e_moon60 (e_moon60) wrote,

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Line by Line: mapping unknown territory

Still working on the map(s).   Still finding it scary, where there's no record of what I drew 25 years ago (no findable record...I know the maps are still there somewhere...)    

How far north of the mountains is the valley of the Honnorgat, compared to how far south of the mountains the confluence of Imefal and Immer?    That was a problem even then, and I guesstimated it, and I'm guesstimating it again, but (as the only other person now alive who saw the original map is certain) I've now shifted the Honnorgat north half-again to twice as far.   How big (comparitively) are the northern kingdoms compared to the southern ones?  

I "saw" all this through the eyes of an inexperienced young woman who was (most of the time) immersed in the daily routine of a mercenary company...she had no education, and no way to measure time or distance other than by actions...something was "a day's march" away, or took as long as a handspan's sun movement across the sky.  (I was taught, and still use, a "hand" of sun movement to gauge whether there's time to get something done before the light fails..

Now I'm dealing with older characters, men and women of wide experience and education, who are looking fromn the map to their writer and saying "But are you sure?  Who did this one?   I think that kink in the river points the wrong way."   It is disconcerting to have a character in whose head you've been riding, seeing what they see and hearing what they hear and smelling what they smell, suddenly turn right round and look at you, his/her creator.   Let alone criticize.   I quickly invented a guild of mapmakers, illicit non-guild mapmakers, legendary mapmakers of the past,  and technical arguments (appropriate for the book's presumed technological sophistication)  which will, I hope, let any inaccuracies in the map slide down readers' throats without choking them.  

I don't trust the published maps from Paks and Gird, because those maps were not quite the same as what I gave them--I've always known some things were a little different--and without the original, I can't be sure how to correct them.   Or maybe it's my own memory that's faulty, and I've forgotten where I put certain cities. 

But ink is now flowing (slowly, with due care) onto the great blank spaces of the map.  The Honnorgat itself is a wiggly black line across the paper.  Tributaries will come next (probably not today--today is crammed with other things) and then the marks for strongholds and towns and cities and the main routes of travel.   I've done the mountains on the strip map (the N/S strip of the big map that will be in the current book)  but haven't yet put them on the big map.  Doing mountains is a lot of fun.   When I finally get a big version that I can color...oh, what fun that will be.  Mountains shades in purple-brown, as well as with the ink-stripes.  Forests in shades of green representing their dominant type of tree....  No.  Time now to be sure the rivers and mountains and hills are in the right place,

Meanwhile, Other Stuff continues to erupt.   Bananaface has another stick caught in his long, abundant tail.  That's a several hour job I don't anticipate with untrammeled glee.  I will have to shut Mac away, so he doesn't nip me while I'm working on the Yellow Peril (another of Bananaface's nicknames.   Ants have taken over the clothesline again, preferring their high-wire highway to a trip through the ground-level grass-jungle.   I don't blame them, but I wish we could agree on a daylight hour during which they'd retreat and let me take the wash in without bringing a handful of confused ants along w ith it.  I haven't been out to the far pavilion for a week and it's driving me nuts.  It's spring.  There are wildflowers and migratory warblers to be documented (yesterday, when I foolishly sat down outside to eat a sandwich without bringing camera or binoculars, a bright yellow male warbler flew down to the mimosa tree and frolicked among the pink and white flowers.   Couldn't tell which one.)   I need to leave for the city early, to pick up a painting at one place, and have the strip-map scanned, copied, and converted to a computer file at another.  And then choir practice, when I have barely glanced at the Mozart pieces.  A friend from far away is coming for lunch in the city Thursday (yay!) and Thursday night I have fencing practice.   The vegetable garden is burgeoning with the single-minded intensity Texas gardens show in the brief period between a small rainstorm and the 100-degree weather that will arrive any day now.  (Had our own green beans last night...yum.  Corn ears are fattening...) There's a writing deadline other than book approaching at a flat gallop, but I'm within a paragraph ( a miserable uncooperative paragraph!) of being done with that one.

At the moment, the migraine is in remission, so that helps.   An astonishing number of us in a north-south band through Texas developed migraines with the weather that moved in late last week and kept them (unwillingly) through the weekend.   So it may be possible to clear away the rest of the chores--well, except for house cleaning and finding the original map.

Tags: the writing life
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