“White Horse” Progress Report 4: 372 words

Not much of a report tonight, but when it comes to writing in a post-apocalyptic world, it feels like each sentence I put down commits to a rule in this world that I’ve just invented, and from that point on it will be necessary to adhere to that world as belonging to this invented world.  It is the bedrock of world-building, which is both thrilling and intimidating at the same time: it’s great fun to create and invent, but it’s also hard as it needs to be both accurate and realistic.  The key is to have believable, alive characters who can exist in the world, and then they can just act and react in it and the rules will create themselves.

It’s getting off to kind of a slow start at first, but I’m sure things will speed up and become more comfortable once the characters are all well settled (knowing what they’re doing and why they’re there).

Looking forward to what the future holds for them . . .

A person from the old world would’ve noticed the lack of ambient lighting, for the simple reason that there was no lighting, except for the sunlight streaming through the windows.  There was still electricity on the Rock, it was just severely restricted and limited to necessities.  The cooking and preparing of food was one of those; the lowering of the temperature of drinking water for the customer however was not.

“The Book of Eleanor: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine” by Pamela Kaufman (Crown Books, 2002)

The Book of Eleanorstar

I don’t think I demand too much when I read a book, but as an avid reader of historical fiction, my one request is that this fictitious history be at least as accurate as the current evidence allows.  Therefore it dumbfounds me to discover that The Book of Eleanor is currently climbing the bestseller lists in Los Angeles.  Whilst the book is set in the right century (the twelfth) and the main character soon starts relaying to the reader about the Black Plague that has been taking many lives throughout England, there is one glaring inaccuracy here: the Black Plague did not take place for another two hundred years, in 1347.

While plague was quite a common occurrence throughout the Middle Ages, and there was what is known as the Justinian Plague during the sixth to eighth centuries where half the population of Europe was wiped out, the Black Death would nevertheless take place until the fourteenth century.  As a matter of fact, it was never actually referred to as the Black Death by its contemporaries, but this was a name for the bubonic plague later on.  This crucial failing at history fact sets the tone for the rest of the novel; so if you can get by with being lied to about history, you might just enjoy the book.

Originally published in July/August 2002.

Originally published in the Long Beach Union.

“The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer: My Life at Rose Red” edited by Joyce Reardon, Ph. D. (Hyperion, 2001)

The Diary of Ellen Rimbauerstarstarstar

You all remember the popular Stephen King mini-series that aired earlier this year on ABC under the auspicious title of Rose Red: the story of a group of  “gifted people” who, with the help of Joyce Reardon, venture into the old abandoned mansion known as Rose Red, where within they come in contact with the supernatural, though in no way that has ever been televised before.  But what happened to the former occupants of the house?  The ghosts that now dwell within, what were their lives like?  Well here’s your answer.  For the first time ever the diary of Ellen Rimbauer has been released to the public, giving her life story and how it was fraught with pain and loss, and how Rose Red eventually drove her insane.  My only suggestion to the read would be: it’s okay to leave the light on if you want to.

CLICK HERE to purchase your copy from Bookshop Santa Cruz and help support BookBanter.

Originally published in July/August 2002.

Originally published in the Long Beach Union.