Monday, July 24, 2006

Lost and Found

Time has rushed me into tomorrow again before I'm ready; so I'll keep this brief.

The good news of the day:
  1. I got through the rest of the email on my main screen name.
  2. No, I'm not going to subject you to a blow-by-blow on the reading of the above.
  3. My 101-year-old friend Eva made it to church today for the first time in a month, alleviating my mild worry about her. She was her usual lively and chipper self.
  4. I found this:
This is a copy of a map of Mâvarin that John drew for me a very long time ago, probably back in the late 1970s. I haven't seen the original in a decade or so, or any copy of this version of the map in several years at least. But tonight Sara asked me whether my first novel was still called The Tengrim Sword when she first read a draft of it in 1992. I remembered that I have a single-spaced printout from that era, either the same one that made the rounds of selected Prodigy Froods that year or a second copy thereof. I even knew approximately where it was. So I took it off the shelf, noted the title (still The Tengrim Sword at that point) and the date (September 1992), and reported back to Sara. Then I flipped a few pages and hooray! There was the map!

It's completely unusable, of course. Not having had it available for reference since my draft of Mages of Mâvarin really got going, I've long since come up with lots of place names that aren't on the old map, relocated some of the places that are on it, and renamed a few places that stayed put. In particular, the old map is quite constrained in the east-west dimension, with mountains as a barrier to there even being a western part of the country. In Mages, Fabi and Baku do a lot of traveling from west to east, visiting lots of towns I never anticipated, and two major landmarks I had too far south on the old map. Still, I can give this and a bad sketch or written directions to an artist as reference for a badly-needed new map. Perhaps I won't even have to commission this myself, for my own use: today was the five month anniversary of my three-chapters-and-synopsis arriving at a certain publisher, to go into the slush pile. Perhaps this will be the month that someone asks to see the rest of the book. (I hope I hope I hope!)

Here is the September 1992 printout, in its decrepit old script binder. There are notes on many of the pages, long-since taken into consideration for subsequent drafts. When this was printed, a tengrem was still a "tengrim," a word John always hated because it reminded him of a shampoo for fighting psoriasis. Del was still named Dag, and John disliked that, too. Ultimately I changed it, not because of John, but because I came across one too many fantasy heroes named Dag, and wanted something that complemented the name Crel.

I missed the sunset photo tonight by a minute or two, but here's a dusk photo, as the rain started to come in. The overly-bright sign is my flash hitting a handicapped parking notice.

I'm not going to go into the bad news too much tonight, but the Barbara Bauer/Disemvoweling wrangle just keeps getting larger and more rancorous, with more players entering the fray and certain people's positions and actions becoming more polarized. As ever, I keep trying to negotiate a settlement. I know that some of you wonder why I bother with all this sturm und drang over a woman few people have heard of (outside certain circles) and a forum moderation technique. I'll try to tell you; try not to laugh. It's kind of my ministry as a "cheesemaker." See, I often wonder whether I have any moral courage, whether I do the right thing when it's not easy or convenient, or just back down or stay quiet to avoid confrontation. I'm finding out that I do have some courage after all, even though confrontation upsets me greatly. I really believe in all that love thy neighbor stuff, in loving thy enemies, in being kind and fair. I also believe in disseminating information. My whole life is kind of founded on those two things: being nice to people and making peace if possible (even though I often fail) and synthesizing and spreading information, whether it's a sunset photo, a financial spreadsheet, an analysis of Diego de la Vega, Chapter Thirty-One of Mages, or Barbara Bauer's lack of results for her current clients. This Wikipedia situation pushes all my buttons, the ones about rationality and spreading knowledge as well as the ones about peacemaking, fairness and kindness.


P.S. I'm about to empty my spam folder, but first I must report on the subject line from "" Subject: "sleepyhead first class." Yup, that's me!

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DesLily said...

How cool that map is! John did good!.. I just wanna know what that "creature" is with the waves under it????

I tried one of my own for my story.. not as good as Johns! (but then I have no idea how to make a "correct map" lol..but it was fun trying!

Bea said...

I love reading about how your story has evolved... and now a map. I haven't drawn a map yet for my stories, but I can see how it would help the writer if traveling is involved. Regarding my feed/alerts: I changed my password and now I'm waiting to see if I get the feed tomorrow! THanks for helping me figure it out, Karen. Bea

Sarah said...

For some reason I can't see the map. :(

Becky said...