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

Cantata in Coral and Ivory News

Pavane plus

Pavane in Pearl and Emerald
Word Count: 30151

Boyd bought me Sims2 in the hopes that it would be something that can actually hold my interest for an extended length of time. It is rare for me to maintain an interest in a computer game for more than a week, but it would be nice to have something for me to resort to when I've run out of books and don't feel well enough to visit the library.

I've also done some work on the Cantata cover. (It would go a lot faster if I wasn't so picky about getting it *right*.) I am making some hair for Bazomi, having been unable to find anything I thought truly suitable, and having decided that the hair I had made for the earlier version of her wasn't good enough. I have the hair base pretty much done, and I think it will do. I am now working on her bangs. Next I do the rolls and the loops, which will hopefully be the easy part.

Having trouble staying awake

I'm always exausted after writing my daily quota, and having tried to get up before the kids got off to school this morning isn't helping. But if I go to sleep now, I'll never get to sleep tonight.

Yesterday I didn't try write. I had gotten a serious dosage of frangrance the day before, so I thought I might not be able to write anyway, so I moved some administrative type stuff up above writing on my priority list. I did figure out how to get my worldbuilding database copied over to my webserver, only unfortunately I figured out how to do it using a demo of some software that I really can't afford to buy.
I also worked a bit on that cover art for Cantata, Boyd wants me to do.

Lies and Cantata

Crimson Courtesies, Velvet Lies
Word Count: 5500
Estimated Length: 32 000

(There goes the theory that I might have written a novel. And if this one isn't, the two from the Juvenalia aren't either, since they have a few fewer pages to them. So it really is only 6.)

Boyd has asked me to please get back to work on some cover art for Cantata. He feels it is important that this be done (although he admits that he doesn't know *why* he feels it is important.) I told him that if I just did it in the place of my regular art projects and didn't give it priority over, say, writing, I expected it would take me between a month and a half and two months. So, no more Black Flag and no more Chaos Circle for the next couple of months it looks like. Although, I did do some pointless background stuff (an alphabet) for the Cultivator webpages today while waiting at the testing center for Alloria to finish taking her tests, because I didn't want to bring the mouse or pen tablet, and I wasn't awake enough to write yet.

In the Bull Pen

I'm not a baseball fan. Did I get that right? Is the bull pen where the pitcher warms up?

Because I, having recently read 's post on pitching to editors, have been practicing my pitches.

Practice Pitch for Harp & Gyre

My novel, Harp & Gyre is a completed high fantasy Juvenile of about 50 000 words, told in tight 3rd person from the viewpoint of the protagonist. Allma, apprentice bard, was convinced that his future as a keeper of history and advisor to kings was assured, but his unwary tongue and his mischievous pranks have finally become too much for his master, Lord Bectus. Bectus has been called away to try stop an impending war, and he regretfully decides to leave Allma behind. Allma can't bear to lose the respect and good will of his teacher, so he steals away after him, determined to prove himself worthy of song and story. His self-assigned diplomatic mission to find allies for the shortly to be besieged city of Ilam is less than successful, and in the end Allma finds that his only option is to speak to the invaders in person. But will his youthful earnestness and silver tongue be enough to save an entire kingdom from destruction? Maybe not. Fortunately along the way he's made friends with a young elf enchantress, some telepathic unicorns, acquired a pair of magical dice, and learned that sometimes you just have to do what needs to be done.

My name is Michelle Bottorff, and I wrote this book because it was the type of book I loved reading as a child and, well, I still love reading this kind of book. I think its cool when a total underdog, like a little kid, manages to plausibly accomplish something that all the big important people can't manage to do, and I love going somewhere that doesn't exist and seeing things that could never be. I have six kids and they all love fantasy, and after I practically forced them to read this book they confessed that they wouldn't be ashamed to admit in public that they were related to its author. I have sold a children's short story and a rpg article at professional rates, and I also write fantasy and science fiction for older readers. If this book is of any interest to you I have a sequel practically finished. As for my expectation for a writing career, well, I have written stories since I was twelve and I will continue to write until the day I die, and I figure if I'm going to do all that work anyway, I might as well get paid. I'm hoping my training in drama and public speaking will serve me well when the time comes to do marketing and promotion.

Practice Pitch for Cantata in Coral and Ivory

My novel Cantata in Coral and Ivory, is a completed fantasy comedy of manners of about 126 000 words. It is narrated in first person by the personal scribe of the protagonist. This scribe is in some ways an unreliable narrator, because, although he desperately wants to tell the true story of what happened, it is forbidden for him to say anything that might be considered derogatory about his master… and his master is a gruff sea-captain, with the build of a professional wrestler and a sailors' vocabulary who has just unexpectedly come into the family title and is now required to take up residence at court. Lord Ikhsior wants nothing better than to get out of there, but the longer he stays at court, the more he becomes entangled in its affairs. A lady-in-waiting offers him a gift he cannot refuse, but will he need to pay a price he cannot afford? Can he face down the snide and sophisticated Lord Lare, explain the meaning behind the mysterious disappearing rock man, orchestrate a court sight-seeing expedition, manage his estates, maintain his family honor, and find true love, all while conjuring up songs appropriate to every occasion at the drop of a lady's hairpin? Well, he can, but will the court ever recover from the resulting havoc? And can he survive the Emperor's resulting wrath?

My name is Michelle Bottorff, and I wrote this book to combine three of my greatest loves in literature. The first is my obsession with romance, the second is the invention/discovery of a strange and exotic new places and cultures, and the third is the wry, tongue-in-cheek sort of humor found in Jane Austin, Oscar Wilde and Georgette Heyer. I have written stories since I was twelve and have sold a children's short story and a rpg article at professional rates, as well as winning a few negligible writing contests and challenges. I have many stories to tell and I'm more interested in building a long term career than I am in making a splash, but I understand the need for promotion, so I've taken a course in internet marketing, and hopefully my training in drama and public speaking will also prove useful when the time comes.

Almost… :::sigh:::

Eyes of Infistar word count: 83972

I didn't quite make my quota, I was just over a thousand short.
Somehow the presence of mildew in the air, always seems to make my brain turn off. It also makes me sleepy.

The mildew also interfered with my preparations for my first meeting at my new Writer's Group (tonight!), too. Not too horribly though, I hope. There were only two ms. up for critique and I've read them both and prepared a few comments (Boyd re-bleached the carpets, and I seem to be doing a bit better today.) My own submission (an outline for Cantata) didn't go up until yesterday, though. Ouch!

Tiny Inner Glows

Eyes of Infistar word count: 59535

First time I've made a weekly quota since April, but here it is, only Thursday, and officially I'm done for the week.

Number One Son has been reading Cantata in Coral and Ivory and he's been chuckling, and reading his favorite lines aloud to unwary passer-byes, just like he would if it was a Terry Pratchett book, or a Bujold book. ****glow****

Somebody else liked it

I was whining on rec.arts.sf.composition about how frustrating it is to have only two people's comments when trying to do revisions, especially when one set is very different from the other set, and by so whining, (I didn't intend it that way) got some more offers to read Cantata. One of which finished it in only a few days and wrote to tell me she enjoyed it. Yay! From off-hand remarks from the other two, they aren't having much trouble with it either, so I guess I really am getting really close to submitting that sucker. Now I just have to decide where I'm sending it.

Today and yesterday I wrote a really long newsgroup posting about the flavors of 3rd person to someone who claimed to be having trouble with the difference between multiple third and omniscient. I think it was rather good. (I would, wouldn't I?) but I'm wondering if anyone will bother to read it all. I can probably recycle it as a writing tutorial or something.

Got Gisgir?

I worked quite a bit on my 3D Bazomi (from Cantata in Coral and Ivory) today, got a gisgir (that thingy on her legs) that almost fit her. It was close enough that I could get it to look okay with just a few adjustments inside Poser, and some teeny bits of postwork in PhotoStudio. So I did another render of her. The next bit is the hard bit, though. After I make a few final adjustments, I need to start trying to turn the gisgir from a static prop, to a conforming clothing item that will move with her.

Image of 3D Bazomi wearing her gisgir available in my Writer's Sketchbook, at my Writing website.

Eyes, Cantata, and Talking With Winds

Tuesday's Word Count: 27173

I didn't write today, because I've decided that if I need to catch up on crits that didn't happen over the weekend, Wednesday is a better day than Monday. (At least, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.) So I worked on my RFDR instead.

I also picked up a couple more “got it's” for Cantata today. Yay! That means I'm definitely doing better than the last draft, (not that there isn't still a lot of room for improvement, but it would be a bummer if my first set of revisions had done nothing at all). Everyone is being nicely consistent in pointing out, A) a couple typo type errors I somehow missed [wince!], and B) things which confused them, so this next revision is going to be a *lot* easier than the last one. (And that's probably yet another indication that the last rewrite was aimed in the right direction.)

So now the only problem is that with all this helpful feedback, I might actually get it into submitable shape, and I hate the whole process of submitting things.

But, as Patricia C. Wrede keeps telling rec.arts.sf.composition, “Editors never do house to house searches for publishable manuscripts.”

Got back to work on Art stuff yesterday. (I'm getting tired of hand sewing, I want my sewing machine fixed already.)
I'm supposed to be public beta-ing DAZ3D's “Studio” but it runs like molasses on my machine. Reminds me of the first time I tried out the Poser Demo… three machines ago. Maybe I'll actually be able to use the darn thing on my *next* computer upgrade, it does have some awfully sweet features, (although that 'panes snap to fill all available space' thing is *not* working.)

Scene from my Talking With Winds now viewable at both my Writing website and my Weaving Dreamscapes website.

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.

Hexblurb for Cantata in Coral and Ivory
Sailor orchestrates court -- Fortissimo!

Courtiers faint.

Copyright © Michelle Bottorff

Email mbottorff at lshelby period com