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Category Archives: Novel

Yeah, we actually have one of those. It’s also Beverly Cleary‘s birthday. The woman responsible for giving the world Henry Huggins and his neighbor girls, “Beezus” and Ramona. In honor of her, I’d like to invite all of my readers to follow D.E.A.R. guidelines for at least half an hour today. Not “Drop everything and run!” as Ramona once blurted out in her usual boundless enthusiasm, but Drop Everything and Read. Read with a loved one, or a close friend, or even just by yourself. Shut down your computers (after you finish reading this post!), turn off your cell phones, and dedicate a nice, quiet half an hour (or more, if you like) to reading a good book.

I’d like to jump up on my soapbox for a minute (and hope it’s one that I’ve not turned into a car) and mention something that bothers me. No, it doesn’t bother me, it infuriates me, frankly. I hate book banning. I’m of the opinion that books should never be restricted, just because it has some things in it that one person might find offensive. I know that I don’t write what I do to please everyone. If I did, I’d never sell anything. I don’t write just for the sake of controversy either. I’m looking at you, Dan Brown. Put the pen down and step away from the paper, slowly. Thank you.

If there is one thing that I’m truly passionate about in my life, it’s books. I spend my days surrounded by them. I edit them. I try to write them. I dive head first into them and hope that they don’t forget to let me go at the end. Some people, however, decide that it is up to THEM to protect the innocence of everyone else by banning a book that they personally find offensive, and attempting to prevent anyone else from reading it. First of all, this only makes people want the banned stuff even more (remember a little thing called prohibition?). Second, it raises the anger level of anyone with a relatively normal amount of common sense. People, these books were written the way they were for a reason. They need to exist as is. Have you heard that they’re attempting to reprint Huckleberry Finn without the use of the word “nigger” in it? Are we attempting to gloss over racism and act as though it never existed? I call bullshit. I intend to fight the banning of books until my dying day. Anyway, I’m going to step off of my soapbox now (the brakes are starting to give way, and I’m on a bit of a hill…), but I’ll leave you with this. Have a list of the most recently challenged books.

If she were here, I’d read a book with my significant other, but we both have work that we need to do. At least we had the weekend to spend together, visiting family, bowling, and whatnot. Anyway, I plan to use the time as a distraction from my ever ongoing job hunt, my need to finish my taxes (they’re done, just need to be filed, don’t worry), and my attempts to actually be productive with my own writing and editing projects (sorry, V, you know how I do).

I’m building a pantheon. The gods of this world are fun to create, especially in their descriptions. For example, the head of my order of gods is a goddess, atypical for most “mainstream” pantheons. Does that make my gods and goddesses hipsters? Yikes…Imagine Zeus, or even better, old one-eyed Odin, with the hipster glasses and a case of PBR at his side. Well, despite not being mainstream, per se, I think it’s better. The queen of the gods is a badass lady, beautiful and terrifying at the same time, and wielding a large glaive against her foes. I’m tempted to make death and a god/dess of the harvest into a single character. I dunno. Too many options present themselves at the moment. Time to go hide in a bookstore for a few hours.

I’ve come to the realization that, unless things take a very drastic turn in the near future, I will almost never be able to read everything I truly intend to read. Thanks to a four-year stint in college to earn a degree in English, I’ve got a backlog of books that I’ve been wanting to read, and I’m finally attempting to get around to it. This pile of literature has not been helped along by the fact that I now work at both a bookstore and a library. I’m always surrounded by books, and I’m constantly receiving more recommendations. For the longest time, my list has been purely mental. I’m finally attempting to collect everything in a single word document, though I’m tempted to use a spreadsheet, thanks to the suggestion from a customer at work. I’m grouping these into three major categories. A) Books I have not yet read, 2) books I have started, but have yet to finish, and Finally) Books that I want to reread, either because it’s been way too long or because I simply love them that much.

The relationships of the characters are evolving. A conversation over the sounds of jazz last night helped me realize that, despite the age difference, there’s a deeply complex bond between Zachariah and Rebecca. Much like Arsus, though simultaneously drastically unlike him, they are more than what they initially seem. You see, I’m fairly certain that this is not the first time that these two have met. When and where their first meeting took place, I’m not sure. Rebecca just happened to pipe up yesterday, telling me that she noticed that there was a lot more behind the eyes that first smiled at her after the deaths of her grandparents in a caravan raid. There was not just a welcoming of a stranger. There was recognition and acceptance of the inevitability of fate.

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small, unregarded yellow sun.”

“All this happened, more or less.”

“There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.”

“It was the start of the Summer of the Late Rose.”

I would love to be able to write an opening line like one of these. I find it truly amazing how opening lines set so very much of the tone of a book. Each one of these lines comes from a book or story that happens to be among my favorites. I like to consider myself fairly well read. Now I’ve heard some writers say that they don’t like to read, because it means that they might potentially be influenced by the work of other authors.

Personally, I’m all for getting influenced by other people. I have openly spoken about my various sources of inspiration. Today’s blog entry is inspired both by my girlfriend and by my friend, V. There has been talk of late of muses, and frankly, I’m not sure if I have a specific one. I like to think that the world is filled with so many amazing things, that I can never truly claim one as a single influence. Every event that has occurred in my life could potentially give rise to a story or poem. One morning I scribbled down a couple of lines of verse while sitting at a stoplight and watching the sunrise. On another, more recent occasion, I found myself crafting descriptions of Arsus’ great temple in Dhe’laza while I was sitting quietly at the funeral of a beloved family member. Inspiration strikes when and where it feels like. For me, there seems to be little connecting these moments to one another. As such, I always carry a notebook and a pen with me, or, barring that, my cell phone, since I can store something as a text message draft or even, though I hate the sound of my own voice when it’s been recorded, use the built in sound recorder to store ideas.

Waiting sucks. I mean, I know that patience is a virtue, but I’m just about out of virtue at the moment. I’m still waiting to hear back about that full time job. It’s frustrating, honestly. In the meantime, I’ve started at my 2nd part-time job, and I feel weird. It’s not that I don’t know what I’m doing at work. Far from it, in fact. They say that I’ve been taking to the training faster than anyone that they’ve hired in recent memory. I’m likely to get through the training in about 1/3 of the time. I feel pretty good about that, but my heart isn’t really in the job thus far. I am certain that this is because I’m still waiting to hear back about my other potential job offer. They said I’d hear from them shortly. That was Thursday afternoon, and it’s Tuesday morning now. I don’t know about you, but in my timescale, that doesn’t really constitute “shortly” in any sense. Because I’ve not heard back from them, I’m trying to juggle the schedules of two part-time jobs, one of which is nice and close to my apartment and pays a little better, and one which is a long drive and less pay, but more comfortable, due to my having worked there for over 6 months now. I’d love to hear back about this full time gig, just so I can say “I’m sorry, but I got a better offer.” *grumble*

Zach and I have been chatting. We’ve been discussing logistics of this world of his, and the ease with which people can travel from one place to another. I’ve got to make a multi-week trek across a desert sound not only possible, but survivable. I’ve also got to try to figure out some sense of how big this portion of the world is, and just how much of the world it is, if that makes sense. It does in my head. We’ve been talking about travel, and various modes of transportation that would work within the frame I’m creating. In the main pilgrimage, there will be a caravan. Some people will be walking, others riding horses or camels, others riding on sledges of sleighs being pulled by these (or similar) animals. There’s the River Highway, which would be the safest way for anyone to cross the desert, and was used once upon a time, before martial law was declared. Now the military forces of Dhe’skuva are the only ones allowed to freely traverse that road, and they will brutally enforce their right in order to protect themselves from the roving raider bands. I also love the idea of blimps (or rigid air ships) meandering about the desert. Zach says that sometimes the raiders use them, but he also says that there are stories of a brave crew of men and women who combat the raiders from the sky, saving a lucky few in exchange for the fuel and supplies the raiders carry. I’m not sure if that’s true. Zach’s a wandering minstrel of sorts. He tells lots of stories.

 

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small, unregarded yellow sun.”

“All this happened, more or less.”

“There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.”

“It was the start of the Summer of the Late Rose.”

I would love to be able to write an opening line like one of these. I find it truly amazing how opening lines set so very much of the tone of a book. Each one of these lines comes from a book or story that happens to be among my favorites. I like to consider myself fairly well read. Now I’ve heard some writers say that they don’t like to read, because it means that they might potentially be influenced by the work of other authors.

Personally, I’m all for getting influenced by other people. I have openly spoken about my various sources of inspiration. Today’s blog entry is inspired both by my girlfriend and by my friend, V. There has been talk of late of muses, and frankly, I’m not sure if I have a specific one. I like to think that the world is filled with so many amazing things, that I can never truly claim one as a single influence. Every event that has occurred in my life could potentially give rise to a story or poem. One morning I scribbled down a couple of lines of verse while sitting at a stoplight and watching the sunrise. On another, more recent occasion, I found myself crafting descriptions of Arsus’ great temple in Dhe’laza while I was sitting quietly at the funeral of a beloved family member. Inspiration strikes when and where it feels like. For me, there seems to be little connecting these moments to one another. As such, I always carry a notebook and a pen with me, or, barring that, my cell phone, since I can store something as a text message draft or even, though I hate the sound of my own voice when it’s been recorded, use the built in sound recorder to store ideas.

 

Waiting sucks. I mean, I know that patience is a virtue, but I’m just about out of virtue at the moment. I’m still waiting to hear back about that full time job. It’s frustrating, honestly. In the meantime, I’ve started at my 2nd

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small, unregarded yellow sun.”

“All this happened, more or less.”

“There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.”

“It was the start of the Summer of the Late Rose.”

I would love to be able to write an opening line like one of these. I find it truly amazing how opening lines set so very much of the tone of a book. Each one of these lines comes from a book or story that happens to be among my favorites. I like to consider myself fairly well read. Now I’ve heard some writers say that they don’t like to read, because it means that they might potentially be influenced by the work of other authors.

Personally, I’m all for getting influenced by other people. I have openly spoken about my various sources of inspiration. Today’s blog entry is inspired both by my girlfriend and by my friend, V. There has been talk of late of muses, and frankly, I’m not sure if I have a specific one. I like to think that the world is filled with so many amazing things, that I can never truly claim one as a single influence. Every event that has occurred in my life could potentially give rise to a story or poem. One morning I scribbled down a couple of lines of verse while sitting at a stoplight and watching the sunrise. On another, more recent occasion, I found myself crafting descriptions of Arsus’ great temple in Dhe’laza while I was sitting quietly at the funeral of a beloved family member. Inspiration strikes when and where it feels like. For me, there seems to be little connecting these moments to one another. As such, I always carry a notebook and a pen with me, or, barring that, my cell phone, since I can store something as a text message draft or even, though I hate the sound of my own voice when it’s been recorded, use the built in sound recorder to store ideas.

Waiting sucks. I mean, I know that patience is a virtue, but I’m just about out of virtue at the moment. I’m still waiting to hear back about that full time job. It’s frustrating, honestly. In the meantime, I’ve started at my 2nd part-time job, and I feel weird. It’s not that I don’t know what I’m doing at work. Far from it, in fact. They say that I’ve been taking to the training faster than anyone that they’ve hired in recent memory. I’m likely to get through the training in about 1/3 of the time. I feel pretty good about that, but my heart isn’t really in the job thus far. I am certain that this is because I’m still waiting to hear back about my other potential job offer. They said I’d hear from them shortly. That was Thursday afternoon, and it’s Tuesday morning now. I don’t know about you, but in my timescale, that doesn’t really constitute “shortly” in any sense. Because I’ve not heard back from them, I’m trying to juggle the schedules of two part-time jobs, one of which is nice and close to my apartment and pays a little better, and one which is a long drive and less pay, but more comfortable, due to my having worked there for over 6 months now. I’d love to hear back about this full time gig, just so I can say “I’m sorry, but I got a better offer.” *grumble*

Zach and I have been chatting. We’ve been discussing logistics of this world of his, and the ease with which people can travel from one place to another. I’ve got to make a multi-week trek across a desert sound not only possible, but survivable. I’ve also got to try to figure out some sense of how big this portion of the world is, and just how much of the world it is, if that makes sense. It does in my head. We’ve been talking about travel, and various modes of transportation that would work within the frame I’m creating. In the main pilgrimage, there will be a caravan. Some people will be walking, others riding horses or camels, others riding on sledges of sleighs being pulled by these (or similar) animals. There’s the River Highway, which would be the safest way for anyone to cross the desert, and was used once upon a time, before martial law was declared. Now the military forces of Dhe’skuva are the only ones allowed to freely traverse that road, and they will brutally enforce their right in order to protect themselves from the roving raider bands. I also love the idea of blimps (or rigid air ships) meandering about the desert. Zach says that sometimes the raiders use them, but he also says that there are stories of a brave crew of men and women who combat the raiders from the sky, saving a lucky few in exchange for the fuel and supplies the raiders carry. I’m not sure if that’s true. Zach’s a wandering minstrel of sorts. He tells lots of stories.

part-time job, and I feel weird. It’s not that I don’t know what I’m doing at work. Far from it, in fact. They say that I’ve been taking to the training faster than anyone that they’ve hired in recent memory. I’m likely to get through the training in about 1/3 of the time. I feel pretty good about that, but my heart isn’t really in the job thus far. I am certain that this is because I’m still waiting to hear back about my other potential job offer. They said I’d hear from them shortly. That was Thursday afternoon, and it’s Tuesday morning now. I don’t know about you, but in my timescale, that doesn’t really constitute “shortly” in any sense. Because I’ve not heard back from them, I’m trying to juggle the schedules of two part-time jobs, one of which is nice and close to my apartment and pays a little better, and one which is a long drive and less pay, but more comfortable, due to my having worked there for over 6 months now. I’d love to hear back about this full time gig, just so I can say “I’m sorry, but I got a better offer.” *grumble*

Zach and I have been chatting. We’ve been discussing logistics of this world of his, and the ease with which people can travel from one place to another. I’ve got to make a multi-week trek across a desert sound not only possible, but survivable. I’ve also got to try to figure out some sense of how big this portion of the world is, and just how much of the world it is, if that makes sense. It does in my head. We’ve been talking about travel, and various modes of transportation that would work within the frame I’m creating. In the main pilgrimage, there will be a caravan. Some people will be walking, others riding horses or camels, others riding on sledges of sleighs being pulled by these (or similar) animals. There’s the River Highway, which would be the safest way for anyone to cross the desert, and was used once upon a time, before martial law was declared. Now the military forces of Dhe’skuva are the only ones allowed to freely traverse that road, and they will brutally enforce their right in order to protect themselves from the roving raider bands. I also love the idea of blimps (or rigid air ships) meandering about the desert. Zach says that sometimes the raiders use them, but he also says that there are stories of a brave crew of men and women who combat the raiders from the sky, saving a lucky few in exchange for the fuel and supplies the raiders carry. I’m not sure if that’s true. Zach’s a wandering minstrel of sorts. He tells lots of stories.

As I continue to work on my own writing projects and various other job searches and whatnot (ah, the glorious life of the college graduate during that first year after commencement), I’ve established myself as a freelance editor. I’ve not had a whole lot of success with this thus far, just because of the nature of finding work in my field. However, one of my good friends has recently finished her first novel, and I am quite honored to say that I have been given the task of preliminary editing before passing it on to a literary agent. I guess that’s my way of saying “Nah nah,” because I get to read it first. 😀

I’m fleshing out characters even more. This week, I’ve been having a lot of discussions, as it were, with Zach, the narrator. Zach’s an interesting character to spend time with, but he’s not the protagonist, so it’s a balancing act to avoid putting him in the spotlight too much. He’s been telling me a lot about himself this week. For example, he’s a lot older than I originally thought, but it’s hard to judge the age of a man who may or may not have some sort of immortality.

Additionally, the heretofore unnamed characters hiding at the back of the group have finally spoken up. The alcoholic innkeeper says his name is Miles, and the little girl, whose relationship with Landara is probably going to have some similarities to the one you see here, is Rebecca. Say hello.

 

Just a little bit of fun exposition. If Rime is indeed Arsus’ most loyal follower, then a certain definition of his name makes all the more sense to me, considering that Arsus is a winter deity.

“Come ride with me through the veins of history. I’ll show you how god falls asleep on the job. And how can we win where fools can be kings? Don’t waste your time or time will waste you.”

I mentioned earlier how much I love the Muse video for Knights of Cydonia (lyrics above). It’s an incredible song, with a fantastic video to accompany it, not to mention the depth to the title. Given the subject matter I’m attempting to cover with my latest writing project, it seems fitting to discuss a god who is less than completely attentive to the pleas of his followers. [Side note: I find it quite interesting that, hundreds of years ago, some people who heard/saw things that no one else did were welcomed as prophets. Today, most everyone who experiences something like that and tells someone else is given a prescription and told to shut up.] In my current work in progress, Arsus plays that role, but he is only one of many gods. Eventually, the other members of the pantheon of this world grow tired of his lackadaisical attitude and decide to teach him a lesson in humility. As Neil Gaiman writes, gods only have power as long as mortals continue to believe in them. What happens to a god no one believes in anymore? He ceases to exist. If one member of a pantheon grows bored with humanity and decides to ignore the people, prayers to that god will cease to be answered, and eventually will cease. Soon, faith in all of the remaining gods will dwindle as well. This is the belief of Arsus’ siblings.

With this in mind, Arsus’ siblings throw him from their side. He is banished into a world filled with the beings he had previously chosen to ignore. Arsus finds himself in Dhe’skuva, not far from a temple where a man has been praising him. When he introduces himself to Rime and claims to be his god in human form, Rime looks at him, and collapses to the ground in a fit of uproarious laughter. Arsus is naturally insulted by the indignity, and he attempts to use his godly powers to do something fitting to punish the laughing man in front of him. At this point, he realizes that he is, in fact, completely stripped of his powers, adding further insult to the injury of his human form. Eventually, a strange sort of friendship will form between these two, though Rime completely refuses to acknowledge that Arsus is his deity, since a god as mighty as he would never stoop so low as to take on human form; additionally, how could he be so weak that his fellow gods could force him into such a position? The god that Rime worships would never allow such a thing to happen to him. This is going to provide for some fantastic bits, such as when Rime discusses miracles worked by his god and Arsus denies ever having done such things, and when Zach explains some mythology in a “Disney” version and Arsus corrects him, providing the true “Brothers Grimm” version instead.

I still need names for the girl and the innkeeper. I’ve got time for that, though. What matters right now is focusing on the characters who are telling me about themselves a little bit at a time. I’m toying with the idea of making Arsus a winter deity, and patron god of Dhe’laza because it’s one of the few regions in this world that receives snow on a fairly regular basis, most of the rest of the country being one massive desert. This would make having to cross a desert even more uncomfortable for him, and add to the challenge he’s facing. I’ve also got several great scenes planned out in which the consequences of his actions as a god are presented to his mortal incarnation. One in particular deals with him seeing that blind devotion to him has lead to the deaths of many, even among his loyal followers. It’s going to be quite the journey.

It’s been quite the week. I’ve received one job offer, and now I’ve been asked to come in for an interview for something that would be full time, twice the pay per hour of my current job, and ten miles closer to my apartment. To top it off, it’s a job that is actually directly related to my degree! Shock and amaze!

Also, my prayers are going out to my high school this week, as a senior girl was killed in a car accident two months before graduation.

There is mythology in progress.

I just need names for a fire giant and a pair of frost giants.

I also finally fixed the timestamp and some other settings on here. Look for more soon!

“There should be more books. I want to get lost in rows of shelves, filled with books in which I can lose myself. Books are like the pools in C.S. Lewis’ wood between the worlds. Each one is a portal to a new realm limited only by the imagination of the reader. The best part? You don’t need a magic ring to enter one, and any of the characters you find inside stay behind when you close the cover. I love to lose myself in a book. Too often of late that has been difficult. I find that I am surround by distractions that prevent me from straying too far from the printed path. They serve as signposts that I want to avoid. It’s a far better adventure when you don’t know the way. I love the feeling of picking up a book I’ve never heard of but knowing that it is about to pull me in. When I touch the cover of such a book, I feel an inexplicable joy, an almost electric rush, and an urge to drop everything and devour its contents before I can move on. This is a rare joy, but the scarcity of such books makes the finding of one all the more fantastic.

Doubtless, there are those who would call me mad, but never to my face. They would whisper, as so many have done, behind my back, though I would hear nonetheless. It is the nature of a whispered phrase to meander about until it weaves and winds and finds itself within the ears of the one about whom it was first spoken. It is the nature of secrets to be discovered, for riddles to be solved, for the sun to set at day’s end. It is the nature of the world for these things to happen. It was in my nature since birth to crave knowledge, and in my nature to seek it. It was in the nature of my father and mother to guide me to the books in which I could find such information, such wonder. It is in the nature of knowledge that lingers the traces of original sin. So it is that those who would seek knowledge lose their innocence. This is the nature of man. One could say that a library, for all the knowledge it contains, is more sinful than all of the bordellos in all of the world. Conversely, such a library could be considered to be more sacred to those seekers of knowledge than Mecca or Jerusalem or any similar site to her faithful devotees. In the poorest of libraries can one find more wisdom than in the minds of the richest woman or man now living.”

That’s a little something I wrote a few months ago, but finally got typed up. I’m thinking about how it ties in to the character of Rime and his understanding of his own religious beliefs. He begins the novel as a man who is beginning to,  for the first time in his life, consciously question the existence of his god. His brotherhood works in Dhe’skuva, the city on the desert’s edge, selling crops from their garden and spreading the word of the patron deity of the city of Dhe’laza. The people of Dhe’skuva are highly resistant to the visiting prophets, though they have allowed them to live within the city for almost ten years. Rime stays near the temple entrance most of the days, caring for the garden during the day when his brothers are out proselytizing (I love that word). He speaks of his god to any who come near, but the streets near the temple are empty throughout most of the day. It’s almost agonizing to Rime, knowing that his own effectiveness is limited by his location and his physical inability to keep up with the other members of his order. When he’s alone, with nothing but the echo of his own words for company, a little nagging voice keeps popping into his head. “What if you’re wrong? What if he’s not real?” the voice says.

Over the course of the novel, Rime will have to decide how much he’s going to listen to/trust the voice in his head versus what he’s seeing right in front of him. His interactions with Arsus are going to change his life. Landara, Zach, and the others who have yet to tell me their names are going to be a part of a great adventure. The journey to Dhe’laza is going to challenge them all in ways they never thought possible. Long-held beliefs about the characters are going to change. Zachariah (Zee) will be narrating, and at the same time providing some stories for the other members of the cast. As a wandering poet, he will have been accumulating knowledge over the many years of his life. However, he’s got his own personal demons haunting him, maybe more literally than he ever expected. Landara is fleeing her own heavy gambling debt and her past as a city guard, an enforcer of the brutal law that provides Dhe’skuva with its legendary security.

Then there’s Arsus. Arsus has a unique claim that no one can prove or refute. The first character he meets is Rime, and his first statement is that the voice in Rime’s head is full of shit. The voice of doubt should be ignored. Rime’s god is indeed real, Arsus says. Not only that, but he’s standing right in front of him, stripped of all of his powers and trapped in mortal form. Rime’s reaction is exactly what you’d expect from a man who spent his entire life dedicated to the praise and worship of a god who supposedly protects an entire city-state and is among the strongest in the pantheon. Rime hears this stranger’s words and immediately falls to the ground in front of this strange man who claims that he is his god incarnate, closes his eyes, and bursts into a fit of uncontrollable laughter.

Politics exist in every world, in some form or another. In Lord of the Rings, Gandalf had to get a whole council of people of different races together in order to decide how to destroy something that would bring about the end of the world if not “handled properly” (read destroyed). In my world (which has yet to be named), politics rule the various city-states. Each one is going to have a unique little thing about it. Dhe’skuva, the city on the desert’s edge, is the biggest city in the nation. As such, it will naturally be full of corrupt politicians who want all the power, and people who want to escape to the smaller city-states. Each city-state, additionally, will have a patron deity. It’s a very Greek system, and that appeals to me greatly.

In my world, there is no single thing that’s going to potentially destroy everything, with the exception of human nature. There are no aliens, no bits of supertechnology, etc. There are people, their ways, their beliefs, their interactions with one another. Even the most technologically advanced people in this world do not possess firearms, at least not in massive quantities. I’m toying with the idea of making one or two basic guns available, but not readily so. Crossbows are about the best ranged weapon, and swords are commonplace. At the same time, there will be airships. I like the idea of basic lighter-than-air travel being available. Again, just something about that appeals to me. I’m trying to balance the whole level of technology. I don’t want it to turn into “these guys have swords and these guys have laser pistols” or something like that. The world needs balance. Even the most militaristic city-state (probably Dhe’skuva) won’t have tech that far ahead of the more rural areas. Ah, the detail that goes into building a world. I’m also mildly obsessed with this show, and the way that music inspires so much of the setting.  Between that one, and this one, I think it’s quite possible that Shinichiro Watanabe  has given me all the setting I need. There’s also Firefly and the Knights of Cydonia music video. Somewhere in the midst of all of this, there is my story.

Today is going to be an interesting day at work. Our district manager (the scariest kind of DM there is) will be coming in to walk the store. Given the current situation with my employer, this is going to likely be the most intense visit. I’m also supposed to hear back from one of my potential future employers today. I’m trying not to be nervous. This job would be my first full-time job outside of college summer jobs. I don’t want to get my hopes up too much, though, for fear of grand disappointment. I have a tendency to do that to myself. I’ll get all kinds of excited about something that just might happen (but probably won’t), and then I’m crushed when it doesn’t work out. I suppose I invest far too much into my life, emotionally. I dunno. Maybe I’m secretly hoping I don’t get it, so that I don’t have to cut my hair. 😀

Anyway, I suppose I’ll be posting again soon enough with further details on how today goes.

“Gods die. And when they truly die they are unmourned and unremembered. Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed in the end.” -Neil Gaiman, American Gods.

How the hell have I not read this book before? Seriously. This stuff is fantastic, even for Gaiman. Neverwhere is next on the list, probably quickly followed by Anansi Boys. I first discovered him a few years ago, when I read the first volume of his reboot of the Sandman comics. Ever since, I’ve been hooked on his writing style, but I’ve never had a chance to dig into one of his novels until this morning. Thank God for days off, huh?

As far as recent events, interviews! That’s right. For the first time in about 5 months, I’ve got job interviews again. I got a phone call on Friday asking me to interview for a position in a call center with a local bank. As I was getting dressed for said interview, I received another phone call asking me if I was still interested in a part-time position with the public library. I couldn’t believe it! Since I’ve been working at my current job, I’ve been hunting around off and on for a 2nd job or something full time. Now within a span of three days I’ve gotten an offer for one of each. In addition, I’ve been asked to do some freelance editing work for a former coworker and possibly for one additional contact I made recently. It’s been an incredible weekend. Add to that the time I got to spend with my girlfriend over Valentine’s Day, and you can guess that my mood is better than it’s been in weeks. It’s been a damn good couple of days.

This weekend did have some sad notes to it. On Friday night, my friends and I said goodbye to the D&D characters we’ve been playing almost exclusively for the last two years. Mine, the half-orc barbarian, Ryuk (yes, named for that Ryuk), survived the great battle with Ruin, allowing the spirit of Preservation to live on. After the battle, he flew off into the sunset, as it were, leaving his friends behind, avoiding what would clearly have been a pretty emotional moment as they mourned the irreversible death of their long-time companion, Vatre Dahn. It was a truly epic ending to a great campaign. All good things, and whatnot. After D&D, we all made our way to Village Inn at 2 AM for some early morning food and reminiscing over the last two years. I’m looking forward to the next campaign. I get to play a warforged barbarian (What can I say? Barbarians are fun to play). He’s basically a robot with a giant hammer who hits things really hard. 😀

I’ve had a couple of really good days of writing. I’m making even more progress on the story right now. I have pretty much fleshed out the circumstances under which most of the other characters first meet Rime and Arsus. The question still remains as to how those two first encounter one another, but I’ve made a major decision regarding the narrator, as I said last time. This in and of itself allows me a lot of room to determine how characters meet, but lets me have an idea of the voice that will be telling the story, what he will know, and what he will be able to reveal at any given time. It’s a good step forward.