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Pre-Order Goodies and Goals

Do not take this depiction of Hominy as set in stone. Subject to change without notice!

Getting my book up on Amazon for pre-order (finalized version and everything!) has been one of the most exciting parts of the whole publication process. The machine is let loose - there's no turning back now. Come hell or high water, the book goes live on October 9.

As a special thank you to everyone who pre-orders, I've set up some fun goodies and giveaways on my pre-order goodies page

I've also set myself some motivational pre-order goals. I found that having a goal to work towards during the Kickstarter kept me on track - it's always better to have a solid target to work towards than a vague idea. You might not hit your target every time, but you're guaranteed to make it farther with a plan in mind than without one.

I love what Amaz and other video game streamers on Twitch do with subscriber goals, so I'm taking a page from their book. When I hit my goal, you guys get a reward - everyone wins! When I hit five pre-orders, I will write a short ode to the wonderful people who've signed up to be a part of the Mechalarum universe. I like odes. Everyone likes odes. Odes are great! Pre-order today, and join the swelling crowd!



Mechalarum Page-a-Day: Page 17 - Artificial Environments

It's been a rough couple of days. Much more tech support than I'd hoped to do and... a coffee spillage that may or may not have fried my laptop. The verdict is still out - I won't know for a week how she fares. I've counted my lucky stars up, down and sideways that all my important documents - including all of my Mechalarum materials - were either on Dropbox or Google Drive. Still, it's hard and stressful to come back from something like that.

But I'm still ready to go strong. I just finalized my files on Amazon for the pre-order, so everything is good to go live on October 9. I have even more fun stuff planned for the next week and a half, so stay tuned!

Today's page delves a bit into what separates the Citadel from the rest of the Mechalarum universe. The Citadel has not existed forever; older adults such as Jolorn remember a time before their world shrank to include only the small city under the dome. The Serl's attitude reflects what I imagine I'd feel if I was stuck in a nanofiber bubble for twenty years. To knowingly sacrifice the sight of mountains, rivers, sunlight, stars - now that takes dedication. And a powerful motivating force.

Humans weren't meant to deal with completely artificial environments. Though we've stretched the limits of what we can endure, boundaries still exist. It will be interesting to see how we deal with this as we progress to the moon, Mars, and beyond. Will we evolve to love the sight of plastic and steel more than sky and earth? Or will we learn how to take the pleasures of terra firma with us?



Mechalarum Page-a-Day: Page 10 - Loyal Soldier or Rebel?

Rebel or loyal soldier? Insurgent or protector? Terrorist or freedom fighter? It's a matter of perspective.

Kiellen considers herself to be staunchly loyal to the cause of taking the planet back from the Losh. She'd deck anyone who tried to tell her otherwise. But as you can see from this passage, she's not a very obedient loyalist.

Creativity and initiative are valuable qualities in many areas of life, but when you're at war, any hint of dissent needs to be treated with caution, if not outright punished. The cognitive dissonance that arises from the battle between Kiellen's need to obey and her need for perfection can't last forever without needing to be resolved.

And that's where the greatest danger lies.



Mechalarum Page-a-Day: Page 5 - Nakedness

Bet I grabbed you with the title, huh?

The way people view nudity can say a lot about them - and a lot about the culture they exist within. Although the US tends to share a lot of cultural traditions with Europe, the need to hide the "shameful" naked body is certainly not one of them. It's normal in many parts of Italy or France to round a corner on the beach and come face to face with a swath of "unmentionable" parts in all shapes, sizes, and degrees of sagginess. Because of our cultural conditioning, to do the same thing here would automatically trigger feelings of shock and discomfort (even if you grew up in a household where these concepts were not reinforced).

This fundamental distrust of the naked human body leads to complications in everything from sexual satisfaction to medical diagnosis. The Citadel is an autocratic place, but despising the unclothed human form is not necessary to the maintenance of power.

It's an interesting concept to play around with. No doubt differing schools of thought on nakedness will arise later in the series!



Mechalarum Page-a-Day: Page 4 - The Suit

It can be hard, as a word-lover, to reign in my usage of language. I grieved for every one of the 100,000+ words I cut from Mechalarum, especially the those deliciously tumultuous phrases that sound so good in my head but appear all too ponderous upon the page.

When describing the workings of the Mechalarum suits, though, I can't help but give my inner logophile free reign. I shiver with delight at the sounds of words like "blackened," "pulsed," "slick," and "ribbed."

Someday, I may be able to fully quash the temptation to indulge in flights of flowery fancy. But in Mechalarum, at least, you'll find a few of them alive and well.