Sand and Blood 17, Flight of the Scions 23, magical healing, and power addiction

Both chapters this week deal with the interplay of differing personalities working together. I didn't intended it to line up, but it was interesting that it did. I like cooperative stories. I love it when people work together instead of infighting or going their own way. That is reflected in some of my writing, more so with these two “three character” novels that I apparently wrote but didn't realize it until I wrote this.

Sand and Blood 17: An Evening Run

One of the topics I haven't seen frequently in novels is the idea of addiction. These teenagers (or young folks) gain these super powers and can do tremendous powers. Excluding the ones that just turn evil right away, there isn't much about what it is like to have these powers. Most of the time we get a short montage training session and then they are off.

In my world, stronger powers are addictive since there is a rush of power and an euphoria that comes with it. For the Shimusògo, the surge comes from running at high speed and having the power of the clan spirit flowing through it. A long time ago, I once was a rather obscure anime about a bunch of girls who raced down a ramp and performed long jobs. One of the major themes in that story was this burst of light as they lost themselves into the run and they had a “perfect” sprint. While Rutejìmo will (probably) never experience that rush, that anime drama does make its mark in this chapter.

This is also the point where “Shimusògo Run” became the clan motto. I may have used it earlier, but this was the first time. They run, it is the only thing they do to touch their spirit and that brief touch with a god-like being is addictive. They find peace in running. If you look through this novel and the next, you may notice that every Shimusògo runs when they are stressed or need to calm down. That is all tied into this idea of joy of running (something I personally never have experienced).

Oh yeah, and Rutejìmo learns how to throw fireballs using a rocks.

Read Sand and Blood 17: An Evening Run at

Flight of the Scions 23: Midnight

There is a lot in this chapter, but one I can't talk about until book four of this series. There are a lot of little hooks with the rest of the series throughout this book, I have all four planned, but they are (hopefully) subtle ones that won't be obvious until later. We'll see if I'm that awesome in three years.

So, you may notice the casual healing in this chapter. It was right before I read a book on RPG design that explained how magical healing was a crutch. I had already established that Virsian has magical healing and decided not to change it. Instead, healing became one of the rarest of magical talents (right up with folding) in my fantasy world and the dalpre is one of those rare individuals. Actually, that ended up leading me into an idea for another book, Her Hidden Claws, which if I write it, would be her story as a little girl finding out about her powers.

This is a world-building chapter in that it talks a bit about dalpre. In my world, they are a crafted race of humans that were spliced with animal features. There are some other traits encoded into them, much like Mercedes Lackey's Black Gryphon, which I adored. Some of them are obvious, some less so. The biggest is that the child of a dalpre is always a dalpre. They are also vulnerable to mental domination (seen in the “red ball” chapter from earlier) and orders.

This chapter also gives a hint of Kanéko's compassion when she worries about the horse she injured a few chapters later. The hardest part is that she is a teenage girl, she doesn't always do the right thing, but she means well. In many ways, she is more heroic than Rutejìmo, but she also treated her weakness as a challenge instead of something to accept.

Read Flight of the Scions 23: Midnight (subscribers)


So, this little micro-conversation showed up on Twitter.

I never really thought about it before, obviously, and I went back and italicized all of the conlang words in Sand and Blood. Because of that, I didn't want to go back and remove all those words (though it required a lot more effort on my part). Also, in Flight of the Scions, the language is very important to the plot and I use both notationally translated ("you bitch") and untranslated words (barichirōma) rather heavily. After a bit of thinking, I decided to keep the italics in place because it was a visual indicator that a different language was being spoke.

The reason I decided to leave it in the Sand series (because everyone is speaking the same language) was consistency with Kanéko's story.

The hard part is deciding what to do with the telepathy. I foolishly included a lot of that in this novel also and there are times when I have all three languages being used in the same chapter (though I don't think in the same paragraph). I know that I'm going to use guillemet for telepathy, such as «You can hear this in your mind.» I originally got the idea from Diane Duane's So You Want To Be a Wizard series which I absolutely adore. She used parenthesis in there but I drifted slightly from the original idea.

Now, the other difference was that when I originally wrote it, telepathy was sans-serif while the rest was serif. That changed two years ago when I wrote Journals of Fedran because I used sans-serif for out-of-world elements and serif for in-world. I'm inclined to keep that convention, which means I'll probably leave telepathy italicized and serif.


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Sand and Ash progress

I ordered the proof of the new Sand and Blood with its shiny cover. I'm also waiting for the editor for Ash. Once I get that, I have a little bit of page shuffling to add some extra cruft at the back (for its license and advertising of the other books in the series). It's taking a while, but I'm almost there and that excited me.

Missing Files

The electronic copies of the files are still missing, I'm obsessing about getting the books out and I don't think I'll have the recovered until after July 16th.