Saturday, April 29, 2017

Linen Butterfly Update!


Current goal: finish "The Linen Butterfly" by late August. Three years late from my original goal but I promise it'll be the be worth it!

I'll have the first draft done by my mid-June at this rate, and revisions will be relatively fast. The biggest operation will be merging the two halves which were written with slightly different continuities.

I expect to shed about 10-20% of the total volume of the text because there are some redundant passages and some scenes that no longer work. I'm also going to trim the ending a bit, it runs long. My total word count should still be about 110k.

It will be the longest and most involved story I've ever written in part because it takes place in two different worlds. I hope you all will enjoy a medieval swashbuckler with a hefty dose of cyberpunk!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Worldbuilding: Medieval Currencies

One of the fun things about worldbuilding is figuring out sundry things like how basic exchanges are reckoned!

I thought I had it figured out in "The Goldenlea," but I think I'm revising the old system I had in those books in favor of one that has a bit more basis in history for "The Linen butterfly."

Previously in "The Goldenlea," I had a three-tiered system of coinage.  This was based on the Anglo-French model of the Livre, Sou, and Denier, and on the thought that it was mostly the same as pre-decimal UK coinage.  But that was a mistake.  In fact the Livre (Pound) was not a standard coin in its own right until much later.

In fact the Kings of France tried to standardize a Livre coin in the 13th and 14th centuries and failed because it was over- or undervalued.  The Livre, for most of the medieval period, was a unit of account for large sums but not an actual coin of the realm.  Most transactions were rendered in silver Deniers or the gold Sou, or Solidus.

I revised my Gold Sol/Silver Luna/ Copper Terra system. Instead transactions are rendered mainly in silver Terras and Gold Sola, and an additional unit of account, called a Handweight, has been added.  Of course, larger sums can be rendered in marks for accounting purposes.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Starting Meds

Starting meds tomorrow.  Pretty much the same stuff I was in high school.

My goal is to get my depression/lack of focus under control enough that I can make that final push to get my writing out there.  I feel like lack of productivity is the only thing holding me back at this point in my life.  I've had several years to convalesce and I feel like I've used that time wisely toward my long-term goals.

There's an old anecdote (not sure if it's true or not) that when Abraham Lincoln was once asked how he would spend his time if given three hours to cut down a mighty tree, he replied that he'd spend the first two hours sharpening the saw.

That's kind of how it works when you're a writer.  You have to spend a great deal of time honing your craft, developing a unique style, spinning prose that doesn't bore people to death.  You have to learn how to make the difficult decisions, how to tell a story efficiently without being so ruthlessly efficient that you lose your style, how to follow the rules, and how to break the rules in such a way that people can tell you know what you're doing.

Another important thing I've been doing all these years is trying to figure out what I'm good at.  I think historical fiction is an area where I can distinguish myself because, as a number of people have pointed out, I can write it without being dry.  I discovered that I can write high-caliber mind-bending SF and I want to try other things.  That doesn't mean I won't return to that but I'm not limiting myself either.

So basically, "The Linen Butterfly" will be my last SF novel for the foreseeable future.  That's high in my queue.  Then I'll follow that up with "Wake of the White Ship."

Very few writers make it before 35. I'm 32 and some change.  I can do this.  I just need to overcome that inertia and the lingering effects of a nasty breakdown.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Book Has Arrived!!!

My copy of the Gesta Stephani (the deeds of King Stephen) arrived in good order today. This is a rare English translation published by Oxford Medieval Texts that I will be using to write my first straight historical fiction novel, Wake of the White Ship.

Incidentally, when reading the introductory notes on the text, it noted that it for a long time the only text scholars had access to was a 1619 printing called Historiae Normannorum Scriptores Antiqui. However:
Such being the state of affairs, Duchesne's Scriptores was the inevitable basis for this new edition, and a text made from his had already been long in type, when Providence relented, and produced a manuscript.
MS. 792 in the Municipal Library of Valenciennes, from the nearby Premonstratensian abbey of Vicoigne, a noted centre of learning and a daughter-house of St. Martin of Laon, contains a collection of works relating to English history...
 (emphasis added).

I got chills when I read that because St. Martin of Laon was the abbey I had Godric at in The Vimana Incident. If I didn't know any better, I'd say this is a sign I was meant to write Wake of the White Ship. It's not quite as dramatic as being sucked into one of my own books but it's enough of a coincidence to get my attention.