Spring… at Last!

doorintosummer0

After a long but not so brutal winter – and I am thankful I did not live in New England this winter! – it would appear that spring is arriving.

And just like the feline character, Pete, in Heinlein’s the Door into Summer, our cat did not object when I opened the door to let him out this morning. He looked up at me as if to say “Finally! You got it right!”

Unfortunately, it also ushers in the time to get out and start working in the yard. Which means considerably less time spent at my computer, writing. But that is the price we must pay for the seasons we enjoy so much.

The yard is not a complete mess after the winter, but soon the grass will be growing again and there’s crops and flowers to get into the ground to make our space look civilized and to get food on the table.

I hope most of you are also getting the spring fever. Hibernation time is over.

It seems a shame that it also coincides with the “spring forward” of Daylight Savings Time.

That is an idea that has long outlasted it’s usefulness. And as I get older, I am becoming far more accustomed to the natural rhythms of life.

Throwing a monkey wrench into the mix is not required.

an Irving Berlin Postcard

Christmas 2012

The weather told us we were not going to get a white Christmas this year. They were saying it was going to rain late on Christmas eve, before (perhaps) turning into sleet for an hour or so but then warming up on Christmas to the mid-fifties.

We drove out twenty miles westward to exchange gifts with our elder son who was planning to spend Christmas day with the in-laws. We were going to miss the grandkids, but we have to be satisfied with every other Christmas.

On the return trip home, it started snowing. Lightly at first, and then it changed to sleet. We made our way home slowly as the sleet dwindled.

As we pulled in the driveway, it was snowing lightly again.

We figured it would pass quickly.

But Christmas morning, we awoke to two inches of the white stuff covering everything. It was, of course, beautiful. Moreso because we did not have to drive anywhere.

And by noon, as the mid-fifties temperature arrived, most of it was melting away. By mid-afternoon, when the daughter arrived from her home twenty miles to the east, she was amazed to find any snow, though very little was left on the ground. Mostly in shaded places on the north side of the house and shed.

Briefly, it had been picturesque. For a moment it was a postcard from an Irving Berlin musical.


I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, regardless of the weather at your place.


Early Fountable versions

Believe it or not, the novel Fountable was originally designed as a trilogy about a character named Tervan Andrisn, just as the present edition exists.

Only in the earliest versions the age of the main character was different: he was generally in his mid-thirties. And there were about twenty varying versions of the first volume.

I started the story in 1970 when I was walking around Los Angeles. Looking around at the taller buildings to get my bearings, I saw a very wide structure across the street. My eyes drifted up to the top where a name was etched in the concrete face: FOUNTABLE. I thought for a moment and could not remember any such building.

After turning on a side street and walking a short distance, I looked back and saw the word on the building was actually “EQUITABLE”, being the headquarters of that insurance company.

Arriving back at my apartment, the word was still on my mind and I opened a dictionary to see what it meant. As there was no such word, I took it by halves: FOUNT = original source + ABLE = power.

And the idea was born.

The first draft went about 15,000 words before I lost interest. The next two were even shorter.

About five years later, I picked up the idea again and outlined all three volumes in the set. The writing on volume one went into the eighteenth chapter before the story seemed to peter out again.

And I had gotten that far in the tale before he even met the Imperial princess or began a relationship with her. Overthrowing the Empire was actually plotted to fall into volume two of that trilogy.


In the present incarnation of the story, Tervan is only about nineteen years of age and he meets the princess by chapter five.

And he is able to bring the Empire down around the midway point of the first volume.

I think it is a better story than any of the versions I had started in the past and the last previous one of those was dated 1995. In 2007, with my old writing files all packed away in storage, the story came back to me once again. And, without access to any earlier outlines, I started writing a completely (well, almost) different story.


In its present form, I think the story is better, the characters more likable, and the tone quite a bit different than previous attempts. Probably the main difference in the current iteration of Tervan is his complete dislike of politics. All earlier Tervans seemed to like wallowing knee deep in the stuff.

It makes for a better story to make it about his relationship with his bride, his friends, and those he meets along the way.

Let me know what you think about the story as it goes along.


FOUNTABLE

This is a blog for the fans of the Fountable series of science fiction stories.

Whether your interest is in the characters and their quirky behavior or if you are more intrigued by the new brand of math and science they are busy developing, you’ve come to the right place.

I will try to keep the articles short and to the point – although I usually delight in rambling on and on – and I hope your comments will be concise as well… unless, of course, they are more involved and convoluted that an Edmund Hamilton plotline.

But I am certain we will be able to sort all of it out.