caper_est: Musical notes (song)
Return of the Kateverse folksongs! Run away! Run and hide!

Soldier song, set ten years after The Deed of Katy Elflocks and twenty before Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland. It does not depend on knowledge of the story.  It has a tune, though not a very remarkable one, and I've probably nicked the musical elements from some part of the Great Folk Cauldron or other.

The Queen of the River

When I was naught but a lad of sixteen,
Ambrosine Wills was the name of my Queen.
Freely she called to me, gaily I strode
Daily to meet her by the old river road!
The old river road, boys, the old river road -
Our babe came sailing down the old river road!

Payments grew many and pennies grew few.
Amber and I barely knew what to do
Till our lords put the young Queen from her throne.
I took her silver, and left Amber alone.
The Allwater road, boys, the Allwater road -
Off with the Green Rose down the Allwater road!

Battles we fought for her, battles we won.
Bounty she showered when her battles were done.
Now I could pay all the debts that we owed,
And farm like a franklin by the old river road!
The old river road, boys, the old river road -
Homewards to Amber up the old river road!

Back home by Siffswater, Amber was gone,
Fled with a pedlar and with Simkin our son.
All the Queen's silver she'd spent for their meat -
Fled with a pedlar so Simkin should eat.
The damned river road, boys, the damned river road -
She saved our Simkin down the damned river road!

I walked a thousand miles, bowed and bereft,
Back to the Green Rose, all the queen I had left.
Loyalty I offered her, loyalty she showed -
I send her foemen down the Black River road!
The Black River road, boys, the Black River road -
Till I meet Amber by the Black River road!

Deep Gap

May. 30th, 2012 09:39 am
caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

Doc Watson, one of my all-time favourite musicians - master of flatpicking guitar and of the mountain tradition in American folk music - is gone at the age of 89.  A week seldom goes by without at least one of his songs springing through my head.  Guy Clark sang of him in Dublin Blues:

I have seen the David
Seen the Mona Lisa, too
And I have heard Doc Watson play "Columbus Stockade Blues".

That pretty much sums up my feelings about him.

Man, that man is going to be missed.

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 1,300 words, finishing the Young Duke's second scenelet.  Most of these I'll have to eradicate in the redraft, but I can't be certain which ones, just yet.  Character and motivation stuff all around, emerging in another of those petty conflicts that are turning up the pressure on him before the Grand Scene.

Also, a very silly Kateverse folksong, The Bungle in the Jungle.

A slight pause may shortly ensue, as travel looms large in my immediate future.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

Crummy news from a barrel of quarters exceeded my cumulative tolerance yesterday, causing me to whistle like an irritated steam engine and spend much of yesterday tooting off the pressure in sundry manners.  Bagged three books I was waiting for in passing, still have one-and-a-half left.  I'd hoped to be fit to sleep before midnight, but nah.  Scored a measly couple of hours' doze somewhere.  Meh!

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 100 words introducing the second scenelet of the Young Duke.

About a page of a new Wood of Weyre story, very loosely based on The Famous Flower of Serving Men.  The setting is the fairy-tale world of Breaking Night Mountain, which I guess is something like Mercedes Lackey's Five Hundred Kingdoms might be, were its creator as shifty and perverse and Dionysiac as she is conspicuously not.  One of the reasons I keep coming back to this setting, other than its being pleasingly silly and roomy and a natural for backdrop for outrageous tragicomedy, is that it stands just  on the edge of the narratives we know, whilst being so obviously born of  a historical dynamic that's bending it right away from anywhere traditional fairy-tales can keep on happening.  Or any other tales terribly familiar in our terms, either.  I kind of want to know how that's going to end up!

A new Kateverse folk-song, this one from the titanocommunist opposition: Jolly Saturday.  The devil gets good tunes everywhere.

I also began to invent my second bouncy new tune of the day; but when the lyrics began to arrive, I decided firmly but fairly that the world does not really require I'm an Asshole and That's Okay at this particular juncture, and have now successfully applied the brain bleach to most of it.

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 440 words. Pear-shaped middle-aged physician 1, hulking drunken young berserker 0. 

Outside the novel but in the same world, a sprightly little ditty from the midlands of Morgander: Leland Came Calling. Folksong characters in all the universes seem to get into the same peculiar kinds of pickle.

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 780 words, concluding the Night Without Stars, and the chapter, and the long arc of the Rising.  The Red Tiger sleeps.

Two more chapters that make the Bonfire Arc, and then the Epilogue.  Now to begin the chapter of Mother and Son, and bring the political and family conflicts to their final crisis.  My first job is now to re-read all the matter that led up to the Four Agenda Pile-Up, and get back into my head just what everybody was trying to do to everybody else when Kate set off for Langdale.

The conclusion I know already: it's one of those scenes I've been waiting all book to write.

Meanwhile, another Kateverse folksong has bubbled out of wherever these things bubble out of, singing tekeli-li-nonny all the day and so forth.  The Ballad of Clare the Crafty tells of the great deed of Luke's smarter elder sister, twenty years back - if you call representing the Gordian Knot as a washing-line 'telling'.  It's always fascinating to see how making something sound like a song people actually sing, can smooth all the characters and truths down into the Same Old Mould.


Mar. 31st, 2011 10:44 am
caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Booksquee!  I just acquired - free, gratis, and by unanimous and enthusiastic accord that nobody but me wanted it - a quite nicely preserved Everyman hardback of Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, Vol I.

It isn't particularly rare or financially valuable, but I've been seeing references to Reliques since I was about fourteen, and never ever have I actually seen or held a copy of it.

Inside my head, I am boinging away like Zebedee off the Magic Roundabout.

Hog Wild

Mar. 22nd, 2011 08:01 am
caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Back on Sunday from a big family gathering in Gosport, for the seventieth birthday of my eldest aunt - a witty fellow-scribbler who shares something of my penchant for fantasy.  Hampshire is nearly on my doorstep, but it isn't a county I know at all well. What I've seen makes me wish to amend that in the near future... It was a merry meeting, as they say. My mother and I stayed with a cousin who lives on what used to be a small farm, and has made a very fine place of it by the woody banks of a swift shallow river. High-tech comfort within, amiable shaggy wildness without, and dogs of the biggest and friendliest. My cousin, an ebulliently energetic businesswoman of many enthusiasms and a great affection for beasts and trees, is talking about bringing in a couple of pigs in the near future. That would be Hantsome of her!

Continuing with what is going to be a bigly piggy theme, I don't think I've eaten or - especially - drunk so lavishly since the cast-iron digestion of my first youth gave out on me - or had such a liking to do it. It was that sort of gathering. Possibly just because it was that sort of beano, I appear to have escaped any consequences, even a significant hangover. I've noticed such effects before. The eupeptic effects of good company and jolly mood are nearly as underrated as the dyspeptic effects of the reverse are notorious. In the mood for a quiet week now, though.

In that quiet week, my next job is to finish my festively-delayed chapter, with Kate's rallying of the Blancmange Army against the Bad Baron.  Whose much-despised token is... the blue boar.  The next chapter's events will be remembered in many folksongs, of which I wrote one of the more locally popular - The Hunting of the Boar - late last week.

Finally, with the turning of the year, it's time to begin a personal challenge that I've been working up of late.  I have a political and social theory that liberty can only increase in communities whose members are increasingly practising bounty rather than hoggishness.  In accordance with my related theories that advocates of freedom have less right to preach what they don't practise than advocates of authority, and that libertarians who don't willingly take on more responsibility than statists for general goods are witnesses against their own cause, I've been looking afresh at my own contributions to the common weal - and I am not satisfied with the tale.  I shall be blogging about the nontrivial parts of my solution, and no doubt exhibiting various pratfalls in the process, over the coming months.  More anon!

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 910 words.  Mostly Okay Genius makes his move.  My heroes aren't the only people who can play "Let's You and Him Fight!" without saying a word or copping the blame.  Also, he is better at it than they are.

The World on Maltby Edge, I now discover, is sung to a traditional tune called Riding over Alland.  Which figures.  The highly-coloured imagery seems to be inspired by it, too.  Words of that version keep intruding on my day, but I am resisting them, because I am quite earwormed enough already without encouraging it any further, and also because I suspect the totality of those lyrics would be of small interest to anybody but some future Northdales equivalent of Cecil Sharp.

I know that Riding over Alland is itself only a slight modification of some real and stirring tune in this world - I'm a non-musician and couldn't possibly compose anything half that good offhand on my morning commute, or most likely ever - but however irritatingly familiar it is, I can't quite put my finger on where I've nicked it from.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 190 words.  Linking matter.

Lazy Lob at the House of Silence: 1,430 words of yet another Kateverse folk story, inspired by legions of good-for-nothing folktale youngest sons called Boots, who always come up trumps.  I didn't ask for this one, it just came, with a little help from something Bonecold Refugee did in the main novel recently.  Nearly set Thuggish First Son up for his well-deserved fall.  This is the easy bit.  Cunning Second Son I'll need to out-think.

The World on Maltby Edge: An apocalyptic folksong from about the portion of Killer-Kate I'm writing at the moment.  Its in-world composer wishes the people were not so new fangle.  I made an audio this time, which singing for reasons of health and safety and rotten tomatoes I shall not inflict upon the public, but which shall save my forgetting what the blazes the tune was by tomorrow.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

Well, now I know all about Roger Rock Candy.  What a nasty man was he!  What a nasty thing is millennarianism, even in places with no concept of a Millennium!  And I had the mixed pleasure of being educated through the inevitable Kateverse folksong (TRIGGERY POSSIBILITIES for atrocity in war, arrant rape-culture, and frenzied class hatred).  On the other hand, I learned a few things about the unstoried years and the populous but hitherto sketchily-imagined downstream reaches of the dale - and about the precise angle of the knife-edge those countries stand on at present.

I am so glad the Rock Candy Rising is not something I'll ever need to dramatize in finer detail.

Meanwhile, of the actual story, 200 words: storm warning; tense guesting; wishes aren't horses but beggars may ride.  I just discovered how to eliminate a contrived side-trip.  Only a couple of scenes to chapter's end, then.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Finished the folksong, which was a 'Riddles Wisely Answered' plot with a twist appropriate to its world.  Just for once the tune is a real one in our own setting: The Bonnie Banks of Airdrie (Child #14). Ewan MacColl had earwormed me with that one, but bad. The Benball Stair has now done its job, namely to give me my mind back.

The lady appears to be a conflation of Katy Elflocks - the protagonist of the completed panel of Three Katherines of Allingdale - and the King of Elfland's daughter from her tale. The minstrel appears not to have read the terms and conditions on the back of his poetic licence.

This was totally the reason that I only managed a beggarly 195 words on the main story yesterday. The word-shortage has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I'm heading into a complicated and painful argument, or with the unpleasant discovery that the viewpoint that hurts most for it, is also the right one -  for exactly the same reasons.

Meyer's Law is all too valid for writing. Ow, ow, ow!

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

I notice how I am lately complaining that my heroine manquée and protagonist, Golden Kate Alland, burns me when I write her. Does this mean she has successfully... "Searched for the Nero Inside Herself"?


400 words: a false calm, a true kindness, a touching of hands in the cold and the dark.

Also, I am being persecuted with Kateverse folk songs again.  And this chapter has calved.  I'm going to have to get my skates on if I want to finish my arc before the summer holidays.


caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

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