Yesterday’s post may have made it seem like today was all about the lightening of the UK Coronavirus lockdown, but there was one other big aspect of today’s date! Yes, you guessed it, celebration of the liberation from unscrupulous tyranny Alison’s first birthday! A year old already, good grief. Happy Birthday, poppet.
Also, I recently realised that you could automate the process I use to write Azbuka, the “fictional language” of Cloudgazer (actually just transliterated English written in the cyrillic alphabet). Thankfully, I learned my lesson here and instead of launching into yet another project to make said tool, I had a look to see if someone else had done it already. They have!
It’s around this time of year I get all nostalgic for videogames I got as Xmas presents: Age of Empires, Baldur’s Gate 2… Mount & Blade Warband. Actually, I didn’t get that one as a present, so I’m not sure where the association comes from. But I’m also reminded of where I was this time last year, and it seems like every year it gets more unbelievable how little I’ve progressed.
This time last year, I was attempting NaNoWriMo again in order to finish the sequel (or one of them) to Cloudgazer. In it, there’s a scene where we get a look into the past of the main character Kiy, shortly after he became separated from his little sister Julene. There is this one scene where a young Kiy is bracing himself for the harsh reality that it may take him as long as a year to find her, as unbearable as that sounds. Those who read the first book (and the start of this one) know however, that Kiy will still be looking for her some 11 years later. I can sympathise with Kiy here, as I feel this is how so many of my project timescales go when I think back to the aspirations of my younger self.
Back in something like 2003, I was laying on my back, looking up at an angled skylight and seeing only lightly clouded sky. I found myself wondering: what if that was down? What would it be like to live in a world where the sky was like an endless ocean, above and around you? Where you travelled in airships between floating cities, like islands in the vast blue void?
So earlier this week I released the preview version of my first novel, Cloudgazer, somewhat low-key as it’s still in draft 5 and only the first 8 chapters are up for feedback. But it’s been quite exciting just in this short time, starting to discuss with people the characters and plot points that I’ve been working on for over ten years. So if you’re curious, check out the link above and grab the PDF for your e-reader of choice. All feedback and critique welcome. At this stage there are still probably several misspellings & typos, but I’m mostly interested in how people feel about the tone and pacing and the like.
I’m missing out on the fun of NaNoWriMo again this year. It’s hard to keep writing, sometimes. I find it all too easy to just want everything to be perfect and never let it out. But you have to keep writing. Because the alternative is stopping. That sounds obvious, but it’s something I have to remind myself from time to time. Keep on writing, even if everyone seems to disagree with you. Keep on writing, even if you think nothing will become of it.
Here’s a toast to anyone too busy trying to finish something to start something new this month.
So now that it’s November, where have all my travel blog entries gone? Well, in short, I decided to do NaNoWriMo. Thus a large portion of my writing juice has been taken up by working on my novel Chronozone Zero; a book that’s been in progress for oh so many years. Anyone familiar with NaNoWriMo would rightly point out that this is cheating. This is true, but I really fancied doing NaNo and the last thing I need is to start another novel. I am also not keen on imposing yet another foolish dare on my long-suffering Lucy while we are meant to be exploring the great Down Under. The upshot of it all will be that I shall (hopefully) finish a book I have wanted to finish for some time (and Lucy, having read the preview, is also impatient for).
On a similar subject, I finally finished the 3rd draft of Cloudgazer just in time to be free for November. Lucy completed reading it last night ( in two days, no less! She’s posessed of a reading prowess that I cannot begin to comprehend). I will be doing another short edit some time soon, before seeking out a wider proof read audience.
In the meantime, stay tuned for more posts on Oz, I promise to do another in the next day or two!