Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Second draft is done

Finally.  Man, that took forever.  The second draft of Mars actually took longer than the first.

This draft is 73,000+ words long, so I've added about 15,000 words.  I expected to add a few thousand--I almost always add material during revision--but not quite that much.

Next up, I guess, is the Kindle edit.  Once that's done, I'll send Mars off for beta reading, and then I'll get back to Venus and Mercury.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Watched Excalibur again

...for the millionth time, it seems.  Man, I love that movie.  And it all starts with adultery:

Uther covets Igrayne, wife of the Duke of Cornwall.  Merlin helps him satisfy his lust, and, well, the seed of the heroic tragedy of the Arthurian tale is planted in her womb.

One of these days, I'll do a breakdown of this movie and highlight some of the interesting elements.  Not today, though.  For now, let's just watch and enjoy.  Well... I will make one small bit of commentary.  This scene here, more than any other I've ever seen, is what chivalry and honor are all about:

Both Arthur and Uryens exemplify the best qualities of knighthood here.  Uryens accuses Arthur of subverting the chivalric code by demanding a knight swear faith to a squire.  Arthur realizes he's right.  He takes a leap of faith and hands Excalibur over to his enemy.  He is literally betting his life on Uryens's sense of honor.  And Uryens, to his credit, resists the temptation to take the sword and lop Arthur's head off.  His conscience compels him to knight Arthur.  The conflict is resolved, the two factions of knights are united, and they all set out to quell the land and bring peace and prosperity to the people. 

Both men resisted temptation, humbled themselves, and did the honorable thing.  And, in time, the whole land reaped the benefits.

If only all men were so knightly.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Amazon introduces...

...the Kindle Oasis.

From the product description:

The buttons are good.  Having both buttons and touchscreen available for page-turning makes everyone happy.  The charging cover is a nice addition, I guess, but sort of "meh" in my opinion.

But are these new bells and whistles worth the price?

Three hundred bucks for a dedicated e-reader?  :o  That's just crazy talk.

Look, Amazon.  I love you guys.  I really do.  You're my favorite corporation on this entire planet.  But very few people are going to fork out that kind of money for that kind of product.  If it was a full-feature tablet--in other words, an iPad competitor--then yeah, the price ain't so bad.  But it's just an e-reader.

A three hundred dollar e-reader.

I'll stick with my first-gen Kindle Fire.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Congratulations, SpaceX!

They successfully landed their booster on the drone ship:

Pretty cool.  :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Finally got the song written

When I wrote the first draft of Mars, I wrote a scene that involves some singing.  I was intent on finishing the draft, though, and writing a song is time-consuming, so I postponed it.  I just put "song" in parentheses on the page and moved on to the next scene.

So today I returned to the song and focused on writing the lyrics.  The hard part was deciding on a tune to model them on.  I've finally decided to take an Irish ballad (not saying which one) and write alternate lyrics to it.  I've got three stanzas and a chorus, and I think it turned out okay.  Anyway, the song is finished and on paper, so all I have to do is make minor tweaks if I decide it's not good enough.

I'm almost done making the changes according to the notes I took while writing the first draft.  Once I'm done, I'll go back and read the whole thing through and edit it for smoothness of transitions between sentences and between paragraphs.  That will conclude the second draft.  Then it's mobi time.  Or azw3 time.  I may try that format instead.  The mobi files I make in Calibre tend to be unstable once I start using the highlight and note features.  I may try sending a .doc to the Kindle via the Send-to-Kindle app.  It converts it to azw3.

In Wheel of Fire news, I've been working on the backstory.  I've got a good background for some of the characters, but one in particular is proving troublesome.  I'm having a hard time fleshing out her motivation and her reason for being part of the group.

So that's where I'm at.