Thursday, April 9, 2015

Eau Revoir, Mr. Pickles

I'm changing the cat's name to Michael Schumacher.  But pronounced as one word, like the tiger Richard Parker in The Life of Pi.  Which was as overrated a book as I've read in a long time.

Funny the stuff that just comes to you in the middle of the night.

It should be noted that were Michael Schumacher a dog I would, under almost no circumstances, change his name.  Dogs give a shit about their names.  Cats?  Not so much.  Cats give a shit about food, and you can call them what you like so long as you give it to them.

Perhaps, were my dog (a white Lab, just to pick a breed at random) named Isis I would change it.  Because those dudes get enough ink without me helping.  And fuck them anyway.  So I guess in that situation I'd change his name, even though I know it would be hard on the dog.  Not as hard, one should say, as what the producers of Downton Abbey did to Lord Grantham's dog (a white lab named Isis, as chance would have it).  Hell, they killed the damned thing.  Fictionally, of course.  But still ... pretty harsh.  Gave the poor thing cancer and for episode after episode members of the Grantham clan would stare at poor Isis and wonder what was wrong with him.

So I'm changing the cat's name.

Many of you have read one or more of my "Saigon: Too Big To Fail" novellas.  Which, I would tell you if you haven't read them, are magical.  What you may not know is that under the nom de plume of Geoffrey V. V. Raymond (which makes me smile just typing it) I'm creating a second series of books.  High Fantasy.  Because, hey, my parents sent me to military school when I was twelve.  Don't ask, although it had something to do with a shed burning down, plus some other factors, none of which, other than the shed, were my fault.  At least not some of them.

Anyway, what do you do at military school when you're twelve?  First off, you try to survive.  Second, you get lucky and your roommate hands you a copy of The Lord of the Rings and you read it straight through like it was crack cocaine, then again like it was heroin, then again like it was LSD and then again until suddenly its the fall of 1970, you're going into the 11th grade, and you are doing so at no less a place than Fairfax High School.

"Free at last!" I remember thinking, followed quickly by "Shit -- look at these girls!"

The point being that the stuff you read at certain points in your life sticks to your brain.  The working title of the thing is "The Keldish Song," which I like, although it, like everything else at this point, is certainly subject to change.  And it involves the time-worn trick of certain people, including the hero, finding themselves transported from a world the reader recognizes (i.e. New York circa 2013) to someplace else.  Someplace medieval, but way nicer than it was during the actual middle ages.

Here's a bit where the hero meets somebody he suspects is also from New York.  He's just extended his hand in greeting -- something they don't do in what I'm currently calling Alternate World, although I feel certain that will change.

      “Nice to meet you,” she responded while shaking it.  “My, it’s been a long time since I’ve shaken somebody’s hand.  Barbreque Cumberbatch at your service.  Head Librarian.”
     “That’s a lovely name,” I said with a smile.
     “Thank you.  I made it up when I got here.”
     “You made it up?”
     “I came here from a very great distance – a very great distance indeed – and I thought if I was going to start over I’d rather do it with a fun name.”
     “If you don’t mind me asking, what did you change it from?”
     “Melissa Schwartz.”
     I wasn't sure what to say about that, so I left it alone.
     “It’s not like it’s such a bad name,” she said.  “But it’s not Barbreque Cumberbatch, is it?”
     For some reason I wanted to hug the woman.  

See?  Everybody's changing names.

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