May 9

Time worked:  0:00

I am just too tired and sore to focus. It’s the first time since starting this that I’ve done nothing at all, though, so that’s something. I worked in my dad’s blacksmith shop today–mostly cutting metal–and the whole time I kept thinking about how I wanted to proceed with the plot outline I’ve been crafting for Alexander’s story, Pursuit of Power. And I’ve been itching to get back to building the timeline covering all of the stories I have more concrete plans for, and how they overlap.  Then I got home and my head hurt, my back hurt, and I just want to sleep. It’s even taken me a lot longer than I expected to complete this post. And that’s considering that probably 1-2 people will ever read it. 🙂

I’ve enjoyed sharing bits about Evan this week, so I kind of want to bring the week to a close with a little more of him. These are some of my favorites involving him:


 

“You had life salts!” she accused in a rage. “You said you didn’t! We asked you specifically, when these guys were injured, and you said you didn’t have any!”

The others turned to look at him as well. He only stared back defiantly.

“I didn’t have any to spare,” he defended himself. “I thought I might need it later myself, and it turns out I did.”

“So we were scraping to bandage their wounds and keep them from bleeding out, and you decided that the possibility that you would get injured later was more important,” Julius summed up.

“Well yeah. I’m the strongest of all of us here. I’m the only one who’s not indispensable. I mean, let’s face it–we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for me.”


“Oh, I get it,” Evan caught on. “Something else is going on here, and he’s hiding it from us.” He walked up to Jarrett and grabbed the collar of his shirt. “So what is the game?”

“Let go of me!” Jarrett yelled, pushing Evan away.

“Evan!” Missy cried in alarm. “What are you doing?”

“These guys think he’s up to something,” he said, pointing to Julius and Naolin.

“How do you know that? They never said anything.”

“I’m not ‘up to something’,” Jarrett insisted.

Evan grabbed a handful of his shirt, and it burst into flames under his hand. He jumped back, shaking his hand in surprise.

“What was that?” he echoed what they were all thinking.

“Don’t ask us; you’re the one using Power all of a sudden!” Julius exclaimed. “What in the world have you done?”

“Me? I didn’t do anything!”


Evan finally walked out of the tunnel and joined them.

“Wow, this is a pretty big room,” he marveled. “Have you guys looked around yet?”

“No, you heard Zane,” Alorinna reminded him. “He wanted us to wait until we were all together to go further than this spot right here.”

“Yeah, but it wouldn’t hurt to just follow the wall a bit, see how big it is, if there are any passages off of this room. For all we know, this is just one big dead end, and they’re coming all the way here for nothing.”

“I doubt this can be a dead end,” Oriana said. “This is the only way the others could have possibly come.”

“Oh please, we easily could’ve missed something somewhere along the way.” He took a step away from the others. “I’m just going to have a quick look. I’ll be back in no time.”

“Oriana, Naolin,” Alorinna said, still staring at Evan, “you two are my witnesses. I told him to stay put, but he has decided not to follow orders. When Zane gets here, Evan alone will bear the consequences of his actions.”

“Of course,” Oriana responded.

Naolin only smiled, hoping Evan would ignore her and go anyway, but knowing that he probably wasn’t quite that stupid. As he had suspected, Evan glared at Alorinna, but stayed where he was.


“It’s the smell, mostly,” Oriana explained quietly. “It’s like…feces and death.”

“Oh, that’s a nice thought,” Evan complained.

“Evan,” Zane hissed. “Don’t speak if it’s not important.”


“We called them cave bears during the castle run,” Naolin told them. “They were some of the most vicious animals we fought on that mission, partly because they usually run in packs, and partly because they seemed to be the top of the food chain of all the animals we found.”

“If it ran away from you, how dangerous can it be?” Evan wondered. “What? Okay, sorry.” By that point Zane had probably had enough of Evan’s snarky attitude and had given his final warning.

 

Advertisements

May 8

Time worked:  1:32

Work done:  Worked on plot for Pursuit of Power, during which I realized a huge snafu I had made. So I had to go back to the timeline and resolve some issues, though I wasn’t terribly thrilled with my choices. I do think I’ve resolved them, though. I also worked out some mechanics issues that I’ve been questioning for a while, but never really worked out. All of this I did while washing dishes, with a headset microphone and an audio recording program. Eventually I’ll have to spend the same amount of time listening to myself talk and taking notes. Will I count that time again? Heck yeah, because it’s still working on my writing, and sometimes new insights come out of the note-taking too.

I have no more writing practice blurbs to post. Well actually, I do, but I fear it’s a bit spoiler-filled to share. Instead, I’ll share a scene straight out of the story, which still involves Evan and his view of the world. There are lots of characters here, so I hope it’s not too confusing. Plus, there’s stuff going on that I can’t explain. But Evan is still pretty fun. Also, go here for some insight into the Madness they’re referring to: Post about…the Madness, what else?


 

“Why would anyone do that?” Missy asked. “The Madness is enough of a nuisance as it is.”

“It’s more than a nuisance,” Quinn added. “It’s a menace.”

Evan scoffed. “The Madness keeps life interesting.” When he saw the others looking at him with disbelief, he continued, “Think about what life would be like without it. What would the militias be doing? Sitting around, whittling sticks, hoping for a war?”

“No!” Missy protested. “I would certainly hope you wouldn’t be wanting a war!”

“He has a point, though,” Naolin countered. “Not about hoping for a war, I mean–that’s kind of ridiculous. But there are many members of the militias in this country. If there were no Madness, there would certainly not be enough for everyone to do.”

“If there were no Madness, we wouldn’t need such large militias,” Missy pointed out. “Many of the people who have joined would instead have found something else to do with their lives.”

“How horrible,” Evan said, making a face. “That sounds like a very boring life too. I never wanted to be anything but a Swordsman in my local militia.”

Naolin nodded in agreement.

“Sure, but without the Madness, you wouldn’t have grown up knowing about militias and Madness runs and beasts in the woods. You would’ve had a much different life, and you would probably have happily chosen a different path. Both of you.”

“Besides, the Madness does already exist, and it keeps the militias on their toes enough as it is,” Julius added. “What they’re doing here—making it more dangerous—is pretty terrible.”

“Hey, is anyone else hungry?” Evan asked out of nowhere.

May 7

Time worked:  :50

Work done:  Finished rewriting the very beginning of the story. It’s stronger now, though could probably still benefit from some editing. I also wrote a number of notes for a gap of time I’ve always avoided thinking about. I don’t even know if there’ll be a story there, but I was hit with some ideas today, so I wrote them down.

Writing practice from a few days ago follows. Again remember it’s raw material and may not be entirely clear what’s going on. Also from the perspective of Evan Thossan.


My great-grandfather was 110 years old when I was sent to live with him. Think about that for a second. One hundred ten years old. That’s not unusual, I know, but it’s still old. Now think about how old I was when my parents sent me to take care of him. I was ten. That’s an age difference of one hundred years. I’ll never understand why it fell to me to take care of the old man.

Great-grandpa liked to be called Roba. That’s what he said he had called his great-grandfather when he was younger. I think it’s from some old language that our ancestors used to speak, but I couldn’t even tell you what that was. “Roba” never really cared to share his reasoning with me. He only insisted I call him that…when I wasn’t calling him “sir.”

Roba and I didn’t get along at all. I guess it’s because I was never good at what I did. I was supposed to help him with everyday stuff, like making meals and going to the bathroom. It was boring and sometimes disgusting, so no, I didn’t put my heart into it. I was still going to school, too, not that he cared. He complained about my absence during the day, even when I reminded him that my parents had said they wanted me to finish school.

Every day I wished he would just die already. I mean, he was old anyway. He’d lived long enough, and he was keeping me from having a life too. When I first went to live with him, I remember wondering how many stories he’d tell me, how many skills he could teach me. But he never wanted to talk about anything like that. He just wanted to yell at me for burning supper, or ask me why I wasn’t strong enough to chop the wood right.

Even after I left to join the militia, he lived a few more years. Long enough to see me become a respected Swordsman, even if he couldn’t admit it. Not long enough to notice his sword was missing though.

May 6

Time worked:  :50

Work done:  Rewriting of story opening, which I believe I’m almost done with. It’s so much better than it used to be.

I’d like to post some of my writing practice here and there, when there is something to post. Maybe it’s a bad idea, but I won’t post anything spoilery. I just like to be able to share something, and this seems as good an idea as taking something directly out of the story. For now, I’ll continue with insights into the mind of Evan Thossan, a minor character though he may be. (Just remember, writing practice means unpolished and sometimes barely edited.)


 

Dear Younger Dark,

I received your letter and understand your request. You are wise to recognize the importance of including me in your retelling of recent Pithean history. I agree that many events that have occurred in our lifetime were crucial to shaping the state of the entire world today. I might contend that you’re focusing too much on your brother and that girl, while the real heroes take a backseat, but that is your choice to make. Once you meet me and have my account of the events, I’m sure you will realize that there is a lot more to me than what your brother has told you. In fact, I think the story of how I overcame the obstacles of my childhood is at least as much worth telling as Dark’s.

Let me know when and where you want to meet, and I will be there.

Evan Thossan


Okay, I did edit this a bit so it would make more sense. It was a bit longer originally. Also, I realize some things may not make sense in this context. I would explain more, but I’m not sure how necessary that would be. This blog is mostly a tool for my own use, after all, so I’m not expecting many readers. Questions can always be asked, and I may or may not be able to answer them.

May 5

Time worked:  1:00

Work done:  Did some revising of the opening paragraphs of my story, which were awkward at best, didn’t do a great job of introducing the story, and tended to ramble. Not done yet, but I’m more rewriting than revising, so that takes time. I also drew up a quick intro to the character I’ve been focusing on lately, from my narrator’s PoV.


From the Pen of Drear: Evan Thossan

I didn’t meet Evan until recent years, but I had heard plenty about him. Naolin had worked with him a few times, and didn’t have many nice things to say about him. Missy had met him too, and she didn’t like him at all. She said he was egotistical, condescending, and just plain mean.

To say that Evan thinks highly of himself would be an understatement. He is very good with a sword and someone you would want around in a fight. In some ways, his happiness depends on being useful to his militia. And he definitely is.

Back in those days, though, he had what some might call an attitude problem. In fact, that’s exactly what got him kicked out of the first militia he joined. That and his tendency to go to extremes to prove himself. He learned his lesson, though, and toned down his less-desirable qualities once he was brought into a new militia. That was when Naolin and Missy first met him.

As Naolin described him, “It was exciting to work with someone as strong and skilled with a sword as Evan. I just wish he didn’t constantly treat me like a child. From the first time I slipped on the ice, he decided that I wasn’t good enough to be in the same militia as he was. He treated me like a commoner. I would never tell him this, but I did admire his abilities. If he would only keep his mouth shut, he could easily become a leader in the militia.”

Missy had nothing better to say: “Most of what bothered me about him at first was how he treated Quinn. I felt like Quinn and I were in the same position–initiates who probably shouldn’t have been on the mission in the first place–so when Evan talked down to Quinn constantly, I felt like his words were aimed at me too. I’m not sure if it was better or worse that he didn’t even bother to speak to me most of the time. Probably worse, considering the horrible things he said about me, even after I’d saved his life.”

After meeting him myself, I wish I could say that they have exaggerated, but I don’t think I can. I do understand him better; he has had plenty of obstacles to overcome in his life–enough to make him feel like he’s superior to others who didn’t have the same trouble. If only he could find a better way to express his satisfaction at what he has achieved.

Evan joins us in “Adventures in Pithea”.