After much soul-searching and considerable head-scratching, I’ve decided to push Artifacts, my former work in progress, to a back burner. I don’t take this action lightly, but I find that the story I see evolving isn’t nearly as much fun as I’d hoped it would be. I’ve poured significant energy into the project along with a great deal of study. I dearly love some of the characters, too. Alas, the vital bit of chemistry I need has yet to show itself. And while I could continue to stew over it, cursing my utter inadequacy, it’s not in the least productive. Feel free to sigh alongside me. I’m NOT admitting defeat. Not yet, anyway. I’m just going to step away and work on one of the dozen or so other projects that have been clamoring in my brain for attention.
The top candidate has long been a third book in the ongoing Little Primitive series.
Those of you who enjoyed the first two books will hopefully share my excitement about the new volume. I won’t make too many promises beyond trying to create a fast-moving, high-energy tale with the usual complement of oddball characters and bizarre situations. What other choice is there in the world of Mato, a Chihuahua-sized Indian with the heart and soul of an Irish Wolfhound?
And just to show I’m serious, here’s the very first draft of the very first scene of book three, A Primitive In Paradise:
“Hormones don’t care how big you are.” –Caleb Jones
Mato wanted a new T-shirt. And jeans. And paints. And one other thing he couldn’t bring himself to mention. He tried to clear his mind of any thought of it, lest its absence drive him mad.
He had come to appreciate many new and wondrous things while living among the giants. But once he’d rescued his pregnant mate, Reyna, and returned from the far-away place the Big Ones called Po-kip-see, she wanted only to go home to The People.
And stay there.
Mato recalled the warnings of an older warrior who fathered several children. He claimed that pregnancy could alter more than a female’s shape. Sometimes it allowed lessor demons to settle within and render an otherwise reasonable mate… difficult. Mato hoped that explained Reyna’s displeasure with the giants and their world, for he considered some of them to be good friends, especially those who had helped him save her. But once they finally located and returned to The People – something no giant had ever done – Reyna’s irrationality grew worse. Simply being away from the giants was no longer enough; she now insisted he remain close at all times. She remained adamant in this demand despite the obvious fact The People depended heavily on what its greatest hunter could provide.
Winter months were always the hardest, and life in the mountains made the winter even harder. Food stores never lasted as long as the snow, and without Mato and his gigantic dog, the tribe’s hunters often returned empty-handed. Mato knew the “greatest hunter” accolade rightly belonged to Shadow, the dog they had borrowed from Tori. Few others in the tribe even dared to approach the massive animal Mato and Reyna had ridden all the way from Tori’s cabin.
The search and journey had taken weeks, but without Shadow, it would have been impossible. Reyna would have had their baby among the giants, in Tori’s cabin. Such a prospect posed no problem for Mato, but Reyna could not imagine giving birth without benefit of her aged grandmother, Winter Woman, considered the wisest living member of the clan.
With the birth of their child imminent, Winter Woman ordered Mato to move in with the single warriors. Such had been the tradition among The People since time began. If they wished their child to be born healthy, Mato and Reyna must live apart during the last month of her pregnancy and stay apart until the first full moon after the baby’s birth. Though Reyna had long known about the required separation, she argued vehemently against it.
Winter Woman’s superior standing among the tribe carried more weight, of course, and Reyna’s protests accomplished nothing. Mato had neither the heart nor the stomach to tell Reyna that he looked forward to the solitude such a separation would provide. As the weather improved and signs of spring became obvious even to the least observant, he admitted to himself that The People could survive quite well without him, and solitude wasn’t what he really wanted.
He craved something only the giants possessed, so he gathered his weapons, climbed back upon the great canine, and left the clan.
There’s a great deal more to come, of course, and I may or may not dole out bits of it from time to time. You’ll need to drop by often lest you miss something.
More soon, I promise.