Pre-NaNo (and II)

OK, final wordcount before NaNo. Local time, NaNo 2005 will start in Europe (CET) in, roughly, 17 minutes. For me, it's still 1 hour and 17 minutes ahead. Advantages (or not) of living in UTC. *grin*.

Thus, with my valient Samians just past the garrison in Kanopos, about to head against the Canaanites, it will be a really interesting starting point for the NaNo counter... :-)

Thus, for the record, final pre-NaNo wordcount: 40,161 words.

Good luck to everybody (Scott, finish that book! :-P ) and happy new pagan year!


Pre-NaNo (1)

$ cat Inaros_advancing_20051031a.txt | perl wc.pl

W: 39677 (MP: 158.708, PP: 79.354), %: 33.0641666666667

I mean, why should I do the Math when I can program the computer to do so for me? :-)

That means that I have 39,677 words, which corrrespond, roughly, to 33.1% of the planned 120Kw, and would be around 159 manuscripted pages, and about half the published pages (about 80 pages of printed pages in a typical A5 format, like a pocket book would be).

And this is almost the last actualization I will do before NaNoWriMo starts tonight.

I plan a further update which will reset my partial counter to 0 words, tonight. Then the goal of adding 50Kw in the following 30 days.

After I celebrate Samhain, that is.

In Wicca, the most blessed and sacred of the dates will start at the sunset(*), and marks the end of this year, the death of the God, the beginning of the Winter, and of the New Year. Time of cultivating the inner self, of instrospection of our darker corners, to explore the framework of the Chrone, when the Powers are closer to our physical world. It's the time to let the germen of new things to come to sleep and gain strength, to lie dormant in the darkness until the solstice will bring back the Light with the rebirth of the God. Samhain is the time of becoming one with the Lunar aspects of ourselves, and to explore the relationship between the sacred and the mundane in the Dark.

In Erisinism, it marks nothing in special, but nevertheless we are in the Aftermath, the last Season of the year, and the last Holiday will be Afflux, which falls in 50th Aftermath, or December 8th. Anyway, it's only fitting that, as Discordians, we celebrate the festivities we see fit, as per Divine inspiration, without any given rule if it fits the fnord of the cause...

Therefore, to all neo-pagans that celebrate Samhain (which, incidentally, is read as if written in English, "sawain", and it's the name of November in Irish Gaeilge), and to all the Christians that heredated it through St. Patrick (although they celebreate a different thing), Most Blessed Night of the Dead to you all!


* Note: tonight's Samhain if you live in the northern hemisphere of the planet, that is... If you live southernly, then it will be Bealtaine for you, which is the opposite and complimentary to Samhain... Celebrate with joy!


Nile, Nile, Nile... Courante tumultuesse!

(Paraphrasing the off-voice at the start of the film Astérix et Cléopatre)

Yep, added almost 4K words to the counter. Not all of them, my current batch is still on the Palm, as I prefer to have the context handy.

I had several (way too many!) problems depicting the arrival of the Delian League fleet to Kemet, remember? (search the archives for the exact posts). Well, I've solved several of them by a clever twist of the story and an intelligent handling of circumstances.

I cheated, OK.

After a chat with a local priest on a coastal little town, the Delian League has splitted in two, a head of 40 triereis (the two Samian squads) and the bulk of the fleet behind with the cargo ships. Our valiant Samians have strived and worked double time to reach the Canaanite fleet moving to attack the Rebellion by its rear. May the Force be with... Ops! Wrong track. [Changes track] Right. The Samians have finally arrived to Kanopos (Canopus), which gives ---at the time, we are travelling in a Time Warp, ok? Thus let's jump to the left, and then a step to the right... uh, well, OK---, it gives, I was saying, its name to that branch of the Hapi (Nile).

BTW, I learned that Nile comes through latin Nilus, greek Neilos, either from the semitic root nhr (*nah(a)r-, in arabic nahr) which means "river", or "current"; or from ancient babilonian nilum, flood. Both are possible, of course: nilum has no secrets, and nhr could be (personal, wild, just-for-fun, speculation from now on) *neheru in egyptian, which a greek would easily convert into *ne(h)eros. The pass from r to l is well documented in most languages, under certain circumstances; thus from *neheru <- *nehelos. Now, the "h" went probably mute, as greeks fancied rough spirit at the start of the word, but not in the middle, and this produced a natural lengthening of the second "e": (consider the hat, "^", as a macron) 'ê' -> 'i', which, on the other hand, is what's commonly happened to greek, from eta to "i".

Therefore, *neheru <- *ne(h)êlos <- *neilos.

Fun, isn't it? Yeah, well, I digress...

OK, the Samians will meet the Phoenicians first, and therefore ensue the presents Inaros gave Leocritos and Hegesagoras, which is archaeological evidence. Clever, uh? ;-)

Be well.




Not me -although I'm a bit too tired for my tastes- but Wilusa... Illion fell under the pawns of Agammemnon's.

Effectively, I have already finished Gisbert Haef's Troja. Again, he has managed to trap me, surprise me, astonish me... This trip back to the Bronze Era has been illuminating, indeed. At the risk or repeating myself, when I grow up as a writer, I want to be like him!

Now I'm back to The Libyan, and documenting myself on the Egyptians, thanks to an english translation of a Polish author titled The Twilight of Ancient Egypt. I Millenium BCE, by Karol Myśliwiec... It deals, among other times, with my period of Achaemenid Egypt... Got it at a great price (used, but in good condition) in Amazon Marketplace...




I have finally launched myself to read Gisbert Haef's Troja.

I was actually scared that after reading two other HF books on the Illiad, my last year Nano novel project (Damned Linneage, retelling the story of the family of OEdipos of Thebes as if it were historical fact, depicting as exact a Mykeanean culture as I may be able to), which was set some 100 years before the events of Troy, and the (entertaining but horrible) Brad Pitt's movie, I'd be too fed up with the subject and wouldn't enjoy the book. It's happened the same with Alexander the Great (thus I haven't yet read his books on him, though I will, later).

Anyway, I have enjoyed so much the novels I've read of Gisbert Haefs, and his way of writing, of dominating history, culture, warfare, characters, vocabulary, scene management, and basically every aspect of all his novels I've read so far (Hannibal, The First Death of Marcus Antonius and Hamilcar's Garden) that I was scared to spoil the joy because I was uninterested.

So, I've waited until the book called me. And it did. It's fantastic so far. He is certainly a master storyteller, one of the best I've met so far (okay, there are loads of fantastic writers all throughout History, don't push me to choose!).

Wilusa... The name given to Illion by the luvites, who were kin to the hittites, of indoeuropean origins... (see my note about it and Chariots of War in the PD of this entry).

Wilusa... It reminds me of times gone by, where men were so different to us and yet so similar... My greatest complaint of the recent Troy movie was that they changed a fantastic story for all times, to one mediocre only aplicable to the current, western civilization.

Like Gilgamesh (go and read it if you haven't yet!!!), the Illiad speaks of basic, pure, timeless human feelings, worries, the core of humanity... Now retold by Haefs, with a very different source and method, but, as far as I have read, the same background intention: to explore the foundations of humanity through its history and myths.

When I grow up (as a writer), I want to be like him... :-)

My novel has not progressed much, I'm pretty busy in RL and my writing time is so reduced I am intending to at least simply read a bit (and that's a victory)... Hopefully things will be better for next month, and for Nano. We'll see.

Ah, Wilusa...


Aside about Chariots of War: Apropos to Wilusa, and curiously, but probably not surprising at all, one of my favourite computer games is Chariots of War, published by Paradox/Slitherine (link here), (pretty nice guys in general).

It's a turn-based strategical game, with action 3D battles, based on the Eastern world, from Libya and Thrace to the west, to roughly Bactriana and Sogdiana in the East, based on Bronze age civilizations (Arzawas, Hittites, Luvites, Ugarites, etc... dozens of different tribes for all the (known) world, really fascinating) and its variety of units and necessities to play both short campaigns and the Grand Campaign (image), with all the world to conquer, is fascinating. I haven't even finished my only big scenario game ever (now for many, many hours), playing the Thraces, from the left upper corner... I'm currently the master of Greece, Asia Minor, most of Armenia, Assiria, Fenicia, Judea, and my (huge) army is pretty busy fighting riots all over my cities, fighting the (once powerful and almost winners, but currently very weak thanks to, mainly, yours faithfully) Hittites (whom I've pushed away from their origins), the Libyans and the Marhasians or Sakians, not sure right now...

One of the funniest moments of the game was when, emulating Alexander, I crossed the Dardanos and moved to conquer Troy... way cool! :-) The other cool moment was when I was about to lose all the cities in Asia, my poor armies crushed by enemy sparabara and cavalry, and I managed to create an army of heavy cavalry... Oh did I crushed them all under my heavy pawns!

Being such a great strategos myself (ahem!), my favorite combination of troops, given the limitations of the game, and when cities to provide troops are available, is an army of Massarti Spearmen, Sparabara Archers, and, either Pethalle Horse Archers or Qurbuti Cavalry, depending on the amount of sparabara I have, and the amount of spears I estimate the enemy will have... As for chariots, the one I like the most are Ne'arin Chariots (one driver, archer, which are light and maneuverable). For raw penetration power I prefer cavalry, bigger numbers and versatility, if you ask me... (be sure to check the unit list on their web site!).

BTW, I win nothing by telling you this, but I have had dozens of hours of pure fun and dispair playing this grand campaign... Next one will be starting as Persia (probably :-)


Not everything is writing

Effectively, while this silly cold (the third in a row, damned air conditioning!) has me basically recluded home, with headaches and sore coughing, I am enjoying, as circumstances allow, with a childhood animated cartoon.

The other day I bought, in a good deal, Ulysse 31, wonderful cartoon about Ulysses's Odiseia to return Earth and save his companions from a divine spell, in the 31st Century.

Truly wonderful... :-)

Of course, it's anachronistic, because neither the XXXI Century, nor the -XI Century are related to my novel, but oddly enough, the episode I am starting to see is Sphynx, which is a wonderful mix of Greek and Egyptian elements, like my novel will be when it's finished and polished... (ahem! :-)

As for reading, after finishing Scott's Men of Bronze (go and read it!), I am currently reading C. J. Kirwin's Finding the Persian Way. Cyrus the Great Travels in Ancient Persia. I thought it was a History manual, but it's actually a historical fiction novel about the great Persian king, when he was young. I am enjoying it a great deal, and, as always, HF is providing lots of information about the Persians, which is always useful. Besides, Kirwin has a direct, uncomplicated style I am getting used to (I am, as you may easily guess by reading this blog, a bit convoluted in my writing, and you should read me in Spanish!). I should try and learn from him, yessir...

As for documentation book, I bought three small hadbooks, about the Persians, the Phoenicians, and Egyptians. They will all be helpful for my book, even if the Persians book talk more about Alexander's Persians, and the Egyptians one stops right at the death of Psammeticus III. Grrr.

Well, extrapolation will have to do for these... As for the Phoenicians, they have a relatively preeminent role in this story, because Bagabuxsha (Megabyzos) was Syria's satrap, the ships where Phoenicians, and the Delian League will deal with them in Dor, and in Memphis. I'll have to eventually look for info about the Phrygians as well, but it will take time to get there, and I'll have to make a trip to Sparta and Athens first... (hehe :-)

Don't you love writing?

Shameless plug, you are warned: NaNoWriMo 2005 registrations are about to be opened (later today). The challenge: 50,000 words in the month of November.

See you there! ;-)