Thursday, October 04, 2012

From the Archives

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you might have read that I recently suffered a hard drive crash.  This is a headache for most people, but can be a disaster for a writer who isn't good about backing up their work. I confess, I got complacent and have paid for it, though it could have been worse. 

I will have to rewrite the ending to the sequel to Troubled Waters--Willow's Blood (not the end of the world, especially as I have to re-draft it anyway) and I lost a few pages of Scrim (Aka "The Daylight Here"--which Gary tells me is a significantly better title--and so goes the ongoing debate), but the over all losses weren't as great as they could have been. 

Among the folders on a long-lost disc, I found numerous drafts of Fassen File (always fun to look back at what seemed like a good idea at the time). But the find of the decade was the unfinished sequel to Fassen Files and discovering that the idea is still sound enough to consider finishing (depending on the reception the first book, this summer).  

Anyway--just for fun, and because I feel a need to post something writerly this week, I thought I'd share a poem from the long-lost files. The back story on this piece--While writing Witness Tree, I spent a fair amount of time reading up on the Bald Knobbers, a group of local vigilantes from the late 1800s. In brief, they started out a good idea. 

Kinney's men join up on a high bald knob,
oathing death over naming names, swearing
to smoke out bushwhackers, bullies and adulterers.
They agree, God is our strength and we are His hands and feet.
Kenny's men ride in sure and lean.

They drop hickory switches on cabin stoops. 
Notes, A toothe for a toothe
or If thine eye offends, plucke it out,
are tied like gift tags, set swinging 
by breeze of boots doing God's work 
before He knows it needs doing.

If sinners don't attend or leave
barns turn funeral pyres to milk cows and winter wheat.
The wicked wake, see woolen horns by slant of flames 
And repent or run or load their gun. 
Those who aim report: demons wear boots and bleed.

God cannot look upon unavenged sin 
so Kinney's men hang the unbowed 
from the lowest branch of the nearest oak. 
Or they hide by moon's leaching light 
and shoot oldest to youngest. They say,
The sins of the fathers will be visited upon their children.

Kinney's men join up on a high bald knob, 
argue over booty: redeemed soil, pretty widows.
We have given. We have taken away.
Pockets heavy with the gold of the forgiven,
Kenny's men ride out sure, bellies over their belts.

1 comment:

Ray Veen said...

Oh man. I can relate to the horror. I thought my laptop was stolen last week, and until it turned up in the hospital security office, I believed I'd lost a total of one entire rewrite, all my notes and world-building for my next project, and a complete first draft of the novel I finished last summer (to say I've been remiss about 'backing up' would be an understatement).

While I thought it was all gone, many helpful people made many helpful suggestions (which actually grated on me because they were all 'you shoulda's). But the best thing to come out of the fiasco -- Dropbox.

It's a free download. You move all of your writing files into your Dropbox folder, then just open, close, and work on them from there, and this amazing program syncs them to my home PC, my laptop, my phone, AND the internet. All with NO extra button pushes.

It's the perfect solution. Perfect. You oughtta.