Today's writing notes
Working on: Last touch-ups on "Worth Searching For"
One subtle, yet important change in this revision is to make Hyren kinder and more compassionate toward his family, and less prone to mouthing off. I seem to have not been very good at writing nice people four years ago, but now that I have the opportunity to fix what went wrong, I'm definitely doing so. In this revision, we can see that Hyren is prone to becoming brusque and irritable when under stress, but he tries hard to rein it in and would never be callous toward his family, nor brutish to other Neopets. Twelve years with Terra's family has taught him a lot about being polite and considerate.
Rice porridge with peanuts and scallions sounds weird, but it's actually super tasty, and a real Asian dish called congee. I used to snarf it down for breakfast when I was in college in Hawaii.
I forgot to mention a few real-world references: the village of Caxton Bank is named after William Caxton, the first English retailer of printed books back in the 15th century, and the guy who first translated the French Reynard legends into English. (Because the name "Isengrim" comes from a character in the Reynard cycle.) Nan is named after a character in J. R. R. Tolkien's novella Smith of Wootton Major, which similarly takes place in medieval England and thus the characters in the story have properly medieval English names (which I try to reflect in Meridellian culture). "Thomas" and "Mary" are just super-common old English names that I figure many Meridellian peasants name their children.