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Dylan Cuffy
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Ultimate Nature Island Plusser
Ultimate Nature Island Plusser

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Folks, it's all come down to this: November 3, 2018--or bust.

Yes, you read that right: I have a (patriotically motivated) deadline to meet. (There's your TL/DR, readers.)

After 4.5 years of false starts, scattershot drafts, retool attempts, soundtrack stockpiling, and story considerations...I now have all of 18 months to deliver at least 50-75% of Unspooled, Book 1, or the first 15-20 chapters, or the first 100-200 manuscript pages -- whichever goal I can attain. For those outside the Nature Island or Commonwealth Caribbean (or their diaspora), the aforementioned date marks Dominica's 40th anniversary as an independent island nation. (This very fact began to dawn on me during my overnight downtime, earlier this week.)

To recap: The Unspooled series revolves around a long-unseen 1930s film, which two raccoon cousins are determined to find because their late relative appeared in it. As you may see, it's set in a version of Earth where fully dressed, walking and talking mammals substitute humans. (The latter species died out centuries ago, and the domesticated critters slowly took their place until the whole world was repopulated. I recommend Harman/Ising's 1939 MGM short, "Peace on Earth", as reference viewing.)

The six installments planned in the series are separate, yet interconnected. In the first one (currently my focus), a homeless Roseau solenodon's passport falls into the hands of Alfred, the older raccoon cousin, days before summer begins. Alfred's teacher has recently assigned his class an essay on their "Most Interesting Relative", which they must turn in by the start of September. After finding him, the raccoon gradually forms a bond with the solenodon -- first name Maurice -- as they venture on a cruise that takes them (and the raccoon's parents) to Martinique, St. Lucia, and the Grenadian island of Carriacou.

Because he can't think of any relatives to base his vacation essay on, Alfred sticks with Maurice all the way through and hopes no one chides him for that decision. But at Carriacou, things become far more interesting than he bargained for. Whom else should fit the assignment title but his soon-to-be-eleventy great-grandmother, Agatha! Neither he, nor his cousin Sam, had ever heard of her. With barely a month and only a handful of papers, tools, and camera space left, Alfred must make up for what he committed in the first place--or face censure before even the first bell of First Term. Because, like Tod and Copper, like Snake and Frog, some species were never supposed to meet each other.

Unbeknownst to the raccoons, the guests they visit, or much of the townfolk, Maurice has long hidden across Roseau and beyond -- on purpose. He ran into a bunch of hitmen 40 years ago, thus sparking off a decades-long pursuit that involved local police, a TV commercial director, an air pilot who fought in World War II, Cubans at Grenada's Point Salines, a charitable couple who soon divorced over money issues...and more recently, the father of Alfred's lemur friend. If it weren't for natural instincts and the secret weapon in Maurice's teeth...

A few things to take note of here:

1) Solenodons are mole-like creatures endemic to Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles.
2) "Eleventy" is a fancy word for 110, popularised by Tolkien.
3) In Dominica and other islands, the First Term runs from September until December.
4) Roseau is the capital of Dominica, as already stated in past entries.
5) Tod the Fox met Copper the hound dog in a 1981 Disney flick; Snake met Frog in an African folk tale, collected by William Bennett in 1993's excellent Book of Virtues.
6) The last three paragraphs are only a rough sketch based on past and present notes, and details are subject to change over time.

Think I'm getting ahead of myself here, too....

So now I have it all figured out: Spend 4-6 days on an outline of 2,000-2,500 words in the mold of the Masterplots, starting...today. Because I'm also developing a conlang I call Relformaiké (while that name lasts), and a map series for the fictional realm of St. Isabel, West Indies.

Not only that: I'm still tracking the whereabouts of my main characters, whom I refer to as Adanson (after the Marigot manse the organisers in this group hail from). They perform charity concerts for their homeland's benefit and those of other places, as the re.BUILD Ensemble. (As I've already mentioned, they're set to perform at New York's Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.)

Which reminds me: It's about time I revisited the Dixwell Dossier -- at dixwell.referata.com -- just to put the plot details/character roster for that first book there. (Dormant since last summer in lieu of Relformaiké duties.)

Not to mention a serial version remains on this long-gestating project's docket◆ -- as well as the inevitable roundtable at AbsoluteWrite/AW.

And as usual, folks, what I've written above is only scratching the surface. About time I re-invested in Google Docs for real -- and set up a preview queue for this feed soon. The less time I spend preparing epic posts like these, the more room to breathe for everything else.

And...that's a wrap. See you next time with more updates and predictions, and wish me luck as always.

By the way, wouldn't this make a spectacular birthday present? (I myself turn 31 in a couple of months.)

P.S. Wouldn't you believe I began typing after 6:30 a.m.? Yep, that's how long it took.

◆ Eternally delayed since Easter 2014 -- nothing compared to Harlan Ellison's The Last Dangerous Visions, "coming soon" to sci-fi shelves since 1973. No wonder they coined a term I euphemise as "Development Limbo" -- which was never a popular dance craze to begin with. See where I'm going?

(For +Mike Spinak​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, Mrs. +Adriel Wiggins​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +Polly Little​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +Mac Vogt​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +Candace Mountain​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +Lisa Cohen​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +Ryan Toxopeus​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +John Doe​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +Agent Green Strawberry​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ [formerly Rhys], +Mikko Kai​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +Franck RABESON​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +Zannah L​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +Jon Lim​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +Jim the Otter​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +Jacob Bridenbecker​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +Sean Cushing​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +Elizabeth Johnson​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +AioxBearru​​​​​​​​​​ [formerly Quontos], +Furryhart the Starcat​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +Professor Fennec​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +Vandy Prince​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +Gwenith Whitford​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +Larry Fournillier​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +Sam Diggy​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +glyn moody​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +Rick Falkvinge​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +Piti Yindee​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +Nina Paley​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +Sylvia Sotuyo​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +Jonathan Piercy​​​​​​​​​​​​​, +Dharshanth Kumar​​​​​/Darshanfo, +KENNETH UDUT​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, and +Eli Fennell​​​​​​​​​​​​​​. Pardon if either we haven't met on the Plus or anywhere else in ages, or I overwhelmed you with everything above this space!)​

(Sent via my Galaxy Tab 3)

#MarigotNotebook (#186)

#WhatLiesAground (originally posted May 4)

Either Referata returns in the next 12-18 hours, or I'll divvy up a few substantials in tomorrow's run.

Also, heading back to Unspooled #1 at any point, next 24-36 hours or fewer. (Reverting to the standard sign-off next we meet.)

As always, a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has stopped by--through circling, comments, or plusses--for the whole time I (and scores of other committed plussers) have been around. While we and I have been through so much, we've made it...this far.

And to think four more years remain until I can best Samuel Pepys, 1660-1669. How many blog writers have you ever heard of reaching that career span or longer?

Last but not least, gracious thanks to everyone I mentioned in the milestone sign-offs at the end of June--among others I've met, taken a cue from, and talked/consulted with over the years. To those who remain as long as I will: Keep up the good Plus. (Also, a moment of silence for the user formerly known as +Dirk Talamasca​.)

For now, this is your Once and Future Captain speaking. Till we meet again, it's diè wåde, ovwa and out...

And to all Dominicans and sensible Americans everywhere: Stay strong and hold firm...for We Are One.

Ever so...let the stories unfold.

(Sent via my Galaxy Tab 3)

#WhatLiesAground

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With Referata breaking off again, so might the filler on this feed--but (depending on other commitments of mine) don't count on it.

(Sent via my Galaxy Tab 3)

#WhatLiesAground
Wellington's Scorching Bay last night, just before the rain band arrived...

Jonathan
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Or, the European Atlantic outpost Adanson et al. are moving to in the next year or two. (Third in tonight's quartet.)

(Sent via my Galaxy Tab 3)

#WhatLiesAground
8 Days on Madeira
Remembering the journey in August 2006 ...
Day 1 (2006-08-01)

It was a spontaneous decision to go on vacation for a week. Searching in the world wide web, I found a last minute flight to Madeira, an island located in the Atlantic Ocean almost 1000 km southwest of Portugal. I booked a room in the Galomar Hotel in Caniço de Baixo. On the photo you see the elevator from the hotel down to the sea.





For #CoastalThursday +Coastal Thursday curated by +David Polzine & +Jon Kahn
#hqsplandscape for +HQSP Landscape
#LandscapePhotography +Landscape Photography curated by +Margaret Tompkins +Eric Drumm +Chandler L. Walker +Krzysztof Felczak +Jeff Beddow +H Peter Ji +Dorma Wiggin
#austrianphotographers +AUSTRIAN PHOTOGRAPHERS & Photo Mania Global - coop. +Edith Kukla
#10000photographers +Robert SKREINER
+10000 PHOTOGRAPHERS
#EuropeanPhotography +European Photo +Janusz Brakoniecki +Jean-Louis LAURENCE
#pixelworld +PixelWorld +Alberto Carreras
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In tonight's second postcard...

(Sent via my Galaxy Tab 3)

#WhatLiesAground

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Back where we now are, it's been more or less the same for days. (First in tonight's quartet.)

(Sent via my Galaxy Tab 3)

#WhatLiesAground

Day 1847

Good night, folks. More of the same at the RFM wiki since last we met (new roots, new notes, &c.)--until ~4:37 this afternoon. (Referata's domain has been AWOL since after around five p.m.; stay tuned for a diagnosis as I find one.) Again, once the servers are back...I'll be back. Still on the to-do list: The setup of a brand-new {{Place}} table (inspired by that of the ever-trusty {{Morpheme}}--which itself is due for a responsive-friendly redesign)...plus a crucial PC-based backup.

Otherwise, more of the same old--research duties, late start, et al.--as I hurry it up before midnight. On tomorrow's carryover queue: An Inkbunny pick, the Lingojam URL, and a revert to the normal sign-off.

Beyond that, stay tuned for more highlights from our archives soon; in the meantime, back to Ye Olde Postcard Gallery. Plenty more to come in the next few weeks, so as always...hang in there.

(Sent via my Galaxy Tab 3)

Always and forever...

#WhatLiesAground

Returning to the RFM wiki ASAP...

and resuming tomorrow afternoon (hopefully) with a substantial or two. Also, heading back to Unspooled #1 at any point, next 24-36 hours or fewer. (Reverting to the standard sign-off next we meet.)

As always, a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has stopped by--through circling, comments, or plusses--for the whole time I (and scores of other committed plussers) have been around. While we and I have been through so much, we've made it...this far.

And to think four more years remain until I can best Samuel Pepys, 1660-1669. How many blog writers have you ever heard of reaching that career span or longer?

Last but not least, gracious thanks to everyone I mentioned in the milestone sign-offs at the end of June--among others I've met, taken a cue from, and talked/consulted with over the years. To those who remain as long as I will: Keep up the good Plus. (Also, a moment of silence for the user formerly known as +Dirk Talamasca​.)

For now, this is your Once and Future Captain speaking. Till we meet again, it's diè wåde, ovwa and out...

And to all Dominicans and sensible Americans everywhere: Stay strong and hold firm...for We Are One.

Ever so...let the stories unfold.

(Sent via my Galaxy Tab 3)

#WhatLiesAground

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Wrapping up another sprint right here; back with more of the same next time around.

(Sent via my Galaxy Tab 3)

#WhatLiesAground
Bristlecone Pine, Mount Evans Wilderness, Colorado 
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The more blossoms to support this Collection, the merrier.

(Sent via my Galaxy Tab 3)

#WhatLiesAground
Lovely poppy garden at VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, Canada.



#poppy #poppies #flower #flowers #flowerphotography #Vancouver #britishcolumbia #vandusen #garden #red
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