Lilies, Poppies, and Carnations, John William Waterhouse
Two and a half hours trek home last night. No particular problem–just too many cars, not enough freeway. I try to sympathize with my fellow zombies; we’re all in the same car afterall. But last night a laser cannon would’ve come in handy.
Tomorrow is Mom’s 69th birthday. I’m driving out to Moreno Valley to get together with my sisters and take roses to her grave. I miss her every day. The other day I was wishing I’d preserved the sound of her voice on one of the voicemails she used to leave me ’cause I’m afraid of losing my memory of it, but I know I’ll always remember. I hear her soprano timbre in my dreams.
Driving in this morning, I glanced up and caught sight of smoky pink clouds eastward. Apollo’s chariot breasting the horizon. Work continues on A Lamentation of Swans. I’m entering new territory. I’ve been writing about 300 – 400 words or so each morning, but most of the work is being done in my mental landscape. Still, steady as she goes.
Loose Daddy has returned to mind as well. I’m thinking to give it another read, see how it lays. ‘Though I don’t know where I’m going to find the time. I’d like to gather my thoughts for the synopsis, edge a little bit closer to sending it out.
Early on, 2005, 2006 maybe, I designed the Raevani calendar, modeled on the Roman Republican, with borrowings from the Egyptian and the Chinese. I had to decide–did I want named months and days, did I want to follow the Kalends, Nones, and Ides of the Roman calendar; did I want 4 seasons, or 3, like the ancient Egyptian calendar; how long the weeks? (The 7-day week shows up in Babylonian documents of the 7th century BCE, but the Romans had the nundinae – nine-day, until the Imperial period.) I liked giving the Raevani a nine-day week. At first I ignored the Kalends, Nones, and Ides, but then decided I liked the fixed points of monthly time idea too. (The Raevani take their calendar from Kara, the ancient imperial empire that once ruled all of Gosse Arodd.)
This is the thing that makes writing fantasy a fun endeavor–those sparks that make an imagined place real. I kept the twelve-month year, and divided the calendar into three, 4-month seasons, named the Raevani months, numbered but did not name the days as the Raevani count the days from before or after three fixed points in their calendar. So why is all this important? Well! Glad you asked! A time twist in the novel has become a lynchpin in the plot and now I need to know exactly the moment of certain happenings. I’ve got to do a bit of tweaking to my earlier model, but I’ve got time!