"I want to see mountains, Gandalf, mountains! And then find some place quiet to write my book." - Bilbo Baggins
The Monster first entered my life in November 2017. It was a very intrusive monster, showing up when I least expected it, rousing me from sleep, and slowly creeping into my work, even when I beat it back.
After several visits with the Wizard of Healing, the Wizard at last identified the name of the Monster, a name which sounded like a violent sneeze. "But I'm not sure which spells would banish it yet. This is a rare monster, and very difficult to get rid of. I will send you to consult with more Wizards."
When the Monster decided to barge into my life on a massive scale, my job as a Keeper of Very Important Papers had to come to an end. The next week, my Dragon's job as a Manager of Very Important Business came to an end due to downsizing.
Here we were, Phoenix and Dragon, unemployed, with a great Monster living in my body. What was next?
There are three pillars to my writing philosophy: the beautiful, the painful, and the numinous. There are books that delight me, and books that engage me, but the books that truly move me are those which create in me that peculiar sensation of which C. S. Lewis spoke when he described The Lord of the Rings:
“Here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron. Here is a book which will break your heart."
That is what I aim for when I write: the beauty of the breaking and the nearness of things too sacred to be uttered.
Today, I write about Beauty as explored in the work of Stephen Lawhead.
"You take a chance on me? Okay, I'll take a chance on you too."
That's essentially what The Crossover Alliance and I said to each other back in 2016 when I signed the contract for The Crossover Alliance to publish my superhero novella WITHOUT A VISION. The Crossover Alliance was still a new publisher in a growing niche in publishing. Up until then, I had published only indie. We were both taking chances on each other.
But we were both passionate about the same vision. And that made it worth the risk.
I'm back! I know I've been gone for over a year, but that was because I was living the biggest adventure of my life to date. Ben Franklin said, " Either write something worth the reading or do something worth the writing." 2017--and 2018 so far--has been filled with "doing things" that are definitely worth the writing.
And every story is more interesting when told fantasy-style.
Listen while I tell the real-life tale of a dragon, a phoenix, magic wake-up juice, swords, and a treasure.
It was Ben Franklin who said, "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."
Sometimes it's a little hard to do both at once.
That's why I'm taking a break from HIDDEN FACE through May to blog about story, life, and all the behind-the-scenes things that create a story worth writing about.
And to ask you a really serious question.
Jossu ground his fists in his eyes and hissed through his teeth with frustration as the scream reverberated through the empty crimson-drenched corridor. Why couldn't anything be simple? Why couldn't the universe back you up when you were risking your life for others?
Then he turned and sprinted toward the sound.
* * * * *
Special Advisor Rast glanced toward the tracker on his wrist-com and noticed that the blinking dot on the map--Jossu--had increased the speed of its travel. He switched to camera mode and observed the jostling motion image captured by the microscopic camera concealed in the front of Jossu's uniform. Rast's earpiece shuddered with the scream toward which Jossu sprinted.
Hastily, Rast shifted the mode on his wrist-com. There was no time to be the soldier in the shadows.
Sorry! This past week got away from me, but I have the next episode of HIDDEN FACE scheduled for this coming Friday. If you've missed the last few episodes, binge-read them by clicking on the cover below:
Soon after Jossu's reconnaissance along the X-points, the tone sounded throughout the residential units to announce the mealtime. The Hadune emerged from their units, joining the methodical flow of Loystrek inhabitants. It was Jossu's first close observation of the Loystrek civilians and, somehow, they were not what he expected. Given his encounters with Loystrek officers, he had believed that the Loystrek were quiet, reserved, and emotionless, even in company with one another. Instead, he noted a young man flirting with a young woman, who blushed and laughed at the man’s words. Two Loystrek men strode together, conversing with the relaxed posture that reminded Jossu of his own people.
The children left their play with an eagerness that Jossu did not comprehend until he realized that the very rigid mealtimes and rationed food supply would inevitably train even the youngest consumer to prize food above play. The Kayso, while rationing their food carefully, never had such stringent rules with their children.