Steward McOy

Steward McOy

Hobbyist writer, attempting to improve. Criticism welcome.

registered at: Jun 26, 2021
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    Published Chapter Level 6
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    Participant - MAL x Honeyfeed Writing Contest 2022
    Participant - MAL x Honeyfeed Writing Contest 2023



    Nov 29, 2023

    (Oh hey, mention of a transmutation circle. That's one more anime we have in common.)

    It is quite a country we live in, isn't it? A while back in the HF discord, some of us were talking about that US urban-rural split. I was posting maps to show how over half of Oregon's population lives in just a tiny area in the northwest of the state, and although it dominates state politics, you don't have to drive that far east to start seeing the stars and bars.

    The "all of these existed in the same country as East Eden" line really brought me back to Chapter 3 and the line about Super Fortresses and Spongebob coming from the same country. The way we live, our daily experiences, the way we see the world, we're not at all united as a country. At the same time, we are united as the greatest military power the world has ever known, and if that ever completely breaks down, things are going to get real bad, real fast. Hopefully, it won't come to sides.

    Reading this chapter, I like to think Lucille is just being overly dramatic. The woman had a Bernie shirt. The man was playing a pro-union song. They're probably good people. But then again, media literacy being what it is in this country, maybe they didn't know the meaning of the shirt or the song.

    (I've done the California north to south. Not fun. I-5 has a lot of lanes and very, very long straight sections. There's nothing to do except continue moving forward. Maybe there's the occasional slight turn, but it can lull you into a sense of boredom. You can't help but retreat into your own mind a bit while driving, and that's scary, because it slow your reaction times, and the reaction times of the drivers all around you. and because it's straight, the speed limit is very high, so everyone's moving very fast with these slow reaction times.)

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    Just East of Eden Title Page
    Just East of Eden
    Chapter:24


    Nov 27, 2023

    "I want to escape anime and its consequences" would be a great T-shirt slogan.

    You really went and did it. How many layers is this? I'm gonna take a guess that this isn't one of Lucille's stories and actually takes place in-universe. But even so, you've got:

    - A story where the MC is kind of fictional stand-in for the author.

    - And this MC wants to live a highly fictionalized Japanese high school life, as portrayed by anime.

    - But in the same world, there's a Japanese high schooler who believes she is living in this anime-style Japan, but rather than anime being a reflection of Japanese society, feels that Japanese society is molded by the pop-culture tropes common in anime.

    - And wants to live in a fictionalized version of America as seen through imported American pop culture, such as American cartoons and violent movies.

    - As well as anime such as Gunsmith Cats, Patlabor, and California Crisis.

    OK, that last one is just a bit of my own analysis. Did I miss any levels here?

    Just like Lucille, I find myself agreeing with a lot of how Saki sees the world here, even if she's seeing a version of Japan that doesn't really exist. I guess I'm saying I find myself agreeing with how she sees anime. It really can be shallow and materialistic, can't it?

    These grounded slice-of-life and CGDCT series are really a form of wish fulfillment for living an ordinary kind of life. (And for much of the audience, imagining the kind of wife they want.) And yet, what do they tend to focus on? Mundane activities which typically require spending lots of money. It's living vicariously in ways you can't afford in real life. Sure, it's also making the kind of friends you were too socially inept to make in high school, but the capitalist aspect can't be discounted.

    I don't think this is an intentional message from the creators to the audience that they should strive to live this way. Just like the Shinzo Abe procreation thing was a joke, and not something the government was really forcing anime studios to promote. But in both cases, once you see it, it's hard to unsee it.

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    1
    Just East of Eden Title Page
    Just East of Eden
    Chapter:23




    Nov 19, 2023

    To:Pope Evaristus

    I totally feel you on both life keeping you busy and on ideas being come and go. Things have been especially busy for me this year as well, also mostly in a good way.

    I'm sorry I you didn't know about the JNC contest earlier! I also learned late, but I still learned a couple months ago. I should have pinged you on Discord to make sure you knew.

    For a while, I was all fired, up, thinking I would reword Cat-Eared Mage and write two new stories, just to maximize my odds for JNC. I don't expect to win, but getting professional feedback would sure be nice. But then things kept getting busier and I kinda had a moment of reflection about why I'm writing. Is it for the contests?

    I started writing for my husband. Anyone else who read my books was just a bonus. But my husband has been asking for volume 2 of Cat-Eared mage for over a year now, but I keep putting it off because I'm having a hard time tying it into a solid narrative. I started Hoshinauts as a project I could noodle on while blocked on Cat-Eared Mage. The idea was, as soon as I hit writer's block on one, I'd switch to the other.

    Problem is, Hoshinauts went a lot smoother. Then the contest started, and I put Cat-Eared Mage to the side while I worked on it. But halfway through the contest, my summer got really busy, and I knew my writing time was going to vanish, so I hurriedly ended Enchanted by a Witch, and for a couple months there, I felt guilty about it. Like, if I had been able to put my all into the contest, I could justify it. Otherwise, I was just stealing writing time from what my husband actually wanted to read.

    All that to say, I'm going to submitted a reworked Cat-Eared Mage, and maybe, maybe one other book, depending on how much free time I get over winter vacation.

    Sorry for rambling, but good luck with it all. The contest, coming up with ideas, and life outside of writing.

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    1
    Just East of Eden Title Page
    Just East of Eden
    Chapter:21


    Nov 16, 2023

    Some days, some nights…

    Man, but the Boondocks though. It may not be anime, but what a thing. A thing with its own sad production history. At least McGruder didn't work himself to death, and I hope nothing like that ever happens.

    And on that note, I hope you're taking care of yourself. It's a rough world out there.

    I don't feel like there's quite as much to comment on in this chapter, not that it makes it worse or anything. Having a slower chapter like this. It's still got a weighty theme, and it's got some important character development, but maybe it felt a bit lighter than usual.

    I do dig scenes where characters discuss anime. Obviously I do, and Whisper of the Heart is a perfect fit for this story.

    I wish we could have more of that kind of thing in published light novels. Literature has such a rich history of intertextuality, but Japan's got different laws about that kind of thing, and even in the West, the rise of making everything into an IP franchise can make it tough. Published stories have to be oblique in their references to anime. Light novel contests have rules against it.

    (There's a small typo in this chapter. "Kicking and scream.")

    What I can say is that the quote that opened the chapter made me tense up, but the way the chapter ended was nice and uplifting. As always, I really enjoyed reading this, and I look forward to the next one, whenever you post it. Really, take care of yourself first and foremost.

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    1
    Just East of Eden Title Page
    Just East of Eden
    Chapter:21