It’s finally here. The third volume of Song of the Arkafina, Dawnmaid, is now for sale on Amazon and other book retailers.Dawnmaid

While I am doing research for Operation Darkspar, I am going ahead with another project I have had in the back of my mind for some time.  It is a series of four long stories (can’t call them “short” when each one will be about 25,000 words) which will form a sort of prequel to the events in Song of the Arkafina.  Well, oddly enough, the story falls both before and after SOTA, but since the Amaranthine are able to travel through time, that makes sense.  Sort of.  To me, anyway.

I’ve called the collection Red Feather Fables, because the leader of the Firaithi wears a red feather in his braid.  The first story, Quondam, is named after the Firaithi word for past.  For those of you who haven’t read Dawnmaid, I’ll explain.  The Firaithi, who are a travelling people, consider time to be a helical country, winding through the Gyre.  Each kind of time is a location in that land.  Quondam is the past, Prox the present, Sequent the future and Nowhen, an indeterminate place beyond or outside of time.  So I plan to write four stories, each with a fable attached, dealing with some of the history of the Amaranthine, who are descended from the Firaithi.

I have been engaged in an interesting project over the past few days, drawing up a ‘Family Tree’ for the characters of Song of the Arkafina.  I may or may not include the finished diagram as an appendix to the last volume Beyond the Gyre.  It might be helpful, because there are A LOT of characters.  But on the other hand, it would give crucial aspects of the story away.  Fine, as long as the reader waits until they finish all the books before looking at the charts.  But what if they don’t?

I am amazed at how complex the interrelationships of my characters have grown over the course of the four books.  Some characters married people to whom they were related.  The closest are first cousins, which is legal, but only in some places. 🙂 There are adopted children, half-brothers and sisters, multiple spouses, children of affairs–you get the idea.  Somehow charting all this has made it seem even more real to me.

I used a free program called Family Tree Maker, available from My Heritage, a site dedicated to genealogy.

Even if I don’t decide to use the finished chart, I still think the exercise was worthwhile.  I plan to base several more books around the world I built for Song of the Arkafina, which I named the Gyre Cosmos.  The characters and their descendants will be making cameo appearances in the later works, and I know I will not be able to carry around all those complex relationships in my head forever.

What I am listening to:Live in Central Park/Simon&Garfunkel

What I am reading:The Call of the Sword/Roger Taylor

add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: TailRank

I have just finished some site renovations, and added a couple of new tabs.  Rather than having all the books of Song of the Arkafina listed, I have grouped their pages under a new tab.  I have also added a short information page “about me” and added a new picture, of me playing my hurdy gurdy.

I haven’t had this instrument out of the box in awhile, and hopefully this picture will encourage me to do so.  It is  difficult to play, and quite rare, so I haven’t been able to find anyone here to give me lessons.  The sound is unique, and seems to elicit strong emotion–you either love it or hate it!

add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: TailRank

I have been given the publication dates for the paperback versions of Song of the Arkafina.  It looks as though Volume I, Heart of Hythea, will be out by the middle of next month, assuming we can get everything organized.  The cover art for a book is a bit different than that for an ebook cover, because you have a spine and a back to fill up as well. I have made a little icon for the series to go on the spine.

I will post more information as I have it, but right now the idea is to have all the books in paperback by Christmas!  (Hmm…  Guess I know what everyone is getting for a present this year!)

On a different tack, I found the most amazing internet comic this morning.  I am the last person who ever hears about anything cool, so forgive me if this is old news.  Check out:

Lackadaisy

The strip is set in prohibition-era St. Louis, and has the most beautiful artwork imaginable, especially if you are a cat-lover like me!

What I am reading: Nothing.  My daughter has my ebook reader…

What I am listening to: Blood, Fire, Death/Bathory

add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: TailRank

Spent all day yesterday rebuilding my system after DH replaced my hard drive with something bigger and faster.  It took a looonnng time to reinstall all the software and configure it the way I like it.  But now it is about 90% finished and I can get back to writing.  Hopefully.  But since I also have this awful, awful cold, it might be difficult to concentrate.

I have been reading the poetry of Robert Service, who was born in Scotland but wrote his most famous poems about the Canadian wilderness.  A lot of people think it isn’t terribly sophisticated stuff, but it has a lovely rhythm and picturesque use of language that I find appealing.  I have also written some poetry, but not much of it has ever seen the light of day.  It tends to be a thing I do when I am depressed, and so doesn’t make terribly cheerful reading afterwards.

I  just returned a contract to my publisher for printed versions of Song of the Arkafina, and I am looking forward to being able to hold my work in my hands.  (Even though technically I can do that with the ebook reader, it just isn’t the same thing.  Maybe that is why they haven’t taken off the way people predicted they would?)

We are shooting for Sept 22nd as a target date for Beyond the Gyre, so I had better get cracking on a new page and some cover art!

***

What I am listening to: Creatures of Habit/Billy Squier

What I am reading: Ballads of a Bohemian/Robert Service

add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: TailRank

The page is up for Ketha, and publication date has been set for April 21st!