The Wind from Heaven is almost ready for publication. Typesetting is all done, and final proofreading is in progress. And after that comes Behold! That should be ready sometime next year.
Ah! But spring is almost here, which means it’s almost time to start writing another one. I’m happy to say I’ve already been given two key pieces of it–one of which has solved a major problem with the plot. There’s stuff going on in Durmurot, and in Lintum Forest, that has to be addressed.
In writing a series of any kind, the writer has to beware of repeating himself. Edgar Rice Burroughs got bogged down with Tarzan and ran off a dozen or more books featuring lost cities. People enjoyed them anyway, but sheesh! You couldn’t throw a brick in Africa without breaking a window in a lost city. I don’t want to do anything like that.
But the new stuff excites me, and I hope it excites my readers, too. Meanwhile, I’m waiting for a catchy title. Sometimes I get badly stuck for a title.
What new stuff? Well, I can’t tell you that, can I?
My writer’s chair is buried under snow and ice, it’s dead cold outside, and there’s more snow in the forecast–
But spring is in the air.
I know this because I’ve received an inspiration for my next Bell Mountain book, which I can’t even begin to write until spring is really here. Suddenly a really thorny plot problem has been bulldozed out of the way. Thank you, Lord!
For those of you who are new here, this blog was originally set up to generate interest in my books, and that’s still part of its mission. (If you’re really new, click “Books” and see all the covers.) This unwritten, untitled book will be the 15th in the series. We are expecting No. 13, The Wind from Heaven, to be published sometime this spring. After that comes No. 14, Behold!
Some readers have complained that this series has gone on too long. Others have said they hope it never ends. What can I say? I love writing these books, and I’ll never live long enough to match the number of books in series by my favorite authors. Did Edgar Rice Burroughs write too many Tarzan books? He thought so, but a lot of readers disagreed. Did Agatha Christie write too many books featuring Hercule Poirot? She thought so, but a lot of readers disagreed.
Whatever the case, there is now a really cool miracle waiting to become the centerpiece of No. 15, and it will truly be a pleasure to start the work.
Working at a furious pace, I finished writing Behold! yesterday, just before the weather turned nasty. Yup, got it all done.
So that night I sat down to relax with a popsicle. As you can see above, they print riddles on the popsicle sticks. You have to eat the popsicle to see the answer. But for me–for this guy who had just that day finished writing a book–get a load of this question:
“What did the author say about his novel when it was finished?” (Answer: “It’s a complete mystery.”)
Whoa! How did this happen? Is that a bodacious coincidence or what? How unlikely was it that this particular popsicle stick would wind up in my hands on that particular day?
I wonder if I ought to write to the Popsicle Company. It might make a good commercial. Can I ask for Denzel Washington to play me?
With a prayer, and with a cold wind blowing in my face, I have finished writing Behold! And if this book’s climax is as good as I dare hope–well, kowabunga!
I’m reminded of an essay (or was it a letter?) by Tolkien, in which he described a conversation he had with a stranger about The Lord of the Rings–who said to him, “You don’t think you wrote all that all by yourself, do you?” It was just the sort of thing, said Tolkien, that Gandalf would have said–and he left it at that.
I thank the Lord of All for giving me this book to write, and pray my work will be fruitful in His service. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
I haven’t yet seen any woolly mammoths walking through my yard, but it is kind of cold today for me to be sitting outside, writing. But after three straight days of rain, and more in the short-term weather forecast, I have to use what sunshine I can get. The climactic scene has got to be written!
Meanwhile, take a gander at Citizens Free Press–the usurpers’ house of cards is crumbling.
Attorney and investigator Sidney Powell vows, “I’m going to release the kraken. I’m going to expose every one of them.” The kraken is a legendary sea monster, a gigantic squid that pulls down full-size ships for breakfast.
The theft of the 2020 presidential election, the biggest and boldest crime in American history, will not stand.
Pray hard, pray often–and prepare to see the salvation of the Lord.
Now that I finally know what the climax of the story is, and where all the characters have to be when it happens… can I get it all written before the cold weather takes over?
I reckon I’ve got about a week’s worth of good writing days left. Can I wrap up the story, if I work real hard?
Bell Mountain No. 14, Behold!–it’s been a hard hike over rough terrain. Didn’t get the climax till just a few days ago. When that happens the writer runs a serious risk of having his characters just milling around. My editor says I have avoided that. I pray she’s right.
If I can write it like I’ve seen it, my climax will have been worth waiting for.
What a morning! Hand in our votes, supermarket, pay rent–and all with a cold wind blowing, with 40-mph gusts. Complete with a great big black walnut branch breaking off and falling in the yard. Fortunately it didn’t hit anything. And my leg was just killing me, too.
But all that hassle must’ve cleared out the cobwebs for me, because when we finally got home again, and I sat outside to have a cigar–voila!
I’ve got the climax for Behold! Now I’ve seen what the people in my story are going to behold. And if I can find the skill to write what I saw, as I saw it–well, it’s gonna knock your socks off.
Meanwhile the computer I normally use has gone on strike. Ain’t working.
So kick back and enjoy some dinosaur sounds: it has a bearing on the story.
If you’ve been following my progress, as reported here, I’ve really been sweating it, trying to come up with a climax for Bell Mountain No. 14, Behold! The question gave me no peace: “Behold what? What’s there to behold?” And I’ve been praying about it, asking the Lord to give me the story that He wants me to tell. That’s what I always ask Him; and so far, He always has.
So I was out there in the cold yesterday, too cold to write, finishing up my cigar… and the idea just sort of drifted into my head. Sometimes it comes with a bang, as when the gunslinger in a movie shoves open the doors to the saloon. Sometimes it’s like a flashbulb. Sometimes I get the climax first and have to find the way to it. But this time it just drifted quietly into my head; and when I went back indoors, I got distracted by other things and didn’t think of it.
Until I woke up this morning!
Gee, it was still there. I don’t know how to tell you how unusual that is for me. I get a lot of ideas that don’t amount to anything. But this one was not only still there: now it was much clearer. It was better. It ties together the strands of the plot that were just sort of whipping in the wind.
Hallelujah, I can finish my book! I asked the Lord to show me how, and He did. Now all I need is some friendly weather–and a lot of energy–in which to write it up.
Oh–and I still need some good ideas for cover art for No. 13, The Wind from Heaven. Kirk DouPonce is a great cover artist, but he prefers the author (which is me) to come up with the ideas. I’m still wondering how he gets my characters so real: you’d swear they posed for him.
Well, here I am, in kindlier weather than we have today, scribbling away at Bell Mountain No. 14, Behold! Today, in spite of the fog and the threat of rain, I finished Chapter 31. (Don’t worry–it won’t be as long as Oy, Rodney.) Helki the Rod has just had more excitement than is good for him; and I reckon another half-dozen chapters will do it.
I still don’t know just what it is that the characters in the story are going to behold. Lord, I hope you’ll tell me soon. Usually He gives me the book’s climax a lot sooner than this. For instance, I already have the climax for Book 15. Always in hope that I’ll be able to write it.
Meanwhile, I’ve got to come up with cover art for No. 13, The Wind from Heaven, so artist Kirk DouPonce can get to work on it. Ships from very far away have suddenly appeared off Obann’s coast: maybe we could show the first shore party landing. I await the birth of an idea.
Ooh-ooh-ooh! It’s stopped raining! The sun came out!
I’d better get out there and start writing. It won’t be long now before the cold weather sets in and the ink won’t run from my pen (yes, I’ve actually tried to writing on days that cold–and that’s what happened), and I have a book I’ve got to finish.
Phoebe mentioned being as busy as a hamster spinning in a wheel, so here are some busy hamsters for you to contemplate. How come they don’t get dizzy when they do this? Sixty seconds of this stuff and I don’t think a human being would ever recover from it. This deserves serious study.
Ah, Behold! What a time I’ve had with you! It wasn’t till near the end of May that the weather allowed me to start work on you–a whole month lost, right out of the batter’s box. And I still don’t know what anybody in the story is going to behold.
Nevertheless, I am being pulled along willy-nilly, the current’s strong and I can’t swim against it–and, as Jackie Gleason used to say, awaaaay we go!