Ten days ago I climbed out of our Ford Taurus, which has always been a chore anyway, because it's so low, and tripped over my own feet. I fell pretty hard on the outside of my left leg. The following day, Friday, at the urging of the boss (home boss, not work boss), I saw the doctor. X-rays showed no fracture. He said, ice, heat, Tylenol, and walk on it to prevent blood clots.
I worked Sunday and it hurt, but tolerable. Monday it felt pretty good; Tuesday and Wednesday was painful, but not too much.
So I decided I'd do my usual Thursday treadmill walk, but slower and shorter than usual.
So now it's very painful, and not just at the injury. Most of the pain is lower, around the ankle, but in the front. The fluid drains down the leg and pushes against the bone and soft tissues. So I saw the doctor again and confessed my bad judgment. No blood clots, continue ice and heat, don't do that again—for at least a week. Judging how it's going, I'm thinking two. At my advanced years, it'll probably take much too long to get back to normal, if ever.
On the reading front, I just finished Dickson's Wolf and Iron.
He tells a good story, with a style I see as similar to mine. Very little in the way of picturesque similes and metaphors—less than I use, in fact.
The story is only technically speculative fiction. The protagonist, JeeBee (his initials are J. B.) was a statistics and social dynamics researcher who predicted the direction of the social and technological breakdown of the world and specifically the United States, and the way to recovery. He was working with a group in a small town in Illinois. The way the U.S. has gone, small villages and small areas of big cities became very anti-outsider...and JeeBee was an outsider. He barely got out alive.
Gasoline has been unavailable nation-wide for a long time, so most travel is by foot or horseback. JeeBee is on his way to Montana, where his very much older brother has a ranch. On the way he hitches up with a family of three—father, daughter, and family friend, that are honest and generous. Eventually they split. His destination is north, while theirs is south.
A very large portion of the story is akin to Jeremiah Johnson, or Man in the Wilderness. It's about JeeBee's life in the wilderness and what and how he survived and even thrived. Because of raided and burned out ranches and ranch buildings, destroyed and families killed by gangs of raiders, JeeBee is able to scavenge everything from angle irons and an anvil to dishes and a baby crib.
I've now started James Patterson's The Testament. Interesting beginning...
On the writing front, I've had two different ideas for short fantasy stories. I've started one and just played around mentally with the other.
On the Lying Swords front, as the story evolved, there's no reason to describe the action of that battle. The results speak clearly of the actions. I'm using post-battle conversation to "set the table" for a character and character interaction that will happen in the second volume. Since this entire series is primarily character-driven, spending words and time on the characters is always worth the effort. Even relatively minor characters warrant some expansion...especially now, early in the story so they will be more solid and relatable later on. Here's a brief example of how a minor (so far) character gets a personality:
"On her bed. Wounded."
Mari handed her reins to Burl and hurried into the house.
And a bit later:
"Her wound is serious, but not fatal. I was able to remove this from her lung and repair most of the damage. Her body will have to repair the rest. It will be a long road."
"Was she able to say anything?"
Mari surrendered a small quirky smile. "Yes, Orris. Typical Fern. She apologized for getting shot, and for the trouble she was putting me to."
The three students, and even Shoji, gave up quick smiles of appreciation. That was their Fern, all right.
Coming up in a page or two will be another look into Fern's personality. There's a harder side to her.
I keep telling myself—and you—that I'll get these done more often. Then work and life and the other writing get in the way and I don't.
Is it the thought that counts? Or only deeds that matter?
I'll leave that question to you to ponder until next time.
Thank you for reading. Please stay safe and remember: reading is one of the safest things you can do...as long as you're not reading text and driving at the same time.