Discover more from Pangrammatike
Have you read The Village of Strong Branches?
Substack apparently misses me. Also, I'm gearing up to publish A Matter of Oracles (date TBD).
Substack has been sending me emails for over a month asking for content. It claims that the way to “grow” an “audience” is to commit to regular posting, to ensure that this content is a priority in my life.
Posting here is not something that I add to my to-do list every week. When I open Sunsama and do my weekly task prioritization, my tasks fall under four categories: life maintenance and cleaning; self-care and creativity; work tasks; and spiritual study. I’m not that concerned about “grow”ing an “audience” because I have a full-time job, and even while I am making a foray into self-publishing my conlang-heavy speculative fiction, what I do when I get home has to put energy back in the tank, especially during the busier parts of my year.
Writing newsletter pieces or blogging ranks fairly low on that list right now. It’s not that I don’t want to. It’s that about 98% of what I could say requires me to reference books I haven’t published yet, and I can’t exactly explain my approach to writing without referring to things you can’t see for yourselves.
However, it is the beginning of October, and I do have updates. I just finished sending an email to the cover artist whom I commission with some details about A Matter of Oracles, my next novella — which begins its final processing phase. Once I know the artist’s timeline, I will know more about when I can release the book. My final self-edit phase is to read the entire thing aloud to ensure it flows and to catch typos. I’m still at the “bootstrapping” phase of self-publishing, and I do not have a budget for both an external copyeditor and a cover artist.
The Village of Strong Branches has sold 5 ebook copies and 4 print copies. This is really good considering how arthouse my writing is. If you’ve read it, please take a few minutes to review it on Goodreads or Amazon so others can have some guidance about whether or not the book is a good fit for what they’re looking for.
Writing-wise, I finished doing an outline for a project I’m rewriting (Candles in the Forest), and I’ve started on the rewrite. It is working out much better. My favorite part of doing the rewrite prep was hashing out a bit more related to characters’ surnames using my conlang information, and I found some neat ties to myths in the backstory behind the philosophical schools involved in the work. I’ve also started writing a companion piece to follow A Matter of Oracles called What Happened at Black Sands. It hasn’t been outlined yet — I know the beginning and the end. I usually start a project by free writing a few thousand words and then go back and start pulling structure out of what I’ve written.
Let’s close with a conlang moment.
In Marmaḥa, there is a word beḥu, which means constant. This language is an “ancestor language” in most stories I write in my worldbuilding. In Malzmā, it became bū. In Classical Atarahi, it became bwu. In Tenu, it became betu, and its meaning shifted to prudent. Classical Atarahi has further daughter languages (hence why it’s called “classical”) — in Demaí, bwu becomes hū. In Tarmei, bwu becomes wu.
The protagonist of my next novella is originally from a region that speaks a precursor to Tarmei and moves to a place where the regional language is what will become Demaí. For example, herder in Classical Atarahi is mēbwō. In Demaí, it becomes meó. In Tarmei, it becomes mēẖo, where ẖ is the IPA glottal fricative /ɦ/. Scholar is mussē in Classical Atarahi and becomes ũshé (note the beginning nasal vowel) in Demaí and muw̥ē (where the w is pronounced like the w when you try to say where in a posh way) in Tarmei. There are relatively fewer differences between the languages when she is alive, but the differences are already becoming difficult because different slang and metaphors are used.