This week in writing is hard: Emily tries something new!

Jackie and April's Foster Home for Teenage Witches, Writing

You may have guessed, from my lack of posts recently, that I’ve been having trouble figuring out what to do.

It’s not just this blog—I’ve been struggling to figure out what to write, what to draw, everything. I’m an American, so as you can imagine my world is kind of falling apart around me right now, and every time I try to do something, I think, “How much of a difference is this going to make, in terms of putting the brakes on Nazi Germany: American Edition (now with a new primary target!)?” and the trouble is, most of what I was working on before 2016 was focused on queer representation in scifi/fantasy.

Frankly, queer representation got outpaced by immigrant protections and voting rights on the day of the world’s most mediocre inauguration. I was not prepared for this. I don’t know how to write engaging emotional rollercoasters about voting. I know how to write an engaging emotional roller coaster about immigration, but as a white person whose family moved here before there were immigration laws, I probably shouldn’t.

Thus, total stagnation of productivity.

Which I’ve had enough of.

So, new plan!

I’m writing a webcomic. It’s small-scale, it’s escapist, it’s got space for tackling difficult things but it’s set up to mostly be cute and soft and gentle, it contains witches, and it’s currently called Jackie and April’s Foster Home for Teenage Witches.

Premise: Witches are a lot of trouble, so there’s great need for foster homes willing to take them—and at April and Jackie’s house, there’s always room for one more.

I’m not entirely comfortable writing about the foster system, especially as, being sick of horrors, I’m 0% not interested in portraying how bad it can be, and I’m not sure if that’s dishonest or escapist. The trouble is, I want it set in modern-day America, so orphanages are right out, and I’m dead bored of boarding schools and summer camps. So I’m going with foster care unless something better appears.

Things that are definitely going to happen:

– A baby (in for a few days of respite care) gets into wild shenanigans and permanently transfigures the dog

– An introverted girl’s escapist daydreams open a portal for her… but the wrong person goes through it! She has to get the intruder out before all her secrets are discovered! Not to mention that there’s a monster in there somewhere, and this person doesn’t know the rules to avoid it.

– An ill-advised gardening spell brings very impolite invertebrates to the garden! How will Jackie and the girls solve this without hurting any of the innocent creatures? Not that Jackie thinks there’s anything wrong with salting the lot of them, but that would upset April, which is unacceptable.

And the best part is, it’s episodic, so if I mess something up, I can just move on and try something else.

It also barely exists at this point. I’m thinking it’ll be probably a year before I’ve got any actual pages? I want to finish at least two chapters before I post anything, and there’s a lot of research and planning involved in something like this. I’ve never written an ongoing comic! I’ve barely written a standalone! I have no idea what I’m doing!

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