Insolation, Insulation, Isolation, Inspiration

One of Winter's semi-penultimate gasps covered everything with inches of snow:
the mud of Warmth's first stretchings after long sleep,
evergreen needles and bare birch branches,
dog-pee roadsigns and tiny, timid, animal tracks,
rough ruts from all-weather tires, frozen like canyons out west.

The quiet in the early morning woods during is palpable,
I could palp, or palpate, it if I had a free hand; I don't,
because the dogs are taking me for a walk, or it may be the other way around.

I push my hearing up and out and away from me,
listening for anything not covered or softened by the snow.

A crow's flight between the tops of the trees brings a soft whooshing to our ears.

A meringue of snow from some overloaded branch whispers as it comes to land in front of us.

The dogs' soft pads squeak as they dance over the new, dry, snow.

The loudest thing my ears find to grab is the dull hum of a transformer on a pole far away; 

I feel hugged by the soundlessness,
stunned and enervated by the space it offers me,
 to speak, to sing, to think quiet or riotous thoughts.

I could be the last man on Earth,
alone with snow and cold and dogs and the promise of space and peace and quiet.

I don't know where the ideas, the dreams, come from ... 
out of the new-fallen snow, like springtails, just seeming to appear, 
or emboldened by the stillness, made brave, even foolhardy, and finally breaking cover.

The dogs and my brain bound and bounce, 
sniffing and snuffling at the snow and sky and silence,
who knows what they, or I, will find ,
to taste and savor and bring home,
or spit out and bury under white nothing

 ... in any case, it's a nice way to spend a quiet morning.


5 Protagonists Currently Living in My Head

At the moment I'm sharing my brain with 5 protagonists, each of them selfishly most interested in their own story, and each shouting for primacy when I have time to do some writing. 

I spend a lot of time and energy placating them with promises about a weekend away, quality time 'later', and love notes (memos to myself with ideas really, but you get the idea).

I often feel like a neglectful father, not having sufficient time to spend with any of them, but definitely showing favoritism for a couple.

First is Tyler Cunningham, the protagonist of four previous books, Here Be Monsters, Caretakers, Between the Carries, and The Weaving. I feel as though I know him the best, and as my first born he has been with me the longest. We've already started work on the next novel, and he gets jealous and nervous when I spend too much time (any time, really) with the others.

Next up is Ari Sigrunson, the lead character in my serial fiction project, "Watcher in the Woods". Ari seems a bit more laid back and content to tell me his story a nugget at a time, which works out well for a weekly release schedule.

Two protagonists that I know less well, but have moved into small attic apartments in my head have to do with two novellas I'm waiting to write. One is a YA Fantasy story, filled with magic and weird beasties and pitiless evil. The other is a zombie story told from (what I hope is) a fresh angle/perspective. I don't know when I'll get the chance to let these two out to play, but they keep talking with me, and each other, about Tyler and Ari getting all of the fun.

The last and latest protagonist to have set up shop in my skull is Mortimer Beane, the man who wants to replace Tyler Cunningham as the subject of my future novels. Mort lives in Lake Clear, New York, a retired teacher, and just wants to plod through the last decade or two of a boring life in peace, with his dogs. He just came to live with me a week or so ago, but I can feel his story (stories) taking shape already.

I love writing, love all of the characters, love listening to their stores, and hope to have a chance to let them out and share them with the world.