Beyond Downward Spiral: The Diary of Syal Antilles - 2011 Dear Diary Challenge - Complete 12/31

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Lane_Winree, Jan 15, 2011.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Title: Downward Spiral: The Diary of Syal Antilles
    Genre: Angst, nostalgia, reflection, humor
    Timeframe: 44 ABY real-time, flashbacks and reflection from 20-43 ABY
    Characters: Syal Antilles, mentions of the Antilles family, Rogues, Wraiths, Doran Tainer, Jaina Solo, Original Characters
    Disclaimer: Nope, don't own Star Wars nor the characters. The stories and characters belong to George Lucas, Tim Zahn, Michael Stackpole, and Aaron Allston

    Notes: This fic is an entry for the 2011 Dear Diary Challenge and centers around minor character Syal Antilles. The aim is to analyze and develop her character (since the profic authors forgot to do that).

    Downward Spiral deals with potentially uncomfortable topics. The life of a military combat pilot isn't easy. The life of a military combat pilot that grew up in a time of tremendous conflict is brutal. This fic looks into the subject of clinical depression, suicide, and other psychological issues that often aren't discussed in fanfic.

    This story takes place in real-time during 44 ABY, but it covers material all the way from Union through Fate of the Jedi. Expect mentions of your favorite Rogues, Wraiths, Jedi, and Intelligence figures.

    In addition, this fic is a sort of tie-in to my longer Syal fics, Genesis of a Rogue and Rogue Diplomacy, the former is finished and the latter is upcoming this year. Reading those fics are not required in any way to understand and enjoy this one.

    The first entry is meant to be an addendum stuck in at the beginning of the diary, allowing Syal to explain why she's writing in the first place.

    Expect an update on the second and fourth Saturday of every month for all of 2011.

    As always, thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read and review my other fics and allowed me to indulge my love of minor EU characters. If you're interested in following my various fandom musings, you find me on my Livejournal and on Twitter with @LaneWinree.

    If you would like to get onto a PM list for this fic, feel free to let me know :)

    First post below!



    PM List
    -------

    Luna_Nightshade
    Hazel
    Briannakin
    Abeja
    Katana_Sundancer
  2. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Log Entry: 00, ADDENDUM ENTRY ADDED 31-5-44

    I guess I need to put this at the head of this damn exercise. I don?t even like to keep a diary, but the shrinks insist I documented what was running through my head. Since this journal isn?t really for my benefit, I suppose I should introduce myself to whatever psychologist decides they need to look over my records and peer into my psyche (or whatever bantha poodoo, Dathomiri witchcraft they insist will ?help? me).

    My name is Syal Antilles. Yes, I?m related to that Antilles. Yes, I followed in Daddy?s footsteps and went off to join the military to fly multi-million credit warbirds (my sister Myri was the one who took after mom and went into intelligence work).

    And for you, Mister or Missus Pyschologist That Decides To Read This, I will have you know that I didn?t go into flying just so I could ride on Daddy?s reputation. I went into this for myself. I joined the military because I loved the feeling of a flightstick in my hands. I?ve always loved the speed rush of an Eta-5 Interceptor and the rugged power of the XJ7 X-Wing. So if you think that I joined the military because I?ve got daddy issues, you can toss that theory out.

    I?m not afraid to admit I?m a pretty stubborn girl. I was born on Corellia, my parents are both Corellian. I?m about as Corellian as you can get. I love sabacc and Whyren?s Reserve. Over the years I?ve been known to come away with some sizable chunks of credchits in heads-up sabacc games with the other pilots. I can drink with the best of them

    That?s not to say I?m just one of the guys. I?ve got my own feminine indulgences. Scented bubblebaths is one, though admittedly those are tough to come buy when I?m stationed on a carrier cruiser. I can?t begin to tell you how happy I was to have my squadron stationed on Coruscant for a while. I?ve also got a bit of a thing for trashy romance novels. I mean, I don?t read them nearly as often as my sister does. I?m still more than happy to spend an evening with a copy of The Balcony of the Lady Jedi.

    That enough background, Shrink? Need more? Fine.

    I graduated from the starfighter academy a few years ago. Normally a greenhorn pilot like myself would have been stationed on some out-of-the-way, quiet Outer Rim posting so I could get my feet wet. Unfortunately, we didn?t have that luxury when I was combat certified. Galaxy was in the middle of a civil war and we were all being pressed into active rosters. Before I knew what happened I was a Lieutenant and commanding my own squadron.

    You can go ahead and leave my parents and my sister out of this. If you want to know where everything went wrong, you can start with my posting to the Blue Diver. Though, I suppose that?ll be clear as you start reading this diary.

    My life was on autopilot until the day the Second Fleet was obliterated. I was happy enough. Sure, we were living in a time of conflict and the threat of war was in the back of everyone?s mind, but when are we not living in a time of some sort of conflict. I grew up during the Vong war. There were days where I thought my parents were dead and days when I thought I was going to be next. As terrible as it sounds, you almost become desensitized to the constant danger. Maybe that was why I was holding up during the civil war.

    But I digress. I was happy. My flying career was going well. I was in command of my own squadron. I had met a wonderful man who I was going to marry. Tiom. You know, I still do miss him. I know I always will, but I do hope that mom?s right. Someday I?ll be able to move on.

    You want to see where it all went wrong for me? You start with the day the Blue Diver was destroyed, the day I lost my entire command. You start with the day my fiancé was killed because we were caught up in a war that didn?t need to happen.

    I hope this is enough to get you started on the right track, to see how I ended up in this sorry position.

    More than anything, I hope this is enough to convince you that I need help.
  3. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Hello Lane (of the extremely entertaining IMJ reviews) [face_laugh]

    I like the voice you have for Syal here and I can just imagine you would get desensitized growing up in the times she did. :(

    You get the sense of her strength and of her losses.

    Excellent and moving start.

    =D=

  4. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    As I said before: I still cannot comprehend how you write women so well!

    I'm definitely looking forward to reading all about Syal. I haven't read anything about her character in canon, so this will definitely be interesting (especially since I hope to get to your Syal fics sometime this year! ;) ).

    BTW, I lobby for an appearance (or multiple!) by Face Loran. Just because.

    I suppose I should introduce myself to whatever psychologist decides they need to look over my records and peer into my psyche (or whatever bantha poodoo, Dathomiri witchcraft they insist will ?help? me).

    Already a lovely voice for Syal. [face_laugh]

    So if you think that I joined the military because I?ve got daddy issues, you can toss that theory out.

    Even though Wedge is most definitely not your "normal" galactic citizen, I always imagined him being an almost perfect father. I mean, he's the GFFA's moral filter! And he definitely seems the most "normal" of the Rogues and Wraiths - well, as normal as a Rogue or Wraith can be, anyway. ;)

    I?m still more than happy to spend an evening with a copy of The Balcony of the Lady Jedi.

    [face_laugh] Why am I suddenly getting the image of Syal sitting at the holonet station reading smutty fanfic? :D

    I grew up during the Vong war.

    A terrible, terrible time to grow up. :( As much as it sucks to have had children during that time (Ben), the older ones probably remember everything.

    You know, I still do miss him. I know I always will, but I do hope that mom?s right. Someday I?ll be able to move on.

    And her mom would certainly know all about that, of course. :(

    More than anything, I hope this is enough to convince you that I need help.

    Uh-oh. A Corellian is admitting that she needs help. I have a bad feeling about this. :(




    Wonderful start as always, Lane. I hope you are able to continue this throughout the year. If not, I will bug you and threaten to kill off your favorite characters. :D
  5. Hazel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2010
    star 4
    This IS a very promising start.

    Looking forward to know more about Syal Antilles.
  6. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Jade_Eyes

    Hello Lane (of the extremely entertaining IMJ reviews)

    I am glad I haven't scared too many people with my very stream-of-consciousness review style. :D

    I like the voice you have for Syal here and I can just imagine you would get desensitized growing up in the times she did.

    Syal is a really fascinating character to me. In such a limited amount of time she's gone through so much, watching both of her parents trundle off to certain danger in her childhood and then throwing herself into harm's way after joining the military.

    And I'm really glad you're enjoying the way I'm voicing her. I've had a bit of practice with some other fics I've done that center around her, but she is a challenging character because there's precious little in profic that involves her (thank you Aaron Allston for at least giving me a solid foundation). :)

    Excellent and moving start.

    Thank you! I can't promise it will always be this angsty. I do want to cover a lot of emotional ground with her in this fic.

    Nanci

    As I said before: I still cannot comprehend how you write women so well!

    You know, it hasn't always been this way. Not too long ago the female characters I wrote were pretty stale but something changed around the time I started writing Genesis. Forcing myself to write almost exclusively from Syal's perspective required me to figure out just how I was supposed to write a female character.

    Honestly? I think I write them better than I do male characters now. Which is odd. [face_hypnotized]

    Already a lovely voice for Syal.

    She was raised by two very stubborn individuals in Wedge and Iella. Figures she'd come out with a rather fiery personality :D

    BTW, I lobby for an appearance (or multiple!) by Face Loran. Just because.

    All I will say now is that there is a very good chance that will happen :D

    Even though Wedge is most definitely not your "normal" galactic citizen, I always imagined him being an almost perfect father. I mean, he's the GFFA's moral filter! And he definitely seems the most "normal" of the Rogues and Wraiths - well, as normal as a Rogue or Wraith can be, anyway.

    In my personal head-canon, Wedge is about as perfect a father as you can imagine. Given the opportunity, he would gladly take his girls to sports practice or to school. He'd be up reading them bed-time stories and doing everything in his power to make sure that Myri and Syal are well-adjusted.

    Why am I suddenly getting the image of Syal sitting at the holonet station reading smutty fanfic?

    When alone, Syal allows herself to be a girl :D

    Now when in the company of other pilots, look out :p

    As much as it sucks to have had children during that time (Ben), the older ones probably remember everything.

    I wrote a fic a little while ago that looked into Syal during NJO. I think she would have been something like ten or eleven at the time.

    Poor thing remembers all of it :(

    Uh-oh. A Corellian is admitting that she needs help. I have a bad feeling about this.

    This actually ties into the longfic I'm writing now. You don't need to read the other fic to understand and enjoy this fic, mostly I'm using this as a chance to develop my Syal characterization further.

    Wonderful start as always, Lane. I hope you are able to continue this throughout the year. If not, I will bug you and threaten to kill off your favorite characters.

    Oh by all means, feel free to give me a kick to make sure I'm getting in at least two updates a month :D

    And you stay away from my favorite characters :p

    Hazel - Thank you! Syal has become my absolute favorite character to write as of late.




    Okay, if any of you would like to get onto a PM list, feel free to let me know :)

    Thanks for reading all! Another update will go up on the 29th at the latest.
  7. Master_Jaina1011 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 4
    Ohhh... Syal Antilles!!! This is awesome!!!

    She does sound like the daughter of Wedge and Iella. And I had almost forgot her fiancee had been killed.

    I love her character, because I too always imagined she would fly like her dad. She had his snark too!

    And no worries your review of I,MJ crack me up! I look forward to them almost as much as the posts!

    Now, I can't wait to see what you do with this!
  8. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    I really like this, and especially this character. She got so much attention in one of the LotF books, and then poof--gone again. I'm looking forward to seeing where all you take her. Pms please?
  9. FelsGoddess Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2004
    star 5
    The attitude she has is a perfect blend of her parents. I love how you've written her, especially the snarky comments. [face_laugh]

    =D=
  10. Nymue Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2007
    I am so, so glad you're doing this! :) Your Syal is dead on accurate --- I'm looking forward to seeing her character fleshed out even more, because you do characterization so well.

    You deserve an Allston Award. =D=

    More than anything, I hope this is enough to convince you that I need help.

    This tagline just got me. You start off the way anyone being forced to keep a journal would probably start off, but this is almost a gut punch --- she's aware of her issues, something I didn't quite expect to see in the very first post. Then again, given the way you've written her, maybe that's not so surprising. [face_thinking] Hmmm ...

    Next entry?
  11. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Master_Jaina1011

    Ohhh... Syal Antilles!!! This is awesome!!!

    My stars, Syal fans are coming out of the woodwork! She's been a favorite character of mine to write for a while now, but I thought I was the only person who remembered she existed :D

    She does sound like the daughter of Wedge and Iella.

    What do you get when you put two of the Galaxy's most stubborn Corellians together and they have a child?

    Syal Antilles, that's what!

    And I had almost forgot her fiancee had been killed.

    It -kills- me that profic didn't do more with this. In one instant Syal lost her fiancé, her entire squadron, and the vast majority of the fleet she was stationed with. That's got to leave all sorts of psychological trauma.

    Of course, I suspect that with the life she's lived, there are other events and things that may cause her adult life to be ... less than optimal. :(

    I love her character, because I too always imagined she would fly like her dad. She had his snark too!

    Oh my goodness, over the last year I've had an absolute blast writing Syal. I've used her in (counting this one) four fics that I've posted here. There's a fifth I'm about halfway through that largely features her as well.

    She's got everything I love in a character. Skills with a flightstick, the ability to snark with the best of them, and some character flaws and trauma I can exploit.

    (Because I'm a jerk like that :p)

    And no worries your review of I,MJ crack me up! I look forward to them almost as much as the posts!

    Glad you're enjoying those. Admittedly, I like to make reviewing fics as fun as possible :D

    Now, I can't wait to see what you do with this!

    I've got a very, very rough idea of what I want to do with this fic. It plays off a few of my other fics that feature Syal (Why Does Daddy Have To Go, Genesis of a Rogue, and the upcoming Rogue Diplomacy). That said, you don't have to read those fics to understand and enjoy this one at all!

    This is going to be a pretty organic fic, if that makes any sense. I've got a sketch of where it's ultimately going, but how we get from start to conclusion is going to be a bit of a long, winding road that I hope you all enjoy. Part of the reason I'm writing this is so I can develop my voicing and characterization of Syal for other stuff I'm working on now and in the future.

    I will say this fic is going to touch on some very deep, potentially uncomfortable topics, the chief one being severe depression. I am going to balance that out, though.

    It's not going to be angst all the time. There's going to be some nostalgia and some humor because, let's be honest, I'm incapable of being all angst :D

    Thanks for reading!

    Luna_Nightshade

    It's really disappointing that she just up and vanished after that rather fun Allston entry in LotF :(

    I'll be sure to send you PMs!

    FelsGoddess

    My stars, Syal is so much fun to write! Granted,l was done with her in profic so I've had to do some developing of her character myself, but writing her over the last year has been an absolute treat.

    Nymue

    Your Syal is dead on accurate --- I'm looking forward to seeing her character fleshed out even more, because you do characterization so well.

    Aww thank you! [face_blush]

    I do have a bit of a framework to go off of, thankfully. This diary fic is set in my series of Syal longfics, but I've got this mapped out to be written in a way that doesn't require readers to go through those fics if they don't have the time.

    I've pretty much just taken the Syal in Genesis and Rogue Diplomacy and plopped her into this silly little project :D

    You deserve an Allston Award.

    Let's not get carried away now! Aaron's the master of characterization and I'm just honored I get the chance to play with the characters he, Mike, and Tim gave to us :)

    This tagline just got me. You start off the way anyone being forced to keep a journal would probably start off, but this is almost a gut punch --- she's aware of her issues, something I didn't quite expect
  12. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Author's Note: This fic references my first ever Syal fic, "Why Does Daddy Have To Go?"

    Dates are in Day-Month-Year format. You'll see that this entry is set about three months before the first entry of this fic.

    ~*~

    Log Entry: 01. Created 12-2-44

    I'm fine.

    I keep telling everyone that. So, why am I still here?

    For six days now I've been cooped up in the Coruscant VA Hospital. I don't belong here, it's for military vets who are either sick or are in serious need of some hand-holding. I don't fit into either one of those categories. Yet, here I am. Six straight days of lousy food and doctors who are trying a bit too hard to find a problem that doesn't exist in my head. They can just keep on digging. Before long they'll realize I'm fit and ready to go flying again. Maybe if one of those damn shrinks reads this journal they insist I keep, they'll see that.

    The accommodations are reasonable enough, I suppose. The doctors had the courtesy of giving me my own room. I've got a small holodisplay on one wall, a terminal with limited holonet access next to my bed. That doesn't do much to make up for the rather drab, beige walls and the cold tile floor, but things could be worse. I just can't help but look around and notice just how sterile everything is here. There's not much of a reprieve from the medical atmosphere. I can't really look out the window to see things outside because it's been placed high enough that it would make it difficult for someone to climb through if they were bent on getting out of this place.

    Of course, the staff and guards are here to make sure I can't do something stupid even if I wanted to.

    I hate it. I hate being treated like a child. Every ten minutes one of the nurses or doctors walk by to check up on me, to make sure I'm comfortable. At least that's what they claim. I know what they're really doing. All of these visits are to make sure I haven't managed to smuggle something sharp and potentially dangerous in here. I know this is just standard operating procedure on their part, but there's a part of me that can't help but be resentful.

    I got myself into this mess, but I wish they would just give me some space. It's not like I'm going to try and vape myself again.

    It's not like I was serious about doing that in the first place.

    Every now and then I'm summoned to shuffle into the courtyard to get some air. Some of the other patients busy themselves playing shockball or getting a run in around the track. Most of those people aren't from my wing of the hospital, though. No, those patients are congregated near each other, sitting on the cold bleachers set up on the grass. Some of them just rock in place, quietly muttering to themselves. Some stare out into the Coruscant sky, their faces expressionless. One of the patients kept swatting at the air in front of him, as if he were trying to fend off some sort of invisible foe.

    That's the crowd I apparently run with now, the mental health patients of the Coruscant VA Hospital. I hope you'll understand if I keep my distance from the rest of them and just pass the time by sitting on my own quiet little spot of grass until we're called back inside.

    (It really does feel like I'm back in primary school)

    Why in the wide open 'verse did I agree to this? I just went through a rough patch, I'm nowhere near as cooked in the head as these poor souls. All I needed were a few days to get myself back together and I would have been fine. I suppose all I can do now is just wait a few days and sit down with one of the shrinks a few times. One or two of these pointless "how are you feeling?" meetings later and they'll clear me to go home. I'm fine, it's those headcases on the bleachers that need help.

    The worst thing about all of this? It's not the cramped room, the sit-down time with doctors, the less-than-stellar hall mates, or the terrible food in the mess. No, the worst thing about all of this came a few days ago when I showed up here.

    Why did they have to make it such a big deal? I'm going to be out of here in no time. Why did m
  13. Solo_and_Fel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2004
    star 3
    So nice to see something on a character who has been short on page-time.
    The first post was a great establishment and this second post feels very real. I'm really interested to watch where you take this.
    =D=
  14. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Great update and very real to life.
  15. Hazel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2010
    star 4
    Great characterization, Lane! =D= =D=

    It really helps to make me understand what's going on in Syal's mind.

    I would like to be put on the PM list for this fic.
  16. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    I'm fine.

    Suuuuuuure you are, Syal. Sure you are.

    All of these visits are to make sure I haven't managed to smuggle something sharp and potentially dangerous in here. I know this is just standard operating procedure on their part, but there's a part of me that can't help but be resentful.


    Well, Syal, you can't really blame them...if anyone could smuggle something into a psych ward, it would be you. :p

    I got myself into this mess, but I wish they would just give me some space. It's not like I'm going to try and vape myself again.

    It's not like I was serious about doing that in the first place.


    And helloooooooooo, angst. (Ugh I don't even want to try to imagine Wedge's reaction to this.)

    Why in the wide open 'verse did I agree to this? I just went through a rough patch, I'm nowhere near as cooked in the head as these poor souls. All I needed were a few days to get myself back together and I would have been fine. I suppose all I can do now is just wait a few days and sit down with one of the shrinks a few times. One or two of these pointless "how are you feeling?" meetings later and they'll clear me to go home. I'm fine, it's those headcases on the bleachers that need help.

    Syal, there's a little phrase I'd like to introduce you to: "Methinks she doth protest too much."

    The first time was after we had escaped from Borleias and daddy had gone missing. I try not to think of that day too much, not so much because of daddy (he came home after all), but because I hate to see mom upset like that.

    Just a question - does this refer to when Wedge went against all the skips on his own and the super mean Mr. Aaron Allston makes you think "oh crap Wedge is a goner" but then Gavin hears him laughing over the comm? Because that was soooooooooo evil of Aaron Allston. :_|

    The worst thing of all, though? Looking over my shoulder at Daddy as I made the long walk into the hospital. I could read it all over his face. He's always shouldered a bit more of the Galaxy than he should have. The way he looked at me I could tell that he somehow had managed to turn this on himself. Somehow he thinks it's his fault that I'm here being poked and prodded by psychiatrists and doctors with nothing better to do.

    ...Excuse me, I have to cry now. Poor, poor Wedge. :_| (And yes, I have Daddy issues with a capital "D", why do you ask? :p)



    Very angsty update, Lane. And you say I can be mean to my poor characters? Whatever. :p
  17. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    Oh, poor Syal. Having to see your family be sad at watching you be committed for psychiatric treatment must have been awful. I'm looking forward (if you can look forward to it) to finding out what all led up to her being there in the first place. Great insight into this character. =D= Looking forward to more, and thanks for the pm.
  18. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Solo_and_Fel

    So nice to see something on a character who has been short on page-time.

    I've got a bit of a soft spot for these minor characters :)

    Syal's been a particular favorite of mine for a little over a year now. She went through absolute hell during LotF and we haven't heard from her since!

    The first post was a great establishment and this second post feels very real. I'm really interested to watch where you take this.

    Thank you [face_blush]

    I'm hoping to have another post up on Saturday, I've got an idea on where that one will go. Probably a shade less angsty than the first two posts :D

    Jade_Eyes - Thank you!

    Hazel - Getting into Syal's mind really has been both fun but at the same time rather humbling. She's such a broken individual :(

    Nanci

    Suuuuuuure you are, Syal. Sure you are.

    She does appear to be in rather deep denial :(

    Well, Syal, you can't really blame them...if anyone could smuggle something into a psych ward, it would be you.

    Given who her parents are? Yeah, she'd figure some way to smuggle something in :p

    And helloooooooooo, angst. (Ugh I don't even want to try to imagine Wedge's reaction to this.)

    I know Iella would have been heartbroken. Wedge on the other hand? Wedge would be an absolute wreck. He'd be blaming himself for all of this.

    He thinks that it's the military life that did this to Syal and she wouldn't have wound up here if she hadn't followed his career path. In some corner of his mind, Wedge is taking the full responsibility for what's happened to Syal.

    Syal, there's a little phrase I'd like to introduce you to: "Methinks she doth protest too much."

    Complete and utter denial :(

    Just a question - does this refer to when Wedge went against all the skips on his own and the super mean Mr. Aaron Allston makes you think "oh crap Wedge is a goner" but then Gavin hears him laughing over the comm? Because that was soooooooooo evil of Aaron Allston.

    Yup, that was the scene. From what I understand, Wedge was off flying cover for the retreat of the Blackmoon base. It makes sense that Iella, Myri, and Syal would have escaped into hyperspace well before Wedge got away. Given that his X-Wing was crippled, it could have taken a while for him to reconnect with his family.

    That's a lot of time for Iella to try and figure out what happened to him.

    (And oyah. Total evil move by Allston!)

    ...Excuse me, I have to cry now. Poor, poor Wedge. (And yes, I have Daddy issues with a capital "D", why do you ask? )

    Wedge is probably asking himself how he could have missed this. Again, he's shouldering all the blame :(

    Very angsty update, Lane. And you say I can be mean to my poor characters? Whatever.

    You are mean to your characters!

    I just like inflicting psychological torment on them :D

    Luna_Nightshade

    Oh, poor Syal. Having to see your family be sad at watching you be committed for psychiatric treatment must have been awful.

    For Syal, who maybe depressed but still quite lucid, this was probably the worst torment imaginable. Not only does she have to see her family and friends so clearly upset, she's forced to let them see herself in such weak emotional shape.

    I'm looking forward (if you can look forward to it) to finding out what all led up to her being there in the first place.

    That will be explained slowly. The first half of this diary is going to be Syal dancing around how she ended up in this position. It's going to take a lot of effort for her to just confront her problem :(


    Thank you for reading all! If you're interested in getting on the PM list for this, please let me know :)




    PM List
    -------

    Luna_Nightshade
    Hazel
  19. FelsGoddess Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2004
    star 5
    This entry was excellent, especially these two lines:
    I got myself into this mess, but I wish they would just give me some space. It's not like I'm going to try and vape myself again.

    It's not like I was serious about doing that in the first place.


    Makes me wonder what she tried to do.

    Looking forward to seeing more. =D=
  20. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    Wow. I'm about to cry here. Like actually. And if you know me (I'm a heartless Hutt) you know that it is extremely hard to make me cry.

    Amazing job with Syal here. I understand her voice completely. I've just jumped on the Antillies bandwagon (I'm currently reading SoA) and I enjoy how you are handling her.

    I'm wondering what Syal did to put herself in this place and how Wedge is dealing.

    It has always annoyed me, the profic authors put our characters hell and hardly ever deal with the aftermath (sure there was Luke after Mara's death and a FEW other examples). I'm sorry, but life isn't life that. My father worked for a suicide hotline and I've dealt with depression and it always annoys me that these characters don't have any issues after the fact. They should and the profic authors are not gutsy enough to write about it. Sorry, I'm ranting here.

    Anyways. Thank you for doing this. Please, add me to the PM list.
  21. Abeja Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2007
    star 3
    Hi Lane ! :)

    Okay, where to start...ah, that's exactly where it doesn't come in handy not to be a native speaker :)
    First of all, I really like the way you write Syal. It's so belieavable, her voice is so believable- I can nearly hear her narrate what she's writing down.
    I've never known much about Syal (okay, to be honest, I don't know much about the era she grows up in because the Yuuzhan Vong invasion has always irritated me), so your story offers an interesting look at her.
    Poor poor Syal! I felt so bad for her all through those first two entries :(
    And oh no, Wedge!



    You nearly made me cry here :_| because that's so Wedge.He'd always find a way to blame himself.

    So great job, Lane!!! And if it's not too much trouble, then please add me to your Pm list.

    Abeja :)
  22. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    FelsGoddess

    Makes me wonder what she tried to do.

    That answer will be revealed, but it's not going to come until the halfway mark of this fic. All I'll say is Syal's had a pretty rough go of things :(

    Thanks for reading!

    Briannakin

    Wow. I'm about to cry here. Like actually. And if you know me (I'm a heartless Hutt) you know that it is extremely hard to make me cry

    If it makes you feel any better, I actually did cry while I was writing this entry. It's a pretty personal topic for me and one that's hard to write about at times, but it's a topic that absolutely should be and needs to be discussed.

    Amazing job with Syal here. I understand her voice completely

    Thank you so much for the kind words! Syal has become a real favorite character of mine to write. In such little page time she's had, she's gone through so much.

    I've just jumped on the Antillies bandwagon (I'm currently reading SoA) and I enjoy how you are handling her.

    Welcome aboard the Antilles Bandwagon :D

    Aaron Allston really sums up my thoughts on Wedge the best, he's the GFFA's Moral Filter. Wedge to me is the hero in the Galaxy with the most humble roots, which has made him endlessly fascinating to read and write about over the years :)

    And I hope you're enjoying SoA! It's one of my all-time favorite EU novels.

    I'm wondering what Syal did to put herself in this place and how Wedge is dealing.

    Like I've mentioned above, that's going to be revealed slowly. It's pretty serious, though. Well, perhaps that's obvious. It was serious enough to get her committed to a VA Hospital's mental health wing :(

    As for how Wedge is dealing? I suspect he's shouldering a lot more of the blame than is truly his to bear.

    It has always annoyed me, the profic authors put our characters hell and hardly ever deal with the aftermath (sure there was Luke after Mara's death and a FEW other examples). I'm sorry, but life isn't life that. My father worked for a suicide hotline and I've dealt with depression and it always annoys me that these characters don't have any issues after the fact

    That's bothered me as well for a long time, but I think I'll give Aaron the benefit of the doubt. If given the opportunity, I'm sure he would love to examine Syal's character further. He did such a wonderful job building up her story in LotF and was one of the few things in that series I truly enjoyed and cherished. Unfortunately, the direction the editors and planners with LFL and Del Rey seems to prohibit exploring minor characters Like Syal. If you ask me, that's really too bad. Good news though, Aaron's going to be releasing a new Wraith novel in 2012 :)

    Like you, I've gone down the path of depression myself. I'm drawing on a lot of personal experience for this fic, which can be tough to write about but is oddly therapeutic in a way. Downward Spiral really is more than just a project that allows me to do the whole creative writing thing, it's a way for me to (in a rough way, at least) share my experiences with depression through Syal.

    Anyways. Thank you for doing this. Please, add me to the PM list.

    And thank you for reading and offering such a heartfelt review! I'll add you onto the PM list :)

    Abeja

    First of all, I really like the way you write Syal. It's so belieavable, her voice is so believable- I can nearly hear her narrate what she's writing down.

    Thank you! I've been working pretty hard at her voicing and characterization over the last year and change, so it's really nice to see that people think her voice is coming through my writing :)

    I've never known much about Syal (okay, to be honest, I don't know much about the era she grows up in because the Yuuzhan Vong invasion has always irritated me), so your story offers an interesting look at her.

    Well, for a brief history, Syal first appears in the coming Union by Mike Stackpole. She also makes an appearance in Aaron Allston's Enemy Lines novels set during the NJO. Her biggest role was in LotF, where she was serving as a st
  23. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Log Entry: 02. Created 18-2-44

    Well, I'm still here. Someone hasn't gotten the internal memorandum that I'm sane. Any day now, boys.

    Can you believe it? The doctors actually assign homework to the patients. I haven't had this since I was in the Academy and was pulling all-nighters to try and study up for Celchu's Astrogation Final of Doom.

    These shrinks really play into the stereotype that psychology is just a bunch of touchy-feely bantha poodoo. I really don't know what they're hoping to learn by asking me what my favorite color is and how the weather makes me feel. You want my opinion? The only reason I'm still here is because these people don't know how to ask the right questions. If they were doing that, they'd see I'm just fine and I'm more than ready to go home and get back to my job. Well, at least try to get back to my job. That'll be a battle for later, I suppose.

    I suppose I'd best get to this homework. The doctors are checking up on this dairy and have been getting on my case to actually write about the stupid prompt they gave me. Seriously, describe your Happy Place? Okay, they didn't exactly tell me to do that. They instructed me to "Describe in as much detail a place where you feel comfortable and happy." So, you win, doctors. I'll go ahead and tell you all about my pleasant little mental escape. I have no idea how this is going to convince you that I'm fine, frankly I'm not sure if this actually tells you anything about me.

    I guess the first place I would have thought of would be the cockpit of my X-Wing. That definitely fills the whole "happy" part of this exercise. As for comfortable? Well. Maybe not. Even for a human female of my admittedly diminutive stature, the pilot housing of an Incom XJ7 is a pretty cramped space. Then of course, there's the whole "combat" part of being an Alliance combat pilot. Squaring off against a dozen hostile targets isn't the most relaxing thing in the Galaxy. Trust me, I've been there a time or twelve.

    Fine, that didn't work. Scratch that one off the list.

    Maybe the plasball field's a good answer. When I was younger I used to play, my coaches used to say I was a decent player to boot. Played the game from primary school through my first year of at the University of Corellia. I tended to be the team's second stationman. Always had fun turning those Six-Four-Three double punchouts. So yeah, I was a decent plasball player. I was comfortable there. Of course, there came the point at University where it just stopped being fun. Talk about repressing, I haven't thought about how the single-minded focus on winning sapped my tenuous love for that game in years. I'd always enjoyed plasball, but I never truly had fun playing it.

    A part of me does miss the University, though. I never declared a path of study, but I gravitated towards the liberal arts classes. Dabbled a bit with music (that was a failed experiment) and art (let's not even go there). The writing courses were my favorite. I was one of those sick little children that actually enjoyed sitting down to write* and learn about the mechanics of Basic. It's a neat language we have. I have to be honest, my year at the University was one of the most carefree of my life. Daddy insisted I pay for part of it, though. I got a job flying a freight speeder and every credit I put towards my University fund, Daddy matched with four of his own.

    *I know what you're thinking, Shrink. No, I'm not enjoying this writing at all. I hate writing against my will. Ask any one of my superior officers what I thought of report writing.

    As much as I enjoyed my time at the University, it just never felt quite right. I was having fun, but it felt like I should have been doing something more. Perhaps a bit impulsively, I dropped out after second semester and enrolled at the Starfighter Academy. Daddy sure wasn't pleased, but I think he eventually understood. I just liked flying too much and, like I said, University life just wasn't meshing for me.

    I do miss the writing classes, though.

    Frell
  24. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    Okay. This is my first time going a long review. It?s gong to suck because I?ve been up for 20 hours. Here we go.

    The writing courses were my favorite. I was one of those sick little children that actually enjoyed sitting down to write

    Yeah, we do tend to be sick little children.

    I got a job flying a freight speeder and every credit I put towards my University fund, Daddy matched with four of his own.

    I hate this. As a person who will be a starving University student in a few months, I just hate this. My mother is making me pay for all of my schooling [would you expect anything less from Daala (see signature - seriously, the woman who gave birth to me is Daala)]. So this just brings up all my current worries and makes me MAD.

    (something about tauntaun stew, I don't think I'm allowed to talk about in detail)

    Han?s taun taun stew?

    sipping from a hot drink that Uncle Luke had introduced to Myri and myself a few years earlier

    Aww! But let?s just hope Uncle Luke taught them the necessity of the Tim Tam Slam.

    We're not welcome back there and we probably won't be until Chief Daala convinces them to reunify with the rest of the Alliance. I'm not holding my breath.

    Yeah, don?t. Daala is going through menopause and just wants to inflict pain and suffering more than usual.



    Great job (again). I can really sense Syal?s emotions. It sucks to be treated like you?re seriously mentally ill when all you are is just a bit unstable (?are you okay? and ?how do you feel? does drive you bonkers after awhile) but she does need the help and I?m glad she is getting it.
  25. Hazel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2010
    star 4
    It's sad. I'm never going back. I'm not going to see the sunset and the falling snow. I'm not going to get to sit down by the fireplace and read the trashy romance novellas I snatched from Mom while she wasn't looking. That was a place where I really was comfortable. I was actually happy there.

    No wonder she's down! No more Happy Place. :(


    Great job, Lane! =D=
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