Category Archives: Prep Work

Non-alcoholic research

Alcoholism (and drug addiction) is one of the motifs of Dipso, but there is a level of sobriety that I need to maintain when writing this book.  This is outside the fact that being sober is also an important aspect of raising kids and being a productive member of a family.

I’m starting to get into my full binge of research to finish the rest of Dipso.  I won’t be posting chapters like I did for the Nanowrimo contest last November, but I will be actively keeping updates on my status, some of my methods, philosophical/ethical drives, and other such stuff.  I’m giving myself a deadline of December 1st to finish the final rough draft in hopes that I can have a decent amount of prints for a book release on Dec 21st.  This is also the release of two fellow author/friends’ books through the new independent publishing house, Three Faced Media.

Today I researched more on Norse mythology, the inspiration of Baldur’s via his dad’s worldview, namely on the giants, the jotnar.  In turn, this mythology/worldview is a common ground that Baldur, through his adventure, uses to match concepts to his life’s chaos aboard ship.  This chaos will be the forces that drive the story to the climax.

Forces:

  • The spherical camera which Baldur names Surtr, after the main giants that brings about Ragnorok,  this camera is used for the reality show that he had agreed to be apart of in contract for funding his research and will be technologically fictitous.  This camera named Surtr will have a very symbolic imprint on the conclusion of the book
  • Alcohol(Baldur) and Methamphetamines(Fetu-see character post) and eventually, in India, the fervent pursuit of Soma (mythical Hindu drug of gods/poets) by both protagonists, these addictions/pursuits will drive much of the failures of the expedition but on the other hand bring much entertainment value and ridicule to Baldur’s character in general
  • Prostitutes, there are many levels to this. To name a few:
  1. Fetu’s flaw is that he loves all women aside from his meth addiction
  2. Baldur cares little for any intimacy for the women they bring aboard but thinks that he is saving them from their fates as victims of sex-trafficking, of which he in some cases is
  3. The fact that they keep loading their ship up with hookers makes their reality TV show (more on that later) a top rating show
  4. It is a major discredit to James Villard’s televangical empire because the show is aired on one of the media outlets that his corporate conglomerate owns, and it is also found out that James himself has been funding the expedition
  • Money, the blank check from Baldur’s newly acquired cancer-having false-father James Villard will get our protagonists out of many illegal and messy situations, a sub-moral of the story-money can buy most anyone
  • Languages, this force keeps the boat at somewhat of an even keel, both figuratively and literally, Baldur doesn’t sway from his obsession to unlock the proto-human language aka God’s Tongue (in Villard’s perception), but there is a shift in Baldur’s judgment on this, he goes from a basic empirical scientific-method approach of collecting data into a delusional and egotistical pursuit of an actual unlocking of all-possible-languages inside his own head

Honestly, I believe I have much more plotting, planning, map-making, and research to do before I start unleashing the last half of the novel.

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Charted Course

I’m fairly certain that my creativity will start drying up at about the second week if I were to race to the climax.  So I definitely have to pace myself.  Here’s a layout.

Charted Course (very flexible and rough):

  • First Day Intro – will consist of Baldur’s childhood, bird’s eye view of who he is and how he got that way
  • First Week – I’ll deal mainly with some back stories of all the characters though some will be interjected later to break the monotony of the journey
  • Second Week – I want to have the journey started and moving with Fetu and Baldur in either Easter Island (Rapa Nui), Samoa, or Papua New Guinea
  • Third Week – I want Fetu and Baldur searching and finding Sarbagya in Kathmandu
  • Fourth Week – Climax and tying up loose ends

Tricks to keep the flow:

  • Fact Check Later – Cannot be concerned with factual inconsistency – linguistic, historical, scientific, et cetera
  • Don’t know it?  Make it up
  • Don’t read, talk about, or watch anything that does not have anything to do with the story unless it is a must
  • Write at any free moment
  • Have life support – friends to talk to that will keep you going till the finish
  • Be crazy – yeah, no one wants to hear about your shitty novel but screw ‘em, you have to listen to all their sports jabber with feigned interest, they can return the favor
  • Write in one line summaries of things that can be written later and keep that next to the monitor in case there is any moment of writer’s paralysis

The one thing I can say about this writing adventure, I’m attempting to accomplish what took me years to do with my first (solo) novel.   

 

Morals of the Story

In literary fiction, morals and philosophical concepts are crucial for driving the story.  Characters must learn something about life and living.  What’s the use of a well developed character that isn’t put to the test?  You can endow all your characters with whatever moral stuff you want, but without a trial of that stuff, your story can dry up.

The spectrum of morals and philosophies is vast, so it’s easy to get lost if you go searching.  And philosophers of all ages make messes of concepts that should be intuitive to the average person that lives in the world.  Deep concepts can be expressed smoothly and simply, this is the job of the writer.  It is the job of the reader to read the words and understand the meaning.  If the reader doesn’t not understand a concept, the story should still go on entertaining.  Philosophical mumbo jumbo is for philosophers, not for a reader trying to enjoy a good story.

I won’t spend all day explaining the myriad philosophical details that I have planned for this story.  Most of what goes into my head as philosophy is placed in my stories as a shiny coin.  Take it or leave it, regardless, someone will pick it up.

Basic Philosophical Concepts:  A low down on my characters’ belief systems

  • Baldur – Baldur begins the story as a nihilist.  Much of what his father Odin has taught him has rubbed off on him in as apathy.  Baldur is nice and loving and harmless, but what he isn’t, is a believer none whatsoever, not even in himself at times.  Baldur will have to reconcile this lack of belief, first with himself and then humankind.  He will come round in the end with a faith in people, that can overcome their awful ways of life.  More main morals: some things cannot be repaired by compassion or reconciled by guilt, don’t wish ill on yourself, it will happen regardless, doing no harm doesn’t mean not being harmful
  • Odin – Despite the transference of apathy to Baldur, Odin doesn’t feel apathetic to the state of the world.  In fact, he relishes the ending of a cycle.  Religiously, he will come off as a Norse pagan, much of what will come out of his mouth will reference some Norse myth.  But what Odin really believes is that all of these depictions of gods are simply manifestations of the human psyche.  If you ever caught him praying to Odin, it would be himself.  Odin in his later years has a moral breakdown with war and violence.  This is not unlike his comrade Sarba.
  • Nastasia – She believes that God is everything, down to that very statement.  She’ll have an occasional issue with the way Odin flings the word ‘God’ around as if there are many, but he’ll never argue outside of saying “out of one come many”.  She believes all of her loved ones will be saved, regardless of what they believe now.  After the capture of Baldur not so long after Odin’s death, Nastasia will devote herself to Christ as missionary and work/pray her days away.
  • Fetu—believes wholeheartedly in the gods of Samoan tradition, his father had taught him to be this way and he never abandoned it, even at twelve when his dad died.  Everything he does is associated with his belief.  He makes spiritual ritual of even the most mundane of chores.
  • Sarba—believes in all the aspects of Hinduism, but much like Odin associate the deities and stories with a true relation to the self, spiritual and physical.  Some of his conveyances will be harder to understand than any other character, but this is the nature of the teacher.  Sages aren’t often understood by their pupils, and since the protagonist is in the first person, the reader can relate to some of this philosophical confusion.
  • Jennifer—will have simple but grievous lessons:  being nice and compassionate bears no reward but the action itself, and some heartbreak cannot be repaired
  • James Villard—Also a nihilist in the beginning of the story although he is a televangelist preacher.  His money and his power over people made him faithless and apathetic.  He has a major suppression of guilt which is cracked by the knowledge of Baldur’s existence.  His initial interest in Baldur’s language project is for more power, but after he is discredited and made a fool of, he has an epiphany.  He restores his faith in Christ, and denounces his money empire, he gives all of his money and possessions to the world’s poor people.  Becomes a street preacher.

Tomorrow I have to evaluate the way I’m going to deal with this one month deadline.  I need to have techniques I can turn to in order to keep writing fluidly.

The Journey

The timeline I am working with is rather simple, but I still needed some basic organization.  Since the majority of the active plot in this story will be on a boat from port to port, I took a world map and plotted course of a two person circumnavigation (inspired by an actual circumnavigation) and modified it according to different languages and sailing efficiency.

I have sailing experience but not enough.  My research on this has to be extensive.  Lucky for me, I have close people with tons more experience.  I must be able to convey what it is to sail across the Pacific without actually doing this.  Sure, I can throw some technical jargon in and make it sound convincing, but this will harm me in two ways, sailors won’t believe me and non-sailors will get bored.  So I must take the intimate experiences of mine and others to project a smooth depiction of a sailing journey.

Some things to consider for the journey:

  • Supplies—food, water, booze, drugs, clothing
  • Equipment, primitive and modern
  • Weather
  • Port regulations
  • Situations that can be magnified so a trans-Pacific trip isn’t just one paragraph
  • Baldur’s condition should deteriorate early on to provoke his language madness and megalomania
  • One or two love interests for Baldur which will haunt his emotions about Jennifer

To break the linear timeline and path of the journey, I want to lay out points in the story where I will inject backstory, just to break the monotony.  I don’t want a book that is backstory in the first half, plot in the second.

Tomorrow, I want to tackle some of the philosophical and moral principles that I’ll convey.

Ten Rules for Writing x2

Here are some favorite rules of other authors.

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  1. Write.  –Neil Gaiman
  2. Use short paragraphs.  –Ernest Hemingway
  3. Every character should want something even if it’s a glass of water.  –Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
  4. Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.  –Elmore Leonard
  5. Write the book you want to read.  –Chuck Palahniuk
  6. If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water. –Hemingway
  7. If you’re using a computer, always safe guard new text with a memory stick.  –Margaret Atwood
  8. The first twelve years are the worst.  –Anne Enright
  9. Never complain about not being understood.  You can choose to be understood, or you can choose not to.  –David Hare
  10. Read widely and with discrimination.  Bad writing is contagious.  –PD James

Here’s a Ten Rules for Writing list I wrote.

  1. Live first, write second.  Experience is the best form of reference.
  2. Use a good dictionary, get the most out of your words.
  3. Use the thesaurus sparingly.  Too many fancy words can bog down your writing and make you seem like an asshole.  But, this is fine if your narrative is assholish.
  4. Learn whatever you can, be honest with yourself and your knowledge.  Don’t be a know-it-all.  Nobody likes a know-it-all, not even other know-it-alls.  People can see through bullshit.
  5.  Don’t leave your characters alone for too long.  Like real people, they will become cold and resentful if you don’t pay attention to them.
  6. Feel free to make up words, in modest.  Purists may not like it, but screw them.
  7. Write under any type of circumstance.  Bizarre shit will come out of your head when you’re sick, drunk, angry, et cetera.
  8. Embrace your emotions, whatever they may be.  No one likes a robot, unless of course your character is a robot.
  9. Learn to make fun of yourself.  Everyone’s an idiot at some point.  This type of humility can develop your writing and connect readers to you and your character’s humanness, unless again you’re a robot.
  10.  Justify your use of language, a nice person uses nice words.  Styles make characters, even if they’re robots.

Narrative Voice

Voice is paramount in literary fiction.  Publishing houses and agents are always yapping about finding original voices and whatnot.  I couldn’t agree more.  Your narrative voice channels your story, leads your readers to know your characters, and takes the dryness out of your writing.  A good narrative voice thrives on creativity.

It took me years to be able to separate myself from my characters’ voices (not that you have to, Kerouac, H.S. Thomson et al.)  Even now with full knowledge of what’s being written, my characters’ voices are unmistakably relative to my own.  Only through years of crappy writing did I get comfortable with the simple idea that my characters are my children, not me, but they have been endowed with some of my traits, naturally.  Even with all the effort to separate yourself from your narrative, people who know you and read your work will inevitably hear your voice for a bit if not all of the time, not a big deal really.  I got over it.

I can’t write anything in my character’s voice until November 1st, that would be cheating under my perception of the rules.  So I’m developing it completely in my head.

Considerations for Baldur’s voice:

  • First person omniscient – I might have to justify this voice later, but I know that this form gives me the most power over knowledge of other characters, I won’t have to explain why Baldur knows the intimate thoughts of other characters until the end.  After all, it is fiction so you can do whatever the hell you want.
  • Past tense mainly – I will have a few excerpts in present tense, but these will be limited emotionally charged anecdote.
  • Baldur will not, in diction, speak taboo words, but this won’t apply to his narrative, e.g. he’ll explain why certain words are taboo
  • I want Baldur to be sensitive and nice but with a contradictory edge that will make the reader question him, he does have a history of being insensitive
  • Lots of idioms and word explanations, this will be tricky –has to be done right to not be boring
  • Never self-loathing, revels in his optimal circumstances even when things get bad he takes full responsibility of his choices (this gets into philosophy which I’ll discuss another day)
  •  He has two main abstract desires.  To be understood, and for everyone to understand each other.  The latter is impossible, but he, through his drunken misconceptions of reality, thinks that he can offer the world a solution for peace.  A way back to mortal Eden or Paradise(more on this later, this is the Gordian knot of Baldur’s psychology and deserves its own blog post.)
  • I need Baldur to slowly expose his megalomania, at some point he should compare himself as a cross between Alexander the Great and Jesus Christ

Tomorrow I will make a Ten Rules for Writing list compiled from other authors’ lists.

Tools I use

Dictionaries, encyclopedias, books/magazines, wordlists, visual aids, and life.

Dictionary:  Not just for reference, but inspiration too

I can kill awful amounts of time in the dictionary, digital or real.  They’re invaluable to me.  Some months ago I lost my access to the online Oxford English Dictionary, not good.  But I make due with a handful of others.

My suggestion for new writers is to use the dictionary just as much as you would an encyclopedia.  Dictionaries (decent ones) are in their own way encyclopedic.  The roots of words tell stories, these stories or etymologies are creative and sometimes inspiring.  It is also good to know all the uses of a word, this can open creative pathways.

Encyclopedia:  Use it as a starting point for getting other books

Do you remember your first term paper, let’s say in about fifth grade?  The first rule of a book report/term paper is that you shouldn’t plagiarize other works in particular the encyclopedia which is your starting point.  It’s no surprise that when you get to college the same rule applies.  But students still do it and out of Wikipedia for that matter.  The same rule as fifth grade, same starting point.

Wikipedia gets a bad name because of the insane amounts of plagiarism, even citations from it are a no-no.  This doesn’t mean that it is a bad reference source.  I use it more than anything when I’m on the internet.  It allows for you to do guided research in a library for the handful of books you need.

Books:  Reading away from the computer, a relief

I have only a few so far and a handful more to get.

  • Atlas of Languages
  • Grammar Bible
  • Book on Child Language Development
  • Yachting magazines
  • Collection of Emerson’s work
  • Prose Edda

Need to get

  • Alcoholics Anonymous book and other material
  • Mahabharata and other Vedic texts
  •  Collection of different undecipherable ancient languages

Wordlists:  Lexical Depth

For Dipso, I’ll be making several wordlists.

The first one I did was Alcoholism.  Here is a sample of the list:

Alcohol

C2H5OH

besotted

crapulent

crapulous

sodden

tipsy

blind

crocked

pissed

pixilated

pickled

Some of these I had never heard of which is awesome for me and the English language.  I can use these words and keep them alive, and they’ll enrich the language of my character’s narrative.  In my opinion, using an extensive amount of vocabulary has you walking a sword edge.  You can make a story stronger, but you can also make it unreadable with too many collegiate or archaic or jargon words that just make you seem smart.  I tend to define words that are uncommon if I absolutely have to use them.  And of course strong context helps which is how I will utilize the above words. You can also get away with using loads of uncommon words if you’re justified, Nabakov pulled it off well in Lolita.

I do have to take caution with my wordlist of linguistics.  I must make sure that all justified use of jargon words is easily understood by all readers.

Visual Aids:  They’re fun to make and brighten your writing day when you’re stuck

For Dipso:

  • I’m going to draw a map of the Baldur’s sailing route around the world.
  • Coincide language maps with the journey
  • Pin up several different types of alphabets, syllabaries, pictographs, ideograms, hieroglyphs, et cetera
  • Language family trees
  • International Phonetic Alphabet chart
  • Pictures of different ancient boats/ships
  • Examples of traditional tattooing, especially Pacific Island and Nepal
  • Different types of booze bottles
  • Photos of different places

 

Life:  Recall all experiences related to anything relevant

Of course writers use their experiences to give depth to their writing.  I personally try to avoid using situations verbatim, I’d like to save that stuff for an autobiography.  I let the story and the character take a basic situation and make it unique to them.  For example, everyone has had an embarrassing trip and fall, fairly universal, I just stylize it to the story with the conveyance of my own emotional regard.

Tomorrow, I want to discuss voice.  This is huge for literary fiction.  I’ve given the consideration of voice a great amount of my thoughts.

Last Character Concepts: The Lover and The Sage

I have two more characters that I need to go into detail about, Sarbagya and Jennifer.

Jennifer is the main love interest of Baldur.  Although her part in the story isn’t going to be that great, she will have a profound effect on Baldur’s emotional growth.  She’s an ideal woman for Baldur (or anyone for that matter).  The problem is that she is too good in Baldur’s eyes.  He feels that his life has been too good already and doesn’t deserve such a perfect woman.  Baldur seems to be developing the Martyr complex that I wanted him to have.

I had to struggle with the significant other element of this story which is quite the opposite of what I dealt with in Flush.  The reason I even bother creating it is simple though.  I believe that a writer needs to have an emotional connection to write literary fiction.  Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be love for a person only, emotions span most anything.  Emotional lacking is also a thing, two of my biggest writing influences, Vonnegut and Palahniuk, use this successfully.  Not my thing though, I like dealing with emotions in all forms.

Jennifer: The Love Interest

  • Two character flaws(if I can say that) is that she is too nice and sexually restrained which Baldur doesn’t consciously dislike, but this over-niceness makes him doubt her emotions for him, and he wishes she would at least argue with him about something
  • Cherokee Language revivalist—met Baldur at a Moribund Language Convention
  • Contrary to what Baldur doubted, she is devastated when he departs on his quest, this changes her significantly
  • Helps other Native American languages nearing extinction to survive and grow, even plans to resurrect a one someday
  • She is what occupies Baldur’s mind when he is on his death bed
  • Baldur wants her to have more flaws, this is unrealistic of course, she doesn’t have negative traits because she is enraptured by her love for him (which he can’t see)
In a psychological sense, Baldur wants Jennifer to be more like his mother even though he doesn’t consciously ever think this.  Baldur has many moral ideals, Jennifer is living proof of these ideals.  This makes for a psychological conundrum which will drive the negative aspects of Baldur’s megalomania and martyr complex.

Sarbagya (Sarba for short):  Sagacious Helper

This is a character that I’m adding to aid Baldur on his quest to fill the role of the Sage who helps the Hero.  I cannot avoid these kind of epic elements, Joseph Campbell’s works are a huge inspiration.

I’ll add Sarga for a few reasons:

  • He is a good character to expose some of the deep dark secrets of Odin’s soldiery
  • Knows a few languages that Baldur needs to break a part of the Proto-Language code(more about this later)
  • A Gurkha that served with Odin in the same mercenary corporation
  • He calls himself a recovering murderer, devotes himself to Hinduism
  • Sings out of the Vedas frequently, tells Baldur of the Language of God in India that no human can understand
  • On a personal quest for Soma, a drink of the gods
  • Does calligraphy and traditional Nepalese tattooing
  • Happy-go-lucky
  • As fun as the old sage warrior is, he’s still deadly and has no hesitation in defending Baldur and Fetu till the death

That’s all I could squeeze in.  For the next few days I will be working on wordlists, philosophical threads, the adventure map, and several other conceptual aids that I’ll need to create a smooth month writing.

Conception of Characters 3: Brother and 2nd Father

Today I did the initial research for the last two main characters, Fetu and James Villard.  I have much more research to do so my back stories are believable.

Fetu is Baldur’s adopted brother.  This character started from one concept.  I wanted a character that would criticize the insecure male’s overzealous of display of strength before an altercation.  So Fetu will carry around consent and release forms prior to getting in any physical conflict at least in the US or Europe (this will not apply in many third world countries and he knows that).  Not only would this show a person’s resolve in partaking in a physical altercation, but release the combatant from responsibility of damage.  There is more to this but I won’t get into it now.

And I wanted another type of addict, so I thought a meth addict might be of assistance to Baldur on his journey.  So Fetu is a meth addict.

A few weeks ago I decided to make him Samoan and to make him adopted.  The Samoan culture has an emphasis on masculine strength and they are also great sailors.  I didn’t come up with a name until last week.  I chose Fetu because it means ‘star’ which is also the Samoan god of night.  This is perfect for a sailor meth addict who has no problems sailing all night long.

Fetu: Baldur’s adopted brother.  Some details.

  • Older than Balder by a few years
  • Adopted when he was around ten or twelve
  • Emotionally reserved because of his parents’ deaths
  • Knows many of the Samoan skills (from both his time on the islands or from Odin), tree climbing, the fire knife dance, basketweaving, coconut shell carving, traditional tattooing (from Odin in his late teens), boatmaking and sailing
  • Very protective of Baldur especially after Baldur denounces violence shortly before their trip around the world
  • Left at age eighteen to go into the Marine Corps, this has a profound negative effect on Baldur which leads him to be anti-national and anti-warfare
  • Besides being a meth addict, Fetu is very healthy.  Because of his mother’s and grandmother’s death from diabetes, he refuses to eat processed foods.  He blames their modern western diet on their diabetes.
  • Obsessed with all forms of stimulants but meth is his favorite

I’m having some issues with the James Villard character.  I have put him into different classifications that I might have a hard time justifying.  But here’s what I got so far.

James Villard:   Baldur’s supposed biological father

  • Billionaire Televangelist who was originally from the Boston Brahmin elite, his family doesn’t care much for him because of the negative attention he gets from his antics
  • Charismatic but compulsively lies, and is megalomaniacal
  • Nothing really good about the character in the beginning, but will go through a profound redemption after the climax
  • From the first generation of the Boston Brahmin that doesn’t keep their dying dialect, Baldur will notice this and maybe say this “You’ve lost your way it seems.”

James Villard can be considered a minor character, but since he drives so much of the little plot I got and also many moral undertows, I have to have extensive depth to him.

I have a few minor characters that I have to work on tomorrow.  I can’t possibly work on all of them because the act of writing a story lends itself to minor character creation.

The minor characters tomorrow:  Jennifer (number one girl’s name in the 70’s)—Baldur’s true love interest, a few of his whimsical lovers he finds around the world, Sarbagya—the aged Gurkha warrior, fellow comrade of Odin who assists Baldur and Fetu along their journey.

Conception of Characters: Mother and Father

I have three parent characters and one brother I have to develop.  I’m going to focus on the real parents today.

Baldur was raised by his mother, Nastasia, and his father, Odin.  Early on in the story, Odin will die of heart failure.  His death will trigger events to bring James Villard into the story.  He will be the possible biological father of Baldur.  Baldur never knew about this until Odin dies, and James Villard never made an effort to find out until Odin died.  I don’t think I’ll let the reader know, I may not have a paternity test happen.   I’m toying with the idea of uncertainty as some moral backdrop for James Villard.  With him entering, several things will be set into motion, for example, Baldur’s and Nastasia’s emotional psychological issues, the plot itself, and a moral/philosophical underbelly.

His brother, Fetu, is not biologically related.  Fetu was adopted by Odin and Nas when his grandmother went into a diabetic coma and died.  Fetu is from Samoa and his father, Afi, was a fellow mercenary who died along side Odin when fighting in an African conflict.  Odin promised Afi that he would take care of his son if his grandmother died. More on Fetu tomorrow.

I’ll start with Odin.  He will have prominence in the story though he dies early on.  Baldur will constantly be reflecting on his father’s teachings.

We all know Odin is from Norse mythology, and it seems corny at first glance to name Baldur’s father Odin—too close to the myth.  But I can simply justify it with the Odin character being from Sweden and being a Norse religion revivalist.  This understanding of his heritage will lead him to name his son Baldur.

Odin Ankarsvard:  Some details from my sheet and my head.

  • Has one eye and a beard like Myth Odin, but mine lost his from shrapnel during combat, and not as a quid pro quo for the Wisdom of the Ages from Mimir’s Well
  • Altruistic but very firm like the Odin of Myth
  • Beekeeper and a mead maker
  • Lover of animals, falconer, horsewhisperer
  • Influence for Baldur’s alcoholism.  The honey he harvested went to making mead which he drank a lot of and contributed to his heart failure
  • “It’s not magic, it’s willpower.”  A quote to his sons
  • The small fortune he got from mercenary service went to buying his family a private island in Lake Superior where Baldur spends most of his childhood
  • Sailor and mercenary soldier (Ankarsvard comes from anchor-sword in Old Norse), blacksmith, fisherman, hunter, man’s man
  • Emotionally detached unless he’s really drunk, what he saw in Africa destroyed his faith in humanity, this is also why he names his son Baldur.  Myth Baldur’s death is the spark that starts the War of the Gods, Ragnarok which starts the world anew.  My Odin wants the world to start anew

I’ll stop there and start on Nastasia.

Nastasia is from Poland.    She was born under a bad sign.  Her mother was raped by an SS soldier during WWII and stayed in a Lebensborn facility where she gave birth to and partially raised Nastasia.  Sick of the conditions of Post-war Poland, they fled to America.  As a teenager Nas’ mother dies, and she becomes a prostitute but still manages to go to school and put herself through college.  She gets sick of New York and moves back to Europe (not sure exactly where, Prague maybe, need to do research).   In Europe, she meets James Villard in Paris and has a two week affair until he finds out that she used to be a prostitute.  He goes back to America.  During this same time, Odin is on leave from mercenary business and meets a drunk and somber Nastasia in a bar.  They fall in love.  Baldur is conceived.

Nastasia Adamczyk:

  • Strong and independent, but can be loud and domineering
  • Deep mistrust in men which is countered by Odin’s sincerity
  • Nurtures Baldur so that he is kind and in touch with his emotions, but sometimes over-nurtures him, he was her only comfort until when Odin was away on missions
  • Has a over-protectiveness like Frigga, Baldur’s mother in myth, which causes her to be proactive in making sure that Baldur never gets hurt, this develops psychological issues for Baldur
  • Kept her Catholic faith through the worst of times, but does not believe in the church itself

I didn’t originally intend for Nas to have such a dark background but I just went with the flow in my head.  All I knew was that Baldur’s parents had to have issues because the family fights are going to be bilingual.  For example, Nas yells at Odin in Polish, and he in Swedish, all the while living in America and speaking English.  I probably won’t say exactly why Baldur has language issues, but they will be there.  This is an important aspect of his character which he truly gets from his mother, and that is perseverance to the extreme.

Tomorrow I will work on Fetu and James Villard.

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