Stories from Kestrien – Part 4

In November 2018 I wanted to do NaNoWriMo but knew I wouldn’t be able to manage 50,000 words of coherent narrative at that time. So instead I took the prompt list for World Anvil’s Inktober Challenge, and wrote a prompt a day. I posted them day by day on tumblr, but I’ve reordered them here to make things flow.

The world of Kestrien has three moons, one continent, a hurricane that never stops, and magic coming out of its hypothetical ears. The main narrative takes place in its modern age, nearly 1500 years after a worldwide apocalypse during which one of the moons, Demira, was shattered, and now hangs broken in the sky.

More About Kestrien

Part 4: Before the Fall

Three snippets set on Demira, which was once home to a powerful kingdom (before it, you know, broke). I didn’t write as much for this as the others, partly because it’s full of spoilers for the main narrative. I recommend reading these stories last even though they chronologically take place before everything else. The first (“Poison”) is deep backstory for Zephony, set hundreds of years before the Fall. The other two (“World” and “Treasure”) are set in the Last Days of Demira, which will someday get its own prequel story.

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Stories from Kestrien – Part 3

In November 2018 I wanted to do NaNoWriMo but knew I wouldn’t be able to manage 50,000 words of coherent narrative at that time. So instead I took the prompt list for World Anvil’s Inktober Challenge, and wrote a prompt a day. I posted them day by day on tumblr, but I’ve reordered them here to make things flow.

The world of Kestrien has three moons, one continent, a hurricane that never stops, and magic coming out of its hypothetical ears. The main narrative takes place in its modern age, nearly 1500 years after a worldwide apocalypse during which one of the moons, Demira, was shattered, and now hangs broken in the sky.

More About Kestrien

Part 3: After the Fall

These stories take place between the Fall of Demira and the modern age, and follow two immortals, Zephony and Akana, who are kicking around during that time. (Akana is the one doing most of the kicking.)

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Stories from Kestrien – Part 2

In November 2018 I wanted to do NaNoWriMo but knew I wouldn’t be able to manage 50,000 words of coherent narrative at that time. So instead I took the prompt list for World Anvil’s Inktober Challenge, and wrote a prompt a day. I posted them day by day on tumblr, but I’ve reordered them here to make things flow.

The world of Kestrien has three moons, one continent, a hurricane that never stops, and magic coming out of its hypothetical ears. The main narrative takes place in its modern age, nearly 1500 years after a worldwide apocalypse during which one of the moons, Demira, was shattered, and now hangs broken in the sky.

More About Kestrien

Part 2: City of Light

The city of Vanrillion has been isolated since the Fall of Demira, its tunnels and halls delving ever deeper below the ground. The surface world is lost to them, and the once-great city is shrinking in on itself. Many within make a living of scavenging old technology and old magic. Sometimes they find things better left undisturbed.

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Stories from Kestrien – Part 1

In November 2018 I wanted to do NaNoWriMo but knew I wouldn’t be able to manage 50,000 words of coherent narrative at that time. So instead I took the prompt list for World Anvil’s Inktober Challenge, and wrote a prompt a day. I posted them day by day on tumblr, but I’ve reordered them here to make things flow.

The world of Kestrien has three moons, one continent, a hurricane that never stops, and magic coming out of its hypothetical ears. The main narrative takes place in its modern age, nearly 1500 years after a worldwide apocalypse during which one of the moons, Demira, was shattered, and now hangs broken in the sky.

More About Kestrien

Part 1: The Seagrave Academy

Ever since the Fall of Demira, the people of Kestrien have blamed magic for their misfortunes. Now the island nation of Thari, troubled by the restlessness of the Sea of Storms on their eastern shores, has defied tradition and built the Academy to try and turn sorcery into science.

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Why Gold Looks Golden Instead Of Silver

Today I Learned something really awesome and mind-boggling! So naturally I’m going to geek out about it.

Relativity, in extremely oversimplified terms, is the universal law that when things go fast everything gets weird. Time slows down, mass increases, all the things we think of as constants turn out not to be so constant, you and your twin have an awkward birthday reunion. However, when we say fast, we mean really really fast, measurable fractions of the speed of light: the kind of fast that, in general, does not apply to our day-to-day lives. Relativity is therefore associated most strongly with astrophysics and space technology (satellite-based GPS is the classic example of a real life application) and things that operate on a very, very large scale.

However! It turns out it’s also really important on a very, very small scale.

Atoms, as you may or may not recall, have a nucleus made of protons and neutrons (except for hydrogen, which don’t need no neutrons kthx), and then electrons orbit around this centre like tiny planets around a sun. The number of electrons in particular (and the way they are arranged into layers or shells around the nucleus) is important because they tend to have a big effect on the chemical behaviour of an atom.

But as you start getting into really heavy elements, with big bulky centres, the electrons have to move faster to keep up their orbits. So fast that they are actually moving at… measurable fractions of the speed of light.

And so relativity becomes a Thing.

Which brings us to the title: the reason that gold is yellow in colour is because its electrons are moving fast enough for relativistic effects to apply. Most other metals (apart from copper, which has its own shit going on) are silvery or grey in colour; gold would be too, except that the effects of relativity cause it to absorb more blue light than other colours, making it appear yellow to our eyes.

(It gets even weirder when you go much further along the table, into the semi-charted territory of superheavy elements that are so unstable they don’t exist in nature.)

So there you go. Next time you look at something made of gold, remember that its soft warm pretty colour is because its electrons are screaming around at unthinkable speeds that warp the fabric of spacetime and gobble up blue light!

I think that’s neat.

Further reading: Relativistic Quantum Chemistry (Wikipedia)

February Writing Update

Celestial Chronicle

Chapters 1-4, ~20k words. Started rewriting at the end of January, thought I would just be editing the original text, but then it rapidly became VERY DIFFERENT and required complete rewriting from scratch. So that’s pretty good progress tbh, especially since for the last week I’ve been dealing with high fatigue, and crawling along at a couple hundred words a day.

Goal for March: another four chapters seems good, let’s see if I can hit 40k. With the streamlining that’s going on in this rewrite, that might even take us up to the labyrinth, the kiss, and the whole “wtf is happening in Kyoto” question, but I shall not underestimate my ability to go off on an exciting diversion somewhere along the way…

The Other Side of Twilight (fanfic)

Story 8, “Blood and Promises”. First 4 chapters (18k or so) have been done for like three months and I’m just sloooooowly picking my way through chapter 5. It’s hard work because I’ve got to a point where I need to start explaining some of the core mysteries I’ve been throwing about. And I have the answers, neatly labelled and outlined, but the process of working them into the story without either overloading or going into extended flashbacks is… well, it requires some very careful footwork. Plus I’m feeling out the next bit of Hisoka’s character arc: I know where I want him to end up but he’s just surprised me by taking a slightly different route to get there. And then there’s Muraki being Muraki, and there are some days when I’m not quite up to writing that.

Goal for March: finish “Blood and Promises”, get far enough into “The Road to Hell” to feel confident I won’t need to change anything before I post it.

Tentative outline of remaining stories: Blood and Promises, The Road to Hell, Dead Man’s Gambit, Forever and a Day, Daylight. BUT DON’T HOLD ME TO THAT I MIGHT INSERT ANOTHER ONE SOMEWHERE.

Starborn & Kestrien

I’ve been letting them sit for the month, as I wanted to get CC rolling along well and TOSOT is taking up the rest of my time. Probably going to pick up worldbuilding on them both again. I want to ramble about Starborn in particular, and I’m hoping to get to a point soon where I can write some character one-shots without immediately contradicting myself because I changed my mind. I have private World Anvil sites for both, but so far they’re full of spoilers because I’ve been using them to work out some stuff I want to write. I’m considering making public versions.

Website Stuff

Just a note that I am noodling around with customising my website layout at the moment, so you might see some weird layouts and graphics as I tinker. I was planning to start out with a basic WordPress template but apparently I am Very Picky about what I like in a layout, and I haven’t been able to find anything that works for me, so OFF I GO TO RELEARN PHP…

(Pretty sure no-one’s actually looking right now, but just in case. 😛 )

The Secret Ingredient Is Angst

So far, the Celestial Chronicle rewrite seems to consist mostly of me making Shoichi sad, so, uh… yeah.

It’s partly because I realised that years of writing fanfic had taught me to keep a fairly flat character arc. When people are reading your stuff because they love the characters as they already are, you don’t want to change them too much. In original fiction, though, that translated into my characters entering the story in their Final Form, with all the confidence and determination they should by all rights be earning through the course of the narrative.

For Akemi, the rewrite has meant leaning harder into her impulsive side, and letting her be truly reckless before she learns to be a better leader. For Shoichi, it means a greater emphasis on his loneliness, sense of alienation, and anxiety. I had not quite anticipated how badly I was going to be giving myself feels with this.

And one thing leads to another: if I change the way he sees himself and the world, it changes his relationship with Satoru and his feelings on meeting him again, changes his reaction to becoming Luna, changes his friendship with Akemi. Not, I hope, to an unrecognisable degree. Shoichi is still Shoichi, and he still has some Thoughts on defying genre convention, and Akemi is Trying Really Hard, and Satoru is… probably off listening to Linkin Park somewhere, tbqh. But their edges are rougher. And Shoichi is sad, and I keep having to resist the urge to write the fluffy High School AU version of my own story.

“So I don’t have a choice?”
“You… always have a choice, Luna. You can reject the power of the Guard by returning the medallion to me.”
“And then someone else will take my place?”
“No. You are Guardian Luna; there cannot be another.”
“And if I don’t do it, this… Multitude will just keep taking people’s souls, and eventually destroy the world?”
“That is their goal.”
“Then I don’t have a choice. Not really. Do I?”


Why I’ve Taken Down ‘Celestial Chronicle’

Sol, Luna, and Kestrel do their best impression of a famous Sailor Moon colour illustration
Sol, Luna, and Kestrel do their best impression of a famous Sailor Moon colour illustration

Short Version:

I’m rewriting extensively and have realised that posting chapter-by-chapter doesn’t work for me. The plan is to turn the series into a trilogy of three novels, and I’m aiming to have the first book (Web of Shadows) done this year. Follow this blog for updates, and I’ll also be posting more on Twitter and Tumblr as I go.

Long Version:

Celestial Chronicle is my anime-esque magical girl series that I started writing in 2015 with the intention of publishing it serially on my website and on Archive of Our Own. It stalled when I ran into a combination of writer’s block and the first bout of what turned out to be Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

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Blog, Blogger, Bloggest

Is this thing on?

It’s weird how things go in circles. I used to have Livejournals (childofatlantis was my main) until the site fell apart. I moved to Dreamwidth (brightwanderer) and put my fanfic on AO3 (Atalan), but never really found the sort of community that I’d had on LJ. Eventually I got on Tumblr (seaskystone), but I’ve found that I don’t like it for text-heavy content, and now it’s heading down the same death spiral as LJ in the war between content producers and advertisers.

So here I am starting an Actual Blog and feeling weirdly old-fashioned about it, even though blogging has never really gone away. I also feel like I should be producing only Serious Blog Content or something. That, uh. That may not happen. I like to shitpost as much as anyone.

Anyway this is where you will find my Very Important Thoughts on writing, on various useful things I’ve learned and would like to share, and on my current creative projects. There may occasionally be Bad Art to illustrate my progress in teaching myself to draw. There will probably be random updates about my life. And there will definitely be cat pictures.

I am blep cat see me blep
I am blep cat see me blep