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Well, it is done. MEDUSA is Published. I've ordered the stock for Orycon.

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MEDUSA nears completion. I can see my schedule: to be finished and with copies in hand for Orycon, I must upload a ‘final’ version of the first edition by Halloween. Then I’ll have to order stock by the Next Day, to be sure of delivery in time for the Con.

I’ll do that, by hook or crook. I will subdue this monster, and if I need a second edition to correct typos, well, so be it.

I must also get all four novels available as Ebooks.

I’d like to make a pair of boots, too. We’ll see. Plus crochet more bags, right, since I’m selling them at the Con, too.

MEDUSA is the most important thing, though. Whatever else gets done is gravy.

Gotta go. See ya.
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I got just over a thousand words into the book today; I also slotted some more events into the ‘outline’. The scare quotes are because I am not really allowed to create a firm outline. For me, that just leads to whole chapters of stuff that is not organically connected to the whole. Chapters that have to be deleted, or at least moved to another document, where they can serve as examples. OR where I can mine them for clever turns of phrase.

I also continued the revision of MEDUSA. For an hour or so I fiddled with the phrasing here and there, or deleted redundancies. I think the final real change will come when I really get into Eleni’s mind and emotions during a crucial stretch near the end: a fight here, a battle there, and then the duel with Dragutin. That’s kind of the point of the book, emotionally; I need to spend a couple days digging that up and dissecting it. That’s gonna be hard. Might have to lock the studio door for a day.

Oh well. Gotta go. See ya.
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There are times when I really enjoy writing.

I like it when the characters speak directly to me, tell me how they feel, and the writing flows smoothly onto the page.

I like it when I get it: when I understand exactly how Selos is going to react to Saltos, and how he is going to scorn Saltos, and why he’d accept Saltos’ apology, and what kind of advice he’d then give, and why. I like that. It’s cool. I got 1200 words, a single incident, and I think it’s just right.

So, even though the interwebs are full of stupid today, and the police and their apologists are going steadily insane, and Wall Street is looting the savings of anyone who has a Mutual Fund or an IRA and the early members of the Emerging Global Ruling Class are rubbing their hands together and snickering about how much imaginary profit they are gonna make on slaughtering and starving six billion people over the next thirty years…

Today was (for me) a Good Day.

And a Good Day to all of you as well! (No irony intended. Despite the above, I wish you each a Good day, and tomorrow as well.)

Gotta go.

See ya.
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Ah, the Writing Life. At least I’m not dependent on book sales to stay alive; I’d be sleeping in a car and eating out of dumpsters.

MEDUSA is moving along at a crawl, but she’s moving. So many things have interrupted my “Flow”(sarcasm alert) of late, that I have been in the ‘one sentence here, a paragraph there’ mode for a couple weeks. BUT keep that up for a while and in the end you have something.

And since the book itself is done, so to speak, and I’m writing an interweave chapter to tie up some loose ends, I guess I’m not actually in a big hurry. At this point I want it to be good, and I want it to be ready by Orycon, and there is no good reason that I can’t just mosey the thing along and make it happen. It’s a very different feeling from the run-up to publication of SALTARAE.

I will be at Sam Bond’s Garage tonight, and as usual I will have my bad attitude, snarky sense of humor, and copies of all my writings.

To the NSA: Nothing new this week, so you can concentrate on militias and such. Edward Snowden, the drinks are on me if you can make the scene.
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I am working (once again) on “MEDUSA: a Tale Of Vengeance”.

Possibly, I should have taken a longer break after the nightmare of format-foo that SALTARAE turned into at the end. But, I found myself with the energy so I re-wrote parts of the Prologue, and a bit near the end…and wrote the actual ending of the story, to my satisfaction.

Okay, some background: I started this book shortly after publishing my first novel (LEONTARI: a Polemic Romance) in early August of 2010. I thought it was Book Two of my Alternate History series set in the 13th Century of the Christian Hypothesis.

AS it turned out, I was wrong. One of the major characters in MEDUSA is a 15-year-old named Selos, son of Xenos and Marisi. About halfway through the book I began to wonder: “Given that he survived the sack of his hometown when he was eight and he’s the son of two high-achievers, and that ‘kids’ in the Commonwealth are way mature by our standards due to their superior upbringing…even given all of that, this guy is a badass. How’d he get that way?”

One day I wrote an outline. Then I was working on “VIASMAE: an Intrigue” which is ACTUALLY Book Two in that series. For a while I worked on both books, but that got harder and harder to do, and I put MEDUSA ‘on the back burner and finished VIASMAE. That book I published in early 2013, final edition in May of that year. Whew.

I went back to work on MEDUSA, and by January of 2014 I was feeling pretty good about it: maybe 90% finished.

HOWever: Shortly after the second book went live, Chris Watts asked an innocent question: “What would people from that Timeline be like in a time parallel to ours?” It implied a question about what would such a culture be like after 800+ years without Church or State. How much faster would they have advanced technologically? (A lot faster, as it turned out.)

So thoughts about that were swirling around in my brain when Erika Milo said something about how hard it would be to write a description of the Oregon Country Fair, especially at night, that wouldn’t seem utterly unbelievable. Then I remembered talking to Marleda Jones about how if aliens or time travelers *were* using the Fair as a crossing point, no one would ever notice. Which meant that all that mixed together in the salad spinner of my mind, and out popped the idea for SALTARAE: an Adventure Across Timelines.

It turned out that I had to write that (and serialize it) and then publish it, before I could finish MEDUSA.

NOW, however, I AM gonna finish it, and before I write even ONE WORD of the Sequel to SALTARAE!

So there.

Now I’m gonna post this, and then go to Sam Bond’s Garage for some booze. I hope to see you all there: every damn one of you!

Gotta go. See ya!
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Here’s the skinny from Norwescon, as I saw it. First, I sold only one book, and that to a close friend, who gives them to his friends to read. That’s great, but it doesn’t feed the cats. I did also negotiate a swap with GRSmith: He’s reading VIASMAE, I’m reading his Shakespearean play (To Each Their Own). We’ll swap reviews.

OTOH, the panels I was on were all great, and I think I contributed significantly. As it turned out, I got ‘traded’ from the one History panel I was on in order to fill in for a cancelled moderator. The panel I was traded to was called ‘Get Your Fight On’; Leith and I advised various writers who were looking for help with writing fight scenes. It went well, don’t get me wrong: 1,2, 3, 4, I think five people approached me at random times to compliment me on my knowledge and presentation, so that’s good.

BUT it meant that all six panels I was on were combat-related. Note: Slow-work is more tiring than the real thing, let me tell you.

I need to spend more time in the Green Room, and have more conversations with my fellow panelists. Those that I achieved at this latest con were often enlightening. And OTOH, the Green Room is not a good place to sell: too many of the other panelists have stuff they are pushing, and the GR seems to be neutral ground.

Which means I also need more time out of the GR, where I can interact with possible buyers…There were a small # of tables in the hall outside the Dealer’s Room, where people were selling their self-published novels and comics. If I could jury in to that, I would solve several problems at once.

[An aside: Marian and I are pretty much set to rent a table at next year’s Orycon, so that will help at that con. We’ll sell my books and crocheting, her art pieces and so on. We can spell each other while I’m on panels or reading or whatever, and she is hunter-gatherer-ing, or attending panels. Plus, we have a bookshop owner friend we are gonna try to set up next to, for emergency overlook.]

Back to Norwescon 2014: I heard Steven Barnes read. He told a horrifying but funny martial arts story, as well as reading from his latest work-in-progress. I heard Sonia Orin Lyris read from a recently sold novel. I enjoyed both of those readings; I may try to hit more of those at future cons. I tried to get in to hear Phil Foglio, but that was a hopeless quest.

My own reading went OK. I mean, it was set for 11:30 PM, I was the final reader of the night; and two people stayed and listened. I was mentally prepared for no one: Late at night, unknown author, blah, blah. However: I do believe I moved them. At any rate they didn’t flee in disgust or terror.

AND: I heard Michael Moorcock tell stories of the beginnings of his career, (he is quite funny, actually) and Marian actually handed him copies of my books. Who knows what might come of that…most likely nothing, but, well, you never know. I also got to hear Mr. Moorcock talk about the cover art from a bunch of Elric novels and calendars and such. Illuminating, that was, and very amusing.

SO: I had a good time. My Status in the con community is slowly rising. They seem to welcome my odd pile of hard-won knowledge, and that gives me a chance to disseminate some of it. That feels good, indeed it does.

Gotta go. See ya.
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In the last few days, since Thursday I think, I wrote something like 16,000 words. Chapter Twelve is in the hands of the beta reader, Thirteen and Fourteen are each above 6,000 words, and best of all, I've outlined the book through Chapter Twenty and the end of the first story arc. I may reasonably hope to be ready to post the last nine chapters more or less on schedule. I may reasonably hope to be able to turn my attention back to MEDUSA: A Tale of Vengeance, perhaps by new year's day or shortly after. I might possibly have two volumes of SALTARAE: an Adventure Across Timelines ready to publish by the Country Fair, one volume for certain.


Gotta go.

See ya.
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Today I got back to writing. Only 815 words, according to Word, but it completed a chapter and advanced the leading edge to the end of the next chapter. It is sitting at page 236 now. I am not sure how much more I will have to write in order to properly tell this story, nor how much I will have to cut, or be able to cut. It’s a lot of work, and takes a lot of words, to follow an entire poly household closely, with attention to their emotional lives. Not to mention some pretty momentous events.
One trick is balancing stuff. So, for instance, I find strategy and tactics fascinating, but I realize there are people who skip right over the ‘standing around the map discussing the next battle’ scenes. But sometimes there are things happening there that bear on the emotions of the lead characters, or show forth their inner thoughts.
BTW, thanks to the Great Avery, I now have a new machine to write on: a G5, apparently from 2009. I know, that’s so last decade... but it was free, and is a huge step up from this Pismo. I think I’m going to like it... (The G5 came without a wireless card, so until that is installed the online world is still accessible only via Pismo.)
Anyway, for that small but rabid group who have read LEONTARI and VIASMAE and are eagerly awaiting the next chapter, there is hope. MEDUSA is shaping up to be a doorstop, an epic, a saga! OK, a long book anyway. Sto Kalo.
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From the middle of the book, from the middle of a chapter: simultaneous events, Athens and in the mountains. The result of meditations on Vengeance, the subtext of this novel.

Dori and Thenisi awoke, hearing the First Bell. Thenisi rose, beginning to dress. Dori smiled at her slim young form, watched in admiration as she slipped into her newest outfit. Natural linen trousers and a tunic of the same, its skirt reaching to below the knee: a Kopeli of the Red Warrior Skolo, an Archari, the entry-level rank. Thenisi strapped on the belt with its short wooden sword and buckler attached.

“I am so happy that you’ve found a place here in Athens, Thenisi my love.” Dori stretched, then rolled up a little, clutching her belly: “Oooh, that was a squeeze! Now she’s kicking away!”

“Do you think you’re dilating yet?”

“I don’t think so. It feels to me like a tenday away, maybe? That’s my intuition; I’ve never done this before, eh?”

Both young women had been talking to the midwives at the Temple of Asklepius, going over the mechanics of the coming birth. The Mamisiae also spoke to them, oh so amusedly, of the rising tide of emotion they were both feeling. It was a complicating factor; knowing that it was normal, that was a comfort.

Thenisi was in awe of one of the Mamisiae, Magistri Photinisi. That one had looked them over, asked a few questions, then inquired about ‘their man’. She seemed to know everything: that they two were Twines-to-be; that they were leaning toward Trining with a man; that Selos was not the baby’s bio-father; just everything. Had she heard gossip, or was she just that good at her job? Anyway, however she gained her knowledge, she was a very good source of advice and comfort to them. “Send for me,” Photinisi said, “at any time, if there is any problem with the birth. I don’t anticipate any such. You are well cared for now, clearly.” When they mentioned Villa Estelli, Photinisi laughed: “Well, there are mothers there who can aid you in any ordinary difficulties. I repeat, don’t hesitate to call for me...” That was a further comfort to them.

Thenisi said: “Well, I have to eat now, so breakfast settles before my lesson. I nearly puked the last time, working out like that on a full belly.”

“Well, help me up, then. I’ll dress and then we’ll eat.”

Once on her feet, Dori slipped into a loose robe of maroon linen-woolen. She sat down and let Thenisi slide matching socks onto her feet, and then buckle up her ankle-high boots. Dori’s maroon socks were for History Guild, where she’d been accepted as an Apprentice.

“Oof!” said Dori. “I’ll be glad to be done with carrying this girl, if only so I can put my own shoes on again. I don’t know how I’d have managed if I hadn’t got back to the Commonwealth. My late owner would not have served me so, may he rot.” She smiled down at Thenisi, still kneeling at her feet.

Thenisi was tearing up, a little: “I don’t mind. I love you. I’ll put your hose on, or take them off, or rub your feet, or...”

“I know. And maybe someday I will do the same for you. My love.”

“My life.” Thenisi was smiling now. Dori rocked back and forth a couple times and then stood up, hands across her belly. Thenisi took her arm and steadied her, then they went out their door and towards the kitchen.

“I miss Selos,” said Thenisi. “Breakfast is not the same with him out charging around the countryside raising alarms.”

“I know. Breakfast, dinner, and evenings in the garden. But the alarms need raising, I think.”

Thenisi nodded: “Someone had to do it. He thought of it first, so he did it.”

“It’s so strange, isn’t it?” Dori was smiling: “We were slaves, always at the command of masters or overseers. They really didn’t want us to think for ourselves, or just do what needed doing. Now we are back here, in our own country, and that is exactly how most things get done. Every time, it’s someone different leading the way.”

“I like it this way. This is how it ought to be.” Thenisi was smiling, too, but there was an edge to her grin, like a sword half-drawn: “The sword, the spear, the sling and the saddle, those are the tools that will keep our daughter free.”

Dori nodded, smiling. She was putting food on their plates, choosing carefully. There was not as much food on the board as usual, or around the City. Many Farmers had taken their bows and gone with the Muster, and many Laborers had gone as well. It was harder to get fresh food, but Katrini made sure Dori had fresh greens or pickled cabbage every day.

And for all that, every meal looked like a feast to Dori. Thenisi had been enslaved in the fields, and getting enough to eat had been as easy as hand-to-mouth. Dori’s masters had punished her for eating anything but the leavings of others.

She shook her head hard, which made her breasts bounce, paining her. She held back her tears, forced a smile; she looked at Thenisi and then the smile was unforced.

Thenisi took the plates from her, bore them to the table. Dori stood still a moment, watching her, her mood now flipped to great happiness.

“Come and eat sweetheart,” said Thenisi, and then she saw Dori’s happy smile: “Say it!” she said.


“Whatever it is that you are thinking! Say it!”

“I was thinking, suddenly, that we have earned this good fortune we are enjoying. We both had our share of bad luck, didn’t we? It should be good times for us, now.”

Thenisi went to her then, and they embraced for a long moment.

Danni and Marisi entered the kitchen then, and they all sat to the table. Danni was with child and showing it; Marisi was glowing with happiness, her speech less halting and her attention focused. Dori suddenly realized that Selos had a sibling, a full sibling, on the way.

That made her happier yet, clear through. ‘Mood swings’ she thought: ‘and I’ll enjoy every minute now, up or down.”

As the sun passed its zenith and afternoon began, Selos thought of taking a rest. Mako was slowing a little; the horse would be none the worse for a midday break, either. He rode around a tight bend in the road and came upon an Inn. ‘I shouldn’t be surprised, and it’s not a coincidence.’ He rode on down to the Innyard, and hailed the inhabitants. A boy of eight or so came to the door, looked back over his shoulder and then nodded. He took Mako’s bridle as Selos dismounted, but did not immediately lead the horse to the paddock. He watched as Selos entered the Inn, then at last drew on the rein and took Mako away.

Selos walked right up to the bar, every fiber of his body screaming ‘Danger!’. He had no idea what was going on, but something was. He’d seen it in the boy’s demeanor: in his hesitations, in his expressions. There was no one behind the bar; he went round in back of it and drew a mug of ale. Then he went to sit in a corner, where he could see the whole room.

The Innkeeper came out from the kitchen, bringing soup and bread. Nothing odd about that, except it was usual for an Innkeeper’s Twine to cook, and the man to hold down the bar. Still, it wasn’t unheard of for the roles to be swapped. Unusual for the bar to be unstaffed, though. He breathed deeply, relaxing. He reached over to his right and flipped the latch on the shutter, opened the window. ‘Now I have a bug-out route,’ he thought.

The Innkeeper set the platter down in front of him, saying: “Here you are, sir.” Then he made the handsigns for “extreme distress” followed by “danger”. He shielded this communication from the bar and the entrance to the kitchen, using his rather rotund form as a screen.

Selos saw a furtive movement in the open archway of the kitchen door. He nodded just the slightest bit, then tasted the soup and considered his options. He surreptitiously loosened his sword in it’s sheath, and as the Innkeeper moseyed towards the bar, blocking any view from the kitchen entrance, he scooted over, stood, and vaulted out of the open window.

“No time to lose,’ he thought, sprinting around the side of the building. There was a window here, one shutter partly open, inwards. He drew his sword, pushed with his left hand: it creaked a little as it opened.

He saw three little girls, the eldest perhaps eight years old. They were bound and gagged and blindfolded, laid in a row on the floor of a narrow hallway. They were breathing, thank Hestia. He climbed through the window, as silently as he could, and began to reconnoiter. He felt an increasing sense of urgency, fearing for the Innkeeper and any of his family that were still by his side. He heard a whispered conversation from around the next corner of the hall

He lay prone upon the floor, peered around the doorpost. There was the Innkeeper, hands above his head, menaced by a man with a sword. A woman, surely his Twine, trembled in the arms of another man, who held her helpless with a knife at her throat. A third man was peering out of the door at the Commons, whispering:

“The fellow has left,” he said: in Italian! Selos growled, deep in his throat, suppressed any other reaction. The man at the door continued: “Perhaps he is moving on.”

“Don’t be an ass,” said the man with the sword. He switched to Koine, addressing the Innkeeper: “Where has he gone? Where did you send him?”

“I know nothing of his movements, you saw, I gave him his food as you commanded, then came back here. I am obeying you!”

“Shhh! I want you to find him, go and find him, send him away if you can. Your wife’s life is forfeit if you don’t return promptly.” He lowered his sword and gestured to the Innkeeper, who took a step towards the door.

While this was going on, Selos was calculating. The man with the sword held it carelessly, moved it clumsily. It seemed like a longsword of Hellenic make, so probably he’d taken it from the Innkeeper or some other Hellene. All three men were dressed more like common Venetian street thugs than like noblemen; he figured he could take them. His chief worry was the woman: if the man holding her was desperate enough, she might die as soon as he appeared in their sight. ‘Gonna have to be fast, and quick,’ he thought. ‘Swordsman first, doorman second, no mercy. Knife man last, take him alive if I can.’

He scooted back, stood up, rolled his shoulders and then went through the door and into the kitchen. The man with the sword barely reacted before Selos ran him through. He fell to the floor with a shriek, writhing in pain. Selos drew his knife and threw it at the man who was holding the Innkeeper’s Twine. He flinched and the woman bit his forearm, pushed the knife away from her and twisted loose. Selos didn’t see that, because he was hacking at the man in the doorway. He slashed at the man’s arms, as the fool tried vainly to protect himself. The Innkeeper suddenly appeared behind the thug and smacked him in the back of the head with a cudgel. The villain’s eyes rolled back, his arms went limp: Selos finished him with an expertly placed cut. Blood gouted from the man’s throat, and Selos leapt back to keep it off his boots. The swordsman was still making noise, squealing and weeping, his blood pooling under his belly.

He turned then, glared at the knifeman: “Drop the knife, scum,” said Selos, in Italian: “or you will die very much more slowly than you might have.”

It was Knifeman who was trembling, now; the weapon in his hand was shaking visibly. His mouth worked, he looked from one to the other of them: the Innkeeper, who had the cudgel in one hand and the other sword in his right; Selos, his sword dripping blood on the floor; and his erstwhile prisoner, who had siezed a cleaver from the rack above the prep table, and looked most deadly of the three.

Finally, Knifeman decided: “Fuck yourself with your own sword, Hellene. I know your law.” He ran straight at Selos, screaming incoherently. Selos cut, the Innkeeper thrust, his Twine hacked. The man went to the ground, dead before he hit the floor.

Selos spun on his heel, knelt beside the last man’s head. He grabbed the reprobate’s hair, twisted his head around until he looked Selos in the eye.

“Who are you?” Selos growled, in Italian: “Why are you here, in the mountains, half a day from any port?”

The man laughed, weakly: “No good, Hellene. You are too good with that sword, and I am going away fast. There is no pain that will make me speak, in the little time left to me.”

“Well,” said Selos, “in that case I won’t waste my time on you.” He rose, the man’s hair still in his grasp, and dragged him across the floor towards the back door of the kitchen. He screamed and slapped feebly at Selos’ hand and arm. Selos kicked the door open and dragged the offal out into the paddock. He went over to Mako, stroked his nose, whispered to him. Then he mounted and turned the stallion toward the man.

Blood was leaking form his nose now. He saw what Selos was doing, and his eyes grew wide. He ceased to writhe, and shook his head, mouthing the word ‘No’ in Italian.

Selos waited long enough for the full horror to sink in on the Italian. Then he urged Mako forward.

The family, reunited and in one another’s arms, watched from the doorway. The father, impassive. The woman was narrow-eyed and grim. Her son had tears on his face but still witnessed. The two littler girls hid their faces; the oldest one watched, then made a very rude handsign, consigning the man to the realm of Hades.
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So, another (preposterously) productive day slaving over a hot keyboard. Just short of 5000 words, according to the word of Word. More important, MEDUSA’s leading edge is now at page 204....SALTARAE is less than 60 pages total, so I wouldn’t say it has a leading edge. The other cool thing about this is, that the split was about even between the two projects: about 2500 into each, which is 5.3 pages into Medusa and 6 pages into Saltarae. I HAVE NO IDEA why this is going so well right now, and I refuse to analyze the whys and wherefores. It’s workin’, I ain’t gonna fix it.
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I don't think I want to go too deeply into it, yet, but this has been one of the most productive weeks in my relatively short writing 'career'. In three days I got more than 15 pages drafted. More important, plots advanced on both projects, and significant insights into the characters. This is good.
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It occurred to me that it's been a while since I posted any fiction here. Here is a bit from Book Three. Some of this may have appeared somewhere in a more ragged and unfinished form. Here is an edited draft of the end of a chapter, Thenisi confronts Selos, and is charmed despite herself.
Read more )
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For the last couple of weeks the writing has been proceeding slowly, a hundred or two hundred words at a time, sometimes just research or revisions of written chapters. All necessary stuff, but plodding.

Today after tea with Marian I went to St Vinnies. I saw a customer there, she asked about the writing. I said what I said above, noting that the 3,000 word chapter had not been happening lately. “Might be coming soon, though,” I said. I was bluffing. I didn’t think anything was ready to write yet.

I had a couple paragraphs written about Nikkisi and her new Status as a provisional adult...started poking at them. Kablooey. Next time I looked up it was dark and I needed a run to the loo. 4,006 words, says Word.

It is decidedly not ready for anyone to see, except maybe Marian and Erika. Not the usual method I use, where I write the chapter in my mind and revise it for a week, then write it down and move on. This Chapter needs some work yet, but it is in the Book, now, and emphatically.
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It occurred to me as I was contemplating the story arc in MEDUSA that due to circumstances beyond either one’s control, Nikkisi and Thenisi each ~12 years of age, are going to be living in the same house. It’s a big house, so they don’t have to conflict over territory, and they have experiences in common (both having been victims of the previous Incursion). Regardless of the more ‘important’ events occurring around them, and the complexities of the rest of the story, they must interact. Nikkisi’s personality and character are fairly clear to me, and I have an inkling how she is gonna react. Thenisi is less clear to me.
At any rate, I already see two chapters that must be slightly revised in order to get those two nose to nose. This could get ‘interesting’.
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Today, I have been writing again. Seems to be time for it. Subtracting the non-narrative parts from the 293 pages of text leaves 265 pages written. Some of those pages are mere notes, a sentence or two to denote the contents of a chapter. Still it’s fair to say there are at least 245 pages of actual text written. Of that, the ‘leading edge’ of the written narrative is at the exact bottom of page 163. Looking at the chapters outlined but not written, I see at least 75 more pages to write, not including a badly overdue chapter with the title “A Day in the Life of Magistri Estelli”. That one must appear in this book. That creates a novel of 360 pages of narrative, with 28+ pages of Appendices and tables. Nothing else important had better happen before the end of the Incursion. Just sayin’.
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Today I worked on ‘Medusa’. No new stuff, but I (somewhat successfully) melded two chapters into one. Two conversations, on the same topics, shuffled together: all the points made, all the exposition retained, all the explication of character kept in. And I think it has a better feel for how deeply angry Eleni is about the Serbian violation(s) of the Truce. I would like to reach deeper into her soul on that score. Perhaps in the next revision of this chapter, I can find the words she was saying, words that have eluded me as yet. What would she say? What would she do?
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Well, it’s that time of year. It’s been too frozen out to do any work this week, so I’ve earned no money. I think I can put in some hours tomorrow, and get enough $$ to pay the next bill. So that’s good. On The Other Hand, I wrote a bunch this week: 3800 words, not counting a few bits scattered here and there. That is, in the format I publish in (Trade Paperback) about 9.5 pages. So, +/-4 pages went directly into MEDUSA, which is Book Three in my ‘First Century of the Commonwealth’ series. (That’s the Thirteenth Century of the Christian Hypothesis.)
The big question percolating in my mind right now is: since ‘Medusa’ is already 262 pages long, and *must* continue to grow until it’s done, how hard a sell will it be? At 350 or even 400 pages, and at 25 to 30 dollars, who will buy it? Of course, it will be a lot cheaper as a PDF or ePub. Still... presumably anyone who read LEONTARI and VIASMAE will be sucked so deeply into the history of the Commonwealth and the lives of these (I think) compelling people, that they will invest in it and read it. That’s my hope, anyway.
And I don’t really see any way to make the thing shorter. The 2-3 year period that it is coming to cover is chock full (as it turns out) of cool stuff, all of it essential to the tale: Selos’ growing maturity and eventual ‘marriage’, Nikos coming into his full abilities as a military Commander, the liberation of thousands of Hellenic slaves from their bondage in Serbia, (the beginnings of the effects they will have on the Commonwealth), the fate of the Serbian ruling class, the reaction of the Serbian Commons to the dynamic events occurring to and around them...and of course, the main story: Eleni’s reactions, emotional and military, to the Serbian Crown Prince’s mistreatment of her friends.
I can continue to ponder this, of course; but the main thing is to get the first draft written, which always takes longer than it seems like it should. For a book this size, maybe even longer than I think it will. Only then will I be able to see the full arc of the story and take such actions as seem necessary to pound it into shape and then decorate it.

Now the other 5+ pages went into a strange little piece running under the working title of “Mr. Brosius at the Country Fair”. It seems like that is just a chapter title, though, since a bunch of weirder stuff is growing out of that root. Anyway, that is the story of a fictionalized version of me ‘accidentally’ crossing Timelines and apparently answers the 64 terabuck question “Where do you get your ideas?”. Since one of the conceits of the Commonwealth series is that these stories are based on documents retrieved from another Timeline, and translated by Mr. Brosius, it was fair to ask myself how he got them. Then Mr. Chris Watts asked me about the “future history” of the Commonwealth Timeline, and after outlining the little I knew at that moment...away I went.

As I’ve stated previously, this WRITER gig is exceedingly weird at times.


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September 2017



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