A coworker asked me about teachers today. After an almost instant rant about how politicans are usually cutting funding for teachers in general and poorer areas in specific, I realized it was one of my hot buttons. I always thought teachers should be paid more, simply because they are responsible for every single student's success. My teachers helped shape me over the years, though I sadly couldn't thank them in time before they scattered to the five winds.
To my surprise, both chapters this week are about lessons. Much different lessons, but still lessons framed as such.
Sand and Blood 24: Alone in the Dark
This chapter of Sand and Blood is a formative chapter for the next book. There are important plot points that apply to this book, but looking back, I can see that a lot of Rutejìmo's thoughts were shaped by Mikáryo in this chapter. The most obvious is his attraction to her, this is the first time he thought of anyone as being sexual. Part of this is the enforced innocence the clan uses to manifest larger powers but also because I originally planned on having him be asexual. That didn't work out (you know, the entire plot of Sand and Ash) but that doesn't mean he's going to instantly fall for her.
Not all my novels will have romance. I love reading romances but remarkably I don't really want them in every single one of my stories. One of my main desires for the upcoming Wonder Woman (besides finally having her on the big screen) is that there isn't a romance plot. I'm sure it will, but I really hope it doesn't. You don't have to have a female protagnoist that is obsessed with some male.
Rutejìmo tensed up, feeling like prey. There was something in her green eyes that forced him to stare into them. It was a sultry, smoldering look that brought a heat through his body. It sank down into his groin, and sudden thoughts blossomed in his head. He blushed hotly and turned away to hide his expression.
Mikáryo chuckled and relaxed. “Don't worry, boy, you have a long way to go before I consider riding you.”
It will be a long time, exactly ten years and one novel.
There are other interesting parts to this novel. One is Rutejìmo's fear of the dark. Which is strange given that he becomes a priest of the dead in the next novel and treats both the day and night clans equally. But, the idea of sitting in the dark and suddendly having the enemy sitting there cooking a hunk of giant snake is just a great image.
Read Sand and Blood 24: Alone in the Dark at https://fedran.com/sand-and-blood/chapter-24/.
Flight of the Scions 29: Cabin Fever
We are in a lull for this chapter of Flight of the Scions. I like quiet chapters, mainly because it is a chance for introspection before things get really complicated. It is also chance to have a little training montage with Maris in the background learning how to fly and Ruben asking Kanéko to give him a personal lesson on imagination.
Sometimes, I feel guilty about having quiet chapters. Or having time pass in the middle of the story. In this case, I just wanted to advance the clock a few days, give Kanéko and the others to recover, and basically slow things down. There are so many novels where it feels like there is non-stop action. There isn't a reasonable time to recover from exhaustion, heal wounds, or even recover from stress. When there is no break, the characters should be cracking or snapping, or at least passing out.
Read Flight of the Scions 29: Cabin Fever https://fedran.com/flight-of-the-scions/chapter-29/ (subscribers)
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As usual, feel free to ask questions.