thanate: (whirlpool)
Working on second drafting some of these books, and I want to know what else is out there that I ought to be considering, contextually. Can you think of any books/short stories/AV media/etc that deal with the following topics? Works in English that I can get hold of preferred, of course:

*Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine, for you later scholars), preferably fantasy inspired thereby. I've been re-reading Gillian Bradshaw's historical versions, and have Guy Gavriel Kay's Sailing to Sarantium out from the library. The only other thing I think of is The Dragon Waiting, which is not at all useful to me.

*Ancient river/desert cultures that aren't Egypt, real or fictional. I have a lead on something Southwestern American, but haven't tracked down the book yet.

*Normal-ish people who become gods & have to deal with that. I have NK Jemison's Inheritance Trilogy, but that's all I think of at the moment.

*Tree of life/wisdom and/or magic apple myths besides Eden, Freya's tree, and the greek stuff (Atlanta, apple of discord)... fruits that grant magical whatever from tropical cultures particularly appreciated, invented cultures also ok.

Any suggestions appreciated-- thanks!

Xposty from dreamwidth.
thanate: (whirlpool)
Working on second drafting some of these books, and I want to know what else is out there that I ought to be considering, contextually. Can you think of any books/short stories/AV media/etc that deal with the following topics? Works in English that I can get hold of preferred, of course:

*Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine, for you later scholars), preferably fantasy inspired thereby. I've been re-reading Gillian Bradshaw's historical versions, and have Guy Gavriel Kay's Sailing to Sarantium out from the library. The only other thing I think of is The Dragon Waiting, which is not at all useful to me.

*Ancient river/desert cultures that aren't Egypt, real or fictional. I have a lead on something Southwestern American, but haven't tracked down the book yet.

*Normal-ish people who become gods & have to deal with that. I have NK Jemison's Inheritance Trilogy, but that's all I think of at the moment.

*Tree of life/wisdom and/or magic apple myths besides Eden, Freya's tree, and the greek stuff (Atlanta, apple of discord)... fruits that grant magical whatever from tropical cultures particularly appreciated, invented cultures also ok.

Any suggestions appreciated-- thanks!
thanate: (whirlpool)
Silliness:



I have unleashed Delia Sherman's 800 gorillas on my manuscript, largely because I mostly ran out of first draft things to do. There will be a lot of clean-up (much of which is documented in "need to do this/need to flesh out that" sorts of bullet points in a couple more scrivener tabs that I included in my final word count) and some re-thinking of the timeline, since I changed my mind half-way through and decided that it would really be better to have a two year gap between the last book and the main events of this one, so some parts are done either way.

There are also the requisite passages such as: Lionel could think of nothing to say, and then he was again struck dumb as another face swam into focus among the crowd of faces, a woman’s face, dark as [[roasted venison is not a flattering comparison]],* (ok, that's the "best" of them, I admit...) closely followed by the bit where I accidentally wrote the same event from two different viewpoints and slightly different things happen in each. And there's an entire sub-plot that turned up at the last minute, and one that ought to have turned up somewhere but didn't (or I have some completely extraneous token gay characters, which is unhelpful on several levels), and some other things to sort out, but I do know what they are now, for when I come back to things.

I do feel a bit bad at having left two characters in the lurch now-- Mara at the end of the last book, four or five months pregnant with a tree to save, and now Theo is possessed by (of?) an ancient and possibly vengeful sorcerer, but I'm sure they'll get themselves sorted out somehow.

And right now my head hurts, and I hate a number of things (more on that later) and I am going to bed. Tomorrow, I shall crack the shrink wrap on Cryoburn, and see if I feel like poking at my own manuscript a little more after I've finished it. Everyone else has been skipping my write-in; I think now it's my turn to do so.


*I've been having this trouble with the skin tone descriptors, since the modern basics of "ebony" and "coffee" don't apply, the former being too dark for everyone we've met yet, and the latter beverage doesn't exist, at least on this continent. Caroline used walnut dye as a comparison once, but Lionel's a prince & has a more expensive context... what's a nice dark brown and rich, and appropriate to describe the skin of your beloved, anyway?

Experimentally cross-posty from dreamwidth. Comments encouraged in either location.
thanate: (whirlpool)
Silliness:



I have unleashed Delia Sherman's 800 gorillas on my manuscript, largely because I mostly ran out of first draft things to do. There will be a lot of clean-up (much of which is documented in "need to do this/need to flesh out that" sorts of bullet points in a couple more scrivener tabs that I included in my final word count) and some re-thinking of the timeline, since I changed my mind half-way through and decided that it would really be better to have a two year gap between the last book and the main events of this one, so some parts are done either way.

There are also the requisite passages such as: Lionel could think of nothing to say, and then he was again struck dumb as another face swam into focus among the crowd of faces, a woman’s face, dark as [[roasted venison is not a flattering comparison]],* (ok, that's the "best" of them, I admit...) closely followed by the bit where I accidentally wrote the same event from two different viewpoints and slightly different things happen in each. And there's an entire sub-plot that turned up at the last minute, and one that ought to have turned up somewhere but didn't (or I have some completely extraneous token gay characters, which is unhelpful on several levels), and some other things to sort out, but I do know what they are now, for when I come back to things.

I do feel a bit bad at having left two characters in the lurch now-- Mara at the end of the last book, four or five months pregnant with a tree to save, and now Theo is possessed by (of?) an ancient and possibly vengeful sorcerer, but I'm sure they'll get themselves sorted out somehow.

And right now my head hurts, and I hate a number of things (more on that later) and I am going to bed. Tomorrow, I shall crack the shrink wrap on Cryoburn, and see if I feel like poking at my own manuscript a little more after I've finished it. Everyone else has been skipping my write-in; I think now it's my turn to do so.


*I've been having this trouble with the skin tone descriptors, since the modern basics of "ebony" and "coffee" don't apply, the former being too dark for everyone we've met yet, and the latter beverage doesn't exist, at least on this continent. Caroline used walnut dye as a comparison once, but Lionel's a prince & has a more expensive context... what's a nice dark brown and rich, and appropriate to describe the skin of your beloved, anyway?
thanate: (whirlpool)
*everyone has just learned that they are on the wrong side of the continent (ie, have travelled there just before someone tries to invade back home, oops)

*I have just discovered a way to include illusory Pleistocene megafauna. Yay!

*I've started hash tagging half my nano-related twitter updates with #boring as well as #nanowrimo

*v tired, but just under 3k words behind for the day. I will never get to bed before 11pm again. phoey.

*three cheers for the return of sarcastic ravens! Now to make them plot-necessary rather than a random diversion...

*Also, I may have lost the ability to form coherent sentences in lj-land, but also lost my normal inhibition against posting comments to random people I don't actually know.


---

And unrelated to novelling, I find that the cat is indeed a mighty hunter, or at least capable of catching a camel cricket. In fact, he brought it upstairs to chew its legs off on the rug next to me, possibly so that I could admire his hunting prowess, and so far as I can tell, he did manage to eat it, and most of the dropped legs. I feel vindicated in my decision not to let him outside where he can attack the birds.

Experimentally cross-posty from dreamwidth. Comments encouraged in either location.
thanate: (whirlpool)
*everyone has just learned that they are on the wrong side of the continent (ie, have travelled there just before someone tries to invade back home, oops)

*I have just discovered a way to include illusory Pleistocene megafauna. Yay!

*I've started hash tagging half my nano-related twitter updates with #boring as well as #nanowrimo

*v tired, but just under 3k words behind for the day. I will never get to bed before 11pm again. phoey.

*three cheers for the return of sarcastic ravens! Now to make them plot-necessary rather than a random diversion...

*Also, I may have lost the ability to form coherent sentences in lj-land, but also lost my normal inhibition against posting comments to random people I don't actually know.


---

And unrelated to novelling, I find that the cat is indeed a mighty hunter, or at least capable of catching a camel cricket. In fact, he brought it upstairs to chew its legs off on the rug next to me, possibly so that I could admire his hunting prowess, and so far as I can tell, he did manage to eat it, and most of the dropped legs. I feel vindicated in my decision not to let him outside where he can attack the birds.
thanate: (whirlpool)
In the beginning, there was a great pangaea-like continent (only rather less divided by estuary/seas than our pangaea was) largely covered by the ancient wildwood. dividing up the world over unbreachable lines )

This month has been brought to you by the following global modern conveniences:
*tea
*microwave (surely made in some bit of the world where they're chopping their jungles down) for the heating thereof
*natural gas heat, coal&things powered electricity (bah)
*the internet
*automobile (canada) fueled by gasoline (presumed Arabia or related)
*Aquarium wing stocked with plants & birds (mainly Australia, with local exhibit outdoors)
*the US postal service, and navy base at Dam Neck, VA
*me (N America, genetics presumed to originate in E Africa, via a rather long stopover in northern europe & british isles), [personal profile] grauwulf (ditto, plus small percentage via Asia & N Am landbridge)
*a domestic cat of uncertain parentage (genetics orig. western Asia, I think?? I've got a vague recollection that egypt wasn't actually the first place to have them, but I may be delusional)
*an apparent reluctance to capitalize proper nouns that don't begin with the letter A (narcissism? laziness?)
*ridiculous amounts of DC area traffic
*ice cream shoppe vanilla milkshake pop tarts (I think these came out of someone's improbability drive, rather like the lightly fried eggs)

Experimentally cross-posty from dreamwidth. Comments encouraged in either location.
thanate: (whirlpool)
In the beginning, there was a great pangaea-like continent (only rather less divided by estuary/seas than our pangaea was) largely covered by the ancient wildwood. dividing up the world over unbreachable lines )

This month has been brought to you by the following global modern conveniences:
*tea
*microwave (surely made in some bit of the world where they're chopping their jungles down) for the heating thereof
*natural gas heat, coal&things powered electricity (bah)
*the internet
*automobile (canada) fueled by gasoline (presumed Arabia or related)
*Aquarium wing stocked with plants & birds (mainly Australia, with local exhibit outdoors)
*the US postal service, and navy base at Dam Neck, VA
*me (N America, genetics presumed to originate in E Africa, via a rather long stopover in northern europe & british isles), [personal profile] grauwulf (ditto, plus small percentage via Asia & N Am landbridge)
*a domestic cat of uncertain parentage (genetics orig. western Asia, I think?? I've got a vague recollection that egypt wasn't actually the first place to have them, but I may be delusional)
*an apparent reluctance to capitalize proper nouns that don't begin with the letter A (narcissism? laziness?)
*ridiculous amounts of DC area traffic
*ice cream shoppe vanilla milkshake pop tarts (I think these came out of someone's improbability drive, rather like the lightly fried eggs)
thanate: (barbie)
[personal profile] grauwulf asked me last night what was going on on my desk, and I explained that someone told the Glass Cat about the story of the Sabine Women, and she wanted to get in on the fun. I think she may have misunderstood some part of it somewhere, though...



Still mucking with writing, still going very slowly. Having problems with gods; I've semi-accidentally set up the #1 god as someone who doesn't care for humans being powerful (at least w/o his permission) and I'm not quite certain how to resolve that, as I'm not too fond of having actively evil gods... Meanwhile, there's travel-log stuff and imperial politics, both of which need to foster an appropriate sense of dread about the impending invasion from the North without being, well, boring, or necessarily too obvious. Or too full of characters; the strategy of adding someone new every time I want something to happen is not particularly helpful. Blah, blah, blah... Possibly I will go and burn down Theo's annoying cousin's house or something.

Experimentally cross-posty from dreamwidth. Comments encouraged in either location.
thanate: (barbie)
[personal profile] grauwulf asked me last night what was going on on my desk, and I explained that someone told the Glass Cat about the story of the Sabine Women, and she wanted to get in on the fun. I think she may have misunderstood some part of it somewhere, though...



Still mucking with writing, still going very slowly. Having problems with gods; I've semi-accidentally set up the #1 god as someone who doesn't care for humans being powerful (at least w/o his permission) and I'm not quite certain how to resolve that, as I'm not too fond of having actively evil gods... Meanwhile, there's travel-log stuff and imperial politics, both of which need to foster an appropriate sense of dread about the impending invasion from the North without being, well, boring, or necessarily too obvious. Or too full of characters; the strategy of adding someone new every time I want something to happen is not particularly helpful. Blah, blah, blah... Possibly I will go and burn down Theo's annoying cousin's house or something.
thanate: (whirlpool)
*still not with the writing. I like this story, I want to tell it & find out what happens, and I am very much not in it. Skipping around about five or seven chapters in Scrivener, which helps some, except that I seem to have misplaced the "give me a cumulative word count of these segments" feature, which I swear I was using last year. Possibly I'm delusional.

*twitter-length attention span. Also, keep typing "lenght" instead of "length" (this is the third or fourth time today)

*When Prometheus brought the pop tarts of the gods to mankind, they were definitely the ice cream shoppe vanilla flavor. (and then there was the incident with a toaster, which was a great waste)

*[personal profile] grauwulf is busy in the "no idea how in the world he'll finish all that he has to do in the next couple weeks" sort of busy, to the point of wanting to wander around snapping at people. I am stressed because I'm not writing, and all my deadlines are pseudo-self-imposed, and also because he is stressed, and oh yes, my head hurts. Also my shoulder, which decided to start yelling at me this morning as I swept water towards the drains on the aquarium floor (which is lovely and sculptured and not at all conveniently sloped) for no apparent reason. It's not even the shoulder that usually hurts.

(subcategories) a) I miss rock climbing, but not quite enough to drive to Columbia, Timonium, or Rockville; there was a rumor about some local gym having a bouldering wall, which would be fantastic, but it does not seem to be substantiated anywhere.

b) Tonight there will be cumin bread (yay no-kneed refrigerator bread!) and canned soup with stuff-tossed-in, because I have pre-cooked chicken and veggies in the freezer. Cumin has semi-suddenly become one of the spices I actually use large amounts of.

*It's remarkable what a difference it makes when you actually notice that one of the bulbs in the kitchen light is burnt out (it's got a translucent glass cover) and replace it with one of the low wattage/high lumen bulbs.

*made & cancelled dinner plans for tonight in about a 24-hour period, which I feel particularly dumb about, but the thing with the social, not so much at the moment. (Also, the fact that I've managed to acquire a headache this evening would not have helped.) I did swiffer (swifferate? swiffify?) the extra bits of cat and dust off the stairs anyway, though, and feel better about that.

*finally gave in and bought a moleskine-style pocket notebook, only I went for the "ecosystem" kind that advertises itself as 100% post-consumer recycled (yay!) and discovered upon opening the packaging that each journal is branded with a serial number which one can look up, register to regain lost journals, and find out something about what went into the paper that made it. I haven't looked mine up yet; it came out of the plastic wrapper offgassing something horrible, so I've set it up on end to think about itself while I don't go anywhere near it for a couple days.
thanate: (whirlpool)
Quote for the novel so far: “That would be a fine way to come courting, wouldn’t it? At the head of the first invading army her country had ever seen?” --Theo (talking to his mother, who is an Empress, and awesome)

I have hauled about plant flats, sorted many pairs of gloves, planted lots of dune grasses, and did a lot of knitting while others drove. There were dolphins (or at least, groups of dorsal fins poking up at a distance that I am assured belong to dolphins), flying pelicans, a dead pelican (which tried to eat a fishing float & got its beak hooked, poor thing), a scuttling blue crab, two dead jellyfish, and seagulls but no starfish. Oh, and I got lost trying to find a gas station & drove through Williamsburg on the way home. All in all, not half bad, although I recommend buying gasoline before getting onto I-64, because apparently all the cross roads are also limited access highways with poor gas station signage.

Unfortunately, my wordcount suffered, and I'm still not the focused typer I might wish to be; if I could just pull myself together and manage a few days of 4-5k, I'd be back where I'd like to be, but I'm still in the mode where I sit in front of the computer for three hours and 500 words result, which is unhelpful. There's a lot of deep-thinking of puting together the plot-to-come going on, though, and some of the things that began as loose ends in the last book are starting to make sense after all, which is always nice, though it is not mainly about what I thought it was. Oh, and there was a letter that Caroline wrote at the end of the last book, and which Theo receives at the beginning of this one which serves as a nice exposition opportunity.

I've been thinking about it, though, and while this is a relatively patriarchal medieval-style world (and by "world" I mean the continent featured in this book, since they have effectively no contact with the other one) the three to five most powerful individuals in the last several hundred years are all female. But nobody much is aware of this, since they're only just beginning to be flashy about it, and not in a way that most of the world is going to notice; it's all game-of-kings and if they do it right everyone's lives will go on as before, instead of, say, being overrun by fanatical northern tribesmen.

Ok, back to writing, instead of writing about it.

Experimentally cross-posty from dreamwidth. Comments encouraged in either location.
thanate: (whirlpool)
Quote for the novel so far: “That would be a fine way to come courting, wouldn’t it? At the head of the first invading army her country had ever seen?” --Theo (talking to his mother, who is an Empress, and awesome)

I have hauled about plant flats, sorted many pairs of gloves, planted lots of dune grasses, and did a lot of knitting while others drove. There were dolphins (or at least, groups of dorsal fins poking up at a distance that I am assured belong to dolphins), flying pelicans, a dead pelican (which tried to eat a fishing float & got its beak hooked, poor thing), a scuttling blue crab, two dead jellyfish, and seagulls but no starfish. Oh, and I got lost trying to find a gas station & drove through Williamsburg on the way home. All in all, not half bad, although I recommend buying gasoline before getting onto I-64, because apparently all the cross roads are also limited access highways with poor gas station signage.

Unfortunately, my wordcount suffered, and I'm still not the focused typer I might wish to be; if I could just pull myself together and manage a few days of 4-5k, I'd be back where I'd like to be, but I'm still in the mode where I sit in front of the computer for three hours and 500 words result, which is unhelpful. There's a lot of deep-thinking of puting together the plot-to-come going on, though, and some of the things that began as loose ends in the last book are starting to make sense after all, which is always nice, though it is not mainly about what I thought it was. Oh, and there was a letter that Caroline wrote at the end of the last book, and which Theo receives at the beginning of this one which serves as a nice exposition opportunity.

I've been thinking about it, though, and while this is a relatively patriarchal medieval-style world (and by "world" I mean the continent featured in this book, since they have effectively no contact with the other one) the three to five most powerful individuals in the last several hundred years are all female. But nobody much is aware of this, since they're only just beginning to be flashy about it, and not in a way that most of the world is going to notice; it's all game-of-kings and if they do it right everyone's lives will go on as before, instead of, say, being overrun by fanatical northern tribesmen.

Ok, back to writing, instead of writing about it.
thanate: (whirlpool)
So, I have a cold-- not the sort that stops one from doing anything much, just the sort that stops one wanting to, particularly. So, I've mostly been doing some sewing, and some sitting around reading books (although I just had to take Sarah Hoyt's Heart of Light back to the library unfinished because the hero was apparently incapable of asking a logical question of anybody and all his assumptions were painfully wrong. His wife wasn't a lot better, so presumably if they ever did start talking they'd be perfect for each other, but I wasn't prepared to wade through the painful Very Proper English wrongness to find out about the interesting secondary characters,) and occasionally poking at something useful.

Among the things useful, two are giving me trouble. I've finally assigned my *cough* potential four book series a notebook for outlining and continuity notes and suchlike, and started off by drawing a map of the northern continent, since book three (this november...) involves trekking across it. And the Great Eastern Empire, and the point of view of someone who doesn't just think of Caroline's kingdom as "the Kingdom"... and all this means that it, and a great many other places, need actual names, which I'm having trouble with. I want things that sound convincingly medieval European and western Asian without actually either being from there, or being something that already exists elsewhere. Thus far, we have the brilliantly named The Church Lands, The Great Eastern Empire, and The Kingdom (which was all very well so long as Caroline is the one talking of it, but even she is about to get a lesson in geography and foreign viewpoints) and real cities with names thus far consist of Hippopolis (profound, I know) and Marmion (which turns out to be some kind of preppie boy's school in the real world.) The map has also got the Northlands, Northport, and The Holy City on it, and if you're sensing a resistance to nomenclatural commitment, there might be a reason for that. Any thoughts or suggestions would be welcome.

Also, I'm trying to restrain myself from calling the as-yet-unwritten book "Empire of Apple Trees" in a completely spurious reference to Avalon, to which it is in no way related. (um, it was better than referring to Johnny Appleseed, who is thematically related?) I'm sure a better title will turn up as I write, though.

Then there's the short story I... just gave an ending, although I'm not quite happy with it. At any rate, the other difficulty is that, not knowing where it was going when I started it, I named the heroine Merrin, because it seemed like a nice name. Only then the story ended up taking place on a tropical island, and being very much about names, and as she's the only person we meet who has one, I feel that this is perhaps, not entirely appropriate. Of course, having written several thousand words about the girl, well, in my head that's her name. (I'm not delusional, right? Do other people feel that this would be kind of weird?)

Experimentally cross-posty from dreamwidth. Comment wherever; I like comments.
thanate: (whirlpool)
So, I have a cold-- not the sort that stops one from doing anything much, just the sort that stops one wanting to, particularly. So, I've mostly been doing some sewing, and some sitting around reading books (although I just had to take Sarah Hoyt's Heart of Light back to the library unfinished because the hero was apparently incapable of asking a logical question of anybody and all his assumptions were painfully wrong. His wife wasn't a lot better, so presumably if they ever did start talking they'd be perfect for each other, but I wasn't prepared to wade through the painful Very Proper English wrongness to find out about the interesting secondary characters,) and occasionally poking at something useful.

Among the things useful, two are giving me trouble. I've finally assigned my *cough* potential four book series a notebook for outlining and continuity notes and suchlike, and started off by drawing a map of the northern continent, since book three (this november...) involves trekking across it. And the Great Eastern Empire, and the point of view of someone who doesn't just think of Caroline's kingdom as "the Kingdom"... and all this means that it, and a great many other places, need actual names, which I'm having trouble with. I want things that sound convincingly medieval European and western Asian without actually either being from there, or being something that already exists elsewhere. Thus far, we have the brilliantly named The Church Lands, The Great Eastern Empire, and The Kingdom (which was all very well so long as Caroline is the one talking of it, but even she is about to get a lesson in geography and foreign viewpoints) and real cities with names thus far consist of Hippopolis (profound, I know) and Marmion (which turns out to be some kind of preppie boy's school in the real world.) The map has also got the Northlands, Northport, and The Holy City on it, and if you're sensing a resistance to nomenclatural commitment, there might be a reason for that. Any thoughts or suggestions would be welcome.

Also, I'm trying to restrain myself from calling the as-yet-unwritten book "Empire of Apple Trees" in a completely spurious reference to Avalon, to which it is in no way related. (um, it was better than referring to Johnny Appleseed, who is thematically related?) I'm sure a better title will turn up as I write, though.

Then there's the short story I... just gave an ending, although I'm not quite happy with it. At any rate, the other difficulty is that, not knowing where it was going when I started it, I named the heroine Merrin, because it seemed like a nice name. Only then the story ended up taking place on a tropical island, and being very much about names, and as she's the only person we meet who has one, I feel that this is perhaps, not entirely appropriate. Of course, having written several thousand words about the girl, well, in my head that's her name. (I'm not delusional, right? Do other people feel that this would be kind of weird?)
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