Monthly Archives: June 2012

Progress is precious

Hey everyone,

I’m still working on the plot on ‘MI’ and I will be for some time to come. his part is actually very research-intensive and it’s painstaking, but this is the part I have to make sure I get right because it will be much more difficult to change things once I get this down and start writing to it.

In the research I’m looking for historical patterns as I follow various European noble families, watching to see which families are aligned together and which are in competition with each other; which families are aligned with the thrones of different kingdoms; where dynasties come together and separate again, and furthermore how these families interact with the Papacy as the power of the Vatican struggles against the Orthodox Church and then the Ottoman Empire, eventually coming to dominate European monarchies for hundreds of years.

There will be a huge payoff if I can get this right, but it’s going to require really drilling down into the history of these families in a period where not a lot is easily accessible. Wish me luck!

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Bright House… How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

………….

Nope. Still at ZERO.

As most of you know, the genre of my primary project is Alternative History. Somewhat speculative, somewhat paranormal, but definitely alternative. To do this right, the better job I do of getting the actual history right, the more genuine and believable the fictional history will be. This takes research. LOTS and LOTS of research. Wikipedia may not be suitable for academic purposes, but for novel research, it’s plenty sufficient, in my opinion.

So, when I lose internet access, it’s a very serious problem. My internet perormance had been steadily declining over the previous couple of weeks, but it happened gradually so I scarcely noticed it. But when I suddenly couldn’t navigate to any websites at all the other night, I was in a bind. It’s hard to plot things according to when a particular king reigned when you can’t look up the years of his reign, and it’s hard to do research on which medieval families were in the same political faction if you can’t use the internet. As I’m at the point of creating the plot, losing my internet access the other night left me dead in the water, and my access has been sporadic ever since.

Bright House is my service provider and the earliest they could get a technician out was today. The guy seemed fairly sharp (surprisingly) and said he had several similar complaints from my area, indicating that there was a problem with their pole equipment or trunk cable. They started a trouble ticket on the issue and they’ll get to that in 24 – 48 hours. Great.

Meanwhile, if my posts or replies seem a bit slow, that’s why. Thanks for listening to me gripe. I’m not usually such a downer, but even Pooh had a down day once in a while.

Update on the writing – and an apology

Hello, everyone!

Just want to drop a line to let everyone know what I’ve been up to. I’m sure a lot of you are a bit fed up with this, but seriously… writing one’s first novel is a LOT like making sausage. The end product may be yummy, but you really don’t want to know how it’s made. I’m revising Mortality Interrupted again, but for those who are well-attached to what I’ve already written, don’t worry. I’m planning on keeping all of that. I’m just trying to expand the plot a bit and have more things going on in the story.

I’m also going to do my best to try to attach the events in the novel to actual historical events that are contemporary to 15th century Hungary. There were real people doing stuff then (I know, Duhhh *lol*) and wouldn’t it make the fiction in my novel seem more real if those things happen in the background of the novel; or even better, if the events of the novel are influenced by the real history; or better still, if history were influenced by the events in the novel? A tough trick when you’re going back 600 years yes, but it’s got to be worth it.

Also, I’ve been encouraged to get a little more personal with my blog and it’s good advice. I’m going to do my best to add a little something here every day. And here’s the start of it.

First off, I have something I have to admit and get off my chest. Basically, I’ve been pretty selfish. I’ve read some wonderful advice from other writers, writers whose advice has really helped me to be a better writer. A writer who still has a ton to learn, certainly,but better. But instead of passing these gifts along to others or sharing the things that I, myself, have figured out along the way, my blog has been pretty silent unless I’ve had an opportunity to toot my own horn about something. Sometimes it was a new chapter, or some new site content, but whatever it was it has always been about some new thing I’ve done that I’ve basically been posting, if I really get serious with the self-honesty and introspection, to prompt people to tell me how cool the new thing I’ve done is. Kinda pathetic, really. So, I’d like to express to each of you a very sincere apology for being such a self-centered prick, and I’m going to try to use the blog now to do better by all of you, particularly those of you who’ve done so well by me and gotten nothing back from me for it.

Two of my fellow blogging writers deserve special mention here, and that’s J. Keller Ford and Jennifer M. Eaton. Both of them have been incredibly helpful to me with their blogs and their personal encouragement, not to mention direct assistance from time to time.  Without their help I wouldn’t have gotten this far and that’s worth giving credit for. Neither of them are the type who help for the purpose of receiving credit, but that just makes them both all the more deserving. They are both achieving their just rewards right now by having short stories they submitted published in an anthology, Make Believe, by J. Taylor Publishing. Their stories were chosen from among hundreds of submissions, so they both totally earned this milestone achievement. I couldn’t be happier for them both.

I know I’ve covered things here that are somewhat disparate, but please bear with me. Sometimes, things don’t always come out in an organized manner when I’m writing from the heart, and I have been here. And I plan to continue to. Thanks, everyone, forbearing with me as I become a better writer, and maybe hopefully, a better person.