Good morning! It's a gorgeous day today -- not that the weather has been
nearly as bad as what my friends in Chicago are experiencing, but it has
been rather cold and rainy (yes, I like rain, but I prefer warm rain,
which doesn't seem to happen out here. And thunderstorms, also sadly
lacking) here. Today is bright and crisp and spring-like, and while it's
way too early for spring, I can enjoy it anyway (and pretend :-).
Fairly satisfying day so far. Woke up early and came in to campus --
managed to work for an hour before my first class, and put together a
synopsis of "Dreams" for my fiction class later today. Also printed out a
copy of the entirety (148 pages and counting) and put it on reserve at the
library in case anyone is completely enraptured by the synopsis. :-)
Hmm...in case you're curious, I think I'll post it here. Warning -- it'll
likely change a fair bit more before final publication -- it needs to at
least double in length. And it's not really a synopsis -- more of a
Synopsis of Dreams by Lamplight (working title)
This novel is told from several major points of view, switching between
them. It's probably easiest to give you several separate synopses, from
each major character's point of view. Aside from the personal level, it
is also a tale of political conflict, so a brief history of the two main
countries involved in this first novel (it will probably be a trilogy
eventually, involving at least one other country) is probably in order.
The tale starts in Ranek, and moves back and forth between that country
and Liella. The countries are very loosely based on India and Pakistan,
and the setting is based on the Mughal era in our own history (a time of
maharajahs, decadence, luxury and slavery). It is a fantasy novel, though
without many of the characteristic elements of fantasy -- no elves, no
dragons, no wizards. Instead, it is intended to be more along the lines
of the magical realist tradition -- with folk tale and myth and everyday
miracles and the presence of multiple gods blending (hopefully) seamlessly
into the storyline.
Ranek -- the southern country, ruled by a mad Maharani (queen), Genea. A
land of poison and intrigue, of sweltering heat and months of monsoon
rain, of great luxury conjoined with leprosy, plague and poverty, where
the "auction block was one of the gathering places of the city, where the
rasas and their servants mingled with filthy beggars and holy men,
immaculate Keshtiri fabric brushing against running sores and truncated
limbs." A plethora of gods rule over the land, and it is the home
Radhika -- a young girl whose memory has been stolen, sold into slavery
and trained as a high-class whore, a geisha-equivalent. Though rather
bewildered at the beginning, she quickly resolves to escape. Not as
easily as she had hoped, after some years she does escape to the north
with the help of...
Daniv -- ambassador from Liella. A man somewhat out of his depth in the
intrigues of the court, he would much rather spend his days working with
the soil on his estate, yet his noble position and affection for King
Nolan have sent him south to investigate the murder of Queen Kierstena and
dance attendance on...
Genea -- mad, bad, and totally unpredictable. A woman with insatiable
appetites and immense power, she keeps her rasas (princes) on their toes,
Menna -- a woman who by virtue of her wit and courage has risen to the
position of prince, and must now walk a precarious line to maintain that
position -- or lose her head. She grows increasingly troubled by the
insanity of Genea, and her friendship with Daniv eventually leads her to a
traitorous offer of alliance with...
Liella -- the cool northern country, whose monotheistic people still
grieve for the loss of their queen, recently lost to a southern poison.
Nolan is determined to avenge his wife's death, and is stirring up his
people for war. Of course the war is entirely for honor and vengeance --
it couldn't possibly have anything to do with economic reasons, or the
machinations of the gods, one of whom controls...
Amesty -- a young poet and singer, accompanied by Arjun who loves but
doesn't understand her. Raised in the house of Am'kele, the god of love,
she falls further and further into madness herself.
That's it. Sound like fun? It is -- I'm enjoying it immenseley.
Very frustrating at points, of course, but nonetheless, fascinating. I
don't remember if I've talked to you guys about this -- I was very stuck
on this novel for a while. Grad school has, as I'd hoped, unstuck me, and
given me lots of cool new ideas for it. It has also turned the darn thing
from a slim novel to the beginning of a trilogy -- ah well.
Good class this morning -- still discussing Hemingway. I really liked a
story of his called "The End of Things". "Cat in the Rain" was also
pretty good...not going to go into detail about them 'cause I'm a bit
talked out on Hemingway right now. :-)
So the plan for today is a) write 3-5 new pages on the novel for 2:30
class (not essential, as I do have some new material I can use, but it
would be good to write more, of course), b) do some research on ancient
Indian poetry, as I want to use some in the novel. Originally I was going
to write my own...but I don't know that I can really simulate the style I
want very well. We'll see., c) write the new Sizzle story. This set of
photos centers around a garage, oh excitement. :-) Oh, and try to get
through a bit of e-mail -- it's starting to pile up again.
That's about it for now -- off to work. Have a good day, y'all.
12:30 -- This is too, too funny. The Sexuality
Pet Shop Sketch
1:45 -- Have a copy of my book? Want to help publicize it? Try writing a
review of it, and submitting it to various magazines, etc. Here's one
good site -- the