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Pelugeโ€™s Preposterous Adventures

See what Ice Wolf's blue furry investigator is up to today. Peluge's Preposterous Adventures

Eyes of Infistar News

Totally guilty of work avoidance…

At least, I avoided the part of work that feels like work. My copyeditor sent back Eyes of Infistar when I was on vacation last week, and this morning I did not start going through her suggested changes.

Instead I diddled around online for a couple hours while trying to convince myself to do the edits, and finally said “I think it’s not happening, why don’t I just write?”

So, a full day’s quota of words were written.

But I do need to get to those copy edits eventually. ๐Ÿ™

First Week on the New Schedule

So I’ve tried it for a week.
In order to make the switch from work to music, I set my husband’s alarm-clock to turn on the radio. This worked fine for stopping me from editing, but on Friday when I was coding, I just ignored it. ::rueful::

Still I not only got a better balance of stuff accomplished, I also got more total accomplished. Stopping working before I hit brain-dead apparently has fringe benefits.

(I used to know that. Once upon a time my wordcount goals were actually there to tell me “Time to stop,” not to push me to write more. But I guess I sort of forgot that in all the excitement of doing the publication thing?)

Anyway, here’s what I got done last week…

  • Writing: I fixed many errors in Eyes of Infistar, installed a copy on our tablet for my husband to read, got back several chapters worth of notes, made more fixes, and put a new copy on the tablet.

    I also ebook-ified a book written by my daughter, put it on the tablet, and did a read-through.

  • Art: Compiled 19 pages of ink scans for Scent of Spring.
  • Music: Practiced 5 times (inc. 3 “vocal workout” sessions). Worked on scoring Scent of Spring. (Yes, the song has the same title as the graphic novel… There’s a reason for that.)
  • Coding: Started work on an image carousel for inserting on the bottom of certain webpages. In the process, discovered that the ‘$’ jquery shortcut doesn’t work consistently when used on a page that is integrating wordpress content. The discovery process involved a certain amount of hair-pulling. ::rueful::
  • Tatting: Worked on a design that still isn’t right. (I do a lot of that.)

Plus, I did 11 holes of disc golf, played the Eldritch Horror Boardgame with my family 3 times (we just got a new expansion, so we were eager to try out all the new stuff), helped one daughter build a website and helped another make bead lizards* to give away to friends. All in all, a good week.

*My design from over 15 years ago. They were actually the body of a dragon, but the wings were futzy and delicate and the older kids and I ended up making a bunch of dragons without the wings, back when. Examples were still inhabiting my bedroom, and she wanted to make a couple. Her first one is pictured below.

Making it look like a book

My husband was home today, and is very determined about getting his own private copy of Eyes of Infistar as soon as possible, so we spent most of the day turning the submission manuscript into a print ready pdf. He’s mucking with the cover as I write this. (We’ve been getting a lot of ‘can’t save, program error’ messages with that one, I think just because it’s so huge.)

He said that his design goal for this project was “just slightly tacky”.
I told him the correct term was “camp”.

However, as he has included on the cover the line “The Greatest Adventure since Zargoth and the Death Ray.” I think maybe “tacky” has won the day. ๐Ÿ™‚

I did try to get some stuff done on my own projects, but forward progress there was minimal. Ah well.

Forward Motion

Dicing With Flames is back in production.I’m not up to full speed yet, but while nattering in rec.arts.sf.compostion about what all I’m working at, I got a ‘sounds fascinating’ about Song of Asolde, a ‘sounds fun’ about Eyes of Infistar, and a ‘will you get these stories finished already!’ about Black Flag all within a 24 hour span, so I’m feeling too happy-bouncy right now to angst over being 1105 words shy of my week’s quota.

Another one done

Eyes of Infistar is submitted.
It is now too late to worry about it anymore.

Hopefully I have a year before I have to think about it again much, and I can finally get back to Asond, Samanth and company.

Although, maybe that's being a bit too hopeful. Boyd wants a private printed copy of Eyes, and thus has got cover pictures on his brain. What do I think, he wants to know, of having Algernon striking a heroic pose while Peluge holds up a couple fingers behind his head?

I think that Peluge and Algernon, fun as they are, are not the main characters and shouldn't be allowed to dominate the cover.

Besides, I don't have *time* to work on cover pictures, which are BIG and require a great deal of time consuming attention to detail. Black Flag is behind schedule, Dicing With Flames is supposed be done in February, and I promised myself I would complete the storyboards for Scent of Spring before the end of December.

I'm also in the middle of an overhaul of my writing site.


I have 116 pages worth storyboards for Scent of Spring now, and have reached page 53 of 60 in my script. My calculator says that's 88%, which would make the total length estimate 131 pages. Fifteen more pages to go. My estimated start of 'actual writing' date was today, which I'm obviously going to miss, but I might not be more than a month behind. That's not bad considering this is a third or fourth string project.

Dicing With Flames continues to remain on hold while I do revisions on Eyes of Infistar.

When I'm doing revisions I have a much harder time sticking to a do-so-much-and-no-more type schedule than when I'm writing, so I have a tendency to do a whole lot one day, wear myself out, and spend the next day doing nothing much at all. I'm probably doing just as much actual “work” as I do normally, but the stop and go format is a lot more frustrating. Today I'm on stop, so I need to find something I can do while brain-dead. Blah.

What I did yesterday while brain-dead, was read aloud the first three volumes of Girl Genius, while my kids followed along over my shoulder. I'm pretty good at reading aloud (even if I do say so myself) and it's great material to work with. As I've already read through what's available on my own at least three times already, I only ended up laughing when I was supposed to be delivering lines once or twice. It's a bit awkward working off a web-page, though. Sometimes I don't scroll down far enough, and I miss a speech bubble or two down at the bottom of the page.

Eyes of Infistar

The Donald Maass Literary Agency has a page “This month we are looking for….”, and the latest is Quirky detectives we would like to meet. It just so happens that I have this story I'm supposedly revising, which features quirky detectives. Of course, they seem to be expecting detectives to be found in mystery genre queries, not science fiction, but this way I can give them (almost) what they ask for and surprise them at the same time. Sounds perfect, right?

Okay, maybe not perfect. But it was a tempting enough situation that I have written and snail-mailed a query letter, hoping it would arrive while “this month's” request was still in effect and maybe, therefore, get a smidgen of extra attention. Which means I really can't afford to delay working on Eyes anymore, because you never know, they might ask to see it. (It seems a pity to abandon the characters of Dicing With Flames in the situation they are in, but the mountain can't collapse on them if I'm not there to tell it to, so they can wait.)

So, if you have read Eyes, and sent me comments, and I did not respond saying, 'yes I got them, thank you very much', then I didn't get them. Could you please try sending them again? I would love a chance to thank you for the effort you have gone to on my behalf.

And if you haven't sent me any comments, well, anything you can get to me in the next three weeks or so, will be greatly appreciated. ๐Ÿ™‚

Maybe not quite the right approach?

I have been trying to devise a hook for Eyes of Infistar.
And I'm having trouble. (No surprise, I guess, this hook writing business is hard).

My first temptation is to say something on the order of…

From the hackneyed tradition of Lin Carter, E. E. Doc Smith, James H. Schmitz, and Edgar Rice Burroughs comes…

THE EYES OF INFISTAR (Space operatic adventure/mystery.)

It's got a stolen alien artifact (because all space operas need mysterious artifacts left carelessly lying about by progenitor aliens). It's got a galactic empire (because no space opera is complete without a galactic empire no matter how politically implausible that might be). It's got a gorgeous kick-ass heroine whose sister is an eight foot tall empath and whose brother is a blue ape. (I am credibly informed that space operas don't require that one's heroine have hairy blue relatives, but I figure even a devoted tribute like this one can use a few original elements.)

The swinging planetary romance plot predictably has our heroine (and stud-muffin admirer) chasing cunning villains across an alien landscape. And the climax is a high octane shoot out with space pirates taking place in — you guessed it — a primitive temple. With every cliche in the lexicon, how could it possibly fail to be fun?

…Okay, not quite every cliche. Gotta save some for the sequel.

I somehow suspect this doesn't qualify as a hook. It certainly doesn't follow the recommended format. ๐Ÿ™
And the 'how could it possibly fail to be fun' line is just asking to be slapped, (but it fits perfectly with the tone of the rest of it.) ::sigh::

Not procrastination… really truly

I spent today's editing session tracking down a bunch of the loose ends in Eyes of Infistar and tucking them neatly in place.
Yesterday I had gotten right up through the climax, and had decided that I probably needed to expand the rest out a bit rather than simply tidy it up. I have a tendency to end my rough drafts very abruptly.

But I needed to clean up all the other loose ends so I would know which ones would be tied up in the denouement, right?

And since I'm hoping to do a sequel, maybe I shouldn't be too eager to clean up the ones that remain. I can always wait until I have reader feedback, and only fix the ones they complain about… >;)

Flag in Flames is up to 5.5 pages.

Surprise in the mail

I got my copy of the Polaris Anthology today!
Yay! A real book, by a real publisher.

I also finished the tricky bit in Eyes where I had to make the story go from where it originally went, to where I decided three chapters later I should have made it to go. I had to rewrite that bit three times before I actually managed to get the story headed in the right direction.


… I completed Page 3 of Flag in Flames

It took me longer than I expected: It was a six panel page. the renders take a long time, and I ended up re-rendering every single one of them in full size at least twice. :sigh:

I've started setting up my renders and getting them going *before* doing my writing, so that I have a hope of finishing two on the same day.

Author's Note on the Cultivator Universe

I had created two fantasy worlds, and wanted to do a science fictional one. But I kept having problems. I could build a science fictional universe around a story (see Black Flag for an example of a universe built around a specific story) but to just build one that stood on it's own was for some reason giving me trouble. I finally realized that it was because I was tripping over the fact that science fiction universes are often seen as a continuation of ours: a possible future. My imagination was choking over my conviction that I was incapable of guessing what the future would be.

So instead of creating a possible future, I created an impossible one.

As soon as I had detached the universe I was building from the real world and real life, by centering it on a concept that was scientificly impossible, I was free to be as scientificly rigorous as I wanted to be in everything else. At the same time I remained free to ignore scientific realities when I thought they were getting in the way of a good yarn. The best aspects of both worlds were mine to play with.

Sayings from the Cultivator Universe
'We keep our membership fees low, that is why we are the largest interstellar organization in known space.'
-- Galactic Empire Propaganda
Copyright © Michelle Bottorff

Email mbottorff at lshelby period com