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Eliza’s Notes - 02: Age of Flight

Now seems to be a good point to declare that we are in a new age. We will call this one the age of flight.

Back on Aughylia, flight was possible with magic, but rarely done because of the control it would require over the flow of magic to keep the vessel aloft. Designs for vessels that could actually fly properly were pursued, vessels designed on the flight of birds or of insects, but no serious funding ever was put forth to make a practical and proper vessel. As such, with the death of the first few generations and the stories they were passed down by the colonists, all knowledge of such things were dismissed completely.

It was a Hokeno pursuit, of course. Who else, they are the ones born with birdlike feathers, and they were always the ones most interested in the magic wings that James used. If I had to bet on anyone inventing flight I would have put my money on it being a Hokeno first. But what I wasn’t expecting was the form it would take. I was expecting a birdlike vessel, with wings, instead what they invented was the hot air balloon. A mere party favor in Aughylia days given to children, using the principle of heated air being lighter than regular air. But they have perfected it.

The initial invention just supported one person. A large leather bladder, inflated and heated, with a canopy below it for the person to sit, with a tank for fuel and a geared rowing device to cycle large paddles to go forward or backwards. The initial ship wasn’t much, and it couldn’t get very far on its fuel supply before running out and falling to the ground, but it worked, and for the first time in Vaudios history the people flew in the air. From there the designs were improved, refined, adjusted, and expanded, leading to the advanced state of today. Now we have multi-chambered air vessels, capable of carrying multiple passengers and cargo, capable of traveling up to sixty miles per hour, and capable of flying long distances without having to land and refuel. With this newfound flight, people have expanded out and explored.

From these explorations, we’ve gotten a fair detail of what our current landmass is like now. The continent we are on is consistent of two land masses linked by a small land pass halfway across, the entire length from east to west spanning roughly four thousand miles. We’re on the far western end of this continent, the landmass north to south on this half has a rough average length of about fourteen hundred miles, and on the other half the average north to south length is about seven hundred miles. Another landmass is reportedly to the north, but it’s too far for air travel with current technology, and sea travel isn’t really pursued for any significant distances yet.

Other than expeditions to the eastern half of the continent, there hasn’t been any human influence there. But here on the western half there has been expansion, all along the west coast and inland now multiple settlements have spread and begun growing. With a large enough spread of population now I can freely wander among the populations again without people realizing I shouldn’t belong, as I just fit in as any other old person who appears to be traveling on her own. Crime is on the rise, but of course that’s to be expected as the population gets larger, and so larger, proper police forces have risen from the older volunteer security detail.

As the population grows, and technology expands, new careers are born and no longer is everyone just working in farms, although still much is based on the movement and delivery of food. Vehicles are constructed to aide on farms, or move food from farms. Warehouses are built and staffed with people to sort and transport the food. Roads and corridors laid to support the vehicles transporting the food, and stores and bakeries and restaurants built to distribute food to the people. Water is much the same, as people have carried on the plumbing and water distribution networks quickly established upon arrival on Vaudios in our original colony, so dams divert water, water filtration and treatment makes it clean and safe for consumtion, plumbers and pipefitters move the water through the towns, and sewers carry the waste to be processed and used for fertilizer. Just by matter of course for the population, there’s not much purely academic pursuit yet, or significantly developed sole entertainment industries, but they are slowly emerging and leading to such things as the development of flight we have reached.

I have myself taken a balloon flight just recently. It wasn’t one of the long explorative endeavors, just from the northernmost settlement to the southernmost one, but seeing the land from above it is quite something else. Everything looks so tiny, like a model, and it’s clear to see we’ve touched so little of just the land that we have already spread to, much less the planet. There were never any clear globes of Vaudios that I remember seeing as a child, but from what I do remember of glancing up at it during it’s perigee is most of the middle of the world is covered by a significantly large series of continents, and so I suspect the one we’re on now may be one of the smallest landforms. There’s a long time to go yet before we fully tame this world. So long that I do not myself even expect to see it now, just as a matter of course that some accident will likely take my life before that.



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Date: 02 Feb 2016 - 08:59
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2016: The Year I Write 7 Books

It's been four years now since I started doing NaNoWriMo. In that time I've written five books. Three which were completed, two which were not, and one of which was written outside of the actual November period. And while they've only been read by people who know me personally, I do intend on getting them published and available for the public to purchase. A Much Needed Vacation, the one I wrote in 2014 has been undergoing continual editing, and hopefully be good enough to go sometime this year, the other two complete ones aren't long enough so will need some more writing to them, and the two incomplete ones I intend to complete and possibly look at submitting to publisher. 

But even with those five books all or mostly written, I've started a lot more books that have very little done to them. Some just outlines, some a few chapters were written. I've got such a huge backlog of things I've already started that it would take a drastic step to catch up on it all. And so that's what I'm going to do. Take that drastic step. And write them all in NaNoWriMo-like blitzes. Every even month this year I'll hit a book from the backlog, as well as November itself. The three books of the Spiral Island trilogy, the sequel story to The Pocketwatch, all of the rest of Red Ice, and two more books in the same universe of Spiral Island that are in particular related to Vacation, which together with the miniseries Eliza's Notes which will be posted over the year will complete that arc of that story. That's almost everything that's currently on my backlog, the only remaining thing being the text adventure I've been working on, which I was going to do December but shelved it when I realized there was a lot more content then could be written out in a single book and I didn't want to wait a year to get back to novelizing it since I had everything else scheduled.

And so that's the plan. Seven months, seven novels. The off months will be for other software development, and try to get some kind of game work done, but for this year I plan on mind dumping into written pages. 

I still have to wonder if it still counts as a novelization of a video game if the book version ends up coming out before the game does...



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Date: 17 Jan 2016 - 20:30
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Eliza’s Notes - 01: Age of Sorrow

A time of great mourning. The people are filled with sorrow. The end of an era has now come to pass.

The final colonist to survive, Hellen, has died. She outlived everyone else by a long amount, living past my own ‘death’ for about twenty years, making her final age, if I’m doing the math right, to be nearly a hundred years old. Or maybe over a hundred. It took me some time to get the conversion defined properly and I may have lost a few years in there. Nonetheless, a great funeral was held honoring her memory, and with it the memory of all who came from Aughylia, and in its aftermath, the people of Vaudios are now lost, unsure of where they will go next.

Vaudios. The name they have taken for this world. Derived from an old Varilan language from the colony name, Vau Dios, new Dios. The town itself retains the name New Ildios, though. There are many differences on Vaudios than Aughylia, things that were strange to all of us from Aughylia but the new generations on this world don’t understand when we try to describe the differences.

The lack of significant seasons, for one, as this planet’s axis has no tilt and stays constant, although some semblance of seasons come into play once Aughylia moves into the path to the sun and absorbs some of our light, as our worlds share the same plane of orbit on the path to the sun. It’s not quite large enough to completely eclipse us, but the lessened solar output during that transition has been enough to effect the weather for at least a month or so. Vaudios’s moon, however, appears much larger in the sky than both the sun and Aughylia does, and while the orbit seems to suggest it would be quite rare, with it’s slow orbital period of 41 days any eclipsing from that could lead to some significant and immediate temperature drops during that transition period.

Since there are no regular seasons, defining a year is done by the stars, and it takes a whole 587 days to orbit our sun, a whopping 244 days longer than on Aughylia. The people are still using a converted year rate from Aughylian time, but I suspect with the last Aughylian dead now it will quickly fall to the wayside. Part of the night sky is unfamiliar to people and they’ve been making new constellations, as we seem to be in the southern hemisphere of Vaudios, and the Ildios continent was in the northern hemisphere of Aughylia and there were relatively few who had traveled to the south and knew its stars.

In conversations I had with Hellen after James left our world, she mentioned she had learned from visions about the plan Dean Yan had for repopulating this world led to his choices for population for the immediate growth of the world. The needs of the first generations fulfilled, the more recent generations have been more varied in what they’ve been seeking. On Aughylia, inter-species coupling was met with taboo and scorn, and any children of such pairings were met with mocking and violence. Now people are trying to shake off that ancient tradition of hate. Unfortunately, while all five species are capable of producing children with each other, a trait no doubt attributed to the genetic modifications by that evil power the original colonists of Aughylia escaped from, in practice it seems the taboo apparently rose from practical results, as it seems the chances of a child successfully coming to term are very low as no such pregnancy has yet been successful.

The lessons of James are not yet forgotten. The curse by the lord of the underworld, an amusing term comparing to Aughylian lore I’ve come to hear describe James’s final transformed state before he left, still weighs heavy on everyone’s minds as people actively try not to fall to the sins prescribed on each of the individual species. A significant effort is put into their everyday lives to include regular inter-species mingling, with policies for mixed-species councils, staffing, and so on. It seems, as they have come to take it, the best way to avoid falling into the sins is for them to never allow themselves to be isolated in large groups of any single species, a policy which seems to be working, but for how much longer as the population grows it can be sustained I do not know.

For now, at least, the people are getting along well enough. Food needs are met, with great effort, and the town expands steadily. The nature of magic use has changed from what I knew on Aughylia, with one species not able to use magic at all and the rest much more significantly limited by the lack of free energy to cast with geomancy, but people have fallen into new roles with working their magic into their day to day lives. The roles of healers are ever significant, more so with the dangers this untamed land presents, but the healing has expanded from the old world’s belief that just the Light magic that individuals such as myself and the Pol’ech can perform, as people have begun finding ways to apply the elemental magics in certain ways to accomplish different injury and illness treatments. With the Hokeno and the Raln the only ones capable of casting the complete gamut of elemental magic, though, there’s been an attempt to scale back from elemental magic as a reliance to just an aide, only assisting them ease work that they’re otherwise able to do without it.

All in all, things are doing fine so far. Once they pull themselves past the mourning of the last deaths of the Aughylians, the town will move forward, grow, and prosper. I await a view at where they decide to push forward from here, where they decide to go next as a people.



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Date: 01 Jan 2016 - 19:58
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NaNoWriMo IV: Week 4 Report

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to meet my goal. I never caught back up to goal from last week, and Friday and Saturday left me exhausted so I didn't get anything done on either of them. Current word count is 63.3k, a far shy from the 72.5k it would need to be to be on par for this week. Partially I kind of got lost the last few days, and wasn't really sure where I wanted to go with the story next which made me put off going to it. And with tomorrow being the last day of NaNoWriMo, unfortunately that means this one won't be complete. I'll have one more chance tomorrow to write more during the November, and hopefully I can close the gap some more so it's less than a whole 10k behind, but we'll see.



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Date: 29 Nov 2015 - 22:31
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NaNoWriMo IV: Week 3 Report

End of the third week, now it's the end of Sunday. This last week I did the opposite of the two before it: managed to keep up every day of the week, then fell behind at the weekend. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I got hardly any writing done because of various reasons of getting distracted. I've passed the 50k mark of NaNoWriMo goal, but I'm currently about 4800 words short of my own goals for this point. This week we go into Thanksgiving and Black Friday. I have an earlier schedule Thanksgiving and I'm off for Black Friday, so I should be able to make up the time and get back on track again by Friday, but I'll also have to write ahead to cover Saturday's because I'll be busy all of Saturday, so we'll have to see how it goes.

I haven't specifically gone into writing any entries about plot points of this one because of the material. I decided sometime back that I was going to basically split my approach: books related to indie games I have planned will also be done indie way and I'll self-publish (given that half of them are going to be novelization versions of games I'm working on), whereas books that are original works unrelated to any of that I'll possibly look into getting published by a publisher. I say possibly because the state of traditional publishing is of course pretty hard to get into, and it's really not that friendly to the author, but I'm not going to get into a rant on that right now. But this book is an original work, and so to not risk publishers turning it away for not being able to get first-publication rights, I'm not going to go into any specifics of this here.



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Date: 22 Nov 2015 - 22:42
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