Archive | January 9, 2017

Weekend with Project Expansion

// want to talk about project expansion.

You know, when you think you’re going to knit something and realize first you need to ball the yarn and find your needles (and lock the cat in the bathroom) and figure out this pattern and oh hey it’s bedtime.

Or you’re just going to put the trim on the door but it turns out the threshold and the inner frame need repairing and the door strike is a mess and… wait, where did the weekend go?

Or if you’re going to put the new trim up, you really ought to put a new coat of paint on the room and replace the light and insulate the ceiling and… oh. It’s November? Oops.

Or you just want to do a small test book to remember bookbinding, but wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a brand-new story in there and, hey, maybe it could be like those he said/she said flip-the-book-over YA romances, and do I need cover art and maybe I need to drive 2 hours to Syracuse for the nearest Dick Blick and while I’m there I should look at bathroom wall panels and a new chaise lounge and maybe go to Dinosaur BBQ… Maybe that’ll get done this spring.

You might get the feeling that I have a lot of experience with this concept. 😀

This weekend, I thought, “Hey, I should make an image for Patreon, to thank new patrons.”

“Hey, I’m not great at art, but I’ve been practicing these banner designs. I could do something with that…”

“…over a map! Not just any map, a newmap!”

“…Where are the split peas?”

“Well, if I’m going to all this trouble — hey, I need a new brown pen — I should really practice my lettering, or find something nice to trace, because my handwriting isn’t great.”

“So, I have a map, what’s this world about, anyway?”

…300 words of worldbuilding later, I have a new setting, a map outline (with scale!) and, uh, I need to do some practice lettering.


…and figure out what to do about this world.

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January By the Numbers Eight: Purple Pretenses (Fiction piece)

January by the numbers continues (still a day off~)!
From [personal profile] kelkyag‘s prompt “purple pretenses;” a story of Things Unspoken


In the western cities, the ones that had once belonged to an Empire called only To (never the To Empire, the Tovan nation, or anything else, just To), it was known that women of a certain class wore purple (as is often the case, this was an exalted class, the policy-makers, the deciders). This purple was very difficult to make, and was made only by a small group of people, dyers with the To Mandate of purple.

But in the evening light, there were three other colors that could be mistaken for this exalted purple. They were not all made by simpler means; indeed, one was even harder to achieve than that allowed by the To Mandate. But they were not regulated, they were not restricted, and anyone with sufficient coin – either literal or in trade or services – could obtain them.

Despite the prevalence of the false purples, there were, but cultural agreement, several things believed without fail of those wearing purple (even, perhaps especially, in the seediest establishments where those who wore the purple by To Mandate would be unlikely to ever be seen): they were women; they were affluent; they were powerful; they had the ear of those at the highest levels of government — the To.

Some people wore the false purples for that last reason, and collected bribes no genuine wearer of the purple would ever touch (although some of those worked surreptitiously for those genuine-purple-wearers, and the messages sometimes actually got to the correct ears.

Some people wore the purple to be believed affluent, or to show off genuine affluence, and they were often courted in such a way that their affluence became real if it had been false before.

Some wore the purple because it was shorthand for being a woman, because no man, rich or poor, could wear that hue by To Mandate.

And some wore it because others liked to touch those who had power, and would pay well for the illusion of an hour with a decider-in-purple.

Wrapped in their purple pretenses, they strode the streets that had once been To (and were forever so, in the hearts and minds of the people), and were all the more powerful for it.

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