Posts

Showing posts from 2020

Strange Days...

Image
I've been in an odd mood the last few days. No writing done, just research...and I've seen I have a lot of rewriting to do if I want the first part of Darian's Point to happen 3500 years ago and not 6000. For example, crannogs like this one were being used much earlier than I'd thought...which is one of the reasons I wanted to actually visit on in Ireland and view for myself. I think this jolted the story in my head and I'm having to realign everything before I can continue. It's also the end of 2020 and I am so damned glad. In 20 days, if all goes according to plan, Biden will be president and that orange beast will be gone. No guarantees, yet. I don't put it past him to pull some shit that throws everything into chaos. He thrives on that. Lives for it, like some maniacal James Bond villain. "I will rule the world or I will destroy it!" Anyway...I haven't been able to focus on anything. Just been drifting like a raft on the Mississippi. Prepar

Still jumping...

Image
I spent all day, yesterday, trying to convince myself to get back to writing on Darian's Point , then this morning had a flash and realized I was just trying to unblock an idea about the story. Big idea, that I hadn't even considered but suddenly crashed through me, this morning, and made it even wilder. Rather than write it, however, I made some notes then dug into the part where Morrigan conjures up the harpies from The Dagda's sins. He's at the base of the Cliffs of Moher, using the powerful waves to help him cleanse himself of all he's done wrong. 1600+ words that I know I'm going to expand upon, as is usual for me, but it's getting there. Because I finally understood the how and why it happens. Initially I'd had it where Morrigan's furious that The Dagda impregnated Caera, a girl from a people considered beneath him and his kind, and she's driven solely by jealousy.  Especially since Caera is given a son. But she's also angry that he hur

Continuation of yesterday's post...

Image
Here's the rest of the moment between Morrigan and Caoimhín... ______ That froze Caoimhín in place. Was she telling him his fears had been realized? Was she telling him that golden beast had taken Caera? No...no, it couldn't be. She would not give in to him and he would never force himself upon her. Not while a guest of his father. It would be poor manners, at best. Not even the worst of the beastly men who'd been given shelter had even tried to do such a thing.  But The Dagda was not like other men, so would he? Morrigan seemed to ignore him as she continued. "What a lovely man he has always been. Tend to my wants and needs and desires, and perhaps I will notice yours. Perhaps. Perhaps not." She gave a soft laugh. "More often, not." Her voice drifted into sadness. "So many times it has been not." Caoimhín's mind whirled. She was verifying everything he had come to believe about the man. He was able to ask, "How do you know this?&qu

In the Beginning...

Image
I did a bit of a jump in writing Darian's point and worked up a sex scene between my MC and Morrigan, who according to Irish mythology is either a goddess or the Queen of the Banshees. It's revenge sex for the both of them, and it gets pretty heated. Here's part of the lead up to it...I'll post more, tomorrow... ----- Caoimhín stalked through the whole of the darkness and well into the sun's light, unwilling to rest until he had crossed as much of the earth as possible. Be as far away from his settlement as possible. He splashed through icy streams of water without thought. Stormed up and over hills that grew higher and higher and seemed never to end. He cared not where he was or how he would even find his way back. His only thoughts were of how Caera had looked at The Dagda. And how the man had returned that look. It wasn't right. That godlike creature was mesmerizing his beloved and, without even a word, had sent him spiraling into feeling like he was nothing,

Non-linear it is...

Image
I'd intended to write Darian's Point in a linear fashion, but today I chucked that idea out and started the moment when Caoimhín and Morrigan meet atop the Cliffs of Moher and, seemingly, commiserate over betrayals by their respective loves. He feels Caera has chucked him over for The Dagda, and sees himself as extremely inadequate in comparison to the man; Morrigan is furious at The Dagda for going after a girl of the Fir Bolg, people they had bested in battle. I'm trying to keep it subtle, here, so it leads naturally into the two of them having sex...and him staying with her for a couple days. By the time he gets back to the settlement, Caera is furious and their rift threatens to grow wider...but they make amends...until Caera realizes she is pregnant with The Dagda's child. That's when things explode. I did over 1400 words, but it took me hours to work myself into them. One good thing I'm finding is, writing a story set 3500 years ago takes me away from the

Working...

Image
 I went back over what I wrote for the beginning of Darian's Point , expanded on it and am now up to over 5000 words. I emphasized some moments of fear and anger...and one of, I hope, heartbreak...as Caoimhín faces his fate. Then the story jumps back five years to show how events led to Darian's Point. I have grown to really like Tom Cullen's look for Caoimhín. Simple, direct, attractive, but also strong. Even a bit wary. What's fun is, I've given a couple of trees near their settlement names, and they will play a part in the events. Fedlimid (which means beauty or ever good) is an oak tree that gives shade to their compound; Aoibhinn (which means lovely) is a willow by a stream that helps them hide, when needed. I've added a moment where Caoimhín remembers seeing a harpy for the first time, when he's using Aoibhinn's branches to protect a child from it. I don't think I'll ever refer to the monsters as harpies in this section; just describe them

Good day for the Beginning of Darian's Point...

Image
 I did 20 pages, in Courier 12 pt., double-spaced. It's fast and rough, but here's part of it... ---- The water was too still. Too quiet. The wind seemed not to exist. The sky burned so blue and soft it mocked the meaning of the day. Mocked Caoimhín with its unnatural ways, and he was not one to be mocked. Not after the horrors he had seen over the last five harvests. He was one of those men who was sturdy and strong, unbending. Hair the color of the rich earth. Skin tanned by sun and wind. Eyes like stones, and just as sharp and focused. He had been blessed with good features, open and honest, marred by only a few scars. The tallest in his clan, after only his father, it was accepted he would take over its leadership, once the elder had passed into the next world. Now that was not to be. He wore a tunic specially woven for this moment, its color a mixture of the darkest earth and the shining deep red of blood. He wore no pelt against the wind, and was glad he had not. It wou

Flawed heroes

Image
I was having trouble envisioning Kevan...so I figured I'd best get his name's spelling right, to start with. It's  Caoimhin , which is pronounced Coh-mine , if I got it right. It's derived from the Irish... caomh , meaning kind, gentle and comely; and gin , meaning birth. This may seem silly, but the way I write I have to see the character. Have a visual image of him or her, and I couldn't find one that's right for  him.  He's dark-haired with tan skin and rugged features, strong and skilled enough to handle himself against just about anything, with an air of certainty about him...and condescension. Next in line to run the  Uí Bhriain   clan. Liam Neeson is close-ish, as a young man, but too much on the sensitive side. Especially in glasses. He doesn't gain a sense of power until he's well into his 30s, to me. Pierce Brosnan, Aidan Turner and Colin Farrell are too pretty. Cillian Murphy is too off-beat and willowy . Allen Leech was close but he's

Damn, damn, damn...

Image
Well, I am now officially diabetic. Type 2, not extreme but enough to be checked twice a day and take Metformin. Dammit. The little pin I use to jab my finger is fairly soft and easy. I barely feel it. And the monitor is straightforward to use. Now I just need to get into the habit of doing it in the morning before breakfast and 2 hours after dinner. I'm turning into one of those old men who's got to have a tray with little pockets for every day of the week, where you set up your pills and that way you know you've taken them. This, I never wanted. It's ridiculous. For Dair's Window , I've just reading my third detailed book on glass working. This one discussed tack fusing in more depth as well as other aspects of the craft. I'd never be able to do it, myself (not without burning off all my fingers) but Dair needs to know this stuff. I'm still shifting information into my head for his story. I'm hoping it will work out the meaning for the title, not j

Research, thy name is pain in the ass...

Image
I was in the office most of the day after spending the last three days on the road, and have to call a client tomorrow to talk about a job in Houston, next month, as well as one in Santa Fe. So it looks like my work is beginning to pick up. Maybe I won't go bankrupt, after all. But I have been doing research for Darian's Point , delving into what is currently known and thought to be known about Ireland's ancient history. Mainly the Fir Bolg, Milesians and Tuatha d'annan as well as neolithic Bru na Boinne, out in Newgrange up near the border with Northern Ireland. I've been to that, but it was some time ago. It's a megalithic passage grave that predates the pyramids (built around 3300 BC) and has an entrance aligned with the sun at the winter solstice. Pretty amazing. I was planning to make a return trip when everything got canceled. Of course, when I hit Houston I'll be shifting my research mode to Book 2 of APoS , to dig into that better when I'm ready

What is known is not known...

Image
I've been working up a voice for the opening of DP, In The Beginning . Very much 3rd person omniscient while keeping the comments and questions in my main character's mind as simplistic as possible. I have a feeling I'll be making up a shitload of stuff regarding the story, because historians in Ireland are consistently trying to change what is and was considered fact about the island's history. Like how the Irish aren't really Celts . I'm just now digging into this idea and not finding too damn much past the one discovery of three sets of adult bones in an ancient grave on Rathlin Island, off the coast of Co. Antrim. There's a fairly detailed story in the Washington Post from 4 years ago that notes these bones share DNA with today's Irish but predate when the Celts were thought to have arrived to inhabit the island by a thousand years. Older bones found share nothing with them but appear to be more Mediterranean in origin, so everyone's in a tizzy.

Handwriting is not the way...

Image
 I just wrote 2 pages to get down an idea for the opening of Darian's Point, The Beginning (I really need a better title), and most of it's scribbles. I'm so used to typing, now, I've lost a lot of my ability to do cursive in a way that's readable. Should be fun transcribing it, but I wasn't planning to pen up my laptop, again, so felt this would at least give me an idea of what I was planning. I'm trying to find a way of describing everything without using modern terms for it all...like, what did people in Ireland call birds 3000 years ago? What did they call the ocean? The Cliffs of Moher? I want it to be as accurate as possible, but I also want it to be easy to follow. Not so difficult, right? Have to stop, though. I'm working in the morning and need to hit the bed. BTW, I did no take this photo; I stole it off the internet. I have a lot left to learn about this time in Ireland's history...

Recharging the batteries...

Image
Tomorrow I'm off to Philadelphia and then New York and then New Haven, so today I spent letting my mind drift while loading a couple of CDs into my laptop for the road trip. I love Depeche Mode's 101 Live album, and also have Yanni's Ultimate album (don't judge me!) along with the score for the movie Topsy Turvy.  These are my road tunes, but they don't play well on a player while driving, so I'm trying it digital. Fire up the laptop and listen. If it works well, I'll load in a few more. Probably some electronica, tho' I also like the German industrial techno sounds of the 90s. I listen to Brave New Rave on KCRW.com once it's posted online. It's a program on KCRW-Berlin that plays on Thursday nights then is uploaded to their site so you can listen to it at any time. I also joined with some fellow writers on Facebook for a movie night -- Near Dark . A classic horror film about cowboy vampires, with some truly chilling scenes. I haven't see

Returning to reality...

Image
My crankiness is now past, and I've pulled together everything I have on Darian's Point and its se quel, Return to Darian's Point . I shifted them into RTF files so I can open them in Word, and I also found an outline for the beginning of the story, set 3000 years ago. Outline for Darian’s Point, the Beginning Book One Open With Kevan Ui Briain and his men crossing the sea in small boats to meet Morriggan and The Dagda (father of the ancient Celtic gods) at Darian’s Point, a peninsula on  Inish Ciuin,  a small island near the Cliffs of Moher. The men are battle-scarred and angry. They have come to offer one of their own as a sacrifice. Kevin declares himself to be the one.  Morriggan is not pleased; nor is the Dagda, but they have to accept. A mist builds, blocking out everything, then three creatures swoop in and Kevan is killed as he begs forgiveness from Caera. 5 years earlier, Kevan and Caera talk of wedding, she’s gathering reeds. Playful. The Dagda passes, a blond e

Cranky today...and yesterday...

Image
 I'm going through my usual withdrawal state of being cranky and unfocused, now that I've done a full semi-decent draft of APoS . I'm not coasting to a stop, as I'd like; I'm sort of spitting and moaning and wondering if I should park here or there or look for a better space to sit my ass down. Which means I'm getting nothing done. So today I drove out to Niagara Falls Community College to have another Covid test, to satisfy the state, then stopped at Niagara Falls to see how it looked after a fairly decent snow storm. I guess the snow didn't hit there as hard as it did in my area; I live about 15 miles south of the Falls. Damn, it was cold thanks to a steady wind. But I caught a rainbow from the end of the observation deck. I took video of another one I saw, earlier, and posted it my Facebook  page; it shows the deck in the background for part of it. The spray from the Falls does it, and they don't last long as you can see in the video. I caught only th

The end is the end...and still the beginning...

Image
  I've got the ending of APoS set in the way that makes everyone happy. Now I'm going to let it sit for a while to give myself some perspective; I'm way too tight with the story and Brendan's life, at the moment. I can't see what works and what doesn't, but it's not ready to send to get feedback on, yet...and to be honest, I'm not sure who I could send it to. Not that it's a pressing issue. I figure on at least two more passes through it before I might be willing to ask. Probably three. And those will take place over the course of 2021. I'm not rushing this story. After playing around with it and fighting it and trying to talk myself out of even attempting it for the last 20 years, another 12 months ain't gonna make no difference. I can now focus on my reading and research, to better work in the area's social mores. That's going to be my Achilles Heel. I'm not from there and I've had two people I met in Derry say there was no

Like wading deeper into a murky pond...

Image
Well...I did a count of everything I've got through today, for APoS, and I'm at 238,197 words, total. Book 1 -- Derry has 80,133 Book 2 -- New World for Old is 90,065 Book 3 -- Derry '81 is up to 68,199 And I'm still going. Still finding spots where the characters want to interact and add to the story. This part is proving tough because events are coming together where Brendan has to take a stand, something he's never wanted to do. He's always preferred to just be left alone to live his life...but that's not an option in this world or any other. I'm fighting my old screenwriter habits, here, because they want to have certain moments happen at certain times, and that form also has certain scenes that are absolutely obligatory...but it doesn't work for this book. The entire thing is told through Brendan's perspective and his actions and events he lives. Nothing else matters. Just his experiences and what he thinks of them. And as much as the sc

Derry '81

Image
Brendan has been living in Houston for more than eight years, but is finally called home to Derry because his mother is dying from cancer. He's using this as an excuse to get away from his Uncle, who has betrayed him. The British and RUC are still looking for him, to question him about the bombing he witnessed, so he's sneaking in using a new identity his uncle procured for him, with an Irish passport, using the life of a young man who actually died in a farming accident to fake everything up. No one knows he has no intention of returning to Houston. -------- A friend of Aunt Mari’s worked at American Express in The Galleria, so she found me the best way home. I was set to fly out of Intercontinental on B-Cal via Gatwick, then to Glasgow, where I'd catch a short-hopper to Derry’s Airport on Logan Air. It was neither fast nor cheap, but I had savings enough to cover it and was assured it was comfortable enough to catch some sleep on the long haul across the water. Uncle Sean