Conferring with Susan, my editor, this morning, her advice to me was to top off my sanity tank by letting go of the nooze and working on my book all day. I’ve been doing that, and I feel saner already.
My current villain, Ysbott the Snake, fleeing a well-earned execution, has found a young girl named Qeqa living all alone in a strange, uninhabited sector of Lintum Forest. How has she managed to survive? She claims she’s been protected by “gnomes” who are only visible when they choose to be. It’s got to be a lie–but how else could she be living there? She’s strong and healthy, well-fed… and she just might turn out to be a more dangerous character than Ysbott himself.
You can’t spend much time with the Lady of the Lake without encountering a pre-Christian tradition among the Celtic peoples that certain lakes, ponds, and bogs were sacred places endowed with spiritual energy. Celtic chieftains threw valuable items into those pools as sacrifices. Kings sometimes sacrificed their finest swords.
Might Arthur’s sword, Excalibur, have been recovered from such a place? That would certainly explain why people believed the sword to have special qualities. I think that might resonate with anyone familiar with Japan’s sword tradition.
Well, the landlord’s done mowing the lawn, so I’ll go back outside for another session with my book.
In spite of multitudinous distractions, I’ve finished writing the first three chapters of my new book, Behold! I don’t know where I’m going, but that’s nothing new. I may need a better title by and by, but none has yet presented itself to me.
Meanwhile, Jack and Ellayne have seen glyptodons (see illustration) on their way to Durmurot, Ebed is aboard a ship from the Lost Continent, the new government of Obann City is trying to clean up the mess left by Lord Chutt’s usurpation, Ysbott the Snake is on his way to further mischief, and the old rat who lives under the baroness’ kitchen is having premonitions of bad times to come.
This will be Bell Mountain No. 14–who would’ve thought it?–and we’re no editing No. 13, The Wind from Heaven. No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever, is available from the Chalcedon Foundation (www.chalcedon.edu/store/ ) and, in Kindle format, from amazon.com.
It makes a welcome break from nooze. Which is a good reason for you to buy it.
I haven’t seen this animal in Obann yet–Doedecurus, a giant South American armadillo with a tail club. But I suspect it’s only a matter of time before one or more of them turns up.
Finally! I sat outside and wrote a scene in my new book–which has only just started, and only God knows where the story’s going to take me. Indeed, after I post this, I think I’ll go back and write some more.
Hot tip heard on the radio this morning:
Want to keep your face mask/badge of submission disinfected? Nothing could be easier. Just leave it in your car (I’ve hung mine from the rearview mirror) and let the intense heat that builds up in there kill the germs. Be sure to shut your windows.
And now, back to Obann City for Lord Chutt’s treason trial.
Okay, I’ve gotten my feet wet, written the opening scene for Bell Mountain No. 14. The working title is Behold!, but that could change. For the time being, I’m back in Lintum Forest with Helki the Rod, encountering a strange creature that wasn’t there before. The picture, somebody’s reconstruction of the dinosaur Ornitholestes, is a good approximation of what Helki saw.
Roald Amundsen, overeager to be the first to the South Pole (which of course he ultimately did), launched his trek some weeks too early and had to retreat back to his base, driven back by bad weather. They get a lot of that in Antarctica. I hope I haven’t repeated his mistake, embarking on a new book before I’m completely ready. But it takes time to write these, I have to work outside when I’m writing fiction, and I need to finish before the cold weather returns. Any prayers for my success will be appreciated.
What’s the secret of the Abnak girl, Qeqa, who claims to be allied with beings that only she can see? Will the new government in Obann City be able to cope with the challenges of a shaken world? Is there an evil empire in the distant west, across the sea, preparing to invade Obann?
Does life in The Great Quarantine make you dull and listless? Are you having trouble getting things started? Find yourself forgetting to do things that you ought to have done hours ago?
One day is just like another, and maybe you lose track of what day it is. Some perverse fascination draws you to the nooze, which is just the same as the nooze you saw yesterday and you can’t make head nor tail of it anyhow. If you don’t wear a face mask, you’ll die! Face masks are completely useless! And every position in between. You can’t get an authoritative answer because they’reall authoritative answers! If you don’t like what one expert says, it’ll only take you a few minutes to find another expert who says the opposite.
Waiting for the next mandate to drop.
Hang it all, I’ve got to write a book! And finish it before cold weather sets in. If you think that’s easy, try it sometime.
But it would be less hard without this onerous quarantine.
I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but here in New Jersey, this May and last May have been unseasonably cold and rainy. My own blog archives tell me so. And so much for Global Warming.
When I wrote The Throne, I was able to start writing it in April and finish in late October. Last year, I couldn’t start The Wind from Heaven until May 24, and I finished in early November on the last day–really, the very last–I possibly could have finished, before the bad weather set in until the next spring. Although actually it’s still here.
I’ve been waiting for a sign to start writing the next book, but all I’ve got so far is an Ornitholestes sneaking around the underbrush in Lintum Forest. Is that what the Lord wants me to use as a starting-point? Can it work?
Well, I’m running short of time, so I might as well take the first step and see if it leads to a second. Say a little prayer for me.
He could only describe it by saying it was like actually meeting one of the characters he thought he’d made up–Gandalf the Grey, the wizard. If you haven’t read the book, trust me: this is not the sort of person anyone encounters in real life.
Once you’re able to see the Christianity in Tolkien’s work, you can’t unsee it.
Everyone who works in Christian fantasy owes him a debt.
When you’re writing a series of novels, you never know when a minor character might grow into a major one.
Lord Chutt entered my Bell Mountain series as the only member of Obann’s high council who survived the siege of the city–because he ran away before the enemy could surround it.
We next find him in the north as an independent warlord who, when he learns that the city was saved, after all, and Obann now has a king, wishes only to re-establish the old order, without a king. But Chutt’s governing passion is a sordid lust for wealth; and he sates this by taking his northern army to the Golden Pass and taking possession of the Thunder King’s gold. Suddenly he is the richest man in Obann.
By then he had become a major character. Returning to the city, he separates it from the king and, step by step, with his vast wealth as his source of strength, appoints a new ruling council, hand-picked by himself.
It might have ended there; but as Chutt becomes increasingly fascinated, and then obsessed, with the greatness of Obann’s Empire long ago, he loses control of his ambition. From this flow many untoward events. And I have to stop here for fear of spoilers. Suffice it to say his obsession degenerates into madness. It has taken eleven books to get him there.
I hope this thumbnail sketch will make you want to read these books. They’re full of characters who entered the story as walk-ons and, well… stayed. And grew.
Sort of like real people, only with more adventurous and hazardous careers.