Author's Notes on
Inspiration struck for this story about the same time as the inspiration struck for Tin Man: Dragons and Ninjas, but Zack's story in the O.Z. seized the muse first. After its first draft was done, I finally found time in August 2008 to write down my notes for Pirates of the Nonestic. I thought I was just taking notes, but it turns out that I actually wrote a Master Story Summary without detailing the locations, POV, and time frame of each scene.
By December 2008, I knew graduating that year was a wash, so I started formalizing the Master Story Summary in a computer file and created my first casting list. The casting list actually changed the story in ways I didn't forsee when I finished the Master Story Summary. My first ideas on the fight between Roquat and the humans was DG would use her magic to get the egg down Roquat's throat. Then I saw Band of Brothers, the World War II miniseries about "E" Easy Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division that also stars Neal McDonough. The famous grenade hurl was helped because both Buck Compton and Neal played baseball in college. After learning that, I couldn't resist tweaking the scene so Cain stops the insane Nome King without any magical help.
I calculated the sane writing schedule for what I thought would be a novel around 70,000 words like Tin Man: Dragons and Ninjas had turned out to be and started typing the first draft on December 5, 2008. A nice way to get back into the groove of writing fiction every day. While casting people for the characters didn't take much time, I didn't map the ship where most of the action takes place until a month into the first draft. This is a step I learned I need to do in the Master Story Summary stage, so I don't end up with bad descriptions I need to edit out. It is only a matter of me slowing down to do research instead of freaking out that I don't have any daily word tallies to show.
January 8, 2009 saw me realizing this when I had reached 65% done of my first goal of 70,000 total words.
Holy crap, I just really looked at my percentage done. I haven't even hit the middle yet. Mathematically according to the number of scenes, that would be the first ship battle coming in six scenes to type. I don't even reach the climax until scene 40! Okay, obviously I spent way too much wordage on getting DG and Cain into the predicament they are in. Or conversely, I can't guesstimate the word count from a Master Story Summary worth shit.I did reach the 70,000 words at my projected deadline of February 4, 2009 but the story was far from over. But I had to put it aside so I could work on my Masters of Arts Exam Part One (otherwise known as the thrice-damned Faulkner paper) and the M.A. Exam Part 2 (otherwise known as the essay question from hell on Toni Morrison's Beloved).
I'm not upset, just really, really surprised by it. According to the Excel Marathon sheet, I will reach 70,000 words on January 27th by my current speed. Now I have to consider the possibility that yes, I will, but the story won't be over then. That realization hadn't hit me in the face before now. It kind of stings.
I came back to the first draft March 18, 2009 and expanded my first draft goal to a total of 140,000 words. That had to be enough space to get the twelve-page long Master Story Summary expanded into the novel. I finished the first draft on May 17, 2009 (and there was much rejoicing). Which was a good thing, because it was at a perfect stopping point to set aside while I buckled down on the M.A. Exam Part One.
Once I knew I passed it and I just had to wait for the ceremony, I started editing on November 2, 2009. I also got antsy over the size of the project and started submitting second draft chapters to my beta reader shortly there after. Rissy James was kind enough to step in a point out where my logic and punctuation had gone astray, and reassure me that my smut was good and I didn't end up with a horrible unrealistic rape fantasy story. While working on the edits, I also had to fix a hard drive crash by buying a new one, discovered my hangtime with running programs was thanks to too-little RAM and fixed that, setting up a local server so I can properly test changes to make on my Drupal sites, and creating the Reference Wiki for the Circulation Desk to replace the static and hard-to-update Character Reference section of the BookWorm's Library. So much for the idea that finishing my M.A. would stop me from piling on the projects.
I don't want anybody to think after reading through all the metrics and notes at Discipline Under Fire that writing this novel didn't have its fun moments. Pirates are always fun! Plus the flashback to the Tin Men's Last Stand allowed me to put in shout outs to developments we saw in the miniseries: someone telling Cain he should have a Longcoat disguise and Jeb's eventual leadership role is mentioned as a joke. Plus I got to put in round-about references to a line used in the trailer but cut out of the movie. The shot in the trailer has Cain leaning against a tree saying: “Seems to me, you were sent through that storm for a reason.” Since it was cut from the miniseries, I decided it must have come up in conversation between Milltown and Central City after they found DG's real mother had sent her to the Other Side but didn't know why. Cain's first counseling session was to tell DG there had to be a reason (he wouldn't dump Jeb in another world without a damn good reason), but right then she needed to concentrate on the finding her mother and not go crazy guessing why. And it stuck with her. I also had the chance to put in a subtle shout-out to BookWorm37’s great Tin Man and Labyrinth crossovers, and directly referenced "Washing of the Water” by Allronix as a scene missing from the miniseries.
A few other fun tidbits: I didn't decide on Cain and DG moving to Kiamoko until I was typing the official Master Story Summary. I was in the local Raising Cane's eating supper and working on the timing to space out pregnancy developments when I realized they could pass Maguire's version of the Wicked Witch's castle on their way back to Central City. And then it flashed into my head how the married Royals of Great Britain usually got their own estate to call home away from mummy and daddy. Why shouldn't a Princess of the O.Z. have the same, especially over the times of peace between the two Dorothys? That explains why so many palaces in the miniseries. Kiamoko was in ruins thanks to some bitter fighting, but the first Dorothy lived there for the same reason DG likes the Grasslands; it is the closest to an area that reminds them of Kansas. So Cain would suggest moving there because DG's past histories with the Northern Palace and Finaqua would hurt her and the Central City Palace keeps her under her mother's thumb. That tied nicely with a conversation the two had back in chapter three. Then another lightening bolt hit my brain from Baum this time. Who became Emperor of the Winkies and moved into the Wicked Witch of the West's castle? The Tin Woodman!
Since the lyrics between the Bedlam Bards and Metallica's versions of "Whiskey in the Jar" are different enough to notice, I couldn't resist giving Cain knowledge of the other version. Roquat was initially named "Roquat the Red" in the original Baum series. I decided this didn't make sense with gnomes connection to gemstones and precious metals and smithing, so I changed it to "Roquat the Ruby." The gemstone connections take the place of last names among the gnomes, but really don't matter until they want to find names that match the Topsiders' naming conventions. Which tied directly into Cain's reward for killing Roquat, once I figured out platinum is stronger than tin but still has it in the name, and while Cain could tell DG and his own queen "no thanks," there was no way he could turn down peerage from the Nome King without causing a diplomatic crisis. The only time I laughed harder during writing this novel was while considering Quincy's dialogue with Cain.
I finally got the Reference Wiki up, so I could start posting the story on March 30, 2010. I'm trying something new with this one. Since no one has tried out the forum at the Circulation Desk for any stories, I posted this novel up a chapter at a time to see if it would generate any type of buzz that way.
Last but not least, the soundtrack details:
- Cain’s Theme: “With or Without You” by U2
- DG’s Theme: “Headlong” by Queen
- Betsy’s Theme: “The Unforgiven III” by Metallica
- Jenkins’ Theme: “Ride Forever” by Paul Gross
- DG and Cain’s Love Theme: “One Year of Love” by Queen
- “Queen of Argyle” by Bedlam Bards
- “Dark Lady” by Bedlam Bards
- “Johnny Jump Up” by The Bilge Pumps
- “Haul on the Bowline” by Bob Neuwirth
- “Roll the Old Chariot Along” by The Bilge Pumps
- The Steward's Ball: “Up is Down” by Hans Zimmer
- Battle with the Relentless: “Skull and Crossbones” by Hans Zimmer
- The Shaman’s Theme: “Raging Water” by Cast in Bronze
- “Message in a Bottle” by Sting
- “Drunken Sailor” by the Bilge Pumps
- Rematch with the Relentless: “A Family Affair” by Hans Zimmer
- Rematch with the Relentless: “What Shall We Die For” by Hans Zimmer
- Funeral: “Fire Maringo” by the Bilge Pumps
- “Into the West” by Anne Lennox
- “Whiskey in the Jar” by Bedlam Bard
- Duel for the Captain: “Gulmira” by Ramin Djawadi
- Meeting the Gnome King: “Hall of the Mountain King” by Mannheim Steamroller
- Finding Her Power: “Iron Man” by Ramin Djawadi
- The Gnome King’s Madness: “Lakta Ligunai” by Eric Serra
- Long Live the King: “Protect Life” by Eric Serra
- “Leave Her Johnny” by The Bilge Pumps
- Treasure’s Request: “A Pirate’s Life For Me” by Pirates of the Caribbean
To download the zip file, click on the album cover images.
Since I don't have anywhere else at the Library to post this fanmix, you may see it in a few places. We've Got An Emerald To Find Fanmix is an alternate soundtrack for the miniseries. It was created for Round 9: Scavenger Hunt Challenge at Tin Man Challenge. It won second place! Because of the rules of the challenge, I have included quotes from the lyrics to hint as why I chose them.
- "Can’t Take It In" - Imogen Heap / DG wakes in the O.Z.
Can't close my eyes
They're wide awake
Every hair on my body
has got a thing for this place
- "6 Underground" – Sneaker Pimps / the Sorceress schemes
Don't think 'cause I understand
Don't think 'cause I'm talking
- "Street of Dreams" - Rainbow / meeting the Mystic Man
There you stood a distant memory
So good like we never parted
Said to myself I knew you'd set me free
And here we are right back where we started
- "Wunderkind" - Alanis Morissette / DG learns she's a Princess
I am a wunderkind
And I live the envelope pushed far enough to believe this
I am a princess on the way to my throne
Destined to serve, destined to roam
- "Prelude 12/21" - AFI / captured in the Tower
This is what I thought, I thought you need me.
This is what I thought, so think me naive.
I promise you a heart, you promised to keep.
Kiss my eyes and lay me to sleep.
- "Out of My Mind" – Duran Duran / Glitch's flashback
Here it comes now sure as silence follows rain
The taste of you upon my lips the fingers in my brain
And be gentle as it kills me where I lay who am I to resist
Who are you to fail
- "Back to a Reason Part II" – Trans-Siberian Orchestra / Cain looking for Jeb
Somewhere in the dark
Beyond all the cold
There is a child
That’s part of my soul
- "Roses Fade" - Luscious Jackson / the Cave
I watched your roses fade away
the wings came off your back today—
And I saw all the truth behind
the pretty pictures in my mind—
- "I Still Remember" – Blackmore’s Night / Ahamo and DG's balloon ride
Do you ever think of me
And get lost in the memory
When you do, I hope you smile
And hold that memory a while...
- "I’m On My Way" – Rich Price / rescuing DG from the tomb
Could you raise your voice up Feeling that hope Together with mine, yeah But I'm on my way
- "Real World" - Queensryche / Battle of the Eclipse
What went wrong, what was right
Looking back, I never was there for you
You didn't say, but I know it's true
I can't find the real world alone
- "Where Are We Going From Here" – Blackmore’s Night / Reunion and end credits
On a long road, miles to go
Its winding and cold and its covered with snow
But I ask you what we all want to know
Where are we going from here...
To download the zip file, click on the album cover images.