If P.T. Barnum Was a Viking

I’m never going to fool experts in a few areas.

The best I can do, I hope is flatter them in the things I do try to get right, and fool anyone who isn’t an expert into thinking I know what I’m talking about.

To that end, part of Akiniwazi is to accept the fact that I don’t have to have doctoral level understanding of historical facts, but get the general points right to flavor the whole.  (This is a bit more than just decorating a home with furniture from Ikea and saying it’s Swedish… but some might buy it)  Plus, when dealing with alternate history, particularly in an area that does have some nice gray areas and outright blank spaces of the map… you can have a little fun and add plausible things to the mix.

To that end though, I wanted to give a thank you for the guys at Hurstwic for being a wonderful resource to pick through.  Their website has been a great resource for those who have a bit of a fan crush on all things Viking, and have taught me lots of terms and understanding on more common life during the Viking period.

Now I know I start going astray from true Viking history rather rapidly because, yes, firstly this is still a fantasy setting, and I have my own agenda here.  But secondly, it still must originate from truth if you are to assume (as I have with the setting) that it is ‘history as normal’ till about 800ad or so.  That’s why I created an imaginary Viking discovering Akiniwazi, and not relying on actual historical events on the discovery of Vinland… because in my setting, Vinland doesn’t exist.  Akiniwazi does.  So there’s your first major variance.  Well… major in the terms of the novel, not necessarily world events.

As for why eliminate the pagan aspects of the Vikings?  Simple.  It is based on the historical events similar to that of the Pilgrims, just… twisted a whole bunch.  Instead of being religious outcasts, it became instead a method for a set of Christian Kings to create a loyal power base abroad that was providing great wealth.  Since I considered it probable that the pagan kings and Jarls would be a problem and try to wrest control from the dominant infant royal culture, they just cut that problem off by forbidding them.  You wanted to go to the new world, you had to be of the same faith as the king.

See?  Plausible.

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The Battle Is Won

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Today’s Wordcount:  2,275  (Not counting minor edits and rewrites).

The final battle is done and amazingly, I feel the best about the final line for it sums up a thematic echo that lo many pages ago I had no idea would be in this work.

“…They hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king’s wrath pacified.”

It’s amazing in a way to see how God keeps inserting Himself in very powerful and poetic ways.  This leaves only three scenes left, some half written:

Resolution

Arrival and Parting of Ways

Exile

I’ve been terrified today about what would be the upshot of the battle I had just completed, so I am once again so thankful for my very special alpha reader who was able to get in touch with me today.  When you deal with schedules on opposite sides of the planet, this can be a rare and special thing.  He gave much wise council that after an overly long nap I was able to implement, and I think it is all the better for it.

I can’t wait to share this with you guys!

X-post Fact Toast #1

I publish more often short updates to Facebook, so I decided to start sharing the content here from now on.  They won’t occur on any set schedule, but usually happen after I finish writing for the day, making them erratic and very stream of consciousness.

So my posting will be increasing, but expect the beginning and weekend posts as usual.

 

How odd. Today’s word count: 4,444. Yep. Quad four. LOL
Of course I probably broke 5000, but much of that would be due to editing and little extra sentences and editorial cleanup. Boy, I feel like such a hack at times, but the story’s the thing.

But today was hard. I had to do a hard thing because I got wrapped up in a character and bad things needed to happen. So I did them… and that’s a good place to stop for the day.

One final scene and the battle is over. That leaves only three more to go. Conclusion, separation and resolution. Two of the three have been partially written already.

The Strange Dichotomy I Stumbled Upon

Akiniwazi is a complex project.  It’s roots are based in some big philosophical questions:

  1. Can you make a Christian based “magic system”?
  2. What would the world look like if the Vikings discovered the New World
  3. What would a civilization look like if it discovered steam power but not gunpowder?

Number two and three have been possibly some of the most fun while number one has been the most trying.  When laying out the rules of the world in my mind, and on many scraps of paper (I tell you if this thing becomes a blockbuster, there are going to be so many scraps of real source material floating around for collectors after I die if I don’t burn them).  The biggest, even before I realized the alternative history aspects that are many of its roots is that this is based on the philosophy of what I call the “War Behind the Veil”.  The idea that there is a war between God and his rebellious creations following Lucifer and the effects it has on the physical world.

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Now, originally, this was to be a complete fantasy world with nothing in common to Earth and the world as we knew it.  But… I hit upon a huge problem:  How can you have Jesus and Christianity in truth, if you tamper with the the world and make it all fantasy.

I was stuck!

I realized you could not have that if there were any changes done to the “Old World” of Asia, Africa and Europe.  I had to leave them be, untouched and historically the same.  That single realization was a terror to overcome.  How could I have this setting I envisioned with the world being exactly as it was historically?  Then I stumbled upon it,

The New World can be totally different!

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The map was mutable.  I could make the new world and have it all the way I wanted, save for one last issue:  The Skaerslinger.

It is painfully obvious that I have taken heavily from Native American cultures.  The names of the lakes are taken from corrupted translations of Ojibwa words, for example.  But something I want totally divorced from this is to make the Skaerslinger anything like the actual indigenous people.  While the old world medieval Viking culture and related materials have to be at least honestly researched (maybe not perfect, but darn good enough to satisfy all but the biggest nerds/experts who will pick at this), I needed to abandon the same level of research and historical accuracy to the Skaerslinger.

I can’t do this, because I am not going to be accused of hate speech or racism (though some might try it anyway) because they want real world accuracy on their cultures in a fantasy novel.  So there is a big reason why I have thrown historical research for all New World cultures out the window and thrown in multiple influences into the mix from Celts, Cossack to Zulu to Aztec and Inca.  Plus many other ideas I have that make for a good ‘spice palette’ of the culture as it develops.

There are some very strong black and white lines because that is the nature of the novel, but I do not want to have anyone claim I’m saying “insert Native American culture is Satanic”.  I’m not, and will not.  But there is a reason for the structure, what I have to say and what is to come. It will be illustrated throughout the entire series.

So that’s the strange dichotomy.  All things in the old world and before the discovery of Akiniwazi are going to be considered as truthful and attempts will be made to make it accurate.  The New World, its people and geography and events there are a rapidly diverging splinter timeline and world from the base because it is fantasy and it MUST be.  This gives me freedom to create from raw cloth as well as just spice things up a bit from time to time, or even take interesting aspects from those cultures and use them as a template.

Many of these things will not really come about till book 3-4 I think, but you’ll see hints as we go.

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BTW, I am toying with releasing another sample chapter as it passes through the third or fourth edit.  Let me know below if you want to see another chapter out of the book!

 

 

A Spot of Housekeeping

I have updated the following pages to consolidate and refine data for your ease of use:

Akiniwazi Timeline

Akiniwazi Main Page

Studio

 

Wordcount Schmerdcount

Yep, last week’s trip to the cottage turned out to be a mistake.

I so cooked off my noodle from the stress and moving back and forth I’ve done no writing since, and I’m pretty ticked off about it.  It was a titanic effort to get that stuff out that I did put out, and I’m still not happy about it.  But tonight, I’m back to the grindstone I think.  I realize part of what had me unable to write, outside of exhaustion was I didn’t like how I got my main characters into the mess to start with.  I had some brilliant bits before and after, but that naughty little in between portion… oooh!

So frustagating!

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Stir fry… because that’s how my brain felt for a week now. Tasty tasty chopped up ideas.

But, last night, I finally calmed down a little at work because I had time to turn around and think for a minute or three, and so I found the flaw, and now know better how to split up my protagonists, drop one in the soup and leave one helpless and needing to be rescued.

I hope y’all are liking the timeline.  Another one will be coming next week once I get back to making the late week post the creative post and the early one more biographical.

Anyway, on a side note, while I’ve let my brain cool, I’ve been playing lots of Guild Wars 2.  Yeahhhhh… we’re kinda hooked.  I’m part of one guild, but am toying with doing a game stream and starting a small guild of my own now that I have a level 80 character to run with.  Anyway… Could be fun.  We’re still contemplating.

That’s all for now.  Maybe there will be a surprise post later, I dunno.  Depends on how my writing goes this weekend.

Toodles for now.

copyright Arena.net

I can has Charr… miaow.

Surprise Update!: Timeline of Akiniwazi

Interested in learning a bit about how my fantasy setting, the Land of Akiniwazi came to be? I’m sharing my notes of the land’s history for those interested. Check it out here and watch for more posts of the events to come! Don’t forget to subscribe if you like what you see.

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All Over the World

I love that I have an international audience.  Seriously guys, it’s fantastic to see how one little thing, and yes I’m little for now (wish the scale would agree with this) but growing and that makes me so happy.

International

 

So thank you to my followers and guests from all over the world.

Also in relation to this, I realize that my setting for my novel may have part to do with any interest.  A long time ago, a friend of mine who is Native American pointed out to me that in my area, (Wisconsin USA) southwest Indian stuff sold very well.  On the other hand, down in other parts of the US, woodland Indian stuff sold well too to people who lived there.  Of course, this is in addition to what they have native by them.  It is a flavor of the culture.

That got me thinking about it internationally.  What I see as boring and every day is strange and exotic once you start crossing boarders and travelling.  To me, Europe and Australia is exciting, for their culture is similar in many ways, and more familiar.  On the other hand Asia, South America and Africa are far more exotic.  I supposed after a bit, that the converse might be true.  My boring going to a supper club for a fish fry, up at the cabin and watching a Packer Game is a far different life than someone say in Malaysia or New Delhi.

This has made me both more proud to be where I’m from, as well as more interested in sharing about my home.

Hey, that gives me an idea for another type of article to write!  Huzzah!

(We’ll try that tomorrow.)

 

 

 

ISTMPOTI: Future Fun for Fans

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Yes, I summon the mighty power of the Internets for your thoughts!

First off, I know it’s Wednesday and I normally do not do daily posts, I’m just trying to learn when are the best days and times to post.  So get ready for a lot of shorter posts for a while. I know I know… how cheesetastic of me.  I’m a Wisconsinite, cheese is in the blood.

…and bratwurst.

…and a significant amount of beer.

BUT I DIGRESS!!!!!

As the 2nd edit swoops in for a close, I am curious to what things you guys think are of value to drop in, keep in touch and sound off.  To that end, I am considering on adding a few new “features” to the mix.

  1. Twitch feed.  Yes, I’m toying with adding a live stream of my gaming stuff and perhaps allow for live chatting.  I play World of Warships, DC Universe Online and Guildwars 2.  Maybe it would be a fun way for others to socialize with me.  Watch the feed, text me stuff, or even find me in game to run together.  :::shrug::: What do you think?
  2. Moar content!  Do you guys like the freebie, behind the scenes notes and articles I’ve been putting up for my novel and for other things?  IF you don’t care, that’s cool, just well, tip me off what you’re thinking.  I’m not going to be wanting to post stuff nobody wants to hear about.  Why be masochistic to both of us, right?
  3. Something else I haven’t thought about yet that’s even more awesomerer you can suggest!  No really.  I’m just gonna keep doing what I’m doing, but I’m always open to good ideas.  What is something cool you would like to see.

As always, comment below your thoughts.  Let’s have a dialogue here.

 

 

 

 

 

Remembered for Something

I do not know how I would be able to handle such brutal… Honesty. No, it is honest from a publisher to tell any aspiring writer they have no chance because in their eyes you have no value. That is repulsive to me on a spiritual level.

This is also why I am not looking for a publisher. Or an agent. Till such time as an agent or publisher sees value in my work once I publish, I am going to do this on my own. Thank you to The Renegade Press who shared this little tidbit about the formerly all powerful gatekeepers to the craft of writing.

The Renegade Press

“We have been to the moon, we have charted the depths of the ocean and the heart of the atom, but we have a fear of looking inward to ourselves because we sense that is where all the contradictions flow together.”

-Terence McKenna

It’s no secret that I have been struggling to write lately. Over the past few months the aggressive creativity that usually floods my mind has dissipated and become more of a slow leak than a torrent. Despite my absence of inspiration I have persevered as best as I can, producing a handful of blog entries, and fleshing out the admittedly shaky blueprints for two separate novels. At first I thought that this writer’s block was stemming from a sense of nostalgia as I finalised one manuscript and began to transition into the next. But it turns out that I was wrong. My inability to write had nothing to do with nostalgia; I have…

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