My traditional answer would be "I'm behind you," but I'll do my best to keep it a little more serious today. You know, so you can tell that I'm not making crap up.
Those of you who can count may have noticed that I haven't put up a blog post for a month now, and that this isn't usual for me. I also haven't responded quite as assiduously to email or blog comments.
So why is it? Where have I been?
Well, about a month ago, a good friend of mine died. His name was Rick Doolin, and he had two kids: ages ten and seven.
He had been struggling with cancer (mesothelioma) for about a year, and it was so advanced from the beginning that doctors didn't even realistically give him that long. So this wasn't sudden, but it was still difficult.
On a personal level, Rick had also asked me to conduct his funeral.
Why? A few reasons. First, Rick was a lot like me, and a lot like many of you: he was a geek, he didn't like being too dramatic, and he had a very dry sense of humor. Rick knew that if I was involved in the funeral, it would be a service he would enjoy. And it wouldn't get too sappy.
I was onstage in a "Trek Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself" T-shirt and jeans. True story. Many of the audience members wore superhero shirts and capes, and one guy was in full redshirt cosplay. We showed clips from Star Trek movies; it was awesome.
I actually ended up co-leading with the pastor of Rick's local church (who otherwise would have done the service alone), which was great. We got Rick's permission to team up, so don't worry about that.
Even splitting the burden with somebody else, though, it took a lot out of me. Way more than I expected.
Rick really was a good friend of mine: I hung out with him at least once a week, and I could always count on him to go with me to see terrible sci-fi movies. So the loss of a friend was one level.
But planning and executing a funeral service was a lot harder than I thought it would be.
From the point that Rick started to get worse to the end of the funeral was a little over two weeks. After that, I had zero energy. I was practically dead.
So I went on vacation. To the mountains, as some of you may remember that I love.
I've been disconnected for weeks. But the good news is that I'm back, I'm rested, and I (strangely enough) came out of the vacation with three chapters written of Of Sea And Shadow.
One of which I'll share with you in a few days. Anyone checking this blog has been patient, and I appreciate that. I'd like to reward that patience with a preview of the world.
This chapter of the new story does not follow the main characters; in fact, it's kind of like a really short spinoff story, of the sort you'd find in the Chronicles. But it gives a brief, colorful look at the world.
Thanks for your understanding, everybody, and keep an eye out for an original scene from the Of Sea and Shadow world!
...in a few days.
"The sea was empty."
84% of draft
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