Monthly Archives: May 2012

Bones Out the Door

I’ve processed the suggested changes and comments from the copyeditor and sent The Bones of the Old Ones back to the publisher. Now I’m taking a little time off to spend with the family. I hope all of you can enjoy the same kind of happy and safe Memorial Day weekend I’m experiencing myself.

The Exciting Adventure of My Knee in the Barn

I’m now five weeks out from my knee surgery, and with my strength and dexterity building decided it was high time I fixed up a few things in the barn. That sounds like the lead-in for a story of disaster, but actually things went very well. It was when I reported in for my weekly knee therapy that I realized maybe working in the barn wasn’t the smartest idea. I was given a battery of exercises to demonstrate just how bad my balance remained. And I didn’t do very well. If I’d slipped, or pushed myself just a little harder, I might have really made things difficult for myself. So… even though I’m apparently ahead of many people five weeks out from this surgery, I’ve been warned to take things a little easier.

Now that I’m completely off the pain meds, writing is back on schedule, and I feel like I’ve leveled up as a writer, at least in the amount of good work I’m getting done each day. Perhaps its because of my new anal retentive outlining habits. In the last week I’ve just about finished two short stories to be incorporated into the narrative of the third Dabir and Asim novel, and over the next two days I’ll be drafting a Dabir and Asim short story for an exciting new anthology I was invited to submit for, but can’t discuss. Shh!

In other news, yesterday The Desert of Souls received a glowing review from Justin at Staffer’s Book Review. I like glowing book reviews, especially when they’re about Dabir and Asim, but this one was especially nice. Perhaps because of his familiarity with the Arabian Nights, Justin commented on a few things that no one else had quite mentioned. It’s always a pleasure when someone notices some of the behind-the-scenes work.

And I have a couple of great looking gaming books in to review for Black Gate. Details about those to follow.

Writing of Fantasy Arabia

I get the sense sometimes that people wonder why a pale white guy like myself is writing about a fantastic version of 8th century Arabia, even that they question my ability to do so, or the appropriateness of my attempt. Not because they’ve read my work, but because they’ve seen my picture, or my name.

I would like to think that we have moved past that kind of thinking, but perhaps with all the “white man fighting savages fiction” we saw in previous generations, some skepticism is appropriate. On the other hand, I’d like to think that political correctness doesn’t go so far as to assume that because I am white (and, presumably, not 1000 years old and living in Arabia) that I can’t possibly write legitimately about characters with olive skin tones. If we use the argument that we should only ever write what we know (some dogmatically think that means only personally experience, and that it can’t mean something we’ve been researching for more than a decade, say),  we should all be writing contemporary fiction set in our own towns with no fantastic elements.

The simple answer to why I want to write Arabian fantasy? Because I fell in love with the Arabian Nights. I liked many of the stories so much that I read fiction set in the time period, then moved on to history and biographies and even poetry and prose from the region. And then, one day, I decided it looked like so much fun I wanted to try my hand at it myself. The characters were there and one at least was clamoring for me to get started talking about his adventures.

And so I sat down, and got to work.