This is the first chapter of my W.I.P. It is unedited and raw and I offer it up for any comment. It takes place in the secretive Han province in the fantasy world of Eirie. Prue Batten © 2010
The idea of holding a blog event would have sounded quite odd to me twelve months ago. That long ago I was only just coming to terms with Facebook and LinkedIn, followed by the dreaded 140 characters of Twitter. But on the lookout for ways in which to reach a readership, I came across ‘how to make a book-trailer’ on Nathan Bransford’s blog. Of course I couldn’t on my own, because technology and I don’t speak in the same language and so my brother (who runs a production house) did it to my brief. After that I felt ‘challenge’ biting at my heels and on reading all my favourite historical fiction blogs, came across the amaaaaazzzing vvb32 who seems to run brilliant events on a weekly basis.
Just before you read the next chapter of the novella, we need to let you know that whilst almost all images have been re-instated, some have been lost. Including the one that related to the first question of the Scavenger Hunt. We have therefore introduced a new first question and ask that you go back to the list of questions to check that you have answered it. Our apologies, but it was beyond our control. We hope it won’t deter you from entering and completing the hunt. Goodluck!
THE MASKED BALL PROGRAMME:
Saturday May 1st, 10pm-midnight London time.
We suggest you use this time converter to work out the exact time in your part of the world so that you can log onto Mesmered and not miss a moment. And we also wish to say that as the evening progresses and as you all (we hope) become involved in the inevitable chat and gossip behind hands, pillars and aspidistras that happens at Balls, the timing may slow down and the event placements may even change a little. We also hope that by releasing the programme at this stage, that it gives you time to prepare the writing challenges that you have proved are within your ambit.
As I continue to write The Shifu Cloth, my share of the blog posts for The Masked Ball, the short story for The Masked Ball miniature book and the edits to Paperweights, I am finding my mind has to compartmentalise. To be frank it isn’t easy and when I return to both Shifu Cloth and Paperweights, I find I have to read a significant amount of the previous chapters to ground myself in the flow of that particular work. Which is probably why I choose to make the story posts I contribute here, fairly light, spoofish and V.V. short. So here we go with my next contribution, with the help of the wicked face of Guy of Gisborne alias Niccolo de Fleury.
When I began the journey to hold a Masked Ball on Mesmered’s blog, I never dreamed that a story would emerge from it, two stories in fact. One is a short-story called The Masked Ball which is entirely different than the blog-story and which Pat from Bo Press Miniature Books is using in one of her brilliant limited edition creations. But here on Mesmered, another story is developing and it’s exciting for me to see what my co-conspirators come up with each day. Till now, we haven’t communicated a story-line with each other, we have just run off with the last line of the previous submission to write our own submission and move the story forward. It’s become an exercise in fleet wordage and spare detail for me and I find I am learning quite a lot about the craft of writing and getting the message across in the shortest possible time. Please sit back now and enjoy Pat Sweet’s continuation of her part in The Masked Ball as Parthenope Neroli:
What a day! Launched the book trailer and wanted desperately to open champagne with friends to celebrate, so have been having a virtual celebration on Facebook. And that’s actually stirling practice for the Ball. Writing, ie editing, hasn’t featured greatly today and I’m ashamed of my lack of discipline and needing to run far from such shame, I sped over to my blogroll and had an enjoyable read. There is a wonderful piece of writing that deserves to have heaps of coverage and if you want to be taken far from the melting snows and chill of a Northern hemisphere winter, do read this piece from Provence . . . guaranteed to warm your toes.
I think I might have broken the back of the edit. I have addressed every point the editor reported and now want to print off the ms into hard copy and read it as per a book but with a red pen in hand. I imagine, that with good luck and a fair wind, I shall have finished and be ready to send it back to London for final comment by the end of next week. Marketable or not. Waiting for the answer will be excruciating.
After watching an episode of In The Night Garden, my dose of calm and equilibrium for the evening, I have decided that to escape over the ocean while I wait for an answer is the way to go. Just me and Upsy Daisy, maybe Iggle Piggle and the Tombliboos,
all in the Pinky Ponk as it floats on clouds of what seems to be expressed air (farts in more commonplace language). We shall fly over my little bay outside the window and I shall watch the boats and the gulls, the dolphins and the divers. We shall fart and dip over Maria Island and return on the crest of a sea-breeze and I shall have ditched my anxiety, like so many farts and noxious ballast, and be ready for as straight an answer as London can give me.
A gift for all those who over the year have become friends and who take the time to read just another blog among millions. It’s a bit of a long blog if you can bear it. Stick with it friends, let’s face it, this is a time of year, with blizzards in the Northern Hemisphere and dust/rain in the Southern Hemisphere, when we all should just be sitting with a good book. Please enjoy and Happy Season to you all! See you after Christmas!
Jon Evans in 2008 talked on Tor.com about a spectrum with surreal fantasy at the far left, categorized by Marquez and Allende and systematic fantasy moving to the right categorized by books like ‘Little Big’. He went on to say that the far left uses magic to illuminate and explore their characters and their struggles in our real world.