Friday, September 27, 2013

More Archaic Terms & Expressions

I haven't done much of these lately so I will give you a few extra for today's lesson in archaic terms and expressions. These may prove useful for your writing and renaissance fair/SCA events. I got these terms from various books and Internet glossaries.

Boggart - A goblin, hairy and short

Buckler - Small round shield

Liege-man - A loyal follower usual bound by feudal alligiance.

Panter or Pantler - In charge of the pantry where food and eating utensils are kept

Reeve - An overseer or steward of a manor

Hobnob - To converse in a friendly or casual way

League - A measure of distance, about three miles.

Excellent well! - Very good!

Pray tell - Tell me

Fie ! or Alack! or Out upon it! or Fie upon you! - All basically mean "Darn it!" or "Curse you!"

Excuse me or Pray pardon me or I cry your mercy - All mean "I beg your pardon"

I hope you find these helpful. Contact me if you have any questions and I will try to help. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Worldbuilding and Tiaera

A good friend of mine asked me the other day about the term "world building." I briefly explained it to him, but this morning I have decided to look into this a little deeper for those of you who read and/or write fiction. This might be useful should you ever decide to try making a fictional world of your own.

What is Worldbuilding?

Worldbuilding is the process of constructing an imaginary world, sometimes associated with a whole fictional universe.[1] The resulting world may be called a constructed world. The term "worldbuilding" was popularized at science fiction writers' workshops in the 1970s.[citation needed] Developing an imaginary setting with coherent qualities such as a history, and ecology is a key task for many science fiction or fantasy writers.[2] Worldbuilding often involves the creation of maps, a backstory, and people for the world. Constructed worlds can enrich the backstory and history of fictional works, and it is not uncommon for authors to revise their constructed worlds while completing its associated work. Constructed worlds can be created for personal amusement and mental exercise, or for specific creative endeavors such as novels, video games, or role-playing games.

I have seen the term spelled a few difference ways i.e. world building, world-building and worldbuilding.

When Jack and I began writing our novel Realmwalkers, we realized we needed to make a fictional world because this would free us from any problems with reality based on earth and earth's history. We could start from scratch and use anything our minds came up with so long as it was plausible in the minds of our future readers. Since we wrote about science fiction and fantasy, it behooved us to try this in order to present our story in the most realistic way.

Well, Realmwalkers was finally written and has done very well in sales so far. I created this blog about the world of Tiaera to help promote the book. As some of you may have caught on, I came up with the name "Tiaera" which sounds like the Spanish word "tierra" meaning earth or ground. It is a parallel earth with trees, mountains and oceans, but with some differences. What are they? Well, read some of the stories here or read Realmwalkers to find out. Anyway, I realized I really enjoyed adding more details about this fictional planet called Tiaera.

And I am not alone. There are many sites on the Inet where one can go visit a variety of worlds based on books, TV, and games.

The way I started with Tiaera was by making a series of maps using MSPublisher, a desktop graphics program. I didn't have the luxury of a stylus and tablet at that time. Every drawing had to be done by drawing with a normal mouse or by drawing the map, scanning it and enhancing it using Adobe Photoshop. One of my first maps of the new planet looked like this.

I never made a world before so I just made little chunks of outlines to represent countries and Jack helped me determine how big it was going to be so that it made sense to the reader. It turned out it is actually smaller than earth, more like mars. Thanks again, Jack, for helping me with the technicalities of worldbuilding.

Then I experienced the fun of assigning names, much like Adam did when earth was created, and I found it was a lot of fun. I went to various fantasy name generators and tossed around some made-up names with Jack until all the oceans, countries, and islands all had a name. This was really fun to do while I waited for Jack to go over some chapters at his end.  Once I had the world done, I began to work on each continent.

There is no end to what you can do when it comes to worldbuilding. Many stories, movies, books and games can limit the amount of information about the world to just a few sentences or go all the way to graphic images and videos. It's up to the author or designer involved. Just remember that too much scenery and description shouldn't overwhelm the story at hand. Use just enough to set the scene and no more.

After the maps were done, I created lists of information about races, transportation, climate, languages and prominent landmarks. I used my previous experiences in games like D&D, Meridian 59 and Everquest 1 & 2. I also used recollections from the many sci fi-fantasy stories and movies. There is nothing wrong with stealing general ideas from others as long as you do not steal a copyright protected character or item. So be sure you research whatever you use that you did not fully create yourself.

I'm glad to have this blog now to further create more stories and invent new items through my creative abilities. I still don't use any special map-making software. I have looked at Dungeonjinni and ProFantasy Software, as well as others, but I decided to use the tools I already had. I still use pencil, ink, scanner, MSPublisher and Adobe Photoshop for maps and graphics. Such graphics may help me with future books or videos. It's a creative process that I really enjoy.

If you are thinking about worldbuilding, here are a few links that might help or inspire you. I've used a few of them for creating the world of Tiaera:

Seventh Sanctum
Pirate Name Generator
World Building School
sfwa fantasy-worldbuilding questions
Free Fantasy Maps
Map Making for Authors

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Sacred Tree in Fabric Form

Pauline did it again! She took my design and is transforming it into the costume she has already created. It looks like she only needs the tree trunk here and it is done.  What patience, Pauline! I would have printed the design onto some iron transfer paper and just ironed it into place. You have a real talent for costume recreations. Well done!

 Here is the design I created.

This is the front of the costume she is making the collar for. The top photo is the back of the collar to this costume.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Free Writing Meters

I'm heading out today for a four day trip to Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch to do some writing, scrapping, drawing/painting, eating, resting, swimming and riding.  It's a lovely dude guest ranch and I can't wait. I'll be taking my laptop (no Internet tho) and art supplies and hope to enjoy this event along with twenty-two other ladies.

I know this has nothing to do with Tiaera so let's get down to why I am posting today!

I have found a neat website that offers not one, but 16+ FREE Writing Progress Tracking Meters and I wanted to share this find with you! I hope to pick one of these out for use here at my blog when I finally get back to working on my next story based on the world of Tiaera. It's still waiting for me to finish and I intend to use a meter to help remind me where I am at in getting it finished. It will also give you all an idea as to how close I am to completing it, in cause you are wondering.

Click here for Tia Ross' blog post about Free Writing Meters.

For you writers out there, I hope this info helps you find a good meter to help keep you motivated with your writing. It doesn't need to be used for a novel. You can also use a meter to help you keep track of how many words you have written this week or this month.  You can use a meter for projects, blogs, writing assignments, competitions and clubs. If you're a online content writer, novelist, blogger, short story writer, or journalist, a writing meter may be useful for you.

Check these out and see what you think. Send me comments here if you have have used one or are using one.

Well, it's time for me to mosey out and ride into the sunset. I hope to have the next post for "Add a Spark of Valor" ready for next week.

Yeehaaaa!! Happy writing/riding!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Priestess and the Ravenknight - In Print!

It's almost autumn! Darkness falls earlier in the evening and the monsoon rains are here. Craft stores are pushing holiday items in preparation for everything from Halloween to Christmas. I love crafting almost as much as I enjoy writing and drawing.

But I won't be doing much crafting this year as I prefer to work on my ebook, The Priestess and the Ravenknight ( or P&R). After of two years of pushing Realmwalkers soft cover books at the various book events, I have decided it's time I turned P&R into a print version, and include some of my illustrations and a little more story.  Because of all the changes to this ebook, I will mark the printed version as a Second Edition. Once the book is sent for publication, I will update and re-submit the P&R ebook as a Second Edition to also.

And for those of you who already got my P&R ebook, I will be making the new updated ebook version FREE (for a limited time) to download once it's available at  Stay tuned for future post announcements here!

I hope to have the P&R book finished, sent and published by the end of this month. My next book signing will be in early November, so I should have not one, but two books to sign. The cover will be the same, but the book is now approximately 110 pages, a big jump from the estimated 47 pages as an ebook.

Thanks to all of you who have supported me these past few years. I am grateful for all the help I get from local authors and friends alike. {{{BIG HUGS}}}
I have managed to earn enough to even purchase some professionally printed bookmarks and business cards for this winter season. It's a real thrill to hand out these shiney, slick bookmarks. I will have to get some made for P&R also. 
Have a great weekend!

Oh, one more thing. I am still working on my mermaid-pirate book. That will come out sometime next year.