caper_est: Sharpening the quill (writing)

So during the revision process for Three Katherines, I need to keep the purely creative side of things bubbling away, as rest and recreation if nothing else.  Of several candidates for the Next Big Project that have risen and fallen over the past month, by far the most tempting and successful to date is...

...A fantasy of epic conflict, magic, manners, applied theology, the amorous graces, d--gs, decolonization, and...

...let's just say that the working title is Chocolate and the Gods.

I'm not dreading the research for this one.

Meanwhile, the revision job continues to grind through round after round of diplomacy.  I foresee a good deal of material migrating backwards in the text, to be dramatized under slightly different circumstances.  Also, I did some actual text revision, and am now substantially happier with the climax of the Great Action Scene.

Onwards to completion, submission, and chocolate!

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 150 words.  The Young Duke partakes of a religious mystery, which -

- Ahem.  Mystery!

- explains the terseness of this passage.  He isn't radically transformed, doesn't get a miracle, and doesn't get an oracle, because this is not that kind of book, or even that kind of age of the world.  But this does several important things for all concerned, not least getting my characters and me to the final final scene in this chapter.

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 1,240 words.  The Duke's excursion completed.  Back to the claustrophobia.

Have I mentioned the Puffin Superior's being really scary?  She's Katy's most principled and lore-wise opponent, and she's just identified an utterly plausible and horrible danger to our Good Witch that nobody else - including me, in my normal narrator mode - had so much as picked up on.  Admittedly it's not Katy's welfare she's chiefly concerned about, but even so... 

Also, after that little potted sermon she dropped in - effective as it was in the circumstances - I begin to get why her order really, really is not generally a preaching or a teaching one.  Most people prefer the Flame of Eternal Truth somewhere safely below Gas Mark 3.  As to where most of the Olympians would prefer it given their druthers, let's not even go there!

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 430 words again.  Torchlight in the early mist.  Statecraft use and plainchant abuse.  I want to wrap this scene up tomorrow, but there is much work and much society and maybe I will not quite get there.

I will not post about the riots in my country until I can do so in other than a cherry-red rage, and most particularly I will not be thinking about them now if I can help it, since I must catch a great big load of sleep before the morning.

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 430 words.  Evil Lord Evil demonstrates some of his evilly redeeming evil qualities. 

I am pleasantly shattered after a day up hill, down cliff-stair, and around the back roads.  There are no puffins on the ledges of South Stack at this time of year, but the Puffin in my tale demands that I put in some religious research before I turn in for the night.  She also demands that I compose a Vestan plainchant* fragment for her acolytes in Latin, which she can go right on demanding.  Clerics!  Give 'em an uncia, and they'll take a mille passus!

* I know, believe me; I know!

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

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 500 word scene, setting up a diplomatic move in the foreground and the chapter climax on the sly.  How subtle I'm being, I'm still too close up to tell.

Yet again it is seen that when Golden Kate is the best person you can look to for consolation, your life is pretty much snorting chili powder off the toilet lid.

If there is really any equivalent of Freemasonry in the Kateverse, it is secret even from me, and therefore not a very close equivalent at all.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
In other news, 500 lunch-break words of The Princess out of Time, the Kateverse's answer to Sleeping Beauty. It may or may not get finished: its main attractions are (i) it is writing and it occurred to me; and (ii) it's exploring a culture and a religious perspective that touches marginally on Three Katherines of Allingdale, but gets no direct screen time there, and no love at all from absolutely anybody.

Listen: they tell stories in Volkary, too. Jack Angrist Shallow was the best tale-teller of all those countries, and if you rub off the gloss the bad church made him put on it, no-one from the King in his palace to Katy in her wightwoods has ever heard a better!

But you can't ever rub off the gloss; nor is it yet clear to me just how much Joachim Angristus Schlau really believed in his national version of State Saturnism, and how much he was satirizing it - except that elements of both seem most distinctly present.

Volkary is a fairly large and near neighbour, about which I've previously showed a broad and regrettable tendency not to know Jack.


Mar. 30th, 2011 10:26 am
caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

So last night I took time off from being a free man, in order to become a number.  My number was not Number 6.  I consider this use of my time to be rather a pile of Number 2 - albeit in various happier worlds I would contribute the same information gratis and with a good will.  At least the UK Office of National Statistics is a pretty straight branch of government, as such things go.  Filling in the form gave me a couple of thoughtful moments.

Biggest surprise was on the 'national identity' question, where multiple identifications were very wisely allowed for.  I discovered that I do, in fact, positively identify both as English and as Welsh. 

I don't identify as British, at least not in the same way.  Britain-the-polity is my nation in the tepid sense that other nation-states are very much less so; English, with Welsh running a strong second place behind, are more like personal tribal affiliations (and map increasingly poorly either to race, or even to 'ethnicity' in its day-to-day use - another thing the ONS got right).   I have a separate and much stronger affection for Britain-the-place, which is my island home; and for my fellow-islanders, and our near neighbours, and the customs and institutions that have grown up among us; and also for that large and diffuse cultural community called by some the Anglosphere.   And I have other tribal and kinship affiliations which are not ethnic or national at all: some of these are at least as important to me as my pervading Welsh-rippled Englishness.  It's bogglingly complex when one draws back from it a moment, and sometimes it takes the inherent simplification of a poll or a census to remind me how much so.

And then there was the one voluntary question on the survey: religion.  My usual policy, when somebody compels me to do something for their convenience, is to provide them with as little of what they want as I can get away with.  But in this case, I decided there was a better case for volunteering my  census-simplification of the true answer, viz. "No religion".  Religion is the sort of energetic concentrated interest-group to which governments and other folk are often tempted to defer.  "No religion," though, is a category which says little about one's actual philosophy or even zeal, but provides a broad hint that one will be unsympathetic to future religiose nudgings from the asker. 

Since genuinely religious people will mostly put down their actual religion, and people who know or care very little for religion are notorious for just putting down whatever identity their parents professed, I think it's wiser for people who do care but don't have a conventional religious identity not to let themselves be under-counted.

It is also the fault of this bureaucratic oppression that I only managed 20 words of Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland yesterday, and this is the story to which I am sticking.  But at least, albeit in a small way, I learned about as much from last night's exercise as Mr Trwyn-Ym-Mhopeth did!

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
A happy New Year to one and all!

I have not been awful active in a literary way over the holiday. 2,650 words of Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland, all of them from a long Council of Infodump very little of which will survive the redraft. But the developments it sparked have changed both my present chapter and the whole dynamic of the Rising beyond all expectation. Again, I am cast upon strange tides, and many-braided Allwater has taken me to some places I never imagined I'd see.

Two new visions which may bear future fruit, and which have at least helped keep me out of mischief. One was a reverie into which I fell upon the Holyhead train, in which I learned that one Man's Eru is another Orc's Azathoth - and that one side's desperate doomed stand against overwhelming horror and power can look remarkable similar on the other side of the lines. But not necessarily in the same genre. I like Doc Wolfram and Splicewire and the Lady of the Last Ditch almost as much as I would hate to live in their world, and it is just conceivable that I've met a dark fantasy notion with enough heart that I might be able to yarn about it. Certainly I haven't stopped having new flashes about that setting yet.

...And one that came to me in a dream, of a hunt on St Lucy's Eve, where I involved myself in a thousand-year adventure with St Lucy herself, and the Titaness Luna, and a charming and witty Iranian emigrée named Soraya, to wrest the light of the world from the heartless legalist glare of Delian Apollyon.  The end of this dream is not yet, so I shall say no more.  But if there is really a sensible answer to its central problem, I should give a great deal to be able to tell of that, too.

Ars longa, vita brevis, as always.

Meanwhile, here is a merry year's-getting toast from me and all the Katherines; and here are certain New Year's resolutions, looking to a day when they have gone to their long slushpile. 

Wassail, dear friends and good neighbours!  Drink hale! 



caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

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