. . . Atlanta.
There were many fond farewells, of course. She has been with us for eighteen years now, through joy, trials, and tribulations. And now she is a young woman, building her own life.
And yes, I am quietly proud.
Tonight's party was held during my youngest daughter's birthday, technically. Which was fine, for two reasons. Firstly, because my little Wolf Cub is going to get her own party later on, and secondly, because she is getting her sister's room at last, to her self: lockable door and all. This may be the best birthday present ever.
. . . which means of course that the Laughing Mouse will get his own room all to himself, as well. But despite it all, they were both sad to see their sister go.
First, there was a long pizza party. Guests came and went as their schedules allowed. Lauren got there before I did, stayed as long as she could while I ferried people to the shindig, and alas had to leave around the time I was able to settle in. This cacophony, followed by a video game afterparty with chips and ice cream and I don't even know what else at our house, and then a first-rate tea party for the ladies on the Lioness' best china.
I found some errands to run during the afterparty, and then curled up with my laptop for a while, safely away from the light and noise. Still, it was very nice of the ladies to invite me to tea, and if I'd not been feeling overstimulated already I would have happily accepted.
This coming week I am starting classes again, and I will update the known world as I have before. I have my books and most all my supplies, and am quite excited. Looking back at my summer, I think it has been well spent.
In continuing the O4S series, Lauren and I have been of course working throughout the summer. Book I, The Order of the Four Sons, was probably the book that took the longest. We had to work out the physics of the magic-based universe and the timeline of the four books first. Then, as we worked on Book I we also outlined and wrote scenes for the second book in the series, Carcosa.
Continuing our quest for consistency, as we wrote Book II we also worked on Book III. And now, working on Book III, we're also fleshing out Book IV, the final piece in the series.
Well, maybe not final.
Book III has been taking a long time for several reasons. Firstly, of course, there's the sheer size of the thing. Even after editing it's going to be huge. There's a tremendous amount going on, and this book introduces a new world and culture. And though Book II did that as well, Book III's world, Corbenic, is a flourishing empire. An empire, incidentally, under occupation . . .
The character of Book II's world, Carcosa, was enjoyable to write. And from what I can tell, it seems to be enjoyable to read as well. But Corbenic is fascinating. While Carcosa's culture was simple - what was left of it - Corbenic's culture is rich and complex. And since our heroes are working under cover, they get swept up into local affairs along with their own mission.
As before, the timeline has had to be watched carefully. There are many threads in this tapestry we are weaving, and everything has to fit together. Action and Consequence are the names of the mightiest demons of all, and they positively thrive in the details.
Write, rewrite, re-rewrite . . . most of you know the drill.
Many of you are waiting for Book III to be released. I thank you all, and ask only for your continued patience. Yes, more will be revealed about Kate and her potential. And yes, you will see our heroes come together at last - and the consequences of that reunion. The Oracle, Alyssa, will also be delved into, as will her father. Many questions will at last be answered. New characters, both heroic and villainous, will be introduced. Characters who have died will be remembered, and, as always, the future holds no promises for those who live.
And the Event that has brought them all together draws tighter around them, even as the leadership of Starry Wisdom is finally revealed.
But for now, gentle readers, wait a little longer. Books III and IV are in the forge even now, and we are hammering faithfully away. When our third work together is ready, you will find it worth the wait.
The skies began to darken as soon as her plane lifted off the ground. Within an hour, the punishing sky was full of clouds, and the winds began to whisper soothing promises. A few hours after that, it finally began to rain, a rare and welcome thing in this place and time.
The Lioness is on her way, and she has taken the sun with her. Earlier this afternoon, Raven drove the six of us (“Now We Are Six,” thank you Mister Milne) to the airport, while the Tigress arranged for our Lion's phone to have a number and minutes and kept reasonably calm about her first born leaving her.
The Lion took her bag to the checkpoint and waited through the search, and then on to the boarding station. Her carry-on was approved, laptop and all, and then there were hugs all around. Everyone else expressed how much they’d miss her, but I think she already knew.
“I’m going to miss you, child of my heart,” I’d told her at the party, “now that you’ve sanded the sights off of my hunting rifle.” We’d laughed, and hugged, and then she was off to talk to other guests.
I asked her en route to the airport if it seemed reptilian of me that I was not sad to see her go, only excited and happy on her behalf that her adventure was truly beginning. “No,” she assured me, “Grandpa said you’d be pretty good about letting go. He said you had a pretty good sixth sense.” Bless the man.
Now at the airport. She passed through the gateway, beyond the armed guard and out of our reach. We could have gone with her and waited for her flight, but Raven was eager to leave. Everything had already been said, and I suspect he was eager to withdraw from the public arena.
We left her there, waiting to load herself into the belly on yon steel beast. A few hours from now, she will be safely disgorged and her new life will begin.
When she and I embraced, I whispered my own well wishing to her, and then I let her go.
“Now, go fly.”
Now we are on our way back home. The Lioness asked me to pack her good china for her, and then Laughing Mouse and the Wolf Cub will be moving furniture and arranging the bedrooms for their comfort. The Wolf Cub has her decorations to arrange, and the Laughing Mouse has his video games to play. Later tonight I will be reffing D&D, and Raven and the Tigress will be dating. The sun rose and set before we ever knew one another, and it will continue to do so for some time to come.
Though it may sound strange for those of you who do not know me, I’m not worried about the lion of my heart. I know she’ll be fine. Not because “everything will be all right,” but because I have faith in her strength and her intelligence, her ability to adapt to adversity and overcome it. But I’m sure I will miss her, and I do envy her this voyage into the unknown.
(The Wizard of Oz movie was made by MGM Studio, based on the book by L. Frank Baum, and is currently owned by Warner Brothers; Fire Dancer courtesy of Nightlyre's Realm at nightlyre.com, home of some fine-looking anthropomorphic art and costumes; Reepicheep was created by C.S. Lewis but the latest movie is (c) Warner Brothers along with the mouse's image I assume; cowboy riding into the sunset image is courtesy of cowboylands.net.. All these works are (c) their rightful owners, all rights reserved, and no attempt is made in any way to infringe upon this by there inclusion here.)