Sand and Ash 16, Banyosiōu

After the rather emotional previous chapter, chapter sixteen of my fantasy novel, Sand and Ash, is more of the gasp as reality comes crashing down.

That is the part a lot of stories don't really work for me. They have the epic fight, the moments of excitement, but then the hero gets up, brushes themselves off, and keeps on going. Maybe a chapter of whining or some “manly” healing, and then they are off again.

Rutejìmo doesn't have that in his future. This story isn't about him being a hero, he will never* be a hero. He makes mistakes and lives through the consequences of those actions, as painful as they are.

* I failed on the no hero bit with the next book.

I'll admit, this is taken from my own life. I have made mistakes, really nasty ones that put my entire future and family at risk. I burned out in college to the point that I started to cry every time I tried to turn on a computer. I worked so hard that I got nerve damage in my wrists. I got overwhelmed trying to make everything work perfectly that I made so many mistakes that I was fired.

I wasn't a hero in my life and I probably will never be.

But, through the pain of pulling myself up, I also came into some of the beauty at the same time. If it wasn't for burning out, I would have never moved to Iowa and met my wife. I still standing in the dining room of the cabin and deciding between University of Iowa and going to Colorado. Damage to my wrists? I learned to say no. Fired? Well, that still stings but it led into a decade of work in a different field, a rather impressive effort in crushing my hubris, and eventually leading me back to Iowa for what has become the best job in my life.

Even though I wasn't a hero, I'm far happier than I have ever been.

Maybe Rutejìmo will too?