Several months later, the village turns against itself as “those who slither in the dark” play their hand and force the villagers to kill each other.

(End of spoilers.)

That’s pretty much the same scenario we’re about to find ourselves in with the coming chapters of the story (and around the same month in this timeline, too). Will the Black Eagles’ attempt at a preemptive defensive maneuver save this village from yet another catastrophe? Let’s hope so…those guys need a break in a major way.

Mirrors for this chapter:

The Ghost turns 1!

On January 12, 2020, I uploaded the first chapter of The Ghost of Ochs to Archive of Our Own and FanFiction.net. As I explained in my intro post, I wanted to write a story about one of Fire Emblem: Three Houses‘ more mysterious and/or little-spoken-of characters in Monica von Ochs (the real one, not the person pretending to be her; see that post for more details). In the year since the release of that chapter and the publication of today’s chapter, it’s picked up a pretty decent following. Here are some statistics I pulled at around 12:00 PM today:

Archive of Our Own: 3881 total hits (all chapters)?, 77 comments, 97 Kudos, 12 bookmarks (public; the private “Statistics” page shows me 16 instead of 12)

FanFiction.net: 11565 total hits (all chapters), 54 favorites, 66 alerts, and only 2 reviews (what FF.net calls comments)

Not bad, if I do say so myself.

I didn’t really have anything special or earth-shattering for this milestone, because then I’d feel compelled to post a special chapter or side story every year. Still, let’s just enjoy this moment for what it is and hope that I can still provide enough quality content to make it to two years…even if I have to be prodded into doing so by outside forces.

As always, here are the links to the latest chapter:

Update (1/13/2021): As of 4:30 PM today, The Ghost of Ochs has officially crossed the 100 kudos threshold on Archive of Our Own! On second thought, maybe I will do something special for hitting this mark.

A Christmas bonus

It took me a lot longer than I wanted to thanks to rewrites and sending out Christmas presents, but I’m glad to say that I’ve finished posting Chapter 25 of The Ghost of Ochs. With this update, Ghost has now surpassed 80,000 total words written, beating my old writing project, Through the Motions, as the longest story I’ve ever written. At the rate I’m going, I’m not too sure if I’ll ever get back to work on Motions…there’s too much that I wish I could have done better with that story that a near-total rewrite would have to do.

I also added a Links page to some stories and webcomics that I’ve been reading and enjoying lately. This list will grow and/or shrink depending on the availability of the stories in question, so check that page out frequently (and my stories, too, of course) and see if you find something else you like.

As always, the new chapter can be found at the usual mirrors:

The Ghost of Ochs Chapter 23 is live!

Chapter 23 is up!

Remember that “secret thing” Bernadetta was working on for Linhardt earlier? Now she gets to give it to him for a birthday present. The “Bernie-bear” reference was too easy to make, so I went for it.

I had a discussion with a longtime friend on Discord (who’s a much bigger Fire Emblem enthusiast than I am) regarding who would be the second-best at fishing at the Officers Academy, and we agreed it would be Leonie. She wound up winning this friendly competition between her, Monica, Linhardt, Byleth, Jeralt, and (appearing for the first time in this story) Alois.

Next up, a special classroom meeting, and then maybe a battle or two. Stay tuned!

Mirrors for this chapter can be found at the usual spots:

New Discord server

Today, I’ve opened up a Discord server called “Lady Monica’s Dominion” for discussion of The Ghost of Ochs. If you have a Discord account and want to join in on the fun, then follow this invitation link! I’ll admit that I’m still quite new to using Discord, even after I navigated my way around some IRC clients in the 2000’s. Still, it doesn’t look that hard to manage…

In related news, I’m setting a tentative date for Chapter 23 to be released either this Saturday or Sunday. As usual, you can always check my Twitter feed for new chapter announcements.

The Ghost of Ochs Chapter 22 is live!

We’re now up to Chapter 22 in my Fire Emblem: Three Houses story. So far, it’s the only one I’ve written where Monica doesn’t have any direct involvement in the proceedings. Her (and Linhardt and Bernadetta’s) portion of the investigation into “who or what attacked Garreg Mach” took place in Chapter 20, and I had to pivot over to Edelgard’s team (which also includes Dorothea and Hubert) in Chapter 21. That only left Ferdinand, Caspar, and Petra for Chapter 22. At first, I wondered if I should have made this a bit longer, perhaps by making them fight the mysterious robed men, but then I felt it wouldn’t have made sense for them to randomly attack these strangers when they had more important things to worry about. Will we find out who these robed strangers are and why they traveled to the monastery?

Mirrors for this chapter can also be found at:

Hello again…again!

After you’ve attempted blogging and/or website design for as long as I have – almost 20 years, by my count – you lose track of how many websites you’ve started and stopped along the way. Then again, when a site like this is one of your earliest claims to having a small chunk of the Internet to yourself, well…there’s a very good reason it’s only been indexed once. White text and yellow links on a pure blue background? What was I thinking?

Anyway, this latest iteration of my website, which I’ve taken to call “Scrawl Before You Write” because I love awful puns and turns-of-phrase as much as I love video games, is dedicated to a couple of long-form stories I’ve written over the last year-and-a-half.

Continue reading “Hello again…again!”