ailis_fictive: Ailis (Default)
[personal profile] ailis_fictive
Still not a real post, just a few thoughts. (Note the length that my "few thoughts" tend to grow to; it's one of the reasons that "real posts" take a while to happen.)

I'm working on timeline for a story, and (working quickly from canon) appear to have constructed a year with at least fifteen months in it. Argh. (I can handwave Barrayaran year-lengths, but I was hoping not to have to. I wanted an easy answer to when in my story-timeline Alys gets pregnant, and when does she know she's pregnant, and then I realized the first autumn of the Regency is a very, very long season. Ack. I'm going to have to go back for a closer read, but I have to leave for my office Christmas party in an hour and I'm still mending the shirt I want to wear. This was not a cheap garment, but you wouldn't know it from the fastenings. I was *hoping* to have my timeline sorted so I could do some scene-building in my head during the boring speechifying.)

I have been reminded of late how much I love the passion--and the acceptance of passion, and the shared passion--in fandom. One of the other things I do is historical recreation, and I've always described that as the ur-hobby--whatever you want to do or study (that was done pre-1650), someone somewhere is going to be thrilled by your work, and/or be working on it or something similar. Fandom's great about that too, for finding the things you want and the things you didn't know you wanted. (two words: Draco/Neville)

I'm also learning things at a fairly appalling rate about myself and the stories I tell and the way I tell them and my writing. (My writing...! I *must* get the Big Intro up soon, as it's hard to talk about my headspace here without digressing madly into the history.) It's terribly reminiscent of being a teenager, as though the last 15 or 20 years have left me all of the baggage and none of the adult stability. It's...frankly terrifying. I would have a deeply non-standard not-quite-midlife not-really-a-crisis.

Any organism that is not growing is dying. I choose to be grateful that I am growing.

Date: 2012-12-01 10:44 pm (UTC)
philomytha: girl in woods with a shaft of sunlight falling on her (Default)
From: [personal profile] philomytha
There is no easy answer to when Alys gets pregnant! I once tried to work it out, and decided that handwaving it was easier ;-). I suspect that unless you have something absolutely ridiculous, you can get away with whatever is most dramatically convenient. Working out detailed timelines for any of the books is a complete headache - I've done it for parts of 'Memory' and 'The Vor Game', and there's never enough information to be sure of anything.

Especially once you take into account day/year length differences. For one thing, given that the Barrayaran day is 26.7 hours long, pregnancy lasts 8 months intead of nine - 252 days from LMP to full term instead of 280 on Earth. And Alys then went overdue.

I expect Alys would have had access to the same sort of pregnancy test Cordelia gives Drou (she mentions Padma promised her all the best galactic doctors and care, and it would follow that she'd had that all through pregnancy), so if if wasn't an accidental pregnancy, she could have known within a few days of conception. Though how much sex education Alys has had, and how much she knows about early pregnancy symptoms... definitely open questions. It's quite possible that she made use of the sex selection pills, though, given her broadly traditionalist views.

*contemplates saying something about passion and enthusiasm in fandom, decides the content of this comment is sufficient evidence to convict me of both*

Date: 2012-12-02 12:07 am (UTC)
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
From: [personal profile] hedda62
You know, one thing about writing both fanfic and original fic, I'm finding, is that you tend to get a little obsessive about things like timelines that if you are lucky someone will be trying to reconstruct someday. Or that could just be me and my scattered bits of compulsiveness. I know LMB did write fic, but I have a feeling it was not the sort that involved lots of detail and calendars. And I fully sympathize with her invention of the day with extra hours in it, but omg what a headache for figuring out stuff like pregnancy lengths and how old people are really. (Do Barrayarans only apparently age faster? Well, no, there is Cordelia, but you see what I mean.) Anyway, I had a feeling that autumn went on forever. I agree that hand-waving is often the only solution.

Date: 2012-12-02 05:43 pm (UTC)
philomytha: girl in woods with a shaft of sunlight falling on her (Default)
From: [personal profile] philomytha
I do not get the impression LMB is a details-and-calendars sort of person. Well, neither am I, to tell the truth, and I entirely understand the temptation to be vague and hope nobody gets too worried about it, but when you're trying to slot something in on top of a story that's already there, you have to try to make sure you're not contradicting anything. I leaned very heavily on Tel for that with AVD, because she most definitely is a details person, and she saved me from many a timeline catastrophe.

With the extra hours in a day thing, I worry about what it will do to people's biochemical clocks. More so on Komarr, with their 19-hour day, which you'd think would require a bit of genetic engineering to make manageable for humans to live comfortably (and then what do genetically-modified Komarrans (like Duv?) do when they find themselves on Barrayar?). But I don't feel in any need of extra hours in the day myself: my son would just stay awake longer and bedtime would be later ;-).

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