In the Story Bible

FOR THE BABY TROLL CHRONICLES I store a good many notes — on how the Trolls are actually a remnant population of Neanderthals as yet undiscovered by modern science; on the parallels between classical mythology and the history of Upothesa; the common points of inflection between said history and pop culture; marketing notes for the books…

I have jiggered the publication dates/times of these posts so they appear in the archive pages in the proper sequence.

The Baby Troll Chronicles — the Legend of a Doll.ON THE BORDERLANDS BETWEEN THEIR REALITY AND YOURS, in a town that might be in the American Midwest and might be farther away, there stands a tower.

This tower is home to a university-level school of magic and gadgets, an institute founded for the education and training of the children of the East families. For thousands of years, the Easts have been in a partnership with the Gods — called Upothesa.

Upothesa is comprised of millions of beings — Gods, Men, Trolls, Elves, and myriad other fey hominid species and is ungovernable by design. The “leader” of Upothesa, selected by the Gods in every generation and called Childe of the East — a youth from among the East families Chosen for a term of five-and-twenty years, should he or she survive it — is a figurehead, who leads as best he or she can manage, and, for the rest, leaves the enterprise to run itself. Rule by benign neglect.

On St. Valentine’s Day, 1998 — Love’s Birthday — in that tower, was born a girl, who was the culmination of millennia of effort by the Goddess Aphrodite, driven by her desire to take unto herself the ability to create original life. The girl was a composite being of an auto-cloned body and the anima of a member of the East families, who had been, in her prior lifetime, the most successful Childe of the East in all of history.

Through an accident, the girl’s soul had been cast into the body of a 12-inch plastic Xena: Warrior Princess action figure, and so she came to be called Dolly.

Dolly has been away.

Now she’s back.

How Do You Talk About

Research? DOROTHY GRANT (Mrs. Peter — or is he Mr. Dorothy), a force of nature all on her ownsome in the indiepub ‘verse, posts a note on Facebook this evening about research. Hers is all coy and humorous-teasing. Me, I’ve often thought about talking research as an amusing topic all by itself standalone solo kinda thing separate from writing, storytelling, aesthetics, package design and all the rest.

In fact, one purpose of the original BabyTrollBlog was to post notes and discussion of my research, which I consider contains endless fascination for the intellectually curious. That has, to a certain extent fallen by the wayside. Because… hard.

In order to blog about a research topic, I either need to reference and comment on an article on the Web, or I need to write an original article from scratch. The latter being a good deal more work, but also of greater value in this exchange economy. An original article is more likely to provide something of interest and therefor of value to my readers, as well as attract new readers. But the former is easier, low drag so to speak, providing lesser value, but bearing a lower cost of materials to me. And, since the blog is meant to support the writing and not the other way around, perhaps more sensible. Even though, as an artist and therefor a perfectionist, I prefer original content to reference and link. But in terms of my research, the referred articles serve as well.

For example, I have a stored article in Evernote on Istanbul. The story Odalisque is set there during the Crimean War and the city is a locale for many events in the Chronicles. This article is one of many, including several books from which I am gleaning bits of lore to use in building the fictional world of Gabrielle Francesca East the First and Olympia Holdings and Upothesa in the first half of the 19th Century. GFE1’s life and times also draw on a great deal of historical geographic and ethnographic lore from the period. For example, many of GFE’s fictional exploits echo the real life adventures of one Gertrude Bell, sometimes credited as, with Winston Churchill, the creator of the modern Middle East.

I did write a review of a biography of Bell years back on BabyTrollBlog, but how would I find it now, given it was three hosts and two databases ago? Her life and times would provide fodder for endless fascinating discussion. I also draw heavily on the lives of Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton and Rudyard Kipling. But I also have read extensively and use material from the writings of Richard Hopkirk on the Great Game. How do I cram all that into blog posts and incite comment thread discussions on the topics?

Well, Alger, I guess you put up blog posts and wait for somebody to mouth off in comments.

Gee, thanks, Dolly.

Snippety Do-Dah Snippety-ay.

SO AS PROMISED and discussed below, following please find the first snippet from my second Dolly novel, working title: Discovery, probable publishing title: The Origin Conjecture, the latter for the purpose of tying the book titles for the Chronicles to the various shades of meaning in translating the Greek word upothesa into English. As discussed in The High T Shebang.

This is the first scene of the first chapter, approximately 1,200 words (+/- rounding error). It takes place the morning of February 15, 1998, the day after Dolly’s Genesis. Those of you who have read Genesis will recognize events referred to. The rest, sorry. You’ll have to wait until I get to an official pro version of Genesis. Which will be a couple-few years down the road, unless I suddenly and magically make enough sales to quit my day job and write full time. Funny how fantasy and cold, hard fact intermingle in this game, eh?

As usual, the disclaimers. This is a work in progress, copyright ©2014, Mark Philip Alger, published 2014 by Dreamflower Works. All rights reserved.This is a first draft and substantial changes will be made prior to final publication.

Your comments are invited. Please keep it civil. I reserve the right to nuke anything or anybody for any reason — or none — whatsoever.

I Haven’t Been Paying Nearly Enough

ATTENTION TO THIS BLOG lately. Frex, I haven’t even LOOKED at the Google Analytics numbers in I don’t know how long. No idea how many readers I have, if any. So. Lettuce resolve to do better. Starting tomorrow. (Yes, I am President of the Procrastinator’s club. Or I would be, if I hadn’t put off running for so long.) So, I think I want to do some of that stuff. Like… Axe y’all (assuming there’s a “all” a y’all for me t’ axe. Like t’ axe y’all if you’d like it if I snippeted.

What’s a snippet? y’axe back. Well… it’s an excerpt of a work of fiction in progress. Usually done (as is my case) by an author desperate for attention.

I’mm thinking about snippeting the current WiP — Discovery is the working title. No more’n six er eight chapters out of a projected 25.

Whattaya think? Would y’all read and comment in the spirit of the thing?

It Should Be Obvious to All

BUT THE SIMPLEST of simpletons that spam posts — those purporting to be sycophantic comments, but merely serve as connections to feed links back to the spammers’ sites — do not make it on the air here. In order to appear as a comment here, your post must be accompanied by a legitimate email address, read as directly relevant to the matter of the original post, and NOT have anywhere in the submitted matter links to a commercial Web site. If you can’t meet these simple criteria, save your time and mine and don’t even bother. Otherwise, your post will be deleted without notice or comment. Egregious repeaters will be banned. Multiple posters will be reported to realtime blackhole lists (RBLs), which will get your site blacklisted on the entire Internet.

Also, as it serves no purpose of this site to have users register unless commenting, and since it doesn’t require registration to comment, I have checked down the option that anyone may register. If it happens that, for the purposes of the site, a person needs to be registered (such as Sarah Hoyt, for her contributions awhile back), they will be added manually by the site management. Accordingly, all users except those registered by site management have been deleted as of today.