Finished Chapter 3 of The Seventh Law of Power and am well into Chapter 4. Marta has to destroy a cursed immortal monster with the help of a snarky raven and a dead girl. It’s almost—but not quite—like doing it alone. Except at this point she has five of the seven laws, which means she’s never alone, or at least a long way from helpless.
Wrote another Yamada story last week. A flash piece that I’m probably not going to expand, since I rather like it the way it is. Likely I’ll fit it into the collection when I’m ready to do that. Aside from that there are two more full length Yamada stories in the pipeline. Assuming they’re both published as I intend, it’ll be a year before both will be free to republish, so the Yamada collection is at least a year off. I’m planning ahead.
Pretty good considering I had to go into the hospital on Friday for a minor procedure…which took two days of prep. Let’s just say everything’s fine and I’m glad I did it but I’m also very glad it’s over.
I’m running so far behind now that I thought about saving this for Monday, but I need to get my act together. Anyway, the new Beneath Ceaseless Skies went live yesterday. Here’s the ToC:
The Hummingbird Temple—C.C. Finlay
Uzumaki of the Lake—Richard Parks
Bound by Sorrow—Maurice Broaddus
Additional stories go live April 2nd, including an audio version of Uzumaki. I’ll just note for those who keep track of these things that “Uzumaki of the Lake” is the first new Yamada Monogatari story since The Emperor in Shadow nearly four years ago.
Running late again because of a medical appointment in Cooperstown. It’s a bout an hour and a half away from here. The drive is pleasant enough, but I’ve managed to get the next appointment scheduled a little closer to home.
Oddly enough, though I’ve been here going on five years, this is the first time I’ve seen a frozen lake. Ponds, yes. Lakes, no. Lake Otsego is mostly iced over, but Summit Lake was completely iced over. First Reader suggested we go ice skating. Fortunately, she wasn’t serious. First, neither of us knows how. Second, no way the ice was safe. It was over forty degrees today. A bit warm for February, never mind ice skating.
I finished the rough draft of the new Yamada story yesterday. First Reader wondered if it was really the first chapter of a new novel. It isn’t. Needs some revision for unity, clearly, but it is a short story. Or will be by the time I fix a few structural issues. Sometimes a story almost writes itself and comes out fine with only minor adjustments. Here, I was trying to do something a little different, which requires more attention to detail. Like the old saying goes, “Writing is re-writing.” Anyway, need to get it done soon because I have two pieces of flash due, one for a local anthology and another for a group reading at the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts on the 20th.
Then back to the not-Yamada book.
I spent a fair chunk of yesterday going over the editor’s line edits for the second new Yamada story, “A Minor Exorcism.” Rereading it reminded me of how much the character’s life has changed since the events of The War God’s Son and The Emperor in Shadow.
Now he’s got a wife he adores, three daughters, an adopted son, an estate with no fewer than six villages and their people who are all his responsibility. Sort of makes it hard to just tear off chasing ghosts and monsters any time he wants. His situation has changed and so his perspective has changed.
In short, Yamada has changed. He still does what he does best, though lately he’s not looking for monsters—the monsters are finding him.
I can understand the appeal of books and stories where there is simply one adventure after another with people who are just the same in book 1 as they are in book 4 or 5. They’re known and comfortable. You always know what you’re getting. Yet we all know life doesn’t work that way. Situations and people both change. Living does that.
Character or not, Yamada is alive to me. And that means change.
All right. The new Yamada story is completed, beta- read, revised, and sent out into the world. Working title is “A Minor Exorcism” and it runs just under 5000 words. I’ll post when I know where or if it’s going to be published before it winds up in the new collection.
Which I now think will happen, if not anytime immediate. I’ve been going over the list of uncollected Yamada stories, and they shake out like this:
- The Tiger’s Turn
- Three Little Foxes
- The Sorrow of Rain
- Uzumaki of the Lake
- A Minor Exorcism
Clearly, not quite enough for a proper collection. I’ve got at least one more in mind, after that we’ll see. The first collection, Demon Hunter, contained ten, and I’d like to match that. If the delay is too long, I’ll do a short collection of six. I’ll also likely divide the stories into two sections, those occurring before the events in The Emperor in Shadow , and those following. Yamada’s life has changed, and the stories reflect that.
I’ll also likely have more than one mock-up of the eventual cover. Maybe I’ll post those here when I have them and ask for feedback. Some of you out there have been reading Yamada from the beginning, so you should have at least some input. Fair?
Time to get back to work.