I have finished both the entry and the rough draft of the short story for my next country: Orin. The short story, titled “The Summer Valley” is being read by my kind and generous beta reader, M, whom I hope will not be quite as despairing about it as I have been feeling. The reason I am being gloomy about it is that the launch party for Orin is set for June and it is going to be a big one. My mom, my dear friend E, and my sister’s boyfriend are all going to be up from CA to see my sister graduate and will be here for the party. In addition, when I sent out a “save this date” invitation I had a lot of positive responses, a number from people who will be coming for the first time. So it’s not that I don’t like “The Summer Valley” but rather that I have been feeling that it should somehow be extra special for an extra big party with VIPs.
Orin is a country which spans a temperate and Mediterranean climate – in the north above the Idessa Mountains it is cooler and wetter, though it rarely snows, while in the south there are vineyards and orange and lemon orchards. It was limping along a bit until I decided that they needed a legendary king to focus on with both their history and their legends and folk-lore. I glanced over the Arthurian and Carolingian cycles, not only for inspiration, but also as an example of how such bodies of literature and legend work on a patriotic consciousness.
Here is the current map of Idhua: It is entirely coincidental that I have been working on the purple countries. Apparently, I colored a number of the countries which were settled earliest (which is my criteria) purple without planning it.