Meanwhile, in another part of the cosmos (Live from the Tuesday write-in: Ship’s Heart)

One of the delights of being an independent writer is that you can write in whatever order you like. My friends and I caught the trilogy bug, but I decided to write book 2 first.

Now I am writing book 1. Every detail lightly alluded to in the ‘past’ of book 2 is now in present-tense, razor-edged, high-noon focus. I just switched point-of-view for the third time, to an aristocratic six-year-old being dressed for a momentous occasion:

Martisset’s straight pale hair had been pulled into innumerable tightly braided queues which hung down her back behind a woven-wire coronet. When she closed her eyes, she could feel the tension through her scalp and forehead.

She stood straight and endured the inspection, as their four hands, far larger than hers, pulled at one or another detail of uniform. Unlike her many clan-cousins, she was an only child and there were no siblings to diffuse the disgrace of any solecism of dress or deportment; at six years old, she was simultaneously the eldest and the youngest child of her parents, the Master of the Great Shipyard at Karisalay-Prime and the Senior Designer of Simulations for the Academy and the Spaceport.

On her head, and hers alone, rested their clan-prestige.

Today she would be presented to Tethys Saiph yr Astok and her consort Yuki Afanasi yr Iskri. Yuki-Iskri had been off-world with an Institute expedition, which had delayed Martisset’s presentation by nearly a year.

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