Extra I:11: Of Deer & Trees

There was a very short chapter back in Book I. The loosing donor in a string of edits, it wound up short, and I was always displeased with that. Book III and on really started to draw in some wider mythos that I’d always meant to get around to. The names of months implying gods, and goddesses all but forgotten. Who’s hand might one day be felt, but they were not much on my mind. Estae and estrus, Rhaea derived from Rhan, there further derived from Ra. The cataclysm of that old world in mind, but the details vague, and while Thaea had long had her name as the living world, the world tree was at most a passing thought. A conclusion not yet reached in the implications of how half a world was burned.

For something like a year I’ve been sitting on a fix for that short chapter back in Book I. I know one little nuisance edit this implies in a chapter soon after, but I’ve gone ahead and inserted this recently, and here it is as an extra to draw attention. A pair of scenes that in themselves don’t do much, but as foreshadowing of a lot of things down the line I’m much happier with.

I’m getting around to this between two chapters where these events are relevant, and have retroactively added them to the chapter where they now belong.

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Commentary VI:38

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Conventional Understandings

“…in the wife of… your youth… find… purpose. Love her as thyself, as one…” Mahla hesitated. “…spirit, one soul, to guide the flesh to what is worthy.”

This is a blend of differing things. Certainly one could point to passages that inspired it. All together on the other side there is a clash, and contrast through the chapter. The bible it is easily forgotten is full of polygamy, though admittedly in it’s moralistic tales it does oft go bad.

‘The wife of your youth,’ in the original context, speaking of wayward women is likely to instill monogamy, but the phrase alone is ambiguous. One could, particularly in differing contexts see a preference to a first wife.

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Commentary VI:37

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A Binding Invitation

Still a week behind on commentary (and some change.) Got my editing pass done at 11 Sunday for 37, did not do a first run on Saturday because I was feeling good about it, and tackled other things, and getting ahead. Hope I don’t have too many egregious errors as a result.

Did not write my commentary in line this time, but certainly do feel like I have some things to say. We’ll see how many of them cause last minute edits before I publish. One little detail certainly fell in the opening scene.

Do read all you please into the epigraph, I have myself spend a good deal of time scratching my head over the symbolism, and trying to decide how much I intended. It does begin with the closing line. The single sentence inline commentary I wrote this week, and it became the epigraph, which I think plainly implies a spider weaving a web at the start. I do want to find a rational interpretation of a ‘shot across her bow,’ and I think perhaps I do. There is very much meant to be something of Rhaea’s boughs that were described as strung with gems or jangling filaments. Mind you I read entirely other things into what I’ve written as well. Less consciously intended, but perhaps very apt.

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Commentary VI:36

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The Quick Brown Fox

There was a slight rustle of the canvas door, but at a glance no one was there. Braced as her ribs were, she regretted a half-hearted attempt to sit up, and winced. A slight scratching announced a scramble onto the chair beside her. A quick jump of a small brown lump of fur hit her shoulder face first.

I remain human, and I easily tune out certain tense fumbles as I edit nuance into what I’m trying to say. “Scrambled on” was a leftover of old sentence structure. Fixed now. I am continuing to run a week behind on commentary, as invariably I wind up finding too much to edit, and uncertainty of what I’m ready to say.

Lots of little things going on here. In my outline this was labeled, “foxes are the best medicine?” I have an outline of bullet points to the end of Book VI, though anyone one of them seems prone to blow up into two or more scenes. I’m hoping to resolve the book before chapter 45, preferably by or at chapter 42.

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Commentary VI:35

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The Price of Right

I honestly drew a total blank on a title for this chapter. I had everything done the day of publication, except a title. The epigraph wasn’t too hard. I’m 90% certain I haven’t written it before, but do have some weird impression it’s familiar from somewhere.

The chapter title we wound up with really started off the thought, “I don’t know what to say.” It however plays nicely with various things going on, particularly the complexity of dealing with an Interpreter, and translation, but also so much more.

I’m still running a week behind on editing commentary. I might catch up later in the week, but I might just as well fall behind again so, we will see what I opt to do. Chapter 37 is coming along nicely. I largely have a first draft I feel good about, though some things need more thought. I considered holding this off for the morning, but we’ll see how engagement goes on a literal Tuesday night.

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Commentary VI:34

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Hot as Can Be Pleasant

As I said a bit back, editing commentary is where the sticking point is going to live for a while. Some chapters more than others. This week contained some challenges of too much to say, and not sure enough about saying it. So I delayed it a week, because I needed to get the week’s chapter done rather than fuss with commentary. I really hemmed and hawed over the middle a lot, but ultimately decided I was saying what I wanted to well enough. Even if it is drowned out in some frivolous numerology for fun.

The title, epigraph, and chapters winds up echoing Katrisha’s words about being seen. Implying I intend that she was perhaps quoting something in the cultural cannon. There is a lot going on here on the whole, and while I will delve at depths into some things, I’m holding a lot closer to the chest, for both personal and story telling reasons.

I got the art done a bit late, and added it retroactively, so it’s on the commentary for more visibility.

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Commentary VI:33

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Never Cross the Time Streams

Had this mostly written Monday but didn’t get to a final editing pass till Wednesday night, so I’ll set it to publish in the morning. New job is going alright, but does leave less time as expected.

She isn’t you, and anyone who would tell you otherwise, has never had a twin. Don’t be embarrassed for how she’s lived her life, just because you share a few close memories growing up.

This first scene exists almost because I felt like it needed to, to catch up with what was implied a few chapters ago. I didn’t like it in the middle of the chapter, so concocted a delay (to a later scene,) only cause I also did not like it out of order.

It happens to catch a realization Kiannae has made about herself, in her chiding of the much older Claudine. Also some nuances of her development. Still instinctively covering herself to be intruded upon, getting her wits about her, and accepting a situation for what it is. She gets out of bed naked, and retrieves her robe.

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Commentary VI:31

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Commentary may become sparser for a while. I’m starting a new job, and am likely to find time short. I’ll continue to write it as I have been, since it has become so much a part of my development process, but then editing it for public consumption may find less time to happen, and so sit in storage.

Also less time for such things as this week’s image. If it was not painfully obvious this was roughly derived from Da Vinci’s iconic Vitruvian Man, which both should and should not evoke some if the mysticism it does. An attempt to fit to an older work ascribing proportions that proved a struggle to match with reality. Set in contrast with those trying to shape reality to their ideas, and reality pushing back.

This weeks epigraph as previously mentioned was originally last weeks, but things did not fit into one chapter. It was very much conjured by the idea of those gathered at Kiannae’s feet by the end of the central scene.

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Commentary VI:30

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The Karma of Lesser Evils & Best Intentions

This weeks epigraph is a replacement. Invented at the last minute because the chapter ran longer through editing, and the original epigraph belonged with content pushed out.

I think I did well enough. I’d say a third of my epigraphs are written the day of/before I publish, near from whole cloth. (Discounting Book I and II which were mostly written years before, along with the meat of the chapters.) This one is meant somewhat curiously to elicit a slight Osyrae perspective, if perhaps contrary sensibility. That as alluded to before, Osyraen sheep are all Rams, and the bullies of the central plain. The kings of beasts even though grazing herbivores. Challenging the flock is asking for pain. They are as such a force to be reckoned with as they stray about. So an apt metaphor for mob mentality, and group think, and the harm sometimes done.

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Commentary VI:29

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Roads Well Traveled

Let me start off by saying that I don’t know why I’ve resisted switching to the new chapter title format for so long. It is so much less sterile, and the best of all words putting more flavor up front, while leading with the succinct positional information. I feel like a fool for sticking to what was originally not thought out, though I do feel like I had some silly reason I was worried about. Wrapping with some of the longer titles? I think commentary is more appropriate to keep the old format on though.

A while back Ambrush bemoaned where her life took a wrong turn. I’m not sure I can point to a root cause. Much like our heroes, it has been one thing following another. The root cause is in the root of the world. Also that I’m slow in commentary because I’m looking forward with some obsession at next weeks chapter.

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