Sand

I was born in the middle of tomorrow, yesterday’s child.

My parents were Tuesday and waiting for the water to boil. The people of the village are finding me in the hay of the inn’s second stall, the one that the old gray mule calls his own. Or did they already find me?

At some point, there was I in the hay. A child in the hay, pointy ears and bric-a-brac, like Mama Troth says sometimes, or is saying right now as I fold the clothes on the square table in the kitchen, but is also still a stump oozing sap as it’s cut down in the Riddlewood.

I know I’m confusing. People think are thinking that I do it a-purpose, or as some lark. It was hard, sometimes. Wanting to carry on a palaver with all the right tenses, the words that say time like Mama Troth will teach me.

If I’m careful I can tell the pig story right. The straw, the sticks, the bricks — but sometimes I tell the wolf at the beginning,

Wesley Allsbrook
Wesley Allsbrook

or leave the wolf out all together. Or put in some extra wolves that people never hear of, but that’s mainly a lark.

I used to be funny. Laughing and dancing down the streets of the Kingdom, with my friends and comrades. Before the war? After? I can’t be sure. Enough to say, there was an I and he was funny.

It’s hard to become this, stranger to remember. All at once and never gone. We’re going to a wedding, or have we already been?

Mama Troth told me to go to the baker and pick up some bread, but I could never figure when the place was open. I always came too late or too early, or I saw when the baker was a boy and didn’t have any bread. Or I saw him choking on that apple seed and he didn’t have any bread then either. I tried just keeping my hand on his doorknob until the time was right, but the rain was over and the rain was coming and the rain was always.

I got wet.  I’m pretty sure that one already happened.

It’s going to be hard. People move so slow, but I turn and they’re gone. I send my words to where I see them, but they’re already gone, or they aren’t there yet.

Nora Hill held my hand once, but she ran off when her dad yelled. That one is the only one I know for sure is behind me, even though I want it to always be ahead. Nora is dying right now in the war, when the teeth and claws came over the wall. I don’t tell her and squeeze her hand. I should kiss her but I don’t. I see her dying right now, right before they found baby me in the hay, right after we went to the wedding, before the rain, but during the towels I fold all square and neat.

It’s hard to see. I want to shut my eyes sometimes, but Mama Troth is telling me I have to go buy some bread.

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Bells and Blood

Writing continues apace on The Riddle Box. I’ve gotten 50 pages deep into my swordpunk murder mystery without getting all the clues and suspects too tangled — I hope. There’s also been a fair amount of self-high fiving if I’m being honest. It’s rare that I’ll start chortling when I’m writing a scene, but my Pink Panther homage made me quite jolly.

Posting here has been way down, and I’m having trouble feeling bad about it. Work on the novel is going well and I need my spare time to play Animal Crossing. [Kid Cat is my new friend!]

I know! I know! Self-promotion is important. But so is paying off this Tom Nook character.

I Need Reviews!

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On Amazon, on Goodreads, on Facebook, scrawled on butcher paper and taped to the side of your car.

Those of you who have already finished reading — please take a second and post a review online. Even if you had problems, especially if you have legitimate criticism. I’m starting from zero promoting the book, and my best ally is word of mouth. This is the quickest and easiest way you can help me – especially with an Amazon or Goodreads review. It helps boost the visibility of the book, and helps new readers make an informed decision.

Negative reviews are no problem — what you hated about the book may be the thing that convinces a new reader to give me a shot.  The initial word of mouth from the book’s release has officially subsided, and now I need to dig in for the long haul. INCREMENTAL GROWTH, BABY. So, if you’ve read the book — please, please take a moment and click some stars and type a sentence or two online. You do that crap on the regular anyway, right?

And, now on to some more unprofessional behavior, tinged by desperation.

I have copies of Spell/Sword to mail out. I will send it to your house. TO YOUR HOUSE. [US only, please.] I can also hook you up with the Kindle version if that’s your preference. If you read this far and you want to give it a shot, just drop me a line in the comments and I’ll get one shipped out. Do I want a review in return? Absolutely — but you can make it as mean-spirited as you desire.

I know the hustle’s hard, but we gotta enterprise, the carnival

-Wyclef Jean

A Bit of Riddle Box Description

Quorum is a new town, though it has labored fiercely to coat itself in smoke-stack centuries of Imagegrime. Two centuries gone the Yad-Elves of Riddlewood turned their back on the forest, on their forest, on their sacred bond to the wood. They joined forces with metal-minded humans and built a city on the coast, a hub of trade, a garden of squares, a warehouse world.

 

I just like it, okay?