I haven’t worked on The Witch Box since just before New Year’s. I hope no one thinks I’ve abandoned the project.
But you can’t write a novel (especially a fantasy novel!) when your head’s not in the game, so there it sits. Sort of like the way I’m sitting here, trying to find words. Good thing I already have a complete manuscript, albeit in longhand on a set of legal pads.
Yeahbut! You’re writing blog posts, ain’t you? But it’s a totally different kind of writing, and it takes me about three times as long as it should, just to generate a little blog piece.
Well, I haven’t forgotten, and I pray it won’t be too much longer before I can go back to work on the novel. Patty and I are sick and we need to get better: we need the Lord to heal us, and we need your prayers. Please keep them coming.
People are always trying to manipulate amazon.com’s Customer Reviews, one way or another. In my case, some nasty little Far Left insect didn’t like my politics, so he tried to convince readers that my books were one-star pieces of twaddle. Those one-star “reviews” really hurt–although they didn’t hurt for long.
I take great care to keep any and all “real-world politics” out of my books–let not a trace of it be found.
I did once read a “fantasy” in which the Elf turns to the Dwarf and says, “We must learn to celebrate one another’s diverse lifestyles.”
These are fantasy novels. They depict an imaginary world. I detest fantasies that remind me I’m only looking at words on paper. For me to load Bell Mountain with sly Calvinist insinuations would be to break my own rules.
Who we are is always going to have a bearing on what we write. Otherwise we wouldn’t be writing in the first place. If I wanted a Greek Orthodox slant to my story, I’d have to work and study hard to acquire it. Much of who we are is what we’re used to.
I don’t think my books are biased against one particular branch of Christianity or another. I try not to be. This blog serves readers of many different denominations–or no denomination. I rather hoped my books would do the same.
I’m currently working to finish Book No. 15 of my Bell Mountain series, The Witch Box. If my execution lives up to my vision, it’ll be my best book yet.
Edgar Rice Burroughs kept writing Tarzan because the Lord of the Jungle put most of the food on the table; but he complained a lot about having to do it. Agatha Christie came to a point where she was really and truly sick of Hercule Poirot; but she kept on writing him because the readers still wanted him.
I am not tired of writing Bell Mountain. In fact, next time out, I’m thinking I’d like to go back in time 2,000 years to tell the story of King Ozias. But there are some folks out there who think it’s time it was “Lights Out” for Bell Mountain, adios, don’t let the door hit you in the tuchas on your way out…
Of course my books are microscopic, compared to Tarzan or Poirot. I don’t have to worry about angry mobs besieging my publisher because they want Bell Mountain back (which is what happened, literally, when Arthur Conan Doyle tried to kill off his creation, Sherlock Holmes). I have no advertising. Just this wee blog.
My question to readers is, Should I put a cork in it? (One reader says even Wytt bores him, anymore. Good grief.) Have you had your fill of Bell Mountain? Or should I keep on going for as long as the Lord gives me something to write and Chalcedon’s willing to publish it?
A man who has been several times to Mars and back told me yesterday, “Lay off the novel-writin’ and write somethin’ that everybody wants. Write the Bell Mountain Cookbook!”
Well, fan my brow, I never thought of that. Probably because I can’t cook. There’s only so much you can say about heating up a pot of soup. But this guy from Mars has all the answers. People turn into such know-it-alls…
“Look, it’s simple,” he said. “Each recipe goes with a favorite character from the book. So you’ve got, like, Jack and Ellayne’s Rabbit Stew, Obst the Hermit’s Berry Cake, Lord Reesh’s Oysters, Roast Duck a la Baroness Vannett–you get the idea. You can probably leave out the whole Abnak cuisine. And that fermented mare’s milk that the Ghols drink. It makes me depressed just to think of it.”
It’s hard to get fictional characters to write things for you, although on Mars they do it all the time. My wife would love to sip the famous golden wine of Durmurot. But where would she get it?
I wonder, though… If I knew what I was talking about, would a Bell Mountain Cookbook attract readers? What do you think?
[Pardon my use of Jerry Goldsmith’s theme music for Patton (1970). It’s my way of enjoying a victory lap.]
It’s a beautiful gorgeous day today, with honeybees busy with the white wildflowers that have grown up around my writing chair. Tomorrow we’re supposed to get cold rain, but I don’t mind–
For I have finished writing The Witch Box! And if my execution is worthy of my vision, well, wow–I’ll have done something well worth doing. There’s life in the Bell Mountain series yet, and plenty of it.
Now I have to go back and fill the hole I left when I stopped writing Chapter Set 4 and decided to jump ahead to the double climax; but that shouldn’t be too hard to do. I also have to type it all up and send it off to Susan to be edited. That’ll be a big job but again, not too hard to do. I never expected to fill up another 165 pages of legal pad; but at least I don’t have to worry about the book being too short.
But give God the glory, for guiding me through this work from beginning to end: and may it be fruitful in His service. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
P.S.–I’ll bet I’ve once again finished a book on the last day I could have finished it, taking into account the advent of cold weather. That’s what happened with Behold!, too. It does make me wonder…
Well, I’m as cold as a mackeral now, but I got five more pages done and the next two days are supposed to be warmer, so maybe I’ll be able to finish writing my second climax for The Witch Box: I’ve got a good start on it.
But now I’ve got to shift gears and write my Newswithviews piece for the week. If you think this is easy–! Well, think again.
I’m going to write about Scottsdale and the scandal ignited by their district board of education–board president and his father (!) stalking parents who don’t like the board’s mask mandate and unlawfully collecting private information on them, etc. That any member of any school board should ever do a thing like this is astounding. Who do they think they are?
We are not subjects, we are not serfs, and they are not our masters–unless we allow them to be.
Let’s see if we can defend our freedom. We’ll wind up like Australia if we don’t.
Okay, it wasn’t quite that cold yesterday. But it was cold enough.
Last year I finished writing Behold! on literally the last day I could have finished it–no more good weather until the spring.
Looks like I’m in the same boat this year.
Yesterday it threatened rain all day and was just too cold. Under 50 degrees, the ink just won’t come out of the pen. Today it’s under 50, but maybe I can find a sunny spot.
Some of you wonder why I have to write outdoors. Well, there are too many distractions indoors. The worst are those nuisance phone calls: “Hello! [in thick Indian accent you could cut with a knife] This is Brian O’Shaughnessy from Acme Spindulators…” Those just wipe out my concentration. Conversely, I find the trees and the sky and the birds good for my concentration. They help me see the scenes I’m writing about.
But I am definitely running short of days, so one more blog post and then maybe the sun will be high enough to create a warm spot for me somewhere. I’m dealing with a ship that’s been at sea for 40 years and I have to do something about it.
Dark clouds have just swept in to veil the sun, the wind is coming on strong, and it’s getting cold: but I did get four more pages written. One more week of decent weather, and I should be able to finish The Witch Box.
I hated to stop today, but couldn’t help it. I’m really loving this climax (I warn myself again to drop no spoilers).
For my soul’s sake I have avoided the nooze so far today–I hope you don’t mind. It’ll find us soon enough.
P.S.: A certain quokka has reminded me to cheer you on to making comments–we only need a few dozen more to make 80,000.
Message delivered; and now it’s time to relax with a movie.
And here comes the rain. Missed me by just ten minutes.