End of Nano

OK, the NaNoWriMo is over and we won... Most importantly, though, I finished the novel!

It was a little bit anticlimax writing that 'The End' ("Fin" in Galician) but, well, for the first time I have a novel ready for revision (next year ;-)

Thanks to all for your support... My next projects will be revisiting Wishes and finishing Revolt!... :-)




Yeah, I did it!


I went over 50K words this evening, during our write-in in Madrid.

Now I only have to keep writing until I finish the novel...

I'll keep you updated!

Good luck to you Nanowriters!



Almost half done!


At day 11th, I've written 22,300 words (+44%) which I'd say it's pretty good.

Besides, I'm really enjoying writing the book, I'm loving the plot, the characters, and writing it in Galician!

As an interesting note, last week already sprouted an unexpected new character! Little buggers, hehe... :-)

An aditional benefit this year (besides the fun) is that I don't have to carry around a big, heavy bad of documentation books... :-P

Anyway, how's your NaNoWriMo going?



NaNoWriMo 2008

It's a little over three hours CET for the start of Nanowrimo 2008.

I can barely wait! :-)

I'll try to keep this up-to-date, although my main blog will be my galician one, O gume da espada.

Finally, my novel will be a kind-of urban/phylosophical/onirical/discordian fantasy novel, Wishes.

I'll post less about it, as it's not based on event, and thus some things really are a surprise... :-)

Good luck to all Nanowriters out there, keep it up!

By the way, Blessed Samhain to everybody in the northern hemisphere.

There we go! KALLISTI!


Wreck of Shipwreck

Apparently, this year was not called for Shipwreck, or so it seems...

Two weeks to go on nanowrimo, and I cannot find all my documentation for the book... One of the trouble of moving, I guess... I know it's in here, but in which box?

Well, as all my books are well packed, I cannot easily retake any of my old projects, Historical Fiction is hard without data!

I may, in this case, attack a plotbunny that assauled me during last year Nanowrimo, a Fantasy novel based on the exploration of Wanting, Desire, ... born from an idea of Neil Gaiman's Lucifer comic book series. Just the seed, though, and it seemed attractive enough during this year to have the plot, caracter sketches and half the story more or less well thought out so far...

I'd say it's an interesting Nanoproject, and it stems in a centennial Galician tradition, with authors like Álvaro Cunqueiro or the almost infinite oral tradition involving witches (meigas, obviously from the same Latin root that gives "magic"), sirens, and all sort of mythological creatures from Iberian, Celtic, Latin, Suevian, Gothic, Arabic and Provenzal roots...

In this case, then, I really walk over giants' shoulders... :-)

Anyway, this is not definitive, but a most likely conclusion of this year hectic Autumn...

I'll let you know, because, anyway, there'll be a lot of historical elements in it... unavoidable... :-)

Best for all and good luck to the Nanoers!




OK, I have just updated my Nanowrimo writer profile.

As you can see there, my next Nanovel is titled "Shipwreck" and it's set in 1810, during the Spanish Independence War.

It'll tell the story of a joint naval operation between the Spaniards and Englishmen in Northen Spain. The operation was pretty important, but after some initial success, it went awfully wrong.

As the main (read as 'the actual key') events of the story happened just some kilometers away from my own hometown, this'll be the first time I'll be writing a Historical Fiction novel on a place I have actually been and know pretty well... :-P

Anyway, I'll keep you updated in here, but this year my main blog will be O gume da espada, in Galician... Good time to learn new languages! ;-)

Good luck to all Nanowriters whis year!



Another Literature

Well, what have I been doing as of late?

Well, several things. I've been reading, studying and writing.

Reading what? Well, for instance, several different things: some History books I got during the Summer in book fairs and bookstores, mostly related to the Spanish Independence war, specially as related to my countryland, Galiza.

As it's somewhat related to my nest Nanowrimo, it seemed fit to have some good background information.

I also got several books in galician, one of my mother languages, whose writing I have a bit too rusted for my tastes, specially since it will be the language of my next novel.

So what do you do when you have to unrust a language (writing it, in this case)? You read it, and you write it.

And so I have been doing: my new blog in galician, O gume da espada (The edge of the sword), and a place where I'll be publishing some "homework" to flesh out my galician muscles, Espallando bolboretas (Spreading out butterflies). If you have any romance knowledge, you can go there and enjoy some tales (one at the moment, and more to slowly come out). If you don't know romance languages, then you can at least enjoy some illustrations I'll be doing for the tales, one so far... :-)

You'd say that takes some time... Well, yes, although talking is easy for me, even after these many years away, writing is, well, you know, you don't write the way you speak... It's harder, specially if you want it to have some quality attached to it... :-P

Anyway I haven't forgotten my other novels. Actually, not so long ago, a pretty important Galician writer, Alfredo Conde, has just published a book set in the last part of Undefeated, the defense of the town of A Coruña (Groine) from Drake's retaliation in 1889... This makes writing harder...

I may retake some of my Persian novels, for instance, although Nanowrimo will punch hard this year, both personally and "writingally"... I'll keep you up-to-date.

Anyway, the idea I have for my novel is really exciting, very intense and fairly time-framed, a good exercise in narrative anyway, and another opportunity to explore the Undiscovered land...

Be good! :-P KALLISTI!


Still around

Well, still around, although not very active... After vacation at my home town, I came back and a couple of weeks ago I was at Brussels and Brugges... It was very interesting, indeed!

In the meantime, I'm working on my next Nano, and trying to keep up with the last one :-P I'll let you know better shortly.



Still Afloat

Well, it's been a long while...

I've been pretty busy studying for my Irish exam (it was a bit disastrous but I think I showed a little bit of dignity, at least) and then doing some relaxing reading and what not...

There went my b-day, a trip to beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful Menorca (as a b-day gift :-) and the Book Fair of Madrid.

I got a couple of interesting books (besides the Irish version of 'The Little Prince', and a little grammar of ugaritic, anyone to practice with me? :-) and a cool magazine, a special issue of arquitecture, naval and other technologies in the times of Phillip II and whereabouts in Spain, it's quite interesting and full of useful info... :-)

And now I'm waiting for my holidays, where I hope to spend quite a good deal of time writing on my novel. My inet conectivity, though, will be limited, but I'll try to keep you (that read me) updated.

In the meantime, it's preparation time, and I'm moving ahead in my Zelda games: Phantom Hourglass is cool, and I'm going to pass (again) the Temple of Water in Ocarina of Time, and then move to the Temple of Darkness, where I left the game on the N64 years ago (this time on the GameCube, which still rocks my world, yeah... It's still so cool a game, after this time, that I'm amazed... or maybe it's me, who's got stuck: anyway, it's lots of fun, fun, fun... :-)

Best regards and happy Summer/Winter after a very hot solstice in Spain (and yesterday we got such an electric storm... If I manage to pull out a thunderbolt from my camera I'll upload it, because it was beautiful...!!! )



North, north, north we go...

Well, not that much northern, but, anyway, it's further than we were last time...

I'm going slowly, after some hyatus (writing on the move means that if you go by car you cannot write!), and Fate keeps tangling its tentacles around our characters, weaving its way towards the inevitable path (at least as inevitable as History permits, anyway :-)

Our good Doctor has moved from the San Martín, flagship of the Armada, to the powerful, bulky, badly beaten Trinidad Valencera (or Balanzara as the Venetians called her), to aid in a very complicated operation on a pro-man (a VIP we would say nowadays) aboard. In the meantime, Duke of Medina Sidonia is recalling all Armada captains to the flagship to ask for explanation of direct orders disobedience. That will lead to a very ugly episode within Chapter VIII.

And, well, not a lot more to do except writing and some little research here or there for some details which, anyway, can surely wait for the GHR (great Historical Revision) once the draft of the novel is finished.

I'll keep you up-to-date.


PS: Update: 61,418 words and counting! :-)


"Psionic" powers

Well, yes, Psionic and not psyonic, because I have rescued my old, trusty Psion Series 5mx and a new writing philosophy, so I can keep on writing despite my slightly hurting arm (both the PDA and the philosophy are lighter than they were before, during Nanowrimo...).

Thus, I'll retake Invicta, I'll keep you appraised...

And that's all, basically. On a more anecdotic vein, I finished my pal's novel, The Sunset of Bizantium: it's about right, at first a bit too slow for my tastes, and I kept dragging until we hit part II, where action and the plot starts unrolling. From that point on, the reading became increasingly interesting up to the point where it was hard to put down (so I didn't :-).

There are some things that I would have done differently, even very differently, and some I didn't like (simply put) but, overall, the book fulfills its goal as a Historical Fiction, and there are some parts that are absolutely brilliant. I have, anyway, and despite my criticism (or maybe precisely because of it), a lot to learn from book and author, something I'll try to do: I'm a fool, but I hope not *that* fool.

And, currently, I am enjoying Stephen Pressfield's The Afghan Campaign, which absoolutely rocks. The style is blunt, realistic, it reminds me to some books by Spanish writer Arturo Pérez-Reverte (e.g. Trafalgar) and you cannot but take the hat off and humbly bow before a grandmaster of writing. Besides the obvious criticism, which I am also enjoying (sort of, anyway, considering the fatal reality of it).

And, lastly, I have a book by Gisbert Haefs waiting for me... Hehe... :-) It will be hard to combine all of this (studying, reading, plotting, writing, ...) but I'll manage, somehow.


PS- BTW, I passed my driving license test... :-)


Slowing down

My doctor told me that the slight pain I am feeling on my arm may be a tendinitis, and recommended not carrying so many books and Alphie (my trusty AlphaSmart Pro) around for some days, thus it's write-at-home time for me, which is very, very slow...

Therefore, I'm slowing down a little for for a couple of weeks, which will destroy my Febrewrimo goal, but, well, I'm on it, okay?

I'll take the chance to pick up and finally read a historical fiction novel by an acquitance and coworker of mine, published last month, The Sunset of Bizantium. I'm just starting it, but so far it's been pretty good. I'll let you know.



Invicta: Chapter "Blood"

Chapter 8 is well under way. It's not, by far, as long as Chapter 7, which is a good indicator that things are going back to a more normal storytelling rythm.

Chapter 8, I also nickname it 'Chapter Blood'. The reason is that Chapter 8 is the Battle of the Gravelines, where the whole of the Englishe Fleete (in the writing of the time, and about 150 ships, at least 40 of them big galleons and as far as 60 strongly armed merchantships, former 'pirates', let's say privateers) fought against 33 Spanish ships (some 20 galleons, three galeas --the fourth one, its flagship San Salvador, had crashed against the coast due to a night accident, during the fireships-not-so-hellburners incident, and had been assauled by English boats-- and the rest composed of armed merchantships), with the rest of the Armada dispersed along the coast, trying to reunite and not to crash against the dangerous shores (not as dangerous as, say, Ireland's, but deadly in its own way).

The number of casualties is hard to determine. From the very well documented Spanish sources, it can be pinpointed in some 600 dead and about 800 wounded, although this doesn't take into account minor wounds that ended in the soldiers and sailors returning back to the battle (which took as long as 9 hours, until the English fleet exhausted its ammo and powder reserves). The English casualties are very much harder to tell, because Queen Elizabeth II got out a general order of complete secrecy under dead sentence, which makes things much harder. Leaving aside the huge epidemy that took whole crews and basically left England without a fleet able to do any naval operation for the rest of the year, the number of casualties in the English side must have been considerably higher than 'oficially' broadcast.

The Battle of Gravelines was different in many aspects, but the main difference was that the English ships moved much, much closer to the Spanish ships in order to cause effective damage to the strong hulls of the Atlantic galleons. So close, in fact, that crews could, in the middle of the battle, talk and insult to each other, and even some very-close encounters happened, although not a single boarding action (except a single sailor that jumped alone into a Spanish galleon, he was inmediately killed, of course).

The thing to take into account in here is that while the long range cannons in the Spanish fleet were highly flawed and unappropriate for a cannon battle (as they were prettty hard to recharge after firing, due to the way they were mounted into the ship) Gravelines happened within a much closer range, where the retrocharge deck-cannons (falcons and so on) were basically depleted from ammunition, and the (purposedly so) much lower castles in the English ships would have exposed the sailors to massive stone, low-caliber bullets and intense musket fire from the heavily soldier-loaded Spanish ships. It's impossible to take advantage of your ship sailing qualities in close range and not to expose the sailors on the masts to great risk.

Add to the the confusion (the Spanish ships maintained a very closed half-moon formation) and the high density of ships involved, and the increasengly bad weather, with bigger and stronger waves, winds and currents as the day was passing by: the number of wounded must be on par with the Spanish numbers, if not higher (from the Spanish point of view, it was a target-rich environment to fight during 9 whole hours). Casualties, however, could be lower.

We also know that no Spanish ship was sunk during the battle, but several sank in the first hours of the night or crashed against the coast during the night. No information about English ships has survived, but the possibility of severe damage (cannon balls, musket bullets and fire) and even collisions and sinking is to be, at least, considered.

This, of course, makes for a lot of blood.

Blood, pain, suffering, effort... It's hard to visualize, because this was the first battle of its kind in Human History.

Fortunately for me, my point of view (narrator's POV, actually makes the description of the battle easier and very intense. I will have to review some details, and watch the rythm here and there, but, overall, I'm pretty happy with the result so far.

Chapter 9 will happen on (Gregorian calendar, which was adopted by Spain in 1582) August 9th, 1588, when the Armada avoids total destruction against the "most untrustworthy coasts in the world".

I'll keep you up-to-date on my slow progress...



Invicta: let's go on with the battle!


It's been long, but I'm still around. I'm getting ready to get my driving license, it's been some dozens of practical classes, and I'm about to be ready to go to the exam. I'll let you know.

What I haven't been doing is writing.

I've been readying, and I'll be doing so in the close future, specially since a coworker has just published his first novel, a Historical Fiction novel set in the fall of Bizantium. I have to get it and read it: the good thing is that I'll be able to easily (more or less) get an author's sign up (authograph is the word we use in Spanish, properly translated to English).

However, Undefeated is a little bit behind, as I wasn't able to write more than a couple of paragraphs since the end of Nanowrimo. Yeas, I know, I know... What can I say? I'm, obviously --painfully--, a goal-oriented writer.

Therefore, I present you Febrewrimo (from febrero, which is, quite obviouslym February in Spanish): to write 42,000 words in the month of February: that's 1,500 words per day plus a free day because this is a leap year.

I'll go to add another big chunk to my novel, so I'll let you know how I go on.

First thing will be the Battle of the Gravelines, which is a kind of climax in the novel, and certainly a pivotal point in the whole story.

Anyone out there interested?