Archive for April 19, 2013


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Jarn’s Journal is the journal of a (fictional) human-like alien, a R’il’nian, who was stranded in Africa some 125,000 years ago. He has been adopted as a god (much to his annoyance) by a group of primitive humans. The entire Journal to date is on my author site.

Year 6 Day 46

elephant, MorguefileI sat at the entry to my home, and watched Songbird, Giraffe and WildDog happily interacting with their friends. To their left, Rain Cloud was toiling up the hill toward me, and I waved and gestured him closer. He paused once, looking where I was looking, and then frowned and continued up the hill.

“They do not show you proper honor,” he said, but I shook my head.

“They have missed their friends, and WildDog needs to play with others his age,” I replied. “They have aided me well. But it is not fair that I take all of their time. I think that perhaps I should make a rule that no one with a child should stay with me more than the time from one Gather to another.

His brow creased. “But surely we must find a way to honor you!”

Before we could carry the conversation farther, there was a sudden commotion in the camp as a runner arrived. He was shouting and waving his arms, and he came from the direction toward which a hunting party had left this morning. Several of the group, including a fair number of women, were grabbing carry lines and hides and jogging along his back trail, probably to bring back meat, but that did not seem to explain the agitation of the runner. I glanced at Rain Cloud, and we both started down the hill.

“Is something wrong?” Rain Cloud called as we got within shouting range.

“Little Gnu is injured,” the runner called back. “An elephant attacked us as we were stalking a zebra. It caught Little Gnu up in its trunk and we thrust our spears in its belly to distract it. We killed it — there is much meat – but Little Gnu cannot walk.

There was one person in the camp that I could find and teleport to anywhere. “Songbird,” I shouted, as loudly as I could. “Go with them. Think at me when you have found the hunters. Leave WildDog; Meerkat will care for him.”

She nodded and took off, running after the others.

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Letter QQ is for query letter, and I fully intended to have a sample for today, from the first book of the trilogy I’m polishing. Alas this is, as far as I am concerned, one of the most difficult parts of writing. So this isn’t a proper query letter as much as it is a summary of the conflicts at the start of the book. From this, I hope in time to work out a proper query letter, back cover material, and elevator pitch.

Horse Power cover

Yes, this Horizon, a couple of centuries later.

Roi Laian doesn’t really want to be Regent of the Jarnian Confederation. He’d much rather be Healing people and animals, or creating art. But he was his R’il’nian father Lai’s heir by reason of having the highest Çeren index of the R’il’nian-Human hybrids, and he feels he’s stuck with the job. Certainly he doesn’t want his half brother, Zhaim, in that position.

Zhaim would love to be Regent, or anything else that would give him power. But while Roi follows his father’s teaching that the Confederation was formed for and at the request of Humans, Zhaim views Humans as animals, fit only for the convenience of R’il’noids. He’s not quite ready to let the Çeren index be the only way to judge people, since Roi’s is higher than his, but he considers that an aberration. After all, his decadent half brother, not allowed by the genetics board to reproduce, actually adopts Human slaves as his children. He thought he’d put a stop to that, pointing out that Roi was neglecting the Confederation with the time he spends with his “kids.”

But Zhaim, left in charge while Roi is away handling an emergency, “solves” the problem of the planet Horizon refusing to pay its taxes by authorizing slaving on that planet. Voting rules in the Councils make it impossible for Roi to reverse that decision, and in part to salve his conscience he begins again to rescue and adopt abused children—this time from Horizon. Zhaim is furious. and again does his best to convince other members of the Councils that Roi is neglecting his duty.

It doesn’t help that while Roi remembers quite clearly that Zhaim once tried to kill him, even his closest friends and colleagues have stored that memory away, and insist that Roi is paranoid for mistrusting his brother. Roi also remembers that his foster mother, Marna, dealt with the situation by giving Zhaim an artificial conscience, but warned that it needed to be reinforced every quarter century. Roi has done this twice since her death, but he has increasing doubts that he is succeeding.

He is right to doubt. Zhaim is slowly recovering his old powers and his old determination to take over the Confederation.

One thing I’m not sure of. This book is the first of a trilogy, with a cliff-hanger ending. All three books are written, and I’d like to release them about 6 months to a year apart. Should I mention this in the query letter?

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