Wednesday, July 22, 2009

La guerre, ce n'est pas un jeu

No, yesterday's rains were not the genesis of this scene. I had already set the weather that day to constant rain. But last night's storm surely influenced the writing.

They allowed themselves extra wine as they camped that night, listening to the rain’s rhythm against the skin of their tent. P’s husband L. wished he felt as content as his wife and brother-in-law appeared. All he could feel was wet, tired, bruised, and anxious. Dreams of glory shattered against the heaps of bodies he had witnessed day after day, all sent to the stars, largely untended by those who loved them. Each drop of [the weeping goddess’] tears was like the impact of sword, club, pike, arrow, lance, stone, or fist upon flesh—the tent enclosing them like the frail matter encasing human hearts, battered, battered, battered until the heart could take no more. Exhausted, he sank into troubled sleep as T. and P. discussed their plans.
The armies begin to collide. It is no longer scattered skirmishes or sieges here and there. Now the three distant cousins truly go at it for the throne.

There is, in the long term, a happy ending. Most of my tales, though certainly not all, end on notes of happiness or hope. But this is not a pretty tale.

I suppose the usual formula would be for things to get darker and darker in a series only to end in a burst of light. In my case, book 8 ends in disaster and book 10 in heartbreak. Final curtain. You need to find the light and hope along the way. Bittersweet is my preferred aesthetic.

(The love of my life is a Celt; what do you expect if not bittersweet?)

Bonne nuit, mes amis.

--le BB


Grandmère Mimi said...

Bonjour, mon ami. Comment ça va?

Beautiful writing, Paul. How neat to know that daily events in your life influence your storytelling. Not surprising though, when I think about it.

Will you fill in the full names in the finished product, or will the characters stay mysteriously with initials only?

Paul said...

My tales are full of names, fully realized names, and the only reason I reduce them to initials in these posts is to avoid putting it all online. I don't want to "give it all away."

Actually, I suspect many of my genealogical charts will need to be included in the books. The case of characters is vast. Even I could not track them all without lots of software.

The Cunning Runt said...

Thanks for these glimpses of brilliance, Paul - "bittersweet" seems to fit your talents very well, monsieur.

And bon nuit right back atcha.

Paul said...

Merci bien, Ralph. Ce sont les étoiles qui brillent et moi, je partage des morceaux étincellants que les astres me donnent..

Not a gratuitous comment. The entire series of the Chronicles begins and ends with the stars and the pre-Christian faith of the lands is worship of the stars. They lie at the core of the mythology and my fictional world is one of light mysticism. Their version of the Fourth Gospel starts: "In the beginning was the Light...." It is strange how this fiction is part of my own world view. Chicken or egg?