Lore du Jour ~ Manual labors

Photo by John K ~ Manual labors

A serial writer’s notebook ~ from the pen behind Lore of the Underlings, an episodic epic…

Yesterday I marked another year in my long career as a technical writer, 3.2 decades to be exact. And that is exactly why I write the Lore — to boot the computer and just have fun at something completely different… and human.

For instance, consider the following sample. You won’t find this in a manual!

“When we woke in the morning we all took stock of our new world and each of its wonders. The wood’s edge was lined by a dense stand of arbors — great stately hoaks full of cheek-filling haycorns and tall sweeping swillows as well — leavish trees willing to let us pass. They quickly gave way to a soft, mossy grove that welcomed bare feet and caressed the toes. From there the land rose in a slope just so to form a fine hillock for defenders to hold and for keeping a watch on the wide plain below. Atop of that hillock our peeled eyes found six sibling hillocks all around, each one a little less high and more round but blessed of green pastures for boven to graze with soft sweetgrass for pleasing cheese. And along these verdant, lazy fields flowed a forest lavish and alive, of wildflowers bright by honey hives, of fleshfruit hung low, fat nuts to try, with truffle root for Treasure Pie, and flocks of slow billit to catch and fry. For builder and maker it offered as much, in everwood lumber and limberwood trunks, or stone of all sorts for our roads, huts, and such.

“It seemed to some the Semperor himself had surely made this place — and made it just so to quench all thirst, to fill every want or need… even down to the cold, clear spring that we found just over the high hill’s crest, in a notch just right for settlement. And that’s where we set to making our Keep, by a babbling brook running east…”

~~~ The Lore is available in paperback, ebook, and audio formats ~~~

Lore du Jour ~ A Poe-etic twist

Photo by John K ~ Poe house

A serial writer’s notebook ~ from the pen behind Lore of the Underlings, an episodic epic…

Who’d like some Poe-etry today? Here’s a passage that I wrote this morning while drafting the next Lore episode:

The tall teen reflexively answered the elderman with a tip of his tousled head. But he hardly had time to feel comforted… not with the air of impending doom that suddenly seemed to fill the room. He couldn’t help but breathe it in. He coughed and his spirit choked on the pollution.

With a finger to the wind he traced the fearful atmosphere, only to find its source behind Minyon. Ashen faces. Hushed conversation. A somber herd or House of Ushered.

Some may think this just an excuse to post a spooky picture. They might be right!

~~~ The Lore is available in paperback, ebook, and audio formats ~~~

Lore du Jour ~ Bridge to anywhere

Photo by John K ~ Bridge to anywhere

A serial writer’s notebook ~ from the pen behind Lore of the Underlings, an episodic epic…

A bridge to anywhere,
That’s what the Lore is,
If you’ll lose your never mind.
Cross and it’s yourself you’ll find…

~~~ The Lore is available in paperback, ebook, and audio formats ~~~

Why I dare not watch Game of Thrones

Photo by John K ~ Dragons of North America

A serial writer’s notebook ~ from the pen behind Lore of the Underlings, an episodic epic…

Dear denizens of ice and fire, I’m here for your curiosity. And your sympathy… or pity. The last of our kind in flesh and bone who hasn’t joined in Game of Thrones.

Call me coward but I dare not.

Oh, I’ve been tempted many times. The books! Those shows! But I’ve resisted. Not willingly, though I’ve stayed strong.

Yes I want to watch, to read, despite my need to stay away. It’s a curse, a cross I bare. The sentence of a would-be author. The sacred oath of a sworn crusade.

And this is the crux of my tragic fate. Over the course of the past six years I’ve been plotting and writing my own epic series, a saga called Lore of the Underlings. Now, from what I know of Martin’s Song, my fledgling Lore differs in major ways (leaning more toward farce and poetry). Yet there’s enough commonality that I’ve lived in fear of that novel sin — plagiarizing something. Anything. Even without evil intention. No matter how minor the detail.

I’d end up penned in some storied jail or literary dungeon. At least in my own mind if not for real.

And I have a vignette to prove my point. An accident and near-disaster that happened to me recently. Really. Here’s a little summary…

One night not too long ago. Channel surfing. HBO. Fair-haired maiden leading men. Speaking some tongue. Unenslaving them.

“Hey, I was planning someone just like her! How can I unsee this character?!”

Darn you, enchanting Mother of Dragons! Well played, masterful Game of Thrones!!

But I do envy you, fans of this world and the words of George R. R. Martin. I pray I may join your ranks one day. I just need to write a few more pages — two or three thousand anyway…

~~~ The Lore is available in paperback, ebook, and audio formats ~~~

Lore du Jour ~ War of the Proses

Photo by John K ~ Acadian window

A serial writer’s notebook ~ from the pen behind Lore of the Underlings, an episodic epic…

One of the best things about writing a big, broad fantasy-fiction saga is the freedom that it gives the writer to go off and invent — zombies, dragons, boy wizards, you name it. (Alas, the Lore has none of those… yet.) But I’m not just talking about exploring strange new worlds or seeking out new life and new civilizations. It’s how we boldly go that really excites me.

Language can be a trek of its own. A river that ebbs and flows on its way. A battle of prose and poetry.

In the opening episodes of the Lore, poetry gradually wins the day. At least for a while, anyway. By using ever more lyrical language, these tales evoke the childlike wonder of wayfarers in an unknown land.

Here’s a sample from Episode 4 that describes the tall, young stranger named Vaam:

Maid of mirage she was. Shy by trials yet untold. Still statuesque even as she sat.

Absently she closed her eyes and quietly began to sing. She sang a beautiful, haunting song… the spirit of a shadow’s dream… a shapeless, enrapturing melody that wrapped the mind in mystery… the echo of some ancient lullaby calling from deep inside…

But all of that’s about to end!

In the episode that I’m writing right now, a more spartan character takes control. Averse to verse, he changes course and the fortunes of war go to prose again.

Still, the poets needn’t worry. My guess is that you’ll be back with a fury. And before very long.

~~~ The Lore is available in paperback, ebook, and audio formats ~~~