This week in Andalusada blogging: 7/21/2012

Well, more like this three weeks. One totally wasted week, and one week away on vacation, kinda crimps my regular writing routine, which is something I should work on more... somehow. But no more on that; this is, I think, one of my best three weeks blogging here to date.

On the one hand, it's been a really unproductive three weeks; I've got precious little to show for myself at only eight complete posts. On the other hand, it's been an enormously productive one too; the posts I've written for Andalusada are some of the consistently longest I've done to date, because they're setting in print a lot of old, established concepts and stuff that goes back months (if not years) but has never been formally set down until now.
  • Cabralia's oldest nation was born in the thread on Steve Jackson Games that first introduced the world that grew into Andalusada, when (as a tongue-in-cheek brainstorm to fill in the continent) I derped about a Polish-Lithuanian Junta. Its names (Balthazaria, Patagonia, Gran Ainil, etc.) came a bit later, but only a bit. On July 9, though, I formally introduced the nations military-economic bloc known as the CRC.
  • Cabralia's best nation dates back a bit later, primarily as an excuse for somebody other than the Swiss to use 7.5mm GP11 in guns. (Why? I don't know.) Be that as it may, on July 10 I introduced Gran Peru.
  • That same day, as a breather and a fluffy bit, I went back to something that's absolutely, positively, definitely parerga, and introduced a brand name in what's one of the shortest (and most badly in need of expansion) pages of this month: instead of King James, the Blackfriars Bible.
  • I started writing Andalusada before I knew jack or shit about how to write alternate history, and it was much, much more convergent then. From the very beginning, though, I'd established that Taiwan was part of the Empire by that point; and as I progressively started rewriting it, Taiwan started becoming Japanese even earlier. On 7/18, a few days behind schedule (on which more below), Taiwan got renamed something more properly Japonic, and I introduced the Takasagonese.
  • ...but not before I wrote down an older thought, a mostly fluffy detail about a specifically Moorish holiday: the Fifth of April.
  • Once those two were out of the way, I gave a name, an outline, and some historiography to an enormously important two centuries, covering the transition from early modern Andalusada to contemporary modern Andalusada: the Great Realignment.
  • I haven't written about *Brazil yet, or whatever happens to it. But since I've written about the two other big powers of Cabralia, even though I'm still shaky about the history of *Brazil itself (for one thing, it's balkanized...), I took the liberty to actually name a few historic figures, something I'm generally loath to do. They are (posted 7/19) Cabralia's Three Wise Men.
  • I linked the Three Wise Men to Ebola that same night, for his perusal and thoughts (mostly to pester the man; I haven't spoken to him in too long.) He asked the kind of good questions that he does, and when the derp got too much to keep track of, I wrote down some thoughts on republican political titles on 7/20.
  • And today, unrelated to anything except some derp with R. a few months ago, I sat down and hammered out an allohistory of machine-gun classification, for no reason other than to stop wasting paper by writing it in ink.
And that's just what I posted. There are other articles (about Oliver Farrell's Romand Vulgate, an allohistory of vodka to adjust for the survival of Poland-Ruthenia, and the Baltic influence on New World beer styles) that await completion; I'll have them up by next week.

Ordinarily I'd go back to mention the editing that I've done, but it's nothing really big this month. I expanded the Miramoline a little bit, gave Yusuf I a little bit of linkage, edited "Taiwanese" to "Takasagonese" in a few places, and connected some more dots on languages. Nothing big, but that's because I've been preoccupied with writing new things - which feels amazing.
  • Correction: I did edit the Sodality a bit, to emphasize that it does a fair bit of good too when it can be ecumenical.
The other reason these three weeks have been so big is because not only am I laying down serious foundations of the world (rather than cluttering it up with parerga), I've also got a lot of setup for future blogging to do, which (more importantly) I'm actually inspired to write about:
  • "What happens during the Great Realignment." Seriously, every single heading of that - a lot of that's old stuff. The Mexican Liturgical War is a concept that goes back to the original GURPS outline. That unspecified shakeup in Iberia? The reason it's unspecified now is because it was originally the Napoleonic Wars, and the First Mahdist War is just as big. The newly-added Tonic Wars were a concept that goes back to about a week or so after Gran Peru first congealed. "Burning Thirties"? Not sure how far back that goes, but it's an old one too, at least as old as Karl Marx.
  • I have things to write about Persia. One of the few edits I made to recent posts was an expansion on the Great Realignment, to note that Russia didn't take over the world because it got bogged down in an Afghan adventure. Courtesy of R., this expanded into a full-blown war, complete with at least a few Big Names (including a Bonaparte-tier Russian general who screams "Great Man of History") and some warlords from the Zagros Mountains who take over when the Russians pull out.

    What has me so excited about this is the fact that the Muslim world in general is an enormously blank slate to me. Because I'm tampering with the Crusades (to say nothing of the Mongol conquests...), the Middle East is going to be wildly different, in ways I simply feel unequipped to write about; and one of my few derpy concepts for the region between, say, Egypt and Afghanistan has been doing something with the Kurds somehow. Thanks to R. (and the imprimatur of Engel, my go-to expert and consultant for all things Russian), I have a way forward. I can do something with this.
  • England and Scotland and England-Scotland. Aside from knowing that English is still a major world language, and more recently (and still more than a year ago by now) that the UK instead became England-Scotland, I really didn't have much of an idea about the British Isles. By committing myself to its rise during the Great Realignment, I'm giving myself some constraints to work within; by saying (with Engel, at least) that there wasn't a Darien-style disaster, I've officially made England and Scotland my designated space-filling empires until they abruptly stop being space-filling and get real.

    And that one-off line "This isn't the first personal union, or even the first dynastic union..." is giving me some good medieval ideas, which I haven't had in forever.
  • I have stuff to write about South Asia. I've wanted to write about South Asia. Really, I have. It's just that I don't know a hell of a lot about what to write. But, at the very least, I've introduced the Empire of Multan; that's something big, and I hope it's something cool.
  • I have tons of awesome parerga to write about. A lot of my parerga is random derpy stuff, theological niceties and hats and such. Just writing about the big things, like, say, Cabralia? That's given me serious parerga to write about. I'm talking ideologies and religions here.
  • I have biographies. At the very least, I have the biographies of the Three Wise Men, all of whom need some working on. I have that one Russian general who could've had it all and pissed it away in Afghanistan; I may have the Sorani chieftain who took over where he left off. This is big stuff.
I could go on, but at this point I think that gushing about all the things I could write about, based on what I've casually alluded to these last few weeks, would stop me from actually writing them. So I'm gonna leave off here and let you see where this goes.

But I'm just going to say that those eight or nine posts? They have me firing on all cylinders. This is the kind of writing that my Andalusada scrapbook was meant to be, and I'm looking forward to doing more of it soon.

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