Writing is an odd business. Each story is its own, unique blend of challenge and joy. Then it sits, sometimes for years, only to be released to the public as if newly born, created mere moments before. And occasionally they arrive in clumps. For example, a story of mine is in the Tales from the Magician’s Skull Special Issue 2 (AKA Issue 8.5) published last month, I believe. And now, Cirsova Magazine Winter 2022 issue is out, redolent with that new publication smell. Two stories written years apart, seeing the light of day at roughly the same time in late 2022. The timing seems to suggest some relationship between the two, though none in fact exists. Other than that they are both entertaining, so you should get your hands on copies ASAP.
Or, perhaps you are in the mood for a novel. How about Under Strange Suns?
If you’ve been enjoying Savage Journal (Anyone? Buehler, Buehler?) here is entry 22.
I do not look longingly and regretfully over my shoulder when I pull up stakes and move on to greener pastures, dear diary. I do not pine, I do not sigh. I suppose it likely that I’ll see Bandahar again, but that eventuality is inconsequential. Sentimentality is simply not a barbarian vice.
Quitting the city was a calculated decision. Everything I did today was finely calculated – except responding this morning to the display of gratitude offered by the slave girl I’d rescued last night from the sacrificial altar. (The potential repercussions from that feat – in the form of vengeful priests, you’ll recall –factored heavily into my calculations.) The ignorant may dismiss a savage warrior as a creature of passion, incapable of advanced planning. Such people are only half correct: I am both a creature of passion andcapable of advanced planning. For example, over the last several weeks I’ve had time to plot burglarizing the storehouse of Haakon the Fence. I’d gone so far as to develop contingencies for a daylight heist.
The act of robbery was calculated. The decision to proceed was a function of pure spite – hot blooded, coldly executed revenge. I had enough coin laid by already to outfit myself with saddle and pack horses, supplies, etc.; I did not need to clean out Haakon. But he had consistently underpaid for every filched item I’d passed into his fat, be-ringed fingers. A barbarian is seldom sentimental, but he is always vengeful.
So I find myself on the move again. Bandahar recedes into the distance. A beautiful girl rides at my side. Every pannier and pouch not loaded with supplies is stuffed with Haakon’s gold. The sun sets behind as we ride leisurely eastward, chasing our lengthening shadows.
It is good, dear diary, to be a wandering barbarian.