Writing woes and washing rag rugs

28 Aug

Yep, writing, but stories, so I haven’t managed blog posts, just comments on other people’s blogs. Sarah Hoyt is on a roll again so I go to hers a lot.

I’m still looking for beta readers. Could use a few. It would be best to have several.

The science fiction novel is slow going. I know what is going to happen and I know my characters, where I get stuck are the details. Like what would a person who is several times stronger and faster than a human be able to do. And how much stronger and faster would still be at least vaguely believable, while that story world is very space opera type I would still prefer to stay away from superheroes. Once you get guys who can fly or shoot lasers from their eyes just because, well, I enjoy those stories, but I do enjoy hard science fiction more. Something I can sorta kinda imagine might even be possible if you go far enough in the future. I don’t write it – true hard sf – myself because if I start thinking on those terms I never finish anything due to the fact that I keep checking and rechecking the science part – and probably still get at least half of it wrong. I may have some education in stuffs like math, physics, and biology (and pretty much in geology, but you rarely can figure out story lines where that could become a big plot point), but first, it was a long time ago and I haven’t looked at any of that, not in a serious way, much since, and one does forget, and second, I never knew so much I would have been able to speculate from that knowledge, so unless I base something exactly on something which really does exist I will probably go way off more or less right away.

So I write space opera. There is FTL, and people with psychic abilities, and superhumans, and probably a big space battle or two in the characters’ future too although it may take a few novels to get there. Yet, as said, I try to keep it at least vaguely within the maybe possible (if you stretch a lot), which means I’m neurotic about the details. Fantasy is easier. You can decide the rules of magic, and the other stuff can be based on history and real life. Need to know how far a horse can go in one day, google it or find some place to ask (which I did with reindeers, an email to a firm which arranges day safaris on reindeer pulled sledges during the winter, and got a nice, detailed answer from them). So if one has something like a unicorn to ride instead of a horse, well, that still would change mostly just minor stuff, and hey, if it’s a half magical animal you can pretty much also just decide what it can do – hey, magic – but if it was some sort of genengineered or biomechanical beastie things may get a bit more complicated, since with those premises its performance should perhaps stick a bit more closely to the laws of physics…

Like, how the hell does one figure out some believable distance that supersoldier of mine would be able to jump, or fall without having his bones broken and soft tissues turned into a mush (and he does have something like nanites in his body, so his tissues and bones are more hardy than most just flesh and blood ones, of any known Earthly lifeform, would be…), without going straight into that superhero territory? Should have some sort of limits figured out beforehand, you know, adjusting his abilities as plot points demand is not good writing.

I’m losing some hair here. Stress, and all that. Besides I do have the bad habit of finger combing through it when I get frustrated, although so far I haven’t at least managed to pull out much which wouldn’t have fallen off sooner or later on its own.

And yes, washing rugs. Expensive enough to get done in the places where they wash those types of rag rugs I have that I’m not going to have them washed. Fortunately there are sites where you can do it yourself, open during the warm season. As you can see I left the job rather late. Well, for those who don’t know what kind of climate we have here, it’s warm (from sorta kinda at least it’s not snowing to actually almost hot – although, in comparison: what we think is a heat wave would seem to be what people living somewhere like southern Arizona would probably think of as a nice early spring weather) for about three months per year, June, July and August, sort of nicely crisp for about a month before and after, and the rest of the year is somewhere between cold-ish and very, very cold – although the very, very cold doesn’t happen every year, and if it does it will usually last only a couple of months, at most, in the southern Finland where I live, but then you still have the cold-ish to cold, and always lots of wet and overcast.

So, if you want to wash your rugs and get them dry you need to do it when the weather is nice, those free washing places are outside, there is only cold water and they are open – meaning running water – usually from about early May to middle or late September.  So, a brush with very stiff bristles, liquid soap, rubber boots and a raincoat, or else a swimming suit except it’s no longer really warm enough for that – I have never managed to do that task without getting wet, try lifting big wet heavy rugs without getting water all over yourself – and off to get some exercise. I have washed one or two rugs every second morning for a week now (yep, I waited until almost all of them were dirty before doing this, and I have a few, inherited mostly).

Well, at least it really is pretty good exercise.

Anyway, the blog posts will continue to keep on appearing at long-ish intervals until I get that damn novel finished. After that I will continue working on the Fourth Sword sequel, as long as I am able to write fiction, which will probably be late November/early December, but I think I will probably be able to devote a bit more time to the blog then. That story is fantasy, not science fiction, so the fact parts will be easier to check.

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