Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Polishing Will Reveal The Imperfections In Your Word Gems

   On the one hand, I can say I've made no progress because there are no shiny new words gracing the pages of my notebook. On the other hand, I can say I've made some progress because I've taken words that have become dull and spent time polishing them. Unfortunately, you can polish garbage all you want and still end up with garbage.
   Sometimes you just have to scoop up all the words from the page, put them back in their box and go find another box with new words. There are numerous reasons why some of those words no longer shine. Maybe your story has taken an unexpected turn and the foreshadowing you put in no longer applies to the story. Or the relationship between your characters takes a turn that enhances the story but makes earlier conversations seem out of place. Bottom line is you need a solid foundation of polished stones to hold up those sparkly gems you're so proud of.
   The other thing I've been spending time on is a book cover for my novella. I can't afford to hire someone to design a cover for me and also be able to pay a professional editor. To me, editing is more important than a fancy cover. I've been going to different online sites trying to come up with something that looks good enough not to scare readers away. One of my online friends has taken pity on me and volunteered to put a cover together. That is a huge load off of my mind.

   This week is another short scene from my fan/fic. Rand and Perrin come together after being apart for over a year. Thanks for reading.

   A hush fell over all who were gathered there. The two men stood no more than five feet apart and stared into each other’s eyes. One set the color and hardness of blue-grey gemstones, the other, golden soft like those of a wolf. The air around them began to warp and shift as if the Pattern was unsure whether to keep them in the waking world or project them into the World of Dreams. Min fell to the ground, blinded by the light and the swarm of images swirling around the two ta’veren. The others stood frozen as if time had come to a standstill.

   “He almost had me, Perrin.”

   “I know. I was there.”

   Rand frowned and his eyes narrowed as he studied the man in front of him who had once been his best friend. “What do you mean?”

   “I was there on top of Dragon Mount, along with the spirits of every wolf, alive or dead in the Wolf Dream. Somehow the wolves knew that the fate of the world hinged on the outcome of your fight. They knew that if you won, they would have a chance to fight in the Last Battle. If you lost, they would be lost as well. I don’t know what it was like for you, but in the Dream it was as if all the darkness in the world was poured out there. The souls of the damned screamed in the wind and lightning bolts fell like rain. It was all I could do to keep from being swept away and destroyed. The darkness flowed around and through you until you were no longer visible. I thought all was lost until a crack formed in the black shell and a ray of pure light shown through. More and more cracks formed until the entire shell exploded in a flash of intense light and a column of light poured up into the sky. You vanished along with the storm and we knew you had overcome the dark. What I would like to know is how.”

   “The hope of life Perrin. I realized that as long as men can hope for love and a better future, they have a reason to live. That is what he wants to take away from us. If he can remove all hope from men, they will have no reason to live. I also allowed Min, Elayne and Aviendha to bond me. The love that flows through the bond from them was enough to give me an anchor to cling to. Without that I would have been lost.”

   A smile broke out of the confines of Perrin’s beard as he laughed at his old friend. “And here I thought you knew more about women than I did. Light, Rand! I can barely handle one woman who loves me. What are you going to do with three?”

   “Me? You were always the one who knew how to talk to the girls. I figure they will probably tell me how I am to handle them,” Rand smiled back.

   “You have no idea how much it lifts my spirit to see you smile again. The smile fits the boy I grew up with but your eyes and smell tell me a different story. I sense ageless wisdom, power and strength that does not belong to the simple sheepherder I knew. Who are you?”

   “I have always been him and he has always been me, Perrin. I finally grew up to be the man I used to be. I am Rand al’Thor, the Dragon.”

   Rand took a moment to study the man standing before him. Did Perrin realize just how much he had changed?

   “And who are you, my old friend? When last we met, you were a simple blacksmith desperately trying to deal with the changes in his world and in himself. The person I see before me now is a king the likes of which this world has never seen. I can sense the Pattern twisting and wrapping around you in an attempt to conform to your will. However, behind that powerful exterior I see a pit filled with pain and loss, some of which is connected to your hammer. Who did you lose, Perrin?”

   Perrin squeezed his eyes shut trying not to let the tears show as Rand’s words reverberated through his soul. The pain of loss was still too fresh. Taking the hammer from his shoulder, he held it out before him and opened his eyes to stare at it.

   “The first rule of a blacksmith is that you must understand all of the parts and how they work together before you can create something useful. That applies not only to the making of this hammer but to myself as well. The one whose soul is forged into this hammer helped me understand the parts of me that needed to be forged to become the man I needed to be. The first time I heard the term ‘the Wolf King’ I laughed thinking how the wolves would react to that. Now I understand that it never meant being the king of the wolves. I am the Wolf King, Rand, and I carry the hammer of a king.”

   “I am sorry for your losses Perrin, and maybe someday you will be able to tell me about them. What is important now, are we still friends?”

   Without hesitation, Perrin reached out to grasp the hand that Rand proffered. “Friends. Always and forever.”

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