November 7th, 2015


When East-West Isn't

Wow. It was back on 12 September 2015 -- 56 days ago -- that I posted my last big writing update (DW) (LJ) on the YA series. So much for weekly reports.

It's a week into November, which means a number of people I know are getting into NaNoWriMo -- National Novel Writing in a Month -- which sets a 50,000 word "novel" goal. That's low, but it does inspire some writers, even pros, to put in the Sit In Chair time and churn out some kinds of words. As I say every year, I don't participate in NaNoWriMo because November is a tough academic month, even though last year I actually managed 53,035 words (DW) in the month of November. It wasn't NaNoWriMo, because I don't do NaNoWriMo -- I was just trying to create my YA Lost Kingdom series.

After being off from Christmas to Labor Day, it's been a little rough this semester. Three weeks of a lingering cold also sapped time and energy. Writing has slowed, but that's pretty reasonable. I'm working on editing Book 1 and finishing Book 2 here and there. A typical writing day is 500-1000 words, but that's not every day. Still... forward progress is progress!

Today's little detour involved a simple set of observations in the beginning of A Princess of a Lost Kingdom. Walking along a dirt road near sunset on Thursday 15 September 2016, just above the Arctic Circle, I had to actually calculate two things.

First, I needed to figure out when the sun would drop behind the mountains in the west. The mountains of Eisbergen aren't very tall -- 600 to 900 feet -- though as is typical for Norway, they are quite steep. If you're standing in Summer Home at the roots of the mountains, they look plenty big. But what's the angle for a 900 foot mountain seven miles away? It's arctan (y/x), of course, but damn... the calculator next to me is a business calculator. No trig functions. And the HP-48G in the drawer I haven't used in years? It came on, sort of, but needs new batteries. So I used the Windows 7 Calculator in Scientific mode:

There's a very nice website I've been using at which has calculators for sunrise, sunset, twilight and moonrise, moonset for places all around the world and years into the future. Obviously, Summer Home or Nunuuvit aren't in their database -- it's a secret kingdom, after all -- so I chose Bodø, Norway, which is a bit north of the kingdom. Click on an individual day and you can slide the moon or sun along and find its position and elevation in the sky:

When does the sun disappear behind the mountains along the walk from Old Fields Halt?
15 September 2016 for Bodø – 6pm 8° , 6:50pm 3°, 7pm 1-2° . Sunset 7:32pm 279°W. (All times in CEST -- Central European Summer Time.)

Second, I originally wrote that the farm road headed "due west". But due to the coastline trends along Norway, I tilted my map of Eisbergen, so that "due left" isn't "due west". And then the farm road itself, isn't horizontal on the map:

So I pulled a compass rosette off of Wikipedia and superimposed the North reference from my map, along with a line that follows the farm road. Yeah, the sun is NOT going to be straight in your eyes at sunset. (edit-edit-edit...)

Version 1.16, the latest published Map of Eisbergen, is here.

All very cool. And I haven't even commented on the Syrian refugees spreading across Europe in this post, but I've incorporated that, too.

New Researches: The Armenian Genocide. Armenians -- The largest Armenian populations today exist in Russia, the United States, France, Georgia, Iran, Lebanon, and Syria. With the exceptions of Iran and the former Soviet states, the present-day Armenian diaspora was formed mainly as a result of the Armenian Genocide. The Armenian Apostolic Church is the world's oldest national church. Liturgically speaking, the Church has much in common both with the Latin Rite in its externals, especially as it was at the time of separation, as well as with the Eastern Orthodox Churches. Mo i Rana, Norway to Stockholm, Sweden, 1000 km via the E4. Hotel Kungsträdgården - The King´s Garden Hotel, Stockholm. Brasserie Makalös (Peerless) is a French brasserie located in the Hotel Royal Garden in the heart of Stockholm. "We are a cashless restaurant." The Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Utrikesdepartementet). A soul cake is a small round cake which is traditionally made for All Hallows' Eve, All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day to commemorate the dead in the Christian tradition. A precursor to Trick-or-Treat, children and adults would go "souling" and sing for cakes. In 1963, the American folk group Peter, Paul and Mary recorded this as "A' Soalin", including all the verses as well as parts of "Hey, Ho, Nobody Home" and "God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen" (which are traditionally associated with Christmas).

The Shiny Counters for the first two books stand at:
Book 1 (103,663 words)

Book 2 (83,015 words)

A Princess of a Lost Kingdom is still top heavy, but amazingly I am still under 105,000 words, so there is still hope. (grin) I am in the Edit Pass 6 complete read through, en route to producing the Book 1 Beta 2 reader books, as well as Beta 1 Service Pack 1, which incorporates the main chapter changes from Beta 1, so Beta 1 readers don't have to wade through a whole book if they don't want to. Need to watch out for version fatigue. (you're-welcome)

The Loneliness of a Lost Kingdom is in Edit Pass 2, with two chapters added recently. As soon as I have those finished or roughed in sufficiently, I'll start reading Book 2 all the way through for names, continuity, story flow -- then tackle the niggling issues of overused words, etc. Book 2 Beta 1 is coming!


Dr. Phil
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Crossposted on LiveJournal