Tag Archives: No Regrets

Kits and Writing.

So I got some updates for the site we’re going to skip the “it’s been a whi-” and just move on.

A lot has gone down since the last update, including getting a fancy new position at Ford which I am greatly enjoying. That has made things a bit hectic but the last few weeks have gone by lightning-quick. I am really loving it.

I’ve also made the decision to work more on professionalizing my portfolio of soccer kits. Will it lead to a profession switch? Unlikely. Could I potentially make a few bucks off it? Maybe. Honestly, I’d love to see some of my designs become real. That would be absolutely fantastic.

If you read my twitter feed, which I don’t necessarily recommend Mum, I often post stuff while working including some snapshots of a big on-going project I’ve started.

What is this project; you ask.

Well, I am doing a big world building project set in the same world as my novels. It’s a big world cup write up, and it’ll have news articles, team profiles, stadium profiles, potentially player profiles, and a whole boat load of kits. At least 96 of them: home and away for 48 teams.

I’ve already got 48 crests made, though I am not 100% happy with all of them. They were quickly thrown together with stock heraldry images from Wikimedia. Already I have about 18 kits finished, so I have quite a bit of work to do. And that’s okay, I’m planning on this taking most of the summer.

It’ll be fun and I’ll make sure to have a page to showcase it. Not sure how, but I got some ideas. I hope that everyone else will enjoy it half as much as I have so far.

There’s a lot to post and explore so I’ll only have a few slices here.

Done on a whim for Paradox Interactive (not popular with the studio manager, Johan):

A little idea for Bristol Rovers FC:

And of course Detroit City FC:

Another quick mock-up for a friend:

If you have any ideas or criticism, reach out on twitter. Currently I take requests on an impulse-based sort method. Not sure how long that’ll last, though. As the Detroit City season quickly approaches, my free time will soon dissolve to nothing.

On the flip side some news regarding my writing. I have finished the rewrites of book 2, finally! It has grown by about 10,000 words to 137,000. I think the pacing has been improved and I’m happy with it in general. It’ll definitely need a final smoothing that’ll come once I get the drafts for books 3 and 4 done, which I am going to start in about ten~fifteen minutes when I am done here!

I’m pretty much actually being productive, which is great. It feels great to be getting so much done.

Of course, as I write this, it is a quarter to eight and I’ve been trying to get this done since before four… then I got distracted with the Bristol kits.

So I am going to sign off and get back to writing. I got a long way to the expected 175,000 words of book 3.

Cheers, everyone.

The Winding Road

Today I went on a bit of a winding road of world building and it all started because I wanted to make a soccer kit. Over-all the kit took about ten minutes to make and the world building took about four or five hours by my count. It involved conlanging, linguistics, some alphabet work, image manipulation, heraldry, and then eventually some soccer.

Let’s get a baseline.

Anyone who follows my profile on Wikipedia (if you do, wow, that’s uh… dedication…) will see that I often just “doodle” soccer kits there using the Wikimedia template for kits. In the last week I added six more:

These are meant to represent home and away kits for three nations from the world of my novels sped up to the “present” day (about 450 years after my novels). Why? Because it’s fun for me. The top two are Hadyrland, the country most of my novels are set in; the middle two the Union, which is heavily involved; and Steriou, which a couple characters have ties to.

Note: yes, the three shades of orange in the bottom two bothers the FUCK out of me.

The national sport of Hadyrland is Kémõ /keɪmɔ̃/ (Hurling) and the national sport of the Union is (in Hadysh) Wixgaħ /wɪxgaʁ/ (Cricket). I have these words because they are in my novels. I’ve even posted about Hadysh Hurling in the past.

But like in this world, just about every nation plays football, which is also the national sport of Steriou. And also like in our world, there is a big international organization that regulates the sport and organizes the world game between all the nations.

I wanted to make a realistic rendering of the Hadysh home kit, so that meant I needed certain details, like a crest. The crest would need some details too: shapes, colors, labels, elements. So for that I started with the crest of the Italian National Rugby team (they played today, so it was on the mind). It’s a simple tricolor crest with the initials of the national rugby federation on top and the name of the country at the bottom. Plus a little wreath.

So that’s where I started. Hadyrland’s modern flag is also a tricolor, though with horizontal bands of white, green, and black. This physically represents the nation, with its frozen north, forested center, and mountainous south. But to give this a bit of dynamism, instead of using three horizontal bands, I used a peaked design.

The Hadysh national coat of arms shows the white-green-black motif:


For the wreath I went with something that had berries. The Yew Tree is the national symbol of the nation, as well as being an important religious symbol for the majority of its citizens. So I found a vector of a wreath with berries and moved forward.

I got a banner and then things started going down hill…

So if you look at the Italian crest you see FIR – for the Federation of Italian Rugby (Federazione Italiana Rugby) and at the bottom a simple Italia, which I think most people can get without a translation. Well, I know the Hadysh name for Hadyrland: Volgamfyə /vɔlgamfjə/, but I am missing the “FIR” element. So I started working.

I started with the name “Hadysh Football Federation” and then reordered it into proper Hadysh (while still using English): “Federation Hadysh Football”. “Federation” is the subject, “Hadysh” is an adjective, and “Football” would need to be a genitive noun.

Then I open up my Hadysh dictionary. Which words do I have? Hadysh. That’s it. The adjective form is b̌olgē /bvɔlgi/.

So I have some work to do making up new words. Federation was easiest because it could be a concrete idea. In German the word for federation is Bund. This comes from the same root as “bind” in English, as in “bound together”, which a federation is – units bound together to make a whole. For “federation” I went with a simple word, like German: ya̋f /jaʊf/.

Two down, now “football”. Well, I can break that down into two units: “foot” and “ball” and then recombine them, which in Hadysh would be “ballfoot” with the foot being in the genitive.

Ooooookay…. for “foot” I went with bod /bɔd/, which is a reference to “pode” the Greek for foot. And for ball? ð̌aç /dðaç/. Little bit more work… the genitive for bod is bot (the genitive is usually word + (e)d, but if it ends with d it devoices to t). So the Hadysh for “football” is ð̌açbot /dðaçbɔt/.

But… but… we can take this further. So, oftentimes, words get adopted into a language from another language. “Football” is one of these words that often end up in other languages because it is easier to just adopt a new word then something up. For a bit of fun I decided that in Hadysh ð̌açbot would be the actual piece of equipment, while the word for the sport would come from Union Common, which is a distant relative to Hadysh. I don’t actually have two conlangs going so we needed to de-evolve the words ð̌aç and bot back to the last shared ancestor of Common and Hadysh and then re-evolve it forward to present-day Common.

Common is more like English in how it compounds words so in Common it would be foot + ball instead of ball + foot, so I decided it was best to do the two components separately and then recombine them.

I actually have a chart showing the genetic relationships between Hadysh and some of the other languages back to a language called “Proto Piylo-Tundric” which is the mother of many of the northern languages on the continent Sun-King and others take place on. Whole branches of these languages are extinct so I need to go up six steps and then down five.

Now, not every step is distinct, but it helped think about how the languages worked and this whole thing would come in handy later. Also, the question, why not Sterian for the language if that’s where the sport is most ubiquitous? Common is more of a prestige language and while the Union is not nearly as big as it once was, there are far more Common-speaking nations than Sterian or Hadysh combined.

So, “ball”…

Hadysh to Old Hadysh: /dðaç/ ➝ /ðʲaç/. The decision here was that consonants at the start of stressed syllables underwent sound changes akin to Gaelic/Russian where they could be palatalized before open vowels, unchanged before mid vowels, and labialized before close vowels. /a/ is back, so /ð/ becomes /ðʲ/. The implication here is that as Old Hadysh turned into Middle and then Modern Hadysh, this palatalized phoneme became it’s own sound /dð/ unrelated to /ð/.

Speeding up: /ðʲaç/ ➝ /dʲæç/ ➝ /ˈdʲæk.əl/ ➝ /dəˈkʲʌl/ gets us as far back as it needs to go, back to Old Piylean. Now it needs to move forward through time:

/dəˈkʲʌl/ ➝ /dəˈkʌl/ ➝ /dᵊˈkʌl/ ➝ /gʌl/ ➝ /gɔl/

And “foot” from Hadysh to Old Piylean:

/bɔd/ ➝ /bʲɔd/ ➝ /bʲɑd/ ➝ /bʲɑt/

And now from Old Piylean to Modern Common:

/bʲɑt/ ➝ /pɑt/ ➝ /pat/ ➝ /paθ/

You’ll notice that the word for “foot” has been significantly more conservative than the word for “ball”. This is because a foot is more significant to ancient peoples than a ball. So the word is preserved better. When you look at the ancient word for “ball”, it had two syllables. As it moves toward the present it drops to one with the Hadysh branch keeping the first syllable /də/ (which in its first step away from Old Piylean becomes stressed to /dʲæ/) and the Common branch keeping the stressed /kʲʌl/. The words /dðaç/ and /gɔl/ have nothing in common, but are related none the less.

So the Common word for “football” is /ˈpaθ.gɔl/.

So now I can come up with the acronym for the Hadysh Football Federation: YB̌P for Ya̋f B̌olgē Paþgold.

I will remind you, this entire exercise was for one of those three letters.

So now I can finish… making…

Fuck, Hadysh doesn’t use the Latin alphabet except when I write on the internet. In the fantasy world it would use it’s native alphabet. Luckily I have that alphabet, I just don’t have it digitized. So hang on.

There YB̌P at the top and Volgamfyə at the bottom. The crest is done.

Now I can put together that soccer kit.

There, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

That said, the longest parts were the image manipulations. Even though the linguistics takes up the lion’s share here, I played around with the vectors and the images far longer than I spent making up words. There was also a lot of background stuff with the linguistics, like filling in my dictionary with the new words and their declinations, which is important only to me.

Now will I make a crest for their dreaded rivals, the Sunrays out of Rannot?


Probably not.


Cheers, everyone.

The Unnamed Series – Updates, Ideas, Schedules, And So On…

Okay, so a few people recently have asked to be added to a small but growing list of people interested in reading my books as soon as possible.

First, let me just say that that is just fucking awesome, and I am greatly, greatly appreciative. It’s really cool that without having published a single word, people are interested. So thank you guys. Your interest and kind words a definitely a part of what keeps me trucking.

So let’s talk about where my four books are currently:



Sun-King is currently the only book that has been finished and is completely “set to go” from a writer’s standpoint. However from a publisher’s perspective it has a long way to go. It has no cover. There are some tweaks it needs to align it more closely with my current vision of the series, which has shifted slightly after certain events in American politics.

What’s that you say? Politics in a fantasy? Crazy, right? Actually not really. Art and politics are connected like conjoined twins.

Anyway, the tweaks shouldn’t be major and only take a few weeks to complete and get smoothed over. Once that is done? Well, that starts to get complicated so we’ll come back to that.


Unnamed Book Two

Book Two has gone to first readers and was first read. They were extremely helpful and I really appreciate the work they put into it. Were you hoping to get into that action? I’m sorry I didn’t extend that out to more people. I’ve gotten much better first reader responses from randos than from friends and family. My first drafts are usually somewhere between “written in feces on a bathroom stall” and “fanfic.net” in quality. They rarely make it out the door. My “rough draft” of Book Two was actually a second draft of a third attempt at writing it.

Maybe that’s an exaggeration…

But they are really, really rough. That’s because I usually write with only the barest outline and so I drop a lot of lines to see what sort of fish bite. I introduce a lot of plot hooks and a lot of characters to see how they all interact and how they make me feel. Then in later passes I will cut these down, expand others, and adjust as needed. Between drafts three and four of Sun-King I literally cut an entire main character, which was not easy.

Book Two is probably going to be the focus of my break, it’ll undergo some very big revisions. Right now I am looking at a net addition of two chapters though I’ve only got notes for about half of the book. I expect/want to finish that up before my break starts. Lots of minor characters cut, plot hooks cut, and hopefully draft three will be good enough for a second set of first readers, so stay prepared.



Night-Queen is just a very, very long plot draft right now. It’s about 16,000 words long and is just a paragraph or two per chapter (I literally have a document called “fixing it all”). As it stands I predict it’ll be about 74 chapters and roughly 160,000 words long. For comparison, Sun-King is about 118,000 and Book Two is roughly 127,000 which I expect to swell to roughly 132,000 (from 127,000) by the end.

When I actually get around to writing book three, which will be sooner than later, I expect the process to be a bit faster than usual because it’ll be much more plotted out than my previous works when I’ve started them. But I don’t want to throw out any dates right now.


Unnamed Book Four

So Book Four is currently just a 2,500 word plot synopsis that needs to grow into a full 15,000 worder like Night-Queen. I expect, as of now, for this to be closer in length to Book Two. This’ll wrap things up for this story and these characters, but I do have more planned in this world, which I plan to explore at different time-frames and with different characters. But that’s not really for now. As of now, Book Four has had the least amount of thought put into it and that is a tad scary because I need a goal to aim for as I continue to put words down into word docs.

After revisions are finished with the first two books, I will consider finishing the plotting for Book Four before even touching Night-Queen. Not sure.


Publishing Side

The other issue, which I touched on briefly above, is the whole publishing side of things. Covers. Formatting for print, kindle, nook, kobo… there’s a lot to be done and I’ve got a lot to learn. I also need to set up an actual publisher webpage that doesn’t just redirect here, set up some preview copies to get some reviews in early to help release-day traffic. I need to get a twitter set up and tweeting my book and writing related news in such a way that it doesn’t pester the uninterested but is easy to find for the interested. I’ll still talk about writing here and on my personal twitter, but expect most business stuff to come from my business twitter once that gets set up.

So if you’re one of those people excited to read my book(s) this is where you’ll be the most helpful – reviews = standing, standing = sales, sales = my ego.

I’m only partially kidding there.

So there is a lot to do. A lot. And I only know how to do some of it. I’m excited to learn, though. I’m excited to get these out to you guys.

So let’s end on a mixed note. They say that telling people your goals is counter-productive. You assume that they’ll hold you to it, but that isn’t true. Instead you get the same mental release as completing it, but you haven’t completed it. And it isn’t anyone’s job but my own to get all this finished. That’s the downer.

The upper is that I think I have a schedule, in my head, and it is doable. The part I am willing to share is that once the first book is out, I’ll be releasing them in an orderly fashion every six months. The hard part is releasing Sun-King, which is contingent on the other books being nearly wrapped up. My gut says to publish it I need Book Four to be in a second draft phase.

We’ll see.

Anyway, this is a lot of time spent writing here and not in my books.

Cheers, everyone.

ɸat æsð, de?

I’ve been wasting a lot of time lately thinking about language. The result has been a great deal of work going into my Hadysh conlang. The big thing I’ve worked on lately was dialect. The reason is that two of the main characters of Sun-King speak Hadysh natively: Einar and Rozenn, but they speak different dialects. In the book this is represented with Rozenn speaking in an accent.

I chose a light, lowland Scots accent for her because there is some baggage that goes along with it. Semi-foreign but not in an exotic way, working-class, poor, tough, ready to rumble. I wanted that baggage to come along. However, Einar speaks a more “proper” dialect. His dialect is closely related to the “proper” dialect with only a few differences in the position of certain vowels.

All told there are nine dialects not including the “perfect” form I’ve been presenting here. No one speaks that dialect, just like no one speaks dialectless English. There is a dialect considered “proper” and a dialect considered “free” of regional variation, but that is a dialect – just the dialect we expect to hear on the radio.

There is a dialect that is closest to “perfect” and it actually considered by the characters of this world as a mark of low status – it is the language of those who live on the frozen edge of civilization. But that is true in most languages. The “correct” or “proper” forms are rarely chosen for their actual closeness to any proto-language. “Received Pronunciation” (Queen’s English) is no closer or further from Shakespearean English than any other – and that assumes we take Shakespearean as “proper” itself.

It’s not.

Languages are not proper – they are arbitrary. We assign everything through baggage. I would assert that “whom” is not correct English. If you use “whom” you are being a dick. You are trying to speak above people. Normal people speaking normal English do not use “whom.” Ergo, “whom” exists in a smart-ass dialect.

Apologies to any speakers of dialects that still natively contain “whom.” Also, we’re coming for you.

Like French, Hadysh uses the dialect of the capital as “correct”. I call this “Waldish” after the capital – Waldenhof. Just like “Hadysh” this is an English word to represent a foreign tongue.

So, in my interest, I’ve written up some phrases and how the two characters would say them. Most of this was to facilitate the creation of new grammar and vocabulary.

All of these are written in IPA, if you are interested in conlanging I strongly, strongly suggest you write in IPA for purposes of communicating your work and leave your self-created alphabet at home. A) IPA works on computers B) People will get it. Hadysh has some sounds that are weird, lets go over some of them:

/ç/ – This is like the “ch” in the German “ich”. It is similar to the “ch” in the Scottish “Loch” like Loch Ness, but it is devoiced so don’t let your vocal chords vibrate.

/x/ – This is the “ch” in Loch Ness. It is NOT a /k/ sound. It isn’t Lok Ness.

/ɹ/ – This is “r” as nearly every English speaker will say it.

/ɹ̝̠̊/ – Start with /ç/, now move your tongue closer to the roof of your mouth and begin to constrict airflow. Close enough.

/ʍ/ – Remember the “cool hwip” gag from Family Guy? That “hw” sound is /ʍ/ and used to be very common in English. It’s why “why” is spelled with an “h” in the middle.

/ɸ/ – Start by making /f/, now part and round your lips. Close enough. This should be like a controlled way of blowing out a candle.

/ð/ – It’s the “th” from “breathe”.

/θ/ – It’s the “th” from “thin”.

/j/ – The “y” in “yes”.

Learn the vowels on your own. They are going to get a bit complex and can be very, very dialect dependent. I generally refer to the German examples because High School and Uni forced “perfect” German on me, but my English is native, so I speak with a “strong” dialect.

I am [NAME]

[ɸat a (NAME)] – You

/ɸɛt ɛ çɪɹiə/ – Rozenn

/fat a nafjelən/ – Einar

What is your name? – Single, Informal “you”

[θjelg æs, de]? (Literally: How will I call you?)

/θjɪlk ɛs’d/? – Rozenn

/θjelg as, de/? – Einar

How are you? – Single, Informal “you”

[ɸat æs, de]?

/ɸɛt ɛs’d/? – Rozenn

/fat as, de/? – Einar

I am fine, thank you. – Single, Informal “you”

[ɸat a lʌx, jʊga ɪ æs]

/ɸɛt ɛ lʌx, jʊkɛ ɪ ‘s/ – Rozenn

/fat a ləç, jəga e as/ – Einar

Good morning.

[ʍæmli lʌx]

/ʍɛmli lʌx/ – Rozenn

/hamle ləç/ – Einar

Good afternoon.

[lælxwændʊ lʌx]

/lɛlxwɛndʊ lʌx/ – Rozenn

/lalçandə ləç/ – Einar

Good evening.

[lælɔðɹ̝̠̊en lʌx]

/lɛlɔðɹɪn lʌx/ – Rozenn

/lalɔðɹ̝̠̊en ləç/ – Einar

Good night.

[ɔðɹ̝̠̊en lʌx]

/ɔðɹɪn lʌx/ – Rozenn

/ɔðɹ̝̠̊en ləç/ – Einar



/çɛç/ – Rozenn

/kak/ – Einar

I am Rozenn, daughter of Leofric and the Great Sword of Macenburgh.

[ɸat a çeɹiə, tatiə jan pænðmʌhiɹd pe ɪlpæzɑxt jan zeʍədɹədʌɹɔɸə]

/ɸɛt ɛ çɪɹiə, tɛtɪə jɛn pɛnðmʌhɪɹd pɪ ɪlpɛzɔxt jɛn zɪʍədɹʌɹɔɸə/ – Rozenn


Nothing wrong with a bit of fun on that last one, aye?

Some interesting grammar bits to note:

First, even I screw up. I did on a previous post. I labeled “hunter” as [bʊfəd] but it is actually [bʊvəd].

Second, the copula does not conjugate. It is always [ɸat] regardless of the subject. This means it is always followed by a subject.

Third, questions follow the sentence they modify. So it would be a statement + , + question word. For example, in English, it would look like “You are, how?”

Fourth, Hadysh, from my first post, has shifted from SVO to VSO. Correct sentences from older posts as needed. As stated this is a growing and changing project that I do for fun instead of eating or writing. Both things far beyond fixing at this point. So I’m going to make some quick food and call it a night.

ɔðɹ̝̠̊en lʌx or oíche mhaith, motherfuckers.