New fiction and the coming of Nanowrimo!

Nanowrimo began on Sunday, and I was out of the gate with more than 2000 words before I went to bed at 2am on November 1.  By the end of the day on November 1, I had almost 4,000 words in.  As of this writing, I’m sitting at 5,465 words and counting–already above where I need to be for today (I would need to be 5,000 words in to be on par for the day — I will probably push for at least 7,000 before I sleep tonight).

My project is, of course, the project I’ve been doing the world-building for which I’ve posted here.  The Last Colony tells the story of humanity in its twilight, with the potential for a dawn.  The synopsis as posted to the Nanowrimo site is as follows:

Old Earth is dead.

A hundred light years away, New Earth is dying, murded by human hands.

Thousands of years after the human diaspora, another homeworld is dying the same death, promising that history does, in fact, repeat itself, and no one cares.

The Rose Foundation and the Psychean Guard have a plan. The world of E557 is their last hope to save all that is right and good in humanity. Sustainable energy. Virgin soil. Some of the best and brightest minds in a generation.

But the conglomerates of New Earth want what E557 has to offer, and damn the consequences–after all, it’s just another world. There’s always more where that came from.

War is coming to E557–the Oracle has fortold this. It is a fight humanity cannot afford to lose.

But can the galaxy afford for humanity to win?

The excerpt I have posted is actually the prologue to the story and takes place eleven years before the story’s start.  My friend Mike is already hooked.  Jen hasn’t seen the story yet (I should probably send her the first nine pages).  One of my WoW buddies has it in his hot little hands, too, but I went to bed before I could see what he thought of it.

In addition to this wonderfully magical noveling experience, I’ve also started a few specks of new fiction.  One is nowhere near complete (it’s in the beginning stages) but it’s an explanation as to why Quin’lisse Adama missed the wedding of one of her best friends.  When it’s done, hopefully it’ll knock a few socks off.  The other is a serial for the RoA and Sentinels Realm Forum entitled “The Devil is in the Details.”  The frst few posts of it are below the cut line.

Continue reading

Maintenance day update

So, I got some news the other day that is exciting and daunting all at once.  My paper that I proposed for the Great Lakes History Conference was accepted.  Now I just have to put together 20-30 pages for my session and make hotel reservations for that weekend in November.  Professionally, this is about as huge as my winning the assistantship at OU.  Personally, it’s a little scary.  The last time I did a presentation like this I was a junior (was I a junior?  I think that was the summer between sophomore and junior year) at Grand Valley State presenting on our work at 20KT275 and 20KT276 at Student Scholarship Day–a completely different animal.  I wasn’t flying solo on that one, for starters–I was presenting with two other people.  This is all me, and while the work on the subjugation of Wales under Edward I dovetails with my thesis research, it’s different enough that it’s going to take a bit of additional research to really get this together to my satisfaction.

On another note, officers and I announced that we’re shaking the RoA tree.  Some people are enthused, I’m not sure how others feel.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed, since I’d definately hate for this to fail.  I’m glad that we’re no longer working in the dark, though.  Folks know that we’re doing something, which is good.  Very good.  I have to get myself working on the charter documents based on what we have so far, since the whole IC angle of the mess seems to be my strength (well, no, is my strength).  And think of what the next set of things on deadline are going to be, since we have a deadline on some things coming up…gee….tomorrow.  And then roll from there.  I want everything in place before I start my assistantship in September.

Still haven’t told my boss at the mall about the assistantship.  I’m putting off the inevitable panic she’s going to have.  I’ll tell her in a few weeks.

Post-vacation update #1

Back from Wisconsin, and what a glorious trip without worrying about work calling me it was.  I got a bit of writing done, both WoWFic–including starting a new story, “Family Ties“–and work on Epsilon (Jen mentioned last night after her perusal that there was a marked shift between Sam Cooper’s attitude toward Aaron in one scene and her reaction to him the next morning.  I promised her it’d make sense later).

I’m still working in part on the revitalization efforts for Sentinels (US) — the RP community has suffered since the opening of Wyrmrest Accord and everyone has seen a sharp decline in numbers.  But at the same time as it’s brought out the lazy in some folks, it’s brought out the best in others.  One of the new blogs on the blogroll is one of those “bests” — Ravine of Lichbane has started a new blog with fiction and discussion of RP issues that I plan to be following closely myself.

Other recent addition to the blogroll is Erik’s blog.  I’ve known Erik and gamed with him for a long time (back since the days when I was almost exclusively doing things ISRP).  Lately, he’s been getting his campaign setting ready to hopefully query more gaming companies with.  I’ve seen bits and fragments of it, and while 4E is Greek to me, the flavor bits and pieces (which I think he really wanted me to pay attention to) are looking pretty good.

Also poked at Aurora Force with a stick, got set up for Michael Bullian’s tragic death at the Battle of Ithor.  I probably need to start drafting how that’s going to happen so I have it together and ready to go when we get that far.  If we ever get that far.

All in all, considering I spent several hours by a pool every day I was away, it was a pretty productive trip!  I’ll have to post pictures up here soon.

Musings about Christie Golden and WoW

So, I’ve been reading one of the more recent World of Warcraft novels, Arthas, by Christie Golden, and I happened to skim over her biography at the back of the book (while I was looking at the notes on further reading–I love lore, and I need to learn more and more of it as I keep playing WoW) to see that she is an “avid player” of WoW.

So that got me musing (and I really shouldn’t muse before I check WoWInsider for the information, but I digress).  If I was the author of World of Warcraft novels (amongst others–Golden writes Star Wars and Star Trek novels; I may have to pick up Omen (Fate of the Jedi — she’s working on the series with Aaron Allston and another author whose name escapes me at this time) at some point…..what sort of gameplay aspect would I be focusing on?  Good question, right?

Getting down to the nitty-gritty, WoW has about three main foci for gameplay: Roleplaying (my personal favorite), raiding (the pennultimate goal of PvE, largely), and PvP (in all its varied forms).  Personally, I’m discounting PvP entirely–most people just don’t play WoW for the PvP, most have moved on to Warhammer because of the “superior system” of PvP to be had there.  That leaves Raiding and RP.  As much as I love RP…I’m thinking that she may well be a raider.  And here’s why.

Both of these aspects of gameplay are total–and I do mean total–time sucks, but one can be less all-consuming than the other, and that’s raiding.  Raiding is scheduled, rigid.  You set a timetable because you have to get 10-25 people in the same place at the same time and get them all working toward the same goal–all at once.  This definately requires a certain degree of scheduling and organization.  This makes it less of a time dump than the more organic time-sucking of roleplaying.

I call roleplaying organic because it is.  I’m guild lead for one of the oldest (and larger) RP guilds on the Sentinels (US) server–a roleplaying server, not as old as most, but still older than the two most recently opened (and personally hated by me) RP servers (these would be Moonguard (US) and Wyrmrest Accord (US) — I’ve lost too many people to these so-called “meccas” of RP to have much respect for them or much love.  Quality over quantity has been my mantra for a long time, and from what I understand, there may be RP everywhere on these servers…but it’s not the quality that I’ve been accustomed to).  I know how random RP is, and how rarely scheduled events seem to do well (though I’m hoping that the most recently scheduled events on the server — Miko’s For the Herd! event and RoA’s own Round Table of Azeroth tournament will have good turn-outs) and that’s because people do it at random.  It’s just what happens.  And when RP starts…unless you put a hard-stop time on it (which most people don’t) it goes on for hours.  And hours.  And hours.  That’s just how it is.  It’s what happens.  It’s a bigger time sink than raiding ever is and ever can be because it’s not scheduled.

Don’t let anyone tell you that a successful writer’s life isn’t scheduled, because most successful writers have a strict schedule of when they work and when they do everything else (which is probably why I’m not very successful, largely because I fail very hard at doing this at this time).  Therefore, raiding is more conducive to a writer’s life.

Of course, maybe WoWInsider will tell me I’m wrong.  I have to check up on that.  Until I do, though…this is my story, and I’m sticking to it.