Lore du Jour ~ Dark and stormy night

Photo by John K ~ Stormy night

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

I was writing some Lore the other day when I realized that I’d just penned a lyrical variation of that famous opening line:

It was a dark and stormy night…

Of course mine falls far short of the epic original from the British novel Paul Clifford by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, circa 1830. What doesn’t?! But here it is for your consideration nonetheless (from my current draft of Episode 8):

“By then the sky was crying, our town drowned in shadow, mourning the moon. Worry cloaked the folk I met. They scurried, in no mood to talk. Not about Treygyn anyway. No one had seen him. The buzz was invasion. The reason they swarmed for home sweet home.

“Their beeline thinned into a stream and then nothing. The signs became clear. He was not to be found.

“So forlorn, alone, and soaked to the bone, I headed home too to my room at the Inn. But I’d no sooner fallen in bed than I heard them…”

What do you think?

[Photo: National Harbor, Washington, DC, USA]

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

Lore du Jour ~ Shook-up Shakespeare

Photo by John K ~ Stage

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

I’ve been writing a new Lore episode that includes passages from a teen girl’s secret diary. Unbeknownst to her, one of these snippets is a mash-up of famous quotes from three different Shakespeare plays. Can you name them?

Diary, wherefore am I me? To be wed or not to be… A winter of honor but discontent, or glorious summer with this son of Yin…

My apologies to the Bard! I hope this doesn’t stir up any ghosts…

[Photo: The Crane Estate, Ipswich, MA, USA]

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

Lore du Jour ~ Pig in a poke

Photo by John K ~ Pig in a poke

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

Folks, here’s a fresh-poured snort of Lore involving a couple of piggy innkeepers, an ambitious pair of tavern owners with more than grog and pub grub in mind.

To be sure, they’re archetypal characters. I bet you can think of a few progenitors. Even musical ones (think Les Mis).

Charlatans. Snake-oil salesmen. Grifters. What would we ever do without them?!

“Wife, I have a scheme today.”

“Husband, you must have read my mind.”

“Our chump’s come in.”

“We just need to scam him.”

“And leave this lowlife lot behind.”

“I’m thinking a con job should do the trick.”

“A shell game…”

“Or hoax…”

“Like pig-in-a-poke.”

“Classic.”

“Then we sneak up the social ladder.”

“And break into high society.”

“Slick!”

“First class, here we come at last!”

[Photo: Parc Omega – Montebello, Quebec, Canada]

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

Lore du Jour ~ Leaves of grass

The photography of Michael Leacher ~ Leaves of grass

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

In this week’s Lore, a teen girl’s diary, her book of secrets, has found its way into evidence as Exhibit A of an epic trial. Even worse, the heartless magistrate has ordered she read it aloud in court.

Only the bravery of her sister saves her the brunt of his iron fist and blunts the blades, her book’s leaves of grass, from cutting…

Xoxo and Qoqo traded looks. The older Yo girl snatched the book of secrets. Then she faced the music.

“It’ll be okay sis. I’ve got this.”

Qoqo fanned the leaves of grass and found a passage three dawns past. In fact, it opened on its own.

She blushed to be in Xoxo’s head. “Forgive me my sister,” she said. Then she read…

“Sunnyday, Lune 21st ~ Good morning, dear diary! It’s finally here. Eve’s eve. Can you even believe it…”

Perhaps not what Walt Whitman had in mind.

[Photo by my friend Michael Leacher: A field in the wilds of Maine]

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

Lore du Jour ~ Overlord

Photo by John K ~ Overlord

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

Here’s another enigmatic dispatch from the land of the Lore, this time set in a World War II context. Sad to say, the oppression and inhumanity ridiculed in this farce are recurring themes, even in our own day. In fact and in fiction, we must not forget.

God bless the defenders of freedom. We would be silent without you.

Now here’s that passage from the Lore‘s upcoming Episode 8, “The Trial”:

Fyryx approached the stand extending his hand. “Herr Yin! Your papers please!”

Engyn’s knees wobbled. His wife Hoona sobbed. “We don’t want no trouble your honor,” he said and glared at his prodigal son.

Treygyn cast his brown eyes down to the ground. He could not bear the stare.

“Papers Herr Yin. I won’t ask again.”

Hoona frantically pawed through her worn old sow’s ear purse. She shook like a leaf. To her relief, she found the dog-eared green card she was looking for. “H-h-here d-d-dear…” The paper was warped and stained with tears.

Her husband took the card and squeezed her hand. Then Engyn surrendered it.

“We’re just simple oilers, commissar. Instigators and traitors we ain’t.”

“I’ll be the judge of that,” spat Fyryx.

The grand inquisitor scrutinized the tiny document. He turned it over.

Then he studied the Yins themselves.

They were plain folk to be sure. Tattered. On the dirty side. And short — descendants of Guur-syr or some other sector of the south.

Their skin though was the envy of many, rich and tanned as the land itself.

“Businessman are you?”

“Family farmer.”

“With two sons?”

“Uh, yeah.”

“Where’s the other one?”

Engyn pointed an oily mitt at a boy on the far side of the tent. The jittery kid was the spitting image of Treygyn, but in miniature.

“Trogyn. Please sir — he’s eleven.”

“So?”

“Tro is innocent! Leave him out of it!” Brother Trey wailed. He looked up and upset. “Mini me’s just a twerp, your worship.”

Fyryx ripped the card to shreds.

“Everything seems to be in order here mein Herr…”

Bits hit the floor.

“But you’ve still got some ‘splainin’ to do.”

Engyn and Hoona knew what was coming.

“How is it that you Yins were ever permitted to parent? Or licensed to spawn?”

Neither one dared to answer him.

“It’s time we had a law, a test, to weed the bad seed out. You mutants…

“If I were master of this race…”

Engyn mustered the guts to interrupt and mount a brief defense. A little resistance. His finest minute.

“Overlord, we’ve done our best with the lads.”

“W-we have.”

“Not good enough by half…”

[Photo by John K ~ Overlord]

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