Same place, same time except one day later, same beverage. Same lack of incense and magical utterances. I wasn’t sure if Morgan was trying to seduce me or not—if there’s one thing you can say about Morgan, it’s that she’s very subtle. But she wasn’t trying to enchant me.
As for me, I was leaving for Maleagans’ in the morning. I still had not a clue what I was going to do when I got there—when you got right down to it, that was why I was dithering.
“Do you ever wonder what people in the future will think about you?”
“I sincerely hope they elbow each other and say, “Look. Isn’t that Morgan le Fay? Why, she doesn’t look a day over thirty, although she must be a hundred and thirty by now.”
Back in the dark ages, when I was working for a living and didn’t have all of you faithful blog readers eagerly waiting for the next chapter, I had a different method of editing. After finishing the first draft I would sit on it for a few days, then read the whole work in a couple of days–the infamous “critical read.” That part hasn’t changed. But then I would put my nose to the grindstone and work nonstop on the first edit until it was done. Consume all of my writing time, so I wasn’t working on anything new or feeding that part of my brain that wants to create.
Can’t say I was particularly fond of the process, but it was what I did.
After Nimue’s retinue departed, taking along all the answers to the million questions I had about higher mathematics and the future, there really wasn’t any reason to hang around Camelot. Well, I mean other than keeping up with the job of seneschal and running the place. But by now I’d firmly established that I didn’t have to be there all day, every day to accomplish that. Since Arthur had granted me the quest of the Royal Fucking Dogcatcher, I’d spent twenty-nine nights on the road—about half of those actually camping out under the stars—and only ten in my own bed. And surprisingly enough, unlike the first Grail Quest, I was actually enjoying it. Oh, I enjoy luxury as much as the next Knight-errant, I suppose. But Camelot had become old and stale for me.
Most of the bad things that happen to people are inflicted by others. Whether it be God or Satan or merely the Saxons, somebody else administers the hurt and we do the suffering—or the dying, in the most extreme cases. But we’re capable of doing plenty of bad things to ourselves without any help from the gods. Bad marriages and hangovers are among the worst of our self-inflicted woes.
Fortunately I hadn’t face-planted in my drunkenness, so I didn’t have a broken nose to add to all of the other places that hurt. On the other hand, maybe it would’ve taken my mind off the pounding in my head.
I warned you back in a blog post on Dec 4th, 2013, “Writing Sequels,” that this moment was coming. That George Foster was going to appear in The Adventures of Sir Kay. But of course, you weren’t paying that close attention yet. And you didn’t really know what it meant anyway.
The room was so quiet you could hear a mug drop. Oh Kay, you could hear a mug drop even above normal racket. But you can’t hear a feather drop, no matter how quiet it is. Somebody needs to invent something light enough that you can hear it drop when it’s very quiet but not when it’s noisy. But anyway, that’s how quiet it got.
Then Cook yelled out, “Six hours my tired arse. That’s way too long. Three, I say.”
One of the merchants at the next table over agreed. “If it takes six hours, you’ve got the wrong horse. I can sell you a much better one for a good price.”
NB: This apparently got hung up in cyber land and never posted. No idea why. Thanks to Bruce for pointing that out.
Sweat trickled down my armpits and formed droplets under my helm as I stood in front of Arthur in the lists. The month of Julius, and already a hot one. Named in honor of Julius Caesar, a warrior of great renown who’d made his reputation fighting with his brains rather than his sword arm. Me too, but here I was, out in the heat in front of god and everybody, trusting my future to my own prowess with sword and shield and the grace of Morgan le Fay.
Dinner that night turned into a riotous affair. For years my reputation has been that, as a knight, I’m one hell of a seneschal. Although much of the ribbing has been good-natured, when everybody gives you shit about how mediocre you are at your profession, after awhile it gets pretty old. But after my demand for a trial by combat—which is the ultimate in putting your money where your mouth is—and actually winning, well, just about everybody who wore metal for a living wanted to drink a toast in my honor.
I killed King Arthur yesterday. Well, everybody knew it was going to happen. If you are writing about an already famous character, and in his legend he dies a tragic death, you can either:
– have him die a tragic death.
– write an alternative ending and have everybody ridicule you.
– write slapstick.