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Chaturday Morning Post – 1
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My friends, I welcome you to the first Chaturday Morning Post.
As I write this, it’s storming here in Central Alabama. I have to confess, I do enjoy those regular afternoon thunderstorms we get here in summer. They were certainly a fixture of childhood down in LA (Lower Alabama). I’d be out playing in the yard, in the never-ending heat and humidity, and then a storm would drive me inside, where I’d end up curled up with a stack of Marvel comics or a book on astronomy (likely well above my reading level) or something about NASA, or maybe a bit of fiction. (I didn’t read many novels until I hit about 13.)
I did have some computer games on my Tandy 1000-HX that I enjoyed (Sid Meyer’s Pirates being my favorite). I think that started when I was about 11. But we didn’t have reliable power during storms, so that was rarely an option. The power almost always blinked off a few times.
Those storms also provided a respite from plowing cotton once I was old enough to drive the tractor or from picking butter beans or corn, or whatever other torturous yet delicious vegetable needed gathering.
This week, I worked on planning Outworld Ranger #6 (title TBD). I also wrote the first draft of the first chapter. Let me tell you, that chapter was hella fun to write, and you’ll be seeing it on Rogues & Starships soon. I can’t begin to tell you how good it felt to start writing that series again after all I went through the last two years.
I also worked on The Crucified Owl and a rewrite of Gadda Bisby’s Grail, a story I doubt many of you have read. It’s getting a mighty expansion and redo. I will release both chapters of that story here next week.
With everything that’s been going on, this year has been slow for fiction reading. I have done a lot of scattered research reading, though, out of necessity.
The first good book I read this year was Lisey’s Story by Stephen King. This was only the second King novel I’ve read (something I intend to correct). Lisey’s Story was extremely different from the absolutely brilliant 11/22/63, which would likely end up on my list of top twenty novels I’ve read. Maybe higher. Lisey’s Story would not make such a list, but it was a very good book, and one of the most uniquely written books I’ve ever encountered. That alone made it worth my while, and I’m sure I picked up a trick or two from it. A writer should never stop learning the craft.
Last week was a banner week for me and music. Aubrey took me to Tuscaloosa to see Barenaked Ladies live in concert, which I appreciate because I certainly couldn’t afford it. They were an absolute blast in person, which I knew they would be. I had not seen them since… 1998, I think.
I love both eras of BNL (pre and post Steven), and I listen to their music a lot, especially the more recent stuff which has a lot more of the positive vibes I need these days. BNL is probably my third favorite band.
If you ever have the chance to see them, I recommend it. Great music, improv and jokes, and so much fun. My favorite songs from the setlist were Big Back Yard and Gonna Walk.
Tuscaloosa & Moundville
It was also good to get back to Tuscaloosa. I went to school at the University of Alabama and lived in Tuscaloosa for seven years, so it felt a lot like going home. But wow has it grown since I moved away. The amphitheater where we saw the concert wasn’t there back when, nor all the other attractions and amenities along the Black Warrior River.
We also made it down to Moundville along the Black Warrior to visit the remnants of one of the the largest and most important Native American settlements of the Mississippian Culture (800-1600 CE). We walked up the two mounds you are allowed on (in 98 degree heat with a humidity level I don’t care to think about), toured the site, went on a hike, and visited the museum. I recommend looking it up and visiting if you ever get the chance. It’s a very quick site to tour, and many of the artifacts from the museum were funerary in nature and have now been returned to a place of rest.
Touring sites is always good fuel for the author brain. And I’m going to be researching the Mississippian Culture. I’m fascinated by their concept that humans have multiple souls, one of which climbed into the sky through the constellation we know as Orion, which they saw as a hand.
I won’t go on, because I lack the requisite knowledge to do so. For now anyway. And I’m sure some of aspect of this will make its way into my writing somewhere along the way, though it may not be recognizable when it does. As a fiction writer, I think one of the best ways to honor the ancestors is to keep the essence of who they were, virtues and flaws, alive in some fashion.
That heat drained us, but like a couple of nuts, we still went to the ruins of Alabama’s second state capital in Tuscaloosa and hiked along the riverwalk. We finished that day at a famous but thankfully affordable restaurant called Dreamland, where we ate way too much food.
Next week, I will release the two parts of Gadda Bisby’s Grail, on Tuesday and Thursday. And on Wednesday, I will post the first chapter of the new, revised, and improved Storm Phase. All of these will be free releases.
Don’t forget, you can get a signed, typewritten page from one of my stories.
How it works is I will type the first page of a story on one of my vintage typewriters and sign it. This a great way to show your support while getting a unique piece of memorabilia. Click here if interested.
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Best wishes and happy reading,
David Alastair Hayden