All the bullets you want? Now you're excited, too! The warmth inside of you feels all tickly, and it jitters all around just like her warmth does, but you can feel another warmth coming down from Aunt Koishi, and keeping all the bubbles in you from pouring out. It makes your chest feel all tingly, and hot, and you just feel all... all...
You feel all good, and your warm feeling runs all the way up your arms and out your hands, and the bubbles dance all around your fingers. Aunt Satori's warmth slides around her arms, too, and it tickles you like Mama Okuu's feathers. Mama Okuu's feathers...
Shiny, glittery, sparkly black, and very soft. They feel extra warm when Mama Okuu puts her big, big wings into big, big hugs. The feathers are big, too, big and kind of like really pretty leaves with the branchy part that gets all scritchy and scratchy at the end when she picks out her old feathers so that you can play with them! Sometimes you can see the softy feathers under those, the ones that curl, and tickle...
"Kouji, dear," Aunt Satori says in a whispery way, "open your eyes."
Yes, Aunt Satori! You open your eyes, and...
It looks just like Mama Okuu's feathers do! Sparkling and black, and big, and it even has the little scritchy part! It floats right above your hands, inside a little ball of all the warmth that Aunt Satori helped pull out of you. When you think about it, it spins, and points, and lots of the little, even softer feathers from Mama Okuu flutter-fly around it. This is your bullet? It looks so nice!
"Yes," Aunt Satori nuzzles against your hair, and it feels so nice you giggle. "It's a wonderful first bullet."
"It's because you're so full of such lovely emotion, Kouji!" Aunt Koishi hugs you tight, and slides up, and nuzzles your cheek so that you can feel her hair rubbing against you, too. Your fingers get all twitchy, and it makes you feel even warmer and nicer. "The bestest bullets are the ones with feeling!"
The bestest bullets! Yours is one of them! You feel happy, and excited, and when you look up at the big sparkly feather, you think how Mama Okuu is going to feel when you show her what you learned today. She's going to be so happy, just like you, and she'll probably give you a great big hug, just like she always does! Warm, and soft, and nice...
Your feather bullet shakes, and wobbles, and curls up into a big ball, and sprouts big, bendy arms that open and close just like...
"Oh! Kouji!" Aunt Satori sounds all surprised, but then she starts laughing, and laughing, and she tries to hug you a little even though her hands are still on yours. "That's just like you, isn't it?"
"What is it?" Aunt Koishi wriggles all around on top of you, trying to look at your bullet, and her squirming makes you squirm, too. "Is it a bug?"
"Not a bug, silly!" Aunt Koishi is so funny sometimes! "It's a hug!"
"A hug?" She blinks, and sits up, and her hat gets knocked right off her head with a fizzy sound when it touches your big hug bullet. She stares and stares at you, her eyes getting big while she smiles all funny-like, and she grabs and squeezes at her big closed blue third eye while making a funny, moany kind of sound. Her whole body starts swaying back and forth, back and forth, and her voice gets all goofy. "Kouji!"
Suddenly she pounces! Aunt Koishi is right back on top of you, hugging, snuggling, kissing, and cuddling; and it tickles so much that you have to laugh, and squirm, and wave your arms around until your bullet just goes poof. Aunt Koishi is so snuggly that Aunt Satori has to put her hand on Aunt Koishi's face, and push her up off of you!
"Come on, sis! He's too cute! Just a little more!"
Aunt Satori lets out a big breath, and gives your shoulder a little squeeze.
Yes, Aunt Satori?
"Do you think you could make another bullet? On your own?"
You think you can! You put your hands like they were before, this time right in front of you, and think hard about the way you felt before. That really nice feeling is still there, and it starts bubbling and tingling, crawling right up your arms again... you can feel all the warmth in your aunties, too; Aunt Koishi's warmth is even reaching out to try and hug you, just like she is! Your aunties sure love you a lot.
You give your warmth a little push, and a big red bullet fizzes right up in your hands. A heart bullet, because you love your aunties just as much as they love you!
"That's too much!" Aunt Koishi squeals, and pushes herself forward even harder, reaching out with her arms, and waving them around, trying really hard to hug you again. "Just look at it! You gotta let me at him, sis, you've gotta!"
"If I must." Aunt Satori has that sound in her voice...
"Really?" Aunt Koishi beams, and looks super happy and super surprised when Aunt Satori lets go of her, but only for a short time, because she was pushing so hard to get at you that she just flops forward and right into your bullet! The big old heart up and pops with a really loud sound, and it sends her flopping backward now, right onto her behind with a shout! You can feel Aunt Satori laughing very quietly.
"There. You see, Kouji? This is what happens when you hit someone with a bullet."
Wow! That's amazing! It flipped Aunt Koishi right over! ... is Aunt Koishi okay?
"That is very sweet of you, Kouji, but do not worry about her. She was asking for it, after all."
Aunt Koishi sits back up and pouts, turning her nose up at Aunt Satori with a harrumph, and crossing her arms! She looks like she wants to scold Aunt Satori, but her hat is sitting all funny on her head, so she looks kind of silly.
"Just because the only way that you know how to get close to danmaku is to get hit by it doesn't mean the rest of us can't avoid it, you know, sis! Not everyone stinks at spell cards like you do. You should try to see things from other perspectives sometimes."
Everything gets really, really quiet for a second. You could hear a pin drop if you had a pin!
"Kouji, do you remember how Orin taught you to always land on your feet?"
Of course! You're a good kitty!
"Good!" All of a sudden, Aunt Satori gives a great big push, and flings you right off the couch and into the air! "Land on your feet, dear!"
Easy! All you have to do is tuck like this, twist like that, do a little flip, and... ta-da! You land right on your feet, just like a good cat should! Mama Orin would be really proud if she could see you. You look around for Aunt Satori to see if she saw, but she's already shouting and chasing Aunt Koishi around the room! Aunt Koishi laughs and giggles as she hops over the couch, and darts all around the furniture, keeping just far enough away to keep Aunt Satori from catching her. Aunt Satori looks all bright red and flustered.
"Kouji! Your homework is to think of a spell card!" Aunt Satori huffs and puffs for breath, just like when you run around lots, but keeps making little snatches at Aunt Koishi. "Think carefully about it, and I will show you how to make it tomorrow morning!"
"I can show you, too!" Aunt Koishi laughs, and does a little twirl right by you, taking off her hat and plopping it onto your head while Aunt Satori chases after her. "Sis is so bad at spell cards, after all~"
You laugh as your aunties keep running all around the room. You kind of want to play tag, too, but now you have homework to do! Your aunties keep scrabbling around, and eventually run right out of the room into the brown light outside, but that's okay. You need to focus on getting all your work done, then you can play with them! You can get it done faster if you talk to people who are already good with spell cards, too! Mama Orin, and Mama Okuu are still at work, but you can always talk to...
Oh god. It has been so long. I am so, so sorry. I really don't have any excuse for how much time this took me. But once you fail to write for a while, you get rusty, and it just gets harder and harder to write the longer you take... it all spiraled so horribly.
Again, my deepest apologies. I want to write. I want to write well. To that end, I need momentum - I need to be able to get back into the habit of writing every single day. I hope you all can forgive my long absence, and that I can pick up the pace for all of you.
Okay, so this took entirely too long. Since it's obvious that I'm having trouble keeping to my schedule on my own, I've picked up a partner of sorts to help keep us both on our toes; it helped me get a lot done working with him, and it sounds like he should be updating his own story soon, so hopefully this arrangement will work out well! My thanks go out to him for this, and to you all for your patience.
... Yamame! She has lots of friends, so she plays lots of danmaku games, and is really good!
Where can you find Yamame, though? She just left a little while ago since Aunt Satori was being so silly with her... but Aunt Satori and Yamame both said that she would be coming over again today, and Aunt Satori is always right about thing like that, and Yamame always keeps her promises, so maybe she is still really close. If you look around outside the house, you bet you can find her!
So you trot right out the door like your aunties, and look around outside! The outside hallway is all gold colored instead of brown now, because lots of light is coming from the big sun place behind the house; that means Mama Okuu must be working really hard right now! Bringing the sun to everyone is a really important job, so Mama Okuu puts lots of energy into it every day!
"Thank you, Mama Okuu!" It's important to say it when you appreciate someone!
Because of all the sunlight coming out from behind the house, you can see everything going on close to the house if you look down over the edge of the outside hallway up here; you can even see the whole nearby town from here, with all the pretty different colored roofs and houses and everything. You don't see Yamame anywhere, though, even from way up here... Maybe she went inside the town, so she is too small to see now? You should ask the neighbor lady if she saw Yamame.
You have to go all the way down to the ground, and all the way down the stairs on the hill to get to town, but it's fun because of the neat park on the side of the hill. There's lots of bright, colorful grass everywhere, and great big mushrooms to climb on, and neat blue flowers to look at; it's really pretty when they turn off the sun at night, because all the plants glitter and glow in the dark a little. People like to practice danmaku here, too... Maybe you and Yamame can play here when you find her!
First you have to find her, though, so you need to check with the neighbor lady! Hop, hop, hop down the last few steps on the hill, into the street, and... Right there, sitting on the little outdoor floor of the house on the corner of the street! The lady who lives in the little house near the park is the person who lives closest to you, so that makes her your neighbor. She's a really nice neighbor, because she's a very reliable person.
She even looks reliable! She's tall, and really strong—so strong that she can wear big metal bracelets and chains everyday—and she has a really impressive red horn on her forehead, and really sparkly red eyes! She looks cool, but she also looks kind of pretty, because she reminds you of Mama Okuu a little; she looks kinda soft like Mama Okuu, and her hair is all long and messy, even though it's a really nice yellow instead of the super pretty black hair that Mama Okuu has.
She dressed up real pretty today too! She has on her pretty blue kimono with the big, pretty red obi in a poofy bow like the one that Mama Orin always ties your obi into for you. She also has the big yellow star painted on her horn; Aunt Satori says that she painted it there herself because she thinks it looks pretty, so it counts!
Aunt Satori also says that it's important to greet people properly, so you give your neighbor a big wave, and make sure to say it loud and clear:
"Good morning, Miss Hoshiguma!"
"Yo, Kouji!" Miss Hoshiguma has a big voice, and a big grin too... Shiny teeth! She waves at you, but it's kind of funny, because she still has a great big red dish in her hand, and it wobbles all around making sloshy noises. "Morning to you!"
Since being polite is important, you make sure to come up to her and give a big bow just like you're supposed to, but then... Whoop! Miss Hoshiguma picks you right up off the ground with only one hand, and plops you into her lap! She sure is strong. She doesn't have as much softness as Mama Okuu after all, but she still has some, so being in her lap is nice anyway. You can still snuggle up and be all comfy!
"You're looking pretty cheery, cute stuff!" Miss Hoshiguma starts talking, so you have to look up at her. For some reason her face is a little red, but she looks pretty happy with her big grin, so she must be feeling pretty good. "Got something good going on?"
You nod your head and give her a big smile.
"I got to make bullets today for the first time!"
"Oho!" Miss Hoshiguma puts one hand on your head, and starts messing up your hair like she's petting you! Ehehe... It feels nice! "You're moving up in the world, you little rascal! You're gonna be slinging out spell cards before you even know it, ain't you?"
"Yeah! That's my homework! Aunt Satori says I have to make a spell card with my bullets! I'm going to make the best spell card I can!"
"Now that's what I like to hear from a man! Dedication! Those lugs down at the bar could learn a thing or two from you!" Miss Hoshiguma lets out a great big laugh, and scratches at your hair a little more, making you squirm! Still feels good! "Tell you what, big guy, I bet I can show you a trick or two for your spell card, if you want; I pack a pretty mean punch!"
Wow! Miss Hoshiguma really wants to help you? She's really strong, so she probably has really strong spell cards! Her face still looks kind of red, though, and Aunt Satori always says to be considerate, so...
"Are you sure, Miss Hoshiguma? Your face is all red, so if you feel funny, I don't want to make you do stuff that will make you feel worse!"
Miss Hoshiguma blinks at you. Then she laughs again, but she looks kind of embarrassed because she gets even redder than she was before! Almost as red as her horn!
"Well, isn't that just the sweetest little thing? You're going to be a smooth one when you get out the gate, ain't you?" She grins again, and pats your head. "I'm up 'fore noon, and my head is just abuzzing instead of pounding like a bunny making mochi, so there ain't nothing for you to get worked up about, sweet stuff. Sure is cute of you, though."
She talks kind of funny sometimes, but it sounds like she feels fine, and she's smiling, so she must be feeling okay after all! If Miss Hoshiguma is feeling good, then she can probably show you some really neat spell card tricks... Oh, but you still need to find Yamame too! Yamame also said she was gonna come back to see you later, though...
[ ] Have Miss Hoshiguma teach you a little! [ ] You should find Yamame first!
Poor excuse, but finals and all of my university coursework are done with now. In fact, I should be graduating once grades roll in. So now I really don't have the slightest shred of an excuse not to be updating this regularly. Feel free to complain to me if more than a week goes by with nada. Between knowing I have readers as patient as you guys, and having a friend to work with on this, I'm feeling motivated again.
"So, whatcha say, kid?"
... Well, Yamame always keeps her promises, so even if you stay and learn from Miss Hoshiguma, you can still see Yamame later.
"... Since you feel good, Miss Hoshiguma, I think it would be really neat to see your spell cards!"
"Just what I like to hear from a go-getter like you!" Miss Hoshiguma looks really happy about that, and gives another really big grin that shows off all her teeth. "Upsie-daisy!"
She leans back, and then... Hop! She jumps straight to her feet, and pulls you right up with her using just one arm! Since your feet are dangling in the air, you wave your legs around a little; is this what it's like when people fly? Must be fun... Maybe you'll be big enough to fly soon, since you're making bullets now! Right now you gotta learn spell cards, though.
"We'll go and practice over in the park, howsabout?" Miss Hoshiguma smiles at you, and then she hefts you up, and sets you right on top of her shoulder. She's really tall, so it's really high up, and there's a really nice view! "I'll getcha a nice, front row seat up on one of the 'shrooms."
That sounds good, so you let out a little cheer, and Miss Hoshiguma laughs. She carries you right over to the park, and even lets you ride on her shoulder as she walks around in the grass, so that you can see all the big mushrooms and pick the biggest, brightest, bestest one of them. Once you make your choice, she crouches back just like you do when you're jumping, and...
"Here we go, cutie!"
Boom! There's a big rumble when she jumps, and a whole lot of wind! Even her jumps are super strong! She bounds right up to the tip-top of the mushroom with just one move. It's really amazing; even though you and Mama Orin are really good jumpers, and can probably jump faster, you don't think you could jump this high with just one jump. Once she's way high up enough, she just kind of stops there in the air, like she's hanging there, and... whoopsie-daisy!
"Think fast, kid!"
With just a little pop, she throws you right up into the air and toward the mushroom. It's surprising, but... Flip! You twist to land with your feet on the mushroom cap, like a good ca—boing! The big, bouncy cap pops you back into the air, so you flip again, and—bounce, flip, bounce, flip! The mushroom is so bouncy that you keep having to twist all around in the air, but once you get to bounce five, you land right on your feet just like Mama Orin taught you to!
Once you get steady on your feet, Miss Hoshiguma claps for you while wearing a big, goofy grin.
"Ha! That's pretty good, shortstuff! Orin teach you that?"
You beam proudly, and nod.
"Yeah! I'm a good cat, just like Mama Orin!"
Miss Hoshiguma keeps grinning at you, but her cheeks get a little more red, and she bites her lip while making this really funny noise... it kind of reminds you of Aunt Koishi! She goes back to normal pretty quickly, though, and puts one hand on her hip, holding her big red dish up with the other. She looks super confident!
"Well, you seem to learn fast, kiddo, so are ya ready to take a lesson in spell cards?"
"Yes, Miss Hoshiguma!"
"Then sit back, get comfy, and watch closely!"
You flop back onto your butt to sit down, and the springy mushroom makes you bounce just a little into the air when you do, but it makes a comfy seat anyway. Miss Hoshiguma tosses her sake dish up, and... wow! She catches it right on the tip of her horn, and keeps it sitting there super-balanced! Neat! She starts floating up and away, spinning around all slowly, with her pretty clothes all fluttery, and starts to glow...
Oni Sign 「Mysterious Powers and Disrupting Spirits」
Loops! Everything gets all dark, and each time Miss Hoshiguma twirls, she lets off a bunch of pointy purple bullets that start moving away from her in big loopy spirals, like backwards drills, until they get really wide and far out... then they turn red, and break, and the little bullets go everywhere! It doesn't look super hard, but it does look like a really fun card to play against; you can't fly yet, but you bet you could play against this card anyway, so maybe next time Miss Hoshiguma can help you practice!
"How do you like that, sweetstuff?" She slowly stops spinning around, and turns to face you, still balancing her big red dish on the tip of her horn. It looks kind of silly, but it also shows that she is really skilled, so you clap for her.
"That looks really fun, Miss Hoshiguma!"
"Well, it ain't over yet!" She kind of nudges her head up, and her dish pops up off of her horn so that she can catch it with one hand. She takes a big drink out of it, pulls and arm back, and suddenly takes a big step forward in the air, waving one arm really dramatically!
Feat of Strength 「Storm on Mount Ooe」
All of a sudden, a huge gust of wind blows right at you, and your hair goes flying all around. Big, round bullets start flying out from behind her, bouncing through the air kind of like really big rocks! Every couple of seconds, she waves her arm again, and the bullets start coming from different directions. This one looks a lot more difficult than the first, but it's easy to understand, and still looks like lots of fun to play against!
When Miss Hoshiguma is done with the card, she stays in the same funny pose, and starts glowing a lot more. She looks really excited! She even starts spinning the dish in her hand on one finger and laughing.
"Gettin' to show off this early in th' day is such a gas! Haven't felt so fresh in a while!" She starts grinning again, and flexes her arm. Her sleeve slips, and... wow! Miss Hoshiguma really is strong! You can tell just by looking! "Heck, I think I might jus' pull out all the stops, an' give you a real show!"
She looks super fired up, so you lean in real close to watch what she is going to do, and she starts glowing really bright! Even brighter than before! Just when you think she is about to do something really amazing, though, someone else beats her to it!
Way off on the other side of town, near the big bridge, a huge bunch of bright lights appear all at once. Even Miss Hoshiguma turns to look! A whole bunch of the lights start spreading out in big lines, with smaller light in between them... like one of Yamame's webs! Maybe...
"Well, would you take a look at that? Guess I ain't the only one feelin' spry this mornin'! Looks like we found Yamame for you, kiddo; didn't even have to go searching!"
Aha! It is Yamame! And she's even playing danmaku games!
"You wanna go give 'er a gander?"
"Can we?" That would be super fun! Miss Hoshiguma was really into her demonstration, and it was fun, so you didn't want to interrupt her, but...
"Course!" She looks pretty happy about finding Yamame too. "If she's feelin' this lively, maybe we can go a round after, an' I can show off a bit..."
All of a sudden a bunch of bright green lights appear, and zip right into the middle of the big web, bursting apart when they get there. Miss Hoshiguma wrinkles her nose just like Mama Orin does when she smells something she doesn't like.
"... Or not. On second thought, might be best if we jus' leave 'em to it for now."
"Really? You seemed excited to play with Yamame too, though..."
"Well," Miss Hoshiguma sighs and shakes her head, "it ain't that I don't like a little rough housing with my friends. Problem 's jus' that the person Yamame is... playin'... with right now is kind of a pain to deal with..."
[ ] If the person Yamame is playing with right now is so difficult, then you should go cheer for her! [ ] Miss Hoshiguma knows the people around town really well, so maybe she's right.
[x] If the person Yamame is playing with right now is so difficult, then you should go cheer for her! Not even Parsee in a bad mood can withstand the power of cute. PS Welcome back and all that. I'm starting to think you do like doing this.
>>9510 Oh, that's a bit extreme. Yeah, it's really disappointing, and I'd have liked him to at least come in the thread to say "story over, everyone go home", but that's no call to suggest that his mother is, in fact, an insect or some sort of Zerg queen.
After sitting in front of my computer staring at WordPad for ages and either getting nowhere, or being so unsatisfied with what I did write that I just wound up going back and deleting, I talked to some friends of mine about it and came to a decision. I need to ask any of the readers who have been gracious enough to stick with me despite how incredibly delayed this story has been for some input now.
I started this story with a really clear idea of where I wanted it to go; I still have that clear idea, and I like it. The issue, however, is that this story requires me to write in a very different style than my usual style, and consider things differently than I would for other stories; this in and of itself isn't a problem, because challenging yourself as a writer is great and healthy. The issue is that I don't think this is the venue for something that challenges me this much. A challenging story is difficult to write, and difficult to craft to meet my own expectations, which in turn makes it take way longer to produce writing that satisfies me.
The thing is, I am also doing this for you guys. Why else would I be posting it here, and asking for you guys to provide input? This is something that both of us participate in, and I feel a sense that I owe it to you guys to do my best at this.
So there's this constant stress that gets generated when trying to write scenes for this that meet my standards, but still come about in a timely manner for you guys. It's gotten to the point where I've started to dread writing for this because of how much stress it puts on me trying to deal with these two opposing pressures. When you start to dread writing instead of enjoying it, that's a bad place to be as a writer, especially when there are ideas I've had for KID that should be getting me excited, that have gotten me excited before actually getting to the point where they need to be written. I loved writing HLA for you guys; I felt great and invigorated every time I saw you guys put in your votes, and I had lots of fun writing those scenes. That's where I want to be, in a place where we can both enjoy the story, so that I can write for you guys faster and at a good quality.
So, I'm going to ask you guys what you think should be done here. As it is, I am leaning toward dropping this in favor of stories and ideas that I know would be less of a strain on me to write out, still enough of a challenge to be interesting to me, but not to the point that they take me ages to write out like KID does. I don't want to just leave you guys hanging, though; I can make an attempt at continuing this, though it may require me to significantly alter the way that I have been writing this to this point, and that feels... hollow to me. I know the vision I had for this, and I don't want to compromise that just for the sake of carrying it on.
So what do you guys want? Would you prefer that I buckle down and try changing this up so that I can continue it? Or would you be alright with me moving on to work on something else?
I feel like it might be in your best interest to continue this as a series of shorts a la "Bang...", if you choose to continue it at all. As you said, dreading writing is an awful, awful place to be as a writer. Having fun with your projects is the absolute most important part of it, especially in this venue and especially for this kind of a story.
Besides. As long as you're writing, a dropped story can always be picked up and dusted off. Ideas are immortal, after all.
Write what you love. There's no point in telling a story if it kills you. I'd rather see you drop this and start forth in a bold new direction than agonize over this for another decade.
There's rapidly cycling through works, dropping and starting and dropping and starting and never really getting anywhere. That's not very good to see, and that's when the advice of sticking to your guns with one story or another is good, but that's not what's happening with you. You've stonewalled against something that's made it downright unpleasant for you to go on, and it's proved to not be a short block that you can turn away from for a few days, weeks even, and return to with a smile once more.
Sometimes you end up writing something you don't like. Heavens know that I've complained often enough about trying new styles and updates not coming out as good as I've liked, but I never look at Tainted Bonds and say to myself, "Awh, nuts, do I have to?" It's a labor of love, but you take out the love and it's just labor, and I don't want to see Patch go into contractions. I mean, he's a guy, there are some things that men were never supposed to do. im sorry that was a terrible joke
Really, you just sound scared that Anon will rise up in arms for "giving up". It's not giving up here. It's moving on, making steps forward instead of backward, side-to-side, in place, or in circles. Go get'em, mate. Show us what you can do.
>>10307 Do what you feel is best; if you have to drag yourself through a pit of flaming tar to write for this story, then dropping it wouldn't be the end of the world. I understand the reasoning, and it's a worthy enough.
That being said, I've loved what you have written here. In truth, I've enjoyed pretty much all of what you've written, but for the longest time the only reason I came to /underground/ was for KID. Of course now I keep track of the other stories around here, but KID still holds a special place for me.
Your care for Anon is heart-warming, but unnecessary. Don't kill yourself just to try and give us closure or anything; in my opinion, we can be satisfied with what we've gotten. Move on to greener pastures, and give me more stuff to read.
As much as I love this story (and god knows I do), as a reader I would prefer you to write something else, if it means that you're actually writing. Just make sure that if you do drop this, you link your new thread.
>>10332 Hartmann, you are an unlikeable douche who contributes nothing but petulant rage and condescension. You are not "us" or "we". No one is with you. Stop pretending you speak for the entire community.
This is your last warning. Just stick to your own threads.
>>10347 Dude, you're overreacting. What I meant to say is that if he already felt like this after a month, he could have posted the same now. If he only felt that wya after three months, well, nothing to be done about it.
I certainly don't think anyone is forced to write here, but I think people would have preferred to hear about this sooner rather than later.
>>10350 I'm inclined to agree. Don't feel like writing? Sure. I've been there. I write, and I know how it feels to juggle external expectations and internal desire. There's tension there. But at the same time, it's also a matter of basic courtesy to let us know sooner rather than later. As a reader, I'd like to see you continue this story, but at your own pace, and without worrying about the audience. Just let us know ahead of time that the story is dropped to be picked up later (or not), or that you're working on other stuff, or whatever. You don't even have to apologize or prostrate yourself or justify yourself or anything; you might feel compelled to, but you shouldn't. Even a simple, one-sentence notification ahead of time is better than months of silence.
And, I know it's hard. I know you'd rather avoid it, because it's unpleasant to fail to meet your own (and others') expectations. Again, I've been there, and it sucks. But it's an enormous weight off your chest if you just go out and say, "I can't do this right now. I'd rather move onto other things," than worry about for months, because I know you've been worrying. And the longer you wait, the harder it gets.