John Clark sharing what I plan to do instead of doing the full-on 50,000 word challenge next month. The first time I tried, I hit 56,000 words, so I know I can do it. Instead, I’m finally listening to the strongest voice in my head, that of Berek Metcalf. The Wizard of Simonton Pond was published as an ebook in late 2011. In all, there are 5 books in that series as well as four others written or mostly written. Simply put, Berek is pissed at me and I can’t really blame him. After all, I left him watching the girl he loves vanish in a crystal as he realizes something terrible has happened after he went from a self-conscious, easily bullied Maine teenager, to a guy who adapted to a world at war halfway across the universe. I’d be pretty upset under similar circumstances. Before elaborating on what’s coming, here’s a bit about where Berek found himself when he vanished from the family farm.
Ballicore’s solar system lies halfway across the universe from Earth. Three other planets orbit the same main sequence star, Celox; Zerend, Calyx and Obregon. None are inhabited by intelligent life forms, although Obregon has a suitable atmosphere and gravity. It lies between Ballicore and Celox.
Ballicore has two moons. Kira is a deep red and has an orbit that only allows it to be seen at the beginning of each season; Verdance, Glimmertime, Harvestway and Icefall which correspond to our spring, summer, fall and winter. Ven, which is larger, resembles our moon in size and color. Ballicore is approximately two-thirds the size of our world and is about a billion years younger, with a year that runs about 300 days.
Ballicore’s climate resembles Earth’s in many ways, although there are pockets where it is dramatically different. This results from volcanic activity or the proximity of Mana-the mysterious force behind magic in the universe, to the surface. One such pocket occurs around the Inland Sea, a tropical region northwest of the Tarnished Mountains. The Way Temple, a training center for mages and seekers of the magical path lies on an island in the center of the sea.
Seasons on Ballicore are similar to ours, but Icefall can be extremely severe. During recent times, some have been so cold that harbors along the coast have frozen solid with ice shelves extending several miles into the open sea.
Much of Ballicore’s early history has been lost. There are two reasons for this. Ballicorian civilization fell into a dark age about 500 years ago when many of the able-bodied men were killed during a demoralizing rout at the Battle of Farrow’s Pass. At the same time, most of the Elven race, the most learned and astute record keepers on the planet, died out or fled to the unexplored regions west of the Crags of Dread. While no one knows for certain, it is believed that they hid or took with them most of the scrolls documenting the history of Ballicore. For more than you probably want to know about Ballicore, go here: https://downeastwizards.wordpress.com/
My plan for November is to placate Berek and the rest of my characters by buckling down and editing as much as possible. I’ve always felt the second book, Hither we go, is the best of the lot. Maybe it’s time to prove it. I would hate to be halfway across the road and realize the logging truck approaching is going so fast and I’m toast without having exposed the world to what happened.
In addition to Hither We Go (which introduces Deanilu Archambault, an incest survivor and Greg Faircloth, a gay teen who has perfected the art of being nearly invisible while at Simonton High), there’s Married With Familiars, Like A Thief In The Night, the Further Adventures of Kallista Wolfblood and In My Father’s Footsteps.
In the series, I play with some fairly out there concepts including the possibility that our universe isn’t what we think, as well as an extremely solitary and amoral individual with an oversexed ghost trapped in her head. Stay tuned in November to see whether I shine or flame out.