Monday, August 22, 2011

The Mysterious Ticking Noise

I've been really lax about updating, but perhaps that makes some sense as I have also been lax about writing. I think I'm just overwhelmed by everything; it still doesn't really seem real to me, that I am wandering off again at the end of the week. But then, this sort of thing often doesn't seem real to me until I actually hit the ground in some foreign country. The weird thing about all this, though, is that London won't be some foreign country. Although it will never be as New Zealand to me, I still feel very much at home in the United Kingdom. I've also been in and out of LAX enough times for it to feel like a familiar face -- the same goes for Auckland and Christchurch airports, more so Christers as I lived in the city for two years. It's just Sydney and New York that will be unfamiliar territory -- at least until my sister and I hit Istanbul, anyway.

So, yes, I haven't written a heck of a lot in the last week or so. The Greywater .doc is at 96,734 words, which is annoying because if I could just apply myself to it, I could easily kick it over 100k in an evening. But between having family to stay and having to organise stuff for my last week at work, not much has been happening. Today I even wasted time by reading Harry Potter fanfic, which should say something because I'm not even a fan of the franchise as such. But to settle my niece and nephew the other day I in some desperation played them this vid, and it eventually led to watchings of the first two movies. I'd rather forgotten how much I enjoyed those first two books, actually; when I first read them all the way back in the summer of 2000/2001, they reminded me of Roald Dahl books I'd adored as a child, and so I do think of them fondly enough. It was the latter books that drove me bonkers. Also, I still have that crush on Lucius Malfoy. Er. It may go a ways towards explaining my own character Ryennkar Vassidenel, come to think of it. But then I've had a thing for white-haired pretty boys of dubious morality for quite a long time anyway. Ha.

Still. Even though I haven't been writing physically, I have been writing in my head. I've actually been thinking a lot about the origins of the cardinal gods of my fictional world, partly because of Greywater. The lead female has been bound to the city of Aran Nomese by the earth-god, and the lead male is in the army of the earth-god against the forces of the fire-lady of the South. And it's just been...interesting, because Otho's aide-de-camp Sabin had a little rant about religion, which I did not expect. Sabin, you see, is a straight man who brings to mind one Owen Burnett; I totally didn't see it coming. Ha. Otho later went to an earth-church and had a fascinating discussion with one of the priests there, and...I never really realised how much I explore my own lack of faith in my writing. Basically I'm not at all religious, but I have a deep fascination with faith and things beyond the pale. Usually I indulge in this with stories about ghosts and magic and whatnot, but the four gods and how their world reacts to them in their Dreaming...

I never really knew a lot about them as people, though. Speaking with Neme-chan about her pantheon however got me thinking about what they were before they were elevated to godhood, and in the end I commissioned a drawing of Amanita and Janerin in their original human forms from a very talented French artist. As below:

Cali did a fabulous job; Amanita was a highly-priced commodity as a courtesan, and Janerin was a sheep farmer. YES REALLY. (God, he's so obviously a secret New Zealander, I swear. Probably even has an army of bees somewhere. YES, BEES!) I'm now thinking I need to commission a companion piece of Inamoran and Chaesha, the water and air gods; Inamoran was a bastard son of a wealthy merchant and Chaesha was a wandering seer out in the wilderness. All these things explain a lot about the gods they became. And I've had bits and pieces of their origin stories going around in my head ever since, and I suspect I will have to write up some of it on the long haul flights to the US and the UK.

Aside from the above fabulousness, I also got another commission in the last week (I'm having a bit of a commission meltdown lately, mostly because I finished work on Friday and am now a Lady of Leisure with no regular source of income...). This was the awesome result:

This was another commish from the awesomely talented RaraHoWa, who has done three other commissions for me. And I stared at it for ages afterward with the biggest girlcrush on Alara. Like, massive girlcrush. Which is hilarious as I already adored the woman stupid. But I gave Rara the reference of Vivien Leigh and she came up with this and OMFG. I also adore Nan, the one on the right, but Unbelievably perfect. She's a knight and a lady and a stone. Cold. FOX. So much love in this room right now. It's just slightly disappointing that Greywater only involves Nan, but I suspect I may have to drabble something with Alara and Nan and perhaps their first meeting. They're superbly mismatched as knight and magi, and that's really why they work so magnificently together. The only novel-in-progress that involves the two of them together thus far is forevergirl, but as I said, I am supposed to be focussing on Greywater, so...

I also need to use my long flights to start sketching out a short story. Mitzi has another call for submission out, and I definitely want to give this one a go. I have an idea already, and I blame Alara for it entirely. Because of my girlcrush. Ha. I also had an email from Mitzi the other day checking snailmail addresses, as the comp copies of the other anthology are ready to be shipped. Hopefully it may be in London by the time I get there. Speaking of London, I am slightly mortified to realise that on September the first, New Zealand time, I will be somewhere between New York and London. Why am I mortified? Well, that's a long story I'll explain in another entry. In the meantime, I have some terribly evil Oreo cookies to bake. I may have to post a picture to prove their evil. If you're curious about the first picture in this entry, by the by, it's a sketch I did a few months back of Tara and Eleni Larmenret. It shows you why I commission, but still. I do love visual representations of my characters so very much. And I can definitely say that staring at Sir Alara and her big...sword...makes me want to write something rather erotic indeed., that's probably more than you needed to know. But that's the danger of writing, I suppose: falling in love with the voices in your head. Excellent. I also need to do something with Amanita and Janerin, before things went to hell between them. <3 I love love stories gone bad, does it show much? ^_~

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