Friday, March 23, 2007

Deep Gratitude

To my friends who have left their encouragements I say a most grateful thank you. With the text for Book 2 now two chapters and 20,000 words less (and much better for it) and the deadline fast approaching, your words - and your concomitant patience - have been most excellent and welcome.

I shall have answers to questions in the next couple of weeks.

… and for breakfast this morning I had some wheaty-fruity cluster thingies.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I'm Back...


My time blogging at Inside A Dog is now done. It was a blast and for me very frequent (though perhaps not frequent enough for the folks who frequent Inside A Dog with greater frequency) .

Editing progresses.

Time runs short.

Time, time, always time...

The 'mountain' is steep but if I keep looking at how hard it will be to climb then I just will not get anywhere, frozen by fear. So head down and on with todays work: those handful of chapters designated as today's challenge. Tomorrow's challenges for tomorrow.

This brings me to the necessary yet painful revelation that MBT Book 2 will not be out in May of this year, that being 2007. It is more likely to come out late this year (2007) or early next (2008) - but certainly no later than this!


I am so sorry to have to do this to those of you hanging in there with me. I apologise for the misinformation several posts ago. That was out original target, yet the process of making MBT 2 any good is taking some time. For those of you who continue with us in this, I truly think it will be worth the protracted wait. I truly believe, however, that a good book late is better than a bad book on time.

For those of you who are still here and have not vacated in frustration at this revelation, Winter expressed curiosity at the origins of the vinegar seas. I sometimes wonder if eagerly divulging my creative process is ruining it for people, like seeing the strings on a marionete or getting that blue-screen fuzz about a spaceship that is meant to be hurtling through space ... I could go on. What do folks think? Reveal all - or keep the mystery?

Having said that I'll answer Winter's curiosity and say that there were two things most directly influential on the invention (if I may call it that) of the vinegar seas.

First came my delight at Homer's term "the wine-dark sea", and wanted an equivalent in the Hc that had a similar poetic impact, a way of refering to the all-inportant oceans that was more that just a technical name. I do not recall where exactly the idea of "vinegar" came from - probably the association with wine - but having settled on that as possessing the right 'vibe' I then had to justify why the seas were named so.

The second part? Watching a documentary on flamingoes I was struck by those multi-hued soda lakes in Africa, the very home of these birds. A conjunction formed in my thoughts: I had actually wondered if the Homer's "wine-dark sea" might actually be deep red in colour, and these soda lakes were red (and torquoise, and yellow and so on) in colour. So perhaps the vinegar seas are actually alkalai oceans filled with all kinds of exotic chemicals to make them odd and lurid hues, that the appellation "vinegar" comes from the sharp, sour-wine-like smell of the various chemicals within the waters. Click. For me it all fitted and so the idea became firmly a part of the Hc.

From there it was - and continues to be - a matter of allowing for the adaptions and habits such an aquatic world might force on people, on shipping and seaside living, and what manner of creatures might lurk beneath the turbulent waves.

I hope this does not ruin the idea for anyone.

And as yet I have not had breakfast, though it is most likely to be Sultana Bran [TM] with a few extra saltanas for increased sultanary goodness.

... and I am still very very sorry for the disappointing news of MBT2's later than expected publishing date.

NOTE: MBT = Monster Blood Tattoo, Hc = Half-Continent