Monday, July 21, 2008

So I had to kill one of my "darlings"

I REALLY liked Kasyapa.

She was a lethargic happy gigantic turtle swimming around Chapter 11 of the book. She put a smile on my face with her blunt affection and lazy gate. The valley surrounding her could be on fire but she would just yawn and immerse herself in her blue lake, peeping out from the water with just her big golden eyes showing.

I wanted to give my innocent mammoth box turtle a great big hug the moment she waddled on to the page to say hello.

But "cute" doesn't belong in "Riding Ten Thunders".

It's my own fault, not Kasyapa's. She is a fine character with her sapphire-encrusted shell bigger than a house and legs borrowed from elephants. She made me laugh the way she attempted to imitate the music she heard by snorting out her nose. Kasyapa is a fine girl who inspires one to giggle like a kid.

She arrived after I finished Chapter 10 and felt like lifting the mood a bit. Chapter 10 is busy. Chapter 10 is serious. I needed a break from the melodrama.

Problem is I went too far with Kasyapa. She keyed into my inner child and that is fine, but just not right for the tone of this work. Kasyapa belongs in a children's book.

So now I have someone who is no darling at all strolling into Chapter 11. Not sure if I trust this new character yet...and that's a good thing. There needs to be more risk in the reading. We can have sunshine and happy turtles another day.

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Flame and Bone

When I was made from fire
Poured into the tender vessel of caution
That keeps my smoke from rising
Quickly did I discover that apart from crisp drizzles or falling snow
The world chilled my touched
Walking the narrow cornered gap between girders and cut stone
One learns to tuck his shoulders in or risk
Jostling a neighbor passing by rapt with want
For a clear path without the distraction
Of another man's boiling eyes
The tip of a finger
That oldest of all weapons
Grown deadlier and pristine in its invention
Gathers a mote of a cinder on its bare flesh
And turns pondering how best to scratch the impious itch
Prying open the tender seam
Where the oil of thought dews
Offering a new wick to ignite
Squirming alive as a salamander of mischief
That yearns for a taste of air it is so ready to devour
The steam of breath betrays me
Before the glint of orange spreads
In popping bright waves
Eroding the fibers feeding it
Leaving naught but ash
As my shell of quietude falls away