World and Tunnel Bound

Strange day, it is.  I was up at three AM, my mind full of trepidation and the nagging feeling that something was going to happen today.  Something did, but I’m not ready to speak of this thing yet, because . . . there are other things happening.  I will keep those who follow me–and you know who you are–in the loop, so to speak.

With nothing to write yesterday, I had to fall back on that old staple, fooling around.  Oh, sure:  I was told that there’s always something to write, and I’ll get into that come 1 August, but right now I just want to play and think.  There are so many things existing out there in my Idea Bank right now that having new ideas pop up is something I’m trying to avoid.  Yes, there is a new idea popping about in my head:  it has been there for a couple of weeks now.  And its an annoying little bugger, because it wants attention.

But I’m not going to write it, not yet.  I have other plans, sucker, so go away.  I’ll get to you in time.

I did have an enjoying time, however, helping someone out with building another world–one in space, mind you.  I offered some ideas that weren’t initially considered, and after thirty minutes, things were looking better on the other person’s side, or so I believe.  It always feels good helping out where one can, and in matters like this I like to go one-on-one with another writer.  As I stated last week, listen to the signal, cut out the noise.

I’ve gotten deeper into Blender, though, and I’m having fun laying out the setting of my last story in glorious three dimensions.  I did this throughout most of yesterday, usually while listening to the early albums of Elton John, but towards the evening I started working my way backwards through The Electric Light Orchestra’s catalog, and since about nine PM I’ve been playing and playing ELO 2, which–if you haven’t guess–is their second album, and probably their least commercial record.  It has a raw, unpolished nature–save for one song, and if you listen to the album you’ll know which one–and also contains the longest song ELO ever recorded, Kuiama.  The last song had me going, “Hey, I remember hearing that song on The Loop when I was the only kid in my school listening to FM in 1973”, and getting a little smile going as I remember those days . . . not always fondly, but that’s the way the world goes, right?

Back to the Blender . . . what originally started out a few weeks back as giving myself a look at the appearance of my Great Hall, and how it looks sitting in the middle of The Pentagram, has now become pretty much the whole of the core school, both above and below ground.  It’s big, it’s spread out–and there are tunnels galore for kids to use to get to classes when the weather sucks, or there’s a foot of snow on the ground, or they’re looking for a private moment.

And now it’s time to figure out how to build a road.  ‘Cause i need roads and paths.

So many things happening.  I’m counting down . . .

There and Back to the Big House

Oh, did you notice this is coming out late?  These things happen at times, trust me.  The delay is due to getting up at five AM, driving one hundred miles for a thirty minute interview, then driving home.  A little lunch later, as well as the fixing of a screen door has kept me off the computer for about two hours, and then–

Here we are.

It’s so far made for a long, tiring day, but at least I don’t have to cook tonight, because I’ve done enough of that for the last two days.  Kick back tonight, maybe pizza tomorrow.

Right now, we’re talking Great Hall.

The last two days I’ve been running about in Blender designing.  I should say, “Building,” because what I wanted to do is taking the build I’d made for my current story, and sort of see what it would look like if you turned into a three dimensional model.  I know, that’s being a bit obsessive about something that isn’t real, that’s just a part of my imagination.

There is a point to all this, however:  having a designed floor plan allowed me to figure out where some of the action in the building occurred.  I know there are those who may feel that’s a little too much work to put into a project, that it’s getting down into the metadata a little too much, but screw them.  It’s my story, and it’s one I want to publish one day, so I put work into my background.  Hey, it’s either this or spend twenty years on some fan fiction that will never see the light of day, right?

Originally I started with what you see on the right:  a building Main Hall 518layout rendered in 3D that showed as much of the inside as I could dream up.  I still have this, and the information came in handy when I started writing about battles and running and flying going on inside.  Visualizing these things came about from working with someone else, and I’m thankful that I listened to them on this matter.  (As for the rest, I’m still working on that . . .)

But I wanted to see more.  I wanted to see the area around the Pentagram, I wanted to feel the size, the enormity of the area.  It’s a big school:  everything here feels enormous, or is at least should.  Therefore I need to model the outside and the grounds, and I couldn’t do it in the program I used for the floor plan.

So off to Blender, and . . . Pentagram SoutheastBehold!

It’s not much to look at unrendered, but that’s what I’m building.  I have the Pentagram walls, the Coven Towers, the Clock Tower, the covered walkways, the older South Part of the Hall, the transepts, and the newer, more modern looking Library with the curving windowed wall that I couldn’t do the proper way in my floor plan program.  I figured out the scaling for this monster so that it’s not taking up a whole lot of virtual space, and it leaves open the possibility of modeling some of the other buildings.

If you want to get a feeling for scale, look at this:  Pentagram Main Gateit’s the main gate of the school going through the fifty foot high and eighteen foot thick walls.  And there, standing in the arch, those little sticks?  Those are two students, each five foot tall, catching sight, for the first time, of the main entrance some two hundred feet away.

With the story almost finished, I’m ready to move onto the next project.  But come November, when I may or may not do NaNo again, I’ll start in on another novel, and that novel will build off the little novel I wrote this month of July.

Maybe, in four months time, I’ll have even more to see.



Defending the Pentagram

Writing has become a deliberate, detailed issue of late with me.  So many things to monitor, to track; so many people and names to remember.  At this point in my story I have had at least a dozen characters speak, and at least a half dozen of them are major characters.  It’s the way I wanted the story, so if there’s anyone to blame for this mess, it is I.  Put it all on my shoulders, I’ll hump that sucker down the hill, ’cause I can handle the stress.

But, anyway:  the story.  The big battle is nearing the end, and I have a few more people who need to die, a few more characters that need to breathe their last and shuck this mortal coil in as nasty a way as possible.  Then comes the cool-downs, the affirmations, the set up for the November NaNo Novel.

Until then, my Salem Girls (and a few boys, least of all one who’s going out in a big way) are gonna defend the Pentagram.

The Pentagram gets talked up a lot in this story, and will show Pentagram Closeupup a bit in the next novel, too.  What is it?  You can see for yourself in the picture on the right.  This is the center of my school, Sigel–the Salem Institute of Greater Education and Learning–and it’s where all the super kiddies spend their time in study, eating, relaxing, going to the hospital (yeah, that’s going to be important in the next novel), participating in extra-curricular activity (both approved and unproved by the school–there’s lots of empty and hidden rooms above and below ground)and living.

It’s really more of a pentagon, but when one goes all the way back to the founding of this place–which I have, because I’m lovin’ my time lines–it’s makes sense as to why the women who build this place called it the Pentagram.  Which also played a role in the naming of the towers–those things at each point–and calling them covens.

We’re talkin’ real old school here.

As I’ve pointed out before, the Great Hall is about the size of a modern football stadium.  The walk along the gray pathway heading from the hall southward (south is at the bottom) is a little over three hundred feet, and each segment of wall between the towers is around seven hundred fifty feet.  It’s a big place.  It wasn’t when I first designed it, but I wanted it to be an imposing place, so just like Pacific Rim, I went big instead of going extinct.

Not that people aren’t dying at the moment.  Hey, that’s what combat’s all about.  An now the students are getting in on the action, and just like with the instructors, there are good students, and there are bad ones.  And the bad ones–well, it’s not going to end well for them.  They’re probably going to get something a lot worse than detention by the time it’s all over.

The story is coming to an end.  It’s closing in on forty thousand, and may top forty-five thousand before it’s all over.  With a few revisions I might just get it to fifty, but that’s for another time.

Right now I gotta look up joule output; I got a building to blow up.