Friday, June 22, 2007

Here I am... and you thought I'd forgotten you all!

Not a chance!

Every comment goes to my email - I know when you've come a'calling... & I know how long its been since last post = far too long: you are so right Mr. Shayne de Comyn Esquire. Well, hang in there, its a long hall for anything worthy. I'd like to try and do this the first Monday of every new month. Let us see if that works, a little regularity to help folks know when its time to come and check old Monster Blog Tattoo once more.

I am currently working on a final draft for the final fine-toothed-cimb editing (what I believe is called copy editing) and loving all the questions and suggestions. Mr. Missfitt's idea of the submariner experience is a corker and I am thinking even now of a possible short story to describe just that (dedicated to him of course).

Now here is huge question for those of you have a care about such things - and one that needs pretty prompt answering. The question is:

Would you like to see what Rossamünd looks like - have me draw a view of his face or would rather that we never saw Rossamünd’s face during the series, that I left the subtlety, the mystery, the idea of his face to you the reader?

Just put your answers in the comments - no trendy poll widgets here, I'm afraid. I would be most definitely grateful to know your opinions - all of you.

Now, cause Coz asked for it, here it is – a picture of a monster…

... it is an ettin from some treeish swampland, rather smarter than your average ettin and a terror to the locals. You get a sense of this fellow's size by the skulls displayed at his hip. Does anyone want to have a go at naming him?

But the big question is, of course, Book 2 Book2 Book 2? I think I have another life somewhere, I have vague recollection of some other thing, like eating, and sleeping and going to the movies; I have this vague image of a woman with red hair… I think I married her recently – it is all so vague in shadow of BOOK 2!

Well, as far as I am aware release date is…

wait for it…

April 2008!


A long time to wait?

Does this bite the big one?

Am I so very very sorry for the wait?
Still very much so, yes!

Will it be worth the wait?
Oh Lord, please may this be so!

Dan S. Tong bless you, sir, for such encouraging words. My word hitting the nail on the head for someone else feels so so good. I want people to respond that way – not just because I feel good if I know (oh my ego! arg!) – but because I actually want to give to the reader (those who are ready and willing) a great big other world transcendent experience. I want you to feel what I feel when I read my favourite books… That is my goal, anyways.

On of the A Nonny Mouses (cheeky scoundrels) asks: "... so could you please go into more detail about ranks and different rolls of service in HC wepenoary&c..."
I’d love to tell you all about the military (in its various forms) of the Half-Continent but I want to show you in detail about it in future books (should any publisher let me) and time and space are premium here. Therefore, in very very very brief right now: ... imagine ranks and files and blocks of soldiers in bright, stiff uniforms firing across the deadly gap at each other with firelocks and black-powder cannon, wearing proofing which makes them harder to hurt. Under great flying spandarions, regimental colours and company bunting, individual bravoes strut forward, suaves who are the darlings of their companies who challenge each other to dual. Across the dead-ground insults and musket balls are swapped and nothing much decided. An order relayed by runners, shouts and flags; one force starts forward 0 r maybe both. The armies close so that they might come to handstrokes where the troubardier is lord. Include now the thaumateers – the fighting teratologists: avertines (skolds) & bombastines (scourges) hurling their potives designed to harm men in to the steadily approaching foe in his neat ranks; somewhere a torsadine (wit) steps forward and putting hand to brow flattens sixty men before him in a perfect half circle. Now it is time for blows, the foe-man – three mighty troubardiers in proof-steal lorica are swinging their poleaxes at you. In leaps a tempestine (fulgar) and with a shout swings a fuse high and calls down lightning from the sky, felling the troubardiers instantly as the heaven-bolt leaps from foe to foe. This is how it goes for many hours till the moral contest is decided and one army quits the field, leaving the other exhausted and bereft after the terror and thrill of battle are gone. They retire to their camps and leave the desperate locals to loot the corpses of friend and foe.

Koallaku asks: “I have always wondered if it is harder to write the book or edit it when the writing is done? I myself hate editing my work so when it comes to that I usually do very little >.<”
Each has its trials, but actually squeezing the work out in the first place is – for me – the harder task (by far!). Getting started on editing is the big challenge, the (big! HUGE!) fear of the work actually in the end being no good at all, of having to dump the lot and start again, the fear of boredom because I already know how the story ends (darn it!). It has the two times I have engaged in it, been a very rewarding exercise; it can take an ok text on to being one worth putting before others, and that is a very happy thing. As to being edited by my editors (shall I say edit one more time?): yes, my ego gets dented in editing, but there is nothing wrong with our egos getting buffeted into a more other-friendly shape. Big egos are the cause of much ill in this world, and humility so little seen – I am thinking of myself here. Taking out 20,000 odd words from a text (I’m answering Andre here) is actually less painful that it sounds when they are the wrong words in the first place and the losing of them makes the story so much better.

Mr. Bomber's “Pigs might fly” question might have to wait a little, suffice to say that some existing clichés are “stuck between the stone and the sty” = rock and a hard place; “you can tell a light by its colour” = proof is in the pudding; “a face that would stop a horse” = a very unattractive person; “not everyone who studies law becomes a lawyer” = things do not always turn out how they seem; “even the sebaceous hexapods of Welter know!” = something is obvious and self-evident (the sebaceous hexapods of Welter are a mysterious, half-mythic race of weird, six-limbed creatures reputed to live in the depths off the southern Verid Litus. There are “heaps” more but I shall stop here (and figure out the pigs might fly equivalent… hmm…)

For breakfast today I had Skippy Cornflakes[TM].

And now: Half-Continent synonyms for real-world terms #009

horticulturalist = well most normally they are called gardeners unsurprisingly, or bowerists; also more technically you might find a flosfructors (technical), pomarians (fashionable), gartenbaurers (Gott), Imperial Hortomaths (the personal gardeners and gardening habilists of the Emperor).