Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Brandenbrass, or: there was a time once when I blogged often...

Still here, still battling on: if there was an award for World's Suckiest At Self-Discipline (and blogging), I would surely be a contender.

Where I am at creatively, atm? What does a soul do with creativity and inspiration? With the flow and the necessary ebb of productive humours? Do you put them in a box, a routine that allows them daily expression? Do you wait until they burst in fiery generating glory then suffer the long slow down-swing before the next up-swing? Is it something in-between? Is this in-between even possible? As an author of three books, should I have not already figured this out?

While you chew on that cud, please be entertained by a glimpse of a current WIP: a map of Brandenbrass.

Brandenbrass: Work-in-progress.

Brandenbrass: a detail.

Of course, is doing a map of Brandenbrass useful? Perhaps leaving it uncharted and open to interpretation would serve better?* I do love a good map tho, and figuring out how in Photoshop I can achieve an antiquated look has been a grand adventure.

Also, for those not connected to the Book-of-Face, I have an anthology of two stories (if a pair of tales can be called an anthology) before my publisher atm: the first being The Corsers' Hinge, the second a story of a country girl come to the city to make coin for her family back in the parish of Broad Trim with a working title I will not divulge because i think it gives away what happens. These are awaiting acceptance, and if by God and my publisher's grace they go ahead, it will clock in at about 50,000 words - so not as long as Foundling, but still with some substance. Here's to praying/hoping this might be available next year.

As to your observation about far-seeing Idaho, Mr Alyosha, this is indeed an insight for Idaho was indeed extraordinary woman carrying much of the vigour and clarity and inspiration of the mighty, self-destroyed Phelgms. She alone of all the survivors of her original nation's fall managed to establish a new empire, and only the hard hearts and selfish ambition of her ministers finally brought that empire low by the betrayal of her equally dynamic grand-daughter, Dido, the reputed founder of the Sceptic/Haacobin dynasty. Thus, this is why the aristocracy are so keen to align themselves with such a vaunted bloodline.

How do I speak about the Derelands, Simon? I want to spout on and on, but also want to save it all for actual stories. Can I ask you what ideas you might have about it?

Time to log, cheers to you all.

*My word, I am full of questions today...

Friday, August 24, 2012

John Cleese on Creativity

I have just watched this vid on John Cleese speaking on creativity, it is a bit old now (1991 I believe) but I have only discovered it myself - infact, it was sent to me by my very creative cousin, Josh Lock: electronic music of all kinds and photographer with a true eye.

Very helpful to hear creativity described in such a cogent way; I hope it helps me write on.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A link out of the silence...

Hello everyone, your friendly neighbourhood imposter-author here.
(ref: previous post - thank you to everyone who commented, I do read your comments, laugh, smirk, nod my head with paternal sagacity at them all.)

Just a quick post to point you all to an excellent article over at Lobster & Canary where fellow author, Daniel A. Rabuzzi, waxes wise upon Mister Mervyn Peake and a more southern fantastical tradition. I am finding it very helpful (I speak in present tense for its help is still with me) in remembering that with all my Tolkienesque desire to make the Half-Continent firm (hello explicariums!!!), it was always intended to be also grotesque, a place where caricature is its normal - I had forgotten this. So Thank you Mister Rabuzzi, for reminding me of my first love, as it were.

(You might notice that this humble imposter is also mentioned in the article, which is in truth not why I recommend it to you, but because it is a subject so close to my heart: for Peake is the reason we even have the Half-Continent at all, that we are even communing, you and I)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Time to confess: it seems I am not the author of MBT after all...

Well, it appears that I am not the writer of the Monster-Blood Tattoo / The Foundling's Tale series after all.

Apparently - if you can credit it - it was THIS person!

It seems I have been tricking you all along - either that or I look remarkably like Michaela Conlin of the TV show Bones.

Maybe this is why I do not post upon this blog as often as would be good to do!

*Just for the record: I AM the author of Monster-Blood Tattoo / The Foundling's Tale series, what this other person is on about eludes me entirely - some form of online role-play perhaps? Anyone else got any idea?

Also, thankyou to all of you gave an opinion about the two word choices for rams: I will be using both: Achmë  for an over-gunned frigate, Lyonne (I agree that this is a better spelling) for an older standard gunned frigate... though Scion also is a rather good name... Hmmm...

I do not mind at all of the Looney Tunes association of Ach one bit - that is part of the fun of the whole process: taking s well used/context specific word and giving it a new handle to hook on to. Think on it: I gave a major character the name of an entire continent and managed to get away with that :D

Friday, April 20, 2012

Ok, quick poll...

Ok, quick poll: which sounds like the stronger vessel?




Cheers very much for your thoughts :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Well, how are the dice making projects coming along?

Well, how are the dice making projects coming along? Better than my blogging frequency, I hope :)

Once again it is well overdue for me to post.

Exciting news (I hope) is that I am working on two books at the moment: one an edit/rewrite of The Corsers' Hinge to (again, I hope) be released as a stand alone novella, complete with maps, illustrations, a brief explicarium and other appendical (not a real word) matter. Do people want to see this? If it happens it is more likely to come out first.

The second is a proper novel that the more I work on it, the more I feel might stretch out into the usual fat, multi-volume "epic" (for want of a better word) I found myself stumbling into with MBT. It will not (as I might have said before... or was that just in a dream...?) be about Rossamünd and Europe this time around, but I hope you are going to really like the new fellow in the spot light (as it were) - he really takes up where dear little Rosey left off.

This is all what I would like but it is yet to be accepted/approved/green lit/let come into exiatence so prayers/good wishes/positive quantum flow all appreciated.

This does not mean I have abandoned the Branden Rose or her little man, just that I am trying out the Half-Continent from a different point of view. This is actually a significant element of the overall thesis of the Half-Continent: that it came well before I had any concept of specific characters and contains stories from many different points of view yet they are all interconnected - not so much sequel spin-offs but distinct folk who overlap in what I hope are conceivably realistic ways. For example, the protagonist for this new tale plays a very tiny role in Factotum, just as a teaser.

As for Duchess-in-Waiting of Naimes and Rosey-me-lad, well, Lord willing we shall see where they are at again in the future.

And in answer to you request, Master Come Lately, here be a map showing the rough political boundaries of the Sundergird. Such things are necessarily vague in a land without satellite imaging/modern political wrangling and all such modern/our-world stuff that makes out own maps so punctiliously delineated. I hope you like, and more importantly it helps you-all over there at the Forum.

The tabs, Madam Blackwood, are those Post-It [TM] tabs you buy at your local stationer, and I have used different colours depending which book I writing (yellow-green = Foundling, pink = Lamplighter, sky blue = Factotum, dark blue = navy/newest stories... its getting vague, be good to clarify to myself once more) marking a large number of my notebooks in this way at all the pertinent entries for each story as I find them: I sit on my couch and trawl a notebook for anything I might need to know for that current tale, typically scribbling on the tab what the entry it flags is about.

Ahh, Master Alyosha, as always you make my day(s): Pococo is actually Italian for "freckles" - I use Italian/Spanish for localised colloquialism of Tutin which one can especially encounter in such areas like western Seat, Tuscanin and across to Catalain.

Hello, hello Troubadour! Wonderful to hear about you project - apologies for the lack of a more full depiction of troubardiers. Perhaps Appendix 2 of Factotum gives some idea, just add the sash as shown in Appendix 3 Factotum around the back. And now I am going to be a drag/punctilious pain-in-the-rear and offer that the proper spelling is troubardier - the concept being that they are soldiers (the "~ier" bit) who wear proofing/armour (the "~bard~" bit) that is fully protecting (the "trou~" or "true" bit) *please don't punch me* Will you be showing us you wondrous work when it is done? Can it be seen in its incomplete state at all? If need more keep asking.

An art book, huh, Emily Odenwald? Well, I reckon this will be worth doing once I have a bit more "art" under me belt. MBT is just one story and I hope I have a few more in me to tell on the Half-Continent yet, a body of work from which a selection of "art" (appendices, illustrations, maps etc) would be selected. As for manga/graphic novel - sweet! If I was to do such a thing, to stave off boredom I think I would tell an entirely new story.

And yes, dear dear Portals old blog-friend, until the conquest by the Tutelarchs and then re-conquest by their descendants/heirs the Tutins, the Soutlands were a collection of independent city-states warring and combining as political need moved. The Germanic names shows the influence of crossing cultures, of Gottish people coming over the Pontus Canis to dwell in the Soutlands.

Well, a long blog makes up for a long pause.

I hope you are all well.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

So long since signs of life were present, but yes, it lives again!

I herald my long long long overdue blogging return with an apology for my absence - words have just looked foul and ugly to me for an extended period, but they are indeed gaining their shine again.

I know that there is some RULE for blogging out there that states that it is dead after a set period of silence.


... if I listened to rules I would never had made the Half-Continent in the first place. I see this blog as an on-going conversation, a friendship that must sometimes go silent as life intervenes, yet the relationship is not over, it is simply waiting there for the conversation to begin again when it it possible once more.

So here I am, and I hope (and pray) that entries will be resume with a little more regularity.

Thank you to BB, Alyosha, Differlot, Anna, Camilla, Carlita, Sean, RJA, Ali, Tradgardmastare and all of you for your patience and encouragement and your musings and questions.

For my first actual post I would like to show you all a leaf from notebook 32, drawing especial attention to the entry on the bottom of the right hand pane:

This, dear fellow Sundergirdians, is what a lot looks like (a lot being the Half-Continent's version dice) - a hexagonal 'tube', painted black, marked in white and actually having eight possible outcomes. The longer notation to the right of the drawing says:

"...landing on it ends is possible with a vigorous toss and is either fortunate or ill-favoured depending on the circumstance or culture."

The image shows the "7-end", with the "8-end" being all red but without a number or any other marking. It was such as these that Rossamünd saw being thrown at the Broken Doll.

I reckon it might be a cool little project to get a brace o' these puppies made... *puts on to-do list*

Now to ponder your musings and muse answers of my own...