Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Still here! Still here!

Just in case you thought I had shuffled off somewhere, I am still about, honest, being very preoccupied about editing (actually a major rewrite - you should see all the green pen scribbled over each page, the inserted pages with even more green scribblings) and slack about blogging.

I heard once that you need to post at least once a week to be considered a real blog, so I don't know where that leaves us...

Just thought I would acknowledge that "clede" (a corruption of Mr Hranac's 'cledu' verificon word) meaning a country dance, and most likely "verger" (coined by Alyosha's daughter) meaning a builder of fortifications, might well have a place in the Half-Continent. 'Tis a bit perplexing about how such things work though; can I even have them to use? They are other people's stuff after all. I could sit here and just plunder you all and never have to come up with my own stuff - though where is the fun in that...! endless invention is entirely the point. It is just that some words are just right for the idea. Then again, there have been several times I have had to let some entirely perfect 'word' go because it is someone else's property, which just pushes me try again, to dig deeper, to slide sideways and get inventive. What I do not want is to be is a thief.

Back to the rewrite... (oh, and I will put up some old variants of bits of Lamplighter soon, to show what editing does for me -and you too, as the end users... did you know that you are 'end users'? Sounds a bit cold...)

Hope you all are well.

36 comments:

noelle said...

Mr. Cornish, do you have any "deleted scenes" that are close to your heart, i.e., a scene you were told to drop or had to edit beyond recognition? I don't suppose we could see some of those? :)

I recently decided to delete a major event that takes place in a flashback, and it struck me as odd that, with a simple highlight-delete, I could completely alter the histories of my characters. Imagine being a fictional character and being told that an event in your past wasn't working and it was going to be deleted!

Bilic: a pattern that looks like red circles on a blue background to some and blue diamonds on a red background to others.

example: "Her bilic skirt perplexed her friends."

Klesita said...

YOU ARE ALIVE AND STILL WRITING! For a second there I thought you have actually left us to our own devises. If this is what it takes for us 'end users' to get our book we'll have to endure it.

I guess that using other people's words must be a tricky thing, but most of us would be delighted and honoured to be able to say that a little bit of us is there in your story, otherwise people wouldn't contribute freely to the verificon. I'm sure I would love for a bit of my imagination to be able to make it into one of your books (not that any of my contributions have been any good).

Now to a completely different thing, in my last post on the previous thread I asked for help. I need book ideas. Anything, not only fantasy, have anyone read a really good book lately?

tanita davis said...

"End users." Hah. I feel like you're programming a computer instead of writing a book! But ...um, keep working, okay? We like to chat and all, but know the importance of revision! Can't wait to see the difference between Before and After in your process!

Anonymous said...

Old variant bits of Lamplighter? I'd love to see them!

monday said...

yes! old bits of Lamplighter would be lovely. and I agree that most of us would be thrilled to have you use our words and probably not come to your house at night with torches and pitchforks

Klesita:

Terry Pratchett, Susanna Clarke, China Mieville, GK Chesterton, Emily Dickinson, Charles Dickens, TS Eliot--and there's a lovely book called The Book Of Lost Things whose author I cannot for the life of me remember just now; starts with B, I think

Prete: a speech or oration given by a man in a small boat to a crowd of people on the shore

Anna said...

Klesita, if you want to read a funny book try Tickner´s horse encyclopedia. I was alughing pretty much when I read it. I loved Eric Gurney´s: how to live with a calculating cat. I recognized a lot of stuff in it and in Tickner´s book!

i´m always on the lookout for odd books in english. Love Thelwell´s horse books. Especially if there are sick humor in it.

Sam Hranac said...

Delighted for you to use our words and meanings? Honored? Try orgasmic. Or better yet...

uptifel: The high one get from seeing something they came up with in print.

Alyosha said...

Dear Master Cornish,

Of course you have permission to use the word “verger.” My daughter was delighted when I told her about the blog’s approval of her suggestion. I’m also pleased as punch, even though all I did was pass on someone else’s idea. I recall a quote (I may not get this perfectly correct) that “There are two ways of spreading the light: to be the candle, or to be the mirror that reflects it.” I don’t mind being the mirror.

Anyway, the main reason I logged on this evening was to ask three questions. Please understand, that I’m not demanding answers. If you don’t want to answer because you haven’t thought about the topic, because the answer would give away something in the story, or just because you don’t want to answer, I’ve no objection, and will still think just as highly of the MBT.

1) Near the beginning of the first book Fransitart says to Rossamund, “Say yer prayers and clean yerself afore th’ meal.” Never after, however, is there any mention of prayers, priests, religious beliefs, etc. Are there religions in the Half Continent? Do folks worship the emperor, Roman-style, or do any of the claves have a religious character?

2) The patrolled portions of the Wormway are dangerous, the lampsmen regard the Ichormeer with fear, and even the far-traveling Europe has never followed the road past Haltmire. In your Explicarium you tell how the family of the Warden-General of Haltmire perished due to wandering just a little way along the Wormway into the Ichormeer. Does anybody actually travel through the Ichormeer from Haltmire to Worms?

3) The origin of the lahzars is shrouded in mystery; but, an origin there must be. One of the other mysteries you weave into your story is the sad, strange tale of Biarge the Beautiful, and I wonder if the two mysteries are related – if Biarge’s mad experiments to save Freyr are in some way the source of the dark knowledge that birthed the lahzar-creating surgeries?

Again, I don’t consider you at all obliged to answer. I hope that you do in some fashion, but regardless, I’ve had fun thinking up the questions.

S. C. Harrell said...

I would love to see deleted scenes do any of them involve Europes past (sighs wishfully)

Anonymous said...

Mushroom Dungus:

YOU ALL IGNORE ME!

Mr. Cornish, you're a gribble!

Klesita said...

Hi everyone,

Monday and Anna, thanks for your suggestions. I'll definitelly will look into some of them.

Monday I have tried many of the authors you suggests and I love most of them but but I have some issues with Terry Pratchett, so let's talk about him. I think I must have had really bad luck with the guy because I have read a couple of his books and I don't get it. There is no way he makes me feel anything but dumbfoundness (if there is such a word). I don't think it is just that I don't get the English (I have been known to have several fits of laughter reading the such as 'the hitchhiker guide to the galaxy - even thought some of the stuff in it is already outdated) and have been living in Oz for the past 9 years. I have been told that his humor is too 'British' but hey! Aussies sometimes can be Britiesh than the actual British, more over I share an office with 3 & 1/2 British people (one of the girls was born in Oz but moved to England for 14 years and then came back). Anyway can you suggest 'the' Terry Pratchett book that may reivindicate him as one of the supposedly 'greatest' SF and Fantasy writers of all times (there is no question that he definitively is one of the best published).

noelle said...

I tried to read "Nation" by Terry Pratchett and gave up...there were some brilliantly funny moments but it came across as far too preachy. "Anvilicious" if you will.

But the jokes about trousers were hilarious!

Anyway, I've heard that the Discworld books are good. I might try those.

Tizest: a special plant, the juice of which is dripped into one's eyes to make them sparkle. However, it will eventually be proved to cause blindness.

monday said...

Klesita and Noelle:

I can sort of see how Pratchett would be confusing...he writes like I think; bouncing from one thought to another and making obscure, sarcastic inside jokes about everything. there're a lot of really, really funny parts to his books that wouldn't be funny at all if, for example, you'd never seen a Marx Brothers movie, or read le Morte d'Arthur, or listened to old music.
I would start with Guards! Guards! or Mort, or Wyrd Sisters. There are several story arcs in the series, and each of the abovementioned is the beginning of one. [two of my faves are The Truth and Going Postal, but there may be too many elements from earlier books in them for it to make any sense at all as a first-time-reader]

endents: fragments of tooth

Kusarbo said...

For those who don't know: Terry Pratchett has Alzheimers. A moment of silence, please.*

There is some youtube interviews with Mr Pratchett on Nation (and Alzheimers) which I enjoyed recently. And picking the access book to Pratchett is not easy.. For me, I thi-ink I read Soul Music and Maskarade first.. NO, the Carpet People in fact :P
Pratchett: "and after a few books I discovered the joy of plot."

On the real subject, Monster Blood, I would love to see some old 'variants of bits' of Lamplighter.

*Just do it.

Sam Hranac said...

Mort was my Pratchett access point. I felt it gave me a good background on Death as a reacquiring character. Then I moved on to Guards... then started going in publishing order. My kids LOVED the Tiffany Aching series.

Drew said...

Hang in there, David! And don't forget, SFRevu wants a review copy of the next book!
all best,
Drew
(who's been dealing with being a brand new dad the last couple months)

E N Reinmuth said...

Ergh, I had a whole list of questions before I signed on but right now I can only think of one. In Foundling, the tattoo on the title page is that of Master Fransitart, and in Lamplighter that of the boys who confronted the Hergebog Trought. Any chance of a suggestion as to whose token kill will be in the next book?

Murrilip: A bulbous flower with a rancid toxin for pollen. It causes skin to itch, burn and blister, and is sometimes found in muddy bogs; a bright bit of golden shine in a place where the earth bleeds.

Ben Bryddia said...

'Deleted or edited scenes' sounds great. I wonder if any of your previous writings have been recycled to form Lamplighter and Factotum.

I'm also not adverse to you using a Verificon word of mine (if it's appropriate). Truth be told, Sam Hranac has the right idea.

barlog: The grand ledger, as it were, of secret societies founded by retired sailors and scoundrels, who usually meet in taverns.
-Ben.

Klesita said...

Monday,
This is such as curious coincidence. I have been reading 'the history of the kings of Britain' from Geoffrey of Monmouth (admittedly on and off because of language difficulties- even though is a 'modern English' translation from 'old English') and a close friend suggested that I read 'le morte d'arthur'. So I think I'll start there instead of with Pratchett itself (am I making it more complicated?).

Anna,
I could not find any of the books you suggested.

Master Cornish,
Ben's comment intrigues me too. Have you used or will use recycled bits in your books? I guess that sometimes a scene that didn't work well in a particular book may fall into place in a subsequent book.

monday said...

I'll prewarn you, Klesita; le Morte d'Arthur is HUGE. like telephone-directory huge.

Chneut: a sub-species of dog bred for its abnormally wide feet and flexible toes, which give it good purchase on rock, ice, water, et cetera

anna said...

Klesita, try second had bookstore or perhaps internet-bookstores.

Alyosha said...

Klesita,
If you're reading Le Morte D'Arthur to make yourself into a more literate and well rounded person, then go for it. If you're hoping for entertainment, however, then I'll second Monday's comment that the book is huge, and add that, at least by modern standards, it's not terribly enjoyable. Mark Twain makes sport of the poor readability in a hilarious passage in A Conneticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court in which a lady of the court is telling the hero about a fight between two knights using verbatim quotes from Le Morte D'Arthur. If you don't insist on the original, and just want to get the story in a more palatable form, you might consider one of the modern retellings, ranging from Steinbeck, who is fairly faithful to the original, to the many other variations (Once And Future King, Mists of Avalon, Stewart's Merlin Trilogy (actually four books, but originally a trilogy), etc. which are faithful in their own way, but include decidedly new spins on the story.

Master Cornish,
I wanted to let you know that I didn't miss the word "might" in your starting post. Although my daughter and I both think it would be silly to claim ownership of the word "verger" and would be honored if you use it in your story - we don't consider your post as a promise that you'll do so. Whether you do or not, we're looking forward to yet-to-come stories of the Half Continent.

Klesita said...

Ok guys lets get something clear, I am reading 'the history of the kings of Britain' nothing can surpass this for a dry reading. Well some of my university textbooks did (but I didn't chose them). There are also other precedents, I read the whole Don Quijote, in old Spanish I must said, for which I'm very proud. I have also read El Cid, but a modern translation, so I'm kind of familiar with the genre and the period. And ultimately if I can't finish it its no big deal. I just like challenges, I have read several of Aldoux Huxley's books and I must say that I enjoyed most (I have to try to read them in English now).
Arthurian lore have something that have always attracted me. I devoured all 5 Mary Stewart Arthurian books when I was about 12 (Actually the last one came much later, can't remember when but i read them all).

The thing is that I need a challenge and this sounded fun I guess. I have not started yet because I have not had the time to go to the library and I'm still reading two other books, so no rush. I'll let you know how it goes.


Master Cornish: I'm fascinated by the map of the Half Continent (I think I have told you this before). One of the things that intrigues me more is how Clementine, been so far away from everywhere and more over been so far inland, became a centre of power. Most centres of power become that because their position is strategic in one way or another. What is strategic about this place?

noelle said...

All this talk of huge books brings to mind a quote I heard somewhere:

"This is not a book to be tossed lightly aside. It should be thrown with great force."

(I think this was written about Atlas Shrugged. I wanted to throw that book out the window the whole time I was reading it.)

Wabin: a child's security blanket that is made from someone else's clothing, traditionally a godparent or a deceased family member.

Alyosha said...

I understand Klesita, and am impressed by your (far better than mine) cultural breadth and tenacity. Besides, reading Le Morte D'Arthur will help you appreciate how Monster Blood Tattoo is actually a clever retelling of the Arthurian legend. Rossamund should be pulling a sword from a stone any day now ;-).

Klesita said...

Thanks for the kind words Alyosha. My husband doesn't call it tenacity he calls it stubbornness.

Noelle, that is a great quote! A few books come to my mind to which that quote could be applied.

portals said...

WOW! I haven't commented for ages and ages. All this work!
Personally, I'd love to see excerpts from the lamplighter drafts. It's be great to know how the story progressed and what was cut from it.

Klesita - I know it's a bit late, but Brave New World seems very good. I'm also reading Watch You Bleed. I know it's not everybody's thing but I'm finding it very good.

E N Reinmuth said...

Good choices. I had to analyze Brave New World for an English Final in grade twelve. I can understand how back in the day due to the controversial nature of his writings they were the 'cool' thing to read, and daring too after many were banned for their particular reasons. I think that language structure sometimes changes slightly according to translation, I don't really know, but it was a very weird book. Not because of the story, just how it was written.

Tell you what though, it is a pain trying to find his books anywhere in my city. I've been wanting to know what the original 'Island' was percieved as in his mind.

Above all I think he should've stuck to poetry **shrug** but his conclusions in Brave New World are worth the read.

portals said...

I think it's funny that in Brave New World there doesn't seem to be much concern for the environment, whereas now, in the 'future' everyone is crazy about it.

drunc... ?

Klesita said...

I think it was the moment when it was written. At that moment everyone thought that most natural resources were 'renewable'. We have to realise that when the book was written the world have been industrialised for less than 100 years. Nobody was aware of how fast we were using the natural resources. It was in the 70s that some scientist start connecting overpopulation with ecological crisis.
Still now a lot of people think the oceans' resources are unlimited even when every major fishery in the world is collapsing or has already done so.
Huxley was a funny guy, I disagree with a lot of what he believed in but at least in brave new world he saw part of the future that is actually happening.

E N Reinmuth said...

Yeah, in particular the exploitative sexualities of the general population, and babies grown in artificial wombs as natural births are disgusting etc etc.

You know that there's a business that will charge $600,000. Australian dollars if you want your child's eyes to be blue? My cheaper solution, get a blue-eyed guy to eat lots of celery and oysters.

I think the main tiff I had with Brave New World was that there was so defined explanation of how the method of thought amongst the general public began to change so dramatically. You know, how everyone finds the concept of a mother disgusting, and if you don't have more than one lover you're insane. Ultimately, the controlers in Brave New World had to begin confiscating books like Shakespeare and the bible at some small level, and you'd think that the population would start to think "Hmm... this is weird, big men in black coats are raiding my home after cool songs and romance novels". I mean, you'd expect some reaction somewhat like V for Vendetta, wouldn't you?

Argh, I ramble....

How's everybody's year been so far?!

noelle said...

I need to read Brave New World. I love those bleak-totalitarian-future books...I remember reading Fahrenheit 451 when I was probably 12 or 13, too young to appreciate it, really. And I'd always had an aversion to assigned reading; I never finished any of the classic books I was assigned. But when I got to Fahrenheit 451, I couldn't put it down. I'd never experienced that before.

V for Vendetta, 1984, Equilibrium, and Atlas Shrugged (to some extent), all had similar effects on me.

Trizes: spikes, barbs, or razors that are attached to armor or fighting gear.

D.M. Cornish said...

I am just about to watch V for Vendetta, but thought I ought to pop on here first and not neglect you all - how is thatfor syncronicity!

Brilliant questions, answers coming soon...

E N Reinmuth said...

I've only heard little of Atlas Shrugged, and I can't find it anywhere in bookstores. I did however just come home with a teeny tiny hardcover of Chancellors classics collection, Treasure Island. $3.00, score! Eventually I want to build my own collection of classics, and that includes authors like Huxley, too.

D.M.- Good to know you relieve yourself occasionally from editing. Burnouts are a pain when hooking into something for too long.

By the way, I also found a dvd of a french film, 'The Brotherhood of the Wolf' and I am telling you, the very cover of it could be two fulgars who thought 'Ahhhh screw it!' and ditched everything to go and fight monsters in the wasteland. The've got tricorn hats, heavy leather, staffs and everything. Only watched about ten minutes but it's about a beast terrorising the land. But it is French, so really only the two main characters remind me anything of MBT... even though one of them is native american...

Also, in Sleepy Hollow (johnny d and Chrinstina r version) at the opening credits when the carriage passes the woods, my thoughts were "All we need now are lamp posts and Nickers"

Back to the subject of reading, what other books are their along the lines of Brave New World; 1984 etc. etc? Sometimes I think I chose to get into reading a little late in life.

Anna said...

I started early so i´ve read some of the "classics". I devour books (had to look in a dictionary for that word).

noelle said...

Sleepy Hollow = Love!

Johnny Depp = Love!

When MBT is made into a movie, Johnny must have a part. Sebastipole perhaps?

Nizerit: A type of lightning bug that actually administers electrical shocks.