Go read the post “Little Deaths” by Terri Windling. It’s a voyage through the end of winter, drawn from two separate climates, dry desert and damp Devon.
Her themes include the death of the Sacred King, Le Roi Sacré, at the end of Winter – a theme strongly linked to the underlying mythos of my novels THE LAST RHINEMAIDEN and SHADOWBOX.
Another snippet, this time a quote from Ellen Kushner referenced in the post:
“Does fantasy demand that you stay in your adolescence forever?”
Again, in The Last Rhinemaiden, the character of Louis Beauregard is at the end of his life, an elderly man, not frail but aware that his time must come. About as far from adolescence as any man can get.
His aim in the novel is to end in sacrifice, as he knows he must. But he’ll fight it all the way.
“I don’t want to die. But I have to be killed.”
There are young characters in each novel, but Louis is the one who fascinates me. I’m intrigued by his position, by what it would do to someone’s behaviour, his outlook, his friendships. There’s a space of almost sixty years between the novels and perhaps I’ve taken the wrong route between them both, writing the old man before I asked what would make him so.
Writing the end before the beginning; winter overlaps spring.
I found writing the character more fascinating as an old man than the young rascal he is in Shadowbox. (When I’ve finished writing the current series of Petticoat Katie novels, I can see me taking you on a mid-life crisis with no-longer-young Mr Beauregard, one step ahead of his fencing-master and his old Russian nemesis.)
And then who knows?
Another link, this last week, was Dean Wesley Smith on “My Best Work“:
“What happens if your most acclaimed book, the one history will remember you for, is going to be your sixty-third book written? And you only manage to write ten? Or thirty?”
So, to the work then, and let posterity be the judge. None of us will ever know – unlike Louis Beauregard – whether we’ll endure. We must simply travel through time, ever forward, through each little death of the seasons, towards the future.