aldersprig: (NanoGiraffe)
There was something to be said for very basic technology.

Cade ran a finger over the transmitter, which was small but not micro, easy to use, hard to break, and relatively easy to conceal as long as your target wasn’t actively looking for it.

They had an agent working as a maid in the Grande Star Hotel, which was where their targets were presumably staying. They also had a busboy at the Templeton, and a front desk clerk at the Gaslight, because you never could tell with these particular targets if they’d actually go where you thought they’d go. The Hampton Inn, well, Cade had a room there.

You did what you could, and getting their staff jobs so they were being double-paid had advantages when you were scraping the barrel to give them a raise.

The witch - Fiora, her name was, and she was a lovely woman that probably would have been more at home in long floral skirts with her hair down than in the Agency skirt-suit with nylons and heels - produced her micro welding kit and another small transmitter. “So, if we start with this, and then right into the circuit board, here, we draw a sigil, it’s a basic one, but it encourages a lack of caution. Loose lips and all that. But if I add this one to the case, like thus, then it also transmits a signal if certain phrases are used.”

Very basic technology was nice, Cade thought, but very basic technology supplemented with nice, tidy little magic spells - now that was what the Agency needed.
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
[personal profile] rix_scaedu asked for cats. Here's some cats, with my camp nano protaganist.

This 'verse really needs a name.

Jen liked cats, always had.

Face families weren’t allowed to have cats. They weren’t allowed to have pets at all — it was a point of change, a point of interest — but sometimes if the “host family” had kept a dog, they would have a dog for a little while.

If you used magic around dogs for too long, you ended up with a dog who was a lot more… dog. They were cleverer, more loyal, the sort of dog that waited weeks for their masters or learned how to open the doors and fetch the beer.
Read more... )
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
To Lilfluff's Prompt, " Something relating to the agencies discovering each other?" This is more of my Camp Nano project

The Joining

Cade Ferrel’s organization didn’t even have a name, just “Agency 3-1-7" and “Protocols 7, 9, and 12". They didn’t have a budget line, or at least not an admitted one, and the money they got wasn’t impressive by anyone’s standards.

(There was a rumor his predecessor had once turned a surveillance job, posing as a panhandler, into a hundred percent increase in the month’s budget. While Cade was pretty sure that was an exaggeration, it still remained a very telling story.)

What Agency 3-1-7 had was a very open-ended mandate and a couple extremely open-ended laws about how they performed that mandate.

And Cade was looking at a witch who swore up and down that magic was real.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (NanoGiraffe)
I’ve been doing some worldbuilding for my as-of-yet-unnamed-World for my Camp Nano Project, which is either called The Hidden City or Dealer’s Choice or Where the Wild THINGS Went.

[personal profile] clare_dragonfly asked: Do the three different capitalized types use different kinds of magic?


Well, yes and no.

Okay, so most of the organized magic in this world works in Signs, Sigils and Designs, a Sigil being a more complicated Sign and a Design being a more complicate Sigil or pattern of Sigils.

But the different types of workers for The Agencies - Agents, Workers, and Faces, I said, but I think Agents are Hands. And I’m not entirely sure about Workers, they might be Eyes - well, each of them specialize in different sorts of those things.

For instance, a Face is going to be very good at nothing interesting to see here and there’s nothing strange going on. They’re all about making things appear as normal as possible, so that people don’t panic, even when their government, at least The Agencies in their government, are doing awful things.

An Eye is going to be good at surveillance signs, the sort of thing that tells them what happens, or if someone crosses a certain trip-line point, or if a specific person touches that sign. They set up designs looking for certain sets of words, or for certain complaints.

A Worker, a Hand, will use signs to enforce compliance, or to strengthen them, or to protect them - combat magic, more or less. They are aimed at being the elite forces of The Agencies, and magic is certainly part of that.
aldersprig: (NanoGiraffe)
The Agencies started as three small agencies connected to larger government organizations:

One devoted to the searching out, researching, and weaponizing-if-possible the magic that many people had known had existed but nobody really wanted to admit to.

One d aimed at finding and suppressing terrorist and other threats to the US by use of human and electronic surveillance.

One aimed at convincing the US public that nothing untoward was going on, that the world was safe, and that everything was okay.

Once the second two organizations found out about the first, they saw immediate uses for magic in the implementation of their mission plans; once the first found out about the second, it, too, found uses for them.

They don’t exist as budget line items, but they are well-funded. They slide their budget into small things (expensive toilet seats) use non-Congressionally-approved methods of gaining funding, and sell seized property for a profit when it suits them.
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
(Setting: Modern-postmodern urban fantasy dystopic surveillance state. I wrote this on the bus, so totally up for logic holes being pointed out)

Magic in Jen’s ‘Verse works by encouraging or discouraging what’s already happening in the world. The more you go with the flow of the world, the less magic it takes.

So you can encourage water to flow a little more heavily over a spot, or to move to another spot. If it’s another low-lying spot, it’s not so much magic, but if it’s a high place, then that takes more magic.

Magic makes little pulls in the fabric of the world. Small pulls, only someone who is actively looking for them AND sensitive to the magic and to the pulls will find. The larger the pull, the more likely a magic-user will find. And really big pulls leave runs in the fabric of the universe that even laypeople will — and do — see.

Magic accretes where it is used. If you use a sigil to make yourself look younger, over and over again, eventually the pull is going to be visible in ways that a normal person will notice — you seem creepy, the wind goes the wrong way around you, grass dies or grows under your feet, you have witch-marks or the mark of the moon…

To move magic off of yourself, it’s generally clever to use more magic to benefit others than to benefit yourself.

The Agencies deal with this problem by delegating the magic use to Agents, Workers, and Faces.
aldersprig: (NanoGiraffe)
written while I was waiting for the clock to tick over to midnight on hallowe'en

The government people showed up a week after the test.

Noth wasn't expecting them. He'd done the test, done what his uncle always said and done his best, but he'd been doing that for years and nothing had changed. Nobody wanted him or his brothers for anything better than the trade school they were already enrolled in. Nothing was going to change. The tests were a pretty stupid formality.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (DragonBaby)
After Shattered, written after [personal profile] thnidu's tip.

Having the ghost of a cat following you around was not something to be talked about, certainly not in the current climate.

Having a ghost-cat who could mend things, well, that was nearly worse. Certainly, it would be looked at almost like hoarding, if anyone ever found out that Hannah had been hiding an ability to repair broken goods.

They had so very few goods these days. It had taken almost twenty years to get any sort of manufacturing back online, and, once they had, it had all gone to the war effort. Certainly, those guys next door had something we wanted - as it turned out, they had minerals and metals that didn't currently exist in the borders of their fractured city-state. Mugs, plates - if you couldn't scrounge it or make your own from back-yard clay, you were Sure Outta Luck, as Hannah's mother had liked to say, those times she'd noticed Hannah was listening.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (NanoGiraffe)
Last night I asked for a few prompts to get me started. This one is many generations before the story I'm writing, just a few decades after the world shattered.

1 is for broken pottery....

The mug had shattered when it hit the floor.

Hannah swore quietly. They only had the two mugs left, and here she was breaking one. Everything in the old stores had been picked over by now, anything that had survived the earth-slits, the tremors, and the battle afterwards. Anything that was still intact had been taken, hoarded by the military, who needed it to win the war.
Read more... )

Next: Pieced
aldersprig: (NanoGiraffe)
So this

is my current project list for November.

But I know me. I know that I do better with some fun stuff on the list. And I know my call-for-random-numbers people. I know that less than 7 items makes people less into the game.
Read more... )

I need three projects to play with during November. What should they be?

1. Finish It
2. Arisse
3. Showcasing
4. Hurt/Comfort Bingo
5. Addergoole
6. Beekeeper
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Into Lannamer)
First line of the ...6th of November
“No. If I’m lucky, you might be half as useful and twice as noisy.”

Last line of the 14th
But what I’m saying is, if I’m not rank to take a captive home, neither are you, trefoil.”

I've written 7830 words on Into Lannamer and 25,210 words total this month.

Urm... remember how I wasn't doing Nano?

I'm still not. Really. Um. Honestly.
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Into Lannamer)
First line of yesterday, Into Lannamer:
He sat back and glared at her. “You want to disguise me.”

Last line of yesterday, Into Lannamer:
He’d have to pay closer attention if he didn’t want to get caught in the middle of escaping.

290 words yesterday on Into Lannamer, bringing the total to 3582

Total of 2673 words yesterday, bringing the total to 10,258.
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Into Lannamer)
First line of today, Into Lannamer:
He gaped at her. “I want to go home. I’m the-”

Last line of today, Into Lannamer:
“It’s like throwing a blanket over a goat and pretending it’s a table. But if you add enough blankets, even a goat-herder might be fooled.”

628 words today, 3292 words running total on Into Lannamer.

A grand total of 1,283 words today, bringing the total to 7,585.
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Into Lannamer)
First line of yesterday, Into Lannamer:
It was a good choice

Last line of yesterday, Into Lannamer:
She settled cross-legged with her knees nearly touching his, so that she, at least, didn’t need to raise her voice.

808 words yesterday, 2664 words running total on Into Lannamer.

A grand total of 1,655 words yesterday, bringing the total to 6,302. Whee!
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Into Lannamer)
First line of today, Into Lannamer:
“The remaining army will need translators and, mm, cultural interpreters.”

Last line of today, Into Lannamer:
... or risk his own life by starting to complain again.

803 words yesterday, 1856 words running total on Into Lannamer.

A grand total of 1531 words yesterday, bringing the total to 4647. Whee!
aldersprig: (Rin)
First line of today, Into Lannamer:
The war was over.

Last line of today, Into Lannamer:
But he was unlikely to be swinging any scythes either way.

1053 words into this project, 2268 words today and I'm not quite done yet.
(there was a write-in, and then I spent some time sitting outside feeding sticks into a fire. The wifi doesn't reach to the firepit, soo...)
aldersprig: (Rin)
Into Lannamer: Their Journey is Going Places

The war is over. Rin wants to go home. But if she doesn't take the recalcitrant, difficult Girey with her, he'll either be dead, the center of a rebellion neither nation can handle right now, or both.

Girey just wants to go home, too. But chained to the back of Rin's goat, he's finding himself going in exactly the wrong direction.

This is going to be a long journey!
aldersprig: (Rin)
Rin is the fourth? in line for her grandfather's throne. Some of those before her in line have recused themselves - not interested in leadership, focused on a calling in the priesthood, interested in romance with someone who didn't want to be in a leadership position, or not interested in creating heirs for one reason or another. Many have died. Her grandfather is quite old, and has outlived handfuls of his heirs.

More than half of the royal heirs went into the army. Calenta has a heavily meritocratic society - their rulers were originally war-chiefs of nomadic tribes - and earning a high position in the Army is one way to prove your merit. However, it's also a good way to die, especially with an active war boiling on the front.

When Rin left to study healing, she was fourteenth in line. When she left for the army she was ninth in line. Her cousin Elen was three behind her and now is one behind her.

Her mother recused herself long ago. Her mother is a scholar and prefers her books to people.

Probably --> recusing yourself is acceptable (being removed from the inheritance is not, is considered very shameful, and it /does/ happen), but it is a one-way street. You can't decide to un-recuse yourself.

While I decided to get rid of the immensely complicated inheritance system I'd originally thought of, it still flips genders. I.e., since the Emperor is male, his heir WILL be female, his daughter or a granddaughter THROUGH a daughter, or, if one suitable cannot be found, from his mother's or grandmother's line.

This has made Rin's uncle, who needs a name (though he might have one in an earlier draft), exceedingly cranky.
aldersprig: (Rin)
(From here)

Basic Questions

What is your full name? What name do you go by?
Arienyankarina, Rin
Do you have any other nicknames? Where did they come from?
Ariena - standard shortening of long names in my country
What is your age?
I have had twenty-five birthdays
What is your birthday?
I was born in the rainy season, on the first day the rain came as water and not snow.
Where are you from?
Lannamer, the capital of Calenta
Where are you living now?
Oniarika, a city on the Bitrani-Calenyen border

Basic Questions
What is your full name? What name do you go by?
Girey Tel Darion, son of Fenry Ron Darion, king of Bithrain
Do you have any other nicknames? Where did they come from?
Prince, your lordship, your highness
What is your age?
What is your birthday?
The first festival of Veignevar in the hot seasons
Where are you from?
The capital of Bithrain
Where are you living now?
Oniarika, a city on the Bitrani-Calenyen border
aldersprig: (NanoGiraffe)
I was going to write up a post of links to word trackers, but this site has lots of the widgets.

Do you track your wordcount? When you're doing nano, do you use their site exclusively, or do you keep your words somewhere else? A widget tracker? A spreadsheet? What about when you're not doing nano?

Read more... )
aldersprig: (NanoGiraffe)
So, you're writing something! Good, good, that's always a good first step no wait.

So, you're planning on writing something! (or pantsing, in which case come back to this post in November, or whenever you write it ;-)

You probably have characters, and they probably need names.

(I got through two very long chapters of a theoretical serial without naming the characters, once. I'm pretty sure the Finder is just named Finder by now).

Names with Meaning
Behind The Name is the most accurate, comprehensive name site I've found.
Think Baby Names is also pretty good.
20,000 Names has nice lists: "Dark" Names. "Weather" Names. And so on.
Want to name a character appropriately for a historical American era?
the Social Security Database goes back to 1879 with the top names for each year.
Via [personal profile] anke: "In case anyone wants to name someone from Germany, has lists of the most popular baby names from 1890 to the present. just pick the birth year and see"
And here's a huge resource on historically accurate names: The SCA's name articles
A Name-suggester site ("I like this name." "Try these names.") via [personal profile] meridian_rose

If you can still get your hands on a phone book, that's a great way to pick out surnames.

Or check out Wikipedia's lists of most common surnames by location.

Names with no Meaning
Fourteen Minutes has a lovely random-name-sound generator
Springhole has several name generators
Seventh Sanctum is like the granddaddy of name generators
Chaotic Shiny has quite a few name generators, too.
This one's new to me (Mithril & Mages) but makes some fun names.
Serendipity Generators via [personal profile] meridian_rose

A list of Naming resources via [personal profile] meridian_rose

Baby Name Wizard, via [personal profile] inventrix and Cal's long and useful discussion on Behind the Name and Baby name Wizard.

There! Now that all your male characters are no longer named Jack (or maybe that's just my problem), you're ready to go.

Well, I mean, your characters are ready to go...

...well, at least they have names.

Know any more great sites? Let me know!
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (nano winner 2012)
I'm writing this now in hopes that I will remember it come October.

I'm not going to do NaNoWriMo this year. I am going to try to not do it ever again.

Reasons why:

* It's hell on my wordcount. Seriously. I might put out 60-84K during November (The year I did 84K, I forgot about Christmas...), but then I don't put out almost anything at all for December and January. I'd much rather do a steady 25-30K month

* I forgot Christmas. I neglect life stuff. I neglect spouse stuff. That's ridiculous.

* I was doing it because everyone else is. There's no reason I can't pick a project and do 25, 30K on it, playing along with everyone else.

(warning, the below is a bit grumpy)
Read more... )
I like the concept of Nano. I like the sprints, I like focusing on one project for a month. I do like the sense of achievement, but for me, getting to 50K always seemed a little slim. "Yes, I can do this. Okay. Now what?"

But I don't like the two-month hangover, and I don't like the sense of isolation and frustration that comes with trying to deal with the rest of the Nano community.

So I won't be doing Nano this year.


aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Default)

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