As we leave April and move into May, it's time for another monthly accountability post. This is not only for my website but also my patrons and other subscribers.
Most of the month was caught being distracted by technical difficulties of getting my fantasy website, fedran.com, migrated over to Gatsby. While I got it “working” last month, I still have a twenty-something list of features I use on the site for my own writing. I figured I'll work on them over time since they were smaller items and “easier” to do over a few days.
The first one I decided to do was timelines. This was not a small task. Not even in the slightest bit. Four weeks of obsessing and I just got it working today. Not even all the character- and organization-specific timelines, but I got one of the more important ones which is showing the entire world in a single shot.
Sadly, that obsession plus professional distractions (read, “obsessions”) meant I did not have a very productive month for writing.
I've continued posting my weekly chapters. April covered consecutive weeks 250 through 253 of my weekly goals.
- Allegro 16-19: This month was Linsan's struggles with her failure to find the murderers and thieves. I love these part of the story, where things look bleak, but it's going to get considerably more cheerful with the next week.
On the short story side, I only had one by the end of the month:
- Illegal Traditions is a story about a mother who tries to ensure her daughter experiences a single moment of terror to manifest her magic.
I did write the first part of another short story, Things Are Different Here which is a continuation of Tsubàyo's romance and integration with his new clan that started with Hard Work Into the Evening. I'm hoping to finish this story in the next week or so.
Both of these stories were an intended effort to contrast with pretty much all of Rutejìmo and Desòchu's upbringing. As was brought up many times while sending Raging Alone through my writing group, the Shimusògo are really terrible people from today's standards.
There were a few reasons for the Shimusògo and how they treat their children. However, as much as I try to explain it, I don't seem to be communicating it well. The Shimusògo are effectively a rural clan, very isolated from much of the world.
With a smile, she took them and returned to the furrow. “My father was Pabinkúe but I never was good at riding horses. They were too delicate for me. But, you never know which spirit is going to call you so I spent my summers at the various clans in the area. There are twenty-one within a day's travel.”
Tsubàyo was speaking before he realized it. “There are only four within walking distance of Shimusogo Valley.”
The clan's isolation drives a lot of their decisions. They are small and don't have a lot of support structure with allies. Unlike Fimúchi growing up with twenty-one clans within a short distance of her home, they can't just find a bone setter, a midwife, or even someone to handle the dead. They are also relatively poor (the entire driver for the plot of Sand and Bone) and have no buffer if they encounter a crisis.
This means they need everyone to work together. With everyone working constantly, they can't afford to have brawling or coddling someone who can't carry their own weight. Given that they don't have much, there are only a few things they can control that would help them survive: the power of their clan.
As tragedy means power, that means they have to maximize the stress to trigger the most powerful magic possible. They started by making the shock as traumatic as possible.
Time does change things though. The clan didn't start off being raging assholes. But, as the generations went on, idea builds on top of idea. Plans on top of plans until no one really remembered why they should be treating their children like crap.
However, while submitting Allegro to the writing group, I realized that I had written a disparity that I was not happy with. While the clan are assholes to their children, the parents in Allegro are kind and loving. That got me to worrying that I was revealing a bias in my writing in having my non-white families be cruel compared to my white families.
After looking through the stories, I think there are a few places where I haven't written. It may have been a bias or bigotry on my part, but I'm the one person who can't tell that. What I can tell is that I need to write stories about terrible parents in bother parts of the continent. Hence, Illegal Traditions.
Plus, it gave me a chance to learn how to write “white woman's tears”.
Hopefully, in the next month, I'm going to finish Things Are Different Here where we get to see one of the survivors of the Shimusògo recovering from that same abuse. Well, hopefully. Recovering from a terrible situation is one of the common stories that show up in my writing.
That leads me into my plans for May:
- Continue Allegro. I only have one chapter left in the buffer and I really want to get to the “one bed” scene voted on by my patrons.
- Three short stories. I will probably continue the theme of terrible parents and recovery into May.
- Get the 85% point on the Fedran website conversion.
As usual, let me know if you like any stories or want to see new topics or themes. I'm deeply thankful for my subscribers through Patreon and other places. Your help has been wonderful in encouraging me.