Most importantly: a profound muchos gracias to those who have volunteered to become my Wise Readers. You’ll forever hold a high place in my personal pantheon. And there’s still room, so by all means, volunteer if you haven’t already.
My darlings, meet Cariicedraas. Someday, I’ll take you on the full tour. I know everything there is to know about its market district.
I think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve got Unicorns. I do. Only they’re not called Unicorns: they’re Drusavs, and they’ve got their own evolutionary history (of sorts), their own language, culture, philosophy, foibles, and history. One of the stories you Wise Readers will get to read is from their very ancient history, when two poets got into a war with each other, and ended up unifying the world. And it’s bloody hard to write, because Drusav poetry is physical. Equines have a rich body language. It’s taken a lot of thinking to extrapolate from what we understand of how horses think and speak, and determine what sentient, highly intelligent equines with a bloody great horn growing out of their foreheads would have done with that rudimentary language.
Besides, I’m not what you might call the world’s greatest poet. Nahkorah and Disahnahle were. Pressure’s on. At least, since their poetry was a physical language, I can put down any weakness in the poetry to something lost in translation. Useful, that.
Right now, the story I’m struggling with revolves around what it means for the immortal to give up immortality, subject themselves to repeated rounds of birth and death in service to their people. I’m aided in this by Buddhist philosophy and the concept of samsara, but it’s not enough. I also have to figure out just what they mean by a “soul.” I can tell you this: t’ain’t what the theologians think.
Times like this do make me think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. But the most important words ever spoken to me were these:
Do them justice.
Garrett said that to me many years ago, in the fervent tones of one who believes that it’s not only right and necessary to do your characters justice, but with the supreme confidence that I can.
How can I not live up to that? Even if it takes me twenty more years to make it so.
All you Wise Readers have to do is answer one question: did I do them justice? That, in the end, is what it all comes down to. That simple, and that bloody difficult.
Guess I’d best get to masticating.