I may have mentioned recently that I managed to actually finish the first draft of a book. Well it’s out with my Alpha Readers at the moment and getting relatively good report. So I’m happy…
So, as I mentioned, I’ve gone back to working on something in Quargard. “The Ballad of Pigsnout the Wanderer” started out as a picture actually. I was mucking around with clay and various bits of stick and a picture appeared out of the impressions. It looked like a man with a pig’s head and the name Pigsnout the Wanderer appeared in my mind… don’t you love it when that happens?
At that point in time, Autochthons hadn’t appeared in “The Tower and The Eye” stories yet, so I snapped a pic and filed the idea away for a later. After Virrinel appeared in TTATE Book 4, I looked at the picture again. A snippet of poetry occurred to me:
“Gather ye round and list ye right well,
For on this cold night, a tale I shall tell.
Of adventure and monsters,
Of ships that set sail.
From the far south,
Bringing silk by the bale.
‘Twas an eve dark and cold; one just like this,
The scent of the sea permeated the mist.
And into the harbour,
All battered and torn,
“The Wandering Lady”,
On the last tide was bourne.
She bumped into the wharf; her decks stained with blood,
Her sails ripped in two; her lines mostly cut.
No hands alive,
No bodies to tell.
The fate of the crew,
Or the passengers as well…”
For a long time, that was all I had. I was too interested in getting TTATE finished to play with any of the side stories that kept popping up. However, after I drew a revised map of Quargard, a country called Giranath drew my eye and I went back to the poem I’d written. I couldn’t, for the life of me, continue it. So I left it as the snippet and started telling the story as prose.
The hooded figure slipped over the side of the ship and down onto the wharf, trotting through the obstacle course of crates and barrels fast enough to blur in the gloom.
Clambering up a rotting ladder from the wharf to the harbourside, the figure made a whimpering noise as one of the rungs broke beneath its feet, dropping it down a foot and throwing the voluminous robe it wore wide open as the figure scrambled to reach the next rung.
“You all right, mister?” a voice called from the stone harbour above the figure.
The figure looked up to find a hand extended down toward it. “I’m fine.”
“You look like you gots a bit battered there.” The boy’s face on the other end of the arm smiled, a gold tooth glinting in the low light. “I’ll shows you to a nice inn where you can rest up.”
“You mean you’ll take me to a dive where you and your mates can get me drunk and rob me blind.” The figure muttered.
“I’m ‘urt. I’d never dream o’doing such a thing.” The smile drooped and the boy looked thoughtful. “Does I know you?”
“I very much doubt it.” The figure finished its climb and the hood turned to look toward the boy. “You can tell me something though.”
The boy extended his right hand out, palm up and tapped the fingers into the palm impatiently. “I don’t give in-fore-may-shun for nowt, mister.”
The figure fished around inside his robe and brought out a silver coin. “This had better be good and truthful, mind.”
“What’s you wanna know?” the boy eyed the coin greedily.
“Where’s the Duke right now?” the figure rolled the coin across the back of its fingers.
“He jus’ got back from Giran this aft’noon.” The boy grinned. “He scattered gold coins as he rode in with his new bride, so he’s probably up at the palace givin’ her a good beddin’ in.”
The figure grunted and dropped the coin into the boy’s hand. “Well done. Now get out of here and be thankful that I don’t give you a stripe for trying to lure me.”
The boy’s eyes bulged when the figure flashed a silver badge with a ruby and emerald flag on it. He bowed deeply to the figure, spun on one foot and ran in the opposite direction as fast as his legs could carry him.
The figure put the badge away, glanced around at the buildings around it and started walking up hill.
Once I’d written this piece, I knew who I was writing about and how to explain what happened on the ship. Between this, the timeline I use to keep my world in shape and the maps this story created, I know that I can keep it going. So now I’m back on the keyboard and writing…
O’course, it doesn’t help when I keep getting interrupted – the baby insists that she needs her nappy changed and the older two have this strange craving for food every few hours, can’t they see that I’m busy?
*wanders away muttering about kids and their odd habits like eating and sleeping.*
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While I’ve got you here, can I mention something? Well, its like this –
This particular book is currently on Permafree on Smashwords and 99c on Amazon… I’d love it if you picked it up and had a read – don’t forget to review it if it moved you in any way, wherever you get it from!