Friday, November 30, 2007

So who in the Half-Continent would you be?

It occurred to me that it might be really rather interesting to know that if folks were citizens of the Half-Continent what type of person they might be?
  • What would be your name?
  • What part of the Half-Continent would you live in?
  • What would be your social station?
  • What profession might you choose?
  • Would you be a sedorner (monster-lover) or invidist (monster-hater) or somewhere in between?
  • What would you look like?
  • Would you have spoors or cruorpunxis?
  • What else would be interesting about you?

I am thinking I could perhaps do a little profile of each response in the side bar, a new one for each month - and "Introducing..." kind of thing. Please, answer one, some or all of these as you feel, let the world (and me) know - I reckon this might be a tad fun.

Oh - and Happy Thanksgiving to those for whom it is relevant!

(I am also wondering where random missfitt has got to... hello, are you there, sir?)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Folding-money & more

This is a replica of the 10 sou folding-money note (sometimes called a folder) that Rossamünd received from Europe just before he departs for Winstermill - actual size is about A5.

The red stamp in the top left corner is the Imperial Sigil made as deep-dye mark. Pressed into the bottom right corner is the Sovereign Marque - made using a form, a metal rod cast with a state's sigil - or marque - which is placed on the paper and hammered once and firmly with a small mallet to leave an imprint in the paper. Such forms are highly valuable items - I can see certain insalubrious folk plotting how they might steal one to further their own nefarious causes. The sign "A.V" in the marque stands for "Arius Vigilans" - the Vigilant Ram of Hergoatenbosch.

I thought some folks might be interested in knowing what folding-money looks like. I have been spending some of my inbetween-books time (that being Book 2 Lamplighter - now with the printers - and Book 3 - still no official title yet) figuring out the convoluted systems and industries surrounding the production, issuing and redemption of the humble folding bill.

Such periods of pointed and concerted invention are enriching, giving me an continually expanded view of just what makes the Half-Continent work; all those folks bustling about: the printers and their secret-vault presses, the guarded trucks taking the bills to banks and other authorised issuers, the halls of clerks keeping track of the movements and uses of the bills through an unwieldy system of logs and ledgers, the revisionists sent out to investigate frauds and forgeries. Fun, fun, fun.

Also, I have at last coined Half-Continent terms for the words mooseguy kindly challenged me with. So here goes once more, Half-Continent synonyms for real-world terms #011:

mobile phone = in full these would be called eloquiproculogue, sometimes shortened to proculogue, or voxeproculogue, though everyday folks would call them ablongs ("from afar")

internet = technically it would alternatively be known as the astrapemethodologue or fulgurcoetre ("electrical gathering") shortened to the fulgurcot, though once more the vernacular would be the somewhat simpler epistulane, with emails being commonly called epistles (a briefer form of fulgepistulës) or coets.

democracy = well, technically I could simply use the word "democracy" and be done, but where would the fun be in that?! So the Gotts for example, have two terms for it, stimmanteil ("voice-sharing") used in a positive sense, and lumpelämend ("rascal-noise") used pejoratively. Given that the Gottish political system is essentially an imperial dictatorship, lumpelämend is the more common in current times. In the Haacobin capital, Clementine, the term vox paritas ("equal voice") is being thrown about more and more frequently, it detractors deriding it as glaucaloquia ("sweet-talking") - a whole lot of frothy nonsense: the Empire will not stand - and therefore the dominion of men against the monsters - (so they say) if power is shared about to any old person just because they feel they would like to have a go a running things.

Keep the challenges coming, please.

Also, would you keep Jay (I introduced you to him last post) in your thoughts: he is going through very tough times at the moment.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Introducing Jay

Today, I would like to introduce a fine fellow I have met in email-land, via his mum (the stellar Rita Faye):

Jay, from Cocoa, Florida.

Howdy, sir, how are you doing? I hope better today.

Now Jay was doing a report on Monster-blood Tattoo for school, which went basically:

"*Research and write a report about the author of the novel. Include information about their life and books they have written. Also include a photo of the author.*"

So, via his mum Rita, he asked me some questions about writing and the book and myself, did a whole lot of hard work and handed in the report early. Better yet, when he got his grade back he had achieved 120 for it! Woo-stinkin'-hoo! Well done, Jay!

Given he had asked me some questions I thought I would ask him some of my own:

Favorite character from MBT?
"Europe, because she can shoot lightning."

Favorite books? (in order...)
"Artemis Fowl series (Eoin Colfer), Monster Blood Tattoo (DM Cornish), Rock Star Superstar (Blake Nelson), Eclipse (Stephanie Meyer), The Supernaturalist (Eoin Colfer)" (How sweet is that - I'm on someone's favourite list!)

Do you like comics?

"Yes, I like comics. For example, I like Spider-Man, Ultimate X-Men, Ultimate Spider-Man, The Punisher, manga, and just about everything else." (Makes me think I need to get a graphic novel of MBT happening some day - or better yet some other story from the Half-Continent.)

Now, from what I understand, Jay has a blood and marrow condition which doctors are currently investigating (Rita said I could say this - I hope Jay does not mind) so please have him in your good thoughts, prayers or whatever other positive processes you have. That is kind of why I am introducing to you all - to make his day (I hope) in the midst of tough times. Maybe you could send him a howdy in the comments and answer the questions I asked him (for the illumination of both him and I):

Favorite character from MBT?
Favorite books?
(in order... or not)
Do you like comics? (I include graphic novels in this)

The next book for Jay's project is called The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Rita says, "Jay likes it for one of the same reasons he likes MBT; the hero is a young boy that he can identify with. We shall see how he goes." We shall indeed. May you get equally high marks for this, too, Jay!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Different Covers for Book 2

Above is the US Edition cover for MBT Book 2: Lamplighter.
Below is the ANZ Edition hardback cover.

Thoughts any one?

Friday, November 16, 2007


Oh, and btw ...

Lamplighter (ANZ Edition) has gone to the printers!

(I am sure other editions will be following shortly)

ALAN Review

The U.S. edition of MBT: Foundling has made it on to the cover of the ALAN Review, along with Laini Taylor's Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer - she and I are stablemates at Penguin.

Laini has an excellent site on the struggles of writing over at Not for Robots - I found myself agreeing and encouraged by almost all she says. Writing is hard - I certainly find it so, like pulling teeth without anaesthetic; so heck it out if you want a lift to your flagging authorly spirits - indeed for those who want advice on such things on getting published, I think Liana is a better source of advice than I.

As for the The ALAN Review, it is the ALAN's (the Assembly on
Literature for Adolescents of the National Council of Teachers of English) "peer-reviewed journal ... devoted solely to the field of literature for adolescents." (taken from "Instructions of Authors: About the ALAN Review" the ALAN Review Winter 2007, p2 - head over to the site for more if you want... or not)

This is a signal honour, thank you ALAN! There is apparently no actual review of MBT 1 in it though ... so there you go.

Half-Continent definitions for real words and more meaningful content will be coming soon; meanwhile you should still go and check out the marvellous images made by MBT readers in Spain.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Remarkable! Illustrations of the Half-Continent

May I invite you all to head over to the Spanish MBT website, Tatuaje de Monstruo. There they have run a drawing/painting competition and the results are just - well - wow!

It is hard to describe the feeling of seeing such a response from others to my own ideas - it is a very very good feeling, that is for certain: community, sharing, connection - these are all there.

A los que han hecho este trabajo puedo decir solamente, en Español gravemente traducido...
(To those who have done this work I can only say, in badly translated Spanish)

Le agradezco de mi corazón por sus imágenes maravillosas. Son verdad hermosas y me ayudan a ver el Mitad-Continente (del Continente Central) de maneras mejores que hice antes. Digo otra vez le agradezco!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Time for a bit o' fun

It is getting a tad serious here. I am afraid I might be exhausting people with all the heavy pondering. Therefore, in response I'd like to show how I look - if I were on The Simpsons [TM].

An intriguing likeness. I wonder what I might do in an actual episode - get shot through and acid factory like Luke Perry perhaps? Hmm...

I am probably waaaay behind; you all have probably known about Simpsonising [TM] yourselves for ages. I would love to see what you guys might look like as citizens of Springfield [TM] - not sure how though - perhaps you could post them somewhere then leave links in the comments? Maybe that'll work?

By the way, I am digging the polls - very informative, I love getting feedback. I hope people are enjoying them. Anyone got a good idea for any other questions I could be asking? Also, does anyone have a real world term they would like to challenge me to turn into a Half-Continent term? (It has been soooo long since I last had a go at this - so go on, challenge me.)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

An objectionable question

After the last post I have some questions rolling about my head.

If a book that truly was objectionable is published would it be best to ban it (no doubt increasing focus on it and therefore sales) or leave it be and hope it evaporates into obscurity?

If a child you knew (son, daughter, niece, nephew, younger sibling and all the rest) wanted to read a book you had doubts about do you let them just read it - not wanting to impact their liberties - or ban them entirely - seeking to preserve their innocence? Or would it be better (though a whole lot more work) to read the text first or along with the child and then discuss the objectionable parts and give then some perspective?

Being that I have been married a little over a year and children are a possible future for me, this is becoming startlingly relevant. Anyway, nothing particularly new in these queries, they have been a vexed issue for long before I was ever pondering them.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Objectionable Book

Discovered this little gem not so long ago - found here and written by THE HON. DR GORDON MOYES.

'I knew Scholastic also had an Australian Book Club. I later found in some of their promotional material: “Welcome to Scholastic Book Clubs, where you’ll always find fabulous books, terrific value and wonderful resources! The most affordable books!” They were advocating the sale of “Harry Potter”, “Halloween” and “Monster Blood Tattoo” so I could expect to find the objectionable books with these if they had them.' (bold type added by me.) (I do not have any issue with the general content of the article - I am not that keen on wolves in sheep-clothing either.)

So if I read it right by the inference, I reckon I can say it is official: MBT is an objectionable book.

I wonder if the Honourable Mr Moyes formulated his opinion on a thorough reading of the text or rather by a cursory and shallow assumption based on the title alone? I fear it was probably not the former.

Either way, I feel like I've won something and do not know who to thank first.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A few of my favourite things.

A new month, a new post - got to give this regularity thing a chance. And to help keep things interesting I am introducing a reader poll (yipee!) - over there on the right, just down a bit, feel free to answer.

On with the show...

Mooseguy asked: "1. What is/are your favourite animal(s)? 2. What sort of music do you like? Do you have any favourite bands? Oooh! And poets? Any favourite poets?"

Animals would definitely have to be the deep-sea viper fish, gulper eel, sperm whales, whale sharks, land crabs, moon jellyfish, pangolins, goats & sheep, the common house fly, any kind of bird, dogs in general - though those small out-of-control yappy ones are hard to appreciate.

With bands I would say go check out my profile for a more comprehensive list, but in direct answer to the question most certainly New Order were my first big love. Right now I am getting into a great debut album by Abby Dobson - sweet gentle Australian sounds, an amazing voice. In fact, I also have made some of my own electronica for many years calling myself Methods of Recorder - no official releases though, just what I call "grey" labels, that is self-made cds for friends. I am no musical genius - that is for sure - but I do (dare I admit it) like my own tunes.

As to poets my clear favourites are Wordsworth, Shel Silverstein (I L-O-V-E Where the Sidewalk Ends), Lewis Carol, Mervyn Peake and Aidan Coleman whose words are a sweet suburban lullaby, the lyric of tiled roofs, treed streets and empty ticking rooms waiting for their owners to return home.

Part of my initial post for the new month it is also going to have a wierd kind of housekepping vibe. I have a request of you all: not sure the blog is looking to some of you as it should, so (and I hope this ain't too tacky) am going to put an image of how it looks to me and would kindly ask you to let me know if that is how it looks to you.

Does it look something like this on you browser? If so tell me, if not tell me even more.

Cheers very muchly.