Ellen Million (ellenmillion) wrote,
Ellen Million


  • Today's photo was taken for allykat, because she mentioned that she loves birch trees. I spotted this tree several weeks ago, and have expected the windstorms we've been having to completely peel it, but it was still there on Wendesday when I went for a walk in the woods. (My back hurt too badly to walk quickly, so I took my camera and made it a slow ramble.)

  • I'm looking ahead and thinking about doing a WeSeWriMo in August. The idea is similar to NaNoWriMo, but with more flexible goals and based on a web serial, rather than a novel, with no wordcount requirement. I've got about five things I could do for this - Jenny/Bjorn, or handful of Torn World plot possibilities, or maybe something else entirely. They'd be short(ish) installments, posted here Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with a story-arc intended to be wrapped up within the month. Tips would be welcome, and I'd probably set a few sponsorship goals. I'd probably print a limited edition chapbook of the collection at the end of the month. Maybe available only to people who sponsored it? Maybe Wednesday would be an illustration day, as opposed to story? Or it could be in addition to. Still chewing on the idea. But there's meat, there.

  • Looks like I might go to Petersburg for a few days in July! I called to see if that would be a problem with Jury Duty (which starts Monday and keeps me on-call for THREE months), and was told they weren't calling anyone until July 16th. Woot! Lucky Jake also gets a trip to Savoonga next week.

  • Sketch Fest starts in a bit over an hour! Looking forward to it - the new uploading and wall tools are pretty nifty.

  • And, up today at Torn World, (finally, because it got lost...) is my article on the Ibabesh Bridge. It's free for registered readers on the site, but because I know most of you can't be bothered to register and/or log in (insert guilt-inspiring look worthy of my mother), I'm re-posting it here:

    The Ibabesh District is largely a farming area, with mild winters and warm, rainy summers. Historical records of the area indicate that prior to the early 1400s, it was a desert, locked in continual drought, with temperatures considerably lower than recorded today. A massive weather system change (whose cause is hotly disputed by scientists) created dramatically more favorable conditions, and the land sprang to life. It is currently one of the best food-producing areas in the known world, and is directed by three major farm-cities, which supply trained labor and support to the farms, as well as act as hubs of commerce and government.

    The largest of these cities is also named Ibabesh, and is built at the mouth of the mighty Ibabesh River which descends from the northern mountains. This river coincides with the point of a V-shaped bay, and the strong area tides combined with the force of the glacier melt from the mountains create awe-inspiring tidal bores – whirlpools of enormous size and strength. The phenomena are called the Ibabesh Maelstroms.

    45 years ago, between 1474 and 1476, the Ibabesh Bridge was built to span the river of the same name and allow more efficient shipping access to the rest of the Empire. It is a cable-bridge, the longest (and also considered the most beautiful) of any bridges in the Empire, and relies on the small rock island in the center to cross the distance. Unfortunately, a series of spring storms and record rainfalls, as well as the constant flow of the river and the beating from the tidal surge have eroded the center island drastically in the intervening years. The riverside of the island has been largely washed away, and the bridge itself is considered to be in some danger of collapse.

    Many engineering solutions have been discussed and considered, but all fixes are exceedingly expensive and unlikely to be permanent, so no corrective action has been taken yet. To reduce the potential loss of life if the structure did collapse, licensing to cross the bridge has become very difficult in the past ten years. There is talk of putting in an alternate rail system to the north and west, but this route is very long and has a number of unique geographic hurdles, the least of which is that it would require at least three miles of tunnels. The most popular alternative is to build another bridge much further upriver, but the entire river is wide, deep and unpredictable, so this is not without its own set of problems, and it would probably need to be displaced nearly a hundred miles.

    Ibabesh City, on the west bank of the river, has become relatively isolated. It is expensive and rare to leave the city by bridge now, and the route around the other direction is long and laborious. Only produce transport vehicles regularly cross over, and at times, even they are restricted. This has created a need in Ibabesh City for large areas of time-crystal storage, and massive buildings have been built at the north end of the city to hold precious food goods in time stasis. The city grew a great deal during the construction of the Ibabesh Bridge, but has little to hold its population now; everyone who can leave, has. Fearing that a ghost town would harbor undesirables, the Empire has made an effort to make Ibabesh City life sound glamorous and encourages it as a permanent destination by making it much easier to apply for many kinds of licenses in the city, including Non-guild businesses. There is a larger than usual population of artists in the city who have been swayed by the propaganda into coming to the romanticized Ibabesh City and been unable (or haven’t desired) to leave. The few remaining indigenous residents of the area are scornful of newcomers and some of the more superstitious believe that the failure of the bridge is a sign that they were wrong to have accepted the Empire into their land. (These same residents saw the favorable climate change as a sign that they were right to do so.)

    By contrast, there is brisk tourism business at the east side of the river, where the rail system to the rest of the Empire connects. It is relatively easy and cheap to procure a license to travel by train to see the bridge and the mighty maelstroms, and it is advertised as a luxury destination in many Southern cities. There is overnight lodging with beautiful views, nature hikes, fine dining and licensed Ibabesh souvenirs for purchase. Even unsound, the Ibabesh Bridge is considered one of the wonders of the Empire. The white arches of the bridge over the turbulent water have inspired a great deal of artwork and poetry.

    It is to be noted that the naming of the Ibabesh Bridge led to legislation to prevent overuse of names. This legislation was passed in 1493, and was ironically called the Ibabesh Bill.

    Originally posted here.
  • Subscribe

    • Thankful

      I feel thankful, and I'd like to use our American holiday as an excuse to take a moment to share that with you. I am so thankful for my family. I…

    • Kickstarter Update!

      There’s only ONE WEEK left to claim your Shifting Sands Resort swag!! We’ve unlocked two styles of shirt, and we’re less than $120 from unlocking two…

    • A Writer's Process.

      Write a book. Edit a book. Revise a book. Edit the revised book. Pay someone to edit the revised book. Have someone ELSE edit the book. Edit the book…

    • Post a new comment


      Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

      default userpic

      Your reply will be screened

      Your IP address will be recorded 

    • 1 comment