Some things are true serendipity, others are more deliberately linked. I’m going with the latter in the case at hand. You see, I’m nearing completion of the sequel to Karl Thorson and the Jade Dagger, and the climax occurs at The Alamo. At about the time I commenced writing that chapter I needed to download a new audio book. Searching for this and that I came across a book I’d heard of before, but hadn’t read, by one of my favorite writers: The Alamo, by John Myers Myers.
“By Mitra, this bird is as plump as a Zingaran concubine,” quoth Conan.
Conan slid his broadsword free of its shagreen wrapped hilt and skewered the turkey. He raised his sword one-handed, hoisting the bird from its silver platter without a tremor of strain displayed on the corded forearm projecting from the sleeve of his royal robe, despite the additional twenty pounds weighing down the three foot length of steel.
“Now, who shall carve this beast?” the king asked. “Certainly not thou, Valeria,” he said, addressing the she-pirate seated to his left. “Carving is man’s work.”
Just when you think you have Karl Thorson cornered, he’ll come at you from an unexpected angle. I mean, I didn’t think Karl Thorson and the Jade Dagger would see publication until November 15. And yet, here it is late October and the book is already out. That’s our Carlos for you; if you don’t keep your head on a swivel, he’ll ambush you.
The countdown to a book release is for me what the countdown to Christmas is for a kid. I want the day to hurry up and get here. My present is offering something I created to you. I’m so damn noble, ain’t I?
I suspect it is an industry standard: the 250, 150, and 50 word synopsis. It may be that some authors, occupying celestial strata I can only dream of, have a publisher’s marketing department write these. I don’t know, I have to do it myself.
A moment’s digression before I begin: Happy Birthday Bilbo and Frodo! I wonder, on this wet and drizzly first day of autumn if Tolkien deliberately chose the fall equinox for the Baggins’ joint birthday. Perhaps it was a question of age, both hobbits having entered their autumnal years, if you will, before embarking on their adventures. I don’t know. Any suggestions, readers?
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.
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 have a tentative release schedule for Karl Thorson and the Jade Dagger of mid-November. And that means editing. What fun.
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.