Snippet Sunday #12

A little piece of Hard Time this week. 🙂

Kessa and Lukas discuss reading material. There’s a little worldbuilding in here, too. It was extremely amusing to write.


Kessa scowled down at the old paper book Lukas was making her read for practice. They used to be able to copy things by magic, he’d said, and the result, if you didn’t have a copy of a copy of a copy, was nice, uniform writing. Once you got three or four generations down the line, it started to go all wonky, he’d told her, and six was unreadable.

The book annoyed her. It wasn’t that she couldn’t make out the text. That got easier every week. It was the content that set her teeth on edge. Magister Ferocious! Who cared about some dumb old guy who couldn’t do magic, and had stupid brainless girlfriends to make himself look smarter?

“Why’d you want me to read this anyways?” she demanded, as he shoved the broom under benches and table, trying to sweep up all the food the Ishlings dropped.

“I don’t know. I thought it’d be something a little different from those boring textbooks Vandis keeps making you read.” He straightened, shrugged, and leaned on the broom. “I sort of liked it.”

“You would,” she said darkly.

“What didn’t you like about it?”

“The girl.”

“Well,” he said, “I guess she wasn’t as smart as you are.”

Kessa rested her chin on one hand and let the book fall to the tabletop. “Something with a halfway intelligent woman next time, okay?”

“Tall order.” He grimaced. “At least sometimes.”

“Somebody should write one.”

“They don’t do these anymore.” Lukas tapped the book she’d dropped. “Can you imagine copying this by hand? A million times or whatever it sold? You’d have it memorized.”

“No fucking thank you.”

“Exactly.” He laughed, shaking his head, and returned to sweeping. “What used to pass for cheap entertainment! Go figure magic.”

“Are you messing with me?”

Lukas held up thumb and finger with the fraction of an inch between, and grinned at her. “I never said it was great literature.”

Love and Fear

So I’ve been trying to work on revisions of Hard Luck.

I’m trying to sing my song, because it’s a song nobody else can sing. It’s difficult to know if I’m singing a song others will understand. It’s difficult to know if I’m conveying what I want to convey, and if I’ve got the chops to do it,

It’s a song I need to sing, and whether they like it or not, I’ve worked on it for so long that I need people to hear it. I love the world inside my head, and the people who live there. Breathing life into them for others is my intent. I have a vision.

I’m afraid for my prose: that it won’t sing. My reputation. I’m afraid that the people I love will look at it and then at me, and be disgusted — but this is me, really me. This is what goes on inside me, and I keep reminding myself that the people who really love me will take it for what it is, the song that I have to sing to them, and to the world, whether or not it is to their particular taste.

I’m afraid that strangers will look upon it with their critical eyes, and loathe it.

I’m afraid, but as a good friend of mine said to me, “Without fear, there is no courage.” So I’m rolling on, John, and I’m going to sing it from the rooftops: that song in my secret heart.