You know I make use of dreams when I’m writing a Bell Mountain novel.
The Wind from Heaven must be blowing for me, because here’s what I dreamed last night, which I will incorporate into the book as I write it.
It was one of those dreams in which you don’t know you’re dreaming because it starts out so mundane and ordinary. I dreamed it was night-time and I had to walk out to the curb to bring in the garbage cans. There seemed to be no traffic, no engine noise, out on Main Street–which should have tipped me off right there that I was dreaming.
The night was quiet and still, everybody’s lights were out… And as if from some great distance, I heard as it were the sound of many voices chanting:
“King Ozias! King Ozias! King Ozias!”
And just out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw a great lion pass silently into the deeper shadows. It was Ozias, of course, who composed the sacred “Song of the Lion.” And it was Ozias, the last anointed king of Obann, who is the ancestor of the present king, Ryons–the first to hold the title “king of Obann” for some two thousand years.
I can hardly wait to get out there and write this into the story.
P.S.–If you missed earlier posts, The Wind from Heaven is the title of the new book I’ve just started writing.
Ryons or Fnaa? Only the royal hairdresser knows for sure–and they don’t have one.
I don’t often get a chance to interview a fictional character, so I had to jump on this–an interview with Fnaa, who features in my Bell Mountain series as King Ryons’ double and an all-around scamp. He made his debut in The Fugitive Prince and is still with us six books later.
If the interview seems short, don’t blame me. Fnaa is not used to sitting around talking. On the whole, he has more fun than most of us do. But that’s adulthood for you.
It isn’t every day you get to see video of a Baluchitherium, so enjoy it now.
The Thunder King, Book No. 3 of my Bell Mountain series, was born of a dream I had, in which a Baluchitherium–the largest land mammal ever–figured dramatically. With a little extra shaping, that dream became the climax of the book.
Just imagine it… Just imagine!
As I type up my latest chapter set of The Temptation, King Ryons reminisces (if a boy so young can be said to reminisce) his encounter with a great beast bigger than anything else that ever walked the earth. I modeled this creature on the prehistoric giant in this video–Baluchitherium. Yeah, they call it “Indricotherium” now, but I don’t. The clip comes from Tim Haines’ Walking With Prehistoric Beasts, and it’s the closest we can come to seeing what King Ryons saw.
Those little Hyaenodons who want to eat the new-born calf–they were, in fact, almost as big as a rhinoceros. Ryons and Cavall met one of them, too. Ask him about it when you see him!
All of this fun stuff is in my Bell Mountain books; so if you haven’t read ’em yet… But this is not a commercial.
I love this video! Most if it’s taken from Tim Haines’ Walking with Prehistoric Beasts, and a lot of the animals in it have already appeared in my Bell Mountain books. If you’ve read them all, you’ll recognize quite a few of them–the mammoths that stampeded through Market City, the giant birds that stalk the plains around Lintum Forest, the big but inoffensive knuckle-bears, the Thunder King’s pet saber-toothed cat, the death-dog that almost made a meal of Ryons and Cavall: and of course the great beast that carried the boy king to his city.
Anyhow, except for what our own imaginations may provide, this is about as close as you can come to seeing these critters in the flesh. Enjoy it! And have a happy Labor Day.
Books don’t write themselves. You have to be there, writing them. This has been difficult for me, these past two weeks: doctor appointments, car inspection, really horrible weather, and so on.
Nevertheless, I plug away at it, trusting in the Lord to give me the story that He wants me to tell. Ten chapters of Book No. 11, The Temptation, are written. Fnaa, King Ryons’ double, has just gone down in history, although he doesn’t know it yet. Lord Orth is preparing for a long missionary trip into the Wallekki country. And if you haven’t read any of my Bell Mountain books so far, those last two sentences won’t make a lick of sense.
It has become necessary to re-visit Old Obann, the massive ruins across the river from the living city. It was the capital of Obann’s empire, destroyed by God’s wrath in the Day of Fire. It is not a nice place. I wouldn’t recommend messing about with it, but Lord Chutt, the usurper-in-chief, never listens to me. He has plans.
I won’t find out what happens next until I write it.
If you’ve been reading my Bell Mountain books, you know that Ryons, the boy king who was born a slave, has a guardian who never leaves his side: Cavall, the hound.
This is a picture of a dog who looks enough like Cavall to be him.
In The Thunder King, the hermit, Merry Mary, knowing that she will die soon, commands her dog to stay with the boy and protect him. A child wandering all alone in Lintum Forest needs a wise and valiant dog. Cavall has been with him ever since–to the rescue of the city of Obann, and all the way out to King Thunder’s fortress and back.
At this point I don’t know where they’ll be going next; but wherever it may be, they’ll go together.
The “terror bird” in this National Geographic video is very similar to the huge, flightless, killer birds that haunt the plains of Obann in my Bell Mountain books. One of them killed Martis’ horse and ate it, almost bagging Martis, too. Another was raised from a chick by Perkin the wanderer and is now a kind of bodyguard to King Ryons. Perkin named it Baby.
If you’ve ever wondered what these creatures look like, this video will do.
These are fearsome predators, and you don’t want to be walking alone on the plains when one of them is hungry. You probably don’t want to be riding, either: the bird can outrun most horses.
Not at all a poor guardian for a boy king with a lot of enemies!
After 39 years of marriage, I’ve finally hit on a test for true love. If you can answer this question “yes,” after 39 years, your marriage is founded on true love. And the question is:
When you think of your wife (or husband), do you ever think, “Gee, I wish we could’ve been kids together!”
Are you kiddin’? Like, as quick as boiled asparagus, baby! How I would have loved for us to play with wax dinosaurs, or my Erector set, or Monopoly, on a rainy summer afternoon. Or to lead her through the woods to Hangman’s Tree. Or to the throne-shaped stone in the woods, that I’ve salvaged, so many years later, to be King Ryons’ throne. You bet I’d like to share those things with Patty! And I’m sure I would’ve enjoyed her father’s running commentary on various radio programs (alas, her parents died before we met).
I am rather glad, though, that she never knew me between the ages of 15 and 25.