Kage Baker readily admitted that every writer needed a brain trust to assist with research. She herself cultivated relationships with engineers, librarians and historians, and kept a scholar in ancient languages on retainer for those sudden Greek translation emergencies.
I have my Dear Readers. You wonderful people form the corp of a group that sends me weird history stories, and news of sudden findings of “lost” art, literature, music and animals. You send me photos of old portraits of people who looks like Joseph. Or Lewis, or Mendoza, or Budu (frightening me half out of my mind); though mostly of Joseph … which probably says a lot about Joseph.
All those articles and pictures are highly appreciated, Dear Readers, and socked away carefully in my archives for eventual use. They also help keep alive and healthy my conviction that the world is weird as hell and Kage had some personal insight into it.
But yestreday, you all rallied around and helped me find my lost story. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thanks especially to Maggie and Sue and Neassa, who remembered where they had seen the errant pieces of my mind, and were able to send me right to them. This, BTW, after I had tried the search function on my Buke here in the Green Gables, and gotten nowhere … but last night, the Buke was having some sort of cerebral incident: no matter what I asked it, it informed me it could not locate the driver for Yahoo … which I never use.
I ended up downloading 23 updates last night in order to subject the Buke to protracted diagnostics. Sometimes life just gets weird, you know?
But now I have the two missing pieces! They are rejoined, and I can resume work from where I left off. There is still about a third I need to either locate on a UCB drive at home, or reconstruct from scratch – but the whole is much less than I feared. I think it happened over the summer, when my desktop had a sudden stroke and had to be revived.
Still, as lost bits go, this was ever so much easier than it could have been. And I owe it all to you, Dear Readers. My gratitude is eternal and heavy-duty. With chocolate and marshmallow ribbons in. With pineapples.
In the meantime … the storm has but glancingly pawed at Pacific Grove, like unto a playful kitten. The days are full of sunshine, there have been rainbows, there are otters in the bay below our hotel, and now the waves are singing a loud but comforting lullabye. however, I’m informed that Los Angeles is filling with mud, like an over-sized Nine Men’s Morris. There has been thunder and lightning and flash floods and debris flows. I’ve missed the worst storm in years, apparently, gadding about up here with the butterflies.
But stories are happening. The new notes, which I found last night and have never, ever seen before, are for something doubtless picaresque and hilarious and titled “Smith Goes To The Hardware Store”. With Lord Ermenwyr pressed into service even while attempting to press Smith into some sort of service. I feel I owe it to the world to try and get this one written out in full – if only for the scene where Smith tries to explain a shoe plane to a bored Ermenwyr. And despite detailed descriptions from Kage like: “The ladies are busy doing Something.”
I liked living in Kage Baker’s mind. Whenever I start to feel sorry for myself because I no longer do, something like those story notes comes along and reminds me that I am still there.
Or something like having dinner tonight at The Forge In The Forest in Carmel – a wonderful restaurant that has wonderful food, walls of stone and hammered copper, fires in every room and a full-sized forge in the bar. Planted in Kage’s mind, that place seeded and grew into the Shrine of the Father-Smith of the Children of the Sun. The copper walls fertilized the oaks that guard the courtyard there, and became the sacred grove of metal trees in Bird of the River.
Time carries us on, Dear Readers. And not every curve hides a deadly snag.