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Brotherhood of the Black Flag News

Scribbles Successfully Scanned

I’ve got all the storyboard sketches (or, as my kids call them, my scribbles) for Black Flag Volume Two: Blood Price scanned. Finally. It really should have been done a while back. (As soon as I finished drawing them, maybe?) But so much for spilt milk and all that — they’re done now, and nothing disastrous happen to the originals in the meantime.

Next I need to get them online somewhere, so I have an off-site backup.

This and that.

Azure (my eldest daughter) will be attending her high school graduation after all, even though she claims to find that kind of cerimony pointless and inconvenient and boring, because people she knows insisted that they wanted to “see her walk”.

I took the younger two kids to the eye doctor and they will both be getting glasses… just in time for school to be over. I have this vague suspicion that I got the timing wrong on that one somehow.

And I think that’s about all there is to report. Other than the usual driving kids about, and waiting for Black Flag scenes to render, I haven’t been doing much.

So now for the latest In My Head Theater update, (because I have discovered that I like having a record of what stories I was mentally developing when).

I got a scene of Lock talking with his brother-in-law about how Lock has a serious woman problem. Which is a bit ironic considering who is brother-in-law is. I’m guessing this scene, if it ever showed up, would go somewhere after the new six — which I think I will call The Voyage of the Obsidian Star for now, ’cause I have to call it something. The scene probably won’t ever appear, however. I don’t see how it moves anything forward.

I also ended up running the courtroom scene from Blood Brothers — NOT as a dance number. Whew!

Plus I was getting stuff relating to the novel I’m supposedly writing, only I’ve been concentrating on Black Flag instead. I hope my back-brain isn’t trying to tell me anything. I want to get this first Black Flag story finished. I feel like it’s been going on for forever.

Forget the Numbers

I’m getting more and more convinced that I need a Black Flag story between what is now Volume 5 and what is now Volume 6.

Which means that 6 is really 7, and 7 is really 8, and…
And I never was all that certain which precise order the other three went in anyhow. :rueful:

I need to start calling them by their titles, so I don’t get confused.

Other than scenes for the new Black Flag story (that has yet to be titled, but follows immediately after Soul of a Talon), In My Head Theater has been running Black Flag: Blood Brothers as a big dance production number a la Gene Kelly. Something must be seriously wrong with me. Maybe I’m feverish?

On the plus side I got the next Black Flag page done in only three days. Three days is okay. Three days I can work with.

Box Office

For the past week, In My Head Theatre has been running the one about the guru that reminds me of Scent of Spring (particularly the last scene), and the scene from Blood Brothers where Arouj invokes his Captain’s privilege. It also coughed up quite a few new bits of Black Flag 7 (although I’m not sure how “finalized” those bits are — the whole thing is still too fragmented for me to confident that there won’t be changes/slippage). I’ve also had some between volumes Black Flag scenes running, “Why Ghost looks the way she does and what her father did when he found out” and “How Morgan and Kidd manage to finally agree to a contract”. (Until now I hadn’t been absolutely sure that those two ever would get a contract, although the family scenes from Blood Brothers seemed to suggest that they might.)

As far as story development outside of my head goes, I finished off two Black Flag pages in one day, but unfortunately it was after having worked on both of them for a couple weeks. Wah! Why is it going sooooo slow?

Black Flag Update

According to my progress log, I have reached page 150. According to my production calculations, I have completed 75% of the first draft. That looks remarkably like a milestone to me. Yay!

My husband wants me to take a break from Black Flag so I can work on book covers, though. I’d better hurry up and get started on that. Not only do I not want Black Flag to fall behind, I intend to start writing my next book next week. Lots of things to get done. No time for dawdling. … I wish I had a second laptop, if I had two I could do twice as much, right?

(That’s not as silly as it sounds. 3D art takes a lot of resources, making doing anything else on my computer while a render is going somewhat problematical.)

Another Yay!

I have finished the storyboards for Black Flag 2: Blood Price.

Blood Price came in at 232 pages, but that’s not counting chapter title pages, which would put it up to about 250. That’s a chunk longer than Black Flag 1, at 222 pages, but I’m expecting Black Flag 1 to grow a bit more, as I finish the last third of the pages (hopefully sometime this year), and then head into revisions.

I still need to finish deciding where the chapter divisions go, name my chapters, and scan everything. I’m very, very tempted to recycle the chapter titles from 1. My husband warned that I might end up finding myself in a bind that way, feeling locked into the same chapter titles for all the Black Flag stories, but I don’t think so. The script to Black Flag 3: Dominion, is twice as long as the one for Blood Price, and the first two books are more strongly tied together than the second and the third.

Anyway, I’m now back to Scent of Spring for my pencil and paper project, and will once again be hauling my pretty art around, instead of a lot of horrible scribbles. That will be nice. I loooooove Blood Price, but confess to feeling a bit abashed when people got curious as to what I was doing. I can draw better than that, really — just when storyboarding something I will be doing in 3D there’s no point. Worrying about getting it to look right just slows me down. It took me a LOT longer than a month and a half to do the Scent of Spring storyboards, and that was for a much shorter story.

A little gift for my writer friends.

I made the following image to use for “Pieces of Flair” on Facebook.  (It’s a virtual button collecting game.)

Writer at Work sign

To my astonishment, people are actually adding the button I made to their “flair boards” (not just the people I sent it to, that wouldn’t astonish me, but other people too), and so I thought maybe some of my other writer friends might find some uses for it. Freely available for non-commercial use. You can copy it, distribute it, shrink down for avatars — whatever. 🙂

…And, speaking of me being astonished, that little recording of me singing the first verse of the Talon March that I posted for Talk Like a Pirate Day, has been downloaded 72 times this month.   ?!?!?!   I found the latest two downloads in my “most recent visitors list” and they were apparently made by two different people and both were “direct access” links.  That seems a little odd.

Even if you count up everyone on livejournal and facebook, I still don’t think I have 72 friends who actually read this blog, and besides it was posted a while ago.  So unless I have a few friends listening to it over and over, that song is loose on the net somewhere.

Yet another useless accomplishment.

Sometime earlier this week I was thinking about digital paperdolls. (I think it was something someone mentioned on livejournal friends list?) So I started poking around the web to see if there were any freely available paperdoll scripts running around, and I found a hosted one, and I set it up, and wasn’t much impressed with it.

I decided to build my own.

The Black Flag website now has a “Make Your Own Pirate” page in it’s extra stuff. (Or, if you prefer, there’s the even fancier “Pirate Colorizer” version.
Sample Pirate Maker Pirate

I don’t know why I would want to have one. (It’s not a paperdoll, it’s an avatar builder!). But um, I did it all myself, and um…. it’s kinda fun?

Sing like a Space Pirate Day?

As many of you may know, I’m in the habit of making up songs –which I then sing over and over until I drive my kids crazy.
But they approve of this one:

The Talon March (just vocals) – from the Brotherhood of the Black Flag virtual soundtrack. Mp3 (656 kb)

(They tell me, though, that it’s not a very good song to have stuck in your head while at school. Suddenly breaking out with a “Boots on, head high — Mess with me and you will die!” while poking around in your locker, does not endear you to your teachers.)

Quote from Flag in Flames
'You are not only a slug and a bastard and a dishonorable girl-stealing protoplasmic sludge, you're also an idiot'
-- Captain Blood to Silver
Copyright © Michelle Bottorff

Email mbottorff at lshelby period com