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James Hiwatari

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794 I Make This Look Easy


About James Hiwatari

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    Cool Member

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  • Gender
  • Sexuality
    Bisexual, leaning male
  • Favorite Genres
  • Location
    Glasgow, UK
  • Interests
    I write stories, draw my characters, and compose/perform music for them. I like languages. And messing with people's expectations makes my day, particularly when it comes to gender-related stuff.

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  1. Scene 33

    13th January 1995 Dear Diary of Bad Life Decisions, It’s been an hour since we last spoke. Most lights in my room are off. As far as I know, everyone else is asleep. It’s late at night and if I had any common sense I would be trying to sleep too. But here I am putting on my slippers to sneak into the office to play Fairy Fun Greenhouse. It’s not that I’m addicted to the game (I mean, I am addicted to the game, but that’s not why I’m circumventing bed-time rules). You see, I can’t get Lydia out of my mind. I have to find out why she spent 5 hours sitting so close to me that my silky smooth thigh was always touching the hairy coarseness of her own. Or why she said my voice “flowed like molten gold” (I’m assuming that’s a compliment) and my eyes “glistened like precious jewells” (that’s definitely a compliment). Or why she would touch my face, bring it closer to hers, make our foreheads and nose touch whenever she wanted to tell me a “secret” like “that skirt looks great on you” or “this house has become more colourful since you came in.” That’s flirting, right? She was smiling with feral eyes, licking her lips, and wrigling her bushy eyebrows every time she said the word “joystick”. She had to be coming onto me! It was nice. If I was reading her right, it was nice to feel desired, appreciated. I haven’t had enough physical contact since I left ho—that place that is no longer home. I miss hugging, or having someone casually touch my shoulder as they speak. I miss having someone take my hand to call my attention. I miss kissing people’s cheek as a way of saying “hello”. Lydia is the first person who seems keen to touch me. Lóránt keeps a respectiful distance. Kris won’t even be in the same room as me if he can help it. And Unn probably hasn’t forgiven me for the intrusive questions I asked about her water tank. But with Lydia… It was almost like being among fairies again. I guess I’ll have to ask her about it? What is dwarf culture like with physical contact? I know they all live crammed inside mountains, so maybe she’s just used to small spaces with no room to avoid each other? Maybe her touching didn’t actually mean anything, and I’m overcomplicating a situation that should’ve been just a normal interaction. No, she had to be flirting. The eyebrow wiggle is a universal sign for “I’m saying something completely normal but I really mean something really naughty”. She wanted me to grab her ““““““joystick””””””. Do you see why I want to play with the actual joystick? I need to forget those dirty thoughts until I can talk to Lydia about it. And I need to be prepared for the possiblity that eyebrow-wiggle is not as universal a gesture as I assumed, and in her culture it means “I have the most non-sexual intentions” instead. Fadalesh is not even her first language (and not her second either, if she can survive on her own around here), so she might have missed the other meaning of “joystick”. Who am I kidding? I’m going to play the video game because I have this wild fantasy that Lydia will be there and offer to grab the joystick that is not made of electronic parts. Now, if you excuse me, I have some business to attend to.
  2. Scene 32

    Heh, that comment made my day yesterday. Now we can pretend I made some funny remark that lives up to your expectations.
  3. Scene 31

    I'm glad to know you like the random changes in plot direction. Sometimes I worry it makes readers think I don't know there the story is going and don't have a plan in mind - which I do. It's not a scene-by-scene overly detailed plan, but I do know the vague order of the plot arcs. The changes in direction happen because this is Nessa's diary and she's unpredictable and gets excited about things and obviously she has to write about things that make her excited. It's a lot of fun writing in this style, trying to make something half-coherent from a teenage girl's exceptional circumstances. The bottom line is: it's good to know I'm doing the right thing. The existence (and death) of Kris's past girlfriend is for the moment a random rambling at a scene's end note. Nothing has been confirmed or denied about her. Schrodinger's girlfriend? Maybe I should have her name be actually Schrodinger... (not that it confirms I have her as a character). As for his relationship with Nessa... all I can say is that there is still a lot of plot to happen between them. Seriously. A lot. And I don't even mean it in the hypothetical "they fall in love after a week, get married the next day and spend the next 20 years having children together" sense. So hold your horses! Kris's character arc will be partially about dealing with his problems like a mature person (which, considering he's still 17 might be a bit too much to ask right now). What would be the difference between a guardian angel and "an angel that protects those in their care"? We still have quite a bit more to learn about angels in general, so no need to worry that you've seen everything there is to know about Lóránt and their kind. On a side note, I found it quite interesting that you went for "she" with Lóránt before you corrected yourself - in my mind Lóránt used to be a "he" before they turned more towards the "who needs gender?" camp. I guess I'm doing something right if my previous conceptions of the characters are hidden enough that some people read them as belonging to the "other end" of gender spectrum. The demons will come back eventually (even Lóránt can't protect Nessa forever), but for now Nessa will be given a chance to settle in, make new friends (and maybe some more), and live the kind of adventures that don't end with people dead, bleeding, or severely traumatised. And thanks for the comments. It makes my day when I see the story got a new enthusiastic reader.
  4. Scene 29

    Lóránt is as literally a "guardian angel" as they can get in this world. As for whether this means the same it would mean for us... Why would I spoil the surprise so soon? I'm glad you like them, though. Kris at this point has been given the role of "be as much of an antagonist as you can be without turning into an actual villain". I can say all I want about him having reasons to be like that (which in this case is "nothing" because those would be big spoilers nobody is ready to know yet), though none of them excuse the fact that yes, he is an arse to Nessa and she didn't deserve that. At least your wish for Nessa's first romantic interest has been fulfilled. It's not Kris - this time. (Oh no! Does that mean he'll eventually fall in love with Nessa and she'll forgive all his arseholeness and they'll walk hand in hand towards the sunset, get married and have 15 children??) (Place your bets...)
  5. Scene 31

    I wish I knew how to make games, so I could try to make real-life version of Fairy Fun Greenhouse. My cousin has a degree (or two?) in game design, so maybe we can come to an understanding...
  6. Scene 30

    I actually enjoy writing the non-depressing chapters (particularly the funny ones) much more than the serious ones. We'll have quite a few of those for now, while Nessa is settling in and getting used to her new life. So enjoy it while it lasts!
  7. Scene 32

    13th January 1995 Dear Diary of Virtual Farming, I wasn’t even planning to write today. Almost nothing happened other than me spending the whole day playing Fairy Fun Greenhouse. I can happily report that I’m now level 20, my neighbours have publicly denounced me for mass plague-forwarding, and my newest plant can play the fiddle. Nothing in that game resembles the fairy life I knew, but that only makes it more addictive. I keep trying to guess what the game will come up with next, and I’m usually completely wrong. I guess I understand why Kris plays it so much? Anyway. That means nothing interesting happened to me for most of the day - or at least for the daylight half of it. I promised myself I would only register things that are actually important and interesting, otherwise this diary will turn into a move by move description of my video game playing and I don’t want that. I want to show this to my grandchildren some day, brag about all the amazing things I did in my youth. I don’t want them to think of me as a video game addict who had nothing going on in her life. (Let’s ignore the possibility I might not even get as far as have children, let alone grandchildren, ok? Just because I don’t deserve a family it doesn’t mean I can’t dream about having one.) Then what am I doing writing on you now, you may ask? Didn’t I just say my day was as non-relevant as it gets? Everything changed with nightfall. After dinner (which I ate in front of the TV in the office because Lóránt didn’t want me going down the stairs yet) my housemates came up to get on with their evening routines. I saw Kris pick up a book from the bookshelf-wall behind Lóránt’s desk (he pretended I wasn’t here), Unn took over the other desk and worked on her homework for 3 hours (how did she even get on the upper floor in a water tank that isn’t supposed to go up the stairs?), and Lydia… Lydia… LYDIA!!! Sorry, but other than writing her name in a whole page and decorate it with flowers and little hearts and stars I don’t know how else to show you what that woman is doing to my feelings. Sudden, isn’t it? We had barely spoken until five hours ago. And then we chatted for 5 hours. And played some Fairy Fun Greenhouse. And I think she was flirting with me? I was definitely flirting by the end. You know when you turn everything into innuendo and wiggle your eyebrows and pretend that “grab the joysitck” really just means taking over that physical object that allows you to play a video game? Mother Deity, I suck at flirting! No wonder I can’t tell if Lydia really was making a move on me. Grab the joystick… I sound like a 10 year-old! That’s the kind of thing my brother would say! I need some time alone to think through what just happened. Think really hard about what just happened. Eyebrow wiggle and all. Aaaaaaand that’s an entry I’ll never show my grandchildren. I’ll show myself out before I destroy my reputation even further.
  8. Scene 31

    12th January 1995 Dear Gamer Diary, Lóránt is the best guardian angel ever! They came to check on me when I was so bored I was counting the number of flowers on my bed cover (I stopped at 128) and they rescued me from this terrible destiny of mind-numbing non-tasks! They stormed in like a superhero and swept me from the bed, carrying me like a princess all the way to the library/office. I was made to lie in the middle of the couch like a Queen surrounded by tasty snacks, and just as I thought things couldn’t get better, the video game controls landed on my hand. ‘Would you like to play something?’ ‘I didn’t have this console at home. I don’t know how to work it.’ ‘You have plenty of time to learn.’ Lóránt sat as close to me as their wings and the barrier of snacks allowed. ‘It’s better than being bored in your room all day, and it’s unlikely to make your injury worse. I can help you out until you get the hang of it.’ ‘Aren’t you supposed to be doing adult things instead of playing video games?’ Lóránt laughed. ‘I suppose there is a pile of paperwork waiting for me…’ They glanced at the desk so full of papers I couldn’t see the chair behind it, but smiled at me as if to say they would rather ignore its existence until the end of times. ‘But believe it or not, playing games with you is part of my job too.’ I raised an eyebrow. ‘How so?’ ‘I’m supposed to help all those under my protection.’ Lóránt grinned. Their tone turned sickly sweet and cheerful. ‘It’s my job to make sure you’re happy, safe, and not making irresponsible decisions that could put yourself in danger because you think your life needs more excitement.’ I felt the indirect jab. ‘Are you talking about last night?’ ‘No, actually. That last bit wasn’t about you at all.’ Lóránt still grinned. I couldn’t figure out if they were telling the truth (were angels even able to lie?). ‘Actually you’re the only one here who hasn’t made an irresponsible decision that put yourself in danger because your life needs more excitement. Your housemates, on the other hand…’ I kept waiting for Lóránt to tell me what my housemates did that was so irresponsible and dangerous, but they let their sentence hanging in the air, teasing me. ‘How about you choose a game, then? We have quite a few…’ Lóránt handed me a pile of game cartridges. All of them had the name of the game written in that overly complicated local alphabet, so Lóránt had to read it to me and explain what the games were about. I hadn’t even heard of that console until now (it’s called Midento 46, apparently), so obviously I knew none of the games. I wasn’t particularly interested in any of them until Lóránt showed me one with a picture of a forest and a little fairy. ‘This is called Fairy Fun Greenhouse. You play as a fairy who is trying to build the best garden to win a competition.’ Lóránt must have known I would immediately jump to the chance of playing such a game. They put the menu settings in Fadalesh and helped me navigate the controls (why were there so many buttons?) to create my own fairy avatar (who coincidentally looked a lot like me). I started to play and then… I don’t know where the next 5 hours went. That game is addictive, even if it gets more absurd and unrealistic the more you advance. You start out with a few seeds for common plants and trees. You talk to them, tell them jokes to make them grow happy, and then once they grow you can sell their fruits and seeds to get money to buy different plants. You make a little funeral for them when they die and make compost out of their remains. All this levels you up, and when you reach level 5 you start getting plagues attacking your plants. You can have the plants fight back by growing spikes or try your luck convincing the plague to go to your neighbour’s garden. The spike thing reminds me too much of Morumpi, so I always go for the other option. All my neighbours hate me now (and that means they drop all their litter on my plants and I have to clean up. I’ve had a fridge thrown at my rose garden. A fridge!). And then at level 7 you start unlocking the weird plants. I have a plant that lays eggs, a cheese plant, and cat plant, and I haven’t even unlocked everything yet (the cat plant is really cute, though). I got stuck at level 11 because the plague refuses to move along when I ask. That’s why I left the game (and because apparently I missed lunch and the mid-afternoon snack while I was playing, so I need to eat something that’s not just unhealthy junk). When I was messing around with the menu, I saw that all my housemates (including Lóránt) have created their own fairy avatars. The menu also shows how long they’ve played the game for. I wouldn’t have paid too much attention to it if I didn’t notice that Kris played this game much more than everybody else. A lot more. I’m talking 245 hours compared to Lydia’s 10, Unn’s 23.5, and Lóránt’s 7. Looks like he’s addicted to it? Has he got some sort of fairy fixation I don’t know about? Maybe he hates me because I’m not really one anymore? Also his avatar is female and dark-skinned. If it wasn’t for her having straight, shoulder-length hair, I would be really creeped out that Kris chose a fairy that looks so much like me before we even knew each other. It’s stil creepy, though. Another reason to stay away from him…
  9. Scene 30

    12th January 1995 Dear Unidentifiable Diary, It’s quiet in the house now. My housemates are off to school and Lóránt is working on some boring administrative thing in their room. I’m bored. Apparently I’ll go to school too once I get better and have some basic understanding of the local language. Lóránt said they would normally put me in a fairy school so the language barrier wouldn’t hold me down, but my situation makes it obviously impossible. I want to start those language lessons soon. I want to be able to live in this new place of strange people who can’t go a day without changing their faces (how do they know who’s who?). I want to fit in with those people who had no questions about accepting me among them despite the horrible things I did. Is it possible to become a honorary shape-shifter? It’s not like I can be a fairy anyway… And speaking of belonging with shape-shifters, I don’t think I’ve shown you my brand new ID card (yes, I’m so bored I’ll talk about the first thing I see. Said ID card just happens to be on my bedside table right now). I got it with Mamoru and Branjka before we left Macchikai, but I didn’t have the opportunity to mention it then, with all the stuff that happened. (Mamoru didn’t have to die.) (Branjka is still around, though. I think she’s supposed to keep being my bodyguard whenever I’m away from Lóránt’s protection. I hope it won’t take too long until we can communicate properly.) ID card. Yes. I’m not going to remember sad things now. Let’s do boring administrative chat instead. To be honest, the whole notion of needing an ID card is weird. I’d never even seen one in person before - only heard about them from foreign movies and books. After all, who needs to carry a piece of plastic at all times when our wings are perfectly capable of identifying us to strangers? But shape-shifters are not like that (again - how can they tell each other apart without looking at the ID thing? Will I ever find out?). My little plastic card has my name in big letters at the front (all text is in both their weird writing and mine, so I can read what it says) and my date of birth underneath. They write it funny, though: 1978-07-19 instead of 19 July 1978. Maybe in their language they say it like this too, with the year first? But why would anyone do that? We all know the important part is the day and the month so you get to know when to give someone their birthday gifts. My card says “fairy” underneath the date of birth. Back when I was giving the information to have it made, I tried to argue with the officers in charge that I wasn’t a fairy anymore, but that person just shrugged. ‘If you were born a fairy, you’ll still be classified as a fairy no matter what happened to your powers. You can hardly become a shape-shifter or a giant, so deal with it.’ It was a similar thing to what Lóránt tole me later, but back then (I write as if it was a long time ago instead of… two days ago? Really? It feels so much longer…) I was a lot less inclined to accept it. Though it did make me think about what I would be like as a shape-shifter: I would keep my hair pink all the time, and make it so curly I would’t have to brush it anymore. Do shape-shifters need hairbrushes? Or can they just will their hair to tidy itself up? The prettiest thing in the card is a giant holographic square placed next to the written information. It shines in different ways depending on how you position it against the light. Apparently all I have to do to prove that this card belongs to me is touch that hologram with my thumb. The card turns green if I do. One of the police officers showed me what happens when the wrong person tries to use the card: it turns red and gives some sort of non-lethal but really painful electric shock to the impostor. I wonder if the same thing happens if a stranger touches the card by accident? I hope not. That would be too ridiculous a design flaw for something that I’ll need to use everywhere I go around here. (Yes, apparently I’m required to carry that card thingy at all times. Do shape-shifters have trust issues? Or are they that paranoid because they’re used to people impersonating others? Maybe they actually can’t tell each other apart and that’s why they go through all the trouble to create an identification method that doesn’t even bother with pictures.) I’m tired and even more bored now. You’ll hear from me again when I think of another random object in my room to describe for another 3 pages.
  10. Scene 10

    It means the cake is there as long as you believe in it.
  11. Scene 09

    Sounds like an adventure... I've always lived in big cities (I was born in a place that's 2x Glasgow) and that's one of the reason I don't necessarily want to live in tiny places in the middle of nowhere. That said, it's also the reason why I would want to move to Northern Finland and be surrounded by snow 200 days/year. Contradictions. Contradictions.
  12. Scene 13

    You're of course right. The plot is heading somewhere. Nessa is currently not liking that somewhere.
  13. Scene 12

    Yes, people can ask for asylum for a lot of reasons. But the situation I know most about is LGBT Asylum in the UK, where most asylum seekers are from Africa/Middle East and the Home Office has a notoriously poor track record of accessing applications fairly and sensitively. It's actually really fun to learn about the cultural differences (not the asylum applications or the reasons people flee their homes, though). Many places see the spectrums of sexuality and gender in a different way than we do, and I love learning about it.
  14. Scene 29

    I would say Lóránt is one of my favourite characters too, but I kind of like all of them... (yes, even Kris, though not on the "I want to hang out with you" level). You're asking a few too many plot-relevant questions. Demons in general seem to be after other people to make their armies strong. Which may or may not mean they're specifically after the people guarded by Lóránt. Which is my way of saying you'll have to keep reading to find out.
  15. Scene 11

    That sounds like an... interesting? read... Suicide and all? I'm sure you had fun with that one! You make a good point. I could scare people for the sake of it if I wanted to. Not that I don't already get weirded out looks from people who can't process seeing a beard and boobs in the same body. Fun times... Here's hoping you survive the blizzard! And good luck with your own writing too!

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