Saturday, January 19, 2008

Episode 1: Previously, on Magik Beans...

"Let me guess," the blonde haired man said, appraising the family of bears standing across the counter from him. He pointed at the Father Bear, or at least the one he assumed was the Father Bear, given the smart looking tie it had around its neck. "You want one that's too big, and too hot." He pointed at the Mother Bear, whose feminine eyelashes, lipstick and apron had given her away. "You want one that's too small and too cold." Finally he turned his index finger on the small bear standing between the Mama and the Papa, ostensibly Baby Bear. "And you want one that's juuuuuust right."

"Actually," the Papa Bear replied, "I'll have a low-fat, half-sweet Caramel Machiatto, she'll have a hazelnut flavored latte, and my son will have a Strawberry Italian Soda."

"Oh," the blonde haired man said, and called out the order to the dark haired girl working the coffee machines.

Andrew Weazle took the money the bears paid with, smiling as he threw the gold coins into the wooden chest beneath the cash register. They always reminded him of the Leprechaun gold and the journey to the Pole, and of Silke. He wondered how she was doing; it had been months since he'd seen her, and weeks since he'd had word of her. In the last letter that had been dropped off, (delivered by a group of prudish witches who were vacationing in their neck of the woods, wanting to celebrate the Spring solstice somewhere that didn't involve acts of wanton sex in fields of grain) she'd written of an increase in Wolves moving boldly through the Deep Dark Wood, and would be on patrol until further notice. She'd closed by saying she didn't know when she would have time to write next.

Big Bad Wolves and Deep Dark Woods. A little over a year ago, Andrew would have thought that good subject matter for a Master's Thesis, but in the year since he'd traded the coffee shop's night deposit for magic coffee beans, resulting in the growth of a massive magic tree which turned out to be a gateway to the World Tree, permitting travel between other universes, he'd been nearly killed a succubus who had made a clone-like replica of him; nearly killed by a contingent of rebel Leprechauns, traveled to the North Pole on a magic train, where he'd narrowly averted ecological disaster on several planes of existence.

Which was to say nothing of what had happened after he'd gotten home. None of it came close to the intensity of those first three months that the Tree had forced its presence into his life, but there was certainly never a dull moment at Magik Beans. The name of the shop, like the coffee beans that had grown the Tree overnight, was a gift from Father Christmas. Another reality he'd have scoffed at once. Knowing there really was a Santa had certainly made the past Christmas a lot more fun. He'd left out more than just cookies and milk. A thermos of a bold Christmas roast with a spicy taste to it along with a bag of 'Fireside' pipe tobacco. The old man had left Andrew the treasure chest in return; it would only open for Andrew or Lara, the dark-haired girl who was handing the finished coffees to the Three Bears.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Before we get going again

I sat up late the night I finished Book I, (which incidentally is called "Winter") making some editorial changes to the overall plot line, but not incorporating them into the malleable text here at the Blog. They'll appear in the edited for print version of Book I, which will be due out this Fall, just in time for...(drum roll) Winter! I can't make any promises, but that's my current goal.

Anyhow, the editorial changes are important as we go into Book 2, since I don't want to write another zillion pages with ideas or characters the print version will get rid of or adjust, etc.

So, a few summary changes, which currently all involve Blackout and Ripper.

Blackout and Ripper are switching occupations. Ripper is said to be the musician and Blackout really suits a comic book store owner much better. In addition, I can actually write a musician - I can't really write a DJ. That's fairly minor in the greater scheme of things, I'd say. In Book 1, Blackout finds out about the Tree earlier than he did in the blog story, simply because Andrew would come to check on the comic shop for damage; Blackout becomes a little suspicious at that point. Ripper is Blackout's roommate - they share rent on the apartment attached to the comic shop. The name of Ripper's band is, no surprise...Gotthammer, and in light of my own pipe dreams (no pun intended), it's one of those goth-metal bands with a uilleann pipe player in it. This is important for the "television show" aspect of Magik Beans - the theme music is official now (as official as pipe dreams ever get). It's the first 30 seconds of "Liam" by In Extremo. Here's a free download from Free Irish Music Downloads so you can enjoy it while you read. At any rate, the opening credits would feature Ripper and the members of Gotthammer rocking out. This is key for book 2, which will expand on Ripper and the music of Gotthammer. It is entirely possible that Sunny sings in the band, I haven't decided. And for the record, it was a fund raising concert put on by Gotthammer that first weekend of the Tree (An in-store performance) that saved the shop.

I was really uncomfortable with the ending of Book 1 insofar as the love scene between Ripper and Sunny seemed rather abrupt, without precedence in terms of character involvement, so expect them to be expanded in the print version.

Another little tidbit - Andrew's meeting with Silke, will as per Jim Baerg's suggestion, involve a greater deal of suspicion on Andrew's part. He makes a comment about having trouble trusting perfectly beautiful women, at which point Silke turns to face him, revealing a wicked triple scar from her forehead and down her cheek. She is also blind in one eye - haven't decided if she gets an eyepatch or a wicked cool magic eye, or just a dead white one.

So there are some updated thoughts.

As I am currently experiencing a kind of sorta writer's block to getting started again, I'm curious to know anything you as readers want to see expanded, or explained, etc. The current idea I'm playing with is a story with two or three plotlines which will come together at the end. Plotline 1: Ripper and Gotthammer enter a Battle of the Bands which spans the worlds. Plotline 2: Andrew enrolls in a very special course at the University along with other guardians of the Tree from other worlds. Plotline 3: Yeah. That's where I hit the wall.

I will start Thursday, hell or high water, and see where the muse takes us in 2008.