Grieftongue

NOTE: This originally appeared on A Fantasy Reader.

 

Memorial Day twenty-eight years ago was unquestionably the most devastating day of my life.

 

adobe audition cs6 adobe photoshop OneNote 2003 Image 11 Home cheap Creative Suite 4 Adobe creative suite 5 5 design premium mac
atomix virtual dj Quark quarkxpress 10 schulversion online Autodesk 3ds Producer Edition portable
adobe audition cs6 adobe photoshop OneNote 2003 Image 11 Home cheap Creative Suite 4 Adobe creative suite 5 5 design premium mac
vista home premium sp2 Belight software live interior 3d pro edition for student autodesk revit 2014 autodesk revit 2014
corel Adobe acrobat pro dc buy now pay later Microsoft Solidworks 2013 Premium
Win 7 home premium buy price online CS6 cheap (2015) (2015)
2009 discount Autodesk Ms mappoint 2013 europe discount price business 2013 support
Windows 7 home premium discount code hazel mastering oem Sony Vegas Pro autodesk entertainment
3D Pro Edition download buy cheap buy Adobe cheap price alias Endnote x7 buy cheap
My mother and father had been divorced for years, and my father usually picked me up on Wednesday night for dinner and then had me on the weekends. Right before Memorial Day Weekend, he called and told me has wasn’t feeling great but he still hoped to pick me up on the holiday, since it was probably just a cold.

 

adobe after effects adobe after effects crack keygen Quark quarkxpress 10 schulversion
com adobe dreamweaver cs6 Ms office 2010 discount for teachers online Autodesk 3ds online Autodesk 3ds 2015
adobe after effects adobe after effects crack keygen Quark quarkxpress 10 schulversion
suite deluxe 8 updates student price student price Multimedia Suite cheap Pinnacle studio 12 ultimate buy key online
Solidworks 2013 Premium adobe contribute corel Corel motion studio 3d for student Solidworks 2013 Premium adobe contribute
(2015) MovieFactory 6 PLUS Acrobat xi standard for student 2 student price 2 student price
Mamp pro buy for mac business 2013 support buy Revit Architecture 2011 buy
mastering autodesk Adobe indesign cs6 low price hazel
buy Microsoft Office acdsee Sony cinescore discount price 10 key
While my father didn’t exactly partake in what most people call “exercise,” he was still active, working on his old jeep or boat, fixing one thing or another in the house, doing photography shoots, wrangling me. But he also ate what his stomach told him to, and didn’t exactly have the healthiest tastes—he was the kind of guy who liked Velveeta and Spam sandwiches on Wonder Bread. What? That isn’t a type, that was just him? Well. There you go. He also drank fairly regularly, and smoked. Not a great combination.

 

3d 2012 crack Capture NX 2 2012 x32 x64 isz Intuit turbotax home business 2012 buy now pay later
2009 Illustrator cs4 buy price 9 free download hd platinum 11 for Adobe Creative Cloud Design Tools All-in-One For Dummies student price hd platinum 11 for
microsoft Corel wordperfect office x6 professional edition buy now pay later discount Microsoft Visual Studio oem Sony Vegas Pro Autodesk Inventor Suite discount Adobe oem Sony Vegas Pro
home & business 2013 2014 free download 10 key Photoshop cs4 extended buy price 3D Pro Edition adobe acrobat
Still, he was generally (and surprisingly) healthy as a horse, and wouldn’t go to the doctor unless a bone was sticking out of his body or he was bleeding out his ears. And maybe not even then. Stubborn as all get out, and that surely is a type, as I know all too well, as I fall in that camp, and karmically enough, so do my daughters.

 

cheap price 9 free download cheap Adobe After business 2013 support hd platinum 11 for Adobe illustrator cs6 buy mac
5 Set) MAC discount Microsoft Visual Studio Ms powerpoint 2013 best price uk architecture 2011
2014 free download buy cheap Photoshop cc 2015 student and teacher edition best price de download
And more than anything else, when my dad told me he was going to do something, he did it. So I fully expected he would rebound and get better and pick me up. I didn’t hear from him that morning, and while he was sometimes late, and this was still the era before cell phones (yes, that WAS an era), so I shouldn’t have been worried, I was. I couldn’t explain it, but I had the awful feeling that something was wrong.

 

Agisoft photoscan professional edition Autodesk Inventor Suite hazel discount Microsoft Visual Studio architecture 2011
2014 free download missing coreldraw graphics download buy Microsoft Office Adobe acrobat xi pro full download problems
I called his house, hoping to get my stepmom, and she didn’t pick up.  And for some reason, that’s when I absolutely knew. I told myself it was crazy, he wasn’t that late, everything was probably fine, but somehow I just knew for a certainty that I was lying to myself and that the worst had happened.

 

When I called my grandmother’s house to see if she knew anything, it was confirmed immediately, as she picked up and couldn’t put two sentences together. I don’t even remember who took the phone and told me the news, my stepsister or stepmom, only that someone was crying when they said that my father had suffered a massive heart attack. He was dead.

 

The rest is a blur. I dropped the phone, walked aimlessly as I started to cry, and then as the enormity of the news hit, I grabbed my nephew’s baseball bat, ran out of the house, and started bashing nearby trees until my hands were slick with blood as my skin tore open and I collapsed for a time in the bark and broken branches.

 

I’d lost people before. My grandfather and aunt both died from cancer. But I was young and didn’t comprehend much besides the way those deaths impacted others and made them incredibly sad.

 

And I would lose people after. My brother died from severe complications due to a rampant case of diabetes when I was 18, my grandmothers and uncle died as the years rolled on, and most recently, my mother a handful of years ago.

 

But as terrible as they each were in their own way, losing my father at 14 had the most impact on me. It wrecked me for a time. Indiana Jones was the only one who gave him a run for his money in the hero department (I bought the fedora, leather jacket, and a 14 foot bullwhip even), but my father stood above everyone else. I was old enough to know he wasn’t infallible, but he was insanely smart, terribly funny, gentle and patient and strong. My father was and always would be my hero. And losing him right on the cusp of 8th grade graduation, at a time in my life when I probably needed him the most, well, words can’t adequately describe the devastation or the depth of loss.

 

What does any of this have to do with fiction? Well, a lot right now, as it happens. At least my fiction.

 

I’m going to try to avoid spoilers, as my immediate reaction to people spilling the beans is the desire to punch them in the nose. But just to be safe, if you haven’t read Scourge of the Betrayer or Veil of the Deserters, you might want to stop reading as I slyly try to allude to aspects of either books without, you know, actually coming right out and spoiling anything. I like my nose.

 

When I first started Bloodsounder’s Arc, I knew there was going to be violence. Battles, skirmishes, duels, sieges, pitched battles.—they would all appear on the page at some point. And  I was committed to presenting those things as realistically as possible. I know not all readers even like battles—some of them fall asleep the first time a sword is drawn, or consider fighting something to be endured until the next great character moment or plot twist arrives. And there are some readers that love action in their novels but prefer it to be the stuff of legend or high fantasy, with heroic champions wading into the mix, dispatching foes by the hundreds, or wizards going mano y mano while riding griffins of the wind itself, hurling eldritch fury at one another, tearing the fabric of the universe asunder in the process.

 

I get it: realistic battles are absolutely not everyone’s cup of grog. But that was the kind of story I wanted to tell, doing my best to put the readers right there in the middle of the chaos with Arki, feeling arrows whizzing past or thunking into a post right near his head, watching armor fend off blows the way it was intended, but also feeling and seeing the terrible results when it failed to. I wanted it to be as visceral as possible. And even in Veil, where memory magic features prominently, it’s not the stuff of fireballs and lightning storms of even Otto’s Irresistible Dance, but more subdued, even when it is sometimes deadly. My objective was to paint the battles as they actually occur with armored men and women trying desperately to kill each other, even when magic is in the mix.

 

I didn’t want to revel in the violence or gratuitously heap more terrible details on more terrible details like a pile of severed limbs outside a surgeon’s tent (see, that was unnecessary!). At no point did I try to glamorize it, or escalate it with the intent of turning stomachs.  That said, I wanted every bit of combat to feel weighty, real, significant.  

 

But I also knew that if I was going to write about these hardened soldiers and the harsh realities of what it’s like to stab or bludgeon each other to death, I couldn’t shy away from the aftermath of that either. There are wounds, casualties, and deaths of course, and a complete shortage of healing potions or potent clerics wandering the battlefield rescuing anyone. No one is completely safe. But just as important, I wanted to show the emotional wounds. It would feel dishonest to portray combat as realistically as I can and then fail to explore the personal impact this has, both on those who deal in it, and those who lose someone.

 

Since the narrative funnels though Arki, he of course wrestles with everything he sees, completely out of his depth, not trained for warfare, especially the kind waged by the Syldoon soldiers, who are the ultimate pragmatists. His sensibilities frequently clash with the company he keeps (hopefully in engaging and compelling ways), but more than that, I wanted him to both experience and witness grief.

 

To paraphrase the good captain, there are a variety of griefs—loss of love, trust, honor, home. It is always about loss, dealing with absence. The most terrible being the loss of life, as it is irrevocable.

 

One old fiction workshop sawhorse is “write what you know.” But taken literally, that would mean every college freshmen short story would be about hazing, beer bongs, condoms breaking, tests flunked, procrastination, and homesickness. There are plenty of ways to know something—obviously first-hand experience is a primary source, but you can also witness things, research things, and simply imagine your way into situations based on good intuition or instincts. So I don’t presume to be any more equipped to write about grief than any other writer simply because I’ve experienced some. But it has made its way into my writing, and no place more keenly than Bloodsounder’s Arc.

 

In Scourge, one character loses another, and I tried to capture this as truthfully as possible. But the aperture on everything widens a bit in Veil—worldbuilding, magic, intrigue, characters—and this holds true for grief as well. Much like the portrayal of violence itself, I didn’t want to wallow in grief or let it dominate the narrative or anything. But I tried to capture it as honestly as I could, as several characters have lost people close to them, recently and deep in the past. As Arki gains the trust of the members of the company, becomes more embedded, he is privy to more of their stories, the things that shaped them, damaged them, maybe even strengthened them.

 

While I never saw a relative murdered in front of me, and I’ve never lost a friend in the middle of combat, there are different ways of “knowing” as mentioned, and I did the best I could to make these moments feel as authentic as possible. But I absolutely know what it means to put loved ones in the ground or scatter their ashes, and I drew on that as much as I could, trying to render it realistically as these characters revealed and shared their own pain in various ways.  

 

And for the first time in my life, I used fiction to directly deal with losing my father, to infuse that loss into something I created. Twenty-eight years is a long time—the absence is no longer sharp and crippling, but I still vividly remember it, and I wanted to use that in my portrayal of characters who also deal with tremendous grief.

Be Sociable, Share!

2 Responses to “Grieftongue”

  1. Steve August 21, 2014 at 9:50 pm # Reply

    Jeff, just finished VoTD – great book, will have to go back and retread it now to catch the bits I missed the first time! What’s book 3 going to be called and when will it be out? Have you got a storyline worked out for it yet or are you still mulling it over?

    Best
    Steve

    • jeffsalyards August 27, 2014 at 4:26 pm # Reply

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for the note! I’m glad you enjoyed the book. Book 3 will be called Chains of the Heretic, and unless I get hit by a bus or contract lycanthropy or something, it should be out next November. I have the basic storyline mapped out, but like to leave myself room to go off course.

      Best,
      Jeff

Leave a Reply

cs5 vm iso buy Parallels vm iso Nero 11 platinum buy key online buy Parallels vm iso, 8 microsoft office Adobe photoshop cs6 extended best price usa buy Parallels buy oem
Buy oem Lynda.com - InDesign CS6 Essential Training Adobe AE & buy oem Microsoft Adobe AE & ACDSee