Quantum Socks are up

By Holly Lisle

Excluding the rules for designing your own pair of safe socks (Anzi Talking Socks, or Quantum Socks), all the Quantum knitting stuff is up. I’m coming down with something, so the Safe Socks Rules will have to wait.

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Quantum Entanglement, God Immanent, and Talking Socks

By Holly Lisle

Two Pairs Talking SocksSo I got to reading about quantum entanglement and thinking about how it could be used in with worldbuilding to create a magic system. Quantum entanglement is the extraordinarily cool fact that quanta—the very, very smallest, indivisible particles that are force carriers for the matter of the universe—form connected pairs, and these pairs have connections to each other that are not hindered by space or time. A quantum particle in one place that is acted upon will respond … while its connected quantum particles elsewhere will ALSO respond identically, and simultaneously, no matter how far away they are. (Or perhaps even in which universe they exist.)

This little bit of science is perhaps the fantasy writer’s great motherlode of workable magic, and I tripped over it, and dug into it, and fantasy gold started raining on my head. Let me show you why.

(Beyond this point, we drift from science into my speculation.)

Everything contains quanta. Not just light, but you and me and the kitchen table and the stars scattered across space and through time. You, through the connections of your quanta, are connected to the Eiffel tower, and some chick in Monterey, and the planet Venus, and the star Alpha Centuri, and perhaps to the moment and the place of the birth of Leonardo da Vinci, and to some eight-eyed scientist in another universe. Right now. And when your quanta get pinged, all these things to which you are connected register the hit. And—here’s the golden part—when all of those things to which you are connected register the hit, YOU get pinged.

It’s all very small. It might seem insignificant. But what if it isn’t? What if those pings are what are registering when you suddenly think of your best friend from high school, and then the best friend, out of the blue and after fifteen years, calls you the same day? What if those pings are registering when three different people in three different parts of the world stumble over the same new scientific theory at the same time, and start pursuing it independent of each other?

What if those pings are registering when you have the sudden, very bad feeling that you need to get off the road right now, and you do, and a truck comes around the corner the very next second, on your side of the road, where you would have been if you hadn’t listened to your gut?

What if those pings are registering when you ask God, however you may perceive God, for something, and that something happens?

What if you could connect to these pings on purpose, through meditation or prayer or biofeedback or because You Can Build A Mainframe From The Things You Have At Home*? (* Title of an old computer-geek filk that I happen to love. Sorry about that.) Could you learn to control what you heard? What you saw? Could you track what is going on somewhere else in the country? In someone else’s country? Could you and a hundred other quanta listeners track down Osama bin Laden with just your minds because you’re all connected to his quanta? Could you create a cure for some heinous cancer? Could you turn a hurricane around? Could you listen to the birth of the universe, or witness life on another planet, in another star system?

Magic, all of those things. But maybe not.

Maybe all the stuff our brain is doing with the 90% that doesn’t look like it’s doing anything is related to connecting with quanta, with listening to pings. Maybe your gut has a quanta listening station built in, too.

Maybe God is connected quanta—the part of each of us that is also part of everything and everyone, everywhere, everywhen—that knows everything, that feels everything, that is everything, eternally. God immanent. A number of religions have described God in this fashion—maybe the folks who follow those religions are listening to their quanta.

So, if your magic system is based on quanta, if you’re going to utilize the principle that everything is connected to everything else and that all these connections are in constant, immediate communication with each other, how do you make that work?

Abundance Talking SocksWhy? Well, because socks are fun to make, first of all, and if you’re going to do magic, it might as well be fun. Next, the technology for making socks is available to the most primitive and the most sophisticated people equally. Also because socks are useful and warm, and they are a physical, tangible point of contact between the maker and the wearer. Because socks can come in any colors, any patterns, any styles. And you can have people agree on what those colors and patterns and styles mean. Agreement on meaning, that is, language, is critical.

Give Thanks to Spirit SocksThe demo socks I’ve shown here are Quantum Socks—or Talking Socks, to the Anzi people, whose culture I’m thinking about and developing as I make the socks. I’ve decided that the Anzi created a small language to embed prayers and, eventually, communication with other Anzi, in their clothing. They started with colors, each of which has a meaning and a meditation. They moved on to simple patterns; braids and blocks and checks and bands. And then they created glyphs. The glyphs embed the specific desire of the maker into clothing in visible, readable form.

Give Thanks to Spirit GlyphThe green, brown, gray and red Abundance Socks on the right (in the picture above) carry the Give Thanks To Spirit glyph in a continuous band.

The blue, green, white, tan, and rose Winds of Change, Waters of Serenity Socks on the left (in the picture above) carry the Summon Spirit, Invoke Change glyph in a continuous band.Winds of Change, Waters of Serenity glyph Each color has a meaning, the placement of each band has a meaning. (Yes, I have worked out the placements and meanings. I’m deeply geeky that way.)

So where’s the magic?

In the quanta. The act of willing something, of praying for it, of visualizing it, pings the quanta (in my worldbuilding system). The act of putting one’s will into a tangible, visible form allows others who know the language to ping the quanta again, simply by seeing the patterns and reading the language (because the act of observation changes that which is observed, remember).

The Abundance Socks give thanks for something needed. They acknowledge the Anzi belief that as soon as you put your will into the system, the system answers simultaneously, though you may not see the results immediately. So when the Anzi pray, they don’t pray for something. They give thanks for it, because whether they have what they need yet or not, they accept that Spirit has already answered.

From a real-world perspective, I started in on the first Abundance Sock, working out the magic of it as I was making it, and the next day, got word that THE RUBY KEY and a second book sold for nice money—news that I desperately needed. Were the socks, the prayer, and the quanta involved in this? Dunno. It makes an excellent story, though, don’t you think?

Talking Socks. They talk to Spirit, they talk to people, maybe they talk to quanta.

I’ll put up the background material (color meditations, band patterns and theory, and glyphs) and a pattern for the socks in the Reader section of the site as soon as I can. I have to write the sock pattern first (I’ve never written a knitting pattern before, so that in itself may take some time.)

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Starting Type-In

By Holly Lisle

Abundance Talking SocksStill don’t like my ending. Am hoping inspiration will strike between now and Monday.

When I get this done, I have to tell you about the deep worldbuilding for Project Blue. It involves quantum entanglement, God immanent, and talking socks. The pair shown are Abundance Socks. They’re based on the magic system the protagonists in my new world use. The Abundance Socks are only talking to spirit—some of the later pairs, deeply subversive, will be talking to other people.

Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved

Updating the Schedule

By Holly Lisle

So around June, I had everything planned out. And then I needed to write one book a full year earlier than it had been planned. And I did. But doing so wrecked every other item in my schedule. Obliterated. Toasted. Annihilated.

Turns out, I could do the insane “everything at once” provisional schedule only for a few days, and then my brain shut down, and I had to step back. I got the Language Clinic and NIGHT ECHOES written. And will finish the write-in of NIGHT ECHOES today, and the type-in in the next couple of days.

But that leaves a lot of stuff languishing. I have a student thing that’s been hanging fire; that’s next. Then the final HAWKSPAR edit, a lot of which is done—that had a lot front-end problems that went away by the end of the book, so having most of the front-book issues already finished, I’m thinking (just thinking here) that the rest of that will go more or less smoothly.

And then what?

Create A Culture Clinic (Worldbuilding II)
The Ruby Key (Moon and Sun I)
Create A World Clinic (Worldbuilding III)
Project Blue
Create A Plot Clinic
Moon and Sun II
Storyshowing Clinic
C, the Secret Project
Finish the Book Clinic

And more stuff after that…God willing and the creek don’t rise.

NOTICE: The Surgeon General has declared that creating schedules can be detrimental to your health and sanity, and that schedule dependence has been linked with weight gain, weight loss, hirsutism, hair loss, nervousness, nausea, vomiting, auditory hallucinations, angina, GERD, hypertension, hypotension, insanity, and death. Pregnant women, women who might become pregnant, persons with preexisting liver or kidney or heart conditions, and people with eyelids should avoid scheduling. If you experience side effects from scheduling, stop immediately and consult your doctor.

DISCLAIMER #1: This schedule is subject to Life, which happens while one is making other plans.

DISCLAIMER #2: (Marine Adage) No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.

DISCLAIMER #3: (Yiddish Adage) Men plan, God laughs.

DISCLAIMER #4: (Nursing Instructor Adage) CYA

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Some Weird Backgrounding on Project Blue

By Holly Lisle

Am deep in developing a “written” language for the worldbuilding in Project Blue. I’m having to think way outside the box, because the language is encoded for weavers, knitters, and others who work in fabric, and it’s got to be compact but flexible. So patterns have meanings, and so do colors, and so do textures (think of knit and purl as the ones and zeros of binary). Because it’s a cold-climate culture, I’m at least spared the complexities of lace, though this was not a happy accident. I MADE it a cold-climate culture in order to be spared the complexities of lace. (Call it a cop-out if you like.) I’ve already graphed a series of teusyl (labyrinth) patterns that connect to solid bars at top and bottom, or on the sides, which are designated as summoning or power patterns, and which carry messages in borders, and a series of free-standing aswul patterns (designated request or prayer patterns) that are worked as designs either in colorwork or in texture work, and that can be tucked into the body of a larger piece of work. This language is a huge part of the magic system of the world in which belongs.

As part of that magic system development, I’ve done the meditations in color (training tools for apprentices who are learning the “written” language), and got the limited list of dyes that fit in the language.

Here’s a little snippet of the meditation chunk of the worldbuilding, for the deep-dyed writing geeks among you:

o Yellow—Yellow is the sun in summer, flowers in the fields, wisdom in word and deed, and the search for learning, thought and questioning, pursuit for the sake of pursuit, decision and uncertainty in their turn. Yellow moves through the air, and its seat is in the mind. Yellow brings power, and the power can work to good or to evil.

  • • marigold yellow
  • • burdock yellow
  • • dandelion yellow
  • • willow-leaf yellow
  • • cumin yellow

o Green—Green is spring in new growth and summer in profusion, the fields and the forests, meadows and gardens. Green is the giver of nourishment, the milk of the earth, riches sought and unsought. Green is born of the earth and is fed by water and air, and its seat is in the hands and the feet. Green brings power, and the power can work to good or to evil.

  • • artemesia green
  • • grass green
  • • spinach green
  • • nettle green
  • • lily-of-the-valley-leaf green

o Blue—Blue is the sea and the sky, the wild places where humanity cannot travel unaided, the great mystery. Blue is the serenity of open spaces, the rivers rich with fish, the air bursting with birds. Blue is the curiosity of the unknown, wildness and confusion, storm and gentle rain in their turn, change and change and change again. Blue travels in water and air, and its seat is in the heart. Blue brings power, and the power can work to good or to evil.

  • • grape blue
  • • indigo blue
  • • red-maple-bark blue
  • • cherry-root blue
  • • blueberry blue

If you carefully read the meditation on blue, you might get an inkling of the theme of Project Blue—which has, in fact, a much, much better title, a title I adore—but I’m not telling until I sell the thing.

I have this weird image of chapter headers or separators done as photographs of finished knit work, or maybe knitting (weaving/ cross-stitch) graphs, each which would spell out the name of the chapter or some key element within the chapter (with the name in English in the usual place.)

I’m still working out the degree of power in the magic. I’m pretty sure at this point that well-knit pieces could double as serviceable armor in a battle.

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4000+ Words Per Day

By Holly Lisle

I haven’t been around because I’m tired. I’m doing a damned good job of being productive, writing more than 4000 words a day every day (a lot for me), but in spite of that, my HAWKSPAR deadline is falling apart, and I’m dropping behind on other things, too. Have had a few rejections lately, which has not helped anything, and money is tight—that bane of the full-time writer’s existence—which ups the stress and the pressure.

Still, I like the words I’m getting. I’m backgrounding and developing a fantasy novel that is, until I sell the thing, code-named Project Blue. I’m excited about it. I’m tearing through Night Echoes, and I love what I’m getting on that. And I’m reworking The Ruby Key, though I think this project might end up being something I have to write the entire first book to sell. Ideally, I’d like to be able to afford to do that with every project. Now, however, is not the time to start doing that.

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