Let’s Just Relax

A red barn and a wheat field ready for harvest near Silverton, Oregon Stock  Photo | Adobe Stock

No, no, no! I am not going to write up any politics today, I am not going to write up any nooze–and wit you well (as Sir Thomas Malory would say), there’s plenty I could write about. I am going to go out and have a cigar, work a little on my book, come back in to watch “Godzilla vs. Megalon,” and then sit down to our Thanksgiving dinner.

Judah the Maccabee, fighting for the survival of his nation, insisted on resting on the Sabbath: he would not do battle on that day unless he were attacked.

We fight for America. Maybe for the whole Western civilization, what’s left of it. But this day at least we set aside for thanksgiving to God.

Coming Un-Stuck

These past few days I’ve been stuck for a means to develop the plot of my current book, The Witch Box. I had the climax–two of them, in fact!–but I wasn’t getting there and I feared the story was bogging down. So I re-read the last 50 pages or so, and was greatly reassured by what I found: the story doesn’t suck.

But how to reach those climaxes? I could only read and think and pray over it.

And I think I’ve been shown the way.

This will require some pretty fancy stepping on my part. I run two risks: the book might turn out to be too short, or it might wind up getting padded–mustn’t let that happen!

So I think I’ll resort to a tactic used by both Cervantes and Sir Thomas Malory centuries ago–and pray it works for me.

Back in the saddle on Monday!

The Nooze Is Getting to Me

DesertPogonAkuma on Twitter: "im tired… "

The sun’s out, for a change; but that last nooze post, on goings-on in the Buffalo public schools, took something out of me. I mean, we are in so much trouble, so deep in trouble, so totally surrounded by trouble, it makes my head spin.

I wish I were working on another book, but that has to wait until the spring. Somewhere in the unknown west, a huge armada is preparing to invade Obann. The city of Durmurot has no way to defend itself. I do know what’s going to happen with that armada, but I don’t dare breathe a word of it–that would be a major spoiler. And then there’s a looming crisis in Lintum Forest to be dealt with: the accursed past has reached out to the present.

It seems to me that we have nothing left but our prayers, and no one to turn to but God Our Father. No one left to defend us but Him. Keeping the faith, these days, is not easy. Cranking up my morale so I can write every day–well, that’s not easy, either. I appreciate your prayers.

I think of Sir Thomas Malory, writing the Morte D’Artur while he was banged up in a medieval prison on charges which have remained obscure to this day. He had a load to carry. And I tell myself, If he can do it, so can I. I, at least, don’t have to worry about the kinds of punishments they used to hand out in the 15th century.

Let’s pray the leftids don’t go quite that far. Pray often. Pray hard.

‘Bell Mountain’… and Mars

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Remarking that for some reason my character, Tughrul Lomak (one of King Ryons’ chieftains), reminds her of Tars Tarkas in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Martian novels, Heidi has asked to what extent, if any, those books by ERB have influenced my Bell Mountain books.

Tars Tarkas is a green Martian, a member of a race that has brutalized itself by practicing communalism–especially the communal raising of children: these guys take “It takes a village” to its logical extreme. But he has broken the law by loving his own daughter, which has made him capable of sympathy, friendship, and self-sacrifice. But he’s one of my favorite characters in the series, so thanks, Heidi, for mentioning him. Good old Tars Tarkas!

As to your question: Edgar Rice Burroughs has been one of my favorite authors since I first opened a paperback copy of Pellucidar back in high school. Over time, the Mars novels have become my favorite Burroughs stories. It’d be very unusual if I weren’t influenced by them.

But I’m old enough now to have learned not to try to imitate other writers, except in very general ways.

From Edgar Rice Burroughs I’ve learned everything I know about juggling sub-plots without dropping any, pacing, and moving the story continually forward, not letting it bog down anywhere along the way. No one ever did those things better than ERB.

Another thing I’ve learned from his example is that when the imagination wants to rip, let her rip! This is especially evident in one of my all-time favorites stories, The Chessmen of Mars, in which he created a place that’s weird and eerie even by Martian standards–and made it totally believable.

And I think it’s obvious to Tarzan fans that Wytt owes some of his inspiration to Tarzan’s easily-frightened little monkey, Nkima.

As a storyteller, I’m always on the lookout to learn from other storytellers. Self-education never stops. Something of all my favorite authors has gone into all of my Bell Mountain books. Sir Thomas Malory, Homer, The Mabinogion; Burroughs, Agatha Christie, Walter R. Brooks, H.R.F. Keating–and everyone else whose work I’ve enjoyed. Not forgetting Ross McDonald, who taught me how to write sentences that make themselves easy to read.

I could go on like this all day. But to sum it up–

If you want to be a writer… read!