*cough, sniffle etc*

Dealing with the flu has slowed writing down, a lot. When I can, however, I’ve been reading through Abandoned Sentinel, noting what additions need putting in even if I’m not up to the actual writing yet. I just read a scene where a child who had never seen the surface of a planet before, gets to see an aurora. I love skyscapes, and auroras have fascinated me since I was very young and saw one while camping. I’ve since studied them a lot, and it’s kind of nice to know that, no matter what angle you see them; from the bright ribbons when you are close underneath, or the whole sky rainbow effect when you are further away (how I’ve most seen them) or an image taken from the International Space Station way above Earth, even knowing what causes them – auroras are still always magic to me.

Driving at night … in thick fog

Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Added in the extra chapters for Seldi of Legend, and then sat back and read to see if they required me to change anything in the first chapters of Episode Two. Yes, yes they do. I know this for sure. Unfortunately, that I require additions in the first couple of chapters is all I can see – what those additions should be are currently sitting in the darkness, just out of the light range …

world-building maps

Part of the fun of creating an entire new world was doing very bad topographical maps of my landscapes. Fortunately no one else ever has to see these maps, but it helps me to know how far my characters have to travel, and what the terrain is like. And, it’s fun 🙂 However, cartography is not a skill of mine. Actually, visual art in general is not a skill of mine. So my maps are awful.  (I kind of suspect that the people I know who are cartographers would probably ritually sacrifice these maps if they ever got to see them, in order to put them out of their misery.)

So then I saw this video of an interactive topographic map in a sandbox. Kids playing in a sandbox can make amazingly creative, better maps than mine. If I didn’t want to get one for myself, and create my own sandbox maps so much, I’d almost be crushed by that.

a day off?

Today I decided I needed a day off work. No writing, re-reading, or editing. A day of rest. Time to de-stress, and maybe potter around and think a bit about what colours I want to repaint the living area, because the previous owner was inordinately fond of pink walls and ceilings …

This is how I found myself spending hours up a ladder, scraping off truly ugly shiny wallpaper strips. Tomorrow I’ll be writing, I need the rest.

The opposite of flensing

A lot of authors advise new writers to carefully flense their manuscripts. Flense is a verb dealing especially with whaling, it means to slice the skin and fat (blubber) from the carcass of. My editor wanted the opposite of flensing. I added three new chapters to the manuscript. Read the whole thing through tonight, The extra chapters fleshed out the bare bones very nicely. I’ve been listening to Sabrina Lawrie’s music while reading. Tonight I needed something to keep the energy up, and her music certainly does that.


Edits are done, I’ve added three more chapters to Seldi. I was about to send the manuscript back to my publisher, and then looked at the time. Yeah … maybe not. Maybe I should get some sleep, and check for typos in the morning.

pizza cake …

Research is an amazing thing, and google image search is great at helping with descriptions. I put on some old Screaming Trees, and went looking for nutrient dense foods that could be grown from stored seeds, to adapt what is known here, in order to extrapolate what is likely to be on Abstrunde. But half way down the first page of images of seeds and plants I found a picture of a pizza cake. Not entirely sure what brought that up in my search, but I’m taking it as a sign to stop for the night 🙂

mystic spammers?

Today was one of those getting close to Spring days, so morning was spent outside in the garden, followed by coffee and writing this afternoon in the sunshine. I just closed the document down for the day, and came in to write today’s post and saw a heap of comments awaiting moderation. Every single one of them used the word mystic. From ‘mystic office fryers’ presumable for the ultimate wedding as their name had something to do with wedding catering (and you just know there is a story in the idea of mystic office fryers …) – to the high ‘probability that Trotsky was behind the mystic attacks’ … Right. Umm.

But my favourite had to be this one:

‘The ability to read coming from house is actually a need to
possess characteristic for any reliable mystic service.’

So close to making sense, and yet so far. Or; Missed, by that much. 🙂