Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oops, no title!

monday comes bearing a "nosy personal question, Mr Cornish: I was just re-read Foundling again and am suddenly wondering if you have some sort of deep-seated, sweat-inducing terror of, when traveling, accidentally getting on the wrong bus/train/airplane. [I'm talking of course about Rossamund's incident with the Rupunzil and the Hogshead.] because i am a paranoid traveller myself, and that situation certainly struck a chord with me...did you have some sort of bad experience, or is it just the product of an over-anxious imagination?"

I think it is the latter, though now that I ponder it, I certainly have an at times morbid concern for missing my stop - may be that is it?

Ben Bryddia was wondering... "Since it's not socially acceptable to be abroad without a hat of some sort in the Empire, does Europe's refusal to wear one say anything about her personality?"

I reckon it does, yes... especially in light of her rather ironic observations of Rossamund's continuous loss of his own head ware.

He also went on to muse, "I was also wondering if fuses came in any other shapes than the simple poles described in the books. I have no idea how one would wrap a knobbly bastinade stick with wire, but the concept sounds rather interesting to my addled thoughts."

This seems a perfectly feasible and probably likely variation for some certain fulgars. Sets me on interesting train of thought...

Dear Master portals ponders, "I was wondering - with all the monsters, how is hunting in the H/C? I mean, everyone seems quite well fed, but I never heard anything about actually getting the food. I know Rossamund walks past pastures with cows, but he also eats venison. Maybe I'm missing something (probably, but ... yeah ...)"

Fair question. Hunting and rearing of such things as deer ready to slaughter for the table are very much alive and well in the Half-Continent - something you can just assume are occurring. They have not appeared especially in the books because there is only so much minutiae I can put in each one... and I reckon not every spoke of the wheel needs reinventing (just most of them ;).

The most excellent Perry Middlemiss over at Matilda has picked up on my previous enthusiasm for editing, but I can say now that yes, indeed, as Klesita suggests, editing is taking its toll... *deep breath* The second draft is bearing only some resemblance to the first - the journey is very different every time. Added to this, I just learnt today the Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the first draft of Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde in 3 days (!!!!!) - I wish!

44 comments:

Anna said...

About traveling: I think you can learn to be a "daring" traveler. Myself, i´m a very worrying person, not to say unsure but in the yera 2000 I started my learning by going with a charter-travel , alone, no friends, to Egypt. not to mention my 2005 travel to the US when I happened to travel inbetween the bombings of London and that I got lost on EVERY place the planes landed which was a bit tricky in Canada where they spoke french at one place and in Germany, but I managed.
I just trow my self out there telling myself, what happens happens and I will deal with it then.

Mr Cornish, excellent idea with your bookshelf!

portals said...

I myself am terrified of doing boarding incorrect trains or aeroplanes.
Thanks for the answer Mr. Cornish.

lol, WV 'gumskins'

Klesita said...

Travel is such a wonderful thing, full of excitement. I'm never too worried about loosing my plane/train/bus I'm more afraid of losing my luggage! As it stands they usually travel to more places than I do but in most cases we get reunited; except on one memorable occasion I was traveling though the Andes and the luggage compartment of the bus opened and every single piece of luggage got thrown out along the way (very winding roads there). Always read the small print on your tickets and get travel insurance, I learnt this the hard way when I got the equivalent of about $30 for all the stuff I lost.

On a completely unrelated matter I was perusing the electronic maps of the Half Continent and I think that, since Rossamund's adventure is one taking us to so many places and half the story is the trip itself, this is the perfect book to have a board game companion! I was looking after these two kids (11 and 13) the other day and we ended up playing a Spanish board game called 'the Goose game' (I'm making a literal translation from Spanish) that I have never seen in English. The origins of the game are kind of romantic since it has been attributed to the Templars and it is said that if you can decipher the clues in the game (and apparently no one has) it is supposed to guide you through some Spanish cities to the place where the Templars hid their treasure. Anyway, I can see it! I can see a monster blood tattoo board game just like this where you have to go from one place to another, all the different things that can happen to you along the way, the choices you can make and how would they affect you. I think this would be a good idea and I should have proposed it in a legal and binding document.

Kusarbo said...

Mister Cornish I believe Stevenson wrote a chapter a day for Treasure Island! You can't imagine how excited I became after reading this in the introduction to the book, I remember myself bouncing around on the balls of my feet exclaiming to all and sundry (my poor family in this case) and, thank you!, you have just brought back to me an urge to read Treasure Island again. Also, I must introduce myself to his other books...

(did anybody read Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons in their Kindheit?)

theothervowel said...

Ahhh... the joys of traveling. They are many. I think that is one of the many reasons I enjoy your books so much Mr. Cornish. They are full of travel and adventure. Deep down, I believe all of us desire a similar life. And that is pretty amazing about Jekyll and Hyde. I just finished learning about the musical in one of my classes. It is a great story. I wonder how long it took before a final draft was completed.

Sam Hranac said...

3 days for a first draft? Must have been during his Mr Hyde stage. No decent person could do such a thing!

Alyosha said...

Lol Sam. In guise of a good joke, I think you found a truth. Truly, how else could someone write a book in three days?

Some folks have just commented about how well you, Master Cornish, use fine details to bring the Half Continent to life. I want to also thank you, however, for the detail you’re willing to spend in bringing characters to life, enough that they can cross over into the real world. Don’t worry; I’m not about to tell you that I had tea with The Lady Vey last evening – or any other such bizarre thing.

That said, I have, sort of, met Mama Lieger. She lives one street over from me. Her house isn’t built in a tree and, having seen her in short sleeves, I know that she doesn’t have tattoos on her arms. On the other hand, the walls of her house are covered in ivy, and she speaks in broken English with a heavy German accent. More significantly, in nice weather she wanders around her little, wild-bramble yard conversing unselfconsciously with squirrels, birds, and her two small dogs in whistles, yips, and yowls, interspersed with tiny bits of wordless melodies. These are full-blown “conversations,” not just occasional murmurs, and she doesn’t stop if someone happens to walk by.

Many of the neighbors think she’s a bit crazy and they may have a point. All the same, I think of her rather differently now. Until recently I actually didn’t think of her at all. I knew she existed and that she was odd, but whether she was there or not, whether she was crazy or not, had nothing to do with me. But you succeeded so well in bring Mama Lieger to life that when I met my odd neighbor-lady after reading Lamplighter, I felt like I was meeting Mama Lieger. I knew full well, of course, that it was nonsense; but, seeing things that way, even for a moment, made the odd old lady sudden seem like a person who might be worth getting to know better.

I haven’t become her friend. Such things, if they happen at all, take time. But I am speaking to her when I see her, and am already finding that the fanciful impression was more than moonshine. Anyway, I wanted to tell you that your efforts in bringing characters to life are as successful as your efforts with the Half Continent. It seems that you’re one of those fortunate writers who can breathe enough life into your characters that they can walk off the pages and change the world.

P.S. Please don’t let this go to your head and start making your stories all “literary.” Your fans still want to have a fun read!

D.M. Cornish said...

From your 'mouth' to my editor's ears, Mister Alyosha! Cutting down pomposity is one of my first tasks in a second draft, dare I admit.

I dead keen to meet your 'Mama Lieger' now!

Agreed, Mister Hranac (btw, if I may be so bold, what is the 'origin' of your 'family' name - as they would say in the H-c?)

Klesita said...

Alyosha, I think that you too have a thing for describing people and places very well. From your description your 'Mama Lieger' sounds like a lovely person. I could picture her just there feeding her little friends and going about her business. When is your book coming out?

Master Cornish did you always knew where Rossamund's story was going? I have been reading a little bit about how different authors go about their writing process and it seems to me that there are two types. There are the authors that know where they want to go with their story and how it is going to end and the ones that have an 'idea' and start writing it without really 'knowing' where is going to take them. According to some of the second group they don't really know how things are going to end until the actual end.

And a spin off the previous question, would the core of your story may change in subsequent drafts? Because I understand that some transitions are too contrive and need smoothing, or the description of a journey is too long and needs shortening. But would you realise that an important bit of the core of the story makes no sense and get rid of it, or that you need to include a major event that was not there in the first draft? for example would you realise after the third draft that Europe and Fouracres should get married and have kids and incorporate this in the story when you have originally intended for one of them to die (I know this sounds ludicrous, I'm just trying to find an extreme example).

Sam Hranac said...

You ask, "what is the 'origin' of your 'family' name..."

Bohemia. I believe it implies something to the extent of one who lives at the edge of the woods. Perhaps I descend from the family that lives a good league hence, underneath the mountain, just against the forest fence by St. Agnes' Fountain.

Differlot said...

The talk of hunting makes me ask a question, Do they ever eat monster?
I would either think that people would think that they are too revolting to eat or that they just never tried. It just seems like maybe in a castle or something where the emperor lives, if he lives in a castle, that they would maybe find roasted giant sea monster or nicker steak or something would seem like a delicacy. if not them does anyone?
Wherg- a company that sells oddities and exotic things to eat.
" you wanna go to that wherg restaurant tonight?"

Sam Hranac said...

"nicker steak" ~ snort... chuckle...

Sorry. That was rather inglyst of me.

Anna said...

Ok, I have soon lost all of my hair and I have to buy a purple wig, cause I´m so eager to read Factotum that I have pulled my hair off. It´s starting to be unbearable(?) to wait any longer. A whole year....my oh my....

monday said...

Anna-
i totally feel your agony, but why purple?

etera: an action one wants to do but is too lazy to actually commit to, such as think up verificon words

Alyosha said...

Klesita, Thank you for the kind words. I am a technically competent writer in the sense that I’m skilled at using words to communicate meaning. Unfortunately for me, that’s not the same as being a good storyteller

Master Cornish, is “I dead keen to meet your Mama Lieger now” your way of emphasizing that your writing is not likely to become overly pompous and literary? Just teasing. None of us would be posting here if we didn’t think you were a fine writer – and storyteller.

D.M. Cornish said...

*blushes* Ahh, yes, fine once my writing has passed through the bowels of an editor or two... I think folks might be surprised (even gratified) at all the clumsy errors and even gramatical ignorance in my first drafts. I am a product of what I have read rather than good schooling or further qualifications...

augniti - a Tuscanin/ Sedian word for lahzars.

Anna said...

I like purple and I think it goes with my eyes (brown), lol.

Klesita said...

Hi Differlot,

Nicker steak, somehow it seems anathema in a place such as the Half Continent...

I'm wondering if a kind of sedorner would be a person that likes to eat monster meat.

Differlot said...

Well that would be kind of odd since they are sedorners and want to get on a monster's good side so i would think that would be like trying to eat a bear that calls his friends to beat you up and can spit fire. It's just that it sounds like maybe other monsters would be angry with them and attack

Klesita said...

Well Differlot if humans from Earth are our model of how people in the Half Continent behave; we don't eat things we despise. For example westerners don't eat snake or cockroaches. On the other hand we eat either animals (or plants) that we are kind of indifferent or that we revere in some way or another. Some cultures that revere bears or lions do eat them to 'gain their strength' or 'cleverness'. So that is what I was thinking about when I wrote that. There may be some twisted cultures in the Half Continent that revere monsters to the point that they eat them to gain some of their 'spirit'.

Zakk said...

Grrr...
I'm back! Zakk has re-entered the building, and may i add what a fine one it is! Last time I commmented there were only 27 followers. Now I see 84!

Bravo Cornish.

p.s. sam hranac must die. Or was that ben bryddia? If anyoe can remember my feud, please tell me.

Sam Hranac said...

While it is true that I must die, someday, I do not recall a feud between us. Could be Ben.

Good luck venting your rage.

monday said...

Zakk:

'sam hranac must die. or was that ben bryddia?'

tactful...
well, whether you do or don't remember who exactly you're fighting with, I'm sure one of them will gladly oblige you now

:)

portals said...

I think it was Ben... oh well.

Anonymous said...

Mushroom Dungus:

Hello, my subjects. It is me, Mushroom Dungus, just letting you know the head gribble will eat you all!

ALSO, GRIBBLES ARE A DANGER TO THE WORLD, JUST BE CAREFUL!

Gribbles are a combination of your horrible face and a donkey.

Anonymous said...

Mushroom Dungus:

ZAKK TOGETHER WE CAN STOP THE GRIBBLES FROM EATING MY PRECIOUS POOP!

Zakk said...

I went all the way back to the blog "A post, At last!"
It was Ben Bryddia.
He ended the feud with...
"have a smoke on me peace pipe."
Quite frankly, I don't want to put up with a peace treaty - The war must go on.
B.B. If you are out there - death will find you the next time you eat an unripe tomato.

Lamplighter is better than Foundling, but normally the second book is worse... e.g. Laws of magic, lemony snickett.

Mushroom Dungus is actually yur follower Pizza, testing to see if anyone will be insulted.

Anonymous said...

Mushroom Dungus:

Who on Earth is Pizza?!

I WILL FIND THIS PERSON AND SET THE GRIBBLES TO EAT HIM!

Damien said...

Punching out a draft in 3 days - was it the motivation of a brilliant idea - or was it due to this happening during a time of socially acceptable 'chemical enhancement'...
But seriously - when it's there to be written, you sit there and let it fall out of your head
:o)

Klesita said...

Damien
I think that the chemical bit may have played a part. On that subject Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein during a summer break in Italy. Not quite the 3-day feat but not bad for a first novel either.

monday said...

...or it would be if Frankenstein was any good...

Ben Bryddia said...

Somebody mention lil ol' me? Honestly, Zakk, if you can't remember who you were fighting you may as well give up the war. I'm not worth the effort it would take to annihilate me, tomatoes or not. And certainly death will find me, for I am a 'mortal man doomed to die.'This is the curse that huants us all, from the lowest virus to the noblest hero.

ferider: a tree nut between two and three inches in diameter. Many a lad has used ferids as sling amunition when told not to sling rocks. The difference is purely academic in the victims' opinions. Verech trees (which bear the nuts) are accustomed to little light and rocky soil, and so are often found in cramped urban parks.
-Ben.

Klesita said...

Now Monday,

What is wrong with Frankenstein? I mean the original version not all the re-inventions of it. For the time it was written and with the scientific knowledge of the day it was quite an interesting piece.

monday said...

Klesita-

well, yes, in perspective it was interesting enough, but the writing was TERRIBLE. after a certain point, the plot and dialogue degenerated into a lot of silly bickering over who was more miserable, creator or monster...ehh. whininess.
not my cup of tea, that. but I don't dictate what everyone else likes, and certainly don't hold anything against Frankenstein-fans.

Klesita said...

I'm not a particularly big fan. I think I actually read it just once, ages ago and in Spanish (so maybe some of the 'whininess' was lost in translation). Have never though to re-read it in English, there are so many books out there that I reserve the honour to be re-read just to books that I consider timeless.

noelle said...

Hmmm...Frankenstein's monster could be considered a gudgeon, don't you think?

(I very nearly referred to the monster as "Frankenstein" there, before I remembered how much it bothers me when other people do the same...I suppose I'm no better than them!)

Polacens: Jewelry and other wearable items made from a person's belongings after their death, meant to be distributed to the deceased person's family and loved ones.

monday said...

it could, indeed...but I like the MBT version better. :)

promen: a long, thin stick of glass that, when struck by other long, thin bits of glass, makes a kind of ringing music [which has been known to cause deafness in certain breeds of dog]

Sam Hranac said...

So, saying that someone had a promenscuous laugh would be to suggest it was high, sharp and piercing.

cledu: a country dance, prominent in some mountainous regions, performed by single men at wedding receptions as they try to catch the eye of a coveted bride's maid.

portals said...

I heard they found a new species of 'human' in indonesia, resembling hobbits.

Klesita said...

Portals

That happened in 2004 actually but anthropologists are still arguing about whether it is a different species of Homo or just a Homo sapiens with some crazy arrange of mutations all in one.

There is only one (almost) complete skeleton (a woman) and fragments of other skeletons that are too few for any conclusive ID.

I know one of the researchers that is trying to amplify DNA from these remains to prove whether they are from a different species or not. A really cool guy that works in Adelaide (Australia). The researchers that found the remains in the first place are also Australians.

The latest morphological analyses do point towards a different species but there have been others, from the top of my head about 10 or twelve other Homo species (all extinct but for us), so that's not the cool bit. The interesting thing about the Homo floresiensis (the hobbit) is that, if it is a different species, it was alive just 12 thousand years ago (just yesterday in geological terms). Meaning that at one point we shared the earth with them (and only two - I think - other Homo species) and we only discovered them not five years ago!!

Sorry if this is boring I do get carried away talking about these things.

Klesita said...

Did I put everyone off with my comments?

Sam Hranac said...

Jammullo: To kill all conversation at an event by raising a subject beyond the willingness of other participants to contribute.

8-)

monday said...

translation a) we all feel on rather shaky ground on this subject and are hesitant to dive in

translation b) we're lazy

lingshre: the vile act of strangling someone with their own hair

Klesita said...

Sam Hranac and Monday

You two cracked me up. I ended up having to explain to some of my workmates what was my laughing fit all about.

It seems that after today we'll have to institutionalise 'Jammullo' at my work (they also all agreed that I sounded too neerdy, pretentious and know-it-all for which I apologise).

By the way my husband gave me a voucher from an internet bookshop (mothers day gift) and I need ideas. What should I buy??? It is so difficult when you are not able to peruse the books, to touch and read a few lines before making a decision. I NEED HELP