Articles for March 2014

Somewhere a Clock Ticks

I don’t know if anyone beside myself recalls “Around the World in 80 Days”, the Jules Verne novel made into a rather charming movie with David Niven as the protagonist: a British eccentric named Fogg with a decided fondness (nowadays we would say an obsession) for clocks, who nevertheless manages to get the girl in the end. You can tell from that fact alone, without knowing anything else, that this novel was written in the 1870s.

I find it somewhat ironic that in the 140 years since that story was published, we have out-Fogged Fogg to a degree unimaginable up until very recently. Fogg was famous for having a clock in every room. We—especially we here in the US—generally have up to a half a dozen, maybe more. We are surrounded by clocks to an astounding degree (anything with a chip in it has at least one), and the clock-makers (like our society in general) are obsessed with dividing time in ever smaller slices. And all these clocks are busily ticking away, counting off the increments of that most problematic entity and making some of us feel guilty or apprehensive or frustrated (or all three) by doing so.

We have been, to no small degree, among of the afflicted.

You see, quite some time ago, we set ourselves a deadline. And then we let it pass. And let it pass again. In fact, between last September and Christmas, we let it pass four times, at which point we decided that deadline needed to be retired, so we did. It’s our deadline; we can put it out to pasture if we want to.

But we cannot stop the clocks from ticking, nor can we ignore the fact that the task to which we set ourselves goes undone. And that is why I am thinking on clocks.

But I am also thinking on clocks because, now finally, the end—well, at least the beginning of the end—it is in sight, or better yet, in focus. We can see details formerly obscured and conquer them. And we are doing so. Now, as the clocks tick, the To-Do list shrinks in proportion and we get closer and closer to unleashing the fruit of all this labor on an unsuspecting world.

No doubt the world will remain unsuspecting as it will take no notice whatsoever, but a teeny-tiny fraction might, and it is possible that you are in it. At least we hope you will be in it. So watch this space for an announcement in the not-too-distant future.

That is all that I will say for know, except that I knew this mountain once, and now I know how she felt.

A New Glossary

As we mentioned previously, we have a new glossary available. It is greatly expanded from the current version, adding some organizational details and bits of key history along with technical descriptions and definitions of terms, and a list of personalities that have appeared in the series so far. Right now there are almost 250 entries (247, though we may add a couple more on review), and 86 people listed.

As the glossary will be included in MWB, we won’t be posting it here of the site, and we’ll remove the obsolete copy currently posted when the MWB is published.

If you would like an advance copy of the new glossary to go along with the chapters we’ve been releasing, leave a comment. The most reliable format right now is an HTML file; we currently lack the ability to make a PDF with internal links (of which there are many).

We are also producing a Kindle format (mobi) file, for any brave soul who wants to tell us how it looks on their device. (We are neophytes at attempting to format a massive table for kindle.)

Ask and ye shall receive!

Our Minority Report #2

So what have we been up to since our last update? Mainly contracting bronchitis and trying to recover from it. Other than that, where are we on The Morning Which Breaks? Well, we did get Part 1 back from its first proofreading pass. We sent Part 3 to some additional alpha readers for suggestions and have already gotten some feedback. The main feedback was that we really needed to expand the glossary, and that a list of characters would be helpful as well.

So we did that. The glossary now boasts 247 entries from Admiralty to ZANG, and a biographical list of 86 personalities from Alandale to Zayterland. We will be including the glossary as part of MWB (and all subsequent novels, suitably expanded), as we’ve been informed that having it as separate document made things clunky.

So how else are we doing? Part 2 has expanded to 30 chapters and will likely stay there. Two new chapters have been added and completed, a few other chapters have been revised to account for these new chapters, and we have eight chapters left to complete. Only two are still in outline form; the rest are at least half done. Part 2 is current ~168 pages.

Again, for those who like nitty-gritty numbers, the manuscript is 139,450 words long as of this writing (rounded to the nearest 50 words), equaling ~420 standard paperback pages. (For comparison, Alecto is 54,930 words and 162 pages.) With the glossary included, the full volume will probably break 500 pages on completion.

Finally, we will be ready to release a couple of new chapters from Part 2 to interested parties this weekend..

As always, we greatly appreciate your support for our efforts, and let us know if these updates are helpful to you!