This could be Kanata

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The Norwegian Viking ship Draken Harald Hårfagre sailing outside Greenland – http://www.drakenexpeditionamerica.com/

What would have happened if Leif Eriksson had settled Vinland permanently in 1000 AD?

That question was an itch that I have kept scratching for many decades. Sailing across the Atlantic, albeit on an ocean liner, and arriving in America by sea, made it one I had to resolve.

NaNoWriMo gave me the perfect opportunity, and a short story called ‘Eagle Muse’ became the starting point for a novel called Eagle Crossing. In fact, ‘Eagle Muse’ was dis-assembled to become the components in scenes from an early chapter to the ending.

So, what, you ask impatiently, is the book’s connection to the Vikings?

Well, the lead character, Torill Migisi is descended from the shamaness that helped persuade Leif Eriksson to stay and work with the indigenous people – a thousand plus years earlier. Yes, this is alternative history, set in a world that is still in the Viking Age.

It’s 2020 AD, and the Migisi family have an international shipping business, but using airships – yes there are steampunk echoes as well. But these airships are high-tech, sleek and fast – but not as fast as the jet that Torill’s brother salvaged from the depths of Lake Gichigami. Yes, the Big-sea-water in The Song of Hiawatha which we know as Lake Superior.

 

 

The indigenous people have equal, if not a higher status on this continent, so many places and people have native names. For instance, Stadacona is the capital of this confederation, and Migisi is a Chippewa name meaning ‘Eagle.’. Is any of this a clue to where Kanata is? I hope that you all said Canada, especially as that originated from a St. Lawrence Iroquoian word, ‘kanata’ meaning village or settlement. All you Canadians reading this knew that of course.

So what’s a jet doing in a world of airships? That’s the question that drives Torill’s quest to save the Migisi business because the jet has the white star markings of the Dixie States, the Southern neighbor of Kanata, with their capital at Charlotte. Hey, what happened to Washington? Did the British burn it down again? Not quite, but the Dixies lost it in a border dispute with Kanata, and Britain has been a Viking nation and Kanata ally since 1040.

Hey, what happened to Washington? Did the British burn it down again? Not quite, but the Dixies lost it in a border dispute with Kanata, and Britain has been a Viking nation and Kanata ally since 1040.

However, the major concern is the continent-wide Arms Ban. Someone must be using the star-marked jet to stir up another war with the Iberoamérica Coalition. But who? Is the answer in the past? Kanatian forces did help the Texians defeat the Mexicans at the Alamo, but Migisi involvement in the under-hand events of 2020 implicates Kanata. Can Torill prevent the continental war that the three nations have avoided for a thousand years?

Don’t panic, the book’s blurb is shorter than the above. I’m just giving you a tour of the developing world. The novel has two plotlines: 1) Torill’s quest to prevent a continental war that would cost lives and bring the end of a rich legacy; 2) the historical development of this Viking Age and the Migisi family’s role down the ages.

I track this evolution through flashback chapters like ‘1759- Stadacona’ when on 13 September, the French attempt to seize the Kanata capital – a rewrite of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, outside the walls of Quebec City. The Alamo is there, along with Columbus’s arrival in the Bahamas – 492 years too late.

There are more flashbacks, in America and back in Europe where Vikings were an influential force in our timeline. With Kanata behind them, these warrior-traders can change European history. So watch out Napoleon, and forget about the World Wars – unless that jet with the stars causes one.

 

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Wikipedia: USAFU.S. Air Force photo

 

Where can these Vikings come unstuck? Is this world possible? Do you want to live in the Kanata Samtök?

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#IWSG – Writing Career in Five Years

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Although we are more settled in our Idaho home and celebrated Thanksgiving with most of the family, I’m still struggling with my health so normal posts are still postponed until…whenever.

I am writing, though, and in November was a NaNoWriMo Winner with my new novel Eagle Crossing. Basic premise: ‘What if the Vikings had settled in Vinland and colonized much of North America before Columbus arrived’. Perhaps, I will reveal more in a future post, as the premise got me excited.

Update: Posted this a few hours early as not Wednesday here – yet. MISTEAK !!!!

Anyway, it’s time for my monthly post for Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day:

December 7 Question: In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?

My writing plans are directly related to my health, so I must presume that the current slump is only a large dip or valley in the road. On the other side are years of solid writing time, with very few days when the pain is so excruciating that I can’t even write hunched over the keyboard, as I’m doing now.

First the aim: to have at least two more books published, either by a small press or self-published. PLUS, to get my first novel, “Spiral of Hooves”, back in print, and available as a print version.

Beyond those books, everything depends on how they are received, as there are sequels in various draft stages that I would hope to release in that period. I must be realistic, and not presume too much as I have not had anything published since December 2013.

Hence my strategy for getting two more books published:

In 2017, I intend to tackle the final revision of “Storms Compass” and get it published, as I sense that I’m prevaricating about sharing it beyond my critique partners. That would be in the first few month, closely followed by the reprint of “Spiral of Hooves”, which my old publishers Spectacle Publishing Media Group handed back in an easy to reprint form – I hope.

Then, more demanding, there is the first of my mystery series, “Fates Maelstrom”. The latest draft was advanced before I left Wales, so I am aiming to publish that at the back-end of 2017, or early 2018. That has to be realistic, rather than impossible

The respective sequels are: “Blood Tapestry” [Storms Compass]; “Tortuous Terrain” [Spiral of Hooves]; and “Seeking a Knife” [Fates Maelstrom].

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Of course, my distraction could be the Viking world of ‘Manitou Mark’, starting with “Eagle Crossing”, but that might be a future post. The research is on my desk after that NaNoWriMo win.

Somewhere during the next five years, it would be great to have some short stories published. However, I have so far failed to pass the first hurdle and seem to cause bemused eyes among readers. I am aiming this month, or next, to discover where my stories fail. I have entered a writing competition, in which the stories are workshopped – starting today…yikes – and then the judges critique those that pay a small fee for their time. Watch this space again.

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The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day. We post our thoughts on our own blogs. We talk about our doubts and the fears we have conquered. We discuss our struggles and triumphs. We offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.

Please visit others in the group and connect with my fellow writers.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

And be sure to check out our Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/IWSG13/

Our revved up IWSG Day question may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

The awesome co-hosts for this December 7 posting of the IWSG are Jennifer Hawes, Jen Chandler, Nick Wilford, Juneta Key, JH Moncrieff, Diane Burton, and MJ Fifield!