I grew up in the Northwest. Rain is the norm. Wet weather can limit activities, hinder weekend recreation. I recall one of the go-to choices for a rainy Saturday was a trip to Bonneville Dam. Tour the museum, count the fish, visit the hatchery. Not a lot of pizzazz, perhaps, but it can occupy a kid for a few hours.
Some days you just need to punish innocent steel plates and sheets of paper. And as a writer, it is good to remind yourself of the sounds, smells, and feel of firearms. You think, “I really ought to go back and revise that scene, get in at least a mention of the noise.”
I hope to cram in a number of items in today’s post. A mishmash of topics. A salmagundi, if you will.
So, 2019 is pretty much a wrap. I have few complaints, it was a good year for YoursTruly, MBW, and the HA. I have another book out, and three in the can waiting to be unleashed in 2020. I traveled a bit, hit a few conventions to dispense what (if looked at cross-eyed, in a certain light) passes as wisdom, successfully achieved the half-century mark of my life (pro-tip: don’t die), completed my web log series on Appendix N, and brewed a few batches of beer.
Christmas is rushing towards us like an out of control sleigh, with a fat man in a red suit slumped in the driver’s seat, reins fallen from pudgy, cookie-stained hands, his eggnog soaked beard smelling strongly of rum. Have you finished your shopping yet? You obviously can’t rely on that jolly fellow; he’s a menace.
Monday is Veterans Day. My own time in uniform is far behind me. When compared to the real sacrifice and achievement of so many, I tend to think it of small consequence. So I likely undervalue the day itself, seeing it more in terms of a free appetizer or meal discount, of hearing “Thank you for your service” more times than I’m comfortable with (that number starts at about one.)
I enjoyed a quiet, uneventful weekend. I really can’t complain. After a morning’s work on the sequel to Karl Thorson and the Jade Dagger (look for it in mid-November from Twilight Times) I took MBW and the HA up to a friend’s cabin on the river, near Mt. Hood. And there was much relaxing.
It is a commonplace that golf serves in multiple ways as a metaphor for life. Let me mention some of these metaphors and lessons of the links.
MBW and the HA gave me a unique Father’s Day gift this year: quiet time. MBW drove the HA to California for a week’s visit to visit grandparents. The HA will get some camping in, MBW will get some work done. And I get a week at home of quiet and sleeping in.
My family loves me.
I had a party at my house last night, a triple celebration: my fiftieth birthday, the tenth anniversary of my marriage to MBW, and MBW’s U.S. citizenship. The house echoed at times with the play of what seemed a hundred children, but couldn’t have been more than a half dozen. At the end of the night we discovered that a glutinous jar of pink slime, some sort of kid’s plaything, had been ground into the HA’s carpet. While a few remaining adults got down to cleaning that up (it turns out ice cubes are useful in that regard — helpful tip for you) I went back downstairs to pack up leftovers and load the dishwasher. The aftermath of the party.
Naturally, that got me thinking about war. Specifically the aftermath, the cleanup. And more specifically, how fantasy novels tend to deal with (or not deal with) the aftermath of the epic battles that fill their pages.