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Hello everyone.

I know it's been a long time since I've posted, but I wanted to explain a little why I have not been posting to From the Ashes for so long.  The answer is not that I have lost interest in this story.  That's not even close.  I plan on writing more and have outlined the next phase of the story.

The reason I have not been posting is that, while working on this story, I began talking with another Days fan, a big Steve and Kayla fan who you might recognize from various message boards by her username esp13.  As I was researching this story, esp13 provided me with a lot of links and then some DVDs, particularly of the 1990-1992 period that covered the end of Shane and Kim's run on the show.  That was critical to this story, because it helped me form my view of how Shane's and Kim's marriage ended and how they each left Salem.  Those DVDs also helped form my views about the Shayla storyline, which became the subject of the background essay I posted and the subject of a lot of conversations that esp13 and I had as we watched that storyline.

To make a long story short, as our conversations continued, esp13 tossed out the idea for a story she had been contemplating.  The premise was simple -- "what if Steve returned while Shane and Kayla were together?"  She did not know if she would ever write it, but she had some ideas of how the story might play out and I offered my thoughts.  That led to a rough outline that began in July 1991.  That then grew into a co-written fic, Collateral Damage.

And it grew.  Our Collateral Damage draft is now 650,000 words and more than 1,500 pages in MS Word.  More than 400 "chapters" of the R-rated version have been posted so far to fanfiction.net and the slightly more adult version has been posted on a Steve/Kayla message board.  We also are going to begin posting that version to My Hourglass, a more general Days fanfiction site.  The link is http://myhourglass.proboards.com and it requires membership to read stories.  As much as I like the version on fanfiction.net, I do think we had to make some sacrifices to comply with its terms of service.  So I appreciate the chance to post the story in full on My Hourglass and hope any of you who have not read it yet give it a chance.  

We recognize that the subject matter is difficult and, as with this story, our views on the characters -- and the Shayla storyline -- are not necessarily shared by other Shane and Kim fans.  In fact, it is because of the hostility that I experienced here that we decided to post Collateral Damage under a pseudonym 80sDaysFan on fanfiction,net and did not mention that story here until after we had reached a particular point in the posted story.  However, we want to stress that we love all four of the main characters and have really tried to do them justice, recognizing that they all have good hearts, but also have character flaws.  It is that complexity that we love and why both I and esp13 are very proud of the story so far.

So what does Collateral Damage mean for From the Ashes?  In the long-term, nothing.  From the Ashes will continue.  However, in the near-term, Collateral Damage has been the focus of my writing.  As that story grew, it became more difficult to juggle both this story and that one, as well as my RL obligations.

Moreover, as that story progressed, I hit a bit of a snag with this story.  Since I had not outlined the interweaving storylines in From the Ashes, I came to a point where I faced a dilemma.  There are plots involving Andrew and Jeannie that need to be developed before some pivotal events take place.  But how do I do that given where Shane and Kim are in their respective conditions.  I don't want endless scenes of them recuperating, but I also don't want my two main characters to disappear from the story while the subplots take over.  See the problem?  I think I have now devised things for Shane and Kim to keep them from disappearing too much, but that means I need to be cautious as I write the upcoming scenes.

Finally, there are some issues with this blog.  The reality is that it is not very reader-friendly, making it hard to navigate the story for a new reader.  It also is hard for readers to find and has a lot of spam.  So I also am considering posting this story to My Hourglass.  However, in fairness to the readers there, I do not want to begin posting there without having a sense of precisely when From the Ashes will become my main focus once more.  At that time, I also will decide how I will proceed with this site.

In any event, I appreciate your patience with the story and urge you to give Collateral Damage a chance.  We plan on posting some of the background essays from this site on My Hourglass and will then start posting Collateral Damage there.

Posting update

Unfortunately, as you may have already figured out, my RL has been a bit crazy and it has prevented me from writing new scenes.  I don't want to write a bunch of filler scenes that I post immediately after writing, so my inclination is to hold off until I can sit down and write several new scenes that move the story forward.

Please be assured that I will be continuing the story.  The characters are too much fun to leave where they are.

Thanks very much for your patience.

Chapter 135: An Overheard Call

Shivaughn was surprised when Andrew left her and Jeannie in the living room and went upstairs. Read more...Collapse )

Chapter 134: "Maybe it was a bit blunt."

Andrew tried to focus on the road as they drove back to Malibu, but his mind was racing with a jumble of different thoughts and feelings. Read more...Collapse )

Author's Note: Missing Chapter 22

A reader just told me that Chapter 22 of the story -- an Andrew/Jeannie scene -- is not in the archive.  I know it was posted, because I still have email notices of comments on that chapter, so i don't know how it disappeared.  I've mentioned before that I have some frustrations about livejournal, so I'll add this to the list as I explore possible alternatives.

In the meantime, I've reinserted Chapter 22 into the story.  It is now included in the same post as Chapter 23 so nothing is out of order.  For anyone who missed Chapter 22, it can be found here:  http://jwsel.livejournal.com/9645.html

Chapter 133: Revenge

Victor was still furious as he took his seat on his plane.  Read more...Collapse )

Chapter 132: Waking (NSFW)

Kim trembled as Shane lowered her to the bed. Read more...Collapse )

Chapter 131: Back at the hospital

"I don't know," Andrew said to the officer.  "I really have no bloody clue why they attacked us."Read more...Collapse )

Chapter 130: Philip's Curiosity

Philip leaned back in his chair and studied the folder once again, as he tried to figure out what his father was up to.  Read more...Collapse )

Chapter 129: "Shane's not dead,"

"What does 'C/S' mean?" Hope asked, her voice a stunned whisper. Read more...Collapse )