Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Well, you're not a True Mystery Fan.  John Dickson Carr called it The Grandest Game in the World.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Okay, I have a level zero draft of chapter 4 version 2.  Melayne's part is beefed up.  Some details are tweaked.  And Melayne's extended story surrounds the Merran/Jamen part.

I don't have 1.0 Amys of description in it.  I don't even  have my accustomed 0.085 Amys in it yet.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

About halfway to the Ch 4 rewrite, I think.

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

What chapter did I miss?  You had so many chapters out of order that I might have bypassed one.  Chapter 4 Version 2?  Is that right?

Or am I now a meter with which to compare your writing?  If so, is this a good thing?


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Chapter 4 version 2.  Chapter 4 takes us back to Lifspynth.

Gauss, Volts, Amperes, Joules, Newtons, Amys.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Amps or Volts?  Nevermind.  Forget I asked :-)


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

So one Amy equals one completed call on a telecommunication network.  (including attempts and dropped calls) 

Hmm.  OK, that'll do.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Still  working on chapter 4.  I spent six slow but productive hours yestereve.  (Where 'eve' ends near dawn.)  It will be over 4k words.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Chapter 4 up.  I need to go sleep..  What time I have tomorrow/today has to be spent on circuit work--and on reading your reviews, of course smile

36 (edited by njc 2014-12-03 07:41:47)

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

KHippolite wrote:

You might have to post the link to the chapter since the site seems to display new content on its own (somewhat lackadaisical) time frame.

Four words: DBMS.  Four more: ACID.

Your wish is my suggestion.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Melayne is speaking very carefully, not telling the whole truth.  But you're probably right.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

With regard to place and description, I wonder if you and I know places differently.

Before I take a trip, I often study the route with Google Maps and look over the satphotos around the places where  I will have to turn.  I study them from above and envision them as they must view from the road.  Then when I drive, I recognize those nearly as if I had seen them before.

So for me, giving a 'map' of the place is the natural kind of description.

In other news, I have a battery-powered version of the timer/flasher portion working.  The breadboard I'm working forces me to compromise the layout a bit but not too much.  I found a couple of errors in my layout drawing for that part, and discovered that the inrush for the switched power caps causes the timer to reset.  I can reduce the capacitance, but instead I want to try turning the  switching MOSFET on a little slowly.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

I'll read chapter 4 as soon as I can.



Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Following up on the review -- but the whole town isn't in danger of the Elemental residue on the charm.  The Chaos-triggered fires pose some danger, but the real danger is that the charm used to be--and still is!--a Covenant Gem.

Once I saw a broken mirror and said “Something has happened” and they all answered, “Yes, yes, as you truly say, two men wrestled and one ran into the garden,” and so on. I don’t understand it, “Something happened,” and “Two men wrestled,” don’t seem to me at all the same; but I dare say I read old books of logic.  ---GKC's Father Brown in The Quick One


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

As I look at the revised Chapter 4 and consider other revisions, I find myself thinking that the first scene should now be moved earlier, even before Chapter 2.  Even before that, I see a lot of things to improve in it.

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Where?  What changes?


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

The changes are, so far, on paper.  Some answer your review, some are literary fillips.

The first scene would go before Merran waking up.  The second scene with her mother would go right after the lurymant is spotted.  The third scene would go right after Caneth and Barris are taken.  The story with Erevain would have to stand on its own, unless I found a small scene to cut in.

44 (edited by njc 2014-12-11 21:54:13)

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

I've been working at cross purposes the last couple of days.  My little electronics project is such a success it's keeping me from working on it, even as I'm spending time on it!

I''m trying to do all my work now on a test article that I can run on battery power.  Some things I can't do that with, but right now I most need to debug the new voltage level detector in that test article.  Problem is, a few days ago I began testing to see how long the flasher could run on battery power.  I put four new AAA batteries on it, figuring they would last for 20 to 36 hours.  Mirable dictu, I'm past 90 hours and it's just reached the 1.3 volt/cell plateau.  AAA page, first discharge curve should be the most representative load in terms of curve shape.  That means that the flasher should run for 440 to 480 hours on these tiny batteries, and over two thousand on the C cells I mean to use it with!  That's darn good--flashing hours won't take as much as I feared from battery lifetime--but I'll have to cut this test short to get work done.

I also have to work on my much-modified "pigeon" flasher--but I don't want to get tied up in that until I have the detector working.  I also have a start-up problem on the flasher: when it's turned on the capacitors draw so much current to charge that the voltage drop resets the timer.  I think I can fix this with a resistor that will slow the turn-on of the MOSFETs that feed the flasher.  It's just a matter of finding the right value.  Thing is, I want to test the fix with the cheapest carbon-zinc batteries I can get my hands on--and it's getting hard to find them nowadays.

And then the pigeon flasher.  I promised to send the final circuit drawing to the guy I cribbed it from.  It's a surprisingly subtle design that can maintain a steady flash rate over a wide voltage range.

But right now Im going to work on Chapter 4, and then I'll see if I can find those cheap batteries.

From Maxell ad of 30-odd years ago: "With some tapes, you can't tell your brass from your oboe."

My favorite: "He can't tell a burro from a burrow!"

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

You could test the light for the season and pretend it's an Xmas light...that would give you a good idea of flash-duration.

46 (edited by njc 2014-12-13 00:16:18)

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

I need to finish the thing!

Anyway, I tested the turn-on fix.  It works with the AAA alkaline Energizers, at 5.1v total.   (One mod: a Schottky barrier diode bypassing the resistor for turn-off.)  I just bought some really crappy carbon-Zinc batteries and I will test it with them, too.  If it works with those AAAs across a range of voltages, it should work with anything.

Now I have to worry about turn-off, which is slow because of the energy stored in the power-smoothing capacitors on the load side of the switch.  I'm thinking that I should switch the LED power and the other power with separate devices.  That's more circuit board space to take up.

And THEN I have to debug the detector (I've already got it built on the test article) and work on the pigeon-flasher.

And physical design, especially the layout of the input filter and the placement of the RJ-11 jack.

Gosh, I also have to test that other "works on polyethelene/polypropalene" glue.  And thread the posts in the cases.  And ....

Aaargh!  I should keep a chart like I would on a software project so I'd know what to do when I was stalled on one thing or another.

Now back to the Chapter 4 revisions.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

BTW, I'm still working on Amy's chapter 4 suggestions.  I'm maybe halfway to edits addressing Melayne's concerns about her daughter's isolation.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

I've reworked the first Melayne section of Chapter 4.  I won't do a repub unless a reviewer needs the points, but it's a little smaller (~350 words) and it might be more to the point.  I hope so.  It's still too long.

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Your review is up on Mellaen's rewrite.  I don't see the point in limiting the wordage of her character development since she is such a key character in the book.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

I think you went back to the pre-rewrite version.  The opening of Melayne's first scene should read ((As Merran practiced her lessons with her father, her mother was in the kitchen, past the chimney that served the kitchen and the upper floors, past the stair and cupboards and storeroom on the other side.))