Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kettlecakes and Betrovia

What a change in the October weather! 85 and incredibly windy yesterday compared to cloudy, cool, and damp today. Even though the weather today was a bit on the cool and damp side, all of the window-cleaning jobs were performed as scheduled!

So what are kettlecakes?

In Betrovia, Tamara heads to the hen house to grab a few eggs to make some biscuits for breakfast. But wait, my wonderful Wifey points out to me this afternoon, eggs are not needed to make biscuits! Aha! A change in the text must then be made! Biscuits are not made for the guest's of The Lonely Fox Inn: kettlecakes are to be made! And, of course, fresh eggs are needed for such a concoction!

My apologies to the biscuit-bakers who are reading Betrovia. And once again, Betrovia is a WIP (work in progress).

This self-publishing stuff is so much fun!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Major Characters

A few people have asked for a list cast of characters from the novel. So, here's the "shortlist" of characters from Betrovia:

Characters in and Around the Lonely Fox Inn
Patrik Vellein: innkeeper of The Lonely Fox Inn
Tamara: Patrik’s older daughter
Galena: Patrik’s younger daughter
Dalneia: Patrik’s wife and mother of Tamara and Galena; died a few years before the novel begins
Pieter: Patrik’s younger brother
Markus: Patrik’s brother-in-law, Dalneia’s younger brother
Kristof: young hired hand working for Patrik at the Inn at the beginning of the novel
Teophelus: young man wanting to become a Netherene priest in Noran
Edelin: thief/confidence man who appears one day at the Lonely Fox Inn
Leuran: Noran shopkeeper and friend of Patrik
Commander Lietser: leader of the Noran militia; the only son of the wealthiest family in Noran

Characters of Lycentia
King Justen: King of Betrovia when the novel begins
Prince Gorgi: King Justen’s only son
Jarad: captain in Lycentian militia
General Demirain: chief officer of Lycentian militia
Luis: protector (chief administrator) of Lycentia
Oliver III: holy advocate of the Netherenes, resides in Lycentia
Viktor: chief prophet of the Netherenes, resides in Lycentia
Franck: traveling merchant, close friend of Patrik, resides in Lycentia
Ilead Tetrokiu: youngest son of the Tetrokiu family of Lycentia

Friday, October 21, 2011

Four People Groups, But Just One Betrovia

It was a beautiful October day for being outside and cleaning windows! Wednesday was cloudy, windy and basically a miserable excuse for a Fall day. Yesterday was sunny but still a bit windy. Today? Frost was on the Dakota windshield as I headed out for the first window-cleaning job but once headed into the sunrise, the frost was gone! By early afternoon, the tattered green hoodie was no longer needed to work outside.

Now for some stuff about Part 2.

Four people groups were introduced in Betrovia: Rigarians, Haarigoians, Knaesins and Betrovians. Oh, there was a fifth group mentioned, the Muads, but they won't be focused much on until Part 3. The Betrovians are clans, famiy groups, that have resided in the Great Forest. The Haarigoians, close descendants of the Muads, chose to live on the Plains of Dreut and the adjoined seacoast west of the Great Forest. The Rigarians are the mountain people of the mountains NW of the Great Forest while the Knaesins reside in and around the mountains ranges directly east and NE of the Great Forest.

So what does this geographic situation imply for the people living there? Many choices for habitat, that's what! If someone wanted to leave the Great Forest and try his luck with making a living in a more mountainous region, he would have two places in which to move. Of course, if he's accustomed to a certain lifestyle, he surely couldn't expect to find a similar lifestyle in the mountains. Or could he?

Those living in the Great Forest are Betrovians BECAUSE they have chosen to live there. If a Betrovian packed up his things and ventured east into the Knaesins, he would then become a Knaesin. And the opposite would also logically be true.

I suppose the question would then be: if a large number of Haarigoians decided to head east, to turn away from living on the seacoast and the Plains, what effect might that have on those currently residing in the Great Forest, Betrovia? Might this be something to look forward to or to abhor?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Further into Part 2

I talked today with a few people who have finished or nearly finished reading Betrovia. Hopefully one of more of these wonderful friends will "belly up" and write a nifty review!

Anyway, one of those people said that I should have had more "suitors" for Galena. I laughed and said that it never entered my mind to do anything with Galena's "love life" than I already did. But might there more to happen with her relationally in Part 2? Could be...

And here's an idea for Part 2 from the outline:
As Kristof sleeps in Lycentia the first night there, he dreams of the Haarigoian warlord/officer that led the attack on Noran (chp. 14). His dream includes: the officer returns to his home in the Plains seacoast area after the attack on Noran; just expo—as a dream sequence should be—so setting but no dialogue, include how by himself he treats his leg wound, include the addition of a Knaesin-steel sword to his collection of more than a few Lycentian memorabilia; Kristof awakens from his sleep/dream when Dalten smacks him for being too noisy.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A bit of chapter one

It was a good day to rake leaves, mow the still-green grass that was under those leaves, then to blow the residue off the driveway and sidewalk with Ryan's might Leaf Blower! (I use it so much now that I really should just buy it from him,)

After all that yard work, I hammered on the first chapter of the sequel to Betrovia. Here's a tidbit from the first draft of that chapter:

     After polishing off the last piece of ham, Patrik trudged back into the kitchen. Sitting by the back door that opened out into the yard between the house and the barn, he noticed a string mop and a bucket. Still shoe-less and with his stomach barely satisfied, he began to mop up the water left by the rain. As he cleaned up the mess, he thought about how to motivate Galena to come back downstairs and to help him finish packing the wagon for the trip to the capital city. “Wait!” he exclaimed to himself as he blotted up the last puddle of rainwater. “Where are the scrolls? The barn? Aren't they still in the barn?” He quickly opened the back door and, while still barefoot, scurried the thirty-or-so feet to the dilapidated structure that was used primarily as a shelter for his two horses and as a makeshift workshop. He pulled open the large and heavy oak door and it creaked until he stopped. Once inside, he smiled and first patted the gray mare on the head and then scratched the muzzle of the younger, reddish-brown quarter horse. “Good morning, you two. Hope you're ready for a long journey today.” Their response was to whinny which he translated as their request for fresh grain and water.
     “Yes, yes, I've not forgotten you,” he said, grabbing a pine bucket that was on the workbench under one of the two windows. He scooped up a few pounds of a mixture of cracked corn and oats and meticulously poured it into their feeder. “In a few minutes, I'll refresh your water. There's something else I need to take care of first.” Before he could even finish the sentence, both horses ceased to look at him and had begun crunching up their breakfast. Patrik set the bucket back on the bench and crouched down on the right side of it. From there he then opened up a trapdoor that was barely covered by some dusty straw. “Thank You, Othleis, for reminding me about grabbing these,” he said as he lifted a dark leathery pouch out of the shallow hole that had been dug in the hard clay of the barn floor. He tucked the pouch under his left arm and began to leave the barn when he remembered that he promised to do one more thing for the horses. With his right hand, he latched onto the feed bucket one more time. “I'll be right back with some fresh water. Need to take these into the house first.”  

Patrik and his passion for the scrolls: a good start for the sequel.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thoughts of Teen-aged life

A short trip to Kansas to enjoy the Baldwin City Maple Leaf Festival (which always occurs the 3rd weekend of October) unraveled this morning due to sickness and to car problems. Oh well. We haven't made the trip to Baldwin in October for quite a few years anyway...

I'm thinking about heading for bed. But I want to first think about what I wrote when I was a little younger.

I remember starting a sci-fi story where in the first chapter the protagonist experimented with electricity, a few rare chemicals and a small rabbit. Before too long, he inadvertently transformed a white bunny into a blue bunny--one that glowed in the dark!  That story started and never got very far sometime in the early '70s.

I took a creative writing class my senior year in high school (1975) and wrote another sci-fi story in that class, It was set after a terrible world war and I think it was about a group of wanderers who happened to wander into the wrong place and consequently being killed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I didn't think much of it but the teacher made a class set of copies and required everyone in the class to read and critique it. Yes, I was a bit embarrassed by the whole thing.

I'm sure I wrote a few more sci-fi stories than just those but I can't remember what they were about.

I don't ever remember writing anything like Betrovia before. I guess besides from playing a few fantasy computer games, I'd have to say that I haven't received much input related to the kind of fiction that is Betrovia.

And I've finally decided to categorize it as "epic fantasy" with a Christian undertone. Part 2 of the trilogy will have an even stronger Christian undertone.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Musing about Title

I worked on Part 2 (or is it Volume 2?) of The Land of Betrovia trilogy last night and I thought about coming up with a title for it. I thought about focusing on a character then decided against it. Then the thought came up to construct a title from one of the themes of the novel. This too I set aside for future thought.

The original title of Betrovia was The Innkeeper and that was going to be the title of Part 1 until I googled the word "innkeeper" as it's been used in book titles. I discovered the novel The Innkeeper's Daughter which challenged me to come up with a different title for Part 1.

I suppose it's not too early to stew a bit over choosing/developing a title for Part 2. I didn't decide to go with "Betrovia" until the week before uploading the ebook.  

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Betrovia and Twilight

Someone who knows someone who has a copy of Betrovia is "hearing" about the novel's storyline, etc. But he's not experiencing the novel first-hand.

He even compared the anticipation of wanting to find out what's going to happen next to Patrik, Tamara, Kristof, etc. to Twilight fans waiting with baited breath for the next tidbit of storyline info.

Uhm... I never thought Betrovia and Twilight would be mentioned in the same sentence... sigh...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Betrovia and a church bulletin

It was another gorgeous day to be cleaning windows. First job today was in rural Cole county, a nifty log cabin-esque house. The lady of the house said that with her clean windows, she is now motivated to do some interior painting!

The second job was in one of the fancier Jeff City neighborhoods. The owner had just installed new hardwood flooring on the main floor and, of course, clean windows and new hardwood flooring make a perfect combination!

When I got home, an envelope from my mom was waiting for me. Inside was an excerpt from a recent church bulletin. The excerpt contained the "blurb" located on the back of Betrovia. Whoever included the blurb in the church bulletin labelled the blurb a "review" and included that if a copy of the novel was desired, my mother was the person to ask.

Isn't it funny how mothers can show their love for their children in so many funny ways  :)_

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Courageous and Integrity

We spent our Saturday morning doing something a bit unusual: going to a theater to see a movie!

It was part of a fund-raiser for Lighthouse Preparatory Academy here in Jeff City.

So, at 9AM, with the odor of freshly-popped corn in the atmosphere, Courageous, the new film from the producers of Fireproof entertained us for nearly two hours. As with the other films from the fine Baptists from Albany GA, there wasn't a dry eye in the theater once the ending credits began to roll.

The movie made me realize that there's nothing more important than loyalty and integrity. The five main characters pledged to each other, and their families, to be the fathers that the Lord expects them to be.

And that got me thinking about Patrik, the main father in Betrovia.

Even before his wife Dalneia died, he struggled with the concept of "fatherhood." Part two of the trilogy will present more of this struggle. The birth of his first child, Tamara, made him realize that he was no longer a boy, even more than having to take care of Pieter after their parents died. And even more than when he married Dalneia.

Yes, loyalty and integrity don't come easy; as Courageous presents, it's possible only through the power of the Lord.