Tag Archives: Stone and String

Infinitas Publishing – Status Report

It’s time for another monthly Infinitas Publishing status report!

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The Glitch Saga Print Editions

Glitch: The paperback editions of the Glitch series is here! Whispers in the Code, Ghost of a Memory, and Spirits of a Glitch are all available as both ebooks and as paperbacks.

Not only that, but Isaac and I have released the complete ebook box set with all three books in one. Right now The Glitch Saga: The Complete Collection is available on Amazon and Smashwords, but should be available at other online retailers soon.

Fractured Skies: (Book 2 of the Distant Horizon series). Currently out to beta-readers. I’m hoping to have feedback by mid July.

Distant Horizon - Paperback Edition

Distant Horizon: The updated paperback edition is now available!

Lily’s Story: (Distant Horizon series spin-off novel) I started writing the rough draft yesterday. Goal is to complete the rough draft by the end of July as a part of Camp NaNoWriMo.

The Multiverse Chronicles: On hold. Created a book cover proof for a possible cover to use once this is complete.

Little One: On hold, but I have Isaac’s notes. Next step is revisions.

Magebane: (Book Three of The Wishing Blade series) Now that Fractured Skies is out to beta-readers, this is my next big project for revisions. Hoping to have those completed and have it back out to beta-readers by the end of the month.

Wind and Words - Paperback EditionWind and Words: (Book 2 of Stone and String). The paperback editions for both Wind and Words and Stone and String are now available!

Stone and String 3 (and assorted Wishing Blade short stories): Still plotting these, though I’m hoping to work on creating a rough draft once Magebane is out to beta-readers.

Cyberpunk / Dystopian Snow White Story: On hold.

Game Design: On hold.

Marketing: Mostly working on our newsletters. I’ve also been doing a “Weekly Book Promotion” highlight on my blog featuring various ebook giveaways.

SBibb’s Photographic Illustration: Finished one book cover and made progress on another formatting/cover art project.

LitRPG / GameLit Story: Rough draft complete at 75,000 words! Still need to make some tweaks to the beginning setup and part of the game system, but the main thing now is to complete revisions and send it out to beta-readers. That, and figure out a tagline.

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One last thing before I conclude this post. Is there anything you would like to see more of on this blog? If so, let me know in the comments below. 🙂

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That’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed this post. 🙂

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Infinitas Publishing – Status Report

Yipes… is it really that time again? Well then, I guess it’s time for the monthly Infinitas Publishing status report! An unexpected event at the beginning of the month (May) shifted some of our original plans off schedule, but now we’re mostly back on track.

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Glitch: The proof copies of the Glitch saga print editions are on order. Finally got the formatting done. All that’s left is to receive the copies, check for any issues and make sure the covers look correct, and then approve them for sale.

Once that’s complete, I intend to create an ebook “box” set with the complete mini-series.

Fractured Skies: (Book 2 of the Distant Horizon series). I’m about halfway through the current round of revisions on Fractured Skies. Removed one of the subplots and I’m primarily trying to tighten it up before sending it out to the next round of beta-readers.

The ebook cover is officially complete.

Distant Horizon: Waiting for the proof copy to arrive of the updated print edition.

Lily’s Story: (Distant Horizon series spin-off novel) Isaac and I figured out a rough outline. Still need to make a formal outline, but the majority of the ideas are now in place. Next step is to tighten up the outline and write the rough draft. I’m thinking this might be a July project, but we’ll see.

The Multiverse Chronicles: On hold. That being said, I did manage to finish editing another episode. Still a few episodes remain to be edited before this project is ready to come back to the front of the projects list.

Little One: Isaac has read through my current draft of Little One and given me notes. It’ll be a little bit before I start revisions (I need to finish editing Fractured Skies and Magebane first) but now that I have notes, I can move this up on my to-do list.

Magebane: (Book Three of The Wishing Blade series) Once I’ve finished revisions for Fractured Skies, this is next on my list. After I finish those revisions, it will need to go out to another round of beta-readers. It’s also clear that Magebane relies heavily on the first two books, and will not read as a stand-alone.

Wind and Words: (Book 2 of Stone and String). Complete! The ebook edition of Wind and Words is now available, and I’m currently waiting for the proof copy of the print edition to arrive. I intend to make both the print edition for Wind and Words and “Stone and String” available on Amazon (as well as in person, when possible).

Stone and String 3 (and assorted Wishing Blade short stories): Currently plotting this and two short stories (or novellas… we’ll see) prior to this one. Working on creating the immortals’ fictional language so I can create the Ancient Cirenan language (more on that in this blog post), which should have at least a small feature in these stories.

Plus, I have an idea for a short story set in the snowy region of Reveratch, north of Cirena. Not sure when these will get written, but I’m in the pre-writing stages of development.

Cyberpunk / Dystopian Snow White Story: On hold.

Game Design: On hold… though Isaac and I have been fun playing an “epic” version of our Legends of Cirena mini role-play game. All tiles, all expansions, all bosses, and a few story-line style quests. It’ll be a while before this is complete enough to release to the public, but hey, we’ve been having fun with its potential.

Marketing: Got to participate in a Facebook launch party for Michael W. Huard’s Sisters of the Dawn’s Early Light with several other authors. That was fun. Did a couple giveaways there. Also, I’ve been including a lot of behind-the-scenes details in my newsletters, so if you want to stay up-to-date, don’t forget to sign up for them (details on the sidebar).

SBibb’s Photographic Illustration: Now that formatting the books for Infinitas Publishing is complete, I have a formatting project I’m currently working on, plus a couple book covers slated to complete in the next month for other authors.

LitRPG / GameLit Story: While I had hoped to get the rough draft completed, that didn’t happen. However, I’ve been working through a round of revisions on the second portion of the story, and I have an idea for how to complete the climax and resolution (which wasn’t what I originally thought it was). Also, I have a cover completed and a blurb, which is a plus. Also, I have the title. Just need to finish the actual story so I can send it out to beta-readers and figure out a catchy tagline.

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I kind of feel like I might be missing something, but that’s all I can think of for now. I hope you enjoyed this post. 🙂

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Thoughts on Writing – Developing a Fictional Language – The Immortals’ Language (Choosing the Sounds)

With Wind and Words now complete, I’ve been thinking about the next story in the series (along with a short story set in Reveratch, a completely different region of Cirena).

One thing I’ve determined is that Ancient Cirenan needs to play a role in the story. The problem?

I’ve developed the Cantingen language, and a few odds and end words from Cirenan, but nothing extensive.

Making matters more complicated, Cirenan is supposed to be something like English… a mixture of languages that isn’t entirely consistent. This means that, whereas I can easily create a new Cantingen word when I need one (I even have a list of words that fit the language but don’t yet have meanings, specifically for this purpose), I can’t do that for Cirenan. At least… not on the scale that I’m going to need for the next story. Not until I have an idea of what languages are going to influence it.

As such, I’ve been thinking about the different languages which will influence Cirenan.

There are three that I can think of in particular:

  1. Cantingen – (This is one of the original languages of that world, though it wasn’t as consistent in ancient times as it is at the point where The Wishing Blade series picks up. More prevalent on the southern coasts.)
  2. Immortal – (The language of the humanoid wolves and bears which inhabit the immortal realm. There would be several variations of this dialect depending on the region and what kind of creatures are using it, but the primary one that will influence Cirenan is the variation based on the wolves. More prevalent in the northern and western regions)
  3. Litkanston – (This is the language that developed in the southern regions of Cirena. I haven’t explored this one yet).

Thankfully, I already have a pretty good handle on the Cantingen language, since it’s the basis for word magic (and featured prominently in the Stone and String series).

Now, thanks to developing some of the details regarding Reveratch, which sits on Cirena’s northern border and shares space with the Immortal Realm, I’ve started looking more in depth at the language of the immortals. I haven’t come up with an official name for it, so, for now, I’ll simply call it the immortal language. (Sorry… all my creativity is currently being directed to developing the language, not naming it).

The first thing I did was try to consider what things were important to the immortals, and which immortals would be represented.

The immortal realm is fluid, meaning that different places are not always next to each other at the same time. Oral storytelling to preserve memories (and thus, how to get from one place or another), is important. My focus is primarily on the wolves, who share a similar language with the bears (Bears are important to Reveratch). The wolves’ belief system is also a bit different from that of the Cantingen people, and varies from group to group. In general, though, they do not worship Madia/Madiya (and some may even see her as an affront to Karewalin), and while they see Listhant-Nsasrar as a creator, he is not the only creator of their realm.

That is what I started with, though those details may change as I continue to develop their world.

Ultimately, for creating the sound of the language, I started with the main “immortal” name I already had: Nsasrar. Anything I constructed for this language needed to be able to accommodate his name.

So I moved on to deciding which sounds I wanted to keep, and the representations using the English alphabet for each.

I got a bit of inspiration from looking at one of the Inuit languages, in that (at least according to the article I was reading), you could signify a short vowel by only using one, and a long vowel if there were two of the same vowels. (I could totally be wrong about this, though, and I need to dive back into the realm of internet research to find that article again).

I ended up with this for the immortals’ language:

  • i (sick)
  • ii (eye)
  • a (sack)
  • aa (aid)
  • e (bed)
  • ee (weed)
  • o (soap)
  • uu (moon)

There is also “u” (uh). However, it is only shown before a consonant, or if to represent its occurance after the “uu” sound.

The reason for this is that a single consonant, by itself, will automatically have the “uh” sound added (though it is not emphasized).

For example, Nsasrar sounds like “Nuh-sas-rar.”

(Eventually I need to relearn IPA so I can use a more specific way of designating sounds).

I also determined that an apostrophe will break apart words, indicating when a sound should stop.

For example, “amaa’a” is pronounced “ah-may-ah,” with a bit of a harder stop between “may” and the second “ah.” The second “ah” recieves more emphasis that it would if it had not been seperated. (Also, this way we can see that amaa’a should be pronounced “ah-may-ah” instead of “ah-mah-ay.”

This is different from the Cantingen language, which uses the apostrophe to designate “of” and has a hard “c” sound.

For example:

shodo’charl (stone of passage) is pronounced “show-doh-kuh-charl”

These are differences I’ll have to remember as I swap back and forth between working on the different languages.

Next I decided on the consonants for the immortal language, and I specifically wanted ones that I could picture being growled, barked, or yapped (with a little room for imagination).

This was my resulting list:

  • c
  • ch
  • cr
  • d
  • dr
  • g
  • h
  • l
  • m
  • n
  • r
  • s
  • v
  • vr
  • w
  • y

There is one other consonant: “q” (sounds like: “kwuh”) but it is specifically reserved to mean “I.”

Now, those may change as I develop the language, but that’s my starting guide for developing words.

I’ve already made a few determinations about the organization of sentences, how words change when paired with other words, and a starting point for the indication of tense and interrogatives, but those are still very much in development.

For now, I’ll leave you with a few of the words and a sentence I’ve translated thus far.

I – q – (kwuh)

drink – dramer – (drahm-air)

cold – uuanuu – (oo-ahn-oo)

milk – novo (no-voh)

quickly – vree – (vree)

I drink cold milk quickly.

translates to:

Dramvreeq novauuanuu.

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If this interests you, let me know, and I may go into more detail about how I’m actually trying to put the sentences together later. For now, I hope you enjoyed this post. 🙂

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Wind and Words – Now Available!

I’m thrilled to announce that the second book in the Stone and String series is now available! (And 99 cents for a limited time!)

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | BN.com | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

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Wind and Words

Wind and Words - Book Cover

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YA Fantasy

Wind and Words is a novella, 23,000 words compared to “Stone and String’s” 8,000 words. I had a lot of fun exploring more of the Cantingen culture, word magic, and string magic. I hope you enjoy it, too. 🙂

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Life magic is not meant to be alone.

 

Everyone is born with two strings of magic. One strand is life, and the other is death.

 

When Edyli escaped the land of the dead after saving her sister, the goddess of death removed Edyli’s death magic. Without that string, Edyli is unbalanced, a “monster” who cannot sleep, cannot die, and without care, will slowly go mad.

 

Banished from her home for refusing to make amends with the goddess, Edyli is surprised to discover a child without life magic deep in the jungle—a child her remaining magic is drawn to, because those who are unbalanced are inexplicably drawn together.

 

Terrified of what might happen if the two of them touch, Edyli seeks answers about the mysterious child. If she can recover the child’s life magic, she might earn back the goddess’s favor and become whole again.

 

But one mistake, and Edyli could live forever in insanity.

You can grab your copy today for only 99 cents! (It’ll go back up to $2.99 in about a week).

Amazon (US) |Amazon (UK) | BN.com | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

Add Wind and Words" to Goodreads

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(UPDATE: As of 6/2/2018, all the links should now be working. 🙂

Note: My apologies if you’re in the UK, India, or Germany, and use Amazon. I’m still waiting for them to create the page for Wind and Words there. However, all other links should be working).

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Here’s an excerpt:

A flash of movement caught Edyli’s eye. The hairs on her arms prickled under her wet sari. There were predators in the jungle, and though such creatures would not approach the nearby villages, they might attack a young human who was alone. Since it was night and the sky dark, the predator could be a tiger or other creature that she could not defend against without being able to see. She could, perhaps, use word magic to discern if the creature was a threat or not, and where it came from, but since she could only rest through meditation, she did not desire to use what focus she had.

 

But something about the creature was strange.

 

Normally she would have heard the rustle of leaves or the scratching of claws, or the snap of twigs under the creature’s weight. But what she heard was silence. Utter silence. It was deafening, as if the silence drowned out the sound of the wind.

 

“Who goes there?” she asked, forcing her voice to be loud. Perhaps, if she sounded threatening enough, then whatever was out there would not force her to use magic. “Reveal yourself!”

 

A tiny form stepped out from behind a scraggly tree.

 

Edyli blinked. “Akymi?”

 

The child was the same height and size as Edyli’s little sister, but her skin was a lighter shade of brown and her hair a straight, coarse black that fell below her shoulders. She wore a ragged, plain tunic, long enough to reach her ankles but clearly oversized, as if it had been lent to her. She stared at Edyli, her posture stiff, her hands at her side. Her dark eyes seemed to stare through Edyli, her expression dead. Her black hair fell across her face as she tilted her head, and then she turned her head again so that her hair cleared away.

 

The emptiness in Edyli’s chest ached, pulling her toward the girl as if something tugged at her, calling for her to move closer, to touch the girl’s tiny hands and to make her whole again. The girl raised her arm and stretched her fingers toward Edyli. A whimper sounded in her throat. Edyli tried to step back, fear mounting inside her, but she couldn’t move. The forest around her dimmed, centering on the child. She was the only thing in Edyli’s vision, and the rest of Edyli’s vision was a black, swirling mass, as if she had fallen into a seething whirlpool made from the night sky.

 

Shadikryl fa illdratethdruv shomagi drateth noram.

 

Life magic is not meant to be alone.

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Read Wind and Words today!

Amazon (US) |Amazon (UK) | BN.com | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

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Enjoy! 😀

Sican naketonia quisé das vegra.
(May the gods grant you good fortune. – A saying from the Cantingen Islands)

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Haven’t read “Stone and String?”

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Free and 99 Cent Books for the Holidays

Looking for inexpensive or free books to read in the new year? Check out this compilation of book offerings assembled by PD Workman. 🙂

There’s a large variety of books available, mostly for free or 99 cents. This includes my “Stone and String” short story. (Regularly 99 cents, but many of the other books offered are currently on sale).

https://pdworkman.com/books-in-your-stocking-a-christmas-eve-book-flood/

PDWorkman - stocking-stuffer-long

Enjoy, and let me know if you’d like to see more posts from me that include bargain books or offerings. 🙂

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Thoughts on Writing – Developing a Fantasy Language (Interrogative)

For my short story, “Stone and String,” and for The Wishing Blade series, I’ve been trying to develop a functional conlang (constructed language) to add flavor to the world and for use as plot points. However, I ran into a problem… how do I ask questions in my Cantingen language?

See, I’ve been developing this over a period of time. Figuring out potential words and jotting them down for future use… figuring out a grammar rule (researched a whole slew of grammar rules from various languages to figure out the previous grammar rule)… and adding them to the dictionary as I go. I already had verb conjugations figured out (at least for an imperative style phrase in present tense), numbers, possessives (sort of) and adjectives. Apparently I already figured out adverbs, too, but hadn’t realized it. (And so I jotted that down, too).

But then it hit me that I hadn’t figured out how to ask a question in the Cantingen language.

I considered not having them use questions at all… then decided that would be just a bit too bossy for them. While word magic based on the language isn’t likely to use questions (though Isaac has challenge me to figure out how they might make it work) since it’s based on commanding magic to do what they want, the casual speaker is going to want to ask questions.

So I did some quick internet research on interrogative language stuff… (it may become quickly apparent that while I am trying to learn what the various mechanics are, I have trouble remembering the names for those mechanics)… and began formatting how to create the questions.

First off, I knew that I couldn’t use tone to imply that something is a question. That’s because word magic is intended to be read and still be clear… without the use of a question mark. I didn’t want to mess with swapping sentence structure around to make a question. And I didn’t want to inflect the verb in order to suggest that it’s a question.

Somehow, the result ended up reminding of an elementary school English lesson:

How does the dog run? The dog runs quickly. The dog runs how? Quickly.

And thus I decided on these rules:

  1. Questions are to be phrased so that the interrogative portion of the question replaces the who/what/etc portion of the question.
    1. (Ex. The dog runs how? vs The dog runs quickly.)
  2. To form a question, the who/what/etc suffix is attached before the word quéth, thus forming the phrase which replaces the part of the sentence in question.
    1. (Ex. nanlli mean “how,”quéth indicates that the sentence is question. Together, they create nanlliquéth.)
  3. Because the question is indicated in the sentence, there is no need for a question mark.
    1. (Ex. In English, it would look like the person says: “The dog runs how.” It should read flatter, without the rise in tone that a question in English would have. )
  4. Yes/No questions simply attach quéth to the verb in question.
    1. (Ex. hasil is “dog” and nivé is “to run.” “The dog runs,” translates to Hasil nivétra. If you say “The dog runs?” in English, you would say Hasil nivétraquéth. in Cantingen.

 

The questions ended up looking something like this:

 

Who – ka 

Who is that girl? Edyli is that girl.

Kaquéth dratethol ali doran. Edyli dratethol ali doran.

*
What kas

That sound is of what? That sound is of leaves.

Ali runin dratetha so kasqueth. Ali runin dratethtra so inarame.

*
Whenvésa

We leave when? We leave soon.

Yliav vésaquéth. Yliav jano.

*

Whereuru

The scroll is where? The scroll is in the box.

Kev dratethtra da uruquéth.Kev dratethtra da vari.

*
Whyji

She weaves why? She enjoys to weave.

Walol jiquéth. Kaviol wal.

*
How  – nanlli

She weaves how? She weaves quickly.

Walol nanlliquéth. Walol naf.

*
Yes/No Questions

This is the girl I seek?

Éda dratetholquéth doran somaria.

It’s still rough, and probably needs some polishing, but that’s what I have so far. It came in handy while working on The Shadow War. While there aren’t anyone asking questions directly in the Cantingen language, there are a few times when the main characters are speaking to people who are from the Cantingen Islands. Knowing how their primary language worked, I was able to change the sentence structure to add to the voice of those character.

For example, there’s a scene that takes place at the marketplace outside of Ashan.

The merchant bowed politely to the horses. She spoke softly in a Cantingen dialect, nothing Toranih understood, before finally turning to her customers and smiling. “Something attracts your eye?” she asked. Her Cirenan speech was articulate and careful, common among the Islanders. A rich blue sash wrapped around her hips and across her slender, bronze shoulders. Her dark hair had been pulled into loose curls and silver ribbons.

Daernan gestured to a pastry with a flaky, golden-brown crust, apricot paste, and streaks of yogurt frosting. “I’ll have that.”

Though I use the question mark here to mark correct English grammar, note how the question is phrased… “Something attracts your eye?” rather than “Does something attract your eye?” or “Do you see anything you like?” Theoretically, you could read it as a statement: “Something attracts your eye.” But if the merchant were to be speaking in the Cantingen language, she would use “quéth” to designate the question. “Eliaved nicolquéth naenlli.” (Literally, it translates to “Unknown sweet bread attracts your attention.” but the merchant knows enough Cirenan to phrase the question in a more familiar way).

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I hope you enjoyed this post. 🙂 Have you tried constructing your own language, and if so, what problems have you run into?

If you want to read more about conlangs, I also have a post about Developing a Fictional Language (Cantingen) and Developing a Fictional Language (Maijevan).

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“Stone and String” is Now Available on Multiple Platforms

Isbibb-stoneandsting_cover_blogf you’ve been waiting for “Stone and String” to become available on other platforms, you can rest knowing that the wait is over!

I’ve removed “Stone and String” from Kindle Select and uploaded it to Smashwords, which distributed it across several platforms. Enjoy! 🙂

 

BN.Com ~ iTunes ~ Kobo ~ Smashwords

Amazon (US) ~ Amazon (UK)

Add to Goodreads

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In the world of “The Wishing Blade,” everyone is born with two strings of magic. One strand is life, and the other is death. Very few can manipulate them.

Among the Cantingen Islanders, children are tested for this ability during their first rites of magic, a ceremony which determines what magic they have and their future as a mage. But when Edyli’s little sister, Akymi, dies in an accident before those rites can occur, Edyli does the unthinkable. She uses magic to return Akymi to the living. As a result, she finds herself in a land of weblike strings… the afterlife.

Edyli refuses to give up seeing her sister’s first rites. With the help of a mysterious immortal and sheer determination, she has every intention of seeing her sister once more, even if it means incurring the wrath of Madia, the goddess of the dead.

~

Author’s Note: This is an 8,000-word short story based in the universe of “The Wishing Blade” series. Though the stories are related (“Stone and String” takes place at the same time as the events of “Magic’s Stealing”), “Stone and String” stands alone.

Stone and String - Teaser Blurb

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