Archive | October 28, 2013

One Year Ago/The Unicorn’s Gift

After The Black Unicorns of Cardenborn, from about a year ago.

This is a bit darker than even normal Unicorn/Factory things.

However: while it contains mention of pregnancy, there is no rape.

Masha watched the child grow up.

She had grown up in Cardenborn, and she had known, early, what sort of woman their unicorns liked. Unlike her age-mates, she’d gone down to the river when it was her time, the way girls did in other towns, not because she was a virgin, but because she was no longer anything close to that.

She’d asked the right questions – and lots of wrong questions – of the working girls that came to Cardenborn and took their money to go down to the river. She’d asked different questions of the butcher, the baker, the candlestick dipper, her friends’ brothers and sometimes her friends’ fathers.

And when she had told the grannies that she would be going down to the river in her due time, they had not naysayed her. They had warned her, of course. “The unicorns are fickle, even ours. This could end in pain. It could end in death.”

Masha had wanted the mark, the small scar the unicorns left just under the ribs, that some places called the Unicorn’s kiss. The working girls who passed through had taken to wearing their skirts low and their shirts high, to show that off. Misha wanted to wear her shirt just under her breasts and her skirt down on her hips. She wanted the kiss.

She had not truly figured on the child, although she understood that one followed after the other. Her belly, unicorn-kissed, had swollen, and she had birthed the changeling child.

Watching him grow up was difficult, but it was only the start of her troubles.

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Character notes for Steam!Reiassan – Iesovyenyie

Age 15
Taikie’s roommate

Iesovyenyie is a tall girl, 5’5″, with solid black hair and golden eyes. Her skin is likewise golden, and her chin pointed and stubborn; she’s a bit broader in the hip and shoulder than is common, and a bit more voluptuous than many of the girls her age. She has very full lips.

Her parents named her with an initial vowel, as her mother’s parents had done for her, and the palace office stamped approval of the royal lineage, but she is one of those who has so little royal blood, so diluted, that the initial vowel is a little silly, and seen as putting on airs. Many people where she grew up called her Sovnyie; the less kind called her almost-royal Ienyie.

She can get in quite a snit over that on occasion, and when she does, she’s no fun at all to be around. She is royal, damnit, even if her distance from the throne is measured in hundreds or thousands.

She prefers non-conventional shortenings of her name – Iesovya is her favorite – in part because of the stigma of “almost-royal Ienyie,” and in part because a tyienyie is a noxious lizard.

Iesovyenyie grew up in Lanamer, the capital city, and received her schooling not in a royal-household school but in that of affluent merchants’ children. When you come down to it, airs or not, her father is an artisan crafter of wool goods and her mother a beader and dyer. If they could avoid putting on airs, they could gain much renown in their own fields.

Iesovyenyie has quite a bit of skill in the fiber arts, but went into Mechanics and Engineering to learn how to work with the new mechanical looms, among other reasons (for one, Art House was full but Mech/E had two slots open when she applied).

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Character notes for Steam!Reiassan – Gaikvya

Age 15
Taikie’s roommate

Gaikvya comes from the east coast, an area which, even in 1750 R, is fairly isolated from the rest of Calenta. The spine of mountains on the east of the continent serves as a difficult-to-pass barrier most of the time, impossible in the wintertime; the boat travel down around the southern tip of the continent is prohibitively long and the icebergs make travel around the northern end impossible.

The people on the east coast have ended up generally shorter than the rest of the country, with chestnut-brown hair that has a tendency to wave and sometimes even curl, skin darker brown than even most of the ‘pure Calenyena,’ and copper-hued eyed.

Gaikya has that look, as well as a more slender build than most of the rest of the continent, almost boyish; her people mature late and slow. They are sometimes called “sira-touched” by the superstitious.

She stands just under 5′ tall, and wears her hair in thin complicated braids. Her hair is curly, although she almost never lets it out of the braids. She speaks with a lilt to her voice, has a very hard time with s and v sounds, and clips her k sounds harder than is now the fashion.

She is uncertain about coming to school and will spend much of the year homesick; her people are fishers, have been fishers for centuries, and she is very much a fish out of water on the other coast, with no fishing nets to knot and no lobster cages to repair.

She will lose herself in her mechanics classes – the reason she, alone of her entire settlement, was chosen for the Academy – spending time trying to invent a better lobster trap, a better boat.

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Nano Resources?

I’d like to do a comprehensive (or as close to as possible) post of nano resources.

What are your favorite links that everyone should know when attempting to write a novel in 50 days?

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A week of Settings – Day Seven: Sideshow and Addergoole East

Faerie Apocalypse
The origins of the fae are lost to history. What we know is that the ones who would be called gods came to our world a few centuries BC, and left sometime about two millenia ago.

They left behind their halfblood bastards, fae who were almost as powerful as they had been, the children of the so-called gods and the humans around them. In time, those fae bred with other humans, the lines diluting with generations.

Then, in 2011, the gods came back, claiming their rightful place. Neither humanity nor the relatives that had been left behind were willing to allow this; the war that follow destroyed nine-tenths of the human population (see: Deaths in the Faerie Apoc) and most of the infrastructure of the world. Thus: faerie apocalypse, the gods war.

Addergoole East is one of the adjunct schools to the original Addergoole project.

Run by an Addergoole West (the original school) graduate, who also happens to be a niece of the original Director, Addergoole East is an integrated school, combining human education in a post-apocalyptic time with the education of fae. This balance, in a time when fae are nearly-universally disliked, is maintained carefully by Dean Storm and her staff.

SideShow shows us another corner of the post-apocalyptic world.

The Two by Two Zoo travels from town to town, settlement to settlement, much in the way that travelling sideshows have for centuries. This one, however, has a purpose beyond simply entertaining: propaganda.

In the Zoo’s moving cages are lions, tigers, bears… and a fae, cute and furry and helpless looking. Sideshow is her story.

That’s seven settings. What would you like to learn about my writing next “week?”

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