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JannyWurts last won the day on December 26 2022

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  1. That was a splendid livestream with Blaise, and the cover image looks very sharp! I also truly loved the reveal on the next title in your series. Can't wait!
  2. I have been tying in the changes fast and furious to make deadline, so if I've been absent for a stretch, this may make up for the lapse. Here's a pearl of wisdom quote from the mother of a very good friend of mine, may it serve you well! 'Take care of your body when you are young, otherwise you will be old for a very long time!'
  3. Everyone is individual, regarding whether film or other mediums can contribute to writing finesse...many authors use gaming to expand their worlds for print publication...some likely do use film and motion pictures. Personally, I don't - the mediums of expression are very different , film blends imagery and dialogue to make atmosphere and tell story, whereas the written word alone has to do all of that with text - but everyone will have their own way.
  4. I saw an even more disturbing article today concerning how AI developed the tags for the images it scrapes off the internet - if I see the article again, I will copy the link - but basically - they are hiring people in 3rd world countries enmasse to put the verbal tags onto the images FOR BETWEEN $1.and $2. per hour - starvation sweatshop pay...what is worse, they don't only exploit their labor...the ones stuck tagging the ugliest images, like child porn, murder, self harm - so that those images can be filtered - are suffering horrendous psychological stress, viewing the very most excrable images on the internet for days, tagging them...people who do the research to take down child porn sites will tell you that PTSD from seeing that stuff is very real, lasting - you cannot erase the memory of it...not only artists' work is being exploited, but the human labor to create this software is horrific abuse all by itself. The ethic is reprehensible in more ways than people realize.
  5. For my part, it is essential. Stephen King once said a writer needs to read, equal time, to the hours spent creating story. I began my career with long years and a love of reading - all genres, all types of books, came to SF/F later on (relatively, our community library was scant with genre books). I read every day, often outside the field, and do my best to stay abreast of what is happening, new authors, up and coming, self pub, as well as old favorites and what is stocked in the library (the popular sellars in SF/F, they won't carry niche). It certainly adds to my sense of wonder and admiration for what peers are imagining, and it alerts me, times over, to overused ideas. Prevents me from repeating what's being done. Reading widely adds precision to vocabulary and context, but, it is no substitute for living real live and gaining firsthand experience. That can be just as important as reading widely for an author, the best scenes are not fabricated, but pulled directly from the thick of being there/doing that. Often we'll see writers who claim they cannot read others' works; they will say they are 'afraid' of picking up a style, or worse, they will claim that their own writers' eye is 'too picky' about the way they would write themselves and it sucks the joy out of reading, the practice becoming a mechanical dissection of style. To the former - I'd say, your loss. Any pick up in style would be temporary (during draft) and is quite easily erased during revisions and edits. So, cut down on outside reading for this part of the process if that is a concern. I'd gently tease, get your head out of the place where the sun don't shine and loosen up! Your peers are doing amazing things and the moment to share that while they are alive is not to be missed. Not to mention, reading is the very best way to connect with enthusiastic readers! Why miss out on some incredible people and in depth conversation? We write in isolation quite enough without giving up the community contact. To the latter - this 'phase' is quite temporary and it flags the moment in your writing career when you are still evolving your style, still learning your craft. It may last a year or two. Don't worry. IT WILL PASS. Once you have a firm grip on yourself as a creator, you will again be able to 'let go' and immerse into another writer's style and syntax, and you won't be bothered at all. This is a common moment for many, and it too shall pass. Not every story is told the same way, and not every rule in the book is immutable. Originality often tears at the boundaries of both, and letting go, letting it ride, and be awed will come back.
  6. 'Myth is much more important than history. History is just journalism, and you know how reliable that is.' -Joseph Campbell
  7. 'If you only read books everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.' - Haruki Murakami, The Norwegian Wood
  8. This weekend, nailed down at the desk, fine tuning the last touches on the language for the final chapter set, final volume, of Wars of Light and Shadows; then comes the long haul of typing in the hand written changes.
  9. On the subject of patriotism: 'It is an emotion as well, and of course the emotion comes first. A child's home and the ways of its life are sacrosanct, perfect, inviolate to the child. Add age; add security; add experience. In time we all admit our relatives and our neighbors, our fellow townsmen and even, perhaps, at last our fellow nationals to the threshold of tolerance. But the man living one inch beyond the boundary is our inveterate foe.' -Dorothy Dunnett, A Game of Kings
  10. While posting my thoughts on a CJ Cherryh SF book, Voyater in Night in the 'horror' catagory (and it IS, truly horror) another title you surely have not heard of came to mind....it is a self published title with such a bizarre premise, it escapes all categories. The title is Speakers and Kings, by M. Keaton, and - prepare to be utterly disoriented - it is a story about beings that are not embodied....they are not physical. If you want a truly mind bending read, this one skirts the outer limits, and likely was quite a challenge for the author to tackle. Here's the blurb, if you want to dig deeper: The definitions and origins of a culture inescapably mold the future of a people. The seeds sown by generations long buried grow to bear unexpected fruit in the present. What if a people, with no language and no history, joined a world already in progress? On the island of Mirabalpur, sheltered by Qaiyore's vast inland sea, the magi of Mir struggle to find a future and escape the ghosts of their past. Once a mighty empire now fallen into civil disarray, Mir finds itself confronted with grim reminders of the atrocities of its imperial history. Beneath the floating city of Annaeyana, Siinari nomads amass in the northern deserts. Believing the city to be the prison home of their god, Sin-Alb, they prepare for iyahd. In the fertile lands to the south, rival kingdoms struggle for dominance and survival. Located on the Qaiyore's great rivers rich with trade and agriculture, would-be empire builders are caught in a brutal maelstrom not of their own making. Throughout Qaiyore drift the Earith, spirit beings and living history lessons. Once a race of slaves, these normally passive ancients have begun to act - and neither race will ever be the same again.
  11. People won't think of CJ Cherryh as a horror author, but her title Voyager in Night is the scariest, most terrifying book I have ever read. Part of her Alliance/Union sequence, categorized with two other titles as the 'outer beyond' - novels that take place past the verge of known space (for humanity, Voyager in Night takes a Bermuda Triangle like theme and expands it - to ships that vanish without a trace. This short novel follows the crew of one of the ships that disappears - ordinary people caught up in an alien encounter like no other I've ever read in fiction. It is chilling, haunting, frightening, and an exploration of an eternal conundrum that swallows people whole and the experience they undergo is so profound, all references are destroyed. Pick up this little tome at your peril, I will not ever forget the experience.
  12. Last coyote of 2022 off the camera trap, and yes, they do see the camera even the ones I had set on 'black infrared' - they always see it and the Canids in particular Hate it. Why I stopped bothering with stealth and switched to the white flash - if they see it anyway, why not have the moment in color? (the biologists who taught me to set up have upfront assured me, the white flash does not disrupt the animals' habits, and I have found this to be true.the pattern of captures stayed the same, infra red or white flash, I had plenty of time at these locations (years) to know the animals' habits.)
  13. 'Life rises out of death, death rises out of life; in being opposite, they yearn to each other, they give birth to each other and are forever reborn. And with them all is reborn, the flower of the apple tree, the light of the stars. In life is death. In death is rebirth. What then is life without death? Life unchanging, everlasting, eternal? - What is it but death - death without rebirth?' -Ursula K. LeGuin, Earthsea, The Farthest Shore.
  14. @chibipoe - wow, Transcendent Fantasy - did you coin this term? I like it!!! Right on target, as will become more and more apparent as the series progresses, capped definitively by Song of the Mysteries' finale...gives me chills of anticipation... @Paromita Mukherjee, since @P.L. Stuart requested that I weigh in regarding the reviewers' comparisons to other series - it really isn't, it cuts a groove I saw missing from epic fantasy that even still hasn't been filled, at least from my vantage or to my satisfaction. Light and Shadows is not wish fulfillment fantasy. It is not traditional, linear epic story telling that 'expands' outward - but a tightly restricted stage (due to the world itself, which WILL come out in full living color as you proceed farther into Arc III and IV) that is 'narrow' for a reason - so the story 'expands' by spiraling over itself, upward and deeper, due to the shift in vantage. The more you know, the deeper you see, and the more your prior expectations and assumptions get blown apart and rearranged. This is not a wargamer's world; while it does have AGES of history and ancient eras that do NOT show in the main series - they are there - absolutely. But the series does not 'explore' the gaming campaigns played across eras - this never was a gamer's universe at all, but my own creation, tailored over five decades, to do precisely what it was meant to do....and that I hope if the discussion progresses that far and that deeply - will open up here for all of us to engage and analyze. I can't really answer for 'why' reviews compare to Osten Ard or Wheel of Time; those epics indeed spin to a different beat. The comparisons to Malazan do, and don't make sense....I once did a huge thread on precisely those differences on r/fantasy, it would be archived, and went into the concepts of both in more depth. The nutshell version, here: Stephen Erikson has done essays (can be found online) on his themes: and Catharsis plays huge, along with compassion. Light and Shadows has some of those themes, played across volumes with equal intensity, but a very different approach. Erikson's work with Malazan likewise pieces together a puzzle of interlocking arcs, connected across epochs, campaigns, and continents, that cause the reader to reassess and recalibrate what they have experienced and open up new meaning. Light and Shadows does this as well - the small will play larger and larger, and shift with vantage - but the presentation is not the same. Erikson opened Gardens of the Moon with the battlefield at Pale, and all of the pieces were smashed right up front/one read onwards to figure out how they piece together and fit....Light and Shadows starts with a small, tight view from the characters' perspective, and the greater picture is pieced together and built out through the characters' expanded experience and encounters that change them, shift their view, and shove them beyond their prior depths. The presentation of the characters' INNER views therefore is much more prominent. Their epiphanies are yours, shared with what they must contend with, rather than an external view shown as characters (Erikson) move across the broader tapestry of his campaigns and we see their philosophies in dialogue and action. So the vast wonder surfaces slowly with Light and Shadows, in stages with each arc, and unlike Malazan, the Elder Powers walk extremely softly and leave a very subtle footprint. They are not so subtle ONCE you know where to look for them (Arc V will go full bore, here), and you will not perceive their mercuric touch UNTIL the characters recognize the impacts. So while both series are slow burn, the unwind is handled differently. I would not read Light and Shadows for the pulp splash or the wildly imaginative, strange, bizarre and multi layered war campaigns. It is not 'told' from the perspective of the common soldier. It is not grimdark, or gray scale to grim, or a grinding exploration of heroics at the ending of hope....it is rather 'full spectrum' - dark scenes will NOT pull the punches, but for every terrible or bleak moment, there will be a counter-punch of terrible light, that blinding flash drawn from the opposite end of the spectrum. There will be beauty to follow the pain, discovery to transform the dark end of experience. And those moments will pull no punches, either. So while the epic scope of the endeavor may match up, the themes may follow similar contours, the angle of experience is more character driven set Against that epic backdrop of conflict, and greater events spanning ages. One of the great difficulties in presenting this series is HOW to parse what it is, how to communicate what it holds so that its perspective audience can find it, pick it up, and not be blindside smacked with something they do not expect....one of the revelations (for me) will be seeing you readers go through the experience (right now relatively, just stepping off the ground floor, if you are at vol 4) and respond to what it holds in such a way that it helps me (and others) to know how to target the audience for it. I will joyfully welcome any comments offered along the way, and be most pleased to see reviews that tackle the subject with better ways to define what the pages hold. Thank you for your comment! It's a frustration I have long shared, but likely, given I am so close to the material, cannot see the forest for the trees. Happy to have all the help I can get from other perspectives!
  15. Last bobcat of 2022 on the camera trap:
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