Tuesday 29 November 2011

Anniversary time already. The Kingdom of Lothere: So romantic since 2005!

So romantic!

Year Six has been an interesting one for me. I was laid off in March, and although I quickly found another cool job, that speed bump certainly affected my output over here in the story. It looks like I only wrote 44 new chapters in the last year: less than one per week. :redface:

Some of them have been powerfully long though: the elven fairy tale and its sickening real-​world situation in “Vash turns to stone”; the revelation of Aengus’s family and Lasrua’s feelings in “Lasrua learns what sort of heart she has”; or the moony, miracle-​like “Murchad gets a message from the dead.”

Murchad gets a message from the dead

Other chapters, while maybe not as long, have been just plain powerful. “Aed tastes a certain sweetness” took everything I had to give as a writer at that point, and it was months before I could even read it again.

Aed tastes a certain sweetness

This past year also gave us Malcolm’s kick-​ass Mommy holding down the fort; Gunnora, the subversive wife of the reeve; another, gentler side of Old Aed; the foundation of Stein’s Silver-​White Home For Widows, Orphans, and Wayward Youths; the return of Egelric; and of course Magnus the Hare. :bunny:

Magnus the Hare

So while I didn’t write as many chapters as I’d hoped, I don’t feel like the story is in decline. Maybe it’s not for me to say, but I think I’m still improving as a writer, which is the whole point. (Well, not the whole point. I do simply enjoy telling this tale, and I have ever so much more left to tell.)

Anniversary Gift

By way of celebration this year, I present you with a series of ever-​less-​incorrectly named “Prologue Chapters.” They are, in fact, chapters from the story proper: chapters I could have written back in late 2005 when I started this story, but I wasn’t skilled enough then, and I didn’t have a clue what I was doing or where I was going with this story anyway.

There are a number of characters—Maud and Elfleda in particular, and Matilda a bit, too—who suffered from a lack of characterization in those early days, and who have therefore been judged based on a few dramatic acts towards the ends of their tragically short lives. They haunt me like ghosts; may these glimpses into their true hearts help them rest.

Maud in the garden

Aside from the kick-​off chapter I am releasing today, I plan to release one of these olden-​days chapters every Sunday throughout December. They are not all written yet, but I am far enough ahead that I think I can keep my promise, inch’allah and the creeks don’t rise.

Of course I will also be continuing to write modern-​days chapters as well. Depending on how well these old chapters are received, I may write them a little more often. They are fun, but I don’t want the story to lose its momentum in modern times. However, I haven’t written one in two years ( :shock: ) so it seems like we’re overdue.

Thanks to you

Before I show the previews, I cannot close an anniversary post without expressing my gratitude to my readers. For your comments, your silent but loyal attention, your support when my life has been a little rocky; but also for the magic that happens when a story that originated in my mind comes to life in the minds of people I’ve never even met. After six years I am still astounded, humbled, flattered, and proud of what this story has become. Thank you.

The Anniversary Chapters

Chapter 1830“Sigefrith shows how much he knows about dogs”

Chapter 1832“Elfleda ignores the omens”

Chapter 1834“Sigefrith turns his idleness to profit”

Chapter 1836“Maud claims a calling”

Chapter 1838“Maud is passed the loving cup”