Reading: January 2013

Continuing with my reading a book a week that I started in December, I’m posting the books I’ve finished this month.

  1. Collected Poems, Roy Fisher. Most of the narrative poems lost me, but his short works are astounding in their simplicity and freshness.
  2. The Ambassador’s Mission, Trudi Canavan. I absolutely adore this world and most of the characters in it. Enjoyed the book, but was a bit put off by how much had been summarized from what I’d read a few chapters before.
  3. Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare. Interesting revenge play by the Bard. This is one of his earlier texts. I found the play quite humorous in parts.
  4. Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson. Superb, clean writing. Felt like I had known Steve and many of the people discussed. Took a bit longer to read than I thought, but it was worth it.

I have my books all lined up for next month, so should be lovely!

New Energy

This week has been much more dynamic and positive than last week. And that is something that I needed.

I went to two critique groups this week (finally remembering to get an email/phone list going for one—something I’d been meaning to do for the last 3 sessions), and a poetry reading that went very well last night. I absolutely feel fantastic when someone tells me they loved my work after I’ve read. Nothing better! Tonight is another poetry down in Long Beach to support a friend/mentor John Brantingham. I know it will be a wonderful evening! This weekend may yield more writing related events/appointments as well.

For those of you who know me well—for those that don’t (yay!) you’ll learn something about me—you know that I have a difficult time with lots of back-to-back social events crammed into a week, like this. Yes. You would be correct. I enjoy going and enjoy the camaraderie and then it’s time to go home and decompress. As most of these events have been in my calendar for a few weeks and I’ve been planning on going, I’ve had to make concessions along the way and build up the necessary mental strength to go. Makes me sound super anti-social maybe, but all social gatherings are draining for me—just depends on the level of drain and the level of social energy I start with.

I’m hoping you all are having wonderful weeks and that the first month of the year was a great start!

Feeling a bit empty…

Last week’s blog came out of a place I’d rather not have to venture to often. Since I wrote than, though, I’ve had a quieter life at home. I think I need a vacation—soon! I’m a bit down today, so I’ll keep this blog short.

The empty field north of the house.
The empty field north of the house.

Anyway, this week has been… interesting. On Sunday, I went to support my student/client, Jim Grayson, read from his second book. The reading, IOWSC Reads Its Own, was done fairly well. Meet two potential new clients—always a good thing in this day and age. One emailed me on Monday, and I replied (he hasn’t responded so I hope I didn’t offend him). Just goes to show me that I should probably go to more events like this. Which reminds me that I need some new business cards.

Anywho, I have my new fiction class up on www.kandrewturner.com/courses and, as always, you can check out my freelance services www.kandrewturner.com/Editing.html and www.kandrewturner.com/Mentoring.html.

I hope you all had a nice week and that the weekend is pleasant! Now excuse me while I go draw a picture.

Relationships

I may have mentioned this elsewhere, but I don’t know if I’ve mentioned in here on my blog: I am the “peace maker” in my family. I’m the sensible one that everyone else talks to, yet the downside is that family members will ask me to talk to others for them. I simply cannot do that anymore.

Several years ago, I used to help people out with advice and listening to their problems. I had to stop doing that as I could no longer function well in my day-to-day life because of all the energy running crazy around me. I became too invested. This has now happened in my family relationships. I cannot fix them, nor attempt to fix them, anymore. I will no longer talk to people in my family for each other. If they want to invite someone, they can do it themselves. If they want to tell them something, they can do it themselves. I am tired of being the messenger. It should not be my burden. We are all adults in this family, and it is about time we all take responsibility for the relationships we have.

There. It is all out and I’m done. This blog may not be the most positive blog, but I hope this encourages others to find ways to increase the positive energy in their own lives. I have to let this go. I have to allow them to make their mistakes. The universe will teach them their lessons as it has taught me my own over the years: this being one of them.

May you all have a wonderful, blessed week.

Background Writing

I’ve been working on the background of the Illuminator world (home to the first novel I actually finished, the Heir of Illuminations).  I’m writing scientific (sort of) treatises on the uses of magic and creating calculation and tables and inventing all sorts of things for use in the world. Of course, very little (if any), of this material will see the light of day in publication, but I find it enthralling and just plain fun. I can see why many writers take years to write their stories! There is a lot of playground to explore and poke around in. A lot.

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Flowering rosemary—for no reason. Yay!

I have made up two (sort of) languages that do influence the story, I’ve made character genealogy that makes sense to me, and give the characters depth they did not have before. And not to worry, I’ve been playing in the actual story, though I’m have more fun in the filling of the world. I had a nice little hand-drawn timeline that had a few key moments marked and a few dates and ages. I downloaded Aeon Timeline (when I used this two years ago, I found it quite useless and confusing as it hadn’t been finished yet) as it was listed in a discount for NaNoWriMo participants and winners. Amazing software (not useful for another story as it doesn’t have the capabilities I need—that I know of yet) that forced me to think about time, days, months, etc that I had not thought about it. This world has 14 months, 12 of which have 32 day and 2 that have 11. They all have names, including the days. Fun, yes, practical, sort of—I can add the fantastic element of other to the story that wouldn’t have been there without being made aware. I’ve thrown in dates and minor events way in the past that influence the future. All good things that help set up the current situation. This world has a lot of history culminating in the events that happen with these particular sets of people.

I thought I’d share a few excerpts from a some documents that I’ve made up.

Our subject is the center of many debates here in the Vale. Often we turn away potential candidates on the basis of their capacity to drawn from the wellsource, what has been dubbed in the High Ancient Tongue as órlaíthan—the meaning of which has been argued, but most often is translated as “lip of the well,” though the exact term, as I have state before, more closes means “depth of water source.” Either way, the measurements of órlaíthan had proven to be difficult and rather inaccurate—that is until a few hundred years ago when Mag’us Greesh Kipperling developed a unique Net to measure órlaíthan. Based on his Net and the subsequent measurement of the entire Vale and the known populations of Magi around the globe, I have decided that we need to further this work and create a standard of measurement in terms of absolute and relative measurements. The first we already have—the órlaíthan. The problem with this measurement as it exists is that the number itself is quite meaningless. Have seventy-three ór does not give much insight into the abilities of the person, as this measurement completely ignores strengths of the wellforce user.

from On Órlaíthan, Mag’us Ellwendes est Shorel on 6 Údthalésh 451 New Era

and

Wellforce is often divided into the seven categories of Communication, Healing, Illusion, Meta, Physical, War and Weather….

When talking about wellforce, the conduit of the power is called a filament. This is a general blanket term used for single Marked powers (where Marked is one of the seven catagories described above). For example, “use a filament of Physical to draw a pencil across the room.” In addition, the terms strand and rope are used as well to describe thickness of the filament, however these terms are often not necessary as each user is aware of the thickness needed for most tasks. Next, we have Nets. Nets are the general terms for more complicated castings involving two or more filaments entwined to create a unique effect—I must warn against first experimentation without proper supervision as many students have been lost to improper study and lack of guidence. After Nets, there are also Layers. Like Nets, Layers offer further honing of the art of using wellforce. Layers general add sublety and depth to Nets and and never used to describe with a filament. Layers are tied to Nets with Meta. For an example, to heat a room with an illusory fire, one would entertwine two filaments of Physical and Illusion, one to create heat, the other for the dancing flames, to create a Net. To further this example, say one wishes to make the illusion of a fire that will die over time. Using a filament of Meta to create a layer and timer to another Net of Physical and Illusion that will gradually shift and eventually disappear.

from On Marked Power, Scholar Mag’us Corthen Baurel on 22 Lámorén 627 New Era

Kitty says the blog is almost over.
Kitty says the blog is almost over.

I have written up the curriculum of the school my characters attend (though I haven’t written any texts for those classes—though I’m guessing my poor characters have to read the above texts and many more). These little snippets have helped me define the world, the discoveries and wonders in it and the sorts of people that live there. I still have the creation myth to revise, the pantheon of gods. Thankfully, these tasks are made easy because of the wonderful man who united the world for a brief period given many similar backgrounds and ideas from his time.

I hope you found these little bits fun and maybe they sparked some creation in you, or, a desire to read more in this world!

P.S. I will be opening up enrollment in a live online class, Fiction Workshop, on January 15, 2013 (next Tuesday). Check it out at www.kandrewturner.com and click on Available Courses for more information.

New Year, New Challenges

The new year is upon us, whether we like it or not. I do not typically hold that a new year is the start of something fresh, something new—this does not mean that it is or isn’t. I like to think of life as a continuous moment stretching over time. What happened last week and what happens this week (both in different years) will be similar enough to each other. Basically, this is my way of saying I  don’t do resolutions (at least, not any more). I do not wait to change my life to an arbitrary moment in time, I make small changes throughout my existence to better myself and to better the people around—if I can extend my positive influence that far. I feel this small changes are easier to maintain and hold than monumental changes.

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Mt. San Antonio (aka Mt Baldy) with snow

That said, this new year will bring with it new challenges, and with these challenges, opportunities for growth and experience. I do not know what is in store for me this year, nor do I know what sort of places or situations I will find myself. In the two short days we have had thus far, I’ve had two wonderful moments of beauty in the surroundings of where I live. I was awed at how magnificent the mountains looked, and how nice the sun feels on my back. I’ve had a gorgeous vista of the valley driving down the hill to run to the grocery store. Our world is simply stunning, and I am glad that I experienced two moments thus far. I have also had less pleasant experiences with family members unleashing their rage around me—thankfully not at me. The powerful emotions rocked my usual calm and I felt I needed meditate to help release the residual negative energy. And I’ve had the chance to hear I was loved, the chance to hear I was beautiful, and the chance to know I am wanted around. In two days.

Every day is a chance to change, to see, to be in the world. Every day is a day to reflect on ourselves and those around us. I try as best I can reflect on my day, or week, when I can. I think it is more healthy to reflect more than once a year (though maybe we all do this when we feel a milestone has been passed—very understandable).

I sincerely hope you all have a wonderful year, full of wonderful days and the chance to grow into a better, happier person. That is my wish for the world.

I would like to share with you a few plans/dreams/hopes I have for 2013:

  • publish my novella, novel, or short stories (or all!)
  • publish more poetry
  • attend graduate school
  • write, write, write
  • meet new people
  • love more (I did this last year, and it has made life better)
  • continue on my physical journey
  • enjoy friends and family
  • take a vacation or three

I am sure there will be more that will happen, but these would be nice on top of the life I have. If they do not happen, I will strive for them again and again. Persistence is good as long as that persistence is not against what the universe wishes for you—though I maintain I would not have this drive if I was not supposed to.

Many blessing and much happiness and love to you in 2013.