Archive for November, 2010

It seems like just a few days ago that I gave a long over due update of my successes of the last few months, so what am I doing writing again so soon? Well on last sunday, about 1, I finished the 2010 NaNoWriMo book. Not the 50,000 words, I went past that on Monday the 8th. No, by the 14th I finished which was seven or eight days better than 2009. 93,720 words for You Ought to Trust Your Mother.


Having finished this story so quickly and now at over 1.1M words for the year, 3600+ pages, I have returned to the Conquest story, which is over 57,000 words and nearly half way. A second climatic battle scene is in the offing and at chapter 9. The story is one of intrigue, politics, the success of the man of the hero and how one man can change things. I remember Robert Adams taking using some of the themes of H Beam Piper’s Kalvan of Otherwhen PastedGraphic1.YGKDvQk8PnR9.jpg series in his Horseclans seriesPastedGraphic2.tTxbX2etgehM.jpg. The concept of the middle kingdoms he added as an area that had many petty kingdoms. Albert Nofi put out a game that also had many medieval kingdoms fighting for each other. This concept led to my idea that the shattered remnants of the empire, having not been united for three hundred years, has two cores of power. One in the north and one in the south, with several realms in between. The powers are content to let the small countries grow and shrink as long as they do not get too big. Then they step in with a variety of ways to keep them small. Asimov though showed us in the Foundation series PastedGraphic3.YKUKOMmNg7zH.jpg the one man can make a difference as we have seen in history with The Mule. Thus comes into play our hero.

I had to deconstruct where ideas came from for my last writers discussion and this might be a good exercise for the next writing group. The Brea Borders Writers Group is now a shlep for me as we are in Riverside on our way to Hemet. Probably moved in by the end of January. How does one have an idea and then develop it? Perhaps spending some time with this is important in the journey to a novel because there are writers who just start typing on the blank page. I do that but I have the chapter synopsis written, though it might be one or two sentences. It might develop further by the books later chapters into a bulleted list of the scenes in the chapter with the points I want to remember to get across.

Twenty years ago, I might have started with the first part of the idea. In the case of Conquest it would have been Hero becomes King. Well, now I have a more in depth structure to that, and a road that will take me there. I know several of the steps along the way and the world had been fleshing out for the last five years with the elements I cited above.

A sample of the world map I am using, partially filled in:


Again the opening of a story:

Cold of the Night

Franklin, though all called him Frank, quickly stamped his feet for they were cold. Very cold and he realized he had been standing still so long that the blood had slowed throughout his body. He needed to get the circulation going or he would be no good for anything.

He didn’t mind the cold, well he didn’t mind being in the cold for this mission. He would have preferred that his feet were warm, but someone had to stand out in the cold and wait for the men of Duke Lawrence to attack. Not that it was a sure thing that they would attack this night. Nor the next. What was assured was that they would attack. Lawrence wanted to be a Prince as sure as Count Michael was content about being a count forever. That was what Sir Henry said and he had met the Count many times. The village of Northford was part of Sir Henry’s demesne. It was also one of the closer villages to Duke Lawrence’s land.

The old Duke had died some months before and his nephew had succeeded him. Sir Henry said the old Duke was a kind old soul and could be counted to keep the peace in the inner realms. Peace was what all wanted except the lords. They wanted to fight and they wanted men to fight for them so they could get more land without actually fighting themselves. It had been a lot of years since Count Michael had feared for anything greater than a border skirmish.

Frank rubbed one foot atop the other and then switched the right for left. He couldn’t stamp as loud as he wished for that might make too much noise. The forests here was not filled with a great dense growth, but they were high up the Forbright River’s source. There were tall established trees and new off shoots, ferns at the bases of the biggest, and rock outcroppings everywhere on the hill. The river fully formed some five hundred paces below but here above an old logging camp, were paths that led over the mountain into Duke Lawrence’s domain.

He had been in service just since Duke Lawrence had taken over the Duchy of Lasmark. Count Michael had asked that each of his barons supply five hundred more men and each baron had gone to his knights for the additional men. Sir Henry had come to his father at the glassworks and had gone to others as well.

To his father, Sir Henry had said, “You have four sons, is that not so?”

“Yes, it is true. All good boys. They have never been a problem for me or your worship.”

“True, very true. Why during harvest, your son Frank has earned extra coin helping the farmers near by has he not?”

“Yes sir, he helps them with the figures for your bailiff and as well as carting the heavy bales to the counting stone.” There the farmers goods were parceled out as well as the lords. Sir Henry was entitled to three parts in twenty, and he had to give 1 part in ten to Baron Jason who held the lands from Count Michael. The Count getting a part of all that was grown on all the lands.

“Strong then, and a good head. I here he also holds onto the shield during the war training each year.” During summer from the time a boy was ten till he was too old to stand straight, one night each week the men-at-arms of Sir Henry would try and teach all the men of the Northford to hold a shield and use a spear. Shoot an arrow if they had any skill or their labors followed that path. Those with quick wrists were even shown the sword.

“Aye, he is a good hand there as well. You be needing men for the levy for how long?” Frank’s father was the only glazier in the village and served all of Sir Henry’s lands which had four other small villages as well. He was no fool either, though Frank was not so sure about his brothers. Only two could become glazers for master and journeyman, that was all that wages and coin would support. Frank did not want to spend his life in the workshop making glass till he was an old grandser.

The Gratitude Log

  1. Parents–P1000826.I2lYDUi8FlAy.jpgWithout their help, it would be tough to get by. Having declared bankruptcy we can’t buy a house to live in and of course we have been foreclosed and kicked out of our house. All that equity was just rent that we paid all these years. It is not a savings account as the great american myth has made it out to be. Obama has not helped the common american, that is a myth. He has helped the banks and his interests. There is no difference between democrats and republicans in office except that the democrats shout louder that they are for the people when they allow the interests that pay into their election funds to get as much as the republicans. The biggest contributors to the democrats in 2008 and Obama, was wall street. Who do you think gets payback then? So we little guy homeowners who watched it all bleed away because the money people raped us by making low interest and no interest homes available so that later a big faction could default and take down those who had good jobs supporting a whole other infrastructure fail as well. I could have paid less for Aspen for they would have been at an economic factor lower than they were. Bill Clinton and George Bush and now Obama are far too concerned with be well liked then with doing what needs to be done as a president. The president has to be like Lincoln, tough enough to do things that people hate enough to war over but in the end make a much better country. Let the Representatives talk a game of populist support and let the Senate examine the big picture of our nation and keeping us number one. Leadership is like parenting. Doing the things that sometimes your children do not like

                My folks though are able to help us out now and help us get a house and as soon as we are employed we can start paying them back. Now all we need is for Obama to get off his rump and really create jobs.
2)        HemetPastedGraphic.8Lzbgv6rvhte.jpgA less expensive housing community to wade out the recession. It may be hot, but it is also why our family is in Southern California. My great grandmother, sometime after the war, was at Gilman Hot Springs to relax. She broke something (Back, leg???) and had to go next door to the hospital in Hemet. My mother’s parents came down to fetch her and fell in love with Southern California. They moved her and that got mom here, who met dad eventually. You know genetics, if that leg or back hadn’t broken and Great-grandma (she was called-Lala) had not mended in Hemet, we would never have been here. No David, no writing.

  1. Costco1__%23%24%21%40%25%21%23__PastedGraphic1.BKDewGx3JFwG.jpgso while moving, my glass frames broke. Of course I do not have a prescription, does the optometrist ever give them out, or do they always keep them? Inexpensive Glasses. I checked Lenscrafters, Costco, Sears, and Costco won.
  2. Trader Joes 1__%23%24%21%40%25%21%23__PastedGraphic3.ShBLF5wOfY5c.jpg Chinese Chicken Salad–For years one of my favorite meals, easily dinner once every other week
  3. The Wheel of Time-PastedGraphic4.w0LfeSrGkzjn.jpgStill one of the best fantasy series ever written. Jordan is dead but Sanderson is doing well finishing the last 20% of it. The penultimate book was recently released and now only one more, due next year.

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I set this up to be written back in September, a month after the previous update, but i never posted it. Nor did any writing on it.

I have written since then. A great deal it seems, even if I have said not a lot in my blog about it

Since August 19th, what I have written is:

You Ought to Trust Your Mother (NaNoWriMo 2010) Novel-57240 words currently
The Conquest Story-48,448 Currently
Star Musketeers-82,650 words this year, completed first draft, 105K+ words total
The Succession Crisis-124,830 words completed first draft
Tempest and Sword-108,274 words completed first draft

At my august update I was just past 700K words for the year
I am now at 1,060,000+ words for the year

I spoke at another group and this was a little different then the first book group. Here no one had read my novel, while at the first group all had. I like it better when everyone has read my novel. It means that we have something to talk about in common. When i was put out there as a writer and publishing my book, it seems like I was pandering and standing naked in front of them. Not exactly what I wanted. The End of the World PastedGraphic.szeJmRazR5pk.jpg has reached 92 sales, and I hope for more.

Feedback about the story is good. Still working on the copy editor for The Shattered Mirror. Three of the chapters done. As soon as it is all finished it will be virtually ready for publication

You Ought to Trust Your Mother, YOTTYM-1inch.3OKWkulhsWZ7.jpg the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) effort this year is the story of a girl too pretty for her own ambitions, which she in unsure what they are.

Art and a flamboyant lord all play a part in helping her find her path in life and the man she should wed.

Here is an excerpt:


Lord Fallion finished his breakfast and then, after all he had done that morning, waking and attending to his toilette, dressing, and eating, he looked through the windows that framed the room. He noted that they were wet with rain once more. Three days, and winter was supposed to be finished already. Not that he was annoyed. He had spent some considerable time living where it was wet without a house to keep it from his head some few years before. That Ballateer had a sound roof, he was quite pleased with.
Sound everything. Fallion Lancealot Stafford couldn’t fault his father for the way he had left things to him, but two years since his father died and he had become Baron of Tweeddale, and his idleness was choking him. Idleness caused by indecision, if caused by anything at all.
Pushing his plate away, the servant Franks said, “Coffee in the study, my lord?”
“Drawing room today. And I’ll read the papers there. Have James lay a fire if one isn’t already…”
Franks said, “There is one doing quite nicely my lord.” Of course there would be. Despite his attempts to train the staff to economize, since four of five days he was sure he went to his study after he had dined in the morning, it made sense to ready a fire in that room. But as the whim took Fall, as he thought of himself and wished his friends called him, that he might wish to sit in the drawing room where large portraits of his parents faced his favorite settee, he would change his routine. Such was the case that morning as it had been others and he never failed to find the room ready for him, or the library should he go there.
Fallion had made it known to Bartman the head butler that laying a fire in all three rooms were a waste and he could call for a fire when he planned to use a room or went into one. Bartman had agreed and then did nothing to change the routine of the house. Fires were laid in all the rooms that the servant thought he would use. Thankfully they did not start one in every room of the house. Though Fallion was wealthy and perhaps his money did seem inexhaustible, he was sure it wasn’t. Though his men of accounts said each quarter it did seem to accumulate more of the stuff.
Ensconced in the room that had been a favorite of his late mothers, he sat and took a look at the papers. He did not truly care what was happening in the empire, or who was seen and whom they were with. But lords read the papers after breakfast. His father had read the papers and aloud to his mother. She had lived for two weeks after his father had died, not weeping because the last baron was gone in public, but behind the closed doors of her rooms, Fallion knew she was heartbroken and sobbed for hours. Surely it had affected her health and caused her to pass away so quickly.
That is what distracted him while he looked cursorily at the words of the newsprint, or glanced to the portrait of the late Baroness. If she were there with him now, he smiled at the thought, what would she say. Probably that his father had never idled his life so, though of course his father had, and that he should marry. That is what his sisters would say also, for they had taken such pages from their mothers book. Each married, and if he knew them as well as he thought he did, they would be either arriving or sending their emissaries shortly before lunch.
It was a cycle and well planned out. Sunday he always had to himself unless he chose to ask for company. Otherwise each day of the week, one or the other of his brothers by marriage would come, sometimes both. Or one or the other of his sisters, or both. Or one couple together, or even all four. The last permutation of such visits had them bring their children all in a cluster and let them run rampant. He didn’t truly mind that, for the children were good and respectful of the house.
Saverdale, the man married to his elder sister Jane was in the House of Commons, having the borough of him and might want to discuss politics, but that was a bore. Fallion should not like that, but then he remembered that the Saverdale clan entire had set out to London for the season was starting and the House was back in session shortly.
The Season which meant that Anne would be coming to visit with Lord Drakesmore, the third son of the Duke of Lege who had been given a manor next to Ballateer, fallen in love with Anne and married faster than one could read Chaucer. He would see Anne and Drakesmore daily until he succumbed and ran up to London for the season, it was inevitable, or had been the way they carried on the last two years.

In our personal life, we moved over this time. The first move since we had to leave our house of ten years. It took a lot away from my writing with trips to look at houses, packing and a great many trips to storage.

The Gratitude Log

  1. Youtube–I spend a great deal of time here watching the vids of people playing games that are not on the Macintosh just yet.
  2. NaNoWriMo–This is the challenge that got me focused to write more and publish
  3. U-HaulPastedGraphic1.q0rruX32MFa5.jpg–We gave them a lot of money and business. They are ubiquitous. They were the closest and most available place to rent a vehicle
  4. Apple–Still the best for all my computing needs
  5. Firaxis–The makers of Civilization V 1__%23%24%21%40%25%21%23__PastedGraphic.1sBn7KUtxlB1.jpg. The next iteration of one of the best strategy series for computer gaming.

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