As one thrashes, kicking and screaming, towards one’s middle years... And I say ‘one’ because today is one of those days when I want to distance myself from my age, and saying ‘I’ in relation to the middle of one’s life, by which one inevitably means, actually, about two-thirds of the way through it, because... you know... that’s what the English language is for, seems far too defeatist...
It’s fine, you can read that sentence again; take a moment and I promise you that it will make sense. Got it? Good.
As one thrashes, kicking and screaming, towards one’s middle years, one inevitably finds that firsts are fewer and further between, but, somehow, also more and less significant. Long gone are the days of the first tooth, first step, first school, first bicycle, first kiss, first long trousers.
Gone are the days of the first job, first house, first marriage, first child, but also the days of the first Ostrich burger, first manicure, first false eyelashes, first really good glass of champagne, first designer dress, first four inch heels, first oyster.
I still enjoy firsts; I still take the opportunity to experience them when I get the chance, and I do still get the chance, but it is the most innocent of these firsts that are often the most pleasurable.
I spent the weekend, as I’m sure you all know, at the Black Library Weekender, an event for fans of the fiction produced by that fine publishing company. The husband has produced a lot of work for the Black Library and some of it has landed him in the New York Times Bestseller lists, so you can see just how popular this stuff is.
Over the past fifteen years I’ve contributed a short story here and there, and I’ve collaborated on some stuff with the husband, but, more than that... much more than that, I’ve made some good friends and some jolly acquaintances along the way, so it was a pleasure to attend the event.
One of the husband’s enduring characters is one Malus Darkblade. There are currently two omnibus editions of the novels he collaborated on with Mike Lee, featuring the dark elf character.
I knew that Darkblade was being reprised, and I knew that the wonderful C.L. Werner was in the frame to work on the next installment of the saga. What I didn’t know, until I got home from the weekender last night, was that he had already produced a short story for one of the special edition event chap books. I shall be sitting down with it this morning, as a special, post-event treat, and, for the fifteen minutes or so that it takes to read it, I will not be answering the door or the phone, or allowing anything to distract me. I can’t wait!
I can also thank Clint (for that’s Mr Werner’s given name) for my latest first. He is a lovely man and an imposing character in his boots and hat, and he has a generous nature, so Clint came to Nottingham bearing gifts. His gift to me was a box of cactus candy! I kid you not, this stuff is actually made from bona fide cactus; it says so right on the list of ingredients. I sat and ate some in bed last night while watching episodes of House. it was good, like heavy, American Turkish delight, and when I’ve eaten it all, which I shall, the box is a natty design, and size and shape, and I shall use it to store things in, so it’s a gift that keeps on giving, and a delightful first that I shall remember for some considerable time to come.
Thank you, Clint; you are a gentleman, sir.
When you said reprised, I thought "hooray!"ReplyDelete
When it became clear it was not by your husband, I though "oh no..."
But knowing it WILL be by Clint Werner made me smile hugely. Wonderful writer and has an excellent darkness to his work that will suit Malus magnificently. Now wish I'd been at the BLW for the chap book! Please let us know what the story is like when you're done!
He was indeed an imposing figure. Walking around the Belfry with his cowboy panache. I felt like a hole in reality had been torn open , and that I was staring at a character from Deadwood. Intimidating, but not nearly as much as Sarah Cawkwell who despite having a stare that could melt steel was one of the most charmingly energetic authors I have ever met. And I've shaken hands with Mark Gatiss.ReplyDelete
In hindsight I wish when I had gotten yours and Dan's signatures I had asked you the fun little question I had been using the blindside some of the other authors.
"Which would you rather fight? A dozen duck sized horses or one horse sized duck?"
Oh... a dozen duck-sized equines, since horses are mostly shy and fearful beasts, and would be easily talked out of a fight, so that I'd have them eating out of my hand in no time. Ducks, on the other hand, are mostly arrogant, pugnacious little bastards, in my experience, and I do like to be in charge of the pecking, which might be difficult with any creature that has a peck bigger and more powerful than mine!Delete
pecking order, obviouslyDelete
Interesting choice. Personally I would try my hand at the horse sized duck. Because if I beat it, then I could use the feathers to stuff a quilt of incredible comfort and warmth. Also that much duck meat would earn a pretty penny.Delete
Duck meat was always something reserved for really special occasions. Mostly because of the potential flatulance after a roast duck dinner.
Alternatively I could follow the lead of ADB and Mrs Cawkwell and attempt to tame the beast. Then who would be the smug git riding a giant duck down across the canals of England? This man right here.
Aye, good to hear they are bringing back the character. I've read some of Mr Werners stories and it will be interesting to see where he takes the character.ReplyDelete
Yet again, I didn't get to the Black Library Weekender. Its a pain having both my brother and fathers birthdays a few days before and after the event. Still, there is always next year I suppose.
I have a stare that could melt steel?ReplyDelete
Man, that's awesome.
When I first saw you amidst the crowd you were walking with clear intent to another part of the hotel. You had a very scary face on. Hyperbole for the win I suppose.Delete
I love this blog. Just read the comments again, readers, and you realise.. This is pure gold :)ReplyDelete
You, young man, are a gent in embryo... Keep at it!Delete