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Who is my target audience? I could write for those that I hope will read my books, but that’s difficult. There is such a wide range of people who may read them, many of which may not be interested in the procedures of writing. I could write for a potential agent or publisher, but I think that may be futile, so I’ve decided to write for my daughter.
This is a poem I wrote. It could be for any first child, I hope some of you recognise the feelings expressed.
(I suppose I’ll have to write about the joys of a second child now to redress the balance!)
I saw beauty when I first saw you,
My little girl, so small, so new.
Little toes and fingers small
All wrapped up within your shawl.
At first you crawled, and then you walked.
It wasn’t long before you talked.
The funny little things you said
Are all stored here, within my head.
Your big brown eyes, your curly hair—
I feel such love, you are so rare.
Never was another born
Not at evening, nor at dawn.
My little girl, you are unique
So small, dependent and so weak.
But not for long, my little one:
The years fly by and then you’re gone.
Now you have your own children
The miracle starts once again.
The love I feel for you is passed
By you, to yours, it is so vast.
The love of Mother for her Child
Is never one that’s meek and mild.
It lasts forever and a day.
It never dies, come what may.
There was a question on Day 1 of this blogging course that asked why I blog. I did answer that, but it was a bit brief, I think, so I’ll tell you as bit more.
I used to be a teacher. I’ve taught many subjects, although my main subject is science, and I studied maths and English as subsidiaries. In my first job I taught mainly science with some English. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching the creative writing part of the curriculum, especially. I had always enjoyed this part of English myself when I was at school.
During this time, teaching in Salford, near Manchester, England, I was also asked to teach games. That wasn’t too bad, but then I was asked to teach Religious Education. Now I was brought up in a Methodist family. My grandfather was a local preacher, and all the family, aunts, uncles, cousins etc. went to church every Sunday. I attended Sunday school and did all the things expected of me there, becoming confirmed etc. This, however, did not prepare me to teach R.E. to teenagers. I was one lesson ahead of them for a whole year!
During my student days I wrote some poetry, which has all been lost over the years, except for one that I can remember. That one was published in the University magazine, a fact that I am quite proud of. Then when I was on my second teaching practice in a primary school in Irlam, Lancashire, a 9-year-old boy came up to me with a book asking ‘Have you ever read this, Miss ?’
‘This’ turned out to be ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ I told him that I hadn’t and he recommended that I did so, but first I should read The Hobbit.
Some days later I was in the library and I spotted The Hobbit. I got it out and read it, followed by The Lord of the Rings. The rest, as they say, is History.
I went on to devour the C.S. Lewis books. There wasn’t much fantasy around then. I was also reading SciFi, of course, and this kept me going for quite some time before more fantasy became available. Then I went to work in Croydon, just to the south of London. Here I found some colleagues who played Dungeons and Dragons in their leisure time. I had always wanted to play and so we joined forces with some other colleagues and formed a club, playing at lunchtime.
Eventually, of course, these people left and so I decided to start a club with some of the pupils. I DMed this club using bought scenarios for quite a while until I thought ‘I could write a scenario’; so I did.
Eventually, several years later, and many run-throughs of the scenario with different pupils at two different schools, I thought that it may make a book. When I retired I started to write it. It has changed a bit (no, quite a lot) from the original, but the basics are still there.
After publishing the book, I found that I needed to market it and was told that a blog was essential. That is why I began the blog, but I am not sticking to just publishing about my books (of which there are now 3, including a cookery book with many recipes from t he turn of the century). I want to talk about many things and so what you will see here is a variety of subjects. I will occasionally talk about what I am writing and how I am progressing an also about the process of writing to help others, but I will also digress onto many other topics.
I hope you like my blogs. Please comment on what you think and I will try to answer you.
I am doing both the tasks at once. Yesterday I was busy looking after my 2 youngest grandchildren and consequently did not have the time to do any blogging.
I have actually been blogging for a while now, but I think there is always room for improvement and I think I need to learn more.
I started blogging in order to build a platform to help to advertise my books, but I don’t just blog about, ‘I’ve written 2 books, please buy them.’ I can’t think that people want me to do the hard sell. My blog is therefore rather general. There are some things about writing in general, I occasionally post something about what I am actually doing at the moment as regards my books and other blogs are about what interests me at the moment of writing.
I occasionally post some of my writing on my blogs–extracts from my books or some of my poetry.
The first book I read that dealt with death was Charlotte’s Web. I cried at the little spider’s demise and reread the book a week later, so I could cry again.
When I grew up, I became a grief counselor and hospice volunteer. I ran grief groups for children and families. The resiliency of children, their ability to find joy in the midst of deep sorrow and uncertainty, led me to a career in early childhood mental health.
I did all this before death balled up a fist and punched me in the face.
On July 3, 2003, my youngest brother, Dan, was shot in the head. Twelve years later, his murder remains officially unsolved.
As you might imagine, my experience has led me to be somewhat discerning about the presence of grief in the books I read. In fact, a psychologically “normal” character’s complete lack of any grief response to the death of…
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I’ve just finished camp nanowrimo, and I’ve WON, so sorry for being late with this blog.
For any non-writers who may be viewing this, nanowrimo is a challenge for authors to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. There are virtual camps during the year, one of which is in July. In t h ecamps it is a little less hectic as the author can set his/her own target.
I set myself the target of 10,000 words for July and finished a couple of days ago. I did find it quite difficult. I had originally set 20,000 words. The beauty of the camps is that up to a certain date you can change your target. I wasn’t getting on very well and so I lowered it to 10,000. I’m not sure how I did 50,000 in November!
I’ve entered a short story into a competition too. I’m not expecting anything from that though.
I hope to be able to post a fuller blog next week, but I thought you would all like to know what I’m up to. I am now struggling with my latest novel, a historical novel set in Roman Britain about a slave boy and his sister who want to take revenge on the Romans for taking them away from their family. I am having trouble in finding anything about everyday life among the non-Romanised Britons. Most of what I’ve found has been for primary school kids! Stuff for adults seems to concentrate on the BIG history (who was Governor, who was Emperor, what battles were faught etc.) or the life of the Romanised Britons in the major cities.
If anyone knows anything about this, then I would be grateful if you could let me know.
Vanessa is a new writer and is just about to publish her debut novel, Three Great Lies, set in a mythological Egypt. I am personally anxious to read her novel. It sounds interesting and original.
Vanessa McClellan was born and raised in the farmlands of eastern Washington, works as an environmental engineer, and is an avid birder, naturalist, gamer, and runner living in Portland, Oregon. Her website is vanmaclellan.com.
The following is an interview with Vanessa.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a tattooed, vegetarian, outdoorsy woman with one head in the clouds and the other firmly settled in my hiking boots. I’m an environmental engineer by day, author, runner, reader, gamer, naturalist by night (and weekends).
2. When did you start writing, and why?
When I was a wee lass I’d make up stories to tell my mother while she was gardening. I think it started there. My favorite subject was Baggy Piggy, who had a curly Q tail that never ended (I knew this, because I drew him incessantly with pink crayons). I remember, before I could even write, ‘writing’ (aka doodling) on paper and then reading them to my great grandmother. Storytelling is in my blood. I guess that’s enough of a reason why.
Though the fact that I enjoy it doesn’t hurt. I have little people in my head (doesn’t every author) that want me to explore their worlds, flesh out their personalities and goals and give them something to do. I can’t take all the credit, it’s partially their fault.
3. What do you write, and why? What do you enjoy about what you write?
I write speculative fiction. Mainly fantasy, though I mix horror and magical realism in there. I write fantasy because fantasy is what first got me excited about reading. I remember my older sister, Audrey, handing me the first of the Pierce Anthony Xanth novels, and I was astounded at these magical places, characters with magical talents, all of the magical beasts. Magic. Magic. Magic. I wanted that. To live there. Be special. Be something more than just human.
And I read as much fantasy after that as I could. Tolkien, Eddings, Pratchet, Weiss and Hickman, Duncan. You know the era and the authors. That’s what fueled me as a young reader. I hope to fuel other readers too.
And the joy comes from creation and imagination. Of speculating: What if? and expanding from that. I am the master of my own universe, what is not to like?
4. What is your latest book? Any forthcoming books?
My debut novel, Three Great Lies, releases August 6th. It’s fantasy, with historical and literary trappings. It carries a bit of a Finding My Place in Life theme.
Jeannette Walker, a modern scientist, ends up in ancient, mythological Egypt. Though she constantly casts doubt on the existence of such a world, she has to learn to live in it. While trying to save her mummy friend’s soul from a wicked tomb robbing ring, she realizes a few important things about life. What those are, well, you’ll have to read the book!
I have one complete manuscript for a dark fantasy I’m currently shopping out, and am working on a modern super hero series. There’s always something I’m working on.
5. “Welcome To My Worlds”: Tell us a little about the world of Three Great Lies.
Ancient, mythological Egypt. It never rains. People’s lives aren’t equal. Prayers constantly dance upon lips. Beer is a meal. Sand is a major filler in the bread. Children of gods walk the street with the heads of animals and prophecy on their lips.
To Jeannette it’s, of course, a total shock. There are people about in public naked and jackals speak. A mummy—a desiccated, lumbering thing—chases her through the crowded streets, accusing her of stealing his ba! It’s not necessarily a friendly place, but people are people, and even Jeannette is able to find friends in ways she never expected.
6. Introduce us to some of your characters. What do you like about them?
Jeannette Walker is my protagonist. She’s mid-twenties, a scientists with a jilted past. She still holds the hurt from a past betrayal and has learned to trust nobody and nothing. I love her voice and her mind-chatter. And she’s got a good heart that struggles to show through her armor.
Abayomi is the dead man walking, a reanimated mummy who seeks his lost ba container so he can continue on to the afterlife. He’s a perfect citizen who knows his place in the world and doesn’t seek to unbalance tradition. Until his friends are endangered, then his loyalty shines like a beacon. True best friend material!
Sanura is the young daughter of Bast, cast out from her litter. She’s lost and alone and Jeannette saves her—saves her—and she’ll never forget such gifts. Sanura, like most young people, is soul-searching, trying to found out exactly why she’s been cast away and what her purpose and place is in life. Her journey is one everyone can connect with. She’s the spirit of the story.
7. A fun fact you would like your readers to know about Three Great Lies.
A major aspect of the book (the stray dog theme) sprang to life at an agility dog show. The midsummer day was baking hot and I had parked myself under a tree for the next show. A Jack Russell Terrier was looking at me, with that intelligent tongue-lolling smile terriers have. Honestly, the dog was smiling.
And that was the original start of the novel: “The dog was smiling at her.” It’s since changed, but that line and scene are still in there, the theme planted throughout the novel. The story just unfolded from that one dog’s smile and here we are now.
8. Any challenges with getting Three Great Lies to where it is today?
Three Great Lies has been on a long journey.
In 2008, I wrote my fifth NaNoWriMo novel. That was Three Great Lies. It was titled simply “Egypt” back then. It was a 50,000 word rough draft. Then I added extra plot threads and themes, and it topped out at 140,000 words. That’s quite an addition! Then there were years and years of critiquing and editing.
Finally in 2013, I begin seeking representation for Three Great Lies, and it was picked up by Hadley Rille Books (which was the most perfect place for this book to land).
Now for the rough stuff. As I was due my edits, my publisher had a stroke. (Though he insists he was abducted by aliens to an alternate universe.) It was terrible, we weren’t sure if he would make it. The entire press huddled together in worry and anticipation. I was wavering between feeling devastated for my publisher’s situation and worrying about the state of my book (and feeling so so guilty for that.) But he did pull through and has worked tirelessly on my novel, by my side every step of the way.
Now, we’re here, and my novel is published! I think other authors might have pulled their book to seek other representation, but I knew Hadley Rille and my publisher were perfect for my book.
9. What’s your writing process?
First and foremost, Three Great Lies was a ‘pantser’ book. I didn’t have an outline. I wrote forward from the smiling dog on guts and intentions. I had this idea of where I wanted to go, with no map on how to get there. Now, I am an outliner. I think the process, for me, would have gone so much faster if I’d had a more solid idea of the substance of the story. As it was, lots and lots and lots of editing and rewriting were necessary to make this book shine.
When I’m in the thick of writing and editing, I try to work on the novel every single day. It keeps my writing sharp and my mind on the storyline. It keeps me from losing plot threads and missing finer details. For me, every day is the way (ooh, that even rhymes.)
And another thing I’ve learned: Do not work heavily on writing in the summer. I like to play outside too much and I feel guilty if I don’t write. Now, I just hold up my hands and let it all go. Summer, for me, is play time. No guilt for taking some time off writing. Because, we’re our worst guilt-trippers.
10. Blog/site link, and where your book is available.
You can find me at: http://vanmaclellan.com/
<a href=” http://www.amazon.com/Three-Great-Lies-Vanessa-MacLellan-ebook/dp/B010Y96WTO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1436222042&sr=8-1&keywords=three+great+lies”>You can find Three Great Lies at Amazon</a>
Thanks for reading! I hope you come by and check out my site and my novel. It was a joy to write and I hope it brings joy to you as well.
Three Great Lies:
While vacationing in Egypt. . .
Jeannette Walker, a cynical scientist jaded by swarms of tour groups and knick-knack shacks, is lured by a teenage tour guide to visit a newly discovered tomb. No other tourists there! Inside the chamber, she tumbles down a shaft and 3000 years back in time.
Now, in a world where deities walk the streets and prophecy stinks up the air, Jeannette is desperate for normal and the simple pleasures of sanitation and refrigeration. However, a slave master hawking a cat-headed girl derails her homebound mission, and Jeannette—penniless in this ancient world—steals the girl, bringing down the tireless fury of the slaver.
Saddled with a newly awakened mummy and the cat-headed girl, Jeannette, through her unparalleled experience gained from watching spy movies, contrives a plan to free them from the slaver’s ire, but will she have to dive into the belly of the beast to succeed?
<a href=”http://www.amazon.com/Three-Great-Lies-Vanessa-MacLellan-ebook/dp/B010Y96WTO/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1436627974&sr=1-1”>Available at Powell’s</a>
Publisher’s Weekly Review
MacLellan’s fun debut drops Jeanette, an American tourist in Egypt, into ancient Thebes. After she wakes Abayomi, a mummy who’s lost his key to the afterlife, her journey of discovery is filled with danger and thrills. A great sense of character evolution drives the plot, as Jeanette learns that her safe, mundane, passive modern life can’t compare to the active role she takes in freeing Sanura, a child of Bast, from slavery, or working to stop tomb robbing. Her friendships with Abayomi, Sanura, and others form organically, leading to an unlikely but well-handled romantic subplot. Supernatural elements help develop the world around Jeanette, but don’t overpower it. The descriptions feel like what a modern person in Jeanette’s situation would notice, rather than generic scene-setting. A strong conclusion sets this light fantasy a notch above its peers. (Oct.)
I apologise for being a day late with the interview with Archmage Yssalithisandra, but she was extremely busy with some new magic texts that have recently come to light and put the interview off for a day.
Me: Good morning, Archmage Yssalithisandra. I am glad you decided to meet me and answer afew questions that our readers would like toknow about.
Yssa: Please call me Yssa. Everyone does, you know. It is a pleasure to be interviewed by you.
Me: How is it that an elf is working in Hambara and not in Rindisillaron, the elven homeland?
Yssa: I came here because of the Mage Tower. There is no longer one in Rindissillaron, you know.
Me: I believe there was one once though. Why has it not been found or rebuilt?
Yssa: Mage towers are always built on special places where the mana is at its strongest. Places where it wells up rather like springs out of the ground. The whereabouts of the Mage Tower in Rindisillaron has long been forgotten, as is the case of the towers in most places in Khalram.
Me: Why has this occurred?
Yssa: It was after the Forbidding when they were deserted for several hundred years.
Me: The Forbidding?
Yssa: Yes. Two hundred or so years after the death of Sauvern, there was an uprising by a group of mages who thought that because they could weave the mana, they were superior to others and that they should be the rulers of all the lands in Khalram. There was another group who opposed them, of course and the result was a terrible war. The results were so devastating that when the rightful rulers were restored, the practice of magic was forbidden throughout the lands that make up Khalram. All books of magic were burned and the mage towers were, for the most part destroyed. All people who could do any magic were put to death too.
Me: So that is why you are researching the past. To find the lost spells. How long ago did the Forbidding occur?
Yssa: How long? Well it began about 600 years ago and lasted for about 3oo years. That means that it ended about 300 years ago.
Me: And in 300 years you still haven’t found all that was lost?
Yssa: Remember; there were no mages in the continent when it ended, nor any books. We had to start again from scratch.
Me: How is your work coming on?
Yssa: Oh, we’re beginning to make more progress and we keep finding books that had been hidden away by mages when they thought they would be executed. One such is the one Mabryl found and Carthinal brought to Hambara.
Me: Do you think that the mage towers will ever be re-built?
Yssa: That depends on whether or not we can find where the nodes were that they were built on. In the past there were said to have been mages who were able to detect these places, but we know of none at the moment. There are a few mages who can weave the mana without recourse to arcane language and hand gestures, but use just the power of thought, and it is possible that some of these could do so as they are much more sensitive to magic. We have yet to find any though, so at the moment it’s just a hypothesis.
Me: You met Carthinal when he came to take his tests. What did you think of him?
Yssa: (blushing slightly) He is a very charismatic young man. He is also a very talented mage. I oversaw his practical test, as you probably know, and was most impressed.
Me: Is it true that you had a relationship with him while he was in Hasmbara?
Yssa: (looking down at her hands.) Yes. It was brief, and then he left to do the job that the Duke set him. I don’t know when he’ll be back, but I don’t expect him to want to continue with me.
Me: Do you think you will ever go back to Rindissillaron?
Yssa: Probably not. I do go to visit my parents as often as I can. Mother says it’s not often enough of course. She misses me, I think. I have no brothers and sisters, so I’m her little lost lamb. She means well, but she does fuss.
Me: Thank you for giving up your precious time, Archmage.
Me: Sorry, Yssa. I am sure our readers will be interested in the history that you have told us about, and good luck with the research.
Yssa: Thank you. It was a pleasure talking to you. Grillon’s blessings on your readers.
I need a wee.
I could use the litter tray, but I prefer not to. OK, I’ll admit it. I want to go outside to hunt. It’s just getting light and that’s a good time for hunting. I’ll just go upstairs and wake someone up to open the door. (Don’t know why they won’t get a cat flap. It’d save them always having to get up.)
The door’s closed. No use going to the boy’s door. He never gets up for me. I’ll just scratch at the adult’s door.
Ah! Someone’s moving. It’ll be her, I expect. He never comes to let me out if he’s in bed. I don’t think he hears me scratching. Here she comes.
‘What do you want, Kim?’ she says to me. ‘Do you want to go out? Come on then. I’ll open the door.’
We go downstairs and she unlocks the door. I rush out into the dawn. It’s cool, but pleasant. Now for that wee.
That’s better. I wonder what’s about this morning? I’ll go over to the common I think. There’s always more game over there. Over the fence and down the next garden path. They’ve got a fishpond, haven’t they? I’ll take a quick look. A nice fish would be good for breakfast.
Hmm! Fish! Sit quietly, Kim and wait for them to come up. Here’s one. Quick flash of the paw and scoop it out. Ha ha. It’s flapping all over the lawn trying to get back to the water. Can’t understand why they want to live in it. Nasty wet stuff.
One quick jump and there’s a tasty snack. Now to see what else is about. A quick sprint across the road and onto the long grass. Quiet, now, Kim. You don’t want to frighten everything away before you’ve had your fun.
The birds are starting to sing. I like birds. They’re fun to try to sneak up on, but they’re quick and can fly. It takes great skill to catch them. Much more than mice and voles. Squirrels are fun too, and frogs. I like the way frogs jump about when I let them go briefly. Toads are horrid though. They don’t jump and they taste foul.
There’s a blackbird pulling up a worm on the cut grass. I can probably sneak up in this long grass until I’m near enough to pounce.
Missed her. I remember the time I did catch a blackbird. I’d been out early, like today, and managed to get him. He made such a squawking that She came out. She shouted at me to let him go and ran after me. I fled with my prize under some bushes but she came after me, grabbed me by the scruff of my neck and pulled me out.
Oh the indignity of it! I opened my mouth to tell her that this wasn’t how to treat a cat, and the blackbird took the opportunity to escape. He flew up into the nearest tree and sat there laughing at me. That hurt my pride somewhat.
I can’t understand humans. Why do they make such a fuss about birds? They don’t eat them. At least not the ones in the garden, but they get very cross if I chase them. They don’t mind if I catch mice or voles though.
Except for one occasion, I remember. I’d caught a baby vole. It was small enough to fit in my mouth and I took it home for the humans. When I got to the door it was closed and so I made a little chirrup, which I could do with my mouth shut. They should have known that that sound meant I had something in my mouth, but no, it seems not. Sometimes humans are so stupid. Anyway, the boy opened the door. As I went in, I suppose he saw the little vole’s tail sticking out of my mouth and he grabbed me, saying, ‘No you don’t. You’re not bringing that in here.’
Of course, that made me open my mouth and the baby vole jumped out and ran. I ran after it, but it disappeared under the boiler.
I sat there for a time while the humans poked under the boiler with sticks, brushes and whatever else they could find to try to make it run out, but it climbed up and they couldn’t get it. I could see that there was no chance until they had stopped their fussing so I walked away.
‘Oh no you don’t,’ He said. ‘You brought it in, you’ll get it out.’ And He picked me up and carried me back to the boiler. I stayed there for a few minutes and then went away again.
I suppose they got the little thing out again eventually, but they couldn’t see that the problem was of their making. If the boy hadn’t grabbed me I wouldn’t have lose it like that. Oh, well, so much for memories.
Now what? I’ll just listen for a while, I think. See if I can hear anything underground.
Squeaks. Mice probably. Where is the entrance to their nest then? I think that it‘s a mouse family, judging by the number and pitch of the squeaks. Now for my nose. That should tell me where their run is and lead me to the entrance.
Here it is. The entrance to the nest. Now to wait.
Here she comes. Ready to pounce. Quiet now, I think she’s suspicious. Tail lashing then—jump.
Got her! I’ll play with her for a bit first before killing her. That’s always good fun. Right, carry her away from the hole so she can’t run back into it. Now to let her go. See her run, crouch and—pounce.
I think I’ll try throwing her up in the air and catching her. Hear her squeak! She’s truly scared now. Let her think she’s getting away again and—pounce. Ha ha. This is such fun. Throwing again, letting her run again.
I think that’s enough for now. One quick bit and she’s dead. What’s that? I think She’s calling me for breakfast. All that hunting has made me hungry. What She gives me is better than mouse so I’ll leave that and go home.
Run quickly across the road. What’s that? A car? Can’t get across in time…
If you enjoyed this story, (or even if you didn’t) please feel free to make comments. Constructive criticism please. The other kind is useless.
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I have often wondered how it comes about that we start the year 10 days after the Winter Solstice. This doesn’t seem to make any sense. It is not on any obvious astronomical day, so why then? It would be more logical to start it on the solstice when the days are beginning to get longer, or at the Spring Equinox when things begin to grow anew. Even the summer solstice could be considered as at that time the daylight is waning and that could be considered an ending. Autumn Equinox too could be thought of as an ending of the old year as all the crops are gathered in ready for the cold winter ahead.
Similarly, why start the day at midnight? That too seems illogical if you look at it closely. To me it would seem more logical to start the day at dawn.
I considered these things when deciding about how time was to be measured on Vimar and came up with the system you can read about below. I have kept the hour as I did not want to make completely wholesale changes to confuse my readers too much and so I kept the hours and minutes as they are on Earth.
The World of Vimar
Vimar circles its sun in almost exactly 360 days. This leads the people to have divided their year into 12 months of 30 days. Since it is not exactly 360 days, but in fact 360 days and 4 hours, this means that every 6 years an extra day is added to the year. This is added at the end of the year and is called the Day of the Gods. It is a holiday for everyone and as it comes just before Grillon’s Day, also a holiday when the New Year is celebrated, everyone looks forward to this time.
Because all the important astronomical timings are 6 or multiples of 6, the people of Vimar have come to believe that six is a holy number. Thus when they came to devise the timings of the day, they decided to divide it into 24 hours, much as we do on Earth, However, they begin to count their day from the time of dawn on the 2 equinoxes, unlike Earth, where timing is taken from the mid-point of darkness at this time, more or less. Once every place began their day at dawn, regardless of time of year or place on the planet, but this became somewhat confusing as trade increased, and so the standardised time began. Thus what on Earth would be 6am, on Vimar it
is 0 hour, and Earth’s 12pm is Vimar’s 6th hour.
Vimar has 2 moons, Lyndor and Ullin. Lyndor is slightly nearer to Vimar than Ullin and appears to be a gold colour. Ullin appears more silvery. It is considered propitious when the moons are both full together, and if both moons are dark, that is considered to be the least lucky time for any ventures. The best times for starting any venture is when both moons are waxing, and conversely, if they are both waning, that is a bad time, although endings are good at this time.
The world has 2 large continents, The one featured in the Wolf Pack is the continent of Khalram. Grosmer is the largest country on this landmass and has a climate ranging from Mediterranean in the south to cool temperate in the north. To the west, beyond the Western Mountains is a vast plain on which live the nomadic people known as the Horselords for their mastery of the beautiful horses they rear. It is said that a huge ocean lies beyond this plain, but no one knows for sure.
Beyond the Mountans of Doom in the east are the lands of Pelimar, a loose coalition of city states, Erian, ruled by an elected Master and the elven land of Rindisillaron. The lands to the south are largely unknown to the people of Grosmer, Pelimar and Erian, although trade does occur occasionally. The Great Desert is largely to blamed for this lack of contact. There is a large, mysterious continent to the far east also that occasionally comes to the attention of the people of Khalram because of the Raiders who come for plunder and slaves.
Once, the elves and humans all lived together in Khalram, but soon they began to fall out and so the elven land of Rindissillaron was founded in the east of the continent. Here the elves could live in the way they wished, close to nature and disturbing the natural world as little as possible. The dwarves have always lived in the mountains where they can dig for the ores and gems they are so good at working.
The other races, such as orcs and trolls, were banished to the far north, as far as the mountain range known as the Roof of the World and even beyond, it is thought, although no one has ever managed to cross this range and return.
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