Featured Page


The complete history of Ialfa, from the sundering of the world, to the discovery of the 'Westlands'.

Pavane in Pearl and Emerald News


Pavane in Pearl and Emerald
Word Count: 80794

Got to write some fun romantic revelation type stuff this week. (Fun for me anyway, my main characters seem somewhat distraught — bwahahaha!)

I also got my first ever personal note from an agent. Yay!
I probably ought to send him a query for something else.

And, Boyd's copy of Cantata in Coral and Ivory arrived from Lulu today.
It looks remarkably like a book.

Wrong picture

Pavane in Pearl and Emerald
Word Count: 77636

Apparently the cover image for the Polaris anthology I posted the link to (and put up on my website) is not what the book is going to look like. Marketing has decided Polaris needs a new cover. Why? Because it has been deemed as “having a broader appeal than first realized.” Aha! They finally figured out that my story is only masquerading as hard science fiction, its actually a murder mystery, and therefore the anthology is a shoe-in for a mystery cross-over audience.

Okay, maybe not.
Still, “broader audience” sounds kind of cool. 🙂

I haven't done any words today though, so I need to get back to that. I've been having a slow week, and I'd really like to break the 80 000 word mark by Saturday.

More Progress

Pavane in Pearl and Emerald
Word count: 70518

I decided it's been too long since I did any actual pictures for Black Flag, so I spent a couple days putting Bonnie Anne's father together. I still need to do a bit of work on his clothes, but I got far enough that it didn't seem unreasonable to do a character render. The only problem being that now that I have the render, what do I do with it? He isn't really a major enough character that he merits his own page in my notes. I guess I'd better get back to space ship modeling, so that my next render will actually useful for something. 🙁


Pavane in Pearl and Emerald
Word count: 64994

I think we have Cantata ready to print. It worked out to 350 pages. The cover art is rendered — 4 hours! — and I've added the title and a back cover blurb and all that.

For Black Flag I took a break from modeling and have been working on rewriting the Flag in Flames script so that its in actual comic script format, with descriptions of each panel. Boyd says 'Why?' and I shrug and say, “Well, for one thing, it's easier to back up a text script than 193 pages of sketches.” He acknowledges that I have a point there.

For Pavane I need to spend some time thinking seriously about what my antagonists are up to. My knowledge of how things end has progressed, (or is progressed the wrong word when I'm working my way backwards through time?) but I need to know what happens between then and now, or at least, enough of what happens that I can write the next bit. Boyd was curious as to how long Pavane was going to be, and I really don't know. I told him my goal is 100K words, because its such a nice tidy number, but I have no clue how close I'll come to hitting it.

One half hull….

Pavane in Pearl and Emerald
Word Count: 60592

I have completed half a hull for the Celestial Class ships (Jolly Roger and Penzance). Since I will be using a mirror tool to create the other half, that means I'm done with basic structure, and I'm on to detailing. Unlike when I was building the Revenge, I'm going to need to do some interior work on this one. I've figured out how to partition it into decks without too much pain and agony… I hope building interior walls proves to be equally simple.

Today I'm supposed to be working on Cantata, however. Ho hum. Copy editing a glossary isn't nearly as much fun as building model spaceships. (Not to mention that after spending an entire day working on a pronunciation guide for each word, Boyd decided he just wanted a brief “these are the general rules” bit at the top instead. ::grumble::)


Pavane in Pearl and Emerald
Word count: 57607

I was feeling quite sluggish today, and really had to push myself to get started writing. The first 600 or so words came rather slowly, too, but eventually I seemed to pick up speed.

I couldn't figure out how to assign a quota for the 3D modeling I am doing for Black Flag, so what I decided to do was, after meeting my writing quota, to alternate days of working on Black Flag, and whatever my other project is (right now its getting Boyd's copy of Cantata printed). Yesterday I spent fussing over pronunciation guides for the Cantata glossary, so today I'm off to do some spaceship building.

Context starts tomorrow

Pavane in Pearl and Emerald
Word Count: 44865

Last week did not go well writing-wise, although I did get some valuable background stuff done — most particularly my calendar, which made me realize that the dance *should* have been scheduled for the night of the feast. I must remember to go back and mention in the first entry that it was put off because of Orbuni's broken ankle.

This week's writing is going much better. I have every hope of making my quota in spite of the fact that I have a con to get to. (I only intend to go for Saturday. My energy levels are too low to risk the entire weekend, when I have OVFF coming up at the end of the month.) I have a much better grasp of what is going on, and yet somehow that isn't making things any less bewildering– there is just so much intriguing and social maneuvering to keep track of. And there is at least one major plot twist I haven't figured out yet — there is no way [spoiler] is going to sit by and twiddle his thumbs, so what excruciatingly almost-brilliant plan is he going to come up with?

For Flag in Flames I have finished Chapter 12 (of 18ish) of my page layouts, which gets me to page 24 of 40 in my script. I'm clearly more than half done this stage, and am starting to wish I had some way to get feedback on the layout sketches before starting on the actual artwork. I can't quite figure out how to go about that… I don't know of any critters.org for comics, and I'm not sure how much the quick sketch nature of the layouts would effect how well the story reads (not to mention that it's harder to email a hundred and sixty or more pages of sketches to a friend than it is a text file).

I am very much enjoying the sensation of being in the middle of two projects that appear to be progressing nicely. Sometimes I think I enjoy it too much, and that I'm not as willing as I should be to divert attention to the rest of what is going on in my life.

Author's Note on Ialfa

There is a scene in the movie Slipper and the Rose, in which the Chamberlain explains a few political realities to Cinderella. 'It is not possible that the king give his consent to this marriage'. I loved that scene, and wanted to build a world where I could set romantic fairy tale style stories against a background of reasonably realistic political and cultural situations. But sometimes when you start work on a creative endeavor you discover that it seems to take on a mind of its own.

I decided to create continents by randomly smashing tectonic plates up against each other, and when it came time to start peopling my world, I ended up placing my 'reasonably realistic political and cultural situations' on a landmass the same approximate size and location as our world's Africa. The fairy tale romances I wished to tell became exotic tales of tropical splendor and intrigue.

Feedback on Cantata in Coral and Ivory
'...Gilbert and Sullivan with virtual music.'
-- Brian M. Scott
Copyright © Michelle Bottorff

Email mbottorff at lshelby period com