Monday, June 24, 2013

Should not be a surprise, but there we are

Ah, ladies and gentlemen, I have FINALLY put on my big girl pants and started to re-read my second manuscript.

It is full of holes, lo, big ones at that.

BUT it is also, I'm proud to say, pretty neat!  I'm reading it through here and marking it up and I'm thinking "dang, this ain't half bad!"  The surprise of that thought almost offends me, but I'm too interested in the story I wrote so quickly last winter to pay any attention to that.  A lot of it I don't remember writing, so that helps with the edits.  Here we go then, EDITING FOR REALZ!

So that's fun, right?  Since it's what I'm supposed to be doing anyway.  Anyway, had to share that YES I'm still working on shining up the output from my most recent NaNoWriMo adventure and YES I'm still going to get it published (self published) properly someday.  Best I can say, though, is "soon".

Not like next month... but not ten years from now either.  Somewhere in the middle.

In the mean time, howzabout a teaser?

Now I give you an excerpt from my new book about Arbux the giant.  

Caveat:  it's REALLY primitive right now and in very raw form.  

so if you must critique, be gentle.  :)

“Initially it was hard enough to sort out just how he got ‘em.  And initially it didn’t really matter.  There he was though, a big ol'd giant real as could be, standing in a lake and makin’ that strange noise and wearing bright red pants.  My poor head couldn’t really think what to make of the situation so I just ended up laughing at the sight before me!

“Oh I laughed.  Hard.  How could I not?  Maybe it was my youth, maybe it was my incorrigible nature, maybe it was all of that and then some.  My world got a lot bigger that day, I can still remember how I felt then, just like it was happening right now, and I think it was just a rare and confused kind of joy that took me over and shook me to my boots with laughter, laughter, laughter.

“Well, he heard me allright.  He heard me laughing and it took him all but two booming stomps to come back to the tower to see what it was that was making all this noise.  Big ol’ ears like that?  You bet he heard me.  Moreover it was clear that he had been laughed at plenty in his day and he wasn’t taking to kindly to bein’ laughed at again.

“And didn’t I just feel like the biggest jerk in the world right then!  He was still pretty mad, see, though he was struggling to remember what it was he was up to feelin’ mad about.  Flickers of what I guessed were memories darted across his face as he stared me down.  All of his previous interactions with people had likely been at ground level, too, as he kept glancing nervously to his feet and the foundations of my little tower.  He was dead set on snuffling around the legs and the base of my tower and slowly worked out that I might possibly be somewhere in the top portion of it. 

“My laughing fits sure had subsided by then, being so close to him and seeing him working out my location as furiously as he was.  I started to feel pretty bad for him.  He was just lost, was all.  Maybe the ol’ Gods sent this big oaf to my doorstep as a last-ditch effort to get him found.  Maybe it was up to me to find a way to get this Giant found.  It was a strange thought to be thinking at that point, I know it.  But you can’t always help what comes into your own head at times like this and I am no exception.

“When it comes to dealing with folks that are bigger than you, you gotta’ be real calm and speak in a loud, deep, even tone.  Real calm.  Like I said, fear burns through these guys like fire in dry grass, so if you betray one blink of fear – well that’s it.  You get your bones scrambled up and he just goes on being big and mean some more.

“So I said ‘HEY’.  Real long and loud just like that.

He tensed up right away and snuffled his big face up to the tower window openings where I was.  Our eyes met and so I said ‘HEY” again, suddenly feeling quite foolish and wondering if Giants had known language ever like we people do.   Like that gorilla with the kitten, you know?  You can talk to ‘em, but it’s rare that you ever get put in a place to talk with ‘em. 

He began to thrum a low, deep growl.  I put my hands up real big and said ‘No! Safe!’.  What else was I going to say?  How do you tell the tiger that you don’t want to be eaten?  How do you convince an earthquake to take it easy?

I was hoping like hell he wasn’t going to smash me to smithereens.

Right then, the most amazing thing happened.  Well, I suppose by now it’s not the most amazing thing, but I didn’t know what I was dealing with back then and, back then, by the Gods, it was a pretty damnedably amazing thing that happened. 

He scratched his ear.  He licked his finger.   He bumped the tower with one of his tremendous knuckles, like this – see?  Like a monkey trying to, I don’t know, see if his sister is awake. 

And then he said his first word to me. 

He said real slow and with breath that could eat through rust, “BEHM”.

Now I don’t have to tell you what a thrill that was! My whole world had, just minutes ago, gotten so much bigger and now it was getting bigger again.  My worldview just kindof snapped into place right then.  He had said ‘behm’. 

Of course that big ol’ brute could talk.  How did I suppose he had got out there to begin with?  By flying?

No, at this close proximity a great many things began to come clear to me.  He had the most beautiful skin, like oiled oak. And he had numerous scars, too, that shone like white birch bark on a moonlit night.  Many of the scars and scuffs were particularly benign looking but he had one helluva thick white ring going around his neck and bunching up around his collarbone.  There were big, even, square scars too.  Like someone had gotten up and took out a big chunk of him for study.  And his knobby ol’ wrists showed me the final clue.  One was marked up just like his neck and collarbone, and one was half scars and half iron shackle…  which appeared to be about eight sizes too small for him but which also appeared to be growing right into him as if he were a wounded tree.  The fibrous, leathery flesh of his wrist was growing right over the shackle. 

This Giant had been held captive.  Likely for study.  Likely by some shady government agency that studies these kinds of things.  And he had either been released, or,  perhaps he was the instrument of his own escape.  And ever since, he had been living by himself in the woods of the north and just trying to survive.  That’s where he learned to speak, I figured.  I bet they got their chains on him and were trying just as hard as they could to figure him out and turn him into something that the Gods had never wanted.  People do that all the time, with plants, with poisons, with stuff from the bottoms of the oceans, why wouldn’t they do it to something so grand and mysterious as this big fellow?  Well they would.  And they did.  And I can guess it didn’t go well for them if he got out and they didn’t catch him.  There likely wasn’t much left of the ‘them’ to come after him, once he got his steam up.  

Probably that’s where he got his trousers too.  Leave it to the military to go and degrade something so pure and majestic as this; and then teach it to wear pants be ashamed of itself. 

Well there we were, just lookin’ at eachother and he had just said his first word to me.  And it was a question.  And I suddenly realized what the question was.  He was talking allright, but he wasn’t that good at it, what with being as big as he was and having what I guessed was a completely different set of muscles to work with.  It was a question in, of all things, Norwegian.  And he was lucky my folks raised me with their language steeped thick into my skull.  I heard the word ‘behm’  and I quickly realized that he had said ‘hvem’, which as you kids know means “who”.

He had asked me who I was.  

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