Oh, *there’s* the theme

So, I didn’t get a lot done this past weekend … I was showing Leda, which mostly contributed to her (gratifyingly small) collection of reserve winner’s ribbons. Reserve means second place, and is therefore completely pointless. In the past, she has picked up the actual winner’s ribbon more often than not.

Anyway, she has picked up one more point toward her championship this fall, but alas, she still has three singles to go instead of finishing her championship this past weekend as I hoped. On the other hand, they’re just singles. We’ll get them eventually.

Quite a bit of preparation and driving, but whatever, at least Leda is especially beautiful right now, having been prepared for the show ring. Let me see, I have to have a picture of Leda here somewhere …


That was two years ago, but yep, she’s just as cute today. Her uneven face marking probably cost her the points this weekend. That’s a guess. The girl that got winners was nice enough, good body, just as good as Leda’s. Her head wasn’t as nice as Leda’s, but her markings were better. So it goes, so it goes.

Anyway, that’s not the point. The point is:

a) I didn’t get much farther on the Black Dog story I’m working on, but

b) I did suddenly sit up and say, “Oh, look, the theme!”

That doesn’t happen very often. As a rule, I know what the theme of a book or story is because it’s so consistently a theme for me that I know it’s in there even if I’m not paying attention, or else because a review says something on the order of, “Thematically very tight, so that the first half of the book sets up the issues of this, that, and the other that must then be confronted in the last third of the story…” and I say, oh, right, those themes, good job, me!

However, this time I suddenly said, Oh, the theme here is family.

This is a story from Thaddeus’ point of view, by the way. Realizing that the theme is family has caused me to add an additional scene near the front — that was what I did get written this weekend — and plan to slightly revamp the main body of the story — that is what I will do next. Then there’s a hopefully exciting fight scene and the denouement. Then that story will be finished. I think it will wind up about 60 pp long, which generally means it’ll really wind up about 75 pp long, but we’ll see.

Other things going on:

I did listen to the first third of the audiobook for Tarashana while driving back and forth to the show. This project is moving along rather slowly, but it’s eventually going to get there. In the meantime, I’m both enjoying listening to the completed chapters and feeling a bit like I go into withdrawal when I hit the end of chapter 10 and the rest of the chapters aren’t there yet.

Also, I’m copy editing someone else’s book, and that’s slowing me down a bit when it comes to my own writing, but not too much, because I can do that while in a low energy state — like when I’ve just arrived back home from a long day at the show and have a mild headache and don’t want to try working on anything that requires a lot of thought. I don’t much care for any of the characters in the book I’m copyediting, but I am getting interested in finding out the truth about certain events.

Also, I’m re-reading The Hands of the Emperor. All quibbles aside, I do love this book.

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10 thoughts on “Oh, *there’s* the theme”

  1. Just reread Tuyo. I dont know how I missed one Norse-derived word amongst a lot of Japanese-ish ones. “Fengol” surely is derived from Fimbulwinter, and so has shivery overtones. Cleverly done!

  2. Rereading Land of the Burning Sands. It’s one of my go- to’s for comfort reading. I am trying very hard to not subscribe to Patreon to get an early copy of Sherwood Smith’s sequel to the Phoenix Feather.

  3. Just finished Copper Mountain. Congratulations on a profoundly disturbing but, in the end, a satisfying denouement to Miguel’s star turn. I liked what you did with Ethan; so much so that I am reading “Bank Job again.

  4. Minor factual error, Tarashana:
    Maybe loons (and other waterbirds) are different in Ugaro lands, but this cannot happen on Earth:
    “[The loon] sank gently below the placid surface of the lake and disappeared, first her barred back and then her black head and then gone.”
    Loons float, albeit low in the water, so they cannot sink. They dive headfirst, though this is indeed gentle. Most other waterbirds float higher, so their dives are less gentle.

  5. Thanks, Kootch! And yes, I sure didn’t expect to say this at the beginning, but Ethan is a real favorite of mine now.

  6. Thanks, Alison! That’s one of my personal favorites too.

    I’ve got Phoenix Feather, but I haven’t actually read it yet. You’re making me want to.

  7. I guess so. When loons are fishing, they put their eyes down first and do a little flip dive to get started. (I watched a video to check my memory.) I am not sure about when they are getting out of the way of boats and the like.

  8. I haven’t actually seen loons fishing, so that makes sense. The sinking behavior looks like it would be absolutely useless for fishing. But I was really wowed by the way they’d sink lower and lower and disappear. I loved it and watched them do it every chance I had. This was during a long float trip in Canada, and if you rowed toward a loon, this is what they’d do.

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