The purpose of this blogpost is dual. To let you know:
1) that I have not fallen off the face of the planet
2) what the heck is going on such that I haven’t started posting again.
What the heck is going on is that my inspiration for IA fled me after the Muskoka Novel Marathon in July, and remains in absentia. I’ll quote from an email I wrote to reader J, with enhancements to further clarify:
So you've kind of noticed that, unlike PA or ak, I'm all over the place with IA... inserting biggish hunks into the existing text, jumping ahead in the story to do a sequence at a Novel Marathon, saying I'm off to do research or straighten out my emotions, etc., etc. And possibly you are thinking, 'This way does not lend itself to weblit, at least the linear way you've been doing it, Karen."
So, confession time: this may seem hard to believe after the last five years, but -- I am not a linear writer.
The fringe of men on the wall went very silent. Presently the gate creaked open, and he came out with the olive branch in his hand and a guard of eight, his face with its two-pointed beard deadly grim, between two sheets of hair so blond it was almost silver.
What were you thinking? I wanted to say to him. But I knew what he’d been thinking: there was no king in Pella.
Of course, war came, the moment the word got out that Philip, hands full in Byzantion, had left his peach-chinned son whose head could barely reach a man’s shoulder as regent in Pella, rather than someone competent. I hadn’t mock-hamstrung any of our enemies.
The start of fighting season when I was sixteen was the end of my stay at Mieza. We said farewell to Aristoteles, and I gave him appropriate gifts, and a promise to send him samples of plants and animals I found, wherever I traveled in my life.
UPDATE Sept. 1:
It's official: I placed in the top four this time, not sure where I placed except it was not #1.
And part of me feels like shit... what do I have to do?
Those who think Tion was a fawning limp-wristed sycophant of a catamite (yes, words like that get back to me) never knew him. He wasn’t one to pick a fight, or unusually touchy, but he would stand his ground if he felt someone was speaking something significantly wrong or abusing him, even if it was me. And we were young, of course, and so more given to spats.
The older I got, the more Aristoteles spoke to me about things kings should know, or at least that he thought kings should know, especially if they planned to conquer foreign countries. “Barbarians are like animals or plants, fit only to be ruled over by Greeks,” he taught us.
We went home for the Dionysia of my fifteenth year. As always, the wine flowed wildly and the girls felt more free than any other time of year. Their eyes shone under their grape-vine wreaths through the rising sparks of the bonfire, fixed on us. In Pella, for Dionysia, the only rules are virgins stay virgins and no begetting. My older friends assured me that there were any number of other ways to ecstasy. “Get one who’s practiced to show you,” they told me.
Spring horse-market day is held on the horse training ground just outside Pella, and every horse dealer or horse buyer who is any horse dealer or horse buyer is there, along with many people who would never come within kicking-range of a horse, but love festivals. (We Makednians know what things ought to be celebrated.) The tribes set up their flags; sellers of everything from tack to sweets hawk loudly, jugglers and musicians and acrobats perform, philosophers make speeches that few listen to, and the trick-riders draw the biggest crowds.