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.

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Timeline of Akiniwazi: Fimbulvetr

Formerly known as “Den Lange Vinteren”.  Why the name change?  Because I have a spectacularly helpful friend in Norway who’s been a great cultural sounding board.  Take another bow, Torfinn!  Where the name comes from is this linkypoo.

The singularly most important event of the history of Akiniwazi!

…and the map.

Main Map of Akiniwazwi

The basic map of Akiniwazi

  • Light Green: mixed forest
  • Medium Green: Deep Forest
  • Dark Green: Swamps,
  • Light Brown: Hills
  • Dark Brown: Mountains
  • White: Icefloes and impassible ocean

 

1266-1269AD – “Fimbulvetr” and the Isolation Era.

The war against the Skaerslinger progressed very well with over 15 million people calling Akiniwazi home. With their prosperity, the dangers of the Skaerslinger became mere nuisances. Heavy logging had begun deeper in the forest as they started cutting into the hardest, thickest hearts of the Pinery. Massive amounts of timber were chopped and sent down rivers to mills and towns to be converted. Rich seams of iron, copper, tin and gold began to be mined. As the forest thinned in areas, farms began to take hold in areas never before open to the sky. Wheat was planted for the first time ever, and Peat cutting was becoming popular for fuel. Profits from shipping had never been greater as the wonders of the land were shipped back over the ocean.

On the day following the Autumnal Equinox in 1266, the ground shook faintly shortly after noon. It was just enough to cause all kyrkja bells to ring and the carillons to jangle incoherently. People began having a feeling of unease that would not diminish all over the land. At Nonae, a peal of thunder that lasted what seemed a half an hour occurred. It was as if the world rumbled like a heavy cart on cobblestones in mid winter. The Kyrkja and all its wisdom were unable to formulate an answer, but knew with dread something horrible was coming.

A few days later, ships coming from Europe gave stories of a massive wave that swept the ports facing the Atlantic Ocean killing tens of thousands. Peals of thunder so loud that it shook fine glass and an earthquake powerful enough to crack stone walls had occurred in the Reykjavik. Several volcanoes in Iceland erupted in sympathy, blotting out the sun in the northern seas with ash and smoke. Ships coming in for their last trip of the season said they were already battling floes of black ice in the ocean, and that clouds so dark they turned day into night and rained ash over half the ocean. For a thousand miles, fish lay dead in the open water, like it was poisoned. No mariner had ever seen such an event before.

Reports from the Pinery kept returning that Skaerslinger war parties and hunters were being spotted hunting far heavier than they ever had before, and even going so far as to rob grain bins on some farms, but never attacking the settlers.

By November, icebergs, never seen before in the Kisiina Sea began to be seen by the farthest lighthouses and clog the known shipping routes. The sunsets had been incredible in their beauty all fall, but were always colder than in past years. Frost came early as well. The autumn storms on the lakes were much stronger, and seemed as if the intelligent force behind them had returned, waiting to pounce on the shipping on the lakes with incredible ferocity. Shipping ceased earlier than it had ever done before, and Lake Ishkode, which was normally ice free all year long began to freeze over on its calm bays.

Winter set in that year in one massive storm. The prevailing easterly winds had grown hot over a week. Then, as if they could no longer fight off the coming winter, they changed. Winter winds blown over the cold seas, generating powerful storms were charged even stronger by the lakes. The killer storm raged for 3 days straight of intense snow. Snow drifted to depths taller than 10 men standing on shoulders. Entire cities were buried, and all the lakes, froze completely over. Most of those who lived in the wilderness perished, trapped, suffocated or crushed in their homes under many yards of snow. All of Akiniwazi became a frozen wasteland.

The snow did not seem to want to stop for a month. It hit with constant regularity, often filling in what had been dug out the day before. Men were exhausted from digging for survival throughout the entire month of November and beyond. But as the Winter Solstice hit, the snow dissipated, and the bitter cold set in. A cold worse than any ever felt before in the land. Tens of thousands more froze to death. Those who did not die from suffocation or freezing faced the grim specter of starvation. Often men braved the cold and snow and went hunting. The hunters were disturbed with the rarity of game and the new tracks in the snow that they had never seen before, giant skeletal human feet set in ice. A new evil was stalking the land.

As starvation began to set in late winter and early spring, the makers of the mysterious tracks were seen. They were giant men of skeletal stature that were like walking dead with feat that sometimes burned or smoked. They attacked the homesteads, killing and eating all inside. Hunters found entire native villages wiped out as well. No one was safe. Word started to circulate that even the natives were afraid of these creatures and called them Wendigo. They could run at incredible speeds through the pinery and leap so far people it was commonly believed they flew.

The terror of the Wendigo continued as the snow slowly melted but finally abated when the frosthold left the ground. After this, the trees and plants refused to bloom and grow. The world had turned brown and gray, refusing to live again. The nights remained cold enough to freeze into mid-summer, and the Northern Kisiina Sea, remained clogged with ice. Very few ships made it through, and the captains complained that the sea was only getting worse. Many began to flee what they saw as certain death coming to them all. People turned to their priests for answers, and were unsatisfied with the answer to their prayers:

The world as you knew it will now pass away.
Save for His Grace upon you, you will soon be alone,
Prepare yourself.

In July, plants began to bloom, and the forest tried to make up for lost time. But the farmer’s troubles only increased. The wheat crops failed, corn did not produce, and other field crops were ruined by the colder wet weather. No plant brought from the Old World seemed to take root or grow well while native plants flourished by comparison. The Pinery produced more or less as usual, but competition for food was fierce. The natives knew somehow it was going to be a horrendous winter, and were trying to make sure that the Forsamling had little to eat. They hunted and gathered deliberately around the cities, stripping them as bare as possible. They burned grain silos and stole from food stores as much as possible. Everyone seemed to know that the winter was coming early and would be just as harsh as the last year.

That September, the last boats arrived, quickly unloaded their cargos and the few remaining immigrants and fled between the thickening ice flows. They were never seen again. Winter struck as it had before, with icy vengeance and storms only a few days after the last ship left. The one bright point in that horrible hard winter was that the Forsamling had prepared and prepared well. It seemed to be enough.

When spring returned early in March, everyone was surprised. It was as if God knew that their supplies were running out. Sadly, the retreating snows and ice revealed a world much changed. It is estimated by the best historians that nearly half of all Forsamling had died during the winter because of cold, suffocation, starvation or Wendigo that had ravaged the countryside. Madness had taken more as it drove them into the wilderness after months of being trapped. No one was sure what happened to them.

The most ominous sign that the world was changed for good was that the Kisiina Sea never thawed. Ice shoves had destroyed seaside towns, ports and structures. Only the sturdiest stone buildings and breakwaters had survived ice the size of hills pushing onto shore. The Pinery took on its former character, and proffered food again in abundance, but the fields had vanished into new growth forest.

Ships never returned from the Old World, and Forsamling built ships could not escape the treacherous ice floes. They were cut off.

Visekonge Mikko Sveinnson sent forth small bands of the heartiest explorers to try and find access to open sea and to travel into the Ondeandkurv Mountains that surrounded the land. None of the explorers found a way to open sea in any direction, and most who tried were killed or never returned from their mission.

All years following 1266ad are also called by the new calendar Ad Segregationem, or “After Isolation”.

1267AD (1 AS) The Order of Anjar, or Anjars are formed by Saint Anjar.

1268AD (2 AS) The Taitian Order is founded by Saint Tait.

 

Coming up next the Aettirkrigen!

Delays: Explained by Snaps Provelone

A quick description of me struggling to meet my deadlines a la the movie “Oscar”.  (You should watch it if you haven’t.  Awesome stuff.)

I went away for a couple of days to get away from interwebs and focus on writing.  It sort of worked.  Sort of.  Two longer chapters written to the tune of around 8,000 words in 2 days.  Not bad if I do say myself.  Of course, I had probably written about another 4,000 words on top of that, but it just wasn’t working, so I had to throw all that out.

Sometimes writing is like that it seems.

But every time I turn around and think “Ah hah!  Now I have you and I can wrap this up!”  A loose end or ragged concept raises its meek little finger and says “What about me? I need resolution”

Hence the above clip.  Seriously, go watch “Oscar”.  It’s well worth the laughs.  Great cast.

I managed to write myself into a corner because I’ve been pantsing again.  I pants a lot.  I need new writing britches I think because of it.  Thankfully the solution was provided by science.  Yes!  I threw science at the wall and some of it stuck.  I fretted it was too Deus ex Machina, or in this case Deus ex Meteorology and Cartography, but the more I thought about it, it flows perfectly with the set up and is a logical and plausible solution.  As you can suspect I worry about coming off with pat silly or contrived solutions.  I really try not to invent them, but I’m learning this is also part of being a writer.  You are the sole filter in which the reader experiences the world.  So work on internal consistency of logic and causation, and it will be all right.  It’s when you do something that people go “Oh come ON!  Really?  How stupid do you think we are?”

…and suddenly the book the achieves sufficient velocity to land in the trashcan.

I worry about these things.  So I think very hard, even when pantsing about what I wrote and whether or not it is internally consistent, whether it needs something written before to set it up so it’s not an out of the blue “surprise!  contrived solution here!”.  I’m rambling.

Long story long, I thought I’d be closer to done than this.  arr rarr rarr.  I’m not, but I set up key parts I needed to in order to throw the switch on the big finale conflict….  annnnnd I just had an epiphany.  No seriously.  Right here thinking about the final act as I considered my whole “All is lost” moment from which triumph is snatched from the jaws of defeat.

Oh this is good.  Straw is flammable, right?  Right!

I’m indecently pleased with this solution and I’ve already set it up!  Ohhh I am now just beside myself with squee, but I have two scenes I have to write.  Well maybe three… sigh… probably three knowing me, in which to throw the switch, but that might be able to be compressed into one chapter.

Okay, so that’s stuff I have yet to do and hope to have it done by Monday.  Boy howdy, this is down to the wire of my grace period. (Labor Day)  And of course Monday I’m not going to get much done because it’s my fantasy football league draft and I’m seeing my good friend and his thundering herd of kidlets.  Le Sigh.  Better buy an energy shot or something.

There is some positive news too.  I finished polishing 2 chapters early in the book, and am considering releasing chapter two as another teaser once I’m one scrubbing it up for y’all.

For those of you enjoying my timeline, I have those posts ready to go for two of the biggest events in the timeline.  Den Lange Vinteren (The Long Winter) and the Aettirkrigen (The War of the Clans… thanks for the linguistic save, Torfinn!)  So those are coming probably Monday and maybe Thursday?  Haven’t decided yet, but expect one Monday as usual.

Okay, rambling done.  Off to bed in a little then work, then maybe sneak some more editing in.

Hasta la byebye!

 

 

Twenty One Scenes and Other Thoughts

That’s all I have left.

Approximately that is.

I always weird out when I start thinking about word counts and words per day.  2000 seems like a lot, but saying how many scenes I have to write doesn’t seem so bad.  In fact, it’s more organic to my mind to think in writing scenes over words.

Screw the count!  I just want to get full ideas out on the page.  From there I can work on them and see what’s what.  Some scenes I might figure out how to do faster or better.  Others might need to be dragged out and lingered over.

The point is, I don’t like stopping mid idea.  Mid story as it were.  Every chapter is pretty much one or two scenes to me, depending on how tightly related they are.  If I stop and come back later, they don’t fit together right, you know?  It’s like I have to re-break it and allow it to heal right.

No… that’s not the correct metaphor.

Or maybe it is.  I dunno.

So my goal was end of the month.  Last Thursday, I mapped it out and came up with 19 “new” scenes that needed to be put in to complete the finale of Book One of Reimarsoga.  I’ve gotta come up with a good sub title.  I mean I’m dealing with three layers of names here.

I’ve got “Akiniwazi”  The name of the land, or really the whole fictional universe.  Then I have this book series, which follows primarily my main character, Reimar.

Hence the name “Reimarsoga”.  If you’re going to steal (or do I mean research?) appropriate big or go home.  So I took the old Icelandic concept to this for dat extra flayvah.

And now, for Book One.  It needs a sub title.  I ain’t got one yet.  But maybe something will pop up by the end of the edit.  I’ll probably have a poll of a select few to work with.  That way when I publish, it will be “Reimarsoga:  Book One’s title replacement here  – An Akiniwazi Novel”.

Or something like that.

Good Lord don’t make me think about hiring an artist yet.  I’m not quite ready.  I think I’ll wait till after the beta readers return what they think are the most exciting scenes to use that as the inspiration of the cover image.

Sigh…. so much coming soon.

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Timeline of Akiniwazi: 1205-1266AD

A continuation of the alternate history timeline of the Land of Akiniwazi.  As always, these are letting you in to see my background notes of how the fantasy setting came to be.  That means they’re rough, probably with typos and not generally edited save for contradictions.  I hope you enjoy getting to see “behind the curtain of my setting” and share your discovery with others.

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1205AD – The Church of Akiniwazi or Kyrkja, is established in the new capital of Dyrrvatn Kastali. The new capital suffered under many disputes over who was to rule from this central point and many skirmishes and feuds were fought between the budding Aettir. The Kyrkja begins construction of a cathedral in the city.

1222AD – The new Cathedral and monastery of Dyrrvatn Kastali are christened and founded.

1225AD – The first census is taken. There are 2 million Nordics in Akiniwazi. The rich mineral reserves and rumors of the Garden of Eden draw people from all over the Norse lands. Most of them lived in ever growing ports on the Kisiina Sea. The Nordic Kingdoms of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark grow very rich as more of their population push to resettle overseas. Threats come from other nations on keeping the route to Akiniwazi secret. The penalty for revealing the secret is death by torture of themselves and their entire families. Many captains and pilots develop false routes that increase time of passage but hide their routes. A sophisticated relay of partial routes are set up as well. With control over the points for resupply. Only those approved by the Nordic Monarchy and the Church are allowed passage over. The church, concerned with the degree of miraculous occurrences begins to hide the rumors and only send over their most devout and loyal priests and retainers. The strain for control over Akiniwazi puts the church and the Nordic Monarchy at odds with each other.

1229AD – To consolidate power officially, King Haakon decided to unify the fractious colonies of Akiniwazi by creating the Visekonge of Akiniwazi. He sent his youngest son, Svienn to rule there on behalf of his brother, Magnus VI.

1231AD – The Visekonge’s palace is completed in Dyrrvatn Kastali.

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1245AD – Den Hellige Avtale (The Holy Appointment). During a battle at the prosperous whaling port of Hvalrauga on the shores of the Kisiina Sea, a deadly new turn had happened as the Skaerslinger shamen were now calling forth supernatural beings of great power to slay the people and channeling the forces of nature through their bodies.

This battle was lost if not for the appearance of an Angelic Host that destroyed the Skaerslinger and hauled away the demonic creatures in chains. This was done as the people of the town were driven into the storm charged surf on the shore in a small grotto, by the enemy. After the town’s remaining people were saved, the last angel, a magnificent Herald gave a proclamation to all who witnessed:

People of God!
You are the inheritors of This Land!
He has given over to you!
Go Forth, and bring it under dominion for His Greater Glory
Spread His Word to all that live in it.
Bring into His Fold those who accept Jesus as Lord.
This is the Lord’s will.

1246AD – The Sanaadian Order is founded by Saint Sanaa.

1251AD – The Ragnarites initiate their great crusade to conquer or destroy the Skaerslinger begins. Backed by many Jarls and permitted by Visekonge Svienn the I to be handled locally.

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1266-1269AD – The Great Cataclysm, “Den Lange Vinteren” and the Isolation Era.

Den Lange Vinteren will be the subject of the next Timeline of Akiniwazi as there is much that happens in a 2 year period.  I look forward to teasing you more with upcoming timelines on how Akiniwazi came to be the way it is!

As always the complete published timeline is being archived here.

Bonus Musings: A Craving to Edit

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I didn’t think this would happen.

After listening to a few podcasts from Rockin Self-publishing Podcast, I started seeing my work in a slightly different light. In an interview with Seeley Booth, I started realizing that I need to pay attention a little more to me grammar and composition.

Although Seeley Booth and The Rockin Self-publishing Podcast had inspired this, I was given also a fit of hubris. What I realized was I wanted to compare myself to other online self-published authors. I wanted to see if what I saw on my page that I had created compared with some of the best of the e-book Market. Pretty arrogance right? So I looked and I compared and I judged coming to the snotty believe that I could stand up with the best of them.

Then I saw that one of the authors I had taken a look at partnered with Clive Cussler. That he brought me a bunch of humility. Now I know what a real Pro can do in a few pages that I hope to get to soon in my life. Consider it a goal that I don’t know if I will ever reach. No, that’s not really true. I think that if I do push myself and I do try with all my heart, I could have that level of talent. Arrogant? Sure thing. But a goal that is worthy of having none the less.

Having my humility brought back into alignment with my confidence that had grown through the experience, I looked once again at my own words. They were far from what I wanted. When I took a look again at these passages, which I did not spend too much time in, but spent enough time to realize what it is he was talking about. I started grabbing a hold of sentences and throttling them like a kid grabbing a garter snake. Grabbing it behind the head and shaking it like a bobble doll. There was a certain amount of Glee that I gained from looking at my phrasing and going nope. I realized how weak some of my sentence structure and phraseology sounded in my head.

The earliest chapters of my book that I had finished left a lot to be desired.  I began having an experience looking at those words similar to Howard Roark fixing the design of the Cosmo Slotnik Building.  I could see what I needed to do under the crap and wanted to start dragging it out cleaning it and putting it all in its rightful place.

And throughout it all now, as this desire to edit, I keep hearing the song Midlife Crisis in my head.

“Go on dig your thumbs in, my head is like lettuce.”

That is what I want to do.  Dig my thumbs in and pull this thing apart and make something grand with the threads.

BTW, this blog is not edited much, sticking to stream of consciousness writing by dictation and the voice recognition and editing via my phone is well… rough to do.  That is part of its style and perhaps charm.

I hope that’s considered charm at least.

 

Alpha Readers & Whole Cloth

As I’ve mentioned, I use a few alpha readers to help me along with my second edit.  They’ve been a real Godsend.  This last week I sent off to them the middle build and have gotten some feedback so far that has been… well… overwhelmingly positive to say the least.  That’s a very hopeful sign in my book.

I keep mentioning that I’m too close to know if my work is any good, and its hard to be humble when you have a passionate desire for it to be fantastic and think maybe, just maybe it is.

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But now, with less than 2 weeks left in my self imposed deadline, I am writing new material again.  Creating from whole cloth, and it is stuff I do not want to write at the moment, or I keep feeling like I’m being sidetracked.  Its setting up what is to come and be the big finish of the 3 act structure.  All the guns drawn as of the first and second acts will ultimately go off or be explained or be set up for the next novel.  (Yes, next novel.  The way the story is progressing, I suspect it may be a 7 novel series I’m in for.)

I have whole characters I have to create too.  Earlier this week, I was not sure how this was going to happen, but a set of wild inspirations happened on the scene, and birthed a whole herd of notions.  I now know the set up I have for specific things, and how the key events will occur and even how, (after reversing course entirely on what I thought I was going to do and back to the original idea, but with a twist) they are going to get out of it.

What has me worried is that the two chapters I wrote today do not advance the story to my satisfaction.  Or rather it might be going down a bunny trail I should have left alone.  On the other hand, if I do not lay this groundwork, I cannot have a proper climactic battle with internal struggles, and the denouement becomes… well flaccid.  Come on now.  It’s a fantasy novel in the end!  You gotta have more fantasy to it, not this more common world building stuff and building up the backstory and motives.

“Cast Magic Missile and be done with it!” screams the emotional ‘get to the good stuff’ portion of my brain.

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“The times are past where you just lop off someone’s head and blame it on the Vikings.” the Blackadder rational mind part reminds me

“You can’t?” asks  the stupid prince part of my brain again.

“No.” Rationality says disapprovingly.

“Bollocks.  I am being asked to eat 10 raw pigs for breakfast.”

“Worse.  You’re writing.”

“Double bollocks with a side of bugger on top.”

So…

For now, I’m going to rest in the comfort given me from the early reviews back from the Alpha Readers that I’m doing something right, and using that to fuel my drive to finish this bad boy off so I can hire an editor, and cover artist and hopefully… Dear Lord help!  Publish by Christmastide.

Hope springs eternal.

 

 

20 Days Remaining

I had missed my previous deadline.

So, I imposed a new one, and that  is coming due. Needless to say, the itching sensation of its nearing presence is growing fast. That nervous vibration that dwells in my shoulders, and in my back, and in my neck that tells me that something of importance is looming. It isn’t that I had to do this to myself, but I seem to work best when I do impose such a limitation upon myself. It’s a trick that I gave myself many years ago when I wrote my first rather lousy novella. My friends at the time said I became unbearable as I wrote up to 20 pages a day. I was always cranky, and generally not someone they wanted to be around even when not writing for I focused so hard on my task. I guess, sometimes that’s what it takes to get the job done.

Why is it that I was having such difficulty these recent months in completing the edit? I have come to the conclusion it is because they could not see the ending of what I was doing. Sometimes the ideas need to just simmer on the back burner of the mond for long periods. Tonight, I came to the realization that for me writing is almost like driving in the fog. You can’t see too far ahead and even though you know where you’re going sometimes the story, like indistinct shapes looming in the fog, take time to come clear. Sometimes you can see things that are not really there. That is what my sense has been these recent weeks as I have been muddling through trying to learn what it is that I am writing. For really this and it has resulted in a lot new material to go in.

I had of course needed to change the whole voice over to third person, which is left me with some real interesting issues in how the story is told. The first person voice does not do a direct translation over to third person just by changing the pronouns. It leaves for some awkward grammar although it’s intriguing in other ways. It does give the book a lot more Personal Touch. Seeming more like it has been told by a narrator who was either a witness to the event or a biographer of some sort. Not that that is a bad thing, in fact I originally intended the whole series to be read like a set of Memoirs dictated to a biographer. I kept seeing the movie “Matthew” in my mind’s eye to some extent.

If you have not heard of the movie “Matthew”, it is a brilliant concept. A movie that takes the entire Book of Matthew and word for word tells it in a cinematic fashion just like if you were watching a memoir being dictated to a scribe. The flashing back and forth between the narration of the biblical Book of Matthew and mixing it with the events that he talks about as if you were really there. At least that was my original idea of going forward, but that doesn’t really work in the manner of which I was hoping. So something new is coming about.

At least now, 20 days out, I see more clearly how I’m going to finish this. It is taking some clever twists, at least in my mind, and doing minor alterations two characters that have existed already. The good news, or at least the way I see it, is that the intrigue is going to increase. Plus the overall depth and connectivity to the second novel (which is currently cooling on the rack awaiting) is also greatly increased. It amazes me how much I needed to write that first draft of the second novel to develop the world more fully for the first. I would like to say that it is been a lot of fun, and I suppose it is to a certain respect, but at the same time it has been hard work!

Therefore, with my self-imposed deadline 20 days away, the nerves are ringing, the mind is suddenly blazing, and I am so excited to be done with some of the grunt work that I have suitting before me before I can get to the points that really are exciting my soul.

So what are these things that burn white hot in my mind?  Ahhhh… Spoilers, Sweeties.  Those would be spoilers.

I will leave you with twowords of encouragement I have received from an “Alpha Reader”.

The first is that my research is paying off giving the book a real feel of authenticity.  That was very nice to hear.  The second was that the reader lost them self in the book so much they lost track of the time.

THAT is what I love to hear most of all!  Hopefully when released ,you will all feel the same way.

Christian Magic: The Philosophical Foundations of the Supernatural in Akiniwazi

One of the reasons I have a love/hate relationship with fantasy is due to my faith.  My testimony is long and winding, and with some strange bumps that even I don’t understand why I experienced them or could prove if they were real.  Suffice it to say, it’s very strange that I’m writing fantasy at all, and here’s why.

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I came from a background where I was raised Lutheran, had my faith broken completely and fell into paganism and new age occultism for 7 years before being born again, I saw and experienced some things I could not place in the natural.  I knew in my heart of hearts that the supernatural existed, and that becoming Christian again did not erase those experiences.  No, instead it made the Bible become that more alive to me!  I saw how the supernatural worked from the wrong side of the tracks to some degree, and then learned even more about the spiritual war that we live in. You may not believe in the supernatural, and that is fine.  Just know I believe in a reality that is more complex and irrational than what you might dream of in your philosophy.  And that’s cool.

“Yes, but M.D., what does this have to do with your distaste for fantasy?”

I’m getting to that, oh precocious one.

Because of my experiences, I’m very open and constantly fighting against temptations and experiences I was opened to from sinning in these areas.  Palmistry, divination, sorcery… Or one big dose of self delusion as well, I need to guard my mind all the more.  A portion of my life that well, I have lots of scars and weak spots from so I have to avoid it a lot.  This means some of my favorite fantasy books, or games are ‘no-go zones’ now.  They tempt me far to greatly no matter how well they’re written, or awesome or whatever.  That means I never have, nor never will read Harry Potter among many other things.  Pick your jaw up.

I also stay away from a lot of horror and sxi fi.  It is part of why I will not read any Transhumanist SF and quit participating in a shared Transhumanist collaboration.  Plus other supernatural things for just that reason.  It gets in my head and messes with me, but the love of the genre is there.  At least some of the best selling fantasy series of all time are Christian.

…so … there’s that, I guess.

“The point is…..?”

The point is that this is part of why I started to be inspired to write this series.  I liked the challenge of creating a fantasy world where there was all the ‘sorcery’ and ‘magic’ like flavor, but it was based on Scripture and in alignment with God’s Word.  For many years I struggled with this very thing when it finally hit me.

“Hey…. ” I sez to Me.  “What about the Gifts of the Spirit?”

“Bwuh???”  Me responds.  “What about them?”

“Well,” sez I. “Miracles and healing, and prophecy and all that stuff is pretty spectacular cinematic goodness, right?”

“Yeah,” Me sez skeptically.

“And demons and angels manifesting would be pretty wild.  Plus you’ve experienced some weird stuff in the form of inanimate objects and seen the possessed be delivered before.  That’s some crazy-ass stuff too, right?  Just as good as flinging around fireballs and lightning bolts.”

“Well… it could be if you turned the special effects of it up to eleven.” Me agrees.

“So why not do that?  You know that’s what you want.” I sez.

“You know what?” Me agrees.  “That’s a bloody fine idea as long as we keep it to stuff founded on scripture and be very careful about it.”

That conversation blazed through the head, and I realized I had a very different way of looking at magic as compared to what I had seen in RPGs and some of the fantasy books I knew from the past.  So the whole philosophy I took to the book is the supernatural is about spiritual authority and relationships.  It’s not like so many games where you find magic lying around like coal or electricity: an impersonal power for you to mine out of the ground or hunt like deer just to bend it to your own will… or even your own supercharged willpower like in another RPG that created the most terrifying “realistic” magic system and view ever.  If I get enough people to ask about it, I’ll explain that.  Post below of you really want to hear me riff on it.  The magic number is 10 comments.

See what I did there?

So, The idea in the novel is that supernatural comes from God or Satan.  God can impart power directly through the Holy Spirit, while Satan sends minion demons to connect you to power from him or his minions.  That means knowingly or not, you pick a side.  There is no neutral.  If you want to know power, you need to follow your master, be it God or Satan.

angel-on-shoulder

So that’s the big underpinning of all the metaphysical stuff going on in Akiniwazi.

For the TL:DR.

  1. It’s a relationship between you and either God or Satan.
  2. There is no neutral party or self empowerment to gain supernatural power.
  3. Your source is your master.
  4. Even if you do not have supernatural power, you chose a side even by doing nothing.

There will be more to come.  Again, comment below if you want me to expound more on something that caught your eye.

 

Oh, as a reminder I will be on vacation next week so I will be not posting anything big I think… But who knows?  Something cool might happen.

Orion’s Articles: Afflueconomics

Afflueconomics in Orion’s Arm (OA)

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What is an Afflueconomy and how can it exist?

One of the main features of OA is the idea of a Afflueconomy. What is meant by this term? Afflueconomics is the idea that there is no lack or want left in society, often referred to as a Post Scarcity Economy. This is a highly efficient system of obtaining full need and maximal want fulfillment. The question remains of how does this incredible economic environment arise and what factors are required to maintain it? By its very nature, Afflueconomics are not a stable state and require effort to maintain. So what needs to happen to create this economic outcome? We must first describe the requirements of such an economy. How large a society can exist in such a state. What preparations must be done to maintain an Afflueconomy? For simplicity’s sake, we will skip most of the permutations and styles of social and environmental variances that can color and shape an Afflueconomy and stick to the fundamental requirements with a few descriptions for color and elaboration.

The Pillars of Afflueconomics

These Pillars of Afflueconomics are the essential factors in creating and maintaining this economic state. Without these, this system of economy and exchange cannot survive. These will vary in size, power and degree of influence, but all are required in some form to create this state for at least some of the population affected by it.  The resultant state will be only as strong as its weakest pillar which ultimately becomes the limiter of its scope and durability to stress.

The first pillar in any Afflueconomics society is effectively unlimited elemental resources. Matter, by nature, is a limited resource. So an Afflueconomy must have access to the entire spectrum of periodic elements, and potentially artificial elements to become a true Afflueconomy. Ideally, these supplies of periodic elemental abundance must be brought close enough to negate transportation costs for the population, and be refined enough to eliminate processing efforts as well. Once this hurdle is conquered, one can look to the next major hurdle to the existence of a Afflueconomy.

Energy is the next essential pillar for the existence of an Afflueconomy. Without an effectively unlimited energy source, this will enforce a market on energy. Energy must be plentiful, easily and instantly accessible by all in the Afflueconomy and it must be abundant enough to be essentially free. Many sources of energy can be used to create this state, but one must be wary of any form of energy that consumes or destroys matter for that will slowly but surely create a strain on the first pillar; elemental resources.

The third pillar of Afflueconomics is distribution. Without a highly efficient and powerful transportation infrastructure, pockets of need and scarcity will begin to occur. To prevent this, the most rapid system of transportation possible for cargo, point of purchase manufacturing, or many other methods are required to speed the finished good or service to its requested location.

Fourthly, an Afflueconomy requires unlimited manufacturing technology. Goods and services must be produced at a rate that either equals or surpasses that of actual need. Often this can be averted by projecting the expected need into a certain area, or utilizing a “JITPOP” (Just In Time Point Of Purchase) manufacturing system.

If all four of these factors are met, an Afflueconomy is possible. In fact, the scale of an Afflueconomy is what is most in question. A single person can have a personal Afflueconomy if the proper technology is applied, and his needs do not outstrip his supply of any of the four foundations. The larger the four pillars, the larger an Afflueconomy can become.

What other factors can effect a Afflueconomy?

A few factors exist that can increase the size and power of an Afflueconomy or limit it or even destroy it. These will vary from place to place, nor are they always present. These factors can also counteract each other in a way that leaves the Afflueconomy unaffected.

One of the largest factors in limiting Afflueconomies is information and data. Without a highly effective communication system and ability to record data, an Afflueconomy can be severely stunted. This system can be anything from Genetic to Memetic to computerized or any other variation you can think of. It must be reliable and able to supply the needs and wants of the people to communicate desires as well as fulfill them. When manufacturing is automated and available to anyone, designs and copyrightable information will become the limiter. New patterns and designs and uses for the materials can both limit and expand the luxury of a people as well as more or less efficiently meet their needs and wants.

The most powerful ally or enemy of an Afflueconomy is political will. If the governing polity or Sephirotic decide that they will or will not allow Afflueconomics to exist in a certain location, there is little to stop it. The abundance for each of the pillars limit the size and form that it can take. A government can even force a certain area to become an Afflueconomy even though it is not ideally suited for such an existence due to lack in one or more of the foundations. This artificial propping up may not be obvious to those inside the Afflueconomy, but will become increasingly painful and destructive to the systems supporting it.

A related limiter to Afflueconomics is privilege. Since it may be desirous to a polity to limit the types of commodities accessible to its citizens, some access to certain aspects of Afflueconomic Pillars may be artificially limited. Their reasons may vary from caprice to safety. How a citizen gains or loses privileged access to levels of their Afflueconomics is up to each individual polity.

The speed of light is another limitation to the size of an Afflueconomy. Although Wormholes can expand the territory included, relativistic travel will still cause limitations or slow the speed of an Afflueconomy down. This delay, if attached to especially time sensitive needs can be incredibly dangerous. Unfortunately, little can be done about this outside of moving supplies closer and spread evenly across an Afflueconomy.

Speed of manufacture can affect the size and robustness of an Afflueconomy as well. If the equipment used to manufacture goods and services are limited or slow, lack may occur if sudden need arise and surpass emergency reserves if any. Much of this can be fought with JITPOP manufacturing, nanofacture and other local forms of construction.

Picotech manufacturing (the ability to reassemble the parts of atoms to create or destroy elements) can nearly eliminate the Elemental Foundation of an Afflueconomy. Since it can construct any type of element from other elemental parts, this is incredibly useful. The more broadly used Picotech is, the greater it’s impact on the Afflueconomy. This technology has the largest impact of any on the nature of an Afflueconomy because it allows an unlimited elemental resource. Since Picotech is a Transapient technology, it often is rare for baselines to have access to such equipment.

A system of recycling also increases the stability of a Afflueconomy, and prevents entropy of maintaining it from being a problem. Although through use of Nanotech or better recycling methods, this can nearly be eliminated, it can never be totally stopped from happening. Matter will be consumed and destroyed, or lost in some manner over time. The rate of this loss is what will govern the need to replenish lost matter.

In regards to nanofacture, intellectual materials, like designs and programs to create commodities. Intellectual commodities and services cannot be satisfied by material manufacture, and often become the major pinch point for any Afflueconomy. If there is a large and effectively comprehensive freeware community, this minimizes the impact any intellectual property pinch-point, although it may not address all the issues.

Where in OA do Afflueconomies exist?

True Afflueconomies are relatively rare when compared to the total state of the Terragen Sphere. They are usually associated with Nanotopias and other ultratech societies. The chances for their existence increase dramatically when a polity has readily available Picofacture, and energy supplies. Occasionally you will find true Afflueconomies outside of a Nanotopia, but this is increasingly rare the less technologically advanced the society is. The farther out from the Inner Core one goes, the fewer and fewer systems are capable of supporting Afflueconomies without extreme external effort. Almost universally, these become rarer and smaller as one travels outward.

Can there be partial Afflueconomies?

Most economies in Orion’s Arm are partial Afflueconomies. They may have the technology to manufacture or distribute or even the materials, but lack the energy. In places where the energy exists, there will be a full Afflueconomy, but a greater effect will be made on society as a whole by manufacturing for the larger area for a cheaper price. Often, the more stable the four pillars of Afflueconomy exist, the cheaper goods and services become till they become essentially free to all ad infinitum. In some cases, whole sections of the economy, but not the whole economy itself will become Afflueconomical. Often this shows itself in the form of basic needs being met first, and some rudimentary luxuries. This is referred to as “The Welfare Syndrome” by some economists as a derogatory term. The more solid the pillars, the larger variety of “free” goods can be found and population included in this largess of society.

Most often, due to the level of technology commonly available in the Terragen Sphere, the major limiting factor is Elemental availability.

When it comes to Afflueconomic limitation due to Elemental reasons, a few categories of limited Afflueconomics have been discovered. They are SiCHON (Standing for the five most common elements in the universe; Silicon, Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen), Common and Trace.

SiCHON Afflueconomics occurs when the most common elements are abundant enough for nanofacture, but the less common elements are rare enough to warrant market forces to be placed upon them. This is the most common limited form of Afflueconomics. Often this is what economists talk about when referring to the “Welfare Effect” of an Afflueconomy.

When most of the naturally occurring elements are practically unlimited, then a Common Afflueconomy is possible. This means that non synthetic, non-trace element essential nanofacture is possible in a Afflueconomic manner. Often the luxury and comfort of this form of limited Afflueconomy is far greater than SiCHON Afflueconomy.

Trace Afflueconomy is almost indistinguishable from a true Afflueconomy to most baselines. Only synthetic particles are excluded. Since most of these particles are made by Picotech, or specialized equipment, this is the most rare form of limited Afflueconomy. Since almost all commodities and goods in this society do not require synthetic elements.

In conclusion, Afflueconomics are everywhere in some forms or another. They may be artificially propped up or the result of truly lucky circumstances. Many variants and styles of Afflueconomics exist here and there, but essentially follow the same pillars and principles, and are ultimately seen as varied offspring of a true perfectly working economy free from all need and want.