September 2007 Review

Writing News

Another late review this month, but never mind as not much has happened. I have spent most of my weekends doing homework for my Doctorate. Its my last year, and that means more writing to do, but not the narrative science-fiction kind that I prefer. Having said that, I haven't done much of that kind of writing either. I like to think that I am just biding my time, plotting my next story. Most of the time I am just being lazy, but there is some truth in the plotting scenario, mainly because two stories I have been contemplating for some time have at last gelled into something more solid.

One story I have had in my head for some time, one I have mulled over and changed; the plot, characters, settings and things, until I got it more or less how I think I like it. This is usually just the starting point. When and if I write it, it could and probably will wind its own merry way to sort of the conclusion I had in mind. It might even tread the path on the way I had originally planned - or it might not. Anyway, that's one story, I think it is going to be called “Helena.” The other story is one that I have always intended to write, but haven't got around to, mainly because I wasn't sure how it was going to work, but now I think I do. This story is based on characters I have already used and who I am particularly fond of. This is “The Sullenfeld Oracle” which follows on after “The Tale of the Comet” and deals with what has happened to people afterwards. I may have mentioned it before. The main character in this story, although there are a few familiar characters involved, is Bey-Jai, who is the Oracle mentioned in the title. Bey-Jai you say? But isn't she dead? Shot in “The Tale of the Comet?” No, no! Shot she may have been, but dead and buried she was not. Belongs to the Sullenfeld she does, for the services she gave at Erring Bridge.

After the battle at Erring Bridge in “The Return of the Sixpack,” Tesambala makes a promise to Bey-Jai for her help in the battle:

“Hear me Bey-Jai, seed of Jai-Soo and Emile Collivot. I, seed of Ann-Wa and Edred the Mighty, greet you and thank you. Today you saved the Sullenfeld from death. You brought us from defeat to victory. You gave of your own blood and sweat for our cause. We will not forget you. When your time comes, when Bey-Jai breathes no more and only the spirit of Dominique Collivot remains, then we will come for you, I will come for you, and you will take your place beside our Great Lord and his Queen.”

In return Bey-Jai promises to help the Sullenfeld if they should need her again, and Tesambala grants her “a swift and easy death. One with little pain and damage.” It is a funny sort of gift, one that only an Androktone could truly apprieciate. Anyway, it is a prophecy that comes true when Bey-Jai is shot by Prince Frederick in “The Tale of the Comet.” What isn't in the web version of this last story is the recovery of Bey-Jai by Tesambala and the Bretheren of the Mighty as she promised. I did think about putting it in, but I don't like to change the web files as they are dated when they were uploaded at Brinkster, my hosting provider, and I also wasn't sure whether there would be a sequel at the time. The book versions of my stories sometimes differ from their original web versions anyway. I hope the changes are for the better. Some of the changes are essential, such as continuity and spelling. Others are additions or improvements that I feel clarify things. Some of the stories were written out of order, so to speak, so the continuity changes are usually the biggest. And this is the main reason for the omission: “The Return of the Sixpack” was written after “The Tale of the Comet.”

I always liked Bey-Jai, and particularly the relationship between her and Chen-Soo. And now that I know the end of “The Sullenfeld Oracle” I will be able to write it and get to know them both again, finally closing out all the last little loop holes and story trails.

For your delectation and delight this month I have an image of Blue-Tack and Mai-Zen “working out” on Monday mornings, as was their habit, that I intend to use on the cover of “The Return of the Sixpack.” See you next month.


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