Jan. 16th, 2017

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In many worlds, the star never fell screaming from the heavens once, let alone three times.

In these worlds, there is no Falling Star Bay, east of the mighty Chesapeake and south of the Delaware, and smaller than both but no less important in the scheme of things. In your world, perhaps, there is no such state in the union as Hamilton.

So perhaps our story must begin with a lesson in history and geography.

Occupying the southeastern portion of what is there called the Delmarvaton Peninsula, Hamilton crowns itself the jewel of the Mid-Atlantic region, that “particularly American” stretch of the east coast where the north meets the south and they swirl around and mix together just as easily and pleasantly as hot and cold water mix in a bathtub you are already sitting in. It is the part of the United States that gave it its most enduring capital and the bloodiest, bitterest battles of its first civil war.

Whether Hamilton was the jewel of the Mid-Atlantic would be hard to say. All the states had their own opinions on the matter, and their own means to back them up. They could all agree that they were at least not Delaware, save for Delaware, which could not get away with making this claim and made up for it by getting away with whatever else it could.

Regardless, Star Harbor was clearly the jewel of the state of Hamilton. Sometimes called a rival city to Baltimore, Star Harbor carved out a unique identity of its own.

Its importance in national politics was little known and less acknowledged, even among those serious historians who recognized the power that the state of Hamilton had wielded prior to the civil war. Star Harbor was the largest and wealthiest city in the state, but not its capital and official seat of governance.

If the star never fell in your world, then what must in all likelihood then be called the Delmarva Peninsula would have a very different shape. Perhaps its southern tip would be long and tapered, rather than big and knobby. If this were the case, there would have been no Falling Star Bay. With no Falling Star Bay, there would have been no Falling Star Harbor and no city established on it.

Without these exigencies, there would have been no letter of entreaty sent to Alexander Hamilton at a pivotal moment in his New York political rivalry with Aaron Burr. Without this extra land on Virginia’s end of the peninsula, there could have been no breakaway state to take its name after the man who shepherded it into existence and served as its first and third governor.

Without the inclusion of this odd state in the tally, the legislative balance between pro-slavery states and the rest would have been maintained until 1850, preventing any one state from wielding outsized power in quietly shaping the national policy of the young United States of America.

If the star never fell in your world, when Alexander Hamilton fought his famous duel with Aaron Burr—for this is no world that had both an Alexander Hamilton and an Aaron Burr in which it did not come down to this—it must have come at a different time, had a different proximate cause, and it may have ended very differently. If nothing happened in your world to call Alexander Hamilton away from New York in 1804, then it is possible he died a senseless, pointless, preventable death at the age of forty-eight, with the lion’s share of his designs for the true system of American government unrealized.

These are only the merest handful of surface differences between a world where the star fell and one where it didn’t. There are many others, awesome and awful, terrible and terrific, wondrous and strange.

One difference more: if the star never fell from the heavens, and it never threw up a mass of land east of Virginia, then there could be no Falling Star Bay. With no Falling Star Bay, there could no island almost but not quite big enough to hold a city called Calvary Crossing, and without such an island and such a city, we would have no story about how an ordinary woman from Calvary Crossing came to save her world.

We are not here to tell you what happened at that time and in that place, but to tell you a story about what happened there. If parts of it seem fantastic, that it is because it is a story about fantastic things. If parts of it seem too strange to be believed, that is because it is a story about true things, which lack the imperative of fiction to be plausible.

Yet, if it lacks some of the rough edges you might expect to find in a story concerning people from many walks of life contending with those who might hate, despise, fear, or exploit them… well, whatever this story might be about, it is after all, a story, and we have the power to tell a story in any way in which we choose. A story is made of words, and a good story is made of words chosen carefully.

If we were to tell you a story about aliens who lived and died in another galaxy eons before you were born, we would still render their speech in a familiar language, using words you might understand. If we were to tell a story for children, we would use certain sets of words to a greater degree and others to a lesser one. If we told a story to teach a concept, we might vary our vocabulary throughout as the audience learns new words and new ideas along with the characters.

And if we were to tell a story that is meant to be refuge, celebration, and inspiration to those who find their souls besieged, we might leave certain words and ideas out of it in order to allow them to find themselves within the story while leaving certain of their troubles behind.

This is not what happened. This is a story about what happened. There are certain words it does not contain and will not contain, and some that are only used in specific contexts, never as a weapon and never by those who wield them as weapons.

Some will say this is not realistic. They are right and they are wrong. It is neither realistic nor unrealistic.

It is fantastic.

It is a story.

Listen.

We will tell you.


THE SECRET SISTERHOOD OF SUPERHEROES is an unapologetically queer, unabashedly fun and goofy serial story about a diverse cast of people with superpowers being people and having superpowers that will debut sometime in the first half of 2017, once I have secured some initial funding for beta/sensitivity readers as necessary and appropriate to the project. It will be published in the form of monthly “issues” that will each go up on my Patreon all at once for paying customers and in a slow trickle of smaller installments for everybody else.

If all goes to plan, it should start publishing in February or March.

 

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.

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The Daily Report

I did a little more writing for Secret Sisterhood over the weekend, and with 7.5 days of working on the project, I managed to “win NaNoWriMo” out of season by writing 50,000 words of contiguous fiction in the same month. I am astonished. I have an initial sensitivity reader lined up to help me make sure I’m not doing anything egregious with the Black female characters in the story before I start publishing. Or to put it another way: that my execution is in line with my intentions.

With that taken care of for the moment, I’m going to pivot to another project. My huge success in writing so much for Sisterhood (and so much I’m proud of) comes from my new approach to juggling multiple projects, an approach I call “ONE AT A TIME!“.

I always have more ideas than I have time to work on them, and I’ve traditionally tried juggling them. My track record is: I come up with a great new project and I spend a week or two or three focused really intensely on it, get a great beginning, build up some material… and then try to slot it into part of a busy, crowded workday in a way that’s supposed to be “sustainable” but never ultimately is. Because I work best when I’m focused, no matter how many different things I have going on.

So I’m letting Secret Sisterhood “breathe” for a bit while the sensitivity reader reviews it, and I’m going to pick up work on the serial I started last summer, Making Out Like Bandits. I’ve been writing it one installment at a time each month (with the months around the election being barren because I wasn’t writing fiction successfully then), and…  well, I like what I’ve written, but it’s a little disjointed and slow. The new approach is going to be to do what I did with Secret Sisterhood: write as much as I can, all at once.

I’m also planning on taking this story public (it’s currently patrons-only), as my new writing and publishing paradigm is going to produce a lot more work of fiction in a month, and it’s going to have a new model for patron perks, too.

The State of the Me

I have had a lot of joint and muscle soreness lately, consequences of going between two very different climate zones in the dead of winter and the physical activity involved in travel. It’s limiting what I can do around the house but not really interfering in my writing.

Plans For Today

I spent the first half of the work day tying up loose threads relating to the Secret Sisterhood, and the second half will be used gearing up for Making Out Like Bandits. My goal today is more taking stock and outlining and lining things up for the next four days of writing, though if inspiration strikes me I’ll just sit down and write. This is how I wound up writing the first 12,000 words of Sisterhood, two Mondays ago.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.

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