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Monday, December 2, 2013

The Golden Phoenix

Well, the manuscript of "The Golden Phoenix" has been submitted at last. The final revisions took a lot of time because I found quite a number of places where I wanted to make significant changes. I replaced some narration with dialogue to help wirh character development, and also fitted in more historical detail and description. I'm not expecting to hear anything back until after Christmas, but in the meantime I've started another short story with the working title of "Magistrate Lin And The Dishonest Scholar." Magistrate Lin Jiang is one of my protagonists who lives and solves crimes in late sixteenth century Ming Dynasty China. In this story he's appointed as a supervisor for the writing of the imperial civil service examinations in Beijing, and, predictably, someone gets themselves murdered! Here's the opening paragraph, just for fun: Magistrate Lin Jiang, sixty-two years old, was never to forget the twenty-fifth year of the reign of the Wanli Emperor, twelfth ruler in the dynasty called the Great Ming. Appointed in that year one of the presiding officials for the imperial examinations, Lin had anticipated nothing more than a few rather tedious days of walking incessantly up and down rows of cubicles supervising the candidates; physically demanding, perhaps, but nothing which could be called challenging to the mind. However, in stark contrast to his confident expectations, he had found himself lost in a maze of cunning ambition, deceit, and murder. Only about 3,000 words down so far. I think it will work out to be about 15,000 in total. Stay tuned. Charles

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