Been a couple of things I’ve been working on since the weekend. One is the painting to the left, which is in the very begining stages of a self-portrait with the phrase “Ars requiret totum hominem” ( [Doing] Art requires the presence of the total Being.) This is a very personal piece, and is meant to be a sort of self-motivational poster. Ha! This thing is going to take a very long time to complete.
The other thing I am doing in conjunction with this painting is getting back into the old Nano book I was writing for Novemeber of 2008. I lost track of it somewhere along the way, and now that I am back (?) to being creative again, this is the story my mind wants to work on now–even though I have 2 older and 2 newer options to choose from. In any case, since this is a Works In Progress post, I might as well share a bit of an exerpt from the prologue from it. This book is temporarily titled “The Sword of Navarre.”
Embracing the Dark
Scrubby bushes surrounded a tiny grey stone cottage built into a low slope in the side of the hill overlooking Camaris. It was getting dark: the first stars twinkled at Jerry as he dug into the rocky soil. He glared at Reilly, who stood staring up at the thin sliver of the moon beginning its climb into the night sky.
“Come on, Rei!” Jerry hissed as he threw a clod of earth into the bushes. “You lazy idiot. Help me dig!”
“Why should I help you?” Reilly said, “You killed him, not me!”
“You were the one playing with the chisels. You left them all over the floor. That he found and came to beat us with.” Jerry sliced the shovel into the hard earth will all his might. “It was all your fault.”
“You put the chisel in his neck.” Reilly retorted as he put his own shovel into the earth. “What are you so mad about anyway? It’ll be better now he’s gone. Father will have to look after us now.”
“We can take care of ourselves!” Jerry wiped at his eyes. “We don’t need anyone. I can do spells now. And you can see who will give us money and who won’t. All Father cares about is praying. I bet he won’t even notice Uncle’s gone.”
Reilly said nothing. Instead he just dug a little deeper.
Jerry found a soft spot in the earth and pounded at it a bit. He could feel some rocks shift as he dug. Behind him, the body of their uncle cooled, covered by a light blanket of golden leaves, hastily piled on him after he died, bleeding into the rocks. Jerry wondered if there were any soulfire in a dead body. He looked, and a weak, dark grey fire seeped into the earth fading even as the blood cooled. Jerry grinned and called it to him with his mind, offering the fire some of his own anger to come and join with. He felt stronger and clearer of head with the power of Uncle Kai’s dying soulfire bound into his own. Uncle Kai never knew he was watching him cast his spells and learning how to do it himself. In truth, he meant to kill Kai. Just not that way. Not with a stupid chisel in the neck. Jerry had wanted to cast death upon Kai using darkfire. He wanted to make Kai feel the wooden wand in his bottom before he died. He wanted to slice his arms, just as Kai had sliced his and Rei’s so many times, for his spells. He wanted to prove he was powerful too and that Kai just couldn’t hurt them anymore.
Instead he fell into the chisel Jerry had tried to use as a wand. What cursed luck! Jerry stabbed at the earth angrily. “Stupid Kai.” He muttered.
There was a groan, a low creaky groan, that reverberated under their feet, and the ground shifted. Jerry felt the rocks sliding into the shallow hole they were digging. Reilly squeaked loudly and croaked out “Whats going on?!” and with a loud roar Jerry felt the earth give way under them and they fell.
He came to with Reilly shaking him by the shoulder. “Come on Jer, wake up!” There was blood on Reilly’s face and his own arm hurt like fire.
“I’m awake, Rei. Stop it.”
He sat up and looked around. There was no light, except for a soft green glow that came from the rough stone walls. There were walls? The faint green light was all he could see, and it glowed in patches down the length of what seemed to be a tall, narrow tunnel.
“Where are we?” He wondered.
“Under the house, dummy.” Reilly almost shouted. “Now we have to get back up.”
Jerry looked up and above them was the silent night sky sprinkled with stars. It was a long way up. The sky seemed almost bright up there, but not bright enough to brighten up the tunnel they fell into.
“Can’t you cast some sort of light?” Reilly asked him. “So we can see something?”
“I dunno. Uncle never cast light.” He gathered up some soulfire and tried to shape it into a ball of light. The soulfire wouldn’t obey, it refused, and it exploded in his mind, and his inner vision saw white and he cried out.
“Jer!” said Reilly. “Are you okay?”
“No! That hurt, Rei. That really hurt. I can’t make light. Stupid Kai!”
“Well we can’t just sit here. Come on.” Reilly pulled Jerry up and after some initial hesitation, half-dragged him down the tunnel.
“Where are we going?”
“I don’t know. Stop asking stupid questions.”
“Stop calling me stupid, stupid!”
“Then stop being stupid!”
Jerry pushed at Reilly, and Reilly pushed back, knocking Jerry into the glowing green wall of the tunnel. He felt something slimy and spongy squish under his arm and he heard his elbow crunch against the wall. “Ow! You didn’t have to push so hard.”
“Well, I’m not sorry. You started it.”
Jerry bit his tongue. He knew there was no point an arguing this, and his arm and head hurt too much anyway to fight, even if he wanted to fight. Instead he stole a little bit of Reilly’s soulfire, and only smiled when Reilly said, “Knock it off, that’s mine.”
Not anymore, dummy, he thought.
I’ve got about half a book done, all of it very roughly drafted. This too, will take a very long time.
Also, my car should be fixed by the end of the week.