Okay, I’ve got some pages written and I’m on my way–the early life of King Ozias, compiled by Obst from the Scriptures.
It’s a daunting task, but also an exciting one. Can I bring this story to life? I have to go back in history 2,000 years and a lot of things in Obann were very different then. There were still some Wild Men left in Lintum Forest, for instance. Obann’s Empire, and the Day of Fire, were some thousand years in the future. A lot of shapeless ruins were thriving cities.
It’s only 2 o’clock. I think I’ll go out and write some more.
I had it strongly in my mind to start writing my next book today. Yeah, today.
The thought came to me as I was washing dishes: “Do it the way Homer showed us, in The Iliad: Jump right into the middle of the story, with both feet!” Any time I can get advice from Homer, I take it.
This story will be the life of King Ozias–his early life, at least, as he grew up in Lintum Forest.,. I think it ought to be told by Obst, putting together all the information scattered throughout the Scriptures. Obst will understand the turbulent times that Ozias knew: civil war, Heathen invasions, gangs of murderers trying to hunt him down…
All that being said, today the sky is slate-grey and it’s just itchin’ to rain on me and on my work. I can’t do this indoors because there’s too much distraction. I need the green grass, a blue sky, and the birds. God is in all those things; and I want Him to be present in my book, too.
Well, I still have to go to the store and pick up the laundry. Let’s see if the sky clears by the time I’m done.
We got good news today from Robbie’s vet. They’ve done the blood work: her kidney numbers are back down to normal, and so are her thyroid numbers. She won’t need to be checked again for six months. It’s a great relief to us.
Robbie recently had her sixteenth birthday, and that makes her a “senior cat.” You might well think she was younger than that, to look at her. She’s had more than her share of serious medical problems in her life, but she’s still ticking.
Meanwhile, the weather here has not been friendly to any writer who needs to work outdoors. I want to start writing my next book, the early life of King Ozias, who lived two thousand years ago. I think I’d like to frame it as a tale told by Obst, King Ryons’ teacher. The tale is told in Obann’s Scriptures, in bits and pieces scattered here and there. Obst will have to put it all together into a coherent narrative.
To start a new book is exciting, but also a little bit daunting. Can I do it? Can I make it work? Will it serve God? The only way to find out is to pray for guidance and write the book.
I’m boning up on the Wars of the Roses because I really want to write the life of King Ozias, King Ryons’ ancestor, the last anointed king of Obann. Ozias, who wrote many of the Sacred Songs and was spiritually sustained by them, was born into a turbulent and dangerous time.
His father, the gentle and easygoing King Flosi II, lost his throne to treason. His mother, Queen Parella, escaped to Lintum Forest with her child, the crown prince. For most of his boyhood Ozias learned the ways of the forest and how to survive there. The usurpers in Obann City sought again and again to murder him, and he and his mother had many narrow escapes.
Quite a few readers have noted the resemblances between Ozias and David. It has always been my intention that they should. Both kings put their trust in God. And attentive readers know it was Ozias, in obedience to the words of a prophet, Batha the Seer, who erected God’s Bell on the summit of Bell Mountain.
Anyway, there’s a lot to this story and when the weather decides to cooperate, I look forward to telling it.
Bell Mountain No. 15 won’t be called The Witch Box, after all. I’ve had to change the title.
Now it’s Ocean of Time. I have a double climax, so it was hard for one title to cover both of them. The Witch Box couldn’t do that. Ocean of Time can.
When I was writing horror novels, my New York publisher always changed my titles. Always for the better, I have to admit it: my titles were pretty bad. My Bell Mountain titles were a great improvement.
It’s not so easy to come up with a title! If you’ve got a good one, it can guide you in the writing of the story. Mystery writer H.R.F. Keating was so good at that. Your plot tends to be more coherent if the action reflects the title. In The Iciest Sin, Keating wrote about a blackmail scheme investigated by Inspector Ghote–and peppered it with incidents of not-quite-criminal blackmail, but blackmail nonetheless, practiced by people in their daily lives. Fantastic book.
So far everyone I’ve talked to seems to like Ocean of Time, and I’m home free. But I’ll still listen to suggestions, if anybody has any.
No one was able to tell me how my fantasy novel wound up as labor and industrial relations. Nothing in it about collective bargaining, overtime, or automation. Like a book by some guy that no one ever heard of doesn’t have enough trouble finding buyers.
I just checked. The Thunder King is not exactly burning up the track today, but it is doing much better than it was as “labor & industrial relations.”
Above is pictured one of the critters encountered by Helki the Rod in Lintum Forest: it plays an important role in Behold!, Book No.14 in my Bell Mountain series. I lost a lot of time to illness, but today I’ve finished the first round of editing–and contacted our cover artist, Kirk DuoPonce. Let’s see what he can come up with.
What would happen if a piece of advanced technology from an extinct civilization fell into the hands of people living 1,000 years later? What if the finders wished to use it–although they have no understanding of such things?
And then there are those ships, the first to cross the ocean from the west since Obann’s Empire was destroyed. Will they bring some new disaster with them?
I hope we can get this book on the market in time for Christmas. Next year, maybe The Witch Box will be ready, double climax and all. And I’m looking forward to warmer weather so I can start writing the life of King Ozias. If you like these books, there’s a lot of fun in store for you.
We have no plans to add Oy, Rodney to our schedule. My wife would like to see the adventures of Abombalbap in book form, but I think that might be beyond my powers.