caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Due to the severe degeneration of my lifestyle during the final push to complete my first draft, I shall be devoting most of this weekend to clearup and recovery. Last night I got my first really decent sleep in more than a week, so I'll take that as a good beginning. Much or little blogging may fit into the corners.

I was going to illustrate this post, but either Dreamwidth or Picasa has stuffed up most hopelessly, and I can't be bothered to sort it out. Here's a link to the Old Masterpiece that speaks most eloquently to the state of the artist.

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

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 510 words.  The Young Duke solves a problem with scholarship.  His mother would be so proud, and so uncomprehending.  She's at least as smart as he is, and quite classically educated; but she uses it for pedantry or to help her wrap her head around dangerously unfamiliar concepts.  I don't think it's ever occurred to her, or to many of her former peers, as being of merely practical use.

And now I know about old King Quicksilver, Mercurio, the Kateverse's twisty answer to Roman Numa - and a little bit more about the tradition of Puffins Superior.

Now the Duke need only see whether his solution is any improvement on the problem.  But it takes the most enormous brazen balls for a man like him to dare such a sissy-seeming venture as this is going to look, at all.  He's a strange lad, my golden wolf-pup, and much closer to the centre of the story than I imagined him.

Been feeling a deal more human, today.

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

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 1,460 words, and just got up to the climactic and final bit of the chapter.

Most of this is going to have to go into incluing in previous sections, be moved back into previous episodes, or just deleted and left for implication.  I can't do that in this first draft, or I'll forget half of what I was trying to imply.  The Bonfire Arc is definitely taking a turn I hadn't planned for.  That's new, eh?

Also, my nerves are piano-wires, my muscles feel fresh off the barbecue, and I am mucous as any slug.  There's a simile I shan't be working into any folksongs any time soon!

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 1,850 words in two days.  These will probably come in for some very chilly condensation later.  Kate's party passes the outward adventures and persisting inward horrors of the Swale Road, and returns for the last time to her home country of Alland.  The bitter, conceited, indoctrinated Widow has better points and better reasons for pressing them than I'd expected.  The claw of Kate's own very peculiar and personal harpy is closing about her heart.

Some very interesting stuff is going on with this yarn's gradual expansion from our heroes' grandiose romantic narcissism in the beginning, towards a fantastic sprawl of common powers and agencies and agendas, as this most democratic-spirited of revolts reaches its physical and spiritual apogee.  I'm having to invent some fairly specialized techniques on the hoof in order to convey the simultaneous real significance and narrative marginality of the ever-expanding named cast.

Masters I've found myself most conspicuously borrowing from in this connection: the Icelandic saga-writers; Tolkien; Diane Duane (Tale of the Five rather than Young Wizards flavour).  Malory and William Morris, fainter echoes of.  I've seen some other impressive approaches to similar problems, and had relative success one other way of my own, but here I have the answer that most obviously belongs to my world. I also have a bit of work or three to do, refining it.

There has been a lot of sick and tired lately.  Now there must follow an even bigger lot of rushing about: my blogging may be sporadic or non-existent over the next fortnight or so.  The sickness and tiredness is probably going to deprive me of finishing this chapter before the real rush gets going.  It's got conspicuously better over today, though.  One good night's sleep, and I ought to be set up for my adventures.


caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
After a pleasant week of Family Stuff, I returned to work to discover a defrosted freezer.  The contents, which were mostly liver and lights, had reached the stage of sending out miasmas and pseudopods.  The Offaly Civilization has now been destroyed, but long shall its memory be green.  Crimson, purple, billy-brown and black also.

My back is staging demonstrations for shorter weights and better pay.

My home access to LJ seems to have mostly gone away, hanging forever whilst contacting "".  Some folk report solving a similar problem by forcing their router to grab them a new dynamic IP address.  Doesn't work for me.

In a more encouraging development, I've finally achieved my perfect sausage risotto - my previous standard being mediocre at best.  The secret, such as it is, involves more chilli and garlic, more carrot and coriander soup, and the introduction of small quantities of olives and tomato salsa.  This advance was achieved by one part instinct, three parts advice, and nine parts blind ridiculous luck.

Aaaand it's time to get writing again.
caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 400 words of Kate's Speech.  Coming to the end of it, thank goodness, because this first stab at it is really pretty poor, with a few brilliant sparks straight from the Golden Wolf's coat against a mud-matted grey background.  I suppose she could plausibly motivate her audience to great desperate adventure with these words; but MAKEHERSTOP MAKEHERSTOP MAKEHERSTOP is not quite the gallant cause I had in mind!

The end, at least, should be pretty dramatic straight out of the gate.

The eye seems slightly less irritated again, and the housework seems slightly more irritating.

Charlie Stross has convinced me of the fundamental identity of libertarianism and Leninism, so this morning I joined the 2ting Popular Front Online, and we shall just be rallying the digital proletariat to seize the commanding heights of the New Economy, as soon as we have thrashed out the process for oversight of elections to the Svoburo's Standing Orders Committee.

We is in ur MMORPGs, organizin ur AIs.

Monsters of the Web, unite!  You have nothing to lose but your dungeons!

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

Suddenly afflicted yesterday with either a significant irritation or a minor infection in my left eye, whereafter not much sitting at computer screens possible. Better today but not yet quite right, so communications may continue economical.

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 280 words more of Kate's Speech. How vile is my disposition when the stories are not flowing, and how little I notice until the cloud lifts! I think I usually more or less fake homo sapience socially during lulls like the past week's, even to myself at the time; but the mood's aftertaste is not a lovely one; and as for the effect on the housework, I stepped out this morning to find the silverfish forming a picket line and waving little teeny placards demanding cleaner and tidier working conditions. Or perhaps there was just something in my eye, and I saw what I secretly expected to.

I dreamed a brand new fantasy world and have forgotten almost all of it, except for the map of the region I was in and its near environs. I was on the western side, which was a sort of combination of Dark Lord's Wasteland and 1970s Slump London - more lava lamps than Mount Doom - with various punky subcultures around the fringes. There were various impassable barriers to the happier and more diverse countries to the east, except that they weren't entirely impassable either on the magical barrier end or the big enormous mountain range end, and evil imperial invasion was being plotted going eastwards, as well as serious iffy eastern sorcerous plots whose details I don't remember leaking westwards onto my own side of the barriers. I was involved in some Arab Spring style of sedition against the Lava Lamp Imperials, and either I have forgotten all of the details of that too, or I was just engaging in my usual dream strategy of Victory Through It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time.

The little I do remember of its general feel makes me wish I retained enough of the setting to use it for something.  I wonder if it was influenced by thoughts of the late Diana Wynne Jones?  The register seems right.  Ah well, back to my work again!

Eyes Right

Mar. 11th, 2011 08:57 am
caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

Follow-up eye examination yesterday, to January's laser surgery for an incipient retinal tear.  Discharged with verdict of complete success, and the strong hint that next time anything suspicious occurs with my eyes, I report straight to the Eye Hospital's casualty unit instead of futzing about through my GP.  Which is certainly not the sort of song UK health managers and their bosses are trying to put on for mood music!

There was a trainee opthalmologist sitting in on the session, and for whom I performed some minor guinea-piggery afterwards.  She was both polite and an obviously enthusiastic learner, so the experience was pleasant in particular, as well as being a very light price for getting ocular medicine immediately and in the next generation.  There was one thing she did not seem to have learned yet, and which I'd never even considered, until then given occasion to think it out on the way home...

Opthalmologists at work should probably array themselves blandly.  All the others I've met, have done so.  Being a negative, this is not something which I found especially remarkable at the time.  But when you're depending on your patient's ability to hold steady focus in arbitrary and often unnatural directions, swirls of colour and glints of silver and cleverly styled cascades of shining and shifting curls are not unmitigated assets.  This is actually worse as an attendant than as a principal actor: I think this is because Butterfly Person is then more often in peripheral vision, where reactions to movement and shiny are less likely to pass through consciousness first.

What I have seen eye doctors use to effect is a stud ear-ring as one convenient point of patient focus - "Look at my ear!" being almost a watchword with these folks under many circumstances.

So I learned a little bit yesterday, too.  And was a very great deal relieved, at the continuing lights of my world.

Writing?  Naw.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
They don't always get on with one, as I am occasionally reminded.  On a medicine now that will hopefully pacify them.  I see much bland eating and even plainer drinking ahead for... some time.  I suppose small frequent meals does mean more variety, which is spice of a sort.

I slept reasonably last night for the first time in a while, which is probably why I didn't wake up fresh from the memory of roping James Stewart, Cyndi Lauper, Nicholas Nickleby and Campaspe into an amateur Anglesey production of You Won't Believe It!, the smash-hit musical based on The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.


Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 410 words of critically urgent instant diplomacy, and Elegant Elder Sister, who is not the sort of person who speaks much of 'guts' at all, nonetheless turns out to have even more of them than I thought.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Health problems which I shall not detail at this time, but the ocular one of which has just been provisionally dealt with by SUPER SCIENCE LASERS!, have rendered today unavailable for my day job and largely useless for writing.  I may or may not have to grab a drop-in appointment tomorrow at my GP's tomorrow to deal with the gut one, since it has had its incapacitating moments and, yea, hours this week.

Its effect on my sleep, i.e. buggering it up, continues to yield strange creative results.  For last night's dream, my subconscious suggested, "Let's put on a sequel to about half Gilbert and Sullivan's operas at once, right here in this brain!"  And once again, the upshot made enough pseudo-sense that I was obliged to scribble on waking - in this case, the rapidly-crystallizing opening number, in order to get it out of my head.

The premise, such as it is, involves Lady Psyche out of Princess Ida setting up as Headmistress of an exclusive finishing school after breaking up with her irrepressibly misbehaving lover Cyril, who comes up with a ludicrous scheme to win her back.  Characters from The Mikado, Utopia Ltd., and The Grand Duke*  appear prominently.  It had no title in the dream, but would of course necessarily be called Eros and Psyche, were I ever so lost to both sloth and shame as to actually fanfic it into existence.

In a welcome nod to normality, this dream did at least have the decency to intermingle the above with a lot of random matter involving bad bookkeeping and continual boozing within the London Green Party of yore, both of which were somehow my fault.  The politicoes were possibly also the cast, and the scintillating lady with the Cyrano-esque nose may have been either our Psyche or the director - either way, it was a merry meeting - but I doubt things were really so cogently arranged as that.

* And also G&S's still more famous opus Pride and Prejudice, but let that pass!

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 270 words of circumstantial matrix for Elegant Elder Sister's Moment of Awesome, which is now fully achieved.


caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

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