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Maybe I am dead

My resolution to write every day fell down a cliff. I was working on my science fiction story, and it was going much too slow, as I fell down a rabbit hole of developing too many minor characters. I did get to the rocket launch, and may post a couple of pictures. I picked up playing Elite: Dangerous and spent too much time with it. My computer can’t quite handle it, and kept crashing. Part of the problem was that it clobbered Firefox, which I managed to recover by refreshing. I also started picking up threads of the Computer programming I set aside a couple of years ago, and today worked through a refresher of the Windows version of “Hello, World”. It’s going to be pricier than I like to update my development software, the hardware is even more so. We shall see what we shall see.


No, I’m not dead yet. I have been continuing to work on early classical history and should be ready for tomorrow. Also working on my novel. I have the first chapter written and am into the second. I’m still working on potential friends and enemies at a fairly slow pace. Sleepy.

Surfacing for Air

The writing is going slow. I’m doing a lot of detail (perhaps too much) on the social structure of the school in my story. I got to a certain point in my star mapping, and decided that it was too easy to get ahead of myself and have to revise later, so I’m slowing that down a bit. In the meantime, I watched “I Used to be Famous” on Netflix, and liked it. I also saw “The School of Good and Evil”, and liked that not so much: It had some nice ideas about good and evil being stereotyped, but otherwise my ideas of good and evil are rather different than in the story.

Where did Friday go?

It went by, I suppose. I took a look at my computer’s time-and-date display and was surprised to see it was Saturday already. I guess it just snuck up on me. I have slow progress on all forms of history; especially since I decided to break down my category of Northeastern US cities into Mid-Atlantic, Midwestern, New England and Northeast Plains cities.

I have also begun work on an alternate SF history, a coming-of-age story about a pair of freinds who combine to develop the space program as it should have been. I begin with them starting high school in 1970. Rather than tell about it, I have been advised, I should write it. It’s going slow, but I think I can manage it. Later stories in this same universe will deal with the human exploration and colonization of the Solar system.

I had been working on a historical fantasy, but I want to begin at the beginning, or as close to it as I can get, and I am too far removed in time, space, and culture from East African Paleolithic hunters and gatherers to the story justice, so I’m putting that one back to sleep.

A question on the Traveller Mailing List (devoted to the Traveller role-playing game) about doing it in 3 dimensions revived an old project I had set aside. I am using the AstroSynthesis program by NBOS software for three-dimensional star mapping. I had reached a certain point, and set it aside because it had become unmanageable. I decided to start over. Since I began the first time, various brown dwarfs substars have been identified, and the locations make a difference in the routes and timing of my science fictional colonization. So far, the direction of development is somewhat resembling the early Alliance-Union universe in the work of C. J. Cherryh, in her “Hinder Stars” region. I haven’t yet quite reached Tau Ceti (which is Pell’s Star, in her universe), but I’m getting close. I also haven’t read her latest in that universe “Alliance Rising”, but I might.

Now I’ve Gone and Done It

That is, restarted a writing project. A few years ago, inspired by the Traveller role-playing game, I envisioned an alternate history in which the efforts to achieve low-cost space travel were more successful and done by private enterprise than NASA. The project got too complex too quickly. I was attempting a NaNoWriMo compeition, and my writing pace fell behind. I kept the idea. I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year…but I’m bringing my own project back from the dead to work on at my own pace.

I should have my next installment of world history (Late classical) ready to put up tomorrow. And, since I just can’t leave it alone, I’m also working on a draft for Version 2 of early prehistory.

Slow to go

Although I have been working on the review of early classical history, this has been going slower than I wanted. For one, the review of African and American Indian peoples took longer than I expected. I have also been working on what I call the lower end of the Knowledge Base, most productively on the inter connections of the areas I call anthropology. For a third, I was working toward New York City as a target for historical investigation.

So, I’ve watched all of the first season of the Rings of Power. I don’t think it lives up to the hype, but it’s not a complete turkey. I’d give it a rating of three stars out of five.

The sixth and final entry of a series I’ve been reading, the “Ageless Mysteries” by Vanessa Nelson came out. This is a sort of police procedural in a fantasy realm, where the heroine is a city watchman who is tasked with investigating a series of murders and other crimes, many of them involving magic, in a city which is ruled by a class of powerful winged beings known as the Ageless. I can’t say much about it without giving spoilers, but I considered it a decent read. The machinations, motives, and fates of the principal antagonists, were finally revealed, and their ends satisfactory. I expected the relationship between Thea and her closest supporter to turn romantic, and it didn’t. Three starts of out of five, for plot threads not quite resolved, and not quite credible politics among the Ageless.


Although I am personally interested in the sciences, I decided several years back that trying to build my knowledge of the world from the bottom up wouldn’t work. Too often I lacked motivation or reason to concentrate on particular topics, so I started to work from the top down, with history. This is working better for me.

In this version of the Knowledge Base, I have reached a point where history is connecting to science. This is more useful for science than it it is for history, because examination of the particular sciences being with history.

I like to start at the beginning, with prehistory. At present, this needs connection to areas of culture, especially areas of material culture. This also involves the examination of history, especially modern history, For the 19th century I am able to roughly review the status of archaeological research among major peoples and somewhat correlate this with the major peoples of prehistory. I plan to proceed along the same lines for the 20th century and 21st centuries in general.

Although it is tempting to begin a rewrite of early prehistory already, using additional connections and developments I have made while working with history in general the periods of antiquity, I think it will be more useful to continue forward.

To this end, I am reviewing the connections to classical and medieval history. From this point onward, I will be concentrating on Western Civilization more than Asiatic peoples, and among Asiatic peoples, more on the Oriental peoples of China, Japan, and Korea more than South Asia. It may take a day or few to work through the connections of nations and peoples, social mechanics and social institutions of classical and medieval history. Since I don’t have a whole lot to say about these because they till too abstract and not very interesting to talk about, I may fill in with references to books and things.

Slogging along

I’m overdue for the next installment of my historical review. I’m already working on the next one. I got through the outline of psychology I mentioned last week, and I’ve been connecting history to the human body. There is also the fact that as I go forward through history, the number of nations and other topics to keep track increases, so a writeup becomes somewhat more daunting the further I go. I’m reasonably pleased with my plans for development, which have a nice aesthetic appeal, although practicality may be another matter. Between dealing with a balky printer (it worked last week, why did it go offline when I last wanted a print job?) and various personal maintenance chores, it’s been slower going than I like.


I’ve been going to continue my review of history with the early 2nd millennuim BC, but after several of those in a row, I’m doing a little changeup. So, for books I’ve read in the past couple of weeks, there have been “Let Me Tell Your Again”, the latest installment in the April series by Mackey Chandler. “Battles in the Black”, by J.M. Anjewierden, the latest entry in the Black Chronicles, “This Potion is da Bomb” by Honor Raconteur, the latest entry in the Henri Davenforth Chronicles, “Preternaturally Familiar”, the latest entry by Alma T.C. Boykin, the latest in her “Familiar” series, “A Lady’s Heart of Gold” by Sally Britton, the last in her “Hearts of Arizona” series, “Cinder-Nanny” by Sariah Wilson, “The Wordsmith of Emerson Pass” by Tess Thompon, the seventh of eight planned in her Emerson Pass Historical romances, “On Stormy Seas” by Eric Thomson, the eighth in his Siobhan Dunmoore series, and “A Truth to Lie For” by Ann Perry, the fourth in her Elena Standish series. Yes, I read fast, and yes, I like series..only one Cinder-Nanny isn’t in one.

I listened to nearly all of the latest LDS General Conference, and found myself, as usual, both encouraged and reinforced, and somewhat depressed by my various failures and inadequacies. There are a couple of talks I need to go over and review more thoroughly.

I have a couple of family members that I am not on good terms with, and my recent attempts at reconciliation have gone badly. In one, I seem to have done more harm than good in my last attempt, and for another, my overtures have been rebuffed. It hurts to be rejected by basically good people I would like to like. It’s depressing, and it’s a continual but familiar struggle not to be overcome with bitterness. So I’ll stifle the rant and go on about my business…this, too,, shall pass.

In the queue

For some time, I have been mildly interested in philosophy, and logic is a traditional part of it. So I got a Kindle copy of Aristotle’s “Organon”. I don’t have a great reverence or the Greek philosohers. A few years ago I attempted Plato and bounced. But Aristotle’s work is rather foundational for my own studies, so I think I ought to give it more attention. I took a look at the first entry in the Organon, “Categories” and thought. “I don’t like the organization”. So who do I think I am, rewriting Aristotle? That’s how I study and get the material to pass through my own brain and make some of it stick. We’ll se how it goes.

“When the Sahara was Green” by Martin Williams was recommended by an author I follow Aplam Boykin at her blog, “Cat Rotator’s Quarterly” and since I keep wanting to begin at the beginning with my stories, I have discovered an interest in Eastern Africa, including the eastern Sahara and the upper Nile region. We’ll see how that goes as well.