You may recall that Entry 1a featured an early sketch of what would end up becoming the cover of the issue. How did I still have that? Well, I kept a few of my old notes from that time, along with the mathNEWS issues themselves.
So I present to you here a little bonus, a scan of how some parts of the story were created.
I went in with no plan or plot. I sort of devised one, around the time the characters themselves were questioning whether there was a plot, in issue 4. Here was the plan for Issue 5:
You can see I went double spaced, so as to be able to add and change items as plot (or more likely puns) demanded. Using statistical terms like “the population” instead of “others”. I even had the final moral for Issue 6 worked out there on the second page.
As far as the issue 6 rough work, I’ll offer just the second page:
You’ll note a number of statistical terms at the top, gradually getting crossed off, along with the usual things like “I have a hunch” becoming “My expectation” to better fit with the theme.
In the end, I DID write a mathNEWS column entitled “How to Derive a Taylor Series”, in 2001, with some tips for how to come up with similar columns. I will probably include it as a post here on the blog, once we complete our serial parody run. Unless you think that would be a terrible idea. (If so, what should I do instead?)
UPDATE ASIDE: NOVEMBER 2021
By the way, anyone wondering about the status of “Time Untied” here? (The “Time & Tied” sequel.) I thank you for your patience.
After 150,000 words I’ve kind of unofficially split the sequel into another offering, “Time Denied”. Since the first outing got chopped into two (then four), I suppose that comes as no surprise. The break was done at a reasonable place, narratively. Yet there is still the chance that the earlier material might get affected by later words, because time travel, so I don’t feel I’m in a position to release it yet. Plus knowing what’s to come is letting me flesh out the subplots.
One subplot that seems to be going strong is the Carrie-Chartreuse-Peaches triangle. You’ll recall the first two characters were dating after “Time & Tied”, while I’ve mentioned the new Peaches character in passing. We’ve reached the point where I’ve tried putting the characters into ArtFlow, and then used them in making a cover for NaNoWriMo 2021 (yes, I’m tackling the story yet AGAIN this month).
Conversely, one subplot that’s working less well than I thought is the entire situation with Jenny Irving. It’s kind of entrenched though, so I’m not sure what more to do with it. Then there’s the race situation with Sherlock… maybe I’m trying to do too much here.
I hope it’s all working. I probably need more beta readers. If you’re interested, let me know.
Meanwhile, on this blog in numbers, September 2021 was through the roof for pageviews, at 562. With someone (or maybe multiple people) reading through “Time & Tied” and “Virga” along with some Epsilon. In October 2021 we were back to “normal” with 42 pageviews overall. Putting us on track for another typical year, maybe 1,500 views… where a third of them were in a single month. Wild. Thanks for checking me out, binge reader… are you even reading this?
I just have no time for publicity. The pandemic ensures Teaching and Parenting is all I have time for, with a bit of writing time clawed out. (This despite me shifting to part time… it’s insane.) I’ve already queued up the remaining posts for 2021, so no worries there… tell your friends, I guess? About the blog? If you like the writing? And as always, thanks for reading.
[We now continue with the mathNEWS serials, already in progress.]