Summer, Turns Me Inside Out or Ellie Writes Too (when she can)

And yes, that is a reference to a Cars song.

With kids home, then off to camp at vastly different schedules and home again and off again…well, you get the gist. I’m barely getting any work done on my fantasy novel, much less blogging.

On the other hand, I do like what I’m churning out, which is nice.

Here, a Tuesday Teaser of a bit. I was really happy with this bit. Yes, it’s still rough:

“I knew she would die. But hearing it–” He paused. Several deep breaths later he continued. “At least he’s not going to use her as he did the others.”

Faint images from the vision clung to the edges of Ilia’s memory. The mage did not kill quickly or cleanly. Arilla has been spared that at least.

“I’ll help you find her body.” The words were out before Ilia could stop them. They hung in the air of the room as if offering her the chance to unsay them, suspended while the others looked at her, shocked.

So, I’m off to try to write this next scene. At least until it’s time to walk the dogs or feed the cat or …

My Favorite Books #5- Tamora Pierce

Since I can’t possibly pick just one book , this’ll have to be a favorite author day instead!

Tamora Pierce. Love her world building, love her strong women, love her girls growing up into strong women. Fickle gods, magic, mayhem. Yeah, they’re pretty good reads.

If I had to choose my favorite…probably Trickster’s Choice. Love the storyline. But then… for story crafting I really like Terrier. The subtle change and growth in the actual ‘journal’ as the story progresses is wonderful.

My *only* complaint is sometimes the story arc seem to rush towards the end, as if she already has her mind on other things and is ‘done’ with the story so she wraps it up. The Immortals Quartet was the one I found to be the most rushed. But maybe that was just me, wanting the story to last that much longer.

Be sure to check out her website. Lost of good stuff there, including an extensive list of ‘future’ books in the left side bar. Very excited to see some of the future stories she’s already mapping out!

If you like Tamora Pierce, you may also like Sherwood Smith’s Once A Princess (and it’s follow up), Elizabeth Moon’s Paksenarrion series,  Mercedes Lackey’s By The Sword and Kristen Britain’s Green Rider (although I don’t recommend much past the second book in that series).

My Favorite Books #9, A Posse of Princesses by Sherwood Smith

Actually, A Posse of Princesses by Sherwood Smith is one of my daughter’s favorite books and when I asked her for a suggestion she couldn’t believe I hadn’t included it yet.

So here we go. I *have* to use the original cover, it’s much better than the new one as it shows more of the diversity of the group:

And here is the review I wrote back in 2009 on it:

I love fantasy and now have a daughter who loves it too. The good news/bad news is that, while she’s only in first grade she’s reading at a fifth grade or above level. While I’ve been able to find some fantasy books at her reading level that don’t have implied, or semi explicit sex, it’s hard! Even Tamora Pierce, one of my fav authors, won’t work for her. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think sex (implied or semi explicit) is inappropriate to put in books for middle school and above, however I do think my daughter, at six, is too young to read it.
This book, however, is a wonderfully fun, chaste, book. She can’t decide which of the princesses is her favorite and likes them all. And it shows her that, just like people, princesses come in all types, shapes and sizes (and temperaments!) Although I figured out the plot twist pretty early on, the book still worked and the last third, wherein the ‘Posse’ is formed makes up for the plot device. I didn’t like how the ending was handled when I first read it, but it’s grown on me.
Recommended (for you and your precocious daughter if you have one!)

Hope you like it as much as we did (my daughter corrected that to “as much as we do!“)

Almost the end of the year. Time is flying..or is it?

Does it seem like the end of the year is coming more quickly at you than usual this year? I am amazed at how fast this year has seemed to have gone by.

Curious about my sense that time was flying by I began looking up information and I ran across several articles talking about perceptions of time. Basically I found out that as we get older how we experience time changes. Looking further, I found there have been many studies done on perceptions of time but these sentences, from an summary article on Suite101, get to the gist on current thoughts on perception of time:

The theoretical and most widely advanced answer for the subjective acceleration of time with aging says that subjective time is relative to a person’s lifetime. To a 5-year-old, for example, a year seems like a long time, specifically 1/5 of a lifetime. To someone 65 years old, however, a year is 1/65 of a lifetime and seems to pass so quickly as to be hardly noticeable.

Read more at Suite101: Why Does Time Speed Up as One Gets Older?

I’m certain I’m not the only one who can remember traveling as a child and sometimes it seemed like it took forever! to get places. Of course, in hindsight, given the amount of time I had already experienced, it *did* take forever.

Well then, that explained things. Time certainly was flying by at a faster rate than it had before.

As a writer, though, I think about this sense of the passage of time as I write, and even more when I read. Particularly when I come across a paranormal character who has lived for a hundred years (or more!). Part of me simply cannot imagine how these characters experience time.

Given what I’ve experienced, and what I’ve learned about perceptions of time, there seems to be a conundrum of how you would have a character who has lived for many, many years in the mortal world, particularly if they were once mortal, be able to relate to the sense of time a mortal experiences. How does someone, who has supposedly lived for three or four times as long as I have, deal with mere mortals?

Think about it, if the character has supposedly lived two hundred years, a day is 1/73,000 of their life experience. If, as the author above notes, a year is hardly noticeable to someone at sixty five, day to a 200 yr old is a blink of an eye. How can they function and live, even be effective among the necessary time constraints mortals have (and writers place!) on their time?

Of course, then I start thinking solutions, because otherwise my disbelief is no longer suspended and I can’t go on with the story. Given the amount of paranormal stories I read (and write!) I have to come up with some solution to deal with this odd conflict I’ve raised on my own.

One thing which might happen, then, is perhaps their perception of time at whatever age they became paranormal simply halts. Simple and elegant, however there are instances, say waiting interminably in a line, when I’m glad my sense of time has changed. And, personally, I can’t reconcile how someone could experience all those years and not have their sense of time affected. Plus, think about it, there’d be some radical changes in attitude with teenage vamps complaining ‘are we there yet?’

No, for me, personally, that didn’t work.

Hmm, an elegant solution is found in High Fantasy. In most stories long lived characters reside in the mortal world, but their sense of how time runs is influenced by an external world, one which their rhythms are in sync with. In this scenario the long lived paranormal character is both living the days faster (say a month in mortal time is equal to a week of their time, then day is experienced as if it were one quarter of a day) and slower (using the same parameters as above, during one year in the mortal world they will only age three months).

Examples of this are stories of characters who have only lived a season in ‘Elf havens’ coming back home to find years have passed in the mortal world. For me, this then becomes easier to understand that an ‘immortal’, in this situation, experiences time at different pace than mortals do, in part because their ‘clock’ runs at the pace this external location does.

But when you remove this external location, as is frequently (but not always) the case in contemporary paranormal literature, and have former mortals living in a mortal world for hundreds of years, I can’t jive things at all.

For now, I’ve simply let myself agree to suspend my disbelief, but in the back of my mind I still mull it over. Clearly there is no one ‘right’ or correct solution to this, and I’m not sure that anyone but me thinks there needs to be one. It’s just the way my mind works.

On the other hand, those hours long, all night sex sessions some authors include? Well, they make a lot more sense to me now. :-)