March Writing Update

So much for the best-laid plans… I’ve been battling a persistent bout of increased fatigue and immune system symptoms (which I refer to as phantom flu, and which ironically I was planning to write a blog post about this month). That’s taken up most of March.

Celestial Chronicle

Managed about 5k words of Idiot Nerds Go On Dates But Don’t Realise They’re On Dates (very important content). Sincerely wish I could draw well enough to do a manga-style page of Shoichi and Satoru having their simultaneous OH NO HE’S HOT moment.

Goals for April: I think I’m going to try a min-max approach: minimum goal is writing chapters 6 and 7, stretch goal is getting to chapter 10.

The Other Side of Twilight

Suddenly realised I’d taken a wrong turn and needed to rewrite and rethink slightly. Which is fine but has slowed me down somewhat.

Goals for April: Finish at least one more chapter of Blood and Promises. Hopefully finish the whole thing and start work on The Road to Hell.

Starborn

Been working on the general worldbuilding and specifics of immediate backstory. Figured out several major things that were holding me up. The nice thing about worldbuilding is that it’s possible to do it while curled up in bed feeling too unwell to sit at a computer, and I can jot down notes on my phone. This month I’ve gone from “not ready to write anything set in this universe yet” to “okay I just need to finish coming up with names for the technobabble and characters and then I can jump in”, so that’s awesome at least!

Goals for April: maybe write a few prompts or something? I want to get CC back on track though, so we’ll see how things go.

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.

Continue reading →

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.)

Continue reading →

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.

Continue reading →

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.

Continue reading →

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)