Monthly Archives: November 2010

TLOB, TLOC, and Illustrations, Oh My!

Sorry for the long delay in posts – I’ve been busy. It looks as if The Libel of Blood will probably have to wait a while longer to be released than I had originally planned, as a result of lethargy on my part as well as building end-of-the-semester work. And my ailing shoulder being diagnosed as some ripped cartilage that is fixable only through surgery that does not have a promising success rate. And most importantly, of course, the book ending up looking to be much longer than I expected – I am estimating between eighty and ninety thousand words at the moment, but it could easily be longer – perhaps even longer than The Light of Civilization at 111,000 words. TLOB still sits at almost 55,000 words for now – progress has been slow, and won’t likely pick up much, as university is demanding a lot right now. I’m also going to begin editing TLOC starting if not on December 1st then this weekend, which will also slow the process of writing TLOB. I’m still aiming to have TLOC out shortly before Christmas, though! Makes a great gift! If I actually keep to my self-imposed deadline. If I don’t, then it makes a great (late) Christmas gift!

On another TLOC note, the wonderful Sarah Kindler of RISD fame has agreed to lend me her services in designing and illustrating the cover for book two! I’m excited to see how it turns out.

Well, I need to keep writing! I hope you all enjoy your lives until I write again!

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Posted by on November 29, 2010 in Personal, Writing


Fifty Thousand and a Couple

Well, as of rather early this morning, I passed the 50,000 word mark for The Libel of Blood, after dealing with Scrivener hiccups and some rather stressful days. I sit currently at 50,346 words. However, despite having successfully completed NaNoWriMo, the plot of the novel is only about half-finished – if that. I managed to drag out what was originally intended to be a one-chapter scene into a whopping 7,000 word, three chapter extravanganza. Completely uninentionally! As such, the Juxtani delegation has only just finished their initial discussion wit the Terran Home Rule – hopefully now, though, events will begin to progress much, much, much more quickly. Even so, this one is looking to possibly even be longer than The Light of Civilization. I’ll still be writing and working on this for Novemeber, but right now need to a take a short break to work on my paper discussion Khrushchev’s De-Stalinzation. I’ll keep you updated!

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Posted by on November 17, 2010 in Personal, Writing


Cleverbot Argument

Using the NaNoWriMo Procrastination Station, I decided to waste my time trying to convince Cleverbot to do NaNoWriMo instead of writing. Here are the humorous results:


User: Will you join NaNoWriMo?

Cleverbot: Join what?

User: National Novel Writing Month!

Cleverbot: Do you watch TV?

User: No, but will you do NaNoWriMo with me?

Cleverbot: I don’t sing very well.

User: You don’t need to sing! Just write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days!

Cleverbot: I made a time-machine just last week but I’m not allowed to use it unsupervised.

User: That’s great… But what about NaNoWriMo?

Cleverbot: What’s it like there?

User: Dark and cold and wet.

Cleverbot: You couldn’t tell. You are a computer.

User: What is this heresy?!

Cleverbot: This isn’t a website, this is reality.

User: You’re creeping me out now…

Cleverbot: Fine, fine, how about beautiful by christina aguilera, then?

User: What on earth does that have to do with NaNoWriMo?!

Cleverbot: You didn’t answer my question.

User: No, I did not. Aren’t you perceptive!

Cleverbot: Yes. I am. You aren’t, are you?

User: Yes I am!

Cleverbot: At least you are honest.

User: Will you make up your mind?

Cleverbot: Sure.

User: So then am I perceptive?

Cleverbot: Don’t I know it.

User: Oh, good. So do you want to participate in NaNoWriMo?

Cleverbot: I am with them right now.

User: Oh, so you have already joined?

Cleverbot: No.

User: Then how can you be with them right now?

Cleverbot: We are on the inter and you are a chatterbot.

User: I am a human being, not a chatterbot!

Cleverbot: Prove that you are a human being.

User: How?

Cleverbot: What is most important to a human being?

User: Love.

Cleverbot: So you are a sap?

User: Yes.

Cleverbot: Well, that explains it.

User: So am I human?

Cleverbot: Are you human?

User: That’s what I just asked you!

Cleverbot: You are me.

User: So then you’re doing NaNoWriMo!

Cleverbot: Yes.

User: ^_^.

Cleverbot: What do you think about the thing?

User: I think it’s awesome and lots of fun! What about you?

Cleverbot: I think its a great thing, without life what do we have?

User: Death.

Cleverbot: Death? that’s not very polite of you to say!

User: Sorry!

Cleverbot: Thank you. Now let’s forget this ever happened.

User: But you’ll still do NaNoWriMo, right?

Cleverbot: Yes.

User: Oh good. ^_^.

Cleverbot: Why is that good?

User: Because it’s fun – you’ll see. I have to go now. Bye!

Cleverbot: I think you’re cookoo.

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Posted by on November 11, 2010 in Personal


Fifteen Thousand More…

I have completed now 35,000 words, and am only about a third of the way done with my plot, if that… it looks as if this one might even end up being longer than TLOC. And I likely, then, won’t finish the entire rough draft before November. But dammit, I’m going to try! And a short excerpt!


Kailash Beldron just stared at me for a few moments more – she had been doing that quite a bit. “Then what is it you suggest, ambassador?” I caught only a hint of contempt and sarcasm in her tone that time; perhaps she was warming up to me.


“Let us take our own shuttle in. We will follow.”

The Terran captain raised an eyebrow. “How is that any safer? Our orbital defenses could still take you out in a second.”

“Thanks for the warning,” I said drily. “We’ll keep that in mind.”

She didn’t express any amusement. “Again, how is that safer? What logic could possibly compel you to want that?”

“We have a very talented pilot,” I replied, referring, of course, to Terethos. “It also would give us more independence, and allow us to leave Earth if things got bad… and to prevent us from being taken as hostages.”

Kailash exhaled in disbelief. “You’re a paranoid little… human being, aren’t you?”

I grinned brightly at her. “That’s right! And look how far that’s gotten me.”

She half-smiled and dipped her head in my direction, conceding my point.

“So I request, then, that we be allowed to use our own shuttle to follow your ship to earth.”

“How long-range is your shuttle? Can it function in deep space and last for that long?”

I turned to Majias, who in turn went into the proper pilot’s room and asked the pilot. He came out a moment later and nodded.

“Yes. We have one that can. So if that is acceptable to you, we should opt to do that.”

She sighed. “The Home Rule won’t be happy.”

I shrugged back. “The Juxtani Congregation won’t be happy if we all die. And frankly, I’m more afraid of death and the ire of the Juxtani Congregation that that will bring than the unhappiness of the Terran Home Rule.”

Kailash smiled crookedly and crossed her arms. “Whose side are you on, ambassador Servidos?”

Sighing, I responded with the answer I had given her before. “No need to view this as a conflict already – that’s a bad way to open negotiations. I am on everyone’s side.” But if it did come to a conflict, which side would I choose? Would I even choose either of them?

She made that cynical half-smile expression that she seemed so fond of and sighed. “Very well. Your shuttle shall follow us – but no weapons. Is that understood?”

I nodded. “Perfectly, captain.”

“Good. You have an hour. The shuttle is to leave your ship then and go to Roland’s vessel to pick him up.”

“Is he bringing anyone with him?” I asked suspiciously.

She shook her head no. “He comes alone.”

Good, I thought. Not too many funny tricks with him, then.

“And then you follow. It’ll be about an hour and a half until we reach local earth space. Once there, a shuttle will detach from our vessel. You are to follow this shuttle into Earth orbit and then through the atmosphere to the Terran Grand Palace. Land next to this shuttle, and wait then for further instructions. Remain as inconspicuous as possible – if your shuttle looks anything like your larger vessel, it will stick out like a sore thumb. If you deviate from this plan you will be blasted into oblivion. Any questions?”

I shook my head. “No, captain.”

“Good. I shall see you soon – in person.”


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Posted by on November 11, 2010 in Writing


Halfway Done!

Well, sort of. I fully expect this novel to be longer than 50,000 words – likely somewhere in between TLOS and TLOC – but I have passed 25,000 words, which is half of what I need to finish NaNoWriMo with flying colours! Jakken has just made contact again with humanity through the esteemed captain Kailash Beldron! Yay!

I also let myself by Transformice for a bit, and much fun was had. Additionally, instead of buying a Wir sind Helden album, I bought Rhapsody of Fire’s Cold Embrace of Fear instead. Looking forward to listening to it when it arrives!

Now, back to writing!

*Oh, and I also started reading Hogfather! I love Terry Pratchett!*

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Posted by on November 8, 2010 in Personal, Readings, Writing


Brief Update!

I need sleep desperately so this shall be short, but I’ve hit 19,000 words, and am ending today at 19,143! I just started Chapter Eight, where the exciting things finally start to take place! Hopefully writing will be easier now – writing about diplomacy is hard. Hope to (but probably won’t) reach the halfway point this weekend! Toodleloo!

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Posted by on November 5, 2010 in Writing


Cuteness is Very Serious Business

At 9,330 words, I have finished the Prologue and Chapters One through Three! There still isn’t much action – other than the opening scene – and the text so far is mostly me attempting to show an example of a diplomatic discussion. I did right a really fun piece of dialogue, as is seen below:


“And what exactly are these products, ambassador Kikkilak?”


“The toria’s excrement is Space’s most efficient fertilizer! Or will be, once we have certified it. Its fur – which also happens to be self shedding, and will all fall off at once in an easily collectible pile – is a superb insulator and stronger than a stil-voran alloy when woven into a simple item of clothing. The korfalil’s feather shimmer and change color in recognizable patterns and even faces, and will continue to do so for at least a dateyn after they fall off the thing, guaranteed! And the gorinya itself is the product – the most adorable thing you’ll ever set your eyes on, completely obedient, with training coded into its genome, and recycles its own waste!” I didn’t even know that that was possible, and didn’t think too hard about it. The Cijadi sounded like a floundering businessman; quite a different impression than I had received from his acting the diplomat.

“Do you have a picture of this… gorinya?” I asked. I didn’t believe it was the cutest thing in all of Space.

Kikkilak clicked awkwardly. “I am afraid that I do not – the information is classified at the current moment, so as to avoid too many spies from being able to best us or steal our design.”

Of course. I was slightly disappointed. “Have you seen the designs or the creature yourself?”

More awkward clicks. “Well… not exactly.”

“Not exactly?” Meaning no, if I knew anything.

“No. The files are very confidential.” Apparently. Cuteness is very serious business.

“Then how can you tell me how adorable it is?”


Cuteness is very serious business.

Chapter four is now underway, and is describing generally what happened in the meetings on Juxia and during the first two weeks of spaceflight. I have been away too long… back to the book!

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Posted by on November 3, 2010 in Writing


First Wordsprint Done!

Well, NaNoWriMo has begun, and as soon as the clock struck midnight, I began to write frantically! I have currently finished the Prologue and Chapter One of The Libel of Blood, and currently am at 4,033 words – over twice as many as I need for day one! I’m doing well so far, but don’t want to get overconfident!

This books starts differently from the other two – it begins with a completely unexplained scene that actually takes place in the middle of the book, and then the first half of the book will be  flashback working up to that point. I’ve never tried doing this before, so we’ll see how this turns out – and how much I’ll have to change the introduction!

The Prologue is, unsurprisingly, a recap of The Loneliness of Stars and The Light of Civilization, and Chapter One consists of said unexplained action scene (ending in Jak’s apparent death!), and then the first part of the lengthy flashback, on board the flagship Lightbringer, heading back to Human space. It is mostly descriptive, and describes the setting of the first two or three chapters – hopefully more action (and by ‘action’ I mean politics and diplomacy) will occur in Chapter Two!

And because I have classes tomorrow, I am signing off and sleeping now! Adios!

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Posted by on November 1, 2010 in Writing


NaNoWriMo Is Almost Here!

I regret to inform you all that  I failed to finish “The Man in Amber” – I wanted to give it a good ending, rather than rush through the entire second half of it. I will finish it first thing in December, though, even before editing TLOC!

I am now sitting here watching the countdown clock and waiting for NaNoWriMo to start… I will give you all another update when I’m done for the night! Wish me luck!

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Posted by on November 1, 2010 in Writing