Wednesday, December 31, 2008

(Was intended to be the...) Bumper Final Issue (for the year that is...)

Well, 2008 has come and nigh gone again (indeed, it is gone!) and all the while I have been wrestling through some book I am supposed to write *rolls eyes* ;P The previous two books of the Monster-Blood Tattoo series so far has been a distinct journey and this third is now different - as another author once said you never learn how to write your next book, just the one you are currently working on.

How true that is. Book 3 - the infamously long-to-wait-for Factotum - has been a process all its own, with its own momentum, its own surprises. It is frightening and wonderful to go out in the story on a hunch that it is the correct direction and have it rewarded with an unexpected unfolding of whole unforeseen and richer moments in the tale.

One of the hardest things has been facing the finish the text, fear fear fear; is this story good enough? Does it do what it needs to do? Will folks like it? The great thing is that now it is not even 18 months to release folks, so hang in there.

A recent high point was when Katie - a fellow metaphoric citizen of the Half-Continent - sent through images of a costume she has been working on. I won't tell you who it is of, 'cause you ought to know...

(c) Copyright Katie/ Spacetart 2008+9. Used with permission.

I could not help but ask Katie how it works as a functional piece of clothing to which she responded:

"As a functional piece of clothing, I'm not really sure. For me, it was fine, since I was at work and didn't have a huge range of movement,but for the actual characters, I'm not sure how it would stand up to the whirling fighting movements without the benefit of spandex/lycra.Though you can't see it, the sleeves do tie on like it's said in the book, so that wouldn't be an issue, but around the inseam, it might be a problem. The stomacher actually worked well, and stayed on fine with the ties. I have new respect for the seamstresses of the clave if they have to paint that diamond pattern, and even more if they have to quilt or sew them together."

My thoughts on that last statement are that the cloth comes dyed that way by request - still, it'd be a heck of a job for the dye house then and prodigiously expensive to boot. You can see the rest of the images of her astonishing creation and Katie's comments on them here! Thank you, Katie!

Next bit o' niceness (my how that word has change in meaning!) is this piece of superb well, I suppose you might call it "fan art" (somehow that does not seem to cut it with me) from our own curiousmouth - and again I shall leave you to figure who the two figures are...(c) Copyright Katie/ Spacetart 2008+9. Used with permission.

(c) Copyright Curiousmouth 2008+9. Used with permission.

Thank you all so much for another excellent blogging year, you all make writing and creating better, "funner", a bit more real; I hope I might do the same for you sometimes.

New Year's Resolution: to get the Varificon up and running fully - there are too many genuinely excellent new words in there, I think a couple might make it in to Book 3. I am hoping it might become a corporate cooperative dictionary we can all dip into, so help yourselves peoples (with proper credit of course).

Welcome to 2009!

On with the new year!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Thing!

Merry Jesus-birthday!

Bless you one and all, may this be an excellent day for you - and congratulations on reaching over 80 comments!
(I knew you could do it... I certainly gave you a read hot go by taking so long to post)

And welcome back Anna from your African adventure - hope all went well.

Bumper issue post coming soon.

Monday, December 15, 2008

(Intentionally left blank)

It is about time I answer Pearlius' question: "About how old is Europe? She looks either a very tired young woman or a good looking old woman."

I have always thought of the Branden Rose as about 29, as we currently know her, more in the line of a tired, world-weary young(ish) woman who has seen and done about as much as there is to see and do in the Half-Continent. I have to admit I think I overdid the careworn-ness of her portrait in Lamplighter, just a touch too haggard perhaps - ah well, live and learn.

Pearlius was also wondering: "...does Europe have any heroic, awesome scar that she can show off?"

I reckon she would have the scars, yes, but would be unlikely to show away with them... not her style I am thinking. (Perhaps if you asked nicely..?)

I have been over to the Monster-Blood Cult on FaceBook started by Patrick Brooks. I have not said hello yet (on account that I do not have a Bookface account :) but perhaps folks from our neck of the woods could engage in a little cross pollination (or something) between here and there.

Finally, we have a new poll... check it! (said with cool street voice) You may have to plunder the Explicarium of both books to refresh you memories - wow, that is almost like homework - what am I thinking!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ompholascepsis [SPOILER WARNING]

I tell you, the navel issue has been baking my noodle for a few years now, but I am of the notion that our hero would possess an ompholic dent that would pass enough as a navel. With the often more rudimentary delivery of babies in the Half-Continent I am thinking that there would be such a variety of quality of "belly-buttons" that Rossamünd's little dent would not look too out of place.

As to theroid (or therian or theraphim) for monster but teratologist for monster-hunter (thank you, master portals):

~ "thera" and "teratos" are both Attic words for monster, so it is simply the use of different root words that accounts for this variation. More-over, it is common in both Attic and the English language (and therefore Brandenard too) that "t" and "th"are exchanged with each other in the development of a word, especially "th" being shortened to "t".

How's that for some answers?

BTW, ompholascepsis means "navel-gazing".

Monday, December 08, 2008

Aurealis Awards 2008 Shortlist.

Hello, hello, long time no post...

Here is some happy news to put up - I just learnt today that Monster-blood Tattoo 2, Lamplighter has been shortlisted in the 2008 Aurealis Awards in the Best Young Adult Long Fiction category AND to add to that the fantasy series, The Sorcerer’s Tower (being
Thorn Castle, Giant’s Lair, Black Crypt & Wizardry Crag) written by the eminent Ian Irvine and illustrated by yours truly, has also been shortlisted in the Best Children’s (8-12 years) Illustrated Work/Picture Book category.

Thank you very much the goodly folks and Aurealis! ... and to all of you too!