A Fiction Agreed Upon Hiatus!

July 8, 2020

This is going to be a weird post for me.

First, I don’t like posting about myself. It makes me uncomfortable. I like to just exist as a conduit: my creativity flowing through me to the page for your eyes. But I felt, very strongly, that I needed to explain why I am I putting A Fiction Agreed Upon on hiatus.

And because I am me and I will never make a story short if I can make into a epic (sorry, Hemmingway) here is a little bit of backstory.

I came up with the concept for AFAU in 2016, during the summer. It quickly spiraled into the version you see now, with a cast of millions, world building, themes, ect. Then the American election happened, and I ended up changing some things. You see, in the original draft of AFAU, I was going to include far more “problematic” historical figures than the cast I have planned today. For example, I was not just going to have one Adolf Hitler, I was going to have TWO, a young artist and the Furher.

This is because the driving thrust of AFAU has always been about how we (society) evaluate history and the people who make it. Would the Year Three Thousand look on a young Adolf, whose ambition is to paint, with pity? Hate? Fear? And how would it change their interactions with a Hitler who is at the end of his life, the murder of twenty million? How would that in turn affect his relationship with Napoleon and Napoleon with Robespierre and Robespierre with Machiavelli, so on and so forth.

After November 2016, this changed. I knew I could not, would not, ever be comfortable with using Hitler. How could I be when global politics was taking such a turn to the conservative right? How could I interrogate people like Hitler (never mind the actual man), investigate and question without people mistaking my intentions, thinking that I was endorsing that kind of monstrous brutality?

To be absolutely clear: I don’t and never will. Academic curiosity could never justify it in my mind. Hitler should go down as a monster in history.

So I dialed it back. I re-evaluated my ‘cast list’. I made changes in response to real life. I know there are other creative minds out there who will insisted that you should never compromise your art to modern stresses. I don’t always agree with that.

But I didn’t want to lose that angle. So, I didn’t cut all of them, but I tried to strive for balance. If I had Napoleon I needed to have Toussaint L’Ouverture. I wanted to question history and for history to examine itself.

But now…

2020 is a bizarre time to live in as a historian. I guess this is how Horace Walpole felt in 1793. You have beliefs about the world around you and then everything gets turned on it’s head and you just aren’t sure about anything anymore.

Season Three of A Fiction Agreed Upon is/was going to dramatically increase the number of Historical Figure running around. Elizabeth the First, Catharine the Great, Lewis, Clark and Sacajawea. I had/have a long subplot about the Founders and Framers of the American Constitution that was going to loop Jerimiah (the alien who met Rain in the Louvre in season one) back into the plot.

But now I don’t think I should. At least not right now.

How can I justify talking about Thomas Jefferson, who knowingly, through his whole life, was willing and eager to prop up racism and slavery?

How can I justify talking about Andrew Jackson whose legislature continued and massively increased the slow rolling genocide of Indigenous Americans?

How can I justify talking about Magpie Jones, a non-binary person, who is going to have to keep explaining their gender identity to nearly everyone they’re risking everything to help?

And the list goes on!

The White Plague, the Second American Civil War, World War Three. Debates on what goes into recorded history and who gets left out and why. The scenes of militaristic oppression and violence on a resisting population who is trying to demand answers from their leadership.

How can I justify writing any of this in 2020, when it is so fucking close to the reality we are living in?

The answer: I can’t.

I just


I won’t. It’s not the right thing to do right now.

The same reason why I would not use Hitler in 2016 is the reason I will not write this in 2020. It’s just not appropriate.

I don’t know when AFAU is going to come back.

I do think it will eventually come back, mostly because it’s a keystone project to the rest of the Extended Universe, but it won’t be the same. I must do a lot of rigorous thinking about my approach.

It is heartbreaking to post this. I’ve put a lot into A Fiction Agreed Upon. It’s important to me. But it’s still not as heartbreaking as what a lot of black, queer, immigrant or indigenous people are suffering today, right now, in 2020.

And this is why AFAU is going on hiatus.

Thank you for understanding.

  • Elaine.

P.S. This is not to say that I won’t be posting. I’ll post essays, reviews, short stories or flash fiction. Maybe previews of one of the other million projects I’m working on. Just not AFAU. Not for a while.

7/2/2020: Loot

Cori held up the Passus to Cornelia. 

“We found it among the flotsam in the Lion’s Head Galaxy.”

Cornelia took the device, pressing her finger into it’s needle point. 

“Such a troublesome thing,” she sighed. “If only they knew, it would do them no good to posses anyway.” Regardless she closed her hand around it and with a passing thought, it vanished again.

Cori gasped. “Wait!”

The hunt would go on. 

Season Two. Episode Twenty-Four: Cue the Applause.

It was without a doubt the best rooms William had ever been given by a patron before. Everything was in plush velvet, rich furs of bears, tigers and lions and silk table runners.

“The boss wants you two to be as comfortable as possible,” said the chippy little man who had taken Will and his companion to the rooms. They had walked barefooted through empty marble halls, though Will was sure he could hear distant laughing and speaking.

“How very considerate!” Said his companion, a tall man with long and dark hair. His accent was not purely English however. “Perhaps we will now be allowed to find out why we are here?”

The little man laughed. “To write for the Boss! He’ll come by soon enough when he comes up with what he wants, but until then,” he bowed, “he’d like you to sit back and relax.” The man winked. “There are menus on those shelves should you want anything. An-ee-thing.” He winked again and Will almost rolled his eyes.

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7/1/2020: Palace

Tom could never get past the grandeur of the Palace after he had been to it. It was as if everytime he visited he noticed a new marvel. 

But as time pasted and he learned more about the Princess and Xyacotal, the way he looked at it changed. He used to be impressed, even envious of the gilded walls and rich decor. Now as he walked past jewel encrusted decorations he wondered, how many could this have fed? He pictured The Sticks and how the Palace could have easily housed everyone, kept them warm and fed, but was reserved for only a few. 

6/30/2020: Engaged

A/N: This is very much a in-joke, just for me.

Khark rested his chin on his staff and sighed. 

“You know what I miss the most about earth?” He asked idly. Tess was flipping through a newly acquired book, it’s pages crumbling even as she coughed at the dust.



Tess and Ber both stopped to look at him.

“Really?” Ber drawled. “Not the sun on the bay, or the sounds of birds in the forest, Sebith forbid!” He raised his hands, grinning.

Khark flipped his heels over his head and balanced on the stop of his staff. “No. I have all of that here. But trying to translate the delicate cross platforming of mutating a phrase or image until it’s a dadsist mess is goddamn impossible.”

Tess and Ber glanced at one another. “That’s… a fair point.”

6/29/2020: Cavity

Far below them Destiny thought she cold make out the distant sound of water running, but the hole in the world was so big and dark that she could not see any farther than a few feet below the sudden drop off the cliff.

She looked at Aku. “Has anyone ever been down it before?”

He shook his head. “Not to my knowledge.”

A powerful wind punched up through the hole and Desinty leaned back as her hair was tangled by it’s grasping fingers. She tightened her hold on her walking stick.

“But that’s where we need to go?” She asked. 

Aku nodded. 

Destiny sighed and stepped forward. “No need to wait then.” She stepped into the darkness.

6/28/2020: Wednesday

“Halfway there,” Tom muttered through his gritted teeth. “Halfway.”

This did not make him feel much better. His laborious day stretched infront of him, like a mountain cliff, rising straight into the sky and demanding that he find the strength within himself to climb it.

He leaned back slightly, shivering as his back made contacts with the tomb like wall of the building behind him. He was cold down to the bone, the wind stabbing through his patched coat like a driven nail.

He longed for a cigarette, if nothing else to keep his chest warm from the smoke.

Tom straightened back up with a hiss as he was appracohed by a patron. 

“Halfway. Halfway.”

6/19/2020: Happiest

Physically, Kara was lying on her roof, starlight beaming down on her, eyes half lidded and body sprawled like a tossed rag doll. But really she was buried deep in her own mind.

“Do you remember what made you happiest, when you were alive?” She asked Raven. In the shared space of their minds, they were having tea. 

Raven frowned for a moment. 

“I can’t really remember what was real and what I dreamed when I was in that box,” she said slowly. “But I think I really enjoyed flying.”

Kara starred. “You could fly?”

Raven flashed her familiar smirk. “Like the clouds, darling.”

6/18/2020: Coin


A/N: Sorry for the gap, everyone. We shall now resume.

Jov was carefully balancing a coin on the tip of his finger. As Cori watch, he flicked it off and caught it, the magic flowing from his hands to surround the coin. 

“How do you do that?” She asked. The space in front of them was cool and calm as the surface of a mirror. 

Jov passed it to her and Cori focused on holding it up. 

<If you learn how to spin it, I’ll give you a kiss.> Jov’s fingers flashed through the air. Cori turned her head away to hide her blush. The coin wobbled and fell. 

“I’ll remember that,” she muttered. 

6/4/2020: Winter

“Have you ever noticed that every snowflake is the same?” Ade remarked to Ekkule. He held out his hand, red and chapped from the cold and wind. Ekkule leaned over it and watched as two of the flakes they’d been struggling to clear away from the squash patch landed on the back.

Both were exactly the same. A delicate five pointed star that quickly melted with into Ade’s skin.

“Curious that,” Ekkule said. He paused in his brushing. “Didn’t the Faith say that everyone is made different, though?” He looked up.

Ade was gone. 

6/3/2020: Resurface

Jude held her phone up and scowled.

“No fucking service, are you kidding me?” She sat down on one of the rough brown stones that littered that mountain side.

“Camera still works,” remarked her new photographer. Jude didn’t bother with his name and simply thought of him as ‘Scruffy-Man’. “That’s all that matters, right?” He added timidly when she shot him a glare.

She pulled out her pipe and began to pack it. “I’ll be happier when we’re out of the mountains,” she scoffed. She realized he was staring. “What?”

He shuffled. “I’ve never seen an Elf smoke before,” he mumbled. 

Jude rolled her eyes. “Then get used to it.”

6/2/2020: Wind

Spectra remarked that she thought she’d met one of the Five, once.

“I’m not sure. It’s not like they wear signs around their necks. And obviously they all have about a billion representatives at any time. I mean,” she waved her paw at Clio and Monaco, “look at us.”

“But I think that it was someone who worked closely with Air, or maybe Air themselves.” She was quiet for a moment. “They were tall. Long hair. Just standing on one of the beaches, looking at the stars. It must have been over a thousand years now. I just remember thinking it was strange and asking who they were.”

Spectra barked a laugh. “They never did tell me.”