I set myself into my new favorite “writing position” just prior to starting this creative session. It entails lying on my couch with my back against an armrest, my legs extended over the far cushions, and my lovely Series 9 laptop — appropriately — sitting in my lap as I type away. Waiting patiently between words is a glass of Tempranillo on the coffee table, just within reach, and the rest of the bottle is a tad beyond it in case I finish the glass before I finish the editorial.
“This is the writer’s life,” I think to myself. I try to ignore the fact that I put in a fifty- to sixty-hour week working for a federal contractor during the day, and that the bottle and glass on the coffee table are surrounded by the detritus of my children’s recent play time: a glove from a dress-up costume, a plastic carriage from a My Little Pony toy, some ribbons and purses, and a Minion from Despicable Me.
That is the *real* writers’ life, as far as I’m concerned. I dream of a mountain cottage filled with inspirational medieval weaponry, a bookcase fairly toppling over with volumes on arcane languages and classic tales, a hard drive filled with my favorite films noir, and a pot of stew cooking over the fireplace. And high-speed internet, of course. If I ever get there, I’ll let you know.
But I’m not really here to talk about myself, today. Instead, I decided I wanted to start sharing some spotlights into the authors writing for Dargon. We’re a diverse group, from … well, everywhere really, with a variety of ages, cultures, and insights. I’m going to concentrate on just two of them in this editorial, with the intention of picking on more of them in the future. But since I’m terrible at picking two people randomly from our small stable of authors, I’ll take the two who are seeing print today.
First up is Joe Carney, who brings us “Jacer and Ratche’s Grand Plan.” Joe hails from Nashville, TN, and describes himself as being relatively new to this world of writing. He is also somewhere in the stage of retirement, which makes it easy (theoretically) to dedicate time to the craft. Joe has been the standout remote attendee of two Dargon summits, and we’re hoping to actually drag him physically into the fold in the coming year. He has an eye for detail, writes character-driven stories, and has little problem expression his perspective on things (which is generally well thought out). So he’s a natural writer. We’ve seen four previous stories from Joe, all of which are written — if I had to define a genre — more like plays than short stories. I think he likes to find a couple of characters and a setting, and just let them go. If six characters were in search of an author, they could do worse than to find Joe. His work is very enjoyable, he touches on real life, and he keeps a sense of humor throughout. He has become an excellent addition to the Project.
Next up is Liam Donahue, who is probably tired of me pointing out how awesome he is from year to year. This guy has been around for about a decade now, which makes me feel pretty old from a Dargon perspective. He went from noobie author to major contributor in short order, then launched into project leadership as Assistant Editor and then Editor. Having had his fill of that frustrating position, he handed it over to me and became our Publishing Master, being the primary (and perhaps sole) source of all knowledge when it comes to issue publication. Somehow, he still manages to write stories for us, even though he’s a regular nine-to-fiver like myself. If not for Liam, this project would be in far worse shape — or perhaps even dead — as his drive and dedication have helped keep the ship under way from both the front and back end of things. Today’s issue brings us his latest work, a strong, character-driven story that’s just a little bit sad, wrapped up in the ongoing Doravin saga, titled “The Life and Death of Gillem Stonecutter.”
The holiday season is in full swing, if this issue hits publication on time. Stay healthy, stay warm, give freely of yourself to those you love — and complete strangers, if you have the chance — and remember those who endeavor to help you out in turn. We’ll see you in the new year.