156,300+ Is Not The End

It is, however,  *this* end.   The last day in which what I’m doing could be called “first draft* rather than *revision*.    Somewhere between three and four in the morning, I finally got my heroes out of the low passage out into the air and light–battered, filthy, stinking, exhausted beyond exhaustion, half their original companions dead, and around them swirling those who had come a long way to save them…men and women they knew only by their clothes, and the expressions on their faces: awe for them, shame for themselves.

I’ve written a tiny bit more this morning because I had to get a few more details down.  It’s all very rough, this bit, and will need a lot of revision but right now I’m too tired.  I haven’t poured out 5000 words in a day in a long, long time (and since the day went way past midnight, which I just  typoed as mightnight, I can’t really call it “in ONE day.”

I may add to this post later, but right now (besides typing more typos than correct words) this is just to tell you that there’s more work to do, more words to be written, LOTS of words to come out, and you’ll hear more about this when my brain isn’t this fried.

Edit 1:

Brief nap taken, a bit of food & drink, now the next nap.  Recovering but have also added another 1000 words.   Ability to add a few is proof of recovery.  One alpha reader with strong military bent saw last night’s message and sent a reply I read when I came up from the first nap.  He says it’s good so…I’m not just blowing my own horn (much.)

14 thoughts on “156,300+ Is Not The End

  1. Hooray!

    Careful with that exhaustion revival potion. Just like the duke when Paks came to tell of the tower’s capture. Do not want to overdo it and kill the messenger out of gratitude and a desire to “get every detail”.

    Go get some much needed rest.

    1. Thnaks, Jace. With your approval then, I’ll mention that the commenter on the 5200 word burst, said it might be the best battle scene I’ve ever written. I wish I could see what a good film company could do with it, because in my mind’s eye it begs for actual visual depiction. Imagination has taken all the battles I’ve studied over the decades, shaken them up, recast in period terms, shaken *that* up (w/o the assistance of magical eagles or dragons, anything with “air support” gets tossed, naval battles are not generally useful for land battles w/o a lot of work) and then came up with this one. (I make no claim to having studied *all* the battles of any army, of course. The ones I have studied are a tiny minority of the fighting humans have done ever since the first one hid behind a rock to watch a second one bash a third one with a rock and imagined how they would do it instead.)

  2. I think that reset is at six or seven in the morning rather than midnight, when one is counting things like this.
    And writing until three or four does sound like a ‘mightnight’!
    I am glad to hear about all the words that wants to come out, and I am VERY glad to hear about recovery also.

    1. Thanks. I do typo a lot more than I used to (which makes texting harder, too…the algorithm in the phone is esp. bad at recognizing repeating letters as unintentional, and I have a periodic tremor or jerk in my hands that delivers doubled, even tripled, letters quite often. It’s a pain playing piano, too. Although as a way of improvising toward a new melody, it has potential. Not my interest right now.)

  3. I’m not a warrior and haven’t studied fighting. Your description of bashing someone with a rock reminded me of a conversation years ago. I live near a Native American tribe whose weapon of choice was a club. Some 15 years ago, when using a disarticulated skeleton to teach human anatomy I was holding the femur and after going over all the parts, I was sort of swinging it back and forth by the ball. One of the students said “that could make a good club”. So we got to talking about how a femur could be a good weapon… smacking someone in the head with the condyles could do some serious damage.

    1. Clubs of various kinds are very good weapons. Femur condyles quite effective. They do degrade with exposure to sun and critters that like to scavenge all the nutrition in them… Modern times, baseball bats are a favorite skull-cracker, but also T-posts, lengths of metal pipe, heavy sticks, etc. I have a bated hand-and-a-half sword–no edge, no point–but it would do to break a skull, neck, arm, lower leg if swung hard by someone stronger than me. The blunt weapons don’t have the glamour of the sharp and pointy…they’re brutal bashers, not elegant slicers or stickers…but humans have used them, and still use them, in close combat. A recent book by Louise Penny has a piece of firewood–a split from a larger section of tree–as the murder weapon, though the same murderer had a firearm in another scene. Other relatives of the club are household objects that have been used successfully for home defense, such as heavy pots and fry pans, heavy hardcover books, lamp stands, tennis rackets, golf clubs, hockey sticks. Humans are very good at finding impromptu, as well as planned, ways to kill others.

      I hope never to be in a situation where using any of my knowledge (skills have evaporated over time) is necessary, or thought to be necessary.

  4. Off topic: I’m just back from the Great Dorset Steam Fair (UK) which is the ultimate rally for preserved and restored traction engines, but so much more than that. After watching the stage show put on with one of the mechanical fairground (carnival) organs, I went for my lunch to the food marquee at the other end of the site, which happened to be next to the heavy horse arena; and there on parade was a team of six matched Belgians hitched to a light exhibition cart. (I know they were Belgians because the commentator said so on the PA.) Sorry, no photo to post.

    1. What a great day, Richard. I’m a fan of fairground organs, steam powered engines, and food marquees, in addition to heavy horse exhibitions, so I’m glad you had such a good outing. Belgians in the US are nearly all some shade of orange or gold (chestnut) with flaxen manes and tails and some white markings. They pretty much replaced Percherons as draft horses here, except for a few show hitches of Percherons and the Budweiser Clydesdales.

    2. I’d never seen a Belgian before, not even in picture let alone in the flesh, so it was their flaxen manes contrasting with their coats that compelled my attention.

  5. Yesterday on YouTube I listened to a flash mob playing the full Ravel’s Bolero, all 15 minutes 40 seconds of it, and immediately thought of you! Even the ragged edges of sound in a railway station made me think of your exciting galloping progress with this Paks book. And the sheer delighted smiles on the faces of those around mirror our delight and anticipation of it too.
    Thank you for taking time to share with us in the midst of your creative crescendo. I hope you’ll be able to give your hands – and yourself – a bit of a rest as you tackle revisions.

    1. Oh, I think I’ve also watched that flash mob. Earlier in the pandemic I went on a blitz of flash mobs around the world, looking for ones that cheered me up and energized me. I have three super-fave flash mobs…the Russian one that involved a ballet troupe helping celebrate their principal dancer’s wedding with “Puttin’ on the Ritz”, the Ode to Joy one in Spain, with the little kid in red that climbed a street sign to get a better view, and the one in Holland in a shopping mall, to celebrate Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch.” And a bunch that come in just below those three, scattered around the world.

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