A Sample PDF for Sharing

I've put together a little sample packet in PDF form, representing the most current revisions of chapters one, two, and three. It also has the nice new map, and an updated graphic for the title. 

 Here is a small version of the PDF, with lower-resolution graphics.

Here is a high-res large PDF, where you can see the map in full glory. 

This is the kind of thing I'm happy to distribute, and I encourage all of you reading this to share. It's copyrighted work, but I'm issuing these three chapters under a creative commons license. This means you're free to share it around, print it up, etc. I'm a full believer in the try-before-you-buy philosophy.

Those of you who've read "revision one" of these chapters will find some interesting new material that hooks into later chapters in the novel. 

Assailing Daisy's Essay

Last year, when monologist Mike Daisy was lamely trying to defend the fabrications in his story about Chinese workers assembling Apple products, he tried a number of defenses. He affected a post-modern stance for a while and pointed out that truth was fuzzy, and relative. Sure, buddy.

Then he took a different tack and pointed out that he's an essayist, and that the word "essay" means "to attempt"...so he should be allowed to attempt a description of Apple's labor practices in China, even if that attempt failed in terms of the facts. He only claimed to be trying, you see, not succeeding.

But he's more wrong than he knew. Because "essay" actually comes from late Latin, the verb exigere, meaning to ascertain or weigh. When the form of the essay was being developed by Montaigne, in 1500s France, the Latin exagium (weighing) had become Old French "essai", meaning "trial".

Now, in terms of activities like artistic endeavors, there is a modern sense that "an essay in the craft" is merely an attempt to make something in a particular mode, or with a certain method. But this is applied to efforts and actions, and is a different sense of the word from the "piece of short writing on a subject".

The true root of "essay", especially in the form of the written document, does not, and never has, translated to "something immune from judgment because it's just an attempt"—though I know from experience that this is a common definition in many classrooms. No. It means: To put an idea to the test. To bring reason to bear in a non-fiction, long-form argument, giving the notions within a careful weighing. To put a concept on trial.

If I were a philosophy professor grading Mike Daisy on his apology (in both senses), I'd mark him guilty of the fallacy of equivocation.

A Pivotal Chapter Arrives

I've just posted "The World is Written." It's chapter thirteen, and one of the most important, central, "pivotal" chapters of the novel. Fun, intrigue, suspense, foreshadowing...this chapter has it all! Plus, you will finally catch the origin for the title of the book.

It's a bargain at twice the price. Download it for free on the Novel page, or use this direct link.

Think ye she be but legend? Feh. I seen her, I says. Wit' mine own eyes.

Think ye she be but legend? Feh. I seen her, I says. Wit' mine own eyes.