February 25th, 2012


More Steamsmith Characters

My Google-fu is strong.  I've spent days trying to track down foundations for a couple of very important supporting characters in the Steamsmith series, and finally succeeded.  I couldn't find a convenient list of period London nobility, but found enough other references to assembled the necessary pieces.  There's kind of a thrill to digging through old genealogy looking for gaps where it would be easy to attach fresh characters, and finding ones that fit perfectly.  Plus a bonus alchemist I'd never even heard of who was on one of the same pages, and some very cool notes about a family's mineral collection.

Anyhow, the two obnoxious young noblemen who will be annoying Maryam are George Cavendish and William Percy.  You'll get to meet them presently; I have a poem in progress.

The Peerage is useful if you already know a family name to look up and want to see who's in it when.  Very handy for picking character names because you can nab an ancestor's name on the premise that people recycle names in-family (which nobles consistently do).

A Victorian offers a general guide to period life.  Among other things it has a whole book laid out in sections, of which I found "The London Season" particularly helpful.  I'm starting to get that "I need to visit a bookstore" feeling again, though -- I know there are guidebooks for this time period, mostly written for romance authors, that should have a lot of the information I'm needing for this series.

All About Surnames gives an idea of which names are (currently) common, including in Greater London.  Some of those are obviously historic U.K. names.

Victorian Names and Old Names proved useful for first names.  You have to be careful with these things, because sometimes there are sharp generational shifts.  The classics are usually safe, but still.  So I also hunted down Regency Names, much harder to find listings for than Victorian.

I thought you-all might get a kick out of this progress report.


Poem: "Rosehips and Honey"

This poem is Creative Jam spillover, as several new readers got hooked on the Hart's Farm series and provided further inspiration.  rickybuchanan gave me this prompt:

I am imagining a very affectionate biromantic asexual genderqueer character who has a passion for gardening, especially growing edible herbs and plants, and loves getting the children involved in the garden too.

The result is "Rosehips and Honey," showing how children are taught through the process of everyday tasks, and how this little community gives people space to express themselves each according to their own nature.  You can read more about Hart's Farm on the Serial Poetry page.

This microfunded poem is being posted one verse at a time, as donations come in to cover them. The rate is $.50 per line, so $5 will reveal 10 new lines, and so forth. There is a permanent donation button on my profile page, or you can contact me for other arrangements. You can also ask me about the number of lines per verse, if you want to fund a certain number of verses.

So far sponsors include: rickybuchanan, janetmileslb_leesundart

97 lines, Buy It Now = $48.50
Amount donated = $30.50
Verses posted =  11 of 18

Amount remaining to fund fully = $18
Amount needed to fund next verse = $2.50
Amount needed to fund the verse after that = $2

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Completed: "In the Palms of My Hands"

The Hart's Farm poem "In the Palms of My Hands" is now complete, and you can read it online.  The carpenter Arnvid and his daughter Astrid wash up for supper and join a crowd of folks in the common house.

A new Hart's Farm poem, "Rosehips and Honey," has been opened for microfunding.  Meet Rowen, a genderqueer gardener who enjoys teaching children about edible and otherwise useful plants.

Thanks to all the folks who have been supporting this series, especially the new prompters and donors.  I'm thrilled to see it becoming so popular, so fast!