An exhausting week dealing with hardware failures, techo-barriers and 'net glitches on top of artwork seeking/attempting and marketing efforts. Feels like a complete waste of time and disupts the modality of mind that works best for doing the actual writing and editing which is my natural bent. Guess it's going to be a roller coaster process.
Posted a want ad for an illustrator to create cover art for The Purple Orb (81,000 words+) and The Tale of the Old Woan (roughly 50,000 words). No response so far. Looked at a couple of art-for-hire sites and ...meh... Tried to mock up the ideas I have for the look I want, but, yah, art is a whole 'nother skillset. Oh, well, Excelsior with the strange device and all that jazz.
Congrats! (to me, I mean) The first round of book editing and design for Purple Orb is complete. Using LibreOffice, I had to first learn how LO stupidly refuses to allow one to carry over a style created in one document to apply on another document, so each chapter had to be reformatted from scratch each time. Same for headers, footers, recto-verso page assignment, plus all the usual suspects such as typos, widows, orphans, and whatnot. You would think if you set the toggle switch to ON for preventing widows and orphans that it would work in the middle of the page as well as at the end, but oh, no, children, this is not how programmers think. We mourn once more for WordPerfect 5.0. Still, phase one of book design is done. Moderate and mild Hooray! Onward we go.
As I suspected, the process of converting hastily styled inidividual chapters into a book-quality uniform style/design is, like they say, real work. S-l-o-w-l-y I turn, inch by inch step by step .....Don't say it! Niagara Falls (oof--he said it.)
Well, I did it--finished the last chapter of Purple Orb. The 'doughy middle' is finally baked and the loaf is on the table. Now to decorate the chapters with titles, check for typos and start the next process--publishing. Somehow, I do not think this is ging to be an easy downhlil slide....!
Well, life got in the way of writing for a while there; but back to the quill this week.
Finished Chaps 8,9, & 10 of Orb, but a new chapter grew and has to be inerpolated now. it's always something...(:-D
Finished a 7000-word short story and submitted it to a magazine editor.
Revised Chapter 7 & finished (I think) 8. Making progress!
Finished chapter 7 of Purple Orb, Only 3 and a half to go!
Following advice from my writers' group, I have started compiling into volumes the various fables, 'fairy tales' and accounts from the Gladdis world into collections. Am looking for an illustrator who can do basic, straightforward pen and ink sketches with an eye to self-publication. The Talurian Tales are an eclectic mix of dry humor, bouncy children's stories, and tragic historical accounts.
Have been meeting regularly with writers' group and putting in time developing the remaining chapters of Purple Orb, plus other projects. It is always odd to realize how much time goes into the act of writing. Even two hours a day adds up fast.
Happy New year and all that jazz!
Have been working with my writers' group on developing the Problem Chapters of Purple Orb. Problem Chapters are like Problem Children: they require patience, time, and TLC. Also feeding one's head with new information and consultation with intent to succeed. Excelsior!
Number jokes aside, my writers' group is re-forming for the New Year. See ya soon!
'Round MayDay, '18
Managed to add a subpage to display the chapters for Purple Orb as they come into being.
For the Write Out Loud project underway elsewhere.
If this new computing object allows, I can keep this site open. Time will tell.....
And the next short story has appeared in Issue 7 of Into the Ruins. I am at work on revising the Gladdis world stories and will probably be dismantling this site because Weebly has made some changes that destroy the original ease of use . I will notify my few loyal followers as this process continues. Thanks for reading and wish me luck in a new site.
Well, the contract is in the mail. Joel Caris of Into the Ruins fame has offered to publish yet another of my short stories. It should appear in Issue 5 (c.f. https:// intotheruins.com). This story fits into the PlagueWorld series and I hope to include it later on in a print-on-demand book form. The post-industrial age fiction that Ruins prints draws on some pretty startling new talents. I am pleased to be included in such good company.
The Halfway Place
Kendrusil stoked the main chamber of the arquette stove with practiced skill. Not a flipsworth of feedstock spilled on the floor as she tipped it in. Off to the side, the polished brass nozzle of the pilot flame gleamed in its own blue light. The heap of fuel caught fire on its edges, just as it ought.
Peering in and up, she saw that it was drawing beautifully and shut the fat-firebrick door. It swung fast to on its massive hinges without a hitch. She turned up the pilot and waited until the fire responded with a satisfying roar. Then she turned it back down to min and shut it off. Clank! The cast-iron shut-off valve routed the stream of couffar gas to the next burner in the boiler chain.
There! The bath water would soon be hot – with any luck, well before Leeanda had time to get shirty about it.
She grinned. Pregnant women must be Obeyed, she thought, half scornful, half in reverent awe. Drawing a left-handed Air-Crescent across herself she silently blessed our Lady of the Night that she herself had been born in a wanemoon cycle. Else it would be she who was in Leeanda's place, with a greedy, life-sucking babe blowing and a-growing in her belly. Eeook!
Say! Talk of the belly: might be enough hot sidled off into the parlour oven to bake a fresh loaf. Yum! Warm bread and butter with a topping of sweet applefrost. Best check to see if the dough Noona had sat out this morning was riz enough.
She dusted off her hands on the seat of her ironwool trousers and hung the great, hollow-handled chop-dwig loader back on its customary nail near the door. The bin was still half full of bark pulver and milled chippet, no need to refill it yet. Out of habit, she turned the paddle crank once or twice to make sure the feedstock was loosely packed and dry. All airy well.
Stepping out of the boiler room, she closed the door behind her. It too was lined with an insulating layer of firebrick. Not as thick as the stove, but enough to retard heat and exclude moisture. Their mother and their mother's mothers had been through many trials. They built well because they remembered harder times.
Ah! Kendrusil breathed in the crisp, cool autmun air, scented with cedar, balsam, and pine. Just a hint of well-seasoned oak from the vent of the nearly smokeless fire. She swept the floor of the area, replaced the broom, glanced rightly at the stackheap of thin-kindle, saw nothing amiss. The porchroof over all was sound, the trapdoor into the loading chute was secure. Leftly, the mild rise of the rampway up out of the area was clear, dry, and solidly footed. Well, what did she expect? It was the same as it had been for seven generations at least.
Why on earth or Moon was she so twitchy today? Must be halfway chalice-drunk herself, with so many expectant mothers in the House. She shook her head ruefully at herself. Getting all old and woanish, maybe. War-wanting and greedy for change. Not content with the ripeness of the old ways, the way things had always been. Second youth, maybe. Wanderfooted. Restless for novelty. Happens to her sort. May be time to visit the Temple, and not for a dalliance with a pretty Temple boy. A serious talk with the priestess.
She was about to have one – but not with her own comfortable, familiar homely-at-home priestess. As she ascended the ramp, a shadow fell athwart the upper doorway. Someone stood in the entrance to the adit. Tallish. Dark. A faceless silhouette against the light of the lowering sun. As Kendrusil came up out of the dim coziness of the area, the shadowy figure drew courteously aside to let her pass. A stranger. Hands clasped loosely before her. Sword slung over her back.
For the first time, a thrill of foreboding washed over Drusi. Not for herself. She was middling old enough, 'd'lived long enough, aye, and be'ent young chuks enough in the House to take her place any day of the year.
Not for herself alone was she afeared: for everyone and everything she knew. This was no common wayfarer, no cheery gossip from over Lulanor Bay. No! 'Twas a priestess of Swift Harmony, the Lyremark stamped plain on her face. No mistaking it.
As if in rebound from her clutch of fear, Drusi felt all of sudden glad to the core of her being that she was alive, alive, well and stoked like the fire with the fiercely burning will to live on. On and on into a ripe old age! She was not ready to give up anything that was left to her and hers. If fighting was required, she would fight and gladly, too. But she would not die. Not yet!
“Kendrusil of Lamanor, Clan Truworth-and-Seal, at home.”
“Gladdis of Rowanswood, at your service.”
“Welcome, Rowanswood. What service might you wish to offer?”
“I hear your land has oft been troubled by earthquakes.”
Drusi looked doubtfully around and about. Hadn't been an earthquake for...for who knew how long? She scratched the back of her head, saying,
'Never heard it from me, I reckon. Wonder whose tale it was you tread upon.”
The witch smiled at the jest. A natural, easy, human smile. It made her marked face seem much more attractive and less formidable.
“Perhaps I was misinformed,” she said lightly, “But the Underpeople are seldom mistaken about these things. Of course, they have different notions about time. What they consider 'often' or 'recent' may not seem at all so to us.”
The Underpeople! What folly. Myths and ghosts, Drusi thought to herself but said nothing aloud. Saying nothing is always the best course of action when one disagrees with a witch. Instead, she nodded peaceably and merely replied,
“Must step lively to put the bread on before the oven cools. Then I'm off to the barns to tump muck into the digesteer. Dunno who to hand you off to. Sounds like Ma-Matron's business to me. They're all afield and only breeders to home, save me and the bratlings.”
“Allow me to see to the barns,” she said (ever so politely – just like kingsfolk, but nicer-feeling). “I've no wish to disturb your daily rounds. There is always time enough for doing—that, is, I mean, to say there is no hurry. Please return to your household duties. I will attend you and yours at the Househall later, perhaps when you all have a moment of more leisure.”
“You'll join us for the meal, never fear. Want you anything just now? Sip at the well? Or fetch you an ale, if you like.”
The witch disclaimed any present needs for more substantial sustenance, but accepted a sip of well water, as was required by custom.
Drusi showed her to the barns and introduced her: first to the cows and then the children. The witch set to work on the muck pile with every appearance of competence. Drusi watched carefully to see that the stranger was not overloading the couffar digesters; but the witch had a neat hand and a evidently knew which end of a dungloy was up. Withal, she gauged the capacity of the first row with a knowledgeable eye. Hmm! 'Tisn't every one of that sort you can trust with a homely handitask. Satisfied with what she saw, Drusi left her to it. The children left off larking aboot to swarm around the curious stranger.
The gaslines that fed sweet blue flames to every part of the compound, from kitchens to bathhouses to laundries to workshops and forges were in perfect working order. Kendrusil had maintained them all her life and trained up a suite of successors who were still young enough to be enthusiastic about it all. The Halfway well deserved its reputation. Not only was it halfway between the mountains and the sea, between the lowlands and and the high, but in terms of fruit and good greens all year round it was halfway between here and paradise.
Their succession houses defied the power of piedmont winters with the help of blue flames from milchcow muck. Apricots in January! Fresh tea in February! Oh, aye, the goods of Halfway brightened many a child's eye in far off places. Even dried and fermented or distilled and baked into whiskeycakes, the fruits, fame, and freshness of Halfway foods spread a circle of health and happiness in wide rippling rings around their point of origin. Not to mention the herbed cheeses, forged iron, and fancy brasswork. Highhat and Downlands, their two sisterholds, achieved similar results with dung from their dairy goats and sausage shoat herds, respectively. But it was Halfway where the pipes and pipe fittings were made.
How glad is freedom to Woman's heart!
How satisfying to her soul! No cares or constraints, no tugs and demands; neither a sackful of baby on one's back, nor a chattering toddler by the hand; no parti-mooded tween haughty, secretive and sullen by turns, slounging about, apt to shirk holdworks and kick at stones for the pleasure of stubbing her toes!
No one to fret over, feel for, do for. Only one's self to consider and none but one's self to please. Of course, if you are as kind a woman as Glynnis, then all the above is about as convincing as any other cheer-chat meant to make believe that weeding an overgrown garden is child's play instead of woman's work!
What woman first discovered the uses of tools, I wonder? Who was she? An huntress, taking up a flake of flint to sever the sinews of her latest kill? Perhaps she had a mother burdened with orphans in the shelter of the woods and she ventured out onto the savannah with her atalatl and her spear to bring back home a string of juicy rabbits and gain glory for it.
Or was she a dreaming sea-child, idly thumping water-rounded rocks together to make a fine sound for the Dances of the Celestial Beings? Or an acorn-pounder, a cornflour grinder? Or a grub-picker imitating the ravens with a bent twig to dig out fat maggots and ants? Whoever she was that first discovered tools, changed the world foever. Woman's hands have been busy ever since.
Likewise, she, or the conquint of shes who first discovered the power of the Temple to enrich the harvest yields. The hidden lines of power that gently cook the soil and cause it to surrender up its milky goodness and its seed. Who was she who first knew of them? My own guess is that she was a Priestess of the Dark: for death and decay are at the heart of new life's generation. Perhaps her Goddess revealed to her these secrets: new life nestled in the dung of cattle and songs of the soil resonating through the graves of our longmothers.
However it happened, it was a long, long time ago. Since then, since men of the Barrens came with their own temples to shock the soil into submission and exhaust it with their intemperate demands, there have been many wars fought between those who love the land and those who wish to rape it and move on. Woman learned, at long last, to breed home-loving men and to shun marriage with the other kind. And the groom-price of that Knowledge was counted in yields of blood.
From mounds to plicatrices; from labyrinths to ziggurats, from pyramids to solarsquares, much has been tried to increase the fertility of the land. The Starfolk who found out the subtleties of planting by the Signs as well as the Moon have given freely of their Knowlege, hard won as it was. And for that alone they are to be honored more nearly than others who kept jealous holds on the secrets of increase that they might rule over the ignorant and employ them as mere tools.
Nowadays, when a great farming Hold has barns for cattle and barns for hay, stilt-towered grain rooms, wheeled fowl frames netted and framed, feeding hatches for goats and rabbits, luxurious pig stalls and sheds bigger than most temples to house all their carts, costers and barrows, we are become forgetful of the Days of Dearth that our mothers' mothers knew. Only our warriors fast as a regular rule and practice; we do it only for mourning and sickerness of soul.
All the tools and implements for working the land that Woman has invented will be of little use in a time of drought or the waste after the flood. Therfore, heed ye, women of the world and do your respects to the Lady who brings Death and Destruction: for she hath the last Word, even as she had the First.
'Lo. Had another computer scare, now resolved. Just as a heads-up: will be gradually moving stories and chapters off this site as I prepare them for print-on-demand publication. Lots to learn yet, but will keep everyone posted.
Another Many Nations story accepted for publication, yay! Slow and unsteady progress on Middle Chapters of Rogue Star.
Bogged down in continuity errors from having written one chapter at a time across many moons of effort, not in sequential order but in the mysterious order dictated by the Voice of the Muse. In other news, an alumnus of my college is having a Type-In at Mission Pie. Trust a Johnnie to do something weirdly practical.
Making some progress towards reprinting all finished chapters and deep editing of the rest. Looks good, if I do say so myself.
For the first time in about six months--ever since my old system began to fail, I have printed off a booklet format of a new chapter. Hurrah! Of course, I still do not have movie-making capacity among many other losses due to this industry's idiotic rush to PROGRESS without taking care to conserve. However, getting back to square one on this snakes and ladders gameboard is something to celebrate in a modest way.
Yes! Duplex printing with page imposition is a reality for the Open Source pdf maker I have. Of course, I have to reformat ALL of the files that I want to print in that fashion because the pdfmaker shrinks things when I do not want them to be shrunken. And I have to tell it which pages are verso and which are recto. Word Perfect did all this work without the need for templates, due to being a PS ready streaming formatter on the fly. But who cares about a competently made program that does work without having to be over-specified. Only a few. A rare and disguntled intelligent few. Onward, wearily on....
No, no duplex printing yet, but I did download a semistandard template for a couple of book sizes and am looking them over like a four leaf clover that I overlooked before. Sorry for bursting into song like a dumb musical. I must say that the company my story is keeping over at Into the Ruins is good company. What a suite of stories! It feels a little like I imagine it must have felt when SF magazines were new: finding a virtual community of like minds. In other news, juggling 4 computers, five operating systems and six word processing suites is ridiculous. Finding a working method to replace the one of the past 20 years or so is as tedious as it is unnecessary. If the home computer industry (and the business for that matter) were truly focused on productivity and ease of use, then making backwards compatibility a reality is the correct way to do that.
I have now recovered my fonts and the capacity to perform duplex printing. Next step: see if open source PDFcreation can produce ready-to-fold booklets with page imposition printing. If not, I will be obliged to install and learn an open source desktop publishing suite instead. All of which is more time-consuming than one likes and which detracts from the quite different mental/emotional "steady-state" that actual creative writing demands. C'est la guerre, n'est pas? However, on the plus side, a courageous guy over at Into the Ruins magazine has begun a subscription publication with print options which actually PAYS authors based on the number of subscribers. So if you approve of authors being paid for their work, and like post-industrial age fiction, you can put your money where your mind is.
It seems (if nothing worse happens) that I shall be able to rescue my fonts, in time. Perhaps.
Meanwhile I have begun writing again and am seeking the best method to share the process with readers as I go along. About half of the novel is in an unfinished state: some chapters to be interpolated into the narrative stream, others already completed and merely awaiting the finish line to be tacked on at the end. It is not unlike the process of making a movie wherein scenes are filmed out of order, trialled this way and that for variations on the theme, settings, and so forth, then edited into the final product or discarded, or kept as 'deleted scenes' that have merit but affect the pacing and flow of the story. Most of the encyclopaedic chapters will be collected together at the end. But I may publish them here, first. They contain so much useful contextual information and have an energy all their own that entertains in a distinctly different way than the narrative. These might be comparable to the 'making of' footage that appear in the 'Special Features' some movie-makers provide.
This process will not be thrown open to hoi polloi for many reasons, not the least of which is the amount of time it takes to moderate a public site. I have no intention of wasting away my days and nights filtering random acts of hostility from useful critiques. Therefore, only a limited number of commenters will be enabled to read the unfinished material.
I plan to extend invitations to a select group of persons who have proven themselves to be of good will, good character and good taste by the thoughtful, germane, and intelligent comments they make on other people blogs. Of course, such people are rarities on the Web and most of them will not accept my invitation; I can only hope to merit a few good 'Zen (a.k.a. NetiZen). (No doubt 'twill be harder for me to recruit good critics than for the Marines to land good officers. Cue martial marching music.)
That said, there is potential for substantiating the worth of the contributions made to the creative process by what may be styled a writer's 'crew' – those who work behind the big screen. Members of the Joint Editorial Committee (JEC) who make a firm commitment to supply a fixed number of hours devoted to critiquing will receive more than name acknowledgment: they will be paid a proportionate amount from future royalties, whether the book is self-published or gets picked up by a commercial firm.
Likewise, a few people who have enough proven experience in the publishing industry to foster the book into print and/or electronic publication – in particular those who thoroughly know the ins and outs of the print medium distribution network – will be invited to contact me in six months time. I am particularly interested in creating a serial publication format in hard copy that uses pre-paid electronic media for distribution abroad. There are “reading cafes” in parts of Africa and Asia that allow people to use photo-copy equipment to print out parts of books for a small fee. People with limited income can club together to purchase a whole book this way and share it with their whole circle, thus spreading out the cost while enjoying the book together as a group. With its dense archaic-style prose, I think Rogue Star would be most suitable for that sort of time-release capsule entertainment.
I also have thoughts about including in each chapter one or two public domain articles on low-tech and appropriate ag topics that can be printed and distributed along with the fiction. This could be a free incentive to purchase, kind of like the toy prize in the box of Cracker Jacks. My fiction may entertain for an hour, but acid-free paper could allow the articles to be passed on to inform the next generation, and the next. I think it could be done.
Today, a note of progress: I have (it is hoped) retrieved the two fonts I have been using for titles and drop caps, together with the capability to set up booklet formats. I have not tried to test the PDF page imposition print capacity; however, in theory, a dual boot system would allow me to proceed along these lines. Crossing fingers and walking as carefully as an old fox on thin ice... Note to Travis: Ecotone declined to publish Intinction; I just got the notice this week after about 9 months waiting. However, it is linked here (on the poetry page) for those who desire to read it.
Another disaster. First the leagacy files were inacessible so I changed permissions. Now the whole disk is unreadable by the new computer. Doggedly carrying on....
Hardware and software issues are slowly being resolved. Also working on how to set up a page just for the unfinished chapters. Hope you enjoyed the Daring Young Drone Song on the poetry page.
The new computer is home. Now for the process of transferring files and settings and software installation, and other system admin I had rather a professional do in my stead. But then the writer's mode of mind can return and burgeon along with the rest of the blooming world. I may, for safety's sake upload my unfinished chapters to a special area of the site for access by trusted readers. Comments would be enabled for only those favored few (a band of B-Readers!) and maybe this season's loss of impetus can be turned to good use, with a little help from my friends.
Still no computer home from the Old Electronics Care Facility. But some pretty good news otherwise. Check out this link http://intotheruins.com/ in early April to see one of my stories from the Many Nations world in print. Hoo-rah! Thanks Joel! Do send him your own stories and letters to the editor, if you please. And yes, the cherry trees are unfolding, along with redbud, forsythia, star magnolia, tulip tree, bradford pears, jonquils, spring beauties, henbit, and spirea.
My computer is so old that the shop kind of gave up on it, so lately I have learned a good deal more about the innards of my system than I ever wanted to know, TMI. Not up and functional just yet: this is a slow, step-by-step process. Especially because I do not know what I am doing and have to learn as I go. The good news is that this minor disaster has prompted me to make a stronger push towards setting up a system that will enable me to publish my work my own way. What else is one to do with troubles except despair? It is kind of like composting waste: turning the unwanted into support for the new growth cycle. On that note, let us look forward to Spring. The cherry trees will be blossoming soon...
I am not happy to report that my trusty tower computer that has served me so well for so long is showing anomalous behaviours and must go into the shop. I managed to rescue my current writing projects and have a loaner computer on which to continue writing. But this may slow me down as I learn to operate a different OS which I dislike. Changes, as a certain person said not too long ago... In happier news, I received a glimpse into the background world of the Angel Bill triptych of stories and may have a new project to add to the already too long list.
As you all may have noticed, I left off the weekly additions some time ago. Life happens, as they say. But in good sooth, I have found that my time was better spent on other creative projects including some practical skill development. The problem with being a writer who is more motivated by ear than by wallet is that texts in hand get left to languish in the best Gardner tradition, while daily matter composts between the ears.
But progress has been made, if invisible to the wider world. The second half of the Rowanswood tale is slowly being formed into a more coherent whole. Two or three more stories have been added to the Many Nations world, though not posted yet. And some desultory conversations have transpired about the feasibility of a local serial publication for mutually compatible authors, graphic artists, etc. Still, slow change is all I can promise on any of these fronts. Until the next big burst of work is ready to post, enjoy what is already present and may you all have a pleasant and productive Winter rest.
Slow but not steady: that's my method and I'm sticking to it. Or it to me, Whichever.
Honest, I posted a couple of weeks ago but it was eaten by the I-dog. Summer is really happening here: heat, humidity and all the good stuff plants like. I have been working on the chapters by a rotation method: sometimes I polish and sometimes I work on things I have not touched for a while. So the upshot is that no one chapter is ready for release. But they will be arriving soon. Some are very close to being finished. The writers' group has been helpful, and now that it is too hot to sit outside and goggle at the sky, trees, birds and whatever else crosses the Field of Vision, I will likely buckle down and tidy up the top of the list. It really helps to bounce back and forth between the chapters that are entangled like the Nightmare on Particle Physics St. One gets a perspective and can update the glossary of the Indices even while one is composing new stuff. Hope everyone is outside growing vegetable marrows and gourds this season. Remember: a day without gourds is like a day without bottles. (:-D
Well, I had intended to throw two more Indices into the Public Hopper, but I got into writing on other projects, so sorry about that, chief. Next week, is the plan. I ain't making any hard and fast promises. Besides, the weather has been GREAT.
Soaking up sun and air because you don't get a Spring like this every year.
The fallen electronic pillars of my home life have been re-erected. I have a phone, HVAC, videodeodo, etc. Now, I am taking the advice of my writers' group and extracting standalone incidents from the spaghetti bowl of the middle of the story and will polish them as far as I can leaving the transitionals and Fractalgeo work to another day. If I can get a third column on the list of chapters ready for viewing, I will start uploading and linking, as usual. There seems to be an incompatibility between the Weebly interface and my Linux O/S. as always, thanks for your patience!
You would not believe how many electronic haywires frayed this week. A/C out, phone in the rain, three-prong plug breaks off ground wire and leaves it inside socket...anyway, let's see if I can post the new chapters and Index pdfs, shall we?
I got sidetracked a little by the second story contest--some very fine writers out there!--and just had to do a rewrite of Vasalissa the Beautiful to Vasalissa the Brave. Couldn't help tweaking the end of the story towards a wicked-like reality. Next week, I think I will start posting extracts from the Encyclopaedia Taluria, so those of you who are caught up on the first 19 Chaps will have to go down a little side trail before re-emerging on the Processional Way. I must say that the weather has been remarkably co-operative in setting the scene and replicating the feel of May journeys in the world where Gladdis dwells.
It has been an UnevEn week: a death in the neighbourhood; daily fighting with my new o/s, learning the Wisconsin SF group does not offer any process at all for feedback on a developing novel; discovering that my characters' timetable will not wash if I let the ox-drawn team set the pace for the whole group, which means I now have to go back in and build a bunch of canals to the location where I want the action to take place... and it is finally beginning to be spring outside so my motivation for sitting glued to the screen is at an all-time low. However, I have finally got a fair handle on Fractal Mapper and have laid out a reasonable course for the different sets of characters to follow. Progress--of a sort.
Well, March came in like a lion and went out like a pekinese: snappish and rather nippy.
(Tip of the hat to fellow PG Wodehouse fans.)
It was worth rising early to meet with my writers' group at the café today.
Sound and solid they are, the “Juh” crowd (you know who you are!)
It seems there are some thorns on the fragrant sweet peas of Print-on-Demand (PoD) publishing.
For one thing, there is limited availability of acid-free, archival quality paper.
For another, there is a shocking lack of Quality Control on long-distance printing houses.
It is often just a matter of who's cheapest not who is best.
What do you think: are you all willing to wait a little longer for a local printing house?
And for a house that takes pride in its work but costs more?
Good, fast, and cheap: pick any two. Good and cheap is my preferred pair of options. YMMV.
I have not yet decided in which POD to place my precious pearly peas of literary promise (i.e., chapters of the novel); but when I do, I hope to line up a set of reliable printing houses, at least one on every continent.
I do not expect to find one on Antarctica, but if there is one, I want to know about it.
This is where Readiance Participation comes in. If you all know of a good, reasonably priced printer either offset or letterpress, do please let us know. I will post their contact information on my links page. By the time the Whole Book is ready for publication, I can stipulate with my chosen POD that they shall give first refusal to my recommended set of printers. So if your printer is your friend or relation, you can throw a little business their way, you see?
I am looking for folks who can handle archival paper and who have their own arrangement with distributors—who might also be your relations, but I do not wish to pay 50% of my book price for their services. Anyone who can undercut this rate will get my interest right away. Even in Antarctica.
Today I return to my blogspace for the first time since the viral infection that necessitated the untimely demise of my netbook o/s. (:-( However, I am gradually being reconciled to the loss of my favorite Gnome game, which wastes a lot of time anyway. Also I used the time somewhat productively by creating a Map of the continents and major island chains on the planet called Terraqieh, after the Great-Grandmother of the Heavenly Deities. Graphics R not Us, so this takes time and yields unsatisfactory results. Nevertheless, I persist chiefly because Fractal Mapper has a cool caliper tool that allows me to measure the distances travelled in my characters' imaginary journey which is bound to aid me in untangling the sequencing issues for chapters 20-42. So be of good cheer and let Spring bring on the blooms!
The little treasures Gladdis brought home to exchange for a sound crop of rootoes are gladly and gratefully received. Soon winter will be shutting in the mountain passes with snow. With no need to venture out into the world, the Witch of Rowanswood can enjoy some mulled ash mead of her own making
Summer returns after a brief fling with the cooler airs of Autumn. Ripening fields and orchards in the North make a sharp contrast with the sodden floodlands and stooked corn of the South. Looks like the King may have to bow to the necessity of Temple aid this year to feed his people. He can hardly object to Ishkor's incursions when he himself authorized the release of plague-bearers into the countryside. But all that's hush-hush. Shhhh!
Dry, cool air and dry, deadly humors: Gladdis and her troops start rounding up the draftees for the Center where Ishkor reigns not quite supreme....
Cool and rainy blends gradually into cooler and rainier--what will happen to the crops? Gladdis goes a-cheapening just in case her rootoe crop at home gets spoiled by odd weathers.
The festival of Waning Light--the days are growing noticeably shorter. Sandrey, the Queen-in-Exile of the Southern realms is beginning to shine; her more exasperating fellows are soon to feel the chill as they fall victim to her spellbinding tales and the stretch of her long, tall shadow....
Heat and big skies--muggy mornings in a low-lying country. When the Goddess wakes Gladdis rather suddenly it is not because danger is nigh--but to prevent Gladdis from becoming an inadvertent source of danger.
Sunshine and storm and storm and sun. On the day that the Fellows of the Mus Rose are restored to possession of their ancient home and their proper role as Logothetes of the Anaxway, there is one whale of a thunderstorm. But there is also a Darkness Invincible on the scene who cuts through the heavy clouds and brings the Light to bear on a grave injustice.
July has come in with a tropical air, as if meaning to walk on the beach barefoot and scatter thunderclouds like throw pillows across the sky. In the Rogue Star world, Gladdis is headed for home, riding in the back of Nissa's stonewain.
At this point, a great deal has been Changed in a way that Guerdon the Gold does not like. But he has at least attained his original objective...
It is the eve of Litha; like the thousands of Wanderluders on the Women's Way, I have had no sleep. Unlike them, I have eaten a continental breakfast and am not masked. It is a splendid day; the skywith is palest blue, the air is cool and the sun is soaring in its longest arc of the year.
At this moment, in the Sheylangananda Vale, the Trial of Chambers is about to begin at the Phalurian Fountains. Will they win all the way to the Omphalos and hear the year's Oracle? Or will the will of the Keepers prevent them? For the Keepers have had a disturbing vision....
Today is 08 June--the sun is shining, the summer heat has not yet begun to fight. Neither have the raucous Mollies of the Marmalade Moon--they are keeping a low profile as they cross at Fickleford Ferry landing. Gladdis, of course, is up to her usual smoky tricks....
Today is June 1st--it's a late spring-early summer day weatherwise. In the Gladdis of Rowanswood world the Weymooneans and Stellarians are past the Phalurian Fountains each on their separate missions