Saturday, November 10, 2012

The past, present, and future with respect to blogging

I'm guessing that people have noticed that my output has been somewhat off, this month, there are a variety of reasons.  It's also been almost two months since I made a .hack post and two and a third since I wrote a Deus Ex post.  The things I hoped to get caught up on or return to to have not been caught up on or returned to.

The election had a part to play in that.  If we can take the house in 2014 and increase our margin in the Senate maybe real improvements can be made over the two years following. It never ends.  Is it to early to hope for Elizabeth Warren for President 2016 and Chellie Pingree for Senate?  Also on 2014, I hope like hell we get rid of LaPage.  Scott Walker too, one hopes.  Wisconsin used to be a place that was progressive, now it's Union Busting capital USA.  Just hope the Democrats run a good candidate that time.  Tom Barrett seemed to be the only one in the country who didn't seem to understand what the election was about, it's not wonder he lost.  (Plus he was never a good fit for Wisconsin in the first place.)

Politics, it'll suck your life away.

Family too.  Joyce has a quote which I've heard misremembered (or perhaps I heard a correctly remembered alternate version) the correct quote seems to be:
When the soul of a man is born in this country there are nets flung at it to hold it back from flight. You talk to me of nationality, language, religion. I shall try to fly by those nets.
The version I heard had country, family, and religion.

I'm starting to understand the desire.  I could never do it, I care very much about my family and my country, but damn can they suck your life away.

Part of it is NaNoWriMo, but anyone who is following me there knows I've gone six days without adding a single word.  It looks like no modern scholarship has done what I need as my framework, and my attempt to spend a day charting it all out yielded no results.

The trouble is that I'm using Hesiod's Theogony as my touchstone.  A framework around which I integrate the rest of the Greek and Roman creation stories.  (There has to be some way you go about integrating the stories because they conflict so if you're going for a coherent narrative you need a standard by which you choose which story is the one you're going with.  Well, you could do it at random, but I think a standard is easier.)

Seems simple enough, but the thing is Hesiod doesn't use chronology.  He uses family lines.  So he'll say (paraphrase from memory) "These two gods had sex, producing this person, who had sex with that person, and their children included (list) and so and so was killed by Hercules but then  they such and such and Hercules killed that one too," meanwhile you the reader are going, "Wait, what?"  We haven't even got to the part where Zeus was born yet.  Why are we talking about his son did already?"

Hesiod is doing genealogy, not chronology.  Chronology might not even be something Hesiod would have considered across story lines.  Obviously he considered it, genealogy requires chronology (first parents, then children, then grandchildren and so on) and Works and Days has the Ages of Man which is definitely a chronology, but in terms of cross story chronology it might not have even been in his head.

In times I'm sure I'll do the same.  It's easier to say, "These two had fifty kids named [50 names]" than to try to work out when each was born with respect to everyone else.  It's just not worth the effort and would confuse more than inform.

But there are times where it really would help to place things in chronological order.  For example mortals didn't exist until Prometheus made people and Epimethius created animals.  (And, if you consider comedies to be reliable sources, Eros and Chaos made the birds.)  So the genealogy of the descendants of Nyx, which includes, notably, death and death related people is given first after the defeat of Ouranos/Uranus.  But mortals, Prometheus and Epimethius don't appear until Hesiod gets 277 lines further into the poem.  He was only 233 lines in when he finished with the descendants of Nyx, some of whom couldn't be born until after this.

There's less space between beginning of the poem (which includes a lengthy invocation to the Muses) and the birth of the last descendant of Nyx than there is between that last descendant and the birth of someone who had to be born well before that person.

Likewise sometimes you'll learn about the descendants down this or that line who married people whose births, or even whose parents births, we have yet to hear about.

This is where chronology becomes a problem.  If it doesn't matter when X was born, then I'll probably group them by family too, but if X had to be born before Y then it helps to tell about X's birth before Y's.  And it helps to tell that someone is born before you get to their weddings.

But when I sit down and try to chart out the chronology it just becomes one huge headache and I get no words done on the novel.

So that's the present.  Plus the Slacktiverse might be moving again.  [Added: Yup, it moved.]  We moved to Blogspot because it was easy and we were in kind of a hurry, but it looks like Wordpress might be a better long term home.  I've written a few posts over there:

Also started the Collaborative Story Thread on the forums over there.


So, for the future, for on thing I want to do is get back to the .hack and Deus Ex posts, but I also really want to get caught up on NaNoWriMo and I think how I'm going to do that is to write genealogies like Hesiod did except, in the course of writing those genealogies note all of the potential points of reference.  (This has to happen before X/after Y) so that the genealogies can then be integrated into the mostly chronological creation story I'm trying to write.

If I can do it quickly, which I probably can't, I'll see about expanding this comment at Ana Mardoll's into a full length post for the Slacktiverse today.  But it has to be quick because I've got so much catching up to do on NaNoWriMo.  [Added: It wasn't quick, I did do it.]

So, probably, in the immediate future, I'll be posting genealogies that will be amalgamations of Greek and Roman myth built around a framework of Hesiod's Theogony.

Then, once of done several of those, off the blog an in my NaNo novel I'll be trying to combine them by working out a chronology.

I've been pointed to Apollodorus as someone who has tried to do similar amalgamation and chronology and whatnot, that's true enough, but I'm not exactly the biggest Apollodorus fan, anyway, yet another resource I suppose.

Once I'm caught up on NaNo maybe I can get some other stuff taken care of.

So, you know, prepare to learn more about Greek Myth than you ever wanted to know.


  1. Yay Greek myth! All gods are scum. (Except Athene.) (And even she's not perfect.)

    1. I've never heard anything bad about Hestia.

    2. Yeah, but have you heard anything about Hestia?

      Being goddess of the hearth makes you incredibly important, but how many stories have you heard that turn on Hestia?

    3. Er, carry the zero...