Today I finished my latest novel, abbreviated TCMb part of the A/B pair. It is called Dance and now it is done its first draft.
TCMb was written to tie up the events of TCMa, to see the conclusion of the struggle between the Al’terrian common and the upper class. It’s writing has covered 56 days, 3 countries, countless hours of bus/train/airplane travel, and at least 14 cities. It’s been the longest to write and has travelled with me the longest in its first draft process. There is no TCMc; these two books are over for now.
It’s a first draft. I hate it. But I know I will love it. Tomorrow it will get it’s first proofread and officially move from being a first to second draft. The kids grow up so fast!
That isn’t to say my career writing the TCM world is done by any stretch. There’s at least another trilogy in me for later, probably part of the ‘F’ titled series (Having just done the ‘D’ titled) and I could write things in between the main canon if anyone were curious. We’ve only just begun discovering Al’terra!
Daily quotes are over though so I will continue in editing and world building which is what tends to happen in the off season anyways and soon I’ll start thinking about what my NaNoWriMo this year will be.
The last line of TCMb, as with all the other TCM stories, gives the definition of the title and so I’ll leave you with that.
Dance: The series of well timed movements of an ensemble that bring about a desired outcome.
Many endings had birthed a new beginning.
Tomorrow morning, they would find [his] body. Maybe in bed, probably stabbed [the narrator] guessed, not poison, though a roof jump wasn’t out of the question. Even with the good he could do while alive, he wouldn’t be able to stand it…
…to [go through] it twice? He would kill himself too.
Classical definitions of family will tell you it has to do with parents and offspring, or blood ties between people, but that isn’t the case at all for Al’terrian family.
For reasons best described elsewhere, Al’terrian children rarely if ever know their parents and this doesn’t matter to anyone. In the very least, Pride children know they have Pride parentage. Those who sire or birth their offspring can never really be classed as parents, as they give absolutely no care to their offspring (there are some rare exceptions, and certain time periods parents will keep their children). Al’terrian children are raised, parented, and scolded by those at care facilities. If parents are an unknown, things we would class as aunts, uncles, grandparents are a definite unknown. In fact, siblings are often split up over areas and may never know each other.
Family is not where you come from, but who you make it to be. Often it is those a person lives with, as in communal or group housing or partner, but is comprised of very close friends. Because of its rather personal nature, everyone would consider family a little bit differently. While Sam might view Timethy as family because of his association with Kite, Timethy doesn’t see himself with any ties to Sam. People in such groups that can be large or small tend address each other as ‘cousin’, or sometimes ‘brother’ or ‘sister’ to denote no romantic element. Families change and morph over time and have the luxury of not always having to be loyal to some people.
When the term families is used in this common way, it is not uncommon for members of families to be sexually involved with any of the other members, assuming they aren’t bonded, during times of heat. Families split over generations to a lesser or non existent extent.
Family implies loyalty to each other, not necessarily liking. Kite would consider Jared family would doesn’t actually like Jared at all.
You let him?”
“I asked him to. I want to want to do this, to overcome my selfish reluctance.
This object is yet unnamed and I don’t have all my notes in front of me as this is a sketch on my wall, so bear with me.
Light in Al’terra is given in two ways: the older and still commonly used fire usually produced from various oils or wood often used to cook or give simple light, and more complex lights (for which the name has escaped me). These lights are as follows.
The most usual form is that of a glass ball with a hatch usually on top, sometimes the bottom, which two very fine sand like powders are usually in a fixed glass plate, separated by a barrier. To turn the light on, the globe is gently shaken to free the two substances so they mix, producing the chemical reaction giving off a glow. The amount of these two substances will intensify the light production. The light lasts about half a day, fading in the last hour. To extinguish the light earlier, water is used to douse it, either salt or fresh, it doesn’t matter. The wet sands are then taken to a merchant who sells these chemicals where they are separated, dried, exposed to sun, and resold.
Sand is usually kept in the top of the light so it can fall and mix, but many variations are possible. The natural colour of this light is yellow and sun like but glass has been coloured and shaped in many variations to change the quality of the light. The cost of light-sand (sold of course in equal but separate measures) is usually slightly cheaper than wax but does fluctuate depending on circumstances in the economy.
Fire is the only thing the factory children are used to in the mines, so upon their escape when Tobias exclaimed to Timethy he thought they only had fire, he was referring to the huge spotlights beamed on them clearly powered by light sand which is usually considered more upper class. Toby might not have seen it in his childhood at all, whereas Timethy would be used to it.
Perhaps you are wondering exactly how the Al’terrians eat and what this thing called a ‘tresp’ is. It’s the primary and usually only eating utensil used by the Al’terrian people and has many variation, but this is mainly its design:
A skeletal disc is form, slightly smaller in circumference than the palm of the individual using it, with a rounded and relatively robust edge. It is this edge that is gripped by the user, in whichever hand they hold dominant, and coming out from the edge of the circle are spokes. These spokes number between four and twenty, commonly five or six. Typically half of these spokes are straight, pointy but not sharp spokes and the other half are flat blades that can be used a little like a knife if the wrist is twisted fast enough. The entire device resembles the silhouette of a flower or sun and is often designed in that way. These objects are cleaned and sharpened after every meal and often stored on a rod in the kitchen.
Usually only one tresp is used per meal over a common dining arrangement. If several courses are being served, a new tresp may be presented with each dish. Sometimes dishes are presented already on the tresp in a similar manner to skewers or appetizers on toothpicks.
Due to the nature of the tresp, all food has to be able to me eaten with it and is therefore able to be speared. Food is coarsely chopped for this reason and soups are uncommon. The way to eat soup is with another utensil that is a bit like a small bowl that is dipped in and drunk with two hands. Normal drinks are also taken two handed, be it warm or cold.
Of course there is variation in utensils including what sort of things are on the spokes, their number, the diameter of the disc, the materials used, and adjustments for each hand (and so on).
Things resembling the more familiar fork, spoon, and knife are found in Nolvac, which is where the conversation between Kite and Timethy regarding the stupidity of spoons comes from.
Of course neither the Prince nor the Phoenix complained about this arrangement and settled into the saddle of a large boned, rather tall dapple.
…but never mind me, what were you in the back gardens doing?”
“Never mind your curiosity, it’s killed a lot of cats…
(Day 10, currently 30,008 words - I’ve been catching up from being on vacation and being behind)
Side note: I am going out of country for a few days without internet, Quotes will come back on Friday)
You’ve danced: fighting is all about dancing. Kick the rhythm and the steps will come more naturally.